Friday, September 30, 2011

This Girl Loves Shoes!

Ellen has a small obsession with shoes... 

and this is her favorite thing to do with them.

Although she's going to have to wear them on her feet more because she has really started walking a lot this past week!  What a big girl!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Felt Leaf Garland

I have a faux leaf garland that I bought for my mantle a couple of years ago. 

I wanted to make another garland for the banister in the loft and came up with this idea.

I bought almost 3 yards of felt in various colors (2 yards each of brown and orange and then little bits of yellows, golds, reds to fill in.)  Then I printed out a couple of different leaf templates that I found by googling online.

I traced a ton of leaves and mostly cut them out while waiting in the school parking lot during pick-up and during our recent road trip.  At first I was cutting a hole in each leaf to string them, but then I realized it was much easier and just as efficient if I folded the stem over and cut more of a slit in the stem.  

I strung all of the leaves onto a brown ribbon.

(And I also did 3 "special" leaves that are just the my 3 kids' handprints.)  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Fall Wreath

I made this wreath a couple of years ago and it was quick and easy and ended up turning out pretty well!

It is made from a grapevine wreath, one piece of fall garland, and some extra berry and pumpkin picks from the craft store. 

All I did was wrap the garland around the wreath and twist-tied it on.  Then I fanned out the leaves to cover the grapevine.  I stuck the pumpkins and berries in any other bare spots and that was it!  Very easy and I like the way it turned out!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Family Wedding Weekend

We had a wonderful weekend with my family celebrating my younger sister Mary Jo's wedding! 

Flower Girl and Ring Bearer ready to go!

"Clare, you look beautiful!" - Jude

Honorary Flower Girl (we weren't sure if Ellen would be walking for the wedding...turns out she wasn't quite ready for the l-o-n-g aisle at the church!)

(Of course Jude found a Nascar car deep in the toy box at my parents' house!)

The beautiful bride!

Her bouquet with my deceased Grandma's rosary and my new brother-in-law's grandmother's handkerchief.  (Very sweet especially because Mary Jo was named after our grandmother.)  

The roses were beautiful. 

Big bouquets of babies breath for the bridesmaids.

Waiting in the bride's room at church.  (Clare thought this was an adult version of "hide-n-seek.")

One handsome boy!  
He wore his jacket all day!

The new Mr. and happy!

My youngest sister Margaret (maid of honor) gave a lovely speech.

(Can I say that this picture reminds me of this one?)

Cupcakes in place of a traditional wedding cake.  And so very yummy!

 Clare and Jude were very happy (no pun intended...) with their glowsticks and goodie bags!

They also had a photobooth at the reception with props galore to pose with.  Clare spent a lot of time taking pictures Saturday night!  Lots of fun and it also made for great favors for guests and a unique guest book for the bride and groom!

We had a great time and enjoyed the festivities!  
(Especially since Ellen lasted longer than I expected!!!)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Apple Prints for Johnny "A"

We needed a craft to keep us busy the other day.  (I can't keep up with the kindergarten and preschool teachers!)  What better fall craft than making apple prints in time for Johnny Appleseed's Birthday today?!?  

First we sliced the apples in half to reveal the hiding "star."

 Then I sliced "handles" on the sides so the apples were easy to hold and weren't so slippery.

Much better for stamping!

Turned out pretty good and kept us busy!

My MOPS newsletter recommended this book and Clare enjoyed reading it with me.

by Elisa Kleven

Can't wait to hear all about Clare's kindergarten class making applesauce today!  

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Wedding Poem for the Bride-to-Be

'Tis the day before my younger sister says "I do;"
She's ready with something old, new, borrowed, and blue.

Who would have thought that the election of '08
Would bring us 3 years later to a September wedding date?

He was tall (to us) and charming, a local boy;
And to Mary Jo's heart he brought much joy.

It's didn't take long for the rest of the family to agree,
He really suited our "MJB."

Their common interests showed they were a great match.
Hiking, their hometown, politics...he even cooked - what a catch!

We were thrilled when a ring to her he gave;
And when we saw he designed it, how we all raved!

Now we've showered the bride with gifts at a fiesta;
Soon she'll be on the beach enjoying a well-deserved siesta.

It's funny to think she was once the baby with "more chins than a Chinese phonebook;"
But we know how lovely in her wedding dress she will look.

So to Mary Jo and Mike we wish you all the best;
Congrats, we love you, and God Bless!

(And Mike can I ask something of you around the March Madness date? 
Can you please fill out my bracket for me?  OK, thanks!)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

NASCAR Weekend Recap

I have to admit that we are Nascar people here.  Ryan's love for Nascar has hit a new generation.  It's funny to now hear Jude casually throw around names like Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in conversation.  

And last weekend Ryan went to his first Nascar race with his dad and some friends at Chicagoland Speedway.

#1 Fan.

According to Ryan, Saturday's Nationwide Race could best be described as LOUD!  
(Much louder than you would think, even with hunting-style ear protection on!)

Unfortunately for Ryan, the Sprint Cup Race on Sunday was rained out...

...but there was still some fun to be had.

See sometimes your wildest dreams do come true!  

(Although Jude keeps asking Ryan when he is going to take him to a "Nascar game!")