Sunday, July 31, 2011

little girl cutesy-wootsy-ness

I'm crazy about my little girl.

Don't get me wrong, I'm crazy about my boy too.

But boys...

{Or shouldn't}



I love you, my little girly girl/tomboy, you!

A Nice Day

Coming out of the meeting today, it was wonderful!  
The sky was dark and the weather was cool!
We stopped for snoballs on our way home, and we actually felt chilly.
When we got home, we quickly changed and played outside.
We were outside for about an hour and a half when I had enough of the mosquitos.
The kids got in a lot of bike and scooter riding.
We relaxed, it was great.
I can't wait until it's fall!
{I really hope we have a real fall this year}

Big jumps

Sweaty hat head

Me whizzing by on the scooter, taken by Ethylwolfe
That guy I love

Relaxing after hard play

I hope you were able to enjoy the wonderful break in hotness today.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

And The Winner Is......

In case you had forgotten, the drawing was today!
I wrote all of your names down on equal strips of paper, folded them and put them in my hat.

Don't worry, she's not cheating because she can't read :)

KennaKat drew the winner....

And the winner is....

Tricia Jane you are our winner and we love you!

I'll deliver this prize to you as soon as it is complete.

Thanks everyone for your fine comments, I enjoyed reading them.  And it was nice of you who hadn't commented before to break the trend.  We hope to hear more from you in the future :)
Much love, 
SpeckledKat and KennaKat.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


The week before school started, Ethylwolfe had his best bud over for a sleepover.
All 3 had a blast.
The only minor issue was that E didn't always want to share his bud with his little sister.
If that's the only issue, then I'm fine with that!
The girl can't help that she's awesome...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Magnetic Paper Dolls & My Very First Giveaway!!!

I am very excited to share this little project with you.
For a while now, I have been meddling over ideas of making magnetic paper dolls for KennaKat.
I thought about drawing some...
or taking pictures of her in different dresses and making lifelike ones.
{Which I still may do some day}
I even thought about ordering some off of Etsy.
{But I'm opposed to buying things that I could possibly make myself}
Before I did any of those things, one of the blogs I follow did a whole post about paper dolls for kids and posted a link to this site along with others too.  But this was what caught my eye, the first 10 years of the Betsy McCall paper dolls 1951-1961.  I'm anxious to find out if any of you ever cut them out of the catalog and played with them when you were a little girl.  They actually went into the 90's with this idea, but my favorite were the first 10 years.
As soon as I saw that site, I found what I was looking for: vintage hours of fun that I could create for my little girl.

I printed all 10 years onto high quality photo paper.
If you do your math right, you'll realize that that's 120 pages.  
Yeah, I was a little anxious and not level headed when I started this project.

I thought about printing them right onto magnetic paper, but it's expensive and I wanted to do it right.then. and it was after dinner when I started.  No time to go to the store to hunt down this stuff.  I also thought about cropping and merging all of the outfits that I wanted onto a few printable pages, but like I said, I wanted to do it right.then.and.there and levelheadedness was out of the question.

The past few nights have been devoted to printing and cutting.  Then I bought self adhesive magnetic sheets and applied all of the little people and clothes onto that.  Then I cut some more...and more...and more.  My daughter now has hundreds of magnetic items to play with.  But it was worth it.  The whole process she was right next to me, playing with what I had already cut out.  Hours and hours of play time have been devoted to this and this alone.  I'm absolutely in love and so is she.

Literally hundreds of magnetic items

A picnic in the park with mom and dad

A tea party with your best friend

Fancy dress up with your little sister.

While I was cutting all of these things out, I got excited about the idea of giving a set away to one of you.  First, I thought about purging the huge supply that she has, but then I thought, if I could figure out how to edit the stuff on the computer, I could limit the printing pages and pick out the best of the best of the outfits and accessories and you could have it all, without my having to decide what to keep and what to give away.
I know that the main purpose of giveaways on the Internet is to advertise and get people into your store, but I don't have a store, I just want to give something away because I love doing that and I love all of you.  And randomly picking someone that wants it, sounds like a LOT OF FUN to me :)

Today, the Fantastic Hubster {I'm thinking of making that his call sign... FH for short?} showed me how to easily {most important word to emphasize}cut and merge everything that I wanted onto their own pages.  So now, I've got them all ready for you!

After I started this whole thing, I found on google another blogger who did the same thing that I was in the process of doing.  She purchased little gift card tins and stored the girl and her friend along with a few dresses inside.  It made a perfect traveling toy and storage container. 

So, while I was purchasing my magnetic sheets, I searched for metal tins.  I was looking for bigger ones because we had hundreds of magnets and no way would they fit in this little 5x3 tin.  But I did pick up 2 little ones so that KennaKat can have a touch of fun on the go as well.
The blogger made a cute little label with some of the outfits on it, so I decided to make my own.
Here it is all dressed-up...

So I purchased those little tins, but I was still on the look out for something bigger and cheap.  The bigger tins in the store were $5 and not quite what I had in mind.

I went to 2 different Michaels because I wanted to make use of my 50% off coupons and the magnetic sheets were $10 a pop {making that $5 for me Mwahaha} In the second Michaels, in the back of the store, hidden away in a dark corner of the Universe was a snakes and ladders game on sale for $2.50 and it came in the perfect sized metal tin.  Long, rectangular, thin...perfect.
So, I grabbed one and checked out.
When the cashier checked me out, it came up as 50 cents!  It took a lot of control to contain my squeal as I ran to the back of the store and grabbed the rest of them.  Now I have 8 perfectly sized tins that cost me $4!!!  Yessssssssss!

The only downside is that the tins are decorated with snakes and ladders images, so I'll need to paint them before I can give them away.  But I can't wait!

Your prize will include:
2 Betsys, 1 Blonde girl, 1 little sister, 1 toy doll, 1 mom, 1 dad.

28 dresses, 10 other outfits, 12 accessories, 21 other play items (tea set, puppy, etc), 3 dresses for little sister, and 3 outfits for mom.

To enter the giveaway:

  1. Post a comment on this blog.  If you do not have a google account, and don't know how to comment then you on comment, add your comment, then below that, select to enter your name or be anonymous, just be sure to tell me who you are in your comment.  If after all that, you still can't comment, send me an email.
  2. In one week {Saturday, July 30} I will draw one of your names at random, and the prize will be yours. WooHoo!
This will be the perfect gift for your own little girl, niece, friend's daughter, granddaughter, or keep it for yourself {It's okay to relive this part of your childhood, really, it is}.  Decorate your fridge or put it away for kids to play with when they come for a visit.  Believe me, if you don't have toys for little kids, your house is boring and they will mess with things that you don't want them to {Or run around like wild Indians hee hee}ok, they'll probably do that anyway, but you need this, trust me :)..Boys like it too.  If you have a son, I'll include a boy and some outfits for him as well.

Happy commenting people!  I can't wait to see who wins!!!

Oh yeah, our thermostat, that sits in the shade read 105 today...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Thoughts

It's gifts like this that make me feel like the richest person in the world!
{I know this picture is so big that it's stretching over into the side bar, but that's how much I love it <----thiiiis----> much!}

Not much to say, just sending happy thoughts your way.

I've been really busy doing tons of fun projects that I'm bursting to share with you.
But you'll have to wait until it's all perfectly finished and photographed... 
{Ha! the thought of me having a perfectly finished and photographed project to share makes me laugh, but still, you'll have to wait just a bit longer}

Have a great weekend and stay hydrated!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Batik Printing

I've fallen in love with an art blog that I stumbled across the other month.
She's an art teacher in an elementary school and shares all her cool ideas on her blog, 
PLUS explains how to make them. 
Batik printing is something that I've been wanting to try for a while, this teacher explained how to do it with acrylic paint and gel glue.  We had to try it, and it was a lot of fun for myself and the kids.

This is what we did...

We purchased the Elmers Washable blue gel glue.
Scrounged around for white fabrics that we had on hand.
{I found two old pillowcases for the kids and a hand towel for myself}

So, to start, place cardboard directly underneath the fabric that you will be working on 
{In the kids case, I placed it inside the pillow case...more on that later}
Cover your work area with plastic or something to keep messes to a minimum.
Glue away to your hearts content.
Ethylwolfe and I had just read a book about the planets, so he chose to do the solar system.
I put KennaKat's name on hers and she covered the pillowcase with polka dots.
I did randomness and a dragonfly.
SO, put glue everywhere you want to keep white.

Let the glue dry overnight.
Once glue is completely dry you can start painting.
Water down acrylic paints in the colors of your choice and get to work.

This is Ethylwolfe's solar system freshly painted.
He didn't want his black dark so we watered the paint down...a Lot.

KennaKat got bored painting, and the pillowcase was huge, so we ended up just pouring out the paints onto the case, it worked fine.

My towel.

After paint is completely dry, place items in warm water for 20 minutes or so, or until glue is dissolved.
{I used the bathtub, and worked it with my hands to get the extra glue you're working out a stain}

Once rinsed out you can hang dry, throw them in the dryer, or do what I did and throw them in the washing machine, wash them, forget about them, wash them again, then dry in the dryer :)
Ours faded a little bit because I washed them twice in a row, but I'm sure they wouldn't fade so much if I had done it properly :)

The finished results...

My towel was hung up and used immediately, so it's in the washing machine right now, sorry, no current pictures of that.

What I learned and would do differently:
I definitely enjoyed doing this project, loved it rather.  I learned a few things...I don't think I'll water my paints down as much as I did this time...they got watered down a LOT, but as you can tell, the colors are still good. If I use a terry towel again, I will put my glue on much thicker than I did for this.  On the spots where I didn't get the glue all the way past the fuzz, you can't see much white.  So, live and learn.
Also, things that are 2 layers {like the pillowcases}, I wouldn't bother putting a board between, then the glue could double work and put white on the other side.  I used cardboard and then removed it for the painting process.

I think my next project with this might be to make beach towels for the kids....I'd have them lay down on a white towel, draw their outline, and then let them "draw" themselves and decorate the towel, I think that would be fun.

For the 3 pieces, we almost went through a regular bottle of blue glue.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cheap Book Score!

After picking Ethylwolfe up from school, we swung by the library to check out new books.
On my way out the door, my eye stopped at the cart of books for sale.
What was this large hardcover book that caught my eye?
None other than...

I was so excited!  And with a price tag of $3 I was thrilled!
Ecstatic once I found out that I had exactly $3 in my wallet.
They had a whole slew of classic books...
Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, etc
Many of them were hardcover for just a buck or two.
But I own those, or have read them, but I neither own, nor have I read Gone with the Wind.
I look forward to tucking in the kids tonight and pouring through the pages of this book!
Once I've finished reading it, I'll rewatch the movie and compare and contrast...I love doing that :)

First Day of First Grade!

These past 6 weeks have FLOWN by!

I can't believe how quickly my son moved from Kindergarten into 1st grade.

I'm still in shock.

In fact, there was hardly any preparation due to the fact that I've been in denial that he'd start back to school this quickly.

But here it is.

Fortunately we didn't need anything in the line of new school stuff except for lunch foods.
So, as our last alone thing before he started school, he and I went grocery shopping last night.

First we had to make a stop and get a snowball 
{We each tried a new flavor}
Then it was off to Costco.
We thought we needed to hit up Harris Teeter, but we made it work without that stop.

Ethylwolfe got to pick all of the lunch items that he wanted and we were good to go.
Leftover pizza, chocolate milk, banana and oreos.
{Ham and cheese for the rest of the week}
As costco only sells a huge box of oreos, we opted for chocolate chip cookies instead.
{He was a good sport because he really really wanted oreos}

I started the morning by blasting fun pick me up tunes to wake us all up.
{We've gotten into the habit of going to bed late and waking up late, it's been wonderful}

 He packed his lunch this morning.  He said that I can pack it every other day...thanks.

I made pancakes for breakfast.
{I tried a new recipe, asked E if they were better than daddy's, he said they are just as good...
I can live with that because daddy is the pancake king around here}

Little sister was just as excited as he was.

Walking into school.
We first made a stop to visit his K teacher.
Then it was off to 1st Grade!

Almost to Evika's class!

The first grader backpack wall is much higher than it was for Kindergarten, E said he'll grow tall enough when he turns 6.  I hope not, because I just bought new jeans that I hope will fit all year...

At the back of the room, he found his good friends from another K class.
He's very happy to have his buddies with him.

This is going to be a great year!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Crayon rolls

One of the many things on my to sew list if I ever learned how to sew was to make crayon holders for the kids.  After a few trials and errors, I successfully sort-of mastered it.  I still have kinks to work out with my sewing maching, we aren't on speaking terms right now.  But I'm pleased none the less.
This holder holds 24 twistable crayola crayons 
{I heart them for the meetings, no mess, no fuss, just fun, twistableness}
This pouch is for KennaKat's meeting bag.



Filled up
Rolled up

 I'd tell you how to make them, but there are pros out there who can do it better than I can.  Mine was a culmination of an idea in my head, mixed with mistakes, mixed with anger once I saw a how to online that was very similar to what I was trying to accomplish.  Here it is, it's not the same, but it gives a good starting point to making something of your own.

I love having them in the kids meeting bags, along with a nice artists notebook.

Other things on my to make list are: awesome super hero capes, aprons and chef hats.
If I ever make it to the scrap exchange for more cheap, awesome fabric, I'll get started on some of those other projects.  Oh yeah, I have to rekindle a friendship with my machine...that may take time...

Convention Day 3

So we've made it to Sunday.
It was amazing.
All 3 days, my ears were glued to what the speaker was saying and what was going on.  I'm so thankful that my kids were well behaved and that the only time I had to get up with them was for bathroom breaks.  For that, I am very very  thankful!
It was a real spiritual FEAST!
Brother Morris gave excellent talks all 3 days as did all of the other brothers and sisters who worked so hard for the benefit of us, the audience, so much time, preparation, hard work and love.  
And as excited as I was that I got so much knowledge, 
I was sad that it was over.
Back to the world, the regular daily routine, boo, I can't wait till the New System!

I can't wait until all of you have had your convention so that I don't have to keep my mouth shut any longer and we can discuss all the points that we loved, and the dramas, wow, the dramas, I boohoo'ed a LOT on Saturdays, I guess because it hit so close to home, being a parent, but it was touching.  The kids called me out afterwards, when it was silent "Mommy, why are you crying?"  Nice and loud for all to hear.  I said it was because I really really liked it.  They were a bit confused, but they'll get it one day.  That you can cry when you're happy.  But that day is a long way off, and I know I'll get called out a LOT before then.  Ah well!

I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Sunday evening, we chilled at Bri's house, grilled out, and relaxed.

Monday, we went to the Lake, it was lovely, the water was perfect, there was tons of good company.  B and I tubed on the back of the boat, ouch, I'm still sore.  I guess it's official, I am O-L-D!  To come to that realization at the age of 26 is a bit humbling, but don't worry about me, I'm humbled every day I look at my 2 beautiful children and see them grow right before my eyes.

The only picture taken on Monday was on the car ride home.

My 3 favorite people, all squished together, and very tired
Stop pretending that you weren't sleeping you fake awaker you.

Convention Day 2

The second day of the convention,
Katie's Bible Student Nichole was Baptised!!

And KennaKat and Deli were matching.

I thought those were my only pictures taken of the day, but I found more....:)

For dinner we went to a Japanese Steak House, always a good show!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Teacher

Ethylwolfe met his 1st Grade Teacher yesterday.

One of the many things I LOVE about his school is that they have the teachers come to your home, meet your child, talk with them one on one, play with them, and get to know them.  Afterwards, they talk with the parents and get to know the family.

Ethylwolfe talked her ear off, told her about his family, his likes and dislikes, what he wants to learn about.  Not to mention the fact that he preached her ear off.  First he asked if she was a witness, then he told her that she could be one day and that he preaches and will be in the paradise one day.  He went on and on.  She then told him about what her class would be like and what to expect from 1st grade.  When she arrived, he was nervous, but in an instant, that was gone.  I can tell that he really likes her.

Now when he starts school {NEXT WEEK} he'll be comfortable with it all.

I must say that I really like her too!  I think that she was a good fit for him and me!
She said that I can offer any suggestions for improving the classroom like painting or decorating or storage, etc. {YES!  I'm so excited!}

Monday, July 11, 2011

Convention Day 1

I decided to split up the convention between 3 posts to highlight each day.

{Enjoy day numero uno!}

The whole coliseum was abuzz with excitement about the spiritual food that we would be receiving.

The kids were well behaved.

I was able to take lots of notes.

I feasted on Spiritual Food by day and Mexican by night.

The first day was wonderful!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Haircut revised

So the shoulder length hair just wasn't doing it for me...

I tried to make it work, but I'm not big on the whole comb over thing.
So, I called up the stylist and set up an appointment to get her hair styled as I had originally wanted, the pixie cut.  Well, the hubby wasn't too keen on the idea and tried to dissuade me from going all together.  I couldn't let it settle though, the hair bothered me.  So I decided to go and atleast discuss other options.  I told her that my husband didn't want her to look like a boy, but I couldn't deal with the comb over.  I told her to do a shaggy pixie like it had grown out some, and to put in lots of layers to blend it.

...She came back with a short bob...

Where is a bob like a shaggy or a pixie style?

She clearly didn't get my picture and KennaKat was tired of sitting there.  So I said whatever and we left.  Besides, it wasn't her fault that my daughter chopped her hair to bits, and I'm unsatisfied.  She was a sweet girl, working with a picky mom, yes, I'm a picky mom who expects people to read my thoughts :)  I think I'll go back to her when the circumstances are...normal.  Before her bath, I pulled out my razor and put lots of layers in, so atleast it blends it all together now.  She likes it and I'm satisfied.  We'll call it a tie.