My 3 Monsters: November 2010

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Because I Care . . .

And I'm a giver, you know.  And because I have a million ideas in my head that I want to try and I can only send out one Christmas card a year.  And because I don't want to do the dishes.  Here's another free downloadable template.  Have a great day!
The high resolution file for the Snowflakes template is here.


Merry Christmas!

That's what we're doing now, right?  Christmas.  The holidays are flying by and I don't seem to get my head around one of them before it is gone and another is upon me.  I missed out on my usual Black Friday adventure this year thanks to the head cold I was fighting all last week.  Boo.  I did, however, start crafting a few special gifts for loved ones this weekend which started getting me in the giving mood.  Understandably, I can't share any photos lest I spoil surprises, but I WILL share something else with y'all.  'Cause I'm a giver like that, you know.  Inspired by the Crafting Chicks, I designed a double-sided post card to send out as our family Christmas card this year.  They have some SUUUUUUPER cute examples on their site.  Love it.  Anyway . . . I have designed a template you can download (I mean, only if you want to) and use, too.
It's a PNG file so all you have to do is open it up in Photoshop (or Gimp if you're a cheepy like me), fill in those little transparent spots with your own photos and get it printed.  Vistaprint does the double sided postcard thing for not too much money.  Download the high resolution file here and get crafting!  For the back you can create another file in Photoshop with more pictures or your family Christmas letter. Or just leave the back blank.  Whatever you want!

If you're closely related to me don't use this one or else we'll be Christmas card twinners.  Which might be fun.  I'll post a few more templates to download soon.  I'm also willing to do custom cards or design the backsides for you -- just for the fun of it.  If anyone is interested, e-mail me some photos and give me an idea of what you want color-wise and style-wise and I will try to accommodate.  Have a great week, friends!

OK, so here are a few more.
The Joy to the World high res file is here.  Enjoy!
 The Winter Wonderland high res file is here.
 The pennant high res file is here.
Find other fun Christmas ideas here:


Cooler By Association

It's kind of fun to be associated with people who do really cool things.  As if somehow I become a little bit cooler because of their accomplishments.  Not really, but it's just fun to be around when they have their moment of glory.  The feeling is almost palpable.  On Sunday my brother-in-law and a friend of ours from church both completed the Ironman Triathalon here in Phoenix.  My sisters and others were there for the whole 12 hours and 20 minutes.  Brent and I brought all the kids along 8 and a half hours in. 
Here's my brother-in-law shortly after we arrived

Bear in mind that at this point he had already swam over 2 miles, biked 112 miles, and was about 10 miles into his MARATHON.  And he was still smiling and joking with us and altogether NOT DEAD, which is what I would be under similar conditions.

It was truly inspiring to sit there and watch these thousands of people run past, pushing through what I can only imagine (based on my half-marathon experience 4 . . . or 5 years ago . . .) must be the single most painful experience of their lives.  Most of them were smiling.  Because, clearly, doing the impossible feels pretty stinkin' good.

It was fun to watch everyone come around the bend to the finish line, high-fiving the crowd.  Or in Whit's case, high-fiving the crowd on the opposite side of the street completely oblivious of your 16 man cheering section going nuts right in front of you.  Whatever.  It was fun.  And I find myself walking with a little spring in my step this week, proud for no real reason.  Just cooler because I associate with coolness.


Like a Million Bucks!

Remember my $10 thrift store dresser from 6 months ago?
It had little, tiny, rickety wheels on it.  Those came off before we even got it in the house.

Remember how it looked three weeks ago?
No more tacky hardware.  No more peeling paint. Everything all tightened up and repaired.

Here's what it looks like NOW . . . . . . . .
Some fresh moulding at the base ($7), new bin pulls ($13), and a couple of coats of my favorite "Mermaid" paint and she looks brand new.  Those bin pulls started out life all shiny and brassy.  Offensive to the eye, but budget-friendly at $1.26 each.  All it took was a good spritz of appliance spray paint ($6) to give them new life as well.  The dad of the house thinks they should be satin nickle instead of white.  I'm on the fence -- what do you think?  I also think I need to add a little bit of moulding to beef up the top.  It looks a little bottom-heavy to me.  And maybe some cute little feet to raise it up a bit.  Hmmmmm . . . maybe this isn't an "After" picture after all.  It is, however, a pretty snazzy little dresser for the grand total of $36 I've spent so far.  And because it is taller and narrower than the one we had before, the dining room feels a lot more open, which is priceless in a tiny home like ours.

Just a reminder to head on over to the Amys in the Arts Blog to check out the current Nine Weeks of Amy Giveaway. You have a couple more days to enter to win two pairs of earrings from AliLilly (there are some beautiful options in her shop).  You can also see some super cute pictures of her sweet daughter!!

I'm linking up this weekend here:


And We're Back

Phew!  What a whirlwind adventure. Drove out one day, Disneyland for 16 hours the next, and drove home the day after that.  But what fun!!  The kids are troopers -- everyone tried something new and scary -- and ended up loving it.  We ate turkey legs.  We walked on the beach.  We left our camera at home.  Yeah.  I can't be expected to remember everything can I?!  So all we have are grainy cell phone photos, which are better than nothing.  Right?

Now that we're home we hit the ground the running -- Young Women in Excellence, band concert, cousins coming, and the holidays right around the corner.  Good, good stuff!



This is how I've been feeling lately.  The solution?

Long weekend + no school + beachy hotel bargain = Happiness

See ya' Sunday, friends!


Excuses, Excuses. . .

I've got a million of them for why I haven't done many of the things I have intended to do this week (like posting here).  Mostly they revolve around me being at Youth Conference this weekend with my girls at church.  I can't even feel bad about slacking off in some areas of my life because Youth Conference was so fabulous.  I know the intention of these activities is to strengthen the young people spiritually, but really, I was as much the beneficiary.  The theme was "Be Strong and of a Good Courage" (Joshua 1:9) and it was a weekend full of speakers who shared remarkable examples of strength and courage in their lives. It was also a weekend full of opportunities for the youth to work -- to serve others and strengthen their testimonies by doing hard things.  I loved it every bit as much as my girls did, but it is exhausting to try and keep up with teenagers for three days.  And that's why I haven't been around here as much as usual.

But if you have been  missing my witty and clever musings on life and the meaning thereof (yeah, right), you can click on over to the Amy blog where I have another post featured this week.  (Also you can enter to win a $12 credit in my shop, but that's surely not the only reason you'd be going there, right?  It's OK if you are.  But if you really are going over there to read my oh-so-clever post, enter the giveaway anyway. Look around at some of the other Amys' shops while you're at it to find some pretty cool stuff!) 

And with that, I'm off to bed.


Happy Halloween!!

Wait, what?  We've moved on?  I'm supposed to be thinking Christmas now?  Well, my kids were cute last weekend and, even though I didn't have batteries in my camera (what a loser!), we still got these great pictures at Trunk-or-Treat Saturday.
 Sydney invited her bestie Leah to enjoy the evening's festivities since we were SO MEAN and wouldn't let them go Trick or Treating Sunday.
 Doesn't Riley look gangsta?  He's thrilled to be in the picture with the girls.
Dylan was just going to wear that dollar-store chest plate and sword over his regular clothes.  In fact he did Friday night at the school's Pumpkin Walk, but it killed me that he didn't want a real costume. Brent and I suggested that he be a gladiator.  He didn't know what that was so we google-imaged a few photos from the movie Gladiator for him.  He was instantly on board even though it meant wearing a dress -- oh, tunic.  He would NOT wear sandals, though.  That was just too far over the line of masculinity for him.  Anyway . . . I whipped this ensemble up Saturday morning out of fabric scraps and he LOVED it.  But guess what he told folks when they asked what he was supposed to be (which, really, is a stupid question -- is gladiator not obvious?  I'm insulted.).  Russell Crowe.  That is what he told EVERYONE Saturday night.  "I'm Russell Crowe."  Nice.

Brent and I set up a "Fine Dining Experience" for people to enjoy as they trunk-or-treated.  We had a lovely table set with a white tablecloth and silver platters . . . of bugs.  White and Milk chocolate covered crickets and meal worms.  Crispy sour cream and onion crickets.  Tasty bacon and cheddar crickets.  Barbeque meal worms.  Delish!  We made the kids eat a bug before they got candy from us.  It was awesome.  And very popular.  Several of the older kids told us they didn't need our candy that bad, but most people who came by tried one just for the experience.  I will admit to eating a bbq meal worm with one of my young women.  'Cus I'm cool like that.  Whatever. 

It was super fun.  And now I can think about Christmas -- I'm always just a few days behind it seems.

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