Sunday, February 28, 2010

Weekly Challenge #9

Try something new. Clean or organize an area in your house that you have put off. Again, would love to hear from you and what you do.

How did last week go with trying something new? It was great to hear what some of you did. Heidi tried a new hairdo today (her clogging lesson was put on hold because the lady's husband is very ill). Maddy skied for the first time and made it down the big slope by herself at the end. Jodi learned how to refinish furniture and distress it. Jessica snowboarded for the first time. When I asked how it went she said, "I'm sore." She'll try it again. She's a fellow skier. I learned from Carol (and got some tips from Sherri's cookbook) how to work with fondant and how to make roses with frosting. Carol did all the decorating on the cakes for Annie's first birthday party (she is so talented).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Magic String.

I love this stuff. You can get it at Michaels or probably any craft store. It's great when you don't know the exact size of someone's wrist when you want to make them a bracelet. Apollo has made someone a bracelet before with it. Just make sure the bead holes aren't too tiny for the string to fit. I tie about 4 tight knots to make sure it stays. I made this bracelet for a friend's birthday.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Edible Paint.

Fun and easy to prepare. Just make the instant puddings as normal but added water instead of milk. Put food coloring in and let set over night in the bowls (they still won't be as firm as with milk but it makes great "paint". I wrote the names of the kids on the plates and let them have at it. I brought out a bunch of different sprinkles for some beautiful artwork. The kids had a blast. Afterward, I brought out a soapy bucket for all of them to clean off.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Orange Julius.

6 ounces frozen orange juice
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs sugar
6-10 ice cubes

Blend in a blender, adding ice cubes one at a time until the right consistency.


It's easy enough for little helpers. I tell him to find the O N button and the O F F button and he likes to add all the ingredients. It's fun to have little ones in the kitchen. I remember when Apollo was tiny sitting on the counter. I would put my hands over his to pour out the ingredients and count everything ("2 cups...") out. I would have to constantly give him toys to keep him entertained while I cooked. It's been like a marker to watch him grow. I could see him stirring by himself, standing on a stool now, counting, beating the ingredients, etc.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weekly Challenge #8

Try something new. We decided to leave this open on purpose. We would love for anyone reading this post to try it and let us know what you come up with this week. Try a new skill, restaurant, recipe, book etc. Heidi talked about a lady (her husband was recently taken to a nursing home) that clogs. Heidi and her girls tried her clogging shoes on and were dancing with the lady. Heidi's going to ask her to show her some moves this week. I'm going to try out my new crochet looms and making Annie's b-day cakes with Carol. I put a pic. of our practice run last week. I'll post the cakes we do next week.

How did last week go with going to bed by 10:30? Heidi said she realized how easy it is to go to bed early and wants to do it more often. It's hard for me because the kids are in bed and I feel so free and have so many fun things that I want to do...mostly chill. I always hate the brushing of the teeth and getting ready.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weekly Challenge #7

Go to bed each night by 10:30. Heidi said she goes to bed between 11 and 12 every night. I'm going to set my bedtime a little earlier because I consider it a late night if I stay up till 10:30 on a normal night (not going out). So...set a time that works for you.

How did last week go with choosing a quality to magnify? Heidi looked for Maddy to be a good listener and for Gracy and Marshal to be good helpers. I commented every time Apollo shared. It's neat to look for them doing something good. Apollo really eats up complements. Who doesn't? Carleton and I each set three goals a week. We're going to add a quality we want to magnify in our kids and point it out when we see it every week.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

No Mess Playgroup.

Apollo has been making bracelets for people. I always see my neighbor wear hers-so cute. He feels so proud and happy when he does. I brought out the colorful beads during his playgroup. Usually Apollo strings a string but as I grabbed the beads I saw the pipe cleaners and thought they might work. They could string them more easily without a mess and it can fit any size wrist. The kids had a lot of fun.

I love these "paints" (probably more like markers). The kids had fun and there was no mess to clean up. I put their name on their art so they had a pretty pic and a bracelet for mom when they picked them up.

For their last playgroups at the other kids' houses, they've been playing trains, celebrating a birthday, using glue and glitter, and this week they're making cookies for Valentines. Apollo has a good time and I look forward to it too:)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Weekly Challenge #6

Choose one quality to magnify in your child and/or spouse. This comes from "More Secrets to Happy Children". Kids become what we tell them they are. What you focus on is what you get. Some families focus on illness, for example, and always have sick kids. Some focus on complaining (while trying to make everyone happy), and always have grumpy kids.
Here is an exercise to try.
1. Choose the three qualities you most want your child to have (it could be anything-kindness to others, patience, gentleness, perseverance, cooperation, independence, creativity).
2. Take one of these qualities as your goal for this week.
3. Take note of every time your child shows this quality.
Comment sometimes, other times just simply notice. Make no negative comments at all. By the end of the week, you can be sure this quality will be on the increase. Point out only when the child does show the quality.

How did last week go cutting out sugar and flour? Heidi and I both said we noticed little ways that sugar creeps in each week without noticing. Sometimes I drink hot chocolate at night (and not count it as one of my two treats) or I'll get a strawberry lemonade when we go out. Heidi talked about not licking her fingers while making treats for her kids. Carleton and I went out for a church dinner and I had to give up my cheesecake. I'm really glad I did this. I worked hard to complete this challenge. It made me realize how I can keep cutting out bad foods in little ways. I want to keep eating well.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Challenge #5 Hair Accessories.

With Annie's birthday coming up, I've been working on some cute onesies and hair stuff for her. I wanted to give her a big package of everything I've been working on. I decided I always make things as gifts so I wanted to work on things for Annie. Here's all the stuff I've been working on this week:

1. Black and Gray Flower. I didn't take pictures as I went because I just goofed around with it until I liked it. I'll just try to explain what I did if you want to try it out. I cut out a bunch of felt black petals (flat on the bottom) and smaller gray ones. I folded the petals in half hot dog style (the grays were touching and were inside of the the black petals) and sewed them just above the bottom to give them a 3-dimensional look. I cut out two round black felt circles for the center. I stitched (by hand) all the petals to the first circle (on top of it).

Then I stitched another circle on top to hide all the stitching. I stitched leaves on the back. I covered a clip with ribbon and hot glued it to the back.

Annie or I could wear this.

2. White Crocheted Flower. I made this for Annie awhile ago and just glued the clip on this week. I don't know a lot about crocheting but I just kept going in a circle. So they wouldn't get so bunched up, I added an extra loop on the chain. They're just three circles of different sizes. I stitched them together in the middle with normal thread.

I glued the clip to the back so I could clip it to Annie's headbands. White goes with most things.

3. Fabric Flowers. I made these earlier and just glued the clip on this week. I used the template from here to make the next three flowers. I followed the directions for the first and third flower, but for the second, I just put the flowers on top of each other. I did a little gathering stitch to make it not so flat looking.

I cut out an old bandanna to make this flower.

4. Easy Felt Flower. I hot glued a button on top of a tiny flower on top of a circle on top of a ribbon covered clip. No sewing.

5. Sweet Sweater Rosettes. Suzana bought these off Etsy. So cute. I made Lyla and Annie a headband out of gray tights (thanks Heidi Copa) by just sewing the ends together. It looked so cute with the white flower.

We followed this super simple tutorial here to make the same flowers. Instead of gluing the whole flower, like the tutorial said, I just hot glued every once in awhile and it stayed together nicely. Suzana just glued the bottom at the end and it worked well too.

It's so easy-perfect for the little crafter. After painting Lizzy's fingers (blue on one hand and foot and red on the other-I'm sure Kimberly was happy), she made a flower. Hard to mess up.

To make this black flower, I used the same tutorial for the center flower. The outside flower comes from a die cut flower. I just ran a a stitch through the flower and pulled/gathered it. I just glued the rose in the middle and glued the clip on the bottom.

6. Rose Barrettes. I went here for this rose barrette tutorial. I didn't feel like doing any sewing so instead, whenever the directions said to sew, I hot glued. It turned out cute. I did stitch around the leaf. I'm definitely going to make more in different sizes and colors.

It was so fun crafting with friends this week. The kids had just as much fun playing together.

Here are the pretty ones Heidi made this week. I'll have to get the low down on how she did them.