Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In the zone...

I am in major moving zone over here. The count is 10 days till we pick up the key and 11 till we are moved in completely. I am so incredibly excited!! The house is about 70% packed up. I still have the kitchen and clothes and random bits here and there. All the current utilities are set to shut off and new utility companies have been called. Our internet will shut off on the 8th so I will most likely be without for several days and then its on to dial up. lol I will try to continue my blogging but it may be very picture unfriendly with only a few here and there. :) I have lists galore; things to buy and things to fix and things to do. I can honestly say that this so far has been our most organized and easy move. My goal is to have all boxes out of the house on moving day so that the loaders can easily go from garage to truck and only have to get the furniture out of the house. Bad news is I hurt my back so this last week has been slow going.

I will try for a few more posts between now and the move but cannot guarantee anything. :) I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Homemade Memory Game

We have been creating a lot of the gifts we are giving for Christmas this year. Most of the family is getting boxes of home canned goods, homemade elderberry syrup, and homemade fruit cordials. I will probably throw some breads or cookies in there and the kids have been having fun making mixes in jars. Layering all the ingredients is a lot of fun. The kids are getting a variety of things, some store bought but most made by me or made by another WAHM. I enjoyed shopping online on Hyena Cart this season and supporting other Mothers working at home. Tonight I completed one of Marah's Christmas presents. I am really excited with how it turned out and I know she will really enjoy it!
Supplies I used:
Wooden circles from craft store
Ink pads
Rubber Stamps
Heat Embosser (to set the ink)
Tin for storage
The only items I needed to buy were the wooden circles ($2 for 20) as I had all the other supplies on hand. You could also use paint or permanent markers to draw the designs on the pieces. My ink pads said for wood they needed to be heat set so I am hoping the embossing tool was hot enough to set it. So far so good. These are definately not small child friendly though as they are about 1 inch in diameter.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

We are moving!!

We had talked of moving in the spring or summer. We needed to re plant the garden with grass and wanted to get the garage in order prior to moving. There are still a few boxes from the last move out there! I want to toss them but Joe says "What if there is something important in them?" lol so we will go through them. After some issues over Thanksgiving (overflowing shower and a house full of guests!) and the way our landlords handled it we decided to start looking now. We thought it would take months to find a place as I am not going to settle. Luckily we had that option I know some don't.

What we wanted:
a little more space inside
garage is nice but not required
at least 3 bedrooms
washer and dryer (as we don't own any)
landlords that will allow us to keep our chickens and possibly add more
either a garden all ready set up or landlords that will let us dig up our own
must be in our set budget
a fenced area so I can let the kids out to play without worrying the little ones will escape
A larger lot than we have now

I am please to say that we found one with everything on our list! It has one fully fenced acre, the house has a small area I can use for a sewing room and give Madeline the third bedroom back. She has decided she does not like sharing her room ever since she asked to be moved back with the other kids. lol There are black berry bushes galore in a field next to the property which is an added bonus for me! The rooms are much bigger than they are now so there will be more space for kids sharing rooms and such. Its also in much better condition than the current house we are in which will be nice. Nothing like feeling air blowing in your electrical outlets when its cold outside. We never noticed this before so it may be just because we are having such a cold snap (teens!) but its been rather hard to heat the house lately. It is a little farther out than we are used to. A good 25 minutes east of where we are now. The school Joe sees most of his clients in is between our current home and the new home so that's a plus. He's closer unless he has to go in to the office or to juvenile hall. It will give us a taste of how far out we really want to be. We have grand plans of living in the country, we both grew up in small towns and rural areas, but its been a long time for us. Perfect to rent and find out if we really will like it rather than buy and find out we don't! The other news is no cell phone service and no internet except satellite or dial up! Not sure how that will work with blogging and my online shop but we shall see. Monthly runs into town with the laptop maybe in order for me when I stock my shop.
Here's a satelitte map of the area. Won't tell you exactly where but its by a river and off the main road on another smaller road. :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Busy Season

Thanksgiving is coming up here in the U.S. We are hosting this year as Joe is on call. I look forward to holidays every year. Getting together with family and eating wonderful food and just spending time together.

While this is one of my favorite times of year it is also one of my busiest! Not only am I preparing, cleaning, and planning dinner for 6 adults (maybe 7) and 6 children it is busy season at my online shop. It all starts with Black Friday, then Cyber Monday, then Christmas. So please forgive me if I am not "here" much in the next week! I have lots I would like to blog about (like my first time pressure canning!!) and photos I am taking with blog posts (like my new price book) in mind. Just need to find the time to sit down and get the thoughts out here. :)

I leave you with previews of my coming black friday stocking at Sewing Alley and Sewing Alley on Hidden Element Congo. Both of which are stores on Hyena Cart. If you haven't yet checked out Hyena Cart you should! Chances are if its on your list someone sells it handmade on Hyena Cart. Make sure you enter the giveaway at the Sewing Alley Blog too, it ends 12/1/09!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What's in the Backyard: Fall 2009

Rain clouds, lots of rain clouds

Johnny jump-ups hanging on for dear life

Changing leaves on the blueberry bushes

Cat followers. Poor kitty one of the chickens has taken
it upon himself to show the cat who is boss.

Looks like a backyard clean up is needed

With 5 of the chickens and the run sold we are
left with just the coop, 4 chickens, and a large hole.
Hopefully the grass grows back in soon. :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Homemade Frappuchino

I have an addiction. Starbucks Mocha Frappuchino's, oh the heaven. Sweet goodness mixed with coffee and blended to icy perfection. Yum! I will admit I spend way too much at Starbucks. I don't even want to know how much I spend there. :) In an effort to seriously cut our budget I am once again attempting to make my own at home. Past efforts have failed. I think mostly due to the fact that I cut corners and tried every mix or powder out there that claims to be a frappuchino. I wanted easy, I wanted drive thru easy. Well those just don't cut it. So when a friend of Joe's offered us their old espresso machine Joe jumped at it. I originally said no as it would be one more kitchen appliance to clutter my kitchen. Joe on the other hand with the thought of homemade egg nog lattes called him right back and said yes we want it. lol
So yesterday he picked up this:

Some searching online found a lot of recipes. These two were put into my favorites:
Last night before bed I made 4 shots of coffee and put them in the fridge. Then this morning I decided to give it a go. As the kids were watching a movie I couldn't get on the computer to get my recipe so I winged it.
2 shots coffee
1 cup milk
3 TBSP sugar
3 squirts choc syrup
I mixed it all together and blended in enough ice to the desired consistency. Its pretty close to both recipes.
This was the result:
Actually this plus another whole cup full was the result. I put the second cup into the freezer for later. It was delicious. Not exactly the same but similar and better! It also saved me $5.09 which is what a venti mocha frappuchino costs now days. Joe has made himself two egg nog lattes all ready. Just by making these three drinks we have saved enough money to buy a months worth of ingredients to make coffees with. Now to order some re-usable straws so I don't have to keep buying any. I don't know why but I have to have a straw for drinking most things. lol Go make yourself a coffee and enjoy the savings too!

2009 Family Photos

This year we had our photos done by Nicole Renea Photography. I can only say wonderful things. Nicole was amazing to work with. She was patient and kind when dealing with our large brood. 2 adults, 4 kids, and 1 camera make for some hard work on the photographers part. I have to say that Nicole truly captured our family. There are no perfect posed photos here, just perfect photos that reflect our family. She was amazing with the kids and listened to their ideas for photos. She followed us around for over an hour snapping away while sometimes being pulled in different directions. Getting more than two kids in one spot for more than a millisecond was next to impossible, but she did it. I cannot say enough how much we enjoyed this years photo shoot and I hope that if you need photos in the future you will contact Nicole. Her website is here or you can become a facebook fan here to get updates.

I had a hard time choosing just a few photos to post today, so you get a bunch. :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Help Support Handmade and Get the Word Out!!

Help spread the word about Hyena Cart by adding one of these banners to your blog, facebook page, or website! If you are unfamiliar with Hyena Cart check out this link.

Hyena cart is:

A collection of unique shops offering a variety of earth-, child-, and
family-friendly items. Each shop is individually owned and operated but is
powered by the unique Hyena Cart shopping code.

You can find the codes for the following buttons and banners (plus more!) at this page here:

I would love to see all the HC love so please post a link in my comments and I will stop by and say Hi.

Want to help spread the word?

Help spread the word about Hyena Cart by adding one of these banners to your blog, facebook page, or website! If you are unfamiliar with Hyena Cart check out this link.

Hyena cart is:

A collection of unique shops offering a variety of earth-, child-, and
family-friendly items. Each shop is individually owned and operated but is
powered by the unique Hyena Cart shopping code.

You can find the codes for the following buttons and banners (plus more!) at this page here:

I would love to see all the HC love so please post a link in my comments and I will stop by and say Hi.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

October Days

A few photos from October.

We went to Bonneville Dam. The kids had a great time. So much to see and do. Sadly the only pictures taken were by Madeline while we ate lunch. We were enjoying everything so much we didn't even think of taking photos.

Marah is potty training! She insists most days on getting her clothes on by herself. :)
There has been a lot of play with this old stop watch we found in the garage.
Maddy had a friend over. This is H. Photo by Maddy.
We have been working on a new science curriculum. Maddy more than Michael. This day was all about Mollusks.
Michael enjoyed this huge shell.
Michael made a loaf of bread all by himself.
Starcraft night. Micheal was able to play his first game with Uncle Terry and Joe. They brought the dining room table into the living room. lol
Setting up.
Madeline watching. She was going to a sleep over but her friend was sick. Instead she was able to go to a friend's birthday party. Her and I did crafty things while the boys played.
Banana Split night 2009. Lots of ice cream, lots of toppings, one pasta serving bowl, 5 spoons.
Then popcorn and a movie. The kids look forward to October 31st every year for Banana Split Night. Naomi was asleep through it. As soon as she can sit through a whole movie hours after bedtime she can join us. :)