26 December 2008

A whole decade

Our Engagement Photo

One decade ago, in the Portland Oregon Temple, Craig and I were married.  It's been a wonderful ten years.  This weekend we will celebrate with a trip to The Cape, sans children.  Hurray!

23 December 2008

Time to enjoy.

I'm done.  All presents are purchased, all food procured.  Now I can just stay snuggled up in here:

and bake.  And wait for Santa.

21 December 2008

The last few days

THE ICE STORM

This is part of our neighbor's tree.  Normally it reaches high, giving us shade in the summer.  It's bent over so far that you can see the top of our 4 ft. fence in corner of the picture.


A bush in front of our house--I took all the ice pictures from inside since we were trying to contain what little heat we had (see previous post).



SNOW STORM

Dogger in the backyard.  The snow fell for another 7 hours after I took this picture.  We ended up with just shy of a foot.


We sure had fun though!


TODAY

Here are the kids in their Christmas clothes from Grandmommy. 



And the snow started up again around 8:00 this morning--4 hours earlier than forecasted.  Last night they were saying 4-6 inches, but now it's looking like 8-14".   

19 December 2008

Crazy Winter Weather

Phew!  It's been a week since our ice storm.  The one that coated everything in an inch of ice, and knocked out power to 420,000 PSNH customers.  That's a lot you know.  We were without power for 30 hours.  We hung plastic over the entrances to our living room, and turned on the gas fireplace--which gives off a little heat.  But not a lot.  We got down to 52 degrees in the house before the power came back on.  But, we were nice and toasty under blankets, so we did okay (except for my nose.  It was freezing.).

On Tuesday it snowed.  About three inches.  Then it did this nasty slush and frozen rain thing for a while.  Yuck.  Some of that melted away, but we have about an inch and a half left.

By 2:00 pm today it will start snowing.  They're telling us to expect 5-10 inches.  Let's hope those newly repaired power lines hold.  And, let's hope that the crews still working to restore power to several communities can keep working safely.

And it's supposed to snow again on Sunday.  At least we have good chances of a white Christmas.

13 December 2008

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

That Design Mom!  She just never stops.  Head on over to enter some fantastic (I've been using that word way to much lately) giveaways.  Best of luck!

10 December 2008

Three Years

It's been three years since I set foot in New Hampshire.  I confess, I didn't think we'd stay here this long, but here we are.  And, even more unexpected, I haven't returned to Utah since I left.  That's my longest absence since I was 12.

So, in honor of my former home, I will now list things that I miss about Provo/Utah (which I also thought would never happen):

Restaurants-- There are so many restaurants to choose from in Utah County.  Seriously.  Here it's all national chains (not even the good ones), pizza and subs.  That's pretty much it.  And most of them are not places I choose to spend my money (which I guess is really a good thing).

Grid System-- Oh, to be able to find an address simply by looking at it.  And to always know which direction one is heading.  Simplicity.

Wide streets-- How pleasant to be able to drive down a two way street with cars parked on both sides, and not worry about having a head on collisions with on-coming traffic.

Provo Public Library--  The facility.  The selection.  The free parking.  The vast offering of children's classes and story times.  And it's open on Saturdays, year-round.

Groceries-- I miss my familiar brands and items.  I have yet to find granular bullion here.  And there's not a Nalley's Chili can to be found.  Granted, we do have a decent Kosher aisle (I don't think those exist in Utah, do they?), but our Asian/Indian/Mexican section in the grocery store is generally 1/3 of one side of an aisle.  You get the idea.

Open spaces-- Occasionally I get a little claustrophobic here.  I miss being able to see beyond my immediate surroundings.

Affordable activities-- The movies, children's dance classes, pre-school....you name it, and in Utah it's affordable.  Here, well, unless you're a two-income family or making six figures, you might as well forget about it.

And, lastly, though perhaps I should have mentioned it first...
BYU Football-- I miss games, and game days, and the excitement.

30 November 2008

Top three Countdown

My three least favorite Christmas songs:

#3-- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
What an awful song!  The kid thinks his mom is kissing someone other than his dad.  Honestly!  I turn the radio off when that one comes on, because how am I supposed to explain it to my 4 & 6 year olds when they realize what it's saying?  Also, when I was a kid my cousin used to sing this song all the time in this voice that she thought sounded really good--forced vibrato, sliding into each note.  It really didn't sound that good.

#2-- Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
The grandma gets drunk, and Santa runs her over.  Santa!  Yes, let's have him run someone over--that's an awesome idea!  It's the hick Christmas song of all time.

#1-- Dominick, the Italian Christmas Donkey
I had never heard this song until I moved to New England.  But here, the Italian families love this song (and there are a lot of them)--they call in to the radio station and request it again and again and again...   It's translated into English, but I'm thinking that maybe Italy should've kept this one to itself.  Every time I hear it I shudder.  Literally.

29 November 2008

Little Girl Me

This is 6 year old me.


And this was one of my favorite books at that age.

Thanks to CW for the fun post idea.

27 November 2008

Sassy Apron Winter Swap

I had so much fun making this apron. I really, really love it. Definitely my favorite apron that I've made. My partner lives somewhere where it's warm during Christmas, so I didn't want to send something too winter-y. I also wanted something that was functional for the kitchen, but she could wear when hosting a holiday party too.

I thought it needed a little something extra, so I made this yo-yo to dress it up. I had never made a yo-yo before. So fun and easy!

I sent it off last Friday, so I'm hoping it arrives in the next few days because I'm eager to see if she likes it.


22 November 2008

I am Thankful

I've had a few emails asking me for the link to our Thanksgiving relish tray post from last year.  That little turkey is really one of the most fun parts of Thanksgiving for my kids.  They love it. 

I have so much to be thankful for:  good friends, a supportive husband, darling children, warm coats and gloves, plenty of food, Craig's job, the gospel of Jesus Christ....

Those are just a few to get me started.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

17 November 2008

Blog Safety

My friend Queen posted this today.  I completely agree with her.  Blog safety is something that has concerned me for a while.  Until now I've just kind of let it go....but, now I'm asking you all to please not use my first or last name in the comments.  And, if you link to me on your blog can you make sure you're not using my first or last name?  Thank you for your cooperation.

I'm also considering code names for the kids....what do you think?

07 November 2008

You never know what you're going to find

When I lived in Provo I was in a Primary presidency.  One Saturday we, the presidency, undertook the task of cleaning out the Primary closet, which I'm pretty sure hadn't been cleaned since 1968.  Because in the closet we found  certificates for Primary Olympics participants from 1968.  Serio.  

I'm starting to think this isn't uncommon.

Last week Craig was at the church picking up the new sewing machine that belongs to the ward (I wanted to have it ready for our Craft Super Saturday).  I asked him to also grab the old sewing machine from the Relief Society closet while he was there.  I meant this one:




But he came home with this one:
Which I didn't even know was in there.  Because I've only had time to go through two of the three closets.

05 November 2008

Daylight Saving Time

I don't like the end of Daylight Saving Time.  It makes my kids get up earlier.  It's dark before 5 pm.  It has to be stressful on our bodies.  Nap time is pushed forward, and the kids are exhausted by bedtime.

I say we should either do away with it, or DST should be during the winter.  Imagine if we had just moved our clocks forward!  We would've had plenty of daylight time during the summer when it's light later, and now we'd be enjoying a 6pm sunset.

It doesn't help that I'm on the eastern edge of a time zone.  Maybe I should move to Arizona

03 November 2008

Look alikes?

Yesterday at church a man says to Craig, "Do you know the Stars Wars movies?"

"Yes," answers Craig.

"You know at the end of Return of the Jedi when Darth Vader takes off his helmet?  You remind me of him."




24 October 2008

A little bit jealous

My friend Peggy has been busy "putting up" for the winter for weeks now.  She made salsa

Then she picked lots of apples at her parents' orchard.  She used those apples to make applesauce, and dehydrated apples.  

Oh, then she picked some more apples.  Those apples went into an apple press to make juice.  And then she made a few pies to top it off.

Each time was a family affair--siblings, children, nieces, nephews, parents.  Doesn't it sound (and look) so idyllic?  What a perfect Fall.

21 October 2008

Cute Couple

I tried to find this newspaper clipping when my grandma passed away, but couldn't.  Yesterday I happened upon it.  It's my Grandma & Grandpa Sweetie's 50th wedding anniversary announcement.  Aren't they darling?  I love how perfectly retro they look.  So classic!  Had my grandpa still been alive this summer would have been their 70th anniversary.

20 October 2008

All things denote there is a God


Our autumn leaves peaked this week. I'm already mourning them, and they're not even all the way gone.

They were so beautiful that I would often find myself gasping in awe. Literally. Sometimes a scene was so breathtaking that it would almost hurt to look at it because I was overwhelmed by the beauty, the majesty and the gratitude that I feel for our Heavenly Father and Savior who gave us such an amazing world. I feel their love through nature. We are blessed.

...The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator. Alma 30:44

15 October 2008

Minority Me

If  I'm to believe the Media, I'm in the minority because none of the following will influence my vote for president:

Color/Race/Ethnicity
Gender
Religion
Age
Hobbies
Grammar
Attractiveness
Health


I examine the issues, the candidates' stance on those issues, and my stance on the issues.  From there I will make my decision.

11 October 2008

Political Aspirations

Goosey:  Mom, who should  I vote for?
Me:  What do you mean?
Goosey:  Vote for the president, you know?
Me:  Kids don't get to vote.  Only grown-ups.  You have to be eighteen.
Goosey (makes a cranky face):  I think families should get to vote.  If I were president, I'd make a rule that families should vote.
Me:  Okay.
Goosey:  Mom, can only men be president?
Me:  No.  Women can be president too.
Goosey:  Good.  Can you show me pictures of presidents so I can help you vote?

10 October 2008

I'm not melting down

Here's the thing. I'm not worried about the economic "meltdown". I'm really not. Thus far, it's not the next Great Depression (and I honestly don't think it will be). It's a lot better than that. A lot. So, I kind of feel like people need to get over it and stop panicking.

Sure, our IRA's and 401(k) have taken a hit--as of yesterday 7.2%--but they've got time to recover. Lots of time. We don't depend on that money to live, so why worry about it right now? The whole point of a retirement plan is to put it away, let it do it's thing (with ups and downs), and use it in retirement. So, no, I won't be pulling my money out of the stock market. In fact, I'm a little bit excited for Craig's next paycheck when we'll be putting more into his 401(k) because we'll be getting an awesome deal....just think of the returns when the market goes back up!

Have you ever seen It's a Wonderful Life? It's like that. What was the problem that kept George from going on his honeymoon with Mary? A run on the Savings and Loan. People panicked. Not good, that panicking. But Potter, he bought while everyone else was wanting to get rid of stock. And he eventually made a lot of money off other people's panic. So, while I never imagined myself saying this, be like Potter.....or at least like George and stay calm, don't do anything rash.



Let's talk about the economics of "Main Street" since we're hearing so much of that lately.

The biggest chunk of our budget is our mortgage. Because we bought a house that was within our means and we were smart enough to get a fixed-rate mortgage, that amount stays the same. Not a problem. Choices have consequences, I think we made a good choice.

The things that have put a little bit of a strain on our budget in the last year are groceries and gas. But, we simply cut back on the unnecessary items. For example, since Craig started working from home we decided that we could drop down to one car--two was a luxury.

Most of the people I come into contact with are in the same situation as we are--maybe things are a little tighter than they used to be, but you drop a couple of luxuries and it all evens out. In fact, those who I know that are having a rough time of it were already having a rough time of it because they have failed to make wise financial choices in the past, and are often still continuing to make those choices.

So on my Main Street, things are looking pretty okay. In fact, I'm pretty sure that those trying to "fix" Wall Street have no idea what's really happening on Main Street.

08 October 2008

Reward

This morning I promised Dogger we could make chocolate chip cookies if he made it to the potty before his poo poos started coming.  He did it!  Small victory for mom.  Fun reward for Dogger.

Update:  You can find my recipe here.

07 October 2008

Let's switch

Craig's on his 7th business trip in the last 13 months.  For a job that "doesn't require travel" he sure travels a lot.  He says he's tired of business trips.  He doesn't like them--he misses us, etc., etc.  I don't get it.

At this moment, nothing sounds better than someone making my bed and cleaning the bathroom each morning while I'm away.  And eating at all my favorite restaurants while someone else picks up the tab.  And interacting with adults on at least a somewhat intellectual level.  And driving a nice, clean car that someone else fills up with gas.  And going to the movies with a friend, because, well what else do I have to do?  Oh, and cable TV beyond the basic channels.  And shopping.  And, just because I can, standing in the stand-by-line for General Conference and getting in.

I'd take all of that in exchange for the laundry, and the dishes, and the spilled milk at every meal, and the snotty noses, and the early rising, and the complaining about dinner, and the potty-training.

And I'm only half way through the week.

03 October 2008

I just can't get enough


Here's what I love about Fall in New England:  it surrounds me.



I don't have to drive up a canyon or go anywhere special to see this stuff.



I took all of these pictures on way home from taking Goosey to school this morning.










Fabulous.

02 October 2008

30 September 2008

26 September 2008

Apple Picking

Goosey's first field trip was yesterday.  They went apple picking!


This was her first time riding a school bus.



Harvesting



Do you want one?



She loves apples.



With her two girlfriends.



They even got to go on a hayride!



A happy girl, getting on the bus to return to the school.


I think an apple picking outing deserves a delicious family recipe:

Fresh Apple Cake
4 cups apples, diced (peeled or unpeeled)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped nuts, optional (walnuts are good)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour

Mix apples and sugar.  Let stand.  Mix remaining dry ingredients, add wet ingredients then apple mixture.  Pour into greased, floured pan.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 1 hour.

25 September 2008

If I could


If I could pick up and move right now, I'd buy this house.  It's in the town where I want to live (and even the school district), it's my favorite architectural style, has a decent lot size, is within the price range and was completely remodeled last year.  Wow!  If only....

I love being True Blue

Last Saturday we were winding our way through the crowds at Faneuil Hall.  Suddenly, we were about to cut off another group--a couple of families with strollers (just like us).  I stopped to let them by when one of the moms saw Lew and said, "I like your shirt buddy."

Looking down at Lew, I encouraged, "Say thank you," then looked up at the woman.  As our eyes met she and I smiled in unison and said, "Go Cougars!"

23 September 2008

Fall Flirty Swap

The Fall Flirty Swap just took place.  Our theme was "What I wish I had done over summer vacation".  I wished that I had gone to New York City.  Here's my NYC apron from Kristin.

When the package arrived, I thought "How funny!  It's from the same town where my in-laws live.  What are the odds?"  When I read Kristin's note she explained that as she read my blog she thought my kids looked familiar.....then she realized that she had been the photographer for our extended family pictures nearly two years ago, in Spokane.  It's a small, small world.

My assignee was Lisa.  Lisa wished she had visited Belgium.  I thought that lace would be a perfect representation of Belgium, and when I asked CW, she said that she remembered lots of tulips.  So, I went with tulip fabric and Brussels lace for the trimming.

Fall Sassy Swap

This swap took place at the beginning of September (just now posting pictures).  The theme was Fall holidays.  I told my partner, Ellena, that I was open to any fall apron.  Here's what I got:
And it's reversible!
So cute!  She also sent along two pot holders, boomerangs for the kids, and a recipe for pecan pie.  Am I spoiled, or what?

Lauren was the partner to whom I sent the apron that I made.  She said that she wanted a Thanksgiving or Christmas apron.  Her favorite color is green, so I figured I'd go for the Christmas apron.  This was a challenge for me because it was the first time I made my own bias tape.
It really doesn't look attractive on the hanger like that (I need a dress form!), so here's a picture of the pattern that I used.....you get the idea, right?

22 September 2008

Yearbook Yourself

Thank goodness I wasn't in high school during these years:
1962


1972


1976


1982


1984


I might have been okay with these years:

1952


1968

1970


Supposedly, this is what the average girl looked like in the year that I graduated (I can't think of a single girl that looked like this):

1996

Here's how I actually looked:





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