Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving fun

This was one of the most fun Thanksgivings we've had. I don't know what was really different about it, maybe nobody was sick or that the kids were old enough to play without constant supervision so I got to enjoy conversations with adults. There was enough food but not the over zealous load there usually is so maybe I wasn't dragged down by the turkey doze either. It was just nice.

My grandmother is frequently giving away stuff. Sometimes you get something wonderful and other times your eyebrow raises questioningly. I was just letting my sister-in-law know that she was free to do what ever she wishes with the generous gifting including a D.I. drop off when I looked in my bag of stuff. My stash included a yogurt maker. I guess she heard that I was making yogurt so this was a great pass along. Second a stack of magazines. I 'm a sucker for shiny pictures! These are always an adventure. One of the last stashes of magazines had one from the month my husband was born 29 yrs ago and no we didn't keep it. The last two items in the bag had me rolling on the floor. Two pairs of used little boy undies, one tighty whitie and and second pair Spiderman. I'm not sure if she though they were ours of just figured they were about Oliver's size. Thankfully they were too small so there's no guilt in telling Grandma we tossed them out.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Evelyn came up to me today and said "Mom what's that girl with the wiggly hair? What's her name?" Well being that we were the only two people in our family room it took some thinking. Who are you talking about? She replied, "the girl screaming in the bathroom?" Well that wasn't much help. "Mom, you know the one like me!" I still don't know what the one like me meant but I figured out she meant Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter book we've been reading. She was referring to the scene with the troll in the bathroom. So every time she asks about the wiggly hair girl I know what's going on but it was confusing at first!

Yesterday was one of those bad days that does't seem to be bad for any reason. I was just kind of in a rut, mad about life in general but really had nothing to complain about. I kind of put some of that behind me and went to do my visiting teaching. I was just going around the corner so walked. I got to the house on the corner and saw a dog rush out at me. I didn't even see the dog until it was a couple feet from me. I froze hoping the dog would go on but it didn't. Normally this doesn't bother me too badly (depending on the size and breed). They're curious and just check you out and move on. Well I guess my presence in front of this dog's house was offensive to him because he never stopped to sniff but went right to biting. What a shock! I pulled my arms up close so he couldn't bite them. I remember thinking "He's not letting go! What do I do?" So I screamed for help. The dog's owner came running out. I don't know if the dog let go when I screamed or when the owner came out. It all happened rather quickly. Thankfully I was wearing jeans and the dog got more grip on my jeans than my leg. I came out of it more shaken than injured. The dog didn't break the skin but you can see teeth marks and bruising where he got me. I hate to think what this might have looked like if I hadn't had pants on.

I didn't want to report the dog for neighborly reasons but felt I had too. This is the second time I've witnessed this dog attack. Ironic thing is both times involved my family. Their dog had come down to my property and when the dog became aggressive my dog protected us by counter attacking. No one wants a dog fight but the kids were in the yard. Better the dogs fight than a dog attack the kids. The mail lady happened to be there too. She knows my dog and to help my dog took a swift kick at the not so good one. She ended up being bitten too. Both times this dog attacked without being provoked. The last time was at least a year ago and we hadn't had problems until yesterday, other than aggressive barking anytime you walk past their fence.

We didn't press charges but did allow for the police to make a report and go talk to them. Even if we don't press charges a citation might be given if its happened x number of times. The problems only occur if their dogs get out which isn't typical. That said I am worried about the kids. What if my kids had been with me! What if the kids were out by themselves playing? There are lots of kids that play out on our street. So yes we reported the dog in hopes that our neighbor will be more careful. Like I said we don't have issues with these neighbors just their dog. I hope we don't have to come to issues.

I was shocked after the whole ordeal. I was a bit wound up all evening and didn't seem to be able to get much done. My family didn't mind since they got to eat pizza instead of what I'd planned to cook. All I could think was "This has been one crazy, awful day! You have to be joking! This isn't real!" I found myself laughing a couple of times because it was all so bizarre. But I woke up this morning and the marks are still there. So it really happened! Thankfully today is better, and I plan to steer clear of that house for a while. Kind of keep an eye on their fence too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We're still alive

Yes my blogging disappeared for quite some time. I got rather sick and it took weeks for the doctors to figure out what was going on. Then a couple of weeks of medication that made me feel about as bad as the illness but was working. Thankfully I'm getting back up to speed and building my health back up again.

The ironic thing is most of the illnesses I've had over the last many months have actually been due to seeing doctors and the prescriptions they'd given me. I'm really hoping to stay clear of doctors for a while but that just depends upon how my body continues to get better. Oh, and I've found a new doctor- one I feel I can trust better!

I don't have photos ready that will come as my blogging gets back up to speed but we've been busy since I'm back on my feet.

Everyday I'm taking the kids on a walk with me. This used to be a bit of a pain but I've discovered its actually easier without the stroller. We walk slower and don't cover as much ground but its good for the kids too. Oliver has had some complaints but looking back we've seen some cool things since we've been walking. Day one we saw a baby bird that let us get rather close (no touching though), day two we saw a real snake, thankfully dead, but not something we see around here, and today we saw that someone in the neighborhood has horses! I hadn't seen that before, concerns me a little though. I wonder if they have enough room? (I don't know anything about horses except that they're beautiful animals.) My hope is that each week the kids will be able to go a little bit further and keep up a better pace. At first I just thought the little ones couldn't handle it but then I remembered that the pioneer children walked and walked and walked. Yes the little ones had breaks and for mine it means a short ride on moms hip. So good workout for me. :)

So some might have heard I have a fun new toy! Well its more than a toy its a hobby and a business investment. I've purchased a long arm quilting machine. Its big, bigger than I expected. I measured everything out and knew where it would fit but my mind never really calculated the volume of the machine and frame in that space. It fits. It just took some getting used to seeing! Its really fun and the quilts are starting to flow in. I've have two quilts to practice on made by friends for charity and even a friend brave enough to ask me to quilt a special quilt she's put together for a family member. I've been quite surprised by the response I've had with telling so few people about my machine. Now I just have to practice so they're pleased with the results.

Off to go quilt and enjoy the sunshine!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I found treasure

I've come across something that has really changed me. Its been such a help I want to share it with other moms. Have you heard of I first came across this web site when I was looking for a better way of getting my housework done, a schedule of sorts. I got that and so much more.

I felt like I could never keep my house clean. I was always overwhelmed by the load of dishes, floors needing to be vacuumed, laundry, toys, papers, the list goes on and on and on. There were many things I just didn't bother to do because it just didn't seem to matter, it would just be dirty five minutes later or I wouldn't have time to do the job right. These feelings made me resent my family. Why wouldn't they help out. I'm sacrificing all the things of my dreams to be home here. I'm sure you can see that this kind of thinking was not helping me in my relationship with my family.

My attitude has changed almost completely. Yes my house is cleaner after following the Flylady program but most important, I have more time with my children, husband, and self.

The reason? Well this program didn't teach me how to clean. I already knew that but it helped me in other ways like conquering my perfectionism issues. When I first read on Marla Cilley's (the actual Flylady) website that most of these issues were about our perfectionism. I rolled my eyes. I thought no one would ever walk into my home and think a perfectionist lived here. Look at all the stuff stacked places, crumbs on the floor, and so on. Well she was right. I wasn't doing things because it would never be perfect and then I stewed over all the mess. Her program has taught me that the all or nothing doesn't work. I learned how to use a timer when I clean. I take fifteen minutes cleaning one thing then fifteen minutes of play, fifteen minutes of something else, and fifteen minutes of play. Sometimes a job isn't completely finished but I've learned that chores not finished still bless my family. For example even though the floor didn't get mopped it's better that it got swept than nothing. Its better that the laundry get washed even if I forget to fold it.

How does Flylady teach me? Well she as a 30 day program, Beginner Babysteps, for people just starting. Each one of the 30 days you learn to build a routine by adding one thing to it. (The hard part is not trying to do it all at once, you really have to do little by little for this to work!) In addition to this I get emails from Flylady and her crew everyday. There are also simple monthly challenges that build habits by doing that one thing everyday. Blog talk radio allows you to listen and even talk to Flylady. She's also on social networking such as Twitter and Facebook.

There are all sorts of emails - routine reminders, testimonials from people that follow flylady, and promotional emails for her cleaning and organizing products. There are a lot of emails but they are titled so that you can tell the content. Some days I read them all and others I pick and choose. Her emails have taught me to use a timer - a must have tool! Some of my favorite emails are the testimonials because they have great ideas from people all over the world, people who struggle with this stuff, just like me.

Oh, I should mention she does this all for free! She just wants to help! If you want to support flylady's efforts you can buy her products. I hear they are superior products but I haven't tried any out yet - though they are on my wish list!

I think the timer and monthly challenges have helped me the most. This month the challenge is to move an extra 15 minutes every day. I now have the habits of washing one load of laundry a day, folding it, and putting it away, cleaning out my sink every night, and emptying the dishwasher everyday, and getting dressed every morning all the way to my shoes which allows me to handle anything the day throws me.

When I first started Marla told me (as she does everyone in her emails) that the mess didn't happen in one day and it wouldn't be cleared in one day. It would take time. She was right. I had things to learn, not just clean.

Even if you have a perfectly clean house I'd recommend this site. Yes my neat freak friends you might find something for you here too. I love being able conquer bits of my perfection. Conquering my perfection has actually allowed me to do and enjoy more than I did before. It has almost had the opposite effect in my life. By not worrying about things being perfect I actually get more done and done better! Instead of perfectionism I have order and peace.

[Side note: Even my husband is finding this to be true about perfectionism. Before he stressed so much about his artwork being perfect but as he's letting go of that thought process he's doing more artwork. And through practice he's finding the improvement he wanted in his artwork in the first place. He's found that having a deadline really helps him focus. If its due, you do your best and turn it in done deal and on to the next project. Sound like a timer to anyone? Makes you think doesn't it. How much is perfectionism holding you back from what you really want?]

I've been able to completely customize the program to fit my needs. This means I've learned the routines but I have changed them up to fit my family. I can do as much or as little on any given day and start fresh the next day. Each of the emails I receive from Flylady say, "You are not behind! I don't want you to try to catch up; I just want you to jump in where we are. O.K.?" Which has helped me learn to not beat myself up for what I didn't have time for the day before.

I haven't gotten into the details of the program here but you can see that on her site. There's so much I just can't share it all here. Besides, its free and if its not a match for your style, you just cancel the email subscription! Its worth the time to check out.

Its been 9 months that I've been doing her program. I haven't mastered it all but I'm doing more and more and each month I've built new habits. I can't tell you how much better my home and head feel. Yes I said my head. I don't think the same way I used too. I don't get overwhelmed anymore. I don't blame my family. I live in my house and it gets messy, trust me very messy. But due to the routines I've learned, I know it will only take me about 15 to 30 minutes to be clean enough for guests or I should say the most important guests of all me and my family. I don't spend more than 2 hours a day total (not at all once, ever) cleaning. I actually clean less but have a much cleaner house than I ever had before. It actually is getting better and better. I usually have my whole afternoon to do what I want with my family. I'm finally loving myself and my house got cleaner too.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What goes on in those little brains?

I have a hobby of cake decorating. Its something I like to do more for the process and designing than actually eating. You seem I'm not really a fan of cake or frosting, on occasion alright but really I'm a pie fan.

My grandmother sent an old Wilton yearbook for me to look through. If you want some fun cake ideas these are great. I haven't done any cakes for about a year. Specener's birthday is tomorrow so this book was good motivation. Maybe he'll at least get a sheet cake with sprinkles (I haven't even made cake for the last two birthdays in the family)

So Evelyn, Spencer and I sat and looked through the pictures. They were pretty quiet but seemed interested. When we got to the image below Spencer shouted out, "Mom! Its you!"
We continued on through the book and he was relatively quiet. I quickly flipped through pages again to find a particular image and when this one popped up again he squealed the same thing again. I wish I knew what the resemblance was - am I yellow, fun or just crazy? Apparently thinking your parents are crazy starts at an early age!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Strawberry Sunshine

The days have been filled with lots of fun things lately. So much so that I hardly spend much time at the computer.

Lots of projects are being completed. Evelyn's backpack was the first.

On the way is a small baby blanket and the large pink kaleidoscope quilt is finally sandwiched with batting and a back for quilting. Fingerless gloves are being knit for next winter and I'm looking through books about knitting socks. I thinks some old sweaters are going to become something new for my feet. That's just a bit of what's going on. Some others are...

Snail races...

gathering of dandelion bouquets...

and my favorite, sugar free strawberry jam (Its my first canning experience - oh yum - and it set too!)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wheeler Farm

This morning the kids preschool group went to Wheeler Farm. It was really quite fun, feeding the ducks and seeing all the baby animals. The kids even got pet the newborn goats. They were just born Thursday, only four days ago! We got to watch a man spinning wool into yarn too. It was so nice to be outside, a bit cold but still nice.

I would love to someday have a nice large property like that. Possibly even a farm. It seems like so much work and I'm not especially fond of cleaning up after animals. Walking through the farm I kept thinking, I could do this. I could do that. I've been frustrated having an indoor pet but don't think I'd mind animals outside quite so much, especially if they provide dinner for us!

I think we'll have to visit Wheeler Farm again soon.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I've got great news! Chris and I are completely debt free as of last night! This won't last forever considering we don't have our own home. So I see debt coming but for now its wonderful to have car and school loans completely paid off.

Not only are we debt free but Chris got a freelance web design job this week so he'll be working two part time jobs. The dream would be to switch over to the design work full time but we'll have to see how things go first.

Between the two, new job and all loans paid off, we can finally start saving money again! Its nice to see light at the end of the tunnel, maybe there's a house down there too!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The first backpack

I'm out of preschool! My kids have about a month left but I'm done teaching! I love my kids but this hasn't been my favorite activity. I'd gladly do preschool with just them but I'm tired of the routine with everyone else. I think I'll have to set up a schedule for summer and do preschool like activities with just mine that I love. Sorry ladies you have good kids but I only love mine.

So the knitting, yes, the knitting. I'm liking it. I've been surprised how easily this came to me. Its really rather soothing to sit an knit. I've been listening to Jane Eyre, one of my favorite reads, as I knit. A nice calm ending to my day.

So I finished the first project, a backpack. Oliver was so excited about it I let him have it but then Evelyn was devastated that she didn't have one. I looked at the yarn stash and came up with a florescent red yarn for her bag. It will also have green and white stripes. I might have to add some embroidery so it doesn't turn out Christmassy. (like my fake word, he he)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Smells good enough to eat

My house smells so good right now. I formulated another soap recipe. The first time I tried it out it worked! I used a scent called Spellbound Wood. Its alright but it turned the soap a lovely dark brown color. I'm not sure how that will lather but at least it smells good.

That batch went so well I decided to whip up another the next night. I've been wanting to make this soap for a long time but wanted a couple good batches under my belt first. Its a milk and oatmeal soap scented with almond fragrance oil. I love this one. It smells so sweet. I asked Oliver what he thought about it and he said it smelled like pancakes. Almond flavoring is one of our favorite flavorings to put in pancakes.

I'm going to have a hard time waiting for these to cure before using them! Finally success!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Craziest weather ever

Utah has some crazy weather. You can't count on anything for too long. Friday and Saturday were wonderfully warm in the 70's. We spent the morning in short sleeve tops while out at the park. The first short sleeves of the season. Sunday some dark clouds rolled in and now Monday morning we're sitting inside looking at a white blanket of snow over the world.

Oliver and Evelyn have both come down with colds so I don't mind that its a cold wintery day. I would rather be indoors on a snow day than on a warm sunny one. Their colds don't seem major so hopefully they'll be back to normal in a day or so. Its kind of nice to not feel the need to go anywhere today though!

My knitting is going well. I worked on a scrap trying out various techniques for about a week and decided to start a small project. I got knitting and pearling down so I'm knitting a child's backpack. Its a design from Little Badger Knitwear by Ros Badger and Elaine Scott. Its a relatively simple project since it does not have any increasing or decreasing. I'm not very good at that yet.

So some might wonder why knitting? Well I wanted some hand work I could do while watching the kids play in the front yard. All of the neighbor kids play out front. Oliver is finally old enough that I trust him to play out front by himself for short durations. I still check on him. The other moms have large windows out the front of their homes to keep and eye on their children. My living space is towards the back of the home we're in so I can't easily just see the kids. That's a big part of why I've been the slowest on the street to let my children roam. I'm not in huge favor of just letting kids roam unsupervised anyway. That's why I like the idea of a large backyard...Since Spencer and Evelyn want to be out with the kids too I get to sit out front and supervise. Knitting will be another creative outlet that still allows me to look up and keep an eye on the kids. I thought reading might be nice too but I think I wouldn't have a clue what was going on around me since I get sucked into books.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Old Woman

I'm thinking I'll make a great old woman. I can bake bread, paint, quilt, crochet, and soon knit. My husband just rolls his eyes. Its a little strange I must admit but I figure those old women didn't learn to do all those things in their old age either. I'm just headed to become the classic old woman. Ha, ha!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


The last two or three weeks I've picked up books about knitting at the library. Do I know how to knit? NO! I just have really been attracted to the idea lately. I love sweaters and prefer the look of knitting to crocheting. I do crochet. So....

There was one book in particular, Special Knits by Debbie Bliss, that made be decide it was worth trying out. Every time I look at the pictures I fall in love. The book is all beautiful baby clothing with special details like beads and ribbon. The main clothing I saved from my babies were these kinds of knits. So now I'm going to do it.

I bought my first knitting needles today but no yarn. The budgets small but I have an old skein of yarn laying around in the closet somewhere that will do for my learning.

Off to knit and pearl!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jumping Rope

This evening we jumped rope in our family room. Usually an outside activity but since there's snow on the ground we stayed inside. The kids hadn't ever seen anyone do this and were quite excited to join in. When Chris and I turned the rope Oliver was able to get two successive jumps. We never got more than that! Evelyn was the funniest though she would wait until the rope made it around and then jump, kind of like a delayed reaction. Since most of the little ones aren't coordinated enough to jump in time yet Chris held them while he jumped. Great spontaneous fun.

Evelyn was taking a turn and we finally just laid the rope down so she could jump over it back and forth. She was thinking so hard about jumping over the rope that she had no room for any other thoughts. That included the dog walking in front of her. Everyone else saw the dog, I can only figure she did too but things didn't click fast enough and she jumped and kind of did a belly flop on Rosco. Nobody, or animal, was hurt in her stunt. She looked really shocked that the dog suddenly appeared there.

I think she has that thought process from me, her mother. Watching her reminded me of a diving class I took as a child. The first day of class the teacher wanted us to practice jumping into the deep end. I was nervous about the class and had in my mind that it was a diving class. For the first 3-5 turns I tried to change mid jump from a dive to the jump the teacher had requested. By the time the teacher gave up and had me dive all I could do was jump because I'd finally gotten that in my head. I think I had a whole class of belly flops...sorry Evelyn, you're just like your mama but don't worry there's good things about that too.

Painting the cupboards

Its seems that every time I further realize that we are not moving out of my parents home I begin painting our space more. I seem to go through cycles of I'm really wanting to move but the finances are there, I find a place of contentment, and then I seem to make my surroundings more mine. Thankfully my mother isn't opposed to this! This time I'm painting cabinetry. Not the lovely honey colored cabinets (don't have a heart attack mom or dad!) but the dark, ugly cabinets under the laminate counter.

Robert began painting these for me two years ago before we moved in. He primed the insides of the drawers and the outside of the cabinet but never got to the outside of the drawers. Today I finally primed the outside of the drawers and hope to get some fun paint up over the next week. I still have to decide what I'm doing and of course I can't settle with just one color! I'm thinking of green inside the drawers and cupboard, a light blue that matches my walls outside, and red and white details. What details? I don't know yet that's what I have to plan. I'll post what I do when I finish.

My little helper, painting the dishwasher with water.

This is the cabinet partially through priming.

My ivory colored soap bars

I pulled out another bar of new soap. This was a batch that I made that was supposed to smell like cucumber melon but it smells more cucumber and plant than anything else. Not my favorite scent but usable soap. It came out a nice ivory.

I still need to work on the formula. It lathers nicely but isn't as moisturizing as I'd hoped. Still progress is progress and I'm happy.

Evelyn saw the soap at the kitchen sink and was excited to use it. She said it was a huge bar (probably only 4oz but that's twice the size I've been making). She didn't think she could use such a large bar of soap. Then I told her I'd made it and she smiled. She started lathering and then told me "Its the mostest amazing one ever!" Thanks kiddo!

Kaleidoscopes of Pink

This is my most recent quilt. The main body is a bunch of kaleidoscopes made from the flower fabric at the bottom portion of the quilt. This is a twin size quilt top.

This was another learning experience. I made this quilt after looking at a book of kaleidoscope quilts that were really fun. There were some I really liked and others that were alright. Mine kind of fits in more with the ones I kind of liked but as I put more of the quilt top together I'm liking it better. What's fun is that the colors are all picked for you. But too many colors makes finding a quilt layout difficult. I think I spent 8 hours before I was satisfied. If I were to do it again I'd pick a fabric with fewer colors. As for now I'm ready to do something that doesn't have biased edges.

I had fewer problems with stretching biased edges than with the lone star quilt (still in progress). I mostly had warping when I added the pink border. Hopefully it will come out alright. I'm still learning how to work the the edges so they don't do this...getting a little better at it though.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What happened to the fries?

Last night I was cooking dinner, and cooking dinner and cooking dinner. I guess I should say dinner wasn't cooking. It started to but then the temperature dropped and would never get high enough to cook again. I tried the other burner and the same problem. After two hours of trying I figured the chicken wasn't going to be safe to eat and we went to Burger King.

The hot plate lasted far past its lifespan so I really can't complain. I just hope I can find another that will really cook and not just keep food warm, one of the woes of a makeshift kitchen.

So does anyone one know what happened to Burger King's fries? They were terrible. I've heard in New York they've changed the frying oil but I can't imagine they'd sell something that was so gross. Maybe my location just needed to change the oil.

Usually I'm thrilled to have our rare fast food outing but maybe attempting to cook for two hours spoiled that. My burger was really disappointing and the fries even more so. It was really weird. I remembered liking Burger King but have not been there for a few years. I guess I must be in the Carl's Jr. fan club at the moment.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Small baby giraffe? Sure

I just learned I'm even shorter than a new baby giraffe that was born on the small side. Who would have guessed? The baby giraffe was small at 5 feet tall! I can live with being short. I've always been that way. But I'm really glad being human means I only have to carry 8-9 pound babies (among lots of other good things too). A baby larger than I am boggles my mind, even if its normal for their species.

When Spencer saw the baby giraffe. He kept saying, "That's so cute." He knows how to put so many words and phrases together I never know what to expect. All I could do was laugh to hear him. It was surprising that he recognized the baby giraffe as being different than an adult giraffe having only seen pictures.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Where's my child?

I just ran through the house looking for Oliver. I could not figure out what he was doing so quietly. I returned to my desk to see he was completely wrapped up in a blanket sound asleep. I thought it was just a pile of blanket on the floor. He was right next to me the whole time. I knew he had been there but was sure he'd gotten up at some point. He dose not normally fall asleep like that. Oh I'm relieved and got a good laugh.

An Ice Cream Story

Mmmm... Ice cream. Got to get every last drop.

Its alllllll gone.

Could you share?


We're buds now.

Ice week

This was my week to teach preschool. We meet three days a week and each mom takes two weeks of teaching at a time. We don't have any particular curriculum each mom just comes up with what they want to teach.

I found some really fun activities with ice so we had a week of ice and the letter i. We did things like seeing what would happen if a blue ice cube and yellow ice cuber were put into clear soda, which would melt faster - ice on a plate or ice wrapped in a towel. There were more experiments and today the whole weeks lessons culminated in making homemade ice cream. We did the roll the cans on the floor method and it was a great success.

Oliver thought it was so great he asked if we could do it again this evening. Sure! I only bought enough cream for the preschool batch and Spencer can't have milk anyway so we tried out rice milk. I'll tell you it will never be my top choice for ice cream but it was passed as a cool sweet treat. The kids gobbled it right up.
Adding Salt and Ice

Let it roll!


I can see a fun date night, after the kids (Spencer in particular), are asleep. I'm thinking thick rich cream, maybe chocolate too. Oh lovely ice cream and chocolate my long lost friends...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Signs of Spring

I'm seeing signs of spring! The snow has melted off (not that it won't snow again though) and the crocus had blossomed.

I just received my 2009 spring seed catalog. I've already looked through it a dozen times. I'm trying to limit what I'll get. As much as I'd like to call myself a gardener, I'm not there yet, just my hopes are. I also have limited space so I probably won't get everything I'd like. Maybe that's better though. We all know how I like to jump in over my head with new projects. It'll force me to just focus on a couple of plants! Now just to choose... corn, peas, blueberries, squash, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, lettuces, green beans, carrots, watermelon, or cantaloupe... I won't even get into the flowers. Oh I love these catalogs.

We went to the library yesterday because somebody put the video I tried to renew on hold. It was a trip I wanted to skip but had to take anyway. While we were there, I grabbed a stash of music for the week. It was really a rather random selection. In the group was Sarah McLachlan's Rarities, B-Sides, and Other Stuff, Vol 2.

I remembered hearing some of her songs a few years ago and thought I'd give it a try. This CD isn't exclusively her music but a compilation of duets and and remakes. I really like it. I'll have to keep a look out for Vol 1 because it gets even higher reviews on Amazon than Vol 2. I haven't really taken advantage of the music at the library, but I think it will be a new stop each week from now on.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

And the heavens opened

I dropped my older two kids off to preschool, I went for a wonderful walk and feel much better about just about everything. I went to Flat Iron Park. Its up on a hill and the walking paths over look the city. A good portion of the walk you feel like you're on top of the world. A walk by myself, or with a child in a stroller like today, helps me get things into better perspective and a good work out too. Love when I can accomplish two things at once with little effort!

Spencer and I waited outside to wait for another mom to drop Oliver and Evelyn off from school. Its a beautiful day, clear sky and on the warm side, though still cold enough to be in winter layers. I felt like singing and what came first to my mind was a hymn. Like something from a movie, as I sang it got brighter and brighter and warmer and warmer. There must have been a cloud moving away from the sun but it felt like the heavens opening as I sang. Ah what a beautiful blue sky we have today. I love sunshine.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

PEZ or socks, you choose

This week Chris has to leave for work shortly after 4:00 in the afternoon to attend more supervisor training. So we eat dinner as a family at four and then Chris leaves. The kids were really disappointed to have to say bye to dad.

To distract the kids I said we could build a blanket fort and eat a treat. We built the fort and went inside. We haven't done this for a long time so it was a real hit. Our treat was PEZ that I won at a baby shower over the weekend. We all sat and nibbled. As we were enjoying our treat Oliver said, "This is better than my socks!"

By his excitement I think that was a good statement but I had hoped the activity would rank higher than socks!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Apples to Apples

Since Chris has returned to school to improve his artwork we've really been immersing ourselves in art.

Tonight we decided to paint after the kids went to bed. Neither of us has seriously painted since before we were married. I've done some painting projects but mostly crafting paint by number type projects. It was a bit of a struggle for us to get back into the groove of painting. Even a little frustrating but after a bit of work we both ended up pleased with our evenings work.

Chris's work:

Katrina's work:

One of my favorite parts of being in an art class is seeing everyone's take on the same assignment. Chris and I were painting the same three apples set up on the kitchen table. Our approach to art is so different. He focuses more on the details and I'm more concerned with the colors and giving an impression of what I'm looking at. The same goes for the type of artwork we are drawn towards in galleries.

Jousting in Pajamas

Anyone up for jousting in pajamas? I didn't notice that he even has the setting right with the castle in the background until I was making this post.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Sunflower Farmer's Market

Today I went to the Sunflower Farmer's Market. Its like a small grocery store that is mostly fresh produce and meats. They have some other items too but its not near the size of your typical supermarket. They might call themselves a farmer's market but its not all local produce. What's surprising is they have more variety in their produce even though they are a smaller store.

I walked through the store and just filled my cart with produce. I felt so good knowing it would be good for me, looked delicious, and was kinder on my budget than the regular grocery store (even Walmart).

I still had to go to the regular grocery store for a few items. When I walked in I realized why I am so tempted when it comes to sweets. They were everywhere, everywhere, everywhere. There were sweets in the Sunflower Market too but the difference really shocked me. I think I'll be shopping more and more at the Sunflower market, come summertime, the local farmers market will likely be even better.

Speaking of sunflowers and farmers... I've seen some gorgeous photographs of fields of sunflowers. I don't know if they sell these for flowers or seeds or just have them for the pure beauty of it. Its a tempting idea for the someday field I hope to have next to my someday house.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Scripture Breakfasts

I read scriptures in the morning with the kids. It just seems to be a good time because they are sitting still and tend to be quieter than normal.

We've switched from reading the pictured scripture stories to just reading directly from the Book of Mormon. I thought this might be a difficult transition but I think its actually gone better than I expected. There's a lot of explaining and we only get through one column a day. Sometimes it doesn't seem like we get much out of it, but even I don't always get something out of my daily reading.

Today we were reading and I thought some props might help the kids understand the story. Hopefully this doesn't sound disrespectful to anyone but Nephi and his brothers were a scrap of paper that was on the table, Laban's house was the milk carton, Nephi's old house was a bowl of cereal, and the angel was a spoon. When a hole in a rock was needed for a hiding place Nephi and his brothers went under the table and the wilderness was a meandering over the table top and loop-de-loops around Spencer's head. If the props don't give it away, we are reading the story of Nephi and his brothers obtaining the brass plates. I had the attention of all the kids. They even wanted to continue the story once we reached the end of our daily column. We read three columns!

When I went to clean up breakfast Evelyn asked me where the brother's dad was at. Good question for a three year old. She was really getting it. I set our props back up and showed her that Lehi stayed in the wilderness while his rather grown up boys traveled back to Jerusalem to get the plates.

Tomorrow morning Nephi goes back to Laban's house to get the plates. Knowing my boys this will be a story they'll be thrilled to act out, gruesome by true.

I'm glad we switched to reading directly from the Book of Mormon. I think it will help the kids later realize they can read and understand scriptures, especially if they are already familiar with the language. I wounldn't have guessed it would be going this well. The kids even take interest in just looking through the pages and pages of text. I know not everyday will as successful but its sure promising of more good mornings to come.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I love antibiotics!

First off a sorry to anyone I've complained to in the past couple of days. (Its terrible to realize where your children's faults stem from yourself.) Well I don't think highly of the world when I don't have sleep. Sometimes I need to tell myself to take a nap and came back later, just like I do to my kids.

I am so thankful to have antibiotics for little Tato's ears. Spencer has had RSV, just like the rest of the kids, but he ended up with infections in both ears. His crying (more like screaming) and fussing all day and all night reminded me of my reflux baby a year and a half ago who needed to be held 24 hours a day. Its exhausting for everyone but like I said antibiotics are wonderful. After 24 hours of meds he's running around and playing like normal. Thank goodness!

Well today everyone seemed to be doing better. It was a bit warmer outside and some of the snow melted. Both Oliver and Evelyn ventured out to play. It was funny to see Evelyn watering our long dead container garden ten or so feet away from snow. I think she must want spring just as badly as I do. I hear its going to rain this week and that sounds wonderful. I wish there weren't a snow storm following it. Actually now that I've had some sleep the cold weather isn't as bad as I have thought. I do look forward to thawed fingers and toes during spring and with the snow melted I can go for walks with the stroller again.

I caught Oliver and Evelyn laying on the couch eating apples with their head in a basket. I don't understand what prompted that but it was cute. I ran around trying to find where Spencer had stashed the camera (yeah I left it out, my fault). By the time I found it they had moved but were willing to repose when they saw I had the camera.

After quiet time Oliver and Spencer were having a shoot out using needless syringes as guns. Oliver turned to Spencer and asked, "Are you a good guy or the bad guy?" I was surprised to hear the response was bad guy! Probably a good thing because Ollie tends to want to be the good guy. I hope I'm not in for trouble with child who considers himself the bad guy at one and a half years old!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Highlight of My Day

I was changing Spencer's diaper this morning which is very routine. While I was snapping up his buttons, he grabbed the well wrapped, dirty diaper and began shooting me with it, gun noises and all. I've seen a lot of random items used as guns, cannons and swords in my home but a diaper is a first, quite a change to the routine.

Spencer came up to me, wrapped his arms around me and said, "I wuf you." He kept saying it over and over. This is a new phrase and even his dad couldn't tell what he was saying at first. I'm sure its I love you though because he only says it when he gives hugs.

Fun moments that remind me why I wanted to became a mom.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Draper Temple

Sorry I've been slow to update lately. Our internet was acting up. We bought at new wireless card and the internet has stayed up for the last hour! Yay!

Last night we had a family home evening about temples. It was in preparation to go through the Draper Temple open house. The kids were excited that they'd get to go to a temple. We discussed why we have temples and then built a temple out of Legos while cookies baked.

Oliver was the most excited about visiting the temple. He also seemed to be the one that understood the most what was actually going on.

There was a process to get to the temple rather than just drive yourself there. I guess thousands and thousands of people are expected to go through. We first gathered at church buildings where we watched a short video about the temple. I ended up at the back of the room holding a squirming child but it was fun to hear Oliver, from half way across the room, tell Chris who the prophet was when he came on screen. Then we rode buses to the temple. So two new experiences for the kids, riding buses and being in the temple.

There were plenty of people and I hear Saturday it was absolutely packed. We intentionally went on a weekday afternoon to avoid long lines with our children. My only wish was that we could have lingered a bit more than we were able too. It almost seemed people were in a rush to go through. I guess that just gives me more reason to want to go back and that's good.

The children were as good as can be expected over a two hour trip with a lot of waiting in lines. Oliver is so tactile he had a hard time keeping his hands to himself but honestly I was glad nobody tried licking anything. That would have been really embarrassing. Yes my boys do that, at least as toddlers...always curious.

Of course the celestial room was my favorite. It was just gorgeous. I wanted to just sit and soak in the beauty longer. When the kids came in Chris prompted them to look up at the chandelier. Spencer squealed.

Another favorite of mine was the floor in the bride's room. The carpet had garden flowers around the edges, like a border of grass, tulips, daisies, etc. It was unlike anything I've seen in the temples. It wasn't wild or overly bright but it wasn't subdued either.

I love that the temples interiors are not strictly white. Usually when I hear people speak of heaven or things of a sacred nature they only mention white. I understand the reasons, but I hope, like in the temples, we will still be able to enjoy the many colors He's provided for us.

Being in the temple as a family was a lot of fun. It was interesting to see what things impressed the children. I'm glad we went. Sometimes I get intimidated doing things where there are crowds, especially with the kids, must be some odd phobia I have. I could have talked myself out of going but I'm glad I didn't. Upon returning home Oliver asked if we could go again tomorrow. That brought a smile to my face. I wish we could too.