Monday, December 01, 2008

Hereby resolved

I will never again attempt to put children 3 and under unsupervised at their own table for Thanksgiving dinner. It doesn't work.

I will buy Christmas lights at the dollar store. Lights that went into storage working properly will most certainly not work when they are taken out of storage. If they only last a year anyway, I might as well buy the cheap ones.

I will wear good walking shoes the next time I go to the mall the day after Thanksgiving.

I will test out the annoying-ness of any electronic, noise-making toy I am buying for my child before I give it to them and go insane.

I will triple-check the addresses on packages I am sending.

I will not attempt to make stroganoff in my pressure-cooker. Subsequently, I will not encourage my husband to taste an atrocity resulting from such an attempt.

I will not ignorantly uninstall the CD drive from my computer.

I will not leave a pound of ground turkey in the trunk of my car.

When I give my child a special stuffed friend intended to be a life-long comfort object, I will get an extra one as a spare.

I will not consume an entire Cold Stone milkshake when I already have a stomachache.

I will not spill an entire pitcher of ice-cold water all over the kitchen floor and my bare feet.

What have you learned (the hard way) lately?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

In case you didn't know

My hair is darker again. Much darker. See for yourself.

Everyone seems to be pretty surprised that it is so too. But Chris likes it and it is growing on me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Year of the Wreath

I'm not an interior designer. We've lived here two years and we don't have a single frame or decoration in our entire bedroom. The frames and decorations I do have up around the house are super simple and who knows if I even have them up aesthetically, if they are centered, or at the right height.

Ever since we got married and I had a house to take care of and attempt to decorate, I've wanted to have a wreath on my front door. You may think it sounds kind of cheesy, but I really like the idea of having a beautiful, seasonal wreath for every time of year. And for six years I've wanted and thought about but never had my "wreath rotation"--maybe because I didn't have a house worthy of decorating, or perhaps because I couldn't afford the one that I envisioned. I've even pictured my storage room with off-season wreaths mounted on every wall. One year I tried making my own Christmas wreath with a la carte plastic greens and berries on some craft wire (probably costing less than $5 total)--it was really pathetic looking, a sorry excuse for a wreath, and sadly I kept it around for several years, finally throwing it out today.

At some point in time I subconsciously deemed this year as "The Year of the Wreath." I decided that since we finally had a non-impoverished income, a beautiful home, and a nest of kids, that makes us worthy of finally having a wreath for every season. And it contributes even more to that sense of "home" that is so cozy and not at all temporary. 'Cuz hey, we've lived in Provo for six years and we're finally having Christmas at the same address two years in a row--that's gotta mean something.

A Change of Decor
Here's the before and after. Last month I decorated my one surface inside the house, putting out a fall garland I got last year on clearance after the fact, and my first-ever Wreath!

Then today I finally got my Christmas Wreath! I really wanted the one with large poinsettias, several colored ribbons and cute little snowmen dangling from it, but that one was $130.

I decided to just spruce up a cheaper wreath and make it just as cute. Thanks to 30-60% off sales at Roberts, for $35 I got a wreath, some shape-able ribbon and some cute little ornaments to hang on it. I also got two sparkly wooden greetings for about $10 each--they are cute and trendy and having them makes me feel like I, too, can be on board with in-style decor even though I may be stylishly imcompetent otherwise. And on my "mantle" I cheated by turning our speakers sideways and draping blue fabric over them (hehehe). Oh, and I'm so glad I have a three-year old style guru who was able to help me pick out the right things (she picked out the bell all by herself). I think the wreath and my TV-top display both turned out really fun and classy. I'm so excited to finally have my Christmas Wreath!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yeah, it's that kind of day

The first thing I did this morning was reverse the doorknob on my daughter's bedroom door so that it locks on the outside.

Yeah. Tantrums. They're great.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Girl Who Cried "Potty"

Scenario 1:

1. Situate yourself with a baby, a new diaper, and a container of wipes.
2. Remove child's soiled diaper, clean his behind, replace with clean diaper.
3. Discard soiled diaper. Replace clothing.
4. Wash hands thoroughly.

Scenario 2:

1. Remind child to go potty every 30 minutes, before every meal, outing, and at least three times before bed.
2. Help her remove pants and sit on potty.
3. Return 5 minutes later, cheer for joy, clean her behind.
4. Flush, replace clothing.
5. Wash two sets of hands thoroughly.
(I highly prefer this method)

Scenario 3:

1. Hear "Oh, NO! I went potty!"
2. Observe puddle of pee accumulate (in slow motion) on the floor, on the kitchen chair, and on the carpet.
3. Find something to soak it up with. Strip soiled clothing off of child.
4. Take child up to tub and scrub her down.
5. Dry her off and dress her in clean, dry clothes.
6. Clean up mess on kitchen floor: Soak up pee and sanitize surfaces. Scrub cloth kitchen chair.
7. Pile up all the nasty clothes and towels and cleaning rags, start a load of laundry.
8. Wash hands thoroughly.
9. Give child a big hug and tell her you love her anyway.
10. Reheat lunch and finish eating.
11. Repeat again 2 hours later.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas Card Stamp-A-Stack

Come on, you know you want to.

In order to avoid being annoyingly patronizing, I'll spare you the details. If you're interested, click the "RSVP" link in the top right corner of my blog. You can also just order the ready-made cards from me for $2 each.

Don't forget about my Demonstrator Website.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Making History

Guest post by Frank Sorenson, aka SuperGrandpa

On Tuesday night, when we realized that the Obama campaign was planning a post-election rally in Chicago, we decided that we wanted to be there when history was made. I have been fighting a cold, but I agreed to go down to Chicago with Ellen. We stuffed pbj sandwiches into a backpack and jumped on a train to the city.

To get into the restricted seating area where the speeches would be given required admission tickets, but we knew that the park is a big place and we wanted to be there to participate in the event. People were streaming into the park, where there were several 40-foot-wide tv monitors showing election results as they came in. The crowd was enormous! People of every race, age and economic status were there (but probably not every political party). We were fortunate to have one of those very rare Indian summer days where the temperature was in the 60s—it could have been 25 with sleet.

The gathering was the best of the USA : a beautiful city, a peaceful, multicultural crowd enjoying the basic right to peacefully assemble, and the evidence of a fair election (no killings, no kidnappings, no stolen ballot boxes, etc.). Though crowded, the 200,000 or so people present all seemed to be happy to gather together to celebrate the successful election of the first Black to the US presidency.

When I was a young adult, water fountains, bathrooms, and even restaurants were segregated in many areas of the south. Many jobs were not available to blacks (in the south and in the north), even though they may have had the same qualifications as the whites who got the jobs. Growing up in Utah, I didn’t even know of these inequalities!! It wasn’t until I served in the army, visited the south, and read histories that I understood the latent racism that took so long to die.

This week we had an election where 110+ million people voted without threats or coercion; the outgoing president will not call up the Marines to keep himself in power; nobody will “suspend the constitution” and declare himself a dictator-for-life. The most powerful position in the world will be changed peacefully and smoothly because the entire nation is run by laws and proper procedures. And the new president will be a black man! We have truly come a long way from the days of Jim Crow.

We cheered as projections came on the big screen. We tried to position ourselves so we could see the screen nearest us, but it was difficult because of the enormous crowd. We needed to catch a 10:40 pm train back to Naperville, and stayed as long as we dared. We had left the park and were on Michigan Avenue when word came that McCain was going to concede defeat. We could tell something had happened because of the roar of the crowd. Where we were, there were 200 people entering the park for every 1 person leaving! Cars were honking, people were cheering, and everyone was a friend to everyone. Most blacks admit they NEVER thought it would be possible for a black to be elected.

So, while we were not able to shake hands with the president-elect, at least we can say we were there on the night history was made.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Walking baby, jealous toddler

Trust me, this is worth 68 seconds of your time. Not only do you get to see Samuel attempt his first steps (which he did accomplish after the memory card was full), but you can see me completely ignore Leah. She's a smart girl.

Luck of Late

I'm becoming increasingly familiar with the Allstate Insurance claims process. I had that ridiculous car accident in August and was thoroughly humbled to be a more cautious driver. (And even though I should probably avoid Target based on Leah's stitches and my parking lot crunch, I still continue to go there--is that asking for trouble?)

Well, not only did we seriously loose the remote control several weeks ago, forcing us to actually decide what we want to watch before sitting down, I've now misplaced my keys and already managed to get locked out once.

And the clincher, last week one of our bikes got stolen!

It was the one I won in a drawing back in 2004. And this summer we bought a second one just like it so we could go on bike rides together. Here's the strangest part of this all: We had two bikes hanging upside down in our carport, with a car parked underneath them. They were both locked. The perpetrator cut the cable on the older bike and took it and didn't even attempt cutting the cable of the newer, nicer bike (fortunately!). So how do you cut a cable and maneuver a bike down from the rafters with a car parked underneath it? Do people that do this kind of thing seriously have no conscience whatsoever?

Chris had been riding it to work every day and we were only filling up the gas tank twice a month, but with a $250 deductible, we can't exactly buy a brand new bike.

Any brilliant ideas of where to find our bike, my keys, or the remote? (And it's not in the couch) Maybe we'll find them all together with a stash of lonely socks. That's my bad luck. Oh, and I have a stomach bug this week.

At least Obama won--that's something to smile about. :)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Candy Coma

What do you get when Cruella DeVille and the Phantom of the Opera reproduce? A round-baby-faced Dalmatian and a genuine cowgirl!

Leah had two Reese's peanut butter cups and got a tummy ache before we even left home. Of course, she had refused to take a nap earlier in the day, so when it was finally time to go trick-or-treating, she wanted to lie down and rest. But once the first costumed kids came by and she could see how the system worked, she was ready to get going. Unfortunately, she wanted to eat every piece of candy as it was deposited into her pumpkin, a practice we obviously had to stop before it got started.

This year I made my Cruella coat, Leah's vest, chaps, and arm/sleeve thingies (without a pattern, thank you very much!), and Chris's cape and vest. I got Samuel's costume at Walmart for $8. You can't really see it in the picture, but Chris is wearing a wig, and it looks pretty good! He got an award at his office Halloween party for the most elaborate costume. Go Phantom!

After the neighborhood trick-or-treat, we ventured over to the church for our ward's annual chili cook-off, party, and trunk or treat. It was a blast. Halfway through the meal Samuel pulled an entire bowl of chili onto my lap which included Chris's phantom cape, my dress, and my Cruella coat. Ugh. It was really messy. Oh well, I guess I'm washable. Speaking of washing, my hair was so tangly that I had to cut the hair ties out, it took four shampoos to get all the paint out, and two conditionings to get the majority of the tangles out. Then my shower enclosure looked like Psycho meets blender. Greaaat.

Okay, here are some awesome pictures. It is 2:24am. I am much less coherent at this hour than at day-light hours, although sometimes I'm not entirely coherent then, either. Actually, thanks to daylight savings time, I think it is really only 1:24...again. Either way, I think it's too late/early to be blogging. I better hit the sack. Enjoy!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Party Hearty Stamp-A-Stack

For just $1 a card, I had neighbors and friends over for some card-making fun. Here are the cards we made, all with just one stamp set, Party Hearty. Come on, you know you want to, too!

Colors: Chocolate chip, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White
Accessories: 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, dazzling diamonds stampin' glitter (LOVE the glitter!), 2-way glue pen, dimensionals

Colors: Pumpkin Pie, Real Red
Accessories: Pumpkin Pie striped grosgrain ribbon, glitter, stamp-a-ma-jig

I love the use of white space on this card! So clean and simple, and yet still fun and vibrant!

Colors: Bashful Blue, Basic Gray (the only non-alliterative color name in the catalog!), Kiwi Kiss, Tangerine Tango textured cardstock, Whisper White craft ink
Accessories: Bella Rose Designer Series Paper, 1/16" handheld punch, metal brads, dimensionals, 3/4" circle punch (oops-the punched circle isn't pictured on this one)

All stamped images are (c) Stampin' Up! 1990-2008.

Wait--Did you say something about a sale?

Birthday and celebration sets are 20% off this month with a $20 purchase, part of Stampin' Up!'s 20th anniversary celebration! Join the fun! My upcoming card-making events are as follows:

2 for $2 Thursday, November 6
2pm or 7pm

We'll be making a thank-you card featuring the set "Simply said" as well as a birthday/celebration card featuring the Simply Sent card design "Rock Star." Experience the ease and affordability of Stampin' Up!'s card kits!

Christmas Card Stamp-A-Stack Thursday, November 20
2pm and 7pm

Make as many cards as you need from 3 different designs--or make some of each! Cards are $1 each. Please bring your own adhesive. We'll be using the set "Wishing you Cheer" found on page 37 of the Idea Book & Catalog. Ask me what supplies you need to make these cards at home!

Email me today to RSVP! Also, don't forget to check out my demonstrator website! There is a secret code word located on one of my demonstrator website pages--mention the code word while placing an order and you'll receive a free Stampin' Write marker!

Can't come to my events but want to BUY the cards from me ready-made? Shoot me an email at jennyfosdickATgmailDOTcom and we'll decide on a price! I can even make custom cards for you!

Plus, right now I have 6 fancy little envelopes sitting on my table with BIG surprises inside. "Book 2 Look" inside and see what you will receive as a workshop hostess!'re still here? Shouldn't you be calling me right now in your excitement to make cards and hostess a workshop?!?!?!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Folly of Youth: Why Ignorance is NOT Bliss

Okay, here is just one example.

When we were newlyweds living in a BYU married student ward (with so few children that there was no Primary or Nursery), I had the opportunity to babysit a little boy. We'll call him Chip. He was younger than my Samuel is now, so about 8 months old, and if I remember correctly, he didn't have any teeth yet.

Well this is what I was given to feed Chip during my 2 hour babysitting stint: a banana and some rice cereal (no big deal).

And a tuna sandwich.

Did I mention that this little boy had no teeth?

Being a childless and ignorant 20 year old, I had no idea what to feed a baby, nor did I have a box of Cheerios stashed away at the back of the cabinet. But I could tell that a tuna sandwich was an unusual menu item. I could also tell that Chip was not happy. He tried and tried to eat that tuna sandwich, gumming it for 30 minutes until he had finally eaten half of it. Based on his determination and long suffering, I'm comfortable assuming that this was not the first time he had been given a tuna sandwich. But boy, was he grumpy about it.

Chris had been present when Chip was dropped off by his mom, and was witness to my sheer excitement at having a "trial run" at the baby business. He stopped back in briefly after an hour and found me, most likely in tears, rocking and bouncing and swooping the little guy to get him to stop crying and go to sleep (since he had already eaten his tuna sandwich). By the end of my 2-hours when Chip had gone home, Chris came home again only to find me fast asleep on the couch, completely exhausted. He decidedly announced that we weren't having any babies yet, and teased me for my naive longing for a baby of my own.

Ah, the advantage of hindsight. That day I was just as clueless as Chip's mom. Poor baby. Poor mom. At least I could tell that he was not happy with a tuna sandwich for lunch.

In case you are wondering, here is a website that gives some good guidelines about what to feed an 8 month old. I don't see any mention of tuna or sandwiches.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Random Question

My favorite regular breakfast of choice is Life cereal with skim milk and a banana sliced into it.

What is your favorite and/or most regular breakfast?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spread thin

Well, the kids are both in bed and it's only a matter of time before one of them bounces, so I'll do this quick. (Man, I'm not looking forward to 1:00 church!)

Here's the lowdown from the past few weeks:
Leah is just about fully potty trained (but how do you really know when you are done?). She has only had one accident in the past two and a half months and usually wakes up with a dry pull-up as well. She has gone two weeks without a binky. Combine that with having a big girl bed, I'd say she's....well, a Big Girl! She recently made her first ever joke. After hearing a car horn from outside, she said, "Horn! On the cob!" Very original!

Samuel is crawling and standing and creeping along the furniture, recently got his third haircut, and has two teeth with two more on the way in (accompanied by a fever and crying and stuffy nose and not sleeping). He eats everything we put in front of him, and other things we try to keep away from him. He has recently learned how to crawl up stairs and consequently how to fall down them.

I've been busy with all my many projects, and for a stay-at-home mom/Relief Society president ironically none of them have been dishes or laundry or cooking or cleaning or president-ing(presiding?). On the contrary, I have been doing lots of stamping (you know you want to!), I finally started scrapbooking our wedding (I got an awesome new photo printer!), and I've been working on Halloween costumes. Yesterday I made a cape for Chris, who will go as The Phantom of the Opera, and I have all but the finishing touches to apply to Leah's "Toy Story" Jesse costume. (Oh, and there are two boys across the street who will be going as Woody and Buzz! I can't wait to get a picture of the whole crew!) I've left plenty of time to create and perfect Cruella DeVille's Dalmatian coat for myself. I think it will be fun. We also attended a very fun and nostalgic dinner this past week with good friends from our old alma-mater and the origin of "Chris&Jenny", SVU!
Chris is taking a break dancing class and getting really good, and he continues to work out one and half or two hours 6 days a week. Oh yeah, he's also working full-time, being a full-time graduate student, and a full-time dad simultaneously.

Snow-capped Timpanogos from our back door. It's only a matter of time until that snow creeps down into our valley! (Chris took this one!)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

After all these years, finally coming out of the closet

They have been hiding in the back of my closet for 3 1/2 years (in which I have moved twice). I just couldn't bring myself to part with them, hoping against hope that someday I could again wear them proudly. I have longingly gazed upon their well-worn seams and subtle wash, even trying them on ocassionally only to be disappointed. At times I feared I would never wear them again.

Today was the day. Yes, you heard me right. I am wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans. Pre-Leah-pregnancy jeans.

And they look dang good.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hereafter a brunette

Yesterday was a blissful and quiet day off. Chris stayed home with the kids, and even ventured off to the duck pond for some stale tortilla-feeding and giddy amuck-running. I, on the other hand, had a relaxing afternoon at the salon where, true to my word and in response to my husband's deepest wishes I transformed into a BRUNETTE! Then Michal and I went to the Conference Center in Salt Lake City where we were priviledged enough to attend the Relief Society General Meeting. It was so great to be in the presence of the Prophet and his apostles and the messages were truly inspiring. Plus, the company was great.

So....what do you think of my hair?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Another shameless plug

Here is my latest project. I got a 15" square magnet board at the craft store. In less than 2 hours, I painted and distressed the frame. Then I took about 1 hour to center and align this vinyl decor greeting, one item from the newest product line from Stampin' Up!: Decor Elements. Each vinyl adhesive element comes in several sizes and colors, and can be applied to walls, frames, glass, metal, and other surfaces. They make an elegant addition to any home. In this case, since I adhered it to a frame, I can use it as a seasonal decoration that I can put up and take down. Other images are versatile enough to be placed on your walls to enjoy the whole year.

Check out all the awesome greetings and images available to decorate your home! Click here to go to my website, then click on "SHOP NOW" in the upper right corner where you will be able to view this new product line. The greeting pictured above, as well as many other new images will be available starting October 1.
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Heartfelt Thanks stationary set

In a determined effort to keep my Stampin' Up! business from dying a slow and painful (and expensive) death, I've revamped my efforts, getting on board with the new catalog, updating my website, scheduling events, and so forth. I got a box of fancy new business cards this week in addition to making this little stationary set which was included in the Wasatch Elementary Fall Festival last night. I donated three stationary sets like the one shown below, each with 6 cards and envelopes and a coordinating memo book. When I left at 6:30, the bidding was at $10, so hooray! Hopefully, they will stick that fancy business card magnet right onto their fridge and give me a call or check out my website.

I'm excited that with a little bit of guts, I've stepped out of my comfort zone in the past few weeks to hand out brochures and invite people to events, and in the process got a workshop for September 30! I am so excited to finally have a hostess again, and I can't wait for my next order to come so I can start preparing my workshop designs. Woot!

Hey--don't you think this stationary set would make a great gift? Give me a call if you want me to custom make you something, or I could even help you get all the supplies so that you can make this yourself!


Stamps: Heartfelt Thanks, Watercolor Joy wheel
Colors: Mellow Moss, Very Vanilla, Rose Red, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: 1 3/8" and 1 1/4" Circle punches, spiral punch, metal eylets, jumbo eylets, crop-a-dile, Very Vanilla 5/8" grosgrain and chocolate chip 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, silver elastic cord, stamp-a-ma-jig

Stamped images (c) Stampin' Up! 1991-2008