Thursday, December 29, 2011

Today I've been...

Rearranging furniture. Because sometimes a girl just needs a change of scenery :)
Drinking coffee while reading:

And quilting. More on this project later :)

When I put this all in blog form, it looks like such a peaceful little day! But, in reality, this was all done in the midst of post-Christmas arguing kids, a mess of new toys, one kid chasing the others with his new toy gun, while screaming and running around and around the kitchen/family room/living room/dining room in a circle over and over and over.

Good thing I have some new music to listen to in the midst of all the chaos. Have you heard of Audrey Assad?? I am realllly loving her music!

I dig her glasses. I really need new glasses. I've had the same pair since I was preggie with Kelby. But anyway, I bought her album and love the whole thing. My cousin and I gave each other iTunes gift cards for Christmas--same amount and everything, ha! Kinda funny :)

What have you done today?? Is the end of Christmas break looming for you like it is for me??

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


My friend Jenn and I worked together on Christmas gifts for each of our girls this year (she has two, I have two). Actually, her part was more involved than mine because she made these amazing dolls and I just made the clothes!
Aren't these amazing????  Natalie had spotted this pattern online once while I was browsing and I already had this pattern and had been wanting to make it for Layla for awhile.  My to-do list was so crazy long before Christmas, though, that I knew I wouldn't have time. SO, Jenn said she'd make the dolls if I'd make the clothes for her girls and mine and since I love making cute little doll clothes, I agreed!

Natalie's doll in the Raggedy Ann pattern, but with brown hair to match her own:
And Layla's is this one, although, you'll notice Jenn used the hair idea from the above pattern to add hair to this baby doll so she looks like more of a kid doll. Brilliant!
I'm thinking maybe the pets and some more clothes for birthdays this year would by fun! 

The girls really like these. Natalie said it was her favorite present and they both brought their dolls to church on Sunday. Thanks, Jenn :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Making Merry

Christmas Eve, 6 p.m:

Christmas Day, 3 p.m:
And LOTS of merriment in between :)

Hope your Christmas was as great as ours!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmasy things

There are a few Christmas things I'm enjoying this week! So, I wanted to share a little list :) It might also be because I haven't taken many pictures lately, so this is a way I can post photos from around the web without having to take my own, ha!

First off, my sister got me a gift set of Harney & Sons Christmas teas for my birthday. I LOVE it. My new favorite, by a long shot. I'll miss it when I'm out and jump to buy some when it comes out next Christmas!
You can buy Harney & Sons tea at Barnes and Noble.

Next, this quickly became a daily read after I bought it about a month ago:
Who doesn't love a book you can sing?? Kelby's favorite, he loves it. But, I knew he would because he also loves Ten in the Bed :)

Third, I absolutely must give a shout out to my friend Jennica, of Bow-Crazy Hairbows!!! She makes SO many great things. I can't resist these things. She brought me over my Christmas bow order today. (I stole these photos from the Bow-Crazy Facebook page, which you should visit and like right now!) I got a few of these snowmen, but mine are girls--they have bows :)
And, some Christmas trees:
And...... who could resist these as stocking stuffers for little girls???
Irresistable, I'm tellin' ya.

Oh, and just for Kelby (don't worry, it's not a bow, it's a pin), she made Buzz...
SO CUTE! Send some business her way, okie doke?? You can't go wrong, they're all adorable. By the way, there are plenty of bow-shaped bows and curly cue bows, in all colors and all sizes. I have a huge collection to prove it, ha!

Ok, last but not least, have you heard of the Piano Guys?? They're so much fun to watch and listen to. The kids and I have watched this one over and over lately:


Saturday, December 17, 2011

quick beaded Christmas necklace tutorial

Have you learned by now, that when I say I will post something "tomorrow", I almost always mean to say, "in a day or two"?  Well, now ya know.

My mom very generously bought all of her grandkids Christmas outfits while we were in Washington last week! We found some great things at Crazy 8 and while we were there I saw some pretty cute necklaces that I wanted to try to replicate for my girls. These are them:
So, I bought some beads and got to work. Making the bow and making it look nice and making it stay, however, proved to be more difficult than I expected, so I decided to just use ribbon and do my own thing. I think they turned out pretty cute!
So, here's what you need:

I got a little thing of the string beads at JoAnn for 2.50. It was more than enough for two necklaces and looked like this:

Cut three strands of beads about 36" each. Then, double it over and pinch the ends, making 14 or 15 inch long necklace. It needs to be big enough to fit over the child's head, obviously. Then, take a piece of thread, double it and use it to secure the strands together, like so:

Pretty simple. Trim those thread ends close and then cut some pieces of ribbon, long enough to have some extra to play with. Layer them and lay them under your knot. Put a dot of hot glue on the bottom of the beads to secure them to the ribbon.
Go ahead and tie your bow after this. After I got it how I wanted it, I used the glue gun on a few spots to make sure it stayed put.
Trim your bead ends when you're done. One last step: To keep the strands from getting messy and tangled, pinch the strands at the top of the necklace and wrap a small piece of ribbon around it, hot gluing it in place.
You're done! Enjoy :)

While I was on Crazy 8's site to get the link, I saw this necklace too:
So cute! Maybe I'll try this one next :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

when the mess is just too much ... take pictures of it!

So, it didn't take long after our vacation to get back to frantic reality. Today was pretty relaxing, thankfully, because I refused to let myself believe I needed to go anywhere. I folded laundry, had a friend over, worked on my Christmas list for Casey (Amazon makes this oh, so easy) and made the girls some fun necklaces to match their Christmas dresses.

Yesterday was not so relaxing. I was really letting the mess get to me. There are a few things that snap me out of a foul mood, though! One of them is taking pictures :) So, rather than whine about the mess, I took pictures of it. And, you know what?? Through a camera lens, it looks like quite a happy mess, don't you agree??

When I'm standing in the middle of it, all I can see is the work involved in cleaning it up. But, when I really put it in perspective, these are the messes that make our home a happy one--Natalie has created paintings (and wrapped them) for every family member five times over. Kelby and Layla have been playing together a lot lately (hence, the mess of cars up there) and the laughter is soooo much fun to listen to. And, who doesn't love the mess that comes with making Christmas gifts for little ones?? A happy mess, indeed.

Tomorrow, I'll have a little tutorial for those necklaces I mentioned. Here's a sneak preview:

Alrighty, I'm about to go do some Christmas shopping and then make a huge mess of wrapping paper and ribbon! Gonna be fun :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Home Again!

We spent last week in Washington state with my sister and bro-in-law, their five kiddos and my parents. It was SO much fun and, as it turns out, just what we needed. This was our first major road trip with three kids and it went surprising well. We spent 7 nights in a hotel room and that went well too! But, what makes vacations even better, is that it's always so nice to come home. After a week away, I am re-inspired in so many ways.

I'll have plenty to share in the coming days, but for now, until I get my pictures straightened out and stuff, I'll leave you with this:

Ah, the strange things you see at gas stations in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Wyoming. Does anyone else feel like Wyoming is pretty much ALL the middle of nowhere??? Just me????

Friday, December 2, 2011

When Casey's out of town...

...something always seems to go hilariously wrong. Here's my facebook status from about an hour ago:

So. After unrolling (another) entire roll of TP in the bathroom, Kelby locked the door, closed it behind him and went back to bed. I CANNOT GET IT OPEN! I've removed the doorknob and still can't open it. Then, when I came down to look up more info on how to open a locked door, I went back upstairs to discover him locked in MY room! He was helping himself to my lotion and contact solution. ARGH! I know this will be funny someday. Right!?

I tell ya, this kid takes mischievous to a whole new level! And, in case you're wondering ... the bathroom is still locked and without a doorknob. For once, Google did not give me what I needed, ha! Casey will have to deal with that when he gets back tomorrow--the kids will need baths, after all :)

In other news, I bought this song on iTunes today, after seeing the video:

Annnnd, THIS is my new favorite Christmas post ever. I've noticed an inadvertent eye roll feelings of inadequacy on my part lately when I read other bloggers' fabulous Christmasy crafts/doings/handmade advents/over-the-top cookie-making. And then, someone is willing to show us reality and remind us to embrace ours! Thank you!