Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sad, sad day.....

First, the not so sad day.  Yesterday was our church's Father/Daughter campout, which we like to refer to as "the only way to get daddy to camp".  Chris took all 5 older girls to Horning's Hideout for the night while I sewed away and watched Penelope and 10 Things I Hate About You.  About half way through the evening, I pulled out my camera to take a picture of a creation.  Making along story short, my camera is broken.  I just want to cry.  Partly because I am emotional because it sounds like it is going to be pretty cheap to fix.  Partly because I am going out of town this week and it looks like it might not be done in time for me to take it on our trip.   The camera gods are out to get me.  

This came right after I had another compact flash incident at the Washington County Fair.  The girls were in heaven (especially Elise, who spent the whole time yelling "Mommy, wook! A _________") getting to be so close to all of the animals.  I have never been quite so close to a cow and we got to see a very kind woman from Forest Grove milk her goats.  Dad: Get dairy goats!  Please?

I go to pull out the camera and the ominous message on my camera read "No CF card"  Not again!   I really need to buy a spare card.

So, no pictures for a while, but I will still try to check in. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Waxy rocks

Today we made the easiest kids craft ever from a book called Summer Crafts.  I didn't like a ton of ideas from the book, but these were right up my aisle.  Here it is, easy style.
1.  Put your clean rocks in the oven on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes, at 350.
2. While they are in the oven, peel the wrapper off of a bunch of crayons.  If your 2 year old loves to peel crayons in all of her spare time, you can skip this step. (This made the rocks even easier for us! Thank you, Elise.)
3.  When the rocks are nice and toasty, you reiterate to your children how stinking hot these rocks are going to be and how very careful they are going to have to be with this part.
4.  Fun part: Choose your crayon of choice and just color on the rock as it melts.  You can mix lots of colors and do different designs.  
My favorites were the stripes and the turquoise looking rock.  This was such an easy craft that doesn't require lots of weird supplies.   I think we might even do it again in a few days.

These are my new shoes.  I fell madly in love with them.  I consider it good karma.  About a month ago I saw these other cute shoes at the Nike Employee Store, but there was a slight problem.  There were 3 color options, but Rachel and I both liked the same one.  I made a motherly sacrifice of letting Rachel have a pair, but every time I look at her shoes I think "ahhh....I love those shoes!"  So these shoes are my reward.  Nike was so happy with my sacrifice that they brought in these shoes, which I like even more, to reward me. Silly logic, but I like it.   See Lilly's smile?  She likes my shoes, too.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Beach (with a compact flash card)

Our wonderful friends, the Jarmans, are visiting Oregon after their first year in Moscow. (Russia, not Idaho)  It has been so refreshing to have them back, getting to chat and catch up on our crazy past year.  When I heard a beach trip was in the works, we decided that was definitely worth packing up the kiddos.  Let's see.  Can we handle the beautiful drive and a day at the beach just to hang out with our favorite expats in the world?  

Although the day was colder than expected, the kids had fun getting themselves (and everyone around them) sandy.  Elise dug away in the sand, running away from any water before it was a danger to her. (She remembers getting knocked over many times at Tillamook)  She loved seeing all of the dogs at the beach, too.  "Cute huah-huah.  Cute."  (Huah-Huah=chihuahua) 

Lilly loved being held the whole time and left with very little sand in her neck (unlike our last trip), but lots of sand in between her toes.  Man!  I should have taken a picture.  It was super cute!

The other girls really didn't hang out with me very much.  They played with the sand and I hung out with great people.  It was a  wonderful day. 

Drip Sand Castles:  Has anyone made these?  Allyson enlightened us, giving us this little demo.  All you do is drip wet sand, but they were making some pretty neat stuff here.  Chris said it looks like poo.  I think he changed one too many poopy diapers yesterday. :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Swinging away

Last night we went to Hillsboro for a concert in the park.  This week was swing music, which I have a secret love for.  We packed a picnic and the kids up and met some people from our ward for the evening.  In my head, I imagined us sitting on the grass while watching the kids dance to the music around us.  It was a great evening, but as always, it didn't quite work that way.  

We had a nice dinner with the kids' adopted grandparents (they put up with the kids during church every Sunday with us so they definitely have earned the title).  I love people that just make you feel at ease.  That is the Nees'.  They are what gets us to church every Sunday on time. (We lose our spot by them if we are late)  She came to watch the kids in the middle of the night when Lilly was born.  The kids run to them every time they see them.  And Hannah climbs all over them for an hour and a half every Sunday.  Dinner was yummy and made complete with good company.  Then the kids wanted to run to the playground.  Once the Leetes came for the concert with their older girls, there was no turning back.  Our "swing" concert turned into the tire swing sort of concert instead of the big band swing sort.  

It was still a balmy evening with great music surrounding us.  Relaxing and always fun to talk with great people.  And the kids want to go to more concerts.  Maybe the next one will be closer to my little image in my head.  Probably not, but it all turned out beautifully and we are definitely going to do this again.   

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Crayon roll fun


I would like to start out by saying that I should start every day with a lavender italian soda.  I just had one and I am thinking that I needed it first thing in the morning instead of right before bed.  Or maybe a healthier lavender drink.

Today we went to the Children's Museum and had a blast.  Hannah and Autumn got to try out a pottery wheel. Elise made a million clay eggs and snakes and loved having permission to color all over her face in the face painting section.  Rachel discovered that painting your whole face to look like a frog isn't something she wants to try again.  Chloe loved being a "baby nurse" in the hospital section.  It was a fun little trip that we need to do more often.  Everyone played well and enjoyed rediscovering the museum together.  Its been a long time since we were there last and I must say that they have improved.  (Even with a chic suggesting that we make a monetary donation after my kids had created one rubberband bracelet and a basket from a recycled magazine.  Both were very cute and inventive, but we pay to get in.  Therefore I "donate".  And tell me ahead of time if you want me to pay for a rubberband bracelet. )  Besides that, it was great and wonderful.
Autumn has a birthday party tomorrow and we got crafty for the present.  She helped me with all of the cutting, trimming and design of this matching pouch and crayon roll.  The instructions for the pouch are from Bend the Rules Sewing and the crayon roll came from a great tutorial here.  I have been eyeing the crayon roll at our local toy store for a while and I think I just was too lazy to figure it out on my own.  It was very easy but I am forbidding my family from making any.  Just don't.  No particular reason.  It has NOTHING to do with a certain holiday.  Just obey my random commands. 

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A tranquil Sunday and Lavender Yumminess in a cup

CONGRATS: Lia won the challenge. Elise is saying "I'm stucky!", which nobody was even close to, but she did ask for me to put her up there and asked for her picture to be taken, which Lia got right. I will be sending you some culinary lavender to play with, Lia.

First of all, today was just a very nourishing day at church. Sometimes you go to be fed and sometimes you go to feed others. On a good day, both happen. I don't know if I did a lot of feeding others today (I did run the library and get a lot of people their goods, cheerfully), but I sure did get fed. There were two talks about leadership today that focused on leadership in your family. Wow. I won't get too religious about it all, but my friend Tina talked about how sometimes we teach our kids the right lesson for the wrong reason. I think I do this more than I would like to admit. She used an example of when she was correcting a daughter's behavior because she was embarrassed, but not really because it was a good time or situation for correcting her. Anywho....the whole day just made me want to strive to be a more loving and nurturing mom. Here's a quote that I loved and then we'll move on to more lavender craziness.

"Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these little ones. Now, love them, take care of them. Fathers, control your tempers, now and in all the years to come. Mothers, control your voices, keep them down. Rear your children in love, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Take care of your little ones, welcome them into your homes and nurture and love them with all of your hearts." -Gordon B. Hinkley quick thought. I HATE when people admonish my kids. I feel like they don't understand the situation, they are being nosey and it just kind of rides my nerves in a major way! Pet peeve. If they would at least talk with me, we could figure out what is best for my kids. (Like the airline stewardess that FREAKED Rachel out when she was 2)  I just pictures Heavenly Father up in Heaven, watching me parent and being highly annoyed with my lack of understanding for his sweet little daughters.  He probably wished that I would talk things over with Him a little more before I jump the gun.  I need to visualize that EVERY stinking day. Wow.

Ok. Now to lavender. We were in Eugene, OR last week and I got to taste a lavender italian soda. It was an absolute taste bud overload. Delicious. I decided that I needed some lavender italian soda flavoring and Lia gave me the great idea of adding lavender to vanilla syrup. I just tried it out and I must say that I have that little deli in Eugene beat, hands down. If you've never had Lavender in food, this is a pretty easy way to try it without spending hours cooking. Then you will know if you want to waste your time cooking with it. Chris announced that he only likes it in small doses, which I think is GREAT because that is one less person to share with.  I must say that with it hanging over my kitchen table, every meal has me thinking I should add lavender to everything.

Lavender Italian Soda
Club Soda
Half and Half (I use fat free so I can have more whipped cream)
Can of Whipped Cream
Syrup of your choice (The kind at Starbucks....they are cheap at Cash and Carry, but you can get them at most grocery stores for an arm and a leg)
One straw (must have)

I just added the lavender into the vanilla syrup and let it sit for a while because I want that whole bottle to taste of lavender. If you just want to try it, I would put a little vanilla syrup (2 tbsp maybe?) into a bowl and mix it with lavender. An italian soda is a little to taste, but I fill my glass about 5/8 full of club soda and then add my flavoring and half and half to the top. More half and half than flavoring, but if you like more flavoring....add more. Then you get the can of whipped cream and make it nice and pretty. Stick your straw in (this allows you to also mix your whipped cream in as you go) and enjoy.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A true crisis....

After picking 24 lbs of blueberries at our favorite Gordon's Acres, we decided to head to the Tillamook for the day. This required driving back to our house (30 minutes) to put the blueberries away and to fetch a few beachy type things and, of course, my camera. What is the beach without my camera? Well, I guess it is about the same thing as the beach, with my camera and without my compact flash card. Dang! It was still a great day. A beautiful drive (complete with me now sitting at home looking at homes with property), ice cream and squeaky cheese from Tillamook, sandy kids playing on a very windy beach (totally oblivious to the cold water or the sand blowing in their mouth and ears) and a fun drive home with lots of singing and a sad crying baby. (the not so fun part) Maybe we'll bring the compact flash card next time and forget the camera. OR I just might have a good day and remember both. With or without proof, we had a great day. Gosh, I love Oregon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Getting in touch with my creative side

Today was supposed to start out with hitting some garage sales, in search of some vintage stuff for Chloe, Hannah and Elise's new room. All the kids were ready (Chloe armed with some money in her cute little pink purse) when I discovered that the keys were nowhere to be found. I called Chris to ask why he took the car, but he swore he didn't. Upon further discussion, we discovered that he had the keys at work, without the car. Dang. No garage sales.

So here is what we did instead. Laundry. :) Nah, that was only until Elise took her nap. **Note that Lilly was sleeping this whole time in her magic blanket** I got out some paints and some collage stuff that I purchased the other night and got creative. I've been looking through Claudine Hellmuth's great book and was dying to create some ideas that were wondering around in that little head of mine. So here are the results. And the results of my kids getting to play with paints. The key here: Elise was taking her little 2 year old mandatory nap and Lilly was bonding with her magic blanket. (for 4 hours!!!)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Frolicking through Lavender (aka:the calming affects of lavender)

Today did not start out as a day that I would want to write about. Lets see. My 10 year old talking very loudly next to a sleeping mommy and baby. Waking up to the sound of two kids fighting about the need for another bowl...once again, loudly. It just kind of went downhill from there. Rachel had a girl scout activity in the afternoon out in Newberg (a 40 minute drive), so I was searching for something to do for 3 hours with the kids in Newberg. I ran across a upick lavender farm and some antique shops while searching online and figured that we could stay busy until Rachel was done. This was still amid chaos and I really did not want to go. I wanted a nap time. (for Elise and me!) I wanted a relaxing afternoon. I wanted anything but a trip that looked like more than I could handle today. But away we went anyway.

We went to Red Ridge Farms for the lavender, which turned out to be the right place to start. One whiff of the lavender and I was in heaven. I can smell it now. (mainly because I have some drying right next to me) This place was spectacular. Idyllic. It looks out over rolling hills of farm land. They have a nice, somewhat classy picnic area with the cute and punny "picnic thyme" sign up. Next to the upick lavender fields is a grassy area under a covered archway. This allowed one of us to sit with Lilly in the shade while the others cut lavender. Away went the chaos of the morning. The girls enjoyed making their own lavender bunches to bring home. (Although, Elise did not want the baby bunch that we tried to trick her with. She wanted a big ole bunch! Why do I ever try to trick a 2 year old?) I was put into a happy splendor brought on by a perfect afternoon. Yes, there was still some crying. Even a very ucky poopie diaper without wipes. (Yeah for wet paper towels!) But the lavender worked its magic. And right after arriving at a church activity for dinner, I overheard a woman telling someone about the calming affects of lavender. Well, there you have it. I think I am going to keep lavender throughout my house.

Challenge: Can you guess what Elise is saying in her picture? How about whose idea it was to sit up there for a picture in the first place? Whoever guesses correctly (or is the closest) is going to get a little surprise in the mail. This should be easy since the viewership on this blog is pretty low. You can make your guess in the comments.

Welcome back!

Here I am, back in the blogging world. After enjoying other blogs so much, I have been feeling quite a bit of guilt for falling off of the blogging wagon. And guilt sometimes actually leads to change for me. Let's see if it sticks.

It is later than I would like it to be, thanks to a little bit more time wasted on my blog banner. Thus, this is going to be a short post. I must get to bed soon. Today the oldest girls went to Nike for a belated "Take your son/daughter to work" day. It really isn't much like work at all. They play and get to have lots of fun. The girls went on a tour where they saw shoes made for an elephant, a goose and batman. Yep. At least it was today and not tomorrow. Chris will be quite busy tomorrow and their visit might have interrupted his Wii olympics. Working hard over there at Nike. :) UPDATE: My husband has won a gold medal in the 100m run. With no training, might I add!

Once they got home, we did some sewing. I am working on a bunch of napkins after Bend the Rules told me that cute little napkins would make our dinner complete. Yes, I believe everything I read. And so far, Amy Karol is completely right. It has been so much fun having cute napkins at dinner. Elise was a little confused with these non-paper napkins, but tonight she was already calling them nackies. There you go. Dinner is fun. Autumn worked a little more on her doll quilt and Rachel started a puppet for a girl scout badge. Pictures will follow. (When it isn't past midnight)

We also took a quick trip to the pool. I didn't get my swim suit on since Lilly had just slept for a few hours in her Magic Blanket and I figured she would want to eat at the pool. Of course, this decision convinced her to sleep the whole time we were there. So I could have swam. Next time I will be prepared. And thank you, Cherlyn, for the Magic Blanket. Naps are at least twice as long as long as the magic blanket is touching her. We love the magic blanket. Now we just need a magic diaper that Elise can't take off when she is poopie! Good night, all. Welcome. Again. :)

Note: These pictures are from the 4th of July. We made little hankie/headbands for them to show their patriotism. Chris thinks they make them look a little "outdated". I like the word vintage better. I think that I like them even more for that very reason. Something about a little girl wearing a hankie/headbandy "thingamajig" that just makes me want to give out hugs. And yes, Rachel was feeling a little silly this 4th of July. Just a little, eh?