Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Baby Announcement: Welcome Hawea!

several months ago i had the pleasure of creating birth announcements for the brand new daughter of someone i love dearly. new mommy, Kahea, and i were instant friends and i miss her tons now that we no longer live near one another. i am also super bummed that i haven't gotten to hold her sweet baby girl yet! soon, very soon.

Kahea asked for a monogram, and right around the time i made these i was super excited to find a free monogram download from the Wedding Chicks blog. you can personalize a monogram for yourself here.

matching wrap-around mailing labels.

welcome sweet Hawea, i can't wait to meet you!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Preschool Co-Op: Letter A

a couple weeks ago some of the mom's at our new home church invited me to be a part of their small preschool co-op group. i was totally honored and excited to be making such sweet memories with my kids and some truly great woman, while also teaching the kids the alphabet.

we all decided a small group would work best, so it doesn't get out of hand. we had a planning meeting to decide on the structure of our "curriculum" before we got started, which would consist of a letter coloring sheet, craft, activity, and snack that would all correspond with the letter we are on for that week. we will also be taking some field trips. so. fun.

i found these awesome free printable coloring sheets here.

all our students.

ms. andi was the teacher for letter A and planned so many wonderful crafts and activities for the kiddos. after the coloring sheet we all went outside in the beautiful sunshine (!) and did a hunt for envelopes with the letter A on them. each envelope contained items that started with the letter A, like a picture of an acrobat, alligator, each one of my children since their names start with A... so on and so forth.

next we came back inside and decorated paper plates with red tissue paper and streamer. once finished we stapled 2 plates together and added pasta inside to make an "apple shaker". we also had "ants on a log" snack variation, "ants on an apple", which is apple slices with peanut butter and raisins. sorry, no pictures. while the kids were outside playing airplane, i was prepping the mini apple pies. LOVE. it was all andi's idea and i totally took it over!

each kid got a mini pie tin, two rounds of pie crust some apple pie filling, and a decorative "apple" to put on each of their pies. i added a little egg wash and popped them in the oven.

LUNCH TIME! it was so cute seeing all the kids sit together and eat their lunch.

it was pretty bright so my daughter was covering her eyes and another little girls eyes from the sun. sweet moment.

once lunch was over, the apple pies were done. ms. andi had the kids sing "The Ants Go Marching On" while using their apple shakers as instruments.

then we all called it a day. a really good day.

all photography by Jen Bell.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

our house: the living room, two ways

ok people, i need your help. for some reason i am totally struggling to figure out the best way to arrange our furniture for this living room floor plan. i think the issue is that the fireplace is smack dab in the middle of the wall with a window on each side. it forces you to either make it the focal point or ignore it all together. since we don't have a flat screen tv to mount above it, we are choosing to ignore it. so i would love your input, which do you like better?
nice amount of floor space for the kids to play. (please excuse the Christmas decorations. i took the pictures when our decorations were still up. it was the last time our house was this clean and i had to seize the moment.)
with this layout, the tv is SUPER far away. we've had this tv since we got married 7 years ago and it was a hand me down from our brother-in-law. we're not complaining, but at 32" it's more like 12" from across the room. i mean, we're struggling to read subtitles at this point.
also, do you notice that huge empty spot on the wall between the couch and the desk?? yeah, me too. i would really love to get the coordinating Sloan leaning bookshelf to put there, which would also help me get my storage boxes of DVDs out of the garage.

NEXT! ok, i have to admit i like this layout better cause it doesn't make me want to spend $1000 on new furniture. but it has it's own problems. like, the tv is WAY closer, but we're totally on top of it. watching tv for the first time like this was like movie theater action. which is totally an optical illusion because we plainly DO NOT have that status going on.
like our rugs? me too. we got them for free (!) from a friend who was downsizing all his belongings to only 100 items. he wants to own less so he can give more. uh-maze-zing. read all about it here. we probably won't keep them in this spot though, for obvious reasons.
not so much play room for the kids, but that's what there bedrooms are for, right?
still a big blank spot, but less desire to fill it. maybe a plant? for sure.
feeling better about this office area. it's behind the living area. no one wants to see the office, not even in their peripheral. no one.

so anyway. here's a little window into our new home (we've lived here for 4 months). none of our family has seen it yet so i thought it would be nice to give a tour. i'm really hoping my husband's mom will give me her opinion, she's wicked good at decorating and i could really use her help!

if you think something else would look good i'm open, send me a comment!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Card

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Pack it up, pack it in, let it begin!

here is our Christmas card for 2010. i used the free pattern from Lovely Design and altered it a little to match our clothes. the amazing Jackie Wonders shot our family. hope your holiday season was a good one. thank you for reading my blog. if you're not a follower you should totally become one. wink.

now i need to clean out the kid's rooms and make room for stuff. Neighborhood Thrift needs to get ready cause i'm about to unload a bunch of gently used toys and clothes on them!

have any resolutions for this year? i haven't really thought about it. i feel like i should cut out sugar or something that will only last for a millisecond... i just don't get into all that reflecting and making broken promises stuff. one thing i would LOVE to really be serious about (and this is not uncommon to other days of the year) is to really, truly, and whole-heartedly seek a deeper relationship with the Lord. as a stay at home mom of two youngins i find it difficult to be consistent in my quiet time. like, i only read my bible for a couple days in a row, once a month. dude, i'm just being honest. i suck at making my time with God a priority. i'm beginning to find that there are idols in my life that are taking my attention away from the Lord, like looking at blogs, or social networking. i don't think i want to completely stop or anything, but i definitely think i need to "do my homework before i can go out and play", you know?

anyway, does anyone know of any good "bible reading plan/daily devotional/commentary for stay at home moms who only have a 5 minute attention span that won't make my OCD jump into high gear when i miss a day by having dates and stuff in it"? let me know if you do.

ps. here was last year's Christmas card. i also used Lovely Design's free pattern. i REALLY like her patterns. can you tell?