Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Hoping I can slay my own personal dragons and wishing all a Happy Michaelmas. What a gorgeous day it was today! 75 degrees and heavenly.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Beautiful Autumn Day

We had the most beautiful autumn day. The Rices came to visit because Eric was actually building us a new gate and Brieanne was determined to teach me to knit! I think she brought autumn to us with this GORGEOUS yarn with it's beautiful reds and greens. After our breakfast together, she gave me my lesson and then taught Bella to finger knit and Olivia to cast on. Both girls did it for almost the rest of the day! Even I caught on in my lesson for the first time (I've had some previous lessons with other friends and even my grandma.) It felt so good to be finally catching on!

After lunch, I took Brieanne to see her friend and I went to our local Waldorf School to buy a candle snuffer--it was really fun to go to the Wishing Well because they have the the most beautiful toys and art supplies.

When we got home, our children had a blast being together. This usually includes LOTS of dress-up and dancing. I loved how Olivia made Ceci a "bride" and then Ceci and Ethan danced a lot together. We have a really cute new fairy music CD.

We made a delicious roast and mashed potatoes for dinner. Brieanne brought more of autumn to us by making a DELICIOUS apple crisp. It smelled so good and felt so appropriate for the harvest season. YUM!

After they had to leave, I did a few more rows. I know there are a lot of mistakes, but at least I'm finally getting it!! Yay!! I am so excited. Thank you, Brieanne!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Autumn Equinox!!

I LOVE celebrating the seasons. And we especially LOVE celebrating autumn and harvest time. We are so ready for cooler weather and the changing of the colors.


it was 103 degrees today!! And we were so busy with the girls first day of girl scouts and then Bella's first day of activity days that it left little time for celebrating fall!

We are looking forward to future days of celebrating, including Michaelmas which is next week! Wishing all a happy autumn.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Visit from our Aussie friends!

We were super-blessed this past weekend to be visited by our friends, Joseph and Cathy Dean all the way from AUSTRALIA!! Craig and Cathy served together on their missions in Paraguay in the 80's and have remained good friends ever since. She has visited Craig a couple times over the years, but this was my first time meeting her. I must admit, I was a little nervous to hostess people I'd never met before, but now that they are gone, I miss them and feel like they are as dear as family to me!!

They came Friday, the 18th and stayed through till this afternoon. We had SO MUCH fun with them!! On Friday, we just relaxed and got to know each other--they were very tired from their long plane ride and the time difference. They brought us BEAUTIFUL opals--me, earrings, Craig, a paper weight, and the girls each a pin-- a kangaroo, a koala, and the shape of Australia. We loved them! The next day, after breakfast, we drove around San Marino and Pasadena and then went into Eagle Rock where we spontaneously decided to have lunch at Ernie, Jr.'s. Then, we went to Hollywood to the Chinese Theater to see all the hand and footprints of the stars followed by a drive down Rodeo Drive.

We then went to the temple because it was our stake temple night!! There was even child care provided for my kids! It was soooooo nice to be at the Temple with the Deans and then to also see many friends from our ward and stake.

After our session, we took them to get the best Sundaes in LA-- from Twohey's in Alhambra. This was when the COOLEST moment of their visit occurred!! We were discussing our favorite (or not-so-favorite) Australian bands such as: INXS, The Church, Midnight Oil, (don't like them) AC/DC, (mixed feelings) the BeeGee's, the Little River Band, and John Farnham when suddenly, the song Down Under came on! It was seriously sooooooooooooo serendipitous!!!! We were totally laughing and blown away. We hadn't even thought of Men at Work yet and the song is actually about Australia! (They are also probably my favorite of all these bands!!) I now will never hear that song again without thinking of my sweet Cathy and Joseph.

The next day, we all went to church together and I got to brag about my friends all the way from Australia. Then we came home and hung around the house together. We then went to the Muhlesteins for dinner! Cathy met Ladell at the temple and it turned out they had a mutual Kiwi friend who is now in the Dean's ward! (Small mormon world!)

If you can believe it, today Cathy and Joseph did school with the girls! They had come prepared with maps of Australia and they mapped out all the differents regions of the country together. Then, we learned about Aboriginal painting and learned how to do it!! It was a challenge for the girls, but they did a great job. Cathy and Joseph are amazing teachers. It was SOOOOO MUCH fun! I will post more pictures later, when I find my camera that I discovered to be missing during this lesson! They also brought us boomerangs to paint that we did not get to, but hopefully will soon.

I think the best thing about Joseph and Cathy is that they fit right in with us. They didn't come just to stay at our house, they came to be with us, to get to know us. They loved our girls and treated them very kindly. Cathy did the girls hair every day. Joseph would help buckle them in their seats and help put their shoes on. It was really, really, sweet. Their children are 13-21 now so I guess they kinda miss the little stage. They were just the kind of guests you'd like to have. They even brought us CHOCOLATE!! What more could you ask? After they left, I felt really mopey. I hope we'll stay in good touch!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Constitution Day!!

Today we celebrated "Constitution Day." 222 years ago today, our Constitution was established.

We started our lesson by reading the scriptures in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 101:77-80 that talk about how the Lord established the Constitution through righteous men.

"According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;
That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.
Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.
And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose . . ."

We talked about how God gave us rules with the commandments, how in our home we have rules, and how our country has to have rules. I explained how all of these commandments, rules, and laws are to keep us safe and free and gave lots of examples!

I then very briefly explained the three branches of our government.

I showed them a copy of the Constitution and then they made their own Constitutions and signed their names on them. They loved trying to make the paper look old and rolling them like a scroll. They also wrote short essays on why they are grateful for the constitution.

We then watched some Schoolhouse Rock videos on youtube "The Preamble," "Three-Ring Government" and just for fun "No More Kings." It was a fun lesson today and it left me feeling very grateful for our country, our freedom and our Constitution.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I met Mark McAffee!!

He is the owner of Organic Pastures where we get our perfect, delicious, clean, organic, grass-fed cows milk! We went to a wonderful lecture that he gave tonight and I wish the whole world were drinking this kind of milk! The way nature intended!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Mini-Bake Oven!!

If you know me well, you know I'm not into electric toys and especially not into junky food! But yesterday, my girls' dreams came true! We bought a mini-bake oven. The girls have asked for one for years while instead they've gotten home-made dolls, and wooden toys.

Yesterday, we went shopping at the Salvation Army around the corner, and there we found our mini-bake oven. It had all the pieces including some brownie and cookie mixes inside. And it was only $8.50! How could I say no to those cute pleading faces?? I broke down and got it. And can you believe when I was rung up it had been reduced to only $4.25? So cool!!

So today, after church, we had to get baking. We made peanut butter blondies and some chocolate chip cookies. We made it into a milk "tea party" and it was really fun. My girls were in heaven and now I'm just hoping we can bake something somewhat healthy in this little oven. I'll keep you posted.

PS I can't believe the other awesome deals we got at the Salvation Army! It was buy one, get one free on clothes-- I got a new denim skirt and a new pair of jeans for only $6! I got Bella 2 new pairs of jeans for $1.85! I'm somewhat new to thrifting, but I'm LOVING it! We gotta do this more often!! I wish you could have seen us walking home with our mountain of stuff piled into our stroller and Lala running holding the mini-bake oven!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

8 oz. Burger Bar

Craig and I had dinner here last night because we heard their meat is organic and grass-fed. We were not disappointed. It was fun to go to Hollywood, (on Melrose!) it was crowded and the music was loud but at least it was Neil Young (Southern Man,) Blondie, (Rapture) and NewOrder, (Blue Monday) for example. The burger was HUGE! (8 oz!!!) The meat was DELICIOUS, a combination of black angus sirlion, short rib and chuck. They also had great fries and onion rings. I highly recommend this place-- go support grass-fed beef! We had a lot of fun and really needed a night out. Craig's year at school has been really tough and home schooling isn't too easy either! We need some fun moments for sure.

Nursing her baby!

This just makes me feel like I must be doing something right!! :)

Monday, September 7, 2009


Happy Labor Day!!

Today we labored by cleaning our house a lot and doing yard work. Then, for a reward, we all went to see this new, really cute Miyazaki movie. Our girls loved it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Getting our piano cleaned and tuned

Isabella and Olivia are going to be starting piano lessons in our home!! It is something we are using our charter school funds on and we are so excited!

So today a gentleman came to our home to clean and tune our piano. He took the thing completely apart and let the girls be a part of the entire process. It was so interesting to see our piano in pieces!! It was really fun watching him tune each string and see that each key is connected to a string.

Our piano looks and sounds awesome now. Tomorrow we start our lessons!

Lala's first lost tooth!!

Well, it's been wiggly for a few weeks now, and it finally came out last night! So exciting for my little six-year-old! She made a envelope with her tooth inside for the tooth fairy and put it under her pillow. The next morning, I woke up with Lala in my bed! So when she checked under her pillow on her bed, she found nothing. That clever, (but sometimes forgetful) tooth fairy put the dollar under MY pillow!! Lala was soooooo happy! And I'm lucky she came to my bed last night.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Homemade Butter!

Today we spontaneously made some butter! We were eating breakfast, and I poured some cream on our oatmeal. I was explaining to the girls that cream is the fatter part of the milk that rises to the top and that butter is made from cream, and next thing we knew we were shaking our cream into butter. The process is really fascinating! The cream goes from really thick and creamy to suddenly a big yellow clump in a matter of moments. You have to pour off the excess and then you have . . . butter! We added a bit of salt and later put it on some corn. YUM!!! By the way, the cream we used is raw (uncooked, nutrients intact) from Organic Pastures.