Friday, December 30, 2016

Sock Organization

Someone suggested that I give the boys shoe boxes to decorate and we could store their socks in those (Thanks, Kelly!). I love that idea and when their socks get bigger and I have to move them to a larger drawer, I will be doing that (and probably be blogging about it in a few years). I'll have to save a few shoe boxes. 

I did find these extra plastic bins I bought to organize our craft supplies. They fit in the drawer perfectly. And I was able to get all their socks in them. So for now, this is our solution. It is going to be so much easier to find the right socks. 

I wish I had remembered to take a before picture. Just imagine the drawer full of socks and no bins. :) 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from all of us! 

All my siblings are in town. We've stayed up late three nights in a row. It's been fun, but exhausting. Today we crashed and all took naps - some short (me) and some long (boys).  

The boys received some great new books, all sorts of creative toys (including a stuffed chicken), Coast Guard action figures and a helicopter, their own custom made plates from my sister, fancy new pajamas, and Legos. 

I'm thinking up so new ways to organize and store toys so that they get pulled out in groups and only one group at a time. Once I figure that out I'm sure you'll hear about it. Meanwhile, feel free to throw suggestions my way. 

I'm going to go enjoy my readers edition Bible!!! 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Public Service Announcement

I've been having trouble with my comments recently.  Several people have told me that they aren't working.  So, I am going to be playing around with them in the next few weeks.  Right now I have them set as anyone at anytime can comment. Let me know if you have any trouble. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Library and book total for year

Last Thursdsy when it was 24° F outside and super windy we went to the library. It wasn't as scary to take three little boys as I had thought. Although, there was no one else in the children's section. We'll see if I'm singing the same song once I take them and there are children everywhere. 

I'm kind of a book snob. I turned down quite a few books that the boys randomly pulled off the shelf (there are a lot of junk children's books out there) and I directed them to series that I enjoy reading. We've been reading lots ever since. 

In the last week I've read 4 books. That brings my yearly total to 39. I feel like I should finish one more to make that 40.  Oh wait. I finished the Old and New Testaments (I'm not going to count the Bible as 66 books, but I think it deserves at least two books - it is long) and our yearly devotional. So, that brings me up to 42. :) 

42 total
4 books I didn't enjoy (2 by women 2 by men)
7 or 8 I hope to pull out again
14 fiction (4 of those from this week)
28 non-fiction 
14 female
28 male
11 older than 80 years (I need to read more old books) suggestions? 

I have one or two more I might finish.  I'll let you know If that happens. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Drawer Organizing

Is this weird? 

I put pant and shirts on their sides so that I can see everything that is clean. I try to put clean clothes in the back so that they rotate through. 

I roll matching pajamas up together.  It makes it so much easier to find them. 

Do you have any children's clothing tips? 

I need to figure out something for socks. Right now the boys share a drawer. Sometimes Warren wears socks that are too big and sometimes Martin wear socks that are too small. Other than getting a new dresser, which we have no room for, I don't have any other solutions for socks right now. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A little update

We've been doing a lot of reading. I finished a book this week! I stayed up late a few nights this week to read. 😳 One of my friends sent me the first Emily book by L.M. Montgomery for Christmas. She is a fun read. Not as charming as Anne, but enjoyable. They make me want to go visit P.E. Island again. I have the second two books on hold from the library. 

We have been enjoying our table under the stairs in the play closet. This room (closet) is still one of my favorite places in the house. What a great space. It just makes me happy to be in there.

It makes me laugh because we often are sharing the same 12sqft, which is a little more than 1% of the house. I love having them in my space (most of the time). Some day they won't want to be anywhere near me (or each other). So, I am soaking it all in now while I have them. I love the little years!! 

Faith of ten years ago is flabbergasted that present Faith is saying that. She had no idea what being a mom would do to her sense of what-really-matters. And she didn't think she would ever really like kids and would rather work and use her degree... She was wrong. She likes her own kids and she uses her degree all the time while managing children. 

James is a pretty happy baby. He is usually only grumpy when he is hungry or sleepy or wants attention. But as soon as one of us talks to him he cheers up. He especially loves his brothers. He is sweet.

I've been working on some more Christmas presents. We've finished wrapping almost everything and putting together boxes to send to family. It was so much more relaxing to finish Christmas shopping in November. It has given me a chance to work on a few extra things that I didn't think I would have time for. A friend gave me five yards of vintage wool and it was perfect for a project that I had been wanting to do. Pictures coming after Christmas. :) 

We are looking forward to doing some more Christmas baking next week. Is there something you make every year? We do chocolate covered prezels. Now that the kids are older, I might start doing gingerbread or sugar cookies... We will see. Do you have any other traditions? 

Thursday, December 08, 2016

A tree skirt for GC

For as long as I have known her, my mother-in-law has mentioned wanting a tree skirt. Since I never know what to buy her I decided to make her one this year.  She mentioned it again about two weeks ago and I thought, "wait, I know how to quilt! What a perfect present. I'll make a tree skirt." Then I thought, "oh no, it is almost December. They'll get their tree soon." 

But it just so happened that they were going to visit Jared's sister for a week and wouldn't get back until this week and then get their tree. Most of my spare time for the past two weeks has been used to work on this. 

At first I wasn't sure if I liked it, but as so often happens with quilts, by the end I was in love with it!! Each step of the quilting process adds a little something to the quilt. It is a fun hobby. 

Oh, and this happened to be the pattern my MIL had been saving to make herself someday. I didn't know that. I just knew that she had given me the pattern a few years ago. I used a bunch of her old fabric scraps to make the trees, stars, and binding. 

Of course, when I tried to take a picture both boys wanted to sit in the circle. 

Or stand. 

Here is the fabric cut for the trees. It was a lot of little pieces. Cutting them all out took about two hours. The only reason I know this is because Jared was watching  a college football game and I finished by halftime. :) 

Here are the blocks made. We tried putting the red centered stars in the front, but it made it too red. It seemed more balanced with the green centered stars. 

For quilting: I outlined the stars three times to look like they were shining. I outlined the trees once. And I tried swirl quilting for the first time because I thought it would look like snow. 

I worked on the quilting for about a week off and on. The outlining took the longest.   I did the swirls in two evening stretches. 

Jared and I debated the size of the hole for a while. We finally decided on 9" because his parents have a real tree. I couldn't find anything that was a 9" circle around my house. Then I remembered I owned a compass (of course, I'm an engineer!). 

It took me a while to work up the courage to slice the seam and hole. I was sure I would mess up and ruin the whole thing. 

Jared made the scrappy binding for the quilt while I finished quilting it. He also cut out the stars. They weren't on the original pattern, but I thought the trees needed something. I appliquéd them on. 

The binding took about two days to sew on. 

Some closer pictures of the quilting. 

Closer picture of the stars. (Little feet in every picture). 

Two Sets of little feet in this picture. What fun to spin in the middle. 

And here is the back. I sent Jared to the store for either a flannel or something Christmasy.  He brought this back because he knows I love polka dots and his mom loves red. The back ended up being 45" by 45" and a piece of fabric is 40-42". So, I pieced a long strip on the back. I could have cut a little square to fill in the corner, but I made a little four block. I don't like boring backings to quilts. I didn't have time to design something special, but the four patch gives it a little personality. :) 

I washed it before I gave it to her and I used six Shout color catchers. They were pink when I removed them. 

The tree skirt is called Starry Forest and is found on Sew Mama Sew. The blogger app won't let me put in links :( 

But I took a screenshot to show you what I changed. 
1. I made my center all white. 
2. I added stars to the trees. 
3. I used various scraps in the trees instead of just two patterns. 
4. I made normal stars that were out of  5-1/2" squares instead of wonky stars. 
5. I used scrappy binding. 
6. I didn't include ties. I didn't see the point. 
7. I angled the corners. Jared's suggestion. It almost gave me a heart attack having to trim off the corners. Once again, I thought for sure I would mess it up. 

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Schedules and Posts

Because I am starting some schoolwork with Martin, i have realized that my days need to have a little more structure. Also, when you have one child, they set the schedule. Go-with-the-flow planning even works with two children. While one is sleeping, you play with the other one. Most of the time you just include the you get child with whatever the oldest is doing. "Oh, you want to paint? Okay. It is painting time for everyone!" But throw a third child in the mix and a child that wants to start reading and doing schoolwork and being more intentional is required. 

Also, having a newborn just throws everyone's sleep schedule out the window. But we are stabilizing now. The boys sleep well. James has a mostly establish pattern. I'm missing my early morning alone time (tea, devotions, and gym (some mornings)). I think in January I'll be almost through mono, hopefully, and ready to wake up at 5:30am. My body is still needing the 6:30-7am time for now. And I have to figure out the whole nursing before gym thing or maybe  just going early and hoping the baby doesn't wake up while I'm gone... I'm not sure how that will work. This is the first baby that Jared has had a later office start time, which means the gym is actually a possibility in the morning. 

Coming in 2017, a schedule for the Sheltons, meal planning by the month (instead of week), more sit down schoolwork, scheduled read-out-loud time, planned outings, scheduled blog posts (I'm thinking three days a week), and more. Maybe we'll think of a house project or two and try some new recipes.

Now to just sit down and plan our weekly schedule. Any suggestions? What things should I schedule in? 

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Christmasy Sewing

It is December! That put me in the mood to make something fun and christmasy. More photos when I finish quilting.

Are you making any Christmas presents this year?