Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

Together Again.

Posted on | July 22, 2012 | 5 Comments

Well, by this weekend everyone was home again.  Which means we had to stay busy.  Because we’d had so much time apart that we weren’t sure if we still liked each other.  Or wanted to share our toys anymore.  Or even the couch for that matter.  When you get a little break from one another’s idiosyncrasies it’s better to get back together slowly.

I was going to keep everyone hopping by getting on top of the chores.  After all, if someone doesn’t vacuum up the fur balls soon, they may engage the dust bunnies in a full scale battle.  Also, the toilets are beginning to get that lovely little ring around the waterline that makes you think you’re using the restrooms at the Shell station.  But I figured assigning chores would remind everyone of the qualities that they really hated in me.  So I figured we’d just catch up on some crafting.

The Other Half ordered some real lunchboxes for the kids back in June and they arrived exactly a week after school started.  Which is about right.  They are the sturdy metal kind, but they are also kind of bland.

The Other Half plans on painting the boys’ boxes camouflaged but Pretty wanted to paint some pretty pictures on her lunchbox.  She wanted me to help her, so I taught her how to paint.   As far as I’m concerned, “painting” actually means “decoupage.”  Because that’s the only way I can create pretty pictures with a paint brush.  So I pulled out some old calendars that I had saved for their cool prints (you can get calendars at the Dollar Store that have art work that is almost frameable and definitely decoupageable.) and taught her how to use a craft knife and a cutting board to get out the pictures she wanted.

She painted her lunchbox a cute teal, added her pictures with Modge Podge, coated it a few times, and then covered it with acrylic spray.  All of which we had hiding in the craft cabinet from other projects.  It’s not the first time I’ve “painted” anything.  Voila!  A Pretty-worthy lunch box.

Meanwhile, I helped Big with dyeing his paracord.  Big has been specializing in making survival bracelets and he came back from Boy Scout camp with more paracord and some new tricks.  But he wanted it dyed, found some half-used blue Rit dye on the shelf of the mudroom (Did you know your favorite jeans look brand new when washed in a bit of denim-colored Rit dye?  And then you can avoid the dressing room drama for another year!) and wanted me to teach him the stove top method for dyeing.  Which was easy enough.  Since he was in charge of the 30 minutes of non-stop stirring.

He created a slew of designs including the traditional cobra weave and monkey’s fist.

But my favorite one is this new spiral he developed:

Meanwhile, I worked on some bleach stencil t-shirts for the boys.  We plan on making some at Pretty’s birthday party next week but I saw a couple great shirts that I wanted to make for Middle and Little.  I figured the boys would enjoy them and my bleach stencil skills would be perfected by the party. The first shirt has some Avenger symbols on front and a big A on the back.

You can probably see I was too lazy to cut the stencil out twice so I just used both parts of it (the part I cut out and the outline) to make 2 shirts.  Yep, that’s the kind of crafter that I am.

The other shirt is all the Avengers standing together.  That’s Iron Man zooming into the sky.

I know, impressive, right?!

Now since we are friends and I don’t want you to hate my marvelous and spectacular craftiness, I need to point out a few things:

1.  I didn’t make this up.  I stole the idea from these websites:

2.  This is what my first attempt looked like:

3.  Even when I was happy with the t-shirts, my Thor kind of looked like Jesus:

4.  I can spend hours doing things like bleaching t-shirts and making decoupage lunchboxes and dyeing paracord for survival bracelets because the people at Once A Month Mom provide FREE monthly meal plans with freezable dinners that can be made in one day and put up for the rest of the month.  So that you can craft to your heart’s content and then when people start whining about “What’s for dinner?” you just go to the freezer and pull something out, add some fresh veggies from the garden, and then go right back to crafting.  I made 36 mini Mexican meatloaves the other day and had dinner that night plus a whole pile to stick in the freezer for later.  Bonus!

During this time, Middle and Little waited patiently for their t-shirts.  By “waiting” I mean Middle drove around Little’s new RC monster truck while Little tried to shoot it with the Nerf gun and Orion followed them around waiting for a chance to chew something up.

Also during this time, I remembered that I did not necessarily enjoy the whirring of RC engines, the sounds of Nerf bullets ricocheting off the walls, or the scrabbling of dog toenails on linoleum.  So I reclaimed the kitchen space to start canning tomato sauce….

….and finish the chevre I started yesterday, and….

….sent all the boys outside to make a bonfire.  I realize a bonfire is not a standard activity when temperatures are in the 90’s.  But it got them out of the house and playing with fire is a sure way to get males bonding again.

Also, that meant we could have roasted marshmallows for dessert.  Toasted coconut marshmallows.  Toasted coconut marshmallows are worth starting a bonfire in July.

Of course, with the RC toys and Nerf guns gone, Luna decided to stake out her own spot in the kitchen to sit with her ball.  I think she was just trying to help me readjust.  The look on her face said, “Get used to it, lady.  Everyone’s home and you can’t expect to walk in the kitchen without tripping over someone or something.  So, suck it up.”  Isn’t that what her look says to you?

Oh, we managed to get a few more things done.  Big painted his lunch box black.

Pretty cut out some stencils for the t-shirts she wants to make at her party.

Middle and Little even managed to share the couch for some Captain Underpants reading.

I guess that’s as readjusted to each other as we get around here.

Although, by the time the little ones were in bed and I was waiting for my work clothes to finish drying and the tomato sauce to be ready for canning, I realized that I had not done anything for myself.  All that hard work to benefit my family, but what about me?  I was like one of those sad and downtrodden, endlessly self-sacrificing, and martyred mothers who have lost their identity.  And let’s face it—-no one likes those ladies.  So quick as a wink I made up some chocolate covered pretzels.  Just for me.

Please note they are not drenched in chocolate, but only partially covered.  That’s because I’m committed to eating healthy this week.  I could have settled for a chocolate drizzle, but that seemed to be heading down the martyr path again.  And, like I said, nobody likes that lady, so why be her? 🙂


5 Responses to “Together Again.”

  1. Sherry Herry
    July 23rd, 2012 @ 2:56 am

    That lunch box that Pretty made is so nice and those bleach t-shirts are really cool.

  2. Jill
    July 24th, 2012 @ 5:36 am

    All in one day! I’m exhausted just reading all this!

  3. Carolynn
    July 24th, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    Good gawd! You did all of that in one day?! I LOVE Pretty’s lunch box. Gorgeous. And, everything else is so creative. I love that you’re encouraging this kind of thing in your kids. It’s such a valuable skill, creativity.

  4. lin
    July 24th, 2012 @ 5:33 pm

    I REALLY like the bleach-splattered shirt! Ran out to Walmart to pick up a neon green shirt for my daughter to try it! Thanks for the cool idea!

  5. Lisa D
    August 3rd, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

    I always feel so inadequate……

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