Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm still here--sorta

I felt I should just post and say hi.
I won't be blogging for a bit as life has gotten a little too busy for much computer time. I'm fine and I'll be back when I can.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hundred Dollar Holiday

This is something I'm mulling over in my brain. What if we stopped spending money on making Christmas a commercial event? What if my kids stopped establishing toy hordes every holiday? What if I could just relax and enjoy Christmas with the people I love most?
We would still travel. I love seeing family for Christmas and I believe that is what Christmas is all about. But I think I'd like to spend more time serving others in memory of the service that The Christ gave during his ministry.
I don't want to stop spending altogether. I just don't want to spend all my money on stuff that I don't know if people will really like or not. If I buy food for a nice meal to serve, toiletries for a woman's shelter, warm clothes for needy kids, the money is still going into the economy. Just in a different way. Could I teach my children by example that love is giving of oneself and not of the latest toy/gadget fad?
Really, I think we do a very good job already. There is always room for improvement. I guess I am just putting this out there so when I decide to really do this, our entire family doesn't get shocked around November LOL. We generally get the kids a pass to the zoo for a present. I like to make things for family members. I am committed to buying more locally made items for gifts this coming year.
I like the idea of giving my children (and my spouse!) a "date day" for a gift. They each get one full day of just me. I'm considering that. I like it for birthdays too. I recently read the book, Hundred Dollar Holidays: The Case For a More Joyful Christmas by Bill McKibben. Here is a site that is dedicated to the idea. Food for thought.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Kids are brilliant!

I've been looking for this study for awhile. My friend Shallay just gave me the push I needed to look for it in earnest.
I don't agree with the way they came by the children for the study, but the results should be required reading for every parent--and doctor!
Here it is.

Monday, April 14, 2008

G's Prayer

Dad: How do we start?
G: I dunno
Dad: Who are we talking to?
G: Heav'y Fadder
Dad: What are you thankful for?
G: Toys
Dad: What else?
G: Hot dogs
Dad: What else?
G: Toys
Dad: Are there any blessings you would like to ask for?
G: Toys, hot dogs
Dad: Anything else?
G: Toys
Dad: Are there any blessings you want to ask for someone else?
G: Toys and hotdogs
Dad: Anything else?
G: NameJeeChystMen!

I'm just glad I was holding E and could hide my laughing in his huge 'fro!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Food again

I am moving my recipe life to another blog. I have set it to accept crawling by search engines--unlike this one. You can go look at it iffn' ya want. It's called Cookin' Somethin' Outta Nuthin'. It is still very much a work in progress. Suggestions are welcome!

If you have mastered the art...

Of getting your children to do chores, PLEASE enlighten me! M is driving me nuts. Short trip, I know and it really has been a long journey, but the chores! Eeek.
I'm trying to get him to do more around the house. Partly because I really need the help during the day, but also just so he learns to do some basic chores. He will unload the dishwasher with a bit of complaining--it's getting better (I think?). He still sometimes proclaims it the "worst chore ever" until I say, with relief, that I would be happy to unload the dw, if he will load it. He then grumbles his way through.

Yesterday, well and Friday, he was supposed to pull weeds. Really a fairly mindless job since everything that is green in the garden so far is a weed. If it's green, pull it. I explained it, gave him gloves and a weed pully thingy and sent him to work. It was too hard. It was too hot. It was the worst chore ever. He whined, he screamed, he came in crying hysterically. I avoided smacking him. Or wringing his neck. I finally passed the babe to Dad, put on my sandals and went and pulled with him. He maybe pulled 5 weeds. He is too old for me grab his hand and make him do it. He was told he could not play with the neighbors till the chore was done. He never got to play with them. He had been asking for donuts. He got none because I gave up my prep time to pull his weeds. I explained all this to him. He just says he is the stupidest kid. AAAaaargh!
This is the same kid who wants a farm. I asked him how he would live on a farm if he can't even pull a weed. He said he would love to work on a farm. Yeah. Riiiight. Then again, he does want goats, which would pretty much take care of the weed issue.
So anyway..
Comment away and share your brilliance with this poor mother.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Weird

My baby has a cold. He is feeling a bit better. But he is losing his voice! I'm sorry, but it is the funniest thing ever. He thinks so too. Every once in awhile he'll hear his own voice and talk more just to hear it.
And he is getting much better at the crawling. Getting FAST!
And I'm losing my marbles. I must be. It's the only explanation for a woman who is planning to make 5 outfits (yes, outfits--as in skirt/shirt/jacket and pants/tee/shirt/maybe a jacket) for kids and have them done by May 25th-ish. With just a crummy Singer to sew on. And they're Ottobre. Which means I am spending today and tomorrow just tracing the patterns. Psycho.
And do you think it is pushing the awesomeness of dh a bit far if I am in the exact state of just-dragged-my-rear-outta-bedness as when he left this am? I hope not. I still need to make dinner.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Trillium Festival

Saturday we went up to Portland to Tryon Creek State Park. They were holding the annual Trillium Festival and native plant sale. We didn't buy any plants but had a great time at the festival!
We saw lots of mud of course. G insisted on this photo:
M did a great job answering questions at the booths to get free stuff. We learned more about native landscaping and local ecosystems.
We had to dress for the weather because it did rain a little bit. We went on a guided nature hike where we learned a lot about the plants and wildlife in the park.
I have the best looking guys around! I snapped this picture on the way out.
2 pictures I didn't get and wish I had were of the trilliums (duh, I forgot to take the camera on the hike) and the woodpecker we saw. As the rest of the group was heading on, I heard a tapping. Knowing how much M loves birds, I waited to see if I could get a look at the woodpecker. Sure enough, right in front of me on a tall Aspen, was a gorgeous Pileated Woodpecker. He put on quite a show for us and we had a great view of him before he flew off for juicier bugs.
There is a trillium picture I took last year at the end of this post. Of course, there are lots of photos if you follow the links in the park link above. They are really neat flowers. Three leaves, three petals, hence the name.

Go Baby Go!

E has figured out the movement thing and boy, is he proud of himself! He had figured out how to scoot a few days before it really clicked for him. He was merrily scooting around, getting tired and resting every few minutes when he looked up. Suddenly he realized that he could go and GET that toy over there. He is definitely loving his new-found freedom! I just love to watch his hilarious crawl/scoot thing he has going. Makes me wonder if he will progress to traditional hands and knees crawling or if he'll do army crawl, or just skip to walking someday.

video

Friday, April 04, 2008

No machine doesn't help

My sewing machine is broken, but all I can find is more fabric!
I stepped into Fabric Gallery today after I took G and E to Whole Foods today. I'd seen the sign and always wanted to go, but wasn't ever brave enough. That may be a good thing.
They have over 800 rolls of fabric in stock. They have thousands of fabric samples hanging in the main part of the store for special orders. They have an ENTIRE ROOM of fabric books to leaf through to special order more. Good grief. And trims. They have trims. I now have my kitchen completely designed. As soon as I get the kitchen of my dreams to decorate. And a machine that will sew the cushions I envision for my breakfast nook.

Last week, or week before I guess, Mom and I were looking for some fabric. We came across a site I didn't even know about. How did I MISS this?!?! It's called Fabric Fairy. Only, it's like fabric heaven. That is where I'm sure I'm going if I'm good in this life. It's the only explanation really. And if some of you knew about this and didn't tell, me! Well, then, you're fired. Really!

So, if I sewed professionally, which is something I intend to do in the near future, what would you all buy. Do tell. I'll make that and support my habit. C will probably thank you. I think he may grow tired of supporting my habit eventually. Especially if I keep discovering stores like this! It's a good thing he loves me so much and is such a fabulous guy!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I fell in love

So I have had my Viking 6030 for several years now. It is a fabulous machine. I've written about it before. I do truly love it. It sews through anything. It makes sewing easy and fun. But I just spent over $100 having it fixed. And now it is broken again. The poor thing. C has pointed out that at some point it is not really going to be worth fixing. So he told me to start shopping.
I went online and did some research. I felt I didn't want a computerized machine. What I didn't really consider is that they are ALL computerized. There really is no such thing as an entirely mechanical machine anymore. Except the really cheap ones. No thanks.
But I made a list of a few I wanted to look at and went to the sewing center. Darn sales guy. He listens to my list of needs and wants and points out that I'd probably really be happiest with something pretty fast and powerful. Or maybe I told him that. Anyway, he shows me the Viking Emerald, the Pfaff somethingorother, another Viking, and then pulls me over to the BabyLock Quest. Oh. My. Goodness! That thing is beautiful!! It sews 1,000 stitches per minute. It has 2 thread spools and separate feed systems for beautiful twin needle sewing. It has a tension dial and front loading bobbin (increases stitch quality). It has billions of stitches. Ohh, Ohhh, and a knee lever foot lift!! And push button start/stop and auto stitch locking. *Drool*
Okay, yeah it is computerized to the hilt. It has a million things I'd never use. But that long free arm! That wide workspace! Like I said. I've fallen in love. But I may have to put a paypal button on my blog. The thing costs $1549 on sale. It's normally somewhere over $2000. Yikes. I knew there were expensive machines. They get a LOT more expensive than this. I just thought I would be happy with something a little closer to the $4-600 neighborhood.
But I was talking to C last night about what I wanted in a machine. I was bummed, because to get it, I would have to have something computerized, which I thought I didn't want. He effectively talked me into wanting a computerized machine. Or at least not being against them at all. Good Job, C! I love you.
Actually, I do like talking to him about things like this. I know what features I have to have, what would be really nice to have. I don't know much about the mechanics of things however. He being a mechanical engineer, of course does. So I love getting his thoughts.
So, I thought I'd put up my list of needs and wants. Here goes:

Needs

  • Twin needle capability
  • free arm small enough, and long enough, to sew kids clothes
  • wide enough work space to turn things while top stitching and making diapers
  • adjustable presser food pressure
  • Teflon foot (just has to be available to purchase)
  • buttonholer
  • front load bobbin
  • variety of stitches such as : triple zigzag, stretch stitch, blind hem and reverse blind hem
  • long stitch length. 5mm
  • It has to handle denim and leather, as well as lightweight fabrics, with ease.
Wants
  • a few decorative stitches. I don't use them much, but once in awhile I do and it is nice to have. If I had a lot, I'd probably use them.
  • keyhole buttonhole and round buttonhole
  • one step button hole would be fabulous!
  • I have always wanted a knee bar for the presser foot lift
  • independent bobbin winder. This is what I have on my Viking, and I'm spoiled. What can I say?
  • some satin stitches, or at least one, for appliqué work.
  • And can I get it to last forever?