Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Seven years ago yesterday...

my first beautiful daughter was born. It is hard to believe she is seven years old already. I remember this day seven years ago. Her father and I brought her home from the hospital and I remember thinking "what now?" Not to worry, she took charge and let us know!

What a blessing she is. Always cheerful and thoughtful. I've never known anyone who talks as much as she does (non-stop). I love the way she is always happy and trying to make sure everyone else is happy too.

For dinner, she wanted to have cheesy bread sticks that she learned how to make at school. We also had salad and of course her favorite, cupcake cones. She was THRILLED to receive a horse music/jewelry box that she has wanted for ages!

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

I am adding this photo too as I know you will appreciate "the fashionista's" party attire...

I will be posting photos of our joyous Christmas Eve, Christmas, and our anniversary soon. (Whew, it's been a crazy week!)

Hope everyone has a very Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Handmade Gifts

Just thought I would share some of the handmade Christmas gifts I have made this year. First up is the set of cards I made for the girls' Sunday School teachers. I used one of my all time favorite Stampin' Up sets, "All God's Children".

Next up, I made this 12x12 frame for my neighbors. Their son is serving in the US Army in Afghanistan. (My heart is with all of our men & women in uniform serving in Iraq & Afghanistan and their families. Some of my most difficult days came when my husband was in Iraq & Afghanistan and I am SO thankful to have him back with us safe & sound!)

Finally, this is an accordion album I made as a custom order for a friend. It is filled with beautiful 5x7 photos of her family and is a gift for her grandparents. It opens and on one side are all the horizontal photos. On the reverse side are the vertical photos. Interspersed among the photos are some quotes she likes. There is also a fold out envelope for notes or letters of love for her grandparents.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

*Sweet* Weekend!

This weekend involved lots of family time & Christmas traditions. We made & decorated three dozen+ sugar cookies and our gingerbread house. It was a lot of fun, a lot of sugar and possibly a bit much "excitement". I am enjoying these quiet minutes while the kids are in bed. Here are a few photos of the festivities.

By the way, please don't confuse me for Martha Stewart. I know that my cookies are gorgeous and my gingerbread house is a masterpiece. Or not. (Although I can't take ALL the credit for decorating these fine confections...)

Hope you are keeping warm out there wherever you are. It is a "chilly" -2 degrees here in Southwest Ohio. Yikes!

Up next, some homemade gifts I made this year. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hey Santa!

Last Saturday we attended "Breakfast with Santa". Life for my kids doesn't get any better than crafts, chocolate chip pancakes, story time and a giant inflatable slide.

When Lindsay sat on Santa's lap, she requested the same thing she's been asking for for months - a crib and high chair for her baby dolls. This has been the only two things she has requested. She has not wavered a bit. The girl knows what she wants. Always. (This is probably why she was so very stubborn about not wearing the overalls...)

Laura, on the other hand, sat on Santa's lap and requested something totally new. An easy bake oven apparently. This girl does NOT know what she wants. She prefers to practice the womanly trait of changing her mind. Often.

What's up with the easy bake oven? This is the first I've heard of this. I hate to tell her but the shopping is done and the shopping was based on previous wish lists. Oh well. Besides, we had an easy bake oven before and I thanked my lucky stars when it got recalled by Hasbro and was replaced with various "The Littlest Pet Shop" toys courtesy of "Hasbro bucks". You won't be seeing any easy bake ovens here on Christmas morning. Shucks!

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's just not Christmas without...

the chaos of a children's pageant/play/musical, etc. We have been practicing and getting the sets and costumes ready for months!

Last weekend was our big weekend for the children's Christmas musicals. Both sets of grandparents were able to be here - Jeremy's parents on Friday night and my parents on Sunday for the performances. Laura's age (1st-6th grade) performed "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Laura had a verse to sing from "The Holly and the Ivy" with her first grade friend and they did so good. They were so adorable and looked so little up there with all the bigger kids.

Here's Laura singing her part. (on the left)

Lindsay's age (3-Kindergarten) performed "Who Is Coming To Our House" based on the book with the same title. (If you have little ones, I highly recommend checking out this book - it is adorable!) It was the most precious performance. Some very talented writers and musicians from our church wrote the entire musical based on the book. The songs were amazing and the kids did a great job.
Lindsay was supposed to look farmer-ish - their musical was set in a barn. I found these adorable overalls and sewed little red & green felt patches over the pink flowers that were on the overalls. (How Martha Stewart am I!) They were perfect and SO CUTE on her! She absolutely, flat-out REFUSED to wear them. It made me crazy. I never (well hardly ever) force her to wear certain clothes. We all know she has her own opinion in the style department. Most of the time, I don't care what she wears because it's not worth fighting over, but this time, I cared. I did finally talk her into wearing them for the dress rehearsal but afterwards she insisted that she would not be wearing them again. I became slightly hysterical on Sunday morning - the first thing she said when she woke up was "I'm not wearing the overalls." We fought about it all morning. Eventually Jeremy was somehow able to talk her into wearing them when I left the room. Whatever he gave her or put into her savings account is between her and him. She did have to take other clothes with her to change into after her performance but at least she wore the overalls. (Ha ha, I won.)

Several times since Sunday she has commented "I'm not wearing overalls again." (Again, ha ha, I don't care, you wore them when it really counted.)

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Our family enjoys celebrating Advent as part of our Christmas tradition. Advent means "coming" or "arrival". The Advent season is marked by a spirit of expectation, of anticipation, of preparation, and of longing. We are preparing our hearts for the arrival of Jesus.

The Advent wreath is a circle that reminds us of God Himself, His eternity and endless mercy has no beginning or end. The green of the wreath reminds us of the hope that we have in God, the hope of newness, of renewal, of eternal life. The candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His son.

Last Sunday marked the first Sunday of Advent. The first candle traditionally represents expectation or hope. At our house, we light the candle and together we read a devotional and pray. We often find activities or crafts for the kids to do to reinforce what we are learning. This is a great way for our kids to be involved in learning about the true meaning of Christmas and what it means in our lives as Christians. This year, our wonderful preschool pastor at our church created special advent kits for the families. The girls got to make their own kid-friendly advent wreath.

Each Sunday until Christmas Eve, we will light another candle. The third candle traditionally represents "joy" and is normally a pink candle. *A little note about my wreath... three candles SHOULD be purple because it is the color of penitence and fasting as well as the color of royalty to welcome the Advent of the King. Unfortunately when I went to purchase my candles, Hobby Lobby had only one purple candle left so I did it the opposite. Next year I will shop earlier.

May we all celebrate the light and hope of Jesus' birth this holiday season.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I've been busy!


It's certainly not perfect but I have orders waiting so it will have to do for now.

A bonus of cleaning up - I am finishing up a few layouts I have literally had sitting around for months waiting for journaling. Here is one that I finished (finally) on our camping trip last year. (Sorry the photo is not very good.)

Also as a result of this cleaning process, I am issuing three challenges to myself. Readers, your job is to keep me accountable. : )

Challenge #1: Do not buy more stuff to make more stuff until current stuff is used. (I challenge myself to this one a lot but am not all that great at staying out of my favorite stores.)

Challenge #2: Work on this "Summer 2008" album before I forget what all we did! See, everything I need is here except motivation.

Challenge #3: Learn to use this new Zutter Bind-It-All that I just had to have. (It binds chipboard, cardstock, etc with metal "spirals" to make notebooks, albums, etc.) I wanted it for a long time but wouldn't let myself buy it. I did finally buy it about two months ago and have yet to play with it at all. (Yes, I have a sickness.)

And now a word on Thanksgiving. I am so very thankful for a warm home, plenty of food to eat, health, my husband's job and ability to provide for our family, wonderful friends, and a more beautiful and loving family than I could ever have asked for. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
We are traveling to WV to spend Thanksgiving with Jeremy's family. I hope you all have a wonderful & safe Thanksgiving filled with family, friends and warm memories!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What do you think?

Okay, so I'm on hiatus from cleaning my studio. I'm still overwhelmed. I began to make some good-lookin' progress but then I had to get ready for my craft show today and everything took a major turn for the worse. The good news is that even though my studio is a huge mess, I sold three of the four albums I made this week for the show. That pleases me immensely. When I'm not so tired, I will resume the cleaning and re-organization process. (Photos to follow.)

In the meantime, Laura brought home her school pictures this week. Here she is:

A long time ago, when Laura was very young, one of my very best friends & expert photographer, Bethany, noticed that Laura resembles Reese Witherspoon. Recently, I have had others make this same observation. One of the hygienists at our dentist's office just told me that a few weeks ago. What do you think?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Things have gotten a little out of hand...

in my studio. I am overwhelmed. My studio is so messy and I don't know how to get it clean again. I was so busy with craft shows and all the orders I had in October and the beginning of November, that I let things get out of control. I didn't force myself to clean up between projects. I worked on too many things at one time. I am forcing myself to be motivated by posting some photos here for everyone to see. Gasp.

Next time you see this studio, it WILL look better. I think I can, I think I can...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dear Santa

I fear that Christmas may be a disappointment for Laura this year. Here is her Christmas wish list:

I will decipher the first grade scrawl:

New music box

Pet cat

Money for Rwanda

A TV in my room

A radio

A flute

A brother

A cell phone

A robe

Chocolate trees

A real clock

Church clothes

Gymnastics leotard

Hmm. Anyone know where I can get a brother? And pronto!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I haven't made my first million yet...

but I'm well on my way to being able to purchase a new sweater or maybe a pair of jeans. I'm not sure why I do craft shows. I never make a lot of money. Maybe it's the anticipation of thinking of how much money I COULD make if I sold all of my inventory. Maybe it's the gathering of other crafty people that I enjoy. Maybe I like the curiosity factor - which items will sell? Perhaps it's the thrill of the tasty food present at most shows. (The apple dumpling I had at this show was amazing.)

But, is it worth the 12+ trips back and forth to the van unloading all my fine items and the 12+ trips back loading it all back up, minus of course the few items I sold. Is it worth the money I pay for the booth? Is it worth the stress of getting ready for it all? I don't know but for whatever reason, I have done two shows so far this year and have one more to go. Wish me luck, I'm sure I'll hit the jackpot next time...

Here's a few pics of my booth at the first show I did. Sorry they're a little dark. (Much like my profit.)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I am busy getting ready for a big show this weekend so this post will be short and sweet - a quick overview of our Halloween festivities! We carved pumpkins this week. Actually, Jeremy carved pumpkins - he does an awesome job, he is truly an artist at heart! (The peanut pumpkin made a nice bat. ) Last night was trick or treat night (don't ask me why they never have it on actual Halloween?!) Lindsay was ADAMANT that she wanted to be a cat. Don't tell her - I believe this costume is actually a leopard BUT, it was only $10 and the other cat costume options were a bit more than I wanted to spend for something she would be wearing for an hour. Laura is an equestrian or horse rider in six year old language. Jeremy walked the neighborhood with them and I handed out candy here at home. He said that Lindsay got tired & cold and he carried her for awhile while Laura went to every house she could. She came home with a TON of candy - more than we will ever eat! By the way, why are so many teenagers trick-or-treating these days? Most of the candy I handed out went to teenagers?!?!?

Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!

(Do you like Lindsay's choice of (un)matching socks here?)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I blame the Berenstain Bears for this...

Okay, so as you know per my previous posts, my house was just a teeny bit disastrous after the busy week of orders I've been working on. After I finished Jimmy's Book of Thoughts and delivered it to the postal service yesterday afternoon, the time had come to begin to tackle some of the disarray of my once neat and comfortable home. I was working on laundry and some tidying in my bedroom for awhile. The girls came in begging me to read them a book and I agreed. I told them each to pick a library book from our stack. Laura selected a chapter from her current Magic Treehouse book and Lindsay returned with this:

We read the books and I went back to my cleaning and folding. Eventually I finished my task and stepped into the hallway to find this:


Nice. As I've been busy getting lots of household tasks done, my children have been creating a mess of epic proportions. I know there surely must be some moms out there who go through this. You are busy cleaning and making lots of progress on getting the house presentable (feeling really good about yourself and what a great housekeeper you are) while unbeknownst to you, your children have been doing some work of their own. Sometimes it is so frustrating! So much for being a good housekeeper. This is my one reason for having them "help" me clean. Their help is not what I would consider "helpful"; however, at least I know where they are and that they are not making additional messes!

By the way, yes they did destroy their whole rooms in order to find merchandise for their faux garage sales. And yes, they each got merchandise from their own rooms. (Why only make a mess in one room when we could make a mess in both?)

I got multiple requests to come and shop at their faux garage sales which I did finally oblige. I "purchased" a lovely miniature baby doll, a Lion King book, and a Littlest Pet Shop mouse. I remember having faux garage sales when I was a kid. (Beth, I know you are reading this and cracking up.) Why did I torture my mom this way? It certainly has come back to bite me in the you-know-where.

Back to the Berenstain Bears, I believe this faux garage sale plot was hatched during the reading of this book. The Bears have too much stuff & clutter in their home and decided to [not] have a garage sale but give all their no longer needed items away to others in need. I noticed that my children ignored the "moral lesson" and decided to go for the garage sale instead. Thanks Berenstain Bears.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Next up, "Jimmy's Book of Thoughts". Jimmy contacted me looking for a special gift for his girlfriend. He gave me all the titles and thoughts (in his own words) that he wanted. He was looking for a paper bag album with an autumn/love theme. Hope I was able to capture it!