Saturday, December 25, 2010

The little joys of life

Every year at our church, the Sunday School kids perform a Christmas dance and bring the house down. Here's a clip of the joyous shakin' my girls and some of the crew did at a Christmas party - they're both standing in the front. Be sure to notice 1:39, where Abigail disappears... so classic Abby! She falls and shuts down, heh heh heh.

Merry Christmas, my dear family and friends.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Grateful for . . .

- Mighty Wings under whose shadow I daily take refuge (this figurine atop my desk reminds me of this:)


- the ten years of "I do" we have spun into a warm family
- a beloved father/father-in-law/grandpa whose life was placed into the eternal arms of the Lord
- three pink and purple balls of energy we tuck into arms and hearts; their names are Amanda, Abigail, Alyssa
- homeschooling days both productive and trying (I'm finding out both are precious)
- a three-year-old's sweet little scrawls

- friends that refuse to let me sink into the hard days - get up and thrive, they say
- a cozy bed to tumble into at day's end, even if some wee stowaways find their way into it in the darkness (good thing it's large enough)
- a piping hot shower with my favorite peppermint body wash
- the talents of a great hairstylist that can do wonders for a gal with postpartum hair loss

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My latest project - 9 months in the making

Tap, tap, tap - anybody home?

I thought I'd show you the latest object of our affection:

Meet Alyssa!

We are in love. How did I ever live without her?

Triple A
Don't let this photo fool you - I'm on a constant vigil near Alyssa to make sure that loving hugs and kisses from big sisters don't turn into full out mauling! If she can survive her sisters, she's going to be a tough little thing. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Life gave me lemons

But not in the way you'd think.

Julianne loves me

Like in fresh-off-the-tree Meyer lemons from California. One of my dearest friends that I've known for 25+ years scoured the Bay Area to pacify this pregnant craving of mine. Picture it: She and her sweet husband get off the plane and almost immediately hand me this Ziploc bag full of sunshine. Oh, I could've cried. If you've never tried lemonade with fresh lemons... run, don't walk, to get your hands on them. Store bought lemons are not even comparable, actually. They have a vibrant, flowery undertone to them that's hard to embody in words. My hands smelled heavenly for hours after making the lemonade. And boy did I make my family ration it!

Yum. For the lemonade recipe (via

1 3/4 cups white sugar
8 cups water
1 1/2 cups lemon juice

1.In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
2.Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining 7 cups water.

Heather's revisions:
Since Meyer lemons have a sweeter, less tart flavor to them, I opted to go for 1-1/4 cups white sugar and a dollop of honey instead, and it was still a bit sweet for my taste. Next time, I'll try either raw sugar, or all honey.

Julianne, thank you from the depths of my heart! Perhaps you'll be back for a marathon or two, wink wink? At least to be lavished with compliments from a certain seven and three-year-old? To quote Abigail: "Suyon Emo (Aunt Julianne) wif the pwetty face gived me a pwesent."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Giver of strength

::On strength::

I admit - I don't feel much strength these days lugging my heavy body around during this last trimester of Little Peanut's life in utero. Couple this fact with a pretty whopping sinus infection and there you have my current life in a nutshell.

Except, this set of circumstances is not how I will choose to define myself. On this beautiful Mother's Day, as I reflect on the love and strength my own mother poured into me all these years, I identify with this fact:

A mother is a giver of strength.

One encouraging look across the school yard, and my Amanda lights up, excited to tell me about her day's events.

One grasp of the hand, and Abigail can endure the gaggle of dogs coming toward us (she's deathly afraid of dogs and cats).

One "How was you day", and my husband's heavy day falls off his shoulders one word at a time. Calm takes over his demeanor.

I cherish my role and marvel at the power I have been granted. May I proceed with wisdom.

Thank you, family, for the sweet card and pancake breakfast. The air is perfumed with the lovely scents from your efforts - bacon, batter, maple syrup. Never mind that Amanda accidentally poured two cups of maple syrup onto my pancakes. How'd you know I wanted my stack sickeningly sweet? :)

::How to catch up?::

I've stepped away from the blogging world for so long, with so much to report. I'll save the details for another time... I have some wonderful guests in town with us - more on that later too.

Until then, here's a photo of a precious friend and her daughters:

I'll be posting the rest of the photos from the session soon, Brenda!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers in the World Wide Web!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Last Easter, I participated in a very touching performance that I want to share with you. The lyrics still stir my heart deeply.

The following is a very low-res video of the original group's performance (definitely not us, heh heh):

Thank you for the cross, Lord
Thank you for the price You paid
Bearing all my sin and shame
In love You came
And gave amazing grace

Thank you for this love, Lord
Thank you for the nail pierced hands
Washed me in Your cleansing flow
Now all I know
Your forgiveness and embrace

Worthy is the Lamb
Seated on the throne
Crown You now with many crowns
You reign victorious

High and lifted up
Jesus Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

Have a wonderful day -

Monday, March 29, 2010

7 blissful years as Amanda's mom

Dear Amanda,

7 years ago, you and I were born - you, with the soft cry and puffy eyes... and me, a nervous wreck of a new mother. I felt like I waited my whole life for us to emerge, instantly in love.

(5-week-old Amanda with Momma, Apr '03)

As delightful as motherhood is in itself, it is you that has made the journey meaningful.
(15 months old, Jun '04)

You inspire me to conquer my fears, both silly and substantial, because when I see you, I want to protect, cherish, nurture, and inspire you.

(3 years old, Sept '06)

(smitten big sister Amanda, Feb '07)

(At her first 5K, Sept '07 - mad at Mom for making her do this. But she really ended up enjoying it! The second year she was ticked at me too)

How thankful I am that God granted you to me. This I don't take lightly.

(At the OMSI, Aug '09)

I can't wait to see which mountains you scale in your lifetime. Happy birthday, my dear eldest daughter.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sale over tonight? Man.

One of my favorite digi-land haunts, ScrapArtist, has been holding a massive 30% March Madness sale that I've been wanting to share with my nearest and dearest, but alas I let my crazy schedule get the best of me.

The sadder thing is that one of my favorite designers of all times, Laurie Ann of Heaven's Gate Designs, has an additional 10% off coupon posted on her blog to use on top of the March Madness sale. Bummer. I hope at least some of you get to capitalize on this. At the very least, check out her designs here.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Abigail's Little Einsteins Party

It was a no-brainer to celebrate Abigail's third birthday Little Einsteins style, as she could probably do all-weekend marathons watching the show if we let her. I'm not much into brand-theme party kits, so I tried to incorporate the spirit of the show without the commercialized feel by DIYing as much as possible. This really makes the cost low too.






I kept the design very simple, using extracted images from a coloring book for characters and logoes. Please keep in mind that these are all copyrighted images, so tread with caution; I just used it for a small kid's party. There is no Little Einsteins font out in Internet Land, so I found a font that reminded me of the logo font and put a thick blue stroke over the yellow. I sized the invitation to fit some envelopes I bought on extreme clearance last year.

{Brunch menu}
Freshly made whole wheat waffles, thanks to chef Daddy
Bistro bacon
Mini quiche, broccoli and cheese
Huge veggie and fruit tray
Orange and apple juices


photos taken a day before the party

Nothing too fancy here - the main banner is just a paper bunting I made from cardstock that I purchased eons ago. The "Happy Birthday Abby" was printed out on regular copy paper, cut out, then taped on with double stick tape. Child-sized Ikea silverware, plates, and bowls contribute to the colorful nature of the environment.


for Abby's small friends

I loved the way the crayons turned out! I'll be sharing the crayon box template tomorrow - be on the look out for that. The local Dollar store had 8-count crayons in sets of 3.

And markers for Abby's older friends, aka older siblings of the small friends

Markers were also a dollar a pack. I replaced the insert with a personalized design.

I wanted to teach Abby to send thank you cards for the partygoers, so I made one that she could "write out" on her own. See her shaky outlines? I used the free font Print Dashed.


Art made by the children

We opened up the party with art time. The kids were given markers to draw on foiled wrapped cardboard - this was a hit! I'm glad we had plenty of extra boards, because most kids did at least two or three. More on this tomorrow-

making rain sticks with the kids

I took cardboard rolls off some gift wrap I have and cut them to 9" or so. Then I used my Xyron machine to make regular copy paper into sticker paper, and had the little kids color the paper. Adults helped peel the backing and adhere the decorated paper onto the rolls, and the older kids helped the younger kids add rice into the rolls. Adults helped tape the ends together with colored Duck Tape.

We used these to play along with the Little Einsteins Theme song, a CD I borrowed from the library.

"Guess the instrument" was another game we played. I played various instruments behind a screen and had the children take stabs at which instrument they thought was being played. Once the game was done, I laid out the instruments to let the children experiment with them.

After the party, one of the moms told me that her daughter now wants to take music lessons. Yay!

I revised an idea I got off the web search for game ideas and came up with this simple outdoor activity:

a very happy little birthday girl

The older kids were given chalk to draw fluffy clouds, and once that was done, the little kids were given little hula hoops they used as "Rocket". As you can see from the video, it was a great way to get their wiggles out after the indoor part of the party.

Opening gifts on the front porch - plenty of help from friends and big sis

Perhaps my favorite image of the whole party was taken after all the guests were gone:

Post party, and Abby hits the food AGAIN!

For some reason, I hear, "It's my party and I'll eat if I want to" playing in my mind when I view the photo....

Friday, February 19, 2010

Running alongside her growth

Today is my Abby's birthday. And for some reason, I keep choking back tears. She's getting so big.

I'm proud of the spunky little girl she is. Yesterday, we had a funny little conversation. It was initiated because I accidentally scratched her with my ring while helping her put on her coat.

Mom: "Oh, ouch! I'm sorry I did that. It was an accident."
Abby: "You weally should be cayfow (careful)."
Mom: "I know."
Abby: "Mommies need to be gentow (gentle) with widdle gohs (little girls)."
Mom: "Yes, ma'am."

While I sat down to make a layout reflecting my jumbled feelings (lots of joy mixed in with the tears), I realize that I just need to run alongside my kids the best I can.

No doubt the hormones are doing a number on me. :)

We've all been quite busy with the birthday party preparations - more on that later!

Happy birthday, Abs!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Seeing London and France

I ended up taking Abigail with me to my last prenantal appointment. She particularly enjoyed the requirement that I visit the ladies' room to, ahem, collect a urine sample. Enjoyed it so much so that she broke out in a boisterous, head-thrown-back heartfelt song:

"I see Wondon
I see Fwance
I see Mama's undowpants"
(repeat 23 times)

I came out of the bathroom to many smiling people.

That Abby.

(Images by FindStuff2 and CarolineAMarie via Photobucket)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Emerging from the morning sickness abyss

One ginger step in front of another, I am finally shaking off the green cobwebs of morning sickness and reentering L I F E. Of course it's not quite over yet, but it's finally relegated to the late evening. {hurray!} Little Peanut seems to be doing well; we should be discovering whether boy or girl next month.

It's a good thing we are expecting Little Peanut, because it is so hard to resist the urge to snatch all the cute little wee ones that surround me in public places. Just one little sniff of the baby cranium? Please?

One of our church friends recently had a precious little girl, so I mustered up all my energy to entertain my creative side to make a little gift, that creative side that had all but shriveled up during my incarceration that was Morning Sickness. :)

Here it is, the sweet little diaper cake:

Detail shots:

This project was a joint venture with both my daughters, as they helped me roll up the diapers, helped with the photos, and "supervised". Amanda especially feels proud of her contribution. She said to no one in particular, "You can't even buy this in the store." Yep, I think she's caught the bug.

We'll be delivering the diaper cake some time this week - I hope they like it!

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