Friday, September 28, 2012

Fantastic Friday!

I know it's not over yet, but today's chalking up to be a pretty darn good day.  We went with some friends this morning to a new park up in Prosper that was a lot of fun.  Then after lunch, I decided to put the decorating bug to rest and finish getting the Halloween things out!  This, of course, is a double-edged sword. I love decorating the house but then Megan asks me CONSTANTLY if today is Halloween day.  I think next on our list will be a paper chain or something to count down the days.  

Anyway, I decided to clear out some of my stash of Halloween fabrics and so after making Adrienne her "Wonky Jacks" quilt (see last post), I decided to make some more quilted decor for myself!  But I already have a Wonky Jacks hanging on the wall and a throw quilt with Halloween fabrics on the couch for those chilly nights -- you know, the ones where it gets below 80 degrees.  So what's next?  Table runner!

Yes, I know -- there are no Halloween fabrics in it!  But the backing is!  And it did decrease my stash of odd black squares . . . 
 I've discovered that I love a seasonal runner that A) doesn't hang off the table to be pulled off by little hands and B) has a clear center for bowls and salt and pepper shakers, etc.  So I quilted it all over in the ditch and then used silver thread to quilt spider webs in the corners.
It's pretty subtle but I love it.

And it looks great with pops of orange in the dishes!
The napkins are the ones that I made for our Stake Women's Conference and the lanterns came from the Dollar Tree -- love that place!  Although I just realized that my plates are disposable but my napkins are not . . . interesting.

I cannot for the life of me find my Halloween plates for my cake stand so I decided to try a Pinterest idea -- write on a plate with a Sharpie and bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  I had grand plans to do some awesome spooky plates but Megan wanted to draw on them and how could I resist? 
The top one is her pumpkin and the bottom one is a ghost.  And it will be so much more fun to pull these out year after year and have something she drew when she was four.

Add my Halloween mugs, our spider and witch shoes salt and pepper shakers, and I do believe we could have a party! 

It won't last beyond dinner but it's fun and festive and I'll set it all up again for our Halloween dinner and maybe a few times in between for special guests.  Like Grandma and Grandpa (hint hint).

Anyway, after that -- MY FABRIC CAME!!  I actually won a giveaway by a quilt shop a while ago but my email with address got lost so I contacted them again and had these 24 FANTASTIC fat quarters in the mail today!  They are the Cameo Collection by Amy Butler.  There's a lot of large prints in here that I'm going to have a hard time cutting into for a quilt.  I'm seeing perhaps some fun bags to send to my sister-in-laws for Christmas.  I think they would love them!  And who doesn't need another bag? 

And now it's time for all my children to take a nap -- this is a great Friday!!  :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

We love Pumpkins Yes We Do!!

See, here's the thing.  In a couple of years our children won't be interested in going to a place where all you do is look at flowers and pumpkins, get your faces painted, and have a picnic.  No, they'll want roller coasters and water parks.  Well Abby will anyway.  So we're taking advantage of the fact that we say "who wants to go to the Arborteum?" and they immediately start jumping up and down and screaming.  I love it.

Oh, I finished another Wonky Jacks quilt for my sister-in-law Adrienne.  I had to take a picture of them together before I send it though.

 Love this boy.  He's like this more off of dairy though definitely.  Which is very sad for me.  I'm already planning my feast for when he's weaned in a year.

Ok, Arboretum and pumpkins.   
 That's a lot of love.

 Yay!  They brought the Cinderella pumpkin carriage back!


 Yes, I am a horrible, cruel mother and made him sit in the pumpkins for 30 seconds to take a picture.  And that's the best I got.  Actually it's the only one I got!!  Poor boy -- so uncomfortable!

 I love how these are not only painted, but painted as "reacting" to each other.  Hilarious.

And it's not even October yet . . . 

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Today has been a wonderful day for chatter.

It was our annual Ward Primary Program and MEGAN PARTICIPATED!!!  This is a small miracle.  But they practiced 2 Sundays and then again yesterday so I think that that had something to do with easing her anxiety.  She sang the songs, she said her part (not loudly at all but she said it!) and then her friend Sammy started crying and she started crying and she sat the rest of the time with us.  But she was fantastic.

Abby, surprisingly, was fairly quiet in church today.  But her shining moments were to say (loudly -- she only has one volume), "I love the bread!" during the sacrament and then after the Primary program was over, "Hooray!  It's all done!"  But she does love going to nursery . . . 

William up until today has been out cold for pretty much all of church.  Not today!  He was awake for the entire program and then slept until Relief Society when he woke up again and talked and smiled at my friend next to me.  When we got home, we got some on video:

We have wonderful children!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Conference Bags

I thought I would post this before conference in case anyone is interested.  I was talking to a friend about this past week and she liked the idea but didn't like the work involved.  And if you search for conference bags online, there are a lot that are A LOT of work.  So this is my approach:

I started this last spring with the April General Conference to try to get the girls more involved and also keep them from loud play and fighting that pulls Chopper and I away from watching conference (yes, we watch at home).  Not all the activities are spiritual in nature but I do try to make them activities that the girls can do with little parental guidance so that Chop and I can watch and supervise them peripherally.

I have 15 brown paper bags with the pictures of all the apostles and the first Presidency pasted on them -- these are the ones pretty much guaranteed to speak at conference.  You could also add bags for a member of the Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society presidencies as well.  The girls get really excited each time a new speaker is up so it does help with some recognition as well because we match the picture to the speaker.

4 bags get treats or snacks of some kind.  
I start scouring the dollar aisles at Target and Jo-Ann Fabrics early for cheap and easy stuff and I come up with some activities on my own.  This fall for the remaining 10 bags (I know the math is wrong -- hold on!) we have:
paper plate pumpkins (orange paper plates from Target and I cut out face shapes from black, sticky-backed foam from Hobby Lobby)
Window clings to color (Jo-Anns)
Halloween stickers (we'll draw a Haunted house for the girls to decorate)
Coloring pages from The Friend
Church puzzles -- I use the Bright Ideas pages from The Friend, rubber cement them to card stock and cut them out
Lacing cards (same thing but with holes punched around the edges and ribbon for lacing)
Magic Paint posters (Jo-Anns -- all you need is water and a Q-tip)
Foam fall stickers (we'll draw trees for these)
Matching game (I'm still working on this one -- either I'll print the pictures or buy 2 packs of temple cards)
Scratch art (Target)

Now President Monson usually speaks at every session and last year we only had one activity for him.  Plus the girls now are 2 and 4 and we want them to practice actually listening.  So this year for his talks we're going to do conference bingo.  Chopper and I can each work with a girl to listen as he speaks and mark the bingo spots.  I'm going to grab some cheap something or other for prizes when they get bingo.  So that will be his activity this fall -- we'll see how it goes.

Other activities the girls enjoy include playing with playdough, stringing beads, building temples out of blocks or from fabric squares on the felt board.  Last spring (I like fall and spring type stuff) we made popcorn popping on the apricot trees by dipping popcorn in white glue and putting it on a drawing of a tree.

Also, we do a picnic lunch.  When we live in a time zone where lunch is between sessions, we actually have a picnic.  In Texas the sessions are 11-1 and 3-5 so we have a picnic lunch in the living room.
You know, it makes me more excited for conference too!
I'm excited to see how it goes this time!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chihuly at the Arboretum

And you thought you were safe. 
But after letting our membership at the Dallas Arboretum lapse for a few months, I couldn't resist anymore!  So Saturday we took a much needed family trip to the Arboretum and, quite frankly, it's worth it to get the membership because we know we'll want to go back.  

So the days of long posts with dozens of pictures of flowers and pumpkins and children (oh my!) are back!
Bwahahahaha (evil laugh)!!!!
The pumpkins aren't quite out yet but they've had a glass art exhibit by Dale Chihuly and it was interesting and beautiful in some ways.  Some of them were just weird though.  We hadn't seen it yet and the girls really liked finding the different sculptures throughout the garden.  Apparently, if you go at night, they light up and are really amazing.
 This sculpture was called Mexican hats and horns.

I thought this was one of the weird ones.

Megan's just getting better at smiling for the camera.  She's more willing anyway -- now we've got Abby who won't.

This sculpture seemed to be put together like a Christmas tree.  I can't imagine the damage that could occur if we had a hail storm or a tornado.

 These were set in a stream alongside one of the walking paths and then they did this mist thing that freaked Megan out when it started.  Then the girls were worried that it was smoke -- we've been talking about fire and smoke lately at home -- so for a while they didn't want to get too close.

Abby's nose perpetually looks like it's bleeding right now.  She took a pretty good splat onto her face the other day when we were taking a walk.  It looks pretty bad up close.

 I think this one was my favorite.

 Now that's a more typical picture.

Nope -- not glass.  But you had to get at least one cool flower picture!


Ok I love this picture because the first thing I think of when I see it is Lord of the Rings and Sauron's eye -- the blue and white sphere in the background is what gets me.

See?  He's watching us . . .

 Monet's lily pond.

I do believe that the arboretum is our favorite place in Dallas!!!