Friday, October 31, 2008

Who Knew?

There are not a lot of options for kids clothing where I live. It's so weird to me that the only store nearby that sells kids clothes that is not an expensive boutique is Old Navy. I mean, this is Utah, there are millions of kids. Where are they all buying their clothes. I feel like I have to go to Provo to go shopping, which has me looking for some affordable alternatives online.

It seems like there are a lot of new kids clothing lines out there. Just yesterday I heard that American Eagle started a kids line with reasonable prices, and then today I learned about Crazy 8, the less expensive, Gymboree Line. Did you know about them? I was totally surprised by Crazy 8's prices. I just wish their was one nearby. The good news is that they have $5 shipping on all orders. Don't you think Creed NEEDS this shirt?

We need and H & M kids department too!

Ready, ready, ready, ready, ready to run!

Although Creed has a pretty limited vocabulary, he certainly has his ways of letting us know exactly what he wants. For instance, yesterday morning as I was rushing around the house, trying to get ready to go, he did not want to wait and he did not want to change; he wanted to go. Now!

Our neighbor in Columbus gave him a pair of Crocs and he dug them out of his closet, put them on, put on a hat, went to the living room and got my purse and dragged it to me while I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom, where he grabbed my hand and started yanking me to the door and when that didn't work, the tears started. I know I shouldn't laugh looking at this picture, but it's just so funny to me. That kid is ready to go and show off those sock monkey pajamas.

A New Collection

I started a new collection this week. You know from my designs for Sycamore Street Press that I have a thing for ornate frames that look like they are from the Renaissance or Rococo period. Well, I couldn't resist temptation this week when I found two gaudy gold frames in second hand shops in my neighborhood. I have two ideas for them that I can't decide between. First, I was thinking I should try to collect several and hang them all on one wall to create little art gallery. I would probably spray paint them all the same color and hang simple, modern prints in them to contrast with their grandma nature. When Creed gets older I think that would be an awesome way to display his art, and I could switch them out all the time. They are rather large frames so I would have to blow some of his artwork up, but I think it could be done for a reasonable price.

The second idea is to just find one more and blow up our portraits from our new stamps. I think the three of them would look so cute hanging together. I think I would still spray paint them all a bright color, although Larry says the gold is growing on him. What do you think?

Family Leaf Jump 2008

So a few days ago I raked up the leaves in the backyard for Creed to play in and I felt like it was a decent pile of leaves.Um, not so much! Today we went out and the yard looked like this. Notice, it doesn't even look like any leaves have fallen from that giant tree. I was pretty proud of myself for getting it raked up before our friends arrived to pick us up.
Alas, a few hours later, our yard looked like this.
So Creed and I got to work and had an enormous pile of leaves ready when Larry got home for the Family Leaf Jump of 2008.

And I have to mention that Creed insisted on wearing his penguin feet the whole time!

It was a wild rumpus.
Goot hing it was fun because we're going to "get" to do this at least four more times!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cutting a rug, I mean, pumpkin

We had my family over for pumpkin carving on Monday night. I look forward to pumpkin carving every year. When I was little we would each pick out our own pumpkins then we would each draw faces on paper until we came up with just the right one. We would draw it on our pumpkins and cut out the basic shapes and then under our direction, my dad would embellish them with his wood carving tools. They were amazing and we always won the pumpkin carving contests at school. Larry is not so into pumpkin carving so it was fun to be carving pumpkins with my family after so many years.

Thanks family for coming to our house for dinner and carving. It was so much fun.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

boo to you too!

We went to Boo at The Zoo on Saturday. Creed was dressed up as a penguin.So of course he had to check out his penguin buddies.I loved seeing his little penguin tail wiggle ad he waddled around but Creed's favorite part was probably watching animals from the stroller while he ate candy with Sara.We stopped at the Emigration Market on the way home and he was insistent on buying bananas too. He stopped and ate a banana right there in the store as soon as we had paid for it.
I think he's been spending too much time with monkeys.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Being Domestic

A week ago, after I bought a box of peaches at the farmer's market Faith said, "Oh, we should make jam!" And she did not mean the easy freezer jam that I make, she meant real, cooked jam that you have to can. You know I'm a disaster in the kitchen so it sounded a little too difficult to me, but Faith is a great cook, and I love the jam that she's made so I decided I might as well try something new. Now I have something to add to my list of 28 new things to try this year.

Faith was a wonderful teacher, and I was thrilled that every jar sealed. The funny thing was when we were debating whether or not to make one more batch of jam at the end of the night, I told Faith that I would never use half of the jam we made, that 15 jars of jam was way more than I needed so we should only make the last batch if she wanted more than 15 jars. She looked at me and said, "None of this jam is for me. This is all for you. I've already made 45 jars."

And that's the kind of friend Faith is, one who would buy half the ingredients and slave away making jam for hours and expect you to keep all the results of her hard work. It is really good jam, but I don't know what I'll do with 36 jars. I guess you all kow what you'll be getting for Christmas!

Here's the recipe from Faith. It tastes kind of like fresh cherries, but their are no cherries in it.

Blushing Peach Jam

This is an awesome jam worthy of gift giving. The flavor combination is delicious and the color is so pretty - this is on my annual list of must-do's. Makes approximately eight 8 oz. jars.

3 generous cups of fresh, finely chopped peaches
10 oz. bag frozen raspberries (or about 1½ cups fresh, crushed)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4½ cups granulated sugar
1 box powdered fruit pectin
1 tablespoon butter, optional (helps prevent foaming in the cooking process)
1 teaspoon almond extract

Prep: Skip this step if you are making freezer jam, but if you are planning to make sealed jam jars; place glass jars, seals and lids into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil (this sterilizes and heats the jars hot enough to help seal the jam).

  1. Combine peaches, raspberries, lemon juice and pectin in a large, heavy stock pot.

  2. Mix well and bring to a boil.

  3. Add sugar and butter. Stir continually until mixture returns to a full, rolling boil.

  4. Boil hard for 1 minute.

  5. Remove from heat and add the almond extract and stir well again.

  6. For freezer jam, portion into Tupperware containers and place in refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours and then freeze.

  7. For sealed jars, pour into clean, hot, sterile jars. Add seals and lids and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes OR process using the inversion method (once lids and seals are tightly in place, turn jars over, lid side down, for 5 minutes and then turn right side up. Jam is sealed when the seal “bubble” in lid is concave, often noted with a little “pop” sound). If jam is not sealed within 24 hours using this inversion method, refrigerate and use immediately or process as freezer jam.

Optional prep note: It often helps to stir the jam after step five for a good 5-minute cool down period before jarring it to prevent floating fruit, but I find it isn’t necessary with this recipe because it is a soft set jam and this cool down process can effect the heat of the jam and prevent it from sealing if you are doing the inversion method.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


The Children's literature book club met at my house last week. Since we were discussing books about witches, I decided last minute to make some witchy treats. Thank goodness for ideas from Martha. I made these witch cupcakes. Although, I didn't have black rope licorice or chocolate ice cream cones so I cut up chocolate licorice and coated normal sugar cones in chocolate for the witches hats. Then I made up these broomstick treat bags.
I think they would be really fun to make for witches brew parties too.

He Frightened Miss Muppet Away

Faith let us borrow the cutest spider costume, which Creed wore to my mom's Witches Brew party to welcome the guests. Every time the door opened, he ran up to the guests and said, "Boo!" in his little voice that could not possibly be scary. Unfortunately, we didn't take a single picture of him so when he wanted to put the costume back on this morning before our morning walk, I was happy to oblige. So here's our spooky spider. All of his extra arms wave when he moves his arms. We also spent a good amount of time staring up at the yellow leaves on the walnut tree in our backyard.
And who knew that spiders love filling up bird feeders?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Craft Pudding

My mind has already been drifting to Christmas. Crazy I know, but I'm trying to shop ahead since the budget around here is not what it used to be. I have splurged on one item I've been wanting for a while. Personalized Stamps from Etsy seller Craft Pudding. You can send the woman who runs the shop a picture of someone and she will draw a little sketch of them and convert it to a stamp with their name. I decided to order them for each member of our family because I want to use them to label our Christmas presents (and besides, PayPal money is not like real money, right?)

I've been eagerly awaiting their arrival and I'm so happy with them. Ok, I could be one of a million women out there, but Larry looks remarkably like Larry for such a simple drawing and Creed's stamp is PERFECT! It was worth it for his stamp alone!

I can't wait to use these on everything! Christmas cards, fabric labels to sew into clothing, gift tags . . .
Each stamp is handcarved and wonderful!

Creed Atticus Becomes a . . .

Well, why choose one costume when you love to play dress up? This year Creed has ended up with three costumes. A really cool spider costume borrowed from a friend, the cute penguin costume, and one homemade costume - The Pigeon from Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus.

I picked up the supplies for a pigeon costume before Melinda found the penguin costume for us so I decided to go ahead and make it. I really wanted Creed to wear it to the Red Butte Garden After Dark event because this year it had a storybook theme and kids were encouraged to dress up as their favorite storybook characters, but that didn't leave me with a lot of time to make it. I got the idea for the costume from a reader's costume posted on Mo Willems' blog last year. I wasn't sure if I could pull it off, and I was very nervous about it because I couldn't even get Creed to try it on ahead of time so I had no idea how it would fit, but I figured if it was terrible, it would be dark outside and I could try to fix it later.

Well, it still needs a little tweaking, but I think Creed was the cutest pigeon ever! The funny thing was that I knew some people wouldn't know exactly who he was supposed to be, but I was still surprised when a few people asked me what he was supposed to be. I mean, even if you'd never heard of the books, can't you tell that he's a bird? Would you really need to ask? Oh well, now maybe a few more people will meet Mo Willems' Pigeon and share our pigeon love.

The Randalls came along for our evening of fun. Both girls are Minnie Mouse this year (Minnie and Mini Minnie, so cute!). They love the Pigeon books too so it was fun to hear their reactions to Creed's costume.We arrived at Red Butte just in time to see a bit of it in the light and catch a beautiful sunset. We didn't bring our stroller because Creed hates riding in it, but he loves Laura and was happy to ride in her lap as much as possible even though it looked very uncomfortable.It was so nice having dads there to share cameras with because now there is evidence that Melinda and I were there too. I wasn't sure what to expect of the whole event, but it was wonderful. I thought Creed might be too young, but he had so much fun. He was so busy looking around when we arrived that we couldn't get him to look at the camera.They had great activities for little kids and Creed was so interested in everything going on. You start out with a map and you go around to the different activities in the gardens collecting stamps to win a little tree to take home. I thought we would walk around and skip most of the activities, but Creed was happy to participate. Here he is watching me put together his monkey puppet at the Curious George station. Since the theme this year was a storybook theme, all of the stations were tied to different books. Here's Fiona at the Shrek Karaoke (I was proud of them for knowing Shrek was a book first). It was so cute to watch kids Karaoke to songs like the alphabet and songs from High School Musical. Some Wizard of Oz Scarecrows protecting the garden
A Doctor Seuss beanbag game
An Alice in Wonderland Maze (that was big enough to easily accommodate a double stroller)So many Halloween happenings are too scary for little ones so it was really fun to be at a big Halloween event designed for little kids. The gardens were beautiful and there were fun details everywhere you looked. They even had big spotlights up on the surrounding mountains to cast big Halloween shadows. I think we all had a lot of fun.I have to include this picture from Larry's phone because when we got home and I was peeling off all of Creed's layers, I discovered he wore this necklace all evening and wasn't ready to take it off and it made me giggle.I guess all that fun wore Larry out most of all!