Happy 13th Birthday to our favoritest Charissa in the world!
Charissa and Noah
kissing the cat?
drinking tea, she LOVES tea.
drinking hot chocolate in the snow
at our sister starbucks outing
Happy Birthday Charissa! We love you!
A few years ago I made a homemaking binder for my friend, and while I was making it, I thought it would be fun to post a tutorial so that you could know how to make one, too!
It’s a perfect gift for a young lady’s birthday, a bride-to-be, or just for yourself as a pretty way to keep track of household chores and information. Leah came up with this idea and made one for Cassia for her special sixteenth birthday party and we all LOVED it
What you’ll need:
- a 12″ x 12″ scrapbook binder. I got this one from Hobby Lobby, and if you use their 40% off coupon, you can get it for about $12
- 1/2 yard each of two different materials of your choice (you won’t need quite as much for the part over the spine of the binder, so if you have scraps laying around, you just need one 9″ x 13″ piece for that part.)
- 2 yards decorative ribbon
- One small piece of clear vinyl 2 1/2″ by 3 3/4″. I got mine at Joanns where they sell all the vinyl tablecloths.
- Hot glue gun
- matching thread
Cut one piece 13 inches tall by 9 inches wide.
This is for the spine cover.
[If you are using a different sized binder, figure your measurements like this:
-Binder height + 1 inch. This is the height of the material.
-Wrap material around spine (or use a tape measure and visualize!) and decide how much of it you want to see on the front and back. Measure and add 1 inch. This is the width of your material]
Cut two contrasting pieces 13 inches tall by 16 inches wide.
This is for the front and back covers.
[Or if you're using a different sized binder:
-Binder height + 1 inch. This is the height measurement.
-Lay out your small piece along the spine, then take your contrasting material (or your tape measure) and make it meet the small piece, and wrap the material/tape measure around to the inside of the cover, at least 5 inches. Add 1 1/2" to this measurement. This is the width.]
Cut one piece out of the clear vinyl 2 1/2″ by 3 3/4″
This is for the cardstock tag you’ll get to insert on the side :) To get the rounded hole (to make inserting and pulling the tag out easier), use a quarter as a template.
Sew your spine cover to the larger contrasting materials at 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Sew along the 13″ sides. Press the seams out towards the large pieces of material.
Attach the vinyl pocket.
Center it on the spine material, about 1 3/4″ from the top and 3″ from the seams, with the rounded end down. Use masking tape to hold it in place while you stitch. Don’t stitch over the tape, though!
Stitch on the decorative ribbon.
This part is optional, but it gives it a nice finishing touch. Just center the ribbon over the seams and stitch it down on both sides of the ribbon.
Hem the sides.
Take the raw 13″ ends, and press the fabric over once at about 3/8″ with an iron, then over again on itself. Stitch it down.
Make the pocket flaps.
Spread out the cover with the right side of the material facing you. Now fold back the right side about 4 1/2 inches and pin. Repeat for the left side.
Now baste it down using a long stitch (4.0 or longer on your machine) at about a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Turn pockets right side out. Slip it on the binder to see if it fits snug, but not too tight.
If it fits well, stitch along your basting stitches. On the one below, it was a tad loose, so I went in deeper with my stitching to make it fit better. Once you have the right fit, clip the corners.
Slip it on the binder and bring the extra material over the binder as shown below.
Now measure out your ribbon to go 1/2 to 1 inch underneath your pocket, and then tuck it under the binder rings. Repeat for the other side. Now with your hot glue gun, carefully glue the fabric down first with a thin string of glue. Pull it snug over the top, but not too tight. Glue ribbon down over the fabric with a little more glue.
Make sure the ribbon is slid underneath the binder rings.
A pair of tweezers help with the little detail work, such as poking the ribbon under the binder rings or down into folds and crevices.
If you wish, you can hot glue along the pockets as well. My sister did not, and it is a nice extra pocket to put small papers, but I did so that all my seams were covered up :) It’s up to you!
You did it! It’s finished! Take it outside in the grass and take a picture of it (lol!)
Come back for Part 2: Filling the Notebook
Last weekend I had the opportunity to go to a conference in the mountains of Pennsylvania. It was a wonderful weekend with friends, making new friends and being really encouraged…all in all a very blessed time!
One evening after supper, we had some free time before the last session for the day and decided to take a walk. It was a nice walk in the crisp air and being surrounded by mountains. (Remember that here in northern Indiana, all we have are mole hills, so we love it whenever our travels take us to/around/through/by/past mountains. )
The conference center, as I mentioned above, is surrounded by mountains and the lodge itself is on the side of a mountain. On our walk we saw that there were marks on this “hill” where people had gone sledding…and we wanted to go sledding too. So once we got back up to the lodge we asked if they had sleds…they did!
A guy brought the sleds out for us, gave us a few instructions and left…
By this time it was dark, but that was no problem we could still see well enough to have fun sledding. There was a large toboggan that three people went down on together, it looked fun so I grabbed a sled, hopped on and down I went…
“Oh man, this is fun!” I thought, “Wait till I tell my family about this!”
Down I went, me on my little sled atop the thick layer of ice on the snow, gaining speed as I went…down, down, faster and faster!
I was f-l-y-ing!!! If there were a policeman around he’d probably would of given me a speeding ticket!
Suddenly about half way down the fun came to an end…my sled hit something and I was no longer sledding but snowballing…no time to think, no time to do anything but keep being beaten against the icy snow. Bam…Bam…Bam…Bam…bambambam…bam…bam! You know how they show it in movies…they’re pretty accurate!
After a bit I came to a stop flat on my back, then I started to move, but oh man, everything hurt. Especially my back, and my face was burning from being beaten and scraped on the ice.
(since I was away from home without my family, I wanted pictures so I could show them later. )
The three friends who went down before me had also derailed but they were closer to the end of the hill when it happened so they didn’t snowball, but they had some cuts and bruises too.
They came over and asked if I was okay…I was but it took me several minutes to get up.
I was so sore…not really sure why, I mean all I did was just tumble down a mountain.
As I was laying there I suddenly realized “MY GLASSES!!!!” They were not on my face like they should be. “Oh no, they’re probably all smashed, the glass will be shattered and it probably cut me too!” I started saying “my glasses, where’s my glasses?” They found them laying close by in the snow, nicely folded up and not a scratch on them! I’m telling you, that was God!
Someone handed me a glove to put on my bleeding face and another one helped me up. Ironically all three friends were either a paramedic or EMT. (Actually the whole conference was centered around medical people, a handful of EMS people, a doctor and a lot of nurses.) So hey, if I’m going to get hurt, I picked the right place to do it!
Thankfully someone from the top of the hill saw it all happen and drove her car to the bottom of the hill, and gave us a ride back up. We were all glad because obviously with all our cuts and bruises we didn’t really feel like making the trek back up.
That guy that helped us get the sleds and then walked away, I think he knew we were going to die and didn’t want to watch.
We went to our room, started cleaning and bandaging ourselves up and made it to the last session only a few minutes late.
A week later I’m feeling pretty good, overall. Still a sore back and my wrist is bothering me some but I’m just so glad I didn’t have any broken bones. It could of very easily been much worse…God is good!
I can now cross off on my bucket list “go sledding down the side of a mountain”. It never was on there but I think I’ll add it just so I can cross it off!
…with a campfire
It’s been down in the single digits…even below freezing lately. Then the Sunday before last it ‘warmed up’. The sun was shining, and we thought the snow would be perfect for snowman making. Our plan was for everybody go out and build our own family out of snowmen. That plan was quickly discarded when we found out it didn’t pack too well for snowmen, but it worked GREAT for snow ball throwing! And that is exactly what happened.
A few of us tackled each other and (gently) shoved each others’ faces in the snow, all of us ‘kids’ made snow angels (with the older girls saying, “I haven’t done that for awhile!”), and there was a wild chase down the slide (because the slide gets slippery after a snowfall and it’s a lot of fun to go sliding down it :) Plus, being the first down the slide is the best, so you gotta race to get it! )
The smoky campfire
(Daddy says that smoke follows beauty, so if the smoke blows your way, you know you’re beautiful )
It might look cold, but we were all bundled up since we had been anticipating playing in the snow for awhile, so it was quite comfy just sitting on the snow (or a piece of firewood, a bucket or a crate ), sitting around the fire roasting our marshmallows or drinking hot chocolate
Susannah’s turn to ‘be beautiful’
Daddy and Isaiah building the fire
It was even more fun that we got to heat up our water over the fire
Jessica and Bekah roasting marshmallows
Anna with her hot cocoa
All of us crazy Eskimos around our campfire
Mommy & Daddy
Anna & Mommy
Making hot chocolate
Dipping out the hot water
You know those days that are full of unplanned happenings? and then you look back on it and say, “That was a really good day”? Well, this was one of those days
It’s kind of a new tradition…but for the last three years we girls like to go out to Starbucks for our ‘annual Valentine’s Day sister outing’ :D We did it on the 1st, instead of the 14th, since one of us wasn’t going to be home during Valentine’s Day.
Last year we all wrote letters about each other…you know…where we’ll be in life in 10 years! But 10 years is a long time to wait…so this year we decided to do a yearly letter..then on the 10th year we can open the ‘big’ thing :) Some of us just wrote the hilarious things that were happening during our ‘outing’. Some of us asked ourselves in our letters if we had completed certain goals by next Valentine’s Day.
:All of our drinks:
Cassia decided that her caramel latte was not sweet enough, and since this Starbucks is located in a Martin’s Supermarket, Cassia went and bought some hot chocolate to sweeten it up a little
We were sitting next to a window in the loft over Starbucks when one of the girls exclaimed, “Look! There’s Daddy’s truck!” At first we didn’t believe her, then we realized that it was his truck at the four-way, and thought for sure he was going to Menards next door to get materials for a job or something. But he pulled through the Menards parking lot, into Martins, and parked right in front of our van! So we started texting, teasing him, and telling him that we were watching him
He came upstairs and said, “I can’t sneak up on you girls!” :D We had a fun time talking with him for a little while before he had to leave, and we took this picture by setting the camera on a timer on top of the napkin dispenser.
It was a lovely rainy day, and Anna of course had fun capturing raindrops with her macro lense
Today’s weather is rainy. I hope it melts all, I mean ALL the snow! And the girls disagree :(
Today I got a mocha frappacino, yum, yum!
When we were waiting downstairs for them to finish our drinks, an older guy said, ‘You know that’ll stunt your growth.’ I picked up my drink and said, ‘That’s okay!’ and he laughed and laughed…
Cassia, peeking through her coffee cup lid hole; “have any of you ever spied on your coffee?” All the time!
…so this next year hopefully you will have had several more concerts, started working/tagging along with a midwife, (have you?)…
…so now we are leaving Starbucks…and will meet again in one year. See ya!
…My coffee is getting colder…
…I just looked through my hole in my coffee cup lid and said, “Have you ever spied on your coffee?”. Everyone laughed and said, “I have to write that down.” Good grief.
I have a dentist appointment on this coming Wednesday for a cavity on my wisdom tooth. How did that go and how much did it cost?
How are you? I am fine. (insert scribble from Anna: ‘no, she’s not fine. doin’ a little strang’)
Me: don’t listen to Anna over there, she doesn’t even know how to spell ‘strange’ [Anna hollers, 'there wasn't enough room for the 'e'!!']…
So I’m guessing that I’m really supposed to write about what the coming year might hold? Instead of all these funny convos. But they are, well funny, you know?
(scribble from Susannah: I have no idea what to write. I keep asking Susannah what to write.) ←THAT was Susannah’s doings! So, what should I write? I am drinking a tall Java Chip Frappacino and it is good….
…Susannah was looking across the room to a TV and said ‘look, there’s the weather,’ and pointed, then an older guy who was sitting over there thought she was waving, because he smiled and waved at her. Susannah is quite embarrassed and is declaring that it is time to go
This winter has been wonderful–lots of snow!
I got a vanilla bean white mocha with whipped cream for my Starbucks drink, and it is yummo!
Leah asked what we were supposed to write, Jessica said ‘whatever’…so here it is, whatever! And Leah STILL is asking what do I write? …
….soooo anywho, I’m going to eat my whipped cream…
So, last year…
Jan. It snowed, Jessica and Cassia started babysitting,
Feb. we went on our 2nd Annual Valentine’s outing, wow was that fun!
March–Jessica said, “we marched”
April, we went camping at Turkey Run…
Cassia made us all laugh when she finished her coffee, peered through the hole in the lid and said, “Have you ever spied on your coffee?”
Another time, Rebekah kicked the table leg and thought she had kicked Jessica. She said, “No, it was just the piano leg.” (For some reason that was the first ‘leg’ that came to her mind, so she decided to tease Bekah and say it anyway.)
Rebekah looked at her funny and said, “Piano leg?!”
“Yes, I was in this music hall once, and all of the sudden a battle broke out with swords and everything, and someone cut off my leg. But there was a surgeon there, so he stitched me up and ripped a piano leg off of a piano and attached it to mine.”
Susannah and Leah had been in another conversation, but somewhere in the middle of Jessica’s silly story, they started looking at her funny. When she was finished, Leah said, “Was that a dream?”
We were pretty much in stitches the whole time
I’m afraid we were a slightly noisy bunch :D We tried to keep it down, as best we could, for the other customers’ sakes, but it was hard
We stayed for a few hours before heading home in the dark. And snow had started to fall making the roads a little spooky to drive on! But we made it home safely, and surprisingly we were still hungry for supper after our coffee.
And so ended our third annual Valentine’s sister’s outing