-A mostly true journey of a girl, her man and their three kids; all trying to live harmoniously in a house somewhere in Utah. Names and exact locations may be changed in order to protect the grouchy...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fly on the Wall: December 2014

Hey there!  Welcome to the December Fly on the Wall Group Challenge. This month, 14 amazing bloggers and I are describing what it would be like if you were to take a peek inside our homes....



Have a "look" around mine, and then go visit the other blogger's pages. There's always something fun, sentimental, or better yet, embarrassing going on. It's like your house, only we're admitting to the craziness. You have our permission. Buzz on over!

Cast:
The man
Alex, the eldest (daughter, 21) 
C., The middle (son, 16)
J., The youngest (son, 10)
Henry and Lila- The dogs

Making the Olive Garden all it can be:
Alex to the Man (both are breadstick lovers): "You know what they need, Dad? They need a buzzer. When we get to that last breadstick, when our hand just touches it, the waitstaff should hear a buzz."
The Man: "Yes! Once we lift the breadstick to our mouths, the buzzers should become louder and louder, like a warning signal."
J: "Yeah! They could give off electric shocks!
Alex: "Wow. That escalated quickly...But, it might just work."

Naiveté you say?
I went with the teenager to pick my youngest up from school. There were four kids in the in front of us and they were playing instruments. IN THE CAR!
Me to the teenager: "Isn't that the oddest thing? What kind of teens play clarinets in their car?"
My son: (rolling his eyes) "None. Mom. Those are NOT clarinets. Those are hookahs."
I looked it up. He was right. I'm 100 years old.

Christmas time is near:
After 10 years, I finally run out of wrapping paper. Now, my husband's Christmas present looks like he will be celebrating his sweet 16. Or his diamond anniversary.

***
Alex to me: "Mom, I really didn't think this through."
Me: "What?"
Alex: "Being married. I just realized I won't wake up here on Christmas morning! I don't know if I'm ready for that."
Me: "Well, you two are welcome to sleep overnight here on Christmas Eve."
Alex: (relieved) "Oh. Okay!"
Me: "Um, don't you want to talk it over with your husband, first?"
Alex: "Why?"
***
Go, you chicken fat, go away:

We changed the dog's vat-o-food bucket to tiny, individual bowls. We're feeding them twice a day and walking with them each morning. Poor Lila. She loves to walk. She loves the whole pomp and circumstance of getting her leash, putting her coat in her teeth, getting to the door, and heading out. First though, I have to put on her coat. Each time, I velcro the first piece around her neck and she pants at me like we're BFFs. It's not until I go to put the large velcro attachment around her belly that she looks away. Each time, it's still a bit taut. She won't make eye contact with me. It's like I'm not even in the room. Once on, Lila heads out the door like nothing shameful has happened. We have the same soul. Together, we're going to work on it.

Not related: New lesson learned: Don't stuff stockings with dog treats and expect the stockings to neatly stay in their place.
Lila: "I'm not ready to talk about my figure right now. I am willing to talk about bacon, though."
Henry felt left out of the photo session.

Finally:

A fly on the wall would have seen me beaming with pride over the people up in that photo. The kid in the plaid has been singing his heart out in his school choir. The girl in pink? She just put away another successful semester of college. The young man in the tux just finished his winter band concert and was elected president of his high school's MESA program. The man? He holds us all up. I've said it a million times, the accolades are awesome, but the fact that those people up there are kind, supportive AND hilarious? Well, that makes my world go 'round.

Happy holidays, friends  :)
-Michele

Fly on over and check out all of this month's participants:

Baking in a Tornado                          
Just a Little Nutty                                
The Momisodes                                          
Spatulas on Parade                          
The Sadder but Wiser Girl                                   
Follow Me Home                           
Stacy Sews and Schools                 
Menopausal Mother                          
Battered Hope                            
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                                 
Juicebox Confession                    
Risa Nye                                     
The Bergham's Life Chronicles               
Cluttered Genius                                    
              

Friday, December 12, 2014

Use Your Words: December 2014

Today’s post is a writing challenge created by Karen @ Baking in A TornadoThis is how it works: 11 participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, but there's a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who received their words or in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.


At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featured in this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they were given and how they used them. 
My words are: 

Elf ~ massacre ~ tinsel ~ but ~ bloody

They were submitted by: Stacy@http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/

Stacy was a participant in Tuesday's "Blog with Friends" Hop. She gave an adorable tutorial on how to make an Elf Hat and Shoes. Her project turned out so well, I decided to give it a try.

Stacy designed her elf patterns for her cute kids, but I made mine for, well, you know-who.





Now. Before you tell me what a bloody fool I am for dressing up my fur babies, you should know that I was preparing for pictures for Christmas Cards. (Oh, be grateful I didn't go with my first idea of dressing them as Christmas Trees, covered in tinsel.)


The elf costumes led to a conversation with my youngest about the story, "The Shoemaker's Elves." I explained how I sometimes wished the story were true; that elves would be able to complete all of the unfinished projects/jobs/chores we couldn't get to. 

"Would you want the elves to write your blog posts and sew your projects?" the youngest asked?

"Hmm. NO. I don't know. Maybe..." I answered.
"But what if that COULD happen?" he wondered aloud.
"Haha. Elves? In MY craft room? It already looks like a massacre took place in there. I think even mythical creatures would have to draw the line at the doorway of that hot mess. For safety's sake." I joked. "Unless the elves were working from their own homes... Yeah, that might work."

That idea led to this: We call it, "Outsourcing." 






I wonder if those elves know how to grocery shop and pay the electric bill...

Thanks for the words and the inspiration, Stacy :)


Happy Friday, my two and four-legged friends.

-Michele

Check out all the cool kids participating this week:

Baking in a Tornado                              
Spatulas on Parade                          
Follow Me Home                            
Battered Hope                                 
Stacy Sews and Schools                      
The Bergham's Life Chronicles                       
Evil Joy Speaks                        
Juicebox Confession                             
Eileen's Perpetually Busy                 
Confessions of a part-time working mom                         
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo                                 


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Blog With Friends: December Edition!

Jolly Jinglers-UNITE!

Hello friends! Welcome to December's edition of "Blog With Friends!" We are 8 bloggers who've joined together to bring you some holiday love. There is something fun for everyone!
After my project, click on each blog post project title you'd like to visit. When you get to each blog, leave some comment love.  Everyone adores visitors. If you have a project you'd like to share, join in on our blog hop at the very end of the post. Happy Holidays, everyone!


First up, my Cloth Tree Tutorial:

An adorable teacher's aide taught me how to make these trees. They're easy enough for kids to make. Create them for gifts or holiday decor. (Thanks for the idea, Mary Lee!)


Materials:
  • 1/8 yard of holiday cotton fabric (any color.) I used various fat quarters. Scraps are perfect for this craft.
  • 6" square of fabric or brown craft paper for base
  • Ruler to measure fabric strips
  • Sticks or dowels for your tree. Any length you'd like. My sticks are about 10" long. The dowels are only 5".
  • Scissors for cutting fabric. I used regular and pinking shears.
  • Clay (for stabilizing tree.)
Optional:
  • glue
  • buttons
  • thin wire
  • string
  • pipe cleaners 
Warnings: 
Scissors are sharp; don't run with them.
Sticks are sharp; Don't use them as swords.
Little ones should be careful not to put buttons in their mouths.
Be safe, people.

1. Grab fabric and cut tiny 1/2 inch slits along the top of it. (with the grain) You can cut along these slits with regular scissors or pinking shears. Another fun way to get the strips is to simply tear down the length of the fabric. Kids love this. My strips were about 6-8 inches long. Cut at least 5 strips per inch of tree.

Here are examples of what the strips will look like (left to right) if torn, cut or pinked.

2. Starting about 1/4 of the way up the tree, tie a strip into a knot. Pull both strips to one side. Repeat above that knot with another. Pull those in the opposite direction. Each time, turn your strips away from each other. After the first two, tie the next knots and twist them in the opposite direction. Think of looking down on the tree as a clock. the first two strip ties go at 9 and 3. The second two will face 12 and 6. Repeat over and over until you reach the top of the tree. You can use shorter strips near the top. I just trim if needed.

3. After the strips are on the tree, use a ball of clay to keep it from falling over. The picture is just to show you how to stand it up. Save this step until after the strips are tied on.

4. Trace and cut out a circle larger than the base of your tree onto fabric or brown paper. 

5. Wrap around the base of your tree and tie with a string. You're done!!

 If you'd like, you can add a star to your tree using pipe cleaners or buttons. I strung mine with light weight wire and wrapped it around the top of my tree. 

 Also, you could glue assorted buttons to the fabric.

Here are a few examples of different trees I made.
A. Made on a paper towel roll. Glued buttons. Ornament star.
B. 5" dowel, sequined string base. Pinked Fabric. Angel button top.
C. Branch base, pipe cleaner star.
D. 4" dowel, star charm

If you make your own holiday tree, I'd love to see it! Any questions? You know what to do. Hit me up in the comment section WAAAAAAAY down at the end of this post :)

Don't forget to stop by the other "Jolly Jinglers" participating this month:

Lydia, of Cluttered Genius shows us how to make beautiful Twisted Paper Angels

Karen, from Baking in a Tornado has a recipe for her Incredible Edible Christmas Trees

Stacy, from Stacy Sews and Schools has created an adorable tutorial for Elf hats and shoes!

Melissa, from Home on Deranged shows us her High Tech Version of Affordable Stocking Stuffers.

Robin, from Someone Else's Genius has created a tutorial for her Simply Festive Wreath

Sarah, from The Momisodes has some Christmas Book Goodness to share!

Christy, from Uplifting Families shows us her Handprint Christmas Wreaths.

Link up your own holiday post idea below!



Happy Tuesday, Friends!

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