Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I must be crazy

About a week ago, I had the buyer from Creative Kid's Stuff contact me. They have a chain of 7 stores in Minneapolis, MN and they wanted me to send one of my Zadyballs to see if it would be a good fit for their store. So, I sent them one along with my wholesale catalog and prices.
After she got it, she sent me an order for 200 Zadyballs. That's right, TWO HUNDRED! My biggest order EVER! They would like to have them in 3 weeks.
Did I mention that I'm having a baby in TWO weeks??!
So, needless to say, I'll be VERY busy, probably right up until the baby comes.

If there is anyone out there that would be interested in helping... I could put you to work. *wink wink*

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Getting Close to the End!

The big day is fast approaching.
I wish that I felt ready. But I don't.
We pulled all the baby stuff out of the attic and have been sorting and trying to find someplace to put it. Not an easy task.

Here's my big belly at 36 1/2 weeks.



I've decided to have a clearance sale in my shop. 20% off everything (except for already clearance priced items). Everything is ready to ship. I don't plan to sew anything new until after the baby comes.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas! Brandon's parents came and spent Christmas Eve with us. We had lots of fun!
I spent Christmas Eve morning baking pies and bread. Then we delivered loaves of bread to some friends. If you didn't get any, it's probably because you weren't home! We had eight loaves, but we probably stopped at 16 houses before we found enough people home to deliver them all!
We had our traditional Christmas program that evening. Brandon read the Christmas story from the bible, and the kids acted it out. Zander really got into the role!
The costumes are a little improvised, but they worked.

I tried to get a picture of Ady "gently" putting Baby Jesus into the manger, but it just didn't happen.

I did manage to make our traditional Christmas pajamas. I had some fabric that I'd bought a lot of for Zadyballs, and decided that it would be better put to use this way. I used the most simple pattern I could find, didn't do pockets or anything fancy, and managed to make SIX pairs of pants in about 3 hours. I was impressed with myself.

The kids with Gran and Papa - I didn't have enough of the same fabric to make theirs, so they got something a little different. (Gran thought they looked like clown pants. Oh well)

Zander asked Santa for an Indiana Jones hat and an Indiana Jones whip. (I'm not sure I'm thrilled with the fact that his father let him watch that movie.)
I searched for a decent hat for quite a while. Then, Brandon's Aunt Becky told us that she had an old, beat up hat that might just work. It turned out to be perfect! The lining was coming out, and the band around the outside was falling off, but after I fixed that, I think it looks just like Indiana Jones. Plus, it's not a cheapo like the toy ones they sell at Wal-mart.
Zander had played with a toy whip at Wal-mart that had a hard plastic handle, and it made noise and played music when you pushed a button. I think that's what he had in mind, but I really didn't like that one. For one thing, it said "Ages 6 and up". It was made in China (which I think I'm going to start boycotting). And I could just imagine him swinging it around by the wrong end whacking his sister in the head with the hard plastic handle. So, I decided to make one for him instead. It's made out of fabric that I had on hand, and stuffed. It's really quite similar to the store bought one, just not as dangerous. I was afraid his reaction would be "Hey, why doesn't it make noise?" But he actually said "It's JUST like Indiana Jones!" I was happy about that!

I think I did pretty good with having a handmade Christmas this year.
Ady asked for a little pink monkey, and a bracelet.
This is the monkey she got from TheMonkeyShop. Super cute! She did get another monkey from her Grandma that makes noise. So far, that one's the favorite.

I got Brandon a tie from rabbitstop. He was VERY impressed with it, and wants to buy more from them!

Even I got a lovely handmade gift from my kids and hubby! Brandon got a vase and etched "Families are Forever" into the side of it. Then he took the kids and they picked out silk flowers from the store and made a bouquet to go in it. I think it turned out beautifully, and was really from the heart!


Anyway, I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, and I wish you a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

CPSIA - Letter from Ed Pastor

First of all - Merry Christmas! I've been a little MIA as far as blogging goes. Been VERY busy!

I got a letter in the mail today from Congressman Ed Pastor. It's not much better than John McCain's, but at least it is much more personalized, and sounds like he actually read the letter I sent him and is aware of my concerns.

Here it is:

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding the Consumer product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) mandate for the removal of toys containing hazardous materials from the marketplace. I appreciate learning of your interest in this issue.

While I sincerely regret that third-party testing of toys and other children's products have become necessary, the recent incidents of dangerous levels of toxins found in these products requires Congress to increase oversight and ensure the safety and well being of our nation's children. CPSIA was passed by significant support in both the House of Representatives, 424-1, and the Senate, 89-3, and was signed into law by President Bush on August 14th. I joined many of my colleagues in co-sponsoring and voting in support of CPSIA because of this striking need to protect our nation's children.

However, please be aware that as the guidelines for implementing the legislation are worked out, there may be future exemptions for small businesses like yours. I would encourage you to contact the Consumer product Safety Commission with details of your circumstances as a small business owner in order to assist them as the make recommendations for future compliance guidelines. All correspondences can be sent to:

Nancy Nord
Acting Chairman
Consumer product Safety Commission
4330 East-West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814

I appreciate learning of your concerns as you raised some very interesting points. Please know that my office is always open to you.

Sincerely
Ed Pastor
Member of Congress


So basically, he isn't going to do anything about it. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but I suppose it's better than nothing.

Now I need to get a letter ready to send to Nancy Nord.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Zander was Tagged!

Zander was tagged by his cousin Tate

I have the opportunity to say five neat things about Zander.
Then, we get to tag more people.



  1. He is a great brother! He loves to take care of his little sister and she is his favorite playmate. I know that he will be an awesome brother to the new baby as well!
  2. He is a great helper! He loves to be involved in everything that we have going on around the house and loves to help. His favorite chores are cleaning the toilets and mopping the floors. Things that I am more than willing to let him help with! He also loves to cook and help build/fix things with his daddy!
  3. He is SO smart! We had him tested for preschool and the teachers were blown away by him! He scored higher in the vocabulary and comprehension portion of the test than any other kid they had tested!
  4. He is so excited to learn about the scriptures and about Jesus! We've been told on many occasions that he loves to participate at church. And at home, his favorite stories are about Christ and other people from the scriptures. And he always has such thought provoking questions, about EVERYTHING!
  5. Zander is a great singer! I am amazed at how quickly he can learn words to songs, and that he is so willing to sing them! He has already sung in church twice, at my grandmother's funeral, and at our ward Christmas party! He'll be singing in church again on Sunday!

Here he is singing at my Grandmother's funeral in October. (Audio only)
video
And here he is singing at the ward Christmas party. Not great quality. You might have to turn up your speakers to actually hear anything.
video

This is a fun activity filled with goodness and happy thoughts! The children that are "kiddie tagged" next are:

Isaac Fallstrom
Zane Gardner
Robbie Alt
Carson O'Neill
Patrick West

Have fun!

Monday, December 15, 2008

So much to do, so little time!

Today begins the final countdown.
The baby will arrive in ONE MONTH or less! Such a scary thought! I still have SO much to do!
I need to:

  1. Finish Christmas shopping - mostly just for my kids.
  2. Make some gifts (again, for my kids)
  3. Get everything situated for my shop (I plan to close temporarily right after Christmas)
  4. Work on a wholesale order, going to a shop in FRANCE!
  5. Get ready for a last minute craft fair this weekend (am I crazy?!)
  6. Try to get some scrapbooking done
  7. Get all the baby stuff out and figure out where to put it
  8. Try to keep up with housework, cooking, laundry and everything else!

Besides all that, here's what ELSE I have going on -

BIG SALE


I need to make room for the baby :)
Every Regular ZadyBall and ZadyMini have been marked down 25% or more!
Prices already reduced, all you have to do is BUY!

PLUS - US Buyers - FREE UPGRADE TO PRIORITY SHIPPING on ALL ORDERS
Include "Priority" in notes to seller

Click Here to see everything that is on sale!

CRAFT FAIR


I may be crazy for doing this, but I thought it sounded like fun!


GIVEAWAY


I am ALSO hosting a giveaway on a fun website Thrifty Jinxy
I'm giving away Hoots the Owl


Click Here to find out how to enter!


Phew! I think that's everything!
Maybe I'll get caught up... Someday!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

35 days and counting!

Baby day is quickly approaching! Being pregnant at this time of year is both a good thing, and not so good. Being so busy with holiday preparations and orders and such really does make the time fly, but there is SO much that I wanted to get done before the baby arrives. And most of it just isn't going to happen!
I realized that I am over a year behind in scrapbooking. My poor daughter has no where near the same kind of quality scrapbook that her brother had. Not the end of the world, I know, but it's just one of those things that I feel like, as a mother, I should be better at.
I have several Christmas gifts that I want to get made, especially for my kids. But, I've been so busy sewing Zadyballs (not that I'm complaining) that I haven't had much time to sew anything else!
Plus, my brother has been visiting us this week. He is in the USAF, stationed in Germany, and we haven't seen him in 2 1/2 years. So, it's really nice to be able to spend time with him. But, it means that everything gets pushed back yet another week!
I'm thinking about closing down my Etsy shop pretty soon so that I can focus on getting ready for baby. But, I have lots of inventory that I'd like to be rid of. So, maybe I'll have a big sale. Keep your eyes open for that ;)

Anyway - here is my big, fat pregnant belly at 34 weeks. Baby day is Jan 15th (if not sooner!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thanks A LOT Mr. McCain!

To get you up to date...
Here's the issue: CPSIA

I sent this letter via email (and snail mail) to John McCain, among others. Lo and behold, I actually got a response!

And here is what he had to say:

Thank you for contacting me to share your views on the need to ensure timely implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. I appreciate learning your views.

As you may know, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was signed into law on August 14, 2008. This law reauthorizes the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and establishes safety standards and other requirements for certain children's products and toys. It also requires improved labeling so parents can more easily track items that have been recalled.

I certainly understand and share your concern about the need to do all we can to protect our nation's children from unsafe products. Please be assured that the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, on which I serve, will be monitoring closely the CPSC's implementation of the new law.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this very important matter. Please feel free to contact me on this or any other issue of concern.

Sincerely,
John McCain
United States Senator


Is it just me, or does it sound like he didn't read my letter AT ALL?!! I have a feeling that this is a canned response that his system sends out every time they get an email regarding CPSIA. Wonderful. This man was almost president. Why? I voted for him. Why?

I'm so glad to know that there are such compassionate, caring people running our country. (are you feeling the sarcasm?!) Hopefully I get a better response from my snail mail.

Monday, December 8, 2008

VOTE FOR ME!

One of my items (Marvin the Misunderstood Monster) was chosen to be a part of Etsy's Favorite Handmade toys!! Only 60 toys were selected, so I'm pretty thrilled to be a part of this!



Please come and cast your vote for good ole Marvin! He'd LOVE to win!

VOTE HERE!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Letter to Senators and Congressman

This is the letter that I sent to John McCain, John Kyl and Ed Pastor. I also plan to print it out and send a physical letter to each of them. I'm working up the courage to make phone calls as well.
Feel free to use any part of this for your own letters!

Dear Mr. ________
I am writing to you to express my deep concern for the impending enforcement of the new Consumer Product Safety Commission Improvement Act. As a parent of two young children, I understand that this law was written with the best of intentions – to protect children. However, this particular legislation is reactionary and holds potentially devastating economic ramifications.

I personally operate a small business designing and producing unique toys for babies and young children. My products are made primarily out of cotton fabric and polyfil stuffing. Under these new regulations, I would be required to submit each piece that I create to prohibitively expensive government approved third party testing. From what I understand, each test would cost me anywhere from $100-400, for each COMPONENT of the toy. That’s a test for thread, stuffing and each fabric. Considering the fact that I use many different fabrics, it would effectively eliminate my ability to do business legally in the US.

The fabrics and supplies that I use are already inherently lead-free. Requiring testing on them is redundant and unnecessary! Requiring expensive tests on inherently lead-free products to verify that they, in fact, don’t contain lead will only add financial burdens to small manufacturers – most of whom are already suffering from the current economic climate – while providing no improvement in consumer or product safety.

February 10, 2009 is being dubbed "National Bankruptcy Day" by many experts in the apparel and toy industry. I expect that if this legislation is allowed to be enacted, it will affect everyone from port workers to parents looking for legal products. Millions of pieces of merchandise will be destroyed because it can't be legally sold, causing not only environmental problems, but impacting charities that can't accept donations without a safety certificate.

The CPSIA is a treacherous law with potentially devastating effects. It means one thing for artisans and small business in America... unless you are a multi-million dollar company; you have no right doing business in the US.

As you can see, this legislation is dangerous. I imagine that it was originally written with good intention. However, I can only hope that you will take action in defense of hard working American business owners and help us continue our ethical practices of making safe products. Please help to defend entrepreneurial America!

Sincerely,
Alayna
www.zadyball.com

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

CPSIA Impacts on Children's Apparel Industry

I found out about this today, and it is really making me sick!



There is a law due to take effect on Feb 10, 2009 that requires anyone who produces children's products meant for 12 and under to test their products for lead. Sounds good, right? No one wants lead in things their kids are using. However, the way the law is written, it blindly requires testing from everyone, no matter what they make. This means everyone who makes kids clothing or diapers or burp cloths – or children’s TOYS - is affected by it! Most fabrics contain no lead whatsoever, yet it will still need to be tested. Not just the finished product, but each component will have to be tested separately. Meaning I would have to have EACH individual fabric, thread and filler tested. Each test will have to be performed by a 3rd party lab at the cost up to $180 per item, per test.

This will put me, and a lot of other small businesses out of business! If nothing changes, I will either be completely out of business as of Feb 10, or I could choose continue business as usual and just hope I don’t get caught. The penalty for non-compliance is up to 5 years in prison, and up to $15,000 in fines. Neither of which I could afford!
If it isn’t changed, my Zadyballs will become illegal contraband as of Feb 10. Not something I want to have happen!

Simply put, this law needs to be rewritten!. Please join me in writing to your congressman and pleading with them to change the content of this law!

Some more information about how toy makers are affected here

And here's a forum thread on Etsy that is about this issue

Here is a petition that you can sign

Thank you for your help!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A haircut for the girl!

I meant to post this a while ago, but didn't get around to it.

Ady's hair was starting to get pretty straggly. Not only were her bangs growing into her eyes, but that back was very uneven and not so pretty. So, I decided to take her to get a hair cut. I was scared to do it myself because the last couple times I attempted, I made a mess of it.

She was VERY well behaved. Even though we had to wait quite a while for our turn. She still sat quietly and didn't move around too much. She even sat still while I got my haircut after she was done! I was amazed! I think it makes a BIG difference when her brother isn't around, egging her on!

These pictures were taken with my cell phone because I forgot to take the good camera with me. But, at least I have something to remember the event.

Before


What a good girl!



I didn't get a good "After" picture to show how nice it looks. But, here she is on Thanksgiving, with it all messy of course. There are still some longer pieces of bangs that I want to grow out. (Did I mention that I messed it up pretty bad when I tried to cut it?) But when it is pulled back it looks really nice. And it's so pretty in the back, all one length!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Fun

This was the first time that I've really every hosted Thanksgiving. I was pretty nervous about it, but things really seemed to go quite smoothly and it turned out great!
I went to Hobby Lobby on Monday to see if I could find some fun decorations. (Thanks for the tip Hillari!) They had all the fall items marked down to 90% OFF! I was able to get a tray for the turkey plus lots of stuff to decorate with, and spent less than $14! I LOVE getting a good deal!





We had a pretty full house. In attendance were my brother, Brady, along with his wife and two kids, my inlaws, Floyd & Zona, and my sister-in-law, Jewlee, with her husband and two kids. We had to rearrange the furniture a little bit to have a place for everyone, but it worked out.




My brother and his family arrived on Wednesday afternoon. They helped with the rolls, potatoes, and especially the turkey! None of us had ever cooked a turkey before, so I got some instructions off the Internet. Of course, Brandon had to debate about whether or not they were right. (He thought I should use Rachael Ray's recipe!) But, in the end, it turned out perfectly!
We even made a yummy cherry pie! (The heart cutouts were my sister-in-law, Anna's idea. So cute!)


All in all, it was just slightly stressful, and for the most part went off perfectly!

We had lots of fun with Brady and Anna while they were here. They stayed with us until Saturday afternoon. We played pinochle every night, and sadly, Brandon and I lost the tournament. But, will get them next time!
Friday, we went to the temple to see the lights. It was the first night they were open, and the crowd was HUGE! But we still had fun.
The only sad part of the weekend was that little AJ got hurt. He jumped off Zander's bed - which is pretty high off the ground, and hurt his ankle. He wouldn't walk on it (understandably) so he spent the rest of the time trying to get around by crawling. I felt so bad for him. His mother took him to urgent care to make sure it wasn't broken. After several x-rays, they determined that it was just a bad sprain. No fun for a very active little boy.

Here is their cute family - Brady, Anna, AJ and Noble

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Black Friday Sale

In case you've spent your entire life under a rock, you know that the Friday after Thanksgiving, known as "Black Friday" is the biggest shopping day of the year. (At least in the United States.) Also, the following Monday has been dubbed "Cyber Monday" because apparently it's the biggest day for online sales. So, in order to cover all the bases, I've decided to have a sale for the entire weekend!

My prices will be adjusted by early Friday morning, BUT if you are reading this - the sale starts NOW! Just include "Happy Thanksgiving" in the notes to seller when you are checking out, and I'll send you a revised invoice for 20% OFF (before shipping!)
offer ends Midnight Dec 1



And for MORE great deal on baby items - check out ALL the deals from the entire EtsyBaby Team!



Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Warm Fuzzies

I just LOVE hearing back from my customers. Especially when it's good (of course!)
I had two such events happen recently. First, I was hanging out in Etsy chat, as I like to do occasionally. One of the other people there, who I had never talked to before, said "I think I got one of your Zadyballs as a gift." She then sent me this picture and asked if I remembered it.



YES - that was actually one of the first ones that I sold on Etsy. Over a year ago!!
The picture was taken because it was the first time that little Addison actually held on to a toy. Her mother went on to tell me how much she loves it! SO awesome! :D

Just a day or two later, I got the following email from ANOTHER customer, who as it turns out got the Zadyball as a gift:

Just wanted to let you know...
(You probably hear this all the time but) My mother purchased one of the owl zadyballs for my brand new baby girl in July. It has become her absolute favorite toy!! I think it really helped her learn to put her hands together to grasp something. And my husband, who has had a tough time of things with her, loves that she will immediately stop crying/screaming/thrashing as soon as he waves it in her face! It always turns her frown upside down :)

Just wanted to say thank you for making such a great toy!


I can't say how much I LOVE hearing stuff like that. It makes me feel like what I'm doing is really making a difference. I know - corny. But TRUE!
YAY ME! :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another Fair this Weekend

I thought that I had done my last craft fair for the year, but I was contacted about another one, and I just couldn't pass it up. Even though my husband is sick of me being gone every weekend. But, I figure that this is the best time of year to find people to buy stuff, and who knows what I'll be able to do after the baby is born. I have plenty of stock to get rid of, and this one doesn't cost me anything but time -- and gas to get there.

So - here's all the information. I'm hoping for the best, and I hope to see you all there!

Art, Music, Food, Kids Activities
Angel’s November Art Fair
Sponsored by
Angel’s Serenity
THIS SATURDAY
Nov. 22, 10:00am – 4:00pm



Bring your friends & family and join in the fun!

Art:
Artists presenting unique and one-of-a kind items; including:
• Paintings
• Jewelry
• Hand-crafted items
• Photography
• …and more.

Music:
There will be live music performed throughout the day!

Food:
There will be snack/lunch offerings in the courtyard.

Kids Activities:
Games and crafts for the kids!

More information: www.AngelsSerenity.com

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My newest

At the craft fair this weekend, I had someone ask if I had a turkey. She had a baby coming to visit for Thanksgiving, and wanted to have a turkey toy to give him. I told her that I didn't have one, but I'd be happy to make one. Well, she wanted it right then, so I didn't get her name or anything, but I still thought that a turkey would be fun to make, even though it is getting pretty close to Thanksgiving.

So, here's my Tom Turkey. I think he turned out pretty cute!
Brandon suggested that I use different colors and make a peacock. I like that idea too! (That might be my next project!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Another Pregnancy Update

I figure it is time to give another update.

I am now 30 weeks pregnant. I think that this pregnancy is going by much faster that either of my other two. Probably because I'm so busy!
So far, so good.
I'm finally starting to really show. I guess when strangers aren't afraid to ask "when is the baby due", you know that you actually look pregnant, and not just fat. ;)

My preggo belly at 30 weeks

Just a few complaints this time. A week ago I woke up with pain in my knee so bad that I could barely walk! I visited the chiropractor to see what he could tell me. I was told that the cartridge in my knee has deteriorated, possibly due to the pregnancy and changes in weight distribution and such. So now my knee-cap is out of alignment and it is bone on bone. NOT fun. He said that there is something that I can take to rebuild the cartridge, but he wouldn't recommend it while I'm pregnant. Great. He did show me how to properly wrap it with an ace bandage to provide support - and that helps a bit. He also showed me some exercises to try to strengthen the muscle and move the knee-cap back into place. But, otherwise I'll just have to deal with it until after the baby comes.
It has gotten a bit better. At least I can walk without limping, most of the time. But it's still pretty painful.
In addition to that, my ankles are starting to get swollen. They aren't as huge (yet) as they were when I was expecting Zander, but it's still no fun.

The baby is still very active and likes to make her presence known. I'm looking forward to the day when I get to meet this new little person face to face!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Craft Fair Report

The last two days I spent at a craft fair. This was by far the biggest one that I have done. There were 83 vendors, and all of them had very unique items. It was fun to see what everyone had!
I had really high expectations for this one, and maybe I built it up too much in my mind. I was hoping to sell more than I did, but I did pretty well, so I really can't complain.

This is the fair display that I came up with. Brandon helped, of course!


The best part was getting to met lots of new and interesting people. Especially the other vendors. The ladies that I sat next to the whole time became really good friends! And they had a great product too. They created a daily prayer calendar to help remind you to pray every day, and to inspire you about what to pray for. What a fabulous idea! Check them out here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Busy Week and Exciting News!

This is shaping up to be a very busy week!
On Saturday, I got to be a Featured Guest Seller and my good friend Heidi West's Holiday Boutique. It is always so much fun and I was honored to be invited. Plus, I got to meet lots of people, and was able to sell quite a bit. Thank you Heidi!!

This coming weekend, Friday and Saturday, I will be at the Arizona Women's Experience Holiday Shoppe at the Arizona Community Church in Tempe. I am REALLY looking forward to this one. They are expecting a HUGE turn out. They have 85 vendors, ALL with handmade items. They are VERY well organized and have done this for several years. They said that last year they had close to 2000 shoppers, and are hoping to have at least that or MORE this year! So, I've been sewing my fingers off trying to get ready.



Also, today I was featured on the Real World Martha Blog. You can enter to win a FREE Hoots the Owl (my best seller). She is having daily giveaways, so be sure to check back every day to see what you can win! (but most of all today, so you can win good ole Hoots!)



Last, but certainly not least, I got a call today from my patent lawyer! My patent has officially been approved!!! Within the next 2 weeks I should have the official patent certificate in my hands and have the actual patent number and everything! I am THRILLED with this news! It's been a LONG and rather expensive process, but I believe it is totally worth it!! YAHOO!

Monday, November 3, 2008

And the winner is...

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in my Bloggy Giveaway! I was amazed with the response!
Unfortunately, I am only able to have one winner. I actually selected FOUR different numbers, but the first three did not leave an email address, and there wasn't one in their blog profile. So, I had to disqualify them. :( I felt so sad doing it, but what am I supposed to do??

And the lucky winner is...
Janae Madsen!!


For her prize, she selected Robbie the Robot Monster

She also has an Etsy shop full of adorable items! Be sure to check it out!


For those of you who didn't win, I'd still like to offer you something special to say THANK YOU!

20% off EVERYTHING in the Zadyball shop (before shipping)

To take advantage of this offer, just include “Bloggy Giveaway” in notes to seller when checking out, and wait for a revised invoice.
This offer is only good through November 30th!

Thanks again to everyone who participated!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick-or-Treat!!

The kids have been SO excited for Halloween! The big day finally arrived!
We went to our ward's "Trunk-or-Treat". It was SO much fun!

I made our family's costumes this year. Zander has been obsessed with the Backyardigans lately, so that's who we went as. Zander was Pablo the Penguin(of course), Ady was Uniqua (PINK!), Brandon went as Tyrone the Moose, and I got to be Tasha the Hippo. Even Zander's imagninary friend, Ted got in on the action. He was Austin the kangaroo. ("Ted got his costume at Target", Zander told me).


Here are some pictures of the fun! You'll notice that there is no picture of me, as I was behind the camera. But, there were other people taking pictures too, so, maybe I'll have one someday. I was a cute hippo - if I do say so myself.

Daddy as Tyrone - I bought the shirt and the pants, but was told that the blue stripes on the shirt were not thick enough, so I painted them. I also attached the antlers and ears to the hat.

The kiddos! I tried to get Zander to let me paint his eyes, but he wouldn't let me. I think it would have made a difference. With his costume, I bought a long sleeved blue shirt and sewed the belly on to it. I also made and attached the bow tie, and I made the pants. I was lucky enough to find a spinner hat online!
For Ady's, I made the little overalls. She was excited to have her hair and face painted PINK!
I also made the dog costume for Ashlee - I used a pattern of course. The closest thing I could find was a pattern for the lion from Wizard of Oz. So, I modified that to make it work!
Drake is the cute pumpkin in the picture!


Here's Ady after she won the cake-walk


All in all, we had a fun Halloween!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Jack-o-lantern!

We carved a Jack-o-lantern last night! We had lots of fun with it! I thought it was especially neat because the pumpkin we used came out of Grampa's (my dad) garden! He gave it to us when we were there a few weeks ago, and we've kept it in our fridge since. :)

Diggin out the goo - "ewwww!"



Takin' it outside

Wow - how pretty!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pregnancy brings crazy dreams!

I had a really weird dream last night. I think it's because the baby was moving so much, my subconscious created something out of it. I don't know. But, for some reason I was asked to participate in a photo shoot (I think that part was from watching "America's Next Top Model" last night). It was taking place at Disneyland in front of the "It's a Small World" clock tower. (Why, I don't know!)
But, they wanted to have the baby in the picture. So, no problem, she just some how wriggled her way out. (That's from all the crazy moving around, I'm sure!) But, I was able to hold my beautiful baby! And she really was beautiful! I got a good look at her and everything. She had a full head of dark, brown hair, and big blue eyes! *sigh* I wonder if that's what she'll really look like. It will be fun to see!
Anyway, in the dream the baby and I were wrapped in nothing but a white sheet for the pictures. Not something I would normally do in real life, but whatever. Then, when it was over, she went back into my belly (weird and kinda gross, I know! But, in the dream it seemed perfectly normal), and I had to leave in, what else... a boat!
Crazy.
I am really starting to FEEL pregnant now. I think I am officially in the 3rd trimester, and starting to get uncomfortable. I'm getting worn out easily. I have no desire to clean my house (even though I need to. BADLY). In fact... my kids are napping right now. I might go take a nap too!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bloggy Giveaways!

I just found out that the Bloggy Giveaways are going on again! I did this back in January and had a lot of fun with it! So, I thought I'd do it again.
I'm going to give a FREE Zadyball to the winner of my giveaway!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button


Here's what you need to do to enter:
  1. Go to my website and choose your favorite
  2. Leave a comment here and tell me which one you like best
  3. Let me know if you would like your prize to be for a boy, girl, or neutral
  4. Be sure I can contact you! If you email address isn't in your profile, please leave it in the comment!
  5. HAVE FUN!

Contest ends Saturday, Nov 1. I will select a winner randomly and will notify them via email. The Zadyball selected as a favorite will not necessarily be the one the winner receives.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Kindness of Strangers

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Etsy? I know that anyone who reads my blog regularly probably gets sick of hearing about it, but it really is a FANTASTIC place, full of AMAZING people!

One of those wonderfully amazing people that I've "met" on Etsy is Toni of TweedleBee. She is a fellow member of EtsyBaby, and we've "known" each for nearly a year. Recently, we were chatting in one of the Etsy chat rooms, and I commented how much I love her quilts. Well, she said that she wanted to send one to me for the baby! I was completely blown away! Here quilts are truly works of art, and are absolutely beautiful! That she would be willing to send one to me, basically a total stranger, just goes to show what a phenomenal person she really is!

Here is a picture of the quilt that she sent me. It doesn't even come close to showing how beautiful it is. The detail is outstanding, and I feel so lucky and very, very blessed to have it in my possession. I was seriously in tears when I opened it - and not just from the pregnancy hormones!


Please check out Toni's shop - her work is incredible!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Craft Fair

I have my first craft fair of the holiday season coming up this Saturday! I'm pretty excited about it. It is at Hissyfits in Phoenix. This was actually the location of the very first fair that I did, and I had so much fun with it that I'm thrilled to be going back!

I've been trying to build up my inventory to the point that I feel like I'm ready... I'm getting there, I hope!

Here's the flyer about the fair. It sounds like they are expecting a great turn out! It should be lots of fun!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Etsy Baby Shower

A couple times a year, there is a "baby shower" on Etsy for all the expecting moms. Sellers offer to donate gifts, and the moms are lucky enough to get them! I've participated as a giver the last few times, and this time, I got to be one of the moms!

Here's the forum thread about it, and an article that was on Etsy's blog - the Storque.

I've already received two of my gifts. They are SO wonderful that I thought I would share them here!

First, I received these adorable little aprons from Lizzypops. They are like bibs, but BETTER because they cover the baby up more! And they are just oh so cute! I can't wait to use them!


Next, I got one of these beautiful changing mats from Made By Kate. It is really big, and really soft! It will making changing diapers *almost* enjoyable!


Look here to see all the items that were donated (including mine).

And please check out Lizzypops and Made By Kate, they are awesomely, wonderful people with fantastic shops!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Another Pregnancy Update

I am starting to worry about what this baby will be like once she makes her entrance into the world. It seems like she is moving ALL THE TIME! I don't think either of my other kids moved this much when I was pregnant with them. It is starting to get difficult to get any rest!

Here's my belly at 25 weeks pregnant:
25 weeks preggo belly

I had an umm... unusual compliment yesterday. I went to the chiropractor (anyone who is in Phoenix - Dr. Neilson is AWESOME!). After my adjustment, he took me into another room to have heat and electrodes put on my neck (very nice!) I thought it was clear that I am pregnant - the doctor said something about it being okay for my to lay on my belly for another month or so, and another woman in the room said something about it too... Plus, I think I look pregnant.
Anyway, there were a couple of teenage girls there with their mother, and they were leaving as I came in. While the nurse/helper was getting me set up, she said "So, are you in high school too?"
I had to laugh out loud! I told her it has been several years since I've been in high school, but thank you very much for the compliment.
After I thought about it though, I had to wonder what she thought when I came in... if she thought I was in high school.... and pregnant? hm....
I guess I'll just take the compliment and be happy. But still... very odd!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Home Again

After about 3200 total miles, we finally made it home yesterday! We were SO tired of being in the car!
We had a really good time, and I'm very glad we went. But, I don't think we will be making that trip again for quite some time.

Here are some fun pictures from the trip:

Kids at the funeral - all the cousins were having a really good time playing together! I wanted to get a picture of them all sitting together, but they wouldn't slow down long enough! This was the best I could get.

My sister's son, Tate; Zander; my brother's daughter, Dawsey; Ady; my cousin's daughter, Sophie


Boys: my sister's son, Tate; my cousin, Matt; Zander; my sister's son, Canton

Here I am with my sister. People kept calling me her and vice versa. I don't think we look that much alike, but whatever. I guess if you haven't seen us in like 6 years, you might get us confused.



Right after the funeral, we left and drove to Oregon to visit Brandon's grandparents. I am glad that we were able to go and spend time with them. I also was able to go through the stacks of genealogy information that they have. SO awesome!! I learned A LOT about the family that I didn't know before!


After we spent a day with them, we went BACK to Preston and spent a couple days with my family. My brother's kids came over to Grandma and Grampa's house on Monday and the kids played ALL day long! Here they are after a fun day together.


The only girl cousins in the family - Ady and Dawsey