Here I Go Again…

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If you are like me, you read the heading to this post and started singing White Snake.  If you’re not like me, I feel sorry for you because your inner soundtrack is obviously missing something… TOTAL AWESOMENESS!!!  Every time I here that song, I have to break out the air drums and smile.  When I actually listen to the words I have to laugh a bit because the last time I was alone on my own was about 9 years ago. It lasted for like half a minute before I met my husband, got married and started on what is now a family of four, count them FOUR amazing kids.  Still, the song makes me want to surge forward and do all the things I love that get pushed to the side with the day to day of being a stay-at-home mom.

On that note, I will admit that I am attempting Kids Clothes Week Challenge (KCWC) put together by elsie marley.  The challenge is to spend an hour a day sewing kids clothes for 7 days!  I am already a little behind, but I do have some pieces I am working on including a cute circle skirt for my Pork Chop and some more pants for Moo.  It’s daunting but exciting because although I really love to sew and create, it’s often hard to find the time.

 

On top of that I’ve been back to bentos with the kids’ lunches.  This year I have three in school!  I had conferences with my kindergartner’s teacher and when she showed me that he was having trouble recognizing some of the letters in the alphabet, I suggested that I make flash cards at home.  “Even better,” she said “would be to make him letter bentos!  We love the lunches you send with him every day!”  I have to admit, I was a proud mamma at that moment.  I came home and told him that it was totally worth it to put together those lunches.  I was of course cursing that notion this morning when we were all running late and I was trying to be creative yet healthy…

It’s a busy life but today I wouldn’t trade it in for anything!

So what have you been up to lately?  I want to hear all about it!

disappearing act

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Sorry its been so long since I’ve posted… my computer imploded and I am posting this from my kindle fire as it is. Needless to say I will be out of commission until we can get a new computer… until then I will be trying to put together some new ideas and have them ready to go. Thanks for your patience!

Green is good

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Green is good

I know it’s past St. Patrick’s Day, but to be honest, I don’t really care.  I have cute pictures of my kids and I intend on sharing them 🙂

I decorated the kids’ shirts this year.  I got all of the shirts on a clearance sale at Walmart for a dollar and I already had the supplies to decorate them at home… Super Score!!  Each child has a different shirt.  Sporty, Pork Chop and Bubba all had freezer stenciled shirts and Short Stack had an appliqued shirt.

For Pork Chop’s shirt I did a freezer stencil of the words “Lucky Girl” and then added some polka dots with a sponge brush.  After it was dry I added little hand painted hearts to the center of each polka dot.

I appliqued a shamrock onto Short Stack’s shirt and then painted some gold fabric paint over the top of it.  When she wore it, she had braids with bows tied in them from the same fabric.  This is her “new” smile…  She said she’s trying to look “dreamy”.

Sporty is getting to the age where he doesn’t really like all the bells and whistles on his clothes so I just did a simple freezer stencil of the phrase “Pinch Proof”.

Bubba had a freezer stencil shirt that said “IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY” with the word “lucky” done in gold fabric paint.  He’s wearing a pair of seersucker pants I sewed  him last week (so proud of myself) from a tutorial I found on MADE.  It’s such a great tutorial and easy to follow!

One more picture and then I’m done… My husband asked me to sew him a kilt for St. Patrick’s day.  That’s just the kind of guy he is.  I have never sewn a kilt before, nor did I have a pattern for it.  I burned the heck out of my arm ironing pleats.  PLEATS PLEATS PLEATS!!  I am tired of pleats that is for sure!  Anyway, I think it turned out pretty awesome and I made sure not to remind him that kilts are Scottish and St. Patrick’s Day is Irish.  Why ruin his fun?

 

as long as we keep believing… a gathered thought

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*I was recently invited by my friend Kamille over at Redeeming the Table to participate in a Gathered Thoughts Link Party for LoveFeast Table using the following quote from their new 365 Gathered Thoughts Box as a writing prompt*

“We all have our own life to pursue, Our own kind of dream to be weaving…
And we all have the power
To make wishes come true,
As long as we keep believing.”

–Louisa May Alcott

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”  The question is not an unfamiliar one, the answers, too, are ones that we recognize.  Doctor, princess, firefighter, teacher.  As children we have no concept of limitation.  We firmly believe that one day we will walk on the moon, be in a rock band or rope cattle.  I myself had a deep desire to train killer whales.  I could see myself in the cool neoprene suit, tanned and confident and totally in charge of a giant animal (my back up plan was rock star).  These desires often change as we grow.  We find our interests shifting, our circumstances changing.  Sometimes we stumble upon a path, other times it’s the same one we’ve walked diligently since childhood.

I watch my children grow, I see their personalities continue to form and I wish for them the ability to hold on to their dreams.  We live in a world where the glut of the day-to-day threatens to snatch our dreams away.  “Get real”  people say.  “Be realistic!”  Is there room for our dreams?  Must we give up our deep desires?  Or do we fight for those moments, those precious moments where anything and everything  is possible!

I think that the desires of our hearts are gifts from a loving Heavenly Father who understands the value and importance of a dream.  Whether it seems a mundane dream or an unobtainable one, God places these dreams in our hearts as a way of revealing Himself to us.  Following our dreams gives us the opportunity to watch God work in amazing ways.

So don’t be afraid to dream big.  You can be a superhero (even if only to your children), a princess (even if your husband’s the only one who sees it), a rock star (even if it’s only in the shower).

I only have one last question… what do you want to be when you grow up?

*Please stop by LoveFeast Table and check out all the other wonderful writers who have been inspired!

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Almost Spring

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Yesterday it was 70 degrees and sunny and wonderful so Bubba, the Pork Chop and I all headed out to the deck to catch some rays.  I grabbed my camera and got a couple really cute pictures of my littles.  Then I had a sad moment when I realized that next year, Bubba will be in school and I will just have Pork Chop at home.  The time goes so fast!

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OVERLOAD

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Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all the awesomeness on the internet?  I have a huge list of blogs I love, Pinterest has me expanding my “to make” list and Facebook keeps me entertained.  I’m having total overload!  There are just too many cool things out there!

I feel good though because amidst all this fun, I managed to make paper pirate hats out of newspaper with Bubba today.  We went a step further and added pirate logos to his milk glass and make a little hat for First Mate (aka Pork Chop).  As long as I balance, it should all be ok…

Pinterest Win

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I’ve mention Pinterest in a previous post and I’ll say it again, if you haven’t checked it out, you are totally missing out!!  I’ve recently added a “follow me on Pinterest” button on my sidebar, so please feel free to click it and check out my pins.

I’m proud to say that I’ve actually tried out some of the things I’ve found on Pinterest including this recent success:

Donuts from biscuits  These insanely easy to make donuts were insanely delicious!  Just get packaged biscuit dough (any kind but flaky)  I found a pack of four for less than $2.  Cut out a hole in the middle (don’t forget to save the little pieces for donut holes!), fry in veggie oil (watch them carefully because they brown quickly) then dip in butter and cinnamon sugar, sprinkle on powder sugar, or even make a glaze (I made some odd approximation of a maple glaze) and go to town!  I didn’t really like how they tasted the next day (a little like stale cake donuts) but oh my gosh my family devoured a TON of them the day we made them!

The Pork Chop

Bubba

Short Stack

Sporty

As you can see, everyone enjoyed the donuts!  A Pinterest Win if I do say so myself 🙂

 

Bentobsession

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Bento… have you heard the word before?  Yes, it’s a fun word, but it’s also an amazing way of doing lunch (or snacks).  I’ve been so inspired recently by blogs like Bento-logy, Meet the Dubiens and Another Lunch seeing how other moms make lunches for their kids.  Bento is basically a Japanese concept of a visually appealing meal packed into a single container.  What that means for me as a mother is making healthy lunches that look as good as they taste.  At first I was intimidated by the concept.  I thought it would take a lot of extra time, but in reality it’s not time consuming as long as I plan the weeks lunches in advance so I know I’ll have the different elements on hand.

My first step was buying some boxes.  I found some great square containers at the dollar store.  All four sides lock down and they are deep enough for what I need.  These boxes fit in the bottom of the kids’ lunchbags so they were perfect to start with.  If you are looking for bento boxes,  Amazon has some fun choices as does All Things for Sale.  I also purchased these EasyLunchBoxes from Amazon, but they are too big to carry in the kids’ lunchbags.  I want to buy the EasyLunchBox carrying bags (which are really inexpensive) but I haven’t got around to it yet so we just use these for the weekends right now.  Basically when you are choosing a box you want something that will be able to fit upright in your lunch container.  You don’t want all your hard work to be tipped up and mixed up.  I’m totally wanting these Lock and Lock boxes which have four removable trays and this Nibble Tray for my one year old.

Nibble Tray (picture from Amazon)

Then I started getting the fun stuff.  I have a huge box of cookie cutters that I’ve collected over the years and although these are great for cutting sandwiches and lunch meats, they weren’t that great for the small stuff.  I ordered some smaller metal cutters (you could even use the ones they sell for fondant at Walmart or craft stores).  I also found that silicone and paper baking cups are my friends.  These are great to keep things compartmentalized which is kind of the point of bento.  I’ve also collected different picks, sauce cups and other fun things to make the lunches more interesting.  Again, All Things for Sale is a great resource, but you can find things at craft stores or Amazon.  I found these great Star Wars cookie cutters at Williams-Sonoma.  I was extra excited because they were 50% off and they make awesome sandwiches!

Can you see now why it’s easy to get a little obsessed?  There are so many cool things out there!

Let me just say that my kids LOVE bento lunches!  They’re so excited to open their boxes every day and even my picky 4 year old begs me “can we make bentos?  Can we can we???”.  I love seeing empty lunch boxes at the end of the day, knowing my children were happily gobbling up whatever was inside.

Some of my recent bentos are pictured below:

Chicken Pig Bento (it was a chicken sandwich with a pig face)

Darth Vadar Ham and Cheese Bento for SportyPB&J "Sushi" bento

 

As you can see I’ve been having fun experimenting (sorry the photography is awful… my new camera and I are currently fighting each other).

One of the first issues I had with bento is what to do with the extra bits… when I cut sandwiches or veggies, there were all these little pieces.  How could I forget that I have a human black hole?  The Pork Chop loves all the little bits (and they’re all pretty much cut to toddler size anyway).  I found out she’s a big fan of sweet pepper.  If you don’t have a Pork Chop in your home, you could always use the little bits of veggies and cheeses in omlettes or scrambles, the bread makes great croutons (or feeding birds with your kids).  Basically if you put your mind to it, you won’t have to worry about any waste.

I hope that you’ll give bento boxes a try in your home.  It’s an easy way of making healthy food fun.  My kids would rather have a handmade bento than a McDonald’s Happy Meal, and that makes mommy happy!!