Hello PegLegs

Apr 23, 2015

After making the American Girl doll beds for Sunshine and Beebs, I felt like I was running out of time to make something homemade for Man Cub. I came across an Instagram store selling handpainted peg toys and thought maybe I could just buy him something handmade by someone else Ü I participated in a flash sale held by the store and things didn't work out as planned. Despite being the first person to claim the item I wanted, it was given to someone else and I was pretty darn ticked. (Hello pregnancy hormones!) Right then and there, at like 10 at night, I decided I would just buy my own wooden pegs and paint Man Cub a set on my own.

I had a few other kiddos left to buy Christmas gifts for, so I ordered enough pegs to make them each a peg or two as well. The first time I sat down to paint I just stared at my supplies for at least a half hour, terrified because I had no idea how to get started and I was so scared I would mess up. Slowly but surely, I got the hang of what I was doing and by the time Christmas rolled around, I had painted over 25 peg dolls and was getting pretty darn good at it. Not only did I find that I was decent at painting these 3.5 inch figures, but I found it to be super relaxing and fun.

After finishing up all the Christmas gifts, I decided I wanted to keep painting and opened up my own little Instagram and Etsy store, Hello PegLegs. I haven't had an Etsy sale yet, but I have sold plenty on Instagram and I am absolutely loving it.

Man Cub's homemade Christmas gift ended up being a Buzz and Woody peg set and I have since made him Baymax and Hiro, which he absolutely adores as well. I've done superheroes, princesses, ninjas, zombies, Harry Potter, pirates and even a few custom pieces like some little girls (including Sunshine!) in baptism dresses. There is seriously so much I can do with these simple little pieces of wood, a few hours and a handful of paint colours.

A Very Merry American Girl Doll Christmas

The end of November and beginning of December brought about some projects for Bruce and I. It has become a bit of a tradition for us to give the wee ones something homemade for Christmas each year and this year, we decided on American Girl doll beds for the girls. Beebs was asking Santa for a Kit Kittredge doll, Sunshine had gotten Josephina for Christmas the year before and we had some doll clothes to give each of them. It seemed like beds would be the perfect addition to their American Girl doll themed Christmas. 

We found some awesome plans for farmhouse style doll beds on Ana White's website and went to work. Bruce did a great job putting the beds together and painting them. On occasion I acted as a clamp, holding the pieces together while he assembled, and tackled the sewing portion. I was so excited to find the perfect fabrics for each bed at Joanns... patchwork for Kit (I figured that in the Depression years, it would have been common to have bedding made from scraps of old fabric) and a beautiful wool southwestern print fabric for Josephina's bed. I absolutely love how the beds came together and now I'm dreaming of bigger projects- like a farmhouse bed for us. Maybe bunk beds for the girls room. The possibilities are endless. Ü But it will be awhile before any of those dreams  become reality. We have a few other big house projects to tackle first.

For Time & All Eternity

Apr 22, 2015

December started out with a very special event- the sealing of our next door neighbours and great friends, Bill and Diane.

 Bill & Diane were baptized members of our church in November of 2013. From the moment they were baptized, they could not wait to go to the temple to be sealed together for time and all eternity. They were especially excited when we found out that the Phoenix temple was going to be completed right around the time they were ready to be sealed.

By the time the temple was dedicated, Diane had made all the necessary arrangements for them to go through the temple and be sealed the first weekend of December. Since their civil marriage had been performed at the courthouse with a set of friends as witnesses and no hoopla afterwards, I decided I wanted to make their sealing extra special. Of course, being sealed is special enough, but with the help of a friend from the ward, we also threw them a little party after the sealing. We kept it simple. Outdoor dining, a baked potato bar, salad, yummy drinks and a Costco cake. Simple but absolutely perfect. They loved every moment of it and I have never seen the two of them so incredibly happy.

It was a wonderful weekend and I still feel so blessed to have been a part of it- as Diane's right hand woman as she went through the temple, their photographer after, and the party coordinator. It was a big weekend and by the end of it I was sick as could be from overdoing it, but I wouldn't change a thing about it. I was most definitely blessed with strength beyond my own throughout all the excitement, then once it was over, I crashed.

Diane and her missionaries... it was so exciting that both sisters who helped Bill and Diane through their baptism were also able to be at their sealing!

Pictures for the Prophet

As I mentioned in my post about the completion of the Phoenix Temple, when Bruce left to work the Cultural Celebration, the girls (and Man Cub!) sent him off with pictures they had drawn for the prophet. Bruce was able to deliver them to a secretary who assured him they would make it to President Monson. The girls are still so excited that they were able to draw pictures for the prophet.

Before they sealed their drawings up in envelopes, I snapped a picture of each drawing so we could "save" them. Here are Beeb's pictures. I love the hodge podge writing that says President Monson's name! Her other picture was of her, so he'd know what she looks like.

Man Cub wanted in on the picture drawing action so he added a few scribbles to a piece of paper. 

Sunshine drew President Monson a picture of the Phoenix temple and wrote him a sweet note. She is absolutely right- she and her brother and sister do indeed love our temple!

Odds & Ends | November

Apr 21, 2015

November was a less busy month for our family than the few months prior had been. I was in the throes of being sick so I did as little as absolutely possible. It was full on survival mode. Yet, I still managed to snap plenty of random photos to capture the little every day things that still went on. 

 Man Cub made great use of his car mat and his favourite car- Mack. He has been known to sleep snuggled up with Mack at night even, which I am sure cannot be comfortable. 

 I bought a pregnancy pillow, anticipating the uncomfortable nights to come and Beebs commandeered it. Truth be told, even though I don't always sleep comfortably, I find that I get horrible sleep when using this pillow. So Beebs can have it! She loves to make it into a little nest before falling fast asleep.

 Have I mentioned how much I love having a mini van? I was so against having one for such a long time, but now I wouldn't trade it for anything. I can fit all my kiddos, a bail of alfalfa and 50 lbs of chicken food. With room to spare!

As is traditional for our family, we set up our tree just a week or so into November. Some say it is too early and that we are skipping out on Thanksgiving, but I find myself to be in a much more thankful and reverent mood when my tree is up. The whole house feels cozy and my mind is centered on Jesus Christ and His birth.

Sharing donuts for breakfast and Man Cub's new big boy hair cut. No more curls! It took me a bit to get use to, but now I think he looks a little shaggy once his curls start to come back in. It sure makes him look grown up though. He's definitely not a baby anymore. 

 Snuggles with my Beebs. I guess you could say that was a silver lining of how incredibly sick I was throughout November. I spent a lot of time snuggled up with my wee ones on the couch, watching movies. I felt like the lamest mom in the world, but I definitely made the most of all that cuddle time.

 7 weeks along. Not so much baby bump as baby bloat, but I could no longer wear my regular pants! Hello maternity wear.

 Beebs and Elsa. Beebs is so my little farm girl. She loves to work in the garden and snuggle the chickens.

One day, I took a shower. After 8 years of motherhood, I should really know better. While I was showering, the girls dug out their hair chalk (which is kept up high, out of their reach and eye sight) and proceeded to give each other rainbow hair. I couldn't even be mad. I just laughed and was grateful that it was a day we had no where to go and nothing to do. And they were so darn proud of themselves!

 Bruce put in a nice new fire pit. It was so inexpensive and easy... we are wondering why on earth it took us so long to do it. But it's there now and we love it! It was fun for sitting around and roasting s'mores in the cooler temps and we are looking forward to using it for some dutch oven cooking before the hottest part of summer arrives.

 Some epic Beebs bedhead. There's not really much more to say!

More car play. This boy and his cars! They make him so happy. And I just love watching him play. 

Man Cub's Family Home Evening responsibility is to welcome us all, choose the opening song and call on someone for the opening prayer. He takes his job oh so seriously and it is just about the cutest thing in the world to hear him say "Welcome Family Home Evening. Thank you coming. Sing popcorn. I pray." Every. Single. Time. But we wouldn't have it any other way! 

Sunshine ran in the Turkey Trot at school. She did AWESOME!

Beebs made a turkey hat in preschool. She loved it. I think we only just managed to get her to part with it in the last month!

When the Christmas decor came out, so did the blinking Rudolph nose. It provided much fun for the wee ones. One night, Beebs insisted on eating her dinner with it on. Notice the corn dog on her plate? Like I said, full survival mode. In November I went grocery shopping at Costco once. I filled my entire cart with all the processed, frozen, ready to heat and eat foods I could. My family was in heaven. Just looking at my shopping cart multiplied my nausea ten-fold. But we came in under budget (which makes me sick in a whole different way!!) and my family was able to eat for the month while I kind of hid under a rock.

More snuggles. Or as Man Cub calls them- "snuddles". I told you- November was full of them and I loved it! 

Over Thanksgiving break we decided we needed to do at least one fun thing with Sunshine having the entire week off school. We still had our passes for the Sonoran Desert Museum down in Tucson so Bruce invited his dad to join us and we made it a day trip. I managed just fine until the ride home when I was a sick and nauseous mess. And then I was down for the count for several days as my poor body attempted to recover. But it was a super fun trip and I'm so glad we did it, despite me feeling less than ideal.  The fresh air and beautiful scenery were definitely good for me. It was the 2 hour car ride each way that was not so good.

On the way home, we happened to be stopping to eat at the same time and on the same street as Sunshine's best friend Audrina was stopping to eat with her parents after a weekend in Tucson. We surprised Sunshine by finding them to say hello and both girls were beyond excited to see each other. 

I got a nasty, nasty shock on Thanksgiving morning as Bruce was participating in his annual Turkey Day football game with friends from work. I looked down at my hand and realized the entire head of my engagement ring, diamond and all, were gone. We tore apart the house, the car and even scoured the field where the guys were playing. The diamond could not be found. I was beyond devastated and the pregnancy hormones didn't help. We look at it as a true blessing that our little locally owned jewelry store took full responsibility for the loss as the jeweler had just replaced the head of my ring 6 months earlier. Within 3 days, I had my ring back on my finger with a new head and a new, larger diamond. They didn't have any diamonds the size of mine in stock and they didn't want to make me wait, so the jeweler upgraded my diamond by a bit when he replaced it. It took awhile to get use to my new stone... it's a slightly different shape than my old one... more oblong than square and enough bigger than I managed to catch it on everything, but I am finally use to the new look of my ring and I am just ever so grateful that the jeweler took care of things for us.

Planks-giving dinner was the same meal we've enjoyed for the past four years... steak and crab legs with a shrimp appetizer just for Beebs Ü I wish I could say the meal was incredible and delicious and the best meal of the year buuuuut... that whole being sick thing kind of put a damper on the meal for me. I very much enjoyed my baked potato. But that's really all I could eat. The rest of the family loved it though and I am very much looking forward to Planks-giving 2015 where I plan to make up for lost time!

Despite being nauseous, I couldn't miss out on my 99 cent poinsettias on Black Friday, so I got the kiddos up at 4:40 and we headed to Home Depot to snag 2 dozen. They are my favourite way of decorating the house for Christmas, as well as a great gift to give out to the families we home and visit teach for the holidays. Plus, Home Depot always gives out donuts for "night shopping" as the girls call it. We were in and out in less than 30 minutes and then we all came home and crashed. Man Cub was such a little trooper. He puts up with a lot from his crazy mom! 

And with that, November came to a close. On to December... a month of me still living in survival mode, but one month closer to feeling  better!
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