Thursday, November 30, 2006

Spool Garland

Yes, it is that time of year when I'm feeling very crafty - so here's yet another idea. This one comes via my mother-in-law. She saw something similar to this garland in a gift shop for something like $30! So, she bought me the wooden beads and spools instead for several dollars to make it myself. Here's how...

Spray paint one package of small wooden beads ($1.97 for 66 beads at Wal-Mart) red. How I did this was to unwind a wire coat hanger, thread all the beads on and poke one end of the hanger into the ground outside - then just walk around and spray. Very easy.

Glue homespun/calico fabrics around wooden spools ($1.97 for 15 at Wal-Mart). I also decided to wrap twine around some as shown in the base of the Christmas Tree craft below.

Thread beads and spools onto twine into desired length. Tie bows in between to stretch the wooden items. Hang!

Note: two packages of spools and one package of beads made this length, plus two smaller ones that would equal this much again.

December 13, 2005

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cranberry Evergreen Jars

Well, the Christmas party was a great success and everyone seemed to have a great time! The jar shown above is one of my traditional ways to decorate at Christmas! It is very easy and inexpensive to make.

Use one pint size canning jar (not the wide mouth) and one glass votive holder (3/$1 at Michael's). The votive holder should be shaped like a flower pot or have enough of a lip to sit on the top of the canning jar steadily.

Place sprigs of evergreen in the jar. Fill about 3/4 with water. Top with fresh cranberries.

Place votive holder with candle in the top! So pretty and festive.

When you're done, you can dry off the berries, freeze them and save for next year. The above berries were purchased last year.

December 19, 2005

Christmas Tag

I was tagged by Lisa to do this little Christmas thing - so here you go!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Definitely Hot Chocolate with lots of marshmallows on top!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Neither
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White outside and colored and white on the tree
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No
5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually the day after Thanksgiving - this year, this weekend!
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Playing the "Ornament Game" with my sister. It is a game we made up where we basically play 20 questions to guess which ornament the other has singled out in her mind!
8. How and When did you learn the truth about Santa? I'm not sure, my Mom did not pretend there was a Santa but taught us about St. Nicholas.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Ornaments collected throughout the years and some that were my Mom's. She always let us pick out one ornament from our vacations!
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love, love, love snow! It rarely snows where we live.
12. Can you ice skate? Yes, I have been thinking of wanting to go again recently.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I always loved things that were rainbow-y. Hmmm, I would have to think about this more.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Tradition, family, and of course celebrating Jesus' birth.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Sugar Cookies
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Candlelight on Christmas Eve!
17. What tops your tree? Angel
18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Both - but, there is something so special about giving to others.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? O Come, O Come Emmanuel

If you want to play, you are tagged! Have fun!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Yo-Yo Christmas Tree

This is always a popular idea! In fact, when I arrived at Grace's yesterday - there were here trees displayed for Christmas! So cute!

Well, the crafty ideas always seem to be a hit here - so I'll share another one of my favorites for Christmas! I first saw these cute trees here and at that price decided I could figure out how to make them.

So, here's how:

Using a compass, cut seven circles out of heavy paper. The circles should measure 1 1/4", 1 1/2", 1 3/4", 2", 2 1/4", 2 1/2", and 2 3/4". You need one pattern of each size. Next cut out one circle of each size from various green fabrics. (I only had three different ones pictured above.)

Sew each circle into a yo-yo. Here's how to make a yo-yo.

Use a wooden spool for the base - cover the part where the thread goes with Elmer's glue and wrap twine around. (If you don't have a wooden spool on hand, you can buy them in the Wal-Mart craft department, but this will slightly increase your cost per tree.)

Search your yard for a stick that will fit into the hole on top of the spool and is fairly straight. It doesn't matter if it is too tall, you can always shorten it.

Snip a small hole in the bottom of each yo-yo so that you can "thread" them onto the stick trunk. Stack them in size order.

Put some Elmer's glue around the hole in the top of the spool. Put stick trunk in and allow fabric from the bottom yo-yo to sit in the glue and stick.

Glue a tin star to the top of the stick and trim stick if necessary. (Note: the only place I've found to get these tin stars is Hobby Lobby. They are 0.99 for a package of 6 stars.)


December 12, 2005

Monday, November 27, 2006

We're Off!

Emily, Rachel and I are leaving this morning to visit my dear friend and kindred spirit, Grace and her sweet little Brianna! We will enjoy crafting, visiting, and admiring each other's little girls. I'm going to be working on a oh-so-homespun tree skirt and can't wait to show you how it turns out. While I am away, I will share a few vintage posts from last year's Christmas ideas! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thankful For You!

With Thanksgiving approaching, it seems there is a lot of emphasis on really contemplating what we are thankful for. And, while we should seek to cultivate a thankful heart at all times of the year, this is a great thing to emphasize!

I have mentioned before that I keep a Thankful Journal in which I note at least five things each day that I am thankful for. Often, my friends and family appear on that list. And, I often get even more specific by feeling thankful for my *blog* friends! You ladies are just wonderful and such a tremendous encouragement to me! I love getting your comments, e-mails, and hearing that you tried a recipe or craft mentioned here.

So, as we turn our hearts to thankfulness as a nation today, I just want to go on record as being thankful for YOU!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving: Centerpiece

Here is how my centerpiece and flowers on the light fixture turned out! (I plan to still add a few berries and some more ivy from the yard - but it is raining and was very dark and cold last night, so I'll get them today!)

Thankful for You: Breakfast

Last year I started a new Thanksgiving tradition. It is intented to be a practical way of showing thanks to someone who has been a blessing to our family over the past year. I prepare an extra batch of our Thanksgiving breakfast and pack it up festively to deliver to the recipient. I like the expression of doing something visible to say "thank you" to one of the many people who encourage us throughout the year.

I make little tags for each item naming what it is and if there are any specific heating instructions. Then you can package pancakes and sausage wrapped in waxed paper and tied with twine. Canning jars make great containers for syrup and nuts. Put them all in a pretty gift bag and deliver!

Our traditional Thanksgiving breakfast is:

Pumpkin Pancakes (cooked in a maple leaf shaped pancake mold)
Brown & Serve Sausage
Homemade Maple Syrup & Chopped nuts to top pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes (recipe from Martha Stewart Living)
Whisk 1 1/4 c. flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. each cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg and a pinch of ground cloves. (I use pumpkin pie spice) Mix 1 egg, 6 Tbsp. pumpkin puree, 2 Tbsp. melted butter, and 1 c. milk; fold into dry ingredients. Heat a buttered skillet over medium heat; pour in 1/4 c. batter for each panckae. Cook about three minutes per side; serve with butter and syrup. Makes about 10 leaf shaped pancakes.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Apple Cake

I need to share this recipe with you before it is not Fall season anymore and we move on to Christmas! My Grandma sent me this recipe and it is so yummy, I wanted to pass it on. We loved it with ice cream and a drizzle of caramel ice cream topping!

1 1/4 c. oil
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
3 c. peeled and chopped apples
1 c. chopped nuts

Mix in 3 c. flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. baking soda. Add 2 tsp. vanilla. Add 1/4-1/2 c. water because the batter is so thick.

Grease and flour a 9x13 pan. Pour in cake batter. Bake at 300 for 60-70 minutes. Cake should rise to top of pan.

If desired, you can make this frosting to top your cake:

1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. water

Cook to soft-ball stage. Pour over 2 stiffly beaten egg whites. Spread on warm cake.

Monday, November 20, 2006

White Elephant Party: Blog Style!

Megan had a great idea to host a White Elephant party blog style! Here's the full scoop - sign up by this Saturday and she will coordinate assignments from there!

Any Guesses?

We have tons of these nuts falling in our backyard. Does anyone know what kind they are? The one on the very left is out of the shell. Just wondering what they are!

Salad Dressing Top

This pretty leaf has absolutely nothing to do with today's post - but I liked it and did not have a photo of the top of our salad dressing!

I usually buy store brand salad dressing because, yes you guessed it, it is cheaper! But, at dinner recently, I was lamenting to David that the store brand dressing bottles do not come with the squeeze bottle top - so you end up wasting more dressing since it gushes out. He was just finishing up a bottle of the good kind - a brand name that did have the wonderful top. And, he very quickly said, "Well, will the top come off of the good bottle that we are getting ready to throw away?"

I cleared the table and stuck the tip of the knife in the center of that hole and it just popped right out. I was SO excited! Then, I washed it really good and oh my goodness, it fit perfectly into the store brand bottle! I had never even thought to see if the top would pop out and fit in the other bottle, but I will now be saving it from being recycled and using it again and again to waste less of the less expensive dressing! Now, why didn't I think of that?!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thansgiving: Placecards and Favors

I'm going to double up and use these favors with name tags as the placecards. Simply cut and label/decorate a piece of cardstock and punch a hole in it. Tie it on to your favor with raffia. These favors are the yummy pecans I make each holiday season.

Pecans are a bit of a splurge, but one batch (one pound) of these yummy treats is divided here into 1/2 cup portions making this into eight favors.

I hope you've enjoyed this week of Thanksgiving ideas! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thanksgiving: Felt Turkey

Isn't this turkey so cute? I found the pattern in a copy of the Country Register, though the pattern itself is from a little store called Liberty Cottage. These cost about 25 cents each to make. Just before Emily was born, I made several and put them at the place of each of the ladies at Thanksgiving that year - they looked so cute spread out on the table. If you are interested in a copy of the pattern, please e-mail me and I'll mail you one. (thehomespunheart [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Thanksgiving: History

Here are a couple of resources that I enjoy for remembering the history of Thanksgiving. The first is Squanto, a Radio Theatre presentation of Focus on the Family. It is an audio drama recounting the travel of the Mayflower and those they met in the New World. This is one of those things I listen to every Thanksgiving.

The second is a new one for me this year. I read about The Thanksgiving Ceremony in the November Country Living and found a copy on Amazon for $1.50. It includes a history of the Mayflower and a complete passenger list of those who were on it. Many quotes, prayers and songs relating to Thanksgiving, and a ceremony that is to be read by all of your guests. We'll be doing this at our table this year.
This darling little book, Count Your Blessings, was a gift from my parents to Emily for her birthday. It is so wonderful! It has little lift-the-flap sections on each page and counts to ten by counting things to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Shoe Boxes on a Shoestring

Many of you know that this week is collection week for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes. And, since I know many of you are thrifty and have a desire to help others, I thought I'd share a few ways that I save items for our boxes each year without spending a lot of money.

The first thing is to shop year round for items. It never fails that when you are looking for inexpensive items, they are hard to find, you run ou of time and end up spending more. So, one thing you need is a place to store your stash. Any cardboard box, bin, drawer, etc... will do just fine. It won't do any good to remember to purchase the items if you can't find them when it is time to assemble your box.

This canvas bin sits on a shelf in my closet and is labeled, "Shoebox Goodies". We do one box per family member, so I just purchase with that in mind.

* Check clearance racks. I have found some wonderful toys on seasonal clearance, just because the package was seasonal. This year, Emily's box includes a My Little Pony that I found on the 75% off Easter clearance. Clearance racks are also a great place to find items like hand towels or wash cloths. After Christmas is a great time to check also. Target clearances out their dollar rack and I have gotten things 75% off of that as well.

* Shop school supply sales. This past year, we found one cent items at Staples including pencils, pencil sharpeners, etc... Crayons and colored pencils are less than a quarter.

* Shop free-bate items. This is especially great for items like toothbrushes and toothpaste. I'm always sharing about the Walgreens rebates we get, but our family cannot use up the quantity that I get free - so lots of these end up in shoeboxes.

* Shop sales. Walgreens has great sales on little items throughout the year like cars for 29 cents and soap 3/$1 or plastic cups 8/$1.

* Eat kids meals. When you go out, order a kids meal and save the toy for the shoe box. The kids meal is usually cheaper, still a good sized portion, and provides you with the toy to give away.

You do not have to sacrifice quality to get good deals, but it does take a training of your mind to be on the lookout for items. Now, I know there have to be other ideas you have...what do you do to keep the cost down?

Thanksgiving: Centerpiece

I was inspired by the November Country Home for a centerpiece idea. They used a footed bowl and then filled it partially with water. Then layered in green apples, fall colored roses, ivy, and green and red berries. So pretty. I do not have a footed bowl, but a footed cake plate and a bowl I can set on top of it. I have lots of ivy in my yard and can get holly berries easily. So, roses and apples will be picked up at the grocery store when I do my Thanksgiving shopping.

I also love how they had ivy on the light fixture and, while it doesn't show in this photo, they had little metal cups hanging from the fixture with a single bloom and ivy in each one. So, I got out some glass flowerpots that I use for lots of other things like this, this and this and some craft wire and hung them up on the light fixture so they are ready to hold their Thanksgiving treasures!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Thanksgiving: Give Thanks Banner

I loved this Thanksgiving banner I saw recently in Pottery Barn Kids, but at a whopping $79, let's just say it was way out of my price range! So, I decided to make my own.
I had a goal of using only things I had already on hand, but I did need some of the felt pieces to make the banner - so I spent about $1 on this project. Here are the details:

* First of all, since I was making my own - I decided I wanted it to say "Give Thanks", so I needed eleven pieces of felt. Each of these pieces is one half of the craft-size pieces available at Wal-Mart or a craft supply store for about 20 cents.

* Then I pulled out scraps of fabric, ribbon, my button jar, etc... and planned out each letter.

* G: cut the letter out of a scrap of khaki fabric and made a maple leaf using a cookie cutter and some scraps of fleece orange fabric.

* I: used the idea from the PBK banner to make a tree - used scraps of felt and little snips of felt for leaves around the bottom. I cut these with pinking shears to make them look leaf-like.

* V: ribbon scrap

* E: button jar - these are buttons saved from clothes that were worn out or from new buttons that came with clothing items I have had. I have also been known to pick up a stray button in a parking lot and add it to my jar!

* Space: I needed a space between these two words, so took this idea from my pumpkin pillow and made a primitive looking pumpkin from leftover fabric and felt scrap.

* T: felt scraps - cut out with pinking shears; little acorns made of scraps

* H: fabric scrap from a dog bed with tin rusty stars glued on

* A: same as G for fabric, then I made a little turkey out of scraps of felt for the top

* N: fabric scrap

* K: ribbon scrap

* S: button jar

* Then I hung a length of twine across our dining room window and used these mini clothespins to attach them. You could also just glue the twine to the felt to attach if you don't have the clothespins. I used tacky glue to attach everything together - though hot glue may work as well.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Thanksgiving: Napkin Rings

All this week, I'll be sharing ideas for Thanksgiving. So, starting things off is this very simple-to-make napkin ring. This idea is from the November 2006 Country Living.

To make:
* Cut a small piece of cardstock.
* Stamp, use a sticker, write a desired message, etc...
* Punch a small hole in each end of the cardstock.
* Pull a ribbon through one end, and then through the other. Tip: if you cut the ends of the ribbon in a diagonal, they will be much easier to get through the small holes.

Coming up later in the week:
* A centerpiece idea.
* An idea to share the history of Thanksgiving.
* A felt "Give Thanks" banner.
* Place cards and favors.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Freezer Cookies

I have been inspired by several of you who freeze cookie dough and then have fresh cookies on hand at any time. So, after receiving one of these recently, I decided to try it for myself. I'm hooked! I scooped the dough on to waxed-paper-lined cookie sheets and froze overnight. Then, I transferred the dough to an airtight container. When I was ready to bake, I just placed the cookie dough on a cookie sheet and baked! They did take a bit longer to bake since the dough was frozen - but, oh so convenient! The cookies were just as good!

Purse Party

You are invited to a Purse Party!
I will be hosting an open house at my home on Saturday, December 2nd.
(But, is also open to my on-line blogging friends!)
My friend, Angie, makes lots of great purses to support her family.

You can view the purses, diaper bags, totes, and aprons here.

If you are interested in ordering anything, please let me know! She has so many great designs and these would make great gifts with Christmas coming up!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Turkey Trivia

Here is a Thanksgiving Day idea for you. Converstaion can sometimes be hard at holiday gatherings, so last year, I found this great idea on Martha's web site. You can download the template and then do a search for turkey trivia and write the facts and answers on the turkey feathers. This was really popular at our table and provided lots of fun conversation! I also wrote individual names on them to double as place cards!

For Turkey Trivia, try any of these links:
Turkey Trivia One
Turkey Trivia Two
Turkey Trivia Quiz


Here is a recent exchange of letters between myself and Penney's Photo Studio Customer Service. I really appreciated their letter and wanted to share this with you. It is so easy to complain when something goes wrong, and I have complained about this. But now I want to move past that and appreciate the effort they are making to right the situation. This exchange will not mean we will return to that particular Peneny's, but it definitely will not leave us with a bad taste in our mouths regarding our experience.

October 28, 2006

Dear JCPenney Customer Service,

I am writing to share my portrait studio experience with you. My family and I drove 1 ½ hours today to the closest Penney's portrait studio to have a family photo made as well as some individual photos of our young daughters. We have chosen Penney's because of the good value - price for portraits, benefits through the Portrait Club and because we are always pleased with the quality of the portraits. These things combined have made it more worthwhile considering the distance we must travel.

However, we will not be returning as a Penney's portrait customer at the (city) location. (And, unless a closer studio opens - this will eliminate Penney's as a portrait option.) The only two times we have gone to this location as a family - we have had to wait a long time to get our photos taken and we always called ahead to make an appointment. Today, our appointment was at 11:20 a.m. and we were finally called in at 12:45 p.m.

We have also used the portrait studio in (city) and while we did have to wait - the overall experience was considerably more positive.

Families schedule these appointments at times that will work for their young children to be most pleasant for their photo. But, 1 ½ hour wait just makes everyone stressed by the time they get in there. I would gladly have walked away if we had not traveled so far. I simply ask you to consider this: when a customer makes an appointment and then respects the time of your employees enough to be prompt - it seems like a complete disregard of the customer's time and schedule. It is completely unrealistic to schedule families every ten minutes.

Our family had no outfit changes and kept our sitting as simple as possible and we were with the photographer twenty minutes.

I feel badly for the employees having to work under such stressful conditions and realize that none of this is a reflection on them. There were friendly although, there was no apology or even mention of the ridiculous wait. I was so frazzled by the time we saw our proofs - I could not even think about what I needed to order.

I have appreciated the quality and value of the photos we have had in the past, but our family will no longer be a Penney's portrait studio customer.


Monica Xxxxxx

Cc: Manager of JC Penney's (city)


November 7, 2006

Dear Ms. Xxxxxx,

Thank you for sending an email to JCPenney Portraits Customer Service; I apologize for the delay in responding to your recent email.

I am so sorry to hear about your recent experience at JCPenney Portraits. I understand how difficult it can be to prepare for a portrait sitting, and after the long drive to the studio, it must have been very frustrating for you to go through so much preparation to assure that you would have a great portrait session only to be so disappointed with the service you received. I have forwarded your email to the district manager who oversees this studio for further review.

I know you state you will not return to the studio, but as a way to apologize to you personally, I would be happy to order three additional sheets from this sitting at no charge for you. I know this does not erase the time and effort involved and the frustration you felt, but I hope it will demonstrate our good will and our desire to ensure your satisfaction.

Thank you for your patronage and for bringing these concerns to our attention. As a valued customer we appreciate your feedback regarding your experiences at the studio. Please let me know if you would like to take advantage of the complimentary portrait sheets!

Kxxxxx Gxxxxxxx


November 8, 2006
Dear Kxxxxxxx,

Thank you so much for your reply. It means a lot just to have someone say they understand and appreciate the frustration we experienced.

I also appreciate your offer of three extra portrait sheets - that would be great! I would especially enjoy it if they were of a couple of poses we did not order from. (Honestly I was so frazzled that my husband did the ordering - so I'm not even remembering all of what we will be getting.)

Thank you again for your kind reply. After I read it, I thought to myself, "They have the right person doing her job!".

Monica Xxxxxxx

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Pumpkin Quote

"But see, in our open clearings,
how golden the melons lie;
Enrich them with sweets and spices,
and give us the pumpkin-pie!"

~ Margaret Junkin Preston ~

I recently treated myself to the November issue of Country Living magazine and loved it! I wanted to share this quote they had on the last page.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Don't Give Up!

Galatians 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

I read this verse last week and it was just the encouragement I needed in the midst of starting to feel discouraged in mothering. It was considerably harder to stick with my goals of limiting Emily's TV. I got easily frustrated with her desire to help in her own way. I have hardly used my prayer closet since setting it up. Lots of things making it easy to be discouraged.

Doing good can be tiring and make us feel weary. But, look at the incredible promise of a harvest - which is conditional on us not giving up! Thank You, Lord, for this beautiful promise and great transfusion of courage from your Word! May it be the hope and strength I need through relying on You to do Your will today.

Take heart! Look forward to the harvest! Don't give up!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. miniature chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients and cook on a hot griddle. Serves six.

Cinnamon Honey Syrup:

1 c. honey
1/2 c. butter or margarine, cubed
1-2 tspn. ground cinnamon

Combine ingredients in a 2-cup microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on high until butter is melted and syrup is hot, stirring occasionally. Serve with pancakes.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Party Pix!

The Birthday Girl and Mama!

Oh, did she enjoy these balloons!

Rachel was happy to sit on the side and just watch all the commotion!

The Magna Doodle is already a favorite!

This was also a favorite - a rocking horse! She was surprised and loves to ride "horses" as she says! It is easy to say that she felt special and celebrated! She had a wonderful time!

Golden Birthday!

Since Emily was 2 on the second - this was her "golden birthday". So, we used the golden theme and did everything yellow!

We started the day off with Chocolate Chip Pancakes (look for the recipe next week - yummy!) and then went to Chick-Fil-A (her favorite!) for lunch. Here is what we did for her party:

The invitations were yellow two's that I cut out and wrote party details on. I asked everyone to wear someting yellow or gold.

A yellow cake with yellow frosting!

I used white paper to wrap her gifts and a yellow marker to add lots of yellow!

Favors: yellow organza boxes filled with mini star-shaped sugar cookies with yes, you guessed it - yellow frosting!

The lighting is off in this photo - but really shows all the balloons, I had tied one to each chair. For dinner we had all yellow foods:

macaroni and cheese (Emily's favorite!)
cornbread muffins & butter

I used clear bowls for the food - so the yellow would add to the table looking festive!

So, because I know there are a lot of thrifty-mamas out there, I will even tell you what this party cost:

* Invitations: one piece of scrap book paper - 0.20
* Favors: yellow organza boxes: on clearance after Easter 75% off - 0.25 each; total $1.50
* Gifts: ballet set and blender; free with Discover card bonus.
* Wrapping: paper - gift from moving neighbor, ribbon - Wal-Mart clearance - 0.10
* Balloons: $1.17 at Wal-Mart for 15; $7.80 for helium
* Cake: homemade, #2 candle - left from a twenty-something birthday - zero
* Yellow leis: free with a $5 coupon from the party goods store. There was no minimum purchase.

Total spent: $10.77
The balloons were the bulk of this, but she is so captivated by balloons right now that I knew this would be the perfect birthday treat for her! Also, I don't count ingredients for dinner or cake because they are all things I would have on hand anyway and we eat dinner every night, so it is not a special party expense!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, Emily!

November 2004

November 2005

Late October, 2006

Happy Birthday, sweet Emily! We love you so much and are so thankful for the special blessing you are in our lives - God is so generous to allow us to be part of your journey!

Party pix and ideas to come tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

First Birthday Ideas

Since Emily's birthday is tomorrow, I've been thinking back to her special day last year! So, I thought I'd share some photos and a couple of ideas from that before moving on to this year!

I made a BUNCH of number ones by printing one off the computer and cutting it out for a template. For this cake, I glued two number ones to a wooden skewer and then had fun putting them in the cake at different intervals.

Then, I also made a special number one cake for Emily by printing out a very large number one and cutting it out. I laid it on top of a square 8x8 cake and cut around the one and then decorated it!

The theme of the ones continued with lots of them hanging from streamers I made. I punched a small hole in the top of the one and then strung them on curling ribbon. I also put some on individual ribbons and hung them from the light fixture. More ones were used on the table.

For the favors, I made little tags on the computer that used ones and Emily's name to put over the existing labels of play-dough and bubbles. I wrote this little poem and printed it out on a paper and included a penny from the year she was born:

2004 is the year of this penny,
also the year of the birth of Emily!
The 2nd of November
is a day we remember,
for the little bundle of love
sent down from Heaven above.
After just one year
we know she's a dear.
Her smile's a treat
and her heart is so sweet!
Hope your second year
is loaded with fun,
little Emily, now that you're one!

The favors were in little Winnie-the-Pooh first b'day bags (a freebie from Grammie!).

After her birthday, I made thank-you's on the computer using small photos of her from her birthday and at this age. David made a DVD "Year In Review" which included a photo slideshow and lots of mini movies - it was such a special thing to watch at her party!