Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thank you, Mom S!

Today I'm so excited to wear my new birthday skirt! A while back, Mom S. asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and suggested a skirt. I'd been skirt shopping not much before that, and hadn't found a single thing I liked. I thought sewing a skirt would be wiser, and I barely mentioned it when Mom agreed to sew one for me! I got to pick out the fabric and the pattern, and she took it home to Panguitch. A few weeks later, and voila, she brings me this beautiful skirt that fits me perfectly, and is exactly what I wanted! The length is perfect, I love the fabric and style, and I think this will be a favorite skirt of mine for many years. Thank you, Mom, Thank you soooo much!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

SSS: 2 things today

Something Super Saturday!

You get 2 exciting things today.

1) Yesterday Cody and I braved the rain and planted our garden. We're this much closer to fresh garden tomatoes, peppers, basil, cilantro, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and pumpkins. MMMM!

2) Talenti Italian Gelato. They also have Italian Sorbet. aaaaah. I found this at my favorite grocery store and thought I'd give it a whirl just for fun. I was so grateful to have it in my freezer when my sore throat set in that's been bugging me most of the week. The ingredients are very pure and natural, and while it's kind of spendy, for a rare little treat, it was way worth it! (Sorry, I tried to put up a picture from online, but it didn't work. Here's the link to their website, though.)

Happy Saturday! Hope your week has been as Super as mine.

In case you are new around this blog, I post a little blurb about something that made the previous week just a little more special. I do it on Saturday, and call it my "Something Super Saturday." Anyone who wants is invited to post up their own something super, any time of the week.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lessons from Piano Lessons

Yesterday was my last day teaching piano lessons for this school year. I wanted to share a few things I've learned.

1) I love teaching piano! I think I need it. I need some time to do something aside from mothering. I need to earn a little money for our family, just to feel productive. Also, Cody needs that special one-on-one time with the kids. I also need the incentive to clean the house. :)

2) My mom really was the one who taught me how to be punctual and reliable, but teaching piano has emphasized that immensely. When parents don't set their obligations as priorities, or just show up when it's convenient, it teaches their kids bad things. It also hurts other people. I have a pretty strict policy about giving me 24 hrs notice before canceling a lesson, or you have to pay (with the exception of illness). I have a very reasonable charge, so I don't feel bad about making them pay, even when they forget 3 weeks in a row. But you know who the parents hurt the most? The kids! And the same thing when they're late. All of my piano students at some point or another bemoaned the fact that their parents were late. They all said something along the lines of "They don't care about me that much." That's a destructive thing for kids to think.

3) I figured out pretty creative ways to cook meals. I taught all my lessons on Tuesday. The first was at 5, then I had a half hour break, and then more at 6 to 7:30. So I would make something for dinner that could stay in the oven or on the stovetop for half an hour, and then be eaten in that half hour break. Tricky, but doable!

I'm excited for this break, though I'll definitely miss teaching over the summer.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Lee's birthday is still about a month and a half away, which means it's the perfect planning time. :)

This blog post is a call for ideas. Lee will be 4. We will have 2 parties for him--one at a family reunion, and another for friends and other family. It will be the same party, though (same games, same theme, same prizes, etc).

Here's what Cody and I have come up with so far: It's going to be an arcade-style party. We're going to make our own tickets and have our own little prize table where kids can cash in tickets for prizes. They can earn tickets by playing the games. What we need help with is lots of different games to play. We do have some strict criteria, however. 1) There's going to be kids from 1 year to 10 years old at these parties, so the games need to be flexible enough to accommodate all ages. 2) Preferably, it will be kind of small and portable, so we can take it to the family reunion without filling the entire van. 3) It will be July, so something outdoors, or with water, etc are fine. A snowball fight? not so much. 4) Lee likes Curious George, Superman, cooking, watching movies, and playing anything outdoors.

So with that, I ask you, my dear readers, what do you think a 4 year old little boy would love on his birthday?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

SSS: Natural Air Conditioning

Something Super Saturday!
Y'know what this is? It is a window. Not just any window, it is a window in my house. And look--it's OPEN. That's right, the weather has been just right this week for opening windows! I haven't kept all the windows open, just a few where the draft won't get the kids too cold, but the fresh air circulating through the house feels amazing. After the winter, it always feels so nice to open up the windows and feel the first cool breezes. We even kept the window in our bedroom open at night. Sure, we have to hunker down under the covers more to stay warm, but the fresh air is so worth it. (besides, I have a hubby who is way nice to snuggle next to.) This week's something super? Open windows!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Old MacDonald

Anna LOVES singing. She can make lots of animal sounds in Old MacDonald, but also can sing parts of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, and her favorite lullaby: Too Ra Loo Ra. It's quite precious, actually.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Am I a bad mother? probably.

My friend Kati invited us to the park today and we jumped on the opportunity. Yesterday was rainy, so to have even a short trip outside was something I was hoping for today. I quickly packed up our lunch and we went.

The park was lots of fun, but a couple of bad things happened. Anna fell off one of the monkey bar latter things. She has climbed up that exact spot at least four or five times with no problems, including twice earlier today. So when she fell off, I was kind of surprised. She landed right on her diaper, and the ground is pretty soft, so she might get a bruise, but that's it. But I still felt the eyes of about twenty other parents boring holes into my back as I ran to rescue her from my comfy spot on the park bench. I debated whether or not to take the kids home right then, and then got re-engrossed in my conversation with Kati before I could decide. A few minutes later, Lee and Kati's daughter were apparently playing Peter Pan and Wendy, and labeled another kid there as Captain Hook, and locked him in the slide. The poor kid was crying pretty hard. Kati and I both got after our kids, but Lee started having a huge tantrum. I tried to make him apologize to the poor traumatized kid, but he refused. He eventually muttered a quick "I'm sorry," but I was pretty angry with him and just took him home. As I was loading the kid up in the stroller, and while Lee was in the throws of a major tantrum, I noticed Kati going over to the parents of the little kid and apologizing. I feel like such a moron. Why didn't I go over and apologize to the parents? Gah. Instead, Lee screamed his head off all the way home with 3-year-old mean talk (the meanest words he knows) like "Get outta here mom!" and "Leave me alone!" and "I'm gonna hit you!"--all of which are time-out offenses at home; We are pretty serious about using kind words to express our feelings in our house. ESPECIALLY when he uses threats of violence.

So I brought Lee straight home and put him in bed for a nap/extended time-out, and may even revoke some park privileges for a while. I feel pretty embarrassed that all those people at the park got to witness Lee's tantruming and Anna's spectacular half-story fall. I feel like I handled it pretty well, but I would have rather had those things happen at home, behind closed doors. Don't you just hate it when you feel like you're living in a glass house? I feel like a bad mom.

In other completely unrelated news, I had a great conversation with my friend Kati today! ;)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Killer Robins

A few days ago Lee "discovered" this nest in our bush/tree by our house. I've never seen birds be so territorial over their nests! I mean, I've seen them be protective for sure, but this couple are insane! We had robins build nests below our deck in North Dakota. We could go out there and take pictures and movies, and the mother robin would fly over to a nearby bush and squawk at us, but that was about it. Here we have a mom and a dad robin who both stay very close by. The mom is always on her nest, and if she gets disturbed, she calls for dad and he comes to attack.

I wanted to go outside to take a picture of the nest today. I got the camera all ready, and took a chair to climb up. I thought I'd just go out, climb on the chair, which would scare mommy robin away, reach with my hand, snap a quick photo, and come inside before they could even react. HA! Mommy robin hopped out of the nest and gave one quick squawk, and suddenly daddy robin was right there, feathers sticking straight up, flying right at my head screaming at me. I was seriously afraid for my life! It chased me back into the house, even flying within a foot of the door and mere inches above my head. That is one overprotective parent! sheesh! :)

So after a few minutes, when the birds had settled down again, I went out and just used the zoom. This was as good as it gets. I think that's mommy robin perched just above her nest. Or, it might be daddy robin making sure I don't come back. I can't really tell. I'll go back and rescue the chair later.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hope you're not sick of hairbows yet...

This hairbow dealy-o is really becoming one of my favorite hobbies. I just think they're so cute! I also like that I can do them for pretty cheap, since I've done the initial investment in some different kinds of ribbon and clips (though even that wasn't horrendous). Today while Anna was napping, I did a few more hairbows, and then also made this:

The newest bows are in the bottom left corner--the blue curly ones and the brown polka-dotted bows--and are kind of covered by the basket handle (the basket, by the way, holds hats, a hairbrush, and elastics). Now my wonderful hairbows are also a cute focal piece for Anna's bedroom, as well as much more organized. Nifty, huh!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

SSS: Date night

Something Super Saturday!

Last night I surprised Cody with a date night. I told him several weeks ago that we would go on a date, but I never told him where or what. Secretly, I procured a babysitter (thanks again, mom and dad!), packed us a little picnic, and got movie tickets to see Robin Hood on opening day.

We had lots of fun! After dropping the kids off, I had Cody close his eyes while we were driving (I was driving) to the theater. He guessed where we were going. He figured it out before opening his eyes--he's pretty good! We enjoyed the movie. It's definitely for adults, but the action sequences were well done and the actors were some of our favorites. It's a movie I'd recommend (especially on Netflix or something), but it wasn't just the movie--it was the date night that made this week super. I hope you all have lots of little things that make your weeks extra special!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Popcorn Trees

Lee and Anna call all the flowering trees "Popcorn Trees." If you're LDS, you'll understand that is because they look like they're covered in popcorn (we have a favorite song that goes "I looked out the window and what did I see? Popcorn popping on the apricot tree!"). These were so beautiful over at the park, I had to snap a few pictures.

More Hairbows

Mainly I'm just proud of myself. My friend Kati came over today and we made little girl hairbows. I worked on some ribbon ones and she did hers with paper (scrapbook) flowers. They are so cute! I do know there's a birthday coming up of one of Lee's favorite cousins... so don't tell her that I'm putting up pictures of her birthday gift before she even gets it. :) (Of course I made some for Anna too.) The butterflies are for Shayden. There will be other surprises too.
My big "experiment" this time was the antennae for the ladybugs. I ended up brushing sugar water on the teensiest black ribbon, which Cody wrapped tightly around toothpicks, secured with glue, and then we baked them in the oven like that for 20 minutes at 275 (that time and temp is how to curl ribbons, by the way. The sugar water is the difference--it makes the ribbon stiff when it comes out). It took several tries to get the ladybugs just the way I like it. But the butterflies came out simply adorable! You can't really tell, but I have 2 colors of matching pattern ribbon. I put them on a smaller barrette this time so that they didn't have to be so huge. Smaller things are typically cuter.

One of these days I'll put together step-by-step instructions, complete with pictures, on how to make some of these things. But not today. Why? Because I don't have time, because I'm about to go on a hot date! woot!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I love these two

I love my kids. Enough said.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Quack, I'm hungry, Quack!"

Almost a week ago now, Sara and Eric took Lee and Anna to feed the ducks. I wasn't invited. :) (So nice!) When I told Lee he was going to feed the ducks, he was really excited. I asked, "What do you think those ducks are doing right now?" he replied, "They're probably walking around saying 'Quack, I'm hungry! Quack!'"

I sent my camera along with my kids, and here's some pictures Eric took.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Racing Day

On Saturday I went to Salt Lake City with my mom and dad, and Sara and Eric to the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. It was pretty cool!
I did the same race last year, so I knew better what to expect this year, but it was still really special. It's a 5K "Race" to battle breast cancer. (I say "race" because with 18,000 people, it's more of a massive parade and you kind of shuffle along.)
After the 5K, my mom did the survivor's parade (in case you didn't know, yes, my mother is a breast cancer survivor. she's totally awesome.), which we didn't do last year, so that was particularly touching. All the women in the brighter pink shirts are survivors. The women come in according to "survival time," with the 30-50 years survivors coming in first, and the 0-5 years at the end of the parade. Then they lined up on the stairs for pictures. Can you find my mom in the one below? Give you a hint: she's the one in pink. :D

After the big ol' shindig, we went out for a way yummy lunch and then I came back home to my kiddos and wonderful husband, who'd been working hard to clean the house while I was gone. We had a great day!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

This might be a sort of generic post, but oh well. I wanted to wish all the special women out there a very Happy Mother's Day!

Motherhood is definitely something that should be celebrated. Just think about it... mothers shape and mold everything in our world for better. Nothing is more instrumental in a child's success than the mother that raised him.

We mothers are amazing. We do more than even we know. So give yourself a break today----whatever type of mother you are-- and have a very, very, happy mother's day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

SSS: New to us!

Basically, I've got the mostest awesomest brother-in-law and sister... They're letting us use this new-to-us couch:
Our old couch was getting reeeeally old. When we mentioned to Sara and Eric that we were thinking about getting a new couch, they offered to let us use theirs for a while, since they're moving for the summer and would have put it in storage. The couch, with a few early-mother's-day-gift pillows, looks really nice in our living room, is much more comfy, and just the right bounciness to keep the kids entertained for a whopping ten minutes!

So thank you again to Sara and Eric for letting us use something that made our week super!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Big Ol' Tractor

A couple days ago the city started some construction just a few houses away from us. They pulled out a couple of big trees and have started constructing a sidewalk instead. I think it will be really nice--the trees were humongous and overgrown, and the houses there have landlords who don't do much to keep the places looking nice. Right now there's pretty good people living there, but it hasn't always been that way, and won't always be that way, if it doesn't get fixed. By taking out the old parking strips and overgrown shady spots, and putting in a nice sidewalk that will help make that street safer (especially since it's a big road for students to walk up to the University on), I think it will just be much much nicer for all of us who live around here.

Anyway... since they had big cranes and tractors and dirt piles and gravel piles and old hunks of wood and stuff, I couldn't maintain my own excitement as I geared Lee up to go see it. I mean, c'mon, how often do you get to go watch tractors just a few houses away? Here's his narrations:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What would you do?

Cody told me about something he did yesterday, and I was kind of intrigued by the whole situation. I thought it might make a pretty good blog post, so here you go. I'd love to see what you all would do, so let me know!

Cody was driving down the road, a good distance from our home, going to a work appointment. He was nearly there when he noticed a woman walking along the sidewalk with a huge bag slung over her shoulder and dragging along two humongous, battered suitcases. She looked pretty miserable....

What would you do?

So Cody pulled over the car and ran to her aid, taking the suitcases from her and helping her to wherever it was she was walking. She thanked him, and began commenting on our religion, saying things like "You Mormons are all so nice... I think I want to be a Mormon..." Now, one thing all good LDS members are taught is to help anyone we can help, as long as we don't put ourselves in danger, and also to share the love of Christ and the joy being LDS gives us. But there are those in the world, especially in Utah who know that and know that an LDS person will give a lot more if you tug on their heartstrings and say things like "I want to join your church." So now,

What would you do?

Cody was polite and helped her along, when he realized she was going to a completely confidential domestic violence women's shelter. The only way we even know where it is, since the location is even kept a secret, is a random and unrelated story. And one more reason why I'm keeping this pretty vague.

Now what would you do?

As Cody set down her stuff to return to the car, she told him he'd been so nice and kind, and asked if she could have his phone number or address to ask him later where church was. Cody reluctantly gave her his name and phone number, and went off to her appointment.

Not long after, Cody got a phone call in the middle of a work appointment. It was the lady, saying something to the effect of: "Hi! This is that lady you helped in the street. I was going to sleep in that women's shelter, but they kicked me out, said I couldn't stay there. Since you were so nice, could you get me somewhere to stay tonight? I need a place where I can sleep and clean up and make some phone calls."

NOW what would you do?

Since Cody was in the middle of a business meeting, he told her he was busy and wouldn't be able to discuss this for a while more. She tried to call him again before the meeting was over, but he didn't answer. He didn't talk to her again last night, and hasn't yet today, which leads me right to now.

I'd love to hear what you would do! I'll tell you my thoughts, and what I told Cody: if she calls again to ask for help, which she very well might, politely say, "I'm sorry ma'am, that is not help I am able to give you. I would suggest going to the police station which is at _____, I am sure they would have more resources for you. I hope you find what you need. Thank you, goodbye." and say all that in kind of a firm rapid-fire paragraph, and then hang up before any rebuttals take over. But if one of you gives me a better idea, then I'd be happy to revise the situation. :)


Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Annalisa is testing her independence. I am shocked at everything she can do! Along with it is also coming lots of new words and communication skills. I love seeing her discover the world around her, and learn to share it with us. Just yesterday in the middle of church she turned to Cody and asked, "Moh, watoh, pweese?" At home if she's thirsty, this is what she does: (that is, if I've been a negligent mom and not put the juice from breakfast away yet...)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lee's Photagraphy

Just thought I'd share some of the more recent work from my budding star. ;)

Once again, Lee is available for hire at any important family event. If you're very lucky and you act fast, you can have beautiful artwork like the pictures above to display in your home!

For my next trick, I will make myself re-appear!

I've hardly done anything with this blog in a long time! Like, a whole week! yikes. I don't usually do that unless I'm on vacation or something, but I wasn't this week...just a blog slacker, I suppose. No matter. So I'm going to put together some posts to pop up periodically through the week and then we'll be good. In the meantime, if anyone wants to do something with me, please give me a call!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

SSS: Home Repair

I'm currently typing this all up on our laptop, which is being powered, of course, by the charging cord. Friday, the exact same cord broke. Snapped right off. What's worse, it's the second one to do that. In the year and few months we've owned this laptop, we've gone through two chargers, and there's no end in sight--the cord is just designed poorly. So, I was pretty frustrated. These cords are thirty to fifty bucks a pop!

Then Cody got a hold of the charger. Since it was already destroyed, I let him keep it. And amazingly, to my total shock, he was able to repair it! I never knew my hubby had such mad skills. He stripped the wires back, realigned them, re-attached them, and taped it all up with electrical tape. Not quite as pretty as brand new, but they're solid and, most importantly, working!

Now, if you don't have expertise in this arena, please don't go hacking into all your power plugs. And if you do decide to repair something yourself, please take all the proper precautions and maintain safety. I AM saying, however, that the spectacular save was something that made this week extra-special, and made me admire my fantastic husband even more.

Have a Super week!