Friday, May 30, 2008

Ballet Recital

Sometimes, I stand in awe of my children. Today, that happened. Our 9-year old and 5-year old danced in a ballet recital, and all I can say is, they must have inheritated the light-footed, flexiblity and grace of my better half, because they certainly didn't get it from me! They were BEAUTIFUL, and our oldest in particular is an amazing ballerina already. They began taking lessons at the beginning of the school year, and she's just a natural. All my life, I've secretly wanted to be a ballerina, and I guess I'm living vicariously through my daughters.

On an interesting side-note, this is the first time the girls have ever worn a sleeve-less anything. I'm a big stickler on modesty, and when these costumes were first presented, as lovely as they are, I felt a bit apprehensive. So we sat down and had a long chat about modesty, and dance. We decided that because ballet is "of good report and praiseworthy" and because the BYU ballet classes perform in similar costumes, that it was okay in this ONE instance. I was proud of the girls - they told me "after the recital, Mom, we'll wear them for dress-ups with a t-shirt."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Philmont Scout Ranch

I'm still not finished with my Imaginisce assignment, but since I haven't blogged for a week, I suppose it's time!

I just went through my pictures from attending a Family Fun Weekend Event at Philmont Scout Ranch. It was the first weekend in May, and we had a blast! We went with some of our great friends - the "H" family and the "N" family - friends from way back when we lived in Chicago to do medical school.

Philmont was donated to the Boy Scouts back in 1938 by an oil tycoon named Waite Phillips and it's amazing! It's 144,000 acres, and has the most amazing villa on it, built by Mr. Phillips only 15 years before he donated it to the scouts. He and his wife built it based on villas in Italy and Spain, and it's beautiful - so many cool details. The estimated worth for the villa is over 5 million dollars today.

Below I've included some of my favorite pictures of the villa, and of our kids.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I'm Working On An Assignment...

for Imaginisce, and will be unable to post anything big until I'm done, but here's some pictures of the work I completed for them on my last assignment, so you have something new to look at. They are samples I created with the All Kinds of Happy and Baby Powder lines. Sorry that the pictures aren't great - no time to edit right now. Have a great day!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Booties and procrastinating

So, I have to tell you, I'm totally procrastinating right now. I really should be working on the Prophet Maze for the Primary Activity tomorrow. But I'm not. I'm going to write to you about my new hobby. Because that's what I'm all about - putting off until tomorrow what I should be doing today! (Okay, so procrastination should be my next 21-Day Challenge, huh?)

My new hobby isn't brand-spanking new - I started about 9 months ago. When I was pregnant with baby Sarah, my body didn't seem to like it much. I spent most of the first 6 months on the couch, wishing I was asleep, but unable to sleep because I was too nauseated, achy, heartburny (I know that's not a word, but I was!) to do anything but watch HGTV. I love watching HGTV and Food Network. Nice and wholesome: no swearing, and no funny business - just good clean fun. But I couldn't watch Food Network, because that made me sick, too. So, I watched HGTV for 6 months. And shouted curses that I didn't have the energy or money to decorate my lovely new home. That waited until I was 8 months pregnant. Then I suddenly got lots of nesting energy and decided to paint and varnish our kitchen table 1 1/2 weeks before giving birth. But that's the topic of another post.

Where was I? Oh, my new hobby. So, since I was sitting like a bump on a log all day on our living room couch, I started to feel really guilty about not being productive. So, I took up knitting. I'm really loving knitting. It's fun, and rather mindless, and I can talk and knit and watch a movie and knit, or just knit. I like that it's a rather small hobby - I can carry my knitting in my purse, (unlike scrapbooking, to which I have devoted half of our basement), and I love the feel of the yarn in my hands.

At first, I just knitted really, really simple baby sweaters. Here is a picture of the one I knitted for Sarah to come home from the hospital in. See that face she's pulling? It's because the hat the nurse made her wear doesn't fit the ensemble very well. 1 1/2 days old, and she's already a fashion diva.

Here's what I've been working on lately - baby booties. I found these delicious patterns on Etsy
I LOVE them. One of my new favorite things! It makes you want to have a baby, just so I'll knit you pair, doesn't it?

7 Days - 1/3 of the Way There

We're a third of the way through the 21-Day Challenge. How are you doing? I'm 8 days, sugar-free. I'm starting to feel really good, at this point. If you can make it past 4 days off sugar, it usually gets a lot easier. This time, I'm trying to be pretty strict - no yogurt, very limited juice, no forms of sugar that don't occur naturally. I'm so glad it's strawberry season! (If I had to pick one food to live on for the rest of my life, nutritional components aside, I'd pick perfectly ripe strawberries.)

Here's a great quote for the day. Hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, May 12, 2008

One more picture...

I had to share one more picture of Sarah, because she is too sweet for words. I've always loved babies, but something about having a larger gap in between kids makes me appreciate having a baby even more. We truly dote on her!

I love Mondays!

I know that sounds strange, but I do. I love getting everyone off to school on Monday mornings, and having just a couple of hours to myself (although Sarah now shares my company). It's good to get the house back together after the weekend! Whoo, it's amazing how fast it all goes downhill. Thankfully, Ben and the kiddos were really good to me yesterday. They made me breakfast in bed, and Ben made dinner (!) about a once a year event. Since I love to cook, and he hates it, I usually do all the dinner-making around here. Sometimes, on weekends when he has time, he helps me, but I think it's sheerly out of love for me, and not out of any personal enjoyment. Last night, he grilled chicken with a Mediterranean glaze (some fresh herbs, olive oil, lemon zest), and made a scrumptious apple crisp. No, I didn't eat the apple crisp, but it sure smelled good! Ben knew I wouldn't be eating it when he made it, but we had guests over for dinner, too, so he made it for them. I think that he really did enjoy it when they all had seconds - there's something so satisfying about feeding people good food!

I'm so sorry that I haven't posted since Friday - it was a rather crazy weekend for a number of reasons, which I won't get into now, but may write about later. So, I've missed putting together the inspirational thoughts. Here's one for today. I really like this quote, but I need to preface it with the fact that we need to also be gentle with ourselves, and recognizing when we're really giving all we have to give. So, here it is:

Hope you're doing well with your 21-day Challenge. I've so enjoyed reading your comments and emails, and hearing about the changes your making in your lives. Doesn't it feel good? I LOVE feeling like I'm doing better, and trying to be better. I think the reason why it feels so good, is because all good change comes from the Lord. That is the "strengthening power of the Atonement" that Elder David Bednar spoke of his first General Conference. (Thanks to Lara for filling me in on how to link to another website!)

I wish I had more time to write about this, but I have to go get Bethany from Preschool, so I'll have to save the subject of change through the Atonement for another day.

On a delightful note, I wanted to share a picture of Sarah's first laugh, last week.

Have a marvelous day!

Friday, May 09, 2008

The First Step

I'm calling this the first day of the 21 Day Challenge. I didn't eat any sugar yesterday, but I wanted to give everyone a chance to start. I made up this little pretty quote to start off, because today is the first step. (You can print it off and put it on your fridge/mirror/whatever if you want. That's what I'm going to do.) I'm sure you've all heard this saying, but it's so good to remember, isn't it, that big changes begin with little steps.

So, how'd you do today? Did you start (or stop) the thing you wanted to? I find that I'm the happiest when I'm working on being a better person. Lots of times, I throw in the towel, and just sort of get by. Especially when I'm really busy. Today, it feels really good to be working on being better. Even though the homemade - from - scratch - made - with- Ghiradelli- chocolate brownies are calling my name in the kitchen. But I'm not listening. What brownies? I don't hear any brownies.

I love feeling in control of me, and going off sugar does that for me. Don't feel bad if you forgot, just do it tomorrow. Or, even better, do it today! Jump in where you are! You're fantastic, and I love you all! (Can you tell, I'm writing this for me? I'm sure you're all doing fantastically well.)

To report: not only did I NOT eat sugar, I also made my 3 healthy meals and 2 healthy snacks goal. And, I did yoga for an hour today. It felt sooo good! Now if I could only tackle the laundry...

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Okay - I really want to be real on this blog. I love keeping in touch with friends, and all that, but honestly, I feel like I need this blog so that I can be better about documenting my life, and so that I can work on improving my gazillions of flaws. Mostly, I guess, if I lay everything out in bold print, I'm hoping that I might feel more motivated to do better. So, the first thing I want to do is start something called


I first read about The 21 Day Challenge from an amazing scrabook artist,Rhonna Farrer. Sorry I don't have that cool thing where you can click on her name and take you to her blog. Not there yet - just starting this whole blog thing. Maybe I'll figure it out next week. Or next year. Or I'll get Bekah to figure it out for me, cause, hey, why'd I have all these kids if they can't figure out complex computer dilemmas? You'll just have to google her on your own.

Anyhoo, (sorry, I get sidetracked really easily), I want to start a 21-day challenge. Behind the premise is the idea that it takes 21 days to start a new habit (or stop one, for that matter), and I'm in some serious need of stopping a bad habit, and starting a bunch of better ones. But, we're not going to do all of that at once. No, one habit at a time - babysteps, that's my motto.

My bad habit that I'm giving up is EATING SUGAR - I'm not going to do it anymore. I know from past experience (since I've given up sugar at least, maybe 15 times), that the next 4 or 5 days are going to be agonizing, but I can do it. And since, when giving up a bad habit, we should replace it with a good one, I'm going to replace it with eating 3 healthy, whole food meals each day, and 2 snacks. So there. I've said it. Now I'm going to do it.

As part of my 21 day challenge, I'm going to post an inspirational message each day. I would like to try and make it cute, cute, cute, but that may have to come later. So, here's one of my favorite sayings:

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed,

but that our power to do is increased”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, do any of you want to join me in the 21 day challenge? You don't have to do the no-sugar thing - you can choose anything you'd like to work on, from cleaning your room, to exercising, writing in a journal - whatever. I'd love some support!
So, several friends have been harrassing me about starting a blog, and then I remembered that I have this blog, with the terribly embarressing first post (mainly because I haven't followed through with my plan.) Eeek!

Here it goes - we now have 4 kiddos - Bekah (9), Sam (7), Bethany (5) and little Sarah Faith, born in February.
I'm into - photography (still definitely in the baby/early/learning phase - I got my first digital SLR for Christmas), scrapbooking (mostly for work), music (of course - still teaching voice and piano), cooking (that's how I got fat!) and recently, knitting. Working on loosing the fat. So, there you go, me in a nutshell!