Christmas Pictures

Look at these beautiful pictures of my babies!

It was so cold, but my kids are (mostly) good sports.

There was a lot of “throw your coats over here!  Stop shivering and smile!  Now put your coats back on and walk over here!”  lol.

But I love how they turned out.  My sister and I do cousin pics every year and I love them!  Mia’s dress (my favorite Kate hand me down) is comically too large, but I just happened to get these perfect matching plaid shirts for the boys from my sister-in-law and we made it work.

I’m so glad that my sister is such a good sport about me getting a cousin pic of them every year!  And who knows, maybe next year I’ll get some where they’re all smiling at the camera at the same time.  lol.

January Goals Plan

Remember when I said I was going to try to post once a week?  Apparently I have a lot to say.  lol.  I really should space them out, but I wanted to put out my January plan to hold myself accountable.  Here goes.

  1.  New bake.  In the spirit of it being January, I’m going to attempt something healthy.  I have my eye on this recipe for quinoa breakfast bites.  I’m a little bit skeptical of weather or not my kids will eat quinoa for breakfast, but it would be awesome if we could break them of their z bar habit.
  2. New dinner recipe.  This is a combo goal!  I’m going to attempt to make chicken tikka masala for our Epiphany dinner.  I found a recipe using my best friend, the crockpot.  Now I just need to find some garam masala.  I might just order it off of amazon, but I also figure my kids would get a kick out of a field trip to a specialty grocery store.  We’ll just have to see how much time we have this week.
  3. Montessori trays.  Y’all!  I actually had these ready to go on the 31st!  And they have been a huge hit.  Mia especially loves them.  I can’t wait to get started on revamping my H is for Heart valentines stuff for February.  🙂
  4. Feast Days.  As I mentioned already, we’re celebrating Epiphany this month on January 6th.  We’ll have Chicken Tikka Masala for dinner since the 3 wise men came from the east.  I’m planning to write up a whole blog post after the fact about how we’re celebrating.  Since Epiphany falls on a Sunday, I’m going to try to come up with some more fun crafts and stuff since we’ll be home and not busy at school.  🙂
  5. Hexies.  We’ll see where we are at the end of the month.  I’m so far behind I’m not sure it’s worth trying to catch up.  lol.  I might need to come up with a new plan.
  6. Scrapping.  I’d love to get November 2017 and January 2018 done.  We’ll see.
  7. Project Life.  Hmm…  Maybe I’ll try to do June 2018 and December 2018?  I’d love to get caught up, but I also really love doing current stuff.  I’m going to play around this month and then solidify my goal for February.
  8. Portraits.  No ideas yet.  But I’m sure we’ll come up with something.
  9. Sewing Project.  I’m actually really excited about this one.  My Quilt Guild makes donation quilts for various charities and sometimes they issue challenges to encourage people to participate.  This time they gave out novelty prints and one of them was keroppi!  I’m obsessed with keroppi so I had to participate.  🙂  The idea is to add fabric from your stash to make a quilt or quilt top.  Since I don’t really have a stash (yet!) I ordered some fabric.  lol.

    As you can see, it’s a charm pack of low volume fabrics in a whole rainbow of colors!  My plan is to fussy cut keroppi hexagons and then applique them onto the charm squares.  Then I’ll machine sew the squares together to make a quilt.  I might need to add a border depending on how big it ends up.  We’ll see.  This is due at the February meeting so I’m hoping to finish it in January.
  10. New Park.  I’m leaning towards a nature park rather than a playscape park, but we’ll just have to see.
  11. Blogging.  My goal was to have 4 blog posts by the end of the month, but I think I’m going to change that to having a blog post scheduled for each Monday in January.
  12. Get Healthy.  January goal is 2 work outs a week, 10K steps a day, and track all food in My Fitness Pal.  Lofty goals indeed, but I gained almost 10 pounds in December!  Yikes!  Time to get back on track.

Should we check in on my Mini December Goals?

  1.  Write Thank You Notes.  Done!
  2. December Daily.  Done!  I’ll try to take some pics of it and blog them later this week, but the reader’s digest version is that I switched to a 4×4 format and it’s freaking awesome.
  3. Take and edit family pics.  Done!  And I think they turned out really nicely if I do say so myself.
  4. Edit/ Print/ Scrap November.  hahahahahaha.  Not even close.  But this one was always a stretch.
  5. Organize new toys.  Still a work in progress.  Especially since I dumbed out a bunch of their toys to reclaim my Montessori bins.  lol.  But it’s better.

S is for Snowflakes!

First project done!  I wanted to start off the year with my January Montessori trays ready to go and I got them done just in the nick of time.  I had forgotten how much fun I use to have making these.  🙂  I managed to repurpose some stuff from a long ago I is for Ice unit I developed for Kate and them added some new matching activities I found on Pinterest.

For those of you who haven’t seen this before, here’s my set up for Montessori trays.  RaptorDad made me doors for this cabinet years ago so we can keep this closed off.  Of course, the twins have figured out the latches, lol, so they have free access.  I used to try to do 9 trays at a time, but I’m simplifying y’all!  So I did 6 this month.  We’ll see if I can keep it up.  lol.

The first tray is some simple transfer work with some tongs and pompoms.

Mia got a new magnadoodle from Santa and yesterday RaptorDad was writing her name on it when she drew circles on the vertices of the M.  I figured this was something they were working on at school so I found some stickers and wrote her name to see what she would do.  She was thrilled!

Next up is some classic Montessori counting work.  Since this is the first time they’ll seen this work (and since I don’t have to be constantly looking for a ton of little marbles) I only went up to 5 instead of 10.

How cute are these snowmen!  They’re a free shape matching printable that I found on Pinterest.  I just printed and laminated them.

Another cute free printable!  This one is for matching snowflakes.

Last one!  This one was a big hit.  🙂  I took stripes of paper and drew cut lines on them.  Then the babies put a sticker in each square before cutting them apart.  A bit messier than I usually like these trays, but we’re working on scissor skills right now.  🙂

2019 Goals

Historically, I just do monthly goals, and who knows, I may chuck this plan out the window in February and go back to that, but for now I’m going to attempt some big goals.  12 of them in fact.  Am I crazy?  I believe we’ve already established that.  lol.

  1.  12 new bakes.  Roughly one a month.  Who knows what they will end up being, but some ideas I’ve been kicking around include roughly everything I see on The Great British Bake Off.  Except for that time they cooked with suet.  Definitely not going there.
  2. 12 new dinner recipes.  Preferably something in the healthy range that doesn’t taste like garbage.  Now accepting suggestions.  lol.
  3. 12 months of Montessori.  I used to be so good about making Montessori trays for Kate.  I even still have most of the stuff boxed up!  I need to get it all down and let Mia and Xander play with it.  I’m going to try to rotate the trays once a month.
  4. 12 feast days.  We had so much fun during advent that I’m going to try to make it a more regular thing.  Who knows that all will go into it, but at minimum I’m thinking a themed meal  and craft.
  5. 12 hexies.  I’m so far behind.  Y’all, I’m still working on November’s hexies!  But I’m going all in this year.
  6. 12 months of scrapping.  While I’d love to catch up, that seems supremely unlikely, BUT I can make sure that I don’t get even more behind.  So in January, I want to finish January of 2018.  In February, February 2018.  Etc etc.  I’ll work on November and December of 2017 throughout the year.
  7. 12 months of Project Life.  Same, but ideally I actually will catch up.  I’m still stuck in June of 2018 though, so we’ll see.
  8. 12 sets of portraits.  I want to do better about taking “real” pics of my kids this year.  Bluebonnet and Christmas pics are obvious choices, but I want to get 12 full sets.
  9. 12 finished sewing projects.  Goodness, I’ve only been quilting for a year and I’ve already racked up quite the list of unfinished projects!  I’d like to tackle that list and actually finish some of them.  First up is the charity quilt for my quilt guild which is due in February.  I’ve finally settled on a plan and ordered fabric.  And needlessly complicated it.  lol.
  10. 12 new parks.  Time to explore!
  11. 12 months of blogging.  I think it’s become clear that 3 kids does not lend itself to blogging on the regular, but I miss it so I’m just changing my expectations.  Instead of trying (and failing) to blog 3 times a week, my new goal is once a week.  Fingers crossed.  lol.
  12. Get back to healthy habits.  Blah.  Definitely not the “fun” goal, but arguably the one that needs to happen the most.  Frustratingly, it doesn’t fit neatly into my “12” theme, but my rough goals are to swim at least twice a week, get 10K steps everyday, and track what I’m eating.

I think I’ll update these and come up with the specifics once a month just like I used to with the monthly goals posts.  This will just give me more structure for the year.  Then hopefully I will add in blog posts about specific projects.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas y’all!

I love matching Christmas jammies!

Our Christmas was perfect.  🙂  Lots of family, friends, good food, and good company.  Now it’s time to start thinking about the new year, but before I set 2019 goals, I thought I would set 5 goals to accomplish in the next 5 days.  Have I mentioned that I love setting goals?  lol.

  1.  Write thank you notes.
  2. Finish 2018 December Daily.  I must have been very good this year because Santa brought me a new photo printer!  <3 <3 <3
  3. Take and edit family pics.  MY sister’s friend asked me to take some family pics for her extended family.  Yikes!  Fingers crossed.  lol.
  4. Edit/ Print/ Scrap November 2017.  Yes, I am that far behind.  lol.
  5. Organize new toys.

Will I get all of this done?  hahahahahahahaha.  No, but I will get some of it done!

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.

 

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.