Sunday, February 24, 2008

Yum, yum!

You may have heard that one of my little sisters is getting married. We are having lots of fun looking at wedding boards, finding ideas for her reception.

She sent me this collage a few days ago, from Snippet and Ink. I keep looking at the cake... Isn't it gorgeous?

While at Costco yesterday, I grabbed some berries so I could try making it (albiet on a smaller scale!) myself. Because I saw boysenberries first, I decided a chocolate frosting would taste best. Here is the result... Doesn't it look scrumscious??

The cake is a buttermilk cake recipe from Joy Of Cooking, and is delicious. The frosting recipe is from the same book. Unfortunately, it looks better than it tasted. It is the chocolate swiss meringue frosting recipe. I only had salted butter on hand, and the recipe calls for unsalted... I think this led to the frosting tasting too buttery, but I don't know if unsalted butter would help.

I plan to try recreating the cake again soon, but with boysenberries and lemon frosting. I think the lighter colored frosting will also make the cake look better. Yummy!



VIP

On Friday I had the opportunity to go to Ethan's class for his presentation as "Star of the Week." A few weeks ago he brought home the big blue man you see behind us in the picture, and chose pictures to paste on it. During his in-class presentation, he very briefly stated what each of the pictures was from. The children on the class then had an opportunity to ask him more questions, like:

What is your favorite color? "Blue"
What is your favorite food? "Pizza"
What is your pet lizard's name? "Lizzy"
What is your favorite country? "Russia"

Huh?


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Saturday, February 23, 2008

No, this isn't an announcement!

I used to be a better mom... no, its true. Once upon a time, I would go outside with my kids every afternoon, and many mornings too. We would go to the park, or take nature walks. I enjoyed spending time in the warm outdoors. My favorite thing to do was meet a friend or two at the playground. We would spend time chatting while the kids had fun being kids.

Alas, I live in Indiana now, and well, at the moment it is a balmy 33 degrees out (feels like 27). I am really not kidding about the balmy, either. After a week of mid-teens, I feel like I actually get a tiny bit warm when I walk outside.

The unfortunate part of this situation is that my daughter, Emma, loves to play outside. It doesn't bother her that it is freezing out, and she doesn't understand why I won't go out with her when the windchill makes it 9 degrees!

My unhappiness with all things cold was cemented while back in California for my little brother's wedding last week. We were in Newport Beach, in shirt sleeves and sandals, and I even got a little color on my face.

I really do love Indiana, but I told Elliott if he ever wanted to convince me to move back to California, it would have to be in Winter. Okay, Babe, I'm ready!

Reminiscing:


Elliott and Emma, July 2004


Some cute cousins, 4th of July 2004


Hanging at the park with the H*'s and the SoCal P*'s.


The sandbox - Andrew, Audrey, Ethan, and Annie, July 2007

Friday, February 22, 2008

I...need...a...nap...

...but since I can't get one, I am vegging out on the computer. I just returned from Ethan's VIP presentation at school, and will post pictures later. But for now, here is some good reading material for Stephanie, whose baby won't let her get too much done these days:

1. What is your occupation? Resident booger wiper!
2. What kind of socks are you wearing? "not socks"
3. What are you listening to right now? Disney's greatest hits - from Mulan - "I'll Make a Man Out of You."
4. What was the last thing that you ate? A Tagalong Girl Scout cookie. Yum!
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Only if forced too.
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Deep red.
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My sister Judy
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yep!
9. How old are you today? 33...aack!
10. Favorite drink?
Water
11. What is your favorite sport to watch? Many of the sports in the Winter Olympics. (Figure Skating is NOT a sport.)
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? No, but I have done high- and low-lights.
13. Pets? Bearded Dragon and Tarantula
14.Favorite food? Hard to choose... homemade tacos?
15. Last movie you watched? Elizabeth
17. What do you do to vent anger? Stomp my feet, vent to Elliott, and clean... bizarre, I know!
18. What was your favorite toy as a child? I don't remember... But I really love playing in the bushes in our front yard.
19. What is your favorite, fall or spring ? Summer!
20. Hugs or kisses? Kisses from Elliott... hugs from family... everyone else had better just shake hands.
21. Cherry or Blueberry? cherry
22. Do you want your friends to post this meme? yes!
23. Who is most likely to respond? Stephanie?
24. Who is least likely to respond? Mom?
25. Living arrangements? House that is too big, yard that is too big, sewing room that is too small
26. When was the last time you cried? Hmmm, can't remember!
30. Favorite smell? a nursing newborn baby
31. What inspires you? uplifting talks, beautiful scenery, awesome quilts, my family.
32. What are you afraid of? losing a child
33. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? plain
34. Favorite car? I really love my Yukon XL Denali!
35. Favorite cat? A dead one. hahaha
36. Number of keys on your key ring? 1
37. How many years at your current job? Hmmm, how old is Andrew? 8 Actually, the booger wiping didn't start until Ethan was born... so more like 6!
38. Favorite day of the week? Saturday
39. How many states have you lived in? 4
40. How many countries have you been to? 10

Consider yourself tagged!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Who, me?

(Flattering, I know! But I really prefer a rousing game of twister over housework any day!)

If you are a mom with young children, please go read this article over at Mormon Mommy Wars. And then stop feeling so guilty. Some moms really like to clean, some really like to cook, and for some of us, just surviving makes it a great day. I happen to go through phases with all of these... but luckily I am okay with that.

Swap Love

What a wonderful weekend I had... my brother Charles got married to an amazing girl, and I got to go to WARM Southern California all by myself for the wedding. Elliott did a great job of holding down the fort while I was gone, and I got to hang out with my wonderful sister Judy. She is a very talented photographer, and I got to be her "assistant" for the wedding photographs. It was great fun!

Elizabeth announced her engagement to Jonathan, and we are all very excited for them. It looks like the wedding won't be until Fall, so mom has a small break before too much planning starts.


I also received some great swap packages this past week. Rachel was my partner for the travel swap. She chose a theme of San Francisco, and sent me this great tote bag and scarf. They will be very useful when Elliott and I cross the pond for our anniversary trip in April.

(no comments about the model allowed!.. Its early, and I don't have photo shop on my computer... Emma took the photo for me!)

While I was gone, I received this beautiful quilt from the 4 Seasons Quilt Swap... the theme is winter, and the quilt depicts a mountain pass near the maker's home. It is exquisitely pieced... so beautiful!

Sign-ups just started for the Spring session of the 4 Seasons Quilt Swap... I am considering joining again... and I am sure spots are filling up fast. Hop on over join the fun.



Thursday, February 14, 2008

Just in time for V-day...

Leslie tagged me, and I don't feel like cleaning windows at the moment, so here ya go!

1. What is his name?
Elliott Richard, but I call him Babe for short!
2. How long have you been together? We just celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary!
3.Who eats more? Elliott, unless it is junk food, and then it is me! :-)
4. Who said I love you first? He did.
5. Who is taller? Elliott
6. Who sings better? Probably me, but Elliott is an awesome pianist, and usually accompanies me. He also is a better artist and writer. Probably if he started quilting he would be better at that, but luckily he sees that as my domain!
7. Who is smarter? Definitely him.
8. Who does the laundry? Me, unless Elliott gets desperate!
9. Who does the dishes? Usually me, although Elliott steps in when I am totally bushed!
10. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? He does.
11. Who pays the bills? Definitely a man's job... I have nothing to hide! :-)
12. Who mows the lawn? Elliott. It usually takes him most of the day to take care of our yard, because it is too dang big. Who knew?.
13. Who cooks dinner? Usually me, but Elliott generally makes some mean pancakes on Sunday night.
14. Who drives when you are together? Elliott... I hate to drive.
15. Who is more stubborn? Definitely me!
16. Who is the first to admit when they're wrong? Uhm, Elliott isn't generally wrong, so that would be me. :-)
17. Whose parents do you see the most? Elliott's.
18. Who kissed whom first? Isn't that kind of a mutual thing? I suppose it was his idea, but I definitely didn't mind!
19. Who proposed? Elliott, at the beach. It was loverly!
20. Who is more sensitive? Uh, me!
21. Who has more friends? Me?
22. Who has more siblings? That would be me... There are 9 kids in my family, and 6 in Elliott's. Yikes, that's a lot of cousins!
23. Who wears the pants in the family? Elliott... and that's how I like it, thank you very much!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Great Mail Day!

Look what the postlady delivered to my door this afternoon...

This is the quilt I received in the current "Doll Quilt Swap II" that I am hosting on the about.com quilting forum. I LOVE it. It is perfect in every way shape and form. Penny... Thank you so much!!! Even my husband commented on what a neat quilt it is. I love the colors, and look at all those tiny little setting squares in the alternate blocks that make up the sashing. Truly an amazing quilt!


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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Feel the love

Look what I just ordered over at Shabby Apple:

On sale, and ruching is so perfect for hiding my "big fat momma" belly (that is what Ethan calls it!)

They also have a baby line... check out these adorable dresses:


(this one is my favorite, but maybe it is just this too cute little model!)

If you prefer to make your own patterns, Sandi Henderson, over at Portabello Pixie, is planning to launch a line of patterns in May.... I'm trying to be patient!


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

uh-oh

I mailed out my quilt for the Four Seasons Quilt Swap on January 29... and my partner hasn't posted that she received it yet, or emailed me... I really hope it isn't lost, and that the post office is just taking it's sweet time getting the quilt to her. My calendar isn't relishing the thought of making a new one, but maybe I ought to get started, just in case.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Doll Quilt Blocks

A little sneak peek of some blocks from the quilt I am making for a new doll quilt.
Aren't they cute? They each measure 3" unfinished.



There will be 12 star blocks total, each from a different double pink fabric (well, you've seen those before.)
These little stars are quite addictive and fun to make!



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Friday, February 01, 2008

Procrastinating #2

Yeah, my island has all kinds of school papers and things for the travel swap, but ya know, Sophie just threw her whole lunch on the floor, and I don't want to deal with it.

So instead, I headed over to Mormon Mommy Wars, where I saw this gem. Awesome!

Now, where's my mop?


Procrastinating

Okay, I know you all are checking the blogs because you are procrastinating some type of work, just like I am procrastinating finishing cleaning my kitchen, right?

To help you out, I have a funny story:

We have two boys. As anyone with boys will tell you, they aren't always the cleanest while "spending a penny"*. And one of my boys is, well, lets just say he is quite a bit worse than his brother.

Our main floor bathroom has had this odd smell... like old tinkle, and I couldn't figure out why. At first I thought that "sloppy child" was tinkling on the floor. I cleaned, re-cleaned, and cleaned again, to no avail. I couldn't get rid of the smell. Over Christmas break, I cleaned again, just to be sure, but sure enough, when we got back, the smell was still there.

The troubling thing, throughout this time, was that the smell was quite strong down the stair hallway too. I began to think we must have a leak under the toilet that was going into the floor and the walls. I wasn't looking forward to having to replace flooring or drywall. On a chance, I asked one of the members of our church, who is a plumber, if it was possible that we just needed a new seal around the toilet. He said that might be the problem, and if so Elliott would be able to replace it himself pretty easily.

That was a couple of weeks ago, and due to apprehension on our parts of pulling the toilet up, we didn't take care of the smell. But it really was getting worse! Almost to the point where I couldn't stand it.

Yesterday, I thought to myself, "We put down an area rug in front of the bathroom. I wonder if the rug is the problem." I tried to remember if we got the rug before or after the smell was noticed, but didn't think about it too much as Thursday is my busiest day.

Yesterday, Elliott, also in an attempt to discover the source of the smell, cleaned the bathroom himself, and then the door was shut until this morning, when I went in for a second, and realized the smell wasn't in there. I thought it was odd, and later, when Elliott and I were chatting, I mentioned that I had suspicions about the rug.

"Yes!" he said, almost yelling, "It's the rug pad!"

"huh?"

Turns out, when we put the area rug down, we put a rug pad under it, and at the time he thought the pad smelled stinky. He even remembered washing his hand thoroughly because the smell was so strong on them.

We pulled the rug up, (which smelled yucky on the bottom), and he smelled the rug pad, and ran it to the outside trashcan. I flipped the rug over, gave it a healthy dose of Febreeze, and sat back to wait.

*******

Fast forward a few hours, and I can safely say I now can walk down my stairway to the basement and breath in deeply. Ah, relief. You're all invited to the party! :-)

*"Spend a penny" is a polite term "use the bathroom" in England.


Some eye candy

It's true. I have a horrible sense of design and taste. That doesn't stop me from dreaming.

Check out these beautiful nurseries, showcased on ohdeedoh.

I love this sweet little room. Those curtains look like they are lined, and make the room quite dark, something my sweeties have never had! I love this room because even though it is obviously tiny, it still doesn't look cluttered.

What can I say? This room is so calming and peaceful. I would love to spend hours in it. The alphabet tiles at the top of the room are a nice touch.

I love this room for it's modern simplicity. Many of the elements in it could grow with the child to a teen room.

Click the link above to see more inspiring rooms. Or click over to my SIL Stephanie's archives. She has great taste... I should just hire her next time I need a room redone!