Monday, November 30, 2009

Advent Activities

I decided (because we don't need a reason to eat sweets in this house) to go with an all activities advent calendar, so just in case you're curious, or want some ideas for what to do, here's what we're up to this month:

  1. Watch "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown" with Dad.
  2. Read Christmas books
  3. Make a Handprint Christmas Tree
  4. Rae's birthday
  5. Attend a Nativity/Music event at Church
  6. Phineas & Ferb Holiday Special.
  7. Choir concert at the high school where WBH teaches
  8. Make Ornaments
  9. Make Soap Snowmen
  10. Decorate for Church Party
  11. Church Party
  12. Imagination Movers Concert
  13. Set up our Nativity while reading the Christmas Story - have Stinky unwrap each piece as we go
  14. Make Treats
  15. Caroling with the youth at church
  16. Deliver Treats to Daddy's Work for secretaries and principals.
  17. To Be Determined - probably something hands-on.
  18. Preschool Christmas Party
  19. Take Treats to the Firestation and Library (they share a building around here).
  20. Drive around and look at lights
  21. Watch Polar Express
  22. Stinky's Birthday! - Special Breakfast in the works for him that day.
  23. Make bird feeders and read The Animal's Christmas Carol. Try not to cry (whoops, that's just for Rae!)
  24. Christmas Eve Dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

I Made it Monday: Advent Garland

A friend posted a link to a really cute Garnet Hill advent garland with crocheted mittens and hats. It's really adorable, but a little out of my budget this Christmas. I decided to make my own, and I think it's really cute. Would you like a tutorial? I wish the pictures were better, but we're not getting a lot of good natural light right now.

Okay, here's the part I forgot to take pictures for: Choose 4-5 fat quarters of Christmas fabric. Or one, or 24, whatever you like. I used 5. Cut a 6 by 22 inch strip off the top of each and iron on some interfacing. Find a mitten template on Google images (I used this one) and trace it onto the interfacing. Cut out all 24 mittens.

Run a stay stitch along the top of each mitten- because it will get some wear and tear from pulling things out of the mitten, this will help protect it. Chain stitching is fun, and saves time and thread. If you don't want to use it as an advent calendar, you can skip this step and sew around the top of the mittens when you machine sew it.

Pin each mitten to a coordinating felt.

Machine sew around the edges. I reccomend starting at the thumbs. A straight stitch will give you a raw edge, which I like, but if you zigzag around it, that would work, too.

Cut them out, hang a ribbon and use clothespins to hang them. I love how it turned out.
I've tucked a slip of paper in each, prompting a Christmas activity for the day. You can see that list here

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Inspiration: A bonus, since this one knocked me in the head today.

"God expects you to have enough faith and determination and enough trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing. In fact, He expects you not simply to face the future (that sounds pretty grim and stoic); He expects you to embrace and shape the future - to love it and rejoice in it and delight in your opportunities. God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers, and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can't if you don't pray, and He can't if you don't dream. In short, He can't if you don't believe."

Jeffrey R. Holland

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sunday Inspiration

"This is a glorious time of the year, simple in origin, deep in meaning, beautiful in tradition and custom, rich in memories, and charitable in spirit. It has an attraction to which our hearts are readily drawn. This joyful season brings to each of us a measure of happiness that corresponds to the degree in which we have turned our mind, feelings, and actions to the spirit of Christmas."

Thomas S. Monson

Friday, November 27, 2009

Week of Thanksgiving

There are so many things I'm grateful for that this blog could consist of just them. To name just a few more:

Family far and near, but especially I'm grateful to have all of Stinky's grandparents near. Thanksgiving where all we have to bring is Tupperware. My mother's dinner rolls. My Mother in Law's cheese and spinach dish. Company coming- both having the friends, and the motivation to clean their visits lead to. WBH doing much of that cleaning while I got to sleep in (Thanks, honey!). Working with the Young Women at church. Modern medicine. The icicle lights that WBH hung on our home. Stinky's Preschool. Craft stores. A beautiful sunny day in which to get a Christmas Tree. That the day after Thanksgiving means it's okay to play Christmas music in our home. My first Black Friday morning spent sleeping in a long time.

I hope you're surviving Black Friday, however you spend it!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Week of Thanksgiving

I'm so grateful for our home. It makes a difference knowing it's ours, that each month we are one-third of one percent closer to really owning it (here's to one percent!). We tried 3 times to begin the home-buying process before this, and each time we were that much closer, but still not there. It wasn't a smooth process, and there's a lot of work still to be done, but we love it. We love calling it home.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Week of Thanksgiving

Please forgive the picture quality- camera batteries are dead, and these are all from my cell.

How could I not be grateful for Stinky? He brings so much joy to our home. Lately, he loves dinosaurs, preschool, kisses, and singing "Suddenly Seymour" from Little Shop of Horrors.* We almost have Jingle Bells down and are working very hard on Silent Night.

And doing little things to make me laugh. Almost all day.

Hey, did you know it's National Tie One On Day? And by 'one,' they mean apron. I made this one for Carrie, my friend that I work with at church. I guess this is the apron of the month! It's based (very loosely) on the Mango Tango pattern from A is for Aprons. Hey, do you like my messy kitchen?

*We visited the drama classroom today with WBH, where the incredibly lifelike Audrey 2 puppet from both productions we've seen lives. He listens to the music, sings songs from the show, and has cast himself, the dog, and me in roles when we play. Yet seeing the plant that close to him, he literally trembled with fear. We felt a little bad.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

(picture taken last winter)

I tend to gush about WBH a lot, but he earns the pseudonym every day. Even after a long day at work, yesterday he came home and cleaned up, then went out in the cold and rain to get his grumpy, gimpy wife the soda she was so desiring. His thoughtfulness amazes me - little things like notes in the snow and compliments out of the blue. He's such a great dad, I don't know that much makes me happier than watching him with Stinky. He's been so good to me- I am just the luckiest lady on earth!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Week of Thanksgiving

Resurrecting last year's week of Thanksgiving, I'd like to start by saying thank you for the kind and encouraging words on last week's post. Perspective can be a difficult thing to maintain, but knowing people care helps so much.

Also, I am so grateful for the laughter in our home, because there's a lot to laugh at with goofballs like us.
Even NoNuts gets into the act.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Inspiration: Gratitude

Gratitude is a Spirit‑filled principle. It opens our minds to a universe permeated with the richness of a living God. Through it, we become spiritually aware of the wonder of the smallest things, which gladden our hearts with their messages of God's love. This grateful awareness heightens our sensitivity to divine direction. When we communicate gratitude, we can be filled with the Spirit and connected to those around us and the Lord. Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence."

Bonnie D. Parkin

Thursday, November 19, 2009

broken things to heal.

My body isn't responding to the fertility drugs as well as it did last time. A few years ago, we hit the mark on the first and lowest dosage and two months later I was pregnant. This time around, we got nothing. Before we got that news, I had been feeling confident. The test results really shook me for a while.

Discussing my results and previous pregnancy history with the nurse on the phone, she made the remark "Oh, but you're proven." Why, yes, I'm a proven breeder - much like a blue-ribbon heiffer at the county fair. I'm not angry at her at all, but I did feel a little like a 4-H animal.

It is discouraging, especially under the effects of these medications., but I try to remember that I know we've seen miracles, and prayers answered. I know the Lord makes all things beautiful in His time, not mine. I know that sometimes we're broken so that in healing, He can make us stronger.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A few more.

the headband I mentioned in the previous post. seriously easy.

and this to display in the class at church (fixed the letters after the picture- too lazy to take another...)
I think that's it. I have 2 pairs of projects to finish by Wednesday, and one to be done by Sunday. Busy week.

I Made it Monday: Lots

On the phone with my dear friend Tealah last week, I said something like "because baking helps." Truth be told, crafting, creating, making, it all helps. It's my therapy and my outlet. I've written before about dropping my stress into each stitch. I see now that it's dropped into each stitch, drop of glue, each swipe of frosting.

My two hands have been busy these last two weeks.

Knitting a hat to keep a buzz-cut boy warm

A hug to mail to great-grandparents

Scrapbooking - going back to my crafty roots there

making birthday cakes for my adorable sister in law.

and when stinky bites a chunk into one of the cakes, salvaging it into cakepops for these cutie pies.
(tutorial - be sure to check out bakerella's sesame street version. to. die. for.)
Oh, and this headband, but I haven't got a picture.
Posting will return to normal this week. What are you creating?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Inspiration

The Divine Shepherd has a message of hope, strength, and deliverance for all. If there were no night, we would not appreciate the day, nor could we see the stars and the vastness of the heavens. We must partake of the bitter with the sweet. There is a divine purpose in the adversities we encounter every day. They prepare, they purge, they purify, and thus they bless."

James E Faust

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Inspiration

"If you happen to hit a good sorry mood once in a while, relax and enjoy it- it is a sign that you are normal. It is all right to worry about things now and again, I suppose, but when you get worried about being worried, that is when you are getting off track"

Boyd K. Packer

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


While orginally I'd planned to participate in National Blog Posting Month, I think I'm taking a week off from posting. It's not that I am blanking on topics, but that every topic has a word that would be better replaced with 'blanking'- blanking hormones, blanking lab techs, blanking neighbors ruining an otherwise lovely block, blanking sugar ants.

In an effort to dwell on the positive, I'll be back next week with some lovely projects that are blanking awesome.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I Made it Monday: Final Cake

Why a craft store would schedule a class on a holiday like halloween is a little beyond me, but that's okay. I slapped the cake together, and it definitely looks like it! Nonetheless, I think I'm finally getting a hang of the roses. I'm making my sister-in-laws' birthday cake this weekend, so I'm hoping to have something a little more redeeming for next week.

Now, is anyone else just swimming in candy right now? We figure we're stocked through the end of the year.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday Inspiration

O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?

2 Nephi 4:26