Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Crazy Hat Day

My son is having Crazy Hat Day at school soon. Although he has what I would consider a few crazy hats already, he asked if I'd make him one. How could I resist? Here's what I made:His mouth is a little funny because he has a tooth barely hanging on by a root, and he keeps pushing it with his tongue.

A little close-up of the moon's face. I love sewing faces because no matter what you imagine and aim for, it always takes on a life of its own. The other side isn't as dear as this side is to me.

Little O got the idea of a sleep cap from one of his favorite movie's Thomas' Magic Railroad, and as soon as the hat was done, he ran downstairs with his cap on to play trains.

Of course, now I have to sew one for C and M. I have no plans to go out in this frigid weather, and sewing will be a perfect plan for the week.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Us 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Blog Title

It occurred to me that if you look at my blog title, you may think you are coming to a blog where you will find "expert" tips on homemaking. You may assume by the title that I have it together in this area.


Really the reason I thought of this title, was more of a reminder for myself. I am a self-proclaimed perfectionist. When anything in my life isn't perfect, I get very tense and stressed out. Obviously because I have three little kids, having a perfect, Better Homes & Gardens, home ain't gonna happen. Oh believe me, I've tried, and just got frustrated and mean in the process. When I'm parading around the house, screeching "can't anyone put things away! I'm sick and tired of having a messy house!" I'm not a nice wife and mother. I realized about a year ago, that things had to change, and that the change mainly had to happen in me.

By surrendering my perfectionism, it has actually been freeing. No longer do the kids things belong in the playroom. No, I want people to know this house is full of children when they walk in the door. This means I have baskets of toys all over, and kids' art hung on anything that a magnet will stick to or where tape can be applied without causing damage. The time for having a Better Homes & Gardens home will come, faster than I want it to. Some day, there will be no more pitter-pattering of chubby feet running on the tile floor. Some day, there will be no more finger prints on the sliding door from muddy hands. I am not looking forward to those days, so its given me a different perspective for these days.

When Christ died on the cross for my sins, He extended grace. By believing in Him, and accepting His free gift of salvation, my sins are forgiven and I can spend eternity with Him! Like it says in Isaiah, "Though our sins be as scarlet, we shall be as white as snow." Because of the blood of Christ, I am let off the hook for what I deserve.

I too want to extend grace when it comes to our home and our life. I suppose I could be perfect (like that is even a reality, but go along with me for means of an illustration), and demand and expect that everyone who is here (myself included) meet a standard that "I who am perfect" set. Or, I could be gracious and loving and let everyone (myself included) off the hook. See where I was going with this?

The first picture is my "formal" living room. I suppose it could be more formal and less "playroomish".

The second is my entertainment center. Yeah, I know!

The third is my loveseat in our family room. More days than not during the week that's what it looks like. I'm certain you won't be seeing that in Better Homes & Gardens!

These are three particular areas that have the tendency to drive me crazy. Yes, I'm working on getting a better system going, but in the meantime, is it worth having a conniption fit over? The answer is NO! With kids the ages of 19 months, 3 and 5, I am busy. I can spend my day fully devoted to keeping a perfect home, or I can spend time working on things that matter more, like being a loving wife and mother. A mother who without words leads her husband and kids to the Lord.

So, with the Lord's help, that is my goal, to be a gracious homemaker.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

This Makes This Carnivore Lose Her Appetite

Read this article.

Cloned meat? Um, no thank you. To think our government says its okay to eat. I don't know, I'm no expert here, but it just doesn't seem right to me. Blech!


Monday, January 14, 2008

Our Favorite Commercial

Any time this commercial comes on in our home, we all smile. And because I've been a mom now for 5 1/2 years, I didn't know there was an actual song and dance! Now the kids and I have something to work on during these long winter months!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Salad Bar

In an effort to actually use all my Tupperware that just remains stacked in my cabinet (had I known I prefer ziploc bags to containers, I probably wouldn't have made such an investment), I finally put to practice a great tip I've read over and over. That is to make your own salad bar so that when it comes time for a meal, everything is prepared and you just put it together.

My "brilliant" idea last night was to use the lunch meat keeper I have from Tupperware (don't know if that is the real name). It is one unit, in that it all snaps together, each layer being the lid to the container beneath, and it has a lid on top (see top picture - the one with the blue lid in the middle). This makes the most perfect salad bar! Knowing I have a salad-in-waiting all ready in the fridge makes life so much easier (and takes away the excuse that I don't have time to make a salad!)

Pig Tails and Police

I think if you have sons first and then a daughter, either you go over board with the girly stuff, or you forget you have a girl, and that there are so many wonderful things - like putting her hair up in pig tails! Of course, the times I do remember, she usually rips them out, but for some reason yesterday and today she's loving the pig tails - doesn't she look so cute!

Owen got this police costume from Grammie and Grampie for Christmas, and since he wants to be a policeman when he grows up, this is all he wants to play lately (Owen's favorite thing to play is dress-up). Today I kept him home from school again, as you can see, he just doesn't look great. But even though he still isn't feeling 100%, he's feeling well enough to play today at least, and I'm thankful for that!

We're supposed to hit a high of 61 today! I already have all the upstairs windows open (even though its probably only in the 40s right now), and plan on getting the kids out as much as possible. We all need fresh air desperately!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Asthma and a Crib Tent

Man am I overtired. In fact the whole house is. The last two nights have been interesting. For those of you who work the night shift - Dad, Megan, John - I applaud you. I don't know how you do it.

I've been up with sick children. All 3 of them. I guess the plus side is they are all getting it and getting over it at once, no lingering for a few weeks. In and out. Of course with my younger two it is always just a cold like anybody else, but when my oldest son gets a cold, yup his asthma kicks in in full force. This weekend was particularly tough for him poor boy. Starting Saturday night, we started the nebulizer. By Sunday afternoon when he wasn't even making it 2.5 hours without needing the nebulizer again, we went to Urgent Care. Better there on a Sunday afternoon than sitting in an ER in the middle of the night. When we got there, his oxygen levels were at 94, and they said it was very good we came when we did. He couldn't even catch his breath. You know when you over exert yourself and it takes a minute to catch your breath - imagine that for 24 hours or more!

As I was sitting in the Urgent Care exam room, and Owen was doing yet another nebulizer treatment, it hit me. My. Son. Has. Asthma. I guess year after year I've prayed and hoped and hoped and prayed that it would go away. Many doctors and people said, "oh when someone has asthma this young, they usually outgrow it. Well he's nearly 5 1/2 now, and it is as bad as ever. For a moment I felt sad and scared. But then I got to the place I need to be as his mom. I need to get more educated on how to treat this so that we aren't in Urgent Care or the ER every few months. You hear the commercials "I'm Living With Asthma" and its time for my son to Live wonderfully even though he has asthma. I'd like to find information on ways to treat (maybe even cure?) his asthma so he doesn't have to be on medicines all the time. If someone happens to read this that has such information, I'd certainly appreciate it.

On top of this, my dear little girl who is 19 months, starting diving out of her crib. Yeah that's right, not crawling out, but literally diving-throwing herself, headfirst. Ironically she didn't even start walking until she was 17 months old, so to be so physically agile kind of amazes me, but due to other wake-up issues with our sons, I'm not ready to try to get her to stay in a bed. I'm not against co-sleeping one bit (in fact most nights one or both of our boys ends up in bed with us!), but she's just terrible to sleep with as she wiggles all over the place. She sleeps much better by herself too. So, in order to keep her from breaking her neck, I ran to Babies 'R Us this morning and purchased one of these:

She didn't fall asleep for her nap so easily, but she did, and being she's my third child, I'm an expert mom (yeah right!) and know the crying lasts for only a moment and she'll get used to it eventually. I'll take a picture soon because she looks so beautiful actually, like a princess in a canopy bed. Of course my boys are insanely jealous and now want bed tents! We're thinking about it - maybe that will get them to stay in their beds too!

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Little Humor for Your Weekend

I got on a roll thinking of some funny book titles, and I thought I'd put them here so you too can enjoy the laughs I was having at myself today (it really is good to laugh at yourself, um, right?):

The Last Campfire
by Marsha Mallow

When It Doesn't Add Up
by Matt E. Matox

Life After Amputation
by Eileen Hattaway

Not Prepared for the Rain
by Noah Brella

Undecided Politics
by Eileen E. Dirway

The Wet Window
by Misty Payne

Halloween Activity Ideas For Dummies
by Bob N. D. Waters

The Eternal Procrastinator
by Tom Morrow

One Man's Impossible Dream
by Kenny Dewitt (Foreward by his brother Willie Dewitt)
(my husband helped me think of the foreward part)

And in an effort to use my kids first names, I came up with these:

When DIY Isn't Working
by Collin D. Prose

Help for Your Collicky Baby
by Owen Willie Staup

Can you tell I have a sick child and am going out of my mind! Have a wonderful weekend!

I Can't Wait for April...

....or whenever it is that it is national turn your TV off week. I don't know about you, but over the holidays with so much to do, I kept putting the TV on more and more, until now it is just way too much. Time to take some drastic measures!

Anyone care to join me in a challenge and turn that monster off? We will all be better off for it!

kill your tv

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

We had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. It was a blessing to not have the computer to distract me from all that Christmas is supposed to be about. I have pictures that I will upload soon, but for now I wanted to pop in to share something I learned this Christmas.

Since I became an adult, perhaps even a teenager, I've been searching for that warm fuzzy feeling at Christmas. No matter what holiday tradition I tried to incorporate it was just missing. Sure, I'd fake it till I made it, but inside, I was, well, kind of empty. What makes this the most sad, is that I am a Christian, and in my mind, very much understood the meaning of Christmas. But until this Christmas, I'm not sure what I knew in my mind ever made it to my heart.

As I was moping around, sometimes hiding it, sometimes not :( , it hit me. THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME! The real meaning of Christmas still remains whether or not I have the warm fuzzies. The real meaning of Christmas is that God sent His Son, Jesus, to be born, of a virgin woman, in order to face a horrible death. Why did He do this? Because He loves me, He loves you. God sent His Son to die to pay the penalty for our sins. In a few months, we will celebrate on Easter, because Jesus did not remain in the grave. No, He was victorious over death, and could not be kept there in the tomb. Jesus is alive today, and we can have life through Him. Having life, eternal life, starts by believing this in your heart, and then confessing it with your mouth. Friend, if you haven't ever done this, please don't let this new year go by another day without praying a prayer similar to this:

"Dear Lord. I am so sorry for the sin in my life. I believe in You, and believe that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to die for my sins so that I can have eternal life. Please Lord come into my heart, my life, and be my Savior. In Jesus' name Amen." Really, it can be as easy as that. As it says in Romans 10:9 says if you believe this in your heart, you will be saved. If you said this prayer, I would love to pray for you, so please leave me a comment so I can do that!

Ironically, once I surrendered my feelings (which like most people can be all over the place sometimes), I was able to get the warmth peace that I've been searching for for all these years. But it came AFTER I realized it has nothing to do with me at all.

Because of Christ, this Christmas (and I hope all Christmases to come) was truly wonderful!

Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O'er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow