Tuesday, December 21, 2010

holiday breakings and makings

nothing warms a mother's heart and puts her in the mood for christmas quite like having to put her kid in time-out a gillion times for taking ornaments off the tree.

and no, i'm not referencing max's behavior. ben is the one taking ornaments off the tree. over and over and over. we didn't put up our tree until yesterday and it has been constant touchy hands. this morning, after breakfast, he went straight to the tree and took off an ornament, which max then copied.

i think this was the only really breakable ornament tim put on, avoiding a lot of our more fragile ornaments. and max managed to find and drop it. if our ornaments were just uniform, pretty decorations, i wouldn't mind as much, but all of our ornaments are from someone or from our childhoods and i'm pretty sentimental about them.

it wouldn't be nearly as frustrating if ben just took them off to look at them, then put them back on the tree. no, he carries them all over the house and plays with them like toys. i know he's just an impulsive little boy and a lot of the ornaments are very cute-my mom gives the boys a new ornament every year. but it's that fine line between letting him explore and teaching him that sometimes he just needs to listen and some things are off limits. i'm sure the novelty will wear off and he'll leave the tree alone, but right now, it's really taking the fun out of the tree.

this afternoon, while i thought max was napping, ben and i *tried* to make chocolate covered peanut butter crackers. i was so pleased with how they were turning out, dreaming of all the people we were going to give them to. of course, max didn't actually nap and this was our final product:

yesterday while shopping, i forgot to get waxed paper from dillons and aldi didn't have any. not wanting to make another trip, i figured i would just grease the cookie sheets really well. i should have listened to the nagging little voice that kept telling me that greasing the cookie sheets wouldn't be enough. the chocolate totally fused to the baking sheet and even after putting them in the freezer, would not release without taking part of the bottom cracker with it.

fortunately, it's only tuesday, so i have time to remake these. the flavor was really good-i ate quite a few to ease my frustration. i'm sure tim will help eat the mistakes, but there's so many-neither of us need that much junk.

in other making news:

i wanted to make something for our Godson/nephew so i stamped this robot on a onesie, adding the heart to cute it up a bit. but after staring at it for a few minutes, i decided the hollow eyes were kinda creepy, so i colored it in.

it turned out pretty well, but took way more work than i had expected. what was supposed to be a five minute project became an hour+ long project that required touching up after i heat set and washed it. it probably would have gone better if i weren't using the rounded end of one of ben's plastic watercolor brushes to do my painting. again, i should have trusted that little voice that kept telling me to stamp a piece of woven cotton and then applique it onto the onsie, but i was lazy and didn't listen, making more work for myself.

i finally, after starting and undoing many hours of knitting over the last couple years, FINISHED a project-a scarf.

(i don't know why ben was being weird for this picture.)

i was really happy with how this project turned out, especially since i had gotten the yarn for free. so pleased, in fact, i decided to make another scarf, again, with yarn i already had.

my final project was probably my favorite, but that could be because it was so well received by the recipients.

i started with two free frames that tim's mom was getting rid of this summer:

(are you sure you don't want these lovely frames anymore? what? you think they're tacky and outdated?!)

let ben help me paint them with some acrylic paint i had from the robot project:

then added pictures of the boys.

one went to a dear friend of ours and the other went to the woman who comes in after our adoration hour. she really enjoys the boys and i knew she was bringing presents for them, so i wanted to have something for her. i had planned on keeping the second picture for myself, but after debating what i could make for her, the Holy Spirit prompted me to not be selfish and give her the picture. i'm so glad i listened-she loved the picture. she seems like a pretty tough old gal, but when she opened the tissue paper, she got pretty misty eyed and choked up.

today has been a really frustrating day, but after recalling some of our successes and accomplishments, it doesn't seem quite so bad.


  1. Weird random fact: waxed paper only comes in the reynolds name brand. hence never at aldi.

    the frames look awesome, that's a really sweet story about the lady at adoration. i am in utter awe of you for taking them to adoration. you go, mama.

    ah, frustrating days. gemma and i have had a plethora of those of late. blurg.

    but on a lighter note, Merry (almost) Christmas!

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  3. horay! i'm so glad to see a "happy productive Mary" post!! good for you and all of your crafty accomplishments - you've been quite busy! super cute picture of you in the scarf, by the way.

  4. I know, I seriously don't have the patience to take my children to adoration. It's impressive.

    I, too, like the picture frames. Painting is one of those things that my kids love to do but I find really tedious- the set-up, the clean-up, the inefficient use of paint. It pains me.

    Excited to see you today!

  5. I am thoroughly impressed with all the crafty projects you've been cranking out! The onesie is adorable! And the scarves look very sharp - great work! I second Michelle's comment on the super cute pic of you. I need to take a page from your book and give a "face lift" to things more often than just replacing them. That's very sweet (and brave - paint? really?) of you to have Ben work on the picture frame for the lady at adoration, and even more impressive that you take your little men with you to visit Jesus. I am in awe.

    For the tree, you're more than welcome to borrow our accordion gate to put around the tree if the boys don't start to keep their paws to themselves. We aren't using it this year. Just let me know.

    As far as wax paper goes, yes, it is a necessity for the pb crackers, but I've gotten it in the store brand, just not at Aldi (although I couldn't tell you what store b/c right now I have the Cut-rite brand), so off-brands do make it. You could put the broken pieces in a zipper bag, wrap it in a towel and take your frustrations out on it with a rolling pin (or hammer, I won't tell), store it in the freezer and use it as a mix in for all that tasty custard your wonderful husband brings home :) It could last you until summer! Or Tim could make a custom concrete with it and pitch the idea to Freddy and get paid big bucks for it and you could live out your days in leisure as you become the supplier for the dipped and crushed pb crackers.

    OK, I'll be quiet now. Can you tell I got a relatively good night's sleep last night, despite waking up at least 7 times to go to the bathroom? Right. The quiet will commence... now!

  6. This morning (afternoon, really) I thought, "If Mary is going to make it to 50, she will have had to post something by now." But I wasn't expecting something so detailed with multiple photos! 4 different projects and 1 humorous antidote-this could have been 5 different postings and you would have already made it to 50! But combining them was totally worth it just to use the title Holiday Breakings and Makings. So clever, you. Very enjoyable, as always. The framed picture is the best and I liked the story about who you gave it to. Are you getting as super excited for Christmas Eve as I am? Eggrolls...Keep up the good blogging work.

    Elizabeth, I really enjoyed your comment as well and think you actually might have a jackpot idea with the new concrete flavor.

  7. So apparently Cut-rite IS the Reynolds brand of wax paper, but I'm still convinced that I've bought store brand was paper before. Walgreen's maybe?

    Sorry, but I had to post this otherwise I would have been incapable of sleep tonight.

  8. too funny elizabeth. while at dillons yesterday, i got some cut-rite and realized that it was reynolds. now i'm on a quest to find non-reynolds waxed paper.

    and i had the exact line of thought as you about the reject pb crackers, all the way down to living out my days in leisure as the supplier of hideous, but delish concrete mix-ins. but i don't think my one at a time dipping would be very efficient or conducive to a life of leisure : (

  9. It seems as if someone told me that, because I remember looking at Aldi for waxed paper some time ago and then having some sort of conversation with someone about Reynolds having the exclusive rights to waxed paper or something odd like that. But who knows. I find it oddly hilarious that so many of these comments have centered around waxed paper. I mean, really? Have our lives now come to that? But that being said, keep me posted if you find another brand. ;-D

  10. Not being well versed on non stick paper, could you use parchment paper in lieu of waxed paper? Kind of like "sticking it to the man" and Reynolds and their monopoly on waxed paper.

    OR! Start making your *own* waxed paper. How hard could it be?

  11. Honestly women.
    Here: http://www.walgreens.com/store/catalog/Plastic/75-sq.-ft.-Wax-Paper/ID=prod3889429-product?V=G&ec=frgl_&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=sku3888278
    and here:http://www.buy.com/prod/waxtex-waxed-paper-75-sq-ft/q/sellerid/28612218/loc/66357/216831714.html
    and here: http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/550612/Kraft-Waxed-Paper-Roll-30-Lb/?cm_mmc=Mercent-_-Google-_-Mailroom_Supplies-_-550612&mr:trackingCode=48620D1B-EC81-DE11-B7F3-0019B9C043EB&mr:referralID=NA
    Can we please talk about something else now? Or do 4 more posts in 3 days?

  12. bleh. I don't know how to link those. If you don't want to go through the trouble of copying and pasting, just froogle "waxed paper" It will blow your minds.

  13. Erin, you could use parchment paper instead of waxed paper, but it is more expensive and I've never seen a store brand of parchment paper, and that's one I've searched for since I use it so much in baking.

    And thank you Joel for being such a source of information for us. Without your google searches and Top 10 lists I'm not sure where I would turn for my main source of information. Thank you.

  14. And on Erin's note of making your own waxed paper, if you're really hard pressed some cereal bags are still made from waxed paper (anyone else still have a grandma that tries to save those to be frugal?), but some are plastic, which would be gross and counterproductive in the baking department, so you're probably still better off just buying it.

    And Joel, I must now apologize b/c in reading my previous comment I realize it came out a bit more harshly than I had intended. I hope you aren't too terribly offended. If you are then I guess it's time to toughen up a bit, but my apologies all the same. Happy New Year! :D

  15. I wasn't offended at all. I thought it was a genuine compliment and will choose to continue believing that.