Monday, April 26, 2010


...this book truly was. Interesting, inspiring, informative, heart-wrenching and also spirit-lifting. But what is even more amazing is the fact that I finished a book! Sad that this is so rare an occurrence, very sad. So glad I made time for this one.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lucky number seven

It's an amazing and mind-boggling thing, watching your children grow...and take on bigger numbers as their ages...year after year.

One minute they are chatty toddlers who can't articulate an "S."

And the next minute they are old enough to take care of a toddler sibling.

It's something to celebrate--maturing and learning and reaching new heights. Tessa has accomplished a lot in the past year. She started first grade in a new state and school; she began her first ballet/tap class in a real studio (not to detract from our in-home co-op dance classes with our NY buddies:) and seems to have found a passion...

She has fostered new friendships...

...and continues to be my #1 baby-sitter and assistant at home.
(she had a hand in helping with these party favors--flower head bands and goody pouches)

Happy 7th birthday, Tessa! I'll get used to this children-growing-up thing eventually.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ansley flies

At 13 months, she doesn't walk yet...but she crawls like mad! The girl is super fast, like sprinting on all fours.

Today I snapped a picture of her jetting across the front lawn. I caught her with her left leg off the ground, so it almost looks like she is hovering above the grass. Notice the shadow beneath. I think it captures her current method of transportation quite well.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Material Girl

I love fabric. I love shopping for it, and adding to my collection. It is great when I have a project in mind, because then I feel justified in going to a fabric store and hunting for that perfect piece of material. Here are some of my recent acquisitions:

This coordinated assortment is gradually turning into a rag quilt for Eden's toddler bed. I'm almost done--yea!

Still not sure what I'll do with these blue & brown beauties.

But what I really need to be doing is using up the fabric I already have. That is a satisfying thing for me as well. Lately I've enjoyed putting together hair accessories and flowers with scraps I already have. And I had fun making this mitten-garland back in January--straight from my fleece & felt stash.

I love it when I can complete a project strictly from the supplies I have lurking around my own house. That is a beautiful thing, but this next project just makes me laugh. I have not wanted to invest much in window coverings since this house is somewhat temporary for us. But lately the bleak windows, with only their metal mini-blinds covering them, have been getting to me.

I started digging through my two large fabric bins looking for something that could partially cover my master bedroom window, in a somewhat aesthetically pleasing way.

So I found this piece of "home decor" fabric...from a group of scraps my interior decorating friend gave me years ago. Obviously some sort of semi-circle was cut from it...and this is what was left. Miraculously, the length of the fabric is almost exactly the length of my window--it was meant to be. So I hemmed the raw edge and stuck it up on my window frame with duct tape and a few tiny nails. Not the look I would have purposely chosen, but it works!

I probably wouldn't have picked this particular fabric, either...but it matches our duvet cover well enough, and is better than nothing. A nice solution for a practical, frugal, indecisive person like myself.

The window in Ansley's room was depressing to look at as well. I wanted some greens and yellows to match the crib bedding, so I splurged and bought what I loved from a fancy quilting store...and these fabrics weren't even on sale! Shocking, I know. They were pricey, but I didn't need much for this valence, so I could handle it. Then I was proud to make the lining from part of an old, ripped, off-white, fitted sheet. Now that's more my style.

Ah fabric, there are so many ways to enjoy it. Old, new, shabby, chic...I love it all.

Friday, April 2, 2010


The prospect of a roadtrip and a city we haven't explored is always exciting. During Spring Break a few weeks ago, we decided to visit the nearest (two hours away), substantial city to us--Omaha, Nebraska. Our kids were so excited...this is every kid's dream vacation destination, right? We weren't sure why they were anticipating this trip with such enthusiasm, except that it was something out-of-the-ordinary...but we knew we needed to make sure it was fun.

The LDS temple nearest to us is located in Omaha, and that was the main reason for the trip. It was wonderful, as was the Winter Quarter's historic site and Visitor's Center. I love imagining life as a pioneer. Sometimes I think I should have been one--just because I'm so practical and frugal, and somewhat old-fashioned and anti-technology at times. We listened to a Laura Ingalls Wilder book on CD on the road to Omaha, and she sure makes the simple life sound appealing. But then I am reminded of the unthinkable trials they endured, and how much they worked and sacrificed, and I realize I am probably not that tough.

But we enjoyed remembering and pretending for a bit. I now have a goal to make some pioneer dress-up clothes.

We discovered some other hidden gems that made us all think Omaha was a pretty decent place.

This one's for you, Uncle Adam.

We spent many hours at a phenomenal Children's Museum, and were obviously having too much fun to take any pictures, except this one.

Actually, we could have played in our hotel's pool and hot tub the entire time, and no one would have complained (except Tom and me:). But we did manage to drag our children away from the chlorine-saturated waters for a good part of each day, and found some pretty fun things to do.

While Tom and Tyler watched BYU claim a long-awaited NCAA tournament victory (wow), the girls and I found a park with the coolest wooden play structure I have ever seen. The weather was magically perfect that day, too.

So, the moral of the story...perhaps Nebraska is not the first place you would plan to visit for Spring Break, but good times can be had anywhere. It wasn't hard to make this trip fun.

I crave roadtrips myself, because it means we will all be together in the same car for hours. That is also the reason I am exhausted at the end of these trips...but that's okay. Taking time to just be together is so priceless, that it almost doesn't matter where or how you spend that time.