Sunday, November 13, 2011

Elmo Makes Music

Ava and I were treated this weekend to see "Elmo Makes Music" at Van Andlel by my mom. There is nothing better than sharing a live performance of Sesame Street with your child. It was a wonderful walk down memory lane and Ava's excitement leading up to, during, and after the show was priceless. The plot was entertaining, humorous, educational, and filled with great music! I will never forget the sheer delight in Ava's eyes watching Elmo and friends sing and dance. It was a blast and hopefully the first of many live shows to see together. Thanks again mom, you truly are the best Grandma EVER and this will be hard to top!

Group picture before the show...
(We were second row to the front!)

All the characters were great to see... 
Grover, Abby, Elmo, & Rosita

Elmo & Dorthy

Elmo & Mr. Noodle

After an hour we had a fifteen minute intermission. Grandma and Ava were all smiles! Ava kept asking, "Where's Elmo?"

Miss Jenny was the new neighbor and music teacher on Sesame Street and boy could she sing!

Bert and Ernie

Bert did a little Saturday Night Fever rendition to Staying Alive!

Abby Cadabby gave Ava a high five during the show... It was such a thrill~ Ava said she has very soft hands!

Big Bird & The Rockin' Robins

Jenny & The Count sang about the number of the day which was 8!

Grundgetta & Oscar the Grouch

Telly Monster and Baby Bear were a part of the show too...

Ava's face says it all~ Pure Delight!!!

She has told everyone this weekend that she saw Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Oscar, Grover, Cookie Monster, Zoey, Telly, Baby Bear, Rosita, Dorthy, and Mr. Noodle in the city! What a cutie... she could hardly contain herself. At bedtime she told me she LOVES Elmo and Abby Cadabby! Ava really had a ball and so did my mom and I!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pumpkin Carving, Halloween Parties, and Trick-or-Treating

This year Halloween seemed to be never ending. We did a lot of activities centered around this holiday and I am pretty sure we made some memories that will last and last. We kicked off this season by carving our pumpkins on the Wednesday before Halloween. With Rob leaving for a week on his annual hunting trip I wanted to make sure he was able to get in on some of the festivities.

10/26/11- Pumpkin carving began in the garage with a power saw and a happy kid.

Ava decided she wanted a Kitty and that Elise would like a Mickey. I drew the pumpkin designs and Rob carved them. Ava thought that the pumpkin was in pain and that lead to a lot of tears. Things went downhill for a bit after that with Ava. Apparently, 6pm is to close to her expiration date and her imagination is on overdrive these days!

Build-a-Bear and Nuk didn't lift her spirits!

Lucky Charms didn't lift her spirits!

Trying her Hoots Costume on definitely didn't lift her spirits!

The carving was over and so were the tears!!! Phew.... A smile!

Ava's Kitty Pumpkin inspired by her favorite kitty!

Puuuurrrrrfect... They look great in the dark!

October 22, 2011- I took Ava Trunk-or-Treating with Kris and her girls.

Emmie & Ava checking out the pumpkins...

The trunks were really decorated well and it made the night fun to see all the creativity. This was one of my favorites...

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Trunk was Ava's favorite! The girls, Kaylie, Emmie, and Ava, had lots of fun and they got a head start on the Halloween sugar high thanks to Wellsprings Church.

Ava's party at daycare started at 3p on Halloween Day. I was thankful to be able to attend again this year. As it turned out I was the only parent to make it out of Ava's class. Miss Chris was very happy I attended because she was in need of some help. All in all, the party was a success and it was a great way to kick of Trick-or-Treating.

Ava and her classmates...

Ava's class during the parade of costumes with Miss Chris.

Ava showing off her well decorated candy bag.

Getting ready for a PARTY!

Pumpkin Painting...

Looking for Spiders...
(I made the ghost barrette in Ava's hair!)

After a great school party we made it home to relax a little and get some dinner. Then it was off to Trick-or-Treat with our neighborhood friends!
Halloween Night... Trick-or-Treating here we come!

Ava and the pumpkins on our front porch...

She was one cute Hoots. 
(Yes, this is what she was last year if you are wondering. The costume still fits her well and I was to dutch to buy her a new one.)...

Group Shot!
Alaina, Baby Joe, Kaylie, Jacob, Emmie, and Ava...
(Pippy, Skunk, Cat, Police Officer, Fairy, & Owl)

Ava and our neighbor, Lori.

 Ava was on a mission for chocolate.


By the end of the night Ava was a candy seeking professional!

We had a great Halloween 2011...
Ava was so tuckered out by the end of the night that she nearly turned into a pumpkin!

Sew Fun

I posted back in August that I received a Singer sewing machine from my mom for my birthday. I have been tinkering with it here and there figuring out the settings and just how it works in general. My best friend, Kris, also bought this same machine with money from her birthday and she asked me to take a sewing class with her. I was a little intimidated at the idea since she is a more experienced sewer than I am. In fact, most people are more experienced than I am since I have not made anything with my Singer. Kris has been super busy since August creating all sorts of items and they have been turning out really well. When I told her I didn't think I was ready to take a class she convinced me that experienced sewers do not take sewing classes. So I took her word and the plunge into sewing 101. The class was called, "Big Tote Theory," and I was bound and determined to make a tote if it killed me!

After singing up I was given a list of materials I would need to create this tote. So off to Fields Fabric I went to get coordinating fabrics, fusible fleece backing, thread, buttons, a magnetic snap, and an empty bolt of fabric. Once I had all the materials I was getting a little excited for the class even though I knew I had my work cut out for me. The day of the class my Bestie and I treated ourselves to Panera Bread for lunch which was a great way to kick off our afternoon. It was a perfect day away from my normal routine. We had "sew much fun sewing our hearts out." Yes, the pun is intended!!! I discovered that experienced sewers do take classes but that doesn't mean people like myself with no experience cannot create handmade beautiful items. I loved attending and spending time with Kris on this new hobby and adventure. I know we will be taking many more classes together.

Here are the early stages of my tote. All of the squares sewn together, fleece cut & ironed on, and then smock stitching to accent between the fabric squares to give it a quilted look.

Here is a look at the lining I picked out for the inside of the tote.

Here is an up close view of the smocked stitching that I love soooo much!

Here is a picture of the straps before and after I stitched 12 pink rows for extra detail.

I decided to make pockets for the inside of my tote in a different fabric from the liner.

Here is the finished project!

The flap closure has a magnetic snap and buttons to accent the colors.

Here is the back of my tote...

My straps are done in two fabrics which really adds a nice touch!

The inside is so pretty with the covered bolt and pocket details.

All in all, I am really proud of this tote. It took some seam ripping here and there with an occasional sigh of irritation due to my inexperience. BUT, it turned out and it is the first item I have ever sewn in my life! My mom was a little impressed which is a huge complement to me. I guess the apple doesn't fall to far from the tree as they say. I look forward to sharing more handmade items in the future by "e-designs" because I am lovin' my Singer!