Sunday, December 25, 2011

good tidings of great joy!

merry Christmas!

this is the picture my dear husband wanted to use for our Christmas card this year...  i don't think the look on hadley's face says "peace"; is that just me!?!

i went with this instead...  it sums up 2011 and is my prayer for the wild year 2012 promises to be.  baby number 3 arriving in april and a move to meridian, ms either before that blessed arrival or shortly after!

i hope this joyous season finds you happy in whatever circumstances the Lord has brought you...knowing He is always wrapping His loving arms around us.
and my favorite passage about the birth of our glorious savior...
"now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. and behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. then the angel said to them, "do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. and this will be the sign to you: you will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. and suddnely there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest and peace and goodwill toward men!"
luke 2:8-14
and i tried desperately to share our christmas card with you all here on the blog but it would never leave the picture in "working order" for more than about 15 minutes before they became "little x's" instead of actual pictures...oh well...not what christmas is about anyway.  merry, merry!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

santa success!

why is santa so scary to my children?!?  they love to watch movies about him and never once in those movies has he done anything to make them think he is anything less than lovely...  but, oh, my sweet girls are so unsure of him in person! 

i don't remember if i shared this picture of "santa 2010" last year but a refresher in case i did not or you missed it...

i am not sure two children have ever looked more miserable!  if i remember correctly, this was our second trip to see santa...  we did go twice last year and the first visit wasn't good either!  a few days after visit #1 hadley started talking about going back and vowed she would not cry or scream...a reminder to not take the promises of a 2 year old all that seriously. 

fast forward to santa 2011...
we returned to bass pro shop to see their santa; we took the girls to see him 2 christmases ago when audrey was just a tiny thing.  hadley wasn't so sure but there were no tears; just a look of slight concern.  a few things probably helped us out this year...
1. we went at 10a on a thursday morning 
2. we spent extensive time prepping both girls for the big visit 
3. going at 10a allows santa to be SUPER patient with your 2 and 3 year old girls and they finally warm up to him not only enough to talk, but enough to actually sit in his lap!
4. santa has candy canes! which hadley is all about these days
5. the photographer had a stuffed rudolph toy; which was audrey's "security blanket" for the actual lap sitting portion of the visit!

i was so pumped about the picture, i had to share the "cropped" close up version above..but humor me and look at the full picture.  does anything strike you all as odd?  i will give you a second to think that over. 

why would anyone be scared of santa with that creepy little elf in the corner?!? now the idea that he is scary is something i can get behind!


Friday, December 16, 2011

o tannenbaum

not that i expect my 4 or 5 readers to remember...but this very blog had a post last december with the exact same title and it is likely to happen every year from here on out so consider yourself warned.

this year we went back to "what we know" and picked up a tree at home depot...very authentic, i know! it is beautiful and i love it and it will droop like any true christmas tree and not petrify on the spot (see o tannenbaum 2010 with the hyperlink above if that doesn't ring a bell)! the girls and jay did all of the decorating...i honestly did not put one ornament on the tree the night we decorated! and i didn't go behind them and rearrange either; i forget who suggested i do/did that. but i have had to touch a few since as for a few days a precious little 2 year old who resides here thought she could touch the tree like it was no big deal.... but really, i just unwrapped ornaments and they put together a lovely tree.

i should have taken a picture before i sent all the "family" gifts to birmingham with jay on looked so much more loved then with all the gifts below but life isn't perfect. it really is the most wonderful time of the year...i LOVE the lights! and the girls LOVE the lights...they could drive for hours looking at lights! we don't have any out front in the bushes or on the house but we do have these little beauties warming up the front door...


just like the chandeliers i posted about the other day, i originally made these little "tomato cage trees" last year for christmas jubilee. but, unlike the chandeliers, they were super easy and i whipped up a few for my front porch. 

to make these christmas trees, you only need a tomato cage (easily found at home depot, lowes, wal mart, etc.), a few cable ties, some mini christmas lights and 21" decor mesh. the mesh can be found at tons of stores here around mobile, even hobby lobby if you get it before everyone else buys it, or if you need to find it online here is a good resource but it looks like many of their colors are out of stock! the amount of lights and mesh depend on the height of your "tree"...mine are approximately 5' tall. that took 200-300 lights and 2 rolls of mesh but i like mine super lit and fluffy and full! you could add the narrow mesh "ribbon" and ornaments to make it look like a real tree or leave them simple.

to get started, i grab my first strand of lights and a cable tie. make sure to have the plug end of the strand at the bottom so you can plug your tree in after you finish! i cable tie the strand of lights to the cage about where the first light is located and leave the excess hanging for more "plug" allowance. then i simply wrap lights around the cage until i think i have enough; only placing additional cable ties if i am connecting additional strands. after securing the lights, i cable tie the mesh to a stake, again at the bottom and tuck the loose end to the inside of the cage, and wrap up the tree. it might take you a minute to get things looking just like you want; especially if this is your first experience with mesh... i leave the mesh on the roll and allow some of it to kind of stay rolled and then fluff it before allowing it to stay rolled again so it gives it some "body"...if that makes no sense to you at all, then just get started and you will likely figure that out shortly! to connect a second roll of mesh, i cable tie the end of the first roll to the end of the new roll and tuck it inside. be patient! if you are doing more than 1, i wouldn't secure the mesh of the first one until you have completed tree 2 in case you get in a rhythm and figure things out and want to adjust tree 1! i think they are really cute alone, in a pair or a sweet little "family" of 3 different heights.

what wonderful christmas projects are you all working on?!?  tuesday the girls and i started "santas" out of their hand prints but after the paint dried i didn't get a minute to make his face. i'll share that after santa gets a proper face!
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

my name is sara and i am a slacker

i am a slacker because i haven't touched this blog in over 5 weeks and because this post has been sitting in "the archives" since last december!  lots going on around here but i will touch on that another day...  with this post, i was just too lazy to take the time to put it together...these bad boys took a crazy amount of time and quite honestly after they were hung, i didn't want to think about them again for a really, really long time!
but when i saw this post over at remodelaholic, i realized decided it was way past time to share!
the "bad boys" i am referring to are chandeliers made from electrical conduit, some cable ties,
a clothing pricing gun and the bottoms of water bottles! 

what do you think?!?  would you have dreamed they were made from thousands of water bottles?!?  don't ask where i got all of wouldn't have done it.
last year i was decorations chair for christmas jubilee (the junior league of mobile's holiday shopping market).  we have the market at the fairgrounds and as you can see the main building is a less than gorgeous, metal building which is screaming for decorations!  when the market chair and i met to discuss our plan, we had lots of the same ideas and one was to figure out how to put some draping on the ceiling and make chandeliers!  after looking at tons of pictures online (if only pinterest had been around!) and then several ideas of how to make this work, my brilliant, engineer husband came up with the plan to make the frame from the conduit.  i really wanted plexi so they would appear to "hang from nowhere" but drilling that many holes would have shattered more pieces of plexi than i had in my budget to break and i was very pleased with how the frames turned out. 
i doubt you are going to be making anything on this "grand" of a scale as the largest frame is 3.5'x3.5' but i will give you a general idea of how to pull this off.  we had 3 frames set inside one another (see "sketch" below) which were held together with cable ties!  i LOVE cable ties by the way.  the "inner frame" had the longest strands of bottle bottoms, the "middle frame" had the middle length and the "outer frame" had the shortest (again, see the lovely sketch). 

to get the plastic "discs", we simply laid water bottles on their side and ran a razor blade around the bottle; about 1/4" from the bottom.  then we took retail pricing guns and shot the barbs through the "top" of one disc and the "bottom" of another and continued like that until we had a strand as long as we needed. like, on the sketch above, it looks like the discs are "floating in space"...imagine that empty space has a pricing barb connecting the two.  i hope i am making sense here...i made these over a year ago and i am a VERY visual person so i am not the best at "worded directions"! 

if you find yourself wanting to make some of these...please let me know and i will answer ANY questions you may have.  i fully expect one to make an appearance in my house in the future so when that happens, i'll take better pictures with step by step directions (i was under too big a deadline to worry about that last time!)  there are just so many variations you could pull off and it is a great re use of resources and easy on any budget!

let's look at them one last time...

i hope after this last hiatus, i was able to leave you with some inspiration this afternoon!  but most of all, i hope you are enjoying this blessed Christmas season!  be back soon....
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