Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Road Warrior!

Once again, I am behind the eight ball in posting my blog! It has been a rather busy week and half. The beginning of last week was spent making our new banners for church. While putting letters on fabric is not that hard, it takes hours upon hours to satin stitch them on. I love doing that but Mrs. Magillicuddy was not too happy with me. She began to overheat! Thankfully, two of my sister-friends are now being trained to help carry the torch so they helped out. We finished them in FOUR days! Pretty good, eh?! I thank the Lord for them, for they know when I get a scheme - or one is given to me (think I Love Lucy! here) - I usually enlist their help. They can do anything!! I love them! And my one sister-friend was preparing for serious surgery this week and STILL jumped on the Lucy Bandwagon. My other sister-friend has a fulltime job and jumped right in. This was her first time actually helping sew. She is usually comic relief for us while we are trying to think seriously! She did awesome! :) We are in the process of planning the Easter banner. Thank the Lord, we have about TWO months for those!! BUT before the banners, here are some other things we have been doing:
We have a young married lady expecting her first baby and as you can see, it's a girl. The nursery theme is pink and zebra. I am not sure if it's black and white zebra or pink or both. I picked pink zebra. Here is the front of the blilt. I call it a blilt because it's a blanket and a quilt. There is no batting and no binding. I was lazy with the binding but as you will see in the following photo, I wanted to do something girly.

I made a vine border instead! It looks so cute on the whole quilt. I actually, not realizing it, took the photo where the vines begin and end so it looks a little confusing.

Here is the back! I love the back too. It was really fun to make. I have enough fabric left over that Lindsay is going to make a blanket for Beaker.

I had to take Robert to get his new glasses on Tuesday. He was thrilled. It took three weeks to get them! I was crazy frustrated. And when we got them, guessssss what? They were not the correct frames. But I didn't want to say anything because I was afraid it would take longer to get them taken care of so we took them. He likes these better, though. 

Here is one of the banners! The other one says, "The LORD is my Salvation". If you can't tell, it's blue flag nylon with silver lettering. Yup, Dallas Cowboys!! We didn't do that on purpose but that's how it goes.

One of our biggese challenges with Number Five has been sleep. She is NOT a sleeper. All of our children slept through the night by the time they were six months, some sooner, some a tad later. But no one, absolutely NO ONE went past nine months. Except dear old Number Five. I am not sure what she is thinking but she must think Mr. Handsome and I enjoy getting up at night. And our Maddie is so frustrated and tired! So, after some careful analysis and thought, we decided that Pat-Pat was the culprit. He is not big enough to hang onto all night so she loses him. Being the mastermind of creativity (HA!), I sewed a pocket on an oversized shirt and VOILA! The Pat-Pat Pocket Shirt! Now, if Mr. Handsome and I could just remember to put it ON her before bed! I may patent it and sell it. I could be an "AS Seen on TV" guy. Hey, there are two things I would love to be if I wasn't what I am now: A Wiggle or an "AS seen on TV" guy(well gal).

Robert is working on earning his Church badge for Webelos. So, Mr. Handsome decided we should all join in! Our first lesson was LAST week and we are making a Pizza of Faith. We started out with our pizza boxes (and no, these are not OLD pizza boxes - Mr. Domino's guy gave us five free, clean boxes!) and I used my e-craft to cut out big circles from cardstock. We discussed how the crust is like Christ in our family. Several answers: It is the foundation of the pizza and Christ is the foundation of our family. The pizza is a circle and it has not beginning or end, just like Christ's love for us and our love for each other in our family. There were several other terrific answers. This past week we worked on a Mezzuzah. It is a pouch that contains one of God's Commandments. We chose, "Love the Lord Love your neighbor". It is not an actual verse in the Bible but the whole point is to learn God's Word. This is from Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

Here is what happens when Mrs. Beautiful forgets to give her children a nap. Yup, that would be me! Poor Beaker crashed before dinner on Thursday. We started Revival on Wednesday and it went through Sunday. Mr. Chris Dallas was the evangelist. He was a very good speaker and we really enjoyed him. 

Here is the Gang with one of their friends.

I have been putting my e-craft through its paces. I am no scrapbooker and I am going to tell you why. I am lazy. It is waaaaaay too much work to put together one page with two photos. I love the idea of scrapbooking but I'm just too lazy for it. I love using my e-craft to cut fabric. And so far, I have been able to cut 100% cotton quilting fabric, polyester with glitter, and flag nylon. The flag nylon was a complete surprise but we are trying to figure out how to make the banners so that we can use all the same fabric and now we can! Woo hooo!! I just picked a simple circle first.

Then I went wild! WOW! Doesn't that look cool?!

Here is poor Beaker this past Sunday after church. She is sooooo tired! She fell asleep right after I snapped this photo. OH - and there is Mr. Handsome! I am trying to help him eat healthier. I actually averted a snack attack by making him a VERY healthy smoothie tonight. So proud of myself! 

Here we are at Snow Carnival NIght in AWANA. Maddie is first on the right and her buddy Madison. They are making snowmen cupcakes.

Robert, er, maybe you need to clean your face?! ha ha ha hahaa!! I never made it over to Lindsay. Beatrice was at home because she had the dreaded stomach virus. On Saturday, Robert, Kristine, and Lindsay all had it. I can say that God blessed us because it did not last long with anyone. That is, it was not more than 8 hours. 

Here is one of my leaders singing a great action song Mr. Dallas had us do in the service Sunday night. Look waay down the row and the fella in the black shirt is her husband and also one of my leaders. My friend's dad  from the photo is a leader too. We have a tremendous time with our group. The kids have sooooo much energy!

I took Beaker to Dollar Tree and we decided to feed the seagulls. So, we went in Dollar Tree and bought a can of Pringles, or PrinKles as Lindsay calls them. We came out and not a bird in sight. Not one. As I was opening the van one lone bird flew over the van. I told Beaker we would throw the chips and see what happened. Within seconds this is what happened. Just a word of wisdom from the voice of experience: Potato chips are really not good to throw when a whole flock of seagulls is starving! I couldn't get them far enough away from the van so Kristinie the Great and I had to hide behind the door. Next time, pretzels!

Here we are at Best Buy. Beaker is holding the plugger (as she calls the power cord. She figured out how to put it in the back of the computer and then asked, "Where's the wall?" hee he) and she is ready to go home. Can't you tell.

We met my mom and my sister-in-law for lunch at a local restaurant on Monday. This is my nephew John. He and Kristine are buds. Beatrice and his sister Rachel LOVE each other!

My Mom is a bit obsessive about things. When Beaker dresses herself, I let it lie. So, Beaker put her shirt on backwards and it was driving Dorothy crazy! She turned it around for her. Good thing she hasn't seen her with her pants on backwards. I tell people Beaker doesn't know whether she's coming or going.

Here is Beaker cutting up in the game room.

Maddie photoshopping a photo!

This past Monday, we celebrated our 100th day of school. So, instead of me having a great celebration for the kids, they had one for Taylor and me. It was  a lot of fun.

This is what you find in THE BOY's laundry when you have been elected to do his chores for the week. I had a contest last week to see who could keep their drawers the neatest and he won. So I have to do the winner's chores for the week. I actually got all his laundry folded and put away. I stopped turning everything right side out, though, after about the eighth article of clothing.
Our big excitement for Saturday was Maddie and her team won a basketball game!! She was overjoyed. I didn't get to see it because she and Robert had four games on Saturday so I took them to two and Mr. Handsome took them to the other two. They were done by 1:00. On Friday, we started co-op. I am teaching a basketball class. Apparently a lot of parents said their children were NOT happy about taking the class. But by the time the class was over, they had a great time! I was glad because it was a fun group of kids. Maybe I will get myself back to posting on Sunday night this week. Tomorrow is nursing home and Mrs. Everett turns 94 on Thursday so we are bringing cupcakes and cookie bars for everyone. After nursing home for the past two weeks, we have been getting our nephew and niece in the afternoon and bringing them with us to church. I remember how much I loved being taken to church and thought they might enjoy it too. John, Rachel, and Beaker are all in the same class together so they have a great time. Have a great week!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Who's in charge here anyway?

So, it's been TWO weeks! I have been so busy the last two weeks I haven't had time to write my blog. Hopefully I will be able to remember everything that we did. We started our second week of school and it was like pushing a log truck uphill in a snowstorm. Oh, and the log truck was full! A little lumberjack humor here! It was only rough because we changed our schedule and, while everyone was onboard and excited, it was a rather big undertaking. I also added new chores and attempted to change up our order a little to accomodate the different paces the children move. Beatrice has an off switch that is hit everytime she has a chore to do, while Maddie practically runs through all hers!! I know you're probably thinking age, but really they are given age-appropriate chores. The one rule I live by in chore land is this: I will not pick up after someone. I will help them but I will not pick up after them. Some of the children have this idea that they can hold out longer than I can! Hmmmmm.... That is not happening. I actually had a hilarious power struggle occur the Thursday before last. I remember because some of my friends were over knitting and crocheting. Kristine was not doing what she was supposed to so I called her in to the living room. I asked her who was in charge, and quick as a flash, she said, "Beatrice." I said, "WHO is in charge in our home?" Kristine: "Beatrice." I had to turn my head away to keep from having her see me crack up. Of course, my friends were not so kind. They burst out laughing at her! Needless to say last week, she knew who was in charge.

Here is the children's attempt (with my help) to trick one of my "unsuspecting" friends. Being the good sport she was, she pointed out that you could see the cellophane!! Joke averted!! But at least my friend was spared any harm! 

Beaker had a long day and this is her sleeping during Wonder Pets, her very favorite show. I kind of like it myself. It's cute and we really love Ming Ming! Kristine even says, "Dis is sewious!!" 

This must have been our first Frenzy Friday. YES! We have begun our Friday Frenzy again!! Only today was just art class and basketball practice. Beaker has her dinner packed in her bag. This past Friday we signed up for co-op and had art and basketball practice. This coming Friday we start co-op. So we will be at Co-op from 9:15-12:30, then eat lunch, head to band for Maddie, drop little kids off at art, then head back to get Maddie from band and bring her to art. After art, we will then head to basketball practice. Since we homeschool, we have to make our own fun and it's a lot of fun, that's for sure. It's very tiring and the little kids are wiped out by the time the big kids start art class. They sort of perk up at basketball because they can run around in the church's activity center where the big kids practice. And it gives Lindsay a chance to practice her big kid skills by playing with the little kids. 

Here is Robert getting ready to play his game. He and Maddie are learning a lot. Maddie is not too fond of basketball, which I sort of expected. She is not really athletic. She is trying so hard to be a tomboy but she is not a tomboy at all. She has heard my mom talk about my childhood as a died in the wool, scare your pants off tomboy. So, I guess she really wants to be like me. While I am flattered, it lends itself to lots of humorous situations because she "says" her favorite color is blue but she is always drawn to pink!! 

Don't worry, no tragedy here. We are playing Ghost in the Graveyard. Yep. Beatrice is lying still. I took this picture so you can see that she actually CAN lie still for a while!

Here is Maddie at our teen day at church. The girls are learning how to sketch. Let me say right here that I do not like sketching. I am saying it because, if you know me, it means I have to sit still and concentrate and take something seriously for more than 5 seconds. Something I am very bad at. Maddie's teacher was rather disappointed that I wouldn't even try, so I gave it a try. 

Here is a bowl of fruit I sketched. I did like sketching because I figured out that if I drew for about 5 seconds, I could talk for 20 minutes and this pattern kept my interest. There is a banana sticking out of the top but you can't really see it.

Here is Maddie's bowl of fruit!! She did terrific! She enjoys anything artistic. She was excited about learning how to sketch.

This is how our children load the dishwasher! And guess what? It all gets clean!! I don't see the dishwasher much but happened to be passing by on this particular day.

Maddie's play-doh coaster. She was very disappointed when I told her play-doh wasn't really a great clay to use for a coaster. I guess we could have modge podged it.

Here is Beaker on her bike! She loves her bike. 

After art and before basketball we sometimes go to our favorite graocery store. We get a free cookie and walk around for a little bit. And Kristine loves it because she gets to push her own little shopping cart. My heels, on the other hand, don't!

Here is everyone at basketball practice last night. 

I didn't post any photos of projects I am working on because I haven't had time to! I just finished a bunchy of vinyl letters for our youth director. I am working on fabric fortune cookies. We're going to put Bible verses in them. Photos later. I am also working on a quilt for a soon to be new baby at our church. It's going to be a girl so I picked out lots of pink. Her nursery theme is pink zebra! So I found some pink zebra fabric to go in it. Photo later. OH and more banners!! Photos of them later, too!

So as I look back on most of January, it has been a great start to a new year. We are really enjoying our new schedule and I am hoping we can hold out until we finish. We are going to hit Day 100 by the end of the month so I am trying to decide if I can get my game on and we can have a big celebration. 100 is such a big number that I am going to have to find 100s of cheap 100 things! I am hoping we finish school by the end of April, beginning of May. This will give us time to take field trips while the public schools are still in and we won't have to worry about crowds. I have crowdophobia. Mr. Handsome has had a hectic two weeks as well. He has been given a big project to work on and it is wearing him out. I love him so much and thank the Lord for him. He works so hard and God has really blessed him at his job. 

Have a great week!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mrs. Magilicuddy is home!!

Being silly is a natural state for me. So for people who are serious minded, I generally annoy them at best and repel them at worst. I am rather excited because I got Mrs. Magilicuddy back from the shop. She had a tune up last week. OH! Mrs. Magilicuddy is my sewing machine, of course!! She needed a serious break from me. So I took her to a really nice new shop near me called Sew Happins. They are new in town and here is my brief review: They're awesome!! They blow away any competitors' prices for service! And they are friendly and helpful. Wow!! Who'd a thought that?! Anyway, Mrs. Magilicuddy works great and she is happy to back to her old job.

I am equally content knowing I can sew again. And I have been sewing. I haven't been sewing up a storm but maybe a squall here and there as she's only been home for three days. She went into the shop last Monday morning. Mr. Handsome had the day off Monday so my sister-friends and I went out and had fun. It can be a bit dangerous to let us loose on our own but one of my friends brought her daughter along to remind us we were, in fact, adults!! Glad to know someone sees me as a grown-up!!

Here we are in World Market! I know, you have to look at this sideways as I am not very good at remembering to make sure my photos are rotated. And sometimes when I do rotate them, the blogger program rotates them back automatically. One of my favorite things about this time of year is all the clearance sales. It is sooooooo difficult not to snatch up everything I see because there are such great deals. So, I got smart. I went out without any money and I put any extra money in my savings account. Problem solved. I get to look but not collect!! Because I probably would have bought one of these New Year's masks! And their 1.00 Christmas pasta, and their crackers that were 75% off!! And their cute little nutcracker plates and saucers, and a cute snowflake dish (glass too), and this, and that. See what I mean? My money is safer in my savings account! The rest of Monday was very relaxing. Did I say that? Yes, it was, and it was great having Mr. Handsome home. He had a very long vacation and he loves being home with us even though we wear him out!

Doesn't Robert look happy? It's Tuesday morning!! We have officially begun school for the 2012 year! Yay! He is a bit tired and if you look at the lower left hand corner you'll catch a glimpse of Kristinie the Great wearing her flippers she got for Christmas! They finally got tired of them. I hope we will be able to find them when it comes time to go swimming! We are doing our school day a little bit different and adding some more chores to our schedule. Mommy's has included cleaning and organizing. And, I must say, for a   recovered hoarder, I'm doing pretty good. I have cleaned and organized the girls' bins and bedrooms, my sewing room, some drawers in the kitchen, my desk, and my pocketbook. The girls told me that my purse is NOT a pocketbook because it's no pocket-size. It's true, it's not. It's pretty big. The children have helped me out with the organizing too. Robert's room is next and then our room, which won't take much time because my one stipulation for our present home was NO clothes in the bedroom! Nope. None. Nada. They are all in our closet. Not that we have a big closet, we just don't have a lot of clothes. 

And here's Tuesday night. We are at our first ladies meeting of the year!! It was great!! And my sister-friend is holding a cup of steamed milk with toasted marshmallow flavoring and fresh whipped cream with grated chocolate!!! It was wonderful. She didn't want a picture of herself, just the cup, but she needs to be on my blog! 

One of the many rearranging things was cleaning out space in my sewing room. So, Maddie volunteered to decorate our mantle in the living room. Didn't she do great? I myself, would never even dream of doing that!! See the blue vase? That is actually a tube she knitted and covered a mason jar with it! She is so talented!! We are in awe of her abilities everyday. And all the little girls just look up to her so much and want to do what she does!

I did forget to mention that our Beaker has bronchitis. We didn't know it at the beginning of the week but decided we better stick close to home since she wasn't feeling well. We washed her Patpee and her blankie along with other special friends. Beatrice added her little stuffed friends and blanket too. Here they are being entertained by flitting and floating stuffed animals. Glad we aren't paying for cable, dish, or satellite!! HA! We did miss our friends at Champions this week (the nursing home) because we don't want to spread the love. Lord willing, we will see them this Wednesday.

This is what happens when you're stuck at home with a sick child and their teachers are bored because they only have one student: WEAR his hat!! Kristine hated missing her class. My two sister-friends are the best teachers. She learns so much in her class (though you can't tell from this particular photo!). I really thank the Lord they are teaching her. Well, I thank the Lord for all of my children's teachers at church. They do a great job!! It is always exciting when they go to their first class or move up. We get to hear about what they are learning (or NOT learning when the teacher is bored [see photo above])!! Some of their teachers have been doing their job for over 10 years, too!! What a great testimony of commitment and service. It isn't always easy, and you don't get thank yous readily, but knowing you are making a difference in the life of a child is worth every minute.

Here is what I did while Mrs. Magilicuddy was getting her tune-up! Working on a quilt! It is all the leftover Christmas fabric I have and I keep finding things to do with it. Hopefully this is the final thing because, quite frankly, I am getting a bit bored from using the same thing for over a month. Thankfully, we are getting ready to work on new banners so I am excited about that! I thought the quilt was a lap quilt but it's actually a baby quilt. I think it's the same size as a lap quilt and if not, I'll just use what's left of the Christmas fabric and add more to it.

On Friday, we got to spend some time with one of my dear friends. She has four girls and our children have a ball with them. Maddie wanted to take a photo of me so here I am! I am actually about 20 feet off the ground on some metal trees since regular trees in our family are a threat to our very existence (see post about Lindsay and her cut finger a few weeks ago.).

Here is what the trees looked like.

Robert was short enough to do this. I tried. Let's just say that some moms that come to the playground take their child's playtime at the playground way too seriously and are not happy with a mom who actually has fun at the playground herself.  

Beatrice waiting impatiently for her friends to show up.

We had a great weekend, albeit a bit busy. And sadly, we think someone stuck a knife in our brand new tired Friday afternoon while I was home. Mr. Handsome thought I hit a curb (don't be too shocked he would ask that; I'm pretty much an expert at curb hitting and could probably teach people a thing or two about it.). I was able to say with complete honesty, though highly surprising, I didn't hit a single curb that day. Mr. Handsome changed the tired while I was at basketball practice with the big kids. Saturday they had games. They are getting better and better. Their coaches are terrific. Saturday afternoon, Kristinie the Great's fever would not go down, so Mr. Handsome was so sweet. He took her to medac. She has bronchitis. We tag teamed church yesterday and let me just say I am about discouraged!! Our family has never been so unfaithful to church!! Last Wednesday Kristinie and I stayed home. Part of us was home yesterday morning and yesterday evening. This is not a good way to start off our year serving the Lord. And today, Robert and Lindsay started feeling bad, too. Mr. Handsome and I know the best place for them is home so they don't get sicker and they don't get anyone else sick but we sure do miss going as a whole family. I am so thankful some of us are represented though! We don't have to go to church, we WANT to go. It's so much fun to go and sing the songs, learn God's Word, see my friends, and take a little time out of our week to give God credit for what He's done for us.

So, the photo above is our family game night. Boy, do the kids love this! I picked out the game: Hedbanz. This game is hilarious beyond hilarious. And having a preschooler and kindergartener make it even more fun because they don't get you're not supposed to tell what's on the card on other peoples' head bands and sometimes they accidentally tell. Beaker was so funny because she kept asking the same question over and over. So, I was trying to help her. I said, "Ask them if it is a color?" She said, "Is it that color?" I wanted her to pick a color and ask!! We were cracking up. Maddie ended up winning because she guessed hers so quickly. Mr. Handsome was trying to explain the rules with the headband on his head and I was trying not to laugh too hard. It's really hard to take someone serious with a headband on their head!! Have a great week and Happy New Year!