Wednesday, December 31, 2008

10th day of Holiday

10th day Tutorial

Since 10 is one of my favorite numbers, I thought I would give a gift.  A little tutorial on how to make a very very simple backpack.  I needed to make one for Liz for her new scriptures, and I thought there might be some others out there who would like some new ideas.

Happy New Years!

Backpack Directions

1. Cut 2 pieces of fabric into 11" by 32" strips.  My backpack was a little "big" for scriptures, so you could take off 5 or so inches if you like.  2.  Put right sides facing, and sew along to top and bottom edges (these are the short edges).  3. Now turn right side out.  Press. 4. Sew channels along the top and bottom with a 3/4" -1" seam.  5. Fold end to end (inside out) and pin sides.  For bottom loops fold 4" cords in half; place inside the bottom corners, ends aligned with fabric edges.  6.  Stitch sides (do not sew channels closed), make sure to secure the cords and right up to the channels seam.  7. Turn right side out.  8. For strap, thread an end of each drawstring through the loop below it and tie ends.  

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

9th Day of Holiday

On the 9th Day of Holiday we celebrate the joy of friendship.  Recently, our friends moved 3 hours away.  We spent last weekend visiting them.  They were so kind to host us in their beautiful new home (with an amazing basement).  We ate well, played lots of games, decorated cookies, made fun crafts, saw a fun and quaint downtown, pulled out many slivers, teased children, and enjoyed the Christmas splendor all around.  Here are the pictures from part of the fun.  Thanks Jarman's for being such great friends.

This is Liz's cookie.  I think she dumped multiple bottles of colored sugar onto this baby.  I'm sure it tasted fantastic.
Cookie decorating is pretty intense.  The kids were all very intent on making sure their cookies were as beautiful as possible.
Maddie is a tough cookie!  She worked hard to  use all the frosting she could.
This is Bj's happy face. Maybe we should make him take a class on how to smile for a camera (he should take Mitchell with him).  Beej enjoyed decorating cookies the "man" way...pulling off limbs of the cookie man and using red frosting to make it look like it was bleeding.  

I can't believe that New Years Eve is tomorrow.  I want time to slow down.  AHHHHH!  I don't want work to start again.  This is the life.  My hubby is home all the time, I have an extra set of hands, and I don't have to be going 80 mph all the time.  Maybe tomorrow we can get really bored, that always slows time down a little bit.  I'll work on that.

Monday, December 29, 2008

8th day

8th Day of Holiday

My house has been showing signs of the holiday. So today is cleaning day. The kids are going to play with their cousins today, and I am finally going to get to getting some quilting projects done (or worked on). After, of course, I finish cleaning the house and getting some much needed exercise. So, no pictures, no rambling, no trying to be fun or cute, ....I must get to work.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

7th Day of Holiday

2008 Nativity
This year Bj put Madeline in charge of the Nativity.  She was responsible for everything.  Music, costumes, script, etc..   She took her responsibility seriously and we had dress rehearsals, and study periods (luke 2).  She played 3 parts (the innkeeper, the angel, and a wiseman)
Here's Mitch as a wise man, he also played the part of a shepherd.
Sweet Liz, she didn't want to be a person, so she played a sheep.  This is her afterward, she couldn't help but take care of Baby Jesus for many days.
No, this is not an announcement.  Luckily, I was able to play Mary, and It was pretty fun to have a pillow that looked so much like pregnant belly.

We hope you had a great Christmas.  We are still celebrating it a little here (with Dad being home from work).  I hope the spirit of Christmas may extend longer this year.  The feeling of generosity, giving, and selflessness is needed all the year through....maybe if we all keep it going, 2009 can be a year to remember.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

6th day of Holiday-call for creativity

6th Day of Holiday

I can hardly believe we are one week down, and 1 to go with Bj's days off of work. I love having him home, and I am very grateful for these perks of his employment.

Okay, on with today's ramblings.

Today is a creativity call to everyone out there. Each year we all give neighbor/friend gifts, and each year we have to come up with new ideas. So, here is my hope....I will offer you my ideas, and I ask that you comment with your ideas too. If you have a picture, just email it to me, and I'll post it for you, or put it on your own blog, and leave us a comment with a link. I have a great hope that this will give us all ideas for neighbor gifts for years to come.

Neighbor Gifts

This is this year's offerings.  I made cookbooks for everyone.  I got this great idea from my fabulous friend Katie Hughes.  I must say, if you are going to take this one on, give yourself a little more time than I did.  As I read through these and see all the imperfections, and hear about recipes left out (from my family), I think it would have been nice to have the time to spend editing and proofing it.  Alas, it is done, and I have a great collection of recipes from my family members (even if there are some quirky moments).

Last year I made banana bread, and gave this recipe card to go along.  I love this banana bread.

The year before I made these hot pads.  Seriously, this was fun to do, and it took a long time!   This is a great way to start quilting, if you are new to it.  

Other ideas:
gourmet hot chocolate (I did this a couple times, I loved it. Fast, easy, non messy, great)
plates of cookies (I did this one year and realized I really need to wear shoes on a tile floor         when baking all day).
CD compilation
wrapping supplies: this year I found some fun square stickers, and made some to/from stickers for some of my friends.  Here are just a few examples:

So, what are your ideas?  what did you give?  What did you get?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Fruit

Christmas Fruit

In our home, we renamed all the days of Christmas.  The day before Christmas Eve is Christmas Adam, then Christmas Eve, then Christmas, and the day after Christmas is Christmas Fruit.  Obviously, the kids had a big hand in the naming of these days, and it has been fun to have new decorations to celebrate the different days.   All this to say, Merry Christmas Fruit.

Todays 5th day of Holiday is about our Mitch.  These pictures are taken from his school Christmas program, and his class party.  When he got up on the stand to sing, I was waving at him so he would know where I was, and he looked at me and gave me the biggest wink.  Man, that kid is a cutie!  Of course, he is too old to be a cutie, so he is very handsome.  The next day, we had the party at school.  I was responsible for bringing hot chocolate....I must say, does anyone know how to safely transport liquids in a car?  I am seriously lacking this skill.  Anyway, as you can tell, Mitch has inherited his father's skill of posing for pictures.

So, last Saturday when we went to see the lights we went to Ikea for dinner.  Mitch is  not a small eater, and he wanted an extra helping of Mac and Cheese.  Bj gave him the   money, and sent him to go buy it for himself.  Mitch just took the money and went for it.  He didn't look back, he wasn't concerned about being alone, he just did it.  When he couldn't reach the mac and cheese from the top counter, he just kept jumping, and reaching until they noticed him.  No panic attacks, no break downs, nothing  (boys seriously are easier).  It seems like a simple thing, but I love watching him gain independence.  It was so fun to watch!

Merry Christmas Fruit!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

It Came!

Merry Christmas
(4th day of Holiday)
I don't know why, but each year I get so excited about Christmas, that I have a hard time relaxing.  I love it.  I love playing the roll I do, and seeing my children's eyes light up as they see what Santa brought them.  I love the magic of it, I love the anticipation, and I love the little surprises I get.  This year I got a huge surprise.  My super sweet Santa gave me a new camera.  This is the camera that I have been wanting for nigh unto 4 years.  I could never justify it, I am just a lowly common person, not a real photographer.  Alas, my Santa baby took care of me.  

The kids enjoyed their day full of fun and wonder.  It took us from 7-10 a.m. to get through all the presents, and I love that it takes so long.  It is 2:47 and I am still in my jammies (lovin' it).  I love that my kids are all downstairs playing various Wii games, and that their dad is loving it right along with them.  He is really the best dad ever.  I am so glad he is here, because if it were only me, I think the kids would seriously be lacking for someone to play Wii with them.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas (even though it seems like it is over now).  And, if anyone else out there got a super fun camera to play with here is a link to a 12 week photography course.  (The address starts with week one, when you want to progress to the next week, simply type the week you want to go in place of the "weekone").

Here's a little nudge to my parents who spoke of blizzards and snow.  Hmmm, do you think you may want to come for a visit????

Here's the fun family!  Christmas is always so fun.
Notice the cards on the door in the background. Thanks to all our friends and family for making our home a little more festive.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

3rd Day of Holiday

Oh Holy Night

This star is from the Mesa Temple....which we visited on Saturday night.  I love how going to the temple helps remind our family about Christ during this busy season.

Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the Christmas Season.   I feel like it is a very calm and peaceful evening.  I love how we perform our own Nativity, I love reading Luke 2, I love the warm Potato Soup and bread bowls.  I have so many fond memories of candlelit dinners on Christmas Eve, and I am trying to pass that on to my little family.  I wish you all may have the best Christmas Eve ever.   Whether you spend it quietly like our family, or have big family dinners/parties, may your Christmas Eve bring you joy, and fill your heart and mind with warm memories you may return to often.

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2nd day of Holiday

For our Second Day of Holiday I have to share about how independent our Maddie is.  Wow, she learned how to make pancakes with her Papa Jimbo over Thanksgiving, and she has been very proactive in doing more cooking since we came home.   The morning these pictures were taken, she awoke before Mom and Dad, made the batter and started cooking.  I must admit, and hopefully you can see, this was not a clean adventure.  There were drips, crumbs, many failed attempts, .....but she did it.  She is learning and growing so much, and I love how she has so much zest for life and learning.

Yesterday, Maddie was rehearsing to me all the foods she can prepare, and she was so proud of herself.  Maybe we can start having her be the chef for our family.

Monday, December 22, 2008

12 it too late?

As I finally put all our pictures from the last few weeks onto the computer, I realized how much there is to show, update, describe, etc.....  As to not tire me or you out, I thought I might do a 12 days of Holiday.  How's that? Bj gets 12 days to be with us (sans work), so 12 days of Holiday it is.   A little late, but alas, life surely isn't perfect (especially not at our abode).

For our first day of Holiday, we will look one of last weeks activities.  Sweet Liz, she had her recital and she sang "We are Santa's Elves....stocking Santa's shelves.."  Honestly, she is the cutest little elf I have ever seen.  I was so proud to see her up dancing, and enjoying every minute of it.  I hate to admit that there have been times in my life where recitals seemed less thrilling than they could.  However, maybe I have grown as a mom because even though the crowds were insane, I felt so excited to be there and be a part of her moment.  She loved singing in the car on the way over, she loved being there with her friends, and she especially enjoyed the pizza and ice cream we had after the big event, let's not forget she got to stay up late too!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Christmas cards have been sent, and with it a link to the blog, so I thought maybe I would give a years recap for those who have never visited my blog before.  

We hope this year finds you all healthy and well taken care of.  We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family, and if you are reading this, you can count yourself one of those we are blessed to know and love.  May  your Christmas be full of the Spirit of Christ, and may your new year be better than the last!  Merry Christmas.


I wish I could wax long about what a blessed year this was, but instead...I may simply say this was an interesting year full of moments to learn from, people to appreciate, tears of sadness, tears of joy, accomplishments, and shortcomings.

In January....Madeline finally learned how to ride her bike.  We were so proud of her and all her hard work.  You can read about that here.

In February....we spent time as a family enjoying valentines day, and Bj and I went on a trip to Santa Barbara with my extended family.  You can see those pictures here.

March...this is where the "fun" began.  Our little Elizabeth was bit by a rattlesnake, while retrieving a ball from a bush.  Serious issues followed.  We enjoyed an ambulance ride, she enjoyed a life flight ride, and 4 days in the PICU.  I became well aware of the dedication and love of my parents as they dropped what they were doing and flew to our rescue.  Thanks Mom and Dad for taking care of our little ones while our littlest one was in the hospital.  There were many prayers offered on her behalf, and I appreciate the many calls and visits of concern, the many meals cooked, and the outpouring of love and gifts.  I was overcome with the outpouring of love we received, and with the goodness of the people around us.  You can see picture here.

April...worked on helping Elizabeth recover full use of her hand (she did!!!), and to overcome her fear of the outdoors and creatures (this took a little longer). Bj celebrated his birthday. Bj and I celebrated our anniversary by taking a 4 hour hike in a bug infested area.   And I worked hard in my quilting endeavors.

May....we celebrated Elizabeth's 4th birthday, and enjoyed finishing school, finishing many quilts, and preparing for our annual trip to the motherland.

June...we spent the majority of this month in the motherland, enjoying grandma/papa time, and getting spoiled.  To see our travel pictures go here.

July...we celebrated Madeline's 8th birthday, had  a tea party, had family visitors, and Madeline was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Pictures are here.  We also learned that Elizabeth hasn't quite recovered emotionally from her bite, as she completely freaked out when a beetle crawled all over her (go here to read more).

August...back to school, already?  It's true, the kids return to school, Bj continues at work, and I get to resume my 5:30 wake up schedule (that sometimes turns into 6 a.m.....but if my alarm goes off at 5:30 that is when I wake up, right?).  Also, Bj finally finished the Patio cover, you can read about it here.

September... Mitch turned 7, enjoyed the biggest ice-cream cake I have ever seen, and loved playing with all his presents.   I also went to the annual quilt fest, and I loved spending time quilting, talking to my mom and aunt, and the feel of fabulous fabric. favorite month.  Maybe because it is my birthday month, but I hope it is because I love fall so much.  Of course, fall doesn't come here  at this time, but I remember what fall used to be like, and I remember it with love.  I digress.  We enjoyed our first ever fall break by visiting with friends and family.  Bj spent many hours organizing for Prop 102.  We have never been this involved politically, but this year...we put up signs, put up door hangers, and stood outside the polls on election day.  Yes, prop 102 passed.  Also, a my new sewing room was born, and many a happy hour has been spent there.

November....  I think this month passed by too quickly.  This month we recovered from October, and then we were off on vacation.  We went to the Polar Express in William, AZ, and then to the Grand Canyon, and then to what we lovingly call the "compound" for Thanksgiving.  I enjoyed the time away, and all the "quiet" time we could spend together.

December....just enjoying the Christmas season.  We are excited to decorate our gingerbread house.  We have ballet recitals, Christmas concerts, neighborhood Christmas performances, tea parties, wii parties, and more coming up.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


This time I was tagged by Tracy, let's hope I have answers to all of these.

Five things Bj loves...
1. Me
2. His kids
3. Food
4. Mario Kart
5. Football

Five things on his to-do list...
1. Go to Church meetings
2. Go on visits
3. deliver christmas presents
4. fix the lawn mower
5. refinish the table

Five snacks he loves...
1. peanut butter treats
2. jalapeno flavor sunflower seeds
3. peanut m&m's
4. hummus
5. nachos

Five things you may not know about him...
1. He is one of the most gentle men I know
2. He can hardly wait for Christmas because he is so excited to give presents to people.
3. He loves to do science projects with the kids
4. He LOVES to pack everything he can to go to: the park, camping, the beach, on vacation, etc...
5. He almost always says sorry first.

Five places he has lived...
1. Washington
2. California
3. UT
4. Michigan
5. Arizona

Five quirky things...
1. He loves to argue with family, friends, and Maddie.
2. He keeps broken electric gadgets for their parts.
3. He wants to add Peanut Butter to almost any treat.
4. He makes all the sandwiches for the kids on Sunday night (they go in the freezer).
5. He loses his credit cards more often than we would all like to admit.

Five people I tag...
1. Lydia
2. Suzzette
3. Sara Schofield
4. Katie H.
5. Shauna

Friday, December 5, 2008


I am overwhelmed by the onslaught of email, requesting a Christmas card. It is amazing how many people have shown interest. So, thanks, Shauna for sending me an email, you rock.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Temple Envy

While visiting the family, I spent one morning with Hubby and Mom and went to the temple.  How long did it take, 5 minutes to drive there, 2 hour session, 5 minutes home.  I am jealous.  I could go to the temple during preschool (if I lived in such a place).  However, I will be a bigger person, and overcome my jealousy by saying I am grateful to live within 2 hours of a temple.  And, if my trips to the temple do take 6-9 hours depending on the car traffic and temple traffic,  I must say I am just grateful for the opportunity to go.  Truly, the temple is a beautiful place, and I love going there to feel peace, quiet, and get answers to my prayers.

Okay, let's get real, count this as my call for a temple in Tucson.