Smiling’s my favorite

In all of my Christmas decorations I have one that makes me literally break out into a smile every time it catches my eye.  I love Baby Jesus, and I love Santa, but this one is just a bit of whimsy that lights my heart and gets me giddy for Christmas!

Break off story: we went to see Santa on Saturday with the kids (obviously with the kids… Nigel and I don’t go sit on a creepy bearded man’s lap… we save that for the children, as though they won’t be receiving any presents unless they are nice to an old man in an ugly red velvet outfit with fur lining.) ANYWAY, Santa is escorted into Midland Square in Tremonton sitting in the front seat of the fire truck.  We are on the opposite side of the square that takes a Tremonton city block (which is much smaller than a real city block, mind you) and Violet sees him.  “SANTA! … I LIKE HIM!” as if she had repeatedly watched Buddy the Elf and tried to replicate his “SANTA! … I KNOW HIM!” moment in Gimbels.  But then she proceeded to tell me “HE IS MY FRIEND’S BROTHER!”  Okay, Violet… whatever you say!  She did willingly sit on his lap, though, which surprised the heck out of me! She really does love Santa Claus, even though he didn’t show up to her birthday party as she was expecting.

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So, sorry.  Back to why you’re here:  Here is my decoration:

Its a reversible block.  Mine’s a 5×7 and sits on a little “candlestick” thing, but the one I made for my sister is an 8×10 and just stands alone. Both are fantastic in my book.  I mod podged only behind the picture, not on top, and then edged the sides with the green paint. But obviously the print would go just as easily into a frame or ticky tacked onto your wall… whatever suits your Christmas needs.

So, here for you I have pdfs of four prints:

christmas cheer 5×7
christmas cheer 8×10
nice list 5×7
nice list 8×10

Heads up: when I went to download the files the picture looks really weird.  Elf has white lines all over him where the different colors meet. I printed it through this download, not from my original, and the lines do not show up. However, I didn’t want a photograph so I did make it more of a painted design, so know that that is intentional.

Enjoy! And Merry Christmas!

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47 days and counting…

Have you gotten your Christmas shopping done?  I’m about 3/4 of the way there… I feel like I have to plan this early because the month of December is full of dance recitals, piano performances, school programs, and traditions galore.  I love it, I really do, but it takes a lot of planning to be able to pull of a whole month of Christmas magic.

Last night our Relief Society had an activity to make a candy countdown for Christmas.  I LOVE advent calendars…  I have one for birthdays, one for Thanksgiving, and about 6 for Christmas.  But I thought this was a good opportunity to add on to one of my other advents, as well as make my brother a version of his own (He’s hosting Thanksgiving next week, so I thought it would make a good thank you for that).

First, let me show you my advent calendar that already exists:

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Each day my kids turn over one tile, revealing a picture of Christ.  I decided to go backwards in Christ’s life, so that it would end with the baby Jesus on Christmas day.  My kids seriously love this… I’m not even just saying that!  I find them talking about the story that goes with the picture as they turn them over together every day. (basic tutorial at the bottom of this post)

I’ve thought of adding a scripture reference to each picture, but didn’t know how to do it.  But, since we were doing candy advents last night, I decided to add the scripture reference to the candy so that we can read the scripture and talk about it as a family, too.IMG_20171109_075436880IMG_20171109_075206005

The top is a 4x4x1 block that the RS president cut out for us and drilled two holes in the top corners for the wire.  I printed the sign, glued it on, distressed the edges, and painted the edges of the block red. Super simple. Oh, and the saran wrapped candies are nailed into the bottom of the block, too.

Because my brother doesn’t have the original Jesus advent, I decided to just print out the pictures and put the scripture references on the back of the pictures.  Then, I added them, plus two hershey kisses for his boys to each section.IMG_20171109_075321993

To make the wood advent: I used 2″ balsa wood.  and cut it (with an exacto knife) into 2″ square.  I mod podged scrapbook paper and a number to the one side and the Jesus picture on the other side.  Then I used a silent setter to punch a hole in the wood.

The board was just painted and then I added the nails to hold the tiles. Then decorated the top and added the hanger… pretty simple.  It took a while to get it all done, but nothing that is too difficult!

If you want to make some version of your own Christ advent, I’ve included quite a few files for you:

Jesus Pictures 1
Jesus Pictures 2 *the order of these is on the file below, so be sure to check that out or print it off for reference
4×4 Tile paper, scriptures, and order of Jesus Pictures
Silhouette studio file for cutting scriptures for Hershey Kisses (I printed on label sheets and cut, but any sticker paper would work, or you could just print on paper and glue on candy)
Template for nails in board

Happy Christmas to all!  And Happy Crafting!

FHE

If you’re LDS, the three letters F-H-E mean two things: 1. fighting, and 2. treats.  Every Monday (or whatever day works for your family) you gather the masses to try to hold a family meeting of sorts.  Usually included are a song (in our house, it is Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam… every week.  This is because now Violet is in charge of the song.  Last year, it was Angels We Have Heard On High. Every. Week.), a prayer, a lesson, and a treat.  The treat is non-negotiable.

My most memorable experience of FHE growing up was my parents telling us that we were not going to be going to Baskin Robbins after all because we were all fighting.  Maybe it only happened one time, but probably not.  It still crushes my spirit to this day.

But the other thing that I remember about FHE growing up was my teaching it.  Something my parents always instilled in me was that being a good teacher is important.  Both of them are amazing teachers.  Like Jeffrey R. Holland good.  And for some reason, they allowed me to take over FHE (which stands for Family Home Evening, by the way) in our house, almost every week, for as long as I can remember.  They painfully endured my activities and lessons and torture. But, I learned to love teaching, so for that I am grateful.

Now, I endure my own kids teaching FHE.  And you know what?  Its not enduring… I love it.  I love to see them bear their testimonies and teach their siblings about the gospel.  I love watching them grow and find strengths and truths that help them in life.

Shey gave a lesson last night that she prepared by herself.  She had questions for Donny, questions for us, a story from Pres Hinckley, a personal story, and even a little finger movement activity for Violet to get involved. I loved every single minute of it.  She is growing up.  I sometimes look at her and think she is so not ready to be 12 in a few months.  And then she does something like this and I realize that the training wheels are off, and she is going places faster than my mommy-heart wants her to, but I am so proud of her at the same time.

While she was teaching, I remembered that when she was little I had made a flow-chart for her to follow so she could learn how to teach.  So, today I searched my computer and found the old file.  I thought I would share it with you so that you can enjoy watching your children teach, too. It’s nothing fancy, but it works. Apparently.kids FHE template

Click HERE for the PDF you can print off.  Happy FHE’ing!

Little Plug…

So, Nigel’s job has been somewhat boring for the last few years.  A few months ago they hired a new guy who has turned the office upside down.  He is social and personable and apparently can find free food all the time.  Nigel is now his little shadow.  I say little because he is apparently tall… played basketball for the Aggies, does food eating competitions, runs for fun (what?!)… Anyway, Nigel has enjoyed getting to know Bryan.

Bryan and his wife and kids have a little business on the side called Grandma’s Dollar.  (www.grandmasdollar.com) They send out letters that you can personalize with all different sorts of confetti and balloons goodies, as well as throwing stuff in there like pop rocks and gift cards. Its pretty fun… you should go check it out! It’s $5 and they do EVERYTHING for you!  Its fantastic.GDlogo2

I had the opportunity to design his new logo… so that’s why I’m putting this on here.  Because I am not slacking off.  I have just been using my creative juices in things that I don’t decorate my living room with!

He was nice enough to let me share the coupon code with you from the coupon I designed for him, so go use it and send a letter to someone you haven’t talked to lately! Enjoy!

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Nova, Nova, Nova…

So, I got to hang out with my friends today.  I’ve lived a lot of places in my life and known a lot of people, and some of them were even my friends while I lived there.  But, there is this group of ladies that are my friends.  They’re my forever eternal best friends.  I can say what I want and be who I am, and they still love me.  Seven hours passed by in a flash today as we just sat and talked and caught up with each other’s lives.

In this time, my friend Nova expressed her concern that I hadn’t posted on here for a while. And when my friends ask for something, they get it!  Whatever they want!  So, here you go, Nova… a classic Dumbledor quote for your living room! 🙂

dumbledore

For all you PotterHeads, here is a printable quality PDF for you in an 8×10.  Enjoy!

Not very original

So, I am working on my personal progress.  I am on my very last little experience and then I am DONE!  Part of the requirements for this was to memorize a scripture out of their list, so I decided that I really liked this one. Colossians 3:14 “and above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.”

So I wanted to put this in my front room for the next few weeks so that I can remember it.  I just whipped this out quick, using the buntings from another sign I did, so don’t judge me… I know its not original.  But take it if you want it!above all CHARITY

Here’s a link to the 8×10 printable PDF.

sweet summer

I know it’s not time for summer yet.  I am trying to be patient, but it is so hard when you get a few days of 60+ degree weather and you just want to be outside in shorts, and then the next day there is three inches of snow on your car!  That Mother Nature sure likes to tease us here in Northern Utah!

Anyway, my lovely friend Janet, from the last post, lovingly volunteered me to help her decorate some tables for a Relief Society dinner tonight.  She asked me if I would come up with a way to display this quote because they have a Hawaiian theme going on, so we are decorating with pineapples.  This is what I came up with, and I hope it is okay for what she wants.

It is amazing to me how this end result is so simple and seems like it took me a few seconds to put on the paper.  Maybe for some people it would be that easy.  But this actually represents a few hours of work for me.  The simplicity is actually quite hard to achieve and it takes me try after try of adjusting fonts, colors, shapes, backgrounds, etc.  I ended up with something I like… I hope others do too!  I know pineapples are “in” right now, and I like to give credit to the TV show”Psych” for that, but maybe its just because they are delicious.

pineapple

*Here’s a link to the 5×7″ PRINTABLE.  If you want a different size, let me know and I can shoot one over to you!  Enjoy!