Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Great December

Happy New Year!

We had such a fantastic year. Can not wait to see what 2010 has in store.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas is a little nuts.

Let's face it people...Christmas is a little nuts. I mean, who doesn't go a little crazy trying to make it be everything they "think" it should be? Running to the store for just one more thing. Making that last batch of cookies even though you would rather eat a bowl of lettuce leaves. Discussing when, where, and how the gifts will be exchanged. Balancing the checkbook, crying, and realizing you forgot to get your father-in-law something. Nuts.. Nuts.

So we try and find those moments where we can say that this IS what Christmas means. Here are a few of mine this year:

My Saint-in-Law decided to adopt two group homes that house 14 children in them. She dreamed up a glorious Christmas morning for them and went out and recruited friends, families, churches, teachers, and neighbors to make it happen. Then she invited everyone over to her house to wrap (Check out these amazing ladies below!). She fed these people, entertained their kids, and give the husbands beer and a football game in exchange for help.

We didn't deserve it - Your are amazing Sister!!
Then there are these crazy people called MOMS that live in a city near you. They wipe snot and listen to kids cry. They change diapers and read. They give baths and rub backs. They also coordinate sing-a-longs at Senior Centers and bring - wait for it - homemade SUGAR FREE cookies for the audience! They are the Christmas Givers.

And lastly we come to these which are my own. I hope they were watching. I hope they know.

That even if all the Christmas Cards you send out come directly right back to you because you did not adhere the labels properly and now you have know idea who got a card and who didn't... there are small Christmas miracles happening everyday.
That, yes, Christmas is nuts. But if you look really close it is spectacular.
P.S. If you did not receive a card from me, and would like one, kindly tell me. Or, just know, that I really was thinking of you this holiday season and I will try again next year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Not Early Enough

I have spent the last year of my life in Washington being led into my day with anticipation of the newness it would bring. Most mornings I was able to wake up, at least with, the rising sun and we would great the day together. (Yes, there is sun in Washington!)

But, oh know, not here. In Arizona I wake up and am MOCKED by the gleaming sunlight in my window. "Duh, the day has started...without YOU! You are now behind in all you need to accomplish." It is almost as if the amazing brightness from the ball of inferno is shining directly onto only MY weary eyes. Highlighting the age I am and forcing me to feel it's heaviness. If I could quote Carissa when the sun is shining into her eyes when we are driving " I hate the sun!".
So this is Christmas... (can you hear the song in your head?) for near and for dear ones...
The Junie B. Jones production at the Tempe Arts Center was wonderful. I can not go on enough about how happy I was to be able to take my daughter to this performance.
As we were looking for our seats I start to have a mini anxiety attack because apparently I booked two seat with an AISLE in between us. Good if you are going with someone you don't want to sit by but not so much with your 6-year old!! Thankfully the box office was kind enough to switch me and in exchange we received the 6th row back from the stage right in the center aisle! Check out our view!
Carissa spent the day with Daddy seeing "The Princess and the Frog". He doesn't take pictures and has no charming stories to add. I think she had a great time.
Just one more Christmas joy to post... Audrey received this special package yesturday from her first grade class in Washington.
It was filled with the school supplies she didn't take when she left. Her ID cards and an awesome card from the class. It showed little colored gingerbread cookies with the faces being each kid in the class. Probably on my top ten list of most thoughtful things I have seen in my life.
Sending a little prayer up for those first grade teachers :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Frenzy

Ahhh... the "Winter Wonderland" music performance at school!! Who doesn't get enjoyment out of watching a bunch of 6 year-olds sing "HO HO HO, who wouldn't know?" What a great Christmas tradition.
I am hoping to try and keep up with posting as Christmas is getting closer. We still have the tree to get and decorate, a special day planned with me and Audrey to see a play, and also the Nutcracker Ballet. That is just this weekend. The plans are made all the way out through New Years and that feels good!

All our love ~

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The in thing is the TOOTH out!

First Tooth Out!!

It was hanging by a thread but it still took 3 hours for permission to even get my hand close to her lips! I was finally granted access and joy quickly traded fear. How much did you get from the tooth fairy? Audrey had it spent before the Daddy fairy could make it to the ATM!

Is it wrong to be jealous? To have a fun little hole in your mouth you can play with all day and take your mind off of what other tasks you are supposed to be doing? How about starting to cook dinner then stopping mid-stir just to twirl your tongue in a little groove in your mouth...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Comfortable Rhythm

It's Friday and I have been reflecting on our week all morning. Mostly because it was so smooth. It seems like we have finally reached a comfortable rhythm. Homework did not consume our evenings, the girls got along and Carissa is even doing that thing were she kinda does a run-skip instead of a walk.

There is so much uncertainty around our lives; where will we live? where will we work? where where will we go to church? My head starts to spin when I consider it all. I have no plan, no guide, no idea.
But I have a purpose and after thinking this week through I am sure that is what is holding us together. Helen Keller wrote that happiness comes from "fidelty to a worthy purpose". Fidelty meaning a truthful connection to a source. I know I have a truthful connection to a worthy purpose.
And I think we can all agree they are so beautiful :0)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sunsets are grand

They really don't lie. The sunsets in Arizona are hard to beat. We took the girls out to the desert Friday night with our travel trailer. They collected quartz rocks and bullet shells (104 to be exact). Once again we were reminded that they are what is so dang important about our life. (The girls, not the bullet shells.)

If you are searching for contenment in your life just follow the example of a child. It doesn't matter where you are it only matters who is there with you. I mean if you can find joy in searching for bullet shells in the dirt with a headlight on then you can find joy anywhere!!

I am looking forward to November. Thanksgiving crafts and the cool breeze. Good thing because it is already a third of the way through. Nothing like trying to seize the moment after it's gone - yikes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Eight Years of Us

Happy Anniversary to us. It has been eight years and it really does feel like yesturday we were dreaming up a life we wanted to create together. Now look at us... or just listen. It's the sound of a family - our family. It is full of smiles and laughter, of inside jokes. Secrets only you and I share. Whisperings that just you and I hear. Worries that bind us together and hope that keeps us going. It is Love and it is good...

anf 517

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Halloween!

The great thing this week, besides Audrey LOVING her new school, is Halloween. No matter what box didn't get unpacked or papers went missing you can always celebrate Halloween.

We have a lot of fun things planned for the weekend but here are a few pictures of us enjoying so far.
I think Daddy did a great job. No fancy carving kit - just a good 'ol fashion steak knife and some pointers from the 3 year old!
Today we made the quickest, easiest, make mom look like a star Pumpkin Pie Playdough. Here is link.

The highlight so far was opening the Halloween Decorations box. I couldn't part with their Halloween shirts from last year so that is what they had on in the pictures. Didn't bother them a bit that they were way too small. All in the spirit of the season!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Not there yet

Well we are physically here - in Arizona - but just not there yet. I have hope though... Stella got her groove back so we can too right?

Our welcoming high 80 degree weather isn't helping the transition but it's only been a week. We have been sick, too (oink oink). All of our stuff hasn't arrived here either. So it's going to happen for us. We will fit this puzzle back together.

Normalcy is in our future... stay tuned.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Ultimate Quilter

We woke up this morning to the see the work of the ultimate quilter all around us. It was a super foggy morning and it looked as if the Halloween Spiders had been working all night. I am not a huge fan of spiders when then are in my house but I don't mind the admiring the work they do outside. Spooky huh?

Last night it occured to me that we really don't need all this stuff. As we were boxing it up we noticed the girls had decided to continue to play with what was left out...
A closet, four chairs, 5 books, two babies, and two bathroom towels. They stayed busy for a full hour. Imagination at it's best :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Amongst Boxes

We have found ourselves yet again amongst the boxes. The funny thing is they are the same boxes we moved only 14 months ago. We saved so many, in fact, if I packed according to what I had originally wrote on the box I could save a lot of time and take the guesswork out about what fits where. Ohhh but there is no fun in that. And lets face it... moving should be fun.

The first thing to get boxed up was all my crafting supplies. I knew if I didn't do that I wouldn't be able to stop. I was able to finish this quilt just in time. It is a scrap quilt from all the projects I have worked on over the past year and my absolute favorite by far.

My little girl has been such a trooper about this move thing (both girls have!). Although she asks everyday if we are leaving for Arizona I really am not sure if she even gets it. We kind of wonder if she will even remember living here? I know we will :)

On to packing more boxes. ~

Thursday, September 24, 2009

On the Move

If you are keeping up with us well then you may want to know that we are on the move again... It has been in the works for over a couple of months and I have to admit I am glad to finally have a DECISION. Although not entirely sold on the fact that it is the right one I know it is one that had to be made.

There is something easy about moving back "home" with all of it's familiarity. Only being gone a little over a year will not make for such a huge adjustment. Which is good, right? Of course, there are the trees that will not be hovering. The chilly mornings and the constant yearning for the warm cup of coffee with not be so strong.

The thing that I must convince myself, other then I HAVE to start packing, is there will be new adventures where ever we go. Something to discover, to learn, to admire. To say that we were even able to have had a taste of this beautiful place is amazing and something I will hold in my heart forever.
I think I will start on books maybe the linen maybe I will get that warm cup of coffee then decide :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

School Nurse

The great thing about caller ID is when the phone rings you can begin to worry, laugh, cry, or smile depending on what number is flashing before you. Yesterday the ID bleep with the number to Audrey's school nurse and I immediately started to worry.

She informed me that Audrey felt sick and that I should come and pick her up. So I did and brought her home promptly to a safe and cozy spot on the couch. A TV tray was quickly assembled with a bucket, saltines, and some watered down juice. Her set-up was extremely inviting if I do say so myself and I think it did the trick because miraculously she was healed in a little over an hour.

As the day progressed I began to describe to her times I had a "stomach ache" and was able to see my mom faster than normal. Justin even had a few stories to share as well. Armed with this knowledge she became comfortable in describing that her stomach did hurt but she was also really nervous about reading after recess and how her teacher might call on her even if she doesn't put her hand up (oh that witch!)

So I am sending out a one mom vigil today that my daughter makes it through recess and through reading this afternoon. My simple prayer is that when called on, the answer will be on the tip of her tongue, and she will have the courage to speak it!

Join me will you??

Friday, September 18, 2009

Oak Street Bag

There is nothing better then having a friend who can sew REALLY good and who lets you practice on their new creations. Kristie over at Simply Stylish Designs gave me the opportunity to test out her Oak Street Bag pattern and I have to admit I was a little scared.

First off I have to say I was really impressed with the precision of the instructions and the pattern pieces. It was so well written that even people who don't normally follow directions (hmm...) won't mind staying on track.

The bag calls for two great big pockets that are just the perfect size for cell phone and keys. Sorry about the picture but if you look closely you can see them.

The bag is big but not so big it overpowers the woman carrying it. I would recommend this pattern if you are looking to create something in a long afternoon that gives you instant gratification :)
Allright now. Stop staring and go look at Kristie's site!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Refashioned Shirt into Girl Dress

What can be more satisfying then changing a shirt you never wear into one your child will not take off? Let me tell... not much. (ok, see for me, it doesn't take a whole lot!)

I really wish I would have taken a picture of this shirt before I transformed it. But maybe you remember me wearing it? If so, I am sorry for that. Here is how I did it:

Layed the shirt out flat and cut off the sleeves. Layed one of her sundresses on top. Cut the shape a tad bigger all around to allow for about a 1/2" seam allowance.

Then I sewed up the sides and around the arm holes. I had her try it on and it was showing her chest because of the swoop neck so I inserted a piece of matching fabric across the chest and sewed it in place.

No need to hem the bottom beause it was already part of the shirt. Also, because it was knit fabric the sleeves just rolled up nicely and I didn't even have to hem them.

So now poor Carissa not only gets Audrey's hand-me-downs but she gets mine as well.

Soccer Star

Every Saturday for the next two months we have the joy of watching our shining star on the soccer field. I get double the joy because Daddy is the coach!
Here he is giving a "pep talk" during half time. I am truly surprised they are all focused on him. He was probably describing the snacks they would get after the game...

There is nothing more exciting then watching your kid break out of the pack and get control of the ball. I can see why those parents go crazy sometimes... So here are some action shots.

Audrey getting control of the ball...

Heading straight for the goal...
She shoots... she scores!!
Oh I remember the feeling! The flip-flops your stomach does when the ball comes toward you. The thrill of knowing your legs are working without your arms. How the shin guards stick to your legs after a really sweaty game. Umm..yes, she likes to play. No, I am not making her play to relive my childhood...geesh it is so000 not that way.
Now I have to go. Carissa has the makings for a talented {insert something I am not here} and I have to get started right away.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


If the path is beautiful
Let us not ask where it leads to...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Crayon Roll

I have been wanting to make a Crayon Roll for the girls for over a year and yesterday turned out to be the perfect morning. I got the tutorial at Skip to My Lou. There is enough ideas on this site to keep a mom busy for months.

Instead of the ribbon I used an elastic headband which works perfect when I twist it around twice. I opted out of the ric rac trim but embellished the front with an applique and their initial.

One roll takes about 45 minutes with the cutting so it is the perfect morning project :)

Back to School

So long Summer... The girls grew so much this summer and we did so many things. They have taken to sleeping in the same room now and playing very intricate stories of barbies and babies. It is going to seem so weird all day with just sis and I. So... quiet. I need to start participating again and get back into the preschool mode.

This morning Audrey was soooo ready. She could barely eat her breakfast and just wanted to go and meet her teacher. She told me she just couldn't believe she was "in a grade now!"

Ummmm - I can't either.

First Grade here we come.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I wrote an e-book

It has been a wonderful blessing that I get the opportunity to run my own business while working from home. There are times were I feel like I just can't get any luckier. I have some terrific clients that support my crazy schedule and also value my work. School activities and appointments are a cinch to be part of because I can control my schedule.

There are days though I find myself laughing out loud at my situation. The moments I have to hide in a corner to complete an important call or stir the macaroni and cheese while balancing a checkbook. At those moments I can't help but wonder what it would be like to have complete and total silence. To be working and well, just doing that, working. In this dream I am dressed professionally. I am sitting fully on my chair. I have clear and concise thoughts and my there are no barbie clothes in a 2 inch radius from my computer...
Ahh, But in the meantime I am going to forge on in my blissfully, intertwined life. Which Carissa refers to as "handing out papers". If you know anyone who wants to support this crazy scenario please send them to my website. I have recently wrote an e-book. It is a simple guide on getting your business paperwork organized and into your bookkeeping system.
I use this approach on the shoe boxes I receive so I know it works. You might even LOL while reading it...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Can you believe it? One Year...

It is strange really. I have been pondering it all week. And now here it is. Our one year anniversary from our move. I wanted to write something poetic about a home is not a house or places and people... but nothing has come to me.

I suppose at this moment I thought I would have more insight, a sharper view on where the best place to reside is. Just spent the last hour reading over a year's worth of blog posts to gain perspective. Here is what I have concluded:

Living in the Damp part of the country has very lovely moments. The seasons are amazing and I still can not believe I witnessed the full revolution of the year (and survived!). But that is just it, we survived. We managed to relocate, thrive, and even enjoy. The wierd part is, it doesn't feel that new anymore. The distinct fresh air smell has become common and I don't stop to breath it in. The pine trees are lovely but I am not lost in there vastness. There isn't adventure around every corner, mostly just grocery stores and everyday people.

It is kind of like when you first fall in love and every moment is amazing. The anticipation of the next event has you consumed and the heart flutters come in waves instead of days. You wonder at that moment, can it get any better? But then time begins to pass and the kiss is great but it is comfortable too, and expected.

Part of me resides in the place where I really want to keep the "new love" feeling alive and the other part of me is practical and needs the "expected - comfortable love", too. Like all things in life, I am constantly learning that it all about balance.

Thank you to my five loyal readers (you know who you are...) Without you reading my very public random thoughts they would be just that... public random thoughts.

So time marches on...

Monday, August 17, 2009

One of those great weekends...

It started out Friday night when I transformed my couch from this:

to this... A few freshly covered pillows... pure bliss.

Saturday morning we headed out after lunch to hike at Twin Falls State Park. It just blows my mind the trails we can do here. I can't decide whether to look up, down, or to the side. There is beauty everywhere. I wish I could spout out what tree we are passing. You know, like being one with Mother Nature. Eating berries along the way ... but no such luck. We opted for goldfish on one of the benches.

An end to a hike seeing this just doesn't get much better. We all slept like logs that night which makes the day even more spectacular. I have more pictures to post - J on a a ladder picking cherries from our backyard. Audrey suggesting Cherry Juice, Cherry Salad, Cherry pie, cherry ice cream... but the computer is being wierd and I am sick of fighting with it.

All our love~

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Plain Good People

I thought I had the perfect morning planned and I think that is where it went wrong. We were supposed to wake up and head to soccer practice which started at 9am but something happened in the early early morning that caused the girls to begin their day at 6:15. Now you would think that would just increase our chances of leaving the house on time and with perfect percision. But, oddly enough, it had quite the opposite effect.

After tears of braids/no braids, pants or shorts, pink socks or red we managed to make it to our first stop. I thought the day was looking up as Carissa and I headed to Marina Park in Kirkland for a kids concert. Being a little early I took this opportunity to grab a quick cup of jolt (I mean Joe) and she a chocolate milk. Everyone was friendly and the day seemed bright. We proceeded to walk across the busy crosswalk, drinks and lawn blanket in hand, when in the middle of the road I dropped the chocolate milk!!

It was a tragedy but quickly saved by a wonderful man across the road who yelled to us to stay put as he raced into the coffee shop and grabbed us another. He told Carissa it was from his dog Roxy. It warms my heart so that there are still just some Plain Good People out there!!

So thank you Roxy's owner. Now, it is only 3pm here and we are having "quite time". Joy Joy Joy

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Evening

Just enjoying a rainy Monday night here. The girls are all cozy on the love seat coloring away together like they are the best of friends. Hair damp from their bath and smelling so sweet and clean. We are finally in a slow groove here and it feels great. Finished up this baby quilt and bibs for my cousins 2nd baby boy. If you know who it is don't give it away... they haven't received it yet :)

Reflecting on Hebrews 10:25 this week; "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
It is so true that meeting together brings the most joy in my life but meeting together to encourage always feels even more rewarding. This year I will not be able to attend MOPS at my church but I am praying God will lead me into another group. If you are a young mommy out there I highly recommend a group like MOPS. It can make your week feel so much more meaningful.
I am off to see if I can fit on that Love Seat too!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Welcome August

The last of our summer visitors have come and gone. I have yet another batch of pictures to post of our good times. During my parents visit to Seattle the city hit an all time record high of 103 degrees. We all were able to experience it together. In a house with no Air Conditioning. Luckily, there are no pictures of that.
But here we are at the Seattle Center. The girls are cooling off in a little fountain.

On the beach at Ocean Shores Audrey stopped dancing around long enough for me to snap this picture.

She is in love with water...

Carissa was in love with her Grandpa. Especially after he dug and dug and dug.

Then Daddy started to dig and dig and dig. He dug a hole so big that Audrey fit right in.

So then, of course, sister had to get in. They had no problem burying her right up to her neck. There was sand in places that don't deserve to see sand. (Carissa even announced later that Audrey "pee'd sand". What? Your family doesn't observe each other at every restroom stop?)
Moving on... and that is just what we did. Nick and Grandpa decided to rent a bicycle for a romantic ride on the beach. This is them riding.
The girls were very amused. They had front row seats of all the action. We did so much more - kayaking, late night dinners, swimming at the hotel. After leaving everyone and driving home I was pleased to see Mt. Rainer (can you?). It reminded me that even though you can't see things all the time, they are still there.
And so now, August begins.