Thursday, June 30, 2011

Musical Beds

We recently spent a week at my parents' house, and both before and after our week away had overnight guests.  Jude was bumped out of his room, which was used as the "guest room", onto the floor in Clare's room.  (We aren't 100% comfortable with Clare sleeping on the top bunk in her room.  If she wakes up in the middle of the night, she is sometimes a bit disoriented and we don't know how climbing down the ladder in the middle of the night would work out for her right now.)  Anyway, the trip and guests started almost 3 weeks ago and Jude would still rather sleep here...

He just really likes to have "sweep-overs" in "C-ware's room!"
That's what summertime is all about!     

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Flags for the 4th

I decided we needed some homemade patriotic color in our house with the 4th of July coming up...  

I bought some fabric in reds, whites, and blues to add to the scrap fabric I had in the same colors.  

Then I cut out a triangle to use as a stencil for the flags.  

I traced, cut out, ironed, and then hemmed the edges of the flags.  (I used the already hemmed edges of the white bandana.)

I had 2 extra dowels from the roman shade I made in Jude's room, so I cut them into shorter pieces to use as flag poles.  

Next, I hot-glued the hemmed flags to the shortened dowels.  

All finished!

(Ellen's getting excited for her 1st "4th!")

I borrowed the beans from the bean box, to help the flags stand up, and dumped them in this blue container.  


PS -  This fruit pizza always shows up at our July 4th family celebrations.  I'm going to make it this year.  So cool and yummy on a hot 4th!  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Patriotic Yogurt Pops

I made these the other day and they were quite a hit with the 90+ degree temps we have had this week (and with the upcoming holiday!). 

Simply layer a popsicle mold with strawberry ("red"), vanilla ("white"), and blueberry ("blue") yogurt and freeze.

Remove from freezer (I did these overnight to make sure they were well set) and enjoy!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Dishwasher "Gunk"

I recently starting noticing the soap dispenser in my "new" (as of April 2010) dishwasher had some serious build-up going on...  

As luck would have it, I was watching "Real Estate Intervention" on HGTV the other day.  Sabrina Soto mentioned running a packet of lemonade through a cycle on an empty dishwasher to clean out any residue.  It is the citric acid on the lemonade that acts as a cleaning agent.  

For 13 cents a packet of Kool-Aid I was intrigued!  

And 1 cycle later...    

Looking much better!  

Friday, June 24, 2011

Packing Tips

We just arrived home this week from a nice long visit with my family.  Traveling with 3 kids means lots of planning and packing.  I usually have two kids sharing a suitcase of some sort when we travel.  

This past trip I used ziploc freezer bags while packing to make finding Clare and Jude's things easier and to have some sort of organization within their bag.  

I made up a set of clothes (including undies - Hi Woody!)...

and put them in a labeled ziploc bag. 

(Weekday clothes didn't really matter, but clothes for Sunday Mass were easy to identify.)  
Jude's "Sunday bag" also included his belt and socks...and it was nice not having to fish around their duffle bag for his socks on Sunday morning! 

The next time we travel I plan to use this system again.  My one thought would be to keep underwear in one separate ziploc bag so it is handy after baths, or "accidents."  (Both occurred during our trip!)      

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Margaritaville Math



What do you get when you combine
my mom, sisters, and myself + Jose Cuervo Light Margaritas 
(which, by the way, we highly recommend!)  

with 2 unsupervised children + 2 pans of brownies for a party?

(My children just take quality control tasting very seriously!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

All Boy

The other night I was flipping through the channels on the TV with Clare and Jude.  There was really nothing on for them to watch.  As I flipped through to one of the movie channels I noticed one of the Star Wars movies was on.  (Don't ask me which one because I have never watched an entire Star Wars movie.)  I asked if they wanted to watch it.  Clare was not interested.  Jude said that he wanted to watch Star Wars.  I questioned Jude what he knew about Star Wars.  His response:
"That I like it."      

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

One thing that is difficult about living away from my family is holidays.  Most I spend away from them, but this Father's Day I was able to celebrate with my family and with my dad.

My dad's immediate family usually gets together for holidays, and yesterday was no exception.  And with such a large immediate family, 9 siblings and 27 grandchildren, there was also a graduation to celebrate.  While we were all together yesterday, I was there I was reminded of all of the wonderful things I love about my family.  But most of all just being together...   

Cheering on the home town baseball team to victory.  Welcoming back the recent vacationers.  Congratulating the graduate.  Laughing as the story of the most recent family prank is retold.  Looking back on old photos.  Discussing upcoming weddings.  Talking about the bridal showers.  Clare entertaining the room with a show.  Jude being tossed in the air by my uncle.  Ellen getting kisses from her uncle.   

If I could only bottle it up and bring it back home with me! 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jude's "spaceship"

Why buy them toys when fun can be had with a big, plastic bag???  Jude declared he was in a "spaceship."

**No children were harmed during play.

In other news, Ellen has a new "big" car seat.  (The new car seat came in the above plastic bag/Jude's "spaceship.")  So no more lugging the 18 lbs. 9 month old in the bulky and heavy infant seat for me!  

And Ellen seems to enjoy her new throne!  Let's just hope she likes it as much in the car as she does out of the car!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Road Trips

This is going to be my view for several hours this summer.  

I have to admit that this is usually the sight I enjoy seeing in the back seat:

Unfortunately, unless we drive through the night, the kids usually don't sleep 8+ hours in the car.  Here are some of the things (besides movies...and lots of snacks) my kids are entertained with on road trips...

If I remember, I usually have a couple "games" from the back of cereal boxes, fruit snacks, etc. that Clare enjoys.  She can write on them and they can just be pitched at the end of the trip. 

Clare and Jude also like sticker books.  I have some from the Dollar Store that they have reused on different trips.   

I have brought magnets in the car for Clare and Jude and plan to bring them for Ellen, too.  I have a small magnetic board to keep them on, but a cake pan works, too.  

We got these story CDs from the library and the older 2 have enjoyed listening to them.  (Probably because Buzz Lightyear's #1 fan lives with me.)  I think we are starting to hit the "books on tape" age, so we will stock up at the library for sure and see how that goes.

  They also love listening to the Vacation Bible School CDs from previous years.   

The kids are also slightly addicted to Angry Birds, so we will make sure the iPhone is charged before hitting the road this summer!

Any tips for keeping the car sane on the road?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shirt & Tie Card

Clare and I made this card for Ryan in 2006 (and saved it because I thought it was too cute).

Here's how to make it:

Fold a piece of paper in half length-wise and width-wise and open.

Fold both sides to meet in the middle of the paper.

The paper is now in 4 vertical sections.  Fold the bottom 2 corners up to meet the fold you just made.  

Fold the bottom up the height of the previous corner fold.  

Unfold the paper.  Pinch the corner folds together and bend up.  

The paper will fall in place to make the sleeves of the shirt.

Now flip the paper over and turn it around.

Fold the bottom up about an inch. 

Turn the paper back over and fold the corner to the crease in the middle of the paper.  

Do this to both sides and then turn back around.  

Fold the bottom up to meet the collar.

Flip the collar out on both sides.

Draw on some buttons.  You can cut a small piece of scrap fabric to make a tie.  Knot the top and glue on the shirt.