Monday, December 11, 2017

December Daily: Days 7-9

Day 7 - The fun begins in earnest-- Thus far, I had managed to mostly keep to one simple page per day. I knew that crazier days were coming and Day 7 was the first.  It was M's penguin program and she has been excited about it for over a month.  This calls for all the photos and fun.

Yes, I went overboard on the photos, but they were so cute.  She looked so pretty, pulled together, confident, and did a great job with her speaking part.  After the short program, we accidentally had pizza and ice cream with several of her girl friends. It was totally unplanned but lots of fun.


I tucked the journaling back here with a picture of E and Piper.  Piper is M's friend Paisley's little sister who is in E's Pre-k class both at school and Sunday School and who used to be in his gymnastics class too.  They are, of course, also buddies and were very cute together all evening. He ate his ice cream at her family's table while Piper joined our table and might have tried to come home with us :)



Did I mention I went overboard on photos... um yeah. So here are some more in this fun 12 pocket page with lots of random things added in the mix with all the penguin photos. And that, at last, is all of Day 7.


Day 8 - Is a bit less themed.  The loose theme is I have to slow down again.  Some complications from my surgery presented themselves and I had to start dramatically cutting back on things again.  The photos are 1) Pentatonix Christmas album-- Mary did you know? Is one of our absolute favorites and on repeat in the car, especially during Friday's "Car Party"--- essentially hanging out in the car while B had swim practice as I can't go walk around stores, which was our original plan.  2) Christmas card processing began--- all hands working together so I don't over do. 3) Me in the car line - I added this photo as the story of this day was mostly about me reassessing my limitations.  I originally took the photo to show Chrissie my new haircut as I was sitting in the car line for pre-k pickup.  4) B had some free-time before swim practice and asked to make cookies.  I agreed and he made them all by himself while I rested (go B!).  5) Less can be more -- the monthly moto from my planner and a good one for a time when I have to cut back . 6) B at swim practice at the light house. 

The facing page tells the story of those somewhat random photos as I described above.  

Day 9: 


The back side of that tag is the home for the journaling of SO Much Christmas Fun on Saturday... .most of which I didn't take part in.  

The morning fun was a birthday party for Finn and Eli at the Science Museum.  (I stayed home and rested). 

Then, we bought (gasp) some cookies and went to the neighborhood party.  That is the top photo.  The kids really seemed to enjoy the crafting this time.  They also enjoyed the cookies. I think B has maybe 7?  Santa also came, but E was too shy for a photo and the older kids weren't in to it. I did go to this party, but it was short, close to our house, and I could sit most of the time.  The final activity was shopping for the three kids who's tags we had picked off the angel tree at church.  I love doing this.  Brent does not.  I stayed home and watched a cheesy Christmas movie on netflix... 

So, a very busy and fun few days plus a little readjusting of expectations.  

Also, the printer broke.... so... it may be a few days before there are more posts as I need to buy a new one, which is worrisome as this project really works best if I can do it on a daily basis.  We shall see what comes next!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

December Daily: Day 6


Day 6 - There was a time when I would have re-shot these photos to eliminate those messy shadows, but frankly, there were shadows on Day 6 and you all get the gist.  Earlier in the day, M had been really sad and I'd been pretty sad too.  We'd agreed to a 5 minute sad party and then to move on and that mostly worked.  My "fun" plan for the evening was for M and me to decorate the mantel together.  Perhaps I should explain--- The prior two years in this house we've had some mantle decoration problems.  The garland used to be very long, but also the lights frequently stopped working.  Sometimes almost immediately after we hung them.  Also, the stocking hooks I bought didn't work at all on this particular mantle so B hung them from the garland--which , while helpful and creative, probably caused some of the problems.  Also, it wasn't really attached to the mantle... and there were a lot of glass things... So, yeah, there was a HUGE mantle decorations crash last year right before the Christmas Tea with LOTS of broken glass.  We learned several valuable lessons and got to start afresh this year. 

In any case, M is super artistic most days and trying to come up with a new mantle decoration idea sounded like a good time. I probably built it up too much in my head as she very much wasn't into it when the time came. She followed directions more or less, but wasn't really helping with the figuring out how to make it pretty part.  I was frustrated because the experience wasn't what I'd hoped. 

Then, as I"m trying to teach myself to do, I took a step back.  I looked at the mantle and it is beautiful.  It is probably the most beautiful one we've made and it would be even if it were just the garland with ornaments in it. Most of the other items are nutcrackers from her collection/my mom's collection.  It is great.  We were able to clear/put away all the other things we din't use and that helped the mental and visual space quite a bit.  We also got some of the decorating boxes out of the house so it feels "slightly" less cluttered.... it is still cluttered.

After bedtime, I sat by the fire and enjoyed the glow of the garland and how beautiful my super cheap by delightfully glittery new ornaments look in the mix.  I was reminded as I often am that frequently the process isn't as magical or perfect as we wanted or planned, but that doesn't mean the goal won't be achieved or the destination we do find won't be beautiful and special as we were dreaming of at the start.  So, it wasn't my finest parenting day, but we made something beautiful together and we get to enjoy that beauty all season while the crankines fades away.

Oh and we did attach the garland to the mantle and Brent installed stocking hooks and the whole thing is hopefully a lot more safe--- but also involves a lot fewer glass items, just in case. 



Here are the two days together and we move on to a very fun Day 7!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

December Daily: Days 3-5

So, we're doing days in batches this year, apparently?


 Day 3: We celebrated the Blakley Family Thanksgiving just a touch late.  I added gratitude list -- it mostly focused on the things I was thankful for that day, but also some bigger things too.  The photos are Brent dishing up his plate and the kids happily eating theirs outside on a very balmy December day.  All of it was delicious, but I definitely was exhausted at the end and went to bed pretty much when our kids did. 
 Here are days 3 and 4 together.

Day 4 - Advent thoughts -- This year, I downloaded a very simple daily Advent practice ebook from the Art of Simple.   There is a daily reading, candle lighting, and song.  Sometimes the readings are a bit complicated for the kids, but the moment of quiet and peace is really good.  I am really feeling Advent this year, albeit probably not in a wholly traditional way, and the need for calm and quiet preparation as well as glittery goodness preparation.  That is the two photos here.  In the first, we're doing our quiet Advent reflection and in the second are all the supplies E and I bought for upcoming present wrapping and parties. I've had that Advent wreath since I was a kid and bring it out every year, but rarely put candles in it as the holes are a weirdly small size.  This year, I just carved down some regular candles.  They tilt a bit, but it is OK. 

(Amazing news --- I'm so far keeping the pages fairly simple and quick... we'll see if that persists). 



Day 5 - Really, not that much of Christmas import happened.  I chose to highlight the regular day parts as well as some fun new things we're enjoying this Christmas season -- #1 being, of course, our very large new puppy who is making the whole experience a bit more challenging, but fun too and #2 our fully functional, easy to use fireplace.  I think we've lit it every day since it was repaired and I'm typing in front of it now.  I'm sure both Moose and the fireplace will feature into many Christmas memories for years to come so it was nice to have a little welcome intro for them here.  

Side note -- it was actually kind of a tough emotional day for me, for no clear reasons.  Walking through the exercise of looking for Christmas and how we celebrated in that day was pretty much a gratitude or appreciation practice of the good things in the day and that is a pretty neat bonus for this project too.  The daily looking for a story I want to remember and being mindful through the day are gifts that I love from this experience each December.



PS -- Why oh why is it so hard to get photos off of my iphone? I adore my iphone, but sometimes I feel like it is conspiring against me in storage wars.  That was the other thing I was doing this evening.... perhaps I should go craft and look for the beauty from today.  I encourage you to do the same!

PPS -- Hi there, Gavin!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

December Daily 2017: Nov 30th-Dec 2nd

Hi,

Remember me? I haven't blogged in months and months, but it is time for December Daily and those stories live here too so off we go. 

If you aren't familiar with December Daily, you can read all about it via Ali Edwards.

Usually the first December Daily post is the cover and/or foundation pages.... neither has been done. I had surgery in early November and sitting up to craft wasn't a possibility until very recently so we're just making it up as we go along this year.  Oh, I do mean "we" as M has her very own December Daily kit and is crafting along too.  I'll share some of her pages in coming days as well.

Also, we began Christmas decorating the earliest we ever have, in part because I only have enough energy to do a portion at a time.  This means there will be some "pre-December" pages.  One of those you'll see below, but a bit more will be coming with tree decorating pictures all around.


With all that introduction-- off we go!

This first transparency is copied almost directly from Ali's first page.  Behind it will go a "The Reason Why" page and then our Christmas card, eventually.

For now, the first page is this "pre-game" page of our very first moments of Christmas decorating.  The back of this page will be more from tree decorating, but I do line how this begins the story.


On Nov. 30th, Brent and I attended the Myriad Gardens' "Jingle Mingle" Christmas party.  This was our first real Christmas party of the season and I wanted to include it, even if it wasn't technically December---plus date night doesn't happen every day!  The decorated gardens were beautiful as always. I loved the time just the two of us - always a treat!

 December!  The first day, as often happens, is about the Advent Calendars.  M&E are having "mama" calendars -- this means, they are filled daily with random things from me :) E selected the LEGO Star Wars Advent calendar-- and really everyone helps him build it most days.  Here all three are gathered around his calendar to help open it up.  M & B got packets with a surprise mini-fig in them.  I had no idea which figures would be inside, but appropriately, M got a jazzercise type exercise girl and B got an astronaut in a space shuttle costume.  E built a small ship (with some help) and took it everywhere he could for the rest of the day so it was a success. 

(Crafting notes--- the tag is from a prior December Daily kit.  The red dots are made with the super cool Nuvo paint-- we used to have to buy all these enamel dots and they were pricey.  Now I can make my own for $3 a bottle.  I may have gone a little crazy with them. The stars were part of the Stars Bonus Pack from Ali Edwards as I need "all the stars")
 The two page spread looks like this.  Day one on the left, a BIG tag from the kit in the middle.  And the photos from day 2 on the right.

 On the back of the tag I did some decorating and had plenty of room to write as it was a busy day full of decorating inside and out and a quick adventure to the Edmond Tree Lighting and Roxy's for ice cream.  M was  HUGE and enthusiastic helper all day so I told that story as well as about the fun of double big trees downstairs.  Getting to decorate a second tree was fun!

(Crafting note -- most of the items are from current or prior kits.  One of my favorite things is a new six hole punch that makes adding items into the rings MUCH easier. The washi tape is actually from M's kit, but it seemed fitting here. )
 We put up some lights outside and M & E took the opportunity for a photo op in Dale's sleigh.

Close up of the tag - lots of fun textures and layers here.  I just added a patterned card from a prior year at the top and bottom for extra pretty.  

And we're off! I'm ready to see what happens next and just a little nervous that I have only one base page prepared. I have lots of supplies and I'm sure lots of adventures that will fill it all in!



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

M @ 8 - Birthday Interview





1. How old are you? 8
2. Who is your best friend? Avery
3. What is your favorite thing to do? Go horse riding*
4. What is your favorite color? Blue*
5. What is your favorite food? Cherry Pie
6. What do you like to do with your family? Go swimming
7. What is your favorite toy? Moose (the dog)
8. What do you want to be when you grow up? Horse riding instructor*
9.    What makes you happy? Moose
10.   What makes you sad? Getting in trouble
11.   What is your favorite show to watch? Free Reign
12.   What is your favorite book? The Report Card
13.   What do you love to learn about: Horses*
14.   What was the best part of your birthday? Horse Riding
15.   Where do you like to go?  The Stables*/Riding
16.   Who is your teacher? Ms. Pestinger
17.  What is your favorite treat? Starbursts
18.   What do you think about before you fall asleep? Falling asleep
19.   If you could meet someone famous who would it be? Lin-Manuel Miranda*
20.   What was your favorite thing we did at your birthday party?  Riding

Bonus - Favorite Song - London Town (?) Song about M by Grandma B

*Same from responses at 7
Recorded August 21, 2017

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