Felt Hand Puppets

So a month or so ago, I agreed to make puppets for my own girls, two nieces, and two sort-of nephews. I figured 6-8 puppets for each set of kids, no biggie. Right? Well, I'm not sure I can express how glad I am to have these done. They weren't overly hard or anything, and actually I enjoyed the creative process part of making them--they were just so time consuming, and I'm tired of staying up until 1-2:00 am to finish them. I am pretty proud of how they all turned out, though. See for yourselves:

Wild-ish animals:

Farm-ish animals

And all the kids themselves:

And everybody all together:

So, Stu and Shi, if you read this, let me know who you think would like which puppets--I'm willing to give up any of them, as I still have plenty of felt leftover to make new ones for my own girls. Just leave them a couple, so they don't feel left out. :)


Advent Calendar Day 19

Today was another day of no gifts in the pockets--instead we thought about what a gift we've been given in our families, and in the gospel. We talked about it at church, and I tried to bring that home, too. We also really enjoyed singing lots of Christmas hymns at church--this is my favorite Sunday of the year by far. I even played my flute in sacrament, which always has me a little nervous, but it went well. I just love the focus church can bring back into the season--this time of year really is all about being grateful for the gifts Christ gave us--the chance to bs born, learn, make mistakes, repent, and ultimately, hopefully, return to live with Him again. I am so blessed.

Advent Calendar Day 18

Sorry about all the pictureless posts, some days are just too crazy. Anyway, today for our event, we had two--we went and saw Tangled as a family, and then later we went to a family Christmas party with my extended family on my mom's side. Both were a lot of fun--the movie is super cute, and Breanne and Janey loved it. Cailin not so much, she's not really into movies yet, and mostly just needed a nap. She survived, though, as did I, and generally, I think a good time was had by all. The party was also nice--we got to see my cute pregnant cousin, and chat with some of the others, which I really do enjoy. Families are funny things--I'm glad I enjoy mine as much as I do.


Advent Calendar Day 17

Today was a low-key kind of day, so we watched It's a Wonderful Life, and called it good. And "we" was mostly me, and then Cory when he got home, while I made dinner. The girls were too busy playing sleepover, and grocery shopping. Oh, the exciting lives we lead...

Advent Calendar Day 16

For day 16, we "painted" clear glass ornaments, using permanent markers. This was huge to a few little girls, who regularly beg to use my special grown up markers. :) While the ornaments didn't turn out amazing or anything, we definitely enjoyed the activity.

Proof that Janey was there, even though I didn't take any pictures of her crafting:

And Breanne, of course super focused:

So Sad.

Today we woke to the news that the Provo Tabernacle, less than 4 blocks from our house, was burning down. Truly a tragedy--it was one of the oldest buildings in the state, full of beautiful hand carved woodwork, and hand made stained glass windows. We've attended meetings and performances inside, and worked and attended events on the grounds outside. It was a building dear to me, and it leaves a hole in my heart where it stood. I am grateful we took the time to see the living nativity there a few weeks back--I keep realizing more things I will miss about that building.

Two More Skirts

Did I mention that Janey is obsessed with skirts and dresses lately? Cory asked her if she likes pants, and she said "No, pants look kind of funny." So there you have it. Due to her obsession, I decided to just make her skirts this year instead of buying her pants like the other girls. First was yesterday's denim number, today I have two more--

A purple twirly skirt,

The flowers peeking through are the inside, which can also be worn as an outside, as it's reversible--

And then there's this purple knit skirt. I'm pretty proud of this one, as I actually got the gathering to work right, and the skirt came out just as I envisioned it. Now if only I was a better photographer... Oh well. Maybe in another lifetime. In the meantime, just believe that this is much cuter in person than on the hanger. I'm excited for her to try it on.


Question for You

If you made a skirt like this for a certain skirt loving two-year-old you knew,

Would you add a flower or something to it, maybe on the side? Or leave it as-is?


Advent Calendar Day 15

Today the original plans called for making and decorating sugar cookies, but when we saw the fresh snow outside, the girls couldn't help but need to play in it. So, for the first time ever, I let them play outside, by themselves. Of course I was watching like a hawk from the window, but I think they loved having free reign out there. I can't believe my kids are old enough, and obedient enough, to do this already! I love them so much, and am so grateful that of all the children ever created, they are mine.

Once again, I really got some decent shots, but they're on the real camera. Ugh. I really wish Janey hadn't poured water (accidentally of course) in my keyboard. Fried my logic board, a many hundreds of dollars fix. So now I wait for the new computer. Thankfully, I have my iPhone so I'm not totally out of commission. :/

Sent from my iPhone

Advent Calendar Day 14

Today we made sequin trees. I saw the basic idea on my friend Amelia's blog a couple years ago, and have just been waiting for Breanne to be old enough to make one. Amelia makes her trees with buttons, which are adorable, but I didn't want to pay for a million pretty buttons, and the girls tend to like shiny things anyway, so we went with the sequins. I love how they turned out!

Advent Calendar Day 13

We were supposed to make candy cane reindeer for the tree today, but a few little someones decided they weren't really feeling that idea, so we made Christmas oatmeal instead. Made much the same as regular oatmeal, but with Christmas sprinkles. It was a big hit. :)


Advent Calendar Day 12

Today the plan was to make popcorn garland for the tree. And we did.

Well, actually, Breanne and I did. Janey wanted no part of it, and was even more angry when I took her picture. She just wanted to eat the popcorn (which I totally let her do, she was just tired and angry and needed a nap, I guess).

The thing I didn't realize about making the popcorn garland was how hard it would be, how frustrating it would be for kids, or how MESSY it would be. This is the floor under our table where we were working. Ew.

I planned on making enough to actually make it look decent on the tree, but we gave up. So this is what we got. Looks ok, but a little too sparse. Oh well.

Hard to see here, but Cailin's face makes it all worth while--she is in love with the tree.

Advent Calendar Day 11

Get and decorate our tree. Fun times, see for yourself.


Advent Calendar Day 10

Our activity today was going to the girls' dance recital. I love, so much, watching them dance. It's so fun to witness them learning, and growing, trying new things, and going beyond their normal comfort level. Though the dances they do seem so simple, it's really quite an accomplishment for them to learn all the moves, even though they aren't memorizing them yet. And even if you aren't that impressed with their moves, seriously, what could be cuter than Janey bouncing her knees and dancing in her green Santa dress? :)

And a little note on Breanne's dance--it's supposed to start with them tapping their foot, just like Breanne is doing. The teacher got confused, and started it out bouncing her knees again. Breanne refused to do the wrong move, even though everyone else was doing it. Funny girl. And then she really, really wanted to smile big at her family, like the teacher had told them to do, but she also really needed to watch the teacher... watching her try to look back and forth and keep up was just so funny to me. She wants so badly to do the right thing. She's such a sweet girl.


Advent Calendar Day 9

We were supposed to make cake in a mug today, but our awesome neighbor gave us yummier cupcakes. So we ate those, instead. :)


Advent Calendar Day 8

Today the girls didn't receive anything in their pocket calendar. Instead, today was a day for us to give. We went through their toys, and decided on things we could give away to other kids who don't have any toys. Though the girls were reluctant to part with anything, we managed to pull together a few things they don't play with anymore that were just taking up space. I hope to be able to instill a sense of giving and love towards those less fortunate than us, even if they don't quite understand it yet. I think everyone thought it was refreshing to have a little more space to play with the toys we really enjoy, too.


Advent Calendar Day 7

Today we made snowflakes. I did most of the cutting, though Breanne made a few herself, too. Janey decorated using her favorite medium, markers. Of course. :)

My Christmas masterpiece... Ha. I love cutting out snowflakes.

Advent Calendar Day 6

Sadly, no, it's not our tree. The girls very much enjoyed helping my mom and dad put up theirs, though, and now can't wait to put up ours. And Cory and I definitely enjoyed the break away from the kids at Cory's work party. :)


Advent Calendar Day 5

So for the Advent today, we listened to the words of our prophet and his counselors in their yearly Christmas Devotional. And by "we," I mostly mean I, because no one else was paying a whole lot of attention. But I thought it was wonderful. You can hear it here if you'd like to listen. I can't help but love the feel of Christmas time. :)

(image via followtheprophet.net.)

PS. I totally meant to do a St. Nicholas thing tonight, but I completely forgot until after we'd put the girls to bed. I wanted to actually explain the man that he was and then put out their shoes. Whoops. That tradition will have to start next year.

Advent Calendar Day 4

Every year, our stake puts on a "Living Nativity" where a bunch of people act out the Christmas story. Somehow, in our 6 years here, we'd never been. I'm glad we finally went this year--it was such a nice way to bring the real reason for the season to my girls, when we're surrounded by so much commercialism.

Breanne was very interested in the story, and figuring out who the people on stage were as they related to the song she sang at the ward Christmas party. She was so funny when she realized that Christ wasn't a baby when the wise men found him--we had to talk that one through. It's so fun to watch her grow and learn, and to be able to try to explain things in ways she can understand. I love that she talks to Janey about things, too, so Janey is also starting to understand more about what's going on around her. My kids are pretty great. Especially when we're out of the house and I don't feel like I'm going crazy. :/

Advent Calendar Day 3

Day 3's activity was our ward Christmas party, complete with food, singing, and Santa. I made the choice to go to a baby shower for an old friend instead of staying with my little family, and though I had a lot of fun with my old girlfriends, I regret missing this. Thankfully, Cory took a video for me, and the girls refused to go see Santa. Breanne informed me that he was a fake Santa, here to help the real Santa, because the real one needed lots of help... what? who is this 4-year-old? Breanne's convinced the real one is at the mall, and she'll talk to him there. Anyway, I think the girls had a great time at the party (Cory's enjoyment was debatable, chasing 3 kids by himself all night), and I'm glad they went. I just wish I'd stayed. Here, for your viewing enjoyment, is a video of all our primary kids singing the Nativity Song. Breanne actually knows pretty much all the verses, but gets a little distracted. I'm so proud.

She told me just now that she was sitting because she was afraid she was going to fall. I believe her--she and Janey both seem terrified of heights. I'm glad we moved into our house, and don't live in our last third floor apartment... they panic every time we have to walk up there.


Advent Calendar Day 2

Today, our activity calendar contained "a message! A message, Janey! A message!" (I overheard Breanne excitedly telling Janey about the message...), telling us to make cupcakes today. And in the pocket calendars, the girls received these:

Sadly, I didn't take any pictures of the cupcake making process--toooo messy with two little girls wielding the knives. I did, however, snap these post-mixing shots:

(I promise, the cupcakes were IN the oven before I let the girls have the beaters. No mixing of germs there.)
We took most of the cupcakes out to neighbors, and enjoyed a few ourselves. Mmm.

New Siblings

So yesterday, I had a conversation with Breanne that went as follows:

B-Mom, do you know what my favorite stuffed animal is?
M-Your Zoey, of course. (she has a stuffed animal Zoey, from Sesame Street)
B-No, Mom! She's not a stuffed animal, she's my sister! Silly Mom! My favorite stuffed animal is my dog with a heart.

As of late, Breanne and Janey have become absolutely insistent that Zoey is their sister, and Elmo, Snoopy and Fairy (a pink bear, named by Janey, bless his breast-cancer-awareness-heart) are their brothers. There is NO convincing them otherwise. I find it quite comical, Cory's working on finding a way to convince them they're not really people. They're not buying it yet.


What 10 Months Looks Like

I can hardly believe Cailin is 10 months old today. This little girl just cracks me up with her big grins and giggles, and her odd little quirky things she does. She loves to gently bonk heads with me--I'll tilt my head towards her, and she'll tilt hers to me until we barely bonk, and then she'll burst out laughing. Very sweet. She also loves when I look at her and shake my head and say "no, no, no," to which she responds with an enthusiastic nod yes. When I nod and say yes, she shakes her head violently no, almost to the point of falling over. Practicing that rebellion already, I guess. :) She really is a sweetheart, and I like her even when she's grouching at me with her angry growly voice. We're still awaiting her first teeth, which I believe will erupt soon, and is much the cause of her grouchiness. Regardless, I sure do love this sweet little girl.

This is her newest trick, as of this afternoon. I am such a proud momma. Oh, and I especially like the part where she tries to swat at Janey, as if to say, "hey, stop trying to steal my thunder! I'm the new clapping kid around here."

Advent Calendar Day 1

So this morning I put up our Advent Calendar, and the girls were so excited about the Christmas decorations, we couldn't help but decorate the rest of the house.
My favorite nativity set is currently missing, which means it's either hiding in our basement, or I just didn't see it in our storage unit when I pulled everything else out. Either way, I'm bummed that I haven't found it yet, but I won't rest until I do. Anyway, that is not the point of this post.

Today, our activity advent calendar dictated this:
Which had these two "a little nervwous"
...but not this one, she was ready to take that fire head on.
...and laugh in it's face.
Fortunately, I was there to hold her back and entertain her.

Janey and Breanne wanted to take turns taking pictures with our real camera (as opposed to my phone, which I usually use), so I showed them how, and let them each snap a bunch. The picture of the fire above was Breanne's doing, and the next several were Janey's shots--pretty good for a 2 year old, huh? And check out Cailin's eyes--blue, blue, blue. I love these little girls.