After 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I found the wonder of mothering slowly starting to get crowded out by the mundane feeling. I realized our world seems to surround people with the negative, and complaining about blessings seems totally acceptable. So I decided to fight against that "normalcy" and focus only on the positive. I look back to my first year as a mom when everything was new and keeping house was fun and I aim to have that attitude again. This blog is my outlet to showcase the daily miracles that surround me in my blessed life as a stay-at-home mom so that I will never forget the wonder of it all.

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Few Things Done, and Out The Door

I worked on a few projects for friends this Fall, and I kept forgetting to share them with you.  Now with the holiday chaos over, I'm finally remembering to post these pics for my sewing log. 

This quilt was sent to Colorado, to bundle up my wonderful friend's sweet little baby.  She was my first friend in Jr. High. Isn't that neat?!  God knew I needed a friend, and He sent bubbly Lindley my way.  We've been friends ever since, even though I moved away 3 years after we met.
Lindley picked out this fabric, and the design of the quilt, and I sewed it up.  I used the "quilt as you go" method and am in LOVE with that method.  I don't think I ever want to make a quilt the traditional way again!

This little taggie went to my friend from college, for her new little one.  Again, God knew I needed a friend, as I was new to town, and he sent bubbly Heather my way.  Hmmmm.....I'm seeing a trend here.  I guess God uses bubbly, outgoing people to pull me out of the shy zone I often fall into by default.
ANYWAYS, Heather now has 2 girls.  She and her husband have an amazing testimony as to how God has grown their family by His mercy and grace (go here to read about it).  They just adopted their 2nd little girl, and I wanted to make miss Truly something.  I know Heather likes vintage prints, and these prints are legit vintage from Scrap in Portland (thanks Cheri!).  I had just enough little precut triangles from a grab bag to make this little taggie.

And lastly, I attempted sewing for sale.  The order was for 3 doll diapering sets in pink and purple.  Each set has a changing pad, 10 cloth wipes (which go in a little box), and 3 diapers.  I'm glad to have this order done, and glad that I tried sewing for sale (since everyone tells me I should), and glad that I learned a valuable lesson from the experience.......I do NOT have time to sew for sale!  :)  Thank goodness this order was for a friend who gave me nearly a full year to fulfill it.  No joke!  She saw the sets I made Felicity's friends for last Christmas, and asked if I'd be willing to make her 3 sets for this Christmas.  Thank goodness for the long time frame!
Lesson learned.
I think I better just stick to sewing for my family and for gifts.  :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On Christmas Day.....

On Christmas Day,

**  we got up early to make it to church.

**  There was a new mama made dress for one very excited girl....and a matching one for her beloved doll.

**  We rushed home from church to scarf down my Mom's famous traditional ham and cheese english muffins. 

**  Then we rested.....and rested.....and rested.  It was glorious.

**  We finally got around to presents around 3 in the afternoon. 

**  There was a mass amount of turkey consumption.  My husband makes the BEST turkey in the world.

**  And we ended the day with my brother in law's family tradition....a silly string war on the front lawn.

Last year, Christmas was very hard for multiple reasons, but mainly because it was the first Christmas since my dad left the family.  Basically, last Christmas was an epic fail for us adults.  We decided this year would be different.  THIS year, we were going to have joy again.  I had a hard time at Thanksgiving, and feared I would again at Christmas.  But thankfully, that was not the case.  And it wasn't just joyful for me, it was joyful for all of us adults.  At the end of the day, we were excited to find that we all had a truly joyful Christmas.  I can't even tell you how much hope this gives me.  I'm excited to see this hope and joy grow in 2012.  We faced many trials in 2011, all of which were stacked on top of the trials we faced in 2010.  I have a feeling 2012 will hold lots of healing for us all and even if it doesn't, its an improvement that I'm joyful, hopeful, and excited about what the future may hold.  Bring it on.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

On Christmas Eve.......

On Christmas Eve,

** we celebrated Christmas, just us 5!

** There was rushing to the tree (by one of the kids, at least),

** lots of noise (I mean music),

** plenty of horsing around,

** a BIG Daddy made breakfast,

** new Mama made PJs,

** a walk (or ride for some) through the neighborhood delivering Daddy made cookies,

** an encouraging church service,

** our traditional stockings and soup (homemade italian sausage soup by me, and homemade corn chowder by Papa...YUM) at Grammy's house after church,

** custom nails by Daddy,

** and lots of togetherness.

A great celebration!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Handmade Holiday 2011 - for the kids

My girlfriends and I have accidentally started a wonderful tradition.  We get our combined 8 kids together for a "Kids Christmas", and later, we leave the kids with their dads, and head out for our "Mamas Christmas".  The Kids Christmas usually involves exchanging simple little gifts, a fun lunch, and lots of play.  This year I made the kids owl ornaments, and my kids designated which one would go to whom.
I only needed 5 but my sister, who is making a bunch, inspired me with her color pairing and I just had to make some purple and grey owls like hers.  So that little purple one is still in the making.

Felicity requested a matching nightgown set for her and Baby Carrie.  If you follow my blog, you know that Felicity is NOT in need of any more nightgowns.  But I couldn't help but fulfill such an easy and cute request.  The girl LOVES her "napdowns", and I have to agree, Baby Carrie WAS in need of one.

And lastly, my kids have been running off with the broom, mop, golf club, baseball bat.....ANYTHING they can turn into a horse.  I've known for months that I wanted to make them each a hobby horse for Christmas.  I stalled on the project, afraid they'd end up looking like dead snake heads on sticks.  Finally I took the plunge, and I'm so glad I did.  I can't wait for Christmas morning!




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Handmade Holiday 2011 - getting started

Alakai and Audrey's parents, read no further.  Don't spoil it!!!
Even though I haven't posted any "Handmade Holiday" posts this year, I HAVE been participating in it.  I've been crafting up a storm!  I just got a late start this year so everything is in completion mode as I type.  Here's a few I'll share tonight, and there will be more in the coming days as I finish each little one up.

Here's Lissy modeling the nightgown I made for her cousin, Audrey.  This is the best pic I could get.  Lissy was wiggling with excitement because I'd pulled her out of bed for these pics as I'd forgotten to take them and was packing the box right then.  Honestly, I am not happy with the nightgown.  BUT, I sent it anyways.....just like I sent her the shirt I made for her birthday, which I was ALSO not happy with.  In my defense, I sent other gifts too, both times.  Audrey, I promise, the next thing I make you will rock!  I used my self drafted nightgown pattern, which I love.  But I made it using cotton instead of flannel because Audrey lives in a hot climate.  Well, for some reason, I just didn't like how it looked in the cotton.  Lesson learned.

This little set is a Montessori inspired sensory tub for my bright and busy nephew.  Its a color themed box.  I dyed rice and put it in one bag.  Then I gathered objects, painted a few, and put the trinkets in another bag.  Then I made a color mat in case he felt like sorting out the objects.  All went into a broiling pan and off it went to Alaska.  A sensory tub ready to go!

And lastly, I made myself a little something, which was REALLY nice.  :)  I made myself a little ornament for my Christmas tree.  A wren.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Its Beginning To Look A Lot Like....

Baking cookies with Uncle Donny....

decorating their personal trees (one in the boys' room, and one in Felicity's room)....

running through the tree lot in search of Grammy's tree...

decorating Grammy's REAL tree (which I'm laying under now and inhaling its wonderfulness)...

passing traditions on to the grand kids (Logan's the first grand kid to top the tree...a job always coveted by us sisters) ...

the beauty of a child decorated tree...

Kian's first year participating in the making of our own wrapping paper (last year and the year before are blogged here)...

putting up our little family tree in the living room...

bringing out our much loved decorations (here's a NEW one a friend gave us this year.  LOVE!)...

our manger, which only houses a horse and a llama right now, as Mary and Joseph are currently riding their donkey through the house on their way to Bethlehem...

my FAVORITE Christmas decoration...the paint stick trees made by tiny Logan and Felicity in my pre blogging days...


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holding Hands

Kian loves to hold my hand.

"Hold your hand, Mama?"

Last night, Kian was up A LOT.  By the time we went to bed ourselves, we commented on how we guessed he'd join us shortly, when he woke up again.  And he did.  As he was settling down between us, he grabbed my hand and held hands with me the way he always does, by wrapping his whole fist around just one of my fingers.  I fell asleep with my littlest one holding onto me with all his might.

I'd like to say I woke up in the morning like that....well rested and still being held tight by Kian.
I DID wake like that, but not well rested in the morning.
It seemed someone was up and needing something every hour last night.  I'm sure that's an exaggeration, but in the night, it sure felt like that.  As hard as it is to wake a lot during the night, I have to say it sure was sweet to hear Logan telling Zac that he was so sad to have woken with bad dreams, and then to not find his brother in his room with him.
"I'm sad because my brother is gone and I'm all alone!"
And it sure was neat to listen as my husband whispered prayers over Logan, to protect him from bad dreams.....all while having my finger gripped tightly by my littlest sleeping boy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lately We've Been....



 Exploring at Grammy's

 Wearing her Mama made Thanksgiving skirt.....a lot!

and playing