Monday, January 28, 2013

Paracord Fun

This weekend Big K and I dug out the paracord that she got for Christmas and finally decided to make some bracelets!

If you don't know what paracord is here is the Wikipedia explanation: Parachute cord (also paracord of 550 cord) is a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during WWII. Once in the field, paratroopers found this cord useful for many other tasks.
These bracelets have been pretty popular and you can find them all over the place. We have bought quite a few, but being the crafty person that I am ... I just had to make some myself. Thank goodness that Santa brought Kaelyn some cord and some buckles so we were set.

Paracord comes in fantastic colors, and of course we have all kinds of pinks! Our cord didn't come with any instructions, so thankfully, I survive off of YouTube instructional videos. We found some great videos by Chaotic Thinking and followed along. We made the basic one color paracord bracelet as well as the Solomons Heart.

Hope you enjoy my photos, and if you make some of your own, please send me pics! If you would like to purchase them, you can check out my Facebook site and place an order there!

One color:

Two Colors:

Solomon's Heart

All three lined up:

Here is his video that I followed! /div>

It's not always Sparkles and Glitter

It's true. It isn't always sparkles and glitter around here! Some days are full of TV and naps. That was today.

I have read the blogs. I am on Pinterest. I dream of being the mom that finishes projects that she starts - to PERFECTION. But, it just isn't going to happen. That isn't me. And my therapist said I should be okay with that. Just kidding ... maybe ... :). 

Today was a perfect example of that. I woke up and got the girls ready and on the bus as I usually do. I sat Baby K in her high chair with her banana, cereal, and milk. Then, I sat down to my laptop to catch up before she was finished. Then it started. I was sucked in. I started reading a funny article written by another Mom Blogger ... and continued to another ... which lead to another. Then, The Hubbs walked in and caught me at the computer while Baby K giggled with delight as she threw her Fruit Loops to the dog. Whoops, I guess I missed that.

I got up to redeem myself and shooed the dog outside. I got Baby K down and cleaned her up. The Hubbs got in the shower to get ready for the day and I sat down to turn on Sesame Street for Baby K. He finished getting ready and caught me snuggling her on the couch. Baby K isn't much of a snuggler, so I have to catch my moments when I can. As a SAHM, days like this can happen. But, the trick is stopping it quickly before absolutely NOTHING gets done for the day. Lucky for me, today's trick was a dentist appointment.

At the dentist, I had to get two fillings replaced which meant fully numbing the left side of my face. (That was entertainment for all who spoke with me the rest of the day!) The Hubbs went grocery shopping after he dropped me off for my appointment and afterwards we picked up some lunch and met with my Aunt and Uncle who dropped by. After they left, my head was pounding so I took some Aleve and told him I was going to lay down for a few (whoops, there went my productivity). Those few minutes turned to hours ... so thank goodness I never specified which I meant when I warned him of my nap (don't worry, I had a great dream about all sorts of sparkles and glitter!). He continued being amazing and picked up the big girls from the bus and cooked dinner! (We make a great team. When I am extremely unproductive, he is an overachiever!).

J had gymnastics after dinner so that meant getting NOTHING done around the house! Every time I passed the family room, my knitting projects called out to me ... but I had to decline the invite. (Declining the invite to fold the laundry was much easier!)

After all the girls were in bed, I met up with another friend. Some of you may know him, his name is Adam Puchte. He is extremely convincing when you need to shush those inner voices that keep telling you to do something. Here is a picture of Adam at my house: 

So, we can all figure out how much was done around here after Adam and I hung out. And now I can truly say these words, "I am ok with that". Haha. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy Crafter!

I have decided to follow up yesterday's grumpy post with a happy one! So, ENJOY!

I have always loved blankets. Not only blankets, but quilts as well. Especially quilts. There is something unbelievably special about a quilt. Not the store bought ones, although they will keep you warm ... they are just different. There is nothing like curling up with a quilt that was given to you by someone you love. Knowing that they thought of you with every stitch. As a quilter (I will call myself one for now because yes, I have finished a few quilts of my own!) .. I know how many thoughts that adds up to!

This is Kaelyn's Cross-stitched quilt

Noah's ark fabric that I fell in love with and just had to have on the back!

I even used rainbow colors for the border to make it look like the rainbow God sent after the flood!

With my two older girls, I made them an easier blanket that went together fairly quickly and then quilted those with really big stitches (Jordyn's is still being quilted, but it is together ... Kaelyn's was finished before she was born). I also cross-stitched a quilt topper and backed it and quilted those as well. Kaelyn's I started when I was pregnant with her, but did not finish it until she was 6. I procrastinated a teensy bit on that one. Jordyn's I started and finished all the cross-stitching AND all of the quilting before I had her. So, yes, hers was done before Kaelyn's. In my defense, I was working full time and going to school when I was pregnant with Kaelyn and worked up until she was almost 3! Then, by the time she was a little over three and I was pregnant with Jordyn and couldn't wait to get started on a new one. But, either way, they are both finished now and I am so happy with the products (many, many pictures to follow). 

 This is Jordyn's cross-stitched quilt. I love looking at this one because I worked on it while Mike was at Boot Camp for the Air Force. It reminds me of how much I missed him and how happy I am that he doesn't have to leave us for long periods of time anymore.

This is the stars and moon fabric that I found for the back. It matched PERFECTLY!

Then, along comes Kynslee! I actually started working on her blanket AND her cross-stitched quilt before she was born. Her blanket was cut out and machine quilted (quilt-as-you-go) before she was born, I just had to sew the pieces together. I finished it a few weeks after she was born. So, that wasn't too bad. Especially considering that she was 3 weeks early! So, in my opinion, I finished it right on time. The cross-stitched blanket I chose is a bit harder. With the two older girls I found a "quilt topper" that is just the top material stamped with your cross-stitch pattern. With Kynslee, the one I wanted to do for her, was the pre-quilted kit that I really do not care for. The fabric seems stiff and scratchy and it is already backed with boring white. With my older girls, I found fabric that went along perfectly with the theme of the cross-stitching on the front, and I wanted the same for Kynslee's. 

Here is the stock photo of Kynslee's cross-stitched quilt.

This is the fabric I chose for the backing.

It is hard to see, but this is the sparkly fabric I found for the front!

My mom had mentioned that her friends have felt the same way and purchased nicer fabric. Then they used a light box to trace the X's from the pre-quilted to the fabric of their choice. I picked out a really cool princess kit and then found some sparkly white fabric that looks perfect for a princess. Then, while I was pregnant, spent days upon days drawing these X's. You really don't realize how many there are until you are drawing each one. Anyway, task complete and now it is time to start the stitchin'!

Here is a picture of all the x's I transfered.

The rest of the pictures are of the blankets that I made for each daughter. I am so pleased with each one of them!

This is Kynslee's Kitty rag quilt. It is machine quilted as you go. And, MASSIVE! 

She was a little over a month and a half in this picture!

This is Kaelyn's. Feels like ages ago when I made this. Almost 10 years!!

This is the back. I also made a matching bear. I should find him!

And, this is Jordyn's. I used different textures of fabrics for this one. It turned out great. The picture doesn't do the colors justice. I really need to take a better one. But this is good for now! This one is all backed and pinned together. I even have a line quilted. It won't take long once I get to it. I just have so much other stuff to work on. Like, blogging! :)

I absolutely love the buggy fabric on the back. I bought that before I even had a project in mind. I saw it and loved it and bought 4 yards ... just so I would have it! And I found a perfect use for it!

So, anyway, those are it for now. Thank goodness I am only having 3 kids! I can only imagine how my Mom feels! She made quilts for each of us growing up. She also made one for each of us when we graduated college and another on our wedding day. Just when she thought she could make some for herself, we gave her 9 grandkids! (hey, come on, we spread them out over 11 years). Her quilts are awesome - I will have to collect those and make a post dedicated to her awesome work ... she is the reason I am so crafty! ( My husband blames her, I thank her! ) Such an awesome talent to have. Off I go to work on my awesomeness.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

What makes me a good Mom!

I haven't written in a few days ... OK, maybe it has been over a week. Whoops! I have been completely checked out. Not sure what was going on. Pure exhaustion and pain. And honestly, very little brain function ... thus, no blog post. But, I am back, and full of wisdom and thoughts. OH BOY, I hope you are ready!

Even though I haven't been writing, I have been reading. Reading up on lots of blogs. I really enjoy reading what others think and feel about being a mother, or a wife, or a crafter. 9 times out of 10 I really get something out of what I read. Insight on what I could do better, or even sometimes a pat on the back for something I feel I am doing right!

Then, there is that 1 time out of 10 that I stumble upon a blog posting that really bothers me. Something that really doesn't help anyone better themselves or really shed a positive light on life. All the blog post does is glorify the writer. Now, I completely understand where blogging can kind of be a "look at me" type of land. Just like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace (does anyone still use this?) ... it is a great way to show our accomplishments, praise our loved ones and keep in touch. I use these for all of the above ... and even to brag on how I have the best husband in the world, but only of course, because I do in fact, have the best!! (hope you are reading this Mike). But, some go beyond.

I have noticed this in life lately also. A few different groups of Moms that I have been with seem to get like this too. Conversations almost turn in to a competition between Moms and/or Wives, especially those that stay at home. It turns into a "Well MY husband does this, or MY kid can read and he is only 2 or MY house is SO big or MY car is SO great!" If your husband has a great job, I am the first to congratulate you! If your son/daughter can read by 2, that is incredibly impressive! If you have a huge house or big expensive car, good for you! That is awesome! But does that make you a better mom or wife? I can understand these things coming up in conversation, but does it need to be the introduction or basis to discussion? I don't believe so!

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not coming at this from a place of jealousy. Trust me. My husband has a great job that allows me to stay home with our three daughters. Our oldest was easily reading by the age of 3 and memorizing books cover to cover before that. (our youngest will be lucky to read by 2nd grade -- just joking .. I hope!) We have a decent size house, well at least what I consider decent (especially when I am cleaning it ALL THE TIME). 2,000 sq ft upstairs and a full 2,000 sq ft downstairs (unfinished at the moment but the upstairs is plenty large for our family of 5). I drive a nice SUV, our kids go to great schools and we can afford to dress them in nice clothes(maybe a size or two small) and feed them at LEAST once a day! (again, just kidding.)

I guess the point I am trying to make here is that people are different and want different things. I don't understand how hanging out with a bunch of Moms turns into a competition (maybe it is the catty girl trapped inside of us). It really shouldn't! Tonight, I had a great time hanging out with a group of women, most of which were Moms. They were all wives of some of the men my husband works with and they all have the opportunity to stay at home. We had a great time giving advice of "this helped me when I potty-trained mine" type of advice, not "well, mine was potty-trained by 6 months". (darn it Kynslee, you are 7 months and still in those diapers?!?!)

The only thing in my list of what I have that makes me a better mom to MY children is that my husband has a great job that allows me to stay home with them. And, I say a better Mom to MY children because that doesn't work for every family. Some Moms do more for their family by having a job OUTSIDE of the home. I have said it in many of my previous posts that God put me on this great earth to be a wife and a mother. It doesn't make me any better or worse than the next Mom/Wife ... just different. It works for my family. And, on top of all that, I am NOT in high school anymore. The bragging and boasting on what I have and you don't seems like high school garbage to me. Maybe even worse, Jr. High. I am certainly beyond that. And I am trying to instill much better view points in my child. What you have or don't have does NOT make you a better person. It is who you are on the inside. It is how you make others feel when you are around ... that is what makes people like you.

I think as women and mothers and wives, we need to come together as a support group!Our husbands, as much as they do for us, just don't understand how a woman feels on some things.  I guess that is what I envisioned a "moms group" to be! I am a part of our local MOPS group and I have just that with them. The moms are so inspirational and helpful. No one brags about what they have or what they can afford. It is just a group of women, getting together to support one another through the harder parts of motherhood. And there to be joyous together in times of happiness! My Bible Study group is this way as well. I don't feel like I am any better or worse of a mother than them when I am around them. We can talk about things that really matter!

Maybe these groups are different because the first and foremost reason we are together is God. We pray for each other and put Him first in our meetings. Maybe I am wrong, but that is what I am noticing.

Anyway, so enough of my ranting for now. I know most of my other postings were more positive and upbeat but this blog is for me to write about my feelings and my views and my opinions. And, this is one that has been weighing heavily on my heart and my brain. So, now I got it off my chest and I can breath again!!

Does anyone else notice this in their playgroups? Am I the only one? Does it feel like a big competition or am I reading to far into these conversations? Let me know your thoughts!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Schizophrenic Crafter

So, I originally started this blog to write about my weight loss journey and crafts. Well, it has turned into a blog about the girls and my marriage more than anything. But, that is how life works. We set out to do one thing, and end up doing another thing. Get on one path and find ourselves finishing at the end of a completely different path. Or is that just me?

 I really do have a disorder when it comes to crafts. Take for example 2 weeks ago, I headed to my Aunt and Uncle's for a night away with the girls. My girls really enjoy going to their house to play with games and awesome toys from the 80s (remember the original little people? and waffle blocks? and tinker toys!) and watch old "Ramona" videos. You know, the ones that were on PBS - NOT staring Selena Gomez. (although I think she is awesome too) I think they have worn out the VHS copies and they ALWAYS get to peek at home videos from when I was a little sassy thing running around with my even littler cousin. That always gives a good chuckle. Anyway, the kids are entertained by my Aunt and Uncle and my Cousin K and I usually get to escape the crazy house for a bit.

This time we headed to a really fun knit shop: Knit One, Weave Too. We walk in this old town shop and it is stuffed with yarn. It was AMAZING. (please note that I have a really hard time walking by anything with texture and not touching it. Just ask my husband. In any home store, I must touch every towel, rub every blanket and squeeze every pillow that we pass). So, you can only imagine me in a knitting store stuffed with YARNS of all different textures! I went in looking for a particular yarn to make some slipper socks. Something that I could wear OVER my socks since I can not seem to keep my feet warm since I had Kynslee. I would pick up a skein and find it simply irresistible and instantly have a new project in mind. Then, I would remember what I was there for and put it back. Only to find another 2 skeins that I MUST HAVE ... not sure why, but they feel so soft, and the colors, oh my. After about 45 minutes of touching and picking up and having 10 different projects running through my mind, I end up with some really soft thin yarn that goes from pink to yellow and back to pink. I also pick up a crochet hook because it looks really cool. Also, I bought some stitch holders for knitting (not sure what project I need those for, I am sure I will find one).

After we leave the knit shop (not by choice, they were closing), we realized I still did NOT have the yarn for my slipper socks. So, we head to Michaels. Same scenario plays out in this store. I must have picked out yarn for 10 different projects before settling on 2 different brown yarns to make Kynslee some knitted baby UGGS. I decide that I will make my slipper socks out of some yarn at home. Oh, well. This happens quite often. I really should stay out of craft stores and use up the stash of things that I have at home.

Anyway, 2 weeks later, I finally finished my slipper socks that I set out to make. And, no, I have NOT used that ball of yarn I bought from the knit store, and I have NOT used the yarns that I bought at Michaels. I did, however, find some cool yarn at Wal-Mart (while grocery shopping of course) and used that for the slipper socks.

And, I used the crochet hook to make a cute headband for Kynslee out of some yarn I already had.

Cost of the yarn and stitch holders I bought at the knitting store that have gone unused: $11.99
Cost of the gas to get to the store over 20 minutes from my cousins house: $3.29/gallon
Cost of 30 minutes in a store full of yarn to feel and squish and let my crafting imagination run wild: Priceless! ( and I would do it again, and probably will ... again, and again!)

So, do any of you fellow crafters find yourself doing the same thing? On a mission to purchase items for one project and come home with supplies to make 3 more different projects? Or is this just me?!?! :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In Everything Be Thankful

Psalm 7:17
I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High.

I have to admit. I have been pretty awesome to live with lately.

And by awesome ... I mean: A.W.E.S.O.M.E.


I don't know why I get like this. I guess it is just a time for reflection. It hasn't been long that I have been this way. Just a few days. And it isn't even the whole day that I am like this, just spurts of the day. And it is really only to Mike. And I am pretty sure it feels like to him ... it has been DAYS of complaining. But, it really hasn't been, has it?

I was folding like 5 loads of laundry today, after a great workout ... and I was starving. So, everything was starting off sour. I was having a pout fest because Kynslee was napping and I just knew by the time I was done putting the enormous amounts of laundry away, she would wake up. In my head I was yelling, "Why am I the only one folding this laundry?" "Why didn't anyone help me wash the dishes last night?" "Why was I the only one worried if the girls bathroom was clean?""It would be so much easier if it was just MY laundry I had to put away!"

Then, after I snapped at my husband a bit later when he nicely asked if I wanted a GNC Total Lean Protein Shake. (Which, by the way, is awesome. I will post the recipe at the bottom of this post). Anyway, I snapped at him and said something like, "No, thanks! It is too late for breakfast. I am starving (which made no sense why I wouldn't want to eat). Kynslee is going to be up soon (since I don't eat when she is awake?!?!)." After the words spilled from my mouth, I suddenly felt stupid. And it just kept coming. (the stupid feelings that is, not more verbal vomit) Anyway, after I spurted that out, Mike asked what I was upset about.

I snapped again, "I only put away 5 loads of laundry ... BY MYSELF. Cleaned up our bedroom and the bathroom AND AND AND ... that was it."

Mike's response, "You were doing all that? I thought you were showering and getting ready for the day. I had no idea. Why didn't you ask for help?"

All that time I spent thinking horrible things. Like he was sitting in the family room just laughing it up because I was in the bedroom by myself folding mountains of laundry. I do this to myself. I wash and wash and wash and don't put it away as it is finished. I wait until the laundry baskets are overflowing and can't hold anymore clean and folded laundry before I finally sort it all into personal laundry baskets and send them off to each room. Every week I have every intention of washing/drying a load and putting it away instantly. That NEVER lasts.

As I finished up my chores for the day, I started thinking. All these chores that I really don't enjoy doing, I go about the wrong way. I am so negative when I am doing these things. But why? I really don't have that much to do around here. Our house stays pretty clean. Dusting doesn't take long. Takes a few extra minutes to steam mop the hardwood through the house and ceramic in the bathrooms. What would I rather be doing? Working? Because a few years ago when we moved into this house, I was so thankful to finally have a place of our own again ( we lived with my in-laws for 18 mo while we got situated in a new town and built our new home), I vowed to take pride in my cleaning. I vowed to take pride in taking care of my family. Because that is the job I dreamed of when I was little. Since I was a small child playing "babies" I knew there was nothing that I wanted more in this life than to be a wife and a mother. That is what God put me on this earth to be. A mother, a wife, a friend, a laundry lady, a cook, a teacher, a nurse ( I can put on a good bandaid), and a nurturer. I am good at all of these things.

My husband says, "If you are going to take the time to do a job, you might as well be good at it and take pride in it."

That statement couldn't be more true. I am living the life that I dreamed of when I was a little girl. I never sat and daydreamed about my wedding day. I didn't want to be a doctor when I grew up. In my head, I pictured me, taking care of a family and cooking for them and cleaning for them.

Some people might say, "be careful what you wish for" (which is me some days ... like today) ... but tonight, I am thankful. Thankful that God heard me way back then and gave me everything that I wished for. But, what do I do when I see my girls dreaming of their future? I might make sure to have them add in a housekeeper to their vision! ;)

1 scoop of GNC Total Lean - Swiss Chocolate - 90 Calories
1 cup Milk - 50 Calories
1 TBSP Peanut Butter - 95 Calories
1/2 Banana - 50 Calories
2 TBSP - Davinci Gourmet Caramel Syrup - 0 calories ( i found this stuff in the coffee creamer section at walmart)

Put it in a blender for 1 minute. Then Add a cup of ice and chop it so it is a smoothie texture and drink. It is so amazing. And, I am in no way doing a promo for this product, I just have really found it helps with my calorie intake for the day and it also keeps me full!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Quiet On The Homefront

So, nothing much has happened since "The Destroyer" was sunk. (refer to previous Battleship post if confused) J was the only one really hit with the bug and I am not really convinced it was the flu after all. She did throw up through the night, but the next morning slept and slept and by early evening she was back in Jordyn mode. I, however, was left exhausted.

No one else caught it. At least yet. I got a nauseous a few times and took a few extra naps  might have closed my eyes a few times. I think the thought of having my entire family sick, and Mike leaving me here sick and taking care of little humans ... made me sick. Mike won't call in for anything. It could be 6 inches of snow, whiteout conditions, him have bronchitis AND no sleep ... and that man will still drag himself in to work. He is my hero. Me, I get a tiny sniffle and I am ready to pull the covers over, close the shades and sleep it off. Call me in sick to work ... oh wait, I CAN'T call in sick. My little humans reFUSE to give me a day off.

Anyway, enough rambling on and on about non-sense. I decided instead of sitting around waiting and hiding from the flu ... we were going to take back the house. Mike worked a 12 today (his normal shift) so I got the girls off their butts and we picked up the house. We dusted, washed dishes (oh don't get me started on why my dishwasher doesn't work and how we bought a brand new house with brand new appliances so we wouldn't have to deal with anything broken ... at least for a few years. doesn't this house know we can't fix ANYTHING?) .... oh whoops, where was I ... Oh yeah. So, we dusted, washed dishes, vacuumed, cleaned out the fridge, emptied trash cans ... wait, where were all the bathroom trash cans?!?! We couldn't find them. I told the girls to empty them and they weren't in the bathroom. Oh yeah, they were strategically placed throughout the house with plastic Wal-Mart bags in them ... just in case someone couldn't make it to the bathroom in time to throw up. Didn't need an incident all over a couch or carpet again.
That's another thing. Our furniture that we spent extra on the protection plan. Another thing to not get me started on. Well, I am started. I called the company. I told the lady what happened the night before (since they were closed right after J got sick). Here is our conversation.

(Her)"Well did you wipe it up?!?! We need to see pictures of the damage."

Really? You are going to ask me if I wiped it up? Of course not. I have 3 children and a dog. I went ahead and left it all on the couch awaiting further instruction.

(what I really said) Yes, we cleaned it all up. It was really bad. 

(her) Did you take pictures first?

Our 5 year old daughter is continuously throwing up all over and shaking scared, the dog is trying to jump in the mess, the baby is freaked out because we are flipping out, Mike is covered, I am standing in shock at it all and the first thing we think of is ... "Honey, grab the camera, this is a photo op!"

(me) silence -- no words can form for this conversation right now. I just wanted to ask her if she was a mother. I don't care what damage has been done to my couches. I don't care what else is going on. When my baby (even though she is 5 and will tell you quite frankly she is a BIG KID) when my baby is crying scared because she can't catch her breath because she can't stop heaving ... I am NOT going to be taking pictures. I am going to be comforting her. I am going to be figuring out what to do next to make HER feel better.

(her) Ma'am? Are you there?

(me) Yes. And no, I didn't take pictures.

(her) Well, go ahead and take pictures of everything now and email them in. We will let you know in 7-10 days what to do. And, I am a mom. My baby has never gotten the flu. We are just healthy like that.

(me) Will do. thanks.

(what I really wanted to say was:) Why thank you for pointing out that great fact that you are healthy and we are not. Just wait until it hits your family. Let's see how many pictures YOU are taking in that moment.

Now, I understand protocol for her job. I can understand why they need pictures of the damage. I totally get that. But there has to be another way.

I just had to get that off my chest. Now, I can breathe easy because my Mother-In-Law so graciously dropped off her carpet/upholstery steamer. Luckily, because of the quick actions of my SuperHero Mike ... he got the covers off all the cushions and nothing got through to the core. The covers are washed and sitting in bags (as per instructions from the warranty dept). We are waiting our 7-10 days and see what to do next.

And in the mean time, keeping those trash cans near by, just in case.