Sunday, April 19, 2009

Snow Day!!

This past weekend, Mother Nature decided to remind us that no matter what the calendar may say, or how warm the weather has been, or how the flowers may already be blooming, Winter is never truly over in Colorado until AFTER Mother's Day. We had a fantastic snow storm that dumped a lot of wet, wonderful & needed moisture all over Colorado Springs.

Schools were out, and the whole city hunkered down for a weekend stuck indoors for the "blizzard", which made me laugh, because although the air got cold, and the snow certainly came down, the ground was so warm that the roads never really got bad. Some deep slush at the most. Maybe it's just nostalgia, but I don't seem to remember ever getting out of school for something like this. I remember having to wait for the bus in deep snow, biting cold, and conditions generally worse than this. It seemed to take a LOT more to close school down back then.

However, when I left work and began brushing the 6 inches of snow off my car, and the snow compacted on it's own into a snowman and walked off my car hood; I realized that this was probably the most perfect snowman making snow I have seen in many years. Wet enough to compact easily and strong, yet not too slushy to melt away. I hurried home and dragged my family out of the house and into the snow. We made not 1 but 4 snowmen/women; one for each member of our family.

Shockingly, Alex admitted that he had probably only made one snowman in his life, and didn't really know how it was done. He learned very quickly.

Unfortunately Baby A was sleeping so she didn't get in this picture with me and her snow counterpart.

Immediately thereafter, we had a nice big snowball fight in the backyard. I think this was Princess M's favorite part.

"You missed!!!"

We truly had a fabulous time. Having kids really does make everything fun and magical again.

Easter Weekend!

This year was the first year that Princess was actively involved and excited for Easter. So naturally I began seriously contemplating what kind of traditions we want to have in our family and how we were going to focus on the real meaning of Easter, and how to really help her comprehend such difficult, spiritual concepts that comprise that first Easter weekend.

I must send out a big thanks to my sisters, Maryle & Rachael for their influence. Maryle had mentioned to me how they were going to split up Easter; doing all the secular, Easter Bunny activities on Saturday, and focusing on the Savior on Sunday. I knew immediately that that was exactly what I wanted our family to do as well. I must say I REALLY like it that way. It spread out the holiday, caused for less stress, eliminated the sugar buzz right before church, and provided us with a nice, relaxed, Sunday morning that we were able to focus on the Savior.

We started out Friday evening with the coloring of the eggs. It was our turn to babysit that Friday, so Princess M had one of her best friends there to color eggs with her. They did a really great job!

The Easter Bunny honored Mama's wishes and visited our home Friday night. Princess M woke up Saturday morning to find filled Easter baskets, our eggs hidden around the house, and in their place in the basket a special Easter Bunny treat.

We lounged around the morning, enjoyed the toys, candy & egg hunt, and when we eventually got dressed, I did the girls hair in fun secular styles. I really liked how M's Easter egg hairdo turned out.

That night before bed we began switching the focus with the preparation of Easter cookies, the recipe of which was given to me by Rachael. Each step of the cookie preparation is related back to the events of the betrayal, Crucifixion, & resurrection of the Savior; including "sealing" the cookies in the "tomb" of the oven overnight to find hollow, empty cookies in the morning.

Sunday morning we were able to take our time getting ready for church in new Easter dresses & bows I made for the girls and then have another egg hunt. This time for 12 plastic numbered eggs that each held a scripture and visual token representing the events of that first Easter. (once again, Thank you Rachael) M loved it, and would continually reopen each egg and ask me to explain again what each item represented. I think her favorites were the thorns, 3 pieces of silver, and the empty egg representing the empty tomb. Today, a week later, she rehearsed to me (without any prompting) how the "bad guys gave money for Jesus, he died for us, and was alive again." It made me feel warm inside that she still remembered the most important parts of the Easter story.

Alex and I were blessed to have been asked to speak in Sacrament on the Atonement and Resurrection. It was a very nice, compelling reason to study deeper those topics that weekend, which I think really added to the season, for me anyway. I don't know if anyone else got anything out of my talk, but I know I learned quite a bit.

After church, we were blessed to share a wonderful Easter dinner with all our family here in town. It was a true feast with spice injected turkey, caramelized ham, a surprisingly great meatloaf, Aunt Sue's fabulous rolls, a butter lamb, and several other fantastic sides. I'm grateful to be living close to family again, so we can share such fun times together.

It was a fantastic Easter with many traditions I'm sure we'll be keeping each year hereafter.

Budding Photographer

Princess M has been eager to use the camera ever since I got my new one. I've started indulging her because, hey, it's digital, and I can always delete them, and she's careful enough for me not to worry about breakage.

Actually, I've been pretty impressed with this little 3 year old's shots. He favorite subjects are, of course, Mom & Baby A, But she usually gets the whole subject in the picture and in focus, and level. Take a look at her portfolio.

Ok, so this last one I took the photo, but the cat was her handiwork. We often find the cats "tucked in" for a nap, lovingly by their favorite princess. (Yes, those are diaper inserts that she used.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hide and Seek

In going through my pics for the last while I found some we took of Alex and Princess M playing hide and seek.


ok, so I've gotten out of the habit of writing. I miss it. I'll see if I can get back into it again. I got all the taxes done. Wahoo!!. Looking forward to the refund. I've also been busy getting our quickbooks running and trying to get a working budget going (Conference inspired me to start a GOOD budget. I've always been really good at tracking expenses, but never so great at planning and Keeping a budget.) And on top of it all we've all gotten colds AGAIN! This has been a killer winter.

And honestly, I've been spending most of my free time lately discovering ribbons. I've found some really cute patterns for hair bows and clippies. I've been learning a lot lately and researching the cheapest places to get materials, etc. I'm seriously considering starting a little web store and selling at craft fairs.

Here's a pic of some of the creations I've made so far, and I've got a ton of ideas I haven't even started yet.

I'm having a lot of fun with it, so I'm thinking it might be a successful venture. In any case, I'm able to make cute things for Princess M very cheap. Let me know what you think. Would you buy a cute ladybug or bumble bee for $4.00?

Here's Princess M doing her own princess hair.