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Showing posts from 2009

The Toy that Made me Jump out of Bed Screaming - True Story

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See this innocent wooden skewer? Well, last night it had me jumping out of bed (in the dark) screaming. Why, you ask? Well, sit back and relax, because after the story you might not be able to relax. The week before Christmas I was rushing around to get my boys off to school. It was a chilly morning, so I watched for the bus from the front door. As soon as the bus pulled away I noticed that the boys had left their bedroom lights on. Which is a cardinal sin in our house. Punishable by loss of computer time. So I went upstairs to turn off the lights. And then I remembered it was Tuesday. And Tuesday is the day I strip the bed and wash the sheets. (It used to be Friday, but with Spenser's new preschool schedule this year, it is Tuesday. It's subject to change next year when Sawyer starts preschool.) So, as I picked up Joe's pillow to take off the pillowcase I noticed something. It was a freaking mouse sitting on my bed between our pillows. (See, I warned you that you wo

Buckwheat - RIP

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We had our first chicken tragedy on Saturday. I went out to gather eggs and check the chickens, and noticed one wasn't running when I made my "kissing" sounds that make them come running. Without even looking at her, I knew she was dead. Buckwheat. She was my favorite. She was an Aracauna with black and white feathers. She was beautiful. The kids sometimes called her Roadrunner because if she got out, that girl could run. I ran up to the house to get Joe. Carter knew something was wrong. He is so attached to these chickens. He nearly beat Joe out the door trying to get there as fast as he could. Carter cried and, as I hugged him, I gave him the "life on a farm is tough" talk. Not that we live on a farm. But we do have a chicken coop, smokehouse, and barn on our property. It was once a little farm. Joe scooped her up with a shovel and asked me what he should do with her. And, being the practical farm girl that I am, I replied, "Oh, just toss her over th

Merry Christmas

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from our family to yours.

Candy Cane Pillows

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First it was the candy corn craze and now it's the candy cane craze. Last Christmas I made a few candy cane things , but had ideas for many more. I just didn't have time to do anything about it. One of the things I wanted to make was a new pillow cover for the candy corn pillow . After a quick stop to the fabric store for something last week, I noticed this candy-cane striped fleece as a remnant. I thought it might be the closest I would get to a candy cane pillow this year, so I snagged it. I washed it immediately and whipped up a quick pillow. The kids love it, but it wasn't what I had in mind. And when Lera's mind is set on something, it is set on something . And there is no room for negotiating. So yesterday, amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holiday-birthday season, I sat down to think. And that usually translates into running or sewing. Since I had already run that morning, it only left sewing as my option. I grabbed scraps of red and white and w

I am the Mom of a Teenager

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This teenager, in fact. This boy has up and turned 13 today. It kills me. How did this happen? I was so not ready to have a teenager. And it suddenly makes me feel so old. This is the boy that made me a mother. This is the boy that made me labor for days before he would exit my body. The boy that made this mama have contractions every five minutes for over 40 1/2 hours straight. The boy that was so large for this mama (a big 8 lbs. 13 oz.) that she pushed for an exhausting two hours and 42 minutes before he came into this world. The boy that was so very bloody that he looked like he had been dipped in red paint from his waist to the very top of his wee giant head. The boy that made his mama lose so much blood during delivery that she passed out and went into convulsions shortly after he was born. The boy who nurses nicknamed "the bloodiest baby we've ever seen," who made this mama nicknamed " the one who passes out." Yes. It's that boy. The birthday

It's Beginning to Look {a little} Like Christmas

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Truth be told, I haven't really been full of the Christmas spirit this season. I think I could be in Christmas denial, but I want to blame it on the heavy birthday season that is coming upon us. I couldn't really think about Jackson's birthday (party) until Thanksgiving was over. And then, I couldn't start thinking about Taylor's birthday ( this Sunday) until Jackson's was over. And then we have Christmas and Carter's birthday to end the year. I've been going through the motions, just hoping for survival at the end. Earlier in the week I decided it was time to start getting our Christmas trees up. Through past experience, I know better than to decorate the house before Jackson's party. If you recall the party from two years ago, the party goers flipped over my sofa during their banshee-style siege on my house. As I started to decorate the tree in our formal living room I came upon an ornament that said, "celebrate" and another that

Flower Shirt

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I have already publicly professed my love of white shirts. So, when the idea of flowers hit me it was coupled with another flower idea. I knew it would have to be in white. I am the kind of gal who wears white after Labor Day . This was so very quick and simple. It's just a $5 long-sleeved shirt from Target (not even on sale). I took an old white tee and cut a strip off. Then I did a long basting stitch along one long edge of the strip and gathered the bobbin thread. It ruffled perfectly. Then I sewed the ruffle directly onto the shirt, in a circle, close to the basting stitch. Easy peasy. Done and done. How's that for simple and quick? I wore it Thanksgiving Day and as soon as I removed my cardigan, my sister exclaimed, "I just bought a shirt like that!" And then she admitted she spent more than $5.

Sweater Capelets Times Two

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After seeing this cute sweater capelet tutorial , I thought it would be something that I'd like to do. Especially because I had been invited to attend a charity concert and knew I'd have to dress "more professionally," according to my mother. So off to the thrift store I went. And let me tell you, there are some ugly sweaters out there in this world. And I do mean Ug.ly . With a capital U . Most made with nasty-feeling acrylics. Anyway, moving forward ... I went into the thrift store and could not find a decent sweater. I finally settled on a gray cotton sweater that seemed to be in good shape. I came home and threw it in the wash, only to discover that there was a huge hole at the bottom hem. I had planned to use the hem of the sweater as the top of the capelet, but oh well. The sweater was so extra large that I had plenty of sweater left to make my own hem. (It just would have gone a lot quicker if I could have used that hem.) So I made the capelet and th

Nine

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Jackson is nine. My artistic, fun-loving boy is nine. It seems like yesterday my water broke before bedtime and my doctor tried to convince me it was only urine. And so I waited until it happened again. Only minutes later. So off we went to the hospital. After getting checked into the hospital, they started to induce labor. At 4:20 a.m. I was 5 cm. But by 5:15 a.m., I was in full panic mode. I told Joe I felt like I needed to push. He gently reminded me that I was only 5 cm and couldn't push yet. So I ignored it. Until the next contraction. It's hard to explain, but I could feel the baby's head "clunking" down through my body. He was definitely engaged. I told Joe, again, I needed to push. And he gave me the same advice that I couldn't push yet. That's when I had a mini freak-out. I fumbled around in the bed to look for the nurse's button and as soon as I saw the red button, I pushed it. When the nurse called back in, Joe casually told her, &q

Ruffled Lampshade

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A long time ago I thrifted some really fun milk-glass lamps . I instantly fell in love with them, but they were shadeless. For months I had searched high and low to find the perfectly-shaped shade and, I was convinced, it was not to be found. So I settled on regular-shaped shades instead. I found some fabric from my stash that would accent my bedroom (and "new" table ) and decided upon white pompom trim for the bottom. Well, that's been the hold-up for a year and a half. I could not find white pompom trim. Every. Single. Time I would go into the fabric store, they would have pompom trim in every color under the sun. Except white. I had a teensy bit left from Spenser's Easter capelet , but it was only enough for one lampshade. Well, maybe the white, pompom-fringed lampshade was never meant to be because a few weeks ago I had the brilliant idea to make ruffles for the lampshade. And as soon as I received said inspiration, I could not rest until they were finished

Town Council Funeral Skirt

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So, the day before the funeral my mother asks what I'm wearing. And then she reminds me that, now that I'm on town council , I need to dress "professionally" for some events. Uh ... I don't know. Joe is wearing his "dress blues," which is the equivalent of the military's tuxedo and I'm wearing .... Ohmygoodness! What am I going to wear?!? You would think after a decade or so of only wearing black, that I'd have a bunch of black in my wardrobe. But I don't. I still have the skirts I wore to Kristen's funeral, but they are seven years old and I was two-weeks postpartum then. And I have a black pencil skirt, but that just didn't seem right to me. So what's a girl to do? Well, whip up a black skirt as quickly as possible. I gave the fitted A-line skirt another go. And, again, it was too large. But it just had to do. I used some velvety soft black, no-wale corduroy that I had bought to make a Halloween dress for Spenser. I had

Awards

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During my brief hiatus, we had a lot going on with the boys and cub scouts. Jackson earned his Wolf. Carter earned his Religious Knot, Webelos, and ... The Arrow of Light. Both boys have been working very hard on their scout stuff and we are very proud of them. And Taylor, my almost 13-year-old, is finishing his last merit badge required for Eagle. He is just one project away from being an Eagle Scout. (It helps that Joe is an Eagle Scout, which he earned as a 13- or 14-year-old. You would think after three boys in scouting, I'd know what I'm doing. But I don't. I have a lot to learn before Mason and Sawyer are old enough to join.)

Thoughts From a Marine's Funeral

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(watching the funeral procession, taken via my cell phone) November 16, 2009 Joe and I just returned from the funeral of a young marine killed in Afghanistan. At the end of the funeral, the Marine’s father went up to the casket and tapped on it. Then he escorted the young widow out. After the church funeral, we went outside for the military proceedings. It was completely silent standing outside. The only sound was the giant American flag blowing in the wind. And the very hungry stomach of a person nearby. No one spoke. I could hear repeated taps. I couldn’t see what it was at first. Then I realized the taps were the feet of the Marines who were carrying the casket. Small, short, quick and precise steps in unison. Each made with exactness. As the flag was lifted off the casket, Joe pinched the back of my thigh and said, “behind us.” (He was still standing at “attention” so he wasn’t supposed to move or speak.) When I turned around I saw and heard the 21-gun salute. And then the

Plaid Scarf

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(See. My hair does not look purple .) I was browsing through some blogs a few weeks back when I stumbled upon a cute, simple scarf . I thought, "Hmm. I'm always cold. It looks easy. I think I shall do this." And that was that. A few days later I slipped into the fabric store for Halloween fabrics and picked up some homespun cotton. And then it sat. I guess you can blame it on my fall because everything sat. And only absolute priorities were taken care of, like Halloween and a little girl's birthday . Everything that was non-essential was put on hold. Well, now that my knees are not grossly swollen anymore and are only grossly bruised now, I'm trying to get back to my regularly-scheduled life. And so I made it this week. Complete with the fringed edge. It does keep a neck warm. Random Updates: A Marine was killed this weekend in Afghanistan. He was from the outskirts of my town. It's very sad. While I did not know him personally, as a mother and the

The Quiche Project

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Two years ago our family started Operation Service . Our goal was to serve a nutritious meal to some of our elderly neighbors. We have one widow and two widowers right on our little end of the street. They are so kind to us and our children. Some weeks are better than others with actually getting the meal out and delivered. It really depends on what I'm serving my family for dinner. If I prepare a roast, I always share. If I prepare a potpie with leftover roast, I only sometimes share. (I have to make sure there is enough to feed my own family first.) When I decided I wanted chickens, my plan was to make quiche as part of Operation Service. For some reason, older people love this bacon-cheddar quiche, as I have discovered through several family members. So yesterday afternoon, I decided to use some of the dozens of eggs in my fridge, and I set out to make quiches. Two, in fact. One to split amongst the neighbors and one for the children's breakfast. And while it was still

He Said ...

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he loved me more than all the rainbows at his house. At first I didn't know what he meant. But I think I now do. I am forever grateful for three-year-old boys.

Purple

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This morning's smoothie. Blackberry-banana-peach smoothie with cottage cheese . Carter's eye after being kicked with soccer cleats during a pregame soccer warm-up. (He was helping Jack's team warm-up and was the goalie.) Shoes? I thought they would be more red than they are. Oh well. I've never owned purple shoes before. These are this year's birthday shoes. A little tradition I started a few years ago when I saved up birthday money and bought shoes at a price I would never normally pay. Last year I bought the boots . These fun shoes are from two years ago. Hmmm ... I can't find any record of what I bought in 2007. I'll need to research this. (The day that I bought those faux-red-mostly-purple shoes they had a sale, so the shoes were $20 off. That's my kind of deal.) Oh, and my hair was almost purple-pink last week. I decided to color it and in the lighting it appeared to have a purplish tint. Of course I freaked out, but it was just my imagi

Halloween 2009

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The kids went trick or treating on Saturday night. Taylor went with some friends from school. The other five went with our family friends. Taylor was something. I'm not quite sure what. He wore that cape and carried a sword. Jackson and his friend, Lorenzo, were soldiers. Carter was a scuba diver. Kallie (family friend) was Scooby - Doo . Mason was a zombie. (He decided to forgo the white and black face paint he wore for our church's trunk or treat last week.) Spenser was a witch. And Sawyer was Peter Pan. I only made a few of the costumes this year including: Peter Pan. I took the easy route and used green craft felt. I found a red feather for his cap. He wore a pair of Spenser's brown leggings under the tunic. They were supposed to be green, but we didn't have green. A witch. A store-bought black shirt with a black felt skirt (cut with a jaggedy hem) and an orange tulle "tutu" overskirt . She really wanted to be a witch. I tried to talk her ou

Five

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A beautiful girl in our house turns five today. And her gift of the day? Fifth disease . How's that for poetic justice? She woke up with the happiest attitude and the rosiest cheeks. One look at her and I knew. This is our first case of this virus. And it happens to the girl on her fifth birthday. We had a little birthday tea party for her yesterday with her girl cousins. I surely hope that we didn't contaminate anyone before her symptoms appeared this morning. (She never had a fever or any signs of being sick.) And here is the thrifted china I found back in the spring/summer. I figured she's want another tea party like last year . I love you, my girl. I hope your cheeks come back to normal color soon. Have the happiest birthday, my little love.

Funny Things to See

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A bird in our flag bunting. Joe said one flew away (over his head). This one stayed. I had a feeling something was living in them. They are noisy. And check this out. I boiled some of our eggs and this one was a double yolk. I've never seen anything like it. I asked the kids who wanted to eat the egg with two half-yolks (everyone wanted a half). Jackson replied, "Do you mean the whole yolk? Two halves make a whole." Funny little smart kid.