Cherish Little Moments

Maybe Your Two-Year-Old Just Needs You

I just read this blog post, and it is beautiful. Nearly brought me to tears.

I cannot count the times that I have rushed my children to bed, thinking that I needed some time to myself before I collapsed into bed, tired from a long day. Now I wish I had not rushed bedtime so. I regret all the times that my children went to bed upset because I would not take the extra time to make sure that their needs were met before I left their room for the night.

I am grateful that my children are still small and that I will have time to change my ways and enjoy bedtime a little more, take a little more time, and try not to get annoyed with small requests from my children. They are only small for such a short time, I need to cherish every little moment. I need to rush less, and read to them more, snuggle and play and enjoy every moment that I have with my children. I love them so.

It’s amazing how some days can go by and I look back and realize that I was so caught up in laundry, chores, and a dozen other responsibilities (all of them important and necessary to keep my household running smoothly) that I spent all day telling my sweet girls “sure honey, we’ll do that later.” “I will be there in a few minutes when I’m finished with this.” And then ‘Later’ never came, or a few minutes turned into a few hours as I finished one task and moved on to the next. Then suddenly it’s bedtime, and I’m rushing them to bed and I didn’t spend as much time with them as I wanted to.

I am thankful that there are other days that I don’t seem to get anything done because I spent all day with my kids, talking, laughing, reading stories and playing. I love those days. It can be so hard to find a balance between spending time with my children and getting all the chores done. Maybe someday I will figure it out. 🙂

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Crafting with Freezer Paper

I have seen many tutorials online for how to make freezer paper stencils. They are fun and easy to do. I made some really cute shirts for my kids using freezer paper stencils, and I have done a little experimenting with different uses for freezer paper. Here are a few that I have found:

  • Use a craft cutter (such as a Cricut or Silhouette) to cut out freezer paper stencils. I used my Pazzles Inspiration cutter to make stencils and it worked perfectly. I saved time because I wasn’t trying to cut the pattern out by hand, and it turned out perfect, with no mistakes, I’m sure I would have made plenty of mistakes trying to do it by hand.
  • Use freezer paper to hold fabric in place when cutting it with a craft cutter. A lot of craft cutters recommend that you attach your fabric to an iron on webbing or interfacing. If you don’t want to use interfacing, or iron on adhesive, use freezer paper. Lay the fabric on the ironing board and put a piece of freezer paper on top of it, shiny side down. It works best if the freezer paper is just slightly larger than the fabric. Then you use a warm iron and press over the freezer paper until the wax is melted into the fabric and the two pieces are stuck together. Once you are done cutting it out, the paper comes right off. You can also sandwich fabric between two pieces of freezer paper for thicker fabrics.
  • Run it through the printer to make templates that stay put. I was cutting shapes out of some felt one day, and my template that I was using was driving me crazy because it wouldn’t stay put. I cut some freezer paper down to 8.5×11 inches, and ran it through my printer, printing on the non-waxy side. Then I just ironed my template right to the fabric and it stayed put until I was done cutting everything out. It worked perfectly.
  •  You can use the same stencil or template more than once.  They are usually good for 2-3 uses, so if you are making multiples it is not necessary to make a new template or stencil every time.

 

Things I Never Thought I Would Say #1

As a mom I have said many things that I never could have imagined I would ever say. Kids have a way of doing things you never expect and putting you into situations that you never dreamed you would face. So here are some of the things I never thought I would say:

  • “Girls! Did you just shut your brother in the dryer!?” – I should clarify that they did NOT shut Tank in the dryer. But he loves to play in the dryer and will climb in there any time he finds it open. So when I am in the other room and I hear Princess say ‘Tank is in the dryer’ and then I hear the dryer door close, what else am I supposed to think?
  • “We don’t throw eggs at mommy!” – The twins were probably around one and a half, I was getting dinner ready and had left the fridge open. I guess the girls decided to help me because suddenly an egg splatters at my feet. I look over at the fridge and Princess has an egg in her hand, Cowgirl has one in each hand. I’m lucky that I got them to hand me the eggs nicely or I would have had an even bigger mess to clean up.
  • “Cowgirl! Please don’t count your sisters food! You know she doesn’t like that.” – Cowgirl and Princess are counting everything lately, but when Cowgirl starts counting the food on Princess’s plate there will be a fight. I don’t know why it bothers her so much 🙂
  • “Don’t hit your sister with the alligator!” –
  • “Girls, please don’t step on each other’s tails.”
  • “Don’t step on the clean plates!”
  • “Stop fighting the wall”
  • “I had to fix the wall right there. The kids ate a hole in it.” – This windowsill had no trimming, and it was right at the level of the girls mouths, and they were both teething, one day I walked into the living room and realized that they were both standing there chewing on the edge of the windowsill.
  • “Who threw up in my shoe?”

Milk Filter Paper

For any of you that have a flannel board and enjoy making story and play sets to go on it I’ve got a little tip for you.

Buy 15 inch circle non-gauze milk filters, a box of 100 costs about $15 including shipping. You can get them here.

Trim them to 8.5×11 inches.

I use my quilting square and a sharpie to make my rectangle

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Then cut them out. I usually hold 2 or 3 together and cut them all out at the same time, or use my rotary cutter to cut through several sheets at once.

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Run them through your printer.

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Cut out the pieces. They stick right to flannel, felt, fleece, and each other!

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I got these awesome printable shapes from MrPrintables.com, you can download your own here.

I have also printed out just the outline and then colored it in with crayons, colored pencils, and markers, they all work really well.

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These are thin for easy storage, and they are super durable. I have made several sets for my girls and they play with them a lot, I have yet to have one of them tear.

Flannel Board

I’ve been wanting to make a flannel board for my girls for a few months now, but I was having a hard time deciding how I was going to do it. I started doing some research and found lots of different ways to make flannel boards, you can glue the flannel to cardboard, foam display boards that you find at the craft store, plywood, pretty much anything really. But the one I really liked I found here, it’s a really great tutorial on how to make your own flannel board on the back of a dry erase board, so you have the flannel board on one side and a magnetic, dry erase board on the other side. It took me a long time to find a dry erase board that I liked, but I finally found one on clearance at Walmart for $4.00. I was really excited! I got started right away and this project only took about a half hour from start to finish.
This is what my finished product looks like:

 As you can see, I chose to use a lighter blue flannel. Also, I didn’t add the ribbon and flowers. I might add ribbon at some point, but for now it’s just very simple. I did forget to fold my fabric over on the edges, so it’s already starting to fray, I need to find a way to fix that.

And this is the dry erase board side. This board is 23″x17″. I originally wanted to buy one that was about twice this size, and I’m so glad that I didn’t. This board is the perfect size, doesn’t take up too much room and is completely portable. I’ve already made a couple of stories for it, based on two of our favorite books, (I’ll post about those later) and it’s a big hit! My girls beg for me to tell them stories on the flannel board, and they have the stories nearly memorized and like to tell them to each other. I need to make a few more stories, I just have to decide what to do next…

Friendship Bread

My family really loves Amish Friendship Bread. I was wanting to cook some yesterday but I couldn’t because making the bread is a ten day process. So I started it yesterday and in a few days we’ll have bread! There are many places to find recipes for Friendship Bread, some websites even sell the starters, and will try to convince you that you must have a starter in order to make the bread. This is not true. You can make your own starter. Simply mix 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk in a glass or plastic container. Never in a metal container and never use metal to stir your starter, I’m not exactly sure why, but apparently coming into contact with metal ruins it somehow. I use a 1 quart, wide mouth mason jar, (I also make less starter, see below) it’s important for air to get to the starter, so instead of using the traditional lid and ring for the jar I put a piece of fabric over the top and secure it with the ring, it looks nice and bugs and dust stay out of it but it still gets air.

I mentioned before that this is a ten day process.
Day 1: Mix 1cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1cup milk in a plastic or glass container (If you already have a starter you would just stir it on Day 1)
Day 2: Stir
Day 3: Stir
Day 4: Stir
Day 5: Add 1 cup flour, 1cup sugar, 1 cup milk and mix
Day 6: Stir
Day 7: Stir
Day 8: Stir
Day 9: Stir
Day 10: Baking day!
On baking day you use 1 cup of the starter, mixed with other ingredients to make your bread. The reason it’s called Friendship Bread is because you then take 3 cups of the starter and give 1 cup of it to each of three friends along with the instructions and the recipe so they can make their own bread in 10 days. Then you save the remaining starter for yourself. People often get turned off to Friendship Bread because they end up with so much starter, and no friends left to give it too. There are a couple of ways to solve this problem:
1. Quadruple your recipe and use all 4 cups of starter instead of just 1. This is great if you have a party or get together planned and you want to stock up.
2. Don’t make so much starter. Instead of adding 1 cup of everything just add 1/2 cup. That way on baking day you have just enough to take one cup out to bake and leave some starter to start the 10 day process again.
3. Starter can be kept in the fridge for a while if you want to take a break, but still have some starter left. I’ve kept it in the fridge for as long as two months. (I try to remember to stir it once a week and occasionally add a tablespoon or so of flour, sugar and milk, just to keep the starter active.)
4. This works well with whole wheat flour. I use freshly ground whole wheat flour, the starter works better this way, and the bread is still delicious.
This is the recipe that I use: Amish Friendship Bread
I like to add raisins, my husband really likes to add chocolate chips, and my mother-in-law adds grated carrots. All variations taste good, and it’s great with frosting too. Friendship Bread is great to slice up and serve at parties. I usually keep some in the freezer for unexpected company. It freezes beautifully and even tastes good straight from the freezer.
P.S. I have discovered that this works well in the bread maker, I put mine on the ‘Sweet Breads’ setting, set the crust to medium, put everything in and turn it on, the recipe makes 2 loaves, but when I use the breadmaker I put all of it in and make one bigger loaf. This works well on the days that I need to make bread but don’t want to heat up the whole house, or just don’t have the time. If you’re doing it in the bread maker though, you might want to leave out the chocolate chips and other additions, we’ve discovered that it doesn’t cook right with the extras added.