Monday, May 20, 2013

Disney World Autograph Books

This July my family and I will be flying to Florida to spend time with the most famous mouse on the planet.  Since the entire trip is expensive on its own, my husband and I are finding any possible way to save money.  Even if its on something small, like an autograph book.  We were going to wait to buy one at the park, but one of my friends told me the nicer books start around $30.  That's quite a bit for this family to spend on something like this, so instead we headed over to Michael's Craft Supply and purchased the necessary items to make our own books.

We used:
  • Sketch book for watercoloring (I think.  Basically they had thick enough paper that permanent marker wouldn't bleed through.)
  • Two pieces of scrapbook paper
  • Ribbon
  • Disney Scrapbook embellishments
  • Alphabet scrapbook stickers

For each of the stickers I added some super glue, that's the last thing I want to deal with in the potential 95 degree weather, little characters falling apart. 
 Faith loves princesses, so I let her pick her own stickers, already knowing what she would want.

When we get to the park I plan on getting the characters' autographs, and then taking their pictures with the kids.  That way, I can glue the picture on the same page as the autograph.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

My daughter and I found ourselves without anything to do a few weeks ago, so, we decided to explore Des Moines.  Faith had been to the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden this past summer with her summer camp group and had a lot of fun exploring.  I hadn't been there since my friend held her wedding there almost five years ago, so we went.

Faith loved showing me all the sculptures surrounding the building, this is the one people can see when driving by on the interstate.

There is a fun walkway that takes you all around the garden.  The waterfall was an unexpected surprise, Faith especially loved the fish swimming around it.

The botanical garden looks like a giant golf ball on the outside it's fairly noticable when you drive by.

They are starting big renovations on the garden, so I am glad we were able to see it before it changes. 
If you would like more information on the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden please click here!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ken's Coin Cutting and Bead Making

I had previously mentioned my friend Ken who sells glass beads at local art shows.  Well, he also does coin cutting.  I had given him some of my coins I brought back from Egypt and he made one of them into a necklace for me.  I absolutely love it and people always stop and ask me about it when I wear it.

Here are some examples of the beads he makes.  So cute!  My mother bought a few pigs.  I think he should teach classes on how to do this, but only time will tell.

I had some people email me questions on how to get a hold of Ken.  You can reach him by email at
He's incredibly talented!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Jolly Holiday Lights

I had planned on taking the kids to the Jolly Holiday Lights show in Des Moines. We had time after the New Years event, so I decided we would take them. It completed a wonderful day and I was so moved, because the car in front of us decided they would pay for the next four cars that followed them, which included us.  Pay it forward, we ended up giving them the $20 we were going to use anyway to pay for the four cars after them.

I love the message of Jolly Holiday Lights.  The money goes to the Make-a-Wish foundation, which grants the wishes of children living with terminal illnesses.  Businesses throughout Iowa donate money and sponsor a holiday lights display.  Before we went we bought hot chocolate and it was the perfect topping to our drive through the lights.  The kids were going crazy looking out of both windows at the same time.

Working at the hospital I get to know many kids who routinely come for some kind of procedure or are just ill and end up being admitted.  I remember this one little girl from when I worked in the surgery department.  She came in about once a month for surgery on her brain tumor.  She would come in with her mom and grandpa.  They were so close, he would tell me about their fishing trips, how she would be sitting out in the garage with him when he worked on the tractor, etc.  He would get so emotional, because he knew the procedures would only extend her life briefly.  The girl was only three years old and she was a doll.  The steroids they gave her made her head so swollen that she couldn't walk because it was so heavy.  She didn't talk very much, but I was always talking to her.  She tried to hide her smiles when we goofed on her grandpa.  I remember they would stay in the Ronald McDonald house for weeks at a time when she came to the hospital.  Every other day her mother and grandpa would come visit when she was in chemotherapy.  We would have lunch together and on Valentine's Day she brought us all Valentines.  It was like they bought everything at Walgreen's to bring to us.  She passed away when she was four.

Anyway, the point of this story is that the Make-a-Wish foundation granted her one wish, which was to go to Disney World with her family.  I remember when she brought pictures of her, sitting in her stroller, surrounded by all of the princesses.  They dressed her up like Cinderella, her favorite.  There were pictures of her swimming with dolphins and sipping tea with Alice in Wonderland.  I had never seen her look so happy, I cried looking through them.  The foundation does wonderful work, these kids look so happy, their dreams are coming true.

I highly recommend the light show, the kids had a blast.

 For more information on the Jolly Holiday Lights click here!

Happy New Year 2013

A new year means a new start.  Although, I still have another year and a half of school, so my life will pretty much be the same as 2012, I still have my resolutions.  This year I plan on learning Spanish!  I have been with my husband for 10 years and have yet to have an actual conversation with a few of his relatives.  Also, we plan on traveling to Ecuador in the future, and I would like to be able to talk to his family when we there. 
Faith has a picture with every princess now!

I wanted to take the kids somewhere fun for New Years Eve, and ImaginEVE was the place.  The kids had a blast going on the inflatable rides and seeing the fun characters.  Plus, they were on the news, and that's always pretty cool!  We went with my sister-in-law and her family.  I love anytime the kids can spend with their cousins.  Charlie is usually pretty shy, and he really let loose with his cousins, it was awesome.

L to R (Brandon, Logan, Faith and Charlie)  Snow cone kids!

Faith and Brandon with the Channel 13 meteorologist who interviewed them!

Kids and some cool characters.  I should have gotten a picture with Batman, darn it!