Saturday, November 30, 2013

Advent Calendar Crafting

Recently we had a Super Saturday craft event at church for the Relief Society in which many holiday craft projects were offered, from Halloween through Christmas. The project I picked was this AMAZING Christ centered advent calendar, which I am super thrilled about. After I made the advent calendar, some friends asked me about it on FB. I had all the ladies sign up if they were interested, and my friend Jen offered to host if we had enough girls that wanted to make one. Thus, advent calendar craft night was born!

On November 1st we all got together. Baby Kate had helped me do some prep work beforehand:

We laid out all of the scrapbook papers and put together everyone's project kits.

Actually, I have to give 99% credit for this whole thing to Jon. He cut ALL the wood pieces out for me and helped finish off the kits for all the ladies while I was at work. This whole craft night would not have happened without him! I am so thankful for a husband who supports my crazy ideas and helps me make things happen. He makes me look good!

I am also incredibly thankful to Tracy Baker and all her original work on coming up with this project and giving us all detailed instructions which I made copies of for everyone.

Jodi from Lucy Lews on ETSY who I ordered the vinyl through was also amazing. She helped me get everything cut and shipped at the last minute when my original gal fell through. I was so happy with the size and the fonts! I would recommend her store to anyone looking for affordable custom vinyl.

After all of the wood pieces were painted (we used colors Barn Red and Burnt Umber in the Ceramcoat acrylics) the ladies glued down their paper squares:

Vinyl words and numbers were applied for the days 1-25:

Adorable baby break! Breanna, Leila and Lindsey :)

Finishing nails held "The Savior" plaque in place and were hammered into the top of each scrapbook square making hooks for the tiles to hang on.

Gluing the pictures of Christ to the wood tiles was the final step. I loved how everyone had different Christ picture packs, so the calendars were all colorful and unique!

Here are the lovely ladies with their projects! (in various stages of completion)

Unfortunately Tiani, Lindsey and Jess were all not present for the picture. AND my phone distorted the picture when I sent it to my email and I just now realized, after having deleted all of the originals from my phone. So I'm sorry about Jen and Jody's heads being cut off :(

I'm so glad that we were able to do this craft night together and that even thought it was a pain in the butt getting all the materials together, I still enjoyed working on a Christ centered activity with friends and helping pass along the crafting spirit. Making something homemade for the home is what I love best! I can't wait to see everyone use these for Christmas this year :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kate @ 15 Months

Kate is 15 months old! She is definitely a toddler now and already testing her toddler attitude. She is looking so much more like a kid than a baby now in everything she does. Gosh, I love her pigtails!!

Kate walks everywhere. She is quite the mover! She is still getting used to shoes, but always perseveres and keeps standing even when she falls. Last week we put her in a cute set of bear jammies that were just a LITTLE too small for her. The legs didn't give her enough room to really walk like she's used to. After a couple little falls on the bum, she finally stood up and fell straight backward like a dead fall on her back! Luckily she was on carpet and the jammies were really padded. It was so adorably funny and sad at the same time.

Kate loves throwing Margo's toys for her. She will giggle and clap her hands! Books are Kate's favorite toys. She will wake up in the morning and point at her bookshelf saying "boo!" She loves to pick out books and carry them everywhere. She will read to me whenever possible. She doesn't always have the patience to let us sit and read a whole story to her (she really prefers just to turn the pages and point at the pictures) but I'm still glad that she has a love for reading already. I'm hoping that her first real official word that she can say the whole way is "book".

When given a hair brush to hold she will run it through her hair. It's so fun to see her learning how things work and understanding when she watches us. I didn't realize that she would be imitating us so early on. Like most kids, she also loves to pull the toilet paper off the roll. This week she has been tearing off a piece and holding it to her face and blowing. Jon and his mom both had colds last week. I wonder where she learned that...? ;)

Kate will also hold cell phones up to her ear and talk to them... much to daddy's chagrin.

Kate's sign language is getting better and she is so close to saying words! She will say "mooo-re?" all the time as she signs. She doesn't quite have the "R" sound down, but at least we know what she's talking about :)

This morning I went into her room when she woke up and I asked her to say "hi mommy!" and she did say "mama!" I'm not sure she knows it's me, but it was still cute.

Kate loves to push buttons on the remotes, the TV itself, or anything else she can. She has a little leapfrog alphabet toy that was passed onto us from some cousins and she knows how to start the alphabet song, so she will play it over and over again! Kate also recognizes a few body parts (like her nose and eyes) and can point to them on herself and others.

Kate likes to feed us and the dog. She will pick Margo's food out of her bowl one kibble at a time and laugh when Margo takes the kibble from her hand. This morning with breakfast we had a banana and Kate loved picking pieces off the banana and feeding them to me. It's cute to see her learning how to do things for us that we have always done for her.

Katherine loves dancing to music and she loves baths. Katherine's favorite foods are anything with fruit and breakfast. She will eat a whole peanut butter and jelly sandwich on her own at lunch. She struggles with most dinner times, but still eats everything. I can just tell it's not her favorite because she's usually grumpy about it. Hopefully we can find better ways to help her enjoy dinner time.

We're hoping that potty training is fast approaching and will be easy. Kate has started to pull at her diaper when she goes, so we taught her the sign for "potty". Now when we notice her squat, we ask her if she is going "potty" and she will sign back to us. Then we take her to change her diaper right away. She is so smart and helpful. I love it!

She has no idea that we have another baby coming (at least as far as we can tell). She is happily oblivious, but does like poking my big tummy. I tell her there is a baby in there, and I've helped her learn to be gentle with her baby dolls, but when Olivander is born I'm sure there will be much wonder and confusion in her 19 month old brain :)

I am really looking forward to Christmas this year with Kate! I know she will love looking at Christmas lights and having a tree here in the house. People should make "Baby's 2nd Christmas" ornaments, because that's the first one that's exciting haha!

Kate loves animals (especially dogs!) and enjoys walking laps around the house. She can also make it up the stairs in 30 seconds by herself. We worked on teaching her to come back down safely, so she knows how to come down backwards, one step at a time. Last week she made it all the way up the stairs with a book so that Grandma and Grandpa Alston would read to her. She just went one step at a time, putting the book in front of her and then climbing up the next one. It's amazing to watch her figure these things out for herself!

Kate usually spends one or two days a week with Gram and Grandpa Bailey for a few hours. It's so cute to see her smile and get excited when we get to their house.

Overall, we couldn't have asked for a more hilarious and awesome kid. She is so happy and curious! I know she will be an awesome big sister.

Speaking of which - I am just past 21 weeks and feeling good!

Our 20 week ultrasound was really fun and baby Olivander looks great! We're not finding out the gender though, so you'll just have to wait until March :)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

October - The Month Of...


We didn't do a Year of Exploration project in October :(

We spent so much time prepping for Halloween and working on costumes, that we almost tried to claim that the costuming was our exploration for the month, but let's face it... that's just not true.

We had planned to make photography development an exploration project, and then with my work schedule and getting ready for Halloween, we didn't budget our time well.

HOWEVER, our costumes turned out amazing! I feel like these were our best Halloween costumes yet.

I want to do a whole post on the awesomeness of our costume projects this year and how we made everything (because we documented it all in pictures) but we need to get more organized first. So for now, you can just enjoy these pictures of The Katherine in her blue fairy glory :)