Come take a trip with me on my wild ride as the mother of 3 sweet "babies".

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ballerina Party

My oldest turned 6 in April.  She requested a ballerina party, and so off to the store I went for tulle, tulle and some more tulle.  She was pleased with the outcome, and I was, tutu (er... too).
The tutus were the first thing I made - all 13 of them! They're super easy.  For a tutorial, go here. I used elastic headbands instead of regular elastic, and I cut each piece of tulle 24 inches long.  I made my daughter's tutu twice as full as all of the other partygoers.  She was the prima ballerina, after all!

 This decoration was two Pinterest projects in one! I was inspired by this tutu wreath, and the tutu fan (that's what I call it!) found here. I made an extra B for the treat table, and spelled out her name with the fans on the mantle. The wreath has found a permanent home on the outside of my daughter's door, so it was a worthwhile project for sure!

 For food, we had cupcakes - strawberry and marachino cherry. If you're in Johnson County, KS, hit up Darby's Delights.  Seriously the best cupcakes I've ever had, and she offers many yummy flavors!  We also served up a veggie tray (the girls DEVOURED it), Chex Mix, and water bottles.  I covered my white tablecloth with a pink organza table cloth and surrounded the pink and white serving dishes with pink and purple tutus. A vase of flowers added a nice touch.

What happens when you remove the table and chairs from your kitchen?  You get a fabulous dance floor! Perfect for a bevy of beautiful, budding ballerinas!
 Keeping with the ballet theme, I added my swan candle holder at the last minute. Could it be the swan princess, Odette? 
My duo of delicate dancers and their dashing Dapper Dan. (yes, I love alliteration!)

The girls were inspired right away to get to it - even before the guests started to arrive. I wish I could post pics of the party - it was quite a sight with all the girls in their tutus, but as always, I respect the privacy of my friends and family, and only post pics of my own kiddos. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Magnetic Shadow Box / Shelf Tutorial

I have been looking at items around my home trying to find something to repurpose.  I came across 2 shallow canvas bins that I purchased years ago to fill a space in a broken dresser.  This morning, they were full of kids books stashed under our bed.  This evening, they house treasures displayed proudly on my daughters' walls. I have seen many tutes online for fabric covered magnetic boards and bulletin boards,  but nothing exactly like this, so I figured I'd post my how-to!  It's simple, and because I used what I already had (for the most part) it was super inexpensive.  I spent a total of around $7 - and that includes tax.

You will need:
  • Spray adhesive
  • Shallow bin
  • Metal sheeting (I got mine from Home Depot in the with the air duct materials
  • Fabric (not too thick) - I used the flat sheets that came with my girls' bedding sets.  I don't use them on their beds because they always kick them off anyway.  We're a fitted-sheet-plus-blankets kind of family. 
  • An iron/ironing board
  • Glue gun
  • Wall screws
  • Scissors
  • Possibly some tin snips

 First, you need to cut the metal sheeting to the size you need for the back of your "new" shadow box.  If you go to Home Depot looking haggard and tired while dragging along your three small children, they MAY take pity on you as well, and cut the metal for you.  But you didn't hear it from me! -No, really.  The guy told me to not let ANYONE know that he did that for me (so I post it on my blog!).  I guess they don't like doing it.  But I looked pathetic enough.  If you aren't as lucky as me, you'll need to borrow or buy a pair of tin snips.  They are about $8 at a hardware store.  It's a good idea to take the box along with you to the store if they are going to cut the metal sheet, because if it's just a bit too big, it isn't going to fit.  You'd hate to get home and find that your metal is too big to work!  Be sure to test to make sure it fits before you put the fabric on for sure!

Next, cut your fabric so it hangs over the metal about an inch or more all around.  Spray adhesive on one side of the metal, and lay your fabric down. Be sure to smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles. 

Then, turn the sheet over.  Spray the excess fabric with adhesive, and wrap it tightly around the back of the metal sheet.  Do this all the way around.  You may want to snip the corners a bit, so you don't have big bunches of fabric in each corner.
 I don't have a picture for the next step, but you will want to locate a stud in the wall, and screw the box directly onto the wall (without the metal sheet in yet) via the stud.  We put two screws in so that it's secure.  After it's mounted on the wall, use the hot glue gun to glue the sheet into place at the back of the shadow box. This way, the screws don't show, and all you see is the pretty fabric.  Voila!  A simple and very inexpensive project.  The girls are happy with the results.  They each got to pic out 3 magnets that we had made months ago to put in the back (tute on those, here).  They will use these to display pictures of their friends. What do you think?

Of course, I had to make two!

My New Obsession

 Pinterest.  If you don't know what it is yet, look it up.  It's fantastic, and it has the potential to draw you in for HOURS at a time.  I have pinned many craft, sewing and other project ideas along with ideas for the next house we build, funny quotes and birthday party ideas.  I am trying my best to make sure I actually DO some of the things I pin instead of wasting my time on absolutely nothing.
My first Pinterest project was based on this tute: Pinup Wreath  I decided to spray paint the hoop and the clothespins first (disassemble the clothespins prior to painting) and then I decoupaged decorative paper around the hoop and on the tops of the pins.  Gotta love a practical craft! I've been wanting a good way to display my Christmas cards for years!

 Another great project was this one: felt heart.  It was time consuming, but really easy.  I recommend using full size straight pins, and not just the little applique pins.  I made that mistake to start.  The final product is beautiful.  Loads of impact for a small price tag - less than $10 total.
If you haven't already become obsessed with Pinterest, then you probably have a cleaner house than me!  I'm just glad that I'm making my pins become reality in my home.  I'll be working on some more projects soon!

Room 6: The Stairs!

 I do realize that the stairs are not technically a "room," however, it took some doing, and was in need of an update.  The builder's grade carpet that used to be in the living room was also going up the stairs.  We had enough carpet left over from our living room job to cover the stairs as well, so Jerry got to work - with some help from his dad to cut the carpet pieces.

 Jerry got to work ripping up the old carpet.  Looked like LOADS of fun!  After the carpet was gone, he still had to go back and rip up all the padding and tack strips along with all the extra staples.  Oh joy!
Putty and sanded the rise.
Rise painted to match the trim.

Ahh - gorgeous!  So much nicer looking (and feeling) than our crappy old carpet!

Good job, Handy Hubby!  The stairs look fantastic!  Now we can look forward to this summer when we paint the walls in the front hall and up the stairs.  That will be great fun... right?  RIGHT?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Why We Don't Do Santa

I catch a lot of flack from friends when I tell them we don't "do" Santa in our house.  Mostly it's met with fear that I might let the truth slip to their own kids.  Don't get me wrong, I don't hate Santa.  I just don't lead my children to believe that he's a real dude.  After all, he is a fictional character based on a real guy - Saint Nicholas.  He was a wonderful, Godly man, and for his full story, go here. It's some fantastic history!  And Santa Claus makes a great STORY.  But that's all it is.  Same as Frosty, the Gingerbread Man, and Rudolf.  Here are some of my top reasons why we don't push the Santa agenda:

1. It's lying.  I can't believe the lengths that some people go to to keep the lie going, either. I just can't do it.
2. It takes away from the real meaning of CHRISTmas - you know... the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ?  And if you don't believe in that, I'm not sure why you are celebrating this holiday.  I don't celebrate holidays that I don't fully believe in.
3. If I did choose to go along with the belief in a real Santa, what happens when they find out he's a big, fat phony?  Will they also stop believing in the reality of Jesus, God, and the Bible stories we read?  I'm not willing to take the chance.
4. I expect my children to behave at ALL times of the year, not just between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This is also the reason why I don't have an Elf on the Shelf (no matter how stinking CUTE he is and how much fun it would be to put him in different mischievous scenarios!).
5. If Santa only comes on Christmas Eve, that means that I have to either keep wrapped presents hidden, or bust my rear end to wrap everything that night and get it under the tree, only to be woken up at 6am by my eager children.  I much prefer to wrap presents and put them under the tree to enjoy for a few days (maybe a week) ahead of time.  Then I can relax, and enjoy the holiday with family.
6. I want credit!  If I had to sneak out in the middle of the night on Black Friday and fight off 5 other moms to get THE gift for my child, I'm not letting some fake guy get all the credit!  I did that, not him!
7. It's creepy.  Some thug breaks into my home in the middle of the night through my chimney? Seriously? That's terrifying!
8. Our family is on a budget.  We can't afford to buy our kids each a $300 gift.  So, if they ask Santa for something we either cannot afford, or is out of stock in every store, what then?  What will they learn when their friend gets that gift from Santa, but they didn't?  Will they think they weren't good enough? Talk about disappointment! 

Now, I'm sure I've really peeved some of you off with this post, and some of you may even be calling me a hypocrite right now because of the toy fairy (which has been gone for a while now - turns out that good old Love and Logic works much better)  and the tooth fairy (which my children also know is not real, but since she's not taking anything away from their religious education, we play along with it - plus, do they really care who gives them money for teeth?).  I have always taught my kiddos the difference between reality and fiction.  

We do have multiple Santa decorations in our house, but it's really only because he's darn cute.  We have snowman decor as well, but they also know those don't come to life.  We visit Santa every year because it's fun, and we will do the same when we get to visit Mickey and the Disney Princesses when we finally go to Disney World.  We read Santa stories along with Frosty, Rudolf, talking animals, the Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly, and many other great make-believe literature.  Most importantly, we read from the Bible - every night.  

All in all, my main beef with Santa is that he tends to become the center of the holiday for many families, and his importance shadows the true reason for the season. 

No worries to all of you Santa lovers out there, though.  To each their own. I just wanted to voice my opinion and let everyone know my reasons WHY. I understand that all families are different and do things in their own way, and because of that, my kids know that some children do truly believe in Santa, and they are instructed to let them have that fantasy.  My babies just get to know the truth and play along as they wish.

Oh - and to save me some time in the spring... Easter Bunny - Ditto

Merry CHRISTmas, everyone!

Monday, October 10, 2011

An all-around GREAT day!

I had a fabulous day today.  Nothing huge happened.  No big news.  Just lots of little things that added up to a wonderfully enjoyable day!  Here's what went down:

  1. I got up before the kids and got a shower in before Luke woke up.  He woke up when I started laundry, and then was content to read a book in the hallway and then come into my room, turn on the radio, turn the dial to a station that had music and start dancing.  (He's 20 months old) 
  2. The girls woke up to said music when I opened their door.  This started them off in a good mood.  Bonus!
  3. Kids all got dressed without a fuss or me having to push them along.  We had our mobile breakfast ready to go, and out the door we went - with only minimal complaining about the rain.
  4. Had to wait for a train (always when pressed for time), but we STILL got to school just in the nick of time!
  5. Ran some errands with the young 'uns, and then decided to "walk" at the mall.
  6. "Walking" turned into shopping when I figured out it was Columbus Day - SALES!!! Yippee!  I bought 3 new shirts - original price... $110.  Actual price after clearanced, plus 30% off sale, plus $10 coupon... $25!  CHA-CHING!
  7. Finished up with enough time to let the kids spend 10 minutes in the Disney Store (which Laney calls Disney World - eh, let her believe), and then get in the car to pick up Bella.
  8. Great afternoon with the girls while Luke sleeps.  Bella did her homework, Laney ASKED to do homework, and then they played - without whining for TV!
  9. Jerry comes home and fixes the computer which had been randomly turning off!  Yay!
  10. I had a wonderful home visit with a new family, and that's all I can say - that's confidential! :)
  11. I went to the office for a few minutes, and had a conversation with a night custodian - he couldn't believe I had three kids- and then said, "Well, women can do that when they're in their 20's - they have kids, but you can't tell by looking at them."  HECK YEAH - a double compliment.  I have 3 kids and I'm in my 30's. BOOYA!
  12. Finished off the day with a small-world experience at my Girl Scout Unit Meeting.  Ran into a parent of one of my old 2nd grade students - who's now a junior in high school!  Awesome kid.  So glad to hear how he's doing.  

All-in-all a wonderful day full of lots of little things that equaled happiness in my book.  Plus - on my way home, I learned that we secured the neighbor girl across the street as a babysitter for my kids.  Oh, happy day!  Jerry and I may just get out once in a while now.  Look out world!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


It’s our anniversary this Wednesday… 9 years!  That doesn’t sound like a long time, but we’ve been through a lot.  Jerry’s dad had leukemia and BEAT IT!  My dad is working on his leukemia victory as well.  Kick it to the curb, Dad!  We bought a house and filled it with a cat and 3 wonderful children.  Jerry has been a financial planner and a teacher and earned his Masters degree in administration.  I have been a resource teacher, a 2nd grade and kindergarten teacher (not at the same time), a preschool gymnastics instructor, and a parent educator.  Most importantly, we’ve earned the titles “Mom” and “Dad”.  We’ve become “Aunt Cathy” and “Uncle Jerry” to 6 nephews and 1 niece, and we have 1 nephew and 1 niece OR nephew on the way!

Times sure have changed!  When we got married, flip phones, and the fact that you could keep your cell number when switching between providers were all the rage.  Now we have smart phones and have given up our house phone completely.  Our weekends used to consist of meeting some friends out for drinks on the Plaza or going to a wedding.  Now we mostly go to children’s birthday parties or plan baby showers.  When we got married, I colored my hair to cover my hardly-noticeable gray hair at a salon and had fancy highlights just ‘cause.  Now I color my hair so that I don’t look like the evil, aging mom-ish lady on Tangled and scare the crap out of my daughters - and I use a box, because I don’t have time, and it’s cheap.  When we got married, Jerry had hair. ‘Nuf said.  Back in 2002, we didn’t have to worry about home improvement, lawn care, or “resale value” because we lived in an apartment.  Now we have a mortgage, and MUCH more responsibility. We used to go to movies every weekend - sometimes twice.  Now we relax on the couch with some wine (ok, that’s mostly for me) and watch a movie or a show on Netflix (because we got rid of cable, too).

Yes - life is very different for us now.  And I wouldn’t change a thing.  The most important difference?  I’m more in love with Jerry now than I ever could have imagined when we first got married.  Happy 9th anniversary, honey!