Category Archives: Thoughts

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!

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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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…

Procrastination, thy name is Liz!

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I am feeling so scattered this week.  I have a list of things that need doing a mile long and I am sitting in front of the computer hanging around facebook, ordering free books for my kindle and wandering around the house not really doing anything at all.  The entire time I can here the voices in my head screaming at me, demanding my attention to various tasks.  Chore charts for the kids need to be re-typed, dishes are hollering to be washed, the laundry is slowly creeping out of the laundry room trying to make a sneak attack on anyone foolish enough to wander into the hallway.  Shall I go on?  I’ve got more!  I haven’t made any menu plans for the week, the upstairs living room is covered in shredded pieces of baby wipes (thank you kitties!), the kitchen floor desperately needs the attention of a mop and broom and I know there are about 5 separate piles of stuff in my bedroom that could stand to be reorganize and put away.

This is my Monday.  This is my every day!  I get all organized and “Super Homemaker” for like a day and then I find myself watching the Food Network (or worse, Bravo) and wasting an hour or six doing nothing on my list.  I really really REALLY hate that part of me.  The worst part of it is that I feel like I never have any down time.  How is it possible to check Facebook statuses and read food blogs but not have any down time?  Could it be those menacing ever-present tasks that shadow over every moment?  Wouldn’t it just be better to complete something on my list, to silence that voice and take a moment to revel in the quiet moment of triumph?

Procrastination.

Determination to avoid frustration.

Procrastination.

It won’t work itself out.  I just need motivation.

Wasting time on this poem… it’s an abomination.

The dishes and laundry pile up a visual condemnation.

This domestic bliss starts to feel like obligation.

I need a vacation, a new vocation

(and if I dare clean out the fridge, probably a vaccination!)

These menial tasks pile up… my explanation?

I find it hard to avoid procrastination!

There… that wasted another 10 minutes…

Skinny Wallet

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Many families today are struggling with too much month at the end of the money and my family is no exception.  My husband and I have what I view as a very American mentality about spending:  “If I want it, I deserve it so I’ll get it and worry about it later”.  It’s frustrating because we never seem to have money for the things we really want, or the things we really need.

Need vs. Want… it’s a concept I try to teach my kids, but that I’m not very successful at myself.  I’ve made a decision and starting today I’m going to put my wallet on a diet.  I’m going to choose to forgo the WANT for the NEED.  Big talk, I know.

One of the first steps is going to be in the area of groceries.  I don’t know about you but I am a habitual impulse shopper.  I try to write a list, but then I get to the store and fill my cart with all kinds of things that don’t belong there.  I love cool packaging (it’s a downfall, I know) and although I have nothing against buying generic, pretty packaging often finds its way into my cart.

I’ve been doing some research on feeding my family inexpensively and one area I’m going to try to cut down on is cereal bars/oatmeal bars.  My kids love having a granola bar or oatmeal bar as a snack and so I buy boxes of them.  I’ll be looking for a good recipe to replace the processed version (bonus benefit – healthy snacks!).  I’m also going to get out my sewing machine and sew up a couple of re-usable snack/sandwich bags and save on the cost of ziplock bags for the kids’ lunches.

Another way I’m going to start spending less is the entertainment part of our lives.  Friday Funday has become an automatic fast food meal and video.  Why can’t I start cooking with my kids and playing board games?

I’m excited about this, but scared too.  What will it mean to change these ingrained habits?  Can I do it?  Will I be able to bear the complaining from my kids (that’s assuming they complain, which who knows?  They could surprise me!).  Can I still give my family a full stomach with a skinny wallet?  I’m willing to give it a try!

A promising start

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The whole family

If you’ve read my blog with any regularity you know that I suffered from a car accident, a pregnancy and subsequent birth of the Pork Chop last year. 2011 has been filled with craziness including a scary run in with Hurricane Irene.  With everything that’s been going on I’ve hardly had a moment to myself.  I took to my journal to really look at what my life had become.  I realized just how unhappy I’ve been.  While I love being a mother, not spending any time pursuing a hobby or interest has made me pretty one dimensional.  If I do anything it’s for my kids or my husband, not for myself.  My body is certainly showing the after effects of my pregnancy and depression in the form of 40 lbs that need to take a hike.  I easily turn to junk food and picked up my bad soda habit again.  Writing this out for anyone to see is difficult because it showcases everything I don’t like about myself lately.

The upside to this is that I decided to finally do something about.  I wrote a list of three specific large goals and broke it down into easily accomplished steps.  It was inspiring!

And then I let it sit there for three weeks.

I didn’t do anything.  I kept eating junk food, I kept burning myself out on trying to be super mom, I moaned and complained when I looked in the mirror.

That all changed today and I couldn’t be more excited.  I got off my butt, threw on my running shoes, strapped the Pork Chop and Bubba into their seats and drove to the gym!  Well, first I drove to KMart to get a new lock because my old one was clamped to the side of my gym bag and I couldn’t remember the combination because it had been over a year since I last used it.  But then I went right to the gym!  I dropped the kidlins off in the child care room and hit the treadmill.  My completely awesome playlist and my Kindle kept me busy and the next thing I knew, 45 minutes had passed!  I decided to stop there not wanting to overdue it on my first day back.  I felt so good to just walk and walk and walk.  I didn’t have anyone crying or saying “heymomheymomheymomheymomheymom…”.  I had a smile on my face when I saw the kids again.  I went home and ignored the soda and poured a nice glass of water instead.  It’s a promising start and I’m ready to get back to a happier, healthier me.