Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lynn's Baptism.

Yesterday was such a great day for our little family.  Lynn was baptized and confirmed a member of the church.  Merrill did such a great job with both the baptism and the confirmation.  It was amazing to see Lynn walk down into the font with such confidence, to do just as we talked about with her.  Merrill said the prayer, and Lynn remembered just how we told her to sit and let him lay her back into the water.  I couldn't help but cry, joyfully, as I watched her go down into the water, and come back up with such a happy look on her face.  She was cold, but she was so happy!  We spent time, just she and I, while I dried her hair, and we got her dressed.  I have seen a change in her throughout this past year.  There really is something to that great number of eight.  She really does understand so much about this commitment she has made, and I know there is so much more that she will come to learn and understand.  It is quite a responsibility on my shoulders, as her mom, but it is such a great time for us.
While confirming her, Merrill blessed her that she would be worthy of all the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for her.  I loved watching as she gave everyone there in her confirmation circle a hug.  There were some missing from that circle, some that she wanted to be there, but she was so thankful to everyone.
We enjoyed the rest of the evening together as a family. 
I prayed that the day would go smoothly, that the spirit could be with us in our home, that there wouldn't be stress.  It was a simple day but it was a perfect day.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 8th..


Appropriate usage.

My sweet, innocent Lynn, is slowly (but all too quickly for may taste) gaining a knowledge of what words are inappropriate.

There are some people we know, people we are related to, might have possibly grown up on a farm, who still use “farm talk” for the word “poop”.

I will not use it here.

Lynn now thinks that as long as she uses that word in reference to animal excrement, it is okay.

Not so.

She came home from school the other day, and began telling me how ugly it was outside.  The snow is pretty much gone, leaving behind nasty, soggy, matted grass, and dog.. “leavings”.

Lynn chose to tell Merrill and I about the latter half of the conditions of the ground outside at the dinner table, while we were eating.

“It’s so gross!!  Everywhere you walk there’s dog (she gives sideways glances, then puts her hands to either side of her mouth to shield it, and then mouths THAT word.)  It’s nasty.”

I looked at Merrill who rolls his eyes and says, “Really?”

I asked, “Lynn, what gave you the idea to say that?”

“Well, it does mean poop.”

“But what made you think it was okay to say it?”

She didn’t answer, but decided to sing instead.

I have my own Brian David Mitchell!  (Singing to avoid unpleasant or unflattering questions….)

She avoided the question by either singing or changing the subject.  My attempted lecture turned into a one liner.

“Don’t say that word anymore.”

The next day was even better.

She came home, upset this time, asking me if a certain word was bad.  I told her depending on how it was used, it could be.

“Give me an example.”

She then said the last name of a good friend.

“That is not a bad word if you are saying their name.”

She explained to me that she was saying it silly, enunciating every syllable, and another girl, who has been taught advanced information, told Lynn’s friend whose name Lynn had been saying.  This friend pointed out to Lynn that, “..some people think that is a bad word, you might not want to say it..”

That had Lynn in tears.  She didn’t want her friend upset with her, she didn’t want her to have hurt feelings.  She didn’t even know that one syllable was considered a bad word!

She learned that day why that particular word was a bad word, and lost a part of her innocence prematurely (if you ask me).  I hope that she feels like she can come to me with more questions when they arise, and not be shy.

I had an experience when I was younger than Lynn.  I was in Mrs. Wadman’s first grade class.  Me and my table were in the accelerated reading class, and didn’t do reading or spelling with our homeroom class, but one day, Mrs. Wadman had to start the reading/spelling lesson a little early, so our table was there for it.  She was teaching about syllables and word parts.  She had “helicopter” written on the chalkboard.

“I will sound out the word helicopter slowly, so you can hear the syllables and make out the different word parts…  hel…..”


A collective gasp rose up from our table as everyone else in the class turned in our direction.  Mrs. Wadman turned red.

“I didn’t swear!!!  I didn’t swear!!  Don’t you tell your parents that I swore..  I was just sounding out “helicopter”!”

(Remember that Melissa?)

I learned my lesson that day about appropriate, and inappropriate.

Let’s hope that Lynn gives me a break for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


This morning, Ashley had a major freak-out.
I mean, epic.
It has been building for a while now, the anxiety started over Thanksgiving break.  Whenever she would think about the up and coming “writing journals” in her kindergarten class, she would get a little sick.  She is a perfectionist (like someone else I know..) and worries until she is sick, about spelling anything correctly.
I tell her that I still don’t know how to spell everything correctly.  “There is this magical thing on the computer, that whenever I spell something wrong, it underlines it in a squiggly red line.  Then, I know I have spelled it wrong.  But the cooler thing, the thing that makes this even more magical, is that I can right click (sad that my 6  year old knows just what this action is) and it gives me options for words that I could have possibly meant to spell.  Except for amoxicillin, it has no idea what that word is most of the time.”
Back to the epic freak-out…
So, she was suddenly sick.  (Insert fake coughs here.)  She couldn’t possible go to school.  But me and my mad mommy skills knew she was faking it.  We talked about why she didn’t want to go, what she was afraid of, and I thought I had cleared it all up.  We even ran through how to sound out and then spell a word phonetically.
“Your teacher loves you.  You can ask her for help and she will help you.  This is what kindergarten is all about, nobody in your class is perfect, you are all learning.  We can say a prayer before you leave, just me and you, and ask Heavenly Father to help you.”
But when I walked into her room at 8:05 (five minutes before she should leave to walk), she was sitting on the ladder of her bunk bed STILL IN HER NIGHTGOWN.
I resisted the urge to scream at her, and instead, took her by the hand to help her get ready.  We talked (well, I did most of the talking) while she got ready.
I asked her what the problem was, I said that I thought we’d solved it.
“Aren’t we going to say a prayer, just you and me?”
“But mom, I know the prayer won’t work.”
“It won’t with that attitude.  You just need to have faith.”
“But I don’t know how to have faith…  how do you have faith mom?”
In that moment, a million memories flooded my head.  Experiences I have had in my life, dealing with faith.  I was trying to come up with the most age-appropriate one, one that would be on her level.
“When I was 3, I got a doll for Christmas.  I named her Susie.  I thought that was the most beautiful name.  Susie had eyes that would open and shut when I laid her down.  She even had eyelashes.  I loved her.  I also loved her eyelashes.  I would touch them and explore how they worked.  I even started to pull on them to see where they came from.  I kept pulling, and they came out.  I was so sad, my beautiful doll wasn’t so pretty anymore.  I was sorry that I wasn’t more careful. 
“I knelt down that night, by my bed, with Susie, and said a prayer.  I asked Heavenly Father to help her eyelashes grow back.  I told him how I was sad and wished I hadn’t pulled on them.  Do you think that Heavenly Father could have fixed my doll?”
She just shook her head, her eyes wide.  I knew I had her attention.
“I thought that somehow he could, but I didn’t know how.  I fully expected to wake up the next morning with Susie, perfect again.
“I didn’t know, and I don’t remember how all of this happened, but I remember getting out of bed, Susie wasn’t with me in my bed.  I saw that there was a light on in the kitchen, and I went to see what was happening.  I saw grandpa, my dad, standing at the stove, with the hood light on, Susie laying there on the stove.  Grandpa had one of his paint brushes, he was curling the hairs on the brush with my mom’s tiny curling iron.  He was fixing Susie.
“He cut some of the curled hairs off the brush, and carefully glued them back into Susie’s eye lid.  He fixed her.  My prayer was answered.  Did Heavenly Father fix Susie?
Ashley just shook her head, but I corrected her.
“Grandpa heard my prayer and knew that he had to answer it.  My faith depended on it.  Years later, as we would talk, grandpa told me that he didn’t know how he was going to fix my doll, but Heavenly Father helped him to know what to do.  He was given ideas of what he could use to fix her, and it worked.  Heavenly Father answered my prayer.  I had faith that he would.”
After that, being a little too late to walk to school, I took Ashley into my closet, shut the door, and we knelt down together and we said a prayer.
She was so calm after that.
I dropped the girls off at school, not a problem there.
When I went to pick her up, she was beaming.
“Guess what mom!?”
“What?  How was you day?”
“It was great!!!  The writing journal wasn’t a big deal.  It was so easy!!  We did letter “F” and I spelled “fox” and I did it right.  You were right, there was nothing to worry about.”
“Did Heavenly Father answer our prayer?”

December 7th..


December 6th..


December 5th..


The First Presidency Christmas devotional…

Let the Christmas season officially begin!

December 4th..


I was crazy enough (or was I?..) to go to a midnight release for this DVD.  It was worth it.

December 3rd..


December 2nd..


December 1st..

dec 1
Tradition kick-off…

November 30..


Monday, December 6, 2010

A lesson taken to heart.

I am not going to lie, last week was CRAZY!!  It seemed like we were hopping from one thing to another, add to that how emotional I was (over just about everything and anything, the smallest stuff would have me in tears), and the fact that we started the last month of the year (seriously, where did this year go?!), and it was nutso…

I finished off my month of gratitude with the intentions not to let that go, but at the end of the day, just about every day, I thought, “I will post that tomorrow.”  But when the tomorrows came, the craziness resumed.  Where was the time?

I do have to say what I am thankful for from the craziness of the last week.

-I am thankful for such a loving, supportive husband, who knows what I need better than I do most of the time.  He took care of the girls every night from Wednesday to Friday.  A lot of people would say, “Well, he is their dad, so…” but really, for me to have been gone or busy doing something (like having a meeting at our house), and to have him have fun with them, it was a huge relief to me.  I just wished I could have been having fun with them!  He took the day off Thursday and went to school with Ash, and from what I hear, they had a blast in class.  I was feeling bad for not spending much time with him, feeling like he was feeling neglected, add to that the “emotional” factor I was dealing with, and I was ready to call off a lunch/shopping date with a friend.  He told me, “No.  You better go.  I am taking the girls to McDonalds.  We are going to have fun, you better too.”  What a great guy!  I am glad that I went, I really needed it.  (LOVE YOU MER!)

-I was so thankful to be able to look back and reflect on each day at the end of it, and see all that had been accomplished.  Most days I had wished that I had had more time, but in the end, I was satisfied and able to sleep comfortably.  There’s nothing like the satisfaction of a full day.

-I am so thankful for our family traditions and activities this time of the year.  I am so happy that the girls remember and look forward to each and every one.  We went to the Festival of the Trees last week, and had so much fun!  I am thankful for these events that are fun, but remind us of the giving part of the season. 

-I recently made a goal to read the Book of Mormon (even though I was pretty far in it anyway) before the end of the month.  That is 18 pages a day!  It has been such a blessing to sit each day and read, mark, really study those 18 pages (sometimes more, I can’t stop sometimes!).  It helped me put life into perspective, and everyday, there were things in there that I needed to read.

-I am thankful for the kind phone calls, and messages from friends and family who know I have  been going through my own little “down”.  To know that they care, to hear their expressions of love and support are such a blessing!  I am thankful to know that I am surrounded by such great people.

I know that my week could have been even better (and maybe a little less emotional) had I kept up on my gratitudes, actually listing them at the end of every day.  I love how it helps me to readjust my focus at the end of the day, start the next one off even better.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


You know, I really should catch up my little count going on (not really) over there ---------------->
2010 is well on it’s way out (already) and I have been lacking in my counting and recording skills.
(Blame it on the fact that math and I don’t usually agree..  or that I am just usually really, horribly wrong.  I blame it all on Roy High.)
I did manage to get FOUR layouts done, in TWO days.
Yup, I am pretty cool!
(Not really, it is just cool by my standards lately.  I’d be REALLY cool if my Christmas cards were out..  it would be even better if I had the pictures taken for aforementioned cards.  I do have the clothes picked out!)
Anyway (after a lot of distraction on my part..), here they are!
(New products will be released this upcoming week!)
This is a printable kit from Kitschy Digitals, but I used it for a layout all about Lynnie-lou and her summer reading goal.
Isn’t that gnome cute?!
100 books
I also used Kitschy Digitals Vintage Photo Frames, Crystal Wilkerson’s staple and woodgrain paper, rick-rack and stitching from Splendid Fiins.
(Kitschy Digitals also has a darling die-cut kit that matches this stuff..)
This is a template and quick page from In the Making Design.
I was looking for an excuse to use her “Sassy Season” papers and elements (they are cute!), but also relied on some of my favs..Crystal Wilkerson’s staple (told you I loved it!), and that stitching from Splendid Fiins.
Liv has come up with this incredible template to help showcase your photos.  They really take center stage here.
I got sucked into all of my summer pics (cold it be because of the cold?), and wanted some fresh, calm colors to go with.  Crystal Wilkerson’s “Sweet Summertime” papers, elements and label fit the bill.  Splendid Fiins stitching (heart) also helped to finish this one off well.
Santa's Sleigh
Last, but not least, Carina Gardner has an awesome kit coming out this week as well.  I have learned one thing about her: she does what she does well!  Her kits are incredible!  They have so many pieces, totally worth it.  Then there’s the same old stuff I love..  that same staple from Crystal Wilkerson, from my splendid friend, the rick-rack and the lovely stitching!
Don’t forget that the WHOLE STORE in on sale for this month, not to mention, if you spend more than $20 you will get the collaborative kit for FREEEEEE!!
(Did you hear Adam Sandler’s voice in that?)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This girl…

She has been so excited to turn eight, and she is learning that there are even more perks to being eight.
Sunday, one of her activity day leaders came and asked if they could come to our home and meet with us, introduce her to the leaders and the program.  The appointed date and time was set, and all I heard for the next two days was, “When will it be Tuesday at 4?”
She was very excited.  I don’t think she stopped smiling while they talked with her.
They told her about her first activity (which was today) and the excitement grew.  That was all she talked about last night at dinner.
After dinner, all she wanted to do was finish her homework so she cold work on her bag and practice her Articles of Faith.  She couldn’t go to sleep without the bag being finished.  But she went to bed easily, because she wanted today to get here so she could go to the activity.
It was all she talked about this morning too.  She blessed the breakfast, and every single sentence before she finally blessed the food at the very end of her prayer, had to do with “Activity Days”.
She came home, running in the door, too excited to make her way to the activity with her friends.
After I picked her up, that was all I heard about.
Eight certainly has it’s perks! 

Peyton’s new skills.

Peyton is advancing quickly in the life of toddler-hood.

Okay, it really isn’t fast.  I remember the other girls doing some things far earlier than Peyton, and I have silently been rejoicing. 

We haven’t had to lock doors, because she hasn’t even tried to open them.  Now, I have to lock them. 

One day, I discovered her eating dark chocolate orange sticks (my muse this time of the year), and I wondered how she got them, they were shut up in my craft room.  When I asked her where she found them, she said, “Come here, I will show you!”  She then led me to my craft room, opened the door, and..  well, you can guess the rest.

A similar event took place involving my lipsticks, that are high on a shelf in my closet.  Peyton emerged from her room with some freshly applied on her face, and the source hidden under her pillow (because I NEVER look there..).  I was positive that an older, similarly make-up obsessed sister had gotten into them, and left them for the littlest to get into as well.  I ranted and railed only to have the accused tell me in the most sincere, pain-stricken, innocent voice, that she didn’t do it.

“Yeah right”, I thought.

I felt awful when I later caught Peyton scaling the shelves in my side of the closet going after more lipstick and perfume.

The apology to the wrongfully accused party was a hard one, but at least Peyton's newly acquired scent made it somewhat bearable.

So we’ve been not only shutting doors, but locking the doors too.

She also recently (by a bad example) has learned that if you climb on the countertop, you have gained access to all sorts of fun things in the upper cupboards.

I had to lecture Ashley last week about the risk of overdosing on vitamins (they are just gummy  ones, probably harmless, but I don’t want them to have them like they are fruit snacks!).  If the girls show an increased amount of love to their uncle Ken, it is only because of that lecture… and because he’s a pretty good guy.

Today, I could hear Peyton up in the cupboards.  Figuring she was after the princess PEZ dispensers, I took my time getting to her. 

I wasn’t fast enough.  She got into MY vitamins.  She now understands why I have to swallow mine whole, and don’t get to chew them up and savor them the way she can hers.

I hope that vomiting a vitamin B12, has impressed a very important lesson in her little mind..

I am thankful that Merrill brings home all of the cleaning products that vendors leave for him to “try out”.  I was able to get the fluorescent yellow vitamin leavings out of the carpet like it was no big deal.

Seriously, do you take B12?  When you go pee, it’s like you swallowed a yellow highlighter!  SO thankful for that carpet cleaner…

American Girl Doll PJs.

It’s been a while, like nearly a year, since I said I would post the pattern to the doll PJs.  Better late than never, right? ;)
For this project you will need:
- fabric, 13 1/2 x 24 inches
- elastic, 11 1/2 inches(I like to use 1/4 inch baby elastic).
- thread, scissors, straight pins, sewing machine, iron, all that good stuff.
- and the pattern (download here).
To start, you’ll first need to download the pattern, extract the files, and print them out.
You should have two pages, one labeled “top” and one labeled “bottom”.  You’ll want to overlap these by one inch (there is a noticeable gap on the top piece where you can match the lines on the pattern up).  Tape them across the seams on both front and back sides of the papers.  Cut this out.
Next, fold your fabric.  Lay it out, pretty side down, so your fabric is long, not wide.  Fold it in half, and then fold it in half again.
You should end up with a fold like this:
doll pjs 013
Next, lay your pattern on your fabric, making sure that the fold on your pattern is also on the fold of your fabric.
doll pjs 009
Cut this out. 
I used a rotary cutter, it helped to use my straight edge guide for the sides and the top slant.  If you are using scissors, you’ll want to pin this pattern to your fabric.
You should end up with two pieces like this:
doll pjs 014
The next thing you’ll want to do is to overcast stitch, or serge, the edges of the top and bottom (narrowest parts on the fabric).  It isn’t a “must” but makes for a prettier edge (that is how my grandma taught my mom and how my mom taught me..  one of the first places she would look on any finished project, were the insides to see if the work was neat).  It also helps so your fabric won’t fray and unravel after many wearings and washings.
An “overcast stitch” is when you zig-zag stitch right on the edge of you fabric, casting the stitch over the edge, just a little, and by doing that, it folds and tucks the very edge of the raw edge underneath itself.  I looked in my machine’s user manual and found the settings I needed to be able to do this.
If you have chosen to do this, the next step is simple: fold over the bottom edge 1/2 inch (this is the cuff of the pant leg), press it, pin it and straight stitch it 1/4 inch in.
doll pjs 015
(This is much easier to do right now, before the two sides are joined.)
Next, put both pieces, pretty sides together, and pin just the top sides.
doll pjs 017
Now we’ll straight stitch first, from the top corner to the little point near the middle.
(This is the straight edge, not the curved one.)
After you’ve straight stitched both sides, over cast stitch if desired.
After you’ve done that, you need to lay them out, opened, so the seam that you just stitched is facing you.  Join the two seams in the middle, and start pinning there.  Pin down each leg.
doll pjs 018  
Sew from the bottom of one leg to the crotch and stop.  Do the same thing to the other side.  This ensures that your seams line up in the middle.  I like to overcast stitch the edges after this too.
Don’t they look like pants now? :)
We are almost done! 
Fold down the top of your pants, 1 inch.  Press and pin.  You’ll straight stitch this 3/4 of an inch from your folded edge.  Make sure to leave a gap open.  This is the casing for your elastic for the waist.
doll pjs 020
Since we already overcast stitched (or serged) that edge in the beginning, you shouldn’t have any  raw, feathery edges bugging you right now.  Feed your elastic through (I like to put a safety pin in one end of my elastic, and feed that through the casing, a good friend taught me that trick).  Pin your ends together and sew them with a few stitches.  Stretch out the waistband, and straight stitch your casing shut.
Turn them right-side out, and you did it!
doll pjs 021
Isn’t your doll so happy?
doll pjs 023
Your little girl will be too. ;)