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This time next week, I plan to sit around with a goofy smile on my face, grateful that I made it through another April. The opportunities for the children are truly wonderful, but we're all looking forward to a big dose of normal!
Seriously, how do you have time for these things!?!?!? :cP Holly,
First off, congratulations on your precious new girl! We have her picture on our fridge and several times a day I hear “Ahhhh! Cute baby!”
You asked how I have time to do my little projects. The biggest reason is that I don’t have a newborn! I might have eight children, but not one of them needs to eat and be changed every two hours! (Although, some of my boys might enjoy meals that frequent!)
I usually don’t even attempt to do any extra projects until the baby is about four months old and sleeping on a regular schedule. Prior to that, consider the day successful if you make dinner and get the dishwasher unloaded! I have sewed while trying to nurse a baby. No one enjoyed that!
I’ve learned to craft in snatches of time. I keep current projects out in my kitchen so I don’t have to spend time hauling things out and setting up. It’s not tidy, but the satisfaction outweighs the mess.
I involve the children by giving them fabric scraps or scraps of scrapbooking paper. Older children will work on their own scrapbooks when they see me working on mine.
I keep my expectations of how much I’ll accomplish LOW. If I’m feeling like I need to be super-productive, my parenting skills definitely suffer.
Finally, at the risk of sounding cliché, enjoy this time! It does go by too quick! You are a wonderful mama and I look forward to watching your babies grow!
A few weeks ago, I showed the fabric that had hoped to become a new purse. Well, the sad story ended up that, since I wasn’t using a pattern, things didn’t go as planned. Bummer. I really loved that fabric.
Since the old gypsy purse was looking tired, Mama felt she needed a new purse. Plus, I needed to nurse those craft-project-gone-wrong wounds.
In the same place that I found my diva aprons at Jo-Ann’s, I found this kit. Using my 50% off coupon, it cost $7.50.
Two hours later, I had this new purse!
I did iron-on interfacing on each piece to give the bag a little more structure. I used a snap closure instead of the recommended iron-on Velcro.
This is the cheesecake that Meghan requested for her birthday. It goes together very quickly and requires just one hour of refrigeration before serving. Great for procrastinators like me!
The hardest part is finding the ladyfingers. This year we didn’t have time to hunt for them, so we skipped them. Well…the cheesecake did lose a little structural integrity without them, so we’re thinking of an alternative for next time. Maybe vanilla wafers?
1 can (21 ounces) raspberry pie filling or flavor of your choice (we used cherry)
In a bowl, combine contents of crust mix from both packages, butter and sugar. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 10-in. springform pan. Arrange ladyfingers around edge of pan.
In a bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup milk until smooth. Gradually beat in remaining milk. Add contents of filling mix from both packages; beat until smooth. Beat on medium for 3 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Pour over crust. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Top with pie filling. Remove sides of pan before serving. Yield: 12 servings.
I’ve been asked a couple times recently about how we handle “snack time” in our home. That usually makes me giggle because of the visual it brings to mind: 8 hungry children vs. a box of Teddy Grahams. Not pretty.
The reality is that we don’t do snacks when we’re at home. I usually don’t buy crackers, fruit snacks, or granola bars. It would be crazy expensive.
If we have some muffins left over from breakfast, or sandwiches or fruit left over from lunch I just leave them out on the counter. They’re usually gone before the next meal.
When I’m preparing dinner I set out a bowl of carrots and celery. That keeps hungry children chewing instead of asking “What’s for Dinner?” for the 8 billionth time.
I don’t refer to any of this as “snacks.” As a result, my children never ask me for a snack. Well, there is that one exception: Whenever Jamers and family visits, they bring some munchies along. My children love it and ask, “May I please have an individually wrapped snack?”
This past weekend, Emelie competed at our area 4-H Horse Judging Competition. It is her first year as a senior and is one of the youngest in her division. She placed second individually, and her team also placed second. This means we will be off to the State Contest on May 1.
Meghan competed (on her birthday, no less) at the Division III Math Pentathlon Tournament. It’s the biggest of all the Math Tournaments will over 400 participants from several states. She made it through the day and was smiling in the end, which is a great victory for that grueling day. We’re proud that she was able to tie the game that she considered her weakest!
As we get reading for all these contests each year, we usually spend an evening watching Facing the Giants. We encourage the children to praise God, win or loose. We want them to do their best and leave the results up to God!
Ever feel like you need a weekend to recover from your weekend? No rest for the weary here. After all, it’s April at the Stumpf house. Sit back, hang on, and put a smile on your face.
There were smiles all around Sunday night as we enjoyed our first bonfire and marshmallow roast of the season. Some had very sticky smiles! It was a wonderful way to bring everyone back together after going in many different directions this weekend.
As we look forward to this week, we plan to enjoy:
I was a little surprised when I was changing Hunter this morning. After taking off his footed sleeper, I noticed that his left foot was unmistakably green. Top, bottom, and between the toes.
It didn’t rub off. Not even with mom spit. Is my baby turning into the Incredible Hulk? Sometimes he has the temper...
After calling a couple of nearby children in to look at this phenomena, I thought to examine the foot of his sleeper. Turning it wrong-side-out, I could see that it was completely green…. and waxy…. and a little wrapper fell out.
A crayon had made it into the wash, found its way into the sleeper foot, and melted all over it in the dryer.
The color rubbed off Hunter’s foot as the day went on. Any tips on what to do with the sleeper?
Last week our baby #6 turned the big "Whole Hand!" It made me think back on the fact that she was born while we were living in our "temporary house" while building our current home. She was also born the same day as our first batch of baby chicks were hatched. It was a hectic time!
Brigitta is such a bouncing, smiling little girl. She loves all things girly, laughing, and playing with Jacob and Heidi.
Prior to her big day, Grandma Nan took her to Build-a-Bear. Brigitta had no stuffed animals because she sent them to Haiti after the earthquake. Now she has a lovely, soft bunny named "Carmel."
I'd forgotten that we didn't have any food coloring to tint the frosting. Bryan managed to create this masterpiece. We call it "Princess of Sprinkleland."
One of the biggest birthday hits was the new Tinkerbelle outfit. The outfit, Snow White Polly Pockets, and lip balm were all she was asking for!
Around here, everyone enjoys a birthday celebration for days!
We've attend the HUGE Hoosier Horse Fair and Expo for the past 3 or 4 years. This year we felt like we'd truly arrived since we now own a horse! The children (and their parents) look forward to it like it's a trip to the amusement park. Such a blast to be surrounded by horse-lovers and all their toys!
Emelie competed in the Horse Judging contest at HHF. It draws competitors from surrounding states and is the toughest competition of the year (with the exception of the 4-H/FFA state competition in a couple weeks). Last year she was disappointed in her performance and was hoping to break the Top 20 this year.
Instead, she won!
The whole team did great with four placing in the top 20. They took 1st and 2nd in the Intermediate Division.
Sorry for my blogging negligence lately. Being in the busiest month of our year, some things have to slide. We had a wonderful weekend celebrating Brigitta's fifth birthday and attending The Hoosier Horse Fair (more on those coming soon).
This week will be one of the busiest of the month ending with Meghan's birthday on Saturday. We have six different places to be that day (five of them 4-H related). Time to remember how to feel blissful in the busy!
Now that I’ve got the Easter outfits wrapped up, I’ve dusted off my quilting skills and started a new bed cover for the master bedroom.
The quilt block–of-the-month kits at Joann’s really caught my eye. I know I want one of the walls in my room painted a dark teal – which this quilt has. All the pieces are pre-cut. This makes putting a block together super quick. (I’m all about instant gratification when it comes to crafting!)
Not only are blocks available (12 required for the quilt-top), but also a setting kit and pre-cut binding – ahhhhhh - Where have you been all my life!!!
These items can be rather pricy, but careful use of those 40 & 50% off coupons takes some of the sting away. Since all the dimensions are given in the directions, I’m using the patterns to make a second quilt with the scraps of the Easter outfits. More quilt for the buck! I was able to make four blocks (two for each quilt) in snatches of one day.
Today a trip to my favorite dentist for a broken tooth became a trip to an oral surgeon for a tooth extraction. I decided that I'd rather become a professional cage fighter or give birth through my left nostril before I do THAT again!
While recuperating this evening, I have enjoyed some quiet reading time (a luxury that I don't usually allow myself). When I purchased these books, I didn't make a connection between them. Now I giggle when I think about it.
This is an amazing story of one family's journey though the adoptions of 18 children.
My children love watching our Duggar DVDs. It was one of the first times they had seen a family that looked something like ours (times 3, of course). This book really makes you realize that the Duggars are a very real family just trying to live for the glory of God! (And the recipes are wonderful!)
Both books made me excited for tomorrow when I could get up and love on my children!
We hope that you had a blessed Resurrection Sunday! Grandma Nan came up and we enjoyed a delicious dinner. Over the weekend I also got together with some of the girls on my floor from my freshman year of college. I should post some pictures because we all look exactly the same (right, Megs?)! This week our family is certainly enjoying the fact that many of our activities are on Spring Break. We won't be taking any more time off after the California Adventure, but we'll enjoy having some low-stress evenings! On the menu this week is: Monday - Meatball Minestrone, Fresh Bread