Monday, January 24, 2011

It Goes Without Saying

So, it probably goes without saying that I love the Valentines season! I love a holliday that gives me an excuse to tell friends and family they are loved and thought of in fun and creative ways :) I remember as a kid loving making boxes to receive valentine cards in and even moreso loving labeling little cards for my classmates! Don't you remember exchanging Valentines in school?! Anyhow, I wanted Cooper to be able to get a taste of that same excitement, so I turned a USPS Priority Mail box into a fun little Valentines Box for him...

Fun, eh? :) If I had a girl, lace and flowers and hearts and glitter would abound, but I was happy with this masculine version too. ;) I turned it on one side and then did some cutting and taping to get the open and close effect. He wanted to play it with it before the glitter even dried! :) This has already gotten some good mileage around here. I plan to leave him little suprises over the next couple of weeks until Valentines :) Ryder and all the rest of us have a smaller, more typical style mailbox that he can leave little notes and pictures he colors in for us!

To give him something to play with in the boxes, I very quickly designed these fun little Valentines...  

I printed them on cardstock and cut them out, then he colored small size envelopes to put each one in to "deliver". I didn't spend a lot of time on these at all, but if you have a kid that would enjoy them too, you can click on the images, then right click and Save, or click the link below to download and use them yourself!

Happy Valentines all, and as you might have guessed... it probably won't be the last time I say that here ;)

Will try sharing this post this week at Someday Crafts, Not Just a Housewife and What Are Little Boys Made Of?


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Practically Spring

Could these two little guys get much cuter? ;) I love this sweet pic of Ryder- just a relaxed day at home, looking at me like I make him happy. And lately Cooper has been into combing his own hair. This was a particularly good hairdo proud! :) I LOVE THEM!

So it's pretty much spring over here in crazy south central Idaho... we need to head for home in order to remember what time of year it really is! Sure hope we see more snow before winter really is over- I'll take the white over the mud any day. The boys have gotten to be out more in the warmer moments though. Ryder thinks puddles are the greatest thing ever and Coop is enjoying his new "big" bike from Santa.

I've also done a few crafty things over the past while that I thought I'd share. I think this little toolbelt that I made Cooper for Christmas is the cutest thing ever! He can't stand wearing it, but oh well I guess! I keep trying to convince him it's cool... had to bribe him to get this picture. :) I followed this tutorial to whip it up from some fabric Mom had handed-me-down!

Awhile back, Monica made the funnest play dough for her boys and I have wanted to try cooking some ever since (I've only ever made a non-cooked type). I followed this recipe and it turned out awesome! (I just kneaded gel color in at the end though.) I can't seem to keep him from mixing the colors and don't want to make it no-fun for him by continually telling him not to, so it's now one big bunch of dark green though! :) Will absolutely be making this again!

These are some fun little fish that I sewed and stuffed for the boys! They have small washers on the mouths, then I glued a small craft magnet to the end of the string so Cooper and Ryder could fish! They loved these! I think Ry had a hard time understanding what was supposed to be happening, but was happy nonetheless just because Cooper was so excited! :) I originally saw this idea here. :)

 And woo hoo for the Valentines season! I love crafting things for this fun little holiday. Click HERE to download this free Subway Art from my design blog and get decorating! :)


Saturday, January 15, 2011

I Am Hooked!

So, I know I'm pretty much the last person I know to get on this bandwagon, but nonetheless, I want to share!! Over the holidays, Stephen happened upon a show on TLC called "Extreme Couponing" and called me in to catch snipets of it as he watched. We were both so intrigued as we watched these shoppers pay $2 for a $630 grocery trip! So we decided we would give it a try...

For a few weeks now I've been collecting and printing coupons, even getting them from Stephen's grandparents and my in-laws! I've also visited several coupon blogs that I've learned a ton from! I made a list of things we needed and set out to find coupons for them, then sat down with the weekly Albertson's ad and got organized. I could hardly sleep the night before I was so excited to see if it would really pay off. And I know it's not the most impressive savings, but I gave a little shout when I reviewed my receipt and had spent $45 and saved $64!!

My laundry detergent was normally $7.40 and I only paid $1.79!
The dishwashing capsules were normally $4.90 and I paid 75 cents!
My tube of toothpaste was free!
And boy did I wish I had more of the coupons I used on all of them- I would have stocked up!
Don't worry, I won't be taking pictures of all my grocery trips through the future, but I am hooked! I can hardly wait to do more of this and get better! I know most of you reading this are already into couponing, so do share any great trips or tips of your own! :)


Home and Family

Just a few shots of our everyday comings and goings lately... I am so grateful to be home and enjoying my boys! Above they are sporting their "Indians," some fun little headbands I made for them with pheasant feathers! Ryder is trying to copy Cooper doing the "wah, wah, wah" sound over his mouth. My own little Lost Boys :)

A beautiful batch of homemade bread! Yum!

 Sweet Ryder in my slippers! He loves clomping arond in big shoes :)

Stephen just after a really successful flight- doesn't he look so genuinely happy? He loves it when we all go out flying with him and lately we have been a bit more than usual just to get the boys outside some. We love that we live so close to the dessert and it's no big deal to venture out!

The boys splashing (and making a wet mess, but I didn't care- look at those happy faces!)

 Ryder is the kissiest boy ever! Here he's giving me a love just after coming in from outside...

We also spent a great weekend at Home earlier this month for Conner and Jodie's final reception. It was so fun to see people I haven't seen in a really long time that came to suppor them! It was a full night- Jodie and family ran off the road into the snow and we had to "get the bride to the church on time," then Stephen turned around to go pull the car out! It was so fun to be with my entire family for a couple of days and without a doubt my parent's is one of our very favorite places on earth...

 Cooper loved Grandpa's "telescope" that aims to the mountain just  behind them. And below, check out what Stephen found through it just before we left!

Cooper and Quincy played awesome together- aren't they about the cutest thing ever? :)

 We briefly celebrated both Quincy and Cyndel's recent birthdays too... I love these two sweet girls!

 I also got to play photographer (kinda) for a quick family pic of us all! We've tried several times now to make this happen and it hasn't seemed to work out, so hopefully these ones will- I am happy with how they turned out! It was fun to get in hats and coats rather than worry about what we are all wearing. Cooper was doing the farthest thing from cooperating however, so our best family pic turned out like this...

 Like my Dad said, "At least we have one that we all look the same" with everyone fake crying! Other than Ryder, who is wondering what on earth... :) I'm a particular fan of Taron's expression! Good times, good times!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Thirty Before 30

This fall I'll be turning 30! Yikes- for some reason I am more anxious than I'm sure I've ever been over any age change before.
Thirty- that means that I better start making of myself who I want to really be or it won't matter when I do! I saw an idea awhile back that really sunk in with me and I've been working on it for myself since...
Thirty Before 30! A list of 30 things to do within the next 9 months (I'm quite sure I'll be fudging and giving myself the year) :) Thought I would share a few of them here...

 1. Sleep through a night
 2. Go on an overnight getaway with Stephen (see #1)
 3. Sew curtains for the front room
 4. Sew a backpack for Coop, a skirt, an apron...Just sew more!
 5. Become coupon savvy
 6. Start and grow a design business on the side
 7. Make and store strawberry freezer jam
 8. Get a new family photo taken
 9. Fill a ward temple assignment
10. Plant a garden
11. Get new carpet! (this ones a stretch...)
12. Make carrot cake from scratch
13. Ride with Cooper on his own bike to the park
14. Host a backyard BBQ
15. Master homemade whole wheat bread
16. Pay for the person behind me in a drive-thru
17. Particpate in Time Out for Women
18. Take family photos for someone else
19. Go to a hockey game
20. Watch fireworks

Also, remember last year when I chose a Word of the Year?
I've thought about it for a long while now and for 2011, it's gotta be...

Effort... this year I'd like to do better at putting effort toward things I can affect.
Things that I acknowledge I'd like to improve in myself and our way of life. Instead of merely acknowledging, I hope to actually make efforts that will result in improvements. Being a better housekeeper? I can do that! Dealing better with stress? I really can try to do that!
Carry on 2011... Even if I won't be young anymore when it's over,
this is going to be a good year! :)


P.S, In reference to #6, check out my new little venture... Click HERE!

Monday, January 3, 2011


This past Thursday, December 30, 2010, I watched my only brother get married. Watched my only brother be as happy as I've ever seen him! Smiled as I watched my new sister-in-law ask Cyndel to pinch her. Watched my husband watching me as we sat together in the sealing room. What a great day!

 Letting Stephen know I love him as we wait in the cold with them outside the temple afterwards. :)

With my beautiful sisters and Mom outside- I love this pic :)

Self-shot as we walked back to our car, ready to  be warm and feeling badly for Jodie in her short sleeve dress! I love this guy! I am lucky to have him, blessed that our life is together, that our own marriage is eternal! I am so grateful for my family- I am so proud of you Conner and Jodie! Marriage is bliss :)

To see more of the bride and grom, click on thier photographers blog here.


Year of Dates

Wanted to quickly share the fun, homemade gift I gave Stephen this year for Christmas. We have been terrible at taking time for ourselves ever since we had Cooper and I know that Stephen would really like it if we had more "us" time. So I sat down with my awesome friend that generally watches the boys and we mapped out one day per month over this whole next year that would be a date night!

Picking the actual day allowed Stephen to sit down with this cute little book and schedule them in his phone. I also got to pick some unique, inexpensive things for us to do, like shooting pool, picnic in the canyon, and lots of temple sessions. I'm hopeful this will be a fun, effective gift for him all through the year! I adapted the idea from here.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Goodness

We really enjoyed a great holiday with all four boys! We had a great week with Taron and Keaton, and Cooper is the perfect age for Christmas all the way around! We are so blessed!

Taron shared the recipe for these fun cookies- peanut butter spread between two Ritz crackers, then dipped in melted chocolate. We added plenty of sprinkles too!

This is my new favorite Christmas Eve jammies picture ever!! Could these four get any more adorable/ handsome?! All four of them got new jammie pants but no shirts, so it was the perfect flexing opportunity :) Love little Ryder joining in!

Christmas morning all together- this was a really happy time. They were all so excited and grateful- a really fun year!

 And the next day at out family party, I finally got to meet my new little niece, Brylee! I have been so anxious and she is so sweet! Silly me forgot to bring her a gift exchange gift from Ryder though! Yikes- good thing she was none the wiser I guess :)

We then traveled to Grammie and Grandpas for a couple of days and enjoyed lots of snow fun! Our snow here is gone, so this was a treat!

While Stephen pulled the boys on the four wheeler, I got to trail around with my Dad on the snowmobile up past the house- what beautiful scenery! This is without a doubt one of my very, very favorite places on earth. So invigorating!


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