Thursday, December 17, 2009

One of Those Days

You're looking at what use to be a pumpkin pie. The hard work of 2 diligent and helpful little kids and their mommy in an effort to feed the missionaries. It was all done and beginning to cool when this mommy felt that is wasn't quite "set" yet. So, it'd be a good idea to pop in back in the oven for a few, right? WRONG!

Now I'm not the most graceful creatures as it is, but seriously, pregnancy releases the Urkel beast in me. I wish I could blame it on say extra weight, or change in center of gravity, etc. but the truth is clumsiness strikes right from the get go. Its rather annoying... Anyone else have this problem?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Homemade for the Holidays: Monogramming

Ok, so this one is not a task that kids will likely be participating in, but I'd recommend doing it for kids! Kids love stuff "personalized". Here's a basic fabric to fabric monogramming method (someday I'd love to get a machine that embroiders, but I like the look of this too). I'm sure there are tutorials all over the internet for this, but here is how I did it.


*Object you'd like to monogram- be it a tote, pillow, shirt, stocking... anything fabric can be sewn to.
Scrap of fabric for letter(s)
Heat bond iron-on adhesive

*If you are making the object you are monogramming, make sure you put the letter on before finishing the object if necessary. For example, for a tote you'd want to sew the monogram on the outside fabric before sewing the lining in. If not, or if you purchased the whatever it is you are monogramming, just make sure you're okay with being able to see the stitching on the underside

Get Started:

Get the object you are monogramming ready. Make sure its clean and pressed. Decide where you'd like your monogram and how big you'd like it.

You can free hand the letter if you'd like, but if you don't trust yourself and/or have terrible handwriting, like myself, type the letter, pick a font and size and print it instead. I'm also cheap, so to save on ink select "outline" for you letter (especially if its large).
Cut a piece of the heat bond adhesive big enough to cover your letter. Turn your printed letter over so that it is inverted. With textured side down, place the adhesive over inverted letter. Trace letter onto adhesive. If you can't see the letter well enough, either trace it out on the paper first or I just put it up to the window and trace it that way. The textured side of the adhesive will attach to the wrong side of your letter fabric so that's why you want it inverted. (I'd also suggest just printing the letter already inverted)Place the adhesive with textured side to the wrong side of you letter fabric and iron on medium heat, no steam (or follow manufacturer's instructions).
Cut the letter out carefully. Then, peel off the paper backing of the adhesive.
Place the letter where you want it on your object and iron on. (don't "glide" the iron over the letter, just press down and lift and repeat until the whole letter is securely attached).
Prepare your sewing machine with coordination thread and select what type of stitch, stitch length, etc. you'd like. I'd recommend testing this out on a scrap of fabric before going at it with the letter. Stitch letter to object. - I used a small zig-zag, which was fine, but I must have been glutting for punishment by choosing a lower case "E"... all those stinkin' curves!
Clip threads and Viola! You're done.

~Merry Christmas~

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy St. Lucy's Day

Alright, so, we don't have a ton of Scandanavian ancestory, but we thought it'd be fun to observe a little tradition from St. Lucy's Day (today December 13th) all the same. I mean who wouldn't want sweets delivered to them by a Lucia girl? Granted we did replaced the crown of candles on our Lucia girl for obvious reasons :).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Homemade for the Holidays: Wrapping Paper

We've been having some fun around here making gifts, decorations, and goodies for Christmas and thought we'd share some of the fun stuff we're doing this year. Most of it is kid-friendly, but I might just throw in some "How-To's" of a few of things I've been working on.

Up first: Wrapping Paper

My kids are still a bit too young to make a gift (without mom ending up doing most of it), but we still wanted an element of "made with love, from the kids" for some of our gifts this year. So, they decorated their own wrapping paper instead.

Really for simplicity you could just use the wrong (white) side of existing wrapping paper and give the kids some crayons and markers and have them color away, like we often do. But if you want something with little more flare and more fun for the kids, here's an idea:

- Paint
-Christmas stamps (cookie cutters could work well too)
-Butcher paper or freezer paper
- Glitter (optional)
-a willing child or two (or more :))
-Christmas music

How we did it:

Since we are lacking in the stamp department we first made potato stamps by cutting potatoes in half (red potatoes in our case). Draw out the pattern/shape you want and cut it about 1/4 inch deep. Then carefully cut out around your pattern to form stamp. If you have time and aren't lazy like we are, allow potato to dry out. If I had them on hand, I think I would have preferred making sponges into stamps.

K, then get the kiddies ready. Smocks/grubby T's on and put on some Christmas music.
Roll out how much paper you have ambitions to decorate. If your using Freezer paper, make sure you have the waxy side down and work on the other side.
Prepare paint on paper plates. Hand off stamps to the kids and go to town. If you are really begging for a mess like we were, sprinkle glitter over the paper while paint is still wet. Shake off excess.
Clean up and allow paint to thoroughly dry (overnight) and its ready to use for wrapping.

~Merry Christmas~

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Crook Family Sealing

I don't think I have a very wide blog audience, but for those that may not know, I belong to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And a central belief of ours is that families are forever. That through righteous living we can have our family with us always, through this life and the next into the eternities. The first step is being sealed to our spouse in our Temples. On December 5th, we were able to go up to Washington to see my sister Stephanie and her husband, Scott, be sealed together and to their children, Kaytee (9) and Dawson (7). It was incredibly special that ALL of my siblings (thanks Jacob for surprising us :)) and parents were there in that sealing room together for the first time ever. It was also a neat opportunity to explain to Elyette what was going on. That she and Jack (and her baby sister to-be, as Elyette pointed out) were born sealed to mom and dad and now Kaytee and Dawson get to be sealed to their mommy and daddy.
I've had the honor of attending a few sealing ceremony. Most of them being ceremonies where the couple was just newly getting married too. Its always sweet to see a newlywed couple there, but seeing Stephanie and Scott, taking this step together on their 11th anniversary was different. There was a strong love and bond shared by a couple that has been through so many ups and downs together already. I can't really explain it, but it was very cool. Another element that really choked us all up was when they brought Kaytee and Dawson in to be sealed to their parents. It just felt complete with their presence. Ah, what can I say, we love those Crooks :)! Congrats guys! Here's to Eternity!
(haha, this is the closest we got to a family pic. Cracks me up. Anyone else have a good one?)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

5 Years and Counting

Ah...the days when you wooed me with songs like "George Foreman Grill" and flattered me with compliments like "your hair feels like a broom" and of course, when I kicked your butt at Rook. Good times. Here's to the even better times! I love you! Happy Anniversary!

Monday, November 16, 2009

She's 4!

Saturday, November 7th, my first born turned 4!

Before moving we celebrated in style! And how else, but a Princess Party at her highness's request. It was a great last hurrah.My crowning glory! And Elyette loves having the Polly Pockets, or "princess packages" as she calls them, to keep...I wonder how many little shoes I've vacuumed up though.

Here she is on her actually Bday:
The much coveted skates.
She was quite good at it!

Dude loves them too.
Happy Birthday Slimmy Monkey. We love you!

Friday, November 13, 2009

And We're Back!

WARNING: This is one of those boring no pic posts :)

Moving Out Day: October 30th

I first want to just say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all the people the helped us out on our moving day. It was no easy task. The day first started with our ultrasound, aside from more continued packing. That was a great quite and magical moment that I only wish we could have dwelt on longer, but alas, LIFE.

After that we went to go pick up our Uhaul. Apparently we were never told where to actually pick it up, cause we went to the wrong one. Once we pulled up to the right location, I saw the truck. The TINY truck and about had a heart attack! We know for next time that when they say 17' they mean from the front of the truck overhang thing (it was 14' in truth). Not that 17' was even big enough anyway. We have a lot of junk :).

Long story short we started loading and I must say I was seriously impressed with the effeciency those guys packed that thing. Like and very skilled game of tetris. After about an hour and half of packing I knew there was NO way it would all fit so we called Uhaul and had to pick up a second 10' truck. Which, though with little- no effeciency, we still filled! Thanks to Boz's brother Evan who drove the second truck for us (the biggest thanks from me, since I really wasn't looking forward getting a hitch for our car and driving it myself). There were a lot of people that really stuck it out with us and we are really really grateful and miss you all in MP!

Moving In Day: October 31st

Went more smoothly :). We were only a half hour late getting out and made good time getting to Clovis to meet our landlord, etc. We were blessed to have lots of family on this end to help us move in. And the kids were ANGEL's that day. They were so excited and just played and explored the whole day. It was great. And of course it was Halloween so we ended the day with a Halloween party that Boz's Grandma Rae's local church ward threw and some trick or treating to our new neighbors. It was a good day.

Since then...

We LOVE IT! Last week it was in the 80's here and I admit I was freaking out a little since its NOVEMBER and I'm already trying to brace myselfl for the HOT summers, but it cooled off this week and I really have no complaints. We all LOVE our new house (pics will come when I get to that :)), especially all the SPACE we all get (including all 2 truck loads of our junk). The house we are renting is twice the size of our apartment, plus a garage and a yard, etc. oh and its CHEAPER. Yeah, can't complain there. The kids have their own rooms and we the bonus is a play room. Its great! New places are always fun to "play house" in and put rooms together or at least dream of how to put some rooms together (all in good time :)).

We love the area too. There is a park across the street and several good ones nearby. Elyette elementary school next year is up a block and across from that is our LDS Church Building! Oh and there's a Target 2 blocks down. What more could a girl ask for :). Boz is only 15 minutes from work now and we get to see him in the morning and have had lunch with him twice!!! We of course LOVE seeing more of him. And I can't speak for him, but he seems rather content at Pelco too. People of very friendly and its been really fun to have Boz's family so close. And I REALLY truly mean that :). I've loved it! - A plug in to my family: We have LOTS more room for accommodations, so hurry up and visit!- That invitation goes for all!

Thank you all for your love and support!!!

- a very happy Millar family

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's a girl!

Yep, Elyette just knew it all along (granted she changed her mind 3 days ago-ha). We're having another little girl. Dude's surrounded :). We're very excited (and open to names!). 

Now time to move! So the computer will be packed shortly, thus goodbye internet until we have service in Clovis. Hopefully that will be soon... 

To all, adieu! (LOVE YOU)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My First Wedding Dress

For those of you that have never seen or even heard of Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride", we recommend you see it! We all quite like this movie, and none more than Elyette.Since first seeing this film in April when we borrowed from the library, Elyette has wanted to be the Corpse Bride for Halloween. I kid you not, she has not deterred from this, despite all other suggestions. So from thus was born one of the most "interesting" (for lack of a better word) and in many ways most challenging items I have created yet. Mostly due to the fact that I had a 3 year old peering over my shoulder making commentary like "mom, that's not how it goes" pretty much the entire time I was making it. Not to mention I've never had to 2 tone fabric or make exposed ribs on a dress before.Elyette of course studied every aspect of this character and if you know Elyette you can imagine the HIGH expectation I was under. I do have to share one crisis moment too. When the dress was near done, Elyette looked in the mirror, looked at the movie cover, then back in the mirror and proclaimed "MOM, the ribs are on the WRONG side!". Oh no they are not, I studied this thing too! I ran over and quickly showed her the movie cover in the mirror so she'd understand it was her reflection, NOT ME, that was making it look wrong :). I even ended up making legging with one blue leg and one skeleton leg- I knew those anatomy classes would serve me well someday.I drew the line, however, at being painted blue with a skeleton arm. All in all, a very fun project.

Given the challenge of Elyette's costume, we kept it simple for Jack (since he doesn't make requests just yet):HAHA, Kidding!!! (Disclaimer: Daddy was the one that assisted with this, Elyette and I were not even home). I did make something slightly more manly, but what can I say, he likes dresses :)...Guess who?
He's got the "Pizza, Pizza" down well. And to his manly-hood (is that even a word?) he wouldn't stop using his pizza staff as a weapon at the Trunk or Treat these costumes debuted at.

So serious :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bon Appetite!

My newest discovery: Felt Food!

Jack likes to "cook" with Elyette so for his birthday I went with that and tried to find things to assist in this pretend play. Thanks to Ikea I got some seriously cute pots, pans, and dishes, but I needed some food. 

I was really getting frustrated with all the plastic junk I was seeing (for way more $ than I thought it was worth) then I realized I had all these felt sheets I'd been stocking up on when on sale (5 for $1) with in the intention of making felt board stories (or something like that). Well, since that idea wasn't materializing any time soon I decided to use it to make play food. It was cheap (all cost me about $4), easy (no patterns necessary), fun, and FAST! I highly recommend trying it out. Christmas gift idea?  

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Poached Pears

We got fancy with our FHE treat this week. Poached Pears. Mmmm. Seriously good, easy, and looks impressive (that is if you are better at drizzling the chocolate than I was :)). Even Boz, who doesn't like pears, really enjoy this one.

Poached Pears
courtesy of Karissa Winkel (THANKS Karisa)

Bosc Pears (one per person you are serving, any firmness, stem intact)
1 bottle cranberry juice
juice of a lemon
1/2-2/3 cup sugar
White chocolate chips
Cinnamon sugar

Carefully peel pears, leaving stem on. Trim the bottom slightly so that the pear sits upright. Combine cranberry juice (enough to cover the pears), lemon juice and sugar. Add pears and boil together for about 30 minutes or till the pears are soft. If boiling uncovered be sure to turn the pears often. Chill for 2-24 hours (we didn't have time to do it that long, so really whatever works).

Just before serving, melt chocolate in a double broiler (we probably should have added a bit of butter to get a better "drizzle" effect?). Stand pears upright on plate and cover in chocolate. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and ENJOY!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Boz and Maegan + 3

Well, maybe that is a typo. More like Boz and Maegan + 2 1/2 (or even just 2 1/8). Anyway, we're expecting #3! :)Granted she's looking a bit less like a jellybean and more like a real baby now. This was taken at 9 weeks. I'm about 14 weeks now (due March 24th). And yes I called it a "she". That would be Elyette's doing. She's convinced its a girl (mostly out of weariness for little brothers, I think) and always refers to the baby as "she", so until we know for sure we call it she :).

Apparently both Jack and Elyette are having babies too! So we are soon going to have a very full house! Elyette even has the occasional morning sickness, exhaustion and seems to have a very heightened sense of smell. Ah, the joys. We're all very excited for our Spring baby!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back to School

PRESCHOOL that is! Well, Mommy's preschool. Just the kids and I. I'm sure we are the last to actually start school, but I finally got on the ball.
Its geared toward Elyette, but Jack is doing awesome (his attention span amazed me today, he's a smart kid). And we're having a blast. Went for 2 hours today non stop and Elyette asked if we could keep going all day :). The best part... the food of course. We made our initials out of pretzels (and some cheese sauce for dipping, mmm). Elyette did a great job on her "E". We made you "B" too daddy!

So to anyone else who wants to take the "economic" route to preschool, as it was put by a friend :), I highly recommend Teach Me Mommy. That is if you're like me and don't have time (and don't always want to :)) to invent and create everything from scratch. It has enough lessons, that include a topic intro, crafts, songs, books, activities, and even a snack activity, to occupy about 1-2 hours a day, 3 days a week for an entire school year. We're looking forward to seeing all it has to offer.