Friday, December 6, 2013

Very simple ways to make life more simple=)

On first glance I have a pretty nice kitchen. When people come over they may say something like "Oh, I love your kitchen". And don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I've had much smaller, but it's organizational setup is lacking. I am the kind of person who wants things to be organized yet still accessible. You will never catch me putting an appliance that I use on a regular basis tucked in a cabinet somewhere that I have to dig out and put away each time I use it. Call me lazy, I don't care, I just don't think you should sacrifice functional just to make something "look better." Now don't get me wrong, those of you who despise cluttered counters and are willing to dig out such necessities, kudos to you. I'm just trying to find a way to make my space easily accessible and uncluttered. Therefore I "designed" (not really designed there are similar things out there) this very simple, very simple paper towel holder.
 
First I started with a couple of hooks:
 Next, I screwed them into the "underneath" of my cabinet. Then, I took a pair of pliers and squeezed them shut because when they were open the rod kept slipping off.   
 Last, I slid a rod through my paper towels and the hooks, and viola, a handy paper towel holder. See, I told you it was simple.
P.S. I have every full intention of putting a more decorative rod in place of the one I used. I was just using things I had on hand at home. Because I'm also the kind of person that when I have an idea I want it done yesterday.
 
Now you know two secrets about me, I'm lazy and impatient =) I'd like to think not really, but this post sure makes it seem that way.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

May God bless you all! And give you many things to be thankful for this holiday season and beyond.

Monday, November 4, 2013

We've Been Tricked!

At least that was the words of Levi when we found this came out of our cocoon instead of a beautiful swallowtail butterfly.
At first glance my thought was "how did that bug get in to my jar? It must've crawled through one of the holes and can't get out."
 
Then, I noticed a hole in the cocoon. And I realized that bug (which resembled something like a wasp) is what came out of the cocoon. It was not a beautiful swallowtail at all. What was it?
 So, back to the "google" drawing board it is. At first I typed in wasp type bugs, but that didn't really give me anything. So, I typed wasp type bugs that emerge from cocoons. And I found this site.

 Turns out the bug in my jar IS a wasp. Evidently, "this" type of wasp uses "that" type of caterpillar as a host to lay it's eggs. The wasp stings the caterpillar inserting a parasitic egg, which doesn't immediately kill the caterpillar. Then, after the caterpillar forms it's cocoon to await spring, the egg develops, eventually consuming the caterpillar, and coming out a wasp instead of a butterfly. 
 In one way, we were disappointed, but, on the other hand, it gave me another opportunity to teach my kiddos. We got to learn, not only about swallowtail caterpillars and butterfly's, but also about wasps. And I got to explain to them that ultimately this was God's will. That He created things this way. And sometimes certain animals and bugs eat others. In this way, populations stay under control and such. God is good! Even if we didn't get to see a beautiful butterfly come out of this cocoon. Besides, we can always try again. And maybe next time we'll actually get to release a butterfly instead of a wasp:)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Little Girls are FUN!

The other day Lydia and I went shopping with my mom to get supplies for my sister's baby shower. Lydia was SUPER excited for this adventure and looked forward to it for two days. The day of said planned trip she asked me 500 billion times, "is it time to go shopping with Nonnie yet?" It was like "are we there yet" for the entire 500 miles of a trip:)
 So, to pass the time, we got dolled up. I did Lydia's hair in an upside down French braid. She wanted sponge rollers in her hair so bad, so we put them in the ends. The rollers only got to stay in for about 30 minutes, but her hair curled pretty good anyway.
 Yes, at 5 years old she already wants to see the back of her hair in the mirror. I'm tellin' ya, this girl is the girliest tomboy you'll ever meet. She all drama, and even practices faces in the mirror. We'll have to make sure not to let it a habit, so she isn't all about vanity when she is a teenager.

 Lydia and I had fun on our girls night out. Ben kept all the other youngins at home. I just about didn't know what to do with myself only having one with me. But we had a lot of fun with Nonnie.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Oatmeal?!

 We've just begun (began?) giving Addie oatmeal. As you can see, she really "dives in" to it:)
Ben held her while I fed her, and he was COVERED in it. 
It's so funny how each child is SO different. when we fed Levi for the first time, he opened his mouth for the spoon and everything, just like he had been doing it forever. With Amos it took him a time or two to figure it out, but once he did, he NEVER made a mess. I never even put a bib on him. I can see it's going to be a little different with Adlai. I better get to making and embroidering those bibs I planned on. I think I'm definitely going to need them this time around.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oh, Kids!

 Recently, (i.e. several weeks ago) My youngsters were told to go to bed. Instead they were upstairs in their room creating "Muppets." At least that's what they called these things. Levi came downstairs and was so proud of his creation. I was torn. Technically, he was supposed to be asleep, therefore he was disobeying, however you have to give it to him this was a pretty darn good "muppet". So, instead I took pictures, then reminded him God wants us to obey, and sent him back upstairs to bed...to go to sleep!
Let me just inform you... this is a size 5/6 shirt with a QUEEN size quilt stuffed into it. I have no idea how he got that giant quilt stuffed in there like that. Only a kid;)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Cocoon

The caterpillar has definitely started forming it's cocoon! Ahhh! Yay! I'm so excited. I took it and showed it to my kiddos and Levi said "Cool! It's half way changed, We're going to have a butterfly."

I checked it just this morning, and it still looked like it did in the post yesterday, so in less than 24 hours, it formed half of it's cocoon! Isn't that amazing? You know God is SO Awesome! The way he created things. The way butterflies form out of caterpillars. The way a woman can grow a human being inside her, and have the opportunity from God to raise a child for His Glory. To possibly contribute to His Kingdom.

It is so funny, but this butterfly has brought me so much joy. Reminding me of God, and the fact that he has the perfect plan for me, whatever it may be. God is all-powerful, all- knowing. He is an Awesome God!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Caterpillar Update!

 
 This is so fun! I think Mr. Caterpillar may be starting to form a cocoon. Of coarse, I could be wrong, I hate to say this but it could be dying for all I know. But, Let's stay positive... I think it's building a cocoon. Kay! Below is a pic of a rolled up leaf with a cobwebby stuff inside it. Proof that it ate on that leaf. (I think)  
 
After that, it crawled to the top of a twig in the jar and has been there since. In the position that all the cocoon's were in in the pictures I saw yesterday. There is also a black "feathery substance" forming around it. It's very hard to see, but if you click on the picture to make it larger and look inside the white circle, you might be able to see it! 
 
P.S. this is way more fun than posting about my weight, but I'll keep doing that anyway to keep myself accountable. Hope you also enjoy watching this butterfly grow!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Creepy Crawly!

Check out this little guy, ain't he just the cutest caterpillar you've ever seen?

 
My kids found it today, they brought it to me and they were like "Mommy! Look what we found!"

 
I looked at it, and said "what in the world is that?"
 

So I went on to Google and typed in "weird caterpillars" and researched forever until I came to the conclusion that it is most likely an eastern tiger swallowtail. (other swallowtails look very similar.)
 


I found the tree that it feeds from. Or at least I think I did.  While I was researching I learned that they form a little "silk" and wrap the leaves around them to protect themselves from predators while they eat. And this tree was full of rolled up leaves with "silk" on them (it looks similar to a cobweb) and it was near where my kids found it.

 
So, I put some twigs from said tree in a jar, poked holes in the lid, and hopefully me and the kiddos, (and hubby too if he's interested) will get to see this cute little guy turn into a butterfly. Although, we may have to wait quite some time. It seems this particular caterpillar may go into a hibernation since it is getting colder weather and may not come out of it's chrysalis until spring. but who knows maybe it'll come out soon.

Also, judging by the color, it is ready to form it's chrysalis soon. They "hatch" from a small yellow egg, then eat the egg. At first they are tiny, and look similar to bird droppings as a defense mechanism. They go through about 4-5 stages in this color as they grow larger. Then, they look much like the one in these pictures, except they are green. The "eyes" are another defense mechanism, not their real eyes. Then, as they approach time to build their chrysalis, they turn brown. Isn't that cool! Isn't it just the oddest little bug you've ever seen? Well, me neither, but it is the cutest odd bug I've ever seen.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Weight Loss ~ Week 1

I'll keep this short and sweet. My first week was a little off and on. I didn't track every day, but it turns out tracking is a lot easier than I thought it would be. I was really stressing myself out for nothing. After one week, I'm down a little over 3 pounds to 168.9. So, we'll keep trucking and I'll keep you updated.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Weight Loss Journey!!!!!!!

 Ok, time for a brutally honest post about my weight. I'm a little on the heavy side. (I know, I know, that's not the whole truth, but it sounds a lot better than just saying "I'm FAT") So it's time to quit talking and nip this problem in the butt. (Sorry about the language again, I've developed a real potty mouth) When I got pregnant with my first child I weighed a "whopping total" of 103 pounds, and wore a size 4. I am 5 feet tall, so that was a pretty good weight for me.
 
Now I have 5 children, and with each one I put on a little more weight. Until now I weigh 172.3. Yep, you read that right. I have gained 70 pounds in the last 6 years. That's not a fun thing to think about. I used to run track and cross country in high school, and was in pretty good shape. Now, it takes me 14 minutes to run a mile. That's pretty pathetic, seeing as a mile can be walked (at a brisk pace) in 15 minutes.
 
So, bottom line, I joined weight watchers last week. I have spent this entire week looking at recipes, and just trying to figure out how the whole points thing is supposed to work. (nutrition does not come easily for me...it was my hard subject) So it's time to get down to the nitty gritty, and start loosin some weight. I took my measurements to track on the site, and took a couple of before pictures of myself (well, hubby took them for me) so that I could share them on this blog. I figured it would give me a little more accountability or incentive if I posted these things on here.
 
Now the embarrassing part... posting my measurements.
Height: 5 feet
Weight: 172.3 inches
Waist: 41 inches
Hips: 45 inches
Arms: 13.5 inches
Dress Size: 16
Bust: 42 inches
Thighs: 24.5 inches
 
Hopefully it won't take long to start seeing some results. Honestly, I don't care if I ever see a size 4 again. Really I would just be happy with an 8-12 size frame, as long as it included some serious toning. And in the pictures below, sorry about no makeup. I wanted to wait and take pics after I had put a little makeup on, but it never happened. ( I rarely wear makeup, though I probably should)
 
 

 
So, there it is folks. The beginning of my (hopefully successful) journey. Maybe ya'll could say a little prayer that God gives me the grace and strength to stick to my goals. And it's not just about the pounds, I really just want to be healthy, and have the energy to take care of my 5 rambunctious kiddos. I love to run, I want to be able to run. I want to get in shape. (other than round... VERY round)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Baby Girl Baptism!

 
I just realized I never posted about Addie's baptism! Adlai was baptized on May 26, 2013. Just 1 week and some odd days after she was born. If you would like to read about our views on infant baptism you can read them here.
(sorry about the sloppy pic)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Let's Party!

So, it's been...ummm...THREE months since I posted. That's quite a while. I had several ''posts" on a list that I wanted to write about, but just never could seem to find the time to blog. I know, I know, everyone has the same 24 hours a day. At least, that's what my grandfather-in-law says. And, while that may be true, it is also true that some of us have more to do in our 24 hours than others. Yep, that's me, I stay pretty busy around here with my little kiddos. I'll have to do a strictly kiddo post soon, they have grown so much. Especially Addie.. babies grow SO fast!

And, speaking of growing fast, we just celebrated 3 birthdays the other day. My 3 oldest birthday's are relatively close, so we just combined them into one party and celebrated them together. They're still young enough that they don't mind, and it probably makes it easier that they all get their presents at the same time. I'll admit though, their party was pretty chaotic this year. We held it at our church fellowship hall. While I feel like our house is plenty big, we have a relatively big family. That said it's a little crowded at our house. We only invite "immediate" family (grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles, 1st cousins) that still ends up being like 30 people more or less. So, this year I didn't plan anything "special". Just cake, ice cream, and gifts. While that seems simple enough, 3 kids opening gifts at one time, while other people are trying to help hand them the gifts means mom has no idea what's going on. I tried to keep them kind of "sorted" as to who got what gift, but that was easier said than done. I have almost no idea who gave which gift. But they had fun, and I guess that was the point.

I made each of them their own cake (to share with everyone else of coarse). Levi's "theme" was Superman, so I put the Superman symbol on his cake, bought him a Superman sweat outfit, and made a little "tag" that says "SuperLevi turns 6",  Lydia had Hello Kitty cookie cake, Hello Kitty outfit, and "Hello Tippy" turns 5" (her nickname is Tippy), and Ephraim had a Lightning McQueen cake, outfit, and "Lightning McEphraim turns 3".  It was simple but sweet.

Levi always has a new special smile to try
Lydia fixed her own hair for the occasion
Ephraim says "cheeseburger" before every picture
They all blow out the candles!

And, while we're on the subject, let's talk about Amos' first birthday that happened way back in February. I had a post all written out and the pictures selected that I wanted to post, but at the time my computer was being poopy (pardon the language) and I could not get my pictures to upload on my blog. So it kept getting put off and put off until he's 19 months old and I'm just doing a brief overview of his birthday. We did a Curious George theme. There was a Curious George banner, Curious George cups, Curious George invitations, and a stuffed Curious George holding the banana bowl on the "make your own sundae bar". We served homemade pizza, and let everyone make their own sundae. We had TONS of toppings... different syrups, fresh fruit, candy, graham crackers... it was like Orange leaf at home. (with ice cream instead of frozen yogurt) And Amos wore a monkey shirt. (which was actually coincidental, it was not Curious George, but fit into the theme nonetheless. Well, here are a few pictures of his party... enjoy!






Friday, June 7, 2013

Mother's Day

 So, awhile back I mentioned the mother's day presents I was making. Well, here they are.
 
For the cards, I admit, I did not get the idea on my own, but got the inspiration online. As soon as I saw the picture of this card I knew it was perfect. So, I went onto my silhouette cameo and re-created it myself. I made the colors of the card match the gifts I was giving to my mom and mother-in-law.
The three following images are the gifts for my mother-in-law. She is a wonderful person, a real "Suzy homemaker" and I mean that as the utmost compliment. So, I made her an apron with "built-in" potholders. (however, if I use this pattern again, there are a few changes I would make.) I also made a matching "bag holder" to go with it.




 
My mom does not wear aprons... ever. So, I just made regular potholders for her. (because even though she doesn't wear aprons, she can still cook!) And a matching bag holder for her as well.       
 
The bag holders and potholders I "made up" on my own as I went. There are MANY versions of how to make them on this here internet, so I haven't decided yet if I want to do a tutorial on how I did mine. But I might. The "potholder apron" however, I made using directions from another blog. I currently do not remember the link, but if I find it soon I will post it on here. (along with the changes I would make)
 
As for what I got for mother's day. I did not get an "actual gift" directly on mother's day. My husband wanted to get me something, but I  insisted that the silhouette cameo that he got me for our anniversary count for mother's day too, since they aren't exactly cheap. Not to mention the fact that he has given me FIVE children as well, that makes me a mother in the first place. Oh man, How big I am blessed!