Tuesday, November 30, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge- Day 8: Least favorite thing about the Holidays

I would have to say my least favorite thing about the holidays is all the hustle and bustle. I wish it could be a more relaxing time, rather than being stressful. With the Christmas Musical and Christmas Store at my church that I'm involved in, and the three Dec. birthdays in my family and then all the Christmas shopping and gatherings with different family members, it can be a pretty busy time of year. I think thats why I always look forward to our Christmas Eve service at church. Its seems like that evening is when I finally get to relax and focus on the real reason we celebrate Christmas. :-)

Link up here...

Monday, November 29, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge - Day 7: Holiday Craft

My church has a Christmas store every year where we make crafts and sell them. My craft has recently been these few ornaments!

For this ornament, you just buy some clear glass ornaments and then take strips of scrapbook paper and roll them individually on a pencil, then stick the paper into the ornament. You continue to do this til the ornament is filled up. I then tie a piece of pretty ribbon onto the top and I might also put a cute Christmas sticker on the front.

This isn't one we've made for the store because its so personal, but I've made them for my tree and I've made them as gifts. You just take a 2x3 acrilic stamp block (from Archivers) and a 2x3 wallet size photo. You buy some two sided tape sheets (also from Archivers) and you rub the tape onto one side of the block. You then set your picture, front side down onto the block and press firmly to make sure every part of the picture sticks to the block. Then I glue some ribbon all the way around the 3 sides and tie a pretty bow so that it can hang on your tree. I've also used photoshop to put the year on the picture so that I can always remember what year it was. I then put 4 little rhinestones on each corner for added decoration.

This is actually an ornament my made for our store a couple years ago. She just painted a penguin onto a light bulb and attached some ribbon to the top.

This is just a red ball ornament with a piece of 2 sided tape around the middle. You then roll the tape in black glitter and then use a gold glitter pen (stickles) to put the belt buckle on. Then you glue a white pipe cleaner to the top and add some ribbon.

 This is an ornament I just started making last year. I made this one Twilight themed for my tree, but we've made them Christmas themed for the store. You just poor a little bit of pledge floor wax, swish it around to get all of the inside covered, then poor the remaining pledge out. You then take any color of Martha Stewart fine glitter and poor it into the ornament. You will swish the glitter around to cover the whole insde of the ornament as well. Then put the top back on and add some ribbon to the front. You can also add some vinyl cut out using the cricut, or you can add a cute Christmas sticker.

This is an ornament I made last year for our store. I'm also making several more this year. Its just a cookie cutter with scrapbook paper glued around the outside edge. I used my xyron to glue the strip of paper on. I then tied a piece of matching ribbon onto the top and then I made a little bow and hot glued it onto the side along with a couple of little bells. I made these in several different shapes.

This is a craft my mom made for our Christmas store a couple years ago. Its just a stone paver from Home Depot or Lowes thats been painted to look like a snowman. She then tied some fabric around his neck and glued some pom poms onto his head and some wire to make them look like ear muffs.

And last, but certainly not least, my mom is making these glass block lights this year with a snow man face on them. We've sold several of them already and the store isn't even til this coming weekend. We just buy the glass blocks from Home Depot and drill a hole in the side of them. You then put a strand of 20-35 christmas lights in there. The face is put on using vinyl and the cricut. She also hot glued a sock hat on the top and tied a piece of ribbon around the bottom or you can also use a scrap of fabric or fleece for a scarf.

Thanks for looking at all my crafts and don't forget to link up here:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge - Day 6: Gift Ideas for Me!

A few things that I'd like to have for Christmas are...

1. I have been collecting Disney Classic DVD's for the last few years, so a couple I'd like to have for my collection are...
Each of these just came out of the vault this year or are about to come out.

2. I also collect Japanese Teapots, so I always put that on my list. Here is one I'd like to have...
3. I'd also like to have just about anything from this website. There are so many cool things at this store and some of the proceeds go to help rescue animals.

4. Edward and Bella Hallmark Keepsake Ornament

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge - Day 5: Favorite Holiday Movie

This is a hard because I love so many Christmas movies, but if I had to pick just one, I guess I would have to say National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. My husband and I watch it every year. Its hilarious!!!

Some other favorites of mine are...
~Meet Me in St. Louis
~A Charlie Brown Christmas
~Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
~Disney's A Christmas Carol
~White Christmas
~Its a Wonderful Life

Link up here...

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge - Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a budget friendly holiday.

Normally I'm a lot better at keeping my blog up to date, but I haven't been doing so well at this 12 Days of Christmas thing. I have some catching up to do since I'm supposed to be on day 6 already. LOL.

I don't really have a lot of people to buy for and therefore don't have a lot of planning to do for buying Christmas gifts. Jake and I don't have any kids yet and only really buy for our parents, siblings and nieces/nephews. As I said on a prior blog entry, I normally just make a list of the people I'm buying for, write down the amount I plan to spend for each person/family and then write down what I plan to get for that person/family. Then as I buy the gift, I cross that person off the list. I usually don't spend all that much because we draw names on my side of the family and then we just buy for Jake's mom and then I put a basket together for Jake's 2 brothers' families. I usually don't start shopping til after Thanksgiving and I get pretty much all of it done in a matter of a couple weeks. I try not to stress over it too much.

Link up here:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to enjoy time with family! My Thanksgiving was great this year.  We spent last weekend in Kansas City, celebrating Thanksgiving with Jake's side of the family. His Mom's sister and family live in Lee's Summit, MO so my MIL, Jake and I, Jake's brothers and their families and my MIL's brother and his family, all made the trip to K.C. We had a wonderful time there. I also suprised Jake with K.C. Chiefs tickets for the Sunday after since his b-day was this past Tues. We enjoyed tailgating and the game with his Mom, Aunt, Uncle and Cousin.

 Here's a picture from our Thanksgiving dinner with Jake's family.

Jake's mom, Jake, his cousin and his Aunt Deb tailgating outside of the stadium.

Jake and I tailgating before the Chiefs game.

A huge Chiefs flag they brought out onto the field during the National Anthem.

Some Chiefs cookies we bought at the HyVee before the game! Yummy. :-)

Then on Thanksgiving day, Jake and I had dinner with my family at my Aunt and Uncle's house. They always host Thanksgiving at their house every year and thats where my family has spent Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember. We always have a great time and have lots of yummy food. Since I've been married, I've been in charge of making the pumpkin pie. Here's a picture of my pie along with a picture of my uncle carving the turkey and my dad playing with my nephew Landon.  :-)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge - Day 3: Best Gift You've Received

I've received soooo many great and generous gifts over the years. However, I'm going to incorporate some exciting news in with this post today. I got an early Christmas present this morning actually, and it will probably go down as one of the best gifts ever. Jake and I had been talking about keeping our foster dog, Max, but we had a prospective home for him to go to that sounded really great. So we had talked about it last night and decided since it seemed like such a great home, we would go about the adoption process and adopt him out like we did his sister. All the while I really wanted to keep him and kept telling Jake that I wanted Max for Christmas. :-) Well this morning the prospective adopters decided they weren't going to proceed with the adoption process, so we decided to keep him after all. So he's our newest addition and I couldn't be happier!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge - Day 2: Black Friday/General Shopping Tips

Click on the button and link up:

I've never actually done the Black Friday shopping thing. I am not a morning person at all and I'm not much for standing in long lines either, so its never really appealed to me, no matter how good of a bargain I can get. We don't actually have all that many people to buy for, so that makes things a lot easier. We draw names on my side of the family between my parents, sister, BIL and Jake and I. So thats only 2 gifts there and we set a limit of $25 to $30 each. Then we buy a gift or 2 for my nephew Landon. On Jake's side we always buy gifts for his mom and then since we have so many nieces and nephews on that side, we just buy one gift for each family as a whole. Normally I make a little basket with a family movie or blockbuster card, popcorn and snacks. He has 2 brothers, so I just make 2 baskets and thats, that. Other than that, we usually get my grandparents a gift card or something small and I exchange gifts with my BFF Carley. We normally set a limit of like $15. So thats pretty much everyone we buy for. I normally make a list ahead of time and then put the amount of money I'm going to spend next to that person. I'll also write down what I plan to get for that person and then I check them off the list as I buy the present. Keeps me organized and helps me plan ahead.

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge - Day 1: Christmas Traditions

I'm starting this a day late, but I'll do 2 days worth today. :-) I saw this on my friend Holly's blog, who's also participating. Thought it would be fun. :-)

Be sure to click on the button to link up...

12 Days of Christmas: Day 1 ~ Christmas Traditions

Jake and I have several Christmas traditions that we've started since being married. One being that we get our Christmas Tree from Sullivan's Tree Farm every year. The first Christmas after we got married, I knew I wanted to get a real tree. Both Jake and I always had an artificial tree growing up, but thought it would be fun to try a real tree. We've really enjoyed having a real tree, even though its a lot more work. Its worth it in our opinion. The first year we wanted to go all out and go cut the tree down and everything. So we went out to a farm that we found online about an hour away. When we got there, they only had little dinky small trees that weren't even ready to be cut down in my opinion. So needless to say we didn't get a tree there, but we decided to go right down the road from us to a family owned lot and pick out a tree. We loved the tree we got there and the super nice family that runs it, so we've gone back every year since then. Its so convenient too. We get a Noble Fir every year that smells wonderful and looks beautiful. Its probably my favorite tradition that we have.

These have been all three of our Noble Firs so far. I always take a picture with just the tree skirt that Jake's Great Grandma made for us, before decorating the tree. From left to right its 2007, 2008 and 2009. The best looking tree we got so far was the 2008 tree. It was shaped almost perfectly.

A second Christmas Tradition is that we've taken a family picture in front of our tree every year. I use the picture for our Christmas card. I also always use the picture to make an ornament to hang on the tree. I thought it would be cool to have an ornament on our tree from every year to see how our family has grown. Below are our three years worth of pictures so far. I'm hoping next year (2011) there is a baby in the picture, ;-)

A third family tradition, and this goes back all the way to my childhood, is that we always participate in the Christmas Musical at our church in one way or another. As kids Jake and I were always in the play and now that we're older, I help direct it and Jake always helps in one way or another whether its building the set, playing a small role or whatever needs to be done. Its always fun and gets us in the mood for Christmas.

A fourth family tradition, and this also goes back to our childhood, is to go to the Christmas Eve Service at our church. Its always late at night, normally at 10 p.m. Its normally candle-lit and we sing Christmas Songs. Its one of my favorite things about Christmas. Usually the kids come in their pajamas and it just really gets us ready for the coming of Jesus and helps you remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just a little update on life...

Hi all.
  I created this blog a couple years ago to share pictures of scrapbook pages and crafts I've made. Then earlier this year, I decided to share a little more of my life with pictures of our house, wedding, vacations, holidays and just every day events. Since there haven't been any big events going on these last couple weeks, I thought maybe I'd just take some time out today to give a little update on some things going on in my life. No real big events or anything, just a little update.

  Right now is always a busy time for us with the holidays and because we have a childrens Christmas musical at our church every year and I always help with that. It takes a lot of time and practice. So a lot of my time is going to that right now. This weekend we are going to Jake's Aunt and Uncles house in Lee's Summit, MO (near K.C.) for Thanksgiving with his side of the family. I've also arranged for us to go to a Kansas City Chiefs game while we're there. Its a b-day present for Jake since his B-day is Nov. 23rd. It should be a very fun weekend. Then of course next Thursday is Thanksgiving and we'll be going to my Aunt and Uncle's house that day to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family.

  We also just adopted out one of our foster puppies last night. Little Perrier (or Marlee as we've been calling her) went to a great home where I know she'll be loved and adored. She will be living with a couple that has a dog that they treat as family and she'll get lots of play time and love there. They don't have any kids and treat their dog as if he were their child. So she's going to a great home and I couldn't be happier for her. I'm of course sad and I miss her very much, but it makes me happy to know she will live in a great home for the rest of her life. So now we're down to our 2 dogs and Vasser (or Max as we've been calling him). We've considered keeping him, but if we find the perfect home, we'll probably adopt him out too. It all depends on how long we have him and how much more attached we get to him.

  Another thing thats been going on is, Jake and I have been trying to start a family. We've been trying for about 8 months with no success. I'm 29 and he's 24 (almost 25) so our age shouldn't really play much of a role in things. I've been on the birth control pill for 11 years and even after going off of it in February, I've had pretty regular cycles. The latest I ever was in these last 8 months was about a week. Well this month I'm on CD 49 and counting and AF hasn't shown herself yet. I've taken pregnancy test after pregnancy test and all have come back negative. So last Thursday I had an appt. with my OB/GYN. They did a blood test just to make sure I wasn't pregnant and also checked out my thyroid to make sure that wasn't causing me problems. Everything checked out fine and the preg. blood test came back neg. so she prescribed me some Provera, which should jump start my cycle and then I should test for ovulation this month to see if I'm even ovulating. The lack of AF this month indicates that I may not be ovulating on my own. So once AF comes I will test for ovulation and see what happens there. If I get a pos. ovulation test then I'll have to go to the Dr. to have them check my blood for the Luteinizing Hormone to see how good of an ovulation it was. I guess theres a number that it needs to be at in order for it to have been a good enough ovulation for pregnancy to occur. If I don't ovulate or get a good enough ovulation, they will most likely prescribe me Clomid. Which is a drug that you take to help you ovulate. So I never thought I'd be happy to see AF, but I hope the Provera works and I start soon and can see whether I'm actually ovulating or not. That will tell us a lot and then we can go from there. Unfortunately, this is none new to me as my sister has had a lot of trouble getting pregnant. She has a son which took them 11 months to conceive. Now they've been trying for 22 months with no luck on a second child. She's gone through 6 rounds of Clomid and is now going to try IUI to hopefully get pregnant this month. I know this doesn't have anything to do with anything, but I find it so strange that my mom had no trouble getting pregnant with either me or my sister. She conceived both of us within a month of going off the pill. But now my sister and I are both having the same kind of problems when trying to conceive. It just shows how different we all are. Thankfully I know God is in control of it all and both my sister and I will get pregnant in His time. Its not really been all that long of a wait for me so far. Usually they don't worry until its been a year of trying without conceiving. But having patience for something you want really bad is still hard. I've been waiting for a couple years for my husband to be ready to start a family, so even though we've only been trying for about 8 months, its still been a lot longer that I've been waiting to have a baby. I'm trying not to worry about any of it and just hope and pray it happens soon. We'll see how things go. I'll definitely keep my blog updated so you know whats going on.

  Thanks for listening and I'd love to hear from anyone who has been or may still be in the same situation we are with trying to conceive. Any advice or recommendations are much appreciated.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween Night 2010

We had a great Halloween. The street Jake and I live on was hopping with trick or treaters and lots of houses really get into decorating for Halloween. We had some family over for dinner and then we took Landon trick or treating around our neighborhood while Jake and some of the guys stayed back and sat around the fire pit outside and passed out candy to the trick or treaters. We gave 3 big bowls of candy away that night!! :-) Here are a few pictures. Hope you all enjoyed your Halloween.

A pumpkin shaped cheeseball we made for an appetizer that night. I got the recipe and idea from a friend of mine's blog. For the recipe, click here.

Landon, the friendly moster, trick or treating.
One of the houses on our street all decorated for Halloween.

Landon trick or treating at one of the houses all decorated for Halloween.

A house on our street all decorated for Halloween.

Landon trick or treating at a house in our neighborhood.

 A house on our street all decorated for Halloween.

Landon with all his candy.