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Last Build Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2016 20:58:43 +0000

 



Happy First Birthday, Bubba!

Sun, 13 Oct 2013 02:38:00 +0000

You GUYS!  It's been a whole year!  I should do a big update post with pictures and whatnot, but I wanted to get the little guy's birth story posted.  As a quick update, he has seven teeth, refuses to crawl - he travels by rolling instead, which is HILARIOUS!, won't hardly sit up because he has places.to.go, isn't sleeping through the night, still weighs a ridiculous amount (can't wait to find out how much on Monday), and he loooooves his mama's milk.  I found out tonight he can feed himself pretty much an entire torn up egg, bits at a time, and though he will eat every last everlovin' thing he finds randomly on the floor, he does not care for steamed and finely chopped carrots.  (maybe I should've scattered them on the floor?)Anyway, here's the story:My water broke at 1:20 AM on Saturday, October 6.  I had been sleeping on a chux pad for a while just in case, and I was glad that I did!  I woke up Hubs and told him, and we both tried to go back to sleep.  I had a few contractions, but nothing big.  I couldn’t sleep and my water kept leaking, so I got up and sat on the couch on a towel and chux pad.Goosie woke up a bit before 7 AM, I think, and wondered what I was doing!  I told her that the baby would be coming soon, and she was very excited.  I had her call Grandma so Grandma could come back to our house and help out.  (She and my dad had *just* been at our house two days before on their way home  but she repacked her bags and hit the road that morning, in snow and fog.)I was thankful that Hubs spent lots of time at home, even though harvest was in full swing and it was a very busy time for him.  My contractions continued on and off, but didn’t get very strong or closer together.  I was in frequent contact with my doula, Rebecca, who was very encouraging.My last gush of water was on Saturday, around 5PM.  By the time I woke up Sunday morning, the break had sealed and baby was back to swimming again.  Most everyone else was getting quite antsy that I wasn’t going to the hospital, but I knew it wasn’t time yet.  My mom scrubbed the bathtub so I could soak in the water and relax.  Goosie though it was hilarious that I was taking a bath!  I was thankful that my contractions picked up a little.Sunday evening, Hubs and I had a discussion and we agreed that we’d go to the hospital in the morning.  We didn’t make it that long, though!  I had several hard contractions between 11PM to midnight, and I wanted in the Jacuzzi tub!  Also, I was on my left side in bed so Hubs could put counter pressure on my back to help with contractions, and with baby being on my left side, gravity pulled him really low toward my hip and it hurt!We woke my mom up and told her we were heading in.  We stopped on the way for some sustenance – Hubs got me two snickers bars.  He wasn’t able to eat before Goosie was born (I had Burger King breakfast that time) and this time he just got an energy drink.We got to the hospital about 2:30 AM and got checked in pretty quickly.  My first nurse was one who was there when Goosie was born which was fun.  She had been pregnant then, and this time she had a 4 month old baby.  I was surprised that my Certified Nurse Midwife showed up pretty quickly, and my doula Rebecca soon followed.  I think my midwife even did my first check, which showed I was about 6 cm dilated, but baby's head wasn’t really down.I got in the tub, we walked the halls, I sat on the birth ball, I asked Hubs to pray.  Baby still didn’t come down, and I wasn’t progressing.  Rebecca showed Hubs a trick to help with pain relief, they both squeezed a spot between my thumb and index finger, which did help.  My midwife and Rebecca also tied a sheet on the bathroom door hinge so I could try a hanging squat.  It HURT, but it didn’t work to bring baby down.Finally, my midwife said it was time to do Pitocin.  I agreed, but asked for pain meds.  I knew I could do i[...]



Oh, Yeah, It's a Boy!

Sun, 11 Nov 2012 17:13:00 +0000

And he's almost five weeks old already.  Sorry 'bout that. :>)

He was born on October 8, after a couple of days of labor (and my water having broken and then sealing back up!).  Unfortunately he just didn't descend and ended up taking the "easy" way out - c-section.  Huge bummer for this natural birth loving mama, but thankfully I've had no problems whatsoever from the surgery. Little dickens was 10 pounds 2 ounces, which is three pounds four ounces bigger than his sister was!

He is an amazingly good baby, nursing is going well.  Goosie is quite enamored and a big help.  For some dumb reason, I didn't bother taking my supplements for the first week or so after he was born and (shocker!) my adrenals bottomed out.  Once I got back on track with them, I rebounded rather quickly.  (I also had my placenta encapsulated.  If you wanna know more, details can be found here.)

Physically, I'm doing super well.  I didn't feel anywhere near this well after Goose's birth, and I'm so thankful.  Emotionally... not so much.  I'm still leaps and bounds ahead of where I was after Goose's birth, but it hasn't been easy.  I did well in the hospital, but after returning home, I had close to two weeks of ... well, terror.  I had another week plus of major struggling, and even now I am still having a bit of trouble that manifests itself in intense loneliness.

My awesome and amazing mother was here for almost 3 weeks - a huge gigantic blessing.  Especially since Hubs wasn't done with harvest yet; they finished on Halloween.  That's a full week earlier than they've ever finished before!

I have the birth story written out, but I need to go over it with my doula and get it typed up so I can share it.  Overall, I'm OK with the way things played out; I feel like we did everything that we could.  It's a huge disappointment (especially since Goose's birth was forceps assisted, sigh), but I could tell that he wasn't going anywhere.

We are doing quite well adjusting to being a family of four, though my respect for my grandmothers (who had 11 children each), friends who are moms of many, and basically anyone with more than one child is through the roof. :>)

Hope you are all doing well, and I have a few various things I'd like to share with all of you but as you can imagine, it's all taking a backseat to baby holding right now.  I'm just starting to think about things to make for Christmas, so if you have anything you're working on, I'd love to hear about it!(image)



DIY Water Table and Mudpie Kitchen

Mon, 18 Jun 2012 16:44:00 +0000

Hello, friends! I'm super excited to share with you a project that I started last summer, and finally finished - Goose and I are both loving her new mudpie kitchen complete with a water table!  When I saw this Mud Pie Kitchen on Frugal Family Fun Blog (now Inner Child Fun), I knew it would be an awesome addition to our yard. I would guess that most of you are not lucky enough to have relatives who toss their junk out in the trees behind the farmstead, so if you hear of someone remodeling their kitchen and replacing their sink, jump on it! I tried calling plumbers to get old drains and didn't get much luck, but by keeping my eyes open, I was able to find sink drains for about $7.50 each (thank you Ace Hardware!)Our sink came from hubs's grandma's, and she had it full of dirt for flowers.  Goose and I gave it a good scrubbing to get off all the dirt and gunk that we could.Here it is, all clean and shiny!  Well, all clean, anyway...  A true DIY-er might have done something about the rust spots in the bottom; I just used Rustoleum and didn't worry about it.(Note: it seems that particular brand of spray paint has problems with the nozzle - of the two colors I bought, one didn't have a nozzle and the other one didn't work.  I wrote the company and complained, and they sent me a package with about fifty nozzles. I think they were being kind of sarcastic about it, but I was able to use my spray paint so I didn't care!)As an aside, I'm sure I used some awesome spray paint tips from Like Merchant Ships, but I can't find the post now...Two coats of sunny yellow later, I was pleased with the results.I called my sweet, now-retired dad with the measurements of the sink and he built a neat little drop-in stand for the sink.Unfortunately, at this point, it sat sad and lonely in the garage for another year while I looked for cheap drains... but I found them and while my dad was here this spring, he installed them for me.  Turns out one of them leaks a little bit, but no matter.Here it is in action! I have been collecting various items and kitchen things for a couple of years.  Every time I found something that was cheap and looked like it would be fun, I picked it up.Muffin tins, sillicone muffin cups, spoons, bowls, old egg beaters, small saucepans, strainers, old spice containers (love the vintage metal!), whisks, all sorts of things!Last weekend was the city-wide garage sale, and I picked up this set of shelves for $5.  I also got the big teal basket and the light teal tub (bottom left) for 50 cents each, the other baskets I had picked up for our camper but ended up not needing.There is a water faucet about six feet in the grass from where her mudpie kitchen is, and this summer Goose has figured out how to turn it on and off, so she is set!One thing I really like is how this area stays in the shade for most of the day.  Also, there is a window right above her shelves, so I can peek out at her and check on what she's doing.  This morning, we made a batch of flubber as suggested by Money Saving Mom and Goose had a great time out there.See what everybody else is making at Skip to My Lou's Made by You Monday!© 2012 Nettacow all rights reserved[...]



Not My Will But Yours Be Done

Fri, 04 May 2012 00:50:00 +0000

I can't say that the reason I haven't been blogging is because there isn't anything to tell you guys... I can say that for the first time in my life, I have just sat back and watched the hand of God at work. I mean, I know God is in charge and I need to just stay out of the way, but the past few months have really reinforced that.So you remember that my father-in-law passed away from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) back in early December. Just a few days after he died, we had just about the only cold snap and snow storm that we had all winter. There was a "kitten incident" with a litter of very late fall kittens. Unfortunately, it didn't end well for them. It was a reminder that, while it was sad (and came at a really lousy time), cats are not what life is about.Not my will, but Yours be done.Even though the kittens didn't make it, I set up a heating pad with a water bowl in the barn to keep water in there for the cats. (something that I have done several times in the barn and my father-in-law did in his shop.) The heating pad is one of several left over from when hubs's family had pigs, they were used for the sows and piglets.About six weeks later (January 17 at 4:30 PM, to be exact), Goose and I went to the barn to feed cats like we do every single day. There was a yucky smell of hot hay in the air, and upon taking a closer look, it appeared that some of the cats had been fighting because the hay was kind of churned up, and there was a fair amount on the heating pad. I cleaned it off, and Goose and I went to visit my mother-in-law for about an hour.When we left, I thought I smelled something kind of smokey, but figured it was just lingering on my coat. I tend toward the dramatic in my head, and it's something I've been trying to reign in. Goose and I headed home, and somewhere around 20 minutes later, my MIL called and said that there was a fire at the farm.Not my will, but Yours be done.It was the barn. It started in the plug of the 50 year old heating pad plugged into 60 year old wiring. Although our wonderful volunteer fire department responded quickly and did everything they could, there isn't much that can be done for an old wooden barn full of old hay except to protect the surrounding pens and cattle working area. They ended up cutting an enormous hole in the side of the barn and pulling out the burning hay with a loader, which they spread out in an empty pen so it could burn itself out. Thankfully Radar, our miniature donkey, had wandered down to hubs's uncle's farm to visit the horses there - not only would he have been pretty freaked out, but they went through his pen to get the hay out. By morning, there was only the shell of a barn and a smoky haze.Not my will, but Yours be done.At that point, I had twelve cats in the barn. The next day, nine came back. One of the missing three was my beloved Socks, our favorite cat. He has not returned. My heart is broken. With all the commotion tearing down the barn, another three cats have taken off for parts unknown.Not. My. Will. But. Yours. Be. Done.Since then, I have had countless dreams that I've gone to the farm and there Socks is, waiting for me. I've even dreamed that I had that dream, and then realized in the dream that it was a dream. (I wake up every bit as confused as you all just were reading that.) I have a one-eyed cat that has taken off in the spring and returned in the fall for the past few years. I'm hoping to see her again in a couple of months.ANYway, my fellow NFP-ers will understand what I mean when I say that the morning after the barn fire, I had a well-timed temperature spike. My first thought was "really, God? Am I seeing Your hand in this already?" Maybe His will isn't so bad after all...A couple of weeks later, I was thrilled but not entirely surprised to see a + sign on a pregnancy test!Oh, how I wish that we didn't have to give up Socks for this baby - I've just barely stopped looking for him each time we go to the farm. But it has been a c[...]



Can't-Get-It-Out-Of-My-Head Project

Mon, 23 Jan 2012 04:05:00 +0000

Do you ever see something, and then you can't get the idea out of your head until you make it? That happened to me when I saw this Rainbow Poncho Cape on Etsy.This is what I ended up with: (apologies for the lousy cell phone pics - I didn't get any with my camera)I could NOT stop thinking about how cute it was, or whipping out my phone and showing it to other people... finally I decided I had to make one. I even made some sketches of different ways to style the poncho, since I don't love the classic poncho look. I wish I had my sketches to show you (not 'cause they're awesome - they're kind of sad, really - but because I was going to town with ideas!)I had the basic poncho. One with slits for your hands to come out. Pocket on the front, pocket on the inside, pockets in both places. (I totally wanted to make it reversible, but knew Goose would probably always want it rainbow side out, so why bother?) I had it in my mind to make it more fitted than the big circle, maybe even using two tiers and having her arms come out between the tiers. I have a big problem with getting ideas in my mind to actually work in the physical realm, so I decided to keep it simple.Clicking around yielded many, many poncho tutorials. Then I realized that I didn't have a big enough piece of pink fleece (yup, it was requested to be pink) in my stash to make a huge circle (I wanted it to be pretty long on Goose, both for warmth and room to grow!) So I rounded the corners and cut a neck hole - which ended up being too big, oops. The length turned out pretty well, though - it hits Goose around the knee and the width is just right as it's a bit past her wrists, so her hands can come out the sides.Initially, I started to trim the shoulder part in to make it more fitted but realized that was a lousy idea, so I stitched back in the part I cut out, which is why it has "sleeve" seams. I wish they weren't there, but I don't notice them as much as I did at first.Next, I cut the rainbow and stitched it on, and it's actually bigger than it looks because every color except red extends a couple of inches under the cloud. I didn't realize how big it was until I had to put the pocket so far down towards the bottom! (we'll get to the pocket in a minute...) After I had the rainbow on, I made a cloud pattern with paper to check the size, then cut it out but didn't stitch it on.For the pocket, I used one of Goose's sweatshirts and traced the pocket, then noticed the fleece was folded and doubled over at the openings so I added that to the pattern then a seam allowance. After cutting it out, I folded and stitched the doubled part at the side openings.This is where it seems to get complicated... since the cloud was going to overlap the pocket, I laid both out on the poncho and pinned the cloud to the pocket where it needed to go, and stitched it on where it overlapped the pocket. I then folded the cloud down toward the bottom of the poncho, pinned the pocket on and sewed the top of the pocket to the poncho. I unfolded the cloud and finished stitching it down (there is a bit of an opening where the cloud isn't stitched down since it is wider than the pocket), then I stitched the bottom of the pocket.(she's watching TV, by the way - not feeling like posing for photos!)Using the same sweatshirt, I made a pattern for the hood, though in hindsight I realzied that the bottom of the hood (around the neck area) needed to come in farther - the opening is too wide. (especially since I cut the head hole too big. I tried to go back and take it in, but it just didn't look right.) I cut the outer hood from the same pink fleece and the inner hood from some pink polka dotted fleece and stitched them right sides together, leaving the whole bottom open. I turned it right side out and top stitched, and I also stitched down the center seam to help it hold together better.Instead of making it reversible, I decided to just line it so that it would be warmer. The only c[...]



Handmade Christmas 2011

Mon, 02 Jan 2012 03:26:00 +0000

What with everything else that was going on, I was quite late with planning out and getting started on Christmas gifts.Let's start with little people, shall we?For my nephews, ages 2 and 8 months, I appliqued matching shirts for them (and neglected to take a picture, so perhaps their mama will help me out.) It was pretty standard - iron Wonder Under on the back of fabric, cut out the design, peel the paper and iron onto the shirt, embroider around to help it stay on. In the interest of full disclosure, I tried machine stitching it on like I usually do but kept getting huge snarls with my thread and I punted!For my older nephew, I made a train/road/farm play mat. I used various ideas including this farm play mat from The Crafty Cupboard, and this DIY Car Mat Backpack from I Can Teach My Child (though I didn't go with a backpack).Though I used a large piece of tan felt (from a bolt) for the main backing, the rest of the mat is made from fleece, bias tape, and thread. I find fleece to be more washable than felt, and I am not a fan of the felt squares that are so readily available as they seem to pill and fall apart rather quickly. Anyway, I drew out a basic sketch of what I wanted. Right now, O is a huge fan of trains, but I suspect at some point he may branch out into cars and tractors, too. The first thing I put down was the train tracks, which are made of bias tape stitched down. Next, I cut pieces of felt for the road. I made it (and the tracks) rather wide to accommodate big-ish trains and cars for now, and possibly matchbox cars and the like in the future. I sewed down the middle of the road with black thread to help it stay in place better, then went back and made the center lines by zig-zagging with bright yellow thread.The farm was super fun to put together, if I do say so myself. The yellowish patch is a field. I took strips of felt and sewed them down the middle, then snipped down the long sides. Yup, I should have taken a closer picture so it makes sense, but I used the haystack in the above farm play mat as inspiration so check that out. The barn is red fleece with white bias tape stitched on for doors, and the fenced pen area is just zig-zagged white thread. The house, tree, and dog house are all fleece. I didn't have a good shade of blue fleece for the pond, so I used a thrifted sweatshirt and hacked a piece out of the arm. All fleece shapes were sewn around the edge with more or less coordinating thread.I then took a piece of Thomas fabric (much beloved by O - in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he just used that side to drive his trains on for a while) and added a pocket for trains and cars and whatnot and a fleece O. By the way, it matched the green on the fabric much better before I cut it out and attached it... All along, I intended to add handles so it would fold up and carry a bit easier, so I made sure everything lined up properly. I totally winged the pocket - it's a rectangle of Thomas fabric with elastic at the top and a button and loop closure.To attach it to the mat, I pinned the handles in place, stitched it to the felt then pinked off the extra Thomas fabric. I ended up getting a serger from hubs (squeeee!) for Christmas and I'd have used that to finish the edges (I think - I haven't learned enough about it yet) if I'd have had it. Except I don't know how that would have worked with the handles...I went a bit more low key this year for my nieces. The oldest (12) got a case for her phone, of which I didn't take a picture, sigh. There are a bunch of patterns for cell phone cases at Tipnut, though I don't think I really used any of them; more just basic phone dimensions and winging it. (do you see a pattern here for my crafting?) I made a bag of appropriate size with a lining, and put some ribbon at the top. I attached a elastic pony tail holder on one end and a button on the case so it can go on her bag, backpack, or purse strap. I cut her i[...]



Explaining Death To Little Ones

Sun, 01 Jan 2012 23:07:00 +0000

(image) As you may remember, my father-in-law was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) in August of 2010. He passed away on December 2 of this year. This picture of him and Goose in their overalls was taken in September, just before his health really started to decline.

Blessedly, his death was quite peaceful. I used the concepts from the book What Happened When Grandma Died(image) to explain things to Goose, though I didn't read the book to her because she is quite literal right now and I think she would have been confused trying to make the switch between Grandma in the book and Grandpa in our life.

It basically says that when we die, we leave three old things behind and get three new corresponding things: our body, our home, and our work. The book goes into much more detail, of course, but it provided for much discussion and an opportunity for Goose to ask many (MANY!) questions. I'll admit I had some trouble being patient answering the same thing over and over (AND OVER!), but once I realized it was her way of processing things, that helped. And it also warmed my hear to hear her explain to her 2YO cousin where Grandpa is. (in heaven, and also in our hearts)

I know that many of you have been praying for us, and I can't tell you what that means to me. I hope you have had a very blessed Christmas and I wish you all the best in 2012! (better get used to writing that now...) I'll be back in a bit with my Handmade Christmas 2011 post, which I meant to get up a long time ago, but better late than never.
(image)



Daybook for November 26, 2011

Sun, 27 Nov 2011 04:01:00 +0000

Outside my window... today was chilly and windy, after a few days of beautiful weather. I think it will warm back up again this week though. Goose and I took advantage of the nice weather on Wednesday and put up the Christmas lights on the porch. We waited until tonight to turn them on, and she is THRILLED.

I am thinking... that my adrenal glands aren't doing as well as I had hoped. I bumped my supplement levels back up to the full amount, and so far it's helping a little, but I am trying to be patient.

I am praying for... my father-in-law. A week ago yesterday, they estimated he probably only had days to go; a week ago today, they dropped it down to just hours. He has had ups and downs since then, but yesterday he asked to be brought out to the living room to sit for a while. Also praying for patience to wait on God's timing.

I am thankful for... every minute we have with my father-in-law.

From the learning rooms... whoof. Much of our time has been spent at the farm, so this area has been a bit neglected.

From the kitchen... whoof again. We've eaten most of our meals at the farm, too. For thanksgiving, I brought creamy corn and peppers and cheesy mashed potatoes. We had baked oatmeal a few days this week, and I also made this Pumpkin Coffee Cake. It was really good!

I am wearing... purple long sleeved shirt, pinkish purplish cords.

I am creating... umm, a few cell phone cases for the craft shop, and I have some ideas in my head for Christmas gifts that I need to get moving on.

I am pondering... that we rejoice in the hope of the resurrection.

I am reading... Real Learning: Education In the Heart of the Home

I am hoping... for a better night's sleep tonight.

I am hearing... Hubs talking to the video game he's playing. :>)

Around the house... needs some picking up, for sure.

One of my favorite things... Goose learning how to walk carefully up to a skittish cat and gently pet it. Girl after my own heart! :>)

A few plans for the rest of the week... our final Bible study session on Monday, small claims court for our little village on Thursday, and lots of time at the farm, I'm sure.

(image) A picture thought I am sharing... Goosie and Grandpa, taken a few months ago.(image)



Kitchen Tip - Covering Crockpots

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 11:29:00 +0000

I recently needed to cook a chunk of frozen pork roast in the crockpot. The meat wasn't big enough to necessitate using my large crockpot, but it didn't fit in my small crock with the lid on. My solution? Cover the crock with a bowl!

(image) (image)


















I used a cereal bowl, and it actually fit perfectly - a seal formed, just like with using the lid. Usually I just put the lid on the best I can and squish things down as they thaw. This day, I was away from the house so it was unattended. The meat was ready to go by the time I got back and it fed our hungry silage crew well! I will be linking to Kitchen Tip Tuesdays over at Tammy's Recipes.(image)



Being an Intentional "Yes Mama"

Mon, 26 Sep 2011 15:15:00 +0000

I've been listening to my blogging friend Amy when she writes about being intentional. I have longed to be more intentional, rather than reactive. Now that my health is getting back on track, I am getting more serious about it, though I'm just taking baby steps. I'm sure I read about being a "yes mama" on Melissa Wiley's blog, though I can't find the specific post now. (I have, however, spent a glorious hour clicking around her archives. Lissa is probably the first blogger I followed!) (Hmm, maybe it was Danielle Bean? No matter, though I wish I had another hour to dig through her archives, too...)As I remember, being a "yes mama" means that instead of thinking about the mess that will be created, all the setup and cleanup that will be necessary for what will surely be approximately seven minutes of whatever activity and saying "not now" or "maybe later" ... that you say yes, and follow their lead with what they want to do.Seven minutes of painting, sure, but really, it only takes about three minutes to set it up and two minutes to clean it up (provided there wasn't an oopsie accident, and Goose is really quite careful).I have been slowly accumulating various art and craft supplies on clearance, from garage sales, at thrift stores, and I'm now realizing that it doesn't make sense to keep saving them for a rainy day - especially when I tend to be a "not now" mama on rainy days, too. So, I pulled them all together and put them in a set of plastic drawers now located in the kitchen: Yup, stepping around Goose, who was using stencils and colored pencils in the middle of the floor was kind of a pain, and she needed help pulling up and re-taping stencils, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't that bad. Plus she really, really enjoyed it. I also discovered that when I am more willing to say yes, she is also more willing to say yes when it is time to clean up (especially if we talk about it beforehand.)Something that got me to thinking about all this again was when she brought me one of her books and said "can I do dat, Mama?"I know that if I want HER to be creative, I need to demonstrate creativity myself. So, I said "sure!" and hopped up to make it happen. I was wishing that I'd picked up some crepe paper streamers that I see at thrift stores all the time, but I hadn't done so. (That has since been remedied!) So we got a ribbon from her dress up trunk and some masking tape. I taped the ribbon across the doorway, and showed her how to "ready, set, GO!" and run through to break the ribbon, just like in the picture.Sure, I had to say "ready, set, GO!" (and then cheer her on) approximately eleventy hundred times, but I showed her how to tape the ribbon back up so she didn't need my physical help until the tape got too crinkled, then I just got her another piece.As I'm typing this out, it seems so simple. But I hope it represents a shift in my thinking and how I make decisions as a mama. Here's to being intentional!© 2012 Nettacow all rights reserved[...]



Daybook for September 25, 2011

Sun, 25 Sep 2011 23:43:00 +0000

Outside my window... still beautiful weather. Nights are quite chilly, which means mornings are quite chilly. This time of year, I tend to not bother getting Goose dressed until about 10AM or so, and then I feel like it's warming up enough for her to wear summerish clothes for the warm afternoon.I am thinking... that my to-do list isn't getting any shorter, but I know this blog post won't take long. :>)I am praying for... Hubs's family, still. His dad continues to decline due to Lou Gehrig's disease. Your prayers are appreciated for them as well.I am thankful for... my dad. He takes SUCH good care of me. It truly is a foretaste of how my Heavenly Father loves me, and I wish every girl in the world were so lucky (on both counts, earthly and Heavenly fathers!)From the learning rooms... planning. :>) I bought a planner on clearance and am getting ready to fill it up! Problem is, since preschool doesn't need to be particularly planned out, I'm not quite sure where to start or how to coordinate. But I'll figure it out, I'm sure.From the kitchen... um. Pretty uninspiring. We're due to get a quarter of beef soon, so I'll be frying up hamburger and refreezing to have on hand, plus probably making a big batch of meatloaf and perhaps some porcupine meatballs as well.I am wearing... black capri pants and a shirt from today's ALS walk.I am creating... hmm, not much. But lots of ideas, like usual.I am pondering... how to turn the Family Memories game into something I can put in the craft shop.I am reading... Cinderella Ate My Daughter and Hold Onto Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. I also recently picked up Mud Pies and Other Recipes: A Cookbook for Dolls, 401 Ways to Get Your Kids to Work at Home: Techniques, tips, tricks, and strategies on how to get your kids to become self-reliant, responsible adults, Getting Your Preschooler Ready for Math, and Jotham's Journey (in preparation for Advent).I am hoping... that my adrenal glands continue to heal. I was feeling well enough that I backed off the supplements (as recommended by the pharmacist directing my treatment) and as expected, my energy has taken a dip. But I expect that it'll pick back up soon and I'll be able to continue down the path to health!I am hearing... two cats purring curled up next to and on me, and a baseball game on TV.Around the house... it's quiet, as Goosie is visiting her cousins for a week again. I have such wonderful memories of playing with my cousins and I want the same for her, even though hers are much farther away.One of my favorite things... purring cats. Can't help it - I've always loved kitties.A few plans for the rest of the week... picking up the house, crafting some stuff for the shop, chopping onions from the garden and freezing them, make a carrying case for my phone, bookwork, probably spending a day working in my MIL's quilt shop, a raw milk run, and my parents will be back on Friday with Goose then they'll spend the weekend here.A picture thought I am sharing... Goose helping me put together sack lunch suppers for the silage crew. She did a great job!© 2012 Nettacow all rights reserved[...]



Family Memories Board Game

Thu, 08 Sep 2011 22:57:00 +0000

I mentioned waaaay back in December that I made a Family Memories game for Hubs' cousins Christmas gift swap. I got the idea from here, and THEY got the idea from Family Fun, who provided a convenient cheat sheet PDF here. Admittedly, assembling this took a fair amount of time, and I put myself in a pinch by not really starting it until a week before Christmas or so. (oops.)If you want to do this for Christmas, I'd suggest getting started now - compiling family trivia for questions and looking for the parts. Since I'm a tightwad, nearly EVERY piece was thrifted, purchased on clearance, or pulled from my random stash. Let me show you what mine looked like:First, instead of calling the game "Memory Lane", I went with [our last name]~ville. It's kind of a joke, because our extended family has lived more or less in the same area for a hundred plus years, and it's referred to as a "suburb" of our very small town. And it's called just that - [our last name]ville.I didn't have a whole lot in the way of old pictures scanned, but thankfully I was able to get my hands on enough to cover the box. I used a few duplicates under the name area, where it didn't really matter.For the game board, I used some of Family Fun's suggestions, and just did what worked for me otherwise. I used some pretty blue paper that I had several sheets of on hand, and if I remember correctly, I think I used mod podge to stick it down. I also measured my board and calculated how big the each space should be so they fit well, and the corners are bigger than the rest.I really liked the "pick a card" since it meant asking family trivia questions, so I put on five of those. As an afterthought, the Start space seemed a little lonely, so I made that "pick a card" too. I wasn't crazy about the "swipe" spot, where you steal a treasure from an opponent, but I put three of them on there anyway. "Score" spots were just picking a treasure. (See treasures below, by the way.) If a player lands on a picture space, they are to share a memory of that. There is one space for each of the four brothers and one sister (and their spouses) in my father-in-law's family, and one space for Hubs's grandparents. Other spaces include the school in our small town where all of hubs' uncles and aunt and Hubs and most of his cousins attended plus a space for the school in the nearby town where they graduated; livestock (a cow and a pig), the city name signs from the two nearby big towns, a space for dogs, cats, & chickens; a space for the nearby town where they all went to high school; a space for farming & harvest; a space for holidays; and a space for the church where most of the family was baptized and attended. (I know it's a lotta spaces. whew.) I provided a notebook and pen to jot down any stories or details that came about as a result of playing the game. For the trivia cards, I used business cards (I think?) and printed them out, including several blank cards to fill out as new stories came to light.Trivia questions included tidbits such as:Who was born in a sod house?How did Great-Grandpa lose his leg?How many times was the {small town} Bank robbed?In what year were (each aunt & uncle and grandma & grandpa) married?What is the age gap between (oldest grandchild) and (youngest grandchild)?Name at least four of Grandpa's horses.Who was the first (last name) to graduate from (small town) high school? (a trick question - no one with our last name actually graduated from the school. Either they didn't graduate, graduated before they married into the family, or graduated from another school.)Aaand finally, the treasurers. I chose an ear of corn (prosperity), a cross (faith), an apple (health), a bell (security), a heart (love & family), and a dove (hope[...]



Daybook for September 7, 2011

Wed, 07 Sep 2011 21:30:00 +0000

I put a button in my sidebar so you can get to my boards on Pinterest and read the whole internet over there. :>) Oh, and I pinned a post called "And That's Why You Should Learn to Pick Your Battles" - language warning, but I laughed until I cried. And I totally know where to get a five foot metal chicken locally...Outside my window... it is so beautiful! We're in a spell of jacket weather, and though it probably won't last, it sure puts me in a better mood.I am thinking... that I forgot to answer the comment from my "favorite uncle" Ray a while back. Yes, I know the stinkin' Yankees are beating the soup out of my beloved Minnesota Twins. :>)I am thankful for... making decisions that are not life and death. So much of life is serious, but so much more of it is not really as bad as we make it out to be. (see below)From the learning rooms...ah, how interesting it's been. The pendulum has swung so widely, and interestingly the same day she *started* preschool (of which I hated EVERY SINGLE MINUTE she was gone!), I learned there is a Catholic homeschooling group in one of the nearby big towns. I'm a bit frustrated because I looked and asked around, but I guess I didn't look in the right places and ask the right people the right questions. So I'm seriously considering punting on "real" preschool and doing things at home, where I really feel we belong.From the kitchen...I'm just finally starting to get inspired there again. Poor Hubs; it seems like I just start to recover from the uncertainty of meals during planting season and then it's irrigating season and he doesn't get home until late again. Then I almost recover from that and get back into the swing of cooking, and it's harvest time. I've recently made chicken spaghetti, chicken and rice, and I have a big hankering for meatloaf.I am wearing...a shirt in my favorite color of blue and black capris. Since I started taking adrenal supplements almost six weeks ago, I've finally started to feel a bit better! (though I came down with another cold and this one is knocking me for a loop - I didn't realize how good I was feeling until I started feeling lousy!) All this is to say that I've lost a couple of pounds, and I'm hoping as I continue to feel better, that trend will also continue. And since it's cooler (see above!), I know I need to get out and do some walking.I am creating... fun stuff for the craft shop. I realized I should have been taking pictures of the stuff I've been doing, but I never remember - plus I craft in the basement at night, which doesn't make for the awesomest picture taking. But, here's a short list: Preppy Bibs, Marble Travel Games, Barefoot Baby Bloom Booties, and I tried a Cotton Candy Skirt for Goose, but didn't like it so I put it up for sale. :>) I think my problems were that I tried to make it too wide, so there was too much white space behind the tulle, and I tried to do it in rainbow colors, so it was kinda all over the place. I'm thinking one color would've been better.Oh, and an update on the rainbow backpack for preschool... another little girl has a PRINCESS backpack, that has a handle that pops out so it becomes a rolling bag. Goose told me she doesn't like rainbows anymore, that she wants one like that. Sigh. I told her I'd put some Care Bears on it or something. Sigh.I am pondering...SCHOOL! and feeling quite excited about it. :>)I am reading... Last Child in the Woods, with Cinderella Ate My Daughter on deck, and Choosing to See in the hole.I am hoping... the adrenal supplements continue to work. I would love for this school year to be a chance for me to get on track with the house and with Goose. Wouldn't that be wonderful!I am hearing... Bugs buzzing outside - cicadas? I think we've [...]



Crafty Tasks

Mon, 05 Sep 2011 20:43:00 +0000

I miss putting together the "Reading the Whole Internet Posts", but it is much easier using Pinterest. You can find me HERE. As I said previously, it's kinda nice because you can see a picture. If you'd like an invitation to join Pinterest, let me know. To make a super long story short, Goose starts preschool tomorrow. We aren't doing the co-op again this year (oh, how I wish we were!), and I debated allllll over the place before deciding to enroll her in "real preschool" (as my 6YO niece once put it). Right now, my thinking is to have her get familiar with other kids, learn to "do school" and perhaps next year, we'll stay home. :) But we'll have to see, I guess... So, one of the things she needs is a backpack. I didn't want to buy her a stinkin' princess backpack (though I know she'd love it) - I wanted to get crafty and keep my mind off the fact that I'm going to have to drop her off tomorrow. So, I made a rainbow backpack! It's one I thrifted, and I wasn't crazy about the primary colors, but it looked kinda rainbow-ish. I made a scrappy rainbow and hand stitched it on the front. Didn't turn out quite like I thought, but I'm OK with it. I used embroidery floss and stitched Goose's name on the orange ribbon, then sewed it on. I used a piece of rainbow ribbon on the zipper pull. I took the same rainbow ribbon and stitched it on the top and sides. It was kinda rough sewing around the zipper - and I accidentally stitched it down a few times. Oops. Nothing a seam ripper couldn't handle, though. I was out of rainbow ribbon by this time, so I used rainbow colored embroidery floss and braided it for zipper pulls. And, of course, since every girl needs a new dress for preschool, I whipped a little something up there. I used two women's thrifted tank tops. I took the teal one and smocked it with elastic thread - see MADE for some tips on sewing with that stuff, it went a little easier this time than it did last time. Similar to the patriotic dresses I'd made, I cut the top off another tank top and sewed it to the bottom of the teal one. I then sewed some (also thrifted!) rick rack where the two joined, and made a flower using this method (though I stitched instead of hot glued) and added it to the waist. It's a bit more centered on the dress than I wanted it, but that's OK. The straps were a bit interesting. I used a piece of the straps from the teal tank top to make loops on the back. Then I stitched the straps from the white top to the front of the blue top, ran them through the loops and brought them to the front. At this point, I tried it on Goose and measured where the straps needed to be and put a loop on the ends. (Are you loopy yet? I am...) The final step was to add some thrifted "ball" buttons - my mom tried to work me through leaving some space so the loops would fit better. Admittedly, the straps are a bit thick to hold well, but it works. I've also been doing quite a bit of sewing for the craft consignment shop, though last month was the smallest month I've had since it started in May. I'm thinking that Christmas shopping is going to pick up a bit, so I'm not too worried. Plus it's more or less paying for my supplies, so that's about all I can ask! It's a bit late, but I'm submitting over at Made By You Monday! © 2012 Nettacow all rights reserved[...]



Daybook - Remember Me? Edition

Fri, 05 Aug 2011 02:07:00 +0000

Wow, not only has it been months since I've blogged, it's been over a year since I've posted a daybook. Zoiks.Outside my window... It's pretty warm, though better than the triple digits we were having. It's been a weird summer - hardly any breeze. Much of the time we've spent outside has involved the local swimming hole or feeding cats. Otherwise, I stick close to the A/C. We sure could use some rain, too, according to the farmer.I am thinking... about the interconnected set of miracles that is the human body; how it works, and how it doesn't. I have been working with a pharmacist friend who specializes in adrenal fatigue and it appears that I have been dealing with lousy adrenal function for years. She has me taking a handful of supplements and I'm hopeful that better health is around the corner.I am thankful for... a good husband. Seriously, Hubs is a heck of a guy. Even when I get frustrated with all the little things, I'm reminded of how blessed I am and how others are not so lucky.From the learning rooms... never thought I'd say this, but we're looking at sending Goose to "real" preschool this year. I couldn't have been happier with the preschool co-op that we put together last year, but all the other kids are moving on. I have finally started to recognize the physical exhaustion from years of insomnia (hopefully related to the adrenal fatigue & hopefully will be clearing up before long!) and the toll that it takes on my patience.Goose has been chattering for quite a while about how excited she was to ride on the bus and go to school - until I told her that mama doesn't go with her. She cried and told me over and over "you can be my teacher, mama!" So, we'll see. I would love to get more intentional about doing the things I bookmark to do with her. :>)From the kitchen... Summer is so hard on my kitchen - I never know when Hubs will be home, if he'll be hungry, etc. I've been just awful about cooking, though I usually try to have some of these freezer-friendly burritos on hand. The carnivore doesn't mind them, and I try to make some Goose-sized ones that aren't spicy. I'm making up a grocery list for a trip to town tomorrow and getting inspired, though!I am wearing... cornflower blue shirt, black capris, and my standard crocs. I really need new shoes - these are wearing pretty thin.I am creating... all kinds of crafty stuff! I'll be taking a load tomorrow to the craft consignment shop including a craft supply lazy susan like this one, some super cute button bracelets that I now can't find the link to the post that inspired me, two sets of bean bags, and a couple very simple necklace kits.I am pondering... switching my link roundups to Pinterest. Are any of you guys on there? Would you like to see me pin things instead of doing link roundups? I was totally dragging my feet about it, but a friend was explaining how nice it was to see the pictures. Often times, a post has a funny name and I have a terrible time remembering it, so it seems like this is a feasible way to do it... and it's super-easy to pin something (unless the post doesn't have an image, that is).And maybe I'd post more often! If I just wanted to post something crafty I made or do a daybook, I could do that without feeling guilty that I haven't gotten around to link roundups. Any thoughts?I am reading... Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome (no surprise there, eh?) and a big pile of old Family Handyman magazines that I picked up at a library sale.I am hoping... well, I have already realized how many times I've used derivatives of "hope" on here already - hopeful, hoping, etc. so I think this one is pretty obvious already. :>) But let's go with the [...]



Um ... Hi!

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 15:05:00 +0000

Remember me? :>) So many links to post, so much to talk about. But all I'll do for today is share some cute dresses I stitched together for Goose. I made one for Memorial day, and of course she wouldn't get near it for the ceremony we attended. She has reconsidered, however, and worn it several times since. (and yes, there haven't been that many days since...)Up first, the one I made first - a blue tank top with white stars turned into this:It was my first run at elastic thread, and I'm not 100% happy with the results but it's cute enough and Goose loves it. I wound it on my bobbin by hand, then sewed four lines across the front and probably ten on the back, then sprayed with water and ironed to get it to shrink up. I can't manually adjust my bobbin tension, and it's too tight. I tried re-winding the bobbin and making it looser, and it was too loose. So I'll have to do some playing around. Oh, I used red thread on top for a fun contrast. I love it.I cut the straps in the back and stitched them back together to shorten, though I left the long pieces on instead of trimming them off; and I stitched them down so they wouldn't flop and tickle. With as much time as I spent on this darn thing, I'd like Goose to be able to wear it next year!To finish the dress, I sewed big red buttons on the straps (non-functional) and then I stitched some super-wide red rick-rack around the bottom. I think it's my favorite part! The first time I sewed it on, I tried really stretching the dress and it ended up too stretched - it didn't hold shape. So I took it off and gave it another try, and it's perfect. Actually the stretch in the dress from the first time gave it a nice shape the second time around. Who'd have thunk it?Cost for this dress: $1.35 for the tank top (women's size) at Goodwill, probably 25 cents for the two buttons out of a package of several at Walmart, quarter for the rick-rack of which I used about 1/12th (remember that score? I still have the canvas and haven't figured out what to make with it yet) and probably another 50 cents for the elastic thread. That's a little over $2, plus some time, but it was totally worth it.This dress was a bit easier since I started with one of Goose's old tank tops. It's actually a size 2T, but it still fits fine, just too short. The skirt was also formerly a woman's tank top. I cut the top off and pinned it on, stretching the shirt to match.Actually, the pinning took waaaay longer than anything else! I'd pin and turn everything right side out to check, and one piece or the other would be inside out. So I'd re-do it, and the same thing would happen except both pieces would be flipped, so the other one was now inside out. Frustrating, but amusing!To pin, I started by lining up the side seams, I then found the centers of both the skirt and top and lined them up, and stretched and pinned from there. I then sewed my widest, longest zig-zag stitch to give it as much stretch as I could. We're pretty pleased with the results.Cost for this dress was $2 for the top from a consignment sale, and $1.35 for the one that became the skirt.I hope everybody is having a good summer! I'll try to get back into some semblance of regular posting again soon.See what everybody else is making at Skip to My Lou:© 2012 Nettacow all rights reserved[...]



St. Paddy's Shirts

Mon, 14 Mar 2011 01:54:00 +0000

My Goose is going to turn four on St. Patrick's Day. (Where *does* time go??) When she was a teeny tiny baby goose, I saw a onesie at Old Navy that said "Little O'Cutie" and I REALLY wanted one, but we really didn't need it. I regretted that decision for a long time! This year, I realized there was no need to pine over it any longer - I can make the darn shirt. And I was inspired to make one for me, too. :>)


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Goose's says "Little O'Cutie" and the dot over the i is a four leaf clover like mine, you just can't see it on the green. Mine, of course, says "Mama O'Cutie" and I'm still giggling over that. My sister-in-law snapped this pic for us yesterday, and since then I wonder-under-ed on a few shamrocks and outlined Goose's i dot shamrock with a sharpie. Except I should have followed what the shape should have been, not what it was. Oops.

Both shirts were thrifted, and I used Dana at MADE's freezer paper stencil tutorial. It was a bit tedious cutting the stencil out, but after seeing the results, it was TOTALLY worth it! Not counting the dry-time wait (I did two coats of paint), this project probably only took a couple of hours.

I gotta say, we WILL be wearing these often than just March 17! I can't close this post without sharing my favorite joke this time of year:

What's Irish and sits outside?







Give up? Paddy O'Furniture! (get it? patio furniture? hee hee!)

I'm linking up at Made By You Monday.
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No Sew Lace Rosary Roses

Mon, 28 Feb 2011 19:21:00 +0000

I'm sure there are plenty of ideas for this sort of thing around the 'net, so what's one more? This idea was inspired by this post by Kimberlee at Pondered in My Heart. I am not too in practice with my crochet hook these days, so I decided to do a no-sew version with lace, flannel, and hot glue.I made up a leaf pattern and traced it onto flannel, then cut them out. I made 13, ten for Hail Marys, one for Our Father, one for Glory Be, and one for the Fatima prayer.Using scraps of mostly thrifted lace, I just cut them to similar sizes and then rolled them up starting at one end.With the hopes that the flower would not be pulled loose, I used quite a bit of hot glue and pushed the bottom of the lace rose in it. I then went back and put a dab of hot glue on to hold the edge of the lace on the outside.Goose and I gave it a trial run this morning, and I was pleased with the outcome. It is my hope that we can incorporate some prayer together during Lent, and perhaps it will be a habit to continue on afterwards.See lots more ideas for Lent for little people at Catholic Icing and see what everybody else is making here:© 2012 Nettacow all rights reserved[...]



Link Roundup - Little Mermaid Edition

Mon, 21 Feb 2011 19:52:00 +0000

Today I'm sharing the joys of the Little Mermaid with Goose. Except instead of utilizing the time to get things done, I watched it with her. Good times! We had a brief glimpse of spring here with beautiful temperatures that melted almost all our snow. We're back to winter again, though, and I'm sure it'll stick around for a while yet. You may have noticed that I'm way behind on links again. So let's get to it -MAKEUpon reading the post at MADE about Understanding Bias and Making Bias Tape, I was quick to confirm that my mother-in-law indeed has bias tape makers in varying sizes. Yup, I married well! :>)I am so in love with this idea to make DIY Fabric Wall Decals at Frugal Family Fun Blog! The comments are great, too - one suggests adhering flannel to the wall for a felt board. Of course, I'm going to have to wait until we have a new house without plaster bumpy walls, but I'm tucking the idea away for sure. Also at FFFB is this Easy Icicle Craft with few supplies and little mess.These DIY Eye Spy Books at No Time For Flash Cards are a great & inexpensive idea for keeping little ones occupied. Similarly, here is an I Spy Mat from I can teach my child!I am cracking up over this Bunny Bowling with The Long Thread tutorial found at Etsy. I don't have a hallway for it, but seriously, how fun!Since Goose loves all things rainbow, I know she'd be a fan of this Rainbow Crochet Zipped Coin Purse Tutorial from Sparkle Petal. Oh, and I think it goes without saying that she's also a fan of money. :>)Creative Jewish Mom has a fun tutorial on Weaving Fun Summer Placemats with T-Shirt Yarn (yup, I'm missing summer today!)This Toddler Poncho Tutorial from An Apple and a Tree seriously is making me want to snuggle in somewhere.Hmm, I'm not sure if the line from my now-defunct retractable clothesline would work for this, but regardless I love the look of Yarn Love at Family Chic.If you want to purchase some sewn bean bags, let me know. Otherwise, check out these No Sew Duct Tape Beanbags from Frugal Fun 4 Boys. (Somewhere I have a post on bean bag games, but I guess it'll have to wait.)How fun are these Rockstar Toddler Suspenders at Danielle Daniels? It's a good thing I didn't have the page up when Hubs walked by a minute ago or I'm pretty sure I'd be making him a pair...EATWhen I lived in Colorado Springs, I had a friend named Margaret that made amazing butternut squash soup and I never got the recipe from her. I feel a little like a lost soul, wandering around trying to find "the one" :>) - maybe this Amazing Butternut Squash Bisque from Hallee the Homemaker will be it?Laura at Heavenly Homemakers (who in a coincidental side note left Colo Springs about the time I moved there and now lives a few counties away here in Nebraska!) is teaching us How to Stretch a Chicken to Make Six Meals. She also explains how to make Homemade Tater Tots that freeze and reheat well!It's not too often that I make a recipe before posting about it, but that happened this time with Our Lady of Lourdes Chicken Soup and Dumplings from Catholic Cuisine and let me tell you... it is GREAT!Only the disappointing numbers on the scale have kept me from making this Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Pie for which I just *happen* to have all the ingredients... (my rear end does NOT thank you for reposting this, Amy @ Finer Things!)DOThe Artful Parent shows us how to do a Rubber Cement and Watercolors Resist for young artists.We're still chugging away with "Goose and Mama" preschool here at our house, so I bookmarked this Doctor and Nurses Preschool Pack from Homeschool Creations. (Note to self -[...]



Link Roundup - Holy Cow, It's COLD Edition

Tue, 01 Feb 2011 19:42:00 +0000

I just checked the outside temperature, and it's five degrees. And dropping. And very windy. And snowing. Guess what has two thumbs and a sore neck and rescheduled a much needed chiropractor appointment for today to stay curled up next to the corn stove? That's right, this girl.So, let's peruse some links and dream of spring, eh?MAKEI'm tempted to get one of these Helping Towers at Ana White made for Goose in the kitchen, considering she fell off her chair THREE times the other day (messing around, sigh). Best of all - they fold flat for storage!Hubs' t-shirt drawer is stuffed to overflowing, so perhaps I could do something like these T-Shirt Yarn Braided Coasters from homework with the rejects.So I'm a bit late in posting this, but I like the looks of these Sailors Knot Bracelets as seen in a tutorial on Etsy.These Beaded Picture Hangers at Inside BruCrew Life are so pretty.rhythm of the home has instructions on how to make some very sweet No Sew Rag Dolls.Perhaps it's the current winter storm warning that has me intrigued, but I like the looks of this How To Make an Oil Lamp tutorial at Down To Earth.Can't you almost smell this Candy Cane Playdough from Artful Parent through your screen? From the same site, check out Rubber Cement and Watercolors.The possibilities are really and truly endless with this Craft Foam Bath Murals found at Filth Wizardry. Though I'll admit I don't even really let Goose kneel in the tub too much, let alone stand up!Check out My Kind of Baking over at Frugal Family Fun Blog for a neat suggestion on pretend baking with felt. Looks like a lot of fun!I love this Bread Making Kit from Saltwater Kids as a very useful gift.EATThere happens to be a double batch of this Quick and Easy Crockpot Caramel Apple Cider from A Year of Slow Cooking on my stove right now (didn't feel like dragging out the crockpot). I must say, the cinnamon seems to form a sludge in the bottom, but maybe that's because it needs to cook and be stirred longer? Still, it's delicious.These Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites from Two Peas and Their Pod have been calling my name since I found the link.Head over to Kitchen Stewardship for a great post on Katie's Basic Bread Baking Techniques (or Lack Thereof). :>) Lots of excellent info there, plus more in the comments.I can't think of lemon anything without thinking of one of bubbly little niece saying "I can't belive Uncle [Hubs] doesn't like this... it's sooo-ooo good!" :>) Smile about that as you check out this recipe for Whole Wheat Lemon Pound Cake from Heavenly Homemakers.DOThere is plenty of humor and a lot of truth in 10 Ways to Be a Lazy Housewife at The Crimson Covered Farm Life.I am certain that Goose would eat more marshmallows than she'd stick together, but it would still be fun to try Boredom Buster: Marshmallows & Toothpicks as seen at Under the Sycamore.Catholic Icing explains how to find religious items among a Dollar Store Haul. (and that post led me to another on Make a Giant Rosary - love it!)We're starting to think a bit more about building a house someday, so I love to find things like 10 Lessons Learned from Building a Kitchen at Centsational Girl.I'm betting it'll be cold enough tomorrow to try this Fun With Weather trick as seen at Faith & Family Live.If you have an "older" Amazon.com account (I don't know how that is defined), please check out an article from Wired about an Amazon Password Problem. I logged in, changed mine, and then changed it back - since that makes it a "new" password, it is now better protected.Not sure how Goose would react, but I'm [...]



Link Roundup - Missed Party Edition

Sun, 23 Jan 2011 00:04:00 +0000

Poor Goose. She got invited to her first friend birthday party for a girl from our tiny preschool co-op, and we didn't go. The weather was supposed to be pretty questionable, and I know from prior experience that Hubs is not happy when he has to pull me out of the ditch, especially when I went off to do something he finds frivolous.Also, Goose was up waaaay too early this morning (6AM) on top of a week's worth of suspected sleep-deprived crankiness, and I decided I didn't want to be THAT mom with the melting down kid ruining some other poor kid's birthday party. Maybe next time... (And let's hear it for early bedtime!!! Clapclapclapclapclap clapclap)[Update - bedtime was not early. Sigh. If Papa goes ice fishing tomorrow, it's going to be a long day.]I really shoulda' done a roundup last weekend so I could stay caught up, but I decided to do all sorts of fun things (or something) and just plain didn't get it done. Let's see how many I can get in here before Goose finishes her bath - ready, set, GO!MAKEThe textures in this Feel Quiet Book at 4 Leaf Clover are really inspiring - love the idea.So it sounds like the cash outlay for all the hardware is a bit more significant than one might think, but this Make Your Own Nuts and Bolts Chess Set is a rockin' idea.I'm going to wait until Goose is old enough to appreciate the science aspect of it, but how fun would it be to make your own Rock Candy?!?You know by now that I love all things farm animals, and I love all things quiet books - put the two together, and I'm swooning. Handmade Baby Book at Homemade Holiday Gifts. {And I've not spent any time clicking around over there, but I'm thinking I might have to do so!}We've seen something similar at Filth Wizardry, but just in case you missed it, check out Plastic Bag Iron Ons (for t-shirts and whatnot) at Homemade Mamas.Ohhh, I am diggin' this Rain Drop Sun Catcher at homework - and I also now know why I hang onto random pieces of plastic like that. :>)Admittedly I've thought about making Goose a set of sandpaper letters a la Montessori and ... I haven't. But these Kid-Made "Sandpaper" Letter Set from Frugal Family Fun Blog is something I think Goose could make all by herself as well as enjoy using. She'd also enjoy Shiny Snowflake Mosaics, also at FFFB.Though I don't have felted sweaters lying around, these Nature Walk Pouches from Kleas inspired me to make something similar for a birthday gift.I'm in knock-off HEAVEN over at Knock Off Decor! Something tells me I could waste a lot of time in those archives...Of course the bracelets are adorable, but I really dig the button ornaments at Cute as a Button at La de la de da.It's the perfect time of year to make Get Crafty: Ice Ornaments, as found at Red Ted Art.This Faux Stained Glass at Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom is really lovely.Perfect for little ones, this No Slip Baby Doll Blanket Tutorial from The Little Appleseed represents some good thinking.This would have to wait until we live at the farm and it could be placed far enough from the house, but I'm loving this Banging Wall found at Soule Mama. The banging wall ranks right up there with this Backyard Melody Maker as seen at Family Fun.Patchwork Possee tells us how to Handmade-ify a Store Bought Blanket. It's kind of like the How to Make a No-Sew Blanket with Yarn Fringe that I linked to forever ago.EATAhhh, Monkey Bread. Eighteen kinds. At Tipnut. I bookmarked his for my hubs - also at Tipnut - Amish Friendship Bread recipes and starter both.And flipping to the other end of the spectrum ma[...]



Link Roundup - Cabin Fever Edition

Tue, 11 Jan 2011 03:04:00 +0000

Remember how we barely have any snow? Not anymore. Since Saturday, about 12-14" of snow has fallen, and the temperature is really starting to drop.Goose and I bundled up and braved temperatures in the teens plus a stiff breeze to walk to the post office and scoop the walks this afternoon. The main reason for going out is because it's going to be worse tomorrow, with a high in the single digits - Wednesday, too. Scooping wouldn't have been nearly so bad if Goose hadn't have kept commenting that flopping around in the snow sure was "hard work!" :>)I don't think I've mentioned here that I quit my job proofreading the newspaper. I miss it already, but right now I'm quite happy to not have to go anywhere. So, let's get out of the house via the interwebs.MAKEThese Indoor No-Mess Snowballs at Frugal Fun For Boys is still making me laugh! I'm going to have to keep an eye out for white tights at the thrift shop.Two cool tutorials from Obsessively Stitching: Squishy Rubik's Cubes Tutorial and I-Spy Blocks/Storytelling Dice.I gotta admit, when I was a kid, I couldn't figure out an optical illusion my Grandma had hanging in her kitchen. See how to make your own J E S U S Optical Illusion at Catholic Icing - I love the sun catcher twist, too.Hmm, this How-To Fabric Produce Bag Free PDF Pattern at Daisy Janie has me thinking ahead to next Christmas already. I love how they roll up! What do you think, sisters-in-law?Oh, she *always* does this... Valerie at Frugal Family Fun Blog does something similar to what I've done but WAY cuter! This time, it's a First Sewing Basket - I made one for my youngest niece but stuck it in a repurposed plastic storage box (BORING). Guess I need to start channeling Valerie to see if I can come up with these simple but awesome tweaks! Also check out these Friendship Necklace Kits and the Printable Bird House Play Set while you're there.Wow, this Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile at not martha is STUNNING! (Also see the How-To which makes it look not terribly difficult.)Another wow, these Woven Cookie Star Ornaments at The Crafty Crow are really neat, and I think they could work even for preschoolers. [Note to self - do NOT start digging through the archives over there... I'll never get out!] [OK, just one - Stained Glass Poinsettia Ornaments.]EATI predict Hubs will not be impressed, but I'm seriously interested in trying to make my own Wheat Meat as explained at Wise Antics of Life.Oooh - I just realized I have all the ingredients in my fridge to make Penne with Cream Sauce from Skip to My Lou... but I don't have any pasta. Hmm. There may be some noodle making in my near future.We're studying the letter D right now and what better timing to find a bunch of recipes for Dirt Cakes and Desserts at Tipnut! Hey, there is also a roundup of Dump Cakes, too; something of which I am a big fan as well. There are even a few recipes that include from-scratch cake instead of a mix and I will definitely be checking those out. And while we're gaining weight just looking at the screen, Lemon Cakes and Oven Baked Macaroni & Cheese.Recommended for the January 4th feast day of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, this Colonial Brown Bread at Catholic Cuisine looks simple and sounds delicious.I'm thinking Sarah's Empanadas at heartland Renaissance are going to make it on our snowed-in menu rotation in short order.Several super yummy things all rolled into one dish for this Cauliflower Cheese Pie with Potato Crust at Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks.I've posted about homemade yogu[...]



Link Roundup - Seriously? Edition

Sun, 02 Jan 2011 03:35:00 +0000

I have yet another cold. I think I had about 10 days to two weeks where I wasn't coughing all the time, and now I'm back to it. Sigh. This winter can't be over soon enough in that regard.So let's get to some links since they don't make my ribs hurt.MAKEI'm loving the simplicity of this Felt Board Tutorial from jchandmade. [Click "next" at the top left to move through the photos. Took me a while to find it. :>)]I've never seen anything quite like this Peyote Stitch Tutorial, from Uzume's Crafty Goodness.Cheap, pretty, functional - what's not to love about these Ten Dollar Ledges from Ana White.I am totally enamored with this How To Make an Argyle Fleece Throw at CraftStylish.What an awesome idea - a No Sew Felt Playhouse Tutorial at Sew Can Do.These Cinnamon Hot Pads from My Paper Crane sound really cool, though I'm not sure how they'd smell with, say, chicken. :>)I'm quite sure I could drop 10 years of my life browsing the archives at That Artist Woman (note: school kid crafts!)Love finding a new twist on old favorites - Monogram Taggie at Twelve Crafts Till Christmas.Speaking of Christmas, I'm tucking away these Beaded Snowflake Ornaments from Naturally Educational for Goose to make next year.EATI can't look at these Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Cupcakes without cracking up, from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting? Yup, or as healthy as it gets anyway, especially coming from Laura at Heavenly Homemakers.Rendering Lard - in a crockpot no less! - is totally fascinating to me, though I'm not sure I have the backbone to try it just yet. (@ A Moderate Life)I love caramels, and I love gingerbread. I'm not quite sure about these Gingerbread Caramels from Martha Stewart, but if anybody wants to make them, I'll volunteer to be a taste tester.You're about to see a trend here: Peppermint Fudge Cupcake Jars from Our Best Bites, Peppermint Caramels (Polkagriskola) from Lindsay Cooks, Peppermint Magic Shell from The Family Kitchen - which is REAL FOOD and also pretty easily adaptable for other flavors, I think, aaaand Peppermint Rimmed Hot Cocoa at How Does She?It would be seriously detrimental to any diet hopes I have for the new year, but I can't stop thinking about these Brownie Covered Oreos at Polka Dots and Pizza.As an attempt to get me back on track, let's shift focus to these Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with Buttermilk Cream Cheese Icing at heartland Renaissance.I like the looks of this French Toast Frittata from Kelly the Kitchen Kop.And just in case you weren't hungry enough, check out these Vanilla Muffins with Cinnamon Crumb Topping at Heavenly Homemakers.DOEach of these 8 Gifts for Playful Children are great ideas, from Kaboom.I was very moved reading the story about El Refugio over at Chasing Cheerios. I was blessed to have a wonderful (and safe!) visit to Guatemala about ten years ago and I'm not sure I would want to go back, but I do carry a piece of it in my heart.These Reindeer Games at Little Wonders Days cracked me up. What a great way to celebrate Advent! Sure, it's secular, but It would be a great combination with watching the old Rudolph movie.PRAY & PONDERAfter reading the article You Cannot Steal My Joy at Faith & Family Live, I have made a conscious effort to hold my voice down when I need to deal with Goose. She is my God-given source of joy, and I need to be reminded of it sometimes.Even with my 40 Bags in 40 Days of Lent decluttering spree, I still have a ways to go. Thankfully I run across thi[...]



Link Roundup - Cousin Chaos Edition

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 22:31:00 +0000

We're currently at my parents' house where Goose is enjoying the pandemonium that is her four cousins aged 11-3. Good times are being had by all, I assure you.Lots of links today! I suspect I'm double posting some of these, and I apologize. I've been trying to search my blog to see what's been posted and what hasn't, and it's starting to make me crazy, plus I'll never get this posted otherwise. So please accept my apologies if (when) I mess up!MAKESo easy, it's hardly a "make" - Straws, Beads, and Pipe Cleaner Stars from Chasing Cheerios.No Time For Flash Cards explains how to make your own Lacing Cards in different shapes - the best part for me was the tip to tie your yarn on one corner of the card. Brilliant!I tried these Velcro Blocks for one of my nieces as a Christmas gift, and it didn't work so well for us. For one, my velcro wasn't as wide as the blocks, it was difficult to glue on (well, to stay glued on) and yes, it takes FOREVER to cut and glue velcro. But, feel free to check it out. :>) (@ Chasing Cheerios)This DIY Wine Bottle Light from Wit and Whistle is so pretty!Since the necklaces for my sisters-in-law didn't work out (neither of the TWO designs, sigh), I went with Beaded Wine Charms as seen at DJAjewels.The tutorial for how to make a Potluck Dish Cozy From an Old Sweater at Craftzine looks so easy that even I could do it..."Sweet" is about the only way I can describe this Pillowcase to Doll Blanket Tutorial at MADE.Also at MADE, but considerably more time-consuming than the above, is this Faux Chenille Blanket Tutorial.Not sure why I am such a big sucker for stuff like this Framed Fabric Monogram (this one at Somewhat Simple), but I guess as long as they keep catching my eye, I'll keep linking to them.I've long been looking for a homemade wedding gift, and I may have found a go-to one in these Homemade Photo Flip Books complete with 31 Days of Prayer for Your Husband, at Better Life Bags.This Recycled Cardboard Kitty Pad at Design*Sponge makes me a bit nostalgic for my nephew-kitty who used to use one.I might have to get my crochet hook out to make this Kitten Toy from Craftbits.EATAdmittedly I'm not much of a cake baker, but I like the idea of baking a cake from scratch. This Cinnamon Vanilla Cake at Catholic Cuisine sounds great, though I'm not too sure about the Mexican Hot Chocolate Buttercream Frosting - to each her own, though!Easy and it sounds delicious - Honey Trail Mix at Catholic Cuisine.I freely admit that pie crusts scare me, but Sarah at heartland Renaissance (which I never spell correctly on the first try) makes Perfect Pastry seem easy.A very fun idea for next year's St. Nicholas day - Golden Santa Bread from Taste of Home. You can change up the Santa hat to a Bishop's miter, of course.I can personally attest that this Cauliflower Cheese with Broccoli and Bacon from The Life and Times of the 21st Century Housewife is SUPER YUMMY! Though I'd cut back a bit on the onion next time, that didn't stop me from eating it in about two or three sittings.Even with the fat-and-sugar frenzy of this past week or two, I can't stop looking at these Homemade Doughnuts at Pretty Lil' Posies.And the opposite end of the sugar spectrum would be this Spinach Soup with Gruyere from The Pioneer Woman.At this point, all "real food" is sounding good (once I begin to want to eat again, that is), especially this Broccoli Cheese Casserole from Kelly the Kitchen Kop.DOThis Fishers of Men - Celebrating[...]



Link Roundup - Happy Anniversary Hubs Edition

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 16:48:00 +0000

[Edit: just realized this never got published. Oops.] Today (um, October 18) is our seventh wedding anniversary. You can read last year's anniversary post here. Just add a year. :>) I feel like I can see the bottom of my links folder! Well, almost... (yeah, it's full again.)

MAKE
I am extremely enamored with these Erasable Activity Books at From Blank Pages.

My domestic nerdiness is showing through, but I got a huge kick out of these Lame But Awesome Couch Leg Covers. Awesome indeed!

This is a super idea for bleach free Homemade Clorox Wipes, from Live Renewed.

Wish I'd have seen this before getting rid of all my scraps from making applesauce and dried cinnamon apples - How To Make Fruit Scrap Vinegar from The Nourishing Cook.

If cold, dreary fall weather is getting to you, you might consider making an Indoor Leaf Pile a la Frugal Family Fun Blog.

EAT
Not sure that I have the cajones yet, but I'm tucking away this recipe for Homemade Raw Cheddar Cheese from GNOWFGLINS.

Yup, still looking for the best recipe, and this one promises to deliver: Best Ever Homemade Pizza at Kelly's Favorite Recipes.

DO
Not sure if this is "Do" or "Don't Eat!" - Kelly the Kitchen Kop wrote a Got Petroleum post highlighting an experiment with how plant growth is affected by food dye and aspartame. Very, very interesting.

No Time For Flash Cards rounded up Halloween Math Activities.

I need to print this off and refer to it - HTML Cheat Sheet For Bloggers from Blogging Your Way.

This method of Homeschool: Reviewing for a Test at kellicrowe is a great idea.(image)