Wednesday, December 30, 2009

OK, yes, we went overboard. WAY overboard!

I'm always a little hesitant to post about the things we got for Christmas because I don't want to seem like we're showing off (truth be told, I'm more than a little embarrassed by how much Creed ended up getting for Christmas but I started shopping so early that I didn't realize how much we had for him until we went to wrap it. Then Larry and I sorted through it all and knew he'd love each thing so we decided to go overboard on his last Christmas as an only child because we were just so excited about how much he would love each new toy).

At any rate, I want to have record of where these things came from and how much we loved them at the time because I think it will be fun for Creed to one day look back on. After sorting through all of Grandpa Ford's belongings this summer and not knowing the story behind so many of the things that were obviously dear to him, I'd like to be better about documenting some of the things that are special to us and why.

Creed's big request from Santa was a bike with training wheels so this is what Santa brought him:
See what I mean about overboard? Our two year old, does not need a BMX bike with pegs, but it's actually a really big bike (with 16" wheels) so I think he will be riding it for years and we wanted it to last. Now if only the snow on our sidewalks would melt so he could ride it.

The other thing Creed has desperately wanted for months is this little toy yellow beetle. Seriously, months! We saw it back in September and he begged and begged to have it but I thought it was a waste of money for a toy he would only spend five minutes playing with. Ummm, I was wrong. He has mentioned it EVERY DAY since then. And when we're driving and we see a yellow beetle (which take my word for it, happens more often than you would think) he always shouts, "A YELLOW BEETLE!!!!!!" and then in the saddest whimper you have ever heard he adds, "I really want one." Well, Santa finally brought him one and he was thrilled.

We bought him a couple more toys from this construction set, including the crane, which seems to be everyone's favorite, but I'm not sure where we will put that huge thing.

And this really adorable version of memory.

My mom made Creed a little apron and chef's hat because every time he pretends to cook or helps me in the kitchen he asks for a hat like Ratatouille. He was obviously thrilled!

We also got him a set of automoblox minis. You can mix and match the pieces to build different cars.
And a camera we found on clearance somewhere. He has been very busy taking photos.

And we knew we couldn't go wrong with a yellow coat or doll stroller (but now he refuses to wear any other coat, even when it's freezing outside, and this one is really meant to be a raincoat)

The only other toy that he's requested lately was a toaster for his toy kitchen. We've been eating a lot of pretend toast since Christmas.

Santa spoiled me too. I got this Eames knock-off rocking chair that I've been wanting for Tiny Ford (even though he doesn't have a room, but he will someday, right?)

And this coat for myself
Which hopefully will fit after Tiny Ford arrives!
And I'm really grateful for some wonderful gifts from my family. Like little mini pie-molds that Keri knew that I would love.
And a new necklace that I got to design with my mom with beads from my Aunt Liana and my Grandma Borup (Although it makes me really nervous to wear expensive jewelry. I'm always worried that I will break or lose it. Does anyone else feel that way?). Marissa, Candice, and my Mom each have one too, but Candice and my Mom have originals designed by my Grandma.
And Cat made me these gloves just like Bella's in New Moon. She said she made a pair for each of her girls and it made my heart melt. I wish she could have been there to see how much I truly love them.
And Santa remembered Larry too. He got two new suits (because he's starting job interviews and suits were buy-one-get-one-free when we happened to be shopping the day after Thanksgiving).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our Christmas Festivities

Our Christmas Eve was a little different this year because for the first time ever, we were able to get together with both sides of the family. Larry's mom and stepdad are temporarily living in Utah until the end of January so we had a Ford family dinner at our house (and we missed you terribly Keri, Matt, & Jack!). We are so awesome that we didn't end up with a single good picture to share. I guess that we were busy cooking.

After that, we headed down to spend the night at my parents in Provo. Creed was tired, but we did squeeze in the tradition reading of Luke 2 and opening of pajamas before he went to bed.

Creed and Larry looked so cute playing together in their red pajamas.
Then my family stayed up into the wee hours working on a quilt for my little brother's girlfriend, Brenna. Isn't that so cute of my parents? Eli planned to propose on Christmas, but wanted it to be a surprise so he rushed to get a few big gifts together so Brenna wouldn't be suspicious.
Creed slept in until about nine on Christmas morning and then we lined up at the top of the stairs and said a prayer in thanks for our Savior to start the day off right.
Poor Creed was not feeling well and spent most of the morning like this and insisting that he did NOT want to open any presents.
After some Tylenol, he perked up and opened presents off and on over the next few hours due to a lot of encouragement from the rest of us. By the time Marissa's family came by in the afternoon, he was full of cheer.

And Eli even finished hand stitching the binding on his quilt for Brenna before he had to give it to her.
Christmas night, Eli took Brenna to the Tree Room at Sundance and proposed (she was actually surprised because he told her he had planned a special dinner because he knew she was hoping to get engaged on Christmas day and he felt ready bad that the ring was not ready so he couldn't make it happen). Even though he knew she would say yes, he looked so nervous and cute beforehand.

So the best part of Christmas day was adding a new member to the family! Congratulations Eli and Brenna! We can't wait for the big day in June!
Candice took these photos this summer.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fortune Walnuts

I decided to make gilded fortune walnuts because I wanted to put together something fun to bring to some of our neighbors for Christmas, but something that wasn't too expensive. Gilded fortune Walnuts are a Victorian tradition. They hung them as ornaments on their Christmas trees and then guests got to pick a walnut to crack open to discover their future.

The first step to making these walnuts is to crack them open and hollow them out. Cracking them open is the most difficult step. At the top of each walnut, there is usually a small hole that you can slip the tip of a knife into and then very carefully work your way around the walnut until it breaks in half (Be sure to have extra walnuts on hand. I ruined about 1 out of four.) Once they are all broken in half, clean out the insides using a butter knife or just your fingers. Now, a true Victorian would gild the walnuts at this point, I just used an antique gold, cheap acrylic craft paint that I already had on hand and painted them.
Then I made up fortunes (some nice, some funny), printed them out, cut them up and rolled them into tiny scrolls tied shut with bakers twine. Here are a couple of our fortunes.

The next one was funny to us because Larry is just finishing up his infectious disease fellowship.
Then I tied a loop of bakers twine to hang the ornament and I was ready to assemble them.

I'm sure there are many way to do this, but I just used simple wood glue and painted it around the edges using a paint brush, making sure to add extra to the top to make sure the loop of twine was secure. When I sandwiched both sides together, a little glue squeezed out that I wiped up, and then I held the walnut closed for a few second to make sure that it stuck.
Then you can make up your own pretty packaging. I used 3" x 3" x 3" clear boxes and stuffed them with wrapping paper I ran through my shredder (which was cheaper than buying pre-made filler). Then I tied them closed with thicker bakers twine and added a label.
I hope that our friends enjoyed them!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Simple gift tags

Speaking of our stamps from Craft Pudding, I used them to make labels for our presents this year. I think they turned out really cute, and I love that they are reusable so we can save them and use then again next year (they are on really heavy cotton paper)I also cut up a couple of the Christmas cards that I messed up and made tags out of those too.
I think my favorite thing about them is that Creed can look at the gifts and knows which ones are for him, even though he can't read, and that's caused a lot of excitement at our house!
PS- this reminds me of a couple of essential craft tools that you might want to ask Santa to put in your stocking: a set of acrylic letter stamps similar to this one (you can line them up to spell whatever you want and you can see right through them to stamp in just the right spot. I used them to stamp "to" at the top of my labels) and a screw punch (I have this one from the Martha Stewart line. It makes it easy to punch holes anywhere and come with three sizes of holes that store in the handle). I also love the Martha Stewart bone folder and craft knife; Santa put them in my stocking last year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wish Lists?

Do you keep a wish list? I liked to be surprised by Christmas gifts, but I know what it's like to struggle to come up with a gift for someone that they actually want, but isn't just a gift certificate (not that gift certificates aren't nice now and then too).

I keep an Amazon wish list for myself and another one just for Creed. Larry complains that it's impossible to buy me a book because I already have a whole library full and he's always worried that I will already have whatever he buys me (a reasonable worry; it's happened more than once) so this makes it easy to choose a book he knows I want and don't already own. If my family wants to pick things from my list to gift to me, they know I will like it, but there's no pressure (my mom always asks me exactly what I want for Christmas and I hate to demand anything. Wouldn't you feel weird telling someone what they should go and buy you?)

Anyway, I know this sounds like a commercial, but I love Amazon's Universal Wish List feature, that allows you to add things from any website. Truthfully, I use my wish list and Creed's, just to remember things I would like to buy someday so when an event like Creed's birthday rolls around, it's easy to go to his list and scroll through and pick a few things without having to manage a million bookmarks that I've been saving.

Our 2009 Christmas Cards

This year, our friends Kirk and Eva offered to letterpress our Christmas cards at Sycamore Street Press, an offer that we could not possibly refuse. I've been so excited about our cards so if you haven't received yours, please just skip this post because I couldn't wait any longer to share. They are about 5" x 14" and then I scored them and folded them up.
so when you unfolded them, they looked like this. I used the heads from our Craft Pudding custom stamps and then I altered them a bit (especially mine) and drew the bodies.
Sycamore Street Press used really thick luxurious paper that really showed off the beautiful impression the letterpress made. I think it was the perfect way to share our happy news with any of our friends who might have missed it.
I knew I wanted to use wrap around labels on the envelopes, but I didn't have time to design my own so I found a really cute free download here and I just adjusted the size a little to meet my needs.
(sorry the color on these photos is a little weird, it's been stormy around here so the lighting was not the best)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas bells are ringing

We have been busy with all sorts of Christmas merriment around here. Here are a few photos of some of the things that we've been up to. We bundled up and went out on a very snowy night to see the live nativity in our neighborhood.
We have no pictures of the actual nativity because it was too cold to bother with bringing a camera.
We partied with our ward at our church Christmas party. Creed had a blast with his friend Piper (who makes this face every time I ask her to smile, which makes me smile)
Creed was no so sure about Santa at the party (and there is a great shot of my 6 1/2 month pregnant belly).
We spent a Saturday morning downtown eating waffles, drinking wassail and watching the Muppet Christmas Carol
We spent an evening and This is The Place Park's Candlight Christmas
And the night night with my family viewing the Christmas lights at Temple Square

Creed was a grump that night, but we woke up to discover that his last molar had arrived by the next morning so I guess I can't blame him.
Then this weekend we went down to my parents' house to make gingerbread houses. This is my parents'.
This one is ours.

And this is Marissa's Hawaiian beach scene.
Creed was too busy eating as much candy as he could to bother with decorating the house.
He had lots of fun playing with his cousin Logan and left the hard work to us.
And then we had an early Christmas present delivery from the Hudsons of Jeni's Ice Cream! It seriously made me so happy that I started to cry.
And now I think that you're just about caught up!