Saturday, December 29, 2007

thirty, flirty, and thriving!

So, today is the big 3-0.  This morning as I was waiting to enter the birthday breakfast celebration I did a little mental review of the past 30 years.  It can be pretty overwhelming to think about. Especially since today is also our 9 year wedding anniversary.  And I just look around me and feel so happy at what we've created together. Especially our two little jewels Olivia and Bentley.  So much joy has been had, so much more to come. This is going to be an amazing year!  Thanks Rose for reminding me about, "Thirty, flirty, and thriving!"  That is going to be my mantra for this year.  That and, "2008 is GREAT!"  
Today, I am thankful for the joy of life, my fabulous husband and our two little loves. 
 Say "hi" to little baby me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Joy

Wishing you all a little Christmas Joy! 
Hope everyone is having a delightful Holiday!
Merry Christmas!
I am so thankful to have spent two glorious days with my little family. Just us! It was absolutely perfect.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Charity Never Faileth

Today just felt like a little thought on charity might be nice. It was our theme for visiting teaching this month. And it seems like a lot of the people around me have been in need of some lately. Something about the holiday season that makes people so much more stressed out than at a normal time of year. Plus, people still have accidents, babies, and get lonely this time of year. And I can definitely relate with those who are dealing with the stresses of moving. Maybe these needs are more urgent because of all the heightened feelings of the season. So I have been blessed with a few opportunities to serve (and in the process allowed others to serve me). Isn't it sad/interesting/scary....(what's the right word) that in order for me to serve I often need a little service of my own (of the babysitting variety). Luckily, people don't mind and still seem to need me. Isn't it nice to feel needed. But, I still caught myself feeling like spending so much of my "free time" helping others was getting in the way of my personal creative goals. I wish I was to the point where I didn't have those thoughts. Then, last night, I read this, and it made me feel better about my temporary lag in drawing time. Especially this part, "The desire to lift, the willingness to help, and the graciousness to give come from a heart filled with love. Serve willingly." Seriously, who doesn't want a heart filled with love! So what thoughts do you all have about charity this time of year? Any heartwarming stories to tell? Any thoughts about balancing the things others need and the things you need?

Today I'm grateful that I'm making sugar cookies today! YUM! And I'm grateful for "Eden day" every girl needs a few good girl friends don't you think!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A girl and a tree

Today Olivia's Christmas tree is finally complete. After I took several pictures of her by her tree...she wanted to take some pictures of me by my tree.
She even showed me how to pose. And by the end of it I was laughing hysterically.
But I've never looked sweeter, right?

Monday, December 17, 2007

dancing days

This weekend has been really fun for a lot of reasons. One being it's jam-packed-ness with dancing! I know jam-packed-ness isn't a word...but it should be! Saturday we went to a dance Christmas party where Chris performed with three of his students. They were just so stinking awesome. I kept thinking, "Man! I have got to get some lessons with that guy!"
Sunday, I taught Relief Society and I used dancing as my object lesson. My point being if anyone in town should be an awesome dancer it should be me because I'm married to Chris who is the best dancer in town (blatant bragging is always fun!). I had a bunch of other reasons that I related to corresponding things that we are blessed to have in church such as our prophet, scriptures, and etc. So today I had a dance lesson with Chris and I think it's the best one I've ever had. I really improved because I nailed into my head yesterday that I have no excuses and I am pathetic if I accept to be anything less than a stinking awesome dancer. Enough of making my husband look bad at parties! I think I've finally been able to mentally change my thought process from: "My husband is telling me what to do--bossing me around, really! I won't stand for it!!" to: "I'm going to listen to this professional and do exactly as he says because he knows what he's doing." Yay for mental breakthroughs!

Plus I got cute new hair and a really awesome crochet dress. I used to have some killer crochet pants but they got ruined at the dry cleaner. I remember calling my friend who's husband is a lawyer freaking out about my pants. SO FUNNY. (how's that for dramatic for you Mindy--hehehe)

Today I'm thankful for an amazing husband, and that someone in our household thinks that doing laundry is fun!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

long live the funky junky christmas!

So all December I have been complaining about my funky junky Christmas tree. And plotting and planning a pretty pretty Christmas tree. So we have had our tree up for a week exactly. But no ornaments until today. I have had my eye on a wax ornament Christmas tree for the past few years. So this year I finally tried to do it. But unfortunately you can't order wax sheets this time of year because they will crack in the cold. So, I tried to make a wax sheet myself. It worked...but not to cut any thing big enough for an ornament because it was too brittle. So sad. But a closet crafter made us some really cute little ornaments (and threatened Chris if he were to divulge his identity). Also, kids spend all month long making one fabulous ornament after another. So I have decided to embrace the funky junky tree and I'm very happy about it!
Looks like I'm not the only one!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

gingerbread mania

Here are Jammy and Karson. (Karson kept eating his frosting so his house didn't stay together..but what does that matter when there is so much candy to eat? Ellie and Chickie being really goofy...all sugared up and having fun making their graham cracker houses while Mandee and I hogged the ginger-mansions. I had a little too much fun with mine. I stayed up really late a couple of nights rolling out starburst into shapes. Here are a million pictures.

These two are details of the roof. I have the most fun with roofs!

Our family in gingerbread, Chickie made herself. Of course.
I can't take all the credit here either... Chickie made this cute ginger girl on the back of the house. Love that creative girl!
I had to completely cover this wall because it was burnt to a crisp.

And look at Mandee and Ellie with their super cute aprons. She does so many cute things.

Today I'm thankful for friends! I managed somehow to get three sets of friends to come over this week and bring Christmas crafts. How I did that I'm not sure. But it has been super fun! OH! And I saw the coolest thing ever at someone's house. She had made a Christmas tree out of books stacked and angled. She put lights on it and little candy ornaments. It was so cute and creative...and so her. Books really express who she is. Needless to say I got a little too excited when I saw it. I hope you all are enjoying the December-ness of it all. What fun things have you been doing?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Insanity, thy name is Gingerbread!

Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday have been completely absorbed by one thing and one thing only...OK not true at all. But amid the puree-ing, dancing, and a bunch of churchy-stuff, I have managed to squeeze a little gingerbread making in. SO freakishly fun. I think mostly for me, really. Here Mandee and I are working on our houses (and here is my super silly apron).
You know how when you eat m&m's you divide them into colors before consumption...this is like that but instead of spending 50 cents it's more like 30 bucks. (Isn't part of the joy of the holidays to be ridiculously indulgent?) Finally an excuse to play with food!

I have some fun tips to share. One being the hard candy windows and the other being the gooey candy cut outs.

For hard candy windows:

After you roll out the dough (onto aluminum foil) and cut out your piece you fill window with broken candy bits...not too full or it will over-flow. I have tried many different ways to do the candy windows and this way definitely comes out the best because the dough forms a seal with the foil and no candy leaks out.

For gooey candy cut outs:

Take tootsie rolls, starburst, or saltwater taffy. Microwave for 5 to 10 seconds if needed. Roll out with a rolling pin. Cut with a cookie cutter or knife. Go Crazy!!! It's super fun.
Tomorrow I will post all the glorious details...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I'm so glad when Daddy comes home!

Chris was gone for almost a week and we were so very sad. The night before he came back Chickie was boo-hooing on her bed looking at a picture of him. Is it mean that I went in and took a picture? I just thought it was sweet. I went in to give her a hug and started to giggle...couldn't help it. But then she started to laugh, too. At least momentarily. Chris was in Ohio with some students performing in a show. He had a great time. And it's nice to have him dancing again. Plus, he came home bearing gifts. Bentley loves that hat!

Besides from that, this week I have been planing my Christmas projects. I'm not totally overwhelming myself... But still, it does require more concentrated effort as far as scheduling goes. And I can't believe it's already the 6th!
One of my musts is gingerbread houses. I have had fiasco's in the past...yet somehow I persist. I don't know why. Maybe it's one of those childhood things. I remember making a big deal to learn how to make one. That's this weeks project, made much more fun with the company of friends.

We also have our tree...yet to be decorated. And the new book tradition is really fun. It really prolongs the season. We are all happy today wafting in our gingerbread/Christmas tree smells.

I also have some new artistic goals for the first time since I graduated. It's very exciting to have a clear goal in mind and to be drawing again. Nothing I'm ready to fully disclose yet, until I get a lot more sketching time in. But hopefully it will merit some fun pictures in the future.

I also finally finished the apron I began the Christmas before I was pregnant with Bentley...that would be two years ago...SAD. The worst part is that it's not a great pattern. It's a little silly. It's one of those 1950's patterns so it's a little on the tight side also. So no cookie making in PJ's in that apron. I'll have to be wearing a pretty skirt and pearls. Oh, well. It's probably for the best. It's better than an apron splattered with paint.

As far as Chickie goes, at the beginning of the week, her artistic goals were overtaking mine. She is so serious about her art. A very creative soul. When we were moving and unpacking there were a few days when all the art supplies were packed up. She, however would not take no for an answer and decided to make "nests" for her chick collection out of plastic bowls and newspaper. Art supplies are always abundant to such a creative mind.

I hope every one is having fun with Holiday preparations. Today I'm thankful for Bentley's little hands clenched to some found soft baby pine cones during our hunt for a tree. Sweet baby hands.