Monday, December 31, 2012

Onward and Upward

Well, we're still here.  Seems like 2012 had a lot of turmoil -- I mean the world WAS supposed to end this year right?  Like 4 times!!!  But here we are on the edge of a new year again so I suppose I should make some goals for next year.  Easy goals.  Like:

1.  Potty-train Megan and Abby  (That actually might not be easy)
2.  Stress about my calling less (hahaha)
3.  Kill all the debt (that will be deprivation in action which is horribly hard when it comes to fabric . . . )
4.  Keep the house going (harder than you would think but thank goodness for a small house!)
5.  Be more positive (my brother says I'm too negative on my blog and he's probably right -- I need to exercise more gratitude and positive thinking through the year, not just at Thanksgiving.  Boy is this a great post to start that off!!!)

I do plan to read and quilt and write but I didn't think that those were goal worthy since I'll do them anyway -- they're more habit than anything else practically!  And I think as a family we'll throw in being better at scripture reading, prayers, and family home evening.  After all, I think we need all the help we can get!!

Last event for 2012?  Some friends threw a "noon" Year's Eve party today and we counted down to noon.  It was fun.  Except for the part where I got puked on AND peed on by William, Megan had a potty accident, and Abby insisted on playing outside in the rain.  And the kitchen sink clogged up when I tried to clean my kitchen to relieve stress.
Doesn't she kind've look like a bedraggled cat?  
But they had a fun castle to play in!

Oh I found some lingering snow pictures: 

And I should make a note about Abby's growing independence (read: tantrums and yelling "no, I do it!), especially in getting dressed.  She's getting quite good and can get all parts of her clothes on with only minimal fighting and frustration although we sometimes end up: 
 But so very proud and that's what's important.  We should count our accomplishments!!!

In reality, it's been a good year.  We've had a tremendous amount of blessings and have prospered and grown.  I'm looking forward to everything that this year will bring: kindergarten, tumbling, walking and eating, and who knows what else?  I'm positive it won't be boring!!

Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A White Christmas?!?!?!

I can't believe it.
You know, practically the entire month of December we've hovered around 60 to 70 degrees and I, for one, have completely loved it!  I like snow and cold -- in very very VERY small doses.
Last night around 2 a.m. the thunder and lightening start.  And then the rain.  We got a little hail too and I joked that that was our Texas white Christmas.  And then we got this:
It's 4:30 p.m. and we have even more accumulation now and even though it's slowed down some, it's still coming!  Merry Christmas!!

But that's not the only thing that has made this Christmas wonderful.  Even though this year we have no extended family with us, I have felt very connected to my family all day (awwww, sniff) and it's just been a great overall day.

The girls woke at 6:30 and came into our room completely excited about Santa having left presents.  Then it was deja vu -- on the flip side -- as Chopper and I got ready and the girls kept bringing in presents and were obviously antsy for us to get started.  I distinctly remember how LONG it took my parents to get everything together in the morning.  Yeesh!  Darn parents!

Finally, it's time.  Abby goes first this year and she's tearing into the paper excited to see what it is and she unwraps the present upside-down and sees the box and, I'm not kidding here, says (excited voice): "It's a box!!!"  Funny because my father says that EVERY YEAR!  It's become one of those standing jokes about Christmas and today's event has now made me a believer in cell memory!  I knew there was a reason Abby liked Grandpa best -- she has most of his cells!
When it was Megan's turn she kind've got grumpy and just started picking at the paper on the present.  Seriously?  She'd been so excited and now this!  Then she got a glimpse of a fairy under that paper and gets this big smile and starts tearing that paper off like there's no tomorrow.  Periwinkle saved Christmas and brought us a happy girl!

The rest of the morning was the usual and we've spent the day watching new movies (Brave -- really really cute!), playing with toys, eating fun foods, and watching the snow come down!
The girls loved Brave.  I love the way that Megan's sitting . . . 

I FINALLY get to show this!  My brother Jeff actually requested a quilt for Christmas and I am very proud of this one.  I've never completed a quilt so fast in my life because I wanted to sent it back with my dad when he was here after Thanksgiving but I didn't dare blog about it because Jeff actually reads my blog!  It's a herringbone pattern on the front and then this, very modern, color-blocked chevron on the back:

 Yes, the bottom end is jagged.  It's the first time I've done a quilt like that and binding it was HARD!  Lesson learned -- if it's not going to be a straight edge, use bias binding!  But it turned out great, he likes it, and I've named it pirate pants as a reference to the pajama pants he wore every day of his life in high school (cut off ends and all!).

I also made Chopper a rag quilt with denim on one side and flannel on the other.  I probably will never do that again -- denim is hard and heavy to work with and I thought I was going to kill my machine.  But I managed to get it done and keep it a secret!

I think the best Christmas present was a set of DVD's that my parents sent us -- all their home videos from about 1987.  It was fun to show the girls what I looked like as a girl (ugh, the 80s) and fun to watch how we treated each other.  Let's just say my kids are about normal!  And that makes me feel better!!

I can't believe it's here -- this year has gone by soooo fast.  It's been a fantastic day (still not quite over!) and I'm grateful to have my family to celebrate with!
Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 24, 2012


I believe we are ready for Christmas!  Well, almost.  We still need to make cookies for Santa tonight and finish our nativity and I have presents to wrap -- but it's here!

We've packed in a few last minute things this past week to feel the Christmas spirit: caroling, lights, hot chocolate, letters FROM Santa!

 A North Texas Christmas isn't complete without going to see the musical lights at Frisco Square!  The songs were better this year (they get rid of that horrible Paul McCartney Christmas thing) and the weather was nice enough to walk around among the lights and music and not just drive through.

This is a terrible picture but so full of joy!

Side note, I love how Megan is white white in this picture, almost to the point of glowing!  Unfortunately, there is no question that she has inherited my pasty skin.  Too bad we don't live in the 1700s -- we would be gorgeous!!

We drank hot chocolate and stirred it up with marshmallows dipped in chocolate and peppermint pieces.  The concept was fantastic but I think it would have worked better if the girls were willing to drink chocolate that wasn't just lukewarm . . .

It's no longer safe!  This is what William does in his baby seat -- especially if he has pajamas with interesting feet (and almost all of them do!).  In the Bumbo, he arches his back and tries to get out.  So we're quickly getting to the point where he has no where to sit.  He just needs to sit up on his own I guess!

A few weeks back we sent letters in the mail to Santa -- no postage, just addressed to the North Pole.  And both girls got letters back!  They were obviously from the same person but the letters were different which I thought was awesome.  Abby was completely mesmerized and enthralled -- she hugged that thing and carried it around with her.  Megan was Megan and decided that she didn't care because mommy was so excited about it.  Maybe I should have refused to give her the letter and then she would have wanted it . . . 

And some super cute videos of William and the fun things that he's doing right now.  And that's it!  We're ready for Santa, ready for Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Oh the cuteness

Between the business and the plague, I realized I haven't really taken hardly any pictures of the kids or the Christmas season!  So this morning we got a few that turned out really cute of them all in their pajamas.

I have this really bad habit of reading at the table.  I don't generally do it at dinner but I'm pretty notorious at breakfast and lunch.  It's always been an issue.  Abby has picked up on it and started "reading" the newspaper at meals if it's left on the table.  The funniest thing about it is that the paper's upside down . . . 

I tried some pictures in front of the Christmas tree.  Not bad -- but I can't get the red eye out! 

Is this not the sweetest picture you have ever seen in your life??????

And then the girls wanted to hold him for pictures.  The thing about it that makes me laugh is that William is almost as big as they are!  And since he's not exactly sitting on his own (and is heavy), we end up with this:

and this:

No babies were harmed in the making of this blog post, I promise.  And we worked the bugs out eventually.

 Well, mostly!

Side note -- Chopper just told me that when he took Abby to the store yesterday she had a conversation in the cart with the bag of jelly beans she was holding.  Apparently the jelly beans asked her why she was evil and she told them she wasn't.  They said "yes you are" and she said, "yes, I am evil.  Eeee-vil."  Then she kept going "wahaha!"  

Yes we watch too much tv, especially these last few days of plague and crazy.  And yes that included some spy-theme Backyardigans.  Cracks me up -- I wish I had it on film.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hooray for being finished!

This week has been absolutely nuts and I have only one picture to liven up the post!

Tuesday night was the Relief Society Christmas party which came off beautifully!  We had dinner and conversation and a wonderful, wonderful musical program.  The best part of my calling is knowing so many sisters and loving them all.  And the Spirit was so strong -- I finally felt Christmas coming.

Wednesday (12/12/12) was William's 5 month birthday!

This little boy is such a treasure!  He is happy and peaceful and smiley and laughs at the simplest things.  The girls love to get him laughing.  Abby lays next to him and just cuddles, until he grabs her hair and then she cries a lot because William is hurting her.  I keep telling her not to get so close but she doesn't listen!!

He's really discovered his hands and I love watching him examine one and curl and uncurl his fingers and then examine the other.  He's very deliberate in trying to figure out what they do and grabs things and plays.  His rolling over is fairly random but he's strong and tries to sit up in his little recliner.  But when I put him in the Bumbo he arches his back!  He's getting ready to move I think.

The past couple of days have been frantic crazy getting ready for the ward Christmas party last night and then I didn't even go because William and I hare horribly sick.  William has a bad cold and is not sleeping well and me?  Well, it's a stomach bug with all it's nastiness.  I am wiped out!  

Yesterday morning though after decorating the church I was on my way home and thought how blessed I have been.  Despite illness, despite being crazy busy, my kids have been incredible.  They are not always great kids but during crunch time this week they have been fantastic!  And now I'm sick on the weekend and I'm so grateful for it because Chopper is home to help and I don't have any obligations left except to get ready for Christmas.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Random Fun

The next few days will be CRAZY so I'll update now and then probably this weekend.

Scary boy -- because the red eye corrector gave him weird eye . . . 

We did our gingerbread house last night.  This year not only was it a kit, it was a PRE-ASSEMBLED kit.  Can I tell you how heavenly it was to slap frosting all over the roof and just let the girls go to town?  We will probably do it this way for the next . . . fifteen? years. 

This is Megan's side -- she also did the candy cane spikes on the roof.  She likes dragons right now which I think is her inspiration . .  . 

Abby's side (with some help from Chopper -- who also did the front).  I did the rock foundation.  Wahoo!

Yes, that is snow.  Yes, it was 75 degrees until last night.  No, I am not happy about it.  I have several friends (cough - Jenn - cough - Sara) who keep complaining that it doesn't feel Christmasy or wintery, etc. etc. blah blah blah.  I've come to realize something about myself.  I don't care.  I don't mean that to sound rude but I very much prefer warmer weather to cooler weather and I think that I could live in a climate where there is NO cold weather or snow EVER.  The problem with those areas is that they are usually accompanied by humidity and I don't like that either.  So.  My perfect place is warm, dry (ish, not desert), covered in trees, and some nice mountains off in the distance.  Since I'm pretty positive that it does not exist, I'll just have to bloom where I'm planted!  And love the relative lack of snow!
Oh I forgot to mention that we went out and the girls ate it.  Off the grill.  And the table.  But their immune systems need boosting you know?

I watched some friends of the girls today and I love this picture because it's so typical.  Happy children, smiling, joyful.  And Megan.  Lurking.  In the background.  Grumpy.  I do love that girl. 

The girls were brides today with veils in the castle.  And one prince.  And I don't know what Abby was actually.

And then Aunt Adrienne jumped to the top of the favorites list by sending us a solar powered dancing flower.  And also caused contention in my home.  Ah well.  Everything causes contention in my home these days and it was actually very sweet of her -- it's just another tool to learn how to SHARE!
And I realized that my children are horrible at sharing because I was the only girl and I NEVER had to share so I don't really know how to teach that skill.  My poor girls.  Suffering because of their mother.  And someday their children will suffer because of them.  Gotta love parenting!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

10 Years!

Look how young we were!!!  Ten years ago yesterday we married . . . 

And here we are today -- or rather, yesterday.  The hats.  I know but the "traditional" gift for 10 years is aluminum or tin.  Who comes up with these things?  So we thought we'd be funny.  Haha.

No trips or dinner out even (it's still hard to leave William) but we've been celebrating for the last ten days.  Or at least I have.  I wanted to do something special so Chopper's been getting a gift every day for the last ten days with a letter attached about memories from the last decade or things I love about him, etc.  Nothing really big -- of course the requisite case of Dr. Pepper and we did go on a late date last weekend (because I have an amazing friend who came and stayed with the kids while they were asleep -- is it wrong of me not to quite trust our teenagers with my 4 month old????) and some fun things in between.

Chopper really liked it but for his part went a little more . . . traditional . . . and bought me jewelry for our anniversary!  OH my!!!  Nothing over the top but definitely things that will not be worn until the children stop pulling at everything in sight.  And he found a tablet for a really good price so I think that's Happy Anniversary to both of us!  Poor guy, he's still got Christmas and my birthday to think of . . . 

We never in a million years thought we would go where we've been and do what we've done.  But then I suppose that most marriages kind've end up that way.  But I'm grateful for everything that we've endured and celebrated.  I'm grateful to have a husband who is kind, selfless, goofy, intelligent, and loving.  I'm excited for the future and very happy with our past and present.  Here's to 50 more years!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I hate them.

I had friends in college who called me Kristy Poppins and I hated it.  Sure, it was done mainly in an "I love you" kind of way.  But it was also often accompanied by a dose of "better than me" and I hate other people tearing themselves down by "complimenting" someone else.

I was blog-hopping today because it is Sew, Mama, Sew's giveaway day and I enjoy looking at everyone's various blogs about sewing and quilting and crafting.  And then I found the CUTEST pattern and panel fabric that would make fold out houses with little story book characters.  And I added it to my cart because my girls would love it.  Would they?  Then I remembered the toys all over the floor that are there simply because right now their greatest fun is in getting dumped out -- not played with -- just dumped out.  And I remembered what I've already gotten the girls for Christmas and how I think that what they are receiving will really be enjoyed.  And they don't need more.  And THEN I remembered all the projects that I have on my to-do list and how I have an addiction to fabric where I buy it with a project in mind (or not) and then don't get around to it.  And as cute as they are, I think these play houses wouldn't get done for a while.  And would the girls miss out on a slice of life if they didn't get one?  No.

So I closed my browser.  And I didn't purchase.

And then I thought, I'll bet I could make my own anyway.  Maybe.  I wish I could be talented like that and maybe I should start up my other blog again and do projects and giveaways and sell things in my shop and at craft fairs and . . . and . . . and . . . 

I need to stop.  

I have a comfortable home that is decorated the way I like it.  I have a quilting hobby that brings me incredible joy and benefits others as well.  I have books sitting next to my bed that need to be read because I WANT to read them.  And I have 3 wonderful children and a husband that I enjoy keeping house for -- and that keep me very busy.

Do I need to craft a paper star garland for the holidays?  Do I need a homemade craft or snack every day of our advent calendar or can we just read a Christmas story?  Do I need ANOTHER blog that doesn't show me in sweats and no makeup or the crusted food on the floor or the piles of laundry on my bed and don't even get me started on the dusting!!

Boy does the internet encourage us to compare ourselves to everyone out there.  It pits my talent against someone else's and ignores the fact that we all have our strengths, our weaknesses, our interests, our "I love this" and "I could could care less" things to do.  I'm not trying to criticize anyone who keeps a "business" blog and does well with it, but I think I've made my decision.

I love blogging about my family and having a journal of sorts and showing 10,000 pictures a year of the Arboretum.
I love quilting and crafting and creating when I have time and inspiration and not working to a deadline.
I love moving at my own pace with the kids and doing fun things or just sitting and reading stories.
And I love looking at the things that others are doing and gleaning ideas (and I love the word gleaning).
And I just love being me!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Laundry and Santa and glitter -- oh my!!

I've been way to busy lately with church and sewing and organizing and cleaning and the holiday season in general.  But I've also accomplished a lot, which is a good feeling.  Some of the things on that list include:


I got William's stocking done -- they're pretty quick and I found a good place to do the embroidery on short notice so that was nice.  We have 2 empty stocking holders and Chopper says it's my job to fill them.  Maybe in a year or so . . .  

I'm usually very regimented about my laundry -- washed and put away in one day.  I hate it lingering around. This week it did not happen -- it took 3 days to do laundry!  I finally declared war on the pile and the girls helped by beating it into submission . . . 

Abby also helped me with the trash cans -- yes, she got a bath that night.

On Saturday we took some much needed time off and went to our town's holiday parade and festival.  William was not too impressed . . . it was over in about 10 minutes.

But they had the park decorated like Candyland and the girls enjoyed looking at things for awhile and playing on the playscapes. 

They had a Santa of course.  Abby told him she wanted presents for Christmas (that was easy).  Megan refused to even step onto the carpet where Santa's chair was.  I finally got her to whisper Merry Christmas and then we were on our way!

I broke my only rule of childhood and now I'm regretting it.  The rule?  No GLITTER!!!  I hate the stuff.  A few weeks ago we moved Abby into some 3T clothing -- including dresses and Megan was upset that Abby got some "new" dresses and she didn't.  She LOVES skirts and dresses.  And actually, she's due for a few new ones because she's nearly out of the ones she has.  So at Target I saw this adorable dress on sale for the holidays and bought it and gave it to her to wear to church today.  It's awesome, a pretty silver gray with a long poofy skirt that twirls and poofs up when she sits (this is the demonstration) and oh whoops, glittery dots all over the bottom of it.  Our couch, the pew at church, it's all silvery.  Never never again.

But it's darn cute.