Wednesday, June 13, 2012

5 Things I Love ~

Why is it that every time R & K are with either set of grandparents and I have a few days to do whatever I want everything breaks. Last summer while they were at the farm with my parents my computer crashed and there went those few days of digi scrapping. Yesterday I was cleaning out my closet and I came across an unfinished piece of red work embroidery I had stitched a few years back and decided I would get my machine out and make a little wall hanging out of it. It's been a while since I've done any free motion quilting, but it's kinda like riding a bike and it didn't take long to get the feel for it again. However, my machine had other ideas, like skipping stitches. After a desperate call to my sister-in-law and a few failed attempts at Googling the problem, nothing I did to remedy the problem worked. I finally resigned to the fact that I would have to take my machine in for an overhaul.

So far my computer is acting ok (someone knock on wood for me please,) and I've been able to complete the second lesson in the Jessica Sprague class I'm taking.

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's the Love that's in it ~

So as I sit here typing this, my house is extremely quiet; the only sounds are the air conditioner and the fridge. Oh and the sound of my spoon clanking on the side of the bowl of homemade ice cream I am eating. We had friends over last night for burgers, brownies and homemade ice cream. After an hour long search for our ice cream freezer, I made a trip to WallyWorld to buy one. For the life of me I have no idea where that freezer is. I'm pretty sure last night was my first time to make ice cream in about five or six years. Anyway, I was skeptical but it turned out pretty good and over homemade brownies...yummo! There is a reason I don't make ice cream. You got it ~ I have zero self control when it's in my house.

My mom and her sister came over today and we sat up "T's Beauty Shop." My mom is a licensed beautician and worked her fingers to the bone to put my dad through college. She worked until I was about four and then became a stay-at-home mom. When I was in high school she instructed me on how to give her a perm and haircut. I must say I'm pretty good and if need be, I could probably go to cosmetology school and make a go of it. Everyone might end up looking like my mom but oh well. :)

The kiddos decided they wanted to go back to the farm with Nana today, so we loaded up the Tahoe (and I do mean loaded up ~ K has to take everything but the kitchen sink with her when she goes places. I'm sure if she owned an American Girl Doll sink, she would have taken it.)

These are just the toys she took; their suitcase is up front. She comes by it honestly though. My mom does not travel light and is a master at packing the car. We used to travel to my grandparents' house for Christmas on Christmas Eve and my mom somehow managed to pack all the luggage and gifts in the trunk of our old blue Buick. I'm still not sure how she pulled that off; Christmas magic I guess.

So as we were loading up the Tahoe, K was telling me how she hoped Nana would make spaghetti while they were there. My mom makes the BEST spaghetti sauce ever and the kids love it. I think she could feed them that spaghetti for every meal and they would be happy. I told her I thought she was planning on making spaghetti while they were there. K said, "I wonder what she puts in it that makes it so good. I bet she uses a special ingredient." I said, "I bet you're right and you know what I think that ingredient is?" Without skipping a beat she said, "Love, because love makes everything special."

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Digi Page ~

For the last six years I have been dabbling in digital scrapbooking. I took an intro to digi class and was immediately hooked. K was almost mobile and the thought of two children in the middle of all my scrapbook supplies did not appeal to me. R had given me Photoshop Elements for Christmas not really knowing that he was "feeding the beast." It has definitely been a slow learning process for me. I'm one of those people that has to use it or I lose alot of times when I sit down at the computer I'm having to re-learn what I should already know. Last year I bit the bullet and invested in full Photoshop. I love it, but I feel like I know a slight fraction of all the program has to offer. I listen to this awesome little podcast called The Digi Show and have learned so much. It was here that I learned about the classes from Jessica Sprague. I decided the best thing to do would be to start with the beginner Photoshop class. I figured that even if it was only a refresher of what I already knew, it would be worth it. I feel like I got my money's worth within the first five minutes of the video lesson. I am loving this class and have decided to post the layouts I'm doing right here on my little blog. I hope you enjoy them and if you decide you might want to try out the whole digi thing I highly recommend these classes!

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Life Skill Learned ~

About a week and a half ago my washing machine went kaput. I've had this same machine for 10 years and we've had it repaired about five times, so when I went to put a load of wash in and found the agitator floating in the tub, we decided it was time to upgrade to one of those fancy HE washers. Who knew that purchasing a new washer/dryer set would spark such excitement in our children. The next day R & K did laundry all day. It was like that laundry fairy people are always talking about on FB had shown up and sprinkled magic dust on my kiddos. Of course I supervised, but they did most of the work. It. Was. Awesome!

Fast Forward to the present day...R has finally decided that earning his own spending money might be kinda cool, so after much negotiations we have come to monetary agreements. I won't go into the details, but let's just say among other things, he is my new laundry man. As a mom I've had this worry that my children will grow up and leave home without certain skills; being able to do their own laundry being one of them.

Putting a picture of my laundry room in such a disaster is quite horrifying; however, this picture is important to the story. My type A personality has had to take a backseat to teaching my children this life lesson. Every ounce of my being wants to dive in and sort it all into neat little piles. I've tried to tell R how I do things...he's not interested in hearing it. He wants to do it his way and his way is making me CrAzY. We went to WalMart today and bought one of those hamper dillies that has four separate hampers. I think hope this is going to help.

I bought R a notebook the other day so he could write down all of his chores and what we have agreed to pay. I am the world's worst when it comes to having cash on hand to pay my kids for the work they do around here. What we've decided is his notebook will serve as a kind of bank register. He has down how much money he has and when he buys something (Legos yesterday, sunglasses today,) he writes it down making sure to also write down what he purchased. It seems we've finally found a system that is going to work for us. This makes me very happy!

So today as he was loading the washer with towels I told him it might be a good idea to go check the hampers and gather any towels that might have been used since he sorted the laundry two days ago. He was very disgusted with this idea and said, "If I have to check the hampers every time I start a load, I will never get caught up." I almost fell on the floor laughing...instead (very melodramatically kinda like what you would see in a reenactment of Romeo and Juliet) I said, "Welcome to my world child!"

Another funny thing that happened the other day:  while the kids were doing laundry together, K said, "Mom, why haven't you ever told us doing laundry was so much fun?"

I owe much thanks to Whirlpool for creating such a magnificent machine that has not only made laundry fun for my two little workers, but now I have the peace of mind in knowing that someday they will be able to wash and wear clean clothes. :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Book Love ~

We have been going ninety to nothin' this week. I'm exhausted, so what do I do? Clean out a closet of course.

Technically this is a linen closet, but when we moved in, the logical thing to do was turn it into the game, puzzle and book closet. It's been driving me batty for a while now. Whenever someone (including me) grabs a book or game out of there, it always gets crammed back in ~ no rhyme or reason. K has had a pile of books in the floor of her room forever that has needed to be dealt with. So while I tackled the closet she started organizing her room. Little did I know where this little project was going to take me...

That's right ~ right down memory lane. When I picked up "Big Truck and Little Truck" I got a lump in my throat. This was one of mine and R's favorite books when he was two. It's a precious story about well, a big truck and little truck. The illustrations are beautiful...tear. Then I came across "Cars and Trucks and Things that Go." This was by far R's favorite. My good friend Audrey gave it to him on his first birthday. I bet we read it a thousand times. He learned his colors by reading "What Makes a Rainbow." I remember my friend Krista telling me it was fun to insert our kids names into the stories we read, so I did. I can still hear myself reading..."What makes a rainbow?" asks Little R. "Well, let's see," says Mama Rabbit. "What makes a rainbow?" Such sweet memories...

Then I came across K's favorites. She's always been a texture girl and loved "Millie Moo" with all the crazy pictures and fun textures. She could recite "Eight Silly Monkeys" by heart. I can still hear her sweet little two year old self reading along with me. "Ten Little Ladybugs" was a fun story. Once she had it memorized she would mix it up and say the wrong insect on the wrong page and then bust out laughing. She's always been able to crack herself up. And then there's "The Foot Book." This one is fairly new to our library. She picked it out at B&N about half way through first grade and read it nonstop for weeks. It helped her feel very successful in her new adventure called reading.

"Just In Case You Ever Wonder" should be in every parents library. Just my opinion. K loves "Click, Clack Moo" and a little book she calls "Stripe Girl." It's about a girl who is always trying to please other people and is afraid that if everyone knows she likes lima beans they will make fun of her. It's a great story about being yourself and the illustrations are amazing.

The Wimpy Kid books were R's first "favorites" as an independent reader. I admit they're not literary genius, but they are super fun to read. Way to go Jeff Kinney!

And here it weakness. I love "The Berenstain Bears." If I come across one we don't have, I buy it. Well, I used to. Sadly, R & K have about outgrown these adorable little books. This one where the bears go to the dentist was K's favorite which is pretty ironic since her first experience having to go to the dentist was slightly traumatic (for all of us.) I counted. We have 41 Bears books. I can't bring myself to put them in storage yet, so for now they will stay safe and sound in the top drawer of the book closet.

And here it is...all nice and neat for now. It won't look like this for long and that's ok; that just means books are being read and games are being played.


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