Archive | July, 2011

Another Week of Camping!

30 Jul

We went camping again with our church. It was fabulous! I love camping. I’m always bummed when we have to break down. It’s so great to be away from the “real life.” It doesn’t seem to matter what the kids consume that week. More sugar and snacks in one week than they do the whole year it seems. There are so many other kids and families and everyone takes care of each other. We camped at Bellows Beach which is owned by the military, so it’s different from most camp sites in that it’s really secure. It’s usually very clean and they do have hot water showers! It was awesome. We can’t wait to go back next year.  Hopefully for TWO WEEKS!

Remember this pic?

I painted a ton of faces for a few hours one night.  It was really fun.  I haven’t done it in a while.It doesn’t get any easier than this…These girls had so much fun together!  They even had sleepovers at camp.

This guy loves the ocean.  It’s the one thing that keeps him from taking a break to eat.My baby girl really took to uncle Nate.  It was really nice for me 🙂She was very happy when he brought her ice cream.  Twice!We shared dinner duty, so it was nice to only cook for half of the nights.  I think we got the better end of the deal.  They made steaks and we made chili!See the crab in the yellow boat toy?

It was convenient to have an endless supply of sand.  There were no issues with sharing.
This little blonde girl is moving back to the mainland in less than two days, so they were pretty much attached for the whole camp out.  We’re really dreading their departure.Happiness.It was nice to see these two getting along 🙂

My boys.

I love camping.  We never missed our church camp out growing up.  It was always a huge priority in our home.  I understand why.  So many memories.

Favorite Moment

27 Jul

I love taking pictures of other people, but I hate myself in pictures.  I don’t mind taking them with a group or whatever, but when I see them, I hate them.  I asked my friend to snap this one because I wanted to remember this moment.  So, I love this picture because it reminds me of the moment.  I was sitting on the beach in a really comfortable chair (thank you Angie) and my baby was asleep.  It was sooooo relaxing.  Normally, I’m watching the baby with one eye while the other eye is on the other three in the water.  In this moment, I just sat back and watched the other three while this one slept.  I also had uninterrupted adult conversation.  Can you think of anything better than holding a sleeping baby while sitting on the beach?  It was bliss. 

On A Break!

21 Jul

Over here all day.

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Hangin with the girls at night

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Lanikai Trail or Pillbox Hike

17 Jul

We (my siblings) got together to take the kids on a hike.We had heard mixed reviews about whether or not this hike was kid friendly.  It was definitely a steep hike.
  We had four babies on back packs.  Lots of sliding down steep little hills.  But, it was lots of fun.  I’m looking forward to going again when the hubby is off of work.
If you look at the top, you can see the pillbox.  Don’t laugh, but a bunch of us did just wear slippers.We didn’t actually make it to the top.  We were concerned about the safety of the four and unders.  It was still an amazing hike with incredible views.  Here we are at the end just taking a break before we all head to the beach.This hike was a good reminder of the power of God and how incredible this earth that He created is.  I’m looking forward to doing it again!

Sewing Bags – Link to Free Friendship Bag Tutorial

16 Jul

I love online tutorials.  They really have changed the way we sew.  There are many sewers out there who have never looked at a pattern before.  With online tutorials, the steps are usually very detailed and clear.  Most often, it’s full of great photos for each step.  Almost foolproof!  Instead of searching through pattern books at a fabric store with a number of underage children tugging at your jeans or running through bolts of fabric, you can just do an online search for what you need.  You can even email the person who created the tutorial with questions.  For free!  I love this tutorial.  I’ve altered it a little bit here and there for different things I’ve needed, but the general rules apply.

It’s called, The Friendship Bag.  It’s appropriate because I’ve made a bunch of these for friends.

These first few bags were for teacher gifts.  I used fun home decor fabric and added a pocket and magnetic closure.  I skipped the step to quilt it and I didn’t make a separate piece for the bottom.I was supposed to fill these bags with fresh produce.  Since I pulled an all-nighter to sew these, I ended up just enclosing a grocery store gift card.You can see I reinforced the corners/edges of the bag to help it hold its shape.I also adjusted the size of the bags and the straps.  This one is one of my favorites simply because of the shape it held.  It was inteneded to be a grocery bag, but the home decor fabric was so firm that it ended up looking like a large purse.This grocery bag does not have reinforced edges and is more like a real plastic grocery bag…easy to fit in a small compartment in your car. If I wasn’t so tired the night I made this, it would have been nice to put a pocket for cell phone and wallet.  Because the intention was to use it as a grocery bag, I used waterproof (PUL) fabric on the inside.  The same stuff used to sew washable diapers.These next few particular bags stayed pretty true to the tutorial.  I did adjust the size of it.  Something fun I like to do when I’m quilting is to quilt the name of the recipient within the random meandering.  Then, I tell them to find their name in the stitching.  If my external hard drive didn’t break tonight, I would have had a picture of that to show. Notice I ran the fabric strips horizontal on this one.  Then, I appliqued the initial. I love this bag because I’ve always wanted to use this polk-a-dot fabric.  It reminds me of the Baskin Robbins pink bubble gum ice cream.  This was for a sweet little girl’s baptism.  She needed to fit her scriptures in here and it needed to be pink.  And pink it is!  I put a colored pencil for marking scriptures and a pen and pencil.  The other pocket holds some stationary I made (that post coming soon) and I put a dollar in the other pocket.  My chinese grandma always taught us that you never gift a wallet or bag without putting some money in it, or it’s…you guessed it, BAD LUCK!  Grandma’s luck usually came in the form of something bigger than just $1.
For this one, I thought it would be fun to do a stitched monogram.  I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I like how it turned out.  I just stitched the ‘M’ on the square and then stitched the square to the bag.  I did back it with cotton batting.  This bag was for my grandma.  She likes pockets.  I really wish that I had made that square into a pocket.My good friend, Angie turned me on to this pattern a couple of years ago.  She actually made some of these darling bags with her kids.  I’ve come back to this tutorial many many times.  It’s easily my most useful bag tutorial.  Here’s the fabulous link at psIQUILT.  Enjoy!

40 Years of Marriage For My Mom and Dad

15 Jul

To celebrate my parent’s 40th year of Marriage, the big plans 15 years ago of buying a boat or a car got pushed back about another 10 years.  You think with eight kids, we could pull it off.  Instead, they had to settle for a little party with their posterity.  My party planning sisters were in charge and with everyone combined, this is what we ended up with.

My mom’s colors for her wedding were yellow, so we (my sisters) tried to stick with that.  The kids lined the ground with chalk love notes.
  The guests of honor.  TThe girls did a good job of playing up the yellow.  My parents also had daisies at their wedding.  I love how my sister did those cute lemonade bottles.  We had lots of fabulous food. 


It’s really great having a pastry chef in the family.  My parents were married in the Los Angeles temple in California, so they had chocolate covered macadamia nuts at their reception to bring a little bit of Hawai’i to their reception.  The kids had a great time just being together.


  At the end of the party, the teenage cousins put together a short video in pictures of their life together. The kids couldn’t resist the “shadow fun.” Then they watched a video while the grown ups got to hang out and clean up.Apparently I was taking pictures, so I didn’t do much clean up!
  This is the product of 40 years of marriage, 8 kids, 20 grand kids and growing.  Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!



Tip – Take A Picture, Make it Snappy!

14 Jul

Maybe laziness is what started me on this.  It could have been lack of patience in waiting for a scanner to scan stuff.  Either way, this is one of my most useful tips.  Take a picture of it!  Then store them in a “documents” folder.

Instead of scanning things or writing notes down, just take a picture.  This is of course most convenient if you have a camera phone.  And even more so if you have a smart phone, where you can sync your pics to your computer or email them to yourself.  I take pics of EVERYTHING.  I very rarely scan things anymore.  I can’t understand why scanning technology is still SLOW!  Taking pics of documents and other things has saved me lots of time, money and in some cases, saved my butt!  I just keep a file on my computer called, “documents.”

Here are things that I’ve taken pictures of: Checks I’ve received and needed to keep a record of, contracts, damages to items, receipts that I refer to (most receipts have reference numbers on them that the store can use and often times they fade even if you are organized enough to keep track of it), notes I’ve written on napkins while sitting in the car…often with contact information, warranty info, Travel confirmation letters (so you don’t have to carry around the documents), suspicious cars in the neighborhood, letters with time-sensitive deadlines, a cashier’s check I had to send in the mail, mail labels with tracking numbers on them, my kids’ class lists attached to their classroom door before school starts, business cards and lots of other things.

The following is just a picture list of some things I take pics of…

When our home flooded, we stayed for a few weeks at a vacation rental.  I was in LOVE with the furniture.  I had a hunch it was Costco.  Before we left, I took pics of all the labels.  This was especially handy since I couldn’t actually move the furniture to see it and write it down.  But skinny iPhone got back there and snapped a pic!  The best part of this story, a few months later, Costco brought in furniture pieces from this exact company and almost identical.  I bought two of them!  If you’re a big fan of Costco furniture, you know you have to buy it fast before it runs out.


When we remodeled our home after the flood, this was my inspiration kitchen pic that I kept on my phone.  I used it constantly as a reference and didn’t have to carry around a magazine cut out wherever I went.  It would have been lost after the first day anyway.Sitting in a book store looking for kitchen inspiration and ideas, I snapped a pic of this page.  (Hope that was legal!)

I took this pic so that I could go home and read reviews on this product.  I also used it to call the other Costco stores to see if they had the color I wanted.   They ended up not having what I wanted and it saved me a few trips to various Costco stores.  Can you tell I drink a little too much Costco?This is handy when giving the hubby the task of picking something up.  It’s a picture of the advertisement, price and item number.  No excuses for getting it wrong!

Business cards!I needed to explain our windows to a variety of window vendors.  Trying to explain this without drawing it out would have taken a very long time.  I drew it up, snapped a pic and emailed it to all the potential vendors for a quote.
This was very useful when explaining to the hubby the cost of new cabinets and showing him a visual of the great deal we would be getting!  This was one of those…the more you spend, the more you save.  When you’re crunching numbers and adding and subtracting items, it’s hard to remember the promotions when they are on a tiered system.  It’s like playing those brain puzzles.  You make a move thinking it will help you, but it just messes you up in the other direction.  By having the exact promotion that the sales guy had (that’s not posted), I was able to figure out what we would spend that would give us the most savings.  We saved over $10,000!
I’m not that great at locating things when I need them.  I needed a paint color match.  I snapped a pic of the formula the hardware store used so that I’d always have it even long after that little jar of paint disappeared into the black hole of my closet.

I really wanted this door, but it was on clearance, so I wanted to check it online to make sure there wasn’t something wrong with it.  It was a great door.  Too bad for me, they were out 😦Ever been frantic the night before your kids’ sporting event.  “Do I have snacks this week?!!!”  This kept the frantic-ness to a minimum.  I only got frantic when I realized I had to make it to the store and back and prepare the snacks before the game.  In theory, this is supposed make it so that doesn’t happen.  And, if you’re not good about plugging all the game times into your calendar, this is handy to have.This was an awesome bookshelf find.  I needed to check the dimensions at home to make sure it would fit.  Did someone say, “Costco?”

Here, this box arrived damaged.  I snapped this pic before opening it in case the contents inside were damaged.  Thankfully, everything arrived safe and sound.
I took this pic of my computer screen.  I needed to find out if the store had the same model in a bigger size.  I was able to get the bigger size and the sales girl at Lowes even “price matched” the online promotion and saved me $300!

I took my grandma to this noodle factory.  I snapped this picture of their prices for future reference.  I’ve done this with take-out menus too.And finally, just be warned, if you get good at this, one day, you may have to do this.