What I Designed Today: Inspirational Posters for Women’s Conference

Women’s Conference is Saturday.  We are in the home stretch of preparations, people.  Loosely translated, that means this week has been C-R-A-Z-Y busy.  Because there’s nothing quite like brilliant ideas at the last minute, am I right?  It’s a great theme this year — carrying with you the light of Christ.  Actually, the theme is to do with everything about light including shining, shine on, carry the light of Christ, beacon of light, enlighten, lighten your load, lighten up, lighthouse, rekindle your light, and on and on!  So many great aspects and tangents one could ponder.  Hopefully, one of these will inspire YOU!  All background images are either from my personal collection, graphics library or media.lds.org.

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Staining the Fence: Round 2

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The boys have stain in their newly acquired, adorable haircuts. I timed that wrong! Well, I hope they learned some sort of life-enhancing lesson through all that work! The interior of the fence is done. Hooray!

Door Ditchin’ Halloween Style

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So we got “poo-ed” by a couple of skittish ghosts running from our front porch. So cute! The bag included all sorts of poo: vampire poo (hot tamales), skeleton poo (skeleton bones: mini marshmallows on pretzel sticks dipped in white bark), bat poo (chocolate covered raisins), spider poo (cotton candy), and clown poo (skittles). Very clever! A fun idea to pass along a church group and/or neighborhood.

Write It On Your Heart

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Another favorite quote sign that I have hanging in my home (a Goodwill find!): “Write it on your heart that the ones you love are life’s most precious gifts.”

Making a Halloween Spider Rug (Cheap & Easy Craft!)

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I saw this idea in a magazine and didn’t have access to the supplies they suggested so when I hit Lowe’s for some fence stain, I grabbed a 6′ x 8′ indoor/outdoor rug for $17 in black and cut it into two halves. One half I made into a round spider web and the other half I made into a very large oval spider web. We painted the lines on the round one with all-weather silicone caulking. I am afraid it isn’t going to stick very well or could be pulled off, so I’m going to get some white fabric paint and do the second rug (and re-do the white lines on the first one). It turned out really cute and it was cheap and easy! It’s a great way to fill a large porch with a custom sized rug and my Kindergartner enjoyed helping me draw the lines as we marked them out with a white crayon (we didn’t have any chalk on hand!) and it worked perfectly. He could easily help and follow the ruler — it was a fun, cheap, and quick family activity! Highly recommend!

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Here is one of Ben — at first he held the yardstick while I drew the lines with a white crayon. Then, he begged and begged so I held the yardstick and he drew the lines perfectly fine! He’s a kindergartner, so if he can do it — anyone can! It truly is a cheap, easy family project for Halloween.

UPDATE Halloween 2012: This rug is still in silicone only and has held up really, really well! I did NOT go back over it with paint or anything else. Yay!

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Just for fun, here is my all-time favorite Halloween decoration. At our house, the witch is ALWAYS in!!!

The Last Hurrah – Aunt Lili Visits Houston

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My sister Lili flew in on late Thursday afternoon and we went to Mega Mel’s Cafe in Tomball and then to the boys’ favorite tire park (Jerry Matheson park, also in Tomball). We are going to miss those places. I heart Tomball. If we ever have to move back to Houston, that is where we would go! Then, Friday, we got up early and drove to San Antonio and went to Six Flags for the day and wore everyone out. Saturday we drove to Kemah Boardwalk for the Crawfish Festival with Zydeco music and, no, I did not eat any crawfish. We went to one of the best restaurants for my birthday that I have ever eaten at: Saltgrass Steakhouse. It was very yummy and I only had the steak salad! Sunday we went to church and then looked for dolphins as we took the ferry across Galveston to the Bolivar Peninsula and spent the day at Crystal Beach. It was a wild ride (with lots of time in the car!) but we had such a great time with Lili here to celebrate my birthday. When we dropped her back off at the airport on Monday, I think it felt like she had just arrived — what a whirlwind tour. It was nice to have a visitor before we leave for Oklahoma.

Happy Birthday Gabe

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So today Gabe is ten (ten!) and in just a few days, Ben will be five. These are milestone years. It seems like Gabe was just the blue eyed kid eating chocolate (above) or the chubbo getting a bath in the sink (above). When Cole turned ten, I cried while he was at school thinking how quickly the time was flying by. Now that it’s Gabe, I can’t promise I’ll cry but I am equally — if not more — stunned at the speed of the years. I feel like Gabe is still just entering the nursery at church! He was such a cute baby and has grown into the cutest young man.

San Antonio, We Love You!

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We had a quick weekend trip a few weeks back to San Antonio and LOVED IT! What a great city! We visited the Alamo, walked the Riverwalk, the Witte Museum (fantastic!), and — best of all — went to Six Flags. The boys love adventure parks and Cole declared this one his favorite since the roller coasters were all “big”. We have never taken them to a huge Disney park so their perspective is slightly limited. We love Adventureland Des Moines (clean and great for smaller kids – lots of little kid rides). We also love Worlds of Fun in Kansas City but it is dirty and the food is gross. We REALLY liked Silver Dollar City near Branson, Missouri – that is such a fun town, too. Don’t forget to eat at Landry’s if you go anywhere near Branson – fantastic food. But, for Texas, San Antonio’s Six Flags beats Schlitterbahn hands down. Of course, we’ve only been to Schlitterbahn at Galveston – perhaps the New Braunfels one is better. Worth a try!

Happy Birthday, Gabe!

Gabe turned 9 today. I did not spend the day in tears like I did when Cole turned 10. Maybe next year. I am sad, however, that the time flies so very quickly. I remember the day he was born as if it were yesterday. He was such a chubby baby! 9 lb 1 oz. As they carried him across the surgery room, his chubby arm flopped over the towel and it looked like I had a toddler! I was nervous because he did not cry. Just opened his eyes and looked around. They laid him near my face so I could see him – even though my arms were strapped down so I could not hold him — and he just laid there and looked at me for the longest time. I think I got to hold him in the surgery room for more time than any of the other boys.

Today, he is still an observant yet quiet kid – until you push him too far. He’s the one who can ride in the car without too many arguments with his brothers (except he is our carsick-easy kid). I love this about him. He can be engrossed in just being outside, or a book, or a movie and is completely content.

Some of my favorite things about Gabe:
1: He lounges. The pic above was at Hermann Park. Everybody else was climbing, running, getting hurt and Gabe was lounging. The arms behind the head is a sure sign of Gabe’s favorite position. He is a laid-back kind of guy. I love this!

2: He loves cold things: ice cream, popsicles. This is my kind of kid. Ayurvedics call this vata, I think (or is it pitta?)…whatever. It’s his area of expertise. He can devour cold things like nobody’s business.

3: He is kind. When I offered to take him alone to see “How to Train Your Dragon” the first words out of his mouth were a soft but surprised, “But I don’t want to go without my brothers.”

4: Gabe is smart. He was his 2nd grade teacher’s favorite student. He continues to do very well in school. He is so imaginative that he has to work on concentrating but watch out when he applies himself, the sky is the limit.

5: He is funny. He has an amazing sense of humor – better than most adults that I know. Gabe has been making us laugh since before he was born. He tried to grab the amnioscentesis needle TWICE as the doctor reinserted it in different pockets of fluid. He could sense a disturbance in the force. It’s no wonder he’s a Star Wars fan. He’s a seriously funny kid – even at 2 weeks old. I was singing in the temple choir for Winter Quarters and had to buy a nice dress (2 weeks post baby!) for the dedication and we were in a nice department store and Don was holding Gabe outside the dressing rooms. He tooted so loud and so often that it sounded – no joke – like an adult. EVERY single woman there thought it was Don and he was trying to pass the blame to Gabe – a 2 week old baby (yeah, right!)…but it really was Gabe. We used to say “Gabriel won’t you blow your horn?” when he was so very tiny. Thankfully he grew out of this stage very quickly.

Gabe is many more things – I could never cover them all – but today, he’s 9. One more year we’ve been lucky to have him in our lives. We love you, kiddo. Love, Mom & Dad

Kid Funnies

Two quick things:

1) At the dinner table, Cole wanted to go to bed early. I said FINE because his biological clock is changing (puberty and all) and Jackson piped up, “Mom! All the clocks in this house are different!!” Apparently it bothers him that Don puts the bedroom clocks ahead about 15 minutes to stay on time in the mornings, but his timing was impeccable!

2) Benjamin was in our bed going to sleep last night and Don started to doze before the rest of us. He was just starting to snore and Ben sat up and proclaimed, “Dad’s sleeping grouchy!” I had to tell him it was called snoring.

The Fruity Pebbles Incident

So I thought we had mice or a rather large cockroach spreading the Fruity Pebbles cereal all over the pantry…until I saw the spoon. Even a large cockroach can’t use a spoon! The guilty party was someone who had never had sugar cereal before and certainly took a liking to them. So much for a treat! More shots on our flickr account. The guilty one is holding a football, how cute is that?! How could anyone get mad at that face?!?

Toothless Brothers!

Jack is currently our toothless wonder but I created this photograph for a stock photo site today. It was just too cute not to share! It’s from last summer but, good memories. Busy with “real” work this week so I’m not getting much time to blog but, that’s okay, I’ll be back soon. Looking forward to Quilt Market in Houston this weekend so be sure to check back for the news and some fun pics.

Missing in Action

My good friend in Kansas called me the other day to see if everything was okay – she knew I was busy because I hadn’t blogged all. week. long. Yes, it’s true. I have been extraordinarily busy which makes it the perfect time to…get sick. We are all feeling under the weather and have been exposed to a cornucopia of diseases so who knows what we might have (strep? swine flu? both have been going around at church and school). There will be much resting today amid the crankiness. Before 9 a.m. I heard the words, “I hate you!” “Nobody loves me!” “Don’t touch me!” which might seem like a regular day around here but usually we can hold off the sharp tongues until tiredness at bedtime. The only good thing about illness is (and it really has been at least 6 months since we’ve been heavy-duty sick – before Don left Omaha in May)…oh…back to the good things…well, I guess it helps one to appreciate being well and…I really can’t think of anything else!

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The pics above are from our old collection, somewhere in 2002 just after Jack was born. Don’t Cole and Gabe (and Don?) look so much younger? Where does the time go???

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I’ve been keeping track of the funny things my kids say on here. Well, it’s time to backtrack and add some from years past that we have written on tiny slips of paper and carrying around in wallets and purses F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Here goes!

Backstory: On the way to our OB appointment for Jack in my belly while Gabe was about a year and a half old.

Gabe: “The baby can have my car seat and I’ll get a new one, k?”

No response from us as we are considering his sense of entitlement at such a young age.

Gabe continues: “So, after we hear the heart beat, then they cut you open?”

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Backstory: I was trying to get out of a very young Cole (about 8 or 9) if he really wanted to go hunting with his father. I was nervous and he could tell.

Mom: “So, Cole, do you want to go hunting with your father or do you want to go next year?”

Cole {very long sigh}: “I really want to go hunting, even though I know there’s a 50/50 chance I could die.”