We’ve decorated and I think we’re about done. The only thing missing is a star or something for the top of the tree. We’ve looked but everything is is big or gaudy or caked with glitter. If anyone has a recommendation of a lovely topper for my woodsy, burgundy and gold tree, do let me know.
As you can see from this shot, I didn’t even clean up to take the picture. . .see the baby toys? They are everywhere, and I think they are breeding.
I’ll share more of the decor when I get my act together enough to snap some decent photos. These are rather orange. I could use photoshop for Christmas lol!]]>
This cute baby takes his sweet time, and I do love that about him. No one needs a baby who walks at six months. Only inexperienced, first time parents see a teeny baby with major mobility and cheer. Veteran parents know the destruction that was just unleashed on their homes, and actively root for baby to lay on the floor until he is, oh. . .26. Mobile children pull books off shelves and tear pages. They find light sockets. They dive head first off beds. They pull Christmas trees down. They think the floor is a smorgasbord of opportunity for the orally fixated, and laugh in the face of the Heimlich Maneuver.
I was naive once. I walked around the house with Jonas, I encouraged his every developmental step, cheered as he mastered playground equipment meant for five year olds at a mere 12 months. I have paid for that ever since. By the time he was three he had climbed onto the neighbor’s roof, with no ladder in sight. He was fearless. He was all skill and no sense, and it’s a dangerous combination!
When Maggie showed up, I wore her in a sling until she was two and a half, hoping she would never gain enough coordination to do anything dangerous. Turns out, she is as clumsy as her mother and grandmother combined. Perpetually tipsy on nothing stronger than chocolate milk, the girl has literally beat the snot out of herself while walking a straight line with nothing to trip over. She is her mother’s daughter.
Having Gabriel, and being well aware of exactly how fleeting babyhood is, I have done almost nothing to encourage him to move. Up until about ten days ago, at precisely nine months and two days, he obliged me by doing nothing more than scooting backward and pivoting on his tummy. At that point I made a tactical error, putting my cell phone on the floor about five feet away from him. All of his instinctual humanity worked together as in one slow, halting movement he shifted his weight off of one knee and pulled it forward. His hands slapped the wood floors, and suddenly, there he was, belly flopped on top of my phone, very, very proud of himself.
Within four days, he was on his knees pulling up to everything. The cupboards, the entertainment center, the toilet. Nothing is out of bounds for him, and it is getting worse every day. I knew I was in for it the day the older kids left the refrigerator open and I found him pulled up to a shelf, happily munching a tortilla. Because his first love is food, I now find him hanging around the kitchen a lot, trying to find a snack on the floor and hoping against hope that someone leaves that fridge open again.]]>
MY WINNER IS:
I’m a Facebook Fan!
141. Comment by Helen — December 5, 2009 @ 5:35 pm
December 4-11, 2009 GRAND PRIZE WINNER announced December 14, 2009.
There are 12 ways to win and 12 blogs to visit to enter with a special way to help The Original Scrapbox give back!
Enter to win a NEW EZ View Desktop and an entry in the Grand Prize Giveaway for a NEW EZ View Craft Desk from www.theoriginalscrapbox.com for FREE! Your entries will help The Original Scrapbox GIVE 2 of these desks to charity!
Yes—these are two separate items. The desktop is not a desk, it is designed to sit on a table or desktop and the drawers can be pulled open from either end. Click here to see more pictures and details of the EZ View Desktop.
One of the newest products at The Original Scrapbox.com is the EZ View Craft Desk. This desk is designed with a clear, glass-like top and the dimensions are 50″W x 25″ D x 31″ H
The desk is big, with 4 drawers with built-in partitions for easy organizing on any home project. How would you
like one for FREE?
Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a FREE EZ View Desktop and for a chance to be put in the grand prize drawing for the EZ View Craft Desk. Contest ends December 10, 2009 at 11:59pm
The drawing for the EZ View Desktop will take place on December 12th.
The Grand Prize Drawing for the EZ View Craft Desk will take place on December 14, 2009.
How will The Original Scrapbox give back?
We will be tracking web traffic to The Original Scrapbox during the giveaway. When we reach 12,000 hits during our giveaway The Original Scrapbox will donate an EZ View Craft Desk to the Friends of Utah County Children’s Justice Center. This charity helps abused children.
‘Tis the season of giving and The Original Scrapbox wants to give back to a charity of your choosing. When we reach 25,000 hits during our giveaway they will also donate an EZ View Craft Desk to a charity nominated by you!!
Would you like to nominate a charity to receive this spectacular gift? Please send an email to RachellewritesATgmail.com with the name of your charitable organization as well as a description of what they do. We would like to choose a charity that will be able to utilize the EZ View Craft Desk in their program. Tell Rachelle why these products would benefit your charity.
Email the charity organization name, description, and contact person for receiving donations to
Rachelle will review all nominations and The Original Scrapbox giving board will choose a recipient.
When you visit the website to choose your favorite product and enter the giveaway, you’ll help us get one step closer to our goal.
Enter to win:
You may earn 1 entry each for doing the following (Please make a separate comment for each entry-I’ll be checking.)Make sure your contact info is easily accessible so I can contact you if you win: No purchase necessary to enter. Entries that do not follow all of the entry requirements will not be considered.
*Note: the contest will be open to residents of UK and EU countries as well as the United States and Canada.
You must at least do entry #1 to be eligible for this contest. Visit the website–every hit counts toward our goal to help The Original Scrapbox give back for Christmas!
1. You must visit The Original Scrapbox website to be eligible for this contest. Choose your favorite product. Leave a comment here and tell me what your favorite is and how you would use this product.
2. Become a Facebook fan of The Original Scrapbox here.
3. Facebook the contest and share the link back to this post.
4. Tweet about this contest with link backs here (copy and paste http://www.leahkillian.com/ right into the text box).
5. Friend me on Facebook.
6. Pop my blog link into your blog sidebar.
7. Sign up for the kit club I run!
8. Comment on any non-contest post (must contribute to the conversation).
9. Comment on a Contest post I have running right now (aside from this one).
Receive 5 entries for the following (Make 5 separate comments so I can keep track of the entries. Thanks!)
10. Blog about this contest with a picture of the Workbox and the EZ View Craft Desk. If you have a private blog, it will not be eligible for this part of the contest. In your blog post, please use the tags: The Original Scrapbox, Scrapbook storage, Workbox, EZ View Craft Desk. Link back to me, http://www.leahkillian.com/ so your readers can enter.
There are 12 ways to win and 12 blogs to enter with a special way to help The Original Scrapbox give back!
There are 11 other awesome bloggers holding a contest to give away an EZ View Desktop (Yes, 12 EZ View Desktops will be given away—one from each blog!) and at each of these blogs you can also enter for the GRAND PRIZE– EZ VIEW Craft Desk. Stop by their blogs and enter for more chances to win:
Get as many entries as you can by telling your friends about this contest and stay tuned to my blog for more incredible giveaways! Good luck and remember to follow the rules correctly to earn more entries in the contest.Contest ends December 11, 2009 at 11:59pm.
On December 12, 2009, I will announce the name of one winner of the EZ View Desktop available in black or vanilla color from my blog. That winner will then go on for the grand prize drawing of The EZ View Craft Desk. If you are the winner, I’ll email you and you must respond by December 13th or a new winner will be selected to go on for the Grand Prize.
Then on December 14, 2009, Rachellewrites will hold a drawing using Random.org to select one winner from the 12 entries to win The EZ View Craft Desk!That winner will need to contact her with their shipping info by December 16th or another winner will be randomly selected. Sorry, there is no Christmas delivery guarantee.]]>
Shutterfly is one of my newest blog sponsors. I love this company! I’ve checked out several photo book companies, but I am always very pleased with the high quality and ease of the Shutterfly system.
I have about a million digital photos sorted away in computer files that rarely get looked at. I can’t scrapbook every favorite shot I take, nor would I want to. And I never scrapbook chronologically. I also don’t keep regular photo albums because they take up so much space! I started doing Shutterfly books and I love them! Every year I go through and try to locate my favorites and put together a book that we keep in our living room. My children get the biggest kick out of these, and they are enjoyed frequently. Sometimes my kids even ask to read them as bedtime stories.
Here are some shots of my books. You can get these in a variety of sizes, even 12×12- which is great if you wnat to copy a scrapbook into photos.
You can have pretty pattered backgrounds behind your photos, or keep it plain white or black. I usually do white, as I like the photos to pop. I did a gift album for my mom’s birthday one year and chose gorgeous blue swirly papers as the background. I did that book’s photos in all black and white, and was very pleased with the final results (so was Mom).
These make the perfect gift for family members, and they are having a 20% off sale right now. They ship fast, so they will be ready for Christmas.
One of my favorite features on these books is the ability to do one book, and then have it copied to a second project. That makes it very easy to change the size of the book, the inscription, or to slightly change the photos. I also love that every book I’ve made is saved in my projects in my account. If the house burns down, all of my photos are right there, and I can re-order my albums. Since the projects save, I’ve already started my next book! I had a hard time finding all of the photos I wanted to use in my last one, so I am doing this next one slowly, adding a photo or two every time I get some great shots. When I am ready to order it, it will be ready for me!
I know most of my readers are mothers, or will be mothers. Let me share my perspective with you.
I do almost all of Christmas. I shop, I cook, I initiate and run the decorating. I buy the gifts, I wrap the gifts, choose the cards, take the holiday photo, and fight the lines at the post office to send the cards. I bake like a crazy person (even the difficult recipes from the “Old Country”) and deliver treats to friends. I attend to the details within the traditions- hanging (and locating!) baby’s first Christmas ornaments, Russel Stover marshmallow Santas purchased in bulk, and stockings stuffed with German chocolate wrapped in festive foil. I make certain that the true Christmas story is told, multiple times throughout the season, and our Nativity is front and center. I arrange for Christmas movies to be watched, holiday books to be read, festive and sacred music to be played, and make sure that cookies are always left for Santa, and crumbs are left for the children.
This work is primarily mine, although I do have helpers for some tasks. It is a ton of work, and not work I’ve always enjoyed.
However, as the matriarch of my own beautiful family unit, it is my responsibility and blessing to carry on these traditions. Focus on these traditions gives my children, and my family as a whole, a sense of continuity, a connectedness with the seasons and natural rhythms of life, and the safety of familiarity and peace in a world that has very little of that. Adherence to the time honored traditions, done in the proper spirit is truly the craftsmanship behind the ties that bind.
Of course, Christmas isn’t the only tradition that helps build families. Simple things like birthday celebrations, Friday night family movie night, even the routine of a family working together in the yard or spending an hour on a Saturday morning cleaning house all work together to strengthen the family unit and draw families closer together. In creating these traditions we are blessed to not only grow closer to each other, but to grow closer to God, the Father of us all.
He asks us to observe many traditions. Sacraments, marriage, blessings and confirmations, the observance of a Sabbath are only a few. When we keep these traditions, we walk in His way, and draw nearer to Him. When we keep these with our families, we grow even stronger together.
As we choose to create and hold to traditions within our families, in many ways we are setting our lives in such a way that patterns after the Father. He asks us to observe traditions to remember Him, to set aside time to sanctify our lives, to make ourselves more holy, all helping us to come unto Christ. These traditions keep us safe, give us peace, and help us to grow stronger. So it is with the wholesome traditions we create for our own children. They are done out of love, bestowed as a gift, and draw parents, children and extended family closer.
I think that is the whole point.
It is work, as are all great things, but what a work to be blessed with. ]]>
Today’s blog sponsor is the wonderful Stubby Pencil Studio! Many of you may recall my review of their fun eco-friendly art supplies last year. This year, the shop has expanded and they carry even more environmentally friendly craft supplies for your budding artist!
The prize package above includes all of the following:
Holiday Art Tote from Stubby Pencil Studio
Includes the following:
Box of 8 Washable Markers
Ecojot 6×9 sketchbook (winner choice of design)
Set of 5 Holiday Smencils
3 Jumbo Grip Graphite Pencils
3 #2 Learner Pencils
Snifty Pens Holiday set – gingerbread and candycane
Jumbo Trimax Color Pencils
Color ‘n Kids Frosty Friends cards
Set of 16 Crayon Rocks
KUM pencil sharpener
Picky Penguin wooden toy
Red gingerbread (reusable) felt tote
My kids love it when a box from Stubby Pencil Studio shows up! I arranged for a big box of new art supplies to arrive during our Thanksgiving break. I don’t know about you, but my kids go batty when they’ve been out of school too long, and they spend so much time saying “Mom! Mom! Mom!” out of sheer boredom that I’m temped to change my name. The day my box arrived, my kids had given up on all creative play and were glued to my husband’s XBox360.
I yelled, “Box of art supplies!” and they dropped their controllers, abandoning their video game for the next several days and started coloring, painting and doing things that engage the brain and keep them occupied enough for me to sit back with some eggnog and a book.
They put on their snazzy new art aprons (No nasty chemicals! Lovely art aprons and no polyvinylcan’tpronounceitcholride giving off fumes. These are easy to clean, durable, eco-coated, cotton aprons made with an acrylic (not plastic or PVC) coating that makes them permanently water and soil resistant). Then they got started on their newColor n’ Kids Cards and colored pencils and water color pencils .
I am always amazed at how much they love these cards- but it does combine art and getting mail, two of their very most favorite things. They did up a few Christmas cards for grandparents (I think we’ll need to order some of the thank you variety for AFTER Christmas to keep them polite as well as festive).
Jonas was stoked to receive this Charlie Harper coloring book , and spent hours coloring in the linear drawings. He was also thrilled to get a whole package of holiday smencils to take to school with him. He adores these, and they are a huge hit at his school.
Maggie was all over these new star shaped crayons.
Last year the crayon rocks were her favorite. We still have several and they still get pulled out and played with. They are the perfect stocking stuffer, as my kids let me know last year. The cool thing is that this year you can get them in both primary and pastel.
Gabe’s favorite goody was the wooden top included in our order. He is fascinated by the spinning. I am biding my time until he is big enough for these Big Pencils For Small Hands. At this point, he would still just eat them, but next Christmas they will be the perfect starter tool for learning artistic dexterity.
Stubby Pencil Studio always has great specials, which you can see here. Don’t forget to put the ones you qualify for into your cart before you check out!
We love this company, and I hope you will too.
Now, if you want to win the amazing prize package they have put together for a lucky Life as Lou reader, just drop me a comment here and tell me what you think the kid in your life would be most drawn to from the Subby Pencil Studio! If you would like two extra entries, blog about Stubby Pencil Studio and show me the link in the comments. For one extra entry a piece, facebook, or twitter about this give-a-way with a link. Make sure to leave one comment per entry earned, as I will chose using a random number generator. The winner will be drawn on December 10th to leave time for holiday shipping. It is open to residents of the whole wide world so good luck to everyone!
PS: How cool is this banner? I ordered one for the boy’s room and can’t wait to see it up!
P.P.S: Online shopping is so much less stressful than fighting those crowds. LOVE IT!]]>
Mom: go play that song again until you can do it without thinking!
Jonas: I'm not thinking! I promise!]]>
I thought about having photos professionally taken. . .you know for the first time ever. Then I considered the irritation and expense of matchy-matchy outfits and shoes and trying to schedule a time when all three children were relatively un-bruised and no one had chopped off her own hair or colored on the baby’s face with sharpie markers. . .and I laughed and said NO WAY.
So, I happened across these stylin’ hats on sale at the Gap outlet and “Hey! That’d be cute!”
At least no one has a black eye.
I forgot my kids are insane.
Stinking adorable. . .
The great thing about this is that it means I get to laugh, and I get to see them and how much they love each other. And how uniquely beautiful each one is.
I wish I could print off a copy of each shot for every card I have going out.
And, in case you were wondering, in the middle of uploading these photos, Maggie walked into the counter and now has a huge egg on her head. ]]>
Photo taken of me on my 28th birthday.
1. Grateful Gabe is here. I feel such a sense of puzzle pieces falling into place with him around, and such a sense of peace.
2. Grateful to have a year free of deployments.
3. Grateful to have Jonas doing so well in school.
4. Grateful to have new couches and curtains in my living room.
5. Grateful to be blessed with work.
6. Grateful for cozy sweaters and socks.
7. Grateful for holidays and happy times to grow together as a family.
8. Grateful for Maggie’s encouragement.
9. Grateful for scripture and divine counsel.
10. Grateful my children are healthy and happy.
11. Grateful for legos and the wonder they inspire.
12. Grateful for trees that change color.
13. Grateful for my ability to laugh at things.
14. Grateful for good friends.
15. Grateful for spell check.
16. Grateful for books.
17. Grateful to live in a place that is so safe.
18. Grateful to have a pantry with food in it.
19. Grateful to have been happy for a year.
20. Grateful to my Savior for soothing my soul.
21. Grateful to my Father in Heaven for giving me understanding.
22. Grateful for children who are creative.
23. Grateful for Grandma Mildred and and Grandma Donna and their recipes. I pull those out so often this time of year.
24. Grateful I believe in a heaven and that I’ll see these Grandmas I’ve lost again.
25. Grateful for opportunities to serve.
26. Grateful for a good husband who loves me, and who shows that in his actions.
27. Grateful for songs sung off key with silly lyrics by joyful children.
28. Grateful to keep on learning and growing and to become better that I am.]]>