Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving

At home
small
sweet
delicious

and I didn't have to do much of anything except clear the table and take care of leftovers with Kendra's help.
I love husbands (Mine and Kendra's, I don't have more than one, just for the record) who can cook....

Kendra and I knitted while the kids wandered up and down stairs between the guys watching football and entertaining themselves, reading, playing their own game of football and the like

Pie, a movie, lounging, playing etc.
Kendra and I are about 29 weeks.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks part 3/3

This is part 3 of three parts. Part one can be found here and Part Two Here. Numbers correspond to calendar dates.

18: I am thankful for great friends. It's a rare find to enjoy an entire family as much as the person they are attached to.


19: Not getting a ticket...er make that two. This also includes being thankful that there are law enforcement officers out there that have a brain and aren't all just ego. Every major road in the town was under construction, intersections were messed up and I was LOST and so was my GPS by that point. Gary was trying to navigate, it was dark etc. etc. At a very strange intersection apparently I took the wrong turn lane $85, and after that on an unknown road was going 35, apparently it was 25 but there weren't any signs... another $85 fine. Can I just say how seriously it would have killed my mood for the next month if I had gotten those tickets?! Zurich had been driving me to the point of wacko all day and so when I picked up Gary at 3:30 and the other two kids screaming at seeing their Daddy woke up Zurich, who had just screamed himself to sleep... well I burst into tears. It had been one of those days, and even after Gary drove a good portion of the way my nerves were still not capable of handling a strange drive even for a half an hour.

20: Fun shopping. As a general rule I hate shopping. Today though, it was just Gary and I and we stopped off at a store to get something for our nephew's b-day and found the store was going out of business so things were all marked down. As we wandered around the store we decided to do some Christmas shopping for the kids since we kept seeing things that were on their wish lists. It was a major success and fast. We left with most everything checked off and Gary commented like a giddy child as we drove off with our garbage bag of loot, "That was fun!" I do have to agree.


21: Family lounge time. It's my favorite thing to do with family. Sit around and chat, bellies full, my hands busy and time to just relax and enjoy a good chat.


22: Being a mother. It's the hardest thing I have ever done... and continue to do, but I love it. I've experienced loss of my own to hopefully not take for granted the 3 blessings I have so far.
Even with stuff like this: (this is a negative side of mother hood... don't watch if you aren't prepared)
video
Because I get to experience stuff like this:


23: Gary's ability to work from home.

24: My talents. I am able to enjoy and accomplish a lot of things because of the talents I have been blessed with.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Giving Thanks 2/3

This is part 2 of three parts. Part one can be found here. Numbers correspond to calendar dates.

11: Today and all other days I am grateful for Veterans and their families. They go through so much and most of us (I do include myself in this, because I don't understand it first hand) are completely oblivious to the sacrifices they make for all the freedoms we enjoy.

12: The kiss fest between Nev, Zurich and I this morning. We were chilling after dropping Olea off at school and Nev leans in to give Zurich a kiss, then it was kisses all around for everyone. Nev's kiss face:

13: A chance to relax. I spent most of the day laying down while Gary and the kids winterized and organized the garage. Gary reminded me, it's time to slow down and remember, I'm pregnant and just can't do everything I usually do. So grateful for a husband who helps me keep it all in perspective.

14: A clean kitchen, by little effort of my own, because it is one thing to be told to relax and another thing for someone to make it possible. I had a meeting tonight and when I came home late to a sparkling kitchen (thanks to Gary) I got a bit emotional, then went upstairs to find him in the middle of the last three batches of laundry all folded.

15: Free Stuff: Zurich's Cold Stone Birthday coupon provided a treat for the kids, a motivation for Zurich to be good at the chiropractor. This can also include today's lunch compliments of Arby's receipt survey, which gave me a free beef n' cheddar sandwich for lunch and the rhodium plating on my wedding set... though technically we paid for the warranty, I think I have made enough use of it by now that the plating is free. :)

16: Laughter. It's often the best choice when trying to decide how to cope or react and it feels so good. I have plenty of opportunities for it it my life, as demonstrated yesterday with the Amish bread and the two youngest.

17: This little boy.

The other day, after I dropped Olea off at school we sat on the couch and chatted, well, I sat and he and his sister wiggle wormed around me for about a half an hour talking about the baby in my belly, what who's names were. For the record: Zurich knows his first, middle and last name in the right order but usually refers to himself as BoBo Fetters. The baby in my belly's name according to Zurich is "Baby Brother" and he's not sure what my name is other than Mommy, but he knows Dad's, Olea's and Genève's first names. The boy can physically push me out of bed and really likes to drink and quickly downs whatever is put in his sippy cup. He loves trains and all other boyish things (cars, helicopters, airplanes, superheros etc). He really likes to paint. He looks like my side of the family. He is repetitive and stubborn. I absolutely fell in love with him when he was about a year old. He likes to talk, watch TV and "cuddle wit you Mommy." He often tells me something is scary. When he is really scared by something he says, "I want to hide" and finds a place to hide.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Amish Friendship Bread: keeping friends

I really like Amish Friendship bread and so does my family, however, I have a hard time sending work to other people's houses in the name of friendship every 10 days....
So since I am super slow at math, I enlisted my husband's help to modify things a bit to make only one start instead of 4.

The original recipe I got follows but with the changes for 1 start in parenthesis. These directions assume you got a start from someone else. If you didn't you can find starts online.

Today when I made it Nev and Zurich wanted to help again so I pre-measured everything and let them dump it in. In the picture here, I used pistachio pudding and had the kids add some extra green food coloring for fun. So if it's not that appetizing... sorry. :) Oh, and so far we like Lemon pudding the best.

I label my bag like so:

Amish Friendship Bread 325°F for 1 hour

(Directions for 1 start)

____ do Nothing
____ Mush the bag
____ Mush the bag
____ Mush the bag
____ add 1c flour, 1c sugar, 1c milk & Mush
____ Mush the bag
____ Mush the bag
____ Mush the bag
____ Mush the bag
____ Bake following instructions below

Pour entire contents of the bag into a large non-metal bowl: Add

1 ½ c (3/8 c) flour
1 ½ c (3/8 c) sugar
1 ½ c (3/8 c) milk
Then mix well

Measure out 4 (1) separate batters of 1 cup each into a 1 gallon size ziplock bags. Keep 1 starter for yourself and give the others to friends with a copy of this recipe. Be sure to let them know what step you are on. (2.5c solution to start baking)

Preheat oven to 325°

In a different bowl
3 eggs
1c oil
1c sugar
½ c milk
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 c flour
1 large box of pudding any flavor.
Combine and mix

Grease 2 large bread pans or a large bar pan. In a separate bowl mix ½ c sugar, 1 ½ tsp cinnamon. Dust the pans with the mixture. Pour the batter into pans evenly. Sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the mix in the pans. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool until bread separates from the pans evenly. Serve warm or cold.

Amish Friendship Bread: 1 start modificationAnd


And while I was paying bills:

Laugh-- I know I did.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Love is spelled T-I-M-E

...and it is often the hardest thing to give to our kids. Lately, I have had a goal to take more time creatively with the kids, not necessarily in craft, but in doing things that need to be done and making it a positive experience together. Rather than sending them away or telling them no all the time.
Here are a few of the experiences that I call success:

Zurich wanted to help me make bread the other day, bread is a bit more fickle than some baking so it always gets me stressed to have the kids underfoot when I put it together. There have been many experiences in the past during baking or while it is cooling where the kids have had their hands in it... off the top of my head:
a child pushed down the perfectly risen loaves right before they were to be put in the oven
a child filled a hole they had dug out of a cooling loaf and eaten with blue play dough
a child took a bite out of a mini loaf that I had intended for giving away
a child added extra of an ingredient and I couldn't tell which one at the time.... it was salt
a child opened the oven while baking and we ended up with very flat dense bread
a child and accomplice desecrated a cooling loaf with a fork
the adventures continue...

I can't think it is making a good memory for either of us when I get so irritated with their "help". So this time I pre-measured most everything and put it in separate containers. Lifted Zuich and Nev onto the counter and let them dump the things in as I handed to them. This created A LOT of dishes, but did reduce the stress and we had a good time. It's worth it and the bread turned out.

Gary needed to change the tires on the car the other day since he commutes quite a way to work he didn't want to be caught in a snow storm with out snow tires on. He invited all the kids out to the garage with him to do the job. Later we were talking about how he let Zurich help with the lift and screwing the bolts on etc. Gary commented that at one point he realized how the whole job could have been done in 15 mins but they were out there for over an hour, because he took the time to let them help. And they loved it.


I needed to get some projects done in the studio that had been taking up space and had been avoiding it because Zurich often wants to sit on me and that just doesn't work when I need to use hot glue. So I glued his wooden train hitch (that had broken off in play) and the next day had him bring it down to the studio to paint while I worked with hot glue. He was happy with the time together doing separate projects and kept commenting about how he liked to paint his train, and what a good painter he was. He asked questions and told me about painting the buffers and how nice it looked and what it would look like with the rest of the train.

Olea was star student this week and needed to fill out a poster and I needed to get some computer work done so I pulled my laptop down stairs to the kitchen table. We worked on our projects side by side chatting about different things and at one point she said to me, "Thanks Mom, I like chatting with you." ohhh heart melting, and it made it totally worth working on a tiny screen compared to the 24 inches I am used do when doing such a computer project.

Olea got home from school and wanted to run off to the TV, but I had her come paint nails with me instead. When a friend came knocking at the door, she said to them, "I can't play right now, I am doing a special thing with my Mom, but maybe I can play after."

Normally, I would have hurried on home after going to the Chiro to get home in time for Olea but this time I thought we had some time and Zurich had not thrown a 20 minute screaming fit at the Chiro so I took him to "The big tree park" at the mall and let him and Nev play around for a good hour (I had brought my tatting along for my own entertainment) and after a stop in at See's of course (the little stinker got another pre-made, while Nev was happy with the chocolate coins) we headed home.


I am trying to rethink things and relax a little and just let my kids enjoy, and let myself enjoy them more. Some days I experience more success than others (Yesterday, Gary sent me upstairs because I snapped at Zurich after being hit by the ram rod for the 3rd time). Which I am laughing about now, but after a headache all day I wasn't in such a great mood at the time.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Giving Thanks Part 1/3

I think bandwagon or not, this is a good thing to do and to think about as we gear up for the holidays. I chose to not do mine one day at a time because I knew that things I was grateful for that day would share more info than I wanted that particular day, for instance, it's fine with me if you all know that Gary was gone for a week, because he is home now, and I wanted to give some flesh to some of the things I listed.
So here are days 1-10:

1: So thankful for my Marriage. I picked the right guy at the right time and we've worked to keep it right over the years. I am under no delusion that it's "happily ever after" unless we both make it so. I married a guy who understands that and works every day to keep our relationship alive and kicking. There can be no apathy in marriage.


2: I am grateful for Skype and the internet so I could talk and see Gary while he is away.

3: I am grateful for family. My dad came today to help ease the pain and suffering while Gary is gone, the kids really enjoyed him and time outside and I was able to get some shopping done kid free. Other family members have also called to check up on me. In our separation from family we realize just how much we need and appreciate them. It helps us laugh when there is stress and let offenses slide when no offense is intended. It's family relationships that add value and joy to our lives. Each person adds a unique touch and talent.


4: I am grateful for time to put my aching feet up and tat. Finally! (now to not fall asleep, which I also need... hmm)


5: Today I am so grateful it is Friday night! So giddy it is ridiculous! Gary has been gone for work since Sunday afternoon and he comes home just after midnight.

6: Thankful for good company and fun things to do. Attended our ward's Super Saturday today.
Made Nev the cute little leggings and some clips she still can't wear, of course I had to add a little tatting to them, because I had the pieces lying around. :)

7: Grateful for a husband who lovingly helps me see my limits and forced me to take a rest instead of trying to push through and for sharing this talk with me for justification: Dieter F. Uchtdorf: Of Things that Matter Most

8: I am so grateful for chiropractics. I can function today! After the pain I was in yesterday I was not looking forward to the week ahead at all, but after a good adjustment, I am ready for life as a pregnant mother of three again.

9: I am grateful for quiet, low stress, easy days, because today has not been one of them!

10: I am grateful for a spouse who understands me and knows how to talk me though a creative funk, so I can get going on a project.

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Buttons Mom?


I started this bracelet a while ago at my mother in law's. We'd got shrinky dinks to try and see how it fared on her Cricut. (for the record you have to do a deep cut like 5 times). We decided the punches and Cuttlebug worked better. And you can run it through the cuttlebug embossing folders to get patterns to color in, which is what I did with the flowers. I had some pieces that I hadn't shrunken yet and so when the kids and I did our shrinky-dink buttons I threw mine in too.

I finally assembled the bracelet and matching earrings that day too. I think I'd had the elements lying around for about oh maybe since April. That's life folks, that's life.
If you have a hankering to try something like this... color both sides of the shrinkydinks... I forgot on some of my pieces... and with a twisty bracelet like this, you gotta have all sides covered, which is why I had to do more pieces.

When I wear this set Zurich will unfailingly ask, "These my buttons Mom?" or "Where are my buttons Mom?" I need to do something special with the kid's buttons. They obviously made a lasting impression on the little ones.