Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter 2014

Real joy and sweetness are ours because we know that our Redeemer lives. Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cookie Party in a Jar

  ( extra large mason jar- I think 1/2 gal)
Plus this:
Plus this:
Makes this:

Or if you want to get fancy, this:

You can print your own tag if you like:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Teddy bear birthday

So it's just been like 18 months since this party, but I am finally uploading pix to the computer and trying to declutter my to-do list. Bekah decided to have a teddy bear party, and she wanted purple and teal for her colors.  So we went on a bear hunt-on Pinterest. Because there are a billion cute ideas involving teddy bears!
One of the best things about this party was the low cost decor. I learned how to make these awesome tissue flowers and we used them as a main ingredient.  Add in some balloons, with a marble inside so they will hang upside down, twist up some streamers, and you have a lot of bang for your buck!
We put some on the front door, too.

These basic cupcakes are super cute with printables from 
I actually took the cupcake wrapper (from chickabug) and cut it to fit the front of my plain blue treat bags. A little ribbon, and you have a custom treat bag worthy of any little girl's birthday wishes!
These are teddy bear Oreo pops. Just a double stuf Oreo dipped in candy coating, then mini Oreo for the ears, more googly eyes, a red mike n Ike, and another mini Oreo mouth. 
 I attempted some bear cupcakes-I think these are just mini kisses, Wilton googly eyes, and then an upside down cocoa candy melt with a little frosting mouth and red hot nose.  
I used another tissue pom, this one mini, to dress up my cake plate. I attached some ribbon with glue dots, and it held up well and then came right off when we were done!  I also love using tissue paper to make jumbo confetti.
We did two simple activities-one was making headbands with teddy bear ears.( I have no idea what happened to that picture. Or pix of the birthday girl, for that matter!  Probably still in the digital clutter all around me...) But the other activity was making these cute teddy bear cars.  A mini snickers bar, m&ms and teddy grahams, all glued on with candy coating.  We also tried to have other bear-friendly foods: bit-o-honeys, more teddy grahams, nilla wafers and root "bear"!  
A "beary" good time was had by all!  (Sorry, I couldn't resist that one.)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

So I took a HUGE blogging break. I have no idea what happened...just crazy busy!  I thought I would catch up by posting some of the fun packages I sent Andy this past year.  Maybe I'll get them done before he comes home!  

This is one idea I had seen in several different places on the web.  I loved the idea of sending him a box of sunshine, and I think I sent it as they were heading into winter on that side of the planet. 

I bought everything I could find that was yellow, edible, non-perishable, and possibly useful to a missionary.  This is what I came up with:  

and this:



and this:

Because the only thing better than cereal, is cereal in a little box. That cost 95.00 to ship. That makes it extra yummy. :) 

I just threw it all in a box, blew up some balloons as padding, and topped it with this cute sign! 

I think I got this as a freebie from some super creative gal.  I can't find the exact link, but here from funky polka dot giraffe are some other super cute printables.  And you can use these this one from crafty teacher lady. I know that boys don't really care about this stuff, but I like to put a little extra effort into my care packages.  I think it's my way of trying to send my love, support, worries, and prayers without words. Because I think cereal and peanut butter help remind missionaries of a home where there are hundreds of prayers being said for them everyday.   Plus, someone has to keep the post office in business, right?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Celebrating Levi

A couple of weekends ago I had the privilege of helping host a baby memorial shower for a sweet friend.  What is a baby memorial shower, you ask?  A party you never want to throw.  Mandy and her husband Bryan welcomed their son, Levi on December 27, 2013.  He only lived a few hours.  I wanted to do something that would both celebrate the fact that Mandy was a mother, (Levi was their first child), and also help support her in her loss.  Having received a diagnosis of Trisomy 18, they knew that he wouldn't be with them very long, and were prepared as they could be, but seriously, how do you prepare for that?  I did a lot of scouring of the internet and a lot of crying.  There is a lot of heartbreak out there.  And not a lot of ideas for a shower honoring a baby who has passed on.  I am posting this in the hope that it will help someone else in a similar situation.  We decided to do a memorial shower where people could bring personal gifts for Mandy and we could do a simple service project that we could then donate in Levi's memory to some local hospitals.
I started with a theme-Okay, I started with a little Facebook stalking.  I saw that Mandy was a LOTR nerd.  I also like LOTR.  There are some amazing quotes on Pinterest.  I loved this one, "Even the smallest person can change the course of the future."  That was what we used for our shower invitation theme.  It also helped that the decorations could be woodsy and not your typical baby pink and blue.  

There are some AMAZING hobbit and LOTR party ideas out there.  I found some amazing ones here.  Serious cuteness.  I got the printable for the door sign there.  It was totally fun to hang it on the front door of the house where we had the shower.  

Typical shower games didn't seem quite appropriate, but I still wanted people to have fun, so we started off with Hobbit name tags.  I found a chart on Pinterest, and printed it in a font I found on called hobbiton.  Also, everyone grabbed a clothespin, which is a typical shower game, out of a bucket and had to not say the words "precious" or "cute" without losing their clothespin.  The lady with the most pins at the end won a prize. 

This is one of my favorite elements of the shower.  My ubertalented friend Jen made these moss-covered logs, and then attached these cute gold-painted letters to them.  
They became a big part of our display in the living room.  We asked Mandy for some things that she might have from Levi's birth, and added some pix that we got developed and made into a photo display.

Here are some closeups of the photo display board.  I used the quote from the invitation, and also a cute rhyme someone had made on the internet.  I didn't want to just copy their work, so I just printed up the rhyme with no fancy graphics-if anyone knows who deserves credit, I would be happy to acknowledge them!  I just couldn't find a source!

One element I really loved in all of the decor was a little package of LOTR heart confetti that I got from JessiJs cute shop on Etsy.  That little package went a long way in making my little projects special.  I sewed together several hearts and used them as a garland in the picture display above.

Then I used a few more garlands to decorate a topiary, a little mossy picture frame and then just scattered the confetti around.  We also sent some home with the girl who is going to be putting together a scrapbook for Levi.  

We kept the food pretty simple.  Chinese chicken salad, hot ham and cheese mini sandwiches, fruit with lemon cheesecake dip and this AMAZING cake.  If you think it's pretty, you should have tasted it.  White cake with raspberry french buttercream filling.  I'm hungry.  I did not make it.  But I wish I had a piece left in my fridge.  

I have to say this is one of my favorite pix of Levi.  He looks like he is blowing a kiss.  So I filled up this little crate with kisses, and made a tag that said "kisses from Levi".  And I used it for one of our other games.  I found a LOTR the One ring on amazon, and hid it, in the candy.  I told the guests whoever found the ring would get a prize.  It was really fun that Mandy, the guest of honor, found the ring!  She said it was just because she spent so much time eating chocolate.  :)  Isn't she beautiful?  

We have always loved the story I'll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch.  I have read it to all my kids and our copy is falling apart.  When I started researching everything I could find about losing babies, I found that the author had written this book as a tribute to his two stillborn babies.  We decided to use a copy of this book for our guest book and have everyone write a special message in it.  

After eating and socializing we moved on to the project.  We made some teeny tears diapers.  You can read more about this special project at  These diapers are TINY.  We were able to cut and sew and put together many sets.  We actually are still finishing up some of them, and will be donating them soon.  The teenytears site provides you with donation cards that have the name of the baby you are honoring and the group of people who donated them.  

We also did a balloon release, which didn't photograph well, because I picked blue balloons.  Hello.  The sky is also blue.  Also, I first tried it without helium except in Mandy's giant balloon, because here in OK everything blows away, right?  Yeah, not so much.  Needless to say, it was kind of a disaster, but it was joyous and provided some laughter!

Some last decor details.  Oh, and I need to shout out to Tasha, our amazing photographer who donated her time to chronicle the day's events for Mandy, Carrie who made her gorgeous house available, Jen for all her many talents, Rhiannon who is all-around fabulous, and my own SIL Laurie who lovingly edited the pix Mandy and her family took of their brief but precious time with Levi.  Hopefully, aside from Marianne who is the only person who actually reads this blog, someone who really needs it will find their way here and find a little bit of inspiration to help lift another mom's burden just a tiny bit.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Andy's Mission Farewell

So eight months are some pix of the birthday party/mission farewell  we had for Andy.  This is a terrible pic, but as usual, my camera was no where to be found so I had to use my phone.  I drew out the colors of the Uruguayan flag, white, yellow, and royal blue.  It was the end of August so there were sunflowers everywhere, a perfect addition to the table.

I did a picture display on our entryway bench with some mini flags in a garland.  We used pix from birth up to graduation and opening the mission call.

I set out some cards and pens for people to write some wishes/goodbyes for Andy.  We put them in his scrapbook after he read them.

This was a super easy detail but added a lot of drama- I took strips of crepe paper and cut them in varying lengths and then stitched them together on my sewing machine to create a garland.  They mimic the stripes on the Uruguay flag.

The AWESOME cake that my friend Karen made.  

One more shot, close up.  The detail was amazing and it was delicious!  She is super talented!

A little thank-you- mixed kisses and hugs in little paper sour cream containers with a sticker on it that had the address of the blog to keep up with Andy.

Monday, February 25, 2013

5 ways estrogen could be killing you...

I know, kind of dramatic, huh?  But this is my journal, so I am journaling about my life today.  Do I think estrogen is really killing you? No idea. Perhaps if you are in the same circumstances I am, then it could be.   Do I think it is killing me?   Yes.  Why?  Here we go:

Number 1

Yes, here we have exhibit A:  the nearly graduated high school senior.  She is deceptively lovely and delightful. Talented, brilliant, loving, and mostly happy. BUT! Underneath that charming exterior lies a seething cauldron of teenage angst, independence, and ESTROGEN.  She is ready to fly the coop, and I am ready to let her.  Don't get me wrong-I will miss my daughter, but the DRAMA she comes with, not so much: what drama you ask?  what to wear, what to major in, what to have for dinner, and my all time favorite, what to order in the drive through, which usually occurs immediately AFTER we order at the drive through.  Then there is the classic burst into tears if you ask me about my day, for no particular reason. It will probably be boring around here when she goes off to BYU in the fall. Then again, maybe not:  

                       Number 2
That's because we have exhibit B-the middle schooler!
She is also lovely and delightful.  Also, very responsible, self-motivated and organized.  Clearly brilliant and talented as well.  But she got her mother's tendencies toward control-freakiness.  Is that a word?  It is now.  Mix that with the hormonal changes beginning to take place, and we have an ESTROGEN BOMB and no way to disarm it.  Luckily, she won't be leaving home for several more years, so she has some time to even out.  Because, once again:  DRAMA.  Usually about being late, or not doing things the right way, or most often about Number 3 doing something to drive her absolutely bonkers, like breathing.  You know, something annoying like that.  We LOVE puberty!

                        Number 3

Exhibit C-the 3rd grader.  DO NOT be fooled by that smile.  Or those dimples.  Or those big, gray/blue eyes.  This girl can throw some world class tantrums.  I don't know if it is a function of the estrogen, or of being the baby of the family.  She is also beautiful, brilliant, talented, and kind.  But she can push every one of my buttons. I think we are finally starting to outgrow some of that; probably just in time to arrive at puberty!  Yay.

                                               Numbers 4 and 5

Exhibit D and E:  the dogs.  Who are both girls.  I know.  Why we have so many girls in this house, I don't know.  But there it is.  They are spayed, but they still have estrogen.  How do I know?  Because they are also dramatic little princesses.  They spend their days ordering me around to let them in.  Or out.  Or feed them.  Or water them.  Or put them on the bed.  Well, that is just Sara, our 13 year old dog.  Sugar just hops right on top of me, and nestles in between my legs like that is her bed.  They are also cute and brilliant.  

Actually, maybe I should be Number 5, because I have entered the wondrous world of perimenopause. What is that you ask?  Well, it is all the ups and downs of the 11 year old, with the tantrums of the baby, and the insecurities that the high-schooler has!  Plus, night sweats.  Fun stuff. I really think it might kill me.  But don't feel sorry for me.  You should feel sorry for my husband.  Who,since Andy left for college and then a mission, is the ONLY man in this house of 6 girls.  Bless his heart.