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Seat Sacks for Seat Backs

My constant Pintrest surfing has finally got me doing something!! I actually made a project I pinned!!

I came across this pin and a day later brought it to fruition.

They are seat sacks to organize kids papers and coloring books. This is perfect for my house since the kids go through about 57 trees worth of paper a week. And this paper always ends up littering decorating the pony wall in the kitchen.

She has some pretty good instructions on her site (click the picture) but I added my own little flare to meet my needs.

I made the Seat Sacks out of canvas material that matched the kitchen colors. (I thought this would be the sturdiest material to hold heavier coloring books. It was more expensive than I hoped but I used a 40% coupon so was able to get 2 yards for $22. More than enough material to make the 4 sacks I needed.  It takes about a 1/2 yard of material to make depending on how wide you want the pockets.) I made the sack with 2 pockets so we could hold homework and art work in separate pockets.

First I found the fattest coloring book I could to use as a template. I made sure there was enough room to hem each side and have enough give for the book to slide in the pocket easily. I cut the fabric in a long strip about 13.5 inches wide and 56 inches long.

Next I hemmed the 3 sides and the top. (I did this all in one step to save time.) Then I used the coloring book again to cut the top of the fabric strip off so it would make a deep enough second pocket. I pinned this to the wrong side of the longer piece. (I also added an iron on letter for each of the kids sacks at this point.)  I double stitched this piece across the bottom.

I then folded down the top (behind the top pocket) and folded up the bottom (over the top pocket) using the coloring book to determine height again. I pinned both sides then put a running stitch up both edges. This made two pockets and all the edges looked finished.

Next I cut ribbons making sure they were long enough to tie around the rungs of my kitchen chairs. I stitched them in a criss-cross pattern on the back side of the sacks.

The last step is to tie them to the chair and fill them with stuff. This is a pretty simple project with a great result! It took about 2 hours to make 4 sacks. (1 hour to figure out the first one and 1 hour for he other 3) The kids were really excited and I am hoping it keep my kitchen much cleaner.

A Chair for Anywhere!

So we’ve all seen that’s awesome cool anywhere chairs in the Pottery Barn Kids Catalog.

But with a price tag between $110 and $170 it’s hard to see why anybody would buy one.

Of course Santa was nice enough to bring Mackie one last Christmas. (That Santa is a sucker!) The girls are getting so big, though, it didn’t seem economical for him to bring pink chairs that they would grow out of in a year.

Only having one chair has been a challenge. Mack, Mackenzie & Abigail argue and fight over who gets to sit in it. It happens so often the chiar has been put in time out for quite some time now.

So how excited was I when the neighbor down the street decided to give up her chairs and drop them off for us!! They were perfect, pink, green and white, matching everything that the girls own. The only bad part was the large coffee stain in the middle of one.

No problem for me so I went to work and here’s what we did.

I went searching through the scrap drawer and found some pretty pink and purple fabric. Add a bit of heat bond, stitched the edges and wala! Brand-new butterflies and now we don’t have any stains!


The girls are so excited they can’t wait for that little have a party and watch some TV.

Since I am insanely pessimistic I am going to use this time to remember all I have and give thanks.  So each day in November I plan on posting what I am thankful for that day. I hope this will keep me in a positive attitude for the Holidays! (The newest are listed first)

Nov 13 – I am thankful for naps. Without his 3 hour nap today, I do not think Mackie would have made it through the evening.

Nov 12 – I am thankful for craftiness today. I love to do crafts. Today it was a Star of the Week board for Abigail and some decorative plates.

The plates were $1.50 from Wal-Mart, some fabric and Mog Pog.

They will be decorating our kitchen this Thanksgiving.

Nov 11 – Happy Veteran’s Day. Today I am thankful for all the Veterans in my life. My Pop-Pop, Dad, stepfather, Steve, Uncle John, cousin Josh, my wonderful husband, Mack, and the friends that I have made through the years, from ROTC to active duty and now the reserves. And to those who were braver than me and continue to serve away from there families, Thank You for everything you sacrifice for our country!

Nov 10 – I am thankful for my little girls today! I am so blessed to have them! I was able to spend lunch with them today.  They celebrated Heros today in there school Police officers, sheriffs, firemen and military were there to celebrate with them.  There were members from all services, WWII to returning from Afganistan last month.

Mackenzie’s class sang “America the Beautiful” and made posters.

Click here to see them sing! http://youtu.be/dY84gVPud98

All the kids had autograph paper (I was not happy my last name was Middendorf) It was such a wonderful way to celebrate! I love my Mackenzie and Abigail!!

Nov 9 – Today I am giving thanks that, even over my pajamas, this how my Dress Blue skirt fits.

They are absolutely huge!! I really never thought I was that big last time I got into these.

(I will not focus on the fact that I can’t find my original set and may have to be buying new ones soon. That’s going to hurt the pocket book.)

Nov 8 – It is Tuesday and that means Cleaning Lady Day! Today I am thankful for the two wonderful women who help me keep this house clean! Without them the floors and bathrooms would NEVER get clean! They always do a wonderful job even when the house is less than organized and it’s hard to clean up around the mess.

Nov 7 – I am thankful for those random days that Mack and I spend together, alone. Today we upgraded his phone (UGH! Now he has the iPhone 4S that I want!), got the Expedition serviced, ate lunch at the Tilted Kilt, visited the Victory shop, and went to Costco. Nothing fancy but a great day! It is wonderful to spend you life with someone who you enjoy doing the every mundane things with. 🙂

Nov 6 – I am thankful that ROTC FTX’s last no more than 4 days! Mack is home in a few hours and has time off this week! Yay!!We have missed him the last few days!

Nov 5 – Today I am thankful for my Mack‘s pillow! Stealing it is one of the only ways I can fall asleep when he is gone.

Nov 4 – I am thankful for my Keurig and the makers of all these crazy flavored coffees (Today’s choice is Spicy Egg Nog!) It makes me a much less cranky mommy in the morning! (My husband and kids should be thankful too!) 

Nov 3 – I am thankful that even though Mack has to be gone for a lot of time between Reserves and ROTC he never goes any where that I am afraid he will never return from. (Even though the thought of Cadets with weapons can be scary)

Nov 2 – I am thankful for the teachers and staff at La Casa, Women who have become friends and family, for teaching our children the importance of respecting out country and those who serve to protect it. It is a concept that lost on so many.

Nov 1 – I am thankful that my kids had such a great time time trick-or-treating last night and there patience with my crazy notion that I think that Halloween Costumes should be made not bought.

Halloween Happenings!


We had a wonderful Halloween!  It was our first to have all the kids together since 2006.


My little witches and goblins were out and about  stalking the neighbor hood in their best, as always!

(I was happy because I didn’t think I was going to be able to make any costumes but I ended up making Mackenzie, Abigail and mine. Jackson wore a hand-me-down I made a few years ago.)

We started the day with our extra special breakfast.

Orange Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Then it was off to school for the kiddos! I got to spend the afternoon with Abigail at her Fall Party.

Then it was home for Halloween Prep!


We had lots of fun with getting all dressed up!

The girls were Frankie Stein & Draculaura from the cartoon Monster High.

(I made about 70% of their costumes including Abigail’s shirt and Mackenzie’s vest and shirt. They looked so cute.)

I had a slew of Super Heros on hand. Captain America (‘casue it went with his motorcycle) Green Lantern (’cause he had the t-shirt) and Spiderman (’cause Spiderman’s cool!)And my little Tigger.

(He did so great going from house to house but since there was no nap that day it was short lived. That boy was in bed by 6:45)

And since my greatest fear is the Zombie Apocalypse I decided to face my fears

and become a zombie.

Hey if you can’t beat ’em…..

I love Halloween and can’t wait until next year when we get to do it again!!

A Diary Day

October 24, 2011

Weight: 138.9
K Cups: 3 4
Food: not to bad as of yet…

I am having a serious Bridget Jones day!

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I feel like putting on my p’s, grabbing a bottle of vodka, a carton of ciggarettes and locking myself in my bedroom listening to sad Celine Dion songs over and over!

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Too bad I am an adult now and bunkering myself in my room because I am having a totally blah day is no longer an option.

OK! New plan is to do this “Organize My Life” thing again. (Or at least try.) Here we go:

1. Focus on one task a day! I need to try and stop fixing the whole problem at once. It doesn’t work and is it drives you crazy.

2. Leave the house work once and a while and play with the kids. The mess isn’t bothering them only you. They would much rather play with you then you yell at them you’re too busy. It will be there later.

3. Learn to say “no.” The world will not end if you aren’t the class photographer. Someone else will do it but even if they don’t it is not your responsibility.

4. I bought a new book to record my work outs and need to start doing them again! (Your really do feel better when you consistently work out) Gotta get rid of these 8 extra lbs I tacked on in the last month. I want to blame Emily. She kept making me go on vacation to Florida. Guess I could have said “No” to all the food and drinks. (# 3 works for this too)  So I guess it’s not really Emily’s fault just need someone to blame.

5. Plan and make dinner. You don’t single handily have to support the resauraunts of North Scottsdale.

6. Drink water. People have been screaming that at you for year maybe you should listen.

These are just some of the things I want to work on.  We’ll see how it goes….

Time

Time.

In theory there is plenty but when it comes to practical use of it, there is never enough.  That is why I am an avid planner. My mind is always scheduling and trying to figure out time saving ways to multitask. I like my schedule planned 6- 8 months in advance and finalized six weeks out, just the way the Army publishes training schedules. I think I drive Mack crazy when I start talking about Thanksgiving in March or Spring Break as soon as school begins. But like the Army, what ever is planned 6 weeks out never seems to happen in 6 weeks. Constantly changing and adapting and I’m not too bad at it.

I try to keep the family message board ready with an iPad that has the calendar readily available.

 Now this might make me sound OCD but I’m not. (no matter what Mack says) I don’t schedule to the point of no leeway. If we are on vacation I will say day one 1 is here day 2 there.  Never much more than that.

 What I have NEVER been able to do is add enough of a buffer for all those non-planned, wacky crazy things that happens when you have kids. And the more kids to you have the wackier and crazier (and sometimes nastier) things are bound to happen to destroy my fantasy of a scheduled world.  And the stress it causes usually reduces myself to tears 2 or 3 times before the end of it.

Take last weekend getting ready for our trip to New York. All I had to do was run a few errands and pack. Of course, things alway go fluey. We had to drop off the dogs at the kennel, pick up the kitchen moulding and pack. By the time we ran all our errands I had one child vomited twice, one had an accident in her pants, and we had been in the car for 7 hours. Not the nice easy way I had thought our day would be. That is when the panic sets in, when my schedule has gone to hell.

I did get packed but it was another late night and a very early morning before we went to the airport.

We are an Army family!

That is what we have always considered our self from the inception at Fort Knox, KY to our time at Fort Living Room in Florida to now. Like all families, we started off in a small buddy team and have quickly added to our ranks as we went to now have a large fire team. (For those who don’t know what that means we went from 2 – 7 and relatively fast.)

We are not a typical Army family. As a matter a fact we are quite lucky. Middy-6 (other wise know as Dad or Mack Sr.) is now a Contractor for Army Reserve Officer Training (ROTC) and a Reserve Company Commander. While his day-to-day activities mirror active duty life, ACUs, PT, FTXs, there is one big difference. NO OVERSEAS DEPLOYMENTS!! That is where we are lucky. Dad is never gone too long. Of course  summers are hard. Between the Reserves and ROTC Mack is gone for 8 – 10 weeks during the summer. Then there are the weekends. A lot of missed weekends but compared to the alternative of some place he could get shot at, we are happy about it.

Then there is, Middy-5. That’s me, Kacey (or Mom as I am known to the little ones) ‎- Now 6 is normally designated as the callsign of the highest headquarters in any given unit but I prefer to take the 5 (the Executive Officer or XO). But make no mistake I am the commander of this unit, outranking even General Officers. I can simultaneously performs the functions of administration, property book officer, contract officer, convoy commander, and finance corp as well as QRF (Quick Reaction Force) in the event of a mutiny by lower ranking family members, mess sergeant, sick call, and on the RARE occasion MWR (Moral, Welfare and Recreation) Officer (for those night infiltrations). In other words while Mack thinks he run the show nothing would be done without me. Add to that my extra curricular activities of Preschool Yearbook Coordinator, constantly training for that next 1/2 Marathon, and taking on the duties of a Brigade S-1 Personnel Officer, I don’t have much free time. Wouldn’t trade a thing though.

Then we have our Fire Team Members. Christopher-12, Mackenzie-6, Abigail-4, Mack Jr. -3 and Jackson-1. While normally I just have the 4 little ones this coming school year I get the outstanding privileged to have a preteen as Christopher will be coming to do 7th grade in Arizona. Should be interesting to add another kids activities in the mix but this year will be a big change. The 3 older ones will be in full-time school and Mackie starts preschool. 3 hours twice a week with only one child! Amazing!  I may get some peace but I will probably fill it with some activity, craft or cleaning. Never fails. I like to keep moving.