31 October 2011

Craft Lafayette! - the final sprint

Sorry for the lack of posting.  It's been all craft fair all the time around here.  Well, that's not entirely true, we've just been extremely busy and Craft Lafayette! has been looming in front of me, moving ever closer.

Some of us are pretending to be in craft fair mode.  I cut quilt squares for my sewing class at the kid's co-op and the scraps were quickly commandeered by my little apprentice(s).

Today I have been working on packaging and layout.  And praying that I actually have enough stuff!

Have you done a craft show?  Any words of wisdom?  Pitfalls to avoid?

Aren't these yarn bowls gorgeous?  I'll be selling them on behalf of a fantastic potter.
If you're a local, be sure to come out and visit all of the wonderful and talents crafters at Craft Lafayette!

And now, back to the grindstone.  

26 October 2011

Basilica Cathedral St. Louis

When I was researching Mass times before heading out on our trip, I discovered that the Arch is not to only place of wondrous beauty in St. Louis!

The Basilica Cathedral is certainly not to be missed!  In a moment of providence, we actually missed the early Mass we had intended to attend.  We thought we knew where we were heading, but ended up at a difference Catholic Church.
I had had my heart set on going to the Basilica, so we passed up the Mass at that Church, opting for the later Mass at the Basilica.

And to our surprise and excitement, the Bishop said the later Mass!  In celebration of World Mission Sunday, there were NINE priests presiding and a full choir.  It was fantastic. 
The kids were in awe of the many, many mosaics decorating the Basilica.

25 October 2011

Meet Me In St Louis . . .

We just returned from a fun filled long weekend in the great city of St. Louis.  I had never been to St. Louis before - what fun!  The Gateway Arch is incredible.  No picture can do it justice.

 The first night we were there, the lighting at the Arch was fantastic for picture taking.

We were all amazing by the enormity of the Arch.  Wow!

19 October 2011

My Crafty Musing

Time slowed today and it was wonderful.  Andrew took the day off for me to relax a bit after his absence last week and to give me a chance to catch up on all that was so far behind.  It was a cold and rainy day, so it was delightful not to have to go out into the elements.  He ran the kids to their activities while I stayed home.

Craft Lafayette! is approaching much more quickly than my little fingers can create.  Yikes.  I spent my free hours sewing and beading.  I was productive, which is nice, but still a bit behind crafty wise.  None the less, my time spent in the craft room was worth more than the items I produced.

Creating can be so satisfying.  We are currently seeing a resurgence \of hand crafts which is wonderful.  With the internet and specific sites such as etsy and artfire the small, hand crafted business is much more accessible.  I think this is an especially appealing venue for the stay at home mom.  But I believe the appeal goes far beyond the "flexible work hours" or the notion of "working from home".  While I am sure success and pocket money are great benefits, I wonder if the benefitial act of creating actually far outweighs the others. 

So much of a mother's day is spent working on mundane tasks -- extraordinarily important, but mundane none the less.  And a great deal of a mother's work is immediately undone.  That dreaded laundry pile -- does it ever really disappear?  The dishes in the sinks seem to instantly reappear the moment I finished washing.  And I am convinced that it is impossible for all seven of the tummies in my house to be satisfied simultaneously!

When it comes to creating, the end is attainable, visible, and complete.  When your item is finished, it can't be undone in the sense of a dirty dish or a pair of soiled jeans.  (Although, a toddler pulling out my knitting has caused me great strife!).  I would posit that that sense of completion and gratification is, in large part, why so many mothers are drawn to craft.

I would even venure to say that there is a need within us as humans to create.  God made us in His image and likeness and it was He who created all that is good.  In that same nature, creating is a good in which we should indulge.  It brings a sense of joy and beauty into the home and in that vein, it brings God into the home as well. 

14 October 2011

Oh the glitter was worth it!

(Also known as "If you blog it, it's no longer crazy!")

A glittery project with the kids probably wasn't my brightest idea.  Especially at 7PM the evening after co-op, on the seventh day of a daddy-less week.  (He comes home to night - woo!)

The kids loved this project and, really, the results were worth it. 

 Starting in the evening was also good, because they could dry over night and be finished in the morning.  I gleaned this fantastic fall craft idea from This Cosy Life.  She has a great tutorial, so I won't go into to much detail here.

I watered down the glue a bit and the kids dipped the acorn caps into the glue before sprinkling them with the detested sparkly glitter.

I should add that we made some of these of the non-glittery variety and they were equally adorable.  In fact, they were a little more to my earthy, I'm-not-a-fan-of-glitter taste!  But the kids, they loved the glitter (of course).

I drilled holes in the top and the acron caps.  Then we threaded cotton yarn through the caps and jingle bells.  **Tip: get the multi-size package of jingle bells so you can match the bells to the cap**

This was a great fine motor skills lesson.  My kids love to use needle and thread, so they were thrilled with this!

Beautiful fall necklaces!  I guess I failed to get a photo of the kids wearing their necklaces.  They've been jingling around the house all day!

13 October 2011

Eight is Great!

A birthday princess
Yesterday, this sweet girl turned eight years old.  She was treated to quite the girly birthday adventure to celebrate.  We picked up a few friends and headed out for manicures and pizza.
Grace's bff Chiara
I had intended to take the girls to one of the local cosmetology schools for their manicures, but seeing as they rely on students signing up for shifts, this plan didn't pan out.
Eight year olds are great, but three years olds are adorable!
In the end, it worked out for the best, because Bella Nail Spa was wonderful!  They treated the girls so well and even gave them cookies!

I loved taking Anja with us. 
These girls chose the most fabulous color combinations.  If only I were so brave and daring!

Jazz hands showing off their do's.
After their nail treatments, I asked the girls where they wanted to go for pizza.  The vote was unanimous -- "That place where the train brings your drinks!"

Locomotion excitement!
I had been hoping for Bruno's, but I was severely out voted.  So off we went!
Fantastically bright!
Happy birthday, Gracie!  You are loved!

And a big Happy Birthday to my amazingly wonderful sister-in-law Anna!!

09 October 2011

International Babywearing Week!

This week is International Babywearing Week!

 Become a "fan" of That's A Wrap on Facebook to get a coupon for 15% off all item in my etsy store!  (Coupon code good for this week only!)

08 October 2011

A Boy and His Fire

Christopher was very proud of his fire.  We had had a fire earlier in the day, but it was barely embers when he brought it back to life.

His attention just reinforced my theory that it is impossible for the male species to build a fire and then jus tleave the darn thing alone!

07 October 2011

Large Family Living - advise, please!

I stumbled upon this big family link up over at Holy Spirit Led Homeschooling and the timing couldn't be more perfect.

I have five kids and I don't really feel like we are that big of a family.  I know that if I stretched outside my little bubble, I would realize that to a lot of people, we actually are.  Which is why I somehow found myself schedules to give a talk on raising a large family.

So, here I am asking begging for some advice.  If you were to attend a large family living talk, what would you want to hear?  Keep in mind, this is going to be a mainly secular audience, so it's more logistical than spiritual.

So, go ahead: ask your questions, give your tips and advise, tell me what you've read / heard before, help me!  I promise to reprint my talk here for all to read. 

03 October 2011

The Case for the Homeschool Dad

As much as I would like to be, I am not that roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-messy mom.  Thankfully (I think!), my husband is.  Therefore, the kids get some great hand-on learning experiences!  The most recent has been homemade root beer!

The first night, they mixed the brew.  The next day, we watched it begin to carbonate and the kids calculated the carbonation in order to determine the best time to bottle.

Watching air bubble through this air-lock allowed them to figure this out.  And allowed us to stop the bubbling before we ended up with beer!

They worked together to clean all of the bottles.


Then Andrew patiently showed them how to fill the bottles with enough brew.

Christopher declared himself the official "taste tester".  It passed his sensitive palette!

After the bottles were filled, they were capped and sealed and put in the fridge.  Please say a prayer that fermentation stops before they explode all over my fridge!

Dad's are great in the zeal for the messy, exciting, and sometimes even educational!