Monday, December 19, 2011

Dare to DIY Week Six (Final Week)

Dare to DIY
Dare to ... have traditions!
Everyone has traditions for the holidays. Tell us all about your favorites or start a new tradition to share.

Traditions are pretty important to me. Last year I told you about where we usually go, and about Cory's strange gift list (this year was no exception, BTW.). This year I tout I would tell you about three Nora-specific traditions.

The first one is the ornaments. When Cory was a kid, his mom bought him a Hallmark car ornament every year. When Nora was born, my MIL also started the tradition with her. Each year Nora gets a new ornament for the tree from the "Child's Age Collection". She got very excited this year about hanging her old baby ornament on the tree because the bear has a binky. :)

The second one is . . . the slumber party! Nora's second cousins have an all-girls slumber party every year at the oldest cousin's house, complete with a fashion show, movies, and junk food. Just last year Nora got to go to the party for the first time (although it will be awhile before she spends the night!) This year is no exception, and she's pretty excited! Last year she had no idea what was going on, and spent most of the time looking in the mirror at her cute little self:

The last tradition is a new one that I am starting this year. I "interviewed" Nora with some Christmas questions and wrote down her responses. I am displaying it in the house since we have company actually coming over this year:

The responses were really cute. She told me she wants a snowman for Christmas and that she wants to give gifts to baby Jesus. It will be so neat to ask her these year to year!

That's our traditions! Don't forget to check out the completed advent calendar from last week if ya missed it. ;)

Until next time . . .

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

DONE! :)

A few days ago, I showed you all the unfinished Christmas Advent Abacus, based off of this picture that I saw on Pinterest:

Well here is the finished product!:

A coat hanger, some spray paint, and some wooden beads was all it took. I think it turned out really neat! :) The shape of the "tree" still has a lot to be desired, but I am done with it for now. I might tackle the wire bending again next year . . . :)

Until next time . . .

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dare to DIY Week Five

Dare to DIY
Dare to ... deck the halls!
Make something new to deck your halls. Did you find something in a catalog that you wish you had? Wreaths, stockings, pillows or advent calendars? Make it! Inspire us all to do the same.

Recently someone I know posted this:

on her Pinterest page. I don't think I actually repinned it, but I remember thinking "I could do that." And for about a month now, I have been meaning to do it for this specific week of the DIY Challenge . . .

. . . and I didn't get it done. I am such a slacker this year! BUT, I did start it:

I am still messing around with bending it just right (which will be easier when the beads are done) but this is the general gist of it. I plan on finishing it up today or tomorrow. But since it was my 30th birthday this weekend, plus all the Christmas stuff going on, I just haven't had the time to finish it up.

So check back this week for the finished product. :) I want it done tonight or tomorrow, but who knows. It's a busy week.

. . . And . . . OK, I may have intentionally skipped over the part where I said it was my 30th Birthday. Yes, it was. I am 30. And it feels a lot like 29. :) I had a wonderful weekend - my husband threw me a party on Friday, and Saturday was a family reunion and then we went out with some friends, and then Sunday was shopping all day with my MIL. I am pooped!!

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dare to DIY Week Four

Dare to DIY
Dare to . . . give homemade gifts!
Nothing is more special than a gift made by you. Try out something new to give this year - ideas include bath and body items, kitchen gifts, hand-sewn clothing or home decor.

Confession - I have yet to make any Christmas gifts this year.

I KNOW! Since I made nearly every gift last year, this is just craziness. But I do have plans to make two gifts and I am waiting on the supplies to arrive this week. The gifts I am planning to make are similar to these:


Mine will be different, but the concept is the same. I am only waiting on the photos themselves to arrive.

The only thing I did make so far this year was a new card organizer, based off something I pinned on Pinterest:


It's a neat version of a card holder, using only ribbon, glue, and an old frame. I went ahead and made a simple version of one for myself:

I like it, but I do think it looks a little TOO simple. I may decide to embellish it sometime before Christmas is over, but for now - here it is, holding our one and only Christmas card that we have received so far this early in the season. And it will do for now - until I can learn to make my dream Christmas card holder. Someday, someday . . . :)

Until next time . . .

Monday, November 28, 2011

Some of our Christmas Decor

I had to occupy myself Friday while my husband and daughter went to Thanksgiving without me. Even though I felt better, I was likely still contagious. So, when my fever broke and I got my energy back, I went ahead and started putting up Christmas decor (WAYYYYY before I usually do!) I got everything done but the tree - which I cannot haul up the stairs alone - while "watching" football, drinking lots of water, and trying to decide what I could eat besides toast (and then settling on toast!) It helped me to not focus on how sulky I was feeling that I couldn't go to Thanksgiving. Nothing like a little holiday cheer to brighten my sulky, sorry mood!

I haven't made anything new this year, and I don't think I will - I have plenty of stuff!! I didn't even use it all. But . . . if I do feel the creative bug bite me, I have two different projects in mind that could still be completed. :)

Until next time . . .

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dare to DIY Week Three

Dare to DIY
Dare to . . . eat cookies!
As we begin to attend holiday parties, share your favorite cookie recipe for all to enjoy. It’s like a digital cookie swap. Share the recipe and a review of the cookie. If you can, add a picture. And don't worry about the extra calories. At Christmas, cookies are calorie-free.

First of all, every one of you have got to go check out Kim's "cookie". Oh. My. Goodness. That looks so amazing!

Second of all, I had a horrible, painful stomach flu this past week. In fact, I am STILL a little bit nauseated here and there. I got officially "sick" at 3:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, and it snowballed to me crying in bed Thursday afternoon. So instead of attending three Thanksgivings this year, I attended a belated one on Saturday - and I didn't eat much!!

Third of all, since I was sick I did not make my DIY cookies this week. I just can't stomach the idea of making anything like that just yet. (I had to make pasta tonight because it's a "tame" smell.) BUT! - Here is what I was going to try. Don't they look SOOOO YUMMY? I haven't ruled out making them for my birthday yet.

However, I did not fail, DIY friends! Before I got sick, I made these lame-o cookies for the kids I sit for, just as a fun treat:

They are those bake-an-image-cookies that are REALLY not very good on their own, so we jazzed them up with icing and sprinkles. :) Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuch better. We do treats right in this house! :)

Until next time . . .

Guest Post at Gluesticks

I am over at Gluesticks today!. Please stop by and say hi! Thanks!

Until next time . . .

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dare to DIY Week Two

Dare to DIY
Dare to . . . entertain!
Show us your table. This could be for Thanksgiving, everyday, the holidays or something else entirely. Bring out your table settings, display it in a new way or make something completely new (a table runner, centerpiece, etc.). I promise that having a set table will make you smile. And, everyone can use a smile.

If you remember how last year went, you will know that tables are not my thing. I don't own a lot of sets of fancy dishes, cloth napkins, chargers, or anything of the sort. Plus, I strive to make my home kid-friendly and practical at all times, so those things don't always fit into the equation.

Having said that, my table was pretty simple:

I used the turkey napkin rings from last week (of which I only made two of, so use your imaginations):

And also made these pumpkin spice cupcakes I have been DYING to try for years. I made them in these darling little paper wrappers that I knew were going to go on my table from the moment that I saw them:

And, of course, the practicality part! All the extra paper napkins, salt, pepper, kids silverware, and yes - even the hair fixing supplies, gotta keep hair out of the food! - are all hidden away in the Harvest basket.

So that's my table, simple and practical as always! Thanks Kim for giving me an excuse to clean and polish it. :)

Until next time . . .

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nora's 27-Month "Snapshot Update"

Nowadays, a typical conversation with Nora while riding in the van goes something like this:
"Hey mom."
"Hey Nora?"
"I gotta REALLY REALLY snack." (no typos there at all)
"You do huh?"
. . .
"Hey mom."
"Hey Nora?"
"You do? Where?"
"I see something yellow! Look at all the colors!"
"Yeah! Cool!"
. . .
"Hey mom."
"Hey Nora?"
"Can I listen to my songs?"
"Yep, hold on a sec."
"(sings a few lines then stops and hides her face with her hands) . . . Where is me?? *Giggle* . . . Hey mom."
"Hey Nora?"
. . .
"Hey mom."
"My goldfish are yellow!"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

An actual conversation with Nora:
Mommy sits down at the table for breakfast with toast with Nutella.
Nora asks: "Mommy, what you eating?"
"Toast, you want a bite?"
"No . . . it's too muddy."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

An example of Nora's prayers before bedtime each night (edited without the time delay that is usually involved at bedtime):
"Alright Nora, let's talk to God."
"I wanna say 'Dear God'."
"Deeeeeeeeeear God! . . . "
"What would you like to say to God tonight?"
"Thank you for mommy . . . and daddy . . . and Nora."
"Would you like to ask God for anything?"
"I ask God for a baby brother."
"OK, sounds good to me, although we would take a sister if we got one! Is there anything else you want to say to God?"
"A baby sister . . . I want to say Blake."
"OK then go ahead and ask God to please bless Blake."
"Please bwess Blake!"
"How about we ask God to bless all your family? And your friends too?"
"Where's Baby Stell?" (that is Baby Stella, nicknamed!)
"Nora, let's finish talking to God first. Do you want to tell God that you are sorry for hitting -E- today?"
" . . . No."
"I think you should tell God you are sorry. When you hit -E- it hurt her."
"Ok, sorry God for hit my friends."
"Anything else? (this is usually where the delaying begins, so I wrap it up! lol) . . . No? . . . OK, well then God we thank you for listening to Nora's prayers, In Jesus' name, AAAA-"
"I want to say Amen!"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

And that's our little Nora. :)

Until next time . . .

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dare to DIY Week One

Dare to DIY
Dare to . . . be thankful!
Take some time making your own DIY Thanksgiving project. It could be a fun Thanksgiving advent calendar, a banner, a way to share your thanks or something completely unique. Post about what you made, how you made it and photos in its new home.

For this week's challenge I made something I don't already own: napkin rings.

I wanted to make some cute ones last year (and I think I did end up making some out of acorns), but I didn't really know what to do. This year I have made a few hair flowers using this design and I thought I may be able to incorporate these flowers into a napkin ring design. I spray painted the flower fabric fall colors, added a turkey head, and TA-DA! Done. Easy.

I actually added a little clip to the backs of these instead of attaching them to a ring. That way I can clip them on wherever next year!

Also, since this week is "dare to be thankful", I thought I would write a little about thankfulness. Sometimes I need a reminder that my life is really AWESOME, because it really, truly is. It's definitely not the kind of life I had ever imagined, but it IS wayyyyyy better. So, without further ado, I am going to go ahead and list "the big things" that I am thankful for - not for you to read necessarily, but for me to remind myself and internalize why I am so blessed!

I get to stay at home every day with my beautiful daughter - who I am thankful that we were able to conceive. She is beautifully and wonderfully made, happy, and healthy. I also have the most amazing husband anyone could ask for - who is an amazing partner. :) Also let's not forget loving, generous, patient, and fun!! I have a great, supportive family and I am thankful for their health and for their lives. I live in a place that I love, with wonderful neighbors who are like a second family. I go to a wonderful church that has given me the gift of helping me come to know my savior Jesus. And then, of course, there's JESUS! :) I am thankful for all that You did and have done for me, now and forever.

Life is good. :) I am thankful for it!

Until next time . . .

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dare to DIY Party

Last year if you remember, I participated in Kim's Dare to DIY Party:

This year I will likely do the same! So look for that coming soon.

Here are last year's posts:
Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four
Week Five
Week Six

Until next time . . .

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! (Belated)

I took Nora out to trick-or-treat this year:

Isn't she the cutest little kitty you have ever seen?! :)

She had a lot of fun trick-or-treating with the neighborhood kids this year. She learned very quickly how to charm everyone out of their candy and pretzels. :) Although she has hardly eaten any candy - she doesn't like chocolate for some strange reason!! Anyway, we did end up getting rained on a bit, but I would still say Nora seriously enjoyed herself.

Until next time . . .

Thursday, October 27, 2011

26-Month Update

So Nora is 26 months old. Here are some of her latest updates:

Last month I told you that she finally started cutting tooth number 9 on the upper right side. This month tooth number 10 appeared on the lower right, and I am fairly sure some are ready to pop through on the left as well. It has been pretty tough on Nora to cut these teeth so late, but the cool thing is that she can TELL US when her mouth is hurting, and point to exactly where! Try doing that when your 6-month old cuts their teeth folks. :) Anyway, I am just really happy that she HAS teeth to cut through. She has been chewing on her fingers a lot to alleviate the pain, and even chewed off her nail polish, poor girl!

(Side note: We were talking to her about how the baby girl that I care for has no teeth, and Nora's responded with: "Like me!" :) )

She continues to talk really well. Her new cute word is "scroob". That is what she says every time she sees a "screw". :) She has also shortened every words she says to give everyone and everything a nickname: Mimi = Meem, blanky = blank, etc. It's been pretty funny to hear some of the things she comes up with. She also says "I'm sorry" for everything lately.

She loves the new van! She insists on getting in and out herself every time ("I hop in myself.") It sometimes takes us longer to get going depending on how quick she is about it, but I love watching her independent spirit at work. :)

Here are some pictures of her from this month . . .

Nora trying on her first pair of cowgirl boots, from Aunt Barbie:

In her element . . .

In her OTHER element . . .

Uh, Nora in her OTHER OTHER element? :)

Nora and dad:

Nora and mom:

At the park, can't see the new teeth yet though!

Determination/independence of a two year old + no teeth =

Love this little girl! :)

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Nora and I hitched a ride with Nora's Nana this past weekend to go up to see Cory's cousins in Valparaiso. It was a good trip! Nora did an excellent job, especially since she was cutting a tooth, poor baby!

This is Nora and her first carved pumpkin. I asked her what she wanted to carve and she said "An . . . OCTOPUSSSSSSSSSSS!!" I have no idea where that came from. She settled for drawing a face and letting me cut it out for her. :)

All the pumpkins . . .

Nora's new favorite person ever, cousin Ju-Ju:

Nap time in the car.

It was a great weekend!

Until next time . . .