Saturday, December 4, 2010

Book Exchange

Last night at book club we had our annual goodie and book exchange. I decided not to participate in the goodie exchange this year, since I've already gained 10 pounds since I weaned Teague. So sad! I scored though in the book exchange and got two:

Our December read will be:

And for January:

Now that I've given up TV at night, I love having a nightstand full of books for me to escape into!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cherry on Top!

After 2 weeks of decorating, the house is finally done and we can just relax and enjoy it for the rest of the month!

You've already seen these felt ornaments I made, but I also made...

...some glitter gumdrop balls, a rainbow ribbon garland, and a cherry tree topper to decorate...

...our Candyland tree. If you've read my other blog, you may notice that the tree looks different. My two little trouble makers, I mean darling youngest sons took it upon themselves to undecorate the tree today. Instead of putting it back how it was with all of the expensive ornaments, I just put on all of my homemade ones that I was going to use to make into a garland. Someday?

*Just wanted to share some other sneak peeks of our holiday cheer!

Our front entrance has our big wreath on the window, Santa & Snowman sign above the mailbox, and I was inspired by my friend, Annick to hang ornaments from the roof.

I bought the supplies to decorate our banister last year, but I ran out of time. We got it up this year and are really happy with how it turned out.

Most of our Christmas decor revolves around our Nativity sets and our Santa collection.

The kids love playing with their Little People Christmas Village...

...and Nativity... well as our M & M train. I've got to fill up Marty!

I love having all of our stockings hanging by the fire and hope the time before Santa fills them up doesn't pass too quickly!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Candies and Cookies and Cupcakes- oh flop?

I was in total awe last year, when I read this Candyland post at Bakerella. I could never have anything so extravagant as that (except in my dreams), but I was still inspired to make some fun new ornaments for our tree in the playroom.
I drew up sketches, colored them, made patterns, then set to work making 36 new decorations for the tree.

Some gingerbread boys and girls.

Some peppermint candies and lollipops.

Some cupcakes and ice cream cones.

In my mind's eye they were to-die-for cute, so I was really disappointed when the real things fell short of my expectations. I am such a perfectionist and have already thought of new patterns to make so they will be even better. My husband and children think they're adorable, so I'm trying to accept that good is okay- perfection is nearly impossible.
*This makes me think of another internal battle I've had this year- Perfectionism versus Good Enough. I was taught if you're going to do something, do it well- otherwise why bother doing it? I want everything I do to be done to the best of my abilities. However, there are too many things I want to get done, so I can't make everything as perfect as I would like. I was talking to my friend, Mary about this and she said not everything she does deserves her best. There is simply not enough hours in the day, so she accepts that some things she does will just be done good enough and she is happy with that. My problem is that I am not happy with that. I guess I'm a glass half-empty girl afterall. I really want to be a half-full girl though and I will try to be happy with my "good enough."

Warm Fuzzies

Last week for our YW Activity I wanted us all to work on something for Personal Progress together AND to do something for our Community. I decided we could make little chenille sock dolls (aka Warm Fuzzies) to donate to the Women's and Children's Crisis Center.

Anngela and her oh so original and oh so cute vampire bat!

Christina's cuties remind me of Napoleon Dynamite and his girlfriend.

Dayna's non-doll, I love it! (tee hee)

We ran out of stuffing, so I got some more to fill afterwards. Here is Emilee animating her 2 sweet sisters.

Jenn's has such a stylish hat.

Julia's is all pretty in green.

Katie made Santa and Mrs. Claus- so cute!

Shazel's cute pinkie.

Sierra's rock star.

These 3 cuties convinced me into letting them make sock puppets for themselves. Their puppets are almost as cute as they are.

*This past year being the YW President has been a total "yin-yang" experience for me (thanks Leslie for the term). I have experienced moments of sweet white where I have felt the Spirit and I know the girls have too. Unfortunately, I have also had moments of despondent black where I have wanted to curl up in a ball and shut out the outside world. This calling is very demanding of me and my family has had to sacrifice a lot for me to run all of the programs involved. My body has been responding to the stress in a very negative way with the ligaments in my joints flaring up- my toe, my knees (super ouch), my lower back, my fingers, and now my left shoulder (major ouch). The doctor has mentioned the words rheumatoid arthritis and lupus a few times now. Those are scary words! I need to take care of myself and my family, but I do love the Lord and I do love my girls (they give me Warm Fuzzies). I will try to run for as long as I can, but I also hope I'll get to pass the relay baton soon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I heart dollies!

I was at Toys 'R Us the other day, and look who I saw...the original Strawberry Shortcake doll! She was in a box with her friends Raspberry Tart and Orange Blossom celebrating their 30th birthday. I was so tempted to buy them, but as I had all 3 of them as a child I couldn't bring myself to buy them again. But oh, how I loved all of my Strawberry Shortcake dollies back in the day. She has changed her look through the years and I thought you might enjoy a little fashion show. She was originally drawn by Muriel Fahrion for American Greetings. She became so popular that Kenner manufactured her as a doll with all of her friends.

In 1991 THQ redesigned her. I think I remember seeing her at the toy store when I was a teenager, thinking that she was cuter than the version I had.

In 2002, Bandai took over and I was thrilled as that was the year my own daughter was born, and I couldn't wait for her to be big enough to play with the dolls.

By the time she was big enough to play with them (2006), Playmates Toys had taken over and these are the dolls my daughter has.

Last year, Hasbro took over and the new dolls are super cute!

*Not only did I love Strawberry Shortcake as a kid, but of course Barbie, Cabbage Patch Kids, Care Bears, Poochie, My Little Pony, and lots more!

It's so fun to have a daughter to get to play dolls with. I love all of her dollies too- the Disney Princesses, Tinkerbell and her Fairy friends, Snap 'n Style Dolls, Yummi-Land Dolls, Littlest Pet Shop, Hello Kitty, and lots more too!

*I did design my own line of dolls back in 2005. I have an entire portfolio of sketches and my first story written about them to prove it- ha ha! But, the portfolio is sitting on the shelf waiting for the day when I can work in the Toy Industry- sigh! I haven't given up my dreams though yet. Long live cute dollies!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Candyland Christmas

Now don't get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving! But, being in Canada it's a little difficult to celebrate in November. First of all, Canadians celebrate their own Thanksgiving when we celebrate Columbus Day. Secondly, everyone still has to go to work and school. We were going to have Len and the kids take the day off, but the kids are going to a super cool all day field trip to the Museum of Nature that day, so they're going to go to school after all. Len will still take the day off and we will cook all day while the big kids are gone, then when they come home we'll have our feast.

Rather than be disappointed because of this, I'm starting to jump ahead to the Christmas season! I'm so excited because this year we're putting up 3 trees- one on each floor of our home. Our basement tree will have a "Candyland" theme and I have been inspired by the tree above. I have lots of ideas for ornaments to make, and even have bought lots of supplies to make them. Now I just have to find the time to do that!

Two Book Clubs

Kaleb and Noe are in a book club in their class, so now I get to read for TWO book clubs myself!

Fairest, was October's book and it is a fun and interesting take on the classic Snow White.

Helen Keller's The Story Of My Life is November's selection. I read all 3 parts, the original story, followed by Helen's letters, and concluding with her teacher Anne Sullivan's letters. I am simply amazed by both of these women!

Of couse, I have more titles on my nightstand than I can keep up with, but I'm excited to read the above 3.

This was Kaleb and Noe's first book club selection. Each day we'd read a new chapter together. The 3 of us would take turns reading each page. This story is set during the Holocaust and told through a child's eyes. I read it for my Children's Literature class back in the day and really enjoyed it then. I enjoyed it again with my own kids, but it was a tough read somedays. Both of the kids cried during parts and several times Noe came to me after she was tucked into bed at night asking questions about death. She was so worried that she would never see me again after I die. I told her that is the beauty of the gospel- that families can be together forever!

This month the kids are reading Sarah, Plain and Tall. Last year, Kaleb and I read it together along with Caleb's tory. This year we want to read all 5 books in the series. The only problem is that we've only been able to get 4 of the titles from the library. We need to find More Perfect Than The Moon!

We own the first 2 movies, and yes this is where I got my son, Kaleb's name. The actor playing Caleb here was just so cute that when I watched these movies as a teenager I decided I wanted a Kaleb of my own someday. I just learned that Winter's End existed, so now I must find it too!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cool Chiasmus Quotes

*While we try to teach our children all about life-

Our children teach us what life is all about.

*We do not stop playing because we grow old-

We grow old because we stop playing.

*The happiest people don't have the best of everything-

the make the best of everything they have.

*FAMILY- We may not have it all together-

but together we have it all.

*Out of love God created all mankind-

therefore we must love every kind of man.

*Grace is getting what we don't deserve-

Mercy is not getting what we do deserve.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I found this wig in one of my daily e-mails from Etsy. It's a little extreme, but wouldn't it be so fun to wear for a night? I think one year my whole family is going to have to wear different colored wigs for Halloween. I could just see us now: Len in yellow, myself in purple, Kaleb in blue, Noe in pink, Gavin in green, and Teague in orange. We could go as the rainbow!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


With help from our friends- Laura who lent us the Dorothy dress and Mary who lent us the lion suit we were able to add a pillowcase, face paint, a funnel, and a monkey suit and we pulled it off. We really enjoyed dressing up with a "theme" this year. I think we'll make it an every other year tradition. It's fun to let each person choose their own costume some years, but it's also fun dressing up as a family!