Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Eight years today. Happy anniversary to us.

Monday, June 29, 2009

To Do Today

Strut your stuff. Oh yeah, work it, girl:

Get lost in your thoughts:

Sport a new 'do:

Photograph yourselves, but only if you can focus on someone's nose and nothing else:

Publicly display your farmer tan as often as possible, no matter how many cool points are at stake:

Rock someone you love to sleep in your baby doll bed that you think is your new special bench. Hug them tight.

What things did YOU do this weekend?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Capture the memory of your child's playful imagination and encourage his pre-writing/reading skills with this fun, easy project.

Tell your child you'd like to make a book together. All he has to do is what he always does -- make up a story and act it out with his toys. Take a picture of each scene as you go along, and write down word-for-word your child's description of what is happening.

Print the photos (my printer was low on ink so the pics turned out sickly, but Ian didn't notice), and let your child help cut and glue them to each page in the book.

Ask him for a title to his story. Try your best not to make suggestions! Let the ideas in this book be totally his. Enjoy reading the story over and over together and save it forever as a memory of your child's thoughts and interests.

Other book ideas . . .

Encourage number sense and recognition
Group your child's toys into certain numbers and take photos of each grouping. Draw a giant number on the left side page and glue the photo of that number of objects on the right side page. Example: left side: [3], right side: [Text reads, "Ian has 3 Power Rangers" under photo of the Power Rangers.] For young preschoolers, stick to numbers 1-10.

Encourage alphabet memorization
Follow the same steps as in the number book, using letters instead on the left side and a photo of an object starting with that letter on the other side. Example: left side: [S], right side: [text reads, "Superman" under photo of Superman]. Variation: help your child find magazine pictures of things starting with certain letters. Your child can cut them out and glue into the book on the correct pages.

L is for Lilly

Thanks for the sweet comments and emails about this project. I am now working on three more canvas cards/wall art pieces for a certain website and am excited about the opportunity (news to come soon)!

L is for Lilly is the first. Finished it last night. Cute, cute. The other two are painted and calling to me. A blank canvas really is inviting (more so than laundry and dust bunny floors).

Had a great flight to Louisville, Kentucky and returned home safely last night. Dad was amazing, of course. I was way proud. And Amanda was one of the featured singers. Again, proud was I.

Bonus -- I got to see my dear childhood friend, Charity, at the convention. Bummed the photos of us were too blurry to post. Charity is a special person. She and I recently reconnected through our blogs. Find her here.

And I came home to a spotless house and happy children. Who were already asleep.
Nathan is un. be. liev. a. ble.
Need I say more?

More crafty goodness tomorrow. See you then!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vintage Heirloom

Lilly's great-grandmother, Frieda, gave Lilly this baby doll bed Saturday at our family Father's Day celebration. Frieda's father made it for her when she was about Lilly's age. Treasure.

And Frieda and her daughter (Lilly's grandmother) neatly stitched a new sheet for the bed.

Within two minutes the bed was full of Larry Boy, baby dolls and Star Wars figures, much to Frieda's delight.

[Rebekah is flying the friendly skies this evening to hear her dad speak at the Southern Baptist Convention in Louisville, KY on Wednesday; therefore, Nathan is publishing this post; therefore-therefore, any and all errors belong entirely to him]

Friends From the Start

Lately, I have been blessed by a certain sweet, dear friend. Paula Voris is one of the most wonderful people I know and has been a constant encourager to me. And now, as a thank you to her, she's going to get this wall-hanging thingamajig from me.

I started this project last night with a blank, white 8x10 canvas and painted it yellow. Five yo-yos, four buttons, three ribbon stems, one rub-on and a painted chipboard bird later (notice it's my yeebird?), it was finished. A thank you note is written on the back.

*Excited to deliver it to Paula today!*

Crafty Creations is asking for How Does Your Garden Grow? inspired projects this week. Think I'll link this one!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Painting for Daddy

Lots of painting happened today at our house. I used a piece of chipboard backing that came on some packaging as the background for this Father's Day card. It was fun scrunching up a paper towel and painting the chipboard green. Next, I painted a little orange around the border, and painted "dad" orange, then green on the edges.

Oh, and I also cut a thin strip from my Hambly overlay and painted its edges, too, then glued it in the center to separate the pictures. Of course I had to sew on it, too--around the photo edges.

I used my dime store dictionary again for this card (since "fatigue", "fatty", and "fatso" come right after my chosen words, I had to be selective in my cutting, ha ha). My friend, Lexi introduced me to using a dictionary on layouts. If you want a real treat, please visit her wonderful blog. She has so many incredible ideas. Check out this post to see the sweet banner she just finished.

My favorite thing about this card is the photos are inside some baseball trading cards I got at Staples. It makes it look a little extra special and finished, but didn't translate well on the pictures. If they look a little fuzzy/cloudy, it's because they are inside of these. In person, I think it makes them look pretty fabulous, like they are behind glass. Oooh!

More painting . . . Ian and Lilly each painted pictures for daddy. Yes, they are painting sans shirts. Tummies wash much better!

A little paint on the nose. LOVE this photo.

It bothers Lilly a LOT to have messy hands. "Wash hands, mama?" I'm working on her -- I want my children to be okay with making messes and experiencing things.

Here's a tip. We eat our weight in yogurt in this house. I've started buying these Hiland yogurts. They are the perfect size for holding paint, becoming bug houses, scooping rice, making an instrument, you name it.

Happy Father's Day, everyone.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Father's Day Series (3): Grandpa and Papaw

Not sure there are many gals on the planet who have two grandpas as wonderful as I do. My grandpa Marshall is a precious pastor. He loves the unlovable. He is good to my grandmother. He raised my dad, and did a pretty darn good job. He is said to never stop smiling. Speaking of never stopping, he never stops moving, either. Boundless energy!

Always so proud of his son, here's grandpa intently listening to dad speak at a convention in 2005.

My Papaw Huey is on the other side now. I miss him. Badly. Papaw never met a stranger. He could fix a lawn mower with his eyes closed. He fed birds and squirrels sometimes from the palm of his hand. He cooked a mean fried chicken. And he became better with age. Much better, every single day. And I see his gentleness reflected in my mama.

Another Father's Day gift idea--bookmark:

Print a small photo and stitch the four corners to a length of grosgrain ribbon. Trim ribbon edges at an angle.

This bookmark is three years old and still being used. Definitely a nice and practical gift.

Blankets and Beanies

Have you heard of Craft Hope? Jade and her team are doing an amazing job improving the lives of many, many children around the world. Right now they are collecting baby blankets, beanies, and booties for newborn babies in three different villages of India.

When Ian and Lilly got to bed tonight, I started to work. I used two old maternity t-shirts (won't be needing those ever again) to make four newborn beanies. Download Amanda Soule's pattern for turning t-shirts into beanies here. SUPER easy.

Then, I made a quick quilt, sewing three long strips of different fabrics together for one side, then attaching it to the soft minky fleece goodness for the backside.

My box is ready to send. It feels good to help a sweet, new baby stay warm. Check out Craft Hope for yourself and make another baby warm! Thanks!!

Now, a Father's Day idea . . .

I made this tie cake for Nathan's first Father's Day (2005). It's easy to do and your children can help you decorate. Since Ian was only 2.5 mos. old at the time, I was on my own.

Buy a ready-made pound cake. Use a mega serrated knife to cut angles on the sides (you can chow these--won't need 'em). Also cut two triangles to make the bottom of the tie. Attach these two triangles to the top with toothpicks to make the knot of the tie. Ice cake. Use Fruit by the Foot and icing gel for stripes.

Place in a box resembling a tie box.
(any ideas on how to make a flip-flops cake? my man's more flip-flops than tie guy now)

One last, totally unrelated, severely creepy thing . . .
Check out what Nathan found on our driveway tonight. Not sure if I'll get much sleep tonight!!!
(is it weird that we wanted to capture it?)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Father's Day Series (2): Nathan

So the kids pretty much struck gold when they got you as a dad, sweets. You're the best human punching bag/jungle gym. EVER. And you're always bringin' the funny. Like tonight, after playing crazy with Ian all evening in his room, you come out, point to a big scratch on your forehead, and say, "Know what that is? That's what happens when a band of pirates led by Jabba the Hut attacks the Bat Cave."

Love that "day 1" daddy picture. We were clueless, weren't we? I remember you got a migraine or something that day at the hospital. I thought you were going to pass out or worse. Then, we brought Ian home and I think it took about 5 minutes before he started crying. Remember?

But it's been a great ride and still is. And I love how you and Ian wrestle like mad and you always get injured, but you can be so extremely gentle with him, too, and so loving with sweet Lilly. You're the whole package, Williams. Happy Dad's Day.

For the rest of you . . .
Here is the link to a fun, super cheap Father's Day gift you can make with your kids. Ian and I made three last year, one for Nathan and one for each grandpa.

Let your child do the painting. Some of the blocks may turn out like this, but that adds to the charm.

Father's Day Series (1): Thanks, Dad


Thanks for being holy, genuine, tender, trustworthy, and compassionate. Thanks for always being the same man at home as you are at church. Thank you for never saying a bad word about anyone, no matter what they do to you.

Thanks for making me a priority--attending every violin and piano recital, for trips to Sonic after high school, and for visiting me every Tuesday in Fayetteville. Thanks for loving mom and John and me unconditionally, and for expecting kindness in our home.

Thanks for loving my kids with all your heart, for your obsession with them, for your influence on them. Thank you for accepting everyone, especially me, with all my faults.

You are larger than life, but no problem is too small for you to step in and show you care.

Happy Father's Day, dad. I love you.

click on images to enlarge