Before you watch TV

    And then this happens. I took the picture after they put the bookshelf back against the wall. 

I think I’ve been using the television as some sort of stress preventer. I easily get stressed after stuff like the above picture happens… Which is basically everyday. I have trouble getting the kids to pick up. I pretty much always help them pick up, but the kids are ages 4,3,2,1. And none of them pick up when I tell them to. One of them always seems to escape picking up in general. I honestly don’t know how to get them all engaged at the same time. 

My husband has been trying to get me to use the TV less. I have tried other things like earning stickers for chores, etc. before they can watch tv. So hopefully I can keep up with this list. Everything on the list has to be done before they can watch tv. Here’s hoping…

Reading Corner

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My mom bought the letters for me to nail up on the wall. I’m in hopes that they will stay on the wall and not wander all over the house by means of tiny feet.

I got the bookcase for free, family estate stuff (I’m not sure if that’s how you say stuff like that.)

I sorted the books by board books, library books, big books, and Orthodox books. There’s a basket of coloring books and crayons.

The John Deere tractor is one of my husbands toys when he was growing up. It’s a nice bookend, right? It’s pretty heavy.

Maybe I’ll add more blankets and pillows later. What do you think?

Hot Dawg!

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I got this in my stocking for Christmas. I had seen it before, but hadn’t thought it worth my money to buy such a thing. I have a couple complaints about it. The cutting tool isn’t sharp, which I suppose is okay for safety and kids, but it makes it rather difficult to cut through the all beef franks that I bought. You have to make sure that it’s exactly lined up with the bottom or it won’t go through. When it does go through, beware, you may get hot dog juice on your glasses or shirt, the fat generally goes everywhere, that’s why I put a paper towel underneath the tool. If your kid doesn’t like the casing of the hot dog, then congratulations, this tool basically peels it for you. I waited to clean it until later that day the first time I used it. Not so the second time. The hot dog fat was really tough to get off if you let it sit there, so definitely rinse it off. You also need to have a tiny scrub brush to get in the crevices to get the hot dog casing out when you clean it. The kids are very amused by me using it. So, if you have it, use it at the table and let your kids see it happening, that’s the best thing about this.

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Cleaning my Catch-all Closet

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I forgot to take a picture of my closet as a before picture. I took everything out, like the pros say, and I readjusted the shelves to be all on the left side of the closet. That second photo made me feel a little overwhelmed. So much stuff unorganized. I need more totes. If I don’t know what to do with it, I generally just put it in the closet somewhere.

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I put a bunch of stuff back in. I’ve got Christmas decorations, Fall decorations, Music decorations, and stuff from China, a whole box of gift wrap, a tote of fabric, craft supplies, school supplies, a bunch of frames. Half of me wants to get rid of stuff, but the other part of me doesn’t want to because we’re only renting now. and It’s quite possible that I’m going to need it when we get a house, and it’s better to keep stuff than to buy it later. I guess this is how accumulating so much stuff starts.  But at least it’s not so much, we’ve only been married 4 1/2 years. It’s not quite done yet, but it’ll get there soon.

Chinese mantle decorations

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I went to China in 2007 with Washburn University’s wind ensemble. I came back with these things. I supplemented it with some things I bought at Hobby Lobby a few years ago. I haven’t had these decorations out since I’ve been married (four years on Thursday). So I’m happy to see them.

Colorful New Cushions

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Last year my neighbors moved out and left some stuff out by the trash cans.  I always wanted some wicker outdoor furniture and… I got some. 🙂 The cushion was not that great… and covered in dog hair… gross. I have to say that the finished product is the most colorful thing we have in our possession. Most of our stuff is beige, though I love color. I’m just a little shy about using it.

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So I took apart the cushion and took all the stuffing out. I had hoped that it was just a cover and all I’d have to make was a cover, but no, the stuffing was polyfil.

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I used the old fabric as a guide for the new fabric. I used outdoor fabric from Joann’s.
I also bought some fabric for some pillows for back cushions. I found a pin on pinterest for directions on how to sew pillow covers. I bought the pillow forms at Joann’s for 50% off.

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I was a bit distracted while I was cutting the fabric and didn’t double check before I cut. I realized that I didn’t have enough fabric to make the envelope closure in the back… so I sewed on some more fabric and thought it’d make it look intentional by putting a contrasting stitch down beside the seam. 🙂 I actually like how it looks. Except for I’m not as clean of a sewer as I’d like. I just realized that my stitches don’t look super clean in that picture.

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I had better success with this pillow.

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Here’s the finished product… well as finished as it could be. I’m waiting for it to get really hot so I can spray down the furniture so it’ll dry quickly.

I also probably need to paint it and maybe re-cane the legs. Or I could not paint it and it’ll be shabby-chic. What do you guys think? Any recommendations?

Kitchen Cleaning

So I got my kitchen clean on today. I stayed in the kitchen for a really long time. Let me tell you that the kitchen looked a lot worse than the photo below when I started. I emptied the dishwasher twice today. And did the dishes twice today.

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The bunch of dishes are air drying next to the sink. I didn’t feel like drying them. 20140416-220516.jpg

This cabinet is a jumbled mess.

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Here’s the after. I put all the alcohol in the cabinet. It’s so much more organized now. I put all the medicine in a container on the bottom shelf and I only kept one bottle out just in case we have a rough night.20140416-220540.jpg

The top of the microwave is a catch all for papers and stuff I don’t know what to do with. And I always forget to wipe out the microwave when I do the dishes. 😦 I need to make a sign on the window so I don’t forget to do it.20140416-220555.jpg

The only thing on top of the microwave now is my car keys.

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I guess it was a productive day. 🙂