Sunday, June 30, 2013

One more week!

Less than one week until Leah's cast comes off!  Woohoo!  Hurray for baths and getting her fully clean!  Sponge baths really aren't that great for "long-term!"  I have had an awesome week for getting things I need! I now have my teacher's license and all of my transcripts!  Now to make the most awesome portfolio ever!  I have a pretty fantastic online portfolio, but I need to translate that to a real copy!  I didn't start applying to Missouri this week.  Instead I concentrated on more of Kansas and branching out more (with Scott's approval).  I was trying to stay close to an ITT Tech for him, but he decided to quit it (since his classes right now are beyond boring, expensive and way beneath him-beginning math and writing).  So, now I'm able to apply anywhere!  I'm sticking to Kansas, because I really can't afford another $100 for a Missouri license.  And my back up plan is being a sub, which I can do here without a problem.  We didn't really do anything super fun outside of the house this week.  We made fun little hats, played games (inside and outside) and read books though!  No tv.  I told them no tv until the house was fully clean and when it is, we're going to Chuck E Cheese's.  They have such awesome imaginations, that they're doing pretty well without tv.  I occasionally turn on Pandora as we clean, and we have watched some home movies (and Kid snippets) on youtube, but that's it.  
 Catching fireflies

 With hats I made

 Making celery prints

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Getting ready for the 4th!

Yesterday my favorite crafting site posted a tutorial for a Mini top hat.  I was super excited and left at 11pm to go and get the felt I needed (plus cream cheese since I also spotted an awesome cinnamon roll recipe).  So, after I got home, I got to work!  First I went to the website and printed out the pattern.  Then I added about an inch to each side of each pattern.  That mini top hat would have been too mini for me and my kiddos!  I cut everything out and checked it.  It worked (the second time).  Then I tried to follow her instructions, but they didn't make sense to me.  Which made me feel crafting challenged.  Then I realized I don't usually follow directions anyways, so I made it my way.  First I sewed the big middle part together at the seam, then I sewed it to the brim.  Then I sewed the top of the hat on.  All using my sewing machine.  I flipped it right side out and I added cardboard a little smaller than the pattern for the top and the middle and the bottom and added it inside.  After that I was able to sew on the bottom felt to complete the initial hat.  I wanted to make it ready for the fourth, so I added some Fourth of July ribbon.  I  Then I made a matching bow tie.  It's going to be so cute!  Thankfully, I was only up until 3 doing it!  Here's the result!
I can't wait to see it on my little man!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Catching up

 Science experiment
 Fun melting crayons
 Leah in her cast
 Ben loves his crayons (he made one for Aurora too)
 Free chair I picked up last year
 And after painting it.  The good news is that the paint came out of the concrete!
And the fun frame I painted too!
 The first set of pictures
I think he's adorable!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Our first bone break

And it was a "good" one.  While I was on my way home from doing laundry at my mom's house (our washer is sooooo broke), Scott calls to ask when I will be coming home and then I hear the screams.  The screams that a mom (or dad) never want to hear.  I just listened as Scott talked to her and when I got home, I raced in to check in.  It was Leah.  She was jumping off an empty water barrel into the empty sandbox (they call it a pool) and Emma went up under her, so she landed on her elbow.  She wouldn't even let me try to bend it, so I put her flip flops on and we were off to the hospital.  We went through triage pretty quickly and were in a room.  Lucky for us, ABC Family was playing Monsters Inc!  It was a great distraction for my poor little girl!  After a little while, I was able to see the swelling.  Yikes!  It really didn't look good!  I was hoping her elbow had just popped out of socket.  The x-rays confirmed it was broke.  It is a supracogylur (some strange spelling) fraction.  So, they splinted her arm and put ice on (not as kindly as I would have liked).  Then they gave me general directions and off we went to the hospital.  I got a little bit of gas and headed downtown, to get lost.  Super lost.  I was so glad Leah was sleeping through my wrong turns.  Scott helped me figure out where I was and we finally made it!  Then I had to carry her inside with her iv and splinted arms.  It was 11pm at that point.
We waited in the waiting room there for about an hour playing on the Kindle.  We got a room in the ER there and watched Charlotte's Web on my Kindle.  She got another set of x-rays (the last ones stunk).  She actually cried, so she got more meds.  She must have an awesome pain tolerance, because she hardly cried the whole time!  Amazing!  Then they let Leah pick a movie!  So she picked My Little Pony.  She was pretty excited.  She couldn't sleep with all of the excitement, and the constant asking her to move her fingers and "Can you feel this?"  She was so thirsty, but couldn't eat or drink anything.
We finally got admitted and put into a room (Leah got her 3rd hospital bracelet and I got my first one).  Soon after Leah was wipe bathed and put in a gown, she fell asleep (at 3 in the morning).  After all of the talking and texting, I got to sleep at a little after 3:30 am.  Leah slept until a little bit before her surgery.  She was so excited to wake up and see her Aunt Kim!  And Aunt Kim brought food for me!  Woohoo!  Hurray for awesome sisters (My other sister finished my laundry for me)!  Kim helped me distract her before and after the surgery.  Leah did fantastic!  She had 3 pins put in and a purple cast to cover it.  It took her awhile to wake up and then she was ready to drink and eat.  She got a sippy cup with apple juice and had no problem drinking it.  She ordered mac and cheese, bacon, blueberries, a grape slushie and a vanilla milkshake with sprinkles.  I had to feed her, but she ate a lot of it!  She was sad there was only 2 pieces of bacon!  No problem with her appetite!  She was raring to go at that point.  I told her she had to potty, so she went.  Then we couldn't get her dress back on, so the nurse sent for clothes.  We had to cut the shirt sleeve, but it worked!  We picked up her meds from the Pharmacy there and went to my parents' house.  Mandy had made chili!  Yum!  We ate, then Josh and Kim came.  I had missed my little man!  The rest of my kids came and they were all thrilled to see Leah and her cast!  I took Josh and we fell asleep.  I only slept four hours on a couch bed.  I'm still exhausted, but read Fablehaven (we're almost done with book 4) to the kids and three of the girls fell asleep (including Leah)!  Now to figure out fun things for her to do this next month.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Josh's birthday is coming...

And I'm starting the crafts!  So far, I have his birthday hat made (I just need to add the string and maybe some rick rack to the bottom).

And here is the design for his t-shirt.  I'm still trying to decide how to add his name and sew it on.  Usually I iron on the letters (and etc), but this time it is thin ribbon.  Not, so easy to iron on.  I'm considering using a blackish clear nylon thread.  We'll see how it goes.  He'll only have to wear it twice-once for pictures and once for his actual birthday.  So, maybe I should just glue the ribbon onto the letter and sew the letter on.  If it doesn't work, I can redo it, because I have plenty of material!  Luckily I had picked this up a while ago and I think it looks a LOT like a road!  Opinions?  Suggestions?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Always the Baker, Finally the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker

I loved this series based around a Wedding Destination hotel.  I just finished the last one, so I'll write about each one.  Here's each of the books with my thoughts (except the Designer one that I haven't gotten yet).
This is the first book of the series where we meet Emma Rae, a diabetic baker.  She works hard for hardly any recognition from her boss (he was not a favorite).  So, when she hears about Tanglewood, a Wedding Destination Hotel, she jumps on the chance and brings her best friend (and baking partner) Fiona.  It's quite the battle to get the Hotel open on time, but it's awesome seeing how they all work together as a family.  I had a feeling that the Romance would take a backburner to everything else, but that was fine with me!  This is a Christian series and there's plenty of religion in there, which I didn't mind!

This is the second book in the Series, where we meet Sherilyn, Emma's college roommate.  Honestly, I don't remember much about it.  So, I wouldn't say it was a fabulous read.  From the reviews I've read, that seems to be the consensus.  We liked it, but it wasn't memorable.

This is the third book, and concentrates on Audrey, a designer, that goes to Tanglewood to be in her friend's wedding.  From there you get to catch up on all of the previous romances.  I haven't read this one, so I don't know if it's any good, but it's on my wish list!

This is the last book in the Series.  I would have liked it so much more if I hadn't been so distracted by the Shawn/Peter debacle.  If I had spaced them out instead of reading the first and fourth ones right together, I would have been fine.  Fee was seriously dating Peter who became Shawn?  Strange.  I like all of the recipes in this series, and liked the different cake designs.  I was in agreement with her friends that it shouldn't be hard to make a cake for her own wedding.  I was getting bored with the options.  I love full-length epilogues, which is what this felt like.  We really got to see how everyone was doing in their romance.  I LOVED the addition of a cute little girl and I was happy about the family she ended up with!  I'm sad that the series is over!  I'll probably reread them when I finally get number three!  Great clean reads, all of them could stand alone, but they go so nicely together!

I got this as a free copy from Netgalley, and was not compensated!

Monday, June 3, 2013

I, Spy by Jordan McCollum

I love suspense, especially clean romantic suspense!  So, when Jordan emailed me about the opportunity to review her book, I was thrilled!  I already had it on my Wish list!

Find I, Spy on Amazon, Kobo, and!

About the Book

Canada is probably the last place you'd expect to find an American spy. But even idyllic Ottawa has its deadly secrets—and so does CIA operative Talia Reynolds. She can climb through ventilation shafts, blend in at the occasional diplomatic function, even scale buildings (small ones). But there’s one thing she can’t do: tell her aerospace engineer boyfriend Danny about her Top Secret occupation. It worked for a year, keeping Danny in the dark, keeping him away from danger, keeping her secrets. And then Talia finally catches a hot case: Fyodor Timofeyev. Russian. Aerospace executive. Possible spy? She can make this work, too—until Danny needs her at the same time her country does. And when Fyodor targets Danny? Suddenly her schedule isn't the only thing suffering. Now to save her secrets and her country, Talia must sacrifice the man she loves. More about I, Spy | Add I, Spy to your Goodreads to-read list!

Advance praise

The edge-of-my-seat undercover operations kept me turning pages, and just when I thought the story would go one way, plot twists sent it down another path. Thrilling, adventurous, and romantic, this book has it all for an Alias fan.
Jami Gold, award-winning author
Jordan McCollum’s debut novel is a delightful combination of mystery, action, and romance. Talia’s CIA training and almost OCD caution feed her quirky humor while exposing her very human fears and insecurities. Add in her boyfriend Danny, and it's enough to twist your heart.
Donna K. Weaver, author of A Change of Plans
Clever, suspenseful, and charged with political intrigue and romance, I, Spy is the perfect combination for a fun and captivating read!
Michelle Davidson Argyle, author of Monarch

About the author

An award-winning author, Jordan McCollum can’t resist a story where good defeats evil and true love conquers all. In her day job, she coerces people to do things they don’t want to, elicits information and generally manipulates the people she loves most—she’s a mom. Jordan holds a degree in American Studies and Linguistics from Brigham Young University. When she catches a spare minute, her hobbies include reading, knitting and music. She lives with her husband and four children in Utah.

The contest! 

As part of the debut of I, Spy, Jordan is hosting a contest to figure out the song that inspired the story. Collect clues at each blog stop and use your spy skills to piece together the clues at each stop on her blog launch tour to win a $25 Amazon gift card! How to enter.

The freebie!

Thanks for participating in this launch tour! As a free gift this week, Jordan is giving out free copies of Mr. Nice Spy, an I, Spy prequel novella. Simply go to You can also get 40% off I, Spy!

My Thoughts!

The author asked me if I would like to review her book and I said: "Yes!"  I love how real this book felt.  You could feel Talia's indecision as to what was more important:  her boyfriend, Danny, her "partner" Elliot or saving Government secrets.  Her job was so ingrained in her that I could feel the tug.  Poor Danny, you could tell what he was up to from the start, but Talia was clueless!  Her feelings about marriage were obvious, thanks to her parents and siblings.  She's such a rule follower that she feels there is no option to tell Danny what is going on.  She just keeps lying, until the truth has to come out.  I really like all of the Russian, with some Finnish thrown in.  I didn't like the few h-words, because I really felt like they could have been left out.  I did like the relationships (I was in the boys' club in High School and loved it) and the action.  I'm anxious to see how the next book and the prequel fills in more detail!

*Disclaimer:  The author sent me this book to review.  I was not compensated for my thoughts, they are my own!*

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Guess the Bunny

Last Saturday, we went to Petland and played with all of the critters there.  Scott told me that he'd never buy a bunny.  Later, a lady told us there was a bunny in our backyard.  Kira and I went looking and saw it in our wheelbarrow.  It was a pretty cute lil' bunny!  It was still hanging out on Sunday.  Then on Monday the bunny came in our garage, so Scott shut the door and said it was ours.  The kiddos were all super excited and grabbed lettuce and carrots.

Scott told the kids they couldn't try to hold it until tomorrow and we named it Guess.  Although Kira informed me that it's full name was Guess Epic Westhoff.  Scott has always joked that we should name a kid Guess.  (I always fill out the birth certificate beforehand in order to prevent that from happening.)  We put food and water out and the kiddos made Guess a bed.  On Tuesday the kids started holding her.  Leah especially!  Josh just grabbed at her ears, but she took it well (and we helped Josh).  Cecilia was still scared of it:  "Gonna eat me!"  Once she established that it was a cute little bunny, she was okay with it, but still freaked out when it hopped!  Guess loved hopping around our house!  We got her spinach and she loved it! Friday the kids "lost" her and destroyed the garage looking for her.  She was in a closet, probably where Emma put her.  Yesterday we were spending lots of cuddling time with her.  I got some pictures of Leah holding her.  

Leah gave her to me and she crawled up on my shoulder, which I thought was strange.  Kira laughed when she saw Guess and took her back upstairs.  A little while later Kira comes down telling me that Guess isn't breathing!  She was gone.  My poor kids!  They said Guess kept fidgeting a lot, but the girls kept holding her.  They put her on a bed and covered her with a blanket (just her body, not her head).  They they saw she wasn't moving and brought her to me.  I laid her in her bed (we had bought rabbit food and bedding a few days ago) and took them out for distractions-popsicles.  Scott came home and dug out a hole while we found a box (a tissue box) to put Guess in.  We had a little funeral service where everyone talked about how much they loved Guess and then they took turns burying her.  They had their Dad bring a big rock to put on top (it was HUGE)!  And they wrote on it "Guess Epic Westhoff."
 Kira was in charge of the Eulogy and tissues.
 Emma was the trash bag holder (for all of the used tissues).
 Cecilia just played in the dirt.
 Emma was the pallbearer.
 And first shoveler.
 Then Kira
 And Leah.  Emma finished it off.
There lies Guess.