Alma 32:41

...Nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wanna See What I Made?

Here are the ties that I freezer stenciled for my Father in Law. These were my "official" Wheeler family homemade gift. My family just makes gifts for each other anyway but in Matt's family there is a separate homemade gift and bought gift pool. I made gifts for the nephews and nieces anyway... They aren't part of the pool. Freezer paper is AWESOME! I bought some shirts on clearance to I may dress up some of my drab Ts. :)

Bears have special signifigance as my FIL Inked drawings of bears to represent each of his kids. He's the Papa Bear and protector of the family.

This is Kaden's reversible cape. He wouldn't wear it at first. Now he loves to run "fast" in it. I'm glad he got over his dislike of it so fast. I was worried for a bit... I think it turned out pretty dang cool. Excellent tutorial here: Puking Pastilles.

Here's what I made for the babies of the family. I made one for Asher and one for my nephew Austin.

More to come but right now I need a nap while both of my boys are napping too. One of Asher's top teeth FINALLY broke through this morning and the other is not far behind (his gums are all swollen and white with the impending tooth). I'm hoping for more sleep tonight- he's been waking up every hour or less for the last three nights in a row.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Butternut Squash Soup

My friend April introduced this soup to me and I crave it often. We've had some cold days recently so I bought the ingredients at the store and I can't wait to make it. The original recipe can be found here at
I am the only one in my little fam (my DH doesn't do veggies and my toddler won't even try most things and the seasoning is a little much for the baby though it is mild) who will eat this and so I do over a few days. It is heavenly. It also freezes well so you can make it and save some for later.
And here it is copied and pasted in my blog! Notes in parentheses are from me.

  • 6 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 6 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash ( I buy it frozen or this time of year you can buy it chopped in a baggy (Costco has had it for the last two years) to save timeOR others recommend cutting the squash in half and baking it at 350 for 40 minutes and then just scoop it out. It's a really hard squash. )
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cubes chicken bouillon (OR instead of water and boullion use 3 cups of chicken broth (about one and a half cans))
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram (OR use italian seasoning which has marjoram in it- I like it better)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (I think I use all of the cream cheese... I can't remember...makes it nice and thick and creamy - not brothy at all)
  1. In a large saucepan, saute onions in margarine until tender. Add squash, water, bouillon, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil; cook 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  2. Puree squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through. Do not allow to boil.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Too neon?

Thanks to Thirty Handmade Days (see sidebar) I got a cool background. She is giving away a Blog fairy makeover. She's got some great free backgrounds too! Check her out! So what do you think? Can you read the writing well enough? Is it too bright? Should I tone it down some? Let me know...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pity Party and the clean up

Today has been a failure. I have been on the computer too much, had the tv on too much, yelled at Kaden too much, ignored cleaning too much, been impatient and unreasonable too much. The clincher was when I laid down for a short nap and Asher woke up. I cried. He's been keeping me up a lot lately and I am fighting a cold so it was pity party time. I whined and complained in my head for a few minutes. Then I stuck Asher in the exersaucer(serves him right for waking up- take that! play with some toys while I make faces at you and scare you with the vaccum cleaner!) and cleaned the living room. I needed a space of sanity. I needed to accomplish something. It feels good to have the floor clear even for a few minutes. I will enjoy sitting on it and typing for a few more minutes and then I will throw some toys out and let Asher play. I realized that I believe in a few cleaning myths...

a) That cleanliness will radiate out from one clean room and soon the whole house will be clean. I keep thinking that if I have the main two rooms clean then we can get to the rest of the house and clean it really well. Somehow I am always spending my time cleaning the main two rooms (and bathroom) and the rest of the house ... well let's just say I am thankful for closed doors and few visitors.

b) That I can get cleaning done when Matt is home over the weekend. Nope, House always looks worse on Monday...

c) That Matt understands my cleaning thought processes and will just magically do jobs (since he must enjoy cleaning more than I do. :) ). I left boxes by the front door to go in the garage just assuming he will do it( because he won't have to carry the baby and the boxes). I get annoyed when I see them still there but I don't think I ever told him to put them away. Or... I empty the dishwasher and think " good now we can put dishes in here instead of the sink. I leave an unwashed dinner pot in the sink (since it can't go in the dishwasher) and so Matt doesn't even think to check if the dishwasher is empty or not because of the dish in the sink and just adds his to the new pile. arghhh...

d) It's ok for me to make a mess and leave it out for days... but not anyone else. Yeah... I'm a punk.

O.k. now I need to get back to work restoring sanity to my house. Time to clean up the pity party and bash some myths out of my brain.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Family photos and crafting

Family photos! My cousin, Karalee, has an awesome camera, an eye for shots, and a lightening fast trigger finger. We actually got some photos with everyone smiling and looking at the camera! This is truly a miracle since we have an almost 3 year old and a 7 month old. Here's some of my faves...

I have been craftin up a storm but I can't post anything because they are all Christmas gifts and I am not sure who in the family checks out this blog. :) Mainly I am crafting for nieces and nephews and my own kids. I will say that Freezer paper is my new best friend!!!! I want to stencil everything! I wish I had known about it last year. There are tons of tutorials on-line and even instructions on the box of freezer paper. I think in Jan I should decide what I am making people next year and do a project a month. I left way too many projects to the end of the year and hopefully I will get the ones for my own kids done! I plan to have all of the projects I need to mail out done by next sat. so we can mail them. Then I will make Kaden's presents. These are the tutorials/inspirations I will be following for him...

Reversible Superhero cape

Felt jungle

Hobby horse

For Asher I made a:

Ribbon blanket- hopefully he hasn't already outgrown it.

Christmas Giveaway

It ends today!!! 6 amazing gifts including and Ergo! I love my Ergo that I found used and the new ones have even better features so I really want to upgrade. Plus then we would have one for both Matt and I. That would make life easier! Check it out... Click the ad in the sidebar- Ohana Mama Christmas Giveaway.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What a nice long vacation!

Matt just had a week and a half of of work. It was heavenly! I had all kinds of plans...potty train Kaden, reorganize the house, do preschool activities with Kaden, get Kaden to sleep in his big boy bed, sleep in, complete crafts for presents, go to Chuck E Cheese, go to the park, and lots of general playing....
It was a very successful vacation though not quite as successful as that huge list.

success #1
We locked Kaden in his room and now he sleeps in his big boy bed!!! Woohoo. We put a cover on the inside doorknob to his room. The outside doorknob is free so we could get into him quickly he just can't get out. Pretty soon we will take it off too since he seems to be adjusting the bed well. Next step...Asher in his crib in the same room as him.

success #2 Lots of playing
We had great fun on Thanksgiving, and going to Chuck E Cheese, and playing with our main Christmas gift ( a Wii). Yes, we spoiled ourselves and opened the Wii when it came in the mail the day after Thanksgiving. We got Outdoor Challenge from Costco and it is a blast. Kaden loves the jumping games and Matt and I are getting a good workout. This will be the last year we can open presents early since Kaden will know the differencenext year...

success #3 Sleep in
Well we took turns and also took naps. Sleeping in wasn't always possible but we gave each other lots of turns to sleep. We also stayed up too late watching lame movies(all of the funny parts from the Adam Sandler move about Zohan were in the previews) and fun tv shows.

Partial success #1 Reorganize the house
I sorted through most of the boys clothes and got the right sizes in the right places. We cleaned the main living areas and put up Christmas decorations. We still have a lot of organizing to do. I think it will have to wait until our Christmas projects are done since we make a huge mess with those every day.

Partial success #2 Do Preschool activities with Kaden.
We went to our classes and did lots of coloring. He definitely watched less tv. When I had him tell me what shapes to cut out of the snowflake I was making he busted out with "a hexagon." I think that means he is a genius. :) I need to work with him on recognizing letters. I need to do preschool time with him everyday and keep the tv off.

Partial success #3 Complete Christmas crafts
3 down lots more to go. Many are in progress. My goal is to finish and mail them all by the tenth. That will give them more than enough time to get to their destinations.

Failure #1 Potty training Kaden
He is still not really interested. He'll do it if we force it but doesn't come up with it on his own.

So life continues and hopefully I will maintain the cleaning and deepen it a little more each day