Thursday, December 30, 2010

10 Things from 2010

This is more a top ten random things - not necessarily favorite. ;-) You'll see why.

1. I turned 30! Its not that bad. But I still feel weird marking the 30+ box when I fill out forms and surveys.

2. I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl! She brightens my days with her precious smiles.

3. Finally re-decorated our master bedroom. Love it!

4. There was a record (for my family) 6 babies born within six months of each other! Five girls and one boy!

5. Joe aged out of First Steps and started developmental pre-school. It has been a big but good transition.

6. Nate started kindergarten (we're homeschooling). Though some days we do more first or second grade stuff than kindergarten. Nate can easily read a level 1 reader on his own and can do simple addition in his head. He's a smart kid.

7. I went to something like 5 weddings and 4 baby showers this year. And with all those weddings there are bound to be a few more baby showers next year too! ;-)

8. I picked up sewing. Its about time since I got my sewing machine two Christmases ago. I have really enjoyed being able to make gifts this year. Its so fun to create something special for people. Its much more personal than buying something.

9. I have tried to keep it real and be more transparent with people. I have let more people see me vulnerable, had people over when my house was messy, I have shared fears and frustrations that I might have held inside before. Its been scary and liberating at the same time.

10. This year I have learned (or been reminded) that I am impatient, self doubting, discontent, and pessimistic. I am also: caring, willing to learn, faithful, and creative. I am working on choosing daily to focus on the positives instead of the negatives. Its a work in progress. ;-)

Anyway... goodbye 2010... Hello 2011!! Happy New Year everyone!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bags, bags and more bags!

I've been waiting since early fall to post these!! I did not want to spoil the surprise for my friends and family who received them as Christmas gifts!

I got most of my fabric on sale at Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's - I don't think I paid full price for anything... as usual! ;-)

This is the "One Hour Bag" from Rick-Rac.

This is the Japanese Knot Bag from Helen Heath.

This is modified from Lula's Reversible Shoulder Bag and Tiny Happy's Shoulder Bag.

These were made from Better Homes & Garden's pattern: Simple Six Pocket Tote

These boys' messenger bags were for my nephews and I used this tutorial from Snazzorama. This was easier than I thought and I'll probably be using it again.
After making several bags I started modifying and making up my own patterns. Here are a few of those bags.
This one was made with scraps from another project and a pair of jeans that had a whole in them. The back pockets of the jeans are actually the inside pockets of the bag. Or the outside pockets if you wanted to use it reversible.
I have really enjoyed putting my creative and craftiness to good use making gifts this year. And I love sharing it on the blog for others to see and maybe even learn from. I have tons of blogs that I love checking for ideas. Sometimes they'll have giveaways of their projects and others' as well. One such giveaway is being held on Our Dandelion Wishes. Check it out!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Letter

I grew up watching my mom write a Christmas letter nearly every year. She would update the family and friends on what all of us kids were up to, how much we were growing and what we were interested in, etc. Now I have a family of my own and find myself writing the same kinds of letters every Christmas just as she did. But as I was writing our holiday letter (on a gloomy, depressing, stressful day) I began wondering: "does anyone write about the bad stuff?". Anyone? So here is the letter that my cynical Scrooge/Grinch-self wanted to write:

This year has been a roller coaster of highs and lows here. Nate drives me up the walls with about a million questions a day. He wears me out begging me to play legos non stop. Joe's progress seems painfully slow. Some days I feel like he's never going to walk or talk or anything! Christine is sweet as punch but as time goes on and she becomes more delayed I am scared to death that she is going to suffer from serious developmental delays like Joe. Sometimes I think if I have to change another poopy diaper I'm going to scream. Isaac's sleep issues are far from resolved so I have a lot of pressure on myself to take care of things on my own a lot. Then I guilt myself for not being grateful and I feel even worse than I did before. So there you go. Merry Christmas.

But... then I snap out of it and remind myself that no one sends out letters like that. Even though some days are hard and I want a vacation so badly I could scream... I know I am blessed. So, this is what I came up with instead.

It has been an eventful year for us. Here are just a few of the highlights.

Nate turned five years old in July. He is growing like a weed and getting smarter and more curious by the day! He is doing kindergarten at home and loving it. Nate loves playing with his legos and creating fun projects.

Joe aged out of First Steps when he turned three in March. Since then he has been in developmental preschool via the school system. He is getting PT, OT & speech therapy there and progressing slowly but surely. Joe is very active and we hope he will be walking soon.

Christine made her arrival via a wonderful homebirth on Cinco de Mayo. She has been the light of our life ever since. Christine basks in the attention from her brothers – especially Nate, who dotes on her. So far she has been the best baby – knock on wood!

While the kids keep us pretty busy Isaac and I still enjoy spending time together as a couple and look forward to celebrating our eighth anniversary in January.

We pray that this letter finds you in good health and spirits this Christmas season and that you feel as blessed as we do.

Much Love,

Isaac, Wani, Nate, Joe & Christine

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:14

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Here is a cute little ditty I made online from Office Max and JibJab.

Monday, December 20, 2010

recent scrappin stuff

Here are a couple of scrapbook pages that I was able to get done during naptime the other day. Nate (my 5yr old) has been interested in scrapbooking with me lately. Mostly he likes to use the punches and fancy scissors. I'll have to post pix of his pages next time! ;-)

This is a page of Nate's 3rd birthday. For whatever reason I have only a few pix from that party. Oh maybe its because I was hosting and no one else takes pix. Hhhmmm... nah, that couldn't be it. ;-)
This is a re-scrap of a two page layout that I did a long time ago that I decided was too big. Now that I'm getting my pages into albums (finally) I'm getting more particular about what I scrap about.
And this is one about our trip to the state fair last year. We didn't make it this year. :-(
Check out other Scrappin fun at:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A bit about Joe...

Joe has a folder that goes to and from school with him and inside is a dry erase board that the teachers use to communicate his daily activities and other information with us. Usually its nothing exciting but last week we got a special note from Joe's speech therapist. She reported that when presented with picture cards he was able to pick out "ball" and "dog" when they were named. OMG!! Most of you might not grasp how exciting this is! We're so thrilled to get this kind of report.
Its hard when we go long stretches without a significant milestone. This is a pretty exciting one that I couldn't wait to share!
Also, please pray for us right now as we are in the process of getting Joe a wheelchair for his transportation to and from school. We had been borrowing one but it was reclaimed and now Joe cannot ride the school bus until we get another one. So, we are working with docs and such getting the proper paperwork in place and all that to get a new chair. In the mean time I am driving him to and from school. And with the snow we have had lately I'm really missing the school bus!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Kids' Christmas Craft!

My friend and I wanted to get together to do a holiday craft with our kiddos this season. I said I hated that so many kids crafts are disposable. So after some scoping online I found THIS tutorial and knew it was just what we were looking for. So simple and with supervision the kids did great.
All we needed was a few 2x4s cut down to size (6in, 5in, 4in, 3in and 2in). We used Mod Podge to add the scrapbook paper to the front.Then we used Gorilla glue to attach the blocks of wood together. Then we hot glued the embellishments on. And there you have it - our version of the 2x4 Christmas tree! ;-)

Also... I made these two kids aprons for the girls. So simple... I just used an apron that Nate had from the dollar store as a template and then trimmed them out with bias tape and added ribbon ties. Easy as pie!
I think the girls were almost as excited about the aprons as I was! ;-) How cute are they??

Friday, December 10, 2010

Girly Room!

My baby girl is seven months old! Ah! I guess its about time I posted pix of her bedroom makeover! ;-)
This is the only "before" picture I could find of Christine's room. It had been a music room for Isaac awhile ago - you can kind of see the guitar hooks on the wall. But gradually it just became the catch-all room. We were barely able to walk through the room a few months ago - that is how much stuff had accumulated. Just miscellaneous knick-knacks and pieces of furniture that no longer had a "home" found their way into this room. Finally enough was enough and we tackled it!

It was not a quick project. We gradually got rid of the unneeded items and the "keepers" found their way into better places (closets, the garage...). Then came the painting and trimming.
Finally we completed the transformation of the old music room (turned catch all room) into a adorable girly bedroom for my sweet Christine.

List of craftiness in the room: I painted a rug that we already had to match the colors in the room. I made the bunting valances using the tutorial found HERE - though I skipped the interfacing and used bias tape instead of ribbon.
My friend Lehi sent me a link on facebook for these flowers. As cute as they were I had to find somewhere to use them, so I incorporated the same fabric from the valances and made one to embellish the "C" hanging between the windows.
List of deals in the room: The bedding was bought from a friend for $20 (she had gotten it on craigslist and ended up not using it after all). A few of the accessories I already had, the rest I found on clearance at Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's and even Good Will. The loveseat was free from friends at church. The rocker was Isaac's parents when he was a baby.

Linking up to ThriftyDecorChick's Show Us Your Kids' Room!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Handmade Gift Exchange

I participated in a handmade gift exchange via Linda @ Craftaholics Anonymous. She paired us up with other crafters and we sent eachother items that we made ourselves. I was paired with Julie @ SingingThreeLittleBirds.
I sent her the pink and green flowered purse (and two coordinating bags for her daughters). And she sent me two rosette ribbon book marks. I love getting packages in the mail!! Maybe that is why I like shopping online. ;-) Anyway, thanks to Linda and Julie!! I really enjoyed the handmade gift exchange!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Countdown to Christmas Craft

So, I get lots of crafty ideas on blogs and such. Some of them are ideas I love but will never get around to doing... and others I adapt to fit my own needs or improvise with supplies that I already have on hand. Here is one such project!
I will admit it took a couple of days to complete because I didn't really have a long stretch of time to devote to it. Plus I wanted to involve Nate in the project and as you know, that made it take even longer. So: Here is the link to the inspiration for this craft.
In the inspiration project she used library card envelopes which were adorable. But I already had a bunch of 4x8 envelopes that I got for free from the Hallmark lady at Walmart. So I just cut them in half and used a circle punch to make it easier to access the card inside. I used sturdy card board for the inside cards so they would stand the test of time but layered decorative paper on top. I cut out squares of Christmas scrapbook paper and Nate helped me to glue them to the envelopes. I used circle punches and made circles then Nate stenciled the numbers on them. The activities on the inside cards were printed off then cut and pasted on. After all that work it has been fun to open a new envelope every day with Nate and have a fun new activity to do together to get in spirit of Christmas.

For more great holiday crafts and DIYs check out these sites that I'm linking up with:

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