Monday, July 9, 2012

Blessings

We were very blessed this week.  How, you might ask?  Well, I'll tell you.  We had been fasting and praying for rain for our dear state because of all the devastating wild fires, and boy, did we get it!  It looked a little something like this at first:


Then this:

video
As you can see, we were a bit carefree in that video.  We hadn't yet noticed that the window wells were filling up.  The bark that was laid right next to the house, by the end of this storm, ended up in the grass and we had rivers running through different parts of our small yard and down the driveway.  Almost immediately following this video, we decided to go place the pans downstairs (there's a leak that comes from the front porch and drips in one of the bedrooms downstairs - the one that was being used as our "storage unit" for all our packed boxes).  Chris went to go do that while I watched the kids for a minute longer.  I told them to all come inside and turned to go inside myself and noticed the window well below the porch.  It was filled all the way to the bottom of the window...and the rain was still pouring down.  I ushered everyone inside quickly and grabbed a larger bucket and a smaller one that I could scoop water and dump into the larger one with.  I grabbed a few towels and dashed downstairs.  Chris was making sure the pot was under the leak just so and I pointed out the window well.  He immediately checked the floor.  It was soaked, the wall was wet.  We started moving as many boxes as we could to the opposite side of the room and then opened the window and I started bailing with the small bucket.  We quickly realized that was NOT going to help at all.  Chris put his phone and wallet on a box and jumped out into the well with the larger bucket and started bailing out onto the grass.  Within less than 2 minutes, he was soaked and dripping wet from the rainfall.  He had to bail the window well 3 different times before the rain let up enough for him to come inside and change out of his dripping wet clothes.  This picture does NOT do it justice at all, because he really looked like a drowned rat!

After he got out of his wet clothes, we went back downstairs to try and soak up the water out of the carpets.  Queue the dirty blankets/towels that I hadn't washed yet.  The kids would bring Chris a blanket, he'd lay it down, they'd all jump up and down on it and do "pow-wow dances" on it and then the kids would drag it back to the laundry room, dripping water the whole way, grab another and run back....repeated until there were no more blankets or towels to do that with.  Then we just put everyone to bed and prayed that things wouldn't get worse.  We got up the next morning and went to church and came home to survey the damage.  I ended up going to the store and getting a fan so we could dry out floors.  Terra's floor got wet too, so we dried her room out first.  I've been doing laundry for 2 days and have finally made it 2/3 the way through the pile of "mopping materials".  This is what my laundry room looks like at the moment (and I still have my regular laundry to do too).


I switched the fan over to the other room (the one where all the tragedy and most of the action happened) and decided to scope out the damage to the boxes and all our belongings in there.  The miraculous blessing in all of this?  There was only ONE box that got damaged, and most of the damage was to the box, not too much inside.  The books can be dried out and are still usable!

 Here is a pic of all we had to get out of the way:

The rest of the blessings that happened?  Things could have been so much worse!  Our family is still in tact, our belongings are safe, and the kids have a very memorable experience of dancing in the rain and then on the blankets downstairs with daddy!  I'd say we have it pretty darn good, right about now!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Turning Flat Sheets Into Fitted Sheets (Twin size)

I don't know about most of you, but for us, it's a waste of money, almost, to buy a full set of sheets, because only the fitted half gets used.  My kids are just like their daddy.  They don't like the top sheet and will kick it off and it just gets dragged around the house, making everything a mess from there on out.  They're great fort-makers, but they're "not dark enough" according to the kids.  I don't know why I kept hanging on to the top sheets for so many years...maybe it was in hopes that the kids would over-come their crazy stage of kicking them off and I'd finally get to use them.  After pricing the cost of actual water-proof bed covers for a couple of my "still-night-wetters", I was taken aback by how much they cost!  Good grief! For the good quality ones that will last more than one night/one washing, the base price was about a hundred dollars!  No thanks!  I started to think back to the day when I cloth diapered one of my kiddos.  My sister-in-law had purchased some PUL fabric for a fairly decent price and that brought on the thought process of....how can I turn one of those large pieces of fabric into a fitted sheet?!  I started researching online and found a whole bunch of sites that had measurements that were needing to be converted (you know me and math) or were in an entirely foreign language.  No amount of "speaking slow while raising your voice" would make me understand that...especially since the pictures were sort of blurry.  I just wanted exact measurements.  I could muddle through the rest!  Well, I purchased the PUL fabric for 3 sheets (twin size) and brought them home.  The cost (as staggering as it was) was still cheaper than buying ONE mattress cover (plus, I got a 50% coupon so I could go back and get another cut of fabric to make a couple more extras).  Since I didn't have an exact measurement to go by, I guessed at the amounts I'd need.  I got 3 yards of each of the three colors.  I came home and started to stress out about cutting into this $12.99/yard fabric, because if I messed up, there was no going back and we'd be out that much money!  EEEEK!  So, I sat and thought some more and remembered the top sheets that were sitting in my cupboard collecting dust.  BINGO!  My practice materials!!! I got it out and.....

...it never fails.

I started off by cutting off the seams.  Then, I cut out the 10.5" squares from each corner (this much, I DID get from my online research).  I stitched those up to make it "fitted" and then found some extra elastic that I had here.  I cut that up into 8 equal pieces (I was planning on making 2 mock-ups before cutting into the real thing).  I stretched them out and stitched them on.  VIOLA......it was too big for the mattress.  So after a few quick recalculations, I went back to the drawing board and started over on another top sheet.  I finished that on up and.....IT FIT PERFECTLY!!!!!!!!!!!  So then I followed the same steps again:

Cut material to 58" by 92".
Cut 10.5 inch squares off each corner
Stitch them to make them "fitted"
Sew in 12" of elastic in each corner to help it stay on the mattress**

This is the end result:


Pretty!!!!!  If you want added protection, you can put layers on underneath this, but it fits like a fitted sheet should!  I'll let ya know how these work out.  This is on Terra's bed (since the cats sometimes don't seem to think their litter box is the place to "go").  We sprayed down her bed with citrus spray (since that's supposed to repel cats from "doing their thing" and put this on over top of it.  We'll see how it goes!  The real test will be for the boys.  When I get theirs up and running, I'll give an update!

**NOTES: Since I used PUL fabric, I didn't make a hem or a casing for the elastic....it doesn't fray.  If you're turning a top sheet into a fitted, you'll want to at least surge around the edges if you don't want to hem it up or make a casing.