Monday, January 28, 2008

Ruby's dream gift from Ms. Kira

We have some friends named John and Kira. They are seriously one of the most genuine and kind people ever. Eric and John worked together as Chief last year and Eric really enjoyed working with him. Kira is one of my extreme quilting friends that also got me into Yoga (her Power Yoga class is a killer).

Both Eric and I really like John and Kira.... but Ruby worships Kira. I have no idea what exactly happened or how Kira did it, but Ruby absolutely LOVES her. This year when I asked Ruby what she wanted to do for her Birthday she said that she wanted to go to Disneyland with just her and Ms. Kira. She was really sad when I explained that since Ms. Kira moved to the East coast that would not be possible.

So you can imagine how excited Ruby was when she received a box in the mail from Ms. Kira for her Birthday!

She sent a purple (Ruby's favorite color) Tinker Bell purse...

Loaded with tons of Hanna Montana accessories like lipstick, a bracelet, a necklace, a notebook & pen, a bunch of other stuff and these beautiful glasses.

Thank you Ms. Kira and Mr. John, you guys are the BEST!

Friday, January 25, 2008

I'm remodeling!!!!

It's not that I don't like where I live, I just see that there are areas that can be improved and I am commited to making those improvements. I love the idea of remodeling a house. You keep what you like, and tear out what you don't like so you can replace it with what you want in that space.

My friend Kristi has encouraged everyone to choose a word for the year that represents your goals. My word is for 2008 is "remodel"- because I am taking out what I don't like and replacing it with what I really want.

The older my girls get it's more evident how much my habits (good and bad) influence their actions. I want to be a better role model and example for them. I think overall I am a pretty good example but there are definite areas where "do as I say, not as I do " apply.

So 2008 is my year to re-model!

Here's my blueprint of what I am tearing out and upgrading:

The kitchen cupboards- I ate way too many treats and as a result our cupboards were full of sugar and my kids were full of sugar. January 1st I stopped eating simple sugar....moment of silence...
yes, this is a huge deal for me. I can't believe how much of a change this has already had on my kids in only 25 days. Because they see me eating healthy snacks and lots of fresh fruit they want to eat them too. I have not imposed this no sugar rule on the girls or Eric, but I have cleaned out the cupboards of junk and replaced them with healthier snacks.

Framing- I will have better posture. I will do Yoga more often and encourage the girls to do it with me.

Re-roofing- I have reworked our budget and completely changed the way I spend money. I have done away with the debit card and gone to all cash. When it's gone it's gone- ouch this one hurts!

Landscaping- My sister sent me It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh. This book completely changed the way I think about things and stuff. I have been meticulasly going through our house purging all the unnecessary stuff that accumulates and creating better systems to help the girls be better organized.

Foundation- Last but not least, I have changed the way I teach my kids. I am trying to teach them more of the why and less of the what. I can tell them what to do and they will do it to please me, but when they truley understand why something is important hopefully do it because they want to.

So if I follow my plan, by the end of 2008 I will be a super- model for my girls!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

If you have not already seen this book you need to check it out!

This book was just awarded the 2008 Caldecott award. As you know the Caldecott award is usually given to Children's PICTURE books... trust me, you have never seen a picture book like this!

Here is the description from this web site:

ORPHAN, CLOCK KEEPER, AND THIEF, twelve-year-old Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric girl and the owner of a small toy booth in the train station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message all come The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

This 526-page book is told in both words and pictures. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not exactly a novel, and it’s not quite a picture book, and it’s not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things. Each picture (there are nearly three hundred pages of pictures!) takes up an entire double page spread, and the story moves forward because you turn the pages to see the next moment unfold in front of you.

She's here!

I need to answer the question that everyone (including my Husband has asked me)...
Why are we getting another dog?

A friend of ours named Kelly bought this beautiful Teddy Bear breed puppy and I have heard for weeks how beautiful and cute she is but that she pees all over the place. Kelly sent her to a trainer for several weeks and the puppy came back still peeing all over the place. So Kelly and her family decided that this dog was not working for them.

My Sister mentioned that they needed to get rid of it and I immediately said we would take it... to which my Sister replied "Don't you understand that it's retarded and will pee everywhere?". I told her I still wanted it. Shortly after that they found out from the Veterinarian that the puppy had a REALLY bad bladder infection. Kelly and her family had already made up their mind that they were not dog people and called and said if you want her you can have her....I was thrilled!

****The Eric Contractual Agreement (Yes, he made me shake on it) **** If I am not really the dog whisperer and she is still peeing all over in 3 months, we have to get rid of her (My Mom has already has 1st dibs). To avoid three crying girls at our house, we have told the girls this is Kelly's dog and we are training it for her then sending it back in 3 months.

I am going to do everything in my power to insure that she is fully potty trained as soon as possible.

So after that long introduction..... here are some photos of our new little girl that after much thought and deliberation, Haley and Ruby have decided to name Opal.

She looks just like Max only 7 lbs instead of 20 lbs.

I thought my challenge was going to be potty training her, but so far she has been going on the piddle pad. The hard part is going to be convincing Max that she is not the Devil. He wants NOTHING to do with her.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


We have adopted an adorable little girl puppy(5 months old). If all goes well, we will be bringing her home tomorrow evening!

We are all very excited!


When Haley turned 2 and moved into a big girl bed I made her a special quilt for her bed.

When Ruby turned 2 and moved to a big girl bed I made her a special quilt for her bed.

Lucy is 4 and will be 5 in June... I have never finished her quilt.

Almost every night when it gets really cold Eric drops hints like "I hope Lucy will not freeze tonight, she doesn't have a quilt to keep her warm like the other girls" or my personal favorite " I hope Lucy still knows that you love her, even though you didn't make her a special quilt".

So finally...2 years after starting it... I finally finished Lucy's quilt!!!

It's not that it took me that long, it just kept getting bumped by other projects. I finally finished it last night, washed and dried it(hot so that it gets all soft and the quilting looks cool) so that she woke up with it on her bed. She did not want to get out of bed. She stayed in bed giggeling and smiling- I had to grab my camera.

She finally knows I love her!

I made this quilt 5 x 9 blocks (larger then the pattern) but other then that I followed this great pattern created by Heather French. This technique is called soft edge applique, it was not difficult and would be a great quilt for beginners or those of us that have a large stash to pull from.

If you want to make one you can purchase her pattern here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

Machine quilting tricks

I have been busy quilting and decided that I should share my 3 favorite tricks for machine quilting for any quilters that have not tried these.

  1. Rubber door stops from Home Depot
  2. Gloves with rubber fingers (avail at most quilting stores)
  3. A pillow 

The rubber tipped gloves help you grip the fabric better. The doorstops you wedge both under the front of your sewing machine to tip the machine slightly back. A pillow on your chair to have you sit higher then you normally would. Being higher and having your machine tilted takes a lot of stress off your wrists and shoulders as you quilt.  

I read these tips in a quilting magazine a while ago. They actually listed having a glass of wine as an additional aid to help you relax your shoulders... haven't tried that one myself.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lessons learned

I have been thinking a lot about this challenge and I can't believe how much I learned. I am so thankful we did this. We live on the San Andres Fault so the chances of a large earthquake where we lose power, water and grocery stores are closed is pretty high.

I have heard the Bishop select families for this the past few month, so I have been stocking up on canned food. I had a false sense that we were prepared. While overall we were ok with food. I learned several areas that we need to improve on. 

I am thankful I learned these things without an emergency so we can get prepared.

Supplies I need to get:
Paper plates- We never use paper plates so we had none on hand. If we lost water for even a few days I would not want to waste water on cleaning dishes.

Rubber gloves- These would have been great to have when I was cooking dinner. My hands had raw chicken juice in them and I had a hard time picking up the gallon jug of water with one (dirty) hand while washing off the other hand only to realize that I had to hold the (now dirty) jug handle with my clean hand. I felt like a blonde joke in action. This would have been so much easier, faster and more sanitary if I could have just pulled off and thrown away disposable gloves.

Hand sanitizer- Again to save water on hand washing.

Clorox wipes

Glow sticks- Home Depot has 12 hour snap glow sticks for $1.98. These are perfect to stick in a pair of shoes under the bed. 

Food I need to stock up on:
Canned vegetables. I almost always buy frozen so if we lost power we would be in trouble.

Canned chicken and tuna fish. My kids love tortilla soup. I made it with everything canned including the Costco canned chicken and it was really good. (recipe below) We had tortilla chips in the cupboard, but it is easy to make homemade tortillas. 

Canned soup- Since we were out of turkey and saving bread for school lunches, I had to forgo my daily sandwich for soup everyday.

Gallons of water- In addition to little water bottles, I had 2 gallons of water in the garage. These were very helpful to have next to the sink. Being very conscious of conserving water, I used a whole gallon just cooking dinner and washing off the carrots and potatoes and my hands.

Final thoughts:
On last Sunday when we received this challenge we explained why we were doing this to our girls.  It did not go over well. 
They were all very upset and Ruby started crying and said 
"Doesn't the Bishop know that you have 3 children to feed??? Can't he call someone else????

It didn't take long before they got into it and started to view it as a challenge or game and even though Ruby never understood the why, she still wanted to be obedient. Side note- On Tuesday Ruby announced to her class and teacher that we could not go to the store to get any food because our church wouldn't let us.- lovely

I received tons of phone calls from friends and family asking if we need anything.   Several people were willing to bring us anything we were out of.   While these offers were tempting, I knew that we were ok and not in serious need. It did make me grateful to have such wonderful people worried about us and I realized that if there were a big disaster we would all be helping out each other! 

You can click on the photo to enlarge the image.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

No water day

We were given a list of suggestions (below) for this weeks challenge from the Bishop. We have been following them, just not always on the exact day specified.

Today was no water day so I turned off the water. I can't believe how inconvenient it is to not be able to quickly wash off my hands or rinse dishes. The dishes are all left in the sink and we have been going through a lot of water bottles. I always buy the big packs of water bottles from Costco and try to build up a big stock pile in case of an emergency.... If there was an earthquake and we did not have water for a week we would be in big trouble. I'm really glad that this is just an exercise and not really an emergency so I can increase our water supply ASAP.

Tonight I am making foil dinners... I've never done that before, should be interesting.

If you are interested here is the list of rules and suggestions we received:

Dear ________________________
You have been invited by the Bishop to live off your emergency reserve for this week.
Try not to go to the store, live off what you have on hand. Homemade sack lunches are encouraged. Borrowing from very nice neighbors is permissible.

From _____________ to ________________.

For Family Home Evening Play What If
What if you were not at home when a major emergency happened? (Fill in the blanks with the emergency most likely to occur in your area.) 
1. Fire
2. Earth Quake
3. ?
4. ?
5. ?
6. ?
Ask each family member, including the adults what they would do.
What if you were at a friend’s home? (for each above item listed)
What if you were at work?
What if you were at School?
What if you were shopping?
This will give you the opportunity to make sure your family all knows whom to call or- incase of adults or teens-where your meeting place will be.
Fill out emergency cards for each family member to keep in wallets and/ or school backpacks. These should include home phone number, cell phones, home addresses, near by friends or relatives and out of state contact. (Such as Grandparents)

From 9 am to 6 pm turn off water. (yes including toilets)
1. It’s shoe day. Place a sturdy pair of shoes under each bed in your home. These should be shoes that are not normally worn so they will remain in place for an emergency. What else would you like under your bed and assessable? Flashlights, glow sticks, extra set of car keys, etc.

Post emergency phone numbers next to phone. Police, fire, hospitals, doctors, poison control, schools, work, block captain, and other contacts. Also have your home address and home phone number next to the phone for a babysitter or someone not familiar with your household.

Make foil dinners. These are fun for the family and a great way to cook after a natural disaster when power or facilities are unavailable.

Read “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear” Ensign (November 1995, By Elder L. Tom Perry)
Read guidelines in Provident Living

Prepare to share your feelings and experiences in church on Sunday

Monday, January 07, 2008

My new favorite word:

I had a relative in an email tell me that I have moxy. I had no idea what moxy was so I googled it and found that in the urban dictionary it has 3 definitions:

1.) What the Hollywood world today calls 'it.'
2.) You have an great amount of courage or bravery to do what you want do to.
3.) You have Herpes (which was originally called Moxygoshthisitchesherpes but was shortened to just Herpes in the mid-60's)

Herpes! I laughed so hard I was crying

In a later email he clarified what moxy traditionally means:

"You have moxey (a very positive condition) where you can diagnose a problem, solve it, and go on. Not a lot of people have it but those that do are natural leaders."

I think that's the greatest complement I have been given... and my new favorite word!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The challenge is on!

For many years our Church leaders have counseled us to prepare our families for times of need. I have always known this was important but after watching the floods in New Orleans it really woke me up to do something about it.

Our Bishop wants to help all the members of our Ward be better prepared so the 1st Sunday of the month he extends a challenge to two families in the Ward to only live off of their food storage for one week. Today we were one of the lucky families. 

So for the next week, no trips to the market or Costco, we can only eat what we have. I feel like we are basically prepaired, but I really needed to go shopping on Saturday so we are super low on milk, bread, cheese and fresh fruit. This is going to be difficult, but I know we are going to learn from it and be better prepared in the future.

Our kids were supper bummed out about this challenge until we opened up a can of dried sliced bananas after church. Now they think food storage is great- just wait until they taste powdered milk!

"We encourage Church members worldwide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.

"We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve."
—The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007,

For information about home storage you can go HERE.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Twisted sisters

Unfortunately our bedroom is currently sporting a Playstation 2 with Sing star 80's. Today Haley and Ruby (fierce competitors) battled for the highest score for hours singing "Were not gonna take it" (by Twisted Sister). Haley had the highest score, but Ruby definitely had the best moves!

As for the other twisted Sister she choose to cut off all her bangs while I was cooking dinner tonight. This was especially sickening to me as I have been growing them out for her 5 year portrait in June at Busath in SLC. They were finally to her chin, but now she just looks like she has a mullet. I'm not sure if we are going to wait and do her portrait later in the year or just find a different 5 year old somewhere to replace her.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Pink Christmas

My friend Kristi for the past 2 years has organized the Pink Christmas- girlfriends give and get. It is a handmade gift exchange with crafty bloggers from all over the country.  You can click Here to see photos of what everyone made and sent.  I have loved looking through all the photos and and seeing what everyone make. 

Here is what I made and sent to Melissa in Az:

2 Christmas dishtowels

...and a 2008 calendar/ organizer covered with pieced Amy Butler fabrics

Here is what a received from Joslyn in Utah. She took a magnetic board and covered it with cool papers so we can hang up photos, papers ect. It's very cool and such a great idea.

I thought this was such a brilliant idea that I took our old dry erase board (destroyed by Lucy and a Sharpi) that was hanging in our kitchen and covered it was cute papers for Haley's room.  

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