Monday, December 7, 2009
We all know that screaming is a part of being two (and apparently three as well) but it seems impossible to not take it personally. There are times when my kids scream and it is very easy for me to see it for what it is: a tantrum, power struggle, lack of sleep, hunger pangs, etc. But there are other times when their screaming goes straight to my soul.
Sometimes when they scream I hear it as: "you don't know what I like" or "you never remember my favorite things" or "you don't pay attention". I know that they're little. I know that they are not saying those things. I know that I'm an awesome mom ninety percent of the time. So why do I hear hurtful statements sometimes when they scream?
I'm not sure I know the full answer to that question but I think it provides me with a way to spot check myself. When I feel like my kids are telling me I'm a horrible mom, I have to take a moment, look at the situation and figure out if I am being a horrible mom. Sometimes I have to readjust my attitude because I am not modeling appropriate behavior and sometimes my kids are just being kids.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Why stop with food goods? Glam up your craft closet with decoratively labeled jars, spice up homemade bath salts, tuck in knit goods like gloves and a lacy scarf. There are so many things that can creatively be given inside a glass jar (they come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles) and the labels give it such a personalized touch.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
First and foremost, let me say, I love IKEA furniture! About 70% of the furniture in my house is IKEA furniture and I plan to buy more in the future.
I know that IKEA wants to take responsibility for the environment and is taking many positive steps in that direction with flat boxes, using waste products, and reducing resources used in production of your goods.
There is one area where your company could improve. With almost every piece of IKEA furniture I've purchased, I have received an allen wrench. I now have dozens of them around my house and in my toolbox. I would love for your store to provide a way to recycle allen wrenches at your store and, ideally, for your store to find a way to reuse them.
I have talked to many other individuals who frequently shop at your store and many of them have shared similar concerns. Almost all of your packing materials are recyclable except for the wrench that comes with many of your products. I would greatly appreciate your business devising a way to make the allen wrench yet another area in which sustainability and concern for resources is a high priority.
PS: For any of you reading this letter on my blog, I would encourage you to send a similar letter to IKEA
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Holy Crap! That is one wacko cartoon! Just watch the intro and you'll see what I mean! According to IMDB, the show debued in 1987. It is about an American cowboy who has to protect New Texas from renigade robots. It is so strange to watch! I can't believe my husband, who was only allowed to watch Nova, was allowed to watch it!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The recipe looks very simple and straightforward. I will be trying it probably in the spring. If you decide to try it before then, please let me know how it works!
Monday, November 16, 2009
We've used Hippopost to send out thank you cards, keep in touch with extended family members, and send birthday wishes from the kids' favorite toys. There are so many possibilities. We're even considering using the website to send out Christmas post cards this year. You can send up to ten postcards a day.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
1. Any size pop tab can will do (I just happened to have a bunch of smaller fruit ones). Flip the can upside down and using a safety can-opener (it leaves a little bit of a dull lip which is how you will seal the can towards the end), take off the bottom of the can.
2. I found it helpful to do this step in small batches...guess what my kids had for snack that day!
3. After removing the bottom of the can, carefully peel off the label and set it off to one side.
4. Rinse and dry the can. You want it absolutely clean. You could even run it through the dishwasher.
5. While the can is drying, take the label and trace it on the back of whatever you are using for your new custom label (scrapbook paper, fabric, graphic print, etc). Cut your strip of paper.
6. Using stick/craft glue, attach your new custom label to the dry pop tab can.
7. Put your gift item inside the can. I prefer to wrap my gifts in tissue paper or fabric just to insure it doesn't get any goop on it during the last step. Using a hot glue gun, attach the bottom of the can back on and let dry.
Voila! Your pop tab gift can is complete!!! You can dress it up even more with ribbon tied to the pop tab itself or leave it plain.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I love this idea!!! Its basically two ties, sewn together to make a water bottle or camera sling. I get the ties at thrift stores and dry clean them at home (no one wants gross ties). The purple one is up for grabs if anyone wants to trade for it. The length is adjustable, you just tie the skinny parts of the tie together to make the bag hang the desired length.
Monday, May 18, 2009
This is a great gift idea for siblings or couples if done in matching or complimentary yarns. I love the look of variegated yarns in the simple garter stitch. This pattern works well for kids because there is no right or wrong side to the scarf. Relatively quick to knit.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I would love to have this awesome roll-up kitchen playmat if anyone out there would like to use their sewing skills and trade for something I can make. I could really use at least one of these to use for a Christmas present so let me know if you want to try to bust one out.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I did it! I finally sewed something sharable!!!!! I found a tutorial online for this super sweet water bottle sling, and guess what...it worked! It was the easiest thing in the world after I found ties that were the same size and shape at the Salvation Army (don't worry, I washed them at home using a dry cleaning kit I've been holding on to for years). I was surprised that it was big enough to fit our Klean Kanteen but there it is. It would also make a great camera bag...hmmm...maybe I should go make some more...
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Blame Wendy for this one...I want to make my own Kombucha tea. For those of you who have never tried it (but who really should!!!), Kombucha is a super potent, fermented tea which has been made in China and Eastern European countries for centuries. There are huge health benefits but the best part is the taste (almost like hard apple cider).
The process for making the tea almost seems like a bad science experiment gone wrong. It involves a "mother mushroom" (which is no mushroom at all but a pancake like glob of bacteria and yeast), mason jars, tea, sugar, and a whole lot of good timing.
You can find commercial kombucha in most health food stores. It comes in original and a variety of other flavors. Once I convince Andy to invest in my own mother mushroom, you can just come over to my house. Until then, you'll have to support the economy.
Monday, May 11, 2009
This is one of my new favorite patterns! The hats fit kids all the way up to adults...all I do is change the length (from brim to peak). I prefer to make them out of 100% virgin wool which is naturally water resistant. In the bottom picture I added one strand of colored yarn just to mix it up. These hats are super comfy and as Andy says, "I'm gonna wear this hat all the freakin' time!"
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
These are basic handwarmers...they can be made for small adult hands all the way to up to a men's large. I can knit them in variety of colors and fibers. They can be short (wrist length) or a little longer. It takes me a couple of days to knit one set.
Monday, May 4, 2009
I will be posting all of the wonderful knit items I can make (and hopefully other things as well once I start developing my other areas of craftiness) which I hope that you will want in exchange for the awesome handmade items you can make.
If you see something you like, just shoot me an email and we'll go from there...deciding the color, size, yarn, etc. If you would like to post some of your crafty items, let me know and I'll set you up as a guest blogger.
We are a community of gifted people and I think it would be great to share with one another. Let me know what you think of this idea...
Monday, April 13, 2009
I went to the craft store for a pair of knitting needles and ended up with a bag of 50% off yarn. Half of the yarn is undyed organic cotton. I had to justify my purchase to my husband by the time I got home so I decided this bag of yarn would be for Christmas presents. You read it right...I'm starting early this year since my goal is to knit at least 60% of my Christmas gifts this year. I found an awesome washcloth pattern that will be perfect for the cotton yarn. If anyone is interested in bartering Christmas presents (a gift using my craft/skill for a gift using your craft/skill) just send me an email. I would love for all of my presents to be handmade this year!
Friday, April 10, 2009
PS: Did you know that you can recycle tin foil with your aluminum cans??? You can.
Monday, February 23, 2009
The Evolution of Parenthood
Your Clothes -
1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes are your regular clothes.
The Baby’s Name -
1st baby: You pore over baby-name books and practice pronouncing and writing combinations of all your favourites.
2nd baby: Someone has to name their kid after your great-aunt Mavis, right? It might as well be you.
3rd baby: You open a name book, close your eyes, and see where your finger falls. Bimaldo? Perfect!
Preparing for the Birth -
1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don’t bother practicing because you remember that last time, breathing didn’t do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your 8th month.
The Layette -
1st baby: You pre-wash your newborn’s clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby’s little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can’t they?
1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.
2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby’s bottle.
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.
1st baby: You change your baby’s diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change their diaper every 2 to 3 hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.
1st baby: At the first sign of distress - a whimper, a frown - you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your 3-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.
Going Out -
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home 5 times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.
At Home -
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn’t squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
It has about 80 popular companies that you can choose to send the following email:
As a loyal customer who has appreciated and purchased your product(s), I ask that you join me in the fight to eradicate slavery and human trafficking. Like me, you probably didn’t know that there are 27 million slaves* in the world today, most of whom work in agriculture and mining.
That means I’m likely wearing, eating, driving, or using a product tainted by slavery. What’s more, without the ability to know where a company’s raw materials originate, a company can’t be sure it’s not inadvertently selling products produced, at least in part, by slaves.
I know this criminal practice is not your fault as sure as I know we all share a responsibility to end it. I know that responsibly eradicating slavery from a supply chain as diverse as yours is neither quick nor simple, and I promise to support your brand through the mistakes, discoveries, and growing pains intrinsic to really addressing this problem. All I ask is that you begin.
Now, I sure love your company, but if one of your competitors chooses to take on this fight against slavery and you sit it out—well then, I’ll buy from them instead. As good as you are, if I have to choose between you and freedom, freedom wins every time.
Please fill out this questionnaire to this letter listing out some of the specific, tangible things that your company could do to help end slavery around the world.
On behalf of 27 million global citizens and a lot more American Consumers, I eagerly await your response,
Until we’re all free,
I would strongly encourage you to check out the website and to learn more about human slavery. It happens everywhere. I plan to send an email to every company on their website who has not provided a response and I will also send a letter concerning human slavery to my Representative and Senator.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Liam can be happy.
I would never have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes but Liam has been happy all afternoon...and I haven't been holding him!!! He has crawled from one end of the house to other and back again. When he spies me, he hurriedly crawls on his little chubby knees with a look of glee (real glee!!!) on his face and then he is off again! There is hope for our household after all.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Powdered Laundry Detergent
1 cup grated Fels Naptha Soap
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup 20 mule team borax
Mix and store in airtight container or bag.
For light loads use 1 tablespoon. For normal loads, use 2 tablespoons. For heavy loads, use 3 tablespoons.
I use anywhere from 1 tablespoon to 1 1/2 tablespoons. I find that I don't need any more than that, even for the dirtiest loads. For my next batch I want to try some Dr. Bronner's soap. Let me know if you come across a sale.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Don't get me wrong, I spend plenty of time at home but I find myself spending more time with others. Why would a perfectly happy homebody spend time with others? Because relationship nourishes me in a way that I can't do myself. My relationships with others force me to look beyond myself, to be dependent, to enjoy time rather than just pass the time. I tend to want to do everything by myself but for me, that is empty arrogance. There are actually very few things I can do by myself, for everything else, I need community.
Raising the kids cannot be done by myself or even just with the help of my spouse. I depend on community to grow with the boys and show them that families are all beautifully different. I appreciate all of the clothes we've gotten as children in our community have outgrown them. I value the time my community has spent looking after my kids but more importantly, investing in them and loving them completely.
Personal growth cannot be achieved by myself. I depend on others to hold my hand and hold me accountable. I appreciate all of the women who have spoken truth into my life out of love. I deeply value my community for showing me that God's love and grace have a deep and meaningful place in my life. I can humbly say that I am not the same person I was two years ago and that my life has been drastically changed because of God and my community.
Love is nothing when it is isolated. Love is everything when it is celebrated, shared, lived, and given away. Love has no reference point without community.
All of this is a way of letting you know that this happy homebody is choosing community over isolation one step at a time...