Thursday, August 25, 2011

random thoughts about crafting

Sorry if my posts have been kind of random and sporadic.  My main computer is still down and we are trying to figure out if it is still under warranty or if my hubby should just take it apart and fix it.  I am hoping to have it up and running in the next few weeks. 

I have realized that I have not really been crafting very much this summer.  I guess I have just been busy with trying to declutter the house, basement and garage, while cleaning and doing some fun activities with the kids while the weather is still nice.  This fall/winter, I really want to start crafting more and am going to try to post about one new project a week.  I have a few projects that need to be finished, so hopefully I can get around to those.  Also, I want to get better at sewing and sew at least a few skirts for Alyssa.  My problem is that I don't really have a crafting area (maybe that's why I haven't been crafting as much in general).  I used to use one of our bedrooms, but Alyssa took over when Malachi came so all my craft stuff got boxed up and is sitting in the basement.  I have to dig though the boxes to get to the supplies I am looking for, which can be a pain.  Hopefully, I can set up a crafting area soon (and not in the basement!  I saw some scary house centipedes down there.  Ekkk!  I HATE those things!). 
Another thing that I am going to have to start working on soon that should lead to more crafting is Homemade Christmas!!!  This year I am going to try to make most of our Christmas gifts!  I am really excited about this!  I have already picked up a few gifts that were on sale or at the thrift store, but I am going to try to make the rest.  I already have a few ideas but the boys in the family are going to be the hardest ones to think of ideas for.  I know I need to start soon if I want to have it all done by Christmas!

Sorry for the random post.  These are just the thoughts I have been having lately. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I know that there are some mommies out there that check out my blog, so I thought I would share this (click on the blue!) with all of them.  Lately, I have not been feeling very adequate in the mommy area (and a few other areas!).  I see all these awesome blogs about moms that make all their children's clothing and make every meal from scratch with wholesome, nutritious foods.  They have so many creative ideas and blog about all of them, yet still have time to home school their children and have a clean, clutter-free and beautifully decorated house. Sounds like the perfect Proverbs 31 woman to me!  Now I am not saying that it is a bad thing that they can do all these things, but I just have to remember not to compare myself to them (which is very difficult!).  God has given us all different talents, gifts and interests.  We just need to make sure that we keep our priorities in line with things above, not earthly things, no matter what we do. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bubble Gum Reward

So lately we have been having some listening issues with Alyssa.  She just doesn't want to listen and will not do what we tell her to do until we have told her 4 or 5 times.  Most times she is also very whiney and talks back.  I knew I needed to do something about this fast.  It was just wearing on my nerves and I was getting sick of the talk back and not listening.  One of the blogs I follow, had a great idea.  Beth, blogger at From the Hive (and my sis-in-laws sis-in-law) blogged about a reward system that she was using this summer with her kids.  I thought that this would be great to use with Alyssa.  You can find Beth's blog with the bubble gum reward here.  Below are our gumball machines.  Can you believe that it only took me one full piece of scrapbook paper to make one (two total)?!?:

Alyssa was really excited about the gumballs and still is.  We told her that she needed to get 50 gumballs and then we would take her to Chuck E. Cheese.  Alyssa is really excited for this prize, since she has only been there once and I am not sure she even remembers.  Currently, she is about half way to her goal.  She has been a little better about listening, but still needs work.  The hubby commented the other day that he has seen an improvement in Alyssa, so I was happy to hear that. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Adventures at Domino's Petting Farm

A week ago, the babies and I met up with my sis-in-law Kelly in Ann Arbor.  One of my to-do's on our summer bucket list was to go to Domino's Petting Farm and we all decided that that would be a fun thing to do.  I had heard it was a good petting farm and that it was great for young children.  You can find more information about the farm and it's history here.  The kids really seemed to enjoy the farm and seeing all the animals.  Domino's is a not-for-profit (which I didn't know), so they run basically off donations and the admission fees.  The actual property is very large.  About half of it is office buildings and scattered around the office buildings are big, open pens with different animals, mainly sheep, cows and goats.  So as we are driving down the long road to get to the farm, we saw a few different kinds of animals and the kids made sure to point them out.  It was kind of neat so see animals scattered in a fenced in pasture next to a huge parking lot or office building. 

Domino's Petting Farm!

Aunt Kelly and the babies looking at some Pot Belly Pigs!


Alyssa and Kelly with a chicken

Moooooooo!  Malachi really wanted to see a cow!  He kept saying "Moo"
from the parking lot to the entrance of the farm.
Farmer Malachi

Waiting for the hayride to start

Aunt Kelly and Malachi looking for cows during the hayride

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Garage sale and thrift store finds Post #2

So here is the rest of my haul from another day of thrift store shopping last week. 

Two of the Salvation Armys that are close by my house carry an awesome selection of kids books.  And for 5 for $1, can't beat the price. 

I pretty much picked up an entire collection of Magic Tree house books in one trip.

I remember reading Arch books as a child and remember liking them.  I want to start a collection for my own children. 

Lots of Golden Books!
More Golden Books!

There are about 20 or so of these books in the entire series and I would like to collect all of them.  I think I am off to a good start. 

These are a few American girl books that I found.  I actually haven't found too many American Girl Books.  I used to love American girls, they were my favorite.  I remember getting the catalog in the mail and picking out all the things that I wanted.  Unfortunately, I never actually got anything, but a girl can wish, right?? I would love to start a collection for my daughter so she can read them when she gets a little older.   It's funny that I found these two because Addy was just coming out when I was getting too old for the series and Josefina was not around at all. 

Beanie babies I picked up for a quarter each.

A lovie I picked up for a quarter
Barney movies 4 for $1

I actually hate Barney but I guess they do well on Ebay.  I will let my kids watch them each through once (to make sure they work) and then they will be sold. 

Wow!  I found a lot of stuff.  Excited to start my Ebay adventures!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Garage sale and thrift store finds Post #1

Wow!  I have really missed blogging!  I didn't realize how much I really enjoyed it!  Unfortunately, my computer is still not fixed but I was able to find a way to get some pics uploaded from our other computer so I could blog.  I have hit up a few garage sales and been to a few different thrift stores in the last two weeks.  This post will be the first (of two posts) of my finds for the last two weeks. 

Friday., Aug. 5th, I was on my way to the library to drop off some books.  I saw a garage sale and decided to stop.  There wasn't much but I did find this guy:

He's in good condition but didn't come with the cracker and remote control.  I paid $10 for him.

On Sat, I decided to stop at a thrift store that I am not able to get to very often.  Hubby had the kids for the afternoon and I was in the area.  Below are my finds:

I found this huge comforter bag filled with misc stuff.  I am actually not sure what is all in it, but I do know that there are lots of Polly pockets (a few boys!) and some ponies.  This entire bag was only $2. 

All the movies were 4 for $1 so I picked up two sets of these three movies (Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, Santa is coming to town).  I know these are classics and I will sell these on Ebay closer to Christmas. 

I also picked up these movies which I will sell closer to Christmas. 

Malachi needed some new shoes so I picked up a few pairs.  The pair on the left is his size right now and the Nike's on the right are the next size up.  I wasn't sure weither to pick up shoes with shoelaces instead of velcro, so we will see how that works.  I paid $2.50 each pair.

I also picked up a few dresses.

These dresses were $1 each during the 5 for $5 sale at Salvation Army.  They are very pretty dresses and would make nice Christmas/Holiday dresses.  Not really sure why most Christmas dresses are sleeveless.  It gets cold here in MI!

I also picked up this dress.  It is more of a costume.  It was $2.50. 

Hope you enjoyed my finds!  I really want to start taking pictures and listing some stuff soon on Ebay.  Still kind of scared about listing, but excited that I received my scale in the mail today!  Stay tuned tomorrow for Post #2 of my finds!

linking up with Yardsale Mommy


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

update on life

Sorry I have been MIA for a few days.  I had a few posts that I planned on writing but the computer that I normally blog on decided that it can't find/load the drivers.  That is the only computer that has an SD card reader.  Not sure what's going on but Leonard is working on the problem.  Hopefully, it will be fixed soon.

I can't believe how quickly the summer flew by.  Alyssa starts Preschool for the first time after Labor Day.  It's such a bittersweet moment!  I am happy because she is getting older but at the same time, I still want her to be my sweet, little baby.  We were sent a copy of the dress code last week and I realized we don't own ANYTHING that is within dress code.  We don't have any black, blue or khaki dress pants.  Or solid or striped dress shirts.  I figured that I was going to have to buy her a few things but not an entire wardrobe.  Everything that we have for her is very girly so it's either pink, purple or has very girly prints.  Luckily, she is only going two days a week, so I can buy a few things now and slowly add by asking for things for Christmas.  Other than getting ready for school, I have been trying to do a few things on our summer bucket list.  I did not accomplish anywhere near what I wanted to so we may have to move some of it to the fall/winter bucket list.  Some of the activities are indoors so it will work.  Hope everyone is enjoying the last bit of summer!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Overseas Coupon Program

I like to coupon and use coupons for almost everything.  If we go out to eat, I usually have a coupon.  As everyone knows, coupons expire.  Most people I am sure, just throw the old coupons away, but did you know that military bases can use expired coupons for up to 4 to 6 months past the expiration date?  I decided to send my expired coupons their way.  There are a couple of groups that organize this but the one I used was  They gave me the address of a base to send them and off they went.  I sent them in two big ziplock bags like this:

One bag is food and the other is non-food.  I sent them in an envelope via prioity shipping and cost me a whole $5.95.  It was basically the same cost as sending it anywhere else in the US.  Great use for things that we can't use anymore.  I am all about recycling and helping others. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Pillowcase Dress

A year ago or so, I found a bunch of old pretty pillowcases.  I decided to send them to a friend because I knew that she makes pillowcase dresses and sells them on Etsy.  You can check out her store here!  She asked me if I would like her to make one for Alyssa and I said "sure".  The dress came out super cute and Alyssa loves it!  Here are some pictures from our "photo shoot"!

Cute girl in a pretty dress!

Strike a pose!

Malachi wanted to get in on the action!

Monday, August 1, 2011


For the past few weeks I have been stalking a blog called Yardsale Mommy.  The blog talks about finding items (mostly toys and kid stuff) at garage sales for a great price and then selling them on Ebay.  I love the concept!  I personally love shopping at garage sales and thrift stores but I am very conservative and don't usually buy much.  Many times I will go shopping and think "Wow!  That's a great deal!" But then not get the item because I don't have anyone in particular to buy it for.  This weekend I decided to check out a Condo sub sale and buy items mostly to resell on Ebay.  I think I did ok.  Here are my finds:

$3 bumbo type seat

This purchase was based on my inner dork.  I couldn't pass up this Anatomy Apron for 50 cents.  You put it on and it has all the body parts that are stuck on with velcro.  If nothing else, my kids can enjoy it and learn about their inner body.

This was a scary purchase.  I have read on Yardsale Mommy that Thomas stuff does really well but I really wasn't sure.  I got both of these sets for $25.  I still need to work on negotiating.  Any tips?  I think I will wait to list these sets a little closer to Christmas.

$1 baby playmat
 I actually bought this just for Malachi.  He loves cars and things like this.  He has already played with it for a few hours. 

Wasn't sure about this but for $1, I couldn't pass it up.  It looked neat and was leap frog brand.  Alyssa has already played with it for awhile.  

Costumes sell great around Halloween.  This is a Princess Fiona dress from Shrek 3.  It looks like it was only worn once, if at all.  The sleeves come off but it still had the plastic things on to keep them from being pulled off and lost in the store.  

Size Small - $2 Princess Fiona Dress

When I bought this rocket I thought it was the Pat Pat one that YSM always talks about.  I did some research and it wasn't .  The sellers didn't have any other pieces with it so hopefully I can either find more pieces at another sale or just sell it as is. 

I am kind of scared to sell on Ebay since this will be my first time.  I am sure I will make beginner mistakes and I have to get over that if I want to do this.  I have also been decluttering my house and finding things I might be able to sell.  These will give me practice without spending money.  I would love to hear any thoughts/tips!

I am linking up to Yardsale Mommy!  Check out her blog, it's awesome!