Sunday, December 21, 2008

Yalky Palky (Popsicle Sticks and Christmas Trees)

Being this close to Christmas, I wanted to share a thank you to the people who are most imortant in my life: my family.
I don't want to be to mushy or cheesy so I'll make this quick *sniff, sniff*

Thank you to my wonderful parents who raised me to always choose the right and to be honest with everyone I come into contact with. Thanks to my dad for teaching me that life is about being my own person and not believe everything I read, even out of a history book; There are 2 sides to every story. Thanks to my mother for teaching me patience (which I use every bit of with my 2 boys,) and for teaching me humility, not to mention teaching me how to make yummy pizza!
As for my siblings:
Melesa: Thanks for being the best long-distance friend I could ever ask for. Hopefully soon I'll be able to cut out "long-distance" from that sentance ;o). Thanks for being a shoulder to cry on and for sharing my quirks, the good ones and even some not so good ones. It is such a comfort to know that there is someone out there that is a lot like me.
Aimee: Thank you for always making me feel needed. I know I sometimes act like a "big sister" but I learn so much from you all the time. You always have a smile on your face and that means a lot when I get stressed out. ;o)
Marie: Thanks for always being there to help me out with anything that I need. You always brighten my day! We have been through so much together and I hope we can always stay this close. When I'm having a bad day you are the first person I call.
Jesse: You have shown me that no matter what anyone else does you can always keep your values high. Thank you for being a prime example of a hard worker. I have always been impressed by you and I tend to brag about you all the time (don't get all big-headed on my now.)
Heidi: My baby sister. You are beautiful inside and out. I still can't believe you are old enough to drive, much less going to college! Thanks for being a great friend. I love when you come to visit (hint hint). I have always been proud of you and your individuality. It's not easy being the youngest of 5 sisters.
Jason: As the baby of the family you get the difficult responsibility of looking after our parents ;o). Thanks for being so great with my kids. Simon just loves you! I always wonder where your future will take you. I can imagine you being a helicopter mechanic or something really cool like that. Keep up your grades and you will have a great future ahead of you.

Lastly I want to Thank my adorable hubby Jeremiah for putting up with my stubbornness (which happens to run on BOTH sides of the family). I couldn't have chosen anyone else who would be a better compliment to me. Also, we have the cutest kids in the whole world. And, I think you are kinda cute *blush* P.S. (I cried when I wrote this)

I love you all more than these darn keys will let me type. (I know, this did get a little mushy. *sniff, sniff* , I apoligize *sob*.)

Merry Christmas to everyone who has impacted my life! I love you all!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fun Filled Randomness

I never realize how much has happened in my life until I run out of room on my camera! I finally downloaded all the pics that have been clogging up valuable camera space and I found some cute ones to share. These are all from the past few weeks.

About once a week, the boys and I go to the library. Simon LOVES books. If he had the choice we would spend our days reading story after story. I love our library! The best part is that it is right next to the Riparian Water Reserve. Simon always begs to go see the ducks and the turtles. They also have a really cool water feature in front of the library. This is where Simon learned about throwing in pennies to make wishes. Only he didn't have any pennies, so he borrowed a couple that were thrown in a little to close to the edge. ;o)

Here is Simon looking over the boardwalk at the ducks in the pond.

This is the water feature in front of the Library. . .

and his wishing fountian.

For FHE a few nights ago, we went to the Temple lights. Simon had a great time and we even ran into some people we know. Jeremiah's cousin and 2 of my friends from EAC.

This is our first family photo since Ryan was born!

I love Ryan's little Russian Hat.

Ryan's eyes are a beautiful shade of blue. They get lighter every day.

Simon's favorite thing to do, play trians!

I had to add this one in. Ryan looks so cute in a hat! He looks like a mini Jeremiah.

Autie Marie loves to come visit and read Simon stories.

My little helper. We were picking up rocks so we can mow the lawn. Simon wanted to wear my cleaning gloves.

Yep, they are fighting already. Simon didn't want Ryan to have the blankie all to himself.

I love these fun random times. They make my life unpredictable and tons of fun. I love all my boys!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bringing down the moon

Our little Simon is finally getting over a horrible bout of Croup. I took him to the doctor on Thursday becuase he was having a hard time breathing. The doctor said he had "Stridor" which means he wheezes when he breathes in. They almost admitted him to the hospital to monitor him. Instead they gave him a steroid shot and a breathing treatment. He hated the breathing treatment! He screamed for the enitire 15 minute treatment. I had the job of holding his arms down so he wouldn't pull the mask off of his face. I have to honestly say that this was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. He cried and cried and every breath sounded like he was breathing through a straw. On top of that, none of us have gotten any sleep. I would wake up every couple hours and check in on him to make sure he was still breathing. We took him to Urgent Care on Saturday becuase he still sounded really bad, even after the treatments he had gotten two days before. The doctor there basically said, "You are just going to have to wait it out." All I can say is: I am so new at this whole "mom" thing. If I freak out this much over Croup I am going to be one very stressed out mother. I am so grateful that my in-laws were here this weekend to help watch Ryan while we watched after Simon.

Here is a good story:
Friday night, Simon and I sat in the hammock swing in our backyard in the cool night air. I had him outside to calm down his tight breathing. We were talking about the world. How Jesus made everything, even our trees and the stars and the moon. "Where is moon?" he asked me. I pointed up above us through the slats of the porch roof. "It's right there, do you see it?" Then he reached is hand up as high as he could and looked at me. "Mommy, get moon and bring it down!" he told me. I laughed and told him the only way to get to the moon is in a rocket. He replied "Get rocket car, get moon?" I told him that if we ever got a rocket car we would take it to the moon. I told him that the moon is up really really high. Then he replied "Daddy climb up ladder, get moon and bring it down!"

This reminds me of a song by John Michael Montgomery : "She thinks I could rope the moon."

In our children's eyes we can do anything, even bring down the moon.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Turkey, Christmas Trees, and Wishing Wells

Oh what fun.

I got to be the hostess for Thanksgiving this year! It was so much fun. I believe that the holidays are all about good company. I love being around my family and Jeremiah's family. I was lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving with a little of both. We had 3 of Jeremiah's sisters and 2 of mine (plus a friend of Marie's). We had sooooo much food. I volunteered to cook the turkey. I am a turkey fanatic! I start craving Thanksgiving turkey as soon as Halloween is over. I bought 2 this year so we can eat one later. mmm. Jeremiah and I also made some other yummy Thanksgiving staples like mashed potatoes and squash pie (even better than pumpkin pie) and rolls. We all ate until we couldn't move and then we had dessert. By the time we were done we had to roll our guests out the door.

The only downside to our festivities was that little Simon caught the stomach flu. blech! We almost had to cancel for fear that Keaton might catch the bug. Simon was sick for about 4 days. He spent lots of time laying around, watching movies. He couldn't even eat with us on Thanksgiving. I was so grateful that Veronica and her 2 boys came. Simon's eyes lit up with a sparkle I hadn't seen for a few days as soon as Keaton and Everett walked in the door. He really looks up to his cousins.

Then. . .

Saturday we got to decorate! Between taking care of a 3 month old and a sick 2 year old, and cleaning up after our Thanksgiving hurricane, I wasn't really looking forward to putting up the Christmas tree just yet. But, now that the decorating is almost done, our home feels a little warmer and cheerier.

Simon had a great time helping us hang the ornaments on the tree. And not one of our glass ornaments ended up broken! He absolutely loved the tree lights. He even climbed under the tree when we were done and said, "Mom, I see lights down here!" We almost had to drag him out from under the tree. He loved looking up through the branches at the colorful lights.

Here is Zeus, helping out too.

So much happens everyday, from week to week our lives change so much.

2 days ago, Ryan laughed for the first time! It made my heart melt. I had forgotton how sweet these little milestones are. He is such a sweetheart!

Simon learned about wishing wells today. We went to the library and as we were leaving we stopped by the fountain out front. Before I could stop him, he reached his hand in and pulled out a penny. I told him that the penny was for someone's wish. Then I told him to make a wish and throw it in. He said "I wish. . . candy!" and threw it in. Then he grabbed another and I made a wish for him. We wished for a happy Christmas. Then he grabbed another and I asked him to make another wish. "I wish. . . more candy!" he said excitedly.

I guess we will see if his wish comes true.

The little things in life are always the sweetest.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's almost Turkey Day already?!?

This year has gone by so fast I can't even remember the last few months. I guess that comes with having a new baby. Little Ryan is now 2 1/2 months old and he is so sweet and fun! I am so glad I keep this blog becuase I can't even remember October happening. Now it is almost Thanksgiving. What has happened so far this month?

#1: I took on the challenge of . . . coupons! It sounds scary but I finally did it! I went to fry's and got $174 of groceries (and diapers) for an amazing $72! That is over $100 saved! Not bad for a first timer, eh? There is a great website for a lady in Prescott that sets up a list of the good sales every week (in Arizona). It used to be free but, like all things, it didn't last. They do have a 2 week free trial if anyone wants to check it out.

#2. I have started my Christmas shopping. It is so much less stressful when you do it early. Though I am still looking forward to Black Friday deals. I also spent a while wrapping presents yesterday and I decided I am a horrible present wrapper! Maybe I will leave the rest to my perfectionist husband. His turn out so pretty.

#3. Crafts. This seems to sneak into my schedule every month. It is my release. This month has been dedicated to making Ryan's cloth diapers. I have only 2 done but I am planning on making about 10 more (somewhere in between making Christmas presents). I have my work cut out for me, but these days if it saves us money it's worth every second.

#4. Ebay. I have been selling my dad's belt buckles online. I've sold 2 so far! We also went crazy yesterday and put a whole bunch of other valuable stuff online that we don't need anymore. Sadly, we are selling our beloved XBox 360 and all the xtras to go with it. We don't every play it anymore, not even Guitar Hero! Jeremiah and I always talked about how we don't want our kids to be video game couch potatoes, so we are getting rid of the video games.

*If any of you are looking for an Xbox for Christmas I can send you the link.

#5. Potty Training. Simon is doing GREAT! As long as we are at home he rarely ever has an accident. I have even been taking him out to the store and the park in his undies! Hooray for my big boy! I did learn a lesson though. Don't take too long at the grocery store! On the before mentioned coupon shopping trip to Fry's, Simon told me he needed to go. I asked him if he wanted to use the potty at the store or at home. Of coarse he said "at home". Well, I took a few minutes too long shopping for sales and once we got through the checkout, paid and ready to run for the door, I heard a little "Uh-Oh". I turned around and Simon had pee gushing out the bottom of his pants! Suprisingly, I didn't panic. I laughed and turned to the bagger boy and asked him for some paper towels. I cleaned up the floor and stuffed a whole bunch of towels into the basket seat, put Simon in and headed for the car. Once I got him cleaned up and buckled in I started laughing. Simon was such a trooper. He held it as long as he possible could. Next time I'll know that when he says "I gotta go" it is time to run to the bathroom ASAP.

#6. Mini-Vacation. We spent last weekend in Round Valley visiting our parents. It was a spontaneous trip. Friday morning we got a wild hair, I spent the day getting our laundry, church assignments, and packing done and we left that night at about 7. On our way down, right outside of Showlow, we almost hit 2 Bull Elk and a huge black bear. We missed the Elk by only a few feet! Once we got to RV we spent our weekend hanging out with family. Simon had the time of his life playing with Everett and Keaton and their huge collection of Thomas trains. The weather actually felt like fall. It was beautiful! I also brought back a BIG pressure canner so I can start working on my food storage. I can't wait until the turkey prices drop so I can test out my canner!

#7. (the best one of all) Being a Mom. This is where the majority of my time goes, as any of you moms know. I get to tickle tummies, wash dirty faces, find lost choo-choo trians, built train tracks, make bubble baths, dress and undress, rock and bounce, change diapers, pick up hot wheels, change diapers, sing the ABC song over and over, kiss owies, pick up more hot wheels, change more diapers. . . and I LOVE IT! I am thankful that my Heavenly Father gave me these sweet boys!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bleach Stencil Tutorial

Here it is! I'm really excited about this post. I've recieved many requests for a "bleach stencil"tutorial. I finally got it all together. These shirts are so easy and they look great! The best part is that you can turn a plain, inexpensive t-shirt into a customized creation. For any of you that try this out, I want to see your creations too!

Be creative! There are no limits on what you can do!

Materials needed:


Freezer paper

Craft knife

Iron and Ironing board

Spray bottle

Bleach and water

Step 1: Print out your stencil onto Freezer Paper (Cut a 8.5 x 11 piece of paper to put in the printer and make sure the stencil prints on the non-plastic side of the paper.)

Step 2. Cut out the design with the craft knife. hint: cut on the plastic side of the paper for easier, more precise cutting.
Usually I will cut out and discard the black parts of the stencil and keep the white. (It is hard to distiguish the black and white on the owl in these pictures).

Don't forget to keep the small pieces (e.g. the eyes or the middle of the O's)

Now the hard part is over! Now for the fun stuff.

Step 3: Place the t-shirt on the ironing board and place the stencil on the shirt making sure it is centered. Run a moderately cool iron over the freezer paper so that the paper sticks to the shirt.

This is the miracle of freezer paper! Isn't it great!?!

I do the biggest pieces first and then put on the smaller ones.

Step 4: While the shirt is still on the ironing board, place a piece of cardboard inside. This is to protect the bleach from soaking to the back side of the shirt. This also helps to keep the stencil from coming up when you move the shirt.

I used the back of a cereal box. It is just the right size.

Step 5: Place the shirt on a table or counter (wherever you have enough room). Place newspaper around the stencil to catch the over spray.

Step 6: Mix your bleach water.
I use 2 parts water to 1 part bleach. The best spray bottles for this project are these little ones you can get at Wal-Mart or Target. They are very small fingertip spray bottles. They have a very fine mist which evenly distributes the bleach water and prevents splotches. Hair spray bottles will also work, but they don't always have a fine spray.

Step 7: Spray!
Spray just enough to make the shirt damp. If you spray too much it will soak into the fabric and smudge your beautiful, crisp lines.
(I also used rocks to hold down my newspaper. )

Step 8: Let the bleach dry and spray again. Keep doing this until you get the desired lightness. I was lucky on this one, it only took me 2 sprays and it was white. Usually it takes me from 3 to 5 times to get it just right.

Step 9: Almost done. When the shirt is dry, remove the stencil and rinse in HOT water. This will stop the bleaching process. I also scrub a little soap into the stenciled area to remove any leftover bleach.
Step 10: Wash and wear.
Wash as usual and enjoy your new one-of-a-kind wearable art!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pumpkin Guts!

It's been a week since Halloween already and I'm finally getting around to posting my Halloween pics. I had some cute pics that I couldn't resist showing off. We had a great Halloween! I took my boys to the Library's Halloween party where Simon did some crafts and we got to show off in the costume parade. They offered Simon some candy after leaving but instead of picking a Tootsie Roll he chose a pencil. Yep, weird.

Simon couldn't decide what he wanted to be, a lion or Thomas the train. Halloween morning we dressed him as a lion and that night he opted for the Thomas costume. I was so glad because Thomas is a million times easier to put on and take off. In this picture he was really mad at his Auntie Marie for wanting to take a picture with him. I don't think he knew who she was ;o) He thought she was a strange fairy lady. Ryan didn't mind though.

For Halloween night, we went to a trunk-or-treat with Jeremiah's sister Karissa. Simon loved it because he got to play with his favorite cousins, Everett and Keaton. I loved Keaton's costume. He was a soldier. He didn't want to wear his helmet so you could see his bandage on his head from his recent surgery. He looked like a wounded soldier, so Karissa made him his own purple heart badge! I also have to give props to Veronica's costume. It was truly last-minute. Who would have though that socks and a headband would make such good dog ears?

Growing up in small town, AZ my dad and our family had HUGE pumpkin gardens. I remember filling up the back of my dad's pickup to the brim with pumpkins and taking them to a building downtown to sell them. There must have been hundreds of pumpkins! After all the pumpkin experience I had, I am a terrible pumpkin carver. To be honest I rarely carved pumpkins at home. We always painted them instead. Well, in the true spirit of Halloween, Simon and I carved a pumpkin together this year. I cut off the top and let Simon see the "pumpkin guts" inside. I reached my hand in and started to pull out the seeds and invited him to help (thinking that he would love to get his hands dirty). He was really afraid of it! I tried to help him out but when I touched him with my slimy, pumpkin covered hands he had a melt-down. He just said "Mom, wash hands!", "Don't wike pumpkin guts!" So I washed him off and got him a big spoon to scrape the seeds out with.

Here are the finished creations! Mine is the dog and Jeremiah did the silly face. He was pretty excited to carve his pumpkin. He even got out the dremel to carve the mouth. I wish we had pics of them lit up. The smile looked really awesome!
Can't wait 'till next year. I have to out-do Jeremiah's pumpkin!

Si and Ry

Si and Ry