I hate sounding like a broken record but, homeschooling has changed our lives more dramatically then any of us would ever have thought. Yes, we've had to make sacrifices but the rewards have been so great that we barely miss it. This is better for our family then the public school they were in and It's better then the private school Ethan was in. It is by far the best way to educate OUR kids.
I really wish it hadn't taken us this long to realize it.
I started THIS project in Feburary. For a Mother's Day/Birthday Gift for my Mom.... Her Birthday was in July.... Yeah, I'm a little late but, holy cow it's going to be totally worth it!! Mailing it today!
Remeber that Snowmen at Night Quilt I made a few years ago? The one Doug drew amazing custom corners for me? Yeah, it's still one of my favorites. So this year I decided we need another one kinda like it.... and Doug found the perfect inspiration...
With the first week of summer officially behind me I'm realizing I'm going to need a lot more energy to keep up with all three kids if we're going to get through the next 2 months! Not only is stamina a problem but I'm going to have to find a way to find time for myself, to do the things I want to do and still do the things I need to get done and not have that take away from the kids time and summer excitement. So in an effort to maintain our individual personalities and energy while still spending all of our time together we have a few summer lists...
1. Reading- gI've started reading again- it's something I can do while the kids jump on the trampoline or watch movies cuddled on the couch and it's healthy for the kids to see my love for reading as well. Today's reading list includes Water for Elephants for me, Samantha book 1 for Lorali, and Ethan is reading My First Book of Mormon.
2. Sleep- The kids have been taking daily quiet/nap time and I really, really need to get to bed earlier so I'm ready for their bright eyes, bright and early (unfortunately they aren't the sleep-in type.) The quiet time helps Ethan to have his own down time and if Ethan's happy the rest of us are more relaxed!
3. Chores- Every day I have the kids help me with housework or packing or a project. Nothing huge or extensive just enough that they feel like they're contributing to the upkeep of the house and I'm not overwhelmed.
4. Projects- so many fun projects and crafts in store that I'm positive the kids will love! Yesterday was homemade play dough projects. Tomorrow I think we'll be getting creative with communication.
5. Eating- this one has been the hardest on me. Husbandface has been on a diet for the last 2 months so hasn't been eating with us as a family which means I'm cooking just for me and the kids... which means a lot more mac and cheese and a lot less of my gourmet recipes. I'm trying to still have us all eat healthy and stay on a regular eating schedule but snack time creeps up on me and we end up filling up on chips or making brownies. This is definitely something I need to fix because I'm sure it will help my energy levels!
So what are your tips on entertaining the kids for the summer and keeping the energy levels as high as the temperatures?
If you want a custom one for yourself contact Sudlow.... AMAZING. While you're there be sure to look at her guitar picks, I love them and it makes me want to learn to play.Oh and her cufflinks... love them too! (On a side note; if you are one of my 4 sisters you are NOT allowed to contact her- just sayin'.)
Third, I love my little artist and the gems she brings home.
Ever since 2007 when I made everyone red-work throw quilts I had wanted one of my own. I never got around to it simply because I had made 5 of the same pattern already... I was sick of it. In March of 2009 my sister in law, Spring and I went to a regional sewing expo here in Atlanta. We had a blast and while we were there I saw this Walking in a Winter Wonderland quilt (from Crab Apple Hill) that I absolutely fell in love with. It was a red-work Snowman quilt. Spring and I made a deal, I would do all the embroidery work on two quilts because she doesn't enjoy handwork and she would do all the quilting because well... I barely know how to turn on my sewing machine let alone actually sewing two pieces of fabric together. At the same time Mom actually got the same pattern and was working on the same project in Utah as we were in Georgia and Florida. It was so fun to work on it at the same time. After hours and hours and hours of work from Spring, Mom, Me and even Doug, they're all done and can I just say? LOVE! The original pattern is only a throw quilt size and because I wanted it for my specific red bed frame I needed it to be full size. After a few calculations from the quilt queen (aka Mom) and a little inspiration from Snowmen at Night, (one of our favorite Children's books) Doug sketched out four personalized snowmen corners to match the rest of the quilt. A little Cowboy flair for Grandpa, a viking hat for the Grandkids (Mom has one in her dress up toys and it's always been the favorite) and a little Snow-dolly for Lorali. I love, Love, LOVE the end result. Thank you Spring, Doug and esp. Mom for pushing me to actually get it done in time for the holidays this year! I have loved this project so much I think it's been the one to push me over the edge... I have to learn how to quilt. I have too many ideas that I doubt I could bribe my relatives into finishing for me. :)
This week I've been a little off. Everything has been different with Husbandface out of town for the last 5 days and I was in a little bit of a funk missing my man. So Wednesday morning I went out to run a few errands and decided that I needed to cheer up both me and my house for the season by going shopping. October 1st was fast approaching and I wanted everything decked out this year for the season. I stopped in at my favorite decorating store, which happens to be in our little town and was sooo sad to find out that they were going out of business. I have loved that place over the last year. I've bought so many unique gifts and decorations from them over the last year that it was really heart breaking to see everything moved out. But, 5 minutes into my mourning I was okay. Because the prices were unreal and I kinda went crazy!! I bought this awesome bracelet for 2 bucks! and the HUGE basket in the back was another 2. Oh and the silver platter under it was a splurge at $4. This gem is going to be a teachers gift. It's a HUGE canvas bag that I'm dying to embroider and fill with school goodies. I think after the 75% off on top of the original markdowns I walked away paying $4. I also bought a couple sterling silver cake stands, a few fun Christmas stars, a wrought iron coat rack and a few other jewelry pieces for gifts. I had been eyeing both this vase and another like it for months at that store but couldn't justify spending the $45 on it. They are my new favorites!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them. I brought them both home this week for $3 each. ... did I mention how much I really do love these? Oh yeah and the best deal of the day? My new China Cabinet. It's huge and I love it. I love the curved glass and silhouette of it, I love the stain finish, I love the vintage drawer liners still in it, I love everything about it. But the best part? I bought this baby for $106. Yeah... it sure made my day!! (and don't my driftwood vases look awesome in it?!) Seriously, I LOVE IT! I can't fit my entire collection in it but, I did at least de-clutter my other curio cabinet. My Brother In Law and Niece picked it up for me Wednesday afternoon and I swear it felt like Christmas had come early! I can't wait for Doug to see it. So while I didn't get the house decorated for halloween... yet I still was able to cheer myself up and change up the decor a bit.
Seriously, I'd be a brave girl if I took a picture of my desk right now. Actually let me rephrase that, BOTH desks. It would horrify my mother! There are layers and layers of projects on my creative desk and layers and layers of files on my writing desk. Too much to do, and too many interruptions. The major problem with this is that I've been asked to 'Share my Space' and create a little video/picture tour for another scrap blog as a featured designer. Apparently there is a deadline to my mess. So in an effort to document the chaos and live in the moment (and procrastinate a few more minutes) I'm going to clean it up just enough to tell you what is hidden.
First up? My writing desk. Let's see we're planning a disney trip so I know there are files and confirmation numbers and notes on that somewhere. I'm assistant Scout leader and I have TONS to catch up on there so again, I know that it's here somewhere but, not quite sure which pile. My murder mystery package came this week so that box is right on top along with about a dozen notes, random decorations and skulls. I finally printed out a bunch of pictures for my Project Life book so I have photo paper right on top too. I need to pay bills but can't find the sign-in info. to do so. I'm betting that it's somewhere on this desk too. I've had three BIG meetings with Tombow this past week and I'm working on new formatting and design, there are about 3 files for that, only one layer down. Lorali did her homework next to me yesterday afternoon so that is underneath today's emails. oh and flight plans and information for the funeral is glaring at me from one top of Owen's crayons. (on a side note, THANK YOU AMERICAN AIRLINES FOR BEREAVEMENT RATES. SERIOUSLY, THANK YOU!)
My creative desk? It's literally crying for me to have a few days of UNINTERRUPTED time and attention. I bought some fun new embossing tools about three weeks ago. They are sitting unopened on top of a cookbook project I am finishing up. I have a layout I designed the other day on my flight that is sitting half started on top of that. On one side I have a pile of Project Life, on another side I have Dallin's album basically done but for some reason I can't bring myself to actually add the pictures and journaling. In a bag I have pushed against the wall i have last summers mini album- which is a really fun concept but it's so labor intensive that work deadlines push it further and further off the edge. I just planned a few partnerships for Tombow so I have a file for that right on top and I'm working on a couple projects for the blog that were squeezed into any open spot I could find. Owen got into the puff paint today (interruption!) and Ethan pulled out a few too many markers for his birthday card to his teacher tonight so those are basically all over my chair and behind the desk.
I could go on and on. Needless to say.... I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and I wish there was more (alone) time in the day. I'm off to clean another layer or two before bed.
Day 1- Drive down to Cedar City and check into the CUTEST pioneer cottage ever! I loved talking with Mom and Dad on the drive down, getting the update on the cabin plans and spending some very RARE individual time with them. (and I didn't even get car sick- go me!!)
39 Steps.... LOVED It. So Hilarious. Perfect corny-wallce-family-style one liners throughout the entire thing. Wish Doug could have seen it. So imaginative and well played. I thought the props were genius!
Dinner at The Garden House... they have a cranberry citrus poppyseed dressing that is worth the flight out just for that.
Orientation... and a fall. Mom fell pretty seriously on her ankle. Causing her so much pain she passed out a couple times. It scared Dad and I to death and thankfully, the staff took really good care of Mom and she was able to make it to the evening show. (ps. Don't ask what was in the bag, Mom told me I couldn't blog about it.)
Much Ado About Nothing.... Obviously one of my all time favorite plays. Costumes and hilarity were perfect and I love, LOVE the Adams theater. It adds so much to the experience.
REACH Cabaret at The Grind- Best of the Best.... Mom and Dad didn't go to this, we were still worried about her foot and her staying conscious.
Day 2- Seminars in the Pine Grove... not humidity. I love Utah!
American Playwrights Making Waves.... This was a fun format and great to see the process of how it makes it to production. It certainly had a strong message about teachers and education that was endearing and I loved being able to see this with Dad sitting next to me.
Actor's Luncheon... Lunch and Q & A with 3 featured actors from the shows. LOVED hearing about their personalities, families and how they got here.
Pride and Prejudice... I've read the book and seen every movie at least a dozen times but this one was different and I liked the Theatre format for it. I loved seeing how they condensed such a big story into a two hour production. The costumes were AMAZING.
Meet up with Em and Dinner... she came down after school on Friday and it was fun to finally see her and talk and tease and laugh with the 4 of us. (esp. after Mom's scare the night before, we needed it)
The Greenshow... so fun! I think it's this and the seminars that separate this event from any other theatre experience that I have ever been to.
Macbeth in the Adams Theater... this was on a night with an almost full moon, dark clouds and a slight breeze- being in an outdoor theatre with such an ominous play on a night like that added a new layer to the storytelling. I loved this acting in this and the intensity. I really liked the storyline. I had only seen the movie of this so seeing it live made me like it 10x more.
Day 3- The only time we had 2 hours of free time all week. We walked down to The Grind for breakfast and then played on everyone's iPad's in the cottage for a few minutes. Dad read us girls a story- it was so cute.
Actors Seminars.... Another element that I love, although by this point the same questions were being asked as in other seminars so it wasn't as informative as past ones.
SUU Arts Festival on the Green.... Nice to walk around the booths, unexpectedly ran into Teri's parents.
Lunch at The Pastry Pub... I love hanging out with my family and I HATE that I don't get this more often. New commitment to myself. Come out once a year by myself for more weekends like this.
Great Expectations. The Musical.... Again, another story that I love and was very familiar with but had never seen on stage. The Musical is actually new- it was the World Premier. The music was BEAUTIFUL (I want the soundtrack) and I loved the way they were able to get in such a big story into such a production like that. This one I'd want to see again.
Dinner at the Garden House... oh fresh fish flown in from Hawaii with mango avocado chutney... oh so good.
The Merchant of Venice... My favorite of the Shakespeare plays this year. Amazing story, wonderful acting (of course) and again, set in The Adams theatre, which I loved. It was a cooler night and while all the locals appreciated it, I froze my tooshie off, even though I was bundled in a new blanket I bought in the gift shop. Still loved the play though.
THANK YOU MOM AND DAD!! Thank you for inviting me, Thank You for being there for me, Thank You for your company and generosity and spoiling. I LOVED IT ALL. I had so much fun and it's a weekend I will always treasure. I miss you already. xoxox.
Have you ever had something on your to-do list that has been on it for over 10 years? Probably not, right? I'm sure it's just me that has ideas of things she's going to do but never gets around to doing... but never gives up on the idea that it will ever be done. This box... it's been packed up since the month before I got married. Packed exactly as is. I've gone through it a few times, added a few things to it but never actually gone through it. It's like a treasure box full of little discoveries waiting for me to unlock their memories. Yesterday I started that process. Stacks and STACKS of photos. Photos from High School, Girls Camps, Waterton Trips. ALL of my folders from high school. Notes and letters passed in the halls.... oh the memories! It's funnny I'm doing this exactly 10 years from when I graduated. Crazy! At least now I can finally look back and see pictures and remember the fond times and the innocence and the stupidity and appreciate it all. So today, the entire box is empty. The contents spread across my office, waiting to be scanned in and shared with the world. (can we say blackmail, baby?!) I'll leave you with one of my favorite finds of the day. Phil Hall and I sometime during our senior year? Maybe his mission farewell? Either way, I'm lucky he's still one of my closest friends.