Sunday, March 21, 2010

Time for Hiking

We have entered the more beautiful times to live in the desert. Spring makes everything pretty. Even dry places. The hills around our house are especially green right now due to all of the rain we have had. The pictures don't really show how green they are so you will have to believe me if you don't believe that the desert can be green. We found a new trail to hike right by our house. It always amazes me that you can take two steps out of the neighborhood and enter a peaceful place to get away from it all. Don't fall into this. The spines may look like they are curved down but they still poke. Another washed out picture. I think I needed a different setting. The zip off jeans. Kaleb style. He was hot. Daphne is always way behind us just poking along. She never complains or says she is tired. She just keeps plugging along. She pokes mostly due to depth perception issues with her eyes. I admire her that she just does it without complaining about it. Daphne has an innocence to her that others her age don't have. I hope she keeps it. It is sweet. The ocotillo cactus are green as green can be. It still amazes me how God created even desert plants to show that Spring is in the air. Kaleb, Daphne and I took a short cut down a ravine and up the other side to surprise the other three by getting ahead of them on the trail. We were hiding and then realized that we were watching the wrong trail. Oops. We accidently startled a mountain biker who wasn't expecting to see three people hiding in the bushes. We got to the right trail without them seeing and did manage to startle Jared and Henry. Of course then Jared took every opportunity to try to do the same to us. He did succeed once. It feels so good to get out and do a good hike before dinner.

Spring Cleaning

It is absolutely beautiful outside. This past week it has been in the high 70's. Kirk was out restaining the play structure after sanding it weeks ago so it was time to clean off the patio and sort through all the "stuff" that has accumulated here and there. This little wagon was given to Daphne for her very first birthday 16 years ago. I don't have the heart to pass it on. I want to keep it. It is way too small for anyone in this household but I can't seem to part with it. So...I won't. I told Kirk that we are keeping it even if it discentigrates. I can still picture each of the kids in their baby hood toddling along in back of it pushing it or getting crazy rides from Daddy pushing it with them on it. It was one of their favorites. Mine too I guess.
I cleaned out the toy box and found that it was occupied. I tossed out about twenty rocks, a handfull of leaves, about 8 sticks, two handfuls of chalk and a bunch of recycled containers for the sand box. It feels good to gleen. Jared's favorite thing to do in life. Usually he is swinging standing on the tire with both hands in his pocket. It drives me nuts that he always has his hands in his pockets. But then Friday when we were ice skating I saw about 4 men who were ice skating with their hands in their pockets. I rest my case. Anyway, I did notice that someone had stuck Victoria's black stuffed dog inside the tire. I hadn't noticed it until I just looked at the picture. That dog, dirty as it is, went to church with us today and even went to the front of the church with all of the other little kids to sing with Victoria's Sunday School class.

Happy St. Patty's Day to you

Victoria's cooking club met just days before St. Patrick's day. My friend Kelly is so good at whipping out fun things for the girls to do. They made ice cream sandwiches in the shape of clovers.
Victoria really enjoyed using the mixer. She has only used a Kitchen Aide mixer so the thought of holding the mixer was fun to her.
Victoria gave a thumbs up on their creation.Kelly's son Aaron was very happy to be the one who gets the beaters of frosting for the cookies. The bean bag march. I love this age group. You can stick a bean bag on their head and let them march to music and they have fun doing it.


Victoria has been begging her big sister to play dolls with her. She finally twisted her arm very early on a Saturday morning with not much else going on for a change. It was sweet and I was very thankful that Daphne took the time to play with Victoria. I have to give these two credit for being able to share a room with eachother considering that there are 12 years between them. Talk about a wide range of interests. Victoria has managed to stay respectful of Daphne's things. Important between a preschooler and a teenager. Before you know it all the doll beds and the play food will be packed away until grandchildren show up. And grown up things will be moved in. I'm glad they are playing dolls. Childhood seems so short these days.

Bad Dog!

I got out of the shower and found this lying in the bed. He was looking at me like maybe if he doesn't move I won't see him. It is funny that when I was a kid growing up I never minded my dog or cat to lay on my pillow. But now I feel a little differently. I see what he rolls in... what he sniffs...and what he eats. I am on to you buddy! Actually, he looks kind of cute. Probably why I took the picture. I would have to agree...our bed is way more comfy than his bed. Our bed isn't chewed and doesn't smell.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Miss Monkey

I was looking for a monkey craft for Victoria to make this week for the letter "M" and came across this adorable FREE monkey pattern. I was so inspired, that Daphne and I immediately started digging through all of my scrap fabric to see if I had enough supplies to whip out (as Victoria calls it) this monkey. I was actually surprised that the further I dug the more cute fabrics I found. We even found the little plastic beads you put in beanie babies. It only took a few hours to sew, stuff and hug. It was such a refreshing reward to start off my week with. Especially because this project was started at 3 p.m. I hate finding something cool to work on that late in the day. It always cuts into dinner and the winding down of the day. I managed to eek out some spare moments while making dinner here and there. So needless to say, Victoria and I haven't really been able to work on "M for monkey" this week yet due to a flu bug that has caused her to lose 5 pounds on her already slim frame. So we are mostly working on eating and not losing it on the kitchen table like she did with her Daddy the other day. If you are interested in this absolutly free pattern of this adorable monkey just look here.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Victoria has been enrolled in an 8 week class and has loved every minute of it. She loves her teacher and has picked up some graceful moves for her to practice on the wood floor at home.
Anyway, it was her last class. And the families were allowed in to watch what the little girls have been learning this past two months. Even though Daphne and I have been watching through the window all along. So Victoria invited her big brothers and her Daddy to come. She was very excited and was making sure that she performed at her best in front of them. I love this picture...she looks so serious.

Okay...I love this picture too! I tried to get her facing us but it didn't quite happen. Victoria does whatever she puts her mind to. I admire that in her little five year old body. She has a confidence that is unique.

She has been stretching extra at home. She is determined to "do the splits". She has always come close, even when she was a little baby sitting on the floor with her toys. It used to freak the boys out. They felt it was un-natural to play on the floor in the splits position. My freckly girl! You're beautiful...and crazy... Her little class. It was amazeing to see some of the girls gain coordination in such a short amount of time. We are hoping the community center offers another session. She may get another opportunity to do some more.

Best Friends

Victoria and Hannah are the best of friends. Daphne silk screened them these cute horse shirts in a shape of a heart. And our dear friend Susanna tye dyed them. They are adorable. As well as the little girls. Of course. They have alot in well as being the youngest in the family and a little sister to teenagers. That should say it all. They both can be a spunky, go for it kind of gals. Their friendship gives Kelly and I one more reason to see eachother every week in the midst of our busy schedules.

February Cooking Club

My best friend Kelly has been leading this group of giggly little girls every month cooking up something fun to eat. For Valentine's day they whipped up some strawberry shortcake with a yummy whip cream/pudding. It was really good and all of the girls loved it. Kelly is so good at thinking up some sort of edible craft/art project. It is her gift.
The girls had these cute dog pouches to put their valentine cards they made for eachother into. I remember almost ten years ago making this same project in our co-op with our older kids, Daphne, Jared, Aaron and Kylee. Kaleb was a tiny baby.

Busy cutting strawberries.

The finished masterpiece.