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Showing posts from 2012

The Tree - With a Christmas Dove Tutorial

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So as a family, we've never had a Christmas tree. Honesty, it always seemed like a hassle and an extra expense. I loved looking at other people's trees and my kids weren't old enough to care - so I didn't either.
But this year, I found myself wanting a tree of our own. However, without a tree budget, I didn't see a way we could afford it. But I reserved $20 and found a used, artificial tree on Craigslist.org. The seller gave me a deal on a 6 foot, fairly low quality, pre-lit tree. I was pleased as punch to get it too.
Anyway, once I got it set up - I realized it would need some ornaments.
I made popcorn garland by sewing hundreds of pieces of plain popped popcorn together - a rather tedious job that I won't soon sign up for again.
Then I found a tutorial online that gave instructions for making little doves out of pages from an old book. That seemed free enough for me.
The tutorial was great - but the birds required a bit more of a time investment than I had an…

The Little Monster Project

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So this month, I have a slew of kids' birthdays to celebrate. Also, Christmas is coming up - and I loathe the idea of spending the money my husband works so hard for on worthless, plastic toys that my kids will adore for a day and a half - before they're added to an overflowing bin of forgotten toys.

I decided to try and make some little gifts for the kids having birthdays this month. So I googled some homemade toy ideas online. I found some great ideas - but none that really stood out. Then I came across a site selling little homemade monsters. They looked easy to make - so it inspired me to create a monster of my own to give this year.

This turned out to be one of the cutest and easiest homemade gifts I've ever made. Start to finish - my first one took about an hour. I hand sewed all of it. I used my machine for the bulk of the work on the second one and it took much less time.

Here's a little photo tutorial of how I did it - and instructions for making your own.

Fir…

Tangled Ashes - Book Review

THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED (BY ME) IN THE ANSWER NEWSPAPER

Well Written Historical Fiction By Amanda Wynant The Answer Staff Writer
Book: Tangled Ashes By: Michele Phoenix Price: $12.99 Available: Amazon.com
Lamorlaye, France - 1940: Meunier Manor, an elegant castle, is taken over by Nazi officials as they occupy the city. The Nazis make the castle their headquarters and the place where they'll institute their Labensborn program - a project Heinrich Himmler set up to promote the growth of the Aryan race by encouraging Nordic women and German Soldiers to conceive a child dedicated to Hitler and the Third Reich.
French teenage girls, Marie and Elise are forced into work for the Nazis at the castle, to help supplement their families' income. The girls have no knowledge of the Labensborn program at first, but soon discover the horrible plans of the Nazis as they turn the winsome castle into a maternity home. The young Frenchwomen must make brave decisions of loyalty and courage…

The Beginner's Bible App - Review

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Love this App.

It's The Beginner's Bible app from Zondervan. My 2 year old and 4 year old have asked for it every night since we got it. They like to take turns "turning" the pages.  The pictures are fantastic and very clear. The narrator is very easy to listen to - with a calm voice. The stories are well written and suitable for all ages of children.  The games are fun and interactive. It's a great way to review stories with your little ones after reading them with this app. We enjoyed everything about this app and would love to see more apps like this one.

We Choose Virtues

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Have you heard of this program? It's a really cool curriculum designed just to teach virtues to students.

I just heard about it from a friend of mine and thought it was a really neat idea.
Here's their website for more info:http://www.wechoosevirtues.com/shop/home-school-kit-community


Things to Remember

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So lately - I've been overcome with the desire to document some things that my kids are doing - or were doing so I never forget them. I'm not very sentimental. I don't do scrapbooks and didn't make baby books. I don't have a wedding album and there is only one framed photograph displayed in my home. I hope to get better at all this - but for now, I'm just going to jot some things down here that I never want to forget.

When Lily Ann was just beginning to talk, she said some of the sweetest things. She called flowers "fallers". When she wanted help with something, she'd say "help you" (with a big question mark at the end). Her pacifier was her "fwop-fwop." She loved drinking smoothies - and she would call them "moonies." When I was pregnant with Miles, Lily loved talking about the baby in my belly. She also claimed to have a baby in her belly - and asked all sorts of women if they had a baby in their belly. When we firs…

Summer Projects You'll Love

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I just wrote this article for Blissfully Domestic. It's a bunch of cool summer home project ideas from around the web. Some of these ideas are really amazing. One guy wrote about wallpapering a room with pages from vintage books. Another article outlines the creative things you can do with old wood pallets. Anyway - these little projects might help you stay out of trouble this summer!
Check them out.

Not a Hairstylist . . .

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Words to the wise: a Youtube tutorial is NOT a suitable way to learn how to cut your own hair.

Youtube tutorials are awesome. Last year on Youtube, I learned how to quickly peel kiwi fruit. Earlier this month, I watched a Youtube tutorial that taught me how to make Lily Ann a barbie princess cake for her birthday. So naturally, I thought I could save a few bucks and let Youtube teach me how to cut my long, thick, horse-mainy, layered hair.

Let's just say I was wrong - and I'm thankful that I didn't cut it so short that I couldn't still tie it back. Because It's going to be tied back for a while - until I can get the damage undone.  :)


Miles' First Haircut

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Miles has had these lovely white curls on the back of his head for a while now. Recently, they started growing longer - in so much as you might mistake him for a little blonde girl instead of the little boy that he is. I've been putting off the first haircut - because the curls are just so precious to me. But today - I finally snipped them off - and saved them for the keepsake box.  He looks so much older now. More like a little boy than a baby. . . . 

Family Photos

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A friend of mine took these photos recently and just sent them to us.

Back to Blogging

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I think I'd like to get this old blog up and running again. I'll start with a little family update. . . .
So far, this summer, Lily Ann turned four and Miles turned two. Even though it's exhausting to chase them around all day, I enjoy raising them SO MUCH. They love each other and play together pretty well now. Miles has turned a corner and is becoming much less fussy. Lily Ann is a sweetheart - such a little helper.
Adam is enjoying his work and doing a great job. He's always being recognized at work for being awesome. At home, he's also fabulous. He's so sweet to our kids and incredibly helpful around the house. I'm still not sure how to operate the vacuum cleaner - he always beats me to it. Did I mention how very handsome he is?! He just keeps     getting better looking with age.
I'm writing a bit - freelance. I'm taking some online courses to learn how to do a better job writing - and marketing my work. I write for a couple of websites, an online…

5x7 Folded Card

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Happy Day Cocoa Father's Day Card Check out our modern shower invitations by Shutterfly. View the entire collection of cards.

happily ever after - book review

In 1992, Dr. Gary Chapman wrote the landmark book, The Five Love Languages. He sold over six million copies. As a relationship counselor for more than 30 years, Chapman has worked in the trenches with thousands of couples, while maintaining a successful marriage himself and raising two children.
In his most recent book, Happily Ever After: Six secrets to a Successful Marriage, Dr. Chapman outlines the six most common problems marriages face and gives practical insights on how to successfully navigate through the issues.
The book is an A to Z marriage primer, boasting 370 pages of relevant information for any married person. This would be a great book to give a newlywed couple; but it’s equally as valuable for couples who’ve been together for decades.
Dr. Chapman tackles the most delicate topics in marriage from sexual intimacy to problems with the in-laws. If it causes conflict in marriage, it’s in this book!
At the end of the book, there are several bonus tool sections. One is titled,…