I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of my readers for stopping by. I may not be around too much this summer because we have a lot going on. I will try to post when I can so please check back during the summer! Thanks!
Summer has already been busy and it seems like school just let out. I think that one reason things have been so busy is because we are no longer on a schedule or routine. We just seem to go about our day without a plan. For the first couple of weeks after school let out that felt good but now it is just too unorganized for me! I knew that I needed to do something.
This week was the perfect week to start our summertime routine because Gabriel started Summer Playground at our local Civic Center. It’s a great program and he just loves it. He gets to go 3 days a week for 3 1/2 hours and it is packed with activities. Matthew gets to attend starting next year. However, when we are all home together we need a new routine so I went to my favorite place to figure out a solution…Pinterest!
I decided that a chore chart might be best. Gabriel has been asking questions lately about money and how we pay for things. He likes to collect change and then use it to pay for a piece of candy at a little shop that we go to up by the Lake. So, we now have a new chore chart that will allow the boys to receive an allowance and will help to keep me organized this summer.
The best chore chart that I found on Pinterest was at Confessions of a Homeschooler. She has so many free printables and there is a chore chart for older kids and one for younger kids. I used a combination of both for our family. Also, take a few minutes to look through her site. She has some great stuff on there!
For our chore chart I used the following materials:
Tri-fold presentation board
card stock for printing the printables
Printables found at Confessions of a Homeschooler
Round sticky/adhesive Velcro
Picture of each child
I decided to use each narrow section of the presentation board for the boys’ chores. They each received a section. I then used the larger center section for my things to do list. I don’t put all of my things to do on there but I am using it for organizing my cleaning. Maybe I will keep up with it better if I have it on the chore chart with the boys’ chores The printables that I used, which are all on Confessions of a Homeschooler’s blog, have pictures instead of words so that really helps the kids with visualizing what needs to be done since they cannot read yet.
On the center of the presentation board I put our family name and under that I put Things To Do. I used alphabet sticker letters. I then put each of the boys’ names on each narrow side of the presentation boards with the word Chores underneath it. I then placed a picture of each boy under their names. Next to each boys’ picture I put the rough side of an adhesive Velcro circle. I took one of the blank chore cards and wrote “Kid of the Day” on it and I place it next to whichever one is Kid of the Day. I will explain more about that in a later post.
I listed the chores underneach their pictures. I used a printed chore card for each chore they could do. I placed Velcro dots on the presentation board and on the back of each chore card and hung them up. As the boys complete a chore they remove the chore card and place it below in an envelope (also secured with a Velcro dot). The chore card is then replaced by a ticket which is stored in an envelope at the bottom of the chore chart. Now there are way too many things for them to complete each day but there are a few that need to be done each day (ie, brush teeth, get dressed) and then the others are just chores for them to earn extra tickets and learn some more responsibility. At the end of each day we count up their Velcro tickets and I give them just plain tickets to put in their Tickets Earned envelope. I did it that way so that I did not have to Velcro every single ticket. We then replace the chore cards back on the board for the next day.
The picture below shows just some of their chores. Once I had it all done the boys decided that they wanted all the chores posted at once instead of me mixing them up each day. So, that’s how we ended up putting all of the chore cards up. I ended up having about 16 chore cards with about 4 or 5 that need to be done everyday. (Sorry about the quality of the pictures. I lost my camera and have to use the camera on my smart phone.)
There is still plenty of room to add more items but this is a start. Hope that everyone is having a great Summer!!
Grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And wisdom to know the difference.
I have been having a very hard time with my weight loss lately. I started out so well at the beginning of Curves Complete but once I started to lose some weight I got lazy. I’m doing great with exercising at Curves and have been going 4-5 times a week. The eating I’m not doing so well with.
Now that I have been been on the program for almost 12 weeks I really understand how it works and how you are able to maintain your weight once the diet is over. I’m glad that I have not put on all of the weight that I had lost at the beginning of this program but I need to lose more. I am frustrated with myself for not sticking with it as it is such a great plan. Now that I understand how the whole thing works I am starting over and am back on Phase 1.
This time I know that I can do it. I understand that I need to just take one day at a time and focus on that day. I understand how to maintain my weight once I am at my desired weight. I understand that I just really need to make it through the 90 days on this plan. This time I know that I can do it! I am no longer desperate, I am determined. I see and fully understand how this program works and I know that it’s the best thing for me to do. I want to be healthy, not only for myself, but for my family.
One thing that my coach at Curves told me about was the Serenity Prayer. To turn to it in times of weakness. I remember as a little girl my Grandmother having that prayer hanging in her kitchen. She had cross-stitched and framed it. I still have that cross-stitching that she had done and I plan on hanging it up in my home now.
I also received a copy of that prayer in a MOMS Ministry group that I had participated in at Church. The leaders of the group gave the Moms a copy of the Serenity Prayer which was printed on cardstock along with a butterfly on it. We also received a pretty little feather type of a butterfly on a wire. I have kept both of these for the past 3 years. I decided to frame the prayer from the Moms Ministry so that I would notice it more and draw inspiration from it.
I used a frame, some scrapbook paper, a little lace, adhesive velcro and glue dots and I turned this:
(I’m sorry about these pictures. My camera is still lost and when I download the pictures from my phone onto my computer they always end up being too narrow and the sides cut off!)
I made this by cutting the scrapbook paper to fit into the frame, trimmed up my Serenity Prayer, attached the two papers to each other by using glue dots and then added some lace to the top and the bottom of the prayer which I also attached with glue dots. For the butterfly I just used a piece of adhesive Velcro that I had in my stash. I would think that a glue gone would be just fine but I just didn’t feel like working with the glue gone today.
Now, whenever I get the urge to break my diet, I recite that prayer. I need serenity to help me accept the fact that I’m getting older and do not have the body that I once did. I need courage to face my stress eating and break that habit. I need wisdom to tell the difference between stress eating and just accepting the body that I now have and that it’s changing.
I’m now off to go and eat a carrot!
When we go anywhere it seems like the boys like to collect all kinds of rocks. I have rocks in bags, in the garage and even in my car. When we were up at the Lake this past weekend we went to Meadowbrook Marsh where the boys collected even more rocks.
Last summer we decided that we would paint some of our rocks. I bought the paint but we never got around to painting them. This year, since we had so many rocks, we decided to finally pull out the paint and decorate our rocks.
I had purchased this outdoor paint from Wal-Mart for about $1.00 a bottle. It’s just an outdoor paint that can be used on things like stone and concrete. I just checked the labels to see what the different paints would adhere to and this one seemed the best.
It was a bit breezy the day we painted the rocks so we sat out in the grass in case any of the paint spilled. I figured that it would be best not to paint on my parent’s white picnic table! We ended up painting our rocks on paper plates since the grass was sticking to the paint. I put some paint on each of our paper plates so that it was easier to share the 3 bottles of paint that we had. We also used a separate paper plate to let them dry. The paint is supposed to be water resistant on the rocks after it cures for 48 hours. Since it is a water based paint it did wash easily off of our skin. However, the old clothes that the boys were wearing to paint are now their new painting clothes as the paint did not wash off of the clothes.
By the time we were done painting with our red, white and blue paints, we had one puddle of purple paints left! The boys decided that mixing the paint colors together was just as much fun as painting the rocks. Plus now we had an additional color!
This was a nice and simple project to do on a sunny afternoon. The boys loved how their rocks turned out and even mom made a few too.
My car is a mess! Ever since I had the boys I just cannot keep it clean. There were extra diapers and wipes and clothes and snacks. It seemed like everything was in there. Now that the boys are no longer in diapers anymore the car is still full of snacks and toys and just stuff. When I found these adorable bags on Pinterest from Tinkerfrog I just knew that I had to make them for my car. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly these bags went together.
I had some School Days themed fabric in my stash so I used that for the outside of the bag and I had some green PUL fabric in my stash for the lining of the bag. I decided to use the PUL fabric because I wasn’t sure if we were going to be using these bags for trash or toy storage. Either way, if the bags got dirty or sticky I would be able to simply wipe off the lining with a damp cloth.
2 pieces of 12″x12″ fabric for the outside of the bag
2 pieces of 12″x12″ fabric, PUL or oil cloth for the lining
2 pieces of fabric 2″x18″ for the straps
I started out by sewing the bag pieces together using a 1/4″ seam. I sewed 3 sides of the outside fabric together and then I did the same thing with the lining fabric. I then boxed the corners of each bag by measuring the width of the bag at 4″ and marking a 4″ line with my marking chalk. I stitched along this line and cut off the excess fabric about 1/8″ – 1/4″ from the seam. I did this on the two corners of the outside of the bag and on the two corners of the inside bag.
This is what the outside of the bag looked like after I boxed the corners.
Once I finished boxing the corners on the outside bag and the lining bag I turned the outside bag so that it was right side out. I turned the lining of the bag so that it was wrong side out.
I set the bags aside at this point to make the straps. I folded the straps in half, wrong sides together, and pressed. I opened the strap back up and folded one of the short ends over about 1/4″ and pressed it in place and then I folded the raw lengthwise edges up to the center crease, pressed in place and then folded the entire strap in half lengthwise and pressed one more time. I ended up with one finished edge on each strap and one raw edge. That way, when the bag is finished, the end of each strap that will be showing will hav a finished edge. You can finish that edge any way you would like but I just folded it in so that it was a square edge.
I took the outisde of the bag and measured 2 1/2″ in from the left side seam and pinned one of the straps to the right side of the outside bag, lining up the raw edges. I again measured 2 1/2″ in, this time from the right seam, and I pinned the other strap on the right side of the outside bag, lining up the raw edges. I machine basted the straps in place. At this point both of your straps should be on the same side of your bag since you are not making handles. You are just making straps so that you can tie the bag to your headrest. The raw edge of each strap should be lined up with the raw edge of the bag and the finished edge of the strap will not be sewn to anything.
Now it’s time to assemble the bag. I inserted the outside bag (which I had turned right side out) into the lining of the bag (which I had turned wrong side out) with the right sides together. The straps were sandwiched inbetween the two bags. I stitched around the top of the bag with a 1/4″ seam and left an opening for turning. I think that my opening was about a 3″ or so. I turned my bag right side out, pressed the opening closed and then edgstitched around the top of the bag, which also closed up the opening from turning, to finish the bag.
I pressed the bag a little bit once I was finished with it because the outside fabric was a bit wrinkled from all of the turning. I tied the bags to each of the front headrests in my car and they looked so cute! The boys were excited about them too. At this point we are using them to hold some toys that they like to keep in the car along with some snacks. I think that I will be making another one for myself so that I can use it in the front seat as a trash bag.