Thursday, June 7, 2012


Over the last few months I've discovered something.  I am so much better at reading blogs than updating my own.  Oh well.

Over the last few months, we've had birthdays, made quilts, had fabulous weather (gotta love San Diego where we only know what season it is by the day on the calendar), and...oh yea, we're building a house.

So, the latter (along with motherhood in general) is a bit time-consuming.  The month of March we graded (yippee!).  Ok, so my Brother-in-law's excavation crew, my other brother-in-law and my husband did all the work.  I made lunches half the time and ran some errands in between.  The funniest errand was when my husband called and needed help while I was on my way to a Stake Primary meeting.  I walked in, played the opening song, walked out, drove home, took all the seats out of the van, drove to Costco, bought a generator (still in a skirt and high heals, mind you), drove it out to the lot, came home, put the kids to bed.  I'm sure those Costco guys see everything though.

April and May were spent finalizing our stuff for our building permit (The County wants to know EVERYTHING!!!) which we got Monday (huge HOORAY!), growing hydroseed on our cut slopes, and also lining up subcontractors, getting materials bids, and other fun stuff like that.

But last week, I feel like we started.  Check out these trenches! (sorry, I tried 3 times to get it the right way, the trees are at the top).  You can also see our hydroseed up on the hill.

It is so cool to see the outline of the house (this is where the foundation goes for those novices like me).   The trenches are all dug for underground plumbing too (hence all the little mounds in the middle of the pad)...which has since been finished.  By the end of the week we will have footings, hooray!


The funny thing is that the house doesn't look so big with just the outline dug out.   Maybe it's the fact that there are no buildings around to compare it to.  I keep reminding myself that the width of this house is more than our entire lot in Colorado.  I'm sure once it's framed and in 3-D, it will be huge ('cause it is!).

Every time I go up to the lot, I get so excited.  This is OUR spot!  There are so many amazing things about this property.  When we went up Sunday, we came home with a huge bag of avocados, oranges, and guavas.  These are from trees we haven't even watered!  Jeff also found a patch of wild raspberries down by the stream.  We each had a taste.  I can't wait for them to be ripe.

After footings and flat concrete...framing.  I think that's what I'm the most excited for--to see the walls just how they are going to be.

Other notweorthy things this week is that Hazel started walking!  14 months is about right ;)


Though she still prefers to crawl and use her "walker."  


You can't blame her too much, but she does love to stand up (after making sure we notice) and clap as we cheer her on for being a big girl.  Oh, how do these little ones grow so fast.

Upcoming family events include a 3-year old birthday, Braces and a new Violin teacher for Sarah, and (hopefully!) more sewing projects.  Here's to better blogging!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Valentine's Day is always fun!  Getting ideas from blogs this year made it even more fun :)   

I found an awesome tutorial for this charm pack garland...I figured it was a perfect project for my girls.  We made 2 of them, one for us and one for Grandma Becky.  Sarah and Eliza did it almost all by themselves! 

The day before Valentine's, I saw this idea.  I thought it would be perfect for Family Home Evening.

I changed it a bit.  I knew I didn't have time to dig through my scrapbooking boxes to find the cute paper, or to put the amazing hearts together.  And, no branches of our trees around here are dead to make a tree like theirs...(let alone having colored rocks laying around) so I did my own twist...

I cut out construction paper hearts (creative, I know--but very do-able).

For Family Home Evening, we watched this video, then everyone wrote on a heart something they liked about a person.  They wrote a heart to everyone in our family.

The cool thing about having a pretty big family is that when we were done, we had A LOT of hearts!  We heart-attacked our pantry door, where we can all read the fun notes--over and over again!  It was a great activity, and really  made us focus on what we really did love about each other.  I think it will be a yearly tradition. 

Hope you all had a great Valentine's day too!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

A few things that make me smile today:

Evidence from my little man that he is learning...note the phonetic spelling (and it's crossed out because he decided I'm not so mean--though he does still need to do his schoolwork).

A finished project.  The tutorial was awesome :)

And the house/project/grading/plot plans are ready to turn into the County on's been a process.  (Oh, and the exercise's really our school room.  We had to change it as people at the County thought we were starting a school, we didn't want to deal with those kind of questions.)

Monday, January 30, 2012


Last week, we entered one of my favorite baby stages...Crawling! 

Favorite? you may ask....OH YES!  By the time my babies are 9-10 months old, they are aware of so much and they want to be part of it.  They get so upset when they are stuck sitting.  They are so much happier when they can get to where they want to go.  Sure, there's the unloading of bookshelves, the endless sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming, but hey...happy babies are worth it!

Other happy 9-month tricks include clapping (hooray!)

And grabbing whatever she can.

Growing so big, so fast.  Here's to a happy Monday!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sweetpod #3

Sometimes inspiration comes when we least expect it, and not always when we think we have time.  Time has been of the essence lately as we are trying to get settled and using every extra spare minute doing "house stuff,"  as I research the best doors, appliances, or a building permit form.

I got my Visiting Teaching route just after we moved in the ward and I was able to see our new sisters soon after that.  While we were visiting one of them, she told us how her car had just gotten broken into and the thieves stole her baby carrier. 

The thought came..."you could totally make her a SweetPod!"  My thoughts came next... "I can't, I don't have time."  But that same thought came into my head over and over for a whole week.  Along with it were other thoughts:  "Never suppress a generous thought."  "You have everything to make one."  "You just need to do it." 

Finally, I got smart, and did as the spirit directed and made her a SweetPod.  I went through the stash and found some dec fabric and canvas left over from this pod.  I also found some awesome Moda Cross Weave I had in my stash.  At first I wasn't sure about the color, but I think the blue really pops out and looks great! 

I had all the buckles, webbing, and foam, and even a SweetPod tag from Jessica, so it was all ready to go.  I think sewing it up was kind of therapeutic for me as I thought about all of my Denver friends that I miss so much.  And it felt great to MAKE something...I needed that.  So, as always, service always benefits us more than those we serve.

We tried it on for size (Hazel had to make sure it tasted OK).

And three weeks after my first impressions, I gave away the SweetPod to a very excited and thankful mother.  It felt so good.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Yes, I  know it's December...kind of.  This Southern California weather has me all confused.  I guess people go by the calendar more than the weather here.  Having lived in places where the weather significantly changes with the calendar (except for a dozen or so crazy days in Colorado), I'm not quite used to it, but here's our Halloween update (which we did celebrate the end of October).

I've been kind of divided on Halloween the last bit.  I found this post awhile back, and I think it summarizes my feelings.  I'm glad someone with the same ideas was able to say it better than me.

So, being new to the ward, we planned to go to the ward party.  Now just to figure out kids' costumes....  Hazel and David were easy.  Bring out the pumpkin sweats that fit and the dino costume I made 2 years ago.

 I tried to get the girls to wear their same costumes they had 2 years ago, but the funny thing about kids is that they grow.  So I told them they had to choose something simple...preferably with their own clothes.  They thought and thought, and they came up with a good plan. 

Samuel wanted to be a cowboy...jeans (check), denim shirt (check), cowby hat smashed in the dress-up box (check), all he needs is a vest.  I had left-over fabric from Eliza's indian costume, so I cut out 3 pieces, sewed 4 seams--done (gotta love non-fraying faux suede!), 

The girls wanted to be pioneers, They had shirts and Eliza had a skirt, we even had a bonnet--with a big purple marker stain in the back.  So, just 1 skirt for Sarah, 2 aprons, and 1 bonnet ("could you make a new one for me please?") 2 bonnets.  I just happened to have a bonnet and apron cut out from Sarah's pioneer costume 3 (or was it 4?) years ago, so half the job was done on that.  I had some white muslin that I cut out another set, and I sent Sarah into my stash to find fabric for a skirt.  I used this awesome ruffle skirt pattern and sewed up the skirt, bonnets and apron pretty quickly. 

Hooray!  5 costumes done and ready for the big trunk or treat! 

The candy made it all worth it, I'm sure.


Though, I'm trying to decide, is it a good thing, or a bad thing that I was able to come up with 3 costumes entirely from my fabric stash.  I'll say it's good, and try not to buy more stuff.  After all, it's a pain to move it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The craziest 2 months of my life!

So, I've been a bit under the radar this last bit...Here's my recap of our crazy end of summer.

End of August:
Landlord is crazy.  He's threatening us.  We don't feel safe.  We have to move.  Tomorrow.  Stay up and pack until 2 a.m., maybe get 1 or 2 hours of off adrenaline.
In the morning:  Load 2 26-foot Penske trucks in 2 1/2 hours (thank you awesome ward!)
Leave that afternoon for Utah.  Arrive 1:30 a.m. (thanks Jared!)
Sleep well for the first time in weeks.
Next day:  Unload stuff into Brother-in-law's garage (thanks Joe!).
Day after that:  Take Jeff to the airport for him to continue working in Denver (so hard!).

2 weeks later:
San Diego job is coming through (whew!)
Meet Jeff (who is driving a Penske for his brother) in Cove Fort, UT to drive to San Diego.
Next day:  Arrive in San Diego, help unload 2 26-foot Penske trucks for Brother and Sister-in law
Next 3 days:  Look at rental houses in San Diego.  On 3rd day, find the perfect one--it's still available, Hooray!  I fly back to Utah, Jeff flies to Denver.

1.5 weeks later:
Got the Job in San Diego.
Load stuff from Brother-in-law's garage into 2 26-foot Penske trucks (do we see a theme here?).  (Thank you family!)
Next day:  Drive to San Diego!  (thanks Mom and Dad!)  Arrive just in time to unload a few mattresses and find some sheets.  Sleep well
Day after that:  Unload the trucks and get moved in!

The next week:  Unpack and get organized.  Unpack so there are no boxes in sight.  We're sick of living out of boxes!

Since then:  Family is back together, loving San Diego weather (currently 85 degrees!), using cloth diapers again, school in full-swing, visited the beach twice, started sewing a little bit again, finding my way around, terribly missing Colorado friends, emotionally recovering from the drama.

Next step:  Build a house.  After these last few months, it shouldn't be too hard, right?