Catholic Advent Calendar

I made this advent calendar years ago and I fill it with an activity to do each day in the days leading up to Christmas.  Historically, I have just put blank pieces of paper in the calendar and then frantically tried to come up with something each day with whatever supplies I had on hand.  This year I want to do better!  So I’m trying to map out the month now to make sure I have all of the supplies I need.  Last year I was also inspired by this blog and I tried to add in some more Catholic stuff to the advent calendar.  With advance planning I’m hoping to do even better this year!

Here’s my list of Advent Activities so far.  They’re pretty much all from the aforementioned blog.  🙂

  1. 1st Sunday of Advent.  Light the first advent calendar at dinner!
  2. St Nicholas Day Eve.  Ok, I just made that up, but this is the day that the kids will put their shoes out for St Nicholas Day.  lol.
  3. St Nicholas Day.  The kids will get a little (to be determined) treat in the shoes and we will probably watch a little show about St Nicholas.
  4. Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.  I think we will have some white cookies.
  5. Feast Day of St Juan Diego.  Hot chocolate!
  6. Feast Day of Our Lady of Loreto.  Gingerbread Houses.
  7. Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Maybe Pan de Dulce?
  8. St Lucia Day.  We’ll make St Lucia buns!
  9. Christmas Eve Mass!

As you can see, there are still loads of empty days.  Some of those will be dates that we have something planned (Kate’s Christmas party, a trip to see family, etc.)  and then some of them will be what I call filler days which can be done on any day.  I’m thinking this year, we these will include decorating Christmas Cookies, making an ornament, taking a walk to see the Christmas lights, basically I need to give it some thought.  But I wanted to share these date specific ones ahead of time.  🙂

My goal with advent this year is to have loads of fun while still encouraging the kids (especially Kate) to learn a bit more about our faith.  🙂

Hexagon Update!

If you’re joining me for the first time, allow me to clear up any misconceptions.  I’m insane.  lol.

I’ve decided to hand sew an entire king size quilt out of tiny 7/8 inch hexagons.  Why 7/8 you ask?  Because I cut out my own templates and I didn’t really know that most hexagons were standardized at 1 inch.  Also, making them 7/8 of an inch allows me to get 4 hexagons from each charm square.  When means, you’ve got it, there will be exactly 4 of each hexagon in the finished quilt.

In an effort to finish this quilt before I’m 95, I set a goal to finish what I’m calling one block each month.  A block is 75 hexagons sewn together.  Then I go ahead and baste another 225 hexagons each month (the extra 3 from each charm square.)  I figure I’m going to need 64 blocks.

In October, I finished block number 8 (that I should have finished in September) which means that I am officially halfway through basting hexies!  I am also really sick of basting hexies.  lol.  So I decided that instead of moving on to block number 9, I would skip ahead and makes some blocks with some of the already basted hexies.  No surprise, but it turns out that it is much much much quicker to put together these blocks.  lol.

My new plan is to switch off every other month with basting and not.  So for November, I’ll do block number 9 and then baste the additional 225 hexagons.  In December, I’ll do blocks 20, 21, and 22 which will be made using already basted hexagons.  If everything goes to plan, I’ll continue this until January of 2020 at which point I will finish the 16th block.  Then just 8 more months of stitching already basted blocks and the blocks will be done!

Of course, then I will still need to make some more hexies to join all of the blocks, but I figure I’ll worry about that when we get there.  lol.

And then, because I’m truly certifiable, I’m planning to hand quilt the whole thing.  eeep!

November Goals!

So, I never got around to blogging my October Goals, but I did set some!  Let’s take a look, shall we?

  1.  Hexies. Finish September’s block and then stitch together 2 more blocks from already basted hexagons.  Done and done!  I actually stitched together 3 from already basted hexagons.  🙂  I have a whole blog post coming out about it on Monday.
  2. Linus quilt top.  Have we talked about how I joined a quilt guild?  Because I did and it’s awesome.  One of the things they do is make charity quilts and one of the ladies actually makes kits so it’s easier.  I grabbed a kit at the September meeting and actually managed to stitch it together!  It’s the ugliest quilt ever, but hopefully some little kid will love it.
  3. Costumes.  Kate came up with the awesome idea for all of the kids to dress up as breakfast, but then she ended up changing her mind and going as a zombie ballerina.  Mia and Xander were totally sold on the idea though and ended up being fried eggs.  lol.  It was hilarious.
  4. As far as scrapping goes, I wanted to get April and March of 2018 done, but that didn’t happen.
  5. For Project Life, I wanted to get March and April of 2018 edited and uploaded and I succeeded!  I even got May done too!  Yay me! I can’t wait for these prints to get here.
  6. Name tag.  Apparently I need to make a name tag for my quilt guild.  I was planning to get that done this month but it didn’t happen.
  7. Pot Holder.  Same deal.  We are exchanging pot holders at our Christmas party.  I have the design done in my head, but I need to execute it.
  8. More editing.  I wanted to get June- Sept of 2018 done for the big scrapbook and I got it done!
  9. Road Trip Activities.  Done!  Even though they didn’t see much use.
  10. Work on super secret Christmas project.  I didn’t make any progress on it this month, but I think I’m still in good shape for a December finish.

And now for November.

  1.  Hexie block #9.
  2. Finish Jake’s stocking.  I’m so so so so close to being done.  I can probably finish it in an evening or two.
  3. Pot Holder.  I’m planning to make a hexie flower out of some Christmas fabric that I have an then applique it to some white fabric.  Then beg my Mimi to help me.  lol.
  4. Name Tag.  Same.  lol.
  5. Teacher Gifts.  Now that all 3 kids are in school, I need to make a plan for some cute (cheap!) teacher gifts.  Now taking suggestions.
  6. Order prints.  Now that I have the pics edited, I just need to upload them and actually order them.
  7. Tree Counting Activity.  I want to make a little Montessori counting activity for the twins.
  8. Scrap March and April of 2018.
  9. Scrap March, April, May 2018 Project Life.
  10. Edit June, July Project Life.  I’m not going to be ordering more prints any time soon, but I’d like to get some of the editing done so I’m ready to order next time they have a sale.
  11. Family pictures.  Professional pics are not in the budget this year, but I still want to take the kids out and try to get something for our Christmas card.  I already have their outfits picked out.  Mia’s is comically too large, but I’m going to make it work!
  12. Super Secret Christmas Project.  Um, I might have a few of these that need to be finished.  lol.

The Hot Mess Express

October has been a doozy y’all.  We were supposed to go on an epic road trip with one of my good friends this month over Fall Break.  To say that I was excited would be a massive understatement.  The plan was to drive about an hour north of Lubbock on the first day to get to our staging point.  Then we were going to wake up and hit Palo Duro Canyon and Cadillac Ranch before heading on to Santa Fe for the night.  Then spend the day at this crazy place called Meow Wolf before driving to another staging point.  Wake up, spend the morning at White Sands, check out Roswell, and spend one more night on the road.  Then home!  6 kids, 2 moms, a 12 passenger van, and a whole lot of caffeine.  What could go wrong?

Turns out a lot can go wrong.  lol.

It started out going well enough.  We left at 9am as planned, and we only had to turn around once to get the little potty (forgetting that would have been an epic disaster!)  The van had enough room that everyone had enough space to be happy and we had plenty of devices.  lol.  I’m not a huge fan of screen time as a general rule, but they are totally necessary for a long road trip.

We stopped in some tiny town for a picnic lunch and found this super cool wall!  My friend Erin got this awesome pic of the kids.  We even pulled over on the side of the road at one point and snagged a cotton ball for the kids to check out.  Things were going a little too well…

We made it to Lubbock around 3:00 and drove around for a bit looking for a fun park.  We finally found one and let the kids out to play and run around for an hour or so.  Everyone was having a blast.  We loaded the kids back up in the van and we were driving about 5 minutes away for dinner when all hell broke loose.  Mia started puking.  A lot.  We pulled over to clean her up and my friend’s son got his hand shut in the back of the van because it was so dang windy.  I honestly thought his finger was broken.  Thankfully it was just bruised.

At this point we had to decide if we wanted to A.  Drive on another hour to where we had non refundable hotel reservations.  B.  Get a hotel room in Lubbock and then reassess in the morning.  C.  Abandon ship and drive home.  The thought of unpacking the entire van only to deal with a puking child all night before loading up a (likely) puke covered pac n play and driving home smelling that the whole way was too much for us so we just drove home.  There were many many tears, but in the end it was the right decision.

We finally made it home around 2:30 AM and RaptorDad took over Mia care.  Poor thing just couldn’t keep down anything.  Monday morning I took her to the dr and they gave us a prescription for zofran, but told me that if she couldn’t keep down the zofran that we needed to think about taking her to the Children’s Hospital ER.  Well, she rallied for a bit, but woke up from her nap and promptly emptied the contents of her stomach.  🙁

So off to the ER we went.  They ended up doing a CT scan of her brain because of her history of enlarged ventricles (so glad!  We were in the ER a month ago for vomiting and they decided not to which made me nervous.)  and everything was normal.  Such a huge relief.  The CT technician gave her a binky.  lol.  Mia loved it.  They also gave her IV fluids and IV zofran.  Poor thing was so dehydrated that they had to bring in 2 separate “IV experts” before finally finding a usable vein in her foot.

I think the scariest part was when the ER attending told me not to wait so long next time before bringing her in.  🙁  She just went downhill so fast!  I mean, from the time she started vomiting to the time we made it to the ER was less than 24 hours.  And she went to the pediatrician in the mean time!  Still, it was a good lesson for me in listening to my mommy instinct and not being so concerned that other people will think that I’m overreacting.  Also, so so so so so so glad that my friend listened to her mommy instinct in getting us home when I thought we just couldn’t drive anymore.  I can’t imagine if we had been on the road for 6-8 hours with Mia as sick as she was.

 

My Blog Is Back!

You guys! I’ve missed you! (All 3 of you. lol.) My blog self destructed back in June and I missed it more than expected. Luckily RaptorDad is the bomb and he got it moved over to a new hosting service and all fixed up. I’m just going to jump in with my (in progress) September goals real quick like, and then get back to scrapping during preschool time. That’s right sports fans, Xander is now going to preschool 2 days a week and it’s been amazing!!!

1.  Hexies. I got a bit behind last month so I actually need to do 2 hexie blocks.  I’m going to be writing a longer blog post re the hexes a bit later complete with a poll!

2.  Piece Quilt Back for Charm Quilt.  Actually, I’ve already scrapped this idea.  lol.  I ordered some backing fabric yesterday because I have too many other ideas to spend time piecing the back of a quilt.

3.  Halloween Costume Plan.  I’m open to ideas.  lol.

4.  February Project Life.  This is actually done!!!  Now I just need to order some more prints.

5.  Which brings me to this goal, edit and upload pics for March and April Project Life.

6.  Scrap June 2017.  Yes, I am that far behind…  Le sigh.  On the upside, I’ve officially finished this one and it’s on my shelf.

7.  Scrap May 2018.  This is on my list for this morning!

8.  I want to keep the progress going and try to catch up a bit!  So I need to edit more pics.  Whomp Whomp.  I’d like to get July, August, and September 2017 pics uploaded.

9.  Stretch Goal is to scrap April 2018.  Not sure if that’s possible, but hey, preschool!  lol.

10.  Make 3 hexie flowers for a super secret Christmas project.

Summer is Here!!!

Yay!  My kids are finally out of school for the year and we are all thrilled.  🙂  They are truly at the best ages.  I know that last year I said I wasn’t going to let my twins hold me hostage anymore, but this year I really mean it!  lol.  First let’s take a look at the May goals though, shall we?

  1.  Hexie block number 4.  I went down to the wire on this one, but I did get it done.  🙂  I love the embroidered hexie for this one.  IMG_8154
  2. Hogwarts Summer School.  I didn’t get anything done on this.  lol.  But we’re having fun anyway!  This week we spent a day at the Thinkery with friends, Kate has gone swimming and to a fun birthday party, and we’ve gotten to hang out with my mom and dad in their awesome backyard.
  3. Kate’s vest.  Done!  The girls had their bridging and I am still in disbelief that I have a junior girl scout!
  4. Road Trip Prep.  Whoops.  lol.
  5. Scrapbook.  I’d love to get April, May, and June done.  Well, I did get April done so that’s something.
  6. Project Life.  November, check.  December, not so much.
  7. Summer Bucket List.  Done!  We are going to have so much fun!  Plus, I just ordered some Pogo passes which will let us do ton of fun stuff this summer.
  8. Make summer currency.  Still need to get this done.
  9. Summer Store.  Still need to get this done too.
  10. Teach Kate to ride her bike!  Looks like I was slacking pretty hard core this month as I didn’t get this done either.  lol.  Onto next month!

June Goals

  1.  Hexie block #5.  No lie, I’d love to make some progress on block #6 as well.
  2. Plan Hogwarts Summer School weeks 2-6.
  3. Kate’s patch blanket.  I need to get a few things sewn on before she goes to camp.  🙂
  4. Road Trip Prep.  It’s next week!  I can’t wait for beach time!!!
  5. Scrapbook.  Fingers crossed for a May and June finish.
  6. Project Life.  I’d love to finish December and get a nice start on January.
  7. Summer store/ currency.
  8. Write Kate letters for camp.  I like to send her a little something every day while she’s at Girl Scout Camp.
  9. Order Prints.  I bought a print credit (200 prints) while Persnickety Prints had them on sale and I’d love to get a big batch edited and ordered.  I also want to order the 8×8 prints for the kids’ interview books.
  10. Plan Kate’s 9th birthday party.  She keeps going back and forth between wanting a big party and wanting to have her BFF sleep over.  lol.

May is Here!!!

You guys, it’s almost summer!!!  I am so ready to have all 3 of my babies home with me.  🙂  Plus, this year we’re doing a Hogwarts theme and I think it will be really fun.  But first, let’s see how I did in April…

  1.  Lists.  This was so fun!  I only ended up making 9 lists and a couple of them are still blank, but I really enjoyed this.  Some lists were plain and some I jazzed up with some prisma pencils.  I don’t think that I am the type of person to actually keep up with a real bullet journel (Erin Condren for Lyfe!!!) but I did like having a place for the occasional brain dump.  It was also fun to try to work on my lettering.  All in all, I’m keeping this around.  🙂Photo May 01, 9 50 00 AM
  2. Hexie Flower.  Done!  In fact, I wrote a whole blog post about it.  🙂
  3. Hogwarts Summer School.  Oh my gosh, I have been having so much fun with this!  Brainstorming has been going fantastic!  Now I just need to actually get organized and create some actual plans.  lol.
  4. Sunshine.  I don’t know that it’s happened everyday, but I have been spending more time outside.  It’s been so nice!
  5. Plants.  So far so good!  It was a little touch and go with the tomatoes for a bit, but my mom sorted them out.  🙂  My little gardens make me happy every time I look out of my window.
  6. Schedule for Xander.  We have a bit of a lose schedule, but mainly we’ve just been hanging out.  It’s actually been really nice to have some one on one time with him. And Mia is kicking butt at school!  She is walking and talking so much!  It’s been amazing.  🙂
  7. Project Life.  Well, I didn’t get nearly as much done as I wanted to, but I did get 2 weeks of November done.  I really need to just sit down one weekend and power through some photo printing so I can get closer to caught up.
  8. Scrapbooking.  I did much better on this goal!  I got February and March scrapped, and I have all of my photos printed and sorted for April, May, and June.  🙂
  9. Fix Dresses.  What can I say, sewing hexies is more fun than sewing buttons.  lol.
  10. Twin Party.  Done!  It was just a simple family party, but I think everyone had fun.  🙂

Now for May goals!

  1.  Hexie block number 4.  I’d love to get an extra hexie block done this month so I can get 12 done this year, but I’m not sure that that will be possible.  lol.
  2. Hogwarts Summer School.  I’m hoping to get week 1 and week 2 all planned out.  Week 1 will just be my kiddos, but starting week 2 we’re going to have 2 of our old friends joining us 2 days a week for the summer.  🙂  I loved the idea of the booklets last summer, but they kind of fizzled out after a few weeks.  This year, I think I’m going to have a weekly schedule with a different activity focus for each day of the week.  I need to flesh out this plan this week.
  3. Kate’s vest.  I need to get Kate’s vest all sorted out before bridging.  I can’t believe she’s almost a junior girl scout!
  4. Road Trip Prep.  My mom and I are taking the kids to Corpus for 2 days to go to the beach and the aquarium.  I need to come up with some a road trip booklet for Kate and ponder some car activities for the babies.
  5. Scrapbook.  I’d love to get April, May, and June done.  I’m not at all sure that’s possible, but it *might* be because I already have the pics printed.
  6. Project Life.  Oh my.  Um, maybe November and December?
  7. Summer Bucket List.  I love summer bucket lists!  I was hoping that Kate would want to help me make one this year, but she’s been meh about it.
  8. Make summer currency.  The drachmas were so awesome last summer that we kept them going all year!  This year we’re switching to galleons, sickles, and gnuts obv.  I need to find some way to create the actual coins.
  9. Summer Store.  I also want to create a store of sorts where Kate can turn in her galleons for stuff.  Last year it was mainly candy and screen time, but I want to come up with some different options this year.
  10. Teach Kate to ride her bike!  Y’all.  It is way past time that she learns this.  We’re going to be having some “broom flying” lessons this summer involving the bike.

Hexagons!

How have I not blogged about my hexagons yet?!? If you follow me on instagram, you know that I am obsessed with hexagons right now.  🙂  In fact I just finished up my 3rd block!

Photo Apr 23, 1 07 58 PM

Maybe I should back up a little.  Since I’m insane, I’ve decided to make a king size quilt entirely by hand out of tiny 7/8th inch hexagons.  I imagine I’ll be finished sometime around my 80th birthday.

Photo Mar 20, 7 25 14 PM

Why so tiny?  Because I have fallen in love with charm packs.  These are little bundles of fabric precut to 5 inches by 5 inches.  You can make 4 hexagons out of a piece of fabric that size if you make the hexagons 7/8th of an inch.  🙂

Photo Mar 20, 3 12 08 PM

Say hello little hexagon!  First I baste the fabric around a piece of paper, then I stitch the hexagons together into little flowers.

File Feb 02, 10 03 38 AM

Remember when I said that each piece of fabric was big enough to make 4 hexagons?  I go ahead and baste all 4 hexagons at the same time, but I’m only stitching one in for now.  I want to have a good mix of fabrics throughout the whole quilt so I put the other 3 aside for now.  Once I’m 1/4 of the way through, I’ll stitch up the rest.

Photo Apr 23, 1 06 50 PM

Here’s my current stash of “orphan hexies.”  There are 670 of them.  ::imagine a shocked emoji here::  Once I have 9 flowers, I stitch them together into what I’m calling a block.  So far I’ve made 3 of them.  I don’t plan on stitching the blocks together until I’ve finished all of the blocks because I keep buying more fabric and I want to make sure that there’s a good mix.

Photo Apr 23, 1 07 40 PM

Each of these blocks has 9 flowers along with some extra hexies to join them together.  All in all, each block has 75 hexies.

I thought I was doing pretty good until I laid them out on my bed and saw how much farther I had to go!  lol.  I’m guessing I will need somewhere between 7×7 and 9×9 blocks.  Which means somewhere between 49 and 81 blocks.  On the low end of that number, it will take me roughly 4 years to complete the quilt top if I can manage to keep going at my current pace.

 

Happy Birthday Babies!!!

You guys!  My tiny babies are 3!!!

IMG_6533

I know, Mia.  It snuck up on me too.

newborn pic

Weren’t you guys just born yesterday???

IMG_6571

My sweet Emilia Marie.  5 pounds 3 ounces at birth, this tiny peanut got down to 4 pounds 8 ounces before she started gaining weight.  She may still be tiny, (she was 24 pounds and 31.5 inches today at the dr) but she’s not letting that hold her back!  She’s quite the little climber; I’ve found her on top of the kitchen island multiple times.  lol.  She’s walking all over the living room now, and if you hold her hand she’ll walk for quite some time!  She’s also got probably 75 signs?  And since she got her latest set of ear tubes she’s been making so many more sounds.  She’s probably got around 20 verbal words.  It is so exciting to see her expressing herself.  🙂

IMG_6562

And here’s my sweet boy, Alexander James.  He also started out at 5 pounds 3 ounces, but he only dropped down to 4 pounds 13 ounces before he started eating us out of house and home.  🙂  Today he was a positively robust 27 pounds and 36 inches.  We always think he’s so tall until we see him around any non-Mia sized toddler.  lol.  He is soooooooo busy!  He literally never stops running and talking.  RaptorDad refers to him as The Narrator.  He’s a little bit crazy and I’m always running behind him terrified he’s going to break his arm, but thus far his bones seem to be made of rubber.  lol.

Mia Bear starts preschool tomorrow and she’ll be gone 4 hours a day 5 days a week.  She is so ready.  Xander and I are not ready.  lol.  We are going to miss her so much!  I know this is best for her, but it still hurts my heart.  I’m ready for summer when I get all 3 of my kids home with me all day!

April Goals

You guys, my tiny baby is starting preschool in April and I’m not handling it all that well.  :/ So I will be aiming to distract myself in April!  But let’s check out March first, shall we?

  1.  Surgery Recovery.  Mia did amazingly well!  And I cannot say enough wonderful things about the staff at Dell Children’s Hospital.  Seriously love them.  Also hope that we never have to be admitted again.  lol.
  2. Files for interview books.  Done!  In fact, you can check out the actual blog post I wrote about it here.  🙂
  3. Print interview books.  Done!
  4. Assemble interview books.  Also done!  Damn, I was on a roll this month.  😉
  5. Patch Blanket.  Done!  Or at least, caught up for the moment.  It’s a bit of an ongoing project.
  6. Macaroons.  Well, we made an attempt.  They were awful, but we did check them off.  I’m going to find a new recipe and try again at a later date.
  7. St. Patrick’s Day fun.  Well, we did a teeny bit, but I want to do better next year.
  8. Order name labels.  Done.  Excuse me while I go cry in the corner.
  9. Scrap.  Not a lot here actually as our weekends have been crazy.  Hoping that I can get some time in the art room soon.
  10. 3×3 hexie flower.  Done!  Love making progress on this project.  🙂

So April…

  1.  The easter bunny brought me the cutest little notebook and I’m going to use it for some bullet journal type lists.  I think I’m going to try to create a list a day for April.  Today I’m making my ultimate travel bucket list and my goal is to have 100 items on it by the end of the day.
  2. 3×3 hexie flower.  I’d love to make one of these a month.  🙂
  3. Hogwarts Summer School.  When I asked Kate about having a theme for the summer a la Camp Halfblood last year, she was so stinking excited!  She immediately suggested a Harry Potter theme and I eagerly accepted.  This is going to be so much easier than last summer!  There’s a ton of stuff on pinterest.
  4. Sunshine!  I do so much better when I get more sunshine in my life.  I’m going to make it a goal to spend at least 30 minutes outside each day that it’s not raining.
  5. Plants!  My mom helped me start some garden beds int he back yard and I’d really love the keep them alive.  Apparently this means that I need to water then every day.
  6. Schedule for Xander.  Mia is going to be going to school 4 hours a day 5 days a week starting April 11th.  Cue massive mental breakdown.  lol.  I want to make some kind of schedule for Xander and I so we don’t both just sit at home and mope about how much we miss Mia.  lol.
  7. Project Life.  I’d like to get November and December 2017 done.
  8. Scrapbooking.  I’d like to get February and March done.
  9. Fix Dresses.  I have a ton of really cute dresses that are missing buttons.  I need to just sit down one day and fix them.
  10. Twin Party.  Oh my gosh my babies are almost 3!!!  We’re just having some family over, but I still need to plan something.  🙂