Friday, December 13, 2013

Nativity set

Another Christmas present (almost) finished! We don't have a nativity set, so I looked at different make-your-own ideas, and then made mine a little different than any I saw. I didn't use a pattern or anything. It is in a shoebox (which I need to cover), so it can be closed up and stored easily. All the pieces can be moved, and the puffballs help stand up any of the pieces on the tan part. I finished working on it around 11:30 last night and didn't feel ambitious enough to make camels. Those, gifts, other animals, etc., can be saved for next year - so here it is!!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pirate parrot!

This little guy isn't quite perfectly how I imagined, but I like him. I put a clothespin inside so that the kids can make him perch on things!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Yay for accomplishments!

Finished sewing and stuffing Kate's name letters!! Yay! Looking at etsy, people charge $5 per letter for simple stuffed felt letters, or more for ones with details. I might consider trying to make money with them someday, but I have plenty of my own projects in mind first!

I have started baking, which is exciting! Started with pizza, and made three loaves of delicious French bread last night! Feeling good about that. My next thing is crocheting storage baskets out of plarn...maybe. We will see if I follow through with that plan.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Name letters

Here is a pic of all of them and then close-ups of my two favorites. They are now ready for sewing together/stuffing/adding hanging loops. Getting excited!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Baby's name letters

Working on Katie-pie's name letters!! They will be for her birthday. The boys are jealous cuz hers aren't just plain colors like theirs - hers have flowers and all sorts of cute stuff on them! Maybe I will post pictures if anyone is interested. Have to take some first!

With the exception of stockings and a Santa gift or two each, we are having a homemade Christmas this year! I have tons of ideas - thank you pinterest! Really excited about it :c)

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Ok this is getting really personal, but i feel like this is where i want to share this experience. I struggle with prayer - with remembering to pray, with having a desire to pray, with seeking comfort through prayer. With all we've been going through with baby, i could have found great solace in prayer, but i haven't. I have a strong belief or testimony in the power of prayer, in the reality of that communication between us and God. I really do. I could teach a lesson on it at church, give a talk about it if asked (which i probably will be because i agreed today to speak in 2 weeks, but the bishop will call back with the topic), but I have felt for a long time like i fail at actually doing it - actually praying. Tonight our basement is very quiet - just me and the baby. Nathan and the boys are in the tent in the backyard, and have been asleep for hours now. Before getting in bed, i felt compelled to get on my knees and pray, which i honestly don't do often. I wish i did... Anyway, i thanked God for a few things and asked for a few things, but one thing felt like it was maybe life-changing. Time will tell, but it feels that way tonight. I prayed fervently (a kind of extreme word, but fitting) for a desire to pray. I know God can help me with that - i have great faith that He can. I prayed for that and then that He could help me to know that this isn't a personal failing, and then BAM! Those words, with love and power and great emotion ran over and over in my mind until i started to cry. It isn't a personal failing. It ISN'T a personal failing. IT ISN'T A PERSONAL FAILING. God never sends us guilt. We may suffer consequences of things we do, but He doesn't ever fill us with guilt - that is fully our own or the adversary's doing. The Screwtape Letters ring very true to me at times like this. I have a solid faith and testimony about many things - most all of the things i profess to believe have stood unwavering since i came to believe them, but i always think, "But I suck at prayer." Would my Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ EVER say something like that? No. Would any loving follower of Christ? No. Or probly pretty much anyone, no matter their thoughts on prayer. Prayer does not change God's mind. He doesn't NEED to hear it - or even need us to do it. It makes our lives more peaceful, helps us navigate, and helps us lose ourselves and think of others. It is not a competition or a skill on some rubric. God knows our hearts, but WE don't always. Prayer helps us to know our hearts. It opens us up to divine communication, to joy, to peace, to comfort, and my life is less without it. But I (since i is already usually capital, it is hard to emphasize, but read that "I" with great emphasis) am not less without it. No one is. But it helps. Prayer is a gift and a blessing. A commandment in a way - Christ told us to pray always, and how to pray, but not praying is certainly not a sin. It is just harder, maybe less hopeful or less joyful, to go through life without it. That is where I am at. I don't know who all i just shared this with, but any thoughts you have would help and strengthen me. Lots of love in my heart right now.

Monday, May 27, 2013


My sweet baby Kate had her surgery this last Wednesday, and 5 days post recovery she is doing amazing! It was so so stressful waiting...the waiting was the worst. 

I think waiting before they took her in, carrying her around in the tiny hospital gown with baby tigers on it, watching her kick her precious feet on the giant bed she'd lie in during surgery...trying to keep it together. That was so hard. We spent the night with friends in Spokane, and were supposed to be at the hospital at 5:30. They took her in at 7:30, and we got to see her around 10:00. They had a really hard time getting an iv in her, probably from dehydration. When we took the appliance out for the last time on Monday morning, she had a REALLY rough time figuring out how to drink from her bottle again. 

So because of that, she really was very dehydrated by Wednesday morning. So Dr. Husein started the surgery at 8:05, and finished just before 10:00. He said it went perfectly - was just a textbook case and he was really proud of it. 

When we finally got to the recovery room and saw her, i was immediately relieved and happy with how her lip looked, as i had been worried about how well he would do. But so much more than that, i was just so glad to hold my baby again. 

There was a lot of blood in her mouth, and she got super puffy from iv fluids, but after a couple of days, the swelling all went down and she was back to her happy bright-eyed self. 

Her black sutures come out on June 4th - the same day as Joshy's kindergarten graduation. I look forward to seeing her new smile even better then. She was beautiful before and she is beautiful now. I love this sweet princess.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Getting close

Only a few days away from surgery now. Evelyn got here today, which made it feel a lot more real that the surgery is coming up soon. I love my sweet baby so much and sometimes it is really hard to think about her being cut and stitched, bleeding and swollen, having to have her arms restrained when every waking minute (almost) these days she has her little thumb in her mouth... It will be hard.

In other news, Joshy has his first school play tomorrow! I am excited!!

Monday, May 13, 2013


Being in Lafayette with all the siblings last week was so much fun and made me really miss them and having friends. The friendships we've made here kinda feel like they aren't "sticking" or something. I dunno. Had a great bbq dinner with Mom and Dad last night - that was very fun. Baby seemed like she thought crying all night was the best plan!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers Day

I think Mothers Day is more meaningful to me on the years when i have a little baby. In 2007 and 2009, the boys were not even 2 months old, and this year my little Katie pie is less than 6 months old, and still so little. I was thinking about why it feels more meaningful these baby years, and I think it is because my focus is SO intent on this tiny creature that nearly my whole identity is tuned in to my role as a mother. Granted, I was managing apartments in the two other years, but my main focus was still feeding, changing, and getting baby to sleep. I adore my sweet baby and my sweet boys, and I am so blessed to be a mother. It is tiring and frustrating and suffocating at times - I remember that for months after Joshy was born, I could not get it through my head that life wouldn't just "go back to normal" after a little while. Life was never the same and I really mourned my independence for awhile. Now I know that we will have time to ourselves again in 18 or 20 years, and while that seems so far away now, I have heard from so many people that it goes so much faster than you expect. I love my children so much. While each new stage with Joshua brings up so much confusion and fear of doing the wrong thing, I recognize what an amazing little guy he is, and know we must be doing something right in our parenting.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Our visit

Well, let's see! We were really happy to go to the temple with Clarissa and Jason - it was great to see them both looking so happy, knowing they were giving their marriage the best start there is. They also had a nice laid back open house, and it was fun to spend some time with them on their wedding weekend.

We also spent time with Eric (who met baby Kate for the first time), Tawnia, Emily, and Mindy (and sweet Aria, too!). Of course we enjoyed lots of fun with Grandma and Grandpa Palmer as well.

We did lots of chatting and laughing, some games, cooking, playing outside, and baby admiring. I also had a great visit with Molly - a dear friend from Salem, who drove up to see us (well, mostly just to see baby...). The guys went on a hike in the Gorge, and us girls focused on the newest excitement - Emily's upcoming wedding!!

Aaron (who is awesome, by the way, and everyone approves. Good work, Emily!) proposed to Emily that Friday, and they are getting married on July 27th, so back we will be in a few months. Went dress shopping and enjoyed Emily's non-stop contagious grin that was rarely off her face from the moment she said yes!

Fun times...the timing belt on the van needed replacing, which added two days and $900 to the trip, but oh well.

My favorite parts were an EPIC (are you reading this, my dear? That was just for you) game of Apples to Apples, and seeing Emily in The Dress.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Home again!

It is always nice to come home, and this is the first time in about 10 years (31 years for Nathan) that returning home meant LEAVING Oregon. That was pretty weird. We couldn't get over how beautifully green it was during our visit...and all the many shades of green. And the rivers and streams! I am guessing that we may eventually end up in Oregon again, but the feeling may fade as we come to appreciate more the beautiful place we live. We are so grateful Nathan has a job, and how generous my parents are to let us live here with them. I am happy here, especially as it gets warmer and we can go outside more. I am still in love with Oregon, though, so someday we may be together again. We will be back at the end of July for Emily's wedding, and had already been planning a trip in August. The boys and I may stay there for the couple weeks between the two trips. We are still sorting that out. It was a very fun visit, and I can write more about it soon!

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Can't believe we are leaving tomorrow morning!!! So much to pack - kinda a lame post, but oh well. So excited!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I hate how I tend to assume that babies won't catch any sicknesses from the people who love them so very is just public places like church or the doctor's office that they will pick something up. Well my sweet baby had a rough time sleeping last night cuz of a pretty yucky cough. I hope so much she can get over it lightning quick and be ok for our trip to Oregon. Poor baby.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sleep deprivation

I think baby may be going through a growth spurt, cuz she IS capable of sleeping for 6 hour stretches, but she doesn't anymore! I am so tired!!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

My children

Things I am proud of my kids for:

His Lego-building abilities - he was putting together big Star Wars ships by himself before he even turned 4, and soon after, he built Toy Story robots or Star Wars sets, just from picturing them and using pieces we already had.

His math skills - he can do math in his head that most of us counted on our fingers for many years after Kindergarten. Also, math games are his favorite thing at school.

His imagination - he comes up with very complex plots for movies and just while playing, and I believe he just may make a movie some day like he says he plans to.

His singing and musical understanding - before he could even talk, he could hum on key. He has very close to perfect, if not perfect, pitch, and has picked up quickly all the lessons that are taught in song form at school.

His cuddliness and sweetness to his baby sister. Henry is very sensitive and loving, and always wants to give hugs and kisses. He also tells me he loves me many times a day.

His throwing and catching ability - he has been great at those skills from a very early age.

His ability to navigate through technological things like games on the iPhone - being patient with trial and error since he can't read the options yet.

His coordination with games on the wii fit and willingness to learn and try to master difficult things on there.

His deep thinking about theological or similarly complicated existential questions.

His amazing imagination - for many months he spent each day as one or more real or fictional characters or animals - taking on their mannerisms and unique attitudes. When he became a big brother, though, he stopped doing that nearly as often.

Her strength and courage through all the difficult stuff.

Her charmingness and how she makes everyone she meets adore her.

Her happiness and sense of humor - how she laughs at us and her brothers and everyone else.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Up-coming activities!

I am really looking forward to this coming weekend! Friday morning, we will drive to McMinnville, Oregon, and stay until Tuesday morning! We are going down to celebrate Clarissa and Jason's wedding, and it will be a lot of fun. Eric, Tawnia, Emily, Mindy, and baby Aria will also be there, so it will be a fun reunion! On Monday, we will go hiking to Silver Creek Falls, which should be a lot of fun, too. I really miss Oregon, and while the long car trip won't be super fun, I am definitely excited about the destination!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

My next 30 years

So some early thoughts about my next 30 years...
I would like to be more confident...not letting fear of the unknown stall me or possible negative circumstances stop me. By this, I mean things like adventures with the kids, mostly...not getting caught up in what stressful stuff could happen.

I would like to be more active - getting outdoors, getting in shape, learning a new skill perhaps...but being active.

I want to prepare my three precious critters for real life - help them to know how to do the things they will need to know when they move out.

I would like to be smart with our finances, and think carefully about the decisions we make.

In 30 years, my baby girl will be 30. I want to enjoy the time after the kids move travel and have fun, so I want to keep myself healthy so that will happen easily.

I want to not complain so much or be so negative. I want to count my many blessings so much more often than i complain about my routine challenges.

Well that is all for now!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Baby Katie-pie's first months

Before sweet baby Katherine was born, we were very worried about her having a cleft lip and palate. My biggest worry, which every parent with experience told me NOT to worry about, was that I would look at my baby with some degree of disgust or discomfort. While of course her lip was quite noticeable, she was and is still my precious beautiful cuddly warm baby. You just can't quite help but feel that way about your own child!!

The first 6 weeks were rough cuz she had a very hard time gaining weight, and then from 2 months until now (close to 5 months), she has had to wear the NAM appliance. She will have it for a little less than one more month. Lip surgery will be on May 22nd!