Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 28

I added my bit of organization to the hooks. It's pretty simple, but it does the job. Now I just hang a calendar, schedule, or whatever piece of paper I have, to the corresponding child's clipboard. I will know where it is, and will look at it often, as it's on the way out the door, so hopefully library books, projects, gym days, what day it is at pre-school won't be forgotten as oftern anymore.
 I have yet to decorate them with names, but that will come.

Day 26

We did some baking today. Christmas Sugar cookies. At the time of this publishing, there are none left to speak of. Some of them got frosting on them before they got eaten, most didn't. Sigh.

"Helping" in the kitchen.

Day 25

Today was another baking day. I still hadn't chopped up the pumpkins I bought before Halloween. Two were taking up room in my fridge, and one has been on the counter, so I opted to cut up the one on the counter. Half of this pumpkin got chopped up and frozen.  

The other half got turned into 3 pumpkin pies (two of which made it to the freezer, two "crustless pies" and some pumpkin loaves.
Pumpkin pies for Christmas
These guys got eaten right away
Fresh from the oven

I also made a pan of Christmas Rice Krispie squares. I had promised the kids some for after school.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 21

I got a call this morning that determined my project today. Tomorrow, someone is coming to install the backsplash in my kitchen!!! YAY!!! I have been waiting for this, for months, so I had to clear off the countertops. I really prefer nothing, or next to nothing, on my countertops, although you'd never know it most of the time.  So today I had to tackle at least part of the kitchen. It looks a ton better now, and I can't wait to see it when the backsplash is finished.

One side Before

Other side Before
One side - after

I can't seem to find the picture I took of the other side, but it was cleared of the three totes I keep with the kids schoolwork. flyers, bills, mail, etc. Hopefully I can keep it somewhat clear from now on.

I also printed off some more Christmas Subway art. (I may or may not have a new addiction.)This is now sitting on a table in my formal livingroom.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 23 & 24

I'm getting lazy. I  let the tilers do the work for me again. On Wednesday, (Day 23) it was a snow day, so all the kids were home. Needless to say, not much got done. The tilers came and finished laying the tiles on the ends, and then came on Thursday (Day 24) to grout it all and finish up. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!  So pleased with how it turned out. I loved my kitchen before, and I love it even more now. It just looks so much more...what's the word....finished? Yeah, I guess that's the word. Now it's finished.

Day 22

I've decided to let the tilers do the work today. They did most of the backsplash today. Coming back tomorrow, to finish laying the rest of the tiles, and then one more day to grout it all. It looks pretty good. I'm very pleased. Check it out.

Without grout

and electrical covers
full view

Day 20

Even though it was Sunday, I did do a bit of tidying up in our bedroom, while the kids were brushing their teeth and getting ready for bed. I got on a mini roll. There is stuff everywhere. We're not done furnishing it yet, so it kind of turns into a storage area sometimes. I'm not done by any means, but  I put a bunch of stuff away, suitcases in the attic, and some stuff in my donate bag. Here's are some before and during pics. I swear, I must be ADD or something. I just can't seem to stick with one thing and get it done before I move on to something else. Anyone else have this problem?
Before- stuff to go up to the attic
After- there really is less stuff there.

We also got our annual family portrait taken for our Christmas cards. As usual, it was a freak show. Last year Brian was so fed up, he vowed not to do it again. (Last year we set the timer on our camera and took it ourselves) so this year, we just went to my sis in law, and she took it for us. Wasn't a whole lot easier. She ended up taking over 90 pictures. They are all pretty much the same, but at least one person in each photo wasn't looking, or had a stupid expression. I mean really, is it so hard to sit still for a few seconds and have a decent look on your face while someone clicks a button? Apparently so. I don't think we'll do it again for a couple of years. Our nerves can't take it anymore. We'll just do some sort of collage thing next year. Here is a sampling for your viewing enjoyment.

Nice. Real nice. And this is only the beginning.

Look AT the camera, please.

Sit still, Jake!!

Maybe this pose wasn't such a good idea. Yes, Logan is actually in mid cry/scream

Fake smile Bri?

Seriously? Sit still Jake!

This is getting ridiculous

Losing patience

This is the winner, but even it had to be doctored a bit. Can you tell where?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 19

Today I tackled Izzy's room. Well, I started to tackle Izzy's room. This was not a one day job, at least not for me. If you don't have five kids, perhaps you could do it in one day. Oh my. Where to begin. I had Izzy up with me, (she was not getting off scott free) and I asked her where she wanted to start. The dresser, the desk or the night table. She chose the desk. First we cleaned off the top and the shelf. Went through what books she wanted to keep in her room, and which ones should go downstairs with the rest. Opened up her drawer, found a $5 bill, along with so many little things I can't even list them all. I even considered nominating her the show "Hoarders". She shoves things in so many places, but yet keeps her floor immaculate. She thinks as long as the floor is clear, her room is clean. Never mind the piles upon piles on every horizontal surface in there, not to mention under her bed. I didn't even go there yet.
After the desk, we tackled her bedside table. The two drawers were stuffed full, mainly of papers and "envelopes" she had made by hand with paper and tape. Speaking of tape, I found three roles of it in her room. Three. In various stages of usage. No wonder I can never find the tape when I need it.  Anyway, we threw out a ton of stuff from her drawers. Stuff like all the beads from a necklace that had become unstrung, rocks, wrappers, tiny papers, etc.  I was very proud and pleasantly surprised that she threw stuff away. Next was the dresser. I had been thinking about moving it to the closet, but that required adjusting her closet organizers, so I got Brian on board. He did the handy stuff, while trudged on through the clutter. It freed up some floorspace, so I think we will rearrange the furniture when we're all done. It's coming along though. Hopefully one more day will do it.  The plan is for her and Meghan to share a room when Meghan is big enough. Izzy has a double bed, so they can both sleep in it. Anyway, here are some before and "during" pics.
Okay, so here are some during pics, because apparently I didn't take before pics like I swore I did. Can't find 'em on the computer. Anyway, you'll just have to take my word for it, it was a mess.
got to make more of a mess before it gets better
closet, after the dresser moved in

Day 18

I did nothing today. Nothing. I was going to tackle Izzy's room, but it just didn't happen. Maybe tomorrow. Well, I did clean out one corner of my kitchen counter. I guess that's better than nothing.


Day 17

Today all I did was make a Christmas centerpiece. It wasn't on my original list, but I felt the need to be creative today. I really like it, so here it is.
It was so easy, and pretty cheap too. Here's how I made it. I was envisioning pine comes. Maybe glittery sparkly pinecones. I went to Dollarama and found some garland with pinecones, leaves and berries  bought two of them for $2 each. I also bought a package of twelve mini gold ornaments for $1. I already had a glass hurricane vase, (but I know you can get them at Dollarama) so that's all I needed. When I got home, I removed all the garland "pieces" and just plopped them into the vase, dropping the mini ornaments as I went, so that they were distributed somewhat evenly. I love the result. Christmasy, but not overly so.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 16

Messy buffet.
Today I decluttered the fornal diningroom and livingroom. They weren't too bad, but there was a lot of stuff from Izzy's birthday party that never got put away.

Presents still not put away

Piano books aplenty

Naughty napkin drawer

I feel as though I am kind of procrastinating. I seem to tackle rooms and places that make the least amount of impact. For example, I've cleaned out closets, the garage, but have yet to tackle the kitchen full on, or the familyroom. I guess I don't want to start something, and then end up having to pause because something comes up, or I have to leave to go somewhere, which seems to happen frequently when you have 5 children. Somebody always seems to need something, or to go somewhere, or is fighting, or you name it, when I least need it, it happens. sigh.

The pile of papers that went to recycling.

 There aren't many more"safe" projects I can tackle. I am going to have to confront a major traffic area really soon. Help!  Well, here are the after pics. Not too dramatic, but a definite and needed improvement.

From naughty to nice

Empty piano top

Presents went to their new home - Izzy's room

Beautiful Buffet

Fall table - time to bring out the Christmas decor?

Tidy tablecloths
I'm really glad this is done, especially so close to Christmas. I went through every door and drawer. Things are where they should be, and garbage is thrown away.

Day 15

Totally cleaned up the garage. Well, mostly anyway. I went through all the shoes, boats, flip flops and crocs. I sent two bags upstairs to the attic for storage, that included summer footwear, and shoes to store in my closet.I threw out a pair or two, like Jacob's rain boots. Now I know why he won't wear them. They are totally cracked all up the back. His feet get wet. Just wish he would have told me. I could have thrown them out weeks ago. I also put a few pairs of old sneakers in my donate bag. It looks a ton better. Again, I am so bad at taking before pics, but here are some afters.

You couldn't even walk up these steps before.

All neat and tidy

Everything in it's place

I swept out the garage too. We have a lot of trees that shed a lot of needles. So annoying. So everytime we drive in and out we track needles in. I also cleaned off the staircase. That was seriously a hazard. There was something on almost every step. From life jackets, to coloring books, papers, a mini cooler, shoes, old skate and helmet boxes, you name it, it was there and now it's gone! It just looks so different. I'm hoping we can keep it clear. Brian will be thrilled. Hopefully it will soften the blow when he sees the wainscoting and hooks.