Wednesday, December 31, 2008



After living a whole year w/o a word, I looked around at my life full of both magic and mess and decided on "abundantly" for this year which will encompass the words "simplify," "order," and "creativity." So excited for my year!

My journal this year has been full of lists. Things to do, things I am grateful for, things I want to remember. When my thoughts for the new year started to be penned, I quickly realized I needed more dividers in my daily planner. This planner is my life.. though I forget it about half the time... which is true of my real life as well ;) Everything I need or want in is my planner. It's a regular three ring binder with many tabbed sections. Here's the breakdown:

-inside pocket is for coupons and handouts, newsletters, and invitations that I need to read through and put on my calendar
-Mondo Beyondo List staring at me every time I open the book!
-Monthly gratitude lists to fill in every day (I hope)
-Lists: general to do, silly things to do (add certain songs to playlist, random ingredients to buy at the mexican market that aren't an essentiel staple, etc.), Books and videos to check out, Things to teach my kids, projects I need to work on, House master to do list (major cleaning, remodeling, organizing etc)

-weekly menu
-grocery list

-one main sheet for all family, utilities, usual take out places, and kids' schools
-List specifically for friends that lists their home and cel #'s birthdays, and email
-Telephone Tree list for Mr. T's class
-Church member list (this is a major sanity saver to always have with me!)

notebook section: meNotebook section: home

-to do list
-pose ideas
-prop and clothing shopping list

-food storage
-living greener

This section is super special. It encompasses everything good I want to do this year. Teaching my children, spending time with my friends and family, giving to the community, and all the ways to do these things

-a special place for notes, scriptures, and favorite messages printed out to read and ponder

CRAFTING (of course)
-wardrobe ideas and shopping lists
-to do lists
-thrifting lists

That's it... for now...I am stoked!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stay in a nice hotel for Christmas

just blogging about christmas


1. Sleep number beds (or other special mattress)
2. Cable (for those of us that go without, this is a big treat)
3. If you are giving the kids PJs, clothing, socks, underwear, and a toothbrush for Christmas, there is no need to pack anything!
4. Gigantic sparkly Christmas trees in the lobby
5. Housekeeping will take out the wrapping paper trash for you
6. When you are ready to leave, all of the presents go back in the big laundry baskets you brought them in with, go straight home and if you're really disciplined, straight into the bedrooms! ;)

This was our second year at the hotel for Christmas and I've decided there just is no other way to do Christmas! The regular stresses I experience at home (trash, toys everywhere, etc.) are gone and the kids and I feel like we got a special vacation!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not just because she's french, and has a cute hair cut

but she totally reminds me of Amelie

Once upon a time... from Capucha on Vimeo

I thought I was feeling grinchy

for the nieces

But somehow, someway,

I felt Christmas in my heart today!

Ok, maybe not that sappy. I haven't been sleeping so well. I'm not sure what is up exactly, I may be clenching my jaw during my slumber, I am having daily head aches and sore teeth, or maybe it's a very small cold causing all the discomfort??? but in any case, I've been not so Christmasy this week and feeling nervous about my list that doesn't seem to get shorter. I hate getting out of bed in the morning and hate going to bed at night. I've got more complaining to do but... I am feeling better.

After I dragged myself from underneath the covers and then dragged my butt off the couch, I got dressed, dressed the 2 littles and went visiting teaching to a sister I adore. I had to make an emergency drive over to C-bugs school to pop a blood blister (the girl has a smaller pain threshold than her 1 year old sister) I picked up drinks for B and I and we went home and got crafting. And the grinchy funk was gone

I'm sorry you had to sit through that! LOL!

The picture above: This year for my side of the family, we are only doing stockings and have a$5 limit. I wasn't very happy with what I was finding out there for $5 for kiddos so for my 3 and 5 year old nieces I whipped up a cookie kit (inspired by one I saw on flickr) but made mine to have roll out dough and cookies you "cut out" with a cookie cutter and then decorate (by flipping them over.) For their baby sister I sewed up a little hedgehog with a bell inside.

Miss C wasn't the only sista to get injured today. Miss B learned the hard way that baby sisters are a lot like kittens, play too rough with them and they are likely to claw your face off!

left eye

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Crafting for Christmas

B and the pendants

The kids have been making scrabble tile pendants for necklaces and key chains for their aunties, grandmas, and teachers. I followed this tutorial from "Make and Takes." I let the kids use the cut out paper frame to find just the right design for each pendant. They did all the decoupaging. I did all the sanding and glazing and drilling the whole parts (I used little hanging eyelet things instead of the hard to find bails.

I still have a handful of Christmas Crafting to do... gonna find just the right movie to turn on and get some of it done tonight.

If you need some ideas here is the BEST LIST EVER!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hittin' the Hard Stuff

December Daily: Hittin' the hard stuff

I am quickly realizing that a large part of Christmas, for me, is in food consumption. Certain things must be made, bought, eaten, sipped, mixed, shared. I’m sure it won’t help my figure one bit, but it sure helps with that Christmas spirit.

Food? Help with the Christmas spirit? I’m sure it’s true but it sounds rather fickle. But not so.

First there’s the nostalgia, the comfort of revisiting the past, sharing traditions with my children like using a good candy cane pierced through an orange’s skin to suck out the juice or decorating a gingerbread house.

And sharing the food. A cookie exchange, bringing sweets to the sisters I visit teach, sliding some of our goodies mom’s way in hopes that she’ll recipricate.

And of course the indulgence of the holiday. Spending a whole day shopping for others, considering their needs and wants, driving and walking all over to accomplish this. (can you see the bags under my eyes?) Nothing helps take the edge off of selfless Christmas shopping like a mug of cocoa and a peppermint stick.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

"It's Christmas Day!" said Scrooge to himself. "I haven't missed it."

(my page for my December Daily Journal)

"It's Christmas Day!" said Scrooge to himself. "I haven't missed it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Skating away (on the thin ice of a new day)


First thing I see this morning when I log into flickr is these cuties Molly journaled about and then discovered a couple more (the felt kind) while going through my blogs. So I gave in, bought some HUGE paper clips (they are like 2-3 inches big!) I want to make 5 more pair (theres 12 clips per box) but I'm feeling a bit grinchy, or scroogy, or perhaps I'm feeling like a mom worked to death and sorely under appreciated! hahaha I think I know how to solve my ba hum bugs...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

All Cozy in Bedford Falls

december 2

In my opinion, this is the one movie that must be watched every year. I want to roll myself up in a blanket of old fashioned styles and mannerisms. I want to put my arm around good ol' George Bailey and take a stroll through Bedford Falls. I want a dish of chocolate ice cream with "coconuts" while I flip through a National Geographic. I want to make wishes by throwing stones through windows and have them come true. I cry every year in the same sweet spots, when George gets his ears slapped back by Mr. Gower, when George finally realizes he's in love with Mary, and when he comes home after seeing the world without him in it.

It's a hard year this year, in some ways. I'm going to soak up all of Bedford Falls, the Bailey's, and "Buffalo Girls" that I can and make this Christmas count.

Christmas Cartoon

I've got a handful of these saved to show my kids. Love finding these gems on youtube!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Trying to Start December Right (first gift for you)

I tried! I really did, but I stayed up too late like I always do and got a little impatient today. I was really worried about starting my December Daily Journal and even though the tree was up and decorating it could commence, I wasn't sure it would be enough to bring me out of a small funk. And it wasn't... but I did my best to keep a smile on, did enjoy the moment when the 3 oldest slid under the tree to look up at the lights and Little Miss E had to join them to see what all the fuss was a baby isn't a baby anymore, she's got an eager to learn soul.

After things settled down, after peppermint cocoa and some Christian Slater I sat down to do my regular time wasting but thoroughly enjoyable blog reading and got inspired to make a present for my neighbors. In the 8 Christmas's we have spent here we have never made our neighbors anything for Christmas... it's not such a big thing here. But I really want to do it this year. So I whipped up some things in photo shop. It's an advent box of Christmas activities.

activities advent in box

I styled the box after Heather's I think the actual pattern she has up will fit the cards... it was just easier to do it myself.

To get the activity cards for yourself and your neighbor gifts, click these links (and do it fast, it's the 2nd already!):
page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
blank set

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Last Day


I am not sure if I have ever blogged for so many days. Because of Thanksgiving I did end up missing 3 days, but really blogging every day is only a bit difficult.

I am looking forward to next month, making cookies, finishing up presents, doing my December Daily Album, caroling with the kids, loads of stuff... and a couple of freebie patterns to come too! I'm all about free! Aren't you?!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Home Again

Deitz Market

Have you been to Durango? We sure love it there! I took the above shot on a very very rare childless moment. Grandma agreed to watch all of the kiddos so my sister Nicole and I could do a little errand running on Friday. This is Deitz Market. It's a fun trendy stop on the way into town. Loads of tourists in their fur lined vests and suede boots.

So the first day: We loaded up most of the kids in my sisters big SUV for the trip up there! MMMM can you say heated seats for mamas and built in dvd player for the kiddos. We made 4 potty stops on the drive up. A 3 hour trip quickly became 4hours. Here's our car full of girls:

our car load

When we got there on Wednesday, we knew rain was coming. I went out immediately for a run, got 5 minutes out and got a phone call that my B had an (bathroom) accident, so I turned around to go help out. I figured I could catch an early run on Thanksgiving. But we woke to rain on Thursday. I love waking to rain! And it was great cloudy cold rain. Then just as the Macy's Day Parade Santa made his appearance, it began to snow! It was like magic! I thought for sure it would pass but it only got thicker and began sticking all over the valley. I laid down for a nap when there was only a light dusting and woke up to this:


By the end of the night we had another 4 or 5 inches

t and thanksgiving

The next day (before our trip to Deitz), my sister and I hung around the house with our kiddos while everyone else went shopping. We had to chase of a small herd of deer eating grandmas landscaping

deer at grandmas

We had good food, had some fun with my brother and sister, enjoyed the parade down main street, but I think we'll be waiting a few years before we do it again... a bit too many littles under the age of 5 and no dads around to help made it pretty difficult for my sister and I. Anyone have any good fun suggestions for next year? ;)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Baking with B (a good reason to not work)

baking with B

You know I love working. I love running off to some location and running around for an hour with anyone who doesn't call me "mommy." And then I love the quiet time I have a night, editing pictures, putting up galleries, and sending in orders. But all that fun added to the responsibilities I have during the holidays leaves me a very tired and stressed gal.

Instead of working today, Miss B and I made Hubs a birthday cake (German Chocolate, his favorite, my least favorite... it is always a little too dry for my taste and I'm allergic to the nummy frosting but eat a little bit of it anyway!!!)

After the cakes got into the oven we made pumpkin scones to take to CO. She begged me to make MnM scones, peppermint scones, chocolate scones...anything but pumpkin scones... she's not a fan.


my grandparents 3 years ago

The kids and I leave tomorrow to drive up to CO to spend Thanksgiving with my grandma. This is what we do most years. She lives in one of those great old mining towns with a great old steam engine, and a great old main street. Every year on the day after Thanksgiving the town has a citizens parade down main street. Everyone meets at the park at one end of the street and walks down the 5 or 6 blocks caroling. At the end of the street is where the train station is, Santa waiting with cocoa and cookies. It is the one thing we must do each year to really usher in the holiday season. Last year we all stayed here and had them come just wasn't the same.

This year we will celebrating without my grandpa who unexpectedly died from an infection last spring. We'll sure miss him, his tradition of us all saying something we are thankful for before we pray for our Thanksgiving dinner, walking by his office and seeing his face all lit up by the computer, him shuffling into the kitchen and breaking out the oreos.

This whole year has gotten me to thinking about not loosing the connections I have with new and old friends. About getting to know people and being real. I've been wanting to start documenting stories my grandma tells me. Things I dont want to forget about her. Ali Edwards posted some great links to NPR's National Day of Listening project, complete with a question generator encouraging people to listen to each other's stories. Also if you are participating in Jessica Sprague's "Stories in Hand" class then you'll have plenty of prompts for questions to ask a loved one, to get their stories out. If you can, record one of the interviews. I have a recording of my great grandma from about 30 years ago. It's so nice to pop it in a tape deck (hahaha) and hear her voice again.

(btw this is my favorite picture of my grandparents and my grandma would kill me if she knew it was on the internet! But this was after we had all just walked down main street 3 years ago. My grandpa, who loved his family so much but very very rarely showed it with words and even more rarely with physical touch, he and my grandma got a little goofy with each other in one of these rare moments and my grandma threw her arms around him, gave him a little shake, and then planted a kisser right on his cheek and he didnt even flinch :)

Monday, November 24, 2008


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Taking a break

My creation

(Just some of my recent flick faves)

We had a yummy evening. I pulled out the Candy Cane Oreos, turned on "Elf", pulled out some of my crafting, let the kids (and the hubs) be a little wild.

C and I were watching "White Christmas" on the computer last night and the monitor crapped out! It totally went blank. We're picking one up from my FIL tomorrow, but I'd really like to get mine fixed...right now we're using an oldie the size of a small boulder!!! Maybe yours is that size? But for the last 4 years we've been using a a wide screen flat screen dealy and I'm just not used to it. argh! Technology has me in a death grip!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mmm Peppermint Scones

Peppermint Scones recipe

I wrote up the recipe the way I like to read it. Sure, it's always nice to have all your ingredients lumped together in one spot, but I like following a recipe from top to bottom without going back to the ingredients list to see what the quantities are and then losing my place in the recipe directions.

Peppermint Scones recipe

Friday, November 21, 2008

Look Who's Up Late

me and e

She WAS asleep, but T was yellin' (cause the boy has NO indoor voice,) and the hubs was chatting rather loudly on the phone with an old friend of ours he hadn't talked to in a while, oh, and then there was the sudden getting ill all over mommy that resulted in a quick jump in the shower for both of us.


Here she is campin' out on a bean bag with a towel and my old bunny doll. She was mid "mama" in this picture. I think what she was trying to say was, "Lady, could you please put that dang camera away already?!" I can't believe how old she looks now!

After she falls asleep I am going through this list to see if I can find any good old Christmas movies on you tube
use this pattern Raesha posted to use up some good yarn
come up with a peppermint scone recipe

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One down

B's doll

I confess! We've been playing Christmas music every time we are in the car, sleeping, on the computer, basically anytime we are near it. However, there is one time we do not play Christmas music, that is when Hubs is home and awake. So from 4-9:30 all Christmas music must be off. C-bug even reminded me before we got in the car tonight to change the station. Poor T and B, who don't quite get it yet, protested. Daddy explained to them that "Christmas is a month away guys!"

WHAT!? WHAT!?!!! only a month away?! Does this man know what he is saying?! I explained to him that it may be a way-far-in-the-distant-future-thing to someone that doesn't make Christmas lists, bake Christmas cookies, make/buy presents for the teachers, make gifts, help the kids make gifts, plan parties, address cards, decorate the house.. LOL the man lives in blissful ignorance! What about your man?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another "It's still Wednesday in CA" post

the b's

I've been busy today. No craftiness to show you, only a cute pic from my client session this evening. Really great kids! Awesome weather! So pretty outside!

In the mean time I have asmall batch of orange kool aid dyed roving that needs to be spun (NO NOT SHEARED OFF MY OWN SHEEP JESS!) I'll use the nubby yarn with some that Raesha gave me for the "Woldorf style doll that I am making for B....and so much more than that going on. But the awesome thing is the session today was my last session until next year. Last year I worked well into December and didnt get anything done that I needed or wanted to until the very last minute. This year, even though I love doing people's pictures, I decided that I would stop doing sessions the weekend before Thanksgiving, allowing me more time with my family and holiday festivities. So as blog readers you can expect a little more on the crafty/baking/homemaking side of things.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Some Christmas Ideas

Jess found this:


LOVE this!

My Cakies Crowns!

We NEED this!

You can get me this:

or this one:

ahhhh (cute when they aren't running around your garage)


Monday, November 17, 2008

Tagged with a meme tonight

My photog friend, Liz tagged me so whats a girl todo? I tried to have fun with this one ;)

7 Things I can do:
1. Let my house go for the sake of creativity of any sort ;)
2. Change the radiator in a VW golf, clutch cable too!
3. eat my weight in scones
4. get 99.9% of the kids I meet to warm up to me in less than 5 minutes
5. jiggle my eyeballs
6. play a couple of songs on the ukulele
7. climb a tree

7 Things I cannot do:
1. understand why a lot of Christians and a lot of gays and lesbians (and their supporters) dont see what a pack of hypocrites they all are
2. remember which light switch goes to the fan and which one goes to the light after 9 years of being in this house!!!
3. Hold my temper and/or disdain in a lot fo situations
4. Go to sleep without checking on all the kids even though C-bug is 12 now!
5. get out of bed before 7 am
6. get in bed before midnight
7. there's not much I cant do ;)

7 Things that attracted me to Hubs:
1. He had a freakish magnetism about him LOL!
2. We have a TON in common as far as interests go
3. His testimony of the Gospel
4. ya know 7 things is along list after you've listed physical attraction, personal attraction and spiritual attraction
5. He can get kids to warm up to him quickly too
6. His passion for politics and history
7. He knows how to have fun

7 Things I say most often:
1. I love you
2. It's time to get up
3. Time for ni-night
4. Who wants a scone?!
5. What's happenin' hot stuff? (response for this is: Ohh sexy girlfriend!)
6. Let the dogs out please!!!
7. Pass the chocolate syrup and the ding dongs...ok maybe not but I feel like it at the end of the day ;)

7 Celebrity Admirations:
1. Does this mean, what I admire about certain celebrities? Because
2. I am sure there are some celebrities that I think are pretty swell
3. Like maybe Brad Pitt with a the humanitarian stuff he does, I'm all
4. about a guy with a heart (and a roll of hundreds! ok not!) I love
5. Jenny McCarthy has been very active in educating people about autism
6. even if it usually is to promote a book she's written, we all gotta
7. make a living you know. I feel like I'm forgetting someone...hmmm

7 Favorite foods:
1. My lemon ginger scones
2. Or any of my scones for that matter
3. The giant sugar cookies you can buy at Disneyland back in pooh's corner
4. Mardi Gras Pasta from Pappadeuxs
5. Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
6. plain oatmeal with crystalized ginger and milk
7. a good sweet ripe peach

7 People to tag:
Oh I never tag anyone, but I'm always interested if you do the meme, so let me know

Thinking about...

Albuquerque LDS temple

I've been thinking a lot about what my church brothers and sisters are going through in CA and AZ. Enduring mobs, violence, persecution. I was feeling very on the fence about the issue. I want to accept every one for who they are, allow everybody the same rights, but I know that ultimately my own way of life will be attacked and possibly my own rights to worship how I please, the way I please, and even where I please can be taken away from me. I'm sad that instead of this being a simple issue of taking care of families regardless of the make up of it, it will be viewed as a war between conservative Christians and the homosexual population (and those that support each side.) I want to always be able to find the peace in this building that I can now.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Grateful this week

inspired doll Working on Christmas projects.
gingerbread pumpkin pieGingerbread pumpkin pie
Hubs This guy for being a rock awesome dad and studly too!
S and RRaesha for letting me vent and being so patient about it, plus being my all around great craft buddy.

back to work

Allsorts of fun

Do you read Allsorts?

She's got 2 cute activities you or your littles can play. Dress Zoe Christmas Edition and Home Sweet Home. They are both very fun!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Recipe

gingerbread pumpkin pie

Since the office is in disarray the computer is coveniently set up on the kitchen table and a perfect spot for browsing and watching a "Will and Grace" rerun (that I have seen so many times, but is still funny! It's the one with Gene that guy! Wouldn't that be a fun voice to be able to impersonate?!) I really wish I had some more pumpkin. This recipe has just enough twist to be different from regular pumpkin pie. It gets it's unusual flavor from using brown sugar instead of white and a tablespoon of molasses. We love pie for breakfast and it's pretty justifiable in my opinion. In a whole pie there is 2 eggs, cream, and a can of pumpkin...all good for you in some way or another. I am only going to list the ingredients, not the directions. The directions are the same as they are for any pie (mix sugar eggs and molasses first, then add puree, spices, and salt, lastly, add cream and mix...well there's the directions ;)

Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie

2 eggs
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 can of pumpkin puree (15 oz)
1 Tbsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. heavy cream

* I used powdered ginger, cinnamon, and cloves instead of the spices listed. I used the last of my tiramisu coffee creamer instead of heavy cream.)

They also made a topping you put on near the end made from crystallized ginger, pecans, butter, and crushed gingersnaps... mmm

Yummy Saturday

gingerbread pumpkin pie

My sister gave me a gift subscription to "Cuisine at Home." She's an awesome cook and just pours over this magazine every month, she saves them all in a big 3 ring binder, makes notes about how she changes the recipes, whether or not her family likes them, etc. After making pumpkin scones last night, I had half a can of pumpkin left over, not enough for a whole pie, but enough for 4 of these mini loaf pan sized gingerbread pumpkin pies. I dont know if I will ever make pie in a pie pan again. I like the compact, down home feel of a little rectangle pie. And the crust recipe is a simple butter only one, so yummy and a bit sweet too. mmmm

I spent the morning crafting at church with a bunch of ladies for our annual "Super Saturday" which is mormon for "Day on which we craft things with decals and black paint for Christmas gifts" (That's a little dig at these gals...we always do the same thing...some sort of black plaque with stuck on words or what not.) SO I just crocheted a little sweater for the baby I made instead and then ate yummy soup (Zuppa Toscano) that my sister made and chatted with our friends and came home and cleared out the studio because new cabinets and desk were coming and half of them got installed today and I am super excited about having somewhere to put everything...I hope everything. sorry for the run on sentence.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Youngling in training

our Youngling

We had the (LDS) missionaries over for dinner tonight. For us, no dinner with the missionaries is complete without Hubs breaking out the light sabers. After they left, Little E picked one up and started swinging it around! No joke!


I love the action in this one! Look what happened to B who was just sitting watching the show!

youngling accidentally attacks B

This one is for a New Mexico Friday ;)

inspired doll

This is what I was working on. I gave my finger a good poke once and almost bled all over the poor thing. Want to know what she is made of so far?! A sock of Ceili's that has had a missing match for 7 years (since we bought them!) a peach rank top I wore once and some unused quilt batting! I am so using what I have tonight!!! The only problem is I need to find some great bits of yarn to do the hair.

She is totally inspired by these cuties and I used a couple of tutorials I found around. I want to make another one for B but seriously doubt I will.