Thursday, November 16, 2017


I didn't mean to pass over Thanksgiving when I posted the JOY Christmas craft the other day.  To redeem myself, I made a Thanksgiving banner.  

This was another easy craft. All it took was some scrapbook paper, black vinyl letters that I cut out using my Silhouette, and some twine.  I started by cutting out the scrapbook paper into the banner shape that I wanted.

Then I applied the vinyl letters.

Strung it all together and hung it up on the mantel.

As you can see some of the pumpkins from my Halloween decor now double and Thanksgiving decor.

I know, I'm a little lacking in Thanksgiving decorations.

All the more reason I needed to make this banner.  Plus, I can reuse it for years to come.

I also added some vinyl to the soap dispenser in the powder room.  I had "BOO" in vinyl on there before as part of my Halloween decor.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

JOY Christmas Decoration

It's not often that I can complete a project in less than an hour.  Usually I try to get things done in the middle of the day with kids trying to "help" or during a too short nap time.  But last week my oldest son and husband had a church activity to go to so I took the other three kids out to dinner.  Nothing fancy of course, but it was near Hobby Lobby.  I figured with full stomachs, they would be oh so good and I could do a little shopping.  Boy was I wrong.  However, I wasn't going to let a toddler meltdown slow me down.  I managed to get what I came for and didn't waste time looking for much else (I'll have to save that for another trip without kids).  So after I got home and put our cranky boy to bed, I got busy making this:

I have seen similar ideas on Pinterest HERE and HERE.  And have been wanting to make this for a few years.  It was so easy, I don't know why I didn't do it sooner.  

I got lucky and found the bells at a thrift store.  They were part of a door decoration and it was only $1.99 so I had to get it.  I figured if I didn't like the colors, I could spray paint them.

I bought letters in two different sizes

And Mod Podged some scrapbook paper onto them in the colors I wanted.

I sanded the edges to give it a more finished look.  Here you can see the sanded letter on the left and the un-sanded one on the right.

And here is the light blue themed "JOY".  I used the larger letters for this because the bell has the large embellishment on it.

And here are the smaller, red letters with the glittery silver bell.  This one I'm keeping for myself since it matches my decor.  I'll be giving the blue one away to someone who has a blue themed Christmas tree.  Eventually I'll to put a ribbon on the silver bell, but for now I'm calling this project done.  

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

DIY Growth Ruler

I've seen these wooden DIY Growth Rulers all over Pinterest and have been wanting to make one for years.  And when I say years, I'm talking about way back before I had my third child who is now 7.  Anyway, I finally got around to making one last week and it was easier than I thought.  I had all of the supplies on hand (except for the stain, I thought I had some but couldn't find it so I did have to buy that).  I'm so pleased with how it turned out.  I'm loving the dark wood with the white letters and numbers.  

I plan to go back through my doctor appointment records and write in the heights for the kids at various ages.  I'm going to record their height by age rather than by date.  We can compare how tall each child was at a certain age rather than trying to do the math and figure out how old a child is at a particular date.  I haven't gotten around to that part yet.  Hopefully it won't take me another 7 years.

As for how I made this DIY Growth Ruler, I started out by sanding a 1" x 6" x 6' board. 

Next I applied some Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner.  It 'helps soft woods absorb stain evenly.'  I don't know if my board is a soft wood or not but since I had the wood conditioner on had I figured I'd go ahead and use it.  I used a sponge brush to apply it and it was like painting it with water. 

After the wood conditioner dried, I put on the stain.  I used Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain in a red mahogany color.  Again, I used a sponge brush to apply it.  Since I wanted my board dark, I left it on for 15 minutes before wiping it off.

Once it was dry, I brought it into my garage where it stayed for a few days until I could decide what I wanted to do about the numbers and lines.  I finally decided to use a paint pen for the lines and vinyl for the numbers and words at the top.  I was going to use vinyl for the lines but a paint pen just seemed easier.

I used a tape measure and pencil to mark off every inch.  Using a square to make sure everything was straight and level, I went over it with a white Sharpie paint pen.  I made the lines varying lengths like you'd see on a ruler.  

Next up, I added the vinyl for the numbers and words.

There are various sayings I could have used but I liked this one best.  Other contenders were "Our Growing Family", or our last name with initial behind it like THIS ONE or THIS ONE.

I drilled a hole in the back and hung it on the wall 8" above the floor, making sure the 1 foot line really was 1 foot off the floor.  I hung it that high for three reasons.  1 - We have tall baseboards and I didn't want it right on top of the baseboard.  2 - I already had a picture there and I wanted the top of the Growth Ruler and the top of the picture to line up.  3 - We are a tall family so I wanted to make sure we could measure up to 6'6".  Oh, and I also used some of those Command Velcro strips to further secure it to the wall so it wouldn't move.

In trying to decide where to hang it, I didn't have a whole lot of choices.  I couldn't hang it in the upstairs hallway between the kids bedrooms because of vent and light switch placements.  So that pretty much left the kitchen.  This is the entrance to the kitchen where we are always coming and going.

It's the perfect spot and I love how it looks there, especially since it's now hiding this:

Yeah, that's a fist sized hole in the wall thanks to my teenage son.  In all fairness he didn't do it on purpose.  I mean he did hit the wall on purpose but it was with an open palm like a slap and he didn't intend to punch a hole.  We refer to it like it's a piece of art and call it "Teenage Boy Meets Wall."

However, since we don't have any of the kitchen paint leftover (it was painted like that when we moved in), we have yet to fix it.  I'm glad to have found a way to cover it up.

OK, back to my cute Growth Ruler.

Here's my little guy pointing to his number.  He turned 3 recently and is happy to let people know about it.

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Dinosaur Cake

I mentioned a few posts ago that we celebrated 3 of our kids birthdays in 3 weeks.  Well, I'm finally getting around to writing about my son's 3rd birthday.  We didn't do much, no party, just cake and presents.  Well, it was supposed to be cake but the night before when I started to make the cake, I realized I had no boxed cake mixes.  I didn't feel like making one from scratch (or going out to the store) so I made brownies instead.  

My son wanted a dinosaur cake.  He may have gotten that idea from me since I had a dinosaur theme going on with his birthday presents and mentioned how cool a dinosaur cake would be.  And by cool, I mean easy, like stick some plastic dinosaurs on top and call it a dinosaur cake easy.  OK, I did a little more than that, but not much.  I topped the brownies with chocolate frosting, crushed Oreo cookies for a little path, and some green icing for grass.  Then I added three dinosaurs since he was turning three.  

He was so happy to have that cake, just look at that face.  It's been almost a month and he still talks about it.  Oh, and those dimples.  They get me every time.  

Even though we didn't have a party, I still managed to decorate using a dinosaur theme.  I had a few dinosaur toys laying around and even had some dressed up in party hats.  

On a side note, my little guy has become quite the Batman fan.  My sister gave him a present wrapped in this cool superhero wrapping paper, and I DIY'd it into some art for his room.

If you didn't get a chance to read about the previous two birthdays, you can read all about my older daughter's Clue themed birthday party HERE, and my younger daughter's playground party HERE.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

DIY Ghost Candy Stand for Halloween 2017

Since we walk around the neighborhood on Halloween night, we leave a bowl of candy outside for the Trick or Treaters.  This year instead of just leaving my candy bowl on a stool, I quickly made this ghost candy stand at the last minute.  And I mean the very last minute.  It was 5:50pm and trick or treating starts at 6pm.  

My sister in law shared THIS cute idea from Sadie Seasongoods on Facebook and I just had to do it.  

I put a red bowl on top of a stool and draped it with an off white twin flat sheet because that's what I had on hand.

Then I put my Halloween bowl inside the red bowl and added some Duct tape I had cut into ovals for the eyes. 

I'd say this is another Pinterest success.  That makes two in one week.  I'm on a roll!  My last Pinterest success was my daughter's DIY Gumball Machine costume.  You can check that out HERE.

And speaking of costumes, here are my three youngest.  My 14 year old son decided to sit this year out.  I also added a few more decorations to the front of the house just for tonight.  

My younger daughter went as Batgirl,

and my little guy was his favorite super hero - Batman.  He ran/flew around the yard making it hard to get a picture.

Until he noticed the candy bowl.  Here he is trying to sneak a piece before meeting up with the neighbors to go trick or treating.

And here's the neighborhood gang.  These kids ran from house to house collecting candy and had so much fun.

Here's how our house looked from the street.  I'm loving the ghost candy stand and how you can see it from a few houses away.  I just might have to do this every year.  

Hope you all survived the post trick or treating sugar high.  Our kids didn't have any problems going to bed, except for the three year old.  It took an hour for him to stop coming out of his room after we put him to bed.  

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