Mount St. Helens, WA KOA Kampground

November 30, 2015

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This was another super fun campground at which we stayed.

(Grammar police got into me, sorry.  Oh, and no, I didn’t spell campground wrong in the title; that’s how they spell it.)

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We had beautiful weather, the playground was fun and not too far away from us.  They had blackberry bushes to munch next to the dog area, so Handsome Hubby ate plenty.

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The bouncy house was up for several hours a day.  This one was for ages 5 and under.  I don’t know why we never got a picture of the one for older kids.

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They had a fun rec room with all kinds of things for kids and adults to do.

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And while we did take advantage of the rec room, we tended to hang out at the blackberry patch or the bouncy house.  We got enough blackberries that I might have made a pie or even jam.  However, they never lasted long enough for that.

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May God bless your socks off!

Rachel

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In My Opinion: What to Pack to the Hospital

October 14, 2013

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Okay.  So I realize, since I haven’t written since June, that not everybody knows that we’re expecting baby #4…

We’re expecting baby #4!!!!

In 7 weeks and 4 days…

But who’s counting?

Anyway, I’ve recently started looking at those blogs that tell you what to pack.  Sort of to refresh my brain.  But some cases, these are naive moms-to-be having their first child.  Been there.  Done that.  Totally know where they’re coming from.

I also know that there are hospitals out there that aren’t as cool as the hospitals here in town.  My favorite aspect of the hospital where my first two were born was the buffet area where my handsome hubby could get a snack or lunch (and dinner in both cases) while I was laboring (and getting jello!).  The other hospital where #3 was born & #4 will be born at boasts of homemade chocolate chip cookies for all those on the maternity floor when they pass them out.

Clearly, I’m all about food…  <sigh>

 

Anyway… so here’s my list of what I bring with me.

1. Outfit to go home in – I suggest it be comfy, especially around your middle.  I usually bring a pair of maternity pants cause whether you know it or not… your baby belly does not immediately go away… even for me.

2. Outfit for baby to go home in – I suppose you can go as all out as you want or just bring a sleeper or two (just in case baby decides to pee through their diaper right as you finally get them in the carseat in order to go home.  I am always amazed how small he/she is in the newborn clothes I bring for them.  But then, I have small babies.

3. Trial sized toiletries – Personally, all I ever brought was hair brush, shampoo, deodorant, tooth-paste & a tooth brush, which I MIGHT have remembered to use once during the entire stay (even my c-section :P) And make sure it is small, just in case in your post pregnant brain you forget it at the hospital.  Besides, it’s less to pack!

4. Hair thingies – to keep my hair back, mostly for delivery & nursing afterwards.

5. Camera – any other electronic things are my handsome hubby’s job to remember cause I almost never remember nor use them…

The only things I might bring or not is: something for the first 3 to do when they come to visit, and #4’s baby book.  But, these are optional, so if I don’t remember, I’m not going to freak out.

 

And that really is it.  Because of what I know our hospitals provide, this is all I know I really need.  I wear the hospital gowns (as ugly as they can be) and those socks they give you because honestly I don’t want to ruin any of my own stuff. They give you some of those throwable undies and to be honest, you’d probably want to throw away any undies you packed for yourself afterwards anyway.

Nobody expects you to look like a model right after you give birth, but if it makes you feel better, go ahead and pack the bare essentials of your make up.

Our hospitals provide anything you could want for baby so I don’t even bother.  Then they give you what’s left over.  This is the reason I only pack an outfit or two.   I know I’ll come home with disposable diapers, yet another nose sucker bulb thing, and a ton of other stuff we may or may not actually use.  I’ve been told that not all hospitals do this, so certainly ask the hospital you’re intending on using.

As far as stuff to do while you’re in labor or after baby is born: I could never concentrate on anything while in labor.  I could watch tv, but that was about it.  Even then, I am a channel flipper, which helped the couldn’t concentrate thing… After baby was born, I was more concerned about sleeping, staring at my newborn, or sleeping than doing word searches or some other thing.

So there ya have it.  My opinion on what to bring to the hospital.

May God bless your socks off!!!

Rachel


Sewing Bug

April 19, 2012

This month I have been bit by the sewing bug.

Besides Hannah’s dress, I have made 2 pillows, a skirt for me, and embellished a t-shirt for Ethan.

Monster Pillow

You can get the tutorial from my inspiration here: http://www.modabakeshop.com/2010/07/monster-pillow.html#more .

I didn’t measure (as is my way, most of the time) and opted for a zipper at the top instead of the other pillow thing.

 

Hello Kitty Pillow

Super simple.

One word: felt.

Felt is my new favorite fabric.  LOVE it!

I did not use a zipper for this one.  I did use a double layer of white cotton for the front to give stability and so you couldn’t see the stuffing I used.  I also used a piece of pink cotton fabric for the back.  The yellow is a cotton ginham, I think.  I made a yo-yo for that.  The handles are done the same way I did the monster pillow.

 

Monster T-shirt

This project cost me absolutely nothing!

I love those!

I grabbed a plain red t-shirt from his closet, cut out a bunch of circles, teeth and a mouth from felt and sewed them on.

Isn’t the result adorable!

I can’t wait to see it on him!

Here is my inspiration off Pinterest: http://www.redtedart.com/2011/09/01/boy-get-crafty/dsc09531/

 

T-shirt Skirt

I do  not have a picture of the skirt yet.  The picture I did take was aweful.  So I will not make you see that.  I’ll try to get one of me in it.  But I haven’t worn it yet.

Either way, it was sooo easy to make.

Really.

If you can sew a straight line, or even a not so straight line (as is the case most days for me) you can make this skirt.

All you need is:

an extra large t-shirt in a color you like. (You can raid hubby’s old t-shirts if you like or buy a new one) The only rule for this is that it needs to be big.

a pair of scizzors

needle and thread (&/or a sewing machine)

a piece of thin elastic

2 safety pins

Directions:

1. Cut the t-shirt from armpit to armpit and discard the upper portion.  (The piece with the neck and sleeves)

2. Turn the t-shirt inside out

3. Fold about an inch down from the part you just cut, pin and hem.

4. Now you have a choice to make, you can decide which end you’d like to be the waist and which end you’d like to be the bottom of the skirt.

I chose the end I did not hem, but was originally the bottom of the t-shirt to be the waist.

5. Being careful not the go all the way through, make a hole in the hem.  PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS DONE ON THE INSIDE OF THE SKIRT.  I usually do this near the edge of the skirt.

6. Measure the elastic so it fits your waist.  Then attach one pin to one side of the elastic and another pin to the other side of the elastic AND near the hole.  It’s really annoying to think you’re almost finished and find that the end of the elastic is inside the hem.

7. Push the pin through the hole you just made all the way around the skirt and back out the hole.

8. Bring the edges of the elastic together and sew.  Depending on the width of your elastic, you may need to use a needle and thread verses a sewing machine.  My machine tried to eat the elastic.

That’s it!  Just flip the skirt back right-side out and try it on!

 

I am so blessed to be able to use what God has given me to bless others!

May God bless your socks off!

Rachel


Hello again!

April 17, 2012

Long time, no hear from, Eh?

I found my camera again!

Whoohoo!

We’ve been planning our vacation to the East Coast and so I’ve been busy!

But before I talk about that, I’m going to share what I made for what comes first.

The Civil War Reenactment!

Around here, it’s April 27th to the 29th in Keokuk, Ia

It’s always a lot of fun.

I love to see the ladies (and gentlemen) dressed in the 1860’s fashion and hear the cannon’s boom.  It’s also fun to hear about the Battle of Pea Ridge that took place not too far from Keokuk during the Civil War.  (Correct me if I have the wrong battle, for those that know.)

So…

I am blessed.

I just have to say that.

I got to attend the ball last year for the first time (sort of a last minute, happen to have an extra dress thing) with friends so close, they’re no longer friends.  They’re family.

I had sooo much fun!

See this dress?

Isn’t it gorgeous?!

(Thanks Lauren for letting me wear it!)

Yeah, it doesn’t fit this year…

I feel for the women in the 1800’s that had to work with fabric that didn’t stretch.  I guess I’m too used the t-shirts I wear, almost every single day.

But.  Like I said, I’m blessed.

Way blessed.

Like knock my socks off blessed.

When I tried it on the very beginning of this month and it no longer fit (amazing what 5 pounds will do to a person) they simply suggested that we make a new one.

We as in, they.

They are the experts.

All those dresses the ladies are wearing?

They made them.  (Minus the pink one I’m wearing.  But they did alter that one a bit.)

Awesome, aren’t they?

This is Hannah in the “everyday” dress I made for her.

While the dress isn’t perfect, it’s pretty nice.

If I do say so myself.

And I do.

I can’t wait for her to wear this at the reenactment!

Hannah will also be joining us at the Civil War Ball.

She received a southern belle costume last year for her birthday and I immediately thought of the Civil War Ball.  So I haven’t let her wear the costume much.  She is so excited to be able to wear it at the ball like one of those Disney princess’!

Well, I have more posts to write, but not today.

May God bless your socks off!

Rachel


Choices, choices, choices…

January 21, 2012

I know,  I haven’t written since Monday.

And, sorry, I don’t have pictures for you today.

I’m under the – I don’t know where my camera is again- blues.  I’m sure it’s around here somewhere.  I need to remember to put it back in it’s “home”.

Anyway.

We’ve been dealing with choices the past few days.

Well, more the kids than us.

You see, we took away their choices.  Not completely, but almost.  The older two were freaking out over the littlest things.  A cup or bowl color that they wanted and didn’t get, even what direction to put a comforter.  It’s something I’d expect from my almost 2 year old, not my 4 and 6 year old.  So we’re trying to teach them, not only that they can’t get everything they want, but that choices are a privilege, not a right.

I suppose to some, this might seem weird.  Especially in our society where we can “have it your way”.  We have so many choices!  I mean, you go to store to get a loaf a bread (never-mind that you have to decide not only to get bread verses make it, but which store to go to) and you reach the isle to decide on which kind of bread (wheat, white, rye, ect) and millions of brands to choose.  I just want bread!

Caleb had the “I want it my way” the worst, but Hannah wasn’t far behind.  So, I let them keep a very few toys in their room and then put the rest up for “rest time”.  Which in our world, generally means quiet, alone, play time.  I’ve also limited the choices of toys downstairs and am thinking about doing more.  The kids have been so much easier to live with without all choices.  I think we get choice overload and kids especially don’t have the maturity as yet, to handle it.   Sometimes I’m not sure if I can handle it.

In the end, it’s just stuff anyway.  Caleb very rarely asks for toys specifically.

Speaking of Toys…

Here are the toys I tend to keep around and are played with the most often:

1. Cars: as in matchbox type, but also as in the movie

2. Duplos Legos

3. Little People

4. Bouncy Balls

5. Play food & dishes

6. Dolls & doll clothes (yes, even the boys have A doll.)

7. We also have a number of Laurie Toys: The Color and Shape Sorter, Tall Stacker Pegs and Pegboard, Number Express and the Toddler Tote.  I love all except the Pegs & Pegboard for when we go out to eat.  I like the Pegs and Pegboard, but because of how the kids generally play with it, they need to be able to move around a bit more.  For instance: when we visit someone in the hospital or when we visit my grandma in the nursing home.

These are always out and almost always played with.

I also have:

1. Blocks

2. Lincoln Logs

3. Regular Legos – because we seem to always have toddlers and younger, these are more special occasion or rest time toys.

4. Puzzles – we have a variety of different kinds because of the ages of our kids.

5. Dinosaurs and other plastic animals

6. Tinker-Toys

7. Magnetic Letters

Anyway, THAT was a rabbit trail…

I also have tried to find out the kids 7 – 9 favorite shirts and leave it at that.  Kids honestly wear that many anyway if you keep up with laundry.

Which I’m not always so good about doing, but that’s beside the point!

Another good tip (that I don’t use often, but DOES help) is to have your kids pick out their clothes the night before.  Then there’s no or little arguing right before you have to push them off to catch the bus or get to your MoPs/Bible study meeting/ect on time.  It also makes sure you have what you really want clean and you are wearing two matching shoes… 🙂  And if you sleep through your alarm, it’s less you have to think about.  If your kids are old enough, it also helps them to know what to wear and maybe, just maybe get dressed themselves without you having to tell them to do so.  (It happens, really, just not very often here.)

Of course, if you homeschool like we do, you don’t have to get dressed.  You can hang around all day and do school in your pajamas if you want to.  It’s just of the perks of homeschooling.  I just get more accomplished if I’m dressed and have my shoes on.  (Thanks, Flylady!)  I think my kids are slow to get dressed in the morning because they’re hoping I’ll let them have a pajama day.  We don’t do it often, but they cling to the hope.

When we feel the kids can handle choices again, we will give the privilege back to them.  As nice as it is to live with them right now, they need to learn to be well rounded adults that can make wise choices.  We feel that our job, as parents, is to help them learn how to make those choices.  At first, it’s making those choices for them and then, it’s teaching them to do it themselves.

Anway, thanks for choosing to read this!  🙂

May God bless your socks off!

Rachel

 

 


Monday, Monday…

January 16, 2012

It’s Monday.

We went to Des Moines this last weekend and didn’t take any pictures.  So I have no pictures to show you.

We were going to go to the Omaha Zoo and than to the wedding of one of Tim’s cousins.

Then the kids got sick.

So… The kids and I stayed in Des Moines.

Sunday, I got sick.

Yuck.

So, today is Monday.

I feel better.

Thanks for asking.

But no pictures today.

Perhaps tomorrow.

May God bless your socks off!

Rachel


Reflections – Hannah

January 9, 2012

By now, if you’ve been following along, you’ve seen my boys.  Now it’s time for a little pink.  🙂

Hannah Elizabeth was named for Hannah & Elizabeth in the Bible who both have similar stories.  Hannah (in the Bible) became the mother of Samuel, the prophet, and Elizabeth became the mother of John the Baptist.  Both were influential men.  Both women had all but given up on God and yet God remembered them.  God’s plans are not always our plans and His timing are not always our timing.

All the pictures we took of Hannah right away had one of us in it… So… in this one she’s about 2 weeks old.  No longer red, but still bean like for the most part.

6 months old and already knows how to pose.  We put her on her belly and she put her hands in this position.  This was the second attempt at pictures.  At the first attempt, she would have nothing to do with sitting still and looking cute for the camera. Forget it!  Oh well…

1 year

18 months… I loved the way her skirt poofed up when she sat down.

I’m sure we had a better picture of her at 2, but this works.  Her birthday dessert here was cookie cake.

3 years.

4 years.  This also was her flower-girl dress for my mother’s wedding.  Cute, huh?

5 years.

6 years.

Ok… Rehash

Baby Hannah

Not so baby Hannah.

Waaaaaaa!!!!!!!   <sniff, sniff>

Ok, I feel better now.

May God bless your socks off as he has mine!

Rachel