Friday, November 30, 2018

Either - Or and Bouncing Ball Games - Great Family Fun

I shared about a fun game I came up with last summer at our family reunion at the lake. It is a game with lots of different sized boxes.

I wanted to recreate the game as I have totes full of prizes that I need to get rid of as I collected for years doing two family reunions for years and then it abruptly stopped for a few years and I haven't had a chance to get rid of the prizes. 

I just needed to come up with a creative way to get each person in an order for the games. I thought about writing numbers on suckers, putting numbers on tape on each chair or having them pick a number.... 

When thinking on the best way to do the numbers, I remembered a fun game we used to play with the scouts when I was scout master nearly 20 years ago. We would take a bag of bouncy balls to a gym and throw them around the room and tell the one that got a specific bouncy, he would get a prize so they would all run around looking for that color of bouncy ball. 

The winner would get a candy bar or some other treat. The kids would ask over and over if they could play that game as it was competitive, active and provided a treat. I know the game was created accidently when we were doing some other activity but it "morphed" into that game eventually. 

Over the years, I have collected the bouncy balls in the bag whenever the kids would get one. I was surprised to find out that I had over 50 when I had Princess Three write numbers on them recently. I figured I could throw out all the balls and have each person get one and they could collect as many as they could and could keep the one with the lowest number and that would be how they could go in order for the other game. 

I had them give a number to each parent as they didn't want to run around after balls, but the kids LOVED it. I took a video of this part and wish I had someone videotape the other game we played but my girls were helping behind the scenes and I was running the game so we didn't get any video but the kids enjoyed it and it seemed like they all had fun.  

I love having my nephews around as they all helped me carry in the prizes and back out again with what was left. I also had help throwing the balls around the room so there were some on all sides.  I put some good and weird prizes in the boxes before the game started and I included some home décor items I was getting rid of in the boxes as prizes. I laughed when my 8 year old nephew ended up with a living room lamp and candle stick. Funny enough, he loved the lamp and wanted to keep it when my Sister-in-law asked if she could have the candlesticks, he said she could but he wanted to put the lamp in his room.

The game I came up with is similar to some old game shows but I call it "Either - Or" as they can have a prize I offer them, or they can pick a box. 

When they would bring up their bouncy ball, I would tell the girls "Teen boy" or "Young girl" and they would hand me a prize they thought someone that age would like. I would tell the contestant, "You can have this new Star Trek Movie, or you can pick a box!" Then they can either take the movie I offer, or they can choose any of the boxes. If they choose a box they must KEEP what is in the box for their prize. Some boxes have good prizes, others have items I am trying to get rid of like one of the prizes was a stack of VHS tapes. 

They often took the item I was offering as the items were new games, puzzles, jewelry, movies etc I had collected over the years. Sometimes, the new items were in the boxes and there was a "golden ticket" in one of the boxes where they could choose any item behind the curtain. 

Sometimes I was surprised by the items they liked. At the end of the game, they could trade prizes with each other if a kid got an adult thing and the adult got a kid thing, they can change and I also handed out some at the end for those that got horrible prizes. All in all, I think most people had fun and enjoyed the holiday fun.

I ended up brining lots of boxes of prizes home due to never knowing how many of the nephews and nieces would show up but funny enough, when I was going through the prizes the night before the party, my girls pulled out gifts for roommates, friends, and co-workers from the totes of stuff and it was funny because the stuff had been down in the storage room for so long that some of the stuff had been theirs they didn't want at the time I boxed them up but now after all the years, they could see a use for it. 

It feels good to get rid of so much out of the house. I took a few boxes of stuff to donate and the girls had some clothes they went through and I took those down this week as well and donated. I n the prize boxes I had lots of small items that I didn't want to store and also went through my desk getting rid of old electronics, cd holders and other things. I am so happy to be getting rid of stuff but there is so much more to go through still. At least I am working on it!

I'm throwing in this last picture of my brother trying on a Mexican dress for his prize. He was a good sport about it but when it didn't fit him, I gave him a "name that tune" game that he and his family would love as they are a musical family. It was a good time and everyone was a good sport about it. 
Have "Either / Or" a Blessed Day!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Missionary Moment Week 2 - Mom Forgot to Post - Sorry

Everyone was right. The days here are long but the weeks here are way too short.

Some fun things happened this week. I was sitting in a devotional on Sunday we were singing the opening song, when a giant mosquito or bug which was half the size of my small himnos, flew into the page it so scary and happened so fast. So naturally, I threw my himnos across the room, and started laughing/ crying because it was so funny/ terrifying. Luckily only the people in the front two rows and President Bennett and hermana Bennett noticed, but they were all really confused. Then on Monday my companion and I were being pretend investigators so some elders could practice. And as we let them into the room, a mouse decided he didn't want to hear their message so it scurried out. I was the first one to see it, so the four of us chased it down the hall where it ran into the girls bathroom. We checked to make sure no one was in there then our district leader went in and caught it, and then we gave it to a worker.

This week the Haitians returned to their country to serve, we sang "God be with you till we meet again" with them at our last zone meeting.

Another funny thing that happened this week, my morning teacher was on the bus on her way to the CCM and the zipper broke on her skirt, so long story short she had an hour on the bus before she got to work, and so she twisted her skirt around and weaved the wire from a notebook though her skirt to keep it up and then wore her cardigan all day, and nobody noticed. And then the next day she bought all the Hermanas in our district bueno bars, which are like super yummy hazelnut KitKat. 

My beautiful friend Hermana (friend from school) from my home town left this week, I´m going to miss her, but it was so nice to have a familiar face here for the last two weeks. Speaking of familiar faces. Last week I walked past an Elder who was whistling a song from Fiddler on the Roof, so I commented on it, then he told me that I looked really familiar so we went back and forth trying to figure out how, but silly me didn't look at his name tag until after we had a whole conversation. His name was Elder (family used to be aunts neighbor), he used to be my cousins' neighbor and last time we saw each other we were like nine. There is a picture of us below. A similar thing happened on the bus to the temple last week and then after a lot of detective work, we found out that he was in one of my favorite youth conference groups when I worked at (College name) Fun this summer. So, the world just continues to get smaller.

I accidentally wore my companions tag this week. Out district enjoys joking about whether the food is tasting better, or if our standards are being lowered.
For our service activity this week, we went to the laundry facility and I learned how to fold a fitted sheet. The man teaching us spoke no English but was so cute trying to teach us. It was surprisingly fun.
I had a strange experience this week. 

We have an activity called "book of Mormon share," where we all share a scripture on a certain topic. Normally, our teachers lead the discussion but this time they were going to ask one of us to lead it. As Hermana (group leader) was looking on the computer at all of our pictures for someone to conduct it, in my head I said "of course I'll do it." Not like I was volunteering, but like I was responding to a question. Then right after, she asked me if I would lead it. I think it went pretty well. My companion said it went well. But either way, I enjoyed it, and learned from it.
I really love it here!! It´s so beautiful and warm, which will make heading to New Jersey in the dead of winter a little harder.😅 My testimony is strengthened everyday, along with my patience, porque aprendando español es difícil, pero I know that if I work hard, and with the help of God, I will eventually get the hang of it. 

Les Amo! Dios les ama!

Hermana Princess Five

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Lots Of Silver and Gold Lately IN Grab Bags at Second Hand Stores

In the last few weeks, I have found several jewelry grab bags at different second hand stores. 

I got one a few weeks back that I didn't video that had several larger pieces of gold in it and I should have taken video but I wasn't at home and didn't want to wait. I probably should have but I was busy with things so I just put them in the "vault" of jewelry. 

I have had three larger bags and then went to one store that didn't have bags of jewelry but had individually priced pieces of lots of silver and gold. Some of the silver was reasonable prices and I don't usually purchase silver individually like that unless it is only a few dollars but they were nicer, heavier pieces so I share those at the beginning of a video I will try and upload tomorrow. 

I made videos of three bags in the past few days and the one that I was able to upload today was not the best bag. It takes so long to upload the videos that I only got the one done as it took most of the day to upload.

I had so much silver and gold in the other two videos but they are longer videos so I will have to upload those another day. 

I have noticed the local store hadn't been having much gold or silver in any of their bags but then today, I noticed one bag at twice the price and was much smaller but had gold and silver in it so it looks like they are pulling out the good stuff and putting it in one bag. 

I was happy with the bag and will try to upload that video so you can see all the fun things I found. 

This picture is all gold items I got in the past few days in the three bags and the other store.

The last picture is all silver items I got from the bags. There was LOTS of silver in several of the bags. I think it is harder and harder to find bags with much in them but I do enjoy the treasures but find myself not purchasing as many bags as it seems they don't have as much good stuff in them. 

I don't know if people aren't donating as many valuable items or if it is that more people are looking for the items but either way, it is getting harder to find good deals that way. 

I will try and upload the other videos. Have a Blessed Day! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Fast Way To Shorten a Necklace Chain

This may be a post that is just a logical thing that everyone would figure out but I have thought that about other posts in the past and found that some people think differently so I figured I would post it so it may help others if needed. 

For many years I have used this method when I have needed to shorten a necklace in a quick way. This is when you may be on a trip or something and only have one necklace and need it shorter than the original chain.

You measure the chain around your neck and see where you want it to hang and then mark with your fingers where you want the length to be on the chain. 

Once you have the necklace to the length you want it, you tie a knot in the chain where you marked it with your fingers. If it is too short or long still, just move the knot on the chain up or down until you get it to the right length. 

If you want to make it permanent, you can move the latch loops on the chain to where the knot is, or you can put super glue on the knot and just keep it that way. 

If you want to make sure it holds for a few wears, you can put a dab of Elmer's glue on it and then soak it and undue the glue when ready to make it long again. 

I sometimes have had to make the knot bigger than just one loop so it won't pull through the clasp but this always works in a pinch. 

Have a Blessed Day! 

Monday, November 26, 2018

My Cousin Is Moving To Thailand

I went to a family party which I want to share about on another day due to the late hour. But, I was in a different city for that party and I got a text from my cousin who has been touring Europe with her two girls for the past six months or so. 

She told me that she is moving to Thailand with her two daughters for at least the next few years and isn't sure what she will be doing after that. She mentioned that this is her last week in the U.S. and she would love to visit with me if I had the time. 

I had to travel through that town on my way home so tonight before I drove home, I stopped at another cousins home and visited with her. I asked my cousin and her daughter about what made her decide to leave and take her daughters to a completely different culture and country where they know NO one pulling them out of school and leaving all family behind.... 

I have to say that I admire the move and wish I had the courage to do something like that. I guess things are easier that way with two children but I still don't know that I would have the courage or faith to just sell everything and move.

She sold her home and took her girls to Europe where they traveled at will through most eastern Europe countries. Only one of her daughters was with her tonight, but when I spoke to her, she said that just going and trusting God that things will be "OK" and that they would be led to different countries and places helped her to learn to trust that life is good and she could go anywhere. 

She said that she now has the travel bug and doesn't ever want to stop. She said they spent a month in Ukraine as it was so cheap and that is why they ended up in Thailand as it is also less expensive to live there and so she is excited to go and attend school. She will graduate in Thailand and her sister has two more years there. 

I am going to miss her and I know her sisters will also miss her but what an opportunity she is giving her girls. She actually hasn't even gotten a job yet but has faith that Thailand is where they are supposed to end up and feels that her girls are doing better traveling than they were doing at home and they have become closer and happier so she also met with the congregation in our faith in Thailand and they have given her a service "calling" so she feels that she will be able to do more there and is needed in Thailand at this time. 

I admire her faith and can see that her daughters are flourishing with the choices she has made and hope that they will be blessed for their service. I look forward to hearing about their adventures. 

It is wonderful to see where my cousins are going and where their children are in life. I also think I may have to go and visit my cousin when she gets settled as two of my girls have already visited Thailand and LOVED it. That would be a FUN trip! 

Have an adventurous and blessed day!  

Friday, November 23, 2018

Gratitude for Generosity - Super Blessings My Way

For many years, I have been looking for a chair that spins around that has claw feet that would work as a chair for my pump organ. 

When I was growing up, we had a pump organ that I shared about on this post here. I didn't think I would end up with the organ, but was happy to take it rather than have my brother get rid of it. 

I saw another one of these at a second hand store for $100 just this week. They are difficult to fix, take up lots of space, are quite heavy and aren't really functional so I can understand why they aren't all that popular. But, I have fond memories with it and it is a unique piece of furniture, so I wanted to find a chair like the one we had for it growing up. 

It had claw feet and would spin around going higher and lower so that the player could easily pump the pedals to get air in the billows for the sound. I have very fond memories of us spinning each other around on the chair sitting with our feet outstretched or my favorite was laying on the chair like superman and my siblings would spin us by holding onto our feet and running in circles until we hit the bottom and lurched to a stop. We would then get up walking drukardly until our head stopped spinning. 

That stool took much abuse from the 8 children in my family so it wasn't a surprise when the legs started pulling apart and my mother wired them together and it finally just fell apart. 

A few years back I saw nearly the exact chair on a yard sale site for $50 and couldn't justify spending that and it also had wire at the bottom holding the bottom legs together. I "put it out there" a few months back sharing that I would like to find a spinning chair to go with the organ so I could play it more often.

It only gets played when someone comes and specifically asks if it works and then I will find a stool and play it for them. 

I think it is fun that I have a working organ, crank record player ,and pump sewing machine all in very good working order if things ever became apocalyptic, I would be all set! 

I found this cute chair at as second hand store this week for $5~! I know it needs a little work but it is beautiful and I know I can make it functional and find someone to do the work needed for me. The chair used to have spindles on the back and they were broken off so I am hoping I can find a wood worker to saw off the weird back area and just make the stool round towards the top of the chair. I can do it myself but not as good as someone with a good wood working ability. 

I also have been having phone problems this week where it will just shut off when I try to take a picture and the icons on the front screen started slurring on the screen so I know it is just about done and my brother-in-law heard me talking to my sister about it and showed up at my house with his really nice phone from his work drawer. He took the time to go into work on a holiday evening to get the phone for me and won't let me pay them anything for it! It is probably the nicest phone I have ever owned. 

I am so grateful for these blessings on this wonderful Thanksgiving. I had another dear friend who texted telling me she had an extra turkey from last year in the deep freeze and asked if I wanted it. I was happy with that and also got another free turkey so I had two free turkeys filling up my freezer! 

I consider myself so blessed and it was wonderful to visit with my girls that were able to come home today. I feel so blessed to have such an amazing family and that so many are kind and generous and that my guardian angles found me a chair I could afford to go with my beautiful pump organ. I hope to get the chair done soon so the grandchildren can take it for a ride this Christmas! 

I hope you had a blessed and abundant Thanksgiving! 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Gather Together In Gratitude - Thanksgiving Day

Such a crazy day. Migraine, oil change, Thanksgiving meal shopping, printing 8 x 10 for family party, paid two bills, picked up a free turkey, two loads of laundry, cleaning, dropping off a gift, dropping of moving boxes to someone, three girls arriving, cooking dinner, rearranging closet, visiting with one of the girls about a boy, apologizing to one of the girls for past situations, pulling out turkey to thaw for the big day tomorrow, write in journal, blog, bed...… 

I fought all day to keep it together with a headache and had so much to get done. I can tell you that it is now after 3 a.m. and I got it all done! I hope I can wake without a headache and enjoy the big day with my girls. 

I started to blog and accidently deleted all the pictures for my post today and then went to take them again and the battery in my camera died so I figured I would just post a pictures of this sign I have in my home and tell you all that I hope you have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving day and that your day can be filled with GRATITUDE for all the many blessings that you are abundantly given from our Father in Heaven! 

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving Day! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Wedding Day and Phone Woes - Sleep Becomes Me

The last three times I have gone to a major city to do family events, I have followed my dad off the highway and / or into a parking lot. He lives three hours from me and it is so weird that in the past three weeks, I keep ending up at the same point at the exact same time.

I had to get up super early to head to a wedding of my niece today. I have been seeing my family lots lately with many "events" going on. I pulled into the city where the wedding was happening and  parked behind my brother and across from my dad! 

I looped around and around in a parking garage for some time and then ended up going to find another lot and seriously they got out of their car when I parked but I changed my shoes before heading into the venue so I took a picture of them walking ahead of me. 

My phone kept shutting off as I would try to use my camera for some reason today so I am grateful to my sister for taking a few of these for me. The wedding was beautiful and the luncheon after was yummy. 

I was able to do some Christmas shopping in the big city and I am working on a t-shirt quilt for one of my cousins. I was able to visit several nieces, two of which recently had babies and I even got to hold one for a few minutes. 

I then had an unplanned visit to see my aunt (my mothers only living sister) to drop off a t-shirt for her family to sign at their Thanksgiving party for this other cousin and I was SOOOO happy to find they were having a birthday party for one of my cousins kids and I got to see 8 of my 10 cousins in that family! I haven't seen that many of their family together since their last wedding years ago! 

I was so happy to be able to visit with them all and see how their children have grown. Another plus, was that I won't have to wait to get the signed t-shirt square for  the quilt back as I was able to get them all to sign it while I was there! It was great! 

I didn't arrive home till late and am so tired. I had a VERY hard time driving home alone being so tired, but I made it safely. I got a text just before starting home from a friend who said her mom bought a turkey and then found she had one in the freezer so they are sharing it with me! Blessings all around! 

It was a WONDERFUL day seeing so many family members! I am so grateful for my huge extended family and am excited to see how my own family grows in the years to come! 

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thinning the Decorations - Feels GREAT

I may have shared that a few weeks ago when we were having Princess Five's farewell for her mission, the girls and I went through a lifetime of holiday decorations. 

In the less than 24 hours that they were all home, we pulled out all the totes of decorations for all the holidays and had the girls each take turns taking what they wanted, if anything, from each of the holiday totes. 

I shared that I hadn't cleaned out those totes for 17 years as when the divorce started, I didn't have the energy to pull all the totes out so I just bought a pre-lit tree and got new ornaments and we just put up the stockings and our tree. 

The girls each ended up with just under a tote of decorations, holiday books, some baby clothes I saved for each that were knitted sweaters from friends in New Zealand and such. They all seemed happy with what they got and were kind to allow their sisters to get what they really wanted and it was very easy to do as I was worried emotions would run high but the girls were super chill and thoughtful. 

I kept a few decorations that they agreed I should keep other than the tree and stockings as they wanted their children to see them at my house. My mother gave us a toy train that they play with yearly etc so I kept those items and it was wonderful to be able to get rid of many totes of decorations. 

I put some of the stuff on a yard sale site and was able to sell some of the stuff. Other items I am going to use as funny prizes for a game over thanksgiving such as the book at the bottom and a few cuter or funny decorations and I was able to sell all the snowmen getting $13 for the lot but it was still something. I donated three boxes to the local food bank for them to give out or decorate with etc. 

I also realized today in dropping them off at the food bank, that we had our grand opening for the new food bank 8 years ago at the beginning of December. I tripped over a bench I recovered and painted for the new food bank today and commented on it and my friend pointed out the certificate of dedication with my signature on it about how long we had now been in the new building. I wouldn't have thought it has been that many years. 

It feels so good to be able to take more and more stuff out of the house. I feel like if I continue to go from room to room and get what doesn't belong or feel "right" in the room, I can be in a place to face the harder stuff of my mothers history etc When the house is cluttered with stuff, I feel overwhelmed pulling out my mom's stuff as I know it isn't something I can finish quickly. So, today was another step to moving forward with that. 

I have the upstairs cleaned out as much as I can get to for the holiday this week but still want to get more done on the basement but I have a wedding this week so probably won't get as much done as I would like that way, but at least it is still getting done even if it is slower than I would like. 

Have a Blessed Day!