Friday, February 25, 2011

Closer to Sane

The other day I said I'd touch a little on the craziness that's been going on in our lives lately. Not too much though. You might get bored. In a nut shell my husband has started his master's degree and it's been a HUGE change for us. He's getting it in Statistics. UGHHHH!!!!!!!!!! and I'll just leave it at that.

Because of this endeavor things have been a bit of a whirl wind as far as schedules and duties go. All I can say is a man who can do the dishes and change a diaper is better looking than any guy on the front of a GQ magazine, and the extra work on my shoulders is making me realize that in so many ways.

This change in our lives has forced me to put something into practice that I've had a bit of a challenge doing in the last year. But I've found a solution- or at least I think I have. And these two books have helped me.


The first one is My ABC Bible Verses by Susan Hunt. 
And the second one is The Jesus Storybook Bible written by Sally Lloyd-Jones and illustrated by JAGO.

I found the first one on Amazon in the search for the perfect Christmas present for Lilly as a part of our Christmas Tradition gifts. I also have a friend who's young children (2-4 yrs. old) have a verse from the Bible memorized for each letter of the alphabet. Well, I tried doing it on my own but it wasn't happening. When I saw this book I knew immediately that THIS was the gift. 

But then I saw on Jones Design Company a picture of a book she had as she listed some of her favorite things. So I looked into this other book as well. Since I couldn't decide on which one to get- I got both. 

Lately in the morning while the kids are eating breakfast I read a story out of My ABC Bible Verses. Then I pray over the kids, our activities, daddy and the day as a whole. Each story has a verse that starts with the alphabet, and we focus on that verse and story throughout the day and week. I quote the scripture as often as I can when the opportunity arises. The flow of the day has been a night and day difference.

Then at lunch when we sit down together I read a story (usually more) out of The Jesus Storybook Bible. The pictures from this book are amazing along with the words of each story. There are times I've had to do the "don't cry blink" because it's a great reminder of the simplicity of God's love. 

Since we've included those two things into the "rhythm" of our day- it's been amazing. It's really opened my eyes to the purpose of why I'm staying at home with my children.

If you're looking for two books to include in your child's library, I consider these a must.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hold on to Your Wig

This week has two important events marked on my calendar. One that is on everyone's calendar and one that pertains to my personal life. The one you and I both have marked is President's Day. The other is my awesome wonderful brother's birthday. My brother and "The Father of Our Country" share the same birthday.

So for a fun project to celebrate the occasion, Joel and I made a wig. Not as a gift for my brother, although it sometimes looks like he could use one, but as a way to remember good ol' George. My brother got a phone call, which I'm sure he was very grateful for instead of a wig.

Now on to the wig making. When I taught first grade we made these, and I got the idea from another first grade teacher that I taught with prior to then. She is such an amazing teacher, and I loved getting ideas from her because they were always fantastic.

I'm gonna give you a how-to that's fun and thrifty all at the same time.

First thing. Save an empty gallon jug of milk and wash it out as best you can. Then the next time you get something fragile in the mail- save the packing peanuts. You'll also need some craft glue, a small brush and scissors.




Take your scissors and cut the handle out of the milk container. When making your way to the bottom of the container- do not cut all the way down. You'll need some room for bangs. I'd say leave about 2 inches. The bottom will be used to put on top of your child's head.




When you're through cutting the container, use a clorox wipe to clean the inside for any remaining milk-ewww!!




Put a small portion of craft glue in a small bowl. Depending on what kind of craft glue you use, you may need to add some water. Not too much though or you'll have a runny mess. So add sparingly until you have a Elmer's Glue texture.




Another purposeful use for the glue is to help you catch flies. HA!!! That was pretty gross.



Then prop the milk container with the flat bottom facing up and little by little put craft glue onto the jug starting with the front. I'm sure you know this, but don't cover the entire jug with craft glue. It'll dry too quickly or be too messy. 




Start adding the packing peanuts and line them up as evenly as you can next to each other. 




 Pretty soon you will start seeing a pattern that looks like this.




Joel did most of the front and back with my help, but I did the top because it was a little too messy for his taste.




Let the hat dry for at least an hour, if not more, before wearing.

Prior to making the wig I read this book to Joel and talked about how we're going to pretend to have a wig like George Washington. I L-O-V-E the books by Patricia Pingry. She's written books about holidays and gives a history about their origin, people in history and Bible stories that are the perfect level for small children. Most books are no more than 100 words. Plus her books are hardback, which is perfect for babies and up. Every holiday I pick one of her books up at B&N.




When the glue on the wig finally dried, Joel wasn't a bit interested in putting it on. Go figure!! But after I mentioned Lilly wanted to wear it first, his mind quickly changed. He put on quite the modeling show after that.




Lilly did get a part of the action too.



I think this is the cutest thing, and just imagine 20 little 6yr olds walking down the hallway with these on their heads. Puts a smile on my face just thinking about it.

So Happy Birthday George!! and to my brother too!


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Monday, February 7, 2011

How to Make Bows for Girls

Now that I have a girl, I've often wondered how to make bows for girls.



This past week I took a last minute trip to visit my parents in West Texas, and had that question answered.

My intention was to empty out our house of any extra noise so the hubs could get some school work done, the kids could get some good ol' grandparent spoiling while I got a little bit of r and r.




While there I told my mom that I wanted to learn how to make bows for girls, especially one that I could use for Lilly's Birthday that is right around the corner. We did some research on a couple of ideas, and we liked this one the best.

The nice thing about this bow is it was basically free because of all the scrap fabric my mom has saved through the years. She loves to sew and has has a fairly large stash. In my search for the perfect piece of fabric I recognized this piece immediately.




When I was a little girl my mom had a Valentine dress made for me out of this material. I loved this dress dearly, and remember the day I put it on and  had obviously grown out of it. Never did I think I would one day be able to use the fabric to make bows for girls, especially my very own. 

So for the bow I'm making Lilly I'll be using the material from my most favorite dress as a little girl. Isn't that the sweetest?

I watched the tutorial to make this bow, but I'm going to break it down for you with a few changes to please my own taste.

These are the materials you need:
Fabric of choice
Pencil
8 cm diameter  card stock circle
6 cm diameter card stock circle
1 cm diameter circle from felt
Scissors
Needle and thread of choice color
Button (big enough to hide stitches in the middle of the bow, mine is about an inch in diameter)
Alligator clip covered by grosgrain ribbon



First use your larger circle made of card stock to trace 7 circles on the back of the fabric. Then use the smaller card stock circle to trace 6 circles. You may find you need more or less depending on how big you make the "triangles" described in the next step. (I found some lids from cans to use as my circular guide for the card stock.)



Cut the circles out, and cut a slit to the center of each circle.




Take a circle and create a triangular fold.



Then over lap that fold the opposite direction.
Continue folding, alternating directions each time until it looks like this.



Eventually it will look like a triangle.
When looking at the top of the triangle you should have "loopy loo" creases- sort of like a "s" shape.



Stitch the bottom part of the triangle.



Follow the above directions for all the circles.

After making "triangles" with all the circles, take the felt circle and stitch a large "triangle" on it like this:


Continue to stitch each large "triangle" side by side onto the felt until you have made a circle that looks like this:



Stitch the smaller ones on top in the same fashion to form two layers.



Now take the button that you found in your button stash and sew it in the middle to cover the crazy amount of stitches in the middle.



If the button you have does not cover the stitches, get a bigger button. 

Flip the bow over and hot glue your alligator clip onto the bottom. I prefer using a clip with grosgrain ribbon b/c it protects your finger better from the molten hot glue from the hot glue gun, and when the clip is in your hair the silver is completely covered- not peeking through.


  
I can't wait to show off the final product on the prettiest baby model in the world.
Of course it'll be Lilly's B-Day Party post. So stay tuned.

If you make one of these I'd love to see the results. Don't be surprised if you see this flower popping up ever so often in my pics either.
Have fun snooping and stitching!!!

Do you have any special things from your past that could make bows for girls?


I'm linking this up to Someday Crafts Valentine Link Party
monogram

handmade projects

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Be Our Guest

Lilly's birthday is coming up and..............

to take a peek at her invitations.

She is a Valentine baby, and she's about to have her first birthday. So you know she has to have a Valentine themed party.

I wanted to do something special for her birthday invitations, and I didn't want to spend a lot of money doing it either.


So I made her invitations.


I used the tutorial from good ol' Martha, and tweaked some of her directions to fit my taste and purpose.

One thing I did differently than what Martha's instructions gave were the measurements for the size of paper and the creases. I needed the paper to fit in envelopes, so I used the envelope as my guide
and my husband's skills at engineering to figure out the measurements for the creases.
I also made the back flap turn down- mostly to cover up the name of the company that made the paper.

Inside of each crease I wrote the needed info for the party.

I was able to make around 12 invitations (and a few to spare for testing purposes) for less than $2. I purchased all the craft paper on sale at JoAnns and at the HobLob.

Folded up in the envelope they look like this


but they're also a pretty little decoration to sit on a table.


I love the way these turned out, and they were lovingly



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