Friday, February 26, 2010

Snow day, again

Sigh.  The school district sent them home early yesterday.  It was completely bogus, if you ask me.  The snow didn't start sticking to the roads until well after sundown.  So no school today, and the evening plans have also been cancelled. 

The mug says, "Coffee, the favorite drink of the civilized world."  That Thomas Jefferson was onto something!

We're going to have a family movie night and make s'mores over the open flame of the gas cooktop.  And I'll be able to get a little more knitting in.

And Abe Lincoln had the right idea, too.

I don't think I have ever looked forward to spring cleaning like I do right now.  Or spring planting and spring knitting, for that matter!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On to the next thing

With Valentine's day behind us, now I can begin focusing on our next big occasions: Rob's and Caitlin's birthdays.  Well, really Caitlin's birthday.  (Rob's birthday is the day before Caitlin's, but he doesn't need to bring in treats to work or have goody bags.)  So I'm full steam ahead for her birthday.  Yesterday I booked her party at a local gymnastics place.  She has only ever had parties at home, so she is over the moon about this.  I can't believe she's going to be eight!

On Sunday, we were in BJ's (like Costco) and Rob bought Caitlin a pretty spring dress.  He called it an early birthday present.  Well, the dress came with a matching one to fit her American girl doll, so Caitlin and Kit pranced around the house all Sunday afternoon in these pretty, sleeveless spring dresses.  What's a mom to do?  Get on ravelry, of course, and find a sweater pattern so she'll have something to keep her arms warm.  I found a pattern and bought the yarn yesterday.

Now I've had to set aside my sweater in order to concentrate on getting Caitlin's sweater done in time.  All knitting, all the time.  I love it.

I know the time is going to fly until March 12 and even until Easter because of my latest non-crafty undertaking.  Back in October, we finally joined a church.  After four years of on-and-off (mostly off) looking around at churches, we found one that felt like home.  It's close, it's big, several friends from school attend this church.  So we joined.  And at the New Member Reception after the service, the chair of the Parish Life Committee bumped into Rob and started asking him questions about me (since my "blurb" on the new members' board said that I liked to cook).  Then she found me: would I be interested in joining the committee?  The committee that puts on the new member receptions and the Lenten soup suppers? 

How about serving as the chair of the committee?

A three year commitment?

And as chairman, you're also a member of the Church council?

Um, okay?

So on February 7, I was elected to the church council.  And our first of five soup suppers is this Wednesday.  I thought alot about whether to take this on.  Really--I'm totally new to the church; I know a handful of people there; my girls are in dance class on Wednesday afternoons; three years?

And then I remembered that I was trying to put down roots.  And the answer suddenly became crystal clear.  This was what I had been looking for.  And so many people have offered to help me out--people I wouldn't have otherwise met.  And even though I am nervous about how this is going to go, I think I am really going to have a good time with this. 

And I have no doubt that the next five weeks are going to feel like one Wednesday after another--but in a good way.  And Easter and (hopefully) spring weather will soon be here.  And if that weather is slow in coming, at least Caitlin will have a sweater to wear with her new dress.

Friday, February 19, 2010

At the mercy of the computer...

My 365 project over on flickr is probably going to end up being "426" by the time the year is over. Several days have more than one picture because I either forgot where I left off or I typed the wrong date in the tag...and did you know that if you change a tag, it will change all your pictures with that tag? I couldn't understand why I had six pictures from February 15. Ugh. I will not let silly things like this frustrate me. I will continue to take pictures; tags be damned!

And blogger has been reversing the order of my pictures. They're all in a nice chronological order, and then they magically appear on the blog in reverse. I didn't want to tell the story in reverse, but moving the pictures around has become difficult lately. More silliness. So today we're going to go backwards. Rants over.

Caitlin has two birthday parties this weekend. These are "new" girls, meaning she hasn't been invited to their parties before, so neither has received a birthday bag from Caitlin. I have to take pictures of these things so I can keep track from year to year. It's getting difficult with the girls in the neighborhood, because she's invited to their parties every year. I have to keep mixing it up!

These girls are getting bags, a book inside (still have to buy one book), braided barrettes (thank you, Meredith for the idea), and a braided headband.

I found the how-to for these through Crunchy Peas. It really only takes maybe ten minutes to make. I think they're super cute. I do worry that they look a little "homemade" (and not in the good sense) because the ends of the fabric strips are a little frayed. I just ripped the fabric to make the strips, although I did press them before braiding. It is very satisfying to rip fabric!

Edited to add: Okay, here's a link to the headband tutorial right here.

Bobby's "coupon" for this month was to make a pillowcase with Mama. We went to the fabric store on Tuesday. He chose these flames for one side and the skull and crossbones for the other. I even let him work the sewing machine pedal while I "steered" the fabric. Honestly, that was hard for me. I do not share my toys well (or at all), but that's not fair to the kids, is it? If they see me having so much fun with the sewing machine, shouldn't I at least let them try it to see if it's something they'd like to do? Yes, yes I should. Deep breaths. Monthly hormonal swings do not help with the sharing. Anyway, he had a blast, and he loves sleeping on his pillowcase that he made.
And finally, earlier in the week I wore this color combo. I don't think it's anything I'd ever choose to put together by myself, but I ended up really liking it.

I got the idea from my socks!

I wish you all a happy weekend!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Catching up

It's hard to blog or upload pictures or keep the kitchen floor crumb-free when all your little darlings are underfoot! This has been a winter-and-a-half already, but I will not despair yet. It's February, and while all this snow isn't exactly normal, it is at least seasonally appropriate. I've lived up North (trust me, this is the Frozen North where I come from)--I've lived here long enough to know that the end of winter/where is spring heartbreak will come later. Like April, possibly even May. So I'll not dwell on this week's weather forecasts now (besides, I've stopped watching them). Instead, we'll have a show and tell.

Here are the Valentine shirts, all ready for the recipients:

After church on Sunday, we went out to lunch. When we got home, I discovered a voice mailbox full of messages regarding our Brownie troop's cookie booth for that afternoon. I called and called and left messages all over town . . . and then I went to the grocery store.

While I was in the grocery store, I received no fewer than three calls (and I can go probably an entire week without getting that many calls on my cell phone). When I got to the checkout line, my phone started ringing again while I was loading my groceries onto the conveyor. As I pulled the phone out of my pocket and started to open it to answer it, the darn thing flew out of my hand and crashed onto the floor.

Ooops. (On the plus side, the whole cookie booth drama had resolved itself.) I don't know when I'll get this replaced. We are past due for that "new every two" deal that Verizon uses to keep its customers hooked; Verizon periodically sends us postcard reminders. I don't use the phone all that often, but it is nice to have it for emergencies.

Yesterday, my sister-in-law and mother-in-law came over for a brief visit. The cousins played hard--inside and out. The best part was that Cori brought me some of her eggs.

These are so farm-fresh, I can't stand it! I've known Cori's chickens since they were about a week old, and look at them now! The kids were not as excited as I was, but then I've always been excited by chickens.

And the girls are in school, so I'm not freaking out about the fact that this is happening outside my window right now.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

How it was

Friday afternoon, before:

Saturday morning, during:

Saturday afternoon, after:

Sunday afternoon, after:

And for Monday morning? Make another grocery list, because it looks like we get to do this all over again on Wednesday. Happy wintering!

Friday, February 5, 2010


Another snowstorm is heading our way. Saturday plans have been scrapped; we are preparing for what my husband calls "puzzle season."
I'm going to stop by the library and the grocery store this afternoon. I'm thinking the kids will get a kick out of a fondue dinner tomorrow night. Tonight we're going to have some tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. I am all about comfort food right now!
I should make sure all the mittens have their mates right now and line up the snow boots by the door.

I have a feeling they're going to see lots of use over the next couple of days. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Keeping busy

I just love having a holiday deadline to work against. After floundering in January, I'm firing on all cylinders as I prepare for Valentine's day. In the midst of creating special Valentine gifts, I decided that we just had to have a holiday banner, so here it is.

This is based on the birthday banner in Alicia Paulson's book, Stitched in Time. The red and white gingham is still from that thrifted sheet, and I used a ribbon that I had in my stash.

Then I decided it was time to get down to business on the gifts. I have been spending some careful quality time with my exacto knife this week. First I had to cut out the design on the freezer paper.

Then iron the freezer paper to the shirt.
Have fun painting!

And add a special label--it's ribbon. I found this at the craft store on Monday, and I decided to add it to each shirt (even Bobby's--he's not getting a homemade shirt, but I want it to have a special touch).

I still have another shirt to do, so you'll have to wait for the final reveal.

Of course, if we keep having two hour delays like we did today, I'm really going to be feeling the pressure to get it all done.

The sun is out now, but it was a lovely surprise this morning. And the weather forecasters are already teasing about another potential storm this weekend, so we may have more snowy fun soon.