Saturday, December 31, 2011

Snowman Kits

I have been wanting to post this project forever! But I didn't want to risk the in-laws seeing it before they received their gifts. For Christmas we take turns doing something for each of Dan's brothers and their families, we just rotate the families each year. This year we had Dan's brother Ryan. I wanted to do something fun and handmade that the whole family could enjoy and came across the idea of snowman kits on someone's blog; so I decided to do my own version. I love how they turned out!

The first thing I did was go out and buy some inexpensive hats and gloves at Walmart. I think they were about $1.50 a piece. I got enough to make 5 kits but when it came to making the rest of the kit pieces I realized that the white hat I purchased wouldn't really work on a white snowman. There weren't any other color choices to make each one different so I ended up dying the white hat with some turquoise RIT dye. I wouldn't recommend it though. The hat got pretty warped in the process. It will work for a snowman though I think.
 These are the gloves I was trying to match with the RIT dye.
 I also sewed a drawstring bag to store all the kits in using a tutorial from Make It and Love It. I just extended the bag height. The snowman face was done using some felt that I hot glued on the front of the bag. The drawstring is a shoelace that I found in my husband's dresser drawer. I now have a matching stray but plan on making kits for our family as well so it will get used eventually.
I didn't take pictures of all of them but there were 3 other kits. One for Mom, one for Dad and one for Baby. The noses on the kits are all cut to size according to age. Dad's is the longest, then Mom's and so on. The carrot noses were done on the lathe, as well as the buttons. The eyes are just a wooden dowel cut into discs, and the coal mouth pieces were done with Sculpey clay that I baked. All the face pieces were drilled through and a skinny dowel was glued in using some wood glue. Then lastly, the arms were wooden dowels that I cut and painted to match each kit.

They were so much fun to make and I can't wait to see pictures of them on the snowmen. We just need some snow!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas in Oregon

Christmas was a lot of fun. We spent the holiday at Dan's parent's house this year. It was fun to see cousins from Utah and other extended family that we don't see very often. It was a little strange to have a dry Christmas though. There wasn't a hint of snow anywhere and it didn't even rain until after Christmas. But it was very nice not to have to worry about traveling on icy roads.

We celebrated Christmas Eve at Dan's Great Aunt Carols house. It was fun to see members of Dan's extended family that we haven't seen for awhile. The food was great and the kids had a blast . They were so spoiled since they were the only kids there.

On Christmas morning we opened our stockings and then went to church with Grandma and Grandpa. We waited to open the rest of the gifts until Dan's brother Ryan and his family arrived in the late afternoon.  We ate dinner, and everyone got in their PJ's and then it was fun time!
 It was fun to see the cousins all together
I concentrated mostly on the kids opening their gifts so I didn't get many shots of the actual unwrapping. But this is a shot of what Santa brought.
Santa sure spoiled us. Both Kiera and Ethan received razor scooters and a remote control car from the Pixar movie Cars. I don't think Ethan hardly ever put that car away. He still plays with it constantly now that we are back at home.
Emma got a ride on car/walker and a cute hippo that shoots out little balls for her to crawl around and chase. They are going to be perfect for those times at the end of the day when mom is trying to start dinner and needs something to keep miss Emma occupied with. Thank you Santa!
Dan got a grill to go over the fire pit. It is perfect for the one we built in our backyard this past summer. We already tested it out. (See what I mean about the weather? Didn't even need a heavy coat! It's January for heaven's sake.)
Santa brought me some fantastic shoes! They are a combination between a casual shoe and dressy heels. I can't wait to wear them! I also got some 12X12 canvases (I have a special project in mind for them), pinking shears, and some food storage bucket lids that twist that I have been wanting forever!

The rest of our stay we enjoyed time with family and went out for bowling and even went to the aquatic center for some swimming! I didn't get any pictures of the swimming trip. I was too busy getting wet. But I did get one of Emma taking a nap in Grandpa's arms after she was done in the water.

Here are a few more of my favorite shots from our trip.

On Christmas Eve we went to the park to play for a bit. It was a beautiful day!


 It was amazing to see how much this little guy has grown since the last time we saw him in July

The kids got along great and even talked Dan and I into staying another day so they could get some more play time in.  Here's some pictures of them making paper airplanes with Uncle Ryan on the back patio and them testing them out from Grandma's deck. How fun! So simple but those are what make the best memories.

I married into a family that plays a lot of board games when they get together and it is wonderful! Grandma even planned a special game for the kids to play. They got to play Christmas BINGO! Whenever someone got a BINGO you cleared your board of all the candy markers and put them in a goody bag to take home. Then the winner got to pick out two extra pieces of candy. I don't know how many rounds we played but we ended up with full goody bags for everyone. Thanks Grandma!

I love Christmas time! I love the feeling it brings and for the time we get to spend with family. It makes me sad when I see the neighbors start to put away their lights knowing that we too will be doing the same in the next day or so. But it's on to a new year of more exciting Going's on at the Glenn's!

I plan on posting what we made and gave as gifts in the next day or two so stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sibling Gifts

This year the kids have been working on Christmas gifts for eachother. Growing up it was always a tradition in my home to make a homemade gift for one of the siblings. We usually drew names out of a bowl but since only two of mine are old enough to understand what is going on we just did gifts for Kiera and Ethan. I am sure next year Emma will be able to participate.

I found some really cute ideas online and pinned them on my pinterest account. They both were a success and I can't wait to see the kids open them up on Christmas. The kids are even in charge of wrapping the gift they made. I love to see the pride in their faces and the excitement they have that they were the ones who did it. It is a fun way to teach them the joy of giving and not just the receiving.

Here's what we came up with:

For Ethan
Kiera made a Angry Bird Bowling game for Ethan. I got the idea from the website Blue Cricket Design.
Kiera had so much fun and couldn't wait for "nap time." Nap time meant Ethan was going to bed and she got to stay up to work on his surprise. She painted the empty cans green, cut out most of the pieces of felt (left over from my bunk-bed playhouse), and helped stuff the angry bird ball/pillow. When I was painting the faces of the pigs on all the cans I left the pupils off the eyes and let her do those. The project didn't cost anything! But the best part was seeing Kiera and how pleased she was with herself. She can't wait to see her brother open her gift; and neither can I.

For Kiera
Making Kiera's gift was a bit tricky since she doesn't really nap anymore and is out of school for Winter Break. So to make hers we had to preoccupy her with some watercolors and some constant reminders to stay out of the kitchen.

Ethan's gift is a homemade playdough cookie set (idea from the blog Chasing Cheerios) He put all the ingredients for the homemade playdough in the pot and stirred it up. Ethan is my little baker so this project was perfect for him! He picked the color (pink) just for her and we added glitter to the dough for some added sparkle. When that was done we got some assorted beads from the craft room and put them in an empty baby food jar to be the "sprinkles" for the cookies she makes with her dough. We included a couple cookie cutters and put all the supplies in a mixing bowl. I didn't take as many pictures of Ethan as I did of Kiera. There's something about having a 3 yr old cooking over a hot stove and a potential 5 yr old peeker that made picture taking at the bottom of my list. We did however get a picture of the finished product.

I am just as excited to see the kids open each others gifts as they are. Maybe even more so.

The Grinch Licked My Candy Cane!

"The Grinch Licked our Candy Canes and my teacher told us to take it home and clean it," Kiera exclaimed when she got off the bus this last week. She'd had her Christmas party at school that day and was so excited to share everything she did as we walked home from the bus stop. 

We walked in the door and did the usual. "hang up your coat, and make sure your shoes get put ON the shelf," I reminded her. She asked if she could eat her candy cane that she had gotten from school. "Sure," I said. (I decided to be nice and not ruin the excitement quite yet). I then went on with my usual motherly duties of tending to the baby, and cleaning up the table etc. Kiera ran to the bathroom. "She must have really needed to go," I thought.

The candy cane she got from school was green and had a little note attached to it with a picture of the grinch on it. It said, 
 "When the Grinch discovered there was no way to keep Christmas from coming on Christmas Day he devised a new plan. Though not quite as mean he licked all the candy canes til he turned them all GREEN!"
"Very cute, but why is Kiera taking so long in the bathroom, and why is the water still running?" I thought.

Turns out she had taken her candy cane in the bathroom and was literally washing it in the sink. It was too cute to handle! It was a sticky mess and she was not to touch ANYTHING until her candy cane was gone.  But hey at least it was clean!
Kids are so funny and they take things so literally. When her teacher said to take it home and clean it, Kiera listened!

Nativity Festival

I just wanted to sit down and post this before I forget. I should be getting ready for our trip later this week but didn't want to miss putting this in before the New Year when I start putting the blog into our annual hard copy "Family Yearbook."

This month we were able to attend the Nativity Festival put on by our Stake (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) We even had 4 of our own nativities displayed there. It was amazing. There were hundreds of nativities! They even had a live nativity. Everything was set up beautifully, and they did a really good job. I really enjoyed it and loved that we could focus on what Christmas is supposed to be about. The kids had fun too. They had a room set up with a bunch of "kid tough" nativities for the kids to play with, a craft project, and even a photo booth with dress up clothes. Although I think Ethan's favorite part was the cookie room :)
I wish I had more pictures but in the rush of the evening I forgot my camera. Luckily the photo booth/stable was manned by two photographers. The photos taken were uploaded to a website for everyone to go on to download their photos from. I think they turned out pretty cute.
  I love this one of my little shepherd and angel

 Emma played the role of baby Jesus. 
I wish I had gotten one of me holding her instead so you could see her face.
Oh well...
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cherishing The Sweet Moments of Parenthood

I just wanted to take a few moments to write down some things about my children that I cherish and hold dear. I want to remember the sweet moments I get with them so that when the not so fun mommy moments come around I can know that "this too shall pass" and the sweet things that make being a mom worth every moment are just around the corner.

At the beginning of the month my mom came up for a visit so that Dan and I could have an extended night out. It was a lot of fun and I wish her stay could have been longer. It is hard being so far away from my family.

Anyway, when I picked my mom up from the airport we had a 45 or so minute drive back home and I had both Ethan and Emma with me (Kiera was at school). We picked her up and went out for some breakfast. When it was time to get back in the car Emma was not happy. She was still very hungry. Being a horrible mother I forgot to bring baby snacks or her bottle. What was I thinking? So on and on we trudged with Emma's sad crying. Just when I almost couldn't handle it anymore I heard Ethan's little voice in the back. It took me a minute to really hear what he was saying over Emma's crying but once I understood I couldn't help but let the tears flow.

My sweet little boy took it upon himself to calm his baby sister down and started to sing to her. He sang the words over and over until Emma's crying stopped and she was fast asleep.
Here are the words he sang. There were a few more lines but I can't quite remember what they were.

I love you, I love you
I want to do something for you
I love you, I love you
I want to do something for you
I love you, I give you my toy
I love you I love you
I going to do something for you
I love you I love you I love yoooou.

It was the sweetest thing ever and it made this mommy's heart smile.

Last night was one of those sweet moments too. We went out as a family to look at Christmas lights and on the way back home Daddy stopped at McDonalds to treat everyone to an ice cream cone. I asked the kids, "what do you say?" and they continued to reply with the usual, "thank you" but then Kiera added a "You are the best parents ever!"  Ethan then tried to one-up his sister with, "Mommy you are so pretty." It was totally out of the blue but so sweet. After that Kiera and Ethan continued to compliment everyone in the car including Emma. It was so cute. Maybe we should go out for ice cream more often!

Pinterest Project Success

This week I completed a project that I have been saving on my Pinterest account, and I am happy to say it was as success. I found these craft stick bracelets on the blog Craft Affection and pinned them to do on a rainy day. But with Christmas on its way I decided that it would be fun for Kiera to have something to give to her friends at school as gifts before the Winter break. She helped pick out the paper to use and I did the rest. After everything was dry I took them out to our band sander and sanded down all the edges. I love how they turned out and just might have to make some more for myself! I could have something for every outfit! Might just have to come up with a bracelet holder too.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Winter Is Ever Near

It still hasn't snowed over here but I am thinking snow it is just around the corner. It has gotten much colder and it is time to break out the hats gloves and scarves. With that said, Emma is now sporting her new winter boots that I picked up the other day. They are so cute! I really like them because the sole of the boot has a see-through window so I can see how far her tootsies are reaching. There is a "perfect fit" line and a "room to grow" line. I like knowing that I am not cramming her little feet into something too small. But what I love most is how darn adorable she looks!
Oh and don't you love her hat? It came from Peru. My little sister brought it back as a souvenir from a trip she took there for school.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Our Christmas Tree

I just wanted to post a picture of our tree this year. We put it up the Sunday after Thanksgiving with Grandma and Grandpa Glenn. We usually do white and red lights since I am a RED fanatic. (You should see my Santa collection. Maybe that will be another post.) Unfortunately, our red light strings were burnt out and we couldn't fix them. So this year we ended up going white and blue. I actually quite enjoy it. It is a more wintery feel. I still haven't mastered indoor night shots but this was the best one I got.

I just love how the bottom of the tree is pretty ornament heavy compared to the top. It is sometimes difficult for me to let it be when I want so bad to "fix" it. But the kids just love decorating the tree and are so proud of it when it is done. After all, its what Christmas is all about. One day I will miss this.
This is Emma's first Christmas. It was so fun to watch her.

I paid so much attention to Emma and her reaction to everything that I almost forgot to take pictures of the kids putting the decorations on.

Do you have your tree up yet? When do you put it up?

A Day Out with Grandma Tutu

Well I think the Thanksgiving leftovers are finally gone now. Well, all but the handful of turkey left for sandwiches and 2 slices of cheesecake. I am going to have to really start cooking again. And it is now time to start focusing on Christmas projects. I've finished wrapping most of the gifts already and just have a few more stragglers left that I am doing homemade gifts for.

This past weekend I got to enjoy a mini vacation with my hubby while Grandma Tutu (my mom) came up and watched the kids overnight for us. It was FANTASTIC! It was Dan's work Christmas party at the Holiday Inn where I got to get all dressed up in a formal! I just love parties like that. I love the excuse to make myself pretty. I did my hair, my nails, make-up and wore a formal that I wore the last time Dan took me to the opera. It was a lot of fun, but I think one of my favorite parts was the hotel hot tub. Nothing like hot water and jets to chase away mommy aches and pains.
At the party Dan and I even got our picture taken. I am hoping that it turned out better than the one we took at home. I need to get back into my zumba routine! The Thanksgiving lbs are showing.  Anyway, it was a lot of fun and reminded me of prom all over again except my date and I weren't nervous. Dan also commented that this time around his date was much hotter. Isn't he the sweetest?
When we got back the next day we decided to show my mom around town. When we got downtown we were surprised to find that it was the city's Christmas festival. There were free hayrides, a town nativity, victorian carolers, and Santa in the park! It was perfect timing! Also around this time of year the city puts up wooden snowmen at every store front and down the main street. It is really cute. My favorite is probably the bikini snow woman complete with water float.
In the middle of town Santa has his very own mailbox and so the kids also got to send their letters. They were so excited! They wouldn't stop drawing pictures to send and wanted to give Santa the best letter ever. I hope Santa likes feathers. So in the end we had to upgrade to the giant manilla folders. It is something I hope to make a tradition every year.
We also took Grandma Tutu to one of our favorite places to eat. It is one of those places you don't go to for the prices but you go for the atmosphere. It was a very busy day for them and one of their cooks was in the hospital so the wait was quite a bit longer than usual but we still had fun.
When it was time to head back home we stopped by the park where Santa was. They were in the middle of cleaning things up for the day but Santa still let the kids sit on his lap. It was great and Emma even got to sit on Santa's lap for the first time!
It was great to have my mom here for the weekend. I miss her already.