Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday WIP ?

I know it's not Friday, but I have a WIP:

This is something that needs to be finished for Friday. I cut everything out yesterday while the baby was napping in his swing and Spenser was eating her breakfast (and who knows where Mason was at the time).

Joe is out traveling today (to Philadelphia), but is supposed to be home later this evening. Probably not in time for Taylor's cub scout pack meeting. Darn! I was hoping he would take the boys tonight and I could stay home and work on my project.

Hopefully I can post finished pictures tomorrow.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

They Won't Eat Potatoes

All of my children refuse to eat potatoes. All kinds of potatoes. Mashed. Baked. Scalloped. The only kind they will eat are french fries. (Not even tater tots.) I don't get it.

However, my children have no problem chewing gum that has previously been chewed by someone else (Spenser's first and second time). Nor do they have problems eating the colored macaroni necklaces that they make for Thanksgiving. Nor do they (Spenser) have problems eating glued popcorn off Jack's school work. And I think she was taste-testing the pink Play-Doh yesterday, too. Sigh.

I feed my children ... honestly!

* * *
I took Sawyer to the doctor's for his 2-month checkup yesterday. He weiged 13.4 lbs., and was 23 1/3" long. He is in the 75-90th percentile for weight and the 75th for his height (I think). He had to get several shots and was not a happy little man last night. He had been sleeping really well the past 4-5 nights (sleeping until 3 a.m., then 4 a.m., and even 5:30 a.m. Sunday through Monday). Last night he was awake a few times. I'm hoping that it's just because of the shots. Poor little guy. And to make matters worse, I had to remove the bandages from the shots in his morning bath and it made him cry. And I think I may have pinched his finger or something when I put him in his swing a few minutes ago and made him cry. I'm such a bad mom!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Tale of Two Bags

Last summer I bought a couple of yards of a Christmas/wintertime fabric on clearance for about $1 a yard with hopes to make tote bags for my sisters for Christmas. Then it occurred to me that if I give them the totes for Christmas, Christmas will be over and they might not want to carry a Christmas tote. So I pushed it out of my mind for a few months.

When I recently remembered I had the fabric, all I could envision was a tote bag. And I thought it would be easier to manage while shopping than a bulky diaper bag. So, voila! A Christmas tote bag to double as a diaper bag (to hold just a few diapers and wipes) and maybe hold a couple of small gifts.

And, here is my fall bag (when it's almost winter). I cut out the pieces ages ago, when I made my corduroy skirt. I finally got around to sewing it this weekend. It is lined with leftover brown corduroy and uses a vintage button for a closure. And, in case you didn't recognize it, it's Amy Butler's In Town bag.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I Got My Groove Back !

This holiday weekend was very productive for me. I almost felt like I was back to my normal self. We'll see if it lasts.

I sewed a little on Wednesday (while Sawyer slept in his swing and Spenser took her nap). I sewed a little on Thanksgiving morning (see above). My cousin and his wife had a baby 8 days after Sawyer was born, and I decided to make her a few things: an embroidered receiving blanket, a bib and burp cloth, both backed with chenille.

Friday morning Joe and I braved the odds and went shopping on Black Friday. It wasn't bad. I feel like I spent a lot of money, but don't have a lot to show for it. I guess that's what happens when you have six children ... It was kind of depressing.

When we came home that morning, I wrapped my presents. Yes. I. wrapped. my. presents. Oh my!

I sewed a little on Saturday. A matching bib and burp cloth for Sawyer, who is forever spitting up these days!

These fabulous little cloth shoes Stardust Shoes' free pattern. They are lined in soft, blue flannel.

And I sewed a tote and a purse for myself (I'll post those tomorrow).

My father continues to slowly recuperate from his surgery. Thank you for your concerns. I truly appreciate it.

All in all, I'm very pleased how my long weekend went.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year I am especially grateful for a new little man that I didn't realize would be in my life this year. He has been a wonderful blessing to me in the short 8 weeks he's been here. I love him dearly. My life is better and more complete because of him.

I am also thankful for:

my family,
my friends (including my friends in blog-world),
my health,
my father's successful back surgery,
my house that provides shelter to my family,
my husband for working long hours to provide for our family of eight,
only having 12 pounds to lose of "baby fat,"
my sewing machine,
and many, many more things.
Have a wonderful holiday weekend. If you don't hear from me for a few days, don't worry. I'll be one of the crazy Black Friday shoppers and then shopping more on Saturday!
(Pictured above is a Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle that I have made for the past three Thanksgivings. It is yummy.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pray for Dad

My father is having back surgery today. Actually, in just a few minutes. He has been suffering for the past 3+ weeks with a herniated disc. He has been unable to stand or sit the entire time. The numbness down his leg from his sciatic nerve has made it difficult for him to do much.

I'm sharing two of my favorite pictures of my father. The above picture is of my older sister (Lisa), my father, and me. He was going through chemo at the time and was just about to start a harsher treatment, which would result in him losing his beautiful white hair.

The picture below was taken just a few short weeks later, sans hair. He is a strong, strong man. He has endured many things. Losing his mother to cancer many years ago, his father to a drunk driver, his daughter to a car accident, and fighting his incurable cancer.

So, in the spirit of one of my favorite stories, Pray for Dad, I will, once again, email my brothers and sisters with the simple message to "pray for Dad."

* * *

Pray for Dad (my favorite paragraph is in italics)
by Elaine S. McKay

Twenty-one years ago last April, I came for the first time to the Salt Lake Tabernacle for a general conference of the Church. I was awed by the immensity of the building, but even more by the room-filling presence of the General Authorities who were assembled there.

In my growing-up years, many of them had visited our small branch in Montana. We had no television, nor could we receive conference on the radio. So we looked forward to each visit as a special blessing. They had, it seemed to me, a power and faith above other men.

Then on an April day 21 years ago, I discovered one source of a General Authority's strength.

I was seated with the six children of Elder Ezra Taft Benson, one of whom was my college roommate. My interest heightened when President McKay arose and announced the next speaker. I watched respectfully as Elder Benson, whom I had not yet met, walked toward the microphone. He was a big man, well over six feet tall. He was a man with a Ph.D., a man internationally known as the United States Secretary of Agriculture and a special witness of the Lord, a man who seemed serene and sure, one who had addressed audiences throughout the world. Suddenly a hand touched my arm. A little girl leaned toward me and whispered urgently, "Pray for Dad."

Somewhat startled, I thought, "This message is being passed down the row, and I am to pass it on. Shall I say, 'Pray for Elder Benson'? Shall I say, 'You're supposed to say a prayer for your father'?" Sensing the immediate need to act, I leaned over and whispered simply. "Pray for dad."

I watched that whisper move along the row to where Sister Benson sat, her head already bowed.

Many times since that day I have remembered that message: Pray for Dad, the patriarch of the home. Pray for him as he serves as district president or home teacher. Pray for him when he becomes executive secretary of a civic group, when his business flourishes, or when he takes a cut in salary. Pray as he gives counsel in family home evening. Pray for Dad who works long hours so that Jerold can go on a mission and Diane can go to college. Pray for him as he speaks in sacrament meeting or gives Mother a blessing that she might be made well again. Pray as he baptizes William or gives a tiny, newborn baby a name and a father's blessing. And in the evening, should he come home tired or discouraged, pray for him. Pray for Dad in all that he might do -- the small things and the great.

As years have passed, general conferences have come and gone, and each time President Benson has stood to speak, I have thought, "His children, who are scattered across the continent, are united now in prayer for their father."

And I have come to believe that the brief message that passed along the row some 21 years ago is the most important message a family can share. What extraordinary power and faith any man can have to meet the daily challenge of his life if somewhere in the world his daughter or son is whispering, "Pray for Dad."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Two Extremes

Last night we went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. On Monday nights, kids eat free. That's a real bargain for us! Including tip, our bill was just under $40. We only go a couple of times a year, but the kids love it. They love the peanuts most of all.

So we were enjoying our dinner and two of the "older" (by older I mean, older than me but not really old ... like maybe in their mid 50's-60's) couples sitting nearby started talking to us. They were asking our children's ages, names, etc. They were very friendly. In fact, when the first couple left, they told us they loved sitting near our family and how well-behaved the children were. (Really, I think they were too busy eating the peanuts to misbehave.)

When the second couple was leaving, the man and woman came over and told us how well-behaved our children were. The man (who was blind and being guided by his wife) handed each of my children a Sacagawea coin. How nice was that? He talked to us a few minutes, wished us a happy Thanksgiving, and then left.

A few minutes later, three men walked in. They looked around for a minute when one of the men stood at the end of our table, pointed to each of my children while counting and said, "Haven't you ever heard of cable TV?"

I was flabbergasted. I am usually not at a loss of words, but last night, I was. I think, in this case, it was a good thing. I'm sure a few nasty insults could have flown easily from my lips if I hadn't been so stunned.

So a lovely evening out with my family (whom I completely adore) was almost ruined by a selfish man who, perhaps, thought he was being funny. Luckily, my children are too young to understand such insensitive comments.

I'm not sure why, but there are a lot of people in this world who think that they can make insensitive remarks to people with large families. (It is a common occurrence.) I can't figure out the logic behind their behavior. Some strangers act like my children were "mistakes" and offer birth control advice. Perhaps some people think we will end up on welfare ?!? I don't know. Whatever their reasoning, they should just keep their nasty, not-so-funny comments to themselves. Because, one of these days, I'm not going to be taken aback and something not-so-nice is going to come out of my mouth and the shoe will be on the other foot.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Weekend of Nothing

This weekend, we did nothing. I only left the house to take out the trash and the recycling. Saturday's newspaper was still on the sidewalk when Joe came home from his trip on Sunday evening.

It was our first soccer-free weekend in a few months. It was a little chilly. And Joe was out of town. Why leave?

I cranked up the gas fireplace, grabbed a few blankets, and stayed inside. We had planned to go to church on Sunday morning, but Spenser has been sick, and I was not feeling so hot when I woke up on Sunday morning, so we played hookie.

The boys played outside. In fact, Carter and Jack spent a lot of time outdoors. They both requested "bows" out of sticks. So we made a set of three (one for Mason, too). They also requested I take their picture for my blog. So here they are ...

Then I sorted through the Halloween candy that was totally taking over my kitchen. This is what I threw away. And let me just tell you that there is still a ton left! I mostly threw away Tootsie Rolls (too many of those), Dubble Bubble gum (my kids don't need sugary gum! even though they like it), no-name brand lollipops and miscellaneous candies, and candy not wrapped well (no contamination, please). I was just trying to keep the really "good" stuff that we will eat. Otherwise, I'm sure we will have it until next Halloween!

And, I'm sorry if you are getting sick of this little man, but today he is 8 weeks old ...

He smiles now. He coos. He watches me when I "pop" in and out of view. He shivers when he's cold. (That really makes me sad. I don't remember my other children ever shivering that young! He only shivers when I take him out of the bath.) He hates baths! (Maybe that's why!) He has the blue-est eyes. He is losing his cute baby blond hair, but it is starting to grow back. He has a tuft of hair on top of his head that makes my brother call him part of the Lollipop Guild. He has the chubbiest little cheeks. I love him to pieces!

Friday, November 17, 2006

On a Roll

Yesterday was Mason's Thanksgiving program at preschool. He was a pilgrim (center with blue and gray baseball shirt). He was hysterical. While all the children sang and danced, Mason just stood there with a scowl on his face. Out of all of my children, Taylor is the only one who used to participate in these programs. The other three were not interested at all.

I'm on a roll today. I've already done a load of laundry. The dishwasher is running. The three older boys are off to school. And it's only 8:15 a.m. We're about to head to go grocery shopping, which I am dreading. Yesterday was my "day" to go shopping, but with Mason's preschool program and the nasty rainy weather, I couldn't bear dragging the children around anymore than necessary. So we're off today.

Joe left to go out of town this morning and won't be home until Sunday afternoon/evening. And there's no school next week for the Thanksgiving holiday! And Spenser's sick again. It will be an interesting weekend and upcoming week ...

Hopefully I can roll with it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dressing Up

My boys love to wear capes, so when thrifting last week Mason was so happy when we found a Batman cape ...

that was a reversible Superman cape!

It's a very simple construction. I'm just sorry that I didn't think of it first! Two for the price of one!

And Spenser is always trying on the boys' underwear! Hopefully this will only be a love for girl's boycut panties! (She's sporting two pairs in the above photo.)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I *Heart* Shoes

I love shoes. I think every woman does. I love shoes more when I get a good deal. The above shoes were my best deal ever! Ever! I went to Kohl's in search of a pair of casual shoes. My mother-in-law had given me two $10 coupons that she received in the mail and I was prepared to use them.

I found these Mudd shoes originally priced at $44.99. They were on sale for $26.99. At the register they rang up for $17.93. I used my $10 coupon (they only allowed one coupon per transaction) and my 15%-off discount for having a Kohl's charge. My total bill, including tax, was $7.08 !

Usually when I find a good deal on a pair of shoes, the shoes are size 6, 7, or something else too small for my feet. Rarely are there any size 9 shoes for a bargain. Score for me!

Next up. My Candies heels. (Joe liked the shoes and offered to buy them for me. Who was I to refuse?) They were originally $49.99 and on sale for $34.99. With my $10 coupon and 15% discount (and I bought a Christmas present for one of my children) the total bill was $31. So two pairs of shoes and a Christmas present for less than $40! I love a bargain.

P.S. I was wearing these heels on Sunday when I was towering over my husband. He is normally about 2 inches taller than I am, but when I wear heels, I am Amazon-ish.

And here is one of the thrifted items I picked up last week. It is a vintage baby bassinet. (I do not intend to put Sawyer in it.) I think it will become destined for fabric storage.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Look at the lovely pin cushion that I received from Capello! She made a ton of these and I am a lucky recipient. It is absolutely amazing and even more incredible in person! It is very well constructed.

And, she also sent a seam ripper (which she said is symbolic of her sewing style -- hee hee hee, I know that feeling!) and an organic bar of lavender and blueberry chocolate. Yummo! Thank you, Laura!

And here is little miss. She has been a naughty little thing since she turned two. She has been playing in my makeup and smearing it all over her body, the bathroom vanity, etc (more than once). My boys never played in my makeup before. I guess she's trying to be like me. What a compliment!

Monday, November 13, 2006

7 Weeks

It's hard to believe that my little man is 7 weeks old today. Yesterday in church he was blessed. It was his big day. He wore the same blessing outfit that each of his four older brothers wore. And atop his wee head was his hankie bonnet.

Sometimes I look at him and think he is so tiny, yet growing so big! (The above picture is here because I'm finally wearing my pillowcase skirt!)

And this is my finished WIP from Friday -- homemade, chocolate mint soap (via hot process method). It needs to harden a bit before I cut it into bars.

And for the 2 commenters that guessed correctly (Karyn and JoJo) I will send you a bar of soap! Sometimes it pays to comment! :-) [Please email me with your mailing address at carlorway(at)yahoo(dot)com. I will send it out later this week when it hardens a bit more.]

Friday, November 10, 2006

Thrifting and WIP

Joe and I went to the thrift store on a nearby army post. These are a few of the treasures we picked up. (I will post the others next week.)

An old Pyrex bowl ($2.50).

A vintage baby feeding dish (50 cents!). My mother had one of these that she used for us. I remember feeding my younger siblings from this type of dish. You pour hot water in the hole (to heat the baby food) and plug it up with a rubber stopper. The stopper to this one was missing, but 50 cents! I couldn't resist.

And this lot of vintage rickrack, hem facing, seam binding, zippers, needles, and a few other miscellaneous sewing supplies. (I paid more than I care to admit ...)

And this is my WIP for today. Can you guess what I'm doing?

I'll give you some hints. It involves both a stovetop and an oven. I need measuring utensils, other kitchen utensils, rubber gloves, eye protection, ventilation, and a scale. You cannot eat it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

An Ode to Motherhood

It's the tender moments like these

that make me smile.

And wonder

what is she up to?!?!? (I think she's about to pounce on her baby brother.)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Happy Tuesday

My mother bought Spenser this cute deer vintage wooden puzzle. She said that my older sister and I used to play with puzzles just like these when we were little. In my estimation, this puzzle must be 30+ years old. Spenser loves it. And so do the boys.

And to keep you smiling today, look at Jack in his pajama bottoms! He cracks me up!!! Whose kid is he anyway?

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Weekend Recap

Soccer season is almost over. Carter had his Under-8 soccer tournament. I think they lost all three games. I really didn't pay much attention. I was trying to stay warm (in the below-freezing temperatures for 3 1/2 hours), watch the kids, hold the baby, and talk to Nikki, while Joe had to work. Thankfully Nikki helped keep an eye on Spenser, who wanted to run all over the place and required two sets of eyes on her at all times! (Thanks, again, Nikki!)

And Taylor had 2 games, but Nikki's husband (Taylor's coach) drove Taylor both ways.

This Saturday: Taylor's soccer tournament. And then we're finished with soccer for this season!

Yes! More birthday celebrations! It was just a small family get-together. Just grandparents and 2 nieces and 1 nephew. (If you know my family, you know this is just a very small portion of it!)

I decided to have my two nieces stand in front of my fabric stash to compare their sizes. How embarrassing is that?!? And I hate to admit that there is more in the to built-in cabinet above this stash (to the left). And more in the formal living room ... And more ... (you get the point)

And have you seen this:

I have been enjoying browsing the pages. Things to cook. Things to bake. Things to knit. Things to crochet. Things to sew. Things to craft. The only thing I didn't like was that some of her "sewing" projects only require fabric glue and not sewing. That's just not right!

And would you believe that "littlest man" is 6 weeks old today? Do you know what that means? My 6-week checkup. I really hate those. My stomach is already in twists and knots thinking about it. (Yes, Jen, I will have to sit in that crazy exam chair! The one you love! ha ha ha)

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Morning After

We spent yesterday morning running errands. Spenser proudly wore her crown in every store.

Last night we had cupcakes and mini-cakes to celebrate her birthday. Joe came home in time for dinner and cake. Then Spenser opened her last present:

A wooden birthday cake set. And it was almost good enough to eat ...

And the one good thing about Joe going out of town besides TDY (which means more money in military terms) is the yummy hotel goodies he brings home for me. The Marriott that he stayed in uses Bath & Body Works! He has very strict orders (from me) not to use them!

And, with Joe home, I crashed on the sofa before 9:30 p.m., with a baby in my arms. (And missed half of Grey's Anatomy!)

FYI -- I ordered other wooden food toys for Spenser for Christmas. They are running a great promotion. I ordered this and this and received this for free. They are excellent quality wooden toys. (We already have this one, that the kids have always loved.)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, Spenser!

Today my little princess turns 2 years old! My, how time has flown!

My only girl. My only brown-eyed baby. My only brown-haired baby. Special in every way!

Adored at birth by her four older brothers. They continue to dote on her.

Spenser at age one. (above and below) I'm still squeezing her into that jean jacket this year!

Lovingly called: Beluga (from Baby Beluga on Country Goes Raffi); Princess, Pretty, Girl, Girlfriend, Baby Girl (and few other that escape my mind at the moment). Updated: Kim reminded me that we also affectionately call her "Pencil." I know it doesn't sound loving, but that is how Mason pronounces Spenser!

Every princess deserves a crown. (Inspired by this one.)