Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kids Crafting!

My last post was about my crafting ADD and I mentioned briefly that I don't really enjoy crafting with my kids...then we had Thanksgiving at my mom's and I saw the napkins rings we made with their handprints 2 (or 3) years ago.  And I was embarrassed and a little sad that I had stopped doing those things.  Those will be cherished trinkets someday.  So I decided that although I enjoy crafting as my "me time" a lot I need to do crafts with them as well.

So before I went to Hobby Lobby, google and I spent some quality time together.  I found several Christmas craft projects to do this month.  I bought the supplies (and some extras) at Hobby Lobby and we are going to decorate their own special tree that we set up in the school room.  Some crafts are simple and geared for the little guy who is just 4.  Others are more complex and geared for the Prince (who is 8).  We'll all do them together though and I'll post pics when we are done.

Another thing that we are going to do each week is BAKE!  I bake often...I enjoy it.  But I have stopped baking with the kids often and that is a shame.  So yesterday we started with some cookies from our "If you give a mouse a cookie" book.  The Prince read the recipe (I helped with the fractions), little guy stirred, and Knight did all the measuring and pouring.  The cookies turned out great!!! 

Tomorrow Ordinary Hero is starting a Grant Contest!  We will be prepared to hear all about it...more than once.  :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Crafters ADD!

It is no secret that I love doing crafts.  I wish I loved doing them with my children but that is truly another blog post (and one I should probably do and then work on).  Anyway, I am talking about crafting ADD (which is oddly appropriate since I haven't been able to stay on topic for more than one sentence at a time so far).

I have been an avid scrapbooker and I still would enjoy it, I think, if I ever got it out.  All three of our children have elaborate scrapbooks up to a certain age and then it is like I threw up my hands and quit which is essentially exactly what I did.  Scrapbooking takes so much space and makes such a mess and you just can't do it little bits at a time.  When Baby Sister gets here...I plan to do a scrapbook for her of her first year which is how long I scrapbooked for Griffin.  Then I will hopefully be able to keep up a family scrapbook that they can all fight over when I die.  I just can't keep individual ones up anymore.

Recently, I've been sewing.  I started with purses and crayon rolls and really loved doing them.  I sewed a BUNCH of  them because of a craft booth I did earlier this fall.  I also made pie plate/brownie pan carriers.  The booth went well and I was able to sell several.  I am so over sewing those purses and crayon rolls.  There are only so many times I can do the same thing over again apparently.

Now I'm doing more craft shows (thank you holiday shoppers) and I need to make sure my booth is filled up.  It would be smart to make more of what I already know...but where is the fun in that.  For the one this past weekend, my mom and I made Christmas ornaments...they did not sell very well so I am not making any more of those.  So.... I am making crocheted hats and headbands (and they are AWESOME!)  And I am making little girl hairbows.  And I am working on some different styles of bags.  I found directions for hairbow making online (posted that last week) and I am having a blast doing it.  I also have been finding crochet directions and help and I LOVE it!  I am not exceedingly great at reading a pattern but making it up as I go has been working well so far and I am learning.  :)  I just need to work on my sizing and learn how to gauge that better.  But if my baby hat ends up being a hat sized for tweens (or even adults)...where is the harm in that?  It is still a stinkin cool hat!  Right?  Right?!?!?!

I still have more fabric than anyone should really have in their house but I will get through it too.  I am going to have to sew a few things for this booth.  I want to make sure it is full since it is 3 days long.  I have just under a month to figure things I am going to be busy.  But I love to craft!  And being able to personally help plump up the adoption account makes me feel great.  There is so little I can do that each craft booth makes me feel so...useful.  :) So if you live in my area and you want to swing by a craft show the second weekend in December....keep an eye on this blog and I'll give you lots of details as the time gets closer.  Also I'll be posting pics of finished products between now and then so you can see a sampling of what I am making. 

Of course, cleaning my house is also useful but way less fun!  And it gets messed up in about 5 minutes anyway so no one even notices I did it most of the time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Week of Blessings!

Last week was one of those weeks that I would gladly live again and again and again.  Monday started a little rough due to my busy weekend and inability to plan school and meals but all things considered it went very well.

On Tuesday is when things started going all a wonderful way.  I have school with my children every day.  The oldest is in 2nd grade and the middle is in Kindergarten (although doing 1st grade level work).  The little guy is in preschool and honestly is just doing his own thing for the most part. They do this work every day and often with much weeping and gnashing of teeth.  There are meltdowns over math, tears over handwriting (although the program is called "handwriting without tears"- go figure) and sighs over Social Studies.  Science they usually like.  On most days we begin school at 9.  But last week, they all got up got dressed (shock!), brushed their teeth (seriously?) and made their beds!  Wait!  I have to pick myself up off the floor again!  It totally surprised me too.  Then while I was making breakfast (which is at 8 most of the time) the oldest came in the school room and STARTED DOING HIS SCHOOL WORK WITHOUT BEING TOLD, THREATENED, OR OTHERWISE CONVINCED!!!!!  I did check his temperature a couple times and he was not sick.  The awesome thing...when he did that, the others followed suit.  All their deskwork was DONE (really it was DONE) BEFORE school was even "started" at 9.  It was wonderful!!!!!

Our church also had a revival going on that we were able to attend a couple times.  And we got to go without the children.  It was so nice to be able to really listen to the sermon and I even took notes a couple times.  Especially on the sermon about not becoming discouraged (which is so easy to do when you are in the midst of waiting with no visible light at the end of the tunnel).  What a blessing that was!!!!!

Then on Thursday, I had a dreaded shopping....with all three children...during nap time  Ack!  I try to avoid this exact situation at all costs.  The only thing that was in my favor that it wasn't a Saturday...but it was exactly one week before Thanksgiving.  This had the potential of going very very very badly.  But I decided that I was going to stay positive and I was NOT going to get grouchy!  And it worked.  We hit a couple resale shops (and found some cute baby girl sleepers on the cheap), then went to Aldi where the boys helped pick out merchandise and convinced me to make a couple impulse buys (who doesn't cave when their children BEG for broccoli and cantelope -seriously?)  Then they helped me bag all the groceries (and didn't smash or break anything - not even the glass bottle of olives little guy dropped on the floor twice).  Then we went to Walmart....things went a little south there.  But really that store would irritate a saint.  After wandering around several times and asking for help several more, I was getting grumpy and the kids picked up on it.  Then the little guy ran into a pole and I had a hard time not laughing (but I did NOT laugh till we got home and he was asleep).  But that lightened the mood again and we got done.  I never yelled ONCE in the WHOLE afternoon of grocery shopping!  I don't think that has ever ever ever happened before.

So as a treat, when the King got off work, we went to Cracker Barrel.  The kids all picked their meals and were sitting and waiting nicely (another first it seems like) and when the waitress brought us our meal, she said "Since they have left, an older couple picked up your tab this evening.  They asked that I not say anything until after they were gone."  WOW!  I didn't even know that happened.  I was speechless (and I can assure you that does not happen often)!  So we told the boys what a wonderful nice thing that was and we picked another table to pay for and paid it forward.  We did not pick a family of five.  Instead there was a little older lady eating all alone.  She was wearing purple.  And she reminded the King of his mom (who passed away 11  years ago).  We waited for her to get her dessert and then we paid and left and came home.  The friendly gesture of having our meal paid for was so great and I am truly thankful for that.  But the fun and the blessing of paying it forward made it so much better.

On Friday, my best friend had her baby and I got to go to the hospital and get a fix on newborn baby girl.  She is so so so sweet.  And she makes me even more ready to meet our own little princess.  sigh!  And on a less "aaaaaawwww!" note, the king and the oldest boy got 3 deer between them on the opening day of shotgun season.  So our freezer is soon to be full of meat for the year and shotgun season lasted less than 24 hours.  Can I get a hallelujah?

The only thing that could have made last week better would have been a phone call!  I am so ready for that phone call!  But even without it, it was wonderful and I am blessed and thankful this Thanksgiving season for the many blessing big and small that have been given to my family and I!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

This weeks Menu!

In case someone has been living under a rock and not had any access to a calendar or any other human being....this is Thanksgiving week.  We have so many things to be thankful for and one of them is a huge huge meal cooked by my mom on Thursday.  With that in mind, I tried to plan simple (and kinda light for the most part) for the days leading up to Thanksgiving.  My sister says that this does not give me a pass for thanksgiving but I decided it can't hurt.  Without further ado...

L- chicken strips
S- minestrone

B- Cream of Wheat
L- sandwiches (leftover soup)
D- corn dogs, baked beans

B - ???
L - leftover corn dogs, chips
D- baked fish, rice pilaf

B- oatmeal
L- sandwiches
S- chef salad

B- ????
L- Thanksgiving Dinner
D- snacks (or pie if I'm being totally honest)

B- pancakes (I always wake up really hungry when I overeat the day before)
L- hot dogs, chips, fruit
D- pizza

B-  ????
L- grilled cheese with tomato soup
D- shepherds pie

So there we go.  We'll see how well we stick to this one.  It's hard to tell.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Corn Coming out of my Ears!

My hunter men harvested 3 deer this weekend and this afternoon we are processing them all for use all year long.  We will have ground venison, venison burgers, roasts, and loins.  This makes me very happy.  It also meant that I had to clean up the freezer so that I know what is in there and I know where things are.  Since the freezer is essentially empty this was the day to do that.  So the kids and I skipped church (the King was preaching) and I cleaned out the freezer.  While it was empty I even defrosted.  I HATE that job!  Now it is all organized and virtually empty.  But what do we have in there.....CORN---LOTS AND LOTS OF CORN! 

Apparently, I went a little crazy freezing corn the last 2 years.  I have a TON of it.  Now I have to find ways to use all this corn.  I like plain corn  (cooked in milk and water with pepper) as much as the next guy, we have corn chowder, I often serve corn with tacos.  But to get through all this corn, I am going to have to get creative.  So I've been searching and found some jumping off kinda recipes there (I rarely, if ever, follow a recipe to a tee-it is just not in my nature).  And I've been looking through cookbooks and found some good ones to try.  There are several that include bacon and I am 100% pro bacon.  :)  We are also big fans of veggie soup and something we call "carcass soup" (which is much much better than it sounds) so I'll be adding corn to those.  And I'm going to start experimenting with different chilis. 

So this winter, expect some corn recipes.  And if you have any to share...I'd love to hear them. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ordinary Hero! (or a little Christmas shopping suggestion/sales pitch) :)

We are affiliates of a wonderful shop called Ordinary Hero! They have all kinds of great stuff!  Anything from t-shirts or sweatshirts or onesies to jewelry handmade by women in Africa.  You can even buy a goat to help feed 40 hungry children in Africa or buy shoes and a raincoat or children's school supplies.  There are Christmas gifts for everyone on your list and things that show your children ways to "give back."  AND if you shop there and click on our name when you checkout, 40% of your purchase price will go directly to our adoption agency to help cover our adoption costs.  So you can not only "change the world for one" but you can change the world for many. 

I am asking that as you do your Christmas shopping that you keep this shop in mind.  I have one of their t-shirts and I love it and wear it all the time.  At the beginning of December (from Dec1 to Dec 11) they will be having a grant contest.  The person (or often 3 top sellers) who sells the most between those 2 dates will get an extra $500 (that is what it usually is).  We are going to try for this grant.  So if you find something you like and are able to wait and place your order on Dec 1, that would help us win this grant!!!  If you can't wait, we would still really appreciate your order and support!  And no worries, I will be reminding and reminding and reminding on those 10 days!!!!!

Thank you for your support!  And Happy Christmas Shopping!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Monday

So I spent the day Saturday in Effingham doing a craft show to plump up our adoption account a little bit more and I did pretty well.  I also got invited to another craft show in December.  So I will be sitting at another booth the weekend of Dec 9-11.  Now I have an excuse to keep crafting.  More info on that booth as I get it.

Since I spent all day Saturday out of the house and all day Sunday picking up the house.  I am planning school all willy nilly this morning AND winging it for meals this week.  Ack!  Not a great way to start the week. 

Plus I have to craft some everyday to build up my shop so I am ready for this next craft show.  Back with a more normal (if anything I write on here could be considered normal) post tomorrow.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I have quite a bit of ribbon that I really don't have any use for.  And someday, I am going to have a baby girl.  And baby girls NEED hairbows, right?!?!?!  So I did the math (this is math I can enjoy) and decided to learn how to make hairbows.  Where do you go when you need to learn a new, of course.  And I found this site.  And I realized I hit the motherload!!!!!  And I've been in a ribbon and hot glue state of euphoria ever since.

*As I side note, I have used hot glue on and off but it has not really been a go to crafting item.  Oh, how things have changed.  Hot glue gun, I love you!!!

As I write this I have made 5 successful bows and 2 of those are a matching pair.  All but one are of the same style (as in they are made the same but with different ribbon).  There are a few things (wider ribbon is a BIG must have) I need to get to try some of the other styles but I am having fun.  This girl o' mine is gonna have awesome head gear!!!!

This one is in "honor" of my sister who is obsessed with black & hot pink....

I think this one needs some denim romper.  Lovin the bling!

Won't these make the cutest pigtails EVER!!!

This is the only ribbon wide enough to try this style of bow.  I am pleased with how it turned out but am ready to buy some other wide ribbons.

My first successful baby headband.
After the glue gun cooled and I had really run out of ideas with the ribbon I have on hand, I decided she would need headbands to clip the bows in, of course.  She could be either bald or have a big puffball of hair or anything in between but any way you slice it, headbands will be nice.  So my friend google and I did some searching and I found a couple tutorials for headbands.  I found some yarn in the craft closet and started with a crocheted one.  I like it.  But the yarn was a little heavy.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adoption News!!

We have encouraging Adoption News.  Not THE news but encouraging.  As of last Friday our profile has been given to 32 birth mothers.  Of those 32 mothers, 2 have been placed and 3 are in matches.  That means there are at least 28 mothers who are considering adoption for their unborn baby girl and who have our profile.  That number was shockingly wonderful to me.  I was hoping that 10-12 had seen our profile.  Also , our video profile is now live.  We filmed about and hour and a half of footage over the course of a month and then turned it in.  They took all that film and turned it into a 3 minute (and 3 second) film about our life.  I am very pleased with the finished product.  It is the first time I think I have ever "said" anything in 3 minutes.  We look fun and outdoorsy and like we enjoy eating a lot.  All of which I think are true. 

I also just learned that November is National Adoption Month so I am trying to find some materials to tie into our school day.  I am honestly having some trouble with this.  Most books for kids about adoption are about international adoption or adoption out of the foster care system.  Both are wonderful things but do not really fit our adoption plan.  I did also find several books about adopting puppies...but that is even further from what I am looking for.  :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sewing Frenzy!

Realistically, I've been sewing a lot lately.  Purses and other things to try to sell to raise adoption money.  I have enjoyed that sewing and have helped add money to the savings account for adopting our little girl.

However, yesterday I decided I am tired of sewing because I have to.  I do not want to make another purse, or Christmas decoration, or whatever.  I enjoy sewing but I do not want to have a "job" sewing anymore.  So, I sewed something just for fun.  I found some online tutorials for things I'd like to make for myself but I didn't have the fabric to do those.  So I found some other tutorials online and made a few things for Baby Sister.  It was FUN!  It is hard sewing (or shopping for that matter) for her because we don't know in which season she will be joining our family...but I decided I don't really care.  I am going to make things that I feel like making.

These two projects were made from tutorials I found online.  The sleepsack comes from  The booties are from

This is a sleep sack...think like a sleeping bag for babies.  It unzips all the way and the straps velcro up over baby's shoulders so after baby is asleep you can lay her down and not have to get arms in any holes.  She will still wear a sleeper...this is just the "blanket"

These are faux suede newborn booties.  The pink bows aren't yet attached and I think I found some that I like better.  I am not thrilled with the finishing around the top edge and am thinking about adding a decorative stitch up there.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Birthday Boy!


Yesterday, November 6th, my littlest guy turned FOUR!  Really!?!?!?  How did he turn four?  But he did and we had birthday pizza with a chocolate cake appetizer.  The rest of his little family party did not go well since our well ran dry and the King had to go haul water.  Oh, the joys of living in the country on a well.  Sigh.  But he liked his cake and his pizza and his gifts. 

I got lots of chances to get photos of him blowing out his candle since he missed 4 times.  Finally, he got it out with some secretive assistance from me.  Of course, at that point he had covered pretty much every square inch of cake with spit.  We ate it anyway.  It was chocolate with YUMMY homemade icing!  (the cake was homemade too and unlike a certain infamous chocolate birthday cake I made a few years ago, it did NOT taste like cardboard!)

It is still just really hard for me to believe that he is four.  I miss my baby boy.  He is getting so big and growing such a personality.  It is sometimes a whiney personality but so is mine so, whatever.  He makes us smile every day with his silliness and I love him more every day!!!

This Weeks Menu!

So this menu was challenging.  Why?  Because I am completely and totally out of flour after tonight's supper.  Since I also do not buy bread and very few bread products, choices are limited.  I should be able to go to Beachy's and get flour early next week.  Until then, we've got to be a little creative.  Creativity isn't a bad thing.  It means I will use up things that need to be used up and will be able to start with a "clean" slate in the pantry and fridge...theoretically.   So, this is what we're eating this week.

Sun- coffee cake
Mon-biscuits n gravy
Tues- Fruit & yogurt
Wed- oatmeal
Thurs-banana bread (that I baked last week and put in the freezer)
Fri- cereal
Sat-  Baked oatmeal

leftover pizza
egg & biscuit sandwich
leftover tacos
fruity lunch
the rest I will play by ear....aka I have no ideas 

Sun- birthday pizza and cake
Mon- fish and fries
Tues- tacos
Wed - Thanksgiving dinner at awana
Thurs - beef stew
Fri- chef salad
Sat- chili

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


So I am running late this week.  I am running late on everything.  Menu plans, lesson plans, the house is a mess, laundry is piled up.  But today I am going to get stuff done liked I had planned it (although I've not) and I am going to get everything else figured out. 

So here is our menu plan.  For lunch and dinner we are "playing it by ear" this week.   And suppers are scratched down in pencil.

Last night, we had eggs and toast before trick or treating.

The rest of the week looks like this.

beef stew
eat at AWANA
meatloaf, sweet potatoes, corn

I have not gotten to the weekend yet.  I'm sure we'll eat.  :)