Sunday, December 30, 2007

Last Sunday of the year

Today at church Boo discovered the joy of drinking water out of her sippy cup and then spitting it back out. And of sticking her tongue out and making a really loud buzzing sound. I guess church, where your play is limited, is a prime place to make new discoveries like that. She enjoyed handing all her books and toys over the bench to the little boy sitting in front of us. He was delighted. I heaved a sigh of relief that she was not using her usual method of disposing of boring toys by chucking them at poor Molly's head. Towards the end I smelled something...bad day to forget the wipes. Lucky I have Anne to bail me out. She is superwoman. Boo and I hung out in nursery with Cannon today. The babies...I mean toddlers...loved singing time. Boo got really into the speckled frog song.

Clothes for kids with sensory issues

Having worked with several kids with sensory issues, my heart goes out to these parents and kids and the challenges they face. I was excited to find this site: Soft (clothing for all children) that is developing a line of clothing with the needs of kids with sensory integration issues in mind.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Straight No Chaser

Thanks to Caryn for sending me a link to these guys. They are IU-Bloomington alum. Enjoy this last Christmas music hurrah. LOVE the dreidel part.

PS - Check out their other videos on YouTube. There are some great pieces, Teen Sensation medley is oh so funny. And I am partial to Back Home in Indiana.

"Merry Christmas, every one"

Christmas, Part II.

We had a Christmas Day that was just about perfect. Boo had a great Christmas morning. She got a table and chairs, some books, a darling outfit (pink and brown, my favorite!), a magna doodle, and some art stuff. She loves to draw with (and eat) her new crayons and chalk. I was hoping the day of drawing on the wall would not come so soon, but it accidentally did. Boo was walking around with some crayons in her hand and happened to brush up against the wall in just the right way so that a crayon made a small mark on the wall. She paused, and considered this, and then her eyes lit up and she went right for the wall, crayons raised up and ready to make a REAL mark. Fortunately, Jer was close enough to grab her and we are hoping she will forget this new idea.

After presents we watched the Disney Parade, and then Boo napped while Jer and I read. That's what I love on a Christmas day - reading my new book by the Christmas tree. Later in the afternoon we got to call Peter O. in Switzerland and had a great talk with him. Boo ran through her words and animal sounds for him, I hope he enjoyed hearing her voice. It was so good to talk to him.
We went to the Ownby's for a fabulous Christmas dinner. It was great to spend the evening with such good friends. We had a traditional German rice pudding for dessert that was really good. It was a long day, Boo fell asleep on the way home.

After Boo went to bed we finished the day with The Bourne Ultimatum. I liked the first two Bourne movies ok, but I really liked this one.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas holiday! We had a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas. Jer was ill on Christmas Eve, but fortunately was feeling better and able to participate in our festivities on Christmas Day. I was busy Christmas Eve with last minute preparations - I thought I didn't have too many, but they certainly took up the whole day. But I enjoyed it all, as they were all fun Christmas-type errands. Boo went to bed early and Jer and I had a nice Christmas Eve dinner of orange glazed cornish game hens. I thought I would have at least one more year before Boo became too excited to sleep on Christmas Eve, but it happened this year. She is usually a sound sleeper for 12 hours at night, but around midnight she popped up and was jabbering and wide awake...must have been listening for Santa!

Christmas morning was so much fun. Boo loved opening her gifts, and as I watched her I kept thinking, "What a GREAT fine motor activity this is...we will have to open gifts at least once a week!"

I will post more on our Christmas activities with some pictures and VIDEOS :) a little later, but for now I am grounding myself from blogging until the house is cleaned and my classes are finished.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas at the Zoo

On Friday night, Jer and I took Boo to see the Christmas lights at the zoo. Boo loved the Christmas lights. She would look up at the lights in the trees and say, "Wow" over and over. Much more impressed with the lights than with the snow.

We didn't get too far into the zoo before she spied the gift shop. She ran in and headed straight for the stuffed bears. Ah, that child loves bears.

Santa and the potty

When I was a kid, I loved the Santa toilet seat cover at Grandma Ottley's house. For the Ottley family Christmas party this year, my sweet mom made THIRTY - one for each of the Ottley grandchildren. Here is a picture of ours. Thank you Mom!

Santa Clause and Boo

Thanks to Uncle Pete's knowledge of all things technical, here are the pictures of Boo with Santa Clause from last Saturday's visit to the library.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cute picture by the tree

We tried this morning - here are a couple cute ones, but not quite what I was looking for. We'll try again later.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Where is it?

Where has my baby gone? Yesterday we packed up all the baby toys and got out new ones. She sits up to the table instead of using her high chair tray.

She loves to ask "Where is it?" When Jer or I walks out of her sight, she raises her hands and makes a questioning sound. She loves to hide her toys and snacks and then ask "Where is it?"

I love the way her pony tails stick straight out!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Snowed in, busier than ever

We started a new de-junking project in the study Friday night. We worked on it til late, then started again Saturday morning. Still not done, but there's hope.

We took a break around 11 am to take Boo to the library to see Santa. She was tickled to see him and kept saying 'ah-oh' (her word for Santa). She didn't want to sit on his lap, but would walk up to him and take his jingle bells and touch his soft sleeve. I got a picture on my phone, but haven't figured out how to transfer it to the computer. When Jer gets home I'll see if he can do it.

It started snowing Saturday morning, and church was cancelled on Sunday. So we had a nice day on Sunday just staying home. They day flew by, and we ventured out in the evening to go to advent at a friend's house. It was a nice evening of Christmas scriptures and songs, eggnog, and Anne's spinach-artichoke dip (the bestI have ever had).

The Kings' Singers

The Kings' Singers sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir yesterday on Music and the Spoken Word. It was a beautiful concert, I love the Kings' Singers. Here are a few fun videos I found of the Kings' Singers.

Flight of the Bumblebee

Barber of Seville Overture - these are the guys I remember watching on PBS

Short People

David and Stephen's Ranges


New Day - This is my favorite piece, beautiful.

Arlington Cemetery Wreaths

I saw this beautiful picture today. Every year, Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington, Maine, owned by Merrill Worcester, donates around 5,000 wreathes to be laid on the graves at Arlington.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ice Ice Baby

I am taking a 2 credit BYU online course to fulfill some of my continuing education credits for my license renewal, so I have been hard at work today reading, taking notes, completing assignments. I am really enjoying taking a class, but I will admit to being a bit bogged down right now with Piaget and his cognitive development levels. ANYWAY, I needed a break, so I read some blogs. For those of you who know Pam and Kim, you MUST check out Pete & Mel's blog (link to the right) and see the vanilla ice video. Classic. This video was from the beach, but there were many, many, many command performances in the kitchen of S-302. Good memories.

Speaking of S-302, I talked to Keith yesterday, currently the only Hall living in CP. He will be celebrating Festivus tomorrow - can't wait to hear how that goes. Em will join him there next month (different apt.). I hope we can keep our Hall streak running for a few more years - someone needs to be there to take care of Burke.

I can't believe I found a picture of Campus Plaza online. The internet is AWESOME. Here is SOUTH COURT. Where Becca beat all the boys at basketball. Where we had CP dances with the grand finale polkas. The basketball standard is covering the big windows of S-302. Oh the big windows. Those big windows could be a blessing (I'm not sure that's what you should call gossip-gathering/spying on cute boys)...or a curse (sometimes you see things you don't want to see). Jeremy lived in the second floor apt. on the very left of the picture, James lived in the corner on the third floor, Sara lived in the next one over. Oh what good memories of CP! Kim, remember when we sat under the table in girl-Jessie's apt and ate three hot dogs each at 2 am? Rach, remember sitting on the bench with Sarah Meehan and thinking up code names? And Dave and the peanut butter song? Remember all the awesome people that lived in CP? I could go on and on with this, I may have to blog about this another time when I am not supposed to be studying. Tell me your CP memories!

Vacuuming like Mrs. King

I was vacuuming this morning. First I walk through the downstairs and pick up everything on the floor. Then I get the vacuum and get started while Boo walks through the downstairs and puts everything back on the floor. So I end up vacuuming around things anyway. It reminded me of the opening sequence of "Scarecrow and Mrs. King", where she lifts the vacuum over the huge pile of her boys' toys. Did anyone else watch that show? I loved cute, confused Kate Jackson, and hunky Bruce Boxleitner chasing down the bad spies in his nice shoes and suit.

And wouldn't you know....YouTube has it! So here is the opening sequence of the first season of "Scarecrow and Mrs. King". The vacuum part is right towards the beginning.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Vintage Hem

This is a much more interesting post that teeth and candles.

Check out Vintage Hem, a business co-founded by my cousin, Janine Hansen Ottley. A description from the website:

A Vintage Hem slip is a new staple in a woman's wardrobe. Unlike traditional slips, Vintage Hem has designed a slip that is meant to be shown! The slip itself is comprised of a traditional lingerie fabric with an elasticized waist and a taffeta embellished hem. Our most popular styles include polka dot, tulle, and raw silk. We are delighted to help you make today's fashion more wearable by adding length, layers, & style to your wardrobe with Vintage Hem. Be the first to wear a Vintage Hem for the holidays or give this stylish new product as a gift for Christmas!

Also, here is a link to a short news story, and see the video in the top right corner of the page. Janine & Cord's daughter, Hannah, is the last model in the video and also the little girl in the picture above.

(almost) the last dentist visit

Yesterday I went again to the dentist. As I lay there looking at the ceiling while they did their thing, I counted up my dentist visits since August. This will make seven. All for one little tooth. Not that I want other teeth involved, but it seems a little unfair that this one little tooth gets all the attention. :)

One more visit in January, and then I will (cross your fingers) be done.

Mmm, the holidays smell so good

I just got a Creme Brulee candle from Yankee this weekend and have been burning it this morning. I love it love it love it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I recently finished reading Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. A few people had recommended it and most reviews on were very positive. I saw reviews such as: "Best book ever written". "No book will ever live up to this one."

So I was a little disappointed in Twilight. It was certainly interesting young adult fiction, definitely not the best book ever written. I went from interesting to sappy to interesting to predictable. My sister clued me in to Stephanie Meyer's website, and I enjoyed reading the alternate perspectives (Midnight Sun, Miscalculation) much more than the actual book. I guess it wasn't that bad however, because yesterday I picked up the next book, New Moon, from the library.

Unfortunately, New Moon, is pretty bad. The last half of the first chapter was great, but the chapter following was a let down. I'm about halfway through now and it is boring, boring, boring. If I hadn't been sick I think I would have stopped reading it. But at the time it was too much to get up off the couch and get a new book. I did like the four blank month chapters though. I thought that was clever.

Has anyone else read these books? Does New Moon get any better? I really wanted to like them, I need a fantasy replacement for Harry Potter.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Not everyone loves the first snow

Wednesday morning we woke up to the first snowfall of the season, about three inches. I was so excited to show Boo the snow. I took her to the window, but only got a few token "wow's" before she wandered off to find something more interesting. Not to be deterred, I dressed her up in coat and hat and took her out after breakfast to play in the snow. She hesitantly stepped into the snow, stomped her feet up and down to test the new feel of snow beneath her feet, and decided she did not like this one bit. She turned and walked right back into the house without looking back. I guess I can't blame her - there was a bitter wind, it really wasn't fun to be outside just then no matter what was on the ground.

I was a little disappointed. No cute video or pictures of the first snow. But last night we got two or three more inches! Another chance! So this afternoon after lunch we went out again. This time being forced to be out in the snow was just tragic. She cried and cried, great big tears rolling down her cheeks. I guess she didn't like the feeling of walking in the snow because she didn't try to walk back to the house, she just stood in the snow, crying. How sad, and yet at the same funny. I couldn't help giggling. I held on to my hope that soon she would be excited to be out in the snow, and proceeded to build a small snowman, with Boo bawling beside me.

I brought out the chocolate chips to make a face for the snowman. Boo brightened up at this. With chocolate involved, suddenly being out in the snow wasn't so bad.

Happy at last!

Oh, and before any of you smarties tell me that the reason why she was crying was because she was sitting in the snow, she didn't sit in the snow until she was happy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Ultimate Holiday Lights

Embedding videos from YouTube is too much fun. Here is one of my all time favorites. I think this made it's debut a couple of years ago, but I never get tired of watching it. So happy holidays!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Star Wars

I got a kick out of this video. Thanks to Big Ben - I first saw this on his facebook site.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Christmas cards

A couple of months ago I bought a cross-stitch magazine at Joann's. Did you know there were monthly cross-stitch magazines? It looked interesting and I was in a buying mood. Even though it was a September issue, there were several Christmas patterns and a couple of pages about creating greeting cards out of small cross-stitch things. That tickled my creative fancy, so I made a few and put them up on ebay to see if they would sell, and I had a lot of success! Here are some of the ones I have sold so far.

Whole Wheat Bread or Rolls

I came across this recipe in search of a recipe for Thanksgiving rolls. I ended up using this for Thanksgiving and the rolls turned out great. Yesterday I used the same recipe but shaped the bread into round loaves and it also turned out really well. After trying it a couple of times I think I may like it even better than my 90 minute bread. It is not difficult or time consuming so I thought I would share. I wish I could point you to the source, but I have not been able to find this recipe site again. So here it is, with my adjustments.


2 tbsp. yeast

2 c. lukewarm water

1/4 c. honey

3/4 c. olive oil or canola oil
2 fresh eggs

6 c. whole wheat flour

2 tsp. salt

Dissolve yeast in water and honey for about 5 minutes. Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and knead until it loosens from sides of the bowl. Place in large oiled bowl, cover and let rise until about double. Be sure it is in a warm place. Remove and shape into loaves, rolls, or buns. Bake at about 375 degrees until browned. (12 min for rolls).

Friday, November 30, 2007

It's done

We have finally finished our Christmas tree! Wednesday evening I hosted book club, so Wednesday afternoon I finally got my act together and decorated the tree. I am pleased with how it turned out, although I think next year I will get a few more strings of lights. And I am still looking for a tree skirt. I'm not sure that I like this picture, but here it is anyway.

This month's book for book club was The Count of Monte Cristo. I read it a few years ago, but was glad to read it again. I love the clever dialog and the intricate weaving of the characters' lives and choices.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The star

Here is Jer risking his life to put the star on our Christmas tree.

Halfway there

Here is the next installment of 'putting up the Christmas tree'. I've got the lights halfway up and need to borrow the ladder again.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Tonight is the finals of Dancing With The Stars. Helio Castroneves, two time INDY 500 WINNER, will be competing against Marie Osmond and Mel B tonight on ABC. So check it out and then vote for Helio online or by phone. Isn't he cute?!

Life is interrupting my blog

I have so much to blog about and no time to do it!

We are decorating for Christmas.

I have book club on Wednesday and we will be discussing The Count of Monte Cristo. I love that book, but so far am only half way through. I have 500 pages to get through by Wednesday night. :0

I am getting a root canal tomorrow. :(

I will try to get some more pictures of our Christmas tree in progress up and I have to blog about our Bulgarian meal from last weekend, and my ebay successes! Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I have been seriously neglecting my blog, so I have a lot to say today.

First, I LOVE THANKSGIVING! Thank you fellow bloggers for your thankful blog posts, I have enjoyed reading them. I am thankful for many things (Boo and Jer top the list of course), but today I am especially thankful for a Thanksgiving holiday that was just wonderful. We are so blessed to have friends that might as well be family, and today they came up from Bloomington to spend the day with us.

We started the day with getting the turkey in the oven. This is another thing I love, prepping the turkey and getting it in the oven. Then we watched the Macy's parade, took a short morning nap with Boo (yay, she still is taking a morning nap) and woke up to that fabulous turkey smell. Then Bryan and Jenny arrived and we finished up the side dishes. I was especially thrilled that my rolls turned out for the first time ever. Jenny made her awesome guacamole (so good with turkey). We also had sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and cheese sauce, rolls, stuffing, turkey, guacamole, roasted pecans, and smoked gouda. I think that's all. Jer makes the best mashed potatoes and gravy, that is always his job.

Pie was great too - pecan pie, apple pie and Jenny's yummy pumpkin pie. It was my first pecan pie, and I was also pleased with how that turned out.

Lily is about the cutest baby ever and she was so good. Boo slept most of the afternoon so we had a lot of time to play with the baby and watch football.

Just before they left, we took some Boo and Lily pictures.

We had a wonderful holiday and can't wait for next year. :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Love these sweet potatoes

I am baking my holiday pies and cleaning the house today! Usually I'm not a fan of cleaning, but when it is to get ready for company, somehow it is more fun. And baking pies is always fun (although I cheat sometimes and don't make my own crusts).

I wanted to post my sweet potato recipe, even though a few of my family members have already turned up their noses at the suggestion of my yummy side dish. We had these sweet potatoes at a law school get-together a few years ago and Jeremy's classmate was good enough to share her recipe.

Sweet Potatoes

12-15 servings

6 large sweet potatoes

½ cup butter

1 ½ cups white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla extract

salt to taste

Peel and slice the sweet potatoes.

Melt the butter in a large pot and add sliced sweet potatoes.

Mix sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Coat the sweet potatoes with this mixture. Cover the skillet, reduce heat to low and cook for about 40 minutes until the potatoes are soft and mashable (I might have made that word up).

Stir once in a while as they cook.

Stir in vanilla right before you serve.

**I usually put in less sugar than the recipe calls for and it's still nice and sweet.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

O Christmas Tree

Well, we are having a bit of a time getting the lights up on the tree so I don't have a picture of our finished tree yet. But in the last picture it is hard to get a feel for the size of it when it is standing there all by itself. So here is a picture of the tree with Boo. You can see that she just about fits under the bottom branches of the tree. You can see the light fixture hanging from the ceiling is going to have to be fixed as well.

Ready to bake

I've finished my Thanksgiving shopping and am ready to start cooking! I can't wait until tomorrow when I can start the pies. Our dear friends from Bloomington are coming, and I can't wait to see them. We may also have some friends from Indy come, so we will have a house full of good friends to celebrate the holiday.

I have this thing with buying fabric - I just love to buy it. Even if I don't know what I will make with it. I have never ever been tempted to shop on BLACK FRIDAY, but I have fantastic coupons for Joann's Fabric, so I may be out there with the crazies. We'll see.

A note about Christmas music. There is a station here that is playing 93 days of Christmas music (24 hours). I didn't find it until just after Halloween, so it didn't occur to me how long that is until I started calculating back from Christmas. That is a LONG time to be playing only Christmas music. But they certainly have the variety. Last week I heard a reggae version of "I Saw Three Ships". Nice. And don't you think that there are certain artists who were born to sing Christmas melodies? Josh Groban, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, the Muppets. (Just kidding about the Muppets. Although I do like that Christmas special they did, "Muppet Christmas at Fozzie's".) James Taylor, as much as I love him, is not really one of those people. His version of "Santa Claus is coming to town" is just weird. Same with Frank Sinatra. Love him, but not his holiday album.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Another day, another doctor visit

It seems we have been busy lately seeing dentists, optometrists, and physicians. Today Boo had a well child visit with our pediatrician. It was a good visit for me, I really like to be assured that everything is going well. I have made a conscious effort to not give our kids (or myself for that matter) a complex by stressing over every developmental milestone. Especially language development. But oh, how I worry anyway.

Have a holly jolly Christmas

Boo and I were at Target today for diaper rash cream. Boo has the worst rash. I won't be descriptive, it is gross. Poor thing. Anyway, to just go to Target for diaper rash cream, that is a boring trip. So we cruised the Christmas aisles. We spend a good deal of time with those stuffed animals that sing and dance when you push their hand or foot. Last year Boo was pretty scared of them. But this year she loved them. She danced to the music and giggled at the dog wagging his tail with a jingle bell. And this is the best part. I taught her to put her hands on her tummy and say 'ho ho ho' when she sees a Santa. She puts her hands on her chest instead of her belly, but close enough.