Thursday, March 31, 2011

Crown II

I don't have any pictures of the back to show how the braid wraps around her entire head. The curls ended up hiding a good section of the bottom, so it wasn't as visible as I had hoped, once the curls washed out she could just wear it with a messy bun at the top and then the braid was more visible.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Okay, this one isn't really a new hair-do. I've done this one from time to time before and have even posted a picture of it before (see here), but seeing as I'm doing a hair series I figured I'd include it again. Funny that it was also the last hair-do I did on Rebecca before she cut her hair last time as well.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hair Series

So I finally broke down and decided I couldn't put off reformatting my computer any longer. It was just too bogged down and slow. Really a new laptop would be wonderful, but realistically the computers in the house are still running - altho not the greatest and for how long we do not know - so we will make due as long as possible. The kids took over Rob's computer when he got a laptop for school. Since that computer is slightly faster then my computer it was decided it was time to do a switchover. So the kid's computer has been reformatted and is now mine ... and they are currently using my needs-to-be-formatted computer. Neither Rob nor I seem to have the time to figure out the issues that have arisen from my reformatting adventure and since I'm not so techie I just keep putting it off ... but it would really be nice to have sound on my computer again. Given I haven't gotten the glitches out of this reformat job I haven't yet dared to do the other computer which holds an abundance of treasured info and such ... no use having two computers with funny issues. Along with my reformat job meant only reloading the necessary programs and this mean I finally switched over to Photoshop. We got Photoshop Elements as a family gift in December and I've been meaning to sit down and try figure it out and use it ... but since I always seem to be short on time I would just fall back on my old program to do the quick resizing, cropping, etc for blogging. So now I am forcing myself to learn Photoshop because I know once I do I will love it. I just have to find time to fiddle with it .... thanks Val for coming down and giving us a basic rundown, that sure helped.

That's sort of my excuse for not blogging lately, and the fact that March Break has come and gone and last week was just plain busy. So I have some catching up to do again ... as Rebecca pointed out ... "you haven't posted anything about my birthday yet!!"

For now I'm just going to start with a series of hair-do posts. Just some fun hair-do's that I've been doing lately. Mind you ... this is not a hair-do that I did. Rebecca's hair was long enough to donate for cancer patients and so she has chopped it off again at the end of December (see here for last time she did). Again the knots just got the better of us and we decided to give a break from trying to brush the tangles out ... she has beautiful hair, if only it wouldn't get so knotty. It does look wonderful when it's all done up, but I didn't always have time to find some hair-do that would last long enough to cut down on the amount of brushing required to keep it knot-free. I also love how this short hair-style looks on her, so I had not problem having her cut it off again.


Marietta enjoys having her hair long and doing her own hair, plus she doesn't have the knots issue, so she decided to stick with long for now, although she did hum-haw about cutting it for a bit. Now she's real glad she left it long because she gets Mom all to herself when it comes to getting her hair done ... and as you'll see in the next days she's been taking full advantage of that. I do enjoy trying new hair-do's, especially ones that last for days at a time, making it worth the effort put into it. I'm not creative enough to think of new ideas, but have been getting the ideas off the internet, sometimes with some modifications. There's enough good ideas out there I haven't had a chance to try think of my own. We've been having fun. So over the next days I'll post some of the "fun" hair-do's I've done in the last few months.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Craft Time

So here we have one of the results of my CHAOS Fridays.

Since January I have been making a point of doing some sort of craft or something of that assort with the girls on Saturday afternoon. The hope is that Matthew will nap so we have time together, but since he has decided not to nap all the time that hasn't always been successful and then it can be hard to concentrate on crafts with him whining for attention ... but overall we've done a variety of different things.

The common one is to make cards. We've also made bookmarks and the girls have been learning to knit using a knitting loom. For this particular project we made Salt Dough on Saturday, shaped and form it, then baked it until it was dry. Then a few days later we painted them once they were good and dry.

Matthew painting the car I made for him

Ummmm ... I think they got a little sidetracked here

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


One of the things I challenged myself to when the new year began was to be a bit more organized, specifically in the area of housecleaning. I will not deny that my ability to keep the house tidy is rather lacking. While it is not disgustingly dirty, I'm not hugely fond of housecleaning (is anyone?) and tidying and not "neat-freak" enough to be too concerned if I don't get around to washing the floors at least once a week, or cleaning the windows on a regular basis, or vacuuming the upstairs once a week, or cleaning the bathrooms daily. I can close my eyes to the toys and other objects laying around, especially in the living room, which really is only a living room on Sunday, the rest of the week it's a play room.

And while I can handle it not being in tip-top-everything-in-it's-place shape everyday, I do admit that it does get to me at times that I can't keep things neater. For let's face it, it has been embarassing to have someone come over unexpectantly and see how messy it is, and there have been times where I've had to say "ah, we can't have anyone over, the house is a disaster". I say my house is "lived in" and truly I believe that's how it looks, for I know underneath it is not filthy ... so why does it bother me when others see that my house is "lived in"? Probably because everybody else seems to always have these spic-and-span, spotless, shining houses all the time and I feel like I can't keep up. Yes, during the times where it is clean and I keep everything in perfect order I love it ... except it only lasts for so long and I get tired of being a "slave" to my house. I rather tidy up occasionally then be picking up all the time and always harping about every little thing someone misplaces. And it's so annoying that everytime I go to the bathroom (and everyone who knows me knows that means frequently) I feel like I have to clean it before I leave ... how does a bathroom get so dirty so quickly?? what is wrong with us that it always seems such a mess?? (If I ever get a choice to redo a bathroom it will NOT have marble top ... arghhh, water spots and dust!!) I can't understand that it's suppose to be that if I just put it away right away it won't be a mess and that should mean that I'm saving myself time as I create a good habit of right away putting things away ... it seems much more time consuming to always be running around putting things back in their place (would this be because I haven't created those good habits, would it seem less time consuming if I had more "good" habits).

I guess it sounds like we're total slobs here that just drop things whereever we feel like ... really it's not that bad, we do have the basic cleaning habit under control :) It's just too tedious to reach the spic-and-span, spotless, shining stage :( But I have been battling with the fact that my housekeeping/cleaning has not been priority of my list of things to do in recent years.

Yes, I say recent years, for many of you who have known me long enough are probably thinking "Steph? Not organized? Not neat?" Ya, I had my years of being neat and keeping the house in spic-and-span, shining order. Those first years of being married and I remember them best on the farm, because on the farm we lived in a "mansion", so there was no excuse to have things hanging around, the kids had a playroom for the toys and there was plenty of space to have a place for everything else. Life changed when we had a medically-challenged child that took up a lot of our time, as well as took me away from the home alot. Suddenly I began to realize that the house would remaining standing if I didn't do my routine Friday cleaning each week. I discovered that I could actually get away with not cleaning for some time and it really wasn't all that noticeable. I discovered that there's something to the phrase "it's better late then never" (that's a whole new topic, room for improvement on the area of tardiness also) for life did not fall apart if you were late or not really early. I discovered that the house wouldn't fall apart if I just did the basics to get by and that there were worse things then a dirty house. I had my excuses at that time ... but I no longer due ... except that I developed some bad habits that I'd like to overcome.

I must say for the month of January I was doing well. My biggest goal was to get back into the Friday housecleaning so that my weekends were more relax and I wasn't running around at midnight on Saturday trying to make my house presentable for Sunday. Along with this goal was the desire to try keep my house tidier overall. I have succeeded in the first goal, but not so much the second, although it is better then before. Oh ... and before you think that after January I didn't do well ... ah, you're wrong ... it got even better ... because that's when CHAOS Days started.

Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome Days started rather by accident but it was such a successful accident that it soon became a routine. Ange and I e-mail on a regular basis throughout the week just about this or that, what we're doing, general chatter, questions, etc. On one such day the e-mail started with one of us (can't remember who) writing how much we had accomplished already that day, to which the other replied what she had done so far ... this went on until noon hour when both of us decided that we had accomplished much and were satisfied with the work we had gotten done. I think we rewarded ourselves by enjoying tea-time together that afternoon. Of course our dear hubby's reading our e-mail exchange probably thought us a bit insane ... okay Dave did ... Rob was just glad he was going to come home to a clean house :)

After our successful day of reporting to each other and feeling that we were accountable to someone (I know I should be to my hubby ... and most certainly always am to God) for what we had accomplished that day we thought it would be beneficial to do this each Friday to give each other the incentive to get our houses in tip-top shape for a relaxing weekend. And so our CHAOS game began rather by accident ... the following week Ange named it and now they are CHAOS Fridays ... bit of chaos as we work up a sweat cleaning up and then the chaos is gone for the weekend ... or at least it should be. I did receive a 24-Hrs Later Report from Ange this past Saturday. It read as follows:
"24 hrs later report:
Every room is a mess! Why?
Back at it. "
I think every mother knows that feeling!

So we'll see how long we keep up the CHAOS Days, but I do know that it has given me the drive to be productive when I don't feel like doing anything. By faithfully cleaning my house each week I find I can take the time to get "side-tracked" on to other cleaning jobs at the same time since the basics don't need such an attentive and aggressive scrub each time ... so the cupboards and lights and walls and etc get a bit more attention now As I go through my week I note a few extra jobs that I can do on Friday as I'm doing the regular cleaning. I also find I won't so easily book something on Friday morning without first thinking that it would mean rescheduling my CHAOS morning and finding the time to still do the appropriate cleaning. Gotta stick to this habit and not let it slide ... besides it's much more relaxing to enjoy tea-time or a social evening when you know the house is clean and the work is done (well maybe not done, there's always more to be found, but for that day).

So how many weeks does it take to create a habit or routine?? I hope I'm there and can keep at it ... now I just have to work on the exercising and reading routines ... one step at a time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Reading Week: Book Character Day

A few weeks back was Reading Week at school and the kids had to dress up as a book character the one Friday. Each grade was assigned a type of book that they had to dress like. Rebecca's class, Grade 3/4, did Fairy Tales and Marietta's class, Grade 5, did Adventurers. So we did a Wikipedia search of what classified as a Fairy Tale and Rebecca decided to go with Rapunzel. So long hair we had to make ... we didn't have any thick yarn in the house, so Rapunzel had to have thin hair, but it was plenty long. The other pictures is a picture of another Rapunzel in her class ... least they had some nice thick yarn.
Marietta chose to be Mandie from the Mandie mystery novel series ... which meant she wore the dress-up same outfit to school again. I think this is the third ... or is it fourth time?? I know she went as Laura Ingalls once and I think as Sarah Plain and Tall another time, as well as wearing it to the Pioneer Village. I believe Rebecca has also worn this costume as Laura Ingalls before and when they went to the Pioneer Village. This costume was originally made many years ago (we won't say how many) when I was in Grade 6 and we had Book Character Day. My mom made the outfit and I was Laura Ingalls. Marietta is not wearing the bonnet in her picture. I think Mom can say that here efforts certainly paid off for this outfit ... it is beginning to fall apart but the kids still love it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Game Time with Grandpa

This is extra special since we all know that Grandpa doesn't like to play games ... well, maybe Matthew doesn't know that, but the rest of us do.

Grandpa and Grandma came for lunch one Sunday and since the girls were gone to friends Matthew had Grandpa and Grandma all to himself. Grandma had a turn to play games with Matthew before lunch and Grandpa (and Daddy) took his turn after lunch.