Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One More Thing?

Being the overly enthusiastic parent of a Kindergartner that I am, I eagerly volunteered to be the room parent for Jacob's class this year. Little did I know that I'd be planning the first party the same week that we'd be moving into a new house... hmmm, bit off a little more than I can chew there, didn't I? Well, after the 2nd or 3rd day of running on little sleep, I am feeling a bit resentful. Nonetheless, I did accomplish the task of preparing:

30 of these...............paper plate spiders

25 of these........................hand sewn felt pumpkin Trick-or-Treat bags

and 27 of these..............whole wheat pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (to be decorated and devoured at tomorrow's party.)

Now all I have left to do between tomorrow morning and next week is make frosting, transfer over the utilities, finish packing, clean old house, clean new house, take care of kids, keep up with chores.....zzzzzzz

Crazy Hair Day

The kids are having a "Spirit Week" at school, and yesterday was crazy hair day. This was Ashlee's choice 'do.

Monday, October 26, 2009

22 weeks and growing...

Here are the milestones my baby has reached this week:

You are 22 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 20 weeks) 22 weeks
  • The fetus reacts to loud sounds.
  • Baby starts having a regular sleeping and waking rhythm.
  • The mother's movements can wake her baby.
  • Taste buds are forming on your baby's tongue.
  • The baby is 28cm long (crown to heel) and weighs over 450 grams.
  • The weekly weight gain has increased to around 70 grams.
Your baby is about 11 inches long and weighs in at about 1 pound. The eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed, and the fingernails cover the fingertips. Sounds from a conversation are loud enough to be heard by the fetus in the uterus. If you talk, read, or sing to your baby, it's reasonable to expect him or her to be able to hear you.

I woke up this morning and thought she had turned. I know from the ultrasound that she is breech, and all of her kicks are felt down low. However, this morning as I was lying in bed I felt rhythmic movement at the top of my uterus, which gave me hope that she had changed positions. Then I realized that it could've been hiccups I was feeling, not kicks, which would make sense that I would feel those up high if she was still in a breech position, so I am not letting my guard down yet. The midwives say I don't really need to think about it until 30 weeks or so. I, on the other hand, am hoping that she will find her bearings and get into a head-down position before she grows too big. I know there are several maneuvers a pregnant woman can do to get her baby to change positions, so I am not too worried about it, but I would like the peace of mind of knowing that she is head down nonetheless. Actually, I am feeling little flutter-like movements down low as we speak, which feel more characteristic of little hands than feet, so we may just be in luck! Good girl, Rachel. Good girl.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Primary Program

Today was the kids' Primary Program at church (wish I had pictures to post... darn.) From what I understand, this is quite the production that has pretty much been all year in the making. The Primary Presidency did an excellent job of orchestrating the whole thing and making it all come together. I have loved listening to the practice c.d. with my children these past few months and learning the songs with them; my favorite was "Teach Me About the Temple," so beautiful! Ashlee and Jacob both had their lines memorized to a "T," only Jacob wishes he would've had a longer one (next year, bud.)

As I sat in the congregation with Forrest, watching the kids up on the stand, a few thoughts came to mind. One of them was how impressed I am at how far Ashlee has come since we started investigating the church. I vividly remember the first time we were invited to church, and Ashlee was two. I sat nervously with her in the chapel during sacrament meeting, and right during the passing of the sacrament, she decided to leave the pew, tear down the aisle, and dart across the front of the congregation. Someone had to retrieve her and bring her back to me, as I was too terrified to move. After that incident I thought I'd never be able to sit reverently in church with my children like all the other moms. Never did I imagine that several years later I'd be sitting in the same congregation with not one but four... um, five... children, reverently enjoying the sacrament meeting. Each year the Primary Program is a good way for me to analyze our progress. The first year it was the emotion that swept over me as Ashlee stood up front and sang "I am a Child of God" with all the other children, the song that Forrest used to sing to her every night when she was a baby before I even knew about the church. Now here was our "baby" singing it back to us. Then it was watching Jacob his first year in the program; Noah was two and Kaitlyn was a new baby, and I left them with Forrest while I attempted to escort Jake up to the front to take his seat, only to have him make a mad dash back to the congregation, refusing to perform... now he's asking for a bigger part.

I could say more, but for the sake of not turning this post into a journal entry will stop there.

I already look forward to next year, when I'll have a new baby in my arms and Noah will be up there for the first time. It really puts a perspective on just how fast this life passes...

I am so happy I am able to give my children the gift of the gospel.

Apple Hill

Forrest had the day off on Saturday, so we made a last minute decision to drive up to Apple Hill (our last chance before Halloween.) It was a beautiful day.

Here are Ashlee and Kaitlyn in the pumpkin patch at Plubell's. They loved looking at and feeding all of the farm animals. We opted not to follow our usual tradition of buying pumpkins here this year in favor of the fact that we can purchase them at the grocery store for $3 each and save quite a bit of money. I did, however, pick up a pumpkin for my dinner-in-a-pumpkin... figure if we're going to be eating it, not carving it, it's worth the investment.

Caramel apples at High Hill Ranch. These were so delicious, but the bees were coming after them like no one's business! I had to swat them away, as they were quite aggressive. I later found Noah's apple so lovingly left on the back seat of my car. Thank goodness for leather seats, it cleaned right up.

The fishing pond- I had Noah posed for a shot, but at the last minute he decided he had to go potty and came bolting towards me (hence the action shot.)

Kaitlyn with her guinea pig- she calls it her "cozy." Actually it's Ashlee's webkinz, but Kaitlyn has sort of adopted it as her own. Ashlee only really cares about taking care of the online version of it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Christmas Rag Quilt

It's been nearly a year since I was first inspired to make a rag quilt. At last year's Relief Society Christmas celebration, ("Love in Every Stitch" was it?) I really enjoyed looking at the display of rag quilts hand-made by sisters in our ward, and from henceforth was determined to make one of my own. So, I did my research, priced the fabric, browsed many patterns for ideas, and came up with this:

It wasn't really a pattern per se, but rather a modge podge of coordinating fabrics that happened to be on sale at Hancock's. I wanted it to be a throw that I could bring out at Christmas time, and I think it turned out the perfect size.

I really love the frayed look of rag quilts. This attribute also makes them more forgiving; your seams don't need to be perfect.

I was surprised that all in all, I put only about 4 days of half-time work into this quilt. Here are the steps, in a nutshell:

Step 1: purchase fabric (do not pre-wash) and, using a rotary cutter and self-healing board (the right tools are essential,) cut into squares.

Step 2: assemble squares in sandwiches and pin together.

Step 3: pin squares together in rows, then join with a 1" seam allowance.

Step 4: pin rows together, join with a 1" seam allowance.

Step 5: Sew 1" border around all edges of quilt.

Step 6: Using spring loaded scissors, cut 1/4"-1/2" slits in seam allowances around every square and around border (taking caution not to clip your seams, as this would cause it to unravel!)

Step 7: run quilt through washer and dryer for frayed effect, then de-fuzz. Your quilt is complete.

Daddy-Daughter Activity

Last weekend the Activity Day girls had a daddy-daughter night. They all got to bring their hand-tied blankets they made a while back to put out on display.

A cute couple.

They had many fun activities, one of which was a race to see which dad could wrap their daughter in two rolls of toilet paper the fastest. Forrest was a little flustered by the fact that I sent him with two double rolls! It didn't make his job any easier. Oops.

Doesn't Ashlee look thrilled to be covered in... toilet paper?

They also had a relay to see who could run down to the end of the gym, dress up in these crazy clothes, undress and run back the fastest. Can you guess who this is??

I'm not sure if this is a picture of the dads and daughters getting ready for the 3-legged race or not... it looks more like dancing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Halloween Decorations

I am not much of a decorator (though I aspire to be,) so when Jacob looked around the house the other day and chuckled, "Mom, this isn't all the Halloween decorations we're going to put up, right?" I considered it a call to action. Although I tend to be at a loss for coming up with my own decorating and/or crafting ideas, I find it immensely satisfying when I do engage in such projects. I love the look of a decorated house. Now that I am in my 6th year as a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) -slash-homemaker, I figure I better take this decorating business seriously. I remember my step-mom used to do such a good job at keeping the house clean and cozy and decorating for every holiday, and it really enriched my childhood memories. So, I have made it a goal to become more proficient at crafting and decorating with every passing year. Granted it will probably get a little easier as my kids get older, but now is the time to start. By the time I am a grandma, I should be Martha Stewart worthy.

Well, I can't take credit for these. Last weekend Forrest cut some shapes out of wood in the garage and helped the kids to paint them. I especially like the way the witch turned out.

This was my contribution: cheesecloth ghosts. I remember doing these with my step-mom as a kid. They are super simple and cute. We will probably string them up from the ceiling (had we a tree in our front yard, we would hang them there.)

Happy Crafting!

Monday, October 12, 2009

20 Weeks- the Halfway Point!

Well, it is with bittersweet emotion that I approach the midpoint in my pregnancy. On the one hand, I am so grateful to be well past my morning sickness, and I love feeling the baby move. I have my energy back for the most part, and love going for walks with my good friend 3-4 days a week. It is also fun to be anticipating the upcoming labor and delivery, and I mostly look forward to getting to hold my baby in my arms and have her cuddled up in bed with me. From here on out pregnancy just becomes more enjoyable and exciting to me.

On the other hand, I know that I have more pregnancies behind me than ahead of me. Forrest and I would like to have 6 kids, and the thought of this being the second to the last one makes me feel somewhat disconsolate. I know that there is a time and season for everything in life, but I don't feel ready for this one to be over. I guess I'll be waiting for that moment when I feel like, "Okay, I'm done." I've heard from a lot of women that they just know when they've had their last child, and they feel ready to move on to the next stage in life. I'll be counting on that feeling to come to me. Until then, this is what life is all about...

Chocolate Chip Scones

These are my favorite scones. I used to make them for the bake sale every year when Ashlee went to Blue Oak, and they were always the first item to disappear. You can add any mix-ins you would like. When I make them at Christmas time, I like to add dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. They are very delicious served with a dollop of whipped cream.

Now excuse me while I go eat this one...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Projects

Today was a no make-up wearin', no house-cleanin', at-home stayin', lazy kind of Saturday (okay, I did break down and clean up before dinner.) The perfect day for setting out to do some of those unfinished projects. First on the list: a pair of knit baby legs (or the beginning of one anyways.) These are intended for an undisclosed recipient, but if they turn out too small I'll just hold on to them for Rachel.

Next task: I finished cutting all of the fabric squares for my Christmas rag quilt (168 in all.) Step 2 is to pin them together in sandwiches and begin sewing.

While I knit, the boys busied themselves with these spooky Halloween paintings. They got the idea from a deck of cards we have called "50 Fun Things to Make and Do" from Usborne Books. I think they turned out nice, and I like the way the colors match my centerpiece.

Here is Jacob's haunted house. He's pointing to the blood coming out of the door (I think he overheard Ashlee talking about the haunted house at the Harvest Festival we went to last night- it was pretty gruesome!)

Chocolate chip cookies. Okay, maybe this doesn't constitute a "project," unless you count the part where I ground the wheat, but they were yummy nonetheless and a good way to end the day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ashlee's 10th Birthday

Ashlee turned 10 on Sunday. Rather than try to fit her party in between conference sessions over the weekend (like we usually do) we opted to give her a party on Friday night. We took her and a group of girls down to Sunrise Rollerland for a skating and pizza party. Here she is with her very best friend whom she's known since birth. Her mommy and I became friends while we were pregnant, and the girls were born 3 days apart.

The boys meant business on their skates. Can you tell by the looks on their faces?

The girls skated for about an hour, then we paused for pizza and presents. Here's Ashlee opening her favorite gift of all- the entire Twilight series from Grandma Cathe. She is already a good portion of the way into Book One, but I told her I'd have to do a pre-screening on the rest of the books before she will be permitted to read them (I hear they get pretty steamy as the series progresses.)

We were happy to have a good turnout- 6 of the 7 friends we invited were able to make it. They made a great group. I think the girls could've partied all night, but I had to have them home by 9:00. Darn, the fun was just getting started!

Ashlee did an inventory of all her gifts as soon as we got home. Here she is in her new shirt and headband from Aunt Roxanne, paired with her stylish new "skinny jeans" from Old Navy.

Happy Birthday Ashlee! You're turning into quite the young lady.