Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Recap

We had a great Christmas this year. We broke tradition and did things a little differently so it was very special! Busy, but really good!

The kids opened stockings on the 23rd right before we headed out the door to travel to Trenton.


We had a birthday cake for Mom that night at Grandma’s House. {we had an awesome party earlier in the week I will have to post about soon!}


We stayed up in Trenton for a few days and we got to hang out with our family from Chicago! We practically only see them in passing, so it was nice to have days to hang out. Jackson was found of Jeff {or his ipad at least!}


Jackson enjoyed the candlelight service next to Grammy


This is Grandma and the four generations of Brummitt-girls.


After the Christmas-Eve service, we ate dinner back at Grandma’s and then we opened her stockings.


Belle’s shirt says, “Whatever Santa doesn’t bring me, Grandma will!” She had to wear it on Christmas eve to make sure her expectations were known.


Belle and Aunt Ashley


Belle giving Uncle Phil some kissy-faces


And being pestered by Papa.


Christmas Morning: Aunt Wawa, Wake up! It’s time to open presents!


All I want for Christmas is my Auntie!


Look! She got one!


Jackson got his markers, the one and only request of Santa.


He opened the rest of his presents, mostly as different super heroes.


After breakfast, we had brunch. It was delish. Then, we had our own little church service in the family room. {which beats getting kids dressed and ready and out the door on this busy morning!}


We went to visit another Grandma next. Those pictures are on my sisters camera. Hopefully she posts them on facebook soon.

And then we traveled back down to the city to have Christmas with Derek’s family. Jackson helped Papa Forrest read the Bible story from him Hey Diddle Diddle Book.


Belle got to hang out with Aunt Dixie


And, of course, there were more presents. And a nice big Christmas dinner. Yum! We played some games, watched a movie, and just enjoyed hanging out! We even spent the night. There are pictures of these events, but my camera died, so I have to be annoying and get them from other people.

It was nice for Derek to have Monday off as we recovered from the craziness of the days before. We’ve had some time to just relax with our own little family, but have been doing fun stuff with more family throughout this week!

Monday, December 26, 2011

DIY Handprint Calendar

I have been dying to post about the handprint calendar that the kids and I put together for a few Christmas gifts! Of course, I had to wait until they opened their presents so I wouldn’t ruin the surprise. But I wanted to share it as soon as I could—there is still time for you to make one for the new year!!
I have always liked the idea of personalizing a calendar, but with kids—they grow so fast—that is seems weird to make one. Like, for next December Belle will be almost two {weird thought}, a walking, babbling toddler so pictures from her little baby self will be so… outdated! After seeing different handprint activities on pinterest, it dawned on me to make a calendar and so I scoured the interwebs high and low to find calendar ideas and my favorite handprint/footprint pictures!
Without further ado… I introduce the calendar!
















{I don’t have sources for each of this month as I gathered ideas from several places and compiled them into “scenes” I liked most and I even came up with a few by myself.}

How I made my calendar
First, I ordered a calendar {three actually} from Snapfish and I used their seasons template. I’m not a fan of the look of most homemade projects and so I wanted a real looking calendar {not one printed at home and bound together, which would have been fine, just not what I like}. I created an all white image {Microsoft Publisher"} that was the size of a typical 4x6 and I inserted it into each page of the calendar where most people would be including actual pictures of people. This is how I got the border, but also a blank white space.

I made a list of each month and the handprint idea so once my calendars arrived we got started! I used acrylic paint that I picked up from Wal-mart craft section  and then I just started doing one {technically three} at at time. I painted the kids hands/feet instead of having them dip into a plate of paint. This got easier with practice. Well, for Jackson. Belle, not so much.

Planning was the tricky. We couldn’t just take a morning and knock these all out. Because we were working with calendars that were already assembled, we could only do one page at a time—allow it to dry, and then move to the next one. I started at the end of November, so I had plenty of time. From start to finish, it took about two weeks… but could easily be done in a shorter period of time if you were diligent about getting a new page done as soon as the previous one dried.

The biggest challenge was accepting the imperfections that occur when doing art projects with little ones. In my head, I have visions of perfect, un-smudged prints with no accidental paint splotches on the page. Well, that didn’t happen. After having Jackson shut the calendars while February was still drying—leaving pink paint all over the actual calendar grid and the chaotic experience of dealing with a painted, squirmy nine-month old, I had to come to the conclusion that smudges and blotches are okay. The calendars may not be perfect, but they are homemade.

I love that we did the hand/footprints on an actual real-looking calendar and that it doesn’t look like something I put together in my basement. I also like the borders each month. I planned my picture so they’d kind of match! However, there was no grace when it came to a mess-up. All attempts were final. I still think I’d take the same route with the premade calendar if I were to do this again.

Glitter—I’m not a fan of how it turned out, which is why it only got used in the February and July. I would buy glittery paint and/or do a handprint in glue and then add the glitter.

Making three at a time was a challenge. Like when I needed four handprints for the clover in March—that was 12 handprints! But honestly I wish I had twice as many to hand out as gifts. I’ve considered maybe doing one and then getting a good photo and then adding the photo to a calendar. This would help with the paint smudges, but I think it’d take away of the cute, homemade project feel.
Overall, this was definitely one of my favorite gifts we gave this year! If you make one {or any handprint activity} be sure to let me know so I can check it out!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our Christmas Tree Tells a Story

Decorating the Christmas tree has always been one of my very favorite things about the holiday! I love the lights and the star up top, but the best part is unpacking each ornament and placing it on the tree!


Growing up, Mom got us an ornament every year. I would look forward to the {Hallmark} ornament catalog each fall so I could pick the ones I liked! It was fun when I was younger going through the big box of ornaments and then picking out the ones that were mine. And then for our first married Christmas, Mom gave me a box of all my ornaments so we would have some to put on our tree. I love having a tree with lots of ornaments and even more so when I know all the ornaments are special memories from years past!

My first Christmas ornament- 1984SAM_6982

My second Christmas

There are several ornaments in between these—but I didn’t want to bore you with photos of all 27 ornaments! This one is from 1992 when I became a second-time big sister.

My fourth grade ornament. Though I’m not certain, I am sure this was the ornament for the year because I really enjoyed my art classes!SAM_7050

I started playing the cello in 5th grade, so this was my ornament for the
Christmas of 1994.

I got this {non-hallmark} ornament during high school in honor of my Kirstin American doll that I had when I was younger.SAM_7046

From the junior year—what girl doesn’t like shopping!? SAM_7221

And my favorite ornaments from high school are my Mickey Mouse marching band ornaments—from Daisy as the drum major to Pluto playing the triangle with his tail! A new ornament came out each year, so this collection actually extended into my college years, which is appropriate considering I still played in the marching band in college. {keep your dumb band jokes to yourself. Marching band *IS* awesome and especially *my* high school band. We have more first place trophies than your dumb sport...}n34304436_32658205_3408

Of course, there are several ornaments from the years from Beauty and the Beast.SAM_7045SAM_7224

We’ve continued this tradition ever since we’ve gotten married too! Some have been gifts and we’ve picked a few ourselves. And no worries, we added several Derek-friendly ornaments too—Spiderman, Donatello, a poker table.

Our official First Christmas ornamentSAM_7225

Our fun First Christmas ornamentSAM_7008

Our 2007 ornament—the year we got our kitty, Mia. This cat even looks like her!SAM_7041

Our ornament after becoming first time parents in 2008—after we experienced first hand all the demands babies have around the clock!SAM_7049

Our First Home ornament- when we bought our first home in 2009SAM_6999

Our ornament from 2010 that I picked up at the NASA visitor center when we visited Texas. I also have the ornament from Denmark that Julie got me, but I put it in a special place so I wouldn’t lose it—and I’ve done exactly that… it’s around here somewhere!

I just love this tradition SO much that I’ve started collecting pictures for the kids too! This is Jackson holding his ornament from his first Christmas. Wouldn't it be neat if I could get a picture of him holding it each year?! Hopefully I remember to do that!

I let Jackson put all of his ornaments on the tree and they all ended up in this tiny area. They, of course, no longer reside there thanks to a certain little sister who likes to eat play with them.SAM_7058

This is Jackson’s ornament from this year. I just couldn’t resist the red helmet! It reminds me of the Chiefs helmet Jackson loves to wear all the time.SAM_7243

And Belle’s. Of course, it will actually  be her picture inside once I get a few! The little tag says, “so much cute in one little package!” It’s like they knew my daughter when they designed it! :)SAM_7239

Does your Christmas tree tell a story? What are your favorite ornaments?


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