Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Recycle, Reuse, put things back to good use!

I have this big thing I like to do; recycle what I find to be pretty cool and reuse them.

I save all of my baby food jars with or without lids... even before Gracie was on solids I had begged a friend or two to save some for me for some crafts!  I make them into things for other people that I seems to think is pretty cool.  This year I crocheted with variegated yarn around some of the baby food jars and made votive holders for small gifts for bus drivers, teachers, and special friends.  This year was also the year that the kids were told not to buy gifts, but rather to make gifts using anything "crafty" around the house.  BIG mistake seeing as how what their rendition of what was crafty actually fell into what I had around the house that I actually "needed" and they found no use in asking before taking.  One thing I did think was pretty cool was that they took some of the jars laying around and made them into banks and decorated them up with beads and paper and all sorts of whatever they could find.  They got to experience using a hot glue gun (and also how to watch out to not get burned in the process).  Anyways, banks, and my favorite; candy dishes with the label on the front stating "MOM's candy NO KIDS ALLOWED"... We will see if this holds true!  :O)

Anyways, I had a brainstorm that solved a bit of a problem for me.  Since nursing was not working out as well as I had hoped, Gracie is now on Similac Sensitive.  We get the big what Similac calls "Simple Pack" when we find it necessary and we have a coupon or two for  five or ten bucks off.  I love these containers that they come in!  They have a spot on the lid so that you have a place to store your measuring scoop that comes in the box.  When I get the smaller containers I always dump the smaller one into these big sturdy containers so it is easier to measure and it seems like I get less all over the place than just taking out of the small circular container.  When I made it through my first Simple pack, I just could not let it go in the trash or into the recycling bin.... I just KNEW there had to be something I could use them for... and after a couple weeks I found it! I ended up taking the labels off that were on the soon to be new idea in the making and this is what it looked like!

Now keep in mind that Gracie is a SPITTER.  She pukes everything up!  The doc suggested putting more cereal in her bottle to keep it down, and we need to make it milkshake thick to accomplish this task, not to mention the Zantac right along with it... which led me to another problem.  The said cereal that needed to be measured out and put into the bottle with the formula was in a BOX... with a little pull out opening that was truly a mess until you poured it from the box and into a bowl or empty bottle or however your imagination can take you to measure it out...

Adding the cereal to the empty Similac can

It led to the wheels chugging and trying to figure out a better way for measuring to exist and not be so messy!  So as you see in the picture above, the connection was made!

Voila!  Easy to measure and use Oatmeal.. New container!

Oh and don't forget to label what is in it!  I also save the box with all of the baby things just in case of a recall... We have been there with Similac and thank goodness I did save the containers or we would not have been able to tell if it was recalled or not.  Thank goodness I did not start doing this until after the recall, but after surviving a formula recall, I just don't want to take the chance at going through another one! 

Also something else I do is either measure out what dry ingredients go into a bottle and pre-measure the water in a baby bottle and that way while I am out and about I don't have to lug everything with me for 1 or 2 bottles.  I take the dry and dump it right into the water, shake and feed.  I used to do this with the baby food jars until I had one of the lids stick on me and no one could get it open.. but now I use the little 5 ounce bottles for this with a seal instead of a nipple and it works like a charm!

Do you have ideas for recycling/re-using/ making life with a baby easier?  Please share!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Milestones and smiles...

Christmas. It's everywhere. In the stores, in the cars, on the radio, even at home.. Everyone I know is getting their lists for Christmas tackled so that they can enjoy their friends, family and loved ones.

It's the same here, but I am finding it very tiring. One more day of school before the kids are home for 2 weeks for Winter break. I seem to recall when it was actually known as Christmas break... Oh well.

We are celebrating all of the milestones and smiles that we come across from Gracie each day. It seems as though every time I turn around Gracie is learning something new. Rolling over front to back, attempting back to front, grabbing her spoon while I am feeding her, and she has found her new favorite toy and thing to do.. We have been putting her in the Johnny Jumper that Grandpa got for the lil' squirt and if she's not in it she's just not as happy as she could be. When we started putting her in, she really wasn't aware of what she was supposed to do in it, but in the last 2 days she has learned that she can bounce it all around. She absolutely adores being in it. She swirls around, bounces up and down, playing with her toys, watches Mommy cooking and baking, laughs at the kids, and yes, even falls asleep in it!

Yesterday while feeding her breakfast- her daily norm of oatmeal and apples and banana's - the 5 1/2 month old cracked me up. She started GRABBING my spoon I was feeding her with out of my hand!  At least she knew where it was to go...

I ended up giving her her very own spoon to be eating with but she wasn't happy until she had food on it for herself!  Her appetite has really picked up regarding solids and she thrives to eat with the family.

As I mentioned about getting ready for Christmas... Yes, I am STILL working on cards.  We took a really nice photo of the kids for the cards this year... Only to find out that someone had put their sticky fingers all over the lens making the photos taken really blurred.  It seems to have taken forever to get them re-taken, but they are done!

I think the kids had a blast posing for the photos!  Look at all of those big smiles... Except for Gracie.. I think she used up all of her smiles earlier in the day. :O(

I also got some photos of the kids alone that I will be updating the website with... now just to tackle the fireman and get him to stand still for an update photo of us two...

As most of you know, Hubby is a firefighter; therefore we were so excited to find this little outfit that she is wearing in this photo.  the little hat came from one of the Fire Department's pancake breakfast and were available for the kids to wear.

Here is a photo of the beautiful dress that I was originally supposed to be in the Christmas photos..
From our house to yours... We pray that everyone has the best holiday and that peace will be present in your hearts and homes.  Enjoy your Christmas season!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The waking of a giant

"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

This morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The People of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the People when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our People - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941 a state of War has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire."


I am taking the time to reiterate this speech so that we may carry on the history.  I hope that it serves as a reminder of our Countries past history.

Let it snow...

There is some kind of peace that comes with snowfall before Christmas. For some reason in our Ohio-neck-of-the-woods, it never feels like Christmas is around the corner unless you are bundled up dredging through all of the snow to run errands and get ready for Christmas.

For some reason I am happy the snow is here. Whether it is because it's Gracie's first Christmas (yeah like she will remember it?), or the fact that there always seems to be something magical about a White Christmas upcoming, or possibly just the quieting heart as you sit and watch all the big fluffy flakes fall from nowhere...

I know I will be cursing it soon enough. I wouldn't mind it at all if Mother Nature just decided to let it snow a little every day until the day after Christmas.

We have white flood lights up on the house this year. It makes our house feel warm and cozy in my mind.

The tree is up in front of the two front windows in the living room. The nativity scene is up on the bookshelf.

Christmas this year seems like it's nothing but a big long list of items that need to be done; Baking, finding decoration projects to keep the kids going, finding all of the winter items- hats, mittens and scarves- just to send the kids out so one can keep on returning into the well heated home for "something". The Hot Cocoa- Real HOT COCOA made from scratch lightly heating on the stove with small miniature marshmallows letting those eager for tasting know when it will be ready. The smells of pine and cinnamon lingering through the house. All of the candles lit keeping the house just a little warmer and smelling wonderful. How about the sounds that come with children?
Gracie fell asleep after eating her baby food while we enjoyed our dinner.

All of the reminders of a house made into a home.

During this time it seems that my kitchen gets a good workout. It sometimes feels like once I get one mess cleaned up, another arises. But what is wonderful is the warm love that goes into everything that comes from that Kitchen.

So let it snow. As is snows our home is making memories and giving us a reason to be thankful and to remember all of the reasons for the season. It keeps us busy so that on Christmas day we can remember the reasons behind the faith, hope and love we have in our home every day.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's like a light clicked on...

Before today, Brianna was very skeptical about Gracie.  She did not want to do much with her, but she would sit next to her in the bouncy seat and bounce her for me.  Today was like a light came on- I was in the middle of putting together 6 Nut Rolls and I had flour everywhere.  Gracie was in her crib screaming for someone to come rescue her from her dwelling in the back bedroom where she was napping.  Brianna amazed me by going in and rescueing the 5 month old, walking out holding her and coming up to me and showing me her prize. 

She was very adament about changing her diaper; so I let her... All the while playing and talking with Gracie as she dealt with a wet diaper.

Later on, while I was holding Gracie, she decided that it was "her time" to hold her, and came up and started being "BREE"... making Gracie laugh and giggle like only she can.  Then to boot, she insisted that I was cutting into her holding time and therefore took the babe away from me after putting a blanket on the floor.  She held her, then put her down on the blanket and kept her busy enough to keep her from falling asleep or crying so I could finish dinner.

I am still in awe!

The Legend of the Candy Cane

Many years ago, a candy maker wanted to make a candy that symbolized the true meaning of Christmas- Jesus. 

The hard candy was shaped like a "J" to represent Jesus' name.  The color white stands for the pureness of Jesus.  The color red represents the blood Jesus shed for us.

Next time you see a candy cane, remember what it represents.  I will be so much more willing to let my kids graciously help themselves to a candy cane just as long as when I see them with one they understand the meaning behind it. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Situations that needs resolved.

I absolutely dispise people who think they are better than me and my family.  I cannot tolerate those who poison my family with their thoughts that they can be or do things better. 

In everything that lives, breathes, and exists there are flaws.  I have owned up to some of mine that I can see, as well as my children's flaws too.  We have been working on flaws and trying to get things cleaned up.

Even with my recent return to working on crochet, I find that I still have flaws in everything I do.  I am not perfect like god.  I tend to believe in the theory that the amish use; they purposely put flaws in their quilts, blanket, etc. that they make because only god is perfect. 

While I strive to raise good and worthy souls; I know there are problems, and that there will always be.

Recently I have been attempting to return back to god.  I have tried going back to a church.  I am so mixed up with churches I am not exactly sure my beliefs go hand in hand with others, or for that matter, the church's views.  I have went to church.  I have heard the word of god.  The messages I have heard fit into what I have been going through lately.  I feel like I am an outsider, though people- good friendly people have welcomed me with open arms. 

I was baptised as a Catholic, raised somewhat of a Baptist, and I am completely going crazy because I am not sure on how to be either.  The catholic church took a stand with something that involved my life and therefor I feel rather displaced.  I don't know how to get through it.  It is a feeling tugging on my heart strings.  I don't know who I can talk to about this situation.

I am estatic about my kids thriving for knowledge during their Wed. night church classes, but the more I see them learning the more I wish I would have (and want to at present) learned on my own.

Nothing is perfect except God.  We thrive to be like him.  I am not quite sure how to. 

I guess I am just second guessing myself.