What's Going Down

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Christmas festivities have kept us pretty busy round these parts, so instead of detailing all that's going on, I'm just gonna post our Christmas card.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fortune Cookie Ornament - A Tutorial

Every year, I make each of my children a handmade ornament so that when they get married/move away from home they'll have a nice little set of ornaments for their first tree.

That's the plan, anyway.

This year, I decided on some fabric fortune cookies I had seen on this blog, and holy cow! I love them!
So, let's get started shall we?

Here's what I used:
1/4 yd felt (I used a 30% wool felt blend)
1/4 yd coordinating fabric (I used a Christmas flannel)
Pinking shears

I traced the bottom of a quart sized paint can onto my fabric. I used a fabric marking pencil, but you could easily use a regular pencil or pen because you cut the edges off anyway.

I layered one felt circle with one fabric circle and had my daughter (who is 7 and desperately wanted to help) pin the center and four points around the edge. I had her pin it mostly to give her something to do, but also so they wouldn't wiggle around too much while I stitched them together.

Then I sewed them together using whatever seam allowance it is to the edge of my presser foot (you can tell that I'm totally a professional).

Then, using my awesome new pinking shears, I cut around my circles. Don't cut too close to your stitching!

Now, fold your circle in half with the patterned fabric side being on the inside. Estimate the center (I guess you could measure, but where's the fun in that?!). Stitch about one inch down the middle, leaving it unsewn at the top and bottom (oh just see the picture!). Note: I moved the presser foot away from where I'd sewn so you can see. Also, it can't hurt to backstitch over it a couple times.

Now, this is the part where it looks complicated, but once you've got it in your hands, you have a *lightbulb* moment. Simply, fold/flip the edges over.

And it'll look like this:

Do it to both sides and it'll look like this:

Play with the folding and shape until you get it the way you want it. Then cut yourself a four inch-ish piece of coordinating ribbon. Loop it and sandwich it inside the corner of the cookie.

Now, stick it back under your machine and stitch the ribbon in place. I tried to stitch on my original seams to keep it clean looking.

And voila! You're done!

Making one took me about 8 minutes. So, go to it!

Make a bunch. Some ideas I had:
They could be used for advent!
Attached to a gift with the "To/From" inside
Make a set and stick them inside a takeout box as a gift set for a friend.
Add fortunes.

My intention is to add a slip of ribbon or paper (sewn in) with each of my children's names and the year on them.

But freak! if they aren't the cutest ornaments on my tree right now!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Advent 2009

Last year I made up this Advent Banner for our home. I even posted a tutorial for how you can make one, too. And amazingly, we followed through. We did each day's activity and I think only missed one or maybe two days. Not too shabby.

This year, I decided to do more of the same. It worked so well, why mess with perfection, eh? I did add a couple new activities and even removed some of the less well-received things.

Our revised list for 2009 (in no particular order):

Put out our shoes for Sinterklaas (Dec 5th) and explain the tradition.
Attend a live Nativity
Drink Hot chocolate and read a Christmas Book
Watch a Christmas Movie
Drive around to see lights and give an award to our favorite house
Read the Christmas story from the scriptures
Address our Christmas cards
Attend Ward Christmas party
Make a gingerbread house
Make & Decorate Sugar Cookies
Write a letter to Santa
Have a Sock Snowball Fight
Act out the Nativity
Make Marshmallow Snowmen
Attend the Festival of the Nativity
Go for a walk as a family
Sing Christmas Songs
Play Board Games
Make Candy Cane Reindeer
Make an Ornament for the Christmas Tree
Watch Mr. Kreuger’s Christmas
Dance to Christmas Music
Go Christmas Shopping ($1 store for sibling gifts)
Wrap presents
Color Christmas Pictures
Make a Paper Chain to count down until Christmas
Chocolate Fondue for Dessert Tonight

So far, so good. We've played a fierce round of Monopoly Jr in which I got my butt whipped by Abbie. We danced for well over a half hour to random Christmas songs, thanks to Pandora. We made a chain to countdown until Christmas, only this year we made a fabric chain... like this one.

Are you having fun with Advent?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


What's that mom?

You have your camera out?!

Boy, do I love that thing!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


We have a small problem.

Miles is addicted to all things electronic.

If it has a screen, he wants to play on it. TV, Wii, Matt's Nintendo DS, Matt's G1 Phone, the computer, an old-school Nintendo GameBoy we've got, movies, even those kiddie laptops. He's even content to just watch you play something. It's pathetic.

And it's nauseating. And I'm SO over it. And it must stop.
He couldn't even pull his eyes away from the screen for two seconds to look at me...

Any advice?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Storage of Food

I've been working pretty diligently to work our food storage to a recommended 3 months' supply of foods we eat everyday. I was feeling pretty darn good about it!

Yeah, yeah... we shop at Wal-Mart... judge us.

The above is actually a little under-the-stairs storage area that desperately needs some shelving. In the meantime, it's kindof a mess, but I know where everything is.

And this is about 10 pounds of rice, 50 pounds of flour and 20 pounds of sugar.

It seems like a lot of food. So, we took it for a test drive. It's only maybe 6 weeks worth of food. Time to go shopping.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Let's Give Em Something to Blog About...

I really wish I had an even mildly entertaining reason to blog. Life, as we know it, continues on and we just keep plugging on.

We did actually go to visit my parents for about a week... and yet, I didn't take a single picture. Matt took a couple, so I'll probably (maybe.) post some of them later.

I am hoping to blog at least three times in the next week, so just in case anyone is actually still reading here, there MIGHT be something interesting to read. We'll see.

Blah. Sorry.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


That's right folks. I've resorted to using the most simplistic and obvious titles I can in an effort to JUST BLOG ALREADY! Thank you to those of you who still check here to see if perhaps I've done something new lately, which I haven't. Sorry.

So here we have the unveiling of the costumes. I'm not sure I can compete with last year, or even come close to Char ANY year. Matt and I had a blast working together to fashion the kids' weapons entirely out of cardboard, duct tape, and hot glue.

Miles as the "Red Dinosaur Ninja" with his accompanying short swords.

Abbie was the "Blue Eagle Ninja" who sported some furiously awesome nunchucks (which Matt has already laid claim to).

Anna as the "Yellow Butterfly Ninja" with the sweetest Sai you ever laid eyes on.

And finally, Lucas as the "Ninja Chicken." Okay, not really a ninja chicken, just a regular chicken but holy cow that boy loved Anna's Sai. This would be the same costume that Miles wore two years ago, which won the costume contest at my husband's work. And guess what? It won again this year. Freaking hilarious!

And, in case you needed an action shot:

You do NOT want to get in the middle of THAT battle!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


This morning, Matt and I had the overwhelming privilege of getting to see our baby for the first time.

Yes, folks, I'm at the halfway point now.

People kept asking us whether we had any preferences as to boy/girl, or gut instincts, etc. Matt might be able to honestly tell you that he didn't. I can't lie to my friends that way. Even before this baby was conceived, I had a very clear picture in my mind. I knew. So, I'm not sure if my leanings were colored by preference or gut, but they were there, nonetheless.

I do need to mention, however, that I am overjoyed with a baby of either variety and that my concerns this morning weren't over the sex of the child. I have some overwhelming issues called paranoia and pessimism. I always assume that if something can go wrong, it will. So, this morning I was more excited than anything else to see a healthy baby.

As the ultrasound tech starting poking at our baby's crotch with her magic wand, Matt calls out, "I think it's a boy." I paused. Looked at the screen for about 2 seconds and laughed. WRONG.

Definitely little girly parts. You'd think after 5 kids (and a wife of 9+ years) he'd know what he was looking at!

It's a girl!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Things you can't take back.

Back when my sweet husband and I had only been married a couple of months, he brought me home some flowers for Mother's Day (or some other holiday I can't readily remember). They were, bless his heart, from the grocery store and well, honestly, kind of ugly. I dutifully placed them in a vase and hoped for the best. They lasted perhaps 2 days before they were wilted and dead. Depressing, really.

I informed my dear spouse that I really didn't feel the need for him to EVER buy me flowers again. At least, not cut flowers. Of course, we've never lived anywhere long enough (till now) that we can enjoy actual flowers that you actually plant in the ground. And I'm not really a very girly person. I don't find flowers gorgeous, beautiful or amazing. To me, they're mostly just flowers, I'd be just as happy with a new slotted spoon or pair of shoes.

Occasionally, however, I'll see some flowers that just make my soul SO happy. Such was the story the other day when I was shopping at Sam's Club. And I did the unthinkable. I bought MYSELF flowers. And while I don't actually find them gorgeous, beautiful or amazing, I do find my heart lifted and my home happier because of them.

Have I changed my mind about letting my husband buy me flowers? Nah. I'll stick to getting what I know I like. Kinda like my bras.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The rest of them.

When I did my recent Better School Pictures photo shoot, I had Matt bring the kids to where I was shooting so I could get some pictures of them, too. Rather than blather on about each of them individually, let me just say that I have a pretty great group of kids. They're largely well-behaved and they keep me laughing.

Without further ado, my kids (minus Miles whose pictures were in the last post, sorry).

Monday, September 28, 2009


My baby had a birthday. No, not the baby growing (and leeching my will to live) within me. And no, not Lucas (who, consequently is also leeching my will to live - but that's another blog post entirely).

I mean my Miles. He believes that he's now a big boy, but I've made him promise over and over to be my baby forever. I've confessed my undying love and affection for this kid before, and friends who know him personally just can't help but feel the same way about him. He's intelligent, thoughtful, polite, and hysterical. Every day after Matt leaves for work, Miles will cuddle up to me and tell me in his most important voice, "Don't worry mom, I'm the man of the house now."

Happy Birthday, big man!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Shame on me.

I think it's obvious that I've been in quite the blog funk lately. I apologize, but don't actually feel badly about it. It's not as though my blog is wildly popular with people chomping at the bit to read my entries, so the entries will continue to come as I feel like it. So there!

Anyway! I had a birthday. It's official. I've reached the dark ages middle ages. I'm 30. And while I'm okay with that in theory, I certainly don't feel 30. I don't even really feel 20. Alas, the calendar tells the truth.

I had Matt snap some pictures of me on my birthday. And I had delusions of grandeur about showing you pictures of me from 25 and 20 and maybe even 15. But again, lazy.

My skin doesn't actually look all mottled as it appears in this picture. At least, I don't THINK it does. I'm often wrong.

Matt told me to be sexy. If this is my sexy face, I'm scared for him.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A cautionary tale

Let me preface this story with an apology. We've been to the beach 6ish times this summer and this was the first (and last time we'll probably go this year) time I took the camera. You're not missing much. Sand. Water. Sun. You get the picture, right?

So, on to the story.
My sister, Rachel was in town and so we decided to head to the beach. It's the free-est thing we can take out-of-towners to do. And it's fun. Unless you're anal retentive about getting sand on you/in your car like a certain someone I'm married to. I digress.

The kids are actually really great at the beach. They play in the waves. They play in the sand. We have a couple of kid-sized boogie boards, so we feel they're relatively safe. They eat a lot of snacks and if you're Lucas, some sand too.

The kid is slightly obsessed with the sand. Slightly.

He likes to play with it, and has been known to attempt to eat entire fistfuls. Must be the salty grittiness he's in love with.

He spends his entire time at the beach bouncing between playing in the sand/shallow water and eating snacks from the cooler. What you see above is a combination of sand, Cheetos, and snot. Delightful, eh?

He also likes to pretend he can do headstands. Or something. We're not sure why he started doing this. But needless to say, his head gets quite uh... sandy.

Toward the end of our beach visit, I managed to get all the kids together-ish for a picture.

And Lucas threw sand at everyone. Abbie's expression sorta says it all, doesn't it?
Then Lucas proceeded to do his "headstand." Please make note of impending wave.

Yeah, those waves. They're merciless.

And really, nothing stings more than salt water and sand in your eyes.

Moral of this story:
a. no headstands on the beach
2. throwing sand will come back to bite you in the butt.
c. i have the cutest kids

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I won't lie.

I'm a cold-hearted mother. And not actually all that sentimental.
Monday was our first day back to school, and Anna's first day in Kindergarten. Now, most mothers would drive their kids to school on the first day, walk them to their classroom and take a million pictures and get a little teary and watch as their children waved goodbye and then go home and have a good cry.

I am not THAT mother.

My kids took the bus to school. I did not meet them at the school and walk them to their classrooms. I did not get even a little bit teary. I just felt relieved.

I did however, take pictures.

Headed off to Kindergarten. Couldn't be more excited. She came home and told me all about her new friends.

Off to second grade. Wow. I have a second grader. I distinctly remember that second grade was the very first time I received a "Will you go out with me? Circle Yes or No." I am certainly not prepared for that. Especially since Abbie already has a best guy friend. Abbie came home and told me she was bored. She's ready to jump in there with both feet and this first couple days of school bit is BORING!

They both jumped on the bus without looking back and I couldn't have been more thrilled. BYE Kids! See you in 7 hours! Thank you public school!
And in the meantime, I get to spend some "quality" which feels like "quantity" time with my boys.

But really, can you complain about this?

Or this? I didn't think so.
Will I cry when ALL of my children head of to school? Possibly. But they'll likely be tears of JOY!

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