Thursday, January 29, 2009

All You Need is Love. . .

Do you have that song singing through your head? It was so fun to read all your comments about Valentines Day. I hope these towels don't disappoint! So, now for the winner. After printing all the comments out, cutting them up, putting them in the bowl, and drawing a winner, we drew:

Nicol from Classy and Sophisticated
Nicol is one of my blogging friends - love her and think you should go check out her blog. Nicol, if you send me your address I'll try to get in the mail before my trip. If I don't, please be patient with me.

Congratulations! Yeah! Thanks for reading! I hope I have something for you to want to come back and read more!

I wanted to thank Renee at Cottage Lifestyle for a new award:
Thanks - I'll come up with 8 more bloggers to pass it on to when M. is not pulling on my leg.

Oh, I finished my quilts - well, they're just awaiting binding and I happen to have a mother who told me she loves binding quilts. Here's the boy version. His has a black backing, cause anyone who knows him, knows that is his favorite color:

For the girls, I put a pink border. I also love the back that I found:And I love it when I see this happen! It's just what they are intended for, intense cuddling!We're off to Washington to see my parents and grandparents! So excited. Can you tell? (PS - I do brush M.s hair, but not that often, honestly.)See you next week!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

100 Post Giveaway

Are you feeling the love? I can't believe I've already written 99 posts! I also can't believe anyone really reads them. This started out as a way to write to my sister, and quickly took a turn. Truth is, I love blogging. I don't think I have much to offer the blogging world, but I absolutely am addicted to reading other blogs. I love each and every comment and now even strangers are my blogging friends.

Anyways, I would love to offer something big. I've seen huge 100 posts giveaways, but I think my husband would freak if this hobby of mine started costing us money! (He doesn't know about all the little projects I take on sometimes for the sole purpose of having something to blog about!) So. . . this is what I have to offer:

Valentines Day embroidered towels. The background is pink with white polka dots and it came from an old shower curtain that I cut up, thus the difference in pigments. The words are a cranberry red and I just adore the ric rac! I hope you like them.
What to do to win this? Let's make it fun. Valentines Day is approaching and I'd love to hear anything special that you and your honey do - other than going out to dinner, getting a sitter, buying roses, etc. We've done that - several times. It just seems kind of contrived. There's gotta be something more meaningful, more special than just food. Leave a comment, tell me how you feel the love. That's it - if you don't blog, anonymous comments are more than welcome (mom). Hope to hear from you all. I think I'll draw in a week.
Edit: I'm just going to draw randomly. There's no way I can choose a favorite.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"It's a Good Thing"

I'm a big Martha Stewart fan and have been forever. Anyways, I'm quickly running out of blogging ideas, so today I'm just walking around my home and taking pictures of things a lot of people comment on being a "good thing" while they're here.

My Sour Cream:

We eat a lot of Mexican food. Everyone in our family loves it - Tom could eat it every day, it's easy to make it gluten free for M., it's quick and we always have the ingredients. So, I copied this from someone and can't rememer. We keep our sour cream in a squeeze bottle. The kids can squeeze out how much they want. Honestly, it is kind of hard to get it in the bottle, but SOOO worth it. Also, don't forget a good shake before you use it. I've heard a ton of ideas for using these squeeze bottles, i.e. pancake batter, and they are super cheap!

My puzzles:

I'm not a huge puzzle fan due to an older brother and mother who decided to make it a competitive sport in my home. Elbows thrown and smack talking - not my thing. My kids love them, however, and it's a fun sitting down activity. I do hate how flimsy they make the boxes, so I copied Meck Mom and life has been good. I tossed the boxes, put the pieces in these plastic containers and taped a picture from the box on the top. We also can fit way more puzzles in the closet - they all stack ontop of each other and are uniform in size. Now if I could figure out what to do with the life size puzzles, their boxes are trashed!

Last thing (for today), our winter gear organizer:

Also copied from Meck Mom. I actually have a large coat closet. I wheel this in during snow season. The top drawer is from gloves, the second is for hats, and the bottom is for everything else - it has snow pants in it right now. We just toss everything in, I never match up the glove, nor do I move things out when they don't fit anyone. G. can go grab what he needs. When it's warmer, this goes to the basement and our sumertime one comes out, filled with sun screens, glasses, etc.

As I look at all these, I notice a few things:

they were super easy to do

didn't cost much money

they've stood the test of time - important in any organizing gimmick you try

they make my life easier - really they are tools that enable my children to be self sufficient. That's huge for me and for them. I do believe that children have an innate desire to please. I saw it when I taught 1st grade and I see it with my children. As an adult, if I tell them what needs to be done and provide a way for it to be done, they feel more successful. Now, I won't do it for them, but I will do all I can to help them feel that sense of pride in succeeding. So, I organize in a way that my children know exactly where to find things, where to put things away, and as a result, we are both happy.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Grateful Sunday

  • American Idol started this week, and I gotta say,I love the new judge so far!
  • A husband who will take the baby into the men's restroom to change her diaper, even though I've heard there is little counter space.
  • The Valentines Day Quilt tops are done, the beadboard is up awaiting sanding and the last coat of paint, and a day off school tomorrow.
  • Stephanie Teuscher - that's all I'm going to say
  • M. loves to raise her hand and we play the game "raise you hand if . . . " and she always does. We have a lot of fun with that.
  • I. loves to play the piano and sing to it - I love her little voice so much.
  • G. tells us every Sunday his favorite part of church and I love to hear him tell me what he learned about Jesus. He is very sweet.
  • I've really got a pretty great life, and am pretty happy, and for that I am extremely grateful.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Birthday Gifts

I have three kids, you know that. Did you know that having three kids means there are at least 3 birthday parties a month to attend? Did you know that you can't just attend, you have to bring something? Of course you did. Simply put, we go to a lot of parties, and I use to always run to get a last minute gift. Then I got smart. This is the gift we are giving this year (sorry if you're local and reading this - one will probably coming your way soon):

I get the bags at Hobby Lobby - I think they are 4 for $6, and I use my 40% coupon. Then I stock up on coloring books, writing pads, color crayons and whatever when I can. I use my machine to embroider a big letter with their name - but you could use fabric and wonder under if you wanted to.

Each of my kids, even M., have their own bags that we use for church. They're the perfect size for coloring books and they can still carry them themselves.

Heaven knows we have a lot of toys around my home - a lot that were given as gifts that really aren't played with too much - I hope I'm not alone and you know what I mean when I say we don't need more toys around. I've gotten nothing but thanks for these (but really, is anyone going to say anything else). I try to give gifts that will get used or used up.

On another note, a cute new to me blog, The Twins Mama ,just tagged me and it is an easy tag to do. Here are the rules:
1. Go to the the 4th folder where you keep your pictures on your computer.
2. Post the 4th picture in the folder.
3. Explain the photo.
4. Tag 4 fellow bloggers to join in the fun!

The 4th folder is all the Photos that Wendy of Blue Lily Photography took of our family in May. Wendy's older brother and my husband have been best friends forever. Lucky me. She took our pictures and brought her parents with her - and Tom had a lot of fun getting his pictures taken, which usually isn't the case. This is the 4th shot - My hubby and my girls. I love it.

If you want to do this tag, then TAG, you're it. Have fun.

PS - I'm quickly approaching 100 posts and am planning a little giveaway to celebrate. Hope you'll join me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Grateful Sunday

Oh, I'm tired and am hoping to go to bed in the soon. It's the little things today that I am thinking about:
  • Pirates Booty - it's gluten free and baby M. eats it by the bagful. Yeah!
  • dental floss - can't fall asleep without it
  • Assets from Target - my secret weapon
  • my water bottle - don't leave home without it
  • my treadmill

Hopefully I finish something this week - and can find something blogworthy.

See you - Laurel

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Impatience is Kicking In

I need a Sonic Vanilla Coke!

Right now, I think I have 4 huge projects, unfinished around my home:

  • We started painting and putting up moulding in the girls room, which means they are all sleeping together in G.s room and the toy room is out of control. I think it will still take us 2 more Saturdays.

  • I started cleaning out the files from 2008 - piles and sorting are not a kid friendly activity.

  • I've got 3 Valentines Day quilts to finish up. These fabrics make me smile, though, not stress out.

  • My husband has been working at least 16 hour days

  • Little M. decided she can climb up chairs! Oh boy - of course the picture is blurry, she's a busy girl and has got things to do. PS - that bottle of Windex IS locked, I'm not that neglectful of a mom!

  • 2 birthday parties this week !

  • Piano lessons started up this week, and I decided that I eed to make the kids healthier after school snacks, instead of just throwing Goldfish at them.

I think I need a nap! Hope I can schedule that in.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Chalkboard Project

I've been itching to get my hands on some chalkboard paint, I've seen so many cute projects out in blogland. Then I remembered that I don't really like chalk. When I used to teach school, chalk dust on my hands would give me the heebie jeebies. I was delighted with whiteboards. Still, though, those projects are so cute. I just decided to go for it as I was wandering the halls at Lowes. In the paint aisle, there was a sign that read "Do you want to make a magnetic chalkboard?" and I thought " I sure do." After 5 coats of primer, it still isn't as magnetic as I would hope it could be. The really cheapy magnetic toys don't stay on, but as the picture above shows, some do. I have some heavy duty magnets that I want to glue onto stuff, like cars or figures. Wouldn't that be fun?
I used a scrap piece of MDF, primed it, painted it and then it waited. I wanted my husband to use left over moulding to put a frame, but after 2 months, I knew it wasn't on his top priority. So, I glue gunned ribbon around it-remember, I always have ribbon around. I mitered the corners, just like you would do the binding of the quilt. If we ever get around to framing it, I can just rip off the ribbon. I can't believe how much I like it. Next step is getting this thing hung. Hopefully, that won't take 2 months. It's a great addition to our playroom! I'd still like to get a big one down in my kitchen.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Grateful Sunday

I'm grateful for:
- the new year, the clean and simple home that goes with it! It looks so empty, but I love it.
- blogging and all the inspiration that has come from it, along with all my new found buddies.
- freshly fallen snow - it is beautiful. Not too much, and not too little.
- I got my resolutions made, but they're a little too personal to share - sorry. My kids made the most adorable ones this morning. G. wants to learn to swim underwater this year, be faster at riding his scooter, and visit the Hansens a lot. I. wants to start reading by herself, learn to swim in the deep end, and not loose her temper with her brother (ooh, she is so sweet).

I am looking forward to getting back on a schedule, but I will miss the lazy days we have been having. I love having I. around, and having the afternoons free of teaching piano lessons. Time to get back on!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Welcome 2008!

Happy New Year. So, many of you are thinking of resolutions to make (Jill, Jordan, Design Mom, Emily, even This Young House - just to name a few). We take our resolutions very seriously in our home. Last year, I copied Gabrielle from Design Mom and used this format. Things went pretty well this year, and I was happy with those goals. This year, I'm feeling like I want to do something different, but I'm not sure what, yet. Maybe pick a word for this year, like Ali - but what word. The words "ENJOY", "CHERISH," "RELATIONSHIPS" come to my mind. Maybe I'll break my life into different categories and set a goal for each one. I just don't know. I do know that I want to work on being a better person next year than I am right now. So, with all my indecisiveness - maybe you can help. What are your goals this year? How do make goals that you can acheive?
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