Monday, April 23, 2012

Making Room...

Making changes, adjustments, plans for a little one has been very normal for my husband and I since we have welcomed 5 new lives into our family.  So, you would think that with number 6 on his way, it would be routine.  But while we are peaceful and content about this new little life in our family, the physical housing for our family has definitely been a bit of a struggle.  Normally, change, thinking outside the box, letting go and being creative in the adjustments has been fun and welcomed, but this time, in all honesty has stretched us.  We have a small 3 bedroom ranch with an unfinished basement(I know many of you know this already as many of my posts are about making a small space work for a large family)  The two rooms for the kids are just stretched to the max with just the simple beds and dressers.  And with the newest little one being a boy-there was simply just no room for a crib or dresser.  So we knew unless we planned on putting him in the living room-we had to make some real changes about how we are using the house, in particular the basement.

At first we were planning on eventually putting the girls in the basement when we could put in a fire safe window for escape and a second bathroom(which we could definitely use with soon to be 8 of us) but even though we have help with plans, designs, and work, we just cannot see room in the budget for the necessary remodel any time in the near future.  And instead of living in limbo and being stuck as the upcoming arrival approaches, Matt and I came to a decision that would help to give the kids what they needed.  Matt and I are giving up our bedroom and moving to the basement.  The 3 girls will get our bedroom with the much needed closet space(and finally get Madi's clothes out from under the basement stairs) The younger 2 boys will get the girl's room, and Cole will stay put in the smallest of the bedrooms. Matt and I are going to go industrial with our space;)  You may recognize this space as my studio.  Since I have been off of bed rest, I have been working slowly to pare down and focus my work because i knew I would not be able to work out of half the basement any longer.  We have gotten rid of a lot, reorganized, continued to look ahead to the amazing blessing soon to be with us.

We decided to do all of this now because I do not want our lives after baby to be about anything but baby.  No moving rooms, furniture, painting, etc-just time to grow as a family and soak in the new little one.  So-tonight, will be Matt and I's first night in the cave.  I am a little weepy about it but we are remembering the things we are losing are nothing in comparison to a life we can't believe the Lord has blessed us with!!

Here is the new work space for Whimsie Dots.  Now I can roll out of bed into my work-not so sure that is a good thing! We lost a good amount of play space for the kiddos, but should be able to add some to their bedrooms for the first time since we have been in our home.

Once we have moved our bedroom downstairs completely, we will begin painting our old room to get it ready for the girls, and then we will be able to move the Noah and this new little one into the girl's old room which will be fun to do.  So, we are moving forward around here and looking forward to settling in to the new groove of life!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I finally remembered to take a few snapshots of some finished projects this past month. The first is a Bible cover I made for Madi girl this Easter. Her Bible is about to fall apart, so this will help it keep it together a bit longer! And the second is a new bag for myself. I realized when making it that I have not made a new bag for myself since last Easter. I am enjoying the new fabrics in this one.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Works In Progress...

It has been a long week and a quiet weekend was very needed. I had gotten a bad cold over Easter weekend-sometimes I am still surprised at how bad a cold can actually feel. On Monday, I woke to contractions! I ignored them assuming it was just braxton hicks. But about three hours later they were coming every 10 minutes, so I called my Dr to see what she thought. Needless to say, I had to go in and be monitored . Fortunately, they were not progressing into labor. She felt it was brought on by the cold and being slightly dehydrated-so lots of fluid and rest and no more cold medicine! The contractions finally ceased about 5 that night-whew...

I have rested most of the week and really did not even need to be told to, I have felt so icky and unbelievably exhausted. Standing for more than five minutes even would take it out of me. I saved any ounce of energy I could muster, for my daughters track meet on Thursday. I was also very fortunate that my husband's work week was lighter. But he is gone this weekend with both youth groups, so the younger kiddos and I have had a quiet weekend.

I spent most of it putting some quilt tops together. I worked from my scrap basket this weekend. Here are some pics of the progress-I will probably not come up with the strength to actually quilt them this weekend, but at least they are there waiting!!

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter-HE IS RISEN!!

Such a beautiful weekend to celebrate the risen Savior!!Maybe should not have had the sun blinding them-but what's a little humor for a family photo!
Nap time in the backyard
We hold our Easter service at one of the local high schools so that we can all be together for one service-I think we were near 3 thousand today. Such an amazing way to worship the risen Savior!! Love when we are all togehter!!
The little man actually loved his bow tie-what fun!
24 weeks now and loving every moment now!

Noah and Daddy building tents
We built each of the kiddos a tent as a springtime gift. It was a gorgeous afternoon to enjoy watching the kids play outside.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Finishing Up....

With my stamina not being normal right now, I have been happily working from my sewing basket full of unfinished projects. It has come as a blessing to have so many designed and planned out projects that do not require me on my feet for all of the prep work! One of the few times that I am actually happy for not having finished what I had started! After a very quiet and needed rest day-much of it spent in bed yesterday. I found that today I had a little bit of energy to sit at the sewing machine. The kids finished up school and are all happy for time to play together outside, so I have been finishing up some of these things this afternoon.
A fun infinity scarf made from vintage jersey knit-love the Charlie Brown stripes!
A new set of 4 cloth napkins made from 2 pillowcases.
A maternity dress I appliqued with birds-for the shop.

And some new patches made from scrap fabric.

Felt good to accomplish some more.

I was able to finish up a pair of sleeping pants for Joslyn as well-but forgot to get a picture of them;)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Life Is Moving....

There has been some wonderful new things happening around our home this week. It sure feels like we have every stage of life happening before our eyes. We have teenagers, grade schoolers, little ones, and a babe soon to make an addition to that fullness!

Both Madison and Cole are in sports this year for the first time. We are all pretty excited as we have waited years to be able to swing the added expenses. Cole has been in weight training for months now in prep for the upcoming high school football season. He is playing for the Christian Youth Center's homeschooling team in our area. I have truly enjoyed the positive experiences and growth it has brought with it! Cannot wait for the games in the fall. I am still in amazement that I will be sitting in the stands watching my first babe-soon to be in high school, while cuddling a newborn babe! WOW! LIFE IS INCREDIBLE!! The weight training for Cole has been so beneficial-and he has worked hard at learning all he can and reaching new goals. We now have quite the weight set-up in the garage that he has saved and worked hard to get. It has been a very positive building in Matt and Cole's relationship as well, since a lot of it has to be done in pairs. The Lord has blessed us with some wonderful friends from church as well that helped to get us started with the team. They have been faithful helpers in getting Cole to and from training sessions and practices-the blessing of help in this way has been beyond measure!!

Madison is in track and the season is in full swing!! Oh my, what an adjustment to this life! To go from never having sports practices and games, has been a bit of a shock to the groove of family life we were used to. But, the excitement has far outweighed that!! And the stretching and challenges for me have been positive as well! Madi is also on a team with the CYC. She has been practicing for a few weeks and last night was the first official meet-she did great-and I was just overjoyed to watch her run and run and run-she certainly was built for it!! We brought the younger kids with us and they had a good time watching all the chaos of the meet. But, within the 3 hours, the temp went from around 80 to around 50-burr-for all of us wearing shorts and t-shirts! Ahh, spring weather. By the end, we had found a spot to park the van facing the track so that I could keep the little ones warm and be able to hop out quickly and watch Madi run her events. She loved it-which made me so thankful!!

Cole also was able to have a bunch of his buddies over Friday night. it was the first time any of the kiddos have had friends stay over since I had gotten sick-so it was so fun to have all of this life buzzing in our home! He really has such a good group of guys. They had a great time-maybe no sleep-but fun none the less. And all you need for teenage boys....


Many of you have followed along with me for some time now and are familiar with our tiny house. But I will recap for some of you just dropping in. We bought our little ranch a little over 7 years ago when we were expecting Bell, our fourth. It has 3 small bedrooms, one bathroom, no dining space, and a full unfinished basement which has been the saving grace for this family of 7! When we found out we were expecting our 6th little wonder, we were truly stumped as to how to fit this little one in-the bedrooms are completely full and that is with creative working of how to fit 3 girls in one and 2 boys in the smaller room. Instead of being brought down by this, Matt and I decided to just focus on the excitement and gift of this new little man who will make his arrival in about 4 months. I know that the Lord has a plan for this little life that is much bigger than where his crib will rest in our home!! We have always brainstormed about how to add space, whether it be building out in the garage or putting a room in downstairs, but all it could be was dreams which if met with reality, soon fell apart for one reason or another. The garage project meant loosing-well-a garage which for us is the only storage space for this little house and not only would bring the expense of remodeling, but the expense of where to store everything-cost of a new garage down the road or massive shed. Building a room in the basement seemed the best idea, but we were stumped as to how and where. I was also very against putting just one child off from the rest of us. But the Lord has been laying a foundation for the help we needed long before we knew of this little one's life. Some friends from church had been telling Matt that they would be willing to help us on projects in our home. He is a contractor and has experience that would greatly benefit helping us with our DO-IT-YOURSELF needs. Well, he came over Monday morning to take a look at the basement and draw up some plans, goals, etc that would give us direction and hope. Before he had come, Matt and I had finally come to a consensus that putting all 3 girls in the basement together would be the best. They are the ones struggling in their space the most, there is potential for a second bathroom downstairs right next to their future room as well, which seems to make the most sense with 3 teenage girls:). When our friend was here to measure the basement, he was in agreement-and everything fell into place. Even the issue of putting in a fire safe window for their room does not seem impossible anymore for us! I do not know when we will be able to take this on in reality, but there is finally hope and what a difference that has made-even excitement!! We will put the younger two boys together in the girls old room and Cole will stay where he is. We will lose our family room space downstairs, which has caused me to decide to give up my studio space. I obviously need to still have something since it is also my job, but Matt and I are working on how to rework the littler spaces in the basement for me. He helped me to restructure the closet under our stairway already to better accommodate supplies and storage. We will begin working on some very specific shelving projects to help as well. Bummer is, I most likely will lose my dreamy over sized studio table-but I am ready to make the adjustments for the gifts the Lord is giving us instead!! Sometimes we have to give up something good, to receive something better!!

As far as my pregnancy, I am still doing pretty well. Even my migraines are becoming less and less. And I am able to do without nausea meds quite often-Praise the Lord!! I have been a little discouraged this week, because in general, I have been feeling pretty icky. Some of it is allergies-yikes, they are bad this year! But Matt has a terrible cold/flu that has really taken him out and I have been wondering if maybe I am run down because my body is fighting that virus off-- at least, that is what I am hoping! I have been pretty limited though, even last night, we arrived home after Madison's meet, ate dinner that I had thankfully had cooking in the crockpot, and I went straight to bed, even before the kids. On one hand, I went to bed feeling accomplished, because I had made it to the track meet, and fed my family-which really is quite big still, but on the other hand, I felt as though there were so many other things needing attention and I just didn't have enough energy to do them. And I know Matt is sick because he is picking up so much extra for me. I just need to give those struggles over to the Lord though-He knows our needs before we do, and knows Matt needs healing too.

Today, is a day, for rest-for a normal routine. Just school-no practices. A chance to just do the simple things like chores maybe a little work in the shop and maybe even grabbing dinner out instead of wrestling with standing long enough to finish cooking a meal. I found yesterday, that I was even struggling with sitting on a stool while prepping dinner, so Cole graciously finished up for me. Thankfully today, there are now enough leftovers for lunch-it really is the simple things that make such a difference.:)

For those of you sewers out there-I have finally learned how to turn regular pants into maternity. Boy, I sure could have used this for the first 5!!! I had gotten rid of all of my maternity clothing-so I have started from scratch again. I wasn't too worried though because clothing today is so versatile and of course thrifting makes it super easy to put together a new wardrobe. But I do not always like the maternity clothing out there and wanted to figure out how to make my own. It really has been easy. I did a bit of studying online, and took some really good looks at what I already had and what I really liked. I found that I do not like the under the belly maternity pants, they always feel like they are falling off. I do not like the older style front maternity panel either. But I love the full belly panels that are a newer style(at least from 15 years ago when I was expecting our first). So, I have successfully combined 8 pairs of pants into 4 of which I love and feel very comfortable in-not to mention-I feel like myself. I found 4 maternity pants(that were not my style) in my size or close, with the full panels, and 4 pairs of non-maternity pants that I would really like to wear right now(some straight out of my closet) and combined them. I will try to put together a tutorial soon. It was as simple as cutting off about 1 1/2 inches of the waist band and sewing in the maternity panel. I think the full panel is probably the easiest to put in too.

And oh!! I found a new recipe that everyone loves-so i am going to pass it on!! Isn't it funny how a new recipe can measure right up there with a basement remodel! haha-and better yet-it is a crock pot recipe for those busy days!! I found it on Pinterest-which is my favorite place to find new recipes now. It is for a chicken ranch and bacon pasta. It is super yummy and quick to make.