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Showing posts from August, 2008

Former Mullet Hunter, Yes. Stalker, No.

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Spenser is starting preschool next week. Yesterday we attended an ice cream social so she could meet the teachers. She has been so excited to start preschool, as she always loved it when we took the older boys. Yesterday, she was not so interested. She clung to me like static electricity. This was one of the only photos I took yesterday. One of the only times she wasn't attached to me. (Nikki, the little girl next to Spenser in the pink shirt holding the blue ball reminds me of a little Anna.) And I couldn't resist this shot of my little man with his hands in his pocket. Boy do I love that kid! Okay, so on with my Former Mullet Hunter, not a Stalker bit: A few years back my sisters and I took some photos of people with mullets . Just for laughs. And to show each other the fine mullet specimens we had found. Well, when Carter was in preschool (2002-2004) there was a very mullety mom. I remember just wanting to take her photo to show my sisters. I had the very chance on a h

Two Shirts

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I bought these two shirts in early spring thinking I would freezer-paper stencil them for Spenser and Sawyer. Yeah, that never happened. (Believe it or not, I have yet to try that technique.) Yesterday I found these in my to-do pile and realized if I didn't let them wear them soon, they would outgrow them. I decided the quickest way to save these shirts was a simple applique. I wasn't thinking both Spenser and Sawyer begin with the letter S , but oh well. I used the heavy-duty Heat 'n Bond that isn't supposed to require sewing. I've used it in the past and after a washing or two, it needed to be stitched down. I didn't stitch it down this time. I'm going to try my luck at it. You may have surmised that I made Mason's 6 shirt for his birthday . I made it Monday night, as soon as he went to bed. I had terrible sewing machine/thread/tension problems that night and a project that should have taken five minutes to satin stitch took over an hour. I had to t

Pardon My Randomness

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As soon as we unloaded the car and ate lunch on Sunday afternoon, Spenser and I headed to the garden. There were lots of tomatoes waiting for us after being away for a week. We filled her basket and she headed into the house to get something else. She came out with some of my Pyrex. I think I was calm on the outside, but on the inside I was screaming "Don't drop it!!!!" We filled a few Pyrex bowls full of cherry and Roma tomatoes. I gotta love a girl who values the beauty of Pyrex. I received the nicest surprise package yesterday from Rachael . It was a huge box filled with something for everyone. And I do mean everyone . Chocolate popping elves and eggs. Bubbles. Activities for the boredom bucket . 2010 Winter Olympic stickers and tattoos. Canadian flag muffin papers and flags. Strawberry Shortcake barrettes and lip gloss. And, the cutest, cutest, cutest color pencils ever ... Oh. My. Goodness. I don't know who is more enthralled with them. Me or Spenser. It'

A Special Day

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Four backpacks all lined up ... The oldest starts middle school today ... Sixth grade! Three big boys return to elementary school ... And do you see this boy? This boy is turning six today. On his first day of first grade. Happy birthday, Mason! I can't believe it has only been six years since you joined our family. It feels like an eternity. In a good way. A very good way. I love you, boy.

What a Week!

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Yesterday we came home after a week's vacation in the mountains of Western Maryland . And what a busy time we had. We spent four afternoons on the beach of Deep Creek Lake. One evening on the Mountain Coaster . Jackson was my passenger. On the first curve, I didn't brake enough and it scared me just a little . I made sure to slow down on all future curves. Two afternoons at the falls where the boys played in the rapids and we geocached and hiked. A little hot-tubbing for all. We only allowed the children to stay in for a few minutes at a time. (Note to self: sunburn + hot tub = pain !) Joe took the boys kayaking. One at a time. And a little jealous girl got to go for a spin, too, loving every minute of it. And plenty of sunshine. Smiles. Attitudes. Eating. Homemade ice cream (every night but one). Laughing. Loving. And lounging in the best cabin ever. The most memorable part of the trip was an early morning visitor we had. We did not realize we had such a visitor un

From Our Garden

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I don't think there are words to describe how I am feeling. I have to say that I have the best readers and the best of the best commenters in all of blogworld. No doubt about it. You are the greatest. The absolute best. You have lifted my spirits with your comments over the past few days. Yesterday I felt your support in such strong waves. More than once I was brought to tears. In a good way, of course. I don't think a mere "thank you" is enough, but thank you. From the very bottom of my heart to the very tippy top, thank you , my friends. The above photo is part two of "You know you're a redneck when you are growing pumpkins in your front yard." This is so in front of our house, it is creeping onto our sidewalk. They were not planted on purpose. It must be another case of Halloween pumpkins and miniatures rotting before being tossed away. These three volunteer whatever-they-are gourds were found growing in the same place the pumpkins grew two year

I Want a Do-Over

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Wednesday was pretty much crap. Joe had to go out of town yesterday afternoon, so we spent the early part of the day buying new school shoes for the boys. They were picking on each other the entire time we were out. I was about to lose my mind. I think summer break has lasted long enough and I'm ready for school to start again. I know it sounds horrible to say it, but it's the truth. The boys have been fighting with one another. They have been disobedient. They have been wild. I think they need to be separated for awhile. They've been together too long. This happens every summer. I'm also experiencing summer's remorse . I had a long list of things for us to do this summer, and we didn't do them. I wanted to take them to the free movies (at least once). It didn't happen. I wanted to take them to a nearby lake to swim. It didn't happen. I wanted to take them bowling. It didn't happen. And here, as usual, I beat myself up over these trivial things.

Treasures From the Swap Shop

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We've visited the the Swap Shop several times over the past month or so and picked up a few treasures each time. (We also took a giant truckload of toys and miscellaneous household goods that we were eager to get rid of before Purple Heart's next pickup.) These are in no particular order: A small children's piano, a wooden Little People and a vintage plastic Fisher Price high chair (I had the entire set as a child) and a wooden bench for Spenser's dollhouse. A bunch of vintage patterns. I think most are in the size 16 range, but because my size seems to fluctuate , I figure these are good. There is one ugly late 80's-early 90's pattern on the top left that I accidentally picked up under duress. (Some fool was arguing with a lady over a lamp that she picked up that he wanted and it turned ugly. He was screaming, cussing, and threatening her. Joe asked him politely to stop cursing around our children and his ugliness was diverted toward Joe.) Two plates. I&#

Mother of the Year, I Am Not

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On Wednesday evening (yes, Wednesday evening) Sawyer fell off of a kitchen stool while I stood next to him chopping chives. It was a thud that every mother hates to hear. The smack of the side of his head onto the hard floor below. It made me sick. I scooped him up and tried to comfort him. He was crying. He was dripping from his eyes, nose and mouth (just saliva, but lots of it). I checked his pupils and they responded to light. He finally settled down after about 20 minutes. I was so worried about his poor head. I knew it hurt. I heard it and it hurt my head just hearing it repeat in my head over and over and over again. When he finally calmed down enough, he touched his collar bone and said, "boo-boo." I hadn't even realized that he had landed on his shoulder area. I had been so concerned about his head. Sawyer was able to move his arm and was even able to put his arm into his bib with minimal discomfort. He seemed better. Just bruised. Thursday he seemed the same

It Has Changed My Life

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For over twelve years, I have been wearing nursing bras, as I was pregnant and/or nursing for that long. Even though Sawyer recently decided to (suddenly) wean himself this past spring, I have been still wearing those darn bras. Ones I bought toward the end of my pregnancy with Spenser. It might not be so bad if they fit. They didn't fit. They were, um, how shall I say this? ... Baggy ... Yes. My bras were baggy . There I said it. Nine years of nursing have done me in. I was still waiting for my body to regulate itself and I promised myself (every day and night) that I would buy new bras soon . (Taking six kids bra shopping is not my idea of a good time.) Wearing an improperly fitting bra is terrible. If you haven't tried it yet, I wouldn't recommend it. It can really ruin your day. I can say that now because I see what it's like on the other side. The side of fitted bras. In the past, I have consulted websites to measure myself for a ballpark figure of w

Making Me Smile

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Here are a few of the wonderful goodies I've received lately: A giant bag of goodies (not all pictured) from my Canadian friends, Karyn and Dianne , on their recent visit. They brought a ton of stuff for each of my six children and for Joe as well. It was like Christmas in July. Part of the loot included a Canadian flag magnet, two tablecloths (look at that sweet red one with doilies!), a thread-catcher for my sewing area, a set of Karyn's beautiful cards , homemade soap (strawberry and peppermint-pumice), a soapmaking book and an amigurumi book. Note to self: must perfect crochet skills soon to make butterflies! Too cute! Then I received a bag of ribbons and trims from Brenda . Brenda recently started a blog of her own and mainly sews for her adorable grandchildren (her blog is even named after them). She has been sewing for many years and I think we can all learn a lot from her. Thank you, Brenda! This will keep me busy for awhile. And the last of my goodies maki

A Little Paint Goes A Long Way

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On Friday we slipped into the Swap Shop at our local landfill. I found these two, inexpensive silver-plated dishes ( for free ). Pretty unimpressive as is, but, when cheap, silver dishes + Lera + spray paint are mixed together ... things that were previously old, plain, ordinary, and boring are given a new life. I used Krylon Indoor/Outdoor spray paint in Cherry Red and Celery in gloss. And it looks even more impressive with pound cake on top. Edited to add: I am not sure if spray paint is "food safe" as far as painting for everyday use, including knife use. The pieces that I have painted are going to be used as serving pieces, not eating-off-of pieces. I would think the food would be as safe on these pieces as they would sitting a cookie, M&Ms, etc., on top of a painted piece of furniture or chair and then eating it. As long as you aren't scraping up paint with a fork, knife, fingernail, etc., it should be safe. That's just my opinion, though.

Finding Lost Treasures

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Back in January, I made a batch of chocolate-coconut soap. I put the hot soap mixture into a 3" PVC pipe so I could have round bars. It wasn't my original idea, I read about it in a book and I followed all the directions on how to properly lubricate the pipe and cap it so the soap doesn't leak, etc. All was said and done. When it came time to un-mold the soap, it would. not. budge. I'm talking not even a millimeter. I pounded the mold. Joe pounded the mold. Nothing. It sat in my laundry room on top of my dryer for six months. I had all but forgotten about it. Sometimes my children would ask about the "creepy brown stuff in that pipe," and I would answer, "it's my soap and it's stuck." I never thought much more about it. About two weeks ago, Joe decided it was time to try again. And, what do you know, it came out of the mold. It was still soft to the touch, and I think it was lye-heavy because we had some tingling sensations when we handled t

Last-Minute Gifting

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I sewed (and should have pressed) this little dish-detergent apron less than an hour before we had to be at Joe's mother's house for a "surprise" birthday gathering a few weeks ago. I folded a piece of paper in half, put the fold in the center of the bottle and drew a shape. After I cut it out, I tweaked it a little more by rounding the edges on the bottom. Then I added the trim. When it came time to measure the hoop for the neck, I just held them up together and pinned it. Pretty easy, although I was stressed that I had left so little time to make it. (It was supposed to be part of her Mother's Day gift that never happened.) I guess that's what happens when you are invited last minute, though. I also grabbed a jar of blueberry jam on the way out the door. And Saturday my grandmother (right) turned 95! She is the sweetest, sweetest lady in the world. She is so very kind and generous. I have never heard her speak an ill-word about anyone. The worst thing

The Post about Pyrex

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There has been a steady influx of vintage Pyrex over the past few weeks. Really, they are easy to spot and pretty affordable ($2-3 each). On one visit to the thrift store (I think to buy the chair ), I found both of these. There was only one out at the time, but the girl was unloading a cart of stuff and found the other one for me. And, I have a tip for you. Make nice with the thrift workers. This particular girl remembers me and my taste and actually called me over as she found the second casserole dish. And don't just be nice so you find good scores. It always pays to be nice. There are enough rude and obnoxious people out there. Don't be one of them. :-) And then I really scored when I found this set. It wasn't even being sold as a set. The pieces were priced individually. I think I squealed in delight when I saw this baby. It includes a 9x13, 8x8 (or 9x9) and a loaf pan. In near perfect condition. I always use my small Pyrex bowls for salads. The one on the right is ti