Friday, December 16, 2011

Teacher Christmas Gifts

I saw Bakerella's Cowgirl Cookies on Pintrest a few weeks ago and tucked it away in my memory for teacher gifts.  

The days flew by and as I dropped Wyatt off at preschool yesterday, I realized it was the last day of school before Christmas break.  So Ella and I ran home and put these together lickety-split.  

I couldn't find Christmas M&M's at Fresh so I bought Cadberry Christmas chocolate pieces instead.  And even though I'm off of gluten, dairy and sugar to avoid thrush with little miss...
 I couldn't help eating one.  
Just a tiny one, though. 
And it. was. good.

I tied a plush ornament on each jar and called it done!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Laugh With Me

Gah, I found this hilarious. Probably more so than I should. But laugh with me people, it will make you live longer!

Crafty Ryan Gosling

 By the way, I read the captions with my friend Kelli B's voice in my head. Because she always met me with a "Hey girl, hey!" when I came home from classes in college. If you know here, you know what I mean.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

All The Time

We have seen a lot of family lately that we usually don't get to see very often and it has been so fun!

We went to my cousin's house in Houston for Thanksgiving.  Here's Nonie entertaining the kids with an iPhone.  What did we do without these things?

Then we got to go see Mimi and Pawpaw!  Those baby blue countertops are in so many of my childhood memories.  And now Wyatt gets to make memories there.  Ok, I'm tearing up.
 I'm so glad she's never replaced them.

Mimi, if you're reading this, don't be mad at me for posting this picture.  It was too cute not to!  
They are doing their bicycle exercises together. 

Opie Greg and Ella B.

Wyatt was mostly likely in a state of shock when right after our trip to Mimi and Pawpaw's, Tante Ilse and Oma show up at our house!  Suffice it to say, we were on grandparent detox hard this past week.

Being a helper.

Not being a helper.  
Being a co-conspirator with his good bud Noah. 

We should call it Mommygroup and be honest.  
It's as much for us and our sanity as it is for the kiddos.

Visiting all this family makes me wish we had some living nearby.  We were made to live in community with one another.  With family.  

And then I'm reminded that Jesus is enough.  All the time.  

When our very affectionate Wyatt has pink eye in both eyes and I have to keep him away from sister.
When Rob leaves for days at a time.
When I ache to the very marrow of my bones with a cold.
When I am brought to tears by the joy and love of our family.

All the time.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ric Rac Ribbon Flower: A Tutorial

I needed a hair accessory for Ella's Christmas outfit to be complete.  
(Because I have a little girl to play dress up with now and I like to take full advantage of that!)

Things you'll need:

1 1/4" ric rac ribbon ~ about 12" long 
3/4" velvet ribbon ~ about 4" long
Felt scrap
Hot glue

1. Let your son draw on the family calendar out of desperation on your sewing table dining room table.

2. Get down to business.  Start your flower by pinching together the ric rac between your thumb and pointer finger.  

Keep adding 'pinches'.

Wrap the ribbon around your pinches and keep adding pinches.  Then wrap half way around and keep adding pinches.  

When you get to the end of your ribbon, make sure you have enough left to wrap one final time around everything.

Add a dollop of hot glue to the raw end and glue to the flower.  Keep your fingers on it though!

Still pinching the flower, cut off the bottom to make it flat.  Smear hot glue all over the flat bottom of the flower to make it all stick together. 

To make velvet leaves, simply gather a loop...

And then another... cut and hot glue to the bottom of the flower.

Then cover all that hot glued mess with a circle of felt.

Now sister's Christmas outfit is complete!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent Sock Calendar: A Tutorial

I saw a Martha Stewart image on Pintrest for an Advent calendar made out of children's socks.  It was super cute and Christmas-y but when I went to make it, I discovered that Wyatt's socks are mostly white, grey, or light blue.  Hmmmm.  

So I came up with my own sewn version with fabric and materials that I had on hand.  Because no one wants to go to the store with a teething two year old and a two month old.  No one I tell you!

Thing's you'll need:

Fabric scraps 
--I used duck cloth for all fabric except the multicolored deer pattern, which is actually a pair of flannel PJ pants from Goodwill--
Sewing machine
Clothes pins
Stencil and sharpie (or stickers or embroidery or tags for numbers)
Advent activities and/or chocolate

I made a pattern.  But the top ended up being too skinny.

And when I stitched around the stocking and turned it inside out, it looked weird. 

So I decided to do what I usually do, which is make it up as I go along and change plans midway through the project.  

I cut a beefier stocking pattern out of one of my scraps and flipped it over to cut out the other side of the stocking.  Make sure if you're using a patterned fabric to cut out the stocking with the pattern going the way of your preference.  (I wanted vertical stripes on this fabric.)

Then I sewed with a straight stitch around all sides except the top of the stocking.  Use pins to hold the pieces together because as you sew around the toe, you have to turn the fabric quickly and the pieces slide easily apart from each other.

I didn't even backstitch on either end of the stitching.  But be proactive and do it.  They'll last longer.

It took me about 11 stockings to realize I could better conserve fabric by cutting out fabric like this:
(Like two shoes nestled together in a shoe box)

Lay all your stockings out in a row (out of reach of two-year-olds) and number them 1-24 with your marking of choice (sharpie, stickers etc).  I have yet to number mine because the kiddos were rambunctious and I plum forgot.  Insert Advent activity cards and/or candy into each stocking. 

Then clip those babies on a long strand of twine.  

And hang it up for all to see.  Our mantle is full so I hung it as a garland across a doorway.

Easy peasy. Done.

Some of our Advent activities:

-Go see the Tyler Christmas Parade
-Set up the Christmas train around the tree
-Walk through the neighborhood looking at lights
-Make snowflakes out of coffee filters
-Watch a Christmas movie and pop popcorn

But I also filled several in with pre-planned events like the company Christmas party and Polar Express Day at Wyatt's preschool.  
Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm going to go back and change several activities to things to be done for others. Like taking Christmas cookies to all our neighbors.  Christmas is all about Christ's birth after all.  What better present could we give someone else but the Way, Truth and Life?

Here's the inspiration photo:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

You've Got Mail

To all our friends, consider this an envelope in your snail mail box!  I used Shutterfly to create Ella's birth announcement and they turned out great!  Now if I could just get our Christmas cards in order...

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.