"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Feeding the Geese

Mason went to a friend's house after school today, and Ellorie was really bored. I am SO sick of the TV, so I decided to take the girls to feed the ducks. Well, the ducks were a bit shy, or more than likely scared of the aggressive Canadian geese in the vicinity. So technically we fed the geese, not the ducks. They were cute too though. The babies at least. They are just so fuzzy and fun.

Ellorie kept trying to get too close to the goslings and both parents would simultaneously hiss in her direction. She thought this was hysterical, and kept making them hiss on purpose. So once the bread was gone it was time to leave so Ellorie would stop harassing the wildlife. It was fun to have some one-on-one time with her. She LOVES animals. All the way home she told me that she wants a pet dog, and a big pet duck that hisses with lots of babies, but a nice one.

Averie had a good time too. She just enjoyed looking and making duck noises, and eating the bread of course. (good thing it wasn't moldy).

When we got home Ellorie drew pictures and painted big geese and baby geese, though she keeps insisting that they are ducks. I thought her painting was really cute:
The green and blue one is the mom, and the red one is the dad. They have a lot of baby ducks of course.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Baby Shower

Today I helped my sister-in-law, Hilarie throw a baby shower for Brandon's cousin, Michelle. I made the food and she did all the games and prizes and stuff. It was really fun. I haven't been to a baby shower in ages. It was fun to be with just the girls, and luckily Brandon was home to watch the kiddies. I made Italian sodas, fruit-ka-bobs, and mini cheesecakes. To make Italian sodas you just pour a glass about halfway with sparkling water (club soda), add flavored syrup, and top with whip cream. (Then make sure to stir it up really well) I topped the little cheesecakes with strawberry Cool Whip, and a strawberry. Then just skewered some fruit. Fruit is just so pretty, I couldn't help but take some pictures:

Hilarie did a great job with the games. They were really fun. We had to avoid the word "cute" at all costs, which is nearly impossible at a baby shower, to avoid losing our "diaper pins". We came up with lots of great names for the baby, and gave our wisest advice. The funniest name was "Temptress". We had a lot of laughs. I even won some prizes for my mad mad skills in charades and guessing Michelle's "girth" measurement. I was absolutely terrible at guessing the flavor of baby food. We had a little taste testing challenge. I wasn't even close on any of them. (And I feed Averie baby food every day!) There was macaroni and cheese, chicken noodle, lasagna dinner, broccoli with chicken and cheese, and bananas with strawberries. Who knew. Averie prefers the more boring "peas" and "green beans". It was pretty funny to watch everyone try the gross smelling and tasting blobs of food. I think Tessa almost lost her lunch a few times.

Here is the lovely mother-to-be with some of her gifts. The baby legs are from me, of course. I have to share the love. That little sundress from Hilarie on her lap is so darling. She got some really cute outfits from Melissa too.

And the funniest present; a Billy Bob binky from Tessa (and Darren). It was a fun afternoon.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A tag:

You’re feeling: tired, a little sore from running and riding yesterday, and maybe a little grumpy, no not really grumpy, maybe just hungry.

To your left: My sketchbook and pencils, a grapefruit rind in a bowl, my checkbook. (just payed the bills), and my camera.

On your mind: I think my gas bill may have been late (ugh!)

Last meal: um, grapefruit.

You sometimes find it hard to: get to bed at a reasonable time.

The weather: Yucky, windy, overcast, possibly rainy, not summery at all. How depressing.

Something you collect: messes from the looks of things this morning. Um… unfinished paintings, books, scrapbook supplies, baby legs, recipes, Playmobil toys.

A smell that cheers you up: horses, spring flowers- namely tulips.

A smell that ruins your mood: Barf. Especially if I have to clean it up.

How long since you last shaved: 14 hours

The current state of your hair: Clean, undone, probably in need of a trim.

Largest item on your desk/office space: What desk/office?

Which section you head for in a bookstore first: Fiction novels something romantic or adventurous, maybe fantasy or sci-fi.
…and after that: Artsy books

Something you’re craving: sushi

Your general thoughts on the presidential race: Disgusted.

How many times you have been hospitalized this year: Once if you count having Averie, well that wasn’t this calendar year, but less than a year ago.

Favorite places to go for a quiet moment: I don’t remember. We don’t get many of those around here. I love to go for a quiet hike in the mountains to paint when I have the opportunity, but I haven’t for a long time.

You’ve always secretly thought you would be a good: Author

Something that freaks you out a little: Hobo spiders in my house

Something you have eaten too much of lately: guacamole

You have never: been on a cruise

You never want to: go scuba diving

You tag: hmm Shannon and Hilarie

Lazy Tibet

Today was Thursday, riding lessons-yeah. I must have really messed up last week because today I was seriously demoted from prime show horse to repo untried lesson horse. I'm just kidding- Legs is getting ready for a big show in a couple weeks, so no one rides him but the riders in the shows. But Terie was in a foul mood today. The horse I rode was named "Tibet" (thus my title). He was a 9 year old grey half-arabian, quite tall, and excellent ground manners. Terie had sold him quite a while ago and never recieved all of the payment, so he was repossessed and is now the new lesson horse. My job is to teach him to behave and not let him get away with all the bad habits he has from kids riding him. I guess he was a show horse in his day, but is now quite retired. It's always interesting riding a different horse. My instructions today were, "Use LOTS of leg and don't be afraid to get after him." That's always good reassurance. It was actually fun to ride really hard and not worry about getting dumped off. My legs were killing me by the end of the lesson because I had to kick him about every other step to keep him at a canter, or to extend his trot even a little bit. We did a lot of work over poles, which Tibet apparently hates. Everyone in the arena was laughing at his attempts to avoid the poles. It took all the strength in my outside arm and both legs to get him over all five poles at a canter without veering off course. But on to positive side, I only got yelled at once- for trotting on the wrong diagonal. That means when I stand at a posting trot, the outside front leg of the horse is supposed to be coming forward. It's a really basic mistake and I was a little embarrased. Other than that I did a lot better tonight, lazy horse notwithstanding. I felt balanced and had much better position than last week, and I got a really good workout. I was actually breathing hard at the end of my lesson, which means I'm either in really bad shape, or that I had to kick that horse way too much. Probably both. Next time I get spurs...

This is what Tibet thought about his workout.

He really was a sweetie though. Gotta give him some love. Look how flushed my face is from all that good aerobic exercise. Whew!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Eleven Months

My baby is eleven months old today! She is almost one- I can't believe it. She will be a toddler before I know it. She is such a good girl, and so cute to boot. We went outside this afternoon to get our fifteen minutes of vitamin D, and Averie sat on the grass for the first time in her life. (Well, I think she layed on the grass last summer, but she couldn't sit yet.) She HATED it. She could feel the little blades of grass poking her cute little feet. She just yelled and complained for about five minutes, and then she realized that she could pick the grass and put it in her mouth! Yummy. She was content from then on out.

Not loving it...

Then Ellorie found her first ladybug of the season. She has found rolly-pollys and beetles, but this is the first ladybug. She is such a bug lover. Not spiders though, thank goodness. She is such a sweet heart. The ladybug was her little friend for a few minutes, then she kindly let it go in the little juniper bush out front.

Just look at that tender look of adoration on her face.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Feeling Springish

It will most likely snow again tomorrow, but today was a gorgeous day. The kids played outside with all the neighborhood kids and didn't want to come inside for dinner. I hope it lasts. I'm so excited that all the tulips and daffodils are coming out.

We also have this little woodpecker that likes our tree in the front yard. Mason and Ellorie love to go "bird watching" in the front yard with their toy binoculars.

Press Play:

Monday, April 21, 2008

The "X" Song

Push "play" to watch

"Xavier was an Alien, Extra-terrestrial.

He was born on planet X, extremely far from Earth.

He had two pointy heads, his vision was x-ray,

He saw exactly everything, in an alien way."

Mason learned this cute little song at school. I guess they learn a new song for each letter of the alphabet, but he usually won't sing them for me. He really likes this one.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Two Super-Simple Layouts

I did a tiny bit of scrapbooking this weekend. I never posted the last thirty or so pages I did last month to catch up on Mason's book, but like these, they were nothing to brag about. But at least I'm getting caught up! My theory now is simple and quick. Here are the two I did yesterday:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Riding Legs

I had a riding lesson again today. It's been a few weeks so I was glad to be back. Terie was "bored" with me on all the lesson horses, so today I rode "Legs", one of her favorite show horses. It's the second time I've gotten to ride him, and she must trust me quite a bit because he is only almost three years old, and her "darling". He won a bunch of ribbons at the horse show last week. She thinks he will win at the Show Horse Nationals. Well, he is AMAZING, but I didn't exactly bring my "A" game today. I was having a hard time finding my balance and kept messing with the stirrup height. It was a saddle I rode once before and decided today that I hate. I was also using the reins too much and my legs too little, probably because of my insecurities being on a really young, energetic horse and my brain says, "whoah, pull back on those reins to take control", NO, BAD BRAIN!! Anyway, I got yelled at a lot tonight. But I still had a great time and learned a lot. His canter was heaven once I got the stirrups even and relaxed a little. He is so gorgeous. I didn't bring my camera tonight though. I'll try to remember next week.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Day (HOORAY!!)

Yes, I realize that most people do NOT celebrate tax day with parties and fine dining, but I am married to an accountant, and have been a single mother since January 15th, so I am ELATED!! Brandon's firm closed down early today and took all their employees and their significant others to a super fancy restaurant down town. We pre-ordered our meals a few weeks ago, so I sort of knew what to expect, but it was really amazing. The guys started out by ordering their Italian sodas. (a bit of a contest to see who could drink the most I think...) I started out with just a water. Well, madam would you prefer Perier, Fiji, or about three others I couldn' t pronounce? Then the waiter actually brought my fancy bottle out to the table, uncapped it and POURED my water for me, then set it on the table in a fancy little water bottle cooler thingy. Lemon slices? Of course. Talk about fancy. I did have an Italian soda as well. Our table downed 42 in total. Whoa. (The wine drinkers were at the other tables.) After everyone arrived they began to serve the appetizers. These were the ones I tasted, all amazing:

-House cut fingerling potato chips with melted gorgonzola cheese and fresh chives
-Pouch of goat cheese wrapped in cucumber, pistachios and dried figs with aged balsamic, chive and truffle oils (probably my favorite taste of the night)
-Grilled prawns with a Thai bbq glaze, napa cabbage slaw and chili lime salt
-Ahi tuna and scallop tartare tossed in lemongrass and sesame, served with cucumber, lotus root chips and wasabi crème fraiche. (Tasted a lot like a really flavorful sushi)

SECOND COURSE: Not our favorite. I had the Lobster Bisque, and it was really good, but REALLY rich. I couldn't finish it. Brandon had the Thai marinated beef salad with bean thread noodles, cucumber, chili’s and quail egg on a banana leaf , which was border line gross. It was really strong tasting, but bland at the same time. A definite miss.

But no loss, here come the Entrees:
Brandon had "Napoleon of tenderloin medallions, asparagus and prosciutto chips with herb roasted fingerling potatoes and a truffle sauce." Super tender and juicy.

I braved the "Medicine Lodge buffalo ribeye with Pinot-sage jus, sweet potato duxelle towers, and Swiss chard." It was really good! My steak was cooked to perfection, and the swiss chard was the best I've ever tasted. I loved the sweet potato towers. They were so pretty. It was like really creamy mashed white sweet potatoes with this really tasty filling in a sort of shell, and then sliced on a diagonal and set upright on the plate. There was also this fine grass-looking stuff that tasted really good, and was lovely, but I have no idea what it was. I wish I would have had my camera, but It would probably have been a little embarrasing to take pictures of the food in this fancy restaurant. I should have done it anyway. Next year.

And what? Dessert? Well, if you insist. I had the pear sorbet, to cleanse the palette after all those sophisticated tastes. Brandon went for the chocolate ganosh cheese cake, which I was too full to even taste.

It was strange to be at a nice restaurant with just adults, sitting next to my husband. Wow. A girl could get used to this. I think the other wife across from me was feeling the same way. No high chairs? No crayons and bibs? Thanks Sharon for watching the kids. I owe you! (Dinner took over 3 hours!) We had a wonderful night. Yeah! Brandon is off the rest of the week. I'm so happy.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Tooth Fairy and New Baby Teeth

YES! Mason finally lost his tragically-loose baby tooth yesterday morning at six a.m. It was an event to celebrate, though he discovered that it was still tricky to bite into a whole apple. He carefully sandwiched his little tooth between two pillows last night, and the Tooth Fairy delivered! (CHA CHING) -- A big shiny dollar coin! He was thrilled, and at six a.m. this morning, came to tell me the good news...
On other fronts, Averie Brielle is teething like MAD. She busted out a top tooth last week, and is working on at least two more. The little tooth right next to the front top has a little corner that I can sometimes feel poking out. She is a happy little teether though. She hasn't had a fever at all like Mason and Ellorie did, and she is generally happy, though she does squawk a lot.
Yes, she is upside down, it was the only way we could get a picture of those cute little teeth. That is her hand in the bottom left corner reaching for the camera...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Messy Little Piggies, Mason the Super Spy, and Averie's New Love

We have had issues lately getting the kids to pick up after themselves. This is putting it mildly. Okay, my children are little piggies. Some days I feel like I clean constantly and the house is being trashed in my wake. We are working on it, but I'm ready to try something new, so I have decided to resort to bribery. It usually works well for short term "puppy training". So Mason and Ellorie each got a new "Webkinz" stuffed animal which will live on the top of the fridge until they fill up their "Chore Chart". Day one was a success. They both cleaned their rooms, took out the garbage, helped with the dishes, picked up toys, and were generally helpful. Yeah. You just can't put a price on that kind of cooperation. Here are their new incentives:

Tonight it was beautiful outside. We're talking actual sunshine without snow OR wind. Mason had a wonderful time playing outside. I was observing his cool moves out the window, and he let me snap a few pictures. He was playing "spy" or something, and was very animated and convincing sneaking around in the shadows. He is definitely excited for summer. Here are his sweeeeet poses:

For dinner we had some bean soup with carrots and such. Averie ate more of it than Mason and Ellorie COMBINED. Okay, so Mason and Ellorie didn't really like it, but Averie kept clearing her tray and squawking for more. She loved it:

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Teacher Appreciation

This week is "Teacher Appreciation Week" at Mason's school. Every day the kids are supposed to bring something different to show they appreciate their teachers. Well, today was "flowers". Now it is SNOWING outside this week, and we have no flowers to speak of, and I am just not going to pack up all the kids to go buy flowers this morning, so I decided to make some. Mason decided what colors and types of flowers he wanted and helped pick out the paper and handed me the tools. He was a wonderful assistant. This is what we came up with:





Mason was also very pleased that the mason jar we used for a vase had his name on it. He outlined it with a sharpie so his teacher would notice. It worked out pretty well for such a short notice project. WAY better than real flowers, right?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The babies that are coming?

We were at "Grandma Gina's" for Conference and Ellorie was coloring while we watched. She drew me this lovely picture:

The middle figure is me (belly button included, of course). The smaller figures are "All the babies that are coming". Oh dear. Sorry to disappoint you, Ellorie, but mommy isn't planning on having eight more babies. She was very matter-of-fact about it. She drew three more just like it, one with me wearing a rainbow shirt. She was so exhausted after all that drawing that she fell asleep on the couch with aunt Kelsey. They were just so cute I couldn't resist snapping a picture. Even if they were all as as sweet as Ellorie, not eight more please.

Horse Show

I went to a horse show on Friday. Mom watched the kids all day, so I was a free woman!! Woo Hoo. It was really strange to be by myself without someone to take care of. It was a smaller show for Arabians and half-Arabians. I learned a lot about how it works and really enjoyed watching. The lady I take lessons from was there with four horses, so after I found her, she let me tag along for a while. Her daughter taught me how to braid tails for the "fancier" classes:

I also helped with stalls and took care of the horses after they rode so they could get ready for the next one. It was really fun. I was in horsie heaven... Unfortunately I didn't take many pictures because I was busy watching and helping. It was awesome. I hope to go to another one in May to help out.
Here's April, a 4 year old half Arab.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mason the Photographer

Mason got his very own batteries to use up in the digital camera to his heart's content. He LOVES taking pictures, especially portraits (EXTREME close-up WHOA) and artistic shots. He also took a pictures of his favorite poem and of the tv.

His videos are highly entertaining as well... I don't know exactly what he is going for here, but he calls it "Ellorie's Crazy Dance":

Mason said about his photographs, "I really like to take pictures with a digital camera because you can see the pictures right away and erase mistakes. I like making movies too because they are so fun, and that's all I want to say."