Sunday, October 24, 2010

Decorative Boxes

These are super simple autumn/Halloween boxes. Here is a pix of the supplies I used: a couple of old containers (cleaned out), some coordinating scrapbook paper - you could even use scraps, decorative stickers, embellishments, ribbon. *not pictured: scissors, tape & paper cutter.

All I did was cut the paper down to the desired size, adhere it to the containers with double stick tape, and embellish as desired. You could easily adapt this to fit any holiday or occasion.I have them being used as table decorations right now but you could even take this idea and use them as gift boxes! Don't be shy - give it a try! ;-)

I'm submitting this post to a couple tutorial link-ups:

Sew-Can-Do's Craftastic Monday

Hope Studio's Tutorial Tuesday

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Parent Teacher Conference

Last week was "parent-teacher conference" week at Joe's school. It was our first one. I am not good with this kind of thing. I always had a hard time after Joe's First Steps reviews too.
Joe's developmental preschool teacher met with Isaac and I to discuss Joe's progress and what things they are working on, etc. She said that he has been alot more vocal, has been more mobile (doing his "bunny hop"), and is very social. She also said that they have not seen progress with the gait trainer (walker) since this school year has begun. He had been making good strides in this area in the spring but seems to have regressed over the summer. So now they are going back and forth between the walker and a stander. She said that they have not been able to get him to use signs with them and they want to focus on using Picture Aided Communication.
This update has been a little discouraging for me. He signs alot with us at home, though mostly at mealtimes. Part of me feels like switching to P.A.C. would be making all the work we've done trying to teach him signing a total waste of time. And the setback in the walker is just frustrating.
Patience is eluding me. Its hard to notice the strides Joe is making when I am so constantly reminded of all the things that he "should" be doing but cannot.

On a side note - he took a tumble while visiting family this weekend and has three staples in the back of his head. He's a trooper though and hardly seems effected by it at all. I think it bothers me more than it does him. ;-)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

30 by 30 transitions to: Bucket List

For the record... I do not think that I thought through what each item would entail enough when I made my list. There are a few things that are not completely within my control, a couple of things that are going to be ongoing things that are not realistically things that I can just "check off" a list and be done with. Also, there are a couple of things that I put on the list that I have lost interest in and kind of no longer want to do. I'm still debating what to do about those ones. Life is full of changes and life goes on - list or no list. That being said... I'm transferring the remaining items on my 30by30 list to my Bucket List. ;-) Its always good to have goals, right?

1. Take a "real" vacation with my husband! Not just to the family lakehouse (though it is nice, It is not the same as really getting away together - ALONE!). ;-) - DONE – Our Wisconsin trip was great.

2. I want to go to one (and only one) of the following: Colts game, Pacers game OR the Indy 500.... Those are huge Indianapolis things to do and I've lived here my whole life and not done any of them! * Changed to sporting event with hubby. So that includes the Cubbies. - DONE – Sallie took me to Pacers game and Isaac and I went to a Cubs game in Cincy.

3. Go on a trip with my "girls". We've been talking about doing it for years but none of us has had the money... but somehow we need to make it happen!! - I don't know that we'll ever have the kind of money to take the kind of trip we'd like to... but I'm sure we'll do something eventually.

4. Watch a silent movie. I don't know why but I think it'd be really fun! Charlie Chaplain here I come! – AFI Top 100

5. Going to a scrapbooking retreat with a group of my Scrappin' Sisters! This one will totally happen! Right girls?!? - DONE – we did a DIY retreat at the lake.

6. Take my older son to an amusement OR water park. He loved the carnival rides at the county fair... I know he'd love the kiddie area of Kings' Island or Holiday World... something like that. - DONE – we went to Great Wolf Lodge.

7. Get really good outdoor family pictures taken of us and the boys. I'm a photographer myself... but it is hard to do your own family's pictures! - DONE – I can't bring myself to spend a fortune on an expensive photographer but I am willing to spend a little by having friends do our pix and so far I've been really happy with them.

8. Have my entire house clean at the same time. (I'm not saying I will do said cleaning... just that it will be done!) - Um, yeah. Not sure if this will ever happen but one can always hope!

9. Ok, please don't laugh or think I'm awful! I want to go skinny dipping! Though I'll probably have to do it alone because my husband does not do water.

10. Do some community service OR mission trip. I've kind of let stuff like that sit on the back burner since I had kids and I think it'd be good to give in that way again. DONE - family pictures for Sheltering Wings families.

11. I know this sounds lame but... I want to own a minivan. It is hard having two kids in car seats in a small sedan! It'd be nice to have my siblings be able to ride with us instead of having to drive separate cars! - DONE – love it! Thank goodness we got it when we did because now that we have three kids we could not all fit in the Cavalier together.

12. Feel comfortable in my own skin. Whether that includes losing weight, getting in better shape, or not... I just want to be able to look at myself and love me without being so critical of myself and pointing out all my flaws. - ** Its a work in progress. I think every pregnancy has given me more and more of an appreciation for my body even if I don't always like how it looks.

13. Get better at managing my time... sometimes I feel like I work all day and get nothing done! There has to be a better way! -I'm trying to get the hang of the FLY Lady thing!

14. Paint our master bedroom. It’s a fairly inexpensive way to change the look of a room and I think it’d help me to be satisfied w/ our hand-me-down furniture instead of longing for something new. - DONE – love it!

15. Get in touch with a few old friends that I haven’t talked to in awhile. I know that some friends are seasonal friends and aren’t meant to last forever… but sometimes it is nice to catch up with people that you’ve lost touch with too. ** I have been able to reconnect with some old friends via facebook.

16. Read all of Jane Austen’s books. I loved the movies of her books and I liked The Jane Austen Book Club… I think it’d be fun to make an “all Jane Austen all the time book club” of my own! - this seemed like a good idea at the time... but I have a hard time reading books if I've already seen the movie. So I'm not sure this one is going to make it to the Bucket List. ;-)

17. Find a new Christmas tradition to replace gifts. Every year we’re overwhelmed with the amount of toys and stuff that our boys get from friends and family. I want to stop exchanging gifts within our immediate family and take a trip or have a special outing that we do together instead – I’m working on it - just not sure what yet.

18. Begin home-schooling my boys. I was home-schooled and while I think there are many advantages to doing it… I’m a little intimidated. I want to get organized enough to do it well. ** Doing Kindergarten w/ Nate right now. So far so good.

19. Decide if we are going to have more kids. When we got married I wanted four kids and Isaac wanted two. Well… after having one via unexpected c-section, and one vbac at home…one who tries my patience daily and the other who pulls at my heartstrings constantly… I’m not sure if I can handle any more kids. - DONE – Christine is the perfect addition to our family!

20. Expand my photography business. I’ve kind of just let my business be primarily friends and family so far. But I’d like to take it a little more seriously and actually do some marketing and put my business out there for more jobs. I want to do this for two reasons: 1) I love taking pictures and want to improve my skill and a lot of that comes from experience. 2) It would be helpful to our family financially if I was able to bring in some extra income. ** Now is not the right time to expand. But I do still have a few gigs here and there for friends and family and that is fine for now. You can see my work HERE.

21. Get all my completed scrapbook pages into albums! I have piles of pages that are stacking up that I have no albums to put them into!

22. Finish reading through the whole bible with my husband. We got off to a good start awhile back and got out of the habit. Need to start back up and finish this time! - working on it.

23. Go to a Hearts at Home conference. I’ve wanted to go for a couple of years now and have not been able to work it out. One of these days… it will happen!

24. Find a way to show my husband how much I appreciate him. He is such a big part of my life and while he certainly challenges me… I think I take all the good things about him for granted sometimes. - DONE - or so he tells me! ;-)

25. Help make some positive changes to the women’s ministry at my church. I think there are a lot of women who would benefit from some regular fellowship time where we can develop our relationships on a deeper level than what we can do on Sunday mornings.- DONE – slowly seeing some changes happen.

26. Go see Wicked (or some other live musical). I have always enjoyed musicals and haven’t been to many live shows lately. I’m one of those dorks who will sing along and annoy whoever is sitting next to me!!

27. Become involved in a mom’s group/play group of some kind.

28. Write out our will. It is not a fun job. No one (ok, I don’t) looks forward to thinking about what will happen when their gone from this world. But it has got to be done.

29. Take a continuing education class for fun. I was looking in the paper a few weeks ago and there were a few that I am interested in: cooking, etiquette, sewing, how to build your photography business, and others. Maybe I could talk someone into doing it with me!

30. Read a book that my husband recommends (from cover to cover!). My DH and I do not have similar taste in books at all. I read mostly fiction with some fluffy self help or DIY books in the mix. He on the other hand reads mostly theological stuff that generally bores me!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

what's going on

I thought I'd do a little update on my little ones. They're all growing up so fast!

Nate: You might think I'm bias but he's ridiculously smart! He read If You Give a Mouse Cookie to me the other night. We read our first chapter book together at bedtime over a week or two. I was pretty excited for him to get to hear Journey to the Homeland (the book that my sister wrote). He really got into it and was able to recall alot about the storyline and characters. We were doing a math work sheet the other day and he was doing simple addition problems in his head. He's five years old. Oh! And this weekend he's at the grandparents' lakehouse with them and rode his two wheel bike all by himself! I can't believe how big he's getting!
He has been testing boundaries alot lately which is exhausting. But then the very next minute he is affectionate and loving. I have never known a kid to say "I Love You" unprompted as much as Nate does! Nate is the most interesting combination of rough & tumble and sweet & tender. I love that kid!

Joe: It took a few weeks but Joe is finally enjoying the school bus. He rides a lift in a wheelchair and the first couple of weeks he was a little uneasy about going up in the lift. But now he's all smiles and seems to really enjoy it.
Just to be clear - We are all working on getting Joe to walk. However the rules for transportation on the school bus insist that he not be carried onto the bus - hence the wheel chair to get him on and off the bus (and wheeled into the classroom). Whie in class he does not use the chair but rather is on the floor or in his therapeutic walker. Hopefully the wheelchair is just a temporary situation as we hope he will be walking someday soon. So hard to tell with him. We don't get a whole lot of predicting "when" Joe will do things but everyone seems confident that he will eventually. ;-)

Joe had an appointment with his genetic neurologist a couple weeks ago. He said that there are not any tests or anything that he recommends us do at this point. He has a couple of things that could be done but they are either invasive or really expensive and he said that they would not necessarily find anything that would change Joe's current treatment. So, for now we will just keep doing what we are doing and hope that he continues to progress. I am thankful that in the face of many challenges Joe still has the sweetest smile!

Christine: What a joy this girl is! She lights up a room with her grins and giggles. Christine is already a chatterbox. This morning she woke up jabbering and didn't even want to nurse for awhile because she was so busy babbling to me. Such sweet sounds!
She is starting to reach and grab which is good to see. Given our experiences with Joe I am still on the lookout for signs of delays in Christine. The genetic neurologist did say that he thought her tone was good and he didn't see any reason for concern. That was a bit of a relief to hear.
Over the past month or so we have been working hard on getting Christine's bedroom done (which she is now sleeping in all the time!) and we are just about there. Can I just say how much fun I'm having with all the girly stuff?!? ;-) I'll post pix of that soon!