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Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Confess...



The first conversation I ever had with Stephen, I told him that
I "just wasn't an animal person."
Little did I know that he was the zoo!
If he had his way, he'd own some massive pet store!

He prefers English Pointers and keeps a pair of them to be able to have and sell puppies... which, as you probably guess, we happen to have right now! These little guys (ten of them-wow!) are about to go their separate ways, but for now, the boys are sure enjoying them!





I confess, they are awfully cute
and I really liked these pics of the boys with them! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ruffle Edge Halloween Charger



Recently at a cute craft boutique in Logan, I saw a charger on display that had the saying "A Witch lives here with her little monsters" or something similar. I thought it was so cute and grabbed this shiny black charger at Hobby Lobby for $2 to make my own!



I decided I wanted it to be more fitting for our family, so I cut the saying "A Witch, A Werewolf and their Little Monsters live here." I thought it looked pretty bland with just the words at the center, so I grabbed some polka dot ribbon I had and hot glued a crumpled ruffle around the outer rim- I love the addition of the ruffles! I don't usually decorate too much for Halloween actually, but this looks so cute on the shelf inside our front landing!



I designed the words using Sure Cuts a Lot2 and have put the scut file in my 4shared folder for fellow Cricut users like me! To cut in two different colors, I just selected and then deleted the pieces I didn't want out of that color vinyl, then cut. When that cut was finished, I undid my deletes and deleted the ones I'd already cut instead. I was able to use the same transfer paper to make sure they lined up like the whole design.

To grab the free file, click here:

http://www.4shared.com/file/oQ5BRmi_/halloween_charger.html

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Larger than...Everyday Life

 So, awhile back Cooper came inside with an "owie" on the top of his foot. I looked at it and thought it seemed ok at the time, kissed it better like I do and off he went. But it only got worse. And he wouldn't let me touch it for nothing! Finally I forced him, kicking and screaming, to let me at least look at it better and knew that something was still inside that needed out!
So the next night, I held my brave little Cooper Conner down while Stephen performed minor surgery on our couch and retrieved this larger than life sliver from his poor foot! Yes, I am the Mom of the Year :/ ... and he is one tough little trooper!

 When Cooper changes position on the couch, Ryder quickly follows to be the same.

Fishing turned swimming trip to Gem Lake :) 

Diggin' worms with our wonderful neighbor Louise. 

Books in a fort- we build one of these almost daily it seems!

Otherwise, life looks pretty good, eh? :)
And, yes, Ry is reading a Christmas book. Cooper has already asked several times if it's Christmas tomorrow when he goes to bed! :)


Also, isn't this a cute little package on it's way (unfortunately, and perplexingly, two days late) to my bestie for her birthday?! I have been loving playing with ruffled crepe paper lately :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Choose to Become: Joyful

This last weekend I got to
eat peacefully at Texas Roadhouse,
walk at leisure through the cutest craft boutique ever,
get a taste of Hobby Lobby for the first time,
go to sleep far too late after laughing for two hours,
sample Coldstone Oatmeal Cookie Batter Ice Cream and wish for more,
feel spiritually uplifted in just the way I needed....
and make a choice to become more joyful.

I traveled with my Mom and sisters to a Time Out for Women event in Logan Friday and Saturday. I have wanted to get in on one of these sessions for awhile now and looked forward to this once since spring. There are so many bits and pieces I was touched by and want to be sure to remember- here's a few favorites... 


"He doesn't love us because we are perfect, He loves us because He is perfect."

"Don't you dare be the one thing standing in your way."

"It's the Storm, not You, that's bound to blow away."

"Much of our bad thinking comes about because we think of life as a contest,
as if there's only so much prestige in the world."

"If we complain about life, it's because we are thinking only of ourselves."

Remember who your children really are! Be Deliberate about Mothering.

"God is more interested in your character than your comfort." -Rick Warren

"The theme of life is Becoming, not Arriving."




As part of the theme 'Choose to Become,' everyone attending was asked to think of something they could work on becoming themselves. I quickly came to the decision that I wanted to become joyful. See, I tend to be a pessimist more than I actually care to admit.
I know life is so, so blessed.
But I also know that our challenges have been and can be really heartbreaking, crushing, real.
My naive ideals have become a hardened lack of trust in some ways.


But I know that, like I've blogged about before, Happiness is a Choice.
And that I don't choose it as often as I need to.
I know my life, as thus the lives of my husband, boys and stepsons, would be better if I did.
It is the storm that will blow away, not me or us. And in the meantime,
I do still believe that I have the ability to be choosing to be positive and willing to see beyond the wind.

I've already put my "Choose to Become" to work a bit. Fighting the boys while getting them dressed in the morning now includes singing a primary song or two in the process. Feeling like I'd rather do anything than go Visiting Teaching on top of Cub Scouts and preschool in one day? A few deep breaths and an inner reminder to choose happiness and off we go. Papers strewn all over the house with essentially the same four-year old drawings on them? A mess and a waste, but I know I will miss these fun little scribbles all too soon. I guess it's just been mostly self-talk in a forced positive direction rather than my general self-beating. All I know is I sure hope I can keep it up and really become more Joyful.

"When we have a vision of what we can become,
 our power to act increases enormously."

Friday, September 16, 2011

'This Is It'


Awhile back I had seen this image below
on Pinterest and it just struck me... THIS IS IT.
If it is to be, it's up to me, ya know? :)

This Is It 8 x 10

I loved the saying and knew I wanted to
make something my own style to share.
Click on any one of the color choices here then right click and save to print!
Or if you prefer the original, you can find it at
Happy Weekend... This Is It! 




Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Melty Crayons


One of our favorite projects around here is what we call
  "Melty Crayons."
We save this one for special days and it never fails to be a ton of fun!
I think I might enjoy this as much as the boys do!


To do it, get our your griddle and place a small cookie sheet on top. I found the small size at Dollar Tree. Then peel your crayons down a ways- oil pastels (those chunky, flat on top kind of crayons- is that what they're called?!)... anyhow, they work good too!

I turn the griddle up anywhere from 2 to almost 4- kinda watch and adjust it as you go. 


It works best to hold the crayon in one place as you start, let it melt for a sec and then draw as you press down kinda firmly. I set a hot pad to the size so we can keep the pan from slipping around if we need. This is one that I wouldn't let Coop do alone- but I wouldn't want to miss it anyhow! :)



See how fun and shiny the pictures turn out!



Cooper's latest favorite thing to do is for both of us to melt our crayons at the same time and make it a "battle." I'd draw and say it was a dragon or a fire or something and he'd try to draw on top of or all around mine and push my crayon away.... boy's world, ya know? ;) A fun thing a girl might like to try would be to add some glitter to the wax before it dries!


Anyhow, hope you give it a try on a boring afternoon! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rockin'



Over Labor Day weekend, we enjoyed our last camping trip of the year at City of Rocks National Preserve near Almo. Crazy given that Idaho is as small as it is, but I hadn't ever been there before! The boys had a blast climbing around on the more mellow rocks. It made for some fun photos for sure!




I think my favorite part of this trip was actually the friends that we shared it with. I think it's truly rare to find people that you can be as comfortable around as we still feel like we can with Gardner's. We will forever love these awesome people and would do whatever it takes to not lose them from our lives, regardless of the distance between us now!




Saturday, September 10, 2011

Daily Life is Good





We recently became the happy owners of a large box of Mega blocks from my generous brother-in-law and have loved them! The boys love building towers and knocking them over- I have to hold them tight while building to make sure they stay up very long at all in fact! There's something about having colorful blocks scattered all over the floor that actually makes me happy :)



Oftentimes when Ryder is napping, Cooper and I work on a project. He loved this cool slime we made recently! I used this recipe from Our Best Bites. I love how happy Coop looks as he plays with this!


We also recently came up with the sweetest salamander catching contraption ever! Cooper loves tape and is super creative putting "machines" and traps together! He raided the brown paper tube basket and snagged a 2-liter bottle, then had me help with the cone! This project totally melted my heart- this is our Cooper all the way! He asked me to label it "Salamanders Go Here"- an essential piece of the traps success no doubt ;) Then he sat and watched for it to work- love the faith and simplicity of children!


Ya know, there isn't a day that goes by as I'm home with the boys that I don't think multiple times how grateful I am for my husband that makes it possible for me to be here. As simple and maybe silly all of this seems, I truly believe that it all matters more than it seems for now...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

And So It Begins



Cooper had his first day of preschool Tuesday! He was so thrilled and seemed to have loved every minute. He goes Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 2:30 and woke up this morning insistent that it was time to go already. :) He brought home several Scholastic book orders and my heart both melted and sunk a bit at the same time... so it begins I guess!


Could hardly wait to get inside... When I dropped him off today he said, "Mom, I think you should just really try not to take a picture of me today." Love this boy!

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