Friday, December 30, 2011

Now a one tier cake...

Jeff had a good idea salvage the top. No baverian cream in this but it will have to work.

Look...what to do?

Cake flop...sorry Ehre

I had a little more to finish and decided to take a break. On top if this cake I was making a royal icing tiara when u came back the whole thing was falling apart! Bummer!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


How many bunches of banana's does your family go through each week? We go through 2!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Baby hat

I finished a baby hat to go with the blanket and monogrammed the blanket as well. Now I just need to finish the blessing outfit...well one of them. My inlaws  sent me this cute black tux that he will be blessed in and then I will change him so I can keep the tux nice.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dear Santa and Rudolf,

We hope that your evening is going well. We have left some reindeer food for the others on the back porch, but for you two there is a special treat. Mom says you like Oreo's but dad insists your favorite is sugar cookies.

Thank you for stopping by!

Ehre and Ben

Christmas Eve PJ's

The kids are already for church tomorrow and their Sunday clothes are laid out too.... good thing we have church at 11. We will still ne able sleep in a little bit.before starting all the morning festivities.

Mary Christmas!

Best laugh in a long time...

We Went and clean the church today but did so before having breakfast. By the time we were done everyone was super hungry. We have been given a gift card to Applebees this was the perfect time to use it.

Ben ordered some fries and went to add some ketchup to them. This is what happened when he open the bottle. The waiter laughed and we laughed for poor Ben.

What a funny memory!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Loas Nativity Set

A very cool Christmas gift arrived this week from my twin sister Amy... funny how people are still finding out that I am a twin!

This nativity set was made by Mr. Chanpheng Sombath, in Nanga Village, Vientiane, Laos, about 47 Kilometers north of central Vientiane. He is a member of the LDS Church and my sister Amy is in his ward.

Mr. Chanpheng is the father of five children. His primary livelihood is rice farming and manual labor, and he comes from a family of locally-renowned woodcarvers and gunsmiths. The women in the family weave silk to supplement the family income. During long forays in the jungle hunting and scavenging for food and countless nights in the rice fields, Chanpheng grew up learning how to make small traps, weapons, and trinkets of all types.

Chanpheng began making Lao nativity sets when he learned a previous source of similar sets was drying up, yet demand remained high. Having converted to Christianity from Buddhism, producing nativity sets is more personal to the Sombath family than a source of supplemental income. Members of his community and congregation are proud of Chanpheng for using his skills and talent to subtly share his faith while helping to preserve Lao folk art amidst rapid modernization in Laos.

Each Lao Nativity set is produced from wood and natural materials Chanpheng has personally gathered in the jungle near his village. Woods used in production may vary, but the most common wood Chanpheng uses is called "May Mook" or "Pearl Wood" in English, due to its clean white appearance. The wood is dried next to the family's charcoal cooking fire, and members of the family help weave reeds and straw for the roof and walls of the miniature huts. Chanpheng personally carves each character using rudimentary hand tools, adding a unique touch of personality to each one. The model house is built using the same methods and design as a full-sized traditional Lao house, raised above the ground to provide shade and protect from flooding. At full production capacity it is only possible to produce three sets per week, and carving the characters takes about two days per set.

In approximately two years, the Sombath family has produced dozens of these nativities and has used the majority of the resultant income to support extended family and help other families in their village. Their children have new clothes and a new bicycle to ride to school, and in the future the family hopes to save enough money to buy roof tiles to replace the sheet metal roof on their house.

Care for the nativity: As the nativity is made from all natural sources, it carries a risk of inhabiting bugs and termites. Each set has been sprayed with bug killer but as a precaution the nativity and characters should be set in direct sunlight for 12-24 hours to kill any potential bugs or eggs. As an alternative, it could be placed outside in freezing cold weather or inside a freezer for 12-24 hours. This should be done upon receipt of the set and prior to storing for long periods of time.  ( I have to wait for us to get either of these weather extremes out here since its just grey and rainy right now!)


While she looks cute here with her brother she is close to a meltdown. I.put her down for a late nap because she had a late morning nap ( not to mention my need for a nap) and she played for an hour...or I think it was an hour.  I guess we'll try for an early bedtime.

On another note have I mentioned that I have started packing? I know we aren't moving till the end of March, but Jeff is very busy and will be till he defends and then when baby comes well be busy with other things. So I have 10 weeks to keep packing a little here and there to help things go smoother later. :) It was surprising that we have 12 boxes of books,  confirming our love to read.

Ben stole my earthly phone....

... and used the camera to take some photos of his dinosaur.  :) I was surprised he knew how to find the app and work it. Smart kid.

Old fashioned but cute!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

1st haircut in a looong time.

Ehre needed to have a trim and so last night we had a girls night. Jeff rook Elise and Ben to pack meeting. When I took a close loo she needed atleast 3" off. She wanted me to cut it above her shoulders built that was too short for me. In the end we put in light layers to help with her natural curl and I  think its cute. Then we painted her nails and toenails pink and finished "Samantha's First Christmas." It was a fun evening just the two of us.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

8 years

Now 8 years later I woke up to a husband making me breakfast in bed and taking care of the kids. We have an afternoon date to see Twilight and eat cheesecake. I am so grateful for my earthly and eternal companion. He puts up with all my weaknesses and fault and most of the time pretends they don't even exist.

1 year and 11 days later

...sorry I didn't have a wedding shot in this stash of photos...but 1 year and 11 days after our wedding Ehre joined our family...things have never been the same since.


Bridals were delayed due to a biking accident a few weeks earlier.  From this photo you would never know that I had been hit causing a minor concussion, two black eyes and 10 stitches along my lower gum line.

Engagement photos

We had our photos taken at the Delicate Arch in Moab. This is one between shots...we had alot of fun.

Proposal 2003

Did you know Jeff proposed kneeling on a cliff face while in his Sunday suit while we were rock climbing?

First box home...

Jeff had me help empty filing cabinet drawers and put all in a box to bring home with me. Jeff has very little of any personal items in the lab now, a sign that he is almost done!

Monday, December 19, 2011

My current project..

...the light grey suit will be for Beck's blessing to the go with the white and green crochet blanket I am almost done with. The dark grey suit is for all those 0-3 month Sundays. Tomorrow we are at 27 weeks, only 10-11 more weeks to go!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ben's Christmas program.

He did a great job!

Live Nativity

This is a 21 year project that is amazing. There were live camels.donkeys and was amazing. I only workshop we had not waited till our last year to see this!

8 Happy years!

This Tuesday will be our anniversary. Last night Jeff brought home these beautiful flowers and then we went on a date. We had a fabulous dinner at Mtn Jacks and then saw the holiday pops concert with the symphony, it was wonderful.
Here's to year #9!

New piano student.

...I guess she likes to play too!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

26 weeks

..and measuring big. Dr Eid says I am over a week bigger than normal. She even said.she.would consider a delivery past 37 weeks good rather than 38! Little Beck is very active and unevenly distributed to my R side...sometimes this can make it very uncomfortable.  I am trying to embrace the weightgain sine I can't seem to stop it.   Kids are getting more and more excited it fun to hear them ask to feel the baby move, due to the placentas position they haven't but they are cute in their efforts.

Monday, December 12, 2011


I guess I could quickly take the time to write a letter to everyone about the Maas family!

Its been a little crazy (like always) around here. I am finishing the Christmas program (only 14 musical numbers) for the 18th and then a smaller Christmas program for the 25th. Why two, because we are a 1/2 student ward and lots go home by the 25th, but yet there are still quite a few of us that will be here Christmas day. I love my calling but having the extra work of being the organist and just until recently also the ward choir pianist has been a little stressful. In January I am having others take over the other two callings, and I'll be back to just my original calling :) (Jeff will love this) I really have enjoyed teaching all my students piano the past few months (13 total) but as we get closer to Jeff's defense I look forward to the break in March. Its been a blessing to have the additional money and time to work on a talent, and I hope to resume teaching (not as many students) after we are settled in Bloomington.  Tomorrow morning I will finish my timed 3 hour writting assignment for my English class, this is the last thing I need to  finish for my online class. I should get atleast a 95% in this course (A required as a pre-req for the Nursing course) only a few more pre-req's to go after this one.

Speaking of Jeff, today he is at the InnerVision Center, (Where they did my MRI) they are doing a CAT scan on his ion trap. Sounds cool, I can't wait to hear what they find. :) He is super stressed with his dissertation and we are taking one day at a time. There isn't much I can do to help him but stay positive as a somewhat "single mom" Mon-Sat. Thank goodness for Sundays and our commitment to refrain from all work and studies, or I would be crazy by now.  He has completed one of his 3 papers needed to finish is defense and is in the process of writing his second. I think we'll hit the deadline of turning in everything by Feb 15 but it will remain crazy until then.  I do look forward to our mini vacation in February when we attend Brian's Wedding in Salt Lake City. I think he tries not to think to much about it, but is excited that he can take a two month break before work comes in June. As we work on plans for buying a house, he works on his plans to build his long promised bouldering wall, he's only wanted this forever, and in each house we've lived in has requested it...I told him it was just one of those things that would have to go with home ownership, and he has been patiently waiting. He remains busy with the scouts, and occasionally Ben goes with him, its a real treat for both of them.

Ehre, ha ha ha did you read the blog. A friend agreed with me, working in the medical field gives us a warped sense of humor. Ehre cut her thumb on Friday, not bad but it bleed a little. I walked with her upstairs to clean it up and put a band aid on it.  She had watched me clean it but as I was placing the band aid, she totally fainted! Within a minute she was coming too but it gave me a good laugh. Yes, she has Jeff's genetics, they don't do so well with blood, but I've never known Jeff to pass out, just feel light headed.  Ehre got her first 100% on her spelling this week, an A+ she typically gets 100% but the teacher only gives her an A when she capitalizes a wrong letter or writes a letter backwards. She was so proud of this accomplishment! Earlier in the year when she was missing 1-2 words a week we had a talk about how important it is to do our best, since then she's really improved....talking of improvement she is such a good reader and I look forward to her scripture reading each morning.

Benjamin, busy busy busy and social. Weekly he comes home in tears after finding out that I have not arranged a play date for the afternoon.  He loves his Pre-K class, and this Thursday night has his Christmas program. He often can be heard singing while he plays in his room, and just recently has showed an increase in his desire for piano lessons.  He also is doing really well with his German Christmas poem, its fun to hear the children speak in a different language, and then recall the poems they have learned in the past. Last night for Advent, we sang Silent Night, the first time was in English the second in German, its really been a fun tradition.

Elise, babbles non stop (just ask Grandma D) and its not just noise. Its as if she really is trying to communicate with us but in baby talk. She is my active one. I am currently looking for a second pack n play because I have come to realize that she will not be ready for a bed by the time this baby comes. Sure I may put her down in a bed but as soon as I leave the room, she'll start running around again. She goes non stop. She is curious about everything. She is constantly falling or running into things trying to be like her older siblings. Consequently this has been apparent in the bruises all over her, no we don't beat our children, they beat themselves. Funny new trick, she can give you rocks. ( when two fists hit each other ) its really funny, and she loves it if you will pretend that her rock hitting yours hurt, so don't forget to say "ouch!" (She was taught this by some of my piano students)

Baby Beck, is 26 weeks today. He is still measuring at least a week bigger. My ultrasound said he was due on the 18th, I am hoping I can keep my doctor on this date so that she can deliver him but it will come down to the last days to see if that will really happen. He is active and constantly moving, sheesh when he gets here I may never get any rest with him and Elise. Yes his name will be Jeffrey Beck Maas, just in case I haven't told you. Beck is the name Jeff's mom was named after who is his Grandmother Margret's Maiden Name. Sometime I will need to post his family heritage on the blog its quite amazing.  (did you know his geneology has been tracked all the way back to Anna cousin of Jesus!...yes we are famous!)

Christmas plans, well we are coordinating a "left behind" party with friends. We will do dinner and a projected movie (with our new projector) in the gym of the stake center. Its going to be fun. We are still continuing the Advent tradition with two more Advent nights to go. We also look forward to attending the live Nativity that another church puts on, complete with camels donkeys and an extensive and amazing full set outdoors!  I'll try to post pictures just after we go this weekend. Jeff and I look forward to celebrating our 8th anniversary next Tuesday, and so on Saturday I've arranged for us to have a date to the symphony for the Holiday pops concert.

Well that's about it,
Love you all!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

12 Days of Christmas

Please.... PLEASE check out this link. I loved it! I think this will be a group that Jeff and I will have to see in person when we move to Bloomington! 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Purdue's Christmas Tree

Is huge...the video I took failed. But look at the trunk it takes a whole crew to pull this one in and get it set up. Ben and I thought it was pretty amazing.

Stuck again..

... when we hear fussing its typically because Elise is trying to climb on top of the table and has gotten stuck... soon she will figure out that all she needs to do is push the chair put farther before trying to climb up and then our warning sounds will be over.

Ehre totally passed out!

I blame Jeff and his genetics. Ehre cut herself today not bad, but when I was putting the band aid on, she took one look at it literally passed out. This is a first. It wasn't bleeding to bad but it didn't matter. I called for Jeff and by the time he finally heard me and came up stairs she was waking up. I think we will let her rest for a while.... is it bad if in the end I found this funny? Jeff says we should encourage engineering for her and not nursing. :)

Monday, December 5, 2011


Ha ha prego brain, I was figuring out what scores I needed for a class I am taking. I am hoping for the 97% but I didn't realize that I had sent it to my blog and not my gmail account. Ooops!


Sent to you by Anonymaas.Family via Google Reader:


via . by Jeff Ann Ehre & Benjamin on 12/5/11

1191= 95%
1201= 96%


Things you can do from here:



1191= 95%
1201= 96%

Thursday, December 1, 2011

First Piano Recital

Both kids performed tonight and everything went really well. I had 14 of my 15 students each perform 2-3 songs. I am so pleased with all of them most of.them only started this past August! I have been so blessed to have music in my life since I was little and I am grateful for the opportunity share with others.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jefferson christmas gift...early

...8 years in coming... a projector!

We spent $150 retail this model is $5500!!! I love Purdue surplus! We even picked up one for my parents! Jeff is thrilled with the gift and it will be a fun addition to family movie nights.

.... for those in the area the sale will last a few weeks BUT the projectors will go fast.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Blue balloons...

...decorated the house today they are only 4 months early :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas tree

We did this this morning with family in town and in Eire's words..." it's exploding!"   :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Baby shower...

Here is the cake that I made for a friends baby shower. I just couldn't get the fondant to smooth out straight without it tearing so it was more of a fabric drape look....well its a learning process.

Just perfect...

This is how I was able to practice the organ yesterday. It was so nice.


I am so grateful for wonderful friends to take time to check up on me and hang out with me. Last night with a farewell to a friend. It's sad to see everyone going a different ways of we're all fishing at school. But it makes me so grateful for the time that we have had in the wonderful friendships built.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kids Personalities

I found this picture today and got a kick out of it, even today they display the same personalities.
Oh, and my parents are coming tomorrow, we are SO EXCITED!!!

What a kind brother!!!

Ben daily will peel a banana and share it with's so cute!


I have 1 of my own.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


My new favorite ornament!..... esp since today my surgeon gave me permission to resume ALL normal activities and sports...including serving at volleyball! I think I will go play on Friday for an hour or two its been 8 months since I tore my shoulder and served last!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

You know you are pregnant....

....when it seems like your brain just won't work anymore....for example.

I was getting ready this morning, still hadn't gotten to laundry so found a pair of pregnancy slacks and a shirt to go with. I then realized we quickly needed to get Ben to school. So I grabbed a pair of slip on shoes and headed out. When I got back I slipped of the shoes next to my purse and then did some sewing with a friend. Time to go and pick Ben up again and then run some wasn't till I was getting everyone back in the car that I looked down and realized that I was wearing a L and R shoe, but the didn't match.  ..... did anyone else notice?

Last Thursday I had an event at my house with 18+ girlfriends...only at the end did I realize the white shirt that I had layered under my black short sleeve was inside out.

...seriously this better only be pregnancy related :)

Monday, November 14, 2011