Picture Catch-Up, Pt 4

The next set of pictures to show off is Caiden’s school performance for Christmas. They did a theme of “The Littlest Christmas Tree” and it was very darling.


There’s my gorgeous second-grader, walking in with his class and looking for his mommy and daddy. I was very glad that Mark got to be home for his two weeks while the school productions were going on. He got to see Caiden sing! I was very excited and very teary-eyed while watching Caiden actually SING during this production. He’ll never understand how proud I was just because he belted out words to songs with his class. After several years of him *not* doing so, it was a joy to see it this time!


And – he even did the hand motions!


So cute.



That’s about all the pictures I have. Well, I really have a bunch more but they are all of the same picture – Caiden singing along with his classmates. There’s only so many of those you want to see, right? He is so cute and I was so proud of him. I can’t say it enough!


Y’all remember the “Star Child” from last year? This year, he was back again and left little presents around the house for the boys almost daily. I really have to thank Jen – she kept it going while I was in Oklahoma so the magic wouldn’t be lost. In this picture, you can see the Star Child set up a rope ladder to get to the top of that book shelf in my home. He was up on top with a Skylanders game package for my children the last Saturday before Christmas. I was very glad he did it that day so the boys could have time to play Skylanders with their daddy before he left for work for four weeks. *wink, wink* *nudge, nudge*


I finally found a picture of the back to one of the quilts I made with my mom while I was in Oklahoma. We didn’t have enough fabric for a complete back, so she came up with this idea for the back. I love it – especially since her and I did it together, y’know?


Before Dad left for work, he played with the boys. One of the things he did was glue some crayons to cardboard and melt them with a hair dryer. The boys were having a great time watching the wax melt. We’ll have to find a hot glue gun and do this again – maybe with a rainbow instead of a big mix of colors.


You can see Brendan’s watching me with the camera out of the corner of his eye. Before I picked up the camera, they were both watching the crayons pretty intently.


On December 23rd, we had a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner in one. Mark wasn’t in town for Thanksgiving and he was leaving on December 24th (after we opened presents). This was our way of making sure we had Christmas with daddy. It was a lot of fun with all three adults pitching in, getting things ready and laughing and having a good time in the process.


Our Christmas Eve was December 23rd (we did Christmas on the 24th – just before Mark was supposed to leave for work). The boys got some “Bear Bottoms” pajamas, a quilt from mom and all the presents under the tree that were bought by us for us – not Santa gifts.


Brendan in his new jammies and quilt from mommy. It was actually a community effort getting the quilt together in time this year (since I didn’t get it done last year and moved this year when trying to finish it).


Caiden in his jammies with his quilt. The stuff in the background is Mark prepping to leave the next morning. We tried to keep things upbeat so the boys wouldn’t get sad about his leaving.


OOOH! Look! I got another quilt kit for Christmas!


Why is Jen grinning from ear to ear? Well, when I was making that scarf for her, I kept telling her how much my mom would love it and I couldn’t wait to mail it out to her. I had to hide the fact that I know Jen likes purple and I was making a purple scarf somehow! So I lied. It’s Christmas! It’s allowed during Christmas!

P.S., the colors match the quilt I made for her in 2012, by the way. That was the best part of the surprise.

P.S.S., see the bag beside Jen? She was teased for two days about what was in the bag. When it came time for the scarves to be delivered to everyone, I told her she had a choice, “You can open the bag or give everyone what is left under the tree. Not both.” After teasing her for two days, she thought it was highly unfair to ask her to give up what was in the bag to deliver the remaining gifts under the tree. Only up until she saw that she had a scarf under the tree, as well.

P.S.S., in the process of ripping open the bag, Jen didn’t notice an envelope under the tree as well. It was a gift certificate for two pre-paid books on order for her at the local bookstore. She got those two days after Christmas, when I finally remembered there was still an envelope under there.


Brendan’s scarf became a bonnet – and still is, whenever he wears it.


Caiden and Mark with their scarves.


My boys opening a gift from their Grandma Donna together.


Finally, the bag she’s been teased about. Only problem is, Mark had a great time wrapping it in a lot of tape to make it difficult to open.


A couch pillow that says, “Life is better in cowgirl boots” and some country place mats for her non-existent dining room table. She got her first set of cowgirl boots this winter so the pillow goes great with her theme for the winter.


The boys and dad got a joint gift – two helicopters to play with dad with. Unfortunately, they never once worked and Mark declined to return them for different ones. They are hidden in my closest so the boys can, hopefully, forget about the joint present they got and never got to use.


Mark also got a huge military duffle bag. It is strong enough and big enough to fit both my children at the same time but not quite big enough for Mark.


And with that, our early Christmas Eve comes to an end…


The children all nestled in their beds…


with dreams of Christmas morning filling their head.


Merry Christmas to All.. and to all a Good Night!

(a month late, of course)


Categories: Dinner, Family, Holidays, Photography, Quilting, Religion | Leave a comment

WIP Wednesday

I’ve been good about getting online on Wednesdays and setting out goals for myself. Today’s goal is to start finding a way to do more than one post a week. I used to write all the time; now I write randomly and when I’m in the mood. I’ve always loved to write, so I need to get back into it.

One of my first WIPs is nearly finished. Before Mark came home from work, I told him about an idea I had to replace my canopy that got destroyed in the hurricane-like winds we had in Idaho back in the spring. When he got home, he made that his first priority (to which I am immensely grateful). The only pieces left are the ones I am saving money for.


He is making me a wooden canopy. It should be solid enough to withstand the winds, should they return.


We have spent the entire summer with no canopy because the winds took out our aluminum one early in the spring. It hasn’t been as much fun to sit out back as it could have been.


it’s getting close to done! See the peak he put on the top? That’s so my existing canopy fabric can fit properly on it.


That’s the peak. He did really good on it!


All done! Isn’t it great? The only part missing is the lights outlining the inside and the little stone I’m going to put in front of it to hold my outdoor fire pit. I don’t want it under the canopy, so we’re going to create a small place for it in front of the canopy with the same stones we used for the grill a year ago. With a few rows of those at the edge of the concrete our canopy sits on, we should be able to set our fire pit on it and keep our canopy safe. As soon as I get a few dollars, that’s the goal.


Remember the butters that I created out of different combinations in my kitchen? I took orange butter and made chocolate chip cookies with it instead of normal butter.


They turned out really good and I’ll be doing it again with different butters when making cookies.


WIP: The boys have decided they want to create their own blanket for mommy to sew. I let them lose with some of my scraps and they had fun building a quilt. Before I can sew it, however, I need to teach them about squares and blocks – make it a tad easier for me to sew together.


The other night, we made homemade caramel syrup for ice cream. It was delicious!


I sent some home with Matthew, Jen’s brother, to use on his food at school.


I also made some grape syrup for pancakes and such. It was delicious! I need to make it and properly can it so we don’t have to freeze everything I make.


On Monday night, we went out to a fish place to eat dinner (Captain’s Cove in Idaho Falls). I had lunch with a friend there on Friday and wanted to take the family to try it out – since I found it pretty good. I asked the boys to try some fish for me. Brendan gobbled his all up. Caiden took two bites and started feeling sick. Within a short time, he had started having a really good allergic reaction to it. Turns out, my son is allergic to apples and fish, now.


He’s doing much better, no lingering affects after being given Benedryl. Another day, I’ll tell the horror story of the hospital – even though he is doing fine. Oh, and do you like my new hair color?!


And finally, two Works in Progress: My sons are part of Royal Rangers at church. I need to get the patches on their uniforms for them and… a secret unveiling of a quilt I am making for my niece. I should have it done (the top, anyway) by the weekend. That’s my goal!

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Categories: Dinner, Family, House/Yard Changes, Local Business Review, Photography, Quilting, Socializing, Trips, WIP Wednesday | Leave a comment

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