Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Mae is quite the actress. Tonight she kept pretending she was dead. Too funny. All she has been talking about lately is her "girls school" that she goes to. I have never had a child so ready for school. I stayed at home and taught preschool to my little ones. They never wanted to be apart from me. Mae? She's oh so ready.
I wish I could keep track of all the cute, clever, surprising things she says every day.
She talks all the time and loves to use her imagination. Girls are so different from boys.

Here are some fun facts about Mae.
Mr. Grinch (she talks about him all the time)
Nathan Doctor. Apparently she had a bad dream about Nathan being a doctor?
anyone being hurt, she is so compassionate

Matilda- The film
Zoe- our dog
sleeping with whatever stuffed animal or dog she can find
her mommy and daddy
her brothers
Dress up
Her grandma Sandra

What else to say about Mae? I sure like this girl of mine.

Monday, November 29, 2010

FHE- How much is your worth?

Starting tonight, I will be sharing our Family Home Evening ideas on Mondays.
We just finished with a great lesson that Shane prepared. The kids played a "Price is Right" game. Shane made a list of items or expenses that we pay for and had the kids write down what they thought it cost. The child that came closest to the actual price without going over got 5 points. It was interesting to see what the kids thought about how much home insurance, electric bills, a pair of socks etc. costs. Rylan actually won! After the game, Shane talked about how much it costs to run a family.
Then the kids had a morse code quote that they had to decode to translate the following scripture from D&C 18:10 " Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of god". While they were busy with the morse code, I dressed up as a stranger and slipped outside. I knocked on the door and Shane answered and I introduced myself as a neighbor and begged to buy one of his children. No amount of money would be accepted and I went back out. The point was to show the kids how priceless they are to us. Mae started crying when I went outside and didn't get the whole skit at all. She was very upset and gave me her 3 quarters. She said with tears in her eyes " Here you go mommy, take my money and I'll stay with you". So sweet!
Afterwards we decorated Christmas cookies. I am really feeling the Christmas spirit this year and am loving our cozy home with all the fun decorations.

Disclaimer- All FHE activities tonight were from the great book "Fun for family night".

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The tree is UP!

I'd love to write a witty post but my allergies are INSANE today. Insane as in....nose stuffed, sneezes every 3-5 seconds, wetting of pants every 3-5 minutes as well, eyes red, itchy and watery, AND I am awnry. Sooo.....until tomorrow...enjoy the pics.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Indie Banditas Christmas Bazaar Year 3!

Amazing show, definitely one of the best. The artists were incredible, the atmosphere cozy and my spirits restored in the power of handmade crafts.

Everyone did well and everyone had a great time.

A rough estimate would be at least over 500 in attendance.

Love my artists....what an amazing job I have!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Did I mention we had a storm?

Hm, thought I had, but guess not. As you know it...SN&^!ed on Monday. Wouldn't you know it, we had high winds Tuesday. So...the kids were able to have nearly the entire week out of school.
F-U-N. BECAUSE.....of course....trees fell on power lines and everyone at one point or another on this little island, had a power outage. We headed immediately to Gmas....again, and we have been here ever since. Sure, our power may have come back on sometime ago, but we don't want to leave. Nope. Woodstove....clean, warm house. etc. Gma left for Leavenworth on Thursday morning to go see her "other" kid. We are dogsitting until Saturday. We were lucky to have a woodburning stove the entire 17 hours we were without power. Sorry....we were lucky. Some families went days.
It was Rylans grand idea to make chocolate chip cookies on top of the stove. They turned out great. Nathan serenaded us with his sweet guitar playing and we played games all day.
I kinda like it when the power goes out.....when we have gmas to go to.
PS- My Christmas Bazaar started today! It's going great!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thankgiving

From our family to yours.....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I HATE Pie!!!

I knew there was a reason that I hated sweets. Tonights experience confirmed why.
I don't "do" pies. I buy pies, i'll take a bite of a cherry pie once in a while, and i'll even do the buy it and roll it out kind. Hey...I can cook. Really...I CAN cook a mean turkey, stuffing...etc.
Pies...eh. Let's just say that I am about ready to throw the pies out the door.
To start with....the stinkin crust. It's so dang temperamental! It's wants it's shortening to be warm, it wants it's water to be ice cold. Heaven help the woman (cursed ME) that tries to do it any other way. So what I ended up with was a crumbling, impossible to work with, overworked crust that I had to "pinch pot" my way to semi prettiness. Yeah...I used pinch pot to describe my crust. Look it up...it's a real technique. (Glances sideways). Anyways... the pumpkin pie is mostly punkin and a slab of crust at the bottom. Hey, at least I bought cool whip to cover it up and when you see the after photos, that I will take....you wont even notice. Right? The only problem? We happen to be spending dessert with our friends the Ross's and she happens to be a PHENOMENAL cook. I emphasized the word because um....she is an amazing cook. So...one wonders...will anyone eat it? Maybe I should just go out and buy one.
I can't cover it up with Cool Whip. My very first apple pie by the way. Rylan made sure to tell everyone how crappy it looks. Thanks buddy.
That's enough ranting for now. Happy Pre THanksgiving to everyone. I hope you all have better luck than me, and if you do.....please spare me the photos~

Monday, November 22, 2010

I WONT put sn@! in my title!

Everywhere I look today, facebook, twitter, emails, tv, blogs, etc. It says SNOW.
Us Washingtonians are pretty darn excited about this white stuff. Why? Because we hardly ever get it and when we do, it usually doesn't stick around long.
I want to have this noted, everyones excitement that is, because, next month, this is what I will see.
"Will it EVER go away", " I Hate Snow", "Where's the sun"....etc. and I will remind them of their foolish excitement. I lived for 5 years in Alaska before moving here as a child. I KNOW snow.
Do I like it? Sure...it's pretty. Do I want to go out in it? Nope. Same with sun though really.
Today Mae, Zoe (our dog) and I stayed in bed until noon o'clock. Yup, we did.
We are not even dressed as we speak (well, we are in jammies, and the dog, well, she has fur). It's nice. I don't feel the need to go anywhere, do anything.
Tonight is FHE and we will be talking mostly about preparedness. Getting the lanterns out, talking about the plan for installing our wood stove next week and all the work of chopping and stacking wood. Right now, I put a pork roast in the oven with some shallots, leeks, baby red potatoes and carrots.
In a little bit, I will bake some chocolate chip cookies. From scratch? Hm....nope.
I ought to get dressed. At least put a bra on, and if you know me at all....sorry for that visual.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

They WON!!!!

They DID it AGAIN!!!! This is the 3rd year in a row, not to mention that before Myron joined a couple of years ago, they had won 3 years in a row as well!! These kids are incredible and the team spirit is just amazing. I have never been on a team where the kids are such good friends an play so well together. It was truly a team effort and I am very thankful that Myron was there today. He wouldn't have felt as if he earned it if he wan't there.
So.....now we are on to State again and we have heard that the fields in Bellingham are not good enough to hold the game, so....I am praying that they accept our fields as a competent location!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Powers Out!

There's nothing I enjoy more than a power outage. Hey, I enjoy the fear of trees falling as much as the next guy. With that being said, Where am I you ask? "Surely with the power out, you would not have a lamp on". Well, as much as I'd love to tell you that I am still at home with a lovely generator powering my lamps, television, and laptop...in all reality, I ran my little fanny (and kids)to Grandmas house.....again. Here we have the woodstove to keep us warm if the power goes out and plenty of things and space for the kids. In a weeks time, we will have our own little wood stove installed and ready to go. I have dreams of the boys chopping and stacking wood, sitting around a roaring (inside the stove) fire, reading books by candlelight and every other Little House on the Prairie stereotype I can invoke. The funny thing is, I never turn the heat on at home. I prefer to be cold. But, something about the power being out AND it being cold, just doesn't work for me. So, here I sit, in a fully POWERful environment, tapping away on my laptop and enjoying all that modern conveniences can provide. I realize many of you are without power and I feel for you, I really do. We've done our time too!
It's going to be a cold winter this year. Time to get prepared!

PS! Myrons soccer team beat both teams today in the Presidents Cup tournament!
He even scored a goal...with his HEAD!! So...tomorrow they will play to win.
They have won the last 2 years, so here's to hoping they win again! Then it's off to state in Bellingham. Yippee!
Disclaimer- Although we are attending Myrons soccer game tomorrow...we do not condone breaking the sabbath.....unless it's really really really worth it!!
Hey, we're not perfect, but....we have the rest of our lives to work on that!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Conjunctivitis and you...

Aka Pink Eye. It has attacked this ginormous family of mine with quite a fierceness.
So far, half of us have battled it and our prescription is nearly out.
I have nicknamed it stink eye, because anytime I talk to my children while in this predicament
they give me just that...stink eye.
So, while we have stink eye, we do laundry at least 5 times a day, change the bedding daily, do our drops 4 times daily and other tasks not ordinary except to the most compulsive cleaner. (B, I expect none of your defensive rationalizing!)
I'd rather wrap each childs entire eye zone with gauze and make em wait it out.
Oh wait...I DID try that and a certain kid whined all through it. What a great experience to pretend you are blind though!
Character building, that's what I call it.

Ps- Props to Jiffy Mart off Valley Rd. I was .81 cents short for an item and the owner, said "no, don't worry about it". This may not seem like a big deal to you, but it was such a sweet gesture that I just had to share it. Shop there when you can. The little shop around the corner that always welcomes you with a big smile and a hello.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Change in direction

My last post, wasn't meant as an insistent plea for invitations to Thanksgiving dinner, although it might be nice, it was my goal at changing the direction of my blog.
Instead of blogging about boring daily activities and snappy one liners to describe the photos, that would only be interesting to friends and family, I have decided to truly write how I feel with (hopefully) a witty and comical approach to my life.
You may already know that I love to read the CJane blog (see button to the right of the screen).
She doesn't just appeal to her family and friends, but to strangers as well. So, this is what I am going to try to do.
Sometimes those that know me might feel uncomfortable at my candidness and shocking opinions, but I really want to start writing about how I FEEL about things.
Being in mommy land, one forgets that one ever had opinions on anything that doesn't involve
child rearing and all the things that go along with that.
So...here we go....

Turkey Day

Well, it's nearly Turkey Day and as usual, the Butlers haven't been asked once to share this pilgrim feast with anyone. It's hard not to develop a complex. What is it about us that obviously
shuns people away? Is it our ginormous family, my intimidating wit, or my cooking? These are questions enough to make even the most secure feel inadequate. Let's dissect the theories.
The Butlers DO bring an intimidatingly large number to the table, but doesn't my cooking overcompensate for this? Maybe it IS my cooking? The lack of creativity, and traditional know how? I do make the standard green bean, Campbells cream of mushroom soup casserole, when I could be doing the swiss, bacon, FRESH (what?) green bean casserole. Is it my wanting to monopolize your kids and mines attention. I DO favor kids to adults. Maybe I am looking at this from the wrong perspective? I should be inviting people to our house, but.....fact is..our house is pretty small. In fact, it's like living on a boat. So here, "shopper arounders" for people to have over. Heres what we can bring to the "table" sort of speak.
-A 14 year old that refuses to do anything we ask, but WILL do anything YOU ask.
-A 13 year old that can say a heck of a prayer and at the same time, while your eyes are closed, sneak a roll.
-A 12 year old so eager to please, he will gladly jump from your roof if you dare him too.
-A 6 year old that wont eat anything but the marshmallows and secretly feed your pet under the table
-A 3 year old so completely bossy that none of us can eat until she says HER proper prayer.
-OH.....and a overwhelmed mama with a show the next day and a husband that by all rights just might leave her for her insanity that said week.
So....I leave you with that thought. How can you turn us down. I mean.......how "CUTE" are we??

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Torah!! She's already 1 month old!

You may remember my dear friend that just had her 5th baby, little Torah now a whole month old. She posted on her blog this cute photo of her sweet one in a tshirt from one of my artists and I just have to share.
Oh how this little one and I are going to love each other. I just know it. She is just about the cutest thing I have ever seen and I am happy for the excuse to sit closer to them in church so I can hold her as much as they'll let me.
Love you little Torah.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Beautiful Truth- DVD- Must watch

We just watched this documentary tonight. It is so very insightful. My mother died from cancer at age 38. So young. She had mercury fillings. About 4 of them. So do I. I have also allowed Rylan to be fixed with a filling as well. Luckily it was on his baby tooth and it fell out. Right now, I am debating on whether or not to have my fillings removed. As I watched this tonight, I realized just how very important it is to stick to a strict diet with my family. You can no longer trust to just go grocery shopping and blindly shop for what you like. Sure shopping organic and local can be expensive, but look at the alternatives. I have several friends that do not eat meat based on the Word of Wisdom. This always hit home for me, but growing up with my whole mothers side as farmers, I grew up on meat and potatoes. This ensues an entire life style change. Really though, how do you know if your meat is safe? We didn't use to have to deal with these topics. Now we do. At least if I am feeding my children organic and whole foods, I feel that I am delaying the doctor visits a bit.

What are you feelings? Please watch the film and let me know. It is available on Netflix.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bellingham with Rhonda!

At Eric and Maddies, above. Sadly these are the only photos we were able to take all of today. We kept forgetting the camera or batteries etc.
We left this morning at 7:10 am. YES......ME!! I was oh so sleepy. We headed to Bellingham. Rhondas birthday gift to me. It only took us about an hour and a half outside Edmonds. I know, long trip, but we so needed the girl time. NO KIDS! Shane had the kids on a scout campout and Matt had her kids for a wrestling camp thingamajig. We planned on thrifting hardcore and then hitting some cute boutiques. Done and Done.

The best stop, the AMAZING bookstore downtown. We were able to see my little sister Haley for a few minutes, but her friend had come from Idaho to see her, so we hugged and went our seperate ways. Then, we drove out to see my other brother Eric. I happen to have 3 siblings that live in Bellingham now, so we will be heading out there often.

Fun things we did today-
Shopping at some great boutiques
Lunch at Taco Lobo ( R would be so proud of me for pronouncing it right)
Amazing book store with nooks and crannies and thousands and thousands of books
Rose (yes ROSE) Ice cream at Mallards. It actually tastes the way roses smell.
Tea shoppe for some nummy tea
Over to Erics
Crepes at The Crepery in Kingston
Great day. Not bad for getting home by 8pm!
Ps- Nonny bought me 2 vintage Raggedy Ann books at my favorite store for my birthday present.
I was able to give her present to her the day before her birthday. An amazing piece of artwork by MULUK.
Happy Day....goodnight!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

LXD- Charles Oliver

Most of you know Charles, but for those of you who do not, he is a brilliant film director, writer, producer and good friend of mine. He made an amazing film "Take" a few years back with Minnie Driver. Just last year he embarked on a new project about dancers (all sorts) that use their talents to battle. We just watched the first season tonight and were blown away. It was easy to tell which episodes were his. Artistic, fun...expertly shot. You can find the first season on netflix or youtube if you'd like a sneak peak. I am so proud of him and am honored to be a part of his fan club.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I spoke tonight!!!

Brooke, you missed it and we missed you!
I gave my first talk. Well, I take that back. I spoke at a baptism once, but not a 10 minute talk!
I feel so happy and empowered. I got to speak about the importance of handmade and repurposed items.
What a spiritual and beautiful experience to study Elder Uchtdorfs talk on creativity.
It was a great night and I am on a spiritual high. Here is the talk . My aunt Kay wanted to read it and she is in Idaho, so here ya go!

What do you think of when you think of handmade crafts?
Grandmas afgan? knitted sweaters? needlepoint?
Well I am going to talk to you tonight about how handmade crafts don't have to
be your grandmas crafts, and if they are...how you can modernize and make them your own by
either using items from your own home, or your local thrift store.
With the economy in the state it is in, I encourage each of us to make even just one handmade item this holiday season.
If you look at the great display to my ______, you will see items that have been handmade by you.
There is no doubt that we have great talent among the sisters in our ward.
Before I get too much into the mechanics of handmade, I'd like to go back to Elder Uchtdorfs message about "creating".
The Work of Creation
The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.
Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.
Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children.
You might say, “I’m not the creative type. When I sing, I’m always half a tone above or below the note. I cannot draw a line without a ruler. And the only practical use for my homemade bread is as a paperweight or as a doorstop.”
If that is how you feel, think again, and remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.
But to what end were we created? We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fulness of joy.4 Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things.
If you are a mother, you participate with God in His work of creation—not only by providing physical bodies for your children but also by teaching and nurturing them. If you are not a mother now, the creative talents you develop will prepare you for that day, in this life or the next.
You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us.5 The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.
What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.
If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify " end quote.

In our premortal existence, we were part of the great creation. It is in our souls to create.
You can imagine my excitement when I first heard this! Being so creative minded, there are many times when I felt selfish for wanting to craft instead of more productive things. I felt like he was speaking directly to me, and he was.....to each of us.

Being a part of this great organization called The Relief Society, means that we are a part of this great "creating" universe. We are handmade nations, biggest and greatest supporters! Our society has been making things by hand since the beginning of our churchs organization. We make things together for charities, ill members, scouts, our bishopric, etc. ALL the TIME! We have learned sewing, writing, card making, and the list goes on and on. All these crafts are for the purpose of enriching someone else's lives. In turn, enriching ourselves.
Remember when you were little, the joy of giving your mother or father something YOu created? Not something bought from a store, but something you made with your own hands. The excitement when the person receiving the gift would say "oh, you made this? It's wonderful". It's easy to run to Target in a pinch and buy something. I still do it, but I want you all to think of how it feels for the person receiving it to get something that you made . You are giving something irreplaceable, unique, one of a kind!
It's like cooking, cooking with love tastes so much better right? When I am making something for someone, I am thinking of that person, or prospective people that I want to give it to. The gift isn't just the item itself, it's my time, my love. I know that my gift will always be fondly looked upon. That I am building a relationship with that person. Everything handmade has a story behind it. How many of you have something made from a grandmother, greatgrandmother or another person? Those people will move on in life and wont be with us forever, but their items will. You can pass their heirlooms on to future generations and those generations will have a story and piece of that person forever.
What better way to share Christs love than by the small sacrifice of taking time to create for someone else.
I'd like to share this poem with you:
With these hands I make you something I hold dear,
in hopes you will feel the love for you that's so sincere.
These hands may not make the works of art that I may dream,
but there is love and timeless thought within each stitch and seam.
I hope you take this item that I crafted just for you,
and know that your always in my heart through and through....

Most of you know that I have been organizing and running an Craft Bazaar for the past few years. I even opened a store this past year, although that was short lived.
I am passionate about handmade items. Recycling, creating, reusing and repurposing. I truly feel that this is what my heavenly father wants for me to do in this lifetime and I feel so honored to talk with you all about it tonight.
Times are hard right now. There is no better time than now to be thinking of ways to save money, especially with the Christmas season quickly approaching.
I have brought a number of my own books about crafting. You are welcome to borrow them.
I grew up in a very creative family. Grandma painted, sewed, wrote poetry, quilted, canned, cooked, gardened etc. So did all my aunts, cousins, and even an uncle.
Because of this, I can't ever stick with one craft. This has been a blessing and a curse at the same time.
The curse-I have several several SEVERAL baskets of materials, tools, odds and ends etc. AKA. Projects never finished.
The Blessings- I have learned several several SEVERAL crafts and can share some with you tonight.
Reducing our carbon footprint is a must. We teach our scouts this, but we really need to be teaching everyone in our congregation.

Recycling and repurposing is really in trend right now. Saving items that would otherwise be thrown out is a must in this ever growing commercial world we live in.
You can visit your local thrift store or closet and come up with some great ideas.
Take this sock monkey for instance, it is what it is.....it's made from socks.
What about this old sweater? How about a skirt for a toddler? A flower brooch? A stuffed animal? Mittens?
An old board game? A purse, a picture frame
Book pages? A cute wallet, passport cover. Brooch? Book mobile
Or even an old cabinet from a thrift store? Now a cute vintage book shelf.
What about old missing puzzle pieces? Now a cute refridgerator magnet.
Take nothing and make it into something! Stumped on what to do? There are some great sites online to help you out.
Etsy is the handmade craft mecca of the world. Hundreds of thousands of crafters from all over the world sell their unique handmade items through this site.
I like to visit to get ideas. There are also incredible do it yourself blogs that give you step by step instructions. I have a list printed out, if anyone would like this.
There are ways to not only make your items look professional, but package your items to look professional as well.

We have a fun, quick, easy, project to share with you tonight. There are many variations of this project.
I hope that as we use our hands tonight to craft and visit we will be ever aware of the love of Christ that we can share by these small
tokens we create.
I'd like to bear my testimony of the importance of thoughtfulness. Thoughtfulness portrayed through creating by hand.
Of the amazing example of Christ and our fellow sisters that show this every day.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Yay for photos again!

I am on mama Sandys laptop until my power cord comes in the mail. I took this opportunity to upload some photos finally. Here are some of my favorites from the last week and a half. Rylan was sick for Halloween. As the boys were leaving to go trick or treating, his brothers came up with a plan to smuggle him in their backpacks. He was really hoping it would work. Sorry little guy. Brennan went as an injured player.

Remember that high fever I blogged about previously? Well here's the little guy at urgent care.
So stinkin cute. The nurses couldn't get enough of his freckles.

Mae had to get in on the cool Mickey Mouse dr. masks.
While we were at Urgent care for the 2nd time this week (with Myrons pink eye), Grandma took Mae shopping and spoiled her rotten as usual.
Grandma bought her, her Christmas dress and pretty shoes. It was hard to get it off her!