Thursday, February 28, 2008

An Affair to Remember

So the previews for a new movie are making me relive a traumatizing event from my childhood that I have to share with you to get it off my chest. Every fourth grader at Rock Canyon Elementary school looks forward to one big-time event: the Fourth Grade Wax Museum! Every student writes a biography on a historical figure and then they get to dress up like the people they studied and stand for thirty minutes in their wax-figure-impersonation glory while the rest of the school tours the museum and "learn" about the people (ie, do their best to make the "wax figures" laugh or wiggle).

I was so excited when the whole grade gathered with their teachers to sign-up for their historical figures. My mom had convinced me to sign-up for Pocahontas (I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that my sister was an Indian for Halloween and the costume was just waiting to be used again). There would be no duplicates in this wax museum, oh no, as I stated, this was big-time stuff, but I wasn't worried because we got to sign-up in alphabetical order so with the last name Borup, I thought I was safe. That is until my friend Bonnie Beuss got her turn and sign-up up for Pocahontas. I tried not to panic and stated my second choice, Annie Oakley, but I'd been so caught up that I hadn't heard that Anne Barrett already picked Annie Oakley. The teacher in charge told me I would get another turn to pick after everyone else went. But then all the good historical women were spoken for. Joan of Arc, taken; Amelia Earhart, taken; Kristi Yamaguchi, taken . . . I couldn't come up with a single idea. I wasn't the only one left in that predicament so several of us went home with notes that we had one night to come up with some new ideas for the wax museum.

I went home in despair. Who could I possibly choose? At the dinner table that night my parents threw a few names back and forth, and I'd never heard of any of them. I told them I had to have at least two names and they better write them down since I didn't know who they were (I'd asked them for details, but they told me, "That's what research is all about. You'll learn all about them.")

Then next day, I showed up at school with two names written on a slip of paper in my mom's handwriting: Madame Curie and Anne Boleyn. My teacher gave me a quizzical look and asked me which one a wanted to me. Still disgruntled that I wasn't going to be Pocahontas, I told her I didn't know anything about either of them. She said, "One was a queen and one was a scientist. Which one do you want to be?"

My fateful reply? "The Queen I guess."

"OK, that's Anne Boleyn."

I didn't give it much more thought until we headed to the library the next day to begin our research. There wasn't a single book in the whole school library on Anne Boleyn. The only info on her was a section of the B World Book Encyclopedia. I knew I could never come up with a five-page paper from those little paragraphs, but I skimmed through it anyway to see what she was famous for.

Then I knew.

Anne Boleyn was one of Henry VIII's many wives who was famous because he said she cheated on him and then her head got chopped off. I was signed-up of to dress up like someone who was famous for getting their HEAD CHOPPED OFF!!!!!!

I rushed to my teacher and told her that I needed to switch. I did NOT want to be Anne Boleyn. Sadly, someone else had already signed-up as Madame Curie and she said it was too late to change anyway. She was sure that I could figure something out.

Looking back, I'm sure my parents thought that was a pretty funny thing to do to me, but they paid for it in the end too (Note-to-self, if I ever have a daughter, do not send my innocent nine-year-old to sign-up to pose as Anne Boleyn!). My dad ended up getting stuck looking for more information on Anne Boleyn at the BYU library and helping me dredge through my five-page report (He also come up with the idea to add some color copies of portraits of Anne Boleyn to take up more space in my report). My mom ended up scouring the city for an Anne Boleyn like costume that would fit a nine-year-old and finally found one that she could rent.

And the final product speaks for itself.

It's taken me years, but I can finally say that I find this picture very funny.

I forgive you mom and dad!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Creed at Eleven Months

WARNING: This post is jam-packed with photos of what may very well be the cutest baby in the whole world! See: Oh wait, let's try that again without the binky!
Creed has worked very hard for those two teeth so we had to take the opportunity to show them off!
Oh, where to start this month? Creed is amazing. He's growing leaps and bounds, and I can't believe our little man will soon be one! I have yet to come up with any fantastic party ideas so I'd love to hear any you might have! I've even got Creed thinking hard about it.
He would not hold still, but I had to include a few of these pictures to show off his chubbiness.
He has fallen in love with lights this month and points them out everywhere we go. Here he is checking out the overhead light.
and that's only the beginning of his curiosity.
He's only still when he's strapped down.
He so curious about everything around him and loves to get into everything. I don't usually have the heart to stop his explorations, which lead to scenes like this . . .
And this . . .
And this . . .
Ugh, and this (which of course he's had many a talking to about) And did I mention that he can do this?
Yikes! Seriously! He's not even one!
Larry introduced him to his favorite show, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. The Hot dog song at the end seems to be especially captivating.

And he's eating with a fork (although, if you don't stab the food for him, he will use his other hand to put food on the fork, which sort of defeats the purpose).
My favorite new development is that Creed LOVES to be read to. He'd rather sit on your lap reading books than play with his toys or watch TV. He's already becoming so independent; he has to turn the pages himself, he has to crawl up the stairs himself, he's starting to walk around without any encouragement from us, but he still loves to cuddle and won't venture from my lap during baby storytimes. He hates being tossed in the air or swinging around, but he's an adventurous eater that will sample just about anything we hand him.
Oh, how we LOVE this little guy!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Snow, Snow, Snow!

My mom called me this weekend to see if we were ok since I haven't been blogging, which made me laugh. I guess I normally do post a lot. We were experiencing some computer problems, but thanks to our friend David, we are now back up and running. Add to that the fact that we are working to get our house ready to sell and we met with a realtor and you might understand why my mind hasn't been on blogging lately. Not to worry, we've still been taking plenty of pictures so we still have many to share.

Let us begin with the crazy weather around here. We were so excited when it started to snow that I ran out with Creed to check out the huge flakes. He LOVED it!
The snow has been coming ever since so it's a good thing Larry bought me these for Valentine's Day (I know, we are oh so romantic around here, but I really do love them!)
I've been making good use of them
And did I mention the freezing rain? I had never experienced anything like this out west so I took a picture for all of you but it was late in the day so most of it had melted. You still get the idea though.
It formed a thick layer across the snow so you could easy lift of big sheets of it. It's things like this that make me so happy we have a garage!
Mostly we have just spent our time cuddling in our cosy house and who can blame us?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine Exchange

A couple years ago I was having quite a sad Valentine's Day. I'd had a long day at work and came home to an empty house and dinner alone because Larry was working overnight at the hospital. When I picked up the mail I found a hand addresses envelope someone had slipped in my mail. I tore it open while still standing at the mailbox and discovered a handmade Valentine from my friend Jessica Anderson. Inside she wrote a list of ten things that she loved about me. It was amazing how much love I felt at that moment, and I walked inside to sent the card on my mantle. Throughout the next week, I noticed cards from Jessica at alot of other friends homes, each with a list of the top ten thing Jessica loved about them. Each displayed in a place where it could me seen and make the recipient smile. I'm sure Jessica lifted a lot of hearts that Valentine's Day and I've thought of that every Valentine's since.

This month I was assigned to teach Relief Society in church, and I was able to pick any topic I wanted. After a lot of thought, I decided to teach about love and even though it's not exactly spiritual, I decided to talk about Valentine's Day a little bit too. Many people hate Valentine's Day because it can be so commercial, and it can be such a disappointment if you've had a recent breakup or your loved one isn't around. I've always loved Valentine's Day and I think it's partially due to the fact that my dad always gave each of the kids in my family a Valentine telling them why he was proud of them and how much he loved them. Valentine's was less about whether or not a boyfriend brought roses and more about spreading the love. Larry says that Valentine's Day is a girl holiday when every guy is trying to please the women in their life, bu tI think it should be less about what my husband does for me and more about looking at it as an opportunity to make sure everyone around me knows how much I love them. Christmas time is all about showing Christlike love, but we lose the Christmas spirit so quickly. Valentine's Day is the perfect reminder to be a little bit kinder to everyone.

I decided to take my own advice and make sure some of my friends know how much I love them, and what better way to do that than with another party, right? I decided to have a Valentine's exchange. The whole things was really simple. I asked each guest to bring Valenetine's to exchange and I updated them with the final guest list so they would know how many Valentines to bring and who to address them to.

Since the weather was so cold I had hot water ready for hot chocolate (with my favorite peppermint syrup).

And I had a cookie decorating station with all sorts of Valentine's Day candy and sprinkles and a few different kinds of frosting so everyone could decorate their own heart-shaped cookies and take some home too (which saved me a lot of time decorating them myself).The only extra decoration that I put up was this little garland that I made with paper hearts cut out of all different pink and red scrapbooking papers and I only made it because I had all these hearts left over from my Relief Society lesson. I just sewed a straight line across them on my sewing machine so it only took a few minutes to make.The only other prep I did was to make my own Valentines. I decided to use a Martha Stewart pattern to make felt fortune cookies and they were really easy to make. I think they would be fun for other special occasions too like baby showers or wedding favors. I glued a wire across a 4 inch circle of felt and glued a ribbon over it to cover it. Then I printed out a couple of different Valentine's Day forntunes Then you just fold them up

I wanted to put them in little Chinese take-out boxes, but I couldn't find any affordable enough so I used these little polka dots boxes for wedding favors that I found at Target, and they fit perfectly.

Then I just wrapped each one with a red ribbon and sealed them with some cardstock with the recipients name. The only hard part of the whole party was that I couldn't ivite everyone that I wanted because I had to keep the guest list resonably small since the guests had to make Valentines for everyone coming. Creed ended up having his own guest too because Meg was able to bring her daughter Aylssa, and he was thrilled.

Yep, his Ladies Man shirt says it all.

I provided some melamine plate for everyone to gather their new Valentines on and then after everyone had a good chance to visit and snack, we exchanged Valentines. I wanted everyone to have a chance to talk as they exchanged so we did it like speed dating. I had a timer and let everyone chat for two minutes and then they had to move on the the next person. I think it worked really well and I appreciated having a chance to talk with everyone.

I told the guests that their Valentines could be as simple or elaborate as they wanted, the point was really just to have a chance to get together to visit, but of course they went all out. I managed to get a picture of each of the guests with their Valentines except Julia, who was sick and just had to drop her Valentines off. Here's Cat who did have a Chinese take-out box full of her handmade treats

Megan used this Martha Stewart idea to make heart-shaped Valentines that fold up into little envelopes

Greta and her daughter made sugar cookies for everyone.

Nikki spoiled everyone with a kit to prepare them for spring; nail polish, toe seperators, and a little tube of foot scrub.

Heather made giant Hershey kisses out of rice crispy treats and slipped notes in on the paper that sticks out of the top.

Liz made cupcakes

Meg and Alyssa brought buckeyes

Katherine made some playdough and her daughter helped her cut out heart-shapes to hand out to everyone.

Brooke with three kinds of homemade truffles.
Brittany made lollipop cookies
Eva mastered in printmaking and she cut up some of her screenprinting scraps to make her valentines. Then she put them int he bottom of paper bags and cut the tops off and used them as envelopes. So cool!

The best part was just seeing lots of my friends.
I hope that they all had a fun time too.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Be Mine

We're Valentining it up around here!
I'm trying to raise Creed right so we're trying to teach him from an early age to treat his girlfriend well on Valentine's Day. We went to the store and I held up a few potential gifts for him to choose from for his Gal Pal Audrey. He chose a cupid Mr. Potatohead, and then we went home, and I made this card for her. I have to brag because I think this is the cutest card EVER!!!!! It's the adorable kids that really make it great.It's hard to really photograph, but it pops up when you open it and the two people hug. I got the idea from Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart's visit on Martha Stewart (I'm totally in love with all of their pop-up books). You can see the instructions and get the template here. Be sure to click on the video tab so you can see how they did it. I added a little photo of the Potatohead to Creed's hand so he looks like he's giving it to her. Larry wanted me to make a second one for us to keep, but instead, I decided to make one for him for my own card to him.

He's holding a label maker because that's what I'm giving him for Valentine's Day. So romantic, huh? I know it's a little weird, but he's been telling me for YEARS that he wants a label maker and he mentions it all the time so I finally picked one up for him.

I hope all of you are having a happy Valentine's Day too!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Photo Valentines

So I knew they were having a Valentine's get together for kids at church this morning, but I didn't realize until yesterday afternoon that they were exchanging Valentines. Good thing I read Candice's post about photo Valentines. I set Creed up with a heart plate and snapped away. Then after he went to bed I Photoshopped in some simple text. They could have used a little more finesse, but I figured the other babies wouldn't mind. I had to slip in a few of my recent favorite pictures of Creed too.

I emailed them to be developed in an hour and picked them up on the way to the party. So simple and easy!