knit stockingsUp until last year, we all had a hodge podge of stockings. I really wanted our whole family to have handmade stockings, and I wanted the kids to have a part in making them. I purchased one of those little knitting looms and found some directions and we all pitched in and made these stockings. I was thrilled with how they turned out and the kids loved taking turns working the rounds. It was so much fun making them and I just love the look. They make me think of Little House on the Prairie, which just makes me smile.

family, home • Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 • 15 Comments »

So Much To Be Thankful For

hot cocoaWhen I am pregnant, I have a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It is not fun at all, it is a condition which you experience extreme nausea and vomiting, to the extent that you cannot keep anything down at all. It is not the same as morning sickness, and it can be fatal if not treated. There are four basic medications that can help control the sickness, unfortunately I am allergic to two of them, one of them didn’t work at all for me, and the fourth barely worked with my first pregnancy. Each pregnancy got a little worst, and by the time I was pregnant with the fourth babe, it wasn’t working at all. I know when I am pregnant, within two days of conceiving, it’s that bad. This time I was in the hospital four days after discovering I was pregnant. A week later I was in for a week and a half. Nothing was working medication wise so they just kept filling me up with fluids and sending me on my way. December 15th, two years ago ( I was only a few weeks pregnant), while Hubby and the boys were away at a wedding, my mom took me to the emergency room as she was really worried about me. Quite frankly, I was so sick I don’t think I realized how bad it was. They said it was a good thing she brought me in. I was promptly admitted and stayed on the maternity ward for the next two months. It was a very difficult time, and it was very hard to be away from my family. No treatment was working so they quickly decided to give me a picc line and for the next two months I was fed through a tube in my arm. It was a long two months, and there were a couple of big scares including one terrifying night that I tried not to panic after they discovered that I had a blood clot an inch away from my heart. By the time the middle of February rolled around, I was finally able to keep very small amounts of food down, for the first time in three months. Soon I was able to go home. For the rest of my pregnancy I was in and out of bed rest, and on tons of strong medications to keep the nausea under a bit of control. The last couple of weeks in my pregnancy, things started to get worse again. The vomiting was back with a vengeance and I was not able to get as much food and water down as I needed to keep the babe and I healthy. I was put on bed rest again as I was having problems with having too many contractions and I was oh, so ready to have this babe. After having my first three children completely naturally with no pain medication or intervention, this babe made her entrance via an emergency c-section. She was born severely tongue tied, so much so, that she couldn’t nurse. I spent the first two nights, in a fair amount of pain, pumping my milk and feeding it to my newborn in a tiny medicine cup. We ended up having to stay for a week as she wasn’t gaining enough weight, but eventually she got the hang of nursing and we were good to go. Two weeks later, I ended up in the emergency room as I was having a difficult time breathing. They told me it was a panic attack (because they couldn’t figure out what was wrong), but three days later I was back. I had a bunch of gall stones in my gall bladder and one had gotten loose and blocked off the duct to my liver. The doctor said she was amazed I wasn’t yellow, as my liver had almost completely stopped functioning. I was admitted once again, and had a minor surgery to correct the immediate problem. Once the little one hit six weeks (and my c-section scar was sufficiently healed) I went back for another surgery to remove my gall bladder. Needless to say, it has been a long two years. My estimated recovery time for just the pregnancy problems was 18 months, not counting the extra healing time I needed for 3 surgeries in six weeks. So last Christmas was spent pretty much recovering from a round of surgeries. All of this to say, that I have so much to be thankful for. After two difficult Christmases, and seventeen months of recovering time, I am finally feeling pretty much myself again. I have four beautiful, healthy children, and my own health is back. I am really looking forward to this season as it’s been a while since I had a really enjoyable one. Wow, I didn’t mean to go on for so long. I have so much to be thankful for, and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat to have my beautiful children. Hope you all are having a wonderful time of year, and remembering that no matter how bad some things get, there is always something to be thankful for.

family • Monday, November 30th, 2009 • 17 Comments »

Vintage Button Heart

button heartI have quite a few vintage buttons all tucked away in several tins and bags. I love going through them and my kiddos love it too, especially the babe. She picks one up and turns it around and then puts it down again. She’ll do this several times until she gets so excited that small chubby handfuls start to fly. As much fun as it is to go through the tins, it’s a shame that they can’t been seen and enjoyed everyday, which led me to try to come up with ways to display them. We separated the white buttons out and strung them on some wire. After we had the right amount I shaped it into heart and attached a crochet chain to hang it from. We are very slowly making progress on decorating the girl’s room and now this little heart hangs from her dresser mirror. I think we will definitely be making some other button decorations in all sorts of fun colours. Edited to add: Due to some inquiries as to how I made my vintage button heart, I have now made a tutorial here. Enjoy! I’d love to see any that you make.

crochet, gifts, home • Saturday, November 28th, 2009 • 14 Comments »

Vintage Christmas Ribbons

vintage ribbonsHere are some vintage Christmas ribbons I picked up at the thrift store. I love them, and can’t wait to tie up some Christmas packages with them. Whenever I can I like to try to find what I need at the thrift store instead of purchasing something new. Most of the time I can find what I’m looking for and it gives me great joy to be able to use something that someone else was unable to find a use for anymore. This is the perfect example, instead of buying new ribbons which have no character at all, these are beautiful and will hopefully give the recipient pleasure beyond just opening the gift.

gifts, green, thrift store finds • Friday, November 27th, 2009 • 9 Comments »

Being Grateful

longhorn cowToday I am grateful for my family, my beautiful children, my fantastic husband, the fact that we have friends and family who love us. I am grateful that we have a roof over our heads, and warm clothes on our bodies. I am thankful that we are able to educate our own children and that we have that extra time in the day to be close. I am grateful for little bodies nestled close while sleeping, and for big hugs and high fives. I am grateful for the fact that my children have tremendous amounts of creativity and imagination, even if it does get them into trouble sometimes. I am thankful that nursing still comforts the babe when she is tired, or hungry, or just needs extra snuggles. I am thankful that, though they have their moments, my children all love each other. I am thankful that God has given us life and love. Have a wonderful weekend of being grateful.

family, home, nature • Thursday, November 26th, 2009 • 4 Comments »

Grandma Twinkle Stars

starI just love these crochet stars, they are so pretty, and pretty quick and easy as well. They are also extremely versatile, in winter they look like snowflakes and they are stars any other time. They can be strung up as a garland, used as ornaments, or placed on gifts as a beautiful tag. This is the Grandma Twinkle from The Royal Sisters. Let me just say, there is a whole lot of talent over there, and these are just gorgeous. I was able to make 8 stars out of a 2.5 ounce ball of cotton yarn, and that is just the beginning. I’ve got lots of plans for these little beauties. So far they are all natural, but I see some brightly coloured stars in my future. Hope you enjoy making some, I sure am.

crochet, gifts, green • Wednesday, November 25th, 2009 • 20 Comments »

Many Moons

moon2This Sunday afternoon we went to a play based on the book Many Moons by James Thurber. It was put on by the little theatre group and was acted out entirely by children. They did such a good job, some of them were quite the naturals. The theatre is a beautiful, old building and our seats on the balcony were great. It was really nice to be able to go and the kids loved that it was done by kids. I hope to be able to frequent more of the plays in town as it’s a really nice time for all of us. Do you all enjoy going to the theatre?

books, family • Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 • 2 Comments »

Monogrammed Stone Coasters

monogrammed tile coastersI love giving handmade gifts whenever I can, though sometimes if I don’t have much time, this can cause a bit of an issue. We recently decided to take a quick trip to see some family before Christmas. This means I need quite a few gifts quickly, and I wanted it to be something I was excited about. I was really excited when my new friend from the book signing shared a tutorial for her monogrammed stone coasters. I love these, they are classy, personalized, homemade, and inexpensive. Who wouldn’t love getting their own set of personalized stone coasters? Here is the tutorial for the coasters, I do hope you’ll make some if you need a quick, easy, and gorgeous gift for someone else, or yourself. They are superb, and would also be great for a wedding gift, housewarming gift, or just about any other occasion you can think of. Thanks for such a great tutorial Domestic Notebook.

gifts, home • Monday, November 23rd, 2009 • 12 Comments »

Birthday Books

birthday booksThanks to a very generous and only slightly belated birthday gift from my brother (Hi! Mark), I was able to order some books that I have been wanting for quite a while. They have been slowly trickling in by mail and I got my last one yesterday. When I have a spare minute, I have been really enjoying flipping through them. At the moment, I have so many projects that I have to get done before Christmas, but as soon as they are done, I can’t wait to sit down and have a good read. What are you reading right now, and loving?

books • Saturday, November 21st, 2009 • 14 Comments »

Scones and Memories

sconeWhat do you do when you and the babe aren’t feeling quite up to par? When the big kids are climbing the walls and you really don’t want to send them back out to the mud pit that used to be your yard? Why, you ask your five year old if she wants to help you make some scones. Then what do you do when you can’t find your trusty scone recipe? You find a new one and hope it works out. What do you do when the new recipe is a complete flop? You slather it with extra jam and cream and eat them anyway. Then what? Well, you send the kids back out into the mud, after all that’s what is really important, right? Full bellies, play exhausted kids and happy memories.

family, food, home • Friday, November 20th, 2009 • 8 Comments »