Monday, June 29, 2009

Mod Podge Mania! YAY!

Welcome! I hope everyone is enjoying their summer...mine already seems jam packed with activities and commitments! Does it never end? Please forgive me for my negligence in getting around to visit everyone...I'm trying! But I never seem to be caught up!

I hope you've all managed to squeeze some time in to get a Mod Podge project done for Mod Podge Mania! I just LOVE seeing all your creative ideas!

This month I wanted to share with you the gift I made for my little brother and his wife for the grocery bridal shower (fun, huh?) her family threw. I promised way back when I first started that I would share, and I finished the gift, and gave it away without taking pictures! My brother finally got around to snapping some for me and emailing them to me!

My mother and I have gone through our recipe collections, picked out our favorites and she has typed them up and printed them onto 4x6 index cards. Then I make these fun little recipe tins...this is our favorite shower gift to give to those we LOVE!

Start out with these plain white tins...you can order them at Oriental Trading Co., or get them in pretty much any craft store.

Then pick out some scrapbook paper you like. You can get these fun coordinating packs for between $10 and $15. This is the paper pack I used for the FOREVER blocks I made for them here. I picked different papers for the recipe box, but I wanted the colors to still coordinate.

The packs have all sorts of fun tags, letters, shapes...and I loved these cool border/strip thingies!


The letter tags were too big for my recipe box, so instead I took some of these word tags, and cut them up to get the letters I needed for my box!

Then I cut the papers down to fit the box, and mod podged away! I layered some different papers, then embellished with all the other fun stuff! I also covered the lid, and tied some coordinating ribbons on the handle. She loved it!



My brother didn't get sufficient pictures, but if you lift the lid, there are cute coordinating little tabs that divide the recipes into different categories (appetizers, Entrees, desserts, etc.)

I keep meaning to make myself one of these...but never get around to it!

Now lets see your creativity! Remember you can link up an old post, or a new one. Just please make sure to link back to my blog so that everyone will know where to come for more great ideas! You may link up as many projects as you'd like. Please take the time to visit as many other Mod Podge Maniacs as you can and leave them some comment love!

Today my baby boy turns 11! INSANE! I'm off to get birthday preparations taken care of...I'll be back later to share all the festivites with you all!

Friend Makin' Monday...Patriot Style!

I'm so excited that one of my favorite bloggers, Shawn at Seriously is hosting Kasey's Friend Makin' Monday this week!

She picked a fabulous topic....Independence Day ranks right up there with Christmas for me on Holidays I absolutely HEART. I can't begin to express my love for this country and my gratitude for being an American.

It's so funny, I didn't know about this week's theme at the time, but I stayed up all night last night revamping my blog for July! Do you love it? Please turn your sound on if you don't already have it on and enjoy some beautiful patriotic music while you're here! Also...I had so much fun making my God Bless America button, please feel free to snag it if you'd like to dress up your blog for July!

On to today's task! Shawn has some great summer get to know you questions!

What are you doing this July 4th?
We're going to keep it simple this year with a commitment-free day...meaning we aren't' committing to any family or friends that we'll be anywhere at anytime for any food! We'll probably sleep in, go to the park for our Town Days, and we're still deciding if we'd like to go to the Rodeo. Our city has one every year.

But the big MUST is fireworks at the park by my mom's house. They have an amazing show...last year's was probably the best I can remember seeing.

What is your favorite dish to pass when attending a 4th of July party or summer barbecue?

I have a yummy seafood pasta salad that has shrimp, crab, cheese sweet pickles, peas and a yummy sauce made from Miracle Whip, Thousand Island dressing, and sweet pickle juice...it is divine!

Also my staple dessert: Darla's Delicious Brownies...click on the name if you'd like the recipe! Serious...Best. Brownies. Ever.

Do you have any July 4th traditions?

My whole life growing up we would go to our city's parade on the evening of the 3rd. Then on the 4th we would go to Town Days at the park, ALL DAY LONG, then when it got dark they would have a huge fireworks display. Some of my best memories growing up. Now we take our kids to our Town Days, and then head to my mom's park for the fireworks. Because of the Rodeo in our city, which runs 3 nights, they divide the fireworks over the 3 nights, so they aren't as spectacular as the 1 night show in my mom's city.

Share your favorite July 4th picture.

Okay, the truth is...I have LOTS of Independence Day pictures, but they are in a box in the basement and I'm too lazy to go look...so please see the pictures in my banner...they're not the best quality because they're from a cell phone...but it's from 2 summer's ago and we had so much fun at the park!

Finally Shawn left us with a little Are You Smarter Than A Fourth Grader? trivia.

1. How many stars are on the American Flag?
2. What do they stand for?
3. How many stripes are on the flag?
4. What do they stand for?
5. How many stripes are red?
6. The first stripe is which color?
7. Who sewed the American flag?

Not to brag...but I got them all right!

If you want to play...please head over to Shawn's to link up!

AND DON'T FORGET MOD PODGE MANIA!!! TOMORROW! BE THERE!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Funtastic Weekend!

I loved my weekend! I'm going to share it with you via TONS of pictures and videos...you should be used to that by now! It started off on Friday with an overnighter with the Young Women. We all stayed in the backyard of the Young Women's President in tents. We roasted hot dogs, and later on had S'mores. The simplified version...have you heard of this? Instead of graham crackers and Hershey's bars, you just use fudge stripe cookies and smoosh the marshmallow between 2 of them. So much easier...and very delicious!

I also learned something new from the girls. Have you heard of roasted Starbursts? Yeah, I was skeptical too, but the girls insisted we try it. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised! You roast the Starbursts on a roasting stick, just like a marshmallow. When it starts to bubble around the oustside, it's finished. You let it cool a little so you can get it off the stick, and then enjoy!

They end up kind of crispy on the outside, and full of warm, fruity goo on the inside. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!

It poured rain the whole night. The next moring on our drive up the canyon for our pre-camp hike, the rain continued to pour. But we were not deterred! We arrived at the trailhead, all donnned our panchos, or converted garbage bags, and away we went! It actually stopped raining about 10 minutes into the hike, and ended up a beautiful day! And it wasn't hot!

Here's some shots of the scenery and the girls. Have I ever told you I love our mountains? Heavenly Father is definitely the most amazing artist. I'm so thankful for all the beauty He surrounds me with each day.








The water made things kind of slippery...but we made it through without any mishaps!


Here is our fearless leader, Andrea, channeling Ariel. I thought she might sprout a tail and swim off into the sunset! Go check out how amazing she is here. I am so lucky to get to serve with her, and learn from her. She and her husband are trying to adopt, and I want to tell you how amazingly lucky the child who finds them will be. They are 2 of the best people I have ever had the priviledge of knowing and I can't imagine 2 better parents. Please go here to read a little about their journey, and keep them in mind if you know of anyone who might find themeselves in the position of looking for adoptive parents for their baby.

Back to the hike now! We have such a great group of girls, and I am having so much fun spending time with them and getting to know them. I can't wait for camp!

Here's some great video I shot of the river. There's a waterfall just above where we were, and the river is so fast from all the rain we've been having!
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Saturday night, Hubby and I had a double date with 2 of our best friends, James and Kimberlee. Kimberlee also happens to be my cousin, and we've grown up together. Kimberlee and I bought MLS (Major League Soccer) tickets for our husbands for Father's Day, and the game was last night. We went to dinner (which made me sick BTW), then to the game. It was soooo much fun! Hubby played soccer his whole life and just loves it, and as I've watched him play in an adult league when we were first married, then coach our kids in soccer, I've grown to love it too.


But trust me...you don't have to appreciate soccer to appreciate soccer players! They are some of the most fit athletes there are. Soccer is a seriously physical game, and they run non-stop!

This guy, number 17 is my favorite on our team. Hope we hang onto him for awhile!

Kimberlee and me (I'm in the sunglasses).


I wanted to post a couple of videos, because I am seriously amazed at the control these guys have of the ball. It's like they have magic feet or something! Our team is in the red and blue.

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This next video is when we scored our second goal...I missed the goal, but got the little victory dance after...look in the bottom right corner of the field at the beginning. They guy with the dreadlocks is the one who scored. (Number 5)

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I love soccer! The videos are too small to do justice to how awesome it was! I think we're going to save up for some season tickets!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are enjoying this beautiful Sabbath Day.

Oh, yeah...and don't forget Mod Podge Mania on Tuesday!

Friday, June 26, 2009

It's 2 in the Morning...

Hey everyone! It's Friday again! I'm at an overnighter for the Young Women, followed by our pre-camp hike. We go to camp July 13!

I couldn't leave without first scheduling my Video Countdown to Vegas post! What would you all do without your (my) New Kids fix?

Today I'm going to share their latest music video. It's the official music video of their song 2 In The Morning. This is one of my favorite songs on the album (The Block), and the video just makes it that. much. better. Really!

I think all 5 of the guys are looking especially fine in this one, and I hope you enjoy! Only 2 more weeks 'til we hit the road! Pray for my dear Tanielle to be feeling better for our road trip!


And don't forget Mod Podge Mania, Tuesday June 30!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is the 61st anniversary of the day my mother made her grand entrance!

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish her the happiest of birthdays...she deserves it.

She's been through a lot in her life, and I really admire her strength. Some of you may have seen my Father's Day post so you know a little of our history...but today I'd like to elaborate a little more.

Like me, all my mom wanted when she became a mother was to stay home and raise her children. She was only able to do that for less than 2 years. When I was a little younger than 2, and my mother was expecting her 2nd child, her husband decided he didn't want to be a father or husband any longer, and he left.

My mother was a single, pregnant mother without a job. She went home to Idaho to have my brother. But then she moved to another state as a young, single mother of 2 in order to find work and support her small family. She worked long days, and came home to take care of her children in the evenings by herself.

For me, by the time evening rolls around I've had it a little bit...I can't wait for bedtime so I can have some peace and quite! I imagine she was often exhausted after work, and still had us waiting at home, depending on her. We were pretty poor, as I now realize. But then, we didn't know that. She made sure we never went without. We never knew we were broke!

When I was almost 8, she met my (adoptive) dad. They were married a couple of months later, and we started our new blended family. My mom was finally to realize her dream of being a stay at home mom. I had a new sister, 1 year older than me, and my mom soon was expecting my youngest brother. She decided to continue at her job until my little brother was born, then be at home full time with all of us.

During this 9 months, my dad went in for his 2nd back surgery, and due to permanent nerve damage, and scar tissue build-up, was never able to return to the work force again. Mom mom continued her 30+ year career with her employer. She only barely retired a few short years ago.

She has been my dad's constant caretaker, as each year his health has diminished more and more...she was both bread winner and bread baker! My dad was a wonderful stay at home dad, but our family is pretty old fashioned, and needless to say, this is not the way they envisioned raising their family!

My dad did an amazing job caring for us at home, cooking a lot of the time, and teaching us the value of hard work! On his good days we would spend hours out in the garden, or yard. But he inevitably would overdo it on his good days, and then would end up in bed for the rest of the week! That's still the way it goes, only the good days are fewer and farther between, and the "laid up days" that are the result of overdoing it last longer!

Not only has my mom cared for him, and us her whole life, but she's always been the first to help those around her as well. My whole life I remember her making meals to take in to neighbors who were sick, or had just had a baby, or surgery, or some other circumstance that brought out the need in her to serve others. She's the first to volunteer anytime someone is in need of service.

I can't even begin to explain how much she has helped each of her children over the years. With my current church calling, and serving on the Board of Trustees at our charter school, I have many evening time committments. This is hard with young kids when your husband works in the evenings. I don't know how I would manage to fulfill all my obligations if it weren't for her willingness to come stay with my kids. And they LOVE when grandma comes to stay. She's so not the grandma that comes over and puts a movie on for the kids to watch. She's the grandma that brings over story books to read to them, and gets down on the floor to build blocks, or wrestle, or play games. She's the grandma who paints toenails with the girls, sings lullabys (off-key I might add) to Monkey, and hires Bookworm to come do yardwork with her so he can earn a little spending money. They love her so much.

We all do, and although my mom and I are both so much alike in the area of stubborness, and pride that we often butt heads, I am so grateful to have her in my life.

Have a wonderful birthday Mom...you deserve it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition

Hello ladies. Welcome to another edition of EM:ME hosted by the fabulous Amber. Looking to get healthy, and need some support and encouragement? Then you should definitely hop on over to Amber's and check it out!

I don't have a lot of progress to report this week. No loss. No gain. I'm feeling a little frustrated at my stand still. My exercise hasn't been as consistent as I'd like, but I have been able to increase my jogging time and walking speed, thus increasing my over all distance on my treadmill workout. I guess that's something.

I know my inconsistency in exercising is because of my increasingly bad habit of staying up too late (er, early). I can't remember the last time I went to bed before midnight...and it's catching up to me. I know that on the days I'm too tired to get myself motivated to get on the treadmill, that's why. I just need to make a commitment to get to bed...no excuses.

Today's question:

"Who is your biggest supporter/motivator in your weight loss? Do you have anyone around you that tries to sabotage you by "talking" you in to eating the not so good stuff?"

Well, I have to say that I probably get the most encouragement from this weekly feature. I love all the positive feedback and support I get each week. My husband is supportive, but it's hard, because I know that his love for me is unconditional, whether I lose weight or not. I know he wants me to know this and so he just doesn't say much either way. He doesn't want me to feel pressured that if I don't succeed he'll be disappointed in me...so he just doesn't say anything.

As far as sabotage...I'd have to say my brother! You see we have this thing. When he was trying to give up caffeine, I would give him a 6 pack of Mt. Dew for his birthday...stuff like that!

Now that I'm trying to watch what I eat, he'll bring in some scrumptious dessert, eat it in front of me and make "mmmm" sounds while he eats. It's just a brother thing.

It's all good though...it's all in fun. That's just how our relationship is. He's trying to eat healthier now though...not because he needs to lose weight, but he just wants to be healthy, so mostly we "abstain" from the good food together!

I hope you all had a fabulous week and can't wait to come see how you're all doing. Wish me luck on more rest and more consistent exercise this week!

And don't forget that Mod Podge Mania is less than 1 week away! It will be Tuesday, June 30...so please come back and link up your projects!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Day the Sun Peeked Out

Once...there was this one day....when the sun actually peeked out. For a minute.

On that day, we went to the park. So I thought I'd share a whole lot of photos from that day.

Best shot of the day...to be tucked away to show to future boyfriends.

I love these shoes! I couldn't find any in my size!
This look on Cowgirl's face is the result of Bookworm standing on the net a little behind her, and jumping up and down...trying to make her fall!





This is Bookworm's best "bored" look because he says the park is for little kids and babies.

Weeeee!
Pixie's idea of swinging "high" is barely moving.
Cowgirl is more of a thrill seeker!







I took these last pictures for Amanda (Sturgmom)...she's a little envious of my mountains...so I want to share them with her whenever I can!

Of course, the rain came back the next day. It's still here. It's taking a 24 hour break right now...but we know it's back tomorrow!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sometimes Monkey's antics aren't all that hilarious...

Like when she decides to nearly take Pixie's finger off with a pair of my sharpest scissors.

Warning: if pictures of injuries upset you, you may want to skip this one. It's not horribly graphic, but some people don't like the sight of pain...so just my little disclaimer.

So Friday night I'm in the bathroom (why am I always in the bathroom when all hell breaks loose?), when all of a sudden I hear a blood curdling scream coming out of Pixie. She doesn't stop...she is in hysterics. She just keeps screaming, and screaming and screaming.... My 2 older kids start yelling "Monkey cut Pixie with the scissors!" There's sheer panic in their voices, and I'm envisioning completely severed fingers or something.

I come into the kitchen, where everyone is yelling, and Monkey is now also crying hysterically. There is blood everywhere. I quickly determine that all fingers are still attached, take Pixie to the bathroom, try to calm her down, and clean up the blood, so I can get a closer look. It's not pretty. It was nearly to the bone on one side...not super deep on the other side, but the blood just will. not. stop. It took forever. Of course I'm home alone with the kids, why would something like this happen when my husband's actually around to help?

We pile into the car, call Hubby who leaves work and heads over to meet us at the instacare (it's sometime after 9 p.m.). Hubby stays with the other kids while I take Pixie in. Once we get to the back, the doctor asks how she got cut. She tells her, and I explain the 2 year old got a hold of some sharp scissors. The doctor then floors me by asking incredulously:

"And she went after her with the scissors?"... as if Monkey is some sort of deranged sociopath attacking her sister. I'm thinking... She's 2! They don't really get the whole concept of consequences of wielding sharp objects yet. Pixie explains that she was trying to get the scissors away from Monkey when they closed on her finger. Oh, okay...I guess Dr. Clueless won't be calling child services today.

They have to inject numbing medicine before they can clean the wound and stitch it up. It's very painful for Pixie, and I'm nearly in tears myself. Then they hold a bandage around it while they wait for the medicine to take effect. When the MA removes the bandage, it literally sprays blood across the table...all over Pixie's other arm and me! It was seriously like someone pulled a trigger on a squirt gun! Pixie was amused, since the pain was numbed away...she thought it was cool.

Not sure what happened, obviously the needle hit a vein or something. So now we have to put pressure, and wait for the bleeding to stop. When they finally get around to the sutures, it's been several minutes. Before the procedure was completely finished, the numbing was starting to wear off! I know she wasn't in terrible pain, but I could see she was still very uncomfortable! We were finally finished, and got in the car to go get ice cream. Before we got to the ice cream drive-thru, the pain was back enough that pixie just wanted to go home an lay down. It's been a sad few days watching her normal sparkliness be replaced by quiet sitting and laying down because it hurts to do too much.

She's doing a lot better today though...only complaining about the pain occasionally. I know it's no big deal, and so many families have to deal with so much worse. I still hate seeing my little girl hurt though!

Here's a few pictures we took last night when we changed the bandage.




This is the other side, where the cut wasn't deep enough to require stitches...still looks painful to me though!
Other than that event, we've had a great weekend...shopping and creating on Saturday, and spending a lovely day with Daddy and Grandpa yesterday at my parent's house!
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

On This Day...

We honor Daddies.

I am blessed to have a dad who loved my mom, married her, and loved my brother and myself as his own.

They married the year I turned 8, and my little brother turned 6. Our biological father had left when I was 2, and my mom was pregnant with my little brother. After they were married in the Idaho Falls Temple for Time and all Eternity, we were sealed to him as well.

Shortly thereafter, our biological father gave his consent for us to be adopted. Even before this my mom's new husband was "Dad" to us, but we were thrilled to officially have his last name.

Of course things weren't always rosy. The teenage years were filled with stubborness and pride on both sides, which of course led to the inevitable "you're not my real dad".

But he is my "real" dad. As real as any dad could be. Thank you for being a dad to me anyway...even when I didn't think I wanted you to.

Though his blood doesn't run in my veins, or those of my children...he is my dad, and their grandpa. We love him and are so grateful to have him in our lives. I love you Dad.

For My Husband...

23 year old boy, 19 year old girl....who would have guessed we would end up here?



Walking across the street to the temple...doesn't it look like I'm excited, and he's terrified?


We were married 5 short months after we first met.

The day we started Forever.




2 1/2 years later...a daddy for the first time...who could know how exhausting it would be?
(daddy and Bookworm)


A seasoned daddy by the time Cowgirl came along 2 years later.




King of the bumper cars...teachin' Monkey how to drive (actually how to crash into Pixie!)
Thank you honey, for all you do. You take care of us, you tease us, you work so hard to give us a good life. Most of all...you love us. We're so grateful. We love you too.
Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Can Ya Feel It?

Ahhhh Yeah. It's that time again! You know you've been lookin' forward to it all week ... my NKOTB Video Countdown to Vegas!

This week's featured song is another oldie but goodie. It's from a performance they did last month on the Today show. Now an outdoor performance just doesn't have the same rich, full sound as an indoor venue with state of the art accoustics. But the energy of this performance is just so fun that I forgot about all that and just really enjoyed remembering this song!

The only thing that keeps this video from perfection is that they cut away from the guys to this annoying reporter, anchor, whatever you call them that was being a total dweeb. The first time is right in the middle of my boy Joey's part. Can you say irritating?

But I'm over it...remember this song?



This time it's embedded Vivienne...and you know what that means!

UPDATE: Need some more New Kids Fabulousness? I just visited my fellow Blockhead JennyKate, and she has posted a fantastic video that I just love! Go check it out!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Get In There!

I'm so excited that the darling Alicia at Imma Momma has started a weekly photo challenge. She gives some basic tips on ways to improve your photography, then each week you share what you have learned in the form of a photo! I so want to become a better photographer! If you do too, go check out her weekly Photo Challenge!



Last week's challenge was: Get In There! Practice taking pictures capturing details and getting up close to your subject. Practice getting up close to eliminate distracting backgrounds. Don't forget to watch for unwanted shadows and continue practicing in different light.



Last week we took the kids to the park...I got a lot of great shots that I'll share later this week. But I thought for today's photo challenge I would share this favorite one of Pixie. I just love it!




I was also tagged by the fabulous, fellow New Kid Loving JennyKate! You must go check her out because she's simply hilarious! Trust me!

I'm to go to my pictures, open the 1st file folder, and share the 10th picture and the story that goes along with it. Then tag 5 more people to participate!


This is a picture of Cowgirl holding Monkey when she was 4 days old. You've never seen a prouder, more loving big sister.

To this day Monkey prefers her Cowgirl over anyone in the family! Including me! They share such a special bond, and I love watching the 2 of them together.

Now I tag:

Amanda

MiMi

Tabitha

Small House

Amanda

Last...I'm proud to say that I am now First Aid Certified! That's what we did last night for our Young Women's activity. We needed to get all the girls (and ourselves!) first aid certified before camp!

We leave on July 13...the day after I get back from Vegas...CRAZY!