Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Pics

Last year I got in trouble the morning after Halloween for not having posted pictures yet. So this year I'm on the ball and posting pics while it's still the 31st. Nobody could possibly complain then!

First off, there are some pics from last weekend's church Trunk or Treat. For this event even Richard and I dressed up (because Naomi would have it no other way). However, Asher refused to wear either of the TWO store-bought costumes I had gotten him because, despite the tag saying 2T-4T, neither of them fit.

Naomi, The Bride

Isaiah, The Dog (or, if you prefer, Poochy)

Richard, Indiana Jones
Nancy, the generic cat

Asher, Indiana Jones in training, (or, as Richard says, Steve Jobs - apparently Steve Jobs always wears a black shirt and jeans)
Our silly Jack-O-Lantern that the kids and I carved

Naomi, The Bride, in the Halloween Parade at Preschool

Naomi The Bride, Asher The Penguin, Friend Sienna The Giraffe, Isaiah The Pooch

(Asher's penguin costume was actually what I had planned for him from Day One. But I had so much trouble finding the basic black starter-outfit that I twice gave up and bought the stupid store-bought costumes. Sheesh. In the end I threw this together last night. But I'm really happy with how it turned out.)

Below, Asher and his friend Zach/Robin have given up on this whole walking-door-to-door-but-never-going-in thing and plopped down on a random neighbor's front lawn. That was the end of Trick or Treating for them. Naomi and her friend Sienna made it a few more streets.

Good night!

Moisture please!

Ok, so here's the way-too-much-information (males, just start skimming now - you're not interested).

Back in the day when I had a regular amount of time to get dressed each day (pre-kids that is) I wore foundation every day. When that all changed and I didn't really have a reliable time and who the heck cared anyway because nobody even saw me most days, I got out of that habit. But life recovers quickly and I soon wanted to start looking decent again. But with maybe a little faster routine. So I started using tinted moisturizer. It seemed like the perfect thing - one step and my skin is prepped for the day with a little bit of coverage.

The problem is that now I really need that moisture but I'm ready to up my game back to some kind of full-on foundation. I've noticed in pictures recently that my freckles are showing through a little more than I'd like. I'd like more coverage. But I can't find a good moisturizer-foundation combination that works. I've only tried a moisturizer (Oil of Olay) under the foundation I used to wear (Cover Girl Clean Make-up). The foundation just slid right off when combined with the Oil of Olay. I don't really want to invest $100 in trying ten different combinations before I find something that works. So help me out Ladies. What works for you?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Space: The final frontier

Space is at a premium in our house. Not closet space, or storage space, but "this-is-my" space.

Richard recently gave up the basement as "his space" so that it could become part playroom part craft room part storage room part office.

As a chain reaction of that, I had to relinquish some control of my formal dining room so that Richard could have some "this is my" space in there for his laptop and a few office supplies. The result of that is that Richard is more "present" when he is "present but working"- instead of holed up in the basement. So that was a good move.

Asher recently gave up on using a high chair (he had a high chair that pulled up to the kitchen table - no tray). So since he vacated that space, Isaiah moved into it from his high chair with a tray. Isaiah moving to the table means that there now all the seats at the table are occupied during a family dinner. This is unfortunate news for me and my laptop. (Although it's good news for kitchen flow - two high chairs in one kitchen is a serious space problem.)

Me and my laptop have previously occupied a space at the kitchen table on a regular basis. The laptop sat there pretty much non-stop for the past year or so. It is a very convenient place for me. more. So I have claimed a part of the family room as "this is my" space. More of the kids' toys were kicked out (to the basement for now - to storage or the garbage soon) and I took over one measly corner. And I mean measly. I am so jammed into this corner, it's pathetic.

See my tiny corner over there? Jammed between the couch and the bookcase?
My $7 Craigslist table, an old drape my mother made 4 years ago for our old house, and a folding chair. Notice that the chair can't even be pushed in all the way because there's not enough room.

But I think it's a good change. As part of my "House of Order" initiative, I have been trying to spend less time at the computer and more time attending to my other jobs as Mother. So having the laptop in a slightly less convenient place is a good thing. It's not as easy to just slide into the chair and check my email. I'm not tempted to look every time I walk through the kitchen on my way to somewhere else. *Sigh* But I admit that I do feel a little like I'm in withdrawal.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Forensics Analysis

I recently watched an episode of some CSI show where the CSI's were lead to the killer by some spice on the floor of the kitchen. And I gotta think...what conclusion would a scientist come to if he examined my kitchen floor on any given day? I think it would go something like this:

"I found a powdery substance under the first chair that I determined to be sugar. I traced it back to Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Clearly, someone ate some cereal for breakfast this morning! But I also found trace amounts of a day-glow-orange substance that, upon further testing, I determined to be reside from Macaroni and Cheese. And, upon breaking down the chemical compound further I determined never to eat that stuff again. These two pieces of evidence tell me that nobody swept the floor after dinner last night. But where it gets really confusing is that under a second chair I found trace amounts of peanut butter and a small amount of jelly. It was in an odd shape so I put it into the computer and determined that a piece of bread with PB&J had been dropped on the floor there, PB&J side down. I have no way of knowing how old this specimen was, but I think we can safely say that this floor has not been moped in a while. One last thing, at least 7 toys were in the vicinity of the kitchen floor in question. I found trace amounts of human saliva, sugar, soil, and peanut butter on each toy but in varying combinations. In conclusion, this family used their kitchen regularly."

Ya know? (And that's on a good day! I look at that picture and remember that I swept up a little disaster this morning, which explains why it's so clean.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway time!

Welcome Bloggy Giveaway-ers!

I think this is my fourth Bloggy Giveaway and I couldn’t be happier to do it again. I’m a comment junkie, so a week of comments-by-the-minute is always OK with me!

Let me introduce myself: My name is Nancy. I’m a mother to three, jewelry designer, all-things-purple lover, LDS, sister to five, chocolate lover, Etsy shop owner, TV junkie, avid reader, and craft lover (in no particular order). I blog about all of those things and more. I try to blog about real life – not just the good days but the kinda disastrous ones, grumpy ones, wanna-lock-my-children-in-a-closet ones, as well as the picture-perfect days. In fact, the pictures of my kids are just a bonus for you!

On to this time’s giveaway! How about some beautiful jewelry? Say…a bracelet?

Here’s a picture
or you can check it out here in my Etsy shop for details about it.

To enter you need to cruise by my Etsy shop, Chic Made. Then come back here and leave me a comment. That’s it. I’m not going to make you leave me some compliment or anything, I’m just taking you on your word that you’ve stopped by my shop and taken a look. Keep me in mind for Christmas gifts. I’d be happy to personalize something for you, design something from scratch, or adjust sizing anytime. As a matter of fact, I’d be thrilled to do it. Really. I love making jewelry. It makes me happy.

So that’s it. Leave me a comment. I’ll choose a winner Saturday morning, November 1. If the winner doesn't give me their address by Tuesday morning, I'll pick another winner.

And to help lure you into my Etsy shop, here is a sampling of some of my work: (click on each picture to be taken to my Etsy shop and see the details about each piece.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Daddy's Cuddles

There is a very special time each day, just after Isaiah wakes up from his afternoon nap, when he gives out cuddles freely and liberally to anyone within the reach of his cute little chubby arms. It is a glorious time of day that I cherish. He'll lay on my chest on the couch, or bring me a blanket to cover us both up with. Sometimes I can even persuade Naomi to join in the cuddling. Since Richard is rarely home to benefit from this fabulous ritual, I selflessly asked him if he would like a chance to partake of the cuddly goodness today. He got up from his computer, came into the family room, and did the following:

Can you believe he squandered his cuddles this way? He claims that this is a "Daddy way of cuddling". That may be true. But if it is, there is much to be said for the "Mommy way of cuddling" too.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Naomi's preschool had a field trip to "Pumpkinville" today. I left the boys at home and got to go along. We had such a blast! It was so great to see Naomi "in her element". She travelled in a pack of girls...when did she grow up? This girl will not have a problem transitioning to all-day-school. She impressed the pants off her teacher right in front of me. She said "What's that, Mom?" pointing to a tee pee. I told her. And she said "It's kinda like a triangle. I could draw that at home. I'd just do a triangle and some sticks poking out."

Below is Naomi, her pack of friends, and their Assistant Teacher, Mrs. Bradish.

And here is Naomi with her Teacher, Mrs. Eddy.

It was good to have some time for just us girls!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Start shopping!

I love being an "Entrepreneur". I live for the "view count" on my little Etsy shop. It makes me so happy when people look at my stuff. It makes me even more happy when people buy my stuff! Entrepreneur-ship seems to run in my family all of the sudden. My sister owns and runs Red Rocket Resume, the greatest resume writing service ever. My brother is starting up a PTAC servicing company called Superior PTAC Services (a PTAC is some kind of air conditioning unit in big buildings apparently). My Dad just started his own handyman company, Clear Sky Handyman. Apparently, we like running a business!

Since I started my Etsy shop, I've also loved to shop on other people's Etsy shops. I think it's because purchases mean so much to me that I want to share that "love" with other people. So I plan to do as much of my Christmas shopping on Etsy as possible (and anyway, there are some incredible deals!). And Tip Junkie just made that easier! Tip Junkie has a list of Mom-owned businesses to shop at for the holiday's! She's calling it her Mom-Prenuers Shop-a-thon. And my little Etsy shop, Chic Made, is included! So go check it out now, and remember it for your shopping later. There are some seriously talented ladies out there!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cheap Halloween Costume ALERT!

I was just at Costco and they had animal costumes (dog, tiger, lion, cow, dragon, giraffe, and more) for $9.99. Pretty cute, not-so-cheesy ones. Just thought maybe somebody would appreciate the heads up. They also had decent looking Disney Princess costumes for $19.99.


Today is super windy. I had to take my "Beware" sign off the front door because it kept banging on the door making me think somebody was there. It's definitely Fall around here. The leaves that have already fallen are blowing around in little mini-tornadoes in the cul-de-sac. The leaves that are on the trees still are quickly being blown off. Leaves are falling so fast and so consistently that it looks like it's snowing. And the kids are in the backyard in their sweaters playing in the leaves. Naomi says they're playing in the leaves and the "hay". The hay is the pine needles that have fallen off the big pine tree right outside the back door. Our backyard looks like one of Naomi's drawings. One side is a solid light-tan color from the fallen pine needles and the other side is the red and orange of fallen leaves. The kids are busily blurring the line between the two by transporting leaves and pine needles from one side to the other.

This is the kind of day that makes me wish I was a poet. Or at least had better writing skills so that I could help you feel like I do. Maybe it's like this at your house too, so you don't need me to tell you about it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Today is Richard and my 7th wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary to us! Nothing special planned. We really celebrated this summer with our tubing adventure. We had a convenient babysitter then, so it was easier. But despite the not-really-celebrating, I couldn't let the day pass without saying how much I love my hubby and how I can't live without him.

Lov eyou, Babe. (Yes, I'm aware I spelled that incorrectly. Personal joke.)

Scripture Study

One week down... a bazillion to go.

Our family has never done a regular family scripture study program. It always seemed a little pointless, quite frankly, since the kids were so young. But part of my "house of order" thing was to start scripture study. Naomi is 4, nearly 5, and it's time. So we started out bringing all the kids into our room and doing it on our bed - but Asher and Isaiah both escaped. It didn't work at all. So after two failed attempts at doing it that way we tried something new - leaving the boys in their cribs. Naomi, Richard and I go sit on the floor in the boys room between their cribs. The boys stay in their cribs, and then we can actually do some reading. We have successfully done this for a week now.

We have the Book of Mormon Reader, which is great for kids, but we want to read straight from the scriptures at family scripture study. So we decided to deal with that by having Sunday nights be "BoM Reader Night". Last night we looked at the Reader and used our Gospel Art Kit to show the kids pictures and do a little review of everything we had read in the past week. The kids really enjoyed it.

I am so excited to have started a new program that is really working for us. I know our family will be blessed because of it. ... We already are being blessed by starting out each day with the Spirit.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Family Under Construction Sign

I told you I was whipping up a sign the other day. I'm only 1/2 satisfied. The blue/green/yellow one I made with my home's colors in mind and I don't like how it turned out at all. I didn't realize how bright the yellow was. I was thinking it would look good because, you know, it's like a "caution" sign or a construction sign. But in the end I think it just looks cheap and gaudy. Also, the green paper was too thin so it wrinkled when I put the Mod Podge on, and the whole thing looks messy because of it. The tan/green/brown one I made for my friend Stephanie. I love how hers turned out. The background paper is so subtle that it almost looks like it's stenciled on. Overall though, for something I whipped up with stuff I had lying around, I think they turned out good enough. Here are the finished products:

Random Note: I just went to get Isaiah as he woke up from his afternoon nap and somehow he had wriggled out of his pants. They are a little long on him so I'm guessing he stepped on the hem which pulled them down a little and it all went "down hill" from there (yuck yuck!). It was just such an adorably unexpected state to find him in that I find myself chuckling uncontrollably. He may be loosing some of his baby fat, but his legs are still pretty darn chunky!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm a winner!

I've been entering the daily giveaways at Bloggy's Giveaways for more than a year now. And I had never won one until today! And it's even a good one! I won a t-shirt from Chicatees with this on it:

Yeah me! It even has a cute chic on it- which I happen to have a certain fondness for since my business has a chic of it's own.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Family Under Construction

My friend, Stephanie, rocks. She is in my ward here and we have much in common (a love of parties and excuses to leave the house, a crazy life full of kids, a desire for more of the same craziness, etc.). She is one of the girlfriends who hung out with me at my Sterlingfest booth. She left a comment on my previous post that, among other things, said:

"All of this reminds me of a few years ago when everybody's start-up websites said "under construction" Remember those? I should put a sign up above my front door: "Family Under Construction". Or maybe something more challenging like "House of God under construction"

I love it! I am working right now on making a sign that says "Family Under Construction". Love, love, love it. Thanks, Steph! I'll make one for you too!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A house of...

I think one of the things that makes a blog fun to read is the reality of it. As a blog reader, I don't want just the "we're a perfect family" moments. Of course, I don't want to read about how much your life sucks all the time either. A good mix is important I think.

**Warning** If you are my mother you probably shouldn't read this. You don't want to know.**

So with that in mind, let me tell you about how out of control my house had gotten recently. Clutter. Out of control clutter. I mean, bad. The living room - my formal, fancy, first thing you see when you walk in the door, don't let the kids in there ever, room - was so full of stuff you could hardly walk. What stuff? Just...stuff. A suitcase from Richard's business trip a couple of weeks ago, a whiteboard, a miscellaneous magazine, a "crash pad" my brother-in-law left here, a formal dress my sister borrowed, piles of church papers, a pile of stuff that needs to go to the dry cleaners, etc. And then I came home from Sterlingfest and dumped all my stuff there too. We hadn't actually seen the whole top of the kitchen table in a while. The pile at the end of the counter was over-flowing. The little table I keep my purse on in the family room was piled with sweaters that hadn't found a home yet this Fall. I guess you don't need a total blow-by-blow of the clutter - but let me just say again that it was totally out of control. I'd been sick and I'd been busy prep-ing for Sterlingfest and I'd been lazy. Combine all that...and you get a nasty house. And it all came mentally crashing down on my yesterday. It crashed so hard that I made Richard stay home from work to help me because I was drowning in it.

So after a day of hard work we have a de-cluttered, clean, and more organized house. And we have a new "motto" if you will. D&C 88; 119. "Organize yourselves, prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God." We started with the house of order. But we've implemented some new plans to help with a house of prayer and faith and learning too. Today I feel much more in control emotionally and physically. Whew.

So there you go. Proof that we are a family that is a work in progress. Just like yours.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Reston Zoo

Richard had the day off work for Columbus Day yesterday so we headed out for some family fun. It was nice to have a second "Saturday" since the original was taken up with Sterlingfest. We went to a nearby small zoo. I think it was better for our family than a big zoo anyway since the animals were all closer and more accessible. It's hard to point out a small animal barely in sight and get a 1 1/2 year old excited about it. But here, the animals were almost too close sometimes!

Take a good look at the background of the below picture. Those big yellow and black things are humongous pythons.
We were so proud of Naomi for going on a pony ride without a freak out. She wasn't scared!
She was pretty darn proud, actually. We tried to get Asher to do it too and he wouldn't. There were several major freak out's during the wagon ride. The scariest thing? An Emu. That's right. Tears from both Naomi and Asher because the Emu came a little too close for comfort.

Feeding the sheep and goats was scary too until we figured out that Naomi could just hold the entire cup of feed up for them.
Asher was having none of it, though. He never let me set him down in this little barn. He was not OK with this situation. Isaiah couldn't have been happier. He was totally at ease and spent most of the time with his mouth hanging wide open in joy.
And making his one animal noise - a viscous growl. (see video at the very bottom)

It was a very fun day. But apparently exhausting too. Our poor little Poochy didn't even make it the short drive home without conking out.
Here's a video of Isaiah growling at a bull. Check out those horns!