Sunday, December 28, 2008

some of the gifts I made

This year I crocheted 4 doll blankies and 3 doll dresses (but promised one for Tessa in the near-ish future). One of the blankets was on its merry way before I thought to take a picture. That one is another granny square blanket. My favorite was the shell stitch blanket (dark purple in the back). I made that one last and was sure I wouldn't be able to figure it out - but I did!

For Birdie & Mikay (my oldest two) I made bracelet/necklace/earring sets.

And because she likes ponchos, I made this for Tess.

Suzy received one of the doll dress/blanket sets, a penguin and a charm bracelet. I made some slippers for my husband and earrings (that I didn't photograph) for sisters and friends.

and here is my wreath, enjoying the Utah snow:


Hope your Christmas (if you celebrated) was merry and bright.
Now on to New Years' and that pesky "get in shape" resolution. I don't know about you, but I'm about sugared out anyway.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Duck the Halls


A Christmas Carol sung by Tessa

Duck the halls with holly jolly
la la la la la la la la la
Only with a pair of jammies
la la la la la la la la la


She tells me it's a song about everyone wearing only jammies all of the time, oh and always having a duck with you.

So from my little spot on the web, I wish you all a happy Christmas filled with nice things like ducks and jammies. I, personally, am most excited about the jammie part.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

charm bracelet how-to

This is mostly for the super nice woman working at the craft store this morning. I am going to attempt to explain how I made the charm bracelet. Please keep in mind that I don't generally write patterns or instructions because I have difficulty translating the workings of my brain into English. Today I enlisted the help of Tessa's chalkboard. High tech, huh?

1. take a jump ring (or something similar)
and feed some super thin hair elastic-type
stretchy cording through (don't cut it), like this:


2. string beads and charms, like this:


3. feed elastic through jump ring in the
same direction as before, like this:


4. string a second round of beads and charms, like this:


repeat - mine has 5 strands total, so does the lia sophia one.

To finish (5th round):

cut elastic enough for half a round plus knotting
on the beginning end. string beads and
charms on each half, tie so
knot is under a bead (I liked using
one of the wider tubes to hide the ends).

Now, I hope that makes at least a little sense. Happy beading!

Friday, December 19, 2008

eat cake

In great FAM-forum tradition, I give you: Cakeballs...

Sounds weird, tastes evil. They are so good. And so easy. All you do is take your stale, left-over cake, mix in a few globs of frosting, form into balls and roll in melted chocolate chips. And eat. A million.

More cake: Mikay recently had a birthday. She wanted a flower cake (in December, she's so cute!). My mom suggested using fruit roll-ups for the flowers when I was lamenting about how I somehow got passed over by the amazing cake decorating skills gene that she and most of my sisters (and even sisters-in-law) possess.

Because it seems you can't buy fruit roll-ups without those weird tongue tattoos anymore, each got wiped down with a damp dish cloth before being cut with a cookie cutter and place on the green frosted, round cakes. Mikay liked it. I liked it. And actually the fruit roll-ups tasted yummy with the cake.

(I made Betty Crocker's recipe for a yellow cake and frosted it with butter cream.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

bracelet

I love my lia sophia charm bracelet (on the right) so I decided to try my hand at making one (or two or three) for Christmas presents. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out (left & below).


I found most of the beads and charms at a local craft store and a few I already had (probably came from Hobby Lobby).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

treat bags for classmates


It's the last week of school before Christmas break (or winter recess, as it is now known). The girls have been working on these little treat bags that will be filled with trick-or-treat sized candy bars and mini candy canes for the other children in their classes. I have 4 students and that equals a lot of tiny lunch sack style bags. This idea came thanks to Mrs. (Miss?) Moss' second grade class' bulletin board santas.

Friday, December 12, 2008

festival pictures

some pictures from the Festival of Trees:

Our tree: The Season to be Jolly
A tree covered in Santa's, what could be more fun than that?

**
The amazing glass tree - there was a video showing how it was made. It was absolutely spectacular. The lights were set to music.

**WARNING TO SARAH: do not look further!**

a fabulous door hanger:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

pie: an original recipe

From the play kitchen of Tessa


The other day she asked if she could dictate something to me while I wrote it down. Sure, I don't mind. We do this often. Usually it's one of her many books, though typically she simply wants me to spell roughly 9,000 words for her while she writes them down, sometimes her little five-year-old hand gets tired from so much writing and she asks me to write for her. This day it was a recipe. For pie. I will copy it here for you so that you, too, may recreate this masterpiece for yourselves:

PIE
3 c. dirt
2 c. water
4 c. grass
6 c. sun

Let sit in sun for six minutes. Serve.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

wreath face-lift


I intended to take a before picture but, well, I forgot. So just imagine a tired, old wreath with a faded red bow, faded red "berries" and some pine cones. There. Now I'm sure you have a good enough image to be able to appreciate my after photo, don't you?

This wreath is a total copy of one that Sandy saw and posted on her blog (or very close to a complete copy, anyway). She said she saw it at a Starbucks and couldn't resist getting supplies to make one of her own. Obviously, neither could I. I can't wait to see Sandy's!

**

Ok here's a little story I can't help sharing... While Tess and I were at my mom's house this afternoon we took their two doggies for a walk. Well actually, I walked the dogs and Tess and her cousin (E) rode scooters. While waiting for the old dogs, E (who is two years younger, so not quite as lightening fast) and me at a corner, she fell and skinned her elbow. This tiny scrape seemed to cause her great pain if not actual blood-loss (there was one little drip that never really dropped).

While sitting on the stool, nursing her wound, in the kitchen after our return she asked, "Mom, what do you think hurts more, a scraped elbow or a baby coming out of your belly?"

She didn't like my answer and seemed to determine me an unreliable source from that point on (neverminding the fact that I've experienced both, but hey, I'm just Mom. What do I know?).

ps, if you know and see Tess, please, please, please do not mention this little story to her. She'd never forgive me!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Another Tree

Another tree for Lucy. And, sadly, I forgot my camera. However, after I left I noticed an ornament in my pocket that I forgot to put on the tree, so I will show you a picture of that. (at potentially great personal risk, I might add, because I didn't mean to steal this and now that I've published it on my blog, my little sister will know!)

And one of my sweatshirt with this year's pin (the red one) and one from another year (I should have written the years on the backs, but, of course, I didn't). I did not remember where the other pins were off-hand this morning, but I doubt they'd be too hard to find. I only have three jewelry boxes and one push-pin board (the green one had been acting as a very fancy thumb tack. I like that use for them). I have five pins now - one for each year of decorating for Lucy. Sweet Lucy.


A short description of decorating day that I originally posted on my family's website (names changed to protect the innocent and the not-so-innocent.):

...there is a lot of wire (must wire EVERYTHING! And then wire some more!), lots of decorations, lots of laughing, some scones, some cold air when they open the bay doors, usually a baby or two (yay Baby L! he had his turn today), lots of ribbon, lots of wishing we'd brought this, that, or the other thing (tables, sharpie, etc), and some tears. It's magic. And every year is the best. Like Anchely said of our annual contributions - every tree is my favorite!


in case you were hoping to see a photo of a tree, I'll post one from last year to tide us over until I can take one of the current tree when we go to The Festival of Trees to watch Mikay & her dance class perform.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

out with the old

Family probably and forum friends might remember in the summer of '01, only a few short months after moving into our new house our daughter Suzy, who was barely a year old, retrieved the iron from it's away place, plugged it in, turned it on and set it in the middle of the brand-new living room carpet. Uh-huh. My mantra at the time was (as Lisa from the forum said), "the carpet can be replaced." Goodness, I was so relieved that she didn't get so much as a little pink burn that I truly did not care about the floor. Oh and I was also glad that the house had not burned down.

Needless to say, I changed the iron's "away" to a much more challenging location (and she could climb so there wasn't much she couldn't get to). For years we kept a throw rug over the spot on the floor which would occasionally slip and show off our burn spot. It's been a fun *cough* story to retell to anyone who happened to spy the mysteriously hidden location that was forever doomed to remain under a rug (and it wasn't a normal spot for a rug either!).

But this year for Christmas someone who loves us a lot offered to re-carpet our living room. The burber is very hard to clean so it's not so pretty anymore and is, in fact, quite ugly. So today we emptied the furniture and my husband is ripping the carpeting out, including this little piece of history. And Monday the carpet guys will be here to install a nice, stain hiding, brown carpet.

Would you believe this is the first time I've ever thought to take a picture of our iron mark?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Feasts

A favorite family tradition that began when my grandmother was young: reciting this poem (that her brother found somewhere, I believe in a magazine) when everyone is stuffed and can't possibly eat another bite. This year we had most of the kids who were present read (or pretend to read) it from the stage of the cultural hall in the church we had to borrow so our whole fam damily could fit in one place (or most anyway, sadly we were missing a sister, her family, and a sister-in-law).

Thanksgiving Feasts
author unknown

“Thanksgiving feasts,” O’Hara said,
“Thanksgivings like this here
Ain’t nothin’ to the one I et
In Wardleburg one year.
The Champeen eaters all were there,
Slack-stomached for the feast,
And we agreed the ones to pay
Were those who ate the least.
Ol’ Haskins, up Frog Holler way,
And Uncle Pelig Coon,
And Moses Hitt across the creek,
And Bill, and Doc M’Goon,
While several others I can’t name,
All trained and gaunted down,
Sat stroppin’ knives upon their boots,
While hundreds gathered ‘round
To see the champeen eatin’ race,
And when the judge yelled, ‘Go,’
We started in deliberate
Devourin’ vittles slow.
First came a chicken pie apiece
With mushrooms sprinkled in,
And then we had a quart of squash,
Six ‘taters, and a tin
Of pipin’ biscuits, buttered hot
With jam an’ apple jel,
And pickled beets and celery –
‘Twas here that Pelig fell.
While several others looked quite faint
Yet feebly carried on,
But when we reached the turkey course
The most of them were gone.
Each had an eight-pound turkey
Stuffed with nuts and sage and things,
I hadn’t hardly et a half
‘Fore Bill and Haskins rings
Their curtains down and drags away
Upon their hands and knees.
That left just three, just Doc M’Goon
An’ me an’ Adam Peas.
The doctor started, but he then
Fell over in his chair.
But me and Adam, we ate ours
And split the doctor’s share.
But that fixed Adam, mournfully
He realized his fate,
His middle swelled so mightily
He couldn’t reach his plate.
I cleaned the board, and then I rose,
Disgusted with the bunch.
I wandered to the pantry
Where I fixed myself some lunch!”


Monday, November 24, 2008

addendum

addendum to my previous post:



a list of things that an aunt (this aunt) can't resist

a baby leaping from his mother to her
refusing to be fed by mama, but only wanting auntie
paci in mouth, snuggling up and holding her hair
crying when auntie leaves the room
walking unstable steps just to get to her
chubby cheeks, arms, tummy, legs, feet (yes, even feet!)
wanting each bite of food blown on to reduce the temperature (yogurt included)
fake, forced laughs from a one-year-old
real laughs from a one-year-old
the dimple in his cheek
the baby in general

Sunday, November 23, 2008

somethings an aunt can't resist


I just got home from a somewhat impromptu weekend trip. While talking to my sister on the phone earlier in the week, I heard this little cutie-pie speaking in 1-year-old gibberish. I melted to a puddle on the floor despite the nearly two hundred miles distance between here and there. I did the only thing an auntie can do - packed up my kids and headed out of town (as soon as the girls were out of school on Friday). The minute I got there he was in my arms pointing at everything and explaining, "sess sess." He's a genius, of course.

Here he is helping with the dishes. What a good boy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

High School Musical


A few weeks ago (or has it been a month now?) I took my daughters and a couple of their friends to a fund-raising carnival that was being held at East High School. And the theme (I expect those of you with daughters between the ages of 9 and 13 to be able to guess this) was, of course, High School Musical. They were in heaven. No, there weren't any famous actors present, but a lot of the student body had been extras in the movie, including the cheerleader who painted "I love Troy" on the girls' cheeks. That was good enough for them.

My older daughters claimed to have found Sharpay's two lockers (I am unclear as to why she had two, but that is what they said). And, to my surprise, we bumped into my niece at the school. She said she's a student at East now (WHAT? When did she get that old? Wasn't it just last week she turned 8?). As far as my daughters are concerned, their cousin is as good as a celebrity now.

My favorite picture of the evening (my camera, unfortunately, had somehow been switched to a funky setting so most of my pictures didn't turn out) was taken from the parking lot across the street and up a little hill from the school. My girls have ridden by East numerous times but their friends didn't even realize we live so close to their favorite high school.

We haven't seen the new movie yet, we're waiting for it to come out on video (or rather, DVD).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

one of these things is not like the others

One of these things is not the same. Can you tell me which thing is not like the others before my song is done? (anyone remember that from sesame street? I always loved that mini-game show)

Recently I've knitted a lot of boyfriend hats. I'm not surprised that I love this pattern. k3 p2 is my favorite ribbing. I use it almost exclusively on socks. I love how it looks, I love how it stretches, I love it. The decreases on this pattern are really cool too. I wanted to make one a newborn size so I cut the C/O stitches in half (50) but it ended up being a little too small, it's more of a preemie size. I'll have to make a new one, but with 60 stitches. Suzy's best friend's mom recently had a baby boy.

But if you were playing my little game, I hope you chose the scarf. Because, well, it isn't a hat.

Friday, November 14, 2008

8 things


So I was tagged by my sister, Sarah. (The good thing about this is that because her blog is private, I get to use a similar idea for the picture and copy some of her answers and most people would never know. So pretend I didn't just tell you and that I don't confess after each plagiarized answer. I'd appreciate it.)

8 TV shows I watch (mostly on hulu or dvd):
1. The Office
2. Arrested Development
3. Boston Legal
4. The Practice
5. Bones
6. Monk
7. What Not to Wear (with Mom)
8. ? I forget what else.

8 of My Favorite Restaurants (we don’t eat out much):
1. Rumbi’s
2. Training Table (memories!)
3. ?
4. ?
5. ?
6. ?
7. ?
8. ?

8 Things that happened Yesterday
1. volunteered at the school (that’s always fun!)
2. finished crocheting a scarf
3. took Mikay to dance/singing group
4. ran the dishwasher (it’s about time!)
5. played a tetris-like game
6. vacuumed the living room
7. watched two old episodes of picket fences
8. listened to christmas music in the car

8 Things I am looking forward to
1. seeing JR at thanksgiving
2. seeing Jen & co at thanksgiving
3. I suppose just thanksgiving in general
4. seeing Joey & co at christmas
5. next girls’ lunch
6. watching the new office todoay on hulu
7. the next time I get to hold a baby
8. the day I find Dan in Real Life at a red box (I keep looking and the internet has been lying to me)

8 things on my wishlist:
1. a cure for systemic sclerosis (and a way to reverse the effects)
2. Jen to move back here. Now.
3. a gyro
4. For us to become independently wealthy (good one, Sar)
5. new carpet in the living room
6. peace of mind
7. properly working kitchen sink
8. Vacation to New York

8 Things I love:
1. the girls
2. that husband
3. a big, crazy family
4. chai
5. having a few good friends
6. grilled peppers stuffed with cream cheese
7. my new (to me) car (actually it’s a van, who would have thought I’d love a van? but I do)
8. jammies

8 things I can't stand:

1. when people chew with their mouth open
2. bickering
3. the fact that I never seem to be able to keep my desk clean
4. most cartoons (though I do like Arthur, go figure)
5. disorganization and the fact that I can’t figure out how to be organized
6. Headaches (copying Sarah)
7. Seeing a child in pain (copying Sarah)
8. Seafood (copying Sarah. it’s wrong - seafood - huh? ew)

8 People I am tagging:
1. blessed family
2. eye’m all puckered up!
3. inca’s sewing blog
4. keepin’ up with the jones’
5. my crazy kids
6. out of the basket
7. preppie yogini
8. tami

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

a confession

I took this picture last month with plans to make a confession of another sort. You see, I had recently landed on FM 100, a local soft music station. It's the one we all made fun of as teenagers. It's the one they play in shopping centers and on elevators. Old people music.

And when I found it again last month I discovered that I now know the words to most, if not all, songs they play these days. Does that mean I'm old?

Oh but really that wasn't the confession I came here to make today. I hesitate to even say this knowing that many of my family members read my blog and I'm certain I'll come under fire with lots of disapproving looks and/or comments. But here goes.

deep breath

One November first FM 100 started playing Christmas music. And in my car I listen to it. There. I've said it. I've been singing songs like "Baby It's Cold Outside," with Dean Martin, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," with Donny Osmond, "Little Saint Nick," with the Beach Boys and "Frosty the Snowman," with Gene Autry.

And it isn't even Thanksgiving yet. Go ahead, poke fun. Express your disappointment. I can take it. I'm a little disappointed in myself too!

in the mean time, ho, ho, ho!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

taken a little over a year ago at my paternal grandfather's funeral

Thankful to those who serve and have served.

To my dad, the bravest man I know. The smartest person I know. One of the kindest, most selfless people I've ever met. Not only did he spend many years in military service, I also personally watched him risk his own life to save that of a six-year-old girl. Thanks, Dad.

Both grandfathers, though they have passed on, they taught me about being faithful to my family and country. They loved me.

My sister whom I adore and miss. She lives on the other side of the country.

My brother, he's a good dad, husband, son and sibling.

And to all of the soldiers I have never met, I'm thankful to you all.

For the ones who've given their lives, I am speechless. Your gift is beyond anything I can imagine. I don't deserve it, but I am grateful.

Monday, November 10, 2008

purple scarf

Purple is Michelle's favorite color, so I made a scarf for her with some Caron Simply Soft I got on clearance in plum heather and deep plum heather. This one is similar to one of my special olympics scarves, but with crochet fringies instead of points & pom-poms.

Friday, November 07, 2008

stirring

I don't have much to say about this picture, beyond that I find the grave markers simply beautiful. The weathered, broken and leaning stones cause emotions to rise within me. Emotions that exist without words to convey them.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It's getting to be that time of year

(the cold time, that is) recent weather appropriate creations:


A very simple double crochet with the ends folded up and sewn in place to make pockets. I used up some stash acrylic yarn. Modeled by my little T.
***

Link
The Boyfriend Hat knit on 7's (I didn't have 8's like the pattern called for) using Caron Simply Soft. One might (but also might not) notice I don't knit much with wools - they tend to hurt my fingers.

Modeled by Birdie.

Monday, November 03, 2008

little green man


As if he came directly out of an episode of Unsolved Mysteries, this little green man showed up at my house yesterday. I think, perhaps, he'll be off to find a new home soon.


He appears to have been transported here via a J hook with the help of some red heart super bulky lime colored yarn. And a bit of grey simply soft for good measure.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

a corner


The other day, as I was making dinner, I looked at this corner of my house and noticed the volume of items with sentimental value residing here was larger than I'd ever realized.

On the stove I have a pitcher holding my wooden utensils that was a gift from my oldest sister on (I think) my 18th birthday. As long as I've had my own kitchen, it has housed these items in that same spot on the stove, from apartment to house to apartment to house to apartment to house and finally, here. Home. (we moved a lot)

Above that is a trivet resting atop the stove. My mom had it hanging in her kitchen from as far back as I can remember until they just redecorated a couple of years ago. I snatched it out of the thrift store box. I remember knowing it was supposed to be funny but not understanding why. It reads: "I'm the boss in this house and I have my wife's permission to say so." And now, my kids read it, know it is supposed to be funny, but don't really understand why. I love it!


Above, again, another item from Mom's kitchen, the spice rack. On the shelf is a wooden decoration of a barrel of apples my mom bought for me at Hobby Lobby the year did our second tree for The Festival of Trees.

The trivet hanging on the wall was given to me by my friend Michelle (as my daughters would say, total BFF). She found it at a thrift store. It gets used a lot.

The two plates on the wall were camping plates that belonged to my great-grandparents. She is the grandmother after whom my mom named me. I love the chipped enamel. I love that they remind me of how much Mom loved her nanna.

In the shadow box frame I hung a towel that was embroidered by my mom when she was all of eight-years-old. Also in the frame is a little tea strainer that was a gift to me from an old lady I very much loved. She and I graduated from the same high school 80 years apart. My oldest daughter is named for her.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

the scarlet letter


A sad story, but not unbearably so. I liked it.

I purchased a copy of The Scarlet Letter (the same one I just read, even) towards the end of the summer before my senior year of high school. I read a few chapters. Within a week of school starting, my English teacher assigned us to read the same book. At that point I put it down and did not pick it up again until a few weeks ago. (Well to read, anyway. Technically I picked it up each time we moved. I always had the intention of reading it ... someday.) Sometimes I wonder what on earth I was thinking back then.

*edit to add*
I feel I should mention that there is one small part at the end of the book that I wished had been different. It tugs at my heart a little, though considering also that it is a novel, not a whole lot. Other than that, I very much enjoyed it.