School Girl and Other News

We just got our camera to work on our computer again, so I have a back-log of posts to complete this month. I figured I would start with most recent and work backward, since the most recent involves a certain little girl in our family.

Lydia has been waiting for a whole year to go to school, and she started school this week. She has come home every day, and has spoken of nothing but school. What a cutie! In other news, the youngest of our family, Mr. Tiddlywinks by name, has decided as of Tuesday this week that he is a walker. He still has a hard time walking on carpet, as we found out this evening at Brian's parent's house, but he is becoming incredibly proficient at the art of being biped. He chooses when he wants to walk, and will not do it on command. Thus, I do not have a video of the wondrous event; however, I was able to catch him via photograph mid-walk, fully clothed, in the running shower on Tuesday evening.


Baby Bumblebee, Dinosaur Rocketship, and Happy Birthday Cat-Cat's

Isn't he an adorable 7-month old baby bumblebee? Benjamin got this cute little hat from his Sunbeam leaders, who, sadly, are moving.What might look like a mess of toys, I was informed, is a dinosaur rocketship and launching pad. I love how creative my children are. And last, but certainly not least, we have managed to keep our kittens alive for an entire year (I assure you this is quite a feat). Happy birthday to Klinker and Miss Belle!


Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary...

How does my garden grow? That is a good question, because as of right now, I am still waiting for a sign of green in my garden. It all started Easter weekend...

Brian's grandparents came to visit for Easter. Grandpa told me he wanted to help me get my garden ready, and even brought me some seed potatoes! I might be the only person in New Mexico to attempt to grow potatoes here. Lydia and Benjamin were great helps, and even made hearts in the dirt with their feet prints. You see the quality of dirt I have to work with.Grandpa and I hauled a few loads of top soil to mix in with the garden plot. Benjamin loved helping rake it into place. As you notice, between the first and this picture (a span of about 2 hours), we went from cold and rainy/snowing to sunny and warm. Welcome to New Mexico!
Even Mr. Tiddlywinks wanted in on the action.

A friend of ours tilled the garden for us, and I got a painful sunburn this past Saturday getting the garden planted. I still have some squash to plant, as well as some tomatoes, strawberries and herbs but all -in-all, I am watering and praying that my efforts will bare fruit (yes, pun intended).

(This is how it looked as of this morning. We need to finish our fence and get the planter boxes finished, but I am so excited for my garden!)


Mother's Day Musings

I love my three kids...they are so full of character and laughter that they keep my days from being dull. That being said, without them, I wouldn't get adorable Mother's Day cards. Brian taught Sunbeams while the ladies got to go to Relief Society yesterday, so I helped him make cute little cards that the little kids could draw on for their mothers. Needless to say, I was glad that Benjamin was in the class, because I got one too!

If you want to know how to make these adorable, yet ever-so-easy flowers, go to get your craft on at the adorable Jones Design Company. My husband was so cute to watch as he was attempting to roll the flowers himself. We make a good team, I might say!

Here's hoping you all enjoyed your Mother's Day...I know I did! There is nothing like ice cream and Wacky Cake for dinner, ahem, and breakfast too!

P.S. I know I need to update...keep watching because I am going to be posting a lot over the next couple of days to catch up.


He's On His Way!

Guess who is malcontent with simply crawling along as a means of locomotion? You guessed it; Mr. Tiddlywinks has started pulling himself into standing position, and he has even taken a few steps. Sheesh, I don't know if I am ready for this; he is only 5 months old!


My Boys

This one is five months old! I cannot believe how big he is getting! He and Benjamin play so well together, and one of their favorites is trains. They are adorable together, and I can only imagine what good friends they are going to be!


Clyde the Quick Easter Chick

I have been itching to create a craft that would take at most an hour to complete, while keeping my house mainly clutter-free for the duration of the project. Well, I found one, and it was so easy that I am going to pass it on to you.
You will need only a basic knowledge of sewing--really just how to sew a straight line. You will also need to brush up on how to sew a french knot, which looks hard, but in all actuality is incredibly easy. There are some great video tutorials out there on how to sew a french knot, so I will not be taking time to explain it. Just google it if you do not know how.

Now, I know you are dying to know what the craft is, so without further ado, may I introduce you to Clyde, the bean bag chick!Now, Clyde is a quirky Easter chick, and as I said before, incredibly easy to make, so here goes with instructions...
You will need: yellow fabric for the body, a contrasting fabric for the wings, orange felt for the beak, a ruler, pencil, paper scissors, fabric scissors, pinking shears, black thread, white thread, a needle, rice (or other fill), and a sewing machine.

First, make the patterns for Clyde's body and wings. I just found two different sized circles in my kitchen and traced them one on top of another onto a piece of heavy paper.
I then used the ruler to connect the two circles on the sides.Cut out the pattern. I just free-handed the wing to how I wanted it to look. Cut the wing pattern also.Next, trace your body pattern onto the wrong side of your body fabric. Fold it in half so you end up with two exact pieces. You don't have to use yellow; you could definitely experiment with different colors. Go wild if you want to! Then "rough cut" the body out, leaving about 1/4" on each side, and pin each side inside the line. Next, use your pinking shears and cut OUTSIDE the line you drew, all the way around.
Do the same with your wings; cut out 4 ALONG the line with your sewing scissors. Next, cut out Clyde's beak. Fold over the bottom to your piece of felt, and cut a triangle. You should end up with a diamond if you did it right.
Like so...
Next, draw two dots where you want his eyes. You do not have to be precise...just eyeball it (no pun intended).
Here is where you will want to know how to make a french knot. You could just sew on little black beads, but where I knew that Clyde would be a child's toy, I decided the less choking pieces, the better. You want to take just the front side of Clyde to sew the eyes on.
Now is where it gets sketchy and I need to be good with my instructions, because I did not take pictures at this point. Sew on the beak by placing it where you want it, and using a straight stitch down the middle of the diamond, a.k.a. the beak.

Separate two of Clyde's wings and place the first, wrong side facing you, on the back side of the front piece of Clyde. Put the other piece of wing lining up with the back wing on top; you are basically making a sandwich of wing, Clyde, wing, and then pin in place. (Look at the "Like so" picture to get the idea.) Do this with the other wing too. You will then want to sew around the wings to attach them.

Next, line up the front piece and back piece of Clyde, wrong sides facing each other, and sew around, leaving a hole in the bottom to put your fill in. I used rice to make him a beanbag, but you could use batting to make him a plush toy, or beans, lentils, basically whatever you have on hand. Once you fill him to your desired fatness, sew the bottom, and enjoy!
My kids really like Clyde. It looks like I will need to create two more siblings to Clyde, as controversy has already arisen as to whom Clyde belongs to.


Mommy Bragging

So, yes, it has been a while since I last posted. It seems as though my days rush by before I even have a moment to think about what happened. We have been having a lot of fun going to parks and running errands for the past while. Declan is now a crawling baby, as of two weeks ago. Yes, he crawled at 4 1/2 months. He didn't beat Lydia's record, though. (Yes, she was a 3 month old crawler.) I could swear my babies are born running. Isn't he such a cute little Mr. Tiddlywinks with navy blue eyes?

Benjamin loves creating things as of late. Most have to do with dinosaurs, trains and ships.These are three "dinosaurs" he created one night just before bed time. The one on the left with all the baby toys is a Stegosaurus with a sock head. There is a Tyrannosaurus Rex in there with a red body and "lots of sharp teeth", and the dinosaur on the bottom with the sippy lids is a Pteranadon, a.k.a. bird dinosaur. Most of the time, he uses toys, but sometimes I find all my silverware missing. He built a very ingenious ship with Lydia out of his train tracks, complete with a sail and ship's wheel, and I accidentally deleted the picture!

We also have been traveling a lot the past month, due to Brian's church calling. He is a stake auditor, and we have visited three very small branches; they were so small that our little family of five literally doubled each branch we went to. It made me realize how blessed I am to belong to a church that is the same, no matter the size of the congregation. Here are a couple cute pictures of the kids en route to one of our destinations. I feel so incredibly blessed to have three wonderful children to love and snuggle on a daily basis. There is nothing like the purity of children!



On this day completely dedicated to love, I wanted to take a moment to quickly document a smidgen of mine.

I love being able to wake up to a handsome husband who loves me without condition, who supports my decisions, cheers when I succeed, and gives me a shoulder to cry on. I love having three entirely unique and wonderful children who help me to better myself and show their love for me in every action, rock, leaf, picture, kiss and embrace. This little family has completed me as nothing has. I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love knowing that I can better myself through the gift that our Savior gave to each of us.

My life has truly been one of learning, joy and plenty. I echo the words of Audrey Hepburn: "If my world were to cave in tomorrow, I would look back on all the pleasures, excitements and worthilenesses I have been lucky enough to have had. Not the sadness,...but the joy of everyhing else. It will have been enough."


Three months all around

So Brian and I have been sorting pictures a lot lately--five years worth of pictures is a lot, just so you know. We have been comparing pictures of our three kids. Who knew that the same mold could produce three similar, yet not, cuties? These pictures are of all our kiddos at three months.
Lydia, January 2006

Benjamin, January 2008

Declan, January 2011


House Happenings

I needed to take a break from sorting pictures from the last few months to post here on the blog, so I decided to fulfill the request I had from a friend...namely I have not been keeping you updated with what we have done on the house. There are too many to talk about, so I will tell you about the one I am most proud of at the moment. I will give you a before, during and after recap. Mind you, it still needs a few more things done to it, but (This is for you Elise!)
This poor, poor fireplace. It was completely outdated and very understated. Considering it was the focal-point of the living room, it just didn't work.

Enter in demolition and voila, a blank canvas that was way too over-sized for the room still. We contemplated for over a year before we came up with the not-quite final product.

We added a hearth back in, one that was more fitting the size and has storage for fire wood, lowered the mantle, and added slate ledge stone to the face. It completely changes the look of the room. We hope to eventually add a cabinet above the fireplace that will hide a television. We have seen a lot of great ideas and cannot wait to show you what happens! We also are going to get a flat firescreen that matches a little better.

So, what do you think?


Rewind Part Uno


We started our Thanksgiving trip by going to the "World's Largest Pistachio" just outside of Alamogordo, NM. Brian had previously looked up things we could do to break the trip up for little ones, and wanted to stop here. It was pretty funny, but the kids only wanted to "get to Morgan's house!" so we did not stay here long.

We packed up our three kids back into the car and went to Alamogordo, NM to meet Julian and Ashley and their three kids at the Train Depot. (It is a model train lover's haven.) We have actually been there before a couple years ago, but we figured since Benjamin and AJ were not old enough to appreciate it, we went back to ride on the train.
Ben did not heed the "No Tresspassing" sign that was so clearly hanging where a little child could not see it, and hopped over the chain to look at the steam engine. He was pretty sad that all he could ride was a diesel-electric train. (This boy knows his trains.)

This is the best picture I got of Lydia, Morgan and AJ. As you can tell, it was a windy day. Benjamin was sitting by me because he wanted to climb out while it was moving.

Benjamin was enthralled by his experience and he begged to ride a second time.

We then went to Julian and Ashley's house and she and I stayed up waaaay too late trying to prep for the Thanksgiving meal.

The guys took the kids geocaching on Thanksgiving morning while Ashley and I finished up the meal. As a side note, kids love geocaching. Give it a try if you haven't already. Lydia still talks about going "treasure hunting."

Ashley pulled out her nice china for Thanksgiving, and let me set her table...I like to go all out so I was excited that she wanted to use the china!Isn't her china gorgeous?

We were able to go to Old Mesilla the day after Thanksgiving and eat in a restaurant that is supposed to be haunted. There is even a room that the ghost is supposed to haunt that you can reserve to eat in. That might be fun for Halloween, but it could also be kind of spooky dining with an intruder. (What is it about the old Spanish buildings that are spooky in and of themselves, even if they are not supposed to be "haunted"?)We rounded off our trip by stopping at Gran Quivara, the ruins of a Spanish mission to the Pueblo Indians. That is the remainder of a "new church" they were building but abandoned. Those specks in the doorway are Lydia, Benjamin, Declan and me.Benjamin fell asleep at Grandma's house just after we got home. As you can tell, it was a very fun, eventful Thanksgiving for all of us, and I am sure we all felt like this when we got home.