Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's That Time of Year Again

You know, the time of year when a boyfriend comes in handy.
Yes, it's prom time.
Someone had a "boyfriend" but well, ummm, errrr, hmmm, well, it didn't really work out. Usually this not-working-out-thing happens after prom, with the operative word being--usually.
This year saw a slight change of routine. Relationship ended one week before prom.
Which made for a slightly awkward evening that was only marginally fun. Ah, the trials of the young. (Don't worry, condolences are not necessary. She's fine. Seriously.)

Here's our little prom miss with her best friend Rachael.

And posing sans boys.

Good times. Good times.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sneak Peak

We're getting ready to move. And since the current housing market is a little less than stellar, we decided it was time to spruce up a little in hopes of making a sale.

Here are a few of the many projects we are currently tackling. And when I say "we" you need to understand that I really mean "Ian." I personally have more of what you might call a supporting role. My job is to keep the rest of the household moving in the right direction as the projects unfold. Or sit at the computer and play Spider Solitaire. It really depends on my mood.

So here you see our new fridge. Although it looks much more massive than the old one, it actually has less cubic footage. Go figure. Ian constructed the built in for the fridge to slide into. He also faux painted all the kitchen cupboards.

And this isn't a current project, but go ahead and check out those awesome concrete countertops. Yes, he cast them himself.

What you may not appreciate in the following picture is what you actually don't see. And that would be the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of books that used to be on the bookshelf that used to be on this wall. According to our realtor, people don't have bookcases in their bedrooms. Well, I had a bookcase in my bedroom, and to paraphrase Sojourner Truth, "Ain't I a person?" According to Kim, apparently not. So that was a project I actually helped with. I gave away 3 boxes of homeschooling books, sold about 4 boxes and made $149.00, and gave 3 more boxes to Amy to sell at her garage sale this weekend. The other boxes got stacked up in the garage along with the floor-to-ceiling bookcases. Now we just have to paint the wall and get it to feather in with the old paint.

Look Mom, I even made my bed for this picture!

Baseboards are coming up next. And after that we will replace the world's nastiest carpet.

Moving down the hall, we come to the girl's room. First it was Amy's, now it is Annika's. They both have made their mark, literally. I wish I could find a before picture so you could fully appreciate the change. Those of you who have seen it in person can testify. We still have a little work to do on the shutters, as you can see. The ceiling had to be patched, because remember that little roof leak issue we had? Yeah, it killed the drywall in this room.

There's more to do inside, but it's a nice day here in Arizona, so let's go outside, shall we? New framing around the french doors, the start of the prep work for painting, and all the beadboard on the porch ceiling was taken down.

Yep, there it all is.

Now, Kim told us our back porch looked really bad. I wish I had counted how many times she mentioned it. Every time she looked at it she would say it again, "Oh, that looks really bad." Yeah Kim, we get it. This is the new tile we've picked out.

Here's a cool new gate Ian framed up. It leads to this tiny little area right outside the master bath. We have a huge tub with a big picture window, so this is the little privacy area that keeps the Toms from peepin' in.

We have several citrus trees that were a tad bit overgrown, so Ian cleaned them up a little. Now you can actually see the tree trunks. One of the last things we'll do is lay down a new layer of rock. For those of you outside of Arizona who might not understand, yes, I said rock. It's everywhere. You get used to it after awhile. You even grow to appreciate it. And then one day you hear yourself saying the unthinkable: "Hey, I like the way the rocks look in your yard." You know you've gotten used to the place once you embrace the rock. Well, anyway, it's not time for new rock quite yet.

These bad boys will require a professional.
And that is just a small taste of what's goin' on in our neck of the woods.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea, Please

In honor of the April 15 tea parties around the nation, I thought I'd share with you my ode to tea. Personally, I'm a fan of a good old fashioned cuppa joe, unflavored please. Tea doesn't really do it for me, despite my southern roots. Making tea wallets, however, does seem to be my cup of tea.

For a non-tea drinker, I certainly have a large supply of tea, and quite a wide variety as well. What can I say? Tea comes in pretty packages that lure me in. Can't quite bring myself to enjoy drinking it though.

I found a tutorial for the wallets on Christy's Creations. They are actually pretty easy to put together. My big change was to use an elastic hair tie rather than the closure she suggested.

Turns out the tea wallets are good for Emergen-C packets as well.

As you can see, I've made quite a few of these wallets. Whenever I give one away, I load it up with tea, thereby significantly reducing my stash. Eventually I'll get rid of all the nasty tea leaves, unless a pretty package calls my name again. Besides, isn't it patriotic to be devoted to coffee? I'm just trying to do my part.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Zooloo and the Quilt

The Big Guy, also known as Son #1, has been up to his usual shenanigans. In addition to finishing out his semester in DC, he's been filming for an intern contest with Zooloo. What's zooloo? Who the heck knows? I have my guesses but I'm keeping them to myself. You know, to avoid going out on a limb and all....You'll have to do your own investigative journalism on this one. My last foray into intrepid investigating wore me out.

Here's Geoff's video complete with flannel quilt made by the grandmother.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Of Easter Eggs and Other Such Things

Some yummy treats

Some new friends

Some brothers and sisters

Some friendly competition

Some Easter basket goodies for the girls and Nate
Some Easter basket goodies for the boys minus Nate

(Nate was the surprise guest, so he had to take what he could get!)

A fun Easter celebration!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Flimsy Whimsy

Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits,

and their names were
and Peter.

This was a quilting challenge set up by Milah, my quilty friend in Indiana. I'd like to tell you that I intend to handquilt this little baby quilt, and that's why it's not yet finished, but it's Sunday, and I don't like to lie on Sundays, especially Easter Sunday.
The truth: I fully intend to machine quilt this, but I've never actually done it before. I usually send my quilts out at this point for someone else to finish up! I pay someone cold hard cash to quilt it, then cry and moan and act all pitiful to trick my mom into binding it for me (for free). Wait a minute...did I just say that out loud? Ummm, I think I may have just sabotaged myself.

So, here's what I have.
This fabric panel was originally intended to be a soft book. I pity anyone who ever tried to make it into a book. The print was so "wonky," I don't see how you could make a book and have every page turn out the same size. Thank goodness this wasn't a "Make a Peter Rabbit Wonky Book" challenge!

I cut the pictures out, and reassembled them using a Crazy Eights pattern. Instead of buying the pattern, my mom and I stood in a quilt store and eyeballed the sample quilt until we had it memorized. Then we ran out to the car and scribbled it down on paper. Yeah, we could have taken a picture, but then we would have felt less like spies.

Oh yeah, I also intend to put borders on. I'd like to embroider a bit on the inner border as well. Maybe something Beatrix Potterish. But we're in the middle of packing up and moving, so I think that will have to wait until we're up and gone and resettled. (Did you know Milah's family has lived on the same property for three generations?! Okay three generations ago my family was in Arkansas and Ian's family hadn't even emigrated yet!)

Here's the flimsy hanging out with some of the Easter baskets. Did I happen to mention we'll have 10 kids over for dinner? Some are ours, and the rest are college kids who can't make the trip home. Amy collects them up like little orphans. I feed them and give them Easter baskets, cuz even big kids like candy! Maybe if I didn't have craft ADD, I would have finished my quilt instead of making Easter baskets!
Here are some of the other quilters who took the Peter Rabbit challenge. Go check out their cute quilts!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Want Candy

About 12 years ago, when this little sweetie was 2...

he woke me up from a dead sleep at 5 in the morning. It was one of those moments when you sense someone is standing near you, hovering, just waiting for you to wake up, and so you do, in a complete panic, wondering what's wrong.
"Mommy?" he asked, winsomely, working those sweet little eyebrows and dimples, "I have candy?"

Not much has changed in the course of 12 years. He still knows how to work those dimples.

And he still loves candy.

So this year, for his 14th birthday, he got a bagful of candy and gum from A to Z, Atomic Fireballs to Zone Bar. I found something for every letter in the alphabet, except one.

Surprisingly, it wasn't Q or X. Nope, the elusive candy was U. So he got one little package marked "Unknown." It was actually a tube of toothpaste. You know, to counteract the fact that I just loaded him up with sugar.

Of course, no teen birthday would be complete without a few electronics.

Here he is basking in the glow. . .

. . . and blowing out the candles.

Happy Birthday, Tater Tot!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Another Round of Basketball

You can just thank your lucky stars that this is the last basketball post of the season. And aren't you glad that city league basketball is only 8 weeks long, as opposed to Pop Warner football, which lasts pretty much an eternity? Oh wait, I should say age group swimming lasts an eternity, because there is no off season in swimming. Those dang coaches want the kids in the pool every single day. It's enough to wear a mom out.
Speaking of Pop Warner, just when you thought it was over, it rears its head again. We got a little information in the mail today. Something about a Little Scholar we have living at our house. More about that later.

Okay, back to b-ball.

What we had was a close game in the first half. Then the opposing team decided (very wisely, for their own sakes) to press, and unfortunately, that did us in. Ball handling is not exactly our strength. Okay, well, neither is passing or shooting or rebounding for that matter, but hey, it's a developmental league and the kids are 6th graders, so we'll cut 'em a little slack...this time.

So, without any further ado, here are your Mustangs. Number 16 is our man.