Thursday, December 31, 2009

Leif's horse

Grandma crocheted some very cute things for Christmas this year! Here is Leif riding his horse with some help from Torsten.
"Whoa there little pony!"

Hailey got her ears pierced!

Hailey was excited to get her ears pierced the same day as her best friend Christina but she was sooooo nervous!

All done!
Hailey told me she's happy she did it but she'd never do it again--ever!

Christmas Concert

Our homeschool handbell and chimes groups, Liberty Bells and Freedom Rings, put on some great Christmas concerts this year! Here is Torsten and some other fellow chimers performing in the lovely sanctuary at the Presbyterian church.
Afterwards, Hailey, her friend Katherine, and Taylor are helping to put the equipment away.
Grandma Clayton and baby Leif came to listen to the beautiful music too.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Patching kids jeans

A few months ago I had just finished making a bib with a bird applique on it, when Heidi walked in with a hole in the knee of her jeans. I thought "hmmmm, why not?" The horizontal length of the bird covers the rip quite nicely.Last week Hailey needed a patch on her jeans too. She wanted a bird that was more nuetral, so this is what I came up with.
I use fusible iron-on backing to adhere the patch to the pants. This keeps the pieces from slipping around while you zigzag the edges.

Best Friends

Heidi loves it when she gets to spend time with her best friends, Hannah and Lucy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter Carrot

The kids were very excited about something one morning.....

While eating breakfast, they had seen through the window something "growing" out of the pump house faucet. (And even though it was most likely 5 degrees outside, I can see in the picture that Heidi neglected to put shoes on when she went out to see it.)
What do you do with a big icicle like that? You eat it! At least that's what my kids say.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Not even -7 degree temperatures kept Taylor from working on finishing his sledding ramp before breakfast yesterday. I find it funny that really cold weather only bothers my kids when they have to feed chickens. But when sledding or skiing, they seem impervious to cold. After Taylor finished importing the snow from other parts of the yard and packing it down to make his ramp at the bottom of the hill, he and the little kids tried it out. Woohee!!Yes, believe it or not, sledding on frozen dirt is almost as good as sledding in snow- and it's not nearly as hard to trudge back up the hill! Even so, we are hoping to see more snowy weather around here and less subzero temperatures......

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Leif pic's

Happy Baby.

Really Happy!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snowflake poetry

I wanted to share Torsten's winter acrostic poem with you. His original version was done with his artistic knack for lettering- but this typed version will have to do.

ovember, past
O, beautiful
White blanket
First Christmas
Lake, frozen
Always giving
Kris Kringle
Eager for Christmas Eve

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tramping through the woods......

We decided to give the fake tree a break this year and get the "real" thing! The day after Thanksgiving, with a 5 dollar permit in hand, we drove up to the South Hills to hike around in the snowy woods for a few hours in pursuit of the perfect tree. Hot chocolate, fresh mountain air, and sledding until dark: it all added up to a great family day for 5 dollars and gas money. I hope to make a tradition of it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thankful for cheap heat

What were the menfolk doing while the turkey cooked on Thanksgiving day? Getting the wood pile replenished and ready for the winter ahead and destroying the log splitter in the process..... :-)


My brother Tad and his wife had their 3rd baby in November, only a month after Leif was born, and we got our first chance to see him over Thanksgiving. Dallin is so beautiful! How fun will that be to have a cousin so close in age!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A great music resource

Our sweet piano teacher gave us a big stack of Clavier's Piano Explorer to take home- some dating all the way back to 2003. What a goldmine! These short music magazines for kids are filled with interesting articles on composers, fun puzzles and quizzes, and great practice tips and ideas for improving piano technique. Every issue also includes amazing student composed piano pieces. The composer bio's would be a helpful addition to any music appreciation unit. I am thoroughly enjoying going through these and plan to incorporate them into our homeschool studies this year.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Life has been crazy wonderful lately.

The last 7 days included:
6 week up check up for baby and me. (Leif's 10lb.s 9 oz.! I won't tell you my weight.)
Sonatina festival.
Sonatina recital. (Taylor won 1st place for his division and Torsten received honorable mention- good job boys!!)
Piano lessons.
Organ and Theory.
Constitution class with oral reports for both kids.
Drama club.
Leif's first smile. :-)
Achievement days.
Scouting for Food.
Lunch and dinner at Grandma's house.
BYU-Idaho concert.
Clogging, clogging, always clogging.
Homeschool swimming.
Cooking and freezing pumpkins.
Baking and eating way too many pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
Buying fabric and sewing a duet costume for Hailey.
Chimes and Handbell choir.
Visiting Teachers.
Magic Valley Symphony Concert.
2 Dentist appointments.
Cub scouts.
And of course homeschool days full of math, latin, read-a-louds, geography and nursing Leif!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I've always enjoyed reading while nursing my babies, but right now I am low on reading material because I haven't made it to the library in over a month. Well, I made an exciting discovery yesterday! It is possible to sew and nurse at the same time! Seeing as Leif's favorite hobby right now is nursing and mine is sewing (my favorite hobbies change with the seasons) this is a great combination. For any nursing mothers out there who may be curious how to do this- the Boppy pillow makes it all possible! I bought my handy dandy pillow at a used children's clothing store for an affordable price. '

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Where have all the duck eggs gone?

Our duck, who we had always assumed was a boy, laid her first egg the morning Leif was born. She produced an egg every day for a week or so and then she ceased to produce. Was it the cold weather? Was a wild animal or the free ranging rooster eating them? It was a mystery.

This morning Taylor solved the mystery!
Aflac had found a soft warm nesting place by the pump shed and had accumulated 17 eggs! It was a jackpot morning for Taylor! :-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I've been sewing a few little projects during my free moments. It is scrap buster month at Sew Mama Sew so they've been featuring fun ideas for using up small amounts of fabric. (By the way, I love that website. It always gets my creative juices flowing again.)

Here is a binkie holder that fits 2 binkies. I can throw this in the diaper bag and keep the binkies lint and crumb free. It was so fun to make that I'm making a few more for baby gifts. So don't look Mandy! :-)
Here's the view of the inside. I sandwiched a stiff iron-on lining between the fabrics to give it more shape.

And these headbands have been totally addictive to make. I've made about 20 of them. They'll probably be showing up as Christmas gifts.....

I planned to sew one of these Moby style baby slings but I couldn't find the right kind of fabric for a decent price. I found this on Etsy for cheaper than I could have made it! It is very comfortable and snuggles Leif quite nicely.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Working Together

Remember the bridge frame that Torsten fabricated this summer? A few weekends ago, Torsten, Hailey and Taylor completed the project by screwing on all the wood decking.

It included getting into the canal to get the job done. They really didn't mind that part one little bit!

Wahoo! The bridge is done and now Grandma has a place to shuck corn with the grand kids again! (Shucking corn is fun enough- but even better when you can throw the husks in the canal and watch them float away.)

The day after Leif was born the boys spent the afternoon splitting wood with Dad. I'm glad the kids have so many opportunities to learn how to work.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Leif Smilebox

I wanted to share this smilebox that my mom made using pictures of the days before and after Leif was born. It makes me cry when I watch it- actually it makes me cry typing about it! (am I a bit hormonal still....?) I'm a little embarrassed about the pictures with wet hair and no make-up, but that's okay. :-)
It was so nice to have my mom here for a whole week! She cooked and did laundry and drove the kids places and played games with them. I was very sad to see her go home.....but as you may have noticed, I did survive.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Someone to Love
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Make a Smilebox

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Baby's here!

Hello!! I had a moment today to post the exciting news! :-) Joel and I had a big healthy baby boy born to us October 7th! Leif (we pronounce it Layfe) arrived in the world around 3 in the afternoon, born at home, and weighed a whopping 9lbs. 1 oz. What a fat little cutie he is! The kids are constantly hovering around him to hold and touch and laugh at his funny faces- grandma says she's hardly even got a chance at him because he is always surrounded! I am so sorry for the lack of pictures- we have redone and redone and REDONE our computer so much in the last 3 weeks that I am completely lost again as to where pictures are at. But I had to at least get the news out and I'll add photos later! (Maybe tonight when everyone comes home again someone with techno smarts can help me out....) But I'll just say for now that Leif was a completely different birth than any of my others- very slow and spaced out contractions. Usually I have my babies in a matter of a few hours- this time it was more like 13 hours! I woke up at 2:00 in the morning feeling like "this is it", so I cleaned the house and puttered around a bit, getting things ready for the birth. But contractions stayed very mild and 20 minutes apart and I decided to try and get a little more sleep. Morning came and I listened to the kids practicing their piano, got out their school stuff for my mom to do with them in the basement and I worked on some sewing projects until my midwife came at 12:00. Connie found I was at dilated to a 6 but contractions were still almost 15 minutes apart! Finally, we (Leif and I) decided to get down to business and he was born at 2:58 on a beautiful fall day. Yay!!! I think I hear him trying to wake up now, so I'll end this ramble and go feed my little man. :-)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sweet Respite

A wonderful neighbor of ours invited us to come swim in their natural hot water pool last night because she said when she saw me at church I was looking very uncomfortable. (She certainly read me right!) It was such a beautiful night and the warm water and bouyant feeling was such a relief to my aching bones. I actually felt good for about a half hour afterwards. So if I just go dip in their pool every hour or so......I'll get nothing done, but boy I'll feel great! (wouldn't a water birth in a pool like this be so awesome?)

Doesn't their pool have the prettiest view of the river and the canyon walls? It was so lovely.