Friday, December 16, 2011

Poser Christmas Tour 2011

  So, I have noticed the web version of the Christmas Home Tours and I really enjoy looking at some of them and getting ideas. ;)  I thought, well maybe I should do one of my house.  Not because it is tour-worthy in any stretch of the imagination, but because it appeals to my sense of humor to do so.  So, without further ado, here we go:

 This is the living room.  I really should have a taken a picture of the other side of the room because it was a mess.  I basically just picked up in front of the couch for aesthetic purposes.

 This is the heavily-ornament-laden Christmas tree.  I plan to add some more to it each year.  Maybe one of these years, I'll have Sam fashion a metal cage shaped like a tree with tons of slots for hanging ornaments and we can just forgo the tree.... :)  I'm thinking  this might be our last year doing the fake tree.

 This is my nod to an artistic shot.  I laid down on my back on the floor and took the pic upside down.  We were considering getting a new tree this year because we really have a hard time fitting the width of the tree in our little living room, but I just couldn't see spending money on a new fake tree, if I could possibly use the one we already have!  So, I just left the bottom section off of it and put it up on our side table.  Works for me!

 An overhead shot.  Yep, I still haven't done any more to the wall since the starburst mirror project. :)

I got this idea from Apartment Therapy...see?  I think I may spray paint the stick white, so you can actually see it against my wall.


 This is in the bathroom.  I'm not crazy about it and I actually rearranged a bit after I took the pic.  It is still bothering me and I think it is the napkin turned table cloth that is under it all.  Its too dark and everything is blending together.  I'll figure something out. Sam is calling it my little shrine to I'm definitely changing it!!! :)

 A closeup for better observation. :)

 This in 2D looks like a hodepodgy mess.  In 3D, it looks only slightly better.  I think what really makes it all come together is the messy table and Ailey's addition of some building blocks and jingle bells, not too mention the reflection of the school wall in the mirror.

 This is supposed to be our Advent Calendar, but seeing as how I didn't even get it put up until around the 8th and its on a hands-off mirror, I didn't bother this year trying to make that work.  I've got to figure out a better place to put it.

 I got one shelf decorated for the season.  The rest...well, they didn't make the cut this year.

Thought it would be enjoyable to view the whole, um, scene. 

 I cleared the table just for this photo.  I have tried to decorate with things that I can use year round.  Since I have an obliging backyard with trees that don't hesitate to share their branches with me, I went outside and cut this one off of a MUCH larger limb.  Come to think of it, it might have been attached to the stocking "rod"....
I think the bright orange paper lantern lights in the background really add a certain ambience....don't you? 

 This is my wanna-be mantle that is really the top of our bookshelf, that is really supposed to be an entertainment center.  I'm totally not in love with this set up and I will probably arrange and rearrange it until it is time to put everything up.  I have a couple of ideas and it involves taking lots of things off and putting some white stars up there.  Along these lines:

and these:

We'll see....more project craziness. :)

 Yeah, there's a whole lotta no inspiration here....

 The top of the computer cabinet.  I'm completely underwhelmed.

This sits in the dining room next to the entryway to the kitchen.  Again, a whole lotta underwhelming inspiration going on here.

In addition to all the other paraphernalia going on in the above pics, I do have a wreath on my front door that I don't care for.  I would like to chuck it and do something like this:


and/or this:

I also like these for all the time:

 Images 250Modwhitewreath

Ruffly Felt Rosette Wreath

I want to make this one only in the same way as the ornament ball wreaths above.  I want to get lots of clear and frosted balls in different sizes and make one and then I could just change out the ribbon I hang it with to go with whatever season all year long!

the nesting place (I really LOVE visiting this site! It pops up in the majority of my google searches.;)

Here's another one from the nesting place and I really love how large it is and how you just use paper....

Okay, I'm done.....end of tour...

For now....:)

Snowflake pillows and Furry Fantasticness!

For some reason, a couple of days ago, I decided I would like to make some snowflake slipcovers for my throw pillows on my couch.  Yeah, like I needed another project.  Apparently, I like to dive into many challenges all at the same time and make myself a little nutty!  I turned to my trusty google search and found a very cute pillow and a tutorial by means of another tutorial on TipJunkie.  These are the pillows from her site:
Snowflake Pillows {Free Pattern}

So cute, right???  So, I printed out the snowflake pattern with the intention of beginning it very shortly, when I came across these stockings by rikrak on etsy in my google wanderings.  It gave me an idea. :)  I decided I liked those snowflakes, but for my pillow covers.  I made a pattern and got to work.  I had a good amount of red sparkly felt and a natural cream felt, thanks to a recent shopping spree at my mom's house. ;)  I must take a moment and pause to say that I really appreciate having a rotary cutter!  Anyway, here are the pillows I made:

I am really loving how they turned out!  The kids really like them, too.

Also, you see that wonderfully fuzzy, fluffy, makes-you-want-to-wallow-in-it blanket?  That was a belated birthday present from Sam.  It is the softest most comfy blanket I have ever come into contact was love at first feel. :)

From the mouths of babes

The boys have been going to Awanas and Zekey has taken to calling it "iguanas".  Its funny, I think we'll keep it.

The kids were at the table the other day and they were talking about powers.  Braden was talking about electric power and Zekey was talking about fire power.  Braden was correcting him about fire not being a real power and then I hear Zekey bust out with "poo power"!  We try and discourage talking about poopoo and teetee as being fun stuff to talk about.  It just gets waaaay out of hand when they get going with it!  Anyway, I didn't say anything because I wanted to see what was going to come of this conversation.  Braden started correcting him saying poo wasn't really a power and I really had to laugh to myself as Zekey staunchly defended his stance on poo being a power.  I was thinking that there are, indeed, days when poo is a power!  Hahahaha!

When I am training Ailey, I tell her that I need to see her eyes, so I know she is listening what I'm telling her.  A couple of days ago, I was talking to Brea and Ailey came up and started telling her that she needed to see her eyes. ;)

Braden has said several funny things the last several days and I cannot remember them!  Ugh!  Maybe I'll remember and then I can add them to the list..... :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A long awaited arrival

Last night as I was riding the crazy sleep deprivation train and I was working on trying to get Brea to go back to sleep, I decided to feel in her mouth and sure enough, I could feel the top of her bottom right front tooth!  The other one is working on making its debut, too, but since she's been teething since her 4 mos. mark, this is a momentous occasion!  Yay, one more to go... ;)

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Its coming up on Christmas and I did it again.  Sam got down all the decorations for me and I went to work.  Granted, I took more time doing it this year.  I wanted to be relaxed and not get crazy and irritated.  Things were fine the first day.  I got the nativity set out in its box for Braden to set up the next day and then, I got the shelf top cleared off and the entryway landing strip cleared so we could set some stuff up.  The next day, I got the tree out and set it up in preparation for the bazillion ornaments to hang on it.  That's where the detour popped up.  All sanity and goodwill and graciousness went away as the grabby hands came out of the woodwork.  After the second glass icicle met its demise on the floor, I lost it!  To be honest, I wasn't upset about the ornaments.  They are actually not beyond repair.  I was not in control of the situation and my kids were not obeying and I was not responding at all well or in any manner worthy of emulation.  I threw a little mini tantrum, growled my irritation and clenched my fists up on either side of my head.  I then stood completely still with my hands over my eyes while I prayed that the Lord would take my irritation and agitation and help me restore order to the chaos.  That's when He began to ask me if it was that important.  Yes!  Of course it was!  I wanted to get it done and done in a certain way and my kids were not getting the memo.  They were messing up my plan!....Okay, no, its not really important.  I don't want them to remember Christmas as being a stressful time, when the Crazy-Eyed Mom Monster makes everyone miserable and sets a completely wrong example of how to handle situations that aren't going according to The Plan.  So, we stopped right in the middle of decorating the tree.   It was the right choice.  I had to ask forgiveness of the Lord, then I asked forgiveness of Ailey and then Braden.  Yeah, totally in the running for Not-So-Mom-Of-The-Year Award. ;)  It also gave me the opportunity to get somewhat back on track for our day.  You know, get some school work done instead of the "oh-so-important task" of tree decorating.  Yep.

After dinner, I decided to resume my decorating escapade while the boys were at Awanas.  I was getting a bit overwhelmed at how I could set everything up.  (Its funny, I get that way about my house, but no one else's. ;)  I was googling for inspiration and tweaking here and rearranging there and finally just gave up after everyone had gone to bed with the intent of starting afresh today.  I started with God this morning instead of the myriad of other distractions that I generally get caught up in and my what a difference that has made! I also came across this link in my fb wanderings this morning and I needed to read this! I don't think coincidence had anything to do with it, either.  It is exactly the way I feel about this time of year and God has been doing quite a bit of gearing us toward simplicity for the last few years....I think it might have finally sunk in.  I have to admit that I like the lights and decorations of this time of year.  What I don't like is the misappropriated focus that tends to lead the way.  I want my kids to enjoy this time and have fun putting up a tree and lights, but I don't want it to be the focus.  Sam and I also need to talk about presents for the kids.  I'm not so sure I want to do that anymore.  We were going to get each kiddo one gift that they could open, but was for sharing with the other kiddos, as well as stocking stuffers.  We'll see.

Braden and I had a talk about presents a day or so ago.  He mentioned something about presents going under the tree and I told him I didn't know if we were going to do that or not.  I said its Jesus' birthday, not ours.  He understood perfectly and was quite satisfied with that answer. We are going to shop in the World Vision gift catalog as a family and decide what to get Jesus for His birthday. :)

I really like how Octamom puts it:  Jesus is NOT the reason for the season, but He IS the answer for it!  She is sharing a series called Christmas Secrets and I have found the first installment VERY interesting.  If you've ever wanted the history of how the celebration of Christmas came about, you can click here and listen to her speak on this subject.

So, to end:  Merry Christmas!  I hope you are having a very joyful, relaxed, enjoyable holiday season with your loved ones. :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Brea's much needed update

I have been woefully slacking on the Brea updates!  She started crawling and then basically took off!  A couple of days after starting the crawling process, she started sitting up by herself and pulled herself up to standing.  She is now in the process of trying to scoot along while still holding on.  I think she will be walking before the end of the year.

She's also finally got some teeth working their way up.  I can see them still under the gums.  Its the two bottom front teeth and they are coming in together.  She's rather fussy about it, but not too bad and she is great once you give her something cold to numb her gums down.

Once I started her on solids, well she can pack away some food!  She has gained over 2 pounds in less than two months.  She still nurses full on, too.  Its like her drink with her meal.  All I can say is wow!

She still has a very calm and pleasant disposition and LOVES her brothers and sister.  They really do love her, too.  Braden has gotten very good at feeding her.  Zekey is still perfecting his technique. ;)  Ailey just likes eating Brea's little snacks for her. :)

Crafts and Craziness and Monsters, OH MY!

I worked my first Farmers Market yesterday.  Craziness, I tell ya!  I was a Momma Monster the week leading up to it trying to get all my crafts finished and prepped and the table "scape" prepared.  I have been in many conversations with God through the whole process and I kept asking if I should be doing this.  Did He want me doing this?  Had He made this the path He wanted me to walk down?  I wasn't really getting a clear answer to be honest, but I will tell you what I was getting.  Agitated.  I wanted to have certain things made and prepared and ready to go and it took away from my family, made me into a bit of a Momma Monster and as a result, my family suffered.  The night before, I presented a request to my Father in Heaven in much the same way Abraham's servant did when he was in search of a wife for Aaron.  I asked God to make it abundantly clear whether having a booth at craft fairs on a regular basis was something He wanted me doing.  I asked that if this was a green light, that all my stuff would sell...every single thing...nothing left.  If I had even one thing left, then I would know it was not a go.  Haha!  God totally answered.  I had all of some things and just a few of others left over.  I do believe I now know for sure! ;p

My dear friend Lucy went with me and totally blessed me with her time, company, help and previous fair expertise.  She helped me set up, took turns holding/feeding/entertaining Brea and just hung out with me.  It really was lots of fun, but it was lots of work for little return as far as the business side of it goes.  We did get to meet some interesting people and got to get back into the practice of saying MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Many people thanked us for saying that instead of Happy Holidays.  :)  We also came across plenty of people who were doing whole body cleanses and so did not partake of the tempting samples we had laid out.  I thought that was particularly interesting.  Especially at this time of the year.  Here is what our booth looked like at my house the night before when I set it up to see how I wanted everything:

 The bumbo in the background was not a part of the display...;p  Everything was squished at the house, but not at the actual event.

 I love that I got to use my Pampered Chef stands and platters for my display.  Those things are mighty handy and can be used for so many things!  Hey, hey!

 I put my business cards on the stems in the vase.  I saw it while googling and really liked that idea.

You know those cube shelves you can get at Target and they click together with the little discs?  That's what the display stands are.  I just used silver twisty ties to connect them.  Ghetto, but effective AND nothing a little ribbon or lots of scarves won't hide! ;)

Here is what our booth looked like at the market:

 That is my beautiful friend Lucy back there.  She's feeding Brea while I take pics.

I was rather surprised at what sold and what did not.  I only sold one bag of chocolate chip cookies!  What?!  That was unexpected!  I really thought those would disappear.  You never can tell, really.  I really didn't expect the tutus to sell and they didn't.  The lip balm sold rather well.  The bread sold pretty well and even some of the apple butter found new homes.  No jewelry was adopted and neither did the flower bow/pins take new journeys. :)  They will be going on the website.  I will also list some of the lip balm, although some of it will be going in stockings. :)  I don't think I want to mess with trying to package and shipping the apple butter.  Those will be given away, I think, along with the cookies as Christmas goodies for the neighbors.

After it was all said and done, I came home with stocking stuffers, bread to eat for breakfast and some things with which to set up my online store...finally.  I have decided to go ahead and actually do something with the business fb page and blog that I started over a year ago.  Yeah.  I started setting it up yesterday afternoon and even listed a couple of things.  I was going to list some things in my Etsy store, but found that it had been suspended.  I found out why this morning and it has now been reinstated, but I don't know if I want to mess with Etsy for the time being.  I am able to have paypal on my business blog and people can buy it directly off of there instead of me having to mess with listing and selling fees on Etsy.  We'll see.  I still have to link my fb and blog pages together and also finish listing all my stuff.  Once that is done, the bulk of the work will be done and I can just list stuff as I randomly make it.  I've also decided to take custom orders on a limited basis for now.  This is a much more do-able format for me than booths at a market or fair.  I think it would be fun to do that occasionally, but only if I have plenty of things already made up and I have a friend to make it fun.  I would also want to look at it as a ministering opportunity.  If I don't ask God into all that I'm doing, then what is the point?!  I'm still learning to do that and it is just so lovely when I do and He is there with me in all of the details!  So neat!  When I get everything listed and linked, I will put a link on here as well as my usual fb page and see what happens from there.  It should be interesting at least. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

In the Middle, its a little fuzzy

I am right in the middle of trying to get Brea to sleep all the way through the night.  Sleep deprivation does not do nice things for me or Sam. ;)  Ailey, too, has been waking up during the night lately.  She hasn't slept the same since she got croup a little over a month ago.  I am not a fan of letting a baby cry through the night, but man am I tired of not getting any sleep!  So far, I have had the girls in with me so that Sam, at least, will get some sleep.  When both of us are on the sleep deprivation train, well...I'm sure you can imagine.  Its not pretty!  I did let Brea cry through the first part of the first night.  She woke up several times and cried and then went back to sleep on her own.  I fed her around 3 am and then she slept the rest of the night until 7, when Zekes decided to make his debut.  (Still working on that.  My children have not gotten the not-until-after-8am memo.)  Ailey didn't wake all the way up, but she would turn over and put her hand on me every now and then to make sure I was still there and then roll over and continue on with sleeping.  Not bad for the first night, but I was still working the lack of sleep routine yesterday and my attitude was having a hard time being pleasant.  So, I decided to watch the next in the Freedom Classes Foundational Series from Gateway Church.  It is LIFE CHANGING!!  I challenge anyone to go through them all and not come out of it a different being.  AND, that is exactly what happened to me yesterday.  As I made my way through the 3rd class, God was working a miracle in me!  Despite my lack of sleep, energy, motivation, self-control and general peppiness that I started out with, I ended up with all kinds of energy, patience with the kiddos and steadiness throughout the day.  I am so thankful that God gives so freely of Himself!  I truly needed to hear that message yesterday and I absolutely needed more of my Lord, Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Master, Creator and His joy in which my strength is found!  Praise You, Father!

Last night was even better.  Brea went to sleep and then Ailey and I followed suit and she slept until 5am!  Yay!  I fed her, put her back in her bed and she slept until 7.  I'm thinking the kids have a conspiracy to NOT sleep past 7.  Ugh.  BUT, I was soooooo grateful for the continuous hours of sleep last night.  Woohoo!!!!  Yippee!!!  Ailey did her reassurance routine and slept very well.  I am excited to see how tonight goes.  I want to be consistent for 5 nights to break the habits that have been formed.  Of course, I have been covering all of this in prayer, asking the Lord to HELP!!!  Tonight will be no different and today is going to be full of rejoicing!  I'm also excited to hear session four of the Freedom class!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

That Other Kid

I've stumbled upon a delightful tactic with my older two kiddos, Braden and Zekes.  Braden, especially, has a hard time with his attitude and heart when things do not go as planned or if he gets angry.  He comes by it honestly, I'm sad to say!  He follows in my footsteps.  When I am upset, I want to sit in it until I am done.  I don't want to be happy or have a good attitude, I want to finish out my irritation, frustration or anger first. ;)  (Vanessa, I still remember you trying to get me out of my bad moods and vice versa.  Fun times!)  As I was encountering this situation with Braden for the who-knows-what-time, I told him that I don't like it when that other kid comes to visit.  I told him that I like my Braden and that other kid needs to go back to his house.  The result?  Instant smile!  Followed by much giggling.  Awesome!  I shared the technique with Sam and we have both been employing it and I must say, we are pretty excited!

I used it with Zekers this morning and it was a beautiful thing!  The winds of heart change, they are a blowin'!  I am also learning to pray with them when they are having a hard time gaining self-control.  That is one of the fruits of the spirit and the Holy Spirit gives it freely as well as the ability to make the choice to want it.  I want them to learn that no matter what is going on in their lives, good, bad or eh, that if we continually ask the Lord into it, invite Him to be a part of every moment of our day, that He GLADLY joins us, guides us and encourages us.  It also causes us to seek Him BEFORE we make decisions to see if we should even be doing whatever in the first place.  We can truly rest in waiting on Him and walking the path He has set before us!  That is peace!  Its a slow process because I am still a work in progress, too, and I have to change my heart and attitude and built-in reactions to situations, as well.  I'm excited!  Bring on the pruning!

Gearing Up

I have been in super crafting mode.  I have the opportunity to have a table at our local Farmer's Market - Christmas edition.  I have a list of things I want to make and I intend to just go down the list and see what I can get done.  I have a little over two weeks left.  I am going to have toddler tutus, scarves and neck warmers, towel holders, rolled flower bow/pins, baby blankets, spaghetti sauce, apple butter, cookies, friendship bread and pumpkin and banana bread.  I may be able to make waffles, too, but we'll see.  I'm thinking about adding lip balm, but I really need to get my recipe firmed up before I do that.  I should also probably write it down...same goes for my apple butter recipe. ;)  I'm really bad about not doing that. Anyway, these are the items I've gotten done so far:

Like my toilet paper rolls in the background? ;p

Ribbons will be added to the tutus..

Still have to edge the baby blanket

I had to take some pics of Zekes in the hat I made for Ailey.  It fits his head better than hers and I was trying to show someone how it looks.  He's a willing guinea pig. ;)