Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sew and Sew: American Girl

Yep. I'm addicted. My sister-in-law thinks I'm a nut. My niece got an American Girl doll for Christmas, so what did I get her as a gift? Handmade doll clothes of course. The great thing about sewing for a doll is that if you are a beginning sewer, it will give you a good idea of how things are generally constructed. It's great for people who get easily bored with projects {like me} because they are relatively quick to make. Also, they require very little fabric to make + 99 cent patterns = inexpensive gift! Here are some things I've made so far:

:: denim jacket & jeans ::

:: red plaid jumper {kinda matches my niece's school uniform} ::

:: purple fleece jogging suit {ya know, for when the doll exercises} ::

:: embroidered fleece coat {my favorite} ::

:: purple dress & matching headband ::

I have been using Simplicity patterns 7083 and 4786. They all fit perfectly! I also was alerted to the fact that all the old patterns that were sold with some of the dolls are available at the agplaythings website. I've downloaded Molly's clothes & Josefina's clothes. You have to print out the patterns on multiple pages & then piece them together, but hey, they're free. These little projects are seriously fun and give me a quick sewing fix. Can't wait til there's a doll in my family. Maybe for my girl's 7th birthday............or when I turn 31 :>)

Monday, January 28, 2008

She's Three!

This weekend my little Sienna-pie turned 3! We celebrated with a Ratatouille themed party, complete with a really amazing cake from Super Target and lots of presents. Here's the recap in photos:
My {uber-wonderful} family also surprised me with some balloons & a cake of my own, since my {BIG} birthday is on February 5th. {The big 3-0, ya'll!} The best part? A superdy, duperdy, awesome new sewing machine! Yippee for me! It's got lots of cool bells and whistles. It's like getting a new Hummer after driving around a used Pinto. I see a lot of sewing in my future. I've already finished up a great summery bag that was languishing in my works-in-progress pile. I also sewed up a groovy tiered skirt for Tatiana that has been cut-out for forever. Hopefully I can get to a fabric store to buy some Valentine's Day fabric for matching skirts for the girls.

It was a very lovely day, despite all the work involved {on top of not sleeping as much as I'm used to}. I did tell Hubster that since my birthday falls on a Tuesday, we will have to do a little something at the house ON that day plus maybe a little going out the weekend before. A girl only turns 3-0 once ya know!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Have you....

....had your quiet time today? No. Seriously. If you haven't, please don't read my blog. I much rather you spend a few minutes praying or reading your Bible, then hear me babble about my latest craft project. In an attempt to realign my priorities, I have set Proverbs 31 Ministries Daily Devotions as my home page, instead of having Yahoo! tempt me into reading my email. That way, when I plop myself down in front of my computer in the morning, I will be reminded what I should be doing or have done before I go blog-surfing. {On a side note, if you decide to join me in setting your homepage to Proverbs31 & reading their daily devotionals, I'd love to correspond with you via email to sharpen each other's iron, so to speak.}

I loved today's devotional on having a rag tag soul. So much of what was written resonated with me, particularly these parts:
I was so full of knowledge and yet completely starved of experiencing God Himself.

And I dared to admit that I was not a woman of faith. For if I was completely honest, I lived a life that required no faith at all.
I mean, that second part really got to me. Let me face it. My life is safe. He hasn't been asking me to make seemingly impossible choices. I want to experience Him again for the first time. I want more of Him. I really like the last paragraph as well:
One thing I do know is that a few years ago the world was asking, “Is Jesus real?” That's not the question any longer. I'm convinced the question the world now asks is: "Does Jesus work?" Oh God, that my life could answer this question with a resounding yes, is the very beat of my fragile heart, and the song of my rag tag soul.
My prayer is that others would be able to see the same in me.

That Jesus works.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's Digital!

I started digital scrapbooking back when my second daughter was born. I received Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 {the same program I use today} with a printer I purchased. I love digital scrapbooking because there are lots of free downloads on the internet, you can use your papers and embellishments over and over, there are no supplies to take out or clean up or have little touchy fingers getting into , and for some reason, it seems faster. I don't have to worry about cutting the pictures the wrong way or screwing up a beautiful piece of paper. This is actually the first digital layout I have done in about 2 years, but I came across the Christmas kit as a free download & was just inspired to whip something up. I want Sebastian to have just as memories preserved as the girls do!

Journaling says: This Christmas was made extra special because of your arrival. Every time I gazed at you, I could not help but think about Mary and the birth of the baby Jesus. What a wonder it must have been to behold Him for the first time! I feel that same sense of wonder when I look at you & think about the miracle that you are! And as cheesy as it may sound, a baby is really the best gift that this Mama could ask for. *heart* Mom

P.S. Thanks to all who commented on the last post. I really am feeling so much better now that I am talking about it & know that others have been there. You bloggy buddies are the best!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

the WHOLE truth

"I'm so blue-hoo-hoo, blue-hoo-hoo, blue-hoo-hoo-HOO, I'm so blue, I don't know what to do."
~Madame Blueberry

I received an email recently from a dear friend with "the truth" as the subject line. The email contained four small, but potent words: How are you doing? So I thought I'd share the truth here. I'm a little blue. Maybe it's just my hormones trying to return back to normal. Maybe it's trying to find the time that a busy household requires to take care of everything and everyone. Maybe it's the mental and physical fogginess that sleep-deprivation causes. Hubby keeps telling me that we're all "still adjusting". Well, I wish we would all just adjust and then move on already! He cares for me so much that I have a sneaky suspicion that he called the aforementioned friend and asked her to check up on me. He also called my mom and surprised me by having her spend the night on Friday so we could go to dinner & our small group {with the nursing baby, of course}! He tries to let me get some time to myself so I can scrapbook, think about sewing {my sewing machine got sick and died about 3 weeks ago, but that is another saga}, or just lay zombie-like on the couch, like I did last night. He is trying his best to take care of me and the children, but nonetheless, sometimes I just want to cry or scream or just hop in the car and drive away from it all. I think sleep deprivation makes it a lot harder for me to control my emotions as well! I am praying that, like I mentioned in my last FUNschooling post, that I would, Do my best and let God take care of the rest. I am praying that somehow God would fill in those places in the girls' lives that need a little filling. I pray that He would give me this day, my daily bread. So now you know, in the midst of all my other light-hearted or crafty-type posts, how I'm really doing.

How long before you felt like you fell into a rhythm with a new baby? Is there anything that you would do or tell yourself to get through the blues?

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Quite a few people have asked me whether or not we are homeschooling during our time of transition with baby #3. The answer is no, and yes. ;>) I thought I'd share what we've been doing because I find it both fun & educational & if your kids go to public school, it might be a great way to keep their brains active during summer break. Instead of using our regular curriculum, I use a different "resource" for each of the subjects I want to cover:

Bible ~ One story out of The Bible for Mothers & Daughters. This is such a cute book! The kids love the colorful illustrations. The stories are short enough to hold their attention & their is a concept to glean from each one about Becoming a Woman of God. There is a time for the Parent to share at the end about their own personal experiences. They have these for Father & Daughters and for the Sons as well.

Phonics ~ I have a phonics set for the LeapPad. If someone I know wants to borrow it for their child for the summer, let me know. It has 12 books and goes through all the consonants, vowels, blends, etc. We do a couple of pages a day.

Reading ~ For comprehension, we are using Brainquest Reading for First Grade. I could go on and on about how much we *love* Brainquest, but I'll spare ya'll. On some cards are stories/poems, followed by comprehension questions based on the story. Other cards have reading based questions like things about punctuation, opposites, syllables, antonyms, fixing the sentence, and such. Great way to introduce new concepts too!

We are also reading a few pages a day from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I love doing funny voices for all the characters ;>)

Craft/Activity Time ~ I'm bustin' out all the stuff that I have stored or laying around. She gets to choose from coloring, water painting, sewing {great felt puppet kits for beginners with pre-punched holes & plastic needles}, blocks, puzzles, tangrams, play-do, etc. I allot about 15-30 minutes. I can do other things during this time if need be.

Science ~ My mom got her the book, The Everything Science Book for Kids, which I am going to do about 1-2 activities per week from. Seems really neat! It covers different areas of science, chemistry, physics, etc, and requires items that are either already around the house or easily procured.

Math ~ This is the one holdover from our normal curriculum. We do about 2 pages per day in our text/workbook.

I think the reason this works so well is because it involves different learning methods of stimulation, from workbooks, to hands-on, to auditory activities. I am trying not to sweat whether or not she is learning by leaps and bounds. As long as the brain is kept active, I am living by the motto, "Do your best and let God take care of the rest." Good motto for life in general, I believe.

She's also learning plenty about baby-care and all that's involved, but that's another post.....

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Good Deals

I guess I will be starting off 2008 with some good deals that maybe you have not heard of yet. Have you discovered Redbox? Maybe I am just the last to know, what considering my sleep deprived fog and all. Of course borrowing movies from your local library is the most cost effective way to go {free, folks!}, but if you enjoy new releases and renting instead of forking over huge amounts of cash to go to the theatre, then consider the $1 a day rentals Redbox has to offer. You can even view & reserve the available titles online. Upon arriving at the machine {imagine a vending machine for DVDs}, you swipe your debit/credit card & walk away with your rental. You are simply charged $1 a day until you return the movie. Even if you keep it for two or three {!} nights, you'll still come away less expensive than the big rental stores. You can also conveniently return the movies at any Redbox location. Sign up with your email today for a free $1 rental! And you can double all the coupon & free rental goodness by having your spouse sign up too. If you live near me in real life, then rest assured that your local Kmart, Wal-Mart, or Jewel has a Redbox in it!

I was able to browse through Menard's the other day. All Christmas stuff is 50% off. Not the biggest discount out there I'm sure, but they have some beau-ti-ful decorations, especially for the tree. Hopefully I can get back there to scoop up some of it!

The best deal I've come across recently was at Aldi. They had 2-packs of LeapFrog games for $4.99! I thought these would make great gifts to add to your stash for future kid birthdays. You could even break up the pack, which would come out to $2.50 per game. Hard to beat that! For some reason I didn't buy any, but I am trying to figure out how to get back there so I can get me some ;>)

Any great sales out there? Are there any 80%-off Christmas decorations left at Hobby Lobby?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

And the Winner is....

As picked out of the bucket by my little helper ;>) Send me your mailing address & I'll pop your package in the mail as soon as I can. Thanks to everyone who keeps reading my blog!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy 200th Post...well sorta

Well, I didn't realize that blogger adds up the "drafts" of posts that you start, but don't publish, so technically this is about post 198, but I figured, enough with the suspense already. I also didn't realize, when I first began, that I would enjoy blogging as much as I do. I originally created this with the intent to post cheesy family photos & keep my loved ones updated on the ongoings of our life. I still try to do this, but it seems like blogs sometimes take on lives of their own. I've made some really opinionated posts, some informative ones, and {hopefully} some inspiring ones as well. At this juncture I hope that my blog serves to help me achieve one of my life's missions: to encourage other moms/women to be Godly, creative homemakers and to share in my pursuit of the same thing. Thank you to all {guys too!} who enjoy this journey with me, whether you were here from the beginning or have just joined us. I created this little duo to give away to express my appreciation:

::Patchwork NotePad Holder & Patchwork Tissue Holder::

::Inside of the NotePad Holder::

::Cute Girly Tissues::

Simply leave a comment by midnight on Saturday, January 5th, and I will pick a winner at random. Good luck & God bless!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008!

As the West Coast rang in the New Year, I was awakened to my six-year old telling me that she had just thrown up in the toilet. Phew, I thought. Poor thing. At least she made it to the bathroom. No icky sheets or jammies to have to deal with. Um. Yeah. The sheets & jammies would have been much more pleasant than what I discovered. She almost made it to the toilet. The bathroom walls were covered about 3 feet up. Literally. The World's Greatest Husband did the cleaning up. He has a much stronger stomach than I do, but even he was gagging & choking & had to wear a kerchief over his face. He even had to remove one of the baseboards to do a good job. Poor man was awake for another 1 1/2 hours because his stomach hurt so bad because of the stench. I hope this is not any sort of indication of what the year has in store for us.

So as we move on to 2008, I say good-bye to all 2007 has had for us. Good-bye....

.....pregnancy with my first {enormous} son....
.....year one of homeschooling & start of year two....
.....diapers for Sienna.....
.....being a mom of two girls....
.....year 29 of my life....
.....year 9 of marriage.....

And hopefully I will say a BIG "hello" to many new and wonderful exciting things that this year has to bring. I can't wait to see what God has in store for me and my family.

Anything particular you are looking forward to in '08? Or something you are happy to say good-bye to in '07?

P.S. My 200th post is approaching here shortly & I've made something lovely to give away....