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Showing posts from 2010

My Eagle

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On Saturday night Taylor and I traveled to go meet up with Joe at his Annual Training Conference in Lancaster, PA. It was going to be a special night. Each year they have a boring training conference and a boring awards ceremony. I stopped attending these things because, well, they are boring. There I said it and I don't feel guilty about it. I went for the first few years of our married life, but then we had too many children and then the children started school and it just wasn't as easy to pack up for a three-day weekend as it was with preschoolers. (And, I really don't like to leave my children. I have only left them when I had a baby and I left some of them when Joe took me out for my birthday one year , but we had three kids, one of which was a newborn Sawyer, so that really doensn't count as being away.) Anyway, my in-laws came and stayed with the younger five while Taylor and I went on a road trip. And, by the way, Taylor is not an enjoyable traveling compan

Tagging It

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Every year I make new gift tags. Even though I'm sure I have some left over from last year (and the year before, and probably the year before that) I still made more. While I have a "gift tag" punch, I love the simplicity of a round tag with a hole punched through it and strung on bakers twine . Oh, how I love bakers twine. I bought a spool a few years ago and it's still going strong. (I actually bought mine from them on eBay, but when I checked recently, they are no longer selling on eBay. They also have nice jelly roll pans.) Spenser has been fully involved in tag-making. I think I left to answer the phone and she took over. Gotta love her. Last year (?) after Christmas I found these Martha Stewart craft punches on clearance. Spenser and I found the perfect craft: gift tags ! We punched into little cards cut from scrap pieces of cardstock. I used poster tape to adhere it to packages, but I could easily punch a hole in the corner and string it on ... bakers twi

Paper Dolls & Puppets

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Last Friday the three elementary-school-aged kids in our house had early dismissal from school. (The two older boys were not happy they had a whole day of school.) Knowing that the minute my children walk in the door, they start arguing and fighting about who is getting on the computer first, I was armed with ideas. I printed some Christmas word searches and mazes for each of them. The website I found had different levels, so each child got the appropriate-aged puzzle. And that kept them quiet. For a bit. Spenser then worked on addressing her class Christmas cards. And then we decided to break out the new Cricut cartridge I had bought on clearance the week before: Paper Doll Dress Up . Now, I have to admit that this was as much for myself as it was for Spenser. I'm not going to lie about this. I felt a little giddy when I saw it. And I seriously cannot believe I waited a week to break it out. I should also admit that it was my first cartridge purchase. ( Although not the last .)

Christmas Cards - 2010 Edition

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It was that time of year again. Remember that? If you don't, go back for a fun read and hurry back. So, it's a time of year I don't particularly look forward to. I felt like we've exhausted backyard shots. (Although I did come up with a few new ideas. Maybe next year ...) Anyway, I started to think about 2010 and how one of the biggest accomplishments of the year was Taylor completing his Eagle Scout project . It seemed only fitting that we would include one of his benches in our family Christmas card shoot. After about 200 shots, we picked this one. Sawyer looks goofy, but at the age of four, he is allowed to look goofy. He reminds me of Mason that one year . Oy . We told the children to put on their sweaters because they were not going to wear their coats. Amazingly only the four younger ones listened. We didn't even realize it until we were getting out of the car and told the kids to leave their coats in the car. Taylor and Carter were cold, but that's a

Adventing

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Yesterday was a busy day. We went to church and then attended a huge family Christmas (reunion) party . Santa was supposed to come through town on the fire engine last night , but rain kept ol' Saint Nick home. (He's rescheduling for next Monday.) I tried to console the children that they had just seen Santa (on a fire engine no less ) at our family Christmas party just two hours earlier. I think they're cool with it now. So we had some "down time" last evening. As always, I turned on my Christmas music and everyone just kind of did their own thing: playing, making, creating, etc. For Advent I had picked out a few crafty things to do throughout the month. Sadly, our busy family life has us going in different directions on most weeknights, so our Advent has mostly been drinking hot chocolate with a candy cane (or cool snowman-shaped marshmallows); drinking eggnog; family movie night (on a school night! with popcorn); and other holiday treats. Last night was the

Vogue 7871 Dress

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Last night our town held the MML 's Christmas dinner for our county. While our local chapter of MML meets frequently (monthly? quarterly? I'm not even sure), I rarely attend. I went one time last year, which I think was also the Christmas dinner. I don't go often, mostly, because of the cost for the town. It usually costs around $30 per person for food. Our little town of 900 people is struggling just like major cities. But, since we were hosting it, we all agreed to attend. I had planned to make a dress this past summer and never did. How typical of me. So when I heard about this dinner, I knew it was time. I used the fabric I had originally picked out this summer, which is a thrifted sheet. Or something. I thought it was a sheet, then I realized it was homemade. So maybe it was a shower curtain. I'm not sure. It's hard to tell but it's off-white with a reddish-pink floral design. I thought it could also double as a Christmas outfit with red and white. Or redd

Around the House

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Last week, before Jackson's birthday party, I started decorating a bit. I put up two of the three Christmas trees and fought with Christmas lights the entire time. Then I hung lighted garland around my front door. And fought with Christmas lights the entire time. I had exhausted myself with Christmas lights. Those darn buggers.* I always save the "big" children's tree in our family room for last. Mostly because of Jackson's birthday party. I can just imagine the tree falling over with that rambunctious group of boys . So, like I said, I started decorating last week. The above picture is in our newly-painted kitchen. (We hung up bead board and painted the walls. More on that later. Maybe.) I had some of my vintage aprons hanging on the above shelf. Last week I decided they needed some seasonal sprucing up, so it got a makeover. The Advent Christmas Stocking Garland has been hanging since Advent-Eve night, after the kids were in bed. The children look forward to

A Decade Old

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Today, Jackson is a decade old. It's hard to believe another ten years have flown by. On Saturday we celebrated his birthday with some friends from school. I think this is the third year in a row he has invited the same friends. As in years' past, I am always leery of Jackson and his friends coming together. And I have good reason ... Remember the sofa they flipped? I will never forget that party as long as I live. Anyway, it's been cold and windy, but I figured it would be a perfect day to send the kids outside to do an outdoor activity. And, would you believe it, they actually begged to go outside before the activities started. I sent Joe and another father out to supervise, while I heated up some food. (Which was clearly my excuse to stay inside.) While they were eating, Carter and I went outside to hide the loot for the scavenger hunt. The list of items to find included: a pencil (hidden on the fence), a Christmas stocking (quickly sewn by me the night before,

Pointy Elf Hat

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About a month ago I sat down to knit the Pointy Elf Hat as seen on the cover of More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts . I'm still using leftover orange yarn. I think we're about out of it, so this may be the last of the orange knitted projects. One can only hope. The hat was a fun, quick knit and the children have been fighting over who gets to wear it. Some day (after our three December birthdays and parties and Christmas) maybe I'll make a few more. As of right now, Jackson's birthday party is tomorrow and Taylor's is (maybe ?) next Saturday. Taylor will not decide who or when. He's being fickle and won't tell us what he'd like for Christmas. Oh, the joys of teenage boys. I better get the hang of it soon. My life is about to become the life of teenage boys.

Which Came First ...

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the skirt or the bag? Actually, it was the bag. My sister-in-law decided she wanted to learn to sew and she bought a sewing machine. I told her I'd help anytime she needed it. She emailed me a link to a bag she wanted to make. It made me laugh because I had printed it a year and a half ago and never made one. She came over and I helped her make one. As she was sewing, I whipped one up, too. The closest fabric I had nearby was the vintage sheet. Thinking that I would not have time to make a Thanksgiving skirt, I thought I'd "settle" on a new bag. Lucky me, I got both. The bag is extra tiny. Well, tiny for me. I took it to a choral concert ( the same benefit concert as last year ),* and it was the perfect size for a very rare, once-a-year date night. And you can see the little ruffly flower I attached to the front. I hand-stitched it in place so I won't lose it. Because you know I would. *Oh, and yes they announced my name again at the concert. At least t

Circle Skirt a.k.a. The Thanksgiving Skirt

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Happy belated Thanksgiving! We had a great Thanksgiving holiday. Well, except the kids had off of school all week and they fought and made messes all over the house. I'd be lying if I said I was sad to see them leave for school this morning. But even amidst the chaos, that is my life, last week, I had to make another Thanksgiving skirt. I always have grand plans, but then run out of time. Again this year, I made plans and waited until Wednesday to start (and finish) the skirt. The fabric I chose was a no- brainer . A friend of mine found this fun vintage sheet at the thrift store and knew it would make a fab skirt. In fact, when it was in her cart someone asked her if she was going to make a skirt from it and she replied, "No, my friend will." And right she was! (I love that my friends and family know me well enough to know what I like ... and what I can make with it.) I made a circle skirt. Which is very twirly. Very twirly. The skirt has a side zipper and a vint

Hooded Towels

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Remember when we so happily got new towels earlier this year? I think I neglected to report that Spenser and Sawyer were still using old towels. Sawyer rotated between two towels: a hooded towel I bought before he was born (ahem, four years ago ) and a hooded towel a friend gave Mason when he was born. They were both well-used and not as soft as they once were. Spenser's towels were just as old. Well, actually, older . After all, she is two years older than Sawyer ... Part of the problem is that our clawfoot bathtub is in our first-floor bathroom for all to see. I was having a hard time, once again, finding towels to complement that room (which is a pale pink). Inexpensive towels can be so ugly. Anyway, I found an affordable light blue set and a more-pink-than-I-wanted pink set. I was just going to make them simple, until a google search helped me find this tutorial . I love them. And I find that I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner.

Not Good

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In the words of Scooby-Doo , " ruh-roh ." Late yesterday afternoon I was getting ready for parent-teacher conferences and my glasses broke. Luckily I was able to call my doctor's office to get a referral and called and scheduled an appointment for today. At least it was my today. I showed up today and was told my appointment is actually tomorrow . Someone had their days messed up. And it wasn't me . Unfortunately Mason has an "emergency" orthodontist appointment at the same time the office said I was scheduled, so it's not going to work out for me tomorrow. Or next week when the kids are home from school all week for Thanksgiving. And, as it looks now, it might not work the following week either. (Seriously, who wants an evening eye appointment? We have lives in the evenings. And meetings ...) I am wearing a spare pair of glasses and I don't recognize myself. The glasses are okay. They just aren't me anymore. Honestly, I'm not sure if the

The Girl Child

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The girl child was sick this weekend. It started early Saturday morning with a croupy cough and sore throat and developed into wheezing by Sunday evening. Poor thing. She claimed she didn't like the way the breathing treatment "tasted," and was not happy to do it. It really broke our hearts. She stayed home from Kindergarten on Monday. She doodled and drew all day long. She followed me into the bathroom while I was cleaning it and when I turned around, she was busy working. We so love that little girl. And we are so happy that she is on the up-and-up and feeling better. Her cough is still nasty, but she has her ol' pep back.