Well hello there! This is the place where I share my crafts, recipes, knitting and crochet projects, photos, and moments of family life in the Midwest.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Shimek Picnic

Today was the Shimek school end of year picnic. We had fun hanging out with friends and listening to music. It was an amazing day weather-wise, cool and sunny.
Found Max
Having Lunch
 We packed a lunch and had some "last day of school" cake. Any reason to have cake is a good reason!
Max and Riley
Riley loves swings
After lunch, the boys ran around and played on the equipment and swings. Jered and I tried to keep up the best we could.

 This year at Shimek was great learning environment for Max. He learned many things, made friends, and did well on his grades. If we do move to CR we will miss Shimek, it has been very good school for Max. So tomorrow is the last day of school and then Friday we leave for family vacation. I better start packing...
Chalk Drawing

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Anniversary Invitations DIY

This year on July 2nd is my parents' 45th wedding anniversary. We are having an open house for them in Ames to celebrate. This weekend I finished making the invitations.This is what we sent out:
As you can see my parents had an amazing 1960's wedding! My mom was way ahead of her time and did ombre BEFORE ombre even existed! Check out the ombre pink bridesmaids:
So the theme of the party is ombre pinks and brown craft paper, oh and some blue mason jars since it is their sapphire anniversary. I made very simple and cute envelopes for the invitations from regular lunch bags to mail the invitations from lunch bags. I like them because they are inexpensive and go with my theme.

How to make an bag into an envelope
Step 1 - Glue the flap closed. This makes the "envelope"
Step 2 - Let dry about 15 minutes or more depending on the glue.
Step 3 - Add your invitation and then fold the open ends of the bag to form a triangle shape.
Step 4 - Fold down the flap so that it is the size of your invitation.
Step 5 - Seal closed with a sticker or tape.
Step 6 - Address and place stamp (my invitations ended up being the standard postage - make sure you weigh before sending)

Heart Sticker
Letter Size
 These would also be cute with bakers twine tied around them so they looked like packages. :) More party planning and DIY to come!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Max and Riley
We are in Ames for the Memorial Day weekend and it has been super warm. So of course we had to get out the water-bug! I had a water-bug when I was a kid and loved it. Max and Riley love it too. 
#50 things



Saturday, May 26, 2012

Maya's 4th Birthday

Saturday was Maya's 4th birthday and she had a super cool star wars themed party. The weather was great and the kids had a great time playing in the backyard. Maya wore a princess Leia costume(until it got too hot).
Maya and Max
Light Saber Fighting
Clare made these awesome noodle light sabers and the kids had fun play fighting with them.
Riley and Rowan

Little ones
 Maya's birthday cake had all her favorite "guys" on it and even Chewie held two of the candles. It was yummy too.
Birthday Cake
Opening gifts

Friday, May 25, 2012

Star Wars Stitching

This weekend we are celebrating my niece Maya's 4th birthday. She loves Star Wars so of course it's a star wars party. I saw this super cute applique on Pinterest and I just had to make it for her.

I so wish I could take credit for this awesome cuteness but I can't. I found the original on Feeling Stitchy. Here is a picture of the real one:

Image Credit

Pretty close, huh? Not bad considering I don't really know how to embroider or anything... A very busy weekend ahead and happy Memorial Day to everyone. I hope you enjoy the holiday how ever you choose to celebrate and remember.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New Camera

So my amazingly cool father GAVE me a Canon Rebel XTi camera! I can't believe it! This is my first "real" camera. And what I mean by that is I have more to choose from than indoor, outdoor, and auto shoot.
Now I am reading all kinds of camera tips on line, and I'm seeing all these cute accessories you can get for your camera.  I found some cute camera straps on Going Home to Roost:
Image credit
And a cute DIY camera strap on DesignLoveFest:
Image Credit
And the cute camera bags they have now at JoTotes (Yes that is a camera bag!)
Image Credit
My dad also gave me a super nice camera bag and the strap that came with the camera is very nice, but it's always good to accessorize, right? Now I just need to learn how to shoot amazing photos.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Camping at Pine Lake Iowa

Sleep in a Tent - 50things
We went camping Saturday into Sunday morning at Pine Lake, Iowa. It was a big trip for the boys as this was the first time they ever slept outside in a tent all night. It was also the first time we ever took the boys camping. I was surprised that it went as well as it did. Mostly due to the fact that the campsites next to us were empty, so there wasn't quite as much yelling at the kids as there could have been!
Pine Lake Campgrounds
The campsites at Pine Lake are modern, in other words - showers and flushing toilets! They have a many RV hookups as well as tent spots. (We soooo need an RV!)
Our campsite #124

Our friends Nick and Jenny and their two boys joined us camping. It was nice having extra adults to help with the boy herding.

Root Beer Break
Getting settled
The lake was beautiful and the weather was perfect. The older boys and dads went down fishing, but with little noisy boys it's hard to catch anything. It didn't help that Max fell into the lake - twice.
Upper Pine Lake

Of course we got to roast marshmallows and make S'mores, which was on our list this year. Riley did a pretty good job of keeping the marshmallow out of the fire and ash.

Making S'mores - 50things

Riley and Max

Roasting Marshmallows
When night came, we kept the fire going and Jered added some fun colors to flames. It was super cool, blue and green lights, too bad it doesn't show up in the photo.

In the morning we cooked a big breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and eggs (and lots of coffee for the adults) before we headed home.
Morning Sunshine
 With two of our 50things are done and we are off to a great start this summer!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Finally Friday

Happy Friday everyone! I never thought it would get here. We are packing to go camping at Pine Lake this Saturday. It's quite nostalgic for me as I went many summer camps there. Our family will be staying in a tent at the State campground this time and not at the cabins.

Pine Lake Iowa
Jered and I have been busy getting everything ready to go and the Jeep is full. This will be the first time we have ever taken the boys camping. We are only staying for one night but you would think it was for a week! I am hoping to get good pictures of the boys and do some of our 50 things as this is our first summer family activity.

I hope everyone has a good weekend. Wish us luck with taking the children outdoors, I hope they love it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

May Flowers

Earlier in the week I made blue mason jars. Now the peonies are blooming and I can put these to good use. There is nothing like fresh flowers to brighten your day!

I love peonies and peonies love Iowa, they grow amazingly well here without any help from me! This weekend is busy with graduation celebrations and Mother's day. I hope all the mothers out there have a wonderful mother's day - you deserve it!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

50 Things to Do

Summer 2011
The last day of school is quickly approaching for all my boys. Jered just took his last final today and Max's last day of class is May 31st. Even though we are super busy with a graduation party, Cub Scout picnic, Family camping trip, Maya's birthday, and Shimek school picnic, I'm trying to figure out what to do with the boys this summer. I have not signed them up for any actives as we are trying to move closer to my work and Jered's college.

This year we will need to make our own fun! I pinned this great idea from Honest to Nod. Not everything on this list works for us (with a 2 year-old), but I love the idea of having a list of cool stuff to do when the boys start saying "I'm bored".  So I made my own list - ours only has 50 things on it because Jered is taking classes this summer and I work full time:

 My plan is to take a photo of doing each of these 50 things this summer - let's see if I can stick to it! What's on your list this summer?

Monday, May 07, 2012

Turning Mason Jars Blue

My parents are having their 45th anniversary in July and I'm working on planning a party for them. I have been seeing and pinning lots of cool ideas. I love this flower arrangement.
Image Credit
The blue mason jars are beautiful but expensive! So I went with the DIY on this one. Here is my version:

I watched this great video by Jordan Reed. Really the secret here is the "magic eraser" it makes it a lot less streaky than a brush or cloth.  Another tip is work fast and don't go over the same area too much - if at all.
I used Vitrea Glass paint in Turquoise. One jar did 28 large quart mason jars. I also used a little of the thinner on the mouth of the jars. So this:

Turned into this:
After they dry for 24 hours you are supposed to put them the oven for 40 minutes at 325 degrees.  This makes it permanent and you can use them however you want. Then add flowers or candles or whatever you want!

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