Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lana's Puppy Costume: A-not-at-all-sophisticated How To.

A few people have asked me questions about Lana's Halloween costume, so I thought I'd sum up my embarrassing process: (click on photos for a larger view)

Sweet Puppy Girl!
I just made a few alterations to an inexpensive Simplicity pattern.  
Here's the pattern:
You might be thinking, Hey, that's a cute lamb and a cute monkey, but where is the puppy? Well see, this pattern was on sale for 99 cents. The pattern for just a puppy costume was $8.99. You can bet my frugal sensibilities made it impossible for me to pay $8 more for the "real" thing. I figured with a few alterations, I could easily make the cheap pattern work.

I chose the softest, fluffiest puppy fur I could find. I think it was a poly-blend and it proved to be quite difficult to work with. (Seriously, I've sewn with satin, brocade, crepe, rayon, etc...and brown puppy fluff is by-far the trickiest.) Because the fabric liked to move and slip, thin rolled hems like those needed at the neck hole were dang-near impossible to achieve. After being frustrated for way too long, I just gave up on the hem and decided to use brown knit ribbing around the neck hole instead.
It made all the difference in the world and ended up cleaner, neater, and more comfortable than the hem would have been.
The pattern called for a simple velcro closure for the hat piece, but I chose to add a snap as well. I think it closed more securely and held up to a three-year old's constant movement and activity.
(Oh, you can just go ahead and ignore the ugly, ugly stitching on the velcro. Apparently I was sewing in the dark with one hand tied behind my back. And tired. Or drunk. Definitely probably one of those.)

I also used the knit ribbing on the head piece. It was definitely easier to attach the pink collar to the ribbing than it would have been to attach it to the brown poly fluff.
I used the pattern for the sheep "ears" but instead of gathering them at the base to create the folded sheep ear, I just left them flat so they would be dangly puppy ears that flop around.

I followed the rest of the pattern instructions pretty closely and was pretty dang happy with how it turned out.
I think Lana the Puppy Girl was more than pleased. And in the end, that's really what matters most, right?
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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Puppies and pumpkins and goo! Oh my!

If you've never experienced Halloween with a highly excitable 3-year old, I enthusiastically suggest you do.

Per her request, Lana was a puppy this year. I finished the costume with about three hours to spare on Saturday afternoon. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out and Lana couldn't have been happier. She loved it and definitely hammed it up playing the part.
Our sweet Lana puppy!

I guess we really do have two dogs now.
Poor Roxy wasn't sure what to make of our new pet.

Playing games at the Harvest Festival.

Lana was definitely a tired puppy once the party was over.

This evening, we had some fun friends over for dinner and pumpkin carving. Lana surprised us all by digging in and enjoying pumpkin guts.

A mother-daughter duo working together on a spider pumpkin masterpiece while Lana keeps digging in.


"See Mommy! I like pumpkin guts!"
Four awesome jack-o-lanterns ready for Halloween!
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Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Flashback: Ghost of Halloweens Past

As I hurry to finish a certain little girl's puppy costume, I can't help but think back to the years I would dress up. In the 6th grade I was a sock-hop girl, and in the 7th grade I was Morticia Addams. (Oh, and if you're wondering, my Mum made the black costume and it most certainly was NOT inteded to be worn off the shoulder. The minute this picture was snapped, she made me put the shoulders back up and march into my bedroom to put on a long-sleeved black leotard underneath.) Jen was a rodeo clown that year and Kasey was Batman.

Have you been having Halloween flashbacks too? What was the best costume you remember?
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wedding Pictures

Yesterday was our 5 year anniversary. Yup, we've been on this adventure for 5 years now. I know it's cliche to say, but the time has really flown by.

I thought it would be fun to walk down Memory Lane and see where we were and where we are now.

Five years ago, this was me:

Blonder and thinner and wearing a fabulous dress.

And here we are, the Golden Couple of the Day.

We tried to take an "Old Fashioned" wedding picture because we thought it would be cool.

Nope. We just look pissed off.

Oh, but look, here we're happy!

And here we are, signing our lives away.
Ah, um, I mean, ah, signing up for the best adventure ever!
And when the wedding was over and all the guests had been greeted and thanked, the photographer caught this one last shot. And it's still my favorite of all our wedding pictures.

And here we are, five years later.
We haven't changed a bit, right?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Fave: My Ring

"I couldn't have chosen a more beautiful ring, or a ring that was a more fitting symbol of my relationship with {him}. It was unadorned, uncontrived, consisting only of a delicate gold band and a lovely diamond that stood up high - almost proudly - on it's supportive prongs. It was a ring chosen by a man who, from day one, had always let me know exactly how he felt. The ring was a perfect extension of that: strong, straightforward, solid, direct. I liked seeing it on my finger. I felt good knowing it was there."
-Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman) Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, page 133

Mrs. Drummond took the words from my mouth and the thoughts from my head when she wrote the above description about her engagement ring. I certainly couldn't have said it better, although we share the same sentiments.

I've been enamored by this ring since the day Dan got down on one knee and proposed over five years ago.

Such a beautiful thing. For me? Really?

Dan chose this one carat beauty out all by himself without my input whatsoever. To most ladies who'd rather choose themselves, this arrangement simply wouldn't do, but for me, it's worked out quite well.

See, I figured I had a good grasp on what kind of ring I'd get, what kind of ring I deserved.

I felt my self-assessment of my ring-worthiness was pretty accurate. I had some reasonably good assets, but also some near-fatal flaws. In my estimation, this equated to a half-carat or less, and certainly no more. And I would have been content with the ring I thought I deserved, the ring I thought I was worth.

Well, Mr. Dan Lenssen did not agree with my self-assessment. Oh no, to him, my assets were monumental, and my flaws were easily overlooked. To him I was worth diamonds and (white) gold. To him I was always to be prized and valued. To him I was of more value than I'd ever dare dream.

In response, I tearfully and joyfully accepted his extravagant gift. A few months later, I vowed in front of friends, family, and God, to wear it faithfully all the days of my life.

Happy Anniversary Dan, and thank you for making me your one carat wife!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The one where I get to be cheesy

This is Anniversary Week at the Lenssen Acres homestead. (We're celebrating year #5 for those who are keeping track.) And because we have much to celebrate, I've decided I get to be a bit cheesy. Fortunately, my pals at Pinterest make being cheesy so very easy. (I'm sure all this cheesiness will embarrass Dan. Sorry Dear, but she who controls the blog, controls the cheese!)

(Couldn't have said it better myself.)

(They left out 'You are the Biscuits to my Gravy.' That's kind of an important one in our house.)
(Billy Shake has all the best lines, doesn't he?)

(Mmmmmm.....bacon. Now, that's Dan's kind of poetry.)

(Just keepin' in real here folks, just keepin' it real.)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Fave: Indoor Hopscotch

What do you get when you have a three-year old in need of excitement, a bit of leftover blue painter's tape, and some not-quite perpendicular lines?
Indoor Hopscotch, of course!

This little game kept the Lana-girl quite content (and active) for about 45 minutes last weekend.
I've got a lot to get done this weekend too, so you can bet this game will make a comeback.
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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lana Explains it All: A Really Good Week

Hi! I'm Lana and I want to tell you about a really good week.

First, on Sunday morning before church, Mommy let me play with stickers.
I can get pretty silly with stickers.

On Monday I have dance class.
Dancing in circles with all the other girls is so much fun.

And then, on Wednesdays I go to Awana. But before my class, Mommy and I will go to a park to play and eat a picnic dinner.
Playing on the swings is my favorite part of the park.

Last Thursday we got to go pick apples and pears at a neighbors house.
I am a really good fruit picker and was a big help to Mommy and Daddy.
Look at all the fruit we got!

On Saturday I helped Mommy make applesauce and apple pie filling. I rolled apples all over the kitchen before mommy peeled and cored them.
Didn't you know, rolling apples before processing is a very important step!

On Saturday night, two of my favorite people, Ian and Kristy, came over for dinner.
They are so funny and so silly and they tickle me and read me stories.

Yup, it was a really great week for me. I got to do some of my favorite things and spend time with some of my favorite people. I hope you have a great week too!
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Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Fave: Family Portriats (and their Outtakes)

In July when all my siblings and I were actually in the same place, my parents had professional family portraits taken. Here is a sample of the finished product:
(The whole group. Grandparents, siblings, kids, the whole shebang.)

(Proud Grandparents with their little sweeties.)

(Fantastic Fugals lookin' sharp.)

(Hey, it's our little family. Yes, we can dress up occasionally.)

(My parents and siblings.)

Now, here's what actually went on during the photoshoot:
(This is my absolute favorite picture of the entire day. Jen is mentally pleading with her brood to just keep it together for two more minutes, Scott's not sure what he should do with his children, Grant is bored, and Clint and Sandy are quite taken with something they see on the ground. I laugh every time I see this picture. I want a large, framed version of this on my wall.)


(And here we are again, trying for that elusive last and perfect shot. 3/4 of the children are on strike and most of the adults are hot, sweaty, and just want a cold drink and a seat in an air conditioned room.)

Oh, the pains we go through for family portraits!
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