Monday, December 13, 2010

He's Here!

With the help of family and friends, we were able to raise ALL the money we needed to bring Valeriy here to the states for Christmas.  My younger three kids helped me make a welcome poster for him.  I looked how to spell "Welcome" in Ukrainian on google translate, and I hope that's what I put on the poster!  Who knows (besides Valeriy) what it really says.

Nate and Matt had to stay back in town for a band concert so they couldn't go to the airport with us.  I am telling you, I have never seen someone so curious and excited about every little thing around my house.  He would yell from upstairs, "Mommee! Mommee!" and then come show me what he found.  So far he has found my college ID that I haven't seen in 16 years and a cross pendant that I'm not sure I've ever seen.  I think my favorite thing that he brought me was a binder.  He yelled his "Mommee", then sat and showed me how the rings open and close! 

I do believe this will be a very fun 5 weeks, and oh so very hard on January 15 to say goodbye.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Real Tree

We haven't had a real Christmas tree since or first year of marriage.  This year, though, all of the artificial lights were blowing and it was shedding, so we thought we'd let the kids experience the smells of a fresh cut tree throughout the house.  My sinuses aren't loving it, but we knew the kids would.

Through the lovely Internet, I was able to find a tree farm just 10 minutes from our house.  I drive past the road all the time, but I would have never noticed their sign.  After going up and down several rows, we found our perfect tree - 9 1/2 feet tall!

All of the kids had their turn at sawing, although I don't think they got anywhere.

They gave free hayrides (with tree purchase)!  We had the whole trailer to ourselves, so that was fun.

These next few pictures are to show my Mom the tree stand we bought at the farm.  It's pretty cool - maybe they are all like this now and I didn't know since it's been almost 15 years since we've bought a tree stand.  There is this spike coming out of the container; probably about 6 inches long.  They drilled a hole in our tree, so all we had to do was hammer the stand to the hole.  Voila, it just stands there by itself without turning the three screws like in the old stands!

Sadly, we have been so busy with school activities that we've not had a chance to put all of the ornaments on our tree, yet.  I'll post some pics when we finally do get a chance. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Flirty Apron Swap

I was part of Shawnee's Frosted Flurries Apron Swap this season.  Not only do we send an apron, but we also include tuck ins to go along with it.  We are supposed to spell out a word that has to do with Christmas or winter, the word I chose was "SNOW", and then send a tuck in for each letter of that word.

I got my package on Monday, and boy, did my partner deliver!  Not only did I get a super cute apron, but she sent A LOT of goodies.  Let's start with the apron - my son couldn't seem to capture a picture with me wearing a smile.  I love the pattern and the fun fabric!  It fits good and it crisscrosses in the back. 

 For the tuck ins, she chose the word "CHILDREN" - since I have so many!  No, she knew that our kids are the focus over the holidays.  This is the "L" that she tacked to the pocket - a Little angel!

The "R" was also included on the apron.  A Recycled vintage brooch.  In the shape of a snowflake, no less.

She sent me a lot of scarves for the kids to play with.  Aren't these pretty?  I know she sent them for imaginative play for the children; but I will admit, I've been wearing a couple of them myself!

The "N" is for Neatness.  She sent me a thread catcher that her mother made!  I must admit, that I am a messy person and I throw my threads and scraps on my table as I'm sewing.  I'm so excited about this thread catcher!  It has a grippy bottom on the flower to stay put on my table and it's also a pin cushion.  As I sew, I'll just be able to throw in my threads in the cute little bag.  How cute!  There was more things that were including that I didn't include pictures with - Candy canes for the kids (they're already gone), a Hand towel with snowflakes on it, Decorative snowflakes all throughout that I will use as ornaments, and snowflake Earrings!  I think that the best surprise of all, though, was that my partner was sweet enough to include a donation to help bring Valeriy to our house!

Thank you so much, partner!  This was most fun I've had opening a package in any swap I've ever been in.  You truly made it special!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I was a sewing fool earlier this week!  My Mom and sister have an open house every year for their embroidery businesses and I worked hard to get some aprons made to try to sell.  Of course, I ran out of the house yesterday morning without taking a single picture of my work.  Good thing for me, though, that my sister took some pics last night of their goods and put them on Facebook!

I am selling them to help raise money to bring Valeriy here. I found out his name is pronounced Va-Larry.  I decided to sell raffle tickets to win the reversible apron below.  Now that I look at it, I kind of wish I had one like it!  I love that combo of Anna Maria Horner fabric!

I'm planning on making a special mother/daughter matching apron set to giveaway on my blog - hopefully next week.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Will you help us?

We are hosting a sweet little boy in our home this Christmas through an organization called New Horizons for Children.  You can go to their website to read more, but here's an excerpt from an email and this explains a little more why I want to host Valery in our home.
"NHFC is a non-denominational, non-profit, Christian ministry. Our goals are to reach orphans in Eastern European countries and bring them to the USA to visit with American Christian host families for 4-5 weeks over Christmas and in the summer. This shows them a functional family environment, immerses them in English, gives them love of family, and of their Father in Heaven. It undoubtedly builds their otherwise non-existent self-esteem. They realize they DO matter and can succeed in life."

Valery - 12 last week! speaks Ukrainian, Russian and a little English. He came to the interview with “Bubba teeth” in his mouth that he got from our team while waiting his turn. He really loves cooking and aspires to be a chief in the future. He has a very warm smile and enjoys playing ball and swimming. He would like family with kids younger than him and dogs. He also would like to live near a city. A past adoptive mom wrote: I (Stephanie) spent some time with Valery while on our adoption trip. He is a little shy, but very friendly and ready to smile! He has very bowed legs, and I think some of the kids tease him for it. Although he is a good little soccer player, he would shy away from playing with the big boys. He is small for his age, maybe a size 10? Super sweet guy!


Some money has already been donated to bring Valery to America!  Derek and I are willing to host him and pour our love on him, but we need help to raise the remaining money.  Will you help us?

I have a paypal account you can donate to, or you can go to my active fundraising page.  By donating through the active page, the money will go straight to New Horizons (for our family and Valery) and will be tax deductible.

Thank you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Branching Out Leaves Scarf

I finished the Branching Out Scarf last week and finally blocked it last night.  I am very pleased with it; it's so soft and surprisingly warm.  It's too bad I'm sending it off in the mail today - and I'm hoping the new owner will love it as much as I do!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Wreath

I saw the cutest burlap wreath on Sew Mama Sew's Flickr page.  After searching on the Internet for some burlap wreath tutorials (and there a lot out there), I decided to make a very simple burlap Halloween wreath.  I can't even remember which blog I got the idea from, so I apologize. 

Wreaths are half off at Hobby Lobby this week - so it made the straw wreath $1.50.  I got a couple of yards of burlap - with the 40% off coupon online, that worked out to be $4.80.

All you do is cut the burlap into strips and tie them around the burlap.  It's so easy a child could do it.  In fact, my 7 and 5 year literally did the whole thing in a matter of 15 minutes while I cut.

I made a ghost out of a Kleenex.  I set the marker down too long for his eyes, so it looks a little like an alien ghost.  Derek laughed at it when he got home, so I tore it off and threw it at him.  He, being the man that he is, wiped his nose with it then tossed it away.

Now I just have a plain black wreath with no awesome tissue ghost - but the kids love it.  They're proud, and I'm happy to have at least one Halloween decoration up outside now.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halloween is probably my favorite holiday!  I love passing out treats to the kiddies and I love how excited my kids are after they come home from a two mile trek getting as much candy as they can.  Maybe a little bit more than that, though, I love playing on picnik when they have all of the ghoulish Halloween features up.

You don't know how much I laughed as I was hitting my boy with his cousin with the ogrevision.  Try it, you'll like it!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Here's the BIG flower on a little head this morning.

She couldn't wait to show off her new hair accessary to her BFFs at school! 

Monday, October 18, 2010

I thought I'd make one more since I have two girls.

This one is HUGE!  I decided to leave the seams on the outside and it worked up much faster.  Too bad my daughters are asleep because I would love to see what this looks like on!

Flower in her Hair

I made the sassy flower hairpin from Sewing Bits and Pieces: 35 Projects Using Fabric Scraps.  Of course, the girls love it.  The bigger the better with them.  I think it will look pretty cute when I comb their hair and maybe put it in a ponytail.

I made this smaller than it was supposed to be.  The middle section was supposed to be the top layer, the bottom them middle layer, and then the bottom would've have been even bigger.  I don't think their heads would've been big enough for the original size.

They wanted me to wear it - and after looking at the below picture, I'm wondering if I should have put more thought into my gold tooth!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Remember this?

I was in Hobby Lobby the other day and when I saw a weaving loom, nostalgia set in and I had to buy it!

I used to make all kinds of potholders when I was little.  But I think I might have forgotten how to finish them off.  Are they supposed to shrink up to almost half of the size?

He was still extremely pleased with the end results.  He asked if he could keep it in his room; so I guess it will be a doily of some sort on his dresser.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ah, the Fall, how I love it so!  I have not wanted to do anything but craft now that it's not sticky hot here in GA.  I pulled out my needles earlier this week and decided to make a scarf that I've been wanting to make for two years.  I even bought some Elsebeth Lavold silky wool yarn to make it with.  However, those that know be best know that I'm not the most organized person on this earth; and I couldn't find it.  I did find, though, some great yarn that my wonderful niece brought me back from Germany.

This stuff feels so good!  I have no idea what it's called because with me being so unorganized free-spirited, I can't find what I did with the label.

Isn't this scarf going to be gorgeous?  Too bad I'm making it for someone else.  You'll be able to see the leaf design much better when it's blocked and finished.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Family Fun

My boys have been dying to see their cousin since she got her baritone this school year so they could have a jam session.  We finally all got together at my folks house yesterday for some dinner and when I looked out the window I saw this little scene.

It's not a clear picture, but there's a trombone, trumpet, baritone, and violin around that hammock.  Surprisingly, they sounded pretty good together.  If anyone is interested in a three piece brass band for hire, I know of one. 

I also got to play my first game of Ultimate Frisbee.  Let me tell you what's going on in this picture.  The teams were being picked.  My husband in the blue shirt has his team on the right; and my brother in law in the striped shirt has team picked on the left.  I, in the green shirt - was the last one picked.  This picture is me re-living my middle school and high school PE days all over again.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Matt's book pick this month

My son is an avid reader.  He loves series, and the latest one he is into is The Ranger's Apprentice.  He says it's a great read, not as great as Fablehaven (Boxed Set): Fablehaven; Rise of the Evening Star; Grip of the Shadow Plague; but then again he compares every book he has read to Fablehaven.

He finished book four of The Ranger's Apprentice tonight and is begging for me to to buy book five, The Sorcerer of the North: Book Five (Ranger's Apprentice) so he'll have it tomorrow when he gets home.

If you ever need anything from Amazon, will you help me out by getting there from the link on my sidebar?

My youngest boy, my last one to be born at the hospital, and my #1 fan - had his 7th birthday this past week.  The only thing he wanted was a Fushigi Ball - have you seen those on TV?  I tried asking him about other toys - Legos, cars, or action figures - but he wouln't hear of it.  There was no way I was going to waste my money on an "As Seen on TV" toy; so instead I went to the dollar store and loaded a bag with lots of things.  There was slime, army men, a fuzzy poster, markers, a paddle ball, silly putty, Flarp (the noise putty), a box of Little Debbie Honey Buns, and other things I can't remember.  You would have thought I bought him the moon.  He has had the most fun!  And .... almost all of the other kids asked if I would do that for their birthday.  I think I have found an inexpensive and fun present. 

He wanted to light his own candles and I just had to include this picture that shows his concentration face.  Anytime he is doing something like this, that tongue is out like he's creating a masterpiece.

I got to thinking, my poor kids have the ugliest cakes!  They love them so, though - this one is one Derek created from ice cream, oreos, and caramel - and I think those are crushed Chips A'hoy on the top.  It looks kinda like dirt, but J sure was proud and it sure did taste good.

Did I tell you we're a scouting family now?  He is an official Tiger Cub Scout and loves it.  Last week, the troop got to go visit a fire station!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm going to share just a few more pictures of our weekend getaway.  We stayed at the cutest little boutique hotel - The Artmore Hotel, built in 1924 and it had a lot of personality.  If you ever need to stay overnight in the ATL, look them up.  It was just $94 a night, and we were within walking distance of the High Museum of Art and Atlantic Station.

It even had a nice little kitchenette area - complete with Audrey.

 And look what was in the corner!  I thought it was just a very classy place that would leave us goodies; but Derek pointed out that I didn't get out much and that yes, they would charge us for what we took.  You are looking at a $3 Snickers here.

But the best surprise by far was what I found in the bathroom .....

 AVEDA products!!