Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Well, I think this is the first time in my life I've actually accomplished what I said I would as a New Year's Resolution. Last January (2008), I decided I would read 50 novels this year. I finished another book today which brings my total to 68 total. WAHOO! Now, I understand a lot of these books were young adult novels, but they still count. There is just too much smut in a lot of adult fiction. I'm learning how to weed them out and who to trust as sources (as a general rule, NOT Oprah!).

As I was going back over my list of books, I realized I don't remember many of the stories (just the really good ones). I'm grateful that I have recovered my love of reading. I'm also grateful that I have actually conquered a goal that I set out to accomplish. Mike made the statement that maybe I should only make resolutions that involve something I enjoy (ie. not dieting or mopping the floor). Does that take the purpose out of resolutions? I don't think so. I still have to push to accomplish things I like.

Which brings me to Resolution 2009. I've decided that my "Work-in-Progress" pile is WAY too big. My "To Do" list is WAY too long. I have so many 1/2 finished projects haunting me that I need to get them out of my head. In the spirit of "I Can Make it", this year I am going to complete 50 usefull projects. They will range from sewing to knitting to organizing to refinishing furniture. Stuff that needs to be done that I have been putting off. I purposefully wrote that I am going to "complete" these projects. I have 7 projects currently started that I must finish first (UGH!) before I can start counting new ones. I'll keep a running total on my side bar just as I did with books. I'm also going to be offering tutorials of things that I think you might like to do. We all win.

Good luck with your resolutions. Have a safe night tonight. As for me, project #1 starts tomorrow. Wahoo!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


We're on our way to Las Vegas for Christmas and a cousin's wedding. I'll be back next week to let you in on a little secret about my 2009 New Year's resolution. Woo!

PS. Yes. I know what holiday is only 2 days away. This photo was taken last week at the Zoo while waiting for the "12 Days of Christmas" light show to start. Maybe I'll make him a Santa costume next.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Does anyone out there know the Utah state song? I lived in Nevada in 3rd grade (when we did NV history) and Idaho in 4th grade (when we did ID history) so I never learned it. I just remember my mom singing that part but that is it. Maybe Utah should make that be on a test for people trying to gain Utah residency. It sure would have beat paying an entire semester for out of state tuition (thanks Mom and Dad!)... Anyway, I digress...

One benefit of apartment living is that we are not responsible for our snow removal. However, this year we are in charge of Grandma L's snow removal since we only live 1 1/2 blocks away. Cohen loves it because we let him put on his snow pants and moon boots and play while we (read: Mike) shovels.

Here I am hiding in the garage after pouring rock salt on the fronts steps. I dyed my hair brown. I really should have used Photoshop on this picture this picture. Look at that zit in between my eyes staring at you like a bulls eye. Yikes!

We're going to Las Vegas for Christmas this year. I wish people would stop singing "I'm Dreaming of White Christmas" south of Cedar City. Maybe Al Gore is playing "global warming" Santa again this year. Take a look at this. I hope it is gone by the time we get there.

I love Utah's distinct four seasons, even the cold snowy ones. In fact, the cold snowy season is the reason I moved here. I just enjoyed it a bit more when I was working in the bagel shop in the morning, snowboarding in the afternoon/evening, and only paying $133 a month in rent. Ahh - the glory days. Again... I digress... I just pray Cohen still enjoys shoveling snow this much when he is 15. That is how he can earn his snowboarding money to fully appreciate the "Greatest Snow on Earth." Seriously, that is what my license plate says. Let it snow!

PS. This post makes no sense. I just wanted to show you my snow pictures and my brown hair (and OF COURSE the bulls eye zit!).

Friday, December 19, 2008


1 medium onion, chopped (I always use large)
2 cloves garlic, crushed (the bigger the better)
1 cup chopped parsley or flat-leaf Italian parsley (this ingredient is key)
5 mushrooms, finely chopped (or the entire little blue crate you get from the store)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, or 8 large tomatoes (fresh is better, but the can worked great during the off season when you don't want to pay the extra bucks)
2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
1 1/2 cups red wine or beef broth (I've used both, I prefer the flavor of the broth over the wine)
1 cup (or more) water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons each dried oregano and basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper (or to taste)

Saute the onion, garlic, parsley and mushrooms in the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat for 3 - 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.
Add the UNDRAINED tomato paste. Bring to a boil and stir in one cup of the wine (broth). Reduce the heat to low and add the water, sugar, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes (or more), stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup wine (broth) and simmer for 10 minutes longer or until the desired consistency.

If you want to add ground meat or meatballs, do it at the end right before you serve it. For our small family of 3, this is 3 meals worth of sauce. It freezes fantastically!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Are the rest of you sick of this question yet? Back on the 10th, Cohen asked me this question for the 101st time and I almost lost it. Rather than losing it (he's just THAT excited), I figured out a solution. A paper chain. We've all made them at school, church, and other places. But in case you never had, I offer you a little tutorial. I jazzed it up a bit to match my decor.

Scissors or paper cutter
Glue or tape
Scalloped punch or stencil or Cricut or whatever shape maker you'd like
Circle punch or stencil or Cricut or whatever shape maker you'd like in a smaller size than the larger scalloped punch
3 coordinating pieces of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper
1 piece of coordinating 12 x 12 heavy card stock
A kid that needs to practice writing his/her numbers

Step 1: When Cohen asked "How many more days?", there were 15 days left. So, using that math, cut five 1 1/2" strips from each sheet of coordinating paper

Step 2: Punch five 2 1/2" scallops from each piece of coordinating paper (it will take all of your leftovers)

Step 3: Punch 15 2" circles from the card stock

Step 4: Glue or tape the strips into a chain, alternating paper pattern.

Step 5: Have your kid practice writing his numbers on the card stock circles.

Step 6: Glue or tape the card stock numbers to the scallops.

Step 7: Glue or tape numbers on the chain. Make sure a different color of scallop goes on a different pattern of the chain. (Wonder where the kid is and why you're finishing this craft on your own.)

Step 8: Admire your craftiness, feel good about the educational part of it all, and enjoy the question-free rest of the wait until Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Remember these??

I finished them and they are really great. They almost make me want a pair of legwarmers myself (but - legwarmers would look lame on my chunky legs).

I'm going to be doing a series of knitting posts at Petit Elephant in the next few weeks and I thought I'd try out a few patterns before I committed. A simple pair of baby legwarmers (only one is pictured here). These were not knit in the round. They were knit flat and I sewed them up the back. I needed to practice my seams for the sweater I am about finished with.

Then I made this little hat. It is nothing special, but I finally got the sizing correct. I've made a few hats for Cohen but his big head (and my inaccurate measuring) has turned them into yarmulkes (Happy Hanukkah).

A view from the top.

And... for my Weber State Wildcat loving (and employed) mother, a simple scarf. This yarn is called "Lumpy and Bumpy" and wouldn't show any pattern I tried, so I just did a strait knit (garter stitch).

Up close view. If I had to review this yarn, I think it is way too expensive ($18.00 for 133 yards) for what it does. I don't even know what else I could make with it.

I've got a few more knitting projects to finish before Christmas. I now know why knitters start their Christmas gift projects in March. Sheesh! I'm way behind. Oh well... I've watched a lot of Christmas movies on the Family Channel's 25 days of Christmas movies. Wahoo!

Friday, December 12, 2008

:: NO MORE! ::

Dear Crazy Lori -

Until you finish ALL projects (including the laundry), please stop looking at crafty blogs, flickr,,, and any other online sources for crafty goodness. You've only got 13 days until Christmas and that afghan (what were you thinking?) isn't going to knit itself. You have enough felt ornaments. You have enough wreaths. You have enough garlands. The entire floor is covered in glitter. Your family wants to use the kitchen table for dinner again. You must stop starting projects and start finishing them. I promise you'll enjoy yourself better if you take my advice.

Sincerely, Sane Lori

PS. Clean up your crafting corner (aka War Zone) while you're at it. I stepped on a knitting needle today and broke it. Sorry, but it is totally your fault.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Hey old friends. I'm still alive. I've just been swamped with a million little things and Thanksgiving and ya' know... stuff. Life happens. Christmas festivities and crafting (well - knitting) have begun and we're ready for a slow few weeks before December turns crazy. We've been blessed and I am so thankful for everything that has come our way in the last two weeks. So, here is what I am thankful for.

1. Friends & Family - man, I have so many awesome friends and acquaintances and family members that I wonder what I've done to deserve them all. As soon as I announced I was having a girl, little girl gifts started flowing in the mail and showing up at my door step. As soon as people started finding out that we'd had a few things stolen, I found money in the mailbox and messages on my voice mail asking us what we needed. I cannot imagine what would happen in real tragedy (I don't want to find out, I just know you'd all be great). Awesome!!

2. Church - I was released from my Primary Presidency calling last week and I am relieved. I love those kids and the simple lessons, but I'm really excited to be teaching the 14/15 year old Sunday School with Mike. Actually, I can sit there and make sure we don't get sidetracked or go over time while Mike teaches. He is so excited about it.

3. Scientific Advances - I'm grateful for modern medicine (even though I think it shouldn't cost so darn much) and the things it is capable of doing. I have friends that have been trying to have babies forever and are now having them. I can get my ugly moles and warts (I've just had one on my chin frozen off) removed. Sore throats can be cured. Feet can feel better. Nausea can go away. Bones can be mended. It is all amazing.

4. Books and Movies - I love losing myself in a book or movie almost anytime. Isn't it fun that for a few hours, we can remove ourselves from the mundane, stressful, crazy things in our lives and run away with Mr. Darcy, Edward, Wolverine, or (let's think of a woman here.....) um..... (still thinking to avoid criticism).... well, you get what I mean. It is fun.

5. Savings - This year Mike and I have really tried to limit spending and extras to get a little more financially secure. This economic recession doesn't seem so bad in our personal lives. We have had several friends lose jobs this year (and we pray for you daily), but it is nice that we've come out more ahead than we ever thought we would. We're buying a house next year... I can feel it.

6. Mechanics - Growing up in St. Anthony, we had a very reliable mechanic. He was a rocket scientist - really, he quit his job at NASA to move back to Idaho, or so the story goes. As reliable as he was, he was S-L-O-W. He worked out of a potato cellar in Parker. It would take 2 weeks to get a timing belt fixed. On Monday, my car puttered into the auto shop near my house and they got me right in. Unfortunately, the repairs were extensive and expensive ($1000 - Merry Christmas to us, but see where "Savings" comes in), but I was able to drive my car home 4 hours later and get on my way. Love it. Now I can spend Christmas in Vegas with the family.

7. Preschool - ahhhhh, I can't say enough about the benefits Cohen's preschool has had on him. It is so awesome to take him somewhere loving and safe where he feels comfortable learning and playing. They've taught him general life skills that I just don't think about (like putting on his coat. Usually I am in such a hurry to get him out the door that I do it for him). He even has started cleaning up his toys. Unreal. Plus, I get 3 hours every morning to use as I please. I can work, shop, clean, exercise, sit and knit. Whatever I choose.

8. Yarn Store Connection - Thank you Sue and crew for letting me work at your store enough to get yarn for my projects. I've really started enjoying knitting this year. I've finished so many projects this year, including a little sweater for the little Miss. I love beautiful fibers and I love learning new things all of the time.

9. Fabric - So pretty. I haven't been sewing much lately, but I am in the midst of purging my craft & fabric stash (want some?) and I am amazed at the beautiful patterns that these designers come up with. Quilting cottons are so soft and amazing. I just got a package in the mail today with 4 yards of beautiful stuff (I'm supposed to be purging... I know) that I can't wait to do something with.

10. Food - I am finally feeling well enough to start wanting to eat again. Not everything is disgusting anymore. Yahoo! I am thankful for good, healthy (and Jr. Mints and Nerds and Cinnamon candy) food that helps my body grow and function. I think it is pretty amazing that I'm growing a person in my gut and food is helping the little Miss become healthy and strong.

There are many more, but I'm sure you're bored. I love this time of year. The bad things don't seem so bad. People are kind (except 4:00 am shoppers at Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving) and generous and go just a few steps further for mankind. I love it. Cohen is so excited for Christmas which is making it so awesome. Today everything feels perfect - part of that is because I am leaving in 10 minutes to get my hair done - and I wanted to let you all know that.
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