Friday, May 9, 2014

How I Met Your Father

I'm thinking that this will turn into more than one post.  But that's okay, it will be a mini love story. I realized that  I have made many posts about  crafts and my sometimes rediculous adventures as a mom but, I've never told you how I met  your father.

It was 2001, I was fresh out of high school. When I was 18 I thought I was adult enough to move out of  my parents house and brave the big world on my own. I didn't choose the college route (a dicission I still regret to this day). No, I chose to make my way through life on my own terms. I was certain that I would find a fabulous job, live in an even more amazing apartment, and do whatever I wanted when I wanted. Nothing was going to hold me back. I would stay up until dawn, eat whatever I wanted, drink whatever I wanted, date a million boys, go to parties, and I wouldn't have to answer to anyone! Now I'm sure you are reading this and thinking "that's not how life works!" And you would be right but, remember I was stupid and 18. Boy was I in for a shock!

My "fabulous job" was actually not fabulous at all. My parents had put in a good word for me to a friend of theirs and got me a job as a cashier at RC Willey. My "amazing apartment" was sharing a room with a friend of mine in a little and over populated apartment just close enough to work that I could walk. As far as doing whatever I wanted when I wanted.... Well...... I did. However there always seemed to be more consequences than it was worth but I did it anyway. I was basically tired and run down all of the time. Life was not living up to my expectations!

My boss didn't like me, the "millions" of guys that I dated were all scum bags, I made several wrong turns when choosing friends and made a lot of mistakes when it came to who I should spend my time with. I was lost..... And I missed my mom. My stubbornness wouldn't let me give in and admit that I wasn't doing so well. Half of me wanted to throw in the towel and return home to were things would be easy again. Where I wouldn't have to worry about bills, and getting to work on time. I wanted to go back to my old room with all of my old things and let my mom take care of me. On the other hand, what would that accomplish? I already made such a big stink about how "adult" I was and how I didn't need them. So I stuck it out. Even though it sucked...

One day after work my mother came up to my desk as the store was closing. She said "let's go to dinner". I was broke as a joke and surely my planned dinner of saltines and kraft pre-sliced cheese was still going to be there tomorrow so I agreed. We got outside and as I climbed in the car I noticed that my mom wasn't getting in. She was just standing there with a big grin on her face. I kept saying "what?". Eventually I noticed that there was a car parked in front of us with a big gold bow on it. I squelled and leap out to inspect it. It was an OLD Mazda, grey with white spots from snow and sun damage. Their was a tear in the front seat and it had a stale smell (not bad just stale). This car had seen some things. Lastly, I noticed that it was a stick shift. Oh boy! I was scared. My mom smiled and told me "don't worry, it's easy". We pulled the giant bow off and began our first lesson. I remember that, that was the first time I ever cursed in front of my mother! It still makes me laugh when I think of her reaction. 

It's a tradition for me to name my cars. Every car i have owned has had their own name because every car is different and has their own "personality". I named her Monica Lawinsky because she sucked. But she was all mine so I didn't care. I loved that car. I now had a much more efficient way to get to work.

I drove that car everywhere and I can still feel the heat in my cheeks from the embarrassment of stalling out in the middle of an intersection!

A few weeks later I was at work. It was the middle of the day and part of my job was to keep my desk stocked with bubble wrap for the breakable things that we sold. My desk was out so I ran back to the warehouse to get some more. It was lunch time for most of the warehouse workers so it was quiet. Everyone seemed to be gone. As I turned the corner to grab a bunch of bubbly goodness I was startled when I saw a man. His back was turned to me and I didn't think he knew I was there. From behind I could tell that he was young, early 20's. He had brown spikey hair with bleached blonde tips, he was tall and lanky, wearing a large necklace of big silver balls linked together. Lol..... But the most  disturbing thing was that he seemed to be doing something outrageous!  I wasn't sure but I had an idea of what he was doing..... WHAT A CREEP!! 

I will have to tell you more tomorrow.... :)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Best buy of 2014... So far!

Aside from my new car, this is the best thing I have gifted myself this year! 

So I was doing some grocery shopping at SAMs club today and I ran into these cute things. Normally I don't buy things for myself on a whim. Normally I go home and talk to my husband about things I saw that I would like to have, and we then figure out when it's feasible. But this time I battled with myself in the isle. Could I just buy these and then explain to husband that they were too cute to pass up? Would he go for that? Can I keep myself from splurging even a little on something for myself even though it's not expensive? Do I NEED them? I could totally make them... But then I probably wouldn't get around to it until July! I puzzled until my puzzler was sore. I figured I could walk away and come back at a later time and get them, even though it could be a couple of weeks. I took a few steps.

But then I heard it..... A woman gasped and said "hey, "so and so" (lady friend) come and look at these! They are so great for the summer. We should get some!" And with that, I spun on my heel and turned around to grab a box! I HAD TO! With my luck, they would be gone by the time I got back for them.

  Okay, maybe I'm slightly obsessed with them but, come on they are adorable!! And for $16 and some change, it's a steal! I mean, you can buy the generic plastic cups with matching straw and lid for $5, and with this I'm getting 6 jar/cup/glass things. :) 

What better, or cuter way to keep cool during the fast approaching hot summer months, here in the dessert? 

The burlap is attached by velcroing to itself in the back, so it's easy to remove for washing. The glass design under the burlap is really cute too (a star) if for some reason you didn't want to use the burlap.

So go get some before they run out! Run don't walk!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Are You Listening?

  I have reached the point with my oldest son (4 yrs.) that feels like he couldn't care less about what I have to say if it requires him to do anything for me. This is probably a totally normal stage for him to be going through, but I do not like it!

  It used to be so easy, all I had to do was say "Sweetie, will you get me ...." or "Honey, I need you to...." and he would do it. No fit, no screaming, no ignoring me. Then we moved into having to make it fun or an adventure. It was exhausting! We would play a game called "Secret Agent Corbin". I would hold my wrist up to my mouth like I was speaking into a spy watch and say "Secret Agent Corbin, come in Secret Agent Corbin! I have a mission for you! I need you to put your shoes away for me." Which caused him to get all excited and run around like some awesome spy guy. For a minute it was very useful and so easy to get him to do his chores. But alas, it didn't last.

  Now we have moved into dangerous territory. At this point, If I ask him to do something, Its like trying to make a stubborn mule walk. I tell him to clean up his dishes and he wont even look at me..... or worse, he just stares at me, like what I had just said did not compute. Then, of course, I deal with the times that he just yells no at me and says "but I cant right now!" or he growls at me like a rabbid animal.

But I know that eventhough it seems like he is NEVER listening to me, he actually is listening sometimes..... ofcourse, he is just listening to the things that I dont want him to hear. You know what I mean! And here is how I know he listens every once in a while...... When he flat out lies to his brother about some exagerated amazing thing that never in a million years would he actually do or get and when I say "What are you talking about? That isnt true" he says "Shhh... Im trying to entertain him!" Yes, I am guilty of doing this (my head is hung in shame). Sometimes I need to divert his attention or get him to calm down for a second so I'll say something like, "shhhh.... Dax do you want a cookie? In ten minutes a huge dump truck full of cookies is going to show up and you can have as many as you want if you just be quiet for a minute!"

  GRRRRRRRRR....  How to deal with this?? I definitely have a few things that I'm going to try, but I just wish that I didn't have to try anything. Seriously, why doesn't anyone every tell you about this crap before you have kids, and give you a how-to, on how to get through it!? I wish that he would just listen and bend to my every will (maniacal laugh)!!!!

I know I am not alone here, but sometimes it feels like that.... 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Peter Pan Birthday

Well Corbin turned 4 about...oh... 5 months ago. I cannot believe it has taken me this long to post about his first themed party (I love a themed party). He is a BIG Peter Pan fan and I'm sure he has seen the movie about 100 times. Not to mention the movie "Hook", the play of Peter Pan that his cousin was in, and his favorite music from the movie that has been put into a play list on YouTube. He LOVES it! So naturally, when it came time to start discussing what type of birthday he wanted for the big number 4, it was an obvious choice.

His father and I put a lot of love, time, and thought into making this a magical day for him and his friends. The problem that I ran into is that there is no such thing as a prepackaged Peter Pan birthday. I couldn't run to any local party store and find Peter Pan stuff. Even online it was difficult to find anything at all. So in the end I had convinced my husband that making everything ourselves was the best way to go. Here is what we did and how the big day went! 

We wanted his invitations to set the tone for this adventures day so we decided to purchase some corked bottles online to send the invites in. we rolled them up like scrolls and then tied them with some twine. With the addition of a red Peter Pan feather, they were ready to go out. Easy and fun.

 The invitation was a map of Neverland. The wording said: "Come to where pirates plunder and fairies roam, a place that all Lost Boys call home. It's Neverland where we'll jump and play as we celebrate Corbin's 4th birthday.  All you need is faith and trust, and just a little bit of pixie dust! There will be plenty of food to feed our faces, shadows to catch, and Indian races. Come as your favorite Lost Boy or in your fairy best, perhaps some pirate gear or and Indian headdress. If you can make it, please give us some warning, then follow the second star on the right and straight on 'till morning."

I love how they turned out. And a big thank you to my sister-in-law Debi for making them and bringing my vision to life!!

I thought it would be cute to have stars leading up to the door. I found these shiny gold cardboard stars at party city. I think it was two stars for $2. Sure, I could have made them but, I was making enough stuff for this party, and gold stars were not on my to do list.

I roughly drew an oval onto some plywood and had my husband cut it out and then replicated a sign with craft paint that I saw on a blog post awhile back. I would provide credit along with a link if I remembered where I saw it.
I have always thought these kinds of signs where cool. So when given the chance to make one, I jumped at the opportunity! There are so many great places in Neverland and this let me single them out. I used a bunch of boards from different pallets and cut them out into varying sizes and shapes. For "Cannibal Cove" I used a piece of barn wood from my in-laws backyard. We thought it looked like drift wood that the pirates would have found and made into a sign. Each one was hand painted and stained.

Here's a break down of what you walked into when the door was opened. Immediately over head we had a battery operated Tinker Bell that flew in circles. Her wings flapped and her arms were out stretched. She was probably the size of a Barbie doll. She was really cool and also borrowed so we didn't pay anything to have her at the party.

To the right of the room was a table that we called our "Happy Thoughts Table". On the wall we had quotes of the Darling children's happy thoughts along with a sign that said "Think of the happiest things, it's the same as having wings". On the table were little white slips of paper that the kids would write down (with the help of a parent) their very own happy thought. We tied their slip of paper to a balloon and when they left the party, they let go of it and watched their happy thought "Fly" away.

                            Tink watched over the party from Captain Hook's lantern.

I bought a couple green table cloth's from Party City but I saw the exact same ones at the Dollar Store. I used some craft paper to cut out feathers and then strung them together with twine and used it like a garland along the front of the tables. We had a lot of fun with the food. The water bottles had custom labels. There were four different labels you could get. There was a hook, a Peter Pan silhouette, Tinkerbell, and the number 4. They all said "Corbin's turning 4" on them. There were Pixie stix labeled as "Pixie Dust", Bubba's doughnut holes "Captain Hook's cannonballs", trail mix "Mermaid mix", Snickerdoodles "Smee's Snickerdoodles", Chocolate dipped pretzel rods "Tinks Fairy wands". A few starfish were placed on the table.

Then there were mini Sprite bottles with attached red feathers and custom labels. I hot glued the red feathers (from Micheals) onto the caps. The labels had a silhouette of Princess Tiger Lilly on them. Vegetable tray was "Crocodile Crunch", Layered fruit salad was "Pan's Favorite Fruit Salad", Lay's potato chip's "Doubloons", grape skewers "Lost Boy Swords", Waffle cones "Tiger Lilly Tee-Pee's". The cake was white fondant with green buttercream icing and accents. On top, in black, was Peter Pan's silhouette and the saying "You can fly".
All of the characters on the table were drawn onto plywood. My husband carefully cut them out, and I hand painted all of them. This took so many hours! Each one took anywhere between an hour to 3 hours to paint. 
Here is one up close.

                     The birthday banner and Pan hats were designed by my sister-in-law.

I loved the wall covered in streamers. I used two different shades of green. The yellow flower was purchased at Party City and came as a set of three. This thing was so hard to make, that we decided one was enough.

We pushed our table into the corner and turned it into the favor table. The Green buckets were for each kid to take home all of their prizes. I bought them all from the Dollar store. They each had a label on it that said "Lost Boys Loot" "Thank you for coming to Corbin's 4th birthday".  Below the table were two silver buckets. One had wooden swords that the hubby made, for the boys. The other had Wooden fairy wands, that my husband made, for the girls. 

In the backyard we had plenty for the kids to do. Out of some scrap wood in our shop I created a ball toss game. We called it "Sink the Jolly Roger".

We have a long planter box in our backyard that we dug down a little then filled it with a tarp and some water. We made a plank and had the kids cross it. We even added an alligator head to the water and a sign that said "Crocodile Creek".

We also made Captain Hook's Ring Toss. We made hooks out of wood and painted them, then attached them through the back with a screw. With chalk we drew lines on the ground leading away from the game. Each line was labeled something different. The closest line said "Cod fish", the next one back said "smee", then "Mermaid", "Tink", "Lost Boy", and lastly "Peter Pan". The goal was to be able to through it successfully from the furthest line.

Hangman's tree had the Pinata hanging from it. I found this cute Pirate ship at Party City for $14.

We created a tee pee for the kids to play in out of some wood and an old sheet. On the floor of the tee pee we laid down a faux fur blanket.

I must say that Corbin had some of the cutest guest's at his party! We had many fairies and pirates in attendance.

                            At "Pixie Hallow" the kids painted their swords and fairy wands.

                                       While they ate lunch, we watched Peter Pan.

Following lunch we all went on a scavenger hunt. All of the kids lined up at the door and my husband (dressed as a pirate) lead the troops on an adventure. I read aloud the clues. It was a rhyme that we had written that was very pirate-y. I don't know what happened to it otherwise I would share it with you. The first clue lead them down to the end of the driveway where there was a pile of green and yellow (dollar store) shovels. The next clue took them to the grassy park area at the end of the street where they had to find a hidden map that showed where the treasure was buried. The final clue said that Hook (my husband) had the key to the treasure chest and that they had to fight him to get it. As my husband ran down the street, the mob of kids followed waving their swords in the air! It was quite the spectical. They sword fought him in the driveway until Hook gave up the key. Then the children ran to Hangman's Tree where the treasure was buried and dug it up.

 This is the map that I made for the scavenger hunt. I used a tan sheet of scrapbook paper. With some hot water and coffee grounds I made a paste and rubbed it into the paper leaving more in some area's that I wanted darker. Then I let it dry with the coffee grounds on it. Once it was dry I brushed off the coffee and drew my map of Neverland. I went back over the drawing with paint and then watered down the paint and went back in to adding shadows and detail. when that was dry I crumpled it up and then flattened it back out to give it a worn look. It now resides on my son's bedroom wall.

                                      Look at how excited and happy he is!

My husband had built a pirate chest and we filled it with candy, necklaces, rings, and bubbles, then buried it in the backyard the morning of the party. The kids couldn't believe their eyes when they pulled this sucker out of the ground! I think every hand went into the pirate chest at the same time!

Then it was time for more candy. Because Corbin had around 25 kids at his party, we had him break the pinata and then invited the kids to come and get the candy.

          Lastly we opened gifts and sent everyone home with their goodies. It was a BLAST!!

                                            Happy 4th Birthday My Love!!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2013 was....

Another year is gone. Doesn't it seem like it flew by? I know that at the end of every year so many people make new year resolution's in hopes that by the end of next year the suckiest part of their life will hopefully not suck as bad. I never have been one for resolutions. I'm sure at some point in my teenagedom I followed the crowd and fained excitement of coming face to face with what I liked least about myself, announced it to the world, and then promised myself to do things differently in the coming year. But in the end, I was never wholeheartedly on board with the whole thing. Maybe I was already cynical and knew that most people would fall short of their goal. Beginning strong of mind and will in January only to give in sometime in February or March. Forgetting entirely or ignoring entirely what their resolution was in the first place. The gyms packed with the "gung-ho" attitude in January, are left with a trickle of dedicated individuals come April. Or perhaps I was just a lazy teenager who didn't want to apply all that dang effort. Either way, resolutions are not for me.

  Instead, I usually give myself a word. Something that I hope will define the year for me. One year it was  "Family". With my family divided up among different states, I wanted to end the year knowing that we all made an effort to see one another, be in contact via social media and over the phone. This word of "Family" didn't obligate me to fly all over trying to visit everyone, or host a big stressful get together. It allowed me to do things when I wanted to, and not feel tethered to an overwhelming goal. In 2013 the word I set for the year was "heal".

  For those of you who may not know, I lost my brother last year in a very devastating and scarring way. I knew that my focus needed to be on healing and moving forward from that situation. I started this blog because of that word. It will be one year in February that I have used this blog as an outlet. To be able to sit here in the quiet of my office and talk about my experiences as a Mother, Wife, Daughter, Crafter. It has been a beacon of light in a dark time in my life. Thank you all for reading this blog.

  This year my word will be "Education". No, I'm not going to force myself to go back to school or require myself to read a stack of books by the end of 2014. But I would like to expand on what I already know or maybe take a course in something I've always been interested in. Perhaps I will jump on YouTube to expand my knowledge through videos, only to end up in the pits of obscurity educating myself on little people Mexican wrestling..... who knows!! That's the beauty of the "Word".

  All in all, 2013 was a wonderful year. My life grew leaps and bounds. It has been jam packed with friends, laughter, family, vacations, moving, spiritual growth, and love.

  In 2013 we made a difficult decision, when we decided to move away from a house that left us with heartache. We moved into a house that has become our home, a house that feels like we are meant to be in it. Because of the choice we made to move, our life has been truly blessed. It's sort of funny that this really hard choice was the catapult into an amazing situation, that I wouldn't have believed would happen even if you had told me. Here we are on a street where we know and are friends most of our neighbors. Maybe that's silly to some of you, but we never knew our neighbors in any of our previous houses. I have begun the long journey of becoming closer to God with the gospel now present in my life. The love and happiness that I have experienced over the last year that stemmed from this action is incredible all on it's own. We have so many new and wonderful friends that have all individually left an impression on our home and family. My husband has continued to work so hard to provide for our family and continues to grow in knowledge and skill. He himself is now enrolled in a college course through Harvard or "Haavaad" as we call it with our pinkies raised, around our house. We have had adventures as a family, as you have read a few of them here on this blog, and I keep trying to be a good Mom. I have learned that my life isn't what is pictured on the front of my Christmas card. Usually life is no make-up (GASP), pajama's, messy faced kids, and ripped jeans covered in dirt and grass stains.... and I'm okay with that! :)

So here is to an amazing, adventurous, gut laughing, happy and enlightening 2014!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! (a week late)

Until next time lovely's

Monday, December 9, 2013

Autumn pallet sign

Before fall is over I want to share this craft that I made back in September (don't judge me... I know I'm late posting this). 
 So, all I did was get an old pallet, break it down, and then put it back together with varying heights, then screwed it together and cut a straight line across the bottom. I had a sample supply of beige paint from Home Depot, so I painted it. Then I free handed a tree in chocolate brown craft paint and stenciled on "autumn" in dark orange. A quick trip to micheals resulted in an awesome 1 lb. bag if miscellaneous buttons, which I attached to the tree like leaves, with hot glue. 
Lastly, I sprayed the entire thing with a coat of sealant. I have had so many people come over and comment in it. Honestly, I was inspired by a random photo I saw online. The photo didn't have directions or a link to a blog that I could see so, I just winged it. 

What do you think? Have you ever made something like this before?