Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas sewing projects

I thought I'd feature some of my handmade Christmas gifts. I had so much fun planning and making these gifts. And it was even more fun to see my relatives' reactions when they received their gifts. I wish I had had time to do more! Next year, maybe...

First up were matching Christmas outfits for the cousins. I finished them around Thanksgiving. Ian had a white corduroy romper with piping matching the girls' dresses, but the little bugger grew too fast and it doesn't fit anymore! I'm already formulating some ideas for spring. Top of the list - larger size for growing Ian!

Autumn had a special request for some sleep masks. It's hard to find masks that aren't frilly or too "adult". I had some great fabrics in my scrap pile that were just perfect. I drew the pattern from an adult sleep mask that I own, lined it with dark fabric inside, and backed it with super-soft flannel. She loved them.

And this - a doo-rag for my Harley-ridin' Papa. This was the hardest project I had, partly because I had never made anything for a head and partly because I had no pattern. I wound up buying a doo-rag online (for $4 - shipping and all!). I ripped it apart and used those pieces for a pattern. I cut the fabric generously and it was a little big. The next one will be just right. (My Mimi Lee had no idea what a doo-rag was. I think she's saying, "It's for what?" I love you, Lee-Lee!)

Emily requested some of my favorite recipes. Because I always feel more successful when I look like I know what I'm doing, I thought an apron was the perfect addition to a recipe book. I had fun making this. I didn't have a pattern for this one, either, but I had no trouble finding tutorials online and in craft books. I love the ruffle trim at the bottom. I hope there are many, many yummy dishes that come out of her kitchen!
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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We hope you and your families had a wonderful Christmas! I'll upload pictures of our celebrations soon...

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
-John 1:14

Monday, December 17, 2007

Gearing up for Christmas and the end of 2007

We're busy, busy, busy here at chez Garrett. I thought I better take a moment before I go to bed to reflect and write down some of the things that have been going on.

Kevin's been quite the jet setter - two interviews in two different cities in one weekend. Oh, and the airlines lost his luggage once and misplaced it once. Whew. That's a lot even for Mr. Even-Steven to deal with! I know he'll be glad for some time off this week.

I've been busy in the kitchen doing my yearly baking - but not as much as I have in the past. I decided to stick with the things I like most - Mimi Lee's peanut brittle, Swedish Spritz, Pepparkakkor (Swedish ginger cookie), chex mix. When I was a girl, I cherished those special family goodies my mom made only at Christmas. I know her mom made them when she was a little girl. And now - joy, oh, joy - I get to share them with my own little family and make our own holiday baking traditions.

Caroline is the biggest blessing of our lives. She changes daily and I try so hard to savor every moment. Maybe not the bad ones as much as the good ones! Every day is an adventure.

Her favorite Christmas activity is driving around after dark looking for Christmas lights--blue ones specifically. I never get tired of hearing her say, "Oooo! Wow! Cool! Neat!" for miles all around the neighborhood. I've got to get it on video.

She loves singing and music, especially when someone else is doing the singing. But she adds words here and there when she knows them. She loves looking for where the music is coming from in the grocery store. She puts her hand to her ear, looks excitedly around, and says, "Mommy, whissen. Hear music?"

She can fill in the important words in all her favorite books (Good Night, Moon; The Going to Bed Book; Hug; Go, Dog, Go). She loves looking at books and reading them. Sometimes we spend 20 or 30 minutes just reading in her rocking chair. I attribute books (and Sesame Street) to the fact that she already knows how to count to 10 and her colors.

Caroline loves having everyone do something. If the Little Einsteins are shaking their whole bodies, be assured that Mommy, Daddy, Caroline, and Tigger are all shaking their whole bodies, too.

Caroline's favorite game is hide and seek. She hides an item or body part or person. Here's how a typical game goes...
Caroline: "Hand! Where are oo? Where is it?" (hand in coat pocket)
Mommy: "Where's your hand?"
Caroline: "Hand. Hiding in dere. (pulls hand out of pocket) Here is! Hand! I find it! Yay, Tine!" ("Tine" is how she says "Caroline".)
Mommy: "Silly Caroline!"
Caroline: "Silly Mommy!"
So silly!

One of our favorite things is seeing her pray with us. She bows her head and holds our hands, eyes peeking up at us to see exactly what it is we are doing. And there is always a small-voiced, but hearty "A-men!" at the end. We ask her who we pray to and she says, "God," in a very awed and reverent whisper. We pray that there will never be a single day when she doesn't know the love and grace of God.

Well, I didn't intend to ramble on. But I think I'll be glad someday I wrote all this out. Next post - a picture or two. I promise.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday happenings

We had a little Christmas party at our house recently and I wanted to show you some of the ways I decorated and entertained our guests.

These apple candles were quite the topic of conversation. They are real Granny Smith apples. Kevin bought me a special tool last Christmas that cores out a hole perfectly for a tea light. I've used it on pumpkins and pears, but my favorite fruit of choice for candles are apples.

I love lime green (in case you hadn't noticed). So in addition to my lime green apple votives, I filled a vase and a candy dish with fresh key limes.

And this cake was really fun for me, a wanna-be pastry chef/baker. I saw it in Southern Living and thought it was so cute. It's a 3-layer red velvet/white swirled cake with peppermint cream cheese icing. The ribbon is made by using strips of "Fruit by the Foot" sprinkled with sugar crystals. (I had no idea what "Fruit by the Foot" was before I made this cake.) I think it added a very festive touch to the table. Who doesn't like an edible present?

And to top it all off, we all had a wonderful time at the party!
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My pretty girl in her pretty dress

Here is my gorgeous girl in one of her Christmas dresses. This is her "fancy" dress. It's the same pattern I used on this fall dress. I am so proud of the work I did on this, especially when I look back on the trouble I had last Christmas. And the icing on the cake is seeing Caroline's sweet smile in these photos.

The back

The front
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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Trimming the tree

Kevin and I are so excited about Christmas with Caroline this year. She helped us decorate the tree. I remember this snowman from some of my early Christmases.

Daddy puts the star on top.

The trimmed tree - in our dining room this year
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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Zoo lights

The Memphis Zoo has special holiday hours and lights. We had a great time. The camera battery died after these two pictures, so no reindeer pictures. Boo...

Snuggling with Daddy on the train
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Tuesday, December 04, 2007


I found this snowman gel kit and knew Caroline would have fun putting it on our front window. She loves it. She rearranges the snowflakes 100 times every day.

Finding just the right spot

Putting the nose on Frosty
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Monday, December 03, 2007

It's snowing!

OK, not really. But making these "paper" snowflakes almost makes me wish it were snowing. (Almost - Remember, I'm a summer kind of girl!) There won't be any paper to pick up when you're done, either!


Or, if you really want to play with some snow, go build your own snowman from the comfort of your heated living room!

Snowman Builder

Friday, November 30, 2007

Jingle bells

If this doesn't put you in a holiday mood, I don't know what will! (Sorry for the dim light...)

And some bonus footage for you...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

We are so thankful for the gift of grace we have received through our savior, Jesus Christ. We pray that you and your families will also be overflowing with thankfulness this Thanksgiving holiday!
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in
him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
-Colossians 2:6-7

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


We love watching Caroline treat us (and her babies and animals) like we treat her. One of her favorite things is to tuck us in. Blankies are a favorite play item around here these days.

Tuck-tuck, Daddy

I love you!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Evergreen State

Kevin recently decided that he wants to pursue a career in pediatric radiology. He'll do a one-year fellowship in 2009 and it's already time to start interviewing for it. His first interview was at the children's hospital in Seattle, WA.

My parents graciously kept Caroline for us. Caroline and I missed each other quite a bit. We were so glad to be together again.

Seattle is one of the prettiest places we've ever visited. The trees had all changed for fall and the colors were spectacular. The evergreens are beautiful, too. It is so lush there - ferns and moss and beautiful vegetation everywhere. I imagine that you don't have to try very hard to be a good gardener there.

We went up to the top of the Space Needle. We visited Pike Place Market, where we bought fresh salmon and halibut that was packed for us to bring home with us. We drove over to Snoqualmie Falls and after hiking down to the river had lunch at the lodge there. We took a harbor cruise. We ate a wonderful meal at Ray's Boathouse. We couldn't see out over the water because it was after dark, but I don't think we'll ever forget the glass of Washington wine that accompanied our diner!

The most beautiful thing about the city is Mt. Rainier. You drive around a corner on the interstate and all of a sudden, there it is. Fantastic. The pictures do not do it justice. It is absolutely stunning. Apparently, it's rare this time of year to see the volcano. It is usually hidden by clouds in the winter. We were lucky: on our last day in Seattle, the view of the mountain was clear.

Most importantly, Kevin had a great interview at the hospital. He has 4 more interviews coming up. I am so proud of him and the career choice he has made. I know he'll do great on his upcoming interviews.

It really was a fun trip and there were so many things we wanted to do but didn't have time. Maybe we'll be back someday...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

Prayer request

Please pray for our dear friends, David and Brittany Spence. Their sweet son Forrest died last night. They are praising God for His mercy, love, and compassion. They were able to cherish 55 blessed days with him. They know Forrest was a gift from God and has returned to rest with his Father in Heaven. Pray that God would bring them comfort and peace.

38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Romans 8: 38-39

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Caroline thought last Friday was a perfect day for a picnic. She was right. The sun was glorious. With a full tummy and the warm sun on her back, it was hard for this mommy not to fall asleep!

Tigger doing what he loves - jumping after bumblebees.

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From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.
-Psalm 113:3

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The playground and fall festival

The weather was wonderfully sunny on Saturday morning. So in celebration, we decided to take a bike ride. Caroline patiently waited in her carriage while we got everything ready - taking a bike ride is not the spontaneous event it used to be! We rode up to a school nearby and played on the playground there. It was great - we had the whole place to ourselves. Caroline had the best time on the slides. So did Daddy! Then we had lunch at Holiday Ham, where Caroline ate like a champ. All that sliding makes a girl hungry.

Saturday night was our church's Fall Festival. I didn't get many pictures - I was too busy chasing a running toddler. She and Elizabeth enjoyed the moonbounce for a total of 30 seconds, and I did get a picture of that. We had dinner with Elizabeth and her mommy and daddy. The girls haven't stopped talking about each other since. Then it was home for a fun scrub in the tub and a cartoon before bed. I doubt that toddler life gets any better than that.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Here's my girl modeling her new pants and a fall shirt I appliqu├ęd.

She is such a good little buddy. Kevin spent Sunday at the hospital. Caroline and I went to church and then we had girls' lunch together. It was a really sweet lunch - just one of those special together times I'll always remember. I'm so thankful to have a little friend to keep me company!

More soon on our fun Saturday!
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pants and a purse

Kevin ripped a pair of his khaki pants and there was nothing to be done to save them. So I used them to make Caroline pair of khaki pants.

When I finished, they looked a little plain, so I added this eyelet ruffle trim to the hem. Pretty cute and girlie, don't you think? Pictures of her modeling them coming soon... (She runs away squealing in terror when I approach her with fabric. It's sad, so I try not to terrorize her before the project is complete.)

And this is Caroline's Halloween "purse"! She loves it and I'm pretty proud of it, too. It will be perfect for all those Halloween goodies from the neighbors. I think there's another one coming...maybe something feline? I got instructions from this website: J Caroline Creative.
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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fall fun in Memphis

We had some very fun times this weekend. We met some friends Saturday for breakfast and then headed over to the Midtown pumpkin patch. And the weather Saturday night was perfect for dining alfresco and running around in the backyard. We are so thankful for the opportunity to enjoy God's creations!

The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
-Psalm 24:1

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Embroidered fall napkins

Happy fall! I made these napkins several years ago and I love pulling them out every fall.

You'll need:
  • cloth napkins
  • embroidery floss to coordinate with your napkins
  • needle
  • fall clip art (I use Microsoft office clip art) - stick with a simple design
  • blue water-soluble fabric pen
  • knowledge of basic embroidery technique - French knot and backstitch
The embroidery stitches are really very easy. Here are helpful links:
  1. Choose clip art and print out desired size.
  2. Cut out clip art.
  3. Use the fabric pen to trace your clip art onto the napkins. Add easy details (like the leaf veins). Don't be a perfectionist here.
  4. Thread needle. Embroidery floss consists of 6 strands. I usually use 3 for my French knots. If you like your knots bigger or smaller, increase or decrease your threads accordingly.
  5. Knot the end of your thread.
  6. Embroider your image using the stitches. I outlined my leaves with French knots and did the veins with a backstitch. You could use all backstitches or all knots. Anything goes!
  7. Wash your napkins in cold water to erase the blue pen markings.
There are so many possibilities for this little project. You could embroider napkins or a table runner with your monogram. I've done monograms on pillows, too. Be creative and good luck!
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(I promise to get some photos of Caroline on here soon!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Back to normal

We had a tough week last week. Caroline ran a fever every day. I had one sad little girl. She just wanted to be held and cuddled and I was thankful I could provide her with that comfort.

I'm so happy to report that she is feeling much, much better. Her illness last week makes me especially thankful for all the wiggling, giggling, dancing, coloring, jumping, bouncing, smiling, tickling, running, talking, playing going on. What happy, happy times we've shared together this week!
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Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
-Matthew 19:14