Wednesday, February 29

look whoooo's back!

This morning during school, we were treated to another visit from our great grey owl neighbor, whom we've named Greyson!  And we got a much better picture this time. 

maternity closet

I just thought I'd mention how incredibly blessed I've felt this fifth pregnancy in the area of maternity clothes.

If you've been pregnant, you know that once you pass a certain point, there's no going back - you need something that fits and is comfortable.  And that you don't have to unbutton every time you go to sit down!

A few weeks after I found out I was pregnant, Jeremy took me to Old Navy, just he and I - and bought me a few new maternity things and was really sweet about it... I found a couple shirts, a skirt, and a dress that I love.  I had long since given my maternity stash away after Annie was born four years ago.

Then I bought two Bellabands on ebay for the price of one so I could wear my regular jeans for longer.  I highly recommend these... I love them so much!  And look forward to wearing them afterwards for those pants that still will not fit for other reasons. ha.   And that was the end of my brand-new maternity clothes shopping spree. 

Then three awesome friends who have each delivered sweet baby boys in the last 8 months, donated to my cause... thank you, friends.  And I've scored some great shirts and a pair of jeans at Value Village too!  I found some things I just love for super cheap and you wouldn't know they were gently used either.  Then this weekend, I scored two more shirts for $1 each at a super cold winter moving sale.  I'm a bargain girl anyways, I always buy clearance if I can and can't remember the last time I paid full price for clothes for any of us.  I have never spent less in a pregnancy than this one, and I'm so thankful how the Lord has truly provided for me in this area.  He didn't have to.  It's frivolous, really.  But I'm so grateful!

Plus, I'm finding that a lot of the shirts and dresses I had already in my closet are cut to fit my growing belly too, and I love that.  So here's to three and a half more months of clothes that fit! 

I don't own this shirt, but I love the style and think I'd snatch it up in a heartbeat if it graced a clothing rack near me. (Preferably a clearance one.)

* P.S *  I just tracked down the above shirt and it costs $68! (And that does not include her earrings, jeans, and cute hair style.) You've got to be kidding me.  This cute on the cheap mama says no thanks!  

Monday, February 27

are you with me?

Recently, I've known it's high time to put facebook in a time-out. (Or me in a time-out from facebook!)

I've already cut way back on my time spent there lately, but starting next Monday it's a ONE WEEK complete blackout.  Here's where you come in... I'm hoping to drag a few of you along with me.

I'll post more soon about what this will entail, but I'm planning a week's worth of activities, posts, goals, fun, etc... for us to take part in and be in community with.  It will be interactive - - you'll be commenting and sharing with all of us on some things (as you wish) as we go about our week. No pressure to join me whatsoever, but maybe, just maybe God has placed a similar desire in your hearts as well! 

photo credit

We'll just pretend this is us all next week... wouldn't that be so fun?

It is not my intent to replace the time wasted (in my case) for you or for me on the computer, but to be intentional about some things in our lives.  I'll be in prayer about how this is to look for us, so please check back.  But if you already know you're IN, then comment below - - I'm excited you're joining me! 


our very own Hundred Acre Wood

A couple of weeks ago, we had a great grey owl hanging around our house.  The first time we spotted him, he was in our backyard, sitting in a tree by our treehouse.  He was really close!  Then about two days later, we were sitting around the table starting morning school and Drew spotted him out our dining room window.  

Above is the picture he took.  

Our camera is not behaving lately, and has been taking some crummy pictures, but he got a relatively clear one of the owl!  So for the next 30 minutes or so, the kids tracked him until he flew out of sight... it was a heartwarming morning, nothing we could have planned.  It led us into a time of watching YouTube videos of owls, and searching to find out exactly what kind of owl he was. 

Drew ran downstairs and grabbed his decoy owl and set him in our yard, and he finally "landed" in one of our apple trees for the week.  The kids were hoping to lure the real owl back to our yard by placing one of his "kind" in the area.  It was so cute.  

When I saw Drew walking outside in my boots and shorts and a t-shirt, I was thinking he looked an awful lot like Christopher Robin tromping through the Hundred Acre Woods.  All he needed was a rain slicker and an umbrella! 

They watched for a long time...

But he never came back... but each time I saw our "owl" in the apple tree it reminded me of the wonderful morning we tracked the great grey one. 

 photo credit

Thursday, February 23

It's that time of year.

Each spring semester of homeschooling, I begin to collect homeschooling company catalogs.  I love them.  I pour over them, and it's free entertainment for me as well.  (dorky?  yes.)  But I've found some new ones this year that I'm really excited about. 

I usually only order from one or two favorites each summer, and usually they're they same ones I order from each year, but I love to see what's out there, and to get great ideas of books for my kids to read that are age appropriate from trusted companies.  So I've already started my yearly collection.

 Gala Apple with Antique Books by Christopher Stott

Here's what I am either expecting to receive it the mail, or have already received this year, and a link to their catalog request page:

(Some of these companies may not have their 2012/2013 catalog available at this time.)

Heart of Dakota Publishing
Winter Promise
Alpha Omega Publications (Switched on Schoolhouse, Horizons, etc..)
LEGO Education
Lakeshore Learning
Handwriting Without Tears
CBD Homeschool
Rainbow Resource  *Warning, it's ginormous, but FULL of goodies!*
Queen Homeschool (Sandi Queen)  (Charlotte Mason style, great products!)

Oh yeah, and I forgot Veritas Press and My Father's World when I first posted this!

Please share your favorites I haven't listed here, if you'd be so kind!


The Binder: take two

Last fall, after reading and loving the book Large Family Logistics, I made my Home Management binder with great hopes of a taking advantage of help through my days when Jeremy is working...  well, things changed with our schedule and I thought I could wade through the days easily without reminders of things I could be doing to make better use of the time.  Well, I got lazy and never updated the pages with our changes, so I never looked at the binder.

But lately I've been feeling like I needed something to keep me "on track" during the days, because many days I think, "What else could I be doing right now??"  when I have a break...  so this morning, I revised the binder pages to make them current, and plan to use them the next few months until school is out and the baby comes.

And as you browse through the pages, don't think for a second that we stay on time with everything or actually DO everything... this is a rough schedule that helps me remember things we could be doing and that I'd like to have accomplished that day.  The non-negotiables that always happen on-time are breakfast, school start-up time, lunch, babies nap time, and dinner!

If you'd like me to email you a set as a Word Document, email me at thescarletpaisley (at) - and I'll get a set off to you, so you can make them your own! 

Home Management Book Pages


Can you guess?

I happened upon an article online when looking at baby girl names the other day, and it listed the top 25 boy's and girl's Elite Baby Names and I was intrigued...  (read the article here if you're interested.)

We definitely don't consider ourselves "elite" (so laughable - no human is!) but I found it amazing, that 3 of the 4 names we're considering for our daughter are on this list.  Our top name isn't on the list, but it very well could be.  We've narrowed it down to just 4 names... time will tell what she's named! 

Can you guess which 3 of these are our favorites? Gimme your best guess. 

  5. LUCY
  6. ISLA
  9. ALICE
  10. MAISIE
  11. AVA
  13. LAURA
  15. GRACE
  16. CLAIRE
  17. LILY
  18. AMELIA
  19. IMOGEN
  20. HARPER
  21. ELLA
  23. STELLA
  24. JANE
  25. EMMA


rascal x 2 = trouble

Some days, I just never know what in the world I'm going to find (or smell) when I walk into Gabi and Levi's room in the morning or when nap time is over.

The end of yesterday's nap time was no exception.

Both of these silly toddlers think it's fun to take off their clothes, and sometimes their diapers when they wake up.  The amazing thing is that they are little Houdinis and can "break" out of nearly every type of outfit.

And we even use those huge safety pins to pin their pants to their shirts when they go down for their nap if they don't have a onesie on already (thankfully they haven't figured those out), and a huge safety pin through the zipper of their footie pajamas at night. (You know, the old-school pins with the plastic head that adults even have a hard time opening?)

Well, they are no match for Houdini #1 and Houdini #2.

Yesterday,  I walked in to get them up and I knew something was up because Gabi was laying as still as a stone and was covered up by both of her blankets.  And that is a sight I never see when they're up and have been playing at the end of their nap.   When I opened the shade and turned on the light, I saw what these two little rascals were up to:

I saw one pile of clothes on the floor next to Gabi's crib (her shirt and pants still pinned together) and Levi looked like a Greek god wanna-be turning his shirt into a toga.  Thank the good Lord neither of them took off their diapers.  His pants were hanging off the back of him still pinned to his shirt.  (And yes, I've tried pinning it to the front of his shirt and he gets out anyways.)

Houdini #1
Taught #2 all he knows.
This is her "I know I'm in trouble" look.
She was doing her best to cover up the evidence.
I wanted to laugh so badly, but I couldn't.

 Now, look at the difference in their personalities:

Houdini #2
Was so proud to show me what he'd accomplished,
that he waved at me and said "hi" in his cute little voice when he saw me.

This morning, he completely broke out of his pinned jammies too, which was a first for him.
He is the master of fine motor skills, and somehow he unpinned himself and tossed the pin aside and unzipped his jammies and broke free.  So tonight, he's got a onesie under his jammies with no pin on them, since he can undo them anyways now and we don't want him getting hurt.   We'll see what we find by morning!  Our last resort will be cutting the feet off their jammies and turning them around backwards - and I hope it doesn't come to that, because footie jammies are TOO cute.

What little stinkers, and two at a time! 
Sunday, February 19

baby sewing project roundup

Well, I'm back to post some photos of my recent baby sewing projects!

The first is the shirt I made yesterday afternoon while the babies were napping, it's an easy pattern that I'm familiar with, since I made a puff sleeve version of this shirt last winter in a plaid flannel.  Here's my non-maternity shirt, turned maternity shirt!  The pattern gives loads of room for a growing belly, and I'm most happy that it'll be a comfy and roomy shirt to wear this summer after baby arrives as well.

The only part of this shirt that I was nervous about was the bias tape it called for to line the underarm edge.  The last shirt I made with this pattern had sleeves, so I was nervous to wreck the whole thing, but thankfully it was easy to use! 

 I totally love the pleats across the front and back.

I used this pattern that I scored for .99 cents last winter!

Then a month or two ago, I made a nursing cover using this tutorial.

I added the terry cloth pocket to the pattern, I'd seen a similar addition to friend's covers, and thought it may come in handy wiping a tiny mouth or holding small things. 

I bought this material by the yard on ebay - it's by Heather Bailey and is called Pop Daisy Green, just in case you were wondering. 

the belly

Just playing a little catch-up with the belly shots...  baby girl is growing, as is evidenced by my increasing side profile.  And this pregnancy is flying by.  Hopefully I'll still feel that way come May and June! 

And now that I'm taking weekly pictures of myself, something I've never done - I'm realizing how much I love to wear stripes!

Also, I finished the maternity shirt that I set out to make a couple days ago - I'll post a photo of it soon.  It turned out great, and I'm excited that it will work during and after pregnancy as well. 

Wednesday, February 15

I feel like...

... sewing today! The kids (on their own accord, started their independent school work just after 7am this morning... crazy.  Whose kids are these?  They wanted to be done early today.  I was sitting on the couch in the quiet of the morning reading Jesus Calling and my Bible, when they started trickling up the stairs.  We usually start at 9:30am together at the table, after breakfast and chores, then they do their independent work after that.  But today we were completely done with all of our work at 11:30am!  A miracle.

So this afternoon is free for me while the babies are napping, and I was thinking it would be a challenge to fashion some new maternity shirts out of the material I already have in my fabric stash, which isn't much.  I only buy fabric with a project in mind... but I had a change of heart with these ones and never ended up needing to make what I intended it for.

So this is what I have to work with in my fabric stash today:

An old pair of my jeans that I had saved for who knows what.  I think I was going to make some doll jeans for the girls with them.   And I think it'll be added to one of the shirts I'm making somehow... 

Some apple green jersey knit (the color is much brighter in person) that I bought in an attempt to make my own moby wrap style baby carrier, but once I got the clearance fabric home, I realized it was too thin.  So I'll attempt to make a wrap maternity shirt out of this one.   And I'm looking for a sewing tutorial online to help with this one. 

And this fabric was purchased last summer to go under a piece of glass I was going to use to cover a desk I refinished from a garage sale.  But the desk looked great without the table topper, so I was left with this fun fabric.  I think I'll work on this one first... I have a pattern that just might work. 

I'll check back later in the week at some point to fill you in on my progress!

Check out this fun link I found in my searching today:  Maternity Sewing Tutorials Roundup 2011

Talk about inspiration!

Tuesday, February 14

I Love Thee

I love Valentine's Day.

Not because we do anything extra special, but I do love making little decorations, doing a small craft with the kids, and maybe making a special treat. I also love the goodies that our kid's grandparents send/deliver.  We never buy a thing.  Such fun!

 Jeremy and I usually exchange a card and maybe a small gift - no expectations, no guilt.  It's nice.  We do hope to get out by ourselves in the next week or two for a date, which hasn't happened for a while now... but it doesn't have to be attached to Valentine's Day.  Expectations set you up for disappointment, I say. 

Here's the teeny little project I made last weekend to spruce up my windows for Valentine's:

I bought a package of foam hearts, cut slits on both edges of the hearts, then slid some ribbon through and hung!  Easy peasy.  

And we made these little sparkly creatures from a kit I snagged at Target last week:

Aren't they cute?  They remind me of those little pom pom creatures with the sticky feet from the 80's!

I just learned today they are called Weeples!  Hilarious. 
Who remembers these?

Okay, and then I thought we'd make a treat today... but with the onslaught of candy and treats the past few days with Annika's birthday being just two days ago, I decided our little baked mini donut project would have to wait until the weekend.  My friend Mary loaned me her mini donut pans for the oven, can't wait to try them out - I bought a double chocolate muffin mix (Mary's idea) and will make the donuts without the fuss, then dip the tops of the cooled donuts in milk chocolate candy melts, then add the sprinkles on top!

Should be a fun Saturday morning treat without the added sugar overload we're all experiencing today.  I've eaten enough Dove milk chocolates today, that you'd think I'd never want to see another one in my lifetime.  But I'm sure that won't be the case.  They're so yummy!  

So have a sweet day, everyone!  I'm off to finish up dinner prep, and attempt to put spaghetti noodles and sauce on our plates in the shape of a heart.  Wish me luck. 


Annika Scarlet turns FOUR!

We had a super fun and simple birthday bash for Miss Annika yesterday... she is now four years old... amazing!  We love our silly, exuberant, cuter than should be allowed, kind daughter.  We have been blessed to have these precious years with her and pray she will run after God with all of her heart in the years to come. 

Look at her all smooshed up and puffy those four years ago all 7 lbs.7 oz. of her.  This was just after we arrived home from the birth center about six hours after she arrived.  I'm so thankful to get to be the mama to another one of these pink bundles in 4 short months! 

This year's birthday, since we are now back to "friend" parties this year as opposed to "family" only parties every other year, she invited two of her sweet little friends to celebrate.  They were adorable, I wish I had gotten a picture of all three of them together. 

A sneak peak at the doll bunkbeds Jeremy and I made for her big day!  We had all the materials on hand already, so we paid a grand total of $7 for the fabric I made the mattresses, pillows, and blankets out of!  Score!  I'll post more about them later... 

Happy Birthday, we love to you  to bits!

Friday, February 10

a few family tidbits

The quilt top for our new baby girl is done!  I finished it last weekend, and have now started hand quilting it.  Being a crafty girl and all, I didn't expect so many trials, it is not easy!  Many sighs of frustration were let out as I attempted to tie knots, pull them through, etc... then tie off the knot and embed the knot in the batting layer.  I've watched several YouTube videos explaining exactly what to do, but it takes practice!!!  I've now quilted 3 squares... and went to bed that night with aching fingers - yes, I used a thimble, but it's a the pull the needle out fingers that hurt!  I saw on a video that there's a fix for that too... it's fun to learn a new trade, but I'm not used to having to work so hard to make something!  Hand quilting tips welcome. 

I really love how it turned out.

 I hadn't taken a recent picture of Gabi in a while... here she is in all of her 21 month old glory, huge grin and all!   She has now mastered the use of the word "No!" and obediently bides her time sitting in a timeout either against a wall in the living room or in her crib, when used disobediently.  She'll learn! 

And then there's 17 month old Mr. Cutie Pants. (aka: Levi)
I'm not sure why he felt compelled to reveal his belly when I whipped out the camera, but he sure is cute.  His adoption is progressing, and we're working with our lawyer to get it finalized... we're on the homestretch!  Can't wait until we have a date.  SOON!  Please pray with us that the state does it's part swiftly, and there are no complications.  Thanks so much!

And lastly, our precious first grader, Morgan, is doing so well.  She's now loving to read, and has progressed so far since this time last year.  We're proud of you!  And yes, our kids wear shorts and tank tops year-round in our home.  Brrrr... and if you'll notice, she is the new, proud owner of pierced ears!  Jeremy and I have been talking about it recently, and she had been asking too.  So we decided she was ready,  but told her she needed to save the money needed to get it done!  (Thanks for the idea, Allison.)  She saved enough, and here she is, 7 just like I was.