Thursday, September 29, 2011

Halloween Books

We checked out a big pile of Halloween books from the library this week and here Bryn's two favorites of the bunch. Both happen to be by the same author: Erica Silverman
Big Pumpkin is such a cute, cute story. I think this will be the Halloween book we buy this year. Different Halloween characters have to work together to break the big pumpkin off the vine and then they all eat pumpkin pie together. It's a cute, well-written story. Bryn LOVES it. The Halloween House is a funny spoof on the "Over the Meadow" classic book/song. Do you know that classic? Bryn loves the original, so she loved that this book is read to the same "tune" but with Halloween scenes. The illustrations are great, too.
Hooray for holiday books!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Today I bought myself a Disneyland annual pass. Yep. I've thought about it since we've lived here, but I was too practical/CHEAP to get one even though we only live 30 minutes away from the park. My friends all have passes and I always said I was going to get one, but I never thought I'd actually do it.
But you know what? It's been a really hard year and a half and I had another disappointment this weekend, and so it was time for something FUN! A Disneyland pass is the next best thing to a new baby, right? All joking aside, I think this will be a really fun thing for Bryn and I to do each week. We spent all day there and Bryn is already asking to go back. It's fun to see her so excited about something! I think I've done a good thing :)

Monday, September 26, 2011


I'm still finishing Bryn's photo album from 2010, and I just found these pictures of Bryn exactly a year ago. Her hair is a little longer now, but her personality doesn't seem to have changed much. I love this girl.

Friday, September 23, 2011

This is Brynlee

Josh made this little rack for all of Bryn's cute little purses and necklaces, but Bryn had other intentions for it. I can't look at this picture without laughing because it is so Brynlee!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Play Group: "B Day"

We ate butterfly snacks
Practiced tracing our names, colored our letter B's
Decorated our Butterflies with two "B" things: Beads and Buttons
Hard at work
The finished product
Of course, we read a few Butterfly books. "The Hungry Caterpillar" is a classic.
"Butterflies in the Garden" had lots of butterfly pictures
And my favorite butterfly book is "Waiting for Wings" by Lois Ehlert. It follows the process of egg - caterpillar - cocoon - butterfly, and then talks about how they drink nectar from flowers.
The illustrations are BEAUTIFUL. (I love everything by Lois Ehlert! Her illustrations are some of my favorites!)
Then we talked about other Bugs and did a little matching game.
Another fun day with these cute girls! Now I'm done hosting play group until we get to "G" and "H".

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Halloween is over a month away, but we're already getting excited over here! Holidays are more and more fun each year as Bryn gets older, and is already getting excited to carve pumpkins, dress up, go trick-or-treating, etc. On Saturday I cut out lots of bats (from THIS template) and Bryn stood on the step ladder with me and helped taped them up. I thought it would look a lot cooler than it turned out! Ha! But Bryn loves "the family of bats" and talks about them all day!
We're saving our other Halloween books until we make it to October, but this is my favorite so we got it out early. It's a really cute story and I love the illustrations. Bryn is definitely a fan, as well. We have read it so much this week that I'm sure we'll be sick of it by Halloween.
***Not pictured is the authentic spiders web in my kitchen right now. I made pancakes and left the pan cooling on the stove while I went on a walk with Bryn. When we returned there was an intricate spiders web all across the pan and then leading up to my oven hood vent. Kind of creepy. Happy Halloween to me!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Play Group

We took a break from play group for the summer, but I started it again today with the letter A. It was so fun to have the girls together again, even though we missed Maddy and June who graduated to real preschool this year. We talked a lot about alligators, and read my favorite alligator book "Alligators All Around" (from the same author as "Where the Wild Things Are").
It's a clever book.
And we also read "Gator".
We practiced writing the letter A and coloring alligator A's
Then we went on an "Alligator Hunt"! I hid clothes pin alligators throughout the house and they had to find the ones that had the first letter of their name on it.
The girls got so serious about it the hunt. It was funny.
I made little felt alligator A's and they had to put on the teeth and apple.
Here they are at work
We ate apples for snack time, and danced and sang to some alligator songs I found online.
Hooray for A!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gallery Wall

When I get in a rut about the wanting-a-baby situation, one of the best remedies is making something! Usually that means making cookies, but it's better when it's painting or working on a project. One project that kept me busy for a little while was putting together this little "gallery wall" arrangement in Bryn's room. It was really fun making simple paintings and collages, collecting and painting frames, and putting it all together. It's not my grandest achievement in life, but I think it turned out fun. All the art was free or cheap, and the frames were all from goodwill or I already had them. And nothing beats a free/cheap project! Someone (I can't remeber who. Was it you?) told me a great tip for hanging clusters of frames. You tape a few sheets of wax paper together, then figure out your arrangement on the paper. Then trace the frames onto the wax paper and label which frame goes with each drawn square. Once you determine where you want it on the wall, you tape it to the wall and start hanging your pictures. When all the pictures are hung you just pull the wax paper downward and it rips through the nails and comes out. It was pretty slick. I don't know why I feel the need to highlight each silly little frame, but here goes... I drew the butterfly; my younger brother drew the bird a couple years ago; the map is cut out from an old atlas I bought for $3.00; and the lovely watercolor heart was painted by moi. The happiness quote is from a used book I got for 10 cents; I painted the blue watercolor pattern up top; and the little print on right is a postcard of a Jacqui Larsen painting. I cut the green and blue flower out of paint chips with a razor; the other flower is a little collage I made; and the orange page corresponds to the "happiness" quote from above. It is Charlie Brown playing hide and seek behind a tree. The green painting is just a little random watercolor; I made the little collage on the right from catalog pages; and the bird drawing was done by my little brother. The wood "B" has been about 10 colors now, but it's now reddish; and the bird on the right is another little collage.I painted the flower watercolor; and the orange postcard is of a Peter Everett painting. (Bad picture of that one). My friend Emily gave me the I am a Child of God print, which I really love. And there's also the painting of Spanish Fork, which I mentioned earlier this week.
And that's that. Bryn's once-bare wall is now the other extreme. When you can't paint your white apartment walls, I guess the next best thing is covering them in pictures.

Wedding Bells

My favorite (and only) sister got ENGAGED last night and I am so thrilled for her. I met Devin this summer and he is a really great guy. Marie knew of Devin from going to his BYU volleyball games last year. Then they moved to apartments right across from each other during Spring term....and it was LOVE. :)
They're both in the Marketing program at BYU, so aside from being an awesome couple, they are going to become great study buddies :) I was always picky about who dated my little sister, but I totally approve and am so grateful Marie found such a great guy.
Marie is the best of the best and I'm so excited for her! Love you Rie!

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Little Painting

I just did a small (8" x 10") painting of my in-laws rural neighborhood in Spanish Fork, Utah. I love the beautiful, open landscape of their home, and I've been wanting to paint it for a while. This is the view when you're sitting on the porch, looking to the left.
Confession: The original painting was larger and it included some of my mother-in-law's beautiful garden. But the garden part of the painting looked really bad, so I just cut off the bottom and made it into an 8" x 10" painting! Ha. I'll have to do a second attempt to include the garden!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Big Girl

Gone are the days where Bryn would pose for a cute picture! Now, instead of smiling, she's always doing one of three things:
(1) Dancing...sometimes in knee socks
(2) Making a crazy face
(3) Or stuffing food in her mouth (Now where does she get that???)
ANYWAY, Bryn has been so silly and so cute and so sweet this week! I love her more and more! And I she seems even cuter and OLDER now that she's in underwear instead of a diaper.
She's officially POTTY-TRAINED! We started on Monday morning and she had one accident right off, but she's been dry since then! The best part is that I didn't even have to push her this time or bribe her with treats and prizes. It just clicked and she was excited to be in undies. She goes 4-5 times a day now, and she always tells me when she needs to go. I was really dreading this week, but it's been so easy! We even ran errands for 4 hours today and she was fine in her undies.
And in celebration of no more diapers (woot woot!), I'm off to go make a treat! ...As if I needed an excuse.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I love this little girl.
P.S. Potty training has been a breeze the last two days! Last time we tried potty training I had to bug her all day to go potty, but it totally clicked this time and she's been awesome. We even ran a few quick errands today and she didn't wet her pants. We had one little accident yesterday morning, but none since then. Woot woot!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Third Time's a Charm

The first two times I chickened out after a few hours of potty-training, but I'm determined to stick it out this time!
Wish me luck! We're starting this morning!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Back to School

We had a fun Back to School night for the Young Women on Wednesday, which was their first day of school. They had three mini classes on education, friendship, and being an example. The speakers were so awesome, and it was a great night!
We made little sack "lunches" for them with a juice box, granola bar, apple, and cookies.
We gave them their "class schedule" the week before.
Fun night!