Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Home Stretch

Rob is taking tomorrow off, so that means I won't get quality computer time until Tuesday, probably. He's fired up because college football starts tonight and his game is on Saturday night (Clemson vs. Alabama--go Tigers!). We have no grand plans for the weekend. We'll work on projects around the house and maybe go to the pool one last time. Now that we're at the end of summer, it really does seem to have flown by!

I'm going to spend the weekend thinking about some goals for me to try to accomplish this fall--I just love the change of seasons. There are already mums out for sale and it's all I can do to stop myself from buying some

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Holy mackerel, I've had a lot of visitors today! Clearly, the way to increase your blog traffic is to win a contest over at Erin's blog. I'm super excited, by the way!

We are enjoying the last of the lazy days of summer. We finished our school supply shopping today. The kids have been playing up and down the street as all the mamas keep kicking the kids out of their own houses. I've made some applesauce and I'm working on some projects around the house. No pictures because the battery is charging.

Just like last year, we're having a family party weekend after next. It's actually on Bobby's birthday, so we're calling it a "Bobby-cue." I know, it's too cute. That means we're trying to wrap up all those nagging chores that just don't get done until company is coming over--like wiping down the trail of fingerprints along the staircase or cleaning the tops of the kitchen cabinets. Fun stuff.

That's been our week in a nutshell, pretty much. Not super exciting, but they can't all be action packed. And now if you'll excuse me, it's time to take the applesauce out of the canner.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Facebook madness

There's something in the air over on Facebook. I've been on there for several months, maybe up to a year by now, but I've never had much activity. For a while, I had maybe three friends--and then my brother got some of his friends to befriend me (thereby confirming his lifelong suspicion that HE is, in fact, the cool one, but I digress *giggle*). Anywhoo, last month, a friend from middle school found me on facebook, and she told two friends, and they told two friends, et cetera. I've added maybe six friends in the last four days!

It has been fun to see names I haven't seen in (gulp) twenty years. One girl even posted some pictures, and that was painful to look at. I guess I can't really tease my Jersey girl sisters-in-law about their eighties hair anymore, because we South Carolinian girls sure could rock the big hair too.

It's been a virtual reunion, which is great because I've missed all of the actual reunions--that's the bummer about living so far from the old hometown (my parents and brother don't live there anymore, either).

Enough with the time wasting online fun, I'm sure there's something I could be cleaning right now...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Knitty Gritty

This is a little show-and-tell. I started knitting last month. It's something I've wanted to do for a while. One of the things I like about knitting it that it's portable, and I really wanted to be able to do something crafty while on vacation. I checked out a few books from the library (children's how-to books, because I wanted clear, illustrated explanations) and I've watched some videos online. So here are some of my finished projects. (All of these are Christmas gifts, btw.)

This is my very first--a scarf.
The scarf could stand to be a little longer, but I'd had enough already! This is why I should always keep at least two projects going, so if I'm bored with one, I can go work on the other for a while.

This hat is SouleMama's favorite hat. It was done on a circular needle and finished on double-pointed needles, and I had a lot of fun with it. I wished I looked good in this kind of hat, cause this yarn is really soft! Alas, I have the kind of face/head that requires a big brim!
Another hat--just the kind of fun kid hat that I love! Caroline has a similarly-styled hat (down to the pompoms) from the Gap that she's worn for the last few years.
And here are some works in progress. One thing I've been frustrated about is how every project I want to do seems to require different size needles. That gets expensive! Maybe I should have just bought a complete set of needles up front...but I didn't. This is a skull cap to coordinate with the scarf. This pattern called for a size 5 circular needle, but I don't have that, so I'm doing it on the size 5 dpns that I do have. Getting it started the first couple of times around was tricky, but I am loving working on this. (Ignore the clutter-covered dining room table. I think my poor husband wonders if we'll ever be able to dine in there again--it's become Crafty Wonderland!)
And this is going to be a poncho. This yarn is so soft!
So that's what I've got on the needles for now. I do have some other projects to complete before Christmas, and I do tend to throw in additional ones just for fun, so I'll be very busy for the next few months! I am really enjoying this new hobby.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Vocabulary lesson

Here are some words I've been contemplating lately:

gratitude: the state of being grateful : thankfulness

thankful: 1 : conscious of benefit received 2 : expressive of thanks 3 : well pleased : glad

blessing : 1 a: the act or words of one that blesses b: approval, encouragement 2: a thing conducive to happiness or welfare 3: grace said at a meal

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's going to be a better day

For one thing, this finally arrived today!
I may be in way over my head! These are going to be Christmas gifts, so I guess it's a good thing I'm starting now. I've chosen patterns that claim to be "easy," so let's hope that holds true. I mean, I've only knitted a scarf and two hats to date, so branching out to a hoodie and a poncho is a bit of a stretch, don'tcha think? Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Today we're going to take it nice and easy. We're going to make some cookies and then go to the pool. It's cooler here today--high near 80--so I'm betting that pool water is going to be cold! I've only been in once all summer (and it was cold then), and you can bet I'm not even wearing a suit today. I'll be sure to pack snacks so they'll forget about how cold the water is.

Off to make lunch!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Really, my kids can fight like champions. All day long, one-on-one, two-on-one, all three against me. We ARE the Bickersons. They have been around each other too long. Next year I'm saving my money for summer camps in August.

In the orthodontist's twelve years of practice, no kid has ever broken a thumb crib. Until Caroline. He took the molar bands out. No more thumb crib. It's over. I'm going to try the toxic, nasty tasting nail polish on her thumbnail. Hopefully that will stop any backsliding. So there went a couple hundred dollars down the drain.

Sigh. I'm reaching that antsy, end-of-summer place. And I'm afraid that in three weeks I'll turn around and find myself wishing for summer again. How to bring the fun back when we're all tired of looking at each other?

Two weeks

Two weeks until school starts. Fourteen days. How many fights can they have until then?

Caroline has managed to get the thumb crib out of her mouth again--this time the wires actually broke, so we'll be back at the orthodontist's office today. I'm not sure if he can solder it back together in her mouth or if he'll have to take the bands off her molars, re-solder the thing, and then reinstall the whole thing. At what point do we give up?

Yesterday I broke out my boiling water canner (a.k.a. the biggest pot I've ever seen) and made some tomato sauce. I didn't have enough for the full recipe as shown in my cookbook, but I did use up all of my ripe tomatoes. Until the next ones ripen...tomatoes are crazy that way. I'm enjoying canning--I plan on doing more of it next year. I wish I'd made regular strawberry jam instead of the freezer jam this year. I can't really give freezer jam as a Christmas gift. Live and learn.

From the smell of things, I'll be giving the dog a bath today. He is leaving a trail of stink throughout the house. Maybe I need to trim some fur in a strategic location...funny how when we got a puppy we never considered what it would be like to care for him when he was old and incontinent...

We still have to get new backpacks and sneakers for school. Although I'm seriously considering skipping this whole "new sneaker" thing and maybe telling them to wear their old sneakers on gym day. After all, those "old" sneakers still fit last week, it's not like their feet grew an inch overnight.

We're going to watch more olympics today. I just get such a kick out of watching the kids watch the olympics. It's so weird to think that they've never seen most of these sports--they'd never seen a gymnastics competition before! I remember watching the olympics when I was a kid--just seeing all those amazing tricks and sports--and to watch my kids as they take it all in for the first time has been a real treat.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More pictures from vacay

Now that my pictures are uploaded, I'll share a few more. Here are my lovely children, all smiling nicely--except for the scowl in the middle and the silly "cheese" grin on the right...any wonder the Christmas cards are getting more difficult to take? This was in Margate, New Jersey. We stopped there on the way to Atlantic City so that we could visit Lucy, the Elephant!
This is Lucy. She's 60 feet tall and 127 years old. She's right off the beach and she has great views from the top. She does not, however, bring any sort of good luck to visitors who go on to gamble in AC. Although, come to think of it, I was the only one who actually went on the tour of Lucy,but I didn't gamble--Rob and my mother-in-law skipped the tour and then lost their money in about ten minutes. Maybe I missed out on my chance at Lucy luck... This is us, about to put our thighs through hell as Rob and I attempt to pedal this heavy bicycle thing and three non-pedaling children (also known as dead weight) around Cape May. Swamp-ass, anyone? Out at Sunset Beach, one of the ways to pass the time (while waiting for the sunset) is to find "Cape May Diamonds." They're actually quartz that has washed down the Delaware River, and by the time they get to Cape May, they're very round and pretty. Crafty salesmen polish them more and cut them to actually look like diamonds for tourists to buy. I could have stayed on the beach all afternoon picking up rocks (I'm easily amused). Also on the beach that day was a yellow lab who entertained us all by going into the ocean to dive for rocks that his owner would throw out. I never knew dogs could dive. It had to be one of the funniest things I've seen.
So there's a quick wrap of last week. This week is mercifully almost over. We did a little school-supply shopping yesterday at the biggest freaking Wal-Mart I've ever been into. We're not done--still have backpacks, lunchboxes and sneakers to get. We have two more weeks to get it all done. Today I went to the dermatologist and got a mole sliced off my back while the kids watched. Good times. And on Tuesday, when Caroline got her thumb crib put back in her mouth, her mood went sour almost immediately. She had a hard time being nice the rest of that day, but she appears to be getting used to it again.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Three more weeks

Three more weeks until the first day of school...that's so long! Swim lessons are done, vacation is over, seems like there's nothing to do but get on each other's nerves! Time for a plan and fast! Maybe we could work on some of those Brownie try-its...we've done a few activities, but haven't completed any badges yet. Caroline is recovering from nearly two weeks of unlimited TV channels (I block Disney and Nick at home--the consumerism just seems out of control on those channels). Any ideas? We're going to the pool this afternoon but the water will probably be very cold from the recent rain and temperature dip.

We painted the kitchen on Sunday. It's much better. And I'll (mark my words, and feel free to bring this up to me later) NEVER PAINT THIS KITCHEN AGAIN!

Other fun stuff...the knitting is going well. On vacation I finished the scarf and made two hats. I'm planning a couple of Christmas projects and have ordered the yarn and needles. Now I'm just waiting on delivery so I can start! I also ordered fabric for the girls' quilts (another Xmas delivery date). I'll be using my kid-free time up on Christmas projects come fall!

The kids have declared that quiet time is over for the day, so that's all the blogging I'll be doing! Caroline has to go back to the ortho to get her thumb crib put back in--the cement didn't hold and the whole thing came out. Back to nights of poor sleep!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

We're back!

Rob and I are fighting like teenage siblings over who gets computer'll be at least Tuesday before I'm all caught up reading everyone's blogs--and almost that long before I have all our pictures uploaded for your viewing pleasure!

Vacation was nice and just about the perfect length. I do love the beach! In between laundry and unpacking and painting the kitchen and doing something with the twenty or so tomatoes that ripened while we were gone, I'll post a run-down of our vacay!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Peace out

The car is packed, except for the refrigerated stuff and the toiletries and my shoes/knitting/books. The tomatoes are coming with us--never did get a sauce made. I did buy another paint sample. It was so heinous that I decided I liked the sample on the left from the earlier posting, so that's good.

We're leaving at the crack of dawn so we don't have to sit in traffic with everyone else heading "down the shore," as they say here. We're off to lovely Cape May, New Jersey! See you in a week.

Seeking advice...

I really should be packing or making some kind of sauce with all the tomatoes I've picked from the garden, but no, I decided to dismantle the kitchen and paint!

This is before, also known as Belgian chocolate. We liked the color. It made the cabinets stand out. It also made the kitchen pretty dark. The previous owners added a room behind the kitchen, so the nearest window is about twelve feet away. Please ignore all the stuff on the counters--I'm a realtors' nightmare (what with their "one thing on the counters" rule). And just know that all that crap from the counters is now in my dining room!
Here is what I did yesterday--I primed the whole thing and then put up the two colors we're considering. Keep in mind that the family room (which is behind the kitchen in these pictures) is yellow (or "Concord Ivory" according to the peeps at Benjamin Moore).
I don't know. I think I'm going back over to the paint store today to find something in between. The one on the left is...I don't know, I don't love it. It also doesn't really blend with the family room. The one on the right is just a bit too orange? I do NOT want to paint this kitchen again! I think we're going to let the samples sit and decide when we get back. Now I just need to put the kitchen back together a little bit--just so we don't come home to a construction zone. Thoughts greatly appreciated!
Now it's time to take the dog to the kennel--and that will be the unofficial start of my vacation! See you in a week!