Saturday, August 20, 2016

iTot Pre-School: Skyping with Multiple Grandchildren (Near & Far)

I have three children and five grandchildren. I never thought my oldest son and my youngest daughter, eleven years apart would have children the same age or even in the same era. Someone said, and I often repeat, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.". As it happens they have each have a little boy and they are five days apart in age. Our lives have never been the same!

On my 60th birthday party. My youngest daughter announced that they were expecting their first child after several years of marriage. I had foreknowledge of this impending announcement. Just after everyone finished congratulating the happy couple, my son stood up and said, "Well, Sarah and I have been married for 13 years and we want to announce that we are having a baby!" I couldn't believe my ears! My daughter-in-law had sworn off having any more children. Consequently, I  couldn't believe my ears. Their other children, Sam (8) and Emery (5) were in a state of shock! But yes, as my third baby had been a happy accident for me so my son and daughter-in-law were experiencing an unexpected full quiver, too! 

It was delightful to go travel these two pregnancies, simultaneously. A first child path with my youngest daughter and the carefree journey of a third baby with my son and daughter-in-law. 

I have watched Sam and Emery on Wednesday for most of their lives. Now, I watch Bowen, my son and daughter-in-law's, 3rd born. My youngest daughter, Jesslyn, lives 2.5 hours away. We Skype on Wednesdays. We started a "Skype" Preschool. Emery named our preschool: the "iTot Preschool". The first year we made a craft every week which corresponded to a letter in the alphabet. We didn't go in the correct alphabet order because at two, do you really need to?  We switched up to correspond with the seasons and holidays, Christmas, Halloween, etc. The children, both boys, born five days apart bonded with each other weekly as we Skyped. They looked forward to it weekly and recognize the Skyping noise and run towards the computer when it's time to Skype. Now they are three and we are doing science experiments that correspond with the alphabet. They also enjoy reading books. I read one and then my daughter reads one. 

When we are together the itot Preschool goes on field trips. We've gone swimming, to the Denver Museum and to the Zoo. It has been sooo fun to bond with both boys and have them bond with each other. 

The older children are always interested in our projects and experiments. Sometimes we even have one they enjoy doing after school. For example, the "E" Elephant Toothpaste! Follow the link below:

This was by far and away our best science experiment, yet!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Grandma and Grand-Daughter Jewelry

My Grand-daughter was gone for most of the summer. She missed me! She brought me home a precious gift wrapped in an scraps of colored tissue paper and tucked into one of her little brother's infant socks; tightly knotted at the top. I couldn't tell what it was when she handed to me but her body language told me that it was incredibly meaningful; deliberate gestures. Grandchildren give you great relational clues if you watch their expressions and gestures, carefully. They want you to succeed.

Inside was a heart shaped rock broken into two pieces. I had given her a friendship necklace to her as a birthday for her to enjoy and share with her best friend at school. She loved it!

She was giving back to me! At this stage of life, I recognize this as harvesting. Harvesting the seeds I have planted over the span of my life, in my son's life and now my granddaughter's. I thank God that I have lived long enough to have the privilege of reaping. It's so much fun!

The coded writing, written in her hand means: "Emery loves You" and "Grandma Loves You".
I took the two pieces to a crafter who was able to wire the pieces into two pendants and then I added two silver chains.

The best gift ever!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Holy Land, Hot Day: Four Ways to Wear an Infinity Scarf Traveling!

Start out fresh, running in the Holy Land where Jesus walked........

Holy sites like the Mount of Beatitudes-Tabgha, Israel require the shoulders to be covered. Viola, shoulder's are covered, but sheer material keeps me cool as a cucumber! 

The day grows hotter, almost 100 degrees.......the infinity scarf moves down and morphs into a belt.

But wait, an unexpected camel ride, what to do wearing a short black dress, but hey, the infinity scarf saves the day and becomes a mid-length skirt!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

How to Tie and Wear Head Scarves!

My goal is to learn to tie and then actually wear scarves. I managed to learn this one tie and actually wear the scarf comfortably while traveling throughout Israel. I even had a person on the tour ask me to teach her how to tie her head scarf, the same way. She sent me a picture of herself wearing a scarf tied up in the same way after she got home.  

My goal, hear me now-- this summer is to figure out how to tie and actually wear the nine other scarf ties featured in the video below. Let's see how I do!

Send me a picture of you and your head scarf, loved to learn from you, too!

SCARF TIE #9, and counting..........

This is the Criss-Cross Tie shown in this Youtube video, second from the last but all the ties are worth giving a try!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Five Places You've Never Thought to Shop for Great Fashion Finds!

1. Army Surplus Store

Following the First and Second World Wars military clothing and equipment were sold in Army Surplus stores. Now days, as in the past, an army surplus store sells military surplus--general equipment that was intended for the military but wasn't used or was purchased in excess by the military. Items sold in Army Surplus stores are typically discounted for fast sell. In addition, these stores often sell camping equipment or military clothing (especially jackets and helmets) but on a recent shopping trip to her local Army Surplus the Wardrobe Mistress found the Army Surplus store was setting summer fashion on fire!  The Wardrobe Mistress found a couple of amazing outfits there for a song!

Anna Bugatti Skirt regularly $59.00 was a steal for $10.00, 
layered lace Lorada T-top  on sale for $7.99!
Both items purchased at the local Army Surplus Store!

Same $7.99 top worn with distressed Way Jean Wear $20.00 (Army Surplus)

Rear View showing decorated rear pockets. If you have no butt, did you you know wearing a jean pant with decorated pockets, is the way to go?

Second pair of $20.00 jeans purchased at the Army Surplus Store, these are Paris Fashion Jeans.

2. Rite-Aid

Can the Wardrobe Mistress and you find a trendy summer outfit in your local Rite Aid 
(the 3rd largest retail drugstore chain in the country)? 
Yes, she can!

Sun Dress, $10.00 Regular Price, Not on Sale!
Travel ready, wrinkle free!

Shown here with a lavender Cabi denim jacket, purchased at a thrift store and a repurposed Victoria Secret make-up bag as a purse, nude flats and misc. jewelry.
Also, check out their shoes! Knock off Tom's are often deeply discounted to $2.75.

3. Mexican Market: Mercado!

Mercado is Spanish for Market. The Mercado located in an urban American setting has many of the same qualities a tourist can find in a Mexican market in Mexico. Ours is a large store  divided up into smaller stores inside, similar to stalls, with just a hint of disorganization. There's a vitamin and health food area, women's clothing area, western store with western wear and cowboy gear, household items, toys, etc. similar to Family Dollar or Dollar Tree. The prices are excellent.

The Mercado offers an infinite supply of great fashion finds. Our favorites: wild leggings (3 for $10.00), crochet headbands ($2.99), short, short glitter skirts ($10.00), and the ultimate infinity scarves ($2.99). The possibilities are endless as new and different merchandise arrives daily!

The leggings are wild, wild, and the material is unbelievably comfortable and wears and washes well!

For our friends in the UK......

The short glittery-glitzy skirts found at the Mercado are shown here with plain black leggings and casual top can take a women from the the ski slopes to apres-ski in five!

The crochet hair bands at the Mercado are often prettier than the pricier ones!
Don't you agree?

The infinity scarves there are the perfect width, length and weight. The more expensive infinity scarves are often to heavy to wear easily in a number of ways. These scarves can be worn in a million different ways and are perfect for traveling. I wore this scarf while traveling in Israel.  It was so hot and many places required that shoulders were covered. I could just adjust it and make it into a "shawl". Once when we had the unexpected opportunity to ride a camel I was wearing a short black dress, this infinity scarf quickly became a mid-length skirt. 

The ankle socks at the Mercado come in many designs and with complimentary color combination, are very comfortable and are only a dollar a pair!

The Mercado also has a myriad of shape-wear for women but I haven't been brave enough to try on the skin tight, push-up, figure flattering attire.

And that's not all, they have long, long tanks that cover your bum plus kid's clothes!!!
Can you tell, I always want to go to the Mercado!

4. Kroger /Your Local Grocery Store

Barney Kroger invested his life savings--$372, In 1883, to open a grocery store in downtown Cincinnati. Barney Kroger ran his business with a simple motto: “Be particular. Never sell anything you would not want yourself.” He also wanted to provide his customers with "one-stop" shopping. Kroger is still managing to achieve both goals. 

These No nonsense denim leggings run around $15.00 are go on sale periodically for $12.00. They provide a perfect fit and comfort, too! They do not bind, are not thin or see through--
a perfect legging that looks like jeans!

The Wardrobe Mistress takes her que right off the No nonsense packaging and you can, too! 

Imitation, they say is the best sincerest form of flattery and so it is!

High-end fashion, reasonably priced at your grocery store--one stop shopping!