A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Our Very Busy Week


I still have one more vacation post, but it just hasn't happened yet. 


I recently received some Color Garden food coloring to try out, so I thought birthday cupcakes would be a fun use for some of it.


They looked nice and sunny.  Unfortunately, we had a little disaster with them in the van, and I ended up buying store bought cupcakes and driving them out to the school for Katie's class after I dropped the kids off.  Not sure where that falls on the mothering scale.  On the one hand, I made cupcakes for her class.  On the other hand, the cupcakes she actually passed out where store bought.  Good intentions, lousy execution.


The rest of the batch met with approval, though.


Paul made Katie's birthday cake.


Seven!  Can you believe it?  She was still 2 when she joined our family.


It took her several tries to blow out the candle.


But she got it eventually!


Last year's Hello Kitty birthday shirt still fit her, so she wore that to school.


She got new books, including a couple Hello Kitty ones and a Grace Lin chapter book that Hannah immediately offered to pre-read for her.  Such a helpful sister.  Hannah loves to read, and usually plows through whatever we bring home from the library in just a couple days.


She also got her very own box of almond cookies, which she very sweetly has been sharing with Jack and Hannah, parceling them out into the lunch boxes every day.


Pictures are back!  The tie is just as cringey as I feared, but at least Jack's expression is okay.  I really ought to have scanned them all before Eli put them up on the wall, but that didn't happen.


Homecoming shopping, round 1.  He's lingering in the "no pictures" phase longer than I would like.


Our little friends were here with us for several days.  We played on the school playground while waiting for the kids to get out.


Eli wanted a more detailed haircut than the "buzz it all off" that I provide, so Brianna gave it a go, and it turned out well.


This was appointment week.  It just sort of worked out that way.  Fortunately, the younger kids had "home study days" for 3 days this week, while the teachers were at a conference in Ventura.


The first appointment was Hannah seeing the eye doctor.


It had been over a year, and we'd noticed her squinting more, so I called in July, thinking I'd get her in before school started.  No such luck, they book out so far in advance.  She will be getting new glasses with a significant change in prescription.


The next appointment was Hannah and Katie's regular dental check up.  Jack and I took these guys next door to Hobby Lobby, and the candy corn shirt idea was born while we were there and the girls were having their teeth cleaned.


I originally made these Hello Kitty nightgowns for Katie, and not only has she outgrown them, I think this will be the last time our little guests use them, too.  At least without shorts underneath.  They've gotten pretty short.  We enjoy a little Dora on the computer after bath time while I'm combing out their wet hair.  I didn't think it was affecting me until Sunday's sermon when the pastor said, "Believe, repent, baptized," and I leaned over and whispered to Paul, "Dora format!"

Hannah and Katie were casted at Shriners this week for their new legs.  We go back in 2 weeks to do a socket test fit.


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Monday, October 9, 2017

Quick & Easy DIY Candy Corn T-shirts


My girls had their 6 month check up at the dentist last week.  The dentist happens to be next door to a Hobby Lobby.  So Jack and I wandered the aisles while Hannah and Katie were having their teeth cleaned, and some fun stuff fell into our cart.  I decided to embellish t-shirts for our little friends to wear to the pumpkin patch. 


I'll include Amazon links for your convenience, in case you don't have a Hobby Lobby nearby. 


Supply list:
Black t-shirts
felt in orange, white, and yellow - a note about the felt.  If you buy it at HL, you may notice that there are two grades of felt sheets.  The $0.33 felt and the $0.79 felt.  I went with the more expensive felt because the 33 cent felt was blotchy/see through. 
Candy corn ribbon (optional)
Spray adhesive
Invisible thread - You can also use white, yellow and orange, changing threads between each section, if you prefer. 

The last thing you'll need is a candy corn template.  You can draw yours freehand, if you like, but I chose to search for a candy corn printable coloring page so the work was all done for me. 

Cut out your template pieces.  Trace them onto your felt.  Sharpies work well for this.  Cut out felt pieces.  Spray the side with marker on it, and stick the candy corn sections onto the shirt. 


 Sew the candy corn in place, using black bobbin thread. 


I used clear thread, and I used a straight stitch around the candy, and a wide zigzag stitch between the color layers. 


If desired, add candy corn ribbon along the hem. 


I used a zigzag stitch and clear thread.  I briefly considered using some more of the ribbon to make matching hair bows, but somehow that part never materialized. 


So the first thing is... choose the correct size t-shirt for your child.  My models are wearing 3T leggings and XS shirts.  I should have gone with a 4T shirt, but they looked small to me.  All in all, I think they turned out okay, and they could easily get 2 if not 3 years use out of them. 


If you're more into a candy corn dress, I posted directions for this one a few years ago. 

Happy crafting! 


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Friday, October 6, 2017

Monterey Bay Aquarium


Okay, so before I talk about the actual aquarium part, I should at least mention dinner and hotel, right?  So Day One of our little road trip was Mission San Jose, the Dennis the Menace Playground, and Mission Carmel.  After we finished those, we went to our hotel, and upon arrival, we were upgraded to a nicer room.  So I had this loft:


And the kids had a Murphy bed and a sofa downstairs.  It was a nice arrangement.  And it totally made up for not being able to stay in the place we usually stay.  


After decompressing for a little while (and the kids checking out the downstairs tv), we headed across the way to California Pizza Kitchen.  The girls had mac & cheese, and Jack and I split a garlic chicken pizza.  I decided I like their tostada pizza better.  Live and learn, eh?


Next morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we headed for the aquarium.


Miss Hannah wore her dolphin earrings, of course!  (Note, she doesn't have pierced ears.  I thought clip ons would be easier for her with only one hand that can reach her ears.)


Gradually, the kids' classmates started arriving.


Catching some "Vitamin Sea" in my fish shirt.


The obligatory "we were there" sign picture.  Jack is also wearing a fish shirt.


My sweet little pearls, sitting in the oyster.



The penguins were a favorite.  I could have stayed and watched them for much longer. 


Jack was anxious to keep moving, though. 


Quite a few things have changed in the last 9 years since I've been to the aquarium, but some things were still familiar. 


It was awesome to be able to share an old favorite place with Hannah and Katie, who had never been there before. 


We used to call the Ocean Sunfish the "ugly fish" because they're so funny looking, and Annaliese had a stuffed animal sunfish years ago. 


Eels poking out of the sand.  Some were even sparring with each other. 


The otters were hard to photograph, sorry.  But they were very cute, and again, I could have sat and watched them for ages. 


A ray, a shark, and some other fish in one of the massive tanks. 


This picture gives you an idea just how close we were to the leopard sharks in this exhibit.  The glass ends at Katie and Jack's hands.  We could look down on them from above with nothing between us but air and water. 


There are several varieties of birds who call the aquarium home as they arrived injured and have been rehabilitated here. 


Lots and lots of touch areas.  Kelp, starfish, abalone, and more.


Even bat rays.  Although they were pretty shy (probably all touched out for the day!) when we got to them. 


For Hannah and Katie, this was the closest they've been to the ocean.  We ate the lunch we brought with us at the picnic tables across the street from the aquarium.  (I remember the food inside being horrifically expensive, so I packed Lunchables, and the kids were thrilled.) 


Then it was back inside to see more exhibits. 


It was an awesome day.  I'm really glad I got to go, and I'm really glad we turned it into a 3 day trip this year, although if the school goes next year, I think I'd be okay with it just being a day trip, as long as Paul does the driving. 


We made it out of the aquarium without buying souvenirs (although I did get Eli a shot glass for his collection), and then we walked around the area a little bit.   


The kids wanted to get up close and personal with the ocean, so we did. 


Hannah got a little surprised by a wave, and got to experience soggy shoes.  Jack took his off before wading in.  Katie was having nothing to do with the getting wet business.  She stayed right by me. 


But he too got surprised by a wave, and wore wet jeans back to the hotel.  Bleh! 



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