Thursday, October 28, 2010

July 28 - Water Night at Church

Joel LOVED playing on this.

We were there about an hour, and he played and played on it.

When Matthew arrived, he joined right in.

There were 4 little boys on it most of the time.

When WIC filled out the last set of height/weight ratio charts,
they came out with him in the 75%.

According to their charts - he's a FAT boy.

You can see he's not.

He's built wide, wide shoulders, wide hips.
SOLID boy.

And tons of fun.

We measured him at WIC last week.

He was around 40 lbs
and around 40 inches.

Dear Santa .... Er... Wish Lists

Update:  It's been rumored that a few of the items should show up for the kids. ... So I thought I should update their list.  The Amazon list IS current ... as far as I know.  A few people have whispered that these items are coming ... but not everybody does.

Update:  Dec. 1.  Realized that Vannan's clothing size is 16, and LaRue is about to a size 5 in a shoe.  Marked through more items from their lists.  We were blessed with a few boxes of items to give to the kids.  WOW.  Thanks!!!

Keeping in mind that this post is for a handful of people who want to know ... if it doesn't apply - just skip it and have a nice day!

First of all - all of the children have an Amazon Wish List and there is a link to it directly at the bottom of my blog.  They do have a few items marked as "Highest" that they need/want/wish for the most.  There are a few more marked "High" that would also be less of a Wish/Want, but still would be loved.  Everything else is well within their "Wish - would be nice - but I won't miss it if I don't get it" status.  You can sort an Amazon Wish List by priority, and it will bring the highest items to the top.

You can also get ideas in the Homeschooling Needs (Group games or projects) and the Books for Kendra and Vannan (which also has DVD's Joel has said he wanted too. ) 

I suppose I should give you sizes and favorites, just in case ...... Not that they NEED any clothes or shoes at all or much, a few do and are mentioned below. 

Kendra - 8 Womens (she's only 5 foot tall). Purple. Giraffe anything. Size 8 shoe.

Vannan - 16 girls (not sure on women's size maybe a 4/5/6?). (also 5 ft tall) Pastel Pinks and Blues. Horse. Size 8AA shoe.

Joel - 5/6 boys (or a 6-8 T-shirt). Not sure on pants 4/5 depending - short legs. Yellow and Camo. Yellow Tractors. Monkeys. Disney CARS Size 13/1 shoe?. 

LaRue -  (2T leggings and sweatshirts/turtlenecks). Bright single colors. Size 5 shoe.  

Vannan is in need of an adult sized heavy coat.  Joel needs a size 6/7 boys heavy coat.

Personal Wishes .....


1. Laptop computer or money towards one. 
2. Size 8 Reg Jeans - good high waist and regular cut leg - for working in more than fashion.
3. Folding chair (moon or butterfly style) 
4. better camera that does video 
5. clip on lamp for her room 
6. Funky socks - strange colors, designs, and toes.  Loves to have fun.

7.  Flannel Jammies (Gown) or Long Johns to sleep in - WARM sleeping clothes.


1. Wheelbarrow to use at the barn.
2. Sewing Machine
3. Socks (funky socks - not toe socks - animal prints mostly)
4. Animal Care Books (she has several more on her Amazon wish list)
5. Gift card/money for sewing supplies and material.
6.  a new study Bible, good sized print, lots of notes.  Electronic or Paper. 

7.  Flannel Jammies (with Feet) or Long Johns to sleep in - WARM sleeping clothes.


Always #1. My Own Camera (and he doesn't mean a toy one!)

Monkey Friend Pillow Pet ... and Monkey Mat to sit on
New TV (Ours refuses to stay on - and he likes his movies) LOL
Pear, Banana, Apples .. with letters inside of them (these are scrabble type games).
Radio/Cassette with a USP and SD slot for MP3s
Timer (to brush teeth and wash hands ... he thinks it looks cool)
Cover so my car seat isn't so hot (he saw it on LaRue's wish list)
Organizer for my toys and drinks in the car
Kia Lan Beanie Babies or Toys (He loves the Chinese Kia Lan show on TV)
Crayons - Metallic and Glitter ones, Twist Ups, Blends
Clay - for school (NOT Playdough)
Very Hungry Caterpillar Book (he has 3 other books on his wish list too)
Ratatoulle DVD Movie
Tool Box with "Real tools so I can work, but not any that will hurt me"
Pattern Blocks and Cards (any type of puzzle blocks)
Number Chart Placemat

LaRue ....

Size 4 diapers and Wipies
"Cell" Phone
Her own MP3 bear (she keeps crawling off with Joel's)
Sippy Cup Straw cleaner brush
Buckwheat Pillow
Rear View Car Mirror (since she will remain rear facing, and is now directly behind Tim ... so Tim can see her in his rear view mirror ... one that ties directly to the seat of the car and one that clips to the front shade)
size 2T leggings 

She likes things that makes nice noise - she doesn't like sharp jangly noises like so many toys do.  She loves to chat on the phone, Joel's MP3 bear, Board Books with REAL pictures.  She loves to color, shows interest in puzzles, likes to imitate everything Joel and Marriana do.  She has tons of toys left over from the others baby years.  She loves texture and tags and buttons - loves to explore.  My aunt suggested making a "hanky" sized lovey / explore rag thing with fun buttons, ribbon taggies, and bright texture for the sides - I think she would love it.  LOL   Make it into a small activity book and she would love it too, maybe a new color/texture for each page.  She loves bright colors.  She loves problem solving.   Newly interested in hair bows and bracelets.


She hasn't asked for much.  She loves to color.  She asks for flowers and Pink.  She wears a SLIM size 4, and could really use some adjustable waist play pants / or sweat pants to play outside in our red clay sand/ mud.    A nice warm robe and slippers for the winter would be enjoyed.   She loves sand/ digging toys.  She has 5 - 7 dolls - all on the small side.   She likes Joel's MP3 bear, and I think she would enjoy having one of her own to listen to her Bible verses and stories - maybe her folks and Papa would be able to read her some bedtime stories to put on it.   She loves Clay, cutting and gluing, beads, drawing and coloring.  She wants a pink comb, brush, and mirror set with flowers.  She wants pink with flower dresses, pants, shoes, blankets, hair bows (around the head, she hasn't grown much hair yet), toys, .... anything she points at and likes is PINK with flowers and butterflies.    Just think FLOWERS.

July 25 At Grandma's House

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Wish Lists and Gift Giving

I'm going to be philosophical today - for a little while - and I'll probably make many people really mad and offend others.  I'm sorry, please don't take it too personal - I'm just trying to sort my thoughts.  Kendra was sitting here trying to figure out my Myres Briggs letters ... she says I'm a Master Mind.  A thinker and a planner.  Yep, pretty much.  So if you think this is weird - just chalk it up to the ramblings of a "mad" scientist brain.

Anybody who knows us well, knows that we've had some very hard years.  In our 20 years of marriage, Tim has only twice had a "wonderful" job.  The first time he held the job for 5 months, long enough for us to sell our house and move ... before a mass layoff caught us by surprise, and after months of job hunting, we moved in with Tim's parents.  Then he was layed off 2 1/2 years ago, and a year later ended up with a great job that needed security clearance - but because of the events after we moved down here, he was considered high risk - since he had a single flag on his security report - just one (as far as I know).  After a month of being there and driving home on the weekends, he came home to stay.  That weekend - my mom died.  We were expecting LaRue in the fall.  Anyway, our budget always has been very tight - and we do our best to be good stewards of what we have been given.

Every year I ask people, "What can we get you for Christmas?" ... and every year, most of the people I ask either ask for stuff we could never afford or say, "Surprise us!"   And they end up with a knick knack that we find at the last minute.  Tim's not big on shopping except last minute anyway.   But I really want to show you that we love you and care about you - and I do want you to like what I give to you.  In the past, I've made soap, painted gourds, made Wisteria wreathes (twisted the wreaths myself too), tie dyed shirts, Punch embroidery pictures, given nice things from our wedding gifts that I didn't have room to store, put Christmas tea bags in tea cups when I had far too many in our little house. ... Don't YOU remember what you give for gifts?   It was with lots of love that I made those - and hopes that you would actually like them.

Yesterday, I was reading Flylady, and she made a good point.  By asking you what you want, we are first of all trying to be good stewards of our money - and not waste it.  It really is God's money - and I don't want to  use it buying garbage or clutter that you will have to take the time to return or will throw in the garbage or send to Goodwill a month after Christmas.  Granted, I'm all thumbs and often make my own gifts - so you can't return it or send it to Goodwill for the most part.   So secondly, I'm trying to keep from cluttering up your house - especially if you are like me and I don't want to offend you and so I keep all the little things that you give to me.  But am I being a good steward of my space and time?   I want you to be happy with what you get - and I assume you want us to be happy too?  Thirdly, I don't want to waste either of our time - me making or hunting for a good gift, or you taking the time to return or dispose of something you don't like or can't use.   Fourth, I find the holiday's to be a MAJOR source of stress.  I would rather just hand out money to everybody and be done with it really ... but I feel really silly giving everybody a $1 bill or a stack of pennies or dimes.   Somehow it seems less cheap to give you a Hershey candy bar, than to give you that dollar.  It just does, maybe it's the pretty package?  But for sure, there is a lot less stress in knowing you like a jar of planter's peanuts or Extra Butter Popcorn, than buying that and hoping you like it.

I know - It's the thought that counts.  But just a little bit - by giving a gift that is unwanted and unloved - aren't you being selfish by not wanting to get to know me / us enough to give something that will make us smile and get excited?  Because I would really like to get you something that you DO like - even if all I can afford is your favorite candy bar or a box of tea or coffee.  You are right - the thought does count - and thinking about that persons likes and loves and space when you shop shows that you really were thinking about THEM and not just who you can dump your "garage sale find" or "90% off special" onto.  People DO DO that you know, even if at this point you are thinking, OH, THE NERVE!   I'm not saying anybody in my family actually does that.   But still, does the gift say, "I was thinking about you!"... or "You were an afterthought and this is what was on hand".    And I'm really not talking about carefully home made gifts that the giver spent HOURS making, only to have the receiver dislike it just because they wanted a fancy gadget - we all know the "Grandma, I didn't want a hand knitted from alpaca wool in my favorite color (that I wrote down last year) sweater ... I wanted an Ipod!" ... attitude.

And then there are people like us - our budget is SLIM.  Depending on how many games Tim refs this fall, we may have a few more dollars, or a few less.  The BULK of our budget will go into sending out cards and letters.  I hope we can manage pictures this year - but then, that is one reason I keep this blog, so those who love pictures, like me, have a place to come see them and take the ones you love for yourself (onto your computer) or leave them to come visit when you feel like it.  I'm sure a few are like me, you love the pictures, but with all the hullabaloo, you fail to get the picture labeled and put away carefully - and suddenly you have a picture that you are clueless about who, when, and have this picture.  I'm sorry, but printing pictures is mostly a luxury right now.

We can't afford much, but if you happen to like Hershey Kisses, and I know you do, maybe I can treat you to a bag of them.  Do you have a yearning for Chocolate covered cherries?  Gum?  Candy Corn?  Chocolate Chip Cookies?   Do you really like the soap I've made in the past?  Bath salts?  Medicinal salves?  Candles?    Maybe I have something that is clutter for me, but you would love?  Toys or clothes in nearly new shape that the kids don't need, but would be one less thing for you to buy?   Those are things I can manage - and it would make my heart so glad to know that you will enjoy the gift that is given with a smile.

When I say that we love to get hand me down/ around, I'm telling the truth.  I believe in recycle, reduce, REUSE!  I believe in GREEN living.  Not because of  carbon footprint, or global warming, but because I believe in being a good steward of what I use and I am given ... and I'm maybe that way to a fault as I can't bare to waste anything.

So I will provide wish lists - not because we expect anything off of the list or are ungrateful, but because we don't want you to waste your money and time buying and wrapping things that become clutter in our house.  And we will ask you what you like and would want, because we really want you to LOVE what you get.

And even if you get something different, the wish list will give you a good idea of what types of things we do like, and you can better hit the ball park.

I think this should be true of everybody - not just us.  Why are we ashamed to say, "I do have an Amazon Wish List.   My favorite color is yellow, I collect lambs (though right now, only cyber lambs on farmville), I love quilts, sunflowers, and bright happy colors.  I love chocolate and pecan pie and turkey legs.  My dream is to own the new Kindle DX (so I can read books again).  And what I need most is reading glasses. ..... and so on ...  (No, I don't expect to get any of this - unless you play farmville and want to send me another pumpkin lamb?  Just kidding.)"

One of my friends, that knows me pretty well, sent me a picture on my phone yesterday ... a fluffy lamb pumpkin.  It was so cute.  And it really made my day!
His wife slips me chocolate bits and makes me a big salad when she comes over - I feel loved.  

So here are a few of the thoughts from Flylady .... that started me thinking about how we (I) do Christmas.

And if you are a close family member and you know I usually try to buy for you ... please give me some ideas!  And THANKS SO MUCH!

Testimonial: De-SHE-ing Christmas Presents
flyladykelly, 10/23/2010 4:45 am

Dear FlyLady,

Our family has always has the issue of being too polite around the holidays.

Whenever one of us (especially my epitome-SHE mother) is asked what we want for Christmas, we always answer "Oh, you don't have to get me anything," and thus get stuck with clothes that don't fit or are "not my style" or trinkets that become just clutter.

Last year (my first year as a married woman) I attempted to lay down the law with my mom. We went through our usual song and dance after which I said, "Ok mom here's the thing. I know I don't have to get you anything, but I want to and if I get you something you don't like, then I've wasted our time and money (my mom HATES waste of any kind lol), so in the next couple of weeks could you make a list for each of you (My mom, step-dad, and 15 year old brother), so I have a clue. It would be one less thing for me to stress about."

After some himming and hawwing she looked at me and said, "Well when you put it that way. I guess it would be easier. When you were kids, I could just peek at the letters you sent to Santa and have an idea what you wanted. It was easier. Ok, we'll do it, but only if you guys will do it too, ok?"

A couple of days later, I received a message from my mom on Facebook titled "Lists" and sure enough, there were three lists of gifts they would actually enjoy. My brother is very active in Boy Scouts and needed some new uniform parts because he'd worn through his old ones. He thought it was "way cool" (LOL) to get them from us. My step-dad (who is IMPOSSIBLE to shop for) asked for ink for his printer so he could print off family photos. My mom wanted baseball card holders and a 5 inch notebook to put them in (they were hanging out in a showbox at the time) and new black trouser socks, yes SOCKS! I would have never thought of any of those things without the lists!

And we were able to use the rest of the list to use as a shopping guide for birthdays for the next year.

This year we're starting early.

My husband's birthday is at the end of October and my mom and I have started writing our "Santa letters" already so we can avoid the holiday rush and actually enjoy this special time of year which we think is "way cool" too.

A Flutter-baby in Florida

Kelly here: Be kind to your family and friends. Ask for a list and provide one to them.

Set your shopping budget and then compare the list to your budget. You know you will be giving gifts that will be used and appreciated.

It is better to Speak your Mind Now Than Whine Silently Later
flylady, 10/25/2010 5:49 pm

Dear FlyLady,

My stepmother and I rub each other the wrong way, but we do get along most of the time. For the past 3 Christmas's, I've being doing what Flylady suggested and asking people what they actually want for Christmas. My stepmother has come up with things I would never have thought of giving her - certain brands/colours of sewing thread, wheels for her patchwork cutter, stamps and notepaper/envelopes, travel sized handcreams, emery boards etc. All small inexpensive items but what she wanted. Last Christmas she said that she loved the fact that I asked her what she wanted and actually listened and got her what she asked for.

This week - in October! - she came over and handed me a small container with one patchwork pin in it. Then she smiled and said that she knew I would soon be asking what she wanted for Christmas, so she was letting me know in advance as she thought of things.

So FlyLady has not only changed how I think about Christmas, but how other people think as well.

Thank you Flylady.

Sarah - Flying in Australia


FlyLady here; No one loves a martyr not even you! Ask and you shall be given. I want you to take 5 minutes right now and make out your simple wish list. Share it with your friends and family. We don't have to act the martyr. Don't forget to fill your own stocking too. It is always fun to trade up and share with a friend. You fill her stocking and she fill yours. That way you can be surprised. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Aug 7, 2010 - Tweety Bird Shirt

Way back ... about a million years ago ...

I sewed.

I really did!

And I made Kendra 3 shirts like this -
one is green with tweety playing golf
and the other is pink and red valentines.

But Kendra was a FAT baby.

My smallest at birth - my biggest at one.

And this shirt was just really too tight on her.
And Vannan was this size mostly in the dead of a Colorado Winter.

So she didn't wear them much either.

Joel wore them a little (not the pink one) - but had SO many clothes.

And LaRue at least got to wear them a few times.

Some of the items that I've sewn and loaned out to others, didn't come back ...

But these ...

They never left the box in storage ...

guess they didn't appeal to others.

Well, I think LaRue at least looks all kinds of cute in it.

And maybe it's the shirt that inspired her reading spree that day?

(or maybe she's just loves books?)

Oh yeah, she LOVES her books!
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July 2010 - Joel Gets A Big Head

We found this on sale at Walmart one night - for almost nothing $2 or $3.

Tim bought 2 of them, one for Joel,

and one for me.

So I can read things easier.

It works if I have good lighting, and it does make it much easier ...

but it's hard to hold a book and it and read at the same time.

Still, it's been nice to have it when I need it.
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My new car

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kendra's Crochet Creation

She has now finished up the ball of yarn .. and the cloak is not much longer.

Pretty good for free hand pattern.

She has a knack for seeing it in her head,
and making it happen in her hands.
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Emzy M.

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Innocent Grins and Giggles

LaRue takes a lot of pictures with a blank face.

Something about that flash of light.

But sometimes we catch her in a great mood ....

Yes, I grin a lot.

I got Mom's new watch!

Silly Girl.

Aunt Cindy made this dress for her also.

By far my favorite!

She has worn it nearly weekly since she got it.
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LaRue at School

This is LaRue's other "spot" to be.

She is eating Cheerios - one of her favorite snacks.

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July 20 - School Day

Marriana loves to trace things.

Joel loves to draw.

He's good at handwriting too.
I told him it's a bunk bed.
The little letters have to stay on the bottom bunk.
Some of the letters dangle their feet.
Some of the little letters are very tall, like f.

But his favorite is naughty "t".
He says, "t is naughty because he's standing on the bottom bunk and peaking up onto the top bunk. ..
I hope he doesn't fall off and get hurt. See his hands are holding onto the bunk?"

But this day, he was doing Ff's.

Seems they were playing tag.
And Hide and Go Seek.

And you know you have to turn around and face the wall when you count.
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LaRue and her Little Pink Dress

Aunt Cindy made LaRue this Little Pink Dress.

It was among her favorites ...

only she's outgrown it now.

Aunt Cindy has her own Etsy Shop.

She also has a Facebook Page for her store.

This is where LaRue plays during school hours.
It's right in the room with us.
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