first grade

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So, I am finally finishing this post a week late due to a little technical difficulty. (Well, that and I am lazy and was crazy busy getting ready for Megan’s birthday party on Saturday. More to come on that.)


I can’t believe this girl is so big! She has been stoked to start school and to learn Spanish in the dual immersion program. (Actually, according to her, she already speaks Spanish-this is usually followed by her only Spanish phrase: Feliz Navidad!) Emily and Meg were stoked to ride to school in the Madsen. Emily decided she was going to school too and had to have a lunch; which she broke into on the ride home–at 9:00am.

Meg arrived home smiling and when I asked how it was she said I had two recesses! What more can you ask for?

that’s some serious giving.

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Dee Dee is doing another super string of giveaways. Of course, there are several things I am dying over. I thought I’d better pass it along so you can get in on the fun. (…and give me one more entry. crossing fingers-now.) Just take a look at this cute stuff:

a quiet book pattern from Shelley Wallace Designs

a Simply Silhouettes custom portrait

a Deco Yellow pillow cover

2 cute letter boxes from See Jane Work

and (possibly my favorite) a Spotted Sparrow Necklace from MD Sparks

Impressive, no? Go enter. Hurry!

camping with the davises

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We headed to the high Uintas with half of one of our favorite families last weekend. (Sadly, Jodi and Baby Ryan had to stay home sick.) Our girls just adore cute Chloe and had a ball playing around with her.

Here’s the group before we left. I think Michael loved hanging out with Mike and didn’t mind when I couldn’t get Amanda to sleep and ended up stuck in the tent with the girls and night. : D I got to see a handful of meteors while I held her on my sleeping bag. The little nut ended up sleeping with me all night–it was pretty crazy/uncomfortable/sweet to hold her all night. She has been in a bad sleep stage; we are playing the assisted “cry it out” game this week. Yuck. It is improving though.

Jake loves camping (What’s not to love?) The highlight of his trip was meeting a couple of horseback riders. I had to chase him down the road or he might have permanently joined their family. Apparently he loves horses as much as I do. Great news for if we ever get that Highland horse property I’ve been dreaming of.

I love this peek of the girls playing in the trees. If you look close, you’ll see their stick “guns.” They were playing Star Wars. Chloe was Padme, Megan was Queen Amidala, Emily was… Padmae. I laughed at that and asked about Leia, or Captain Solo (a favorite of all the girls in our house, wink.) and was informed that we are only playing the time before Leia was born. Um, have I mentioned Michael’s influence on our girls? I am frequently corrected on Star Wars stuff. It’s a little embarrassing.

making masks with the uhf campers

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Last week, I got to go spend some time with the super-cute kids at the Utah Hemophilia Foundation summer camp. Of course my partner in crime (and the orchestrator of this whole thing) was wonderful Juli. Here she is holding Amanda so she could nap. Um, forgot the stroller-hello! Amanda loved having a million people hold and adore her throughout the day though.

Now I will barrage you with pictures of the great work they did. I know it’s a lot, but I just couldn’t help showing you a bunch of the creative ideas these fantastic kids came up with. We had so much fun! What I love most about these masks is that they are made with inexpensive materials, but with the fabric covering they look impressive. Hot glue is really the best adhesive for this project. So this does require a large amount of supervision for younger artists. However, they are so fun to make, that many of the adults at the camp had to get in on the action. I will give you a quick run-down on how this is done, but as you can see the sky is the limit with what you can make.

basic materials:

for the structure:

molded paper plates (like Chinet)

paper bowls

paper cups

water bottles

masking tape

yarn or elastic to tie around the head

to cover/embellish:

felt

faux fur

pipe cleaners

pom-poms

sequins

plastic jewels

etc.

Bird: 1/3 plate with 1/4 bowl wrapped in felt for the beak. Cover the plate with glue in sections at a time and then arrange with feathers. Start from the outside and work in. Bend pipe cleaners around the eye-holes and attach to the top for a plume.

Foundation for Elephant: 1/2 paper plate with 1/2 bowl for each ear. 3/4 of a toilet paper tube can be shaped into the trunk.

It is a good idea to draw eye holes and hold the plate up to your face to check that they line up with your eyes before cutting. Cut a toilet paper roll in half and shape into a trunk. Use masking tape to securely bond all of the pieces.

Now place felt over the mask and cut out roughly the same shape, leaving a about 1/2 inch border to fold over the edge. For some masks (such as this one,) you will need to cover in sections. Glue a section around the edge and pull taught, continue gluing until the fabric is completely secure. It is best to glue only around the edges because you can often see a ridge where glue is.

This is the finished elephant. I made the wrinkles on the trunk by liberally gluing then pinching the fabric together.

This “Picasso” mask’s designs are made with pipe-cleaners.

I love this chicken! The main part is covered in curly faux fur. So clever!

gotta love the Joker.

The eyelashes on this little piggy just crack me up! My Mom did this by leaving extra fabric around the eye holes and cutting it into fringe.

Large pom poms make great ears on this cuddly panda. A bowl is used for the snout.

This gorilla has buck teeth which show up even better in person. They are cut out of the original plate (like a jack o’ lantern), then the fur is cut straight across to let them hang down.

These 3 old men were almost as funny and cute as their makers.

I had to snap a shot of this hound dog half way through as its clever maker ran out of time. I love how he used half of a water bottle to make the muzzle. The texture of the burlap is also great and so is the way he used 1/3 of a bowl to make a more prominent forehead.


This cute little zebra is made with a faux fur mane that has edges that are folded under to puff it up a little. The ears are triangles of felt that were gathered as they were glued on.

1/2 of a bowl for the snout and the bottom of 2 paper cups make great ears on this monkey.

This little jeweled snout is made with a little less than a half of a toilet paper roll. Fancy piggy, n’est pas?

Share your pics if you try this fun activity! I had a blast, but I think that also had a lot to do with all of the great people at the camp.

newport beach

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What could make a fabulous beach get away even better? Getting to go with (almost all of) my in-laws. We really missed Brent and Katie; but everyone else made it–14 adults and 21 kids in our happy (and plenty spacious) beach house. I had a hard time narrowing down the pictures to share. We had so much fun! Unfortunately, we were usually too busy having fun to take group shots. The best I could find was the line-up of our beach chairs. I have to admit, as with everything in life, the best moments don’t have a picture to capture them. However, I think Michael caught some pretty good stuff!

A few of the moms watching everyone play.

Amanda loved the sand! She ate it by the handful.

The view from our “front yard.”

This is probably the most wet Emily got. The girls loved playing in the sand and surf. Megan even tried out a boogie board.

2 little mermaids

This isn’t any of us, just had to include this cool shot that Michael got.

We didn’t get much from our trip to SeaWorld, which blew the girls away. Actually me too! It was so cool to see all of the marine life! I am really kicking myself for not snapping a pic with Amy at dinner afterward. We were pretty wasted by then. I wish we would have made that it’s own thing. (She can probably tell you that we were all pretty loopy.) Next time! (Yay for a next time!)

Thanks so much Gary and LuAnn! We had a ball!