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

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mason's Baptism

Wow! We've had a fun, full, busy weekend. Trip to Utah, Thanksgiving, Black Friday Shopping, and Mason's baptism. I have been seriously negligent in taking pictures with my camera! None whatsoever of the Utah trip or Thanksgiving, and just a few of the baptism today.

It was a wonderful day. I'm so proud of Mason and his decision to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He's such a great boy and is growing up so fast. I'm so blessed to have him for me son. We had so many loved ones visit and share this special day with us. Thank you to all who came such a long way! Here are just a few pictures:

Sunday, November 22, 2009


It snowed most of the day today. Mason and Ellorie were so very excited... Finally time for snow balls and snow angels!

100 Things

One of my cute Young Women in my ward gave a wonderful talk in church about being thankful. She challenged everyone to write down 100 things they are thankful for. Sounds like a lot, right? She said to choose 10 things in the following categories. Thought I'd give it a try. I have so many things to be thankful for...

Ten Living People I am Thankful For: (WOW! Only ten. This one is hard.)
1. My wonderful husband, Brandon.
2. Mason
3. Ellorie
4. Averie
5. This sweet baby growing and kicking inside my big ol' belly
6. My mother.
7. My grandparents (more than one I know, but I'm cheating a bit here.)
8. More fantastic family members than I can possibly name
9. Super In-laws
10.Good neighbors and friends

Ten deceased people I am thankful for:
1. My Dad
2. Joseph Smith
3. My pioneer ancestors
4. My Great-Grandma Bowden
5. Gordon B. Hinckley
6. Soldiers that have given their lives for the freedoms I enjoy every day.
7. Our Founding Fathers
8. Inspired inventors and innovators that came up with all the miraculous gadgets and thingies we use every day.
9. Courageous people that have given their lives standing up for good things.
10. Numerous artists, especially women artists that paved the way..

Ten Physical abilities I am thankful for:
1. The use of my hands. Especially when my nerve problems make them hard to use. I'm thankful for the use of my hands every single day.
2. My eyesight. Even though I need glasses to see. I'm so grateful for my vision.
3. The ability and desire to create things, art, crafts, etc.
4. The ability to walk, run, move, have use of my legs.
5. I am so grateful for the miracle of having a baby. Every single day of this little one growing and moving is a blessing.
6. Ears to hear
7. A voice to speak and sing
8. I'm grateful for the ability to ride horses, even though I can't do that right now.
9. The ability to read and understand.
10. The ability to learn new things.

Ten Physical Possessions I am thankful for:
1. My comfortable bed
2. Our new (used) kitchen table
3. Dependable cars that run and work properly
4. Our home
5. My computer
6. My sewing machine, recently fixed
7. Books and scriptures
8. My wedding ring (though it doesn't fit on my puffy fingers most days now.)
9. My camera
10. the piano

Ten things in nature I am thankful for:
1. The changing of the seasons
2. sunsets
3. flowers, especially tulips
4. Variety of plants and trees in different places such as the contrast between desert, ocean, forest, etc.
5. Preying mantises and ladybugs. Ask my daughters.
6. Miracles of seeds. Plants growing.
7. Mountains
8. Animals. Especially horses.
9. Cloud formations
10. Huckleberries and yummy things that grow in nature with no help whatsoever.

Ten things about today I am thankful for:
1. Averie went in the potty three times, all by herself. (This is major, people.)
2. Snow. Really!
3. Brandon playing the piano. So nice.
4. My beautiful children that were decently behaved all day long. Even through church.
5. I love and am thankful for quiet, peaceful Sunday afternoons without any responsibilities.
6. Phone calls with loved ones.
7. Hot cocoa on a cold day.
8. Quick cooking meals when everyone is starving.
9. Good, caring, consistent home teachers. We haven't had very many since we've been married.
10. Going to church with everyone HEALTHY!

Ten places on Earth I am thankful for: (Limited to places I've actually been.)
1. Home.
2. Idaho
3. Grandma's house (all of them.)
4. Temples
5. The mountains. (The Bighorns, the Tetons, Timpanogos, lots of them... so beautiful.)
6. Art museums
7. The Oregon Coast
8. Utah County, Utah. Though we will most likely never live there again.
9. Bighorn county, Wyoming. I wouldn't be the same person without the time I spent there.
10. The United States of America, though things seem pretty messed up sometimes, I am SO grateful to live in a free country!

Ten Modern Inventions I am thankful for:
I'm not sure how modern we're talking here, but here are some things I'm thankful for nearly every day.
1. Indoor plumbing
2. Heated water
3. Communication devices
4. Modern Transportation
5. Central Air
6. Dishwasher
7. Washing machine
8. The internet
9. Modern Medicine. Specifically epidurals. (I'd rather not do the "all natural" birth again. Seriously grateful for epidurals.)
10. Hmm... I'm going to go with electricity. Pretty general, but very important.

Ten Foods I'm thankful for:
1. Homemade bread
2. Crock pot dinners that I can toss together in the morning and have totally ready when we're hungry.
3. Garden vegetables. I'm missing them already.
4. Produce available in the middle of the winter. Seriously so wonderful!
5. Oatmeal. Sounds ridiculous, but my kids eat it nearly every morning for breakfast. What would I do without it?
6. garlic, basil, fresh spices.
7. Sushi. My complete favorite.
8. Food storage. Especially the stuff I bottled this year.
9. Thanksgiving dinner. So yummy. I can't wait!
10. Soup. I just love soup. Nearly any kind.

Ten things about the Gospel of Jesus Christ I am thankful for:
1. Eternal Families
2. Repentance and Forgiveness
3. Temple blessings
4. Relief Society
5. Visiting/Home teachers
6. Priesthood blessings
7. Personal Prayer and Revelation
8. Living Prophets
9. The Book of Mormon
10. The Primary, to help teach my children the things I'm trying to teach them.

Whew, and that was 100. I could add hundreds more to my lists. I'm so thankful for so many things in my life! This was a fun challenge. If you happen to read this, give it a try--even if you don't share it with anyone. Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Super Saturday

I taught a few little crafts at the Relief Society Super Saturday at the church yesterday. It was a lot of fun. I have patterns and directions for all of these, so let me know if you would like to do one.

Button Christmas Tree Ornaments:

Felt Pizza:

Felt Pony Tail Holders:

Whew! I had a great time, but I'm kinda glad it's over with. I still have a lot of things to finish before Christmas...

Feeling Festive...

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Disney on Ice, and Utah Trip

The kids had a couple days off from school, so I took them to my Mom's house for the weekend. We had to drive through a big snow storm, but it was quite beautiful. I love the contrast of the bright red leaves with the crisp blue skies and newly fallen snow. However, jumping on the trampoline wasn't quite the same thrill as usual. Poor Averie had to stay inside. Pure torture. They sure love Grandma Gina's house!

Their amazing grandma bought them front row tickets to Disney on Ice on Saturday. Heaven! They have never been to anything like that and were completely spellbound. Even Averie. Kelsey and Carlee came too. Kelsey brought cute crowns and wands for everyone. It was very magical and exciting! Thanks Mom. You're the best!!

Saturday night and Sunday we had a chance to visit family and to go to my cousin Chad's missionary farewell. It was so great to see everyone. These trips always go by way too fast. Thanks for letting us crash with you Shawn and Karen! The kids had SO much fun. I miss visiting with everyone. I'm glad Thanksgiving break is coming up soon...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Mason!!

Mason had an incredibly fun and full 8th birthday! He started the morning with his breakfast of choice: chocolate cinnamon pancakes. Mmmmmm.

After school it was PARTY time! It wasn't a "party year" for him, but he talked me into taking his closest buddies to play Laser Tag. (Yeah, it was totally a party, I'm a complete sucker.) It was actually really fun, and not very expensive. There is a cheap laser tag place that just happened to have a special today. Bonus.

The boys were in heaven! It was so funny to watch them run around shooting each other. Some of them were not very stealthy. They would run up to each other, stand about a foot apart and shoot each other point blank. Hilarious. Some of them were quite sneaky. I was thoroughly entertained.

After Laser Tag we went back to the house for pizza, cake, and ice cream. Mason wanted a "yellow puffle" on his cake. This is a yellow puffle (sort of. I'm no cake decorator.) :

Mason loved it though. That's all that matters.

His friends and sisters sang him a very boisterous rendition of "happy birthday":

Then he opened presents. He was certainly spoiled him this year! He opened all the wonderful cards and gifts from grandparents and family members (Thank you, thank you, thank you!). He also had lots of fun phone calls to wish him happy birthday. He got a new set of scriptures, some "footsie" pajamas, lots of cool toys and books, and some spending cash. (Which he already has big plans for.) I think he had a wonderful day!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Soap-Making Chronicles

I finally got all my soap-making supplies, oils, fragrances, scale, lye, etc. And finally had a day to try my hand at making cold processed soap. I was so excited and anticipating fantastic results. After all, I made one perfect batch with a little help and it wasn't all that hard...

Batch #1 (Coconut, Lime, & Verbena):


Soap isn't supposed to do that. It turns out I have a little more to learn about chemistry and the soap making process. I was so frustrated. All that time and all those expensive ingredients wasted. Grrr.

I hopped online and found what was most likely my error. (Errors.) Temperature. And under-mixing. I learned that I wasn't mixing enough before adding my fragrance, and that my initial mixing temperature was too cool. I was mistaking the clumping of the oils from cooling off for the thickening of the soap due to the chemical process of "saponification". So the lye wasn't finished reacting, nothing was mixed in, and it heated up again too hot and too fast after pouring it in the mold. The result was the gigantic soap monster in my oven. I did sort of fix it by the way. Time will tell if it worked well enough to turn into soap. It smells good though. It's interesting that in making soap the actual temperature isn't as important as the CHANGE in temperature. If it cools/heats too fast or slowly you have problems.

By the way, there are hundreds of things that can go wrong with soap-making. I laughed and laughed to see other blunders on the web. Mine was somewhat minor by comparison. It helps to have a proven and reliable recipe. That takes away much of the margin for error.

Batch #2 (Lavender):

I was determined to get this right. I measured everything perfectly, got my oils heated just right before starting the lye, and poured everything in nice and hot. Too hot, as it turns out. Brandon was helping at this point. We took turns stirring and blending and mixing, and pouring, and re-pouring... It would NOT set up. After forever long it finally started thickening and we made the final pour into the mold. It was still pudding several hours later. But it smelled good... It eventually set up, and appears to be fine. At least it is well mixed. The bars will be nice and smooth.

Batch #3 (Edward, a manly cologne kind of smell):

I almost didn't go through with the last batch. But I was pretty sure I could get it right now. It worked much better. I'm a pro at the temperature thing now. I know just what a light and heavy trace look like too. If anything we waiting a few seconds too long before pouring, but it set up perfectly, smells wonderful, and looks to be the best batch yet.

I'm glad I did all three batches in one day. I learned a lot about the process. I really want to try some of the more "creative" types of soap, like the pretty marbling, or the layered bars, or the exfoliating oatmeal/milk bars etc. After this experiment with a very basic recipe I have some reservations. Maybe I should save my creativity for other things...

And... my very first batch (Apple Jack) is almost ready for use! One more week. Aren't they pretty? (Okay, so maybe beauty is in the eye of the beholder...) I'm really excited to try them out.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Funny Mess

This could be one of the strangest messes Averie has ever made. Cutie tangerines are finally on sale again! We love them, and they are a perfect size for the kids. I bought a big ol' bag of them from the store and left them on the counter for a minute while I cleaned up the front room. Averie climbed onto the counter and peeled ALL of the little oranges. All of them. She didn't squish them or divide them in sections at all, or even eat any of them. Just peeled them. The entire bag. What a funny girl.

So if you come over to our house and are hankerin' for a snack, please don't mind the Saran-wrapped oranges in the fridge. They were peeled with love by Averie.

More Felt, I guess...

I made this yesterday. I've been doing OTHER Christmas crafts the past few weeks that I can't show on the blog for spoiler reasons, but ...

I found my bag o' felt yesterday,
my sewing machine is was fixed and lonely, waiting to be used
the kids were at school
Averie was miraculously asleep
even though I had plenty of other things I should have been doing

one thing led to another...

If you can't tell quite what it is (and believe me, I won't be offended), it's an ark. Noah's ark to be precise, to give to Averie for Christmas. Probably. Now all I need to do is make some cute little people and animals to go inside.

It's an illness, I think. Don't ask me for the pattern. There isn't one, and I don't think I could make it the same way again if I tried. It made it MUCH, much, much faster to have the sewing machine on hand. I still hand-stitched a lot of it, but all the quilting and such was by machine.
And just a side note, my machine runs SOOO much better than it ever has. YAY!

The roof and the door open and close, and have velcro attached. Don't look too closely, there are a lot of mistakes. But it was a fun little creative adventure for a Thursday afternoon.