Monday, December 29, 2008

Before, during, and after.

The last week has been a whirlwind, even though we haven't traveled anywhere. Some days have seemed crazy and others quiet, and in the mix we had a wonderful Christmas. A pre-holiday trip to Urgent Care resulted in a single stitch to the temple of one child, followed by another trip to the doctor three days later (same child) for an ear infection. Add in some snow, an ice storm, an extra day off of school for the kids (thanks to the snow/ice), two weeks of vacation for the husband, some bitter cold days, followed by a spring-like thaw. No wonder it's felt like a whirlwind!

Here, a look at the snow, before the ice hit.


Then, Christmas! Preschoolers at church sang several songs which was adorable, of course. Kirk got this shot during rehearsal and I love it, even though Grace is not in the frame!Kirk and I managed, again, to enjoy time together on Christmas Eve after the kids were in bed. Some Christmas tunes and the makings of monkey bread for the morning made this a relaxing and special part of our evening.
Here, a simple microwave rice pillow, scented with mint and lavender essential oils - I made this one for myself (I know, crazy to actually make something for myself!) - and I managed to make one for everyone else in the family as their handmade gift from me. The best part is that the kids love them. They're great for cold feet at night!
And speaking of making things, check out what my amazing husband made for me this year. That's right, I said made for me! I wanted a handmade, tied fleece blanket and I didn't want to have to make it for myself. So with a bit of instruction (remember that trip to the fabric store?) he whipped this up and it is fantastic. Huge, warm, and how cool that it has Snoopy on it?Finally, one of the favorite gifts from Santa (given to Grace) was a digital camera. A V-Tech Kidizoom camera, to be exact. She loves it and has taken some pretty cool pictures! Here you can see her Barbie still life, as well as a self-portrait. I love the grainy, art-schooly look. And what a gift to us to see the world through her eyes for a change.p.s. I really want to share the details of my gift exchange with Kirk this year. We had some rules to follow, causing us to think outside the box a bit. Soon, I promise!
p.p.s. Happy Birthday, Kirk! You know I love you. You're so good to us. And what can I say...you are the MML. Maybe someday I'll get that printed on a t-shirt for you!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Video games.

I would seriously love to ban Guitar Hero from the household. Kirk and Reed love it, but it sets me on edge. I can rarely even sit in the room while it's being played! Like right now, Kirk is playing a "gig"and all I wanted to do was curl up in a chair, in my warm family room (while sipping a little cocktail) and finish reading the paper. But no sooner did I sit down than the screeching, frenetic guitar/drum craziness erupted! I asked, nicely, to please finish soon. But then I'm told "I'm only two songs away from finishing. I can't stop now." So, I removed myself upstairs while my nerves settle a little. I mean, I'm not asking for Brahms instead - just a chance to sit where I want without risk of a nervous breakdown!

Someday, in the next house, there will be a room for all such "toys." To be kept contained, and away from me!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tagged.

I have been photo tagged by my good friend Sherilyn - apparently the rules are to go to your photo files and open the fourth picture. Easier said than done, considering the mountains of picture files I have (as in, which file would I choose?), not to mention archive upon archive of photos. And, I thought about doing this on my laptop which would mean using the stock picture files that came with the computer - because I have no images of my own on there! So, for a moment, imagine the perfect stock-photo picture of serenity, of a deep blue ocean and a long dock, reaching out to the water's edge....pretty, right?

This one...well, not so much.
I think I was making glassware for someone out of town, and probably took the picture to show the options in glasses. That, or I was trying to decide just how thirsty I really was!

So now I have to tag someone else...OK, I'll tag Robyn, Amy, and Jennifer. I sure hope you ladies have better 4th photos than I do!

p.s. Maybe tomorrow I'll upload the ocean/dock image. It really is quite a lovely one, even if it isn't my own!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hooray for trash!

Did I really just say that?

OK, here's the deal. We recycle in this house. Everything possible. When a child dares throw a piece of paper away in the kitchen trash, I usually only have to say, "Just what do you think you're doing?" To which the paper scrap offender replies, "oh...right...put it in the recycling bag..."

I am grateful that our trash pickup includes recycling service. Yet, it has pained me over the past several years (more like 5 or 6) to ONLY be able to recycle plastic labeled as a "1" or a "2." That leaves out numbers 3 through 6! And a lot of plastic comes in and out of this house labeled 5, in particular (you know, dairy containers with the snap-on lids? Yep, those are 5's).

And so, I actually pumped my fist in the air and said, "Yesssssss!" when, after perusing the official "Waste Line" newsletter (don't you love trash puns?), I saw that our service now includes recycling for plastics 3 and 5. Meaning, all those pesky blister cards (hello, Christmas morning!) and the many dairy/food containers that come our way. Hallelujah. It's about time.

I know larger cities have more extensive recycling programs. At least, here in Omaha, they're heading in the right direction!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dear Santa.

Dear Santa,

How are the reindeer I hope their not sick. When you come and vist me be sure to wake me up. The elfs better not be pulling pranks on other elfs like glueing each other on to a seat stuff like that. I hope Mrs. Claus is makeing some yummy sugar cookies that have good frosting. I've also heard that elfs are very sneaky so you may want to have an elf keep guard. I've heard that the weather will be very snowie so you may want to wear double winter coats. And I've been very good and sometimes bad and my mom will send you my Christmas list soon.

Your friend,
Reed

**a third grade assignment, brought home last week...I kept the spelling/punctuation accurate to the letter...and I especially like the part about "sneaky elfs!"**

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Amazing.

Write this one down in the books. I have something truly amazing, spectacular, something rarely, if ever seen around these parts.

Two out of three bathrooms are clean. At the same time.

It's a Christmas miracle!

Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Etsy Oath

***I solemnly swear that I will never get jaded to being featured on Etsy's front page, for as long as I shall live, so help me God!***


I am in the top row, left column -The Winter Cowl. Special thanks to this Etsy friend for including me in her lovely treasury!

Edit: Just found this. Blasted! Missed another one!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New.

Some new fabric, perfect for a "boy" sketch roll. It is really, really hard to find good fabrics for boys that aren't babyish or borderline scary (skulls, for instance!). I just love this fabric which I scored locally for a good price. I'm thinking it would look great on baby items as well, like a blanket or even as a baby gift set. Who wouldn't love a Route 66 onesie?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Update on the snowmen.

The marshmallow snowmen were a snap to put together and both Lauren and Grace loved the activity. However, due to supreme naughtiness, Grace was not allowed to eat hers last night. Naturally, she was excited to try hers out after lunch today. She stuffed a large bite off the head into her mouth and excitedly yelled, "these are BRILLIANT!"

A moment later, after swallowing, she said (a little more quietly), "Mom, what does brilliant mean?"

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas books.

A few days (weeks?) ago I mentioned the tradition we have of giving new Christmas books to the kids on December 1st. We were lucky that each of the picks this year were a huge hit! Here are the titles:

Can You See What I See? The Night Before Christmas by Walter Wick - Grace received this book, and despite a few moments of dramatics when she claimed she "hated" it, I think it has actually gone over pretty well. How's that for preschool logic? The book is set up like an I Spy book, with lots of beautiful pictures to find hidden objects. Some of the things are pretty hard to find, so we usually take one page per sitting.

Kids in the Holiday Kitchen by Jessica Strand and Tammy Massman-Johnson - This book went to Lauren and her reaction upon opening was priceless! We have had a lot of fun looking through the beautifully photographed pages to pick out some recipes to try. If you click the link, notice the cute marshmallow snowman on the cover - we just made these a little while ago to have for dessert tonight!

Santa Claus by Rod Green - When Reed opened this, he hesitated for a moment thinking the book was a picture book (in 8 year-old speak this would equate to a "baby" book). I simply told him, "Trust me. You'll love it." And, he does. It is a gorgeous fold-out book filled with all of the minute details of Santa's life and the goings-on of the North Pole. For a kid who is on the fence about Santa, this might extend the belief in Santa for another season. Or, for a kid like Reed who knows the truth about Santa, this book will surely reengage their imagination and let them know that it is really fun to continue to dream about Santa! He has read it cover to cover and claims it is "awesome."

Any good titles new to your house this year? Please share!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Worlds are colliding!

I felt like George Costanza today when I announced to Kirk, in the middle of a fabric store (yes, I did say Kirk was in a fabric store) that "worlds are colliding!" Because, to be out with my husband in the early afternoon on a Friday (without kids) is cause enough for concern. But to be in a fabric store together? Chatting about how quilts are put together and how those fleece tie blankets are made? And then to walk over to the music store and peruse guitars and drums and sheet music for him? Well, that's just plain crazy!

It sorta felt like we were dating.

And no, we didn't just ditch the kids. Two are in school, one was in preschool followed by Mom's Day Out, and Kirk is taking every Friday off for awhile. So what are usually my harried holiday errands became a nice shopping trip together in the morning, then lunch with child #2 at school, followed by the fabric-and-music store trip. We've had these kids for awhile now, so any alone time together that is just normal time...not a night out or a "date"...well, let's just say we really enjoy it and are happy to say that there is still no one else we'd rather hang out with!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Friendship.

Friends are lovely, aren't they? They keep you company, and make you laugh, and share bits of your life as though treasures. If you're really lucky, you also have at least one friend who you talk to or share things with constantly (I belive this is your best friend, or BFF for the text-happy folks). I am lucky to have someone like that in my life!

Yet, friends come and go, too. I am aware of this every year when I look over the list for Christmas cards. Maybe there were friendships of circumstance (having kids in the same class) or were part of a now-defunct playgroup. As much as I value my friends, I am sometimes glad to let these pass. It's okay, they were for a purpose and now that purpose is gone. Or we may vaguely keep in touch, but that's all.

What is fun and surprising is when an old friend walks back into your life. And you remember that your friendship didn't start out simply due to circumstances but it was because you really liked each other. And had fun. And did stupid stuff (if you were young together). And maybe it was circumstances that let you drift apart...but isn't it awesome to come back together and realize that you know exactly why you were friends with this person in the first place?