Monday, September 29, 2008

my random number generator:

cute, eh? I told him to pick two numbers between-and-including 1-9 and he picked 2 and 8 (perhaps, this is less random than I thought...).  So the winners ARE.... the daily and goldthorpe families

Congratulations, ladies.  Email me your addresses (it's possible I have them but I'm not getting off my couch to check, thank you very much) at:  vandyke(dot)kristen(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll get those right out to you!  

Yay! Winners!  

Friday, September 26, 2008

will somebody please get these out of my house? 

I have been productive this week - doing some writing and some sewing. (you'll get photos, don't worry) And as I organized bits of my stash I came across two of these princess dresses that I made a year ago.  Since I don't have any girls... yay for you! GIVEAWAY!

they are sized 3/4 and 5/6 but they definitely run long and I'd bet the sizes are closer to 4/5 and 6/7.   I would just give them away to friends who have girls this size but I know there are certain young ladies out there who will only wear pink and so this way at least I know I'm giving it to someone who wants it. (no i can't sell them it's not my pattern and would violate copyright laws. and i am a very law-abiding-type person) 

In the comments specify the size you want and I'll pick a name on Monday. If you are the only one that wants the size you pick - well congrats! (this is not unlikely, since I don't have a ton of visitors)

ready.. GO!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

tomorrow i will have been married to this hunk of man-flesh for 10 years.  more than 1/3 of my life. 10 years from now it will be more than half of my life. when i am 60... okay, you get the idea. 

we met a few days after he got home from his 2 year mission to brasil, when he was trying to over-enroll in some college classes.  we each clearly remember the first time we met; where we were, what was happening, what i was wearing... 

but i was dating someone else and soon he too had entered the dating market.  for 4 months we saw each other frequently in class and at church, and then my boyfriend left for his mission and i declared myself off the market so i could concentrate on school.  he also was edging out of the local dating scene because he was preparing to go to school in utah soon.  

but then one night while a bunch of us were watching movies at his place he mentioned that his work was having their winter party up at mt. shasta, and that he was going to snowboard for the first time.  i said how fun that would be and how i'd always wanted to learn.  little did i know that he was allowed to bring a guest... 

that was originally supposed to be our first date.  it was a few weeks away though, and we ended up having another date before then with a group of friends. by the time we hit the slopes together, we were already engaged (which turned out to be a good thing because i don't know if he would have proposed after i nailed him in the face with the edge of my snowboard....).  

13 months after we had met, we were married. 

and it just gets better and better. :)   I love you, honey! MWA

Monday, September 22, 2008

Spent the weekend in Cardiff by the Sea at Emily's house so I could attend an Art weekend with her, taught by Anahata Katkin.  We had the classes at a waldorf school near Em's house. I didn't take nearly enough photos - 

here's the table I crouched at (it was kiddie sized) the first day, with Em, and her friends Lisa, Liz, Amy and Maren.  Here Em is helping Lisa with some ideas, because Lisa and I were about on par as far as art experience went. (read: zero) at the bottom of the photo is my canvas, pre Mandala'd
here's my finished one on the left. I had to leave the upper right side open, and try and give it extra visual interest because the tracing paper was not visible on my super-light background, and I couldn't see the pattern.  Oh well!
more Mandalas from class.

Saturday I bunked at Em's house with Liz and Annie. I got my first taste of Indian food (um, yum) and crashed relatively early to get ready for day 2. 
Liz and I decided to work outside for the second day, because floor space was limited and also we liked it out there.  It was beautiful and there was a nice breeze. I am regretting it today though, as I sport my Rudolph nose and itchy red arms. Above is my 'work station', about halfway thru the day.

and here's the finished product.  Everyone's "Funky wallpaper People" were very different and they were a lot of fun to see. It was a great experience and I'm glad I went - especially since I hadn't seen Emily since they moved. 

I got home to a super-clean house (oh, sweet hubby!) and dessert company in the form of great friends. We went to bed way too late and were lucky to drag the kids out of bed in time for school today. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

Good morning fair friends. I am spending the weekend with her to do this and this

YOU: kristen, i didn't know you were an artist!
ME: um. i'm..... not. 
YOU: oh. well, then why ...?
ME: because it will be fun, right? i don't need SKILLS to do this stuff, right?! 
YOU: .....sure, hon. you have fun now. 
ME: thank you. i will. 

looking forward to a fun girls' weekend, and hopefully some evening beach time saturday.  see you all next week!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

two days of preschool. 

so far it has been exhausting.  drop off the kids, drop off craig, run errands as fast as I can. 

get one kid, run another errand. go home for lunch. pick up other kid.  mondays and tuesdays are fencing for connor and tuesday adds boy scouts.  and a PTA meeting tonight. 

i'm ready to yank them from school and move to the mountains and be a homeschooling hermit who has everything delivered and never ever goes out ever again.  

on a side note, after reading Mark 11:24 in primary last week, which says: Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" , Connor has decided that we are going to have a house, a dog, and a garden. 

Beware the faith of little children! 

Saturday, September 13, 2008


(craig totally posed that feather)

I'm not even sure where in my parents' yard this was taken. Maybe the west fence... 
anyway - 
Happy Birthday Mom!  Nancy called me to declare that you loved your present (hooray!) and I hope you have a good time wherever you went today for "shop stuff". 

Some random information about Mom: 
- she can belch like Shrek and passed that trait on to my younger sisters.  I had friends in high school who would brag about her. 
- she's funny. 
- and a good writer. but she doesn't like to write so the world will see her passing without ever knowing what it missed out on. 
- she made many of my clothes until I was about 13. Then I started demanding blue jeans and only let her sew my dresses. She's really good at it. 
- she's pretty outdoorsy, but she doesn't love camping. (she hates camping), and while she's been hunting several times Dad said once when they went together and she actually shot a deer, it didn't die right away.  "oh my gosh allen, it's not dead! It's in pain! Oh my gosh, shoot it, SHOOT IT!"  I think that was the last time she ever went. (she'll correct me if I'm wrong).

my sisters and I all have a bit of her in us. I love the outdoors with a vengeance and I picked up her sarcastic sense of humor and voracious love of books. All those things apply to Sharon too, who also got a hardcore dose of Mom's reserved side.  Nancy is a quick student and tends to be of the same "i can do it better myself, please don't help me" school of thought.  Jacquie totally got Mom's ADD. Girl can't sit still, and doesn't like to spend too long on one project. "bored now, what's next?" 

Love You Mom! 

Friday, September 12, 2008

this is the front of my parent's house. i lived there longer than anywhere else so far.  once again, the photo has nothing to do with the post. 

it's more fun that way.

some good news:  1) I had an ultrasound today  - 
ultrasound tech: why did they send you over for this?
me: ...I'm not sure. Maybe because I had a miscarriage in April?
ut: well, so far so good.  and it looks like i've got enough information from this external, I won't have to do an ultrasound vaginally. 
me: yay! 
there was a little heartbeat and baby was the right size and whew! i've not had to have an internal ultrasound, and I do not plan to start anytime soon... !!

2) Fletcher had orientation today and starts preschool on Monday. Ack! No! WhatamIgoingtodowithmyself?  It's only 2 hours a day, 4 days a week, and the socialization will be great for him because he is hopeless at entertaining himself. But I haven't had 2 hours alone, 4 days a week, for 8 years! 

what will I do?!  what did/would YOU do? 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

what does a man do when his wife has largely neglected the housework for a few weeks? what does he do when he's been the one picking up here and there when he sees something needs to be done? 

shockingly enough, he buys his wife flowers. 

and chocolate. 

and then he cleans the house again while she cuts the flowers and puts them in a couple of vases (there were a lot of flowers), and then he takes out the trash and recycling while she throws together a quick dinner. And then he watches the kids for an hour while she runs out to make pretty cards with her friends. 

so I'm working on the master bedroom today, (traditionally the master bedroom has been the "pit of doom" in this house; where everything gets tossed when unexpected company drops by) in an effort to be worthy of said flowers and chocolate.  well okay, actually Fletcher is cleaning my room FOR me while I blog... so I had better get going now!
this little picture = one contented mama. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


i went to joann fabrics yesterday for the sole purpose of buying 2 yards of forest green rodeo cotton. only.  But I've been eyeing this line for a good month now (the butterflies is what got me, and then I had to get a few to match); and even though the heavier, coat-weight fabrics were really the ones that had caught my eye, I cannot justify buying coat fabric when I will soon be experiencing rapid and drastic growth in my belly-region. 

oh yeah - I'm pregnant again. About 10 weeks. (hence, nausea)

I think I'll make a quilt with it - no pattern, just wide wide strips of fabric - 10 inches maybe?- with some solids or color-on-same-color prints between. 

anyway. I also went to another fabric store, which I will probably never go to again for reasons I will not get into right now, for my Mom's birthday present. I got her some great "stuff" (ha, like I'm going to TELL you, Mom) although considering her tastes I think it's about 60% likely she already has exactly what I got her. (her stash is appropriately drool worthy)

Whatever, she can have more.  :) 

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

there was a little extra special something that I picked up over Labor Day weekend at my parents house. 

my mother is either very generous and loving or else she is trying to absolve some leftover guilt from my childhood (she didn't feed me enough sweets. I may never get over it). 

WHAT could it BE?! 

ahhhh. beauty. love. joy. 

there is a somewhat recent craze sweeping the quilting world for vintage featherweight sewing machines.  now, if you can find one at a yard sale for less than $200 you have gotten yourself a serious deal. 

I don't know what year the Singer is. I think Mom said it's a '56, but that might be something else I'm thinking of. The last copyright date on the instruction booklet is '41. Runs like a dream, quiet as a cloud.  Somebody loves me!


Monday, September 08, 2008

some of the flora on our hike up north was quite lovely. autumn colors showing a bit early, brightening up the many hues of green in the forest. 

too bad it's poisonous...  

A question for you (completely unrelated to the above photos; which really have nothing to do with anything anyway) -  Connor is looking for more reading material. He has been enjoying Dav Pilkey's stuff and the Magic Tree House books for a long time. He's not interested in diving into CS Lewis and Harry Potter (mom, I already know what happens) yet.  Any ideas? 

Friday, September 05, 2008

week 1 down.

I have to confess that I don't love having the kids in school.  perhaps if the twice daily walk to pick them each up was less... vertical? 

Yesterday I fell asleep against my husband, as he played his latest Xbox game. I've noticed, like I remember noticing 9 years ago (ah, the joys of IBS) that when I am sick or in pain it is simply a matter of having physical contact with him to render me nearly completely better. 

I actually read a study several months ago that said on average, simply holding her husband's hand can reduce a woman's stress by 25%.   One night last week, I was nauseous and crampy and tossing in bed while he slept next to me. He rolled over, and ended up in contact with nearly all of my left side. The effect was sudden, and quite surprising. I could feel the tension leave my neck and back, and my stomach stopped clenching.  I was able to fall asleep in a few minutes. 

Too bad I can't market him, I'd be a millionaire.  $75 for "Essence of Craig", anyone?  

Thursday, September 04, 2008

craig took some really nice photos at my parents' house of the yard and its environs. I will probably use many of them in future posts, although the post may have little or nothing to do with the photo.  for example:

I passed out today. 

not so much with the "appropriate picture titles" is it?  although, those stairs are going down, so ... well maybe. 

anyway, as I am in the habit of disclosing all manner of unpleasant things that happen to me in great detail:

I went to the doctor today, for a checkup, and at this particular place they have a certain battery of tests that they prefer to do on the unsuspecting patient.  Now, Craig calls me "faint", which I do not really think I am. I can usually get my blood drawn with no problem as long as I don't look.  That time in the BYU student health center was because I hadn't eaten in like, weeks; and that time in March at the E.R. was totally his fault.  He even admits it. 

SO. I'm sitting in the chair looking at all the lovely scenery that they have taped to the wall so people who don't want to watch the gore have something relaxing to look at. I wait some seconds, and hear some ticks, and she puts another vial in. and then again. and again. and again. 

hello, kristen. this is your imagination. (my imagination is pink) how much blood, exactly, do you think she is going to suck from your arm today, huh? and how's that little tourniquet feeling around your bicep? feeling a bit... swollen? woozy? that needle doesn't feel very small either... 

the nurse finished, and taped the gauze on my arm, and I said, "I think I need to put my head down a bit."

"Okay honey. you just lay your head down right here. I'll go get you some water."

And then the nausea came, and the cold sweat. By the time she got back I had apparently lost all of my color and I was dripping wet. She wiped me down with a wet cloth on the face and neck and then called someone in to "help me get her to a bed."  you're kidding, right? you don't think I'm actually moving, do you?  They hoisted me up between them and started walking me out of the lab, past all of the other patients waiting to go to the lab, (one kind young man offered his seat but they "no no'ed" him) and started to lead me around the corner to the hallway where, apparently, there was a close bed. 

I didn't make it. 1) I felt AWFUL. This was no graceful swoon a la Henrietta Musgrove at the sight of her dear sister's prone form.  This was a shaking, stumbling, probably drooling woman on the arms of two crazy nurses. 
2) I really really felt the urge to go to sleep. I kept closing my eyes and getting yelled at. 

I remember thinking to myself, please, God, don't let me..  and then I was kneeling on the floor, some feet away from where I remember having been, being lowered down on my back into two more sets of hands. I heard someone say "get the smelling salts" and I remember thinking that was funny, because who uses those anymore? 

doctors, apparently. 

and they smell really bad. 

to shorten: I was salted, fanned, cold toweled, watered, asked how much I had eaten and why on earth didn't I tell her that I wasn't good with blood?, and made to lie down (they got me to an actual bed eventually. I'm not sure how long I was on the floor). It was all very embarrassing; especially when my resident doctor walked by and stared at my helpless and surrounded form and said, surprised, "Hello!"  I kept myself from the shut up and go away and never ever speak to me again response in my head. Possibly because I couldn't really talk just then.

Fun times, huh? Gah, I've had enough drama for one year!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Hello! We are back from vacation and today is Connor's first day of 3rd grade. To keep myself occupied while he is gone, I get to write the longest-post-ever about our Labor Day weekend! Yay for you!

The day before we left we had Connor's birthday party. Late because the boys got sick.  He wanted a Mario Kart theme and so I made mushroom cakes. I had to off-center the bases because they wouldn't fit on my cake plate. So nobody knew what they were.  We had relay races and a water balloon fight. 

We broke the drive up into two days, and saw Grandma Van Dyke in Redding. She gave the boys swords, which were a big hit. We got to Weaverville Thursday afternoon and had barbeque'd turkey (thanks Dad!).  Friday morning we went yard sale-ing (it was Trinity County's big yearly Yard Sale Weekend).

Then Craig hurt his back getting out of the car... and the vacation was pretty much over for him. There was much sorrow.  

Connor and I went to a THS football game, which was fun. He got the experience of being allowed to run around all over with his aunt (who is just 4 years older than he) without me freaking out about safety. Ahh, small town life! 

Saturday was the much-anticipated creek walk up Rush Creek to the waterfall. This was more outdoors-y than my boys had ever gotten. Fletcher benefited from the help of his two oldest aunts and pretty much had the easy life (except when Nancy and he fell into the water and he thought he might drown). 

Connor took it super slow and slipped a lot, so he and I and Grandpa brought up the rear. There were salamanders and spiders and slugs and butterflies to look at (also, a LOT of bear scat); rocks and tree trunks to scramble over, and a swimming hole at the end! 

Then my parents, who apparently think they are still my age, decided to climb this embankment,

 and go further up the creek to see if they could find the fabled larger falls. 

They didn't. 

And then Mom couldn't get down. 

Sharon and I got our cameras out to document her last moments. Jacquie stood shivering in her swimsuit and moaned "nooooo mommy!"; and then I hear this little, excited voice, "JUMP, GRANDMA, JUMP!"

and so she did. The water was a bit shallow and the landing was pretty jarring, but she survived it and was able to walk back down the creek. We all counted our blessings. 

We went to a movie that night, which Craig was able to hobble to, and then church the next day. We decided to leave Sunday afternoon instead of Monday morning so Craig wouldn't have to sit 12 hours in the car, which meant we made great time getting home and were happy to have most of Monday to relax at home and rest before plunging back into life the next day.