Friday, March 30, 2012

Front Porch Bench

I am so proud of myself! I pulled off a woodworking project on my own last weekend. I built a bench for my front porch! I ripped all the wood on the table saw, I cut the boards to length on the miter saw and I even used the band saw to cut out a portion of the arm rests. I think the only help from Dan was helping me pull through 4 of my boards on the table saw since the blade was a bit dull. I then used the cordless drill and pre-drilled all the holes for my screws to go in. (I figured that one out after cracking 4 of my boards!)

Now I am just waiting for some warmer weather so I can do the finish work on it. I haven't decided exactly how I am going to finish it but I am thinking about staining it the charcoal color that I will be using on the back deck later this summer. I used the plans from Ana White and modified it using some left over 2X10 boards we had laying around from a past project. I ripped them down so they would work as the 2X3's the plans called for. I then used a couple ripped 1X10's for the seat slats. I figure they are strong enough especially with the support beams on the bottom.

So we're just waiting for the weather to get in gear and warm up already! It was beautiful last weekend. I don't know what happen. It especially stinks because our furnace's hot surface ignitor burnt out last night and I have had to resort to space heaters and the fireplace to keep everything warm in here. Emma is still in her footed pj's and the kids are cuddled under a blanket while watching a movie. 63 degrees inside is not cutting it for me.

I went and picked up the part we need at a heating supply store today and am hoping my handy man of a husband can figure it out. I've found some really awesome tutorial videos on You Tube so I don't think it will be a problem, its just annoying.

Speaking of annoying... this cold/cough I have picked up. I was down for the count yesterday. I still went to Zumba that night (call me CRAZY) thinking I could sweat it out and today I am feeling a little better but I sound horrible. I better get over it quick since next week is my birthday trip to Portland to see 'Wicked' with the hubs while grandma and grandpa watch the kiddos overnight. So excited!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bunny Mask

Ethan was really bummed that Kiera got to go to school today and not him. Preschool was cancelled all this week so he was feeling a little left out. So to make him feel better we did our own craft time. We made a bunny mask out of a paper plate and some construction paper.

What you need:
-A paper plate
-pink construction paper
-glue stick
-cotton balls
-yarn or thick elastic thread
-a hole punch (or in my case a staple remover)
-Optional: pipe cleaners for some fun whiskers

Cut out some bunny ears from some pink construction paper and glue on some cotton balls that have been torn in half. Then hold up the plate to your childs face to see where the eyes and nose should be. Cut out the nose and eye holes. Next draw the rest of your bunnies face. Hold punch a couple holes on the sides for your string to go through and size and tie on to your childs head. And wha la! A cute little bunny. Now watch him jump around like a little bunny rabbit and feed him a carrot snack. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012


 I am so excited the cake turned out just as I had hoped! It is a two layer sheet cake. The bottom layer is chocolate and the top layer is vanilla with chocolate marbled into it. The frosting is a buttercream with a hint of mint. It smells delish! All the decorations are out of marshmallow fondant except for the "pills" that are M&M's. Can't wait to show the guest of honor!
 Here are some close ups of the fondant decorations.

Now the trick will be to keep little fingers out of it until the party this weekend.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In The Middle of Something Grand

I am in the middle of doing a cake for a friend. She just graduated and got her nursing degree. So, I am making a RN cake for her and can't wait to show you when it is all done! Check back soon. Her party is this weekend.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Emma's Easter Dress And The Two Together

Emma's Easter Dress is finished! I am so happy I decided to go ahead and make the girl's dresses this year. It didn't take as long as I thought it would, and I think they turned out pretty darn cute. I haven't tried Emma's on her yet since she was sleeping at the time but I wanted to show you the end result.
Emma's was a bit more involved since she didn't have a t-shirt that I could use for the top half. I ended up using one of Ethan's 4T shirts that he had grown out of. I cut it to slim it down and made new sleeves with elastic. I love how it ties the skirt into the top.
 Here's the Front
And the Back
And here are the two dresses together

 Now I need to figure out how to make a little boys tie with some of the material so Ethan isn't left out. And Maybe I'll make something for myself but realistically that more than likely won't happen.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Kiera's Easter Dress

Last night was a little rough for me. So to get my mind off of things I decided to hang out in my craft room and make something.  So, on a whim I made Kiera an Easter dress. I had been thinking about the possibility of making one but was pretty sure it wasn't going to happen this year. But after staying up til midnight and working on it for an hour this afternoon It is done! Mind you it would have gone a lot faster if my model wasn't asleep and I could try things on her and check to see if they fit. I had to pick out stitches today and change a few things after I had her try it on.

I got the instructions on how to make it from the blog Make It And Love It under her tutorials section. It was pretty easy and didn't cost me a thing since I just used what I had. And the best part is that she loves it too.

After making the dress Ethan asked me if I would make him a Spider Man one. Not sure exactly what he wants but I will probably end up making him a tie or something so he doesn't feel left out.

Here's the dress...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Where I've been

 I thought this was sort of fun.
This is a map of the places I've been. 
Looks like I have a few empty spots to fill.
Just go to it's really easy.

Emma's Birthday Photo Shoot

I had so much fun today with Emma's birthday pictures. Emma was such a good sport and in a very happy mood. I had to take advantage of the opportunity. I knew that if I waited much longer, nap time would set in and the smiles would quickly fade. Plus I didn't really feel like doing dishes.

I set up my photo backdrop on Kiera's bed which is close to a large window, and opened the curtains as far as they go. I then set Emma down on the bed and just let her be herself. I played and giggled with her and when she started to get bored I handed her a toy school bus and that made things fun again for another couple shots.  I switched up handing her some wrapped presents too but she preferred the bus.  Then I uploaded the pictures on the computer and did a little editing and cropping in Photoshop. Here are the final pics.


Happy Birthday Emma!
We love you!

Emma's 1 Today and Cake Reveal!

Emma is One today! I can't believe it has already been a year! It came up so fast. Before I know it she'll be running around with her big brother and sister, riding a bike, catching bugs, and going down the big kid slide.

For now though, I will enjoy the way Emma avoids being on her knees and scoots along the hardwood floor. I will smile as I watch her inch her way along the furniture and attempt balancing for those split seconds before she learns to walk. I will share her excitement as she makes her signature "ooook" or "look" as she points at everything she sees in her world. I will enjoy her smiles as she greets me on her feet from her crib in the mornings. I will feel my heart melt when she plays with the hair behind her ears as she nurses at bedtime.  And I will try to forever remember the way her face looks as she sleeps in my arms.

I love you Emma June! And am so thankful for the spirit you have brought to our home. Now I hope down the road you don't mind the things I will dress you in and feed you today just so I can capture a cute birthday shot. I am considering letting you dig into the 8" round cake that I just finished decorating but that might not be such a great idea if I plan on using that for the guests this weekend. (By the way it was something I got off of Pinterest) Happy Birthday baby girl!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Watching Winter Melt Away

I sure hope Winter has shed it's last snowflake around here.
I am ready for spring, and I think Emma is too. 

Sunday Photo Shoot

This morning before church I decided to do a quick photo shoot with the kids. Today was special because Emma wore one of my dresses from when I was a baby. Now both of my girls have worn this dress. I love that I can share simple things like a dress with my little girls.

I can't believe that my baby is going to be a year old this Wednesday.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chore Chart Complete

It's finished! I love how it turned out and I love even more how well it is working. The kids really enjoy chore time (I know it probably won't last so I will savor it for as long as I can). They look forward to the end of the week when they've earned a surprise with all 5 stars. They get a star each day they finish all their chores and can only get the prize at the end if ALL 5 are there.

I didn't include Emma on the bottom board just because I don't know how long this system will work but if it does end up working it won't be very hard to whip another one up in a couple years. Another great thing about this project is that I only used stuff I already had so it didn't cost anything! Love that part too.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Day in Seattle

Last weekend we decided to get away and take a day trip to Seattle. We had the opportunity to meet up with a long time family friend. Dan and he went to high school together, were college roommates and are still close friends. We went out to lunch at a small little pizza place where we were the only ones there. It was actually quite good and the kids loved having their own personal pizzas. I had an amazing chicken alfredo and a salad, and Dan had a calzone I think.

It was fun to listen to the boys chat and laugh. It was also fun to watch the kids interact with him. I think it is safe to say that we've adopted him and affectionately can call him "Uncle Ben." Here are some shots taken at the restaurant. Oh I just want to point out too that I did not take these shots. I may have taken one or two but mostly just so I could test out Ben's awesome camera. Ben was our personal photographer for the day. It was great! Thanks Ben!

  After the restaurant we decided to take the kids to the Woodland Park Zoo. It was a gorgeous day too so it was perfect! Dan had never been so it was fun to show him what we had been talking about from other trips I had made there with the kids.

The day was perfect. It was so nice to spend a day out together and enjoy the company of dear friends. Thanks again Ben for being my photographer. You did an amazing job. It is amazing the details you can miss when you are the one behind the lens. You gave me the chance to take it in while at the same time giving me something to document the memories.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Chore Chart in the Works

I saw a cute chore chart the other day on A Turtle's Life For Me and decided to put a spin on it and make one of my own. Here it is so far. I know Emma is a bit young for something like this but she'll grow. For now her chores will read "to be determined at a later date."

The background looks really orange in this picture but it is actually a cool metallic copper. I have some really cute plans for it.
Can I just say that I am loving having a working vinyl machine these days!

Pinewood Derby Trophiies

This week Dan and I made these pinewood derby trophies for our Cub Scouts (Dan is the assistant Cub Scouts leader). We got the idea from my brother-in-law Steven at his pinewood derby last month. They were a lot of fun to make.

The cars are just $1.00 HotWheels (R) cars that we spray painted gold and the stands are out of some 2x2 that Dan spun on the lathe. The base is a 1x4 cut into squares and then routed around the edges. The black and white checkers and 1st 2nd and 3rd place wordings were done with some white vinyl that I cut on my vinyl machine. And the "go", "paw print", and "pinewood derby ribbon" are some scrap booking stickers that I glued on. I think they turned out pretty awesome!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Precious Moments

Need I say more?

Quilt Top Completed

I know I am way ahead of my August goal, but I just can't leave this project unfinished. Dan probably thinks I am crazy too. I have been staying up till the wee hours of the morning working on it when I should be sleeping.

Yesterday I finished my quilt top while the two older kids were at school. Emma stayed busy exploring Ethan's bedroom and later came in the craft room and kept occupied with some knick knacks she found on the bottom shelf of the changing table I have in there. I had to make some adjustments to the layout of the quilt due to some miscalculations I made to block sizes or directions. I really don't know what happen but in the end it turned out just fine.

I am excited to get the backing piece put together and then have it quilted. One of Dan's co-workers has a machine quilter so I am hoping to see if I can have her do it for me. I just love the look of the free-motion quilting you can get with that. I would do it myself on my sewing machine but I don't have a free motion sewing foot for my machine and don' t know if I would be able to find one anyway. My machine is pretty old.

But here's a full view of the quilt top. . .
It is going to look awesome in the girls room and I've finally decided on a color to paint the dresser that is in there. I am going to use the turquoise/aqua from the quilt top.