Monday, December 31, 2007

O Christmas Tree... (goodbye)

I took down all the ornaments, but I wasn't able to bring myself to take the whole tree down just yet. (tomorrow is the day) I didn't get sick of my decorations this year and am a little reluctant to see them go! Here are a couple pics from our Christmas- took by our new camera- yeah!
Miss G totally freaking out when she saw she actually was good enough to get what she asked Santa for- a microphone! And Miss B opened several presents before she got her big one-"HEELYS!"Which I was finally able to convince her are not called "wheely's." I have since discovered that her motive behind wanting these (since before LAST Christmas) is simply looking cool- she doesn't really care to learn to use the wheels- just wearing them, with her jeans placed perfectly over the laces, is perfectly satisfactory. And finally Miss E who was finally old enough to "get" Christmas was super excited about all the presents from Santa too- she loved this baby pony until she saw big sister's baby doll,
and it's been hard to get her to let it go since.

I hope you all had a merry Christmas too!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I have been so out of blogging all month and today I'm pretending it's my day off and have been blog surfing and found my way to the Epson website and these ADORABLE printable mini albums! The best part is if you don't have image editing software, you can do these in Microsoft Word! Click HERE to get yours!
I was also thrilled to see these Christmas cards: designed by Glitz Designs especially for Epson that you can download and print too- awesome! (save them for next year) Click HERE to get them.

The Elf on the Shelf

We've had a visitor in our house since the beginning of December- it's The Elf on the Shelf! He sits up somewhere in the house every day and watches the kids, then at night, he magically leaves to report whether they are naughty or nice to Santa. Then the next day, he will be in a new spot. This has been SO much fun for my girls. I think Miss B knows what really happens, but she likes to play along. They all can't wait to find the elf every morning. A few mornings he was in the same place (sometimes I'm forgetful) and Miss G was really worried that he didn't leave because she wasn't good! I heard that she got a lot of attention at preschool because all her friends wanted to know if the elf moved last night! He was a gift from my mom last year and comes with a story book that tells how it works- if you are interrested, you can find it HERE. And our Christmas pictures are forthcoming...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Polar Express

I'm really late posting about this but a few weeks ago we did the Polar Express train ride to the "North Pole" with all the cousins on Sam's side of the family. His mom got everyone these cute matching jammies to wear on the train. It was a crazy experience, but really fun. The train goes to the "North Pole" and we get to look out the windows at it, and Santa is there and hops on the train for the ride back and stops to give each child their own bell. The kids were totally in heaven. At the train station we got to visit Mrs. Clause and make letters for Santa. It was freezing cold and RAINY the weekend we went but otherwise it was fun! Not something I could do every year, but every 2 or 3 years I think for sure!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tis the season for soup!

It's finally cold enough to enjoy soup! And since I have no camera to post more interresting things, today I'm sharing one of my favorite recipes. It is SO good, and simple, not to mention cheap to make and low calorie which is good this time of year when you're surrounded by cookies and sweets.

Tomato, Pasta and Spinach Soup
originally from Women's Day Magazine

1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp oil
6 cups water
1 can crushed tomatoes (28oz)
4 chicken broth cubes
1/4 tsp dried sage
1 cup small tubular pasta (ditalini or tubetti)
10oz box frozen chopped spinach
1 can white kidney beans (15oz)
grated Parmesan cheese
In a 3-4 quart pot, heat garlic and oil over medium heat until aromatic.
Add water, tomatoes, chicken broth cubes and sage and bring to a boil.
Stir in pasta and cook stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
Add spinach and cook, breaking up spinach as it thaws, 5-7 minutes longer until pasta is tender.
Stir in rinsed can of beans and heat 1 minute.
Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

Makes 10 cups

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My newest favorite thing

These are so good- if you see them at the grocery store, I highly suggest picking up a box- you will eat them quickly. They are easy to peel and don't make a mess, and they don't have seeds, and I think I am addicted to them, and my kids love them too.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

More cards, advent calendars and cheap printing options

I haven't been able to make time to read any blogs lately, let alone update my own! But if you have been checking to see if I've updated lately, I'm sorry! My body has clicked over to "new baby" schedule- where I fall asleep the minute my kids are in bed, and then wake up sometime during the night (on the cold couch!) till I can get back to sleep in my own bed! Tonight when I woke up I got stuck here going through e-mails so I thought I'd do a quick post of some of the things I've been thinking about. First, I found these great photo cards from the Shutterfly Digital Scrapbook advisory team that you can download and add your pictures to. If you're still trying to figure out Christmas cards, click HERE to check them out, or use them in your digital scrapbook layouts as frames! You can get them printed at Shutterfly or anywhere. Also, I get obsessed with advent/countdown calendars (but I should mention, 11 days into December and mine hasn't been touched yet! :-( But Jessica Sprauge had some AWESOME ideas of an easy one to make yourself, plus some fun ideas of Christmassy things to do each day! I love it! Maybe next year I will be more organized... Also a list of scriptures that you can read each day. Click HERE for instructions to make her cute calendar and get her fun ideas. I borrowed this picture from her site- isn't it fun?
Sam lost my camera hunting this weekend, so no pictures till we decide to buy a new one, or invest in fixing one of the old beat up ones! But I *almost* finished with the family photo advent calendar I started last year (how sad!) Here is the one I did for my sister in law last year if you didn't read my blog back then- I used different papers and colors on mine. I hope I will have pictures soon!
Finally, I just re-discovered Vista Print and am very excited to try them. I know I had a couple things printed there before, a notepad and some post-its once, but I discovered they have incredible prices for printing cards, calendars, t-shirts and lots of other cool stuff! I will try uploading some things and post again when I see how the quality is, but if you want to check it out now, click HERE and get 25% off your first order!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Home made Christmas

I'm trying to find ornaments kids can make for our ward Christmas party and I saw these stars. I don't think they would work for the ward party, but they are so pretty I think I need to make some for my tree! Click the star for the instructions. And aren't these wish spools adorable? And finally, I know my kids would LOVE to make and play with this little terra-cotta trio!

My husband as an Elf

If you want to see Sam as an elf (and make one for yourself) click HERE.
ps- that last one isn't him.

This is what it looks like...

(per Melanie's request- I needed to take this picture, thanks!)
Yes I am sure that I still have 4 1/2 months left.

No I am not having twins.

Yes my weight gain is right on schedule- this is just how I look pregnant with #4- large.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Together at last... (forever)

I know most of you don't really care but I had to take a minute for my grandma. Friday night my grandma Naomi slipped away from this life and onto the next. It's bittersweet- I haven't seen her for a few years, but I still feel sad that she's gone. I am very happy for her though as I know this must be a wonderful time for her. It has been a long life full of sickness and sorrow but she was always cheerful and positive and an incredible example to me. I think about her all the time. She was raised in real poverty. She lost 2 of her brothers that she was closest to when they were teenagers. She lost 3 infant sons, and another when he was just a toddler. She lost an adult daughter after watching her suffer a long brutal battle with breast cancer. She beat breast cancer herself twice, as well as many other life threatening illnesses. She lost her best friend and real sweetheart, my grandpa, 2 years ago, after watching him suffer from Alzheimer's. But, I think she would say her life was wonderful and rich and happy. She has always had a firm unshakable testimony of the Savior, and lived a life of love and service. I am so thankful for her and especially for the time she took to write down her life story for me so I can share her life and testimony with my children!
Grandma and Grandpa as I best remember them:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Going through my catalogs...

I put all the pumpkins and fall decor away today and then decided to pretend I had the day off for a while! I went through a bunch of the catalogs that have been stacking up. For some reason I get Pottery Barn Teen and it is of course as pretty as the rest of their catalogs- I love the collages they create on the walls in the rooms. I really loved this idea because you could easily make your own by getting one of those cork tiles, trim it to fit a picture frame, cover it with some pretty scrapbook paper or fabric, and stick in some pretty pins and you have an adorable little jewelry holder!Maybe I would think to put on earrings sometimes if they were out displayed all pretty! And this necklace from Coldwater Creek I just liked: (Sam, are you reading this??) I love pearls- I always have to stare at this bracelet from Red Envelope when I get a catalog.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Christmas Shopping- grumble grumble...

Why can't everyone just buy their own Christmas gifts! (ok, I know, that's not the spirit) Ok, for adults, I am quite sure I cannot choose anything for anyone that they would want more than something they could pick out themselves. (hmmmm, gift cards...) I tried to hit the mall today, the last day before the mall becomes off limits to me, and it was fine except I had 2 kids in tow and it's hard to be productive in those circumstances, since I am chasing them around, and I can't get anything for them anyways. Then I decided online shopping was the way to go and I've been trying to do that for a while now, with MANY interruptions, and no purchases, and 1 day into it, I'm sick of Christmas shopping! For kids, I have a hard time buying toys- they feel like a rip off, and I just see millions of pieces I'll be picking up for months to come until I can't handle it and I start slowly throwing them away or sneaking them into the DI box in the garage. Clothes, well those are fun for me to buy for the kids, but not too fun for them to open Christmas morning so I'm going to limit it to 1 really cute outfit they can be excited about. And Bella is at that age where she's not playing with a lot of toys really, and everything seems way to babyish for her, or crazy, like this electric tattoo pen that Amazon recommends for her age:What? Seriously? So my six year old can start looking forward to her first tattoo?? And don't get me started on Bratz- and these fat baby bratz- are you kidding me? I wonder if they have their own g-string under there too...
Ok, enough of my complaining- I hope no one is offended- if you like Bratz, no offense intended- you are not alone, obviously a lot of parents like them. Maybe I'm just like my mom who hated Barbie when I was a kid.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I have been hanging onto this blanket for a few years and it looks like I will actually get to use it. My Dr. said that his little part "couldn't be sticking out any more" so we're going to trust him. Yea!

Happy 4 years old!

The party was a success except that my camera battery died! We just had a family party, but in our family that still makes for a big party with 14 cousins all together plus aunts and uncles. I asked Miss G what kind of cake she wanted, meaning white or chocolate etc, but she replied "Rocket!" So I decided to give it a try and it turned out alright- she was really excited about it. I won't tell you how many hours I spent on it to get it to look half way decent!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Holiday Catalogs!

The holiday catalogs are arriving! I have a compulsive problem where I cannot throw away a catalog without looking at it- when I get really behind in this oh-so-important job, I force myself to flip through them without even really looking and only then can I throw them away. Weird, I know. But there are so many pretty things and good ideas out there to look at... Here are a couple favorites from the Comany Store right now: Of course I always am trying to think of things I could make, and this one would be something really easy with just a little sewing or even fabric glue:

And this banner is fabric, but I could see doing something out of paper kind of like it:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Digital Scrapbooking- basics

A couple of you have asked me about digital scrapbooking, and I don't have your e-mails, so here's how I got started. First you need some kind of a graphic editing program- most people use Photoshop Elements, which runs around $90, but chances are you have something on your computer that will work if you're not ready to make an investment yet. Next, you need to download some free stuff to work with. (See THIS SITE for a regularly updated list of new freebies, and check out the Shabby Princess Freebies- these are all awesome full kits) When you download it, SAVE it to a certain spot on your computer- I have a folder called DOWNLOADS so I know where to find them. They will be zip files, because they are big, so you will then need to unzip them, by double clicking on them and using a free version of WinZip. Then when they are unzipped, save them somewhere on your computer where you can find them again- mine go into a folder called SCRAPBOOK SETS. Then you can put together your page. You open the background, and then drag and drop your pictures onto it, and then drag and drop any elements you want, and add text. Beyond that, there are lots of tutorials online to learn all kinds of fun tricks you can use- particularly if you use Photoshop. I hope that helps and makes some sense! It is really quite fun, and I love that I can make something without making a big mess dragging out all my scrapbook stuff! Now, I just have to share this real quick, these cute photo frames would be fun for your holiday photo cards! You just drag them over your picture and then print wherever you get pictures! Find the download HERE until 11/16. (they have something new every Friday.)

Mission Completion!

Miss G is going to be celebrating her 4th birthday this weekend and I gave her the Target toy book to find some suggestions for gifts and when she saw this Little Einsteins Pat Pat Rocket: she immediately had to have it, and had no interest in looking for anything else. Well that's easy I thought- only it was a little hard to find, but after visiting a couple Targets, (and having Ashley check a couple more for me) we have the gift! (FYI- if you take the item number to customer service, they can pull up on the computer a list of stores that had it as of midnight or something, and how many they had, and it has phone numbers so you can call and ask them to check if they still have it in stock, and some stores will even hold the item for you.) I even resisted the urge to buy a second one and jack the price up on ebay. Then she decided she also wanted her party to be Little Einsteins themed. Well there is not any Little Einsteins party supplies on the market yet. (there will be in January fyi) And apparently no stickers either as I have searched everywhere for some! So I am going to get a little more creative with this party than usual, and I made the invites with borrowed images from online (I hope that's legal- I'm not selling them!) and solid colored plates etc... I just discovered the Playhouse Disney website also has a bunch of ideas and downloadable printable things to use so I'm way excited! Here's the link if anyone else has to plan a Little Einsteins party soon: They even have an invitation you can print but I found that after I made ours.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Friday, November 09, 2007

Back in the saddle

It has been months since I did any digital scrapping and I am so excited that I actually did some today! They aren't perfect, but I like them and now I've gotten past that mental block.This one was mostly copied from one in the Shabby Princess Gallery.

This is a must see

I have not loved a movie like this in a long time- maybe never. It's not a comedy, it's a love story, but I laughed to tears all through it. I saw it for the second time last night, and I can't wait to buy it when it comes out. I can't believe there is a movie that would actually make Steve Carell seem attractive to me. Go see it!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Family Pictures

We survived a family photo shoot- somehow our awesome photographer managed to get a bunch of really beautiful pictures! This one made me laugh because it just summed up the whole experience: from the left, Miss G was cracking silly faces the whole time, Miss B was trying very hard to do whatever the photographer asked, but her expressions weren't very natural, and Miss E was in her own world, very fussy, trying to do whatever she wanted, and definately not whatever we wanted her to do!

The fair is not scary

I did get to see a broader spectrum of people than normal, but I was never scared, and it was a lot of fun. I haven't been since I was a kid and entered my baked goods in the 4-H competitions. The best part is the food, it all looks and smells really good. I had some yummy pizza from Enzo's Pizzeria and where else do you get funnel cake! Mmmm, with strawberries and whip cream...

This is really ugly

But if you are one of those people who can reupholster, or sew slip covers, it's a really good deal- only $99 HERE.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


I know it's come and gone and I'm a little late, but better late than never! We had a great holiday with lots of fun traditions and some cute pictures too. My mom always used to color our food for holidays but I ran out of orange food coloring so I tried to make our food festive- here is Miss B's daily grilled cheese cut into Halloween shapes.
Grandma Mimi got all the cousins matching jammies and we did a little photo shoot with them:
And the pumpkin decorating party:
And here's "Mimi and Papa" at Ginger's fun carnival:And a few other traditions I didn't get pictures of: home made donuts and root beer at my mom's house, a fun themed dinner party at the inlaws and the kids scavenger hunt for Herkimer's bones. (he's a skull that lost all his bones.)
I am very proud of myself for getting all the Halloween decorations packed away for next year already- I'm going to miss these guys though.