Saturday, September 7, 2013

Jimmy White-Paw

My dad bought the girls a bunny on Monday at the St. Martin's Labor Day Fair. Scott wasn't thrilled, but we've all gotten a little attached to this sweet guy. Scott even worked all morning on repairing an old bunny cage given to us from some people at church, insulating it so the bunny can survive outside during the winter.

Ironically, while Scott was working on the cage (and I was away from home) Jimmy White-Paw disappeared. Long story short, Scott tore apart our house looking for it for about two hours. Every closet was emptied, everything pushed out from under the beds, toy bins dumped, stuffed animal baskets turned upside down... and not even one turd was found! Scott was quite upset, the girls were crying, it was a disaster. 

I arrived home to find the house in such complete disarray, it was hard to walk through any room... and no bunny. Because this bunny poops every 10 seconds, I knew that it had to be stuck in something or outside for us not to even find any evidence of him in the house! I started looking inside of things that shut, and I'm happy to say I found Jimmy White-Paw within 5 minutes of being home. (At least in this instance, my mother's genes of being able to find things quickly have been passed on to me.)

So, here is the story:
Brooklyn was playing with the bunny, put it in the toy kitchen fridge, shut the door, and somehow FORGOT she put it in there!!!!!!!!!!!!! She even helped Scott tear the house a part looking for it, while bawling her eyes out! My word, that child can be so spacey. When I found the bunny, she was like, "Oh yeah... I forgot I put him in there." She felt pretty badly. (But then ten seconds later, put the bunny down in the porch and ran outside without shutting the door! Maybe she isn't ready to own a pet...)

Hopefully this bunny survives our crazy home. It is such a cute, soft little thing. At least under the beds and couch, and every closet in our house got cleaned! 

Oy! What a day.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First Dress: Brownie Goose Nelle Review

Avonlea got her first handmade dress from her mama. I made her a romper for her newborn pictures that I will post after I get them back from the photographer, but this poor babe is almost 3 months and is just getting her first dress! Part of the problem is that most patterns start at 6 months... such as this Nelle pattern from Brownie Goose.

This was my first pattern I've made from BG, and I was pleased with it. Many people rave about patterns from this designer, so I had to try one. 

The pattern went together easily, and since I was trying to use fabric scraps, I added a band at the bottom to make it as long as the pattern required. I like how it draws out the mustard in the floral print! I LOVE THE COLOR OF MUSTARD! Perfect for fall. :) The arm holes are huge, but i think it will be fine  because the weather will be cold by the time the dress fits her and she'll need a long sleeved onesie underneath anyway. Hopefully, she'll also grow a neck soon so she doesn't look like a clown in this ruffle collar. haha

The pattern was easy to follow and the designer's comments made it fun to read. She writes in a conversational style, like she is sitting across the sewing desk, helping you with your project. All in all, I am glad I tried out a Brownie Goose pattern! Here is a link to her shop in case you are interested. Her patterns are an adorable, unique style!

Trick or Treating Practice

It is so funny what these girls come up with to play. I love their imaginations! Today, right after breakfast, before I could get them all dressed, they put on "dress up clothes" and decided to go trick or treating. I quick grabbed my camera, and let them go because I knew the neighbor was on vacation! 

And after no one answered, I told them to come to my door. They were excited to get fruit snacks as their "treat!" 

Last week of summer with Brooklyn and Cassie home. We are enjoying every day! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Best Buds Photo Shoot

To document our two fall birthdays, I took Brooklyn and Cassidy outside to take some pictures in early November. They are growing into such beautiful little ladies, and they put up with me for several minutes while I shifted them in and out of positions and snapped a bunch of pictures. My sister Dorothy came out and took a few pictures of Brooklyn, as well. Always happy to have her take pictures of my girls. :) 


pretending to be scarecrows!

Brooklyn ~ Age 6
Brooklyn loves school and everything that involves learning. Her teacher says she soaks up knowledge like a sponge! She looks forward to her weekly computer class and likes learning how to play computer games (much to her mother's chagrin!). She loves to read, currently enjoys Magic Tree House and Junie B. Jones books. Coloring, painting, and doing crafts are her favorites, but she also likes playing hide n' seek, building forts, and playing "house" with her sisters. This fall she started gymnastics, and now she does cartwheels and somersaults all over the house! Brooklyn and her Daddy like to work out together to build muscles so she can get better at the bars. She thinks through everything and asks tons of questions. I love the special times of conversation we already have!

Cassidy. How to sum up this rambunctious four year old?!! She LOVES to play. She plays dolls, Barbies, My Little Pony, and dress up. Cassidy makes the best messes -- it is a challenge to keep up with her! She rarely sits still, has boundless energy and a crazy loud voice. She sings constantly, making up her own songs about whatever she is doing (acting as if her life is the stage of a Barney show). She colors and "reads" books, but no activity lasts for very long. Her legs need to jump and run! She also is in gymnastics class and has no fear of running, swinging out with the rope, and plunging into the pit of foam blocks. Cassidy is a social butterfly, always looking forward to the next time she gets to hang out and play with her friends. This girl has no shortage of personality!

Two girls. So different. But best buds. 

Surprised by Number Four!

I am thrilled to announce that our family will be increasing by another two feet at the end of May/beginning of June! My husband and I had always hoped to have four children, but the timing of this baby was quite a surprise! While this little parasite blessing has been making me too sick to blog or sew much, I am so very thankful for this gift from God.

No cute side profile pics :( The tech only got the ghostly ones!
In January we had our 20 week ultrasound and discovered that this baby is our fourth girl! Scott handled the news a bit better than he did with #3 (almost fainting during that ultrasound!), but I think we both knew a boy was very unlikely with our track record. It is a weird feeling to think that our girls won't know what it is like to have a brother, but our next door neighbors have a family of three boys, our good friends from church have 3 boys, and our girls have plenty of boy cousins and two uncles about 5 years older than them, so they'll have a bunch of "brother-type friends" growing up! 

Big yawn!
The tech was obsessed with baby feet so we got plenty of foot pictures!

Brooklyn took the news hard. When I came back from the doctor, she eagerly ran up to me all smiles asking if it was a boy or a girl. When I told her a girl, she laughed and then started crying and pouting in the hallway for about ten minutes saying, "I don't want a girl! I need a brother!" She finally cheered up a bit when we showed her the pictures, but then started crying again soon after. It took a trip to McDonalds and the rare treat of a happy meal to finally get her to brighten up!

All in all, we are thankful to be adding another princess to the family. It will certainly make things easier since we have all the girl clothes and toys that she would need.... and Selah's pink & gray nursery will not need any new paint to welcome this one. I am so excited to see what this girl will be like.... will she look like her sisters? Will she be our redhead or have her Daddy's blonde hair? Will she be calm and cuddly or full of energy? 

One thing is for certain, her Daddy and I love her already! And, well, Brooklyn will come around eventually. ;) At least Cassidy is thrilled! The verdict is still out on what Selah thinks...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tutorial: Woman's Sweatshirt to Girl's Dress Upcycle

Fast projects rarely happen for me. I see craft/sewing bloggers post all the time about completing projects during their kids naptime, and I wonder, "What is wrong with me? Am I the world's slowest sewer?" Maybe everyone's kids sleep for 4 hours every afternoon... or maybe I am just slow! Could be!!! Anyway, I actually did a project last night that only took me one hour. I am so excited! It was fantastically easy and I think it turned out cute, so I decided to make a quick tutorial in case you want to try.

About a year ago, I purchased a sweatshirt from Goodwill. I'm so into stripes, and I loved the green and navy. Unfortunately, while I thought it was a good fit, it ended up feeling too short. :( You know that shirt that looks fine until you lift your arms??? Yeah. So it ended up in my closet rarely worn. But it's comfortable cuteness begged to be made into something wearable. I entertained the thought of keeping it for myself and adding a band of navy blue material around the bottom, but then decided to make a comfy dress for my daughter. I'm glad I chose that route. 

So go find that ill-fitting sweatshirt in your closet, and follow along with this tutorial to make a cute dress for a little girl!


1. Fold sweatshirt in half, and trace a dress/long sweater that fits your child well to make the bodice measurements.

2. Cut out your dress following the lines drawn. (Don't mind the chalk lines... I decided to widen the dress a bit and went with the red marker lines).

3. For the sleeve, you can again trace the sleeves of a shirt that fits your child, or you can use a sleeve pattern from another dress pattern you own. I used the coat sleeve pattern from Shwin & Shwin's Abbey Coat. (Great pattern, by the way!) Make sure you use the bottom of the sleeve so you don't have to redo the hem.

Now you should have three pieces: two sleeves, and your front and back bodice still connected at the shoulders from the original sweatshirt.

4. Find the middle of the top of the sleeve and pin it to the shoulder seam of the bodice, right sides together. Pin the rest of the sleeve to the arm hole and then sew. Repeat for the other arm. Iron seams flat. It may be a bit wavy since you are sewing stretchy fabric, but the steam will smooth everything out.

5. Lay your sweatshirt inside out, and pin seams together at the wrist, underarm, and bottom hem. You can place as many more pins as you like, but those are the important places. Then sew along the arm and shirt seams. Press seams when done.

Yay! You are done! Wasn't that easy? 

I actually felt a little guilty finishing up something so fast, so guess what? I decided to embellish it a little. ;) I found a navy blue t-shirt I had purchased from Walgreens awhile ago, and cut three 16 inch strips: 2.5 inches, 2 inches, and 1 inch wide. 

I layered them together and pleated them starting at the left shoulder seam working down. Then I sewed two lines on the middle strip, connecting it to the dress.

Then cut a 2.5 inch wide strip all along the bottom of the shirt (using the hem so it would be finished). I folded over and pressed the raw edges with my iron, and then pleated and pinned the strip onto the bottom of the pocket.

I like how this added a fun finishing touch, and Brooklyn calls them her pleated patches! lol 

When Brooklyn woke up this morning, I had fun surprising her with a new comfy dress. She loved it! The sleeves ended up being a little long, but that is ok. We'll just roll them up for now, and then this dress will turn into a shirt that will fit her next year!

I just love upcycling! I hope you are inspired to make a sweatshirt dress of your own now. I promise it is easy... you can do it in a naptime even if your kids only nap for one hour and you sew on slow speed like me! ;)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Letter to my Kindergartener

Dear Brooklyn,

A couple weeks ago you started full day K5! You have amazed me every day with your bravery, your sense of adventure, and your excitement for learning. I never imagined this stage would come so quickly and that you would change so much over such a short time... it was only about six years ago that you were a helpless baby that depended on me for everything. And now look at you fly! Mom is so proud of you. 

A special thing happened the day before school started. It was Labor Day, and Grandma and Grandpa Jex came from Michigan to spend the day and night with us. You were excited that they would be here to watch you get on the bus for school!

On Monday night we were serious in our preparations for the next day. We wanted everything to be perfect and ready... no rushing allowed for the first day! ;) You had your first sheet of homework given at the open house that you were supposed to bring completed on your first day. You took your first assignment very seriously!

After your homework was completed (and shown off to Daddy, Grandma, and Grandpa), we made your lunch, got your backpack and folder stuffed, and laid out your outfit.

Mommy tucked you into bed and kissed you good night. We were both full of anticipation for the next day! After a few minutes I peeked in and saw you were still laying awake in your bed. I snuggled in next to you and we talked about what the first day might be like. You were trying to be brave, but your voice got shaky as you told me, "I keep thinking in my head that I'm already at school!" So cute how you described your imagination. :) I told you the story of the kissing hand, and how moms and dads can put a kiss in your palm and then it will magically stay there for whenever you need it. I placed a kiss in your hand and folded your fingers around it. I love how that calmed you and made you happy. Daddy came in and added his kiss, and then we prayed for you that God would help you rest and remind you that He will never leave you, no matter what.

When I came in to wake you the next morning, you jumped out of bed ready to start the day! It was fun taking pictures of you after you got dressed, but we forgot our traditional pj picture. Oh well! We keep saying we'll take it another day, but we keep forgetting! Silly us! ;)

I love looking at these pictures and seeing how you've changed over the years you've been going to preschool and now K5! You are so precious.

Sister helped make sure you were all put together (and by the way, you will always need your sisters to make sure you are put together for big events! That's just how it goes!)

As the neighborhood kids congregated at the bus stop, we walked over to join them. Excitement was in the air! I watched how you nervously played with the straps on your backpack and shuffled your feet. For a moment I wondered if you were going to be ok. Maybe this would be too much for you?

Then came that moment we were waiting for but kind of hoping wouldn't come... the bus rounded the corner. You grabbed my hand and we crossed the street together. After a quick hug, you got in line with the rest of the kids climbing into the bus. 

You quickly found a seat and beamed from the window. The lump in my throat grew larger as I saw how brave you were! Even though you were nervous, you jumped into this new adventure with both feet. I can't wait to watch where your sense of adventure and courage will take you in this life. You held up your fists from the window, showing me you still had your "kisses." I loved that.

The bus pulled away, and if it were not for Grandma and Grandpa standing with me, I would've been a puddle on the sidewalk! They have sent five kids off into the world and their presence reminded me again that this is just a normal part of life. You'll survive. I'll survive. And we'll have so much fun in this "school" stage! 

Cassie and Selah miss you. The first week was a little rough. A few times Cassie cried, "I miss Brooklyn. She's my best friend and she's gone." That melted my heart! And Selah was whiney and clinging all week, knowing something was different from the norm. But in the evenings when you were home, everything seemed right again in her world. We all are adjusting to the new normal. Cassidy loves to do "schoolwork" at home and pretend she is at school just like you! She is going to do great when it is her turn to join you at school.

That first afternoon I drove to school to pick you up, you bounced into the van and said, "Mom! My day was great!" I was on the edge of my seat to hear all about your day, but all you said was, "I got recess two times and we only had a little nap!" When I questioned your further, you clutched your throat dramatically, and fell into your seat and said, "Mom! My throat is tired from all this talking!!!" ;o) So much for great communication, hey, little lady??? 

Not every day has been rosy... like the day I forgot your milk money. I felt so badly! As soon as you got into the car that afternoon, I said, "Hon, I'm sorry I forgot your milk money today." And you scowled at me, saying, "Yeah... AND you FORGOT my spoon so I couldn't eat my applesauce, AND you DIDN'T write me a NOTE!" Oops. Mom-fail times three!!!!

But we're learning and loving and forgiving and trying.... doing what we do best! 

I love you, sweetheart, and I am so proud of you. I pray God protects you and grows you and teaches you at school. I'm so thankful that you will always be my little/big girl.



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