Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sing a song of Christmas

One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is being constantly surrounded by unapologetically religious music, music that testifies of Christ, and his birth. Music that uplifts the soul with beautiful melodies, and carols of the season. Today was our choir program at church and we sang some beautiful arrangements of songs by John Rutter. For the first time the girls sang in the choir with me, as did Ron. It was a lovely way to kick off the week of christmas.
Some of the other music we have been enjoying is :
Gloria, by Michael W. Smith. (Channing is going to wear this one out!)
The new christmas album by Celtic Women,
Josh Groban-Noel,
Anything by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir,
Sarah Brightman- A Winter Symphony
And I have enjoyed the new Casting Crowns rendition of I heard the bells on Christmas Day.

Somehow I invariably end up staying up late through the Christmas Season putting the finishing touches on handmade gifts, and I love to be able to catch all the great musical specials of the season. Tonight was one of my favorites. Promise you won't tell?
I love the Nutcracker. I know. Ballet.
It was stunning. So as I tried to finish knitting a pair of gloves I did it to the timing of the sugarplum fairies, and the Nutcracker prince.
Knit one, Purl Two, Leap and spin.
What are your favorite Christmas Songs?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Days

After a balmy fall, and downright warm early december winter has finally fallen. Just in time for the arrival of you know who.
We are eagerly awaiting Christmas day, (or frantically trying to finish everything, as the case may be)
And the snow does something magical to me around the christmas season.
It makes me want to put a log on the fire, bundle up and stay home.
It makes me want my children all around-however loud they are in the evening, and however many nerf bullets get aimed at the ceiling fan.
It makes me love knitting and sewing, and simple cooking like chicken soup and white beans and ham.
(Pause while I put on the beans for tonights dinner!)
I look outside and see the white blanket carpeting everything in sight-even the weeds I didn't make time to pull this fall.
I get weepy at the sight of my tall oldest daughter singing with the fifth graders, because next year she will sing with the sixth graders, and then she will be in junior high.
I want to freeze everyone and wrap them up like a picture postcard, giftwrapped with a bow on top.
So Merry Christmas everybody.
Hope to see you over the holidays, but if not you can find me snuggled on the couch with a lapfull of wiggly kids all trying to get the most lap space.

P.S.- our basement apartment is available, so if you know someone who might be interested check out the pictures here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Merry December Everyone!
I know we are all feeling the holiday push, gifts to buy, projects to finish, concerts and school events to attend, so I wanted to lighten things up with a quick update.
Things are busy at the Spotts house. We decorated for christmas this last weekend, and now I am officially in the Holiday mood. Despite the casualties of the weekend. (#1 being the fact that I broke my nose trying to get the christmas tree down instead of waiting patiently for my husband, who was on the roof putting up christmas lights.) No one has ever accused me of being terribly graceful!
I have gotten into recycling wool sweaters for some of my projects this year. The above picture is of Evie styling a pair of slipper socks/boot liners.
And we found this great site that the kids have loved playing with.
Ever wanted to walk on the moon?

Be on a billboard?

Grace the pages of vogue?

Just go to

One of the kids favorite things this time of year is a felt advent calendar, with toys and elves, and santa, where you put the toys in santas bag for christmas eve. Every year they fight over who is going to put the last toy in, which is one of Santa. It is funny to see the mathmatical manipulation that occurs as they figure out who has to start the calendar to achieve the desired end result.
What are some of your favorite family things this time of year?
Have a great day!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Last tuesday was our Young WOmen In Excellence evening. It was great, themed as talents to treasure, with a pirate theme. The evening went great, and I made this cute cake for dessert.
Pirate ships complete with torn sails and cannonballs.

And swedish fish swimming in the icing ocean. (suttons idea.)
Just don't ask how long it took. I have made 7 layer wedding cakes in less time.

38 days!

38 DAYS!! until the holiday. You know the one. The one with the decorations and the food, and the trees. The one that you look forward to for half the year, and dread for the other half. The one that just wouldn't be the same with out your kids to get excited, and ask for everything in the world.
In celebration of the upcoming holiday I am doing a few things. I am finishing projects. Yep. Don't laugh.
You know the pile of fabric in the sewing/dining room? Yeah. That one.
And the scrapbook paper in the laundry room?
And the cut out placemats on the sewing machine?
And the knitting in the baskets?( including the gloves I made for myself-all but two fingers. )why?
Because not one thing is coming into this house before organization rules.

So get out the list. Check it twice.
Put on some music.
And settle in for the long haul.

I just realized that the way my boys wrestle on the floor in an apparent attempt to squeeze the life from one another is normal.
Sutton can have wrestling matches with his stuffed animals.
And sometimes the animals win.

And by the way. Whoever replaced my children with Aliens who do not complain about practicing the piano, and actually get up at 7:30 am to do it, (instead of watching curious george)
you can keep the originals. Really.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


It is past eleven here at my house, on Sunday night. And sunday at my house means chaos. Whomever (look at that proper grammar! ) said that Sunday was the day of rest had never been at my house on a sunday!

We attended Church, and my kids had a giggle fest. I remember this as a child. I also remember the LOOK of DEATH that would be aimed our way every time we would smother a giggle in our hands. Who knew I would have the need to master the Look of Death for myself? It was one of those Sundays when you are sure the entire congregation is staring at your pew, and heaven only knows what they are thinking! And after church we had choir, (1 hour) and meetings, (2) and visits to young women, (2) and dinner guests, (also 2), and loud children, (4) and a sick dog, (1).

So as I sit here at a little after eleven, (which is really a little after twelve, which is the way I keep time for a good two weeks after the time change. As in, we need to be there at ten, which is really like eleven, so I have plenty of time! Ha Ha.), as I sit here and the quiet breathes around me, I am reminding myself of the things I love about motherhood.

1. Fairies. Who doesn't love a good fairy now and then?

2. Princesses. See #1 above.

3. A strong hero on standby. (Just look at those muscles!!)
4. Someone who's always ready to protect you.

5. Beauty everyday.

6. People to enjoy it with.

SO goodnight. I am now going to bed, at 11:30, which is really 12:30. And when I wake up my children will politely ask me if I would like breakfast in bed, and what (matching)socks they should wear with the neatly pressed clothes I laid out for them. Daisies will bloom, and bluebirds will sing. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Ponies, pinatas, and pumpkins, Oh My!

Sutton Turns 5!!!!!
When people ask me about our kids, I start with, :well, our oldest is 10, and the baby is almost 5", and they ask, "So you have just the two then?" And my reply,
" We have four wonderful, amazing kids. Four kids in Five years. And yes, life is nuts. And yes, I love it. " And now my "baby" is 5.
Too old to be carried around, too old to call the baby, too old to stay at home with Mom all day. But as he threw his arms around me yesterday and laid a big old smooch on my cheek I thought, definitely not too old for some snuggling in the morning, never too old for bedtime stories, and heaven help me if he ever gets too old to be my little boy!
But in celebration of this landmark event, (no more diapers at our house, Hooray!)
We threw a carnival shindig of epic proportions.
One pony, one pinata, seventeen pumpkins, 32 hot dogs, 2 cans of hot chocolate mix, 22 kids, and lots and lots of fun! Painting pumpkins, punting pinatas,
and Playing with ponies!!

Ride em cowboy!!
All the other kids got into the action, including the older "kids" of all ages in our neighborhood.
Lots of fantastic friends, and memories for when they really are all grown up!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Self Portraits al la van gogh!

This is what happens when your daughter figures out that the viewfinder rotates backwards on the digital camera.
Imagine my surprise when I downloaded pictures this weekend. There are about 32 of these charmers!
Is this her librarian look?
I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Serendipity! (Or why gossip is BAD!)

Last friday I had a wedding cake for Dawn. Dawn was a cute girl, who called me because I had done a cheesecake wedding cake for her cousin Kathy. And in conversation it came out that she was Evie's teacher's roommate until August. (Ms. Hackworth we love you.) This is one of the reason's I never gossip about anyone in Utah. EVERYONE knows someone who knows you. It is like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon, only WORSE!
Dawn had a very definite idea of what she wanted.
Now, I normally don't do hatbox wedding cakes. To me a little bit of fluff and flowery victoriana goes a LONG way. But these sounded neat.
So I sketched out three contrasting hatboxes, with antique gold accents, and cabbage roses on top.
This is how it turned out. What do you think? I love the gold braid handles. (not real fondant, I cheated and went to the fabric store. ) And the gold touched scrollwork.
And the stripes. The stripes were cool. Dawn and Jon's names were done in gold scrollwork around the top band, with brown and pink accents. It all went really nicely with her centerpieces, which were actual hatboxes, and gold runners.

Just don't ask me about the pink food.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Last weekend I made a cake for a very good friend of Ron and I's. It was a beautiful autumn themed wedding in a backyard in Orem. It was a lovely day. and although I had to rush through some of the week to get it done, it was a beautiful cake. Four small bottom layers, a larger second layer, glass pillars and a small top layer. All were done in a dusty pink, with white crown borders, and brown ribbon accents.
The flowers were red zinnias, gerbera daisies, alstromeria, white mini zinnias, and some awesome brown, red, and green foilage I purloined from someone's overgrown shrub. (Thanks, it was just what I needed!)
It was all balanced on a plexiglass square, on four glass vases, filled with red petals. It did turn out quite well, and I was pleased. I knew I wanted to take pictures, so I took the girls with me, set up, and the boys came later to wish them well. (Congratulations Noelani!)

While I was there, in a beautiful setting, with my four kids, all reasonably mess free, camara dangling from my shoulder I thought, "hey, why don't I take some pictures of the kids?" As I look at these pictures now, I wonder why I wait for some special event to take pictures. Aren't the every day events just as special? (If a little more messy) My kids are growing up faster than I would like, and I would like to freeze them all, just an hour, and sit down. Forget cakes, and lessons, and homework, and just laugh, and treasure the little moments we have together.
"Author Anna Quindlen reminds us not to rush past the fleeting moments. She said: “The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less”
So this is my goal. Play with the toys, don't just pick them up. Laugh with my kids everyday. Let them help, even if it makes a mess. Let them be themselves. Make time just for time. And hope they don't grow up too fast. I love you guys!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Birthday Party Fun!!

Evie's birthday party for friends was this last weekend, and she wanted to have a fairy bash. Right now she is into anything tinkerbell.
Her birthday cake was a fairy world, with tinkerbell on the top. (she got to keep tink, of course)Her friends all came, we colored fairy pictures, had a fairy treasure hunt, and ate pizza and fairy cake. Then they decorated picture frames, which we sent home with a picture of each girl with evie. (I love digital camaras!!!)
But by far the biggest hit of the afternoon was the "wrap sutton in tiolet paper" game. By the time they were done the family room resembled a blizzard. All the tinkerbell theme was fun, and it got me thinking about disney, and how successful they have been.

Walt Disney once said that " Age old entertainment based on the classic fairy tale knows no young, no old." That is certainly true. While looking for cake ideas for the party I found these pictures, a series done by Annie Leibovitz for a disney promotion this year. The entire series can be found on the disney blog, here. But these are two I especially loved.

Beckham as Prince Charming. I mean, how cliche. But a great picture. You can just imagine the dragon just out of the frame.

And this Cinderella is fantastic. If you check out more, look at Beyonce as Alice in Wonderland.

I can tell it is just about time for another Disneyland vacation. Sutton does not remember going, (he was only 18 months old the last time we went) and he is just at the age where it is so fun to see them enjoying themselves.

On another front, check out this game. Quiddler.

It has become one of our favorites. A combination of scrabble and gin rummy, you play seven hands, trying to make words out of the letters you have been dealt. Try it, you will like it!