Friday, January 22, 2010

Feeling Crafty

It all started with my cousin, Danyel. She came over one day and showed me this AMAZING blanket she had sewn. I started thinking that I could do the same thing...except for the fact that I didn't have a sewing machine. After mentioning it to my husband in passing (for any of you that know my husband, mentioning anything is like a done deal...I really have to be careful), I got a sewing machine for Christmas. I have had so much fun with it. I am not the best and don't know how to do much, but I have made my first quilt, my first few burp cloths (made of flannel and cloth diapers), and pacifier clips. I also saw the greatest canvas craft at Craft Warehouse and decided to try my hand at it to fill some blank walls of Marissa and Spencer's that have been waiting for the perfect decor to come along (yes, Marissa's has been blank for almost 2 years now). The canvases didn't turn out perfect, but I am so excited to have handmade decor that fills my kids rooms.

The quilt is big enough for a double bed...Marissa can use it for a long time.

Each night before bed Marissa says "momma made that".

Dan is pretty proud of my "craft-i-ness" lately, even if it means wrapping himself in pink.

The Dot Burp Cloth. Flannel on one side, cloth diaper on the other (wth a flannel decorative strip).

More burp cloths (don't worry, this is all I have made).

Marissa's wall art...not perfect, but a lot of love and thought put into them.

Spencer's wall art...made with love!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Big Girl Bed

We recently put the toddler rail on Marissa's converitable crib. It has been a few nights of going into her room and constantly "reminding her" that she needs to stay in her bed and not read books (that's a morning thing so mommy can sleep in a few more minutes :). We started out the adventure with just a blanket and a "snuggy". However, more stuffed animals have been added and her bed has almost been taken over...oh well, if that's what she needs to feel secure. Here are a few pictures of Marissa's big girl bed.

Her bed with only a few animals.

Excited about sleeping in her big bed.

Why We Needed Spencer

I know the Lord has a GREAT sense of what we need in our lives. While the addition of Spencer was not completely planned by Dan and I, he was welcomed with LOTS of love. As time progresses and I see my two beautiful children interact together I realize a little of God's plan for us. Marissa is a great child and could play by herself for long periods of time, however, she has been soooo in love with her little brother. The Lord knew just what she needed too (it wasn't all about me). While we were out at the beach I came to a small realization.

Marissa doesn't do so well sleeping anywhere else but in her bed. From the begining I did everything "they say" you are supposed to do (put them in the playpen, not just their beds, make sure they are around noise when they sleep, etc.), however, she just doesn't like anything but her bed. Well, when we were out at the beach I realized it was going to be a "fun" time listening to her cry herself to sleep. The first night we didn't put Spencer in the room with her because we thought that might make the process longer. The usual crying, screaming, throwing her pacifier out, going in to console her once or twice, etc. went on. The next night I just decided to put Spencer down at the same time, because it was time for him to go to bed too. It was AMAZING the difference in Marissa's demenor. She didn't even cry and went to sleep right away. Then next night I put Spencer down again with Marissa...same thing. Oh, she just needed someone to be there with her. I can't wait till they get a little older and appreciate eachother's company even more. These days, Marissa chooses to eat her snack (she can only sit in one place to eat snack) next to her brother, chooses to play with her brother and his toys, helps him "roll over", and LOVES to give him kisses. Here are some pictures of the two of them together.

Eating snack next to baby Spencer.

Playing with Spencer and his toys.

Teaching Children How to Pray

Every year we get so many picture greeting cards from friends and family. Last year a good friend gave me an idea on how to use these pictures all year. So, we began this tradition last year and are excited to keep it going in our house. Marissa gets to keep the photos in her bedroom by her bedtime Bible. Before going to bed she chooses one family to pray for and this has quickly become a MUST in her nighttime routine. She LOVES doing this and always asks us the names of the people in the pictures. I enjoy watching her learn the names and most of all learn to pray for the people we love. She not only gets to add a face to their name, she gets to pray for them on a regular basis. So, if you are wondering what to do with all those is a great suggestion I am passing on to you and your family.

Marissa learning to pray for her friends and family.

Learning the names of her friends and family.

Schacher Christmas Overview

Christmas Eve
On Christmas Eve we went to our Aunts Bev & Marilyn's house and joined the rest of the Schmidgall's for the evening. We had a "finger foods" dinner and then did the traditional gift exchange. I love watching all the cousins play together.

Gracie and Marissa enjoyed opening presents and "awwing" over the toys.
Christmas Eve...Before Bedtime
Dan and I had been thinking and talking about the traditions we want to start with our children. Neither of our families really had many traditions so it is fun figuring out what would work best with our little family for the future. We decided that we would remember Dan's mom, Heidi Joy, by getting us all family P.J.'s and taking a traditional family picture. To this day, Dan remembers his mom getting matching P.J.'s for his family one year and taking a picture. So, on Christmas Eve, once we got home from the Schmidgall's, we all got to open one gift...guess what it was.

Marissa opening her Christmas Eve gift from Grandma Schacher (from her in spirit).

Marissa and Dan opening Spencer's gift from Grandma Schacher (from her in spirit).

First Dan Schacher family Christmas PJ photo.
Christmas Morning
In coming up with family Christmas traditions we wanted to make sure that they defined our family and put the focus on Jesus Christ above EVERYTHING else. When we woke up Christmas morning the first thing we did was make some hot cocoa and relax as a family on the couch. We brought in the Avent Calendar and put on the final piece...Jesus. It was fun listening to Marissa recite some of the things we learned about the Christmas story. Then Dan got out a preschool Bible and read the Christmas Story. After that the kids opened 2 gifts. It was a GREAT morning.

Enjoying our hot cocoa.

Putting the last "character" on our Avent calendar on Christmas Morning.

Reading the Christmas Story as a family before even thinking about gifts.

Playing with bows.

Oh, blue eyed Marissa.

This tearing paper thing is pretty cool.

Marissa's Christmas gift was a little kitchen.

Spencer's gift was an exersaucer and a walker all in one (I think I thought it was cooler than Spencer did).

Christmas Day with the Schacher's
On Christmas Day, Dan's family came over to our house for a nice dinner. Dan got a turkey deep fryer for Thanksgiving and insisted on making another turkey. You never know what you are going to get with Dan sometimes. This year it was making the turkey on our front sidewalk (you have to make sure it is a safe place in case it starts on fire), in his new Christmas P.J.'s.

We had a great time with his family. Ian and Lisa (Dan's brother and wife) brought the best gifts of all to the family. Lisa had taken Nerf guns out of their packages, loaded and then wrapped them. It was a GREAT 2 hours of Nerf wars. I have to say it was much better than the traditional "brother's" wrestling that goes on for hours. :)

Dan deep frying the turkey in his P.J's.

Nerf gun wars...2 whole hours!!!

There were many alliances made and brothers betrayed on Christmas Day!

Ivan Schmidgall Christmas at the Beach
Every year the Ivan Schmidgall family goes over to the beach for a few days around New Years. This year was so fun...we played DJ Hero (even Rosemary gave the turntables a shot), started planing a wedding, saw the movie Avatar, the boys went crabbing, the girls went shopping, and we enjoyed eachother's company.

The boys playing magnetic darts on the couch.

Dan and Marissa opening gifts out at the beach.

Aiden and Marissa watching "Baby Signing Time" at the beach while the adults enjoy some quiet time.