Monday, November 24, 2014

More from "BnG Handmade"

I decided to create a little "shop name" even though I'm not opening up an Etsy shop or anything that official. I wanted to have something in place in case I went there in the future, but mostly to give shoppers a way to contact me if they wanted to order something special or contact me after the Bazaars had passed. So I went with something simple and tagged my items with "BnG handmade" referencing my blog name so that everything is streamline with contact info and page information.

My handmade inventory is almost all up in Salem until Thanksgiving, but my aunt Deedee and mom,  Tami, had a bunch of goodies at the annual Country Holiday Bazaars out in Veneta this past weekend. My mom's handmade dolls are also up for individual sale, just contact me and we can work out the details. 

This weekend my crochet items and hand painted signs will be added to their inventory at Thurston High School choir's annual holiday bazaar. Come by between 10am-6pm on Black Friday or 10am-5pm on Saturday the 29th. If you can't make it but want information or to special order something, again, just shoot me an email and I can answer any questions you might have!

Thanks to all of you who visited the Bazaars and supported us by making even a small purchase! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Christmas Bazaars + Craft Fairs

Today + tomorrow Ben's aunt Lori, my mom + I will have a table of handmade items at a Holiday Bazaar in Salem.

If you're in the area, I'd encourage you to stop by and check it out! Say hi to Lori for me, she'll be heading up the table both days. Here are some of the things I'll have there-

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Our 3 littles...

With a new baby and my oldest being 5 I'm seeing first hand how fleeting the baby days are. The saying, "babies don't keep" is painfully true. So I'm not only holding on tight to every little moment with Aurelia, but also each small interaction with Malakai and Desmond. They are growing so fast, too fast, and I want to make sure to remember all of it before I'm longing for these days, no matter how hard they seem (and are).

Aurelia is already 2 months old. It blows my mind that it's possible that we've been a family of 5 for 9 weeks. It seems like she just got here. Malakai is in his 3rd month of school, something that also seems impossible. Desmond just turned 3 last month and keeps us all very busy each day. Watching the 3 of them interact with each other is by far the best part of each day. The boys are sweet + gentle with "baby sister" and ask for her all morning until she's awake, then they clamor to see her and be the first one to make her smile.

Aurelia is cooing and gurgling and just making the best baby noises. She started smiling at 5 weeks old and I swear she's going to bless us with a giggle any day now. She's impossibly ticklish, but she just wiggles and grunts in response for now. She is growing like crazy and the number 1 compliment she gets these days is in reference to her sweet chubby cheeks and her little dimples. Her eyes are a bright blue but we would be pretty shocked if they stayed that way. The boys have Ben's hazel eyes (although Des' have a little green in them like Mima) and since her hair color already favors daddy's, I'm guessing her eyes will be the same. Only time will tell. 

Malakai is reading like crazy these days. He devours any book you give him almost immediately. The words he is able to read and the concepts he understands surprise me often. Ben + I are sad to see the days of spelling things to keep secrets in front of the kids go by, but we know Malakai is much too smart for us to get away with that anymore. I got to visit his class for their fall party on October 30th and I loved being a "fly on the wall" so to speak. Watching him interact with his friends and work on activities throughout the afternoon was such a joy. He loves school so much that he can hardly wait to get to his homework and he will make more "school work" for himself regularly. He's constantly writing letters to people and drawing pictures. He loves learning, but we do have to be careful he doesn't get too much of a good thing because he will get frustrated if he doesn't get it right or do it how he wants it done sometimes. 

Desmond is our imaginative little buddy. He is the best at playing pretend and making friends with strangers. He is talking all the time and any willing participant is a perfect playmate. He loves to make forts or pile blankets into "cars" to drive or  "airplanes" to fly. He loved being an astronaut with Malakai for Halloween and continues to play with his costume. Like Malakai he will quote movies and shows and recite books easily. If you aren't familiar with what he's been reading or watching lately his dialogue can be pretty confusing. Three has proved to be the hardest age in this household for the 2nd time around. Desmond has learned how to be defiant and throw a master tantrum, but boy can that kid snuggle!

These three are keeping us on our toes and the days are flying by faster than ever before. Sadly Malakai had a reoccurring double ear infection recently and we are waiting to hear back from insurance on whether they will authorize his getting tubes to prevent having the doozy of a winter we did last year. If they won't authorize it we may have to wait to see if he gets another infection with his next cold (because sickness is inevitable with kids of this age) and perhaps they will then see a need. We are hoping that won't be the case, so we can avoid him having to endure more pain or any hearing loss. 

Other than that and the boys having a mild cold earlier we've been able to stay fairly healthy so far this fall. I'm so thankful that Aurelia hasn't yet gotten sick but I'm sure we won't make it through the season unscathed. I can honestly attribute much of our healthy days to essential oils. I felt a cold (sore throat) coming on and used some On Guard/Shield/Thieves oil right away and felt better the same day. The boys' colds were relatively short lived and Desmond fared better than he ever has, as he's susceptible to breathing issues when he has any type of respiratory symptoms with a cold. I'm honestly so thankful to Amy for getting us started with eo's. If you have any questions about using essential oils, she's a wonderful resource...find here HERE.

So there's our little update, hopefully I'll be back to post sooner rather than later but only time (and my kiddos) will tell. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Sticking with it...

Hi friends, I'm back! I've thought a lot about it and I really don't want to let go of blogging just because of what happened a couple weeks ago. So, I'm here and I'll be posting a little more depending on how often I get a little time to tap something out and throw a few photos in. Speaking of, due to aforementioned incident I will be ramping up security on my page. Annoyingly it means bigger bolder watermarks on all my photos, but I will still post photos. For now my Instagram will remain private, but feel free to request me. This will help me keep track of who has access to what I post there. I will be posting fewer photos on the Facebook page due to it's public nature, but I will still be sharing there so be sure to "like" it to get updates. 

As you can likely imagine, or possibly relate to, life with 3 kids is very busy! We went through a lot of changes all at once over the last couple months with Malakai starting Kindergarten and then Aurelia joining us just 3 days later. Ben had a week off of work and then I felt sort of thrown in to a new and very busy routine. Getting Kai to school daily proves to be exhausting and Desmond decided to stop napping completely a week later. How fun for everyone! 

{there are THREE watermarks on this photo, some are harder to find than others, just one way I'm increasing security here to protect my family from another incident of stolen identity}

Desmond turned 3 earlier this month, so our kiddos are 5, 3 and 8 weeks old as of today. Time is FLYING by us and I feel like all I can do is keep our heads above water. I know things will calm (somewhat) and even out a bit soon, but we are heading into the holidays so it can't last long!

This year I'm participating in a few Christmas Bazaars to make a little extra money and gauge interest in some of my handmade items. I will not be opening a shop anytime soon but I have done a little branding in case I decide to go that route in the future. For now, it's all informal so that I can be protective of my time. I hope to sell pre made items at the bazaars and possibly drum up some custom orders as well. I'll post dates and locations of the Bazaars that I'll have items at on our Facebook page, so keep an eye out there and then come look for my work under "BnG handmade". 

That's it for now. I will be back to share some updates on what we've been up to as a family and how the kiddos have grown. Keep an eye out for more giveaways coming as well. Thanks for taking time to check in with our little corner of the internet. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

social media hazards

It's been quiet around here, but not only because we have a tiny new human in the house. It's also not because our 3 year old isn't napping and our 5 year old is in his first and very busy year of school. While all of those things are really great reasons to take a blog break, as I've done before, I've been away for reasons out of my control. 

Sadly, I've not been around this space for a while because we recently had an issue of stolen identity. A Twitter user in the UK randomly stole a photo from our About Us section and used it as his own, claiming to be a husband and loving father of 2 (as only the boys were pictured) which means he was posing as Ben. Hiding behind our photo he attacked people verbally and brought attacks on our likenesses. Many people lashed out at him, identifying him through our photo and saying really terrible things about us in response. 

I was first notified of this impersonation through emails. I received 4 emails from different twitter users claiming that my photo had been stolen. They seemed a bit "spammy" in nature, especially because I didn't recognize any of the people contacting me.  Instead of clicking on any links in the emails I googled the username they were claiming had stolen our photo and was shocked at the snippets of tweets I saw from him and the replies of those he angered. Thankfully his account was taken down before I ever knew it existed. I am grateful to those of you who reported this user which I can only assume led to twitter removing him. 

Those who had emailed me had somehow tracked the photo back to my blog and quickly realized that we were not the ones behind the tweets this user was sending out. I was able to send tweets out to several users letting them know that the photo did not belong to this user, but the damage had been done. It just makes me sick that my husband and especially our sons were victims of these angry social media users' rants. We feel rather violated by the whole incident. I don't really want to blog or say much on twitter. I've made my instagram account private so that I have to approve followers from here on out, and I haven't posted anything to my Breaking New Ground Facebook page. I already watermark all my photos, but that didn't stop this person from using one anyhow. 

I'm trying not to let one person "ruin the internet for me" as Ben put it, but it's hard to not want to hunker down and protect my family from having anything like this happen again. I enjoy blogging for the community it has brought me to but it feels lost or broken somehow. So I'm taking some time to think and pray about what to do next. I may take my blog down and use it for my own records, or possibly make it private, open only to approved or invited users. It's also possible that I will keep things the same after some time away. 

I could use some encouragement so feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions on the matter in the comment section here. 

Thanks to those of you who read here and have supported us over the years! 

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