Friday, July 29, 2011

Better times ahead

Things were just starting to get easier, until I picked up today's mail and found a handful of big, unexpected bills. Ick.

But, then I glanced over at the dance class schedule, the one I used to explain to Katie why she can't do dance class during religion. I scribbled on it this message, a hand-me-down from my high school track coach:

1. Family
2. God
3. School/Work
4. Extras

Then, I picked up our family calendar, and the page it was on said:
"Lord, show us the Father and it will be enough for us." --St. Philip at the Last Supper
"Love God, serve God; everything is in that." -- St. Clare of Assisi

So, maybe things aren't so bad. Maybe I just need to have a little more faith, be a little more patient. God knows I lack patience; I just wish there was a faster way to learn how to be patient. *snicker snicker*

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What I Did on My Summer Vacation: Clothes

I have four daughters. Girls wear a lot of clothes. I am cheap. We love hand-me-downs. I'm a bit OCD.We were missing clothes. I start a new job in a week, and school in less than a month. Those are just few of my excuses why our living room looked like this:
Before, aka all the girls clothes in one room.
I needed to tackle this job a few months ago. I knew we were missing clothes that would fit Natalie right now, but I had no idea it was so many. All of these were stuffed in Lainie's closet, since she had just outgrown them last fall, after I started school:
Natalie's found clothes that fit now
And so we I started sorting. 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, 12 month summer, 12 month winter, 18 month summer... on up to size 1 in juniors. It took three evenings, but it's worth it. At the start, it looked like this:
The mountain to tackle

By the end of the first night, I had the clothes sorted and bagged from newborn to size 2. These are the hardest sizes, because you can't just eyeball a onesie and know if it's 3-6 months or 6-9 months. Each tag needed to be read.

End of Day 1
As I finished a size, I labeled the 18-gallon tub and moved it to the foyer. Suffice it to say, I'm grateful we didn't have any surprise guests this week.

End of Day 1
On night two, I tackled sorting the rest of the clothes. I knew I needed to buy more tubs, since I had at least 5 trash bags of clothes that needed a more bug-proof home. But, I needed to know how many tubs to buy before heading to town the next morning. That forced a deadline on me, making me finish all the sorting before bedtime. Doesn't size 10 look so pretty, all folded and stacked? (Yes, I really am that OCD.)

Size 10s
Before I packed up the 6s, 7s, 8s, and 10s, Katie and Maggie had a clothes-changing marathon. I might think they are size 6x but they might actually be size 8. This is by far the girls' favorite part.

Maggie's fit-now clothes

I also sorted out clothes that don't fit our girls' body type, or the size doesn't match their age. For example, we love Dora the Explorer, but by the time they grow into a size 7, they don't want anything Dora anymore. Some of these, I had just over-bought at garage sales. (I have a tendency to buy any girls jeans that don't have holes in the knees; it's bound to fit one of my daughters eventually. As a result, I had way to many toddler sized jeans.) Thus, the donation pile: three bags full, headed to Lighthouse for Christ.

The donate pile.

It's been two years since I organized the girls' clothes. With the craziness of this past year, I did not keep up with the organization. When clothes went off-season or were out-grown, they got stuffed in bags and put in closets. But now, order has resumed.
After. All the clothes in tubs, sorted and tagged.

Now, when it starts turning cold again, someday, or Lainie hits another growth spurt, I can just grab the next tub of clothes, remove the stuff from her dresser and exchange it with stuff that fits and is season appropriate. It might seem like a little thing, but to a busy mom, it is bliss.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Grilled Dessert

I made a dessert with the girls tonight, one that I would never eat but they seemed to love. It came from this month's Family Fun magazine. I have an aversion to bananas and chocolate, so there is no way I'd like this one: As easy and cheap as it is to make, though, I thought it was worth a try.
  1. Slice a peeled banana length-wise. Place the banana on a piece of aluminum foil.
  2. Add marshmallows and chocolate chunks in the sliced banana.
  3. Wrap it up tight and grill it on medium for 5 minutes, or until nice and gooey.
But what do the in-house critics think? A picture is worth a thousand words:

Note the chocolate stuck on her teeth

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Quotes from the weekend

From Katie, while watching people fan themselves in a hot movie theatre (the a/c was broken): "I think those people must all be from the city."

From Lainie, singing her version of the K-State fight song: "Fight for K-State Wildcats. For all the mothers, fight! Fight! Fight!"

From Maggie: "What do you think I should be when I grow up? I think I'd like to design shoes."

And one more from Katie: "When I grow up, I think I'll be an astronaut. And then I'll become President of the United States, because I'll be famous from being an astronaut. Then, after that, I'll design clothes. Because, who wouldn't want to buy clothes from an astronaut president."

From Lainie, making up a song in Target: "Diapers and jelly beans, diapers and jelly beans, crackers and new shirts and diapers and jelly beans."

Last but not least, from Natalie, on the way home: "Is dat God's moon?"

Yes, Natalie. Yes, it is. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Science of Fireworks

Sometimes being a lazy mama pays off. Last night, Katie and Maggie were asking SO many questions about fireworks instead of just enjoying the show. So, I gave them assignments today to answer their own questions. Best of all, I got the answers without doing the work.

Maggie's assignment was to find out why we celebrate the 4th of July. She explained, "A long time ago, 13 states fought a war to be independent from Great Britain. And it was a great war. That's why we celebrate."

Katie's was more scientific, to explain how they get the fireworks to be different colors:


Today I’m going to tell you about fire works. Last night I thought you would just have to put paint and food coloring in a firework to make the color but it is a lot more complicated than that. For starters it includes a lot of chemistry and science. Many firework colors are from burning metal salts. The 2 main things in fireworks to produce there colors are incandescence and Luminescence. Incandescence produces colors like red orange and yellow. The hotter it gets the lighter and brighter it gets. So when It turns hot it can be yellow or white.  Luminescence on the other hand makes the fire works green or blue. To make the green fireworks there has to be chlorine in the firework. For blue fireworks there has to be more copper chloride in the firework. For better colors the fireworks have to be more expensive for an example just for the color green there is Barium compounds + chlorine producer barium chloride, BaCI+= bright green that is a lot of stuff in one firework!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cleaning 101

If cleanliness is next to Godliness, then why does cleaning with kids bring out the worst in me? Overheard in our house during today’s cleaning sweep:

“Why in the world is there duct tape and Jenga in this bag?”

“Maggie, quit reading.”

“Katie, it’s cleaning; not interior decorating.”

“Mo-ooom, Natalie messed up my stuff again!”

“Maggie, quit reading.”

“Mom, can you help me?”

“Look, Mommy! I made the beds ALL by myself!”

“Huh. I wondered where that went.”

“It’s no fair! She has less to do than me!”

“It’s no fair! I got all the hardest jobs!”

“I do it! I do it!”

But three hours later, our list is done enough to head to the pool. The jury is still out as to whether it’s easier to just do the work myself, or fight the fight to teach the girls how to clean. Someday it’ll pay off, right?