Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a great family gathering on the 20th, and a wonderful gathering with friends here on the holiday. The Harveys are here visiting from Seattle until Tuesday! More pictures and posts to come soon!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I took Fletch and Van to Travel Town museum on Thursday to celebrate Isaac's 3rd birthday. We hadn't been since Fletcher was about Van's age, so he really didn't remember it.

You can tell he's not very happy:

From the parking lot, Van saw all the big trains lined up and started pointing and saying, "Train, train, train, train!" and then once we started heading toward the entrance it was, "RUN! RUN! RUN!" He was so excited! They had two trains that could be climbed on and explored, and then we took the little mini-train ride around the park.
Good times had by all.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thanksgiving is 13 days away!

Last year we spatchcocked the turkey, using Martha Stewart's instructions. It was ideal for our situation - warmer weather and apartment living. The turkey cooked in half the time and we didn't have to keep our oven on so long it was too hot to stay inside for dinner!

This year we will probably do the same thing, even though we have more space. It was just so convenient and it tasted great. Maxine declares that the turkey must be brined, though, so brined it shall be.
Nan will make her traditional crescent rolls. She will make a quadruple batch so that we have enough for 4 families to snack on, have with dinner, and take for leftovers.

And there will be pie. Lots of pie! Pumpkin, apple, chocolate cream! And we're going to sneak in a pumpkin cheesecake just because.

Also this year I am going to make Pioneer Woman's recipe for green bean casserole. We tried her sweet potatoes last year and almost died from happiness, so I'm pretty sure we can't go wrong with her casserole. Plus, I'm the only one who really has to have the stuff on the menu, so I may as well experiment and see if I can't get any more followers, eh?

We'll have 8 adults (with a possible 10) and 7 children. We are hoping for mild weather so we can put the tables in the back yard and eat outside. I'd love to hear some fun and easy kid craft ideas! We have ages from 1 to 10....

Monday, November 08, 2010

World Map Quilt

Craig gave me all of Saturday "off" to do whatever I wanted! Yay! After heading out for some shopping and lunch with Hannah, I came home and kicked them all out so I could finally work on my world map quilt that I have been wanting to make for several months now.

First, I laid the map out on my water fabric to make sure it would fit properly:

Then, I cut out each individual continent (I'm adding small islands- like Taiwan, Iceland, Tasmania - later) and placed it on the water fabric, and pinned it down.

I cut out the fabric in the continent shape, slid my "land color" fabric underneath, and pinned them together.

I will reverse applique them to the quilt, going around each continent two or three times with my thread.

This part is coming together faster than I thought it would - it's really exciting!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

I have a ten year old.

I have had a ten year old for nearly three months now and still, every time I say that sentence to myself I go "Huh....nawwwww". Because can it really possibly be true? Double digits? More than halfway to adulthood? I declare it impossible.

I mean, he still can't eat anything without getting evidence of it all over his face. Every day after school I tell him what he had for lunch. He droops his shoulders and makes this frown/smile and says, "sorry Mom" as I laugh and tousle his hair.

He spends 90% of his time living in his head. His imagination colors his perception heavily. There is consistently, (and unconsciously I suspect) a soundtrack sneaking out of his lungs to whatever thing is going on in his head. It's heavy on special effects sounds and anime-style drama. Oh, that anime. He loves it.

And, it must be someone else's kid who already has to wear deoderant and use anti-acne face wash. Right? Someone else's kid whose feet are bigger than mine and who is as tall as my chin. I noticed the other day that the little baby face hairs above his lip are starting to darken.

I am so proud of him. So proud I can hardly stand it, actually. This school year he has suddenly decided that he wants to work hard on reports and tests all on his own. He hasn't gotten a grade less than 95% all year. (man I hope he keeps that up)

Every single adult who meets him ends up seeking me out to tell me how nice he is, and how sweet, and how impressed they are.

And every single day I wonder if I'm giving him the right opportunities and advice, teaching him the right skills. I wonder what he will end up doing for a profession, where he will live and if it will be close to us, or far away. We are far away from our own parents, so it's not like we've set a precedence of "don't EVER leave" here. Well, there's one mistake. Maybe if I just tie him to a tether in the back yard? He'll be happy there for the next 30 years, right?

Monday, November 01, 2010

Last halloween pix post - some random shots Maxine took at the DreamWorks party:

There were several people who asked us what we were for Halloween. Which was kind of hard to answer because the Steam punk subculture doesn't have any characters - it's just a fun (read: totally awesome) way to dress up and tinker around.

Here's Connor's step by step:

Started the same way as his brother: white shirt (had to resize - I did so many alterations this year!), knickers (women's size 6 slacks. Don't tell him), and trouser socks and black shoes.

Added a vest (which I already had) embellished with more gears, and the tan silk scarf.

The hat and jacket we purchased at It's a Wrap, that tv/movie store. We got the black camera case at a yard sale, and craig added a lantern and one of the antiqued nerf guns.

The goggles were purchased from the surplus store (you can also get them on, and the loupe was from amazon. (that is the magnifier attachment) Craig removed the rubber head strap and replaced it with a leather one he had me cut out and sew on. Then he added a buckle to it from one of his own messenger bags, and painted the goggles with the copper rub.

He looked fantastic.
I may have decided that petticoats and corsets are no longer on my list of Things That Should Come Back in Style, but can I just say that I wish I could dress my boys in these clothes every day? So stinkin' cute.

Fletcher's costume was put together as follows:

White dress shirt, knickers, trouser socks, and black church shoes. To make the knickers, I bought a pair of women's size 0 corduroy pants (the thrift store did not have any slacks in my boys' sizes, of course) and took in the sides and back to make the waist smaller. Then I cut them off just below the knee and put elastic in the seam allowance.

Add a silk scarf and vest. The scarf we got at a store here that has clothes from T.V. and movie sets. The jacket was another thrift store find - a women's linen jacket. I cut off the collar and sleeves, and took in the sides. The gears were from a package that I purchased at Michael's.

The helmet is one we had (it's actually a Harry Potter quidditch helmet). We got the vintage WWII goggles from the surplus store and the corduroy blazer from the thrift store (again, I had to size it down).
Craig put together the jet pack from items he got from the surplus store, yard sales, and things we had laying around in the garage. We wanted to have smoke coming out of the top via dry ice, but we were unable to find any. Still, it was a really great look. The clear tube on the pack has a flameless candle in it, and it looked great in the dusk.