Saturday, June 27, 2015
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
I knew I HAD to have these but when I started hunting around, the lowest price I was seeing was still upwards of $15 for EACH letter. Yeah, not going to happen. So I did what any good crafter would do and started scouring Pinterest for good ways to make them on the cheap. I found a few blogs out there (here and here) but the costs were still a bit high using the paper mache letters or wood. Then I started finding a few that used cardboard. (here) Bingo. My kind of price.
So here’s what you need:
- 2-3 sheets of posterboard in the color you want
- 2 sheets of foam board (walmart even carries it). Great if it’s in the color you need, but just paint it if it’s not.
- acrylic paint (see above)
- hot glue gun
- something sharp like a pencil to create the holes
- 1 string of Christmas lights (I used a 150 light strand I think)
Some people can freehand letters. Not this girl. I used my Silhouette software to print out large letters over 4 sheets of paper. You can also do this in excel or photoshop. I used the free font Budmo found here and used text size 1500. Print the parts of the large letter, cut them out and tape them together. Then trace them onto your foam board and cut those out. I needed to use an exacto knife to cut through the foam board.
If your foam board is not the color you want it to be, paint it. Mine was yellow on one side and white on the other and I needed it to be red. So a little thing of acrylic paint and 2 coats later, and it was red. You don’t need to worry about painting the sides of the boards, just the top. A word of warning, I bought 2 kinds of foam board, one from Walmart and one from the Dollar Tree. The Dollar Tree one was much thinner and actually curled a little bit after the paint dried. I didn’t really care as I wasn’t going for perfect, but you might be happier with the thicker foam board from Wally World or your local craft store.
Poke the holes for the lights. Now there are tons of cool strands of lights out there that look much more like marquee lights. And if I was using these letters for room decor or something for the long haul, I would have splurged. A friend even offered to loan me the lights hanging above their patio (thanks Laura). But 2 hour party folks. A free strand of Christmas lights from the basement tub worked just fine. I started the lights at the top of one letter and poked a hole just a little shorter than the distance between the 2 bulbs on the string. You’re not leaving the lights in the holes yet, just poking the holes.
Cut your posterboard into 2” long strips. I used almost 2 full sheets of posterboard for my 6 marquee letters.
Heat up your trusty glue gun. Then slowly, very slowly, put a line of hot glue on the edge of the foam board in 1-2” increments. Line up a strip of posterboard with the bottom the foam board and press to attach. Does that make sense? Continue around the edge of the letter and around the inside. It will take a bit of finagling on the small inside spaces of some of the letters, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. I found that on the large curved letters, it helped to use 2 smaller strips instead of one long one to get a best fit and without it getting weird and bendy. Step 6
Now that you have all your letters done, all you have to do it insert your string of lights in the back. They fit pretty snug in the holes, but I did add some painter’s tape along to secure it. Sorry I didn’t take any pictures of this step. When I was done, all the letters were strung together and now had to be moved as a group. Here’s a picture with the lights in focus, not the letters.
Then you just need to have someone else hang it for you. haha. I simply put some command strips on the back and hung them from the overhang on our patio.
I was pretty impressed that they even survived an hour of good rain. We took them down so they could live in our basement now! Definitely added just the amount of pop I wanted for the party. And not bad for under $5!
Monday, June 15, 2015
Is it weird I almost started crying as I sat down to write? It’s like seeing an old friend who you haven’t seen in years. So much has happened. Where do you start? And yet, it feels like no time has passed and the friendship just carries on. Or at least I hope that’s how you feel about my little place in the blog land. I’m hoping you won’t mind that I took some time off.
I thought I’d be ok just closing down the blogging chapter of my life. It’s easier just LIVING with 3 kids instead of always writing about how we’re living.
But I cannot even count the number of times in my head I’ve said “wow, I should blog about this.” I’ve missed the outlet this little site has given me to share what God’s doing in our lives, how awesome I think my little family is, and the ways that I’ve been using the creative bent that God’s given me.
I’ve missed you my dear friend. So glad to be back.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I took Ellie to a friend’s house because I knew they’d get nothing accomplished with her there. ;) We headed to the Early Childhood Center where we met Maureen, a very sweet speech pathologist. She explained they would do the whole early childhood evaluation, as many times they get parents worried about “speech” but there are many other issues that are revealed in the screening.
Owen didn’t want to go in alone, so I sat outside the open door which was nice because I wanted to see what she did anyways. She asked Owen to do a series of things like stack 9 blocks, draw lines and shapes, and describe objects she laid out on the table. He had fun doing most of them, as witnessed by his hands in the air here:She said (later) that she won’t ever forget Owen because of what he did during one portion of the “test.” He was asked to look at 2 pictures and then she turned them over. Then she held up a matching picture and he was to tell her where to lay it down so it would be on top of it’s matching card. Does that make sense? Well, he did the 2 cards just fine. But then she did it with 3 cards, a house, a duck, and cup. He placed the first one fine, but looked confused about the second. He pointed at where to lay it down and then looked at the cards (which were turned over). He said “that one is wrong.” She asked him how he knew that since they hadn’t turned them over yet and he said “the numbers don’t match on the back.” We both laughed! She said she’d never had a kid pick up on the fact that they were labeled with numbers (for her benefit) on the back before. But of course, she still had to dock him that point even though he showed a higher level thinking skill. (boo to standardized tests)
Overall, he passed with flying colors and she said he an absolute joy to work with. She did hear the 3 sounds I was worried about, so I wasn’t a complete nutcase for requesting a screening. He replaces his /th/ sound with a /y/ sound. For example, instead of this, it sounds like yis. He also has trouble with a /r/ sound when it’s in a blend. For example, in crayons, it sounds more like cwayons. And lastly he struggles a bit with the /l/ sound. It sounds more like a /w/ or /y/. For example glasses sounds likes gwasses and leaf sounds like yeaf.
She said she never does speech therapy for the /th/sound because it almost always corrects itself. And for the /r/ and /l/, she said it is totally normal at his age. I’m supposed to just model over and over and she even suggested using a mirror so he can see what it looks like to make those sounds. So we’ll just work a little on those sounds extra hard as we start preschool here in a few weeks! It was an interesting experience to be on the other side of the teacher table for the first time. :) Glad to know that on paper, he’s right where he needs to be!
SHOPPING LIST E
- PREP ITEM - 32 medium sliced green peppers
- 64 oz white vinegar
- 4 bottles (16 oz each) zesty Italian dressing
- 8 limes
- 7 jars (4.5 oz each) or 28 oz of minced garlic
- 1 bottle (12 oz) of ketchup
- 64 freezer bags
- 8 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 8 cans black beans, drained
- I also decided to pre-label all the bags to save us some time on the morning of
Here was our list of the 10 meals that we prepped (can you tell we're big chicken fans?):
Black Bean Chicken
Coconut Lime Chicken
White Chicken Chili
Creamy Italian Chicken
Italian Buffalo Chicken
Crock Pot Aloha Chicken
Crock Pot Philly Cheese Chicken
All in all, it took us only about an hour and half for everything. And even better, the total was $89.52 for all of it! Definitely worth doing a little of our own prep work to get our cost down.Amy has a full run down of the meals with links to the recipes. I can’t wait to make this a monthly (or bi-monthly) tradition!
Friday, August 8, 2014
Our favorite little childcare kid, Sam, is having a blast with his mom and new brother Jack. We were so sad our time with him ended and I really thought there was no way I’d ever find another single kid who only needed care for a few days a week. And then God landed 2 potential jobs in my lap.
Someone posted on Chambana moms that they were looking for part-time care and people were posting suggestions for lots of centers. I put my info out there saying if they were looking for in-home care, I’d love to chat. Rachel emailed me quickly as did another family who saw the post. We met with the other family who needed care for a 1 year old, 3 days a week. While he was adorable and the mom and I had very similar styles of parenting, I was pretty nervous about his age. And I really would prefer the majority of the school week be with my kids (3 days vs 2). So I was thrilled that Rachel and her husband, Dane wanted to meet.They came over and Weston played with the kids and we all chatted about every issue under the sun. Then on Thursday, Weston came over for a “trial run” while his mom worked in her classroom. It couldn’t have gone better. He played so well with Owen and Ellison and is such a sweetie. He loves a good art project like my kids. And who doesn’t love some outside play time? And the kid sleeps. Hallelujah.All in all, it was a great first day. We’ll be getting to hang out with this sweet little guy on Tuesdays and Fridays. I’m so thankful I’ll be able to help add to our budget while still just hanging at home with my kiddos.