Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Birthday WISH

Friday at 12:45 is my official BIRTHDAY !
But since Brent left this afternoon
to head back for New Year's Eve parties....
We had my Birthday TODAY....
The only thing I wanted
was my kids "all in one picture"
That may not sound like much to you....
But let me tell you is a small feat !
The kids gave me a whole 20 minutes to shoot.
But I got what I wanted..
Can't wait to blow them up and get them on my wall.
Now Friday I'm going to do Brenae, Jon and Brady.
Then Photoshop them all together
and make one picture with all 5 of our kids.
Thank goodness for Photoshop..
These days it's NOT the shot you TAKE,
but the one that you MAKE that counts.
When I get them all done I'll show you what the original shot
looks like compared to the finished product..
After 8 years digital photography still amazes me..
May we all have a picture of our children to remind us of what really matters.
If getting older means I get to watch them grow...
THEN bring on the birthdays!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Taking DOWN our Christmas

Before I took all of my "homemade" Christmas down
I thought I'd take a picture of all my finished stockings..
This one is Brook's... and I must say fits her personality perfectly.
I saved the fur from one of her jackets she'd gotten rid of last year.
It had a zip-off collar so I unzipped it and kept the fun part. haha
I hung the stockings on the mantel in order of age..
Little Brady's (on the end) was a mixture of all the fabrics
from the other stockings..
Brenae had a high heel stocking with flowers
Brent got the manliest fabric I had... haha
(Brook informed me it wasn't very manly however!)
It was filled with presents and somehow he never even noticed.
Brad's was first, then mine, Jon's , Brenae's and Brent's.
This was the first year I've ever done stockings.
I think I had more fun finding presents to put in them
than I did doing the real gifts..
The kids LOVED having them..
I'm just gonna tell myself it's partly because they loved
their "homemade" stockings, but we both know
that it's really because they were filled with more stuff..
A GIRL can dream though!! haha
Next was one of our trees.
This one was in the living room with the stockings
so it too was a "homemade" work of Christmas.
Brook and I tied strips of all our left over fabric to make some garland.
Then I made little heart pillows and she stuffed them for me.
I added the rest of our circle flowers and some of my favorite pictures.
I had a few left over flowers so I sewed them onto a few of
the heart pillows. The rest of the "little" flowers I hot glued
on to the picture card corners to give it a little color.
They are the easiest things of all to make.
Literally an inch of left over fabric is enough to cut a circle out of.
Just layer a few circles of differing sizes and fabrics and
run 3 big stitches through it.
Pull them until they gather and tie a knot.
Here are a couple of samples of the "little" card ones,
and the bigger ones I used on the tree as ornaments.
I also made a GINORMOUS one for the tree topper this year.
Just start with several scraps of material and you're in business.
Put your largest circle on the bottom and start layering circles.
I staggered some of mine to give the bottom a leaf look.
Just keep adding circles of as many different fabric colors as you want.
I had lots of scrap pieces left over from the stockings so I just used mine all up.
When you get all the pieces you want add a piece to the middle that is
the color of the thread you are using.
You don't have to do this, but that way your stitches don't show.
Go up from the bottom and make big stitches.
Gather as you go or your thread will break.
(or mine does anyway)
Since this flower was so big,
I had to stitch and gather around some of the other circles as well.
You Can NOT mess this up !!
Just stitch and pull. It can be as tight or as loose as you want it to be.
Here is my finished TREETopper...
I must say... It was a fun change for our tree this year.
WWE had a wonderful Christmas in 2009...
And in my heart I smiled an extra giggle
knowing that we made most of it ourselves.
May we all end 2009 proud of our accomplishments.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Making Christmas

I know I've mentioned that I have been more than
a little behind on the Christmas decorations
not to mention my shopping this year..
BUT... I figured it was better late than never..
So last night I started making STUFF !
I dug through all my piles of clothes from GOODWILL
(that I'd bought to make pillows) with the fabric.
I cut out many layers of circles and
did the "messy stitches" to make them into
flower ornaments to put on our final tree we dug out of the closet.
I've already put up 2 trees but Brady has been so excited
about HIS "Chrimus Decratuns" that I
thought he'd love another one.
I gathered the flowers up in the back
and sewed them together to make some fun colorful tree decor.
I'll take a picture of our finished "homemade" tree
and show it to you soon.
It will be a really cute tree tomorrow when I'm all finished.
Then I decided I'd use some of this "wonderful" fabric
(that I bought half off of course)
and make everyone a "homemade" stocking to hang from the mantle.
I did mine first so I'd learn from all the mess ups
and be able to do everyone elses a little better.
I learned several "What NOT to do's"
(like not putting the heaviest fabric at the bottom)
BUT... it turned out ok I think.
I added a couple of the finished flowers to my stocking
to give it a little WOW !!
Then I made Brad's next..
Did it twice as fast and learned a couple more "WHAT Not to do's"
(like not sewing through beaded fabric with the machine)
BUT... I've got 2 stockings done
and 5 more to do tomorrow !!
I might just finish in time for Santa to fill them up with treasures..

May we never under estimate the power and fun
of a "homemade" Christmas..
THINGS you can always buy... but shared memories are priceless !

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Last month I missed the 1/2 off Goodwill Day
because I was in Abilene with Dad having his surgery.
AND... I can tell you I have been waiting with GREAT anticipation
for the 3rd Wednesday of this month..
We had to do several things today
and I didn't get to spend hardly any time DIGGING..
However I did manage to find some incredible things...
I got Brad this shirt and 2 ties..
The ties were a grand total of 50 cents a piece...
NOW who could resist that deal!
I also found him a Great Sports coat..
He is going to a funeral this week and after a trip to the cleaners..
IT will be "the find of the day."
It was a Christian Dior for $3.50.....
Who could turn it down.
I didn't dig much today through "the STUFF"
because I was running low on time,
and "STUFF" takes me hours to go through.
I did make a quick glance and found my new
Favorite Bowl...
I turned it over and WHAM....
I knew I'd gotten a good deal - $1.50
This was a silly thing...
BUT I'm so excited to get it washed and put my sugar in it..
Tomorrow I'm gonna feel like I've got a little secret
as I put sugar in my coffee..
SO MUCH FUN for 50 cents !!!
As I was checking out I saw this belt buckle on the counter..
I asked if it was some one's and she said NO..
I said "it is now"
Silver Buckle $1.00
2 pair of new Christmas pj pants...
The best fitting jacket I've found in FOREVER...
and a new white button up (you can't have too many of those)
3 new( to me) shirts...
YES I know some people gag about wearing other people's clothes...
But NOT ME!!!
After one wearing they're all used anyway..
I just pretend like one of my friends gave them to me..
It just happens to be friends I've never met. haha
Another fun jacket...
I'm gonna sew some stuff on this one..
Not sure what yet, but for $2.00 I can't really mess it up.
And LOOK at the Brand...
SEE they do have nice stuff in GOODWILL if you take the time to DIG.
The best pair of worn in jeans..
Now I don't care who you are
There is nothing better than a pair of soft, worn-in jeans..
AND I didn't even have to do the WORK..
2 MORE jackets..
I hit the sweet spot with those today...
I saw the brand and know how much it really costs..
So after a run through the washer my $2.85 will be well worth it.
I buy almost everything Brady wears at some type of KID's REsale Place.
He is so hard on his stuff, and it's not like he's heading to the OPERA
so I figure why would I spend any more than that.
SO... Half off of this, is just a deal that no gal can pass up!!
I didn't find many little pants in his size today..
But I did find a pair of U.T. sweat pants, some camo, and a new pair of pj. pants.
OF course he was with me...
SO I had to find him some entertainment while I DUG....
Grand total of $5.00.
EVEN Wal-Mart can't beat that....
and we got a new Monkey to boot...
May we always remember that...
"One man's junk is another man's treasure."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

MONKEY party

All I CAN SAY is.....
If you've NEVER had a MONKEY PARTY
then you should have one !!!!

Yesterday we had Brady's 2nd Birthday Party !!!!

He LOVES monkeys and My friend April found a company
Lucky Monkey
who comes and does children's birthday parties..
The girls (Brook and Brenae) and I worked all morning
getting our house complete in full blown
Monkey Business....
We made monkey cupcakes and banana cookies.
The cupcakes were so easy.
Just a plain ole' chocolate cupcake
with a Nilla waffer slightly cut for the mouth area,
and 2 mini Nilla waffers also cut for the ears.
The gel icing could have been done better I'm sure,
but we were in a hurry and what 2 year old would ever notice.
The banana cookies were just sugar cookie dough rolled out.
I used a coffee can to cut circles then a smaller can to cut
another circle which made them look like half moons.
I made powdered sugar glaze with milk and yellow food coloring
to paint on them, then used more black gel to add to the ends
and add a few lines in the bananas.
Brady gave out Monkey dishes for his party favors.
He has been eating on his own Monkey dishes for almost a year now.
I decorated Brady his very own MONKEY tree as the center piece for his table.
I used all the Monkeys he had on his bed to put in his tree.
Remember I told you he LOVES monkeys..
We literally had at least 20 on his bed.

All the kids loved the TREE full of MONKEYS...
and of course the chocolate monkeys hiding underneath.

Brady got to sit on his Birthday Throne with his 2nd favorite monkey
(the greatest 1 dollar Goodwill Find ever)
Mr. Brady Jr as he calls him. haha
Everyone got in on the Monkey action..
We all teased my dad about the resemblance between he and our little guest.
Brady laughed the hardest as the Monkey played catch with Brent.
Neither one of them realized the other had such quick hands.
Apparently Hobbo Monkey is a ball player too.
Brook just couldn't get enough of Little Hobbo.
She used to always tell me that she either wanted
a monkey or a baby brother.
I told her she got her baby brother
(only about 10 years after she asked)

Little Hobbo was either the greatest sport ever
or else he LOVED being famous...
because he posed for at least a hundred pictures.
Andrew, Brook and Hobbo (top)
Nic, Brenae, and Hobbo (bottom)
Now I'm not exactly sure, but I think these two fellows
developed a bond no one was expecting..
Brent found himself a real buddy by the end of the PARTY!!
Hobbo rode his scooter through the crowded living room
as all 45 of us clapped and cheered..

I'm a little sad that Brady probably won't remember
HIS 2nd birthday party....
but boy what memories the rest of us have.
AND Brady will have hundreds of pictures to use as a reminder
of his very special day!!!!
All 5 of our kids got in on the MONKEY fun..
(Brent, Brenae, Brook, Brady, and Jon)
We truly have mine, yours, and ours..

After Little Hobbo left Brady remembered he was having a party.
He got to hear his favorite song and blow out his very own candles
on his Monkey Cake.
His favorite present of the day was his first little Motorcycle..
We have laughed all day at him crashing into the walls
and telling us it's broke..
So we took our him outside and set him off on the road.
Of course he was bombarded with family paparazzi..
As I watched my little man head down the street
I realized that our little angel has just begun on his road of life.
May it be filled with countless blessing and LOVE to last a Lifetime!!

MMay we all have a birthday party filled with unbelievable memories!