Friday, February 27, 2015

Furry Friday ~ Critter Tracks

McKayla and I found these tracks in our yard and while walking around the block this week. The first set had me baffled but once we got home and saw more of the same, I solved the mystery.

So let's play a little game; Can you figure out what critters made the tracks we found?










This is how I was able to figure out the first set of tracks we saw. The "odd" tracks went from tree to tree.




Were you able to figure out the animal tracks? If not, here's what they were. ☺

1-3 ~ Squirrel
4 ~ Bird
5 ~ Cat
6 & 7 ~ Squirrel
8 & 9 ~ Bird
10-12 ~ Squirrel

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pocahontas ~ A Tutorial of Sorts

I'm not a crafty Mom. Well, not like I'd like to be. I see crafts on Pinterest and blogs that Moms have done and I think "Wish I could do something like that!".

My Mom would go all out for Halloween; decorations, costumes for me and my brother and so on. I wish I could do that for MY kids.

I guess I could be crafty, anyone can but MY issue is perfectionism. I have a picture in my head of how I think a certain project should turn out. However, much like in life, that rarely happens and I get discouraged and give up.

So when McKayla was asked to pick a Historical Figure to dress up as for her school's Living History Museum at their Student-led Conferences a week or so ago, I panicked.

Picking the character was easy. Coming up with a few lines would be a little tricky but the costume part had me petrified.

She settled on Pocahontas and that's when I really started sweating.

I had about 2 weeks.

I called Party City on the off chance they'd still have costumes left over from Halloween. They did, but not a single Pocahontas costume.

I called the local Princess Parlor in the hopes they'd have a Pocahontas costume. No luck there either.

I started Google searching. That was just a headache. Either they looked NOwhere like the Disney Pocahontas (which is the version she wanted) or they were sexy versions.....not exactly kindergarten appropriate.

(Brief rant: why do so many costumes for women have to be sexy?! Pirate, nurse, Indian, Vampire and so on. Really? Ugh)

I did find one that I sorta settled on but it was $40! I really didn't want to spend that kinda money on something she'd probably only wear once.

In my Google searching, I came across some DIY costumes using only a t-shirt. That was looking more and more the route I'd have to take. It was coming down to the wire.

I had less than a week to either make or buy her costume and at this point, buying wasn't really an option anymore b/c of the shipping time frame.


So while in NC for Mema's funeral, I stopped at a Goodwill and found an extra large men's t-shirt for $4. Figured, if it didn't work, I wasn't out much. LOL

I knew I wanted a no-sew version as 1) I don't own a sewing machine and 2) my hand-sewing leaves a LOT to be desired. I looked at a few different tutorials and ended up using this one (method 3 of 4) as my base line.....only I didn't really follow it.

So on the Saturday before the Student-led conference (on Thursday), I sat down, said a little prayer and started cutting.

First thing I did, was cut off the sleeves at the seam.

Both sleeves. One still intact and the other cut
and evened out.

Then I cut off the collar and the hem at the seams. This particular shirt had slits in the hem, so ended up with two pieces. 

Hem of shirt, one colored with an orange marker
as I didn't have any paint LOL

Once the hem was gone, I started cutting the fringe for the base of the dress.

Then I cut the sleeve at the inside seam to open it up, trimmed it even (see bottom of pic 2) and then cut fringe all the way to the hem.

Then came the hairy part; attaching the fringed sleeve to the collar. I ended up doing a whip stitch (thanks Mom!) to attach it. (The shirt had 3 buttons at the neckline, so I just turned it backwards.....if anyone was observant ☺)

Dress was complete. Then it was time for the accessories.

No pictures of the making of the necklace but I just used my jewelry making kit to piece it together.

Pocahontas' tattoo had me stumped. I was just going to use the leftover sleeve by cutting it up and tying it on her arm. That is, until Mom gave me a GREAT way to do a homemade tattoo.....something she had found in her search; gel pen drawn on paper.

Just place ink side down on arm (or wherever), wet paper like you would a temporary tattoo and tada!, homemade, temp tattoo. Washes off with a little bit of soap and water.

Next, I wanted to do something for her shoes. Technically, Pocahontas didn't wear shoes but I really didn't like the idea of McKayla walking around barefoot, nor did I think the school would allow it.

So I used the trimmed "trash" from the sleeves (bottom of pic).

Cut some fringe.

Then tied them to her brown boots. Looked kinda cheesy but at the same time, looked better than just plain boots.

And the costume is complete.

Oversize t-shirt (notice the arm holes come down to her thighs LOL)

Add necklace:

Apply tattoo:

Put on boots and tie on fringe:

And you have a Pocahontas costume made from a t-shirt.

With the shirt being so big and her so little, I didn't want to cut the strap like the tutorial suggested (that and I wasn't exactly sure how to leave the collar???). What I ended up doing, was have her stick her right arm through the neck hole, which gave the allusion of the halter. Then a LOT of safety pins strategically placed pulled it back and hid the buttons at the back and the gaping arm holes. LOL

And for those of you who stuck with this very lengthy detailed post? Wanna know what she said?

"Hi! My name is Pocahontas what's your name? I live in the wild and it's very cold here." 

Verbatim right there. Not a single pause between announcing her name and asking yours. LOL She wouldn't elaborate on it any either. I tried. She said her teacher and Principal loved it and that was it. LOL

So, I proved to myself that I can make things. ☺

Friday, February 20, 2015

Furry Friday ~ NOT A Snow Dog

(Coming in under the wire for a Furry Friday post but better late than never! ☺)

Yay! Wahoo! Whoopi!

We finally got a little bit of snow!

Sure, it'll all be melted by the time we wake up in the morning. 

The kids will be bummed.

Who am I kidding?

I'll be bummed but it is what it is living in the South.

You know who is bummed about the snow but in a totally different way?

You know who doesn't care for our little dusting of snow? 

This blue guy.

He says 'Thanks but no thanks. I'm staying right here' when asked if he wants to go out.

Then curls up into a "tiny" ball......maybe in the hopes I won't see him and make him go out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wordless Wednesday ~ Free To A Good Home: BAD MOUSERS!

(Clarification time: I am NOT rehoming my cats. This was meant in good humour but it IS a tad frustrating to have not one but TWO cats in the house and find evidence of a mouse in the house. Start earning your keep kitties!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mommy Brag Moment

Thursday of last week was Student-led parent conferences at McKayla's school.

We had to arrive earlier than other parents b/c McKayla was dressed as Pocahontas for their Living History Museum (blog post with pictures coming soon!) and she needed to show us her Data Notebook before she had to take her place outside of the classroom.

The Data Notebook shows the student's progress throughout the school year; alphabet, upper and lower case, counting to 100 by 1's, 2's and 5's. It has worksheets showing progress in adding and subtracting, writing sentences with correct punctuation, word recognition and so on.

Her teacher, we'll call her "Mrs. M.", told us that she has to have one of her students read their Data Notebook to the principal and picked McKayla b/c she could read the entire thing and knew what each section was about and she's very precise and business like about it. LOL

Now for the highlights for the conference (other than her being Pocahontas LOL) and the whole reason of my post. ☺

McKayla is one of 3 kids in her kindergarten class and one of the top 14 in the entire Kindergarten grade that goes to another classroom once a day for an accelerated reading course. In the TOP 14! Amazing! 

Her testing scores (adding that while I don't remember the exact numbers, that's not the important part) for her progress was 600+ on the first test with a projected score of 720ish. However, the next testing showed her at well over 800! The projected scoring has her off the charts!! She's also about ready to start learning 1st grade words and phonetics!

And one funny note:
A couple of weeks ago, McKayla had to miss the last 3 days of school that week b/c we had to head 6 hours away to attend my Grandmother's funeral (ok, so not the funny part but this needed a brief explanation.) At the conference, I was telling Mrs. M how much I hated that she had to miss school. Mrs. M said she hated it too and missed her but then started laughing. She said that she had all the students on the carpet for lesson and it was deathly quiet. She couldn't figure out what was wrong. Were the kids sick or something? Then it dawns on her that it was quiet b/c apparently McKayla is always participating, answering questions and apparently getting the OTHER kids to talk and since she wasn't there, they were more subdued. Haha!

I'm so proud of my baby girl! She tries so hard and does so well! School has definitely made this girl explode with confidence and personality!

She's eager and happy to go to school every day. She loves learning,  loves reading and loves making her teachers, and us, happy. I just hope that her love of schooling continues throughout her school years. A mother can only hope! LOL

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Father/Daughter Dance

I don't often post on weekends anymore but I'm making an exception for today. Too cute NOT to share, don't want to get anymore behind AND this will avoid the "after dance" post being packed with pictures. ☺

Today is McKayla's first of many school dances. She saw the note in her school folder a week or so ago and has talked about going non stop since then. She didn't even really give Daddy a chance; he was going, whether he wanted to or not. LOL

She had a whole list of what she wanted to do to get ready for her first dance:

  • Paint her nails ✅
  • Do her hair ✅
  • Wear makeup ✅
  • Wear a pretty dress ✅

She was also very specific on what Daddy was to wear and reminded him numerous times to not forget deodorant....why? I haven't the foggiest idea. It's not like he goes days/weeks without wearing any but she was adamant he not "forget". LOL

We succeeded with all her wishes. Went shopping earlier today for the bun mold (basically, a(n) cheaters  easy way to do a bun), some glitter hairspray and new nail polish. I tried to convince her to get a cute pair of dangle earrings to go with her dress but she informed me she wasn't changing her earrings til she was a teenager. LOL

So I fixed her hair (a LOT easier with the mold!).

Put some makeup on her. (I'll add that while I'm not fond of young girls, kids, wearing makeup, this was a special occasion.)

And then she and her "date" posed for pictures. ☺

And you can't have nice pictures without doing a few silly face shots too. ☺

I've demanded requested that Daddy take lots of pictures, so hopefully I'll have more pictures to share. They even have a professional photographer there, so maybe I'll get lucky and have one of those too. ☺

Friday, February 13, 2015

Furry Friday ~ Morning Errands

Just a bunch of blurry cell phone pics from Rio's trip with me this morning.

He refused to look at the "camera". He'd look straight ahead but the minute I turned the phone toward him, he'd turn his head. The turkey. 

But I finally succeeded in getting shots of him looking at the camera. LOL

We just went to John's work, McDonald's and the gas station but at least he got to get out for a little bit.


Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read about my adventures! Hope to see you next time. :-)

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