Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Ernest family!!

Photo by Shone Photo

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day of Silence

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Real Reason of the Season

I'll be honest, when I found out I was pregnant and calculated Eliza's due date to be December 28th, I was bummed. I know the socially acceptable thing to say is that all I wanted was a healthy baby, that is true, a healthy baby not born on Christmas. I wanted her birthday to be special, and as special as it would be to share your birthday with our Savior, it still isn't the same as the kids who have theirs on their own day. As December came I sat there telling her she could come any time now(I was 38 weeks and technically full term) but as we got closer to Christmas I told her she had to hang out a few days longer. My beautiful princess came on December 29th, I'll take it. Christmas is done and people are gearing up for New Years, she is in the middle.

We realized quickly that if we don't do things the right way, Eliza will get the wrong idea about this time of year. A week full of gifts from friends, family and Santa all for her birthday and Christmas. She must be one special girl. I don't want her to get less than her friends or sibling(s) because of when her birthday is, but she needs to know that isn't what this time of year is really about.

We decided each year around this time we need to make sure she gives back to families in need. We need to remind her how fortunate she is that we are able to provide her with these things. Where we live it is not obvious there are people who are less fortunate. We don't have a shelter or soup kitchen, there aren't homeless people asking for money or sleeping on the sidewalks. She doesn't know this exists. I don't want to throw her into it, I won't be taking her to skid row or anything, just somewhere she can realize there are others that are in need.

Last year, she was just turning 1 and didn't understand what her birthday or Christmas meant. I picked a charity called Project Night Night. I asked for friends and family to donate books, blankets, and stuffed animals for this project. As a new mother I could not imagine having to have her in a shelter and moving around constantly. I felt helping the children that lived that life was what was best at that time.

This year I did something she could understand a bit more. At our local Walmart they had a tree in their lobby with gift tags hanging from it. You could pick a tag and purchase the gift a child had asked for. I allowed Eliza to pick a tag from the tree for a child.

Eliza picked a little 11 year old boy that was asking for a Wimpy Kid book. I loved that this child asked for a book instead of a toy. It also saddened me that his family wasn't able to provide him with such a "simple" thing. I purchased the book set for this little guy but the money came out of Eliza's bank account. Again, I know she doesn't understand it now, but I want her to know in 10 years SHE has been the one always doing this, not mommy doing it for her.

We dropped the books off at our local Salvation Army and I explained to Eliza all about the little boy that needed our help. She didn't understand, and I know that, but one day she will.

Who knows where we will take her next year. Maybe we will collect coats for kids in need, or blankets for the homeless. Serve food to Vets or collect money for a well in Africa.  Go through her toys and donate what she doesn't play with anymore.

All I do know is, our child is blessed, we are blessed, and our heavenly father tells us
  "In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Snowman Shirt Flashback

Today I will show you how to make a very simple t shirt for your little guy or gal. I love to make Eliza shirts for the season, I made her a No Sew Christmas Tree a few weeks ago but wanted something that can last through the winter, not just the holidays, so I decided to make this Snowman! The best part is this cost me less then $10 to make!

T-shirt, long sleeve for the winters here
Buttons for the eyes
Fabric for the nose and mouth. 99cent fabric squares from Joanns are perfect for this, they tend to have lots of different design options to make the fabric a little more fun.
Heat and Bond
Needle and Thread

Start off by washing all of your fabric, you don't want anything to shrink when you wash it in the future.

Take your buttons and lay them out on the shirt to decide how you want the face to look. I wanted it to look off to the side so I put the eyes closer together on one side.

Next, time to cut out your shapes for the nose and mouth. I started by applying my heat and bond to you fabric. Make sure you follow the directions for your particular fusing web.

I then free handed the shape of the nose. The best way to do this is draw it on the paper of the fusing web once it is on the fabric, that paper will be discarded so no one will see if you took a few times to get the drawing right. Now cut out your nose.

I do not do well free handing circles, I could have traced something but to save myself time I threw my fabric on my Cricut machine and let it cut out a bunch of different size circles. I wasn't sure what I would like when it was all laid out together.

Now that all of your shapes are cut out, and your buttons laid out, put your face together!

Try the different sizes of the circles to decide what shape is best for you. With Eliza's shirt being a 12month we didn't have much room so I used all small circles.

Once I had it laid out the way I wanted I make little marks with my pencil so I knew where it all went, your fabric will be covering the pencil marks so no big deal.

Sew on your button eyes with your needle and thread. Make sure to sew them on tight if you have curious hands like ours!

Now take your nose and mouth fabric and iron them on.

Tada! Instant Snowman...now wait 1.5 hours for your little one to wake up so they can put on your Snowman shirt and fight smile for the camera!

I hope you have enjoyed this quick and easy tutorial. Like I said, all together it was less then $10 to make and about 10 minutes to make!  Feel free to contact me with any questions!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday-Past Recipe

Thanks for stopping by guys. I thought of this recipe as I was thinking of treats for Eliza's birthday. Her birthday is going to be Winter ONE-derland, so I wanted winter themed treats. I love the thought of Rice Crispy treats but that is kind of boring, so I decided to dip them in chocolate and cover them in sprinkles!! I did a trial run to see how it would go, and what I would change, before her birthday next month.


6 C Rice Crispies
4 C Mini Marshmallows
3 T Butter
1 Bag White Chocolate Melts

Start off making your Rice Crispy Treats like you normally would. Melt your butter on low.

Add in your marshmallows, stir until they melt and then remove from the heat.

Add in your Rice Crispies, I did half at a time to make sure they really got covered.

Once they are mixed well lay them out on wax paper, smooth them out with a buttered spatula to the thickness that you want. Allow them to cool.

While waiting for them to cool melt your chocolate. I put it in a microwave safe bowl and stirred it every 45 seconds until all the way melted.

Pour your sprinkles into a bowl as well.

Use your snowflake cookie cutters to cut your shape. OK...I have over 200 cookie cutters yet I didn't have a snowflake!?!? I am not sure how this happened, and of course I didn't check before I started because clearly I would have one...I used flower and star shapes to try to look like a snowflake.

Take your "snowflake" dip it in chocolate then in your sprinkles and lay back on the paper.

Do this for all of them and then place them in the fridge to cool.

All done! They taste SO good, I like them so much more with the chocolate on them!

What I would do different:
Obviously I would make sure I have the correct cookie cutter
I would have allowed them to cool a little longer before dipping in chocolate, I probably would have let them sit in the fridge for a bit too. They were a little warm still and smooshed together as I picked them up.

Our cooking theme song today

What? Something on my face?

Her first taste!

So graceful

Monday, December 10, 2012

Crazy Days

Life has been pretty hectic this past week or so. Eliza started off with a fever last week, which has since moved on and has been replaced with a terrible cough. I just don't know what to do with her, so sad. We have been cooped up for days and going crazy!

We were able to make it out a bit before the fever hit. I don't have much time to write so here is a story in photos :)

She got her own tree for her room

Oh this attitude will get us in trouble

She is so weird!

Helping make cookies

Birthday party for her boyfriend Luke!

Hangin with Santa

A preview of our Christmas photos!!

My poor little sickie

Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Cheer

Trying to find Christmas and birthday gifts for Eliza is tough, this child basically owns Toys R Us. I am working VERY hard on not buying her too much, I know what type of child that will create. I feel like I end up over buying due to the fact that her birthday and Christmas are 4 days apart. I am buying for 2 events then when I look at how much I have I am shocked. I also LOVE a sale. When things are on sale, especially clearance, I have to snag them! Again, that adds up quickly!

Here are a few of the bigger items we got her this year:

A leappad1. I wasn't going to get her a system this year, but there was a good sale so I couldn't pass it up. We still need to get some gift cards for the online applications so she can get some more games. They are currently on sale for $15 for a $20 card on Amazon

I actually bought this last year about a week or two after Christmas. It was on super sale so I snagged it and have kept it stored until this year. I am SO glad I got it for her. She is in LOVE with trains right now, it is perfect. I think this will be our Christmas Eve project to get it set up.

Eliza LOVES to sing into a microphone. We had a little Fisher Price radio she could sing with but it broke. I figured this will last longer and she could put in all of her CD's and sing along with Elmo, Princesses  and more!

What were some of your must have items for the kiddos this year?