"We can do no great things, only small things with great love." - Mother Teresa

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Since it snowed last night...

Okay, if you don't eat snow, don't read this. However, if you do, get some of the fresh, untouched snow off your back porch now, and then go to this link. Snow Ice Cream. Yes, it was an integral part of our breakfast this morning. I will post pictures later, but I wanted to get this up before the snow melts or gets dirty. TRY IT!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Apron date

So, due to the plague that has been facing our home and my desire not to contaminate anyone, I am not doing aprons this week. However, the plan is to start next Monday at 10am. Just bring your old pair of jeans and a pair of sturdy scissors this time. We will cut out and go over the next step.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I am so tired of the flu and the cold! We were even vaccinated this year, for heaven's sake! Paul and I drove two hours to a speech evaluation today only to have him start throwing up 15 minutes into the session. Poor kid, he vomited 15 times in an hour. Fortunately, we were at a hospital, so they just admitted him to the ER and he got some very effective anti-nausea meds. But, he was throwing up so hard that there was blood in the vomit, so now he has to be on a prescription for that for up to a month. And, while I was gone and Mom was watching the kids, Hyrum started too. Fortunately, he only got sick four times. Brigham has been sick for 2.5 days now, predominately at night. And he is not a quiet sick. When he is done vomiting, he screams, "I scream! I yell!" And the poor little bugger is actually in pain, so you can't really justify screaming back. Joy was only sick the night of the 13th. Joy has also had massive coughing for 2 weeks, and now the boys are starting to cough. So, I have decided to put us on house arrest until EVERYONE is over the symptoms.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Ha ha! I found a new way to download pictures from my camera! Someday I will get caught up with technology, but for the time, I struggle along. However, I have taken a few pictures I wanted to share.


Hyrum now says "down" and points so we can't confuse it.

I had to get Paul some new shirts, he keeps growing. And, he was looking very GQ. This is why I need to learn to take pictures. I have adorable children, but, like their mother, they aren't very photogenic. Combine that with non-picture taking ability, and the poor kids don't have a chance.

Bed-time Routine

Those of you who know me know that we have a bit of an unusual bedtime routine at our house. I start getting the kids ready for bed at 6:10pm. This gives me enough time to get everyone to the bathroom, teeth brushed, jammies on, and prayers said by 6:30. Then, I sit outside their rooms (on the HARD hallway floor) and read to them for 1/2 hour. We read some of the Book of Mormon, and then a non-picture book. We have read the entire Narnia series, the first four books of Anne of Green Gables, and various other books Joy brings home from the library. Let me state that this is our ideal. We usually hit something close to it 85% of the time. I also record some of the books I read, so on the nights I can't be there, I get them ready and they listen to a tape of me reading. Anyway, usually the kids are still awake when I quit reading at 7pm, which is actually their bedtime. I figure the reading gives them a chance to relax and calm down before they actually need to be asleep as well as exposing them to good literature. Well, the boys have been pretty worn out the past week or so, and they have been asleep by the time I am done reading. It is the sweetest thing you ever saw. I just love those little warts!


For some odd reason, I have always had a fear of making pants. Call me irrational and illogical and I will completely agree with you. But, I finally had to face my fear in the face and do it anyway. Paul has now moved into a size 5 pajama, and boys pj's of that size are ridiculously priced. ($32 for a pair of Carter footies!) I bought a pattern with just an elastic waistband pant and baseball-type shirt and got to work. I may never buy another pair of jammies again! They are SO easy. I had no idea! I just used some polar fleece purchased for previous projects and cut up a moby wrap I made, and viola - pjs! And, they are so dang cute and comfy looking. Definitely a much better option than buying. (Assuming, of course, you can get the fabric on sale. Fabric can be REALLY overpriced.) Did I ever mention that I have a bit of a pattern fetish? I love patterns. In fact, I was in pursuit of the pj pattern when I stumbled on the apron pattern! Paul just went to sleep, so maybe I will add a picture of the pair I am working on tonight later.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Great Motivation

For my birthday, my dear sweet husband got me a body-composition scale. This means I know, not only how much I weigh, but my body-fat percentage. I know what you are thinking, "Wow, what a thoughtful gift, jerk!" But really, it was something I have been wanting. I have a few extra pounds to drop, but I just can't get motivated to stay with an exercise regime. I mean, really, I should just be doing it for long-term health, but I don't do that either. So, John got me the scale. For one reason and another, I haven't used it yet. I decided to bite the bullet this morning and get it out. The first reading I got wasn't so bad, I mean, sure I had only kept off six of the pounds I lost last year, but six pounds is six pounds, right? Then, the fat percentage flashed. Wow! Talk about motivation. Almost one third of my weight is fat! Yikes! Can't you just picture an outline of yourself and see the fat layer from the skin in? I mean, I know that isn't really how it works, but I am a visual person, and I think the desire to shrink that fat line in my mental picture will be enough to sustain me for a little while, at least!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Who wants to make an apron?

I found a GREAT pattern today and I am dying to make it. However, if I just put it in my craft project pile it will never get done. So, I have decided to put it in my do-stuff-with-other-people pile. This way, I have an excuse to make the cute apron AND hangout with friends. So, who wants to make an apron? All you need is a sewing machine, scissors, thread, and an old pair of jeans. I plan on starting next week-ish. Just comment and I will give you the details. I plan on working on it during the day and just letting the kids run amok, I mean play together!

I need to point out that, just because you make the apron, you won't necessarily look this sexy when preparing to paint walls. I know I won't!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Yummy Treat

I know, I know. I am posting too much, too often. But, such is life! In fact, here is the look Hyrum is giving me a look about that exact subject.

Okay, he is really scowling at me because I am taking yet another picture. Or, maybe it is the pigtail in his hair!
John, cute boy, came up with a really tasty treat. I am sure someone else has come up with it at some point, but it was new to us. Instead of a rootbeer float, we have orange juice floats.

I am hoping the good of the orange juice cancels out the bad of the ice cream!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Car cover idea

I got a wild hair on Monday and decided that I couldn't live with the disaster of our van anymore. So, I cleaned all the junk out, vacuumed and washed all the seats, sides, etc and washed the outside. As I washed the seats, I realized that they really needed some kind of cover to keep the leather from being permanently ruined (and me from having to do a deep clean so often!). I looked at buying them when we first purchased the van, but nothing on the market fit well at all (at least, if I didn't want to take on an additional car payment to finance really nice ones.) Solution? I got an old queen-sized sheet and laid it over the back bench and cut a few slits for the seat belts.
Then, I pulled the excess around the back and installed a few safety pins.
Ta-Da! A pretty decent seat cover!
If my children weren't so diametrically opposed to headrests, I would stick those back in and it would be really secure. Unfortunately, they are just the wrong height for that. You win some, you loose some. Also, I used some old crib sheets to cover the two bucket seats in the middle. I think the manufacturers of bucket seat covers actually just use a crib sheet as the pattern for their products. They work great!

The prettiest Valentines EVER

Okay, maybe not ever, but definitely the prettiest I've ever made. Long story short, my friends Chivan and Laurie came over last night and taught me how to make peanut butter chocolate balls. So, teachers and others got these adorable (and really tasty) Valentines. Yum!

Funny side note. When Laurie came over and asked how many I wanted to make, I told her just the usual sized batch. She told me it wouldn't make much, because they usually got eaten before they could be made. This is not my idea of "not much". Not that I am complaining.

And, we did also make cute Valentines for the kids' classes. I got on a sucker making kick a few years ago, and I have LOTS of sucker molds, so this is what the kids did this year. For homework, Joy had to write her classmate's names on theirs. I didn't really want to go through the pain of forcing the issue much farther than the 24 names she already had to write, so I just had her write her name, and I scanned them in and printed them out with her name already "written" on them. Cheating? Well, her teacher didn't say she had to write her name on them, just their names on them!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

That's pretty bad

John called me today from the in-processing he is doing for the job he is starting. He worked for the same company a year ago, and it was pretty bad. I asked how things were going (he has been sounding pretty happy lately) and this was the response I got:

"Well, it's kind of better. It's not good, but its like, if you had an uncle who went insane and married a crack whore who stole all his money and next marriage he married a woman who was as ugly as all get out and dumb as a brick but at least she wasn't destructive. It is so much better than it was that it seems good by comparison."

Wow, that is bad.

Silly Songs

So, as a rival to Mahna Mahna, we have the following:

The kids LOVE silly songs!


I have decided that my children are plotting together to make sure I never get to sleep past 6am. Or, if I do, I realize what a treat it is. They never ALL seem to make it to 6am. There is always a designated wake-up-early-and-make-sure-Mom-is-up person. Usually, Brigham takes the task, but occasionally, he switches up with Joy or Hyrum. Hyrum, who usually sleeps until 7 was up at 5:45am this morning! I got him up and put him into bed with me, hoping he would go back to sleep, but he only howled more. Which of course woke Brigham up, who woke Joy up (they share a room) who screamed at Brigham to turn the light off. So, I put Hyrum back to bed (sometimes he will go back to sleep if he wakes up early enough) and got Brigham and brought him into my room to snuggle. After deciding that Hyrum wasn't sleeping and it would be negligent to leave him longer, Brigham and I got up and got him pottied and dressed, by which time Hyrum had gone back to sleep. Being only 6:17am by this point, I put Brigham back to bed, and we snuggled (ha ha, I tried to snuggle and he wiggled) until 6:30, when Hyrum woke back up. At that point, I decided it was a lost cause and got Brigham and Hyrum up and brought them down for an early morning snack. I now hear Joy and Paul, so it is probably time to get them too. Oh well, I am sure we will do it all again tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My little artist

So, Joy came home from school today with this picture in her backpack.

Call me a doting parent, but there is something about this that really catches my eye. I didn't get a chance to talk to her about it since I didn't notice it until she was in bed for the night. I assume it is John picking up Hyrum. I don't know what it is, but there is something about it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Things that have been going on around here lately

Let's start with this yummy bit of breakfast. For years, John has eaten peanut butter with syrup on his pancakes. I have always stuck my nose in the air and condoned him for his bad taste. Finally, last week, he made me try it. Let's just say that we had better not have pancakes too often anymore, or I am going to put on a lot of extra peanut butter and syrup weight.

Paul is a vehicle man. He likes toys with wheels. He is also my most maternal child. Put those two together, and this is what you get.

And, no, trains don't whistle in their sleep.
Hyrum has a thing with standing on the table. I don't know if he likes to be at the same elevation the rest of us are or what, but he is always on the kitchen table. I have been sticking the chairs under the table, but he has figured out how to pull them out. The funny thing is, once he is up, he can't get down. So, instead of fighting the loosing battle of trying to keep him off, I have resigned and just let him get on. It is kind of nice, because since he can't get down, I always know where he is.

Paul was hiding between the loveseat and the pillows, and it was just too cute not to post.

And last, but certainly not least, I had a wonderful birthday. Thanks for all the heartfelt wishes I recieved. Mom watched the kids for a huge chunk of the day so John and I could go to the temple. Mom made an AMAZING chocolate-caramel-pecan cheesecake. It was SO good. And, John always makes me a fruit platter for my birthday. This year, he took a picture of it while I was still in bed. Isn't it bee-utee-ful?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Return Policy

How many of you know about the Kidvantage program at Sears? You give them your phone number so you have an account and you get to partake of this fabulous program. If you buy a piece of kid's clothing and it is damaged in some way (like, Jr. falls and tears the knee out of his jeans, some kid grabs yours by the coat on the playground and the coat rips, etc. - doesn't have to be a "wearing out" issue) and you take it back to Sears, they replace it with a same size item for FREE! Yes, FREE! I would recommend keeping your receipt or you are at the mercy of the clerk, but it is a great program. I took back a brand-X coat of Joy's that ripped in three places, and since they didn't have that brand anymore, they replaced her coat with a high-quality, name brand coat! And, they keep track of your purchases, and after $100 you get a 15% off trip (I think.) Anyway, with the boys being as rough on jeans as they are, it is so worth it. Plus, they have a brand of jeans called "ToughSkins" that you can get with reinforced knees! They must know my kids.

Another return story. John bought an electric toothbrush from Kohl's the other day. When we got home and took it out of the package, it had someone's initials written on it, crust and grime in the seams and smelled of urine in the battery compartment. Gross! I can understand if they decided to return the item, but putting it out on the shelf was a little extreme. Let's hope someone made a mistake!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

whoo hoo!

okay so the first 5 people to respond to this
post will receive something made by me to you.
my choice.
made especially for you.

of course there are some restrictions and limitations:

1 i make no guarantees that you will like what i make!
2 what i create will be just for you.
3 it will be done sometime this year.
4 you have no clue what it will be... it may be a story. it may be poetry or an article on properly cleaning your face before a masque. i may draw or paint something. i may bake something and mail it to you. who knows? not you, thats for sure.
5 i reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

the catch? oh the catch is that you must repost this on your blog
and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on their blog.
the first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did will win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me!!

oh and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!!

Soap Box

If you know me even remotely, you know that I have a few soapboxes, things I feel passionate about and am ready to speak strongly on at any given moment. Let me share. (If you don't feel like a bit of a lecture, feel free to tune out now.)

Why is it that women never feel they are good enough? I found myself doing this the other day. I was looking at a friend's blog, and instead of thinking, "Wow, that is great that she is able to do that!" I thought, "Geez, how come I am not doing exciting stuff like that?" What? That is ridiculous! We each do SO much! We need to look at our lives and be satisfied. We don't need to spend time bemoaning the fact that we don't paint, photograph, scrapbook, write, bake, clean, organize, decorate cakes, and a million and one other things all the time. We need to give ourselves credit for the fact that we are still alive and (semi)sane at the end of the day. We should rejoice in other's successes, but not feel that their success in any way means we are not doing enough ourselves. I try and remind myself that there is a time and season for all things. "But what about Pioneer Woman? She homeschools, photographs, writes, cooks yummy food and has time to do a detailed blog of it all!" Well ladies, I am not the Pioneer Woman. I am Tara. I have things I enjoy doing and things I wish I never had to do again and not enough time to get any of it done. And, if I don't accomplish as much in a day as the Pioneer Woman, it doesn't diminish me in the least. And it doesn't diminish you! Be grateful for what you have and do, and don't dwell on the glamour you think you miss!