Grandkids display

So for those of you who regularly read this blog, this is the post to which I previously referred that will explain how I made the gifts for the grandparents.  I wish I could claim credit for every aspect of it, but alas, I cannot.  The final product, though, is all my own and came about as I was mulling on Christmas presents while showering one day. While perusing Pinterest one fine day I found this tutorial for a present a lady did for her parents.  If you don’t want to click the link, the basic gist is that she created vertical wood boards, pasted a picture of each kid with their spouse at the top, and then under each picture pasted individual pictures of each grandchild associated with that spouse.  It was a wonderfully cute idea; however I didn’t like how limiting it was.  What if there were more grandkids later? Then you’d have to do THE WHOLE THING all over again! In both mine and my husband’s families it is most likely that there will be more grandkids in the future (Lord willing) so I didn’t want to make something that would take a huge amount of time and end up being outdated in a month (a likely possibility as my sister-in-law is 7 months along.) I needed something that would allow for ease and flexibility.  So this is what I came up with:

My mother's gift

My mother-in-law's gift...these came out better than I hoped!

There’s only three grandkids in my family, hence why my mother’s gift is so much smaller. What can I say? The Menicuccis know how to reproduce. 🙂

So here’s the how to: You will need…

1 wood board (you can get fancy ones at Hobby Lobby but I just used a plain old wood one that my husband had in our garage…I just recommend it be sturdy enough to hold quite a bit of weight)

4×4 tiles for each picture

Mod Podge

Some small and large paint brushes

Clear spray paint

Acrylic paint

Picture hooks

Picture frame backings (for hanging the board)

Ribbon

Hot glue gun

For the tiles portion of the project, I’m going to direct you to The Frugal Girls’ Blog on how to make photo coasters.  I followed their instructions on how to do this for the tiles portion, although I don’t think I used as many layers of the clear spray paint as they did because icy drinks wouldn’t be going on my tiles.  I think I only used 3 layers, which was plenty. And despite what they say it only took a couple of hours for my spray paint to dry in the garage, not the full days she elaborates.

The next step is to add the hooks to the tiles.  If you plan on having more than one row you will obviously need a hook at the top and bottom of each tile.

The hooks for the tiles

Gorilla Glue

I found the hooks at Lowe’s for dirt cheap, and my first run through I tried using Gorilla Glue that I also found at Lowe’s to adhere the hooks to the backs of the tiles.  It did not work so well.

How to glue the hooks to the tiles

Gluing all the hooks at once is super easy and super fast

Once I started using the hot glue gun the hooks adhered MUCH better, although I did add an extra layer with the Gorilla Glue just for more support and peace of mind.  Be careful with the Gorilla Glue as it expands as it dries…if you add too much you will have a huge clump of glue on the back of your tile. But once you add the hooks your tiles are done.

For the wood board portion I followed this tutorial about how to transfer fonts you like onto wood…there’s lots of different tutorials out there on how to do this, and it worked pretty well.  I first painted my board black (of course) then printed out the words using Ambiente as my font and size 400 as my size.  I think I used size 325 on my parents’ board.  Then I just followed the tutorial using white paint.

The finished board

The other finished board with the hooks screwed in. I screwed them in by hand...way easy!

Simple, huh? After the paint was dry I screwed the same type of hooks I had glued to the backs of the tiles into the bottom of the wood board.  Then I cut ribbon equal lengths and one for each tile and presto! My gift was done.  It was so easy, really inexpensive, and a huge hit with both my mother and my mother-in-law.  And it’s ready for future grandkids!

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.  My nice yahoo account always lets me know when one of you posts something. 🙂

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Christmas joys and blessings

A belated Merry Christmas to you all! It certainly has been a crazy year for us, but we are so blessed that it really did go as smoothly as it did. I haven’t been updating on here as much as I should, and for that I really do apologize.  The girls, projects, Christmas, has kept me quite busy.

So for a quick update on the girls: well, they are still pretty small.  Weight gain has by far been our hardest battle.  Last time we weighed the girls a week ago Eva was finally over 14 lbs, and Abigail was over 12 lbs.  Those are good numbers for us! The big challenge isn’t necessarily to get them to eat more volume-wise, it’s to fit more calories into what they WILL eat. We’ve had a pediatric nutritionist sit down with us and go over everything we can do to add calories…I think I’ve gone through more olive oil by adding it to the girls’ food than I normally use when cooking! It’s actually these added calories that have really spurted the weight gain to become quicker than it has been in the past.  And truthfully, the girls are very very healthy for being so premature. Our doctor has reiterated this over and over. They are just small, which according to recent articles on preemies is pretty normal for babies born so early.  Kevin and I will just have very petite daughters. It certainly comes in handy whenever I need to pick up both girls simultaneously. 🙂

Both girls still receive physical therapy on a regular basis, although we suspect Eva may not need it much longer. I was hoping she would be walking by Christmas, but she is just so darn cautious! She just needs a little confidence that she can do it, because we think she certainly can.  And Abigail can sit up on her own now.  She’s still quite a bit delayed, but the physical therapist believes a lot of it is due to her small size and slow weight gain, and not something like cerebral palsy.  And boy, is she a talker!  She just loves to gab and chatter away.  She’s actually right on target for her adjusted age on everything except gross motor skills (sitting, crawling, walking, etc.) and she will catch up eventually.

We are once again on “lockdown” for the winter because of RSV, although thankfully it isn’t nearly as bad this year as it was last year.  The girls can leave the house and go to other homes, they just can’t be around any kids or sick adults this winter (although we did make an exception for Christmas, as long as both families were healthy…and they were.)  It’s been a little hard to be stuck home all day every day as my mom was sick for a while…it took it’s toll on me last week as I had some breathing issues and wound up in the ER.  My doctor and the ER staff don’t know why I was having trouble, but we are all starting to suspect that the stress is doing some dirty work to me physically, although mentally I really don’t feel stressed at all.  For those of you who knew me in high school, THAT was ten times worse than what I call “stress” now! I think the Lord has mellowed me considerably since then, but perhaps my lungs don’t agree.  Nevertheless, we are working on ways to help alleviate that a little for both Kevin and myself. Thankfully, this should be the last winter we have to do this.  The girls have done so well health-wise and we certainly don’t want to play Russian roulette with their health.

Below are some pictures of the girls from this winter and Christmas Eve.  I will be posting another blog soon about a Christmas present I did for my mom and mother-in-law for all you DIY crafters and Pinterest lovers out there.  I’m quite proud how it turned out and the final project was born in my head while in the shower one day.  I’m just glad all my sisters-in-law trusted me enough to do this! Oh, and the video below is of Abigail…I know I posted on Facebook that my girls must be Beatlemaniacs like myself because “na na na” is obviously from “Hey, Jude,” but I actually was able to catch Abigail on video singing it while it was playing!! I can’t tell you how excited that made me. 🙂

 

Eva is so silly wearing her toys!

Eva rides her princess car!

Future readers, thank goodness

Dressed up on Halloween in mommy's and Uncle Adam's old costumes

Giggle Abigail

Eva loves looking out the window

Eva with a bow on her forehead

What's that stuck to my head??

Abigail plays with Auntie Sarah

I don't know what face Eva is making

Eva's first music lesson...won't be the last. 🙂

Abigail sits up to play

Eva would NOT let go of Uncle Adam for anything in the world

The best pose of all three grandkids

Who doesn't love a head massage? Don't stop, Aunt Pam.

Hosanna gives Uncle Kevin a hug for the first time in two years!!