Saturday, May 30, 2009

Oh! But It's Been Fun!

The weekend has gotten away from me. I disassembled + sanded + spray painted a chair. I tried out a pretty little something special with my crochet hook and some wool fisherman's yarn. I tried my hand at fulling [basically the same as felting only done with wool yarn that has been knitted/crocheted/woven in some way or another]. I colored my woolen projects with kool-aid. Pink lemonade and black cherry to be exact. I planted more flowers around my lilac tree. I picked and ate what I assume will be the last of our peas. I experimented with omelets and turkey + avocado sandwiches on artisan bread [I will learn to make my own artisan bread one day]. I lifted weights. I ate ice cream and drank pina colada and laughed at a stupid movie. I banished my boys to their room until they cleaned it and tried not to hurt them. I made faces at the girl and enjoyed the faces she made back. I chalk painted on the sidewalk and listened to *I* philosophize about our pictures... "see mom, it's raining and then you take a big jump and get up to the sun and the rainbows." I did this all while *B* put new legs on the table he's refinishing for our dining room. He's wonderful. I did not clean my house.
enjoy the journey!
ps. I also received my first Anthropologie catalog. Bliss. Such great photography and fun graphic ideas. I also enjoyed this [be aware that it scrolls left to right not up and down].

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Think I Might Be Damaging My Children

[She said as she watched her oldest son put a grasshopper in a bag and bash it with his fist a few times]. And just an hour ago I paid him $.10 for every snail he gathered up in the garden. After I counted them I told him to bash the bag on the sidewalk and then put it in the trash. He also gets paid $.10 for every dead grasshopper. Just in case you were wondering. Stinking things eat the plants. The can live in someone else's yard if they want to live.


I am considering this the first official day of summer since the weekend doesn't count and the holiday is, well... a holiday. Today was the first day *I* should have been in school but he wasn't because it's summer. Craziness. It's summer.
This is a photo of his last day of school. The large poster he is holding is his life sized emu he wanted to make. Did you know emu was pronounced ee-myou?
Because it's summer I'm going to ignore the backlog of great ideas I have to share with you and share some of my own [and there will be more than two this time]. I'm going to attempt keeping my kids mentally engaged this summer while still keeping it fun. I know you're laughing and thinking "good luck with that one..." But hey, I can dream right? And besides, they're still young...
One: summer book club idea/photo from BH&G magazine. I first read this article a few years ago and now that *I* is turning into a voracious reader I think he'll really enjoy it. After a little search I've discovered a few different lists for kids book clubs. Oprah's and Great School's + the article link also give suggestiong for choosing books. I'm sure there are even more out there...
I talked to him today about the idea and he loved it. He already has his friends list and knows which book he wants to start with. He wants to read Fablehaven but I just checked library availablility and though there are 20 copies there are also 12 requests. I'll check back on that and encourage him to choose another book. Maybe something like Peter and the Starchatchers. Except the library only has 2 copies of that one. Hmmm... Sorry, I will stop boring you with my search of books to read...
Two: what I did this summer books. I'm having him/them journal write and he chose Mon/Fri to write. I'm making a conscious effort to make sure they get all of their pegs done before they can play and *B* wants to have them help buy their school clothes with the money they earn from that [the photo above is of the peg charts I made last year]. I'm planning on going on official outings once a week [don't think this will be anything huge. Probably just a trip to the splash park or something like that]. I will let him use my camera to take some pictures and I will take some pictures and he will write about it in his journal. We will also be making projects like embroidering pictures they draw [since he wants to learn to sew and I told him he has to learn to handle a needle + thread before he can use my sewing machine] and we will be traveling the world. He insists that his class went to Australia the last day of school and he loved it. The whole last week they learned things about Australia and wrote a report about something they liked that was unique to the country/surrounding area. We discussed it and he would like to visit one country every two weeks. I'm cool with that. I think it will be fun. We'll read and cook and search the net and in the end he will think he's traveled the world. Love it! In the end we will make a book at Blurb and he will be able to remember what he did this summer. He loves the idea.
So, these things paired with lots of roaming the neighborhood + playing with friends + our standard camping/fishing trips + growing/eating our garden fare = one pretty eventful summer. Hopefully we'll be able to spend some time swimming too. It would be a tragedy if my kids didn't learn to swim.
enjoy the journey!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Am Bewitched...

Since we got back from Sea World we have been trying to figure out the best way to handle our family videos. We bought the recorder before we left and now it's 6+ months later and we've got lots more video to deal with. Just like my photos... we're glad we have them, but what are we supposed to do with them? I'm trying to look at them from different angles. Just like I do with my photos:

I'm not just taking these for me so I should leave an unaltered original filed somewhere of all photos/videos. Just because I like extreme cropping and photos of legs for my projects doesn't mean that everyone likes that, and my favorite photos may not necessarily be theirs + vice versa. I may not want to see the dirty dishes in the background or hear me hollering at one of the kids in the background, but one day that will be a reminder of life. So it should be saved... out of my line of sight.

I want to crop out all of the unnecessary and keep the expressions and the mannerisms. I want to make it the way I see it. Not necessarily the way it is [though I'm not really sure what the problem is with the camera. You'd think it would capture what I see...]. *B* says I envision life with twinkling lights and fairy dust and that I get upset when it doesn't come out that way. That's just fine with me [minus the "it doesn't come out that way" part]. I like those things.

So... sorry about the rambling, basically I've been trying to figure out the video editing software we have and trying to alter our videos. I'm not very good at it and I'm not very patient, but today Kara shared this video on her blog... This is what I want to do. It's magical. How the heck does one go about doing something like this? I will figure it out and when I do I will share our stellar family videos. Until then I will keep my hollering at the kids a secret!

PACOVOLUME "CookieMachine" from discograph on Vimeo.

First I will figure out how to shoot manually with my camera. I'm thinking I probably won't even use the manual mode once I learn, but I want to learn so I have a greater understanding of the concepts as a whole. Yes, someday the camera will capture what I see and I won't have to do altering after the fact. I know it's possible. For the most part, Hula Seventy doesn't alter/edit her photos. Someone commented on her photos in Flickr and asked what editing program she uses and I'm pretty sure she said she doesn't. A true photographer. I think it's amazing [when I popped over to grab her url for the link I quick read her post and she was talking about capturing life as it is... including old home videos. You should read it. She is so great with words and imagery. Love her].

enjoy the journey!


p.s. Today *A* came home with an orange and black striped witches hat and two collapsable trick or treat pumpkins. He wanted me to get him a cup holder so he could take his water bottle on his bike with him. I was standing in the kitchen at the time and my synapses collided and now *A* has an ice cream bucket hooked to the front of his bike for a basket. I'm so glad that Blue Bunny has started putting their half gallons in plastic cartons. I've been using them for all kinds of things, but this is by far my favorite.

As he rode away on his bike he kept looking back at me grinning and waving and grinning some more.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I have been on a sewing kick lately. I don't know what it is. I'm not even that great at it. Maybe it's all of the amazing fabrics floating around out there. I just can't seem to get enough. Last week I made a sleep mask [as a sample for our girls camp/ward I.D. Melissa was looking for something cheaper than t-shirts. I'm always ready to oblige with a crazy idea...]. I made a scripture bag and have another in the works [sorry ladies... I stink at taking photos + I just remembered that I keep forgetting to keep my promise of the great pirate tutorials. It's so much easier to direct you to someone else's handy work/steal their photo]. And I intended to make the girl some cute summer dresses but, well... I'm starting to wonder if summer will be over before I get her cute summer dresses made! So basically, I've been wanting to sew...
one: picnic placemat. This is designed/made by Ella of Little Red Caboose. I think it's brilliance. Better than carting around a big huge blanket. Better than ruining all of your baby blankets. I've been thinking of having a summer camp type summer with the little men. Having special outings/projects/assignments to keep them doing things that require thought but are also fun. I probably won't get around to making something like these placemats [and you know I'm too cheap to buy them], but I love the concept. They would be especially good for fishing at the pond/hiking on the red hill. Did I mention brilliance?
two: I keep seeing adoreable fabric toys that I want to make for the girl... Pottery Barn kids has a sweet tea set and a cute little mouse house [well, they had a cute little mouse house. Now it's just this doll house that isn't quite as cute but it doesn't matter because I wasn't going to buy it anyway. I like to make life hard and try to do these things myself. The tea set seems to be gone too]. My cousin's wife Liz is making felt food for her daughter's play kitchen. And look at this rabbit! I made a tiny little rabbit when I was in high school and loved it. I love this more. And these dolls [both are made/designed by Fiona of Hop Skip Jump. The photos are hers too of course]! Barbie who? Polly Pocket...? Ah... I think the girl is going to need some friends.
I know... I need serious help. Does anyone want to trade house cleaning for cute stuff? I could totally do that.
Enjoy the Journey!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

#2 [cheap thrills]

Today I picked up a few things I hope to finish soon so I can share them as cheap thrills because I am very much excited about them. I only ended up making it to the D.I. the girl isn't the greatest shopper in the world. Oh well. I did find a few things to work on...
As I was grocery shopping the other day [something I never do anymore by the way... it is *B's* assignment now] I got a little lost + overwhelmed in the store and ended up wandering the aisles thinking, "am I missing something?" I felt like I had to see everything to make sure I got what we needed. While I was picking up some Chow Mein [I know... gross! It is a cheap + easy meal and we keep it on hand] I noticed the fortune cookies there. I have been trying to make things more special and, honestly, what needs to be spiffed up more than Chow Mein?
We ate it Thursday night and the boys loved that the cookies had fortunes. At first they didn't quite get it, but later *I* started asking more questions and now he his waiting [not so patiently] for this to happen: "happy news is on it's way to you." He asked yesterday morning, "any happy news for me?" and again this afternoon when they got home, ""any happy news yet?" I keep giving him happy news, but it's not what he's looking for. I'm not sure what he expects...
*B's* rough times are behind him.
*A* has many unexpected and thrilling surprises in store for him.
and I will be called in to fulfill a position of high honour and responsibility [oh yay. I'm really looking forward to finding out what that one could be...].
So, I've always known that I love fortune cookies. I get a huge kick out of them and when *B* stuck my engagement ring inside of one that said [and he promises he didn't even look at the fortune... it just happened to be the one that didn't break apart when he wedged the ring in]: "you and your spouse will be very happy together." It just tied my infatuation up into a neat little package.
Yeah, I like fortune cookies + now my kids do too.
enjoy the journey!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Girl Friday [cont.]

I promised and now the movie is over so you're getting an update on the girl. It's seven minutes until Saturday. I'd better hurry! So, here you are... *E*. aka: the girl. aka: sissy. aka: silly millie [or mil for short]. She will be 11 months old in a week or so. She is silly and stubborn and naughty and we all love her. She puts anything and everything in her mouth. Except baby food. If we put baby food in her mouth she spits it back at us. In fact, if we put pretty much anything in her mouth she will spit it back at us... unless it comes from off our plate. She insists on feeding herself. She loves bread and noodles and peas and egg yolk and meat. Any kind of meat. I am planning on not giving her sugary snacks/drinks until she's two. I am still nursing her though it is getting less and less frequently as she eats more and more solids. She has eight teeth and she uses them well. So far she has been more physically advanced than either of the boys. She climbs the stairs and tries to climb over the barricades I put up to keep her from falling down the stairs. Sometimes I will find her on the other side and wonder how she got there. Thankfully she hasn't decided to try going down yet. She also is cruising around furniture and she loves to stand on the couch and look out the window. She is pretty pleased with herself that she can get down from the couch without falling. She has taken 6 consecutive steps and will walk a little but still prefers to crawl. She loves pushing things like *A's* stool, the wheat bucket, the shopping cart and rocking horse at the rec center. I think she's getting tired of crawling but isn't quite confident enough to take of on her own. She is very ticklish. I get a lot of comments about how much she looks like me... "umm girl. she look like you spit her right out your mouth!" and, "are you sure you didn't just have yourself cloned?" followed by questions about if we've compared our baby photos.

What do you think?

She says things like "taste" and "drink" and of course "mom" and "da". She will also imitate me when I holler for the boys. I call and then she calls. It's really very cute and she says *I's* name really well. I think it was one of her first words. She will go right to bed with minimal fussing [if any] after I sing/dance her around to the "I love you a bushel and a peck" song. She loves to dance and her favorites are polka/mexican music. If *B* has on the radio she will mess with the dial until she finds a mexican channel and the she will stand there bopping up and down grinning. We all get a pretty big kick out of her. I think we'll keep her. Even if she is a girl.

Girl Friday

Inspired by Cosmo Cricket's super cute paper. The boys are gone to Fathers & Sons. It's just me and the girl tonight and probably most of the day tomorrow. I had big plans for wandering the town, but the girl has other plans. She is very congested and not so happy. She did finally sleep the afternoon away and just a little while ago she woke up and ate. Now she is happy and has filled her drawers. I guess I should do something about that... 8:24 p.m. 8:28 p.m. - mission accomplished. Now I've also got to run and pick up my Cafe Rio. I ordered it online. Sometimes I really love the internet [I think I might also get myself a lemon concrete from Nielsen's]! 8:48 p.m. - Nielsen's was obnoxiously packed so I'm just going to have to eat the left over peanut butter panic ice cream in the freezer. I'm going to take a while to kick back and enjoy my chicken enchilada style burrito and watch Twilight. I've been thinking lately that I want to watch it again, but *B* won't have any of that. He doesn't watch movies twice. I wonder if I could get the girl to go back to sleep now... probably not. She's playing with some cute purple shoes right now + that equals happy so I'm good! Plans for this weekend [besides what I've already shared] include:
  1. sewing.
  2. thrifting.
  3. shopping.
  4. slushies.
  5. photos.
  6. crafting.

+ a promised update on the girl. Maybe later tonight.

enjoy the journey. I'm going to enjoy my dinner + twilight. Catch you later!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

About A Boy

This is the story of my #2 aka: *A* . aka: Bigs.
This one is best described as impish. Really. From his round pixie, sunkissed face to his naughty little giggle. He is trouble and silliness and love all rolled into one very dirty and wiggly and loud little boy. His primary teacher tells me she doesn't know what child she will get on any given Sunday. Sometimes he's an angel and sometimes she wants to box his ears. Hmm... I think she'll have to get in line on that one.
Mostly he spends his days riding his bike around the neighborhood and can be found bare foot and wearing an odd assortment of superhero/karate/jedi/pirate costumes + pajamas and singing a theme song composed of various tunes and made up in betweens.
He enjoys visiting our older ward members and will just knock and ask if he can come in. Usually he walks away with some treat or another and that's just fine with him and pretty much guarantees a return visit.
He wakes up around 7:00 a.m and, with his shoes and socks already on, asks if his face is clean. Aunt Lill will only give him a cookie [um... I mean a bag of cookies] if he has shoes and socks on and his face and hands are clean. I remind him that he can't have cookies before breakfast and he breaks into an insta-cry, "I need some breakfast!" It's incredibly irritating in the end but endearingly cute in the beginning.
He still says things like, "Mom, I dot to dis end and I was lite 'hmm?' Isn't dat funny?" He is finally able to make the g + k sounds without a stick in his mouth if he is reminded. I asked him if it would be okay for me to tell his teacher [can't believe he'll be in Kindergarten] to correct him if she remembers. He said it's okay and now I just have to hope it doesn't lead to teasing from kids at school. Next up is the rrr sound .
I'll miss his happy-go-lucky attitude when he's in school, but I'm sure I'll get over it and be able to enjoy the quiet that will permeate the house until he gets home.
So, that's him in a nutshell, and also let it be known that he is very good at sharing whatever he has and he finds it silly when I stutter out his brothers name and for the life of me can't remember his. aka: argh... Whoeveryouare! He's a good boy.
Enjoy the Journey

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

No. 1 [cheap thrills]

So this is my newest project. To share the projects that I actually do [as opposed the ones I wish I was doing...] I promise they will be cheap and I promise they are just to make you happy [and occasionally to make someone you love happy, but mostly you]. I will include photos of said project and I will include instructions by me. Aren't you lucky! It won't be every week, but I will try to share everything I do that makes me smile when I look at it. As promised, here is installment no. 1: clearance mother's day flowers. yes, they are slightly worse for the wear. yes, I had to toss some. I've told *B* not to buy me fresh flowers. They just die. I didn't ever consider clearance flowers. I don't know how long they will last, but they're sure making me happy today. I bought 2 bunches and made 2 arrangements [if the girl hadn't interrupted my flow I could have made 3]. So... $10 for two vases [um... one vase + one wide mouthed mason jar] full of flowers. Definitely a cheap thrill in my book. go to it + remember to enjoy the journey.


We've got some projects in the works at our house right now. *B* is working on refinishing the dining room table and I've got some fabric to recover Grandpa's old rocking chair [though *B* really likes the olive green pleather that is on it now... I think it's just because it's Grandpa's old rocking chair. I have no sympathy and I'm pretty much lacking in sentimentality at the moment so too bad for him]. I've also been trying to de-junk a little. It's a never ending battle, and I don't expect great results, but... at least I'm trying. Soooo. Today you get spiff it up ideas. I know you all wanted them anyways! one: studio spiff up ideas from Red Velvet Art* [but they work for any room... I'm loving them for my boy's bedroom. They need lots of paper hanging room so they'll stop gluing their art on the wall with elmer's]. I love the colors and the brilliant use of around the house items to display random pieces of happy things. The green ladder on the wall is the side of a thrifted crib and I love it! I especially love the pants hanger clipped on the quote. Speaking of the quote, it says, "You don't want a pony it will only eat your hat." Tell me, who doesn't need that hanging on their wall? I know I do. Such practicality. *As a side note, this post is specifically from Rachel. I'm currently taking an online home decor class and she is one of the teachers. I wish she was the only teacher. I feel like I'm wasting my money with the other ladies [not that it was a whole lot of money] I love her style and her use of color and girly and just outright fun ideas. two: this very interesting and random throw that I fell in love with and want to re-create for the girls room. I love the description they give of it: "hand-knit of multi-hued cotton into dozens of mismatched pinwheels, this cozy, quirky throw feels like a family heirloom." It's from Anthropologie so of course it only costs $198. That is so totally not do-able! I will make one myself. Not so hippie looking + more girly = perfection in my mind. I went searching for how to crochet flowers and there is definitely not a shortage of information out there. This video tutorial looked pretty easy to follow and the lady linked up her written instructions so it's the one I chose to share. If you're interested and don't like this lady just google "how to crochet flowers" and you will be in link heaven [also, in the right hand sidebar of the video page there are links to similar videos showing how to make different styles of flowers]. Enjoy the Journey! ps. today I did the grocery shopping for the first time in ... who knows how long... and I did something fun for myself. So now I've got something new in the works. Check back tomorrow for the first installment.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I'm tired of just looking [or uploading and never looking again] at my photos on the computer. I'm tired of never getting past uploading them to the computer and that's only after my card is full.
one: Last night I fell in love with the idea of pictures coming out of a polaroid camera [I think it was her fault]. I want instant gratification. I want a photo in my hand now. I found the perfect one. It even had someone's grandma's handwritten instructions on it. I set my bid as high as I could justify and I walked away so I wouldn't be tempted to bid higher.
I lost by $.50 and I'm sad about it. Not because there aren't more cameras like it out there for the winning, but because I lost the grandma instructions. I should have bid higher. Dang. I shouldn't have been looking in the first place.
two: I'm obsessed with the idea of decorating my house. I need color pops and happy things. I need the magical power of thinking something and having it happen. It would even be okay if I had to snap my fingers or say some magic word or something... I love this pillow. I want to make one or two or twelve. No, really, maybe just one. But definitely one. I just need to decide on some fabrics or I need to encounter some really great vintage paper that I can do this little project with. Seriously, she made this pillow out of her favorite vintage papers. Brilliance. I'm always hesitant to cut into fabric or paper or whatever because I'm afraid I'm jumping the gun and I'll wish I hadn't when it doesn't work or I don't cut right or it doesn't turn out like I imagined. I don't like ruining pretty things. I would just as soon have it there, nice and whole, staring at me... It's a curse and it's immobilizing. I am trying to get over that. Last week I cut into those pretty fabrics for my bag and I didn't have enough. I knew I didn't have enough but I went ahead anyway thinking I could make it work. I'm going to have to take a trip to Cedar and hope that the little shop has some left [heck, hope that the little shop is still open...]. Hopefully it's not a lost project.
Enjoy the journey!

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Been Said

That I'm terrible at blogging. I know. It's true and I apologize for my lack of sharing truly worthwhile posts. I will give you an update on my little family starting with #1, Mr. I: He just lost his 3rd tooth on Saturday night. It was turned sideways in his mouth and said it hurt but he wouldn't let us pull it out. I had some anbesol for older kids (*B* brought home the wrong stuff) so we numbed it and then pulled it out. He was so proud and wanted me to take a photo. I could only get him to give me that cheesy big smile that all kids do when they're getting their photo taken so I had him yell, "I lost my tooth!" hoping to get a genuine smile after the yell. He got a real kick out of that and I had fun hollering back, "you what?" and "I can't hear you!" trying to get him to giggle. The photo above is him, mid yell. Later, while supposedly going to sleep, he was asking all kinds of questions about the tooth fairy... him: "Is the tooth fairy tiny?" me: "well... she can't be too tiny or she wouldn't be able to carry teeth." him: "Is she humongous?" me: "well... she can't be too humongous or she wouldn't fit into houses." him: "So she must be just medium like us." him: "Mom, are you the tooth fairy?" I just keep rocking the girl and smile. This kid is trouble. School is almost out and it's a good thing too. I am not functioning well enough to handle him and school. He's so stinking smart and way too much like me (stubborn, flighty, irrational, and infuriatingly logical when it suits his purposes). This morning after I told him 5+ times to get his shoes and socks on + it was now 9:00 and he had 5 min. before the late bell rang + his shoes were MIA + I wanted to beat the snots out of him = I tell him to wear his church shoes + he puts on the red wellingtons from the superman costume 2 halloweens ago and rides his little brother's bike to school. This kid grows like a weed and there is no possible way those boots still fit him. Of all the stinking stubborn last minute... argh! He's been late pretty much ever day for the last few months... sometimes 20 mins late! He has a sub right now because his teacher had a baby. She probably thinks I'm the worst mom in the world. I'm not the worst... just the most flakey. At school they have spelling tests every Friday and last Monday he brought home two tests. The test + a make-up test. 30% and 50%. Excuse me? Absolutely unacceptable from him. If he was a child who struggled and actually got those scores by trying I would be happy about it. He isn't that child. We had a chat about how that wasn't acceptable and this week, after having done nothing different and with (in my humble opinion) harder words he brings home 100% and 100% on a math test that didn't have anything to do with any of his homework and he didn't do the drawings that would help him figure out the answers. He just wrote down the answer. How did he know that 3 would go into 12 four times? So, smart or not, I'm wondering if he cheated. He's never brought home anything that indicated they were starting division in any way shape or form. Yet he know the answers. And this all sounds so negative, but really, I am proud of him. He loves to read and he really is smart and insightful. I read The Peacegiver a couple of years ago and it talks about identifying types of Christ in the scriptures. During scripture study the other night he made a comparison I had never thought of before and basically identified Ammon, the missionary, as a type of Christ. I was thinking, "of course! why didn't I notice that before?" So, one minute I think he is amazing and the next I want to beat him for doing sommersaults over the arm of the couch. Good grief. He is currently fixated on buying a fish + saving up to buy his own scriptures. Enjoy the Journey! ps. I didn't intend for this to be such a long post and I meant to update about all the kids, but I guess *I* has my number today. I'll get you caught up on everyone throughout the week. Promise! I just put up the girl's fence for the porch so she can play in the sun for a little while and *I's* shoes are on the steps. Figures.