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August 31, 2012

5 Sec T-shirt Refashion

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Seriously this only takes  seconds.

Go to your old t-shirt drawer of shirts that you just love, but you can't get rid of because they remind you of a memory from your childhood. You can't wear them anymore because they are either not fancy enough to wear in public, have small holes from being worn so much, or probably even just that you are not the same size you were before you had kids.

Pull them out. Only set aside the ones you could realistically wear in a week and that still fit. Place the other in a pile and give them to your toddler for pajamas. Chances are your kid will love your old shirt as much as you did; Ty was pretty ecstatic about having Mommy-Mom's basketball shirt for her 'jamas. Especially if you point out the face of Albert Einstein and his crazy hair or the awesome player and basketball on it it is sure to be a hit.

No need to worry about where the bottom of the pajama set went or how to keep your kid in pajamas that fit because they grow too fast.

You might ask yourself how it can be considered a refashion without any work? The explanation is simple, by giving all of my old t-shirts to my toddler I am making a new and better use of them.

August 31, 2012

Meal Planning Update.

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Yesterday I went to our new ward's playgroup as I was getting to know the women there I met a lady who does all her meal planning 5 Weeks at a time! Isn't that amazing. I asked for further details because I was super impressed and a little shocked that someone could be that on top of it.
Here are the highlights of her 5 week meal planning plan:
  • Uses the same 40 favorite recipes and if she isn't feeling one meal she just rotates it with another one
  • Grocery shopping once every 5 weeks to get her groceries
  • 2-3 meals a week are in the crockpot because she works part time and doesn't get home soon enough to make dinner
  • As a side she serves home canned vegetables. (She cans one can for every day of the year)
Meal planning is something I have been good at in the past but not great my weaknesses include: CRAVINGS! Days turning out a lot busier than I anticipated. Or weather (I like soup when it is cold).
But this week has gone pretty good so far, here has been the results (bold=success) (strike=change of plans)(italics=added bonus)
August 27, 2012

19 days and counting

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In 19 days I will be in Helena MT.  Why?  We are relocating.  Until then, I am busy.  I have a contractor coming tomorrow to start installing new carpet upstairs.  That means all of the furniture needs to be elsewhere.  I have a contractor coming on Wednesday to install a bathroom light and outlet.  On Thursday, Hubbin will install the new bathtub and faucet/shower.  On Friday and Saturday a third contractor is coming to fix the cieling and walls in the living room, tile the bathroom, entry ways, and kitchen, and fix the leak in the basement.  
August 27, 2012

Meal Planning & Master Shopping List: August 27- September 2

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This morning this is how our (Al and Scary) day started. We ran, we walked, we lunged and we found a sweet old playground that had no one on it!
After running today we sat down and meal planned for the week.

We have found that pretty much the only way to have a full fledged meal, meet our kids needs, save money, and stay sane is to cook together. This isn't really a planned dinner group, but more of a spontaneous, but not so spontaneous symbiotic relationship. We also find that if we cook together we make more delicious stuff and are better at adding all the sides. Feel free to cook along with us this week if any of it sounds good to you. We will attach links to the recipes that we can (some of the ones we've made up ourselves don't have recipes written yet).
August 25, 2012

The List of No Return

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Ever wonder why we are only half decent bloggers, it is because every day that goes by we try to finish one old project and end up starting 2 more. Don't believe us just look at Scary and I's combined project list.

    Sell Closet full of Yard Sale Clothes:

  • Take pictures of clothing
  • Upload and Organize on the moving blog
  • Locate small hipped/bust females to purchase old super cute clothing
  • Hide profits from self so they can be spent on new clothing that fits, instead of on fabric/craft supplies/toilet paper

    Finish Placemats:

  • Cut Remaining frames
  • Spray Paint place setting silhouette
  • Get it laminated

    Participate in Project Run and Play

  • Plan out outfits
  • Begin sewing 
  • Take pictures of kiddos in projects

    Other stuff

  • Plan out Refashioning projects (laundry basket full)
  • Hem tan Gap jeans from Scary
  • Cut jean square for picnic blankets (another laundry basket heaping full)
  • Figure out Planner/Organizer/Financial ledger system (and make it cute) -----Suggestions would be appreciated!
  • Make Ty and Brooklyn ruffle romper/dress
  • Make Bubba and Nae's wedding quilt (a few months late *nervous laugh*)
  • Shorten bed skirt
  • Help Scary put her new bed skirt on
  • Clean out small storage shed
  • Finish staining bench
  • Refinish crib
  • Refinish table & chairs
  • Get Skinny (dedication ends where the cream and butter hit the pan): Maybe lunges  would help they make you super sore so they should make our legs skinny right?
  • Definitely wash heaping piles of laundry, potentially fold them.
  • Fix pretty skirt that Rhett took sewing scissors to. 
  • Make Stick horses
August 24, 2012

Today's Toddler Snapshots

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Today Al and I were at Walmart and I saw the beloved $1 rack. As usual I went to survey the items to see if any of them could work for initial wear or used for future sewing projects. I saw a shirt that was pretty cute but a little loud for my style.
I said to Al, "Do you think I could pull this off."
She nodded, "Ya, I think you could pull that off."
A few moments later Al pulled a shirt off the rack and said, "I think I could pull this one off."
Ryder wanted to join in on the fun so he grabbed at the shirt closest to him and said, "Mommy you could pull this one off too." Then he grabbed at another shirt and said, "I could pull this one off." he proceeded by pulling the shirt off the hanger.
I laughed so hard. I decided the shirt was too loud and that I shouldn't get it but I was grateful for the moment to see how much of others conversation Ryder comprehends.

Blowing your nose makes it all better
Today, I am also dealing with "this time of the month" complications. I promised Ryder that we could go to the playground but I am not feeling well enough to want to hang out on a park bench until he is done playing so I asked him if we could do it another day. He was not real happy about this but when I explained that I had an oweee in my girl potty parts. He first decided that I needed to go to a doctor to make it better. When I told him that wouldn't fix it he then gave me lots of hugs to try and fix it. And when I was still sad he thought of the perfect solution, "I will go get a tissue, Mommy." He then he came out with the perfect amount of tissue for blowing your nose and made me blow until I felt better.

I hurt my bottom
A couple nights ago Ryder wanted to go see his grandparents in Utah, since we won't be heading down for a couple of weeks I was hoping that a phone call would suffice. Papa Utah ask him what fun things he had done today. Ryder couldn't think of anything exciting that day so he decided to choose one from the day before.
Ryder shouted into the phone, "I hurt my bottom on the slide. The doctor fixed my bottom and made it all better." Ryder then proceeded to tell Papa about his leg and his head and how they had been injured when he slipped on the slide.
After Ryder was done with the phone call I had to explain to Grandma and Grandpa Utah that Ryder had slipped while climbing up the slide, and we had taken him to the ER to make sure he didn't need any stitches (which luckily he didn't). I guess we have reached the age I should be hesitant what weeks I let him  talk on the phone because now he can be understood on the phone well enough to get me in trouble.

Hope you have a great weekend and that you are enjoying hearing the things the little ones in your family are saying.
August 23, 2012

I Won't Give Up

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Dear Slim Jim,
I heard this song the other day and I thought about how if I had to choose a song for us now it would be this one. With all the ups and downs of panic disorder, we have always had each other to lean on. And though things have been REALLY HARD at times we have had some really beautiful memories. And all of the hard times have be worth what we have together; friendship, love, support and those beautiful babies.
I can't think of anyone else I would rather create and keep an eternal family with.
I love you!
August 20, 2012

Fun Project Coming

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Scary and I have been working on a really fun project that we are excited to share with you. Last night when we working with the Silhouette file, Scary walked up and at this moment Scary says, “Hahahahaha, they’re spoooooooning!”
Happy Dumb Pun Monday! See you tomorrow.
August 14, 2012

All Wrapped Up Giveaway: And the Winner is....

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Just in-case you are nerdy like me and want to know how to do a random simulation I have an image of the function you can do it in excel. Usually I use my graphing calculator, but it is currently missing. Press enter. And find out the winner...

Congratulations Vandi, you are the winner of the swim wrap! Remember it works best when damp. Also if you're in the pool, remember that you probably should only go a little less deep than chest level. Enjoy and let us know what you think. We hope you love it as much as we do.
August 09, 2012

Mary or Martha: In response to Christs desire to linger and rest

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This is one of my favorite pictures, scripture stories, and thoughts to ponder.  In response to Al's home where Christ would want to linger, I thought of this.

There was dinner to get on the table.  A primary lesson to prepare, kids to care for, visiting teaching reports to do, and the missionaries to feed- to top it off the Missionaries had sent word with little John, that they were bringing The Savior and his apostles.  Martha turned to the cupboard, wondering what to feed a crowd of 20.  Wouldn't you know, they had eaten the last of the pita and hummus for lunch and so she would also need to run to the market.  Then she looked over her home, normally orderly, but not today.    She didn't finish the dishes that morning because Anna, one of the temple workers wasn't feeling well and she was called last minute to sub for her.  They had sent around that helpful papyrus last week in relief society about how to maintain a home, and she had been doing so well, but of course- today of all days, the world would see her failure.  Here comes the crowd now, she could hear the streets buzzing with excitement.  The healer, the prophesied Messiah was headed toward her home.  

Mary ran to the door, then out across the garden to the rock wall surrounding their property.  Martha shook her head, "Will that girl ever learn to be lady like?"  Mary had lived with her sister for several years now, helping with the children and house work, but some times Martha wondered if she was raising her right.  
What had mother done to teach her?  Love, Hard work and Discipline, yep that was the answer.  Martha nodded to herself.  She would have to be more strict with the girl.  She owed it to her mother.  
"Mary, come in here.  I need help with the preparations."
"I will be right in, but oh Martha, isn't it exciting, the Savior of the world is coming to our home, Martha, Martha, I could squeal I am so happy!"  
"Yes, yes, Mary it is wonderful. "
"Could you bring some water in from the well on your way in to the house, please."  
Martha didn't wait for a reply, she had already turned toward the house, again thinking of the things that needed to be done.  On the way in, she noticed the dirty hand prints on the wall next to the garden, and the weeding that hadn't been finished.  With Lazarus's illness, the home maintenance had fallen to her and Mary.  There were creaky doors, broken shingles, untrimmed trees, and chipped paint.  There wasn't time to get to all of that, before he came.  She just hoped he wouldn't notice. She glanced up again to check on the burgeoning crowd. 
Lazarus was leading the throng.  Ever since Jesus had raised him from the dead, he had become somewhat of a local celebrity.  As she stopped to think of the miracle of that day, tears came to her eyes.  She had witnessed the Savior crying for her pain, for her families loss, for her brothers death.  He had then gone to the tomb to raise him from the dead and with that example taught a powerful sermon of his own death and Resurrection.  She brushed the tears from her cheeks.
What was wrong with her.  The great miracle worker was coming to her home, and she was standing around crying.  "Back to work, Martha, back to work." she thought to herself as she hurried up the path.  She would have to send one of the older children to the market for the needed supplies.  There just wasn't time to go her self.  As she was giving the final instructions to Ruth her 10 year old daughter, she thought of the blind man, that she had noticed earlier that day.  "Please bring Jacob, the blind begger at the end of the street.  He can sup with us tonight."
Ruth ran off,  her purse jingling and her pig tails bouncing behind her.  Martha cherished Ruth.  She was such a sweet child.  She knew that when the Savior taught of the children, he was surely speaking of her own dear Ruth.  Ruth with pure faith and perfect obedience.
But, no time to think of that, it is time to get back to work.  she thought.  She quickly did up the dishes in the pan and dried them.  Her thoughts turned to one of the recent parables that had been taught.  How could she  as a shepherd bring the one sheep back to the fold?  This sister had been lost for so long.  She had grown up with such a hard life.  Loosing her family and becoming an orphan.  Then turning to selling herself just to eat.  She had become a mother so young.  And now with another baby on the way, how would she make it.  If only they could get her to come back to church, If she could teach her of virtue.  If she could help her understand the atonement.  Martha knew that she would be blessed by her testimony and faith.  Then Martha prayed that she could be that kind of sheperd.
As she set the table, she started to wonder where Mary had gone off to.  She peeked in to the living room, where Lazarus, Jesus, and his apostles had settled themselves.  Little John was right there, next to Jesus.  She could see the love that he had for Jesus.  Often she had heard Jesus refer to him as beloved.  As her eyes swept across the room she could see each story replayed in her minds eye, of how the savior had changed their lives.  From Lazarus, being raised from the dead to Peter being called to be a fisher of men.   They each had a story.  They each had a change of heart.  As she looked again, she caught sight of Mary.  With all of this work to do, there was Mary, sitting at Jesus's feet, hanging on his every word.  As an 18 year old, she was practically a woman.  "How could she leave me like this?" Martha thought 
Martha kept trying to get Mary's attention from across the room. 
Mary was always shirking her duties.  She should have been the one to run to the market or finish up the dishes.  As Martha tried to discreetly coax her sister away, the Savior asked Martha what was the matter.  Martha tried to explain about all that must be done, before they could eat.  "Please get her to help me."  Martha begged with a final plea of desperation.  She was sure that he would be on her side.  She knew that after the long walk, he would be hungry and tired.  He must have been anxious to eat and go to bed.  It was just six days until the Passover, and there was still so much to be done before the great celebration.  
But, she was shocked when she heard his reply.  "Martha, you are so busy.  You worry about so many things.  But there is only one thing you should be thinking about right now."
Then pointing at Mary, he said, "Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."
Tears burned in Marthas eyes.  She knew he was right.  The spirit had been telling her this all day.   The only begotten son of God was in her home, and she had been worrying about fingerprints and dishes.  She kneeled at his feet looked in his eyes and knew he had forgiven her, and that he was pleased with her change of heart.

Some times in our busy lives the dishes or tidying can get away from us, but Jesus doesn't mind, as long as we choose "that good part".  I love that he says it will not be taken away from us.  

I challenge you to "Choose that good part".
With love,
August 08, 2012

Would He be Pleased to Linger and Rest? {Home Organization: Free Printable}

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Dear Sisters,

So as I was helping Power Shoes with his final paper of the semester, I found this quote from President Monson that I really loved! I loved it not because I am so good at doing it, but because it tells me I have room to grow. If you would've seen my home this week you probably would've been as overwhelmed as I was. Between making costumes for Cow Appreciation day at Chick-fil-A, going to a 3 day family reunion, being a mom, teaming up to make some really incredible dinners, and helping my husband finish the semester strong, my house looked like a no-man's land war zone. 





“Have we cultivated a spirit of love in our homes? Observed President David O. McKay, ‘A true Mormon home is one in which if Christ should chance to enter, he would be pleased to linger and to rest’ (in Conference Report, Oct. 1947, 120). What are we doing to ensure that our homes meet this description? Do we ourselves meet it?” 

~Thomas S. Monson, “Dedication Day,” Liahona, Jan. 2001, 79




It was not a home in which if Christ should enter that he would be pleased to linger, and I know this because it was not a space that even I wanted to be in. Most of the time my home is decent, but there is definitely room for improvement. That being said, I feel that my most important calling is as mother and wife and not as house keeper. I will not sacrifice the needs of my children in order to keep a perfect house all the times. Also I love sewing and doing crafts and those require a little bit of the disaster in the process of doing them, and I will not stop doing something that brings me joy.


I have a friend that keeps a tidy house at all times. She amazes me and I envy her to some extent, but not enough to be her. She is pretty much always cleaning. About once a month she will do a craft or sewing project only because she has nothing else to clean and needs something to clean. 


Four months ago my ward held a Home Organization Workshop for the sisters in our Relief Society. We asked two of the sisters that excelled in this to talk about techniques that helped them be good at keeping their homes clean. In addition to that we had all of the sisters collaborate their knowledge and experience. I then took all of this information to make a booklet with useful techniques that each sister could have in their homes. 


I've been trying to follow some of these pointers since I put it all together and it has made a huge difference (minus this week because I didn't have the time to follow it). I would like to share it with you. Not because you aren't all already amazing, but because I know that for me that when people share their secrets to success with me, it makes my life easier.

  Enjoy! {Free Printable Here}


P.S. What do you do to make the jobs of motherhood less daunting?

August 06, 2012

Planning for Next Years Family Pictures

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Summer 2003. With our Grandma Twila who passed away a few months later.
Christmas 2005
Grandsons (that is all there was, now at least we have 3 girls) Easter 2007
Just the kids. Thanksgiving 2007

Summer 2008. Jo was pregnant with number 4.
Summer 2009: I was pregnant with Ryder in this picture. Mom made her dress, my dress and the boys ties and vests.
Summer 2010: Ty was a month old  in this picture.  Each family was supposed to be a different color of blue but when the picture got taken it ended up being nearly the same shade.
Summer 2011: Jo's #5 was 2 weeks old and I was pregnant with Boston. Nae and Bubba just started dating at this point so Nae took this picture for us. Mom bought matching polos for each of the boys and we all went with blue/gray/white color scheme.
Summer 2012: A family picture where no one is pregnant...One for the record books.
I think this year was my favorite. All the adult women chose their outfits along with the little girl outfits. The men wore matching ties and the little boys wore tie shirts. I love how we look coordinating without being over the top matchy matchy.
The success of this year has got me really excited for next year. I even made a pinterest board with some potential color schemes, and the adults are voting for their far these 4 top the charts. I was hoping that if we got our colors figured out we could take advantage of summer clearance.
Autumn color
Color Locked
Feathered Hues
Flora Color
Which color scheme is your favorite? How do you decide on a color scheme? What time of year do you usually take your family's pictures?

Last year my nuclear family's pictures color scheme were determined by what shirt was least noticeable with my pregnant belly. And when I knew I could take pictures without throwing up but before I looked too big. This year (for my nuclear family) I think I will try to incorporate a subtle color scheme that coordinates without over matching.
August 05, 2012

Getting through it with Inspiration, Intuition and Perspiration

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As I told you, I said something stupid which lead to Ryder thinking that the calling of "boy" or "mommy" was a temporary position that if you were unsatisfied with the results that you could just go to the store a pick one up or go looking for one.
After I wrote that blog post, it got WORST. Ryder was having such a hard time going to bed or naps, and he was constantly trying to escape to find a "new mommy".
His requirements for a new mommy are that would never make him take a nap and the two of them would  play outside forever and eat gogurts all day. I didn't know what to tell him. I tried not to force his hand so he didn't feel like his needs were unexpressed. We stayed outside for 30 minutes as he thought about how he would get a new mom only to have me then tell him we needed to take a nap. Then the next day he went at it again at nap time, so Al came over and was his new mommy for a few hours. Where he cried to her that, "My Mommy loves me!" Finally he decided to take a nap at her house and when he woke up I was there. He gave me the biggest hug and told me that he wanted me to be his "new mommy".
The "new mommy" moment taught me that even though Ryder is talking a ton (like non-stop) he still is working on how to express his emotional needs. This last week I have made sure we have been on a very strict schedule with nap times and bed times. I have also taken 5-15 minutes to cuddle him in bed before he goes to bed. It has been so good for both of us. He has his one on one time that he needs and it gives me a break from trying to keep up with everything because I realize that he really does need me to show him physical attention.
I love being a mom and how even though there are tough things that through inspiration, intuition and perspiration even the toughest challenges you get through.
In addition to loving being a mom I also love naptime my kids look so sweet when they sleep...I love that my little girl sleeps like a bug and softly sucks her thumb when she gets tired......How she looks with tons of ruffles, she is so skinny that it gives her some much needed volume.
August 02, 2012

Expired: All Wrapped Up Giveaway!

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The Shaffer Sisters are so excited to announce our first giveaway: 1 Swim Wrap
We (Al and I) love wearing baby wraps. It is absolutely essential to having a second kid. I don't go out in public without my wrap. I take it to the grocery store, family reunions, church, outside to play with Rhett. I use it when I am prepping dinner and Slim Jim has to work.
Here are some pictures of Al and Power Shoes rocking the wrap (Sorry, I don't have any pictures of me in the wrap but I don't have any extra hands to carry a camera).
One day when Al and I took the kids to the splash park we realized that as amazing as our regular wraps are they weren't the greatest for the water. Because they would keep the baby's too wet. We needed  a wrap for the water.
We went home and ordered the fabric waited patiently (okay, so not so patiently) for our fabric to come. We made up 2 wraps for ourselves and made one for our beloved readers. Immediately after we finished it we went to the splash park and tried it out. Wow, awesome! It was great for all the reasons I love my original one but it was perfect for the water because the kids didn't get too cold and the water moved right through them.

Fine Print for the Giveaway:

1. Must be a follower of Shaffer Sisters through Google Friend Connect.
2. Must live in the Continental US (sorry, shipping isn't cheap)
3. Leave a comment to be entered.
4. You can get one extra entry for publishing this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or a Blog (come back and tell us what you have done and leave a separate comment for each entry).
5. To get an extra entry you can follow Shaffer Sisters on Facebook.

Opps! I forgot to add that the giveaway will end  11:59 MST August 9th.

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