Thursday, September 22, 2011

fall projects

Getting ready for fall! Here are some projects I'm looking forward to doing:

Making a wreath... or two




Making a centerpiece


Making some garland



Decorating some candles


And not to mention


Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pies, and caramel apples! What's your favorite thing to do during fall?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

to do: preschool age

We've decided to homeschool our girls {and boys when the come...} and I'm really excited about it. I love the idea of choosing curriculum to best fit their learning styles and working with them on what they struggle with and what they're good at. Lately I've tried to get some daily outings going for my little home schoolers- here are some things I've come up with. {PS my girls are only 2 and 4 right now, which definitely makes a difference on types of outings!} I have been rotating a lot of these and keeping a lot of them on a weekly basis.

The best source I've found for a homeschooling parent. We like to go Tuesday mornings for story and craft time {which is a great setting for her to be under an authority figure besides mom}, then exchange our books every week. I love reading the girls new library books! {I don't know about you but I get kind of bored with the same-ol same-ol} And they love picking them out. After the first few weeks of going they have learned the ropes and will sit quietly and read while we choose the books.

KC lacks a good children's museum, but we do have a fantastic {free} art museum that I like taking the girls to on occasion. A really good learning opportunity for them. I also love places that allow them to be  creative- kids art places, dress up places etc.

Weaved into our 'science' curriculum I'm doing nature walks, or excursions {even to the zoo} to look at what we've been studying. {I suppose technically it's a lab?} Anyway it's a fun way for them to get out!

Up the street at a local middle school we have a United Way resource center that I love taking the girls to. They have a huge play area and learning toys you can rent. Such a great way to supplement our school! I don't know if there are anything similar to these in other cities, but I'd encourage you to look. I found ours through our 'Parents as Teachers' program. 

We're blessed to have the International House of Prayer only a few miles away, and it's so good for the girls to get in there and have quiet time with the Lord, dance, pray, read their Bibles, worship, whatever it is. Several cities have prayer rooms now {even if small}, and it's so great for the kids to get in there. They love it, and it's so good to establish them in prayer.

It goes without saying, homeschool kids need more opportunities to socialize than school kids. At least once a week {usually more} we schedule play dates to get the girls with friends for social interaction. There's a lot they can learn from being with friends, even as opposed to siblings. 

I'd love to hear any other ideas from homeschooling moms on things you do out of the house- please share!

Monday, September 12, 2011

a woodland nursery

With a little less than three months to go I'm starting on my boys' nursery. I'm going with a 'woodland theme' and thought I'd try my hand at making a designer collage {I think that's what you call them?}. Here's what I came up with.

Boys' Woodland Nursery

{1} Painted or decaled aspen trees. We have a thing for Colorado, that may be where this whole 'woodland theme' idea came from in the first place. Behind them is Martha Stewart's "Sharky Gray" paint. 

{2} Handmade owl pillows. I'll have to try my hand at this.

{3} Deer antlers or white deer head- I have no clue where to find these. Please let me know if you do!

{4} Tree art

{5} Linen for bedding- maybe bumpers and bed skirts? I'm thinking simple.

{6} Woodland alphabet cards. These particular ones form Etsy seller InkTreePress

{7} Spray painted pine cone mobile

{8} Pottery Barn Brookfield crib- times two of course! {Trying to get Ben to make something similar to this for me}.

{9} Sheep skin rug 

{10} White curtain panels for window and closet. 


What do you think? Any more ideas for a woodland nursery? Anyone else planning on one? I'm hoping to get this thing going by next week, and I'll of course show you the finished product when I'm all done! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

happy fall!

Fall is my favorite season of the year. I love the transition from tank tops to long sleeve shirts, capris to jeans, and flip flops to boots. And of course my birthday and our anniversary being in the fall, and knowing Christmas is right around the corner helps too! This year we have two little ones to welcome in the fall- making it quite possibly the best fall ever!

So I'm excited to get on with fall, even if it's not official yet. Here are some of my favorite F A L L things... enjoy! 

D E C O R A T E 

Left to right: 1: unknown source 2: DIY wreath from Delia Creates 3: Wreath from Martha Stewart 4: Acorn decor from Favor Creative

W E A R 

Left to right: 1: Anthropologie 2: Forever 21 3: Aldo 4: Etsy seller Our Sunshine

And a few more of my favorite fall things:

Yay for fall! Hope you are excited and inspired!

Monday, September 5, 2011

family tree prints

I made a family tree for us this weekend. There's something so satisfying about putting your entire family on a sheet of paper. And although I have a way to go on a few lines I feel totally accomplished. I had such a hard time finding a 'cute' family tree so I thought I'd design a few aesthetically pleasing ones that I'd like to to have on my wall. Thought you might be interested too... {If you need some help with genealogy research check out this post and this one}.

Here's what I designed:

And one with a time line that I'm not sure if I'll include yet:

And a few more designs: 

A full 8 generation tree {but could be made smaller} in various colors

A full 5 generation tree


Putting these up for sale on my Etsy shop soon, but if you'd like to order one now you can contact me. Here are the details that include printing {about $30 for full color} shipping additional:

Silhouette Design {20x16} with name layout, also includes two 8x10 silhouettes: $60

Circle Design black and white {2'x2'} without names: $15

Circle Design color {2'x2'} without names: $40

Tree Design {20x16} with name layout: $45

Tree Design {20x16} without name layout: $35

Thursday, September 1, 2011

ancestors & genealogy how to's

I've been thrust back into the world of genealogy lately thanks to a recent visit with my Grandpa. It's pretty amazing the things you don't know about your family. Really. And really things your parents don't even know. It's fascinating. 

I've been diving into my dad's side of the family this week, which has been fun. His family was all very German and very wealthy- which makes it interesting. Here are some of the houses I found that my ancestors lived in {and some even built}:

If you look close on this one you can see a design on the chimney- I believe it's a WM- the initials of my Great Grandfather who built the house. Unfortunately it's not still in our possession, although that would be pretty great. This particular house over looks the Mississippi River in one of the best neighborhoods in the city.

This one is no longer standing, but it belonged to my Great-Great Grandmother. My Grandpa said he used to visit this house and was always scared to go inside- it was very dark and decorated with exotic things from around the world like tiger and zebra rugs... hmm.

Here's a four generation picture of my grandpa, dad, me, and the girls {and the twins of course!}

I also found an old album, and thanks to Grandpa I now know who everyone is in the photos.

My grandpa {the baby}, his sister and mom.

My grandpa's dad and grandfather- I thought the date was fun on this one, my great-grandfather {the man on the right} was the one who made the album I found.

And lastly, my {get ready}, great-great-great grandfather. That's right, whether you liked it or not you just looked at 7 generations of my family. I think it's pretty fun. 

And in case you'd like to do some genealogy research yourself, here are some of my favorite how to's that I've found helpful

Your most valuable resource are your older living relatives. Start with parents, and move back to grandparents and great grandparents if you can. Ask them anything and everything- first names and dates if they remember, and after that stories. Either audio record or write down what they tell you. It will be priceless in years to come.

{2} is one of the best tools I've found when researching. It's a great place to begin after getting a few names from family members. They have census records, ship records, marriage certificates- it's pretty amazing.

Your hometown library {or where your family is from} is also an invaluable resource. You'll be able to find out where your ancestors lived {by searching the city directories}, and possibly see photos of them. They'll also have all of the local newspapers on microfilm at your disposal. It's easy to find obituaries, marriage announcements, and other blurbs about your family from the newspapers.

Get organized. I'm in the process of doing this now. Once you get started in genealogy it becomes a whirlwind quickly. I've found keeping family lines separate is a big help, for example: my mom's side, my dad's side etc. and have a place to keep photos and newspaper articles. I'd suggest keeping a 'family tree' with your names and dates somewhere handy. has a brilliant online resource for keeping a family tree that's free, otherwise keeping it by paper works wonderful too. {In fact it wouldn't hurt to do both!}

Tomorrow I'll be releasing a few family tree templates for purchase in my Etsy shop. Stay tuned! 


I'm spending just a few more days tweaking the designs. They should be up by Monday, sorry for the delay.


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