Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Creativity, Carving and Calamity

Well, "calamity" (which means an event resulting in great loss and misfortune), may be a bit strong, but turning pumpkins into Jack-o-lanterns with the Six Dream Weavers was (as always) an adventure!  I mean, you can  picture it, right?  3 "big" kids eager to to get started, but not all that interested in cleaning out the pumpkin guts, a six year old DETERMINED to save the seeds for roasting, and a 2 year old, doing all his 2 year old things, right in the middle of all of it.  I only freaked out for a second, then I was reminded by my husband that they are just kids, everything is washable, and as long as we keep the knives from the toddler all is well.

(Interesting sidebar: my kids (the big three) are not the best at choosing something and sticking to it.  The Twisters went back and forth a dozen times on whether or not they wanted costumes to go TorT'ing, then once we agreed that they WERE dressing up, they couldn't come up with a costume choice.  As of Monday of this week, we still had nothing.  I make a decision for them.  And Jake - same way!  We've been asking him since September what we wanted to be for Halloween.  He was a ninja last year, and for a long time he wanted to wear last year's customer (which would never fit, and I doubt we have all the pieces to).  FINALLY got him to pick by taking him shopping one hour before a carnival he was going to last Friday night!  I picked Finn's costume, so that was easy!)  This trend translates to jack-o-lantern design as well.  Pick a design.  Anytime now.  Just pick.  Sketch something out.  Triangle eyes.  A nose.  A mouth.  Or pick form the designs dad printed off.  FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS CREEPY AND SPOOKY, PICK SOMETHING!)

So, let's start with the annual trek to Grider's Farm to pick the pumpkins.  This has been an INSANE month for us, so it almost didn't happen.  But, as luck had it, we were all in the same place with no pressing commitments last Sunday afternoon, so off we went!  We came home with about a dozen pumpkins of various sizes.

So, Monday night, after a quick dinner and clean up, the TIME HAD COME!  Each child went outside and picked up "their" pumpkin, Dad broke out the "carving tool kits" and I got the good knives.  We put plastic down on the kitchen floor, and got to work.  I had 3 large bowls, too.  I was in charge of cleaning out the 3 big kids pumpkins 0 Britt did his own.  I just kept putting guts in a bowl, and had the big kids picking out seeds.  Finn, well, he was playing with spoons and guts, tasted some, and loved squishing his hands in the wet seed.  Oh, and while this was going on, they were supposed to be deciding on designs.  WOWza!  Emma and Lara completely carved their own last year, so I let them go at it again this year.  Jake picked a "vampire face" to be like his costume, and I carved it for him.  Then, he decided he wanted to cut one himself.  YIKES!  So, he got another pumpkin, helped me clean it out, and I let him cut the eyes and nose, I did the mouth...

And, while the 5 of us were trying to wrestle Finn, four jack-o-lanterns, countless pokers, carvers, saw tooth tools and knives - as well as piles of guts, seeds, and discarded parts, Britt was sitting calmly at the dining room table working his skills on his masterpiece!  I think he got the better deal here! LOL!  But it was fun, and so worth it.  The kids even helped clean up!  I will let the rest of our night speak in pictures.

trying to keep Finn busy





Working so well together!  Even if the plastic is now all wadded up under them...

All the seeds they managed to get!

SOMEONE had my camera!  LOVE finding pics like this!  :)

The kids' finished products

Lights on, lights off!

Another Jack-o-Lantern carving party is in the book.  Makin' Memories!

I love Halloween with these kids:
On top of the hay stack at the pumpkin patch

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Best. Husband. EVAH!

With six people in our house, it is ALWAYS crazy busy.  And noisy.  And chaotic.  AND FUN!  And you know why?  Because of my AMAZING husband!  He begs me not to call him that – for fear he will fall short – but I tell him over and over and over again, “Ain’t gonna happen!”  In my eyes, and in my heart, there is no one better at being the first in command at Six Dream Weavers!  My husband, my friend, my confidant, my love.

As usual, we have had a super busy last few weeks.  Between March of Dimes committee work, the March for Babies, Finn’s birthday, Emma’s volleyball, Lara’s dance, Jake’s flag football, Finn’s numerous medical and developmental appointments, traveling over Fall Break for a family wedding, work, school and church, I MISS MY HUSBAND!  I feel like I don’t get to spend time with him much these days.  We haven’t had a date in months, and I don’t think we have seen a movie (alone, together, in a theater) in over a year.  We try to have lunch together most days, but even then we are under the time crunch of work responsibilities, and all we do is talk about our crazy schedule!

So, I want to take this opportunity to brag on my man a little bit.  He’s been feeling the pressure of being the Leader of our family this month, and he deserves some applause.  He wears the hat of husband/father/provider very VERY well, and I want to tell you about it!

He is the Head and Spiritual Leader of our home.   His God given charge and one he takes seriously.  Most important job he has.  He prays with us and for us, and reminds us to keep the Faith.  He lifts us up and encourages us, even in the darkest of nights.  He starts every single day in the Word, and encourages me to do the same.  I love him so much for his example of being an Overcomer!  

But, the list goes on from there.  A little over 2 years ago he took over laundry duty since I was in the hospital.  I have never fully taken it back (I am in charge of towels and “miscellaneous” loads).  He is in charge of all things “outside” including the garage, the storage area, and the yard.  He is CFO.  That stands for Chief Food Officer (I loathe grocery shopping (ADD kicks in and I just want to leave), and while I am fully capable of “warming things up,” he is our head cook).  It stands for Chief Financial Officer (guardian of the checkbook, master of bills, stifle-r of on-line shopping).  And it stands for Chief FUN Officer.  He told me once long ago that his goal is to make me laugh once a day.  Most days, he far surpasses that goal!  Sometimes it is at our children’s expense (when do they “get” sarcasm?), but most of the time it’s just because he is so funny!  And so much fun to be around!  He loves to take the back roads and explore the unknown - traits I simply don't have!  He helps with household chores, leads our family meetings (ask me about this sometime – it’s a GREAT tradition we started (his idea) a couple years ago, and it works SO WELL for our family), helps keep our schedule in order (along with my organizing pal, Cozi!), and has the best logistics plans to get it all done when I just can’t see how it will happen.

I love the way he loves me.  And our family.  He is a giver in every sense of the word, and he truly puts my happiness and comfort, as well as that of our kids, before his own.  (Pretty sure he hasn’t had a new pair of shoes in ages.)  And he honors and loves me by loving my girls.  Emma, Lara and I were a package deal - with the added "baggage" of an ex-husband.  A deal he accepted with grace, humbleness and an open mind, but was genuinely overwhelmed by sometimes in the beginning.  Add two bouncing baby boys to the mix, and now and then, we wonder ourselves how we keep our heads above water!  But watching him parent, teach, and guide our babies – ALL FOUR OF THEM -- makes my heart swell with pride.  I admire the way he explains life’s ups and downs to them and how he comforts them when things don’t go their way.  He knows them each so well individually and knows just what they need and when they need it.  He can talk Emma off the ledge wen I don’t even want to try.  He helps Lara laugh at herself and see the joy in things.  He encourages Jake to try new things and never give up.  And, Finn would have cried A LOT MORE than he did the first two years of his life without his sweet Daddy constantly holding him and rocking him.

He is generous to a fault.  And not in a bad way.  We may not be able to even be in the same zip code as “The Joneses’” but if you need something we have, you can have it.  No questions asked.  We don’t always have money to donate or spend, but we have time, and a few talents, and he has shown me the importance of giving freely of those intangible things.  What an AWESOME example he is setting for the next generation!  I never fully understood what it meant to volunteer my time and get involved in something I believe in, until my husband showed me.  Now, I wish I could do more with my time!  He is an AWESOME fundraiser, and the time he spends at the Church welcoming everyone both make me so happy he is part of my life.

Now, don’t think for an instant it’s all perfect in the Weaver house!  Sometimes, we are tired, sick, and fed up.  We yell.  At each other.  Regretfully, in front of the kids.  Even at the kids.  We get frustrated with each other; with life’s circumstances; with too many kids (activities, homework, fights, OH MY!) and not enough time, money, energy.  But in the end, we know what really matters.  Each one of us, and the love we have for each other.  We are a family – and families stick together.  We may not agree on how to fold the towels, or what to have for dinner, or what “on time” means, but we will fight fiercely for our marriage, tirelessly for our kids, and ALWAYS look to God for the answers to our problems.  God promises to make absolutely every one of your life experiences – the joyful ones and the miserable ones – work for you.  I sincerely believe that with my whole heart.

We are so thankful for our parents who are wonderful examples (Weavers married 57+ years; Rickers 46+ years), our fabulous LTC LifeGroup who we get the privilege of doing life with, and all the people who know us, love us, and pray for us.  No, we’re not perfect.  But we are CONTENT.  And that’s a feeling I will take over perfect or happy anyway.  I wake up every day blessed to be in the place I am in, honored to have such an incredible (another word for AMAZING) husband, and to have more than enough under my roof and on my table.  My cup runneth over.

I love you, Babe!  Thanks – for everything! (You are AMAZING!  My phone even says so!)

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:31-33

P.S. We definitely agree on how the toilet paper rolls.  OVER!  ALWAYS.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Shark Attack! Finn is 2!

There was a SHARK ATTACK over the weekend at our house!  Finn turned 2 years old, and there was a Shark Party to mark the occasion as special!  We are so blessed to have made it this far with this little man in our lives, and we had a wonderful time celebrating this milestone with our family, friends, and our little guy! 

Of course, for me, the party planning was the best part!  Britt and I both decided on the theme, and we got on Pinterest to do some research!  Then, I made lists!  A guest list, a things to make list, a things to buy list, a food list...  WHEW!  Then, we took the red pen to it and chopped it down!  I always have BIG ambitions and BIG dreams for parties, but the realist in the house reminds me of our tiny checkbook, and we whittle it down.  I think it turned out perfectly!

I have put together some pictures and some explanations about the party set up and decorations.  I hope you enjoy it!  CLICK ON EACH PICTURE TO ENLARGE.

Invitation - DreamWeaverPrints

We used a lot of paper printables that we found on Etsy to complete our decor!  I love to support my fellow crafters!  All of the party decor items were from the Pep Custom Designs store.  I used the pennant banner, cupcake wrappers, signs, drink wrappers and 2inch party circles from THIS LISTING.  I will also be using the thank you notes this week!

Outside window decoration by Dad!

Signs on the front door



FINN!  (Banner by Pep Custom Design)
Cupcake assembly! (cupcakes from the grocery store, toppers by boogaboo)

The cupcake toppers were also printables from Etsy!  I got them from the boogaboo shop.  This is the LISTING I used for them.  PROPS to my husband for a lot of the cutting - especially these fins!  They were a bit tedious - but so worth it!  Sometime you need to ask him about working on cutting things out while he was at flag football practice last week...

We printed this DreamWeaverPrints sing as a 16x20 for the party
Of course, his party would not have been complete without a Dream Weaver Prints party sign!  Again, we had so much fun working on this one!  Since I am the designer and seller of these AMAZING pieces of art, I asked Britt to be the "customer" on this one.  He emailed me with all the things he wanted included (themes, colors, sayings, etc), I worked it up, and he approved it!  We ordered a BIG one for a centerpiece at the party.  I am going to hang it in Finn's room this week.

We have FACTOID signs all over the dining room to entertain the adults!

Our Shark Attack table!  Net from Hobby Lobby

The Food!  (Click to enlarge for details!)

Sea Water and Regular water...

And, of course, the party was a blast as well!  I have to share a few pictures from the festivities of our sweet boy enjoying his party!  He loved all the candy on the table, and the "cake cup" (as he calls them) was fun, too - even if he did try to touch the candle flame!  OOPS!

Happy Birthday Finn

More Presents!


See dad's hand coming in for the save?

Yum!  Cake Cups!

He got some GREAT presents, but I think one really takes the cake!  My Dad made him this AWESOME busy board that an 2 year old boy would LOVE!  Nana the Wondersitter helped, of course, but Dad dug around in his "treasures," bought a few new things, and made the MOST FABULOUS gift for his last grandson!  I saw THIS PIN on Pinterest a while back, and sent it to my dad, so I am sure it was a great inspiration for him!  We all loved playing with it, and I am sure it is to become a family heirloom!  THANKS, GRANDPA!!!


Finn LOVES Pistol Pete - and this one behind the door is perfect.
The first time he saw Pete behind the door.  PRICELESS!


We ended the party by playing outside on a GORGEOUS Oklahoma fall afternoon.  Broke out the "roller coaster" toy Finn got from us yesterday for his friends to enjoy as well.  it was a hit, just like yesterday!  Best part of this toy?  it comes apart and stores completely in it's own base.  Couldn't ask for more!

Thanks for celebrating with us!  This was a GREAT way to survive a SHARK ATTACK!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Letter to Finn at 2

Happy Birthday, Finn!

Today, you turn 2 years old.  Marks the second anniversary of the scariest night of my life.  The longest 3 months in the NICU, and the fastest 21 months since then!  WOW!  What a journey we have been on. You, and your minor medical issues, your Dad and I learning how to be parents to a micro-preemie along with 3 big kids, and our whole family as we learn to adjust to your ever changing ways!  You have made our family complete.  And completely crazy!  Wouldn't have it any other way!

Son, you have met so many challenged head on!  And tackled them with the tenacity you have been known for since day one.  Walking was slow to come this year, but at 18 months, you got it, and never looked back!  You are still my finicky Finn, and refuse basically any kind of fruit or vegetable (which the WIC lady lectured me about), but when you do find something you like to eat, you gobble it up!  And, I think you set some kind of record this morning for guzzling down your Pedia-Sure in under 2 minutes!  WOW!  You've got "HANGRY" (angry hungry) down! 

I can count about 30-40 words you use consistently.  That's HUGE - and has all come in the last 6 weeks.  Before that, all you said was UP.  Up meant the opposite of whatever was happening at the moment.  If you were down and wanted up, you said UP.  If you were up and wanted down, you said UP.  Hungry? UP Sleepy? UP Shoes on? UP!  Up Up Up! LOL!  We are so glad you have a bigger vocabulary now, and we are enjoying hearing you talk.

You are right in the middle of the typical twos.  You are great at throwing a fit when you get frustrated.  I have been bitten a few times, as has Nana the Wonder Sitter.  And we cringe every time you bang your head against our hard floors.  We have a hard time figuring out what you want, be we always try!  It's no fun to see you so frustrated!  And, you still pull your hair - sometimes to sooth yourself, and again hen you are mad!  Silly boy!

You can point out and say by name: Pistol Pete, Eskimo Joe and Buffy, Mickey Mouse and Elmo.  You love to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the mornings as everyone gets ready!  And your favorite activity at the FUMC Early Childhood Center you go to 2 days a week is water play! 

You are so fun to be around and to watch grow.  You are a miracle.  And a blessing.  And you are ours.  We all love you so very much.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Dream Weaver Prints (click for larger)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October! You're here!

It's my favorite month!  My birthday, autumn colors, pumpkin flavored everything, Jack-o-lanterns, HALLOWEEN!  And, this weekend, miracle baby FINN WILL BE TWO YEARS OLD!  How in the world did that 2 years go by so very quickly?  Seems like yesterday we brought him home from the NICU!  And now he's a healthy, happy, walking, talking, CRAZY toddler!  We couldn't be more blessed!

The end of September here in Oklahoma was a HOT one, but the cool down has started and should stay it sounds like.  We took time this past weekend to thoroughly clean out both boys' closets.  Made them try on every pair of pants we owned!  Did this about 2 months ago, in preparation for the Fall Adorable Affordables consignment sale, but they have both grown since then!  It was time to do it again!  Needless to say, I have a GREAT start on next year's fall sale!  We also took out all the summer stuff that was too stained to keep, or too small to wear.  So, the Spring sale has a good starting point as well. 

We are also gearing up for my cousin's wedding in just a few weeks!  We are all looking through our closets trying to find wedding clothes to wear!  Emma and Lara have it easy - they are candle lighters in the ceremony, so they have dresses all set to go.  (Although, come to think of it, Emma's is still at the alterations shop...  I need to check on that!).  Finn's birthday is this weekend; I'm hoping he gets something suitable to wear as a gift.  Jake got a nice dress shirt at the consignment sale, and we bought him slacks this weekend.  He wants to wear a tie.  A neck tie.  A "REAL" one!  Gotta do some searching for that.  And I have a black dress.  That should work.  Britt has a few shirts to pick from - we will look FABULOUS! LOL!

Someone in my office today asked how the Weaver's were doing it up big for Halloween this year.  Sadly, I don't think we are.  The girls are past dressing up, and Jake doesn't want to "play my game" and dress in a theme with his baby brother, so I think we'll just wing it.  I don't want to spend a lot of money on it, either.  October is an expensive month around here!  In my dreams, I had Jake dressed as Sully and Finn as Mike from Monsters U.  Then, Emma and Lara were going to dress up as some of the sorority monsters from the movie as well.  Again, no one wants to play along. *sad face*

But, we can still have some Halloween fun!  Dream Weaver Prints is getting in on the deal, too!  Have you ever Boo'd someone?  Ever been boo'd?  Well, here's your chance!


Over in the Dream Weaver Prints ETSY shop, there is a new item!  All the information and templates you need to start a "Boo-ing" craze in your neighborhood!  Or, in your place of work!  Check it out. and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!