29 Sep 2009

DIY: Crafty Centerpiece Balls

I recently came across a link to these lovely twiney decor balls, and I haven’t stopped thinking about them since.  As one of those people who consider themselves crafty but not artistic, this screamed out to me, “Even you can do this!”  And they were right, I could.  I give you…twiney centerpiece balls!!  Even you can impress your family, friends and 1 year old by showcasing the Pier One-Esq. loveliness and declaring “I made that!”  Here’s how.2009_09_29_3424

Get yourself some Styrofoam balls (I used 4 inch and 2 inch), a glue gun and some twine.  I used a stiff “jewelry making” twine that I found in the bead aisle because it was slightly less rough-looking than regular twine and wrapped a bit more easily.  I also got a thinner cotton twine just to have a different texture option.  (All items can be purchased at Wal-Mart, which is great news for those of us who need to drive 25 minutes to find a Michaels or Hobby Lobby!)2009_09_26_3369

From there, you just start with a little dab of glue on the foam ball, coil then end of the twine, and press the coil into the glue until set.  Luckily, hot glue sets really quickly, so this will only take seconds.  From there, you simply press a bead of glue around the coil and press the twine into it, little by little wrapping your way around the ball.  For a full tutorial, please see  Vanessa's site, who gives foolproof instructions on making these beautiful gems.  

  2009_09_27_34062009_09_28_3413The thicker twine was much easier to work with and went faster than the cotton twine, but as I said, I was just looking to mix it up a bit.  I spray painted some of the twine green before I glued it onto a few of the smaller balls, so that I could have little green accent balls in the mix as well. 



The finished product.


Simply add the different sized balls to a basket, toss with some seasonal gourds and a candle, and sprinkle with affectionate glances.  And embrace your right to sound like a big dork on your own blog! :)2009_09_29_3427

I must tell you that these are easy, but they aren’t a fast project.  It took me about an hour to do a big one, so it’s a good project to do alongside a show you can’t miss. But in spite of that they are a bit addictive to make.  I’ll just say it right now, everyone is getting a set of these for Christmas.

Check out these ideas by people who are both crafty and artistic, at A Soft Place to Land.

28 Sep 2009

One Week Hiatus

We have had a fairly busy last week or so and despite my best intentions I just can’t seem to get a  new blog post up!  Since my most recent post had that picture of Jayce by the bean field that I am in love with, I used that to alleviate my guilt over no recent blogs.  Unfortunately, I don’t have time to give adequate attention to any one thing at the moment, but here are a few glimpses of what I’ve been up to.

Things that are making me smile…


Things I’ve been working on…


And some other things I’ve been putting together.


I promise to return soon!

22 Sep 2009

Completely Candid


You might guess that this picture is a very lucky candid, being how rare and difficult it is to get a 15 month old child to both look at the camera and smile.  But if you must know my tricks, this shot was a split second after I called out, “No Jayce. Don’t throw your ball into the bean field.”  He gave me his most mischievous grin before promptly launching the ball right into the beans. 

But I had my camera with me, so the joke was on him. 

Check out more perfectly candid shots at

21 Sep 2009

Fall Scenery

Is anybody else as big of a sucker for Halloween themed pjs as I am?  As soon as I see them in a store, typically just  a little before costumes appear, I have to get a pair for my little guy.  It just helps me revel in that happy fall mood.  I am currently working on a few fall decorations for the house, but Pumpkin Pj Jayce is certainly my favorite.


19 Sep 2009


Jayce showing off his teeing up skills…

Oh wait, and Mom’s shoes…

Put them both together and…

Notice the cheering for himself.  He knows he’s got skills.

17 Sep 2009

Contemplative #2

2009_09_06_3112aThis is the picture I was originally planning to use in the “Contemplative” picture category, but since you can’t see very much of Jayce's little face in this one, I went with the other.  But really, when is there more contemplation than in a game of golf? 

I am also playing with templates and photo sizing (can you tell?), so I just wanted to see how this one worked.  Wish me well.

15 Sep 2009


I occasionally check out the site http://www.iheartfaces.blogspot.com/ which features a few hundred beautiful pictures each week in a variety of categories, in addition to some great photography and camera tutorials. I have always planned on putting up a picture of my adorable little model, and this week has given me the chance, under the category "Contemplative." What do you think?

10 Sep 2009


Chris' mom came into town this weekend to visit, so we took the opportunity to head out to the zoo. I have been dying to take Jayce to the zoo all summer and it just hasn't worked out for one reason or another, but he goes absolutely crazy whenever a commercial comes on with an animal in it, so I thought he would have a blast there.He probably would have, if he had gotten any sleep whatsoever before we went. We had planned on him sleeping in the car on the way, but he didn't. He did however, fall into that sleepy daze that happens right before actual sleep, and this is when we arrived at the zoo.
He did get to do some fun zoo things, like pet a few baby goats and watch the seals get fed. But some of his biggest excitement was this little mini golf set that they had available in the tiger room (no excitement for the tiger itself, which I was a little nervous of), and this big teddy bear that he dragged around one of the rooms.
Overall we did have a good time. We rode the carousel before we left which woke him up a little. Upon exiting the carousel, the mother of a girl who was in front of Jayce said to her daughter, "Julie, every time you see that camera, you strike a pose!" Her dad had his camera out, strap around his neck, with an extra zoom lens on, despite the face that there were only 10 kids on this little carousel and there was no one in front of him obstructing his view of his daughter. Oh well, I'm a paparazzi mom myself so I probably just have cool zoom lens envy.
Anyway, there is a big amazing playground outside of the zoo that Jayce had a blast on. Chris put my camera in the car before we went to the playground (what?!) so I don't have any pictures of that, but he had a great time running around, climbing, and sliding before we left. We probably should have done that first to wake him up! I'll know better next time.

8 Sep 2009

A Day We Will Never Forget?

Last week, Lincoln Christian College officially became Lincoln Christian University. I was chatting with a friend on facebook about this (Hi Mandy!), she mentioned the new website which I hadn't yet seen, so I promptly pulled it up. Chris was sitting near me on the couch, and mentioned the faculty pages, so I checked out his page.

He told me that I had a little shout out at the end, which was cool, until I realized that it was incorrect.

It said something like, "Married to Erin Alexa Keith, June 6, 2003." The correct date is June 7, 2003. I folded my arms across my chest in mock aggravation, 90% amused to see how this would play out, 8% curious as to whether or not he would even notice the mistake, 2% actually mad.

"Chris, look at this!" I said, with my eyebrows raised.

Chris, laughing guiltily, "Oh...instead of July?" (Again, correct date, June 7, 2003)

Me, "What?!" looking at him like he is crazy. I am now 80% confused, 18% wondering if he has any idea when we were married, and 2% actually mad.

Chris, laughing still, "Wait...2003?!" He looks at the screen intently as though the answer may suddenly jump out to him, and I think to avoid looking at me, but still laughing a bit.

Me, "Chris, are you being serious? Do you honestly not remember our wedding date? It's on your ring, look at your ring!"

Chris, laughing. "Yes. No, June 7, 2003. Yeah, I know when it is. You know, I might have filled it out right on the form and the guy just typed it in wrong on the website."

Me, "That may be so, but you obviously don't know when it is." I am now highly amused, and 100% confident that I will get a lot of mileage out of harassing him for this. I mean, how stereotypical is the whole husband forgetting the wedding date thing? And publicly? He won't be hearing the end of this any time soon.

A few nights later we were out to dinner and saw several of Chris' colleagues, and they stopped by our table to say hi before they left. One of them is the guy who is in charge of the website, and whom Chris thanked for promptly correcting the date listed on the website.

Among other things, the guy said, "Yeah it was no problem. I checked the form you had filled out and you had written June 6 on it, but it was no problem to fix."

Me, "I am totally putting this on the blog."

5 Sep 2009

A Rough Few Days

You would not know, given the big smile on my boy's face, what a rough week he's had. I had to bribe him slightly to get this big smile, but more on that later.

It started off on Friday, with an unfortunate meeting between Jayce's little head and the pavement curbside. He had a few big scrapes and a good knot, but surprisingly no bruising. Luckily, babies are resilient, but it looked so bad on Friday that I purposely didn't take a picture, if that tells you anything.

Moving into this week, Jayce had his doctor's appointment and shots one day. The next morning, we pulled out some socks since temperatures had dropped so rapidly around here, and he seemed fine walking around in them other than initially picking his feet up very deliberately and looking at them, much like a cat with tape on their paw.
When I got him up from his nap, I changed his diaper and set him down while I went to the bathroom to wash my hands. A second later, I heard him start crying and called out, "It's okay buddy, Mom's just washing her hands. I'll be right there." I walked out of the room and he was flat on his back. Apparently he didn't navigate the change from carpet to hard wood very well, and the poor thing was just laying there wailing! I quickly scooped him up and he stopped crying right away so I think he just got scared more than anything else. I'm just glad that when he went down his head hit the carpet instead of the wood!
About an hour later, he stuck his finger in the little compartment on the tv, it closed when he tried to pull his finger out, and scraped off all of the skin below his fingernail. There was some blood to deal with on this one, so I pulled out my best mom weapon, Superman bandaids.
While I was tending to Jayce's little finger and trying to keep him distracted enough to let me do so, I grabbed the first bright and interesting looking object from the closet by the bandaids, a box of earplugs. (I know, so exciting, it's the little things though, right?) Jayce was pretty intrigued with shaking the box and then mashing one of the earplugs around. He kept trying to chew on it and I kept trying to keep it out of his mouth. In the end, I let him win since he'd gotten so banged up in the last few days. And this is the reason for his victorious smile.

3 Sep 2009

An Apple A Day

We have had a busy past few weeks which is probably reflected in my lack of blogging, though I have lots to say! Anyway, with the start of classes and the craziness that means for Chris, and the start of soccer and the craziness that means for me, I just haven't been able to find the time. I am starting to get the hang of it now though, and will do my best to catch up now.

We had Jayce's 15 month check up this week. It's a few weeks overdue (again, something about these past few weeks), but all is well. He is still off the charts for his height (36 1/2 inches!) and average for his weight, which is consistent with how his growth curve has always been. But if anyone has any tips on how to sneak in more calories (other than Culvers custard, which I am tempted to make good use of), please let me know!

The checkup was fine other than the usual shots, 4 this time instead of 3! I was happy to discover that there will be no more shots at well visits until it is time for school to start, something I can't even fathom right now so it seems that we are in the clear for a looooooong time. I was reminded, however, of an article I recently read where the writer had just taken her daughter to get her first round of shots.

She said, "It's a horrible thing to take your child for shots, I seem to preemptively feel the pain that she is about to experience. It's as though my arm is invisibly wrapped around hers and the nurse sticks the needle through my own arm before it sticks into hers...I swear, I almost punched that b**** right in the face."

Not my words, but I can certainly agree with the sentiment. I was just happy we didn't have an episode like last time!

On to other fun 15 month old things, two weeks ago Jayce finally started signing please by himself. We have been working on this for more than half of his life by now, and I'm just so glad that he finally got it and isn't just doing the version we needed to help with. He's getting a lot more demanding these days, and it is much easier to take orders from a 1 year old when there is a please attached!

He also has started bringing us to things that he wants, but can't have or do alone. He will walk over, take your hand, look up at you until you acknowledge him, give your hand a little tug, and once you're up will walk you over to his destination of choice. It started about three weeks ago (darn this lag in blogging!), whenever he wanted to go upstairs since he knows he's not allowed to do that by himself. After about a week of this trick, he started also leading us to the backdoor (to go outside), or to the garage door (where his wagon is kept). Yesterday he took me over to the counter by the bananas, pointed up at them and then signed please. I was so proud, it was like a physical sentence! He did it again this morning when Chris was here. I'm sure that while we are thinking how great it is that he is picking these things up, he is likely thinking the same thing about us.

A Little Dramatic

I set some peas down in front of Jayce today and despite having eaten a plateful for the past few days, he gave me the most dramatic protest. Holding hands up away from the offending food is new in our house.He had the opposite reaction to his mac n cheese, as you can see. A second after I snapped this shot he pulled down his bowl and a noodle was stuck to his nose. I started laughing at him and he laughed back at me. I considered taking a quick picture, as I always do, but decided to keep that moment just for myself. It was a sweet one.


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