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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Family Pictures

I don't know if I'm really supposed to post these, but here they are:





  I'm really bummed that none of the pictures of our immediate family turned out.  It was a really beautiful place.  This was the best one the photographer sent us.  Nice eh?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bike Trip

We returned today from the annual "bike trip". It's a male bonding thing. Brandon, his dad, Mills, and his uncles Dave, and Lewis went this year. They ride motorcycles in the mountains of Northern Washington, camp, go fishing, hunt for grouse, and try not to mortally injure themselves in the process. I stayed at his parents house with the kids of course. I finished three paintings, and we had a great time visiting and playing.

They saw a lot of wildlife this year, including a young black bear, a large moose, lots of deer, and lots of squirrels and chipmunks. There weren't as many grouse as there usually are. I've tasted it before and it's tolerable, but certainly not my favorite. They didn't bring home any fish, but ate what they caught up there. Cutthroat trout I guess. These are some pictures his brother Millard took from this year. Gorgeous country up there. I'd love to see it from the back of a horse, but not a motorcycle. Maybe someday...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Creativity and Compassion

Wow.  I loved this talk tonight:

(The whole thing was brilliant, but here are a few of the quotes I got down.)

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.  No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.  Everyone can create.  You don't need money, position, or influence to create something of substance or beauty.  Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment.  We develop ourselves and others when we take  unorganized matter into our hands and mould it into something of beauty."


"We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fullness of joy.  Our birthright and the purpose of our great journey on this earth is to seek and experience eternal happiness.  One of the way we find this is by creating things."  


"The more you trust and rely upon the spirit, the greater your capacity to create.  That is your opportunity in this life, and your destiny in the next."


"In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance.  Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts. Notice the loneliness and despair.  Let us feel the silent prayers of others around us and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers."


President Uchtdorf, General Relief Society Meeting 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Grandma's and Turkey

Today I bottled turkey with Brandon's mom.  Actually, she did most of the work and I did a lot of watching.  But I did get all greasy tearing up the turkey and putting it in the jars.  I'm excited to have some good protein in my food storage!  It's super delicious too.  We're having soup from the extras tomorrow.  I'm a huge fan of turkey soup.  I also finished a painting today while we were waiting for the bottles to process




The kids had a fun day here as well.  Ellorie found a grasshopper friend.  (surprised?)  Averie likes petting the pretty flowers, which are abundant here.  Mason has been riding his bike a lot.  It's always overcast here, but nice and warm.  And not windy.   It's been a nice day...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Air Show


We caught the last hour or so of an air show here while visiting Brandon's parents. It was near his dad's work, so we just sat in the bed of the truck in the parking lot and woohoo, free show. Averie was a little freaked out at first. They are pretty loud. It was impressive flying! And just right for the short attention spans of my little ones. Two of the jets in a formation flew up and made a heart in the sky with the exhaust from the jets. Ellorie said, "Cool! Can they make a grasshopper next?"



Monday, September 22, 2008

200th Post!

I can't believe this is my 200th post.  This calls for something exciting.  How about a give-away?  Okay, everyone that comments on this post will be entered into a drawing.  The winner will receive a fabulous... something or other.  How about a painting?  The winner will have their choice of one of these paintings (they are both about 8 X 10):

  I will frame and mail it to you.  All you have to do (for those of you that have never commented before) is click on comments, type a little message for me in the box, and make sure you tell me who you are if you aren't signed in to your computer.  If you don't like to comment, you can also email me a comment at brittanyallenstudios(at)yahoo.com.  I'm going to give you two weeks to comment because I'm going to be really busy this week, and because many of my readers don't check the blogs very often (you know who you are...).  So I will draw a winner on Monday, October 6th at 10:00 pm Mountain Standard Time.  Good luck...

We Rock...


Fabulous Fall





This morning when Mason left for school it was so dark! I commented on it, and Mason said, "Well Mom, it IS the second day of fall." Oh. Well, I should have known then... I LOOOVE autumn, so it is very welcome to come. We took family pictures in the canyon this weekend, but unfortunately I have to wait to see them, and so, dear readers, do you. I'm excited to see how they turned out. We just took some silly shots while waiting and in the car:



(my new "do", you like? I just love having a mama in the beauty business...)





There were these bright caterpillars everywhere on the trees where we were taking the pictures. Mason and Ellorie had a great time playing with them. (yes, and now they are living on my counter...)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dress up and Doggies

We went to my mom's this weekend to see everyone and to have family pictures.  Everyone and their dogs (literally) were there.  We haven't all been together since Christmas.  It was a lot of fun.  Ellorie had such a great time playing with all the puppies.  The kids also had a great time playing dress up in all of Grandma's cool costumes.  I'm exhausted.  I'll post more fun times tomorrow...







Friday, September 19, 2008

4 Year Old Math

So today Ellorie was practicing writing numbers. She wrote a 1 with 12 zeros behind it. 1,000,000,000,000. Then she asked me what that number is called. Um. I don't know. I am a college graduate and at one time in my education experience I probably learned what to call exceptionally large numbers, but at that moment I couldn't recall it to memory. So, thanks to the world wide web I quickly ducked into the other room and emerged with the answer. "Ellorie, that number is called a quadrillion." "Oh." She said. If you are wondering what comes after a quadrillion, as I was, here is a link to list all the large number names to a googol (1 with 100 zeroes) I guess after that, you're free to just make up your own names. The worst one, in my opinion is a quattuorvigintillion (say that ten times!), which is ten to the 75th power. I mean seriously. When a number gets that big, doesn't it deserve it's own name, like Fred or Stanley or something. Maybe I would like numbers better if they had more interesting names. A math post. Who knew. It's a little ridiculous when my four year old can already stymie me with math questions...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday Riding Report and More...

Wow.  I crammed a lot of really great "me" things in today.  Thursday is sort of my selfish, Mommy-needs-a-break, all-about-me day.  Sometimes I feel really guilty about it, but other days I am sure I totally deserve a  break and I just might go nuts if I don't do SOMETHING.  Anyway, I had a pretty good lesson.  We worked on the seated trot and collected to extended trot transitions.  Nothing too exciting, but it is so very thrilling to just grasp a tiny bit more understanding and ability every week.  I can completely control a 1000 pound animal cantering around an arena by changing only my breathing and muscle tension.  A tiny movement of my fingers and a change in my breathing tells him to collect the canter and opening my fingers while relaxing my shoulders and hips tells him to extend the canter.  I can do it, and yet it still is so unbelievable to me that an animal can be so sensitive to tiny changes in pressure and movement.  It's so difficult to describe the thrill of it.  There was a lady there that made some videos of me and of her daughter riding.  I hesitate to post the video because it is pretty ugly.  We were just cooling down and not really doing anything exciting, but anyway, you can still see what Wynnfire looks like moving.  Here it is  (This is a "regular" trot.) :


video
Isn't this a pretty shot of Wynn...

I LOOOOVE this horse.  His name is Chance.  They are competing next week at the Sport Horse Nationals in dressage.  I'm bitterly jealous.  (Okay, not bitterly, but you know, I would love to be going.)
Here is Wynn in the new tack-up/wash stalls in the new barn.  Pretty fancy...

Some onlookers...

So after my lesson I hurried over to an artist's pot luck at the Art Museum.  I got in touch with some local artist here and I'm joining some guilds, societies and such to help network and to get my artwork out there.  I'm joining a plein air group (painting landscapes outside), which I'm really excited about.  They have painting outings a few times a year, critiques, and little art events.  I'm for sure the only one under age fifty, but I am totally fine with that.  They thought I was 20.  Why does everyone always think I'm so young.  At the barn people that see me riding always think I'm 16 or 17.  I know, I know, I'll love it when I'm older... I hate hearing that.  I am THIRTY next month.  Twenty five is a compliment, sixteen is a slam saying, you can't possibly be old enough to have three children, to ride horses like that, or paint like that etc.  Ugh.  So what is it?  The way I dress?  My hair style?  (not when I'm riding because I'm wearing a helmet.)  Makeup?  I'm short, but that doesn't make me look 16.  I constantly feel like I have to justify my age.  Yes, I am old enough to have children.  Yes, I am old enough to drive.  Yes, I am old enough to own a home.  Yes, I am a college graduate.  Yes I did teach art for TEN years.  Sometimes people look at me like I'm totally lying.  Okay, enough ranting.  

Anyway, after the pot luck I picked up the kids and took them home to Daddy, and went to Relief Society Enrichment.  They had three great classes:  parenting, cleaning, and simple cooking.  All excellent and needed.  I'm totally revved up to clean my house tomorrow.  They had some great recipes and other needed ideas.  I'm getting to know some people here, which is great!  Brandon had the kiddos all homeworked, fed, and sleeping in their beds when I got home.  I'm exhausted.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Heaven


What could be better than a brownie batter beater and a box of playmobil horses?  Answer me that...

Hanging up...

I actually made these frames and got it all ready to go over Labor Day Weekend.  And it has adorned the corner of my living room floor ever since.  So today was the day.  Mason and Ellorie went to a neighborhood birthday party, and Averie wouldn't take her nap and isn't too bothered by hammering, so I started making holes.  (Oh, Brandon just loves it when I get out the hammer and start making holes...)  You see, last time I got this grand idea to put a circle of photos around my clock (a project I still plan to do at sometime in the future) I changed my mind.  I didn't have the right frames or enough pictures, they were all to big, etc.  Well, I decided this about ten pictures in to my twelve picture project.  So now there are ten lovely little holes around the clock in the kitchen.  That's what putty and paint are for I say...  Anyway, this project went a little better.  So now one corner of my living room looks like this:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Love Pats

Poor Mason had a little bout with the stomach flu last night.  He appears to feel much better this morning, but I kept him home from school.  Averie was delighted to discover that he was home.  She just loves to play with Mason.  He wasn't quite up to playing this morning, though she was trying her best.  She kept patting his head and saying, "Oh, Maymee".  She loves her big brother!  A video of her trying to contain her excitement:

video

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tulips!

Bulb planting time!  I love tulips.  I wanted a purple and white mix, but couldn't find one I liked for less than about two bucks a bulb, so I found this lovely box of mixed bulbs for an absolute bargain, and I'm still very excited.  It's my goal to buy a box or two of bulbs a year until my yard is absolutely bursting with tulips every spring.  I also have some grape hyacinths in my front flower bed, (thanks for the bulbs Meliss.)  I'm excited to finally have a somewhat put-together yard.  Brandon helped me dig the chunks of concrete out of the flower bed {{yeah, great work cement guys, no one will EVER notice if you just toss that extra concrete in the flower bed, great idea!}} And Ellorie was a great help putting the bulb in the holes.  Expect beautiful spring photos this April...