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

Monday, April 27, 2009

Aleisha's Birthday and Puppy Pals

We joined a little birthday celebration yesterday for my sister, Aleisha, at my mom's house yesterday.  We don't get to see them very often!  It was fun to relax and chat.  The dark chocolate torte my mom made was also heaven.  HEAVEN.  really. 

Happy birthday 'Leish!!

We took Rocket with us this weekend, and were actually really surprised that he did so well on the long car ride and in a strange place.  He just slept the whole trip.  

My parent's dog, Jade is a big teddy bear.  I think Rocket is in love.  They had so much fun running, jumping, and wrestling.  Ken even taught Rocket how to fetch while they were "puppy sitting" on Saturday.  Cool!  Our yard is going to seem so boring to the poor pup now.  I think Rocket had a great weekend too.  I don't know if you can tell from the pictures, but Rocket is SOAKED with Jade's slobber.  Completely drenched.  Yuck.  He totally loved it.

Bryce's Race and the Gateway

We took a trip to Utah this weekend to visit family and play.  It was short, but action-packed.  We stayed at my Mom's house Friday night and went to SLC on Saturday to see Bryce's bike race.  He's on the Colorado State team.  The kids loved it!  The race was about 20 miles long, but it was in laps so we parked by a loop in a large parking lot.  It was really rainy and chilly so we sat in the car and cheered every time Bryce rode by.  We were quite the cheering section.  Even Averie got into the action yelling, "GO RICE!" for hours after the race was long over.  Bryce did great, and won the first bell lap!  Great job Bryce!  It was really a lot of fun to watch.

AND... we got to see my sweet little nephew, Case.  He is the happiest kid ever and I'm in love with his LONG red eyelashes.  What a handsome boy...
Before and after the race we played at the Gateway.  Shopping, eating, chatting, walking, it was great.  It's so beautiful right now with all the tulips and choke cherry blossoms.  Wish I had taken more pictures.

And Mason and Ellorie won out when they talked all the adults into going to the Children's Museum.  I think the "big kids" might have had a good time too.  Such a cool place for kids.  I think mine would like to live there.  I'll have to admit, it was fun to play pretend with all that cool plastic food.  The pretend deli was my favorite.  Averie loved the balls and the police car.  Mason was enchanted by the magnets.  It was a great time.  Millard, Brooke, and Bryce made some sensational buildings with the blocks too.  Very impressive. 

Good to see you guys!  It always goes by too quickly...  

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I think we may have mice...

Nope. Just children.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gigantic Garden in Progress...

Here's the big ol' beast! It's about 40' by 60'.
And here's the garden-meister with his creation:

Last night Brandon tilled the garden and finished putting together the watering system. I'm thrilled! I went to get some strawberry starts from one of Brandon's co-workers while he finished.

I have to brag on Brandon a little here. He made the most fantastic watering system for my garden. It has 18 single lines, one double lines for the strawberries, and a double double line for the other berries that are yet to come. The best part is that it's hooked to the auto-sprinkling system on its own line! (We had a few flooding mishaps in our last garden because I always forgot to turn off the water. Oops.) Each line has a long dripper hose attached that gets water only where we want it. Super easy. It also helps cut down on the weeds.

Today was gorgeous! I was up early, early, early for my exercise class and got home just after sunrise. I got Mason off to school and then out to the garden I went... I just might have to become a morning person, you know, one of those OLD people that loves to wake up at the crack of dawn and head out to work in the garden... Never thought THAT would happen. (Don't worry, I'm sure it will wear off shortly. )

This morning I planted strawberry starts (about 30-40), peas (two 40 foot rows... uh..I know.), early carrots, red lettuce, salad lettuce, rainbow swiss chard, regular swiss chard, purple carrots, coreless carrots, early spinach, and parsnips. I need to get the beets and cabbage in still, but I'll probably wait a week. I got a little carried away, but I just couldn't help myself.

Ellorie helped for about three minutes. Then she was off to play with Rocket. Averie mostly just stood on the porch and called "MOM!". She was a little grumpy this morning. She is getting in some of her BIG molars, and has not been her usual cheery self.

I can't wait to plant the rest, but unfortunately, we have to wait a few weeks. We are still in the frost danger zone. In the meanwhile I'm planting lots of starts indoors.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lots of Good Things!

We've had a great week, and busy too. I haven't been diligent about taking pictures and blogging, so you'll have to settle for an all-over-the-place update...

Wednesday was Tax Day! Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are so happy to have Brandon home again. The first day he came home at dinner time Ellorie looked at him with a funny expression on her face and said, "Dad, what are YOU doing here?" We reminded her that he does indeed live here. We went out to dinner with the office on Wednesday night to the annual "thank you" dinner. Super great food. Not as gourmet as last year, but you can't complain about free steak, giant king crab, and fresh halibut! (and I'm not complaining.) It was great to relax for once.

Brandon took the rest of the week off, so we packed it in. The whole family went to the dentist on Thursday. That was an ordeal. I am always stunned at the price of dental care. And we've been negligent in cleanings/check-ups since moving away from Utah (and consequently dental insurance.) Luckily, no cavities or major problems. Phew! We even got free whitening and the dentist shortened my front tooth that was slightly longer than the other, free of charge. It's always bothered me, and I love it now! (Not that anyone would probably notice, but I do.) Ellorie was very nervous, Mason was an old pro. Averie was horrible, but that's to be expected.
Mason broke his new glasses, but we got them all replaced, no problem.
Also this weekend Brandon has been "building" me a HUGE garden. Huge. He made a perimeter with cinder blocks, built an automatic watering drip system, and is getting dirt/manure/tilling, hopefully this week. It's so exciting I can hardly stand it. It's been three years since I've had a proper garden. This one is a monster, so I hope I can manage it. I'll most likely be calling the parental garden pros a lot this summer... Definitely more posts on this to follow.

And today was a big day for me. I received a call Thursday night from the president of our local art guild. He had just spoken to the judge of the show I entered and she wanted me to call her as soon as possible. It turns out that she is the gallery owner of the Willow Tree gallery/frame shop in Idaho Falls, the nicest one in town. She wanted to set up a time for me to show her my work! My jaw fell to the ground. I was so excited!! I set up a time to meet her at the gallery this morning, and took in a dozen or so of my most recent paintings. She absolutely loves them and wants me to show work regularly in her gallery! She has the gallery booked for the remainder of this calendar year, but she has offered me my OWN show next summer, and possibly a group show in the fall! (Are you KIDDING me? Am I dreaming? Somebody pinch me please, and make me stop grinning ear to ear like an idiot!!) So, needless to say, it was a good day. I didn't expect this AT ALL. I love it when fabulous unexpected things fall into my lap. Wanna hear what made my morning even better... I went over to the guild to look at the show. (I missed the artists reception during all the tax day madness.) I was casually walking around, and then saw one of my paintings with a big ol' honkin' blue ribbon hung on it. I won first place in the show. Awesome! I'm just gushing now. Enough.

Also, we received the invisible fence "training system" for Rocket puppy. We are in the process of installing it so we can begin the training portion. Soon Rocket will have the entire backyard to run free. I'm not completely optimistic that we can manage the training without poor puppy shocking himself at least a couple of times. Poor little guy (hee hee hee). Wish us luck. More posts to follow on this as well.

I probably forgot a bunch of things, but the good news is, this is a blog and I can post more tomorrow... Have a happy weekend!

Apparently it CAN be too windy for flying kites...

The kids came inside with their new Easter kites in shreds. And yes, that IS a tumbleweed in Ellorie's kite. Mason's kite was in pieces and he was too distraught for a photo.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

We had a really nice Easter!  Mason and Ellorie found their baskets before anyone was up.  Mason was VERY in to the contents (especially his new yoyo) and wouldn't pose for a picture, but Ellorie humored me:

Averie was half asleep when Mason pulled her out of the crib.  Upon finding her basket, she grabbed an egg, stone faced, and proceeded to eat ALL of her candy.  (After putting on her new sunglasses of course.  She was hilarious.  
The sugar did eventually kick in.  She was bouncing off the walls all day.  After church she was totally out of candy and started looking for other options.  She ate most of Ellorie's chocolate before Ellie became wise and put her basket up high.  Apparently candy is a pretty good motivation:
Little stinker.

And we actually got a family picture today.  I know, miracles can happen.  I think it actually turned out pretty well, considering...  We were even on time for church. 

We had a very nice, peaceful, beautiful Easter Sunday.  We hope each of you did too! 

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Silk Transfer "Tie"-dye Eggs

I saw this a while ago and was dying to try it.  It turned out so much better than I expected! 

First find some really nasty ties, the brighter, the better.  They must be 100% silk, and the thinner, cheaper silk seems to transfer better.  I got a few from the D.I. and some from Brandon's tie drawer.  Take them apart down to just the thin silk layer.  

Next get your raw eggs ready.  This is the worst part, but not as bad as I expected it to be.  Use a safety pin to poke a small hole in the top and bottom of each egg.  Make the hole you blow into really tiny, and the other one slightly bigger.  You'll figure it out pretty fast.  I also found that if I stick a paper clip inside to break the yolk first it's a bit easier.  It took me almost an hour to blow out 9 eggs.  (Are you surprised that we had omelets for dinner? )  I dropped one of them on accident and almost cried.  Not really, but I wasn't happy about it.  

Rinse off the eggs.  
Now cut off pieces of the silk that are big enough to wrap around the egg once with some on the ends.  Like a tootsie roll.  
I used tiny hair elastics to secure each end.  I started out tying them with string, but it was nearly impossible to get them tight enough.  Twisty ties didn't work as well either.  Make sure the silk is smooth and tight over the egg to get the best transfer.  Trim off the extra fabric.

Next wrap each "tootsie roll" in a piece of old sheet and secure it with another elastic.  
This layer doesn't need to be as precise, so I just secured it on one side, like a hershey's kiss.  (Can you tell I have candy on the brain?)  place the eggs in an old pan you aren't worried about staining, and cover the eggs with water.  Add some vinegar to the water.  I used about a quarter cup.  Maybe a little more.  The eggs will float, so put a small plate or pan on top of them to weigh them down into the water.  Bring them to a boil and let them simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove them, drain the water, unwrap, shake out the excess water, and set them out to dry.  So easy, and no mess!

Eggs, Candy, the Park, and Still More Eggs...

We had a busy, busy morning.  Another egg hunt here, then to the town egg hung, but we missed it.  We went to a different park and had the place to ourselves.  It was awesome! 
 Afterwards Averie had a nap and we colored eggs with the dye-filled q-tips.  I highly recommend them.  Much neater and easier than the color-bath technique.  The only drawback is that you need 2 packs to color a dozen eggs.  But they were cheap.  I was going to let the kids help out with the silk transfer project, but it turned out to be too technical for little kids.  It would be a much better project for teenagers, or moms like me that have as much fun with this stuff as the kids do...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Health Fair, Easter Bunny, and Basketball

We had a very fun and full day. Mason's Spring Break has officially begun, so we started it off with a bang. My friend invited us to go to the health fair at the mall with them. Doesn't sound too exciting, I know, but it was a blast! The Easter bunny was there, we got tons of free goodies from the booths, free water bottles, t-shirts, candy, fruit, all kinds of stuff. Even Averie was entertained. After that we ran a few quick errands and headed out to pick up cousins, a little more than an hour away. We went to my nephew's basketball game, which was a lot of fun, and then loaded up the whole gang to return to our house for a grand sleepover. The big kids watched Harry Potter and the little kids watched Wall-E, all snuggled up in their sleeping bags. Super cute. They went to bed WAY too late, and I will most likely pay for that tomorrow, especially Averie, but it was worth it... Health Fair Fun: Barnes & Noble train table, Play Land, Billy the Blood Drop (weird huh.), and Mason proudly displaying some of his "loot".Averie is usually totally freaked out by things like this, but for some reason she absolutely loved this slightly creepy Easter Bunny. High Fives and Hugs repeatedly.

The kids were so entertained at the basketball game. Ellorie and Jenna were pretending to be horses, Averie was flirting with Uncle Jason, and Mason and Makayla were exploring to their hearts' content. James did a great job in his game. Too bad they lost.

No pictures of the sleepover. There was much too much chaos for me to remember to take pictures...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Niece #2 of 3...

Audrie Elizabeth born early Friday morning.  Isn't she precious?!  We just love her.   Congratulations Chad & Hilarie!  We wish you the best with all your new adventures...  We love you!

Averie was completely enchanted.  She's such a pretty baby!
Great work Hilarie!  

Egg Hunt!

We are so sad that Chad, Hilarie and kids are moving! B & T came over today one last time to play with the kids before the big move. We had a little easter egg hunt. They loved the candy and of course playing with cousins. Hope you guys have a smooth, safe, and successful move. We will really miss having you nearby! (You better blog pictures of that sweet little baby weekly!)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Easter Home Evening

Tonight we had an "Easter" family home evening.  I didn't make it to the store for the eggs yet, so we made some paper eggs to hang on the wall.  The kids were super excited to get out their baskets and the Easter decorations.  Ellorie is the most excited I think.  They each carefully colored a paper egg, and then we read some books about the reason we celebrate Easter.  Averie loves the pictures of the bunnies and ducks, and was just distracting enough to be cute.  She has finally come out of the horrible mood she was in for over a week.  Seriously, I didn't think I could take much more of the shrieking.  It was a great, beautiful, sunny, day.  I'm getting excited for summer.Averie didn't want to pose for the camera.  She just kept looking at her egg.  She colored it all by herself and is very proud of it.  

Earlier in the day Ellorie drew this.  I think it's hilarious.  She asked me as I was doing dishes, "Mom, are baby chicks wussy?"  I had no idea what she was talking about until I saw her "strong" baby chick.  I love the way the dog and cat are looking at him in awe.  (Notice how her dogs now have stubby tails like Rocket.  Very observant.)