Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013

 Made Will's stocking this year. I don't know that he cared too much but fun all the same. I still forget I have five kids sometimes. Like when I bought the traditional ornaments for the kids this year and only bought four!

Our annual trip to Temple Square--

 Kids weren't too keen on taking a picture together but I told them since I made them they could humor me.

I didn't take pictures on Christmas morning but got a couple at my grandpa's that night. Will got some attention from the cousins.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Will & I

(Will was concentrating very hard on his piano skills this week) 
As I watch him grow he reminds me of baby pictures of myself.
That flyaway hair has Tracy written all over it.

Mom & I

 And here he is alongside another old picture of me in a box:


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

 Here is how I found the kids on Thanksgiving Day after I put the turkey in and went for a walk with Peter. It isn't often I find them all together like this so of course I had to get a picture. As you can see Nathaniel has to cop a goofy face.

 I did manage to catch one good one of him though.
(Persistence. It pays off sometimes.)

My plants get an autumn makeover right before they get drug downstairs to make room for the Christmas tree.
Behold! Hours of cooking!
I'm not going to sugar-coat it. This year I just really didn't feel like cooking this big meal. I still haven't gotten over being sick and cooking all day on Thanksgiving while I was pregnant with Will. It just happens that it's Peter's favorite holiday and the one meal he dreams about all year so I forged ahead. The girls and Peter did help me but it was still kind of a major production. I know it's all in the attitude. I should have made the pies the day before but never got up the gumption. 

Everyone seemed to enjoy everything but John. I wasn't surprised but this is what his place setting looked like after the meal:
 Looks surprisingly untouched. Maybe that's because he played with toys and about drove us nuts instead!!

Cute sisters 

Afterwards we went to my grandpa's for dessert where we all were too stuffed to eat another bite. I made this pudding dessert with a crust. Something went wrong I guess because the crust was like a rock! Almost like the sugar and the butter caramelized. Not good.

Here is everyone looking appropriately sedated with turkey.

Megan visits

Peter's sister Megan came to visit us for a few days. She's got Daniel, who's four, and Natalie, who is only four months older than Will, and now baby number three is due in January so she's a pretty busy girl and it was awfully good of her to come. 
I remember those exhausting days of being a young mom. I'm happy to be where I'm at now.

I can be bad about getting pictures when I'm busy with company but I did manage to get a few when we were at the zoo:
Will in his winter gear. It was a cold day and it even ended up snowing a little on us while we were looking at the animals.

 Megan was a ridiculously good sport and actually went down the slide with Natalie more than once. My goodness--when I am seven months pregnant I can't even fit my backside down the slide let alone my belly!

 Natalie and her big beautiful eyes

 Reminds me of the kid on "A Christmas Story"

 Look at Daniel's cold red hands! He hadn't been at our house more than an hour or so when he ran smack into our countertop and split open the skin above his eye. Gratefully we had someone in our ward who is a resident at the local hospital here. He was home and graciously glued it back together for us. 
Poor Daniel was not so happy about any of it!

Monday, December 9, 2013

First snow for Will

Will's first experience in the snow was to look at it, then run right out into it knee deep. Then he stood there and cried. 
I don't think he was expecting it to be cold or wet.

 The weather outside has indeed been frightful. That -1 is the temperature I woke up to on Thursday morning. That makes for some very slick and dangerous driving. We have a neighbor who loads up the back of their van with hundreds of pounds of wheat from their food storage to help it handle better during the winters here. We opt for snow tires ourselves.

 Here is the slick Christmas sweater I made for Nathaniel wear to the Christmas dance. The option is formal or Christmas sweaters and I think most of the kids go with the sweaters. Cheaper, more comfortable, and a lot less stress. A bit more work for mom though if she volunteers to make them. Nathaniel was very insistent he wanted them to be matching so I thought it would be easiest if I just bought sweatshirts and sewed on matching designs:
What a sparkly, jingly tree, eh?
Unfortunately most of the bells fell off in a the dancing!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hand-stamped baby blanket swaddles

I love my Aden + Anais swaddles but they are a bit out of my budget to buy for others. They carry some at Target for cheaper but I'm not as fond of the patterns so when I was getting ready to go to a baby shower for a family member recently I thought surely there were some knock-offs on the internet that people can make themselves. Sure enough there were. 

I looked and looked but I couldn't find the tutorial I referenced for this but the process is very simple. 

Cotton gauze at Joanne's (very cheap and I even got mine on sale)
Tulip Soft fabric paint (make sure to get the soft kind so it isn't scratchy)
Foam stamp (Hobby Lobby)
foam brushes

Sew around edges of fabric--you can see mine puckered--I'd do it more carefully next time. Brush your foam stamp with some paint and stamp away. I just eye-balled it.

 The fabric is definitely not as soft as then Aden + Anais but I think with several washings it will get softer. This was a very easy and fast project.

My parents visit

In November my parents came for a visit. They took Sarah and Rebecca to see a movie and bought Rebecca new shoes, we went for a hike, had a fire outside in the backyard and cooked smokes, went to Sundance to see a free showing of Robert Redford's movie "Sneakers" (love that movie!) complete with complimentary popcorn, had some frozen yogurt and went out to Ginger's twice for lunch. They got to visit with Grandpa Johnson and see how our kids have grown in the last year. We all had a really nice time!