My life as a young wife to one, a mother to many and a flawed yet faithful follower of Christ.


DIY Moses Basket Bedding

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on August 19, 2012 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (0)

While I have never used a Moses basket, I thought it would be a nice addition to our home this year.  Being able to move the basket around to different parts of the house will allow me to be close to Ezra while he sleeps.  I can move it into the dining room during school, the living room during reading time, the kitchen during mealtime and he will have a place to sleep all the while.  I looked at quite a few and it seemed the big difference was the quality of the bedding.  I decided I was willing to save some money and just purchase one for the basket and make a new set of bedding to fit my taste.

As I said before I am mildly obsessed with the chevron fabrics so I ordered a little bit to make some shoes and some bedding.  Hopefully the fabric won't make him dizzy! LOL!

Here is the basket in the processes of making the bedding.  It is a "Badger Basket" and as I assumed it arrived with SUPER CHEAP, low quality bedding....but hey, it was less than $40! Using the original bedding and the basket itself to make the pattern I figured out a plan of attack.  I used fleece and the chevron fabric for the sides, ribbon for the ties, flannel for the fitted sheet and orange double fold bias tape for the trim. 

It turned out relatively good for not having an "actual" pattern.  And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the modern fabric and colors. The crocheted blanket will have a burnt orange trim to match the basket when I am finished with it.

And don't forget the awesome matching shoes!

All of this will be perfect and match his going home outfit too! I bought this onsie as a half-joke for my husband the day I found out we were (SURPRISE) expecting! I think I am going to sew up some quick and easy jersey pants to go with it (if I have time!) in Blue or Orange. 

Baby Essentials: Part 4

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on April 17, 2012 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Baby Essentials: Clothing and Diapers



This probably is going to be a short post considering that clothing is usually the easiest part of the baby gear!  You can buy your baby’s clothing second hand in a consignment store, at a garage sale, in a department store or even make your own.  


I think the biggest mistake new parents make is that they get too many outfits for their child.  I would encourage getting only a few newborn outfits.  Only one of my children thus far was ever able to squeeze into newborn size clothing.  Faith (my smallest baby who was right under 8 pounds) was able to fit in them a week or two before outgrowing them.  All of my other children skipped the size completely….especially our oldest (the one that had the MOST newborn sized clothing) who weighted a whopping 10 pounds 1 ounce!  Bag sleepers are great for this size as they can be used for large range of kids because there is little structure to them.  This item of clothing is also easy to sew even for a beginner.  Also there is a free pattern for a newborn dress that is darling (Faith wore it as her coming home outfit).  Here is the link for it if you are interested.  It is perfect for a summer baby.  If you tend to have large babies I would suggest making it a bit bigger (wider).  Faith (my smallest baby) barely fit in it.   Even in the larger sizes; don't go overboard!  They don't need 30 sized 0-3 outfits! I would suggest enought for a week or so; maybe 10-12 outfits at most.  At this point in our lives, with soon to be 6 kids living here, closet space is at a premium!


{Faith in the Itty Bitty dress}


Of course you will need diapers.  With my oldest I wasn’t using cloth diapers yet.  I never really needed newborn sized diapers for my oldest either.  He fit right into size one.  Most babies could benifet from at least one or two packs of newborn, but don’t go crazy with them either.  Full term babies are usually only in them for a few weeks.  As for cloth I would suggest skipping the newborn size as well.  Most newborns will fit into the infant size prefolds, albeit they will be a little big for a couple weeks.  If budget allows I would suggest between 2 and 3 dozen infant size diapers and 2 dozen premium size.  For each size I would also suggest to have at least 4 covers.  This should get you all the way from newborn through potty training.  


I am not going to get into the all the options of cloth diapering because it gets very overwhelming very quickly.  We use prefolds, snappis, cloth wipes, Bummis and Thirsties covers with the occasional mama-made fitted diaper thrown in.  If you want to see the options and read more about cloth diapers go to my cloth diaper tab or CLICK HERE to be redirected to that page.  Also I did a post a while back about starting with cloth diapers that shows how prefolds (both infant and newborn) fit and also how my mama-made fitted diapers fit a newborn and a toddler. 


Shoes: I don’t generally put any shoes save for the mama-made cloth/crochets booties until they are walking.  There is a pattern called Stardust Shoes for sewers that is great for babies and actually stays on a newborns foot quite well.  I made some for Faith when she was a wee one and have made several pairs since then.  They sew up easy and you can adjust the pattern to be reversible as well.  

{Stardust shoes made with leftover diaper flannel}


Socks: I have a strict rule about all the same socks for each child so that I don’t have to match socks and it applies to my littlest ones as well.  I don’t do colored, matching, patterned socks.  Plain white for me, please.  Borning, yes, I am aware, but the ease of it makes up for the pizzazz of multicolored socks any old day.  




Homemade Halloween

Posted by AFarmhouseFull on November 12, 2011 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (0)

This year for Halloween I was determined to make do without spending a lot of money.  Halloween costumes can really suck you dry!  We have gone the route of buying them, but at $15-$30 a pop times 5 kids......well, that is just too much to spend on cheaply made costumes that will be worn once and thrown in the dress up box.  We have also tried making EVERYTHING from scratch.  The year I did that the costumes were MUCH higher quality. Of the homemade costumes I have made ALL of them have been used more than once, some of them MANY, MANY times! The dress Maddie is wearning in the photo below is one that I made for her when she was 3 and because I made it big and out of stretchy material she STILL fits in it (albeit a little short now) and wears it CONSTANTLY!  The bear outfit that Georgia is in has been used by all 5 of our children and I have a monkey suit that has been worn by a couple of our kids AND has been lent out to friends as well.  Both are holding strong.  While the homemade ones hold up a lot better, they are still quite expensive.  The material, thread, trimmings and finishing touches made it just as expensive as buying them and there was a lot of time in cutting, sewing and fitting each costume.

{trick or treating at Grandma and Papas}

Well this year we decided to do Halloween costumes without breaking the bank or taking 2 weeks out of my schedule!  So here is the run down of our homemade costumes:

  • AJ was Darth Vador.  A $10 sweat suit and some $0.25 craft felt for the trimming rounded out the store bought mask and cape (purchased at Menards on sale for $5).  Total cost: $15.50.  The sweat suit will be reused as PJ's. Time: about 15 minutes. 
  • Maddie was Rapunzel.  Her wig was purchased at Menards also for $5.  Her dress was reused from her a previous Halloween (this is the one I mentioned earlier).  Total cost: $5.  Time: NADA!
  • Michael was Buzz Lightyear.  Felt for his hood was $0.75.  The main body of his costume was a cardboard box that we cut up and painted.  Craft paint was 2.00 each (4 colors).  White shirt (which will be reused) was $5. Total cost: $13.75.  Total Time: 1-2 hours
  • Faith was Jessie (from Toy Story).  I used 1/2 yard ($3.00) of dalmation print cotton (they were out of cow print and it was the closest I could find).  I serged it into a "chaps" shape and safety pinned them at the top of her jeans. I also attached elastic to the middle of them  to keep them from flapping around.  The hat was a foam one we purchased at a local craft/hobby store.  It was orginally pink and cost $2.00.  We used the left over craft paint from Michael's costume to paint it red and used scrap white yarn to sew the details around the edge.  The shirt was an old hand me down dress shirt from Michael's "too small" bin and I used red embroidery floss on yellow craft felt and hot glued it onto the shirt -- $0.50 for two sheets of craft felt.  Add a few freckles with a washable red marker and tadaaa...Jessie! Total cost: $5.50.  Total time: 1-2 hours. (the embroidery was the main time suck....you could have just drawn it on with a red permanent marker)
  • Georgia was a bear.  The same bear costume that I sewed for AJ when he was 10 months old, 9 long years ago!!  Five kids have since worn that sweet little bear! Total cost: NADA.  Total Time: NADA!
  • Grand Total: $39.75 YEAH! That averages $7.95 per child and if you deduct the reusabe sweat suit and shirt the total drops to $24.75 or $4.95 per child!  I call that a sucess!

Oh, and my Halloween costume was a feather from one of our Australops and an old headband.  Yep, totally last minute and yep, totally redneck, but it worked and it made the kids smile!

What were your kids for Halloween this year?  What did you spend on their costumes?

Easter Sewing

Posted by Farmhouse Family on May 3, 2011 at 10:23 PM Comments comments (4)

Easter time is usually the beginning of my sewing season.  I usually dust off the sewing machine and start thinking about Easter dresses and spring skirts.  This year I waited entirely way too long.  Like 6 days till Easter to even start on (all 4!) of them.  The girls dresses I cut from the same pattern.  To save the pattern I am using tracing paper (taped together) to get both sizes without ruining the master pattern.  I did, however, come across the perfect medium to trace patterns on: exam table paper!  You know the stuff that comes in a roll and they line the doctor’s exam table with?  It is cheap, see through, lightweight and nice and wide.  I am trying to find a source to buy just ONE roll right now (FOUND IT, gotta love having a doctor in the family!), but a box of 12 is only $27, if you wanted to use it. 

In the last couple of  weeks I have completed a pioneer costume for the neighbor’s little one (she was having pioneer days at school), Maddie’s Easter dress, Faith’s Easter dress, Georgia’s Easter jumper, my Easter skirt and a vintage apron.  I just recently completed a gathering apron I just adore from a fellow blogger, Quinn.  I love the idea of a gathering apron!  If you have never heard of such a thing, jump over to her blog and check it out, I am so excited to get to use mine!



I also have plans to sew some simple skirts for the girls for the summer.  With Faith being potty trained this year, skirts will be much easier.  Plus, with a few simple patterns I can make numerous skirts in various colors and buy/make simple knit shirts to match them all.  I am trying to find some cute skirts for me as well.  I am looking at longer ones than what I have now.  Maybe a few inches below the knees.  I LOVE skirts in the summer because they are SO comfortable but the length of skirts I have now (just above or at the knee) make it really hard to bend down and play with the kids without showing everyone the color of my panties! :o 

This is one pattern I LOVE and I think I will end up doing a couple like this.  The only downside to it is that one skirt uses over 4 yards of fabric.  Not exactly thrifty.  Although, if I keep my eye on clearanced fabrics I could probably find something that will work beautifully!

Anyone else have sewing on the schedule this spring?



The Chokey Bag Tutorial

Posted by Farmhouse Family on January 29, 2011 at 12:54 PM Comments comments (2)

We have problems here with things we call chokey-stuff.  You know, the stuff that 3-8 year olds LOVE to play with that are most certainly the most chokey-iest thing for a little baby under 2!  After a 4 day lego organizaiton frenzy (more on this in a later post) I was still at odds as to what to do with the lego people.  My oldest like to build different lego people from parts (kind of like a Lego Frankestein - a head from this one, a leg from that one, and a random arm from another) and he likes to dump all his (millions) of dismembered legos out to see what he has.  After some net surfing I came up with these:


And here is how to make one yourself:

Materials Needed:(

  • Felt cut to length of bag x 2.5 inches. 
  • Felt cut to 1.5 x 8 inches (for handle) Sidenote:  You could use any fabric here, but you would have to hem to make finished edges.  Craft felt is a no-fray "fabric" so you don't need to hem it.  Although, you could make these super cute with some funky fabric!
  • 4-6 one-zip heavy duty plastic baggies (I used quart sized)
  • Matching thread (Looking at the photo you can guess I did not have matching thread so I just used what I had)

Putting it together

Line up the baggies at the bottom end.  Doing one side at a time pin the 2.5" wide felt piece to the baggies folding it over the edge and pin at the bottom edge

Sew all the way around felt, making sure that you catch both sides in the thread.

Fold the 1.5" x 8" felt peice in half and stitch down both sides lengthwise.

Attach to the other piece stitching a "box" around the part that touches.


And there you go an easy tote for ANYTHING; polly pocket pieces, dismembered lego people, dress up jewelry, shells to the toy shotgun, teeny-tiny cars, nuts and bolts, screws, picture hangers, buttons, ribbon scraps - ANYTHING!

Doll Wipe Tutorial

Posted by Farmhouse Family on December 20, 2010 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

First gather your material.  You will need:

  • 2 pieces of fabric measuring 9-1/2 x 7 inches
  • 2 sheets of craft felt
  • 2- 7 inch lengths of double fold bias tape
  • thread to match

Mark your felt pieces and cut them in quarters. 

Trim the short ends with pinking shears.  Set aside (you should have 8 wipes now)

Place your two pieces of fabric right sides out. 

Sew your bias tape down the short length of both sides

Trifold your piece of fabric so that the bias tapes over lap each other slightly

Sew with a 1/4 inch seam down the ends and (if you want to) trim with pinking shears.

Flip inside out.

Insert wipes. (folded in half)

Now, amaze your daughter with her own set of wipes!

To get them to pop up one by one fold them like this:


....and a few more....

Posted by Farmhouse Family on December 19, 2010 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

CLICK HERE for a video of Mike's gift for the boys.  They each are getting their own toy tops for "top races". 

Faith's Cinderella doll

Faith's magnet fishing game

Handmade Christmas Update

Posted by Farmhouse Family on December 18, 2010 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (1)

A couple more checked off the list:

Maddie's Belle Dress

AJ's Lego Table (Mike's handy-work!)


Doll wipes and wipe case, doll diapers and doll slings for a friend

Handmade Christmas Update

Posted by Farmhouse Family on December 2, 2010 at 10:48 PM Comments comments (1)

Okay so we have finished 2 more gifts:

Mike's AWESOME logging truck that he crafted for Michael.

And Maddie's princess PJ set.

If you are wondering why there is a number two on her shirt, here's the story - We used to put initials on everything to distinguish whose was whose.  Well, Michael and Maddie have the same first initial so we started numbering things.  It has kind of turned into a little inside joke around here.  When we scramble for the right name of the kid we are yelling at  talking to :) we end up joking and saying "number 3, come here".  Numbers are easier.  So instead of monogramming their initials on the shirts, I appliqued their "number".  Got to love big families, huh?

Projects that we have in the making:

  • An unbelievably beautiful lego table. I know, the word beautiful and lego never end up in the same sentence, but really you should see this thing! It is what Pottery Barn would sell if they sold lego stuff!
  • The rest of the PJ's for the other 4 kiddos
  • A fishing game for Faith
  • A Cinderella doll for Faith
  • An almost completed quilt for my niece's Christmas
  • A nativity set (all but the baby Jesus are done) for my niece's birthday

Projects not yet started:

  • a couple of small wooden cars for the boys
  • a wooden pirate ship (this one is on the maybe list)
  • Satin "Belle" princess dress complete with tulle trim and gold accents (yeah I know - and to top it off - NO pattern, this one is gonna be freehand, ladies!)

Handmade Christmas

Posted by Farmhouse Family on November 23, 2010 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

This Christmas Mike and I have decided to handcraft EVERY Christmas present.  It is an idea we have toyed with in the past, but this year (seeing that we are faced with a slow construction trade and a lay off) would be a perfect time for it.  The kids each receive 3 gifts (like the gifts that were given at the birth of Jesus). They will get one main gift, a secondary gift and a set of Christmas Eve PJs.  I am planning on posting photos of the gifts we are doing as they are finished.  Right now the only thing I have 100% complete is Maddie's secondary gift, a Belle Princess doll:


I designed this pattern myself and am toying with the possibility of selling the pattern.  I am going to be doing a similar one for Faith that will be Cinderella.  Other projects that are in various stages of completion are: a quilt for my niece, a fishing game for Faith and a toy “Toothless” (from the movie How to Train your Dragon).  I will keep you updated on how this is going, but so far I am REALLY excited about it.  Mike is even getting some “hobby” time in as he is building a lego table for the boys and a wooden toy logging truck for Michael.

Each year we have pulled ourselves a little more away from the traditional, busy/shopping/commercialized Christmas.  Each year it has gotten a little smaller and a little more meaningful.  Each year we have reflected more heavily on the Nativity and less on the shopping and sales.  I am looking forward to a quiet morning gathered around the woodstove watching the kids play with their handmade gifts and remembering our Savior as a tiny, helpless infant peacefully sleeping in a humble manger with his wonderful parents (all three of them) looking over him with love.



About Me:


Hey y'all! Welcome to our family blog. We are a large, loud and Jesus loving family from the rural Midwest. I am Nicci, also know around these parts as "mom" to my brood of a half dozen and as "babe" to my handsome other half.  We live on a handful of acres and have raised chicken, pigs, bees, tomatoes and most importantly our rowdy bunch of kidlets.  We cloth diaper, homeschool, DIY, and try to eat as "homemade" as possible.  My ratio of hobbies verses free time is COMPLETELY unbalanced.  I enjoy crocheting, knitting, sewing, designing, drawing, using power tools, and anything else that involves creating. I also love to decorate and organize when time and money allow - but come on now, it is hard to make it to the bathroom without little people following 2 steps behind me and my grocery bill is comparable to a mortgage payment!  It is a busy, challenging and sometimes chaotic life managing a larger than normal family but ultimately one of God's greatest blessings that I am immensely grateful for!  In no way have I "arrived" or  "figured it all out", but I am humbled to be able to share my experience with others!

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