Monday, December 21, 2009

haha. "i'll be posting much more regularly"... I'll just get right on that. :) 

been makin' stuff around here.

Dad's bread recipe is the best. Major comfort food. 

This is a baby quilt I'm making for a coworker of my dh.

Christmas is TOO SOON!  I'm not-quite-ready but the season has me all excited and it's going to be a fun week!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A milestone. 

these are both my feet. wearing shoes that fit comfortably.  normally there would be no problem with a photo like this. 

except that one of the shoes belongs to my 9 year old son. 


(i keep grounding him, over and over, for growing. he just won't stop!)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A friend of mine used to say "Christmas at the mailbox!" every time someone had a package when we were in college (120 apartments, and someone was always pregnant, so families were sending a lot of packages).  That same friend provided me with Christmas at the Mailbox the other day:

It's an ornament, about the size of the palm of my hand, and I love it!

The other thing in the box... well Craig said the only way they were being hung in our home was if I hung them in my closet. Behind my clothes... 


Saturday, November 28, 2009

I decided to spatchc00k our turkey this year because our apartment gets really hot if the oven is on too long (thank you Martha Stewart).  Naturally it looked much easier, in the pictures of her magazine, to cut out the backbone and break the breastbone of a turkey:

But it turned out okay. In fact, it was terribly juicy and scrumptious. I will probably spatchcook every year from now on. Also, I made Pioneer Woman's sweet potato recipe and it was AMAZING.  Sweet potatoes are now my favorite food. 

The Harveys came down from Seattle to visit us. Van is almost as big as Nanette. (Craig declared that she had shrunk, which she appreciated).  We missed the Thomsons this year; sadly Hannah is fighting off The Dread Disease. But Nan insisted we take them dinner, and so they got to have some yummy food at least. 

And the kids kept busy all day building a lego Christmas scene. 

terribly sorry about the sad lack of posting.  Witness my declaration that henceforth it shall improve and shall also be interesting, inspiring, or funny. 


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We made our Thankful Turkey last night for Family Home Evening.  He's sitting under the a/c waiting for an unwary turkey hunter to walk by... 

I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week already! Just 36 days until Christmas!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Autumn decor FAIL.

this ugly garland has been up in my living room for a month now (there's another one, identical, on the opposite wall) because I'm too annoyed at how long it took me to make it, to take it down. It's hideous. I can hardly look at it.  It's going to have to go soon. I won't be able to handle it much longer.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

My next project:  Simplicity 2508  (the short one)  with this:

I'll get a jacket that fits perfectly (assuming I don't totally screw it up) and cost less than $50 instead of more than $100. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

We survived halloween again. craig and I didn't really dress up this year (gasp! I know!) but the boys picked Pokemon as the theme and if you are at all familiar with that 'verse you know there are not a lot of adults.  and we didn't feel like being Team Rocket. So I hung a couple of Poke-balls from my belt loops and craig wore a lab coat and went as Professor Oak. 

the boys really had a good time; they just wanted a "serious" photo. whatever:

I had to make a chimchar costume for fletch. The hood was a bit tricky but I think I pulled it off. His tail was his favorite: (it's supposed to be made of fire)

and vanvan was Piplup. at least, for the few moments that he would wear his hood. 

next year i'm making the costumes in July, so I'm not sewing like mad at the last minute like every. single. other. year.   If you are my friend, please remind me of this oath next summer... 

Friday, October 30, 2009

some bits of Helena that we explored.  

naturally we did not go inside the buildings. that would have been tresspassing. 

we followed Dad through most of the explorations; and when we got to a spot that was gated, Dad found a path to the side that went past a gap in the fence and through a large patch of vines. 

Connor: Is it safe to go through there?

Me: Of course. Dad wouldn't take us through if it wasn't safe.

Sharon: Oh, right, HA!

Me: What?

Sharon:  Dad isn't allergic to poison oak. You should ask the Cunningham boys how safe it is to "follow Dad" someday. 
Dad just shrugged. Getting poison oak probably builds character anyway.... like that time my mom had to make a pee stop in the woods (can you tell what's coming? can you?) and wasn't paying attention to where she squatted..(yep, just what you thought).  She had to wear an apron on her front and saran wrap on her butt over the itch cream for DAYS.  Her sister and her mother (who she and I lived with at the time) were constantly cracking up over it.

I'm sure she appreciates me sharing. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

this plum tree is about 7 feet from my parent's back door, it's top leaves here level with the upper deck. This is what it looked like on Friday.
there was a constant "piff, whiffle" of leaves falling all weekend.

by sunday afternoon the tree looked like this: 

we got to see fall colors! I kept exclaiming at trees and pointing them out to the boys. Connor thought they were all very nice but fletcher was less impressed. "more yellow, mom. why do you like yellow so much?"

Monday, October 26, 2009

I made the trip north last week in two segments; thursday night and friday morning. I am happy to report that Van was amazing in the car. More than 20 hours driving total and he was fussy for maybe a total of 30 minutes. Thank heaven for small miracles. 
So we finally arrive and Mom's at work so I'm visiting with my sisters and I hear after awhile, my own voice (but slightly sweeter) coming from the living room and I pop out of the kitchen saying, "mom! you're home!" 

Does she even look at me? 

that would be a big fat NO.  Hello, I'm chopped liver, nice to meet you. 

Grandpa was determined the next day to get us all out of doors for the day so the kids didn't all congregate around a video game ("kids" referring to both his and mine. I'm not sure when I'll stop referring to my sisters as kids - it may never happen).  We explored a "ghost town", and then went down to the Helena swim hole. 

Dear Residents of Trinity County, 

I am very sorry about the swim hole. My son, being unused to nature, got over-excited and threw so many rocks into the water that it is now a small puddle. Please do not break anything while jumping off of the rope swing next summer.



my oldest, after asking "what is star thistle?" decided that it was 
1. a lovely weed for picking (who IS this kid?)
2. impressive head gear. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

while I am trying to get a photo of the finished quilt and organizing my photos from the trip back home, please enjoy the "Twisted Princesses" series by a Disney artist:

sigh. I love Halloween time.  It means it's almost Christmastime....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

well, i finished the top and mailed it off on friday to Mom to machine quilt it at her shop.  but there isn't a decent photo because my camera was IN THE CAR. 

so this is a corner of the finished quilt top, with borders, in the passenger seat of the car, at the post office.   good times. 

it looks far more christmas-y and far less autumn-y than I had hoped but it's still very nice looking and hopefully those two spots where my seams dont' even come close to matching up will "quilt out".  I'll take a photo when I get it back. 

speaking of which, I'm going to Weaverville to pick it up this weekend! Yay! Home! Forest! Autumn colors! Weather! The boys are beside themselves with excitement. I must say I am, too. 

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My friend Betsey emailed me this morning.  

"You have to have another baby so I have an excuse to buy this for you!" she said. And there was a link to an Etsy shop. I thought to myself, "There is nothing anyone could purchase that would induce me to push another small human out of my body." 

And then I clicked on the LINK


Monday, October 05, 2009

A Haiku to Hannah:

She brings me treasures
vintage handmade lace (and cars)
what a good weekend. 

I don't have to get in the car today until 2:15. This is a minor miracle. Here I am blogging instead of driving the boys to school and the husband to work! And I've already got plans for the lace (made, we suspect, by Hannah's grandmother).  

quickly pieced together this top last week. The panel is printed so all I had to do was add the borders. I really love the Daiwabo fabrics!

and progress is being made on the autumn colors quilt I am making for the Fall Festival at the boys' school. We're having a raffle for it. I have to finish it this week so I can get it to my mom for quilting by the weekend - the Festival is in 20 days! 


Thursday, October 01, 2009

step one. Math. figure out how many strips of what widths etc. Cut.

It feels good to be creating something again. I've had a long hiatus.

this one's just for fun:
almost the weekend!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm fairly sure that I did not eat store-bought jam until I was in my twenties.  My grandmother and mother made jam as far as I can remember, and then when I moved away I was able to continue to get a supply from them for Christmases or I could snag a couple of jars when I went home to visit. 

But then the Post Office decided that email was cutting into profits and upped their prices and my relatives stopped sending me jam.  

For one who has never had to buy the stuff before, purchasing the appropriate texture and flavor of jam/jelly/preserves/marmalade (do you even know the difference between all of these? I had to educate myself. It was terribly annoying) can be difficult. 

Over the years, I have rec'd a jar of jam here or there from a friend or sister in law or stolen one from my parents' house when they weren't looking (the sour plum tree in our backyard really does make special jam).  But I've still had to buy several jars from the store and about a third of the time whatever I buy ends up getting tossed out because I've not gotten the right flavor/texture of jam/jelly/preserves/marmalade. 

Which brings me to Karen (Mrs. Dr. Goldthorpe there on my side bar - but I'm pretty sure her blog's private. I'm very sorry for your loss, she's a peach). 

Karen is a friend from college. She is tall and slender and athletic and she usually wore her hair in a ponytail and I always saw her in jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers.  Because of Karen I was completely converted to the jeans/t-shirt/sneaker/ponytail look (my does this post have a lot of forward slashes or what?) for some years while I chased small children around my home. It was helpful, but now I'm back to using the curling iron and wearing heels. 

Anyway - Karen had twin girls and painted her toenails for the first time and ventured into crafting.  She's good at what she's done so far, and I can prove it. Last week I got a surprise in the mailbox:

Mrs. Dr. Goldthorpe has recently moved to Montana and decided to see what could be done with the famous huckleberries that populate the state.  Let me tell you; good things could be done.  She sent me 5 jars but by the time I took this photo - 4 or 5 hours after I rec'd the box - one jar "pearberry" (what a scrumptious name!) was already halfway gone. 

But here it is on toast. 

I must say the Pearberry is possibly the prettiest jam I have ever seen. (or jelly. it might be jelly. i didn't actually educate myself. i just pretended to.)

Thanks Karen! Your sugary goodness got us through a seriously bad week of plague and mopeyness!

Friday, September 25, 2009

On the first day of school, my husband said,  "So, I bet he'll be in the principal's office by the end of the week."

But he was wrong.

It took 3. 

"We were playing soccer and then I whapped this kid, and so he stomped on my leg, and then I tripped him, and then he got up and pulled my hair, and then I pulled his hair...."

I'm a terrible mom. I had to leave the room so he didn't see me laughing.  Craig said, "Why did you whap him?"

"well... um. because. because...he was......CHEATING!" (it was obvious he had just come up with that one).

"what did the principal say to you?"

"Um, I don't remember."


Thursday, September 24, 2009


usually when I see photos of someone's kid all covered in food it kinda grosses me out. "poor kid" I think, "just clean 'em up so they can be happy!"

I have learned my lesson.

he's obviously happiest just. like. this. 

and he'll tell it to your face.  you gotta problem with that?
i've been trying to get more regular about posting - I have even done some sewing that I could pop up here for inspirational viewing. 

it's just that a 5 year old in my house has been sick all week, and a 6 month old in my house has been up screaming all night with a fever, and it's all I can do at the moment to not collapse in a heap.  

healthy thoughts in our direction would be appreciated. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

last saturday the largest employer in my little home town went up in smoke.  130 more people in this economic depression are out of work until.... when? 

the mill in another small town in Trinity county closed down in 1996. There is hardly anything left of that town now.  I hope the lumber mill can rebuild. And  quickly. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who are suffering because of this. Thankfully no one was injured.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

this morning my son is hoisting himself up on his knees and elbows. I inform him that a baby his age is not allowed to be doing things that look like crawling.

“stop that.” I say, and gently nudge him over with my foot.

he gives me a screech-laugh and rolls back onto his belly to try again.  he keeps screeching and making happy sounds; like this business is something he’s done before and forgotten how fun it is, and is excited to have that fun again.

I felt that way a couple of times too, watching my older kids when they were toddlers. Playing in the snow and rolling down hills. I remembered how much fun it used to be, and jumped in with them. Didn’t work out so well for me though. The snow just made me cold and wet and rolling pell-mell down a grassy slope just makes me feel sick. 

this kid really is making progress, I think, and wonder if I’m wrong about the whole “you shouldn’t be crawling yet” thing. My oldest didn’t crawl until he was 9 months old but for the life of me I cannot remember when my second was crawling.  

So I google it. Because google has all the answers (well, okay, I just googled “Which church is the true church?” to see and apparently google does NOT have all the answers after all).   The general consensus is 6-10 months. Ambiguous much?

I look down at him. He is two feet further backward than when I started my google search.  

“you won’t be six months old for ten more days, buddy.”  I nudge him onto his back again.

as I walk away, I can hear him laughing.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

There is one person who has not been entirely thrilled with the new school year:

Dear Mom, (he wrote, in his most recent letter of complaint)

What have you done with my 24 hour entertainment? Why are they gone for half of my day? As the Center of the Universe, it is my right to have persons available whose sole purpose in life is to make me laugh.  

You kind of suck at that. I need them back. Instantly. 

Also, you are boring. 
and don't even think for a second, Mom, that this fancy new contraption is going to make up for it.  I can see right through your pathetic attempts at getting hobbies and chores done instead of holding me.  Nice try. 

Lots of drooly kisses,

so you can see that I'm going to have to step up and reevaluate my plans for the school year. I am not going to be the uber-housekeeper and getting-fun-things-done-er. I am going to be the entertainer, the holder, the sleep companion. What was I thinking? 

not that I mind, hear. A life of productivity is ideal, but a life of lazing about and playing with the cutest little cherub ever to squirm over the face of the earth is fine with me, too. 
My middlest child had his first day of Kindergarten on Tuesday.  He liked it. 

and my oldest started 4th grade. sheesh. 

they are at a new charter school; a german immersion program that is on its way to being an International Baccalaureate school. It's very exciting to be a part of pioneering such an amazing program. 
sure, the "office" is about the size of my kitchen (that's "small", folks), and we have no cafeteria or art/music room or blacktop or auditorium and sure we're using fancy porta-potties for the time being. 

but it's still pretty exciting. 

Friday, September 04, 2009

Another day, another article

This one is all about how Whole Foods CEO John Mackey has angered a large number of his regular customers by having an opinion

Well how dare he! And now some 22,000 Facebookers have sworn to boycott the chain because they don't like what the man has to say.  What, are we terrorists now? Are we trying to put a man out of business because he refuses to think the way we want him to? REALLY?!

Happily, the boycott has caused another group of folk to BUYcott the company in St. Louis - Mackey's customers tend to be liberal Democrats rather than conservatives - and try to boost the revenue by shopping in the chain's stores. 

It seems that this outburst is nothing but an excuse for two parties to sit around and call each other names.  How progressive of us all. 

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Caitlin Flanagan's recent article in Time Magazine was, I believe, a well written and necessary story of How Life Really Is vs. What People Think is OK.  Marriage is an important part of our life on Earth and a necessary step in the path to raising a healthy and functioning family. 

Divorce and single-parent families have become the norm rather than the exception. The effect that these trends have, and will have on society are already bad and exponentially worse.  How does one affect change in this society? Is it possible for us as a country to reverse this or will we have to have a catastrophic crash-and-burn before things change? 

I have to admit it's hard to be hopeful after seeing statistics like these!
Many of you know that I'm hard pressed to read/watch anything that does not include a love story.  They are simply my favorites.   

Also many of you know that I was not thrilled with the Harry+Ginny story in the last movie.  It could have been so much better, and sweeter, and actually part of the story. But whatever. 

I saw this image in smallsize on Facebook today and I thought, is that... is that Ron and Hermione?!  and I quickly googled it and Yes! It Is Them!

and now I'm hoping that the 7th movie will do a decent job with the sweet love stories that are in the book.  Because this photo is fantastic!


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I'm a convert!

After years and years of learning about how to be more eco-friendly and reducing my carbon footprint, I've decided to switch to cloth diapering.  It is so easy, and there are so many options now, that I feel there really is no reason not to anymore.   

Besides the environmental factor, the reusable diapers do not have the chemicals that disposable diapers must use in order to have the absorbency they need.  Healthier for baby, healthier for the environment.  Check it out!

Monday, August 24, 2009

randomly, today is national waffle day.

how embarrassing that I made pancakes for breakfast this morning.