Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Gift from the Heart

I'm not very good with gifts. In fact, I'm a horrible gift giver. I go through this cycle. I decide I'm going to buy something for someone close to me. I go to purchase it and then I think, "What if they hate it?" This thought usually nags at me so much I will often never decide on anything and will give up." Well, this Christmas I decided I'd be a little vulnerable. Actually, really vulnerable. I've decided to share the biggest gift I could ever give.

For the longest time, I've always been hesitant about talking about certain topics just in case I hurt someone or offend them. Spirituality, or my religious beliefs was one of those topics. Even after I got back from a mission--where all I did all day every day was talk with strangers about the gospel of Jesus Christ-- I still never went there with friends.

However, I've decided the thought processes that have kept me from sharing and inviting friends to learn more about my faith isn't very logical. I hope that whether or not you are interested in accepting any invitations, or not, you'll appreciate that I'm just trying to share something that has helped me and made me extremely happy.

For example, a year ago my grandpa passed away. I lived close to him and built up a close relationship with him over the years. He was a father figure in my life and I loved him. Even though it was rough losing him, my belief that I'll see him again someday and that we're family forever really helped lighten the trial. My belief in eternal families has also helped my husband and I in our perspective about what marriage should be like. There are so many other examples I could give about how my faith has helped me through hard times, and made me a better person. 

I think most of us are trying to figure out what life is all about. What is truth, and what isn't. Even within my faith there are always questions that come up, and sometimes I've found answers that have been inspired from friends of other faiths--even some who were atheist. I enjoy understanding what other people believe and how they arrived to their convictions. It has caused me to question and rethink and even to further solidify some of my own beliefs.

So, whether you're just curious about us Mormons, you've been struggling with the meaning of life, would like to know about eternal families, or anything else I'd invite you to talk with the missionaries. There are plenty of them around these days: sets of two young men, or young women with the black tags.

And if by chance, you are a little annoyed when people talk religion, I hope you aren't offended by anything I've said and that you'll know I'm just hoping to add a little more to your lives. You can always just pretend you never read this if you're not interested.

If you would like to know more... here are a couple of options to look into:

  • Meet with our missionaries. If you click on this link and fill out some information you'll be able to meet with some missionaries who live in an area near you. 
  •  Come worship with us. Anyone is invited. Most people dress up a bit so it may be a good idea to come in a nice shirt and tie for men, or in a dress for women, but you won't be turned away if you're dressed casually either.
  • Or accept my gift of a free Book of Mormon. Just pretend it's gift wrapped and sent directly from me to you. Just know it's not a novel, or anything, and I highly encourage you talk with the missionaries while reading it so they can answer questions you might have.
I wish you all Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

DIY How to Make Hello Kitty Shirts with Freezer Paper

We just had a quiet little Hello Kitty Thanksgiving party here at home with family. While Daniel was busy cooking up a storm, and our youngest two were napping, the older girls and I had a blast making some Hello Kitty shirts. I did a free hand drawing on freezer paper and after getting approval and suggestions from the birthday girl, I cut it out.

Next time I'll be sure to not cut so liberally. If you notice how the freezer paper on the pink shirt is pretty thin on the outer edges? That made it very difficult to keep the paint from going beyond our Hello Kitty character. Especially with little ones doing the painting. As you can see, I got wiser when I cut out the blue one.

After everything was cut out, we ironed on the freezer paper and then painted Hello Kitty with acrylic paint. We'll definitely be making more shirts again!

Here's the end results:


Monday, December 16, 2013

Hello Kitty Thanksgiving Birthday Party

Yep. You read that right. A Hello Kitty Party with all the Thanksgiving trimmings. That's what our daughter requested for her birthday. It's not every day you'll get a request like that and I had a lot of fun with it! There were plenty of ideas on-line including this plush Hello Kitty that turned into a turkey:

You can get your own hello kitty turkey here

While I didn't purchase the cooked kitty, I did get quite a kick out of it. They even had a Kitty that turned into a hamburger!

I also enjoyed making Hello Kitty cupcakes with molded chocolate. I told my oldest daughter it was glorified play-dough. Only it tastes amazing! I'm not a fan of fondant. Bleh! However, this stuff is delicious and easy enough to work with.

I think they turned out pretty cute. I made the bows by squishing them in the middle like so...

Then I used a chopstick to make an indentation on both sides...

and pushed towards the middle to make a bow shape

I also just used a knife and scored it until I thought it looked cute:

The eyes and nose were just squished balls/ovals and the whiskers were thin sections of "snakes" I rolled out.

I'm telling you it was glorified play-dough!

Since my daughter wanted a "Thanksgiving" Hello Kitty party. It was only fitting that the cupcakes were pumpkin flavored. They were delicious and moist.

I also had some fun with food. Our mashed potatoes even looked Hello Kitty:

I used a sharpie. Our black one was dead, so I opted to use pink. And it all wiped right off using my nail polish remover trick. Although, I don't think I'd have used nail polish remover on the inside of a bowl. If you like the idea, but aren't fond of having to use a sharpie on your bowl, then you can use icing to draw the face. The website that I got the idea from seemed to have done just that. They made a fruit salad, so you definitely can use this with more than just potatoes. In fact, I put rolls in another "Hello Kitty" bowl.

While all the food was cooking, the girls and I made some Hello Kitty shirts. I'll share how we did it in another post.