Friday, March 29, 2013

Shaun and Lanette - Adoption Week!

Hi everyone! I wanted to tell you what's going on this week on my friends Shaun and Lanette's blog. They're having an "Adoption Week," with all sorts of guest posts about adoption and posts on their own experience with it.

Shaun and Lanette are amazing people. Truly. You can read all about their story here, about how they met, dated, got engaged, and married. A few years ago, after they'd been married for a while, they found out that it would be nearly impossible for them to have children physically. Soon after that they began to look into adoption, and decided that it was the way for them. In April 2011, they were able to adopt their daughter Iris. They are currently hoping to adopt a second child. If you or anyone you know is looking into placing their child for adoption, please consider Shaun and Lanette! You can learn all about them on their family blogs and their adoption site:

Shaun, Lanette, and Iris: The First Blog (August 2007 - November 2012)
Shaun, Lanette, and Iris (Current Blog)
Shaun, Lanette, and Iris (Adoption Site)

Here's a video that shows Shaun and Lanette's story:

So go check out their blog! Some of the awesome posts they've had this week are about open adoptions, respectful adoption language, and their favorite adoption books and movies. Check them out!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Earthly Father, Heavenly Father

I saw this video for the first time today. I love it. This is Jason, through and through. He's the best father, and I am so lucky to have him as my husband. I am also so lucky to know about our Heavenly Father, who loves us all individually and provides for our needs as well.

If you have a moment, watch this! You'll like it!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Free Butterfly Quiet Book Template

Well, I did it. I made another one.

Do you remember when I mentioned here that I had been working on a project? Probably not, since it was just a little side reference and I never mentioned it again. Well, I was making another quiet book!

Two, actually. My niece Emily was turning one and so I made one for her birthday, and a copy of the same book for Ellie. 

I made a Butterfly themed book, called the Butterfly Book. And you can get the free template here!

I was inspired by the quiet books at Shaer Talents and One Lovely Life. The book is four pages long (not including the front and back covers). It has a caterpillar page, a flower page (with little butterflies on ribbons), a big butterfly with flappy wings page, and a leaf pocket page (full of colorful shapes to decorate the butterfly's wings with).

Here's the caterpillar page and the flower page with tiny butterflies:

The caterpillar on the caterpillar page has removable body pieces, attached with velcro. It also has a peekaboo little caterpillar hidden in the cocoon. 

Here's the flower page:

The flowers are attached by their yellow pollen-y part in the middle. Since the petals aren't sewn down on the edges, they kind of pop up and are ruffly. Ellie really likes playing with them.

This page also has two little butterflies attached to the page by ribbon. They can "fly" to each flower and land on them.

Here's the butterfly dress-up page. It's got a big butterfly to decorate, and a big leaf pocket to hold all of the different, colorful wing shapes:

The butterfly is attached just by its body (with the edges of the wings sewn underneath the body) so that the wings are free to flap up and down.

And here's the back:

Ellie loves playing with it. Her favorite page is definitely the first one; she loves taking the velcro caterpillar off the page and carrying the pieces around.

Since there was such a big demand for a template the last time I made a quiet book, I made sure to make one this time around! To download the free Butterfly Quiet Book Template, click here or on the pictures below:

Happy quiet book making! If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask. :)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mormon Temples vs. Chapels

One of my goals for my Happiness Project this year is to go to the temple at least once a month. I've had a couple people ask me what the difference between a chapel (or "church," as we usually refer to them) and a temple is. Well, this explains it really well!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fun at the Park

We've been to the park several times in the last month. It's my favorite place to go when we want to get out of the house. We're lucky to live next to a huge regional park (that I know I mention a ton), and so we have the perfect place to go run around and enjoy nature.

A couple weeks ago Jason and I got sandwiches from Subway and then had a picnic at the park. We spread our blanket out at the top of this little hill on the edge of a big field of grass, which happened to be filled with ducks, coots, and geese. Ellie took off the instant we set her down, chasing after all the ducks. We mostly just watched her from our picnic blanket, getting up and retrieving her every couple of minutes when she got to close to the big dominant goose (the very same one in this blog post, actually).

After chasing the ducks and finishing our sandwiches, we went and played on one of the playgrounds. :)

The week of Valentine's Day, we went again and played in the flowers and climbed trees.

And this last week, we had a picnic at the Newport Beach Temple. There's a "sports park" with a playground right across the street, so we ate and played there first, and then went over and walked around the temple grounds.

This was Ellie's first time playing with sand, and she was delighted with it. She kept picking it up letting it fall from her hands.

She also could not get enough of this swing. We pushed her for probably ten minutes, and she kept refusing to get out. If we picked her up, she would grab the chains and try to get her feet back in. It seemed to be lulling her to sleep; you can see in the last picture she's resting her head to the side. She was doing that for several minutes.

And that's what we've been doing at the park lately!