Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A crafty Christmas....clothing!

This year I knew for the kids clothing I wanted two things.

1.  I wanted the girls to match the boy.  MATCH, not coordinate.  Yes, there is a difference.
2.  I wanted to make their outfits.

Enter the Internet.  I tip my hat to the crafty ladies out in the world that take the time to make things and then blog about them and share the knowledge with the rest of us.  I didn't have to purchase any of the patterns I used this year.  That's quite nice since we're on a budget. 

When we were in Great Falls in August, I went to Joann's fabrics and found the MOST beautiful blue fabric that had snowflakes on it and knew that it was going to be my kids Christmas outfits.  For the past five years (ever since Annika has been around) she has had at least one red dress and one green dress, so this year I wanted to go outside of the box a little bit. 

I made Annika and Abigail the same dress.  The girls dress tutorial can be found here.

Then I thought to myself, they need something pretty for their hair!

The girls hair flower tutorial can be found here.

Tyler's vest came out SO well, I think I'm most proud of it.

Tyler's vest tutorial can be found here.

Tyler's bowtie tutorial can be found here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Like my Mom

This is my Mom.  She's going to be mad at me that I posted this picture.  Oh well.

Nothing says home more to me than when I cook something and can say that it tastes exactly like how my Mom makes it.  That's saying something, because she's a really good cook.  She might beg to differ, but I know better.
I have mastered my Mom's spaghetti sauce and summa borscht.  Tonight, I tackled my Mom's Swedish Beef Stew.  I've only made this recipe once before, and Clark looked at it and asked me who in their right mind made stew without potatoes.  It tasted ok, but not exactly like Moms. 
Tonight, it turned out!  Clark said that he's now a believer of potatoless stew.  And, I cook like my Mom!

Monday, November 12, 2012

A crafty Christmas...and a tutorial of sorts

I've been trying to come up with ways to save money this holiday season while still making sure that my kids have a special time.  One of the things I'm trying to do is make some of their presents. 

When Annika was born, Clark's aunt gave us a kids apron that her granddaughter had grown out of.  It's very cute.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I had one just like it when I was growing up.

I found this tutorial on Pinterest the other day, and thought that it would be a great idea to make the girls Christmas aprons.  Since we only have the one little apron, there is a lot of fighting that goes on any time little helpers are in the kitchen. 
Wal-Mart has Christmas potholders and tea towels on sale every year for $0.97 each.  You can't get much cheaper than that!  One tea towel makes two aprons, so you just have to buy two potholders.  I also bought grosgrain ribbon from my local fabric store.  It was $1.00/metre with 50% off.  You could also buy the ribbon by the spool at Wal-Mart.

Step 1:  Cut the tea towel in half.

Step 2:  With right sides together, put your potholder in the middle of the tea towel.  I cut the loop thingy off, since I didn't want it to be seen.  Sew the potholder to the tea towel.

You'll see once you flip the potholder over, the towel has a nice finished edge to the top.  This will help prevent fraying. 

Step 3:  I measured my ribbon and sewed the length of the tea towel on the BACK of the apron.  This is to make sure that the cut edge of the towel is encased in the ribbon and won't fray.

You can see here that I sewed all around the ribbon: top, bottom and sides.  I wanted to make sure that nothing would come apart.

 You can tell here that my seams aren't very straight.  No worries, since we're putting ribbon over top of the sewing.

Step 4:  To keep my ribbon from fraying on the back and for the other parts that require ribbon, I used my lighter to melt the ends. 

Step 5:  Pin your ribbon that will be the belt on the top of the apron.  I added 16 inches on either side to make the ties.  Where did I get this measurement you ask?  I measured the apron we already had.  It still fits Annika, so I knew that there would be plenty of room.  Once pinned, I sewed on the top and bottom.

Step 6:  I cut 12 inches of ribbon for the neck ties.  I attached them on both corners just by running my stitches forward and backward several times.

And there you have it, the finished product!  I can't show pictures of a little girl wearing it until after Christmas, but I think it turned out really cute!


Friday, November 09, 2012

If you haven't skated for 15 years....

...it is NOT like riding a bike.  At least, that is how I felt.  I'm not the most athletically coordinated girl anyway, but I did think that I could just skate onto the ice and pick up where I left off.  I felt I needed one of those push things that Annika got to use.
Annika's school went skating on Friday.  She normally doesn't go to school on Fridays, however, the skating is part of the gym curriculum, so she had to be there.  Also, I remember going skating when I was in school and I always enjoyed it, so I knew she would too.  Guess who was a bit of a natural?  Not me.  I hadn't skated in 15 years, and it is NOT like riding a bike.  (I know, I sound like a broken record)
Isn't she cute?
After skating with me for a little while, Annika turned to me and said "Mom, could you go sit down and watch me from there so I can skate with my friends?"  I felt the love.  Actually, my feet were KILLING me, so I was more than happy to let her go by herself.  She came up to me after a while and would skate with the push thing then push it away and skate by herself for a little bit before falling on her butt.  I love how adventurous she got. 

And, at the end of the day, she might not have wanted to skate with me, but when she fell on her head, I was the first person she wanted, which secretly made my day. I'm sorry she got hurt, but it's still nice to be needed!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

No, I'm not pregnant

Just in case you were wondering after you see what I am about to post.  Clark was working late one night, so I decided to make breakfast for supper.  I made scrambled eggs with ham, cheese, and corn.  It was SO yummy.  A little odd maybe, but yummy just the same!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

She's a collector

Annika loves to collect things. 

She has a rock collection...but she isn't picky about the kinds of rocks, any will do.  Quantity over quality is her motto. 

We went to see the doctor last week and Annika started a new collection.  Pamphlets.  If you have any questions, call us and ask to speak to Annika.  Chances are, she has information.

I was picking up clothes off the floor the other day when I came across this sock.

It had this sock inside it....

and this sock inside it.....

Guess where this sock was found?  Yep, inside the sock.....

and inside the very last sock....a broken lasagna noodle. 

Why does she collect these things?  No one knows, not even her.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Shameless bragging, you've been warned

I really should check my drafts folder more often!  I found this from August, but I never published it.  So, read it and pretend it's still August.

This past week, Annika headed out to one of the local churches for their Vacation Bible School.  In almost 5 years, this is the first time I've had to set an alarm for myself.  Gotta say, I didn't really enjoy that!  She was only gone from 9 to 12, but it was kinda fun to see what my days were going to be like once she starts school in the fall.  The verdict?  They will be quieter.  I'm kinda looking forward to having only 2 kids at home with me.  Poor Abigail missed her sister quite a bit though, and kept saying, "Where's Ka?   I miss her."  I have a feeling it will be toughest on her.

Anyway, back to VBS.  Friday night, they had a Grand Finale where the parents were invited to see what the kids had been doing all week.  On the Thursday, Annika's teacher had asked if she would be willing to say one of the memory verses during the finale. 

She was so nervous.  I kept telling her she would be fine, and it finally paid off.  We got to the church and she told me "Mom, I'm not nervous anymore, just excited!"

I'm sorry the quality isn't the best, but she's just too cute, and we were so proud of her, I had to post it anyway!

This first video is her whole class, and their motto for the week.

This video is Annika doing her verse.
I John 3:16 - This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

Monday, November 05, 2012

On being verbal

Tyler is almost 15 months old now.  He's not walking yet, but I don't think it will be much longer.  He's standing as much as he can, and he's been trying to get up to standing in the middle of the room without holding on to anything.  He is so close.

One thing he is doing is talking.  Real words.  It is so fun to see, or should I say hear?  He is such a curious little boy, so he'll point to anything and everything and say "What that?"  Or, if he sees himself in a mirror, he'll point to the mirror and say "Who that?"

Other words in his repertoire are:
Mama (my personal favorite)
Anka (Annika)
No (He is very good at this one as well.  If he point to something he wants, and you try to give him something else, he'll shake his head very emphatically and say "No")

Now we just have to work on the walking!

Friday, November 02, 2012

A piece of P.I.

I am a man.  I am a private investigator.  I have a partner who is also a man.  I like to wear trench coats.  I think I look a lot like Woody  from Condorman in the scene where he goes to Istanbul.


My partner and I are trying to crack a prostitution ring run by a female.  Our big plan was to infiltrate the ring by getting our friend (a female) to become engaged to a male (that is somehow a part of the ring, or maybe he's a relative of the lady that is running it)

Before the wedding, we figure out that if our friend marries the guy, he's going to kill her because she knows us, and then they'll come after us and kill us too.

The good news is, Clark's alarm then went off and woke me up, so nobody died.