Nov 29, 2012

The blog in which it's the last few days in pictures.

Shout! was afraid to stay there, so he relocated to the safety of the cookie jar.  

Later in the day, Scott, our deer, found Charlie's glasses while he was at gymnastics.  Silly.  
Notice the face of Jesus in the light?

Still see the face of Jesus from a different angle?  Any way you look at Him, He will be looking at you.  

Try to see Jesus.  That's what it's all about.  Subliminal for my atheist friends who only see some perv show ;o)  I love you my atheist friends!  
It was an interesting week.  Some people not feeling so great, but our elf, "Shout," and his three some were at it, and some days, made mid-day changes in their location since this year, "he" has so many amazing plans for us.  I found and modified a gluten free recipe for peanut butter cookies, and renamed them, "GF energy cookies," so that I could send them in for snack today with my daughter and not feel guilty for sending in junk food.  Truth is, I will always see peanut butter as a protein.  And a protein is like a main course food.  So now, by my logic, this cookie is the main dish.  I see your confusion.  Just keep moving.  BTW- they were fantastic!
Don't look!  That's my chick in that hot gown!  

I stopped by the animal shelter one day since I was near it.  There were only a small handful of cats to play with.  This cat was so cross eyed, I had to try to not laugh.  I didn't try too hard.  

The only thing better than a cat with a lazy eye is a cat with a lazy eye, yawning.    
Mostly just a couple of black cats.  I felt like I was in the 'hood.  (That's not racist.  I can say that, because, ya' know... My best friend is a cat.) 

This was a mid-day relocation job. Migits came home from school and found this while enjoying their snack.  

Right.  Well.  Underwear and panties hung in the living room are unique.  And aren't we all teaching our children to be unique?  This was really a fantastic life lesson.  
Thank goodness Shout! was there to remind us to pick up some more tissues!
It's like a cross between a serenade and Cirque Du Ariel.
Naughty Elf!  What a mess!  That was day one.  

Nov 28, 2012

The blog in which it's the latest installment of "I didn't go to college."

My daughter is really grabbing on and not letting go of a small piece of information I shared with her a few months ago.  Every so often, it comes up, and she throws it in my face.  Truth is, I am very comfortable with the information, but it keeps getting tossed my direction in a pathetic tone.  Tonight, while eating dinner, Shay says, "You know what a rhombus is?"  (Notice, I DID know how to spell it.)  I told her I thought maybe another name for a geometric shape.  She said, it was another name for a diamond.  I had to Google it.  I didn't think it was true, but darn it if her kindergarten teacher isn't doing a fantastic job and she came home with this useless piece of info.  (I mean, I have never had to use that information, until, well, tonight.)  So, here's the part I was not so thrilled with.

Charlie- She doesn't know it because she's old.

Shay- No.  It's because she didn't go to college.

Right.  Well.  I am going to ask Shay to ask her father, the "educated" one in the house.

Done.  He just got in from work.  And she asked him if he knew what a "rhombus" was.  He asked her to repeat it, since I think he didn't hear her the first time.  Then, he quickly replied,  "It's a type of cloud."  She told him that no, it was actually another name for a diamond shape.  He said he had never heard that.  I tried to make this a teachable moment.

"See, Shay....  Even though Daddy went to college, it doesn't mean he knows everything, or that I am not smart."

She had a quick rebuttal to that.

"No!  No!  That's because they didn't have that when Daddy went to college."

Touche'.  Put a fork in me.  I'm done.  And Daddy probably had to use encyclopedia's, thesauruses and a Websters.  And an abacus.  And he probably drew with mud on the cave walls.  And he might have had a dinosaur as a pet.  And his first car was foot powered.  And.... and I am exacerbated.  But I am not sure what that means, because, you know, I didn't go to college.

PS I did video the exchange between Geoff and Shay and he nixed that.  See, he really does have veto power.  But that's only because he went to college, and knows what the word "veto" means.  ;o)  I love you Mr. Ahrens ;o)

The blog in which I act ridiculous every school morning.

I am not a procrastinator.  I clean daily, just in case.  I prepare food for the freezer, just in case.  I do laundry daily, just in case.  I write out a weekly menu plan, just to have my ingredients and a plan for the weekly rush that is life.  After talking to a girlfriend yesterday, I realized, I am wired so very differently.  I do things, because I don't like the feeling of being rushed, forgotten, or that I might miss out on something.

A couple of years ago, I had a really bad ankle injury from a tennis practice.  (I am ridiculously competitive, was playing a solo against a doubles on the other side of the net, and man, I was doing fantastically until......)  Well, end of story, I was unable to drive for a whole month!  I was unable to take care of my family.  I was booted, crutched, and unable to run my house.  Luckily, I have an amazing uncle, and he graciously offered to fly down here and play "Mr. Mom" while I recovered.  I had two little ones back then, and it was everything from getting them dressed for school, to taking them to preschool, to lunches, cleaning, and everything in between.  I am forever appreciative for all he did for us, but the experience really kicked me into overdrive for a great cause to NOT procrastinate.  I do what needs to be done, because you never know when something might turn your world upside down.  If something does flip our world upside down, then at least the little things are taken care of.

Morning dishes.  
This morning, I didn't get to the morning dishes before the kids got on the bus.  As I was walking out to the bus, I hesitated.  I could try to get the few things washed before walking out with them to get their shoes on.  But if I did that, I wouldn't get to give my morning litany of things that they have to do.  (Have a kind heart with those around them, do something kind for someone, remember your manners, hugs, kisses, and the last minute things the kids want to tell me before they start their day.)  I guess today's dishes were just a moment stealer for what's really important- time with the migits.  When they are older, they won't appreciate, or even allow me to wave like a crazy woman in pajama's as they find their seats on the bus.  Everything from waving to blown kisses and sign language "I love you's" and peace signs are thrown.  And you know what?  Even the bus driver and other kids wave back.  I guess it's okay that the dishes didn't get done. The important part of the morning happened.  I gave time to my family.  That is not such a little thing in the grand scheme of life.

PS  The physical activity of waving and near gang sign throwage does not tone arms, therefore, I now have to go wash those dishes, and head to the "Y."

*No, blogging is not a procrastination tactic to heading to the YMCA.  However, my newest obsession that is beckoning me to the sewing machine IS a procrastinator.  You will see that tutorial this weekend.  We are gifting them this season.  It includes a twenty pound bag of rice, a bag of lavender infused Epsom salt, and leftover fabric.  Hmmmm....

They are probably just getting to school now.  

Nov 27, 2012

The blog in which I got a headache from something I didn't buy.

I have a headache.  It's all because of this lady at Walmart.  I know, I know.  I haven't been in a Walmart in weeks, if not longer, but I was close to our local Walmart after my workout last night,  and I wondered if it might be less expensive to purchase the non meat, non veggies, non fruit items on my grocery list.  So, I headed over there, and while searching for cookie cutters, (found a little bag of six plastic ones for $1.47- SCORE!), I stumbled upon this item that the three other ladies were chatting about when I "gathered" the other night.  Remember that blog?  My husband is just now calming down from it.  Anyway, we didn't just talk about penises.  While that might have been fun, the hostess shared her Walmart find of these scented wax things that go into a holder and warm and let off this obnoxious, I mean, pleasant, aroma.  Well, I had heard the name "Scentsy," yet had no idea what it was, and honestly, after learning about it, I don't believe this concept is a new one.  I swear we had something like that back in the 90's.

Well, I stumbled upon an end cap with TONS of "flavors."  I began smelling them.  Then, another chick walks up alongside me, and she begins looking.  I asked her if she knew how much they cost, referring to the refills.  She said she didn't and we began talking it up about these smelly little things.  She and I must have each smelled 10-15 differents odors, again, I meant to say, aromas.  Well, while we knew how much the warming unit was, we had no idea how much the actual refills were, and at this point, I was really interested.  It was not in the budget, but I really wanted to know.  She then told me the cost of the refills for the name brand, so I had an idea of what the knock off might cost, but just because I was out alone, late at night, we decided to go hunt down a scanner, or an employee to find out.  As we were hunting, I commented on how I felt like I didn't probably need the item, seeing as I was getting a headache from it.  She didn't hear it well, and said, "Oh yeah, my husband can't stand it and always turns mine off telling me he has a headache."  Yeah, I can see why.  I went and returned the item as soon as I thought she was gone, and then headed to the over the counter meds for Charlie and his mass produced snottage.

I had a headache, and somehow, while I was in the aisle alone, a little gas bubble popped out.  Yeah, I said it.  I tooted.  Just a cute little bubble.  Didn't even smell.  Well, that was, until this mom and young son duo turn the corner, and the son says ever so loudly, "Mom!  What's that smell?"  For a brief instant, I wondered if I smelled like all those scents and if he was being bothered by it.   Then I realized, my nostrils must be singed from the event, and unable to smell my own stank.  Nice.  I high tailed it out of there, and held in the next bubble that felt eminent.

I learned two valuable lessons last tonight.  1.  Smelly things really do facilitate headaches.  2.  Eating only carrots and canned pineapple prior to a night workout will only cause gas that small children will comment loudly on.  I was trying to not eat a full meal prior to a workout.  Instead, I might have caused emotional scarring for this small boy in a Walmart medicine aisle.  My apologies.

Nov 25, 2012

The blog in which it's the 18" doll (PVC) bed tutorial.

The last of the American Girl doll DIY Christmas gifts is finally done.  I started this one back in September, and I finally found inspiration for it, and with a little tweaking to original design, I came up with a great alternative.  I assume the cost of the PVC pipe and the connectors cost about $15.  I had all the fabric and some poly stuffing to make the pillows.  (I made my kids their tooth fairy pillows last year, and had left over stuffing.  Oh, and I have also made a couple of doll pillows over the past two years for my daughter and my niece.  That bag certainly has paid for itself by now.)  I really didn't want to purchase foam to have to cover with fabric, and store when it is not in use.  So, I came up with a hammock style bed.  My first attempt was to attach fabric with cuts in it to the slip tee connectors, but that looked terrible, and really had potential to rip, as it was as I was working with it.  You will see in the pictures.

All the fabric I used is the reversible, brick red (American Girl color), and funky print on the reverse.  I like to use that red color and paint white stars with a star cookie cutter I have.  That adds that extra touch that I think will make it that much more realistic. I struggle with sewing and it took me hours to fix all that.  That was where I was stumped.  I had the bed frame done months ago.  But no idea how to do attach and sew all the parts together.  I am VERY pleased with it.  I hope she is too.  I have yet to attach the canopy portion of the fabric, but I believe i will just affix it with velcro sticker dots.  (I bet I can find someone who has some extra in their sewing box.  I only need four.)  Hint, hint friends!

Here are the pieces.  I didn't actually measure anything other than use the doll to get the dimensions I wanted.  When I began photgraphing for the tutorial, I got the measurements.  Right.  That's how I sew, too.  No wonder I am terrible at sewing.  There are six pieces that are the length of the bed, four pieces that attach the ends, and 8 pieces that make the height.  I connect those with the slip tee connectors.  

need four of each of these two sizes for the height of the bed- shorter one on the bottom

Here is the bed frame, sans fabric.  Simple, right?  

Two pillows.  One more decorative.  I am painting the stars on tonight for this side.  
other side of the pillows-- I love this corduroy fabric.  I got it at Walmart some time last year for a pleated skirt project I did, and never got to this fabric.  Glad to have had it after I messed up the first bit of scrap fabric I was working with ;o) My hippy chick will love it.  

All the makings for the bed.  Hammock style tie on mattress, blanket, canopy,  a pillow and a decorative pillow.  

This was the mattress part I was talking about.  I made a reversible piece and cut holes in it to attach to the slip tee connectors.  No beuno.
View from looking in on the bed with it's pillows and comforter
My final thought for all three projects I made her (tent, table and chairs, and this bed) will be to make simply drawstring bags for each project.  We live in a VERY small home, and that was some of my inspiration for these items.  They can be easily disassembled and put back together when ready to play with them.  They can each hang in their own little drawstring bag I make with some extra fabric, old tee shirts, etc.   I want to hear from you guys!  Share these tutorials with others that you feel might appreciate these little cost saving projects.  Do you have any fun PVC pipe plans that you can share with us?  Love to hear it!  In the new year, I will be putting together a puppet theatre with PVC pipe.  Just need a little time to relax before I start up again with an easy PVC project, and a "Stretch my sewing abilities to the max" sort of event.  ;o)  

PS  I more than reached our goal of not spending more than $100 per child on Christmas gifts this year!  Shay only cost us about $60  for her three gifts!  Charlie cost us about $65 for his three gifts.  Guess I can get a few things for their stockings and done!  Guess it's time to focus on the gospel!

Nov 24, 2012

The blog in which I gathered with women. I NEVER do this.

I was so excited to see a neighbor that moved away, but came in town for just slightly more than 24 hours and made time to visit with me.  I have missed her since she and her family left, and was so happy to have the opportunity, even though it was way too short to really catch up.  Well, technically, nothing is happening in my life, therefore, 3 minutes would have been sufficient to do my run down, however, we had talk of penis issues, tasted a cookie, and I even got a tour of another friend's home that I had never been into.  So, it was evident that I don't get out much.

First, when she surprise texted me that she was here and wanted to stop over for a quick "hi," Geoff was in bed in pain, and Charlie was asleep beside him.  Chazman has not be totally feeling right the last couple of days.  He didn't do ANY gymnastics during the daytime today.  (Gasp.)  So, I told her I wish I could have her over, but it just wasn't good timing.  She said that our mutual friend just said to come over to her home, and that was only a few doors away.  First I texted that I would not be getting dressed for the event.  It was almost 5:PM, and was STILL in pj's.  I agreed to a bra, and she said "Come as you are."  Clearly, she didn't understand the ramifications to that statement.  I'm sure she learned her lesson.  However, she has known me for years, and probably was impressed that I even had clothes on at that point.

Our mutual friend has a gorgeous home.  I don't understand how we live in the same tiny homes and hers seems SOOOOO much better planned out than ours does.  I think the builders of our neighborhood were on crack when they created our floor plan.  Some days they were less high (her home), and other days, they were toasted (my home.)  Although, Geoff and I must have been caught in the haze, since we bought THIS one.  That explains the weight gain....

So, after the tour, we sit and start chatting.  I swear I don't know how a room of four woman turns to penis's, but, inevitably, it did.  And somehow, I was confused.  Then, we had an amazing cookie with just a few ingredients.  And can I tell you, there was only ONE wet ingredient in the recipe.  Can you guess?  ONE CUP OF BUTTER!  I just about regurgitated the cookie back up after I learned that little snippit.  I mean, how many cookies did this recipe make?  ONE CUP?  That is insane.  I love butter, but man, I hope that the recipe made 154 cookies!  I mean, one of those cookies was really good, but for the record- she sent home 4 more with me for the kids!  I was so grateful that the kids were both standing at the door when I came home.  I handed the bag to them, prayed that their arteries were ready, and sent them to the table.  I won't share the recipe without doctors' clearance and a copy of the EKG.  They were REALLY good though.

While I don't generally gather with other women, mostly because I like being in pajama's, I was excited to get out of the house, even if for such a short time.  The part that I didn't understand?  Why my husband, mere doors away, called me- TWICE.  No joke.  Once, to inform me of information he felt pertinent to interrupt a penis conversation I was struggling to keep up with.

Ring, ring....

Me- Hello?

Geoff- Hey, Charlie is now asleep in his bed.  I took his temperature.  It's 99.????  (I forget the tenth of the degree, but I know that it was not over 100.4, therefore, I think I zoned out.)

Me-  Okay.  Need me to come home?

Geoff- No.  Just wanted to let you know.

A short time later...

Ring, ring....

Me- Hello?

Geoff-  Hey.  I'm going to feed Shay some microwaved chicken nuggets for dinner.

Me-  Okay.  Need me to come home?

Geoff- No.  Stay as long as you want.

So, that is what happens when I leave the house.  Now I remember why I don't do it- ever.  Apparently,  as a whole, our family only runs well when I am integrated in every decision.  Tell me I have done this to myself and I will throw Legos down in the middle of the night for your to stumble upon.

PS  For the record--- I socialize, but I prefer the one on one version of this "game."  And generally, my friends come to my home, where I can almost always get away with my pajama trick, serve a cup of coffee, and NOT get multiple phone calls informing me of the price of beans.

Nov 23, 2012

The blog in which I observe our Elf on the Shelf.

Well, after the family went to sleep tonight, I was observing our elf,  "Shout!" Then, I was struck with how much he and I would totally get along.  See for yourself.  

"You really asleep?  Yea?  GREAT!  Gotta' go play!"
"So, I've called you all here to discuss our benefits package.    First, no bonus this year.  The union and the tea parties... I mean, really.  We can't be having tea parties.  Can't afford the tea.  
This is not funny Elf MAN.  Take it off.  Now! 
So, you want reindeer games???  I got your reindeer games right here "Elf boy!"
Who's your daddy???  
I'm telling Santa on you! Uncle!
Hey baby... "THAT'S" what a good girl looks like.  You? Not so much. 
Option #1- Baruch ataw adenoi, elohanu melech halom, vistzi vanu, lehadnich sher shell Chanukkah...
Option #2- Why can't we belong to one of the rich jewish tribes?  We we stuck with an eraser tonight?  I just coughed up a fur ball, I mean, prayed, for this nonsense?
Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go.....
Mush! Mush!  YA!  
On Comet!  On Cupid!  On Dasher!  On the gay one.!  I meant to say "Prancer."  Oiy.  Sorry.  That was so not right.  
Shout!-Really?  Only eight gifts?
Mom- Yes.  And get off that service dog.  You are not handicapped.
Shout!- Yes I am.
Mom- No you are not.  Mute is not an accepted handicap.
Shout!- I'm paralyzed.
Shout!- Dude. Dude.  I had too much 'nog.  And my girl?  She just left with another elf.  But he looked just like me.   Awkward.  
Nutcracker #2- Dude.  Get off my face.  I can't see.
Shout!- Stop bustin' my balls!
Nutcracker #2-  I'm not!  I'm just a nut cracker!  And for F's sake!  I can't feel my feet!  WHERE. ARE. MY. FEET?!?  Holy hell. This can't be good.  
And this is where Shout! ended up on this second night with us.   I'm disappointed that the  floozie is photo bombing,  but thankfully, Santa is right there to see the naughtiness in action.  I hope this teaches the rest of those disproportionately sized dolls a lesson.  Like, when given a choice, the elf choses to ride a fake reindeer over her plastic mess.   

The blog in which I share my original 18" doll PVC pipe table and chairs set.

Table- I attached this on the underneath side.  Get creative with it.  
You will need 12 of those connectors.  (They are the three whole corner ones)  Then you need (8) 5" pieces of pipe for the legs of the table and the the back of the chair. (8) 3 1/2" pieces of pipe for the seat, and (4) pieces of pipe at 6 1/4" for the table top.  This was created with scrap pipe, and measured just to what size I thought looked best.  

Showing you how you slip the chair back on.  
Collapses very easily and crazy easy to store in the  chair backs.  
Bitty Baby to show size.  Bitty babies are not too much smaller than the 18"  full sized dolls.  They are fuller though.  That dress is for an 18" doll, but it fits the Bitty Baby.  
And this is the reason I could not get a picture with the actual doll.  The hippy chick would not let go of her prized Julie as I was taking the pictures.  I was doing the picture taking while she was not around. This is one of her three gifts she is getting for Christmas this year.  Shhhh... It's a secret!  The PVC tent, (see the tutorial on that from yesterday) this table and chairs, and the bed.  Tutorial to come on that.  The bed is done, but the sewing part is not.  Julie was a gift from her grandparents last year.  She got her Bitty Baby the year before from the same said grandparents.  This year, I nixed yet another trip to the store with them, but I think it might be fun to send them with her to get her dolls ears pierced as a special outing.  Hmmmm.  The gifts behind her are for her birthday.  One being the Mckenna doll she pooled all her birthday gift money for, another the Mckenna bar and beam set that Geoff and I are giving her, and the other is a Julie and Ivy American Girl paper doll set she saw and fell in love with at BJ's a few months ago.  Her brother is giving her that.  It's going to be a very American Girl doll type of year.  She is also getting the AG service dog and the AG "Get Well" set from her other grandparents.  I swear, they have thought of everything.  Good thing she already has the wheelchair to go with the upcoming cast and crutches.  I think we will open a orthopedic clinic if the service dog can't help her enough.  That way we can get her the physical therapy she needs.  The doll, not the child ;o)  Happy Birthday to my now six year old hippy chick!

PS  The stars are done with a star shaped cookie cutter and paint.  I love that little extra touch ;o)  Total for project with tax- $15.01