Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Art Cupboard

One of the features I love about our house is this darling corner cupboard in the dining room.  Someone had started re-doing it, but had never finished installing the shelves, which means that, as cute as it is, it isn't very usable.  

With it being so convenient to the table, my plan has been to add shelves and use the bottom half as our art cupboard, where we store our art supplies.  While we were waiting to finish it, I stashed a few things down in the bottom:

Seth had some extra time last week, so he helped me out by installing shelves, which I then painted and got set up with all our art things!

Yay!  A finished art cupboard!  It's so handy to have everything in one place and easily accessible!  I'm hoping this will inspire me to do more art projects with the kids!  =)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Quilt for Joanna

Benjamin received his Mommy-made quilt for his third birthday, so I decided that would be our tradition.  When I finally got a chance to start Joanna's quilt earlier this month, I was a little worried.  After all, I had made Benjamin's over the course of several months, and now I needed to make Joanna's in less than six weeks.  So I was thrilled when I finished it up last week - with plenty of time to spare!  First I was amazed that it had gone together so quickly, then I started wondering why on earth Benjamin's had taken so long...and then I remembered that when I had been making his we had not only packed up and moved, but I also had had a fussy infant, meaning I didn't exactly get a chance to sit down and sew for a couple of hours at a time!

Anyway, I love how Joanna's quilt turned out!  In keeping with their room colors, I used lots of red and yellow, but then I added in some pink and purple to make it girly.  To keep it doable, I made a super simple design, and I don't worry about perfection on a project this big!

It complements Benjamin's quilt so nicely!  I can't wait to see the quilts in their room together.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Our Large Family

Some people say having four children officially makes you a "large" family.  Although I don't think four children is a particularly large family, I would agree that most people in our culture would view it as so, because while three kids are more than the average, it is still fairly common (although I have heard three called "large", too).

So I guess this summer we will "officially" be a large family, when baby #4 joins us.  We're excited!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Making Tortillas

I love making homemade tortillas.  Some people argue that homemade tortillas are a waste of time, because you can buy them pretty inexpensively, and they can take a while to make.  While both of those are true, I still choose to make them myself because all of those "little" costs still add up.  Plus, I like that I can make them to suit our tastes.  I like to make them healthy, but I really don't enjoy 100% whole wheat tortillas.  So I make them half whole wheat, half regular flour, which is a good compromise for me.  They do require a bit of a time investment, though, especially since I like to make double batches.  For a while I dreaded making them because they did take quite a bit of time to roll out and cook.  But then I discovered a couple of tricks that cut my time at least in half, and I enjoy making them again!  The first thing I did was to start making them smaller.  The smaller tortillas roll out much quicker, and, as a bonus, I get more!  Then, I started using two pans at a time to cook them.  Since the smaller ones roll out quicker, I can easily have two tortillas ready to cook by the time the first two are done.  When I was doing just one at a time, I would always have a backlog of tortillas waiting to cook, which meant I was cooking for a while after I was done rolling out.  These two things greatly simplified my tortilla-making!

Another reason I like making my own tortillas is because it's a great project for the kids to "help" with.  I just give them a piece of dough and they have fun with it while I roll out the rest.  They each received their own wooden rolling pin (real ones!  just smaller) for Christmas, which adds to the fun, since they're not having to wait to use mine (and I don't have to share).  They stay involved for quite some time, and there's little mess involved, so we're all happy!

See that little shaker with the green lid?  My mom gave me that idea  - it's full of
flour, which is awesome for jobs like this! 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Our Christmas

This awesome handmade wooden truck was the kids' joint Christmas  present.

Our Christmas went a bit different than planned.  Christmas Eve we headed over to Seth's parents' house, as usual.  All went well until we were sitting in a Christmas Eve service and Joanna started throwing up - all over my lap.  Not long after we made it out of the sanctuary, I started throwing up too, although I at least made it to the bathroom.  Needless to say, our Christmas plans were thrown out the window and we headed home.  We spent Christmas with some of us laying around on the couch.  Dinner consisted of Sprite, Gatorade and crackers.  Not exactly on my list of "Things to do this Christmas".  

We did get to enjoy our family Christmas presents and stockings, and my parents dropped off a basket of Christmas goodies for us, including books, which were perfect for a day of laying around!  It was a nice day, or at least it would have been if we hadn't been so sick!

This pretty much sums up how we spent Christmas week!
It was extremely helpful that Seth got sick first and was better by the time I got sick!  Ezra only threw up once and Benjamin managed to avoid being sick at all.  Poor Joanna had it the worst and was sick for a week, but now is finally better.  And in case anyone is curious, what we think of as the "stomach flu" isn't really the flu at all.  Technically, the "flu" is more like a really bad cold, often with a fever, and rarely involves vomiting, at least in adults.  Makes me feel even better about my rejection of the flu vaccine, since it wouldn't help with something like this anyway!

Here's hoping for a much better Christmas in 2013!  =)