Tuesday, November 22, 2011

All in a Days Work

Too many birthdays.. Every year we breeze calmly through the summer and then suddenly as the word Christmas starts getting mentioned around the beginning of November the words BIRTHDAY starts getting mentioned too. The one being my soon to be 9 yr old Daughter on Nov 27th. And my soon to be 4yr old son has now picked up on the Birthday Hubaloo and is sooo excited about is birthday on Dec 9th.. And suddenly my Calender starts filling up until it's bursting at the seams, Thanksgiving parties, Birthday parties, Christmas... and then last but not least, My baby girl's 2nd birthday on Dec 29th..

You see it happened like this, My first Daughter was born on July 9th. And me being an outdoor lover, Gardener, lets just say I love everything about summer and the outdoors was forced to stay indoors with a colicky baby, Operating on very few hours of sleep and being 1,000 plus Miles from family and friends, resulting in Postpartum depression. I promised myself that I would try my best to have my next baby in the fall so that all winter I could sit indoors and cuddle my new baby without mourning the fact that I was missing out on sunshine filled summer days. Well it worked, my next three babies were late fall/early winter babies and that's what I did, I sat around all winter cuddling my new baby.. AHHHH such sweet memories, I can still smell their sweet breast milk breath...  and that's the way we passed each winter day until beautiful summer returned! However, I am now second guessing my decision as these three get older and understand the fact that Birthdays are about celebrating THEM!!! 

Here are the birthday treats we made tonight for Staci to take to school for her classmates.

If you've ever tried to make these in the way the directions on the cone box says you know that the cones get extremely soggy when you bake the batter in the cone.
After seeing these on Pinterest (don't introduce your birthday girl to Pintrest-food to find ideas for birthday treats if you just want to do something quick and easy)

I decided to try them this way:
Bake and cool the cakes
cut them into cone size pieces and put them into the cones
frost them and sprinkle them

Really the project would have been delightfully easy had it not been for an almost 2yr old's sneaky fingers!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Model is on Strike

My model is on Strike.. She has decided that she no longer enjoys having me walk after her snapping pictures. I know enough about 'almost 2yr olds' that I know asking her to stand in a certain spot in  a certain way is going to result in exactly the opposite of what I want. So I usually just let her do her thing, and always get a few pictures that I can use. However, lately as soon as I get my camera out she turns NAUGHTY!  Yes, she knows what I want and she is determined to control the situation by not being cute! What she doesn't know is that even when she's trying to be 'Not Cute' she is adorable!

Attempting to get pictures for our family Christmas cards.

Not in the Mood!!
 Always running away or toward me!

And then... add a 3 yrd old and 2 preteens and you have enough footage for a complete episode!!

 Here are a few of the successful shots of that day.
Staci Jane

Kristina Ann

Mitchell Alan

Here are the poses I got out of her today! The crossed arms is a new form of her 'Not being cute'. (Don't tell her how cute it is!)

 Finally figured out that if I bring Brother into the picture she will compete with him to be in front of the lens! It works!!

 Don't let that Angel face fool you. She is almost 2 and as full of personality as all the other 'almost 2yr olds' out there!
Love her with all my heart!! My Baby!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Make your own Laundry Soap and other Money Saving Laundry Tips

Laundry. Laundry. Laundry. Yes, It's always on a mom's mind. Just when you think you're finally all caught up with laundry, You turn your back for a moment and..... There it is!! Enough dirty clothes to make another washer cycle a necessity!

I have learned to accept the fact that our clothes will never all be clean at the same time. However, I hated spending all that money on Laundry soap. No 15-20 dollars a month isn't a fortune BUT I could think of so man better ways to use that money!!

So started my search and experiment with home made Laundry soaps. And I have finally found one that works Perfectly for us! And costs me Just Pennies a load!

 What you need:
  • Super Washing Soda
  • Borax
  • Fels Naptha bar soap ( I get mine at my local Grocery store)

Shred 3 bars Fels Naptha Bar soap. I use my hand cranked shredder but any grater will work.

Put shredded soap in a sauce pan and add water.

Add water till you have approximately equal amounts of water and grated soap.

Heat over medium heat until Grated soap is dissolved, stirring often and much.

Meanwhile, fill a 5 gal. pail with 4 Gallons of HOT water, Add 2 cups Borax and 2 cups Super Washing Soda. Stir until Soda and Borax are dissolved.

Add soap mixture to your pail of HOT water/Borax/Soda mixture.
Mix together well and Stir occasionally over the next few hrs until mixture is cooled down!

This 5 gal bucket of soap cost me approx 6$ and will last me about 2 month, using 3/4 cup of detergent for 1 large load of laundry.

Other tips:
  • Never wash clothes unless they are truly dirty, I always go through the dirty laundry (especially my preteens') and if it has no visible dirt and doesn't smell dirty I fold it and put it away again. This also helps your clothes last longer.
  • Use cold water whenever possible, and wait till you have enough dirty clothes to run a large load. This saves energy.
  • Hang your clothes outside to dry whenever possible. In this part of the country it really doesn't make sense to hang laundry on the line when the temp is 10 below, so I  try to do a load or 2 each morning and hang it on a Drying rack. By dinner time it should be dry enough that 10 min in the dryer should fluff it up and finish drying it.
  • Instead of dryer sheets, soak an old hand towel or wash rag in your favorite liquid fabric softener, Ring it out and let it dry completely. throw this in the dryer with your wet laundry instead of a dryer sheet. This rag should soften at least 40 loads of laundry.
Happy Laundry Day to YOU!!!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Full Spectrum Parenting

Parenting is a subject that I usually try to stay away from. (Altho my close friends will well remember the times I have strongly spoken my mind on the subject.)
The longer I am a parent to more I hesitate to give any advice on the subject. Each child is so different, and Each parent is responsible for finding what works for their own child. As parents we are responsible before God for raising our own children and in his word find that infinite wisdom for each situation.

The Challenge is finding that family balance when you have personalities that are at each end of the color spectrum. I find this to be an hourly Challenge!
  Example: We discovered that we had a flat tire on the way to school this morning. We were still close enough to the house where we could all have walked home. As we sat there discussing what to do, one daughter Hopefully suggested that they could just stay home today, and instantly the other daughter went into panic mode over the mere thought of missing another day of school! ( she stayed home with upset tummy yesterday) I do know how to change a tire but won't do it unless I HAVE to!
We called my BFF/neighbor and she gave the girls a ride and all was well!

We had parent teacher conferences last night and I am in awe at how fearfully and wonderfully made my children are!
It's so nice to have someone recognize and praise my husband and I for all the effort we have put into raising Godly Children! Too often people will say, You are so blessed to have 'Good' kids!
Yes, They are a Blessing and God is working in their hearts. But every once in a while it is sooo pleasant to hear, "Good Job, Mom and Dad". Because it does take alot of prayer, tears and hardwork to raise 'Good' kids!

So next time you notice a mama struggling to do whats right with her kids, instead of rolling your eyes and thinking to yourself how YOU would handle the situation. (Guilty here) Smile at her and tell her what a great job she is doing, and that you understand how much effort it takes to raise children.

AND next time you consistantly see the same child acting up.. PRAY! Pray for the mom and dad, they do need it.
Good kids are not born 'Good'.

Here we are trying to squeeze out  the last bit of our Good Natured Autumn!

Enjoying a 60 degree November Day in Iowa with Friends!

Don't forget, HaddyGrace is using 10% of Holiday sales to help give a gift of life to a starving Family! read about it here.

 I have put all Christmas Items in one section of my shop to make it easier for you to shop.

Here is the Damask Pillowcase dress perfect for the holidays but also great for the rest of the season!

 And wouldn't these baby girl boots add that holiday charm to the most basic outfit??

Go here to see all HaddyGrace Christmas Items!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Just one Goat

Just one goat can change a needy family's lives forever.

Just one goat can make the difference between life and death for a mama's loved baby!!

Take a moment to watch this video and see how 1 goat can made such a HUGE difference in in this Family's life!!

HaddyGrace Designs will be using 10% of our income from now through the end of December to buy Gifts of Animals for Families just like this one!!
Are you interested in Giving a gift yourself? Go to World Vision and choose from a whole list of Gifts that show a family that Someone DOES care about them!!

$1.50 of this order goes for a Gift of Life! Baby Girl Owl Shoes

 $1.50 of this order also! Baby Boy Camo Shoes

$1.50 of these Christmas Shoes goes for buying a Goat for a starving family.

 $2.20 of this Christmas Pillowcase dress Helps a Hungry baby!!

Thank you so much for making it Possible for HaddyGrace to help Families that are in Desperate need of the nutrition that these gifts of animals give!

I will keep you posted!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Christmas Gift Guide!!!

Christmas!!! Ahh what a Lovely time of year.. the hunting for just the right gift is so exciting.. I LOVE when I stumble across something that would make a PERFECT gift for Someone!!!  Etsy is a wonderful place to shop and also PINTREST!! I am addicted to pinterest.. if you haven't tried it, You must!!  It is loaded with gift ideas. And for those of you who like homemade gifts it has hundreds of DIY projects!!!

here are some ADORABLE felt envelopes for pretend play!! My toddler and preschooler would LOVE these!!

OMW!!!  wouldn't my preteen daughters Feel so grown up with a Journal that actually LOCKS!!

                                      Since the movie Walle, My son is flipped over robots and I know he would be crazy over this one !                                

Or how about this Gorgeous scarf for Your MOM?

The longer I browse on Etsy the more AMAZING shops I find. This gift is perfect for that hard working Mama friend that doesn't seem to never have the time or money to pamper herself!
This Grapefruit sugar scrub Looks amazing and I am pretty sure I can smell it by just looking at the picture!

OK, Cannot forget the guys!! they are the hardest to buy for anyway!!

Now... my husband REALLY needs this camo apron it's name brand camo (Mossy Oak) which is really important and I think he would actually wear it and there would be no more ruined shirts caused by sudden grilling inspirations!

I know, Coffee mugs.. they're the kind of gift that says 'I just didn't know what else to get you.'  BUT this Antler Mug would say 'I respect that deer hunting is a BIG part of your life." to, my husband, my dad, my brothers or ANY of my brother-in-laws!!

Yes, deer hunting is a large part of my husbands life right now..  so much so that my son has taken to dressing like this...

And acting like THIS!!

Not to mention that strange little tube he carries around, using it to make strange guttural animal sounds!!  :)

Happy Christmas shopping !!