The Nadel family- Enjoy reading our everyday adventures!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

American Girl class-Felicity week 4

We had another fun American Girl class this week talking about Felicity and her birthday!

In class this week, we had lots of fun making clothespin dolls. I found some directions online here and used them relatively closely. I gave the girls each two round-head clothespins, and three pieces of fabric- one for the girls' dress, and two for the boy's shirt & pants. They colored the faces, hair and shoes with Sharpie markers. We tied a 1/8" ribbon around the waist for a "belt". Before class, my husband helped me drill a 1/8" hole under the "neck" of the clothespin, so we could put a 3 1/2" piece of pipe cleaner in it for the arms. It worked great! Then the girls could turn up the ends for the dolls' hands. All of the little dolls turned out so cute!  You can find other directions for clothespin dolls here.

For snack, we had Colonial Apple Pie, I found the recipe online Here. The girls really liked it!
Girls eating the apple pie- it was their favorite snack so far!
And a beautiful Felicity doll!
One of the girls with her finished dolls...
Cutting, snipping and gluing...
All done- so cute!
A boy and a girl doll- they kept calling them
Ben & Felicity from our books! :-D

We also worked more on our cross-stitch bookmarks in our extra time. I didn't get any pictures of that, it was only for the last 15-20 minutes of the class. They are getting better at their stitching and I am loving seeing the girls work at it!

We only have two more weeks left in our class- it's going by so quickly! It's been so fun! Next week will be quill pens... I think!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WFMW: Organizing clutter

A few weeks ago on another Works for Me Wednesday (WFMW),  I talked about the book One-Minute Organizer: Plain and Simple by Donna Smallin. You can find that post here

Another book that I like The Queen of Clean Conquers Clutter by Linda Cobb.

Here are a few tips from her book:

-Less is more. This is a good principle to help you stay organized. Less clutter equals less cleaning, less frustration, and more space & enjoyment for your family.

-Set the table for the next meal as you unload the dishwasher. It saves a little time each day. -I've done this and it does help, as long as you don't need to use the table in between meals.

-Plastic ice cube trays are great for organizing little things on top of a dresser, or inside it. (I also like to put my earrings into a weekly pill case for travelling...)

-Keep an empty laundry basket in your trunk for when you have lots of things to transport. It saves things from scattering all over the trunk, and you can even load it up the night before!

-Repair or despair- it's up to you. If you are really going to glue that handle onto the china cup, do it now. Otherwise, out it goes...

-If you have free samples and trial-size toiletries that are taking up space, why not collect them all and donate them to a local homeless shelter?

-If things cannot be fixed, altered, or repaired and be really wearable, then they should be tossed. If the items are really salvageable, then keep them, but take care of the problem before putting them back in the closet.

-Get rid of kids' clutter and you'll be rewarded twice: with an organized kids' room now, and organized kids later! (Kids under age 7 typically need help cleaning & organizing their rooms.-Jill)

-Don't make clutter your hobby!

She has great charts for how long to keep food in the freezer, and safe items to keep in the attic, such as dishes and crockery, but not blankets, stuffed animals or leather goods.

Be sure to find your own copy of this book, it is a great resource, and FULL of many more wonderful tips 'n' tricks! Hope this helps you de-clutter a little!

Now I am going to remove this book from my desktop and make it just a little more uncluttered! :-D Hope these tips helped you... do you have any organizing books that you like?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chronic pain?

This past week I had a small taste of what chronic pain is like.. I had a sinus infection, and it got so bad that the pain was interrupting my sleep. It was amazing to me how it affected my mood and made me so grumpy. It was so easy to complain about it. I tried different pain medicines and nothing seemed to help. Even things that had helped before-- like Aleve and Ibuprofen. I called the Dr. on Friday morning to see if I could get in, and they didn't have any openings until the next morning, Saturday. Then when I did get the med's, they didn't kick in right away. I was crying on Sunday because I couldn't sleep during my nap, I was so tired, but in pain.

 It was so discouraging and frustrating. I wanted to be able to do more, but I didn't know what to do. I was doing a lot to help my symptoms, and just not getting better. It was just a glimpse to me, of what someone else may have to deal with all day, every day. I hated it, it was gross. I hated feeling awful all the time. I hated that all I wanted to do was complain. I prayed, but didn't understand why me, and why nothing was changing. I just had to trust that God knows what is best for us, even when it's hard. It was a light and momentary trouble, really nothing major in the grand scheme of things, but it was hard for me.

I think I learned some things about myself and how I relate to others during this trial. I just wanted to sleep, since that was when I got away from the pain, even for a little while. But then when sleep got hard, I just wanted to cry! I've had some back pain before, and it has gone on for weeks, but this seemed to affect me differently. I am so glad that I am feeling better, and even though I am not totally healed, I know I am getting there, and that is comforting. It helped me see why my Dad can be grumpy, and others that I know are in pain, that should be grumpy & complaining, but are not. What a witness to me!

I heard this song this past week, and I really liked the words. It is called, "Stronger" by Mandisa. I hope you'll take a moment to go listen to it. Here is the link...
And here are the lyrics. I think you will find it as powerful as I do...

Mandisa-Stronger Lyrics
Hey, heard you were up all night
Thinking about how your world ain’t right
And you wonder if things will ever get better
And you’re asking why is it always raining on you
When all you want is just a little good news
Instead of standing there stuck out in the weather
Oh, don’t hang your head
It’s gonna end
God’s right there
Even if it’s hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares
When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain’t gonna last forever
And things can only get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger
Gonna make you stronger, stronger, stronger
Believe me, this is gonna make you …
Try and do the best you can
Hold on and let Him hold your hand
And go on and fall into the arms of Jesus
Oh, lift your head it’s gonna end
God’s right there
Even when you just can’t feel Him
I promise you that He still cares
‘Cause if He started this work in your life
He will be faithful to complete it
If only you believe it
He knows how much it hurts
And I’m sure that He’s gonna help you get through this
When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain’t gonna last forever
In time it’s gonna get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger

Monday, March 28, 2011

DIY- Dollar store wreath!

Last week I went to the dollar store for some things. It is an interesting store because you never know what you will find there. Some of their inventory changes, and so if you see something in the store one time, you may not see it there again!  Well, I saw this wreath there, and some great grosgrain ribbon, and I snatched it up! The next day I got out my hot glue gun and fancied it up!

All set up, winding the ribbon around...
I wound the lavender ribbon around it first, and then placed the flowers and leaves in the open spots...
All done, flowers glued on- simple and sweet!

Hung on my closet door with the other decorative flower hanger
that I bought there!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

A special thank you to

A Thrifty Mom Spot

for nominating me for the Stylish Blogger Award! What an honor!

In order to completely accept this award it is asked that one:

1. Thank and link back to the person that has given you this award.

2. Share seven things about yourself.

3. Award 10-15 blogs you feel deserve this award as well.

4. Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.

And now about me:

1. My husband and I will celebrate fifteen wonderful years of marriage this August!
2. I am a stay-at-home mom to four beautiful children!
3. I have homeschooled my kids from the beginning, and I truly enjoy it!
4. We are trying to raise chickens here in our new house, it has been an adventure, and we really like the "free" eggs!
5. We are a part of a wonderful church body, with amazing leadership & friends that lift up the Name of Jesus!! My husband is the worship Pastor there and loves his work!
6. I enjoy singing, crafting, scrapbooking and reading in my "spare"time... Does not happen often!
7. I love a good deal, freebie or sale, which you may already know! 

Meatballs recipes

This is a recipe from "Don't Panic, It's in the Freezer!" and is similar to one my mom has made. I've taken the recipe and tweaked it a little bit. I like it because it has two kinds of sauces, so you can have a little variety with it.

1 lb ground meat (I usually do turkey)
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup milk (I do water)
1 egg
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
The mix ready to fry...

Yields: 20 meatballs

Combine all ingredients and mix together gently. Shape the mixture into balls and place in a large saucepan, oiled and heated to medium heat. Brown the meatballs in the pan, and turn over. OR you can place on a jelly roll pan and cook in 350 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and cool slightly.

BBQ sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
dash pepper

Frying in the pan...
Cream sauce
10 3/4 oz can cream of mushroom soup (or celery, or chicken)
8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp beef bullion

Mix sauce ingredients together and heat until bubbly. Pour over warm meatballs and pasta.
The BBQ sauce cooking.
YUM! I don't have pics of the cream sauce, but it is really good. The BBQ sauce meatballs could be served with baked potatoes or potato fries. Let me know if you try it! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

American Girl class-Felicity week 3

This week, we talked about book three in the Felicity series, Felicity's Surprise. We discussed colonial dancing, practiced our curtsy and colonial medicine. We had "Shrewsbury Cakes" for snack, they are like a cut-out cookie. Here is the recipe we used...

Williamsburg Shrewsbury Cakes
Here's a modern variant that's a tad more suited to our modern tastes and batch sizes!

1/4 c. unsalted butter
1/4 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. of grated orange peel
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
3 Tbl. milk
2 c. sifted all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cream or tartar

Cream the butter, shortening and sugar. Add the orange peel and vanilla extract. Add the egg and milk. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar and add to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Roll into 1-inch balls and roll the balls in sugar. Arrange the balls 1-1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten the balls gently with a small glass. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until very light golden brown. (In our book, they cut them out with shapes such as stars and hearts).

For our craft, we made Tussie-Mussies, which are like a small flower bouquet. You can find some directions for making them here. Our version was made from an American Girl craft book, and much more simple! I couldn't find lace doilys or lace hankies, so I gave them each a piece of lace to wrap their flower in, with two ribbons. In colonial days they would have carried these nosegay-type bouquets to help them smell better since they didn't bathe very often!
They're almost done making them... 
Then we began work on our ongoing project, cross-stitch bookmarks! In our last class, I had the girls write their initials and two designs (there were 5 to choose from),  and I made them into patterns on my computer! Several of the girls easily got the hang of it and finished their first initial! A few of the girls thought it was hard, but they kept working. I hope more of them get it figured out next week. I had a hard time finding bookmarks to stitch on, so I just cut cross-stitch Aida cloth to the size I wanted and put Fray-stop on the edges. It seemed to work fine!

Diligently working on their bookmarks...
I love seeing the Felicity doll on the dress, while this mom helps
 her daughter with stitching...
More girls stitching...
We talked briefly about colonial medicine, found here. It talked in our Felicity book this week about how to curtsy, and we also learned from here. I did make the girls get up and try their curtsy- it was fun!
I can hardly believe we only have three more weeks left! The semester has been so fun and it is flying by!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!

Actually, there's lots of words in this video, they're just in Spanish! ;-D

This is Rebekah's birthday song at Casa Bonita sung by the mariachi band. I told her it was the best birthday song she'd ever gotten, since it had a guitar, trumpet, violin, bass...I cut off the beginning of the song, but it's still good!

It just takes a minute to watch, enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Preschool lapbooks

My preschooler is busy, busy, BUSY! Aren't they all?!  She wants something to do during our homeschool time for HER! She will only play with blocks or legos for so long. She wants to be at the school table with us, doing something... I have given her activity pages, she is learning to write her name and other things too, but she wanted MORE! So I looked online and found some FREE lapbooks just for preschoolers, and my Mallory LOVES them!

Here is where they can be found. Most of the lapbooks go along with a curriculum for preschoolers called "Before Five in A Row". We do not have the BFIAR books, but I do have some Five In A Row curriculum books, so I kinda know how they work. We just print a lapbook that we like, and is made for a book we have/ own, since most of the lapbooks coordinate with a book. We usually read the story book and then do some prep work for the lapbooks.

I don't know why this pic got cut off... Mallory holding her
Corduroy Lapbook.
Mal looks at her Corduroy lapbook after we finished gluing it...
"Reading" the rhyme about Corduroy...
Four of the preschool lapbooks we've done this Spring....
Corduroy, Katy No Pocket, 1,2,3 to the Zoo, and Owl Babies.
Four more of our Spring 2011 lapbooks,,,
If you Give a Mouse a Cookie, ...The Big Hungry Bear,
We're Going on a Bear Hunt,
and The Napping House.
Mallory works on our latest lapbook...
Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb!
I do most of the major cutting, but Mallory does help with some of the easier cutting. She does all of the coloring, and is learning to color with more detail and precision. Some of the lapbooks have letter tracing, which has been great practice for her. She is learning to use and fine-tune her small motor skills while having fun and learning about animals at the same time! She enjoys reading, so these lapbooks are great to reinforce that and do fun activities related to different books. The activities reinforce pre-reading too, so she is beginning the process of learning to read by doing some of the repetitive rhyme activities.  The only problem is that she wants to make one every day! I try to spread them out so that we do one or two each week! It is great fun for her and she is SO proud to show of her work to her Daddy later in the day. She also likes to look at them over and over again, so it can be a good time-filler when needed!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break highlights

Here are some of the photographic chronicles from our recent Spring Break trip to Denver. We had a great time seeing a bunch of sights and visiting family too. Our photographer for the week was mainly Rebekah, and she did a great job! We did get over 300 pictures for 5 days though... wow! I did go through and pick ones that I thought you all would enjoy- not all the animals, fish and displays of rocks!

On Monday, we visited the Museum of Science and Nature...
This one just makes me laugh...

Mallory sprouted horns!

We visited my sister, bro-in-law and met our new nephew/ cousin Jakob!

Sweet boy! Even though his mom was sleep deprived that day...

On Tuesday, we went to the Children's Museum...
Bethany and Mallory tried on some fire costumes...

Daddy helped Mallory make a princess crown.

Bethany did some "shopping" at the pretend Whole Foods there!
And also the Aquarium...
Caleb posed...

Sea urchin and sea cucumber...

Seeing the tiger feeding and swimming there was so cool!

The "Nemo" clown fish tank!
Then on Wednesday, we went to the Denver Zoo. (I ended up not feeling well and by the end of the time there I went and took a nap in the van. Then went back to the hotel and took a big nap, since I had a fever and came down with the cold the kids had...Bummer!)
The cute little Dik-dik...


Poor workhorse Daddy, two kids in the stroller,
one on his shoulders!
On Thursday, we went to the Denver Mint, and you're not allowed to take any pictures there. That night, to celebrate Rebekah's birthday, we went to Casa Bonita. It was lots of fun (even though the food is mediocre!)
Ready to go in and have a fun night!

Beffy played skee-ball in the arcade too!

Mal by the sign outside...Live Entertainment & No cover charge!
Mexican Food! Cliff Divers! Gun Fights! Dancing Monkeys! Magician!
Strolling Musicians! Over 300 Smiling people to serve you...
Then on Friday before we left town, we found a Hobby Lobby, and visited my sister again. Bethany got to hold Jakob again this time... Awwww!
Bethany and her baby cousin "Jay-da"
It was a fun week but we were glad to get back home to our own beds. We're still recovering from our colds we had... We have lots of wonderful memories!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rebekah's birthday party

Last weekend we had Rebekah's 12th birthday party here, and we celebrated HOLLYWOOD style!
She wanted everyone to dress up as their favorite movie star, and we had quite a fabulous group show up at our home Saturday evening!

The group got a red carpet entrance complete with paparazzi photos at the end of the carpet!
Here are some of the pics:
Waiting outside for our entrance...
posers! :-D
And now... the stars on the red carpet!... (in no particular order...)

And the STAR of the evening: Ashley Tisdale! (Rebekah)

Meg Ryan (from City of Angels) arrived... (Jill)

Lydia as Jesse from Toy Story 2...

Cinderella made an entrance... (Mallory)
Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth (Grandma)
graced us with her presence!
Ellen Degeneres danced on in... (Nana)
Kelly McGillis from Top Gun (Ashley)...
Audrey Hepburn sauntered in... (Allison)
Rock Star Daddy (Joshua)
Shirley Temple was here! (Norah)
Conan O'Brien entered... (Aaron)
Charlie Chaplin was here too! (Morgan)
Tony Hawk (aka Caleb)
Truman Capote was present! (Grandpa Nadel)
And last but not least... Uncle Buck made us laugh! (Uncle Mike)
Norah assisted in the gift unwrapping...
A fancy dress from Grandpa!
The "Oscar" cake goes to... Rebekah Nadel for a great birthday!

It was one of the best parties we ever had- so much fun! We did have two people not participate in the dressing up (Grandpa M and Uncle Brett), which was fine! It was exciting to see what everyone would come dressed as, most of them we didn't know in advance! My mom wore the dress that was her mother-of-the-bride dress from our wedding! And my niece Norah's super cute curly hair was sooo fun on her! We had pizza, chips, popcorn and soda for dinner - food you can buy at the movie theater you know... with a few healthy finger food veggies thrown in!

Rebekah received some wonderful gifts, most of which she wore this week over Spring Break! She really needed new jeans, and we're so glad she got several new pair! Hope they still fit her this fall, she is getting sooo tall! Thanks to everyone who came and dressed up, it was a fantastic party! 
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