Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

This Christmas Eve was magical, to say the least. We had over 30 people in our house! It was wonderful. My mom cooked most of the day and we had a traditional Mexican Noche Buena with tamales, pozole, frijoles charros, rice and many other good foods! We also got a pinata for the kids to break outside. Good fun was had by all. At the end of the evening, the missionaries made their Christmas presentation and read some scriptures. It is very important to my family to remember Christ at this time of year, as I am sure it is in yours. Because of the economy my husband and I decided that our kids would each only get three small gifts for Christmas. For each other, we got things that we really needed, like a new set of Pj's for me, a new belt and new gloves. Sergio got some new Old Navy T-shirts! What a simple guy :) For the kids' stocking stuffers I decided to start a new tradition-magic memory boxes! I bought some inexpensive boxes at Michael's and decoupaged them with each of our kids' favorite characters.Prior to the big day, each of the kids wrote down on a card "what I love most about (insert sibling/parent's name here). They then put it in each person's respective stocking for reading on Christmas morning. My eyes filled with tears as each child took turns reading out loud what someone had written about him/her. Each note was placed in their magic memory box along with their favorite picture of the night. This, I told my kids, is for them to never forget what Christmas is all about---LOVE. The love our Savior has for us and the LOVE we have in our eternal family.
May your new year be filled with hope, peace and joy and may it bring you a renewed positive perspective. Here's a few pics including the magic memory boxes :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Well I finally finished making my Peanuts characters to put on my front lawn. It was so inexpensive and fun. I am going to start a tradition and add one more character each year.

Sergio taught me how to use his jigsaw and I am so proud of myself I can now cut wood LOL

Each piece of MDF cost about $6.50 and two characters came out of it. Very economical versus going to those road side places and buying some premade ones.

Decorating the Tree

I forgot to post these pics. The boys love to help me decorate the tree. We have our MAIN tree in the dining room and the other tree ( a smaller one) is in our family room. The ornaments are all mostly gold colored and I have been collecting them since Ellison was 2. I have quite a collection. We decided to put those on the smaller tree and we bought some new silver and blue ones for the big tree in the dining room. It's a wonderful feeling watching the boys decorate the tree.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cleaning up a VERY messy room!

So today I thought I would clean my boys' very messy room! I had been putting it off for many months. And this is what I had to work with.

After 9 hours of work, 2 bags full of trash and 2 boxes filled with toys and old costumes that went to Freecycle I was done! I threatened Josh and Aaron that if they moved any one of those Star Wars action figures I so lovingly placed on their dresser, there would be no more Christmas for them!!
Here is the result: I should be a friggin' professional organizer after this task! I also want to point out that this bedroom also had a hideous wallpaper that was peeling at the seams. It took 6 of us to scrape it all off and repaint the walls. I love this new color. It is so soothing. It is called "crisp celery". I love a clean, organized house :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Artsy Family

Josh is also a very good artist. He took some art classes this past summer with Annie Royer who is an awesome artist! Highly recommend her. I am saving up some money to have his paintings framed so I can have them up.
Here they are:

The first one is my favorite. This was his very first time working with acrylics and learning about colors and composition. He will continue his classes with her probably in the spring.

Feeling Crafty

Outdoor Christmas Wood Cut Out
Today I was feeling crafty and in the Christmas mood. One of my favorite holiday movies is A Charlie Brown Christmas so I decided to create my own painted, wooden outdoor decor. Here is the pic of the Snoopy I painted:

I still need to cut him out and his doghouse is painted but needs to be put together. I will also paint Charlie Brown, Lucy, Woodstock and the tree. I will post pics once they are set up outside:)
MDF Boards (you choose the size)
Pencil or chalk
Craft Paint
Brushes or Sponge Brushes
Black Sharpie
Wooden stake (either bought or you can make your own)
Clear Acrylic Spray to protect the wood

First I printed out a picture of what I wanted to draw. I wanted Snoopy so I got my copy of A Charlie Brown Christmas and made a copy on my all in none printer.
I then just freehanded it onto the board with pencil (here it's plywood, but believe me when I say BUY MDF it's much easier to work with as I later found out.)
Then I started to paint it. When I finished painting it I had my hubby show me how to cut it with a jigsaw.
He said I should have waited to paint it AFTER we cut it, but I didn't care. I wanted to make sure I saw where to make the cuts. You make the call cut either before or after. Any scratching I did on the painted surface was quickly touched up. Then I outlined the character with a black sharpie (one of those fat tipped ones) or if you have a steady hand you can outline it with a brush and black paint. Then you just spray it with a clear acrylic coating to protect it.
Then I nailed a stake 2/3 of the way up from the figure on the back. The stake was made by my hubby.
And there you go! Instant Christmas Outdoor decor for a FRACTION of the price of the roadside vendors.

Christmas Door Hanging
This year instead of a wreath on my door I decided to do something different. A couple of months ago I went to the Octoberfest downtown and picked up some old wooden shutters for like $2. I decided to turn one of those into my door decoration. Here are some pics of it:
I simply took the shutter and a Pine Spray I had in storage. I saw this really pretty birdie at Target and I got him for about $4. The ribbon I already had on hand. I just used some floral wire to tie the pine spray thru the shutter slats and I used the same floral wire to tie the bird to the pine sprig with a dab of hot glue. And that's all there is to it. I'll have to post a pic of it hanging on my door soon.
Linking up to these parties:
Thrifty Decor Chick Before and After
Centsational Girl Christmas Linky Party
Funky Junk Interiors

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bathroom Re-do

When we first moved into this house a year ago most of the rooms were covered in pretty hideous wallpaper. It made the house look dated and quite frankly ugly. After many, many hours of intense labor, we took off all the wallpaper and re-textured the walls with a faux finish and repainted. Here is a pic of our "new bathroom"

I only have the little bench seat to recover. I am going to cover it in a nice burgundy sheen fabric to match the curtains. Also, the curtains cost me only $14.99 for the whole window set at Wal-Mart. What a deal! The rest I already had.
We also redid the kitchen. We actually took a pretty turquoise vase and had them color match it at home depot. We absolutely love it!
Here are some pics of that:

The reason I am so proud of this endeavor is that it took 5 of us, no 6 of us to take down that darned wall paper! Whoever invented wall paper should be shot! It is the worst invention ever!! Ok..rant over. So, anyway, there you have it, our new kitchen and bath sans wallpaper.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Relaxing Sunday

Sundays are a special day for us. Yesterday we just went to church and came home and loafed around. We mostly watched movies the rest of the day and I felt like baking. So I started baking some cupcakes.

At the end of the day we just crashed from all the past week's exhaustion of Thanksgiving and shopping. I am glad to get back to normal.
Now I have the Joy of cleaning up our study (yuck)


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