Goodbye and Hello

Okay. So, I'm shifting my blogging energy over to a brand new site. It's pretty.

It's called The Mormon Home and it's exclusively by me for now. I'm trying to keep a fairly tight focus (Mormonism and the Home) so I don't plan to post about my personal life as much. You may have noticed that I'm fairly active on Instagram these days: my favorite subjects are my lovely boys, so if you want to keep up with the Davis family, be sure to follow me there.

I will leave this blog open for a while for those Pinterest links. Eventually I'll probably shift the "greatest hits" that I think are worthy over to the new blog (the Pioneer Trek Sharing Time always gets a ton of hits in July :) and I will eventually, slowly, make this one private and unreachable.

At The Mormon Home, I will be posting curated parties with a theme, Mormon printables, and quotes. I'm pushing myself to up my game regarding photography and original content. It feels good to stretch again, even though it's not totally honed just yet. The first party should be ready to post tomorrow: His Eye is on the Sparrow.

I have a notebook full of ideas and notes for the year ahead. And an exit strategy, if there is such a thing. I have a destination in mind. But. If the last three years have taught me nothing else (but they have! they have taught me so, so much) I have reluctantly learned that life doesn't usually turn out exactly how you expect. So I'll roll with this direction as long as it feels good.

I'd love your support and shout-outs at the new place in whatever form you'd feel comfortable sharing! New websites are a shaky thing and any happy comments or links will be treasured. Like gold. Or like the $20 you'd forgotten about in the left pocket of your jacket. Really a lot more like that. What am I going to do with gold?


Happy New Year!

We've settled into a lovely tradition for New Year's Eve: we do Chinese food for dinner with a little sparkling apple juice, a few small decorations and some poppers. It is exactly what I can handle at this time of the holiday season, and, per my plan, it is perfect as the kids get older and want to head off to the multi-stake dance for the night. We still get to celebrate together, they rowdy ones all leave, and I go to sleep by 10:30.

We also do a short list of favorites, looking back, and resolutions, looking forward.
I hope your celebrations were exactly what you hoped. Best wishes for 2014!


Christmas Card 2013

Just in case you didn't get a card, Merry Christmas from our family to yours!


No! Not This Year.

This morning I have a special blog post just for you: a list of Christmas stuff you should absolutely NOT do for Christmas this year. They're crazy time intensive projects, pretty much insane even if you started in July. But we're at the magical time of the holiday season when you have to just let it go. Relax! You're out of time. Pack away all your good intentions and get practical.

This is the week to buy your neighbor gifts instead of making 300 cookies and this is the week for one last ditch race through Toys 'R Us to fill in the gaps with the "B" List toys. But in case you're an incurable "yes" person, I've compiled the following projects that I know you won't have time to complete, no matter how many all-nighters you pull between now and the 25th. Put them down and walk away. You're welcome.

At the top of the list are all needlework projects. It's too late to start knitting, cross stitching, or crocheting gifts in time for Christmas. You definitely won't be crocheting individualized stockings for all of your children and grandchildren this year. Put away the needles and the red and green thread. You're done.
You also won't have time to make your own wrapping paper. Who does? This is crazy: wrapping paper is cheap for a reason. It's supposed to be the easiest part of giving a gift.
You won't have time to make a gingerbread house like this, especially not with your own very special homemade gingerbread recipe. Goodness gracious, there won't even be time for the frosting to dry completely. Let it go.
How about two dozen tasteful handmade felt ornaments from the Purl Bee? No! Don't start that crap. Do me a favor and just avoid The Purl Bee and Martha until January 1.
You know what else you can let go for another year? The "Christmas Book Every Day" madness. And advent. And the twelve days of Christmas. It's over. It's eight days until Go Time. You're off the hook until next year for any and all countdown to Christmas projects.
Did you send out your Christmas cards? No? Well, now is NOT the time to break out the scrapbooking paper. It's too late! No homemade, multilayered, stamped, bedazzled, eyelet-enhanced, flowered handmade cards for you this year. Let Go and Let God. This is what Facebook is for, folks: upload a family snapshot up and keep your message short ("Happy Holidays from our Family to Yours" is exactly enough.)
For the love. You don't have time to produce these Instagram marshmallows. I don't care how cute the filters are! At best you have time to print out a favorite snapshot on your home printer and stick it in a frame from Walmart. Cross this project off your list. With prejudice.
Is it time to break out the sewing machine and put together two dozen new costumes for the ward live Nativity? NO! It's too late! Wasn't your ward Christmas party two weeks ago anyway? There's no more time this year to sew the costumes. Turn the page on that little fantasy.
This is quilling. In defense of the craft, I have a half dozen snowflake ornaments my mom "quilled" when I was a little girl (they're at least 25 years old). They're pretty. But guess what? You won't be learning how to quill this year for Christmas. And you certainly won't be making any of these crazy Christmas trees. It's outside the realm of possibility. Done.

Isn't it nice to know what is OFF your list for 2013? That's the magic of December 17th. Do yourself a favor, as a special holiday gift from me to you: cut two things off your To Do list right now. Seriously. No one will miss your fancy gingerbread cheesecake at the PTA potluck. The garlands can just stay in the box for a year. Take an afternoon for yourself and watch a horrible Lifetime Christmas movie. Or take a nap! Merry Christmas!


Earth Model Project

Today Lucas is turning in his Earth Model project in Science. We've spent a lot of hours and almost a full bottle of Modge Podge on this thing: I just had to share. The black squares are Velcro so the globe holds together.

I love it so much! I want to keep it forever.


Gingerbread Houses

After Thanksgiving dinner I let the kids open their first presents: gingerbread houses from Omi. My Mom has a long-standing tradition to gather the cousins and decorate gingerbread houses together. This year we made them from Half Moon Bay.
We had a great time and especially enjoyed the fondant found in the kit.
Thanks Mom!


Christmas Update

So here's a snapshot of our finished advent! We are 9 days in and it really has been a fun treat for all four of my boys. One thing I've noticed is that the small items they're opening are similar to what I would normally get to fill their stockings. So we'll be foregoing stockings this year. I think it's a good trade off.
Another thing that has been really useful: I wrote an initial of the child and the number of the day on each small gift. It's really helpful when the items get mixed up or mishandled.
I did something crazy with our tree this year: I sent Randy ALONE to choose it. I told him, "We've been married for 17 years. If you don't know what kind of tree I like by now..." He came home with a great tree, although I think it's about a foot too short (ha!). No worries. We set it on top of a box and wrapped the tree skirt around the bottom. Perfect.

Are you a real or artificial tree person? I could easily go artificial, but Randy remains a staunch real tree hold out. Are you getting seduced by the skinny Charlie Brown tree trend? I think they're elegant and modern looking, but I need lots of big branches to hold my sentimental mess of ornaments. I think we'll stick with the classics for a few more years to come.

Happy merry making!