Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pictures of Andrew

Here are more pictures of Andrew. The second picture was taken about  a week ago.  The last picture was taken last week.  He was holding himself up like that on his own!  It was so cute- he was just staring at his daddy.  The rest of the pictures were taken today.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

He's Here!!!!!!

Andrew Jeffrey was born on Saturday at 10:42 am.  He weighed in at 8 pounds 8.8 ounces (.8 ounces bigger than Ashley and Natalie) and is 20 inches long.  He is adored by his 3 big sisters (and mom and dad).  Mom and baby are both healthy and were back home by 5 that evening.

At the hospital with daddy.
 At home with Natalie.
 At home with Alona.

At home with Ashley.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Almost There

Today I am 38 weeks!!!!! I am so ready to be done with this whole pregnancy thing.  It is not easy for me (with sickness and then ridiculous amounts of pain).  I can hardly walk anymore.  I am, however, keeping my eye on the prize- a cute baby boy I can dress in all those stripes!  My doctor will induce me at 39 weeks, so I am hoping we can do it next Saturday, although I might have to wait a few days till she is the on call doctor at the hospital.  I am hoping I won't have to wait.  I can't have this baby soon enough at this point!  The girls are so excited for it and so are Jeff and myself.

The hospital here has taken extreme (in my opinion) measures and banned children under 18 and then under 12 and then back and forth and whatever...!  I want my girls to be the first ones to meet him.  With them not allowed to visit, this just makes it more difficult.  I did hear yesterday that the ban was lifted for healthy siblings.  We will see if this is still the case when I deliver.  My plan is to only stay at the hospital the very minimum time I have to (just like I did with Alona and Natalie).  If they aren't allowing my children to visit at the hospital then I will come home, Jeff will pick them up from wherever they are staying and we will spend some time together as a family.  The girls are just so excited and I am so happy about that!  Then others can visit.  If they allow my children to visit at the hospital, (again) Jeff will pick them up and bring them to the hospital so we can have some time together as a family.  Then I will probably head home before anyone can visit, but if people really want to visit after the kids have been there then go ahead!

Jeff is cleaning the treadmill so he can put it in the office!  Then I can walk a lot (without risk of falling down in the rain) and hopefully get this little guy to come out sooner!  I can hardly wait!!!!

Too Cute! (Part 2)

I found the progress report that I mentioned in the last post.  It is so cute to read the exact words she wrote (and in her handwriting).  I just love it! Double click on the picture to read it!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Too Cute!

We had parent teacher conferences a few weeks ago. When we met with Ashley's teacher she showed up some of her work. She had a paper where she wrote her favorite subject, least favorite subject, what she was good at and what she needed to try harder at. She wrote that she liked Math and Reading the most. For things she needed to try harder she wrote "nothing." For what she liked the least, she wrote recess- because she isn't learning and she likes to learn! The teacher whole heartedly agreed that she didn't need to try harder at anything as she already tries her best in everything she does. I loved the recess comment!

She also made a picture one day about a month ago. She brought it to me and asked if my friend could print it on a huge banner at her work so she could hang it up outside. It had a picture of a dinosaur and she had written "buy Ashley Hojnacke's house." It was just so cute.

I love that she is so thoughtful and so eager to learn!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I washed all of the baby clothes and blankets! I am really on top of things this time around. I guess I am just a little too anxious to get this pregnancy over with. Maybe I was hoping that getting everything ready would make him get here sooner? Oh well. He hasn't shown up yet.
Seeing all the little clothes hanging on my drying rack made me really want him here even more! Look at all the cute stripey outfits!

Here is the pile of blankets, socks, mittens, and hats!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Learning the alphabet

Because Alona is the only left-handed person it our family, she gets confused easily. When I hand her a spoon, fork, pencil, etc. it is always with my right hand. She naturally takes it in her right hand. And then tries to use her right hand with the tool. I have to remind her to use her left hand quite often- especially when eating. I cans see she is struggling and it is strange to me that she doesn't just switch hands. My mother and my sister are left-handed so it is not unusual to me. I can feel for left-handed people who have to use right-handed scissors. I had to use my mom's left handed scissors once and it hurt!
Alona has difficulty when it comes to writing. She often writes backwards. Because the whole world probably seems backwards to her, she has an especially hard time remembering which way letters and numbers should face. Mind you, she is only in first grade so I am not too concerned, but I do want to make it as easy for her as possible. So tonight we were doing her spelling homework and it had the words dark and bark. She could not remember which way the d and b went. So I came up with a great way for her to remember:
in "bad" the b and d beat up the a! I drew bad with an arrow pointing to the a under both the b and the d. She totally got it! She is so excited to have a good way to remember how b and d face- and I would imagine this is a difficult one for all children, not just the left-handed ones. Now if I can just come up with a way to help her remember which way 6 and 9 go. Hmmmmm.


My awesome friends threw me a surprise baby shower this weekend! I have to say that I have the best friends, ever. Ever. I am not sure what I would do without them! I am so grateful for their support and friendship. You guys rock!

Here are some pictures from the shower. They were taken with a cell phone, so they aren't the best.

The shower was at Celina's house (seen here in a Ducks shirt). Thanks to her husband for missing the first part of the game for us!

A pregnant belly is the perfect place to put clothes together to see how an outfit will look!

Here is Bonnie. She did all the games and lied to me repeatedly to keep up the surprise!

As you can see in the following pictures, there were several babies in attendance. I think we had 4 babies and one 3 year old. I think they all enjoyed it as well! I loved seeing all of my friends and really appreciate the surprise!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Homemade OREOs

These cookies have been a favorite of ours since my friend Heidi introduced us to them almost 4 years ago.

For the cookies:
1 box devil's food cake mix
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together.

Roll dough into small balls and place on baking sheet. I used the small Pampered Chef scoop just barely overfilled to portion the dough.

Bake for 10 minutes (the tops will crack). I usually get between 30 and 34 cookies (but you will end up with half that when you put them together).

I flatten the cookies just a little with my spatula.

Cool completely.

For the filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream the cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat. It is best to refrigerate the filling so it won't be soft, but you can also refrigerate the cookies after putting them together to let the filling set up.

Take two cookies and frost the wrong side of one with filling. Sandwich the two together and enjoy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Heat: its a Good Thing

Our house has ceiling heat as our primary (and only) source of heat. I had never heard of ceiling heat until we moved to Oregon. Each room has its own thermostat. Last winter we replaced all of the thermostats with new digital ones to better control the temperature in each room. The heat stopped working in the dining room, office, and laundry room. We were unsure if it was something that occurred during the remodel of the dining room or the thermostat replacement that caused it to stop working. The Alona's room also stopped working when we replaced the thermostat in there. We were just using little oil filled radiators that we bought at the store. When we found out we were moving (back in July) we thought we would be gone before the cold set in. So we gave our heaters to a friend. Well, here we are, still in this house and now it is cold. I have been thinking about it a lot. There has to be a way to fix the heat. I kept praying that it would miraculously start working again. Yesterday I realized that sometimes you have to help miracles along a little. So I started researching problems with ceiling heat on the internet. I couldn't find much, but it sounded like wiring could have so many issues. I talked to Jeff about it when he got home. He said he had reset the breaker several times in an effort to get it to work again. I asked him to turn the breaker off, completely reinstall the thermostat, and then flip the breaker back on. He was a little reluctant, but I insisted it was worth a try to get the heat working in the Alona's room. So he got his tools, turned off the breaker and started taking the thermostat off. He also took a look at the wiring on the thermostat in Ashley's room to see if it was the same (hers works). The wiring was the same and he hadn't done anything differently. He did say that when he originally installed the thermostat in Alona's room the wires sparked (yes, he should have turned off the breaker before messing with it, but hind sight is 20/20). That is why I was all about flipping the breaker- maybe reset it. Well, something worked. Alona's room now has heat. No more worrying about our kids freezing at night. We are thinking there is a fuse for the heat that requires a reset with no power for longer than it takes to flip a breaker back and forth. I know nothing of electrical wiring and ceiling heat, so I couldn't really say. Whatever it was, it now works and we are so very grateful.

As for the dining room and that side of the house (all part of the converted garage and on a separate breaker) we don't know what happened. We thought we heat the heating cable in the ceiling with a nail when we installed the crown molding in the dining room and it cut the cycle of power to the other rooms as well. We removed the nail and don't see a heat cable anywhere near it. So that isn't the issue. And if it was, you just have to crimp the cable back together to fix it. Simple. But not the issue. So we are going to try the breaker reset again and see what we can find. I guess we could have someone come look at it, but there aren't many people around who fix ceiling heat and the one guy I found charges $100 per room and he charges you to come assess the problem. If we can fix it ourselves I would really prefer that. I will continue to pray!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I finished the kids Halloween costumes on Saturday- just in time for the annual church trunk-or-treat. The kids were so excited to get their costumes! So here they are:

Ashley is Scarlet the Garnet Fairy (from the Rainbow Magic book series), Alona is Buttercup (a power puff girl), and Natalie is Cheetara (a Thundercat).

For their shoes, Jeff took them to a thrift store. Alona needed black shoes, but Ashley needed red and Natalie needed orange boots. So they got whatever they could find that worked and then we spray painted the two that needed to be different colors. Regular cans of spray paint. It works really well. They don't want to take their costumes off! We went to the mall today and got all sorts of looks with Natalie in full costume. Of course, some guys recognized her character and thought it was the coolest thing ever! Geeky thirty-something guys (and Jeff would fall into that category). That's what happens when you choose an 80's cartoon character for a Halloween costume!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Flu

All the girls at our house got the flu. Its H1N1. It is not fun. We are all surviving, though. I have a whole week with my kids! Poor Ashley is missing the 3rd Grade Program she was supposed to be in this week. She probably has it the worst of any of the kids. Due to pregnancy, I am taking Tamiflu to keep from getting too sick. I wish my kids could've taken it too! At least we will be done with this and won't have to worry about it anymore. Luckily, Jeff is not sick and we are praying that he stays healthy! We look forward to being better by the weekend!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thoughts of Cosette

Here are comments, stories and thoughts about my mom! Most of these were comments on the blog so you may have already seen them.

NaDene (one of her best friends) wrote:
She was a wonderful Wife, Mother, Daughter and Friend Faithful daughter of God. I miss her so very much. No on can replace her.

Your Mother was the nearest too perfect I have ever seen and even My children use her as there examples in the way they are raising there children!
Your Mom truly loved you all unconditionally!

I remember talking to your Mom when you were older, I think Morgan had been born, She had been reading her Journals trying to get insights how to help her children and she read about how at age 4 or 5 (I think that was the age) of how "Laura had cleaned out the dish washer" She said I would never think of the younger ones I have now doing that at that age. ( I know she was wondering if she had been too tough sometimes which is what I wonder about my own oldest children?)

My word was Shoot and your Mother would look at me and say "NADENE" I never realized it was bad till she showed me.
PS I still struggle with it but everytime I say it I hear her.

Patients was your mother's gift from God. But even she had to work on it till she perfected it.
Why do I know that because I tested her patients too sometimes.

Your Mother was always kind and Loving even if she was busy she always a listening ear or a stool for me to sit upon to visit. The only home I felt comfortable to stop into anytime.

Your Mom often reminded me that I was a daughter of God and working with her in the Primary, every Pres. meeting she would bear testimony of her Knowledge of that for herself as well as all the Children.

I loved your Mother dearly and love all that her children are doing to bless and honor her name by the way they are living their lives.

On this 56th Celebration of your Mother I would like to share with you how much she means to me.
She was the greatest friend I have ever had or have hope to have in my life time!
 She laughed with me and cried with me, she taught me how to cook, bake, and gave me great recipes, she increase my knowledge of sewing, and how to work in a Church Pres.and strengthen my testimony.
She brainstormed with me on every calling or assignment I ever had.
She taught me how to parent and showed me by example how to do it unconditionally, 
She was the first person to introduce herself to me when we first moved here and the first person in the ward I dared called.
She taught me how to put on a wedding and to sew a bow tie and make corsages and boutonnieres.
 We sewed together and shopped at fabric stores together.
Once when Kris Harris had come to visit I stopped in and she reminisced about how when she would be pregnant and would tell the Bishop she couldn't do a calling she realized that they would ask your Mom who was also Pregnant and she would always say yes. 
Your Mom taught me many things but most importantly she taught me how to show that she loved our Heavenly Father and lived by the Testimony He had blessed her with and to Truly take the name of Christ upon her and to walk in the paths He walked.
I miss her so much and look forward to the day I will see her again because I know she will be there waiting to see me with that wonderful glorious smile of hers.
 I know she is so proud of you and the things you are doing to honor her in the way you are living your life and are continuing to progress in everything you do. I honor you for how you honor your Mother and say "Happy Birthday Cosette"

Rebecca (my sister) wrote:
Since we share the same mother I feel confident in saying that most of these things are things she DID do and thus it is an honor to try and emulate her. For example: cleaning up our vocabulary--I still remember her saying: lets come up with something else to say instead of "that pisses me off". Of course being teenagers, we immediately started listing all kinds of alternatives such as "that really chaps my hide" etc. It wasn't quite what she was hoping for. Anyone else remember that?

Maureen (one of my mom's best friends):
I loved your mom so much. She was one of the kindest, dearest people I know. I remember very clearly the week that we moved into our house that your mom brought over a yummy pan of lasagna so I wouldn't have to cook while I unpacked boxes. Through all the years, even after I went back to work, she was always there when I needed her. It has been six years that have been bitter-sweet. Every anniversary that I am cancer free I think about Cosette and wish that I could share that with her. I am looking forward to the day when we can see each other again. I know that she is very proud of you and would be thrilled about your new baby boy soon to be here. I know that she knows him now and is excited for him to come to your family. So from my family to yours - Happy Birthday, Cosette. We love and miss you.
I loved your Mom so much. She was one of my very dearest friends. It is so hard to believe she has been gone six years. I still miss her so much.

Jared (Maureen's son) wrote:
Your mother was one of the kindest and patient persons I've known. One of my mother's best friends. And a great cook!

Donna wrote:
I will always remember and admire your patience, talents and love.

These are my thoughts:
I am sure my mom struggled as she tried to find ways to help me find happiness. I know I was extremely difficult. She loved me despite all that and I could (most of time-if I wasn't just being obstinate) see that she was trying. She cared deeply for all of her children. Her greatest worry when she was battling cancer was her children. She felt that she needed to be there to raise them (my youngest sister was 5 when she passed away). Even on her last day, she seemed to be thinking of her children.
I went to girl's camp as a teen, and one year I was having a particularly difficult time (I struggled with depression as a teen and found it hard to fit in). I got a letter from her while I was there. She wrote about how much she loved me and told me a story about myself as a baby. I still have the letter. It really made me feel her love for me and I have never forgotten that.
I think I talked to her every day for the last few months of her life. Every time I asked how she was she would say "better today." She didn't want me to worry about her. Her death was a very difficult thing for me, as I am sure it was for everyone. This is the first year that I have been able to celebrate her life and not just mourn the loss. I love her dearly and miss her. I am so grateful that I had her as my mother and hope that I can teach my children about her. Thank you to everyone who shared their kind thoughts! It is wonderful to hear how she has impacted all of our lives.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In honor of my mother:

I will gain as much knowledge as I possibly. There are so many wonderful things to learn that can enrich our lives, make us healthier, and bring us closer together. Mom was a wealth of knowledge. She was always learning and loved to share what she knew with others.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In honor of my mother:

I will go out of my way to get to know people who are new. I will try to make them feel welcome and accepted.
I have noticed in the past that because my situation was different from the norm I wasn't as welcomed and accepted in new places and situations. I see people sitting alone (mostly at church) when they are new. It is probably intimidating to walk into a place where everyone else already knows each other. It is probably even worse when no one walks up and introduces themselves to you. If the person is already feeling a little less than normal or different from the rest of us, it makes it even more difficult.
Talking to new people is difficult for me (yeah, its not very obvious) but I have really worked at it and feel it is very important to make everyone feel welcome, wanted, and important- especially when they might be a little different!

Monday, October 12, 2009

In honor of my mother:

I WILL stop biting my nails! (She tried so hard to get us all to stop biting and sucking on our fingers and nails.) I know this is a little more light-hearted, but that is how I am feeling today!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thank You Mrs. Bee!

I am so grateful for all the wonderful comments my mother's dear friend Nadene left on the posts this month. I was feeling very frustrated and wanted to give up on my tribute to my mother and her comments have really brought back what I was trying to do. I would love to have comments from friends and family who have any positive things to say about her. After my final post in her honor I will take all the stories and comments and compile them into one post so everyone can read them easily. This is a great way to remember her and allow my younger siblings and other family members who didn't spend much time with her or never got to know her just what she was like. Thank you so much for your kind words and memories!
In honor of my mother:

I will try to find the positive in all things. This is extremely difficult for me at times- especially because I have suffered from depression so much over the last 7 years. I know that as I try to find the positive in things it will help me to keep a good perspective and make depression less difficult to overcome.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In honor of my mother:

I will be forgiving and not judge people. I don't know their circumstances or what is going on in others' lives, so it is impossible to know where they are coming from and why they do things. I usually try to think of reasons someone acts a particular way so that I won't be so upset and can forgive them more easily. That, and I really like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I am not perfect- I am still working on this.

I am doing this whole "in honor of my mother" thing to help better myself. I am choosing things that will make me a better mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, etc. Also, I am choosing things that my mother obviously did and I feel I can improve upon in myself in some way or really feel are important traits that I am reminding myself of and stating now. That way, I can look back and see who it is that I want to be- as a person, friend, sister, wife, mother, daughter, etc. These are all traits my mother possessed. They are traits I want to be sure I develop or improve upon. Things I have learned by watching her. As anyone who knows my mother will tell you, she was one of the most kind women on this earth. She was patient, kind, loving, a faithful friend, a loving mother and wife. She was loved by just about everyone who knew her. I still have people tell me how wonderful my mother was. If I can be half the person she was I will have exceeded my wildest dreams. I love her and am so grateful that she is my mother.

Friday, October 9, 2009

In honor of my mother:

I will love all of my children equally. I will love them no matter what they may do, and I won't treat them badly when I don't agree with their decisions.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Natalie's first haircut

Natalie had her first haircut this past Saturday. She was so excited. I explained to her that only I could cut her hair- or if I took her to a salon someone there could cut her hair. No friends, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents or even daddy were allowed to cut her hair- and especially not herself! I am not an expert at cutting hair, but it touched her bottom and it needed to be done. We cut off 5 inches! She is happy with it, and she still has beautiful, long, blonde hair.

I love how she was sitting up straight by crossing her legs and being so still. So cute.

The 5 inches we cut off.

Getting the sides even. She was good at sitting up and staying pretty still.
In honor of my mother:

I will try to inspire and nurture my children's growth by allowing them to do things for themselves (even when its easier to just to it myself) and letting them use their creativity (even when it makes a mess).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In honor of my mother:

I will stop saying the two bad words that I just can't seem to stop saying- crap and sucks. (yeah, laugh about. but it isn't so funny when my 6 year old tells my husband that she will throw away the "crap" that he swept into a pile in the kitchen)

For Tuesday

Where, O where, did the day go?

In honor of my mother:
I will work harder at being patient.

Monday, October 5, 2009

In honor of my mother:

I will strive to only say nice things about others- please remind me of this when I slip up, and I'm sure I will!

It is getting harder and harder to think of things each day, but I know there is room for much improvement. So I will keep them coming!

For Sunday

Oops! Sunday got away from me!

In honor of my mother:
I will teach my children who they are- sons and daughters of their Heavenly Father, who loves them. I will instill in them a knowledge of right and wrong so that, hopefully, when they are grown they will make the right choices in life.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

In honor of my mother:
I will get healthy so I can be here for my children and grandchildren. (In an effort to do so, I will be training for the Eugene Half Marathon this coming spring. Training starts a few short weeks after the baby is born!)

Friday, October 2, 2009

In honor of my mother:
I will be accepting of my children's feelings. It is okay to be sad, upset, disappointed, embarrassed, happy, etc. If I can teach them to acknowledge their feelings and learn how to deal with them it will positively affect all aspects of their lives.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

My sister Ruth and my Mom.

I find myself, once again, reminiscing about my mother. As you know, she died of breast cancer on October 14, 2003. It was her 50th birthday. So every year in the month of October I try to find a way to honor and remember her. The past two years, I wore pink every day for the first 14 days of October. This year, being pregnant, I do not have the luxury of lots of pink clothing. I think I have one pink maternity shirt that no longer fits me. Oh well. My children joined in the pink wearing last year as well. But alas, their clothes are all packed in anticipation of moving- so they are limited in options as well. They have a surprisingly abundant amount of pink in their wardrobes!

So I find myself here wondering what I can do this year. I think I will post something in her honor every day (through the 14th).

To my mother, Cosette:
I will take the time to play with my children so they will know that no matter what is going on I always have time for them.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Our realtor held an Open House this past weekend. Two people came to view the house. She said that was normal. I guess Open Houses don't really do a whole lot. But the people who came really responded well to all the updating in the house and she said it was presented well. All we have to do is get people to come through the front door to appreciate the beauty of the home. After all, its what's on the inside that counts, right?

So at this point, all we need to move is for our house to sell. It is really hard to just sit and wait. Especially when no one is looking at our house. But we are hanging in here knowing it will happen eventually. There is just so much up in the air right now. Will we have the baby here? Will I have enough time to find a doctor down there if we move before he is born? Will we need our winter clothes in our closets or can I keep them packed? Will the stress never end?
Jeff and I have both felt that things would work out from the beginning when they first announced the move, so that is comforting. When they first announced it, the CEO said they would be dividing up between Las Vegas and Portland. When Jeff heard "Las Vegas" he got all excited! And then when he realized he was on the Portland team he was upset. Neither he nor myself are fans of Portland. Every time we have been up there we just aren't impressed. I don't know if I just see all the wrong areas, but it seems the options are to live in an ugly city or a long commute. So when he told me the two places (without saying which one he was supposed to go to) I was hoping for sunny Las Vegas. I definitely am not a fan of all the rain, so sunshine really seals the deal for me! So when the CEO was asking for their decisions on whether they would stay with the company or not Jeff told him he would prefer to go to Las Vegas (plus, Las Vegas is the side of company that will be focusing on the games which is what Jeff really wants to do anyway). The CEO wrote him back and said he needed some QA guys there in Vegas and would love to have him there. So Jeff and two of his team mates are headed to Las Vegas. When Jeff told me that he had requested Las Vegas I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't know he was going to do that. I didn't realize how much he really wanted to go to Las Vegas. I think its really all about having a pool! He loves to swim, and really, really wants his very own swimming pool.

So here we sit in our finally finished house, with it clean and organized for the first time, waiting for it to sell. How I wish I had spent the last three years living in this house and not a house in the process of being remodeled. It is really hard to make a house exactly what you want and then have to walk away without really getting a chance to enjoy it. I am so grateful to Jeff's family and my dad for helping make my vision a reality. I am really going to miss my beautiful kitchen with a stand mixer drawer and pull out shelves for my pots and pans, my built in refrigerator and beautiful white cabinets, the awesome wainscot and my tiled shower, as well as the gorgeous crown moulding! I wonder if I will ever love another house the way I finally am able to love this one.

Last night I was reading a relocation book (about relocating to Las Vegas) that the company sent home to all of the people who are moving. It had a timeline for moving. I got to the 2 weeks before your move section. It suggested planning a small gathering with friends to help get things ready and says it is not only a way to get stuff done, but is a great last gathering in your home with friends and family. I started to cry, thinking of leaving everyone I have grown to love so much. I have really tried to put off thinking of that part of all of this. But as we get closer to actually leaving, it is getting harder and harder to be in denial. So I am planning girls nights every month till I go and hoping we can spend time with family as much as possible before we go.

Ashley is ready to go- last night she had dance so Jeff picked her up on his way home from work. He had the relocation book with him. She picked it up and started looking at it. I guess it got her all excited (maybe it was the pictures of all the pools) and she told him she can't wait to move there! I am worried about how moving will affect Ashley and Alona. Starting in a new school in the middle of the year could be a difficult transition for them. I think they will do well, but I know the uncertainty is especially difficult for Alona. I hope that we are able to find a good neighborhood with lots of children for them to befriend!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Second Slipcover

I finished the second slipcover today! I had to cut it out, so I didn't finish until about 11:15 tonight! But I did it. And I can hardly believe it. It was so much easier than the slipcover for my couch. Maybe because they came with slipcovers and I used that as a pattern? That's what I'm thinking. So now I have completely finished all of the decor in the house. I am hoping that means that our house will sell! I know the room is a total mess, but I was working on the slipcover all afternoon and evening and Jeff was painting doors. Plus, Alona was home sick today so it got even more messy than usual with two kids at home. Tomorrow will be the cleaning frenzy to get ready for the Open House on Sunday! Hope someone will make an offer!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Slipcovers for the chairs

I bought these chairs back in July of 2008! I had to wait to order the fabric to make new slipcovers for quite a while. I think I finally got the fabric in February this year. I planned to make them and even cut out the pieces for one chair. I was trying to get a good start before morning sickness struck, but it just didn't happen. So now, with an open house looming this Sunday, I figured I should get on it. So I cut out the bias strips for the cording on Tuesday night. Wednesday was rather busy, so I didn't get any time to sew. Thursday- totally different story. I have been sewing up a storm!

First I started by sewing all of the bias strips together. Then I sewed the strips with the cording:

I only had a few inches of fabric left when I ran out of cording. I was so surprised. I just cut strips until I didn't want to anymore and it worked out about as perfectly as I could imagine! I usually have yards of bias strip left- either that or I am yards short. This picture shows the ends of the bias strip and the cording:

And just in case you were wondering, I have a special cording foot that I use. Some people use a zipper foot, but this is just so much easier when you are doing a lot of cording!

I then moved on to the actual slipcover. I started with the front side. I got the inside pieces put together:

I sewed the the back and sides together. Then I added the cording. Then I put it all together:

The skirt is the next part I worked on. I sewed the cording to the bottom of the main slipcover and then sewed the hemmed skirt pieces on. I am done! Oh, wait- I still have the cushion to sew. Oh well. Maybe I'll finish it tonight!!!!!

I put together all of the edge pieces for the cushion first. Then I sewed the cording to both sides of it. I sewed the top and bottom of the cushion on after that. And here it is- completed in one day! An amazing feat for me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chili Cookoff

This is the pot at the end of the evening:

Tonight was the annual church Chili/Chowder Cook-off (and Corn Feed). They combined two events into one this year. Usually, the Chili/Chowder Cook-off is around Halloween and we combine it with a Trunk-or-Treat. I have always taken mild chili. I always use the same recipe. It is the chili I grew up eating and I love it. Jeff was really hoping that there would be a really hot chili this year. The hot chilis at church are usually more medium than hot. Of course, the only hot chili had pork (to which Jeff is allergic) so he had to stick to medium and our mild chili. It is Jeff's favorite event of the year- he looks forward to all the chili he can eat! I have promised to find a way to make my chili hotter- and will make the mild version for the kids and the hot version for him. The biggest surprise of the night was winning first place!!!! I was quite shocked. Thanks to everyone who voted for my chili! Hope it makes my mom proud (since the recipe came from her)!
Can you guess what the prize was?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

School's In Session

Ashley and Alona started school yesterday. This year Alona is in first grade and Ashley is in third grade. They were both so excited to go back. I have to admit, for the first time, I was excited for them to go to school, too! It has been a long, stressful summer and I was ready for a break. The girls had a hard time getting up so early the first day. Needless to say, they fell asleep right away last night! So far this afternoon is looking much better- no whining as soon as they entered the house.

Natalie and I are trying to keep busy. Today we went on a 3 mile walk. What was I thinking? Three miles is a long way when you haven't walked more than a few feet in 27 weeks. I am finding it really difficult to move right now! But it was so nice to get out and move. I am hoping that with just Natalie at home I can get some sewing projects done.

I hope this school year is a good one and the girls learn new and exciting things!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Diaper Bags

I have made a couple diaper bags for friends as gifts. I used the two diaper bag patterns from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones. I made The Everything Bag and the Modern Diaper Bag.

The Everything Bag was a nightmare to put together at the end. Sewing the lining to the outside of the bag was really difficult due to the divider in it. I did, however find a website with a tutorial for an extremely similar bag where they hand stitch the divider in at the end. I am thinking this is a better option. But I am still not sold on this diaper bag. It doesn't close and you can't wear it over your shoulder.

The Modern Diaper Bag was HUGE! I am not just talking a little on the large size. I made it for a friend who is maybe a size zero. She is tiny. The poor bag will probably knock her over. :( I absolutely love the look of the bag, though. I did find two blogs where they made the bag smaller. I was considering this option, but not sure how it would turn out. Here is the first one and here is the second one.

The other option I have is to make up my own bag. I am not that creative when it comes to sewing. I can come up with great fabrics but I am not good at coming up with ideas for changing the patterns or even creating my own designs. I am sure I could do it if I tried, but I am too lazy? So I have been looking around the internet for inspiration. I have fabric already picked out. What should I do???????

The darker fabric is for the main part of the bag. The lighter fabric would be for lining and trim. I can also get more coordinating fabric if I need to.

Meeting the Teachers

Last night we went to the school to meet the teachers and eat watermelon. School starts on the 9th, so we are waiting impatiently! The girls' teachers seem very nice. Alona has one of the 2 male teachers at the school. I know several people who have been in his class and they loved him! Ashley's teacher seems very nice as well. I don't know anyone who has been in her class, but I am sure she will be great. Besides, we are only going to be here for a few months. It is kind of bittersweet to be meeting the teachers. I like to get to know them and volunteer, but being pregnant and getting ready to move makes it difficult. And then we will just have to start all over in Las Vegas. Moving during the school year is not my idea of fun, but I am hoping we can work through it. The kids are grateful that they get to return to school and spend a little time with their friends before we leave!
Here's to another great year of learning and growing!

An Awesome New Crafting Blog

I found an awesome new crafting (mostly sewing) blog! Leigh Ann is the creator and is The Object Project.
She has great ideas and tutorials. It appears that she started blogging back in April of this year, and so far she has some great projects. If you love sewing, you should check out her blog and get inspiration from her.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Portland Getaway

With our house on the market, I am all for finding ways to stay out of the house to preserve the clean look. Since this past weekend was also Jeff's and Alona's birthday, we thought a weekend getaway would be just the thing! Our friends, the Walkers, were heading up to Portland, so we decided to team up (as Luke's birthday was also over the weekend).

We stayed at the Fairfield Inn. The main requirements were free breakfast and a pool. Jeff requested that we swim for his birthday because he hasn't really gotten to swim this summer. So swimming commenced upon arrival Friday night. We also got to swim Saturday morning and Saturday evening! The guys took the kids to OMSI on Saturday afternoon while Marianne and I headed over to Fabric Depot. Then we went to Chuck E. Cheese because it is Luke's favorite place. Funny how Alona wanted that for her birthday as well!

On Sunday, we contemplated swimming, but decided wet swimsuits in the car wouldn't be too fun! So we skipped the swimming and headed straight for the zoo. We planned to visit the Rose Gardens and Japanese Gardens, but got worn out at the zoo. The gardens paired with Marianne and my camera would have made some awesome family pictures, but it just wasn't in the cards. :( The zoo was exciting for the kids- Ashley and Alona brought note pads so they could write down all the animals that they saw. The train was quite a delight for all! It is about a 35 minute train ride that goes over to the Gardens and back to the zoo. The kids had a great time (and I am hoping the adults did as well)!

At Chuck E. Cheese:

The zoo:

Ashley writing what she sees.

There was a log the kids got to climb through.

The eagles nest.

Alona writing down what she sees.

On the train:

What a great way to celebrate!

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