Friday, December 28, 2012

Brambly Hedge

I stumbled on a new children's book series I had to have to read to Hailey. It will go perfect along with all the critters in her new playhouse. Hailey already has 2 little calico critters mice.

I suppose the reason I haven't heard of this set before is because it is a United Kingdom children's series, not very well known or available here in the United States.  Nevertheless over a million copies have been sold and it has been translated into 13 languages. Still, it is hard to find. I wanted a copy of the complete works-  all 8 stories. The cheapest copy in the US was $75 so I  had to scrounge around for a copy from England. It is going to take a while to come: DELIVERY ESTIMATE Monday 11 Feb 2013 - Friday 8 Mar 2013.

This series is about a community of mice who live in the woods and their adventures.

The illustrations are what caught my eye.

Aren't you curious as to what they are looking at?

"Brambly Hedge is on the other side of the stream, across the field. If you can find it, and if you look very hard amongst the tangled roots and stems, you may even see a wisp of smoke from a small chimney, or through an open door, a steep flight of stairs deep within the trunk of a tree. For this is the home of the mice of Brambly Hedge. The mice of Brambly Hedge live together in a close-knit community making best use of what each season has to offer "

For more information check out:

 So excited to read this with Hailey!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Calico Critter Chateau

Yay, the house got finished in time for Christmas!
The dormer windows were the last to get made.

All the rooms got pretty crown molding.

Hailey is obessed with her little critters and re-arranging the furniture every few minutes. It is a good thing this toy is not in her room, but in the hall, or she would never go to bed at night. Yesterday morning she shot out of bed and ran to the hallway to play with the playhouse.

Even the horse gets his own rug to lie down on. The nice thing about this is we can continue to add more sets. We already have a few more Calico Critters sets stashed away for her birthday and Easter.

Steve and I have tried putting Hailey's fairies and Little People in the playhouse but Hailey keeps telling us "no" and throwing them out.  Wow, I didn't know the playhouse was so exclusive.

Still love the cute shutters and window panes Steve made out of wood, then painted and glued on.

Our hall turned playroom.... got to have the new rocking horse out there with the playhouse.

Little People: Nativity meets Disney Princesses

Princess Tiana and Wise Man #1 decide to get together.

Ariel... yeah she just wanted something that had legs like her.

Belle and Wise Man #2 have made a love connection.

Battle of the Blonds competing for Wise Man #3.
No final decision yet.....

Snow White traded in taking care of the dwarves for taking care of Jesus (smart move).

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Great...I found a box!!

Now if only I knew what to do with it?

Christmas Eve we spent at home as Steve needed most of the day to finish working on the playhouse. Christmas morning we opened up presents and eventually made our way over to my parents' house..... low and behold my sister Kendra and Evan both had monkey pajamas on.

Too sleepy for more presents.

Just kidding... now he is ready to play.

Another toothless smile.

My whole family left the day after Christmas for Idaho where my two siblings, Richard and Lauren  are  each blessing their new babies. So Christmas day meant packing for the Ashcrafts. As you can see Hailey was entertained by hiding in the suitcases and popping out.

The day after Christmas was spent in Oceanside having Christmas with Steve's side of the family.

All of the children were super super excited to open presents.

Hailey really liked the family's pet bunnies.

Even Great Grandma came outside to check them out. She raised bunnies for meat during WWII.

At the end of the day Steve's parents brought out three wrapped presents. The three families had to compete to put their puzzle together the fastest for a prize. The "puzzles" turned out to be boxes of Legos. We didn't win, but it was fun.

And then we headed home for the night, because Steve had work bright and early the next morning.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Week Before Christmas

Next year we are doing a book advent. We are going to wrap up 24 Christmas books and open up a new one each day.

Thrilled to have a spatula to chew on while he watches me wash the dishes.

Smiling at his dad.
Glad we could go to the temple with Kendra for the first time.

Grandma Chris used to live next  door to my parents when we were really young. Her second husband Gus just had to put her in a home because her Alzheimers is really bad.

Hailey was shy.

She didn't recognize us, but we were really glad to see her.
Oh, the funny things she said to us.

After that we went to Little Cambodia in Long Beach.

My sister Kendra is going to have to learn this crazy language for her mission very soon!

One of his better moments. He had a major barfing episode in the car which was so messy to clean up.

We had somewhere to be every night this week so we ate a lot of easy to put together dinners like this.

Too many parties for Hailey.... started to wear her out.

We have been up to the Temple for a concert and twice to see the lights. This particular night I got a terrible allergic reaction in my eyes.  Both my eyes started to swell shut.

Hanging out with two of my sisters.

Hailey, are you ready for Christmas?

Still not sure how this baby has blue eyes and blonde hair; must be a conspiracy from his father.

This is the dress we got Clarice for her 14th birthday today.

Evan wants to eat our Elf on the Shelf, Gumdrop.


She actually held still for 2 seconds.

And then that was over.

She's our sassy child.

And here's our happy baby.

Can't ever seem to get them to look at the camera at the same time.

These two are buddies.

Mama, wake up! Are you there???

Now I can see you!

How long until I can chew on Christmas wrapping paper?