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Friday, December 10, 2010

Sew Crazy or Who Let Me Near JoAnne's

With Christmas on it way, the sewing machine, pricking my fingers like a pin cushion, and putting love into each gift have been keeping me up to the wee morning hours, but I love it!

Here are a few of my projects that have been keeping me sew crazy.

Purse turned backpack for Jelly Beans in the cutest fabric...

With button backings...

a closable pocket with bonus wallet...

Then the big girls' sophisticated front pocket purses,
complete with matching wallets...

and lined with double pockets:
one open for crayon rolls (post coming soon)
one sewn as color pencil holders...

Then I couldn't forget my sweet boy!
However, I am sure a purse wouldn't be his cup of tea...

but a notebook holder, now that's more like it...

and for keeping his moolah handy...a dinosaur wallet!

One would think that would put out any crafter's fire, but JoAnne's near my house had killer Black Friday sales and there are more projects on the way! Crayon rolls, doorway puppet theaters, and double sided fleece blankets for Christmas Eve.

I better get crackin'.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Something I didn't know about myself

It is strange the experiences that have been put in my path. Things I never thought I could do, I have been blessed with the capacity to do.

I never thought I could live day to day life as a single mother of four in a rural town that requires 2 hours of driving to the nearest Walmart and still get in things like, shower, sleep, and breathing. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't be happier that we (hubby and all) are safely under one roof with a great job, but I could do it again if needed.

Or how about run a 5k race, then turn around a few weeks later and run 10 miles in 1/2 marathon training? Who ever thought that was possible? Certianly not me! But I did it, and now think of myself as an athlete, a complete beginner but the potential has been opened.

As a child of God, I am stronger than I gave myself credit for.

Then there is my newest calling as the Relief Society counselor over activities. I am a naturally shy, quiet, reserved person. At least I used to think so. Slowly over the last few years that has been squelched in my efforts to grow in my callings that require public speaking, appearance, leadership, and cooperation of large groups. I have to put myself out there and let it settle however it does, fumbles and all.

I realized something about myself today, I love people and sincerely want the best for them but at the same time,

I am who I am...

and I am happy with that.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Funnies

Let me introduce you to what looks like our old neighbor dog, Brutus, from our mini-farm days a couple of months ago.

He was a lovable guy, a bit slobbery for my taste and apparently Jelly Beans as well. Here is the following conversation I had with her as I tucked her into bed...

JellyBeans: Mom, I liked the white house. (mini-farm)

Me: That house sure had a big yard in it, didn't it?

Jelly Beans: Yep! It was fun...except when Brutus would crawl under the fence.
He thinks I am lunch, but I am not!

World from a three year old.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Halloween Par-tay!

This has to be one of the best Halloweens that my family has ever had.

No school stress or homework to bog us down, living with my favorite sister (I can say that, I only have one.. ;), and finally breaking out of my shell we decorated a our trunk and passed out candy after a most delightful and fun filled dinner party with the ward. By the way, I absolutely love, love, love my new ward! We were made for each other.

Always a challenge and delight to make the kids costumes. We are all about thrifty and unique usually one use costumes, because lets face kids picking the same costume twice just isn't happening.

Besides making the costumes is half the fun! A Glittering Glenda's crown (and consequently the whole house for weeks), Davy's leather outfit from paper bags and some paint, and tutus for the little fairies, wings and wands compliments from the Dollar Store!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Diagnosis is Not Good

That's right. It has been confirmed, I have it...the crafting bug. It lasts from early October till just after the New Year. Symptoms include raiding your embroidery stash in the middle of the afternoon because you are sure you could start a project now with out having to leave the house, dreaming of endless isles of darling fabric after darling fabric, and being completely distracted by thoughts of these:

or these:

How 'bout this!

and the companions...

There is something about the crisp fall air and earlier sunsets that cozy me up to the idea of evenings creating a textiled smorgasborg of items to give away, scatter through the house spreading festive cheer, or merely because it is just too hard to pass up in cuteness!

All I know is I am going to need more felt at my house and possibly these:

and these,

Oh my it is hopeless!

It doesn't help that I just finished my knitting projects for the fall either...

idle hands...all kinds of mischief! ;)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bewitchingly Bootiful

What is there to do, you ask, on a wet fall afternoon with children bouncing off the walls? Make Halloween decorations, of course!

The kids and I decided it was about time to festoon our house in honors of autumn and Halloween. Now we aren't really into the gory or demonic creatures but I did have to put in this cute witch from Family Fun.

She kind of reminded me of Nanny McPhee.

So with scissors, templates, and paper in hand we all got busy cutting, gluing and eating a bit of candy corn.

("Mom you must tell them that I am 'snippety-snipping', here.")

(Oh those cheeks! They are mommy cryptonite.)

(You wouldn't be able to shake this kind of concentration with an earthquake.)

I love how each jack 'o lantern shows off their personalities.

(left to right, Bananas, Darling Boy, Rapunzel, Jellybeans.)

The jack 'o lantern trend at our house would be freckles, compliments of Bananas.

Then we made candy corn and bats flying in a midnight sky.

I particularly like the bats. If you look carefully the paper has silver flecks in it.

Ribbon please!


Well... not really.

It took me a while to hang it so that I didn't feel like the house was tilting and then without making a bazillion holes in the wall. (Landlords kind of frown on that kind of thing, I guess.) But over all our house now feels festive and ready for some spooktacular fun.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday is Good for my Heart.

Friday fills my evening with freshly baked pizza aromas, giggles from little ones hiding under the table eating their olive victories, flour covered noses, and finally the warmth of snuggling up together with full tummies and a good movie viewed from under comfy blankets, just enjoying being a family.

Friday is so good for my heart.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Like Christmas

I love getting mail, especially boxes! Who doesn't? To me it feels like a mini spontaneous Christmas.

Homeschooling provides ample opportunities to hopelessly purchase and purchase materials, sometimes because you can't resist, sometimes because the item just wasn't what it was cracked up to be. Today, though, was one of those of the anticipated kind that thrilled me to the toes.


our new science book, Apologia Zoology 1, that is age difference friendly, in other words we can all work from the same book, at the same time, thank goodness! (That makes for less like-a-headless-chicken running for me.)

And a hopeful purchase, that with a bit of luck, just might be what helps Girly get self motivated in the arithmetic department. I always loved math as a kid, even yes, the dreaded Geometry and Calculus, but Girly takes after her father and lumps it with things like liver, broccoli, and onions. Life of Fred is my last ditch effort at math growing on her educational taste buds.

Plus tomorrow I run. I love that part. I am starting to need running like I used to need chocolate. That is saying a lot.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Life is still moving forward, for the better I hope, in a new locale.

I hate the boxes and packing, then unpacking and the boxes of moving but I do love the thrill of getting to know a new place.

I am in love with living in the greater North Wet, as Mister likes to call it. It feels like home. Which is saying a lot for me. I love looking out the window every morning drinking in the beautiful landscape with all its adventure and excursion possibilities. Oh, the places I will run. My shoes won't know what hit them!

I am extremely, incurably, directionally challenged, but I can find a few of my favorite places so far, like my sister's house, The Dollar Tree (invaluable for the chore store basket...aka bribery for the kids and inexpensive school supplies) and the library.

Ahhhh, the library...



Sorry, lost in my own readers paradise for a moment there.

And one must not forget the most amazing parks and hiking trails.


Now if I could only pin down that blasted Post Office. I feel like it is stationed on Platform 9 3/4.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Return and Report

My to do list as usual always gets mostly done with a few hiccups in between.

I did manage to plant the cantaloupe and watermelon which was a huge feat in itself...a rototiller would be divine at this point but I will just have to keep toughing it out, blisters and all, with my handy dandy pick and shovel. Plus I had no idea how much space those melons needed! I know I will be completely convinced of the worth of this effort when I bite into my first sweet and juicy melon later this summer.

Now since, this dirt whacking and shoveling comes with a price my hands became too sore to get any farther on my finer arts...the names will have to wait a few days till my hands heal. I did get a skirt made but the other dresses will also have to wait till I can bend my hands again. I am afraid to admit, I think I have developed princess tender for gardening...nothing a few more weeks of picking won't solve though. But they didn't get me before I could mend all the shorts for the season.

My running was by far the best thing going for me this week. I had a runners high this week. I know! It was totally amazing. I felt like I could run forever. So the next day, I ran a 5K, thanks to my surprise running buddy from Illinois, (you rock Aunt Faffy!). Yep, I completely shocked myself, but I did it six weeks earlier than scheduled. Which makes me even more excited for the Running with Angels 5K that I signed up for to run in June. By that time I will be a third of the way through my 1/2 marathon training, to run in August, that I have started in place of the 5K running. Who a runner!

But with all the extra workouts I have been pretty tired by night fall. It was great opportunity to catch up on my reading and added a big chunk (100+ pages) to my scripture goal reading for the week.

And last but not least, the Rubber Ducky Cupcake Cake. Oh my goodness...this was to simple for the cuteness factor that came out of it! I love the books, Hello, Cupcake! and it's sequel What's New, Cupcake. This is where I got the idea for Jelly Beans' birthday cake. She absolutely loved it and keeps asking where the duckies went. She has a hard time coping with the fact that she ate them. Ahhh, to be three. Go check out the site and watch all the videos, you won't be able to wait for your next cake event, I promise. I will post more with pictures, next.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

To Do List

Things I hope to get done before the computer comes back...
  1. plant...anything
  2. finish up two flower initials
  3. complete a gingerbread and sweets phrase drawing
  4. the second to the last week of school
  5. making Jelly Beans rubber ducky birthday cupcake-cake
  6. sew two dresses, two skirts, and four pillow case shirts
  7. mend winter pants into summer shorts
  8. run three times this week, besides my normal 1 1/2 hour exercise routine
  9. make bread and granola
  10. and read 100 pages in my scriptures...I am so behind on my 10 page a day goal...grrr.
Hopefully this will keep me motivated to return and report with good effort at least. :)

Till then dear Internet....*sigh*

Friday, May 14, 2010

Music to My Ears

What is it about childrens' laughter, my own in particular, that makes my heart tingle and my ears sing?

I don't think I could go a whole day without basking in this music made from heaven. Children have an amazing ability to laugh when they truly feel good, like a cat who purrs, I think my kids can't hide when they are happy.

Laughter rings and bounces off our walls on good days. I can hear the melodious echos coming from the mini-farm as they make up new and silly games that cause frequent bouts of giggles.

The Boy would like it noted that "girls giggle, but boys chuckle." Sorry about that son. Poor thing is totally out numbered 4 to 1.

Still I wouldn't trade the giggles or chuckles for a million dollars. Seriously...I thrive on that sound.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I have been running. Not for long periods of time, yet, but none the less, channeling my inner Steve Prefontaine. Thanks to some encouragement from two of my sister-in-laws and running, every other day. Now this is quite the feat for someone who dreaded the mile run for junior high P.E. requirements. My face used to get all red and hot for days and then I thought for sure the P.E. instructor was just making us all suffer through this school hazing ritual for kicks and giggles later in the teachers lounge. Things are beginning to change. Weird things...I actually miss running when it is my day off. (I almost passed out from shock from my own statement there.) My face no longer burns red with out of shape-non-runner shame. The challenge is addicting.

In other news, I had my first Mommy and Me, with Bananas. These are strange times for me. My oldest is almost 10 and bursting with life and girly enthusiasm. Things I am sure that never crossed my mind as a 45 year old trapped 10 year old tom boy body as a kid. (Think, "she must have an old soul".) It is enlightening and thrilling to be sharing these things with her. All the while my little artist was sparkling my fingers with silver glitter polish, hot pink cross hatches, and crystal sticker embellishments I couldn't help wanting to slow the afternoon down and take all the mental candid camera shots that I could. She is one forth of the sunshine that goes on in my life and she is sprouting right through my fingers and turning into a bright, social young woman. Making the effort to know her and be there for her is all I can hope for.

As for the garden. It is daunting to say the least. With Round-up in hand, Mister made a good first pass of those nasty and determined weeds to squelch all specimens before I can even plant. Note to self next year...start earlier! But be prepared weeds...there will vegetables this season, even if it kills me. How did the pioneer women do this?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Well, then...

It has been a whirl-wind of activity here in the last month and half. SO in an attempt to get all caught up I am going bullet point goes....warning this will be very random...
  • Hallelujah!!! Mister passed his nursing license exam and is now a full fledged Registered Nurse.
  • We are still in search of Nursing Job. Hopefully good news soon!
  • With serious amount of prayers, bait and mouse traps, I have managed to eradicate mice from the premises. They are NOT my friends.
  • I have officially become the quickest draw in the West...well my part of town, with the insecticide when it comes to in home invasions of ants. This one really chaps my hide...I vacuum and mop everyday, leave no trace of food after each meal, and all my wanted goods are in plastic sealed containers. Grrrrr...stinking ants.
  • I am the proud renter of a massive garden that currently is masquerading as the world's most wanted weed patch. I plan on having a garden throw down as soon as I get back...
  • from my sisters house!!! I get to go play with my sister in Washington and kiss her new baby boy and my nieces whom I haven't seen in almost four years!
  • I have lost enough weight to walk into a regular store and by pass all signs that say "Plus-size".
  • I am planning on running a 5K in nine weeks. I am a gluten for punishment I have decided. Nix that. I am embarking on new and exciting adventures that will challenge me and reward me beyond measure in my newer body.
  • My neighbors find my jogging around my acre yard quite comical.
  • I have seeds! And fertilizer that I have no idea how to use, but it will be going down in the ground soon.
  • I have decided that I am going to pursue becoming a childrens book illustrator and author.
  • It has snowed/pelted mini snowballs more this 'spring' than during the winter and I feel like turning on the Christmas music again. Is this a redo, do over, or second helpings of winter?...hello spring are you there?
  • Realized once again, how exhausting it is to pack for four small people and then still find time to care about getting my things packed.
  • I love how my house smells after making Apple Pie Granola, Triple Chip Oatmeal Cookies, and a fresh rain shower.
  • now I must get to bed to wake up at O'dark thirty to drive for a whole day! Ta-ta and I will update while with my Sister!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Growing Where Planted

I have a very wise friend that shared some exceptional advice with me about fifteen years ago. After another move (for there had been many moves during my childhood), I wrote this friend in deep distress after finding out I had moved to hell. She lovingly sympathized and encouraged me and said that if I was going to be happy I needed to learn to grow where I was planted. I have thought about that letter often in my turbulent life and did not fully ingrain that lesson till now. Slow learning curve, I know.

My life, I think, will always be a series of shifts and instability. But the one thing I do know that will be ever present, ever following, will be my attitude to look forward to the good things offered and fill my life with sunshine bursts and giggles galore, especially on those dark and stormy days.

Once again the kids and I have moved, this time to a quaint town brimming with farm life, some of the friendliest people alive, and a "yard" that I will lovingly refer to as my mini-farm. The thing is huge, full of gardening and maybe chicken potential. Think riding lawn mower. If my oldest had her pick, it would also harbor a chance for a horse.

I feel like Laura Ingalls defending her house against mice (which will be another horrifying post in it's self), raising and schooling four children, and keeping my sanity with little to no phone signal, intermitent internet usage, and no scheduled programming of the television kind. The simple life has hit me full in the face and I relish in the challange of growing where planted.