Advent Calander, 2018

Every year to start the Advent season, we always bought the chocolate advent calender. Everybody got one. This year, with our family that would have been 7! We don’t buy the cheap ones. The chocolate is not very good. So we opted for the more pricy ones. $10.00-$12.00 each. That adds up! And the waste!! Wrapping on each calender and the trays holding the chocolate.

This year is different! Me and Alaina got together and came up with some ideas to make our own. I thought at first I would make a calender for everybody, but it does take a lot of space to Store 7 calanders. So one big one it is.

To start, a large piece of cardboard. I need it big enough to house the envelopes which will contain the treats.

Here, Alaina is spreading our homemade glue on the board and I will stick some colourful sheets of construction paper to it, also covered with glue.

Ta-da!! Now to let it dry overnight. The board did end up curling on the bottom, so I would recommend setting something heavy on the corners to keep it flat. I stored mine in the laundry room, on top of a picture frame and balanced on a shower curtain rod. Haha!! Up out of reach of little hands!!

Daniel wanted to come and help me and Alaina! No problem!! We folded some scrapbook card stock in half, 8″ x 8″ sheets.

I cut off about 3 inches and was left with a folded 4″ x 5″ card.

On one half I cut about an inch so it will fold down to seal the card as shown.

Next, homemade glue was painted on the edges. I really wanted to see it together. It would allow for more pocket space as the glue needed more space taken to a cheat properly. But I was not able to borrow a sewing machine. My fault, as I left it to the last minute.

After they were glued, one by one I stuck them in a big book for pressure to help them dry and seal. I stacked something heavy on top of the book as well to add the extra pressure.

They sat overnight, and about 6 of them did not seal all the way. I just re-applied some glue and let them dry a little longer.

Together me and Alaina hooked the cards to the board with metal fasteners. My go to was to use a glue gun and clothes pins, but I had no glue. So instead, went with this more friendly option. It worked so well!!

Alaina decorated the board with some felt stickers I had on hand for scrapbooking. Better to use them than let them go to waste.

When the card is taken off the board, underneath is a verse from the Bible (kind of like using a Jesse Tree). We read the verse when we have the treat. Each card has 7 treats.

This is the link to the Bible verses I am using behind each envelope.

Me and Chris decided (mostly Chris) that we would add treats to the cards a little at a time so they don’t get stale.

Since there are 5 columns and 5 kids, they get to open one to share every 5 days.

We went with 25 days on our advent calendar, as Jack’s Birthday is on Christmas!!!! Also, 25 cards worked out so well on the board.

Plans for next year include festive cloth and making sacks to hold the treats. Just did not have the time or material this time round. Also, I probably should have chosen a white background. Would probably look nicer! But oh well! Lots of colour!!

Crayon In The Laundry!

Today I had a mountain of laundry to do! I could not get it done over the weekend and today was the next possible time to do it. No stress! Really!

On my way upstairs to get dressed for the day, Thomas politely gave me a piece of crayon he found on the floor. It was small! Like a centimeter long. Purple. I put it in my house coat to deal with later.

I got upstairs, got dressed and gathered the mountains of laundry from the bedrooms and put my house coat on top of the pile. Yup. You know what happened next!

I sorted the colors from darks and lights and browns. Put the lights in the wash first. Of course, my house coat is light grey. First load finished, I put it in the dryer with the clean diaper stash so together it would be a large load to dry, not 2 small loads.

The dryer finished and I gathered the laundry out of it. To my surprise on the table while I was folding . . . The color purple was showing up! And I immediately knew what happened! About 7 articles of clothing were smudged in melted crayon.

Since there was so little crayon, it spread thinly, not crumbly. This happened a couple years ago with an orange crayon that was in a basket of clothes. Funny, one of Alaina’s tops was a victim of both incidents. The diaper liners and shells were effected. My house coat and tie too. 2 of Jack’s t-shirts, a tiny spot on Chris’s pj pants, and two of Alaina’s tops.

One of those tops really had feeling disapointed!! It was bad!!! I will get to it after!

I googled ways to clean them, and found a page. Though I was not going to use hot water in the washing machine, I decided to try scrubbing by hand with Dawn dish soap and hot water with a rag/toothbrush.

My house coat was coming clean in no time!! I could not believe it!! Worked so well!!

Next came the easy clothing, 3 of the tops and pj pants. No problem!! If I found the spots were still lightly coloured purple, I added some vinegar to the clothing, and it came right out! I still can not believe how easy it was.

Next came the special shirt of Alaina’s. Grammie brought it back with her from Chris’s sister Catherine from Milwaukee. Alaina wears it all the time. Chris and the kids were just face timing Catherine yesterday. They have not done that in a long time and everybody had a great day! So nice to chat with family not often seen! Alaina of course was wearing the shirt and Aunty Catherine got to see that. Alaina loved to show her!

So, getting back to the mess. Here is the picture.

The pictures don’t do justice! It’s so bad! I think I spent 30 minutes or more on this top rubbing in lots of TLC! I kept thinking that “this is not going to work! The shirt is supposed to be white. Its going to turn out pink”.

Here is the end result!

Flawless! I was surprised and so happy!!

I can’t wait to show Alaina when she gets home!!

What A Day!

Busy day catching up from the busy weekend. Where is the coffee!!??

10:00 am starting laundry, mega amount!

Oh dear! My house coat housed a tiny purple crayon Thomas gave me this morning when I was on my way to get dressed. I put it in my pocket and there it washed and melted on my house coat and some other clothing items . . .





Diapers in the wash getting prepared to be stripped overnight.

    • 10:25 am Bread and sub buns!

  • Bread finished at 4:30pm
  • 10:40 am, coffee!!!!
    11:20, second sip = reheat!!!
  • Dishes. Not using dishwasher, not that hurried!
  • 10:40 am, Granola Bars!

        • The crayon mess really took a toll on my day. Probably 2 hours for sure spent on cleaning the clothes marked with crayon.
        • Big Birthday bash tomorrow for Thomas, turning 2! Cake making, decorations need to be put together, Jack still needs to pick up something to give to Thomas. I really want to collect a group of photos of Thomas’ 2 years! Busy day tomorrow!
    • Bake a cake for Thomas! –Tuesday
    • Make decorations for Thomas’s Birthday!-Tuesday
    • General house clean up.-Tuesday
    • Collect pictures of Thomas’s first 2 years.-Tuesday

Happy Halloween 2018

All ready to go out Trick or Treating!! Alaina was not feeling so good the last couple of days.

We had a great year for going out Trick or Treating! Could not have asked for better weather!! Spot on!

Chris mainly looked after Daniel, Alaina, Julia and Jack. I had Thomas. Everybody behaved so well and was polite at all the houses. Even by the end Thomas was learning to say Trick Treat and saying bye waving his hand frantically! Everyone was amazing!  We even got to hook up with Alaina’s friend from school and his sister and dad. Big group of us, 10, going down the road house to house.

Daniel decided to dress up as a zombie.
Alaina wanted to be a Vampire.
Julia had to be a witch.
Jack was a skeleton.
Thomas dressed up in the famous Yoda costume. (9 years old that one is).

Here are some more pictures of Halloween morning getting dressed up for school. Of course Jack had to join in too and have fun!

Next year everyone will be a bit older, and it will be much more fun!! We did not do much decorating this year, as Thomas is at the age he would just pull everything down. It will be much easier next year and the years to come!

Cheers to this Halloween!

Baking Day.

Thank you Chris for fixing my Kitchen Aid mixer! The dough is so soft compared to by hand the last month!! Xoxo
Also making granola bars and going to try granola. That should be pretty easy!!
Laundry is going, Jack is crafting and Thomas is chowing down on an apple. Boy he loves them!

Want to try another chickpea recipe at some point. And cookies! Another day maybe.

Sparta

Sparta our kitty. She is 11 years old. I got her before Chris and I met. She is my husbands baby! Sparta loved him right from the beginning. Pretty sure she tries to make me jealous! Haha!!

I got this girl from a family friend when she was a kitten. She was growing up in a barn. She is not very good at playing as she gets rough. Probably some form of instinct she learned when she was with her mom.

Sparta sure loves her cuddles with us. She used to sneak her way onto our laps, moving so slow that sometimes we did not notice her arrive. Other times were quite annoying waiting for her to just lay down.

She used to be very timid of the kids. Keeping her distance and leaving if they came too close. Sometimes swatting. Daniel, who is 9 now, has been building a great relationship with her lately. Chris is getting Daniel to give her treats every night, and he strokes her so nicely. Sweet talks too! Its very cute!

Alaina and the other kids are still nervous of her, but Sparta has more patience for them now a days. Jack and Julia are learning to feed her.