Thursday, April 30, 2009

Computer Cool School

This is Jacob's Fisher-Price Cool School.

After he has done his book work, I let him go upstairs and play on it while I do book work with Ashlee. This way they're both learning at the same time, and it lightens my load as teacher.

He can choose from reading, tracing, art, science, math and music. I find the narrator's voice to be very soothing, and the background music is nice, also (very important if it's going to be on in my house!)

Here's the picture he made today. Like his variety of fruit trees?

Noah likes to curl up in the chair next to Jacob and watch (sometimes he falls asleep!) He'll be using the computer pretty soon, too. Right now we're working on tracing, the alphabet, counting, days of the week and a few songs. Teaching your own kids is so rewarding. It's not always easy, but it's worth it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Think I'm in Love

Meet Addi. Addi TURBO.

These are the best knitting needles I have used thus far.
Her features include:

*Stainless steel, turbo finish brass tips
*Soft cord with smooth transfer
*Quiet and fast
*The perfect needle!

If you're a knitter, you need to get yourself a pair. They're not cheap, but they're worth it.

The stitches slip right off. AND, these are a size 10. Such a relief after working with the 5s.
This project is going much faster (remember, I'm a woman of instant gratification.)

Roxanne, this will be Alyssa's hat, too. It's made from baby alpaca... soooo soft (hand wash only, though) and the size 10 needles combined with the thicker yarn give it a nice chunky look. I am also working in a knit-purl combination, which provides for more elasticity, helping the hat to keep it's shape. I also like the ribbing. You'll love the feel of it.

Here is Alyssa's first hat. I'm not totally happy with the way it turned out, but I tried some new techniques (like the stripe?) There's also a row of eyelettes above the brim, but next time I think I'll place them higher so that they won't roll up in the brim. I like this hat because it's 100% wool, and I really like the color combination. I think I'll send her both hats, and she can choose.

Monday, April 27, 2009

How to Save a Life

Ever get the feeling that you've been sheltered from the world? Welcome to the last 5 years of my life. Sometimes I wonder why I deprive myself of certain things. Anyways, my new love is The Fray, especially thier song "How to Save a Life."(this is a link, click on it!) I have been listening to it around the house for the last few weeks and it has been like food to my soul. Then I found the music video, and I fell even deeper in love. What is it about this song? What does it mean? I am not music saavy. Like I said, I've been a stay-at-home mom for the past 5 years. The most intellectual stimulation I get is when I am able to listen to the hymns from the adult hymn book rather than Primary songs. I don't know who this guy is, but this song does something to me. What does it mean to you?

As some of you know, my life changed drastically when I joined the church. Those of you who have only known me in the last 5 years wouldn't know this, but others do. I gave up a lot, and took on a lot. Don't get me wrong, I know I received blessings in return. It's just that I gave up EVERYTHING. However, lately I am feeling like if the pendulum swings so far in one direction, it only has one place to go... back the other way. Slow down now, I'm not thinking about doing anything drastic. I'm only saying that I miss some of the things that I gave up... like friends, fun, music, a social life, ME time... yes, WORLDLY things! Things that I had before. My question is this: is that a bad thing? Should I feel guilty? Because I do.

I doubt many people will read this (I'm not one of those bloggers that has, like, 140 followers) but I am just looking for different opinions. (If you read my blog anonymously, now is the time for you to come out of the woodwork.) I need change, I just don't know what kind. I am wanting one thing, but leaning towards another.

Thoughts, advice? Anyone? Anyone?

Friday, April 24, 2009


We had the missionaries over for dinner and a lesson the other night. I can't get enough of them. There's this chapstick at the LDS bookstore that has "I (heart) missionaries" printed all over it. Forrest always jokes that he's going to buy it for me. At first they come in and have dinner with you, and it's like, "Okay, these guys are human. They crack jokes, I can relate to them." And then they start teaching a principal of the gospel, and the spirit completely transforms them into messengers of the Lord. I love having that feeling in my home.

See how chill they are with the kids? I love it.

The lesson was on the restoration of the gospel. The kids soaked it up. Watching them teach my children inspired me as to how I can be a better teacher. Kids are maleable and impressionable; they have an innate desire to learn. We should all take advantage of that and teach our kids everything we want them to know, or someone else will! I love the missionaries.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another Birth Slideshow

Anyone who knows me is aware of my passion for childbirth. I am working backwards here, but many of you enjoyed the slideshow of Kaitlyn's birth, so I made one of Noah's. Noah was my first homebirth baby, and the experience was nothing short of miraculous. The birth of a child is a miracle no matter how or where it happens, but Noah's birth took me in a whole new direction of how I wanted to birth my babies. See me with the big grin on my face? That's the difference between a 7 lb. baby (Noah) and an 8lb. 7oz. baby (his older brother, Jacob.) That smile spells R-E-L-I-E-F! Our family holds this experience very sacred.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bless This Mess

I can do one of two things really well- clean my house or be a good mommy. Here's the catch- I CAN'T do BOTH (not really well, anyways.) So, I am trying to let go... of cleaning the house, that is, not of being a good mommy. Last Saturday as I walked out on six loads of laundry, unmade beds, and a dirty kitchen in order to get Jacob to his T-ball game on time, the thought ran through my head, "Bless this mess."

I am grateful for the clothes that make up those piles of laundry to clothe my four children. Those beds were once filled with sleeping angels. And the dishes are left over from the good meal we had the night before.

This is the attitude I am trying to adapt, because I figure that so long as I am "laboring for that which does not satisfy," I am missing out on the most important things in life. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a clean house. I have just resolved to the fact that so long as there are young children in my home, it is going to look, well, "lived in."

I am fortunate enough to have a husband who places no expectations on me as far as the way the house looks. He once told me, "If I come home to a messy house, I know you had your priorities straight and were spending time with the kids."

There will come a day when I will clean my house and it will stay that way, but the sad part is that will be the day that my children are gone. So, I will do my part to be a good homemaker, but more importantly, to be a good mother. In the mean time, BLESS THIS MESS!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hats for the Girly-Girls

Here is the hat I knit for Ashlee right after I finished Kaitlyn's (no, the dog does not wear the hat, Ashlee wears the hat.) I used #7 needles, and boy did I get tired from switching all those colors! (Just kidding, the yarn was multi-colored... didn't that turn out cool?)

Ta-da! This is the finished hat #3 for baby Reagan. I used #5 needles and a washable wool blend. I do like the tighter stitch, but my fingers paid for it. It also took considerably longer than the first two, and it was knit sans pattern (Roxanne, please ignore any gliches.)

Tell Alyssa her hat is on the needles! I am making hers with 100% wool and am going for this look. I am so happy to have my #7s back! This one will be finished much sooner. I love the feel of the natural wool. And, it stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer.


Sticks and stones (and brothers on bicycles) may break my bones...

We just found out today that Noah has fractured his elbow as a result of his and Jake's bicycle crash earlier in the week. I had to explain to Jake that in real life, you do not score points for crashing into the guy next to you and running him off the road (here's where my anti-video game biast kicks in.) We had some x-rays taken on Monday, which we were told showed no fracture. The poor guy's been babying it all week, and my instincts told me otherwise. Then, we received a call from the Doc today stating that the x-rays were insufficient, so we had them re-taken, and the fracture was revealed. He'll be in a cast on Monday. Daddy had to take him in to get a sling put on until then (slightly traumatizing,) which is why he's wiped out in this picture. What would life with kids be like if there were no broken bones?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Goose Update

Well, I've had 3 days of running with no problem from the geese. Today I took Ashlee around the lake with me (just in case... she's fearless and will chase off an entire flock!) and she nearly stepped on a mama goose laying on a nest of eggs. She didn't realize it was there until it hissed at her. And, we spotted the first flock of little gosslings! Their proud parents were leading them down to the water. They are so cute and fuzzy at this age, but they grow quickly. As I watched the mother goose sit on her nest, I thought what patience it must require to stay there all day and provide the body heat necessary for those little eggs to hatch. Then I thought of my own self, and how restless I sometimes get being a stay-at-home mommy and housewife. Nature follows the rhythm of life so easily. Why can't we all be so obedient? Why must we grow restless and weary? How hard is it to just sit patiently on our children until they hatch?

Fieldtrip Day

This beautiful weather mandated a day off, so this morning we packed up and headed down to the Sacramento Zoo. Aren't these flamingos gorgeous? I learned that the natural color of a flamingo is white. The food they eat is what makes them pink (...thought it looked a little artificial!)

My little Joeys.

Kaitlyn is so funny- whenever she sees me pull out the camera, she cocks her head to the side for a pose. She's a natural!

I think this was a lemur (????????) Very fascinating, nonetheless. He was my favorite guy at the zoo.

On the way back, we swung by the Folsom Outlets.

I picked up a new pair of shades. Forrest calls them my "bling-bling" glasses because they're, well, blingy!

Ashlee spotted this dress at the Children's Place yesterday (love it there, if you've never been, go! They have killer deals.) Today she brought it home.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Does anyone know how to scare off an aggressive goose? There's this one at Cameron Park Lake that hisses and runs at me every time I go jogging. I think it's the same one that flew at my head last year as he was herding his little gosslings across the trail. Did you know they are very aggressive when they have their babies? They also have great memories- they pair up with the same mate year after year. I think he might remember me. Anyways, it's a little scary to have a 6-foot wing span flapping at the back of your head, and I don't want it happening again! (It's getting close to the time for them to have their babies, you know.) My 10K is in 5 weeks, and I have to train, but that goose is enough of a deterrent for me that I almost want to turn around and come home.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Weekend

This was a fun Easter weekend, from Friday until today. Ashlee's best friend, Jolena, joined us on Friday for a craft day. We decorated eggs, made jelly belly carrots, and molded Easter chocolates. Jolena's mom and I became acquainted while we were pregnant, so the girls have been friends since they were in the womb. They were born three days apart, and now they're inseperable.

Jolie's is on the right, Ashlee's on the left.

I made these minis.

The girls were proud of their goods.

This was a super easy craft for the boys...

...and the girls.

The eggs were fun (and yummy in egg salad sandwiches!)

On Saturday we went to an Easter egg hunt in El Dorado Hills. The boys didn't fare so well, but Ashlee got enough candy to go around. She's always been my competetive one!

Today was the perfect ending for a perfect weekend. Church was especially good- the choir sounded beautiful and the teachers were so inspiring. Some of our extended family joined us for a dinner of shishkabobs, scalloped potatoes, salad and homemade rolls, topped off with chocolate chip calzones and fresh whipped cream for dessert. It is always such a blessing to have family over, and I consider it a privelege to host the get-togethers.

Finally, one of my favorite scriptures about the Savior (He is, after all, the reason why we are celebrating, no?) I wanted to share this with my kids tonight but it got too late, so I'll post it instead and hope that some of you will enjoy it. It is from the Book of Mormon:

"And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." -Alma 7:11

He suffured so that we don't have to, and may we all take advantage of that gift in our lives. I love you all so much and hope everyone's Easter was everything they wanted it to be.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vinyl Boards

This is my latest board creation. I found the slogan on a website then had it made into vinyl lettering by NataLee Allen (some of you may know her,) who runs a business out of her home. Check her out on the web and see all of the cute stuff she makes. I felt like a deer in the headlights walking into her home- so many boards and I wanted to stop and read them all! Boards are one of my favorite crafts. They're cheap, easy, and you can customize them any way you want.
I made this one back in November. It's one of my favorites.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Our Garden

Our garden seems to be doing well. Here are our red cabbage plants (Ashlee's request... she loves cabbage.) I don't know what the heads look like when they start to grow, do you?
Each of our broccoli plants has a little head of broccoli sprouting up in the middle. We will harvest it while it is still young- baby broccoli is the best. So much more tender than the big, hard heads that they sell in the grocery store.
This is our spinach. It will need to get quite a bit larger before we harvest it (though the kids sneak leaves every now and again- guess they like the baby version of it, too.)

Our tulips have bloomed out front, the sugar snap peas are beginning to grow vines, and the raspberry plant has a green shoot above ground (though we probably won't see any berries until next year.) Our artichoke plant didn't make it. I don't think it liked being stuck in the ground. Gardening is so rewarding, and the kids love it. There are so many life lessons to be learned from gardening.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Work-In-Progress

This is baby hat #3, and Roxanne, this one's coming your way! I am knitting without a pattern, but I am hoping it will fit baby Reagan. This has been by far the most tedious hat thus far, and if it were any of my previous hats, it would've been finished by now with the amount of time I have put into it. The difference is that I am knitting with #5 needles instead of #7s, which makes for a much tighter and neater-looking stitch... there are just many more of them! Tell Alyssa hers will soon follow. (As you can see, I am doing the girls first.) Knitting has been so much fun. It takes up all of my "free" time! (He-he.)

Jacob's Trick

Jacob loves his bike... Jacob loves the camera... even better, Jacob loves me taking pictures of him on his bike with the camera. This was him out in our parking lot the other day (actually this is Noah's bike.) The funny thing is, I think he's learning these tricks from computer games! Okay, so I guess video games aren't totally unproductive.

Jacob's First Game

This was Jacob's first time up to bat. As you can see by the look on his face, he takes his game seriously!
Maybe that chin strap was a little too tight.
The swing! Professional. Thank you to my friend, Brittany, who captured these wonderful shots with her fancy-dancy new camera.

I'm baaaaaack!

Well, I stopped blogging for a couple of reasons (it is addicting, remember? That's why I quit in the first place,) but I'm back WITH some conditions. They are:

Rule #1: Living my life takes precedence over blogging my life, SO, you can expect to see about one post a week, at most.

Rule #2: This blog will be intended for family and friends only, and is not intended to be a pseudo-social network, SO, if you're not a person who talks to me on a regular basis, don't feel the need to view and/or comment on my blog. If you want to be a friend, come see me in person! (This excludes friends and family who live far away and can't come see me.)

Rule #3: Unlike some blogs out there, this blog is not intended to stir up controversy or in any way make anyone feel offended. I will do my part to keep the blogging world clean and refrain from posting any offensive material, and I hope all of you will do the same (as I know most of you do already!)

Having said that, I am glad to have my blog up and running. I received too much hate mail for shutting it down! I hope you all enjoy.