A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Faux Gingerbread Structures & More

I can't really say "Our Week" these days, as it's been 10 days since my last post.  Everything feels out of routine lately.  Also, no pinnable image, as I decided it was more important to just get it posted than to have to do One More Thing.  

Remember last post's strange frozen experiment?  

That turned into racing the ice forms across the kitchen floor.  I didn't realize that she'd drawn skaters on the sticks before freezing them.  

And if you remember the costume in progress last week, here's the finished version, complete with crown and scroll.  I should have gotten a better picture of the scroll.  It's an 11x17" sheet of parchment colored construction paper from our people colors pack, with dowels taped on each end.  Katie wrote Psalm 100 on it.  

Last month, I went to Bath & Body Works to get Heather a birthday present, and I picked up a couple Christmas presents, as well.  Josiah had told me Miss M would be Christmas-ing with us, so I thought a little bag of smelly things would be a good gift for her.  Only later, he mentioned she hates B&BW, so maybe not.  This was my next attempt.  She still lives with her parents, but the two of them have been talking about moving in together.  It's a canister filled with kitchen towels, an oven mitt, can opener, flatware, measuring cups & spoons, and more.  

Seriously, Fee?  

She's stopped climbing the tree as much, so we threw a few more ornaments on it, but no one really cares enough to make much of an effort this year.  

The girls have put up a few hand made ones.  The chain thing was made by Hannah this week.  I think I showed the reindeer before, that's by Katie.  

Speaking of Katie, I walked her through making pizzas on naan.  

They were delicious!

There was a Christmas party for the kids on the last day of school before winter break.  I know this because it required an extra trip to the store for a beverage and a dessert, and I found myself wrapping small gifts for them to exchange at 11 pm the night before.  It was worth it however, because they hopped in the car afterwards, all sugared up and smiling, offering bouquets of Red Vines in their grubby little paws.  "They were getting rid of these, so we brought you some!"  

Jack played Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol.  Generally, I'm not a fan of school productions, but this one was not horrible.  (Just to be clear, it wasn't great, either.)  

Katie played Grave Digger Two.  I'm reminded of the line in the movie Love Actually, "There was more than one lobster at the birth of Christ?"  Also, Grave Digger is the name of a monster truck we saw at the fair when the big kids were little, so that made for an interesting mental picture when she hopped in the car after school and said, "I'm going to be a Grave Digger in the play!"  

A few of the students offered impromptu entertainment after the show.  Hannah was one of them.  She's pretty good.  I'm very disappointed she has decided to give up lessons.  Her last lesson is Monday.  I'm hoping to make her teacher a card by then, but we'll see how it goes.  We gave her teacher a lovely bag of smelly things from B&BW for Christmas, but I think a goodbye card would be nice, too.  

Posed picture after the show, since my shots of the stage weren't great.  

Once upon a time, Jack (when he still went by Furby) asked me, "Mom?  How many mythical creatures can you name?"  I started off, "Unicorn, gryphon, children who listen, pegas--" and he interrupted me with, "Gryphons aren't mythical!"  It was a hilarious little moment, which I was reminded of when Josiah got his gryphon tattoo.  So when I saw these cookies, I thought to myself, "They need a Children Who Listen cookie in that assortment."

I was "on the ball" this year, and ordered a magical spinning singing happy birthday candle for Katie's September birthday in August.  And I put it Somewhere Safe.  When I ran across it while wrapping Christmas presents, I decided Paul would get to appreciate it for his December birthday.  Okay, so he's not impressed with it, but the kids were.  I don't have it all together.  I just sort of stagger from one crisis to the next some days.  Fortunately, it was a 3 pack, so I can forget about them for Jack's birthday and be unable to find them for Hannah's in April.  (Someone remind me, they're in the secret passage cupboards now.)  

Ran across a quote at the library that had me nodding.  

Although Grumman tried to claim this garland as his, I did take it to school, and over the course of the month, the students helped me with decorations for it.  

On a related note, we have a garland up at home (left over from the ones I framed the bulletin board with) and I found sparkling garland bits in a pile of cat gack.  :sigh:  

Isn't this a lovely Rainbow Fish craft??  After I crickey-ed up an ocean of fish heads and bodies and starfish... it totally didn't happen.  Between play practice and closing school early because the power went out, and other schedule hiccups, I'll have to stuff the pieces in my desk and hope I remember to pull them out next year.  Why can't we just do the craft in January?  Because the only Rainbow Fish book we have (that I was planning to read before doing the craft) is Merry Christmas Rainbow Fish.  :another sigh:  

The serger is working again!  Whew!  Since the girls' bathtub is out of commission right now, they've been bathing in my tub.  This has... provided us with some teachable moments, and a review of proper hygiene.  Along those lines, I made the girls some new washcloths, with flannel on one side and terry on the other.  

More evidence of forced crafting.  

Billy the box truck, by Katie.

This one... was kind of cheating.  One of the books we got was Sharpie Art.  One of the projects was to draw on a flowerpot.  Katie dredged up a flowerpot she painted at school a few years ago, added a little sharpie to the top border and called it a day.  

But then, Hannah sharpied on a rock, so...

I believe that's an ejection seat from an F-15.  But more importantly, it's the first picture I've seen of Bubba in months.  

Gingerbread housing occurred.

Jack's design motif seems to be "put as much candy as possible on a plate."

Miss M joined us this year.  She and Josiah have matching frosting on their cheeks.  They set out to make a Subway sandwich shop. 

My plate.  The tall tree is an ice cream cone covered in frosting and green sprinkles, with baby M&Ms as ornaments and a peanut M&M "star."  The bears in the back are sitting on Tootsie Roll "logs" listening to the bears on the path sing carols.  

There was an unfortunate axe murder at the front door of the cabin, but we managed to cover up most of the evidence.

Katie's house

This was really impressive.  M even sliced Mike & Ikes in half to make "sandwiches" on the counter.  

Josiah picked the yellow and green Nerds out of rainbow Nerds to make the roof sign.  

And I'm going to stop there.  Because this is getting really picture heavy!  Merry Christmas to all, and to all a quiet, "It's almost over and we can go back to normal soon."  

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Our Week With a Spot of Sewing

Hey look!  I sewed!  And it's NOT A MASK!  

I bought several bee themed fabrics when Zach and Heather announced that Kasen was going to be a boy.  And they've been holding down my sewing room table ever since.  But having met the little sweetheart, and seeing his grinning face every time I open my phone, I finally got inspired to make a little something for him.  Just a taggie, so far, but maybe it will be the start of more sewing.  Yellow side is minkee, which is super soft, white side is flannel.  I'm all out of velvet ribbon, so the tags are a mix of satin and grosgrain ribbons.  And I put one of Grumman's rattles* in before I sewed it shut.  

*Grumman has favorite mice.  And they have rattles in them.  Only he's chewed the mice open and the rattles have fallen out.  So, sucker that I am, I bought a bag of 30 replacement rattles so we could hand sew his ridiculous little mice back together with rattles.  Because he won't chase a silent mouse.  So, just to be clear, this is a NEW, non-catified, rattle inside Kasen's taggie.  

Speaking of Grumman, he so often doesn't act like a typical cat that it sometimes surprises us when Fiona does.  She likes bags and boxes.  

Quick stop at the library while the girls and I were out.  First time they've been able to select books from the city library shelves (as opposed to our computer) for a while.  

So, I saw this idea online.  And I thought I'd be a cool mom for a moment.  Only our store didn't have Green Hawaiian Punch, so I substituted limeade.  

I did the thing.  (Which is big, since sometimes I manage to buy the stuff, but I don't manage to do the thing.)  Unfortunately, nobody liked it.  Ah well.  I tried.  

Pandemic greeting cards are a thing.  Life is weird.  

This weeks treasure dredged up from the boxes.  I'm still plowing away at the boxes and boxes of unprocessed books in the library.  This was an interesting find.  

I've settled into the routine of usually having a coloring page that goes with the story I read to the Preschool, Kinder, 1st, and 2nd grade classes.  The preschoolers are busy, so they take their coloring pages to go, but the older kids usually color during library time.  This was a fun one, as they designed their own gingerbread person.  

I'll have to get a picture of the finished project.  I found the book Merry Christmas Rainbow Fish for $5 bucks at Kohl's (love their Kohl's Cares program!  Cheap books and kid lit stuffies!) then I bought mermaid scrapbook paper and fired up Crikey to cut fish bodies and fish heads and starfish.  I pulled out some construction paper, and some craft sand, and did a whole ocean scene thing.  

Some weeks, it's a coloring page, some weeks, it's a craft.  

Our one book picked up from the city library that day.  Katie enjoyed this one.  

I still haven't put ribbons on them yet, but I did Crikey up the year and glue those on.  I'm using one of the camo print ones as the gift tag on Miss Adorable's present this year (Eli's girlfriend).  

Grumman has a shoe fetish.  I caught him with his whole head in there.  

Little weirdo.

Sam did a thing, and it earned him a new stick on on my frame.  

I hadn't shared much about Sam since he completed his enlistment in the Marines.  He tried civilian life for a few months and decided there was a lot of adulting involved.  In August, he went off to Army training.  

And now, this amazing creature is an Army corporal.  I'm crazy proud of him.  

You know how some schools have required community service?  We have required crafting around here.  Katie's glitter toothpick star.  

Katie's frozen experiment.

"Hey mom, I need a Bible character costume for AWANA Wednesday."  I fired up the sewing machine again--and discovered my serger is not working, boo hiss.  We're not done yet.  There's a crown & a scroll coming, but it's a start.  

Nativity scene craft.

It must be cold.  Grumman invited himself onto my lap, which is not like him.  

We had a big storm here, and school was dismissed early when the power to the elementary (and the well pump) went out and stayed out.  I was thrilled, because it flickered off 4 times while I had the middle schoolers in the library, and that was... noisy.  So, we came home, ate, and took naps.  I knew I was going to nap.  I did not know that Katie would also be napping.  But this is what I found when I went to check on her.  

I think our next cat should be transparent.  So I can see through him when he gets between me and the computer screen.  

One more work day for me, 3 more school days for the kids, and then it's Christmas break!