Friday, December 30, 2011

Under Construction

I'm gearing up for an entire site makeover...entire. My goal is to have it up and running by Jan 1st! Yippee! I'm stoked. Meanwhile...I will carry on with my nursing duties since everyone in my household is sick, with something different...keeping my fingers crossed the 3-5 germs don't get passed around for the next month. I don't think I can handle being quarantined for that long. Especially since we've already been sick since beginning of November almost non-stop. Gotta love the preschool age! =)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

25 Days of Christ in Christmas

One of our new traditions this year...a simple countdown chain to ensure we focus on Christ being the center of Christmas at least once daily...


On each chain I wrote a scripture to look up followed by a question to be answered. Little Miss gets to take one link off a day - although we did 3 tonight...playing catch up is okay! It's not too late - get on board! This is such a fun way to teach Little Miss more about the birth of our Savior.


Making the chain was also great in other ways. Little Miss got to practice with scissors, then with patience while she waited for me to write on every link. =) It also gave us an opportunity to discuss patterns and numbers. Yay for multi-tasking!

Here is the list of the 24 scriptures & questions - I got them from here - where other good Christmas lesson ideas are! To make it 25 days - we'll be reading the whole Christmas story in Luke 2 on Christmas day...

How do you keep Christ the center of your Christmas?


1
Luke 1:26–33 
Who told Mary that she would have a baby?
2
Matt. 1:18–21 
Why did Mary and Joseph name the baby “Jesus”?
3
Luke 2:3–6 
Why did Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem before Jesus was born?
4
Luke 2:7 
Why did Mary lay baby Jesus in a manger?
5
Luke 2:8–11 
To whom did the angel announce the Savior’s birth?
6
Luke 2:12 
What was used for a cradle for baby Jesus?
7
Luke 2:13–14 
Who joined the angel in praising God?
8
Luke 2:15–17 
Where did the shepherds go after the angels left?
9
Matt. 2:1–2 
How did the Wise Men know that Jesus had been born?
10
Matt. 2:7–10 
Where did Herod send the Wise Men?
11
Matt. 2:11 
How did the Wise Men show that they knew the young child was the Savior?
12
Matt. 2:13–15 
Why did Joseph take Mary and Jesus to Egypt?
13
Matt. 5:6 
Jesus Christ taught that we will be blessed for seeking righteousness. Spend at least 10 minutes reading scriptures or scripture stories.
14
Matt. 5:9 
Jesus Christ taught that we should be peacemakers. Be a peacemaker in your family by not arguing with others.
15
Matt. 5:16 
Jesus Christ taught that we should be good examples to others. Set an example by choosing the right.
16
Matt. 5:43–44 
Jesus Christ taught that we should love our enemies. In your personal prayers, ask a blessing for someone who has been unkind to you.
17
Matt. 6:3–4 
Jesus Christ taught that we should help other people. Perform a secret act of service for a member of your family.
18
Matt. 7:7–8 
Jesus Christ taught us that our prayers will be answered. Volunteer to say the family prayer.
19
Matt. 7:12 
Jesus Christ taught us to treat others as we would like to be treated. Write a letter to someone who is far away, such as a missionary or grandparent.
20
Luke 17:12–19 
Jesus Christ praised the leper who thanked Him. Write a note or draw a picture to thank your Primary teacher for what he or she has taught you.
21
Mark 10:13–14 
Jesus Christ showed that children are very important to Him. Show your love for a brother, sister, or parent by reading a story to him or her.
22
Matt. 22:37–39 
Jesus Christ taught us to love our neighbors. Work with your family to do something nice for a neighbor.
23
John 13:34 
Jesus Christ told us that we should love one another. Show your love to your parents by helping without being asked.
24
Isa. 9:6 
The celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ is a time for joy. Write in your journal the feelings you have for Him.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 Days of Christmas, Almost

I meant to post my 25 Days of Christmas List here yesterday...which obviously didn't happen. And won't until tomorrow, hopefully. =) So ya'll will just have to wait. Only so much I can do when I'm sick and my kiddos are sick. But get excited!! I've rounded up some great ideas!

I really don't like being sick. However, after a very busy Thanksgiving I decided maybe catching a nasty cold and being forced to stay home with my munchkins for...4 days and counting isn't the worst thing. It's forced down time. I have just about zip energy - and the kids, especially Mr Man, just want to cuddle. So...we watch movies and cuddle, we read books and cuddle, we play dress up and cuddle...maybe being sick isn't the worst thing this week...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Future Blackmail


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Videos

Lots of Video Tutorials to come!! I already have some in mind...meanwhile, check out what Little Miss has been memorizing...


Friday, November 18, 2011

A Love Hate Relationship With My Art

I've been delving into the world of painting - love it! But, I don't always love what I make...in the past few months I've done some of this...










Obviously - some very amateur, some better than others...but I'm learning, creating, and having fun - so that's the point. My latest piece...





Yes, those are antique water knobs actually screwed onto my canvas. I had this planned out for awhile. Now depending on my mood I either love it or hate it. Sometimes I look at it and think - "that is pretty cool!", and other times I think "what a weirdo!"...

I checked out some art books from the library and about half way through the first one decided I didn't need to read about techniques and how to mix colors and what art is or isn't. Art can be anything...as noted by this horrible french fry sculpture on the campus of my Alma mater...ugh...



It doesn't mean everyone will like it, in fact they won't. As long as I like what I'm doing and I'm expressing myself than I think it's okay - although I don't think giant french fries are ever okay. =)

I learn the most about art and technique from just studying paintings, not books!

Little Miss is getting very artsy with me. It's our mommy/daughter time while Mr Man has a nap...of course her best work always ends up on her arms and then rinsed away down the drain. She is quite the little creative girl! Some of the color mixing she does is awesome. I wish I could replicate it.



It's good down time for us - we can chat, no technology is involved, and get creative. It also has helped Little Miss with her fine motor skills - the brush painting anyways, not so much the body painting. =)

What do you do for a creative outlet?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Honk If You Want To Live


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When I Grow Up

Motley. Something I am trying to accept about myself. Composed of diverse often incongruent elements. That is me. And I know it's a lot of you reading this. 

I am a mom. I am a wife. I am a painter. A musician. A chef. An entrepreneur. The list goes on and on. The things I'm interested in our endless. My hobbies - I don't have just one. This is actually something that drives me crazy! So many things to try and do, so little time - I end up being okay at lots of things, but not excelling at anything. I'm no expert. I just dabble. It is a source of great frustration for me. 

I want to be great at something. Anything - I just can't pick which hobby to focus on. I love them all. So I remain mediocre at a lot of things. Still unsure of what to be when I grow up...at the age of 27...ha!

Please tell me I'm not the only one!? 

I was actually researching this problem online and stumbled across a book...I haven't read it yet, but it definitely is on my Christmas list. I'd love to understand myself better. According to the book - I am a "renaissance soul" - sounds so fancy eh. I love books that put a positive spin on something so ridiculous. 



The full title - "The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One" - yep, sounds about right. I'll let you know how it is after I read it. I hope it helps me figure out how to spend my time. (If you click here you can read the first 30 pages or so of the book...)

Meanwhile - I am a mom. And that is the most important. That is something I should strive to excel at. And since my baby just woke up...I better go excel at changing his diaper. =)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Feast, Not Thanksgiving

This came in the mail the other day...


So excited! I set a new goal for myself. I want to not only re-read, but diligently study each talk by the next conference...so I'll be reading one talk every Thursday and every Sunday. That way I have a few days to study the topic via scriptures, etc if I so desire. I'll be keeping a notebook handy to jot down thoughts, things I learn, and I plan on highlighting my issue like crazy!

Anyone care to join me? Today's talk will be..."As We Meet Again" by President Monson. I know it's just the opening welcome - but I'm sure there are good meaty things in it, and I plan on finding them.

Let the great feast begin!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Halloween, A Little Late

This year Little Miss decided she would be a detective for Halloween...so I spent a whopping $0.55 and turned this thrift store find...

into this girly detective costume...





I love you sewing machine. Men's shirt - 25 cents, hat - 25 cents, magnify glass - 5 cents.

To complete our family costume ensemble, we stuck Little Man in the money bag outfit his sister wore at that age, and husband and I were the robbers...so the detective was trying to find the stolen money.



Super fun! After seeing all the girls trick-or-treating in princess costumes...Little Miss told me she wants to be a princess next year. Ugh. So predictable. The peer pressure sets in and the creativity goes out the window. Oh well, maybe it'll wane.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Motley & Other Revelations

I know, it's been awhile. It's like I dropped off the face of the Earth. I guess I did in a way. Between having Little Man, a big move, a never-ending thesis...and various other distractions. I think I'm ready to start blogging again.

During my absence I had time to reflect on my life and myself and came to some conclusions. I used to love this blog, my last few entries were forced. It seemed like a chore. I'd taken on advertisers and since they were paying I felt obligated to post, even if I didn't have anything valuable to say. It was a job...not really what I had intended. It was too complicated.

This site is supposed to be an outlet, a break from my crazy life, not a thing that adds to the crazy! So...it's getting a makeover. I will leave up old posts for their valuable content - but from here on out the blog will be slightly different - although still mommy focused. And I will only post when I have time or feel like it - ha! No obligation to post everyday...sweet freedom.

I am changing, my life is changing, so it must change with me if it is going to survive. So instead of "The Mom Blog" it will be dubbed - "Motley Mom" because that is me. I am Motley - composed of diverse often incongruous elements. That is my life. I have far too many interests to just focus on one.

There are too many things I want to learn and try to devote all of my time to just cooking, or just sewing, or just crafting, or just preschool...so this site will be a place for me to post my ideas, my exploration through life, and lots of good mommy stuff. Because when it comes down to it, that is at the core of who I am - a mom.

So, if you're interested in finding out what kind of Motley stuff I've been up to - or am going explore, please stay tuned! And thanks all you lovely readers - for still following my blog although it's been idle...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Quesa-Cat: Friday Fun

I got this idea looking at a menu one day...wish I could say it was my own. But doing it at home sure is cheaper!


Meet our lunch time visitor - he frequents our house, along with his friends - quesa-mouse, quesa-monkey, quesa-dog and whatever else Little Miss is in the mood for.

I start by melting the cheese and folding the tortilla in half...


Then I cut off his spunky little ears...


Cut his face into 4 easy-to-eat pieces...


Move his ears up...


Add a face. I've used ketchup for this - salsa, cut up fruits/veggies - whatever I have on hand.


Creativity is the best way to get your kids to eat!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why I'm a Mom: Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why I'm a Mom: Wordless Wednesday


Witnessing Firsts

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Painted Shoes

Here is a quick fun project for your little aspiring Van Gogh...

Little Miss is really into painting lately. So for her birthday we gave her a set of paints and some cute thrift store (canvas) shoes...




The finished product...




Really though it's never finished. Every couple of weeks she'll announce that she needs to work on her shoes again. Super fun and super cheap! Paint included - $4. My favorite kind of kid project.

Did I mention all the painting is giving her some great fine motor skill practice? She is way cute wearing them around town too! They match everything and people are always asking her about her shoes. I might need a pair...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Security Door? Totally: Sponsor Spotlight

Okay - I've confessed about my germaphobe(ness) in the past...now another confession. I am a safety freak. I will check and double check that all windows and doors are locked every night.

I love my new windows that have two locks and then a built in block system so the window can only open so far just in case the locks fail...love it! 

Before putting the car in drive I, without even thinking, will lock all the car doors.

I'm so quick to lock things up and make sure we're safe - I've locked my husband out on accident multiple times. Poor him. We even invested in one of these bad boys back in the day...


My husband is also very well versed in the art of peep-hole installation - which we've even done on rentals before with permission from the landlord. A great security feature.

And one of my favorite features of our new home - the security door. A metal screen door with a deadbolt that is near impossible to see through when standing on the outside during the day. I have had to remind my husband a few times however that leaving the door unlocked takes the "security" out of it.



And who do I owe this ocd craziness too? My mother. But that is a story for another day. 

My ultimate dream would be to have an alarm system on our house. That would be great. Someday. Saving my pennies for that one. Meanwhile I'll just have to settle for a dog...which I'm also saving my pennies for. One thing at a time, right?

If you're not sold on having a home alarm system like I am, keep reading...
______________________________________________________


If you are a parent, you are no doubt constantly worrying about the safety of your children. This is not because you are paranoid or pessimistic; it simply comes with the territory of being a parent. The real question isn’t why you worry, but what you can do to act on your concerns and make sure that your children are as safe as possible. For starters, you may want to pay a visit to a website like homesecurityfamily.com, and get in touch with a company that can help to make your children’s home as safe an environment as possible.

The modern home security company can offer you a number of impressive features designed to keep you and your children safe. They are also flexible, and offer a wide range of pricing packages, which allows you to customize your own system to fit your needs, desires, and budget. Here are a few words on some of the systems and features generally offered by home security companies these days:

*Home Alarm Systems – An alarm system is probably the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of home security. However, even if your home already has an alarm, you may want to look into the benefits offered by technologically upgraded systems. Many people can now set their alarms and check up on their home security simply by using their cell phones!

*Gas Detectors – These are tools that people don’t always think of with regard to safety in the home. However, both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors can save lives by picking up on dangerous situations before you or your children may be able to.

*Motion Detectors – Motion detectors, much like laser trip wires or video cameras, can act as a second layer of defense against invasion in case your alarm for some reason fails you. Basically, if an intruder somehow makes it into your house, he or she should be detected by one of these features, resulting in a loud alert and automatic contact with the authorities.

*Yard Signs – It may seem like the simplest and most harmless thing in the world, but a small cardboard sign in your front yard that advertises the fact that your home is protected can be a security feature in itself. Criminals are less likely to risk theft or vandalism on a home protected by a security company.

This has just been a brief overview of some of the options offered by most home security companies. Again, you can essentially customize a system to fit your individual needs. However, it is important to know about and research these features so that you can best prepare yourself to provide a safe environment for your children.
______________________________________________________ 

I actually didn't know you could get something customized to fit your budget until this guest post was written - so that makes my paranoid self super happy! I also really want to get some signs to put in our front yard asap. What a smart deterrent!

Thanks for the guest post! I've gotta go double check my doors now...=)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why I'm a Mom: Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hot Topic: Homeschooling

Okay...there's more to this post than homeschooling. And I want input! So please comment! I've been carefully considering, and reconsidering all of the educational possibilities once Little Miss is "of age" - which is a couple years off, but I want to make a decision by then, so....

Here are the options...public school, private school, charter school, home-school...or just leave her to her own devices and see how far she gets in life on play-doh and dollies...pretty sure she could make a career out of that. =)

I've been researching and I think it's pretty safe to say that for us, private school is off the list. Kind of pricey and not a lot of good options where we live. So - public, charter, or home...

Here is my list of pros and cons - please feel free to add to it or argue it, especially if you've had experience in one of the scenarios yourself - or with your kids.

Public
  • Pros
    • social interaction
    • super easy for me
  • Cons
    • influence of dumb kids
    • exposure at a young age to things I wouldn't want my kids exposed to
    • the pace of learning can only go as fast as the other 25+ kids, for Little Miss this would be a problem - she'd get way bored
Charter
  • Pros
    • student paced learning
    • social interaction + home more often
    • tighter values & expectations for students
  • Cons
    • higher expense
Home
  • Pros
    • I would get to be WAY involved in the curriculum
    • My innocent babies wouldn't be exposed to anything I didn't deam appropriate
    • Nice and cheap!
    • Peace of mind
    • My weird obsession with school supplies would be useful...I know I don't need new pencils and notebooks every August - but I just can't help myself!
  • Cons
    • Less social interaction
    • I wouldn't be able to teach them everything...like how to play the tuba - just saying. I don't know how...
    • I might go crazy never getting a break from my little darlings
    • The fear of completely failing & not being able to keep up
    • Housework and all hobbies might go out the window - would I end up feeling like I lost myself?
So my dear readers...what are your thoughts and feelings on the options? Your experience? I might end up getting some guest posts from differing views on this one...I need help!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Love is Spelled T-I-M-E

A wise man once said - "Love is spelled T-I-M-E, time." How true it is. And as a busy parent it is so important to find one-on-one time with your children. My new goal is to find one-on-one time on a weekly basis. Now that we live super far away from family I think this will mean having "mommy and me"/"daddy and me" dates at the same time. 

I've been so busy and preoccupied with moving in, decorating, fixing up our new home - that I really need to refocus on being a mom first. So, I've decided I will do something super fun with Little Miss and Mr Man every Friday - just us. Something out of the ordinary and beyond our normal routine.

Remember forts? I grew up making tons of forts with my sisters out of queen size sheets. So fun.


Little Miss and I made this fort and watched a movie together in it. Sadly, forts are not as large and spacious as they once felt, good thing we like to cuddle!

What are you doing for fun with your children today?

{Something I have to tell myself every once in awhile to refocus: people matter, not my to-do list...}

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Why I'm a Mom: Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 1, 2011

DIY: Cake Plate Crazy





Yep - I went crazy. I got this idea from my friend over at Craft Doodle. Natalie is amazingly talented and creative! My next project of hers to try - the Madhatter Lamp - also seen here. Love it! You can get all the step-by-step how-to's on her site. These cake stands make great cheap gifts too. All my plates and candle sticks came from thrift stores - each stand was about $2 or so. Thanks Nat!
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