Showing posts from 2008

Just waiting for Santa . . .

The stockings are hung and the kids are in bed, excitedly waiting for Santa to come tonight! Joey and Michael even cleaned their room enthusiastically, when DH reminded them that Santa might check their rooms before leaving them gifts.

Oh, I know that at YOUR house, Christmas has come and gone, the presents opened, some no doubt broken already, the overflowing trash can taken to the curb (packaging drives me nuts!), and the battered tree holding on for just a few more days until you get the energy together to put it all away. But not here. We decided to celebrate Christmas Eve today and Christmas Day tomorrow. We emailed Santa and he was glad to have fewer houses to visit on December 25th, so here we are, waiting for Santa and the Christmas excitement to begin.

So why on earth would anyone delay Christmas? So they could hang out in sunny Arizona (ok, so half the time it was rainy Arizona, but still) and forget about the 11 inches of snow piling up back home:

DH's sister is in Si…

Bright Spots in Dark Times

It's been an emotional, exhausting week for me. I spent Sunday through Friday in Boise, helping my parents through an experience that is beyond difficult. They are living in their worst nightmare as my dad struggles with a debilitating illness.

I took Harmony with me to Boise -- a nursing mother and her infant are not easily parted -- leaving the other six children in the very capable hands of their father, my mother-in-law, and a few neighbors and friends. DH scaled back his work schedule this week, my mother-in-law came for two days, and a few friends helped out here and there. In my preparations to leave, I was grateful to realize just how many friends I could call on, so many that I didn't even call half of them to help.

Harmony, by her very presence, helped in a small way to relieve the burden at my parent's house. She gave my dad something to smile at and my mom something fun to focus on. So it was more than significant, at least in my mind, that Harmony chose …

Visiting Santa (a.k.a. Who Knew?)

At our ward Christmas party last week, my kids were delighted to visit with Santa. After a few years of watching your kids interact with Santa, you learn a few things. Mostly, you learn that your kids are either hilariously unpredictable or hilariously predictable.

* Eliza was not impressed with Santa. Aren't we mean to make her visit him anyway?

* Sarah thought Santa's beard was just like a kitty and kept petting it. She wanted a My Little Pony for her room, even though Santa thought she wanted a big furry pony that you could ride. At the end, she turned her thoughts to the real reason we have Christmas and said want we all want to say but are too polite to say: "I want some candy."

* Allison wanted art supplies. She told me ten times in line that she wanted art supplies. By the time she sat on Santa's lap, however, all rational thought left her and all she could manage was "Skateboard." (Skateboard, skateboard, what's a skateboard?) Trust …

Dear Santa, do you take requests?

I took a load to D.I. today but made the mistake of taking some of the kids along.Just as the workers were dumping the bin of toys out, Sarah spotted “my brush!OH, MY BRUSSSSHHHHH!” I searched through the mess and found two pony brushes, neither of which was the one she wanted.
She cried harder -- "No it's pink with sparklies!"

She cried and cried, but I got back in the car and drove home.I told her that maybe some little girl who didn’t have many toys would be so happy to get that brush.She considered that.

Michael patted her on the shoulder, “It’s okay, Sarah.Mommy did the same thing to me.She gave away a bike I really liked to D.I.”

I told her maybe Santa could bring her a new brush. "Yes," she said, "that very same pink sparkly brush from D.I." (Uh oh; we're in trouble, I thought). I told her maybe Santa could bring her an even better brush. By the time we got home, I thought Sarah was feeling okay about the whole situation, but then I overhea…

Second Photoshop Gift

Wendy sent me these two pictures of her cute family at her sister's wedding. I swapped one head, took out the archway in the background and ended up with two fun photos for her!



First Photoshop Gift

Here's my first Photoshop "Pay it Forward" gift for Chalice, my talented friend and amazing photographer!




I still need two more sign-ups. Come on. I know you've got some pictures you want fixed!

Photoshop Services Gift

Brandy had a great idea for a fun holiday "Pay it Forward" exchange.

"Here's the challenge. I will send a handmade gift (Photoshop services, in my case) to the first three people to leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this Pay it Forward Exchange. You will receive your gift within a month of leaving your comment. The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same comment on your blog within a day or two."

Since I'm not crafty, I'm offering up free Photoshop services for the first three who comment and want to play along. Be sure and sign with your email so I can contact you and you can email me your photo projects. Want me to swap some heads? Turn a blah photo into a dreamy masterpiece? Collage several family photos together? Make a custom Christmas card? Sign in and let me know. I'll get right to work and return it to you by the 17th of December.

You can pay it forward by offering whatever gift your own ta…

Free Christmas Cookies

Scrapbook-Elements has a treat in store for everyone! From now until Christmas, log in each day to download a special treat -- Christmas cookies! Be sure you're logged in and visit the Cookie Jar Forum to download your treat. Inside is a cookie as well as a recipe and a coupon!

My contribution is this great cookie alpha, which has been split into three sections and will be available on three random days only. Be sure to unzip your files because each cookie includes a coupon code good this month only at SBE!

I also included a 4x6 recipe card with my favorite rolo cookie recipe!

So I have this problem . . .

I try to treat my twins equally, especially when it comes to their representation in the family books, scrapbooks, and blog. But here's my problem: I try to save just the best photos of each girl. Sarah is easy to get great shots of -- she smiles and poses perfectly every time she sees a camera:
Even when she's striking a silly pose, she knows instinctively how to look cute:

Allison, on the other hand, is harder to capture, leaving me with images such as these:

I'll ask her to smile and get something like this:

So while I try hard to have a good mix of pictures of both girls in our family scrapbook, I've noticed that for 2008, I have a whole lot more pictures of Sarah. And they're adorable photos, so I'm using them. But I feel a small twinge of guilt, knowing that someday Allison might look through and notice the difference. Of course, I'm using pictures of her as well, just not as many and not nearly so cute. So you see my problem. I love them both to …

Morning Madness

Yesterday, I decided to brave the crowds and do the early morning Black Friday thing. I've done it in the past and found it a little thrilling to go in search of that must-have doorbuster. My only rule is that I never go to Walmart. I've been there, done that, and I must say it's a little frightening. At other stores -- Shopko, Target, and the like -- there's a sort of "we're all in this together" feel from the other shoppers. People will hand you items through the crowd if you want and the mood is jolly. The hunt for bargains is an exciting treasure hunt.

At Walmart, it's a whole different story. It's like someone broke a pinata at a birthday party for mean greedy kids. It's every man for himself. So I avoid Walmart like the plague on Black Friday.

Yesterday, I broke that rule because my two boys both want Lego sets for Christmas. Walmart had a two-day special on the King's Castle Siege Set -- $110 at Amazon, but only $50 at Walm…

How to enjoy a rainy morning

I'm pretty laid back as a mom. There are certain things I don't tolerate, such as fighting, hurting, or saying mean words. We also have a strict "food stays in the kitchen" policy. But otherwise, I let the kids do a lot of what they want to do. If they start doing something unusual, I ask myself, "Are they doing any lasting damage?" and "Are they having fun or learning something?" If the answer is no to the first, and yes to the second, then I let them proceed. I think childhood should be a time to get messy, make mistakes, and explore the world.

Crayola washable markers -- they really ARE washable!

went here, had fun, the end.

I don't post a ton of "this is where we went and this is what we did" type posts on this blog. I do a lot of fun things with my kids, but I figure it's pretty boring to read. But we had such a great time Tuesday, I thought I'd break my rule. I'll keep this short and you're welcome to skip it altogether, if you like. On the other hand, if you can't wait to hear more about all the mundane things we do, leave me a comment and tell me so I can continue to delight you with my travelogues.

Tuesday, we went with our co-op preschool group to the Discovery Center in Salt Lake. I was able to use my membership to get everyone else in free, and we had a great time. We spent four hours there, including snacks/lunch.

The best part? Eliza, who is constantly hearing things like, "No, don't touch that," "Put that back," "Get out of the fridge, please," "Turn OFF the water!" "Stop" "Don't" a…

Because I know you have nothing else to do . . .

Go Elf yourself!

Send your own ElfYourselfeCards

Send your own ElfYourselfeCards

Send your own ElfYourselfeCards

Send your own ElfYourselfeCards


I was watching a home improvement show at the dentist's office this morning. As I stared at the screen in between making unintelligible conversation with the hygienist, I found myself wanting to laugh. The show was a makeover of a family's home office. The family mentioned that it was always cluttered. During the makeover, the designer kept saying, "and here we're going to add more organization," as she added various pieces of furniture to the room.

No, people, organization is not a piece of furniture or a file cabinet. Adding storage to a room, even when appealing to the eye and cleverly designed, is different than adding organization. I'm willing to bet that unless this family undertook the work of actually developing a system of organization using those storage options (highly unlikely), that the office is going to be just as cluttered in a month as it was when they started.

Our family's office may be a mess, but at least I don't think I can a…

Christmas in a Large Family

is simply magical. It's so fun to be the mother and watch it happen. We don't have a lot of family around, so mostly it's just us. Here are some of our traditions:

* We try to keep Christmas fairly simple and focused on the Savior. We usually sponsor a Sub-for-Santa family and go shopping together to pick out gifts the children would like. It is so sweet to see my children thinking about what a stranger might like.

* We keep our gift buying simple. We get several presents for the whole family (this year's gift? A counter-top ice cream maker), and then find two main presents for each child, one from Santa and one from Mom and Dad. The kids also get small things like books and socks and clothes. I don't worry too much about keeping the amount we spend the same per child, since their needs and interests are so different. I always try to find at least one gift that is hands-on. I remember one Christmas as a child being so disappointed because everyone else was …