Sunday, January 29, 2012

It was a nice Saturday

Late in the afternoon, Emma decided to put to use one of the canvases she got for Christmas.

When Lydia came in from playing outside she quickly decided to join in.

Five minutes later Afton came in too and made it a sister painting trifecta. 

I love those girls.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Do you love adoption? Do you love truffles?

My friend from high school is going to adopt a sweet baby this spring.
In case you hadn't heard, adoption is expensive.
Luckily, this friend has some sweet skills in the kitchen, so she's making and selling truffles for Valentine's Day to help bring their baby home.
Go here to help a family by eating's win-win!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Panda Birthday Party

Despite my best efforts, Emma turned 12 last week. Too old. Her very favorite thing right now is pandas. Panda, panda, all day long. She really took the lead in planning her birthday party. She painted a panda for pinning the tail on, filled a jar with candy to guess the number, and she gave our favorite party game, States, an animal twist (when she had her Harry Potter party a couple of years ago, we played the same game but used villians) . I basically just showed up to make the cupcakes.

Panda or Mickey Mouse? I'll admit it's a bit of a stretch.

Enough pandas for each guest, then the
extras were just chocolate (panda poop?).
We were both stumped for party favors though. I try really hard to steer clear of just a bag of candy but could not come up with anything panda-ish that wouldn't take me a million hours to sew. Luckily the creative genius, Cally, was only a phone call away and she suggested, why not get some mugs at the dollar store and paint them with ceramic paint? So that's exactly, precisely what we did (she did it a long time ago, see here).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Retiring the 2011 books

23 books again, third year in a row. What's the deal? Next year I'll have to count up the list in early December and take some measures to finish with a different total.

                      A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

There was a wide range this year; some of them were incredible, some of them were just plain awful. I read most books for book club, a few because I was headed out the door to some appointment and just grabbed something off the shelf, a handful because they were what my kids were reading and I love to read what they're reading, and a couple that friends thrust into my hands and said, "Read this!" My friend, Alice, just posted some good tips for finding time to read. I totally dig her list, she read twice as much as me in 2011.

My favorite of the year was hands down The Book Thief. I can't sing enough praises about that book. The writing is probably the best I've ever read. Unbroken is an captivating true account...a little long to get through but worth it. I really enjoyed all the classics, as well. Most of them were pretty short and easy. And I was so pleased to end the year with A Christmas Carol. I've watched a dozen different movie adaptations but I've never actually read it before. I'm so glad I did--beautiful, compelling writing. No wonder it's withstood the test of time.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Do you like cool cameras?

Pretty much the giveaway of the century is going on now at My Four Hens Photography. Go check it out, it will make your day that someone is being so generous.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

All five

For just two Sundays--today and next week--all five kids are in Primary. Afton had her first day as a very young Sunbeam, and Emma is just nine days shy of her 12th birthday. I'm so glad the kids' ages are close. I'm so glad they love each other. I'm so glad their favorite thing ever is posing for photos. Oh wait, never mind.
I wanted to capture this brief time of unity, and here's how it went. The big kids have standing instructions: just keep looking and smiling. The little girls are coerced, bribed and threatened: just look at the camera, please--if you could hold still and smile too that'd be great, but mostly just look over here. These crack me up.