Subscribe: She's a Crafty Pumpkin
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
baby  back  book  crafty  day  days  house  kids  love  loves  luke  month  months  much  new  sophia  time  week 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: She's a Crafty Pumpkin

She's a Crafty Pumpkin

Updated: 2016-05-27T10:45:28.690-04:00




Well, without going into a lengthy explanation, let's just say I really miss this space and my little opportunities to capture moments like the ones you will see visually represented here.I've been scrapping more and more of late and this blog is a HUGE help to me in the journaling and remembering department. While I have less and less time to sit and update on the minutiae of the life and times of everyone here, I find that I really miss blogging and sharing and being able to search for what we were up to on "such and such a date".Gabriel turns thirteen today.There is a lot for me to reflect on and a lot of emotions tied up in the fact that we now have a teenager. I'm not even sure I can put it all into words quite yet.So let's begin with events from the past week and how we chose to celebrate this momentous occasion of coming into the teen years.We started last Thursday, the 15th with Matt Maher's Saints and Sinners tour. We hiked all the way out to Plum, PA for an amazing show with Matt, I am They, Jon Guerra and Hannah Kerr. It was a great night and worth the drive and keeping these guys up late!Saturday we traveled to Coopers Lake for the Cross Country Championships with just Gabriel in tow (props to mi madre for watching the other 5).This is Gabe's first year running. Ever. He runs for soccer, but that is nothing like what we saw him accomplish in this sport.We are super proud of him. I really don't know I could ever do it. I hope to get all the boys on board next year though. He ran in the last race and it was a very cold and blustery day, and for the most part, NO RAIN! So we just dressed warmly and drank cocoa and persevered.He was shocked when we told him he had to take off his coat and pants to run. This is his "I'm a teenager" face.Lots more of those to come... After the race we had to book it back home for a JV and Varsity soccer game! Max and then Gabe played in two cold late in the day games. One lost, one won. Gabe even scored a goal against a pretty tough team!And because we are crazy people, Vinny and I went out for an evening of worship that night at the Seminary. IT was WORTH it though and we felt recharged afterwards.Sunday brought our family birthday party and its was a very Dr. Who-ish kinda party.I'm still learning all the ways of Whovians, so I did lots of pinterest surfing for ideas...I made a tardis card after reading this post and learned how to make a turkish fold from this post.Mr. Crafty took Gabe and his friends to see the new Goosebumps movie -- I had made mini-Tardis favor boxes filled with snickers (Gabriel's fave candy bar)for him to hand out to his friends.(it's definitely bigger on the inside)And because I was kinda tied up for days with activities, I left the cake making to Sam's Club and added a Tardis on top of it to tie it all together.We dined on Pizza and roast beef and veggies and salad. Dessert was cake and Antney's ice cream (coffee cocoa and Chocolate mint oreo).Our friends, the Mitlos, were able to join us for the festivities and it was a fun night all around. Gabriel enjoyed all his Dr. Who gifts and a lego set with The Flash, A Flash framed poster for his room.The boys trying to all get together for a picture... we tried!Sophia and Luke were thrilled to have a party (these two LOVE a party) - but were so busy the whole time I couldn't get a decent picture of them.... so here's one from pre-party!So Mr. Crafty and I are officially parents of a teenager. We really have been going through the transition for some time already. Anyone with a teenager can attest to that truth!We know that God has some amazing things in store for this crew of kids he's blessed us with over the past 13 years.[...]

February Birthday Girl ~ 2.21.15


And just like that! She is THREE!I have been attempting to write this post since the 8th of February. good grief.While it appears that all signs point to the fact that I should just abandon the blog and in the words of Sophia and Luke's favorite song, "let it go".... I'm going to press on! I have things to say and memories to keep!So three Wednesdays ago, this little girl woke up and declared, Today is my Birthday! She was elated and excited and could barely wait to see her friends and eat cake!As I have done for all the kids, I asked her what kind of cake she might like for her birthday. Her one and only request was PINK.So she wanted a pink cake and a pink cake is what she got! I made sure that it was pink inside and out, too!(I simply used white cake mix from a box for this cake and made my own buttercream icing. I also added a layer of raspberry filling because I could and it was PINK!)We had mac 'n cheese and pulled pork and coleslaw for dinner. Sophia wanted "all her friends" to come and thankfully that was just her neighbor friends and their brothers. Her Nonno and Nonna came, too. And her BFF Kathryn, aka our babysitter. It was a great time!Sophia has turned out to be quite a girly girl and loves dressing up in sequins and glitter every now and then.Most days we hang out in pajamas because we can and they're cozy and it's winter.A few of her famous lines are:I want to see "all the people" or "who is going to be there? all the people"?I love her generalities.Sometimes we have to watch Olivia or Daniel on the "picuter" because "the brothers" are occupying the living room tv.Her Uncle Bill made the YHL dollhouse that I have been requesting all year long. I have yet to finalize it and decorate it like I want to but suffice it to say, it was big hit.And it melts my heart to see "the brothers" playing right along with her and rearranging the mismatched-not-all-the-right-scale furniture!Currently it's residing in our bedroom because Luke has figured out how to climb it.Speaking of Luke, he and Sophia are best buddies. Not a day goes by that they don't play and giggle and share their cups/food with one another.This summer the two of them moved in together. They've been doing great in the same minimally decorated bedroom now for almost 5 months. I love the way they talk and play together. Last night as we were saying our bedtime prayers, Sophia prayed for Luke and said "He is so funny" (and then she giggled). It's the most adorable thing ever.I love that regardless of the fact that Luke is eternally taking her stuff and claiming it as her own, she's pretty laid back about that. As you can see in the picture above, they've swapped cars, and they're both making the same face and leaning forward. be still my heart with all the cutenessSophia is really into:princessesbeing a princessdressing like a princesswatching princesseseating LOGURT in a tubeall things Daniel tigerOlivialistening to music- especially Laurie Berknerall things Frozencoloringbeing helpfulreadingplaying with her babiessaying ridiculously adorable things like watching "a show on the picuter" Typical day. Jammied out. Sitting very close (usually Luke sits ON Sophia). Melting my heart.[...]

January Randomosities~ 1.31.15


So, here I sit again, at the 11th hour and I had such high hopes and expectations but enough with the complaining and excuses, here are 31 things that are on my mind or that happened this month or something like that...1. We still have a Christmas tree up.2. I ate Chickfila tonight, really late and I'm totally not sorry about it because tomorrow is Sunday and we're supposed to get a lot of snow this week and, and, and....3. I'm kind hoping we get a lot of snow this week. If my neighbor reads this, she might just come over here and pummel me.4. I like snow when I'm on the inside of my house and have no where to go and Mr. Crafty is home.5. Someone in this house will be three this week. wowzers6. I was sick earlier this month and it was kinda the best kind of sick you can be.... I could still read books, I stayed in bed and drank tea and had my little people bring me toast. It was a kin to a mini vacation7. My husband showed me the best kind of love when he took off work for the 2 of the days I was sick. I felt very loved.8. I made about 500 biscotti this month for wine tastings that my parents hosted in conjunction with their store, Buon Sapore. That is A LOT of biscotti!9. I organized our hall linen/catch-all closet a few weeks ago. I love how clean and refreshed it looks and I think I'm going to work on other spaces too.10. due to the reorganized closet, I gathered 2 bags of items to donate! (40 bags in 40 days? well, not quite, but maybe by summer...)11. I've learned that I'm a spurt-cleaner. I like to clean in spurts and when I get going... watch out! It's just my style and I'm embracing it.12. I also embrace dust. It's here. We live with it. No one seems to mind.13. I've been quite nostalgic all week thinking about where we were one year ago in respect to school. It's made me kinda sad at times but also really, really thankful. I know we are where we need to be and should be and that makes my heart very happy.14. I have really missed blogging and really hope I can be more regular.15. I have also really missed Scrapbooking and I've gone to great strides to begin that hobby again beginning TOMORROW.16. In my mind, being a more regular blogger means I may blog once a week.17. To help myself with that.... I posted a calendar on my fridge and I write down a little something or two somethings that happened throughout the day on each day. I was pretty committed to this.18. I finally sat down to watch the Lego Movie the other day... and I didn't finish it.... yet, but will tomorrow.19. I make BIG PLANS and have a hard time following through sometimes. Okay, a lot of times.20.  I really do think I have good intentions though21. The funnest thing I did this month was a paint and sip with my friends, Tara and Marijke. We painted the winter scene up above with the red lovebirds.22. Vinny celebrated his 40th this month. I wanted to send him away somewhere but well, see #19. Instead we went to Bravo Italian Kitchen and had a great time with friends and wine.23. Tomorrow is the super bowl and it's the Patriots vs the Seahawks. We are having burgers and dogs and fries. no grilling involved.24. I have read a total of 4 books this month. I credit my illness at the beginning of the month to that accomplishment.25. The Light Between Oceans was our book club choice.26. My favorite was The Storied Life of AJ Fikry- really sweet story.27. I would really like to get to number 31 but I'm knocking on the door of midnight and well... gotta hit publish28. I like even numbers so I'll keep going...29. I did choose a word for the year but I'm saving that post for another day30. This photo makes me laugh out loud. I have no idea how that 7 year old even got into that highchair, but there he is. Of course he was stuck and needed my help! I can't have a number 31 b/c this list will be odd!!![...]

Quotes ~ Sunday, November 2, 2014


 Nearly midnight on the 2nd day of November, but I'm trying with all my might to pull myself back into the habit... so,  a few literary quotes on this heavenly season of autumn and a few peeks into my pumpkin decor!“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” ― Henry David Thoreau“Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile."[Indian Summer]” ― William Cullen BryantEven though October is through....“October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!” ― Rainbow Rowell, Attachments[...]

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}


We had a low-key, somewhat relaxing Fourth of July here at the Crafty Household. Slow wake up, a nice neighborhood power walk around 11 with the 10 month old, beautiful temps all day long, dinner with family and some fireworks in the backyard!{pretty}This was much more time consuming than I expected, but who doesn't love food in fun shapes?!?!I love walking out the back door to this everyday- I think I did a not too shabby job this year with the planters. Bonus points for my pedicure still looking pretty after 2 weeks!{happy}Mr. Crafty was pretty darn excited to find that the problem he was having with the grill wasn't due to the pop up shower we had the weekend before but to the lack of propane in the tank! HOORAY for an easy fix every now and again.{funny}taking pictures on the lawn and Sophia started doing stunts! Channeling her inner cheerleader maybe?Pretty sure Luke is teething on Mr. Crafty's shoulder...{real}I know they're twins. They DO really look alike. BUT SOMETIMES it blows my mind how ALIKE they really look! This was shortly after I asked the two of them to keep an eye on Luke for me while I cleaned up the dishes.I turned around to see this....They created a barrier around the kid so that he would be entertained, apparently.So I snapped a picture.very creative, twins. Very creative.hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable Fourth of July!Head to LMLD for more {pretty, happy, funny, real} posts![...]

Luke: 9 month update at 10 months


Got this little iPhone reminder the other day and thought to myself, geesh, I'm a little behind.So we hurried outside to snap some photos!The nine month mark has been quite a monumental month for this big guy. He's moving, blabbering, eating and sleeping so much more!More specifically...** we sleep-trained Luke last week **It was a week of highs and lows, mostly highs, but every once in awhile he reverts back to his old ways and screams like a banshee in the middle of the night. It's unnerving to say the least, but mama is a happier mom and by morning he's a happier baby.** on the move **rolling, barrel rolling to be exactand then just a few days before he hit the 10 month mark he started going from a crawling stance (still not crawling- yet- thankfully) to a sitting position!however with this newfound skill comes a bit of a downer- he has rug burn on his forehead. He seems to be using his forehead to push and move himself around the floor and thus has created this lovely mark.I tried to use a bandana on his little noggin to help lessen the burn, but it's not working so well...** what we're eating **Luke has moved from an all liquid diet to a diet rich in avocado, cheerios and now... carrots! He loves carrots! And yesterday he had sweet potatoes.Still his favorite is toast with mashed avocado on it.My goal to not buy any baby food jars is going well. I give him what we have and he plays/tastes/eats whatever that is we are eating.the way it should be, in my book!** other firsts **my dad and I are convinced he perfectly mimicked us when we said "Hi Nonno"First time in the pool this past week- loved it!Loves the trick where you pat his mouth while he makes a noise- what is that called??? He loves itloves cheerios, poster child for cheeriosthat's our happy little 9month/10 month old![...]

The Last 5 Books I've Read


Over the course of the past 4 years or so, I've become reacquainted with an old love of mine... reading.I've always been a reader but time and circumstance and other hobbies seem to get in the way and cloud my memory from one of my true loves: reading! My book club helps keep me on track.Having books everywhere in our house helps, too. Most of all is just that general desire to read and make time for it.I love escaping into another time and place with fiction but I've always loved non-fiction. My shelves are stacked with reads to encourage, uplift, push me forward, lead me on to bigger and better places.I don't like to stay put, in more ways than one. For my birthday this year, I upgraded my dead-as-a-doornail kindle to the paperwhite (truth be told, Mr. Crafty bought me a Fire and I exchanged it for a paperwhite b/c it was too much kindle for me and I'm a purist.... in the e-reader sense of the kindle world. I wanted to read books and only books and here I've rambled on and on...)SO, my first Kindle book purchase with my brand new kindle was Jennifer Fulwiler's new release, Something Other Than God. Jen blogs at Conversion DiaryShe's a hoot to read and you'll find anything from escapades with scorpions to her conversion from atheism to Catholicism.Anywho, I read the entire book in 5 days. It was fabulous. I loved it. Funny, serious, thoughtful, hilarious at times, poignant. It was all of that.And it filled me with hope and left me with that prayer for those I know have yet to find a space for God in their life.Highly recommend (as do LOTS of other bloggers- check out this cool video snippet)In addition to Jennifer's book, we read this for book club. It was light, easy, a little fluffy and jus what we ALL NEEDED!Very "in the now" as it's written in tweets, sort of. I was hooked and wanted to keep reading through to the next chapter to see what would happen between the 2 main characters.Need something a little lighthearted and fun? Check this out then.I just finished this Donna Leon book today (I think it was today! Gosh, It's been a long day). This is the second in a series of books about a Policeman in Venice. Love all the Italian references and the mystery involved. It's rather out of character for me to read these but I'm enjoying this genre!I finally got my hands on Rainbow Rowell's newest book, Fangirl. I remember finishing her second book, Eleanor and Park, thinking OH, she has a new book coming out soon! yay!And then I forgot about it completely until a few weeks ago when I remembered it. oh my poor brain and the stuff it has to retain.All of that to say, I enjoyed this one a lot. I keep going back and thinking of the characters every once in awhile. They can't seem to leave my mind. Do you ever have that where you'll finish a book and then an hour or so later you can't recall so and so's name already and they were a pivotal character in the book?Rainbow's characters aren't like that at all. You know them, they stick in your head and you find yourself thinking about them a lot. Well, at least I did/do.Pretty sure those are tell tale signs of a really good author.Started on a high note and ending on a high note.So this last book here is a prime example of what is lining my shelves. The Way of Trust and LoveFr. Jacques Philippe is a very holy man. His books are so very practically minded and not highly philosophical. But I say that with hesitation because they're extremely thought provoking. Gabriel saw me carrying this little book around and said "how are you still reading that book? You've had it in your hands or out on a table for MONTHS!"And yes, that is true because the spiritual insights in this book need to be digested slowly. Like eating a really good piece of chocolate. You have to take a small bite and savor it for awhile.This may be my absolute favorite book he's ever written. I need to go back and just s[...]

Luke : 8 months Green Grass edition


Thinking of changing the title of the blog to "All Luke, All the time". Seems apropro, no? Sigh.

A busy mother's quandary: weighing out the worth of making dinner, washing clothes, spending QT with the littles or blogging. Blogging loses every time. Lately, so does making dinner, but that's another subject for another time.

BIG GUY! Holy moly is this guy the cutest 20 pounder I ever did have or what? I'm guessing he's 20 lbs. I wouldn't put it past him for sure.

So we headed outside this month for Luke's monthly photo shoot. He was not so sure about the grass at all. And look, new skill, he's SITTING UP!

And look he still has that crazy weapon on his arm (a few more days as this goes to press), er, cast, I mean.

Lately Luke has been up to....

  • sitting up
  • rolling over and back again
  • whacking anything/anyone with his hammer arm
  • being the cutest baby ever
  • waking up every 4 hours to eat (what?!?!? c'mon LUKE!!)
  • rolling on his side to sleep 
  • still bunking with mum and dad
  • jumping
  • swinging
  • traveling in that bucket seat, still (sooooooo heavy)
  • wearing his hair styled (see below)

 if you put it on the ground... I will find it and get to it, stat! (re-entry into making sure no tiny pieces are on the floor!)

Coming next month....

Where is Luke sleeping now?
Have they started feeding that kid "real" food yet?
Tales from the Teething front?(image)

Luke 7 months~ the cast edition


Technically, the bebe will be 8 months next week, so consider this a late breaking edition.Speaking of breaking, we had a mishap at the end of March with Luke, Sophia and a chair.It was quite the little accident but true to Costain kid form, he's been a trooper all the way through it. AND he gets his cast off next week!We held off on starting messy solid foods because of it.Nothing like keeping a baby with a cast on clean and dry while you feed them messy pureed baby food, right?I think it was a good call.7 month old Luke is a stylin one of his super styled coifs. He's really into impressing the ladies with his uber cool hairdos. NO product necessary! That is pure shampooed and combed hair.Another great blurry shot of one of my kids - gosh I need a new camera.Thanks to our awesome neighbor... Luke has a new favorite pastime! JUMPING! He LOVES JUMPING!And still loves his saucer....And recently with all the warm weather we are finally having... Luke loves the swing!Sophia continues to be Luke's bestieEven going so far as to help wake him up from naps!Speaking of naps and sleeping, Luke is a great sleeper during the day. He occasionally wakes up more than once at night. And I'm thinking this is the month he finally finds himself in a real crib. He's been a great roommate though!And we're rollin' I'm sure month 8 will bring along a whole bunch of new milestones!And I hope to get a side by side photo of Luke and Max with this throwback piclook at those luscious rolls and chubba cheeks![...]

2013 Book List


Two months ago Four months ago we entered a brand new year! How has the time flown by already??While I may not be all that stellar at updating my blog as often as I would like, I have been diligent about reading the past few years. It helps me unwind and escape. It keeps the mind fresh and thinking! And I just really love reading!I've really branched out in the past year or so with the genres that I'm reading and trying out. My super spectacular book club girls have helped me in that department. Books I read last year that I most definitely would have never chosen if I hadn't been "assigned" them or asked to read them by someone:Touch & Go by Lisa GardnerThe View from Mount Joy by Lorna LandvikA few that I'm so glad I finally persevered through because they are really beautiful books:Mark of the Lion series by Francine RiversAs Sure as the DawnAn Echo in the DarknessA Voice in the WindTruly lengthy books but wow, they gave me such a beautifully new perspective on faith and what Christians endured in the early church.Out of all of these books if I had to choose a favorite it would be...I'll go with Beth Hoffman, Looking for Me.So much I loved about this book-- the setting, the character's hobby/dream, the storyline, the story telling. It was just a fully enjoyable book from beginning to end.Second place goes to Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell.My 2014 has gotten off on the right foot. I have read 3 books thus far, one of which was over 500 pages! I've slowed down a bit since I started this post but I'm still reading![...]

Luke: 6 months


Here is our not so little lukieloo.

This guy is weighing in these days at 18 lbs and some change

His diet is still all liquid and he eats local.

His sleep patterns vary but I must say he is a great sleeper and he is still our roommate -- we don't know where he should reside, yet.

Time will tell.

In the meantime, he loves his BFF, Sophia and she loves him to the moon and back.

Sometimes she gets a little too hands on, I must say. If I just turn my head for a minute, I may see something like this... jaw dropping and camera phone OUT!

"lift your bum, baby Lute", said Sophia.

He didn't get it.

He is a little mini-Vinny and most concur on that subject.

off to work on my upper body strength...


Little Miss S and what Love is


Somedays it's just hard for me to believe this little girl has been with us now for 2 whole years.She celebrated her birthday last month with one of her favorite foods: ice cream. I merely bought the cupcakes as a prop.... we had an all out sundae bar on a sunday!It was pretty darn awesome.And so is she.Here are just a few of the ways Sophia is awesome (and hysterical)...All day long I have this little mini-me to follow me around and watch me and help me.When I was taking Luke's pictures last month, she was right beside me trying to get him to smile for her "sone" camera too.He wasn't buying it though.When I'm sitting down to nurse Luke, sometimes she'll join me on the sofa. This time it was Elmo who was hungry.I'm pretty sure all of my kids, at some point, have "tried" to feed their stuffed animals/dolls like this. It always cracks me up.Want some computer time by myself?Not a chance when this girl's awake.This time though, she brought her own computer...and rickety chair.It amazes me how fast the little ones learn to use electronics. When someone is missing a leaspster or ds, we will often ask Sophia if she might know where it is.She usually does and takes you right to it.Two is a wonderful age. I would never use the word terrible to describe it. I love to see her mind work and try to figure things out everyday.YES, of course there is definitely quite a bit of independence trying to be earned and learned but if I let her go and just try to do something on her own, usually the battle is lessened considerably and then she'll ask for help.But all day long you'll hear "I do it..."For the longest time this little sweetie pie would not watch tv.I know they shouldn't and blah blah blah.True.But there comes a time when you need them to sit and just chill so you can run and check on a sleeping baby without a child who is unable to whisper following right behind you.So I introduced Sophia to Olivia. One of my favorite pigs and cartoons.She's hooked. Thank you Amazon instant.If there is one thing this little girl LOVES the most... it is her brothers.Gabriel has had her heart from the very earliest of days.Lately though, she talks all day long of Dom. "Dom sleeping?""Dom ride bus?"Dom, this and Dom, that.She loves them all though. But her bestie during the day is Baby Lute. She is my big helper with Luke and the things she asks him and talks to him about are just downright stinkin' adorable.(this would be a photo of clothing choices for our recent kid pictures- finding coordinating clothes for SIX kids nearly sent me into a tizzy. thank God for texting and good - stylish- friends at the ready)And of course, she is always around the kitchen with me "I HELP MOMMA" she declares as she pushes over her chair to the island.Sometimes I'm patient and willing.A lot of times, I'm not.These days are so short though so I need to remember these little moments and capitalize on the eagerness of a little person WANTING to help!A rite of passage.potty training.She's eager in this department, but not too eager.So currently, I'm not pushing the matter but encouraging it whenever possible.She likes privacy at times but will declare when she has 'tinkled' in a loud voice at the most in opportune times (church, grocery store).hysterical.She's a fan of the diaper change, too.One day I set Luke down to change his diaper. I had everything prepped and ready to go and then... something happened, so I ran to attend to it and when I came back to Luke a few seconds later, there was Sophia taking off his diaper and trying her darndest to get the new one back on him.She even had a wipe in hand.insert shocked face here.Little Mama for sure.One of the best parts about this age are the sayings/words that are coming out of their little mouths.The vocabula[...]

7 Quick Takes Vol. 3


I have just about 7 minutes before the children arrive back home from school and I thought I'd unload 7 things from my noggin....---1---I did it. I have successfully-ish planned another month of meals and documented it. Wait, that sounds better than it should. What I mean to say is, is that I planned weekly meals, wrote them out weekly on my awesome CFA calendar and did this for the entire month of February. I had meant to show you/talk/blog etc about it last month but well, you know how that story goes.So March! March is my month to talk about MEAL planning or how I'm attempting to control one minute area of our life!---2---Apparently there is some snow in the forecast. Okay, I've been really well behaved about complaining about weather. Of course, hibernating in my house helps. I thought it would be a fun experiment to document what my deck looks like today versus say, this time Monday. So here... this is my view directly from my open back door.pretty much not a trace of the white stuff. Just a wee little bit lurking below the step down on our deck.we shall see what becomes of all the fuss in a few days---3---Speaking of weather and complaining... It got me to thinking that we are REALLY (and I mean REALLY) going to appreciate the warmth of the sun this spring and summer.We know it's coming.  We just have to wait it out a bit longer.Ahhh patience.---4---Lent will be here in a few short days. I've got my thinking cap on and I'm prepping the fan for it. Need to figure out what I'm going to add to my life and possibly take away as well.Do you have a plan yet? It's 40 days + the next 4 that we have to prepare our hearts for Easter! Sounds like a great time to get things back on track!---5---I have been trying to get a post up ALL MONTH LONG about this hysterical little human that I live with here. She is a hoot and a half. And since I haven't accomplished this lavish post yet.... I'm making it my goal to have it done by the end of this weekend. So... come back and read it, k?---6---This month we did a family food challenge. It being February (aka the month dedicated to red lake 40)- I took our family on a little red 40 free adventure. I blindsided the kids with it.Mr. Crafty saw it coming.I wasn't prepared to have to give up my favorite gummy bears... but I did. I returned them on a frozen tundra-ish day to the mart de Wal.... it was hard to do but necessary.We have been red 40 free-ish (there have been a few cheats and confessions by the kids - adorb, by the way) now all February long.What difference has it made? Well, not exactly sure, but I love how "on board" they all got. I'll try to post about that soon too!(she didn't want me to give the gummies back either! I don't blame you, Miss S!)---7---Back to the weather for a minute.... I seriously cannot consume enough hot beverages or wear enough layers to get myself to a warmth that I'm happy with of late.I do so love the hot beverage... tea especially. Sometimes Hot Ovaltine. When I'm feeling really daring... Hot Cocoa- made only with milk.---8---And speaking of milk, I did another little experiment (apparently I like experiments) to see if I could keep track of how much milk we drink in a given month. It was difficult to track due to my lack of habit... but I think we are near the 25 gallon mark.You heard me correctly. 25 gallons of milk in one gadsAnd done. Just realized I'm over the 7 quick takes... Ha!That last one was a BONUS.I hear the BUS!!!!!!!!!Jen hosts the 7 Quick Takes on Friday at her blog... check it out[...]

Luke: 5 months


Well, well, well.There goes that new year's resolution to blog more.I had intentions and then… well, I'm blaming it on the fact that my computer is constantly being vied for by several other people in my house. all of them are smaller than me.a laptop would helpor better planningor if this little guy would give up his newest fascination with waking me up every 2-3 hours at night.what!?!?!He looks so cute and innocent but at night he has turned into a monster!!!I know he can sleep longer and he is an A.MA.ZING daytime sleeper but….maybe it's a growth spurt.We shall see.In other news… Luke is 16 lbs.Loves eating anything that is in front of his face or can be grabbed by his chunky little baby hands.He is still in 3-6 month clothing but I just pulled out the 6-9 months and some of those are fitting now, too.Luke recently started "talking" in the mornings and at mass and any other time that we wish children would be a tee tiny bit quieter. He sounds like a bird. I think he's wishing spring would come soon. We all wish that, Luke, we're all tired of winter.Luke is a solid chap. He's heavy and just solid. It's easier to hold him sitting down.His favorite toys are his Sophie giraffe, his monkey and Pooh blankets and the colorful teether.Our foray into baby food is on the horizon and I'm so not looking forward to that phase of life.Nursing a baby is just soooo much easier and simplerHe loves his sister, Sophia, and she loves him.She was mimicking me taking photos of Luke for his 5 month pictures.--hysterical--As for me, I'm still in that 4-5 month post partum losing my hair phase. Hate that phase. But I know it's just that… a phase.Luke is a wonderful self-soother and loves his thumb so that is very helpful when chaos ensues after school and we need to eat and get to here there or wherever.That said, I'm finding it easier to just stay home and stay put these days instead of running here and there with the littlest littles. Having a meal plan has helped with that. Having super helpful neighbors who buy me the basics when I need them also really helps.Winter does that to me though. I just like to hibernate instead of running here and there with little people in bulky coats and carseats!And since it's cold and flu season, staying put isn't such a bad idea anyway!I'm finally getting back into my meal planning groove and it feels soooo good. I hope to post about that soon and maybe get a recipe or two up on the other blog sometime before up… Sophia's update. She's two now. oh boy![...]

7 Quick Takes Vol 2: 4 month old, twins of another nature and more fun


Enough with the blog procrastination!Here I go with a try to get back on the wagon again...--- 1 ---Let me begin with this guy. He's four months now and nearly 16 big LB'sHe's moving, grabbing, chewing on anything he can grab, smiling, cooing and heavy.I need to work out to lift this guy.And he melts our heart with his adorable smile and dimples--- 2 --- twinsiesMax got glasses!He looks SO smart!(he IS smart!)--- 3 ---how?How in the world is this girl here almost 2?She is hysterical and adorable and the source of much joy and laughter and sometimes tears.She likes to confiscate the big boys toys and legos and knock over/crash their creations.So now we close doors.And just recently she started learning how to close doors and trying to open them. She hasn't mastered the latter yet. whew.whole post on her coming soon.there's just so much more to say!--- 4 ---loaded my pics to my mac and found out that one of the twinks took this photo of dinner last nightnot bad photo skills!we have been LOVING this recipetacos have been revolutionized by it forever in da house--- 5 ---another twink-taken photogreat perspective and love the spy motion detectors on the floor!--- 6 ---some latitude 40 bowling fun from last fridayblurry as usual b/c my camera is the stinksthat place is funMy have- big screen Fruit Ninja!--- 7 ---Phipps selfie with mi madreWe took in the winter flower show last Sunday with friends and LukeHere we are with the BIG Christmas tree!great traditionFor more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary![...]

Lucky 13


13 years ago started we started our great adventure.....

He truly is a SUPERman and I am so blessed to walk through the crazy and blessed life we lead with him by my side....

There are so many reasons why I love this man, but here are six of them.... all lined up in a row.

Happy Anniversary to us!


Luke 3 months


Happy Happy Happy!This little guy is such a delight and a joy to our family.He has filled out those cheekies and is totally kissable.At 3 months he is now in size 3 diapers. I knew it was going to happen and finally I was tired of stuffing his bum into size 2 and took the plunge and started using the sz 3's. Now we just grab 2 diapers, line up the littles and change them both with the same size diaper! win winLuke has become so smiley this month. Talking a lot in those baby gurgles that make my heart just swoon.And he is SOLID.I mean SOL-ID.Just like Max.Let's's Max at about this age:And here's Luke with his assistant, Sophia:Yep, they're definitely related and definitely have similar builds.And those cheeks!ackLuke is known around these parts as Lukieloo or Lukapotamus. Daddy calls him the latter and I, the former. They're adorable baby nicknames if I don't say so myself.We are gearing up to celebrate his first Christmas and enjoy 3 weeks of family togetherness while the kids are off of school.Hopefully there's more blogging in my future - so much to say, so little time and so very little memory!![...]

The Great Sleepover of 2013


One week ago a most miraculous event occurred at the Crafty house.We had some college friends come into town for a reunion of sorts and a giant sleepover.It happened so last minute-like, it didn't take months to plan at all. Just a random "who's available for a get together" SOON request via facebook and BAM, we were set with a date and looking forward to hanging out together, at last.Our college reunion was only a few months ago, but I had just had a baby and Mr. Crafty is always working on Saturdays and most of us girls weren't able to be there.So there we all are, up top, in all our blurry glory for a our large group selfie!People, these girls are the best. It's been awhile since all of us have been together. There are other "reunions" from time to time, but this particular group hadn't seen one another in FOR.EV.ER.Some of us hadn't met one another's children yet! It's been that long.Oh, did I forget to mention that the kids came, too? They did!!!Susan brought her 3 boys.Amanda brought her 2 girls.I, of course, have 6 kids.Amy brought just one of hers.And Jill brought one of hers Friday and 3 out of 4 of her kids Saturday.So.... 5 moms, one dad (Mr. Crafty was working most of the weekend) and about 15 kids give or take depending on the day.All sleeping, playing and eating in the same blessed house.It was awesome. I'm not just saying that. I really loved having everyone here and I didn't lose my ever loving OCD-ish at times mind. We all fit in the house, got along, ate delicious foods, drank good drinks, enjoyed one another's company and laughed and laughed and laughed.more blurry goodness!And our paparazzi!Trying to persuade this little guy to switch teams.He was NOT having it!Once everyone left on Sunday morning, our home was way too quiet. Seriously!What can we say, we love a full house and really enjoyed all of our house guests!Hoping it doesn't take us another 15 years to repeat this adventure...Ps. And how could I forget a quick facetime with Linnea and skyping with Mary?!?? Too much fun!![...]

2 Months


And.... he's almost three months so I should probably get this post up and running.Man, is this little guy NOT.SO.LITTLE anymore!!!!Luke has been growing exponentially (he is just like all my boys, but most especially, like Max).So without further ado, I bring you the monthly Luke List:At the time of this posting, I'm sure Luke is now 13lbs. He was 12.8 at his last weigh in and that was nearly 3 weeks ago already.He is pushing the limits of the sz 2 Luvs... so pretty soon he will be in sz 3's just like his almost 2 year old sister. sleeping patterns have gotten really great- he'll take a long afternoon nap right when his sister is napping (score!) and he sleeps a long nightly stint of 4-5 1/2 hours (I'll take it! I'll take it!!)He eats well and often and local ;-)Luke loves the playmat He made new friends this weekend when my college girlfriends came to play and sleepover! (he actually looks kinda smallish here)He really has outgrown his little penguin beanie... I need to order him a new one.He occasionally takes his bink, but doesn't like it when Sophia shoves it in his mouthlately he has started really smiling and "talking" to us- it is the cutest ever and reminds me why I have six kiddos (soooo cute!)I have yet to capture this cuteness on video, but I'm trying!!He is in 3-6 month clothing already![...]

Once upon a time... a hobby tale


This blog isn't called the crafty pumpkin for nothing.While I've certainly been a wee bit busier lately "crafting" people, my love for the creative arts has not waned.Once upon a time I was a quilter.It began shortly after Mr. Crafty and I were married. It was a hobby on my "bucket list" way before bucket lists were a "thing".I hadn't sewed a thing since Home Ec in high school and I really wanted to learn. So I chose quilting and decided if I was going to learn this craft, I was going to go BIG and learn how to hand quilt. NO MACHINE, people.I took classes at local quilt shops and ended up making these....My first sampler blocks.While I still love the colors and patterns and my mad hand-quilting skillz (and paper piecing and applique) these aren't particularly "my style" anymore and my plans for making this into something practical (a quilt for our Queen sized bed) has changed.Now I just want to get them sewn together and finished!These poor blocks have been hidden in my quilt bag for 12 years now!Hobby gone wrong!Yes, life got busy and my quilting supplies got tucked further back behind my gazillion other hobbies/projects. Still, I do have a desire to finish this project.Enter Courtney and her little "challenge"/ invitation to join a quilt-along...It all began here with Courtney giving us her little vision for a virtual quilt group. I'm all for joining groups. I love groups! I love a challenge! I love the IDEA of finishing a project!Sign me up!Now if you know any quilters, you'd know that they never, ever, ever have just ONE quilt "in the works".  And while I'd never call myself a "quilter", I joined that multiple-projects-in-the-works club pretty quickly when I saw this...OH how I LOVE an I SPY book! And now here was an idea to make a quilt out of the idea! WHAT FUN!I jumped on board this idea pretty quickly and got a quick tutorial from a friend's mother-in-law on what to do. And now I have 30+ squares that still need to be "squared-up" (I'm pretty sure that's a quilting term, but I'm a bit rusty) and are NOT stitched together but would really really like to be soon!And while I'm not really digging the chaos of this quilt anymore either (I think I would have gone a more color organized route), it's something that I have done a third of the work for already and would love to see stitched together and quilted for my kids to play on/with in the coming months.So, that's my little quilting history.Will I join the club and actually make something with what I have done already?Will I jump on the more modern quilting bandwagon?Will Crafty ever complete a project that she has begun?Only time/energy will tell. I mean, I do have a newborn-ish child still and I'm a visual learner who likes to be walked through the steps.Stay tuned to see what happens in the coming months![...]

Recycled Pumpkins!


Have you ever wondered why my blog is called She's a Crafty Pumpkin?Well, other than the fact that I'm crafty.... (which may be hard to tell these days as the only "crafts" I'm creating are the breakfast/lunch/dinner variety), the word pumpkin just so happens to be one of my favorite words in the English language and ranks up in the top 5 favorite flavors that I love.I just love the color of PUMPKINS.I love the way the word PUMPKINS rolls off of my tongue.I love the yummy foods that can be created with this bright orange colored squash!AND that leads me to today's thoughts on your holiday decor.This post deals with all those UNCARVED pumpkins in your life. Maybe I'm not the only one who had nary a stitch of time left for pumpkin carving. What with all the costume finding, the candy sorting, the feeding of and taking care of people I was doing... there was just no.time.left.(and to be honest, I hate carving pumpkins and the smell that is produced during this task)Some people throw away pumpkins as soon as the clock strikes twelve on Oct. 31st.Some keep these lovely, bright colored orbs around until Thanksgiving, incorporating them into their decor.And some cut them in half, scoop out the seedsand roast them in a 350° oven in a shallow pan with about a 1/4 inch of water (check as the water evaporates during cooking) for about 45-55 minutes. Your house will smell of delcious fall scents. You will want to dance around and sing about pie- (or not).You will want to drink hot apple cider and don an apron as you relish in your good old-fashioned sense to use what you have and not waste a good pumpkin!By the way, this is the same way you'd cook a butternut squash, an acorn squash or whatever squash you find at the farmer's market!You want the flesh of the pumpkin to be easily pierced with a knife- that's how you'll know it's done.Scoop out the flesh and store it in the fridge to be used in your favorite pumpkin recipe.PIE works for me.The color will be different, but it's FRESH! It will taste glorious! You will be so proud! You'll knock yourself on the head and say "Why didn't I think of this sooner????"Now go forth and ROAST A PUMPKIN!**the pumpkins that work BEST for this are the 3-4 pounders. About the height of a water bottle. They're sweeter.[...]

October Randomosities


Looks like if I'm ever going to update here it will have to be via my phone and the blogger app.I've been trying to steal (and that is SO the right word) some time to sit at my "big" computer but alas.... There's no time left in a day. So so much has happened since I last posted those adorable 1 month pics of our little Luke. I really wanted to make sure I wrote them down to remember and before I post his 2 month pics!!So October is a busy month for us as we have soccer, lots of soccer, Gabriel's birthday, Halloween and we added an event this year- Luke's baptism! Things have been nonstop here for weeks!Between Mr. Crafty and I, we've been spending three days a week on soccer activities. Two nights a week for practice- split up among the four boys and then Saturdays for games. Since Mr. Crafty is in the car biz, saturdays are my lucky day to cart all 6 to games. It's been a bit hairy at times needless to say but overall it's been good. The big kids help with Sophia and Luke is usually sleeping. The weather has been tremendous most Saturdays, for us too. This weekend it all comes to a close with the games wrapping up for Max and the twins and Gabriel's team in the playoffs all weekend. Speaking of Gabriel, he is now our big 11 year old. That boggles my mind on many levels. I showed him a cake I had pinned and he was game! So two weeks ago, I made this happen:What a fun cake! Gabe added in his lego figures onto the hobbit hole. If you look closely you'll notice Dobby is visiting Bilbo Baggins' home. We had a small gathering at our house to celebrate. Gabriel was really excited to get his faves: Legos, beyblades, Adidas sweats and a kindle! He's hoping for some amazon gift cards next so he can fill his kindle up. Oh and he got the newest Percy book- house of hades. The kid reads like it's his job. I love that we both share that passion. After his birthday, it was time to focus on Luke's Baptism coming up at the end of the month. I decided to have a gathering here and thankfully, received LOTS of help to make that happen. My mom and I made 115 manicotti one day. She made pounds of sausage and meatballs. We ordered a cake, rolls and chicken. And things came together for the party to be a beautiful success. Most importantly was that we welcomed Luke into our family of faith. He was cool, calm and collected throughout the pouring of holy water on his head. That would be thanks to me for feeding him right before we left for the church and arriving 15 minutes late. Story of my life of late. Here he is with his Godparents and their kids. So sweet. My lovely neighbors dressed me, help hang and make the balloon banner and God bless Luke banner and helped me with the favors too. It was a huge group effort to say the least. I'm so glad we decided to have it here though. It was lovely having such a full house. Reminded me of the Tobymac song Love is in the house: when love is in the house the house is packed/So much so I left the back door cracked ...October wouldn't be October without the donning of costumes and the gathering of treats. Ah Halloween. The holiday I love to hate. Sorry to be such a "Scrooge" but Halloween is always the last day of the month which translates into me having to be in charge without Mr. Crafty to help. My mom came and held a baby while I escorted the candy getters. Sophia only went to 5 houses or so before I brought her back home. It was a windy and rainy night and I still on[...]

One month


I know this happens every time, but really, how is it that he's already one month old?thankfully, he's still so little, and to me, still newborn-ish enough.yet, I feel the days are sweeping by me faster than I'd like and I want so very much to still hold on and savor all his newness.but there's homework and soccer and dinner and lunches to make and laundry (oh the laundry).nothing new to any mom out there in the whole wide world.lots of busy-ness. oodles more than I'd like right now...but we press on each day!Here's a little rundown of this little guy:The Luke Listhe is still very much a newborn and eats, sleeps and poos, like a newbornwhen anyone asks if he's a good baby... (why do people ask this?), I say... YES!and when said people ask if he's sleeping well at night, I reply, "he sleeps just like a newborn should!"meaning he eats often (like all my boys have done) and sleeps in between feeds (according to my app. he averages 2hrs and 27 min between feeds)he loves to fill his diaper up just as soon or while it's being changedhe's rockin' the sz 1 pamper swaddlers currentlyhis momma just discovered Burts Bees Diaper ointment and is in HEAVEN and addicted (a wee bit) to this stuff (thank you Amazon for awesome prices on this!!)- it smells soooo goodhe loves his sister Sophia very much but dislikes when she sits on him (though you'd never know as he doesn't complain at all about it)I'm sure he's pushing 10 lbs by now and he's definitely added some length as his clothes are getting short already- we'll know more specifically tomorrowLuke loves when momma eats ice creamand when Sophia reads him stories, beside himhe's smitten with all of his brothers, especially Gabe and Max. They hold him and kiss him and soothe him when momma makes him wait to eat because she's doing 12 other things all at oncehe's learning patience quite quicklyComing up soon.... an update on Miss S![...]

first hours, days, week


{First Hours}EnjoyingOne of our first gifts in the hospital was this little cake and card signed by all our nurses. The cake was the perfect post-labor breakfast the "next" morning.ExploringI had no idea Luke had so much hair! It took me much later to pull off that little hospital cap and discover the head of hair underneath it all!I love those first hours together when you can inspect their little feet and hands and knees and ears.... tiny little baby parts. so preciousEvolution of a familyHere's my reality....six kids and my prince charming.crazy! exciting! blessed!First Days Home I had the opportunity to leave the hospital as soon as possible and return to my nest and my own bit of chaos.We still had a crib to assemble and baby stuff to unearth! I was in my final week of nesting and would have bet the house that I wouldn't go into labor early.But maybe having a garage sale 2 days before "Labor day" was indeed a really good idea.It certainly helped push me along in the right direction!The boys were over the moon over baby Luke. Wanting to hold him and kiss him and snuggle him.This little lady was more interested, at first, at all the new products showing up.She became our unofficial tester-outer.yep, the co-sleeper seems to be working just fine, thanks Miss S!While these late nights and early mornings and all the hours in between are exhausting....I am cherishing these moments and love looking down to see this sweet thing in my lap.I still have my usual cravings...there's a lot of this kind of thing being eaten over here.First Weekdefinitely challenging on so many levels. Mr. Crafty went back to work one week after Luke was born, well, one day short of one week.The first day was not too shabby.The kids went to school.Sophia took a stellar nap.Luke and I napped.The kids came home and brought with them all the insanity that we have everyday after school... snacks, homework, dinner, baths, bed.And then you have these little moments....And you have lots of these multi-tasking moments.Trying to squeeze in as much of life as you possibly can before bedtime.And then I have to feed all these people?We've been blessed by many bringing dinner by and I'm receiving some more meals in the coming weeks, thankfully.Because mustering the energy to make dinner, organize homework, school lunches, uniforms, feed a newborn and wrangle a toddler is enough for any one person to handle in one hour or so.Everything seems to happen at once.So it's really great when I feel energized enough to make something homemade for dinner. It's not happening everyday. Promise.I'm not superwoman and can't wave a wand to make things appear/disappear (but gosh, I wish those dirty dishes and ironing would disappear for awhile) quite yet.And I'm still working with just 2 hands and 2 legs... "I'm not an OCTOPUS" I tell the kids! patience please!all in all, these first two weeks have been grand.exhausting, yes.frustrating at times, yes and YES!sometimes feeling defeated by the sheer magnitude of what needs to be accomplished before 8pm, oh heavens, YES!And then you sit back and look and find moments like this and well, it puts it all in perspective to me.these days are short.Gone in the blink of an eye.So, I'm just going to cherish the time I have to sit and watch it all enfold.And fill my heart with thankfulness that I get to be a part of this amazing adventure God has prepared for me.[...]

Labor Day remembered


two weeks ago yesterday was our very own labor day.I started the day out with a list of things I wanted to accomplish: moving some furniture, running a few errands, hot dogs on the grill, zucchini cakes for dinner and steak!The twins and I ran errands to JoAnn's, Home Depot (they gave out free fudge and banana popsicles!) and Giant Eagle.On our way home I started noticing that my contractions were occuring about every 7-8 minutes. So when we got home around 1, I sat down at the computer and started paying attention.Now, you have to understand that while I may be on my 5th pregnancy, this was only the second time I've actually gone INTO labor. The whole timing contractions thing is still so new to me. I've never had my water break and all of my babies have had to be coaxed out with pitocin.{lots of crushed ice and phone time}When my OB had told me the previous Thursday to not wait around if I even thought I was in labor... she kinda scared me enough to act on what I thought was labor this time and get to the hospital. (no parkway babies for us!)  I called her and she didn't act suprised at all and said she's see me soon.I knew I was already at  2 1/2 cm and 75% effaced. So, when Vinny saw me acting a little cautious and I wasn't eating my lunch... he started to get himself ready to get the heck out of the house and head to the hospital (which was not a short drive- about 25-30 minutes depending on the time of day).Thankfully, my Dad was on his way over to the house to do some Mr. Fix-it repairs here. He held down the fort while Mr. Crafty and I got on the road and until Crafty's mom arrived.{there were laughs to be had early in the day}After triage and making sure I was indeed in labor, I got settled into my L&D room and walked around as much as I could before I was strapped into all the monitors and IV. I was getting an epidural at some point as well. So I knew my time on my feet was limited.Mr. Crafty was there with me and the other half of my birth team arrived shortly after I was settled in my room... Mrs. Heart in Progress herself, Rachel. It's her I have to thank for this little picture walk through my Labor Day. She took "a few" photos and was very supportive during my "not so nice" times and even held my bum leg that absorbed all my epidural meds. {waiting and waiting and waiting and playing Words with Friends!}To say this labor took awhile is an understatement. We arrived at the hospital triage around 2:30 and I was already 3 cm at that point. My epidural was placed by 5 pm and the OB broke my water sometime after that, maybe 7pm. As with all the other babies to enter the Crafty family, this one was ready, but not quite ready. My pit drip started around the time my water broke and was increased every hour or so until go time.I just couldn't progress past 6/7cm. It was frustrating.You're lying there, anxiously awaiting the arrival of this new little person and there's nothing I could do to hurry things along. I kept saying, before midnight! This one is coming before midnight! He didn't.And I was hungry.Really hungry.Enough to motivate me on some level and frustrate me on all the others.We watched Convos with my 2 yr old, Drunk History, listened to Over the Rhine's newest album and played a little Mandisa, Overcomer.And still... we waited.Oh and did I mention there was back labor, too.Never had that before.And there was this piercing pain in m[...]