Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Emma = Thoughtful

Seriously, the girl goes above and beyond. At the beginning of the school year I signed up to send in a game for the classroom to have (for rainy days when they have recess inside). I sent in Phase 10. Just the other day Emma made a point of telling me that she had played it. I detected that tone of voice she uses. The one that's full of pity and I know she feels sorry for me and is trying to make sure my feelings aren't hurt, but trying not to let these things show and to act casual. After some questioning, it turns out no one had played it all year and Emma was afraid I'd be sad that no one had played my game so she talked a few kids into playing it with her that day at school and wanted to be sure I knew it was being used.
Then the other night, I was upstairs getting the kids settled into bed. Emma is allowed to stay up reading a bit later than the others, but since she shares a room with Lydia, she usually stays downstairs to read. So when I came back down, this is what I saw:

That's the chair 1/2, the most comfortable spot to sit, and where Scott and I sometimes recline to watch a little tv in the evenings. Emma must have noticed this, because she had spread out a blanket for us, lined up all of the remotes on the arm, and labeled her offering so we'd be sure to know what it was for.I love that girl.

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's no longer just gas

Afton started charming us with these beauties last week and we can't get enough.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Eye Trivia

How well do you know your Cruze kids' eyeballs?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Retiring the '08 books

Since the new year has begun I figured it was time to get rid of my '08 list and start on '09. I don't know if I'll have time to read as much this year but I hope so. I love it. For posterity, here's my full list of books I read in 2008 (most recent first...I finished the Book of Mormon sometime after Christmas, just in time!):

The Book of Mormon
The Peacegiver - James L. Ferrell
Mayflower - Nathaniel Philbrick
The Choice - Nicholas Sparks
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling
A Girl Named Zippy - Haven Kimmel
Stolen Lives - Malika Oufkir
The Blue Castle - L.M. Montgomery
Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer
Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling
These is My Words - Nancy Turner
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J. K. Rowling
The Host - Stephenie Meyer
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J. K. Rowling
Listening is an Act of Love - Dave Isay
Emily of New Moon - L.M. Montgomery
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith

Listening is an Act of Love was one of my favorites, I keep recommending it to everyone I know (including you, go read it!). These is My Words was another really great one. And I might as well own it, I also liked Breaking Dawn. Three Cups of Tea was the most inspiring, but unfortunately it was very tedious to read. I wish a different author had picked up the amazing story, I couldn't stand the one who did. The Peacegiver is one that I would like to read each year and recommend to everyone as well.

Anyway, here's to a very literary 2009!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


This is our theme for 2009.

Not that we were really looking for a theme. It just kind of happened. Last year our calendars were full and the responsibilities and tasks and objectives seemed to come in tidal waves...each new one cresting before the last had really finished receding. Much of the busyness was fun stuff, it wasn't all hard work. But there was just so much of it (and it was surrounded by all the stuff that was hard work) that it crowded out the full satisfaction. Go, go, go, rush, rush. Then just before Christmas, here comes our beautiful baby #5.
And we stopped.
And the new pace was set.
We're taking things easy and not over doing.

We decided we would take the whole year off from birthday parties.

We decided to take the year off from vacations too. We packed and unpacked a lot last year and we're looking forward to staying close to home for awhile.

We even decided to bag spring soccer and softball.

I'm sure things will pick up again. Even now it's not like we're sitting around meditating by the fire all day long. We're still "busy" with all the totally necessary normal daily stuff. And soon enough we're bound to find ourselves back to our usual runaround ways. We may even get restless and take a trip after all by autumn. But for now it feels really, really good to just be.

Friday, January 9, 2009


And perhaps the last for some time. Keeping every one fed and clean is about all I can manage presently (and the occasional quick blog post, of course).
I made this bag for Susan for Christmas. I like it. It has a lot of my favorite fabrics and I copied Cally on some accessory ideas for the interior.
I made this rocket (modeled by Josh) for Andrew (tutorial found here). I skipped adding the little astronaut because I was short on time!
I made this necklace for me (tutorial found here). I want to make more, it was easy!
Oh, and look who else is getting crafty? Grammy taught Emma and Sydney how to cross-stitch.

Photo catch-up up from Christmas...

[The evening of the 23rd we celebrated Christmas Cruze-style. Of course this included lots of cousins, lots of food, and lots of Bingo. The Shafers made it down from New York for the festivities and we were all glad Grandma and Grandpa Daniels joined came to watch the kids open their gifts. (Rachel, Terry and Thomas were still on their way when we took this photo.)] [Josh's best gift was his transformers tent.]

[On the morning of the 24th our Christmas gift to each other was delivered. We've been enjoying our family dinners there and it's been awesome. We've also had some good game nights with its ample seating.]

[That evening we headed to Grammy and Grandpa's for the traditional Nativity and pizza/fancy drinks dinner.][Now that's one cute angel.]

[The morning of the 25th (and 26th, 27th, 28th right up through...uh, what's the date today?) was spent mostly doing this.]

[Just because Christmas was over did not mean the good times had to end. Brad, Susan and Andrew came to visit and we continued partying every night. This night we partied without the kids at Peerless.]
[Without all of the kids besides Afton, that is.]

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year from Monkey Girl

I resolve to do a little more of this...

(But I'd like to avoid the side effects...)