Friday, April 24, 2009

This week in crafts...

First, some of my new favorite websites.

Digifree: A computer generate list of free digital scrapbooking pages, elements or Kits. Click on the image you like, it will take you to the blogger's page. Usually you download via, a file sharing website. It's great, whenever I'm about to digitally scrapbook I check it. Just watch out! Your hard drive can fill up fast.

Crafty Crow: This craft blog is dedicated to kids crafts and she's been featuring posts of craft tutorials based on one theme- like what to do with cardboard tubes, etc. Love it. Love it. Love it.

Ok on to what I've been up to. Vintage Cereal Magnets! I found a bunch of clipart on the internet, made it little, printed it out, pasted it on some cardboard, and contact papered/packing taped it. I got a little out of hand and made...over 40.

A fuzzy picture of last week's project. I made this skirt 3 sizes too big, but only realized when I was about to hem it. Whoops. So I folded the waistband in, basted it with long stiches. Someday if I ever get pregger it'll be both maternity and not.

And last but not least, a Martha Craft, found here.

I used an 11 by 14 frame, 69 cents at goodwill, then spray painted it, and staple gunned the ribbon. Which isn't as tight as it could be. Bummer. And I haven't added mini dowel rods for the ponytail holders(martha uses wooden spools). That requires power equipment, so we'll see when that happens. In the mean time, the clippies are hanging out in style.


This week has been great.
First, there were the flowers. Blooming all over the place.
I love the way the petals are tossed all around the apple tree, looking like someone just had a wedding in my backyard.
There's such promise in a whole field of dandelions, just waiting for a 4 year old to come and pick, or blow their seeds.
Then this week at Joy School we did things I never do with my kids, like foot and fingerprints, profiles and glitter glue (but not all together). I love it when the Joy School includes activities like that, it makes it worth it. And makes me feel not so lazy. Because sometimes having certain experiences or lessons with your kids is appealing, but not convenient. Hooray for coop preschools!

The girls after their footprint path, soaking their feet in warm water.
Also, I started running again, which I put off for a few weeks, but it's been really energizing to get up at 6:30 am and be wide awake before my kids. There's something so empowering about knowing you can run 3 miles to get medicine for your kids if your car broke down. But not more than 3 miles, then I'm exhausted and we'd need a relay of some kind.

Natalie's been super tricky lately, and after being told that meow blankie couldn't go outside because it would get too muddy, she found a way around. That I never would have thought about. (That's a plastic mega blocks bag big enough for her blanket). Lesson for me- always tell your kids WHY they can't do what they want. They either will agree with you, or find a way to please you and still get their way.
One dark cloud over our week has been getting the kids to bed before 10. Some nights they did, some nights they played until then. We've figured out if they fall asleep in their beds without us in the room, they sleep all night long. So that's what we're working towards.
This weekend we've got nothing spectacular planned except buying yeast at a local health food store and a girl's night out. I think I'm going to bust out the Nacho Libre this weekend, I've been missing Ignacio.
What was so great about your week?

Monday, April 20, 2009

As a hen gathers her chicks.....

Need a family home evening idea?

Tell your kids about Hens. There's a scripture somewhere, but I can't think of it right now. Tell them how Hens gather their chicks whenever dangers coming. Snakes, foxes, wolves, rain, they all could get the chicks. So the hen clucks and they all come under the hen's wings. (This would be great with pictures of chicks and hens, having kids stick them to a chalkboard or holding them. )

Then explain that Mommy and Daddy are like Hens, they protect their young by telling then when danger is. And telling them what to look out for.

Then play Mama Hen: Have the kids pretend to cluck like chickies. One parent comes in, acting like a fox, and the Mama Hen clucks, and they all run for cover (we did it with a yellow blanket over our back). Act out different danger scenarios.

Then have the kids pretend to be kids, and have something come: rainstorm, a car into their yard, a bad person. We played out one scenario where John played as though he was a child and didn't listen, then he got hurt.

Close by talking about Jesus protecting us from danger, and teaching us how to look out for danger. List some dangers- Bad food, Bad things to play, Bad places to go, Bad things to do.

We did this tonight and the kids LOVED it. So much fun playing the chicks. And then playing the different dangers and attacking the baby chicks, who run away just in time.

Try it sometime.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Just do it...

"Find something you love and do it"

I love this message from Amy Smart, a guest blogger on Design Mom this week.

So many parts of it resonated with me. First, that we need to use our hands and do hard things to keep us sane in the midst of the hard and mundane parts of life. I often feel antsy and restless until I have another project to think through, imagine, work out or plan for. It was validating to know that others feel the same way, and make their creations in the midst of their children's chaos, and not feel bad about it.

Second, I was thinking about how much variety there is in this quest- Knitting, Baking, Party planning, game making up, kid playing, marathon running, tower building, teaching lessons, music making, etc. That we should all admire and respect each other's creations, but not make it a race.

Amy says " [Be creative] Not because you want to get a bunch of new comments on your blog, or because you want to become the next Martha, or because you want to win a blue ribbon at the state fair. But because it feeds some part of you that needs feeding. "

When I first joined facebook I felt lame. Everyone I graduated with was getting their masters degree or going on exotic study abroad vacations and I had just had a baby and felt like I had nothing to brag about. I felt like I had to be the coolest in order to compete in some kind of sucess race via facebook.

I feel the sense of this race when it bugs me when others appear to excel beyond me. When someone expresses that someone has the best pizza, and I think in my head "I bet mine is better." Sometimes it's just hard to accept that your best is great, but someone else can do it differently, and to be content, and to not covet a little bit the admiration or creativity or ingenuity of another. I don't think our society's use of superlatives help in this..but that's a story for another day.

Ok tirade over.

Along this topic, I got some enlightenment yesterday.

Scene: Girls playing dressup, Sophia convincing Natalie to put on a dress.

Sophia: Ok Natalie, you're going to be the most prettiest princess today

Me: Well we're all pretty Sophia, in different ways.

Sophia: Uh, no Mom. We're not all pretty when we're naked. We have to put on Beautiful romantic dresses, then we're all beautiful.

So young, yet so wise.

{The picture above is Natalie and Sophia pretending to be snow white, and Sophia is in her "most beautifulest gown ever" which happens to be the "gown" I despise. I just think it's ugly. But I've never been super into polyester with silk screen on top. Just me I guess.}

Thursday, April 16, 2009

P 90 X review

So I did it. I finished P90X.

Here's the rundown:

It's hard. It's intense. It involves a lot of pushups, 20 different ways, lots of chinups.
It's 6 days a week. I saw the same moves we did on biggest loser last week (same lunges, same side push ups, some of the same lifting moves). So nothing exclusive, just packed into an hour at a fast pace and organized by muscle groups.

I quit the yoga and did 5 days a week.

I quickly grew stronger in my abs, my legs, my shoulders, my back.

I didn't lose any weight. But I also didn't change my diet, or do all the pushups/chinups (I did resistance bands pulls instead of chinups).

I loved the cardio workouts (Kenpo, which is like Tae Bo, Cardio and Core synergistics). The muscle building ones were good, especially the leg ones. But I only really care about my legs, I wasn't looking and trying for definiton and much change in my upper body. So I didn't push myself as much.

I would recommend it if you:
Want a new routine everyday so you're not bored.
Want to work on your whole body
Have an hour to spend every day
Want to track your progress and improvement in exercises
Want to lose weight- Do the doubles programs that have 2 exercises a day for two of the months
Already have weights or bands or yoga mats and chinup bar. If not, all the equipment can be expensive in addition to the 60 dollar dvd set. (We got ours on Amazon sellers)

As for me, I'm going to rearrange the videos from the program they give, and do it 4 days a week and start running now that it's nice weather.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Jellybean Poops and other easter treats

First there were the clips. I couldn't resist this chick ribbon in the clearance bin at Jo-Ann's.

Yesterday we did some egg tossing after another egg hunt.

And last but not least, the jellybean pooping animals. We made these at Enrichment last week. Basically felt with some glued on features, sewn around, edges pinking sheared for cuteness. And a drawsting ribbon close at the bottom. FIll em up with jellybeans, they sit all fat. And when you're hungry? squeeze the bag until one poops out. Genius.

If the idea of cute holiday animals appeals to you, check out this craft site of other holidays and pooping treats and cards.

People Mix-Up

So the other day I saw this on Design Sponge, a perpetual calendar.
After I made one, I was thinking about toys that are similar, we have some at our house that rotate head/body/legs to make hybrid animals.

So we made some of our own with oatmeal containers. We chose a face and people. This idea lends itself towards animals, strips of subj/verb/object to make new sentences or easter egg designs, or other things I can't think of...

Here's how we did it:
First, we made a paper to fit around the container. We used an oatmeal container, so we needed two 81/2 by 11 sheets of paper.
Then I folded it into thirds, so that there would be three people across.
Then I folded it into quarters the other way. I drew lines down the folds to know where the cuts would be.
Then I made a pattern of a person that would fit within the lines (shoes below the bottom lines, waist at the middle line, head above the first line, etc. ). I traced it three times onto the paper.
We colored them in, making sure to change the face, clothes, etc with each one.
Then we cut down across all the faces and people, so the nose, could be changed to a new one, hat could be changed etc. This was hard for sophia to get, I had to show her how it would work so she wouldn't cut each person out.
Then we taped each strip around the container. And voila! A person changer. It kind of looks like a magician's show where they put your body in a box and seperate it from your head.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Weekend- Wohoo!

My parents came to visit. Wohoo!
We went on an adventure to Mabry Mill. Wohoo!
(Click for larger view)

We had an Easter egg hunt. And visited a candy factory. Wohoo!

We have way too many sweets in our house. Wohoo!
The middle picture is Natalie with a rabbit on her head, singing Laurie Berkener's "On your head" song.

The girls skirts were under 3 bucks at Target after Christmas clearance. They're sparkly. Wohoo!

The one day a year I can get everyone in a family picture. Sophia wanted to be as tall as me, and Natalie just wanted to lay in the grass and play with her froggy. My Dad got a lot more pictures, I'm hoping his camera didn't take ones as overexposed as this one.

Like my outfit? Got both skirt and shirt at thrift stores this weekend. Top was new from TJ Maxx, but at Goodwill. Weird. But good for me. Wohoo!

Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Will Come

Happy Easter! This weekend has been full of activity, starting with an Easter activity at our church on Friday. The night consisted of various people acting as people from the Bible and Book of Mormon, acting as Joseph Smith, and our missionaires, testifying of Christ. In my room was Mary Magdalene, who powerfully testified of meeting the Savior after his Resurrection.

Below is a recent talk (October 2006) from Elder Joseph B Wirthlin. When he gave this talk I was 6 months pregnant with Natalie, and pretty sure my pregnancy was never going to end, and very worried about having another c-section and breech baby. His words brought comfort to me then. Last week I found this copy of Conference and was reading all the talks, amazed at how many spoke to my current worries and problems. This talk was again a comfort.

Sunday Will Come by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross.

On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth.

Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day they stood triumphant.

On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain.

Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were both overcome with grief and despair.

The superb man they had loved and honored hung lifeless upon the cross.

On that Friday the Apostles were devastated. Jesus, their Savior—the man who had walked on water and raised the dead—was Himself at the mercy of wicked men. They watched helplessly as He was overcome by His enemies.

On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled.

It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.
I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world's history, that Friday was the darkest.

But the doom of that day did not endure.

The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death.

He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.
And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.

Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.

But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A case of the Uglies

So doing some etsy searching today. Found some GREAT gifts.

Who wants these in their easter baskets??

15.00 for a centerpiece. And some of the ones for sale were sold.

Some accessories for the little Punk Toddler in your life. The bows on the skulls make a nice feminine touch, not to mention the gymboree coordinated corkscrew bows.

And a good scripture, with some great accents and detail.

And in my searching, I've found a few blogs dedicated to the hunt for the next ugly thing on etsy. Blogging is so pointless sometimes. This post, case in point.

Multiple Holiday Personality Disorder

Defined as a decorating disoder, in which you switch holidays decorations too frequently, or in my case, combine holidays all at the same time.

Can you spot all four holidays in our dining/living room?

This post is dedicated to target after holiday sales, which provide such valuable savings that we can celebrate ALL YEAR LONG.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring is coming, how do I know...

Little Snowflakes told me so.

No joke, it snowed on Tuesday the same day as our "Spring Party."

Oh well, we persevered. Or something.

First there were bunny baskets. The ones I found online look like this.

I did a really simplistic version, just having the kids color the ears/face instead of adding all the pom poms and pipe cleaner whiskers. And I didn't add a milk jug insert, like instructed here at Meridian Magazine.

Then there were the games:
Duck Duck Goose (Which is the ultimate party game)
Bunny Hop over sticks placed in a row down the room

And there were some crafts:

Foil covered eggs and butterflies, idea from Kids Craft Weekly

And some chick magnets, adapted from Cinderella's Tapletop Chicks

Here's the back.

And last but not least, Sugar Cookies!

Happy Spring!

Friday, April 3, 2009

How to be awesome.

First, How to make your kid eat raw vegetables: Ranch Dressing.

Second, How to make your kids want to do anything- Tell them they can act like Santa as they do it. And call it a party. Potty party, Laundry party.

Third, How to keep your kids from crying when Daddy Awesome is gone. Home made Playdough.

Fourth, How to get off your butt: Look at this poster.

Now, go and be awesome.

So this is love...

John's been out of town. But as he was leaving the Charlotte airport, he got me a present.

I think I'm in love.

Go out of town anytime honey; 3 days with the kids alone, is so worth it for that Jamba.
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