Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Heidi's 7!

My little Heidi-hoo turned 7 years old! (Is she really that big all ready?) I would love to be nostalgic and post baby pictures of her- but it is all ready about midnight..... so how about just a few photos from her special day.

Heidi had her great friend Hannah over for the "party". Heidi requested they play in the snow for one of the "games". They played until it was too dark to see and we had to call them in.

Then they played with the doll house- a well used toy when little girls come to visit!

These tall candles are the best. They've lasted for numerous birthdays. Make a wish!

We love you Heidi Rose! Our family wouldn't be the same without you!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We're Back!

We made the journey back from Phoenix this weekend! It is nice to be back. For those who may not have heard, our Grandma Pearson passed away Dec. 21st. We are very glad that we got to spend time that last week with her. Everyone will miss her so much. We are comforted knowing she is not in such terrible pain anymore and is in a better place. The boys and Joel helped as pall bearers. Can you see Taylor? He was getting a little help.

Here is a picture of the family taken afterwards. Hmmm..... I should have had the little ones take their coats off. I'll remember that next time.

Grandpa Pearson, I have to include this cute photo I took of you and the Torgerson girls that day. We love you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mesa Temple Lights and Nativity

All of us,(except Heidi who was at a cousin's house), went to Mesa to see the nativity and light display last week. Mesa was where Joel and I were married in 1995....oooh...that sounds so long ago! How time flies when we're having fun!

I never notice the silly faces my kids are making because I'm so busy trying to get my camera to work right and put the focus in the right spot. Then I get home and find out I don't have ANY photos with normal expressions! Aaaahh, kids!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas in Arizona

We had some unexpected events happen lately. Joel's mother took a turn for the worse in her fight with cancer. We decided to come down to Phoenix before Christmas instead of after, like originally planned, so that we could see her. After getting down here, we've decided to prolong our stay. So we'll probably wait to have "Christmas" on New Year's instead. It has been great to visit with family and help take care of Grandma Pearson- bittersweet, but very good.
When we first arrived it poured and poured-for almost 3 days- very unusual for Arizona! I don't think I've ever been here when it has even sprinkled. When the rain finally stopped, my sister-in-law and I decided to take the kids for a hike in the White Tanks to see a waterfall that usually only flows after a rain. It was so much fun! It was about 62 degrees and the desert was very green and lush. We could see all the way to the other side of the valley because the air was so clean and fresh. I love Arizona on days like that. By the way,I can't get my pictures to move around like I usually do- it's not my regular computer and I can't seem to figure it out. So all the photos of our hike are at the top of my post.
I can't check my email from here, so if you want to say hi just leave me a comment. We miss you all up in Idaho! Hope you have a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Surprises

I have mentioned to some of you that I am doing a surprise every day this month with my kids. They have been just simple things to add a little fun and anticipation to our day and hopefully create some memories. Even Torsten is loving it, which makes my mother heart happy.

Most of the surprises I've done so far have involved some kind of riddle or "hunt". We always hide our stockings and Easter baskets too because the kids love the thrill of the hunt almost more than the catch.

Here is one of the riddles I made for them to find Christmas socks. (I knew Torsten wouldn't want Christmas socks so I got him some badly needed dress socks.)After decoding and unscrambling words, they ran to the Christmas tree where they found a baggie with the "se wi ng de sk" cards to be arranged in the proper order. Then in my sewing desk drawer, they found the socks.

We had a similar hunt involving yellow sticky notes with arrows and dialogue written from the perspective of a nutcracker on them. After following the sticky notes trail out to the deck, Taylor was the first to spot a new nutcracker to add to our collection, hiding on the hill next to our house.

Another day I had the kids leave the living room then come back a few minutes later. They had to study our Christmas tree very carefully and look for anything new or out of place. (They love those I Spy books so this was right in their element.) Nestled in the branches were 3 new red bird ornaments. The kids were so excited- isn't it fun when kids appreciate small things like that? Well, I told them to look again and this time their sharp eyes spotted the addition of 5 lifesaver candy canes to the tree. (The candy canes that were all ready on the tree were sour patch brand candy canes that look very similar.) I told them those 5 canes were for them to have as a treat. Yes, we eat a lot of candy canes this time of year. :-}

I have to admit I didn't do a surprise on Tuesday because I had a terrible headache/migraine that refused to go away, but I think the kids excused me for that. We have some fun outings planned as surprises too, but I won't reveal them yet because I know Hailey is a regular reader of my blog. Hi Hailey!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

All Work is Sacred Work

I know I've all ready posted twice today, but this was an amazing blog post called "A Mother's Work" that you have to read. It will give you a renewed sense of purpose. Be sure to turn your sound on because there is some beautiful music to accompany your reading.

Egg oddities

Well, I've been browsing the internet in search of what causes double yolks and I had to share this 1940's photo of a little girl washing eggs that I stumbled across.

I love this picture! Just click on it to see the full size version.

Well, anyways, back to my original topic. Wikipedia had this to say:
Double-yolked eggs occur rarely, only leading to observed successful hatchings under human intervention, as the unborn chickens would otherwise fight each other and die. (hmmm... wonder how they "intervened" in an unhatched egg?)

Then a chicken site I stumbled upon had these interesting tidbits:
Double yolks are a "mistake" in the chicken's reproductive system that sometimes happens when a hen just starts laying eggs and her system is still trying to figure out how to do it correctly. It may also be hereditary.

Occasionally, an egg contains more than two yolks. The greatest number of yolks found in one egg is NINE. Record breaking eggs are likely to be multiple yolkers. The Guinness Book of Records lists the world's largest [chicken] egg (with a diameter of 9 inches/22.5 cm) as having five yolks and the heaviest egg (1 pound/0.45 kg) as having a double yolk and a double shell.

The site that I found the information on had some pictures of really strange eggs. Like a spoon shaped egg or an egg within an egg! You can see for yourself by going to this link.

Why pay big bucks to a studio....?

All the beautiful family photos we receive this time of year from dear old friends were starting to make my kids a little worried. "Mom, aren't we going to get family photos taken to send in our Christmas cards?" Well, to be honest, I don't think I'm going to get a round to it because it is all ready Dec. 10th. Procrastination is one of my worst habits and so... my cards will probably be pictureless this year. *sigh*

But... for all my blogger friends and family, because you're special , I'm posting our Christmas 2008 "we-did-it-ourselves" photo! (done in our favorite "my pants are too short pose") Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Double Yolks

I like our current project of raising chickens for a couple reasons. First of all, because it gets us closer to the goal of learning more about how to raise our family's own source of healthy food. And second, I like that my kids have a responsibility beyond cleaning up their rooms. But sometimes, the joy of having your own egg supply (even if it is small) is in the daily suprise of "Is there going to be a brown one today?" or "Wow, look at this huge egg! - Mom, do you think it would have been twins?". And then when you are cooking, you never know when you are going to crack open a double yolker! My friend Heather, who raises chickens, told me her kids proclaim it a lucky day when she breaks open a double yolked egg. We just gather around and marvel at it and sometimes take a picture. Look at the color difference in the yolks. The other one is a store-bought egg.

Candy Cane Boxes

I bet you were wondering what to do with all your empty candy cane boxes that accumulate this time of year. Well, now you know.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Great Christmas Books to Share

I wanted to take a minute to share a few of our family's favorite Christmas books. Reading the kids Christmas stories is something I love and I know they love it too.
A book that has special memories for me is "The Shiniest Star". My grandmother read it to my mother when she was little, and then my mother read it to me and my siblings. That original book was pretty much worn out and fragile and I wouldn't have even wanted to ask to borrow it for fear of what my kids might to do it. So last year my Mom had the great idea to look it up online and see if "The Shiniest Star" was still available anywhere. (by the way, what did we do before the internet?) We were so excited to see there is now a reproduction of the original! So "The Shiniest Star" tradition is now being passed down to my own kids. :-) Here is a picture from inside the book.
Another favorite, and it too is one I loved as a child, (can you tell I'm big on nostalgia?), is a version of "The Night Before Christmas"
that is illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa. I like anything illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa, especially books she did through the 50's and 60's! I bought a reproduction of this at Barnes and Noble a few years ago and unfortunately the color isn't quite as saturated as the original, but it will have to do until I can buy an original 1961 version from ebay. My favorite picture in the book is of "the children were nestled all snug in their beds while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads" The picture looks like pure heaven. I couldn't find a picture to show you- sorry.

Well, my fingers are getting too cold to type since it is only 63 degrees in here. We didn't want to start a fire until morning since it's kind of a pain. Our goal is to try not to run our heater at all this winter to keep our bills from that evil Idaho Power from being so high ;-) We had a similar goal this summer and we only ran the AC a handful of times. In the meantime, I think I may be seeing my breath by morning!