Pumpkin Montessori Time

Hey guys! We had an absolutely amazing teacher conference with Mia’s teacher and it totally inspired me to make a new round of Montessori trays for the twins. Halloween themed of course!

I found these pumpkin upper/ lower case matching printables on Pinterest. How cute are they?!? I laminated them naturally. Today I pulled out a few at a time to work with and we talked about the letters/ letter sounds as we did them. She got up to 6 letters before losing interest. Xander was very interested until Mia said it was his turn and then he wanted nothing to do with them. Stinker. lol. I’ll pull these out one morning while Mia is at school and see if he’s more interested.

I also dug out all of our Halloween decorations and found this pumpkin counting activity that I made when Kate was little. I went ahead and laminated the pumpkins (natch) and then I created a mat to scaffold this for the twins so that they could do it independently. They love it! I didn’t really think Xander would want to use the mats, but he loves them too. I deliberately kept them non themed so that I could reuse them over and over again.

And I have to tell y’all that it was so much fun to create some fun seasonal Montessori trays. The last time I was making these regularly, I had all of this self imposed pressure to have 8 new trays every week based on a letter a week theme which obviously never happened so I was constantly feeling behind and guilty. But this is awesome! I made a total of 4 trays and I might switch it up with a few more before Halloween gets here or I might not. And if they’re still having fun in November, then pumpkins are totally our fall theme. Hell, maybe we’ll have Christmas pumpkins! lol. (But probably not because I love Christmas. lol.)

And in case you’re wondering, our other trays are sequencing and patterning because those are 2 of the main things she’s working on right now at school.

Hello September!

I’d say Hello Fall, but it’s still a million degrees here on the surface of the sun. lol. Let’s see how I did in August.

  1. Girl Scouts. I did pretty good on this one! I got all of the banking trainings done and went up to the bank to get all of the paperwork done. Now I’m just waiting for my debit card to arrive and we will be in business. 🙂 I also got my CPR/ First Aid training done, attended my first leader meeting (with all 3 kids on tow since RaptorDad had to go to Kate’s open house at the exact same time), and had my first meeting/ parent meeting. You guys, my co-leader is amazing! I would be totally floundering if not for her. We don’t ::quite:: have the fall schedule done, but it’s not for lack of trying. We’re just still waiting on a few people to get back to us regarding scheduling field trips. But I’m still super excited about what we do have planned!
  2. First day of school pics/ interviews. Done! And extra cute as always. 🙂 I love this project so much.
My Beautiful First Born
Cutie Patootie!
Sweet Mama’s Boy

3. Unicorn Quilt. The top is done! And my grandmother convinced me to have it quilted. lol.

4. Editing. Nada. Although I did finish 3 weeks of Project Life. I need to keep this momentum going, but I’m almost out of photo paper. lol.

5. Bluebonnet Quilt. Done! Well, I still need to bind it, but I’ve been watching some videos and I’m just about ready to give it a go. How hard could it be? lol.

6. Applique. I’m making progress on the second set of bluebonnets! I’m just drawing on the backgrounds as I go, but I did get 2 1/2 bluebonnets done. Just 3 1/2 to go. Then I need to start thinking about my next block…

7. Advent Calendar. All sorted and ready to go! I even got a few things stitched down. 🙂 The directions (probably from like 1982) were very brief! Not at all like the kits I’m used to working with. I think if this had been my first project I would be lost, but I have made so many bucilla projects at this point that I was able to fill in the blanks with a little bit (lot) of help from my mom. lol. I’m so excited about this!

8. Butterfly Quilt. I made a ton of progress on this! I got all of my templates made. I prepped all of the butterfly bodies. I ordered (and cut!) all of my background fabric. And I’ve almost completed 3 butterflies! (They just need embroidery.) I am having so much fun with this! I even made my first 9 patch!

9. Caterpillar Quilt. I got all of the white fabric cut for Xander’s quilt as well!

10. Professional Development. I actually got some done! I think I’m up to 22 hours. lol. Still a long way to go, but I’m finally making some progress!

Wow! I got waaaaaay more done than I was expecting to. 🙂 Let’s think about September, shall we?

  1. Windchime Block. This is my UFO challenge quilt for the month. Let’s be real, there’s no way that I’m finishing this quilt in a month. lol. But I would like to finish 1 block. Spoiler alert: I was so excited about working on it this month that I started on it as soon as our guild meeting ended. I’ve now got all of the EPP done and I’ve moved on to applique.

2. Butterfly Quilt. I’d like to prep and applique 10 more butterflies.

3. Caterpillar Quilt. Create templates and prep some blocks. What I’d like to do is to cut and prep a circle each time I cut and prep a butterfly. That way, the caterpillars will be all ready to go!

4. Project Life. I’m getting further behind again. lol. I’d like to finish May and June at minimum. Getting July done would be a bonus.

5. Scrapping. Also falling further behind here. I’m sensing a theme. lol. Hmm… If I could scrap July 2018 and also scrap 10 current layouts, that would be amazing!

6. Advent Calendar. I’d like to make some progress on this. Hmm… Maybe I’ll say that I’d like to commit to 3 evenings this month where I put away my quilting and work on the advent calendar. I’m sure that I’ll ramp up as it gets closer to Christmas!

7. Plan Halloween Costumes. We’re leaning towards Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, at least partially because that was my all time favorite costume of Kate’s! Naturally, I can’t find said costume. lol. Kate’s still undecided.

8. Plan September Girl Scouts Meetings.

9. Fall Break. I’m considering a mini road trip for a few days over fall break… Maybe Dallas? I’m open to other suggestions! Maybe even the beach again!

10. Professional Development. Boo. So boring. But, I need to get it done. Maybe 2 6 hour classes this month? I need to sit down and figure out a timeline so I’m not panicking in February!

(Very Late) July Goals

How is it already the 10th?!?  June flew by!  Speaking of, let’s take a look at the goals, shall we?  I actually got a decent amount done!

  1.  Project Life 2018.  Done!  Yay!!!  It always makes me happy to get a new album onto my book shelf.  🙂
  2. Scrap.  Honestly, I didn’t get much scrapping done this month, but I did get 2 new layouts done.  Still need to set aside a large chunk of time and work on mass producing some backgrounds.
  3. Sewing.  Um, I officially moved the unicorn quilt to the Christmas gift pile.  lol.  AKA I didn’t work on it at all!  The thing is, it’s not even going to take me that long to finish the top, but I’m at a spot with a coping border and I’m worried all of my seams won’t line up.  I should probably just accept that my seams won’t line up and move on, huh?  lol.
  4. Hexagons.  I sewed together the big chunk!  I also laid it out on Mimi’s bed and we discussed how big it should be and I’ve decided that scaling it back just a little bit will be just fine.  So I need to make 3 more super hexie blocks, not 7.  Yay!  Here’s RaptorDad holding it up for me.  I’m officially 1/3 of the way done!  
  5. Windchime.  It took a lot longer than expected to stitch together the hexies, partly because I ended up needed a ton of joining hexies!  So, no progress on wind chime this month.  ::pouty face::
  6. Applique.  I didn’t manage to work on this at all this month either…
  7. Charm Quilt.  My amazing Mimi took pity on me and added a bit more quilting to the borders and helped me bind it so it’s officially done!  We have all loved snuggling under it together!
  8. Beach pics.  Better!  I’m obviously still awaiting some magical trick to have all of my kids smiling and looking at the camera at the same time (I suspect this magical trick is to hiring a professional lol) but I’m mostly happy with how these turned out.  And we had a fantastic time at the beach!         
  9. Beach Trip Prep.  Well, I caved and just let the kids watch movies the whole way there.  Oh well.  My mom and I had a lovely chat!
  10. Montessori Trays.  Big fat fail.

Should I even bother with July goals?  lol.  Of course!

  1.  Project Life.  Finish gap.  Which is only 2 layouts and I even already have the pics printed!  Need to just get this done.
  2. Project Life. I would like to tackle May of 2019 just in the interest of not getting further behind.
  3. Scrapping.  I’m not even going to set a layout goal because my scrappy mojo appears to have taken a vacation, but I do want to make a big stack of mixed media backgrounds.  I think this would go a long way towards coaxing my mojo to return!
  4. Hexies.  Honestly, I would be taking a break from my hexies if not for the fact that my quilt guild is having a UFO contest this year in which we listed 12 projects and then they draw a number each month and we work on the corresponding project.  Guess which number was pulled this month…  Number 1 which was my hexies.  lol.  Clearly I’m not going to finish the top this month (this year?) but I do want to finish super hexie block number 10.
  5. Christmas Half Square Triangles.  I pulled this out again this week and started working on it some more.  I’ve now gotten half of the rows completed.  I just need to trim down the other half of the squares and sew them together.  Then I get to decide what I want to do with the borders.  🙂
  6. Take my kids swimming.
  7. Make popsicles with kids.
  8. Take kids to the splash pad.
  9. Library with kids.
  10. Thinkery with kids.

Notice anything about the last 5?  They’re not crafty goals, but they are the most important goals on the list to me!  Our summer is over halfway over!  And I feel like we’ve been so busy that we haven’t “done summer” yet!  So these are some easy goals to remind me of what my real purpose is this summer.  <3 <3 <3

Chantilly Lace Cake

Y’all.  Whole Foods makes this insanely addictive cake called a Chantilly Lace cake.  It’s RaptorDad’s favorite.  🙂  Considering that every time we venture into a Whole Foods I manage to blow the grocery budget on gourmet olives and baked goods, I decided that I needed to learn how to bake this cake myself so I could limit our exposure to temptation.  lol.  After much searching, I found a copy cat recipe that looked pretty amazing and assembled all of the fancy ingredients.  Except for, you know, sugar.  lol.  So back to the store we went.  Y’all.  It did not disappoint.

It’s probably a good thing that this recipe is insanely complicated because if it was easy, I’m afraid I’d be making it once a week and we’d all gain 1000 pounds.  lol.

Kate was working on her edible model of the Alamo (why???) that was due today, but she took a break to make a fondant flower for the cake.

It’s Cookie Time

Y’all.  My brain is mush, but I PROMISED you a blog post so here it is.

We have been knee deep in cookies for the past week and a half, but the end is in sight!  Kate had an insane goal of selling 650 boxes of cookies, but she has worked her little tushie off and we are almost there.  As of today, she only has to sell 45 more boxes!  ::I think I can, I think I can, I think I can::

I’ll be back next week with some quilty, scrappy, yummy, updates.  🙂

 

Field Trip! And Pogo Pass Review

At the beginning of the summer, I bought something called a Pogo Pass.  Basically, you buy the pass and then you get 1 or 2 admission tickets to a bunch of different places over the course of the next year.  (If you’re interested, I think I have an affiliate link that I can email to you that lets you get the pass for $39.98)  Has it been worth it?  Hmm…  I actually just totaled up what we’ve used so far and I’d say it will PROBABLY end up being worth it.  For sure, it encouraged us to get out and try new places we wouldn’t have gone to otherwise so in that sense it was absolutely worth it.  And I imagine we will hit up 1 or 2 more places before our passes expire which will make it worth the sticker price.  That said, we didn’t take advantage of a lot of the places on the pass either because they are in Waco (I’m not driving 2 hours to take my kid roller skating) or the just weren’t things I could do with the babies (looking at you Hawaiian Falls.)  But, if you had only older kids I think it would definitely be worth it.

Which brings us to today!  I was looking through the Pogo Pass trying to decide on something fun to do over Winter Break, and saw Wonder World.  Um, yes please!  I am addicted to cheesy roadside attractions and I have wanted to go to this place ever since I went back to school at Texas State to get my teaching certification.  Was it fun?  Yes.  Was it insane with 2 preschoolers?  Yes!  Am I disproportionately disappointed that they didn’t sell souvenir patches?  Yes.  lol.

Luckily Kate’s BFF’s mom is super duper awesome and she always agrees to come along on my crazy adventures.  The Pogo Pass got us into 3 of the 4 attractions and I decided that was enough for my crew, we just missed out on the Wildlife Train ride.   My friend found a Groupon that included all 4 attractions, so we did the Cave, Observation Tower and Anti-Gravity House, then had a little picnic and left before they got on the train.

The Cave was fun, but to say that it wasn’t very accessible would be like saying the Sahara is a little bit dry.  I wish I had brought my wrap so I could have worn Mia, but I ended up just carrying her for large chunks of the tour while abandoning my friend to deal with Xander.  Did I mention she’s awesome?  lol.  Still, I think this is a good starter cave for kids because they can actually touch all of the walls which makes it less stressful.  That said, there were some tight spots so I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who was claustrophobic.

Kate loved the observation deck and even with my deep fear of heights I can agree that the view was lovely.  But the Anti-Gravity House?  Oh lord.  You could not pay me enough to reenter that place.  It’s designed to be disorienting, and it straight up made me fall over.  Luckily, I was near a helpfully placed bench, but yikes.  I’m still dizzy just thinking about it.  Kate, on the other hand, would have happily spent 3 hours in there.  Even I’ll admit that they had some pretty cool optical illusions with balls and water appearing to roll uphill.

Bottom line, am I glad we went?  Yes!  We had a blast and it wore the babies out enough that they are both currently napping in their cribs which is my major litmus test for if an activity was worth it.  Would we go again?  Um, probably not.  It’s kind of a one time is enough sort of experience.

As for the Pogo Pass?  I have enjoyed having “free” activities to do with the kids, but I don’t think we will be buying one again this summer.  Maybe when the babies are old enough to really take advantage of  more of the activities it will make more sense, but for now I think we’re better off looking for the occasional Groupon.

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.

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!