Thursday, October 27, 2011

Classroom Decorations: Farms

The artist struck again.

This time with an amazing farm and silo.  She used Popsicle sticks to "frame" her farm and as the shingles of her silo.

The doors open, but with its placement in the hall we worried about distracted kids ripping the doors open.  But can see the peep of black.

We added several farm animals made by the kids.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In the Midst of an Artist

This year found me working.

A step I sure didn't plan on, but it really feels right.

I am at my kids' school working in Special Ed.  I love it.

And I get to play all day.

I work with an artist.  Her medium: butcher paper.

Just look at what she does:
Miss T (Or as her name tag proclaims "Dr. W") with her tree.  She decorated it with bats for Halloween.

Miss T's haunted house.
And Frankestien's Monster

And bride.
(No matter how much I manipulate these pics they would not stay right side up)

Throughout the year I'll add her classroom decorations.  She is amazing.  Wait till you see her farm!

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Once in a Lifetime Experience

I got to do something that I never dreamed I would.

I got to sing with 365 other women in the glorious Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

It was so amazing to join my voice with so many others.  And to sing with that amazing organ.  Its richness cannot be felt through the recording.  Sitting so close to the pipes and to feel their reverberation was exhilarating.

The speakers were amazing.  Some changed my outlook on life.  Feel free to watch it.

Here are some links to the singing:
(The pic of me was lifted from this song.  I am in a group on the last line.)
(This we sang with all in attendance.  On the third verse you will notice a descant.  We were shown the music for this 6 days before and asked to sing.  Miracles do happen.)

It was a joy and special evening to join in with Relief Society sisters around the world.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Little Beachy Something

So, my hubby is from Seattle.  I went to high school there and lived there a total of 7 years.
 We go back to the Northwest
a lot.

 We ache for the beach.

It means something to us.
Our home has some beach elements in it.

And I've been editing beach photos of our family.

I want to fill a wall with them.  All different sizes, with uniform frames. 

Hopefully it will get done soon.
This pic is precious because these two are 5 years apart.  And now that they are 12 and 7, they don't do much together.  But at the beach they did.

 I once even got to dress them almost matching.  Not quite, but almost.

 I have over 55 pictures that I've edited to go on my wall.
But my wall is very small.
So, I may have to pick and chose.

I love all of these pictures. 
 They each tell a story.
Grandpa taught the kids lots of secrets at the beach.

Little L has no fear of cold.  She loves the water.
This pic is precious.  My mother-in-law, Beckee, passed away 4 years ago while waiting for a lung transplant.  I have very few pics of her. (I think I take so many pictures now because once someone is gone you can't go back and recapture those moments.)

        They are my art and they make me happy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Travel Survey: National Parks

Hello Friends.

Please check out my writing blog and answer the survey.

Thank you kindly.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hair Love

I love my new haircut.  I've had it for a bit now (maybe a month, ooh I am bad--more on that later*).  And I just love how versatile it is.

I can do a nice 1970's sweep.

Or I can do the fun up-do's

I can also after swimming (and washing it at the pool) throw some gel in it and have a fun summer do.  Plus I love what the Salt Water Spray does for it.  YUM!
So, there you have it.  I love what my hair is up to these days.  How about you?  How's your summer hair?

*Now, why I am bad: I traded a hair cut and color for a maxi dress.  And I haven't delivered my end of the bargain.  Next week, 2/3 of my kids are gone at camp and I am making that maxi dress.

Friday, July 8, 2011

7 Minute Mix Up (It's a Cleaning Game)

Do you struggle to get your kids to help with the chores?

I do. It seems like whatever solution I come up with, after a few months it fizzles and fades. And I find myself coming up with a new program, game, chart, etc.

So here is the newest one:
The Seven Minute Mix Up!

Basically, you put all the chores that need to be done on individual papers and put them in a bowl (mine being a mini baseball helmet that ice bream comes in). 

(Sorry this pic is flipped. I swear I rotated it when I saved it)
Start with a clutter buster (all the junk is taken to where it needs to be).  Then gather everyone around the bowl.

(Don't you love D's hair?)
Now for the fun (and it is fun and my kids love doing it):

Set your timer for 7 minutes.  Everyone starts. (One of the keys to this success is that I am a team with the littlest one, L)  When the times goes off, if that job isn't finished, leave it.  That job's paper goes back in the bowl.  If the job is finished leave it out. (Originally I said rip it up, but then you couldn't play again without a lot of work)

Keep playing till all the jobs are done.

Now, kids need rewards and incentives.  In my house we use a merit system, each merit worth ten cents.  For each job completed they get 5 merits.  If they finish on the first round, they get a bonus merit.  We've never had a job that hasn't been finished in the first round.  I go and inspect and they have the chance to fix it without penalty if they don't complain. :)  We're able to get the whole house clean in under an hour and the kids love it. 

To me, it is totally worth the money I pay them.  They clean and don't complain.  And we somehow have fun in the middle of it all.

I linked up here:

Monday, July 4, 2011

My House in 2001

Are you like me? Once you got a digital camera all your pics are now just that, digital?

I was going through old pics and found these goodies of our old house as decorated in 2001. So I thought it would be fun to share them with you. I miss my old house cause it had more fun features, but I don't miss the 970 square feet, the one bathroom, or the dirt road behind our house that we were told was a walking trail, but in reality, the adjacent sod farm used it all summer long. (I digress)

Here for your viewing pleasure, my old house:
My cute backyard. (The bench is driftwood)

Now that cute table has the leaf in it.

Sorry for the black and white.  That's how they were saved.  I didn't edit them at all.  Just threw them on here.

Now for one of our little family back then:
Enjoy and have a great 4th of July!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rainbow Swap

My dear friend, Robyn, is having a Rainbow Swap.  The link is for the original swap, which is long done.  She decided to be nice and let the stragglers in, but she is now short three or four colors to finalize the swap.  If  you would like to play, please leave a comment here and I will get you the info.  The time frame is short, as in, get us your fabric as soon as you possibly can.  But you will get 200 different squares in a bright rainbow of colors. (I've got 400 so far cause I keep doing the swap.)

Thanks for playing!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Two Birthday Parties . . . 13 Hours Apart; Part One

My two oldest are both June babies.  June parties are awesome, but having two in one month is challenging.

In April, my husband and I looked at our June schedules and planned when we could squeeze in D and J's birthday parties. (Because I am that mom that LOVES a party and my kids get one every year.) 

We only had one week that could work for their parties.  And as June drew closer, we realized that we had two days that they would work.

D turned 12, so we opted for a "late over" with the girls going home at ten.  J wanted a Capture the Flag party, we went with a lunch BBQ.  It ended up that the end of D's party and the start of J's were 13 hours apart.  Both kids invited over 30 people.  Gratefully only 20 showed up at each.

D wanted a Gnomeo and Juliet party.  We started the night with stations (after giving each girl either a red or a blue gnome hat, or uh, party hat):
  • Make Your Own Pizza Bar
  • Eat Your Pizza
  • Make Friendship Bracelets (that are red and blue, to show the Montague's and Capulet's united)using embroidery floss
  • And make your own Sculpey Gnome
I ended up cooking mini pizzas for 2 hours!

I used these mini pie tins from the dollar store. (I only bought 12 and re-used them.  Next time I will buy one for each person and write their name on the outside.  It got kinda crazy trying to figure out which pizza belonged to which tween.)

And five batches of pizza dough.  1.5 batches of sauce. (All worthy of their own post.)  I set all the ingredients on the kitchen table and the girls built their pizza as they saw fit.  My son had sausage and pineapple.  So not appetizing to me.

The bracelets turned out super cute in embroidery floss. (One week later and girls are still wearing theirs.)  Again, these type of Friendship Bracelets are quick and take friendship to make.

The gnomes were fun to make as well. (No pics.  I was too busy making pizza)  I covered my cookie sheet in foil and then wrote each girl's name under her gnome.  We added a jump ring to his head and after they were all cooked and hard we added a key chain fob.  I hope they will put them on their backpacks.  (A mom can dream can't she?)

After everyone had eaten, we finally started the movie.
(Sorry faces are blurred, that is on purpose)

The twenty girls settled down into my little front room and watched the movie. (I crashed upstairs for a much needed breather. Steve had to sneak away at this point too for a meeting.)  It was fun to hear them squeal and laugh and cheer.

After the show D opened presents and we had Ice Cream Cake (see above).  S makes one heck of a mean ice cream cake.  (Awesome enough that he really wants to start a cake delivery business.)  And then we bid the girls good night!

I was exhausted and crashed... See part two later on.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Another Headband? So Soon?

Are you tired of my self portraits? (At least I haven't cut off my ear like some famous self-portraitist.)

I was heading to bed and I saw my hair in the mirror and I thought I better document it.  Cause I love this messy casual look.

My machine is on the kitchen table . . .

Which totally means that I can whip up quick projects.  I wish it had a permanent home, but I've already cried over that.

This morning I whipped up this headband.  I didn't use the Wonky Headband Tutorial.

I've seen these headbands on my uber-fashionable friends.

I thought I could whip one up.

I measured my head (a walloping 22 inches--is that big?)
Then I divided that measurement in two (11) and did my designing/cutting on the fold.  I added two inches for a knot (you see it ties in the bottom).  [I will mention this: two inches makes for a very tight knot.  But I think three inches would be too long of a tail.  So, if I make it again, I will stick with the two inches, but I would hate for you to be mad at me cause its hard to tie this together.  You have been warned.]

On the fold I measured 2 inches wide.  Four inches from the fold I measured 1 inch in the center (to get that cool narrowing effect). 

Then I cut two. (In other words, I layered the fabric so I only needed to cut once.)

If you look close, you can see that the edges are raw.  Put wrong sides together and stitch close to the edge.  I took some time to soften up the cut edge (and hide my lousy cutting skills)by pulling threads from the fabric.

Nothing rocket science or terribly original, but I love the casual look it gives, and having raw edges creates a softer headband.  There are no internal seams that are adding to the bulk.

And, it stayed on my wonky head ALL day.  It didn't give me a headache (firm headbands and tight headbands do that).  It could totally be reversible.

Have a happy day and sew a little.
ps this came from my stash.  I've had it for over 8 years.