Pres. Hinckley

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Pres. Hinckley

I have struggled with so many emotions as I have tried to write this post. I really want to express my appreciation of this incredible man. I feel so lucky to have been blessed by his council and leadership. I have felt his amazing spirit when in a large auditorium with him, as well as when he has visited our ward. It is beyond explanation, but honestly I felt the spirit change when he came into the room; and I will never forget that feeling. Even as I think about it now, I know that he was a prophet of God; and as such radiated His divine love for each of us. At 97, President Hinckley certainly led a full life and I can’t help but think that he is excited to be with his beloved wife again. Last night as I lay in bed, I thought about his life and all of the amazing growth the church has had under him. I wondered about his family and I hope that they are comforted; then I had a thought of what a celebration there must be in heaven right now. How much joy they must feel to have such a valiant spirit home with them again. I am so grateful for the time that we had him here and for the legacy of faith and love and the teachings that he has left us. Thank you President Hinckley; I will miss you!



I have settled on this word (actually stopped grasping for it is more like it.) I don’t know that it is really that great a description of me; which is probably a product of over-thinking the whole thing. I think it sounds a little presumptuous, but am justifying this by explaining how much I love anything to do with the arts. I am definitely a visual person, but I love to experience things with all of my senses. I am affected so much by my surroundings and feeling that they are pleasing. So…meh, not super great, but it’ll do. Your opinion is certainly welcome. Michael was pretty easy to label as technical. His life pretty much revolves around technology, but he is also a very detailed-oriented person. (For example, he takes great an annoying amount of joy in pointing out the literal or technical meaning of things I say. I can’t think of an example off of the top of my head…but this drives me nuts! Otherwise, his technical detailed self is generally a very good trait.) I am sure this is hitting the point of severe boredom; so I will wrap up by saying that Emily is bright and Megan is pink. Yea, I think pretty much done with this one. ;-P

one word


Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth GilbertI am reading Eat, Pray, Love (well actually, I am listing to it on my mp3 player… I just can’t find the time to read everything I want to; but I did some kick butt cleaning up the basement while I followed Elizabeth Gilbert to Italy and India during Emily’s nap today!)  But back to the subject at hand…

There is a part in the book where the author is talking with a friend in Rome and he tells her that every city -and in fact every person- has a word; a word that sums them up. (In case you are dying of curiosity Rome’s word is sex.) Gilbert goes on to ponder what her own word is; which lead me to think about what my own word is. This has been an interesting little exercise. So how do you boil yourself down to one word. I think what you choose is pretty telling in a few ways–maybe it is all this over-thinking that is keeping me from just coming up with a stinking word. While I mull it over for a day or two; why don’t you think about it too? What is your word?

popsicle stick dolls

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This kept a few my nieces and nephews mesmorized for a few hours (and made a pretty good sized mess.) It is funny how much like the maker the doll turned out to be. (You’ve got to love the one of Zane, complete with black air-cast–he broke a bone in his foot.) I put out my box art stuff (a collection of everything from sequins and ric-rac to silk flowers and scraps of fabric.) so that they could choose a few different embellishments. Really, you cold do this with just popsicle sticks and yarn; but I have listed the most used other items as well bellow.

Materials:Morgan’s doll with a bed

Popsicle sticks

Yarn (for hair and clothes)

Beads (for eyes)

Small pompoms

Small flowers


Glue (We used Aleene’s, but Elmer’s would be fine. Hot glue would be nice because it would dry quick, but I had too many kids around to deal with it.)


1. Cut about half way up the center of a popsicle stick. (This is a little tricky; it was fine for my 7 year old nieces, but younger kids would need help.) Gently pull the two halves apart a little.

2. Cut an 8 inch piece of skin colored yarn for the head. Glue one end of the yarn to the stick and wrap it several times around the stick so that it makes a head shape. Tuck the end in or glue.

3. Glue on beads for eyes (you could also cut little bits of yarn and glue them on.)

4. To make the hair, wrap yarn several times around your hand (or something else that is about 2xs as long as you want the hair to be.)

5. Slip off and loosely tie a piece of yarn around the middle of the coiled yarn (hair) and glue to the head. (You may need to hold it down for a bit while it dries.) Cut through the loops at the bottom and trim up as desired.

6. Wrap the body in the color you want for the shirt. (Do this the same as the head, only wrap around once or twice.) When you get to the legs, go completely down one, tie off or glue then start at the top of the other. (You will want to secure the beginning with a bead of glue like you did for the head.)

7. Now embellish: I cut the edge of a sequin to make the mouth, you could also use yarn. We used pompoms for feet and for the body of one dress (the rest of which is a pink feather) and the small flowers were also very popular.Weston’s crazy doll

You can make them life-like or, like Weston, you can get a little crazy with it! The kids liked this so much that they quickly progressed to making beds for the dolls, then cell phones, the a couple of just funny designs. They loved this and it can easily fill up an afternoon or more.

My cute nieces hard at work

happy birthday–to me!

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Emily all wrapped upI haven’t been blogging, because the party started on Friday and hasn’t stopped. (Okay, not exactly…but about as much as it can for an “adult birthday.” as my sister calls them.) Actually, I have started about 10 posts then scrapped them after getting distracted by about that many others (Thanks a lot Ali; you know, for being a better blogger and give me more to read!) Anyway, as a birthday gift to myself, I am letting me off the hook. (I am so good at that!)

So here is the big-day summary: My Mom took me out for a girls night on Friday….mmm coconut shrimp. Then the Jensen’s threw a fun birthday dinner on Sunday (aka. the Mommy princess party) and Michael spoiled me all day on Tuesday. The culmination of which was a shopping spree (Thanks for the Christmas gift card Julie!) to Utrect art supply. I felt positively luxuriant as I choose tubes of paint and canvasses and didn’t even think about the cost. That about sums it up…ah birthday fun. I promise to get back to reality with a project post in the next couple of days. No later than Monday, I promise!

3 dimensional paper snowflakes

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Looking for something to do during these cold snowy afternoons? Why not pay homage to winter by making paper snowflakes? You can keep it simple if your artist is younger; just can fold up a paper and let them snip away (supervised,The first 4 steps of course to prevent loss of piggy-tails. (Emma!)) This is a great fine motor-skills developer. If your artist is older, try one of these 3D versions:


Paper (Vellum would look great, I used plain printer paper.)




Directions:Making the cuts for your design

#1 Take your traditional flake up a level:

1. Fold a piece of paper horizontally. (If your paper is not square, fold the bottom corner up so that the bottom edge of paper is even with the side and cut off the extra strip.)

2. Fold in half again and one more time. (So that it looks like the smallest triangle in the picture. A total of 3 folds.)

3. Cut a design into the triangle; keep it pretty simple and do not cut all the way through the triangle.Stabilizing the sides

4. Repeat steps 1-3 four more times, for a total of 5 flakes. I kept the design the same, but you can experiment; that is what makes this fun.

5. Turn the flake so that it is diamond shape and pull the 2 side corners together (to form a tube). Tape the corners together and repeat for all of the snowflakes.

6. Lay all of the tubes together with their corners touching in the center. Tape them together.

7. Staple the edges of each adjacent tub as far up as possible to give the snowflake stability.The final snowflake








#2 One spirally cool snowflake

Your first fold and cuts1. Fold a square piece of paper horizontally.

2. Cut 3 slits parallel to the outside edges of the triangle. DO NOT cut all the way through. (See picture.)

3. Open the paper back up and turn it so that it is diamond-shaped and the connected sections are running up and down.

4. Pull the side corners of the smallest, inside triangle together and tape together to form a tube.

Folding the corners in5. Flip the snowflake over pull the corners of the next biggest triangle together and tape them to form another tube.

6. Repeat again, flipping the snowflake over.

7. Repeat steps 1-6 five more times, for a total of 6 spokes. Hold the points of 3 of the spokes together and staple, then do the same for the other 3.

8. Now staple the 2 halves together. Also staple each of the adjoining spokes (as far up as they will touch) to stabilize the snowflake.

A few folds laterOne finished spoke Joining one side Stabilizing the sides The final snowflake




#3 A little something from the ’50s

1. Make 3 traditional snowflakes. (If you are not sure how to do this yet..well, I guess I just haven’t done my job.) I madeCutting the design mine long and skinny…um, I probably wouldn’t do it that long and skinny next time.)

2. Turn the snowflake so that it is diamond shape and fold it in half down the middle. Match 2 of the halves up and tape at each edge.

3. Do the same with the third, taping it to the other 2 snowflakes. It should now resemble those table decorations that were so popular in the ’50s (Think crepe-paper wedding bells.)

4. Make 1 inch cuts in the middle of the snowflake’s outer edges on each spoke of the snowflake. Pinch the sides together and tape (This will cause the sides to pucker and stand out better.)

Pinch and attach at top corners Cut, pinch, and tape the sides

we are such loosers


Before you feel sorry for me, let me just say that I am okay with it; it is just who we have become. Anyway, we have been enjoying nightly festivities for pretty much the last 2 weeks. It has been great, but sadly I am about partied out. Last night we opted out of what I am sure was a fun Eddie-brand fondue New Year’s fete to get the girls in bed and watch downloaded Battlestar Galactica episodes. I have to admit that I was a little depressed at just how lame and anti-social we have proved ourselves to be–I mean, really! We redeemed a little by having Mike’s little brother, Brent and his super-cute girlfriend, Katie over for some fondue of our own tonight. It was great to have a little contact with people who don’t live within our walls.

Megan and Abby in just one of MANY outfits…Here’s a dramatic moment of sadness for Saturday, when the Peterson’s headed home to New Mexico. Megan has been heartbroken and can’t even talk about other friends at this point. When I have asked her if she wants to play with anyone she will refuse. Tonight when she was asked about cute Eliza, she said “Eliza isn’t my friend. Abby is my friend!” (This is the Eliza that only a couple of weeks ago was proclaimed as her “greatest friend.”)

We have had a few good distractions; on Friday we had Heaps of fun (haha). Pamela and I met for lunch (ah, grilled goat cheese and roasted red pepper sandwiches–heaven!) Then went to Salt Lake Running Co. to get some new shoes. The best was when we sat down on the bench, wearing our matching plum Keen Bronx and holding our seatbelt bags. When the sales rep. said “Nice purses.” We just smiled and said “We are sisters.” (Insert the appropriate amount of sarcasm here.) Oh brother! We then headed up (in the flying snow) to Solitude to do a little winter swimming and pizza-eating with her and Nathan. It was crazy to be in the pool while snow was falling. Megan loved it! (Picture to come….)

Onto the obligatory disclosal of resolutions. (Actually I am really excited about this year. I totally agree with Amy’s gut. So here it is:

1. Get Emily a scrapbook and catch up on Megan’s. (Umm, anyone want to start a scrapbooking night with me? Maybe once a month? Ali, you’re the social networking queen…any urge to jump onboard?)

2. Get the stinking book done! (Of course right now, just getting a craft post up feels olympic.)

3. We are whole-heartedly supporting our stake’s effort to get our emergency storage and plan together. (We are surprisingly not doing too bad with this one.)

…And here are the ones that I dust off every few months when my good intentions overcome my good sense.

4. Learn to play the guitar, specifically practice at least 15 minutes everyday.

5. (A new take on loose the weight:) Eat like a part-time model.

6. And finally, you know, the vague but ambitious: be a super organized, positive mom that really takes time and June Cleaverenjoys the joys of the quickly slipping away childhood moments, while helping her kids develop into talented, bright, well-adjusted geniuses in her perfectly clean house.

…no problem!