31 October 2010

Inspired By Finn Amber Necklace WINNER!!!

This week there were a few too many entries for me to do on my own, so I finally went to Random.org and let them pick the winner!  I am apparently not smart enough to copy the image here, so again, you are just going to have to trust me that I am honest (next blog post is going to be about blogging integrity...).

So, drum roll please!

The winner of this weeks giveaway (anything 16 inches or smaller from Inspired By Finn) is...

Comment 54: The Pratts!

Congratulations, Lindsay!!!

You have 48 hours to send me your shipping information, along with the piece of jewelry you'd like (anything 16 inches or SMALLER that is in stock - if there is a [0] after the size in the drop-down box it is out of stock.)  Inspired by Finn will ship your prize directly to you!

For those of you who didn't win, but would like to try out the amazing benifits of amber jewelry, don't forget to take advantage of their offer to save 20% on ANY purchase.  Go to http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=339&uid=102544519787403 to get the info!

Thanks for playing, all, and come back tomorrow for ANOTHER amazing sponsored giveaway!!!

Costumes Complete!

When it finally came down to it, Silas and Eli's costumes were no brainers.  With a little pondering, digging and creativity, I managed to pull together two costumes that both boys loved, and were pretty dang cute, to boot!

Eli, naturally, was the truest of the true, the bravest of the brave, the strongest of the strong: he was a knight, sword, shield and all.  He, who is really into comparing himself to others right now (and making sure he is always on top), was very concerned that his costume be "real."  What could be more real than a chain mail helmet, gauntlets and a foam sword? 

I sewed the tunic and crocheted the chain mail for him last Christmas.  Jared taped up an old cardboard box for the helmet, and the foam sword and shield were toy box finds.  I didn't have to spend a penny, and he couldn't have been more pleased!

With Eli's costume perfected, it was Silas I had to focus on.  Then it hit me!  When I think of Silas, I really think of one person.  Someone that he is most like, in almost every way. Someone that he looks up to, more than anyone else.  Someone he admires and can't get enough of:
That's right folks, my own little Harry Potter!  Can't you see the resemblance?
 Um, why does Harry not have a scar in that picture???  Don't worry, Silas does.

 Doesn't he make a perfect Harry?  And really, besides the fact that he wasn't attacked by an evil wizard... wait, Harry was attacked on Halloween night the year he was one, right?  Well, I guess I'm keeping my invisibility cloak handy tomorrow night! This baby is not growing up under any stair.  Back off all of you with your Smeltings Sticks, you can't get at my boy!
 Despite Halloween being tomorrow night, we are finished with our festivities.  We won't be Trick-or-Treating tomorrow, due to it being Sunday, the sabbath and all.   We did attended two "Trunk-or-Treats," and loaded up on goodies, which we will bring to my dad's Halloween Candy Buy Back on Monday night: because, as fun as it is to collect it, I'd rather it not be in my kids stomachs, or mine! I do hope everyone out there has as fabulous a Halloween as we have had!

28 October 2010

Avoidance Behaviour

So, tomorrow night at 7:00 pm I am committed to bringing Eli to our church's Trunk-or-Treat (we won't be Trick-or-Treating this year due to Halloween being on a Sunday) and I have yet to even decide what Eli and Silas are going to be for Halloween, let alone get a costume put together.  Honestly! (I said that in my head like my Grandma Jackson would say it, with total disgust for myself.)

Instead of thinking about costumes I spent the day scrapbooking, cutting out Halloween bats, and crocheting at Eli's swim lesson.  I did not spend the day thinking about costumes. 

Check out how useful my procrastination is though!

Only two had the pom poms and googly eyes, because that was our craft in Nursery last Sunday. The rest were just cut free hand, folded in half, and taped to the wall. I think the little bats made that wall into a spooktacular little corner!

27 October 2010

Tuesday Night Riding Club

That's right, I've started a club.  A riding club.  It's usually on Tuesday nights, but sometimes gets pushed to Wednesday nights (but it's still called the TUESDAY Night Riding Club in those instances - although some refer to it as the Best Friends' Riding Club regardless of the day - no respect, no respect at all.) It's early membership was just me, but I enlisted Phoebe and Joan, Adrienne, and some other girls from the farm.  Some nights, though, it is still just me, which doesn't seem like much of a club, but I'm surviving.  Whatever it is called, and whatever night it is, and whoever shows up, it's working out to be a wonderful excuse to get out once a week and do what I love, riding horses.  The real question is, who wouldn't want to ride horses with me every Tuesday night???

The focus of my Tuesday Night Riding: Zephyr.  She's the incredibly small offspring of my beloved mare, Natasha.  She was supposed to be my horse for the rest of my life, but she turned out mini, so I am going to get her trained up and sold so that I can find my next dream horse. Once she's in shape and beautiful I will post pictures. After two months of Tuesday Night Riding Club she has stopped trying to buck me off, and she is doing so many many wonderful things, just like she should.  Too bad she's mini, or I might fall in love!

Wanna buy a pony?

Beyond TNRC (That's right, I've just created an acronym for my club. I'm the President, I can do what I want. I also just named myself President, just like that. Bam. President.  Wanna be the treasurer? Bam. Done.) I'm also managing to find time throughout the week to go out to see my horses.  I figure if I get one night a week on my own out there, I can find at least one other time to bring the boys out.  Last week we went with Renee and Rhiannon.   It was so fun. We rode Princess, a little Shetland pony that Eli has absolutely claimed as his own.  Rhiannon had no trouble falling madly in love with her, too.  There's nothing like watching a little girl discover horses for the first time!  I wish I had a million dollars, because I would buy her a special saddle so that she could really ride, and I would buy her a special horse (because as wonderful as Princess is, she isn't actually Eli's) and I would help her in the way I know how, the way that has helped me with so many things throughout my life. Rhiannon has Cerebral Palsy and while I know all the therapy she does is amazingly helpful, I think that riding would be incredible for her. Next time they come out I'm going to get a horse saddled up and see if I can't get her mommy, Renee, on a horse!!!  Can't wait!

 After spending the entire time in the Ergo, even Silas took a ride.

Giveaway Rules

Don't forget to sign up for this weeks awesome giveaway: an amber necklace from Inspired By Finn!!!

But, as with my other giveaways, please don't forget the rules:

2. You must comment on the giveaway post.
3. You can get extra entries by commenting on any other posts during the week of the giveaway (Monday to Sunday.)

This week you can get two extra entries by (leave a separate comment for each):
4. Commenting on the original post letting me know that you  "Like" Inspired By Finn on Facebook 
5.  Go to Inspired By Finn, decide which item you like best, and leave a comment here telling me which it is.

I have gone through the comments and deleted any made by people who are not public followers. Sorry.  If I deleted your comment in error, please feel free to comment again and let me know that you are a follower.

26 October 2010

Pumpkin Carving and a Spidery Treat

First of all, let me remind you of this weeks amazing giveaway from Inspired By Finn.  You get one entry for every post you comment on this week!  Please remember though, you MUST be a PUBLIC FOLLOWER of my blog. Shameless, I know, but them's the rules folks. If you aren't, none of your comments will qualify for the giveaway.  Extra entries are explained in the original post and comments can be made on that post.  Good luck, everyone!

Now that that's over with:

Every Monday night we try to do Family Home Evening.  It's a chance to have at least one night a week to do something together as a family, learn about the gospel and usually have a good treat!  Last night Jared's sister Renee invited us over for dinner and to carve pumpkins.  After seeing this great idea for a Halloween treat, I volunteered to do the dessert, we packed up our pumpkin, and headed over to Renee's.

Spider web making. I'm apparently concentrating really hard!
Okay, not that hard.  I got the chocolate from Super Store, and it's organic, fair trade!  Nothing tastes better than chocolate NOT harvested by slave labour. 

Silas got his first taste of chocolate, and wasn't disappointed!

Then out came the pumpkins, the spoons and the knives, off came the shirts, and away we went.  Eli and Rhiannon picked the patterns for their pumpkins, and did a fine job of it, if I do say so myself! 

Bet you didn't know that one of my super human features is my ridiculously long tongue.  Well, now you know, and even have pictorial proof. The crazy eyes are on purpose, I swear!

The finished products.  Eli's is the one on top. 

I'm beginning to enjoy Halloween. Every year I warm up to it a little more. I think this was the first year I actually did the pumpkin carving (usually I leave it to Jared) and it was fun. Just imagine me, in a few more years, with a full spook alley in my front yard.  It could happen...

25 October 2010

Inspired By Finn Amber Necklace Review and Giveaway - CLOSED

When Eli was three months old I started to look for teething remedies that didn't include over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for Tylenol when I really need it, but I wanted to find something that could help Eli grow his pearly whites without having to drug him.  While doing a little research I happened upon a website that has since become a very favourite, Inspired By Finn.

Started by a mom (to a boy named Finn), Inspired By Finn sells Baltic amber necklaces for children and adults. Amber is great for teething (and various other ailments) because it contains analgesic properties.  When warmed against the skin it releases trace amounts of succinic acid, which is absorbed into the skin, benefiting the wearer with pain relief, immune system boosts, and more energy.

To be perfectly honest, I totally attribute the fact that my boys both teethed so incredibly well to the amber necklaces that they have both worn since they were three months old. I hardly noticed either of them teething until I had a finger in their mouths and felt a tooth.  Amber really works!  I have bought several different necklaces from the shop: round and chipped, light and dark.  I have lost a few, so needed to replace them, but I also like to have some choice! My favourite part about them is that they aren't just useful, but they are absolutely beautiful.  I wear mine and feel like I am dressed up.  I love my boys in them, too.  I really think they are great!

Beyond teething, I wear an amber necklace to help with back pain.  My mother swears it has relieved her chronic headaches.  My father says it has helped in his healing with a skiing accident he had last year. My entire family wears amber every single day.

This week I am so excited to announce a giveaway by Inspired By Finn!  One lucky winner will get any in stock necklace, 16 inches or smaller.  Yeah!

The rules still apply with this giveaway: all you have to do is be a follower and leave a comment on any post between now and next Sunday evening. For every post you comment on, you get an entry into the giveaway.  However, you can get additional entries by doing two things (leave a separate comment for each):
1. "Like" Inspired By Finn on Facebook  and leave a comment telling me you did.
2. Go to Inspired By Finn, decide which item you like best, and leave a comment here telling me which it is.

Who's excited?  I am!

Also, if you just can't wait to get an amber necklace, you can get 20% off NOW by following the directions here.

Just so you know, I was not given any products by Inspired By Finn.  I am reviewing this based solely on my experiences over the last 3 years with the amber I have purchased.  I have had multiple wonderful experiences with Inspired By Finn and recommend them whole heatedly.

24 October 2010

Pom-Pom Tutorial, and a Winner!

While this may be Simple Simon to some, I had to have a lesson to make the pom-poms for the legwarmers. My sister Alice, who was a true child of the 80's, assured me that I didn't need to buy a special pom-pom maker like the tutorials I found said I did. So... here's the simple, no special tools required, pom-pom tutorial!

First of all, cut a piece of yarn about 8 inches long and place it between your first two fingers (this is easier than trying to shove it through your fingers when they are wrapped up).  Then wrap yarn around the tips of those two fingers. 
I wrapped it around 100 times.

Then take the 8 inch piece of yarn, bring it around the entire bundle of yarn and tie a really tight knot.

You want this to be really, really tight. It helps to have someone put their little finger on it while you tie.  I couldn't take a picture of that, while tying the knot.  Sorry.
Then, after you tie the first knot, wrap it around to the other side and tie another. And then wrap it around again, if you want. This way you know it's really secure.
Then take scissors and cut the loops all the way around.

You'll end up with a super messy looking ball like this.

Then, using the scissors trim your pom-pom until it is nice and round. You basically want to trim all the strands until they are the same length, the length of the shortest ones. This gets messy, so I did it over a plastic bag so I could pick it up and throw it away.

Once it's all trimmed, you will have a darling little pom-pom to use as you wish.  Eli wants to add googly eyes to these and make monsters.  If monsters aren't your thing, thread some yarn through the centre of the pom-pom using a tapestry needle, and then you can sew them to whatever you like! 
There you go.  I really do love these things. I'm making a hat right now that I'm going to add some to.  They'll be cute as well!

Anyway, on to this weeks giveaway winner. Picked again at random, this time by Eli, the winner of the Christmas tags (which, by the way, my sister-in-law Renee said would also be great to use as decorations with current pictures of children - just change them up every year) is.... Shannon Evans... again!  I swear, it isn't rigged.  There were 19 comments made this week. I wrote the numbers 1-19 on evenly sized pieces of paper and Eli picked the one with number 14 on it.  Shannon happened to be the 14th comment of the week.  So, Shannon wins for the second week in a row!

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for a sponsored giveaway!  You are so excited, I promise!

23 October 2010

Working in the Yard

This summer was so packed with fun, with excitement, with traveling, that the back yard kind of got neglected.  About the only thing that happened to it was an ocassional mow.  No weeds were pulled, no trees were pruned, nothing.  So, here we are in the most glorious October ever, and my mom and Phoebe have decided to tackle the forest of weeds. And Eli.  Eli helped.

 Jared didn't get a picture of it, but at some points it just got to hard to push his wheel barrel, so what did my son do?  Hi just picked up the whole thing and carried it to where it needed to be?  He's a monster!

And, the finished product.  Too bad it's going to snow now and we won't even be able to enjoy it.  Oh well, it's beautiful while it lasts.

22 October 2010

Hat for Hattie!

A friend of mine has asked me to knit her kids some hats for Christmas. It is super fun, because I can try out new patterns and yarns that I wouldn't otherwise do. This is the first one I've done, and I'm hoping the four year old I've made it for isn't a follower of the blog, otherwise I've ruined Christmas! The pattern is a heavily modified version of this. The flowers I got from here. I absolutely love how it turned out.

20 October 2010

Ten Things I want for my House

So, while we live in my parent's basement, we do actually own a house.  Actually, we own two, but one of the ones we own sits empty waiting for us to live in it.  We will live in it once a number of things happen:
1. We get rid of the water problem.
2. We redo all the flooring.
3. We paint all the walls and ceilings.
4. We figure out to fit all the stuff that fit into our glorious Michigan home into it.
5. Jared gets a killer job so we can afford to buy our own groceries.

But, in the mean time, it sure is fun to dream of how we are going to decorate it, and what we are going to do with it.  I would sure rather make these dreams with a bigger, more luxurious house in mind, but for now I'll make due.

As I search the web for ideas, here are ten things I LOVE LOVE LOVE, that I want to do in our house:

1. Make the boys room as cute as this one:

2. Except, instead of the super cute awning, I would put in this, right above the train table:
Okay, not the whole thing, but something kind of like it, inspired by it.  Trust me, it will be rad.

3. Have my living room be this color:

4. And my kitchen this color:

 5. This clock

6. Beadboard in the bathroom:

7. This amazing hallway (minus the light - cute, but I'm not going to do it.)

8. Crown Molding in my bedroom:

9. A new mailbox:
10. And, a beautiful back porch I can actually enjoy:

Okay, realistically not all of this is going to be done before we move in, but I can dream, and continue looking, and plan for one day when I will have it all! We've torn out a lot, but I will go in and take before pictures soon so you can see what amazing things we do accomplish.  Then we will have a big house warming party (but not too big, because really, we don't have that much room) and everyone can enjoy it with us.  It will be wonderful.
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