Monday, March 31, 2008

Make-a-list-Monday: Shrubs for shade

Top: red twig dogwood, boxwood
Bottom: mountain lover, ninebark

Just for you Kevin. I found this list of shrubs for shade at right here. It also lists all other kinds of shade loving (or tolerating) plants. Just beware, many of these grow way too big for comfort.

Shrubs for shady areas
"Flourish in filtered light"
1. Red twig and yellow twig dogwood
2. ninebark
3. thimbleberry
4. mountain lover
5. snowberry

"Tried and true"
6. barberry (these are thorny)
7. boxwood
8. euonymus (like burning bush, but I think that specific one needs light to get its nice red color)
9. laurels
10. yews

"Tolerate some shade"
11. Kolkwitzia
12. Oregon grape
13. mock orange
14. honeysuckle
15. viburnums

"for something a little more unusual"
16. hydrangeas
17. Japanese maples
18. a few azaleas and rhododendrons.

P.S. Here are a few good hostas.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Yeast measurements

I always forget this, but never again!

2 1/4 tsp of yeast = 1/4 of an ounce of yeast (one packet)

Or just get this fancy measuring spoon that is 2 1/4 tsp.

From Lost Button Studio

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What's growing in March

What's growing in your yard at the end of March?
I have (in order of appearance)
all blooming.

And growing, not blooming yet are my
other lilies
buds on my trees swelling
lamb's ear
spirea buds swelling

Isn't spring wonderful!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

I write the songs

This morning I burst out in "I write the songs that make the young girls cry." Don't bother to ask why, there would be no answer. The real question is why would someone write this song and be proud about this. I happen to like young girls and I really don't like it when they cry.

Take this morning, for example. Rachel asked if she could take a stuffed bunny to school. I have let her take some small toys for recess before, but this just seemed too fluffy and big. So I said no. Well, that made her cry. "Whyyyyy nooooot?"

So on the way out the door to school she was weepy and a little clingy. Then she started her oft-repeated refrain of "I want to be by you!"

Dawn sweetly explained, "That happens to me sometimes too. Even when I am mad at you, I still want to be by you." But I wasn't upset, I took it as a compliment. I learned this lesson as a young girl when my parents had to occasionally make the hour-and-a-half trek to the nearest Walmart and mall. Parents of large families occasionally need Walmarts and malls, no matter how far away they are. But I didn't like it one bit. They were going to be gone all day long, and so I'd cry. "Please don't gooooo!" But they did, and I survived despite the tears.

But Rachel's tears made me sad, too. So I caved in and offered to drive them to school, rather than have Rachel cry for the next 15 to,say, 983 minutes. It is always a big party when I drive them to school. Both boys come along for the ride, and they all sit backwards and shriek that "we're going backwards! Aaahhh!"

Someone asked if we needed to buckle up because Dad says that it's too far to not buckle. And plus, at least two people have been pulled over in our neighborhood for not buckling up.

But don't you know, there are two reasons I'm driving my kids to school. One, I'm 8 1/2 months pregnant, and two, I'm lazy. If these things weren't true, I'd be walking them the 5 blocks to school instead. And since I'm lazy and very pregnant, I am not going to buckle up 4 kids to make the arduous 5 block journey. Sorry.

So that is why I don't like young girls' crying. I'm lazy and pregnant. They just don't mix. But don't ask about my own crying, that is none of your business because, well, I'm not a young girl any longer. It's not cute.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Patio joy

I just can't wait for some consistent warm beautiful spring weather. I'm likely to have a newborn baby and be asleep on the couch or my bed or where ever I can fall asleep when it occurs, but still.

In order to prepare, I've been scouring all the patio furniture stores from Provo to North Salt Lake, and it isn't pretty. Here are the stores I tried:
Home Depot
A spa place
An awning place
R C Willey
Sears online
Kmart online
Walmart online
Shopko online
Pottery Barn online
a bazillion other places online
Sam's Club
Home Goods
Leisure Living
and. . .
my local garden center, Highland Gardens.

Whew. Besides spending a fortune on gas, I feel like it has eaten up many days in the pursuit. But we did not look in vain. We have prevailed. And of all the places we looked, we found the best deal three blocks from our house!

It is cast aluminum, so it is very heavy and Cedar Hills-wind-resistant which makes Matt happy ("I can sleep when the wind blows").

It has a nice design and the red granite tiles are replaceable (so I would buy it).

And they hadn't marked up their prices to this year's prices yet (so we could afford it!).

Isn't it great when it all works out.

Cute shelves

It's organized. It's cute. It's even pink! What's not to love?

This post is especially for Paige who likes square things and loves organized things. From Making it Lovely

Massage those aches away

For Christmas Matt gave me a gift certificate for a pregnancy massage. I've been waiting until the more uncomfortable ending parts of pregnancy to use it. And today was the day!

I'm not going to lie, I was a little bit nervous. This was my first massage. It turned out wonderful! It felt great and totally comfortable. You should definitely go get one (or treat your sweetheart to a chance to get one).

I just hope that my current relaxed and comfortable state lasts at least a day or two, or until our two little dinosaurs forget that I'm not a ramming pole to trample on the way to the watering hole!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wondering about your lawn?

Have you been wondering about your lawn yet this yeawr? We were. So I found this (and many more articles) at Here is an excerpt followed by my summary:

"All of these cultural practices reduce problem weeds but may not totally eliminate them. Gardeners facing serious weed problems may have to do more. Pre-emergence herbicides should be applied prior to April 15 to control crabgrass, spurge and other annual weeds. Dacthal, pendemethalin and betasan are all common crabgrass controls. These require two applications at six-week intervals to control crabgrass and spurge. Galleria and Team are longer-term products that can be applied much earlier to give seasonlong control of these weeds from seed.

"Fertilization is one of the most important practices to keep a good, healthy, weed-free lawn. Normally grass is extremely competitive and crowds out many weeds. Apply high nitrogen fertilizers three to four times per year to keep the lawn adequately supplied with nutrients. The natural tendency of many homeowners is to pour on excessive fertilizer when they think about it, but a much better method is to apply small amounts of fertilizer evenly throughout the growing season. This same process is accomplished by using a slow-release fertilizer a couple of times per year. Broadleaved weeds also can be a problem in the lawn. Dandelions are the most prominent but certainly not the most difficult to get rid of. Apply a broadleaved-leaf killer as soon as the weeds start to actively grow. Weed killers should not be needed on a frequent basis. If they are, check cultural practices to find the problem and correct it."


1. It is time to put a slow release fertilizer with pre-emergent herbicide on your lawn. If it isn't going to rain (or snow) in about 24 hours, water it in.

2. Do it before April 15

3. Broad leaf weed killers (like for dandelions) will only work on the growing plant, so wait until later when they are growing in your lawn to worry about them.

This is for my own zone (zone 5) of course. You poor folks who still have snow covered yards just get to relax for a few more weeks! That's all. Hope your lawn is nice and green (in more ways than one) this year.

Sciencific flirtations

Lindsay at Color Me Red posted these cool science clips. I just knew you'd love them, so here you go!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tweak Day

Growing up, it was always tricky to maneuver the crossover between March 17 (St. Patrick's Day) and March 18 (Tweak Day). On St. Patrick's Day, wearing green would save you from a pinch. But on March 18, wearing green would earn you a nose tweak.

My dad started this tradition long ago, just to torture us I'm sure. We probably pinched him one too many times one St. Patty's Day, and so he conspired to get back at us.

So every year as I get ready for bed on St. Patrick's Day, I always worry about whether or not to wear green to bed. My husband never really pinches me, and no one really tweaks my nose, so I'm not sure why I worry. But I do. It's funny to see how your childhood stays with you forever.

So remember, no green today! (Sorry for the late advice!)

The eggs are dyed

And technically they died too. Scott asked if they could still hatch. But we assured him they were just food at this point.

Definitely pretty dead food.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The people are freezing

207 people froze in Grand Central Station. Watch the video here. Totally funny.

Thanks Mom (and Aunt Luell).

Make a list Monday (MaLM) - Deer resistant plants

I have never had a deer problem in my yard so I've never really researched it. But I've been thinking about plants that will work in my brother and sister-in-law's yard and so I have a short list. Luckily, I have a good selection of these plants in my own yard. Just thought I'd share in case you see deer in you yard.

butterfly bush

Perennial Flowers
pincushion flower
lamb's ear

Misc. plants
vinca (ground cover)
fountain grass
crocus (bulb)
daffodil (bulb)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sunny kids' commentary

The other day we were reading one of the scripture stories where the Nephites gave freely of their wine to the Lamanites. The Lamanites got "drunk" and the Nephites were able to arm the prisoners within and surround them from without.

We were trying to explain wine and drunkenness to Scott. We were saying things like it makes you tired and sleepy, makes you make bad choices that you wouldn't usually make and act funny.

Scott's little light bulb went on as he said, "It's just like Love Potion #9!"

Let's hum along and see
". . .I held my nose I closed my eyes, I took a drink.
I didn't know if it was day or night.
I started kissing everything in sight.
But when I kissed the cop down on 34th and Vine,
He broke my little bottle of Love Potion #9."

Brilliant! "Yep, it's just like Love Potion #9!"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hema mystery

Okay, I have no idea what this is. But it's cool, and it made me smile.

Via Design Mom

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Underwater basket weaving

Minus the underwater part.

On our Sunday walk, we passed a huge pile of willow tree branches that had been pruned. I thought I would grab a few and make myself a spring basket. My kids doubted me, it's true. But I had faith, and I prevailed.

I have a new talent--basket making. I could use a little guidance to be sure, but I'm totally happy with my new Easter basket. What do you think? Could this qualify for nesting?

Oh, I also made these recipe card dividers. The most surprising part of all, they are finished.

A Sunday walk

Sunday was so sunny and warmish, that we decided to take a walk. We love taking walks, family and couple, during the warm months of spring, summer and fall. It is definitely feeling more and more spring-like here.

Despite the never ending whining about forcing Scott to walk, not ride, and Andrew's very tired, no nap attitude, we had a nice time. We stopped at the park, dodged multiple deer droppings, and took a quick picture on this great tree. Some kids liked it better than others. Some were petrified (Rachel) and barely squeaked out a smile in time.

Definitely a bright spot of sun!

Monday, March 10, 2008

How to teach your child to ride a bike

This is how to teach your child to ride a bike:

1. Buy them a bike with training wheels
2. Make them ride it for at least 1.5 years
3. Don't give in to their pleas to take the training wheels off until you are sure they've been ready for at least 6 months.
4. Take off the training wheels and run with them for approximately 3.7 minutes.
5. Watch them ride off into the sunset, or harsh noon light, or even the frigid 9 AM air in early March, all of which will entice them out to ride their newly found obsession.

Friday, March 7, 2008

36 weeks and counting

Counting down the number of bizarre nightmares I have to endure before this little girl makes her appearance. Read about the latest ones here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

February room--the boys' room

Well, here are the rough afters of my boys' new room together. There are still a few things to add, pictures, lamps, more toy storage, etc. But at least they are both living together in relative peace and harmony. A few days more and I'll be able to focus on the sweet little nursery for our nameless baby girl.



Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Smiles--can you spot the fake?

I just took this test from the BBC to see if you can determine between a real or faked smile. Very interesting. I got 18 of 20 right, so don't try to fool me! Actually, while I was taking it, I wasn't so sure I wasn't flunking.

The real result though, is that it made me smile just watching the smiles. I resolve to smile more, real and fake!

I wish I sewed

One talent that I wish I had more of and used often, was sewing. I learned some when I was younger. I made a skirt, shirt, button holes, collars, etc. But I've forgotten. Here are a few things that look really easy to try, maybe I will.

Little girl's ruffled skirt from Grand Revival Design
Lula Louise's reversible shoulder bag
Many kinds of headbands from Altered Cloth

via How About Orange

Monday, March 3, 2008

Make a list Monday (MaLM) - All done

Things I completed today (or recently) and can now sigh with relief over.

1. 2007 taxes
2. budget meeting
3. this and last weeks' laundry
4. Spring clean up of my flower beds
5. Reading The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
6. Reading the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke
7. the newspaper
8. growing a baby lung or two