Saturday, November 21, 2009

Turkey Hunting

Luke has been pretending to be different animals lately...a lion, a dog, a giraffe (?!). But, his favorite animal is a cat. He often needs to be fed from a bowl on the floor, crawls on his hands and knees all day, and needs frequent scratches on the head.

I guess he took his cat persona a little too seriously, deciding to kill the pinecone turkeys we made earlier this week during piano lessons. He carefully removed all the feathers and the googly eyes. At least, he let them keep their beaks.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fashion Forward

So, my blog has been VERY child-centered lately, which means I'm actually documenting the kids' lives, but I'm thinking it makes for pretty dull reading for everyone else. Here's an attempt at something a little more entertaining:

My friend, Sylvia occasionally posts cute outfits she's wearing on her blog and did a great post on all the fashion blogs she looks at to get ideas.

"Fashion blogs?"I'm thinking. People go and take pictures of what they're wearing every day? Well, I don't have the chutzpah nor the good taste to do that, but I was intrigued. My mom uniforms of t-shirts or polo shirts with jeans gets a little old. So with some guidance from Sylvia's links, I've been exploring these blogs and actually having quite a bit of fun.

This woman writes my favorite fashion blog, Simple Elegance. Whenever I'm on someone's blog, I make a comment, just so they know I'm there. But, I haven't been brave enough to do that on her blog yet because I think she's just that cool.

I LOVE this website! Diana is on a budget yet still manages to always look cute and create color combinations that I never would have thought of and has taught me the novel concept that if I want to dress well, I have to think about the clothes in my closet and try to put them together in new ways. (Stacy and Clinton have been telling me the same thing for years, too, but I don't listen because then, they'll have me on their show and we'll become BFF's and I'll get a whole new wardrobe for free!)
I really like Goober's site (though I'm not crazy about the name :) ), too. Again, someone who has reminded me that there are probably lots more outfits in my closet if I just take the time to figure out different combinations.

It's a little embarrassing to realize that I know that writing takes work, piano playing takes work, cooking takes work, but I guess I always thought that fashion was effortless to those blessed with a good eye and a generous clothing allowance.

I love Academic Chic, too, but maybe that's just because I like to pretend like I'm an academic. There's a few different ladies who blog here. It's fun to see their different tastes and ideas.

Then, there's Cardigan Empire, the first fashion blog I came across. This blog has such excellent writing and introduces me to styles and combinations I never would have though of. And, who else can make me feel happy about my body shape?

And, I love Deals for the Short and Curvy. Bianca likes all the stores I like, and then, she takes the time to track down coupons, post notifications about sales, and find new stores to try. This is just great! It's like having a personal shopper who keeps bringing different options and coupons and doesn't care that I never actually buy anything.

I'll confess that I was a bit reticent to look at these fashion blogs, thinking that they'd make me want to spend more money on clothes. It also felt like it would be decadent and selfish to spend a lot of time thinking about the way I look.

But, I've found that these blogs have taught me all sorts of important lessons. They've helped me be more comfortable in my own body--I love that there's all different sizes and shapes on these blogs, create more choices in my closet by showing me ways to make new combinations, and to help me spend my limited clothing allowance on smarter purchases. At this rate, they may get me to try a thrift shop or two!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Flying Ghost and a Cackling Witch

In case you were wondering which parent Asher took after,

it's apparently not me, but we both like to do scary things with our hands in Halloween pictures.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cleaning up the Dining Room

Luke decided we had lived in our house too long with an unacceptable dining room. Previously, it has had flat, dirty white paint, mis-measured blinds, and lots of choo choo train tracks.

So, Luke added choo choo train tracks to the wall a while ago, which I was slightly annoyed about, but I'll admit that I was also glad to have an excuse to finally get that room into shape.

But, I wasn't going to paint another room with popcorn ceilings. It's too hard!

One day while the kids were at playgroup, I decided to start on the ceiling. I knew my time to work on this project would be precious, so I didn't cover anything (big mistake!). Instead, I just started scraping. After 3 days, countless fights (Nate and I think it's fun to fight during home improvement projects apparently because we will fight NON-STOP until the project is cleaned up.), and a fine layer of dust all over everything and everyone, we got the ceiling done. It took another 3 weeks (and more fighting plus outside mediation of family and friends) to pick a paint color and clean up that fine layer of dust.

I should mention, though, that throughout the project, Luke was unfailing helpful.

"Here, try this!" he'd say as he brought us a scraper, vacuum cleaner, rag, etc.

He could offer you no less than twenty different helpful implements in an hour's time.

Then, as we worked, he would encourage us for any little thing (like climbing a ladder) with, "You did it, Mommy! You did it!"

We're happy it's all done now. Nate thought I was being neurotic and that no one else notices popcorn ceilings in a house. But, now, he's converted and has great plans for taking down the popcorn ceilings in the bedrooms when the weather is warm enough. (These ceilings are tricky to plan because one needs to not use the HVAC system while scraping away for days on end.) I, on the other hand, am not sure that I'm ready to embark on this process just yet.

And, Nate is glad to have Luke on board. He says that Lukey will make a great Elders' Quorum president one day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Recap

We took advantage of the cold spell two days before Halloween to put long-sleeve shirts and pants on the boys and light a fire in the fireplace. Glad we did because it was back up to 96 degree here yesterday. Sigh...

Asher and Luke had lots of fun earlier that day (hence A's white hair in the fireplace pic) at Asher's preschool Halloween parade.

The next night was the ward Chili Cook-off and Trunk or Treat. This is also the only night that Asher was up for his full costume--make-up, white hair, and costume. He picked out the costume on his own and loved being a "flying ghost."
When he first got on the whole costume, he said, "Mom, how am I going to fly?" Fortunately, jumping off a kid sized table did the trick.

Luke was about the cutest Woody ever (though a picture of him by my un-made bed eating cereal is the best pic we've got; I guess all my blog readers know that I don't get around to making my bed much.). He kept those boot covers on all night, and I actually took away the hat because I was worried he would loose it. In retrospect, I should have just let him keep it because he was pretty darn responsible about it (well, you know, for a two year old).

And, Luke had trick or treating down! He'd say "Trick or treat" and then, "Thank you" in his cute little Luke voice. Almost makes a mom forget that he did this a little over a month ago...

This is the back of our car for Trunk or Treating. Not a bad first attempt for someone who's working on being a bit more creative...(but, next year, we'll need some fog. Don't you think?)

Nate did all the pumpkin carving himself this year. The middle pumpkin teaches kids about the dangers of drinking because really, what is Halloween, but an opportunity to teach kids our teetoaling ways?

And, here's the neighborhood crew getting ready to trick or treat. At this point, Asher would only wear the costume, but Luke was still game for the entire Woody ensemble.

Hope you had a Happy Halloween!