The Stacy Chronicles

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If You Build It They Will Come

Welcome to my crib, yo!  <<<That’s our future baby talking.  Sorry, I’m just really excited about getting a crib put up.  It’s something I’ve always dreamed about.  I know it must sound silly to a lot of you out in the blogasphere, but when you’ve waiting so long even the tiniest of things become hugely sentimental and important.  For the past 8 years I’ve watched all my closest and not so closest friends’ tummy swell with a growing baby inside.  I’ve longed to be right there with them decorating a nursery and snapping pictures of  daddy dearest assembling the not so tiny crib.  Ahhhh….well, my time has finally come!  My belly is swelling (thanks to some amazing Christmas turkey) and I’ve been getting the nursery together over the last 6 month, and daddy dearest-to-be has put our future baby’s crib together!

So, It is quite different than the traditional crib-putting-together ceremony.  We don’t have a baby, not even in my tummy, we don’t know if we will ever have a baby (still praying for that one), BUT we do know that DHR requires a crib (NOT a pack-n-play aw shucks) for us to be able to keep a baby in our home.  So what do we do?  Buy the cheapest, most sturdy, fit in the smallest space, crib!  We went to IKEA!  Yippee! for easy to assemble, sturdy, all wood, smallish fit in our bedroom, cribs!  It’s not the cutest of all cribs, but it will serve it’s purpose and it doesn’t clash with our half drywall half wood paneled walls!  Haha.  This room is a disaster zone!  Trust me when I say that one day it will be an oasis.  We will transform it, but it will take a while.  We have already reno’ed the closet. We still don’t have doors up, but will be building 3 or 4 sliding, reclaimed, barnwood doors…eventually.  We moved our old t.v. into our bedroom (it’s sitting pretty in the custom’ish closet shelf) and rearranged the bed, so that on sick days I’m directly in front of the t.v. in my warm bed.  We also took out Jeff’s chest of drawers and now share a dresser, so we can have more space.  We have more space, but the dresser’s drawers don’t shut very well.  We REALLY need to clean out our clothes again…I have a thing for bargain shopping and handmedowns.

I said all that to say, “ignore the rest of the room”!  The crib isn’t anything special, but then again it is.  What it means is special.  It gives me hope.  It’s kinda bittersweet to wake up every morning and see it by our bed.  Some things are hard to put into words.  Some things are difficult to talk about.  I’m trying to be open with you all.  I really do try to be positive.  That is hard.  I am happy.  We are moving forward.  But with moving forward I kinda feel I’m leaving something else behind.  Has anyone ever been there?  I’m just going to try and focus on what’s ahead.  All the fertility treatments and trying so hard to get pregnant are done.  They’ve been done.  It’s been about 7 months or so.  We decided to jump into “this adoption thing” feet first, in March of this year (2012).  It’s been such a long road, but I know we are still parked in the garage.  We ain’t seen nothing yet…so to speak.

I hope to be as ‘real’, open, and honest with you guys as I can without throwing a pity party.  I mean, I want you all to come to my party, right?  I know I’m ranting and you all just want to see the super homely crib, but maybe some of you out there are having the same emotions.struggles.fears.

I think I’m done. For tonight.

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Ta’ Daaah (?)  The crib sheet is just one I already had from a handmedown.  I hope to get some uber cute, gender neutral, organic cotton ones, one day {not being picky or anything}  But really, how many kids are going to care?  They pee, poop, and throw up on their sheets…organic or not. 😛

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No, I will not be keeping this quilt on the crib when the baby is in there!  I know it is dangerous and it has buttons on it! YIKES!  I just wanted to dress Sniglar up for the pictures!

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Handmade DIY Christmas Gifts (Pinterest Inspired)

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The loot.  

Man, was this a great Christmas.  not just because I got the camera bag and lens (Sigma 17-70mm 2.8) I have been swooning over. We had like 4 Christmas’s (is that a word? it is now)!  Just a super quick recap.  We got to spend an amazing Christmas with really close friends in Georgia.  I met the wife (that’s what I’ll call her on here) on an American Pregnancy forum 5 years ago!  We started talking on there, then quickly exchanged emails and later phone numbers.  Last year she actually moved from 10 or so hours away to 2 hours away!  Best Christmas gift ever!  She is my support, besides Jeff of course.  She is the person I call when I have a rotten day, or am depressed about not being pregnant, or if someone said something hurtful or rude.  She has the most positive, encouraging, supportive spirit.  I am SO, SO happy she lives within driving distance.  I honestly thought we’d never meet in person.  I am so glad I entered that forum and we started private chatting.  She now has 3 little boys and is pregnant with her 4th child!  Hopefully, one day she will share her story on our blog.  Check out Happy Beginnings.

So, we had a great Christmas weekend at their home, then had an amazing Christmas Eve night, Christmas day breakfast, and Christmas day supper with our other favorite family.  This family has taken us under their wings from the moment we moved to North Alabama.  They have 10 kids!  Yup, that’s right.  They are our go to support for all things DHR, foster/adoptive related.  We are very blessed all 12 of them are in our lives.

On to the DIY gifts.

DIY String State Art

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I think this was Jeff’s all time favorite gift of the year.  I loved his face when he opened this one (last).  I actually put down my camera and didn’t capture it on film, but in my heart (dorky I know).  I just LOVE him!  I’m so grateful he hasn’t stumbled upon this idea before on the internet.  He had never seen anything like it, and was totally impressed!  I think he was mostly impressed that I figured out how to use a hammer and nails for this project!  I don’t do that often.

The quote is from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s song Home.  We we so excited to see them in concert at De Luna fest, about 3 years ago.  Such a fun day that we will never forget.  You can check out their song here.

Back to the project.

  • You can get a piece of wood at Hobby Lobby for $2.50.
  • Paint it color of choice or leave it plain and use colored embroidery thread.
  • Let paint dry.
  • Print out the shape of your state, cut it, trace it onto wood.
  • Use small nails and nail along drawing.  Space however close or far, but make sure you have room to wrap.
  • Nail a heart over your city of choice.
  • Next tie a knot on one of the nails with embroidery thread. I separated my thread, so it was only two threads thick. I think it would look better thicker. On a corner nail.
  • Start wrapping.  Make sure if wrap around left to right, continue with that pattern.  You will wrap around the heart nails multiple times.
  • Then I connected yarn all the way around the heart.
  • You can write a quote or leave as is.

DIY String State Art Score: A+ (from Jeff)

A- (from me), because I had to tie my thread on about 4 times, because I kept running out….it was annoying

DIY Custom Art Coffee Mugs

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This one is all over the internet, but that’s okay.  I decided to do my own thing and draw two of our favorite characters from the IT Crowd, with favorite quotes on the back of the mugs.

I already had white mugs and a sharpie, so this project was free!  Major score!

I drew the images with pencil and then colored them in with sharpie.  Roy was a lot harder than Moss!  Then you bake them for 30mins at 350 to seal the design.  I have NO idea if this will wash off.  I’m not sure if Jeff will display them or drink out of them.  I’ll let you know if it washes off who am I kidding.  I would most definitely handwash them though!

DIY Custom Art Coffee Mugs Score- A+

Here is a clip from the saying on the right, the one on the left is self explanatory, but is a quote also from Moss.  I LOVE the way he says “weird”(they say “weird” a lot on the show) .


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Pom-Pom’s Everywhere, and I’m Not Even a Cheerleader

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Haha, look at my tree topper.  That crazy thing wants to stay up there sideways!  I am loving these multi-green pom-pom babies!  I actually broke down and bought a pom-pom maker, because I noticed they are so much fuller when you use it.

It’s a pretty crazy contraption, but it works!  You can wrap multiple colored yarn and make mixed colored pom-poms.  I just took a needle and some white yarn and strung them up, then hung them with tape on our bookcases.
camera and christmas 008We don’t have a fireplace, so the bookcases will be our mantle this year.  I’m dreaming of a fireplace for next year.

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I am in LOVE with our mega-huge engineer print.  I know you’ve seen them all over the blog-a-sphere.  I got mine printed at Staples.  I think it cost $8, then bought a piece of black foam board from there for $6.99.  I cut both to size and then used Elmer’s spray adhesive to attach the print.  You will need two people to lay the print onto the foam when it is sticky.  For ours I didn’t have to worry about hangers for the back because it is propped up on the bookshelf.  I actually pasted another picture on the backside, so if I get bored of this one, I can just flip it!

Just a quick foster care update.  We had our final homestudy today.  We did great.  It wasn’t scary and only took a few minutes.  Our case worker will be out of town for the next two weeks, but after the holidays will write up our report.  She then has to get it approved for us to foster, and we are done!  Then it will be just waiting for the children.  I’m not sure how long all of this will take, but I’m so relieved our part is over.

We are planning on buying a crib to put in our room on Christmas break, from Ikea.  They have cribs for like $69.99!


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Small, Simple, Christmas Crafts

I really, really, want to tell you what I made today.  I am just dying to show or tell someone!  I can’t because it’s Jeff’s Christmas present and I can’t risk him seeing or reading this.  I will however, take pics and tell you after Christmas morning…just don’t let me forget.  *hint: it involves British comedy and a Sharpie*

 

I can however, show you what I made a few days ago…

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Yep!  Jeffrey’s Christmas stocking is finished!  I LOVE the colors!  They match our decor for the holiday season!  I think he was pretty impressed by his first handmade Christmas stocking!  I’m so happy I learned how.  Now we have matching, but not matchy knitted stockings.  I knitted his in the round, except for the heel gusset, and it was much quicker.  Our stockings took me about two days to knit.

So, the post is about simple Christmas crafts you can make,  let’s get on with it, shall we?  The rest of this post will be stolen ideas from pinterest…that’s okay, we all do it!

 

First.  My homemade tree topper:

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Rating: C-

Supplies needed:

  • paper mache’ letter (Hobby Lobby has these for $2.47)
  • foam paint brush
  • glitter!
  • glue (i used Elmer’s,  mod podge would probably work better)

This project gets a C- rating because it was a pain, I don’t know how you will make a hole in the bottom for all letters, and mine is currently sitting on my tree sideways.  It’s not standing up right because there is so little space inside the letter for the tree top to stick up in.  With all that being said, I still like it.  I LOVE the glitter!  I have three different colored lights on my tree, so I wanted to mimic that effect on my topper.  I hope to fix the crooked problem, but just haven’t had time.

Do you have any other unique tree topper ideas?

Birch Tree Frosted Candles

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Rating: B-

Supplies needed:

  • dollar tree candles
  • brown craft paint
  • glue (again Elmers, but something stronger is recommended)
  • epsom salt
  • foam paint brush & small paint brush
  • cookie sheet pan

This was an easy, super quick project.  Paint your candle to resemble a birch tree.  I just painted random stripes/dashes all around my candle.  Let this DRY!  Will it’s drying pour out a generous amount of Epsom salt on your cookie sheet.  After candle is all the way dry brush on your glue with the foam brush.  Roll candle in Epsom salt, and your done.  The only reason I gave this a B- is because my salt isn’t sticking too well.  It’s probably my fault for not using a better glue.  Oh well.

 

Easy Glass Ornaments



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Rating: A-

Supplies needed:

  • glass ornaments (Hobby Lobby)
  • beads
  • glitter
  • glue
  • craft paint

The easiest and my favorite is the ornament with beads inside.  I just used beads I had around.  I’d love to buy some fake pearl beads and fill some with those.  For the other ones I just glued, painted, and glittered.

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I found this crocheted runner at the thrift store for $.99.  They had it marked as a valance, it could also be a shawl, but it just happened to be the right size for my table.  I placed my homemade ornaments inside these glass tubes which came off some candle wall sconces I haven’t hung yet.

There are so many projects going on here at the Stacy home.  I just haven’t had time to take pics and post everything.  I have serious issue with lack of light.  It’s dark when I get home from work, so it’s very hard to take good pictures.  I try to take most of them on my lunch break.

I hope you try some DIY decorations and presents this year!

 


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We did it! First Homestudy

One done.  One to go.

So that was easier than expected.

It’s funny how there is no way to know what it will be like,  how much you need to prepare.  I feel like we cleaned all night and all morning.  Probably because we did.  How do two people get a house so messy anyways?  It’s me… I admit it.  I lay my stuff down wherever.

So, only Jeff had to be home for the first one.  The main things they are going to look for (at least that’s what our social worker looked for) is this:

  • do you have the right fire extinguisher? 5lbs or more –passed
  • fire alarms outside bedrooms (within 10 feet) –passed
  • safely heating your home (we were not, our gas heater is too old)
  • is your water temp below 120? –passed
  • i also think it is important to live in a clean safe neighborhood
  • enough beds for the amount of children you want to foster
  • all cleaning supplies, toxic, hazardous items locked up with a key (anything with a “keep out of reach of children” label)

There are tons more things on the list, but these are the ones our case worker mostly focused on.

 

Whew!  Not so much to worry about after all!  Needless to say we are relieved.  She liked the nursery and said we had plenty of room.

 

What we have left to do:

  • get small heaters for the bedrooms and bathrooms that will turn off if knocked over
  • change out our main gas heater for a newer model (really would love to replace it with a fireplace)

I have no idea what goes on for the second homestudy.  I know she will check to make sure we have the appropriate heaters, but I don’t know what else happens.  If you have had a homestudy through DHR I’d love to know what your case worker did/said during your second homestudy.

Good news is she said our paperwork looks good.  So that good.  Not sure what all that entails or what is left.  I’m sure there is more paperwork after the next homestudy.  I have no idea how long it will be until children are placed with us.

Trust me, I plan on asking at the next meeting.  Which is scheduled next week.

Yay!  I feel like all this paperwork stuff will be coming to a close…until adoption paperwork…to be continued…

I know this is all just the beginning.  I can’t even imagine what it will be like with all the visits after we have kids.  I guess everyone enters into this journey kind of blind.  Every child, social worker, and parent is different.  We are just going to trust in the Lord and know he will take care of our family.

2 Timothy 2:7
Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

 

 


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Christmas Time! I hand-knit my first Stocking!

If this picture looks terribly wrong to you, then you would be correct in your assumption.  After 3 hours of knitting the heel gusset, it looked like this!  I’ve never made a stocking or sock before so when they said to connect the 15 stitches in the middle, I chose the wrong middle…not knowing what in the world I was doing.  I actually cried.  Jeff said something along the lines of “your eyes look dead”.  It was bad!  This is why I only do SIMPLE knitting projects.  Ya know, hats, scarves, dish clothes, blankets.  Anyways if your stocking looks like this then you have a problem!
Stocking 004Even with the delay it only took me 2 days to complete!  I was shocked.  I thought it would take a couple of weeks.  The cream color is I love this Yarn brand from Hobby Lobby.  It’s acrylic (which I usually don’t use, but had left over from another project) and it knit up so quick and easily.  No separating…which really helps save time.  Here is the finished product: I chose not to edit the pics, because I was L-A-Z-Y.

Stocking 006Stocking 007Stocking 016So you can kinda see how big it is.

I also, tried to do a little something different this year with our tree.  It all happened when I could only find one strand of white lights!  I haven’t made my topper yet, because no where in town has glitter!  I bought a cardboard letter S and I’m going to spray it with adhesive and sprinkle green, then blue, then silver glitter.  Jumping on the Ombre band wagon. 🙂

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And I finally completed my knit hat!  For more details on how I made this hat and knitting in general check here!

And if you want the tutorial for this stocking check here!

By the way, I am totally making Jeff a stocking next.  Well, I’m already working on it.  I wasn’t trying to be selfish, but I knew that I would mess up a time or two, and I wanted to experiment on my stocking first.  Now that I know what I am doing, I’m ready to work on his.  The pattern calls to knit everything straight across, and then sew up later.  I know I’m weird but I love sewing up the seams. Here is a video on that.  I don’t know but there is something magical to me about stitching something up and it being totally invisible.  I love catching those little ladders in between and tugging them tight.  So weird I know!  It really doesn’t take much to make me happy.

For Jeff’s stocking I’m knitting the leg and the foot in the round.  It’s so much easier and faster.  No purling!  Yes, I know I’m deviating off the pattern, but it’ll be okay, I do the same thing with recipes.

The other thing I altered on my stocking is for the ribbed top I knitted and purled 10 rows instead of 8 so mine would be bigger.  With Jeff’s I’m doing K4, P4 to make a thicker ribbing, for a slightly different look.  For his colors I’m using grays and blues.  I think those colors will look great beside our silver and blue tree.  I might also make the pups smaller stockings one day, just so we all match.  And of course our kiddos will get coordinating stockings in their favorite colors…one day. 🙂

 

 


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My Biggest Crochet Project Yet

This blanket was a special order from my facebook page.  I decided to do a $25 gift credit for my friend’s giveaway on facebook.  You should check out her art on her blog.  Anyways it is by far my biggest (literally) crochet design.  We picked a granny square pattern and I tweaked it here and there.  Like adding a border at the top, to signify the top (duh) of the blanket, and doing a ruffly scalloped edge.  All these pictures were taken at night, so the colors aren’t accurate.  The green is brighter, the pink and brown are lighter… Anyways, without further adieu, here it is:

Blanket 007Blanket 006Blanket 015Blanket 013Blanket 011 Perfect size for a toddler bed!