Saturday, November 9, 2013

Some Things I've Learned About Being a Mom

I used to work with special needs kids, and in a daycare before that, and I thought that I was ready for the challenges of parenting my own kids. I mean I had seen a lot, and thought I knew what to expect, but looking back I found out that I was dead wrong! So, here is what I learned so far!

  1. After feeding your 9 month old some infant cereal, and cleaning it up from him, removing him from his seat and playing with him, you look down and notice a bit of cereal (or what you think is cereal) on your hand. What do you do? Whatever you do, DON'T lick it off, like I did! Yeah, it wasn't cereal, but baby spit up and I about up chucked up all over the floor. Do yourself a favor and just spend the extra time to go wash yourself off!
  2. You're cleaning the house, for the millionth time that day, and notice a raisin (or what you think is a raisin) on the floor. What do you do? Whatever you do, don't pick it up with your bare hands, like I did! Turns out that it wasn't a raisin, but a small piece of poo that had fallen out of our youngest son's diaper. He had started having, what we called, rabbit poops before we realized that he wasn't processing wheat properly. Yeah, just take the safe route and go get a paper towel and pick it up. Trust me.
  3. You've just changed the 3rd soaking diaper in a row, and changed your damp clothes. You think you're safe? Think again! It seems to be a Murphy's law, of sorts, that as soon as you've changed the diaper, and your clothes, they will inevitably poop or pee on you again. So, unless you are soaked in pee or poo, don't bother changing your clothes until you know that it's passed. 
  4. Children are brutally honest, which is good, unless you are in public and they see something that is not allowed in our house. I've taught my children about eating healthy, and Jackasaurus takes it very seriously. We're standing in line, paying for some groceries at the store, and Jackasaurus looks behind us to see what the people are putting on the conveyor belt. He then blurts out, "Mom, that lady isn't buying healthy food at all!" The cashier busts up laughing, and just kept telling me, "He's speaking the truth! He's speaking the truth!" Needless to say, we had to have a conversation about when and where we could talk about those things, and if we saw someone doing something that wasn't good for them, it was better to whisper it to mom, then yell it out to everyone.
  5. You will say the goofiest things possible to your children. It's just inevitable. My husband has so many of those funny sayings, like "You don't drink water out of people's behinds." Yeah, it's not what you think. Our oldest, when he was a baby, would take little Fisher Price people in the bath, scoop up water with the hole in the bottoms, and drink it. Really gross, but the kicker was my husband's reply. 
  6. When kids are done, they are done. No matter if you have people over to your house, if your kids are ready for them to leave, they will tell them! Mopsy, one day while my parents were visiting, looked down at her watch and promptly declared, "My watch tells me that it's time for you to go home!" What can do about that?!
  7. Children take every literally. Jackasaurus was reading Tom Sawyer in his room, when he came out with a look of disgust on his face. "Mom," he asks me, "Why would Tom want to lick Sadie? That's gross!" He really thought that Tom meant he was going to use his tongue!
  8. Children are always so humble (can you sense my sarcasm?). Mopsy told her brother Jackasaurus that he was very handsome. His reply, "Thanks sis, I was made to be handsome!" Oye Ve!
  9. Children are very logical, to their minds. One day, Jackasaurus told me that when he grows up he wants a white car, because sour cream is white and he likes sour cream. Now there's some logic for you!
  10. They will crack you up with something that freaks them out. One day, when Jackasarus was about 3 years old, he woke up just frantic. When I asked him what was wrong, he tells me, "My pull up is wet, but I didn't pee in it! Who peed in my pull up!" Good luck keeping a straight face with that one!
  11. They can be so funny, especially when they aren't trying to be funny. One day, in 2012, Jackasaurus tells me, " Mommies are big girls. They can wear big girl clothes and have babies. Daddies , they are just kids." There was also the time when we were at the library and Jackasaurus asked the librarian if they had any joke books. "Oh, you want to learn some jokes?" the librarian asks. "Yes," Jackasarus replies, "because my jokes aren't funny." 
  12. You will never go to the bathroom alone, ever again. Even if you close the door, you will see fingers peaking under the door, trying to make sure you are still alive. My youngest likes to toss books and small toys under there for me, you know in case I'm bored or something. Then there's the knocking. *knock knock* "Mom, are you in there? Whatcha doing?" Yeah, good luck trying to relax and have a moment alone with that. And forget about showering without your spouse home. Every sound you hear will sound like a child being murdered, so you should just wait until your husband gets home.
  13. You children will always be 'starving', even if you just fed them. I swear, Jackasaurus eats more than I do! They will also surprise you on what they will eat, as well. I was cutting up kale for a salad one night and of course the children were 'starving', so I offered them the stalks from the kale to eat. You know what, they ate them and all you could hear was, "This is so yummy!".  Of course if I offered the kale stalks to them at the dinner table, they would look at them like they were poison, but that's fickle kids for you!
  14. They think that everything is an easy fix. Mopsy asked me, after coming back home from the Chiropractor, if Dr. A could fix her doll's legs and make them less wobbly since Dr. A made Mopsy feel better. Oh, they also think that the wand our Chiropractor uses must be magical and bring people back to life. I do love watching them use their imaginations!
  15. They will test you and argue with you on what they think is right, even if it's not. One day, after telling my children to stay out of the dirt, I caught Jackasaurus digging in the dirt. After telling him to get out of the dirt, he tells me, "But mom, it's not dirt, it's soil!" Yeah, still doesn't fly buddy!
  16. They will play whatever they see you doing. One day Mopsy and Jackasaurus are playing, and I hear Mopsy say, "Oh no, this baby's tummy hurts because someone gave her wheat!" Jackasaurus replies, "Yeah, we need to take her to Dr. A and see if she's allergic to wheat!"
  17. They will impress you with their insight. There was one day when Mopsy was watching a commercial for a local hospital's birth center, and she saw a woman hooked up to a lot of machines. Mopsy asked me if that woman was sick, and I told her that she was just having a baby. Mopsy then asked why the woman would be in a hospital if she wasn't sick and wouldn't just want to stay home and have her baby where it was cozy, instead of having those things all over her? Very insightful of her!
  18. They will always think that you predate the prehistoric era. Mopsy asked me one day if I had a potty in my house when I was a little girl. I'm not sure how old she thinks I am, but I'm not that old! Or the time when Jackasaurus saw a person with a dinosaur on his shirt. He then asks, "Dad when you were a kid, did you have dinosaurs...(long pause here) on your shirt." Seriously, we thought that he was going to leave it at the first part only!
  19. You will never sleep in again. No seriously, forget about it. Jackasaurus is the only child who likes to sleep in late. The other 2 are up at 6am everyday, whether it's a weekend or not. So, just plan on going to bed early every night, so you don't look and feel like a zombie off of the Walking Dead. Either that, or invest in some serious coffee.
  20. They will drive you insane, make you want to pull out your hair on numerous occasions, but you can't imagine your life with out them. Oh, you might remember having the freedom to sleep in as late as you wanted to, on the weekends, but giving that up is a small price to pay. They are your children, and your love for them will be without equal. You would easily give your life for them, wish you could take the pain for them when they are hurt, and your life will never be the same. Then again, why would you want it to be?
What is the funniest thing you've done, or heard, while parenting? I would love to hear them! 

Until Next Time,

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Why we WON'T allow our children to play on computers (or any other electronic device)

In this day and age of computers it may sound weird that we don't allow our children to play on computers, or with any electronic device really. It sounds even weirder considering that is what my husband's profession is- selling hundreds of thousands of computers to people across the globe. In our house we have 3 laptops, 3 main PCs (1 is attached to the TV so we can watch shows off of the internet, and keep our media library stored there), 2 Galaxy Nexus phones, Kindles, etc. You would think that with all this technology that we would allow our children to play on them. My husband has even been asked by his brother why we are delaying the introduction to computers, and not starting now. I mean, according to everyone who asks us, the sooner we start the better, right? Wrong.

I've heard the stories about how kids as young as 18 months can navigate around their parents' phones, find things that the parents didn't even know existed, and that bothers me. I mean at 18 months, shouldn't you be working on your ABCs with your child, to give them a head start, instead of just handing your phone over to them to be entertained? I realize that there are different circumstances to every situation, and I'm not talking about the parents who hand over their phones to their kids, so that they can play a kid game, while on an 8 hour car trip. I can understand that, and there have been times where I've handed my phone (wrapped in an Otter Box) to my child who has done everything that they want in the car, and we still have hours left to drive. No, I'm talking about those kids who have the child sized video game systems, who have access to the family computer, and play on it. Those are the parents I have a problem with.

Our kids love to play, and play a LOT! They run, leap, jump, and love to make up games. They play so much that all of my children have these 6 packs, for abs! The thing is if we allowed them to have access to computers, would they be as interested in their made up games, or prefer to zone out in front of the computer, and play games? Maybe, but then again maybe not. I, however, am not going to take that chance. I know how obsessed with things my children get. Jackasaurus seems to get obsessed with a new thing every 3 months; right now it's Legos. I would rather he play with Legos, then play one of those games like Minecraft. Don't even get me started about how dumb I think that game is (it's a glorified version of Legos, but on a PC game, for those who didn't know.).

The thing is my children will learn to use a computer, and probably play games on them someday. My children aren't completely without the use of technology; Jackasaurus does all his schoolwork on a laptop/ tablet. He does know how to get where he needs to go, but that's as far as it goes. I realize that in this technological age I can't keep them from computers, nor do I wish to, but I do want them to realize that they are just tools- there to make your life easier and faster. So for now, my 5 1/2, 4, and 2 year old will not be using computers for personal enjoyment. My husband has set those rules, and refuses to teach them how to work a computer until they are big enough to help fix a computer. He doesn't just want them to learn how to use a computer, but learn how it works and that's fine with me.

For now we are content to just play with real Legos with our children, instead of playing some ridiculous computer game, and make real memories. My children are learning to problem solve, build complex buildings out of real blocks, and they have the best thing with them- their parents giving their undivided attention and teaching them. Children need physical and mental stimulation to thrive and grow. They will only get that with plenty of learning, exercise, and family time- not spent on the computer. And that's why we won't allow our children to play on a computer!

Until Next Time,

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Crochet Hook Holder

For my birthday, a few weeks back, we decided to take a family trip to Jamesport, Missouri. For those of you who don't know what's so special about Jamesport, it's an old Amish Town, filled with the beauty that only the Amish could give it. A simplicity fills the town, and an air of peace is over the place. It's so far out there that there is no cell service, at least not with Sprint. It was a nice break from the constant humming of cell phones and people asking for this or that. Gorgeous place.

We took the day and just walked around, looking at different places. One place we found was an amazing little craft store called Sue's Soft Stuff. In this store, she had hand spun yarns, and lots of gorgeous textiles. One thing that I found was an amazing set of wooden crochet hooks.

Yes, I made these boot cuffs for my boots. Here's the pattern Boot cuffs

When I saw these hooks, I about fainted. It's incredible hard to find a set of hooks, ranging from size 4.0 to 9 in a pack, that won't cost you an arm and a leg! There was no price on them, so when I asked, she offered to sell them all for $10! I had to hide my enthusiasm at such an amazing deal! I can't get 1 wooden hook for $10 here in the city! After paying for my purchase, we continued to look around for more amazing deals.

There's a small country store called Jamesport Country Store, where they sell the cheapest bulk items anywhere. I was able to get 20 pounds of apples for $4.70 total! Not per pound, but 20 pounds for $4.70. They also had many other amazing items, including the coolest whisk I've ever owned!

But, I digress. Once I found these hooks, I knew that I had to make a hook holder for them. Right now I have a fabric pencil case that I use to hold my metal and plastic hooks, but there was no way I was going to put my prized wooden hooks in there! So, I looked around and found an amazing pattern for a gorgeous book like holder. Crochet Hook Holder Pattern

The one problem I had with the pattern was as it was written I couldn't fit even my smallest hook in the case. I made it exactly as she wrote it, following it to the letter, but perhaps because it's made for aluminum hooks, instead of wooden ones, they would not slide in there at all! Forget about the larger hooks fitting, the smallest one wouldn't fit! So, I had to improvise and  'rewrite' the pattern myself.

Basically I did everything that she mentioned to do in the pattern, except when it came to the pouch part. I started out following like she said, but I added 2 addition rows of stitches. The first stitch I added was either a double crochet (for the larger hooks) or a half double crochet (for the smaller ones). On the 2nd stitch I added a single crochet. This made the pouches large enough so when I joined the pouch to the rest of the piece the hooks actually fit. And here's the finished product!

This antique looking button I've had for a long time, and I have clue where I got it.

Instead of doing a 5th pouch, on the left hand side, I just continued to do the double crochet so I could have a spot for small scissors and darning needles.

I absolutely love how this turned out and it's so sturdy too! My hooks are secure and safe from being broken from other hooks. I realize that I have more than 11 hooks in my case, that's because I had 3 hooks that I had collected in the past. I just paired up sizes so I wouldn't have to make more pouches.

I think the next project I do will be to make these adorable Knight Helmet hats for the boys. Jackasaurus' hat, that I made a few years ago, is to small and Alexsaur would love this hat too. I've already bought the pattern, now I just need to get started on them! I'll post my review on that pattern as soon as I'm done!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, October 26, 2013


It's been awhile since I last posted, so I thought that I would share what is going on in our prehistoric household!

School is in full swing, and going really well. Jackasaurus is breezing through math, and learning his addition facts through 20. His favorite subject (no big surprise) is Language Arts. The child loves to read, and is tackling massive chapter books! He easily understands and can read large words and learns more everyday! He's easily reading at a 2nd- 3rd grade level right now. We're thinking of having him tested to make sure that we are challenging him enough for his grade level. Kinda scary that he's only 5!

Mopsy has taken to Kindergarten and run with it. She wanted so badly to learn to read, so she could be like big brother, and has really pushed herself. She can already sound out hundreds of words, and learns more everyday. She felt so proud that she read a couple of readers all by herself, without mom's help! I think I'll have another bookworm on my hands in a few months!

Alexsaur is learning lots too. I have several math games, that use pentominoes, and he loves to make the shapes out of them. He also loves his flashcards, and can easily tell you what each letter, number, and shape are already. I have no doubt that if he keeps at this rate, he'll be starting preschool next year. You can see in his small face how much he wants to be like his big brother and sister, and he's pushing himself to get there. A part of me wants to hold him back, so he can stay my little baby a bit longer, but that wouldn't be fair to him.

I find that having the schedule of schooling makes our days a lot easier and smoother. The kids love the rare day off, but even then they love to take out the plain paper and make up math problems, or write stories. I am so blessed to have 3 children who love to learn, want to learn more, and desire to push themselves. It definitely makes my job, as teacher, easier if I don't have to try and coax them to do their work. If anything, I have to try and find more work for them to do, as they want to learn more. I can only pray that this intensity continues!

One thing I wanted to share was a really cool tool I found in the toy section at Wal-Mart. Jackasuarus was having a hard time coming up with an original story every day. Yes, he has to write a story every day. I want him to understand how to write, and it gives him a chance to write out his millions of stories he loves to tell me. After doing school for about a month, he suddenly "had no more ideas in his head". His words, not mine! Anyway, these story cubes were the answer that he needed!

Not at all bad for a 5 year old, and he loves being able to roll the story cubes out and create his story. The thing to remember about homeschooling is to make it fun. I think that can really sum up the success we've had thus far. The kids don't see it as boring work that they have to do, but it's fun. Jackasuarus wants to be an Air Force Pilot when he grows up, and he knows that he has to be really good at math and science to have a successful career in it, so he makes every math problem into a game where he has to do it to fly an airplane. Make school fun, and you'll be surprised at where they will take it!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Removing Wax From a Yamaha Clavinova

Yes, I can be a major klutz sometimes, and I should have known better than to put my Scentsy warmer on top of my piano, but I had it there anyway. And wouldn't you know that I accidently knocked the warmer over- all over the keys and the case.

Let me give you a bit of backstory on this keyboard, and why it was so imperative to try and save this keyboard. I have owned this keyboard for over 13 years, and before that it was the main keyboard for the church I used to play for. The church wanted to get rid of it, and instead of selling it some buyer for what it was really worth, the pastor decided to sell me this keyboard for $1. Yes, a keyboard that was worth over $4000 used, was sold to me for $1. It still is such a miracle to me, and everytime I play it I can sense Adonai's favor on me!

Fast forward to 2013, and the kids wanting to learn piano lessons. Well, this old keyboard had been having issues with some keys, and we looked into replacing it, so that the kids could learn. Come to find out that this keyboard, to this day, is still worth between $3000-$4000, so replacing it was completely out. We settled for a cheap keyboard for the kids, and that's what they use instead of mom's piano.

My husband was able to fix the messed up keys, and then I spilled wax all over this keyboard. Luckily my husband knows how the wiring works, from taking it apart to work on the keys, and knew that the wax wouldn't harm the circuits. But it sure made the keys nasty, hard to clean, and sticky. Well, there was hope for the piano yet, and I knew that I had to try and fix it.

First things first, I took a razor and gently scraped off the wax that I could see. Let me tell you, for one cube of Scentsy wax, there was a ton of wax all over the keys. It was stuck to the keys, in between the keys, behind the keys, on the case. It was everywhere!

This Mr. Clean eraser was AFTER cleaning the stains. Yeah, they were gross!

After I got the majority of the wax off the keys, I took Goo- Gone and applied it to a micro-fiber cloth. Then I scrubbed the crud out of the keys- literally. It took about 40 min. to completely scrub off the wax.

After that, there were still stains on the keyboard. Most of them weren't from the wax, but from years of abuse. I'm not the only one that has played this keyboard in the past, and the previous pianist had anointed this piano with grape juice (on accident). So, I took my Mr. Clean Magic eraser and went to work on the keys. Surprisingly, a lot of the stains came off, but stains from 14+ years ago seemed to be embedded in the keys and refused to budge. You win some, you lose some. For the most part, the stains came up and that keyboard looked better than it had in years!

Yeah, that brownish mark was from the juice spill over 14 years ago.  But, I was able to get off all the wax from the keys, the cover and polish the keys and piano. I would not recommend doing this to a real piano, as you might destroy the keys. If your piano has ivory keys do not do this! Scraping the keys, with a razor, might destroy them and using any cleaners might destroy them as well. My keys are weighted plastic, so they are fine. It took a lot of time and patience and muscle, but the keyboard looks good as new. Here's hoping I get another 15 years out of this beauty, before I have to replace it!

Until Next Time,

It's HERE!!!

Well, it was actually here on Tuesday, but I just haven't had time to write about it! What am I talking about? Google Fiber!!!

That's right, we finally have Google Fiber in our house, and let me tell you it is super fast! We had another provider, and had nothing but problems with them, but that provider had our area and it was either them or sign a 2 year contract with another provider that was even worse. So, we kept our sub par internet connection waiting, patiently, for Google to finally install in our neighborhood. Tuesday, September  24 it finally arrived. The install took less then 2 hours, and they hooked everything up for us. Of course, when my hubby came home, he hooked everything up differently- the way he wanted, but it's here and it is fast.

If you don't have Google Fiber in your home, and you have the option to have it, what's stopping you? We chose the cheapest package, for now, and it will only cost us $25 a month for the next year, and then it's free for years after that! Companies can complain that Google is trying to monopolize things, but there's no monopoly, in my opinion. You can still choose Clear, AT&T, and other internet companies. But honestly why would you, when those companies charge twice as much (or more) for less service? If you don't have the ability to get Google Fiber, see what you can do to change that. I've read that several companies are trying to get into the Fiber installation, which is great, but what about the cost as well? To many companies are so greedy, charging you way to much for something that costs next to nothing to use. Things will only change if you start yelling for change. Companies will do most anything to keep their customers, as we found out when we cancelled our old internet service. They begged, pleaded, even offered to drop our price from $50 a month to $30 a month for the next 6 months.

I am so excited about this internet service, and what it means for our homeschooling. Faster internet connection means faster searching, faster video learning, faster everything.

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My First Time as a Doula

I was so blessed to be the doula for my sister and witness the birth of my niece, August 7th, 2013. I have not written about the experience, as I was waiting for my sister to share her birth story first. She blogged about it on her Blog and so I felt that it was time to share my experience as being her doula.

First off, it was oddly strange watching the birthing process, instead of doing it. As I have shared before, I have given birth three time, the last time was at home in a birthing tub. The experience having a midwife was so surreal, and so peaceful, that I knew I wanted to help other women give birth. Sadly, I was not able to be there for two other births I had planned on attending: one had to have an emergency c-section and I was not permitted to attend, and I could not get to California to be with my other sister when she had twins. I am grateful that my parents were able to be there to help her transition from the hospital to home, but she had her twins right when we were moving to our new home. There was no way that I could attend the birth, much to my dismay.

My other sister lives about twenty minutes away from me, and had requested that I be her doula. I was more then happy to accept, and we met with her due date being about a week later. We went over every aspect of the labor, from start to finish, and what she could expect. On August 5th, she started laboring at home about 9pm.

The next morning she texted me, letting me know what was happening, and how far apart her contractions were. By 7pm on the 6th, I went over to her house. Her contractions were about 2 min. apart, but not very strong. She had high blood pressure during the pregnancy,and decided that she wanted to go to the hospital to make sure everything was ok, and see how far she was dilated.

By 8:30pm, we were at the hospital, and she was only dilated to a 2. Her contractions were still 2 min. apart, and the staff agreed to allow her to do intravenous monitoring. That meant she would be allowed to be off of the monitors for 20 min, and back on for 20 min. It wasn't much, but we were able to work with what the hospital would allow.

For the next 10 hours (yes until about 5:30 am) we walked, balanced on a birthing ball, massaged key pressure points in her legs to speed up the contractions (and it really worked well!)and her contractions stayed at every 2 min, but she was stuck at 4 cent. dilated. She was able to handle the contractions when she was off of the bed, and not being monitored, but once they stuck her back on the monitor, it was hard for her to cope. Finally, at 6 am, on the 7th, she decided that she had had enough and wanted medication. I don't blame her at all. She hadn't slept in over 24 hours, and was just exhausted. Despite everything that we tried to get her dilate, she was just stuck. So, at 7am, she finally got an epidural, which gave me a small break to go get some food.

Just because she had an epidural, didn't mean that my job was done. I got the nurse to agree to let me get her a popsicle, and she was able to drink water. When she finally was dilated to a 10, at about 7pm, her hot flashes kept me on my toes to keep her sponged off and cool. Finally, at about 8pm, she was feeling like she was ready to push. She pushed like a champ, but as the baby started to come down, either a foot or an elbow started pushing on a nerve in her hip. The poor woman had such a Charlie horse, and the only thing that would somewhat sedate it was for me to ball up my fist and rub as hard and fast as I could. It was hardest when she felt the urge to push, and I needed to keep my fist on her hip so she could manage the cramp.

Finally, the Dr. came in and allowed her to push on the side that was cramping. It seemed to help a lot with the pain, and she was able to push as much as she could until the baby started to crown. At 9:19 pm, Ms. Emery Cadence was born, with the fullest head of hair I've ever seen on a baby! No one knew the sex of the baby, the parents wanted it to be a surprise, and it was hard to keep the tears back when my Brother-in-law started crying that it was a girl! Such a sweet little girl, and a sweet family. I am so honored that I was able to help in this birth.

 If you read the Blog I linked to, you'll note that my sister mentioned that I should offer my services to other women. I plan on it, the L-rd willing. According to the Dr., who delivered the baby, she has been looking for a good doula for several of her patients, and wanted to know if I would take them on. I plan on doing just that, but once the children are a bit older. Thank you, Katie, for allowing me into a personal and private time in your life, and allowing me to serve you and help my gorgeous niece be born!

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Keren Yeshua

Since converting to Messianic Judaism, (Jews who believe that Yeshua, a.k.a. Jesus, is the Messiah) we have hard a rather difficult time finding music that we like. Sure there are people like Paul Wilbur and I love his ministry, but in my mind there isn't enough Hebrew to his songs.

When I listen to a CD that is by an artist that claims to be Messianic Jewish, I would like to hear more Hebrew integrated with English. I am so pleased that my friend, Chris Mann, is doing just that. Years ago I was so privileged to sing with this man, serving with him on the worship team, and writing songs. It was the most incredible time in my ministry, and a time that I still think about often. I wanted to share his video, and really push this CD. There are many songs on here that we used to do together, and I am so excited about buying this CD for myself.

I cannot wait to order this CD!

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Kitchen/Dining Room is Finished!

It's been a busy couple of months here, at the new house. There isn't a day that goes by when there isn't something that I'm working on. Between painting the rooms, making curtains, or getting the school/playroom put together, I've been a busy girl!

I can't stand living out of boxes; perhaps because as a child we lived out boxes all the time. It drives the OCD part of my crazy, and I actually had the house 99% unpacked within 3 weeks of living here. With 3 kids that needed my help, I think that was pretty fast! Just because the house was unpacked didn't mean that it was anywhere near done, in my eyes. Everything had a home, but it needs the finishing touches. One of the first rooms I had to finish was the kitchen area. The orginal color was a hideous mustard yellow.

Now, I LOVE the color yellow; it's one of my favorite colors, but this yellow made me sick to look at it! Plus, when we got to painting the kitchen, it was obvious that they used a flat based paint, which showed every stain and discoloration that could happen. It was bad.

I decided, long ago, on a nice sage green. The kitchen needed sprucing up, and curtains- which I had made for the our previous house. I think the new color and effect is quite nice and really livens up the kitchen!
In addition to painting the room, I also spray painted the brass colored rings that surrounded the lights. I am not a fan of the brass color, and it really didn't look well with the green color. I bought a can of metal spray paint, at Lowe's, and painted everyone with a silver finish. The effect is muted and looks much better with the subtle tones in the kitchen.

In all, I am in love with the colors in this room. Here's a view, from the living room, looking into the dining room, breakfast nook, and kitchen. I love the way the colors go together and compliment each other so well.

My father will be building us a dining room table, so that all 10 adults can sit and enjoy Christmas dinner together. I am so fortunate that the dining room is large enough to accommodate the size table we'll need!

Until Next Time,

Monday, August 5, 2013

Make Your Own Cake Stand

I've seen these adorable cake stands, that people use for their soaps and sponges, all over Pinterest.

After reading about them, and looking at instructions on how to make them, I realized one thing- these would not last a DAY in my house! All the instructions said to use just a standard high heat hot glue gun. Now I don't know about you, but I have never had much luck in having an item, that I glued with the hot glue gun, stay together if it was used for any length of time. Sure, I've used them for art projects, wreathes, etc. but I don't touch those items everyday. After talking with my husband, here's what I did to make sure that my own cake stand stand together!

First thing I did was go to my local Dollar store and buy 2 glass plates and a glass candle stick. Total for all was $3. I brought them home and cleaned them thoroughly with rubbing alcohol to remove any residue that might hinder the glue from sticking. Then, and this is the most important part, I used an industrial strength glue gun, that you can get from Lowe's, or any hardware store. This is important, because these glue sticks are meant for heavy duty repairs- like glass, wood, or anything else. And, because it's heavy duty it lasts longer then the standard glue guns you can buy at the craft store. I put a thin bead on the narrow top of the candle stick and let it sit for about 10 seconds, then pressed it to the bottom of the top plate. The seal was immediate and strong. I decided against gluing the candle stick to the bottom plate, as I wanted to be able to clean that plate regularly. I use it to store my sponges, and it gets residue on it frequently.

Seriously that's it. I used industrial strength hot glue and glued the 2 pieces together. I would advise against washing the top plate and candlestick in water, as the water may cause the glue to come unfastened. You can clean the plate and candlestick with rubbing alcohol or glass cleaner.

I really like this space saving device. It keeps my sink clear of soaps and sponges and looks really nice!

Until Next Time,

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread

Today has been a rare day for June, going into July. This morning was 60 degrees! The high is only supposed to get up to 78 today, and it has been a wonderfully gorgeous day! I woke up feeling the need to bake. This really only happens in the Fall, when the cooler air is flowing, and the house is filled with a crisp scent of Autumn. If I hadn't known that it was June 30, I would have thought that Fall was on its way!

So, this morning, for my wonderful husband's birthday, I decided that I would make some Banana bread. We had some bananas that had been given to us, by my parents, that were really mushy and only good in breads. After looking at some recipes, I decided to make my own Gluten free version, from scratch. The results were amazing and it turned out so moist and delicious! Here's the recipe!
Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread
1/2 C. of real butter, softened
1. C of sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 Tbsp. milk
1 C. mashed bananas
1 tsp. baking powder
2 C. of Gluten free all purpose mix. (I like the Gluten Free Cafe brand. You can see a picture HERE
1/2 C. of crushed nuts
Cream butter; add sugar and beaten egg. Combine baking soda, milk, and banana pulp. Add to butter mix.
Add the baking powder and Gluten free all purpose flour mix to bowl and beat until all ingreadients are mixed. Do not overbeat. Add crushed nuts to bread. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 min. After cooling for awhile in the bread pan, let cool completely on wire racks then store in the refrigerator until ready to eat with real butter.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Planet Reuse

I wanted to tell my readers about an amazing store here in the Kansas City metro area. The store is called Planet Reuse and is an incredibly cool place to buy things for your home- and it's extremely cheap!

The cool thing about Planet Reuse is that it's sole purpose is to sell building materials at a fraction of the cost, simply to keep it out of landfills. I love that! They test every appliance that comes in, making sure that it's up to code and works well. My family and I went there the other day, looking for a mountable microwave oven. The one we have now stays in the house we're living in, and I love it to much to not get another one. But as we were pricing them, brand new, we found out that they can start at $150 and go up from there! Just a bit to much money for my liking. One of my husband's co-workers told him about Planet Reuse and as luck would have it, they had a mountable microwave!

Here's a breakdown of everything that we got for the new house, and their prices.

Mountable Microwave, including hardware- $40 (It's a Maytag and works like brand new!)
Delta bathroom faucet set- $10 (needed some cleaning, but looks brand new once I was done with it!)
2 sets of door knobs, without locks, brand new in sealed box- $5 each
2 sets of locking door knobs brand new in sealed box -$7.50 each

So, if you're running a total, we spent $75 for everything in the picture! What an amazing find this place was! And they have everything that you could need to redo your home: from doors, to sinks, to dog houses! Next time you're in need of replacing something in your home, consider finding a Habitat for Humanity store that sells things like this. Not only will you get some great pieces for your home, you're also keeping these things out of the landfill.

Until Next Time,

Sunday, June 2, 2013

How to Restore a Bathtub Faucet Set Using 1 Ingredient

So, I've told you how we closed on a house this past Friday. The very next day we started on painting and cleaning our new house. The previous owner had been living there barely. He and his wife lived farther west of the house, and he spent maybe a few hours there, tops. And boy did it show! The house is dirty! Lucky for my family, I can clean anything, and make it look great. Today I want to share how I restored the most disgusting bathtub faucet set using 1 ingredient, and it's 1 ingredient found in every house across the United States! Don't believe me? Let the picture speak for itself!

I swear to you, this is the exact same set, and I cleaned it using 1 thing, and NO scrubbing at all. That 1 ingredient?

Distilled Vinegar.

Yep, you read right, I just used distilled vinegar! My loving husband took apart the entire faucet on the tub and broke everything down into pieces for me so that everything could get nice and clean. I then put the pieces into bowls and covered it with straight vinegar. DO NOT dilute it! Vinegar breaks up the hard water stains and the mold that was growing in the plastic knob.

Before I soaked them. Notice the dull grey color and the mold growing in the plastic knob?

Soaking in the straight vinegar
 I left the hardware soaking for about 2 hours, while my husband and I worked on more painting.
My husband painting the dining room wall.
After about 2 hours I took the pieces out of the bowls and washed them with a soft brush and warm water. The hard water just washed right off. I dried them with a microfiber cloth, and for good measure sprayed a bit of bath oil on them and rubbed it in. You don't have to do this step, at all, it just helps the water stains to stay away longer.
So much better! The hard water is gone, and the set looks brand new!
So much better, huh? I saw the bathtub faucet set, and my husband thought that we would just have to replace it. I'm glad to say that we won't have to replace anything for awhile, even if the style isn't what I want. It works for now, and looks fantastic! Right now I have the bathroom sink's faucet soaking in vinegar, so I expect that it will look just as fabulous here in a few hours! Look for other great cleaning tips soon!

Until Next Time,

Friday, May 31, 2013

A New Chapter In Our Lives

I apologize for my lack of blogging lately, but our family has been really busy the past few months, and it only promises to get busier! For the past two months our family has been house hunting. We finally found the house we absolutely loved, with the price being perfect, about a month ago. It's a three bedroom, two full bath house with over 2700 square feet of living space, and it's on 1/2 acre lot. Hello 1/4 acre garden next year!

As I said, we found the house we loved, and put our bid in April. It was quickly accepted by the seller, and the first round of inspections were done. The seller agreed to do some work on the house, that we asked for, and that took a few weeks. Then the bank seemed to just drag their feet! Oh, our credit was in order, down payment ready, and paperwork all in order, but the process just seemed to go on forever! I thank G-d that we had an AMAZING realtor, Andy Kogan, who walked us through the entire process from beginning to end. The man has the patience of a saint, bearing with my nitpicky ways as we looked at hundreds of homes. Let me tell you, if you need a great realtor in Kansas or Missouri, look up Andy Kogan. You won't be disappointed! He is such a nice guy, who really goes the extra mile for his clients. Worth every penny!

Finally the day came! We were supposed to close on May 15th, but it ended up being pushed back to today. It didn't matter to me, as long as we were signing on our new home! We will be moving in June 15th, and we have some painting to do before that happens. I already have so many ideas that I've found on Pinterest that I'll be putting into place, so be watching for those posts! I will be back to my blog very soon, with tons of pictures and how-tos for you, so keep watching! I appreciate every one of my readers, commenters, and those who follow me on Pinterest. I will have much more to show you very soon!

Until Next Time,

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Child Training Bible

About a month ago I ordered a product called the Child Training Bible. I had seen this on several of the Christian blogs that I frequently read, and really loved the idea so I decided to try it myself.

I ordered the kit, and everything that they said you would need: the tabs, colored pencils, and a new Bible (none of the ones I have would have fit.). I allowed my children to help me put it together, and the above picture was the finished product. I wanted to write a review about this Bible, now that we've been using it for a few weeks.

We had out first chance to use it the day that we made it; our oldest was being defiant about something. After he was punished, we opened up the Child Training Bible, and read the verses about what the Bible says about being defiant. At the end of the scripture reading, there is time to ask questions about how Yeshua (Jesus in the modern day church) would have handled it, then we pray together asking for help to do better. I was honestly surprised at the softening that happened in my son's heart. He not only took the words to heart, but he was truly repentant for being defiant. After the incident, we moved on with our day. Later that night, he asked if we could sit down and read more about how Yeshua wants us to behave. I can honestly say that in the weeks that I've been using this program, I've seen true change in my children. They are now quoting the scriptures that we read when they have an undesirable behavior, and are really learning. I would recommend this to any parent that wants to teach their children. The Bible says to train up a child in the way they should, and this is a great way to start!

Until Next Time,

Friday, March 8, 2013

Gluten Free Cream of ____ Soup

Recently we had to put our youngest on a Gluten Free diet. Without going into details, he isn't processing wheat and gluten products properly, and it's making if difficult for his immune system since the majority of your immune system is in your gut. It hasn't been difficult to switch our youngest child's diet to gluten free; I have a sister with Celiacs and have a plethora of recipes, and know what is safe to eat.

One thing that I found, while searching for different ways to make things, is that there just isn't an easy gluten free Cream of ____ soup recipe. I could buy it, at Whole Foods, and spend way to much, or make a dry version and it's really detailed and lengthy. I saw this idea on Pinterest about making your own Cream soup, using butter, flour, milk and bouillon  cubes. It sounded like an interesting idea, except for a few problems.
1. Using flour. A no-no for gluten free eating
2. Bouillon cubes have so much junk in them, and Lord knows how many preservatives. Plus nothing on the bouillon box said that it was gluten free. There was a lot in those cubes that you couldn't even pronounce.

I started thinking, and then I found an amazing and flavorful way to make my own. I tried it tonight, and I will never buy another can of cream soup again! Here's the recipe!

Gluten Free Cream of _____ Soup

2 Tbsp. of natural butter (you want real butter, not margarine.)
2 Tbsp. of all purpose, gluten free, baking mix
1 c. of milk
2 Tbsp. of organic chicken bouillon (see below), dehyrated mushrooms, celery, etc.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then add the all purpose mix. Wisk until smooth, then add milk and broth base, or whatever flavor you want. Whisk until thick and smooth. The flavor is incredible! You can add less bouillon, if you want a less intense flavor.

I found this broth base and seasoning, from Orrington Farms, where you would normally get Chicken bouillon at Wal-mart. It was about $3, and well worth it. Nothing artificial, and gluten free!

Until Next Time,

Friday, March 1, 2013

Free Homeschool ID Cards

I remember being homeschooled as a teenager, and going to the movies with friends and not getting a student discount because I didn't have a student ID. As a teacher I can't get certain discounts on items that teachers can get, simply because I don't have a teacher's ID card.

Today a friend of mine showed me this wonderful website.  homeschoolbuyersco-op.
At this website I can print, free of charge, a student and teacher ID! Now, you have to join to get access to making them, but membership is free as well. You can pay $8 for a plastic ID, that they will send you, or you can print it off yourself and laminate it.

Here's a mock up one I made, before I made the real ones. I really appreciate someone actually having this available. I know my mom would have loved to have this, when she was homeschooling us, so she could have gotten the discounts that other teachers got. Check it out under the Freebies section.

Until Next Time,

Monday, February 18, 2013

At Home Gel Manicure Review

So, a couple of weeks ago I saw this idea about a home gel manicure. I was really intrigued. I love to paint my nails, but with cleaning the house everyday, washing hands, washing dishes, and just taking care of the kids my nail polish rarely lasts 3 days. By day 2 I've got wear and tear on the edges of my nails, and by day 3 it's already starting to chip. When I saw the idea that I could have a manicure last for weeks, rather then 3 days, I decided to try it.

I followed the directions exactly as she had them.
I lightly buffed my nails and wiped them with acetone nail polish remover to remove any debris and oils.
2 coats of Gelous Nail Gel, letting each coat dry between coats.
1 coat of the nail color of my choice. I used Rosy Outlook.
1 coat of Gelous Nail Gel, making sure to swipe my nail tips. Let dry
1 coat of nail color again, let dry and follow up with a top coat. I used Out the Door

The results were surprising. This was taking February 12, 2013
They turned out really great. They weren't soft, as I feared from so many coats of nail polish. I was really surprised, but could they really last as long as she claimed? She claimed that my 'gel' manicure would last for about 2 weeks. Well, that's not necessarily true.

This was taken February 17, 2013
Within 7 days it started to peel very badly. They color was still vibrant, but as I feared all the coats of polish started to peel. It probably didn't help that I cleaned the bathtub the day before and forgot my gloves. But, in my defense I had washed dishes all week, by hand, and never noticed any signs of peeling. I still think that this manicure was worth it, though. Like I said, I normally only get 3 days out of my manicure so I got more then I had hoped. Give it a try, maybe you'll have better luck then I did!

Edit: I should note that I did this same method to my toes, and they still look as good as they did they first day. Perhaps I'm to rough on my hands. Ah, the life of a mom!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

This had been an amazing month for our family! I mentioned, in my last post, that my sister, who is a twin, is pregnant with twins herself and due in July. We had another surprise when we found out that my other sister, who is the other twin, is pregnant and due exactly one month after her sister! I will be completing my doula training in May this year, to become a licensed and registered doula, and it won't be a moment to soon! My sister in law, on my husband's side, is due in June and wants me to be her doula. Then my sister wants me to fly to California to help her deliver her twins in July, and my sister in Missouri wants me to be her doula in August! I'm going to have a very busy and rewarding summer. I'm so grateful that my husband's adopted mom is going to be watching the kids for me this summer; without her this would all be impossible. I've waited for so many years to finally become an aunt, and I'm getting my wish times four! Praise God for His blessings in our lives!

Anyway, back on track for this post. Happy Valentine's Day to all! I hope that you took today and showed that someone special that you really love them. Here's something a little silly that I found today. It had me in giggles!

In our family, Valentine's Day isn't something that's just celebrated between mommy and daddy. Our children love watching mommy and daddy shower each other with affection, and it sets the tone for their future relationships with their spouses. I grew up watching my dad make out with my mom- it never grossed me out. We want our children to know that we value them, and while we show them this everyday by our words and deeds, on special days like today we like to shower them with a bit extra.

I still remember when I was a little girl, waking up to getting a special Valentine from my mom and dad and the special chocolates. I made me feel so grown up and special when I would get these things and my dad would send my mom a dozen roses and chocolates. I know that my mom felt special, and I felt special too. We don't do candy in our house. They actually prefer to eat an apple over some candy, which is a plus in my book. We got them some personalized stuffed lovies, and made a day of doing fun "Valentine's Day" stuff.

We played silly games like tape the heart on the doll (like pin the tail on the donkey only without pins.) and made a special lunch.

Everyday I attempt to make something new for lunch, and everyday my kids ask for the same thing. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with carrots and apple slices on the side. Every day. Sometimes they might surprise me and ask for something different, but very rarely. I try to suggest different things for lunch, but I let them make the choice. Dinner is the only meal that they don't have a choice in, as I'm not making different things for different people.

Today was no different, and no surprise in what they wanted. I can only think that they love the organic jelly we use. Maybe that's why they are obsessed with it... Anyway, this year I decided to make the sandwiches special. My children adored it!

Lips and hearts cut out of their sandwiches. They thought it was the coolest thing ever, and it really made them feel special. It's the little things that show the people we care about that we love them. They talked about their lip and heart sandwiches all day, even more then the stuffed animals and cards! I hope that you took the time out today to make the people you love feel special. They're worth it.

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Granny Square baby blanket with Cable stitch border

It is baby palooza around here, and I'm loving it! Mostly, because it's not me that's pregnant this time around! I have 5 friends, who are expecting, and one of them is my sister! I am so excited to be an Aunt, finally! It's even neater, because my sister is expecting twins! She's a twin herself, so there was always an increased likely hood that she would have a set as well! I am beyond excited to meet the twins! So, if you're keeping count, I have 6 babies that I want to make something for. Most people will either get a baby blanket, or a crocheted stuffed animal. Well, one mom is due here in a few months, so her blanket got first dibs. I love this design; it crochets up really fast, and the border just adds the right touch. This is my first attempt at writing a pattern, so if you end up using it, please let me know how it turned out. I've made this blanket dozens of times, but then again I know how to do the difficult stitches. Please let me know if there needs to be corrections, or there are errors in the pattern!

Materials needed:
Bernat Baby Sport yarn (it is a #3 type yarn)
Crochet hook sz. 4.25.

There is no gauge here. I used this hook, because it produced a smaller stitch for the light weight yarn. If you're using a heavier weight yarn, then I would use a 5 to 5.5 size hook.

To Make the Blanket:

Ch 4; join with sl st in first ch to form a ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc here and throughout the pattern), 2 dc in ring, ch 1, (3 dc in ring, ch 1) 3 times; join with sl st in top of beg ch - 12 dc and 4 ch-1 sp at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 2: Sl st in each of next 2 dc, (sl st, ch 3, 2 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in first ch-1 sp (first corner made), *(3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next ch-1 sp (corner made); rep from * 2 more times; join with sl st in top of beg ch - 4 corners at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 3: Sl st in each of next 2 dc, (sl st, ch 3, 2 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in first ch-1 sp, *3 dc in sp between next 2 dc-groups, (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next ch-1 sp; rep from * 2 more times, 3 dc in sp between next 2 dc-groups; join with sl st in top of beg ch - 4 corners with 1 dc-group between corners at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 4: Sl st in each of next 2 dc, (sl st, ch 3, 2 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in first ch-1 sp, *(3 dc in sp between next 2 dc-groups) twice, (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next ch-1 sp; rep from * 2 more times, (3 dc in sp between next 2 dc-groups) twice; join with sl st in top of beg ch - 4 corners with 2 dc-groups between corners at the end of this rnd.
Rnd 5: Sl st in each of next 2 dc, (sl st, ch 3, 2 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in first ch-1 sp, *(3 dc in sp between next 2 dc-groups) across to next corner ch-1 sp, (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in corner ch-1 sp; rep from * 2 more times, (3 dc in sp between next 2 dc-groups) around; join with sl st in top of beg ch.
Rnds 6-30: Rep Rnd 5 twenty four more times.
Rnd 31: ch 2. Sc in second stitch from hook. Sc in every st, making 2 sc in the ch 1 spaces. Cont. around, and sl to join.

The Border: The border is really confusing, so I took photos of the steps. I hope that it clears up what you need to do!

Rnd 32: (uses next 3 sc) ch 3 
 skip next 2 sc. sc in next sc (the 3rd from the ch).
 Turn your work around to the back side; sc in the 3 chs that are now a loop.
Slip st in the bottom sc (sc made before ch 3)
Turn your work back around to the right side; working behind the cable st, sc in 2 skipped sc
Slip st in the 3 line, which is where you first joined the ch 3 to the row. Continue by ch 3, joining to the 3rd sc, to make the Cable st. Your end product should look like this

This blanket is a favorite by moms and babies alike. Mom's like the pretty stitches, and all of the babies I've made them for, love having a light blanket on them.
Until Next Time,

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