Category: Uncategorized

Jan 10

Project No. 5 – Owen’s Snowman Party

Last month, my baby turned one. Sit and cry about the passing of the last year? Or smile and celebrate the triumph of it? Maybe some of both. We have had an awesome year with Owen with some really great parenting milestones worth celebrating. We got Graham out of diapers and are counting the days until we can train Owen. Really looking forward to the milestone of not having to take a diaper bag with us everywhere we go. I threw out my nursing bras and said good riddance to the pump. And we finally stopped storing all the baby clothes. Once Owen outgrows it, it’s out the door!

Don’t get me wrong. I am very sad that he is growing up. His independence is everywhere these days. He walks. He talks. He makes sure we know what he wants. But he still loves to cuddle. And he still enjoys a bottle. Still my sweet little baby.

On to the party:

With a December for his birthday month, I went with a snowman themed party. We baptized him the same day we celebrated his birthday and had one big party to commemorate. I made a triple-layer cake and frosted it white to make a snowman head. The nose is made from a sugar ice cream cone and covered in orange frosting. The eyes and mouth are just chocolate that I shaped out on wax paper and let cool before adding.

We ordered cookies from a lady from our church and she did an awesome job as usual. (If you want her contact info, just let me know.) I loved the sweet little mittens and stocking hats. Another treat we made were chocolate dipped marshmallows. They were fun and the kids loved them! My two older kids even did the dipping for me. They went perfect with the pot of hot chocolate we had at the party.

Owen got all dressed up for his party and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Not much cuter than a little boy in a suit. His outfit even had a pocket hankie that matched his neck tie. So handsome.

His baptism was beautiful. I am definitely a bit weepy that it will be our last baptism. The vows and song we sing to him are so true and precious to me.

Happy 1st birthday to my sweet baby.

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Dec 31

Project No. 3 + 4

Merry Christmas everybody! We aren’t quite done with the holiday here, but we have been enjoying all the giving, eating and family time so far. I have a couple of handmade gifts to share:

For my mother-in-law, we already had her gift, but I was trying to come up with something to make here that would be personal and inexpensive. When I ran across this Polaroid magnet idea on Pinterest, it seemed perfect. My MIL has 10 grandkids so I swiped pictures of them off Facebook and got to work. I followed the tutorial and was only sorta happy with them. The chipboard that the photo was glued to soaked up all the white paint from the paint pen. And after my kids played with them a little, they were scratched and dog-earred. I went ahead and gave them to her, but wasn’t especially proud. However – they really did entertain my kids! They loved scooting them around on the fridge – arranging by age, gender family, etc.

We draw kid’s names on my hubby’s side of the family – there are 10 kids. One of my nephews we drew is 9 years old and an avid competitive swimmer. I found a good Michael Phelps quote online and turned it into some graphic art for him. Don’t worry, we still gave him a toy with it. I’m not the lames aunt ever!

When we were at my in-laws in Clay Center, there was snow on the ground!! It was my kids’ first snow experience of the season. Lilah loved making snow angels and drew faces and halos on them. Graham threw the first snowball and even screamed “Snowball fight!!!!”. Where did he learn that?!?!

One of my favorite gifts the kids got was the Little People nativity set. After they opened it, Graham shouted “this is just what I wanted!! Awesome!” and then they all three sat down and played with it for a good 15 minutes – which if forever in the attention span of a two-year-old, right?

Hope you all are having a great holiday! The hubs has been off work all week so we have had lots of family time here. We took the kids to see “Puss In Boots” tonight and it was a hit. I found myself giggling a lot and the two older kids made it threw the whole thing. Tomorrow we are celebrating the New Year and then Christmas with my family on Sunday. Cheers!


Oct 19

30 years. 30 projects.

Next July, I am turning 30. Gasp! Pretty sure that after you turn 30, you can’t trick your kids into believing you are 23 anymore. I guess I’ll have to come up with a more appropriate fake age to tell them.

In honor of this upcoming milestone birthday, I have a new mission for the rest of my 29th year. I am going to complete 30 projects. Crafting, sewing, any kind of making – there will be no restrictions. Any craftiness counts. Lately, I feel like I have lost touch with my creative side and blame my lack of energy and time. Thus, I am making a pledge to find more time in my life just for me to do the fun projects I love.

I have started my first one – a quilt. It’s still in very early stages, but I am super excited to see it come together. I am following this tutorial and was inspired by several of the chevron quilts I have come across on PInterest. I am using mostly white and cream fabrics with splashes of color. To squeeze in time to work on it, I have been sneaking to my sewing room in between loads of laundry, filling milk cups, putting together puzzles and my freelance work.

I do not forsee each of the 30 projects to be so involved as a quilt is. Gotta be realistic – it’s already November!

And here are a couple recent shots of the kids.

These two are best friends and worst enemies. They are sad when the other is gone, yet bicker frequently in between BFF moments when they are together. My favorite is when I hear one of them say “Hey, I have an idea….” and then they run off together.

And this little guy is melting my heart more and more all the time. I am so happy for all the new things he can do – but at the same time sad that he is leaving his sweet baby self behind. He recently learned to crawl on his hands and knees instead of the army crawl he did for months. He works hard to keep up with the older kids and LOVES to wrestle with them. He lights up when Daddy comes in the room and still isn’t scared of strangers – he loves anybody who talks to him.

I will be back soon with an update on my quilt progress!

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Jan 26

Graham’s room.

When I was pregnant, we had the task of determining where to put our kids with the addition of the new baby. We contemplated putting the baby in with one of the older kids, moving the older kids in together or moving our oldest downstairs to her own room. In the end, we decided to keep them all separate by moving Lilah into what was once our guest/toy room downstairs.

This meant that we moved Graham into Lilah’s old room (keeping the nursery for the pending baby). Not only was it decorated for a girl, it was DISGUSTING. The walls were beyond nasty. The first thing we did was paint it and it immediately felt beautiful. The wall color didn’t change that much, we just painted it a little bit warmer gray.

We didn’t have to buy any furniture, thankfully. We are borrowing the crib from family, and we weren’t moving the dresser and play table to Lilah’s new room. The super cool “G” toy box was built by my incredibly talented brother last year for Graham’s birthday. We love it because there is no hinged lid to come crashing up and down. The two doors slide back and forth perfectly.

The license plates belonged to Brady’s grandfather and had been stashed in our garage for years. I was happy to use them – and surprised to find four that matched the colors in the room!

The growth chart was made by Graham’s aunt Casi – it was also a gift last year for his birthday. Don’t we have the most talented family??

I painted/collaged these canvases a while back for the kids’ toy room. They are modeled after these prints. The two globes were auction finds and just needed a coat of paint – they had gold hardware on them before.

And I made the “Oh, the places you’ll go” sign. I have always loved that Dr. Seuss book and with the globes below, it just made sense. You can’t tell it in these photos, but I used sheets of lined notebook paper to make the letters – they are decoupaged on. We had this huge canvas hanging in our garage that was from Brady’s college days. He and his college roommates had it hanging at their house and whenever they had a party, guest would sign it. See below for the before. You might notice my name in big red marker in the middle – that is from our early dating days :)

And the little guy has loved his room. Of course, it is always WAY messier than this. He is really into trains now, so there is constantly a layer of little train cars and tracks covering the floor. It’s a dangerous place to walk.

And we are happy with the way that we separated our kids. Lilah has been sleeping great downstairs and surprisingly, has never once questioned being so far away from us. I guess she’s too little to realize it. I’m just glad that the two older ones are sleeping all night, cause this baby boy is not!


Oct 04

Best chocolate chip cookies ever.

cookies1Whenever I make these cookies, somebody always requests the recipe. In my opinion (and I have done a lot of research), these are the best chocolate chip cookies around. So good, in fact, that I sorta want to selfishly hoard the recipe for myself so I can continue to get all those compliments! But, alas, I know better than that and have decided to share. After all, the recipe was given to me in the first place. So it’s not even mine to hoard.

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

2 eggs
2/3 c. shortening
2/3 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
Mix together.

1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
3 1/2 c. flour
Mix together.

Combine two mixtures and add 16 oz. bag of chocolate chips. Spoon heaping tablespoonful onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 13 minutes. Makes about 30 big cookies.

Go ahead, try it. You will not be disappointed. Or hungry, after you eat the first dozen that come from the oven.

Wait! Don’t waste time writing this down! Download and print the recipe card!


And, speaking of sharing, how cute are these two?

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