Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: My Lil' Shutterbug

Recently Noah has shown an interest in using my camera and taking photos. This is something we want to encourage as a form of art and self expression for Noah so Santa brought him a starter camera - it's one of the Fisher Price digital cameras. It's not a top of the line camera of course but such a great starter camera for him and I don't have to worry about him dropping it!

In the photos below, I'm helping him take pictures on Christmas morning. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It was Merry!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. We did! We were all spoiled and blessed beyond measure. We ended up spending two nights at my parents and it was nice getting to spend extra time with my brother who was home and my parents as well. J got sick on Christmas Day then shared it with me and Noahie but we are all feeling better now. 

I have lots of editing of photos to do and will try and get more posted in the days to come. My time is more limited than usual with both my boys home! 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Christmas Eve!

It's Christmas Eve! The Christmas season has flown by this year but it has been a fun and meaningful one for my little family. I think that I've enjoyed our Christmas tree more this year than any other year and admist the hustle and bustle of our busy life we've managed to squeeze in some fun things like our recent trip to Hollywild Animal Park

Later today we will be traveling to my parents' house as we do every Christmas Eve. We'll attend the Christmas Eve Candle Light service at our church which is one of my favorite things about Christmas. After that we will go back to my parents' house where we have a meal made up of appetizers and finger foods. We will spend the night at my parents' house (Noah thinks if we are not at my parents house Santa won't find him!) I'm sure once my excited "Mr. Christmas" drifts off to dream land he'll be dreaming of Christmas.

So this will be last post before Christmas. I hope each of you have a great Christmas!

I will leave you with one of my favorite Christmas songs, Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lights, Santa, and Animals: Oh My!

On Sunday night we took Noah to a local wildlife park called Hollywild. Each year during the Christmas season, Hollywild hosts a benefit called “the Holiday Lights Safari Benefit.” The blurb on their website sums it up pretty well. 

You drive your own vehicle through nearly 100 acres magically decorated with millions of twinkling lights, dazzling holiday themes, light sculptures, a life-sized Nativity, plus HERDS OF LIVE ANIMALS and much more. 

We had never been to Hollywild at Christmas time and it was an experience that we won’t soon forget. 

Noah had a blast and I was so impressed with his behavior! We had to wait in line (in our car) for about twenty minutes while we slowly crept forward to the entrance. He waited pretty paitently. Once finally inside the park, we noticed other people re-arranging where their children were sitting in their vehicles. Many people in SUVs were leaving the back open and putting their children in the back. This wasn’t a good option for Noah so we quickly decided to let him sit in the front with me so that he could see better and we could see his reactions. We later realized this was a very wise idea; I don’t think he would have enjoyed things nearly as much as he did if we hadn’t. 

While the lights were nice, the “forest” where the animals roam free was our favorite part. It was SO cool. We saw a zebra, an ostrich, tons of deer, and more!  Before entering the “forest” we bought some animal food (which was just broken up bread) and were able to feed the animals right from the car. Noah absolutely loved this! 

There was also a huge ox amongst the roaming animals. He decided to come pretty close and I got scared and quickly rolled up the window. That ox was seriously like an inch away from the window and he was nearly as big as our vehicle! Noah thought this (me being scared and rolling up the window quickly) was hilarious! 

After going through the forest twice, we headed to “Santa’s Village” where there are more animals, baby animals to be exact that you can pet and feed. You can also see Santa. We didn’t spend too much time in Santa’s Village as Noah was getting pretty tired at this point and it was pretty cold. We did stay long enough to get a picture with Santa and check out some more deer. 

Hollywild was just an awesome family experience and is something we will probably make a new family tradition for as long as Noah wants to go.

On the way to Hollywild -
Noah's shirt says, "Caution, I break for reindeer."

I loved the whale made of lights - reminded me of Jonah.

Deer roaming around the "forest"

Noah checks out a deer.

Noah and Santa

Monday, December 21, 2009

O Christmas Tree

Over the past few years, we’ve had “themed” Christmas trees. I’ve done different themes like a “snowy” theme with all snowmen and snowflakes or an angel theme with all angels and stars; that sort of thing.

I really didn’t have a theme in mind this year. I just figured I’d start and see where I went. As I started going through the boxes of ornaments, I felt like I was greeting old friends. I picked up a snowman framed ornament that held a picture of J and I on our wedding day that marked our first Christmas as husband and wife.  Then I came up on an ornament that Noah made in school. Next, I picked up an angel ornament my Mom bought me at the beach right after we lost Darcy that is made of seashells.  Then I came across an ornament that my BFF gave me. Way at the bottom of the box was a handful of candy cane beaded ornaments that I made when I was about twelve.

And then I realized that this year’s tree would be a “memory” theme. Each ornament that is on our tree holds a memory or was given to us by a close friend or family member. Well, except for the ball ornaments and I just basically used those as fillers because I like them. 

While Martha Stewart might not approve of my tree, I love it. After Noah’s in bed, I’ve spent many nights since the tree has been up sitting downstairs with the tree lights on watching Christmas movies/specials while sipping hot tea or hot chocolate. When I look at that tree I feel wrapped in love from all the memories I see.  And isn’t the gift of love exactly what the holiday season is all about?!?

Quote of the Week: Christmas in his Heart

"He who has not Christmas in his heart, will not find it under a tree." 

~ Roy L. Smith

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Dreaming of Christmas

Mr. Christmas (aka Noah) dreaming of Christmas!
This picture instantly makes me think of a few lines from 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.....

"The Children were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads." 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tutorial: Initial Ornaments

 Recently I posted a picture of these initial ornaments I made in a forum and had a request for a how to, so here ya go!

These little ornaments are easy to make and look great on a tree or tied onto a package. You could also make them un-Christmasy (is that a word?!?) and then they could be used through out the year. I have an S that hangs on my desk all the time. 

What you’ll need: 

  • Letter(s) of your choice (I buy my letters at Hobby Lobby and they come two of the same letter to a package for 99 cents.)
  • Adhesive of your choice (such as scrapbooking adhesive, glue stick, Mod Podge, etc)
  • Scrapbooking paper
  • Coordinating ribbon
  • Embellishments (stickers, flowers, rhinestones, etc.) 
  • Sanding block (or nail file will work)

What to Do:

1. Trace your letter on to the back side of the scrapbooking paper and cut it out. If you don't cut it out perfectly that's ok as we will fix that in another step.

2. Adhere your paper to the front side of the letter using your chosen adhesive. 
3. Sand the edges just a little bit using the sanding block. You could probably skip this step if you cut perfectly but I think the sanding cleans up the edges and gives it a more finished look. Be sure to sand down, away from the paper or you will rip the paper. It won’t need much sanding at all. (I don’t know why but I really enjoy sanding. It’s stress relieving to me!)
4. Now, glue some coordinating ribbon to the back of the letter to make a hanger. 

5. Now, the fun part! Embellishing! Embellish all you want on the front of the letter. Add more ribbon, add some glitter, add some rhinestones, flowers, buttons, etc. 

And you’re finished!

Here's a few more examples.....

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Quote of the Week: The Size of your Tree

"Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall."
~ Larry Wilde 

Friday, December 11, 2009

Charlie's School Christmas Play

On Monday I went to Charlie's school with him, his Mom, and his sister to watch his 2nd grade Christmas Play.

Charlie was so excited about the play and kept saying "it's my FIRST play." My favorite part was when he talking about how his teacher was saying that each child is a star in the play and he busts out with "Mo-i is the star of the show." 

(That's Moi said in 2 syllables - funny!)

The play was titled "Elfis (yep, like Elvis) and the Sleigh Riders." The whole thing was like a 50/60's feel complete with dancing and music from that time just made Christmasy. The girls wore poodle skirts but instead of donning poodles on the skirts, each skirt had an appliqu├ęd reindeer. It was really cute. 

Charlie was an elf and had a lot of lines (at least it seemed like a lot of lines for a second grader to me!) and he did great. At the very end, he bowed. He was the ONLY child who bowed. It was adorable. 

Waving Hi to me and his Mom in the 2nd row

Hamming it up "on set" after the show

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Noah and the Tree that Grew in the Living Room

When Noah went to school yesterday the living room was empty, when he got home from school he discovered a tree had grown in the living room. 

Noah (aka Mr. Christmas) is very excited about the tree!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Craft Show Recap and Photos

Saturday my Mom and I each had tables in our church's annual women's Christmas craft show and brunch.We did great and sold lots! I really didn't want to have to lug all that stuff back home and I was so excited when I was able to condense what was left into one laundry basket!  

I thought I'd share pics of some of the goodies I made and a few shots of our tables. 

Oven mitts with whisks filled with Hershey kisses and tags
I made that say "We Whisk you a Merry Christmas!"
(sold out of these)

Gift sets that contain a small notebook, bookmark, and pen

Post It Note Holders

Snowman Soup
(sold out of these)

Scripture Survival Kits
(sold out of these

Treat Boxes that contain candy canes
(sold out of these)

Boxes for teachers that contain Hershey Kisses and Hugs

(sold out of these)

Snowbars and Santa bars (not pictured)
(Only had 1 of these left)

And of course, I had other many other things I didn't get photos of like frames, bookmarks, and journals just to name a few!

My table

Mom's Table had lots and lots and lots of blankets..........

and scarves that went like hotcakes!

And here we are - My Mom and I.
(I heart this photo.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Heart Faces: Tooshies Week

I'm participating in another I Heart Faces Photo Challenge. This week's theme is We Heart Tooshies. Here's a cute fairy tooshie. 

Check out lots more tooshies at I Heart Faces

Tutorial: Snow Bars!

I LOVE all things snowmen related and I LOVE these little "snowbars" as I call them. I originally saw this idea a couple of years back on a crafting blog but I can't remember the original blog. Since then, I've seen them a couple of times done different ways and this is my take on them. They are fun and easy to make a lot of in a short amount of time and make great little stocking stuffers or gifts for co-workers, teachers, neighbors, etc....

Ok, here we go!

To make these little snow gals and guys you are going to need:
Candy bars (I used Hershey Bars in this tutorial but use what ya like!)
White paper (I use a low quality photo paper I get at the Dollar Store that comes 12 sheets to a package and I can get 2 bars out of one sheet but use whatever kind of paper, I just like the shininess of the photo paper for this project.)
Baby socks
Embellishments such as rhinestones, little snowflakes, etc...
Black and Orange Marker

What You are Gonna Do:
Step 1: Tape down the ends of the candy bars. If you are making a lot of these at one times it's easier to just tape them all down at the same time. Trust me. ;)
Step 2: Using your candy bar as a guide, cut the paper to fit. Once you do one, you'll have the measurements for all the bars you are going to make and cut them accordingly. I don't score them or anything as it looks a lot better if you just fold the paper softly around the candy bar versus scoring and folding.
Step 3: Fold and glue down the paper to the candy bar. I use a glue stick but use whatever type of adhesive floats your boat.
Now comes the fun part - decorating your snow bar!

Step 4: Cut one of your baby socks right at the ankle of the sock and then place it on one end of the candy bar so that it becomes the hat and tie off the end of the hat using a piece of ribbon.

Step 5: Draw on the eyes and a mouth using your black marker and draw on an orange carrot nose using your orange marker.
Step 6: Glue on some buttons and then if you like glue on an embellishment to your snow bar's ribbon. Sometimes I glue on a star shaped rhinestone or a little snowflake.
Step 7: Line up your snow bars and look at how cute they turned out!



Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quote of the Week: Hope

“Hope is the thing with feathers,
That perches on the soul
And sings the tune with the words, 
And never stops at all.” 
~ Emily Dickinson 

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey on Turkey Day

I intended to post yesterday, on Thanksgiving, but obviously that didn't happen. I hope all of you had a good Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for, don't we?!? 

Although I did make it to my parents' house, I spent almost the entire time I was there in the bed in my old room sick with the flu that Noah so lovingly shared. There's something about being at your childhood house when you are sick that just automatically makes you feel a little better I think. I had a pretty rough day yesterday but am feeling a tad better this morning. 

There is one more thing to be thankful for that I'm adding to my pile of things that I'm already thankful for that I must share...... (Drum roll please!)

(Yes, it was in the form of a sandwich, but who cares!) 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BFF's Wedding

Over the weekend, my BFF got married. I was her Maid of Honor. I'd never been a MOH before and really enjoyed it although I don't I want to be a MOH again! Lani's wedding was beautiful and there are so many moments that I hope remain etched into my mind for years and years to come.

Below are a few of my favorite pictures from the wedding......

Lani and I before the wedding

The bridesmaids doing "the Charlie's angels" pose.
Mr. and Mrs. Wood

My BFF and I with our hubbys

The only bad thing about being in a wedding (for me personally) is not being able to take pics. I tried but it's really not feasible to be the MOH and take photos when you are supposed to be in them! I did get a few good shots in before the wedding. This is my favorite - classic bride.