Friday, December 19, 2014

Merry Christmas from my family to you!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bowls, bowl, bowls

Dec. 13 is just around the corner. I'm hopeful to fire 2 more loads of pottery in the kiln between now and then. Here is a small sample from the last few firings.

Berry bowls - I'm already wishing it were summer and I was filling these with the berries from our garden!
Teabowls - perfect size for ice cream, unless (like a couple of my kids) you prefer to eat the whole 1/2 gallon in one sitting.

Spoon rests - these are a new glaze I'll be trying the future, Nebula Blue

Serving bowl - I so love this pistachio shino glaze!

Shallow bowl/platter in blue rutile.

Open House Saturday Dec. 13 1:00 - 4:00pm
Can't wait to see you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It's that time again!

Backyard Mudslingers Pottery Studio Open House
December 13, 2015
1:00 - 4:00pm

I'm super excited and still working on some fabulous pots!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November news

High school swim meets have officially gotten under way. This year the Jordan team is happy to have Sydney and Gretchen on it. Although it's a bit bittersweet to not watch Sam swim on the same relays as Syd, it is fun to watch Gretchen compete with her sister. The girls had their first dual meet a few days ago. They'll have 3 days of meets this coming week. I think I'm going to enjoy the away meets better than the home meets this year since I am an official at the home meets. I'm usually a timer but this year I finally agreed to be an official. The job itself is not bad, the problem is officials are neutral. That means I cannot cheer. I kind of feel like what is the point of going to the meet if I can't cheer for my girls and my team? Maybe it will get easier as the season progresses. I can definitely cheer at the away meets, thank goodness. Sydney is a team captain this year and she is so excited about that. Gretchen has friends from summer swim and school on the team so she is excited about that. (I may not have wanted the grade reconfiguration that went through last year, but it has been a big blessing for Gretchen & Julia!)

In other news, Sydney went to her school's girl's choice dance last night. I really don't like the name of that dance. I wish it was called Sadie Hawkins or MORP or something nice. Dog Patch is a terrible name. Maybe there is a great story with a fabulous meaning behind it that I just don't know, but even if that were the case I'd still think it's a bad name for a girl's choice dance. Ok, now that my little rant is over, Syd and her date & their group dressed as lumberjacks and they had a great time. I was able to take their pictures outside in the freezing cold. They loved it! They were super excited when I kept saying, "Wait, one more!"

Gretchen's big news is that she was asked to play the piano for the youth session of stake conference. It was this morning and she was awesome. She was so nervous! Who could blame her? It's not every day that you play the piano in front of an apostle and have 200 people sing along. She has been practicing for a month so I'm happy it turned out well. I think I might have been just as nervous as her.

My last piece of news is that I've settled on a date for my annual studio open house. Saturday December 13 from 1:00-4:00pm. I have been quite busy in the studio. I'll be posting new pottery pics later this week. Pretty exciting!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October Highlights

Two more days and we say goodbye to October. I'm feeling good about how this month has gone. I haven't accomplished everything I wanted to, but I did make some good progress on a few things. 

Sydney and I went to a concert at the Depot a couple of weeks ago that made me wish I had actually listened to the music before we went. I haven't been to a concert in awhile and it was fun to see her have a great time.

Gretchen had a choir concert last week and Julia had a band concert this week. Gretchen loves to sing and Julia is enjoying learning percussion. No pictures of those events but that doesn't mean they didn't happen.

I've been able to throw a few more pots. I've had one particular shape that has been giving me trouble. I think I'm letting them dry slow enough and then I check again and there is a great big crack in the bottom. Bummer! Maybe next week I'll have more success there.

The biggest event of the month was a trip to Cancun for Brian and me. We went with another couple and had an awesome time. I think my favorite thing was going to a park type place where we were able to snorkel and float on tubes through a river in a mangrove jungle. Kind of creepy, but so so cool. We visited the ruins of Chichin Itza which were pretty impressive. We also spent some time enjoying the beach, water toys, and especially the 83 degree weather. 

Now as amazing as Cancun was I do have to say I'm so super excited about updating my blog it almost over shadows going on a fabulous vacation. There have been some changes I've wanted to make for over 2 years and I have not been able to figure it out. I finally asked my brother for some help and he was able to quickly fix my main problem and then I fixed the rest. I can't even express what a relief it is to have that taken care of. I still have some more work to do but that is just fine. The main change is I have a tab you can click on that shows what pottery is available for purchase. You don't have to hunt through my posts and try to figure out what's what. It's right there. Genius, isn't it? For you computer savvy folks it's not that big of an accomplishment, but for me it's huge! I don't have photos of all my pots, there are more to come, but I sure feel happy to have some listed!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Running Through October

It is always entertaining to me that as soon as I sit down to write a blog post I have to look at the calendar to see what we've done and what is coming up. Should it be worrisome that I can't remember those things? Or is just a sign that I'm organized so I don't have to remember everything? I'm going with option number two. 

The weather cooperated with me and I spent a couple days in the studio. So nice.  I believe that will be happening this week too. 

All of these pots have been trimmed, some have handles attached & holes drilled. They are now dry and waiting to go into the kiln. 

Julia has been learning a song on the piano that she loves to play. She plays this song many times a day. I absolutely love it. She sounds so happy playing. I hope she finds songs to love and plays throughout her entire life.

Gretchen ran in the region cross country meet. She came in 4th overall for the JV girls and 4th for her team. She dropped 17 seconds from when she ran this same course at the beginning of September. I'm very happy for her. Her team did well and she had a great time. Now she is moving on to swim.

Julia had her district middle school intramural cross country meet yesterday. She too did well and is now done with running. She was just over 90 seconds faster than the race a few weeks ago. She is super happy to be finished. I don't know if she'll do this again next year. She surprised me this year by participating so maybe she'll surprise me again.

And last but not least, I made grape juice the past few days. The juice is such a beautiful color! I think I'll leave a few bottles on the counter just so I can look at them and admire the color.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What's up with September

I'm getting a bit anxious to get back in the studio. I ordered some supplies, I have 200 lbs of clay on my shelves and I've got a long list of pots to make. It is quite possible that I'll actually throw a few items this week. We'll see how it goes. If the rain keeps up it's going to be hard for me to get my yardwork done. I do like the soft ground for weeding but it's harder to keep dirt in my beds if I pull out a bucketful of mud with each weed. Harvest is winding down. So far we've frozen bags of peas, beans, and edamame; bottled peaches, pears, spaghetti sauce, and salsa. All that's left is the grapes. They are starting to turn but I think it'll be another week before it's time to make grape juice. In the meantime if I can't get the yardwork done that means there will be time to be in the studio. As much as I love summer I do look forward to rainy days in the fall because it means I'm more productive with the clay. 

This past week was awesome for the girls. Gretchen ran in cross country meet on Friday and took 1st for the JV girls. That was super exciting for her. It was fun to watch her. She is a good competitor. I like how friendly she is with the all athletes around her, whether she knows them or not. 
And off they go...

Coming in for a strong finish.
Julia is doing middle school intramural cross country. She had a meet this past week also. She did well and will get to run in the final meet in October. 

Sydney's big event of the week was homecoming. I should probably mention that she is done with cross country because she has a stress fracture in her fibula. She has been sporting a nice looking air cast for the last 10 days and it will be an integral part of her wardrobe until Nov. 1. She was able to go to the dance without it but was actually happy to put it back on the next day.

I'm in love with her dress. I keep telling her I'm going to steal it and wear it to church.

I have no photos to put in here of Samantha. I'm just not that technically savvy. She needs to text or email me a picture because I can't get any of her pics off of instagram. She is doing well, loves school, loves her new friends, and especially loves being on her own. She misses us mind you, but loves being in charge of her life.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Settling In

This school year is flying by all ready. The girls are happy with their classes & activities, Brian has some new shifts at work that seem to be working well, and I'm almost in a routine again. That always makes me happy. The garden has been producing more than we can eat or store. If you need any produce give me a call. Brian needs to make some salsa next week and then we'll have more tomatoes than you can shake a stick at. So seriously, if you want tomatoes we're happy to share.
Edamame is a yummy after school snack, especially if you have more than a sinkful of it.

Sydney & Gretchen joined the cross country team and they have been enjoying that. The first meet I went too was just another lesson in chaos. Julia & I wandered around trying to figure out where exactly the kids were running. Apparently they run all over. Gretchen seems to have more of a runner's body than Sydney. Poor Syd has had knee & ankle problems.
 I'm ready for more swimming & less pounding.

Julia is back with CHAT, her age group team. She is happy to be swimming with then again. Swimming in the afternoon in an outside pool during September is just bliss. It's such a fantastic time to swim.

We've been staying at Snowbird for the past week. It's quite peaceful. We've spent a fair amount of time driving up and down the canyon but other than that it's been great. Brian & I have gotten in some good hikes & Sydney is feeling much more comfortable driving in the canyon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Welcome to the new school year (original date August 22)

Last year the girls were in two different schools. This year they are in three different schools, one being in a different state. Big change for us. Julia is in 7th grade at Mt. Jordan Middle School, Gretchen is in 9th grade at Jordan High School, Sydney is in 11th grade at Jordan, and Samantha is a freshman at Southern Virginia University. The girls are growing so fast! 

Sam and I started our drive out to Virginia on Saturday August 16. We drove to Denver, visited the Denver Temple, checked in to our hotel and walked 1.5 miles to dinner. It felt great to walk in the cool evening. Sunday morning we went to the Denver Botanic Gardens and enjoyed the Chihuly exhibit. Amazing glass sculptures were scattered throughout the gardens. It was fun to see them.

We drove to Abilene, Kansas and managed to get checked in to our hotel just in time to get some yummy fried chicken before the restaurant closed. Monday morning we spent 90 minutes at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. Visiting Eisenhower's boyhood home felt like visiting my grandmas' houses. The museum was more of a record of WWII than anything else. There was lots of information and exhibits about Eisenhower but there was tons about the war. There was a pretty detailed timeline that we could have spent hours reading. It was very well done and quite interesting. We had plans to visit the Kansas City Temple, the St. Louis Temple and the St. Louis arch before stopping for the night in St. Louis but those plans changed a little. We got stuck on a freeway that was closed due to an accident so our journey was delayed by 2 1/2 to 3 hours. We did visit the Kansas City Temple but skipped the other two stops since it was so late by the time we got to St. Louis. Brian was able to join us for a day and a half. He got to our hotel after midnight and was super excited to jump right out of bed Tuesday morning and start the drive to Virginia.

We drove through the rest of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and finally made it to Lexington, Virginia by 10:00 Tuesday night. We took a detour in West Virginia to see the New River Gorge Bridge, the largest single arch span bridge in America. Wednesday morning we went to Buena Vista and got Sam all moved into her dorm at SVU. Brian left on at shuttle at 12:30pm so he could fly home and be back to work on Thursday. Sam & I spent the rest of the day taking care of getting her settled. The campus is very pretty, right on the hills. It's in a tiny town with a Walmart 6 miles away and more choices in shopping 60 miles away. I stayed at the hotel Wednesday night and flew home Thursday. The weekend was filled with tons of activities so Sam will stay busy until school starts on Monday. It's hard to believe that I left her there and that she is not at camp and coming home in a few days. This is a big adjustment for all of us.
Bridge over the Mississippi river in Missouri

New River Gorge bridge

Sydney, Gretchen and Julia did great while we were gone. They are very self sufficient and it was nice for them to have my mom here too. Sydney and Gretchen joined the Jordan High cross country team so they have been busy running. Yay for them. It doesn't sound like fun to me. Swim starts up for Julia on Monday and she is really looking forward to that. We are all jumping into a new year with lots to do and lots of fun to be had.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wait just one minute (originally dated August 15)

What do you mean it's almost time for Sam to head off for college? I thought we had all summer before that happened! You can't really be telling me that summer is almost over and our time with Sam at home is almost done! That sounds crazy, but sadly for us, it's true. I do have to say I am so excited for her and the adventures she is going to have. She gets to explore a whole side of the country that is not within easy reach of us here in Utah. She will be able to do what she wants, when she wants; she will be in charge. I know I love to be in charge of my life and I'm fairly certain she will love to be in charge of hers. It's going to be a little scary for a bit but she'll figure it out and do well.

The end of summer brings a few other things with it. Swim conference for one, produce for another. Both quite time consuming but one lasts a couple days while the other lasts for a month or two. Swim conference was last week. Sydney, Gretchen and Julia qualified to swim in 3 individual events each and 2 relays each. The meet is a prelim and finals meet so the swimmers compete in the morning in hopes of qualifying for the finals that night. The top 8 swimmers are in the finals heat, the next 8 are in the consolation heat. No points are scored for the team during prelims, only during finals. The girls all swam fast enough to be in the finals heat in each of their events. It was pretty exciting to see them drop time and do well. There are relays during the finals events and the girls each got to swim in both of the relays for their age groups. Relays really help make the team more fun. It gets very loud during the relays. The whole conference was fun, long and tiring. Overall the team came in second place. They did a fabulous job swimming hard and cheering for each other.

We managed to get another family bike ride in also. Corner Canyon in Draper has such fantastic trails. It's so nice to have those trails so close. We took the girls on a ride that Brian and I had done earlier this summer. I was happy to be able to do it again.

We also ran up to Snowbird and enjoyed their activites for a few hours.