Saturday, January 29, 2011

Brewer's Valentine's - I'm STUCK on you

The label is covered by the ribbon but reads.."I'm STUCK on you!"
After my post about Maddox's Valentine's, some of you said to me that you wanted to see Brewer's -- well, here they are!  GUMBALL machines!!!  Both of my children are crazy over gumball machines.

Here is what I did -- I bought these gumball machines in the V'Day section at CVS.  They are $0.99/each.  Last week, CVS had a special where if you bought $25 in product, you got $10 in CVS bucks.  I needed the paper towels and toilet paper that you had to buy (the $25 amount); I got $10 in CVS bucks.  Brewer has 12 kids in his kindergarten class.  So these only cost me $2.  CVS does specials like this often -- keep your eye out!  The machines already came with the red ribbon (as shown) along with a heart shaped tag.  HOWEVER, I didn't want to use it like that...ha, ha!  I always have to do something different.  So I cut off the ribbon and tag.
I used my Cricut and cut out each child's first name initial on white vinyl using the 1-1/2" setting.  I was planning on doing capital letters.
However, once I cut it, the capital letter was really too chunky for the curve on the face of the machine.  So I decided to use lower case letters.
I placed the vinyl on the face of the gumball machine.  In this photo, you can see that I centered the letter over the middle of the machine.  You can also see where I've cut the ribbon that was pre-tied onto the machine.
I used a 2" circle punch to punch out these tags that came from Pink Elephants and Blue Rhinos.  Heather is so talented and can design you just about anything!
Using my Cricut, I cut out 12 red scalloped circles (at 2-1/4") using the Lacy Labels cartridge.  Then I used a glue pen (as shown) to attach the tags to the scalloped circle.
 Here is what the final tag looks like.  I added a hole punch to the tag for the ribbon to feed through.
Brewer's teacher sent a note home saying the kids were to address their own Valentine's.  This was to work on name recognition and fine motor skills.  So I had Brewer "address"  the Valentine by writing each child's name on the back of a tag.
 Next, I added a sheer polka ribbon and the tag to each of the machines.
And VIOLA -- Brewer's Valentine "cards" are ready (sorry for this blurry photo). All 12 complete and ready for Brewer to hand out on February 14th.  Feel free to borrow the long as you don't have a child in Brewer's class... (wink!)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Maddox's Valentines - I "dig" you

I love Valentine's day.  And what's ironic is that Lou doesn't celebrate.  He says it is a made up holiday from the card and flower industry.  In the 13 (this year 14) Valentine's I had with Lou, he has not celebrated once.  Yet, I always do.  It doesn't really bother me that he doesn't celebrate because he spoils me all year...which makes it a little more special that he isn't doing anything out of the obligation on the date, February 14th.

Anyway, I mentioned I love V'Day, and I do!  Tonight I made Maddox's Valentine "cards" he is going to give to his class.  It is a sand shovel that says "I DIG YOU" with a bag of candy attached to it.

Here are the directions...
First, gather the supplies:
1. plastic shovels -- I used variety of colors (red, white, and pink) - Click here to see the ebay seller I used.
2. assortment of candy
3. small plastic bags for the candy & twist ties to close the bag.  In my baggies, I fit a candy bracelet, jumbo Tootsie Rolls, an AirHead, and 3 Hershey kisses
4. Paint pens
5. Cute tag
6. Cricut and scrapbook paper for cutting the backing of the tag
7. Hole puncher
8. Ribbon
9. Adhesive
10. 2" circle punch
11. scissors
*I'm not promising this is a completed list as I worked on these in my craft room and something obvious could have been out that I used.

Next, cut the tags out using a 2" circle punch.
Aren't these tags adorable?  I had them designed at Pink Elephants and Blue Rhinos.  You can click their name here in the blog and be taken to their Facebook page.  (Tell Heather I sent you; she's a friend of mine.) I punched the tags out.  I wanted to back the tags (which Pink Elephants can do for you if you'd like).  So I got out my Cricut and used the Lacy Labels cartridge.  I selected the "Miss You Scallop Circle" and set it for 2-1/4".  

Once the scalloped circles were done cutting, I adhered the circle tag on top of the scalloped circle and punched a hole in the side for the ribbon.
I took my paint pens (I had white, red, and pink) and added "I DIG YOU" or "I DIG U!" to the bottom of all the shovels.
Not only was the twist tie used to close the candy baggie, I used part of the twist tie to attach the candy to the shovel.  The twist ties were long and worked great for this.
 I added ribbon and threaded the label through and VIOLA!  Our Valentine "cards" are finished for the Valentine exchange in Maddox's class.
Feel free to borrow the long as you don't have a child in Maddox's class...LOL!

Finished and ready to hand out to the class on February 14th
Oh, and Brewer's Valentine's are in the works...I still have a few details to hash out.  But I'll post when we figure it all out! 

Monday, January 17, 2011


So I used to want a "Cry-Cut".  Then I found out it is pronounced "Cricket".  No matter how you pronounce it, what I wanted was a Cricut.

I got one back in 2010 on a whim one day while shopping in Wal-mart.  Probably not my best purchasing moment seeing that I didn't price shop, I just purchased.  I got the Cricut Expression which is capable of cutting paper up to 12" x 24".  I thought it would help me with my scrapbooking...and it has! But it has also been great for school projects, crafts, and more.

Here are some ketchup bottles that I cut with the Cricut.
I used these on a scrapbook page about dinner at Whispering Canyon...which you should try if you are at Disney.  And you must order something that needs ketchup to see what happens.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Happy Place

I love Maddox's room.  It's a happy place to be.  He likes to be there too -- which is the real blessing.
Dr. Seuss room

This bedskirt was custom made.  I think it helps "make" the room.

These hanging lamp shades are perfect in this room!

A very talented person hand painted this Cat in the Hat art piece for above Maddox's bed.

Maddox's dresser

Maddox's bookcase which his PawPaw (my dad) made for him.

This art is paper piecing that Brewer made.  I had it framed for Maddox's room.

One Fish, Two Fish bathroom

More of the bathroom.  I'm usually not a fan of Pottery Barn Kids but this rug and shower curtain worked great in here!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


We have a blessed life; there was plenty of good news in 2010. But we did receive bad news as well. As I reflect on 2010, the top 3 on the "bad news list" were news of both my parents' health and our friends (who live 4 houses down from us) moving to Tampa. My kids enjoy their kids (what a blessing), and the mom and I are dear friends. Many people who see us together believe we are sisters. (In fact, a few weeks ago, several people thought Ellis, their younger daughter, was mine.) We have similar values, same taste in kids' clothing and adult clothing, both of us are educators; the list goes on. They are great neighbors with one major fault -- they cheer for the Carolina Gamecocks.

Today Maddox wanted to call his friend to come over and play. And he did! He actually called on the phone and asked if Ellis could come and play. This was the first "independent" play date phone call for Maddox.

These two are a hoot together...and so sweet. Here is a photo of Maddox showing Ellis how to work the iPad.
These two kids are 2 and 4 going on 12 and 14.

When our friends move away, there will be a void in our life. We are still praying something changes, and they are able to stay in Jacksonville. Yet, for now, we will enjoy them as much as we can! We adore that our dear friends are also our neighbors -- how convenient!

On a side note, it is amazing that we have so many wonderful neighbors that have turned into our friends.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Healthy Snack

I love it when I can find a snack that my kids and I can both agree on. For a few years, I've been buying dried fruit for my kids. It is by Brothers-All-Natural and is peanut/tree nut free, gluten free, soy free, diary free, non GMO, vegan, kosher, and 100% fruit with NOTHING else added. I have been purchasing them at Costco. I get 20 bags for $13.39 plus 7% sales tax. It makes each bag $1.40. The box I buy includes strawberry/banana mix, fugi apple, and asian pear. The problem has become that my kids only like the strawberry/banana these the apple and pear bags begin to not get eaten.

Well, I've found the solution!

At Brothers-All-Natural's website, you can order boxes of all one flavor, make your own variety, etc. The boxes are $21.99 for 24 bags. There is FREE shipping and no sales tax, so it makes each bag $1.09. Not only am I saving a little money, I also have the fruit my kids want.

Oh, and by the way, they will send you an email every other week with a coupon code for an additional savings and you CAN combined it with free shipping.

So visit their website, and don't forget to sign up for the email promotion they offer.

PS - It doesn't hurt that BuzzLightyear and Woody from Toy Story are on our bags. You can get plain bags or Cars or Princesses....

Monday, January 3, 2011


We love the Town Center here in Jacksonville. We eat there often and my kids adore both the train table at Barnes & Noble as well as the duck pond in front of Magganio's.

Well, it happened...every parent's fear while visiting the duck pond...our kid fell in. It was 57 degrees outside – which is very brisk for a Florida day. The water was extremely chilly. Maddox was leaning over to feed bread to the fish when he tumbled into the water. He submerged face down in the pond. Praise the Lord we had invested time and money into ISR classes (see for more information). Keep in mind he was fully clothed in winter clothes along with socks and tennis shoes. He was face down in the water about 3 seconds when he rolled himself onto his back to float, breath, cry, and find the side to pull himself out. I did have to assist him in getting out, because he could have never reached the top of the "dock" around the pond. I bet he was only in the water for 30 seconds, but I kept thinking, “This is okay. He knows how to swim.” Thank you, ISR!

Once we got him out, we stripped him out of his wet clothes and began to dry him off with anything we could find in our diaper bag. A dear stranger, who was there feeding her baby, offered us a blanket she had to help dry him off. We put a dry pull up on him, I wrapped him in my jacket, and we headed to the closest clothing store which was the Gap. We warmed him up quickly with new clothes. Here he is with his wet hair and new clothing. He does have a cut on his hand (I'm assuming from the rocks in the pond). In this photo, he is working on opening a BandAid to put on his cut.

We brought him home and bathed him. I found algae in his ear...ugh! He seems to be fine but I am praying for no bacteria side effects from the fall. I think next time we will stick with the train table at Barnes & Noble.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Family Day - "Noon" Year's Party

Boys with the Zoo Lion

We dedicated December 31, 2010 to a family day. The day started at the Jacksonville Zoo for a Noon Year's Party. It was a great idea but so, so, so, so crowded. The activities the zoo provided were great. In fact, here is Brewer with the "Mad Scientist".
Yet, if you tell people in Jacksonville that FREE goodie bags are going to be given out to the first 500 people...then the mobs come out. LOL! But we were able to celebrate the new year at noon.

After the zoo, the boys wanted to stop at Bruster's for ice cream. And you didn't hear any complaints from their parents about this. :)
I'm not sure why the boys look angry in this photo...LOL! They were very happy to be having ice cream.

We all went home and napped -- everyone agreed on this. My kids are usually great about nap time.

Next, it was a new year's eve dinner at the Outback Steakhouse. Then home to play a few games before time for bed.

It was a great day! Lou and I can't make it to midnight these days either. Glad we celebrated at noon!