Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolute

First:  Let me give an accounting.  My goals for 2010 were:
  • Have FHE each week
  • Follow Flylady to the "T"
  • Remodel the Kitchen
  • Log onto sparkpeople daily
  • Save $50/month
  • Entertain guests once a month
  • Write & follow a dinner menu
I pretty much sucked at all of them.  Except entertaining guests, though the entertaining that I did wasn't what I'd intended when I set the goal.  Also, though I didn't follow Flylady all that well, I did get into the habit of cleaning my kitchen every night because of her.

So I guess, between those two things & with the addition of Moose, 2010 was a good year : )

Anyhow, on to 2011!
I've been thinking about what kind of New Years Resolutions I want to make.  I can't find it now, but several months ago I read on someone's blog that they were just going to work on the concept of "wholesomeness."  I wish I could find the blog...I wonder if they are more wholesome now that the year is over?

At any rate, I like the idea of just working on one thing.  So I'm going to copy whoever that person was.  2011 will be my year to work on....

Balance.

My life feels completely unbalanced most of the time.

For instance, there was a while when I spent so much time blog-hopping that I didn't get much else done.  Then towards the end of the year I got so busy with other things that I didn't have five minutes of leisure time to check in and see what my friends were doing.

The dictionary defines Balance as:
A state of equilibrium.
Emotional stability.
A harmonious arrangement of proportion of parts.

That's what I want.
Easier said than done, though.  I can't exactly set concrete year-long goals, because it's quite possible that focusing on them would CREATE unbalance, should my life situation change.  Right?
For instance, I'd love to set a goal to fit into this sweater:
I bought it about 6 years ago at a yard sale.  It didn't fit at the time, nor has it ever in the past 6 years.  I can't get rid of it, though, because I still totally love it (you can't tell in the picture, but it has cute embroidery and beadwork  up near the neckline, and it's a super soft sweater) and I'd love to be able to wear it.  It's not unrealistically small--a year of good exercise and will-power would do.
But what if I get pregnant during 2011?  It's crazy, but quite possible, and actually expected (but for the last time...lest you think that I'm just going to keep up with this rate!).  To keep trying to fit into a smaller size isn't exactly harmonious with the fact that your body does get bigger during pregnancy.

That was a long-winded example.  Mostly I just wanted to show the cute sweater, I think.
I'm totally digressing.

I think that what I'll need to do is have certain guidelines--general ideas to help me-- and then I can set short-term goals that will help me based on my circumstances.  Right?
Things that I think will help me regardless are:
Being Prayerful.
Exercising Regularly.
Having Leisure time.
Having Work time.
Having an earlier bedtime.
Focusing on good nutrition.

So basic.  Those are the general things that I will work on, and I will set specific goals as needed.
And I'm totally open to suggestions:  what has helped you to achieve balance in your life?

The Party that E & C Threw

We had a family dinner party on Christmas Eve.
 The kids decorated cookies for quite a long time...
 ...While the adults played "Minute to Win It."
(I learned that I can move a cookie from my forehead to my mouth and eat it--all without using my hands.  
I feel very special now.)
It was fun to watch.
Little Miss K couldn't resist trying it too.
And there was a cute trio of little cousins who posed in their Christmas finery.
 I was there too.  with Monkey.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Miscellaneous Merriness. or HO HO HO Highlights.

 We saw Santa at our ward party.  
Moose was indifferent.
Monkey warmed up once he gave her a candy cane.
Chick asked for a tractor.  (That was news to me.)

 My favorite wrapping job of the holiday.  Nicely done, HH.

 Monkey is great at pretend eating.  Here she is modelling both a felt sandwich AND the bracelet that Chick made for her!  Chick also made a bracelet for me (which I CHERISH and showed off to everyone at church on Sunday) and necklaces for both of her grandmas.

 Chick and Monkey helped Moose open his present.  He was indifferent.

Moose DOES like eating the pearl strand that was on the Christmas tree, as well as any ornaments that he could reach. 
He wisely perfected crawling at the start of December, so that he could get into more things.  
As soon as he'd mastered that skill, he got a job as a part-time kitchen floor cleaner.  
Fine by me--I didn't want to have to get a dog to clean up the table scraps anyhow.

 Moose also uses his mobility to pay social calls on cute little girls
(a practice that I'm sure will continue for quite some time...
though hopefully not just with girl COUSINS.)

These last pictures are of the kitchen that Santa made for the girls.  It's red and blue to match their tea set.  You might notice that it doesn't have a faucet yet (Chick noticed almost immediately...ahem). 
From what I understand the fault lies with Mrs Santa not ordering one in time (I don't know why, since she's been wanting to have Santa build this for quite some time), and then expecting Santa to take out the one that was in the downstairs wetbar (which Santa refused to do because it was all plumbed in.)  
Santa is very practical, you know.
But aside from the lack of faucet, I think it's a very cute little kitchen. 
One that caused ME no end of stress because SANTA can procrastinate and he's just LUCKY that he's skilled enough to have pulled it all together in time.

The girls have made me many wonderful concoctions, and seriously, 
I could watch them play cook all day long.  
It was worth the stress : ) 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Light of the World

The first half of December was extremely busy.  I had my usual work (kids, monthly design work, housework...you know), but I also had a phone directory to do for work, and I was (more or less) in charge of a Relief Society Dinner.  I'm really glad that it's over, but I'm also glad that it went so well!  Here's the rundown.

The theme was "The Light of the World."
My contributions (aside from general management & helping with food) were: 
all printed materials-- posters, invitations, gift tags, & programs
 
 

individual star-shaped butters

centerpieces (some had tree top stars on them, others had hanging star ornaments)

The lighting in the pictures is off, but the room was dim & had white lights overhead.

Each table was "sponsored" by a different sister, so each table had a different china set.

The food was delicious
(turkey, mashed potatoes & gravy, rolls, salad, green beans, spiced cider, and cheesecake bites)

The service was excellent: we had a crew of "Daves" who served the meal & helped with everything.

The program (and evening) was beautiful.  Really beautiful.  It did just what we had hoped for:  it brought a spirit of serenity to the hectic holiday season, and focused us more on Jesus Christ.

I felt Christmas

Ok, I have so much to catch up on, so I'll just jump in and show you my newest craftiness:  Felting.

First I did Felted Soap.  I did a lot of felted soap.  These were my go-to gift.  This picture shows the first half.  I used different soaps: Dr Bronner's, Kiss My Face, Goat Milk soaps, and one Old Spice for my Dad.  They all smelled great.

the Kiss My Face, though, discolored the felting after I was done (Jill, Amy, Sheena, & neighbors--this would be yours.  Sorry.  They aren't dirty, it's just the color of the olive oil from the soap, I guess).

Anyhow, its a fun, easy process and we may never go back to naked soap ever again! 
Here are the labels that I used:
Ok, next was felted balls (approx 4" diameter).  These are fun and easy too.  I made them for 3 little nieces, and am working on a collection of them for my living room.   I thought I took a picture of them, but it's nowhere to be found.  I followed instructions on youtube (video by crunchyparent.com)

Lastly, I had my first venture into felt food.  HH and I were giving the girls a shopping cart for Christmas, so I made them shopping bags and food.  

I'd read on other blogs that people were addicted to making felt food.  I can understand that somewhat--it's so cute and fun to make.  BUT it takes a fair amount of time.  So I won't say that I am addicted, but I will say that I'm not done.  I made two slices of bread, a slice of deli meat (ham? bologna? raw turkey?), a leaf of lettuce, two orange wedges, and five carrots.  That's all that I had time for.

The shopping bags have custom designed logos that I freezer-paper stencilled.  I'm pretty proud of them : )


I had never done any felting, so all of these projects were exciting.  It's a forgiving medium.

Monday, December 6, 2010

This cute little lass

is now a two year old.

She is so much fun to have around.  She totally cracks us up -- from the way she bobs her head from side to side when she's pretend eating, to the cute little way she talks. 

Clouseau.  Inspector Clouseau.
She has quite a vocabulary, and a lisp, though most people don't get to hear either, because she gets quiet around other people.

She likes to dance and watch Signing Time and get into everything.  Seriously, I could spend the entire day following her around cleaning up messes and getting her out of whatever she isn't supposed to be playing with.  But she's so stinkin' cute that it's hard to really get mad.  She has her Daddy wrapped around her finger.


She likes to play with water and is getting good at dressing herself and going potty.  She loves to take baths and she loves food.

She gets along great with Chick--it's so fun to see them interact and learn from each other.   She's also a good big sister to Moose and often wants to "holdim."

Monkey has always been good at sharing, or noticing the feelings of others.  She still really likes to be held & have cuddle time.

Anyhow, for her birthday she had a butterfly cake. 
She got an apron (just like her sister's, but Monkey has blueberries, and Chick has tomatoes).  My aunt gave her (and Chick) cute hats. (Monkey loves hats).  My parents gave her a new stainless steel water bottle. 
My brother gave her a card that sings "Girls just wanna have fun."  She loves that card.
video

Sunday, November 14, 2010

drum roll, please...

And the winner of the Monkey Pics giveaway is:

NIKKO!

So I'll be sending your little goody sometime this week. 
(I was kinda hoping you'd win, just so that I could send you the sweatshirt that your little cutie has probably outgrown by now....)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

October Fest(s)

Not the Octoberfest, but here is an accounting for all of the Autumnal Festing that we did this year....
The Annual Trip to the Pumpkin Patch
We went with Chick's preschool class.  Moose wasn't very happy, but otherwise it was fun.  Cold but pretty day.



Misc
I made spiders for Chick to take to preschool.  The bodies are peanut butter & honey candy with pretzel legs and raisin eyes.


Halloween Parties
Chick was BoPeep, Monkey was a sheep, and Moose was a wolf in sheep's clothing (enough animals there to really get confused, but I think I typed it right....). 

The first party was a carnival at our church, with trunk-or-treating in the parking lot.  Then the next week we went to my sister's church party, as well as the trick-or-treating in the historic downtown of her city.  The most exciting part about going to that was the costume contest.  The girls got to go up on the stage of the theater with all of the other kids, and then we WON!  First prize for ages 0-4 went to "The Bo Peep Family" (there were about 30 little kids)

My nephew won for the adults.  He deserved it--seriously awesome samurai costume made from Duct tape!


Supergirl. 
Looks like an ordinary costume, but completely homemade. 
Even the boots were cut and painted
(they were originally black rubber boots)

I disapprove of facepainting at Halloween parties
(usually conflicts with the costume, you know)
but Chick got the butterfly at the end.

Professor Trelawney, Divination.