Saturday, March 29, 2008

Because Fridays are for camp outs.

What could be sweeter than siblings that can't wait for Friday because it is camp out day at our house - they get to sleep in their sleeping bags on the floor of one of their rooms. I couldn't resist snapping a few shots (albeit fuzzy because of lighting) tonight when I checked on them. They may kill each other in the morning but right now there is sibling peace.

Monday, March 24, 2008

In a bind

I was in a bind recently over binding a couple of pot holders. I had been to my quilting guru's (Grandma Dentist) sewing room a couple of months back to learn the finer art of binding quilts and then didn't immediately put it to use. I did pretty good until I got to finishing it off. I knew there was a trick to make it look seamless and I just couldn't remember it. Also, I fudged a bit on the corners and made it work but I knew it wasn't quite right. I shot off an email to the binding goddess and she brought me this yesterday:

Isn't it amazing? How thoughtful! It's a quilt binding tutorial that I can have at my side whenever I need it. I think she should market these! I know newbie quilters like me would love it.

It was a miracle

The miracle of the resurrection was finally upon us yesterday as we celebrated Easter. Our family celebrated tiny miracles all day. First, I was able to get off work early and actually get home in time to have some order to our morning. Perhaps the miracle was being granted the request to leave the E.R. I arrived home with plenty of time to get everyone in their Easter best, watch the kids dig into their Easter baskets, discuss the real meaning of Easter over some raisin bran with the kids, and get to church EARLY!! We helped bring the altar items back to the alter after the very dark Good Friday where everything was removed. We carried the communion chalices and the kids were relieved that we would still get snack today in church. Shwew!

After church we needed some salad supplies for dinner later and stopped at the local grocery. To our detriment but also delight our local Texas grocer does not remain open on Easter - they post a sign saying that today is a time for their employees to be with family. Good for them - but we still needed groceries. We went to the heathens down the street that were still open on Easter Sunday. Apparently some guy earlier in the day shamed them for being open while he was buying his groceries. Shame him for shaming them...

We spent a wonderful Easter with our friends/might as well be family, the Dennis'. The Easter Bunny miraculously knew we would be there and so he hid eggs and left gifts for the children at the Dennis' house. "How'd he know??" I dunno. We got to spend a wonderful time with these wonderful people. (The top picture is of a patchwork postcard that Grandma Dennis/Dentist sent us.)

On our way home per our usual route we were stopped by a major accident that must have happened only moments before. A pick-up truck rolled in a single car accident. The roof was caved in and the windshield smashed to smithereens. When I realized the severity I hopped out to see if I could help. The driver was walking around with blood running down his face - obviously intoxicated by his demeanor and his breath. The passenger was inside hanging from his seat belt - talking to me, but not feeling the rest of his body. EMS personal arrived shortly after and I excused myself to let them take care of the situation. I went back to the car where we had an unexpected impromptu lesson on drinking and driving with our 4 and 5 year old. It was a miracle both men in the car were alive and no other cars were involved.

With bedtime prayers the children thanked God for our family that we didn't see this holiday, the miracle of Jesus, our friends (the Dennis'), the people needing healing, and the guys in the accident. I always underestimate what those kids take in. I marveled while putting them to bed the miracle of them.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter Baskets from the Queen

My mother sent the children their Easter baskets... She is known to go overboard. The kids loved it. Note the actual basket is a Trader Joe's bag - I drool thinking about TJ's. When are they coming to Austin?!???

The exception to the plastic egg rule: These are adorable.

Blue Bedroom Continued

The room is almost done. We finished this last stage right before we had company coming over. Leave it to a deadline with company coming to get us to finish something. I think this is how my parents still operate. We need this project done, I know, we will have a party! Anyhow, the bed got painted, the chair rail was hung and painted, and reading lights were rehung. Now all we need is artwork on the walls. It's just going to have to be another party, I guess - oh, right, we also have a string of guests coming to town: My sister, my college roommate, then the in-laws. If the idea of his parents coming doesn't spring Brian into action, I don't know what will.

Easter Eggs

Okay, fine. I get it, keep writing, you will comment when you feel like it. At least three people responded, and well, two of them I had on my least likely to respond list in my head. So, here we go again...

I decided this year to avoid plastic Easter eggs. At least, I won't be getting them for the kids (Mom and Barb if you sent plastic eggs....). I find them year round popping up in strange places. I also find the strangest things stored inside of them - dollhouse objects, coins, hair things, and basically anything you can think of that would fit inside one of those darn eggs. Plus, have you ever stepped on one? Ouch!! This year I picked some festive colors out of my fabric scrap heap (that Brian would have me get rid of!) and made some eggs. I am not done yet! But here is what I have so far. I used a template from The Purl Bee after trying a couple of others that Reba did not approve of. One, she told me, was definitely not oval enough. Leave it to a 4 year old to know what an Easter egg should look like.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Roll Call

Okay, people (as Jacob would say). I have been noticing as of late the dearth of comments. Now, given I speak with several of you on occasion and know that you are reading every now and again I would really love it if more than just my sister left me a comment. I thrive on feedback - most of you may know that. I can talk and talk and talk as long as someone says, "uh huh," every so often. So please, leave a little comment so I know you are there.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Spring Hat

Not long ago I first tried my hand at crocheting and failed miserably. With a few quick lessons and further investigation on YouTube I think I've found my groove - also my face stopped being all contorted while crocheting so I think this is a good sign. The easier something is, the less faces I make - apparently. Anyway, here is my first usable hat project. This is a gift for my sister, Molly (lest you should think it's for you, Neef) who lives in the Far Frigid North also known as North Freaking Dakota. The kids and I are putting together a "winter is almost over" package for her as she is definitely getting the winter blahs. I think this Spring hat is just the ticket made out of natural cotton yarn - not too warm but just warm enough. Maybe a cloth Easter Egg from Sew Mama Sew too! Who wouldn't love that package?

Friday, March 14, 2008

What $289 golf clubs look like...

...when you have to spend it on the vet bill. Just when Brian had budgeted in his new set of clubs, finagled the ebay shop down to a manageable price, resolved to sell his old ones, and bought a travel bag for the new clubs (literally right before) - we come home to Tut limping inside the house as Jacob exclaims, "There's blood!" And there was blood. After investigation my only conclusion was that my angelic dog had accidentally punctured his paw on a rusty nail sticking out of a board in the backyard. Don't ask me why there was such a thing back there. So Wounded Paw and I took an emergency trip to the vet. I met the vet several months back when her family was visiting my E.R. She was happy to return the favor - with a price of course. The price with sedation, stitching, antibiotics, and exam included came out to pretty darn close to what Brian was about to spend on new clubs. Good thing this is the dog he loves otherwise the picture above would be of the actual clubs. Note the very groggy look on the dog's face - yes, that's the expensive sedation still wearing off.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The blue bedroom saga continues

Brian got the chair rail up and painted. I have to say it is beautiful and adds that extra touch. I was sick (yet another bug from the ER) and sleeping while he was hammering for hours upon hours but other than that all went smoothly. Also newly done is the paint on our beloved bedroom set. This is our handed down Ethan Allen set. We loved the look of it and if we could have made it work would have loved the color too. But decorating with the green in the bed was definitely a challenge. We opted to paint it a rich brown color and keep the wheat stain on the tops of the night stands and the dresser. Here are some pics of the transformation. I can't wait to show you the finished product. It should be nice. We are just one more step closer to a real grown-up bedroom. Does that mean we have to grow up? Eesh!

The boys and their toys

I was in the garage this evening working on the project for the next topic of my blog when my boys pulled up and this is what I saw... Look closely at the two in the front.

And this is what Reba was doing when the two boys pulled up in the Jeep. It was kind of a cheer and maybe a dance but definitely Reba.

And here is big brother and his biggest fan (mostly because little sister couldn't stand to not be in the picture).

More bibs...

If 4 is good 12 more is better, right? At 2 am it seems like a really good idea. Everybody with babies right now is getting one. I just need more velcro - or maybe I will spring for the snap putter inner thing (what the heck is that called?). Well, one thing is for sure - I love making bibs! Perhaps a larger size for say a 4 or 5 year old would be a good idea. Anyway, these are super duper cute and all you can see is the backside of most. Just wait...

Monday, March 10, 2008

More baby stuff...

I finally cracked open the Bend the Rules Sewing book my dear husband got me for Christmas. (How'd he know??- oh, right, my amazon wish list.) I needed one more little thing for our friend's baby on the way and I thought this book might have my answer. Bibs! Of course! This was an easy project and utilized some of my adorable fat quarters in a camping/fishing theme. I might make some matching burp rags with the left over fabric. I was pretty pleased with the end result. The only change I made was velcro instead of snaps for the closures. How cute, right? Plus, I found a new favorite easy project for babies. I am seeing visions of many bibs in my future. I already picked up another fat quarter for another baby on the way! Hooray! More people to make things for! I am ill - really, what is wrong with me??

My little Buckaroo

The Kindergarten Rodeo took place this past Friday. I had visions of roping 5/6 year olds for the whole week leading up to it. Jacob talked about it constantly. He was so excited. Parents were invited and encouraged to stay for a picnic afterwards on the field. Unfortunately Friday had to be one of the coldest days in Austin this year. The wind was blowing and Mom and Dad were cold. Note the picture of the kids singing in their short sleeve shirts and the parents in the background with jackets and blankets. We did get to see a great performance of "I am a Tex" by 100 Kindergartners singing at varying speeds (not purposeful) and we did a few of the rodeo adventures such as this bucking bronco station. It took some convincing but we did take our picnic into the cafeteria and managed to convince him to go home early. He wanted to stay out in the element - just like a cowboy...
By the way, only in Texas do we have "Texas Week" punctuated by a Rodeo at the end of the week. Gotta love it here. Incidentally I have only had two bull riding injuries as patients since working in the E.R. here. I am disappointed.

The Blues

Brian and I have put off doing our bedroom for 7 months now mostly to our disdain for the process of painting. Seriously, we hate painting. Or, really, Brian hates painting and doesn't think I do a good enough job of it so he must do it himself. Really, it's all part of my master plan - appear to not know what you are doing and he will do it himself. So far so good. My room is painted, isn't it?

Anyhow, we went with blues and you can see we are getting artsy with our two colors. There will be a chair rail in white to go along the seam of the two colors. I am excited for the finished product. Chair rail will come next weekend with our next paycheck. I had forgotten how expensive painting could be. This really turned out beautiful - at least I think so...

Next on the list is to change the color of the bed. We have this beautiful Ethan Allen set generously handed down to us from our dear friends. But, it's green (you can see a corner of it in the pic), and we didn't really go with a greeny blue - it's a little grey for a green bed. We will be changing the bed color to brown - same bed, different color (I saw it on Color Correction/Color Splash - one of the two on HGTV). I am so excited for the new room.

I wonder if I can get Brian to paint the bathroom...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

On being Green

We are the kind of people that have always been more on the ecologically minded side of things. We are green without making it our cause or an issue. I will admit I am a little obsessive about recycling and always have been. When we were first married I would chastise Brian about throwing away recyclables and dig them out of the trash. We have always been conscious of wasting water, electricity, and other resources. We buy natural cleaning products or make our own (sometimes we avoid cleaning all together - that's green, right?). Bringing our own bags to the grocery store/Costco and buying more organics (sometimes without realizing it) helps us cut down on the amount of grocery bags and cardboard we use as well as pesticides we contribute to our environment. Walking to pick up Jacob to school is a new one we have recently added. There is no reason to fire up the car to pick up a child several blocks away (unless of course it is down pouring). We try to be green without being obnoxious about it. It has worked for us. Recently we have become aware that our new house is missing some key green elements. First we are going through and changing out light bulbs - since I do like having light and have been known to leave lights on - the responsible thing to do was use more eco-friendly bulbs. We redid the rubber around the doors so we weren't losing heat/cooling through the cracks. Then we put in this programmable thermostat. We didn't need it to be 71 in the middle of the night - I guess.
So, that's where we are starting and I am sure there are many more things to come. The added benefit and maybe even a bigger motivator is the savings on our energy bills. Being green can mean saving some green. Hey, I like that idea.

New socks...

You know it is time to buy new socks when you find yourself wearing this - and you think nothing of it. Most days my socks are two completely different colors or sometimes even different lengths. No one usually notices - but once in a while I am caught. So, finally after discovering I had more mismatched socks than matched I finally broke down and bought new socks. I am one step closer to being normal - I guess. But what's the fun in that?

More babies!

We have friends having babies right and left. More babies means more blankets! I love making these super simple blankets. It is just a yard of flannel with the edges rolled and sewed. Brian's grandma made us some when Jacob was born. We thought they were ridiculously huge and totally impractical then we used them exclusively after a while. They ended up being perfect for swaddling then as the kids grew bigger they were the go to blankets for comforting. Jacob took a stack of them to his first preschool. I still chuckle at the vision of my little 2 and a half year old with his 5 folded blankies waiting for me at the window. So, knowing our love for these I have lovingly made them for friends and family when they have their wee ones. I have recently whipped up several batches of them. This is the latest for a little baby boy. Dad is an old friend of ours and the fishing scene and chili peppers seemed all too appropriate for his expected little boy.

From 3 feet...

This is what happens when you let the kids use the camera. You get pictures of your double chin and people's bottoms. Is that how they really see me??