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Friday, December 19, 2014

Where Are You Christmas?!?

I've been thinking about writing this for a while now.  I've been hesitant because it is very personal, and not something people just go talking about.  And please, though I love you all, and appreciate that you care, I am not looking for pity and I'm not interested in discussing if I've tried this or that.  Please don't be offended, I just get overwhelmed when my well meaning friends and acquaintances want me to try different things.

So no more mystery!  Here it goes.  I have depression.  I've had it for a long time, and I am under the care of medical professionals and I am on medication.  Most people with depression are ashamed to say it because it's embarrassing.  We're broken.  We're over emotional.  There is something mentally wrong with us.  News flash - there is something mentally wrong with EVERYONE!  I realized years ago that everyone has something - a bad habit, a personal struggle, a skeleton in the closet, etc.  Some people (like me) have more than one something - and it is OK.  We all struggle with our own personal challenges. Some are evident on the outside like a scar or being in a wheel chair. Some are unknown and kept hidden on the inside.  This describes me.  Between my illness and my depression - everything is on the inside.  You can't tell unless I tell you or you happen to be lucky enough to be around while I'm having an anxiety attack or a break down.

Thankfully, I was raised with brothers who teased me when I did "girl things" like cry at a movie or when I got hurt.  I learned to suck it up and keep it in.  Well, there's only so much sucking it up anyone can do before it starts to manifest in physical ways, or just starts leaking out the eye balls and brings a body to the fetal position for an undetermined period of time.  Most of the time I can suck it up and not break down or freak out.  Many thanks to my doctor for the Xanax!  And many thanks to my brothers for the suck it up and stop crying training.  :)

Why am I writing about this now???  Just before Christmas??? When everyone is merry, excited and just full of holiday cheer???  I mean, this should be the one time of year when I am super happy go lucky, right???  Yes.  Yes, I should be feeling cheery, excited and full of everything whimsical and exciting about Christmas...
Really- I LOVE Christmas! This is the fun stuff I used to do!!
But I'm not.  Last year I had the same problem - for whatever reason, I simply cannot get into the Christmas spirit.  I've tried.  I've baked goodies.  I've purchased gifts.  I've watched all the feel good video's of Christ's birth and the generosity of others this time of year.  I've listened to Christmas music.  Because our house has been under renovations I hadn't gotten the decorations out - there was too much mess everywhere.  I was (am) frustrated with myself because I cannot get as much done as I used to each day.  In fact, I can't even get half as much done as I used to in one day.  That is frustrating to me.  So I've been pushing myself to finish my part of the renovations (a topic that's been dying to be blogged about!!), and despite my efforts I am still not finished with any of it. I've been pushing myself to take care of the regular day-to-day chores that require my attention - but I'm falling short. My kitchen sink is constantly over flowing with dirty dishes that need to be washed and my kitchen table is constantly covered with piles of laundry waiting to be folded, ironed and put away.  There is dust - EVERYWHERE (renovations = dusty house).  The kids are bringing obnoxious piles of papers and crafts home from school and though I'm on them about picking it all up, they're filled to the brim with visions of sugar plums that blind their eyes from the mess and plug their ears to my voice.  My sweet little girl has her sewing machine set up on the kitchen table because my sewing room is off limits due to it being the storage place for things from the rooms being renovated and all presents waiting to be wrapped.  I am so excited for her developing talents and want to encourage her in any way I can so I try to over look the fabric all over the family room and the pins/scissors all over the floors, etc.  She is a lot like me - and I don't want to squash her when she's doing so well.  Though she is great about picking up when I ask her to, things are quickly in disarray again.
 
 Do you know what??? All of this is ok!  Messy is the sign of a good day, right?  Though I love a good day - I HATE mess. It drives me nutty.

But because I'm having so much trouble keeping up with the regular stuff, plus the reno stuff, plus trying to pull off Christmas I'm feeling quite overwhelmed and unmotivated.  Everyone needs a gift exchange gift of $5 or less for this or that.  Wrap the gifts.  Wrap the teacher gifts.  Bake the goodies.  Get the family gifts in the mail so they can open them on Christmas.  Feel sad because 3 of the 9 kids won't be with us for Christmas.  Hear the littles ask a zillion times a day, "when are we going to put the Christmas tree up?"  Pressure, little people, pressure!!!  But last year I didn't have the renovations going on, and I was able to get more Christmasy things going on and I still felt like this.
My conclusion is it is the depression.  It's blocking my heart from the joy of Christmas.  Instead of the fun Christmas songs I have this verse going through my head most of the time:

Where are you Christmas
Why can't I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can't I hear music play
My world is changing
I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too

And I don't even like the grinch.  He's creepy - and the movies make me uncomfortable.  But Cindi LooWho (spelling? and I think she's the one who sang this?) she sang the words that I'm feeling inside.  

Yesterday we set up the Christmas tree.  I got the laundry delivered and put away - today (as I type) I'm supposed to be ironing my clothes and putting them away...  but I'm not.  My head is muddled with questions like, "why can't what I'm doing be enough?",  "Why don't I feel the Christmas spirit?", "Why can't my kids come home for Christmas?"  "Why can't my missionary skype with us?" (she will call - no skype tho).  "How will we deal with the sadness and breakdowns when the kids realize that they won't get #1 on their list of wants?"  (they want a puppy...).  and then there's the usual stuff I ask myself: "what do I make for dinner?", "why am I the only one who cares if the house is clean?"  "How do I help everyone to be happy and feel Christmasy?"  
I used to make us all matching Christmas jammies every single year. 

I've been told to simplify and to let some things go.  So I have been.  I've let some things go, and I've simplified quite a bit.  But with that I've also put way too much on my plate.  I should have let the construction guys paint our bedroom.  I shouldn't have attempted the cute stencil painting in my room and the boys room.  But I don't like lowering my expectations.  I don't like to.  I decided a couple months ago that we needed new Christmas stockings.  Our old ones are great - but they're looking tattered and a couple have been chewed on by a dog.  I cut out fabric to make them - and then decided while at Target to buy the stockings and embroider the names onto them.
  I have 3 more names to embroider, then attach them all to the stockings.  Perhaps I can finish that today... ha ha.  Because I need so much rest, I spend time reading these creative blogs, checking pinterest and watching HGTV for ideas on how to make my house super cute for the holidays.  I should NOT have done that.  For example - an advent calendar someone made in an evening took me almost a week!!! Things just take me longer.  I need to get used to that.  And then there are the little blessings that keep me from the fetal position.  After an exhausting afternoon/evening painting, Austin brought home dinner for the family.  Twice in one week!  He doesn't complain when I pull out leftovers or order pizza either.  My little ones can microwave their own frozen pizza any time they want.  They are loving, helpful and so encouraging little kids!!! Well, they're big kids now but still my littles.  Austin took over a project I wanted done for the boys room and it turned out awesome!  I found many online sales and deals and was able to do 95% of my Christmas shopping online.  Yes, each day I count my blessings and focus on these little miracles that make my life better.  And then I look around and see everything that hasn't been done - and get frustrated with myself again.  I always played a game with myself to get things done.  I would think of what needed to be done and would right away get up and just do it.  It often takes longer to think about doing something than actually doing it.  I still play that game with myself - but it's near impossible to accomplish anything when I am light headed and about to pass out.  Or way too shaky and jumpy.  AND if I do too much I will be in much more pain and feel even worse - so I have to do the balancing act.  And my brain is foggy.  I have memory problems and speaking problems and just get all jumbled sometimes.  Living with these things and the rest of my sickness adds to my depression.   It's not that I have a low self esteem - I think I'm ok there - but knowing that I cannot do what I could do before and that it will never change is discouraging.  You see, depression is something uncontrollable.  Even under medication, with depression one can feel lost, alone, exhausted, melancholy, and without motivation.  It's made worse when things are full of stress and imaginary expectations.  


Ok - so I know this whole post is all disconnected and randomly laid out.  It is straight from the heart and honest and true.  I don't think I'm the only person on the planet who is going through similar feelings and lifestyle.  I just wanted to share - in hopes that if you know someone with depression, or are feeling it yourself, you're not alone.  They're not alone.  It's not something that can be fixed - it is something out of any ones control and it just is.  We're not less than other people, we just have depression.  Like diabetes - we learn to live with it and how to cope with it.  Meanwhile, I'm going to keep a smile on my face for the family and outside world.  I'm going to stay cheery and uplifting on the outside.  I'll keep saying Merry Christmas and keep trying to do things to brighten other's days.  By nature I am a cheerful person - but I'm a cheerful person on the outside with depression on the inside.  Now I'm going to get some ironing done and get my hair colored today.  And I'm going to smile the whole time and I'm going to just do it.  I'm also going to do my best to find Christmas.  And by that I mean the REAL CHRISTmas - about the birth of Christ.  Of course I love Santa and all the fun stuff but I need to feel CHRISTmas first.   
At least we're doing the Elf on the Shelf...

I wish you all a very wonderful holiday season full of love, family, friends and joy!  

Hugs, 
Rebecca

Friday, November 7, 2014

IT'S ABOUT TIME!!

Yes, it's for sure about time I got to some blogging!  I've been busy doing this and that and taking pictures and having thoughts of things to blog about.  But nothing.  Nothing blogged.  BUT  I am going to catch up on everything (ok, not everything because most things are just boring) but I'll catch up on the fun stuff in the next few weeks!  What's important is that I'm taking the first step... getting back into the blog saddle.  And I'm going to talk about birthday parties.  In our family, we decided to do really big parties for the kids each year until they're 10.  (or their 10th birthday party is their last "big" one).  After 10, they can have a small party - a late night or a friend spending the night or we can take one or two friends to the movies, etc.  We have reasons for this and I'm not going to get into them here - but we're not being mean parents, just trying to keep things super fun when they're little and more "tight friends" when they're older.

Now we have 9 kids, so we've done birthday parties.  Lots of them.  We ask the kids what they want to do and we do it (mostly - within reason).  We've been to Chuck E Cheese, Amazing Jakes, Jungle Jim's, Bounce U, the park, Our house, Our house, Our house, many, many times our house.  And know what?  Tomorrow we will have another birthday party at our house.

I long ago I decided that having birthday parties at party establishments was much easier, more relaxing, and when we're done - we come home.  No mess, no lingering anything, just grab the kids and the gifts and come home.  Easy, the kids have a blast, everything is right with the universe.  There's even been a few parties that I was smart enough to buy a cake or some cupcakes from Costco or Sam's Club.  After today I'm going to say that buying the cake/cupcake is a most excellent idea.  One that all of you should remind me of when one of our birthday's is coming up!  ;)

You see, last year the twins had a party at home.  We hired a company to come with their laser tag stuff. They set up some small super cool tents all over our yard (front and back) and set the kids up with some majorly awesome laser tag equipment.  Including our 3 littles, we had 20 kids running around shooting each other and having a blast.  (get it - shooting, a blast - ha ha)  But they really did have so much fun.  Most of the kids left telling me they had more fun than at any other party they've been to.  The twins had a great time.  In fact, we had a hard time gathering the kids for cake and ice cream so they were still eating when the parents came to pick them up.

- Side note, we don't let the kids open their presents at the party.  They open them with the family, after the party is over and friends go home.  Some parents thing it's rude, and I really don't know if it's rude or not.  I should probably check with a manners website or something - but we have had some awkward moments I prefer to avoid.  Like our kids don't really like what someone gave them and they actually tell the kid they don't like their gift...  and a chaos of all of their friends wanting their present opened first, and then there's the party guests who want to play with the kids presents and something breaks or gets lost or something.  It's all happened, and it's not worth the drama to me.  So we don't open presents at the party.  Sorrynotsorry if it's rude. -

Back on topic.  You see, there's an easy way to have a birthday party and there's a hard way.  There are parents who are so amazing they have all of this cool stuff and decorations and put on amazing parties.  I've seen them done in person, and I've seen them on Pinterest when I look for ideas to steal for our at home parties.  I'm not that parent.  Not that I don't try, because I do.  I just have no idea how they do all of that stuff because though I try, I spend hours and hours and dollars and dollars but I'm still not that parent.  Perhaps it's because our kids are super creative and can't just have one theme to their party.  For example Rachel's party....

It was Rachel's 10th birthday party last May.  She wanted a "Frozen/Minion" themed party.  Two awesome themes on their own.  Together?  Holy smokes I wondered how on Earth I'd put that together.  First off, Rachel wanted Anna to come to her party.  Fortunately for me I know an actual Princess and in exchange for an Anna dress, she came and helped with Rachel's party.
 
 
And, as you can see, I got some cute pictures with Princess Anna at the candy table and with the adorable grand kids.  I just didn't get a picture of Princess Anna with the birthday girl.  Another gold star for my worlds worst mom award.  Whatever.  Back to the party...
I was happy to make Princess Anna's dress, and I loved doing the embroidery and all - but I ran out of time and couldn't do the painting on the bottom of the skirt and the collar was way funky.  And the embroidered bodice (that I copied after extensive research online) came out looking like a Hawaiian Tiki man...
Ooga Booga Shaka Laka Boom Boom Tiki Man... that made me look like this when I looked at it after sewing it all together...
AARRRGGGGGHHHH!  and, of course, no time to change it.  

Then, I found these amazing printables on Pinterest so we could make our own Minions.  And I found some yellow paper plates and yellow lanterns at Hobby Lobby.  And then I spent hours cutting out these silly goggles and faces and making minions... 
   And, the birthday girl wanted a "candy bar" like she saw at someones wedding or baby shower or something...  So I went on a hunt for these cute little old fashioned candy jars and serving things to put the candy in.  Things in the Frozen colors and theme (like the rock candy on a stick).  The candy bar turned out rather pretty!
 
 I was able to plan the party ahead and ordered a bunch of matching candy and stuff from Oriental Trading Co.  There was lots left over, and know what?  We're so classy that I passed the extras out for Halloween this year and saved the actual Halloween candy for us...  greedy?  Tacky?  Whatever.  I don't have leftover party candy in my pantry and saved $$ by only buying a couple packages for the family (the good stuff, ya know?).
  
And then there's this adorable little cup I found in our cupboard... and this extra tiny but oh so cute scoop.  So adorable.  And on the left?  Store bought cookies.  Because I didn't have any more time/energy to bake the cookies.  Lame.  See?  I I'm not one of "those" moms.  The Martha Stewart moms.  I try, but... well...  I honestly do not know how these women do it.  If you're one of them, You're awesome (Honestly, awesome)- and thanks for raising the bar...  (sarcasm)...  because someone came up with the idea that Rachel found online.  The one with the blue jello in the ice trays?  Yah...
  They're weird, but hey - I made them, unlike the store bought cookies... AND THEN THE CAKE.  Who do I think I am?  I mean honestly.  What the heck is going on in my head sometimes?!?  Because I needed to make a Frozen/Minion cake.  And I chose to make fondant... and broke my precious Kitchen Aid mixer... then used the Bosch mixer and it didn't break so we had fondant.  All the time I really had a general idea of what I was doing but mostly I was making it up as I went along... and it took FOREVER.  And, because I'm cheap, I used the little toy Minion that sits on our Kitchen shelf with the chickens... that's another story... and then I used Anna and Elsa from our Disney Infinity Game... after covering the base with plastic wrap... and here you go.  The awkward finished cake...

Hours of work for something that is so weird. But it was yummy, Rachel was a very happy camper and everything was super fun.  Success.  Of course she pointed out everything that I had to take off the list because of time, ability and/or resource.  But whatever.  I did my best, which is why we should always buy a cake and have a party somewhere other than home...  

Which (finally) leads us to today.  Oh, and yesterday.  Because I figured I could still make the cake and just use regular homemade frosting and check out ideas to steal on Pinterest.  Um yah.  Eye roll because WHATWASITHINKING?!?  

The twin's have their birthday right after Halloween.  Each year I'm scurrying around getting everything together for Halloween.  Then it's like WAKE UP!  You've got to plan a party!  So last Saturday we asked the twins what they'd like to do for their birthday party.  Of course they wanted different things - and honestly they kinda get jipped a bit having to share their party, compromise on what to do, share a cake (because a couple years I made 2 separate cakes but seriously? Not any more...) and then I noticed that sometimes they get a gift to share instead of something for each of them (for the record - that's kinda lame... even if it's an amazingly huge gift).  And, in this I mean no offence and I'm really not greedy here - just talking like a momma bear - but because there's 2 kids I noticed that they often get cheaper or smaller gifts than the kids who have a party alone.  And I get it!  There's 2 in 1 and it's expensive!  But I think sometimes they get jipped, so I'm sharing the examples I've noticed.  Go ahead, hate me now - whatever.  I already told you I'm not a Martha Stewart mom.  

SO!  The twins decided to have another at home laser tag party.  I asked them what their theme was and I got two separate answers... and I decided I'd rather not ask what they wanted on their cake... and aside from cleaning up a bit I'm not really decorating... (yes, probably racked up a few gold stars for that award I told you about).  And, since I decided it would be super easy to just make their cake I made a trip to the Cake supply store in Phoenix (first time ever) and spend an HOUR, yes a whole hour slowly walking around and looking at everything.  Because I was thinking I was a Martha Stewart mom and all, I picked up some melting candy and some lego brick molds and some lego men molds.  Because the boys like legos.  And wow, I could make some candy for party favors and treats!  Yup.  I was still in that "of course I can do that" mode.  I'm like that.  With everything.  Always.  Until I get started.  Then I wonder what was I thinking??? Oh, and I printed out some cool laser tag invites for the kids to pass out to friends.  I was still in that Martha Stewart Mom mode so I gave them enough invites for their entire school class, their Cub pack, their Karate Class and some neighbors they play with.  They gave out over 30 invitations.  We usually don't get more than one or two people who RSVP.  This time I know, for sure, that 13 kids are coming. Because their parents RSVP'd.... we're thinking we will have close to 25 kids here tomorrow.  I'll let you know.  If I survive.  Last night, for the first time ever, I made candy lolly pops shaped like lego's, and candy lego men.  And there wasn't any good lego yellow at the store, so we have orange lego men.  Whatever.  And today I spent 6 hours - 6 HOURS - frosting and decorating their cake.  A Star Wars cake.  Because there's really no theme here - just stuff they like.  Another gold star?  Perhaps.  
 I decided it would be best to frost the cake with white before making the colored frosting and putting it on.  That way I could make sure I didn't get any cake mixed into the frosting when I was frosting it.  Um yah.  
That didn't work out so well, and I wasn't going for a purple cake.  So I grabbed the pastry paint brush and the food coloring and started painting.  Little by little, painting and painting. 

Here's the painted cake... 




And here's the painted cake after I sprayed the black edible spray paint on it.  I was going for a galactic outer space look.  I also made a half sheet cake with a round cake on it, to add levels and interest.  Yah - I thought up that when I was still thinking I was a MSM (Martha Stewart Mom)

Then I wrote on it.  FOUR TIMES.  Letters, seems easy, right?  well, I kept messing up and picking them off and starting again.  I finally left this writing on it.  Though it's far from perfect.  It says, "Happy Birthday Aaron & Benjamin".  With Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker fighting on the round cake, next to the weird looking death star.  Then there's the x-wing parked on the other side.  The kids added some amazing edible glitter in greens, purples, silvers and blues.

 


And then... then... a whole container of green glitter hit the floor.  And I actually looked around and saw the kitchen... and looked at the time... and realized I spent 6 hours on this bizarre cake and have a disaster of a kitchen that needs to be cleaned up... because I HATE messes, and yet no one else seems to realize so I'm always cleaning up after me, after the kids, after Sophie and her toys.  After all, if I can't train the kids to clean up their toys I guess I shouldn't think I can train the dog to clean up her toys, right?  Ok, mess rant over.


And here are some of our Lego suckers and orange lego men.  Oompa Loompa lego men.  They're hard to see here, but they're honestly really cute. And yummy!
And the moral of this ever long post?  Buy the cake.  Stop thinking I can do everything myself, and keep the xanax on hand because a zillion kids are coming over tomorrow.  And I have to go clean up the kitchen now.  Don't worry, I have more to catch you up on and I'll be blooging again soon!  Stay tuned because I've been fixing up the house!  DIY baby!  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I'm ME, I'm Not My Weight

Years ago it was considered to be beautiful to be bigger.  It was a sign of affluence.  In contrast, to be thin was sickly or unhealthy.  Now there is no mistaking that thin is in.  The thinner the better.  Models live on water and lettuce, and then they're photo shopped and air brushed before published in the media.  That is what girls want to grow up to look like.  That is what women strive to look like - at often dangerous costs, no matter what age.  That is what most men prefer.  After all, it is how we're supposed to look, right?  Of course.  I get up in the morning, get dressed and primed in my most beautiful clothes each day with my best makeup/hair job and then, before I head out the door I make sure to photo shop my curves away and airbrush my blemishes.  Um.... no.

Being a costumer, I was privileged to dress people of all sizes.  My fellow costumers and I joked that people would think that putting on a costume would magically make them look thin and fantastic.  Then there's the thin women with no curves that we'd give breast pads and chicken cutlets so they'd get some sort of a figure 8 to their body.  There's many different tricks to clothing and costume design that make the optical illusion of taller, thinner, curvier.  There's fat suits to make thin people look fat, etc.  There's "stigma" of different body shapes and types. They must eat a ton of food!  Woah - that person has no self control.  Geesh, does that chick even eat anything? The wind might blow her away.  That guy must be a lazy slob to be that fat.  Know what?  Some people are genetically bigger than others.  Some people are genetically very thin.  Fat people and thin people can have unhealthy eating habits.  Some people who appear overweight are very fit and health conscious about what they eat. And some people are overweight because of health complications or medications.  All fat people are not lazy, all black people are not criminals, all Asians aren't bad drivers, all gay people aren't child abusers.  Our society tells us these things for some reason unknown to me.

 I once worked on a production of "Oliver!" where almost all of the kids in the beginning orphanage scene were fat kids.  It looked all wrong to see all these big kids singing about living on gruel and not getting seconds...  But that's ok - because the kids did a great job and had a ton of fun.  As a costumer, I see people and often think they'd make a perfect this or that character.  And then there's the boys with red hair and beards... or sometimes blonde hair and beards... I can honestly say I always want to dress them in green cutaway coats and plaid vests and call them leprechauns... Silly, I know but it's where my mind goes.

Through all of the costuming and talking with insecure people of all shapes and sizes there's one thing that I firmly believe : Beauty isn't in the size - it's in how you carry yourself.  It's holding your head up and smiling and being kind.  It's being your best self no matter what weight.

Yes, I still believe that.  And I do my best to live it.  As an adult I've never been larger than a size 12 (except for being pregnant) and most of my adult life I've been a size 6.  I've always kept a busy life and I've always eaten pretty much whatever I feel like eating.  I've done Weight Watchers a couple of times after having babies and such.  One time while on WW I really -REALLY wanted one of those ice cream sandwiches they sell at the store with cookies on each side of the ice cream.  I checked out the points on the box and saw that one whole box (I think there was 6 in the box) equaled my points for one day.  That day I ate nothing but those ice cream sandwiches.  They were delicious.  No regrets at all.

When I first got really sick last year I was a size 2/4.  I was put on some meds that, on an average, puts 15ish pounds on whoever is taking them.  That was ok - 15 lbs wasn't too big of a deal.  And then, a few months back, I was put on another medicine.  I was told by the Doctor that I would gain weight.  40-60 lbs was "average".  After reading everything I could find online about this drug, as well as every one's complaints about it making them fat, I took a deep breath and figured if it helped with the intense pain then getting fat was an ok trade off.  Last week I cleaned out my closet and drawers.  I tried things on and packed my favorite clothes away as they are now too small.  Since then I've gone to get dressed in some of the bigger clothes I bought recently.  The tops are too tight, the pants are snug.  I am heavier than I have ever been (minus being pregnant) and as I usually gain weight in my legs and booty, this medicine causes weight gain in the torso.   Something I'm really not used to!  I can honestly say I felt depressed when cleaning out my closet and then trying on my clothes that fit just a few days ago and were now too small.

So here's my challenge - I need to pull out all of my costuming knowledge and dress myself in ways that flatter my different shaped body.  I feel like a stranger in my own body.  I need to buy some more clothes... in a size I've never worn before.  And when I get my full figured body dressed in the morning I will choose my outfit and stand up tall each day being the best me I can be because beauty isn't in fat or thin - it's in your heart.

 AND know what?!?!?  It's all ok.  I'm not sad about it anymore.  You see, I'm me and I'm not my weight.  I am smart, funny, talented and strong.  I am beautiful, loving, generous and kind.  And I have a clean closet.



Sunday, February 9, 2014

Do You Believe in Fairies?

Rayroo and I had a great time making our first Fairy Garden.  And, even though I wasn't supposed to use my hand and I did anyway, it was super fun working on this project with her.

See this kid?  Yup - making things and doing special projects with her is simply amazing.  :)  I love being her mom!  Ok, enough of the sappies.  Back to our Fairy Gardening:

First we collected all kinds of stuff that we could use in our creation.  We chose to use our old plastic pot as a base.  We found several miscellaneous clay pots as well as some pretty cut glass and some tea cups/plates.  




We used a light weight hammer to carefully tap on the clay pottery.  Once we saw what shapes we had to work with, and knowing the general shape of what we wanted to create, we used hot glue and glued the pieces together, making a foundation.
 




After we decided the foundation was nice and sturdy, we glued potting soil on some of the pottery to cover it up.  This made little "tunnels" that looked like they were burrowed spots.  


We took some sheet moss and glued it where we wanted to make a stair case going from the bottom to the top. 

We added a fence - for fairy safety.  

We broke the blue cut glass and glued it back together making a lake. 

We used small river rocks to make a bridge over the water. We added little flowers along side the fence, and we used our clay pieces to make stairs.  We put a little tea pot house inside of the big pot (bottom left) and we added a bird's nest and some small birdies. 


We added chunky moss and more foliage as well as some little gems as a roof.  We placed a couple frogs and turtles in and around the lake.  And then, last of all, Rayroo placed the fairies.  Here are some of the pictures she took of the final garden:



We used floral, moss and small river rocks from Hobby Lobby.  Our miniature fairies came from Amazon.com (they were actually really hard to find).  Everything else we found at thrift shops or we already had it at home.  






And now, our beautiful fairy garden is done, and placed outside our front door.  Provided the darn cat doesn't mess with it, I can hardly wait for our granddaughter to come over and see it!  Meanwhile, Roo is planning on making a fairy playground next. Aaron said it was so good if we didn't put the pretend fairies in it we would probably have real fairies moving in. The most important part is that Roo and I got to work on it together and make something pretty.  I know it's not the perfect fairy garden - it is our first.  But we love it -  and that's all that matter, right?  Now I'm going to go rest my hand....