Thursday, November 4, 2010

Upcycling and Recycling

So I've just recently learned a new hip and cool word - upcycling.  Here's the definition:

  • Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.
  • The repurposing of a material into a product of higher quality. An example would be a purse made out of woven candy wrappers.
I'm not quite sure how this differs from recycling, but blogs that are way cooler than mine use this word all the time.  So here's my newest "upcycling" projects:
 This mirror, in all its lovely golden splendor, hung in my parents entry way for a long, long time.  Underneath it was an equally lovely, and matching gold shelf on which two ivory and ebony little elephants stood.  I asked my mom the other day if I could have the mirror.  She said yes and pulled the dusty thing out from under her bed (my sister had already taken the little shelf). So in the mode of upcycling, and because I get asked at least 6 times a day, usually more like 12, what's for dinner, I decided to try my hand at making a chalkboard out of a mirror to post our weekly menu on.  It actually was pretty easy and if anyone wants to make a chalkboard out of something, I have TONS of the chalkboard paint left. (Found out later, there are much smaller bottles in the craft section, instead of the paint section.)
Next is my other new love, painting on t-shirts using freezer paper as a stencil.  I've cut the freezer paper using my Cricut (or I also did one by just laying the freezer paper over a picture I printed out and cutting) and then iron it on the shirt.  Then paint away.  Maddie's shirt had a stain on it which I carefully covered with the butterfly.  Jon was very sad when his favorite shirt (which is a hand-me-down from Billy, and before that cousin, Chase) got a big snag and hole in it.  So I cut out the felt guitar and painted it and the shirt.  Now he has his favorite shirt back and he thinks it's cooler than ever!  I also painted a shirt for Cheyenne, Natalie, and me (covering up a hole I patched).  I even painted all of the kids Halloween shirts.  My kids are now becoming a little leery of telling me they have a stain because they know I'll whip out the paint and fix it right up, instead of just buying a new one.
What do you have sitting around your house just waiting to be upcycled?

Linked to:
Love Notes by Lauryn

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Halloween

What a fun weekend we had! I'm kind of liking Halloween on Saturday/Sunday, it sure makes things less rushed and enjoyable.  Friday the kids all wore their costumes to school.  Maddie had her hair done first, and after I was done ratting it up, I showed her in the mirror.  She almost started crying and didn't want her hair "crazy".  After Chloe's got "crazy" too, and then we sprayed them blue, she decided it was kind of fun.  However, Jon wasn't so keen on wearing his "church clothes" to school, especially since it wasn't red. (If they wear red on Friday's they get a pride pass to redeem for candy and he didn't want to miss out.  I assured him that there wouldn't be any pride passes given out and he'd get lots of candy anyway.)  Billy was just psyched that he got to wear his costume all day long since it was just camo pants and shirt, and everyone else only got to put on their costumes after lunch.  Even more exciting for Billy was getting to wear his camo pants and shirt together since his dad had told him he couldn't before because one is "desert camo" and the other is "forest camo" and they don't match. :)  I was even a good mom and went to the costume parade - first time I've ever done that.

 Saturday we had a nice relaxing day at home and especially enjoyed having Bill home with us, a rarity in the last couple months.  Finally, it was time to get all dolled up again and have some more fun.  This time there were tears for a minute when Jon had to wear his "church clothes" again, but the threat reminder of no trick or treating if he didn't wear them quickly stopped the tears and he had a great time.  I even joined in with them thanks to my sister's great Cat in the Hat costume.  Cheyenne and Natalie were too, old for trick or treating this year, but luckily their brothers and sisters got plenty of candy to share. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fun Weekend!

A few weeks ago, sheesh time is flying by, we had a fun weekend with most of the cousins on my side of the family.  Mom and Dad were reporting their mission (YEAH it's so good to have them home!) and Brad and Geri and boys, and Leslie and Luke and boys were up visiting along with Shaun and Alana and boys and Ashtyn, who is going to school here now.  The women did some fun shopping one day, I found some super cute bedspreads for Chloe and Maddie.  We had a BBQ on Saturday and the kids all had a great time playing together and hanging out (because Cheyenne keeps telling me she's too old to "play" anymore. :) )  Then later that afternoon we went to Yellowstone Bear World and had some fun seeing the animals, feeding the fish and ducks, and a quick turn on each of the rides (of course the little kids loved that the best and we only had a short time on those.) Then Sunday Mom and Dad gave some wonderful talks, they really are awesome missionaries, teased Ashtyn endlessly about Keaton, and had a nice luncheon together.  I love my family! Most of all I love that we all like each other and enjoy speanding time together, the adults and all the kids, too


Monday, October 4, 2010

Back to School

As I'm sitting here with my kids around because it's already potato harvest, I realized I still haven't written about school starting. This year was a little different start to school.  For the first time ever, Cheyenne wasn't ready to go back to school. I guess she had a fun summer.  Billy was a little nervous about his teacher (thanks big sisters who didn't say anything good about his teacher, even though they never had her.)  Chloe, Maddie, and Jon couldn't wait to get to school and I really wasn't sure I was ready for them to go.  But the first day came anyway.  Cheyenne had friends in all her classes, so that was good, however she makes friends so quickly and easily it doesn't really matter.  The funniest thing is I had 3 of her 5 teachers and one other was teaching when I was there, I just never had him.  She also started seminary this year, which she was a little unsure of (church in the middle of every day) but has now found she really likes it. 
Natalie has a different group of friends in all her classes this year and that's kind of fun for her.  She has one teacher who plays 80's music everyday and she's quite proud of herself for knowing almost every song she's played. She has one teacher who's a little annoying, according to Natalie, with her creative learning ideas, and that's about all I hear about school. Trying to get Natalie to tell me anything about school is like pulling teeth.  That's my challenge with her this year. :)
As I said, Billy was a little nervous about his teacher this year, and after last year's mess, I was, too.  I was really hoping for a great teacher who would be kind and loving, not like last year's and that's what we got.  Billy came home the first day with a smile and said she was a great teacher. YES!  He also has some good friends in his class, again, not like last year.  He's really enjoying school, especially reading.

 Then there's Chloe, Maddie, and Jon.  They're in afternoon kindergarten, which means 11:45 to 2:20, a quick couple of hours.  They couldn't wait to get there, I on the other hand was leaving my babies.  Yup, I cried, but not until I got to the car.  That first few days was a little weird, it is so quiet with everyone gone.  I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself.  However, that only lasted a few days and now I love my two hours by myself.  It's two hours that I cram everything I possibly can into, errand running, cleaning, crafting, reading, visiting teaching, temple sessions, it's hard to narrow down what I'm going to squeeze into that time each day.  But back to the three, they LOVE school.  Their teacher is wonderful and three other kids from our ward are in their class, too.  In fact, since we have to drive them to school this year, we carpool with two of them.  They're learning a ton and will be reading before we know it.  I also get to help in their class on Thursday's, which is pretty fun for me.

So now it's back to the homework/practicing/chores balancing game after school.  Sitting with 4 kids to do homework with 20 minutes of reading/being read to, each night, trying to help Cheyenne with geometry (ha, ha), making sure everyone gets their piano practicing done, it all gets very interesting at times, but it's all good.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wow, what a summer!

What a great summer we had, but it went WAY too fast!  One great thing I did was kind of take a break from the computer, I just had too much fun doing other things, but I did miss blogging a bit.  Anyway, here's a little snapshot (or two or three) of what we did. 

Birthday times 3!

T-ball fun, except for the wind and cold.

This is what Maddie did most of the time.

Jon aptly nicknamed "Chicken Little" by his sisters as the helmet was too big and would fall over his eyes.  So cute!

A very cool 4th of July, notice Drew wrapped in the blanket and everyone in jackets.

Natalie's 12!!

A great week camping.
Chloe learned to ride a bike is a whizzing around everywhere!

I'm very reluctantly adding this picture, but Pioneer Trek was a big part of the summer. It was a fantastic experience.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Long time, no posts

I can't believe it's already July! Birthday season at our house was filled with lots of fun, and lots of cake and ice cream. 5 birthdays within a month's span (of course, 3 being on the same day) is a lot of fun, but nice to be over with, too. School ended with all it's fun and it's been so nice to see our new addition take shape and become a fun place to hang out. June flew by with the triplets playing t-ball twice a week, with a practice in between. We had a fun weekend of family visiting. And now the weather has finally warmed up and we've been spending a lot of time outside. I have four little "fish" who can't get enough of our swimming pool (aka watering trough.) :) We also got a new/additional computer, so I've been trying to figure out all the new things and moving all my stuff to the new one. However, all our pictures are on the old one. Hopefully, we'll get that worked out very soon and I can post pictures of all the fun we've been having.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The dude is 7!

Wow, how did that happen? My little guy isn't so little anymore but he still has that grin from ear to ear with those stinking, cute dimples that make my heart melt. Billy is such a good kid and a great big and little brother (most of the time). We love having him in our family. This year we celebrated with blue french toast for breakfast and chicken nuggets and french fries for dinner with chocolate cake and monster cookie ice cream for dessert - all his requests. He opened his presents with the highlight being a remote-control Jeep (which Chloe promptly seated her Barbie in.) Then Grandpa and Grandma and Uncle Thomas came over and brought more fun. He was in Lego heaven with a lego tie-fighter (with Lego Darth Vadar, so cool!) and a Bionicle. I knew he had a great day, because that grin never left all day. :) The next day he had two friends come over (good thing birthdays are only once a year) and they had a fun time shooting each other with nerf guns, driving the jeep, playing xbox and more. Happy Birthday, Billy!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tax Day

We celebrate an unusual day at our house, April 15, tax day. No, it's not because we're getting a refund (we've usually gotten it and spent it by then :) ), but it's the day we get Bill back. Starting from about the middle of December to April 15 is a very stressful, very busy time for Bill at work. Although this year was a little better in that he didn't work so many Saturdays, I think it was a little more stressful with all they've got going on at work. I'm just glad he didn't go into public accounting as we'd really not see him at all during this time, so it could be worse. However, by the time April 15 rolls around, we're ready for a party. We're ready to have a happy, relaxed Dad around again, so we throw a party for him. We celebrated with a very clean house, taco salad, the "special plate", german chocolate cream pie, pepsi, and a time to snuggle with dad and just relax together. It was a good night. Ahhh, I love tax day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


A little slow, but at least it's not May yet. We had a great Easter weekend, despite all the snow. It was so nice to just relax and watch conference - about 5 more and I think I'll have my cross-stitch Santa done, I think I've been working on it for about 5 years now. :) We colored eggs on Saturday night. And in between sessions on Sunday, we had our hunt for their baskets. Bill and I hid them all upstairs. The kids ran up, did a quick run through all the rooms and announced they couldn't find them. I told them to look again, with their eyes open ;) , and they started looking a little closer. It still took them quite a while and some clues from me before they finally found them. We had a nice dinner at home and just enjoyed being together the rest of the day.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April Showers, bring May flowers, right?

I'm not sure that old saying meant snow showers though. So our latest snow storm dumped about 5" on us and farther south, around 8". My kids were pretty bummed when lots of schools (and their cousins) had a snow day in April! And what a spring break - it snowed every day they were out, and when it wasn't snowing it was windy, cold and miserable. Oh well, that's spring in Idaho. So instead of complaining too much, we took advantage of our new very wet, heavy snow yesterday and the little kids and I made a snowman. It was much easier and way more fun to roll it into a snowman than to try to throw all that heavy snow off the deck. But it was fairly warm, the kids are all in jackets, and the snowman toppled over in a couple of hours (then I let Cheyenne shovel the rest off. :) )

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Contest Entry

Hi I just need to make a quick post about one of my favorite websites - Snapfish! I do pretty much all my photo printing from them, unless I'm in a big hurry and need one hour. The quality is excellent, the colors are fantastic, and the prices are really good - especially when I wait until it's a free shipping promotion. Anyway, I just found a contest on where you can win a $50 gift card to Snapfish. I can always use more credits for prints as I'm slowly making my way to catching up and keeping current my scrapbooks, so I get an extra entry if I blog about it. Go check it out!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I love doing crafts of all kinds from scrapbooking and other paper crafts to jewelry making, to cross-stitch and all kinds of things in between. I come from a long line of crafty people from my Grandma who started me stitching a Winnie the Pooh dish towel when I was about 7 or so; to my Mom, the queen of sewing who is known to quote quite often, "If you can read you can sew;" and both my Mom and Grandma are excellent quilters. Then to my sisters, Kristen - the Princess of the Paintbrush and all her many incredible tole painting in years past, or now, the "collector" of all things scrapbooking. ;) She's still very crafty, just doesn't have as much time to do as much. And my younger sister, Leslie, as I posted a couple weeks ago, has taken Mom's "If you can read you can sew" motto to heart, and whips up all kinds of fun creations. She's also my scrapbooking partner and not only keeps her beautiful books completely up to date, she's been known to work on my kids books, trying to help me get a little more caught up. And that's just immediate family, add in my very talented sisters-in-law, and daughters and nieces, and we've been known to have quite the crafting fests. It's always more fun to craft with friends. I always have someone to call for "expert advice" on whatever project I'm working on. So here's my latest fun I've been having:

The first is a wedding present for a cousin. Now I just have to get the present to her. These notebook/journals were one of our group crafts a couple years ago. I'm just finally getting around to making myself one and with a few tweeks, one for Cheyenne, too. (By the way, family, I have a tab punch now if anyone wants to make more of these. Actually I still have some of the sticker tabs, too.)
Glass etching is my new found love. It is so much fun! I'm always on the lookout for something more I can etch. :)Now that I've cleared off my table of these fun projects, and I've done some cleaning out/reorganizing of my craft stuff, I'm itching to do some scrapbooking. It's been months since I've done anything, and my piles of pictures aren't getting any smaller. So that's my new goal, to do at least two layouts every week. Even if it's 15 min. increments, I think I can accomplish this. Then maybe I can get a little bit closer to getting caught up and Leslie won't have to do my books, too.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dr. Seuss's Birthday

"Try them, try them and you may. Try them and you may, I say." Since quoting this line is almost a daily occurence at our house, and is mostly said to Cheyenne with Jon coming in a close second, it's only fitting that we celebrate Dr. Suess's birthday with dinner of green eggs and ham (or sausage this time-same family, and so much better:-) ) This year's eggs were a little extra green with some swiss chard in them, too. Yes, I'm branching out and tried a new green vegetable, thanks to my "Bountiful Basket" last week. Cheyenne was not impressed, but I would eat it here or there. Say, I would eat it anywhere. We love celebrating his birthday with this dinner and then snuggling up and reading our favorite Dr. Suess books, of course!
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Natalie has earned her green belt now. She tested on my birthday, Feb. 13, and I actually got to see the whole thing this time. Aunt Leslie and Camden and Cheyenne came too. It was pretty cool. She started by being quizzed by all the Sensei's. Then she had to do her self defense techniques, each level adds on to the moves they do. Then was the fun part, the sparing. It was fun to see Natalie just let loose, especially since she was one of two girls testing. The pictures are blurry, but she's the one with the orange belt. Then she had to do her Kata (no idea if that's spelled right.) That is a sequence of moves and punches and "ki-ya's" that each belt does. Again, it adds on, so she has to remember everything she's learned so far. I thought she did pretty good, but apparnently the whole group needed more work on those. She passed and here she is changing belts.Natalie is still loving karate and has moved to a later class, 7:30-9 now. (Works a little better with our crazy Wednesday/Mutual night schedules, too.) She's now in a class with teenagers and adults, but she is doing fantastic in it and really enjoys not being with the little kids. Next up is blue.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Look how far we've come.

I just realized (through some gentle reminders) that I never posted this article we were featured in:

Look how far we've come from this:Chloe at 1 day old.

To this:
3 goofy, 4 1/2 year olds!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Check this out!

So my very creative little sister makes some amazingly cute things - baby slings, nursing covers, bags (from scripture size to large totes), and baby dresses/preschool tunic tops (check these out they are awesome!). I think the talent for sewing skipped me, but she excels at it, and luckily I get to benefit from her talent sometimes, too. Check out her new blog:

or go shopping here:
Oh, and check out the cute models under the ZuZu dresses. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Super Bowl Party!

The excitement for the super bowl was huge this year as Cheyenne's favorite team was playing, and favored to win. Plan were set into motion a few weeks ago as the menu was carefully debated and thought out - key elements to a good super bowl. The game was going to be good, the food was going to be good, great friends and family were coming, just hoping the commercials would complete it all. Go, COLTS!!

Well, sadly, Cheyenne's team lost and she faced much taunting the next day as she still stood up for her beloved Colts. The food was delicious - pulled pork tacos with all the trimmings, spring rolls (we were going for an international flair, I guess), and carameled popcorn and ice cream cones for dessert. Our awesome neighbors and friends, The Huntsmans, came, along with Bill's Aunt Janie and Uncle Leon, and his brother, Tom. We had a great time! The commercials were okay, there were some good ones, there were some stupid ones, there just not as good as they used to be. And then after everyone left, Thomas stayed and played guitar hero for a while with us. It was a good night!Aunt Janie, MaryJo, Wade, Cheyenne, Tom, Bill, and Uncle Leon. The rest were playing upstairs most of the time.
Natalie, Lauren, and Page playing cards.Jon, Trey, Maddie, Chloe, and Billy playing nerf guns.And the guitar hero playing. Billy was rocking on vocals and really got into the guitar tonight!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Another Favorite Spot

A while ago I posted about my favorite things/places in my home, well, I have a new one. Okay, so really I took these pictures a few months ago, but I finally got around to writing about it now. :)The sewing machine was my Grandma C.'s and I have very fond memories of sleeping over at her house in the "blue room" and playing with the pedal on this sewing machine. My sister and I would try to see how fast we could get it pumping. Somehow I ended up with it in my room when Grandma moved to her apartment and I've treasured it ever since. The the doily on top was crocheted by Grandma H. and what a work of art it is. The sewing box next to it was also hers. As I look at these things I remember all the wonderful memories I have of these two incredible women. The fun of sleepovers and playing hopscotch on the stones out back, visits after school, "special plates", smarties, chocolate cake and frog-eye salad, her weekly visits (and loads of goodies) when the triplets were born and much more from Grandma C. Grandma H. reading "Henry Huggins" while we ate twizzlers on her front steps, lots and lots of playing and coloring at her house, her patiently helping me start (or fix) many a cross-stitch project, her telling me to never learn how to milk a cow, and so much more. I really miss my grandma's, but I'm so glad I always lived close to them and they had such a big influence on me. As for the pictures, that another story. One day as my sister Kristen and I were in Sam's Club, they had a display for these old-fashioned pictures. We decided it would be so fun to have the only grandaughters (my two and her two) take a picture together and we'd give it to Grandma for her birthday. The day came and as they were all playing dress up, Kristen's youngest decided she wanted nothing to do with it. She cried and cried (very unlike Hailey) and we ended up just getting a picture of Cheyenne and Natalie. We even tried again a few months later, but still no luck. Fast forward to a couple years ago and I saw the offer for these pictures again. So with Kristen's help again (she was the "mom" to the boys so we could get the cheap price) we got these taken. The kids had so much fun playing while the guy took some wonderful pictures. It was hard not to want to buy them all. It wasn't until later that I realized that Cheyenne and Natalie, in their picture, are about the same ages as Billy and Jon. I worked out perfectly! These pictures just make me smile every time I look at them, they're just so darn cute!

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