Friday, December 31, 2010
Steady Days by Jamie Martin
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance by Elna Baker
Lift by Kelly Corrigan
Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Did you read anything this year that you loved? Please share!
Thursday, December 30, 2010
3 books each month
The Book of Mormon before Easter
Jane Austen's major works (6 books)
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Chronicles of Narnia
AM and PM Routines - Regular 'to rise' and 'to bed' times
Daily and Weekly Routines with the boys
Exercising 3 times a week
an Etsy shop with WBH
Posting 7 times a week on the blog
to make button holes
to use a serger
to make and use royal icing for cookies
to make a blog button
to make marshmallows
to make caramels
a 15-day recipe binder (15 each of breakfast/lunch/dinner/dessert/cookies)
a dress for myself
awesome halloween costumes
a pattern from an existing piece of clothing
a quilt for the living room (to hang over the mystery second door)
2 years of scrapbooking done
a piece of furniture
Increase Blog Traffic
Perform in a production
Finish no-cost bedroom makeover
Lose 20 lbs
Run my hometown 5k
Upstairs Bathroom fix-up
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Brown cable sweater: Jeanne Pierre, thrifted
tee: Old Navy hand-me-down
hat and scarf: made by me
(the hair is a hot mess... I was trying for Rachelle LeFevre hair, I got Roseanne Roseannadanna)
Church Christmas Party
Sweater: Target, thrifted ($2!)
Pants: Express, thrifted (I didn't think I'd fit in anything from there, I was very excited)
Earrings: made by me
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Stinky's been having a rough go of it at preschool. Somedays are great, and then, bam! Abysmal failure. I've been trying to work with him, trying to figure out how to help him, and I've decided that playdates might be a good place to start learning to be a friend without the pressure of the whole preschool class there.
One of the things I think I was missing from the magical cloak was knowing that when your kid is having a hard time, asking another mom for a playdate is a million times harder than asking the hottest guy in school on a date. She could reject you, and not only you, but your kid, too. Double shame. Then returns the scared 15 year old, and you can't be that girl as a mom.
But if there's double shame in a possible rejection, there's definitely double joy when you hear that mom say yes, and that what's more, they like your kid, even knowing the troubles they've been having.
So much better than than the hottest guy in school.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Full of gratitude and reflection.
Full of snuggles and late-night movies.
Full of joy at Rotten sleeping in the bed Santa brought him (On his own! CELEBRATE!).
Full of one-on-one time with Stinky thanks to Rotten's sleep successes.
Full of appreciating gifts, but embracing the companions.
Much, much too full for writing any blog posts.
So I hope you'll forgive me, but this weekend was so filling that if it was a meal, I would be searching for my maternity pants. Okay, you caught me, I totally had to find my maternity sweats. I'm back on track now. Come back tomorrow, though. This week is full of good stuff.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
In the spring of 2008 I miscarried a baby that would have been born in November. In those first few weeks, we talked about how different Christmas would be with two. I can now say that following the loss, I dealt with depression that was akin to a low-grade fever. We did what we could, but all that could really be done was to wait it out and make sure it didn't get worse. I was much better once I passed the baby's due date, but Christmas shopping one day delivered a blow that I wasn't expecting when I walked down the aisle with the stockings. We would still have three stockings hanging that year, and the loss of that fourth stocking hurt more than I expected. Later that night, I put birdseed out in the backyard feeder and cried.
So, last Friday night, I chose a simple blue stocking for my Rotten. There were tears this time, too, but those of gratitude. One year ago on Christmas night, we found out we were pregnant again. Two years after that sad winter night, we have our fourth stocking.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
We decided to get a big family party in before the holidays, so his party was Sunday. The night before, we hung snowflakes- meaning I cut them and WBH patiently climbed up and down the step ladder to hang them. There are still 50 snowflakes hanging from the ceilings in our entry, living and dining rooms. He set up and I wrapped with fabric his gift- can you guess what it is?
We kept the other decorations simple with fabric and his special day poster from preschool.
Tonight he's requested to sleep with the fishies, and we see no reason a sleepover shouldn't happen.
Dear Stinky, today you are four. Your name means fiery prince and boy, do you live up to it. We love the way you do things one hundred and crazy percent. We are so proud of the way you've grown up this year and stepped up into the role of big brother. We prayed so hard for you to become a part of our family, and you are just what we wanted. We love how you surprise us and keep life interesting, and we hope that never changes.
- my mojo. I want it back.
- a stop to my post-pregnancy hair loss.
- a global ban on "The Christmas Shoes" forever and ever and ever.
- the will power to walk away from Christmas goodies and pick up something real.
- job security for WBH through the state's bloody school budget massacre. As an aside, WAY TO BE, Washington voters for repealing the candy and soda tax that helped fund education and health care. Now your children can be overweight and undereducated. GOOD FOR YOU, JUICEBAGS. Wait, where did this soapbox come from?
- Rotten learning to sleep through the night, or at least most of it, in his own bed
- diet dr. pepper (see above)
- Stinky working through the issues he's having at preschool
- a good night's sleep, or something close to it (see above)
- time to accomplish the goals I set, projects I dream up, blog posts I begin in my head, and the ingenuity to do it all at little to no cost.
- a peaceful year of forward progress for my family and the ones I love
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
this painted star, a reminder of a past life...
What this doesn't show are the ornaments WBH has made me for years (they're beautiful, I'm such a lucky girl), the bell and snowflake tatted by my sister-in-law, our harp from Tealah, the tibetan elephant bell and sparkly lizard from Dorin, or any number of ornaments I just love. That's something to look forward to for next year.
Monday, December 20, 2010
In college, a pageant public speaking coach and I were working on an improvisational speaking drill, where he'd give me a topic and I had to speak about it for a minute. Topic after topic came up, and he said "One last one- Christmas Trees."
"I used to envy those who had the color-coordinated, professional looking trees," I began. "My family's tree is not at all color coordinated and has ornaments that are handmade, have pictures of us as children, and even some of cartoon characters. My view has changed now, though. Instead of mismatched ornaments and a themeless tree, I see a beautiful patchwork quilt of family history. We can pick up an ornament and tell you what we loved that year. 'There's almost 30 years of history on that tree,' my mom says. And now I see the beauty"
We've continued our tradition of a tree full of history. Each year we all get a new ornament, something representative of the year, usually handmade. Each branch has a memory, an ornament gifted to us by someone we love. It's one of the craziest trees I've ever seen, and I love it that way. I have nothing against color coordinated, beautiful trees, but I could stare at my crazy quilt of ornaments for hours.
Tomorrow I'll tell you about some of those ornaments.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
We are luck to have a tree farm just 20 minutes from us that's well priced, friendly and really fun. Not only that ,but we get to drive past beautiful buddhist and hindu temples on the way there. We've gone there for 3 years and it seems like every time we go, we find THE tree almost as soon as we walk in. Then, Stinky helps WBH chop it, or holds a branch. Same thing.
And he is a big help when it comes to lugging it to the shake-out-the-needles-and-bugs machine.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I made a long orange scarf for WBH's secret pal at work- it was the color construction workers wear, super soft and knit in seed stitch- he took it to him before I got a picture. Tonight I am sewing up pajama pants for Stinky's preschool teacher- she commented that she didn't have anything but sweats to wear on pajama day. Then there are these:
For Rotten, add some plastic links and these will dangle from his car seat handle and entertain him during church and car rides (we hope). Not crazy about the finished project on the robot, but I'm a little in love with the rocket ship.
Still to go, adding lettering to an apron and chef's hat for Stinky, WBH and Rotten's ornaments, and a tricky, larger gift that shall remain a secret because it's harder than I thought and if it doesn't work out I don't want its intended receiver disappointed. If it works out, it will be amazing
So that's where I'm at- slowly losing my mind. Anyone else working on handmade gifts and about to lose their mind?
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Last week, before we got sick, we set up our tree and visited Santa. We had a hard time at preschool and I lost my baking mojo (I blame the cupcakes, I think they've cursed me). I finished two Christmas gifts, scored some deals for me and wrote me "30-before-30" list.
I feel like I've lost some mojo in general. Maybe it's 29. Maybe it's the virus. Either way this week I'm going mojo hunting. Any tips on hunting that bugger down?
Until then, I'll leave you this picture of my adorable guys, working together.
James E. Faust
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I made this wall hanging for my mother two years ago. It's painted muslin then hand-quilted with the ribbon and I think I still have callouses. I saw it today ather house- every year I'm worried about the flaws I know are there, but when it's out, I'm just proud.
This boy put on makeup "to make me beautiful!" and kept bringing me random things (a straw bent into a T, for our last name, a broken toy) and telling me they were his gifts to me. I loved that he wanted to make it special for me.
Then this guy and I went on our first real date in several months to see Harry Potter. We held hands and everything. The freedom was a little intoxicating.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Thomas S. Monson
Friday, December 3, 2010
These are WBH's favorites, and I enjoy them a lot too, becaue often he's the one making them. "I didn't cook it" is my favorite ingredient. Let me know if you try them!
2 cups sugar
1 cube margarine
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Boil the first 5 ingredients for 2 minutes, then add the remaining. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax or freezer paper and let set until cooled.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Please don't give me to my brother,
I fear that more than any other.
And please, don't put me on the couch.
I'll give a headache; you'll say 'ouch.'
I must not be put in my swing,
a swing is simply not my thing.
You must not hand me off to Dad,
I freak right out, that makes him sad.
So, to prevent many tears
let me make this very clear:
I must always be held by Mom
if you hope to keep me calm.
Although she knows it's just a phase,
(she fears will last 'til end of days )
when she looks like she might cry,
probably best not to ask why.
Don't ask about the unwashed hair,
unshaved legs, or for clean underwear
or why pj's stay on 'til noon,
or why she hasn't cleaned her room.
I can't let her think of all that stuff.
Sometimes, it gets a little rough
For she must meet all my demands.
Tiny dictators must be kept close in hand.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Now, the lights are WBH's thing. He gets a new strand each year, and is hoping to be seen from space soon. Truthfully, I love it and I love the way it lights up the street. I hope you'll enjoy seeing it at the top of the blog for the month!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
TH-2 Read Christmas books
F-3 Watch Nightmare Before Christmas
S-4 Rae's birthday, get tree and decorate it
SU-5 Attend a Nativity/Music event at Church
M-6 Set up our Nativity while reading the Christmas Story
T-7 Make Ornaments
W-8 Watch "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown"
TH-9 Make Snowflakes
S-11 Watch Polar Express
SU-12 Drive around and look at lights – award the best looking lights with a plate of cookies
M-13 Make soap snowmen
W-15 Make cookies for fire station/library/secretaries
TH-16 Deliver Treats to WBH's work for secretaries
F-17 Preschool Christmas Party
S-18 Church Party or Family movie night
SU-19 Make cards to send preschool friends in the mail
W-22 Stinky's Birthday
TH-23 Make bird feeders and read The Animal's Christmas Carol.
F-24 Christmas Eve Dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
Monday, November 29, 2010
This cowl gift for my friend who lives next door, and it's a great last minute handmade gift. Even a beginning knitter could work this up. I'll be writing up a tutorial for a series next month on last -minute handmade gifts.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Thomas S. Monson
Saturday, November 27, 2010
I'm grateful for you all! Thank you for reading my blog. I sometimes worry about putting stuff out into the void, but I love knowing that people are reading. Thank you for reading and commenting, even when I can't always respond right away- the perils of blogging with a new baby on my lap. You all boost me up!
Friday, November 26, 2010
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 (3 ounce) package jello
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Cream shortening and sugar. Add jello and eggs until blended, then slowly add dry ingredients. Roll to 1/3-inch and use cookie cutters to get desired shapes.* Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes, depending on size. Cool on rack and enjoy!
*Alternately, you can ball the dough, roll in sugar and flatten with a glass. Check what the bottom of the glass looks like first, though. I'll tell you why sometime.
As always, please let me know if you make these and how they turn out!