Create more

I’m finally getting around to the “Create more” portion of “Pin-free February!”

The first thing I’m trying to “create more” of is less chaos.  🙂  I know that sounds weird, but that’s the first thing on my list.  So I’ve been emptying bins around the house and making sure that they are filled with what they’re supposed to be filled with and then I’m labeling them.  I’ve also got a few new/new-to-this use bins and have been putting them into use.

New baskets for hats in the hall closet

New baskets for hats in the hall closet

Newly labeled (but definitely not new) bins in the hallway closet.

Newly labeled (but definitely not new) bins in the hallway closet.

Reorganized & labeled kitchen drawers.  I'm trying to teach the kids to be a bit more independent when emptying the dishwasher.

Reorganized & labeled kitchen drawers. I’m trying to teach the kids to be a bit more independent when emptying the dishwasher.

Kids bathroom drawer: now organized & with labels!  (that black tray came from today's kids meal - saving money FTW!)

Speaking of kids independence: kids bathroom drawer: now organized & with labels! (that black tray came from today’s kids meal – saving money FTW!)

I’m also trying to create more beauty in my house.

I bought a cheap garland at the dollar store and prettied it up with some extra fake flowers I had lying around.  I looks a lot nicer in person, actually.

I bought a cheap garland at the dollar store and prettied it up with some extra fake flowers I had lying around. I looks a lot nicer in person, actually.

Prettying up my laundry room shelf - I think I'm finally going to repaint it once the rain goes away.

Prettying up my laundry room shelf – I think I’m finally going to repaint it once the rain goes away.

Later:

I spray painted the shelf and the picture frame (using a pinterest method that failed). and tried to decorate the other frame as well.

I spray painted the shelf pink, which is not a color you will really find a lot of in the house, and the picture frame I tried using a pinterest method that failed and I tried to decorate the other frame using a different pinterest method as well.

Combo: I spraypainted my  red key holder to match the shelf and run and I also labeled the hooks once again.  That empty space is awaiting a spraypainted basket.  :) I wanted to make it green but I didn't have the right shade so I once I realized it looked bad I decided not to hang it up until I got the color right.

Combo: I spray painted my red key holder to match the shelf and run and I also labeled the hooks once again. That space is awaiting a spray painted basket. 🙂 I wanted to make it green but I didn’t have the right shade so I once I realized it looked bad I decided not to hang it up until I got the color right.

My new laundry room rug - see how it picks up the colors from the fairies & art on the shelf?

My new laundry room rug – see how it picks up the colors from the fairies & art on the shelf now? YAY!  🙂

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Little things

David stayed home Friday, so we stayed home and I did some little things I’d been meaning to get to (photo editing, making appointments, etc.) 🙂

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Greg helped Nick make dinner that night, which was super cute.
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:)Then later Nick and I had a wine & cheese night. 🙂 It was lovely.
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Yesterday was a church day, but today I got back to my little projects. I cleaned the front hallway closet, took out the hanging shoe rack thing since we haven’t been using it since we no longer exit out the front door in the mornings. I moved those items into bins on the floor of the closet (mostly spare hats & gloves, sunscreen & bug spray, and miscellaneous fun things we use mostly in the summer.) and threw out most of the junk that was in those bins previously.
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Next up I’m going to cut the shoe rack into fewer columns of cubbies since the outer rows are broken. I’m going to move those into the garage for wrapping supply storage. Then I moved my purse rack into the hall closet because it was messing with the calmness of my bedroom.
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After all that I put away my stamps & ink from last week and gave Greg the leftover bin for his science supplies.
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While I was doing all that, my menfolk were getting the garden started for the spring.
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Last week I was thinking that I’d love some kind of jewelry rack that hid my jewelry a bit more than what my current system did. By some miracle, I found just what I was looking for in the Family Dollar store:

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I bought two, because I have a lot of jewelry. (I also got a cute rug for my garage entryway/laundry room, but I forgot to take a photo of that.) I haven’t filled them with photos yet, but I’ve been digging through Flickr looking through 2009 photos (because they were lost in the Great Hard Drive Failure of 2009) and I’ll have those printed tomorrow while I’m getting things ready for a Secret Project.

Speaking of projects, I also helped Ben with his Solar System project this weekend. He decided to make a mobile, so we made balls from Sculpey, baked them, & painted them today.
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Now we’re having dinner and games with my parents. All in all a productive weekend.

Back to normal, sort of

This week I spent a day lounging around with a bad sinus infection & visiting the doctor. I also spent a day cleaning the garage and doing this:

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(organizing the garage & making a pegboard full of tools)

And

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(Organizing the food related magazines & putting them into labeled holders)

I also spent two days subbing, once in kindergarten and once in first grade. Both are fun, but first grade is less exhausting.

Tonight my Girls Night Out got cancelled, but I’m actually kind of glad because it’s the first time in nearly a month that I’m not required somewhere. Wheeeee!!! I’m in comfy clothes & barefoot & drinking tea & listening to happy music. 🙂

It’s been….TWO WEEKS!

Now I have that song stuck in my head.

*goes around dancing and singing for a while*

*****

Ok, I’m back now. Oh, it has been so crazy around here. The last time I posted I thought I was on my way to work, but NO, I had a small child feeling all explody in the belly, so we stayed home and snuggled and did laundry, which was good because it was really the last time I did a whole lot of laundry at once and we are now starting to feel that lack.

So the day after that was Teacher Appreciation. We had soup catered, but we had to set up and make and put out desserts and make the room pretty and keep the food going. It went really well, but it felt like a super long day.

We love our faculty & staff!  :)

We love our faculty & staff! 🙂

The next night we had an early Valentine’s Day celebration with my family at their house here in town. Greg spent the night there, which he has longed to do for months and months now.

Early Valentine's Dinner with my family

Early Valentine’s Dinner with my family

Saturday we spent time gaming with my parents (yay Carcassone!) and then went off to church. We ended up having our Pre-teen meeting twice since only a few people showed up at the time we’d intended to do it and then the rest showed up later and were miffed that we hadn’t waited for them so we did it all over again. We stayed late for Open Gym Night and the kids ran around like mad things while Nick and I taught a new guy how to play Settlers of Catan.

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Gaga Ball has nothing to do with Lady Gaga, I promise. One of the church elders taught it to the kids, having learnt it at another location. The kids LOVE it!

I totally can’t remember Sunday at all. I think we hung out with my parents, then cleaned house. Whee!

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Mrs. A. put together a whole crime scene for the kids to explore bits from. It was very educational.

Monday was the start of Book Fair Week, which is extra crazy here. I spent the day at home resting up for the craziness to follow, then after school we went down to the library to participate in a Crime Scene Investigation with one of the teachers. It was super fun!

Tuesday I spent finishing up projects and then went up to set up for the school’s Fine Arts Night. PTA was serving a BBQ dinner and the book fair moved into the cafeteria for the night while the kids had all sorts of performances and things to do.

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There was a segment in another room as well, but it was in the dark doing static experiments.

Wednesday I volunteered down in the book fair for 4 hours. I love talking to kids about books and helping them out. I went straight from there to the middle school to help work FLEX day. Wednesday after school was Mad Science with the Mysterious Master Morrow. That was a lot of fun, too!

Thursday I spent another 4 hours in the library helping with book fair, then headed off for a doctor’s appointment and to deliver Valentine’s to a few friends. I had an adventure with the van not starting and my friend E rescuing me. Later, the younger kids had ALL THE CANDY after school, but we managed to share some with David as well. Nick made me special Fried Pickles for dinner.

We started our day with cards and heart shaped French toast.  :)

We started our day with cards and heart-shaped French toast. 🙂

Friday morning we got up and got ready for the Storybook Character Parade. I’d missed the note that came home saying the kindergarteners were not participating, so Greg was the only one that walked in the parade.

Greg went as Bob the Builder and Ben went as Jack from Magic Treehouse

Greg went as Bob the Builder and Ben went as Jack from Magic Treehouse. Most of the rest of the kids went as Nerds.

After the parade was over, I headed downstairs to kindergarten, then onto the bus to chaperon their trip to the planetarium. We had a good time there. Well, most of us. I sat next to a kid who really thought the sun was going to burn him & started freaking out.

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The museum had an exhibit on bivalves, a bone statue of the smallest T-Rex ever, a giant 3000 year old Mayan mask, and a bunch of blocks leftover from an Egyptian exhibit. It was quite trippy.

 We also got to tour the museum and see a real moon rock.

Friday was also the start of the church’s regional weekend. There was a hymn sign that Nick and the kids went to. I was exhausted, so I spent the evening blissfully alone.

Saturday we had church early and our choir sang “Down By The River To Pray.” I think we did pretty well. Then there was a potluck. Nick taught Sabbath school while I helped the kids find verses. Then I led the kids in crafts while Nick helped. That night there was more dinner and then a variety show and dancing. I danced up a storm with my little nieces. 🙂 I hope someone posts photos later!

On Sunday there were sports for teens and adults. Nick lead the pre-teens in sports while I lead the ones that didn’t want to play in craft time. It was a really good weekend, but oh so busy!

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These are all the photos I took this weekend. Yes: ALL. *sigh*

 

Back to school? Or not…

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It’s not just Pin-Free February, it’s also my month to test out nearly full time work and see if I can really do it before making a big decision.  I’m thinking about going back to school and getting my master’s degree in library science.  I have a totally busy month planned out, filled with lots of days subbing up at the elementary school, lots of full days of volunteering (field trips! teacher appreciation!), lots of full days just trying to get caught up on laundry & cleaning, and then a few days I’ve scheduled as full writing days because that’s not getting done right now what with everything else going on.  We will see if I can do all that and survive the month.  Who knows?

 

Stop Pinning, Start Creating!

My friend Godiva and I are participating in Pin -Free February this month. We’re each doing it differently, though. She’s not going to Pinterest at all, but is still pinning things from her Pin It button. I, on the other hand, am not pinning new things, but am going to my own boards in Pinterest and am either reading-and-deleting pins or making-then-moving-them-to-finished. Some people are going all out and just eschewing the site altogether. Ha!

This morning I made two things from quotes I’d liked on Pinterest. One was this one:

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…(I don’t know if you can read it. It says: “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”. -Audrey Hepburn). which lives on my front patio, and then inspired me to tidy my front patio area. (I want to get some flowers out there and for it to be sunnier before my big reveal.)

Then I made this sign for my dining room, using the frame that matches the outdoor one, but had no glass. I also used bits of paper from Matt & Heather’s wedding favors.

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After that I ran off for my infusion & I wrote out some cards that are waaaaay past due, then read-and-deleted for an hour. Deleting pins is even more fun than pinning them! Who knew?!

So what craftiness are you getting up to this month?

A less dramatical cross-post

“My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.”

.Anais Nin

 

Sorry for all the cross-posting lately if you are someone reading all the blogs, but this is the way things are right now.

Last week I hosted a girls game night with my little group of friends.  We never did actually get to the games, but we had a good time eating snacks, drinking wine, and catching up on things.  🙂  It’s a nice group of gals, most of us are some kind of writer or artist.  🙂  We’ll try an actual Gaming game night another time (soon, I hope).

The next night we had a Robert Burns Night with my parents where we read the poetry of Robert Burns (well, Nick did, but that’s because he had the best Scottish accent) and had some traditional Scottish foods (but not haggis).

Saturday I got the bad news about my friend and had a complete meltdown and stayed at home and cried and drank wine and watched movies all day.  So cathartic.

Sunday the kids practiced basketball while I  fixed up my desk area where the by-hand writing goes on.

It is tidier and makes the writing go better since I’m not scrambling for pens or notebooks.  I’ve tidied up my computer so I know where the files I’m currently using are and I’ve set up a profile for everyone else so I can have mine be whatever I want and don’t have to worry about boy eyes on my things and them getting confused by the voice control setup that I’ve been using.

I have been writing this week.  Lots of writing and writing related stuff going on.  Working on two novels and a few sad poems.  I’m enjoying flipping through old notebooks and files of writing from a couple years ago to see what I would’ve written had I not fallen off the writing track.  It’s fun putting stories together again and for that I am very  very happy with the universe.

Monday I got a call to work, but had stuff to do at home that desperately needed doing, so I said no and got all my stuff done.  Tuesday I also got a call, but had to say no because I was taking David to Dallas to have his X-rays done again and to see if he needed another shoe lift or what.  He doesn’t need a new shoe lift, he needs surgery.  Oh yay.  Probably next summer, but we’ll do another set of scans between now and then because it’s more data for the computer to look at and more data means more accuracy and more accuracy means a better outlook and that could mean putting the surgery off another year and another year could mean a stabilizing of the irregular growth, which could lead to no surgery.  So we’re waiting.

Wednesday I was all ready for the call to work.  I got up, made myself lunch, dressed in subbing clothes….and no call.  Of course.  So I did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and let myself have 2 hours of lovely writing time.  It was glorious.

Yesterday was my friends funeral.  It was a good one, I think.  I sat with my friend Dana.  They had to add extra chairs on the sides to accomodate all the people.  The first person who spoke was a bit conflicted, but Shannon’s sister and dad and regular pastor got up and said some wonderful, understanding things about the nature of depression and the challenges of living with this disease.  It was all very heartening and uplifting.  I couldn’t stay to go to the graveside service, as I had a PTA meeting.  The meeting was very short, which was unusual for us this year. I spent the next couple hours doing work for the next months worth of activities and went to get the kids.

We’re trying out Choremonster.com for our chore rewards website right now.  It looked fun and came highly recommended and the kids are excited about it, but I’m finding it very trying.  I had to set up each kid separately with separate logins and separate jobs and separate rewards and I have to log back in every single time they finish something to approve it and it is constantly sending me emails telling me to “Hurry quickly!” like I don’t have anything better to do than use this clunky interface to approve each child’s chore.  AIE.  Plus there’s no calendar to look at or afix things to.  You have to just know when things are going to fall on (plus there’s only a few options for days and I need a “every third day” option since I have three people).

Today is finally a regular day.  Kids to school, library volunteering, lunch with Nick, an afternoon of chores and errands.  *sigh*  But I have two kids asleep on the couch and one asleep in my bed.  So where am I typing from?  Ben’s bed.  It’s comfy.  I have a dolphin pillow and my old comforter from college and extra blankies, too.  Mmm.  I might fall asleep here.  🙂

 A less dramatical cross-post