Monday, January 31, 2011

improvement and progression

goals logoLeaping higher, higher, higher,

With a desperate desire,

And a resolute endeavor

Now—now to sit, or never,

By the side of the pale-faced moon.

~Edgar Allen Poe


I just want to share my goals with y'all real quick. I'm hoping to "report" on them regularly (especially the ones in bold), so that I have some accountability. . . .

~ Daily scripture study and prayer

~ Develop my romance with DC – ENJOY :)

~ Consistency in time with Exacto, Fluffy, and Hummer – ENJOY

Super Kid dates, piano lesson, one-on-one time after school (stations), reading books together, paydays, etc.

~ Spend some time “with” Benjamin once a week, either visiting his grave or working on one of his scrapbooks

~ ENJOY Rosebud – Help her get on a sleep/daytime routine. Start reading to her and singing to her regularly.

~ Consistent exercise program / Reduce waist measurement by 8”

I have a specific plan for this (complete with rewards!) that I will share soon. . . .

~ Personal history / writing / blog

Write daily in journal, write weekly family letters

Come up with blog routine that I am happy with and can maintain

~ House – Declutter, Organize, Decorate as if to sell

One area per month – have notebook, make wish list, use budget

Jan: Downstairs closets,½ bath ~

Feb: Rosebud’s rm, closet ~

Mar: Boys’ rm, closet ~

Apr: Master br, bath, closet ~

May: Living rm ~

June: vacation :) ~

July: kitchen ~

Aug: dining rm, laundry closet ~

Sep: Garage ~

Oct: Boys’ bath ~

Nov: stairway, upstairs hall ~

Dec: Enjoy Christmas! :)

Anyone want to join with me on the house goal? I'll encourage you if you encourage me! :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

hibernating and celebrating our hummer

I've always thought it must be so nice to hibernate. First, to have a good excuse to eat tons. Then, to just sleep and be cozy while winter drags on outside. Sigh. I think I was meant to be a bear (unfortunately, that is true in more than one sense :).

I realized just a few days before Hummer's birthday that he has never had a friend party in his entire underprivileged life. I also realized that I wouldn't want to do one next year because we'll be in Arizona for Christmas. So I gulped quietly and asked him if he would like to have a friend party this year. He said YES!!!

Once we got the main idea going I was actually excited, too. We thought it would be fun for our winter-born boy to have a HIBERNATING party. I let him choose 7 people (since he was turning 7), and we invited them to come and wear comfy clothes or pj's and bring their teddy bears.


 invite to 7th bd

Three of the lucky seven were adults, including his Primary teacher. :)


So what does one do at a "hibernating party"?

Well, for an ICE BREAKER (har-har) we made snowflakes! The traditional 6-folded way, and also a new way that turned out to be really fun. Then we hung them from the ceiling fan.



Then we "gathered" food for the winter. This was kind of like a treasure hunt. Each kid had a bag, and as a group they went to four different stations outside (we were so lucky with the weather!). At each station they did a silly task and got an ingredient for their trail mix.

Station #1 - Say the alphabet backwards (taking turns for each letter), and get chocolate dipped pretzels. . .


(May I just say that birthday parties are WAY easier with older siblings to help?! so nice.)



Station #2 : Jump and land on your bum-bum SEVEN times on the trampoline - get some tasty cashews. :)



Station #3: To get your own stash of blueberry puffs (yep, the baby snack -- you wouldn't believe what a hot item they are around this house :), repeat after me, "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"



Station #4: Cadbury's chocolate pieces in exchange for untying the Human Knot. . . .



It was just chilly enough for it to feel good to come back inside for some really good comfort food--hot cocoa from scratch, stove top kettle corn, and spicy molasses cookies. Mmmmmm-hm.




And then, we all just curled up by the fire and I read one of the coziest read-alouds ever. . . .



The birthday boy read another great "cozy" book, making sure to show everyone the pictures after he read each page, Kindergarten teacher style.

237 235

Then, present-opening, and a rousing game of "Snore, Teddy, Snore" (like "grunt, piggy, grunt") until the guests had to leave.


This was actually the funnest part for the kids, I think. They were laughing so hard. . . .I would have included a video clip, but unfortunately one of the guests who may or may not have been a member of the family visibly needed to use the bathroom. So you'll just have to imagine the giggles and snores and shrieks.

Rosebud slept through most of the party. Apparently what she really needs in order to sleep better is a houseful of sugared-up kids! Here she is afterward wondering what happened to the house. :)




The next day was Hummer's real birthday. It was an awesome day--breakfast in bed, his birthday meals of choice, stake conference with the whole family, and SNOW--enough for school to get cancelled the next two days. It just doesn't get much better than that as far as birthdays go!!




 0101 to 0110





And just to impress your socks off, let me show you the work of profound art that was his cake.



Are you moved? :)

His request: lemon cake with lime-flavored frosting, decorated with limes and a hibernating snake. (I added the touch of having the snake dream of seven limes).





from the whole family

1. His laugh

2. His courage - he's not afraid to answer the phone or door or to talk to people

3. The way he dances

4. The way he makes up songs

5. The faces he makes

6. The sweet, sincere way he says thank you

7. How intently he listens to stories of Jesus


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 53 - { portraits from Kara }

post written 7/12/11

100 days of gratitude tag I researched a ton before getting Rosebud's 1-year pictures taken, trying to find a photographer that does excellent work but will give me digital copies and not require me to sell one of my offspring to pay for it all. It was tough. I have Martinelli's taste on a root beer budget. :) I just couldn't find any artist photographers that we could afford.

So I finally resolved to go with the new Portrait Innovat**ns that opened in West Little Rock (it is possible to acquire high resolution digital files, but there is a fairly complicated process involved). I hoped for the best, but was pretty sure it would only be a small step up from Walm*rt.

But a loving Heavenly Father knew the desires of my heart. He knew that I was clinging to every moment with this beautiful last baby, and that I desperately wanted good portraits of her. He sent a special blessing. . . .my talented friend Kara offered to take some. She does it as a hobby, but is SO GOOD. Even though she was having surgery the week of Roseberry's BD, she insisted she would be fine to take some the day after.

So here they are, Rosebud's portraits for her 1st birthday. . . .Have fun scrolling!

First, the ones from Portrait Innovat**ns. Taken actually on her birthday. They gave us a disk with low-resolution files of over 100 that they took, and here's a sampling, just for fun. They're fine, but I know I would have always looked back and wished I had better ones.


(outfit was a gift from sweet Rosy and Tommie)



I bought this one.



Cheesy, eh? I wasn't planning to get in any of these, but she was sad and I needed to hold her for a bit. :)



I'm glad we got one with her nursing necklace. Brings back sweet memories now.





Bought this one, too. I love how it shows her personality.




This one cracks me up. How does a one-year-old already know how to sneer? :)



Bought this one.



such a little cherub. :)



Don't you think the photographer should have come in closer or cropped these? Like this:


0069 cropped

That's a little better.



Bought the "special" for this one.





gah! Is that background hideous or what? I wish I had said something while they were getting it out!



Rosebud didn't particularly care for it either.

(This one could go on that awkward family photos site, eh?)



Fancy Nancy outfit from Nana.

She made that pettiskirt, and also one for each of her granddaughters! Go, Nana! (She said it was way hard, and she'll never do it again. :)




Arg. They cut off our knees and feet. Ah, well. Overall it was about what I had feared, and I don't know that I'll go back.

If I could do it over again, I would save the money I spent at PI (and add some to it) to get ginormous canvas prints of Kara's beautiful work!!

(Life's too short to throw money at mediocre portraits, eh? Who needs food? :)

The next day, we went to Kara's house, and she captured these. (The last few were taken a month later because the birthday girl was getting tired and we had to come back). I am SOOO grateful we got these other ones. THANK YOU, Kara!

So here are the REAL portraits (taken on 12/22/10 and 1/19/11). . . .


As you can see, there's no comparison.




DSC_0856 (1)





She was watching the balloons in this one. (See birthday party post :).






This here was the shot I was hoping for. I wanted full-length, with her toes showing, and a smile, her eyes toward the camera. We got it! Woohoo!



She LOVES that Woody doll. :)



Wow. I think this one may very well be my favorite photo of her yet.



This one's on our wall now.



This one was Kara's favorite.


It is amazing to me that even with such a small matter as this--with something that wasn't really a need--I was blessed with one of my wants, heirloom quality portraits of my only daughter. Thank You, Heavenly Father!