Sunday, January 30, 2011

Four weeks

It's been exactly four weeks since Little Brother and Big Brother came to us. It is so hard to believe how fast the time has gone by. Sometimes it's hard to think about what life was like before these two came into our lives, as it feels like we've had them longer.

We don't know yet what's going to happen with them (if they'll go back or if we can adopt them), but we are enjoying loving and nurturing them as their foster parents.

Just thought I'd share with you what has happened in this first month. They both have grown in many ways!

1. Both boys have gained a pound since their arrival. The doctor says they look good and are as healthy as can be.

2. We have established routines with them--nap time, bed time, meal times, clean-up, etc.

3. We've taught Big Brother some sign language and it's amazing how much that helps everyone. He knows the signs for please, eat, more, and all done. We're working on some other ones like want, milk, and drink.

4. Little Brother can hold his head up pretty well and loves to laugh. He is just the cutest baby ever.:)

5. Q and I still don't get as much sleep like before they came, but we're learning how to sleep deeply and rest when we can. It's interesting how much your life changes when little bodies are added to the household.

6. We've enjoyed doing things as a family--going to church together, library story time, the playground, around the town on walks, and shopping trips. These guys make things fun for us and everyone they meet.

Thanks so much for your continued prayers. We will continue to keep you posted from time to time.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Toddler pillowcase dress

After I made my first two pillowcase dresses, I brought them to church to show a few of the ladies. One of them asked me if I'd be willing to make one for her great-granddaughter for a Christmas present.

I bought Simplicity pattern 2383 to make a size two pillow case dress. I went shopping with Mary to choose fabrics for the dress, since we didn't have a pillowcase to start with. After a few days and several hours of work, this is how it turned out:

My favorite part of the dress is the applique'. I think it turned out so cute! This little girl will look adorable wearing this in the summer time.

The ladybug's legs and antennae are made from ribbon looped together. The stitching was done on my machine, except for the eyes.

I would love to make another dress like this, but don't have the opportunity yet! Since we have two little boys now, I've been trying to think of things I'd like to make for them. However, that will have to happen once I get more of a routine down--I've not done any sewing since their arrival...oh well...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Three-in-One gameboard: the game pouches

I made the game pouches using some material I had on hand, including a couple of pairs of jeans that were used for the pockets.

Since most of the hemming was already done on the denim, the pockets were so easy to put together. Each pocket was labeled so that the pieces would go in the right place when they were not being used.

The pouches themselves were just two pieces sewn together with one side being longer than the other for a flap. The flaps were secured with velcro.

I also put velcro on the inside of each pocket so that the pieces wouldn't fall out. These pouches will hold everything together and keep the game board clean.

Well, that's the end of my biggest project for Christmas! Coming up...a couple of more easy projects that are fun to make!:)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Three-in-One game board: part 3--chess

I thought about how I could make chess pieces and decided it would be easier to just buy them. I found affordable sets here, if you're interested.

I think they look pretty classy for plastic pieces. A few of my nephews and nieces are already learning how to play the game. Perhaps they can teach me some day.

Next up...the last part of this big game project--the storage cases. Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Three-in-one game board: part 2--checkers

The other side of the board looked like this:

You can play both chess and checkers on it. I first glued on strips of denim (from jeans) to make a border. Then, I glued on tan and brown squares to make the grid.

The most tedious part of the checkers game was making the individual pieces. I cut out lots of red and blue circles. Then, I stitched two circles together to make each piece. They are slightly larger than a quarter.

I decided to paint a crown on one side of each piece. I used gold fabric paint for this. It was a lot of fun to do, but couldn't wait to be done to send off to each family.

Next up...the last part of the game--chess!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Three-in-One game board: part 1--tic-tac-toe

Just wanted to show you what I made for all of our nephews and nieces this year---a three-in-one game board. You can play tic-tac-toe on one side and on the other, chess and checkers. It's perfect for families with different age levels because there is a game for anyone to play!

Today I'll show you how I put together the tic-tac-toe side. I made the entire game board using 1/2-inch thick foam board and felt. I was inspired by an idea sheet put out by Hobby Lobby for the tic-tac-toe, but the other side was an idea from Q. The board measures approximately 21 inches by 20 inches.

I glued on red and blue felt squares using craft glue. The pieces were approximately 6-3/4 inches square. This part was so easy!

Next, I made four-inch squares for the game pieces. I actually stitched two pieces of felt together with a piece of batting inside. Each kid had five pieces in their own color with their initial painted on.

Next up...the other side of the board...stay tuned!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Baby Feet

It has been an exciting and busy week in the Johnson household. I'll share the story with you, but you can probably already guess what it's about from the title of my post. ;)

On Sunday night, I drove home by myself from Fort Collins. I was at our last church to be a part of a musical concert. About two-thirds of the way home, Q called me and asked where I was and I told him that I was just about to call him. He said, "Are you ready for this?" He then explained that the agency had just called and asked if we could take in two brothers. Little brother is two months old and Big brother is twenty-one months. It was an emergency placement. He said "yes" and soon the boys were on their way.

As soon as I got home, Q and I went to Wal-mart to get some basic needs for them. All we knew is that they were coming with some clothes, diapers, bottles and formula. So we bought a pack-n-play, foldable high chair, toddler snacks, among some other little things. I got to pick out some pj's for Big brother as we heard there were none in his bag.

We arrived home and ten minutes later, the boys arrived. They were both asleep as it was late. I got a peek at the baby and immediately fell in love. We tended to his needs, then the toddler woke up. He was confused, but we worked with him gradually to get him used to our home. Since he was asleep for some time, it took a while for him to get back to sleep. It was a late night for all of us, especially since both kids kept waking up during the night.

These last few days have been fun with these little guys. They continually are a joy and they make us laugh all the time. We're beginning to work on routines and we're all getting more sleep.:) We don't know what God has planned for us in the days ahead, as parental rights have not been terminated. If they do, then we can begin the process to adopt. There is a chance that in a short time, they will leave us, but we pray that God will allow us to adopt them and make them a part of our family. Will you pray with us about this?

We're grateful for the donations we received from several people...a crib, carseats, clothes, toys, diapers and other necessities for the boys. We continue to see God work in this situation.

Because of their unique situation, I won't be posting pictures until (or if) we adopt them. But, I couldn't resist to take this picture of baby's feet for you all to see....

Aren't they adorable? I'm so glad God is giving us the opportunity to love and make a difference in these lives that are now a part of us.

I still have some things that I made for Christmas that I'd like to show you, but as you can see, we are pretty occupied at the moment. I will post when I have the time and keep you updated on the boys. Thanks for praying!:)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My focus for the new year

For the past couple of days I've been thinking about the new year and what I'd like to focus on. I've been reading a devotional book called Whispers of His Power by Amy Carmichael. She was a missionary in India from 1895 until her death in 1951. She has written many devotional readings that are full of truth from God's Word.

Yesterday's reading had the following verse,

Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear;" Hebrews 12:28

After I read that, I knew that this would be my theme for the new year--to serve God "well pleasingly" (as Carmichael interprets it from Young's Literal Translation). Every thing I do, whether it is serving at home, my neighbors, my church, and others God puts in my life, needs to be done to please my Heavenly Father. I must strive to do things excellently unto Him first and foremost.

Carmichael ended her devotional with this prayer, which is parts of Hebrews 13:20-21, Now the God of Peace...make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

May we all strive to please God better in this new year. It's so easy to look back at failures, sins, and hurts, but we must keep pressing on. Christ wants us to forget those things which are behind, and reach forth unto those things which are before," (Philippians 3:14). Looking back keeps us from honoring and loving God in the way we should. So... look ahead with joy and determination to serve the Lord with all of your heart.

I hope you all have a wonderful year! Happy 2011!:)