Week One Round-Up of Fun & Crazy

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Round Up Week 1

Our #scarfie photo only took four tries to get right! I made the kids scarves and am wearing one I made for myself too.

Week one for me “ends” on Saturday, January 3, 2015.

And it has been a really rough start to the new year.

My mom went to the hospital on the first day of the new year with pain in her legs and was unable to walk around herself.  She needed an extra dialysis, which is becoming a more frequent need in her ability to function.

My father, her estranged husband who is a better grandfather than he ever was as a father, has been helping me out while I take care of my children and try to continue to keep a job and be a wife/mom/daughter/sister, etc. and this is during his own recovery from open heart surgery in November.

Some could say “crazy” is my middle name.  This week proved that I can tackle crazy like a boss.

Here’s the weekly round up of fun and crazy in the life of DeAndrasCrafts.com:

Monday - December 29 - Thank you!

Monday – December 29 – Thank you!

On Monday, I went to work and didn’t notice until almost 1015 AM that I had the “Thank You” sticker my youngest son put on me from the local supermarket.

I sent the photo to the left to my husband and told him I felt like a true mommy today!

He told me to own the sticker like a boss and continue to wear it.  I did for a while, but chickened out around lunch and took it off.

Tuesday and Wednesday (December 30 & 31) were great.  I worked out in the field on those days, something I didn’t think I was going to be doing much since going back into the office a couple of weeks ago.

I took off part of the day on the 31st so my husband could go to the doctor.  He was diagnosed with a slew of ailments, one of which was bronchitis, and was put on antibiotics with icky side-effects.  He also took it like a boss.


My daughter's Hello Kitty head is finished - direction are from the Book Hello Kitty Crochet by Mei Li Lee

My daughter’s Hello Kitty head is finished – direction are from the Book Hello Kitty Crochet by Mei Li Lee

In the afternoon of the 31st, I began working on my daughter’s Hello Kitty crocheted stuffed animal from the Hello Kitty crochet book I got for Christmas.  The pattern is definitely for a seasoned crochet-er and I’m going to have to purchase pink brads for the cheeks and some pink tulle.  I almost can’t believe I don’t have any pink tulle (for the ballerina dress, page 16) lying around….

We stayed up with the two oldest until 9 PM on the 31st, and I rang in the new year in tired mommy and daddy fashion of staying up until about 10 PM and going to bed.  My husband was in bed before I was and the only reason I stayed up was to read a chapter of Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze’s book, “Smart Money Smart Kids.”

I’m trying to read twelve (12) books this year as part of my goals, and I chose this one as the first one to complete because I’ve had it for a while and it is SO IMPORTANT!

Thursday was the day my mom went into the hospital.  She ended up getting additional dialysis, and that made her feel much better.  My father was instrumental in getting her over there, and helping me out on Friday evening when she got out.

The first of the new year wasn’t fun in our house as we are still dealing with pink eye that my youngest son brought home with him last week around Christmas.  It’s been difficult to say what the worst thing has been about the experience of pink eye – it’s either the giving-your-child-eye-drops or the fact that it doesn’t seem to go away!  Ugh.

This is my "Do Over" plan for the next 10 days.  I am planning on reconnecting with my family through writing, journaling and blogging.  #DoOverBook by Jon Acuff

This is my “Do Over” plan for the next 10 days. I am planning on reconnecting with my family through writing, journaling and blogging. #DoOverBook by Jon Acuff

The evening of Thursday, January 1, 2015 I began a 10-day challenge from the author Jon Acuff.

You can read more about this here: 10-day Do Over Challenge

So far, so good in my “Doing Over.” As I write this post I am three days into the challenge and I’ve got a game plan for blogging about our family’s weekly events, good or bad.  I’ve also started an enormous list of “To Do’s” that I plan on organizing and separating by month, by need, by want and by importance.  My Type A brain is so excited about getting organized and hopefully in the process a little more simplified (hitting those 2015 goals!)

On Friday, the two oldest and I learned how to finger knit.  I think the hardest part for me was watching and listening to my 3 (almost 4-year old) complain that he wasn’t doing it.  After working with my five year old daughter, I’ve determined that finger knitting is definitely for children ages (mature) 5 years old and up (at least in my family.)

We used Lion Brand Homespun yarn. – Click on the link to look at it on Amazon.

RUW1-Finger KnittingThe 9-year old was able to catch onto the pattern of wrapping the yarn around the fingers easily, something the 5-year old wasn’t able to grasp as easily and I had to watch her wrap the yarn around her fingers so she wouldn’t miss a loop.  We watch a video by Fiber Flux on You Tube, and although the oldest admitted it was cool to learn, he was done after about 15-minutes or so.  The five year old spent a little more time with it, but she too was done after 20-minutes.  We were all trying to keep our hands to ourselves (so the pink eye could stop being spread around) and I was hoping this was going to take more time up during the day.

Oh well.

I was blessed Saturday morning by my children not getting out of bed until 7 AM.  My coffee was hot and I turned on the fireplace to blog by the fire.  It was a day of taking down the Christmas tree and putting all the Christmas stuff away.  It seems bittersweet but like we tell our children, it’s all about making Christmas a special time of year.

For next week: I am hoping and praying for normalcy to resume in our household once again next week.  It was a productive week though, despite the unfortunate interruptions of having to get my mom from the hospital and dealing with a sick husband and pink-eyed kiddos. I’m hoping to start my goal board this week and get the kids excited about doing life together.

My Book Review System

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One of the things I am grateful for as a mom is having children as an excuse.

I’m being very selfish (yet honest) with this but I can use my children as an excuse to not go out with people.

I use my children as excuses to make myself cookies, because you know, they want some too and it’s good to cook with mommy.

And one of the most wonderful things I am grateful for having children is getting to do things (even as an adult) that I couldn’t afford or I didn’t do when I was a child.

I try to tell myself that I am not living vicariously through them, but I will admit, it upsets me when they have no idea how amazing and blessed their little lives are.  But that’s another discussion for another day.

Today I’m going to tell you about my book review system.

DeAndrasCrafts Book Review System OverviewOne of the ways I use my children – as an excuse to read books I didn’t get to read when I was younger.

I have purchased books from Amazon that started off from a list I found on Pinterest, from an article called 67 Books Every Geek should read to their kids before the age of 10.

Since pinning that pin back in May 2013, my oldest son (7-years old last year, now 8-yrs old) and I have read over twelve books together. And we don’t include the ones he read for school in that total.  He’s only in second grade going into a summer of reading with momma so I’m excited what is to come.

I have two younger children, now ages 3 & 4.  I have been reading books with them since they were little, but it wasn’t until this year that my 4-year old got really intersted in chapter books and sitting down and listening to me read for good 15-minutes chunks of time.

The three-year old still gets bored of listening after about 10-minutes, and we are still in the board-book phase with him.

My plan right now is to review books with a three star system, also separated by category because I just can’t see comparing a life enriching book to a children’s book in the same way.

‘Highly Recommended’ books will have three stars and I plan on using that to describe the Life Enriching catagory as “You must read this to move forward in life.”   If a book in the Life Enriching catagory gets a ‘Good’ rating, then I can probably put my finger on why the book wasn’t a page turner and I didn’t finish it in a week.  The ‘Okay’ rating is to put the book on the bottom of the pile and it will be my suggestion to “get to it when you get to it.”

The Just for Fun catagory is going to be very random.  Usually I pick up a book because I don’t want to watch the movie and would rather read the book.  I did this with the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” series – one that I cannot stress how well written and page turning it was, although I couldn’t imagine watching the movie after I read what it was about.  Eww.  I let those things be visuals in my own head, not see it on screen.

In the Read with Children catagory, I will observe my children when they hear the story and make note of which books kept their interest and which ones they asked me to stop reading because they were tired.

I am looking forward to recommending books and giving my reviews, as I love to read reviews myself, especially the honest ones.  I hope to do that for you and start soon.