Monday, April 27, 2009


While I would love to take credit for this lovely breakfast, I cannot. Bret made the most beautiful looking monkey bread the other weekend. This paired with yummy coffee makes a great morning! Ella was so happy to help him. She rolled the little balls of dough and helped shake them in the big container of cinnamon and sugar. He also added a layer of sliced apples in the middle and they add a sweetness and flavor that everyone just loves.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Heart .....

Red Rocks !!

The best concert venue hands down I have ever been to is Red Rocks in Colorado. It is hard to beat a concert in a cloud on a mountain. When I saw Phish there I think even the band was a little in awe of the amazing moment we were all having. Lights, music and clouds on the mountain. Friends added to the atmosphere too! It was truly one of the best concerts I have experienced with my husband.

I am excited to say that Bret really loves the venue as well. He has been contemplating going out there this summer for a trip with the family to see a baseball game, friends, and the lovely mountains and possibly to catch another show there. I know most people go to Colorado to go skiing but it is such a beautiful place to go in the summer as well. One of the most beautiful wedding I have been to was at Breckenridge Mountain for Brad & Melissa's wedding. I would love to revisit that area if we are near there.

But the real reason for my post is the excitement of Bret getting tickets for us to go see Wilco at Red Rocks. They are my new favorite band to see live and I may have a slight crush on Jeff Tweedy- or at least his ability to write crushingly beautiful lyrics set to some of the most haunting and lovely guitars melodies that I have heard in a long time. Now to find a babysitter in the Colorado area...if only Bret had a cousin who was great with children close by....oh wait he does!! Wish us luck!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Toothfairy Awaits...

We have a loose tooth in our house. In fact, Ella's tooth has been loose since Friday. I laughed when she told me in the parking lot at Target that she had a loose tooth. I did in fact scream when I reached in a felt a substantially wobbly wiggly tooth in my 4 year old daughter's mouth. We went to show daddy and I proceeded to call several other people to share this surprising news. Ella was so excited at bedtime she could hardly contain her excitement. Her arms were shaking and she couldn't stop giggling. It was very sweet. She wanted to know when the tooth fairy was going to come. Ella has been excited for about the past year to loose her teeth. It seems like such a strange thing, but to her it is a rite of being an official "big girl"!
This is the beginning of the pillow. On red velvet, I had the idea for a cloud with the word "wish" in it to hover above some flowers. Then I was thinking of a wishing well to the right. As you can see below, ideas do not always come to be what you think. I ended up making a big basket instead with a bow on top. I wish it was a little more in the center, but since I have never made anything with embroidery, I think I was happy with some of the results.

She is a very satisfied customer and cannot wait to use her new tooth fairy pillow. Lars has already requested one. I have some blue velvet. I am thinking some kind of space & rocket theme might fit him. I will hope to have a few years to worry about this and to practice embroidery some more.

Bret has been saving dollar coins to use for the tooth fairy. She is young enough that she will be excited for anything though!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Poems about Students

For Summer
I hear the chant, "I like Fridays."

Whispers and talking
to avoid the task

Fascination and laughter
of a life, I call my own.
Why can't I be interesting too?

For Trever
Food, food, food
on my mind.

Thinking of what is to come.
granola bar,
fruit roll up....

How will I ever decide?
I may need to think some more.

For All Kids
Eyes following me
as I walk across the room

Eyes avoiding me
as I try to stare them down

Eyes watching me
as I sneeze

Eyes sneaking glances
and secrets across the room.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Boutique Sale

If you know me at all, you know I love childrens' clothes. In fact, this is my achille's heel. If I see a good item at a great price I struggle passing it up! I share this obsession with Nora and Kim. I await the change of seasons to see our kids new outfits and new finds. We all buy ahead and have our organizational storage totes of upcoming sizes. I think I have winter coats for Ella for the new 4 years!

We have pooled our heads together and are planning an event!

Boutique House Sale
April 24th, 2009

The rest of the details will need to be worked out but Kim is our merchandiser, so I expect clothing arranged by American & European brand names. I am looking to sell outfits and sets as much as possible. we are trying to see if we open this to friends if we can get a little more than by getting just a few dollars through consignment (no offense Sarah) and by avoidinf Ebay. So prices will be cheaper than Ebay or consignment but more than a typical garage sale since we really are not selling our junk- this is our nice clothing we have been holding onto and just have not gotten rid of yet. Expect to see all seasons and sizes from newborn to 5 or 6. I also would like to say it will mainly be girls but some of Lars' goods will make it to this sale! If you are interested in more info please let me know!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sometimes it Snows in April

These 2 above are from March 23, 2009. It snowed a few inches in Iowa City,
but 6 " in Amana. It was crazy!

This is April 5, 2009 in Iowa City. I can't believe I actually captured the snowflakes.

I am heavily reminded of one of my favorite Prince songs. Sigh this weather craziness is just getting to be a bit much. I took a video clip since it is so hard to get a picture of what it really looks like. We woke up this morning hoping we might just get rain, but alas snow was meant to come. We did have an Easter egg hunt today and we braved the cold wind for chocolate! Lars only complained twice and he actually wanted me to carry him due to being cold. In the past few weeks our weather has ranged from 70 degree days to 20 degrees. You have to love Spring!

The good news is that we have all sorts of pretty green things wanting to make their way out of the earth. In my head I am readying my garden, I just have not quite gotten there yet.

Here come my hostas! Looking forward to seeing you guys!

I Heart Easter

Cutest Easter baskets Ever! This one by Moda Bankshop. This has a great and easy (me thinks) tutorial and I am blogging specifically about it so I have it on record so I can make it for next Easter. I may make one for storage first as practice.

I am bust working on organizing the Amana eggs we picked out the other day. If you have never seen Amana eggs, we took pictures of ours. We go these at the Kitchen Sink but you can also find these beauties at the General Store.

There is a little history behind these eggs:

The Amana settlers brought the tradition of the "Amana" Eggs with them them in the 1800's. The process involves hard boiling the eggs and then rolling the eggs in a very hot mixture of furniture glue and dyes. At the end of the day, the pieces of glue that were left over, were placed in together in a dish and the eggs were rolled in the multi-colored mixture resulting in the beautiful, marbelized multi-colored eggs, which are know today as "The end of day eggs." The furniture glue seals the eggs and they dry out inside. Kept in proper conditions, your hand dyed eggs will become a historical remembrance and should last from year to year!

I have had many of these eggs for years now and the inside just dries up and you can get a hard yolk inside sometimes. They get brittle after many many years but they are so pretty that I leave mine out all year long. Likely we will make some bunny holders with our thanks written on each item. Thanks for being some "bunny" special. Slightly corny but still cute!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Kindergarten Round Up

We were on our way......

Ella showed me her true colors at the kindergarten round up at Shimek Elementary. Bret and I went proud of our little girls really big milestone. She was a little nervous but not too much. When we entered the school, she began telling me the names of all the places- lunchroom or gym, office, library...on and on. Then we followed the blue crayons to the kindergarten room in the back of the building. We were greeted by her teacher who was sweet as can be. Ella could not find her name tag as it was written with another name...Emma. We found the teacher and she found me a marker and I made a new name tag quick as can be. Bret sat right in the front and we followed. Nervous children and parents seemed to keep streaming in. I knew a few parents and children by acquaintance from the neighborhood and Iowa City.

After a brief introduction, the kids were taken to the library for a book and activity. Ella may have been one of the first out the door. I literally think she bounced out the doorway! She was so excited to be in her kindergarten round up! She was a little sad she did not get to go to the Amana round up earlier in the week with some of her friends. One parent did tell me later that Ella seemed very confident and sure of herself. I tried explaining that she is just very comfortable in school settings. The parent was in a bit disbelief when I told her that she would not be 5 until July. Her height and self definitely lead people to think she is older. She is not, however, the tallest person in her class. That honor goes to the Hansen boy, whose dad is like 6 1/2 feet tall.

While the children were wisked away, us parents were left to look around the room and make up stories about each other in our heads while the teachers droned on about ways to help your child in readiness in mathematics and literacy skills. I felt a little like a student in a Charlie Brown cartoon. I did half listen to see if anything alerted me, but Shimek is a great school and all involved had great things to say.

A few concerns noted were the fact Iowa City does not have a set start time. Whaaaat? Hope they figure this out soon. Also ; it is a peanut free zone. I heard Bret groan in his head at this statement. I know it is not a big deal but something to deal with.

The other was class numbers. They are a small school, so they are planning on one section. Twenty kids showed for the open house. Charlie Towers, the new principal, informed the somewhat interested group that 25 is the magic number for two sections. Call me crazy,but I strongly think 22 is way too many for a KG classroom even with the help of an associate. Anything over 19 makes me nervous! I think the teacher is fantastic but small numbers is a good thing!

On a plus side, I am pleasantly surprised at the diversity in her classroom! I really hope this is a tight group and she can get to know the kids well in and out of school!

I am Ella and I am ready for kindergarten!