Friday, December 29, 2017

More Traditions - Strep as Well

I woke all night with a throat so sore I couldn't swallow. There were people at our family parties that had strep and I think I was so worn down with long hours traveling etc that I just couldn't fight it off.

I woke about five times in the night and took "Thieves" oil in my mouth and it killed and numbed the pain so I could sleep but after an hour or two, the pain was back and I would take another few drops in my mouth.  

I was super tired and laying on the couch both yesterday and today and was so tired I didn't watch anything or do anything which is SO unlike me. I just laid with my eyes closed exhausted. I took GSE, Colloidal Silver, and Thieves oil and lots of vitamin C but seem to be fighting more than just strep as my stomach has also been iffy today.

I did a puzzle with Princess Five in the afternoon as taking all that stuff today, I was feeling a bit better but we watched a few musicals we hadn't seen before and just rested. I had a game night invite and was sad I couldn't go as they don't happen very often but I didn't want to share what was shared with me so I declined on the games. 

We did two puzzles this holiday and it was fun to sit and visit with a few of the girls who helped finish them. I really have a hard time not doing anything. I wanted so much to feel better so I could work on my dad's quilt that I wanted to finish before Christmas but was just so lethargic that it didn't happen. 

I wanted to share a few pictures of our "PJ" tradition and our "candy trail" tradition. Princess Two told me that I needed to make a trail still. We use candy most years but sometimes I will use movies or games to make the trail but Princess Five isn't eating sweets and is doing fabulous at that, I am gluten free and don't like most candy so that left three people to eat whatever I put down so I put down some blue fruities as I know they all like those. It was a lame trail but it fulfilled her wish to have a trail. 

Here is a link to our original Candy Trail tradition post in 2010.
Here is the post for 2011 showing movies along with the candy.
Here is one for 2015 showing games as that was our theme for Christmas that year.  

I was glad I had a pair of pj's to fit Princess Three's friend but he was a good sport wearing a small sweat shirt for the pictures as I hadn't planned well in that way not knowing he was coming when I purchased the sweatshirts.
Here is the first post on our pajama tradition in 2010.
Here is a post about our pj's tradition from 2012
Here is the one from 2014.
Here is one from 2015. 
Here is the post from 2016.

Here is a post about my family traditions while I was growing up with some fun pictures of us lined up for Christmas morning. 

In the end, we had a great time with all the traditions and I wanted to share some pictures of them just to keep up the tradition this year. I am sorry I have been lame at blogging this busy week but hope I feel better next week! 

Have a BLESSED Day!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Shortest Line-Up Ever - Tradition

If you are new to our blog, you won't know that we line up before going in to see presents Christmas morning. 

My family lined up every year before entering and getting presents and we also had to eat a boiled egg and a half of a grapefruit as my mother wanted us to have something healthy before we had any Christmas candy. 

I have posted about this before,
here is a link to a post from 2015.  
Here is a line up from 2011. 
Here is the post from 2010.

I spent a few minutes looking for a picture I saw the other day with my siblings and I lined up but can't remember where it is in the back up drive. I showed it to one of the girls so I know it was there somewhere.... 

Not feeling so great today with sore throat and super tired. I think I overdid it yesterday and hope I feel better tomorrow.

Have a BLESSED Day!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Felize Navidad - Wishing You A Merry Christmas

Like I shared for the past two days, we are enjoying family time together but I haven't missed any days on my account since I started blogging years ago.

So, I wanted to post and share something with you so I forgot that the girls tried singing a non-traditional Christmas Carol before the two songs they did sing and they were being so silly at first with me video taping songs they had never sung that I was worried I wouldn't get any good videos songs but they pulled it out at the end for me.

Here is their first try at a song for me. I am not sure if they are saying the Spanish words correctly but this is the only duet of the three songs and even though they are silly, it is fun to watch.

I hope you enjoy this and that you are enjoying a wonderful Christmas Vacation from the stresses of life!

Remember the Reason for the Season! Have a BLESSED Day!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merriest Christmas Wishes To You

We have been enjoying being together so much. I haven't wanted to spend anytime blogging so my blog posts will be short for the next few days as I am trying to spend as much time as I can with the girls. Princess Three brought a friend home for the holiday and even though he has been outnumbered four to one, he has held his own! 

We have been enjoying playing games, watching movies, visiting, and of course EATING, and opening presents! 

It has been a wonderful Christmas Day getting to visit through facetime with the grandchildren and I'll share later about our blessed skype visit from our missionary Princess Four in Japan! 

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday seasons! We are surely enjoying ours as we aren't able to get together as often now with everyone working or at school! 

Please enjoy this beautiful song the girls performed for me for Christmas! They have never played or sung either of the songs they played for me but I begged them to perform and allow me to video tape as they usually tell me "later" after we have practiced but "later" never comes and I think their first try is better than most peoples after several tries so I appreciated them allowing me to video tape their one and only playing of either of these songs! I LOVE that they gave me this present. I have already listened to it a few times and love listening to them when I am blogging so I will enjoying it many more times over the years!

I appreciate that they sang a song of praise for their second song as they didn't want to do a traditional Christmas Carol, I thought it was a good choice since this is the day named after him! It is a wonderful "one and only" singing of "Hallelujah" with ukulele accompaniment. 

Have a BLESSED Boxing Day!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas From Our Family To Yours

I am super tired and we still have lots going this week but I wanted to share with you a Christmas wish from our family to yours. 

You know one of my favorite things is to have my girls sing and play songs together. I was SO happy with two of the girls said they would sing and play for me tonight after we got into our Christmas Pajamas and read the Christmas Story from the scriptures. 

I LOVE it when my girls will play for me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and that you are enjoying a wonderful Christmas Day with your family and friends! 

Aren't we truly blessed by Christ in our lives this Christmas Season! I know I am! 

I hope you have a BLESSED Christmas Day!

Friday, December 22, 2017

A Week Before Christmas In Japan - Princess Four

美人な人。bijin na Hito. Beautiful people! 元気?!genki?? Are you well?! I just realized that the next time I email you is Christmas... wow! Let's just let that sink in! Also just FYI, New Years here is a big deal, and people have already lined up meals to feed us everyday, and wow. Why are people so nice!?  So Merry Christmas everyone! 

This week's miracles!!!! 
The elders both became santa and trainee santa... they were so adorable! And of course at least two kids cried, but really, I'm just so glad that the elders were able to help out the children! Too fun!

We had splits! Cutie and  Shimai. It's funny because one was just barely released as a Sister Training leader, and the other one is fluent in both English and Japanese. So really, who trained who here??? It was so good. Komura and I were able to teach a free family English program. We taught the whole first lesson in like maybe 15 minutes. It was one of the best times I think I've ever taught it.

We played a matching game to match the pamphlet pictures. The three boys were just slightly rowdy when we started, and they were all standing up. Once we started talking about Joseph smith they all slowly sat down, and the moms were trying hard to look at the pictures we were holding up.

I said the first vision, and we went into how Joseph Smith translated the  Book of Mormon. One of the moms had gone to eikaiwa before a long time ago, but she had never heard out churches beliefs. After the lesson she mentioned how she read the bible as a young girl. When she read about god knowing all of the hairs on your head she cried because her parent didn't care very much about her. So I see some really good potential! 
I also became a sannin. AKA I'm in a tripanionship! Thank you sister trainer! And.... no time.....  Love you all!

Have a Very Blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Shrinky Dink - Shrink-a-Dink - Shrinky Dinky - Magic Mini Maker - Lots of Fun

As you know, I spent a few days with my daughter and my grandchildren last week.

I enjoyed spending time with them so much. I took lots of fun activities to do with them during the days and things I know my kids enjoyed doing when they were small. 

The crafts were a hit with the grandchildren, and I look forward to doing these types of things in the future with more grandchildren as they come. I am learning which activities are functional and ones that aren't and which are best for age groups. 

I have other activities that I want to take up when Princess One has her next baby this coming spring. I am so excited to have another grandchild! 

I wanted to share with you this fun activity that I did as a child and also did with my children when they were younger.

I have heard these called several different things. I remembered them as "Shrinky Dinks" but then thought maybe they were called "Shrink-a-dinks" or "Shrinky-Dinky" but the kit I have, and that I remembered doing and have now, is called "Magic Mini Makers" so I actually searched Wiki for what they were called and here is a link to the official page.

The official name is "Shrinky Dinks" according to Wikipedia. No matter what you call them or the actual name, this is a fun activity for children. The possibilities are endless!!!! 

Basically, all you have to do is color on plastic sheeting. We used to purchase the plastic container lids from the deli and used those to make circle charms when we were children. 

Once you have the picture drawn, you need to cut them out and then lay them on a foil lined cookie sheet. They go into the oven at 300 degree for about 8 minutes but you just watch them and once they shrink and flatten, you take them out and use a spatula to press them down and flatten them as needed before they cool. 

If you are going to make a charm, you need to make sure that you punch a hole in the plastic BEFORE you shrink the picture as it won't be possible to punch a hole after. Maybe you could drill a hole after it has shrunk but it is so much easier to make the hole before. 

Grand Princess One saw me wearing my silver butterfly necklace made of real butterfly wings when I arrived and wanted her own butterfly necklace so I drew one and let her decorate it with markers and put a hole in the top before shrinking it using a hole punch. Once it was shrunk, I put necklace elastic through the hole by pushing the center of the rubber through the hole and sliding both ends into the loop that was stuck through the hole and pulling the ends through and then tying a knot tying the ends together making it into a necklace. 

She was excited about her "butterfly necklace" like grandmas and it made her happy. I then took the other shrunk handprints and a baby foot print and made refrigerator magnets for their parents to put on the fridge. 

I used tacky glue to put them onto the magnets but I think if you used super glue, you would need to let it dry well before putting them on the fridge or the weight of the plastic may pull off the magnet so let them dry flat on top of the magnet before using.

If one rips before baking it, you can shrink it still and then glue it onto paper or a magnet etc and it will glue together and hold. In the hand above, you can see there is a little break but it glued well enough to work. 

One more activity that I know kids of any age would like. You can purchase kits from $5 on up all over at stores and online. 

Have a Blessed Day! 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Cutting Larger Mats Down For a Smaller Frame

I was SOOOOOO excited to find these watercolor prints of New York City for Princess Fives room! 

As you know, I am working on making a Broadway show quilt for her. I have most if it cut and just need to finalize a few things and start sewing. I was hoping to get it finished before Christmas but have had so many things come up that I haven't been able to work on it at all. 

I am so frustrated that I haven't even started sewing the quilt I wanted to give my father for Christmas either as I cut it out in October, I thought I would have it sewn by Christmas but I have been working so hard at catching up in the house from years of neglect that it hasn't happened. 

I have to share that getting stuff cleaned out and cleaned up feels so good but I have so much more to go that sometimes I feel like I am swimming uphill! I try daily to remember all that I have gotten done as sometimes it doesn't seem like much but in reality, I know I have done lots, but to the outside eye, it still looks like a huge mess or like I got nothing done. 

Sometimes, you need to make more of a mess to make things work. I had to pull all sorts of bins of stuff out to get to what was behind so it does look like I am making more of a mess but in the end, I can get rid of lots of the stuff that was hidden behind the mess so it is going somewhere! 

These prints were at a second hand store a few weeks back and I thought they matched the cute headboard / wall print canvas I found Princess a few months back. Here is a link to see that canvas. 

Find a frame that is the size you want the final picture to be. The mats on these prints were about 2 1/2 wide and it just dwarfed the frames I was looking at using. 

Also, the person that had these used tape to just stick them on the wall and so the mats were dirty on the outside edge so I found a frame that wasn't currently being used and I wouldn't put up again and removed the glass and laid the glass over the picture and mat centering it to see how it would look cut down to the glass size. 

I showed it to Princess Five and she really liked the smaller mat on it so I used an exacto knife (box cutter) and followed the outside of the glass to cut the mat down to fit into the smaller frame. I went over the cuts again just to make sure it cut all the way through the mat. 

It popped out really easily once I ran the cutter over a few times as you can see in the pictures. 

I only had one frame so I went to the second hand store with a tape measure and found one the exact same size as the first and then cut down the second mat to fit into the new frame. 

The set came out great and cutting down the mat wasn't hard or difficult. Just remember to hold the blade straight as if you go at an angle, it can cut into the glass. Also, don't push hard on the center of the glass while cutting as the pressure can crack the glass. Keep your hands near the edges and always be careful using knives and around glass. 

Also, if there are nicks or scratches on the frame, take a Sharpie and fill in the nick and run your finger over it while it is still wet and this blends in the black filling in the nick or scratch without leaving a marker streak. I have posts about this, here is a link to one

Didn't the set come out beautiful? It will look amazing next to the cute Broadway quilt and canvas landscape. 

She caught a glimpse of something I was working on for her room to give her for Christmas the other day and she got the biggest smile on her face... I'll have to share about that on another post! 


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Easy Apron or Bib From an Old T-Shirt for Kids and Adults

When my children were little, I had those old plastic bibs that were plastic and hard. I would wipe them down and then let them dry on the back of the high chair. 

As time went on, I had a friend give me a bib she made for her kids out of a dish towel that was more of a hand towel thinking about it. She cut a hole in the top end and sewed some ribbed binding around the inside edge of the circle hole and that was a pull on type of bib. 

It obviously wasn't water proof but after the first year and a half, the kids don't typically spill on themselves when drinking so it really wouldn't need to be. It  was WELL used and you can see by this picture it is quite worn. I had it in the craft room to use as a pattern to make more but never got around to it. Now, I doubt I ever will as I love this new idea better.

When my younger kids were around, they have these pull on type with little sleeves on them and I really liked those as they were plastic on the back but more of a fabric on the front. I still have one of those type but after seeing what Princess One came up with for her kids, I am a believer in this easy method of bibs and aprons for kids and adults! 

She had a favorite t-shirt that she wore for years. She mended it many times but finally, the hole in the back wasn't fixable as the shirt had worn thin. She thought maybe she could still salvage the front so she cut up the back and left strips from the bottom under the arm and from the back of the neck and tied them all up meeting in the center of the t-shirt. 

I would like to take it one step further and leave the sleeves on the shirt and then cut tie strip from the back center in the middle of the back towards the edges and stopping at the side seam making the strips about an inch wide.

Once you have the strips cut,  and able to tie, remove the rest of the back at the side seam leaving the arms on and leaving the neck band uncut so that the t-shirt can just slip on over the head using the uncut neck band from the back of the t-shirt and then you can tie the one in the middle or just leave it hanging as if you leave the arms on, it should stay on fairly well. 

I wish I had seen this before my mother lived with me. She wouldn't sit at the table to eat but liked to eat her meals on the couch on a t.v. tray. She got crumbs and spills everywhere to the point I put down a towel under her, and one on the floor and always put on an apron before she ate. 

This would have been so easy to just slip over her head and have as a huge bib covering her shirt and I could have just thrown them in the wash after. I have so many old t-shirts that would have been great for this.

I think using an old sweatshirt would be great for the messier children as it would be more absorbent so perhaps a stained sweatshirt from an older sibling would make a great bib for the younger child. Oh the possibilities! I think I will need to find a few old sweat-shirts and give it a try! 

I wanted to show you how beat up the old bib I had saved as a pattern is as I found it the other day while cleaning out the sewing room after returning from Princess Ones. 

Have a BLESSED Day! 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Jolly Old St Nick - Grandkids and Santa Moment

Being with Princess One's family for four days this past week was such a joy. I had a "first" experience this week. 

I got to see the grandchildren visit with Santa! It took me back to when their mother was a little girl and I would dress her up to meet Santa and the Easter Bunny at the local mall. 

We would go wait in line to get a chance for her to sit on his lap and take a picture with him but I think there were more scary pictures of her screaming at a young age than with a smile. We had to pay to get a picture and you had to go back and pick them up or have them mailed to your home. You never got to see the product until later so sometimes they weren't the best pictures.

I wondered what Grand-Princes One would be like with the bearded man but he was calm and happy with no issues. 

What I really liked about Santa was that he talked to her about what she could do to help mom out around the house and being obedient to her mother. 
Princess was so attentive listening to his words. I don't know if she could figure the entire thing out but she really enjoyed sitting with him. 

We enjoyed going to Princess One's church congregation party which was a dinner and Santa came and they had a great back drop painted and they provided a photographer. I wish I would have gotten all four of the family in the picture as Santa was really good and I think it would be a cute family photo. 

I tried in three different locations to get a great picture of the kids and tried a few times to get one of the family but it seemed like one of the kids was always looking at Princess Two or kids running around etc so I had a super hard time getting anything good. 

Princess Two loved being there and seeing the kids as well. I was grateful to be able to "tag team" so I could do activities that were for an older child but the baby didn't want to miss out on so she was SUPER helpful entertaining him! 

It was SO much fun being there with the kids and I could tell the kids enjoyed us being there. I am excited to meet Grand Prince number 2 coming in April! I LOVE my grandchildren!


Friday, December 15, 2017

Making Window Clings From a Kit with Grand-Princess-One

While visiting my grandchildren this past week, I shared that I took up lots of activities to keep the kids entertained. One of the favorite activities was making window clings. 

I bought several cling kits a few years ago and the kids made them but I ended up with one set left and found it while I have been cleaning out the sewing / craft room. I packed some of the kits up and took them with me to do with the grandchildren. 

Grand-Princess LOVED making the clings. I realized quickly that it was a project probably for a child older than three but if the point is the child having fun, this activity was a hit.

She squeezed the paint bottles so much that it pooled the pain and then it spread thick rather than keeping its shape but she was super excited about just making something and squeezing the paint and as you can see by the pictures, she was happy with it all. 

I was sad that the black paint got thick and gooey and I didn't want to deal with it so we just used the two colors and I made a bunch of hearts with the extra paint as I didn't want to bring anything home so I hurried and made a sun and lots of hearts so I could put them on the front window to remind the kids of the fun.  
Of course the joy of any of these activities was just doing something with them. I thought it was a great activity and if your child is a few years older, you can explain that they need to put less paint on or I suggest that you use q-tips to pull the paint thinner if needed but don't make it too thin or when it dries, it becomes really transparent and rips as you take it off the plastic. 

Because she made hers so thick, I had to let it dry overnight and then flip it over onto a new plastic sheet as the middle was too thick and couldn't dry underneath. I let the flip side dry for a few hours and then we could put it on the windows. 

I took turns lifting the kids up to the window and having them put the clings up. They were SO cute putting them up and feeling a sense of accomplishment as they could see the pictures increasing on the window. 

I would have loved to make a hand or foot print of their little hands and feet and use the paint for that but we tried to use the patterns in the book. Thinking about it now, I would have just made an outline of their hand and foot and made some clings of that but isn't it so easy to look back and see what you "should have done." It really didn't matter, they had fun and I had fun so it was worth it. 

Older kids could really have fun with this writing their names etc. They sell the kits online for around $20 depending on how many paints come with the kit. Don't get confused with the "Painted stained glass" paints and kits as those are different than the "cling" kits and the paint is VERY toxic smelling for the stained glass activities. I saw that they have stained glass "cling" sets so that would be fine but just not the painted on stained glass. If you choose to do the stained glass, make sure you are outside as it is super stinky. 

This isn't an activity that is finished  fast, it takes time for these clings to dry so know that in advance if you want to make them, it isn't something they can take home after making them until they dry and if they are thick, it takes lots of time and flipping to make sure the paint doesn't stain everything it touches even your skin. Wear an apron before making these as the paints do stain. 

It was fun, they were entertained and I loved pulling out from the house and seeing the clings in the front window. It was a good time! 

Have a BLESSED Day!