Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This is my girl. My one and only girl. Lucky for me she is a kindred spirit because it is she and I against the boys. We like all the same things, sewing, painting, crafting, dolls and of course books. She even takes reading and multi-tasking even farther than I do. She is always packing some new book on tape around on the Walkman so she can swing outside or rider her bike or do chores. She is ten today. Double digits. I just can't believe it. She is the one who taught me that each new stage kids enter is more fun than the last. We are hoping this stays true into the teens.
Brittany you are so smart, and funny and beautiful. There is absolutely no one I would have to be my one and only daughter. I hope you have a perfect birthday!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

We Love a Tea Party!

My sweet friend Miss Vanessa is having a Mad Hatter Tea Party today! Go on over and check out all the fun. She plans the most fun blogland events. Brittany and I just had to take out the girls and have a little tea party of our own.
Creeping through the woods one day Miss Brittany thought she heard tinkling little giggles.

Suddenly she spied this little group.

"May I please join you?" She asked.

"Of course!" The little Misses answered. Soon a fabulous little party was happening under the big trees.
There is just nothing better than a little party on a pretty blanket under a big tree!

In honor of Miss V's party I am offering free shipping on all the little girls in the Shop so you can have a party of your own!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tiny Ballerina

I made a great discovery this last week. I found myself in need of a little gift for my ballerina the night before her recital. I wanted to make a little doll but I had to make do with materials I had on hand (since it was after 10pm!). I wanted a clothespin doll but I only had the small headed ones. I was thinking why not add sculpey clay. We had made clothespin dolls with matchstick arms and I thought that might work too. So I hot-glued arms on and then covered them with sculpey clay and shaped the bodice. I added clay to the head until it was the shape I wanted. Then I cooked the whole thing like it says in the directions. I really thought the whole thing would fall apart when the oven melted the hot glue. But it didn't! So now I am really excited to make other dolls this way.

She is dressed to model Brittany's costume this year. I painted stripes on a little box I had and added pretty paper too. The scary thing is to contemplate the craft stash I have on hand that I had everything I needed make her isn't it?
Do you think she looks like Miss Brittany?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Joshua's Birthday Party

Josh had such a fun birthday I just had to blog it, since blogging seems to have replaced scrapbooking for me lately and this may be the only record we are left with.
We all went into Salt Lake for the Chalk Festival that was sponsered by the Foster Care Society.

Could there be a more perfect subject?

So sad these didn't last long, it rained buckets in the afternoon.

Brittany and Matthew put on a birthday puppet show for him.
Joshua had a party with cousins that included lots of face painting at Grandma's house.

Here he is with his puppy cake, which he loved. He had no problem eating it though. It was a good day to be three!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My New Favorite Temple Picture

Last weekend when we went to the Parade of Homes I saw a depiction of the Salt Lake Temple that I just loved.

Isn't that just wonderful and unique?

Here it is from a bit further away. Each piece was painted on a small, about 5x7, piece of wood.
I couldn't see the artist but I just loved it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

I am almost too late, but I just had to slip in here to wish my favorite fathers a Happy Father's Day. My kids and I are so lucky to have these guys.

First my own dad. How can you not love a guy who lets you sleep on his head? This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of my dad and me.

The dad at our house. I am so glad my kids have such a great, fun, hard working, great dad. This is rare, honest-to-goodness smiling picture of William. The reason he is smiling? He was getting a kick out of the funny kid next to him.

Opa, William's dad. Well you can see it is lots of fun to visit he and Oma at their place in the mountains. I am so glad he raised such a great dad for the people in my house to enjoy.

Hope you all had a great day and know how much we love you!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Joshua!

Today is my last day ever as the mom of a two year old. I really am very sad. The only thing making it better is that three year olds are so funny. I love they stuff they come up with, Josh is going to be a great three year old. I can't believe we have had him three years.

When he was born Matthew was in a big Batman phase and insisted his brother needed a batman suit to come home from the hospital in. Do you think you can find such a think in a newbor size? So what did I do? Of course I dyed a little nightgown and appliqued a Batman sign on it. I can't say it was the softest thing ever but it did make for some cute pictures.

As you can see Josh was my last and my biggest baby but oh, so sweet! Don't you just want to kiss those cheeks?
Look at him now.

We went to the park yesterday in an attempt to take a new picture for Father's Day.

Here is my big, big boy. These pictures make me realize how grown up he really is.

We love you so much Josh, and are so grateful to have your funny, smart, bossy little person in our family. Hope you have fun tomorrow!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bag Sale!

Sometimes it starts to bug me if something sits in the Shop too long. So I decided to have a little bag sale. I marked all of these down so maybe they will find new summer homes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Brittany's Ballet Recital

Last night was a big night. It was the annual Ballet Recital. Brittany has attended this school since she was 4. It is an amazing school and the recital is not just a chance to watch little kids run around, it is a cultural experience including beautiful dancers, lovely costumes and a fabulous live orchestra. It is one of the things we really missed when we moved to California. But now we are back and loving Recital Week. It earns that title because there are two casts with two performances each requiring their own dress rehearsal day. See, serious stuff. But worth it. It was exceptionally fun this year because a lot of my friends had kids in the same cast Brittany was in.

This is Brittany in her beautiful costume. She has always been so lucky and has been assigned lovely costumes every year. She was excited it wasn't pink this year like it had been her last three years. Personally I don't see a problem with pink forever but she was excited about this year's costume and it is lovely.

The girl does have to put up with lots of picture taking in lots of places, especially when she looks this pretty.

We do get a little silly though.

This is one I snapped at dress rehearsal. Bad picture, my little camera can't handle the dim light but you get the idea, it was a cute dance.

This is my lifelong, wonderful friend Circe. If you don't read her blog you should. It will make you smile. She single-handedly saved the ballet experience for us. When we came back from CA Brittany was getting a little frustrated with her ballet school and I was beginning to fear she had inherited her mother's uncoordinated genes and we might need to call it quits. Circe got her in the class she teaches and we are loving ballet again. Thanks Circ! Worth the move to have one of my best friends teach my kid to love ballet again!

The Ballet Recital is always well attended. They actually sold out this year. We were lucky enough to have Grandma and Grandpa join William, Matthew and I. Grandma always brings the best flowers.

And here I am with my favorite ballerina. I love Ballet Recital Week. Only 51 more weeks to go until we get to do it again.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Gluten-Free Fried Chicken and Chicken Fingers

It was a big day a couple of weeks ago when I read this post from Ree and thought I could modify it to be gluten-free. I have tried for years to replicate the kind of chicken you get from Kentucky-Fried Chicken. Granted it is not the most healthy choice possible but sometimes a person (read Husband) has a craving. Turns out the magic ingredient is buttermilk and the method Ree uses of mixing a little buttermilk into the flour mixture to make it a little crumbly. Seriously, like magic! I did however dredge mine in the flour mixture, them beaten egg, then back in the flour mix. I used rice flour instead of wheat flour.
Her recipe is for chicken fingers and I have made those too. The whole family really loved them. Thank you so much Ree! You have changed our Chicken-eating World!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Parade of Homes

Yesterday I went to the local Parade of Homes show with my parents and William. It was such a great day. We love this particular parade, it is always has several houses that are just over the top out of the realm of reality but that is what makes it so fun. Just in case you don't have a Parade of Homes where you are I thought I would share some of mine. Oh, and if you are not familiar with the idea, a parade of homes is an event where about twenty different builders build a spectacular home, decorators come in and decorate and I come along and pay my $10 so I can gawk at it all. Good fun.
This was one of our favorites. Let me show you a little bit of the inside.
I love this idea. A window seat with no window required. I am hoping William will use this idea when we finish the basement and put it in Brittany's room. That actually is part of the fun of these home shows. As crazy elaborate as they are it we usually find a few things we can implement in our own house.
This just might have been my favorite thing I saw. They used a darling reproduction screen door as the door to the walk in closet! As you can tell I was so excited the picture is a bit out of focus. It was so adorable though. Oh, and you can see a bit of the great stained glass they had in the house too.
This was one of two darling playhouses they had out in the backyard.
There were several others that had great features too. I loved this tin ceiling.
These is just the outside pool house belonging to the same house. It had a gorgeous infinity pool (apparently that is what the disappearing edge at the top of the picture is called.)
It was full of glorious stained glass.
What little girl wouldn't love a Cinderella room?
Now I am really in the mood to finish the decorating projects we still have left undone.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Off to a Good Start

Well we are finally finding a summer groove. It took us a couple of days to realize it really is summer. Of course it would help if the sun would shine a bit more.

But we have managed a day or two at the park including chalk drawings. This is Matthews bloody-toothed shark.

And a team effort on an octopus.

We love the local library's summer reading program. I highly recommend checking with your public library for summer fun. Our library in California had a fun one too. They usually have great afternoon activities like puppet shows, magic shows and fun science. We seem to need some sort of outing each day and this is a great, free one.

So far we have been to a really fun puppet show. Brittany even got to be a character.

Matthew begged to try the cupcake toppings "like Shaggy" the other day. Hope you are having fun too!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Gluten-Free Spudnuts!!

This is big news at our house. Last night we attempted making gluten-free spud nuts and it worked! Even I, who can spot the taste of rice flour a mile away thought they were really good. So here is the recipe. If you should feel inclined to try them but don't need them gluten-free just substitute regular flour for the rice.
Ingredients:3 Eggs
3/4 C Sugar
3 Tbsp Shortening, softened
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 C Water, hot
1 1/2 C Instant mashed potato (or 1 1/4 C potato of your choice cooked and mashed up)
2 C Rice flour
4 Tsp Baking powder
1tsp Cinnamon
Prep:1. Chill dough for recommended time.2. Heat oil to 375 degrees.3. Set up paper towels on plates or cooling racks.4. Melt fondants and assemble toppings station.
Directions:1. Beat eggs well. Gradually add sugar until mixture is thick and light in colour.
2. Blend in Shortening and vanilla.
3. Sift the rest of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl; set aside.
4. Blend hot water with instant mashed potato mix and let stand 3 minutes, or boil and mash potatoes.
5. Blend egg mixture into the potato mixture. Add sifted dry ingredients, mix well to form dough ball.
6. Chill dough at least 2 hours.
7. Roll dough out to 1/3″ thick on lightly floured workspace.
8. Heat deep fryer or oil in a pot on the stove to at least 375 degrees.
9. Cut dough up into small chunks you can roll in your hands before dunking into the hot oil to fry.
10. Fry each doughnut roughly 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown - whichever comes before the doughnuts rise to the surface of the oil.
11. Scoop the doughnuts out using a metal slotted spoon
12. Lay each doughnut on paper towel lined plates or cooling racks.
13. While cool enough to touch but still warm enough to slightly melt toppings to the surface, sprinkle with either powdered sugar, sprinkles or melted fondant of your choice - or cool completely for plain old fashioned doughnuts.
Yields 1.5 to 2 dozen doughnuts.

We found we liked the doughnut holes as much or better than than the regular doughnut shaped ones. However they were much better last night than they were this morning. I just might try this dough for cinnamon rolls.

The Thunderbirds Come to Town

There was a brief interlude in our weekend when we thought we were all going to be well. Little did we know Brittany and William had yet to fall. However, during the break in the plague we had the fun of watching the U.S. Air force Thunderbirds from our backyard. They were just so amazing!

I know this photo looks faked but really, they were right over our house! Of course we all raced out to watch, even the mostly naked Josh who had been in the tub. I wish they came more often, we can hardly wait for the next time!