Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Your Name in Crayons

I can't remember when or where I saw this idea, but as soon as I saw it I knew it would make the perfect gift for the little ones in my life.

Want to make your name in crayons? It's easy peasy. And aside from the upfront cost of buying the molds, it's cheap.

I bought a set of silicone letter trays from Amazon - I think they cost $18 plus shipping.

I then raked my entire house for every broken crayon, and using scissors I stripped them naked. (I read that it's a must to use Crayola brand crayons - using cheap crayons will likely result in a half-wax-half-color mess).

I separated the crayons into color groups, and started breaking them into pieces to fill up the molds.

I placed the trays on a baking sheet and baked them in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes. I never timed it but I don't think they sat in there for much longer than 5 minutes.

Once the crayons melted, I pulled them out to cool. It's been crazy cold here in Ohio, so I set the trays on our back porch for a quick cool down. Here is what they look like after they've cooled.

The trickiest part is popping the letters out of the molds. The letter S is especially tricky.

I started getting fancy and added glitter to some of the letters. The letters that turned out the best required a lot of glitter. And the tinier the glitter the better. Heavier glitters floated to the bottom.

I used small clear bags to wrap them. I finished them off with a bow and a name sticker.

And voila! A unique, colorful, and functional gift.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Photo Card

I love Christmas cards.

Let me be more specific. I love Christmas photo cards featuring a photograph of the sender and/or his/her family.

We have been super blessed this year having received an entire fridge full of Christmas photo cards. Literally, there is no more room for another photo card. I suppose this is more reason to follow my beautifully creative friend Jess' footsteps next year.

And because I love Christmas photo cards so much, it's only fair that we send a Christmas photo card to our friends and family. In October, we took pictures for the cause. Scroll down to see the final product. But first, here are a few pics that didn't make the cut.

PS: Our card was designed by the amazingly talented Vanessa of Butterfly Sparks. Vanessa broke my heart when she said that 2010 would be her last year to design Christmas cards. Her decision has inspired me to figure out how to design a card myself. Wish me luck.

Friday, December 24, 2010


The last couple of years I wrote a brief update of our year to include in our Christmas cards. But as is typical of me and my never-been-the-same-since-I-was-first-knocked-up brain, I forgot to do that this year.

Fortunately many of our friends and family check my bloggy-blog, so what a better way to deliver a brief and eco-friendly update.

The best way to sum up 2010 is in three short words.

God. Is. Good.

So stinkin' good. 2010 has been a fantastic year, and we can't stop thanking God for all the good He has shown us.

And that doesn't even begin to cover the many blessings that can't be seen or heard.

To say that it was a good year just doesn't cut it.

It was the best year of my life, and I've said that the last three years.

God is good.

So stinkin' good.

Merry Christmas, and Happy 2011.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmases Past

It's that time of year when I reminisce about Christmases past. And because life before kids seems less like a memory and more like a previous life, I'm wrapped up in memories from the last two Christmases.

Join me, will ya?

Oh, Lord, thank you for two of the most lovely Christmases of my life. I can only imagine how very special this one will be.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sleepy Heads

Ask any parent and they'll tell you that often times the highlight of their day is when their children are sleeping. My kids bring me much joy, but the reality is that some days bedtime cannot come fast enough.

Our two kids have very different but equally adorable sleeping habits.

Harper is still sleeping in her crib. On most nights, she has 3-4 blankies, 2 dolls, and 2 loveys in bed with her. What I love most about Harper is that she sleeps with EVERYTHING all tangled up in her arms, legs, and body. She's a beautifully peaceful sleeper, and these pictures absolutely melt my heart.

Henry, on the other hand . . . oh, Henry. Henry goes through phases. Some nights he goes to bed at 9p. Some nights not until 10:30p. Some nights he sleeps like an angel. Some nights he winds up in bed with us. Some nights he wakes up wailing. Some nights he wakes up and wants to watch cartoons. We never know what we are going to get with Henry.

He's also getting to the age where he fights bedtime. His room is in the basement, but there is no door to his room. The stairwell to the basement is open, and the stairs are broken into two sets of stairs divided by a landing. Lately Henry has been sneaking up the first set of stairs and resting on the steps with his head on the landing. I think he is trying to "stay up" with us but he doesn't want us to know he's there. It rarely works because we can always hear him breathing and sighing. The thing that kills me is that he eventually falls asleep like this! We always move him back to his bed, and thankfully he stays asleep during the transfer.

Bless his sweet heart! As much as it drives me crazy, I know there will be a day when I look back and miss my little man asleep on the stairs.

What about you, do your kids have any crazy sleep habits?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I heart crafts.

Christmas break is a great time to get your craft on. Here are a few of the crafts from my bloggy past. I'd love to hear about some of your favorite crafts - I'm always looking for new ideas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gene Simmons who?

Rock and roll all night . . .

. . . and party every day!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Terror & Tattoos

We have a tradition - two years running (for last year's highlights, click here). It goes something like this: Corral the kids and head to the fire station. Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus for photo ops on an antique firetruck, cookies galore, delightful crafts, and press-on tattoos. Norman Rockwell couldn't paint it better himself.

Actually, Norman Rockwell could paint it had he teamed up with Stephen King.

Let the pictures tell the story.

This is Kaitlyn. She's two going on twelve, and she preferred to deliver Santa a letter because sitting on his lap is for babies.

This is Harper. Her mother is a wicked witch who threw her onto a rickety old truck next to a hefty man who rocks red velvet.

Not even Oma could make it better.

Now it's Henry's turn. Maybe if Henry and mommy get onto the firetruck, things will turnaround for the better.

Not so much.

Maybe if mommy restrains Henry and Harper, they'll flash daddy a quick smile and we'll call it a wrap.

Not so much.

Would someone please rescue these children?




Oh, our time's up? But we were just getting cozy.

*No children were injured during the making of these memories. At least not physically.

And in case you are now dialing children services, you should know that we made the wise decision to see Santa BEFORE we visited Mrs. Claus and her cookies and crafts . . .


Cookies and tattoos - they make everything better.

Henry's an old pro at press-on tattoos. He's probably had a couple hundred in his 2 1/2 years of life. I've said it before, he'd probably sit through the real deal if given the chance - that's how much he likes ink.

Santa is so overrated. Body art is where it's at.

Even Harper is embracing her inner rock star.

Now that we are inked up, it's time to get our craft on!

Henry gets a little help from his tongue.

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

While the big kids craft, Harper strikes a pose.

And then eats a cookie.

See what I mean, tattoos and cookies make everything better.

Even though you can't see it underneath her modest attire, even Kaitlyn is sporting a tattoo - her very first! Welcome to the cool kids club, K.

So there you have it. A lovely tradition of scaring the living daylights out of my sweet and innocent children only to stitch their sweet souls back together with sugar and body art. It's good ol' fashioned American fun. And the bonus? My kids now have zero desire to receive a visit from santa.

Score one for the parentals!