Thursday, February 26, 2009

Learning the Value of Your Word

Trenton has been struggling with honesty the last few months. To put it plainly, the little rat has been lying like a rug, and about the stupidest, minor things. Part of his consequences for these lies is that we don't trust his word until he can prove himself to be trustworthy again. He's been making good strides in that department but until I can see some consistency and a pattern of honesty his word is mud around here.

So this morning he and Avery got into a heated sitution and Avery was obviously in the wrong. When I called them to me to work it out, Avery ran the gamut between outright lies and the ever-popular, " I don't remember". All his tells were showing. Trenton was obviously the victim and Avery was very clearly in need of punishment. The circumstances were classic Avery misbehavior and the situation wasn't one that Trenton would be clever enough to come up with on his own.

So I had a guilty party and a wronged party. The trouble was I also had a the word of a confirmed liar (Trenton) against the word of an obviously lying Avery. What to do?

I punished them both. Before punishing them I explained to Trenton that I knew he did nothing wrong and I knew Avery was lying. But since he has a history of not telling th truth all I had to go on was the word of someone who is untrustworthy against the word of someone who is trustworthy. So even though he was the victim, he needed to be punished too. His word just wasn't enough to mean something to me.

Trenton understood completely and if ever I've seen a 'light bulb" moment it was then. He grinned at me and told me he really understands what a man's word is worth now. And then he happily went to his punishment. I pointed out to Avery that an innocent child was being disciplined because he wouldn't tell the truth.

About an hour later Avery came to me "remembering" what had really happened and absolved Trenton from any involvement.

I was so pleased that I was able to get through to both of them. Sure, this is just one battle. But we got a lightbulb moment and Avery's conscience led him to do the right thing.

I've always told the kids that without your word, you're nothing. Now I think they are starting to understand what that means.

P.S. Sorry I haven't been posting many crafty things, I've been doing tons but it's all stuff I can't share just yet.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Parenting Post

With over a decade of parenting three active boys I feel I have a right to an opinion – okay, many opinions - on child rearing children under the age of twelve. Anything to do with children older than 12.75 years is your business and frankly anything pertaining to raising girls is something I’ll respectfully stay silent on. But boys between zero and thirteen are my specialty. I’ll be peppering my blog with this scandalous content intermittently so stay tuned.

Opinion Number One:

You aren’t doing them a favor letting them be picky eaters. Imagine your little angel meeting his future in-laws. MIL to-be starts to spoon a serving of green beans onto the fine china plate in front of him and he looks at her in horror. Or worse he gags at the thought of putting a green vegetable into his mouth. Imagine he’s on a business trip with his boss and they all go to a restaurant. He can’t order anything because he only eats white food and the very sight of condiments sicken him.

Seriously folks. I see this sort of mealtime shenanigans all the time when out with other parents. Do you really think they’ll grow out of it? Not if you keep pandering to them they won’t. Take it from *this* picky eater. All you are providing them with is a lifetime of balking and worry when faced with strange food.

One of our sons will literally throw up at the table when presented with a new food that he finds objectionable. Knowing this, we still require him to have one miniscule serving – usually a tablespoon full. Since they were little I’ve told them it takes thirty-six experiences with a new food to get used to it and feel friendly towards it. Since no one counts how many times they’ve encountered baked beans they just assume “friendliness” with the new food is just a few more “visits” away. And as the years passed and terror towards jambalaya has turned to a great love of it, apple crisp, once a strange, lumpy and fruit-laden (ewwww!) dish is now so highly prized it’s asked for at birthdays. My boys have learned from their own personal experiences that “The Rule of Thirty-Six” is basically infallible.

Parents: Quit making life harder for your kids. Every time you let them shrink away from new experiences you’re sentencing them to a life of fear. Do you really want to raise an adult who is afraid of a nice chowder?

You'll Be Seeing More of Me...

... At Clear Artistic Stamps!

I've been asked to be the By Invitation Only designer for Clear Artistic Stamps for the month of March.

As my tutorials are posted I'll be sure to add a link here so you can see what I'm up to.

This is so exciting. *grin*

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When Did We Become *THAT* Family???

I came downstairs today to find a shedding dog on my aging couch, a ten gallon aquarium teeming (okay, not teeming but certainly active) with ten legged scavengers on my nice oak buffet, a bowl of jiggly jewels on the counter next to a vat of home made slime... need I say more?

To add to the mix I have three tall, not-that-adorable-anymore grinning, shoving, running, pushing, smelly boys at various stages of puberty. We've become those homeschoolers you hear about.

Even worse, we're vegan, alternative, non-competitive, natural-consequences oriented, with a respect-the-children approach to parenting. My friend J to say he's surprised I'm not wearing a hemp headband with my Doc Martens. So yeah... we've gotten weirder as we've gotten older.

When the boys were small our house was fairly spotless and we revelled in our minimalist Scandinavian decor (Ikea) and our nicely framed art on the walls. The slip was incremental. We removed the pillar candles in a vase of smooth river rocks and made room for the plants we were growing for science. We took down some of the prints to hang paintings done by our little artist and the spare room, once a glorious teal sanctuary, has converted into his art studio - paint splashes on the sheer ribbin edged curtains and all. My kitchen, once so barren and spacious inevitably houses a science project or some art work - mine or the boys.

It's not all bad. The windowsill that was pristine years ago now houses my turkey bouquet (sage, thyme and rosemary) and our meals are graced with fresh spices thanks to that concession. While our hardwood floor is never clean, our sweet Bubby warming up my feet while I read is a very worthy trade. I look around and I see a house that's alive; overflowing with interesting thoughts, interesting people and wonderful learning opportunities. It's a house full of love.

I used to take it as a huge compliment that people often said our homes reminded them of a show home. No one would say that now but this is so much better.

P.S. The picture above features Brayden and Gross - one of the three hermit crabs who have recently come into our life.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Baby Is Ten!

Our precious youngest son is ten years old today. It's been such a fast decade and the next decade will see our kids leaving home, college maybe even marriage. Gosh. Where did the time go?

We are having a really pleasant low-key day. Here's a picture from this morning:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Odd Bird Planet Card

I just love how cute the sentiments over at Odd Bird Planet are. Here's one I used yesterday:

The paper is American Crafts Romance and Bazzil. Stamps used:
Kelly's Owl in a Hole Big
Owl Love You Forever

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Friends Challenge

Over at the Card Sketch a Day Blog they have a challenge on Fridays where the first three people to make a card based on the sketch get their cards displayed. Here's my entry, you can never have too many Christmas cards *grin*

Thursday, February 19, 2009

In a Spring Frame of Mind

Good Morning :-)

The sun is shining so bright this morning and it's actually not snowing for the first time in days. The glorious weather put me in a spring frame of mind so I started working on Easter cards. Here's one using Odd Bird Planet stamps and Kazan's Sketch 20:

You can either imagine the banner as the line across the top or you can picture the sketch upside down. *grin*

I used Basic Grey paper, Bazzil Cardstock, Prima Flowers and Making Memories brads.

Teresa's Banner
Nest with eggs
Fairy Chicklet Left
Bunny Ears Chicklet
Floppy Ears Chicklet Right

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Shirt, Toot & Things To Do This Weekend

Hello ~

I didn't do a very good job giving hints as to my favorite stamp... maybe a picture of the shirt I bought would help.

Feeling crafty and not sure what to do? This weekend there are a lot of really fun things going on. The Scrap-Room is having a cyber-crop. There will be challenges, tutorials and lots of chit-chat. Everyone gets a ton of pages done. Splitcoast Stampers is having their Virtual Stamp Night. The theme is, What's Love Got to Do With It? and a new challenge is issued every hour. You have one hour to complete each challenge but you can do them at any time between Friday and Sunday night. I participated in the last VSN and learned some new techniques and made some cute cards I never would have thought of.

And some happy news for me, I'm going to have two of my designs included in an upcoming book by Paper Crafts.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Curried Lentils and Potatoes

This is one of my favorite foods and I thought I'd share the recipe. My biggest "problem" with recipes is that I cook by taste and tend to throw in whatever is looking a little limp in the fridge. So standardizing anything into a recipe someone can follow is no small task. But because you all deserve to eat this delicious dish, I'll try.This recipe freezes really well and also morphs into soup with ease so I tend to double the recipe (which is perfect as it's a whole bag of lentils) and eat all week.

The bare bones recipe is:

3.5 Cups of liquid (water, broth, coconut milk or combination)
1 Cup Lentils
1TBS Curry
2 potatoes peeled and cut in big chunks
lots and lots of pepper

Optional Items:

one onion
veggie (or chicken) broth or bouillon
light coconut milk
plain yogurt
veggie sour cream
chopped cilantro

Optional first step: Chop and fry up an onion. Once it is soft and golden, add a clove of minced garlic and cook for one more minute.

1. Wash and pick over lentils. Put in big pot (with lid) and add liquid. I usually pour a can of light coconut milk into my measuring cup and then add water/broth to it to make seven cups (remember, I double the recipe).
2. Bring to a boil and then cook on med-low for about 15 minutes, until lentils start to soften.
3. Bury potatoes under lentils. Put the lid on and simmer without disturbing for ten minutes.
4. Check to see if it's getting too dry, add liquid if needed. Stir gently and continue to cook until potatoes and lentils are tender.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper

This is a thick stew not a soup so if it's soupy take of the lid and keep cooking. Serve on top of rice with lots of pepper and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream. You can also garnish with chopped cilantro if you like.

Tomato Curried Lentil Soup with Potatoes
Pictured at the top of this post.

Now here's the part that is utterly by feel. Hopefully you can glean the general concept.

Take you leftover curried lentils and put them in a soup pot. Fish out the potatoes and reserve for later in the recipe. Add leftover rice, can of tomato paste, 4-8 cups of veggie broth (or water) and several splashes of worcestershire sauce (vegan is available). Bring to a boil and simmer for ten minutes (ish). Using an immersion blender, blend soup into a textured puree. Continue to simmer until it's as thick as you like. Chop up reserved potatoes into little cubes and add back to the soup. Heat through. Season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic and curry.

This is so delicious, healthy, warming and CHEAP! The financial breakdown:

Basic recipe (doubled):

Lentils: 1.39
Water: ~~~~
Curry Powder: 0.25
Potatoes: 1.00
Rice: 1.00

This makes about ten servings, so about thirty-five cents a serving.

The deluxe recipe adds:

Light coconut milk: 1.69
Onion: 0.40
Garlic: 0.25
Bouillon: (I use Better than Bouillon paste and add my own water) 1.00
$3.34 + $3.64 = $7.00

Which is still only seventy cents per serving. And this is hearty stuff, even my big eaters slow down at the bottom of the bowl.

Lentil Soup With Potatoes on FoodistaLentil Soup With Potatoes

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monster Trucks and Tattoos

This weekend we got out and did a few fun things around town. On Saturday afternoon we attended Monster Jam. In Canada during monster truck shows a Godzilla truck comes out and eats a small car after ripping it in two and then burns it with it's dragon's breath. They also have jet cars that incinerate a vehicle. This was more races and obstacles with minimal destruction. Once we figured out the difference it was a good time. We're still way too Canadian for all that yelling and Rah! Rah! style patriotism but we did the wave and did our best to join in. Click on the pic to see it larger.

Then for our date, Chris and I went to the 6th annual SLC Tattoo Convention. There were artists from all over the world and they were busy getting everyone inked. When I was much younger I worked in a tattoo shop for a summer and the convention gave me that good to be home feeling. At one point one of the artists asked us if we owned our own shop. I think we blended in just fine. Looking at all the flash and through the image books had me positively twitching to get home and create something. It was very inspiring. Someday I want to get my tattoo covered with something meaningful. It was great to see so many masterfully done cover-ups.

I bought a shirt that is very similar to my favorite stamp. I'll have to get one of the boys to snap a picture of me wearing it to show you all. Tres cool. So, who knows which stamp is my favorite? Not stamp line - a specific stamp.

P.S. The LO above doesn't have any stamps in it. It's wholly comprised of flyers, stickers, business cards and other hand outs from the artists and shops who's booths we visited.

Teaser: this week I'll be posting a recipe a tutorial and an announcement.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A LO and a Card

Happy Valentines Day.

We don't celebrate V-Day - just not our thing - but we happened to have tickets to a monster truck show in Salt lake City this afternoon that everyone is excited about. I haven't been to one since I was 20 (my one and only) but if memory serves, the kids are going to love it.

If I'm mobile we're going to a tattoo convention for our date tonight. That should be interesting. I'm looking forward to being inspired by all the cool art. There is even a vendor there who sells tattoo inspired quilts. They're quite marvelous.

Here is a LO I made using Susan's monthly sketch for The Scrap-Room:

And here is another card I made using Clearly Artistic Stamps and that luscious flocked paper from Making Memories:

Friday, February 13, 2009

February Sheetload of Cards

I just love Sheetload of Cards and after missing the last two months I was determined to make a stack this month. The concept is genius!

My challenge was that I wanted to make boy cards. Not crafty-girl-makes-a-card-that-is-boy-friendly but a card a boy would actually think is cool. So no ribbon, no buttons, no cool sprocket that look like flowers to a little boys eye. None of my usual fall backs. I also wanted to make a flat card *gasp* because I'm tired of paying the additional shipping only to have things squished in the mail.

This is what I came up with and my three tween boys heartily approved:


I used cupcake creature and orange you sweet from Odd Bird Planet.

Did you know OBP are having a sale on their limited edition kits. Fairytales! Monkeys! Ladies Dancing! Love it :-)

A Few More Cards

This sitting still thing is awesome! *grin* Sure, moving around is even better but I was able to get in a respectable amount of crafting time - my first since the trip.

I was wondering how you gals manage new stamps. I ink them all up, stamp and emboss them and then use the ones I want and file the rest in my images folder. It saves me a lot of time as I can do all the messy inking and embossing at once and I stamp on both watercolor paper and bristol paper so I can decide later whether to water color or use colored pencils. I tend to color when I'm in the mood as well which isn't perfect for matching to papers later but it makes me happy.

Here are a few more cards I made using Clearly Artistic Stamps.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2S4Y / Clearly Artistic Stamps

If you recall, I won some wonderful stamps from Clearly Artistic Stamps for my altered box over at Sheetload. I had inked, embossed and even colored several of the images but hadn't got them on cards. Since today was a sit down day I thought it would be a great opportunity to find those sweet orphaned images a home.

This card I made loosely following this weeks sketch by Laura over at 2sketches4you:

And here's another card I made using Clearly Artistic Stamps:

Thanks for popping by :-)

12 on the 12th/Update

Just a reminder to anyone who is taking twelve photos on the twelfth of the month that today is the day.

Me? I don't think I'm mobile enough to take pics so I'm going to download twelve product shots of the homeschool curriculum we're using at the moment. I think it'll be a neat alternate snapshot of our academic life.

I took a bad fall on Tuesday evening and am paying the piper today, you can only delay the inevitable with modern medicine for so long.

So let's just say:

If my back was driving conditions, they'd be zero visibility.
If it was a snow storm they'd have closed the mountain.
Basically my check engine light is flashing so I'm putting it in park until I can see a mechanic.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Padme and Annakin (ish)

Hey Everyone :-)

I'm swamped today but I wanted to post this pic that I promised to share. This is definitely the funniest anniversary picture ever:

We originally were going to be Han and Leia but then the photographer asked me to clutch Chris's arm, worried, hiding behind him and Chris started laughing and said that won't do. Then we asked, " Any shots where the girl has the gun?"

Monday, February 9, 2009

We're Back

It's good to be home and easing into our normal routine.

This afternoon I made a LO using pictures of Chris and I from our trip last week. It met the requirements for this months diva challenge at TSR ( make a LO using the theme find, keep, start or still - I chose still) and it met the Valentine's Day Bombshell Stamps Challenge over at Paper Craft Planet ( heart, bombshell stamp, jewels, ribbon). Don't you just love double-duty projects?

Here it is:

The text reads: We're still having fun and you're still the one.

This is the first time I colored white thickers ( the 14). Ink was problematic as it basically made a stamp pad. Then I tried my prismacolor markers which sort of sat on top of the wet ink. I decided it needed a little sparkle so I smeared the sorry mess with red Stickles and like how it turned out.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fourteen Wonderful Years

Chris and I celebrated our 14th anniversary today. It was a blast and we had fun with it. Probably the most hysterical bit of celebrating came when we had our faces digitally added to a picture of Padme and Anakin Skywalker. We also Brayden and Trenton done up as Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. Love it! I can't wait to post pics of it once we are back.

In the interim:

The Bride:

The Groom:

The Happy Couple:

Sending you all love from sunny California :-)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Yes, I did!

We're having a great time in Disneyland. Everyone has fairly brutal colds but you tend to forget about them when zipping around on a rolller coaster. One fun thing I did was take pictures on California Screamin' I thought I was going to be busted for sure. This is in the middle of the upside down loop:

Brayden sitting beside me - I had to get the camera outside the restraints, no small task:

And Trenton in the car behind me:

Yes, I'm a bad girl - but I got the shot *grin*

Some others from our day, the Birthday Boy:

Avery ( I was mad for the texture and color under the Golden Gate Bridge - what a backdrop! ):

I'll post more tomorrow :-)