our latest in pictures...

Honest to goodness, this was at MY dry cleaners! do you think it was staged or does the REAL santa actually go to MY dry cleaners? awesome! (audrey...it's delia's, you go there too right?)
trying to get some shopping done at Ross...blake decided UNDER the cart was the best place to be during our extremely LOOOOONG wait in the REEEEEEALY long line...
at Fry's...they love the car carts...
they also LOOOOOOVE their daddy and everyone wants a piggy back ride from him when it's time for bed...
went over to a friend's house for dinner and i made cupcakes...i've never seen anyone this age get THAT messy with frosting! it's awesome!

hope your run up to Christmas is great and stress free.  sending lots of love out to you all....


To Do: To Make: To Bake

so my To Do list, like many of yours is getting longer by the day...and WHAT do i get for Christmas for my parents who already have everything? sheesh! just a good thing i don't have to mail it this year or it would be woefully late...whatever it ends up being.... this fabric is destined for the table tent for my kids for Christmas...good thing only ethan can read and i don't let him read my blog on a regular basis:) it's cloudy today but you get the picture...
i am excited to get it cut out and sewed up! along with *ahem* a few other things:) the problem is my energy runs out by nighttime but that's the best time for me to sew uninterrupted...we might just have to go for interrupted this year and see if i can get it done! covertly of course:) i see banana bread in my future and in the future of some people on my "to give" list...i have WAY too many bananas in the freezer...also frozen cranberries...so maybe some cranberry orange bread too! yahoo! and yay for rain today and yesterday! i really love the rain, i'm from WA state, so you know..."it rains 9 months out of the year in Seattle! i know! i do NOT want to move to Seattle!" name that movie!


hi friends...


times are busy and i still want time to just stop some days. yesterday was 2 months since Christian passed away.  There. i said it.  i actually noticed the other day that i avoid saying the actual words...so i am trying to at least think or write them. it's true. it's a fact.

acceptance is the hardest part.  i totally don't want to be a downer, but i just want to say that this is hard. the hardest thing i have ever done.  ever.  the time when we had Christian with us seems like a completely other life.  i don't know how my brain manages to do this, but the feeling is pretty interesting.  like the time has passed super fast and it was years ago...but at the same time, minutes ago.  does that make any sense? probably not.

grief is interesting. i have read several people's blogs that have lost children recently (how do i keep finding these people?) and the stages of grief that we are experiencing are much the same. i know it's a documented fact that grief has stages and you need to hit most of them to fully have closure or whatever, but it is interesting in actual practice to see it played out.

but we keep going. ethan has strep throat, pray that no one else gets it!  yikes!  but we got him some antibiotics today and i have every thought that he'll be able to go to school tomorrow.

yesterday some sweet friends brought us this precious little tree...

it has a "C" pin on the top, with pictures of him in the ornaments, it's so sweet and i love it.  i can't believe (but i can because we are blessed with wonderful people around us) how much people are loving our family and being so kind to us.  i feel so blessed and really, the prayers and love are making it so i can function and take care of my family.  thank you all.


GroopDealz Today

if you feel so inclined, GroopDealz today is for a digital file of an awesome quote but every bit of the money spent goes to this sweet family who had a very premature baby that passed away in November.  my heart goes out to them so much.  Love Stitched


oh yes, we did....{with edits!!}

{the edits are...links to wreath tutorials, some commentary on my wreath making experience and a picture of the bunting i said i was making at the end}
i saw this idea online and decided to try it! since we still had two pumpkins on our front porch:) we painted them with acrylic paint, and i am sure it would be smoother and without orange peeking through if i used spray paint, but i am really trying to not buy extra stuff, especially for "just for fun" crafts. the kids loved helping with it and i like our little snowgirl's bows:) they don't have scarves yet...we'll have to see what we have in that department...
best white elephant gift EVER! thanks jamie!

another craft i've wanted to try for a while, i love the yarn ball wreaths and i like how this turned out:)  this is another instance of using what we had on hand...the balls are actually glitter ornaments i bought last year that i didn't really like this year, and i also made some balls out of stiff magazine pages...if you want to make your own there are tutorials all over the place...one here, here (with ornaments...very pretty colors), and here are some.  i think my wreath would have been a little easier had i used a flat piece of cardboard for the back or a flat wreath form...i used a rounded wreath form and it was harder to get the balls so stay.
Here is a picture of the bunting that i finished this afternoon for my bench...very festive huh?


spice rack....

 could be an ornament display...

 or a toy garage...

 but really it's going to help contain this mess on my sewing table...

 like this! (remember it used to look like this scroll down to see the picture again) the yellow dowels are for my bobbins to sit on...(although right now the dowels are too big around for my bobbins...i measured at the fabric store but i guess the bobbins i measured with were not the same size as mine...oh well...it's still pretty:)
and blake and avery found new uses for the laundry hampers yesterday...looks fun to me!


comedy of errors...

the first part of today went well, i put food in the crockpot (for these pulled pork sandwiches! so good) and i took the kids to the park, went to a primary presidency meeting (that's right...i'm the assistant secretary now:), got ethan to school and B and A down for naps....

then ethan came home and wanted hot chocolate...then avery and blake woke up and wanted hot chocolate, which is totally fine...then we had to go through the stirring and cooling off and blowing on and then i turned away and blake spilled his (mostly) full mug of hot chocolate all over himself, the chair, and the floor (that i just cleaned yesterday). i am just thankful we had cooled it sufficiently and he wasn't burned! but that was a huge mess...then i declared to kendall on the phone (with blake running around with no pants and just a diaper) while i was mopping up hot chocolate from the chair and table and floor, that i NEED a new table and chairs because these don't clean well and they are always looking dirty and scruffy and i don't like them!!!  (i've felt this way about the chairs for a long time...i'll amend on the table if we can't find a bigger round one...)

so then i get everyone cleaned up, reclothed and shoes on so we can go to Joann's (which i've been trying to do for two days but never seem to get there) so i can finish the spice rack turned...you thought i was going to tell you! gotcha! anyway, that's always a hectic trip because choosing what i need there actually requires mental attention but then avery has to pee, blake is running toward the thread pell mell or else, trying to fling his leg over the side of the cart to escape that way...then ethan starts running circles around us, then avery joins in and pretty soon all three are doing a circuit around me while i'm trying to decide which dowel size i need and if the 50% off remnant of fleece is big enough for the secret-for-christmas-blankets i want to make the kids....we get out of Joann's in one piece (barely, but not without a stern talking to the children by me and one older couple commenting on all the "help i have with my cart" aka three kids trying to steer it in different ways than the way i want to go).

go home to shred the pork for the deliciousness i have been looking forward to ALL.DAY.LONG and lo and behold, when i turned it to "low" around naptime...i actually turned it OFF! are you kidding me????? add on the fact that kendall went out to Chandler on his way home to get a super-secret-present with training wheels for avery and the PEOPLE WEREN'T HOME...imagine i'm not doing too well in my mental state.  then i heard blake banging something on the counter and i went over to have a look...it's my CAMERA! and then he got down and about 2 minutes later, grabbed a KNIFE off the counter...then 2 minutes after that ran into a wall and hurt himself.  sheesh man...give me a minute! i have the kids clean up toys...and kendall gets home while i had taken a moment to read to the kids because i was so frustrated with dinner i didn't want to make anything yet...(it's getting close to 7pm)...blake's practically crying for food and so i make breakfast burritos (which were tasty but not pulled pork)....and we get the kids in bed.

the people emailed after that about the super-secret-with training wheels present...kendall goes back to get it (saintly person) and the pulled pork is on "high" again in the crockpot for tomorrow...sheesh, i need a nap!

but i wouldn't trade it for the world.



binky, pacifier, plug, paci, nuk, soothie, mam, whatever... we love them at our house and we are pro-pacifier. but we have been telling the 2 year old that when he loses his two remaining binkies, then mommy and daddy are not going to buy him any more. because when you are two, you don't get new ones in this house...avery actually got to that point and then used a mini-mam she still had for a while. now that was funny! but blake had these two magic pacifiers that never coexisted...i was almost convinced they were one and the same (except one was white and one was blue) because we never had both of them together! we had the blue one and not the white one and then vice versa almost every day! so on Friday 18th he had one of them (the blue one i think) and i went to go see the movie with friends ( so fun! but too much blood and skin for me guys...sorry!). my beautiful and wonderful neighbor had my kids while i went to the theater early before kendall got home. when i came home, i was told B-man came back without his binky...and he went to bed without his binky. i didn't ask my neighbor if she knew where it was because once you put him to bed without it and start that jazz you can't go back! so he's been binky-less since the 18th and really folks, he's done a great job. he has been a little louder, especially in church, and he cries a little more frequently but he's acclimating well and learning. he also talks to himself at nap time...pretty hilarious. sometimes i have to go back in (which i don't like to do but seems to work for now) and tell him that he needs to go to sleep and stop talking and tell him another little story....just while he's laying there, i don't pick him up or anything. he's been doing really well. i'm proud of him. blake is definitely SO much more laid back then either E or A were as smaller kids. i am so thankful for all our children, but Blake especially was what i needed after a cranky Avery baby, what i needed as an easy-going kid when Christian was born and is such a comfort to me now. Ethan and Avery are very comforting as well, but there's something about such a tender soul as Blake who still wants me to hold him and love on him...i appreciate that. 

so there's a milestone passed in our house!

 Ethan was determined that we should put up our Christmas tree on sat. 26th and so we did! and then i just got out all the Christmas stuff and put it all up! it was fun and i love having the house decorated for Christmas! it's so festive and i love the twinkle lights and just thinking about this season. I really do love Christmas. i am trying to plan ahead sufficiently so that, as we get closer to the actual Christmas day, i don't have too much of an opportunity to stress. we'll see how it goes:)

 i went to Savers and Goodwill yesterday...it's that time of year where everyone needs pants/long sleeves/socks (not that i buy socks at Goodwill or Savers)...avery especially had about one pair of pants i think that fit her growing length...so i was able to get her three pairs of pants and three long sleeve shirts for about $16! that's pretty good huh? so excited! and i got this little beauty...any guesses as to what it'll end up being? i'll give you a hint...not a spice rack:)

i saw an idea online here to decorate a soap dispenser with stickers...at our house we love window clings...the kids really like to decorate our sliding door with them at any opportunity/holiday, so i tried it out with window clings on a hand sanitizer bottle and it worked well! best part is it is so changeable for when christmas is over!!


happy thanksgiving to you all! i hope you have a great day of family, turkey and pie:) we have so much to be grateful for this year, and every year...i am so grateful for my family, especially kendall who is always very supportive, loving and generous but who has been so understanding and loving during this ridiculously difficult time for our family. especially for me. i hope that i am as understanding when he has bad days. i am thankful for our children, all four of them. i am thankful that ethan, avery and blake are healthy and i am thankful that we had 7 weeks to be with our sweet christian. i wouldn't trade our time with him, it was precious and beautiful. i am grateful for the wonderful family and friends around us who have supported us and continue to support us as we heal and grow. i am thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, without this knowledge i would be lost and afraid...but with it i have peace and am finding joy again. have a happy thanksgiving day. hold your people close and tell them you love them. there's no time like today.


thanksgiving decorations...

here are some of our thanksgiving decorations...we haven't had many heretofore and i am glad to celebrate this, sometimes, overlooked wonderful holiday!

had the quote in tan printed at costco, it was a printable i found here
on top of our TV cabinet: don't look too closely at the print in the frame...i downloaded it onto the computer last year...and this year thanksgiving is on the 24th, not the 25th but oh well:)
this frame holds a collage that my beautiful sister in law made for us one year, but for our thankful sign, i turned it over and embellished the brown "filler" in the frame.  we wrote on the glass with a dry erase marker.
my black "entry" table, the printable in the frame is from eighteen25
my shelf in the kitchen...two milk glass vases on either end, turned over to be pedestals....all the (fake) fall leaves were in a flower arrangement that we received, and i took them out and spread them around the house. love the tiny (real) pumpkins
here's a close up of my cute turkey...instructions here i just love this turkey...don't know why i am so taken with him:)  i think i want to put another feather behind the first one on his head...for more color and just to be bigger!

i still have one more thing i have materials to make...it's this banner..just need to cut it out..maybe tonight!



kendall and i were able to have a little weekend getaway to Sedona over Veteran's Day weekend.  His parents kept the kids, bless them! Sedona is so beautiful with the red rock and green trees. the weather is cooler than here and it even rained on Sunday, which i loved too:)  we went on a jeep tour, we went to Jerome, which is a fun little hippy town up on a mountain side, we bought some really good $4 fudge, ate at some really great restaurants (yes michelle, we found the 101 omlette place!) and we just had a really nice time being together. now for some pretty pictures....
in the jeep tour office we found the "8 legged gerbil" as they call her, Rosy the Rose Tarantula
Also in their office, it's an albino something or other snake i can't remember...
pretty rocks
Chapel of the Holy Cross, from one side....
other side of Chapel of the Holy Cross
so pretty out there...
to prove we both were there:)
there were rain clouds rolling in and it was sunset...gorgeous
more sunset shots...

it was a really great trip and the kids had a great time with nana, papa and tia, thank you all so much!


halloween and birthday recap...

here's our little batman!
and joker and cat woman!!!
 a really nice man in our ward made this cake for blake...halloween day i decided it needed a makeover to fit with our halloweeny birthday party...
meet Jack the cake:)
blowing out candles with Nana Kay and Papa Jerry on Skype (we missed you!)
opening presents! what a blessed little kid! he is so loved...as are all of our children. we have such great family!

and friends! someone left this basket of goodies on our doorstep the day before halloween, no name as to who gave it, so if you did, THANK YOU!!! the kids LOVED the coloring things, and the felt faces for the pumpkins were a HUGE hit...so thoughtful.  people are so kind to us. thank you so much!!!