Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Anna's List for Santa

Anna finally decided to write a list for Santa, up until now she did not have any ideas of what she wanted.

In case you can not read the above writing...

Christmas list for Anna
really want
-American girl stuff
-cool movie
-make me fly

want so so badly
Do you know that polly car that we used to play with but Broke? 
I want it so so so badly!

Did you notice the "make me fly"? What am I to do with that request? I guess she figures Santa hands out magic super powers? At least I think we can find a polly pocket car!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Saint Nick 2014

Last week Saint Nick came to our house. At our house Saint Nick is Santa's helper, he plays several roles:

Mailman: you leave him your letter to be delivered to Santa
Stork: he drops of the elf on the shelf
Santa: he leaves little trinkets and treats (this year he gave holiday socks, tree shaped cakes, and a mystery lego figure)

Above is Amelia's note to Santa, this is the short version, she has another LONG list also. Where as Anna has not asked for one thing. I keep asking her what she wants and she says I don't know. It's odd to have them both on extreme ends of the spectrum.

Not sure why Amelia wanted a fat elf, we get a new elf every year and maybe she wanted to mix it up? Before the elf on the shelf was popular I already collected the vintage knee hugger elfs. So as an extra reason to add to my collection Saint Nick brings us a new one each year. This year they named him "Little Wittle". Now the elf antics can begin!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Anna - the great 8!

My little spunky monkey has turned 8 today! She is loving, a smarty pants and a giggle bunny all rolled into one.

Loving: She loves to give Brian and I hugs, everyday when we leave for work or school we get wonderful hugs to start our day.

Smarty pants: She likes to get her way and when she doesn't she shuts down pretty fast. She usually curls into a ball and pouts on the couch. She is very stubborn, friends or family can't convince her to do anything she does not want to. This might be a good or bad thing in the future.

Giggle bunny: Anna loves to laugh, from tickles, movies or fun silliness with her big sister. The other day she came out of school with this drawing on her hand, she told me she drew it on her hand to remind her to be happy. Oh, I just love that!

Here is a list of her favorite things right now 11/1/13. 

Color: Orange
Book: Fairy Berry Bake off
Show: Amazing world of Gumball
Movie: Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Animal: Rooster and Chickens
Dinner: Butter Noodles and Cheese Fondue
To do with Mama: make crafts and play games
To do with Pops: jump hugs
Toy: Stuffed Animal "Bella" the lamb

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Girl Scouts SWAP - Bow and Arrow - How To Video

My troop made this SWAP a year ago when we did archery for the first time.

These SWAPS are so cute and super easy to make. Check out my youtube video with step-by-step instructions on how to make these fun bow and arrow SWAPS.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Our 14 hour car ride to Williamsburg, VA

This summer we drove the farthest we have ever gone with the girls. Our vacation was in Williamsburg, VA which is 14 hours from St. Louis, MO. We decided to stop overnight both ways to break up the trip. I knew the girls would be watching several movies on this long trip but I wanted to have some fun breaks from the DVD player.  I looked around for some fun ideas to keep the girls busy for the long trip there and back. 
click to enlarge photo
First to combat the dreaded, "are we there yet" question I made a map charting our way there. We had a little monkey pin that the girls got to take turns moving along the route. It helped us all know just where we were and how far we had to go, so that question was never asked.

 On our last car trip we played the licence plate game with a scratch piece of paper making a list. This time I printed out a map for each girls to color in or cross off as we saw the licence plates. I really liked this because it also helps with learning all the states.
I found this idea on pinterest. Make copies of your families heads, slip them into plastic sleeves and let the kids draw the bodies, hats, etc.... or bat wings as Amelia drew onto our dog Groucho. This was a lot of fun, we all got a few good laughs from this activity. I also liked that it doesn't take up much room and because we used dry eraser markers they can be reused over and over. I found the idea here on this blog: All For The Boys

I also a bought a few new coloring books to help keep them busy and the snack box was also a big hit. Overall our trip there and back went very well with the girls. Brian and I now know we can all survive the super long car trip. The question now is... where to go next year?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Girl Scout SWAPS - Weather Forecaster

My Junior troop is going to make these Girl Scout SWAPS for our all school troop bonfire. These SWAPS are so cute and super easy to make. Check out my youtube video with step-by-step instructions on how to make these cute Weather Forecaster SWAPS.

Need to make the tags for this SWAP?

Just print them out and write your troop # and the date at the bottom. Then cut them out, punch a hole and 
attach them to your SWAP.

Happy SWAP Trading!

User is granted permission to use this tag pattern for personal or Girl Scout troop use only. Mass production and/or commercial use of this tag design is not allowed.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Anna - About Me Homework

double click to enlarge

School is in it's second week and homework has started. So far the girls don't mind because it's all very easy work. Above is Anna's homework last night. Can I just say that I LOVE # 9 and #10!

Maybe I am doing something right?

Monday, August 12, 2013

What I'm reading... Out of My Mind By Sharon M Draper

My mom just retired as a 4 & 5 grade teacher. When she left school she took many of her books to give to Amelia who is starting the 4th grade this year. She pulled this book out of the box saying it was really good. Amelia found some other books to read so I picked up this one... "Out of My Mind" by Sharon M Draper. 

I would say it's a 5th grade to adult book and I truly feel that everyone should read it! It is very well written with a great story everyone can learn something from. The book is about a life story of a girl growing up who can not move or talk. She is labeled as mentally and physically disabled, but once they give her the tools to express herself the world is finally able see the true Melody.

A lovely book that makes you stop and think, a must read! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Summer 2013

Summer... that's where I have been. Summer with kids home, places to go and things to do.

With only one more week of summer until the kids head back to school I look back at our summer. I feel I was able to keep the girls busy but also allowed enough free time for them to just be kids. But not too much free time so that I think I only heard, "I bored" twice all summer long.

2013 Summer:

- Swim team - Daily
- Softball - Amelia
- Girl Scout Day Camp - Both Girls
- Embroidery Camp - Hosted by me
- 10 Day Vacation to Williamsburg, VA
- Six Flags
- Amelia's Birthday Party
- Impromptu Neighborhood Kickball Games
- Lego Robotics Camp - Both Girls
- Big Family Camping Weekend at Johnson Shut-Ins
- Swimming at Grammy & Papa's Pool
- Volleyball Camp - Amelia
- Remembering Grandpa - Funeral weekend
- Golfing & Hiking with the Girl Scouts
- Violin Lessons - Amelia
- Theater Camp - Both Girls

Yes, it was a busy, fun summer that flew by so fast! School supplies are packed up and ready to go. Good bye summer... it sure was fun, we'll catch you next year!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Custom Scrabble Family Print

New! For all those who love my scrabble pillows now you can have even more scrabble fun in a paper version. 

Frame and hang... why didn't I think of doing this one sooner?

Check it out here in my etsy shop

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Surprise notes are the best!

I found this note from Amelia at the bottom of my to do list...
it just made my day!!!

Monday, May 27, 2013


Amelia has always played tag with a group of girls and boys from school at recess. Last year they made up nicknames for the game. Amelia named herself "Puzzy". When I first heard this I groaned and told her I really didn't like the name. But one day at pick up the kids were running around and I heard the name called... I cringed a bit. Later that day I said she needed to find a new nickname for tag. She asked why but I just said because I didn't like the one she had. A few weeks we were running errorns and the girls were talking in the backseat. I heard the name Puzzy again and I told them not to use that word, and then why they me asked.

Ugh... my mind twisted and turned to quickly figure out how to gently explain the problem.

"Well... you know how sometimes there are different names for things. Puzzy sounds a lot like another word and that word is another name for vagina".  There was dead silence from the back seat. "That is why I don't want you to use that word, ok"?  Quietly from the back seat I hear, "ok".

I don't think I will hear that word again.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I found $1,200

My neighbors (a husband and wife) are in their 90s, Brian and I often help them with a few things. Brian mows the grass, shovels snow and lights the pilot light every fall. I help them with the computer, getting a dvds started, etc. They also have several hired people to help them, clean, shop, etc.

Last week she asked me if I would replace some shot elastic in several of her skirts. Her helper and I looked through the skirts and they gave me an old bag of elastic that I could keep and maybe use for the skirts. I finally looked through the bag to see what elastic was in there. I pulled out a few zippers, patches and two big spools of thread. The bottoms of the thread were stuck together and I thought that was odd and as I pulled them apart I saw a roll of money! Looking closer it was all twenty dollar bills. I counted it and there were 60!

I knew right away she must have stashed the money in there, but how long ago and did she have other money stashed around the house? I took it right over and showed her what she had done. Right away she told me not to tell her helper, that the helper would be upset because she had told her not to hide money around the house. I said she should listen to her, that's not safe with all the people coming and going in the house to help them. Plus she just gave away this bag of stuff & money to me to keep, luckily it was me and I returned it.

Do you hide money around the house? Have you ever found money? We keep a small amount of cash in our emergency bag, but that's it.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Softball Season

The 2013 softball season has started, Amelia is in 3rd grade and it's the first year they have gotten pants. I always wondered why the boys got pants and the girls got shorts. I guess they figure girls do not slide? But at this age and younger no one slides. They got the pants and shorts, I'm sure the shorts will get worn more because it will get too hot very soon.

She picked a new number this year. She had been #3 the past few years. I think she picked it becuase that's my favorite number, I was always #3 when I played soccer. When they were picking the numbers this year she asked Pops if it was ok that she changed her number. She thought I would be hurt that she did not want #3 anymore. It's so sweet of her to think of me, but I want her to do her own thing... 
Go #5!!!!!

 This year they start kid pitching to each other and they get 3 outs. No more swings until you hit it. It's neat to watch the kids pitch but it sure does make for a slow moving game. Good thing it's timed and cut off at an hour and a half... otherwise they might be playing a nine inning game for three days!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Please take off your shoes

Have you ever been to a home where they asked you to take off your shoes? Do you get caught off guard? What is your first thought? For me it all depends on what shoes I am wearing.

Shoes with socks: I hope these socks are nice looking and I sure hope my feet don't stink.
Flats: Do I have a pedicure, if so is it still nice looking and not half chipped off?
Boots with a skirt and tights: Crap there goes my whole outfit!
Boots with a skirt and knee high socks: Crap there goes my whole outfit and now I look 10 wearing knee high socks!

I have a dear friend and this is their house rule. I think they started it when they built a new house and it had fresh new cream carpet. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand the idea of not wanting someone to track in who knows what into my carpet. I have read an article that said it is really wise to take off your shoes before coming into your home so you do not track in germs and pollution. All very good points! 

At my home my girls have always taken off their shoes when they came home, it's not something I remember teaching them, but that's what they do. They love to have their shoes off. I almost never have shoes off. I find walking barefoot on the hardwood floors hard on my feet, it's just uncomfortable for me. I am either wearing my shoes, flip flops in the summer or slippers in the winter. 
Amelia getting her toes painted for the first time, age 3, 2008
So now when I go to my friends house I need to think about my outfit, socks and pedicure. Question, is it ok to bring your own slippers to that persons house? Another thought... I don't know if I would want people walking around my house barefoot. Feet are a bit gross to me and I think about the funky things they might be spreading around my house. What's worse funky bodily stuff or funky outside ground stuff? I guess it's a six of one and half dozen of the other kind of topic.

Overall I totally respect everyone's personal house rules and will be happy to follow those request. As for my dear friend, we have known each other since the 5th grade and I would walk on fire if she asked, so bare feet... no sweat!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What I'm watching - Babies

We watched this movie a few weeks ago with the girls and it was really good. I give it an A! It's about the first year of four babies lives. Almost like a hidden camera, they follow them around and document their life in their own countries and it is so interesting. Because of the different cultures they are raised quite differently from one another. My girls got quite a kick out of the movie, giggling at the babies and asking questions about their lives. I think it was entertaining and educational for all of us. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hat Day

Hat day at school this past Friday. 
My guess is that Anna had the biggest hat at school

and Amelia had the smallest hat.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Anna's note

Anna gave this note to me a few days ago and I will treasure it forever!
Double click to enlarge.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sleep or Play?

Do you want to sleep or play? Ooh la la!!

A new pillow for my etsy shop
one side says "Sleep" the other side says "Play". 

Friday, February 22, 2013

James K. Polk

 Amelia's 3rd grade class had to write reports about a president. They chose by drawing out of a hat and Amelia got James K. Polk... who is he? I asked the same thing, but over the last month I learned a lot about our 11th president.

All the research and writing Amelia did ended with a living was museum show put on by all the third graders. They could either dress up like their president or make a poster. Amelia, like most of the kids, dressed up and she really got into it! She even wanted to spray her hair white. We found a blazer for $9 at forever 21 (I figure Anna can wear it when she has this project in two years). 

It was pretty cute to see all the students dressed up reading their reports, I think they all had fun. When we got home we took a few photos. Amelia was cracking me up with her poses. Her report is below.
The real James K. Polk

Hello, I am James K. Polk, the 11th president of the United States. I’m going to tell you a story about my interesting life as president.   
Early Life
                  This is some info about my early life. I was born on November 2, 1795 in North Carolina. My parents, Samuel and Jane, were who gave birth to me. My mom had no job. My dad was a slave owner, farmer and surveyor. My brothers and sisters were Jane, Lydia, Franklin, Marshall, John, Naomi, Ophelia, William, and Samuel. My education was from the University of North Carolina. I was also a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives. I married Sarah Childress  and I had no children. Now that was all of my early life.

                  I was a very busy president, but I kept laser focus on my agenda. I was in office for only one term. My political party was the Democratic Party. My vice president was George M. Dallas. During my presidency a crack in the liberty bell occurred and it proves not to be rung anymore. In 1848, I made the treaty with Mexico. That gave the U.S. control over California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. In 1846, the Oregon Treaty prevented war between Great Britain and the United States in who would own Oregon. I did have a ton of things going on while I was president.

Post Presidency
When I retired from the presidency, I lived in a mansion in Tennessee. I had only 103 days to live after I retired. My cause of death was cholera. Cholera is an illness. My date of death was June 15, 1849. I wish I could be president again.

    I am remembered as the best one term president. Here is some of my legacy: I wanted to gather as much land in the western hemisphere as possible in the union, knowing everyone would be involved. I lowered tariffs and I ran circles around congress. I loved the chance to be the president of the United States of America!

Friday, February 15, 2013

A box is just a box... or is it?

click to enlarge image

In my futile attempt to clean out the basement I brought up a stack of old boxes to recycle. My first mistake was not taking them out to the bin that very minute. Because when the girls got home from school their eyes got big when they saw the mound of boxes. "Can we have those", Amelia asked. I could see her mind twirling with ideas of what grand item she could create.

I said maybe if you get all your homework, etc. done. Here is my second mistake... I should have taken them out to the recycle bin right then and maybe they would have forgotten about them. Out of sight, out of mind.

Later that night I went into the kitchen to find this mess! Brian doing the dishes amongst two feverishly working kids... cutting, taping and creating. They were having so much fun and enjoyed their homemade rocket ships.

I'm glad they had fun, I would never like to stifle anyone's creativity! But you know later that night where those boxes went... into the recycle bin!!

Don't worry, we all had an agreement that these projects could not stay and the girls understood.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Amelia's 2013 Valentine Cards

We came across these fun mustaches at the party store, 12 in a package for $4. Amelia did the heart drawing and wrote the message (under the mustache it says "moustache"). I scanned it all in and gave it a fun background and colored the heart red.  We were going to use glue dots to stick the mustache to the card but the paper backing so was slick nothing would stick to it. I even tried the glue gun and that was a bust. So we ended up just taping them on... not as pretty but it works! 

I think the kids in her class will sure get a kick out of them!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Anna's 2013 Valentine Cards

One of my valentine sweethearts!

We came across these cute erasers at the party store, 24 in a package for $6. Anna did the heart drawing and wrote the message (her heart drawing cracks me up, I love his teeth). I scanned it all in and gave it a fun background and colored the heart red. I had the plastic baggies leftover from another project. We think they turned out super cute, she can't wait to give them out to her class on Valentine's day!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Thinking Out Loud - Dressed Up

Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Jimmy and Mom - 1952

Have you ever noticed that most older people always seem dressed up? They are never hanging around in jeans and a t-shirt. They always seem to be nicely dressed. I always thought that was just a generational thing, they grew up in a different time. I wonder... when my generation are in their 80's how will we be dressed, will it be with the skinny jeans and t-shirts?

As I hit my... gulp... 40's I realized that I might be paying a little more attention to what I wear. Maybe if I am more polished with my clothing people will not notice those wrinkles around my eyes or those gray hairs. I know, I know.... you are saying to your self, what wrinkles, what gray hair? You are all too kind to me.

Then I thought maybe that's what all people do as they get older, they subconsciously try to over compensate in one area to deflect from another. Mmmmm, maybe that's really why older people dress up a bit more?

I'm not sure... only time will tell, 40 more years till my 80's... I wonder what we will all wear? I laugh a little at the idea of my fellow generation X's in skinny jeans and t-shirts at age of 80.

Monday, January 28, 2013

What were watching... Beasts of the Southern Wild

Brian and I watched "Beast of the Southern Wild" the other weekend. We need to find someone else who watched the movie to talk about it! There is a message in the movie and I wonder if everyone gets the same message or forms their own from their life.

It was a interesting movie with wonderful acting by the girl and the dad, they brought us both to tears. It will leave you with questions... what did I just see, what is the message, what did I learn?

If you did see it then... What are the beast? Do you have any beasts in your life?

Friday, January 25, 2013

New Etsy item... Vintage tape measure bracelet

Awhile ago I bought a cigar box of sewing goodies at an estate sale and this old yellow tape measure was in the box. What to do with it? Make some bracelets. Perfect for a sewing hobbyist like myself. I think they turned out super cute and they are a wonderful example of upcycling!

I made 6 more... check them out in my etsy shop.

Look around you... what can you make today?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Memory Monday - 7-up

Grandma, Grandpa, Brent, Tracy and Shannon
Maybe 1979 or 1980

When I was little I remember when you were sick you could have 7-up to drink. My father being a nurse said it would help settle your stomach a bit. That was the only time I really drank 7-up or Sprite. Now, as you can guess, I really don't care for the taste of 7-up. I'm sure I associate it to being sick. Same thing with orange popsicles, I remember eating orange popsicles over a bowl in bed when I was sick.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goal for 2013

Amelia, Snowman & Anna - rocking out the New Year!

I've seen a lot of blogs where people do daily things for a year, a photo a day, a drawing a day, sew something everyday. I love the idea but I just don't think I have the time everyday, so I thought what if I do a weekly thing?

Hmmmm,  what should I do?

Ideas for my weekly project:

1.) Weekly Drawing
2.) De-clutter  - the house and the scary basement
3.) Weekly anthropomorphic print
4.) Blog more - yeah I know I have slacked off blogging a bit this past year.

Then again, maybe I am putting too much pressure on myself. Maybe this is the year to take some time off and go slow.

But then again, that basement is a nightmare and I already spent an hour down there today cleaning out a tiny bit... it's for sure on the to-do list this year.

Hmmmm, something to think about... 
I have time, it's only day one of 2013!