Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Back to School Wardrobe: Planning Update {kids clothes}

I know it's not back to school anymore. It's already nearing the end of the semester! But... Back in August I talked about the kids' clothes for going back to school and looked at different planning tools/worksheets with which to build their capsule wardrobe for school. You can check out that post here.

To be honest, that post super stressed me out. documenting what the kids had and trying to find the holes (which is what I have been attempting for my own wardrobe for the past, I don't know, 4 years?)... I gave up documenting the girls' clothes. We are blessed to receive hand-me-downs and it's not necessary at all. Through the good graces of friends, we have not needed anything for them.

My oldest is in need of clothes, however. I was still overwhelmed by trying to document and find holes in his wardrobe. Totally overkill for a 7-year-old who still has tons of shirts he has yet to grow out of and a taste as simple as {tee + pant + shoe} and an aversion to layering shirts. No button-ups over graphic tees, or graphic tees over polos here. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that maybe he might decide to try that combo. I always thought it looked rather sharp.

The simplest approach for this mom of 4 is simply, did we make it through the week without the blaring "mom, I have no clean pants!!!"? I've since put a box in the kids' closets and much better about telling them to take off what they are wearing if it doesn't fit and put it into that box.

We've since made it to the point where he is in need of pants (about another 2 pairs). I got lucky with clearance items at both Target and Walmart, but since have stopped looking. He could probably use a khaki pair and another blue denim. He has blue denim (2) and a black denim (1).

He is also in need of another 2-3 long sleeve shirts. He currently has 2 graphic tees (1 is getting a bit snug) and a long sleeve school shirt.

So, I'm making a plan. I miss sewing. I want to sew him a couple shirts, and maybe store buy another 1 (or 2).

Shirt 1:
He likes Spock from Star Trek (the original series) and a shirt for that would be awesome.

Looking at this picture, I am thinking a raglan maybe modified with a v-neck but without the high neckline. It's moments like this where I wish I had an embroidery machine, or cricut maker, or silhouette. The symbol will have to be freezer paper stenciled on.

Shirt 2:
He likes Pokemon. Now, with it being super popular I was hoping to find a shirt like this in kids sizing. I have not had luck in my semi-non-thorough search.
I will use a basic long sleeve shirt pattern and color block in the black, red, and white parts. I am thinking either applique the circle, or sew a set in circle. either are an option.

Shirt 3:
Who doesn't love comic characters? DC or Marvel, gotta love them all. Flash seemed fun (plus Sheldon had a few Big Bang Theory episodes where he "ran fast in the flash costume" according to N.
Now picture something like this...

in this pattern

It's the Thumbs Up Tee by OUSM Designs. (Feeling Nostalgic at the moment. Seriously, my little boy was so cute!) I will be freezer paper stenciling the symbol on the shirt too.

Fingers crossed I will be able to accomplish these things! My machine is still hiding in it's case!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Read A Book: In This House We Will Giggle by Courtney Defeo {Parenthood}

I am the type of person who will fill up my holds list from the library with books I want to read and still not have anything available. It doesn't help that my husband and I share the library card for the electronic sources. Once my hold list is full and I need a new book, I scourge the database for an available book.

I came across In This House We Will Giggle by Courtney DeFeo and decided to give it a go.

This time around searching for a book, I was looking for a quick and fast read. This one seemed like it would fit the bill for a fast and easy read, but I had to check it out a second time. Not as a bad thing. I loved this book and the ideas presented. I'm considering purchasing it, and I rarely now purchase books.

Parenting is hard. Kids are hard. At first, I thought this book was going to be more about laughter, ways to parent without yelling, at this point I cannot completely remember what I thought this book was about. So, I cannot remember what I expected when I started reading. It does give some activities to do with the kids to fill the house with the sound of laughter. But the bulk of the book is about instilling virtues in our children, with suggested bible verses and applicable activities.

I like being able to use bible verses with the kids to teach them virtues and life expectations. And as we discuss the verses as we use them, it helps remind me too. Being a baby in my faith still, it's fun to watch the kids grow in theirs alongside me.

The study is broken down by month, which is why i feel i need to buy this book. Activities to practice the virtue are applicable and realistic. I couldn't wait to get started. Though for this month, the extent of our practice is thanking God for things in the morning. Which actually had helped my morning mood. 

I know, after getting this book and beginning the practice, I would have a hard time with forgiveness (the family cross is an incredible idea!) Because sharing your sins is embarrassing and should be humbling. It would be great at modeling for my kids though! 

And I would have a hard time with generosity because the days we had nothing are so close still. Trying to feed a family of 4 (at the time) on $35 a week is still so fresh in my mind I get scared we will be back in that position again. A ridiculous fear, and one I'm obviously going to have to fight through. I get scared we may need something and therefore have a hard time giving things away. Goodness knows I want to give. I need to do it and get over my fear. I do have a lot of time to share though too, not just physical items. I need to remember, it's not about just stuff... after all, we are just stewards, everything belongs to God.

I am looking forward to buying this book and putting the activities into practice.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

1 Thing to Make Life Easier After Baby; Preparing for Baby {HomeLife}

Something about the impending arrival of a brand new baby can send the minds of adults into a tizzy. And, rightly so. Babies require so much work to take care of and often the regular needs of a house can get set aside. At least, they do in my home. There is nothing like having your 8-year old coming up to you all stressed out, while you are nursing a baby because he has no clean pants. Or combating ants in the kitchen because you have not had the energy to stand and sweep or do the dishes after every meal. I mean, taking care of a baby is extremely exhausting, not to mention time-consuming. Who wants to do dishes and laundry?!

There has to be a few things that can be done to make it easier, right?

At least a few things?


I have no idea with laundry and sweeping. I am not going to wear baby just so I can sweep the floor (a suggestion amongst several bloggers). It's hard enough holding him, throwing in sweeping the floor and my back is sore afterward. I'll fit it in when I can. When I don't have to hold the baby.

I am going to give myself some grace when it comes to the floors. And the ants? They were looking for water so were over the sink instead of the floor. They've since left, thankfully. Hopefully, they don't start coming to the floor. I'll just continue asking for help until I can actually sweep again. Since no one else sweeps, it'll remain a mess.

My main concern for after the baby came was food. Goodness knows I was not going to want to cook dinner. The MOPS group is amazing with setting up a meal train every other day for a week, and I'm blessed with some amazing friends bringing meals too. And when Brandon went back to work, that was a definite lifesaver. But for the other nights, I needed to have something.

The one thing I would suggest to do to prepare for a baby? Get some frozen dinners ready to go.

Seriously. Frozen home prepped food is going to save your sanity.

At least what little sanity you will have left after lack of sleep and feeding a newborn will take from you.

What did I use for our frozen dinner recipes?

I shared with you (not an affiliate! I don't get anything if you sign up!) when I talked about meal planning back in June (you can read that here). And it has still been an incredible element to our dinner planning. I saved favorites and went back to see which ones could be frozen. I prepped several of those for our freezer and for my mom to have when she took the kids the nights we were in the hospital.

Here was just a few: (chicken for tacos and burritos (feeds for 2 nights), meat mixture for tater tot casserole, 2 bags of spaghetti sauce (that feeds us two nights in a row, so 4 nights)

I also had 2 enchilada dishes and 2 lasagnas(my own recipe).

Actually, I still have 1 meal in the freezer still (1 lasagna)!

With having food ready to go, it helped free up so much time for other things (like sweeping that darn floor, or the laundry)!

We started prepping meals again about a week ago. Little man has been here almost 2 months and we are now starting to get back into routine having eaten almost all the meals. Between friends and freezer meals, the 2 months have been incredible. You don't realize how much time a day you spend on prepping and cooking food until you really don't have time and can't.

I have to say I am so thankful for It makes the week go so much smoother (especially with the new baby). I originally signed up for meals to use and stash in the freezer when the baby came, and I am planning on sticking to it because it makes life THAT much easier.

Sure, now it takes an entire day to prep 5-7 meals. I gotta stop to feed my constantly hungry baby. But it makes the rest of the week run smoothly. I can focus on homework and reading with the older kiddos.

So? Expecting a baby? Prep some freezer meals. You won't regret having that little bit of free time to sit as you recuperate.

Already had a baby? What have you done to make life easier after a baby arrived?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

2018 Finish-Along: Quarter 4 Goals {2018 FAL Q4}

How are we onto the last 3 months of the year 2018!?! Did you accomplish sewing last quarter?

Guess What?! I Didn't!

I have been so busy with having and taking care of a baby that I did no sewing what-so-ever last quarter. 

That's a pretty decent excuse, right?

I wanted to have Samara's Quilt done by the time she turned 5 (didn't happen) and then I wanted to have done before the baby was born (I was trying to get things ready for his arrival), and my sewing machine just did not come out of it's case. I have Halloween I need to do, so the machine is going to have to grace us with it's space it takes up for the next 2 weeks. Eeek! Thank goodness I am not going to sew 6 people's costumes this year.

On to my wish-to-complete list!

Samara's Quilt

This is my main priority. Gosh Golly, Gee Whiz. It needs to get done. I am such a sewing slacker!

Maybe I can have it done for her for Christmas? Though not as a present since she has watched this long drawn out process. And if I finish it sooner rather than later, I am not holding on to it until then. Maybe it might be nice as a Christmas Eve gift, but I won't wait. Ha! If it is done!

What still needs to be done:
  • finish the last border (green fabric)
  • baste (the backing is a pink minky she had picked out)
  • quilt
  • bind (in a gray and white striped fabric)
  • label

Abacus Quilt

I have not the expectation to get to this. But, just in case.

I need to:
  • cut pieces
  • sew remaining blocks
  • assemble to top
  • border if necessary 
  • baste
  • quilt
  • bind
  • label
Band Shirt Memory Quilt

The Berry Bunch: 2015 Finish-A-Long: Band Shirt Memory Quilt

I am adding this in, though I am sure that I will not complete it (let alone even get to it!) this quarter. I'm debating another border or calling it good (I'm leaning towards calling it good!). The black large notes is a flannel and have since decided against that. The backing will be Jazz Jam from Andover Fabrics. The colors and notes are perfect for this quilt!

I need to:
  • baste
  • quilt
  • bind
  • label

First and foremost is Samara's quilt, since I haven't made her one in her 5 years of life. Poor Thing. Though I have made her more clothes than any of the other children. 

What do you have to finish?