Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Love...Love...Love...Homemade Valentines

Avery's pre-school class is having their "Friendship Party" tomorrow, and opposed to buying our valentines this year, Avery and I decided to make her own.
I figured that if we took a few minutes and looked around the house, we could figure out something fun to make that would
a.) not cost anything
b.)reuse some items from the house
c.)fully involve Avery in the process.

It didn't take long for us to find a favorite craft and make it into something new and fun.


First, we stripped all of the crayons of their papers and divided them into color families. By the way...stripping the crayons is the worst part of this process, but to make it a little easier you can use a knife or razor to help remove the paper.

My grandmother gave me a few silicone molds as gifts in the past few years. After sitting in a closet (because I'm not a good baker), I decided to give them over to the craft gods...and use them to MELT CRAYONS! You can't tell by looking here, but these molds are bugs, and the little individual ones are hearts.

Avery put the broken crayons into the molds. Some of them were done by color family, some were all mixed up. I just let her have fun with it.

We melted the crayons in the oven. If this were a recipe, I would say 350 for 10 minutes. Honestly, it doesn't matter. Just put them in there until they melt. AND...please, learn from my mistakes, and be sure to put foil or parchment under the molds. I am still attempting to get the wax off of my cookie sheet.

Let the crayons cool for about an hour, then peel them out of the molds. Make sure that the crayons are completely cooled and hardened, or else it will be a big ole mess.

We made....







Then, Avery practiced her cutting skills and cut out a ton of hearts. I wrote her classmates' names on one side of the hearts and little messages on the other side, such as...
Hi Buggy, You color me happy!
Hi Friend, You color my heart happy!

Avery wrote her name and decorated each Valentine with stickers. It was so cute. I would give her a valentine, and tell her who it was for. She would pick out stickers for each kid, and said things like "Ellie LOVES Sleeping Beauty" or... "Oh, I HAVE to find a horse sticker for MJ, she LOVES horses!" I loved that she took the opportunity to think about what each classmate would like.

The only thing that I bought for this little project were the little ziploc party bags from the Dollar Store.

I would say that we're pretty happy with the way they turned out.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Things I love...on a Thursday afternoon...

I'm going to post a touchy-feely...feel good post. Why? Because it's a good day. I feel on top of it, and am in an all around good mood.
So, here are the things that make me happy today...

1.) Cal and Avery played like champs this morning and got along really well. When I came back from taking Avery to school, Cal said "I'll miss Avery while she's gone". Sweeties!

2.) My sisters are home this week, so I get to take Avery to school while they stay home with the other two kiddies. I love this little alone time that I get with Avery. We sing silly songs, get to school early (as opposed to running in all crazy), and hold hands as we walk in. It's such a little thing, and it amounts to about 25 minutes, but I love it.

3.) Lillian is such a good napper. When it's time for her nap, I get her blankie, and pick her up as we head up the stairs. We spend every little step of that walk up to her bed snuggling. I kiss her and hug her and tell her at least 50 times that I love her. She snuggles into my neck and gives me a little squeeze as I lay her in her bed. She doesn't make a peep, rolls over and falls right to sleep.

4.) Mae (the other little girl that I watch) realizes that Lillian is taking a nap and immediately starts asking for a blankie too. She would rather take a nap than stay awake without Lil. She is such a sweet little girl and loves Lillian (not as much as she loves Cal though;). She doens't care what blankie she sleeps with, just as long as she gets one. Right now, she is sleeping with my pink pashmina...because it was soft. She gets hugs and kisses too on her way to bed, and now after watching her for a few months, she lays right down and falls asleep too.

5.) While Avery is at school, and the babies are sleeping, Cal and I get to hang out a little. Right now, he is kicking my butt at Mario Party.

Maybe my happy attitude has something to do with my new Keurig coffee pot. Somehow, life seems a little easier with easy access to caffeine.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mr. Dobbins

Mr. Dobbins holding Avery
Mr. Dobbins will always be one of my favorite people. He and his wife Betty (she will always be Mrs. Dobbins to me...and another one of my favorite people), were always a solid and loving couple in our church growing up. I appreciated both of them more than I ever told them.
Mrs. Dobbins passed away in 2005, and Mr. Dobbins went to be with her this past weekend 1-1-11. I've loved them so much and for long that the reasons why sometimes seem muddled...but here are a few things that I can sort out and that you should know. I hope that you all are lucky enough to have someone as strong and special in your life as Mr. and Mrs. Dobbins.

Mr. Dobbins would sit in the back of the church on the right side. Our family sat in the same pew, but on the left side. Sometimes, I would purposely go in on his side (we were always late), just so I could give him a kiss on the cheek. He never minded that I squeezed in past him, and was always happy to see us.

Mrs. Dobbins never held her tongue. She didn't need to...she was always right. Her opinion meant about as much to me as my own mother's. She was a strong woman who was able to carry the weight of the world, run a tight kitchen (seriously...don't you DARE make a mess in the church kitchen!), take care of her children and grandchildren and never seem stressed.

Mr. Dobbins was my Grandpa Cox's friend. My Grandpa Cox was much older when he joined the church, but found a friend in Mr. Dobbins. How lucky to find someone that you have something in common with later in life! I love that they found one another. I love that Mr. Dobbins visited my Grandpa in the hospital, and I love Mr. Dobbins even more for being a friend to my sweet soft spoken Grandpa.

Mrs. Dobbins was everyone's Granny. She would stay in her chair in the church lobby after church and welcomed all of the love that came her way. Mr. Dobbins would stand near her. Later, after Betty passed away, Mr Dobbins would sit directly across where she used to sit and be ready for the hugs and kisses too.

Mr. Dobbins always held my hands when I leaned in to kiss his cheeks. His skin was soft, and he was always so gentle. He wasn't a small man, but he was sweet, loving and careful. He always remembered what was going on in my life. He was just like a grandpa.

When Chris and I were dating, Mrs. Dobbins declared that he was a good guy, and she liked him. She was an excellent judge of character. I'm pretty sure that she didn't like anyone else that I dated, so this was a BIG deal. If I wasn't sure about Chris before this, her opinion of him would have sealed the deal. Luckily for him, he got the seal of approval.

I've never seen a more devoted couple in my life. They weren't ostentatious with their love, but you just knew how deeply and madly in love they were. They built such a huge life around them, and you could tell that ever corner of that life was filled with love.

Their youngest daughter Missy took care of both of them through her life. I am so lucky to have known her for the majority of my life and to call her a friend. I love her so much, and when I think about the reasons that I love her...they are for the same reasons that I love her parents. She is loyal, devoted, loving, giving, caring, she speaks her mind, and she is a wonderful friend...and good cook;) I am so thankful that both Mr. and Mrs. Dobbins live on in her.

Mr. and Mrs. Dobbins were loyal and loving. They were there for their kids, grandkids and anyone else that needed them. I am so thankful for both of them, and the positive influence that they made on me. They were a cornerstone in my life, and I will forever be grateful to them both for being such positive role models to anyone that knew them.