Wednesday, November 30, 2011

While the cat's away...

This week, hubs is TDY to Fort Drum. You would think I was a 16 year old teenager whose parents have left her home alone for a few days! I've been eating junk food, staying up late, watching any movie I want to watch. It's really not a good thing!
Staying up past midnight and getting up at 6am is definitely starting to catch up to me...zzzz...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My camera was kid-napped again

Evidently, this time the camera was kid-napped in order to take pictures of a stuffed animal fashion show. 
I wondered why things were so quiet upstairs!

*ooh, a little lighting to set the mood!

*A very patriotic cheetah.
They are definitely getting more artistic with their photography. I especially like the staging with props. It sorta reminds me of an Olan Mills studio.


Monday, November 28, 2011

How to fill 9 days with fun!

Since the kids had 9 days off from school, I had 9 days to fill with fun. One thing that was on my agenda was going to the beach!
Hubs had to work on Mon, Tues and Wed of last week, so the kids and I went to Tybee Island all by ourselves; and this is why. My husband hates the beach. He hates sand, he doesn't like the water, he hates sand, he gets nervous with the kids in the water and he hates sand.

 #1 actually  wrote "I <3 my mom" in the sand...then the tide came in. :)

  I, however, love to play in the sand, walk in the sand, dig my feet as deep as I can in the sand, write in the sand, etc. So what better time to go then while sweet husband is busy. :)

My mom also gave us a Family Fun magazine, full of easy and fun craft projects to do together. So we tried a few of them.
Sweet #2, made this wreath from a wire hanger and box of fold over sandwich bags.
*She did an amazing jog, didn't she!!
Together with my mom and Grandma, we all made this polymer clay nativity scene and creche.

For Thanksgiving itself, we hosted at our home. So the kids were each in charge of their own dish(es) to be in charge of: locate the recipe, make the shopping list, make the dish,etc.
Kid #1-Mashed Potatoes and chocolate cream pie
Kid #2-Apple Crisp, and pie crusts for pumpkin pie and chocolate pie, and the pumpkin pie filling too.
Kid #3- relish tray and homemade french bread
Kid #4-cranberry sauces

It's amazing what kids will do when you set expectations and give them freedom to achieve and/or fail. If we don't give them opportunities to fail something under our watch and guidance (and love paired with acceptance), then when they get out in the real world and fail at something they won't have any frame of reference on how to deal with it.

It is that kind of resourcefulness and perseverance that I am so thankful of...even thankful enough to write it on a leaf for our "Thankful Tree". (which will be converted soon to our Jesse tree)
#1 actually wrote Nutella on one of the thankful leaves. crazy kid. I must buy too much of that stuff!
After the Thanksgiving meal and 2 days playing Uno, Scrabble, Upwords, Apples to Apples, Spoons, and Trivial Pursuit with Nana, Papa and Grandma, we packed up and headed to my uncle's house for lunch and then 2 days at my sister's house. I love my sister and her family. The cousins get to hang out, we get to hang out, it's a win-win situation!
 *you can see the clay nativity scene and creche on the mantle behind our heads!
*check out the fingerless gloves #2 is wearing. Stylin'!

 *My sister and me.  Words can't express how much she means to me.
Whew! It was an absolutely fun 9 days. Now we're back to the daily grind, which is also something to be thankful for.

Thankful to look ahead

Ever have a whirlwind week? I had 2 back to back. They were amazing, fun, exciting and over!
Two weeks ago, I was featured on Naptime is My Time (it is in this post, just down a little ways). Then we had Thanksgiving break, which was 9 days long with the kiddos. That was so fun (more to come on that in just a bit), then the actual Thanksgiving Day and weekend, filled with food, my parents, my Grandma, and then my sister and her family. I have to say that as a military family, we are so blessed to finally live close to family. Only 3-4 hours from everyone! Ahhh-mazing. :)
So let's start with the Naptime is My time post:

Thanks, Emily, for letting me share with everyone today.  You have earned this well deserved vacation!

I am Audrey, from One Shoe Parenting. I am an Army wife, mom to 4 kids (5, 8, 11 and 13 years old), an elementary music teacher and run my household on a tight budget. Sometimes I am left to parent alone (due to military matters) and that always brings about interesting moments...

Like the moment we were in a Home Depot store and my then 4 year old decided to throw his shoe at me---again. We left the store, left the shoe at the store and went home. He was stuck with only the one remaining shoe for the rest of the summer vacation  (1 1/2 weeks), until he could wear his new preschool pair of shoes...hence the name, One Shoe Parenting.

With all these sweet kids, come many teachers. Since the Holidays right around the corner, there are many opportunities for giving gifts to the teachers. Here is a great gift idea that won't break the bank!

I used pillar candles from the dollar store...

Grosgrain ribbon remnants....

And leftover upholstery tacks.

Voila! Snazzy gifts, for just over $1. 

**the leaning tower of candles! :)
That makes this momma happy!

 Well that wraps it up for me, hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and feel free to drop by One Shoe parenting sometime! :)

Later today, I'll write up about our Thanksgiving break and Thanksgiving weekend. For now though, I'm off to get #3 and #4 on the school bus and then break out the Christmas Decorations!
Have a great day everyone!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My first Guest-Posting~~

Today is my very first guest posting over at  Naptime is My Time!

I was so excited to be chosen to fill in for Emily while she takes a break.  As I was preparing my post, I learned several things:

1. I am not a "nap time" crafter anymore, since all the kids are at school. *that makes me just a bit sad.
2. Since all the kids are at school (with 2 in middle school) I do not get a chance to get on the computer as much as I used to.
3. Blog Verbage (button code, html code, etc) go way, way above my head, and I have to google them all just to find out what they mean.
4. If you buy dollar store candles to use in a guest craft post and leave those candles around, your house full of boys will use them as "grenades" and throw them at each other enough to make them look like "distressed" candles.

But in the end, the post was completed on time, the candles were used carefully or replaced, the post was completed in between kids' turns on Webkins/Addicting Games/GAVS/, and best of all, it is now Thanksgiving break and time to spend time with all my family!

Hop over to Naptime is My Time and check out my spot!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Free Furniture plus improvements

My sister gave me this solid wood, black side table this summer. She didn't have a use for it, so she gave it to us. I couldn't find a spot for it, but knew that it was very sturdy and I didn't want to part with it.

I was reading Sew Many Ways one day a few months ago, and she was writing about one of the tables in her craft room that she raised to counter level by adding finials to the bottom of the legs.

So at roughly $3 a piece, we bough 4 fence post finials from Lowe's (with a gift card....woohoo!) and got to work.
After drilling holes in the center of each of the legs,

I screwed the finials in and spray painted them black.
This is what it looked like:

Not to bad, eh?
This isn't the finished product, though. The vision I have for this table is to create a new larger table top and eventually make it into another dining room table for our formal dining room. For now, it is a great two-seater table or project table in the front room. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Multi-kid Laundry Organization Tip

As a mom, when I sort the clean clothes into stacks for the kids, I know 99% of the time what clothes belong to which kid. 
As for Hubs...not so much. The worst part is, that was his reason for not wanting to help fold Mt. Washmore twice a week. He would say, "I don't know what belongs to whom".

So here was our solution.
We used sharpie and marked #1's clothes with a 1.

Respectively marked #2's with 11,

 #3's with 111 

and #4's with 1111.

This way, when #1 out grows a shirt/shorts/pants, all that must be changed is adding another 1.
It makes it sooo much easier to sort the laundry!