Saturday, January 3, 2015

homemade christmas

 Each year, I try to make a few homemade gifts. Both to save money & to create something unique or special. This year, I may have bit off more than I could chew, since we also threw in a trip to Hawaii during prime Christmas prep time. :\ I managed to get some done before we left & still had enough time to finish up when we returned...but perhaps only because some of these gifts didn't need to be done until after Christmas! Now that all the gifts have been given, I can share them on the blog.

First up, I made stuffed foxes for some of our littlest friends.

 I found these on Pinterest & followed the pattern provided here!

 The orange fox was made from a thrifted sweater & definitely stretched more than the felt the original pattern suggested. Still cute though, right?! :] I also decided not to go with the scarf, since these were meant for younger toddlers. ;)

 Elsa approved! 

 For our preschool friend, I was inspired by this idea & created a matching/memory game. We used some of the branches that had fallen in last years ice storm. I went with a woodland/nature them when choosing which pictures to paint.


 They're a little shiny from the spray sealant I used.

 I loved the thrifted basket I found to store them in.  A little bigger than it needs to be, but it was too cute to pass up.

 For some of our friends & our moms, I found this idea to replicate. I didn't want to use spray paint though, so I used acrylic paint & thought it worked well enough. Spray paint would've been smoother, but seemed like more work to me.

 These aren't the greatest pictures, but I also made these slouchy bags for my friends out of pillow cases & belts. I was inspired by this pin, but the link rarely worked for me...not sure what's up, but I loved the look of these tote bags!

 Sewing leather was trickier than I first anticipated, so I'm hoping they hold up well. It's definitely a learning process!

 They ended up being the size of a messenger bag & seemed like a good size for a catch-all, "mom-purse". ;)

Finally, there were tons of ideas for how to use wood slices & I knew I wanted to make ornaments for my kids, the cousins & for my co-workers. I'd imagined making tiny chalkboards, but ended up just painting their initials. Josh (my brother-in-law) actually made chalkboard versions for all the family members this year, so I'm glad I took a different route! :P

Sunday, December 28, 2014

spencer butte

We hiked Spencer Butte on the day after Christmas. It was a beautiful day & the whole Hecht family (all 18 of us!) were able to make it! I wore Elsa on my back until the very end, when Kenton took over for the final climb. Phew! I think the last time I hiked the butte was almost exactly two years ago, when I had just found out I was pregnant with Elsa, but wasn't telling anyone yet. :) I think it was harder for me this time! But we all made it to the top & were able to enjoy the view...along with tons of other people! It was a popular day for a hike...we could've had a party up there! :P

Kenton took Elsa to a flat area to let her walk around a bit before being strapped back in for the hike down. ;)

The whole group!

Working hard to get some smiles from this serious girl.

Back to business. :P

Saturday, December 27, 2014

three christmases in one

 We managed to squeeze three Christmas celebrations into Christmas morning. We are blessed by having both of our families living in town, which makes for a busy holiday, and we wouldn't want it any other way.

Our Christmas celebration started at 6:00 am. We woke the boys up but let Elsa sleep until a bit after 7:00.

Finley set out cookies & milk for Santa on his own. We've never really made that a part of our tradition, but I think he's being exposed to more Christmas books & movies these days. He asked a few questions about how Santa makes it down the chimney & I was unprepared. I gave him a lot of "I don't knows" & "maybe it's magic" answers cause I wasn't sure how much to say. What a strange predicament we parents have gotten ourselves into. I don't want to spoil the magical side of Christmas for him, even though he knows the real reason we celebrate Christmas. I'm not ready for such a big kid. I should probably figure out what to say, cause the straight-up "Is Santa real?" question is coming...sooner, than later, I'd bet. :]

I really like this next series. The boys were really hoping for a new Wii game & they were super excited to receive it from us. :)

 Elsa's turn to open gifts. She's at a really great age where we could probably have done without anything & she wouldn't mind. But she also shows interest in specific toys, animals & books, so it's fun to give her something that relates to what she enjoys. We ended up saving some hand-me-down toys & books to give as Christmas gifts & that worked perfectly. :) I bought a couple new things for her, but she certainly wasn't able to tell the difference. :P

Christmas at the Henry's started at 8:00 am.

 Brian moved down from Alaska earlier in the week! Hooray!

Christmas at the Hecht's started around 11:00 am.

 I love the blur of movement & excitement around the still & steady Elsa. So much fun!

 Kenton drew Erik's name this year for our sibling gift exchange.

 Becca drew Kenton's name.

 Gretchen & I drew each other!

We all went in together on assembling a gift basket for my parents.

It was a full day & we actually ended up back at the Henry's for Christmas dinner & a movie. I was having a hard time staying awake, even though I didn't do much but eat, lounge & visit with family all day. We are so blessed to be able to share the holiday with our families.