Monday, March 31, 2014

Grandma Gals - Annual Grand-daughter Party

Growing up, my father's mother would have "grandma-grandaughter" sleepovers with all her grand-daughters. She would make, or buy, matching pajamas and give out gifts and we would play at her house. 

By the time I was old enough to go to them, she had almost 50 grandchildren so she would have smaller nights inviting grandchildren of the same age over so they could enjoy a night together. 

I loved having a chance to go be at my grandmothers with my cousins and getting treats and playing games. 

My grandmother went blind when I was young so the opportunities were fewer and fewer as I got older. and I don't know if my younger sisters ever even had the opportunity to go to one of grandma's sleepovers. 

My mother liked the events that my grandmother had with sleepovers, so when she started having her own grandchildren she started to do sleepovers. She always broke it down into "boys" and "girls" sleepovers. 

She started doing them on her own when the grandkids were young. She would have them over and sit in the hot tub, paint fingernails and watch movies and having treats. 

Over the years as the number of her grandchildren has grown, she has had to figure out ways how to make it work and asking for help as needed. 
Since her near death experience a few years ago, she has had to ask for more help with the parties (Click here to read about her almost dying.) as her short term memory has been a problem since the brain infection. 

About a year after the hospitalization, we planned this fun event where she taught the girls about make-up and color coding which has to do with the colors that look best on specific color types and she taught about face shapes and hairstyles which look best on certain face shape. 

My mother was a beauty queen and model and has taught charm and those type of things for most of her adult life. She has traveled the world many times and wanted to share that information with her grand-daughters. However, getting kids of age 5 to age 20 in a room together and trying to teach them anything doesn't always work well. During the "Make-up" section, I could see that she was losing many of the girls. Some of the older girls started to get "silly" and we all ended up decorating each others faces with designs and shapes. 

It turned into such a fun night and I have to credit my mother, even though she had this idea that she wanted it to be a learning night, she understood when the girls just wanted to have a fun night with their cousins so she joined in the fun and allowed the girls to draw on her face. I helped "fix" the face up and we all went to the store to purchase treats with our fun faces. 

We had a great photo shoot where I took "model" type photos of all the girls in their fun faces and in different poses around the house and yard. The girls wore themselves out and had a fun sleep over with breakfast in the morning. 

There are so many kids and trying to do something at the houses makes it hard for everyone to sleep comfortably so for her last big Grandma-gals night, she decided to pay for the girls to all attend an amusement park. I packed up the food for the day and we had a great day riding the rides and having fun with grandma. My mother tired out halfway through the day and I was tired of pushing her around as she doesn't walk well so my niece took her home to rest later in the afternoon when she had to leave for work. 

The girls slept over or at their own homes and then the next night, we went to a drive in movie and grandma provided the snacks and paid for everyone to get in. 

These can be as much work as you want or simple and easy like having it at a pizza amusement center or roller rink. The biggest thing, is spending time with the grand-kids and allowing cousins to enjoy their time together. 

My mother tries to make it when my out of state family is in town already.  I wish I had more pictures of the ones when my girls were young but I don't have those scanned so I used the more recent ones for the post. 

I do have a picture on the wall and took a picture of it to show one when she took all the girls and dressed them up into "prom" type dresses and gave them each a porcelain doll that looked like they look. She then hired a photographer (he actually took the pictures of her wedding) that she has known for years and had him take this picture of all her grand-daughters together with her. I was expecting my youngest Princess when this picture was taken. Princess number four is front and center in this photo. 

Several of these grand-daughters now have daughters of their own. Three in fact. I am sure it won't be long until my sisters and I will be having our own "Grandma gals" parties. 

I wish I had more professional pictures of our extended family but it has always been a struggle to get everyone together for those type of pictures so we have to be happy with the pictures I do have.  .

Friday, March 28, 2014

Ugg - 30 Years and Going Strong - Care and Washing Instructions

I lived in New Zealand for my Jr. year of high school. While living in New Zealand, people wore boots all the time, summer, winter etc. They wouldn't ever wear socks with the boots and they always talked about how comfortable the boots were. They would keep the boots by the door and just slip them on and slip them off as they would come and go. 

I figured I would need to buy a pair and try them out before I came home. I went to the store there and bought the pair pictured in the picture. I still wear these boots. 

I've worn these boots every winter for 30 years and they are still functional. 

Last year, I got them caught on a piece of metal and it ripped and then continued ripping and since then, they haven't done very well. 

The soles are still in quite good condition and the seams are still holding but where they ripped, I sewed them and they are getting so old now that they rip. 

Because of my love of these boots, and my girls wearing them for things over the years, they all wanted a pair. About 10 years ago, my sister bought me the pair of Ugg boots on the top left picture. She had me for Christmas and worked at Nordstroms and bought me that pair. I have worn them for ten years now and you can see that the seams are coming unsewn with the sole that they have on them.

The soles on those boots are stiff plastic and are hard. When I walk in the snow, they slide on the snow and many times, I have almost fallen and I am sure I have fallen a few times.

Over the years, I have found good deals on Uggs and bought several of my girls a pair. Princess Two has a pair that laces up the front but she isn't near me so I don't have a picture. They are really cute and stylish. 

The others are all different colors. I noticed the other day when we were together that three of us were wearing them so I took a picture as I wanted to do a post about this. 

My sister bought my father a pair at the same time she bought me mine. He didn't think he would wear them but now, he wears them all the time. 

Over the years, they started making them in China and you can see how the stitches and soles have changed since they were made. The newer one's have a much better sole and have some rubber stuck in the soles so that they don't have the slippage problem that the others had.

The sole of the pair I bought are still quite good. The ones I got from my sister are the hard rubber plastic but the boot doesn't stay attached as well. The newer ones are the grey one's that have "Ugg" written in the middle and have a more similar sole to the ones that I bought 30 years ago.

Obviously these boots will get dirty on the inside and out. I have washed them over the years. You have to wash them in cold water. I have done it by hand a few times but find the gentle cycle on the washing machine to do a great job. 

I first spray the inside with "Zout" and rub the inside with my fingers to loosen the wool. 

Then I wash with regular detergent on COLD cycle. If you use warm or hot, they will shrink so NEVER use hot or warm. Once they are washed, NEVER put them in the dryer. I either put them over a heat vent or put them in the sun to dry. 

I put a water bottle in boot to hold up the leg part of the boot. I also put dryer sheets in the bottom of the feet to help them smell good. 

The inside can be brushed if it needs it but real wool should fluff up on its own when it is washed.  If you look at the inside of my 30 year plus old boots, you can see that it is still fluffy and soft.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ice, Ice Baby - Replacing an Ice Maker in the Freezer or Fridge

I am an iceaholic. I put ice in anything I drink. When I have an headache, I can't take drinking coke without ice as I really don't like the taste. 

When I drink the Vitamin C "Emergency" drinks, I don't like the taste either so putting ice in them keeps it cold enough that I don't taste it so much. 

The other day, the ice maker got stuck. It happens sometimes, I am not sure why. I usually pour a little bit of hot water in the ice area and it will melt it enough that the maker will then start up again. 

Other times, if the fridge door is left ajar a little, the ice will get stuck to the bar that regulates the "on/off" switch. 

I tried several things to get the ice maker to work and pushed the mechanism as it kept getting stuck half way into the ice and was stopping half way into the cycle. I then tried to melt the ice with a hair dryer. It would melt the ice and the maker would go around but then the water wouldn't go into the maker.

I have been VERY frustrated not having any ice since I didn't know it was broken, I dumped out the ice after using the warm water to thaw it and I thought it would be working soon so I had NO ice for a day and a half. I know it seems silly but I truly use ice daily. 

I went to a second hand store after going out of town to meet Princess Three for lunch. I COULDN'T believe it when my EXACT ice maker was at the second hand store for $6. People can think what they may but I KNOW my Heavenly Father LOVES ME!  

It may seem like a little thing to others who don't use ice but for me, it would have been VERY stressful for me not to have an ice maker. I thought I would just buy bagged ice and dump it into my container. 

BUT, instead, my Father in Heaven blessed me with the only ice maker I have EVER seen at a second hand store in my life. And, for $6. 

I called my repair man asking if he thought my maker was repairable and he told me that once it starts acting like that, it isn't safe to keep it as it can cause flooding or other problems. I have already had him replace it once a few years ago.

He told me that the one for sale was probably one someone took out of a freezer to upgrade it for one that does water and ice in the door. He told me that $6 was a great deal and it would be worth taking a chance to see if it works. 

He did say that you can get one off a fridge or freezer that is getting recycled if I needed as well but it would probably be used and dirty but this one was clean and the exact same as my maker! 

Basically, it takes 3 screws to replace the maker. 

First, unplug the fridge. Then, take out the three screws holding the maker in place. You can see in the picture of the side where the three holes for screws are. The plastic clip is easy to remove. You pull out the little edge and unplug the harness. 

To put the new one in, you just plug the harness into the fridge clip and then screw in the three screws. I made a video of me doing it for youtube and you can see that here. There is one screw on the bottom and two on the top. I am enjoying my ICE, ICE Baby! 

I had to add something here; I gave a prayer of gratitude to Him for sending me the ice maker. When I finished praying, I was walking to my bedroom singing "I know you love me, I know you like me." from the movie "Miss Congeniality" when I looked at the clock and started laughing out loud. The clock was at 1:11. Just had to share that with you. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Trust in Me - God Vs Satan

If you read my blog, you will know that I have a section just for "Trust in Me" moments when I find coins etc. I was thinking the other day about the "trust in me" song from the jungle book where Moglie is sleeping in the tree and the snake Kaa mesmerizes him into submission using his "dazzling" eyes and things of the world and slowly takes him to a place where he isn't able to use his senses clearly. This lures Moglie into being trapped in a situation where he is almost killed because he wasn't paying attention to what was going on around him.

This is similar to the Casino situation. They lure you in by the lights, no windows, money clinking sounds, and give you free drinks to dull your senses. They keep it dark, no windows and don't let you know what time it is. Everything is BIG giving you the perspective you are small.

Here is a link to Mowgli's attempt to keep away from Kaa but he stays long enough that he doesn't get away. Only through someone's help does he get free. Shere Kahn, the tiger just happens to be passing and hears the song of the snake. Sometimes, people can be put into our paths that help us and can be inspirational in getting us out of the traps that Satan sets.

"Trust in Me" is what Satan wants, trusting in money, power, people, ourselves and the devices that can lure us into a sure trap such as alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography and gambling. Eventually, people find out that those are really empty cups and there is nothing in them to satisfy ourselves. We get to the bottom and see how far we are in the trap and assume there is no way out.

God, 12 step programs, family, friends, coaches, and others, can be the answer to helping us get out of the traps Satan set to lure us in.

Trust in HIM, would be a better way to get through our lives. Each time I see a coin, I remember to Trust in Him. You can find something that reminds you where your trust needs to be and something that can help you stay clear of the traps that first snagged you into the trap to begin with.

RUN from "friends" or situation that can lead you down into that trap again. Find friends and support people who will be there for you when you need it. When tempted to go down that path again, plan a game party or a movie night and surround yourself with people who will help you feel connected to people rather than trying to connect with the addiction. 

Everyone has their addictions weather it be something seemingly mild such as caffeine, spending time on the internet, romance novels, watching movies or tv to bigger things such as drugs, alcohol, pornography or sexual addictions. No matter what our addictions, treating them is all same. Overcoming them on our own is very difficult. 

In the end, it is hard to overcome it by yourself. Putting your trust in Him is the only way to truly overcome those traps that Satan lures us into.   

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Tangled Wig Got Tangled

I have a few wigs that the kids have used for skits over the years. Here is link to several boys wearing our wigs for a skit Princess Four did for student body president.

With that, we have had to comb them out and re-curl them several times. I have always used the spray in conditioning spray to get them to comb out. 

After I posted this post here, Here is a post where I show how to fix Barbie, doll and Puppets hair, curling, combing and styling them. a friend told me her friend used to use a few drops of Dawn dish-washing detergent in water to comb out her daughters dolls hair etc. 
I haven't tried that ever as this way has worked just fine for us but I have to say that the tangled "Tangled" wig didn't comb out as well as I would have liked. 

Normally, when I comb out a wig with the conditioner spray, It ends up being smooth and I am able to ringlet it. However, this time, the frizzy part stayed frizzy. It may be that someone at some point tried to use a straightener or something on it which made it frizzy but just that one section is frizzy. 

Basically, to comb out a wig, you get a towel to catch any hair that breaks or comes loose. You can make your own conditioning spray by adding about 3 tablespoons of conditioner to a spray bottle and then filling it with warm water. Shake vigorously and you are ready. 
I like a soft bristly brush rather than a comb or stiff brush as they pull out more hair. 

Start by spraying the wig lightly with the conditioner and start brushing it out. I do a section at a time starting by brushing at the bottom. The knots will untangle and then as you work your way up the hair, it should get less and less difficult. 
If you start at the top and there are lots of tangles down from there, you end up ripping out more hair. This is the best way to work on kids tangled hair as well. Especially if the hair is long. It hurts and pulls more hair starting at the top. work your way from the bottom tangle up. 

Once you have them all combed out, you can use sponge rollers to curl the wig. It should still be damp from the conditioning spray so you just have to pick up small sections and start rolling. You can use any type of roller, even hot rollers that aren't hot. Just anything that will give you the size or curl you are looking for. 

NEVER use a hot item to curl or straighten a wig. Some are synthetic and will melt. It is just easier to stick with rollers for this. 

Princess Four had fun modeling the wigs for me. She has always had very long hair (click here for posts about that one and two) and her little person on our finger print wall is Rapunzel so I thought it fitting that she be the "Tangled"  wig model. See the post about our finger print wall here.

No matter what her hair looks like, Princess is beautiful!  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Touring Gratitude

Princess Four is going on a tour with her community choir over Easter break.

It is about $500 and I put some money on it a few months ago as it was due but I guess they had the wrong "Due date" on the letter they sent recently so, I thought I had more time to come up with the money. 

There are a few things coming I need to pay for, one is Princess Four's school fees as she can't graduate in a few months unless they are paid off. The school advised me to pay her fees and let Princess Five's fees slide if I need so that Princess Four can graduate. 

I kinda thought that would be funny since she is supposed to speak at graduation. I wonder what they would do if I didn't get the $400 for her I owe paid in time. I don't think I want to figure that one out and I am sure they don't want to wonder about it either so rather than causing Princess Four that stress, I need to find a way to earn that money. My Heavenly Father has always provided ways for me to cover the bills on things so I have to be grateful for his loving hand. 

Princess Two has been posting things on a yardsale site so she can help pay back or pay it forward to her sisters as I covered all these same things for her. She did dance, choir and a graduation tour as well as a mission with no cost to her so she has wanted to help her sisters have that same blessing in their lives. 

Some gracious and generous person taped an envelope to our front door over Christmas with $100 in it. Then, Princess two has been slowly selling $5 items online which led to todays blessing. 

I had someone come to pick up a few games that she listed that we had that were still new and unwrapped. They paid $25 for them combined and with that, I pulled out the money from the envelope as the tour fee was supposed to be paid this week. When I counted the money I was going to deposit this week to cover the tour cost.... It was within $3 of the last tour payment. 

No one can tell me that God isn't watching out for my princesses. How did I happen to have that exact amount needed to cover that payment on the day it was due? HE loves my girls and shows me, and them, daily how much He loves us. I will gladly send in that last payment for her tour and look forward to seeing how He will bless us in being able to cover the other two major things I need to cover before graduation. 

He does send angels and I thank the angel that taped the $100 to our door over the holiday. I always think that at some point, I will be blessed to be on the giving end but then, I think about what I am able to do for others and think that money isn't the only way to help others and I am grateful He blessed me with talents I can use to help others in different ways. 

Thank YOU for sharing your blessings and talents with my family.... We are truly blessed! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Old Folks in the House - Character Dance - Part 2

I added a video of the girls doing the dance in yesterday's post. Today, I am going to add a video of the girls getting ready to go on the floor. They were being so funny. 

Click here to see that video. They were all dancing to a Tina Turner song that someone else was doing a dance to at the time. They were all in character and were quite funny. 

This post has more pictures of the girls doing what they do so well. 

It is funny but you really can't even tell them apart from the other girls unless you know where they are standing during the dance. 

As they performed more and more, they got better at adding age lines and then they decided to add mustaches and eyebrows. 

The girls had fun doing this dance but I had fun watching them. I kept trying to find the girls and take pictures but they kept moving where they were in the dance. 

I love these two pictures with the girls doing spread eagles.
It was fun that I could catch them in action. I hope you have enjoyed this last week of dance pictures. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Old Folks in the House - Character Dance - Part 1

As I posted in a post last week, I have been doing these competitions for years and I have to say, as far as crowd pleasing dances, this years "Character" dance was one of the largest crowd pleasing dances in years. 

When you compete and see the 5-A teams, and your team is small, it can sometimes be depressing when you see the entire team on stilts or on unicycles. 

However, this year our girls did a dance that got people standing in the audience every performance. 

They did a dance spoofing old people. At first, I was a bit worried it would be offensive to the older people in the crowd but the girls did such a great job that it became more of a "roast" about getting old than being offensive. 
Click here to see the dance on youtube.The girls did have fun doing it but there wasn't much difficulty in the dance so even though it was a crowd pleaser, it didn't do well in the judging category. 

At all the competitions, the other teams fans would comment on how cute the dance was and how creative the music along with the idea was. 

Princess Four was the "main" man and everyone said they couldn't take their eyes off her as she was so funny in the role. 

I chuckled over and over each time I saw her do the dance. She and the "Main" female do a little dance at the beginning where he is flirting with her and they do some dancing. It is cute to see them dancing. 

At first, the girls were upset they didn't get to be females as the women get to do more difficult dance moves than the men. 

But as the months passed, they realized that both parts have character (as in the name of the dance) so they both settled into their roles and enjoyed getting ready and making the most of the part. 

You can see Princess Five in the upper right two photos doing her thing and strutting her stuff. 

I am going to do a second post on this as there were such fun pictures and the costumes changed a bit as glasses, eyebrows and mustaches were added along the way.