Monday, March 31, 2008


This year was the first time we didn't have a Emma/Josh family birthday dinner. The past two years some of the Rissers have been in New Zealand on Emma's birthday so we combined the two birthdays in one family dinner. So when yesterday came around and we had cake and ice cream and presents Emma was a little upset that she didn't get to open any presents. Well, knowing that Mom had sent her four presents and I had four presents to give her plus whatever she might get from friends and family I decided to let her open a gift. She picked out a gift from Grammy and Papa. When she opened it she found a Lightning McQueen dress. I think she about died from happiness. A couple months ago I made Catie a couple dresses. Emma started asking for a dress too. Then she added that it needed to have Lightning McQueen on it. Well, Cars fabric around here is way expensive if you can find it. So I asked Mom to find some for me. Then I hinted that maybe she should make it and send it for her gift to Emma (Thanks Mom, you're an angel!). Emma believed that just telling me that she wanted a Lightning McQueen dress meant that she was going to get one and has been telling everyone since that she was getting a Lightning McQueen dress for her birthday. So she was very excited to open that present. Mom had told me that she had made a hat and bag to go with the dress so I let Emma open that present as well. As you can see Emma looks adorable and very happy.

Happy Birthday, Josh!

Yesterday was Josh's birthday. Since we never seem to have time on Sunday mornings we opted to give him breakfast in bed on Saturday. Then we had his favourite meal on Saturday night (spaghetti). Sunday I did get up early so made oatmeal, another of his favourites, for breakfast. Then we gave him a shirt (that he's wearing in the photo) and some hi-visibility socks (they were a joke). After church, Josh's family came over for lunch. We had BBQ pork (this is why I got up early because I had to cut the rind off the pork and then get it started cooking), coleslaw, potato chips and salad. And we used throwaway cups and plates to make life simple. Josh doesn't like cake. He likes brownies and will eat cheesecake so I made him cheesecake topped brownies from here. Then I added some cherry pie filling to go over top. So yummy. (Nice thing is I had enough left that I took it for supper after the youth service last night.) Josh's parents and brothers gave him money towards his new shed and part of the new office chair. You can see it above with Beka in it. =) My mom and dad sent him two new shirts. He's wearing one of them at work today!

It was a good day. And I LOVE Josh's new office chair we got him. No more sitting on an old chair without a back or arms. YAY!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

End of an Era

So, this week my baby has learned to climb out of her cot and open her door. No more listening to her talk to herself, knowing that she will be happy to lay there for probably half an hour before deciding she needs to get up. No more hearing her yell, "Mama, Get Up!" (that one cracks me up everytime) or "1, 2, 3 Get Up!"

Now I know that I no longer have a baby. I kinda knew that but this confirms it for me. And while it's the end of an era I also know that I'm not ready for Beka to be my last baby. I kinda want to try for a "blue" one but even if we only get "pinks" I'm happy with that too.

so, maybe the title should be "End of an Era.....for now!" =)


So, I've been thinking alot about simplifying lately. And what exactly that means to me and in my life and home. In some ways I think it means de-clutter. Less toys and books and stuff means less bother with cleaning and moving. And it means organizing. Everything having a place. The girls are old enough to know that certain toys go in certain containers. They can put their clothes away in the right drawers (Well, C and E can). So, everything needs to have a place. And if it doesn't have a place either one needs to be found quickly or out it goes. Simplify also means having a routine. Daily jobs like tidying up, laundry, dishes, etc. Weekly jobs like cleaning each room. I can normally keep things tidy in my house but have a problem getting to the actual cleaning of everything. The kitchen may look tidy but in reality the corners of the counters need to be cleaned and I'm not even going to tell you what under the sink looks like especially near the bin. So assigning different cleaning jobs to different days should help simplify the cleaning process. Same with the girls' toys. Tidy up several times during the day rather than one huge clean up at 5:00 before Daddy gets home. So when I was thinking of this earlier I was trying to reconcile how working more often can actually mean working less...see, that doesn't make sense. But then I realized this is my new motto "more often, less work". If I tidy up more often I will spend less time overall. If I wipe down my shower twice a week then I won't spend hours on it once a month or whenever I get to it. However, (as if any of you who really know me are worried that this is a possibility) this does not mean I will be going overboard in the cleaning department. I have way more important things to do than clean my shower everyday and dust everything in sight. =)

Simplifying also means that for supper (Australian for after dinner/before bed snack) for youth group I am not going to spend hours baking something that will be gobbled up within minutes and very few thank yous to show for it. So, today they get biscuits (cookies) straight from a tube. The upsides--they have a gluten-free alternative(the chocolate chip ones) and leave me with very few dishes to wash and take less time. The downside--they cost more but I think it's worth it.

And this picture--what little girl doesn't need car shaped peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch? =)

Thursday, March 27, 2008


As you can see I've been experimenting with different backgrounds and titles and stuff. I haven't decided on what exactly I want, yet. I'm sure I'll find it sometime and I'm also sure that I will be changing it several times a year anyway. It's fun. So, let me know what you think looks good.

Have a great day! =)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Catie and Emma's Room

I didn't take before pictures but you can imagine how messy two little girls can make their room. ( I need to be more consistent about making sure they tidy their room everyday.) We went through the clothes to see what clothes there were for them this winter. I moved a big pile of those into Beka's room. Then I was able to put what was left for them in a container on top of their closet. The other containers hold their sheets and extra blankets. They each have one shelf to hold their "treasures". There is a basket for their shoes in the bottom of the closet and a container for a limited amount of toys and books.

The reason we don't have doors on their closet is because they kept sliding them too hard or pulling or pushing on them and we were constantly needing to put them back into the right grooves so they could slide properly. So it was easier to take them off.

If you look closely you can see that Emma's quilt fits her bed but it is only half the squares I have to make it. And I haven't fringed it yet either. Oh well...that's a project for another day! =)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Just Blogging Up the Works!

Hey! This is Steve doing a "guestblog!" Tamra is teaching me how to blog. She is quite the blogger apparently!!! We are blogging along just fine. Blog,blog,blog!!! Triple blog.

Perhaps you will see a Sauvageot blog at some time in the future - complete with photographic images of the Sauvageot clan. More later.

Meanwhile . . . back at the Risser blog . . . tension mounted and rode away into the sunset!!

See ya!!!

Beka's room BEFORE

So, I'm in a bit of a spring cleaning mode. It's actually fall here but I guess that doesn't matter. Yesterday when Josh mowed the lawn we went through all the outside toys. I found a huge pile of inside toys that had made their way outside so they are now in the washing machine. I threw away a big pile of toys and now have a manageable toy area outside. Later in the afternoon I chatted with Mom on MSN and I mentioned a couple ideas for reorganizing the inside toys and the girls' rooms. So here are the before photos of Beka's room. I also added the photo of what the bookshelf looked like in the main room and beside it you can see the toy kitchen. You can also see the bookshelf from my craft room that wasn't really being used as it should. It had become a catch-all for whatever I happened to place there.

Beka's room AFTER

This is Beka's room after my organizing. The dresser will go in the craft room, probably. At the moment it is in my bedroom since I didn't want to drag it all the way down the hallway. Josh is talking about moving the computer into the craft room so we will see what happens. Anyway...
The toy kitchen and food stuff are out of the main room now, the bookshelf from the craft room holds their books and some baskets of toys (like blocks and Mr. Potato heads and accessories) and I moved the Little People toys out of my linen closet. There isn't a bar in Beka's closet due to some little girls hanging on it and breaking it. I'm hoping Josh will put two bars in it next time and we will hang the dress-ups in the closet and move them out of my linen closet as well. If you notice I also added some ribbon from my huge stash to pull back the curtains. The girls helped move the books into this room and as soon as I took the photo started playing and messing it up. =) But we cleaned it before nap time and it's tidy at the moment.
Now I just need to fill the main bookshelf up with stuff from the craft room and organize that room. And organize Catie and Emma's room too.

Monday, March 24, 2008


So we bought a big table and chairs before we got married knowing that we wanted a big family and also that if we invited people over we would need a big table. That makes our table and chairs 7 years old. The table is still fine but the chairs started looking really bad especially considering their daily bath of juice and yogurt. =) So I decided to change from the green that was on them. I found this great red material at Spotlight and recovered two of the chairs. Then I realized I was about 6 inches short to do all 8 chairs. So I stopped. I bought the rest of the material but by that time the red chairs had their daily bath and even with several coats of Scotchguard wouldn't get clean.
So......I've had 6 green chairs and 2 red chairs for the last month or so. Then at Ikea on Saturday we found all wood chairs for only $50 each. So we bought them. And I am so excited. Crazy I know but that's my life. =)

Underwater World

Well, we're back. We came back on Sunday afternoon because two days of Beka missing her naps and getting up at 5:45am were too much for her (read that "us") to handle. She had a big sleep last night and is very much happier. We stopped at Underwater World on Friday as you can see from the above photos. Nothing makes you feel small like a huge stingray or shark swimming above you. You can also see the SUV they modified into a fishtank. Josh thought that was cool. We got to see a seal show. They also had a special section called Creepy Crawlers. At the entrance to that area they had a HUGE plastic spider crab. Totally freaked the girls out. They cried wanted to be held, couldn't handle being anywhere near it. I laughed at them but when we saw the real spider crabs I shuddered. They are big, like more than 2 feet across and eerily like spiders. So creepy. Didn't get pictures of them though because of all the freaking out (the girls not me). Still, we had fun and the girls really enjoyed it. And as a disclaimer I would like to say that the girls dress themselves. =) And yes, I have a stupid fake cheesy smile for the top photo. Oh well. =)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter weekend

Just a quick post. We are heading to Brisbane for the long weekend. Josh has both Good Friday and Easter Monday off work. As we drive down tomorrow we will probably stop at Underwater World for a couple hours. The girls will enjoy that. On Saturday I am hoping we will go to Ikea. Not planning to spend but just to look. We'll come back Monday and probably have dinner with the S's for Steve's birthday. Oh, and, Mom, they found out today that the tech is 98% positive that it's a girl!! To which Catie said of course because they already have too many boys. =) If only it was that simple.

Have a blessed Easter! He is risen!


Now I know how the bobbin works. Did you know? Click here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

what do you think?

So I've skipped ahead several projects and am planning Beka's quilt. I made Catie's and Emma's very similar. The pic is of Catie's and yes she does sleep on a bed now. She has strawberry fabric for every other square and has some Strawberry Shortcake fabrics in it. Emma's quilt is made up of 6 different Precious Moments fabrics. It is the same design as Catie's but due to my inability to measure anything =) The squares are two inches bigger. I love their quilts. I'm happy with their quilts. The question is do I make Beka's the same or do I go a different direction? See, I've found these other quilts that I really like. And I think the fabric for her quilt would look so cute like this.
Check out the quilts here, here and here. Aren't they gorgeous? Of course part of what makes them look so great is the quilting and I'm pretty sure I can't do that so I'd have to find someone else to do that part.
So, do I make her quilt the same as the other girls' or is it alright to do something different?

ps I really like this one too and have bought the pattern but am not sure I want to make a big quilt like this.

pps how brilliant am I for finally figuring out how to make those links? It only took me two weeks to realize that there is a button called "link". Well, duh!!! Silly non computer friendly me. =)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Here's the pic of Josh's head. It was hurting him last night but today his neck is hurting more than his head. As you can see they had to shave part of his head. good thing he has such thick wavy hair and is in need of a haircut. This morning when I combed his hair for him it almost completely covered it up. He was complaining that it was unfair that I blogged about it and was taking a picture but then he told someone to check out my blog to see it so he must not mind too much. =)

Monday, March 17, 2008


Well, today is a busy day. 3 posts. Anyway, kinda funny but painful story...Last week Josh was doing his job and went to get something out of the storage shed and hit his head. The storage shed is metal (obviously, as most sheds are) and the door lifts up and is then propped open. The problem is that even I have to duck my head to get under it, let alone 6'6" Josh. He ended up smacking his head right on the corner of the door. He could've gotten a stitch but didn't go in to hospital. It wasn't very long but was deep. Anyway, that is just starting to heal and isn't so sore today. So, what did he do today? Well, he was helping the guy check out the security system (it's been giving them fits for weeks) and ended up getting hit by a metal fan blade in the back of the head. This time Steve took him to the hospital. Josh called me on the way to the hospital to let me know they were going to get it checked out ( He only called me because Steve told him to). I called him about an hour later and that's when he told me that he'd gotten three stitches. He also told me then that he had a computer job to go do and then a school board meeting so he'd be home late. Silly boy, major headache and three stitches but still working. Is that committed or crazy??? And today was supposed to be his day off. Maybe he'll take tomorrow off instead. =)

I am in love!

I love these fabrics. I just got them in the post like 10 minutes ago. How cute are they? In case you can't tell they are Beatrix Potter prints. I had bought fabric to make Beka's quilt and it was cute. Just different florals. Then I came across the website for Hancock's of Paducah. Oh my goodness. Fabric heaven. Then I saw all their Beatrix Potter fabric. I couldn't resist. So I bought two fat quarter sampler packs and now have 7.5 yards of BP fabric for Beka's quilt. Should be enough plus some left over. And even with international shipping still paid just over $10 per yard. now as expensive as that seems over here those fabrics would be at least $20 a yard. And I hope the girls have their quilts for a long time.


I made Catie a dress out of a man's shirt months ago. I tried making one for Emma but didn't get a good cotton shirt so it didn't turn out. Emma's been after me to make one for her since then. I found a shirt on Saturday and sat down to make the dress Saturday night after the girlies were in bed. I couldn't find the tutorial online that I had used for Catie's so just used her dress as a guide. It went pretty well and I actually made an adjustment on how to make the sleeves that turned out really well. Only problem is that when Emma put it on Sunday morning I found it is a little tight so I need to figure out what to do. Still, it's cute, she didn't mind it being a little tight and Beka will be able to wear it too. And I got to use one of my pretty flower stitches and decorate the binding going around the top. (I used it to hide some little mistakes. SHHH....) =)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

thrifty craftiness

I've been reading blogs of some incredibly crafty ladies and also some very thrifty ladies. And often the ladies are both thrifty and crafty and very inspiring. Well, today I had a little bit of free time (The girls spent last night at Grandma's house.) so I headed off to our local op shops. I found several things such as sheets for a future craft project, some new shirts (tags still on) for a friend of ours, a skirt for Catie, a shirt to make a dress for Emma and this shirt for Catie. I thought it was a cute shirt with those brown and blue stripes but the little logo made it a boy's shirt. But it was only $1.50 so I bought it knowing I could do something with it. I drew up a little owl after looking at lots of owls on the internet, cut it out of scraps that already had iron on stuff on them and ironed them on. I was going to do all the stitching by hand but decided to try out the machine. I have a lot to learn but was able to stitch most of it on. I still need to do the eyes, beak and feet by hand. If you notice in the last photo I also used my machine to sew in the words HOOT! HOOT! on the branch fabric.

I'm very pleased with how it turned out. A new shirt for Catie for only $1.50 and I used up some scraps. Better yet, Catie loves it!! =)

IT'S A .......FISH!

Actually two fish. Introducing Stripey and Emily Orange, the two newest members of our family. Can you guess which one is which? =) sorry for the crappy pictures. Not easy taking pictures of fish that are hiding when it is very bright and sunny.

p.s. Catie named Stripey and Emma named Emily Orange

Friday, March 14, 2008

looky, looky

See that? That is a Huskystar C20 by Husqvarna viking. It's computerised, it has 250 stitch options, it came with 9 (count them, that's 9) presser feet, it can overcast (which I'm hoping is the same thing as overlock), do a blindhem, has an alphabet stitch so I can sew the girls' names into everything =), has the cutest little semi truck stitch (I so need a little boy now), it can quilt and darn and lots of things that I'm sure I will never use. But it's mine and I can use all those things if I want to.

I ended up not going to Maryborough to go to Lincraft on Monday. Instead we went Thursday afternoon. Not necessarily a good idea to go after no naps and an afternoon of swimming but we went anyway. And I paid for that decision. Crankiness all around. But that's okay. Got the sewing machine, went to Big W, met Daddy at Hungry Jack's (Burger King) for dinner. Drove across the street to McDonald's for ice cream. Went back to Big W so Daddy could buy a lawnmower. Ended up he bought a fish bowl for the girls while we were there. So we're off today to buy a fish.

Speaking of swimming ( I mentioned it somewhere up there) the girls were tested for their swimming certificates yesterday. I'm sure they failed but that's okay. Catie, however, did do a star back float by herself yesterday impressing me and her teachers. Too bad we only have two more lessons because the girls are finally getting into swimming. Oh well, we'll do it again the first term of next year. =)

Also, an update on Beka--she went to the potty once more before nap time and then spent the rest of the day in a nappy as we were out and about. However, she has gone twice already this morning. Of course, we're headed out again today so back in the nappy for that. I know that the best way for potty training is to stay home all day for like a week but that just doesn't happen in our family.

And the other day when I listed what our week looked like I forgot my favourite part of this week. Today at 4:00 I have an hour long massage!! For Christmas, Josh bought me a gift certificate to a day spa. It has four visits, a massage, a manicure or pedicure, a facial and a back salt glow thing. So today I'm off for the massage. YAY!!! I really need one.

Have a great day! I'm going to try out the new machine. And then maybe try to get some Easter dresses done. =)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hip hip hooray

No pics today. Just wanted to say that as of 9:42 am this beautiful Thursday morning my almost 2 1/2 year old brilliant child has gone potty 3 times. Yay!!! We are on our way to a nappy (diaper) free house!!! And can I just say that there is very little cuteness as cute as a teeny tiny bottom in a pair of teeny tiny pink and purple undies.

Just so you know, I consider her brilliant because the other two were over 3 before they did the potty training thing.

Just so you know something else, I consider the other two girls brilliant as well. =)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Grandparents part 2

I think it is important that we know about our grandparents and appreciate our history. I spent one week every summer with my grandparents. I loved hearing them pray. And every night they'd turn on the tape player and follow along in their Bibles as they listened to the Bible on tape. They would read through the Bible twice every year that way. I can picture them sitting at the table in the morning reading the Daily Bread and then praying. I remember what they sounded like and the thrill I'd get when they'd pray for me by name. I know their prayers for me have made a big difference in my life. I love that two of my girls remember Granny and Big Papa and talk about them and pray for them. I love the picture above. It was one of the last times we saw my grandparents. It's from two years ago when we visited the States. I have it blown up to an 8x10 and hanging in my hallway with other family photos. I have a different picture in my mind though. I didn't get my camera ready in time so don't have a hard copy of it but it is a great memory. This picture is of Big Papa in his traditional green shirt and pants, shoes on but laces untied and hanging down and Catie holding one hand and Emma the other as they walked to the mailbox to get the mail. That's the picture I love and the Big Papa I remember.
Having this rich history to pass on to my kids and add to/create for my kids and their kids and their so awesome. And scary. I pray we live up to the task. =)


I think this is so cool. Floyd and Florence Risser are Josh's paternal grandparents. I love that the wedding invitation looks like it could've been sent recently. Simple but still very much a style used today. I knew that Floyd's family came from and some are still in Hershey PA and that they used to sell milk from their dairy farm to the Hershey chocolate factory. However, I didn't realize until I saw these pictures that Josh's grandmother used to be a Hershey. I think that's cool. And if you look at the bottom picture you'll see what Josh will look like in oh, 50 years or so. =)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Just thought I'd post what we are doing for Easter. Starting tomorrow we are going through the Resurrection Eggs. They are in the pink pail with the lamb. In case you don't know what they are, each egg has a Christian Easter symbol in them such as a donkey, nails, linen, etc. Each day you open an egg (in order) then have a little devotional reading to go with the symbol. The last egg you open on Easter is empty signifying the empty tomb. In the picture of the books you can see the big book called "Benjamin's Box." That book goes with the Resurrection eggs. You can find out more about them at and . There are also sites out there that have a generic form of this that you just buy empty plastic eggs and put the things in them such as this one and this one .
As you can see from the picture of the books we have a selection of Easter books that are out for the girls to read and for us to read with them at bedtime. Pictured are the new ones I just bought but we have a few more that I haven't gotten off the bookshelf yet, including The Parable of the Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs.
And the bottom picture shows what we are putting in the Easter basket. Chocolate Lambs, jelly beans, peeps (Thanks, Mom) and speckled chocolate eggs. We've explained to the girls why people use eggs and bunnies for Easter. We also have various Easter activities and activity pages that we will do as part of our homeschooling. One of these has to do with the colours of jelly beans and relating them to the Easter story as well.
My goal is to finish dresses for each of the girls for Easter but we'll see if that happens.
What are you doing for Easter?


At the moment our homeschooling consists of going through the alphabet and numbers 1 - 20. We do a page where the girls copy the upper and lower case letter and a word that starts with that letter. Then we do something at the top related to that word. For instance, the letter M we wrote monkey and they drew monkeys on their pages. That is Catie's up at the top. Then on another paper we write the number and the number word and do something for it. For instance for 12 we copied, cut and glued a calendar on the top of the page. I put all these pages into a folder for each of them and they love to look back through their books. Then sometimes we do worksheets related to that number and/or letter. Good fun. I read all kinds of things about how to keep your toddler occupied while working with the others but so far the only way to keep Beka occupied is to let her do everything with us. Her pages look a little different than the others and I obviously don't get her to copy the letters and stuff but other than that she does all the colouring and gluing that the other two do. She likes to cut but isn't good so we do that together. Emma does really well considering it is a year ahead of where she should be chronologically. Well, here anyways. They don't learn to read in Prep, they learn that in 1st grade. but I think Catie will be reading by the end of the year. Anyways, we're off to the school to visit Daddy and Grandma. Have a good day.

Monday, March 10, 2008


So, it's another week. Started yesterday with a full day. I forgot it was Fellowship lunch after church yesterday so we got up late and missed Sunday school. Josh took the girls to church and I showed up about 20 minutes late with the food. I made a noodle salad by Nigella Lawson. So yummy. I would never put sweet chili sauce, peanut butter, soy sauce, noodles, spring onions, alfalfa and snow pea sprouts and red pepper together but it was wonderful. I also made the apple dumplings that you can find on The Pioneer Woman Cooks website (the link is on the right). They are made with Mountain Dew. I kept thinking of Amber and her addiction to Mt. Dew. Got lots of compliments on those. The nice thing about Fellowship Lunch Sundays is that there is no evening service so we can just relax and get ready for the rest of the week.

Today is a big day in the Bay (haha, that rhymes.) It is the Grand Opening of Big W. (think Wal-Mart, not the superstore just the regular old one). Finally Target has some competition. As excited as I am I think I will avoid going there the next couple days as I am sure the rest of Hervey Bay will be there. Just as exciting is that a new craft store, Lincraft, is opening in Maryborough today. (m'boro is half an hour away) Susan wants to go check out their fabric so we are headed there after she gets off work. And while we are down there we will probably go to the Big W there since everyone else will be at the new Big W. =)

So that's today. Tomorrow Susan is hosting a Body Shop party at my house, so that means some cleaning is in order. Which is good since Bible Study is at our house on Wednesday. Throw in swimming and date night on Thursday and youth group on Friday and that's my week. Well, add cooking, cleaning, laundry, homeschooling, etc. and you get the idea.

I was checking out some blogs this morning while the girls watched Playschool. And I came across a blog where the lady had posted the lyrics to a new Caedmon's Call song. And the lyrics really spoke to me. So I am posting them here. Hope you have a good day!!


This house is a good mess, it's the proof of life. No way would I trade jobs, but it don't pay overtime. I'll get to the laundry, I don't know when. I'm saying a prayer tonight, 'cause tomorrow it starts again.

Could it be that everything is sacred? And all this time everything I've dreamed of has been right before my eyes.

The children are sleeping, but they're running through my mind. The sun makes them happy and the music makes them unwind. My cup runnenth over and I worry about the stain. Teach me to run to You like they run to me for every little thing.

Could it be that everything is sacred? And all this time everything I've dreamed of has been right before my eyes.

When I forget to drink from You, I can feel the banks harden. Lord, make me like a stream to feed the garden.

Wake up little sleeper. The Lord God Almighty made your mama keeper, so rise and shine. Rise and shine 'cause...

Could it be that everything is sacred? And all this time everything I've dreamed of has been right before my eyes.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Just Hangin' Round