Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Haunting and Halloween Parties

This week was a whirlwind of Halloween fun and treats. We started off Monday with our ward Halloween party. Chili and cornbread, cake walks, and a trunk-or-treat. What is it about Halloween that makes everyone eat chili? Then on Tuesday we had a costume party at our friends Liz and Lexie's house. All the kids were dressed in their costumes. It was so cute. Lots of bugs for the girls and Toy Story for the boys.

On Friday we had a Halloween party at our house. I love Halloween so much as some of you may know, so having a party at our house was a real "treat". I made these super cute monster cupcakes, carmel popcorn, pumpkin bread, mummy dogs, and oozzz punch. We also had slime for all the kids to take home. Unfortunately when you are hosting it is hard to take pictures so I didn't get any but I will snag some from one of the other mom's that came. Then on Sat we went to the neighborhood party and I have to say I don't think Jackson has ever had more fun in his life. They had 4 large bounce houses, toy fishing, football toss, cake walk, and face painting. Jackson spent the whole time running around from one activity to the next. Taking only a few minutes off to eat 2 hotdogs! Elizabeth loved all the attention she was getting by strutting around in her bee costume. After the party we did a little trick-or-treating but Jackson wasn't really into it so we came back to the house and watched the classic Disney Halloween. We only made it 10 min into the movie when I looked over and saw my little Nemo fast asleep on the coach. It was a great Halloween. It is so much fun with kids around to get into all the festivities.

I love this face on Lizzy in the bounce house. She looks like a bee stuck in a web.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Recycle and Reuse

Lately I have really been into making old things into something fresh and new. Like taking an old t-shirt and turning it into a cute ruffle fashion t. This blog has such great ideas on how to recycle and reuse old clothing.

I am totally going to make the sweater dress and fleece jacket. Both will look great on Lizzy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Parenting Magazine Top 10

Signs You're a Tuned-Out Mom

1. Gaga still make you think of a toddler instead of a woman with a zipper eye patch urging you to just dance.
2. Pink remind you of nurseries and tutus, not nose rings and tattoos.
3. Coldplay is how your kid leans to stop forgetting his gloves every time he leaves the house.
4. Black Eyed Peas are, alas, tragically unpopular with tweens.
5. The Pussycat dolls sound like the perfect holiday presents for your 5-year old niece.
6. Eminem? A sheer delight, proven to inspire kids to act more politely. (MY FAVORITE)
7. Vampire weekend was that time your 12-year old saw Twilight, then spent all her waking hours pining for Robert Pattinson (and all her bedtime hours afraid to go to sleep.)
8. Nickelback is the cry you hear after the supermarket gumball machine fails to dispense the Mike and Ike candies to your preschooler.
9. Maroon 5 must be that crayon that replaced Burnt Sienna.
10. Linkin Park sounds like an educational family field trip. Why isn't it in the GPS?

Not that out of touch yet but I'm sure someday I will be there.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

We all have them. Let's just get it out there. Some have one for ice cream. Others for gossip magazines. Lately mine has been blog hunting. YUP. I'M GUILTY. I have found so many great blogs lately (most have to do with sewing because that seems to be my free time passion these days). Check out my list on the right side to see some of my favorite blogs I have found recently. You never know what you might discover through the internet, what a great thing!

Thursday, October 21, 2010



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vertuccio Farms

They even had a cow that you could milk, kinda gross but the kids loved it.

Chalk up one more farm on the list. One Monday we went to Vertuccio Farms with our friends Jill, Ryen, Nina, Manuel, and Isabel. It is funny how you don't notice something until you look for it? I have this problem a lot. Maybe I am just not very perceptive about my surroundings. I did the same thing with our old apartment. I drove by the complex at least 1 time every day and it wasn't until we were actually looking for a place to live. Well it is the same story with the farm. I have drove by it many times and I never knew what a fun place it was at a really good price. The kids had a blast. There were tons of pumpkins, BIG pumpkins. Jackson and Elizabeth were so excited about them. There was a bounce house, games, a train ride, pedal tractors, a playground, a corn maze and a hay maze, and a big variety of animals. AND WE DID IT ALL! It would have been even more fun if it wasn't so hot but we managed. Lizzy especially loves the train and the animals. She would do the happy dance (running up and down in place while flapping her arms) whenever she saw a new animal. Jackson liked the pedal tractors and the bounce house (his new love). I am really glad we have such great friends to share in the memories of these early experiences.
I made Lizzy's outfit and Jackson's shirt to celebrate the holiday.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Catching Up

Well we need to do some catch up over the next few posts because we have been having way too much fun and I can't keep up with all the stuff we have been up to. A few weeks ago we went to the aquarium in the Arizona Mills Mall. Yes, we actually have an aquarium in the mall. Anyways, we have a great time by ourselves. I had to go to the mall to buy some onesies for a few clients and decided it would be super fun to go see some fish. Jackson kept saying, "We go see Nemo?" I wasn't expecting much because I had heard this place wasn't that great but my kids had an amazing time. They love fish to begin with so the idea of the aquarium was very appealing.

Anyways, the aquarium had a lot of different kinds of fish including salt water fish, jelly fish, sea horses, and even a large tank of sharks and rays. What I found to be the funniest part was Lizzy was afraid of everything Jack loved and Jack was afraid of everything Lizzy loved. Liz was really scared at first and wanted me to hold her the entire time until we got to the star fish tank where she could touch the star fish. SHE LOVED THIS! Jackson on the other hand refused to touch any star fish. I loved the shark and ray tank because it is a large circular tank with a cave connected that you can go under and feel like you are in the tank. They also have a deck over the top of the tank so you could look down into the tank. The rays and sharks were beautiful. Gliding through the water so effortlessly. We saw a lot of Dori fish which Jackson loved! And most of the tanks had special features like going under the tank and looking up at the fish or little bubble windows where you could stick you face in the window and get up close to the fish. Jackson especially loved the movie on whales. He sat for the entire 20 min film enjoying a snack and watching the whales. Of course I was chasing after Elizabeth while this was happening. Then at the end of the aquarium there is a tube tunnel that you can walk through and have fish swimming all around you. There were even divers in there cleaning the tank and both of the kids thought that was really cool. I'm just glad I wasn't wearing a skirt because the divers swam right underneath us.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pumpkin Picking in the 100s

This week we went to Schnepf farms. I have never been because it is really expensive, eventhough my mother's group goes every year. But this year we got a discount so I decided to see what all the hype was about. I have to admit. . .it is a really fun place. For $10 we got to check out the pumpkin patch, play on a fun train playground, watch these cute pig races, a carousal, pony rides, play a round of mini golf, take a hayride, ride on a train, and they even had carnival rides for the brave kids (Jack isn't so brave). Needless to say we had a great time. Jackson and Elizabeth loved all the pumpkins. Lizzy kept pointing and yelling pumpkin pumpkin. There was a huge hay bail mountain that Jackson climbed up and he kept saying, "Look mom I tall, I tall." We also got to enjoy the day with our friends Gabriella and Heather and Heather's mom and nephew. The only downfall was it was 100 degrees outside so the kids were super hot the whole time. I think we drank 7 bottles of water in 4 hours between the 3 of us. They didn't seem to mind too much, but it really drained me. Hopefully next year it will be cooler so we can really take advantage of all the fun stuff there.

Goodbyes and Great Memories

I had a very reflective week this week because my wonderful Grandmother passed away. She was hands down the MOST AMAZING mother I have ever known. She overcame many obstacles in her life. First of all she is the mother of 12 children. That's right 12. Not to mention 2 sets of twins and 7 girls. And she practically raised them on her own. My grandpa was a pilot in the air force. He fought in WWII, Vietnam, and the Koren war, so he was gone a lot over the those years. They moved throughout the US including Florida, Maine, California, and Washington as well as living in Germany. Trotting around the globe with all those kids could not have been easy, I get flustered just getting my two in the car. But she ran a tight household. She did not miss a thing. She knew where every single one of those kids were at any time of the day. And they knew not to cross her. She had dinner on the table every night and she always looked good doing it. She lost 6 of her children over the years and overcame breast cancer and a stroke.
She also has 12 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

My fondest memories of her are spending time with her while she shared her favorite activities with me. We played cards, lots of cards, and several tries at teaching me to play bridge. She made the best sugar cookies for Christmas and always had a ton of decorating materials including sprinkles, red hots, and frosting in every color. She loved taking us to the movies or the zoo, and painting with us. (She was an amazing painter). She sewed every Christmas dress we wore for the first 10 years of my life, all matching my sister and cousins. She always had candy in her nightstand and pretended like she didn't know we would sneak in and eat it. She was always tough under pressure including the time I chased my brother into a wagon when he was 5 years old and he had to go to the emergency room. My grandma comforted me and let me know he would be okay. She always gave me a porcelain doll for Christmas. I collected them and loved each of them dearly as a girl. She had the most beautiful rose gardens and she loved pink roses. She taught me to make a pie. I love making pies and whenever I make one I think of my Grandma telling me, "don't touch the crust Jessie," and me questioning her, "how can I make the pie without touching the crust?" She was right. The oils in your fingers make the crust soggy so if you want a flaky crust touch it as little as possible.

I am so sad to see her move on but I know it is best for her. She was very weak and very old, now she is with Heavenly Father and can be her strong amazing self again. I love you Grandma Hazel and am so glad I had a grandmother to teach me how to me a wonderful mother in my life.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Past A Year

Well Lizzy is now 13 months old and I thought I would give an update because she is changing so fast. She is really smart and I am amazed by the things she does every day. So much more attentive than Jackson was but also much more fiesty than him. She already likes to throw little tantrums when she doesn't get her way but she understands when I say no and she follows my instructions most of the time. She likes to dump things out but then she puts them back and cleans up after herself. She repeats words almost instantly. In the past two weeks she has said cow, Handy Manny, and Nemo. She also says on a regular basis pig, book, hi dad, mama, nigh nigh, bye bye, baby, ball, slide, and dog. She still loves climbing on things but now she can usually get herself back down. She is very brave and loves to go down the big slide at the park. She even went down the water slide at Brandon's parent's house all by herself the other day (Brandon's mom caught her at the bottom). She thinks she can get things on her own now including going in the pantry and opening cracker boxes or Jackson getting into the fridge so Lizzy can grab her juice. She is totally off the bottle now which is a good relief for me. My favorite thing she does is when she sees me or Brandon she lights up with a huge smile and runs to us. And she gives big open mouth kisses on demand. She is really a sweet heart and I just love having a little girl and doing girly things like painting our toes and making sweet dresses.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Recent Projects

Well my Etsy shop has been up and running for about 3 weeks and I have already had 3 orders. I made an adorable onesie for my friend Nina's little girl Isabel and am in the process of making 2 crib bedsets for other customers. It is so fun to have a project all the time but I am also a little overwhelmed because I want to make sure I do a good job. Thankfully this week is October break so I should be able to get a lot of work done. I also have made 3 dresses lately as birthday presents for our friends. I am always a little hesitant to make a gift because I don't want it to come off as me being cheap but I think that these dresses are adorable and different for each recipient. Here of the ones I have made.

I have been playing around with different styles too which has been fun. It is amazing how much you can change a simple design.

(I don't have a picture of the other one because I wanted a picture of it on the model. I'll post one when I take a picture of sweet Gabriella in it.)

I also found this great Etsy shop that sells really cute patterns and kits. SoSassy. I am planning on making Lizzy a few of the dresses that I picked up from that shop. And I am making Lizzy's Halloween costume so I am busy busy busy getting the most out of my sewing machine. If only I had more time in the day to get done everything I want to.

Friday, October 8, 2010

AHH relief

It has finally begun to cool down in Arizona. Mind you it is not the usual temperatures in most the the US still being in the high 80s but relief has come across the valley and I for one can't be happier. I thought this summer was never going to end. We can finally go outside and enjoy the sunshine without sweating through our clothes or suffering from dehydration. The kids have definitely taken full advantage of the weather enjoying our sad backyard. Now we can finally do some yard work and get our grounds outside looking as nice as the house inside.

Lizzy is really getting around well on her own now. She is running, climbing, and riding on everything. She is so smart. The other day she didn't know how to go down the little slide in our yard but she knew she wanted to. She kept pointing to it and saying, "Slide, slide." I told her when she can do it on her own she can go down it. (This was mainly because I wanted to see if she could figure it out). Well it only took her about 10 min to figure it out. First she learned how to climb up but her feet kept getting stuck underneath her when she got to the top. Then she figured out how to put her feet in front so she could go down. Finally she pushed herself down and had a triumphant smile on her face. It was so cool to see her brain working the problem out and coming up with the solution. Although she knows how to go down the slide she actually prefers to slide down the roller coaster that the Stoker's gave us. It is so funny to see her climb up and scoot her way down. Now she just needs to learn how to put the roller coaster car back on the track herself so she can ride down on that.

Jackson just likes being outside period. It doesn't matter what he is doing. He will help me weed and mow the lawn (with his toy mower) all day if that means he can go outside. It is so funny to watch him out there because he just toils around going from one thing to the next. He rides on his big wheels, then back to the ball pit, then over to the sand box, then over to the basketball hoop to make a dunk. Busy Busy all the time. He truly is his grandpa's boy (grandma Miller) a total outdoorsman.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dress Up

Lately we have been really into playing dress-up and trying on outfits. Jackson likes to go in my closet and try on all my clothes. Actually it doesn't matter who's clothing it is he will try them all on. The other day we were at Brandon's parent's house and he was playing in Cameron's room. He came out sporting Cameron's stinky soccer short, cleats, and a hat. It was so cute and funny watching him walk around in those huge shoes. He even likes to try on my high heels, and he has the legs to pull them off. So I pulled out all the old Halloween costumes and other outfits I could find and we had a little fashion who the other day. They especially liked showing off their outfits on top of the table like a catwalk. I love how Jack is into make-believe now, it is so amazing to see his imagination and what he will come up with next.

These outfits are curtsy of Brandon's parents from San Francisco.