Sunday, November 30, 2008

Showcase

I bought an advertising spot on Etsy today in one of their Showcases. Go check me out! (If you aren't looking at this on Sunday, then I won't be there. It only lasts one day.)

The kids and I are staying home from church today. Nobody is really, really sick, but all of the kids are just sick enough that they probably shouldn't go. (Especially the boys with their snottyness in nursery) If it was just one of them we'd probably go anyway, but since it's all three we'll stay home.

Last night we had some out-of-town family visit. We had a good chat with Aunt Ellen, Uncle Frank and their son Carl. My Aunt Nancy, Uncle Chris and their two sons, Christopher and Mark also came over. We had a lovely, low-key dinner and then just sat and chatted until it was time for them to go. I love that I love my family.

We bought our Christmas tree yesterday! We don't usually get ours this early but we are actually leaving in three weeks so we figured if we were going to get one, now was the time! We got it put up in the stand but haven't done any decorating yet. Maybe today.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving

We had a grand Thanksgiving. I only had to do pies and mashed potatoes, so the cooking was not stressful. Richard did the Turkey (including waking up at 3 am to put it in the brine). We only had 8 adults and 3 kids, so the people weren't overwhelming. People didn't really show up at our house until about an hour before we had planned on eating, so it really was a very peaceful and slow-paced day. I think we all thoroughly enjoyed it. And of course, the food was fabulous! We were most thankful for having Karen and her fiancee Jared with us for the day. Karen and Jared seem to be perfect matches for each other.

Below, Isaiah spies on Daddy and Uncle Kevin as they get some juice out of the turkey for making the gravy.



We attempted to take some family photos that might be good enough for Christmas cards. I don't think we got any good enough for that, but I'm glad we got some family photos anyway.


After the kids went to sleep we played a little Guitar Hero and then watched a movie. Oh, and ate more pie, of course!

********************************
Yesterday evening we went to a little "reception" here for Karen and Jared. It was a nice sit-down dinner with many friends and family. We met Jared's parents and two of his sisters. It was a great night. Richard and I even got to throw in a little dancing. We practiced our two-step for Ruthie's wedding - but we may need a little help from someone who has done it more recently than me!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Don't forget the whole point of the day: PIE!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Looky, looky!

Looky, looky what I got!


Richard and I have been on the hunt for the perfect Amethyst ring for me ever since our anniversary this past October. We finally found one we really liked but didn't end up actually buying it. And then Richard came home with it today as a surprise for me! It still needs to be sized but I guess he was so excited about it that he brought it home for a visit before it goes back to the store for the sizing. And I must admit, I'm pretty excited myself. Ain't it purdy?

Twitter

I'm Twittering my step-by-step Thanksgiving Prep today. Check me out.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Meet Jared

Yesterday we had the honor of meeting Jared. Jared is Richard's little sister Karen's fiancee. They're getting married December 27. Jared seems like a great guy. The kids instantly loved him just as much as they love Karen (which is a lot!). He hung out with Richard and Richard's brother Kevin while Karen, Kevin's wife Kelly, Margaret my MIL and I went shopping. We were on the search for an outfit for Karen to wear to the reception here in Virginia this Friday. We found the perfect thing after just a couple of hours and came back exhausted.







As you can see, the kids ran Jared pretty ragged. But he was a great sport. Welcome to the family Jared!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Book Exchange

I think I'd like to try a book exchange here on the blog. I have a nice pile of books that I've recently finished reading and I was getting ready to sell them on half.com when it occurred to me that maybe YOU would like to read them. One of them, The Book Thief, was given to me by my mother and she said to pass it along when I'm done and that's what got me thinking.

So here's how I think it'll work. I'll tell you what books I've got. If you're interested in one of them, and have a book laying around that you think I might be interested in, leave me a comment. When a match is made, we'll each send our books to each other and have a nice read. What do you think? Oh, and if you see someone's comment about a book they've got and you're just dying to have it, leave a comment saying you want that one - we'll work it out.

Here's what I've got:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Highly recommended by my mother. Sad story, but also very uplifting in that whole man-triumphing-over-man type of way. A more serious book than I usually read but I still really enjoyed it.)

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Great book, good movie that just came out. Great story of love - not just man/woman love but friendship love and sister love, etc.)

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (OK, so she leaves her hubby for somewhat selfish reasons at the beginning of the book. But overall it has very intense and beautifully written life lessons. Deep, spiritual life lessons. I really liked it.)

Miss Spitfire, Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller (Read it for book club, but it did help me think about my parenting skills and how to communicate with my non-communicative son but was a fun, quick read)

Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon (Actually the 8th book in a series, also read for book club. But it made mild sense without having read any of the others and as I recall had a happy Christmas theme.)

Let the exchanging begin!

(Anyone is welcome to join the fun. Blog stocker, first time visitor, family member or friend - whoever. I love to read and think it'll be fun to see what books are offered up to me in exchange. I guess the only rule is that you have to be honest. Don't request a book without sending one in return.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Midnight

It's midnight. And I'm up. And wired. Why? Because I just got back from a fun high-school-flashback type night out with my girlfriends. We saw Twilight (of course) then went out for dessert after. I guess those aren't too thrilling of plans. What's thrilling is just my emotions I guess. I really needed a good night out with "the girls". It's just so great to be with friends you can totally relax around and easily chat and have fun. ... Add that to my "thankful" list for the year I guess. Good girlfriends. And chocolate. What a combination!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Skittles





Who knew you could make that much of a mess with 5 Skittles?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why Americans get stressed

Here's my theory of why we all get so stressed between Thanksgiving and Christmas:

A message popped up in an email from a store that said "29 Days left for Christmas delivery with standard shipping". And I thought "But it's not even Thanksgiving yet! How can I already be running out of time!"

I was reading a blog of a Canadian girl recently and she referred to the fact that their Thanksgiving equivalent is in October so for them November is a restful month where they recoup a little and get ready to get ready for Christmas. Then they're ready for December craziness.

I think our stress, as a nation, comes from jamming two holiday's together and not allowing ourselves to think about one until the first is over. Christmas is coming, even though Thanksgiving isn't here yet. I know December is going to be full of parties and events and I'll want to bake and do crafts and decorate. So why do I insist on waiting until then to start the real bulk of my shopping too? Deals are better now, stores are better stocked now.

I think we should all just get over the whole "it's not Christmas yet" thing and start dealing with it! (And by "we" I mostly mean "I" because if you all wait longer then I'll have an easier time now in the stores) So today's task is to start my "Christmas Gift Organizing" plan. Last year I ended up with way too many little, "just a few bucks" gifts for the kids because I couldn't remember what I had gotten (and so many "just a few bucks" can really add up!). So this year I have big plans for a notebook with a complete, master list. Not just the big gifts, but everything. Since none of my kids can read that's not a risky thing to do.

I also have plans to organize a Christmas Shopping Babysitting Exchange within my ward and friends. We'll pick two days and on the first day half of us will shop for a couple of hours and half will babysit all the kids at one house (so it'll be like a party for the half staying at home too!). Then on the second day we'll swap. Doesn't that sound like fun? ...Or will this end up like my Voting party and nobody will come even though they all think it's a "genius idea"?

***Oh. And this seems an excellent opportunity to remind you that Chic Made is a great place to shop for gifts for your loved ones!***

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Naomi Turns 5

This weekend we celebrated Naomi's 5th birthday. I can't believe it! We had some definite fun. We had a family party on Sunday night with Grandma and Grandpa Worth and Uncle Kevin and Aunt Kelly. Pizza for dinner, at Naomi's request. We had a beautiful castle-shaped cake made by Mom (which we have no pictures of because the camera batteries died) and decorations by Asher (with a LOT of help from Mom). Naomi lapped up the attention like a kitten laps up milk on the floor. She got Sleeping Beauty and a Barbie of Sleeping Beauty, another Barbie, a book, two My Little Pony's and My Little Pony beach scene type thingy (hand-me-down from a friend). She loved everything but we got the biggest reaction from the Sleeping Beauty DVD. Ahhh, the power of commercials.
We celebrated again on Monday because Naomi was dying to take cupcakes to school with her. And we forgot about blowing out candles on Sunday, so we did that Monday with the cupcakes after Mac N Cheese (at Naomi's request). Naomi insisted we call her "Birthday Girl" all day. Asher spent the entire day wishing everyone he saw a "Happy Birthday!" Isaiah just applauded us each time we sang.




Here's a little video of Naomi talking about her cool Sleeping Beauty doll and taking cupcakes to school on Monday.

video


And here's a small snippet of Asher's rendition of "Happy Birthday" - complete with typical boy behavior.

video

Don't Worry

...I'm fine. My sister called me yesterday all concerned about me because I hadn't blogged all weekend. No, I'm not dead, just busy. Saturday was our ward's Craft Day and I was in charge of two of the crafts. I was pretty busy rounding up the supplies for those and then pretty busy on Saturday with 4 hours of crafting then Birthday Party prep (more about the birthday party in my next post) plus all the usual Saturday getting-ready-for-Sunday stuff.

Sunday was a very special day for Isaiah and I. It was his first day in Nursery! He marched right into the nursery and didn't take a single glance over his shoulder. I stood there watching him for a minute and then thought "What am I doing here still?" and bolted out of there. He was totally fine the entire two hours! It was the first time in two and a half years that I didn't have a baby with me during Sunday School and Relief Society. Sunday School seemed very long! In Relief Society I kept glancing around at the other babies and I felt very restless. I missed my baby! But I couldn't be happier that I was missing him. He is apparently over his seperation anxiety phase because yesterday I took him to the gym and he was totally fine there too. He is in this funny little phase where he still seems totally "baby" some of the time and totally "toddler" some of the time. Words are even on the tip of his tongue.

...Stay tuned for Naomi's Birthday post...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Graffiti

It seems a graffiti artist was let loose in my house. The evidence is all over the place.

Exhibit 1: The toilet seat in a certain daughter's bathroom
Exhibit 2: A table top in a certain daughter's room

Exhibit 3: The windows of the castle mural in said certain daughter's room (are you sensing a theme?)


Exhibit 4: Blue faced Princesses. For all you non-Princess people, no, none of these princesses are meant to be blue. Even Pocahontas' dark skin isn't supposed to be that dark.

A certain daughter (OK, fine, I won't leave you in suspense, it's Naomi) and I had a very serious long chat about all of this. All pens have been confiscated, leaving her with only crayons. What's silly is that the Princesses tick me off the most. She loves them so much and loves to play with them, I just don't understand why she would ruin them like that. They are currently taking a bath in toxic chemicals in the hopes that the ink will at least fade.
Naomi really is a wonderful artist and she really seems to love it. I think she has potential to be a great artist some day (especially because she loves it). So I don't want to squelch that. But she really has no need to color on random things. I keep her well supplied with plenty of paper and coloring books. Since we're talking about what a fab artist she is, I have to include one of her latest works of art:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

From tiger to kitten


Asher has gone from a growling tiger to a meowing kitten in the last few months. His behavior has taken a turn onto "Much Better" street. His little angel on his shoulder kicked the devil on his shoulder's butt. The sweet side has won over the naughty side. He made it onto Santa's Nice List. However you want to say it, he's a much happier, sweeter and obedient boy. Now, I'm not saying we don't still have our moments - and plenty of them. I'm just saying he is doing much better. It seems my theory that Asher just needed a little more "Mommy time" was right. I am so happy to have found the answer and been able to deliver it (although I admit to still wondering if I could have done something earlier to nip this in the bud instead of needing full-scale re-landscaping). I think Asher will always be strong-willed and will never have the same desire to "do good all the time" like Naomi (but who will?). But he is such a sweet child. He has love visible in his eyes so much of the time. The other day I overheard a discussion between Naomi and Asher that went like this:

Naomi: Asher, guess what? I love you.
Asher: Thank you, Naomi. I love you too.

and then they hugged. Could they be any sweeter? I am such a lucky Mom.

video
(click through to see the attached video)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Boys

Here's Isaiah climbing out of the top shelf of my desk. He was pretty much all the way in there just a second before. Of course I missed the shot.


Asher playing with a train and fire truck.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Success with yeast

Yeast and I have never really gotten along. I like to eat it (ya know, when combined with other things). It likes to frustrate me. Anything I attempt that involves yeast is a colossal failure. The few things I have managed were nursed along by multiple calls to my Mommy or big sis.

Until today.

Today I triumphed. I baked bread that was totally edible and even, dare I say, yummy! The recipe for my Honey Whole Wheat Bread came from Chocolate on My Cranium. (Funny enough, I realized that she posted her recipe almost exactly a year ago. That's how long this recipe has been in my notebook under the "I want to make this someday" category.) Anyway...you don't need a blow by blow of baking bread. I just needed to post this success. Maybe my relationship with yeast has been taken to a new level. Or maybe it was just dumb luck. Only time will tell.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Angel Faces

Richard and I have been trading off turns being "the sick one" every other minute around here for the last three days. We're all kind of tired of it. But there are three things that keep us going.




Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dresses on the brain

I have several big events coming up that require a fabulous new dress. First, Richard's office Christmas party in early December. It's not too fancy, but I like to dress up, so I use it as an excuse. Second, Richard's little sister, Karen, is getting married December 27. Her colors are burgundy and blues and she asked that people who want to feel a part of the group wear a coordinating color. Third, my little sister, Ruth, is getting married January 9. (Don't even get me started on the craziness that will be our holiday travelling!) Her colors are maroon and fuchsia and yellow. Now, just a side note in case you didn't know, "burgundy" and "maroon" are basically the same color. So that means I could wear the same dress to both of those events. And burgundy/maroon also happens to be an appropriate color to wear to a Christmas party. So I figure I can buy one twice-as-expensive-as-normal dress to wear to all three events and still claim to be saving money since I'm not buying three dresses! Wa-who!!!

I've spent the last two days scouring the internet for an appropriate dress. It is not easy! (Although also not all together unpleasant. I do love to shop.) And now I give you my fav five dresses. And, quite, frankly, I'm not sure any of them is "the one". You tell me.

Option 1: An Ann Klein Sateen Sheath dress. I'm not sure if it's really the right color (is "Cerise" another name for maroon and burgundy or is it really more pink-ish?) or if it would work modesty-wise looking at those sleeves.

Option 2: A stretch Wrap dress. Possibly my favorite, but again I'm not so sure that the color is right. Too red?

Option 3: A Tahari ASL Ponte dress. Kinda retro but in a very now kind of way. Way too "raspberry" if the picture is true to color.




Option 4: A velvet and sparkly mesh dress. Too matronly? Not really me? Too 80's? Definitely my least favorite.

Option 5: Jones New York Matte Jersey with a brooch. Ok fine, it's not maroon or burgundy or any shade anywhere near them. But it's just a gorgeous dress so I had to add it to the file.
Opinions?
Don't worry. I'm going to the mall tonight for more shopping. I seriously dreamt about these dresses last night. I must have flipped through literally hundreds and maybe thousands of dresses yesterday and I've been at it again today!





I admit it...

I didn't vote for him. I voted for the other guy. But whoever you voted for, I think you must admit that today is a historic and exciting day. A day our kids and grandkids and on and on will talk about and learn about in school. A day we discussed in our own school days as a hypothetical. It's big. Wow!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting Party Flop

Last night it occurred to me that I certainly didn't want to vote with all three kids in tow. And I didn't have any idea how I was going to get around that. So I was talking with a friend who has a couple of kids too and she suggested we swap babysitting each other's kids while we voted. Then it occurred to me that I can't be the only Mom wishing she didn't have to lug her kids into that quiet, even reverent room. So I emailed every Mom of young kids that I know and suggested that they drop off their kids at my house any time between 10 and 12 and I'd watch the kids while the Moms voted. I pictured there being enough Mom's coming and going that I wouldn't really ever be in over my head despite the fact that if everyone I invited came there could be somewhere around 30 kids.

This morning I was all ready and excited. A friend called and said she had had a nightmare on my behalf where she imagine 10 babies going nuts all at once and more appearing by the second. I laughed and told her I was sure we would be fine.

Long story long, nobody came except the original friend I had planned on swapping babysitting with. Which is fine. I'm not offended or anything - I'm just amazed. Maybe people already had it worked out how there were going to vote. Or maybe people didn't vote. Or maybe not everybody dreads taking their kids to a place like that. But I am still pretty amazed. Did you take your kids with you to vote?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

We have a winner!

And the winner of the Chic Made bracelet is Lisa from MowerMOM! Congratulations, Lisa. I already sent you an email, but if you haven't yet please send me your snail mail address.

Thanks to everybody who stopped by the blog and the Etsy shop. We're happy to have made some new friends.