Thursday, January 31, 2008

I need a diet buddy!

I'm needing motivation to go on a diet to look good in a dress for this.  But I really don't want to. I need someone to do it with me.  Any takers?

The good news about the dress situation is that my friend is letting me borrow her dress.  I was with her when she got it.  It was designed by the guy that does Dancing With The Stars.  Kind of cool. Right. I'm excited.  It saves me from making one. Which could be very very scary.

I guess the reason I'm not motivated is that I'm perfectly satisfied with how I look already.  This dress isn't skimpy like some.  But it's no sweater, either.  

I would love to wear this dress!

So seriously. Any body want to do a 30 day ab diet with me? I have a good one I think.  Or does anybody have a really good alternative?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

secret agent chickens

Ok.  So by now you all know that my daughter "Chickie" has a thing for... that's right.  Chicks.  She even chose to dress her little elephant in a chick blanket.  And was adamant about using that fabric for her elephant and she chose the other fabrics accordingly.         

Some friends of ours who have chickens, are now our neighbors.  They are home schoolers, healthy eating, composting, intellectual-creative types.  Darla says she's a "crunchy-con."  I guess that is a granola conservative.  Any way because of this cool family vibe they have going on  they won a trip to DisneyWorld.  And while they were gone they entrusted us of all people, with the care of their little ladies.  And by that I mean the chickens.

First few days good.  We go change their water, and collect their eggs.  Play on their swingset and get their mail.  We even let the chickens out once.  You know, just for kicks.  I thought it would be fun until I had to run all around the yard gathering them up.   Just in case you wanted to know:  Grabbing chickens, ew. Gross.  

Rob said we could let them out, but we'd just have to open the door at nightfall and they'd get right back in the coop.  But he also said that the black and white one can fly out of the fence.  So I didn't want to chance that.  Hence all the running and grabbing.  Poor things.  

So we decided definitely not to let them out anymore.    Good decision.

Until last night.  We got there a little late.  When we opened the fence two of the chickens came running at us.  We freaked out a little. Tried to remain calm.  We let them back in.  The other two chickens were nowhere to be found.  It was dark and really windy.  The  little door at the bottom was loose. When I latched it up again I noticed that if I pushed on the door, the latch would fall.  
It had been a really windy day.  So I called Darla and told her that the wind blew the coop open and two chickens escaped.  I felt really stupid.  Chris went over there that night and searched around for them to no avail.  
That night I made pumpkin cranberry bread and cleaned my house until I was too exhausted to continue.    I realized that's what I do when I'm stressed.  First, bake.  Second, clean.  
So this morning I sent Chris over there, afraid of what we'd find.  And all four chickens were in the coop.  The little door latch was super tight.   He fed them grapes, all was good.  So, either they are secret agent chickens or a neighbor found them, put them away, and tightened the little door.  (Neighbors do stuff like that, right.  Once I chased a huge dog all around the neighborhood and got another neighbor to help me put him back in and then board up the fence.  This was when we were moving and we had already moved all our tools.) 

They laid a lot of eggs today.  I guess they are as happy as I am that they are safe.  I was really afraid last night that we would become known as the family of chicken killers.  Not good. Not good.  What's up with us having an unusually large number of friends with chickens?  Two is unusually large. Right?

Today I'm thankful for free eggs.  Admittedly, I'm using the term "free" very loosely here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Clara

Clara, I hope you have had a delightful birthday! I sure have. I spent the day making this little elephant for you.  I'm sorry she'll be late.  She has a long journey to make to get to you.  She will be loading up on peanuts and setting off tomorrow.  

I love you little sis!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

gotta love good books

Two places I absolutely love are the park and the library.  Especially, our little town has A++ of both.  That sentence makes no sense.  But those were two compelling reasons for our move here. That and the school system.  
Sometimes at the library we get the weirdest books. I have to edit them as I read or my little Chickie will have nightmares.  But this week we got some really good ones.
Miss Fannie's Hat  by Jan Karson.  First time I read it I cried. But I was only reading it to Bentley so he didn't care.  This was about a little old lady and her love of hats and church.  What's not to love?
Ruby's Wish by Shirin Yin Bridges.  This was about a little girl in China who was ahead of her time.  She really valued education, as do I.
And The Miraculous Tale of the Two Maries by Rosemary Wells, of all people. She didn't illustrate this one though. I love her Max and Ruby books.  If you read this one you should read the author's note in the front first. I like the way she thinks.

The cool thing about all these books is that they are all based on true stories. Once again. I love any story with a strong female heroine. Especially for my Chickie to hear.

Another book that fits this category that I wouldn't necessarily recommend was Dancing with Katya.  It was a story about a little girl who got polio and had to get braces on her legs. I didn't care for it that much but Chickie really liked it. Either that or she was fascinated by the idea of leg braces.  She made some paper leg braces for one of her dolls and she also made paper shoes for herself. She's so funny. 

I'm thankful for bright minds and good books.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

doing color wheel cartwheels

I decided that I need to work on my ability to mix my own colors.  So I got this great book about Color.  And I'm doing the exercises during Bentley's nap time.  Today Chickie and I made color wheels.  While I was measuring mine out, Chickie was doing her own.  She used the compass to make some really nice circles by herself and her own inner lines without a ruler.  She got bored of waiting while I measured mine out so she drew ghosts on the side of hers.  In the time it took me to do one very meticulous color wheel, She did two very captivating ones and a couple of other paintings to boot!
Today I'm thankful for sausage.  Seriously, don't know why I wanted it. But YUM. Sausage nachos.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Miss Potter

This weekend I fell irrationally in love with a movie.  Miss Potter with Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor is everything I love in a movie.  It has a strong female character.  I especially love it when the heroine has some sort of creative endeavor.  It has a sweet sweet love story.  Insanely breathtaking scenery.  Great acting.  Subtle (hilarious) humor.  Loved it.  Aunt Darcy and Buffy you would both love this movie.  So I watched the movie and all of the special features on Saturday night, well except for the music video and the directors commentary.  Then, this morning both Chickie and Chris were very sick, so between nursing them, I watched the directors commentary while playing blocks with Bentley.  That's the nice thing about a PG movie. You can watch it with a kiddo around.  And then I started to watch it one more time, but alas, the nursing duties became too demanding.  Poor Chickie, hopefully she feels better in the a.m..  
It is about Beatrix Potter. I had no idea she was a woman.  It's a cute name.  Is that the origination of that awful name Trixie?  Always wondered about that one.  A few years ago Chickie and I went on a Beatrix Potter kick at the library and there was one book that had me laughing hysterically.  The Pie and the Patty-Pan.  The patty-pan antics had me in an uproar.  If you don't believe me read it for yourself here.
I am so thankful for creative pioneering women and filmmakers who bring a bit of their story my way.  And I'm also thankful for blockbuster by mail.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Glorious Wednesday

Wow! Can you guys believe it's Saturday already?! I hope you all have had productive weeks. I had one day that was superbly ideal. In the morning I finally learned Viennese Waltz. So fun! Chickie got to play with a friend and have her come over also. In the afternoon I got to paint and then that evening we had dinner with a friend. I loved that day. It felt like a glimpse into my perfect life. Every day filled with dancing, art, happy children, and good company. Which made me think of an audio book I listened to recently. Have any of you listened to or read The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes? I found it to be interesting and a lot of it seemed very truthful to me.They talk about the law of attraction and how it is the Law of Love. That makes a lot of sense to me, because in my own life I've seen the power of love work miracles. And it falls in line with my beliefs spiritually. But other things such as eating and losing weight. Some of it made sense, but she said, and I paraphrase that, "Food won't make you fat. Only if you think food will make you fat, then it will." But that thought seems to defy another law of nature. I think more likely the way you think about food will change the way you eat food. Has anyone else read it? What do you think?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

separation anxiety

I'm proud to report that since this post I have really improved my dancing.  I have been getting two to three lessons a week, versus my previous zero.  And to put even more of an urgency to my learning, it looks like I'm now going to be competing in my second competition.  My first was in Nashville about 5 years ago.  And I competed in pro-am bronze Latin, I think. Chris being the professional, me being the amateur.   This time will be silver smooth, also pro-am.   And the really exciting part...I get to learn Viennese waltz.  It is such a gorgeous dance and Chris has never taught me.  His response is always, "You're not ready."  So, I'm just doing a few rounds and it's really not a big deal.  The only thing that makes it a big deal is that it gives you a reason to practice and perfect things.  So the scary part is not any of that.  The scary part is leaving the kids!  We have never gone out of town and left the kids before.  I always thought, "Poor me, in the past __ years I've never gone out and done_____ the way that ____has."  Well.  I guess the real reason I haven't done this is that I really just didn't want to leave my kids and I've never had to.  So, when Chris first proposed the idea of me going to this comp with him and his other students it seemed fine.  We've gone before, but I usually just bring a babysitter.  Its worked out fine, but there really isn't much for kids to do.  This time however, Chris called my friend Heather and arranged the whole thing and then called me to tell me.  My first reaction; I felt like throwing up.  But it does seem exciting.  We would be able to go and enjoy just being with each other and watch a whole lot of dancing.  Plus it's at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC.  Which is very nice.  They have a spa, which would be fun.  I know my kids will have a blast with Heather and they are used to her.  I don't even worry about Chickie at this point, although, I'm sure she'd miss us.  But I do wonder about Bentley.  If it's too soon to leave him.  He will be almost 17 months by the time it comes along.  I just wonder if he will be able to understand that we are coming back.  It looks like we will be gone 3 nights, but only 2 days.  We just have to get there early in the morning to compete.
So what do you think?  Help me find some sanity regarding this issue.  Or just back out of it, well, it's too late for that but I could bring along a babysitter.
And don't my children look great in blue!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

morning snack

Smoothies are sooo good. I use one c. oj, one banana, and some frozen fruit. Blend up. yum yum
I'm thankful for fruit!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Summer of Falling Stars

I'm feeling completely inspired by these two quilts.  The zig zag quilt is from the purl bee blog the second can be found here.  I love the amount of negative space involved in both of these quilts. I love the simplicity of shape and color.  I love the idea of taking a classic quilt pattern and modernizing the way Denyse Schmidt did with the double wedding ring.

I named the summer that I made my first quilt.  It was the summer of falling stars.  That's the only season I've ever named. So, as you can imagine it was pretty amazing.  I was living with my Grammy and she coached me through the quilt. Taught me how to pick out fabric, cut and piece it all.  She even inspected my work and made me do something over if I messed up.  Which is really saying something because Grammy is a real 'make
 it work' kind of woman.  She is A LOT like my mom.  Funny, because she's my dad's mom.  After I got the whole thing pieced she taught me how to put it up on the frame and away we quilted.  But we weren't alone.  Several of her friends from the local Senior Center came by to help.  It was a summer of complete old lady heaven.  I know I just turned 30, but even at 19 I was an old lady at heart.  (Don't even get Chris started on that subject.)  This is my Grammy in her living room with my quilt.  Grammy lives in the cutest house. It used to be a church, but now it's white with a pink door with a bit of flowery stained glass and pink shutters.  Seriously, how heavenly does that sound!  She doesn't have any grass, but she does have a bottle tree and a big sand pit for the grand kids. 

 Ahh, just thinking about the warm summer breeze coming through my window at night makes me miss Utah summers and marshmallow camping!  FYI-Marshmallow camping is when you go to the mountains and set up tents for naps and make a fire and food and take a hike and then pack it all up and go home to sleep in your own bed! My kind of camping!

But, I digress, I seriously can't talk about quilting without mentioning Grammy.  But my second quilt, yes sadly in ten years I'm still working on number 2, it is all one white fabric but I'm quilting quirky little stars on it.  It got packed up after house number one and hasn't really made it's way out of storage until now.  

Not much of a point to this post. Just quilting on the brain.

Today, I'm thankful for inspiration abounding all around me, pretty bowls, Sense and Sensibility, these lovely quilts, new dishes, the list goes on and on.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Love is a battlefield

Tonight after the kids were in bed and I was going through the house doing my nightly clean-up, I thought,"Ya know, Pat Benatar was right. Love really is a battlefield."  Seriously, I'm talking play-dough, glitter, banana bread, toys.  OK maybe that doesn't sound so bad. But it did look like something exploded.  Like a kid grenade.   Yup, I was hit with two kid grenades today.  One likes to wrestle.  One likes bread and jam.  Both equally, adorably, explosive.  And I'm so grateful for them.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

another self portrait

It's a little scary how many pictures I've posted of myself lately.  I guess it is anotherselfportrait for a reason.... Well, I just tried to add a self portrait to the top...but I've got to go. I've got a hot date tonight.  So it'll just be a mess for a while.  I'm trying to decide if I should take off the Jane Austen quote and just call my blog another self portrait. 
Any Votes?
I'm thankful for grandparent babysitters today!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Trash Ties

Check out these cute hair thingies that Bentley got me for Christmas.  One year olds can be so thoughtful!!  It's taken me a while to actually break them out, I've had more exciting toys to keep me busy.  But these are really fun.  I'm surprised at how they are so simultaneously comfortable and have such a strong hold. In this picture I am wearing the long one as a headband and two of the little ones to hold the pig tails. I got the brown ones so they blend in really well.  Check out the Trash Ties blog. This woman is amazing!

Today I am really thankful for "the village" so to speak... you've heard the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." And I'm thankful for my friend Beth and the prompting that made me call her.  And let's not forget what's really important... new hair thingies, of course!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Feeling Great it's 2008!

Happy New Year Everyone!  Hope everyone had a blast. We have been having a little too much fun with this.   The guy cracks me up and Bentley loves his dog.  We made a balloon monkey, dog, giraffe, butterfly, and Chickie invented her own spider and snake.  Nice, right?  
So after the festivities does anyone have any exciting new resolutions?  My big one is for morning prayers.  It was a sad sign this morning when we prayed before Chris left, Chickie was like, "Why in the world are we praying in the morning?"  So I guess it's a good one.  Other than that I am constantly setting goals so I'm already set with a fun stack of them for this year.  

One of Chris's goals has been to work out.  He dances all day, but he wants to actually work out with weights and etc.  So for Christmas I got him a gym membership.  Yesterday I did the spinning class. Holy Crapoli is all I can say. My legs were jello when I got off of the bike yesterday and tonight its all I can do to lift my legs. In fact, (and I wasn't planning on telling this story but...) B left a big pile of poo in the tub during his bath and it was no plastic pig.  (Last bath after bubbles arose, Olivia shrieked and declared, "POO!"  but to our mutual delight the only thing lurking under B's bum was a little pink plastic pig.)  Today, however, it was an entirely different story.  Luckily for Chickie, she was at the table with her dad eating cake and ice cream.  So I took Bentley out of the tub, put his towel cape on and set him free.  Meanwhile, I cleaned out the tub and grabbed his diaper and lotion.  Since my legs were killing me I was in no mood for chasing him around. Instead, I opted for sitting down and calling him, "Bentley let's get your diap-y on." (yeah right, right!)  Then Chickie says, "Mom, is that poo?"  Me, leaning over for a glance, "NO, that's not poo."  Chickie, "Yeah, that's definitely poo."  At which point Bentley finally makes his way over to me and I notice that his cape has a very stinky addition to it. Ughhh.  Nice big poo piles all over the kitchen floor.  Me, "Oooops."  My only defence was, "But my legs..."
Nothing like starting out the New Year with a nice good poo story.  At least there are no pictures.  I hope following your goals reaps better rewards!