Saturday, November 30, 2013

Decking the Halls

 We are making a change in traditions this year with hubby out of town. Instead of a fresh tree in the family room I put up the artificial tree we normally use in the living room. While it's not what we are use too, once I hung our family ornaments from over the years it will "Make Do" just fine. The clean up after Christmas will be so much easier!
 Roll Tide, what a game this is tonight!!
 Hubby's Sister and BIL gifted us a new Bama ornament from their many travels this year
 My kitchen tree is all set for some holiday baking.
 With all the activities of this past week we didn't have time to buy our 2013 ornament yet. One of the many things added to my errand list for next week.
 Most of our stockings are hung. I sew need to get the little girls stockings finished this year!! I am using an old stocking from our first dog for Mason until I can get his complete. His kit hasn't even been opened yet.
As you can see I am no where near done!! The kitchen as always is where the action begins no matter what the project.

How in the world have I accomplished so much already today you ask? Hubby and I were up at 5:00AM preparing to meet up with family and friends for a end of Thanksgiving farewell breakfast at 6:00AM sharp. What the heck since I was up anyway I figured I would get a good start then work in a nice long nap in the early afternoon.

That plan went right out the window once the Ohio State/Michigan game started. Wow what a game, other than the terrible sportsmanship from a few of the players. If the coaches are any kind of coaches those young men will be sitting out the rest of the season. Bama/Auburn game is on now, NO NAPPING during this barn burner. Followed by South Carolina/Clemson tonight. Maybe I can sleep in tomorrow!! Ha

I am not putting all of the tree's up this year since hubby won't be home for most of the season. The Christmas village as well will stay packed up. Until the toddlers are a bit older there is no point in putting yet more hard not to touch pretty's out. I am still having to lug in all of the tubs and boxes to pick and chose what we will use this year, what a mess!

Anyone else getting your home decorated over this long weekend? I would rather run a marathon than get out in the crazy crowds to shop. Leftovers, football, and decorating is all I need today!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Light Em Up

Happy Late Thanksgiving!!! Hope everyone had a wonderful day with their families eating like little piggy pig pigs. We had a houseful with 16 for dinner, everyone behaved nicely that was over the age of three! Ha The grands were a bit high strung as the weather has been so cold none of them have been able to run off all that energy.

This week has be busy, crazy, wonderful with hubby arriving home Sunday just in time for family dinner. We have been non stop since he walked in the door. Today will be no different, breakfast out with hubby's Sister, BIL, and Kara. This afternoon Mason mans 2nd Birthday party followed by what I am sure will be everyone over to polish off the leftovers. They better be ready to eat it ALL up as I sure don't want to throw out one single bite of all this wonderful food!!

My turn in the shower before we are off but I wanted to share the link below to kick of the Christmas season. DD#1 and her friends are each picking 5 things from the list on this link to do over the holiday with their kiddo's. So many cute and sweet idea's that don't cost a whole lot but will help the children learn about giving. Check it out

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holiday Doings

 Kara is turning into a regular in the kitchen these days. Here she is mixing the sauce for Chex Mix, a fall family favorite for watching all the upcoming Christmas specials and movies.
 One of the many pleasures of having a double oven is we can make 4 batches of just about anything at one time, Love that.
 This a whole heck of a lot of chex mix. A container for hubby to take back to TX, one for home, and of course one to share with the big girls families.
 Chocolate covered peanuts for Thanksgiving, hubby's "To Go" box and a bit for gift giving.
Over the weekend Kara and I stocked up on some super sales at the grocery. Butter BOGO, Turkey for Christmas dinner, garbage bags BOGO, graham cracker crumbs BOGO, ditto on dog food. The biggest score of all was level (2) diapers for $4.00 @. We bought 10 packages!!! A savings of $100.00!!!! Remember we have another Grand in the oven, diapers won't go bad!

Our grocery store haul total was $110.78. Savings...drum roll please.... $152.20. Gotta love a deal like that!

Did you think I had dropped off the face of the Earth? Na, just so busy getting this holiday cheer pulled together that I haven't had the time or energy to sit down for more that five minutes without falling asleep.

Hubby arrived home Sunday evening just in time to celebrate SIL#2's Birthday dinner. The Grands were crazy excited when he walked in the door. Oh how they love Papaw (said with a French accent) Along with cooking, baking, and cleaning I have been trying to jump on some of the pre Black Friday sales. The big kids turned in their list at Sunday dinner, money and GC seem to be the theme this year, works for me!

I had a question of what does RAK stand for? It's short for "Random Acts of Kindness" One of our favorite things to do all year long but during the holiday's we all kick it up a bunch! I will try to share some of our favorite charities/ideas sometime this week. No promise as to which day, things are super busy this week. Tomorrow hubby has to renew his drivers licence, inspect the truck, then we are off to enjoy Karsyn's Thanksgiving program at pre school followed by an afternoon with the little girls. See what I mean, its a full day each and every day.

But tonight we are enjoying some down time with cookies and tea (or beer for some) watching "Celtic Woman" Home For Christmas. Talk about voices of Angels!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Another Exciting Friday Night. Not!!

Kara mixing her little heart out
Kara and I decided to give DD#1 a surprise dinner tonight to celebrate her first week back at work. We had to work quickly as we were going over to help with Karsyn and Mason at noon. Brownies, corn muffins, wild rice, along with chicken and spices to throw Herbed Chicken in DD's crock pot. I love seeing how excited the grands get knowing they are part of a RAK. I wonder if things like this are what help develop the "Heart of a Giver"?

Typical day, busy, crazy, exhausting, but oh so blessed to have the time with these little guys

Friday, November 22, 2013

Some Finishes

 The drapes I repurposed for DD last week were 10 inches to short :( Measuring first would have been a good idea. Hopefully adding a 10 inch band to the bottom will work!
 Got the binding on the tee shirt quilt, she is ready to go to her new home.
 Do you think we have enough leaves? Hubby will have his hands full when he arrives home. Kara had a blast running around on pathes I made for her today
 Another finish. A fall table runner for the grands new sitter. Figured she should get something extra for her first week with our babies
 Along with all these finishes Kara and I got started on cookies for Papaw and the freezer. Some messy memory making for sure.
This is one proud gal
I do believe today will be an easier day as yesterday was a real Nanny buster. After a LONG day of doing's DD#1 had one of those dreaded in home parties I had to attend. Turned out the party wasn't so bad after all, our DD's picked out Christmas gifts for themselves and the ladies who attended were a fun bunch. A fun night and Christmas shopping to boot isn't such a bad thing. My problem is now that it's dark by 5:00 I don't want to leave the house!
Kara and I get to have some play time with Karsyn and Mason today as the sitter needs to do an errand. I have been missing those rug rats this week. Once back home we are going to work on another double batch of cookies and maybe a winter tee for the little girls. My evening needs to be devoted to house cleaning! So many piles of stuff, so little time or energy to do what needs to be done especially once the sun goes down.
We hope to get most of our Christmas shopping done next week while hubby is in town. I am thinking it will be mostly GC and cash for the big kiddo's as they all seem to be saving for a big ticket items. Mason man and the little girls are already taken care of as well as gifts for friends and neighbors are about 80% complete. We are trying to think of something for Tyler other than the dang video games he is so into right now, UGH A stroll around Toy's R Us is on our To Do list.
Anyone else working on getting the gift giving chore out of the way early? I would love to have it all wrapped and stacked so I can really enjoy what the season is all about.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

First Christmas Tee

 Sew what do you think? I know the DD's are going to want to get the little girls in their Christmas finery the day after Thanksgiving. This is a super quick easy tee to put together. Here is how to do it.
 You need 3 scraps or charm squares of fabric.
 Cut (2) pieces 3  x 4 these well be the end packages.
Cut  (1) piece 3 x 5 this is the middle package.
Now use light weight iron on double sided "Heat and Bond" on each package.
 Iron the pieces down then use a zig zag stitch around each package. If you don't have a sewing machine you could use heavy weight "Heat and Bond". The heavy weight should hold up in the wash
 Next you could make super cute bows for each package or you could be lazy like me and buy some hair pretty's. These have 4 bows per package, were on sale buy one get one 1/2 off. Worked out to $1.10 @.
Take the clip, pony tail holder, or whatever off of the hair bow. Use a small safety pin in the inside of the shirt to pin the bows in place. This way when the shirt needs to be washed you can remove the bow to keep it crisp and fresh.
I added a little poof to the main package to fancy it all up a bit more
Kara was helping me get the binding on the tee shirt quilt this afternoon but she pooped out on me! Ha I think the quilt has now passed the comfy test
Silly girl even brought the Bitty Babies in for some cuddle time.

OK, I will admit it right now I am tired!!! Running around this morning on errands, cramming in some sewing, playing hide n seek, on and on. I am ready for bed and that is just where I am going!!

Hope the instructions above will help jump start a new Christmas tee for someone you love or why not one for yourself?

Christmas Kick Off

 Last night I was up and down with leg cramps after walking around the "Southern Christmas Show". Ouch!!
 I love looking at all the decorations and interesting new things people are making. One vendor had the cutest things made with old silverware, I was soo tempted!!
 Looking at the different set ups and seeing who won first place is another must do
 How cute is this cupcake Christmas tree put together by one of the sororities.
 Since I only have the binding to finish on the tee shirt quilt I switched gears so I could get the little girls Thanksgiving tees made.
Up next will be there Christmas tee's. There are so many cute tee shirt ideas floating around cyber space it's hard to pick which ones to do. BTW while at the show we stopped by several little girl vender's selling all things girly. The going rate for a holiday shirt this year was $38.00. Holy cow!! That is just way too much to pay for any tee shirt no matter how cute.

We were unable to hook up with the DD's at the Christmas show as they closed early last night :(
Thankfully I was able to give them the heads up before they fought the rush hour traffic to attend! We too had to rush around like crazy to get it all in but it was nice that the crowds were thin enough that we could enjoy seeing what all was on display.

Not having the DD's kept my spending to a bare minimum!! A few hair bows for the little girls, a new key fob for DD#1 along with a badge holder thingy was it. I don't think that I have shared yet that DD#1 has returned to the classroom full time. An opportunity came up that was to good to pass up, she had planned on going back to the classroom next fall but plans have a way of changing.

DD had been interviewing professional Nanny's to be at home with the little ones and get Tyler on and off the bus each day with no luck at all. It's hard to believe people think you won't check their references, good Lord they were awful!! Just as we were all scrambling to see how we could cover childcare without me having to do it all full time at her house knowing we have another one on the way God stepped in!! A dear friend of DD's had just lost her job. Her friend had always worked from home so she had the flexibility to be with her own boys who are now school age. She dreaded having to go out to work knowing she wouldn't be able to attend special things at school, sports and all that her boys are involved in. DD#1 never even though of asking her if she would be interest in watching our little ones but then it happened. At the bus stop on the last day before a decision had to be made her friend approached her with the idea. OH HAPPY DAY!!!

As much as I wanted to help out full time again I knew it was more than I could do. Four little ones under the age of 4, need I say more. Getting Tyler to and from the bus stop with that gaggle of toddlers,  driving Karsyn to and from pre school, 4 car seats in my much smaller SUV. I just didn't know how long I would hold out but traditional day care was out of the question. Having Ms "B" full time is an answer to all of our prayers! She and I will tag team the little buggers when Ms "B" needs to do things with her own boys, vacations and such. Karsyn and Mason have known her since the day they came into the world and they love her, aww

DD#1 told me this morning when she arrived Karsyn answered the door yelling out "Ms. B is home" already Ms B is part of the family. Gotta get busy as a beaver today as I have Kara for the afternoon then the rest of the week. As always there is Sew much to do

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Quilting we will go

 The dread Tee shirt quilt all pieced, ready to FMQ
 A quilt full of memories from Sorority and Young Life. The one thing I DO like as far as Tee shirt quilts is seeing how many young people are devoted to Young Life, making a difference in the lives of so many others.
 On to quilting. These quilts are a bugger to work with, SO heavy!!
 After about an hour my arm, wrist, and hands are cramping so bad I have to walk away. That's a perfect time to curl up with AJ the beagle to bind a Thanksgiving table runner for a special friend
Quilting for an hour then breaking for an hour continues today. I want this sucker outta here by tomorrow!

I'm on a timeline today to have the quilting and binding on this quilt by 3:00 today so I can go play with our DD's and some friends at the Southern Christmas show!! Ya,  Maybe all the sounds, smells, and sights of Christmas will put me in the mood to get busy on our Christmas list.

I am down to two handmade gifts for Christmas this year. Starting way back last winter really helped keep the pressure off this year. I like nothing better than relaxing and enjoying the process of making gifts, hate when the countdown is on! I know the big girls will come up with some requests before Christmas. I too will run into an OH too cute idea that I will want to do. I have high hopes a quilting marathon will give me the time to enjoy doing some extras.

Anyone else on a countdown to a home made Christmas? Once Thanksgiving is over, the leftovers are eaten, the kitchen is back in order I HAVE to start spending the evenings working on the grands Christmas stockings. The little girls stockings only need the beading and sequins added, Mason mans.... the whole kit and caboodle.

My break is over, time to get back on that machine I love sew much

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sunday Stuff

 The last day of Peewee football, oh how I will miss watching these little boys learn the game we so love.
 While SIL #1 was giving out awards I spotted Karsyn and Mason enjoying the view of a drainage ditch. Simple pleasures in life through the eyes of toddlers. Karsyn is always giving Mason man an earful of information
 Then this. Aww a sweet hug from big sister.
 Evidently the hug was not appreciated as they then broke out in a bit of a fist fight. Ha
The rest of my day was spent working on the Tee shirt quilt that can't be done quick enough to suit me.

Thoughts and prayers to the families in the Midwest and Ohio river valley after the horrific weather they endured Sunday. As I was sewing this stinkin quilt I heard the weather man say there could be as many as 80 tornado's that had touched down :( Hubby's family is from the Lockport/Joliet area of IL, my family is from Tell City, IN I kept my eye on the weather channel as both areas were under the gun. The last report I have seen was that Tell City did have a small tornado go through be thankfully no one was injured. Hubby's family too seemed to have come out OK as well.

My day/week will be filled with completing this Tee shirt quilt that needs to be on it's way by next week, ugh. I made really good progress yesterday while home ALONE!! High hopes that today will be just as productive as I want this project done and outta here so I can get back to the piles of sorting and cleaning leftover from the recent face lifts around the house.

Thank you for all of the sweet comments over the latest makeover in the living room :) It's so nice to have a cheering squad on the sidelines. Too bad everyone lives so far away and can't participate in all the FUN! Ha

My body, the budget, and calendar all say it's time to put a halt to the home improvements until after the first of the year. I need to heed that warning as time is slipping away, Christmas is right around the corner. I am pretty clear of what the goals will be in 2014. Lots more painting will be on that list. I don't think there will be any full makeovers other than one bathroom if the budget allows, however there is going to be some MAJOR cleaning out. How does all this stuff accumulate so fast? Anyone else ready to unload the things that you no longer want/need?

Our major areas that need some serious work is the garage and attic. I have hopes that hubby will be back in the home office sometime this year so we can tackle both together. If not I will be sweet talking our SIL's to help me pull EVERYTHING out of the attic so I can do some big time decluttering enough is enough!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Before and After

Remember this before photo?  Giving the Living room a face lift was on my To Do list but way down on the list!! That is until DD#1 friend wanted to unload what she called her "divorce" couch and love seat. After LOTS of moving furniture to new homes, 5 days of painting, decluttering, organizing, sewing, and a small amount of spending our new living room is nothing like the old.
 Clean, hip and more importantly DONE
This room turned out so cozy I just want to curl up with a book, chocolate, and the new throw on the ottoman
The rest of the house might be a mess (it really is) but so worth it to have yet another room makeover!! That's it, I'm done, no more makeovers until after the holiday's!! I am so far behind on things that must be accomplished with only one week to get it all together.
Whats the damage to the budget?
Couch, love seat, and ottoman - FREE
Paint - $30.00
Lampshades - $28.00
Throw - $12.99
Drapes - $60.00
Pillows - recycled using what we had, recovered with leftover drapery fabric
Lamps - free, gotta love spray paint
Rug - $215.00
Total spent - $346.00
One last thing to be added in the living room is artwork on the main wall. That will be happening after Christmas!! Shhh, don't tell its a gift for someone special.
Tomorrow I will unload (give away) the rest of the old stuff from the living room. Our DD's will get the first pickins of the loot, then a few friends, after that whatever is leftover will be donated.
I really should stay up late tonight to try and get started on some of the mess all around the house but my rump is dragging. Along with getting the house back in order I MUST complete a commission Tee shirt quilt before Thanksgiving, UGH I sew hate making Tee shirt quilts but it will be nice to add a little extra money to my Christmas account.
I need a STAFF. No really I do. Have you ever watched the TV showes where decoraters come in and do a whole house makeover in like a week? Give me a break!! I can't even get an estimate for work to be done in a week! Ha  Those decoraters run around the place looking like a million dollars, not a hair out of place. Me....a pair of ratty shorts that can't be seem in public, one of hubby's old tee's, and of course his undies covering my silver locks. Ho Hum, they must live a boring life.
Off for some badly needed shut eye so I will be ready to hit it hard and heavy in the morning

Friday, November 15, 2013

One wall at a time

Check out these piles of scrapbooks
Sad thing is with this many scrapbooks not one is for the toddlers, I need to get back to scrapbooking!!
Wall # 3 is complete, one more to go.  I used the leftover drapery panels to recover some pillows to add a pop of color 
Mommy finally decided it was time to get Kara potty trained this week. The only way she would go potty for me was to ride her scooter to the powder room. And I wonder why I am painting every single wall downstairs!! Ha
Burrrrr, it's just down right cold here!! We had snow flurries on Tuesday with temps in the teens each night this week. It's too darn early to have the heat on full time. So much for saving on the electric bill this month. Kara keeps me on the run during the day so I don't notice how cold it is until AJ the beagle and I finally sit down for the night,
Speaking of Kara, she had her first session with the speech therapist Monday. Mommy was VERY surprised that she sat right down and did everything that was ask of her. Kara HATES to sit still. Seems the work they did with her Monday has already taken hold, she told DD#1 today "you look like s..." just as clear as can be. Nice. Maybe we shouldn't worry about expanding Kara's vocabulary!!! Kids, you just never know what they might say or do.
After the grands clear out tomorrow I will be able to finish the living room painting. YAAAA. Then it's on to fluffing the room. I have high hopes a can of spray paint or two will give the lamps a face lift then call it done for now. Enough with the home improvements it's time to clean house and get ready for Thanksgiving! It's always the same, concentrate on one area and the rest of the house turns into a pit.