Friday, October 29, 2010

Candy Corn: The Grand Finale

The candy corn yarn became:

candy corn leg warmies ... (March 2010)

which she loved,

but she was too cold

to wear them on her legs,




I like that girl and I like her style.

Here is a closeup of the skirt. I bought the candy-corn pompom trim last year (the year before?) but never got around to making the cord jumper I had planned. (The corduroy later turned into a funeral skirt.) I had just enough black fabric left over from Spenser's Halloween costume to make her a skirt this year.

She's decked out with this shirt, my necklace (hers broke at school), and this hair clip. I think she took the necklace off before she left for school. And she packed her leg warmies/arm warmies into her bag because they wouldn't fit under her jacket sleeves.

P.S. It's Crazy Sock Day at school today.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Candy Corn Pendant #2

I say this is Candy Corn Pendant #2 because I made #1 two years ago. Remember that one?

Well, I saw this necklace and knew that Spenser and I needed some more matching holiday bling. I decided to keep ours simple. Mostly because I am not talented in the jewelry-making arena.

Spenser and I cranked out a bunch of candy corn and then Mason joined in on the fun. I loved to see their wonky interpretations of candy corn. I should have made theirs into pendants. Now that would have been awesome. But, probably huge and bulky, too.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Candy Corn Candles

I nearly squealed when I spied these little candles at the thrift store a few weeks back. Look at the candy corn candles! Aren't they just the sweetest?!?

Halloween related: My kids have been loving these.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Candy Corn Hat

I must admit: I did not make this hat. But look how simple it would be! I bought this hat years ago for Jackson (from Old Navy). I'd say it's been in our family for about eight years -- longer than some of the little people in our family! I've always loved this little hat and, sadly, this might be its last season. It barely fits Sawyer's head this year.

Monday, October 25, 2010

'Tis the Season: Candy Corn

'Tis the season for candy corn. This week I will be posting candy corn-esque things. (If you post anything candy corn-esque this week, leave a link in the comments.)

Don't you just love the abnormal candy corns? Right before I spotted this pair, I gave an all-yellow piece to Sawyer to eat. Honestly, when I'm shoving them into my mouth by the handfuls, I'm not always paying attention to the individual traits of each piece. So it's kind of rare for me to even notice them.

An all-time family fave is candy corn + salted peanuts. Look out! This is dangerous. It takes like a PayDay bar, but better. Especially if the candy corn is fresh and soft. I ate a few handfuls as a pre-run snack on Saturday. It probably wasn't the best fuel, but it sure was tasty.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bonnet & Apron

So I finally made (and sent) Alana's Halloween costume. Actually, I did it the same day I posted that it needed to be done. I guess it was the guilt that got me.

Alana had texted me in early September asking me to make her a bonnet and apron because she wanted to be the Sun-Maid Raisin girl for Halloween. However, in early September she neglected to tell me that she had three costume parties in September. I really thought I had time to make it. I mean, after all, it's not like I sit around on my tush all day long. I do have a family and a busy life like everyone else.

So, yes, the guilt got me and I really had to get it done and over with and worry about my own children's Halloween costumes. I must admit that I was a little grumbly when I started cutting and sewing that day. I used an old pattern for the bonnet, but somehow the directions were missing. It wouldn't have been so bad, but there were several hat patterns on the same pattern and I couldn't figure out which pieces I needed. I eventually found the instructions in a very odd place, which I entirely credit the Lord in helping me find. Because, as I was completely stressing out, I had a "vision" of some instructions in a cabinet in our red room. I went immediately to the cabinet and looked for them, and they weren't there. But I "saw" them again, so I kept looking. I found them, smooshed and crumbled behind the karaoke machine. Seriously, no human could have known where they were. I quickly thanked the Lord, humbled, and began my project.

Like I said, I was grumbly when I was making this. I had a million things on my to-do list that needed to be done. When I was putting on the finishing touches, a very strong impression came to me. It was Kristen's birthday. I knew that earlier in the day (as documented in my blog post), but the reality of what I was doing, for Kristen's daughter, really hit me hard. I was doing this for Kristen's daughter on Kristen's birthday because Kristen isn't around to do it. And then I think I cried a little bit. Humbled, once again, in my personal imperfections and the perfection in the Lord. It was meant to be.

(Alana has since attended two more costume parties. Unfortunately the costume didn't arrive in time for the first one, but she wore it for the second one. She won "top three" for her costume.)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A New Cowl

The knitting bug has definitely hit me. I've been taking a bag of supplies with me almost everywhere I go. I even knit on the short 20-minute ride to church one Sunday morning. It's also a great diversion when sitting out (and freezing one's bum) during soccer practice and warm ups before games.

I don't have a huge yarn stash. And I'm kind of thankful about that. I am using what I bought earlier this year, which is somehow limiting, yet liberating at the same time.

Last week or so I finished the Dolores Park Cowl. This was a really quick knit. It seems a little large and baggy around my neck, so maybe I need to block it to see if that helps. I might have used the yarn rescued from this sorry scarf. Or it may have been a too-large hat that was frogged. Either way, it was reused from a knitting project that went awry.

I have since started (and frogged) another hat many, many times. Too many to count. And, as of Monday night, it needs to be frogged again. I am improving, though. Slowly, but surely.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Knit Beanie

I have started and frogged this hat many a times since I started knitting earlier this year. I recently picked it back up, frogged it and was determined to get it right. It is the Chunky Knit Beanie and I loved the aesthetics of it from the beginning, but I just had a hard time making it.

I think what screwed me up is that the pattern calls for circular needles, but the actual instructions are written for straight needles. I think. Wait, please don't let me think about it anymore. I just can't do it.

Here is what I did: I used 16" size 15 circulars. I cast on 44 (the smaller size) because after starting the larger size, it was waaaaay too large for my head. 44 seems a little loose, but it's livable. Then I knit in stockinette for ten rows, then switched to garter for the rest of the hat. (The directions say to knit in garter for the first ten rows, then switch to stockinette, but the bottom of my hat rolled and it wasn't right. And it wasn't bumpy like it should be.) Since it was knitted in the round, I didn't have any seams to sew.

(I used leftover yarn from my cowl.)

Monday, October 18, 2010

The FINISHED Eagle Scout Project

Taylor completed his Eagle Scout project on Friday. (There was no school that day.)

Taylor picked a walking path and park in our small town for his project. We have two walking paths in town. One is in the wetlands that runs along a creek and the other is near the town's community center, which also has ball diamonds, a playground, batting cages, tennis courts, horseshoe pits (and more) all within walking distance of a small senior development.

Part of the project was to prune small overhanging branches from the walking path.

A large limb had recently fallen and blocked the path. We asked a friend bring his chain saw and open the pathway.

We also picked up trash along the path, around the community center, and on the playground. My sister-in-law works for a company that does a lot of community volunteer service and she let us borrow fifteen of their trash-picker-uppers. The kids actually fought over who was going to pick up the trash. Score! (I think I need to buy six for home ...)

We mulched,

and mulched,

and mulched some more. I think there were about four full hours of continuous mulching with varying amounts of volunteers. The last hour or two we had nearly all of the forty-six volunteers working on the playground.

The actual mulching was not officially a part of the Eagle Scout project. Our town desperately needed new mulch for the playground and with a very small and unforgiving budget, we were able to replace the very old existing mulch, but we didn't have money to pay for spreading it out. When we went up to survey and take "before" pictures of the area the week before, we saw the ginormous mound of mulch and decided that since we'd have plenty of volunteers, we would help with the mulching.

As you can see to the right of the pavilion (on the other side of the fence), the pile of mulch is still huge. We probably used half of it. Or maybe more than half. It's like the never-ending pile of mulch.

The mulch is supposed to be deep enough to be even with the wooden frame of the playground. See. Never-ending mulching job.

Since it wasn't actually part of the project, we are not responsible for finishing it, although both my mother and I have volunteered to help this week.

And the benches. This is the essence of the project. This is what the original Eagle Scout Project was. Benches for the walking path. Joe's grandparents lived in the senior community for about a year and said they liked the walking path, but at their age, it was hard to walk because they needed to take a break and there was no place to sit. We talked to a few other residents who agreed. Then we talked to a neighbor of ours who is trying to get in shape after several heart attacks and he thought benches were a great idea.

There are three exercise stations along the walking path and we put a bench at each one.

And here is my soon-to-be Eagle Scout, Taylor.

On Friday we logged almost 160 hours of service from the forty-six volunteers. This does not include the time it took to build the three benches. Boys at Taylor's scout troop built 1 1/2 benches and Joe, our boys, and some neighbor boys finished.

Taylor wrote a letter and solicited donations from local businesses and family. We lucked out when a coworker of Joe's offered to donate all of the composite decking because it was left over from when he built his deck. We had to buy the wood for supports, legs, screws, and cement. A business in town offered the use of an auger for free because we bought screws and cement from them. The Marines made and donated three plaques to be placed on the benches with Taylor's name and date of the project.

After Joe submits all of his final receipts and has the troop balance the account, if there is money left over, Taylor might buy a tree to plant or mulch beneath the benches to prevent growth of grass.

For lunch we served the volunteers hot dogs, chips, pretzels, cookies, and lemonade.

It was a great day and it's even a better day today, knowing that this part of the project is behind us. Now on to his Eagle Board of Review and a mound of paperwork.

I keep hoping and praying that the benches are not vandalized. Our town has a bad problem with unsupervised teenagers vandalizing everything in sight. I'm hoping none of them are athletic and have any desire to walk down the walking path.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bat Specimen Art

After seeing this, I knew I had to make one. I had actually just been to Michaels and saw those frames on sale and was intrigued with them (but had no use for them). While I didn't make it back in time to score one that cheap, I did go the next week and still got a pretty good deal on the T-shirt frame.

I bought the only bat punch that they had. The very last Martha Stewart one. It's a little small, but it definitely works. I bought a few pieces of scrapbook paper and then used what I had at home. (Spenser has already requested a butterfly one.)

The mice are up. The chalkboard pumpkin is out. I think Halloween is definitely on its way. And I'm loving it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


On 10.10.10 I turned 41. Yikes.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

This is How I Feel Today:

Go ahead and fill in the blank: ________. Frazzled. Frustrated. That's me.

I have a bunch on my plate today. Well, the past few weeks.
  • Taylor is officially starting his Eagle Scout project. He is building three benches for a walking path in our town. It has taken since the spring for the BSA district to approve the project. An insane amount of time. We had hoped to have it completed this summer. Before soccer season started. Now we're thick in the middle of soccer season. We just started to receive donations this week. The boards have been cut and, if the rain holds off this evening, the benches will be assembled with the help of the scouts from our troop. Awesome. Installation and cleanup of the park are scheduled for the 16th.
  • We honored Kristen's memory on September 9th with a family brunch at my house. Eight long years since she died.
  • Today Kristen would have been 31 years old.
  • On September 6th, we started a small remodel of our kitchen. It was "done enough" for the 9th. We haven't touched it since ...
  • Sawyer, my baby, celebrated his 4th birthday. We had a joint weenie roast with my nephew (whose 14th birthday was the day after).
  • Kids' Halloween requests are coming in. Including one from my niece. She texts me every few days to see how it's coming along. She wants it to be mailed by Saturday. I haven't started it yet. She neglected to tell me she wanted it a month before Halloween.
  • Mine and Joe's birthdays are this weekend.
  • I have knit and frogged many times over the past 24 hours.
  • Spenser had her maiden voyage to the school nurse last week. Jackson was swinging his umbrella at the bus stop and it hit her in the face, just as the bus pulled up.
  • Mason visited the nurse four times in one day. A student dropped a book on his open eye and then he fell off the monkey bars and his knee hit his bottom lip into his braces.
  • I'm sure there are another 999,000 things calling my name, but I'm trying to ignore them.
This little "thing" was started on Sunday while I watched General Conference. She's a freaky little thing. Really, it's not her. It's me. (And my poor execution.)

Monday, October 04, 2010

To My Sister:

October 4th

Exactly {twenty-six years}* ago today,
We were on our merry way.
It was the daily route we took,
But since we were late, we quietly "snook."
Around the corner, then around the bend,
How did we know our luck was to end?
As we looked, we could barely see,
What was stopped beside the tree.
Suddenly we saw it, but was it too late?
The {garbage}* truck was to be our bait.
As you hit it the Mav shook with great might.
It gave us both a terrible fright.
“Stop!” he said he heard me yell,
“I could have lost my legs,” he’d tell.
Most of all what we’d hate,
Was that ¾ inch steel plate.
Rick and Jill came out to view,
Baby Ryan joined them, too.
You made me call Dad.
Boy, was he mad.
Quickly he came,
He acted the same.
Soon we had to go to school,
After you had cried a pool.
We were glad that day was over,
As it was the fourth of October.

In 1984 my sister and I were driving to Seminary (a before-school religious class) and she hit a garbage truck with her 1970's Maverick, lovingly called "the Mav." Every year for the past twenty-six years we call/email each other with this poem. I wrote it on the one-year anniversary, 1985. Each year with cry and howl with laughter. A few details have been changed {}* to protect the innocent.