Friday, January 16, 2009

June 2008- end of August 2008

__________________Pictures are Missing from this Post- SORRY!__________________

September 01
Hair Clippies

Once upon a time, there lived two little princesses. And they tossed and turned in their sleep, or so we supposed, because they woke up looking like this:

And their beautiful mother, the queen, thought it was so funny.
But luckily their beautiful mother was blessed with the gift of hot glue and ribbon, alligator clips, embroidery floss and felt.

She had compassion on them, and bought some detangler, and the bedhead hair style was banished from the land forever....until the next morning at least.

(Aren't those hair clips the cutest? I just love ideas I get from other crafty moms on the information super highway. I made the hair clips recently for a friend, who's having a baby girl. Luckily her doctor could see a full head of hair during the ultrasound recently, so I know they'll be put to good use. ) I'm going to try to put together my first ever tutorial...but we'll see if that ever happens.
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August 30

See more Brooke Shields videos at Funny or Die

This brings me all the times I've said street lingo, and my friends thought I wasn't kidding.
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August 29
A reading Rainbow...
So I thought I'd supplement my garden pics with my favorite garden books.
Because I'm so reading rainbow like that. If only I could thinkup the cool questions and phrases and puns to pull you in and make you want to get out these books.

The following books are some of our favorites about gardening and plants. Some we own, some we don't, we LOVE them all.

Carrot Soup by John Segal is a cute book about a little rabbit who finds all his carrots have dissapeared!

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert is all about the variety of flowers, and is a great introduction to gardening.

It's pumpkin time is all about pumpkins and Halloween. My girls love it, especially now that we're seeing the story play out in our garden.

The tiny seed by Eric Carle is all about the seasons and how a tiny seed can fight it all and become a plant

Fall is Not Easy by Marty Kelley is so funny. Kids see the absurdity of the tree's leave patterns, and it is fun over and over and over again.

Now go get to reading! Your kids will like you more if you do, I promise!

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Garden update
So this morning I got home from my morning run and noticed how beautiful the corn is in our garden. I just love the way the corn leaves are wavy and curl up and the way it grows in a spiral.

Our little pumpkin plants, one with a flower that was beatup by the recent rain.

Carrot forest. They almost look like cilantro.

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August 27
Naptime Adventures
I've really struggled with my naptime activities. Last year, it was all about the sewing, and Sophia was cool with that. For a while we baked things and did dinner prep, sometimes cleaned bathrooms (Sophia's favorite activity by far), and for the last 5 months or so, we'd read and sometimes I'd play a little with Sophia.

Lately, we've busted out the board games. Or should I say, BORED games.

The only requirement for Naptime is that it has to have "little pieces that Natalie can't have because she'll eat them."

I've found that all our board games, designed for adults, can easily be adapted into children's games.

Carcassone has tiles with different city/roads/buildings you link together. We test each other's spatial skills by trying to make a triangle or circle with the roads, or the largest city with all the tiles. Mainly sorting and teaching sophia to look at the details of each piece, and find ones that fit, like a puzzle.

We modified Cranium just a few days ago. But as a side note, Sophia loves to get out the cards and "pretend read" things on them. She usually takes out the first and says "The answer is little einsteins..." then dissolves into giggles.
But anyways, so we roll the colored die and move our pieces around the board. Whatever color you roll and land on, you have to draw a picture using that color, and the other person guesses. At first she didn't want to ever draw, so it was really a creativity game for me. But she did yesterday, and does the typical 3 year old thing, and draws a variation of my last drawing. Yesterday she was stuck on grapes, and drew them in three colors, once yellow ("they aren't ripe to pick yet, Mamma") and a huge thing of red grapes in a wagon, and some green grapes. Oh, and a lot of times her people shoot fire (Why? Got me!).

This is the game "with the scary guys." For the real game, you roll dice to see who wins the battles. For Sophia and I, we wager however many of our men, then roll the dice and see who has more, then the higher person takes them all. So in essence, I'm prepping her for the real game (or so John thought), teaching her to gamble, and how to count and sort little men. And we learned what Archery and banners are. So I guess history and self defense too.

Scrabble's kind of obvious...We just look at the letters and sort them, find letters from the names in our family, make the sounds for them, sometimes spell 3 letter words- Cat, Bat, etc.
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Family BBQ and the coolest thing ever.

Last Friday, the business complex John works in sponsored a family BBQ. Hamburgers and Hot Dogs, a really loud band, lots of vendors giving away cheap stuff, and of course, THE COOLEST THING EVER. to toddlers at least.....Bouncy House.

Even Falling down is Hilarious in a bouncy house.

This is how Natalie jumps, she lifts one leg up really fast, so it's
like skipping, only straight up into the air. It's awesome when set
to music.

Some maximum hair volume.

My kids had a cow in it. So much so, that when the guy running the
bouncy house said they had to get out, it was the next groups turn,
you'd have thought they'd stolen their puppy. Luckily the hole into the bouncy house
is about 4 inches larger than me, so I could fit. Barely.

Here's Natalie looking so fly with some of the cool free stuff.
We hid some of it...nothing like free cheap stuff for stockings in December.
Yes, I'm that cheap.

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August 23
Line upon Line cards
So I was cruising Seriously So Blessed today, and saw the following card company. If you haven't checked TAMN out, she's hilarious. And for those of you that don't get the joke, she's probably making fun of you. (Sorry!)Line upon Line is a card company with a Mormon theme. Pretty darn funny, I would love to see the look on certain people's faces in my ward. I've got a baby shower in a week...let's just say I've been "inspired" with some of their themes....I totally wish I'd come up with the idea. Some of my favorites

Inside- "I'm so glad when Daddy comes home.."

Inside"Now go multiply and replenish the earth"

Inside: How are things over at your place?

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Thanks Jodi......4 Jobs I have had:Pretzel Maker at the MallCashier/ Stocker at little bitty grocery store in Md. Marketing Research via TelephoneAdministrative Assistant at Bechtel4 Movies I have watched more than once:CluelessNacho LibreYou've Got MailThe Little Mermaid (more like hundreds of times)4 Places I have lived:Manchester, CTPoughkeepsie, NYElkhart, INDetroit, MI (Novi specifically)4 TV shows I watch: (right now...)Project RunwayProject Runway Australia (on youtube)Family FuedLive! with Regis and Kelly4 Places I have been:Anchorage, AlaskaSydney, AustraliaAlbuquerque, New MexicoWaikiki, Hawaii4 of my favorite foods:Orange-Strawberry-Banana SmoothieNavajo TacosCreamy Chicken EnchiladasCinnamon Rolls4 Places I would like to visit:ORLANDO!Malaga, Spain (where John served his mission)ChinaParis in the Springtime4 Things I am looking forward to in the coming year:Joy School starting (a week and a half!)Surviving the Primary Program Exploring Virginia in the autumn time (those leaves are a photographers dream)Having Christmas at Home.
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August 21
Oh man...
When we drove back from Maryland, we had quite the adventure. We basically made a lot of parenting guesses, all wrong. While you read the following Dos and Don'ts for a car ride....just remember. We did the Don'ts, and forgot the Do's.

On your next car ride back from Grandmas, make sure you...

DObring snacks to church, even if it’s not usual snack time and nursery has some
DONTgive your kid raisins because they might not have a intestinal reaction this time. And because you’re desperate. Someone in that building has cheerios. Find them.

DO Change diaper as much as possible. Even if they're happy and giggling and playing with a dozen blankets.
DON’T Wait another 10 miles after you smell something funky. You, your nasty car seat, and the nasty clothes will all be sorry.

DO Keep as many wipes/plastic bags/extra clothes in car as possible. And avoid eye contact at the rest stop as you bathe your child with baby wipes.
DON’t- Pack only the clothes you will need. 3 extra changes are best.

DO listen to announcements….especially when you see one 173 miles before accident.
DONT assume because there’s no traffic at exit before the accident, that it’s all clear. Going 4 miles in 45 minutes is not fun.

DO Know where Cracker Barrels are ahead of time. Feel free to cry when you see that sign, a symbol of good food your kids will actually eat, greeting you.
DON'T settle for another fast food. Or wait until you see a billboard…and realize it’s at sight of the accident.

And we did one thing right...we made sure rhino, bunny, monkey pillow and homemade rolls are packed. They're the best toys ever. Here's a picture of Natalie singing some song of nonsense with a homemade roll and her toes as props.

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August 20
Maryland Adventures
My Saturday in a nutshell:Wake up at 5 a.m. Drive to Maryland. Kids never go back to sleep
View Larger Map

10 am Arrive at my parent's house. Shower and drive to the Temple. (Why a Temple?)12- Try not to fall asleep while at the Temple. 3p.m. See my picture of ducks on exhibit here. Run into the Bridges family (Love ya!)
Love the pictures, excited to enter better ones next year. (Thanks Dad for entering it for me!)
If you're at the D.C. Temple before Labor Day, go see my picture! It's the one of the a watermelon one and capital bldg in the slideshow.
My Dad's on display is a picture of the skylights at the top of the Conference Center5p.m. Go to Greer's Crab Extravaganza!

This is what a table of crabs looks like. See that nasty water? That's for your hands. Delicious crabs. But messy.

We rode a horse. Sophia LOVED it. Thought it was amazing. That's Angie leading.

Here's the hayride...complete with Angie in the "front."

Sister Greer. She's fabulous.

The girls loved the old swingset, which is pretty much as old as I am. The duct tape accessories are the latest rage in playsets, so I hear.

After all this, and a late bedtime, I was really happy to know that Church the next day wasn't until 1 pm. Can I get an amen to that?
August 17
Blackberries. Crow's Nest Farm. So Delicous. 'Nough Said.

OOOOOooooo Mama these berries are juicy

Sophia loves it when Natalie looks like this after eating. Look Mama! A berry mustache and beard!

Also, blackberries are so blood red on the inside, there's gotta be something for Halloween I can conjure up. I just know it.
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Bibbidi Bobbadi Boo
Sophia has been begging me to make her a crown and wand. Enter craft foam and fabric and ribbon scraps. I hand sewed the fabric on in strategic spots, and then used popsicle sticks and packing tape for the wand handle. We're crafty.

Two sided rainbow wand (one side blue and green, other orange and red)

The two crowns, the lower one Sophia designed for herself, the upper one I designed for Natalie.
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August 15
Quote of the day....
Mommy! Mommy! I want to hold your hand! As I walk into the library with a diaper bag, a bag of books and holding Natalie. Sophia Honey, I only have two hands. (Long pause as we walk..).Why didn't Heavenly Father give you three hands? Then you could hold all those things and hold my hand, right Mamma?
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Mommy PHD
Blacksburg Schools start Next wednesday. Lots of new people are moving into town to start school. So School has been on my brain. I was thinking alot about what hobbies I've had over the past year, and all the things I've learned since moving to VA.

Sometimes I wonder who started the idea that Stay at Home mothers let their brain rot. Have you been at home? Tried to entertain kids while doing the dishes? Teach a 3 year old quiet for 2 hours so her sister can have a nap in peace? Play princess the right way?Or know 20 different ways to make chicken? Ok that's too easy. What about 45? (I made a list last year to plan meals. I really do know 45 ways to make chicken. But that's another post altogether).

So I've been contemplating my course load from last year and this past summer....

Fall Semester 2007 included...

Trip to D.C. - Discussions on Nighttime driving, and 4 am departure times. How to do 10 minutes Potty breaks and the cleanest ChickfilA locations! AND the best time killers in transit.

Virginia Tech 101 Questions answered: What do Tailgaters do for 8 hours until the game starts? What is a Hokie? Where do I Park on game days? Why does Walmart has a whole section of Maroon and Orange everything? VT ties at church? Where do cops hide on campus roads?

Dos Ninos 101 - How to play with a child while breastfeeding the other. How to carry two children on a hike (Johnny did this, not me). Sibling Rivalry and games that fit both levels of learning, attempted but not mastered. Also, Dora spanish and 18 month old vocab.

Elementary Crochet- Learn to crochet Amigurumi (japanese animals in single crochet) and simple blankets.

During Spring/Summer 2008...

Primary Counselor – Learn how to conduct, teach variety of ages, keep teachers happy and make each kid feel special. And ALL the actions to Book of Mormon stories. Plus new ones to “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer”

Bugs 101- Learn all the native bugs to the south. And how Ants love oil and not grain, hate peppermint. What’s a silverfish? Gnats control also included.

Bread making 201 – Sandwich bread, in depth. Experiment iwth half whole wheat, half bread flour. Learn when mold appears (more than a week).

Garden 101- Learn how to keep the landscapers from moving down your garden. And why you should start before July. Plus, Pumpkins really do need 8 feet of spaces.

Intro to Grocery Game- Sunday Paper required. Coupon organizer suggested. As well as extra patience with your kids when they rip the paper and laugh in your face.

Jogging Refresher course- iPod not necessary. Running shoes less than 3 years old suggested. How to get up before 7 a.m.

Intro to Historical Novels and English Literature- Goodreads. Enough Said.

This next year, I'm excited to perfect my skills in...

Tantrum 101- outburst have been more frequent, as Natalie learns how to do a classic tantrum, and Sophia perfects her whine.

Scripture Study 201- Still trying to read Book of Mormon everyday. Now studying Preach my Gospel with Johnny at night.

Intermediate Kids Play – I'm trying to learn how to really play with my kids, not just be in the same room, but focusing on book, tv, or a list, or other tasks. To just play, not keep them occupied.

Intro to Joy School- Sophia and I will be starting at the beginning of September. What's Joy School? Check it out here.

Intro to Cake decorating- Birthday season starts in November. I have a feeling Sophia will have Rainbow cupcakes for her birthday. I'd really love to take the Wilton course, but might need to wait until another season in my life.

Intermediate sewing- Halloween costumes! I'm thinking Little Red Riding Hood and the 3 bears. And, I'm going to try Christmas dresses this year.

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August 12
What we've been watching these days
Natalie's been watching these, after her nap....

Good stuff. Same vein as Baby Einstein, but more for the older set, and with more narration.
Natalie loves the beginning where they say hi to all the animals.

Barbie Fairytopia. Critics say: A must MISS.
I should have known, but Island Princess was ok, the mannequin animation aside. But this? The whole plot line is pointless. I should have mentioned I don't like movies where the protaganists "just need to believe"...but not in something solid or outside of themselves. So yes, I didnt' like Polar Express. But honestly, a move about fairies who need to bring in spring by opening a flower with their energy harnessed from water? Now I know why kids in my CTR 5 class thought fairies would help them answer prayers. Oh man. I think we need some kid movie detox for Sophia.

We rented this from the library two weeks ago. Pretty good, Matthew Broderick is great, as well as Kristen Chenewith (sp?), and the hilarious Molly Shannon. I just love musicals. Especially ones set in frontier towns. I loved examining the costumes and humming the tunes and making up new words for the next three days.
So, as some of you know, we stop getting cable about a month and a half ago. We still get the network channels and PBS via my little am antennae. But the wonderful Internet has allowed me to view the following whenever I feel like it:

HILARIOUS! Tony Shaloub is brillant. Sewing has never been so cool. Or being fierce.

Run is my hero. I wish I could be that cool with my kids....The subtle and not so subtle humor. It kills me.
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August 10
Trip to Roanoke Center in the Square
On Friday I ventured into Roanoke, with a friend from the ward and her two kids. We drove seperate, drove in circles around downtown, and finally found a parking garage.

First, there's the Farmer's Market that streches around 2 and 1/2 city blocks. We found some delicious nectarines there. It's one of the oldest continously running Farmer's Markets. We are sooo special.

Then we ventured over to the Science Museum, which was FREE (2nd friday afternoon)

Here's Sophia and Natalie and me (taking the picture) pretending to be newscasters on tv.

And testing the electricity of our hands...

There were some other cool exhibits, with starfish and hermit crabs and horseshoe crabs to touch, rocks (sophia loved the Moon rock), and a shadow wall....but pictures just weren't happening. I'm usually the one taking them as John shows the kids around.

After the museum we went downstairs to the Art Venture, a kids workshop for the arts.

They had puppets. They were scary apparently.

And a cool puppet theatre. And some stamps, clay, sculptures and furniture puzzles. But we didn't play with those.

We liked the funhouse mirrors. The two mirrors made me look way bigger or smaller...but didn't really work for Sophia and Natalie.

And an awesome book mural...and a whole heck of a lot of blocks. Sophia made a truck. See the wheels?

Then we went outside. And this was set up. Do you know what it is????

An Ice cream machine! Cool no? This is so going on my wishlist for Christmas.
So we got some ice cream....and spun a wheel at the Radio stations' booth. And won coupons. That expire in a week. For things to do in Roanoke. Whoopdie Doo. Sophia and Natalie liked the free stickers though.

Also, doesn't Sophia look like a little prep school student? I just love her in that shirt.

Then we went home, did some Walmart shopping, and picked Johnny up from work. Exhausting! But fun.

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Sewing Seasons
So I figured out my seasonal habits. I pretty much sew in the winter, read in spring/summer. Which makes sense, I do a lot of my reading when the kids are outside, or at the park. And it seems all the babies are being born in the winter time, as well as being stuck inside during naptime. Something about snow just makes me want to sew something.

So as a departure from my seasonal fabric disorder...I sewed some things recently. And by recently, I mean in the last 3 months.
First, a few months ago I made these pillows off this pattern, from house on hill road. Erin, the genius behind this blog, has so many beautiful designs and projects. Totally worth checking out. And her tutorials are very clear and detailed.

First, the pillows:

It took me an agonizing amount of time at Joann's to find the best fabrics to work with our green slipcover. But I think the pillows came out well. They were so quick to make, it made up for the agony of making color decisions. I had a lot harder time getting these done, the curtains:

First, I had to find a fabric that worked with the dark green cover. That narrowed it down to two color palettes. But one of them was the bright red, gold, green and brown combo, that I just can't get myself to like. Plus, red curtains would give me a nice romantic red glow to my living room. So I settled on the color combo of different shades of green, with dark blue and gold. Which coordinates with our chair and magnolia painting.

So I got 10 yards. Then I brought it home...and realized it was a light fabric, and the light shines through, and it looks yellowy/white. So long story short...I added a splash of yellow, to an already white wall with white shades.

Someday we'll own a house. And I'll get a couch without a ugly 5 year old slipcover. And I will paint the walls. And I will cry, to give up the pain of decorating with such bland colors. Someday.

In other news....

Yesterday I finished these twirly skirts for a lucky niece that's turning 3 next week! (From the same site, houseonhillroad)

I was really excited for cherry fabric and coordinating polka dots. It doesn't get any cuter than cherries and polka dots. I hope Madelyn will give up her obsession with pink for these.

This sequined fabric also is one of my favorites. Every girl needs some sparkle.
Below is the fabric combo for Natalie's twirly skirt, that has yet to be finished. Maybe by her January.

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August 08
The blogging wars
So, I've had this ongoing frustration lurking in my posting habits. Msn spaces. It's not the best. What do I hate about it? Limited design optionsInferior photo resizing toolsLook of boxesLack of flexibility in fonts, etc.Have to have msn account to leave commentWhat it does let you decide...shows up looking like myspaceBlogger on the other hand...appears to have larger capacity for design (because you input html)is open for more innovation with applications imbeddedand allows more third party gadgets/'s not set up as a "site" but as a the focus in design is different.But I have no idea about service or the down sides of blogger. I'm considering jumping to blogger, but I feel it's cumbersome to tell people to update their links, etc. Plus, as inflexible though msn spaces is, I've learned it. Ahhh that's so Microsoft of them. You learn the way the product thinks...and it's hard to imagine it any other way. Knowwhatimsaying?Any input? Email me if you can't leave a comment. jacquelinerenee at hotmail dot com
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August 07
Potty Adventures
So Natalie has decided she wants to go potty everytime we do. She is not ready to be potty trained yet...for various reasons, the main one being she can't say potty, she just grabs her diaper....and the other one being I am so not ready to have the hassle. So we'll put up with the tantrums for now, as she gets mad when others go pee and she can't. That being said, we've indulged her occasionally....and yesterday she sat on the potty and immediately grabbed a magazine. If only the cover had something about potty training. I wish I could photoshop it, that would be even cuter....

And this picture has nothing to do with anything, just that my girls are so happy in the morning, and just love playing the sleep game.
This is what I hear from another room:
Natalie! Let's put our babies to bed..No Natal! Like this! (Natalie- nonononono)
Oh, ok (in trying to be patient tones)...just put it come look Mama!

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Shopping Adventures
So as I mentioned previously, I've been playing the grocery game. And this month, Kellog's is running a promotion, with coupons, a 10 dollar rebate, and Kroger was participating with in store sales. You can read the lowdown here, on moneysavingmom. (Her website is a great message board of deals and rebates and living well on little money)....

The following items were:
Cereal- 50cents
Rice Krispie Treats- 25 cents
Pop Tarts 25 cents
Fruit Snacks 18 cents
A total of 3.36 cents...and we're set for "treats" for a long time
Then the shampoos! Pert Plus, .50 cents and 1.00 for the larger
And glade scented oil free with coupon ....and the second pictures items were free after rebate and coupon at Rite Aid.
No need for shampoo for a while.

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August 01
One year ago today....
We moved into this house, signed the lease and started unpacking boxes.

Oh Utah, it's been a year. Our relationship has been rocky over the years, but I do miss ya.

Here's a visual representation of all the things I miss about Utah
(Well...all the flattering things, I couldn't find pictures of Utah hair or a good Utah Happy Valley Yuppie Mother-daughter twins picture)

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July 30
Dearest Neighbors of McBryde Village
I know you think I'm crazy. That woman, out at 7 in the morning, jogging in a hot pink t-shirt, breathing heavily. Constantly redoing her ponytail. You probably think I'm a tech student, but I'm not. I'm just trying to be alone for 20 minutes a few days a week. I didn't get it two weeks ago. Two weeks ago, joggers were crazy. Nevermind that I used to run. I thought it was just a phase. But one week after starting to run, I get it. I have sore muscles that I never knew I had. You, sitting inside, sipping your coffee in this hot weather, watching me out the window. You can see my mouth moving? What am I saying? "You can do it. You can do it. Don't stop. Don't stop." Yes, I'm talking outloud. It works too. I only stopped twice on my run yesterday. But you know what neighbor? I like you. Really I do. Your garden is beautiful. The blackeyed susans, the flowering tree, the lilies that seem to go on forever. And the poppies! I almost pick them everytime. And for 30 seconds, while I look at the wonders of your garden, I am distracted from my body's fatigue. Thanks for making my neighborhood beautiful. Also, neighbor on Tom's Creek Road, you have a dead squirrel in your yard. If you could get the highway patrol on that by tomorrow, that'd be great. Because if not, you might just have a dead squirrel and some fresh barf. -Your Renaissance Jogger
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Emergencies, Sales and New Hobby- And it's only Wednesday!
Oh man, this week has been NUTS. First, in the middle of the Sunday morning rush to iron clothes, get breakfast, pack bags, etc, I unplugged the iron, but left it out. Can you guess what happened next? Natalie pulled it onto herself, and now has 3 burns, each second degree.She has an inch long burn on her chin, and two slightly larger burns on her right arm. I immediately put cold water on it for a half hour, while I called John at church and the doctor. Luckily I already had a doctor's appointment for Monday for a checkup, so we could see the doctor the next day. We're using Bactroban to keep the wounds clean and healing faster, they're almost all scabbed now. I don't have a picture because she is sleeping right now, but needless to say, I was distraught and guiltridden. It feels so horrible to see your baby in pain, because of your neglect. I hope no one else has to experience that emotion. So next time you need to iron- wait till the kids are in bed, or do it before they wake up. I know I'm going to be more vigilant. And if they do get burned, get cold water on it, as fast as possible.For 20 minutes or until it stops burning. It will make a world of difference. In other news...I've started playing the grocery game. "What's that?" you say?'s when you combine coupons with sales to get groceries for dirt cheap. The olympians of the grocery game belond to every savings club, accrue store credit, get 2% back at drugstores, etc. I'm just trying to get some groceries for less than before. In order to play, I bought a subscription for the sunday only paper of the Roanoke Times. How'd I do? The first week, I saved 14 dollars in manufacturing coupons, in addition to the normal sale discount. When I usually shop at Kroger, I spend about 75 dollars and save 25 dollars or so in discounts from sales that week. This week? I spent 75 dollars and saved 43 dollars. What'd I get on sale with my coupons?Irish Spring SoapLysol Cleaners Ball Park Hot DogsColgate ToothpasteSpeed Stick DeodorantClearasil Face Wash Scott Paper TowelsPLUS I got 2 Fructis Conditioners for free from Rite Aid, I just have to wait for rebate check to be processed and sent from online. We'll see how I do next week. Kroger was having a huge sale this week, which is why I got so many things. But my savings have paid for my subscription for the month. Next on my grocery game list? To write some food companies websites for coupons. I did so for Breyers yogurt, and already received coupons for Free Yogurt 2 days later. Look at me go.
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July 23
Heat Wave!
Last week we were playing outside with the kiddie pool. See, this is how it works. I pull it out, they get in their swimsuits, so excited.

5 laps around the house later, we have everything on, we're sunscreened up, and we run outside in a flurry of activity.

Fill up the pool! Get the ducks! Don't squirt me! Ooo it's cold!

5 minutes later. Mama can we blow bubles. i wanna swing.
Somehow my kids were bored.

So I had to kick my creativity into high gear.

Ice Cubes did the trick. We watched them melt. And drew with them.

And threw them down until they broke into 20 pieces. And watched the pavement dry.
And yelled at Natalie not to eat them. And made some towers.

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Sophia Fairy Quite Contrary how does your garden grow?

We always seem to be 2 months behind. Like a few weeks ago, when we planted a garden. In July. Most people plant in May, but better late than never. We're not actually expecting anything to grow. Just an a fun family activity. Sophia loves watering the garden, especially after we got this awesome hose attachment.

A few days ago, I made some little stakes for the garden. Foam hand sewn together (waterproof). We'll report in a month when we get some real growth.

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July 16
Randoms- Bread, Book and Sleeping
Two days ago I baked sandwich bread, including three little loaves for the girls to have little sandwiches. I sliced some bread off yesterday and saw this:

Japanese advertisement for bread anyone? It seriously reminds me of all those amigurumi crochet bread toys I saw on etsy 6 months ago.
And then Sophia and I wrote a book during Natalie's naptime. The story was driven by Sophia's ideas. I illustrated, she colored. Enjoy

Oh, and those little red balls? They're snow. Because there's a hole in the roof. See the hole? Sophia's touch.

Today we took a huge roll of her drawing paper and taped it under our counter peninsula (it's not an island, geez). We drew a quaint ocean scene, then a rainbow. Sophia is obsessed with rainbows. Rainbow squares cereal. Rainbow bowls. (none of these things are actually rainbows). So she drew a rainbow hoop. It's a circlular rainbow with wings. And it shoots fire in the sky. Because it doesn't want to see the sun. Explain that to me, Freud. Man o Man, what Diego episode is that on?

Oh, and today Sophia was trying to go to sleep by herself in her bed. But it's so dang exciting to sit in the hallway and watch me sweep and do the dishes and put away things. So I went to bed and found this:

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Thompson's Visit
This past weekend we were graced by the visit of Kassie and Jordan Thompson, and Kassie's little sisters Angie and Kelly. I've been friends with Kassie since high school, and Angie and Kelly were toddlers. So we go waaaay back. Here the "little girls" (what we always called Kassie's little sisters) with my girls:
They came in late Friday, we hiked to this waterfall. The trail there winded with the river, on the way back we took the high flat road. Luckily Jordan and Kass rescued Angies flip flop from the river. And luckily Jordan and John could carry some of the girls back. And luckily the scenery was beautiful, I barely noticed I hiked 4 miles round trip. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so maybe next time I'll get some shots as good as this:

That night, we played this game- Ticket to Ride: Europe.

It's all about laying trains to get your routes to get points and it was pretty fun. Simpler than Settlers of Cattan, but easier to learn and less stressful in my opinion. Play it if you have the chance. Maybe because I don't play games like this very often, but it wasn't as person to person interactive as other games- no trading or negotiation involved, just trying to lay trains faster or smarter than other people. So I think it could be improved upon. Kids as young as 8 could play in my opinion
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July 15
The VT duck pond....again.

The next day we went to the duck pond. Carrie and I took a ton of pictures.

Some of them looked like stalker photos like these:

And some looked like a child afraid of nature.

Some were more like blackmail

There were juicy pictures

Check out natalie's belly button protuding. Cute.

Carrie took some cute shots of us by the river. I love it when she visits because I never have photos of me otherwise. She loves the shots witha closeup in the foreground and the rest of the family in the background. It's ubertrendy in utah photography circles, I've found on random photo blogs.

"Ok girls be smiley"

"Ok be sad." Sophia is full of shame. A true actress.

"Now be a dragon" What does a dragon do? "Just be Fierce, ok?"

Other cute shots. The concentration needed to eat yogurt is mindboggling.

And we love running.

Natalie thought the bridge was the coolest. She was excited to be able to see something without being picked up.

Look! Says Princess Sophia, friend of Dora the Explorer

So tommorow I'll be adding some shots from after Indiana vacation. Check back!
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Mom and Carrie's visit
Recently my Mom and my sister Carrie visited. On Day 1 we went here:

And saw some cool caverns.

We walked 290 steps or some obscene number, all the while almost ready to slip.

My mom and Sophia walking into the abyss.

Then we smiled for pictures like this:

And went home and played outside. Carrie took some cool pictures of Sophia:

She looks like a flapper with the necklaces and new haircut.

They came. We played. Now they've gone home. We love em.

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Car Seat Covers
I’m baaaaacccck! Our internet is finally back on, and I'm out of plato's cave.

A few weeks ago, I made some car seat covers. Not new covers to replace the padded ones, just covers. Sophia was always trying to sit in natalie's seat because it has a cool cupholder. So I had to up the ante and make her car seat just as cool. Enter cool fabric of her choice, an hour of sewing huge buttonholes for the straps (10 for each), and some tape to secure it around the old covers. The results:

Sophia's car seat

Natalie's car seat, with the crazy fabric everything else in our house is made out of

And closeups of the strap holes.

And finally, I made Hawaiian themed cupcakes for a recent get together at my house. My sister helped. Cute, no?

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June 20
More to come...
I haven't posted in a while, but I've got some new pictures to post whenever things settle down....So check back in a few days and there'll be more to see....
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