Hope you have a great one...

happy christmas to you all! i hope you get to celebrate with family and friends, i hope it was and is all you wished for...i hope you feel loved. Merry Christmas people!


Bread Bowls..

or bread boules..

i want to buy some, anyone know a good place to get some in my AZ area?


family pictures!!!

our amazingly talented friend, alacey took our family pictures and i really couldn't be happier with them! she did such a great job, our kids...did a great job all things considered...i just love having these memories preserved so beautifully! thanks alacey!



i made our stockings (originally) the year avery was born. i am just gonna say, that was a dark time for me. my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer mere weeks before avery was born, i had a newborn so i couldn't go be with my mom during her surgery or chemo or anything, the newborn in question was projectile vomiting the contents of her stomach on a regular basis because she had such bad reflux...she couldn't sleep well, was cranky etc....so i was tired and emotional and yadda yadda yadda....

so i think in my sleepless haze i dreamed up THE hardest way to make stockings and then tried to do that. they were okay, they were cute from a distance but up close, i didn't love them.

so i went to make Blake's stocking this week (yep, he didn't have one last year...something's gotta give people) and it didn't turn out well and i just thought, if i have to look at these stockings and use them, i better love them! so i made us all new ones! fortunately i had enough fabric for a whole other set of stockings and i really like how they turned out!

(click on pic to see details if you wanna...)
the boys have red stars and red jingle bells (i just bought joann's last little bag of red jingle bells for blake's they aren't sewn on yet) and the girls have white stars and white pom pom fringe! so much better, i have to tell you. i don't even think i have a picture of the old ones, but they had the green santa fabric on the toe and heel and it wasn't a good fit so it was bunchy and weird, and then the cuff wasn't a cuff, it was a flap and i hated that...the pom pom and the bells were the same, the wooden letters were the same...the stars i added this time because i love stars....anyway, i am much happier so that's what matters:)

we went to the Mesa Temple lights display tonight (for the second time) with kendall's family, because his dad is back in town from Iraq...and it was fun. blake loves to walk with anything that will move with him, hence, "helping" daddy move the stroller, the kids loved the lights and a good time was had by all:)

ethan and avery have been painting with watercolor a lot lately (mostly ethan...but avery some) and he's quite prolific so i decided we should make beautiful snowflakes out of his artwork...



when i bought this table and i told my sister in law (elise) about it, i believe she said something like "how many tables do you need jen?" point well taken:)

i have a pedestal table in the kitchen area...i have the huge black dual pedestal table in the dining room...i have a table for my sewing machine and now i have a cutting table! yahoo!!!

i got this blessed table at DI for $8, it is a BEAST...very heavy. when i mentioned this to kendall he said something like, "everything you like is heavy!" (furniture speaking)

and he's right. the lockers, ridiculously heavy; the black table, very very heavy, even the pedestal table is heavy. The tables are heavy because they are all wood...but i digress!

so the base of this table is metal, the top is particle wood or something covered with...something that breaks off if you try:) so i started by gluing down the part that broke off with E6000 glue (amazing glue!)

and i broke away from tradition in favor of speed this time and i didn't prime and i didn't sand! (gasp!) i know, but it turned out fine.

i used Valspar Spray Paint, Pistachio color. it covered really well and went on very smoothly. i painted the top with chalkboard paint, my plan is to get some of those cool ChalkInk markers and doodle or make notes on it with that...
and this is what it looks like now. i have already used it as my cutting station and it is SO MUCH better than sitting on the floor trying to keep the baby from grabbing my rotary cutter! yay!

The Tree...

we decorated our tree on the 3rd...the kids had a great time and blake hasn't quite figured out how to pull it over yet, so we are doing well:)



well, recently is a relative term but on November 1 we started potty training avery! whew...the first week was not so great and i had some reservations but we pushed through and i am glad to report that (for the most part) she is doing fantastically well. i was so dubious about starting this process because she is so opinionated and strong willed that i didn't think she would take well to me asking her to go potty a bunch of times etc. and while it wasn't her favorite thing, she did it:) fruit snacks help! she's had a few accidents but really she is doing well. and night training will take time i guess right? we take her to the bathroom in the middle of the night (when we remember) and that helps a lot. that's her recent news:)

blake has turned into a climber...he learned how to climb up on avery's toddler bed and was climbing (and falling) so much off the kid's little folding chairs that they are now in the closet! he is such a sweet kid...he really takes a lot of guff from the siblings because they over love him but he genuinely seems to enjoy their affections:)

ethan is doing well, enjoying preschool and being a might be bossy but he's a firstborn. we put up christmas decorations today! i love it!


Idea Room Silhouette Giveaway...

i know, another one! the Idea Room is giving on away, i really love this blog and i would really love that machine! yikes, i'm crossing my eyes now!

Colies Kitchen Silhouette giveaway...

there are tons of blogs giving away silhouette's and i SO want to win one...so Colie's Kitchen is giving one away and that blog looks awesome! i'll have to check it out when the hoopla of the giveaway is over! cross your fingers!



i am thankful...it isn't the ACTUAL day of thanksgiving as i write this, but i figure gratitude is always a good thing.

i really feel very blessed. we have kendall's family very close and my family just a short plane ride away.

i have really amazing friends that help me feel loved and supported. i am glad to have these people in my life. they definitely inspire me.

i have a wonderful family, my children are well and happy (99.9% of the time).

we have (dare i say it?) almost made it to the finish line of potty training avery....that deserves another post...which i will do. i haven't talked about it before because i am a little superstitious when it comes to talking about things that could bring me bad karma!

i have an amazing husband who is snoozing on the couch at the moment who works so hard and helps so much...and i love him.

i have the gospel in my life and i love it.

i just can't stop thinking that i have been so blessed with so many things. i need to just soak it up!

i am excited for Christmas...and to try to keep blaker from pulling the tree over on himself (which i am quite sure he will try!) yahoo!



how i wish i could win a silhouette...that would be make my year...seriously!!! send some good karma my way, because HOUSE OF HEPWORTHS...is giving one away! the giveaway is amazing and i am crossing my fingers..toes and eyes!




i loved it! such a good movie, i really liked how close to the book they stayed and the acting was MUCH better, and the special effects were fabulous...really enjoyed it! i want to see it again!



for some reason i was in a bit of a book funk...weird huh? but then i jumped back in with this book:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

and although it is THE silliest name ever, i loved the book! really, such a good book. and i didn't read it for a while because i was put off by the name! yep! but i did read it and it was engrossing and interesting and i liked the style it was written in. the voice of the characters pull you in and you feel you know them...it's post WW2 era...i learned a lot as well! read it, it's good!

Then i read Guardians of Ga'Hoole by Kathryn Lasky

i remember seeing commercials for this movie thinking,"it's about owls? really?" but my sister said she really liked it so i put myself on the list at the library and then i read it in about a day and half...quick read for sure! it's good, i learned a ton about owls, and the story is interesting...there are about 18 of these books (yes, that's right...18) so i get the feeling the author doesn't feel any hurry to tell her story...hmmm...Sounds like Robert Jordan huh dad? (rest his soul, Robert Jordan, not my dad!)

and now i am reading this...
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

SO INTERESTING! i am really enjoying it! it has quite a bit of scientific "jargon" if you will, but i don't have too much trouble with it...i'll let you know when i'm done, but the story is very engaging and it's TRUE! which makes me incensed...why? you'll have to read it...i so want to suggest this one for book club (as well as the other two) but i wonder if the scientific-ness of it would be off-putting? it's not overwhelming, but it is definitely a part of it. i think that sort of thing is interesting...but we'll see how i feel when i finish it...it's due back next week so i gotta get a move on!


christmas lists...

we started a christmas list a while ago for ethan...and yesterday he made an addition to it...

i just think that it is so awesome that he tried! he was completely unaided by us, and he did it all on his own....

he's obsessed with Super Mario Bros. and so he was trying to add Super Mario Kart for DS (or something along those lines...


more than one way to skin a cat...

where did that saying come from? who wants to skin a cat? really?

i digress...

we have REALLY wide stairs at the bottom and there is nothing that blake loves more than to cruise over there and start going up them with avery yelling, "he's going up the stairs, he's going up the stairs..." i have her trained well to be the alarm.

there is no gate in my imagination or at a store that will fit these stairs, that i have discovered yet, so today i decided we would make do with what we had....

good thing the gigantic bench has more than one purpose!

i am not deluded enough to think that this will keep him out indefinitely but perhaps it will for today...and today is enough for now:)



so...i am opening an etsy...right now there are only slings listed (amelia, that's for you!) but over the next few days i hope to list more items and get everything on there by the end of this next week...whew! and i made a button! see it over there on the right? it's cute and you too can have one for your blog! yahoo! grab it if you wanna!



here we are in our Seuss glory this year..it was a lot of fun to do and the kids loved having blue hair like the "things"

we had a great halloween this year, especially celebrating blake's birthday with family! we had some yummy food, we dressed up and he got to open presents! what's better than that!

aunt elise drew "seuss" themed drawings on the kids' faces (one fish, two fish, red fish,blue fish, green eggs and ham etc.)

we had lots of yummy food...most of which i didn't get a picture of before it got eaten...we baked dinner in a pumpkin (inside is a rice/mushroom/ground beef mixture...very tasty!). we also had "mummy dogs" hot dogs wrapped in cut up crescent rolls like a mummy and baked, "devil" eggs, slivered snakes (green beans), slug sections (sections of baked sweet potatoes) and i labeled all the food with halloween font signs...lots of fun!

opening presents!

nana kara!

our table got dressed up as well! yahoo for halloween!


Blaker's Birthday!!!

happy birthday to our halloween baby! full halloween pictures later...but this one's just for our monster baby!

what a nice boy blake is and always has been! he is such a joy, he is smiley and he laughs a lot...he sleeps real well and love his big sister and big brother! he is currently fascinated with stairs, he can up really fast, but doesn't know how to get down...he has 6 teeth and is moving toward a 12 month size...he's never worn shoes, he cruises the furniture, he likes to drink out of cups, he likes to play with his shape sorters...he was a very cute Thing 3 (even though that doesn't really exist in the Seuss world) and today at the doctor he weighed 19 lbs and 11 oz and was 29.5 inches long. that puts him #1 for weight for wilson babies at a year old...ethan was 19lbs and 8oz...so he only beat him out by a bit:) we just love him tons and having a halloween birthday is tons of fun...at least for mom! look for more pictures of our halloween celebration soon!!!

happy birthday my lovey baby, i can't believe how fast this year has gone! here's to the next one and many more!



here is the floor, before

and here they are after!

awhile ago i mentioned that i made a coconut cream pie and it turned out really well...so here's the recipe for that in case anyone wants to make one for the holidays, i thought it was delicious and it passed the wilson test...they love pie so that's saying something!

Coconut Cream Pie
(i think i got the basic recipe from All Recipes and then changed things according to the comments people left)

1 can coconut milk (like 15 oz or something) add half and half to get 3 C of liquid
3 eggs
3/4 C white sugar
1/2 cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C flaked coconut, toasted
1 tsp. coconut extract
2 (9 in) pie shells (deep dish)
cream for the top...see recipe below

in a medium saucepan, combine half and half, coconut milk, eggs, sugar, flour and salt. bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. remove from heat, and stir in 3/4 c. coconut flakes and coconut extract. (i let it cook a little longer to make sure it was as thick as i wanted it to be) bake pie shells as directed...when they are cool, pour custard mixture into pie shells. chill 2-4 hours or until firm
make the cream

1 C. heavy cream (i think i used the rest of my half and half since i didn't want to buy heavy cream and it worked fine)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2T. confectioner's sugar

in a large bowl, whip cream (or half and half) until stiff peaks are just about to form... beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. make sure not to over beat or the cream will become lumpy and butter-like.

TIP: before making this, chill bowl and beaters in the freezer for 10 minutes...works really well!

spread on pies and enjoy! top cream with a little more toasted coconut!

to toast coconut: spread on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring it up occasionally


love it..

**love my screen door, open in the mornings and when making dinner and at night...love it!
**love, extra LOVE this cooler weather...
**LOVE Halloween, and black and orange and that my baby has a Halloween birthday so i can have an extra fun time planning the party!
**love that i only have a few loose ends for costumes to wrap up...
**love that the tile replacement is finally DONE! yahoo! i'll take pictures tomorrow in the daylight so you can see it...it's pretty!


goings on...

we usually have such busy days that after we get the kids to bed i feel like there are probably things i could do...but i'm not gonna. is that bad? i just feel like lounging for an hour or so and going to bed! i still get things done at night, that is prime time for me to sew and do some cleaning normally, finish up laundry, actually talk to kendall you know...but man, i am just run down lately!

on a different note, those that have been to my house may have noticed the slight crack in our tiles in the entryway (total sarcasm, the crack may as well be the grand canyon, people)...well next time you come over, it will be gone! yahoo! the guy who owns our house assured us that it would be fixed before we had our baby (blake) well, now it's almost blake's first birthday (tear, sniff!) and it's finally getting done, but i am not complaining, i am just glad little man doesn't have to hurt himself on the broken tiles!

today i did some covert operations on our toys...we had to move all the toys out of the toy closet downstairs in preparation for the tile guy to come and tear up all the tile, so while we were taking all the toys out of there, i took the opportunity to quickly go through them and take out things that were knick knacks or never played with etc. i also ventured into the kids' rooms and did the same. and i bet they'll never notice! do you do this too? i did it while they were playing around me, too! just goes to show, sometimes it's better to do stuff in plain sight than try to hide it!
3 bags to take to Savers!

we are starting to get into more clothing that ethan wore that blake can now wear...and it is SO cute! i don't know...something about knowing it's a hand-me-down actually makes it cuter to me. and blake in long pajamas is just really cute to me anyway. because he hasn't worn them since he was a baby baby...it's just been too hot in AZ for that! but here's a flash back.....

here's ethan when we still lived in UT...i just love these pjs!

and here's blake tonight...avery wanted to get in on the picture action but i caught her touching her nose...not picking...just touching:)

the boys still definitely look like brothers to me...but i feel like blake is starting to diverge some and become his own man....what do you think?



the kids wanted to have a picnic outside the other day...blake got in on the action too:)

and trying to get blake to cooperate to help me take pictures of the smallest trick or treat bags was challenging to say the least.

needless to say, we didn't get a satisfactory picture with him in it!