After 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I found the wonder of mothering slowly starting to get crowded out by the mundane feeling. I realized our world seems to surround people with the negative, and complaining about blessings seems totally acceptable. So I decided to fight against that "normalcy" and focus only on the positive. I look back to my first year as a mom when everything was new and keeping house was fun and I aim to have that attitude again. This blog is my outlet to showcase the daily miracles that surround me in my blessed life as a stay-at-home mom so that I will never forget the wonder of it all.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Well, we grew a whole ONE pumpkin.  Hmmmmm..........don't know what happened to the rest.  I keep reminding myself we are new to all this urban homesteading and planting from seed stuff.  We will get it one day.

So off to the pumpkin patch we went.

It was HOT.  Hence my kids' beat red Irish faces.

Kian was very afraid of the horses pulling the hay wagon.  Even after seeing a statue of a horse in the pumpkin field, the poor kid dropped his pumpkin and went running frantically.  Once I got him, he needed to be pulled in the wagon by his sister AND hold on to my hand at the same time.  :)


And this is how the kids of an electrician decorate pumpkins.  We've done this every year since Logan was old enough to decorate his own pumpkin. 

They pick out all the pieces and the placements of them.  We try to not get in the way of their designs, and its fun to watch what emerges.  I love how Lissy's pumpkin is wearing earrings, and Logan's has hands.  :)  We also encourage them to use the tools by themselves as much as possible.  Its neat to see how they grow in ability each year.  This year Logan was using the wire cutters really well.
I love this funny little tradition.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Waldorf Meets Montessori Sensory Tub

I like a lot of Montessori stuff, but I LOVE Waldorf.  So we tend to lean towards Waldorf stuff, most of the time.  Why?  I love the all natural, nature based feel of Waldorf. 

It came to my attention (hello permanent marker scribbles on the table) that one of my main needs for home school, was a way to keep Kian and Felicity busy while Logan and I worked on his lessons.  I've always done sensory play with the kids, but wanted to kick it up a notch.  I decided to make the two littles some Montessori inspired sensory tubs.  My one hang up was all the plastic stuff people usually put in them.  I know....I'm a freak.  But a box full of plastic trinkets and rice just doesn't thrill me.  Plus, I've really been working on de-plasticising our house for a year now, so I'd honestly have to go out and BUY those plastic trinkets.  No thanks.  So I decided to Waldorf it up.

First, in true Waldorf form, I involved the kids.  We've been studying Fall, especially with Lissy for preschool.  So I asked the kids to review the colors of Fall to me.  We wrote them down and then each child chose a color they wanted to dye their rice.  Logan chose orange, Kian chose yellow, and Felicity chose purple.  Then they dyed their rice (in a not so Waldorf manner, baby steps).
Here's Kian rolling his jar of rice on the carpet, to evenly spread the color.

After the rice dried, I put it in broiling pans I'd bought for Kian and Lissy.  I'd like to have nicer boxes, but I'm just glad they're not plastic.  :)
Then came the fun part.  I threw in a few handfuls of acorns and acorn caps the kids had gathered that day on our nature walk. I also added dried corn kernels we harvested from our yard.  I sent Lissy out to the backyard to find Fall leaves, and those were added too.  I had bought some Indian corn at the store the other day, so I put one in each box.  A spoon, a small cup, and a clothes pin and the boxes were done!
Our Fall sensory box!

Felicity and Kian had so much fun and this kept them busy long enough for Logan and I to really get some work done.  Then after this seat work, they were ready to go outside and swing awhile, again allowing us more work time.  These two have been bickering a lot lately, so this was a VERY wonderful addition to our homeschooling day, especially since the kids helped with every step of the creative process.

Felicity wanted to add her beloved "Bible Men" to her sensory tub.  In sticking with the Fall theme, I asked her to just add the Bible Men who were dressed in Fall colors.
She was a bit sad that the Pink family were not included.
They'll get their chance in the Spring.  :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall's First Nature Walk

I don't take the kids on many (if any) nature walks around here in the Summer.  Our heat is too unbearable to be out in for very long, especially if you have red head sensitive skin and eyes.  Plus, we live in rattle snake heaven so yeah.....we skip nature walks in the Summer.

We LONG for Fall and our nature walks.  Today, after staying home for a week and a half potty training Kian, I decided to chance it.  Enough was enough.  We must get out!  So I threw together a lunch and out the door we walked.

We ate a picnic lunch overlooking Snake Creek, and then did our science lesson for the day on our picnic blanket.

Energy was then expelled in the old abandoned outdoor kitchen.
I was made a lovely meal of Fall leaves.

After energy was expelled, we dug into our science lesson a bit.  The lesson was on what happens "close to the ground."  Felicity was thrilled at the idea of moles and squirrels possible being in tunnels under our picnic blanket as we read the book.  So she found LOTS of animal holes.  We talked about all the animals in our area that live in holes in the ground.
Our book taught us that "soil is made of lots of tiny pieces of powdered rocks and rotting plants.  Good soil has gaps of air between the particles to allow plant roots to grow."  So we found some dirt clods with plants still intact, and examined how the roots grew down the layers of soil particles.
And, of course, we gathered lots of treasures that lay "close to the ground," such as acorns, acorn caps, leaves, and oak ball pods.  We talked about how these treasures decompose and make new soil, and we stomped leaves to feel them breaking down under our feet as we helped along the process.

There was also some quite time by the creek.  I loved seeing Logan do this as he's a very active boy.  Always going.  I don't mind that, but I often wonder how much rushes past him without him taking notice.  It was neat to see him just sit and think.
There was also a very wet, very stinky, and VERY happy dog!
And there was lots of comparing of treasures.

And I couldn't help but realize what a year changes.  Last fall, this little boy was napping in the stroller under the oaks, while his big sister and brother explored.  Can he really be old enough to walk ahead without me hovering?  Can he really be old enough to very intentionally gather acorns and acorn caps.  Yes, he is.  In fact, he saw his brother and sister identifying deer scat and guess what? Kian can very confidently find and identify deer case you ever need to know.
Oh, and he did great, as far as the toileting business goes.  We were out for hours and well....let's just say his brother gave him his first official pee on a tree lesson.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lissy's Rock Collecting Dress

I wanted to call this her Cranberry Forest dress, based on the colors.  Perfect for Winter coming up.
Felicity, however, apparently thinks this is the perfect rock collecting dress.
I'm just glad she loves it.

She and I had a hard night last night.  So much so, that I wasn't eager to finish this dress, even though I told her I would.  But after that rough evening, I needed sewing therapy anyways, so I finished it up.  I'm glad I did.  The sewing therapy helped, and when she woke up and saw the finished product, she was thrilled.  We had lots of fun picking out her tights and shoes, brushing her hair, and taking these pictures.....which is why there are a lot of pictures.  All is good again.
Oh my sassy, feisty, handmade loving girl.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

KCWC Day 7

Today I did not sew.  Not one stitch.

However, I DID still participate in KCWC by revamping my fabric stash....quite a bit!
My girls and I planned a last minute fabric shopping trip just because we needed a bit of Mom time.  And we were able to do this, last minute, just because we have 3 amazing husbands by our side who love their kids.  I mean, one husband know what I mean.  Our men rock! 

I just realized that about once a year, I go to one of those big chain fabric stores and spend a panic attackish amount of money on fabric to stock up my supply.  However, since I only do it once a year, and since its really not THAT much compared to other indulgences, and since my kids get clothed because of it, and, most importantly, sewing is therapeutic for me, I guess its actually quite a steal. 

Today my girls and I ventured an hour south along the coast, and here's what I came home with.

The black fabric will be a dress for Felicity, with the gray hounds tooth as accents.  The animal print is one of my favorite prints.  If you follow my blog, you may remember I made Kian pants out of the same print in brown.  But I'm a sucker for this print and when it was on sale.....well.....I couldn't resist.  Especially since Kian has outgrown the brown pair.  My friend and I also snatched up a few patterns to 99 cents each.

This set looks oddly Halloweenish.  I did not mean it to.  I'm not even that big of a fan of Halloween.  I think I was just drawn to the Fall colors today.  Anyways, the orange skateboard print was requested by Logan.  Its flannel and will make a nice pair of PJ pants for him, which I hope to be able to save for Christmas.  The purple baby deer print is more flannel for another Lissy nightgown, again, as a Christmas gift with, hopefully, a matching one for Baby Carrie.  The mushrooms will be a Lazy Days skirt for Lis.  Lissy requested a butterfly dress.  I'm pretty done with butterflies around here but I want to make her things SHE loves, so I think that butterfly print suits us both.  And the added polka dots will give it that extra bit of funk to make it perfect for Felicity.

The two blue prints are for ME!  Yes, I'm going to try my hand at REAL sewing.....when fit REALLY matters.  :)  The next print is for my kitchen and I way over bought so Felicity and I may end up with skirts to match our kitchen.  And the yellow print is for yet another Lissy dress, but I think I'll save it for Spring.

That, my friends, is my personal therapy, all stacked in a beautiful pile.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

KCWC Day 6

Today I finished up two PJ pants for Kian, complete with "pot pots" (pockets).  :)

My Model is napping, so this pic will have to do.

In other news, that little napping one is on day two of potty training.  We were going to start last week but pushed it back to this weekend.  He's very ready.  So far he's doing pretty good.  And his tiny cheeks look so cute in unders.  I DID, however, find it a bit challenging to sew these pants to fit his new UNclothed booty well.  I'm used to making big shapeless pants to accommodate his cloth diaper.  I put these on him and the poor kid could have stored five hand fulls of matchbox cars down his pants.  So I did some alterations and they're a bit better.  I'll have to be on the look out for some pre made pants that fit him well and trace those up for any other comfy pants I make him this winter.

Friday, October 14, 2011

KCWC Day 5

Not feeling too great here, so my sewing progress has slowed down.  I got nothing done yesterday evening.  Oh well.

Logan watched over my shoulder as I sewed 3 nightgowns for Felicity, and cut out 3 PJ pants for Kian.  He SOOOOO wanted some Mama made love.  So today I put the finishing touches on his PJ pants.  I only had enough flannel to make him one set right now.  All my other pieces are cut too small.  But he didn't care about quantity.  He picked out this fabric, loves the pocket, and is thrilled to have new Mama sewn love.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

KCWC Day 3

No fun pics to share today.

But that's OK, because the kids and I had such a fun day hanging out with friends today.  I haven't felt well so we've been a bit house bound and we were all aching to escape the house today.  Good friendships and fun revived us all.

I did, however, raid my friend's pattern stash while I was at her house.  She has quite a little stash of patterns ALL in Lissy's size.  And I found EXACTLY what I was looking for!  A raglan sleeve (my current obvious obsession) tiered dress.  I cut it out this evening while watching a movie with my mom and sister.  My mom helped me pick out the fabric from my stash......a piece of fabric she bought for me before I even had kids that I've just been too afraid to cut into because I wanted to find just the right thing for it.  Well, its officially cut up and I can't wait to get it on the machine and see how it looks. 

Tomorrow's another busy day playing with friends so if I have no new pics to share, I won't post.  But know I'm still taking part in KCWC.  I putter away each day.  I have 3 pj pants almost done for Kian, and 1 pair annoyingly near completion for Logan, in addition to the dress I cut out tonight.

 Oh how I love KCWC!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

KCWC Day 2

Today, Felicity's winter PJ needs are now fulfilled.

This is her "baby deer" nightgown.  I was given this flannel from a friend who was destashing.  Its THE BEST flannel I've ever sewn with, and I sew with a lot of flannel.  Its Moda, and I suspect it will hold up for years.  Because of that, I made it as big as I could without (hopefully) making it look too baggy.  I left a bit of room in the neck, left the sleeves as long as I could (Lissy would prefer them a bit shorter), and I left the length long.  I also made the body wider.  This will give Felicity LOTS of room to grow, and knowing how she grows, she could be in this for years.  It'll be a true test on this beautiful Moda flannel.

And here's her whale nightgown.  This one is her favorite I think.  She requested it to be long, like the baby deer one.  So this one will probably fit her for a while too.  My friend found this polka dot flannel, and the rose bud flannel I used in yesterday's sewing, at the thrift store.  She sweetly snatched it up for me, knowing I sew with a lot of flannel, and gifted it to me.  So, these 3 nightgowns I've sewn in the last two days have cost me NOTHING.  OK, I used thread and elastic bought for previous projects, but you know what I mean.  All the little creature patches were made with scraps from my "pockets and patches" drawer.  Thrifty (or free) sewing is my FAVORITE kind of sewing.

Monday, October 10, 2011

KCWC Day 1

We don't do store bought PJ's here because they're doused in chemicals.  So come winter, I need to make sure we have lots of flannel all around so my three stay cozy.  During the warmer weather, Felicity sleeps in her dresses.  My girl wears dresses 24/7, literally.  My sister gives me props for letting Lissy wear whatever she wants to bed.  I think that's very gracious of my sister considering I just honestly don't care as long as she's warm (or not too hot in the Summer), and, its one less thing to argue about.  For winter, I wanted to make her some nightgowns.  Can you believe my sleeping in dresses girl has never owned a nightgown?  I decided to draft my own pattern to keep it simple and practical.  Its all about speed right now.  I've got to pump out the flannel love fast as its finally starting to cool off.  The boys need pants.  So here's Felicity's first mama made flannel nightgown.

She loves it, and now wants to wear her nightgown 24/7.
I don't think I'll let that happen as much as I did her wants to wear dresses to bed.  The grocery store in a nightgown?  Nope.  :)
Its just a simple A line design with raglan sleeves that sews up super fast.
This was my prototype as I've never drafted a pattern, other than tracing pants, before.  She asked for a tag in the back because she could never tell which way to put it on, so instead, I just added the hedgie patch to the front.  He's cuter than a tag.

More sewing after the kids are in bed.  I have another two nightgowns in the works, each tweaked a bit, and flannel PJ pants galore for Kian.