Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas Projects

2 Little Pigs

Nathan made some fun things for the kids for Christmas. Aren't these little piggy banks fun!

Hannah's Shelf

Nathan was a little sneaky with this shelf. Hannah thought he was making it for me, and it was fun to see her face when she realized it was for her.

I made a couple things, too - handkerchiefs for dad, chickens for mom, and nightgowns for the girls and their dolls.

Muy BWayne-o

I saw pictures of handkerchiefs like these last Spring. My dad always has a cloth handkerchief in his pocket, and I figured it was about time for a couple new ones. As Christmas got closer I searched for the pictures I had seen earlier, but I could not find the blog that I had visited before. So I had to go it alone, and I think they turned out really cute.

Oh Chickens!

The chickens are for mom's kitchen. Nathan cut out all the wood and I just painted them. I even sanded the edges - I felt like a real tole painter! Next thing you know I'll be sponge painting the walls in my kitchen.

Here are the girls and their dolls on Christmas morning with their matching nightgowns.

3 dolls

John was not forgotten, I made him pj pants, and Nathan fixed the climbing bear for him.



John can make that bear really move!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


This is not fun. Counting down to Christmas only meant that Nathan's deployment also got here. Christmas was bittersweet as I shopped for little things that he would need while he is away - shorts, shaving cream, a calling card. Christmas is over, and Nathan and the tree are both gone.

For the last couple weeks I have found myself a little weepy at odd moments. At the bowling alley. In the kitchen. I keep thinking it's like having a baby - the first time everyone tells you how bad it is, but you have to see for yourself what it's really like. The second time you know what you have to do and find that there is no escape.

John came in to our room this morning and climbed in bed with me. He gave me a hug, then looked up over to where Nathan usually sleeps and said "Daddy's gone?" At lunch when there was a knock at the door, John jumped out of his high chair and yelled "It's Daddy" as he ran to see who was at the door. Poor little guy doesn't understand.

I just got a call from the commander's wife that they made it to Guam safe and sound, and will be busy with meetings all day today (tonight for us) But we should hear from them probably in the morning here. I'm not sure what the time difference is. Maybe 16 hours.

We'll be busy, and we'll have a lot of fun, but I wanted to write out these feelings too. We have a rule here, though, that you're not allowed to ask "are you okay" because it just makes me cry. So don't ask. We're fine.

Saturday, December 24, 2005



Mary and Joseph

And to all a good night

Christmas To Do List

italic = completed

Sew PJ's
Finish shopping
Wrap Gifts
Bake Sugar Cookies
Thrift Store for shorts for Nathan for Guam
Roast Chestnuts (I'm not kidding, our neighbors invited us over to do this at 11am today)
Sew matching pjs for dolls
Finish Book of Mormon
Bread Bowls for Soup
Gather Nativity Costumes

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Little Nate

Nate's Bow

Nathan gets new hobbies all the time. His latest is bow making - as in a bow and arrows. Late one night we watch a man as he used hand tools to carefully make a bow staff? and Nathan decided he wanted to try it. He talked a friend into building one, too, and they ordered the stuff that they would need.

He got a big long chunk of wood in the mail, and then a fancy draw knife, and yesterday he started working on the bow.

In the Workshop

Nate's Bow

It is starting to really look like a bow. He says he plans to hunt a pig while he is in Guam. Boys are strange.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas Ornament

Donna at Quiet Life asked her readers to post a picture of their favorite ornament. It has taken me a couple of days, but here are my favorite ornaments:

My Favorite Ornament

Nathan made these the year we lived in Florida. He was able to find Aeromatic Cedar and used it to make little turned ornaments. They are hollow and have a little rattle inside, and because they are cedar they smell like Christmas.

Nathan is very generous with his wood working, and though he made probably 30 of those little ornaments, we just have 3!

Captured Ring

This smaller ornament has a little ring of wood captured on the end - that is a tricky little bit of wood turning.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Last night we had breakfast for dinner, and as a special treat I decided to try Baile Rochel's "super-simple and almost healthy sufganiyot", a recipe from me-ander

Sufganiyot is the Hebrew word for Jelly Doughnut. These did not have jelly, but were fried in lots of oil. The batter for these little fried balls is very similar to pancakes, though you use yogurt instead of milk. The batter was a little tangy and it gave the fried balls great flavor.

The Sufganiyot were? really yummy, and the kids were gobbling them up as fast as they came out of the pot. They reminded me of Grandma's toughies. Yum!

I have never actually fried anything in so much oil, and now there is a pot of oil sitting on the stove. How do you dispose of cooking oil? I probably shouldn't just dump it down the drain, but I also don't want to keep it on the stove forever. Do you reuse oil? Should I just strain it and put it back in an oil jug? or should I contact the hazardous waste disposal people?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Weather Girl

I had to retire my weather girl this summer, because she became more of a weather bimbo. Even though she is just a cartoon, she was embarrassing me, and since I don't want my girls to think dressing like that is okay, I decided to let her take the summer off - I was worried what she would be wearing when the weather got really hot.

Now that it is cold, I decided to invite her back. She is dress all in fur from her head to her foot, tonight. I think our weather should keep her modestly dressed, atleast for a while.


We had the missionaries over for dinner tonight. Usually we have a nice dinner for them, but we were a little less than high class tonight. We had dentist appointments* at 3pm, so I planned an easy dinner. I bought hotdogs, buns and stuff for chili. I also bought canned chili, just in case if the dentist took longer than expected - but we got home just in time to put the chili on the stove and a cake in the oven.

Ummm, it was soooo good. It seemed like I made tons of chili - it filled my whole pot, but by the end of the night, the Elders were scraping the bottom of the pan for just one more bowl. We served the chili with fritos and cheese and sour cream, and also hot dogs!

I have been thoroughly brainwashed by the Barrett family. As a child, eating hot dogs was a rare occurance (and not necessarily a treat,) saved for Mom and Dad's date nights, or the 4th of July. But when I started eating with the Barretts I found that hot dogs were served almost weekly. It sicked me out when we were first married, but now I find chili dogs strangely comforting.

We topped off the chili dogs with a yellow cake with chocolate frosting and some Christmas cookies. Our Elders are transfering on Thursday, so it was nice that we were able to have them over before they headed to North Dakota.

*Hannah and Sydney were cavity free. Wooohoooo! The dentist did recommend that Hannah have an orthodontic assessment sometime this Spring: $$$. But he said that Sydney's teeth look like they will all come in really well - when she is about 10 years old her teeth will look a little crowded, but if we just hold off until around 14 her jaw will catch up and her teeth will be fine. Emily and John got to ride on the fun yellow chair and the dentist did a quick check. All is well.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Emily Loves Erin

Hannah and Emily were in fixing their hair the other day, and Emily said something so funny. Emily is 4 and really doesn't fix her own hair, but she was having fun playing with the ponytail holders and the ribbons. She pulled her hair up into a messy bun, looked at herself in the mirror and said:

"I look like that girl that Grammy and Grampy keep...what's her name?...yeah, Erin. I look like Erin."

The little girl that Grammy and Grampy keep?!? You mean their daughter? My little sister? Your aunt? These relationships are hard to remember when you are little.

And she really did look like Erin with her hair up in a messy bun. She and Erin have the same color hair and Erin does wear her hair like that. Emily reminds me of little Erin. Cute girls!

Auntie Erin and Emily

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Choose The Right

Hannah and I made these ornaments for our Primary teachers as a little Christmas gift/thank you from the Primary Presidency.

I found the silver glass balls at Lowes ($2.50 for a dozen.) And we wrote on the balls with a green paint pen ($3 at Hobby Lobby.)

While I was making them I thought the shields looked uneven and silly, but it's been 2 weeks since I last looked at them, and now I think they look great! I hope our teachers like them.

on the other side

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

John has a little red sled. We bought the sled when we were visiting Mom and Dad before we moved up here. It is a plastic sled with a seatbelt, so even when John was just a wee babe, we could buckle him in and take him with us when we went sledding.

We have been using the sled every day to get our mail, or just to play in our yard. John has been pulling Emily around, and Emily has been pulling John around. We even hooked Sam-the-dog up to the sled and he pulled John. Sam didn't love that.

I have made the big kids put the other sleds away each day, but because we use the little red sled so much, and because it is really cute, I have just let it stay on the front porch. But on the morning of the BIG WIND, the red sled disappeared. I have imagined that little red sled flying through the neighborhood, over the house tops, like Santa's sleigh.

We looked for it yesterday, but it wasn't in our yard, or across the street, or next door. We thought maybe the sled was gone for good. But when we went outside this morning I saw something red down the street. 3 houses down, nestled in a bush, partly covered in snow, was our little red sled! It is home now, under the porch, safe and sound.

I hope it had a fun adventure.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


It has been very cold here, in South Dakota, for the past week. That wind chill factor is the killer. I think the high yesterday was somewhere around 8 degrees F, but the windchill was about -10. That makes if very hard to breath. Today is cold, but the sun is shining, and the wind is not blowing, so it seems warmer.

One cool feature in our fancy new car is that there is a little outdoor thermometer, so I can see the temperature as I am driving. This morning it registered at -1 degree F. Brrrrr.

Last week there was a big storm that hit Eastern and Northern SD, but it missed us completely. Since then, it has snowed a little off and on. We have had just enough snow to sled on, and because of the cold, the snow is still here.

On the news they have talked about blizzards, and that it doesn't even have to be snowing for us to have a blizzard. says that a blizzard is: "A violent snowstorm with winds blowing at a minimum speed of 35 miles per hour and visibility of less than one-quarter mile for three hours. "

So if the wind is blowing hard enough and the snow is blowing around, then you can have a blizzard, even if there is not fresh snow coming down. I didn't really understand that until yesterday. The wind was howling, and old snow was whipping around. I was driving the girls to school when a big wall of white crossed in front of me and I couldn't see anything. It was like fog, only thicker and colder. I didn't know if I should try to pull over, or slow down, or keep going. I knew there was no one right behind me, but it made me really nervous. I made it home, though, and we stayed tucked inside for the rest of the day.

Hope you are keeping warm and cozy.