Showing posts from June, 2009

Keeping Busy

Summer is in full swing. The kids are keeping busy. And keeping me busy. There's lots to do and see. And not enough time in the day. ( Some people are relaxing.) Our chickens are "nesting" in the dirt. They love snuggling in the hole they've dug. Even if there are two or three chickens in there at a time.

A Little Unseasonal

I bought a large bag of apples at the wholesale club, per Spenser's request, and they did not taste good. Well, the flavor might have been okay, if I could get past the mushiness. They just did not pass my apple-eating-taste-bud inspection, so they sat a little long on the kitchen island. A few went to the chickens, who gobbled them up immediately. (They eat almost everything.) Yesterday I decided to make applesauce. We shared some with some elderly neighbors, and saved the rest for our dinner. We still ended up with a great big, vintage, bowl of applesauce. And after dinner, we had some to spare. I don't expect it to last past lunch.

The Girl Has Too Many Clothes

... so I made her two skirts. That would be me. The one who struggles to stuff everything into her daughter's dresser and then decides to sew her some new clothes. But how could I resist when I saw this cute fat quarter skirt ? I mean, I couldn't not make one (or two) for Spenser. How could I not, I ask? The skirt was super simple and whipped up in hardly any time at all and it's an inexpensive project, costing around $3 for the two fat quarters needed per skirt. For both skirts I used random widths. For the pink monkey skirt I used three fat quarters, but only about half each of the brown and yellow. (I wanted brown. She wanted yellow. So we decided to make it brown and yellow.) She loves them both. In fact, she strutted her stuff in the monkey skirt to church on Sunday and then again when we went on a family walk Sunday night. And, even though her dresser cannot possibly fit any more clothes, she is requesting a dress. Who am I to refuse?!?

Depot Day

Saturday our little town had it's annual Depot Day. 100+ years ago our town was bustling with railroad passengers. (There was even a hotel in town!) We have a little museum on Main Street at the original depot with old railroad memorabilia and a train garden. Every year we have a small fair with lots of yummy food, tours of the railroad museum and the large factory in town, yard sales, etc. They had a dunking booth this year and our mayor was in it. He is the boys' karate instructor , so they had a lot of fun trying to get him wet. Carter dunked him first, left handed (??). And Jackson got him next. The dunking booth was their priority. After that, we settled down for some lunch. We waited around until the dedication of the town bell. Apparently there was a college on this property over 100 years ago. This bell hung at the college and, when it was torn down, it sat in someone's basement for almost a century. It was donated back to the town and dedicated on Saturday. A

A Crappy Saturday

So Saturday was a crappy day. On Friday evening, I perked up a bit and decided that, if I continued to feel better, I would go for a run on Saturday morning. (My first run since getting sick on May 30th.) I got up, laced up my running shoes and publicly humiliated myself. That's right. I ran, or maybe huffed and puffed and barely moved my feet. I'm sure I looked like I was about to die as I ran up Main Street. (Oh, why did I pick Main Street to be my first run in two weeks?!?) I'm sure I could walk faster than I was moving during that "run." In fact, I was running so slowly that someone pulled over and asked me for directions! I kid you not. I was going to go for a short two miles, but had to cut it shorter. I stopped and walked twice and only went 1.5 miles. I ran two miles this morning ( on my treadmill , thankyouverymuch). Maybe some day I'll be able to run again in public. If that weren't depressing enough, on Saturday morning (shortly after my &qu

Beach Day

Yesterday my mother, three sisters, and one of my brothers took the children (15 children, total) to the beach for the day. It was a long day. The drive alone was more than three hours each way. The day seemed longer by the chilly weather (not sure if it hit above 70 degrees all day) and the wind. Oh, man, the wind!! So, we spent the day eating. And watching the kids bury each other in the sand. And build castles and forts and dig trenches and holes in the sand. And then our mother took our picture together. (From left: Emily, Kate, Craig, Lisa, and me in the hat.) It was so windy that I never took off my clothes that were over my bathing suit. And that towel became my beach wrap. The kids were much braver than we were. They got in the water. (The boardwalk was just as windy and cold.) Still, it was a great day. AND: Today is our 14th wedding anniversary. * * * * * I am starting to potty-train Sawyer today.

Teachers Gifts

It's that time of year again. The time where I scramble trying to find something affordable to give our ten teachers. This year I decided to give them covered notebooks. I used regular old composition books ($1 each) and jazzed them up a bit. I used this tutorial to get me started. After making a trial one, I decided against making a pocket for the back flap. (What can you really stick in there anyway?) I wanted to decorate the front more, but with being sick, I was lucky to make ten of these things without dying. (Yes, I realize three are missing, but those were gifted to Spenser's preschool teachers earlier in the week.) The children also gave their teachers a nice, plump, and very fragrant lavender plant. I figure the total cost of each gift was around $5. (Maureen, the school nurse, also received a gift. She does so much for my boys, as you can see by their "trips to the school nurse.")


Mason had a karate exam on Tuesday evening. He was promoted from yellow belt to red belt. For an extra credit project, Mason had to make something from a fairy tale using recycled items. He wanted to make a gorilla (his all-time favorite animal), but we couldn't think of any fairy tales that had gorillas in them, so we chose a pig instead. Taylor had to make a "museum replica" of someone he had been researching for Social Studies. His person was Hannibal. He wanted to make a papier-mâché project of a soldier on an elephant, but he procrastinated and then went to Outdoor School for a week and was running out of time. I came up with the idea to make a coin ( as shown here ). We used an old cereal box for the back, two layers of thick craft foam for the elephant and soldier, and thin craft foam for the details (like ear, tusk, soldier's leg, etc.). Then we covered it in aluminium foil. We rubbed black paint over the surface and slightly rubbed it off to to make it look a

The $2 Bandanna Skirt

Summer makes me think of gingham and bandanna prints, so it's no surprise that Spenser's latest summer skirt is made from bandannas. The skirt is super simple. I took two $1 bandannas, put them right sides together (making sure the words on the bandanna about being colorfast were at the top to be hidden by the casing), and sewed/serged up both sides (starting at the hem to make sure the hem was even at the end). Then I pressed down the top for the casing and sewed around the top of the skirt, leaving an inch to thread the elastic through. Then I sewed the elastic together and the opening shut. It took minutes . The skirt is already "hemmed," but if you need to shorten it, you can do that, too. Spenser wanted to keep hers long. I think it will fit her for several more years. (And judging by the size of Jackson, she might be 8 1/2 and still wearing the $2 skirt.)

Gingham Dress

A week and a half ago (before getting sick), I whipped up a little pink gingham dress for Spenser. I really wanted to make it in red gingham, but sadly, there was none in my stash. I had a momentary freak-out, but decided a pink gingham dress was better than no gingham dress. (I have some now , so don't you worry.) The dress is actually the Simplicity 4206 shirt, lengthened to a dress, like I usually make. Then I added a little ruffle along the bottom edge. It kind of looks like a nightgown. I made her a size four (she is 4 1/2), but it seems big on her, even the elastic around the neck. I figure she'll have it for this summer and next summer. * * * * Thank you for your concern last week while I was sick . I am happy to say that I think (and hope and pray) that my final fever broke early this morning. I went to bed with a temperature of 101.9 and rising. I awoke in a bed of sweat. I think it's gone. It's been a long week. My doctor ran some tests, including Lyme dise

Burning Up

Literally. I've had a fever going on four days now. Last night it reached 102.7 and I swore my skin was going to start to bubble and blister. It took over two hours to fall asleep because the heat of my body ricocheted off my feather bed, making me feel hotter than I already was. This morning I was only 99.9, but I can feel my cheeks getting hotter. I have perked up though. (I laughed a few times. And joked with the kids this very morning .) Just in time to get back to the dishes and laundry that have piled up. I'll be back. Eventually. I just didn't want you to think I was locked in the chicken coop again .