Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cross another project off the list!

I've had a lot of free time lately, so I've been able to complete some projects that I've been planning for a while.

This most recently completed project is actually two projects. I made two dry erase activity books for Eli and Leah. It was super easy and not too expensive. They've been needing something new, fun, and educational to do during quiet time. This is by no means my own, original idea, but I did make up my own pages. You are more than welcome to copy this idea or I can email you the word document that I saved the alphabet pages to. Just leave a comment with your email and I'll get it to you!


-2 three ring binders

-1 package of 50 clear page protectors (I didn't use anywhere near that many)

-Dry erase markers

-Some sort of eraser--you can use a piece of fabric, some paper towels, an old washcloth, anything, I used pieces of white felt that I happened to have

-Cool activities, pictures, mazes, whatever to put in the page protectors

-Pencil case to hold markers and eraser

-Aprons--optional, but I think I'm going to make the kids wear them so they don't get the marker on their clothes. I don't think it comes out. Although, there are washable dry erase markers; they're just more expensive.

The first book has a page for each letter of the alphabet and lines to practice writing them. Leah's been trying to learn how to write letters, so I added arrows to show how to properly form the letters. Since Eli already knows how to write the letters, I thought this would be a good place for him to practice writing as many different words he can think of that start with each letter.

In the back of the first book, I just have more lines to practice writing letters, words, or secret messages. I also put 4 mazes in each book. At the end of each book, I put three blank pieces of paper for drawing.

I really lucked out with the second book. I just happened to have a coloring book with alphabet activities in it. All I did was rip the pages out and put them in the clear page protectors and I was done. I did include the mazes and blank paper in the back of this book also.

The cool thing about this is when the kids get tired of the activities, I can just switch out the pages. I haven't given them to the kids to try out yet, but I've tried it and I was very entertained!

Thumbs up!

This is what happened yesterday when I asked Noah to give me a "Thumbs up!"

"What do you want me to do?"

"What are thumbs? Are these my thumbs?"

"Okay, I think I got it now."

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's a big day for Noah

As of today, Noah is binki free! Of course, this major life change wasn't his idea. He was very loudly opposed to it at the beginning of nap time today, but it was time to say goodbye. Fortunately, he only cried for it for about a minute and then he was out. We knew that once he had a name for it and was able to ask for it, he was getting too attached, so we had to act! The worst part is, I still have 6 or 7 binkis left! I'm not planning on saving them, but I don't want to just throw them away. They're so cute and it feels like I'm wasting money somehow. Well, it's too late now. There's no going back. I'm sure he'll be just fine.... and so will I.

By the way, the above picture was taken this morning. It's the last time Noah will ever have a binki in his mouth (unless he has a hidden stash, which wouldn't surprise me). You can tell from the look on his face that he thinks I'm crazy for taking a picture of him first thing in the morning.

7 years good luck!

No, I didn't fix a mirror or anything. Today's my anniversary! Mike and I have been married for 7 years!!! I'm still so crazy about him. He is such a wonderful husband!! Just a few weeks ago, we got to walk around Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Mike and I got married in the Salt Lake City Temple. I felt so happy just being outside the building where we were married and sealed forever and remembering that day. Here are a few pictures from June 28, 2003:

I do have to brag for just a second. After 7 years of marriage and 3 kids, I can still fit in my wedding dress AND zip it up!! Yeah, that's right; that big white dress in the pictures. And I can even kind of breathe in it too!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pics of the Faves

This is an oldy, but goody. It's from Easter '07. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cross another item off the list!

I have a list of crafty projects to do hanging on my fridge. One of them just got crossed off on Saturday. The item was actually two items--two little aprons. I had made one for Eli two Christmases ago and it has been very popular lately. Leah wears it when she helps me cook. Noah wears it when I'm cooking and wearing my apron. And of course, Eli wants to wear it when his siblings are wearing it. So, I just took some extra fabric I had and some ribbon and whipped up two more aprons. That's one less thing my kids have to fight about; score one for Mommy!

Here are some pictures:

I have to pat myself on the back for just a second. Look at how nice those stitches are!! This is the nicest thing I've ever made! My trade mark is the zigzag stitch in contrasting thread color. You can borrow that idea if you want. I think it just adds a little bit of extra cutesiness. (yes, I'm a nerd!)

This was a really quick project except for one thing.....I had to re-thread my serger!!! I know not all of you can fathom the full weight of that statement, but for those of you who can, you understand how scared I was. It was my first time and I kept remembering all the times my mom has said that she loves sergers but HATES re-threading them! I sat at my table, reading the instructions very carefully and mumbling, "Upper looper, loper looper, looper looper!" The names of two of the 4 threads are upper looper and lower looper, so you can clearly see why I had to make silly rhyming words. It helped ease the tension. I just couldn't help myself! After toiling for an hour, re-threading the machine twice, and becoming intimately acquainted with my machine's inner workings, I got it to work. I'm amazed at how nice it came out and I owe it all to the serger. Next time, I'll be more prepared and less nervous. Also, if anyone out there needs open heart surgery, I'm totally ready. There's no way it could be harder than re-threading that machine!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ready for action, even on picture day

I got Eli's soccer picture from the end of the season. It made me laugh out loud. I have no idea what he was thinking when the individual picture was taken, but I do know that the photographer had a hard time getting him to understand what to do. He was clearly very excited. Just take a look at his hand. What is he doing?

Also, the group picture is a very good depiction of our team. Most of the kids look silly and some aren't even looking at the camera. That's pretty much what our team was like, silly and distracted. I don't know how much they learned, but they all had fun. I can't wait to watch it all again next season!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My big project

I've had this project going on since the middle of April. It was just completed on Monday. I had the help of pretty much every family member in Utah and a few in other states to complete it. It's finally done and ready to be revealed.

Drum roll please..........

My boys have BUNK BEDS!!! And I (with the help of my brother Mike) built them!!!! This entire project, including the climbing holds, cost less then $200!!! (That's just referring to the wood frame, not the mattresses or bedding. Don't start thinking that I'm a super shopper or anything) I had so much distress over this project during all of its stages. Whenever I put so much into something, I worry that it will turn out ugly or bad. When this whole thing finally came together on Monday, I was thrilled. It looks just as I hoped it would, but didn't think it could.

I felt so much love for me and my boys throughout this project. So many people helped work on it and/or watched my kids so that I could get it done. The boys love it! It's a good thing too because they'll be sleeping in it for the next 15 years.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Eli's kindergarten graduation

Because I'm a mother, I feel obligated to attend my child's kindergarten graduation. But, for the record, I think such things are ridiculous! Have you ever met a kid that's failed kindergarten? I haven't! Since kindergarten is pretty much something you CANNOT fail at, why have a graduation for it? Why not just have a class party celebrating the end of a great year?

With that said, I went to Eli's kindergarten graduation last Thursday because Eli was really excited about it (Mike boycotted it because he thinks it's even more ridiculous that I do). It was cute and short (which is a very good thing). Here are some pictures from it:

Eli was really nervous at first, being in front of all those parents.

Can you find Eli in this picture?

Eli was really excited about the treat bag his teacher, Mrs. Belnap, gave him.

I took a picture of the special treat they made for the kids because I thought it was really creative. It's made of a ding dong, chocolate graham cracker, icing, and licorice.

I'm so glad it's summer vacation!

I thought it would be fun to compare Eli from the first day of school to Eli on the (second-to-)last day of school. He's certainly a lot happier in the second picture, and a bit taller too.
First Day
Second-to-last Day

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Why I haven't blogged a lot lately...

I have a life!! Well no, I just have a long list of projects that I've been wanting to complete and I have actually been able to get to some of them. Here's one that I worked really hard on:

the project is the dress, not the girl...

I worked really hard on this dress. It's the first thing I've sewn with the help of a surger. I don't think I can ever got back to just using a sewing machine again. I know it sounds funny, but it makes the inside of the dress so nice! It's also the first thing I've made with a zipper. It was not easy, but I'm so happy with how it turned out.

Now, if you look closely, you can see that the dress has three seams in the back. I accidentally made the dress too small and had to add some extra fabric so that it would fit her. Fortunately, the fabric is so busy that it's not too noticeable. A bit of advice: make sure you use the right pattern size or it will add an extra hour or two to your sewing time.

One final thing about the dress or is it about Leah.....

Leah is very fashionably independent. I rarely get to choose what she wears which makes me sad because I thought little girls were supposed to be like dolls that can be dressed up. On Saturday night, we have our kids pick out what they want to wear for church the next day to avoid Sunday morning fights. So I went into her closet Saturday evening, took every dress out except the one I made, and hid them in my closet. Then, I had her go in her room to choose her dress for church. I was listening in and heard her open the door, stand there for a minute and then excitedly say, "Mommy, I want to wear this one! I promise!!" Fortunately, she was talking about the dress and not the robe or snow pants I left hanging in her closet. Disaster narrowly averted!

I didn't know you could count with letters!

I was putting Noah's shoes on his feet today and I asked him to tell me how many shoes he had. This is how he counted his shoes: (for the record, there were only two shoes that I asked him to count)

2, E, A, H.....LEAH

Leah likes to spell her name a lot. I guess Noah's picked up on it and has gotten a bit confused.

Finally, after 3 years and 9 months....

I got to put Leah's hair in a single ponytail at the back of her head. I don't know why this is such a big deal to me, but it is. Maybe it's because it's a battle just to get her to let me do something OTHER THAN pigtails. Maybe it's because her hair has grown in sections rather than all at once. I'm not sure, but I love it. Take a look!
Okay, so not ALL of her hair made it into the ponytail; I work with what I've got. Some of those hair sections are being really stubborn and refusing to grow at a reasonable rate.