Wednesday, August 31, 2011



A neighboring town had a park camp night. They provided dinner, s’mores and breakfast. It was a trial run for us to try out our new tent and see if our kids can handle camping. Our conclusion:the girls can, Leo can’t handle it yet.



Two of the little camp helpers… My kids roasted hot dogs but I was too busy trying to save them from the fire to take pictures…


You have to eat the s’more whole, right? That’s how it works?


The girls loved corn hole and vertical horse shoes.

They held an out door movie, which my kids didn’t like. Leo hated falling asleep with others in his room- so we had to take him on a drive around the block at 11 pm and 4 am. Right after neighboring people stopped fighting so the whole park could hear. I think we’ll stick to s’mores in the backyard.

First Day of School


The first weeks of school have come and went. Sophia’s doing great in first grade, she loves her teacher, who seems very experienced and enthusiastic. I could only get one posed picture before Silly Sophia took over. Good thing she can keep that in check at school. Man, Sophia is exhausted by day’s end, we’ve had to develop a new routine of down time when she gets home.



And just because I take too many pictures…here’s Natalie in her natural state all glammed up, and Leo’s newest haircut. John cut it while I was at church, next time I’m thinking mohawk. He’s crazy enough for it. Natalie will be starting preschool in a week or so, we’re doing it two days a week and I’ve been compiling curriculum and ideas from my past

Hooray for new school years!



It’s nice to have a friend that’s an expert in her field. My friend Lesley, she’s my canning expert. As in, make your own pectin expert. Canning homemade grape juice expert. So for the last year whenever we’ve talked, we mentioned canning peaches, and we finally made it happen. She drove 3 hours with 4 bushels of peaches, and hauled all 4 of her kids down to my house. Party time! We canned 42 jars, and chopped the rest for bbq sauce and jam.


We learned some team work while they visited…


Marcus was eager to steal the spotlight…what 3 year old boy isn’t?


Sophia and Jodie have known each other since birth. SINCE BIRTH! How many of you can say you’ve had friends since birth? Ok, it’s pretty easy when you’re 6. I was so glad they hit it off.




Lesley even cans with a broken foot. The dedication!   And isn’t this little one a stud?


Oh the silliness.


Some closeups. You know, for the graduation/mission farewell/wedding slideshow file.

Hooray for good friends! And hooray for peaches!

At the Fair

Every year, 2 dollar tuesday…Indiana State Fair. We’ve always gone the day before school starts, it’s a nice ending to the summer.


John’s new musical hero…and a good old tractor logging demonstration…


A very stinky ox….Natalie would not get near, even though the cutest farmer ever was telling her to come pet him.


The girls love these head cut out pics…Like Natalie’s 4 eyes?

The lumberjack competition was John’s favorite. I’ll admit it, it was pretty entertaining.


The girls tried out roller coasters this year- we had to wait a whole year after Sophia cried through the Bumblebees last year….so the mini bug roller coaster and slide and water waves ride were progress. Hooray for the Fair! Next year- John and I are going on a date at night, without kids. Just for the food.  I’m already looking forward to it.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Quiet Book

This summer some friends organized a quiet book swap. We had 10 women in the group, so everyone made 10 copies of their page. We met at the beginning of the summer to set measurements, discuss who’s doing what page, and to discuss ideas. Then 3 months later, we swapped them (and watched the SYTYCD finale together). This past week I’ve added a few pages to the ones from my friends, and ended up with enough pages for 2 books- one for younger kids, one for preschooler/ kindergarten age. Most of the pages I made are from this site: She has detailed instructions for each page of her book.

Here’s a tour of my books:


Home d├ęcor weight fabric for the outside. Button closure.


Preschool Book

Caterpillar patterns by me, with a pocket of felt circles to match. I used iron on adhesive on the green circles, then sewed on, added embroidery eyes.

Fishing page by Bethany - Pellon felt clouds and sun come off buttons, the fish have magnets inside so you can go fishing with a fishing pole (not pictured)


Numbers matching by me. Take off all the numbers (they’re attached by velcro), then count items and find matching number. It was fun to go through my scrap bin and figure out what will fit for each number. I was going to include a pocket, but with the velcro sticking them in place, I just added 11 and 12. Those ones are ribbon, it would be fun to do this page with just patterned ribbon for each number.


ABC pages by me- I bought flocked letter (like what you use to iron on t-shirts) then ironed it onto Pellon instead. Added velcro on the back and squares for each letter. Pocket for easy cleanup.


Mail page- The girls have loved this one so far, Natalie wrote me notes (that consisted of just letters in her name) while sitting on the couch next to me as I finished up the books.


Girl hair braiding: This was my page for the swap. Hooray for me! Above is all the pages I gave away. I had fun coordinating dresses and ribbons, and making all the clips- or should I say, watching movies and tv shows while making all the clips.



If you’re wondering how I did the hair, I did a huge length horizontal, sewed around in a circle, then did 7 or so yarn strands vertical with a line across, so the hair would look like the back of someone’s head.



Pie page- Weaving by Juli. She found that super cute berry fabric and then sewed the oatmeal colored crust and pie around it. 


Cover of the second younger book- see how it’s rigid? This book has a cereal box under the cover to give it a hard cover.


Car page by Julie. You can take the signs off and rearrange. She printed on t-shirt transfer paper, then transferred it to pellon that had Velcro sewn on the back. The top right is a gas pump with shoe lace pump, and the red square in the lower corner is a pocket for the micro machines (ebay).

Barn page by Ginger. Finger puppets! Her page is amazing because it’s so cute, she is so meticulous- and because she was done like 2 weeks after our first meeting!


Holidays by Savannah- the laminated circle under the felt rotates around, and each pie piece has clipart for a different holiday or season.

Ocean by Lindsay- The boat, clouds and sky are Velcro pieces, and the animals are jelly like, behind the clear plastic vinyl. My kids love those squishy fish.


Mr and Mrs Potato Head by Erika. Don’t you just love Mrs. Potato Head’s eyelashes?


Beads by Sarah- For counting and textures.

Purse by Lindsey- This was all about the zipper, and the cool stuff she put inside- dollar store toys of things that belong in a purse- big coins, glasses, comb, notebook. We joked about using the comb for real because our kids always end up disheveled by the end of sacrament meeting.



I spy by me- Patchwork of patterned fabric, with matching squares (with felt on the back). The kids match them up. Like a puzzle, only slightly easier. I liked all the puzzle pages I saw on other sites, but was weary of losing one piece and the puzzle being unusable as a result.



Cupcakes! by me. This was the page that required innovation for me. First, I found these foam stickers (12/$1)  that were ice cream cones at Jo-Ann’s. Cut off the pointy cone= cupcakes! The two larger cupcakes were 50 cents a piece, so I didn’t want to do just those, because of cost- plus they’re huge! Secondly, I found this super cute cupcake ribbon, and I wanted to do the oven in shiny fabric.


I bought silver lame for the baking sheet, but when I bought the stickers, I realized I just wanted them to be magnets onto a metal sheet, rather than velcro or stuck into little cups. So I used E-6000 glue to glue the metal sheets to the fabric, then put Wonder Under the ribbon to make it into a tape of sorts, to bind it to the metal and the fabric. Then sewed the ribbon all the way around close to the metal. In the process of sewing the pages onto the cover the metal has been shoved around and the ribbon sometimes ends up tucked under the metal.

Last but not least, I used fabric marker to draw the oven details- which promptly rubbed off as I was ironing them onto the sheet. So the oven looks dirty already. And then while ironing I accidentally touched the hot iron onto the plastic oven door- which promptly crumbled into an unrecognizable heap of fabric and curled plastic. So I made a larger door, and sewed it on last! There’s also the little potholder, so they can do some fine motor skills trying to pick up the cupcakes with the potholder. It’s attached with ribbon.


To bind the books, I cut out the cover back, sewed the first and last page on, then sewed the middle pages on with a zig zag stitch, alternating front and back of the book. (The pages had raw edges on the inside seam that was to be towards the binding. The middle page I sewed in the seams so there were no raw edges, then sewed at the center seam and 1/2 inch over so all the sewing was covered up. (The multiple seams shown on the yellow page below). Then I placed the back cover in place, pinning around all the edges under, sewing a seam all the way around, and adding a tab for the closure. Added a button to the front cover- and I’m done!


Hooray for quiet books! I’m hoping this one lasts a long time!

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