Friday, January 27, 2012

3 little dollies for 3 little cuties

Say hello to 3 of my favorite little people- my adorable niece and my charming little nephews
For Christmas i wanted to make them something special. So i created a "mini-me" doll for each of them.
This was my first time making boy dolls...i have to say, their little red strip underpants are my favorite part. ;)

Light brown hair, silvery blue eyes and blue overalls for Elias. 
Brown hair, brown eyes and green overalls for Gideon.

And a little blonde hair, blue eyed dollie for sweet Calliope. And a dress, of course, because Calliope is always a lady. ;)

Now, i had a hunch that the little kiddos would probably be fascinated by the novelty of the dolls for a bit but i was determined to "wow" them and i knew the way to their heart was through Angry Birds. Much to Sister's dismay, the 3 have grown quite attached to these new pop culture icons. :) It's really pretty funny.
So, at the last minute i decided the dollies needed some birds too.
I happened to already have these little craft puffs. ( i'm so culturally illiterate, the only colors i thought angry birds came in were red and green! haha). Then i cut out little pieces of felt, drew on them with sharpies and hot-glued them onto the puff. Then i sewed a tiny piece of velcro to the dolls hand and one to the back of the birds so the dolls could "hold" them. :)

It's hard to always know what is going to get kids excited...i know there have been several times we have planned activities or gifts that we thought our kids would love and instead they fell flat...other times we have been shocked at the excitement over the teeniest little things....anyway, its always a gamble.

However, after they had opened the dolls, they each opened their little package of mini angry birds and they were ECSTATIC.  So excited and happy. i got all kinds of hugs and sweetness. i'm pretty sure i could have scratched the dolls all together and they would have been completely thrilled by those little birds that took less than 20 min. to make! Cutest, silliest little kids ever. :) LOVE them.

Monday, January 23, 2012

it's monday

let's resist the urge to be grumpy today...
"Today, when stress mounts, I pray to dismount it with gratitude. My stress management plan will be intervention with verbal thanks. I can only feel one feeling at a time, and i choose to give thanks at all times. Fight feeling with feeling!"  Ann Voskamp
 Find the rest of her 10 Points of Joyful Parenting HERE 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

hAndy Birthday part 2

After our Birthday Breakfast Bash, we lovingly deposited our sweet kiddos at their grandparents house and then enjoyed a whole 24 hours of freedom and fun. 
It's amazing how having kids in our lives have helped us to appreciate the little things so much more. In fact, we kind of love not having to do much of anything.  Simply driving in the car without questions and whining in the back, taking a walk around a big lovely park without visiting the playground, getting coffee, browsing around downtown, eating at a grown-up restaurant without having highchairs, kid menus, sippy cups and cheerios everywhere, and eating dessert as slowly as we wanted to were all quite, quite lovely.
(disclaimer: we really do love our children to pieces, even missed them a bit and were more than happy to bring 'em back on board the next day. just in case you were concerned) ;)

We could act like kids (my face actually kinda freaks me out here) and made sure we really lived it up. As we were going upstairs to our bedroom in our empty house that night we forced ourselves to shout and stomp all the way up. it was actually kinda nerve-wracking.
And we even got to act like adults too. We're such dreamers...
Anyway, i'm super, super thankful for my Andrew. He's the best ever, i love him and couldn't imagine anyone more perfect for me. Happy Birthday cutie pie. 

Oh, and in case you're wondering, i happened to have married a boy wonder. He wasn't just plinking away on this piano in downtown ft.collins. No, no, he oozes with talent, puts me (the piano lesson drop-out) utterly to shame, and played all kinds of fancy schmancy piano stuff. Probably some russian sonata? or concerto?... i have no idea what those words mean. But isn't he cute?! 
ANYWAY, all that to say, he's great. I love him. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 
the end. :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Handy Andy's Birthday!

It was a big holiday in our family this weekend! hANDY had a birthday!! He's pretty much a rockstar around these parts so the day definitely called for a big celebration. :)
28 candles (on our very favorite coffee cake) for a very special "Birthday Breakfast Bash" with the kiddos. 

In fact, the kiddos (namely Will) planned and decorated almost the whole thing. Which included streamers, plastic table cloth, banner, the 28 candles, gift ideas AND a scavenger hunt at the end. It was quite the bash. :)
Birthday card from madeline transcribed by me.
With 4 kiddos we get to see plenty of their selfishness, squabbles and screaming every day (which, i admit i sometimes contribute to!) so, i can't even tell you what a sweet relief and blessing to my heart it is when we also get to see some adorable love and sincerity come through. The 3 older ones were SO excited for this party for their daddy. Will made sure hANDY knew he was more than welcome to sleep in, the girls made sure i knew they would be waking up at 5am to get ready and Will assured me he'd start right in on the decorating as soon as he woke up as well. :) Thankfully no one woke up until 7 :)
In the morning they were all busy, busy, wrapping their presents (the salt was Will's original idea), making more beaded necklaces for him, finishing their cards, setting the table and keeping me on track as to when and how to make the coffee cake, oj and eggs. :)
Here they are going on Will's scavenger hunt. He had me write clues like, "Your next clue will be found on the huge pirate ship...hint: wooden picnic table." ha
Finally they found the treasure: an empty kleenex box filled with a bead necklace, his card and a "28" that he designed from bead and pipe cleaners.
Such a super morning. Documenting the great times helps tremendously in keeping the pull-my-hair-out crazy times in sweet perspective.

Friday, January 13, 2012

DIY: Baby Bib

For my adorable little baby nephew i actually made something that i pinned on Pinterest!! (shocking....i know).  So, this adorable baby bib idea and pattern comes from Craftiness is not Optional.
She calls it a Bapron, and its awesome. At least i'm pretty sure its awesome. I've been meaning to make one and try it out on baby ben who has been subjected to pink hand-me-down bibs from his sisters. poor boy. 
 Anyway, i love how it has arm holes so it completely wraps around and protects the baby's sides from spills. Plus it's reversible.
 Also it was super easy. Like maaaaybe 20 min. per bib. And as much as i usually rebel against anything that requires me to measure and follow directions, it was absolutely refreshing to have an {EASY} pattern, follow it and have it turn out the first time without a hitch. You don't have to have any super sewing powers to pull this off.
 All of these fabrics came from JoAnn's in case you're wondering. The solid green and the green frogs are flannel.
 Oh and they should fit both babies and toddlers because the arm holes are big enough and you can kind of cinch it up in the back. So cool.
Anyway, download the FREE pattern and make some today.  Oh and there's lots of pictures of the bapron on a real baby on her site if you're needing more of a visual. Plus she has some cute color combos there too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

after this we move onto the new year pt.2

Well, here's the last of Christmas. 

We usually have about 5 separate celebrations due to our American-style split up family and lots of schedules to mesh but this year as i was gearing up for the intense week of get-togethers i tried to see it from my kids perspective: FIVE opportunities to be around their favorite people, eat yummy food, open presents, stay up late, have constant play-mates etc.
It's a never-ending PARTY!
They have no concept of the time, effort, sleepless nights, and organization necessary to pull it all off. They are just simply delighting in everything.
Being a kid is awesome.

And really, we have it pretty good too. All of our different families are wonderful. They love us, love our kids and love all the crazy we bring. We too got to eat yummy food (that i didn't have to cook!), opened fun presents, and got to spend lots of great time with people we love.

Proof of a great time was the lack of pictures i took. I think i personally took about 3. Handy Andy thankfully filled in, but i still missed a lot of photos that i now wish i had.... bummer.
My lovely sister in law Joelle and her adorable new baby.
Ben and his new rocking chair with his old but extremely cherished blankie

Legos and boys. I love this stage.
my sweet nephew Elias giving me a wonderful lingering hug after he opened my gift to him. :)
the dress-up clothes from Nana were a hit.
My nephew Gideon was absolutely delighted with the anthropology ovenmit that was inadvertently dropped in his knight costume gift bag. He kept announcing, "I am a knight! and this is my mitten!" LOVE him!
Well, that's a wrap. It took a couple days to detox from all the fun and excitement, but we're back to normal now and more than ready to move on with the new year! 
Although...i do have a couple Cmas gifts i want to share with you...But if you're like me and have 4 family birthdays in January. You might need some ideas. :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

after this we can move onto the new year pt.1

I had a hard time getting in the Christmasy spirit this year. I know it doesn't help that with Christmas comes my most dreaded season of cold and snow ;)  but i know i was also struggling with how to make Christmas really count. I wanted to instill gratefulness and meaning into my kids' hearts and view of this holiday. I want them to realize how much they have, how much Jesus gave for them and how much of blessing it is to love others...
i love what Jami from "Hello from the Natos" wrote on this topic

Anyway, i don't feel like i figured anything out this year...but i know it was good to think about and more than anything i realized that as great as it is to live circumspectly at christmas time it is just as important if not more important to do so throughout the year. Listen to this great quote some friends of ours put on their Christmas card:

"Christmas, my child, is love in action...The greatest gift God ever gave was HIS Son, sent to us in human form so that we might know what God the Father is really like! Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas." D.E. Rogers

Here's to loving more, giving more, and being more intentional all year!
part 2 of our family christmas comes tomorrow and then we can happily move onto the new year! Thanks for sticking with me.