Monday, December 31, 2012

no words

I figure its about time to post about our Christmas. Tomorrow is the first day of the new year after all! But I've been avoiding writing about our last week...for the reason that there just aren't words.

There are no words to describe how incredibly humbling and wonderful Christmas was for our little family this year. All I can say is that I felt love from Heavenly Father and His Son often and very strong.

We were blessed to be around family members who understand all that we are going through and who love and support us through it ALL. We were blessed to see our kid's faces light up each day preceding Christmas and each day after when we thought that they would have no surprises under the tree this year. We were blessed to come home to loving ward members who are truly our second family. We felt the Christmas spirit abundantly, saw beautiful Christmas lights by the thousands, witnessed a snowy white Christmas Eve, and partook in the spirit of giving to others.

About halfway through the month of December, I stopped looking at pinterest and creating Christmas crafts. I stopped trying to make up cute family traditions and feeling obligated to do all the Christmas-y festivities. I stopped making lists of presents I wished for my children and husband. I wanted only to focus on my Savior- God's gift to the world. And I just wanted to be with my children and watch them soak in the joys of the season. Baby Charlotte is growing so fast and I can't miss a day...she'll be 1 year so soon. And our sweet boy and his 2 year old "Talmage-isms" won't last forever. I just wanted to embrace each day I'm blessed with and hold onto these memories forever.

This year, my only "resolution" is to live each day with my family in happiness. No matter what the world throws at us, we will always love each other and heal one anothers' wounds with that love. The bitterness and the pain surrounding us will not make us hard, but soft. We will come out of our trials, one by one, upholding our values and holding onto what we know.

I love my family.

There are not enough words.

Friday, December 21, 2012

flannel series- cozy corn warmers

I finished another flannel project a few days ago, but things have been so busy lately I forgot to blog about it!

The reason I post about these kinds of things is really for others to be inspired. I am not a self professed "lifestyle blogger" or anything close to that. But when I make things I think, "that was pretty easy! maybe someone else would want to make this!"

And with Christmas just days away, this is simple last-minute gift that is still thoughtful because it's homemade (and perfect for winter!)

Cozy Corn Warmer:

Not to warm the corn, but bags made of flannel filled with corn- just to be clear :)

I used corn instead of rice for a few reasons. First of all, this is FEED CORN which does not pop- that is important unless you want to nuzzle your feet into a bag filled with popcorn. Someone told me it would smell like popcorn, but I haven't noticed any smell at all. I have some rice bags too and they DO smell when heated up. It's kind of a weird scent.
Also, feed corn stays warm for a significantly longer time than rice, and I like the texture better than all the tiny rice granules.
You can find feed corn at your local farm supply shop. It is cheap but you usually get in bulk. I had Jonathan pick some up for me when he was in Idaho. He filled a couple of gallon bags of it for me and gave the rest for his dad to use to feed his turkeys :)

I used this tutorial, referred to me by my friend Rachel G! Thanks Rachel!

The inside is minky, so its super soft & snuggly for your toesies. After I made these and put them in the microwave, I realized that the minky fabric sweats a little because it is not a natural fiber like cotton or flannel. If I made these again I might not use the minky for that reason, but at the same time there is NOTHING softer than that stuff!

Use a funnel to fill the bag half way full of corn before sewing the last little edge up.

 I made two- one for my feet and one for Jonathan's. I just love flannel on his- those sheep are so sweet! My aunt puts these bags in each of her kid's beds during the winter months to warm up the sheets. They are also nice for the hubs after he has a long hard day at work on his feet. This was mainly my intention, because J is trotting around all day delivering packages for UPS. His feet always hurt when he gets home poor guy....

I made some other corn bags that are great for achy or sore joints. These also come in handy during that time of month when I'm really crampy- I'm sure you know what I mean ;) You can also freeze them and use as ice packs.

So really, all you need for these is some flannel and corn. That's it. The minky is optional and not all that necessary.

I am SO excited for my next flannel project! It's a biggie, but it will take a long time to complete. Definitely a couple week's worth of naptimes...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

double digits :)

Charlotte is 10 months old! Whoa. That's awfully close to a year....(am I ready for that?!)

Our girly at 10 months ...

~crawls super speedy fast, especially if she sees something she wants her chubby little hands on. 
~stands up and take one or two baby steps. I'm both excited and scared for her to start walking, since I know very well what that means.
~gives kisses and high-fives :D
~claps her hands when she is happy!
~eats just about everything, thanks to her brother sneaking her treats behind my back...
~gurgles her spit. ALL THE TIME. It is weird and strangely adorable.
~has much more hair coming in, and I've counted TWO curls so far. that's right folks, she'll have curly hair just like Talmage did! (he had beautiful blonde ringlets until I decided to get his hair cut. such a sad day...)
~has 6 teeth- four on top & two on bottom
~has the cutest little tushy ever. It is so petite and flat. HA. not like my tushy at all.
~prefers banana flavored things
~talks a lot: ma-ma da-da ga-ga and my favorite- ba-ba for bottle :]
~favorite places are: in the big bathroom where everything echoes, next to dishwasher or washing machine or dryer when they are on, rolling on the floor with cheerios all around her. Its like swimming in money.
~loves all toys, but especially little cars and trucks.
~takes one 3 hour long nap during the day (same time as Talmage's nap, thank goodness!) then sleeps at night from 9 pm-7:30 am. She has just recently stopped waking up at 4 or 5 am for a bottle....those mornings were not pleasant.
~loves chewing on apples with her bro. It's their favorite thing to do together :]

We love our little lass! Happy 10 months!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

flannel series- sew much fun!

Over Thanksgiving my mother and in law asked me if I wanted to go with her to Joanns. I had skipped the "staying up all night and getting things on sale" madness the night before (Black Friday), but Joanns had their morning sales for the days following.

I was skeptical about being in the middle of the fabric store sale chaos...I had heard stories of how insane it is. Since I couldn't afford to buy stuff, I agreed to go to keep her company. Fabric is something we both LOVE to obsess over- it's kinda fun to have that in common with her :]

Well let me tell you- Joanns is the BEST place to be for Black Friday sales. Everyone there (the customers and the staff) was SO nice and patient. Yes there were a million people there and it was impossible to move down an isle with a cart, but nobody- seriously not one person- was mean.  As we walked into the store I heard one lady say "This is the one place where you don't get pushed over for wanting something!"

My MIL Michelle was grabbing flannel left and right and handing it to me, while I stood there motionless in awe of it all. Flannel was the big thing on sale- 75% off! So everyone was hoarding as much of it in their carts as possible- some with 2 even 3 carts full. I kept thinking "what on earth do you DO with flannel anyway?" But I love the stuff- its so soft and comes in so many cute prints.

Well she kept asking me "do you like this?" and "what about this one?" and before I knew it we had a ton of flannel. And like I said, the niceness of everyone was almost absurd. I saw a cute pink owl print that I liked, but there was none left. Michelle said, "No problem! I'll just go ask so-and-so for some when they are done- she's my visiting teacher!" (It was a small town). At one point a woman came up to me and said, "Here do you want this? I think it will go nicely with that one you've got there." Oh, and the numbered tickets. Everyone getting fabric cut has to grab a ticket, but since people were abandoning their tickets there was a lot of "Do you want my number? It will get you to the counter faster!" Amazing.
Anyway, we had lots of flannel. She got all of it for me. I was so surprised and grateful because it meant more projects to keep me busy. As busy as the kids keep me, I like to have an outlet. Sewing and crafts are my outlets.

So. When I got home I looked all over Pinterest for inspiration. I also turned to my Facebook pals and they gave me some fabulous ideas. I have MANY projects ahead of me! Yay!

I started off making these flannel pj's because we are having Christmas with just ourselves this year, and I want to start a tradition of unwrapping pj's on Christmas Eve. I made some penguin pants for Christmas and some dino ones just for fun :] This tutorial was simple and easy- no measuring required (just the way I like it!)

There is a slit in the scarf for the other end to pull through- this way it stays on his neck!
 For the drawstring I used a shoelace because I didn't have any elastic on hand. It worked fine but is a little long and T likes pulling on the strings. oops :]

I've also finished some more ties that I have had cut out for forever.  These are slightly longer and wider than my first batch of ties that you can see here. I liked the "skinny" tie look but Talmage has grown freakishly bigger over the last few months and they were getting just a little short. So this time I just drew out my own tie pattern to the size I wanted- and they turned out pretty good!. I really love the fabrics I used this time.

This boy certainly has a lot of ties to last him awhile. Pretty sure his dad doesn't even have this many...

and just for giggles...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas shoot

I wasn't sure when I'd get around to taking these Oregon it just rains and rains and bright sunlight doesn't come around too often. I am not an experienced photographer that can take good pictures without natural light (although I'd like to learn how!)

On Sunday I was home with our two sick children and Jonathan was away at church. It was one of those really chaotic mornings. The kids were covered in their breakfast and their toys were everywhere. They were both miserable and crying and I could barely hear myself think. When this happens, the best thing to do for everyone's sanity is stick them in the tub. They both LOVE being in the tub. And not only were they happier, but cleaner!

As I was picking up the toys and things, I notice tiny blue patches in the sky. The patches got bigger, and I thought "Yes! I'm doing it today!" So I quickly get them scrubbed, rinsed, dried, and dressed. Yes, they were sick and had snotty faces... yes, they both needed a nap... but I knew the sunlight wouldn't last long. As I began taking pictures, the sun BURST out of nowhere and there was about 30 minutes of perfect light shining through our big screen window. It was glorious. A true Christmas miracle :)

I still can't believe that these turned out given the circumstances- two sick, grumpy, and tired kids and their mommy trying to capture the slightest happy moment. I just let them do their thing and clicked the camera, with a few prompts like "kiss her!" (for Talmage) and "booga-booga-BOO!" (for Charlotte). I'm sure I looked ridiculous but hey, it worked. 

Here are a "few" of my favorites...







Thursday, November 29, 2012

hot glue fix

Sometimes I get an urge to use my glue gun. And I think up projects that involve me gluing something. Because- let's face it- hot glue just has that magical therapeutic property.

The good news was that two of my Christmas projects involved LOTS and LOTS of glue. Now, in order to do a lot of gluing I have to wait until both children are sound asleep. If not, Charlotte would surely pick up the glue gun in the millisecond that I'm not looking and do something horrific like put it in her mouth, and Talmage would constantly be watching me with his face real close to the end of the glue gun, pulling away all the tiny strings and playing with them. So-I awaited their naps. I had about a two hour window from the time their heads hit the pillows so I began gluing like a maniac!

First project: Ruffled Burlap & Linen Tree Skirt

I wish I could say I came up with this myself, but actually this tutorial is all over Pinterest. There were lots of different combinations but I liked the softness of the linen and its contrast with the rugged burlap. 

I just LOVE all the ruffles! They make the tree look so much nicer...kinda like ruffly snow cascading down its trunk. 

By the way, we chopped down this tree when we were in Idaho for Thanksgiving. Yes! A REAL tree! For one we have never had a full-sized tree before, and now not only is it HUGE but it smells good too! Best part, and don't judge me- it's needles are prickly so the kids don't mess with it. yessss.....

Did you notice the stockings hung with care? ha ha. Someday I will have a pretty fireplace to hang stockings on. For now I will use nails!

Second project: Paper Loop Trees

These were really fun! I got the cones on sale from the craft store, cut paper strips, and glued them on. They look very Christmas-y on my DIY dollar store trays.

I made some others with silver glittery paper. They make a nice backdrop for my Precious Moments nativity :]

So, needless to say, my fingers were slightly hurting after all that gluing. But it was worth it :)