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

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rocket's #1 Fan


More Holes

Ever since we moved here I have wanted to have a gallery wall somewhere, mostly to get my paintings off the basement floor.  The floor plan of this house is really open, so there aren't a lot of big walls for hanging things.  I didn't want them above the stairs because everyone would touch them as they went downstairs.  So my options were the kitchen wall, or the bedroom wall.  I finally decided to just bite the bullet and start pounding nails.  

So here is my kitchen wall now.  I hope it's not too over-the-top.  I may change my mind in a few weeks, but for now I'm satisfied to have some of them hanging up.   I don't know though.  Is it weird to have a huge wall with just my own artwork?  It feels a bit conceited.  I wish I had dozens of paintings from OTHER artists that I admire and covet.  Someday...  

Little Bookworm

I came into my bedroom yesterday and found Averie in my bed like this:

She loves to read books (and to color in them, but that's another story).  She was reading about frogs, and after I came in the room she climbed out of the covers and started hopping like a frog:

Such a cutie.  She keeps me smiling...

Some of my favorite things she says right now are:
"Hey Mom, watch this!"
"Hewooo Wocket!" (Hello Rocket)
And and enthusiastic, "YAY!" after she does something fantastic (like putting a piece in a puzzle.)
"Elloweee, wheh ahh yooo?  (Ellorie, where are you?)  What are you dooooing?"  
"Color, color, color, pencils, markahs, cwayns, color, color, color!"
She wants to know anyone's name that comes to the house, and knows most of Mason/Ellorie's friends by name. 
She sings little songs all day, most of them made up or combinations of other songs she knows.

I just love this age.

A New Favorite Breakfast

Delicious Wheat Berry Cereal

I am hooked.  I had this for breakfast every day this week.  It is delicious, healthy, and uses my food storage, so how can I go wrong.  Here's what I did:  Take 1 cup of hard wheat from your food storage.  I used the white wheat.  Boil it in quite a bit of water, probably a quart or two, for 45 minutes.  Drain.  Eat!  I put a bunch in the refrigerator and it lasts all week.  It is really yummy in yogurt too, or warmed up in the microwave with a little milk and sugar (or cream if you're into that sort of thing, and believe me I am...)  It would be really good with fruit and nuts too, but I haven't tried that yet.  I love a breakfast I can make once and enjoy all week!

Unfortunately, I'm the only one in my family that will eat it.  Brandon pops his wheat for a snack several nights a week.  I don't like it that way, so to each his own I guess.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Blankie Girls

Every Monday or so, I have no choice but to wash "Bubby", Averie's beloved blanket.  Ellorie's usually goes along for the ride as well.  In one week this blanket has managed to accumulate doggy drool, marker, milk, yogurt, an unidentified blue something, and a whole lotta dirty spots.  

It is MAJOR emotional trauma each and every time "Bubby" makes the trip to the laundry room.  Today she wailed and wailed and wailed until the dryer cycle finally came to an end.  Each girl grabbed her beloved and cuddled on the couch for quite some time.  Averie likes to rub her blanket on her head a lot when it first comes out of the dryer.  
I have to laugh, but it was the same for me when I was little.  My "beloved" was yellow with eyelet edging, Cabbage Patch doll print on one side, baby terry cloth on the other with yellow yarn ties.  My Grandma Joyce made it for me when I was little.  I had a lot of other blankets, but this was the ONE.  I finally abandoned it in college when it was just a little too gross-looking and embarrassing to have sitting on my bed.  I think it's in a box downstairs.  My blanket now is much more sophisticated.  (Brandon hardly ever rolls his eyes at me when I need it to get to sleep...)

It's funny the blankets they choose.  My kids each have a ton of blankets, which they love and know by name.  Ellorie's favorite is a yellow Winnie the Pooh print, "yellow blankie" that my Young Women made for me when I had her, and Averie's is a really silky baby receiving blanket with minkie edges that Jason and Ang gave her.  

Mason has several blankets he likes, but he doesn't have one that he loves like the girls do.  He has a "cars" blanket Grandma Gina made him, a mustang blanket Grandma Sherma made him, and a pillow blanket Grandma Allen made him.  He gives all three equal love, but he's growing out of dragging his blanket around the house.  He just uses his for sleeping.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Snow Dog

Rocket loves the snow!  Mason and Ellorie love to chase around in the backyard with him.  He is getting really good at going potty outside and not in the garage now.  We also taught him "sit" today.  He now occasionally barks when he wants something, but he is a very quiet and well-behaved pup.  I'm not regretting my decision (yet).  It's so much fun having a puppy!

Post-Valentine Heart Cookies

I made some Valentine cookies yesterday for a girl's night out, and then I never made it to the outing.  I have a little cold coming on and was wiped out.  Brandon came home early (7:30) and I actually went to bed.  Averie was already asleep, but I'm assuming he put M&E to bed.  I was so out of it!  Thanks hon.  

Well, the cookies never got to the cookie exchange, so guess I have to eat them now...  I do love sugar cookies.  Here's the recipe I used.  I love it because it makes a smallish batch (around 30 medium-sized cookies) and I don't have hundreds of them sitting there to tempt me.

This is THE perfect sugar cookie recipe:
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening  (yeah, I never said they were healthy...)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Tb. milk
2 1/4 cup flour
1 ts. baking powder
1/4 ts. salt
1/2 ts. vanilla

cream together first 3 ing.  mix in everything else.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours.  Roll out and cut, bake at 375 for 7-8 minutes.  Frost and decorate!  

My kids love to choose their own cookie cutters out of my huge collection.  Mason made ghosts and Ellorie made lips and bears.  Why didn't I take pictures???  Well, they're all gone now.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More Rocket

He has really green eyes.  Have you ever seen a dog with green eyes?
He is not wanting for cuddle time:

He's still pretty mellow, but has really hyper wakeful times.  He loves his chew toys, which will most likely later extend to the majority of the contents of the garage...
He seems pretty smart.  So far we're trained him to go potty out back, to stay on the kitchen floor when inside (no house accidents at all yesterday!), and we're working on "no", which is coming well.  He always sits, so it might be tricky to teach him to sit. 

Yeah, we're pretty smitten...  
(I need to get some more pictures with Mason I guess when he gets home from school.)  

Monday, February 16, 2009

New Puppy or "Mom is a sucker"

Yup.  Free puppy.  I couldn't help myself.  I know, I know, I'm probably going to hate myself in the morning.  He's so cute though!  Pretty much all he does right now is sleep.  He's so cuddly!!  Averie freaks him out a little bit.  

We had a bit of a struggle choosing a name.  Ellorie really wanted "Rainbow" or "Fuzzy Puppy", Mason was a bit more practical, his vote was "Calvin" (as in Calvin and Hobbs.  He pronounces it, Colvin.)  Ellorie was adamantly opposed.  This went on for some time.  We finally settled on Rocket.  So, meet the newest addition to our house (or at least our garage), Rocket:
(And this is pretty much all he does so far.)
Mason read him a book.  He listened intently, then fell asleep.

Some Seriously Fierce Light Saber Duals...

Staging the scene:

An intense battle:
Mason takes a cheap shot:
Ellorie tries to join in:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bit by the Love Bug...

V-Day Breakfast:

Hope everyone has a happy Valentine's Day!


A bit overkill?  

Sometimes I just can't help myself...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Piano Concert

Brandon took me to a fantastic piano concert tonight.  We both love classical piano.  The performer was Jade Simmons, former Miss Illinois, Miss America runner-up, and all around talented performer.  She was very entertaining and well spoken, not to mention an amazing pianist.  It was a remarkable indulgence to sit in a silent auditorium and listen to perfectly performed classical piano music.  I'm always amazed and a little awestruck to see someone that has developed a talent to this level of perfection.  So inspiring on many levels!  I love that kind of thinking time.  Thanks for watching the kids Sharon!  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It is DUMPING snow today.  
It's the light, fluffy, crystalish type of snow-perfect for snow angels.  

Ellorie was game.  
Averie...  not so much.

Facebook Tag

I was tagged a bunch of times to do this on Facebook, but I thought since I spent the time typing this huge thing, I might as well post it to my blog at least for you non-facebook readers.

25 Random things about Brittany:

1. I'm obsessive (maybe passionate would be a kinder word). About everything I do. All or nothing.

2. I love living in Idaho, even though the winter is freezing. I actually prefer the cold to the extreme heat. I could never live in Florida or Arizona.

3. In high school I ran cross country and track (high hurdles), I lettered in both.

4. I competed in endurance riding, (long distance horse races) for 8 summers in a row. I've ridden thousands of miles on a horse. Most of my races were 50-60 miles long. I won a few races and even got best condition once, despite my huge weight disadvantage. (Heavier riders get more points). I did one race after I was married, but now, alas, I have no horse... Maybe when the kids are older.

5. Along those lines, I love horses and always have, as long as I can remember. (refer to #1) I took English riding lessons for the past year and a half and learned Sport Hack and Dressage, two forms of competition in the Arabian show horse arena. But it's too expensive, time consuming, and life-consuming for me at this point. Maybe again someday (I was getting pretty good).

6. I am a college graduate. I went to Ricks college (now BYUI) for two years and earned an Associates Degree, emphasis: Fine Art, then I went to UVSC (now UVU) for one year and earned a receptionist certificate. Then I went to BYU for three years and earned a Bachelors Degree in Art and Art Education, with a certification to teach K-12 in the public schools. Sometime I wish I would have gone for the BFA so I could continue and get an MFA. I love school, and while I don't miss the homework and tests, sometimes I miss the learning environment. (specifically the art critiques...)

7. I am an aspiring artist. I say aspiring because I still have a LONG way to go to be where I would like to be. I continue to work hard at it though. My current goal is to paint a little every day, and to finish at least one painting every week. (My art blog: www.brittanylaneartwork.blogspot.com)

8. I taught art for about nine years. Before I quit I had 50 students every week coming to my house for small group lessons. I loved it, but burned myself out. I don't think I'll do it again for a long long time.

9. I am really excited to have a huge garden this summer. I might even weed it!

10. I have a few random skills in lots of areas, none really mastered. I get really obsessed for a short time, then move on to something else. (Except art and horses. Those have been pretty constant.) I sew a little, scrapbook a little, cook a little, blog a little, craft a little, play the piano a little, do photography a little, do pottery/ceramics a little, read a little, write a little, dance a little, sing a little, cut hair a little, decorate a little, garden a little, attempt home improvement projects a little...

11. A few years ago my husband and I bought and completely remodeled a repo house. It was a ridiculous amount of work, but was totally worth it. The before and afters were unbelievable. It was a really good feeling to improve one little corner of the world...

12. I have an extreme tendency to be a video game junkie. (If I drank, I'm sure I wold be an alcoholic.) My all time favorite games are "Rock Band", "Oblivion", all the "Final Fantasies", and the old school "Dr. Mario" on the NES. I really try not to indulge myself too often anymore. I do have a Rock Band evening once a week with my 7 year old. He wails on the guitar, and I play the drums. Sometimes Ellorie (5) sings, but she isn't very good. Our band is called "Me and Ma". Brandon is really good at the guitar too. (THAT band is called "James Eats Boogers", James is my nephew.)

13. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (a Mormon.) I love the church and it's teachings with all of my heart. I absolutely couldn't imagine my life without it. My father died when I was 9 years old and if I hadn't already know at that age that my family was sealed together forever, I probably wouldn't have made it to where I am today. Life can be hard, but knowing what I know has made it a lot easier to handle...

14. I was married and sealed to my fantastic husband for time and eternity in the Mt. Timpanogos temple on August 14th, 1999. 9 1/2 years ago. And I love him even more now than I did then.

15. When I married my husband I had not idea whatsoever that he was handy. Really handy. Brandon is a CPA by trade, but he is also a mechanic, a plumber, an electrician, a builder, a demolition man, a scholar, a computer genius, an engineer, a landscaper, a dry waller (pretty sure that's not a word), a carpenter, a roto-rooter, a roofer, a sprinkler system installer, a gardener, a lawn care specialist, and a fantastic dad. I'm sure I left some out.

16. I have three great kids and I LOVE being a mom. I really miss Mason when he is at school.

17. My favorite foods are sushi, vegetables, steak and shrimp. I'd rather have any of those than any kind of dessert. My weaknesses are buttery, salty things.

18. I don't like cake. Any kind of cake really. Twinkies are the grossest food ever created. I tried one again last year and almost gagged. I don't really like chocolate that much either. If it's there, I might eat some, but I really don't enjoy it. Except for my mom's/grandma's homemade chocolates. I could eat those all day. I do like sourish candy though. Gobstoppers and Sour Patch Kids.

19. I don't ride bicycles anymore. They actually scare me. I had a few bad wrecks, and the last time I wrecked I got a couple of scars and lost the feeling in my left kneecap, which never returned. I gave my old beat-up bike to DI and vowed to never ride again... Now it makes me nervous when my kids ride bikes.

20. One of my favorite, unexpected blessings in my life has been my great sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. I love them like they were my own brothers and sisters and am so grateful they are in my life!

21. I'm really not very good at housekeeping, but I've gotten a lot better since I quit working. I actually sort of enjoy cleaning now. Especially the kitchen. I think that has something to do with having a new house. Now if I could get the rest of the family to enjoy it...

22. My favorite household chore is vacuuming (because that means the floors are clean enough TO vacuum), and my least favorite is cleaning the showers.

23. I really want a puppy.

24. My newest obsession is food storage/self-reliance I'm learning how to can and bottle and dry and preserve healthy food, cook with it, hopefully grow it... I haven't purchased bread since October. I make my own now. My family loves it, and it's so much healthier!

25. My husband is an accountant, and it's tax season, so he works about 70 hours a week, and we don't see him much. We really miss him. (Come quick April 15th!)

That took forever! Okay, I'm not going to tag anyone else, but if you haven't done this yet, I'd love to hear what you have to say...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Featured Artist!

I'm so excited!  My artwork is featured on the homepage this month of the Pastel Society of the Northern Rockies.  Click HERE to see it.  I also have an artist's gallery on the site.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fun With a Box

This weekend I received my art supply order in the mail.  One of the boxes was really tall and wide and flat with a lot of wasted cardboard.  Mason and Ellorie put it right to use.  They quickly designed these fancy forts, complete with all kinds of security:  Laser scanners, hand scan, retinal scan (they call it an eye scanner), pass code key pad, and, of course, doorbells.  Ellorie's says, "Girls Allowed" and also apparently kittens, and Mason's says, "All Kids Allowed.  For girls and boys."  They have had more fun with this box...  

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

In Averie's Words...

Today Averie was trying desperately to tell me something.  She kept saying what sounded like "biiiteevinsss", over and over and over.  I could NOT tell what she was trying to say.  Finally she pointed up to the counter to the VITAMINS and yelled, BIIITEEEVINSSS!, one more time.  Ohhhh, duh.  I was heart broken that I couldn't reward her new accomplishment as she already had her vitamin today.  How did she even learn that word??

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Averie Brielle - 20 Months

Ellorie's Favorite Toys

She earned them back today.  Her Playmobils.  The bedroom is finally clean!  (For a minute or two...)  Sometimes it is like pulling teeth.  I feel a surge of appreciation to my mother for enduring my messy bedroom growing up.  *sigh*

Ellorie is so creative and completely enthralled when she plays with these toys.  She sets them up in elaborate scenes of adventure, mystery, and sometimes disturbing violence:
These poor small animals are about to be consumed, it seems, by the fierce dragon.  Hopefully she plans to rescue them.  

There is a small party of travelers nearby that look as if they might be heading in that direction...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sprout Update

I know, I know, everyone is probably sick of my rambling about my sprouts, but they are just so much fun.  {I'm going to be totally intolerable when I actually have a real garden.}  This will be my last sprout post, I promise (probably).

I made bread again on Saturday with my sprouted wheat, using my food storage wheat.  (Most of the wheat from the stores won't sprout because it is treated with chemicals to keep it from sprouting in the store.)  I was a little impatient and the wheat wasn't quite sprouted enough, so my bread was quite crunchy, but very yummy.  My favorite thing today and yesterday has been a sprout and butter sandwich.  So I've been eating the alfalfa sprouts like they are going out of style.  Infact, I'm pretty sure they are out of style.  They're still delicious.  So much sweeter than alfalfa sprouts from the produce section.  Seriously.  My kids will even eat them, if that tells you anything.

Alfalfa Sprouts:
Second batch of Sprouted Wheat, and Rainbow Bean Mix (Ellorie's favorite)
And the "salad sprouts" are all gone, so no pictures...
If you want one of these little sprouters, you can get one HERE (or probably a lot of other places.)  Such a cool food storage accessory...

And now, I'm done.  On to a new obsession...