true turned 7 (last year) with a mermaid & under the sea party

True's 7th Birthday
Totally late seeing how True turns 8 at the end of this week, but this was her 7th birthday and photographed by my brother-in-law, Christian. True wanted a mermaid & under the sea party, so this is what we came up with. We took her to the aquarium on her actual birthday, but part of her requests was to have a party, so we threw that on the weekend after her birthday. It was a very bright and warm spring day, we had her friends over, and had lots of fun partying with the birthday girl.

True's 7th Birthday
True's 7th Birthday
True's 7th Birthday
True's 7th Birthday
She wanted to do some crafts, so we made some masks…

True's 7th Birthday
True's 7th Birthday
We have this kid food fun recipe book and so she planned out the menu. We served squid dogs, which are just hotdogs that are boiled with spaghetti speared through it, and we had clam burgers, which is mini burger patty put into a half opened bread roll…

True's 7th Birthday
True's 7th Birthday
True's 7th Birthday
True's 7th Birthday
True's 7th Birthday
True's 7th Birthday
We made a mermaid cut out for all the party guests, so they could take an instagram picture of themselves home…

True's 7th Birthday
True's 7th Birthday
And the birthday girl requested musical chairs…

True's 7th Birthday
True's 7th Birthday
Of course, we opened presents, and she got showered with tons of My Little Pony things…

True's 7th Birthday
True's 7th Birthday
We ended the party with a dance party and Taylor Swift…

True's 7th Birthday
True's 7th Birthday
True's 7th Birthday
This year will be different, since as you know from this post, she’s requesting a My Little Pony party at a hotel. I thought that was going to be easier because then I wouldn’t have to worry about a lot of people, but since she’s requesting all the sisters have home-sewn pony costumes, I’ve got my work cut of for me. We really enjoy indulging them (as long as their requests are reasonable) for their birthdays. It is so worth it to see them so excited and happy!

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our hoppy easter

easter 2014
easter 2014
easter 2014
easter 2014
easter 2014
easter 2014
easter 2014
easter 2014
easter 2014
easter 2014
easter 2014
We had a wonderful Resurrection Sunday. We gave the girls a community Easter present (some card games, fun glasses, and things for drawing), we didn’t get to do our own egg hunt, but they got to do one at our church gathering and at Grammy and Grumpy’s house, and of course we had a good time worshipping and being reminded why we celebrate Easter with our church family. We got to spent time with our church family, Ben’s family, and my family, so we were totally happy campers as we bustled from one place to the next.

I know I get lost often and my eyes aren’t always fixed on the prize of Christ, but all my shortcomings just remind me why I need Christ so much more. I’m never going to be a perfect mom, there’s honestly no such thing. I fall short all the time and I make so many mistakes, and I’m thankful for their constant love and forgiveness, but more importantly, I’m thankful for the forgiveness that was given to me because of the cross.

on all the ladies: dresses, vintage (mine and true’s are from ms. tips).

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this is it… meet my book!

surprise!
This is it… Let’s Sew Together!!! This is my book! Book, meet all my dear readers, and dear readers, meet my book!

It’s all so strange, so nerve-wracking, but also super exciting! Let’s Sew Together officially goes on sale on May 20th, but if you pre-order it now (from the retailer of your choice, see my sidebar for suggestions!) before the official release, you will receive a special digital project booklet. Once you order it, just forward your receipt (attach the receipt or a screenshot) to LetsSewTogether@Randomhouse.com. There are a ton of projects in the book, and I made so many, that we had to overflow some into this special pack. I was bummed when because of page count and the sheer amount of good stuff we put in the book, we had to take some things out, but I’m glad you can still get it this way. It’s a sweet little pack (with 6 projects) and you’ll love them for sure!

You can see a quick flip through of the book, but it doesn’t even show all the projects. The focus is on sewing and teaching you the basics, and how to incorporate kids into it. Making and creating with your kids is really something special. It’s not always about the project, but more so about being together. There are also non-sewing projects and activities, as well as a list of books to read along with almost every project. Sort of like the “Read & Make” series I do here on the blog. And, don’t worry, there are definitely boy friendly projects in here too. I borrowed my friends’ son and he was my faux-son for the book.

I know many of you in the past have wanted me to make a pattern for my giant dollhouse pillow, or my world map quilt, and some of my softies. Well, these things are in the book (you can learn how make your own giant dollhouse pillow and you own world map quilt!), plus a whole lot of other projects I’ve never shared on the blog.  Some of you might have been reading from back in the day when I used to make and sell my wool felt crowns, and you can get a pattern and how-to for those too, but it’s in the special pack if you pre-order the book.

One of the most special things about the book, is that besides True and Brave working on the projects (we did this together after all), their illustrations are littered throughout the book. My biggest gals are published illustrators! I think they are already starting off with an impressive resume. Their names are even listed in the ISBN mumbo jumbo stuff at the beginning, and they were so excited to see that. This moment I shared on instagram was super special because this was them looking at their hard work in the book for the very first time.

There’s so much and I can’t wait to keep sharing more about this whole book thing. It’s so surreal and to have the people over at Random House (Potter Craft) behind me is truly a dream! There will be more posts about the process and how balancing (and unbalancing) in our home took place during the whole thing. I’m so excited about it and I hope you guys are too! So if you want to get more up close and personal with my book, you can pre-order it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, or Indiebound. You should get it on or around May 20th, just in time for filling up those summer days. Come on guys, let’s sew together!!!

RULES
To receive an exclusive .pdf with a previously unavailable Rubyellen Bratcher sewing pattern please forward preorder confirmation to LetsSewTogether@RandomHouse.com

Offer good through 11:59pm EST on Monday, May 19, 2014.

Open only to residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. No groups, clubs or organizations may participate.

Limited to one gift per completed submission form and transaction information.

A link will be supplied upon submission of this form. Download the .pdf documents upon receipt.

Random House, Inc., Rubyellen Bratcher and Cakies are not responsible for lost or misrouted submissions, interrupted or unavailable network or server connections, or other computer or technical issues.

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decipher the clues for the big news…

surprise!
AHHH!!! Did you guess it?!!

I’ve been sitting on this big secret for so long and I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with you!!! It’s been a dream come true and I can’t wait to share more with you in the next few weeks. It’s done and (almost) ready to go, so you will be able to get it in your hands before the summer starts (just in time for when you’ll want some projects to fill those summer days). I’m really nervous and excited about it… I don’t think it’s hit me yet. I’m sure you all have many more questions for me, so I promise I will share more really soon. If you want to learn how to sew, more specifically sew with, and for, the little ones in your life (or just learn the basics so you can eventually make dresses like this and this), this is it guys… I’ll teach you!

Hip hip, hooray!
Today I can finally say,
I’ve got a book,
And it’s coming your way!

 

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gold and gemstones

gold and gemstones
gold and gemstones
gold and gemstones
gold and gemstones
gold and gemstones
gold and gemstones
gold and gemstones
My good friend, Reese, celebrated a birthday this past weekend and her husband enlisted our help in plotting out a surprise party for her. We provided the place, decor, and some snacks, and the rest of our friends pitched in with more snacks and lots of cheer to pull off the surprise. I did a “gold and gemstone” theme because it’s sort of an inside joke. I picked up gold fringe garland from the party store and (30 minutes before the party started) I drew gemstones on bright colored poster board, cut those out, added some wooden skewers, and inserted them into the various snacks for the par-tay! I cut off a branch of bougainvillea from our yard, put out a couple little plates of tea light candles, and we were good to go. Then we just had to wait for the birthday girl to arrive!

The birthday girl isn’t much of a sweets person, so crackers, cheese (served on this bark cheese board), hummus, and chips were mostly what dominated. The snack winner of the night was brie with a little bit of the jalapeño raspberry jam on top of some crackers; that combo was so deliciously good!

Reese was definitely surprised and declared, “This is the best birthday ever!” Apparently, she always wanted a surprise party and this was her first! The evening continued on with everyone hanging out singing worship music together and giving Reese words of encouragement. It was just such a great night of celebrating what God’s been doing in her life thus far.

Sunday was spent at my mom and dad’s house celebrating their second engagement. Yes, you read that right, second engagement. My mom and dad got married quite young (20 & 21), and the first time around my mom kind of proposed to my dad. Since they were so young (and didn’t have money), my dad just got my mom the tiniest diamond ring he could afford. Fast forward 33 years later, he upgraded that rock and planned a romantic proposal (this time he did it, and one knee) for her when their wedding anniversary came around this past Valentine’s Day. Yup, my parents got married on Valentine’s day in 1981. My mom called me after it happened all giggly and saying it went too fast, and how she wished she could relive that moment again. I just laughed because they are already married! HA!

My parents are the sweetest. Sure! They have fights and can both get crazy on each other (I remember tons of times my dad got kicked out), but they are also very much crazy in love. It’s because they are passionate when they fight and they are passionate when they love. They set a good example of marriage for me (and my siblings) growing up, and it’s one of the reasons I was excited to get married myself. My parents didn’t make it look easy, but they would go through the good, bad, and ugliness of marriage trying to love each other and Christ through all the selfishness. Though I kinda laugh at the silliness of my parents wanting to have another wedding (we are really planning another wedding for them two years from now), I’m really so thankful that my parents are still are madly in love with each other and that they want to share that with all their family and friends. Thanks mom and dad for the good example you set for us! 

Obviously, our weekend was full and busy, but is was for sure good as there were a lot of good things to celebrate! But oh man, oh man, I’m so tired today. #draggingmyfeetmonday

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