Thursday, October 29, 2009

It's a Bird, It's a Plane...

It's Super Girl!!!

I couldn't be more pleased with this costume I made for Middle!
And more importantly.. She loves it!
Such a picky child, she likes things a certain way; like her pancakes being cut but still touching, or me pouring her juice and not Daddy, or this shirt with those pants...
I worried she wouldn't like the costume and then I was gonna have to figure something else out and let Youngest be Super Girl, but she loves it. LOVES it!
I cannibalized a damaged shirt that had burned sleeves from my Mom's house fire back in Jan., and I saved the shirt because I thought the fabric was nice. I cut along the sides and around the front of the collar, then hemmed the rough edges to make the cape. I planned to save the button and button-hole from the collar, but it was too big, so I overlapped the pointy parts of the collar and put snaps in. The front panels of the shirt had the sleeves trimmed off then sewn together to make a matching skirt. If someone looked closely at the skirt, they would see button holes on the bottom hem! As it is, she zooms around the room whenever she puts it on, so I doubt she would sit still long enough for anyone to notice!
I had the old blue t-shirt-- it had a logo on the front for a zoo and I made the superman logo from fleece I had lying around and made sure it was big enough to cover the old logo, then sewed it on. Middle was literally breathing down my neck while I was sewing it on the sewing machine and the minute I snipped the last thread, it was whipped out of my hands and on her body! Just look at her smile in the picture above!
The other costumes are done, with no sewing from me. We pulled together clothing to make a witch outfit for Youngest and already had a witch hat from an old costume that had been ruined; and for a vampire costume for Oldest, I only needed to get the fangs and make-up. When I was going through clothes, I found a lion costume for Baby from my sister, so he'll use that, since the french painter outfit is too big for him.
Can't wait to get pictures of the whole gang!
Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Getting into the Spirit!

I started out writing a very different post because I was feeling really weirded out lately, but I don't want to make you guys all depressed so I won't be posting it. On the brighter side of things, I am feeling much better, I have a spring in my step again and I am so excited for Halloween, which is just around the corner!

The girls have finally decided on what they want to be for Halloween, so I am busy trying to gather materials to make their costumes. Oldest is going to be a vampire; Middle is intent on being SuperGirl, and that's a fairly easy costume to put together, so I am not complaining; Youngest will be a witch. Baby will be the french painter, and if the outfit is too big for him, then I'll whip up an easy mummy costume.

Hubby is going back and forth, unable to decide what he wants to be. First it was cyclops with a horn, then it's Uncle Fester, then it's two horns and an eye in the back of his head... he's worse than the kids!! :o)

I have an outfit that I can't wait to wear! I picked it up at a yard sale a couple years ago, and I'm so excited about it! We're going to my closest friends' house for Halloween and she is going to LAUGH when she sees it! (Can't wait to get your reaction, girl!)

Things are getting festive around here. The decorations went up last night and I picked up a few make-up things along with black nail polish and all the girls wanted their nails done. Then Hubby came home and he wanted his nails done in black, too, so I painted his. This morning, Oldest asked me in a quiet voice, "Why does Daddy have his nails painted, too?" hahaha!

I gotta go, gotta get those costumes made! Here's a pic I took of Charlie the cat:

Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

This and That

It went from feeling like winter was here early back to lovely fall days this week. We took advantage of the warmer days and gathered fallen logs in our woods. How nice it has been not to start up the wood stove just yet. Maybe we can push not using the wood stove to November? Wait and see, it was overcast today, then rain, and all the windows are shut again, so who knows what the weather may bring this weekend.

I am trying to get the girls to come up with ideas for Halloween costumes. I don't want to buy over-priced, cheaply-made costumes that rip and tear on the first day. When I told the girls to make suggestions, they all immediately wanted to be disney princesses. *sigh* Let's see if I can get them to come up with other ideas. Oldest wants to use a renaissance princess costume we have that is surprisingly well-made and we've had for a few years now. I hemmed it when she was 4 and it was too long for her and will probably need to let it down for her to wear. I'll need to make her a crown of some sort as the one that went with it is long gone.

Last year, when we went trick-or-treating at the mall, there was an adorable little toddler who was made up as a french artist, with the black and white striped shirt, black pants, black beanie and carrying an paint board and brush. I'm hoping to get Youngest to dress up like that, as she already has the clothing, I'll just make a beanie and a cardboard paint board. She got upset when I told her we'd "paint" a mustache on her and she didn't want that. I think she just doesn't understand that it will wash off and I need to explain better to her what I meant.

The power company sent out their tree trimming people to trim any branches or cut down trees that pose hazards to the power lines. Several months back, a rep from the company went door-to-door, letting homeowners know and to get permission for them to come up on your property. They came up yesterday and spent most of the day trimming our trees. I know they are doing a good thing, preventing possible disruptions to the power, but I still can't help feel bad for all the trees they are cutting down.

The previous owners planted a great line of evergreens and they are nearly 3 stories tall. Each tree had the tops lopped off and we can now see the neighbors lights across the road. I know they'll grow back, but still... On the bright side of things, the tree-trimming guys asked us if we wanted the wood chips. Yes!! So after they were done for the day, they dumped the whole truck-full of wood chips exactly where we wanted them. They'll return on Monday to finish the job. They also left the logs from the trees they cut down which we will save for next year's wood pile.

My van is fixed, after nearly a month of being in the shop. Only one time, out of that whole month, I was able to "escape" for a couple of hours, when my Mom was here and Hubby took me to the food store. The rest of the time, I was "stuck" at home and feeling a bit stir-crazy. I am used to getting my kid-free time at the food store at least once a week, when I can leave the kids at home and get a few hours all to myself, without constantly being at the beck and call of 4 little ones. It was hard not having that time to myself and I appreciate the freedom the van gives me. Hopefully, the van will not give us any more trouble for a good while and now we can focus on getting the truck checked out. Always something to fix or work on around here!

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's Definitely Fall!

I love the cooler weather we are having now. There have been a few days where we came close to starting a fire in the wood stove, but we held out. On nights where the temperatures dip into the low 40s, we have a little space heater we use in the hall, aimed towards the bedroom doorways and it wards off the night-time chill. Pretty soon, the wood stove will be fired up, I'm sure, but the longer we can put it off, the longer our wood will last.

It's been an extra busy week here. I took the remaining green tomatoes off the vine and turned it into green tomato salsa. Oh my! How tasty that was! I made a small batch first, to see if we would like it, and it was so good, that I made a bigger batch the next time, after buying what I needed to make more. I ended up canning 12 pints of green tomato salsa to enjoy during these cold winter months.

My Aunt and Uncle also brought us 150 pounds of russet potatoes! I took about 25 pounds and turned them into potato skins, loaded with bacon and cheese and froze them for later snacks/meals. All the potato that was scooped out has been turned into potato soup and mashed potatoes. Yum! We are a family of potato lovers and we definitely eat our fair share of potatoes around here.

Oldest was playing around with the bungee cords that we are using to keep the chairs with the table, to prevent Baby from climbing them (read previous post for more info). We tell the kids all the time not to play with them, they are like big rubber bands and they'll snap back and might poke your eye out or hurt you. Sure enough, Oldest hooked one end to the door knob, the other end to the sliding door handle and it popped off and clipped her in the eye.

*The day after*
It gave her a deep little cut in her eyebrow and left a shiner the next day. I am SO relieved that it missed her eye. She had a very swollen eye for a day, and now she is left with what looks like a bad make-up job on her eyelid. I hope she has learned her lesson (a painful one at that!) and will not play with the bungee cords anymore.

There will be one more preserving of food for me before I can finally put away all my tools for the year-- pumpkin! I have no pumpkin left from last year and am looking forward to making pumpkin pies, breads, cookies, and more! Hope to get a pumpkin this week and believe it or not, I'm actually tempted to get another bushel of apples. Wait and see how busy it gets this week, before I decide to get more apples. I feel like I turned all the apples into sauce before we really got to eat any out of hand, so I am craving the crunch-crunch of apples and the juice dripping down my chin. Plus, I've never made caramel apples for the kids before, and I think the kids would love to try them!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Let's Hear It For The Boy

Sorry for the disappearance.. Baby has really been keeping us hopping! Of the 4 kids, he has the most curiosity and is more determined to get into things that he is not supposed to get into!

On Saturday, the Husband had to take my Mom to the halfway point so my Uncle could take her back to their place, then he went to work afterwards, which meant I was home with the kids, alone, from 9 in the morning until their bedtime at 9 at night. I was B.U.S.H.E.D! At one point, I think I cried in frustration, which prompted Oldest to include me in her dinner-time blessings and she asked God to help me feel better. Yeah, it was that tough!

If I forget to lash the cabinet doors, Baby opens and climbs in or pulls out all my pots and pans. Not so bad this cabinet, but the other one, he has broken my vintage melamine bowl (karma- I broke my mom's when I was little), pulled out the very sharp and very dangerous mandolin slicer and used it as a banging toy (ack!) and pulls out all the mixing bowls and piles them high in wobbly towers.

He broke a vintage christmas glass I had, and being deaf, I didn't hear the tinkling of broken glass, so I didn't know until I saw him with a bloody cut on his nose and leg. When I investigated, I found the broken glass.

He has discovered the cat's litter box and I have found him no less than 5 times with his hands in the litter so that we now keep the door to the room, where the litter box is, shut. Poor cat gets locked in there, too, but he has his food in there also, so not so bad for the cat really.

We have started to bungee cord the chairs to the table because he has learned to climb the chair, then climb the table where he proceeds to table dance, grab stuff and toss it off and just grins from ear to ear!

I had a moment where I didn't see him and the girls found him behind the couch with a fistful of markers, coloring the floor, the couch cushions, his mouth and hands.

He has gotten into the puzzle cabinet and there are at least 6 puzzles now mixed together and in the other half of the cabinet is where I keep my balls of fabric strips that I've sewn together and, like a cat, has rolled them all around the room, unraveling them as they roll.

**Deep breath**

**Let it out slowly**

I don't know if it's because he is a boy or if this is just his nature, but at this rate, all the doors to all the rooms will be kept shut, the cabinet doors will be glued, and the shelves and tabletops cleared! I cannot steal away time to myself because he gets into things and he is so quick about it, too! I used to be able to lure him into the living room then dash down the hall and he would take a few minutes to catch up to me, but now? I tried that today, and when I turned around, I nearly fell over him, he was right there behind me!

When the Husband leaves for work, he always tells me to, "Call me if you need me." And my response is now: "Where's the phone?!" I'm only half joking. I look forward to Baby's afternoon nap time, that's when I can relax a little and not worry about where he is or what he might be getting into. At least he hasn't figured out how to climb out of the crib...yet.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

::Mountain Mama Wares Shop Update::

I finally have all my homemade jams and jellies for sale in my
Mountain Mama Wares shop on Etsy!
Please click on the link in the right sidebar to go and visit.

I have 3 flavors in 1/2 pint sizes available:
*Wild Grape*

I also have a Sampler set in 4 oz sizes,
but I have only 5 sets,
so if you want some, order fast!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chickens and Turtles

I still have the Box Turtle. I was told to soak the turtle in warm water, as it was likely dehydrated, and when they are dehydrated, I've learned, that their eyes swell shut. I suppose that is a body mechanism to keep their eyes from drying out. Since soaking the turtle in water for a couple of days, it's eyes are starting to open!

The right eye is still not all the way open, but the left eye seems to be fine. He can definitely see my hand come down and he flinches and moves away. His color seems brighter, too, so it gives me hope that the little guy (or girl?) will be alright.
I'm still waiting to hear from a turtle rehabber, to find out what I can do to help it. Since it's soon winter here, the turtle should be getting ready for the long sleep.. so it's likely that they'll take him over the winter, and if he gets better, they'll return him here, back to his home area.

From all accounts I've read.. online, bloggers, books; I was under the impression that 6 hens will give me, on average, 5 to 6 eggs daily. If I was lucky, I was getting 2 or 3 per day, sometimes, nothing. I worried that maybe they were laying in the woods and I'd have to put up a fence to pen them in.

Then one day, Youngest came running with an egg in her hand. She said she found it in the pole barn. I asked her to show me exactly where, and turns out, they are laying eggs under the tarp that covers the log splitter. Ah-ha! That first day we found them, there were 5 eggs there! Since then, we are averaging 4 eggs daily. That's more like it! Some days we get 5, but usually it's 4 and I'm happy with that.

After I wrote my last post about making pants for Baby from an old sweat jacket, my sister sent me a box of clothes from her baby boy! What an unexpected surprise in the mail today. Thanks Sis!! :o) Lots of nice warm clothes for Baby to wear in there!
(Thanks for all the wonderful comments and compliments on the recycled baby pants, by the way! The idea did come from Amanda Soule's book, I borrowed it from the Library when it first came out and she used the bottom of a t-shirt to make shorts for the kiddies. My version is using the sleeves for pants. These will work as pants for baby legs, but probably not for kids 2 years and up.)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Make Your Own Baby Pants!

Baby needs pants. I don't have a whole lot of hand-me-downs for him, considering I have 3 girls ahead of him. So unless I want to put him in dresses, I needed to do something about his lack of pants. I am currently making sure that every load I wash, I have one of his 4 pairs of pants in there. This is getting tedious, I don't like having to wash all the time, and he is about to out-grow 2 of the pants.
What to do, what to do?? Then I remembered seeing somewhere in blog-land, someone taking an adult shirt and turning it into shorts for the kiddies (if someone knows which blog that was, please send me the link!). I figured I have enough sewing know-how to do it on my own.

I have this old sweat-jacket that's too small for the husband and it's just taking up space in here-- perfect for little jogging pants for Baby!
Cut the sleeves off at the seam. I am using Baby's jogging pants for sizing. I cut down on one side of each arm about 10 inches from the top. This will be where I sew them together to attach the legs and make a front and back. Pin right sides together all the way from front to back, then sew.
Here it is, all sewn together. I folded about 1 1/2 inches down around the waist and sewed all the way around, leave a seam open for the elastic. Thread elastic through then sew seam closed.

Ta-dah!! Pretty good job, if I may say so!

Fits Baby perfectly! You'd never know these were from old sleeves unless you took a closer look! I am already looking around for more old shirts to make more pants for Baby! I get to recycle stuff we have and keep from spending money on items that Baby won't wear that long anyway! Now he has warm legs and I have money in my wallet-- everybody is happy! :o)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Why Did The Turtle Cross The Road?

To get to the other side, not get hit by a car.

So this turtle shows up in my garden the other day. I was thrilled. I have a soft spot for turtles.
Then I took a closer look at it and realized there was something wrong. His eyes are not open. As I look closely, I can see there is a crack in his shell and it looks like his face got a rude introduction to a tire. There is an open wound on the top of his head that has a shell fragment stuck in it and it healed over, but I'm not too sure about his eyes... Can he open them at all? Is he blind now? He can walk fine, he has strength to push his sharp little turtle claws and scratch my hand while I hold him.

We called our local wildlife dept in town, the guy said put him back where I found him, they don't do turtles. No, no, no.. I can't do that. So I turn to the handy-dandy internet and search for box turtles and found a link with an email address. I didn't hold out much hope that I would hear from them the same day I sent the email, but lo and behold-- I did!

I sent pictures and she replied back that the turtle was likely dehydrated and needs water. When turtles get dehydrated, their eyes swell shut. I hope that's the reason why his eyes are shut. I have him soaking in a bucket with a little water in it and hope that helps. She referred me to a wildlife rehabilitation link and I found 2 not too far from here, so I am going to contact them in the morning and hope little turtle here can get some help.

Turtle has put things into perspective for me. I woke up feeling out of sorts, I didn't sleep well and had weird dreams. Our van being out of commission stresses out the Husband and he doesn't like taking the only vehicle that works and leaving me and the kids stranded. What if something happens and I need to go somewhere? Then we worry that it will cost more than we can afford to fix. We're working on the O2 sensors now, and if that doesn't work then it may be the thing-a-ma-jiggity-whazit (I forget the word, sorry) and it's not cheap and we don't have that kind of money in the bank.

Usually I am the go-with-the-flow kind of gal, but talking about money before I close my eyes at night screwed me up and it wove itself into my dreams. I know things will work out, they always do, and I need to give my worries up to God and focus on what I need to do.

At least my life is not as bad as poor turtle here-- getting run over by a car and then not being able to see. I can't imagine what kind of pain he must be in and how long has he been like that?

Speaking of not being able to see, my dad just had surgery for his eye today, unexpectedly and without the surgery, he would lose sight in that eye. I hope the surgery is a success; they won't know until next week. I love you Dad, hope everything goes alright. xoxo

So, perspective? We'll deal with the van, at least we have our health.