Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's a BOY

My spare moments have been spent this week working on this custom order.

This is just a sneak peak.  I'm waiting till it's shipped to reveal the whole picture.

It's something new for me.
Can you guess why? 

Well for one, it's a BOY! :)

And the scene is more of well, a scene.  I hadn't done that here yet.
Can you guess what scripture it is?
I'm so excited about it.

And I'm so excited about this pdf for a Baking Birthday party.
You see I have a daughter who is turning 6 in just two days.
So close to Christmas I usually delay her party a little bit.

This year she has had trouble deciding what she wants to do.
So today I said we must sit down and decide.  
I LOVE this party website and it led me to this party website.
Don't you love how that happens???  

I can get lost looking at the beautiful photos of so many blogs.
And you know, my soon to be six-year-old is taking after me.  
She ooh'd and aah'd over the pictures of so many party ideas.  
But this baking party, it won out over all the rest.

Check out this adorable cake topper.  Seriously cute.  
I've never done this before.  
But this year, with opening the etsy shop 
I don't have the time to custom make my own invitations 
so I did it.  I ordered the pdf.

Six dollars and all of the instructions and pre-made downloads for decorations, 
tags, invites and thank you's are there.  
I think it was well worth the money because of the time it just saved me.

Invitations are already printed and ready to go.

In the meantime we're heading to the mountains for a few days.  
I may not be online much.  I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!  
I'll definitely report back on our adventures when we return.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Toy Joy

Look how cute they are on Christmas Eve in their diamond patterns. That was sort of an accident.  But cute none the less.  

If only they sold that outfit in women's sizes.  It's from target by the way.  Did I mention it's the go to place for all things on your list?  It almost is I tell you.  
I love how excited they are and how willing they were to pose together. (That doesn't always happen as I've previously mentioned)

The kids were ever so patient, waiting to open their presents till all the grown ups were ready and coffee was made.

The things that mommy had been avoiding buying for a year or so now all seemed to make their way into our home yesterday.

I have a tendency to fight joining in on trends.  I like things that are more natural and really have preferred buying from etsy.  But somehow this year, we all caved.  Grandmas, mommy and even Santa.

So now our kids are the proud owners of zhu zhu pets.. see that blurry little flurry zipping boy.  
Oh boy. Between those nanno bugs and these I have rodents and roaches running around my house.  Every mothers dream right???

We also now have pillow pets
and an American Girl doll.
Yes, I have avoided joining in all of this because they hadn't really been asking for them and I don't like how one thing traps you into buying the next and everything adds up.

And do you remember when I made that late night run to the American Girl store, but found it was closed. I went because our East coast Grandma got that American Girl doll for Ava and I was worried that our younger daughter would be upset she didn't get one too.  

But plan B at Target brought the Fancy Nancy doll.  And let me tell you it made no difference to her at all. 
She was just as pleased and thankfully there was more than a 100 dollar difference.

The biggest hit in our house, are these plasma cars.  
 Ava had been telling me, all I want from you is one of those bike things and a zhu zhu pet.  That's all I want mommy.
I knew getting her one would cause problems.  So they all got one and let me tell you, most of the morning has been spent with them playing chase games around and around the house.
SO I didn't originally intend for them to be a house toy.  But if it keeps them busy and they're happy, I'll let it go.
Another huge hit is a gift my son received called Creationary.  
It's like Pictionary, but you create the image using legos.  I wasn't sure if we could all play, but I'm happy to report even our 3 year old was able to do it without assistance.  
It's so awesome to find a game that all of us can play and that even the younger kids feel empowered doing.  

I hope you're all having a wonderful day after Christmas.  We're being slightly slow and slightly lazy around here.  But it's all good right.  

Daddy and I are fighting some kind of chest/cough thing, hoping to knock it out soon.  But it has meant I got to sleep in rather late today.  When told what time it was when he woke me this morning I replied, "I'm channeling my inner teenager ok."  That seemed to suffice and I was left alone.

Happy day after Christmas.

Here's to health and happiness in the New Year.  May you feel the love and Joy of Christ our Savior today.  I love how this time of year feels fresh with new beginnings.  But I'm finally recognizing that with Jesus every day gets to feel this way.  Praise God for His gift of wonder!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Joy

If you can believe it, my husband and I actually managed to run errands together today sans kids. 
 It was kind of like a date.

Complete with a stop at our favorite Barnes and Noble.  

Which included an early gift.  One of these.  

My most favorite slices of bliss, Somerset magazines.

I don't buy them for myself, but they're a perfect gift, which my husband knows.  They're pure joy to me, and so are added to the 100 Reasons for Joy list, making them Joy #101.

This most favorite Barnes and Noble will be closing in a month.  Oh it makes me so sad.  A CVS is moving in.  Ugh.  We hardly need another pharmacy in this area.

This place holds so many memories of babies crawling through the kid area, coffee or tea sipped while reading in those rare quiet moments, and impromptu date nights with no agenda.

Joy #102 Every Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember we've continued in the tradition of having a traditional Slovakian meal.  My dad's mom used to do it, and then my mom.  She treated us tonight to the yummy and rich meal that wouldn't be complete without her mint bars.
They're like eating a mint brownie with chocolate on top.  

Yes, I'm feeling like I need to have a good run.. and soon.

But first, Joy #103 this little one doing her best to drink out of a grown up glass.  
Her little mouth was so cute trying to drink without spilling.

Joy #104 Our kids singing (sort of) at church tonight.  All but one of them avoid these things like the plague.  But they stepped up and did their best.

Joy #105 focusing on our Lord and thanking Him tonight for all He has done for us and for me in the past year.  I read today about a family tradition where they all write a thank you note to Jesus and read them on Christmas day recounting all He has done for them in their lives that year.  I love that.  I'm inspired to write my own by tomorrow.

And finally, coming home to discover the joys of miles and miles of bubble wrap.  My kids all had their own techniques.  Make a runway, stomp, bounce, jump.  Oh the joy of popping bubble wrap to end the night.  #106 (picture will be added later)

Joy #107 The sense of anticipation leaving cookies, milk and a note for Santa.

And Joy #108, they've been waiting for this all week long.  
The chance to try to sleep together in their fort.

It started out well.. and all was quiet, but as I type this at nearly 11pm, they still aren't asleep.  Hmmmm... hopefully this means they'll be sleeping in.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Sweet Dreams.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fresh Squeezed Joy

Was that a cheesy title??? Ok maybe it was.  I'm again trying to bust this out quickly. Because piles of wrapping await me and I don't want to have another late night.

And fresh squeezed just seemed fitting for this luscious box filled with fresh lemons delivered this morning from a sweet friend and her daughter.  It was a bright way to start the day.  The gift is complete with a recipe for lemonade written by her little girl.  So thoughtful.. and this is my Joy #99 in the 100 Reasons For Joy project.  I love lemons and we can't wait to make the lemonade.

Another surprising joy today was driving up to the post office prepared for a very long line and long wait.  I was even mentally talking to myself saying well even if it is long, I'm alone and it's quiet.

You see the noise level in our home has grown exponentially with the excitement.  They've been fluctuating between playing really well and fighting with owies and crying in between.

So the wait at the post office seemed sort of like a treat by mid afternoon.

But there was no wait at all.

Seriously pulled into a spot that opened up right in front of the door and walked straight up to the counter.
 AMAZING.  Because I tell you the last couple of weeks have been nothing of the sort at the post office.
I even commented to the lady as we were finishing up saying, "I expected it to be bad today, I guess everyone is already finished with shipments."

She said,  "Turn around."

In that short amount of time a dozen people were behind me.  Whoa... thank you Lord for that little gift.  And this brings me to Joy #100!!!

So the final prints before the holidays are off and so are our last Christmas cards.

Now to wrap so tomorrow can be about Jesus and nothing else....Amen!

Technically I guess I should stop the joys, but Sarah Markley did challenge us to join in for the full month of December, so stay tuned.. the Joys will continue. :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Quick Joys

This will be short and sweet because honestly I'm trying to stay joyful, but have been feeling wiped out today and a last run to Toys R Us tonight and the mall just about put the joy away.  

Seriously.. I have NEVER left shopping this late and now I know why people go koo koo at this time of year.  The noise and the chaos and the shelves that look like animals tore through them.  It's just yuck.  

But my kids just didn't tell me what they really wanted this year and I think opening the etsy shop (even though I really wanted to) made my focus go to that instead of Christmas gifts.  

But it's all good.  It really is.  I mean I am so very thankful that I'm able to go out shopping and that I have my health and that I have a family to shop for.  

So I'll stop griping.  But really truly, I won't leave shopping this late again!

All of these joys are from my cell phone, so excuse how grainy they are.  Here we go in Day 22 of the 100 Reasons for Joy Challenge

Joy # 93 Rainy day movies like The Polar Express
Joy #94 My rainboots to keep me dry.
Joy #95  Watching the rain pouring down from inside our cozy home.
Joy #96 A husband who every heavy rain gets out there and clears all the drains so that the hill doesn't flood into our home.
Joy #97 My crazy kids running circles around the house to burn off energy.  Every house with kids should have a circular pattern just for this purpose.
Joy #98  Being home with my honey.. another reason I'm hurrying to finish up this post.  

"Make A Joyful Noise" Made BOLD

I was messing around with my blog header after accidentally deleting the old one from my photo file.  And it inspired me to update the font on the silhouette print.  I think it's more bold and graphic this way and I love that the scripture stands out more!  It's in the shop now.

Pink Armor of God Warrior Girl

I've had a few requests to make her more pink for little girl's rooms.  So here she is!  
You can find her here in the etsy shop.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Joy In Every Day Things

Joy #86 in the 100 Reasons For Joy project:
The day started with a delivery.  One we get every year that brings us joy.  A Harry & David stack of boxes filled the with juiciest pears, nuts and of course some chocolate.  Those little cherry treats on top, they bring me back to one of my first dates with Neal.  We had gone to Starbucks and shared a little package like that.  That time in my life is sealed in my memory and those little treats send me right back.
Joy #87 These girls having a quiet pow wow in their fort with our family friend Maria and of course Miss Bella.
Joy #88 These kids dancing to the Christmas music in my car.  It was feeling a lot like Christmas on our drive.  The excitement they feel is palpable.  It's enough to make any adult stress of things unfinished melt away.
Joy #89 Settling in for a rainy day painting expedition.  They were all so excited to work on gifts for family.  I loved their concentration.
This one has an attention to detail that is so special.
And this one is just starting to express her creativity with circles made into flowers.  
She was insistent that this mug go to me, not someone else.
I will treasure it and this day captured in time.
And our friend Maria made a steak plate for her Uncle who she says they call the steak master.  
Quite a cute idea don't you think.
My son's has the snowman on one side and a surprise on the other.  I'm not showing all of their mugs because of eyes that aren't supposed to see them yet.
Joy #90 stopping at the toy store in the same center just to look.  And this sweet thing, in her always eclectic layered look, trying her hardest to hoola hoop.

Joy #91 Not feeling tired while out and about with all of them.  Having the energy to keep up with them.  I don't take this lightly or for granted at all anymore.  After months of feeling like the blood just wasn't flowing right through my body and feeling so fatigued,  I notice when I am doing a lot and I feel good and I praise God for it.

Joy #92 A husband who did bath and put the kids to bed so I could have a break tonight.

Joy Of Gifting

 It's looking a lot like Santa's elves have set up shop in our living room here.

My husband decided he wanted to put together gift baskets for some of his clients by the end of the day.  He had part of the gift, a custom embroidered director's chair back.  But he wanted to put it together and make it look nice.
These things spark joy for me.  I love finding the perfect gift and making baskets, even better.  

So creating these gift baskets is my joy # 80.

Of course the parking lots, and crowds of people and lines to pay all while dodging rain could run the risk of ruining the joy.

But I chose not to let that happen.

And did you know I haven't done a single bit of shopping for my kids!!! I haven't been away from them long enough and at this point I'm afraid there isn't enough time for shipping.

So I decided I'd set out on an adventure to The Grove tonight as soon as I got them to bed.  If you know me, you know normally this isn't a 'fun and joyful' outing for me.  I think I've mentioned before I avoid malls, especially outdoor malls when it's raining, especially when they're a pretty far drive. 

But I thought this is an adventure.  So what if it's raining.  It might be fun.  There won't be traffic.  There shouldn't be as many people.  And it's night so all the Christmas lights will be on and brightly shining.
First I stopped at our local toy store to pick up something the kids really wanted ... shh it's a surprise. ;)
And my favorite vanilla latte from coffee bean.  It's a rare treat, but a treat I thought would be perfect to set out on my adventure.  

Almost there it occurs to me an old high school friend lives near The Grove and we were trying to find a time to see each other.  So I called her and asked if she might want to join me.  She was game so I picked her up.  
Oh and she is the absolute expert navigator of everything.  She and I were co-captains of our cheerleading squad our Senior year.  We drove all over together with her always making sure I wouldn't get lost.  We fell right back into the same old routine tonight.  I was talking and driving and she was telling me where to turn.  

Seeing Adriana was my joy #81

It made the whole adventure even more fun.  Especially because although The Grove closed at 11, I arrived at the American Girl store to discover it closed at 9.  We missed it by five minutes.  The other store I wanted to go to was also closed.  Bummer.  This trip seemed to be a wash, but I wasn't going to let it steal the joy.
Joy #82  When the store you need is closed, step into the bliss that is Anthropologie. 
And pick up some adorably colorful latte bowls.

Joy #83  Plan B... Target.  The great resource of all things on your list.  I knocked out most of my shopping even without The Grove!  Yippee.  Did you know it's open till midnight right now.  CRAZY people.  But tonight I was in a crazy kind of mood and closing at midnight was music to my ears.
Joy #84  The drive home took me on Santa Monica Blvd.  where I got to see some of the cool Route 66 Christmas lights.  

And Joy #85  Discovering a series of pictures taken by one of the little people in our house of a comfy fort they set up for themselves today complete with a reading nook,  a light and stuffed animals perfectly aligned.  The pictures and the way the pint sized photographer carefully selected their shots made me smile.