Saturday, December 26, 2009

Crafty Christmas

This year turned out to be quite the year for making things. It is fun to create things, but most of the time I sign up for things...go to the event, and then never fully finish the projects. I am proud to say that I completed many things this year! I made this adorable little nativity set at Jaylee's craft night. I have to say it is one of the cutest things! We do have the Little People Nativity also, but this is fun for the kids to play with too. My craft night was a success...It was fun to have so many people over just working on stuff. I didn't make any money, but that wasn't the point. I just wanted to be able to offer alot of different things, and then work on them together...because really...I hate doing this stuff alone. It is so much better when you have someone to talk too. The blocks above are double they work for Thanksgiving too. It was a fabulous idea from my new friend, Cami! You can see all her fun craftiness over at From Hands to Home. She has some really cute stuff, and she is really fair in prices.
I also did this triple frame at my Craft Night. Shelley put alot of hard work at putting them together. I think it turned out perfect!
A few weeks ago this popped up on Cami's blog. I just had to have one. A few of my friends also ordered them, and we got together one morning and worked on them. It was fun to see the different varieties. Stephanie painted hers all red, and Becky brought some scrapbook paper, mod podge, and some blue paint. They all turned out awesome. I just wish I would have taken a picture of theirs. It fits perfectly above my stove...It makes me smile everytime I walk into the kitchen.
One of my favorite projects this year was these "P.J. Pail's." I went to Home Depot, and bought some empty paint cans, and then mod podged the paper onto it! The idea is this...I give my kids new pajamas for Christmas every year. That is the present that they open every Christmas Eve. From here on out...I will 'wrap' their PJ's in these cans. I also went to the Dollar store and picked up a little photo book (the ones that you can insert pictures into), and printed out all the past years of them in their "Christmas PJ's". The can doubles as a little time every year they will open their pj's, and then be able to look at themselves through out the years. I forgot to pick up a paint key while I was at Home Depot, but next year we will also 'hide' the key on the tree so the kids will have to find it in order to 'open' their present.My final project for the season were the stockings. When Shawn and I got married we were given some stockings. They worked fine, but when I started having kids...every year I thought about making stockings. I would get annoyed every year when Santa had a hard time putting things in them, and ended up leaving half of his 'stocking stuffers' outside of the stockings instead! But every year...I never got around to it.

This year I had an epiphany. When Sydney and Thomas were born, my cousin Karma was making these beautiful 'minky' blankets. She made each of them one. Sydney's was purple dot minky with a Tinkerbell satin back. Thomas's was green camo minky with a brown satin back. They absolutely LOVE I had the idea to make each of their stockings to MATCH their blankets!

My sister, Cathy, just had a neighbor make her some stockings...and they were just the right size. Big (wide) enough to fit things in, but not overly large. So I borrowed it, and cut out a 'pattern' for me to work with. Then this Wednesday, Karma and I went to work cutting out the stockings.

Yes, they aren't the most 'Christmasy' of stockings, but I LOVE THEM! Here is a close up of mine. The nicest thing about it is if we have more kids...I can just make a new one...and they will all match!

Yay for FINISHED projects!!!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

From our Family to yours MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Hope your day is filled with joy! We plan on opening presents, eating breakfast with Shawn's dad, and then visiting his grandparents later in the day. For once it will be quieter than usual. (We normally have Christmas with my family too...but we did it early this year YAHOO!...I think I am going to suggest it again next year!)

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Say Cheese Twice

Like I said before, our family shoot with all of Shawn's family didn't fair well with my kids, and left me wanting a better pic of 'our little family'. Jamie's Father-in-law has about an acre of property where he stores alot of 'valuables'. We decided that would be a perfect spot to for our family.
Jamie is a mother to 6, and now 7 of some of the cutest kids around. Since this was a much more informal shoot...she brought her kids along to play while we shot a few pictures. Her oldest ended up being a major help. In order to get my kids to look at the camera, AND smile, she had him stand behind her. He ended up picking up piles of leaves and threw them on his own head. My kids found it hilarious as you can tell in these photos. Their giggles had me laughing too!My kids are notorious for some silly glad she captured these.This car is probably one of the coolest things I like about this location. The color and the vintage-ness of it all was perfect!And of course this was my favorite...I did end up doing a little photoshopping though...In a rush to get out of the house, I forgot Sydney's bow. So I ended up clipping it out of a different pic, and adding it. Silly I know...but I think it turned out okay! Here is the original. :o)Thanks again Jamie! You are seriously talented! I would recommend her to anyone!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Can you say 'Cheese'?

A couple months ago, my amazing friend Jamie, agreed to take pictures of all of Shawn's family. I have to say that she did an amazing job with such a large group. She found this fun little 'business park' in downtown Tempe that was a perfect backdrop for the pictures.It still makes me laugh thinking of how we got the kids to go from this... to this...really. It still isn't perfect (with everyone looking), but crazy that it turned out at all! By this time the kids were totally done! She was able to capture some great shots of the kids. I was surprised at how well some of these turned of out Caden because that morning he had a 104 degree temp! Luckily it broke a little before the pictures, but he still wasn't 100% himself. I love his blue eyes in this one.Little Miss Sydney has turned into quite the poser. I don't think there was one picture of her I didn't like. We are really going to have to look out for this one!
I can never get enough of Thomas. It makes me a little sad seeing how big he is getting. I loved how Jamie set some of these pics up. The only problem about doing a photo shoot with a large group, is that sometimes people 'check out' before you want them too. Especially when there is so many people to photograph. During this shoot, my kids did not want to Jamie was nice enough to take more pics of just my little family a couple of weeks ago. Since I have already overloaded you with pictures I will save that post for tomorrow. (Although you have a sneak peek of that photo shoot from my header

All I have to say is I absolutely LOVED the way they turned out. Thank you Jamie!!!!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Another thing that we traditionally do as a family is attend The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. It is actually for their Lunch, and for the different Children's plays that they have throughout the year. My sister reserves the whole front section...if you ever are interested in going you can read the details about it here.This particular play/musical was "Frosty the Snowman." The kids had a great time as usual. Even Thomas sat through the whole thing! It is kinda crazy to think that we have been going to these since Caden was probably around 9 months old...and now here I am with 3 kids...still going!
They really do a great job with all the sets, and the actors are good too! My kids always get a kick out of meeting them after the show, and getting all of their autographs.

It really is such a fun time for us as a family.
Sydney is super excited for "The Little Mermaid" in March. My sister still has a few tables available...let me know if you want to come!

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Monday, December 21, 2009


On Thursday, Dec. 10th Shawn and I got to perform at the Mesa Arts Center with EVMCO for the first time. I can not begin to express what an amazing thing it was to be a part of.

For those of you who haven't heard about it. The group was formed by two brothers who saw a need for 'GOOD' music. They started their first one out in Orange County (where they live). Their sister lives out here in AZ and begged them to come out here...and they finally did. They fly out here once a week to run rehearsals.

The organization consists of singers starting at 4 years old all the way up to an adult choir, and also a fully symphonic orchestra. I was so excited to be able to have the opportunity to play again in an orchestra full of good players. The experience did not disappoint.

There were times, while playing in the concert, that I was almost overcome by the powerful emotion that the music brought. It was wonderful. I only wished I could have been in the audience to have felt the full effect of our music. I am so thankful that Brett & Brandon gave in and decided to come out here. It really is a great contribution to our community

There was a lot of controversy about the cost of the tickets (some as much as $40), but I think it is so worth your money. I can't wait for our next concert on March 5th!

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Will this Day Ever End???

There are times when I just wonder how I am going to survive the day. This was one of those days. It was JAM PACKED with activities.

My day began by rolling out of bed and heading out to a church. A few months ago I joined an orchestra. The East Valley Mormon Choral Organization (EVMCO) started their inaugural season here in AZ. I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to be able to play. Our concert was Dec. 10th so we had a marathon rehearsal on Saturday (Dec. 5).

It was a little complicated because Shawn is in the Adult we had to make sure our kids were taken care of. Basically this was the low down of the day.

7:00 am: wake up
8:00 am: Be at church ready to play
9:30 am: Shawn drops of kids at a friends...heads to church
12:00 pm: Rehearsal finally done...Shawn goes and picks up kids meets me at the house
12:30 pm: Load kids in the car again, head to Airport for the Company Children's Christmas Party
1:00 pm: Have a ton of fun at the party...

Visit with Santa

Ride on Ponies

Be super excited
and he totally doesn't want to get off.

We also get to hang out with my sis (because we both are flight attendants) & I get to see my old friend Shannon (who I stole this picture from). Shannon and I were in 'Barbie Boot Camp' aka Flight Attendant Training together. She is an awesome Mom of 3 boys. She says that I was her inspiration to start blogging, but I think she has far surpassed my blogging capabilities. It is nice to know that I will atleast see her once a year at this party. Maybe next time I will actually get a pic of us together!

4:00 pm: Wrap up our fun in the hanger. Load the kids up again to head home.
4:30pm: Arrive at home. Run inside. Make garden salad for Ward Christmas Party while Shawn puts some finishing touches on our Christmas lights.
5:00 pm: Load the kids in the car AGAIN! to go to our Ward Christmas Party. Have a great time visiting with friends, eating, and also had the opportunity to play my violin & Shawn sing in an ensemble for the program. Also get to visit Santa...again. :o)
7:00 pm: Leave party, come home. Bundle up kids to walk our neighborhood. Every year they have "The Lighting of the Houses"...they send out a flyer, and tell everyone to have their lights up by a certain weekend. Then that night 'stations' with Hot Coco, and goodies are set up through out the neighborhood. So you can walk around and see everyone's displays.

8:00 pm: Get back home. Put kids to bed.

8:30 pm: Shawn and I pass out! Seriously we were out so fast. My sister told me the next day that Maya had come by around 9 or 9:30 to show us that she had pulled out her tooth...and we didn't answer. I didn't even HEAR we had to have been out cold!

We really did have a great time, but man! I think so many people try to avoid having things right around Christmas...but instead it kinda backfires because then we have many, many activities all in the same day!! least we survived!

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Sweaters

On the first Friday of Dec. we got together for BUNKO! I have really loved getting together with these girls every month. They are so much fun. We have a theme to wear Ugly Christmas Sweater's. I got mine from my mom. :o) We had a great time!
All pictures courtesy of Tammy Suzanne, Julie, Jen, Tammy, Andrea, Jamie, Sherry & Mel
Don't we look FABULOUS?Tammy
Don't you LOVE it!?
Jen & Julie

Thanks for the fun night girls.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009


When I say that Christmas came in the blink of an eye...I meant it. The Saturday after Thanksgiving we got together for our traditional Making of the Gingerbread Houses! We began doing this a few years ago with Shawn's family. I have to say that I think I look forward to it more than the kids do!

This year we tried to create our own shingles using 100 calorie Oreo's. I think that it turned out pretty well. We could have layered them for a better effect, but I still think it looked good. We also created a snowball fight, and a 'forest' of trees. Caden thinks next year we need to have Santa's feet sticking out of the chimney. Every year it is fun to see the different things that we came up with. The thing I love most about this tradition is the memories that it creates. We have had some funny things happen each time! Our finished product!Geoff, Betsy & CodyAngie & JacksonTori, Tracy, Caroline, Hunter & AbbyNana & Abby Tori & Tracy are the designated gingerbread we usually do the decorating at their house. They are lucky enough to live near the Temple. So last year we added the tradition of walking to the temple to walk the ground at see their wonderful light display.It is so fun to see Sydney interact with these two. She really looks up to them, and I am thankful that they are such great examples for her.Thomas & CodyMy crewThese kids are so funny! Geoff and Jackson were good sports about it though.I am sad to report that although all the houses were standing before we left to the Temple. Geoff & Betsy's could not withstand the walk to their car! One of these years they will get to take theirs home!!
Decorating these houses was the perfect way to kick start our season. I have our gingerbread as the centerpiece on our table. It is so fun to see it everyday. One thing I am amazed about is the kids haven't even touched it!!! In past the time Christmas was here...our house was devoid of all candy that was removable. I guess that they are proud of their creation (or maybe it was my threatening...haha)

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