Monday, November 28, 2011

November 2011

November has been a quiet month in the McGallion household.

I have implemented a cleaning schedule so it won't always be put off.  I am scheduled to clean the floors one day, dust another etc.  It works pretty well and I seem to have less time to goof around. ;-) Kimberly R. suggested the kids help.  It was actually quite amusing to see how hard they tried.  Even the baby got in on the action.

Ehrenella scrubbing the bathroom floors

Not so helpful


Lily getting in on the TP fun

We've also been crafting and making Christmas presents for the family.  Thanks to Pinterest I've got tons of great ideas to try out. We made soaps which was tons of fun and we're going to make spice tea and hot chocolate mixes.  Lily loves to help me cook and loves to craft.

I met a lovely lady names Suly who owns her own business crocheting adorable hats and accessories.  Turns out she lives right in the next neighborhood over.  I went over to her house to pick out some things for a birthday girl we know and she whipped them right up for me in the custom colors I picked out.  She also encouraged me to pick up the hook and make more!  Here is her website - Proud Child Crochet & Handy Fashions

My sister Audrey also introduced me to the world of Amigurumi (Japanese crocheted dolls)  How did I not know about this???  I love to crochet and am a Japan-fan but somehow I'm just now learning about it.  Well better late than never!  We went to the craft store and bought up bags of yarn and this book More Cute Animals to Crochet.  I tried my hand at it and made a hedgehog for Lily.  I also made one for Wyatt and plan on making lots more because it is super fun.  Stay tuned for a Yoda!  If you're on Pinterest, check out my Amigurumi board for all the goodies I want to make.
My little hedgehog (different than the book because mine has ears)

Thanksgiving this year was at my Aunt Kayla's house in Mt Enterprise.  We came and stayed with Brandon's folks the day before and made the short drive Thursday morning for lunch.  It was great to see the family.  All of my cousins are so grown up!  Maegan even has a darling little baby, Kolby.  She and Ehren are close in age and played so sweetly together. It was so nice to just relax and soak up the love.  We left with tons of goodies from Grandma Gibson including pecans!  Mmmmm....
Kolby, me, and Ehren hanging out

After we got back to Lufkin we put the kids down to sleep and sneaked off with Brandon's sister Leslie to see the new Twilight movie!  Mike and Aly met us at the theater and we all laughed and made jokes at the cheesy-ness of the movie.  This is the first movie I have seen in about a year!  Ehren slept the whole time and Grandma McGallion only had to get Lily in bed.  It was great to get a break from my little darling and spend some time with grown ups.

Friday was another family day with the McGallions this time.  The kids (Brandon and Me, and Leslie and Drew) went shopping and both boys got new cowboy boots.  Where better to go than Cavender's in Lufkin?  Brandon will probably be going to Sweden some time during the winter and didn't want to get his feet wet.  Can you believe this guy didn't already have cowboy boots?  After shopping, we all gathered at Nana's house and had Thanksgiving dinner.  Lily was having some melt down issues (she was without a nap 2 days in a row) but we all survived.  After nap time we had an impromptu birthday party for Ehren.  He had a serious little face the entire time.  But the presents made him smile! 

I LOVE this rock

Hi Nana!

Hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

DIY Swiffer Pads

Mopping.... we all hate it.  So messy!  I had the added challenge of having most of my floors laminate which as you might know cannot get very wet without getting ruined.  So the mopping would not get done for MONTHS.  Gross huh?  I had all kinds of gadgets and systems but it just wouldn't get done.

I decided with a crawling baby that I needed a better system. I started making a commitment to clean floors at least once a week. The Swiffer came the closest to meeting my moppnig needs but was so expensive for the cleaning solution and pads refills.  So I improvised.

I discovered you can use a high quality diaper and your own mixture of vinegar and water or use a generic floor cleaner. 

One weeks worth of dirt

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October 2011

October has been a busy month for the McGallion family!

Brandon is officially a world traveler.  He has been to both Sweden and England.  I've been suggesting that he write out a guest post for ya'll but no luck so far!

 Lily has visited the dentist for the first time.  I was concerned about her chipped front teeth, but it turns out that its not a problem.  She got x-rays and got her chompers polished.  She was so cooperative and giggled the whole time.  Too cute!  To reward her for her good behavior we went to Toys-R-Us where she liked NOTHING.  She wanted a grow platypus.  Um.... yeah.  So I ordered a platypus online for her.  Girl KNOWS what she wants.

The dog also got to visit the vet for some much needed dental care. She also had teeth pulled and that gross wart on her head removed. She had stitches and looked perfect for Halloween - FrankenMo. She is doing well.

We've had some exciting adventures in eating inspired by Forks over Knives. Its a documentary about the link between meat and cancers and all sorts of other diseases. We're eating more vegetables and less processed foods now. If you've never tried to cut back on processed foods - you should try it! Its surprisingly difficult to avoid additives. So far I have seen a number on the scale I haven't seen in YEARS! We're now a semi-vegetarian family.

Ain't is purty?  Butternut squash soup with organic chives (Thanks Grandma G!)

I've been inspired by Pinterest and friends to make my own laundry detergent.  It was surprisingly easy thanks to Brandon and his workout buddy who ground the bar of soap for me.  It does not leave the clothes smelling like anything but does an adequate job cleaning.

In other news, Micheal Evans was so kind as to lend us his camera so we can take better pictures than my phone will allow.  We had planned on going to the store and buying one but it turns out I am camera challenged and know nothing about cameras.  They are also expensive.  Who knew?  This brings to mind the time back in 2000 or so when Anna told me that digital cameras are the way of the future.  No way I told her, they'll never be able to get the resolution as high as film.  Oh how young and silly I was. 

Lily had the opportunity to visit my folks in Dallas for a week.  She got to attend lots of gospel meetings and was reportedly well behaved (to earn a stuffed animal).  It was nice to have some one on one time with the baby.  He started signing and babbling in earnest when she left.  He was, however, quite excited to have her back.  He adores her.  His favorite thing to do lately is just hug her, knock her over and just lay on her.  Occasionally he will bite her.  She takes it well though.  Makes me so proud of her!  Charlie bit me

Gorgeous little Winry
We had the great honor to attend a welcome Winry party in Lufkin this past weekend.  She was such a doll and didn't cry at all.  We got to visit with Brandon's folks and enjoy some great BBQ (not on the diet)  Since I was already off the diet we sampled all four kinds of desserts too.  YUM!  We had Sunday lunch at Nana's which was super tasty as well.  Lily announced that the macaroni and cheese was not healthy.  Thanks kid!  More whole wheat pasta for you then.

Halloween this year was fun.  Lily was a bumble bee AGAIN.  Ehren was a panda bear which he did not like.  He kept trying to pull off the hood so we left it off.  After dinner we put Ehren in the wagon and set out to visit our friends in the neighborhood.  Lily got so excited she practically went inside everyone's houses!  She's just the most enthusiastic and talkative little girl everyone we visited was cracking up about her enthusiasm.  After a couple of polite bits of chit chat she would say, "I've got to go get more candy - See you next week!"  She had a blast.  And I think we got our money's worth on that bee costume!

Halloween 2009

Random day in 2010 - Bee Mario
Halloween 2011

I actually made something I saw on Pinterest!

Lily had me carve this to look like Ehren. Sorta.