Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I have sold 2 bags (4 if you count the ones to my mom) it has given me a really good feeling of accomplishment. I know it will never be a huge money making business that we can retire off of, but it is fun and feels good to make something that someone will actually give me money for. One of them is even on the way to the UK right now! What a feeling to think my creations could be all over the world!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Home for Christmas

Hopefully everyone had a fabulous Christmas! There were some great benefits to staying home this year. We got to stay in PJ's almost all day, I only put shoes on for a few minutes to take out some trash and we were much, much warmer than when we head up north! But there were some disadvantages as well. Like missing all our northern loved ones very much. And all the cooking! I love cooking for my family and especially for parties but I seem to have taken for granted all the great meals we get served to us when we visit Utah for the Holidays. Mom's ham and Christmas Eve spread. Mom and Papa's omelets and muffins on Christmas morning. Grandma Junes extravagant ham and turkey feast on Christmas night. Lasagna or Pie pizza with the Fullmer's and my mom fussing about to feed us in between all our visiting. So since we were away from you all here is a breakdown of our holiday!

We went to see Bolt on the morning of Christmas Eve. It was very cute and we all enjoyed it. Then we had a great lunch at the Yardhouse, enough food to feed us all dinner as well. Then since if we would have been in Utah we would have opened gifts at my moms on Christmas Eve we decided to open those up while the fire was getting ready for smores.

Cute socks from grandma!

And the traditional new jammies for the girls. This year they picked out the fabric themselves.

Then after smores, the reading of our favorite Christmas books and a viewing of A Christmas Story we put out cookies for Santa and headed to bed. Athena was up very early and woke us at 5:50 ready for presents!

Lots and lots of gifts were opened and loved by all of us. Thank you to everyone that sent us such great and thoughtful gifts. Then we moved on to the playing with toys part of the day. Athena was like any 7 year old and spent a few minutes on each toy before moving on to the next one. I hogged the computer all morning getting things loaded onto my new iphone! And Hailey spent some time under her bed trying to plug in her new digital frame. Shawn had to shuffle between us all acting as tech support for all our questions. We played our new Wii game together until I realized it was probably time to start getting things ready for dinner! Our adopted Arizona family (the Newton's) came over and we all ate and drank too much and had a very nice visit. As always I wish I would have taken even more pictures, and I know Papa there aren't any of Shawn or I. What can I say I'm a slacker! Oh well maybe next year.

Here's to a great New Year, hopefully 2009 will bring all our loved ones happiness! We love and miss you all and hope to see you soon.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Adorable Organizer Strikes Again

Athena is our little organizer. While standing in line at the grocery store she can organize the candy shelf in seconds flat, and she loves to put all the nuts and bolts back in the proper drawer at the hardware store. This year her love of organizing has spilled over into the gifts under the tree. She has had them in many different stacks and organized by color, giver and now recipient. At one point they were all on one side of the tree so as to make room for Santa to put his gifts under there. Why this skill has never been used in her own room I will never know. This stacking is driving her sister nuts, and I admit I have been tempted to scatter them around each night after she goes to bed, but we have left them in the neat little piles so far. I have a feeling though that Santa is going to have some tricks up his sleeve come tomorrow night!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Santa Years

We finally made it through the line to see Santa after a failed attempt last weekend that would have had us in line for several hours. Athena has been throwing the "big" questions around a lot this year. You know the ones, "is Santa real?", "do you believe in Santa?" So far we have answered with the "what do you think?" and "of coarse I do" But that look is in her eye that we may not have many more Santa years ahead of us. I am always torn between preserving the innocence of youth and my belief of not lying to my children. When does it cross the line? When the time comes and she does grow out of Santa Claus I will be sad but I also look forward to starting some new traditions and making memories that he doesn't exactly get all the credit for ;)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Violin Serenade

Athena had her first violin concert this week. I made her a fancy dress and painted her nails for the big event. She was surprisingly very nervous when we got to the school. She has never been nervous like this at any of her dance recitals. She was so cute and smiled through the whole thing! The beginners didn't even use bows yet but they were still so fun to watch. There was a girl in the advanced class that did a violin solo that was just amazing! I hope Athena can play like that someday. Here is a little snippet of the concert, all the songs they played sounded pretty much the same so I'm just posting a couple of minutes so you can see her cute smiling face!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cookie Concert

We got into the Christmas spirit last night at Hailey's Choir Cookie Concert! It was a lot of fun and Hailey even had a solo! She did a great job and we all really enjoyed it. They have this concert in the band room and it was packed, I'm sure some sort of code was broken for the amount of people that can be in that room. They also serve cookies! So here is my first attempt at adding video to the blog, enjoy! (Note: she does sing the song with a boy that is off camera most of the time so that is who she keeps looking at. There was no way for me to get them both in the shot in the tiny band room)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Devouring Sarah

As some of you may know we have a strange tradition of naming our thanksgiving turkey. Sometimes it's silly like Tom or Shaniqwa. Usually it is political. We've had a George (actually 2 I think), Dick, Condie and Colin. I think this years was a little too obvious but perfect. Sarah! And the funniest thing, pointed out by Hailey, is that the Turkey was the perfect golden color that you would see in a cookbook and everyone seemed to have the hots for Sarah Palin. It was just the 4 of us this year and it was nice. Don't get me wrong I always love to have guests for Thanksgiving but it was nice this year to just enjoy the kids and each other. I cook, they clean up and we just enjoyed each other all day. We finished off with a viewing of Lord of the Rings and I got to get back at Athena by saying all my favorite lines out loud (she is usually the one doing this) I got to hear some very nice things my family is thankful for, they all said me! And I got to let them all know how thankful I am to have them in my lives. Shawn and I headed out Friday morning for some crazy Black Friday shopping. We stood in one 40 minute line and then decided to go to breakfast instead. The shopping can wait we still have time. Then Athena had her Christmas performance at Glendale Glitters Friday night. She did a great job, had lots of fun and the crowd was huge! It was a fun few days, now I need to get back into my routine and get ready for Christmas...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Unconventional Thanks

So here it is almost Thanksgiving. I'm sure just about every blog out there will have a well written, meaningful post about all the wonderful things in life they are thankful for. Well yes I am thankful for the obvious things, the health and happiness of myself and family. Or the good old my husband is still employed. But you know what, those are the easy ones, of course I am thankful for those things, who wouldn't be!? So instead I am going to share a few of the little minor things in life that I am thankful for this year.

1-The perfect fabric on the clearance table
2-That our next president is capable of pronouncing the word NUCLEAR!
3-A really great book that makes me cry
4-My children and pets are already potty trained
6-Fresh baked cookies

Okay your turn. Click the comments below and tell me what you are thankful for, don't be shy. And remember no easy ones! ;)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Philosophy discussions with a 7 year old

Athena is on about her 3rd viewing of Wall-E, there is a line where the captain yells "I don't want to survive, I want to live!" She turns to me and asks "Aren't surviving and living the same thing?" We went on to have a nice conversation about the differences in living life to the fullest and just merely surviving. She plans to live not just survive from now on. They grow up so fast......

Monday, November 17, 2008

Why 7 is different than 17

We finally got around to some much needed winter clothes shopping this weekend. As Athena and I were riding to school this morning, her wearing one of her new shirts she says to me "I think Bailey has this shirt but it's pink, I can't wait to show her. Maybe we can wear them on the same day" Now if Hailey even sees another person at school (or anywhere actually) with the same shirt as her it is tucked away deep into the closet never to be seen again. Weather she knows this person or not! So I'm wondering at what age this shift happens, where wearing the same shirt goes from cool to very, very uncool? But I have been wondering about a lot of things these days. Man I am getting old.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Triangle Factory Fire Project

Hailey's final fall play of High School came to a close Friday night. She did a very good job and we all enjoyed it. She even pulled off a very difficult Yiddish accent throughout the whole play! Some of the kids seemed to lose their accents here and there. So here are a couple of pictures from a couple of nights. There are more on our flickr page if you want to see those too!

This first shot is during the fire and the girls realize the door is locked.

This is Hailey's character on the stand. The court scene was why she wanted to be Kate Alterman.

This is her final scene with the manager of the factory. She has to pretend to forgive him to try and get a job. Then when he tells her that he was fired and can't give her one he asks "do you still forgive me?" Kate: "NO" Very powerful scene, only made more so by the fact that she is in it with her ex-boyfriend!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

I am the distributor of candy this year so thought I would blog in between trick-or-treaters. It was an odd day this year since Athena's school decided to enter the club of political correctness and not allow costumes at school. So this morning I sent my High School Senior off to school dressed as Mrs. Lovett and my 2nd grader had to wait until after school to wear her costume.
She did have a fun time at her "Harvest" party though. Shawn left work early and went with me as a surprise. She was very excited to have him there too! Then she was only home a couple of hours and asked to wear her costume so we put it on and had a photo shoot before dinner. Not sure if I was compensating for not getting to wear her costume to school, but I did end up with lots of pictures of Athena and only one of Hailey. Sorry Hailey. Maybe you can share some from your party with me? Hope everyone had a great night!

Oh yeah I can't forget Beary!

Open for business

I have an Etsy store!!! What is an Etsy store you ask? Well is a website devoted to selling handmade and vintage items. I have decided to see if I can make a few bucks with my hobby. If you want to check out my store (there are only 3 items in there so far) just click on my username over to the left under the My Etsy Site widget. Now just because you are my friend or are related to me in some way does not mean you are under any obligation to purchase anything. What I would really appreciate though is if you spread the word and tell everyone you know about it and maybe they would like to purchase something! :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Carving Pumpkins

So last night we snuck in a last minute pumpkin carving session. With dance and play rehearsals it's hard to find an evening that we are all around the house at the same time. Hailey chose to go with a great Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc. and Athena made hers Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas. She wanted to do Sully to go with Hailey's Mike but decided it was a little too hard. As alwyas the best part was watching their faces as they pulled out all the guts! There are a few more pictures on our flickr just click the link to the left if you want to see more. Hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Missing Dad

Although it has been 15 years (as of yesterday) since I lost my father there is rarely a day that goes by that I don't think of him. Sometimes Athena will say something funny and I think "wow dad would have got a kick out of that" Or just the other day I was telling Hailey how all her music sounds the same and I had a flashback to High School and my Dad telling me the same thing. He has always been and will always be my moral compass. If I have a hard time distinguishing between what is right and what is wrong I try to imagine what he would have thought. Now this isn't to say that I always choose wisely but at least his memory keeps me a little more on the good side of things than not :) So everyone whose dad is still around give him a hug today or call and tell him how much he means to you. And if like me your Dad is no longer with you, try to do something that would make him proud of you today!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One gray hair

At first I convinced myself that it was just a really light hair from spending so much time in the sun, but today I am done with denial. I have 1 gray hair! So now what? Do I dye it? Do I leave it alone and go gray gracefully? Do I embrace it as proof that I am older and wiser? I have never been a vain person, I hardly ever wear make-up. Most of my clothes are from the clearance racks and I usually have a simple hairstyle that lets me only have to worry about getting it cut 3-4 times a year. I didn't freak out when I turned 30, I hardly even noticed when I crept over the closer to 40 mark. So why does 1 single gray hair give me so much to think about. Is it coincidence that it happens to be Hailey's senior year and I am nostalgic anyway? Well I know I am not the first person to find a gray hair, and won't be the last so I guess I will just do what I usually do in life and see what comes next.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Better living through baking update

So those of you that remember me talking about better living through baking are probably wondering how my experiment turned out (or maybe not) Well.... to be honest it was too hard to keep up. It seems that if there is homemade bread in the house my family eats it up in an instant. And since Shawn is the one that usually makes breakfast on the weekends it wasn't really fair to make him cook muffins and pancakes form scratch all the time. But what I am proud to say is that I have not brought a store made cookie into this house for over 2 months! And we have found lots of new favorites! I found having home made cookies around was really quite easy since I could whip up a big batch of dough but only cook a tray full and freeze the rest in ready made balls of dough that could easily be popped in the oven and ta-da fresh baked cookies whenever we wanted them! So yes we could save a little money making our own baked goods but it was really hard. But I will continue to make as many things as I can at home, mostly because I know that the cookies and bread and muffins that I make have none of those ingredients that I can't pronounce in them.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Field trip

I went on a field trip this week with Athena's class to Pioneer Village (nope not the one in Lagoon) It was a pretty cool place. All the buildings and things in them were either from the actual time period or exact replicas. Some of them were not much but a few walls of stone but there was a really cool old Victorian house that was moved from downtown Phoenix. The kids had a scavenger hunt where they had to answer questions about each building. Then there was a shoot out at the end of the day that the kids all got a big kick out of.

Funny thing that happened was our group kind of wandered around with another group that of a mom I know. Well we were supposed to hear a whistle for lunch time. We never did and as we were heading up to the gun fight Athena's teacher called me and said we were missing lunch. Oops! Then after the gun fight there were about 15 minutes to use the restroom and visit the gift shop. Everyone was just sort of hanging around in this one area until it was time to go and one of the kids said "what is that building?" Pointing across the way, so we went in to check it out. We were only in there about 5 minutes but as I was walking out I saw Athena's teacher looking around. She was looking for us again! What a great impression I made, hopefully I will still be invited back for the next one!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Suddenly Fall, Homecomings and Beary goes to school

Fall has finally arrived in Arizona. It is still strange to have a feeling I can only describe as spring fever in October! There are no 100's in the forecast and this weekend was absolutely perfect. Many hours were spent just sitting on the patio enjoying the weather, watching Athena on the swing set. Sunday morning a breeze even blew through that had me wanting a sweater and slippers. Yay! It's my favorite time of year once again.

Hailey did some dress recycling recently when she went to not only one but two Homecomings. First she decided at the last minute to go to her own with a big group of friends. None of which had a date so they just went all together and had a great time.

Then she was invited to Homecoming at Sunrise Mountain by a boy she met in Summer Theater. She had a good time at that one too. She got to see all her friends from theater and it was a surprise to them that she was going to be there.

This is a picture of Beary going to school today. Athena's teacher has a really great reward system for the kids positive behavior. They receive Maldonado (her teachers last name) money for exhibiting good behavior. Then on Friday's they get to "visit" Maldonado Market and there are various privileges they can "buy". One time she bought the honor of sitting by a friend. Or there is one that is wear your slippers to school. She has been saving up to bring a stuffed animal to school for a while now and was very excited to take Beary along today.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dancing Queen

Athena made it into performing group!!! Even though all the girls that auditioned made it, the process was fun and a great confidence boost. She had to make up a one minute dance and do it for her teachers on Saturday. Then we had to go back in on Monday to see if her picture was up on the board if she "made it". Miss Jan gave her the shirt as a welcome gift and all the big girls came out of class to hug her and tell her congratulations. It was so cute of them to do that. Jan even let her audition even though she dropped ballet. Now she is doing Hip-Hop, and loves it! Maybe next year she will take ballet again we will have to wait and see. But for now she is happy and enjoying dance so we are proud of her and happy too!

Now who wants to come see her dance in Disneyland this summer?!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Good Morning

When I went out to get the paper this morning I was greeted by one of the most beautiful things you can find in the desert. Our cactus had one huge singular bloom that was wide open. Even after four years of living in Arizona the beauty that can come from something so strange (some think ugly) as a cactus can still take my breath away. This is the second bloom on this cactus but I never got a shot of the first one opened in it's full glory. They close by 7 a.m and only stick around a few days. Sort of a reminder of how fast the good things in life go by, and that we should just take a moment to enjoy them all.


Here is Athena with her new violin Violet! Yes it is sort of a tradition to name inanimate objects in our house and I think Athena came up with a great one for her violin. She is so excited to finally learn to play. She started asking about violin lessons last year when she saw the second and third graders carrying around the cases. And since we are very fortunate that she attends one of a few schools in the state that start strings in 2nd grade (most schools it is 5th!) she was very ready and willing. I'm really glad it all worked out and she is on her way to being a violinist!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Gift is given

Well now that it has been given to the recipient I can share a photo of the first sweater I ever made! It was so much fun, even though now I know lots of mistakes I made and things I would do differently it's still really cool that I took the jump and made a sweater! I made the dress too with some fabulous fabric that I just had to buy, but it seemed to young for my girls. Luckily Candace helped out and is expecting a girl so I got to use it! I hope Candace and baby Clement enjoy them both almost as much as I did making them.

Friday, September 5, 2008

109 degree blooms

September in Arizona is different than the rest of the world. Labor day means the end of summer to most but for us we are still averaging over 100 degrees every day! So last week when what was probably the last of the monsoon storms rolled through we got to sit outside (without sweating) visiting with friends and looking forward to October. Then as they always do about a week after a good rain the Texas sage in our yard exploded this morning and brought a smile to my face. YES there is still life and renewal in one hundred and nine degrees! I just love this plant!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I am so frustrated today. I found out yesterday as we were leaving school that all the other 2nd grade classes were offered the opportunity to join the orchestra at the beginning of the year. I'm not sure if this is because Athena's class has a sub right now or because her teacher is new to Copperwood that we were not given this information. It is all worked out now since the second I was in the door I emailed everyone at the school and got a hold of the orchestra teacher and Athena will be starting tomorrow. But I can't stop feeling like what if this isn't the only thing she has missed out on already? Is this going to be a one time thing? Should I push to move her to a different class, or would moving now be worse emotionally? I wish I could go back to just coasting a few weeks ago when everything was moving along smoothly!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

She got it!

Hailey had her auditions this week and got the part she wanted! The play is The Triangle Factory Fire Project and her character is Kate Alterman. I had never heard of this play so Hailey brought home a script for me to read and I really enjoyed it. It's based on a real fire in 1911 at the Triangle shirtwaist factory that killed 146 people mostly immigrant women. Google it if you want to know more there is lots of information out there. It will be a good part to finish off her Senior year with.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Black Bolero

I finished Hailey's sweater today. She loves it, I love it! It's my new favorite thing I ever made. It's the best seeming I have done so far in my knitting projects and it fits great! Now I am somewhat down though because I don't have my next project picked out yet and can't decide what to do next. I really don't know what I am going to do with my hands tonight when we sit down to watch TV?!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Just coasting

Well now that school is back in session I am having a rare instance of feeling like I am just coasting through life. We are all back on schedule and every day seems to blend in to the one before. I know I should just sit back and enjoy it but I can't help feeling a bit bored by that. Sure next week Athena will back at dance after her break this week and Hailey has auditions. So change is just around the corner. But I start to get this antsy feeling when there is no change in my day to day. I start thinking drastic thoughts about *gasp* getting a job! Then the voice of reason takes over and reminds me that if I had a job what would I do with Athena in the summer, what would I do if she is sick. And how many field trips and class parties would I miss out on if I had to go to work. Sure the extra cash would be nice, I could finally have a new kitchen or remodel the pool. But we didn't work as hard as we did for me to be able to be a stay at home mom to give up all the rewards of being one now. So I guess I will just coast my way to the next wave and see what comes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ahhhh the silence

Today is the first day of school and the house is so quiet once again. I love having the girls around but it sure is nice to have a few hours of quiet again. Athena was so excited I think she was up at 5 today! And after all summer working on the bike skills and even plenty of practice rides to school she crashed 2 houses down from us into sprinklers! She is fine and forgot all about it when she saw her friends.

Hailey was not quite as excited and gave me a groan and a smirk when I said she needed to pose for a 1st day picture. They have to pick up their schedules before school and she always hates that part. But she is looking forward to Drama Club and her many science classes (not required she is taking them for fun!) And of course auditions are the last week of August so she will get right into that.

First of lasts

Today I sent my little Buggins off to her fist day of her last year of High School. I have a feeling it is going to be a very emotional year full of lasts for me. It seems like only yesterday I dropped her off at the first day of Kindergarten. I was so proud of her being so independent and that she wasn't one of the many kids that were hiding behind their mothers leg afraid of the world. But there was a tiny part of my heart that wanted her to cry out "mommy don't leave" as I turned to walk out the door. She didn't. I cried all the way home, luckily in those days Kindergarten only lasted 3 hours and I stopped crying all the way home by the second or third week of school.

I may be bragging but I think Hailey has become an amazing person. She is smart, friendly, talented, happy and beautiful. I will always miss the child she was but I look forward to seeing what comes next for her, I know it will be as amazing as she is!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sweater and a haircut

This is my second sweater I've knit. Athena picked out the pattern and the color of yarn. I love the way it turned out and making it went rather smoothly too. I just hope it still fits in 2 months when it will actually be cool enough to need a sweater!

You may have noticed she also got a haircut recently. She wanted to cut it even shorter but this was our compromise since she needs a ponytail for dance. She said she felt like a freak being the only one in the family with long hair. Hmmm doesn't really sound like one of my kids, they usually try to be the one different person in the room. Hope she hasn't lost that free spirit of hers that I have always loved (and at the same time been aggravated by) about her.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Better living through baking

So I read an article in the paper this week that was discussing the amount of money spent on convenience. It talked about giving up things like shredded cheese and chopped lettuce. It even figured out that the price difference in buying shredded cheese was like paying someone $80 an hour to shred it for you! It went on to talk about how eating out less could save money, well duh. But since our family already eats at home an average of 5-6 nights a week and I never buy shredded cheese of chopped lettuce I got to wondering about what types of things I do buy out of convenience. So far I have come up with bread, cookies, muffins and tortillas. So I am seriously thinking about taking on an experiment in which for a month I will make these items from scratch just to see how much money we can save and if I go insane from all that baking. I am going to spend a couple of weeks gathering recipes and collecting data of how much we spend on these items normally. And maybe even come up with a few other things we could make from scratch. Anyway stay tuned to see how this goes I will update often. And any ideas or recipes would be great if you would like to donate to this silly experiment of mine.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Haileys got a green dress on

Hailey in her most recent sewing project of mine. I loved, loved loved!! this fabric. I want to go out and buy it all up and make the whole family outfits like in the Sound of Music! It also marks my final complete mastery of knits (ya know stretchy fabric) so I am quite happy with that. And most importantly of all is Hailey loves it and will actually wear it! (She even slept in it last night) Next is to finish a gift I'm working on that is made of more lovely fabric that I just want to use over and over. I won't be able to post that one though until it is given to the recipient!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Here we go a blogging

Well I guess we are entering the blogging community! We have had a website, too much work and took up way too much of my time to keep up with and people said they wanted to have more options to see the pictures bigger and be able to download them. Then we have been doing flickr for a while (which we will still have too) that one is great for sharing the photos but you can't really personalize it too much. So here we are starting a blog. I will still link the pictures to our flickr so you can all see them bigger and download them if you want to. But I thought it would be nice to be able to share a little more about what goes on day to day in the world of the Arizona Evans! Might be too boring for most of you.

Right now life is all about getting ready to go back to school! We have lots of supplies bought and a few new clothes but it's still so hot here in August that we usually do a little more school shopping in October. Athena is very excited to go back and is counting down the days. Hailey is ready for a change but not really sure if she wants that change to be school yet. I'm sure once she gets there and sees all her friends again she will be glad to be back. Athena also added another night of dance to her week. She now has ballet on Wednesday's and her tap/jazz combo on Tuesdays. She is even thinking about auditioning for the performing group in September.

Well there it is my first post in bloggsville. Hope you all are well out there.