Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Tree - Condensed

Since we extricated ourselves from my parent's basement, we've been trying to fit into a new space. One of the first things we knew would have to go is our old Christmas tree. It was over 7 feet tall and wouldn't fit in our new living room with its much shorter ceiling. So we got a new and, as it turns out, much tinier tree. There's a serious difference between a 7+ foot tree and a 4 foot tree.

We had to get a new angel anyway and it gave me the chance to try the "full" ornament style rather than the typical spacey style I've used in years past. Speaking of years past, my previous trees can be seen as follows: 2012, 2011, 2010. Before those years, I had a non-themed decorated tree, which I didn't typically take pictures of. A glimpse of my 2008 tree.

So, here is our condensed tree. This will be our tree for at least the next couple of Christmases. We'll get another big one once we have a taller ceiling. :) Then, this one will become the "kid" tree, filled with child-crafted decorations that can be handled without fear of resulting broken glass.

My normal-sized ornaments seem huge on this tree!

My theme this year is keys.

I got all the keys in a vintage-style key lot on Ebay. There were 150 of them all together, though I only used about 50 for the tree.

This angel ornament is, by far, one of the oldest on the tree. I got it about 20 years ago.

This mouse is Ben's oldest. It must be more than 20 years old, now.

Some year in the future, the keys will be painted white and rehung for another themed tree. After that, they'll go on presents for decorations. I'm also thinking some jewelry might be in order.

We're gearing up for a Christmas that reflects our tree: simple, full and meaningful.

I love the holidays!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Passing on Traditions

I had a vague memory recently that lead to warm remembrances and a desire to share that experience with my children. I never knew what they were called when I was a kid, but I found them on Pinterest or some such just a couple of months ago.


Pomanders can be made in a lot of ways, but at Christmas-time, they're made of oranges and cloves.

Ben and I made things easy for the kids, pre-stringing the ribbon and poking holes for the cloves.

Henry's face... hahah!

Ben's baseball pomander. 
Just behind, you can see my overly-enthusiastic Paperwhites that decided they didn't want to wait for Christmas to bloom!

Audrey was completely focused and finished her pomander all on her own.

Audrey's whispered "ouch... ouch.. ow.. ouch" at every thorny clove brought out my sympathy as well as amusement.

Henry ended up needing help from me, but he was a trooper, anyway.

Patches wanted to know what we were engaged in that could possibly take the attention off of her!

We've strung them up throughout the house. Let's see how long it takes for the aroma to infuse our little abode!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

School Portrait 2013

Life's been a little out of control since we moved, so I have a ton of catching up to do. Now that I've finally sent all the grandparents their copies of Audrey's school picture, I figured it was safe to put it up on the blog. :)

My pretty six-year-old.

She is having a blast in first grade! The first month or so was a bit hairy once she realized she was at school all day, unlike her half days in Kindergarten. It took weeks of talking and comforting, but we finally got her going to school happy and she is learning a lot!

Next year will be strange with both kids gone away to school for part of the day...

More coming soon.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Are you a Valuable Woman - Part 3

This post is long in coming and I apologize for that. If you have not read Part 1 and Part 2, please do and then come back here to continue the discussion.

Before I dive headlong into the Priesthood for women portion, I'd like to talk a little bit about the differences between having questions about your faith/church, blindly following, and outright public opposition to the doctrine of the church. I believe there is a discernible difference here.

Having questions about why things are the way they are is natural. It's simply the way our minds work. To understand things, we have to question them, test them, wrestle with them.

My mother told me several times that I was her "why?" child. While I'm sure this was obnoxious and tiresome to my family at times, I took it as a compliment. I want to understand things. I want to understand more than just things. I want to understand everything! In order to do that, I need to question. Sometimes that question is why... sometimes how... sometimes when.

When I say that I have questions about my faith and church, I don't mean that I am questioning my faith. I don't have doubts about my faith, but doubts about my understanding of it. I was recently struggling with a few doctrinal questions that were deep, eternal and would take another whole blog to tackle. I was distressed enough about them that I wondered if my mortal efforts would be "worth it" if I couldn't attain my prospective eternal goal. I was able to talk my feelings out with my dear sister and was temporarily satisfied with expressing myself to her and venting my worries.

I knew that I had not received a solution that would satisfy me for the long run, but I knew I could revisit it. I was reading an article about the "Ordain Women" movement and found a simple line that hit me like a ton of bricks. Light-filled, inspirational, happiness bricks. Truth Bricks. It was exactly what I needed and I was relieved.

"Never lose faith in the things you know, because of the things you don't know."

There is a lot that I have experienced over the years and the result is that there are things that I know. No one can tell me those things are not true or that they have no value because I know that they are true and they have value to me.

Here are a few blogs I liked on being a Questioning Mormon: here and here.

While knowing is ultimately my goal and, in my opinion, should be everyone's goal, the step before knowing is having faith. There are so many things I didn't know as a child, but I had faith in them. I also had faith that I would one day have the desired knowledge. There are things that I know now, that I could only have faith in before. I know that there are things that I will never know during my time in mortality and now I feel I can be okay with that.

However, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is not a church that promotes blind faith. We are encouraged to "experiment" upon the teachings of the prophets and the scriptures. We are encouraged to find out for ourselves, and not just accept because someone at the pulpit said so. The caveat is that we need to ask a reputable source. And what more reputable source than God, Himself? Can we really receive answers to our questions from Him, the highest source? Yes. We can. I have.

I had my questions in the back of my mind when I attended General Conference in October. I was okay with not having a direct answer, but I went to Conference full of Hope that I would find satisfaction and comfort from the words of those inspired by God. The entire session I attended was amazing (as were all the others, but there is nothing like being there in person). If you have not watched them, watch them.. if you cannot watch them, read them. You can find all of it on

One of the widespread favorite Conference talks from this last October was President Uchtdorf's talk entitled Come, Join With Us. His wonderful, sweet invitation to everyone to find their place in the church was precious to me, but there was one line that seemed, in my mind, to be just for me. (I am sure many others felt the same.)
When he spoke about those people who have doubts, which includes every mortal that has existed on this world... EVER, he said, "Please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." Truth Bricks. All over again. I was smashed into the ground at his words and I was happy to be there. He continued by saying, "We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner..."

It's okay to have questions and wonder about things, but those questions, whether they are answered in this life or the next, should not make you question your faith and beliefs.

Having faith is not the same thing as unquestioningly following. I was about to say that I am not a sheep, but I feel that needs to be explained. I am a sheep in that I am a member of God's fold and that I hearken to the voice of my Shepherd and follow Him, knowing from experience that He will not lead me into dangerous and dark places. As long as I follow my trusted friend, He will lead me home.

I am NOT a sheep in the more euphemistic sense of someone who would follow someone (or the rest of the herd) off a cliff, too dumb to know any better. I think it was Robert Kirby who once said in his usual flippant way that a sheep is just a potato with wool stuck on it. I'm not that kind of sheep. I am not a blind follower.

That being said, I am not the one who is going to shout at God's ordained simply because I don't 100% agree with every solitary word that comes out of their mouths. I understand that they are men and will make mistakes, but I also know that it is not up to me to decide what is a mistake and what is not.

I have to have faith that my leaders will be inspired to do what needs to be done, say what needs to be said and lead my church where God has planned. I may not always understand the why, how or when, but that's where faith comes in to fill in my gaps in understanding. Heavenly Father has a plan and he reveals as much as is needed at any given time and, though that fact may not satisfy my hunger for knowing everything, I know that in His time he will reveal everything.

I remember my mother quoting the Prophet Joseph Smith regarding those who oppose the church doctrinally or otherwise and, though I didn't understand it much at the time, it has stuck with me. President Smith said that those who condemn or question church leadership and the direction they are going, are "in the high road to apostasy." It makes sense to me now. If you think you know more than those ordained by God to lead the Church and you believe them to be in the wrong, how could you possibly continue on in harmony with the Church? Those feelings tend to fester in people and lead them down truly dark paths.

So... have questions. It's okay. The more you question things and apply your mind to trying to understand them, the more you will learn and grow as a person. The more you learn and grow, you'll find you can give more to those around you, building them up and imparting what you've learned to help them grow. Don't get bogged down with thinking about all the things you don't understand. Understanding will come with time, patience and faithful study. You may not get the answers you want today, tomorrow, next year or even in this life, but if you turn to Heavenly Father in faith, believing He will answer you, He will give you exactly what you need. Sometimes all you will need is an assurance that He knows what He is doing and that He loves you.

Because He does.

Coming up: Women and the Priesthood

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Are you a Valuable Woman? - Part 2

I've been thinking a lot about women and their value in today's world.

In my last post, I talked about body image and the emphasis we place on our level of fitness or dress size. If you haven't read it, do! Then come back here to continue the discussion!

Body image transitions readily into modesty. We've heard all the arguments about self-respect, respect for others and the fact that we are sexual beings and must be careful how we present ourselves to our fellow sexual beings.
The arguments on the other end often address the fact that men are fully capable of controlling themselves and aren't rapists by nature, so women should be able to dress how they like without fear of molestation by men, or other women.

I recently opined, "In a perfect world, women would be able to walk around naked and not worry about men attacking them. But... we aren't in a perfect world, so we should behave accordingly."

I read a blog the other day entitled Being Sexy by babymakingbybecky. In her examination of modesty, she addressed the popular idea that women are being sexualized by men and by society in general. She made a wonderfully astute point that women, when they dress immodestly in an attempt to be sexy, are sexualizing themselves!

I had not consciously thought of it in that way and it was an eye-opening viewpoint. We all want to be attractive and feel good about how we appear, of course, but sexy is not the same thing as beautiful. We do not have to show excessive amounts of skin, wear clothing that looks like it was painted on, or put our gender-defining features out on casual display in order to be desirable.

When my husband and I were dating and just beginning to talk about the possibility of marriage, one of the things he used to say has stuck with me. When talking about the attractiveness of a woman, he often said that she was "fair to look upon", taking a page from the Old Testament references to beautiful women, typically virgins.
He could have used more common language and I wouldn't have batted an eye, but his desire to be respectful while appreciating the loveliness of a woman made me respect him more. We all want to look at beautiful things and that should include ourselves and our fellow human beings.

On the flip-side, we don't have to wear yards of fabric from our chin to our wrists and ankles in order to be modest. Modesty does not equate to shapelessness.

When I looked up the definition of modesty, I was interested in the fact that modesty in regards to decency in dress was only one of many definitions. Most of the definitions pertained to behavior and lifestyle. Words like "moderate", "unpretentious", and "humility" jumped out at me.
I think that more than just the cut of the clothing was meant when we were instructed to be modest in our dress. Beauty, free of ostentatiousness, flamboyance and gaudiness was fully intended, in my opinion.

I liked what Becky said in her blog about modesty: "The purpose of modesty is not to make us unattractive to ourselves or each other. It's to show respect for our bodies, each other, and sex. Because sex deserves a some respect."

We'll talk about sex in just a bit... Oooh, you don't say!

So, why do women sexualize themselves?

We can talk about society and imagery in the media, but at the heart of it all is a misunderstanding of what gives us value or worth.

Women (and men) want to feel that they matter. If we matter, we are worth something.

But, we grasp at what we can see, and what we can see is physical. So, our translation becomes, if others like what they see and I like what I see, I must matter. I must be worth something.

The problem with that is that what we see isn't all or even very close to everything there is to us. There is so much more. I'm not just talking about personality, either. There's more to us than that, too.

We miss the mark entirely when we base our value on how desirable we are to the people around us. Our value is determined by one person and that assessment is the only one that should matter. If you think I'm about to say "yourself", you'd be off-base again... it's a popular notion, but flawed because we are imperfect and look at ourselves with an imperfect and overly-critical eye without the vision of our true potential...

Our potential, value and true worth can be seen and understood by a loving Heavenly Father who only wants to bless us and help us reach the goals that He knows will bring us real, lasting joy. He does this because he loves us without reservation. He can and does love us through everything and wants us to discover our divine nature so that we can achieve our purposes in this mortal life.

Another related blog I read recently came in the wake of the Miley Cyrus' VMA performance.

Yeah, I watched the clip when I heard about it.
Yeah, I was shocked.
I thought at first that it was meant to be a joke. Some sort of ironic commentary on sex in the media.
After a couple of minutes, however, I realized that it wasn't a joke and, for some inexplicable reason, was meant to be exactly what it appeared to be: A shocking, embarrassingly explicit, sexually-charged display.

I could feel through the screen Miley's strained, self-conscious desire to be seen as an adult. I felt really sorry for her.

Shydandelion's blog entitled A Frank Discussion delves into how sex has been cheapened and marginalized by both "Hollywood-types" and the religious alike.

She essentially says, and I agree, that Hollywood has turned sex into a tawdry, shabby shadow of what it was meant to be. They've taken the low road and made sex a public display instead of a private, sacred time to be shared between a husband and wife who cherish each other.

The religious (not all religious people, just so we're clear), too, have undervalued sex and proclaimed it to be a necessary evil. In their minds, we have been commanded to multiply and replenish the Earth, but to even think about enjoying it is repentance-worthy.

Sex is a gift from God and should be treated with the same respect that our bodies deserve. While I occasionally get the "teehee"s when it comes to talking about sex, I really do look at it as a wonderfully enriching experience with my spouse. That's why I don't mind talking about it and I take the conversation very seriously.

(Note: I acknowledge that sex is a sensitive topic for many people, especially those who have suffered abuse. What I say here may not be something that can be readily applied in their lives. These are merely my non-professional feelings and opinions.
Oh, and if sex is painful for you, please see a doctor. It really shouldn't be and a doctor may be able to help.)

I've talked with quite a few women about sex and the opinions expressed by them range anywhere from a healthy enjoyment, to a reluctant acknowledgement of its benefits, to indifference and even into a true dislike. I'm always a bit sad for the women who say they don't like it because I know it can be so much more than that necessary unpleasantness. And it's not just for men to enjoy. I find that line of thinking condescending and ignorant.

Sex is awesome! Yeah, I said it.
Anything created by God couldn't be anything less.

But, since it was created by God, we can't treat it lightly or casually.

What's this? Have I gone off topic? How does my soap-box on sex relate to a woman's (or a man's) worth?

I think some people feel that their sexuality is what makes them valuable.. Do you or don't you? How many conquests? How many times? How good was it? How good are you?

The reasoning seems to follow the same line of thinking as the way we dress. If we can attract someone who wants to be with us intimately, we are valuable. If we can attract MANY people who want to be with us intimately, we must be MORE valuable. If I attract more people than her/him, I have greater value than they do.

Sex isn't a bargaining chip or a way to measure the value of a person. Sex is an intimate sharing of ourselves that isn't meant to be casually given away.

If you were given a beautiful gift by someone who loved you very much, a precious, priceless gift that was made individually for you, would you casually allow others to take it, mistreat it or flaunt it as their own prize to their friends? Would you tell your friends that the gift you were given was worthless? Would you hide that gift in your darkest closet as if it was shameful?

When we treat sex casually or with disrespect, we are doing just that. God gave us a precious gift that was meant to be shared with someone who would respect and value it just as much as you, the recipient, and God, that loving Bestower of the gift, does. When someone respects their intimacy with you, you can be sure they value you as a person. When you respect the precious gift of intimacy and procreation that God has given you, you can be sure that you will value yourself.

And! When you respect and value these gifts without measure or price, you will show your Heavenly Father that you love and appreciate Him and will do all you can to follow and serve Him!
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, just this morning in General Conference stated that our first priority is to serve God. When we do that, all other things will follow.

Our bodies are powerful, beautiful gifts, capable of so much that is good, pure and Eternally gratifying. If we can remember why our Heavenly Father gave these things to us, I believe we will find peace and satisfaction in our bodies, our relationships and the knowledge that the most perfect being in existence loves us more than we can imagine! We have worth because Heavenly Father loves us!

We will be getting to the Priesthood for Women topic soon, but next we need to talk about: Having Questions about our Beliefs.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Are you a Valuable Woman? - Part 1

There's been a lot of talk out there regarding women.

Women have been, in increasing frequency, the topic of discussion in several different forums, the most notable for me being body image, modesty and sexuality, ordaining women to the Priesthood in the LDS religion and, as an extension of those topics, the place of women in this world.

As I pondered these topics and started writing them down, I realized that this was no simple blog post. In order to give each topic its appropriate attention, I decided to break it up into several posts, just to spare you the trial of a monstrous singular post.

There've been some well-written articles and blog posts on these topics. I'll site them as I go along...

After reading quite a bit on these subjects, I started to see another matter underscoring these issues and bringing them together into a much bigger picture. No matter the subject matter, it's all come down to one central theme for me:

The Value of Women.

This is not simply about how people view women, but more importantly, how women view themselves. Women, in general, are misguided about what they're worth and how they attain that desired value. The world, on the whole, has got it all wrong when it comes to women.
(And quite a lot of what I'll say here applies to men as well!)

A few weeks ago, my sister shared a blog from that addressed the growing trend of fit-posting. Women all over the social interwebs are posting and, dare I say, obsessing over their physical form.

I'm not against exercise, fitness or healthy living in any way whatsoever. I, myself, am in the process of getting healthy and I do have a healthy weight goal.
Notice I say healthy and not any number of adjectives indicating how thin, slender, shapely, curvy, muscular, toned or otherwise "shaped" a body may be. There are too many people that want to tell us what we should look like or what we must look like in order to be attractive or worth-while and not enough people validating our efforts toward wellness and a healthy body image.

I don't like everything about the way my body looks currently, but I'm also honest with myself and know that I probably never will. I am, however, learning to be comfortable in my own skin and love it, even if there are parts of it I'm not completely satisfied with. I've had children and that has altered my physical form permanently. Those changes don't depreciate my value.

My job is to keep my body healthy because it's a gift from God and it's the only one I have.

I'm reminded of Mary Schmich's essay/poem Wear Sunscreen:

"Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own."

Perhaps, in the best sense, we seek perfection in so many areas of our lives because we're the offspring of a perfect being and desire to be like Him. I'm not perfect (yet) and no matter what I do, I won't be in this lifetime.

What troubles me about this trend is that so many women are gauging their worth on how thin/fit/toned they appear to be (I don't exclude myself from these self-critiques, especially on my bad days). They equate what other people think/say about their body to how much they should feel they're worth.

Is a physically fit woman worth more than a physically out-of-shape woman?

Some might say yes. After all, a physically fit woman has more energy, a stronger body and may even have generally better moods based on the release of serotonin during exercise. She can do more and perhaps even inspire those around her to emulate her efforts toward health.

If we change the question, however, will we come up with the same answer?

Is a physically fit woman worth more to God than a physically out-of-shape woman?

I don't think I need to answer that question, but I will anyway... No. God wants you to be healthy, of course, but he loves you no matter what.

No. Matter. What.

And he will always find ways to make you useful, no matter what your circumstances.

There's value to getting and staying healthy. There's value to being able to move through your day without feeling tired and worn down. But we can't superimpose the value of a healthy lifestyle onto our personal worth.

Our health and physical well-being is a part of us. A sliver of the whole that makes us the wonderous, eternal beings that we are.

A daughter (or son) of God is so much more than her (his) physical form. So much more than a number on a scale, a dress size, the amount you can bench press or how many miles you can run. Your worth is determined by so much more!

This is just the tip of the iceberg, as it were... please stay tuned!

Next time: The Value of Modesty and Sexuality

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First Day of School

In the midst of a move, Summer Vacation ends. Summer seemed so long when I was a kid. Now it seems like it was gone in the blink of an eye.

Right before Audrey's birthday in April, her dad came home from his training in the Army, and it hasn't slowed down since. Two birthdays, a wedding in Albuquerque, last days of school, a baby blessing and a priesthood ordination (lots of family in town), Ben finding a new, full-time job (yay!) which requires out of state business trips (not so much yay), Bad Wolf Day, Ben going back to do more Army training in Nebraska, Summer Library reading, Highland Games, Day Camp for the kids, our 14th wedding anniversary, family picnic and fireworks on the 4th of July, our Jump into Summer learning workpages and activities, playdates with cousins, Ben's birthday, and a variety of trips to the zoo and dinosaur museum. It was in the final week or two of summer break that I realized we didn't even go camping this summer. What a shame! What a whirlwind!

Even today, on the first day of school, it doesn't end. Ben left for another business trip an hour before Audrey went to school. However, keeping with our new tradition, I took these cute pictures of the kids in their new school outfits. I started this last year, with Audrey writing her own name and Henry holding a sign showing what she wants to be when she grows up. I think it will be fun to see the changes that happen over the years and the inklings of a photobook for high school graduation comes to mind! :)

When she grows up, she wants to be a Zoo Keeper!
A girl after my own heart. :)

When he grows up, he wants to be a Robot!

If only you knew the fight we had at the store over this shirt... oh, wait. What? We never fight....

Our Monkey!

It'll be a bit lonely in the house with Audrey gone for the better part of the day, but I'm sure we'll manage it. We already finished Henry's preschool work for the day! I'll be glad to get into a routine... and to get all these boxes out of my house!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Henry's Monster

We have been continuing our five weeks of summer learning. We are on week 4, currently: Dinosaurs! Typically, what happens is Audrey finishes her work pages before Henry and turns hers over to draw on the blank sides. Henry rarely finishes before her and, therefore, almost never gets to make his own creations. Today was an exception... :)

It's unfortunate that I can't describe to you the stages that this picture underwent to reach its current appearance. It was certainly a process and Henry had a story that went along with it. I'll do my best to relate his narrative with fewer adult interruptions than happened at the time. I will also skip over the part where this drawing started out as a man (and the part where he wasn't wearing pants, and the part where his pants were see-through)... he morphed along the way.

That little dot (under the left side of his face) is his hun. She's far away. The three even smaller dots (under his tail on the right side) are his children. They're far away, too.

He's a pig-man.

Audrey: Here are his brains. (Proceeds to color the peach-colored squiggle above the eyes.)

No, this is his brain. (The brown squiggle at the right corner of his mouth.)

Audrey: Then what is that? (Pointing at her contribution to his drawing.)

That's his blood.

Audrey: Ewww... skin-colored blood!

He's crying because he's bleeding. (Proceeds to draw the open mouth. He pulls his own mouth into a grimmace and says:) He's crying like this.... what does a monster sound like when he cries?

Me: What does a monster sound like normally?


Me: So, what would it sound like if he was crying?

Raa-haa-haaa-blaahhhh... Grrrr-hoooooo-hoooo-oooooooooo!

Me: Where are his teeth?

Right here... (starts drawing teeth.) He has a LOT of teeth. His teeth are sharp. He cuts things with them, like a knife. (He makes a sawing motion with his hands next to his teeth. I ask him what he cuts.) PEOPLE!

Me: Well, that sounds unfortunate. What does he do with the people after he cuts them?

He eats them!

Me: Does he cook them first?


Me: Well, that's something, at least.

People and pigs are afraid of him because he eats them.

Me: So, he's a pig-man and he eats pigs and people?

Yes! But he doesn't eat horses because he thinks they taste yucky.
His hun and children are monsters too. (Are they far away because they're afraid of him?) Yes. 
He's sad because he's bleeding... Graaaaaa-hooooo-hooo-hooo!! Grrrrrrrrr! Aaaaaggghhhhooooooo!

And, yet another motherly adage is proved: This will only end in tears... Apparently, monsters don't listen to their mothers either.
It took quite a bit of wheedling to get him to give me the picture so I could scan it. I'm glad he let me.. so I could share a little bit of my son with all of you. I think he's hilarious!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Paper Nostalgia

When I was fairly young, perhaps around 10 years old, one of my sisters introduced me to paper dolls. The ones that came with outfits that could be traded out to my heart's content. Of course, I also learned that I had to cut them out myself. Not an easy task for someone of my age. Since this was my first experience, I was concentrating so hard on getting the clothes cut out perfectly, that I cut off the the most important feature of the delicate paper creations: the paper tabs. I discovered, to my dismay, that the clothes would not stay on no matter what I tried as long as they lacked the little tabs. I don't recall what happened with those dolls; perhaps the tabs were cut out and then taped on, or maybe I tried to play with them flat on the ground. Either way, the lesson was very much learned.

I've been thinking about paper dolls lately. I've wanted to give my daughter this experience as well. Well, not the exact experience. She wouldn't have been able to cut out those dolls to save her life. But, I wanted her to experience the joy of something so simple, and even a bit vintage, as a paper doll.

I did some looking around and, while there are a lot of paper dolls out there, not many of them appealed to me. I finally happened across some on Pinterest, and the link led back to here and here. These dolls are delightfully vintage, and wonderfully printer-friendly. Some brilliant person was able to take Hallmark's vintage wrapping paper and convert it into a digital format. Well, I knew a good thing when I saw it and immediately printed them out on card stock.

I think it took me nearly two hours to cut all of the dolls out, but they turned out super cute and my kids love them. That's right. Kids. Plural. Wee Willie was perfect for Henry, with fireman, cowboy, clown, baseball and football players and several other outfits. Dancing Debbie was a no-brainer for Audrey, with such outfits as cowgirl, jester, gypsy and countless fancy dresses.

At first, I cut out just a few outfits and gave them to the kids with the promise of more. I alternated new outfits between the two of them, and it didn't take long for them to wait anxiously at the door for the next new outfit. I also gave them envelopes to keep their little dolls safe.

The kids have been playing with them for several hours. I figure that in and of itself is worth the time, effort and printer ink.

And, perhaps, one day, they will feel nostalgic about paper dolls, themselves, and introduce their own children to them...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

In Which I Risk Creeping Out My Husband or Making Him Love Me More

I saw this fantastic idea on Pinterest (of course) months ago.. I was thinking to myself, how awesome would it be to do this for our anniversary?? Unfortunately, Ben was gone for our anniversary, so I decided to do it today, for no reason whatsoever. It was much more fun that way, anyhow.

There are some actors that do the crazy face really well... and then there is Nicholas Cage. That guy can pull a freaky face, I'm telling you.

So, I found this picture, printed it out on card stock (because I'm cheap), and cut out this greatness:

Then I put tiny sticky notes on his chest with little comments on them about how crazy-in-love... infatuated... much I adore him. In case you wanted to know, this is what they said:

I LOVE you...

If we weren't married, I'd stalk you...


Crazy for you

Sometimes I look like this... inside... when I think of you

Our love can be creeptastic!

When you turn away, I do this... not really, but yeah

Tell me you love me... no, really... TELL ME...

Then I put them in strategic locations that brought out the stalker humorous quality of his face:

Yes... yes... I put them in the pants pocket of his army uniform... because I'm a stalker awesome.

He still hasn't found two of them. If he reads this blog any time soon, he'll have spoilers as to where they are.
He laughed when he found the first one and I took a picture of him.

This is his "crazy face"... I'm not sure whether to be disappointed.. or relieved.


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