Tutorial: Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal

I came up with this just before last Christmas when Anna really wanted a 5 year diary (almost all of us keep a diary) with a fabric cover with ruffles on it.  More specifically, she wanted raw edges on the ruffles which I couldn’t think of any reason why anyone would purposely leave raw edges for the fun of it. I mean, I’m the one who is always picking every little loose thread off of everything.  I abhor fuzz and loose threads.  So why would you create more?  I guess it is “cute” and “in”.  I don’t know.  I really don’t get it.  But since she really wanted it, I decided to give it a try.  Charissa then wanted one for her birthday. With no raw edges. Good girl!!! :)  Anywho, after making a grand total number of two, I decided to make another and do a tutorial.   There is no way I am going to keep it and be picking threads off of me until the cows come home, so I am listing it on our Etsy shop for sale!!   :)

 

And I’m still picking loose threads off of me :P  :)

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 Materials you will need:

*1 piece of main fabric cut out 10 inches wider, and 2-1/2 inches longer than your journal

*1 piece of lining fabric the same size as your main piece

*4 pieces of contrasting fabric for your ruffles.  2 inches by 1-1/2 times the width of your journal (so mine is 18 inches long)

* 1 ribbon, about 4 inches longer than your journal

*a charm of your choice

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 The journal I am using had a black bookmark ribbon. I cut it off because it does not at all go with the colors I am using.  I will add a white ribbon bookmark later.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 Put gathering stitches in each ruffle, about 1/2 inch from the top. If you don’t want raw edged ruffles, zig-zag the edges before putting in the gathering stitches.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 Fold and press your main piece in half both ways to mark the very middle.  Then, measure your journal and pin (measuring from the middle out) marking where you want your ruffles.

Here, my journal is 12-1/2 inches wide and 9 inches long. So measuring from the middle, the top and bottom pins are 4-1/2 inches from the middle, and the side pins are 6-1/4 inches from the middle.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 Pin the ruffles in place.  Pin them further over your marked area if you want the ruffle to go all the way to the edge (as shown on other covers I have made at the end of this post). If you want the ruffle to end before the edge of your journal, like this one, pin it right up to your marked area.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 Sew all four ruffles on just under the gathering stitches…

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 Take out the gathering stitches and trim all threads

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Place both pieces right sides together, sew with an 1/2 inch seam allowance around leaving a 5 inch opening on one of the short ends.  Trim corners.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Turn right side out, press, and stitch the opening closed.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Place your journal exactly in the middle of the inside out fabric cover and fold the edges over the journal cover edges and pin in place….

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Stitch all four seams with an 1/2″ seam allowance….

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Turn right side out, press and see how your journal fits….

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Stitch the ribbon bookmark to the top middle

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Add a charm of your choice to the end of the bookmark…

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

Ta da!!!! You’re done!!! :)

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 This is one I made Anna for Christmas….she wanted the raw edges. This is a bigger notebook (a 5-year diary actually), than the one I used for this tutorial, so I did 5 ruffles.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

This is one I made for Charissa’s birthday. She wanted no raw edges, so I did a zig-zag stitch with contrasting color on the edges.  It is the same kind of diary that I used for Anna’s.

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 You could do variations of ruffles: smaller ruffles, leave more space between the ruffles, do vertical ruffles, just one ruffle, etc.  The possibilities are endless!!!

Ruffle Fabric Covered Journal Tutorial

 

Enjoy trying this out!  Remember, if you don’t want to sew your own, just hop right on over to our Etsy shop and buy this very one!!!! :)

 

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I Made My Own Burt’s Bees Chapstick!!!

I’ve seen some tutorials on Pinterest on how to make your own chapstick, and I’ve been wanting to try it for a while now :)   Especially after I found out that my favorite chapstick, Burt’s Bees, isn’t as natural as I originally thought.

I Made My Own Burt's Bees Chapstick!!! - Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

It’s much better than most chapsticks (see the link above…it explains the ingredients and they’re not all that bad), but after discovering Burt’s is owned by Clorox, combined with the fact that Burt’s is $3 sometimes $4 a tube, and I carry chapstick around with me everywhere (therefore using a lot of it)I decided it was time to try to make my own!

 

I found several recipes and started reading and comparing.  The one that especially caught my eye was the one that said it was an exact copycat recipe of Burt’s Bees…and for only 12¢ a tube!!!  (click on the picture below)

 

Burt's Bees Copycat Recipe

From Happy Money Saver

 

 

So what I’m writing here isn’t really a full tutorial…but this is my variation of what I did with her recipe :)

 

I also found this helpful tutorial from Nerdy Farm Wife.  She goes into the ratios you need if you would want to experiment more with other ingredients or substitute anything.

 

I Made My Own Burt's Bees Chapstick!!! - Seven Sisters Blog

 

Happy Money Saver’s ingredient list was:

  • 20 grams Beeswax (about 3 Tablespoons of the whiter beads, but you can use a white/yellow bar too)
  • 20 grams Cocoa Butter or Coconut Oil (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • 45 grams Sunflower Oil (1/4 cup)
  • 8 drops Vitaman E oil (4 vitamin E oil tablets worth)
  • 2 drops DoTerra Rosemary essential oil
  • 12 drops DoTerra Peppermint essential oil
  • Pea-sized drop of Lanolin ( she said not to use much of this or your balm will taste bad)

 

 

I knew that the melting difference of cocoa butter and coconut oil was huge.  Coconut oil melts SO quickly, while cocoa butter is a lot harder.  So I wasn’t too sure about using the coconut oil instead of the cocoa butter like she said.

I also didn’t have sunflower oil.  OR vitamin E oil.  OR Lanolin.

So I modified the recipe like this:

  • 3 T. beeswax
  • 2 T. cocoa butter
  • 1/4 c. almond oil
  • 20 drops DoTerra Peppermint essential oil (you don’t have to use DoTerra…just use a quality oil)

 

And I don’t have a little kitchen scale to measure the grams exactly…so this is proof that you can make good chapstick without needing to be really exact :)  Though one of those scales might be nice to get someday!

 

 

I Made My Own Burt's Bees Chapstick!!! - Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

I was surprised how quickly it all melted.  We had beeswax ‘beads’, so that probably helped the melting process go more quickly.

I Made My Own Burt's Bees Chapstick!!! - Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

I used a glass medicine dropper to fill the chapstick tubes that I’ve been saving as I used up my Burt’s Bees (I’ve been planning this for a long time, lol!).  You can buy tubes, though,  (see Happy Money Saver’s tutorial) if you don’t happen to keep empty tubes in your closet :D

 

It looks all clear when you first put it in, but it sets up pretty quick (on the left).  At first my medicine dropper was starting to resemble a candle because the beeswax kept cooling each time I dipped it :D  But I kept squeezing and stirring the dropper in the hot beeswax until it melted off.

 

I Made My Own Burt's Bees Chapstick!!! - Seven Sisters Blog

 

My sisters were laughing as I was exclaiming, “Look girls!  Look!  I MADE that!” :D  But it is a pretty neat feeling to see all of these full chapstick tubes that YOU made :D

 

The chapstick sinks as it cools, so I topped it off with more melted chapstick to make it look smoother.

 

I Made My Own Burt's Bees Chapstick!!! - Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

One recipe of hers made 12 tubes, plus a little bit left over that I put into a plastic container to melt back down later for refills. I’m guessing it probably would have made 18 or so tubes.

I actually like my homemade Burt’s better than the actual Burt’s Bees :)  It’s not quite as hard as Burt’s Bees, but also not too soft…I don’t like soft gooey chapsticks!

Is it worth it?!  YESSSSS!  I think I’m going to make my own from now on…it’s easy, it’s cheap, and I know exactly what I put in it :D  I think it took me an hour, from start to finish.  That doesn’t include all of the overthinking, and analyzing I did over different recipes before I started, buuuut….that doesn’t count :D

I also had the added blessing in that Mommy keeps “strange” things like Cocoa Butter, Beeswax, and essential oils around…and she let me use them if I gave her some chapstick, hehe!

I Made My Own Burt's Bees Chapstick!!! - Seven Sisters Blog

 

A little cleaning tip: after emptying the pan of the chapstick mixture, wipe it out right away with a paper towel.  That way the beeswax doesn’t harden on the pan :)  I did the same thing with the medicine dropper, then I squeezed boiling water in and out of it to clean the inside.

 

Be sure you check out the Happy Money Saver’s tutorial.  It was easy to follow, clear, and to the point…just what I like!

 

How about you?  Have you made your own chapstick or another beauty product?  What are your favorites? :) :)

 

jessica

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Painted Mason Jar DIY

So, I’ve been on Pinterest (being the dangerous place it is ;) ) and found a really cute idea for mason jars, and I decided to try it out!

 

Okay, here’s what you’ll need:

Mason jar

Masking tape or paint tape

sharp knife (X-acto)

chalk board spray paint

chalk

fabric or ribbon

tea light candle

To start off with, put several pieces of tape on the smooth part of the mason jar, (if you have couple inch tape, use that! Much easier!) Draw a heart on it, then with your knife carfully cut around the tracing. I have a few battle wounds from this ;)

photo 2 (4)

In a well ventilated area, spray paint your jar over newspapers so you don’t kick up dust that then make a mess of your project! And don’t spray too close, or you’ll get drips. I wrapped my hand in newspapers and stuck it in the jar so I wouldn’t get my hand all messy! :)

photo 4 (2)

 

Once that’s dry, you may need to do a second coat…that’s what works best for me! And after it’s dried, carefully take your knife and peel the heart off. Excited yet? Looks pretty cool at this stage, but to make it look even MORE cool, follow the next step!

photo 3 (3)

 

Before this step, I always let it set out to air out and fully dry for about a day. Take your ribbon, fabric strip or what ever cute thing you might find to wrap around the top of the jar! Then make little dotted lines with the chalk around the heart. It adds a nice touch, and accentuates the heart!! Put your tea light in and your ready to go!!

And if your afraid of catching your house on fire…you could use those electric candles!! :)

Finished product!!!

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ind.

 

 

P.S. I am in no way responsible if the fabric or paint catches fire ;) lol!

Enjoy your beautiful jars! I like to just sit there and look at them!! ^_^

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54492-61-0E533232321E5B8DCF94E82AA2339F5B

 

And if you don’t want to make them, but really want them, you can check out this set HERE :)

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Throwback Thursday: Can You Guess Who They Are?

 

Just for fun…can you guess which of the Seven Sisters these girls are? :D

Leah, Cassia & Susannah - Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

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Happy 14th Birthday, Charissa!!!

Happy birthday, Charissa!

We are so glad to have you as our seventh sister ;)

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

We love how you still play with, and take care of the boys…

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

…and that smile…it makes us smile!

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

Your creativity…

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 …your fun and sweet personality, your love for baking (which benefits us greatly!), and the happiness that shines through you is such a blessing to us.

Happy 14th Birthday Charissa!  - Seven Sisters Blog

 

We love you!!!

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A Messy House Collides With Forgotten Company

 

We’ve adopted Teresa Tapp and her husband, Mark, as our new aunt and uncle :D  They’re such fun to be with and some of our favorite people ;)  Uncle Mark came from a family of twelve, so he knows all about how big families work, and he’s told us lots of stories from his own family :D  You may remember our posts here and here about when we visited their farm.

 

His birthday was last fall, and we wanted to make him this video, but we were really busy with canning season and never got to it.  So about three Saturday’s ago, we really were having a ‘lazy Saturday’ for once and filmed this video :D

 

 

A few fun facts:

♥ Most of that mess was real. We didn’t have to stage much! Anna did unfold a bunch of towels, which she said felt ‘wrong’, and we dumped out Legos and set up the Monopoly game. And messed up Isaiah’s hair.

♥ Someone put pancakes on the griddle and left them there just for the movie, but it isn’t uncommon for pancakes to stay out for quite awhile on a Saturday morning…just usually not on the griddle.

♥ If you’re a fan of the Jostie Flicks you might notice that Bekah is watching ‘A Suitor’s Tale‘ on the iPad

♥Anna is playing with a ‘Cat’s Cradle’ string…with the cat

♥ It’s hard to see because it’s so fast, but at 3:46 Cassia carries the cat out of the room. The cat comes back 3:58, and at 4:10 Anna moves the cat to the couch :D

 

Watch and enjoy!

 

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A year?!?!

What? It’s already been a year since my Guatemala trip? Woah! It was such an amazing experience, just the way God brought it all together and provided for it!!

 

You go wondering what it will be like, thinking your going to love on these kids, but in the simple little moments, like playing soccer till your sides hurt, curling up on a couch with your new friend to read the Spanish Bible, the little hugs, when little hands clasp yours, the pizza party, the dancing and praising Jesus together, when they fall asleep in your arms, the joy you see in their eyes when they receive a simple blanket, the late night tickling/tackling each other ‘parties’, getting your head ‘pet’, playing on the swing set, laughing so hard you start crying,  is when they slowly steal your heart, and lavish so much love on you that then, you feel like family.

It doesn’t matter that we speak different languages, it doesn’t matter our skin or hair color, or our cultures, we are family.

 

But then that night before your supposed to climb on that plane to take you back to your ‘home’, you feel as though your heart might just be ripped out if you have to go back. Because now…this is your home.

And after that, your life is changed for ever. You can’t just shake it off, you find yourself thinking of them often, on your mind all day, thinking “right now, we would be in the soccer field” or “It’s break time on the job site”

Thinking “how can we have so much, and want more?” when these kids are so happy with what they have.

 

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

 

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

A Year? by Seven Sisters Blog

 

It’s in those simple times, that slowly, your heart gets such a deep love and passion for another Country.

I almost didn’t come home! ;)

Thank you Jesus, for Guatemala! ♥

Anna

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To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree

 

Last month we set out for our yearly Christmastime tradition…to find and cut down our own Christmas tree.  But due to the drought we had a few years ago, plus a sudden trend of EVERYONE wanting a real tree, we visited four Christmas tree farms before we found one big enough for our family :D

 

This picture was taken on our way to the first tree farm…we spent 2 1/2 hours just visiting three farms that day!

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

This farm has been our favorite, but so many other people had gotten trees the week before we came, that there were only 4-6 foot trees…and these baby trees…to pick from.  A six-foot tree might not sound that short…but to us, it’s short, especially with all of the ornaments we have to put on it ;)

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Tree farm no. 2.  Either the trees were too short, too scraggly, or the trunk was twisted.

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

We didn’t even take pictures of tree farm no. 3.  We didn’t even get out of the car…just drove around and saw that, alas, that farm wasn’t going to work either!

 

Then came Henslers!  Mommy had been doing some scouting online for nearby tree farms, and while this one was about 40 minutes away, we wanted a tall fat tree quite badly ;)  They had these fun signs as we came in…and unfortunately we can’t find the pictures we took of them all…but there was a set of signs every so often that continued a story of the perfect evergreen that couldn’t wait for its family to come find it :D

 

And there were these signs…

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

We saw the 12 foot trees in the front and got pretty excited :D  We only have a nine-foot ceiling, but seeing anything over 6 feet was great!

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 We got to see their pretty little shops, and their reindeer, plus some other farm animals. The goats were cute…but hey!  We see goats every single day :D  We were more interested in the reindeer and peacocks.  It was too dark to get good pictures, but you can see some of the deer on their website.

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 Oh!  the lovely tall trees!

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Happy smiles

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

They had these nice little ‘tree carts’ so that you didn’t have to drag the tree on the ground (like we usually do!).  Charissa decided to try to catch a ride :D

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Inspecting one of the trees…

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

A grainy picture of Cassia, Leah, myself, and Susannah…it was getting dark and phone cameras don’t like the dark :D  We started running out of daylight and had to make our tree decision quick. We don’t usually make our tree decision very quickly, because there are at least 9 or 10 opinions as to what the perfect tree should look like ;)

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

We finally settled on a tree that was about 8 feet tall…a little short for us ‘kids’ liking, because we like them to scrape the ceiling, but we all agreed that it was nice in every other way, and 8 feet was passable ;)

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

How do we measure the tree?  We say, “Susannah, come over here!”  She’s a little over 6 feet, so we figure with her arms up, that’s about 8 feet :D

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Then it was time to decorate the tree…

 

 

Daddy and Mommy always sit behind one of our dining room benches and lay out all of the ornaments…

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 We get a new one every year that has something to do with what happened that year.  Unless nothing of great importance happened…then we just get something cute.  It seems to usually be a nativity scene (see video at end of post) :D

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

This year’s ornament was an airplane since we all took Discovery Flights/airplane rides this year (we are still planning a post on that one ;) )

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

There is also a little bit of a competition on who can get their ornament the highest…

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 But we do have to fill in the bottom as well!

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 Susannah, playing with the cat :D

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 Doesn’t she look so cute and innocent?

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

We all have our favorite ornaments that we like to hang up too…and there is much argument I mean, discussion, on a few of them :D  There’s a little mouse playing a violin that we got the year I started playing violin.  But the mouse is holding it like a cello.  So Susannah and Cassia insist that it’s a cello and they should hang it up :D  And Rebekah and Susannah race to be the ones to hang up the golden retriever we got the year we got ‘Clover’, and the Shih-Tzu we got when we had ‘Pooh’ :)

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 There is also a tradition to hang the ‘icicles’ on our ears…like earrings :D

And Noel is being…Noel.  She’s so playful!

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 More icicle earrings…

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 This progression of pictures makes me laugh!

We always make Chocolate Mint Brownie Cookies for the night that we decorate the tree.  This year we brought them right into the living room and set them on the piano…by Leah.

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

 

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 Charissa made her guinea pig, Chloe, her own ornament…

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

I asked her if she had shown Chloe yet, because it was her ornament, after all!  She said that she hadn’t, so I took it upon myself to show her, lol!

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 The cat wanted to see, too…

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

We also always sign a paper airplane when we put the tree up, as well as when we take it down.  We started writing on this plane in 2001?  At least that long ago.  We’re running out of room to squeeze our names in!  It has the names of a couple of our dogs on it, and probably Charissa wrote Noel’s name on it this year.

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 Our favorite Mommy ;)

To Find the Perfect Christmas Tree by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

We’ve also put together a little video of all the chatter that goes on…and the bantering.  Maybe my favorite part is Susannah rocking her cradle ornament…or Anna’s ‘breaking news’…

 

 

 

 

jessica

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

Perhaps that was last month…but we were so busy then, we didn’t have time to blog!

 

This post is primarily about Christmas Day, but a few more fun things we did in December were:

 

1. Operation Christmas Child.  It’s so much fun filling ‘shoeboxes’ with all kinds of fun and useful things and then sending it off to someone across the world who will hear about (and see!) the love of Jesus.  Even the boys get in on it and love it :)

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

2. We had Grandpa Jerry and Grandma Zelda over :)  You probably remember Susannah and Cassia’s Washington D.C. trip, and how they adopted some new grandparents for us…so the rest of us got to meet our new grandparents, hehe!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

We had SO much fun visiting together and getting to know our new grandma and grandpa :D  It was sad when they had to leave!  They are both so sweet, lots of fun, and their love for Jesus just shines through.  We love them! We played some of our instruments for them, and sang, and got to hear more about the D.C. trip.  Now we can’t wait to see them again!

 

3. Santa came to our house in his fire truck ;)  We’ve posted about him before, but he comes every year and gives out small bags of candy.  Who cares about sleighs when there’s a real live fire truck with sirens and lights going, right in your driveway! :)

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Quite possibly we are the oldest ‘kids’ in Mentone who still get excited about Santa coming :D  It’s tradition!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

4. Susannah, Leah, and I (Jessica) went to see the “Messiah” live for the very first time this past December!  Ohhhhh!  It was absolutely delightful!

 

 

5. Christmas dinner!  We always split up the Christmas menu between all of us girls so that we don’t have much to cook. Then we get as much as we possibly can all done before Christmas.  On Christmas Day all we have to do is pull casseroles out of the fridge and slide them into the oven, and then pull out pies, salads, and all the ‘cold’ stuff :)   It also makes for less dishes on Christmas Day…which we are exceedingly happy for!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

More Christmas Dinner preparations…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Cassia & Bekah

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Kitchen craziness

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

6. Christmas morning!!! Having our favorite Christmas breakfast of egg casserole, orange juice, and cream cheese cinnamon rolls.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Charissa even decked Noel out for the day.  Not sure if Noel was so thrilled about it, but she sure was cute!

Noel is our new house cat.  Yes.  House. Cat.  Who would have thought we would have such a thing?!  We’ve had house dogs but not cats.  She’s supposed to be in the house temporarily, but we said that back in November…

But she’s adorable and we all love her :D  Susannah got her from the post office.  She’s the third cat we’ve gotten from there.  If you don’t want a cat…stay away from the post office, lol!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Waiting to open presents together…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

We took about forty-five minutes just opening stockings ;)  We like going one at a time and watching to see what each person got.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

So many faces going on here…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Isaiah & Bekah

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Noah & Charissa

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

goofy faces

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Since I was born on Christmas Eve, the hospital gave me a ginormous stocking (and put me inside of it!).  Every year Daddy and Mommy took a picture of me standing in it, until eventually all of the pictures were the same…me trying to fit both feet inside of it while standing up.  Now I just check to make sure everything is out when I’m done opening it ;)  I love Anna’s face here.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

Not sure what was so funny…but I love this picture.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Susannah, already writing in a new planner she got in her stocking.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Ever since Noah got a Nerf gun for his birthday, Isaiah has been wanting one…you can tell he’s pretty happy with this present!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

I love these faces of surprise and delight!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Guess who else wanted a Nerf gun?!  We’ve had a few Nerf wars since.  Once Cassia was trying to read a book in the middle of a war, and she kept getting hit in the head.  “Not around civilians!  Go somewhere else!” she told them.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

And the Nerf guns have lead to statuses like these:

 

 

 

One of our favorite ‘tricks’ to throw someone off the track of what we got them is to get a huge box, load it up with school books, wood blocks, etc. and wrap it. Rebekah actually weighed her gift to Anna and it was 29 1/2 lbs :D

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Waiting for our turn…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Rebekah’s present to Anna didn’t arrive in time, so she gave her a piece of paper saying ‘Error 717: gift cannot be found but will arrive eventually’.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Susannah and Bekah had a ‘thing’ for destroying every bow that came on their present…that’s what she’s doing here…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Anna surprised me and got me a birthstone ring…something I really wanted.  THAT box weighed 28 1/2 lbs and the ring box was tucked in the corner beside all of Anna’s schoolbooks :D

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 Cassia, super happy about…whatever is in that box!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

Charissa took the time to make Mommy a really, really neat scrapbook with all of our pictures in it :)  I think Mommy liked it ;)

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Some of Leah’s amazing gift wrapping art.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Everybody intent on whatever Leah is opening…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

I gave Cassia a birthstone ring, and she liked hers a lot, too ;)

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Noah and Isaiah got new basketballs…Noah is smelling his, hehe!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Isaiah opening a gift from Charissa…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

…a hand carved tiger!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

This…is simply adorable!  Noah made a ‘Joy’ sign for Mommy.  And the J is backwards.  Oh he’s adorable!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

More of Leah’s art…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Charissa made her guinea pig, Chloe, a couple of presents.  One of them was a tunnel.  Chloe loves it…she loves anything she can hide in!

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Noah and Isaiah were opening identical presents, so Isaiah turned his head because he didn’t want to see Noah’s before he got his own opened :D

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Mommy and Daddy kept kissing…and some of the girls were hollering and teasing them about it.  So Mommy put up a towel that Daddy gave her so we wouldn’t have to watch :D

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Anna loved the ruffled journal cover that Susannah made her.  It was a true act of love from Susannah, because she doesn’t like ruffles, and she can’t stand loose threads, and these ruffles have raw edges :D :D

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

Probably THE highlight of Christmas for these two was getting their very own BB guns!  And let me tell you, they are good shots!

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

They’re already talking about when they’ll be big enough to go deer hunting with Daddy :D

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

After all the gifts were opened, we had a ‘hugging party’…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

…everyone was giving each other hugs saying, ‘Thank you!  Thank you!”

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 Best Christmas Ever!!!

(until next year)

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

The aftermath…Isaiah just looked over my shoulder as I was typing this, saw the picture and said, “That is some serious junk!”

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

Next, it was time for Christmas dinner…ham, barbecue cranberry sauce, marshmallow apple salad, ‘yummy’ salad, two different kinds of sweet potato casseroles, ‘gourmet’ potatoes, stuffing, rolls, and green bean casserole.

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

The pretty table…

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! by Seven Sisters Blog

 

 

I had a lot of fun this year wrapping some gifts that made a lot of noise.  One was a catnip mouse for Noel that squeaked whenever you moved it.  The other one was a set of sleigh bells for our family orchestra.  We’ve talked and talked about getting them, so this year I decided to surprise everyone and get a set.  Here’s a little tiny snippet of one of the songs we play around Christmastime, Sleigh Ride for Strings.  It was our very first time practicing with them, but it still is pretty neat with the bells.

(Did I mention those bells are so fun?!  I wonder what the UPS man thought as he brought that jingling box up the sidewalk).

 

 

After I wrapped both of those noisy gifts, I rattled and squeaked them on my way downstairs to put them under the tree, and Leah kept trying to grab them and figure out who they were to :D

We ALL had fun snooping this year…maybe more so than we usually do.  We didn’t snoop enough to find out what we were getting, because we didn’t want to do that, but we just had fun shaking, peeking, and looking to see which packages were ours :D

I would start crawling around the tree, looking for gifts addressed to me.

A sister would come in. “Jessica!  What are you doing young lady?”

Me: “Oh, just checking the tree water!”

Sister: *starts crawling around the tree with me*

Another sister comes in: “What do you girls think you are doing?!”

And so it goes on.  Half the fun is getting caught doing it, hehe!

 

7. The last thing we did this year was go to jail!  Every year for the past three years we’ve gotten to sing and play our instruments for the inmates.  The first time we did it we were a bit nervous, since we’d never been to jail before ;)  but once you start singing for them, you see that they’re just regular people, too…like you.  And somehow they bless you while you’re trying to bless them :)

And we did get out of jail in time to come home and celebrate with our customary whistle-blowing, pan-banging, hollering and shouting at midnight to ring in the new year :D

 

Stay tuned…pretty soon we’ll be putting up another post on when we got our Christmas tree ;)

 

Hey…it’s better late than never!

 

jessica

 

 

 

 

 

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Winter Pianist Problems

 

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