Thursday, November 18, 2010

Autumn's Art

From the time Autumn was just a little girl, she's loved to 'do crafts' (as she says).  Here's one of her finer examples when she was just over 2.

She was painting and gluing and cutting like a pro when she was 3 . . . and I'm not the kind of mom that would typically trust a toddler with sharp objects.

Once we moved to Canada - and downgraded the quality of our kitchen table (thank you Ikea for your cheap, cheap kitchen tables!) - she took over the eating area.  I still come home daily to confetti on the floor and 'craft projects' that consume the table.  Last year sometime, Jeff bought a cheap plastic bookcase to sit in the corner beside our table . . . that is Autumn's art station.  It's a beauty!  But, it contains everything from feathers and pipe cleaners to paint, Play Doh, books, string and much more.  And, each day when I come home from work, I am never disappointed.  She dreams up the projects on her own and never asks for assistance.

Although I do have three plastic crates full of her artwork, I have been meaning to share a few examples. 

I grabbed a few of her pieces from the top of the latest bin.

Right before Halloween, her ice skating teacher gave her a holiday pencil (the cool kind that has the little pieces of lead that you feed into the top to push the next piece down).  After being home for about 25 minutes, this is what she had created.  I love how she labeled everything, too.

She almost always gives her pictures to me (ahhhh).  Although, she also regularly creates things for people in her class, school, swimming and ice skating teachers (on the first day of school she made beaded necklaces for her new SK teacher, with a "T" for teacher, and her JK teacher, with an "M" for Ms. Shin), people at church and anyone else that leaves and impression with her . . .

We took both kids to a musical production about the birth of Christ a few months ago.  Two people from our ward were actors/singers.  So, she drew a card for each of them, including a drawing of the stage and them in costume, to tell them 'thank you' and to say what a good job they did.  When she gave the card to Brother Ospina (in the bishopric also) and he asked for a hug, I'm not sure that I'd seen a smile that big on Autumn's face before.

The last time she and I had a girls' date, she asked for a piece of paper on the way to the restaurant so that she could create a card for the hostess.  She drew a perfect little picture of the restaurant's logo (after being there only once before) and told them to have a happy day.  The hostess couldn't stop gushing . . . and I got to see that same beautiful smile.

For all the drama that our little girl can produce (she comes by it naturally, I'm afraid), she has got to be one of the most creative and thoughtful little things around.

Here is a typical picture for Mom she made months ago.  This was her first attempt at using 'fancy letters'.  She cut a fringe around the edge of the sun before gluing it on so that it popped off the page. I had to smash it for the scan unfortunately. 

This is one of my favorites for its sheer creativity.  We have no idea where she even came up with the idea for this one - typically we can trace the concept back to a Backyardigans episode or a book she's read.  But, this one is still a mystery.  Again - completely on her own - she found a straw, cut and tied the string, drew, colored and cut out the girl, and then taped her on.

I don't want to be one of those moms that insists on putting their kids on display and making them perform - or a mom that has Olympic plans for a child that exhibits the slightest proficiency at a sport.

But, I don't see anything wrong with a proud mom that wants to brag . . . just a little.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Our Little 'Village People'

Now tell me it's not cute when your kids dress up as a cowboy and a construction worker and dance to YMCA.  Seriously.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Tree

The year we moved to Canada, we started our Thanksgiving Tree tradition.  We get to celebrate Thanksgiving twice - once for Canada in October and then again in November.  Two turkey days!  Brilliant.  And - twice the reminder to be grateful!

I haven't been incredibly successful at capturing a photo of our finished tree . . . but, I have a goal to do it this year.   We began by making leaves out of each of our hand prints.  And, then when we finally pull down our Thanksgiving tree and replace it with our Christmas tree, I pull off all the leaves and save them.  This year - as a special memory of our last Thanksgiving in Canada - we are using red maple leaves and then orange and yellow leaves for color.

2008: Our First Thanksgiving Tree

We also visited my family in Virginia in 2008 and each of the kids made turkey hats.  They were all such cute little turkeys.  I love little Trent's gobble gobble spirit.  

2009: 2nd annual Thankful Tree

Yes, they do appear to be sad little pumpkins at the bottom.  I'm sure those frowns were added in one of Autumn's finer moments.


We started our tree tonight for FHE.  We made spice cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting . . . and everyone had to write down at least 5 things in order to get a treat.  We all quickly surpassed our goal.  And, we'll keep adding from the bowl of leaves on our table through next week.

My favorite thing to be thankful for came from Gavin . . . who was very thankful for 'plates.'

I think Jeff's favorite was my leaf for 'heartburn medicine.'  Seriously . . . it's saving me right now.  I'm opposed to medicine when I'm pregnant.  But, without Zantac, I wouldn't sleep.

The part that warmed my heart the most came from our little artist, Autumn.  The second I told her this morning that we were going to make our Thanksgiving tree, she went to work creating her own - complete with an owl and leaves that flip down so you can read both sides.  She really is amazing.

My first leaf was for 'My husband.'  Jeff told me not to be cheesy.  On my second leaf I wrote that I was 'thankful for being a Mommy.'  Cheesy or not . . . it's just so true.

I am so incredibly grateful for my sweet family.  We laugh together and we drive each other crazy - but, we always love each other.  I can't imagine my world without them.  

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Toronto Neighbors

Our sweet neighbor (and luckily the photo-journalist for my family during the day) sent us these photos.  He's also responsible for Gavin's awesome drum video and for keeping Jeff and the kids entertained this summer with his relentless energy.

Aren't they cute?

Halloween: The Witch, Black Cat, Scarecrow and the Pumpkin

Friday, November 5, 2010

Too much for a pregnant woman

Earlier tonight we were having one of our most successful family movie nights to date.  Everyone was happy.  We all cuddled together on the couch for the entire movie.  Very cute.  Made a tired mommy very happy.  And, then Autumn asked how long until we moved back home.

Less than six weeks.


My eyes got teary.  Jeff rolled his eyes at my teary eyes.

We put the kids to bed and Jeff headed off to play late night ice hockey.  I reminded him that he was going to miss ice hockey when we move back home.  But, nothing rattles that man.  He's convinced he'll have no problem finding a place to play.

And, then my boss called to tell me that the candidate I put forward to replace me was a winner.  They're extending him an offer . . . for my job.

I told him that I fully agreed with the decision.  But, expecting a pregnant woman to move to a different rental home (again) in a different country, kind of miss Christmas as we travel, recruit, hire and then train my replacement for a job I love, change jobs and then have a baby . . . it's all kind of indecent.  I, unfortunately, have no one to blame but me.  At some point a few months back, Jeff and I agreed that this was the right decision for our family.

Since then we've been disappointed with some of the options we've discovered at the National Ability Center in Park City - one of the reasons we felt a move back to Heber was ideal.  Go figure that after two years of everything being more expensive in Canada . . . everything to do with recreational therapy and ice hockey is more expensive back in Utah.  How is that fair?

So, back to packing . . . back to more transitions . . . back to another home that we don't own . . .

I know that once we are settled back in Utah that I will feel differently.  I know that we will have a new little baby to welcome to our family.  I hope that my boss was right when he emphasized that they will have an interesting position waiting for me back home.

And, after a while, we may feel like we never left in the first place.  Unfortunately, that's one of the parts I'm having the most difficulty with.  These 2 1/2 years have been just a little blip in time.  I don't want to feel like these years just evaporated.

I get overly sentimental - I always have (hence why I was most upset of the family when we left the magic of Disney World and why I shed a tear at the concert when Darius Rucker sang 'It won't be like this for long').  Jeff says I have a tendency to look backwards all the time with some form of regret somewhere . . . and, he's right.  So, imagine my mood as a 7-month pregnant lady.  Good times.  Good times.