Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas wreaths and Christmas countdown

Here are a couple ideas which may be too late for this Christmas, but tuck them away in you mental file for next year.

Idea #1: I saw a link for wreath making and decided to attempt it. It's a really great tutorial if you want to try it. I took clippings from my yard, and from a friends yard, which I would recommend, a good variety of greens was really nice. My friend's yard had some red leaf plants and some with little red berries which were a nice touch.

Because I was cheap and impatient I didn't use the wire wreath forms or floral wire. I had my wonderful husband scour the utility room for something that would work. He found me and old towel hanger and a broken metal plate rack, both made great forms for wrapping my greens around. I also used fishing line instead of floral wire, but I think next year I will splurge on wire since the fishing line was harder to tie off.

Anyhow, I really had a blast doing these and I can't imagine ever spending money on a wreath. Mine were plain, no ribbon or ornaments added. I would love to do this a little earlier next year and possibly make extras to give as gifts. Since I already have a red berry wreath (fake) for my door I used these more as centerpieces/table top decor.

I think it would be really fun to have a few friends take clipping from their yards and gather to share the greens and enjoy the wreath-making experience together.

Idea #2: I also copied this idea for a Christmas Countdown. I made one quite simply by printing out numbers 1-25 on my computer in plain cardstock, varying the sizes and fonts, so they were all different. Then I just jazzed them up with leftover Christmas scrapbooking paper scraps, and followed the directions on the link from there. An activity on the back of each magnet was a fun way to countdown to Christmas and made sure we were deliberate about enjoying the season, doing the things we love. This was great for the ages of my kids, they have continued to be really excited about each days activity. Every family has their own traditions and I'm sure you can think of little things for each day. Some things could even be as simple as sharing your favorite Christmas memory. Here are some thing we did:

Look at Christmas lights

Bake cookies

Make treats for birds

Read Christmas books

Read the Christmas Story

Watch a Christmas movie

Pop Popcorn (and string it)

Decorate tree

Visit the State Capital

Deliver treats to neighbors

Make cards
Mails cards
Make paper snowflakes

Go to the Nutcracker

Sing Christmas songs

you get the idea.....

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mexican Spice

Here's something you can mix up for your own pantry, or turn into a cute gift.

I found a recipe for a taco seasoning mix that is really yummy and so much cheaper than the spice packets I used to buy. I mixed up a bunch, packaged it in snack size baggies with a little label I made on the computer, and put it in a gift bag with canned tomatoes and canned salsa from this summer. These will be my kiddos teacher gifts this year, along with instructions for cooking up a "mexican night". My theory it anything simple can be jazzed up to look cute, with a gift tag or label. I'm all about making practical, useful gifts, look more fun!
Recipe for the taco seasoning found here: (I usually times it by 4 and it makes a small jar-full for my cupboard)
Another great mix idea is hot chocolate. My friend Ashley shared a recipe, which is simple:
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup brown sugar
whisk together in a bowl and add a pinch of cayenne for kick if desired (I left it out)
Use 2 tbs./ mug of WARM milk, stir to dissolve. She uses soy milk and it works wonderfully, as well.
This is a rich and creamy hot chocolate, myself and my kids love it. Would make a cute gift in a jar or baggie along with candy canes and those cute vanilla flavored snowman shaped marshmallows. Have you seen those? Love 'em.
Perfect cold weather treat!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Pillowcase Dress

Meet, Anna's good friends, baby Zoe and Selah.

Selah's mom Ashley sent me the link to a pillowcase dress and said, "we should make matching dresses for our girls"

So we did.

Only we didn't use a pillowcase. We used fabric that we sewed into a pillowcase. Easy to modify the sizes a little since we were dealing with a 5 year old, 2 1/2 year old and 1 year old. We had extra fabric so we made one for Zoe who turns one on December 17th, a very good day.

These were really easy. I mean so easy, I am already planning on making more. We still have scraps leftover and I want to make a matching dress for Anna's American girl doll and Selah's rag doll.

Check out the link here:
Grab a friend and make some for the girls in your life. It's more fun to sew together!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Hi. I'm back. I think I'm ready to give this bloggin' thing another try. I have been mulling over thoughts about what I want this blog to be about. I have been thinking a lot about who I am, the special gifts and talents God has given me, and what I am passionate about. I have decided that I would love for this blog to be a place where I share some of my ideas on all things domestic. I love to craft, sew, bake, cook, etc. and I would love to share some of that with all of you.

It has been nearly a year since I've blogged and a challenging and growing year at that. My desire is to encourage, as Christ has so encouraged me through His Spirit. There are several things the Lord has been teaching me, and working in me this year. One is that I am not a super mom. As a stay-at-home mom I tend to put a lot of pride in what I do and never got a lot of outward recognition for it. But I am learning that it is not what I do that defines me, rather it is who I am in Christ. I never want to seem like I have everything together, because believe me, I do not.

Along with that lesson has come a lot of me letting go of expectations and humbling myself. Realizing I am exactly who God made me to be and He delights in me. Realizing that I am God's workmanship, His poetry, so to speak, and He is writing my beautiful story. Realizing that God is still making me into the wife and mom He has called me to be. Realizing that it's ok if my kids eat cereal for breakfast and hot dogs for dinner, and go to bed in their t-shirts without a bath. Realizing that the most important thing is not busying myself with the tasks in the "kitchen" (Martha), but sitting at His feet in the "living room" (Mary).

That being said I would love to use this blog to share what I am doing that gives me joy! I hope that if you are a mom like me, you will be inspired and encouraged.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another thing I think I'll keep forever

Do your kids make you "treasures" daily? Are your tables and counters constantly covered with pictures, paintings, drawings and glitter glue masterpieces that weigh 2 pounds?

Mine are.

And when no one's looking I throw away about 99% of it. I admit it.

But today, is an exception. Today my 8 year old went off to spend the night with a good buddy. He's spent the night there before, so he's "cool" with it. But when I went into his room later this afternoon, I found a note and four pieces of gum.

The note reads: (spelling errors included for effect)

Dear Mom Dad Anna and Wyatt,
I hop you have fun with Sy (Wyatt's friend who is coming to play tomorrow)
Aneway I just left this note so you won't
mise me. at 8:00 pm call me to say Good
nigte and I will be back tomorow.
love, Will

Yep. I'm thinking I'll keep this one forever.

ps.... Wyatt just wrote him a note back. It reads:

to Will ferum Wyatt B
Dere Will
Thank you for the gum that you gave me
and thank you for the note that you gave me
I rily like it
Love Wyatt

Monday, January 11, 2010


On the last day of 2009 and the first day of 2010 Wyatt lost his two front teeth.
It's pretty much my favorite look on him, so far.
And I can't get enough of him saying his "th's", either.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our December, so far

This fall I was introduced to the idea of a "December Daily" scrapbook. Basically it is a mini scrapbook, in which you pre-decorate 25 pages, each numbered 1-25 to represent the days in December 'til Christmas. On each page you leave room for a picture and/or some journaling about what you did that day. My friend Chantel and I decided to make December Daily albums, and I have been adding my pictures and journaling all month.
One week Wyatt was sick, out of school for 4 days. Toward the end of his sickness both Craig and I got sick. It was interesting finding things to scrapbook about on those sick days, but there was always something. From sitting on the couch watching movies or looking at books, to making a break outside to check on the chickens, some days I scrapbooked pretty insignificant things. But it's some of those little everyday things that often don't make it into the scrapbook, so I think it will still be fun to look back on those things year after year.
Here are a few pictures of the slightly more exciting things that have been taking up our time this December:
Will and Wyatt building with legos in their room. They play this way for a long time. It's so nice.
Popping popcorn! Wyatt then took the time to string it and make a garland for his tree.
Daddy brought home a box of russell stover chocolates he got as a gift and we all took turns taste testing. This was one of those special, funny family times, when I look at the photo I laugh. We had so much fun doing something so simple. And I'm not sure what's up with Wyatt's get-up, or Anna's expression.
Wyatt's gingerbread masterpiece. This was a fun day, Anna and I got to visit his classroom for gingerbread house making day.
Me and my parents on my Birthday, December 17th. They, along with my siblings, came out that morning and took me to breakfast.
Later that day I got to watch Anna's preschool program and do some fun Christmas crafts and activities with her.
Anna was an angel in her first ballet recital, a performance of the Nutcracker at the Elsinore Theatre. This was definitely a highlight for me, this month!
Baking day was Monday. I made Russian Tea Cakes, Molasses Sugar Cookies, Almond Roca, and Marshmallow Cookies. We assembled plate after plateful to deliver to our neighbors and friends. A fun way to spread some Christmas cheer.
We stopped off at the capital building during one of our Salem trips. It is so pretty this time of year.
This one makes me laugh, the pose is totally inspired by Anna, and a lady passing by was laughing, too.
We finished off our day with a ride on the carousal!
So there you have it, just a few little bits and pieces of what we've been up to this month. I have thoroughly enjoyed December, and looking forward to the few days still left!