Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Little Catch Up

I am wondering how many of us realize that is is only one week until Thanksgiving?!?! How does that happen? I am currently in Reno enjoying the city while my husband attends a conference. All the kiddos are with me and I wonder how the days seem to go by so quickly. Our lives seem to blow by at breakneck pace and yet I want to savor the special moments that I have with my children. I am working on a post for next week but wanted to share some of the things we have enjoyed this fall...

COLORS!!! I grew up in Southern California where we didn't have trees that had colors change, just nasty Santa Ana winds that made me wheezy and dry. I love the fall here in Chico. The leaves are gorgeous!  It blows my mind that God would again take something as seemingly sad as leaves dying and falling off a tree and give them vibrant hues of reds, oranges and yellow to remind us that he is in the process of redeeming things. He is truly in the business of making things new!

Yeah! We drove up to an apple farm in Paradise to buy some apples. It was a great day; nice and chilly and the perfect weather for making some pie! 

We also were able to make it to a couple of high school football games. My husband played in high school and still enjoys watching, but it is hard to get to games with little ones.

We live close to Bidwell park and during the fall these wild turkeys can be found wandering our neighborhood. It is so foreign to me to see these guys outside our house, but they have become part of the fall tradition!

This year Sienna wanted to hold up the embroidery hoop fall decor that I made. I like being able to add a bit every year to our decor pile.

We also had the privilege of going to our friends house for a kid's hay maze. It turned out great and the kids did not want to go! Josiah found this hat and wanted to wear it around. It made me laugh seeing him in it and walking around saying, "hat, hat."

Hoping we all remember the joy of the season. We also had family pictures taken by a dear friend. You can check them out on her blog here. (Ok, this is mostly for my family, but anyone feel free to check them out!)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Our Halloween

This year my girls were so excited for Halloween. I think they finally have clued in to what Halloween is. A great mixture for children: dress up and candy (a kid's dream, right?). I tried to persuade my kiddos to be a theme. I thought Tangled would be fun since we had some of the costumes, but to no avail. The girls both wanted to be princesses. Since we have plenty of princesses dresses on hand I did not make much for them, but poor unsuspecting Josiah, he had no choice in the matter. I thought it would be fun for him be a dwarf since my oldest was going to be Snow White. So I made a cute little dwarf costume using this picture as inspiration.

Isn't he cute! I wanted to only use fabric I had on hand (and that is a lot!) so that dictated the colors. I thought he turned out to be a pretty cute little dwarf.

I added little patches to his elbows and had a Velcro back closure. It really isn't a complicated costume, but I had fun making it!

He did have a hard time keeping that hat on! I thought about making a beard, but it would only have lasted one second. 

I'm pretty sure he ate about 10 suckers that day. Every time I looked at him he had stick coming out of his mouth. He was so excited to be able to go it was great. 

Here are some of all the kiddos!

One of the bigger bummers of the day was that it rained. The kids didn't seem to mind, but I got soaked. The worst part has been that it got all their candy wet and now it is all sticky in their buckets. Who knew such a thing would happen? 

We also do some pumpkin carving before Halloween. I love it because we are able to add a little story about how Christ picks us, cleans us out and makes His light shine into it apart of the night. You can check out a good post and the story here. I remember doing this as a child so it is fun to continue the tradition. 

Here are some of the pumpkins we ended up carving. I'll be honest, I love it too because my husband does all the dirty work of getting the seeds out and cutting them all up. I just get to sit back and enjoy!

 Until next time!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Little Girl Necklaces

I know it is very close to Halloween and I wanted to get in one last post before my Halloween pictures. My kiddos are counting down the days, what kid wouldn't want candy and dress up??? A while back I had pinned a tutorial to make clay pendants. You can check the post out here from Ashley at Make it-Love it. She has a great tutorial with instructions on how to do it. I thought it would be pretty easy to make something cute for the girls. My girls love jewelry to dress up and play with. Have you ever looked at the stores for the kids jewelry  It is mostly either gaudy or lame. I thought these clay pendants would be a good middle ground because honestly I don't want to buy them something pricey quite yet. I am sure that they will lose it or break it or let the dog play with it or drop it in the grass or you get the picture. I spent an afternoon making these with the girls. They got to make some on their own which you can see in the next picture! I liked how these came out and are pretty cute for about $2! 

I was able to purchase my necklace supplied ahead of time so that i could make these when we were ready to go. It was great to be able to mold these to my kiddos liking, They really loved it :)

This is a large pile of what we made with 2 blocks of clay. The girls were not as finesse as I hoped they would be so many of their circles are quite thick! I used rubber stamps to make all the letters and had some fall stamps for the girls to use as well. Just a note: when I pulled these out of the oven they still seemed a bit flexible, but once you take them out they harden up. 

I also made one for my keys. You probably are thinking I don't need one more thing on my keys, but I like it :)

We ended up making these for some of the girls little friends and my kiddos were so excited to give them to each friend. 

Thanks for checking in and Halloween costumes are going to be posted later this week!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gettin' our backyard un-messy!

We have been working on the backyard at our house since we have moved in. It had grass growing wild in the back, but we knew it had great bones. As the fall arrived I began to think about how the kids can enjoy these outdoor play spaces even in the winter.  Over the last couple years we (and by we I mean my husband) have built this

and this for the kids.

I am pretty sure that our backyard is fully equipped for children to run around and play. As you can see in the pictures above the only problem was that there was a lot of dirt everywhere. Now, in the summer it is fine because the kids love playing in the water if they get dirty, but in the winter it becomes one big mud pit back there. No good! I had asked my husband what he thought and we decided to put gravel back there. We decided to put pea gravel around the house, swing set and the other play areas and ordered 2.5 yards of pea gravel and used 2.5 yards of crushed granite to create a walkway to the play area. In all honesty I didn't know how the pea gravel would work out. I didn't know if the kids would throw it, only walk on it, play in it, eat it, who knows! I just knew that I could not have all that mud back there again. I have been extremely happy with the choice. The kids love to play in it. It is like sand but better! They dig in it, pour it, walk on it, rake it, and build with it. I didn't know it would be so fun for them. So with some ground rules in place (ie. no throwing rocks, eating rocks, putting them in the lawn etc.) we have been very happy with our choice. It also allows us to not have muddy feet in the winter and a happy mama, double score!

Here are some pictures of it in process. 

We created a walkway with flexible edging that was easy to install and put the crushed limestone as the path.

We also purchased a ton of bark to cover pretty much our whole backyard. Bark is great to help with moisture retention in the summer and it also helps keep the weeds down. It gives the kids some boundaries as to where they can and cannot walk.

The finished product. I am hoping that this will be super practical for the fall and winter and allow the kids to still play outside!

I also had to throw in a picture of my dad mowing our lawn holding our son. Our son LOVES The lawn mower!

I know I am a bit late, but our oldest started Kindergarten. The days can be long, but the years are truly short. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Sister's Wedding!

This week has been a blur!! We spent last weekend in Southern California to see my little sister get married, Whooo!!! She looked stunning and I definitely shed a few tears. In traditional Kristi fashion I lost my phone and didn't even bring a camera. Don't worry, I did track down my phone but was not able to have any pictures of my own from the wedding. I was super blessed to be the Maid of Honor (ok, the Matron of Honor) and all my kiddos were in the wedding. It made for a busy and fun filled day. My girls are still talking about it and how they loved all the stand up shoes (heels) :) I thought I would show you some pictures that others took of their special day. My mom did a ton of work to make it all come together. We are so thankful for a supportive and loving family and thankful to have another uncle in the family. 

Don't they look great! Also, my sister in law and her family did all the flowers and thought they turned out beautiful!

My sister loves pictures so she had a photo book made as her sign in book.

Their ceremony was at a local church. 

The reception was held at Yorba Linda Friends Church in their old building. She had 310 people come to the wedding so she needed a large space!! My mom did all the signs for the different locations and I made a little sign for the candy bar that says, "Love is sweet so take some treats"

I also made the world's largest cupcake stand pictured here. My mom and some helpers made all the cupcakes at their restaurant and then displayed them on the stand. 

There were 11 bridesmaids!!! Just so you get a sense of how many people that is, here we all are. 

I thought this was a fun picture. You can see the photographer squatting down in the front. Can't wait to see this pic!

This is a picture of my sister with my brothers. I think this picture is super special as we have all grown up together and continue to be friends. I know I am blessed to have the siblings I do. 

I am so glad that I was able to share in this special day and am thankful for new family! Love you Melissa and Kevin and can't wait to see you!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Patio

I have always loved houses with porches. There is something in them that hails back to a more romantic era when the patio was a place of conversation, fun and most of all a place to relax after a long day. Who can't drive by a house with a porch and want to sit back and have an iced tea. Ok, so I am a little obsessed with tea, but the fact of the matter is that porches can be such a wonderful place to relax while being outside. In my case I am able to watch my kiddos ride their bikes on the sidewalk or use sidewalk chalk all while in the comfort of my new little patio. Many of the pieces I have had for a while, but just rearranged, recovered and re potted this summer. I love sitting out here and have really enjoyed the change. I love it when people come over and say they wanted to stop at the porch and sit and relax. AHHH, I have succeeded. If you are in the neighborhood, stop by and we can have a glass of tea together :)

I did a little post on the pallet table if you want to check it out here.

Here is a before picture. This is obviously from a different angle, but shows how it used to look.

I also made this little box to go by the front of the door to contain our shoe madness. I probably should have made it bigger, but it works for now!

I recovered the pillows I had with upholstery weight curtains that I found at a garage sale, score! I also wanted to use up fabric that I had, which made it fun to see what I could make.

I used stencils to add our name to the pillow. At least people will know if they are at the right house!

My favorite thing is that my hubby graciously hung up one of the windows I made on the front of our house. I was super excited and still love looking at it when I get home. Silly, I know.

Seriously, please come and visit. We can sit outside together and talk (as long as it is not 100 degrees outside in which case we can move inside where there is air conditioning)!

 I love my new little space!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A little bridal devotion

My little sister is getting married in a week. I cannot believe that it is almost here. As my only sister we have shared so many things while being a bit different. She is one of the funniest people I know and brings me so much joy. She was there when my youngest son was born. She is a great aunt to my children and I so appreciate her presence in my life! A couple weekends back I went to her bachlorette party. I was able to do a devotion for everyone there. I was most definitely the old maid among the group as I have been married almost a decade, yikes! I was excited to think through my marriage years and hopefully give her some grain of wisdom. I wanted to give her something as a tangible reminder of what I shared so I made this little jar with words from my devotional on it. 

As I was looking for ways to display the words, I found these cute little canvas at Michaels. They measure about 1 in X 1 in and come in a pack of 6. I also used a sharpie and had my alphabet stamps on hand to write the words. 

I used the sharpie right on the letter and then pressed it onto the canvas. 

I didn't want my lines to be super straight or my letters to be perfect so I just eyeballed the words. Ok, I'll be honest I was lazy, ha! If you did want them straight you could just make a faint pencil line to keep the letters lined up. 

I then used brads that are used for scrapbooking to finish off the corners. 

I had to cut off the back so I used needle nose pliers to cut the back off and then hot glued them to the corner. 

I ended up making 5 but thought they turned out cute and I was excited to give them to her. I placed them all in a mason jar and put some ric rac around the top with a button and used hot glue to secure them. Seriously, I think a hot glue gun is a girls best friend. 

Cute, easy and done!

 If you would like to see the devotional to be able to give some context to the words please click here. This devotional was definitely tailored towards my sister and there is so much more that could be said about marriage.  I hope this is encouraging to you no matter what stage of life you are in. I am looking forward to watching my sister walk down that aisle next weekend, stay tuned!