Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Quiet Book

Brittany thought I should make a quiet book for little boy, so I thought, if I was making one, why not make four?
Doesn't everyone just love a cute quiet book to take to church? I had fun looking on-line and getting ideas.   This project has already taken me a  little over a month to create but I want our grandchildren to enjoy this special grandma & Brittany made books  for years . . .who knows, maybe for generations! 
Here are our pages:
This is the back's a tic tac toe game but with various sports balls (some of the books have basket balls and footballs - love these foam pre-decorated balls) I commented to Mike that this activity is a little old for our grandsons but Mike thought our children could play it to keep themselves entertained.

This funny guy has different eyes, a set of glasses, various noses and mustaches, and varous crazy smiles, lips and whatever I could come up with. The bow tie was Brittany's idea. I like his fake fur hair.
Inside the barn are five animal finger puppets. The page zips up so the critters won't fall out.
On the right, is an aquarium where the fish can swim by sliding across the page and the seahorse swims up and down ...I used a clear sheet protector and foam fish, shells bubbles foam coral, sand paper for the bottom of the aquarium and a shinny fabric for the water effect. (My very own idea...I wish the photo had of turned out's so easy to play with.

The car on the right has button-on wheels and a button-on sun. The window was made with a clear sheet protector. The house with a little car can be driven around on the road.

My robots have pipe cleaner legs and arms so that they can be taken off the page and played with.
The bodies and heads are interchangeable.
The monster page has a place for a pad of paper and pencil or pen. The noses are pom poms and the monsters have googly eyes. The little white monster is very soft...he's made from chenille yarn.  He's a mini stuffed creature that can be removed and played with.

I found silver ribbon for the blade part of the ice skate.  When I saw this idea, I loved that it was different and not a shoe...hopefully children are still learning to tie...are they?
The mitten has soft red fabric on it's cuff and soft warm fleece for the hand to slide into. I wish I had of made this a little bigger, my hand doesn't fit into it.

The snowman with pipe cleaner arms has accessories like hats and scarves in the brown bucket -type pocket. 
The grass page has varous things hiding in the grass like a dragonfly button, two little flannel kittens, a heart, a key and whatever I could find that was little. I love the embroidered felt butterfly coming out of the grass.  Brittany used all her sewing skills to attach the items that are hiding! Can you see the black feather?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stained Glass

After thinking about adding a stained glass window to our entry for 25 years, I finally designed this window.  The window took weeks to cut out and then time to solder it together and paint the patina onto the solder. Last night I got two of the panels in place and then had to ask for help from Mike to get the other three to stay. This morning when I looked into the entry, I saw the colored glass illuminated from the natural light.  I'm glad I took the time to make this. I can see things I'd change but for now, this project is done once I add a little more silicone to the edges of the glass. (The silicone is holding the glass in place).
WARNING...If you come visit, please don't slam my front door! I'm not sure how secure the glass truely is.
Opps, I just noticed that one of my ship plates is crooked...I must fix that tonight.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Highway to Hale and our Tennessee visitors

Here we are dressed up for the "Highway to Hale" 5k race which was in Orem on Saturday, Oct. 30th. Mike was a winning, happy S.F. Giant's Fan and I wore Amy's old bee costume that she wore 20 years ago (with a few adjustments). For about 10 minutes, I was announced the winner of the 50 - 59 year old women until we were leaving the festivities and I looked at the time that was posted for Mike and relized that he had my time and I was given his time.  Our numbers had gotten mixed up with our names  and unfortunately for me, I am not as fast as Mike. I gave back my award and prize and must be happy with the fact that we both placed 3rd for our age group...but it was fun thinking I won for those few minutes!
 Look who's visiting. 
YUM...Grandma let me try an orange and I loved it!
The proud Grandparents.

This happy but sleepy little boy came with his adorable mother to visit his Grandparents. When he's alert and active, he babbles the most creative words and Mike and I delight in his entertaining personality.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Favorite Relative

Candria sent me this drawing....don't you just love being someone's favorite?  Thanks Ryman, you made Uncle Mike's and my day. We love and miss you!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Learning to walk

Everyday his walking skills improved.  My friend taught him how to sign butterfly. It was fun when he realize that he could do what she showed him. That's what the hand action is all about.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Last week

This is the cruise ship we arrived on to see Drottingham Palace.

A little piano that children were allowed to sit and play outside the theater at Drottingham.
Hel love playing it because  it was just his size.
I started out my run in drizzle and finished the 6 miles across one of the bridges to Stockholm from Rob's house and back again in a huge, soaking rain storm. YEA, I did it!

I dressed my little grandson up in an outfit similar to one that Rob had when he was his age. Here he is with Rob's treasured toy, "Puppy Too".   Rob was on his way to Frankfurt, Germany for a work conference.

This simple alphabet book became a favorite, I think I read it at least 20 times one day to him.
Eventually, he could point out a few of the images when I would ask him to show me the "robot" or the "seahorse".

Millesgarden on Lindingo.

A good trip, a long flight home...good to be home but already missing my grandsons. Trips like these make me miss having my family so far away.  At least I'm forced into seeing new things and having a wide variety of adventures if I want to spend time with our family, which I really matter the distance.
My friend, Roxanne Parker, joined me in Stockholm during my second week there.
 We walked, explored and shopped a lot.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

Since I am still in Sweden it's Mike's birthday, I know he'll enjoy seeing this video of his son and grandson. WE MISS YOU! HAVE A GOOD, fun DAY Mike I'll See you soon. I'll also kiss our grandson and take him to Skansen, so Lorena can have a relaxing day at home. . .or a long bike ride before it rains again...besides I want to spend every moment with that little guy that I possibly can since I have to leave him soon too.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sigtuna; second oldest town in Sweden

Grandpa carried me all over the place.

In front of Saint Mary's, a really, really old church...

Grandpa found a feather for me. It tickled me.

Viking inscriptions, this little guy seems to know what they are saying, too bad he can't say the words...yet.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our little Champion

Our Champion's birthday cupcakes...I saw this idea on a blog and had fun adding a photo to the party hat toothpick.

Opening gifts on his birthday...he clapped whenever we said YEA!

This statue is outside a grade school.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Champion

Our grandson has learned to clap for himself and then raise both hands over his head when we say, Champion!  He has been our little champion as he learns to walk more and more from morning until evening and do very cleaver things like sit quietly while his grandmother reads him his new story book....this little boy loves having us read to him.  His new book has great interactive parts. Our grandson  has figured out how to work one of those pages and is quite pleased with himself.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Stockholm Half Marathon

Mike at 22k notice the palace in the background.
Entertaining our grandson while Grandpa runs the half a swan fountain.
Grandpa proudly holding his grandson after the race..."hum, let me taste that metal Grandpa".
The bridge packed with runners...13,560 runners participated in this race. WOW!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Contrasting colors

A week ago on Saturday, I decided to paint Amy's closet. It's the first time her closet has been empty since we moved into our house 25 years ago this month. A perfect time to paint, right? While standing on the top step of an old step stool, I was painting the last corner, I leaned too far to the right and could feel myself falling. I over corrected only to fall hard! My paint brush flew out of my hand along with the almost empty paint can. I ended up on the floor of the closet. My tooth went through my lower lip, I knocked my head, bruised my hip, lower leg, upper arm...etc. Mike luckily was in the kitchen and came to my rescue. He first wanted to know what I did and then offered to pick me up but I just wanted to lay on the ground and not move and then I insisted that he first clean the carpet where the paint can fell which was not on the tarp (of course). He brought me ice and Advil and finished painting the last corner of the closet. I had a lump on my head for a week. On Friday, I noticed that my bruises were lovely shades of yellow and purple. I really love yellow and purple, they are amazing contrasting colors, actually my favorite colors, just not on my skin!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Breathtaking Saturday

Last Saturday, Mike and I ran a 10k at 10,000 feet above sea level all proceeds went to help the Sanpete Valley Hospital purchase health care equipment. We got up at 5 a .m. and left the house around 5:30 to drive south to Fairview and then into the mountains way above the city.

The views were amazing! We started above a beautiful lake and ended the run near a reservour where a mammoth was discovered in 1990.

The first part of the run was all uphill for at least 2 1/2 miles...extremely breathtaking! I believe at mile 2 1/2 I walked a few steps until I caught my breath. The best part was running downhill. I was never so glad to see a finish line in my life! Mike ran the whole way. He's so amazing. May I say that the optional activities were to go to a funeral or run with Mike in this race. I keep thinking that these runs will keep me alive and healthy longer.
Below is our one attempt at a photo using Mike's cell phone.

Photo note: do not shoot into the sun!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wedding Preparations

I'm sure you've all heard that Amy and John Lovell are getting married on the 10th of July.
A month ago, Amy came home for a week to shop for a wedding dress. Since then, I've been gathering supplies to make their wedding day special. So far these are a few of the things I've put together for their NAVY & MUSTARD YELLOW, accented with ivory reception: on Saturday, I decorating this birdhouse...seriously staying up too late but yes, I had so much fun! I. We found navy lanterns from Ikea to use on the guest tables. We're going to have fresh flowers on the handles and the coolest real candles with LED bulbs in the middle ... they smell like a real candle, they feel and look like a real candle but no problems with fingers getting burned on the hot metal or glass. YEA for modern technology!
Last night, I finished their sign-in book except the photos...which will be added after their photo shoot in 17 days.

Monday night, we had this beautiful rainbow just east of our house...don't you just love rainbows?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Kiwanis 5k

The difference between Mike and Joy is very evident in our ability to finish a 5k race. I always thought it was because Mike has nice long legs or that I'm a female and just can't run as fast as the male population . . . but I watched a little girl who couldn't have been more than 6 years old finish before both of us.

I was still looking forward to both of us getting recognized for finishing first in our age groups but the race organizers thought that they should give metals to the top three winners for age groups and combined the men with the women of the same age into one group. . . needless to say, I wasn't the only one disappointed. The organizers also messed up with Mike's age group and even though Mike finished way before the three men who got a metal, he went home with just me as his prize!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Traditional Felt Christmas Stockings

In my spare time and while traveling, I listened to Amy's suggestion to make extra Christmas stockings for future family members...hopefully, they'll each like their special, one of a kind CANDRIAN traditional felt stocking.

DC Half Marathon

For a grandpa, Mike is amazingly a fast runner. Last weekend, he ran the D.C. Half Marathon with Amy and both of them ran it in under 2 hours...Mike' time was 1:51 and Amy ran it in 1:58. Good job Amy & Mike!

On Friday, Amy found out that she's allergic to a ton of different trees along with a variety of foods. No wonder she gets out of breath when she runs outside. Please keep her in your prayers as the food allergist conducts more tests this Friday. Poor girl...the doctors use to tell her she was a hypochondriac...oops, looks like they weren't smart enough to think about the possibility of food allergies.

Sock Puppets

Sock puppets and Sunbeams are a perfect match. Sunday's lesson was on birds and insects. I made a sock puppet for each child and let the children act out the story of the pioneers and how the seagulls ate the crickets (the white and grey socks became seagulls). I also told the story of wicked King Ahab and how the prophet Elijah was told to hide and the ravens feed Elijah bread and meat by the brook day and night (the black socks were the ravens). The stripped socks became caterpillers with a lot of little pom pom legs!  For directions on making these sock puppets go to
So, whenever you have mismatched socks, or socks that no one will wear anymore and your children are not living at home and you decide to clean out their drawers... why not make sock puppets? My Mom use to make these for her little children a long time ago. For more tips on making these go to:

(Mike modeling the raven puppet).

Yes, birds have tongues. Did you know that they have 5 bones in their tongues to crunch nuts, seeds and insects?
Some birds have a tongue like a straw...guess which kind of bird has that kind of tongue.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Shivery Sweden

No matter the season, no matter the place, we love to spend time with our children and grandchildren. Sweden in March had a very different look than it did in October. We relished seeing the blue sky and enjoyed the warmth of the sun several of the days while we were there but the outside temperature was still shivery cold. A week ago on Saturday, Rob treated Joy to an early birthday gift; brunch at on old country home situated off of the Nortic Sea. After brunch, as we were taking photos of this gorgeous spot, we heard a crunching sound and saw this cruise ship making it's way toward Stockholm...the ship was crushing the ice incrusted waterway. It was a really "COOL" thing to watch and hear.
Of course, our hearts were melted whenever we could get this little guy to smile or talk to us! At almost 6 months, he was a wiggly, fun, energetic baby.
Below is what March looked like at the marina area looking back toward their home. Notice how the boats are frozen in the water.
Mike and I took our grandson out for a few walks to the local grocery store; seriously, everyone does this in Sweden...I believe the weather might have been a balmy 20 degrees but they bundle our little grandson in his snowsuit and put him in their stroller along with a warm fleece wrap and away we go...happy and quite toasty with a heavy acrylic cover to keep the cold air out.
We got to celebrate Rob's birthday while we were there.

Sweden doesn't have graham crackers or shortening but never fear, Joy planned ahead and packed these important ingredients in our bags so Rob could enjoy his favorite cake. . .a YUMMY traditional graham cracker cake.

Here's the recipe just in case you don't have's wonderfully moist and reminds us of Grandma Virginia Candrian.

1/3 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
3 egg yolks
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. real vanilla
3/4 c. milk
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 2/3 c. crushed graham crackers
3 stiffly beaten egg whites
Beat the egg whites and set aside. Cream the shortening and sugar until light. Add egg yolks and vanilla. Add the sifted dry ingredients alternating with the graham cracker crumbs and the milk. Fold in the whipped egg whites. Line two round 9" cake pans with waxed paper or baking parchment paper. Next spray or grease the sides of the pans. Pour in the batter and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Beat 2 egg whites until stiff. Set aside. In a small saucepan, cook 1 c. brown sugar with 1/4 c. water to a hard ball stage. (Drop a little of the boiled sugar into ice cold water to test for doneness). Quickly beat the boiled brown sugar into the stiffly beaten egg whites. Beat for several minutes until the frosting is spreadable.

GRANDMA ALWAYS DECORATED THE CAKE WITH PECAN HALVES... (Rob likes his cake without the pecans).