About Me

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My name is Donna and I am a mother of three amazingly loud and wild boys. My son Bryland was born in September 2007. My son Jackson was born 14 months later in November 2008. And my youngest was born in January 2011. I’ve been married to most amazing and Godly man, Jeremy, since August 2004. Since I became a mom, I was blessed to stay home for 2 years and returned to teaching half-time Kindergarten but it was very challenging for our family, so I am home again. :) I absolutely love my family and my Jesus!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Our 2010 Ornaments

I never understood why so many people had Christmas trees that never matched and why people bought random ornaments all the time. The first year Jeremy and I got married, people even gave us ornaments for our wedding gift and I was like "what kinda gift is this?" Luckily, I saved these and still have it on our tree today. Our first Christmas we had so much fun because we got to go out and buy everything for Christmas. I had no idea how I wanted our house to be decorated, except for it to GLOW! Whatever that means! We went from one store to another on Black Friday and I enjoyed it so much because I LOVE shopping!

Well, once we had Bryland I understood random ornaments. People gifted ornaments to us when we had Bryland and I just kept them off the tree until I had Jackson. I realized that I wanted them to have something special every year. Well, last year we spent more than enough money on ornaments for each of us. Jeremy is a "saver" so he wasn't pleased with the amount I spent, so this year he told me that I couldn't spend as much. I started looking around and didn't like anything I saw and nothing that really matched each of our personality or the year we had....so I decided to make my own.

I started looking around to see what I could make and was quite happy with how much we spent and ended up with. So here is what I did to make our ornaments.

I went to Craft Warehouse and bought a couple things I needed. These glass ornaments were on sale below and had exactly the amount we needed.

I had several of these Sharpie Paint Markers but needed a couple more colors so I used my 50% coupon at Michael's and got a set with colors that I needed to trace on the logos that I wanted. I printed off the symbols I wanted for each of us and simply traced it on. It was so easy because the ornaments were clear. You'll want to be careful using these because they come off very easily. If you mess up, just spray some Windex on it and wipe it off. Color in as much as you need.

Finally, the fun part. I wanted to use Mod Podge but I wasn't sure if that was the best adhesive for the ornaments, so I bought the one pictured below. Pour a good amount inside the ornament and turn the ornament so the adhesive covered the entire inside of it and pour out remainder. Then pour a bunch of Martha Stewart glitter (not pictured) inside and shake until completely covered. I had to use a ton so make sure you have enough. Let it dry overnight.

Then I had to spray and adhesive on the outside of the ornament to seal the Sharpie Paint Marker so it wouldn't scratch off. I can't remember what it's called but I got it at Craft Warehouse. I couldn't spray it because it was extremely dangerous for my pregnancy and even for those who want to get pregnant.

This is how they turned out and we were quite pleased. I'm hoping that when I open up my Christmas decorations next year, they'll still look like this. :)

This is the Superman one and Jeremy traced on the symbol and it looks amazing! I think he had a lot of fun making it.

This is Bryland's because he had a Spiderman party and also dressed up as Spiderman for Halloween. I didn't do a very good job but no one could really tell (but now you can).

This is mine because we are Cougar fans! Jeremy and I met in college and fell madly in love.

This is Jackson's ornament. Since we were doing a suphereo theme for the guys in the house, this is one of the superheros he knows and it matched the pillowcase I made him inside his stocking.
Then I simply wrote the year and our name on the back so we wouldn't forget and I'm sure we'll eventually end up with a plethora of random ornaments from now on. :) Please feel free to contact me if you need help.

Jesus' Birthday Cake

I love following blogs. When I'm bored, I try to catch up with all the blogs that I haven't read in awhile and of course I always end up finding new ones to follow. I can't remember how I found this one but it was probably one of the mornings I couldn't sleep because of my contractions.

When I first read this blog, I had to laugh because she completely reminded me of myself. I have attempted to make special cakes for the boys' birthday since Bryland turned one. I love throwing big parties and each year I feel like I have to one up myself but I am finally ok (I think) with just making it fun for the kids and not going all crazy.

For Bryland's first birthday, we had a "Gettin' Wiggy With It" Party and I got the idea from a friend. It was so much fun because the guests came wearing wigs and one of the games I had about 20 pictures of Bryland and I photoshopped different celebrity hair on his pictures. I made a huge cupcake cake for him to smash his face in (but he barely touched it).
For his second birthday we had a Cars themed party and I attempted to make a bunch of little cars, with buildings driving on a road using fondant. It was not pretty! It was so stressful and it stressed my husband out too because he of course was my helper! My sister picked up a cake for me and we put some of Bryland's toy cars on there.

And for his third, I made Spider looking cupcakes for his Spiderman party.

Luckily, on Jackson first birthday I used regular icing and made a beautiful cake for his Pirate themed party even though the treasures are much bigger than the sunken ship.
I also had anything that had gold foiled wrapper as treasures for centerpieces.

And for his second birthday, I just made cupcakes but spent alot of time on the Krabby Patties, since it was a Spongebob Party.
I did make my brother make him a birthday cake that looked like a burger. I think I saw it on Bakerella and was planning on making it for a Cupcake contest party and my brother didn't have an idea so he took it from me. I wasn't very pleased that he won since I took the time to find the idea but he was better friend's with the host, so I gave in. So because of that and him always making me make desserts for his hunting trip, I told him he had to. :)

Finally, for my sister-in-laws baby shower, I had a great plan to make a beautiful cake for her bird themed shower that didn't turn out at all. I was so upset that I went to a local bakery and spent $50 on the best cakes. After this, I decided fondant was no longer for me and that made my husband extremely happy!!!
So, now on to this cake. I enjoyed making this cake because it was so simple and easy and turned out beautifully. First I baked to rounds of confetti cake. That's the cake we use every year for Jesus' Birthday. I used two boxes of cake mix but next year, we'll do small rounds and only use one box because we had more than enough. We calculated that this could feed around 30 people and there was only the 4 of us. :) Here is the link and her directions are way better than mine. http://texasmonkey.blogspot.com/2010/04/dress-up-cakes-without-stress.html Check out all the different ones she made.

Next, frost the cake. I did cut the bottom layer to help the top layer lay flat. We love rainbow chip frosting and cream cheese frosting and if I remember correctly, that was what we used but anything will do.

Then I got several packages of Kit Kats and frosted them four at a time and "glued" it around and we had just enough. You'll see on the blog that I found this recipe that she used different sweets to fill the top and around the cake too. Soooooo creative!

Once that is complete, tie a ribbon around and fill the top with whatever you choose. We chose pretzal M&Ms and mint M&Ms.

This is how Jesus' Birthday Cake turned out. Everyone loved it, especially the boys. They were up until 11p.m. that night! I wonder why?

This is us singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus! I love this tradition that we have and so do the boys.

And this is how much we ate of it!

Matching Pajamas for Christmas Day

I can't really remember any family traditions growing up for Christmas at our house. I know we go to church and then to my grandparents to open presents. Then we find time to do it with just my family at some point go to my other grandmas. But nothing that we had to do every year because it was tradition.

Well, since having Bryland I wanted to start some traditions but our kids are still young and we're refining some that we want to set in place. So far some traditions we have started: we get PJs for Christmas Eve so we can wear them for Christmas morning and all day long. :) We also celebrate Jesus' birthday by making him a cake and buying special plates and cups for our Christmas dinner. This year Bryland chose Batman plates and Iron Man napkins. Jackson is really into cars so he chose Disney Cars cups and dessert plates. Then we read the Christmas Story out of one of their Bibles, sing Happy Birthday and enjoy our confetti cake (I'll post later about how to make this simple cake).

I have always wanted to make PJs for the family and I heard how extremely easy it was, so this year I decided that was what I was going to do. Bryland wanted Batman so I bought 8 yeards of Batman flannel on Black Friday. The fabric just stared at me for awhile. I had a pattern I bought several years ago from Craft Warehouse and I found it on etsy (I love etsy if you don't catch on later). It was a Paisley Pincushion pattern. I was so happy I found it on etsy because I had lost the instructions but had all the pattern pieces uncut. The lady was so sweet and I emailed her to see if I could get the instructions and she sent me her link. Then anytime I had problems with the pattern (which seemed like it was often) I sent her an email and she gave me her phone number and told me to call her anytime!!!
I made the boys' PJs from that pattern and it was challenging but turned out great. For Jeremy's and mine, I just took one of his PJs that I have been wearing and made a pattern from that and it was so much faster and easier! And that's what I'll be doing next year for all 5 of us! The unfortunate part was we wore it on Christmas Eve and the boys got their PJs all dirty so we couldn't take a nice family picture that night since we had to wash them. Then the next day we looked gross but took a picture anyways. Here they are!

Hooded Scarf

My sisters went to London recently and I wanted to make them something special for their trip before they left. I'm really bad at keeping secrets, especially the ones I'm really excited about. So when I saw this Hooded Scarf pattern by prettyditty on etsy.com and on one of the blogs I follow, I fell in love with it.

I kept asking the girls what they needed to buy for their trip and if something like a scarf would be useful and dumb questions like that. Finally, I sent Dinah a picture of it to be sure that she liked it and if it was "cool and hip." Apparently, when I became a mom I lost my sense of style. :) And luckily, the girls said they liked it (or they were just being kind to a mom trying to be cool).

The girls told me it was going to be cold in London, so I thought this would be perfect! Unfortunately, since I have practically been on bedrest I was unable to find their fabric for them, but my sisters were great and went and found some themselves. This worked out better since I could be sure they liked what they had picked out. I felt so good being able to finish a project and they turned out pretty cute. Now, I need to make one for myself when I can get myself to a fabric store and have the energy to sew again.
This is the one I made for Dolly and she's trying it on in the bathroom. :)

This is the one I made for Dinah and she sent me the picture of it while in London. :) Her hair drives me crazy because it's always so perfect and beautiful!!!

I love my sisters and am so glad they got home safely, especially after being stuck there because of the weather.