Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Gifts- Episode Two

Wow!  I can’t believe I posted Episode One way back in September!  I wish I could say that I’ve been working on projects and just haven’t had time to post, but…

Well, I have worked a little bit, but I‘ve mostly been procrastinating!  However, Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, and I’d better get my rear in gear!

Next up…Superhero Masks!  These will, of course, be going along with the capes that I’ve made for Hero and McAwesome.  I decided to make double-layered masks, so that meant that I’d need differing, yet proportionately similar sizes.  They were not hard at all, but I did figure that I’d better take my time and actually work out a pattern for this project!  I admit that I’m a freehander with very little artistic talent- you’ll see what I mean in my next post…


After much drawing, erasing, drawing, erasing, and drawing again, I ended up with these.  The trickiest part was knowing where to put the eye holes!  I thought I’d have to measure the boys in their sleep, but I was able to do it today.  Surprisingly, when I told them it was just something I was working on, they didn’t ask any more questions! 

Step One:  Pin the pattern to the felt on the fold and cut out the outside.


Step Two:  Trace the eyehole, unpin the pattern and cut out.  I found that re-pinning the felt together after removing the pattern made going around the corners smoothly a lot easier.


Step Three:  Repeat with all pattern pieces.  Adjust individual pieces as needed.  My top layer needed bigger eyeholes.


Step Four:  Measure elastic and sew to the back layer ONLY.  I cut a small rectangle of felt to cover the elastic so it would not be too rough on the boys’ skin, but you could certainly skip that little step.



Step Five:  Pin both layers together.  I highly recommend using plenty of pins!! 100_4186[1]

Step Six:  Sew it up!  Sewing stitches around the eyeholes adds a little extra dimension!


Ta-da!  I can’t wait for the boys to try them on.  I think they’re going to love them!


Trouble with Two-Year-Old Twins!

This is only one of many reasons, I’m sure, to not break the No food in the bedrooms’ rule:


*sigh*  I was just trying to buy myself a few uninterrupted moments so I could work with the older kids on their schoolwork…

When I found out I was having twins, I kept reading, “What one doesn’t think of, the other will!”  I guess this is what they were talking about :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

Well, we had a great Thanksgiving with my parents.  The kids and I drove down after church Tuesday night (we moved the service for the holiday) and while the boys came back up last night, me and the 4 little ones woke up early and drove back this morning!  Thankfully, all our church clothes from Tuesday night were perfectly fine for Sunday morning!

We did all the traditional stuff for Thanksgiving that most do, so I won’t spend too much time on that.  But I found a poem last week that I liked so I thought I’d post that!

(Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer)

Let us give thanks to God above,
Thanks for expressions of His love,
Seen in the book of nature, grand
Taught by His love on every hand.

Let us be thankful in our hearts,
Thankful for all the truth imparts,
For the religion of our Lord,
All that is taught us in His word.

Let us be thankful for a land,
That will for such religion stand;
One that protects it by the law,
One that before it stands in awe.

Thankful for all things let us be,
Though there be woes and misery;
Lessons they bring us for our good-
Later 'twill all be understood.

Thankful for peace o'er land and sea,
Thankful for signs of liberty,
Thankful for homes, for life and health,
Pleasure and plenty, fame and wealth.

Thankful for friends and loved ones, too,
Thankful for all things, good and true,
Thankful for harvest in the fall,
Thankful to Him who gave it all.

Thursday, November 18, 2010



Well, if you saw the pictures yesterday, you might be wondering what happened!!  On Tuesday at about 3pm, a couple of teenagers crashed into the brick wall that borders our back yard.  Poor kid is seventeen and without a license.  Busted! 

My guess is that he was speeding through the curve nearby and lost control.  It’s 25 mph (it’s a residential zone, people!), but people fly through there.  It’s downright dangerous at certain times of the day- teens and SUV moms are the worst offenders.  Sorry if you drive an SUV, but you can guess my meaning by that.

Praise God, the back part of our backyard is fenced off for the sheds and our landlord’s camper.  The kids are never back there, and I’m rarely out there.  As it happened, I was vacuuming and listening to my MP3 player at the time and didn’t even hear the crash.  When I turned the vacuum off, McAwesome looked out the sliding glass door and said Mr. Landlord was here.  I looked and thought, Ummmm…no. 

I went out and the two teens were already out of the truck.  They said they were okay, but the passenger had cactus in his arm and chest (the passenger’s door was in the cactus).  I went inside to get some gloves to help pull the cactus out, Hero called Daddy-man, and when I got back outside, one sheriff’s car was there and another was pulling up.  Within minutes, my husband, an ambulance and fire truck were on the scene. 

So that’s what happened.  I’m not sure yet about how things are getting fixed, but that will come.

Oh, and last night our church van was in an accident!  No one was hurt, but everyone was pretty shook up.

So…not really in the mood to drive any time soon :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Successful Outings with a Large Family- Part Two

Mom, can I have this, puh-leeeeeeeease?!

I need it!!!!!

I want it!!!!!


Ugh, my head hurts just thinking about this!  I think every child is going to ask for things at times.  They don’t understand the value of a dollar (or $50, for that matter), they don’t understand a budget, etc.  But I definitely cannot handle my kids asking for stuff every time we go to the store!  We certainly discuss how to be good stewards of the funds God has given us, how to choose to spend wisely, and the like, but when it comes down to it, I employ this next strategy to keep the “Can I haves” and “I wants” at bay.

Tip Number Two for a Successful Large Family Outing:


Before we go into the store, I tell my kids exactly what we are looking for, and I tell them that we are not buying them anything.  I like to give them things on my list to look for, and I try to let them make choices whenever possible.  For example, if I know I am going to buy juice, I’ll allow Jackson to choose what kind we get.  I find that giving them a job and a purpose gives them less reason to focus on the things they want. 

Sometimes, I am able to get them a treat (whatever it may be), and I also try to tell them that up front.  I prefer to tell them beforehand, again, to make expectations clear. 

Nothing too earth-shattering here, I know!  It used to be easy to make a run to Wal-mart for a few things, and let them browse the toy section for a while.  It’s not so easy to do that now, especially with twin 2 year-olds!  Now, I am asking for trouble if I don’t make myself clear from the beginning!

BTW, this is extra effective if you make the occasional trip that’s just for fun with few expectations!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Great Freebie!

Just thought I’d let you all know about this great resource that has just been released from The Old Schoolhouse.image

It’s chocked full of Christmas traditions from around the world, recipes, and decor ideas.  Click HERE to get it!image

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Successful Outings with a Large Family- Part One

Wow!  Are they ALL yours?

Boy, are your hands are full.

I don’t know how you do it- I never could!

At least they’re so well-behaved; You’re sooo lucky!!!

We got the stares occasionally when there were only 3 kids.  After that, we had the twins (and everyone finds twins fascinating), so we were stopped regularly with 5 children in tow.  But now there are SIX!  Now, I mentally prepare myself for the craning-necks, the bulging-eyes, and the extra ten minutes devoted to talking to folks about our family when we make an outing.

Ready for the truth?…I love it! 

We’ve all seen ahem…heard the other families in the store.  You know, the screaming children, the screaming parents, the whining children, the placating parents.  Normally, you see that occur with families of 1-3 kids.  Can you imagine if you had 6 children?  Absolute madness!  Now, I understand all kids have their bad moments, but you can tell the difference between bad moments and bad parenting when you walk all the way around the store, meet up with that family again 30 minutes later, and the kids are still screaming!

A large family cannot afford to have that kind of chaos going on.  Not only will we be unable to accomplish anything, we will be displaying a horrible example, and we will open ourselves up to all sorts of comments and judgments that ought not be said of us.  Believe me, carting 6 kids around opens us up to enough comments already- we don’t need to give them more fuel for the fire!  I’ve learned a few things by now that help us to have successful outings.  For me that means no whining, crying, or yelling…on my part :)

I’m going to assume that proper training is going on at home, so I’ll be mentioning practical things that have to do with the outings themselves.  Since most people feel free to make comments about my family, the types of comments I receive are good indicators of how the trip went.

Only once have I gotten a truly rude, ‘it’s none of your business, buddy’-type of comment.  I find that most people are genuinely fascinated and curious, would like to make conversation, and don’t even realize that they sometime make comments that could be considered rude, nosy, or offensive.  I mean, let’s face it- large families are not the norm, and people don’t even remember the days that they were the norm.

While I find the ‘large family comebacks’ that you can find on the internet hilarious (if you have a large family, you’ve read them!), I would never actually say any of those things.  The above comments are the most common I get, and they are perfectly fine with me. I believe a merry heart and a friendly countenance go a long way.  After all, strangers can only go by what they see, (since I’m not likely to take any of them home with me), and I discovered a while ago, that if I look like a tired, haggard mom of six, unruly children, I will be looked upon and treated like a tired, haggard mom of six, unruly children.

Tip Number One for a Successful Large Family Outing:


When I am preparing to take the kids out, I prepare myself, as well.  This means I am wearing nice clothes, my hair is brushed neatly, and I at least have mascara on.  I don’t wear my ‘it’s seen better days so I don’t care if the baby rubs her snot-nose all over me’ T-shirt.  I don’t wear my ‘I just rolled out of bed and threw my hair into an elastic’ hair.  Neither do I get myself into my ‘Sunday best.’   

I find that if I feel put-together, other people see me as a put-together mom.  And it’s a whole lot easier to talk to folks and steer the conversation toward the Lord, if I’m not berating myself in my head for not bothering to wash breakfast off of my face!

The same goes for the children.  Everyone needs to be presentable.  I certainly don’t dress them in trendy, designer clothes unless I found them at the thrift store :)  Sometimes the boys’ pants have holes in the knees (isn’t that trendy?), I don’t iron their clothes or shine their shoes, but the point is that we don’t look like we aren’t taking care of our children.  In case you’re wondering, I have allowed Sweetheart Girl to go to the store in dress up clothes.  That’s cute……right?

No, we aren’t always at our best, but, honestly, I can tell a difference in those trips- even if it’s just in the way I feel.  Quite frankly, if I feel a trip has gone horribly, then it has gone horribly!  And don’t we all know that the one time we go out looking sloppy is the time we see people we know?!

So let me encourage you fellow moms!  Don’t allow yourself to play the sloppy mom card!  Take the 5 minutes you need to make yourself presentable.  After all, we say that the Lord has given us our large family.  Some say that everyone should welcome many children into their own families.  Let’s not give them one more reason to disdain that thought.  Let’s show them that it can be done, and with joy!