December 31, 2012

The New Schedule Around Here

I've spent some time in the last few weeks thinking about this blog.  At the end of February I will have been blogging for three years!  Wow.  I didn't think it was something I would do for so long.

Blogging has been a big blessing for me during the past few years.  It's given me a way to connect with all of you, which is especially great as a stay at home mom.  It's pushed my creativity.  It's helped me accomplish more than I think I ever would have without.  It has stretched me a lot.  And, in the past year it's helped our family financially, which was a huge blessing.

It has also brought challenges.  It's always tough to balance everything on my plate.  The last few months with morning sickness really dragged me down and I considered just stopping altogether.  I've had a few other things happen that made me question my desire to keep at it.

After thinking about all of it, I've decided I want to keep blogging, but I want to refocus on things I really want to do right now.  When I did that reader survey months ago it was great to have everyone's thoughts, but it also made things complicated in my mind.  I felt pressure to blog about the things each one of you wanted rather than the things I wanted to and I kind of felt overwhelmed.

So I've decide to remodel my schedule here and make sure it's geared toward the things I truly want to do.  I think that if I'm doing what I love, then chances are you'll enjoy it more too.  Here's what it's going to look like around here.  It's a daily schedule, but there might be days when I don't get around to blogging as well.

THE NEW SCHEDULE

Monday - Mommy School.  I try to do something fun with my boys on Fridays, so that way it'll be easy for me to blog about it on Monday.  It'll be a lot like the series I did last summer - educational, fun ideas to get kids thinking.


Tuesday - On Tuesdays I'll share a regular craft which means sewing, decorating, or something like that.

Wednesday - I'm changing Wednesdays this year.  After 2 years of Wake Up Wednesday I thought I'd try something different.  I still plan on challenging myself to do good things, but I won't be blogging about it for now.  Wednesdays will be "What I LOVE Wednesdays."  I will mention music, products, tips, or anything that I love.  It's not a sponsored thing, but a way to share things I think you'd love.


Thursday - same as Tuesday.

Friday - This will still be a feature Friday, where I try someone else's idea and link you to their tutorial.

Saturday and Sunday will remain Soapbox Saturday and Sunshine Sunday just like before.

December 30, 2012

Sunshine Sunday - purple hair, drugs that work, and swimming

It hardly seems like Christmas was this week.  It seems like it was a couple of weeks ago already.  Christmas was great.  My husband and I don't really do gifts for each other, but it is SO fun to watch the boys open theirs.  

After Christmas I had a hair appointment and changed out the red for purple.  This picture doesn't really do it justice.  It's a dark, deep purple, so it's actually subtle but kind of fun.  Maybe I'll take a better picture this week and make it a belly shot.


The best news this week is that the doctor prescribed me something that's actually helping the morning sickness!  I couldn't be more excited about it.  For me, the heartburn and the reflux have been the worst and I've tried a lot of different things.  He gave me the prescription and I went to fill it.  It wasn't cheap, so I was already kind of ticked off that I had to spend so much on it (instead of spending it on the ultrasound) and I didn't think it would work anyhow because nothing else had.  However, it's knocked the edge of the heartburn and reflux quite well and I'm SO THRILLED.  I can handle the nausea and fatigue.  This is awesome.

I felt so good Saturday that we took the boys swimming.  Rex has always been a water fan and Baden gets bolder each time.


Here's Rex in his water "forcefield."


The little guys teamed up at the end.  Seeing them buddy up is one of my most favorite parts of parenthood.  I sure hope they will always be great friends.


I am just so thankful to be feeling a little more like myself this week.  Woo-hoo!  It's the best Christmas present ever.

Thanks for reading.

December 28, 2012

What's to Come in 2013

We've been trying to enjoy some family time this week, so I haven't had much to post.  However, I thought I'd share a few things to expect next year on the blog here.

1) The master bathroom redo.  Our tile guy kind of fell off the face of the earth, so I don't know when this will be done, but hopefully sooner than later.  The bathroom will have molding and I am excited to get it done.

2) The nursery.  When I find out in a couple of weeks what the baby's gender is I will start planning the room.  I love decorating a nursery!  (PS - I didn't go to the mall.  I'm waiting till my doctor's appointment in a couple of weeks.  I'm trying to be patient :)

3) A slower pace.  As you've noticed, the blog has slowed down a bit due to the morning sickness.  I anticipate is being a little better when I start to feel better, but then I'll have a newborn in June, so things will be slower.  Family comes first.

4) If I can squeeze it in, I have been dying to design a bedroom for Baden.  He always gets the hand-me-downs and I have some sketches and plans for a fire station room for him (in a vintage and not cheesey kind of way).

5) Have a baby.  Ha!  That's on the list as well.

6) Sewing.  I have been craving some sewing time.  I wait to up my skills this year and try out some harder things.


And in other news, I changed the red in my hair to purple yesterday!  I'll post a picture soon.  It's actually much more subtle than the red, which I like.

I hope you all had a great Christmas.  Thanks for reading my blog.  I really do appreciate you guys.  Your comments and emails mean so much to me, so thank you.

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  I had ideas for a fun family Christmas video this year.  Then I thought I'd settle for a nice picture of our family.  Even that didn't happen with sick kids, but I thought I'd at least share one of my very favorite Christmas videos.  It's short and great for showing kids.




I hope you have a lovely, meaningful day.  Thanks for dropping in.

December 23, 2012

Sunshine Sunday - ninjas, tile, programs, and fruit loops

Honestly, this week was one of those that I was happy to have end.  All my men got sick and it was a bad one.  But we made it through!  Even in difficult times, there are still so many wonderful little moments that make life good.  (If you follow me on instagram @mommaroars you've seen some of these shots.)

I found Rex on the counter in the kitchen like this the other day.  I asked him what he was doing.  "Ninjas always stand around the corner, Mom!"  Duh!  How did I miss that one?  Apparently they climb on counters, too.  This kid was meant for action.


We had a guy tiling the bathroom all week.  It's still not done and I'm not sure when he'll be back, but it's progress.  Yay.


Baden had his first preschool program.  He had a line to say up at the microphone and he nailed it.  I was so proud of my little shy guy.


 I found this picture in my files that I had overlooked.  It made me happy.  My little fruit loops make life so much deeper (and sometimes harder) and happier....which is all a blessing.


Now on to Christmas!  I am really excited it's here.  

Then mid-January we get to have our big ultrasound to find out the baby's gender, though I must admit I am seriously tempted to go to the place at the mall that does the ultrasounds because I'm far enough along to tell now and I'm not so patient.  It seems like a nice way to overlook all this sickness.  Should I wait or shell out a little dough to find out sooner for fun?  Hmmm....

Well, thanks for dropping in.

December 22, 2012

Soapbox Saturday - Because It Matters

I believe that people have good intentions.  I believe that people do want to help and to be needed as well.  However, I also believe that one of the most discouraging thoughts preventing us from doing great things is the idea that our simple gesture won't matter.  And so we often give in before we begin.  Well, what if I told you that every little gesture did matter.  I truly believe it does.  Even little gestures change lives and hearts - particularly our own.

In fact, here's one small gesture you can make that will take less than 5 minutes and cost the price of a stamp.  Katy from No Big Dill posted HERE yesterday about a sweet young boy who has cystic fibrosis.  He isn't expected to live much longer, but his wish or dream is to beat the world record for the most Christmas cards received.  Wouldn't it be fun to make his day?  I know it's really close to Christmas, but I bet the cards count even if they're a little late.  Here's his address:

Dalton Dingus 
HC 62 Box 1249 
Salyersville, KY 41465

It'd be a great activity to let your kids participate in.  Just get out some paper and markers.

And in case you're thinking it really won't matter, do you remember that little girl scout group I posted about HERE who was gathering gloves for the homeless?  I thought it'd be fun to share a report with you.  


Here's part of an email I received from Kayla's mom:

"The girls had set a goal of 300 pairs by October 1st. Yesterday we took as many of the girls as we could and personally handed them out to the people waiting in line at a food bank in Wichita, KS. I'm excited to report that our final count was somewhere around 350 pairs!! We received boxes and envelopes from all over the country thanks to your readers. We also spent six months of asking everyone we could think of for donations. It was very humbling and rewarding watching the girls get to hand them to the recipient and tell them "I'm a Girl Scout and I brought these gloves just for you". THANK YOU for helping Kayla and the troop surpass their goal!! I'm attaching a photo of the girls at the food bank right before we began handing them out. Please excuse the poor quality, it was a "caught in the middle of chaos" iPhone photo ;)

Again... THANK YOU. From both Kayla and myself. We truly appreciate your help!"

Here they are handing out the gloves at the food bank.


And here they are with their empty baskets afterwards.


Thanks for your help and generosity!  You made a difference.

Thanks for reading.

December 21, 2012

Feature Friday - DIY Moon Sand

The boy and I have been trying to do a fun activity on Fridays, since we're not doing mommy school daily like we did in the summer.  Last Friday we thought we'd try out the Moon Sand we saw on HERE on Delia's blog.  I can't find the original source of the recipe, but as Delia mentions it's a simple one - 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of baby oil.

I knew it would be pretty messy, but we needed something fun to do.  We decided to give it a go.  I found two big tupperware containers and let the boys each have their own, splitting the recipe between the two of them.


Just mixing it up alone was pretty fun.


When you look at the moon sand, it still looks like it's just flour and you wouldn't think it would clump together, but it does.  It smells nice, too.  While it does clump, you have to be careful when handling any shapes you make because it falls apart easily.  Baden (3) needed help making his pyramid....

December 19, 2012

Wake Up Wednesday

 

So I really am still alive.  It's been a weird couple of months.  I feel so disconnected and I miss you guys.  I'm 15 weeks along, but the morning sickness just hasn't gone away.  I just haven't felt like me for a long time.  Anyhow, blah-blah-blah-wah.  On with Wake Up Wednesday.

Our good deed advent experiences this week that were most memorable were leaving notes for daddy around the house and then a man we visited.  Rex was really excited to write notes to daddy all by  himself.  He still needs help spelling, but he didn't want ideas on what to write.  It's fun to hear what is in his head.  "Thanks for taking me places."  "Thanks for being my Dad."  Rex just completely adores his daddy.  He has this fierce loyalty to him that's really endearing.  He couldn't wait for his dad to get home so he could help him find all the notes around the house.

Yesterday we visited a man who lives a couple of blocks away.  He's a member of our church, but I've never met him since he's quite old and can't leave the house.  We picked up a few other kids in the neighborhood and went over to decorate a Christmas tree for him.  We sung some Christmas songs, too.  He told us we made his Christmas.  I think the kids were touched by it too.  One of the boys on my car asked me if we could do that every year.  Oh yes.  We can.

I think Christmas is made beautiful by the little connections we make with each other.  We touch each other's lives in small ways and it makes everything brighter.  It gives up hope and makes up want to keep going.  "Christmas is love in action."

Thanks for reading and staying with me here.

December 14, 2012

Feature Friday - Biscuit Waffles

I'm not an incredible cook to start with, but on top of that our dinners have been dying a slow death since I've been pregnant.  Evenings are the worst for me and I can barely stand to look at food.  However, I saw this on Pinterest and the source is HERE.  You basically cook canned biscuits in a waffle maker and eat them as waffles.  It looked kind of fun to try and since it was ridiculously easy I gave it a shot.


And?  They were actually really good.  They didn't really taste so much like biscuits once they were covered in syrup, but they had the flakiness and slightly crispy outside of the biscuit.  The boys loved them and even my husband (who's fairly picky selective) liked them.


Have you tried any recipes on Pinterest that you love?  Does anyone have a link to a good baked french toast?  It's hard to choose from a lot of pins because you don't always know which one is the best.

Thanks for dropping in.

December 12, 2012

Wake Up Wednesday


As I mentioned last week, I'm just going to share some experiences from our Good Deed Advent for the Wake Up Wednesdays in December.

This week we went through all the boys toys and donated a bunch of them.  The boys were pretty willing to do it, which made me really happy.  I've also tried to adjust the challenges as opportunities have come up.

The other day Rex said they were collecting money at school for children who didn't have anything.  He asked if he could have some money to take to school.  Then he said, "Nevermind, Mom.  I have my own money I can give."  He headed upstairs and came down with his earnings.  He took a fair amount of it to school.  I was so proud of him.

There are a billion moments in motherhood when you feel like you're failing, but there are also some sweet moments like this that make you think you just might be doing alright.

Have you had any special Christmas experiences this year?  I would honestly love to hear about them.  Feel free to share them in the comment section.  Thanks for reading.

December 11, 2012

10 Personalized Gift to Make (using fabric paint)

I seriously love fabric paint.  After making my first freezer paper stenciled shirt a few years ago I fell in love.  Before that I didn't know that there was an easy way to personalize shirts, pillows, shoes, and more.  I thought silk screening was the only option and that seemed very complicated.  Ugh.


So, if you're still searching for the right gift for someone on your list, here are 10 gift ideas that you can make yourself with a little fabric paint.

1) Graffiti Shoes.  I could do these with a superhero theme for my boys and they'd be a hit.


2) A Dress or Pullover.....if you're up for some sewing.

December 10, 2012

the Bathroom Renovation - part 2

Since the original bathroom plans were laid out HERE, plans have already changed a bit.  However, we're finally in the fixing stage and out of the demo stage.  Hooray!

Here's what has changed.  I originally wanted a freestanding tub and had found a good-priced one on Overstock.  Then I realized the freestanding faucet that you buy to go with it costs almost as much as the tub.  OUT.  We went with a regular one that will be built in.


I also decided against the glass tiles.  I figured they were pretty trendy and I heard that keeping them clean in the shower was hard.  I decided to go with marble.  I felt it would be more timeless.  I did a little more research on marble and decided we could do it.  I read some things about having to reseal it and how porous it is, but then the lady at the tile place explained that it's like having travertine, which we had before.  Natural stone is natural stone.  It ages and has imperfections, but I think it's beautiful.

Anyhow, I actually ordered the tile from Amazon.  We had a friend who could give us a contractor's discount at the tile places around here, but it was still significantly cheaper on Amazon.  I didn't even pay shipping.

The tile came the other day and I'm pretty sure my UPS guy is going to come back to our house with a gun.  He was ticked off.  It was a huge, heavy pallet and I'm pretty sure he was already having a bad day.  Sorry, buddy.  Here's what we ordered.  The hexagons are for the floor and the subway tiles are for the shower.


We spent a little more than I wanted, but this is the home we intend to stay in our whole lives, so I wanted to redo it nicely.

December 09, 2012

Sunshine Sunday - Christmas, shoveling, and Tony Stark

I love December.  It's been fun to have some Christmas decorations up.  It seems to lift my spirits a bit.  The boys have been bringing home Christmas projects from school and I bought their presents online the other day.  I get pretty giddy about their gifts and have a hard time waiting until the big day.


Yesterday we got a little snow and the boys have been dying to use this child-size shovel we bought a while back.  Unfortunately the snow only accumulated on the grass and not on the driveway, but they decided to shovel the backyard instead.  I thought it was pretty funny.


Rex is really getting older.  He insists on wearing this full 3-piece suit we got as a sweet hand-me-down to church every week.  Why?  "Because when Tony Stark isn't in his Ironman suit, he's usually in a suit  like this, Mom."  Of course.  I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of that :)



He also insists on having me spike his hair for school each day.  I think he's the shortest boy in his kindergarten class, but he says he's not when I spike his hair.  I love his sense of style and humor.

These boys definitely make life more lively.  I'm pretty sure life would be very dull without them.

Thanks for reading.

December 07, 2012

Feature Friday - Homemade Butter

Quite some time ago my friend Christie from A Lemon Squeezy Home posted about making butter with her kids.  Her original post is HERE.  


I logged that idea away in my mind and thought it would be fun to try this Thanksgiving.  Things got busy and we forgot, but yesterday I remembered we still had the whipping cream I'd purchased so we got it out and tried our hands at making butter.

We got out a glass jar, a wooden bead, our cream, and a little salt.  Then the boys took a break from playing firemen and got shaking.


They liked the shaking for about a minute :)  Then it became my job, but I was excited to give it a try.

December 05, 2012

Wake Up Wednesday


Last month's Wake Up Wednesday challenge was to write down what you were thankful for each night.  It was helpful to end the day on an uplifting note.  I've needed the extra push to stay positive lately.  It's been over two months of feeling sick all the time.  I even wake up in the night a lot due to heartburn and reflux.  However, the point is, I have way more to be thankful for than to complain about.  My grandpa Norb used to say, "If that's all the worse you got it, then you got it made."  Amen grandpa :)


This week's challenge - or rather this month's for us - is going to be to carry out our good deed advent.  If you don't know what I'm talking about it's HERE.  We're doing little acts of service each day to celebrate  Christmas.  The boys and I have started and I figure I'll just report some of our fun experiences each week.

So far the boys have cleared the dinner table, visited an elderly couple, and bought a gift for the new baby.  I've changed up the list a little.  I really want them to be excited about this baby, so I thought that letting them pick out a gift would be fun.  They walked up and down the aisles of the toy store the other day and finally settled on a cute shape toy that they figured would be good for a girl or boy.


This is our third year using Rolos as our treat in the advent calendar.  I secretly hope the as the boys grow older and they see a Rolo that they will think about doing something kind for others.

I hope you're already having a great Christmas season.  Thanks for stopping by.

December 03, 2012

Glitter Peter Pan Collared Tee

When I posted this little number during Refashionista, I promised a tutorial for the shirt as well.  Here it is.


The other while browsing some children's clothing I came upon this shirt from JCrew and I thought it was so cute.  


I knew it would be easy to recreate using glitter instead of sequins, so I went to work and made this.


Here's how I did it.  I purchased a plain $4 tee.  It had a pocket, which I carefully removed.  You can see the outline of it here, but when you wash it it will disappear.

December 02, 2012

Sunshine Sunday - cookies, necklaces, and naps

I'm a little late posting today, but better late than never :)  If you follow me on instagram (mommaroars) you've seen these.  I haven't been taking a ton of pictures with anything but my phone.  I still haven't been doing much of anything, frankly.

We got to make sugar cookies with my sister the other day.  That is one of my very favorite traditions in the world.  I love to decorate them and eat them slowly throughout the following days.  This was the last bite left of the last cookie......so sad.  I could live on them.


I've been trying to come up with little activities to keep the boys happy at home, since we're not out and about a lot.  We made fruit loop garland...which really turned into necklaces because we didn't last that long.


Whenever possible, I've been sneaking in naps.  This is my favorite way to do it, though the sleep isn't as great.  Rex watches a show while I snuggle him and sleep.


Rex wants us to name the baby Marvin, which I think is so funny.  I'm not sure where he got the name, but he loves it.  It's another reason to hope this is a girl....so I don't have to crush his hopes :)

My sweet mother-in-law took the boys for a couple of days this weekend, which was so helpful.  I may have indulged in watching a bit too much Downton Abbey, which I just started this week after hearing a lot about it in blogland.  I'm addicted now.  Oh, the clothes!  

Alright, that's all for this week.  I'm almost at 13 weeks now, so I'm hoping things will start to ease up soon.  I'm getting to anxious to get things done, but I suppose it's always good to slow down a bit.

Thank you for your kind comments on Friday's post.  There are certain posts that are very personal and almost hard to share, but I am always so uplifted by your support and kind comments.  Thank you for reading my blog guys.  I really appreciate you.

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