Monday, January 31, 2011

Welcome to My Poster

'Tis the time of life for posters; posters about my little girls that they bring to school. Sara brought hers to preschool on her half birthday. It is a perfect snapshot of her. Can't you hear her little voice answering all the questions for me as I filled it out for her? She also helped me pick out all the pictures to put on her poster. Note the Disneyland picture is on the Ariel carousel and one of her favorite cousins, Demi, is in the playset picture - those things were very important to her.
Laura's was not quite so simple. "Have your child bring a poster" was a little more tricky than just filling out a form. Fortunately, I had the cricut. Also, Laura knew just what she wanted and helped me pick out everything she wanted to cover on her poster and the corresponding pictures. Because of Laura and the cricut, it turned out better than I could've imagined. (Have I mentioned that I am terrible at paper crafts?) She is thrilled with it.
Since Laura's poster isn't quite as clear as Sara's, let me describe her snapshot of life in a little more detail. It's pink and black because pink is her favorite color and black was what I could find and didn't hate at Target. She says the black looks "cool." One of her favorite places to go is the cabin - 2 pictures show the cool potato cannon and how pretty it is up there. Another favorite is Disneyland and especially being able to perform there. Finally, she loves the Zoo and especially the zebras. She wanted just a picture of her "little family" because the other ones were too big. She also wanted a picture of her sisters and her two closest cousins. Then she wanted to show her favorite things to do; she selected reading, playing the piano, and playing with friends. Finally, she wanted to show her favorite foods, but didn't want to be teased by her classmates about her true favorites (salmon and sushi are rather sophisticated tastes for a 2nd grader) so she selected cupcakes because she loves to make them and eat them and "no one will think it's weird." Laura is so great!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Making Movies

I would've done this post a while ago, but I figured I'd help keep the secret. I spent 3 days and about 30 hours (the week J was gone and the following week) helping Jason's sister Keri make a movie for her husband Bob's surprise 40th birthday party.
What began as a project that I thought would take only a few hours - somehow I heard that there were only a few scans, that most of it would be dragging and dropping, and it was going to be a short slideshow - took on a life of it's own. After 156 scans, song downloading and selection, importing tons of other photos from websites and CDs, and 3 full afternoons of work (plus a couple of my evenings creating options, as well as rendering and uploading 5 versions to the internet) it was finally done! For a short time*, you can see the video on my photoshop site HERE.
The girls really enjoyed playing with little girl cousins throughout all this time. They all played together beautifully. I got to take Miss Aysha to music makers with me and had a great time. I got to know those little girls quite well and they got comfortable in my house. That made for a great sleepover a couple weeks later.
I fed the little girls and Keri (oh, and Keri's entire family one night too...hope they liked it) many times. I got many delicious little girl snuggles. I learned all about Keri's early married life, engagement, etc. - lots of fun! I was bummed that because Laura got a horribly high fever that we couldn't make it to the debut showing to Bob during his surprise party. Hopefully, it went over well and will make a nice keepsake for their family.

*The video in it's entirety was too long for YouTube and rejected. Then I cut the video into 2 parts and uploaded them HERE and HERE to YouTube, but since I uploaded Jack Johnson music to my computer before Jason and I were married, they think I don't have the rights to the song and rejected that bit of music on the first one. (After buying 2 country - yikes - songs for the movie I wasn't going to repurchase something I already owned just for the internet version.) Then I uploaded the first version to my photoshop site, but found out on FB from Keri that I got the music wrong on it. So, I recommend you watch the second version if you want to see it exactly how I tweeked it for Keri. Needless to say, the movies are taking up a HUGE amount of space on my site and since I've burned multiple DVD's for Keri of the movie, I will be removing the videos as soon as I need space for picture sharing. BTW, I am now AMAZING (and humble too) at PSE's slideshow creator.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Not a "Shower", but a "Sprinkle"

One of my best girlfriends is having a baby girl! After two boys we were shouting, "Hooray!" Naturally, I had a party. It couldn't be a shower for her third baby, so I threw a sprinkle. (Thank you to my friends who stepped in and helped me with the party! Love you, ladies!)

I went extremely girly on the party. I'm good at girly. So, we had it at brunch time. And I served the yummy breakfast breads and juice on my grandma's lovely glass trays.
Then, despite it being a sprinkle, Deb got showered with gifts! Everyone likes buying for a girl!
We ended with a craft. Crafts make me nervous, so I stole the idea from a baby shower Steph threw. Yay for crafty friends. The onesies that we decorated were my gift to her. Don't they look cute hanging in my bay window?! I also liked the coordinating fabrics on the crafting table.
I had the mommy help me pick out fabric and patterns - she is very crafty - so I felt assured they would be her taste and she'd use the finished product. They turned out adorably! Fortunately, the craft was much easier than I anticipated and was a lot of fun. I loved what everyone came up with and may try this craft again for my daughters.
All the pictures of individuals and other pics are on my photoshop site for a little while and available for download to anyone who was there!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Countdown to Sun

We were blessed with a great bonus from work this year. So, instead of refraining from trips this entire year in order to pay off the fence, we're going to go to Disneyland once. We are counting down with a Minnie Mouse colored chain that the big girls cut off every night and Jason and I look at daily to find how soon our delicious family time is coming.
Eliza has commandeered Sara's jacket and wears it daily in preparation for the trip. It's a bit big (okay, 3 sizes is a lot big) but isn't she adorable in the "ha-a" or hood?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Party Weekend

Have I mentioned how wonderful it is to feel better?! I am amazed at how much I can accomplish. This weekend we had 3 parties. Yep, three and I enjoyed them all because I'm feeling better than I have in....I think 8 years.

The first party I hosted and forgot to take pictures. I had a lovely ladies potluck dinner party - I provided the house and main dish and they brought everything else. Yep, a grown-up version of girls nights. About 6 years ago I went walking each morning with the most hilarious, fun, brilliant women ever. We've all moved. So, I had them over to my house so we could laugh and eat and chat. HEAVEN!!

The next night we went to a How To Host a Murder at Andy and Marie's house. They got babysitters for the kids who had their own party. We dressed up and had a great time.
Because it had been Marie's birthday a few days before, I brought her cupcakes to celebrate. They turned out super yummy. They were root beer float cupcakes; root beer cake with vanilla mousse frosting and a vanilla creme pirouette straw. I will be making these again.
The final party was a sleepover for my girls with their cousins since they had the day off school on Monday. They stayed up late, watched movies, ate treats, did hair, had pedicures, played games and just had a great time. Girl Power!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

While Daddy's Away

Jason goes out of town the first full week of every year for work. I have finally adjusted to this and learned to make the best of it. I catch up on my blogging and work on losing the holiday weight during this time each year. We also have some fun times as girls!

Sara requested that we have a "P" party. Yes, it was a Pizza on Paper Plates, Present, and Pajama Party. We had a great time.
We also made special treats (rice krispy treats, cookie dough, etc), ate dinner at strange times, snuggled excessively, read extensively, and tried to make the best of our daddy-less time.
My favorite was that Jason got me a new camera and lens. I had a great time playing with them and recording the beautiful faces of my girlies - pictures of Eliza above and girls below are some examples! Oh, and the camera does video too; I love having that ability to switch from photos to video so easily. Thank you, my love!

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's the Little Things

It really is the little things that make me the happiest. One of the ones that occurs nearly every day is looking at my entryway and finding this:
Yep, I am a clean freak and I love that mess there. That mess means that there is a lot of this going on in the basement.
Every day one or many little girls come over to our house to play. I love hearing their laughter and games coming from the basement - school, treasure hunt, and crafting are the current favorites. I've always wanted to be the house where the kids all congregate. So far, so good. A house full of family and friends really makes me happy!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Kaitlyn's Baptism

My precious neice Kaitlyn got baptized this past Saturday on a date she'll never forget 1/1/11 at 1pm. It was such a treat to be there with her. Laura was just laser focused on the event because this is the last family baptism before her own.
My mom and my brother (he's the bishop right now) both spoke at the baptism and did a wonderful job. What a treat to hear their testimonies. Then her family had us over to their house afterwards for a yummy lunch.
It was a wonderful event that strengthened my testimony of the atonement. My brother and his family are such great examples to us and I am grateful they include us in all their family milestones. We sure love them and their kids!

Ringing in the New Year - EST

I threw together a most casual party for New Year's Eve. Lots of times, those are the best parties. We had our neighbors (Robin & Andrew and Stacy & Nick) and their kids over as well as Andrea (Mike had to work so she didn't stay long) and her kids as well as Deb & Joe's family. I asked everyone to bring a snack to share and an activity.

The kids had piles of fun making paper bag puppets, playing in the basement, watching a movie, eating treats, toasting the New Year with Sparkling Cider, trying out the new Christmas toys and other general mayhem. Actually, they behaved wonderfully in spite of the late hour and surprised all the adults.
I think the kids' favorite parts - other than staying up way late - were playing the unwrapping game that Robin brought (lots more pictures of that on my photoshop site) and ringing in the New Year. Presents and noise, what's not to love as a kid?! Oh, and since the oldest kid there was 7 yrs old, we rang in the New Year at 10 pm our time - it was midnight EST and totally justifiable.

The adults had a great time eating all the yummy food, chatting with other adults, chilling out and laughing together, watching the kids, and toasting the new year with grapes (a cool tradition shared by Nick) and kisses from our honeys and the kiddos.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Christmas Day 2010

Christmas day was wonderful. I didn't take quite as many pictures as usual because I really wanted to enjoy the day; and I did!

The morning was wonderful! The girls got lots of toys and books as well as a few clothes. They loved everything!
Jason got a pistol and an air compressor (a surprise) and I got a cricut and cricut cake. The morning was magical!
The girls had a few minutes to play while Jason and I started breakfast. Aren't they just so adorable?!
Jason's folks and his brother Todd's family came to join us for waffles and breakfast meats. My philosophy most of the time, and definitely on Christmas, is the more (family/friends) the merrier. They definitely made it merrier.
We did our tradition with the stockings for Jason's parents as well as a home depot gift card and our tiling services for their basement bathroom. And the girls had fun opening their presents from Grandma and Grandpa.
After that we went to my mom's house for lunch/dinner. I love this time. It is so chill and so great! Thank you for always doing it, Mom! We all love hanging out together.

Garrett thought Eliza's Weebles were the coolest!
Nuncle Steve bonded with Miss E
Can you believe my beautiful sis is a grandma?
Three different generations of girls...all with the same chin:)
Jason surrounded by little surprise there.

My mom also asked the little ones to do a small performance. Laura and Kaitlyn played the piano and sang "Silent Night". Sara recited a poem from preschool, Shy Santa. They did a great job and were cute!

What a wonderful Christmas!