Sunday, January 30, 2011

rearranging....

This is also a little show-off of my sister Kate's fabulous handmade gift for the kids for Christmas! Aren't these playcloths amazing? She did a beautiful rolled edge around each and then dyed them, you can find more details here on her blog. I love how long they are, especially for my bigger kids, because they make them so versatile. So we decided to rearrange their bedroom to make a permanent play-place with the cloths. They love it!
We cleared the shelves as much as possible to allow for more play space. They like to have windows when they're inside! The cloths also make great props, such as this ocean being created below. Sometimes they're mountains and sometimes fields!
This is where most of the toys went, and it's the greatest system ever! Only Dad and Mom can reach them, so we have a bit more control over how many toys can be strewn around the house at a time. It's amazing how much mess a few sets of toys can make in a short afternoon of play, but at least this way we can request that one collection be cleaned up before we fetch another.
Here's the new tent in action! Last night it was filled with blankets and pillows and a camp-out was planned. At the last minute the real beds looked a bit more inviting than squishing together on the floor, but the planning and excitement about it was super fun!
Another action shot....Thanks for the wonderful cloths Kate! We love them! (This is what I was trying to duplicate for my kiddos, but since they're both getting taller, obviously we needed a bit more of a grown-up kid version. And of course without the $450 price tag! These are the play-cloths Kate was inspired by.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

kitchen scenes.

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen so whether I have the ideal kitchen or not (I don't!), I try to make it a place I like to be. Of course it has food, that already endears it to me! This yummy muffin is a new recipe find, Lynne's Oatmeal Muffins from Laurel's Kitchen. Mmmmm, I made them for dinner two nights in a row because we all loved them so much. (They were altered to be gluten free.)

And of course my belly's favorite friend, Kefir! We've been making up a batch of this every night and enjoying it in smoothies and just straight. I always feel so much better when I'm getting my kefir fix each day.
I LOVE the afternoon/evening light in my kitchen! Admittedly, in the summer it makes it sooooo hot, but in the winter it's so warming and inviting. And the sunset view is fabulous! We've been having beautiful sunsets every evening for the past couple of weeks, always while I'm getting dinner ready.
Unfortunately I'm usually looking the other direction, at this sweet little corner. I spend MANY hours here, and I've made my peace with dishes! I used to dread them, and put them off as long as possible, but for the past couple of years I haven't minded them so much. And lately, I've even looked forward to them from time to time, my hands and feet are always cold in this old house, and I love standing there up to my elbows in warm, soapy water. Now if I cold only have a warm foot bath at the same time! (That's what sheepskin slippers are for!)
And my favorite part of the kitchen......the eaters! This one is always enthusiastic! I love it when he tells me, "Mommy, you're the best maker in the world!" And lately when I'm making him his favorite sandwich he always says, "Mommy, you're my girl!"

These are all shots I took to test out my new new camera (I took the other one back). Now I have this one, and it's better, but still not great. I don't know if I could just be happy and stop wishing I had the next step up, or just go the next step up and be happy. :) I bought this from Costco so I figure I can play around with it for a month or two and then take it back and move up a notch if I need to. If I do that all year, by the end of the year I'll have the one I really want! (Just kidding!)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Handmade Holiday: the doll!

I'd like to introduce you all to Jon, G's new little friend! (He named him, and he loves me to spell it out for him on paper so he can see what letters it uses.) This was one of my absolute favorite gifts to make and give ever! And when he was opened on Christmas morning, G yelled out, "It's the doll I always wanted!" E had been wanting an American Girl doll for quite awhile so G kept asking me if he could have an "American Boy Doll." Gotta love it!

So here he is, decked out in his new cashmere sweater (Thanks to Grandma Lynne, what a lucky little doll!) and his backpack. The backpack was a specific request, because of course, every American Boy should have a backpack. He mostly carries magnet letters in it, he's learning his letters too. :)
He was made with instructions from this book, it's awesome! His hair is mohair and his skin cotton and he's stuffed with bamboo. His skin and hair are from this company, they have such nice quality supplies.
Here he is sporting his super cool dinosaur shirt (I cut up one of G's white tshirts to make this, saves so much time hemming!) and jeans. (The jeans are cut up-cycled as well.)
And here's his sweet face. I couldn't help but fall in love with him as he came to life! He was sooooo much fun to make. Kate and I worked together late into the night a few times, and on my own I stitched and stitched and stitched all that crazy hair on. (Here you can see some of his in-progress pictures.) I think he turned out to have such a great personality!
Yesterday we had a friend over for a bit, an older brother of one of E's friends, and I heard G in his room proudly showing off his cool toys. (GI Joes, trains, Ironman....) It made my heart soar to hear him pick up his doll and say, "This is my new doll, my mom made him for me for Christmas!" And about 4 times a day I get asked, "When are you going to knit my doll some socks?"......."Can you please knit my doll a hat?"......."Mom, today can you sew my doll some little underwear?" :) What more can a sewing mama ask for? Gotta love it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

good mornings.

I've come to the conclusion that sugar is addicting! Yes, I know we all know it, but when my body is BEGGING for it each day and I'm trying not to give in, it's really obvious. I know it's just all the nasty bad bacteria in my gut that wants it, but sometimes they win, and at the end of a good day of eating, or a good week, I give in. (brownies!) I know this about myself, but it seems that I'm forgetful because every few months I have to completely remove sugar from my diet for a week or two to get those awful cravings to go away. And then I'm fine. I can go weeks without sugar if I quit cold-turkey, even months if I need to. So anyways, this week is a no-sugar week. I've got to get it out of my system, and out of my head!

So enter the green smoothie! I've been waking up to these for the past week, and yum! There's endless variations.....this one pictured above is baby spinach, half of a green apple, a peeled orange, half of an avocado, a banana, carrot juice, and cold water. Since it's winter and I'm not always in the mood for a smoothie, I tell myself it's green juice. The ingredients aren't frozen and I don't add ice, so then I can sip it down and it doesn't give me a chill for the rest of the morning. And straws are so fun! G's speech therapist recommended that he use straws to teach his mouth to form certain sounds, and I love them for my morning juice! (And also for my evening chocolate milkshakes......just not this week!)
And this is my new best friend, isn't she a beauty? She whips these smoothies up into a dream-like consistency! There's a program button on the front for a whole juice, and it purees the fruit so smoothly, even seeds! Yum......who needs brownies anymore? (me, just not this week!)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ski New Years!

I think spending New Years Day skiing is the best way possible to ensure a bright and positive year ahead! We had a fabulous day of family skiing up at the Canyons. We had waited all week for the perfect day, and I think we found it. Two days before it had been dumping snow, and the day we went up it was chilly, but clear and beautiful. The kiddos even skiied for the morning, and when I told E it was time to go in for lunch and be done for the day, she was so disappointed and so ready to keep going, we let her stay out and ski the whole day! One of us took turns staying with her on the small lift and the rest of us explored the mountain a bit. So fun! Thanks so much mom Mom and Dad for the great day!!!





Wednesday, January 12, 2011

new.......

Well, we're a week and a bit into this new year, and there are lots of new things going on around here. Lots of the old and familiar though, and that's good too. Here's our Bountiful Basket from the weekend, to go along with our new resolutions of eating well.....not that that's a new resolution, I make it every year, and every month, and every Monday really! I think that's the way eating is, our body finds balance over time with super healthy eating sometimes and then the days and weeks of luxurious holiday feasting. It all balances out, right? (That's what my squishy post-holiday belly keeps telling me!)

I also have a new camera to replace the one that was lost/stolen over the Thanksgiving holiday, but unfortunately I'm not in love with it yet. It's a little pocket point and shoot, and I love how convenient and small it is, but I've been fighting with it to take nice, clean shots without flash. Hopefully we strike a balance soon. (Or, don't tell my camera, but I think I might be trading it for something better!)

I've taken on a new activity, one that's been missing from my life for about 8 years.....I finally joined the local Symphony! I auditioned last night and the conductor welcomed me right in and told me to stay for rehearsal. It was a wild sight-reading ride for my poor un-conditioned fingers and brain, (we're playing Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade) but it was soooooo fun! I've also been working practicing into each day for the past week or so, hopefully I can keep it up.
So those are a few of our "news." I really did try to post all of my New Years Day skiing pictures on Sunday, but blogger wouldn't take them. So I'll try to get them up again in a couple of days. I also have some fun handmade holiday posts to share, stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Special Day....

In addition to Christmas, on the 26th we were also fortunate to celebrate the baptism of our sweet little 8 year old! I'm so grateful that she made this decision and that we were able to have so many family members and friends in attendance. She kept saying, I can't believe everyone came that I invited! (I can......she's such a sweetie, so many people love her!) Her dress was mine that my mama made for my when I was baptized, I love seeing my own little girl in it!
Grandpa Doug gave a talk about baptism and Aunt Kate gave a talk about the Holy Ghost and made E a beautiful flannel quilt to remind her that the Holy Ghost can be a comforter. (I don't know how pictures of the quilt escaped all of our cameras, but we'll catch it one of these days!)
And of course little brother was there, sporting his new Christmas sweater from Grandma Vi and Grandpa Gordon! (Grandma and Grandpa, do you remember the locket you gave me for my baptism years ago? I passed it on to E that night, she loves it, and your pictures are still inside!)
Thank you so much to everyone who came and participated and shared their love with E. (To all of you that we wish were with us, we missed you, but you're in our hearts!) It was such a special day and a great way to remember Christ and what he taught us, especially at this time of year.

Monday, January 3, 2011

scenes of joy.......

There was so much fun to be had these past two weeks......I just can hardly believe they're over and we're back to school and work and laundry and dishes! Grandma and Grandpa arrived Christmas Eve and were eagerly welcomed by two very excited grand-children. Of course we put them right to work reading to us!
And since we were all so good, Santa arrived sometime during the night and left a magical morning wonderland! After all of the Christmas day cheer, and E's baptism the next day, we were off to Park City for a week of relaxing, snow, games, and skiing.......more pictures of that to share soon!