Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Little Libraries

For my birthday I chose to make up a sheet for the kids to fill out and we went exploring to the Little Free Libraries in the area.

Anna was the only one who could write so I have a couple extra sheets for another time.  Maybe in the summer when we need something fun to do.

Some are more adult and some are kids but we swapped at all of them.  One was off limits because it was only used by the preschoolers there but they did direct me to one that was not on my list at Neighbors Park in Cedar Falls.

I love the recycling of phone booths and the old newspaper dispenser too.

This one has a bench so you can read what you find here.

Here are the ones we ended up with today, a lot of Curious George and a few board books.  There was a craft one that Anna is really excited about too.  We made a Goodwill run to get a few more because the kids wanted to keep some of the ones they got.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

Toddler Supplies

Here are some items that I use a lot, meaning each month for one of my 3 kids.  

This white thing- oral syringe adapter goes in the top of the liquid Tylenol or Ibuprofen or a kids prescription medication.  It helps to get out much of the fluid and makes it easy to measure out quickly when you have a kid screaming next to you.

I have separate thermometers for rectal and oral measurements.  With kids you want it fast and this is a good one for that.  Put on some lubrication like the bag balm below or KY and get their temperature quickly.  You can buy a generic one of these, it is the speed that counts.

I had Dreft for my first child but when you have a bunch of people in your house you don't have time to wash baby clothes separately.  For even my daughter with eczema, All Mighty Pacs work.  This I stay with the name brand.  You can look for coupons online and Sam's has 120 for about $14 last time I checked.

Prell is the family shampoo.  Only a dot works for the kids and it doesn't irritate them.  I find it on the bottom shelf at CVS and Kmart.

Dove is the soap my grandma used.  I use it too because my skin feels great and doesn't dry out like with other soaps.  Again this works well for my daughter with eczema.  I go for the scents that my husband can go to work smelling like.  Don't use the exfoliating kind on babies because it is a bit abrasive.

We just buy the big container and keep it open in the winter.  Again this is recommended by our doctor for helping with eczema and frequently there are coupons for Eucerin coupons.

Vermont's Original; Bag Balm is the hardest for me to find.  Last time I found it on Amazon.  I found it at Hyvee and CVS here.  This works on diaper rash, cuts, cracked nipples and helps soften hands.  It also helps with taking our splinters where you just put in on the splinter and a band aid over it.  It gets sucked out.

Hyland Teething Tablets are my friend.  Talk to your doctor about this one.  They worked with Jonathan to calm him down for Ibuprofen to work.  I kept some in my purse and one a shelf, everywhere when he had them coming in.  There is an organic barbiturate in them so use them responsibly.  

Saturday, February 7, 2015


We do projects, crafts, drawings, wood work, and kit bashing.  Here is Lilly and Jonathan designing a quilt together.

Ryan found a door for $5 at Lowe's and we will put it with our other loose wood for a layout some day.  The kids helped take off the hinges and door frame.  Anna and Lilly got to use the screw gun.

Lilly stopped moving only for a minute...

Lilly is helping me sand a replacement table top from Home Depot.  I found an ashtray table and we are just using the base.  It had two supports for the top and Ryan made another one including the profile and counter sinking the holes for the wood screws.  

I glued and started painting it today.  I am too tired to get a picture of that right now.

Jonathan found a cup of sugar split in the cupboard and is helping clean up.

Monday, February 2, 2015


I have learned that not all people like to craft.

I am surprised.


They don't know how.  Don't want to fail?  Have failed before...

I have failed miserably but I keep at it.  I am glad God gave me Ryan when I can't force something he had another perspective.  I do the same for him.

These are magnets we made at Anna's slumber party.  Magnets, pictures from magazines and little round magnets held together with Elmer's glue. You can use anything for this and they did.  One girl wasn't crafty so I made some for her from the sheet that comes with Shopkins.

The bathroom is more craftiness than I think I wanted.  It started with a little pealing paint and between the two of us we have stripped the walls, repainted the ceiling, walls, replaced the fan and did dry wall work, trim, replaced the guts of the sink, took out 5 layers of floor and done our first tiling job and we still are not done.  It took 3-4 trips to box stores to get the guts to fix the sink.  I was ready to just caulk it all together but Ryan had the perseverance to make it work.  It doesn't leak, neither does the toilet now.

I need to paint the trim for the top of the wainscoting and Ryan gets to install that.  Then I think we are done.  

We work together, we are help mates.  Neither of us knows it all but though our mistakes it works.

This is the lettering on the Jeffrey Storage Battery Truck.  Ryan built it and I got to make it pretty.  We used car paint so it would endure the weather and look cool.  I learned that you can't spay paint out of a paint can and then brush it on, there is a propellant and it looks horrible.  My mistake so I got a touch up paint pen and did the lettering.  I kept at it and it looks great - 5 to 6 coats later.

What ever you are good at, keep doing it.  You will fail but when you succeed you will feel great and others will admire your work.  

God gave us all a tool box and they are not the same. That is why cool stuff happens.

Monday, January 19, 2015

$100 continued

So we took care of the fundraiser at Lilly's school for $21.

Then Anna and Lilly talked about the dog treats.  Lilly decided on 3 bags.  Anna and I guessed $21.  We have cats so its a guess.  We will go up to the amount but not over.  This is a budget.

We went to Kmart and they were having several sales so this is what we got for $20.30.  I helped with the math and she chose the ones with the happiest dogs on the front.

Anna had chosen to also make blankets for the animals.

We also gave $30 to a Christmas store at our church.

Then we purchased a toy for the salvation army toy drive with the remainder.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

$100 and how to spend it

We put aside $100 for good causes this December.  I handed it to my oldest and said "Here is $100."  You should have seen the smile.  Then I told her that we have this money to help others.  We have to figure out what we can and can't help with this month.

She then started making a chart of what we wanted to help out:
Church Gift Shop - for teens
Humane Society - Blankets and Dog Treats
Lilly's School Fund Raiser
Salvation Army -toys

She made some allocations and we talked about what we had already promised to do.

Here is her chart:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

purring cat

Anna is napping next to me.   Shay is napping on top of both of us.  When I pet shay he likes it.  When I use Anna's hand to touch Shay he purrs.