May 27, 2014

A five minute project

If there is one thing I love involving laundry--it is hanging it out to dry on the line.  Baby clothes and even cloth diapers are my favorites to line dry.  But in the heat of the summer, I really love loading up and saving the dryer from running.  Because who really needs more heat in the house?

Not me.

I love going out first thing in the morning to get as much as I can hung up.  I love taking it down at dusk before the dew sets.  I love standing there in the breeze just thinking.  I find it calming.  And the savings on the energy bill and wear and tear on clothing is a bonus.  (Though I will say that I think more wear and tear comes from my awful washing machine but that's another post.)
See that decrepit bag there?  That's my clothespin bag.  I bought that thing eons ago.  Well, at least 13 years ago.  It holds my clothespins.  I need it.  But, it has definately seen it's last.  I've searched the Walmarts of the area to no avail.  I must make one myself.  The original design was kind of crummy to begin with.  The little hanger it came with broke almost immediatly and it wasn't a standard size hanger.

My five minute project to the rescue.

I had an old tablecloth I've been saving.  See that green marker?  That has rendered it useless for company and it doesn't fit my current table anyway.  I just cut off a hunk and folded it in half.  Enough for the length of my hanger plus a seam allowance.  (Trust me, I failed to account for that the first time around).

The width of mine is about 13 inches across.  Don't ask me the length.  I just eyeballed what I thought I would like.  My hanger is a child's sized one.

Before I did the standard sew-right-sides-together thing, I cut an opening in the front.  I didn't get a good picture of this.  I just folded the front piece of fabric in half and cut half an oval.  Then I zigzag stitched around the opening (if you have a serger, that would be even better).  Then I stitched right sides together, leaving an opening at the top for my hanger.  I just put to pins on either side of where I wanted to leave a hole.  If you notice, the hanger actually comes up a little off-center.  You could trim the corners (I did), turn right side out, and insert your hanger.  Viola!  (Even with my initial mess-up, this was a five minute project!)

A better seamstress would have made sure that green marker wasn't prominently placed in the opening, lol!
Oh well!

May 23, 2014

Whats happenin' here.

Otherwise known as a weeks worth of photos dumped at once. Yeehaw!

Monday.  Honestly, it was a crazy day.  I don't remember much other than I finally got the last piece on our new mailbox to replace the one broken to smithereens on Mothers Day.  Mostly I think we were just recovering from the weekend. Monday Monday!

Tuesday brought the first of our trips to the doc for the week.  For a couple rashes on the little two.  Oh hey, let's swab 'em for strep and whatdyaknow-- they got it.  Two rounds of pink stuff coming right up!

But, let's play fort with the table paper while we wait on that swab!  We have never had strep before.  Never.  So I find it oddly ironic that we have it and no sore throats, no fevers, just a couple itty bitty rashes.  Go figure!

Peter had two meltdowns when we got home and finally crashed to the tune of Winnie the Pooh on DVD.  Luckily, I brought cheeseburgers for the rest of the hungry crew so they could NOT meltdown at the same time.  Thank you, thank you, Mickey D's.
We rounded off Tuesday with some yard work.  This little dinky garden is kind of my fave right now.  St Francis needs another paint job.  And to stand up more often. Oddly, I think the bunnies knock him over.  He's kinda fragile.  This is a terrible picture, blurry and all.  Why yes, my baby is holding an old pop can.  Is there a problem with that?  When will I stop calling her "Baby"?  

Wednesday brought trip two to the pediatrician.  Yay for me!
We literally tried climbing the walls.  And yes, the Empire does Strike Back.  Gosh, my convo with Peter about these posters definately will go in a Funny post somewhere.  Bonus points if you noticed the poster before I said it.
Carrie finally figured out this slide.  That really had nothing to do with my day but, it is a happy thought so there you go.
Wednesday was kinda busy, just so you know. We brought home 25 Cornish rocks after the doc appt.

There was begging to swim.

So we did.  Peter too but he refused the picture partaking.
This one looks stinkin' cute even from the backside!  Here she's calling to her dada who happens to be planting trees.  40 beautiful 5-7ft trees with a shovel.  Yeah, he's a tired pup.  The grass was in process of being cut, you know.  DON'T BE SO JUDGEMENTAL!  haha!

Thursday was Elizabeth's actual birthday.  Read her fun interview here
In celebration, we decided to wash as many muddy cars as we could find in the bathroom sink with my good towels.
No really, we just decided to add more animals to the mix.  Because THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEEDED!  Isn't he so cute?  Totes adorbs!  C'est tres mignon!  Just call him "kitten substitute."
I forgot to mention that we started the week off by going cold turkey and gave up sippy bottles.  Now it is sippy cups only.  It is a very big difference.  Very. Big.  Mainly in that there are less milk spots on the floor and that Carrie would rather just have Peter's water bottle now.  So there you have it.  Look for a skinny and calcium depleted Carrie in the next post.

Alas, we have made it to Friday.  Praise the Lord!  Thank God it's Friday! (literally).

Seriously, people, this is why I barely blog.  I ain't got nuthin' to say and it is nuthin' but chaos 'round these parts.  It only took me two days to write this.  Ridonkulous.  I'm looking forward to a fun Memorial Day weekend, how about you?

May 22, 2014


Elizabeth turns seven today.  Seven!  As a fun little accompaniment to the pictures of her birthday party, I'm posting a birthday interview.

How old are you?  Seven.
How does it feel to be seven?  Old.
You feel old?  Yeah. (silly giggle).

What's your favorite color? Pink and purple.  That's two, what if you had to pick one? Purple.
What is your favorite thing to do?  Sit and talk with you.  Or play with Nicky.
Do you like having so many brothers and sisters? Yep!  Why?  Makes me feel like we have a big family.  Do you like having so many brothers?  No! I wish there were more girls!  Did you think you would always be the only girl?  Yeah.  I'm glad I have a sister.

What is your favorite memory of the past year?
Going to Yosemite.  That was two years ago.  Well, then, going to the beach.
What was your favorite part of going to the beach? Boogie boarding with Dad.  It was the first time I did that.

What do you want to be when you grow up?  A pet store owner.

What did you really want for your birthday?  A kitten.  Did you get it?  No.  Are you okay with that? No, no, no.

Who's your favorite saint?  St. Elizabeth  What do you know about her? I don't know.  (Patrick chimes in: It's because she has the same name!)

Birthday girl with dad and godparents.
Who's your favorite saint that you know something about?  St. Joseph.  What do you know about St. Joseph?  He married Mary.  What do you like about St. Joseph?  That he watched over Jesus.  I thought you would have picked Mary as your favorite.  Well, yeah, but I didn't really think of her as a saint.  Because she seems more special? Yeah.

What is something you want to do before you turn eight?  Go to California.  Learn how to read long words and stuff.  Then I could read long books like Lord of the Rings.

Birthday girl leading a round of Simon Says.

May 15, 2014


round button chicken

This girl can't help but be pretty.
We're getting a lot of use out of that dollar store crown Nana gave her for Easter!
Baby praying mantis. 
More on that in "Real."

Pretend safari rides around the yard.
Nathan is the tour driver, Patrick is the tour guide, the rest are anxious to see some dinosaurs.
They drove through some mud and screamed gleefully about being "covered in dinosaur poop!!"
I think Peter might have actually believed it.

I thought about putting this in "Real" to be "Funny."
But the funny is that it isn't real.
It's a fake.
A fake cake.
And my kids have asked me all morning if it was real and could they eat it.
Even fake cake is too tempting!
I'm still deciding whether or not to affix the flowers in the top.
And fake bread.
All for props for a play for the weekend!
A play based on The Weight of the Mass... if you are in the area and you want tickets, give me a call!

Ahhh... look at all those baby praying mantises!
Here's the funny about this real:  we have an egg case hanging out in a planter out back.  I was pretty sure it was old, as in--already hatched.  Then, we kept finding babies in the house.  At first, one or two a day then increasing up to twenty one day.  In the beginning, I was wondering if the same ones kept making it back inside.  Until we started hitting big numbers.

Then, I had an epiphany.
What if someone had put an egg case in the bug box?
(This is the box we put our dead finds.  Unfortunately, it was recently ransacked by Peter--we had some really neat butterflies, walking sticks, and we still have half the dragonfly.)
Alas, they had.  And it was in our school closet.
In the house.  In the kitchen.
In the bottom left corner, there are hundreds of teeny tiny babies that didn't make it out.
I can only imagine how many are tucked inside totes and books and bins in the closet!

Of all the bugs to take over my house, praying mantises would be my choice!
(Or maybe butterflies!)
All the living creatures still alive have been dutifully redistributed throughout the yard.
And the egg case put outside, just in case.

May 7, 2014


Simple moments are my favorite.

Carrie is looking at the camera.  Peter is not.  Peter gives Carrie a kiss.  They look at each other as if that is the funniest thing.  Carrie gives Peter a kiss.  Her version of one anyway. hops down and off they go!  Moment shared.  Moment over.

I always think, these are the moments I won't remember.  Sure, we'll remember the trip and the big events (mostly).  But we won't remember the 4 minute interlude of sweetness between siblings.  This is why I scrapbook, or blog or even take pictures.  To look back when they are 14 and 15 and mad at each other over some trivial thing and say--you were best friends then and you are best friends now.  And you always will be.


May 2, 2014


Nicholas, with all seriousness and wide eyes, "If we only had one spoon and Peter put it in the garbagecan then....we would have zero spoons!"  And just like that he zoomed through kindergarten math....we can just take next year off.

Livin' it up Nicholas style.
Patrick, studying a game box, "This says it comes with 48 pieces and I really hate that number.  48 is my least favorite number, I just hate the way it sounds."

I can honestly say I have never hated a number!!

Peter, "picture me!"  Okey've been pictured Peter bear.

Sisterly puddle jumping.

Liz asking for something she already heard no to, "Can I, can I, pretty please with a cherry on top?"
Nick, very dryly, "You know, cherries really aren't healthy."

Liz discussing what moms talk about... "They just talk about being pregnant and having babies and how cute babies are...."  Yeah, pretty much.  Us moms are boring.
Conspiring to raid Easter baskets.
Peter, screaming, "I ate my mouth!"  Me, "What?" Peter, holding his mouth, "I ate my tongue!!"  Me, "You mean you bit your tongue?"  Peter, all calm like, "Yeah."  Me, "That hurts!"  Peter, super calm, "Yeah. That hurts!"

Caroline schooling Nathan on the proper R/C parts.
Peter, being silly making noises, "blopbopbop blopbopbloppop..."
Liz, sternly, "Peter! Stop!  That's inappropriate!"  Um, okay.

May 1, 2014


round button chicken
I think I should call this the "almost all Caroline edition."
But, I won't.  At least, not officially.
The little crown was an Easter basket trinket from Nana.
She looks as pretty as a princess in it!
See "Happy."

My kids have always referred to a portion of our property as "Coral Rock City" because there were two huge hunks of rocks covered in fossils there.  When the pipeline came through, they took the rocks for some reason (I think they must have thought they put them there).  The advantage to having this now cleared swath of property is that it makes for easy access to a steep hillside and thus, findings of all sorts.  Like little springs in which to make little clay pottery.  Those of us who are "bigger" knew about such things all along but didn't encourage play there because you had to walk down the drive and up the steep hill.  Not a great activity for little people.  Now that they can come from the top (and stay at the top) it is much more peaceful for Mama to let everyone explore with no worries.
Those shells from "Pretty" came from little hunks of rock like these.  These are actually pretty fascinating.  Mostly because the "rock" can be picked at and you can unearth all those little bits of fossils.  A great way to spend some time if you are into fossils!

Ken and I were out couch browsing and Caroline decided she was going to be our little couch model.  Complete with a "cheese" and everything.  Totally cracked me up especially because her main interest seemed to be pulling all the price labels out of the plastic sleeves!

Everyone has seen too much of this real, I'm sure.  A delayed Easter celebration with Nana means the candy continues! Yay for children!  Boo for those of us tired of picking up pieces of plastic grass!  Truly, it is fun and well, Easter is 50 days.  Might as well live it up.

This real is that Caroline firmly believes herself to be big enough for the "big" swing.  Barely moving and she's thrilled to be hanging on all by herself!  Mom had a *sniff *sniff moment of she's getting too toddler-esque!  Growing up too fast! 

Visit LMLD for more fun!

Lenten update (40 Bags)

So I thought I would post a little update on our Lenten "plans" and how well they worked for us.  Mainly for myself!

40 bags in 40 days:  I managed to get 28 bags out of my house, not including a bike, a basketball hoop (full size, like new), and a garbage can full of stuff from the garage (courtesy of my husband).  Not too bad.  Out of my 40 "areas" to be cleaned, I only did 14.  But, I think I'm going to keep the list to refer to in moments of inspiration!

Working through the Baltimore Catechism:  We did fairly well at this.  I just scheduled this at afternoon snack time.  The biggest difficulty was that as the weather improved, my ability to keep them tied down to snack at any length decreased.  I think we are just going to continue to work through them.

Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure books.  I'm not sure I would buy these again.  On one hand, it is handy to have all the material available and not reliant on my printing something.  On the other, most of what is in the books can be found online.  And they were a little pricey.  I only bought one set so I was doing a fair amount of copying anyway.

Consoling the Heart of Jesus.   Still not done with it.  But again, I'm going to keep plodding along.  My goal was to be done with the book by Divine Mercy.  It didn't happen.  But other things did.  I was very convicted to pray the Divine Mercy Novena this year and the Divine Mercy chaplet.  And I succeeded.  So, fruitfulness there.

Giving up social media:  That went pretty well.  And I found I didn't really miss it.  I did check in on Sundays still and I looked forward to "catching up" but I was glad that I didn't feel a loss at not having it in my life.  Facebook and Instagram are things I enjoy, but certainly not an addiction or something I can't live without.
The kids all gave up assorted things: Coke, skittles, candy in general.  The big boys all gave up additional items like ipods, Wii, Xbox.  They all did pretty well.  The younger set decided that instead of a crown of thorns this year, they wanted to do the bean jar (which they saw in a Holy Heroes video).  The promise of jelly beans filling the jar was very motivating.  You can see ours on Easter morn above (I don't have a photo of the jar-in-progress even thought I did).

How did your Lenten plans go?  I'd love to hear about it!