Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Today I'm Wanting To Count Down Til Christmas.

Ok.  So - I've been working on this advent for two years now. 

Last year I embroidered for two months.  This year I only embroidered for two weeks.  I'd be done by now if I hadn't decided to make three.  I know.  I'm insane.  **sighs**  When I get them all done two lucky families will be getting an AWESOME advent calendar.  I need to just do one square a week and I'll be finished well before next Christmas.

But I was thinking (last minute, of course) that it would be nice to come up with a fun little advent calendar to have this year.  Surely someone has come up with a cheap, fast, but still fun count down calendar, right? 

Here are the ones I've found that I like.  Now I just have to choose.  What do you think? 

Easy Christmas Advent Calendar

Christmas Tree Decorating Calendar

Envelope Activity Advent (similar to first)

Cookie Pan Countdown

Stocking Advent Calendar

Do you have an ideas?  Let me know!  Obviously I'm gonna have to whip something together tomorrow.  Better late than never, I guess!  Haha!  Life is always crazy and interesting around here!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Today I Was Reminded Of Some Very Important Things.

I read this post of Amy's, at My Infernal Journal, a couple weeks ago.  I read it again today.  It's perfect for the Thanksgiving and gratitude focus we've all had recently.  I just think having this kind of positive, upbeat, and faithful attitude will take us far.  Especially when we're going through some heavy trials or scary times, like Amy. 

Thank you Ames!  In my opinion, you're a wonderful example.  And I needed to read your words. 

Snow Baby has nothing to do with this post.  I just like pictures.  This was taken during the Snowpocalypse (last week) here in the Seattle area.  Ash is going through a fun anti-camera phase and refuses to look at the camera.  Grrr.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Today I Did The Black Friday Thing.

And it was fun.  I did stand in a couple of crazy, long lines.  I'm not sure I'll do it again.  It IS a really nice feeling to know that I'm 80% done with Christmas and even some upcoming birthdays.

Britt was an ANGEL! 

Ash stayed home with Daddy.

My feet are killing me.

And now for the Squeal Giveaway winner.  Meant to announce this on Tuesday, but yeah - the power outage and Thanksgiving kinda took precedence. 

Haha!  What a good sport!  I had him draw a name out of his new Black Friday beanie.

Ash of the pASHin takes it away!  Will be e-mailing you shortly!  Congrats!  I hope B loves it! 

Thanks to everyone for playing!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Today I Am Thankful.

I am thankful for (not necessarily in any order of importance):

My husband * My babies * Health * A bed * A place to live * My parents * My siblings * Conveniences * Hubster's job * My Heavenly Father * The restored Gospel of Jesus Christ * Scriptures * Living prophets and apostles of God * Answers to prayers * The ability to pray * The Atonement of our Savior * Repentance * Food * My laptop * Makeup * My talents * Bach * Chocolate * Diapers * Electricity * Toilets * Magazines * My cell phone * The beauty of nature * Forefathers who wanted a new life and religious freedom * My mom's cran-apple sauce * Kisses * Wood stoves * Clothes * The Muppet's Christmas Carol * Pumpkin Pie * Knowledge * Books * The piano lessons I took for years a long time ago * Friends * Hair * My body * That someone invented contact lenses * Our car * Our truck (may it continue to hang onto life by a thread!) * Toys * Storage containers * Running water * Our mailman * Facebook * My camera * Colors * Being able to put my babies in their own beds instead of in playpens, camped out in my parents' living room (because they have a wood stove and we don't) * My life experiences * Nailclippers * That sweet, milky, baby smell * The promise of forever families *


Friday, November 19, 2010

Today I'm Giving Out A Squeal.

Haha.  Weird post title, right?  Well, I'm doing a giveaway.  Nevermind that the postage probably won't be cheap.  I still want to do this.  :)  It's FUN!!

This is what I'm giving away:

A wood letter block word baby!  That's right.  I made it myself.  So super cute and I'm half way tempted to keep it myself but the green is Ash's room clashes with the blue. You can see more pics of it here.  The main colors as pink and blue.

Details so you can win. 

1.  Be a follower. 

2.  Leave a comment with a link to a post from your blog that you think I'd get a kick out of.  I'm doing this to keep down the amount of people who just troll blogs for giveaways.  I like to read the blogs of people who read my blog.  That's totally normal right?

3.  Cross your fingers. 

I'll end the giveaway Tuesday night and announce the lucky winner.  Hope y'all are as excited as me!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Today I Had To Discipline.

Some parts of being a mommy aren't that fun. 

Such as, when Ash decides that part of being two is throwing all-out rebellious, screaming, kicking, red-faced tantrums.  I couldn't just ignore it either.  Who wants their child to think that this is an acceptable way to get what they want?  Um.  Not me. 

The first episode was after I had asked her to come eat some lunch.  She decided to have this fit on the stairs.  I didn't have the best hold on her, yet despite her obvious desire to throw her dramatic self down those stairs I caught her.  And I spanked her.  Then I put her in the corner.  I haven't really spanked her before.  I've swatted her, but that only wounds one's pride.  I really want her to remember that trying to break her neck on the stairs is NOT good.  She seemed quite agreeable and happy once she had calmed down.  Ate her lunch like a champ.  I thought maybe she'd learned her lesson. 

Nope.  When it was time to put on her boots and leave Nana's house, she pitched it (minus the going limp like a noodle act, thankfully).  She got to go to the corner again.  It's so much easier to send her to her room when she's yelling, but that wasn't an option in this case. 

**sigh**  Didn't I just write something about her being a mostly obedient child just a few posts ago?  What happened? 

Ok, not to exclude anyone, but I'm looking for some ideas here.  If there's one thing I've figured out from having kids, teaching kids, and being a big sister to so many kids, it's that using only one form of discipline over and over isn't all that effective.  Being consistent about what's ok and what isn't is VERY important, but I need to have more than just the corner or her room as an answer to these awful displays of temper.  Is it even possible to teach a two year old that words work better than screaming? 

Screaming Pro.  Ash at 2 weeks.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Today I Went Christmas Shopping.



I'm hooked. 

No lines.  No wrestling two, cranky, small people.  No traffic.  No need to even get dressed (though, I did.  No, really, I did.  Haha!).  No spending way too much time out and about, and then getting dinner started late.  What's not to love?

I'm not done but I am pleased with how much I was able to check off the list.  Ash's list is almost done.  **thrilled**

I love those blogs that list all the great deals going on.  I just checked out a couple today and found out some stores are offering free shipping.  Eddie Bauer and Lands End have no minimum right now.  JCPenney is free after spend $69.  Brookstone is free after $35.  To name a few. 

Wanna see what I got?  I'll only share a couple of things I got for the girls, since Tony does randomly read this blog.  Sorry about the blurry pics.

For Britt:

Thank you Pottery Barn for having such nice, clear photos!  It's Baby's first Christmas, but I decided to just get her a normal stocking.  I think it's rather meaningful since Britt's got kitty-cat eyes.

I just love that they are bringing back the vintage Fisher Price stuff!  They must have been paying attention to how much people pay for it on Ebay!  Heehee! 

For Ash:

A mini guitar.  She loooooooooooooooves the guitar that one of her teacher's at Signing Time Class plays.  Sometimes she's allowed to pluck the strings.  I know she's rather young, but maybe this will encourage me to pull my guitar out of storage and show her how it's done.  **snort**

I got the white one.  I'm kinda wondering if I should have gone with pink.  **shrug** Oh well.  Ash needs one of these since I'm getting rid of the cheapo table and chair set we've been making do with for a while now.  It's taking up too much space.

And I didn't pay for ANY shipping!  The girls are getting a lot of musical instruments this year.  I didn't mean for that to be the recurring theme.  It just happened.  I already picked up a little drum for Britt several months ago and then last week I found a bunch of fun little noise making toys to go in stockings.  Woohoo!  So, tell me.  Where are you at with your holiday shopping?  Or are you making gifts?  I think I will be making some too.  I've got a couple ideas.  If I actually follow through, I certainly share.  :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today I Played With My Two Year Old (and my 8 month old).

We read books, played "Gabby" aka Tinker Bell, tried on dresses for Christmas, cuddled, and went over vocabulary words. 

I just keep looking at Ash with wonder.  How did she get to be two? 

One year ago.  Sweet baby girl.

Nowadays.  Sweet, not-so-baby, girl.

Where did the baby go?  And how did it happen in such a short amount of time?  And when did she get to be sooooooo opinionated?!?!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Today I Celebrated Ash's 2nd Birthday, With Family.

Can't believe I have a two year old.  So grateful I do.  Ash is such a blessing to our little family.  Before I document her party, a bit about the birthday girl.

Ash loves books.  It's the first thing she asks for in the morning.  "Read a book?"  she asks while signing "book."  She loves rice drink, crackers, tortillas, apples, and cookies.  She's rather obsessed with Tinkerbell at the moment.  For some reason she calls the fairy, "Gabby."  I have no idea why.  But we've all been hearing that word a lot this month.  Ash is really good at saying thank you and even says please (occasionally) now.  She folds her arms and bows her head for prayers and says, "Amen."  She's a fairly obedient little girl, for which I am so thankful.  She still loves music and dancing and grooves to the music on a regular basis.  She's going through a bruiser stage right now and seems to always be bumping her left cheek bone.  It will heal up and then she'll hurt herself again.  Recently, she and her Aunt Archie were playing and Archie jumped off her bed, right on top of Ash.  Worst owie ever!  Ash is talking a lot now and it's slowly making sense as she refines the babbling.  She does still use sign language though. 

And now, for the party.  Thank you to Anneliese for the inspiration!  I had been planning on a farm theme for Ash's party for months when I saw that Anneliese had just done a farm birthday for her two year old.  Perfect!  I decided to shamelessly copy her.  Highest form of flattery, right?

For Ash's birthday party clothes I used a dress that we already had (which Ash wore once about 7 months ago) and then primitive stitched farm animal appliques on it.  I wanted to do something that wasn't anywhere near permanent.  I am so pleased with how it turned out.  Ash just loved how well it twirls.  She gets to wear it again to church tomorrow.

These weren't really the shoes I wanted her to wear, but she insisted and it's her party!

Happy Princess.

The decor turned out so awesome.

We put all the letter block words around the perimeter of the dining room and kitchen.  They looked great and every adult at the party took one home as a favor. 

I cut the table runners and napkins with pinking shears.  No sewing required!  Though sewing wouldn't have been any less time consuming.  I just haven't got my sewing machine set up since the move.

The napkin rings are made from the appliques I used on Ash's dress.  Same fabric too.  I found some linen-like stuff at Joann and used this tutorial to put them together.  I love how they look!  The tutorial called for a button hole but I just used a box cutter.  Again, no-sew!  Yay!

 We put all the kids out in the living room with Charlotte's Web in the dvd player to keep the noise down to a dull roar. 

Hubby and his grandma cooking.  His grandpa and mom helped too.  It was all sooooooooo yummy!  We had scrambled eggs (with ketchup and salsa, if wanted), breakfast sausageenglish muffins (with lots of topping choices), chocolate milk, and apple cider.  I meant to served canned peaches too, but totally forgot!  Haha!

We had grape jam, apple butter, pumpkin butter (the most favorite of everyone!), strawberry jam, and butter.

Britt with Tony's aunt and some cousins.  Cutey.

Archie, Mr. Laurence, and Beethoven eating and drinking the good life.  Ash was sitting with them too, but finished up first.

"Birthday Cake" aka apple pie

So excited!  She sang along for a bit and then blew out the candles halfway through "Happy Birthday."  **laugh**

Clapping with everyone else.

Ash received many lovely gifts from everyone.

So happy because Grandma and Grandpa Bee gave her Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue dvd!

Enjoying her new Signing Time book.  She really took her sweet time with each present.  I hope she does that for the rest of her life. 

These are the favor baskets I made with baskets from Garnish, candy, toy animals, animal bands, and oranges.  I really wanted yellow pears but I forgot them when I went to the store last night and Hubster couldn't find them when he went the store for ice cream this morning.  So I improvised with what I already had.

I got these cute straws from Garnish too.

Britt had a good day as well.

Such a fun time!  And now I'm gonna sleep for the rest of the weekend.  Then I gotta get ready for the shower I'm throwing next Saturday!  Haha!  Busy, busy!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Today I Played With Blocks.

I'm just so so so so so SO excited!!!!  Today I made up some decorations for Ash's farm themed birthday party on Saturday.  My dad and brother, Sam, cut up some blocks.  My sister, Molly, has a cricut so she did up letters and some paper flowers for me. 

Ash with her fave uncle, Nathan. 

I think these would be a great, inexpensive gift.  The kids played with them for a while.

Then it was MY turn with them!  First the paint.

I used this to cut squares of pretty paper.

Scrap pieces.

I used decoupage to stick everything together.

Lining the letters up.  Yay!

Ack!!!  I just love them!  I think I'll use them as favors for the adults after the party is over.  And I haven't
done a give away on here recently....  ;)  So, what do you think?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Today I Changed The Picture On My Laptop.

A friend of mine took a couple of awesome Fall photos and turned them into pictures for desktop use.  I just have to share.  To get a pretty pic for your computer, click here.  Thanks Scott!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Today I Scrubbed Eyeliner Off My Daughter's Cheeks.

Ash has started taking notice of me putting on make-up.  I don't wear it everyday, but it (along with doing my hair and getting dressed) helps kick start my day in the morning.  So, yeah, she's been helping herself to the occasional tube of face product and since her applications are random, I'm always surprised when I find her like this.