Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Far from perfect Christmas....So far.

It's Christmas Eve....the kids are all sleeping in the living room tonight by the Christmas tree which leaves Dan and I "homeless" for the night.  We usually curl up on the couch together after the kids are in bed and watch some chick flick or something.  Actually, lately I have been hand stitching things and he has been sitting at his desk working...but we are in the same room.  Anyways, I thought now would be a good time to catch up on blogging.  For starters...My mouth is FINALLY feeling better.  Almost 2 weeks later I feel like I am on the mend.  That dry socket thing is NO joke.  Basically, if you get a dry socket, they have to pack your empty tooth hole with a gauze type packing that has cloves oil or something on it.  N.A.S.T.Y.  However, it really helps.  I had one oral surgeon that really packed it in...and I lost it.  Full out breakdown in the chair.  I had just gotten done with my Real Milwaukee segment that morning, ran home and grabbed my daycare kids and headed to the oral surgeon with 4 kids in tow.  Then the dentist shoved this packing in so hard that I couldn't take it.  I think he thought I was a bit cray cray.  Full out sobbing....with 4  kids staring at me thinking "this lady is a nut job and our mom's leave us with her."  Long story short....I am having a little aching here and there still but nothing I can't handle.  I am just praying it's not another tooth going downhill.  With my mouth, it probably is.  
Ok, moving on.  Tonight is Christmas Eve and we attended church together.  The pastor's message was about the "perfect" Christmas.  Meaning in the beginning of December we all have these grand plans to make this year's Christmas the perfect year....and then it never happens.  It got me thinking about how un-perfect (I know that's not a word) our Christmas has been so far.  Let's start by cookie baking.  I wasn't going to do it this year.  I really like to fly solo in the kitchen.  I don't like messes.  Well, baking with 7 kids is a bit messy.  This year I braved it.  7 kids surrounding the mixer all asking to add ingredients and pour and stir and scrape.  
 We did get the batter all mixed and they were actually really great helpers at rolling the cookies into balls.  I am also a bit of a germ freak when it comes to baking so watching 7 kids "help" bake while touching things and doing things they shouldn't do with their fingers and mouths can be a little overwhelming.  Hence we will be the only ones eating the cookies this year.  Who knows what made it into those cookies!
 Christmas cookie baking....far from perfect.  There were tears over the lack of aprons, tears over who didn't get to add the flour and tears because I wouldn't let them eat raw dough.
We did eventually get them done.  Well, almost.  The amazing sugar cookies are baked and have been left undecorated.  Maybe after Christmas we will decorate them....OUTSIDE!!  I mean, for reals...I don't know if I can handle frosting and sprinkles and fingers licking and touching things....but we shall see.  They taste good plain, right? 

 The Friday's at the Farm room has been converted into a jumbo sleepover party this week.  All 7 kids sleeping in the same room with blankets and pillows all over the place!  The fact that they all want to sleep in the same room still makes me think they actually really do like each other.  The best part is....when they wake up in the morning, all the noise is downstairs!!  Yeah for sleeping in!  (well, I have been able to, Dan still has to go to work...poor guy)

 This morning we let the kids open their "sibling" gifts.  Each year they draw names to shop for one of their siblings.  Each year there are tears because someone didn't get who they wanted to shop for.  In the end it always works out and the kids just love doing this.  I can't wait  for the day when they can actually buy their own gifts for their sibling!!   Thanks, Mom, for helping us out with this, this year!

 We spent most of the day at home today.  Dan worked today and then came home and we headed to church.  We came home and had "the best dinner ever" according to the kids.  I even made them all kiddie cocktails.  They thought that was super cool.
 Griffs....oh sweet Griffs.  He is one tired 4 year old.  These late night sleepovers have left him a bit overtired.  A quick cat nap in the car didn't do him any good today either.  Once he got some kiddie cocktail in him he was all good!

 The other night we headed to the Country Springs for our annual Christmas light excursion.  Good thing the windows were rolled up this year....between the fighting for where everyone got to sit and the pouting because children didn't get to sit where they wanted to and the children that were passing gas and making the entire van smell, it was a real good time.  At one point I was positive I would be better off parking the big bus and walking home.  We were able to pull it together by the end, but then our sweet Griffs had a breakdown.  ( I told you these late nights are not good for him!)
 So here you have it.... Our "perfect" family.  Notice his un-matching pajamas as well? just have to learn to let some of the battles go.  In all fairness, he is having horrible growing pains in his legs.  They get really bad at night.  Tonight was one of those nights.
 I just kept taking pictures.  Hoping he would stop.  He didn't.

 From the youngest to the oldest....We have conquered the contacts...FINALLY!  We also started round two of braces....Happy Molly Christmas to you....Sigh...and we thought diapers were expensive.

 Yesterday was a good day.  My mom called and offered to take us to the Milwaukee Ballet's Nutcracker.  I had planned on taking just Abbie to go see it this week but she insisted we all come.  So with Oma's credit card in hand, she took us to see the ballet.  It was amazing as usual.  It was hard to watch because Abbie wasn't in it, but also super exciting knowing that in May she will be dancing on that same huge stage in Alice in Wonderland!  Whoop Whoop!!
 This my friends, is my Christmas gift.  Yes, number 1 on my list was a new shop vac.  Watch out hairballs and dirt....mamma's got a new toy!!!

And last but not least....we made it into a magazine!  Yahoo!!!  I submitted our jumping photo a few months ago through Kaiser reality (that is who we rented our condo from when we booked it out of town to Alabama in the can read that HERE if you want to!)  Anyways, we didn't get first or second place, but we did receive an honorable mention photo.  I, personally, feel the outcome should have been different, but I am a bit biased!!!  We canNOT wait to go back in the spring.  It simply was one of the best last minute decisions we have ever made for our family!

Well, I am off to the 11:00 Christmas Eve service.  The kids are all sleeping and Dan is reading something (probably a manual to a techy type of thing).  In our world of so many un-perfect things, it is SO good to know that we have a perfect Savior.  He can truly make ALL things new.  I will be remembering that tomorrow as we celebrate HIS birth.  As Lanie said tonight when she prayed, "Thank you God for being God...and letting us get presents."  He gave us the best present ever when He sent His son.  Have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wrap yourself silly! Gift wrapping Ideas....Real Milwaukee!!!

I am not going to lie....I have become sorta kinda addicted to gift wrapping this Christmas!  When the  producer at Fox 6 asked me to do a gift wrapping segment I jumped at the chance.  Why?  Not because I am an expert gift wrapper, but because my friend Nellie is!!  I knew if she could just get the boxes wrapped for me I could do the decorating.  We made quite the team last week as we wrapped and decorated while the children ran wild sat nicely and played and read books ;) 

I am not sure I can really do a tutorial on gift wrap as the pictures really speak for themselves.  What I can do for you is tell you exactly what I used for each gift so you can duplicate the look yourself! I am looking for things to wrap now....I am just loving it!! 

Ok, a few tips for wrapping your actual box/gift.  I used kraft wrapping paper that I found at Hobby Lobby 50% off.  There is quite a bit on the roll.  I wrapped our 7 kid's gifts using two rolls (about 25 gifts...some larger boxes some smaller).  If you want super clean edges and no tape showing like we did, you need to use double sided tape.  You can purchase that at basically any store.  I got a super cool double sided tape dispenser at The Container Store.  It was SO very easy to use and saved us a lot of time by not having to stop and rip tape.  Another great trick to produce a professional wrapped gift is to crease crease crease your edges.  Fold carefully and use your finger or something thicker to get a good crease.  Cut away any excess paper so your gift doesn't become bulky.  At the end of the day, take your time.  You will get better with each box you wrap, trust me!!!  It's amazing how great the gift can look with just taking an extra 5 minutes.  Ok, let's get to the gifts!  

Supplies:  Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, lace ($1 section at Target), bakers twine, clothes pin with a piece of washi tap on it, scrapbook paper for the large background and bow, small pom pom and tag.  You can download the paper bow template for FREE HERE!
Supplies: Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, sequence strand ($1 section at Target),  thin white rope (Michael's), bakers twine, Flag pennant strand (Michael's).  
Supplies: Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, while ribbon (Hobby Lobby), red twine ($1 section at Target), Chalkboard label ($1 section at Target), Red felt (cut to make flower or use a pre-made flower), hot glue to attach flower, chalk pen ($1 section at Target).
Supplies: Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, permanent marker. 

Supplies: Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, gray ribbon (World Market clearance section), red button,  bakers twine, gift tag.
Supplies: Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, red twine ($1 section at Target), twine (Menards), ornament, candy cane, permanent marker.
Supplies: Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, twine (Menards), Tree clothespins ($1 section at Target), pre cut letters ($1 section at Michael's).
Supplies: Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, pom pom maker, yarn, tag.  
Supplies: Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, lace ($1 section at Target), Fabric (twist to make flower...see tutorial HERE from previous REAL MILWAUKEE segment), Star (Michael's), optional metal stamps to stamp name-could use regular ink stamps as well ).
Supplies: Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, fabric washi tape ($1 section at Target), flag pennant banner (Michael's), permanent marker. 
Supplies: Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, glitter ribbon (Hobby Lobby), bakers twine, pine cone, pin branch, chalkboard tag ($1 section at Target), chalk pen.
Supplies: Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, bakers twine, star stamp, letter stamps, embossing stamp pad, while embossing powder, hair dryer or heat gun. 
Supplies: Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, fabric, chalkboard label ($1 section at target), chalk pen.

Supplies: Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, patterned wrapping paper, bakers twine, chalk board tree clothespin ($1 section at Target).
Supplies: Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, twine, bakers twine, fabric scraps, felt, needle and embroidery floss to make "G" hang tag).
Supplies: Kraft wrapping paper, double sided tape, Burlap (Hobby Lobby), Glitter polka dot ribbon (Michael's), curly bow (Marshall's), card board "A" (Hobby Lobby), spray paint (for the letter), hot glue to attach letter to gift. 

Supplies: Fabric, bakers twine, chalkboard clothespin tree ($1 section at target), chalk pen. 

Supplies: Kraft Wrapping paper, double sided tape, burlap (Hobby Lobby), Fabric, thin white twine (Michael's), Merry & Bright ($1 section at Michael's), white paint, circle sponge brush to make polka dots. 

The possibilities are endless with wrapping!  The best part is, you can take any of the idea from above and customize the gifts to your style and crafting ability!  Change out the scrapbook paper or fabric for any time of the  year!!!  

I also did some wrapping for my friend's in my Mom's group and customized the wrapping to what they like (or what I thought of when I think/pray for them).  I get most of every craft supply I own and use in the $1 bins at the local craft stores and Target (of course!)  You can make things very classy with just a few extra minutes of time to get creative!  I have to go find more things to wrap now!!  Happy wrapping!!  

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My mouth hates me and other randomness.

 I don't like to use the word is such a strong and powerful word.  However, today, I am going to use it.  My teeth HATE me and I HATE my teeth.  Remember this post?  You know, the one about my horrible dental issues?  Well, I finally mustered up enough courage to get my tooth pulled.  I am going to start checking those dental issues off the list.  So last Friday I got all brave, drove myself to the oral surgeon all by my lonesome and had my tooth pulled.  Of course I couldn't get numb.  I told them it takes a lot to numb me up.  3 rounds of numbing shots later, I was numb enough to not feel the tooth be yanked out of my mouth.  The oral surgeon was actually very nice and did a great job.  I didn't feel any pain and the tooth did come out easily.  Phew...problem solved, right?  Yeah, not so much.  They gave me the run down of it all and mentioned something about a dry socket.  Blah blah blah, I got this.  Only 5 % of people get a dry socket after having a tooth pulled (way more common when wisdom teeth get pulled out) so I was feeling pretty confident things were gonna be smooth sailing.  Then it happened.  Saturday my mouth was hurting a little bit.  I had just had the tooth pulled the day before so I pressed on.
Oh is my after tooth pulled out selfie.  My cheek was so puffy!  So  Saturday morning into the early afternoon I helped make manger scene block crafts for the Birthday Breakfast with Jesus at our kid's school.  After we got home around 1:30 I forced  suggested that we all take a nap.  Dan worked all day on Saturday and my mouth was feeling more and more achy so forced family nap time it was.  Some of the older kids dove with joy in their beds and some pouted and stomped their way into their beds.  I went into our bedroom, put the covers on and covered my head with a pillow.  1 1/2 hours later I woke up.  Mouth still achy.  At this point I am still thinking it is from getting the tooth pulled.  I got all the kids ready for the Christmas program that night.  5 girls hair curled and braided and off we went.  Dan came home just in time to ride with  us there.  Long story short, Sunday morning came.  Another Christmas program for the kids that morning and momma wasn't feeling too hot.  At this point now I figured something else was going on.  Well, guess what??  I have a dry socket!  Super. Awesome.  I went in yesterday morning and had my dry socket packed with this nasty packing that tastes like cloves.  Every time I swallow I taste cloves.  Super. Awesome.  I will say it did help and by last night I was feeling good!

 I attended my Mom's group Christmas party last night and was excited that my mouth was no longer hurting or tasting like cloves.  I have become a little obsessed with wrapping since I have prepared for this Thursday's Real Milwaukee segment.  I knew I wanted to make these hand stitched felt ornaments for the ladies in my group and ended up using them as the tag on the gifts I gave them.
I had a good night out and then as I laid my head on my pillow last night the throbbing mouth pain was back.  It was really bad.  I was mad at myself for not having the prescription drug pain killer scrip filled from the dentist.  Dan got me some Ibuprofen and I did a lot of praying.  Eventually I was able to fall asleep.  The throbbing woke me up at 5 a.m. this morning and I made my way back to the oral surgeon about an hour and a half ago.  I am repacked with nasty tasting clove packing and will pray this helps.  My next appointment is scheduled after TV on Thursday which is making me a bit nervous, but at this point, what else could go wrong, right?  Sigh.  So, yes, I HATE my teeth...and my mouth for today.  I mean, I am super thankful for everything my mouth and teeth can do...but just for today I am mad at them.
 In other random facts of life.....I have been hosting some more Friday at the Farm sessions.  I did a mom's group at a local church where they did pallet signs and picture coasters.
 I had my final scheduled session of the semester with Christmas pallet boards.
 A local pet store sells pigs.  My daughter LOVES pigs.  That is always number one on her wish list.  We have been waiting for months for the pet store to get another pig in so we could go visit it.  Finally, the pig arrived.  Some lucky person purchased the pig for the low price of, gulp, $995.00.  It was nice to visit the pig and have it be sold so it wasn't even an option for her to beg us to buy the pig.

 The kids always get pajamas and an ornament in their St. Nick stocking.  Last  year I found Hallmark ornaments on clearance for 75% off which was really nice this year!  Opening anything here is always mass chaos.
 Our baby boy turned 4 years old.  Sniff.  Sniff.  How can he be 4 already?  Seriously, 4.  We celebrated by taking him to church and a basketball tournament.  What a lucky boy, right?!?  We may have forgotten to get him a birthday cake/cookie and had to run out at 8:30 at night to get him one so his birthday wasn't completely ruined.  I truly do love to throw a huge birthday party, but time got away from me and I couldn't swing it.  He did have a huge party last year so I kept reminding myself of that.  He wanted a power ranger party.  I am not a huge fan of power rangers at all.  However, he loves the guys for some reason....and since he is the baby, he gets his way most of the time, he had a power ranger "party".  He was SUPER happy to have his power ranger guys on his generic birthday cookie...he totally thinks he had a power ranger party now.  See how we did that!?!?  Score!!!

 And our oldest FINALLY got contacts in her super sensitive eyes on Sunday.  I won't tell you how long it took, but they got in!!!  The eye care specialist that sat with her had the patience of an angel I tell you.  She may not have been able to get them out that night and shed some tears, but after watching some YouTube videos she figured it out.  She was able to get them in for school yesterday which was so exciting for her.  Next week she starts round 2 of braces.  Phew, and I thought babies and toddlers were exhausting...they hold nothing against this teenage stuff!!!
...and there you have it....2 weeks and a achy mouth later we will survive.  Off to prep for Thursday!