My Giant Cross Stitch Rose

I love to cross stitch. Am I good at it? Not particularly, but I find it strangely calming, probably just my OCD and my love for counting stitches.

I’ve had this Pin on my Crafty board for awhile for a big painted cross stitch rose from blogger Alison at Whimseybox.com and I love how it turned out! But I wanted to try it with yarn.  So I gathered my supplies, subbing yarn instead of paint and set to making my X’s following her same pattern, just tweaking it in certain places.

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Supplies: Yarn, Scotch tape, Large white peg board that I picked up at Home Depot

Quick tip: I wrapped the ends of my yarn with scotch tape like a needle making it easier to thread through the peg board.
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Liam even got in on the action! He loved making the X’s and feeding the yarn through to the back side, then waiting patiently for me to thread it back to him! Talk about a great small motor activity for kids!
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I worked at here and there and enjoyed it so much that I kept threatening to peg board cross stitch every room in my house…much to the horror amusement of Jerad.
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I really love how it turned out.  It’s colorful, crafty and totally funky! I was planning to hang it over my craft table, but I think I may actually hang it over our master bed!  Yes, I’m loving it that much.  Since it’s almost as big as my kitchen table, buying a frame could get pricey, so I’m still deciding whether to build a frame for it or just leave it be.

What do you think?

Picking My Battles

I’ve come to realize motherhood is all about choosing your battles so you can win the war…or raise your kids right….yeah probably the 2nd one.
Today has been a day of some potential scrimmages and a couple full out guts n’ glory battles.

You want to wear your brothers PJ shirt backwards? Looking good kid.

You want to play Power Rangers with my cooking utensils? Have at it.

You want to poop in the backyard? OH. HECK. NO. SON. Pull up those pants!

Play with sister instead of eating lunch? You’re a great big brother!

You want to come at me swinging fists and screaming cause you didn’t get your way? Back up off me son, those shenanigans won’t fly here.

You want to drive your cars in the horribly filthy gutter water? Just don’t put it in your mouth.

And this was all before 11:30am. I love Everyday with these kids and it’s always an adventure and a constant learning lesson for me. Thank you Lord for providing me the extra strength, patience and love so I can choose my battles and the kids don’t end up tied to a chair.

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Ain’t no plant whisperer

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I did not inherit my mothers ability to garden. If I have a green thumb at all, it’s buried deep deep inside my plant killing hands. The two Some Ecards above sum up my gardening perfectly. One day I’d love a yard full of flowers. But there is one plant, a beautiful red mini rose bush, that I have been able to keep alive….for 5 years! You may applaud.
On our first wedding anniversary my mom gave it to us as a wonderful reminder. I’ve almost killed it twice. Lucky for me it’s resilient and not directly related to our marriage

Rainy Day Activities

It is always a wonderful thing to see God answer prayers….and prayers for rain have been a common one around here.  Even my boys have prayed for rain.  Then God opened the Heavens and BAM! We have rain.  The first day of rain after a dry spell is always so refreshing. I love the smell of freshly rained on cement and the air feels so much cleaner, smoother, almost like a nice glass of wine…and I like wine :)

But then it rains for a few days in row, which is still wonderful, but as a mother of toddlers, maybe just a little less wonderful.  They start to go stir crazy.  I swear I can see footprints on my living room wall.  And being the good mother I’m trying to be, I attempt to limit the number of hours I let them watch TV (Power Rangers is their current favorite, which might explain the footprints on my walls)

So what to do with these crazies?! Right before dozing off (more like crashing into my pillow with drool already falling from my face) I scan my Kids Activities board on Pinterest for some inspiration….cause’ apparently the mountain of toys that fill my house won’t suffice.

Here are a few of the rainy day activities we have done lately!

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I made us a lil’ construction paper fire and we had a camp out cook off. I’ve never eaten so many plastic waffles or hot dogs in my life! The judges are still in debate over who won :)

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We gathered a handful of rocks from our backyard and painted them. Simple yet effective and only slightly messy! :)

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Kara from Kara’s Class Room had a great idea to make stain glass windows out of Press N’ Seal wrap and tissue paper. I wasn’t to sure how this would go, but the boys loved it! Liam even noticed that putting a red piece on a blue piece made purple! Kid’s a genius. They even went back to a couple times through out the day to rearranged their tissue paper shapes! Definitely helped Cohen continue learning shapes and colors as well! Win!

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Their monsters trucks were looking pretty dirty (imagine that) so we filled the sink with bubbles and had a car wash!

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Krokotak.com had a great fine motor activity for kids that was stringing pieces of cut drinking straws onto string! Simple, yet so fun and watching the concentration on my boys faces was priceless. They were determined to make me some new jewelry. Be still my heart.
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And we can’t forget Miss Emmy whose favorite past time is chewing on everything she can get her hands on…including her hands!

Hope these help and inspire you in surviving the coming wonderful rainy days!

Our shoe pile…

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This is our shoe pile. I hate our shoe pile, and yet we always have a shoe pile. We’ve never been a house that makes you take your shoes off upon entering, but as soon as we walk in the door, literally 5 steps away (or 10 if you’re Cohen) shoes come
Flying off and land in this mass pile.

When I first started noticing this happening, I thought to myself that I wouldn’t allow this to become a habit. It’s messy and disorganized and shoes belong in your closet. But sadly I’m my own worst enemy and I usually have just as many if not more shoes in the pile.

It seriously drives me nuts. I have pins on Pinterest that are supposed to help me put an end to our eye sore mountain of shoes, but alas I’ve decided to pick my battles.

And to be honest, this just doesn’t seem to be one I want to fight.

Not to mention that my 3yo and 2yo now call that area of the room “the shoe pile” even when there are no shoes there. (Smacks face in resignation)

What is something that drives you nuts but you’ve decided against the effort in fighting that battle?

The Pinterest-less Party

My sweet n’ spunky Cohen just turned two this past week (What?!) and we had a family party for him…and excuse my french but there was not one damn Pinterest pin to be seen.

I didn’t hand craft his invitations out of home spun paper (gasp!)

I didn’t have any educational, creative or elaborate games for the kids…we told them to go play (for shame!)

There was no homemade garlands, fancy color coordinated decorations or massive climbable play structures built. (and I call myself a pinterest lover?!)

We had pizza delivered and my husband bought a cake at the grocery store  that we stuck a #2 candle in.  (what no fondant?! horrible parents)

And you know what? We had an absolute blast. Imagine.

Before you label me as a horrible monster and hater of all little children’s birthday dreams, let me explain…I’m tired.  You’re probably tired. And spending months and hours and many sleepless nights on your child’s birthday party can be fun once in awhile (you all know I love to craft) but doing it three times a year is exhausting!

So I grabbed Cohen, headed down to the party store and asked him what kind of party he wanted.  He said “Thomas. I want Thomas.” We picked out some random Thomas the Train decorations and a bag of balloons and a box of train invites.  And you know what, he loved it! His little face lit up when he saw the giant plastic pin up of Thomas the train and I still hung streamers and balloons all over the front room…see, I’m not totally the party killer mommy you thought I was.

It was so nice not to stress out if the party was “Pinterest worthy” and you all know what i’m talking about.  I’ll be the first to tell you that I am obsessed with Pinterest and all that it entails and I love creating elaborate parties.  But sometimes it’s nice to pull out the old pack of faded streamers, buy the store bought sheet cake and simply enjoy the people you invited over to celebrate your sweet little boy!

birthdayBut seriously, I can’t believe my baby boy is TWO! Feb 13 came and all of the sudden he’s speaking in full sentences with words I didn’t know he knew, wanting to use the potty and all the sudden can do things on his own! Lucky for me, he still loves to pile all his blankies on my lap and then crawl on top to cuddle. When they say it goes by fast, it’s true.