Sew Many Joys

A Life of Family…Crafts…Joy…and LOVE

Tag Archives: joy

A Homemade Christmas

I cannot believe we are so close to Christmas already! I feel like we just set up our house and we’re here, ready to celebrate the Birth of Jesus with our family and friends already!

I do know that the presents under the tree from friends (for the boys) are a huge temptation. This morning they were so curious as to why they were sitting there, unopened! So instead of trying to open them, they took items from their room and started putting them in the gift bags. Seems like they wanted an extra surprise on Christmas!! hahaha.

This year, instead of going out and buying everything I can think of for everyone-I made a lot of our Christmas gifts. I made probably at least half of the gifts this year-which was a big undertaking. With each item, I was so excited and happy with the end result, I was wishing I could make more for someone else. Since people are receiving the gifts that I made (and most haven’t received them as of this point), I will keep them all a secret. But it had meaning this year – I had so much fun personalizing things to the person and putting my creativity, time and effort into making something special, useful and meaningful.

To be honest, I didn’t think it was possible. Back in October when I started my ‘Christmas Spreadsheet’, I was sure I was biting off more than I could chew. I wasn’t sure I could really take on so many projects to work on while taking a part-time job and caring for my family! But little by little I did them. Sure there were a few more I would have ideally liked to include in my ‘Christmas To-Do List’ but the reality of making 50% of our gifts this year was awesome. Next year I’ll work to increase it-coming up with new and exciting things to make and try.

This much simpler Christmas has helped to ground me in what is important this year. It isn’t the loudest toy-the most amount of toys-or even about how many gifts you give or receive. It was about making something special for someone else to celebrate the real reason behind Christmas. I imagine that those first gifts Jesus received weren’t the flashiest or the loudest but they sure had a lot of meaning and worth. Those first travelers to see the newborn offered something special that they had to honor a newborn King. It is my hope and prayer that you take the time this season to be with your family and friends…to share love and joy and peace no matter which holiday you celebrate. It is about loving kindness, joy and peace – may it be something you share with all those you meet this holiday!!

Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
Happy Kwanzaa

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One Year Later

The other day-just one day off from the original picture, my boys posed for a picture like none other.

Last December, on the 8th, I made the boys play around for some photos. Here is one of my favorite:

6 months old

and one year later

18 months old

I didn’t plan the 18 month old picture. Brenden climbed up on the chair with his book and Kaiden followed and they sat and read together and laughed together. It was awesome. AND the even better part was that it happened long enough for me to take a bunch of photos. But looking at this-boy am I blessed. Despite whatever is going on in the world and in other areas of my life, this is just an incredible feeling to be lucky enough to be a mother! 🙂

I am exciting for the holidays with the boys. Thanksgiving was fun with them being able to eat and participate in the fun- and I expect Christmas to be as beautiful. To see the world through their eyes…..just wonderful. 🙂 A huge answer to prayer.

The Road is Long

The road from Pennsylvania to Nebraska is L—O—N—G!

This past week we spent the week in Nebraska; first in Columbus and then in Ainsworth. It took us about 20-some hours to get there and every long and tiring hour was worth it! We stayed with our Aunt Charlotte who gave us a great time of family, rest and memory-making. The boys played with their favorite thing ‘ball’ all throughout the house and found ways to climb, laugh, talk and even kiss with Aunt Charlotte. The best was seeing my little Brenden warm right up to Aunt Charlotte!

We had the pleasure of going to The Family Museum in Iowa on the ride out there and the boys just were so in awe of just a few of the things there…a CAR, the LEGO table, and then the play food/store. Most of the children there ran from item to item, playing-manipulating-and then quickly moving on—even the younger aged kids, like Kaiden and Brenden were doing this same thing. My boys, I had to pry them off of the car so that they could see some other things!!! We had a blast there. It was well worth the few dollars and extra time. It was nice to spend the time with the boys as they played and laughed and explored their little people world.

Our time in Columbus was spent with Aunt Charlotte but also we had the chance to see ‘Aunt’ Carole again!! We’ve been praying for her and we’ve talked with the boys about her several times and so it was so sweet to spend the day and overnight with her. She’s sweet!

After a few days, we took the ‘plunge’ and traveled to Ainsworth! 🙂 Ainsworth is about 3.5 hours northwest of Columbus in an area called the SandHills (am I correct?) Anyway, this little rural town is where Joel’s Dad grew up and his Grandparents and some extended family still reside. It is the quaintest little town that always helps me to draw back to family and what’s important! We spent the time vising family and sharing in a Thanksgiving meal together (a day early). It seemed to me that the days went so quickly—well with all the eating we did! The evenings we spent back at the hotel room–sneaking from our room/suite to the adjoining room to play cards and games. There were so many laughs (and even a scare that ended with no damage and everyone well!)

I always leave Nebraska wishing for just a few more days – a few more days to slow down and savor life a little longer. This time I had the unique privilege of visiting the Coleman Ranch -The old farm where Joel remembers visiting his grandparents, when he was young! It no longer is used as a home, but the land is still being used for animals and possibly crops. But it was incredible to have the images of where the stories that Joel shares took place. I walked through the house just visualizing the beauty and quaintness of the house before it was left go.

We returned home as safely as we left. It was a joy to spend the time with our family. To learn more about each other-to make some irreplaceable memories and to help instill in us a sense of family and love for one another.

I talked an awful lot. I guess I was making up for the lack of posts in a few weeks! We’re gearing up for Christmas in our house. I had taken time to do some of that fun preparation work with the boys today and it meant the world to me-even if it meant taking an extra 30 minutes to do something! It was worth it.

~Niki

SLOW DOWN!

It’s Wednesday already?! WOAH! I’m still on the ‘Monday-blahs’ and here were are at Wednesday and I have to get myself all hyped up!!!!

This weekend we’re treking together as a family to Wesley Forest! Our first {of many to come} RETREATS!!!

I am excited to take the boys to the cabin and let them experience all of God’s beautiful nature. And to make it even more positive, the weather is supposed to be about 60 degrees! What a beautiful time to get away together. I will have a lot of pictures of our time together-can’t wait to share them.
Pardon me while I pick up my to-do list and start crossing off like crazy! 🙂

We all need a superhero!

I know that sometimes I’m the slowest poster…EVER. I struggle to finish taking the pictures, quick get them off my camera card and onto my computer-fiddle with the pictures in an editing software and then develop a post. So much sitting involved in that process. Much more than I can think about doing in one time.

We did manage a lot of fun stuff last weekend. (Probably enough material to last me a week straight of posts) but I’m way too behind in picture editing to do that much! We took our little handsome superheros trick-or-treating! We went with some friends of ours, with a darling little girl. The three kids did really well and had a good time.

Daddy’s favorite superhero is:

SUPERMAN!

So, like father-like sons….

Unlike superman, we took a nice ride to the houses!! They absolutely loved seeing the people, saying their version of ‘trick or treat’ and ‘thank you’ which sounded as close as possible. The highlight: seeing their reaction to touching the ‘candy’ in their pumpkins. They just had to pick each piece up…talk to each other about all of them!

 

I can promise you two things… Kaiden really did smile and laugh on this trip. I unfortunately only caught the serious glares out of both them. I guess we were just too busy enjoying the talking and laughing to take photos of those! 🙂 I made them little ‘capes’ for the back of those lovely PJ’s.

Can We Cook Together?

Recently my littlest brother turned 5. YES FIVE! Where did five years go already?! Anyway, I was super excited to do something a little more personal, with a little more meaning!

What do I enjoy doing? COOKING! So, I thought I’d share something I enjoy with someone I love!!

Finding the right moments, with the right time and right everything is always important. I had spent probably 2 hours finding the right pattern for an apron and even the right fabrics that would best suite the recipient as well as make this a project with meaning. Often times I spend more time on this part than anything else -but it always seems worth it.

I really wished I had the chance to be there for the party and to see him open the gift. While it wasn’t a shiny truck with bells and whistles, one day it may have a meaning. I wasn’t going for the ‘most popular’ gift–I realized that! I mean what 5 year old wants their sister to make them something? But I had to make him something-it was on my heart to put the time, effort and thought into this particular gift.

Mission accomplished: one reversible-personal apron! I was going to attempt the chef hat with it-maybe one day soon! I have all the supplies to make the adjustable piece-that I thought might be fun! I love sewing!!!!!

Wordless Wednesday

It is about time I get back into this! No more excuses – no more nonsense!

Savoring Each Moment

This past weekend was AMAZING! And we took each moment and sucked in all the sunshine, fun, laughs, and outdoor stuff we could get together! We already had busy schedules so we found lots of times to be outside.

I’ll be honest though-I only took pictures one of the times we were outside. I couldn’t stand being behind the camera any longer! It was time to sit down in the cool grass and enjoy the laugh of my kids.

Fall has arrived! (Almost ready to change colors!)

Kaiden couldn’t put that ball down all afternoon!

Brenden loves the car! It makes him so happy to ‘drive the wheel’

Kaiden and his favorite toy EVER!

Here is my little driver!

There is always something to build, scoop and splash!

Sifting, digging and playing!

I imagine that fall activities are some of the most fun times for me and I’m loving showing my children all the joys that we have in the world in sometimes the simplest of things! For we should always be grateful for all the abundance we do have!

Sewing For The Fun of It

This past week I was perusing the fabric store and just fell in love with so many new pieces! I love scouring the remnant bins. I have found myself some great pieces for very cheap!! It is those moments I cannot help myself. I did limit myself to four pieces, I figured I was purchasing enough!!! 🙂

I’m about to venture – I use ‘about’ pretty loosely – but I’m about to venture on a crafts bonanza! I’m just about finished making myself a nice crafting space and then I’m going to ENJOY it!! I have lots of gift ideas and lots of sewing for the fun of it! Who knows where it will lead me but I sure know that I am happy about having a space of my own soon!!

My poor patient husband and children really don’t mind the piles thrown around while I organize the room for the easiest work space (in the smallest work space ever known to a craft-a-holic!)

What kinds of things do you find joy in on a rainy day? What makes you smile a little more?

Wordless Wednesday