Wednesday, October 28, 2009

try this one at home

Take one huge stack of scrap paper:

Combined with an adorable girl who refuses to use "yucky" paper.

Figure out that she will use it if it's little.

Hack up the whole pile into 4ths.

Clothes pin into bundles.

Squirt some Elmer's all over one even-ish edge

Spread it around with your finger.
Let dry. Repeat the glue if you want to make it a bit stronger.
And Voila! A dozen really simple easy home made note pads.

Now obviously, if I wanted to make this look cute, I'd take the time to measure the cuts to make it all even, and make a cute little cover out of card stock. But this was just so my girl (who single handily could go through a ream of paper in a month if I'd let her) would have something to color on that didn't bug me.

*Also, I totally saw this idea a couple of years ago, only they made money books with 20 dollar bills glued together. I have no idea where I found this originally, but there's my attempt at credit where credit is due!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways . . .

An Ode to clutter

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways . . . .
You are merciless, relentless, in your desire to stay.

You’ve taken over my bedroom, creeping across the floors
The closets would be overflowing if we could see the doors.

Like rabbits, you seem to reproduce, covering everything I see
The dishes are doubling, tripling, exponentially.

As crumbs grind between my toes (my children seem to feed you)
an unseen diaper smell creeps along (Oh, what shall I do here!)

Back my enemy! Victory will be won.
I’ll vanquish you somehow. This mess will be undone.

Room by room you’ve conquered, now you’ll win no more
Room by room I’ll clean you, until I can finally see this floor!

Now vanquished, I triumph, my victory complete.
Nevermore will I see thee (at least until next week!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My new obbsession

I know I've said it before: I really love to blog hop. And craft. I've been so busy crocheting (only one more blanket left!), that I haven't done much else this year. As I've found other blogs, I think my new thing just might be quilts. At least sewing.

Just look at some of the free patterns I've found lately:

Now that we actually bought a house, I really want to do some "real" decorating. Like where it looks like you actually planned for the room to look that way instead of just shoving stuff in and never thinking about how ugly it looks together. I really would love to make the bedspreads for my kids rooms, a girls room with this, and a boys with this. *or maybe the other way around!

The are so flippin cute!

I'd have already started on this one, but I know I need to make two of either the boys or girls quilts. But I won't find out which until January (I hope!), so I'm holding off on buying fabric yet.

Then there is this site. Don't go look at it unless you have 37 hours of free time. Seriously! I'm astounded by all the patterns on this one. The really fun thing, if you sign up, you get a whole heap free. Plus, go to this link and you can get a free tutu and vest pattern. They give some ideas to use them for Halloween costumes, but I've got visions of Christmas dancing in my little head.

Especially if I get really ambitious and do the vest with this tie pattern . . . .
Humm. I know I spent more on afghans this year than I probably should have. I wonder just how much I'll find myself spending on fabric in the next year!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

If I had a million Dollars

You know, I sing that song a lot. A REAL lot. Like almost every time I go to any store other than the grocery or gas station. Even the dollar store. As I've said before, Hubby is a pilot. He flies the little puddle jumpers for a regional airline. Many pilots make insane amounts of money (ex. captain for FedEx STARTS somewhere around $200,000.00). Some make really great (ex. Captain for Delta starts at $120,000.00). Regionals make . . .um less. Captains still do ok. First officers . . .get there. I've surprised more than one person when I tell them that Hubby made less his first year than my sister did her first year teaching. Seriously. Less than a teacher. We've gotten great raises each year, but he's only been flying for 3 years. In other words, we are not rolling in dough (except for sugar cookie, but that's only because I use them as bribes to get my son to use the toilet. Anyway. Moving on.)

Our budget is often tight, which is why I sing that song. I spend 95% of our money on necessities, like toilet paper and milk, 7% on almost necessities, like pancake mix, and 3% on extras, like Christmas presents, Halloween candy, or gum. (I don't know why, but I've honestly been craving gum for weeks now.)

Wow. I'm really rambling here. I promise I'll get to the point. Today, I sang this song for the 10 billionth time, I thought, "What would I do with a million dollars, really". So now I'm here to answer that question.

This assumes that I inherited a whole bunch of money or something, and taxes have already been taken out. It also has a bunch of rounding to make easy math, and a lot of estimates that I don't really have a clue how much it would cost in reality.

#1. Pay tithing (100,000) Remaining: 900,000

#2. Pay off all debts (mortgage, student loans, credit card) (195,000) Remaining: 705,000

#3. Buy a car for hubby (yea for 2 cars!) (7000). Remaining:698,000

#4. Set aside a nice chunk for each kid, with some extra for future ones (150,000). Remaining: 548,000

#5. Fix our really sad pathetic fence (5000). Remaining: 543,000

#6. Buy real bedroom furniture for our room. (4000). Remaining 539,000

#7. Decorate the kids room with real furniture and accent pieces that don't look like crud (3000) Remaining: 536,000

#8. Fix my sad outdated bathroom (2000). Remaining: 534,000

#9. Change out my yucky lousy flat top in my kitchen with a real stove + fix the pealing wall paper, scratched linoleum, and new dining table. (5000). Remaining: 529,000.

#10. Buy a freezer and a whole bunch of food storage (3000) Remaining: 526,000.

#11. Um. Er. Buy some warm clothes for my boy (100). Remaining: 525,900.

#12. I've honestly got nothing. As of 4:35 October 14, that's really all I would want to get. Most of the things on my list will happen, but not as quickly as I'd like. But there's a few fluff stuff on my list that I don't need, which I'm learning to just deal with. I guess I don't really need a million dollars to be happy. I could get everything I want for less than 500,000. And everything I really need with a trip to Goodwill.

Some days it really helps to put it all in perspective.

What would you do with a million?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Um, what do you say to that?

For the last two days in our neck of the woods, it's rained. And I mean RAINED. It didn't stop for a full 36 hours, just went from light sprinkles to Noah-like proportions and back again. My kids were going crazy been cooped up, and I was right there with them.

And then this morning, we woke up to glorious sunshine. Seriously, not a even single wispy cloud in the sky. The birds were singing, the temperature a perfect 64 degrees, the trees are kissed in vibrant colors, and you could sort of kind of see it all through my dirty windows. (ahem)

I spend the morning cleaning my kitchen, and then we all headed out front to soak up some wonderful vitamin D. I spent a few minutes weeding some flower beds, Girly-Lou rounded up every leaf she could find, and Buddy tried very hard to climb our tree.

Then he got adventurous. He walked over to me with a tiny snail on his finger, asking what it was. "oh, a sthnail! It's so cute. I wuv sthnails." This was quickly dashed when it fell off his finger into the grass. But soon he came over with something else.

"Wook Mom! What's this?" It was a tiny bug of some sort. "Oh, Mom, it's my favorite. I wuv the tiny bugs. Deay are my favoirte animal ever." Of course, the bug also fell into the grass. Massive disappointment followed. "But Mom, I don't have any animals. I wuv to hod all da animals. Dey are my favorite, and I need to hold another animal."

Lunch helped. After lunch, they kids headed out back to play some more. I stayed inside to check my hubby in for his flight.

"Mom! Guess what I founded outside!"

I'm afraid to ask.

"Wook Mom!" he shows me his hand proudly. Clutched firmly inside his little paw are dozens of dried up worms. All crunchy in their curliness.
"Wook how cool. I founded dem all by myself. What is it?"

"dried up worms" I reply, trying very hard to be calm and not grossed out, and not stressed out that he'd drop them all over the freshly vacuumed carpet.

"Oh, yah. Dried up worms. I wuv dem Mom. Dey are my favorite animal. 'Cause I can hold dem and dey don't go away. Dey are so cute!"

Um, yah. Right. But part of me was so happy he was finding joy in nature. Especially insect life. That's just such a boy thing. And something he loved until Aug 2008. That's when he was attacked by fire ants, and ended up in an urgent care center getting treatment for his more than TWO HUNDRED bites over his hands, forearms and lower legs. He's been rather terrified of bugs since then. So while I'm really NOT ok with dried up worms all over my house, I will try to not show him how gross this is. Because I'd rather he grew up to be a "normal" boy than that traumatized one I've seen for more than a year.

*picture snapped after ushering him upstairs to the freshly swept and mopped floor. That way I could at least quickly clean it up if he dropped it! Fourtunatly, I was able to pursuade him that they belonged BACK outside!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A little help?

I may have mentioned before, I really like to do crafts. My problem is I have very little natural talent, and even less inspiration. But I'm getting better at copying other's amazing ideas.

A full year ago, I found this post. I was inspired! My daughter spent the entire month of October asking how many days until Halloween. A countdown would be perfect. However, I couldn't find the little pumpkins, and I didn't really have the energy to hunt, and blah, blah, blah.

Long story shorter, I didn't make it. For a year. But FINALLY the end of September, I threw this together.
(Obviously we're already using this one - it does actually have 31 pumpkins to take down)
Mine is a bit different: I didn't' have a cute clock, but I did have a crummy old cookie sheet. I spray painted it black, and then fake modge-podged some scrapbook paper on. I forgot to get numbers for the pumpkins, so I got really creative (I printed out the numbers, rubbed pencil all over the back to make it like transfer paper, traced over the numbers to transfer the outline to the pumpkins, and then went over it with a sharpie. Very annoying. Just buy numbers!). Then I stuck some magnet strips on the back.

The ribbon I got last year at Hobby Lobby in November for like 10 cents a spool or something. And the little bag next to it I just threw together.

Cost breakdown:
Cookie sheet: free
Black spray paint: 3.49
Scrapbook Paper: .88
Pumpkins: 24 for 1.99 (on sale for 1.19)
Magnet tape: on hand
Ribbon: .10

Total: $6.85

I love the idea of this countdown, but I also feel like there is a big space screaming for some help.

So I have a question: Should I add something to the "Trick Or Treat" paper? A word art thingy? What should it say? Should I do black or orange? Or is it good enough? I'd love some input here!

Friday, October 2, 2009

My education

There are days I want to go back to school. I miss the learning, the feeling of knowledge, the moments on tests when you suddenly remember the answer.

But this is not the season for formal education. So instead, I thought I'd think a bit about what I've learned in my informal school. The school of being a mom, wife, daughter, and just a human.

This week I've learned:
*What it feels like to have a frail looking 80 something year old woman decide you're the one that needs help picking up a jug of milk from the bottom of the cooler.
*How much easier it is to toilet train an over 3 year old than a not quite 2 year old.
*That said 3 year old is capable of reaching absolutely anything in my kitchen.
*That if anything is left out in my kitchen, that same 3 year old will find it and devour it every time he walks through.
*how much more homey your front room feels when you finally get a couch. (!!!)
*How much I can accomplish when I wake up (on purpose or not) 2 hours before anyone else.
*How to empathise with my own mom when she would get so frustrated as her kids bickered.
*Driving 40 miles in one day now seems like no big deal
*That watching home movies shows so much clearer how much your children have grown instead of just pictures
*I'm addicted to crafting blogs, even though I rarely have the time/talent/money to actually make any of the 8 zillion pages I bookmark.
*The likely hood that I will end up delivering this baby without my husband near scares me more and more each week.
*How close I can feel to someone I've only met digitally.
*That sitting down to think about all the ways I grow feels me with gratitude that I can still grow in so many ways.

How about you? What have you learned in the "real world"?
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