Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Finished Dress!

Yay! I finished a dress for Mia! I started this in the spring, hoping to have it done by Fall, and I did. I wanted something to work on while taking Emma to her first Bible Camp. It is this pattern, which has long sleeves. I had planned on adding them, too, but when I tried it on Mia first, I love it the way it was.  I will likely make another with sleeves, I still like it that way, too. That first picture is pretty wonky, she was moving so fast, she's translucent, haha! I plan on making a white shift for her to wear under it, but it will be cute with warm tops and leggings, too. In the meantime, it's surprising nice to wear in the hot weather we've been having, too! I love getting projects finished.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Scrap Wood Chalkboard

This was the first year we had this

this was the second year

I'm trying to find and post all the projects I've completed, photographed, and lost! I really need to organize my pictures, but WOW is that a huge job! I made this chalkboard a few years ago out of a twin headboard/footboard David had made into a bench. We never got around to finishing it, we did leave it outside for a year in the very wet weather we have here, and I ended up with some wood to play with, so all was not lost! The board itself is just a plywood scrap, painted with chalkboard paint. I know "everybody has one", but I really love it. I love having changeable "art". I have lost the other pictures, I'll add them later if I find them. Last year, I did a verse in the shape of a tree, like this. For winter last year I wrote a winter poem out. I've enjoyed the deer head for the spring and summer. Really, that one can work anytime I'm either uninspired or just busy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Amelia's Nightgown

Just a quick one. This was one of those eternally lurking, never finished projects. I cut this nightgown out for EMMA, when she was around 4. It was from fabric gifted to me and I had a very limited amount, so of course I managed to lose one, single bit of cuff. Once in a while I would find it, put it somewhere, find the nightie, not be able to remember where the cuff piece was, and so on. I gave up when Emma got too big, anyway, but was pretty bummed about it. The cuff piece seems to have disappeared for good, so, having Amelia, I decided I'd just figure something out. She saw it and started wearing it right away, unfinished, haha. Last week I finally cut the cuff down and just finished the sleeve like it was bias tape. Perfect and FINISHED!! I love it. I recently scored a roll of heavy cream colored flannel for some winter nighties for both girls.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Busy but Fun!

     Oh my goodness, have we been busy!! I've loaded only a "few" pictures because I just can't fathom going through the gazillion I have, ugh. Or posting said gazillion! David and I had our 16th anniversary (that means 4 more years until England!!) at the end of June. For Mother's Day, Scott had gifted me a dinner for two at the restaurant he cooks at. We cashed in on it for anniversary dinner ('Cause I'm cheap like that, hahaa!). Holy cow was it good! I had deep fried albacore and it was so amazing that David regretted his burger, which was good, but the fish was so AMAZING. Scott cooks at a Pub (at least American style), and they have daily beer samplers they give you when you sit. I don't even remember what kind they had that day, but I really liked it, and had it with dinner. David does not like beer, but tried it anyway. He looked at me and I said, "It tastes like beer, right?". It all tastes the same to him! So funny. Root beer, on the other hand, he is very picky about!  After dinner, we went and watched Inside Out. Without the kids. They absolutely did not believe us when we told them, but we really enjoyed the movie! We weren't really in an adventurous mood, it's been so hot here (for us), that it was nice to sit in a dark, air conditioned building!
     At the beginning of July, my brother and his family came to visit for a week. They stayed at my parents', but for once we actually got to see them every day they were here. It was so much fun! David and I took them to our favorite "nice" restaurant (this is Astoria, the restaurant is nice, but people dress however they feel, so it's not unusual to see some dressed up, or some coming in from shopping or the beach). My SIL is mostly vegetarian, so I was hoping this place would have some good options, and they did not disappoint! I tasted some and we were both stunned at how good it was. I was glad, I'd be so bummed for her meal to not be good. Afterwards, we took them down to an arcade that a local man opened with his collection of vintage arcade games. And a Tardis. We didn't know about the Tardis, we haven't been there for a while.  They have a few free games that are changed every so often, Jess (SIL) bought a bowl of lemon meringue ice cream, and again, YUM!!

They got to meet Alaina, who is crawling and getting huge.

We all went to a 4th of July parade, which was so much fun to do with them (even though the parade is really pretty lame). This particular parade is really mostly work vehicles, but they throw out candy, so the kids still like it. They filled their buckets!

Watching my nephew is crazy. He looks so much like his dad, who I was nuts about. I was 8 when he was born and was wanting a brother SO BAD. He was so cute, but I'm afraid I definitely spoiled him a bit too much. Abel is completely adorable. Emma and Kira took to each other immediately and were pretty inseparable. I loved it, I only wish they'd move up to Oregon! They live in Utah, which is too far!

Abel snuggled up with Uncle Dave for the fireworks...and fell asleep before they started! He was wiped out. He never flinched when they did start.

 We had a wonderfully full and fun week with them. The day they left, we met at the beach in the morning. I love when we get there and there are giant "puddles" the kids can play in without worrying about undertow and such.

Kevin made Castle Grogan

                                                         Jess made an awesome dragon.

The week ended too quickly, though I was thoroughly physically shattered by then! I took naps the next few days, which I usually only do when I'm pregnant or sick! We have all been missing them like crazy. 

We are still in the middle of a million projects, but here are a couple bits to share. I chopped down our two wooden stools and a small table that has had many jobs in our house over the years. It's a little tricky to make a room into a sewing/play/eating area, but I think it's getting there. I do envy people who have whole rooms to devote to play or entertainment! Or crafty/sewing. We still have to put molding and baseboards into the kitchen as well as new plates for the switches, but again, we're getting there!

  Yesterday I decided to make up a quick sundress for Mia. She picked the fabric from my stash, and funny enough, it's all from goodwill. I'm not crazy about the peach, it's from the late 80's, early 90's. Some sort of cotton/poly blend that was popular then. I remember disliking it back when I worked at Fabricland in high school. Still, it's at least pretty enough, it's just the feel and drape of it I don't care for. She loved it, and that's all that really matters! She prefers to just be naked in the heat we've had, and we are fortunately on a dead end, but still. if I can find something she likes to keep on, that's a very good thing!

I crocheted a front for a pillow, just a quick, mindless crochet. I will sew that up today and toss it on Owen's bed. It will look great with his quilt. Have I posted his quilt? I don't think I have. My mom made him a beautiful chevron quilt. It is a dark blue with multicolored chevrons, which are actually snakes. My mom hates snakes and actually stuggled with the making of it at times - that is how much she loves Owen, heehee.

I'm not even sure which trip to the beach this is from, I just love it. I don't think there can be too many pictures of sunsets, there's something different about all of them, though sometimes it's hard to capture exactly what the difference is. We have busy times still coming, though it's mostly driving on our end. Emma is getting ready for bible camp, Alan is going to be helping out at our county fair again, then he's off for bible camp. I was not a camp kid, but am so glad we're able to send these two who are. It's not cheap, but then again, for food, lessons, supervision, and all the fun they have, it kind of is. Alan plans to work there when he is older, which I am excited about, he'd be great at it!

Friday, June 19, 2015

23 years

Me, 19 years young in my gorgeous 1992 stylish maternity wear!

My 18 month old giant baby in Wurzburg, Germany. 

Opening his present, I love that smile! 

Good grief. I've been a mother for 23 years! What a crazy mixed blessing motherhood is. It's all I wanted, growing up. Sadly, I rushed into marriage to achieve it, without the benefit of some time to grow myself. One of my goals as a parent is to provide an environment that allows my children that growth while at home, enough to make wiser decisions upon reaching their own young adulthood, whether that be more schooling, working, or even their own young marriages. Mostly, that they will have confidence in their relationships with God, that they won't feel like they're on their own in the decision making. That we are encouraging to them in going after their own dreams, in cultivating their own skills. That success is not about the money. There's no big "moment" in life that will solve all your problems or make you suddenly happy. You get to choose to be happy along the way. If we actually trust God, then we don't stress about the stuff we already have no control over. We take care of the stuff we can, and enjoy the rest. At least enjoy each other through the rest. I stumbled and struggled a LOT with Scott and Rachel; I learned a lot, too. I have wonderful relationships with both of them, and am so grateful for that.  I am just so grateful that God even gave us so many wonderful, healthy kids. I pray I do Him even a little bit of justice by them.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Family Barbecues

        Good grief, have we been busy this past month! I'm fairly overwhelmed, too many projects going, no single room "finished". I've felt pretty down about it a few times, but have to just get myself reoriented and focused. I still need to make a new, complete list of projects so I can start crossing them off. I think it would help to see what is actually being accomplished along the way! On the upside, we've had some beautiful weather and a couple family celebrations, so that's what I'm posting today. My dad's 65th birthday was the 8th, so the Friday before, my family went over to my parent's house for a barbecue. Rachel and Alaina even came up, which of course, was wonderful. My parent's have a beautiful property, about 3 1/2 acres. Perfect for shooting bb guns, which I loved to do (and was pretty good at) growing up.
      Last night, my sister's kids were all in town to celebrate one of their cousins (on my brother in law's side) graduating nursing school. When that party had wrapped up, we all met up at my parent's house again for another barbecue. It was so much fun! Rachel and Alaina came up again, though Scott has had to work both times we've been over there. "Grandpa 2" (guy in camo coat, bottom set, right middle) and "Meemaw 2" (in glasses, middle pic, middle row of bottom set) also got to come over. Kenny (Grandpa 2) was a road deputy, and had worked during my dad's time as a State Trooper. He and his wife have become great friends with my parents, and another set of grandparents to my kids (hence the "2" in their titles). They loved spending time with my kids and my sister's 12 kids, they're all such sweet and fun people! Alaina instantly fell in love with my oldest nephew, Samuel, which was adorable. It's so crazy to see how grown everyone has gotten. This May, Anna has been officially leukemia free for two years!!! Emily and Craig have been on a cruise this week, and the family will be reuniting at some point today, which will be so good for her very little ones. We look enough alike, that they kept getting caught off guard, calling me "mom", especially as it got darker and the kids became tired. (they got to say goodnight by phone, the top middle picture of the bottom set shows little Tirzah, giving mom and dad a kiss goodnight!) Still, I'm so glad they got to go be alone for a week, it's not easy to get alone, especially when you're pastor's family, and a large one at that!! They've done a wonderful job, though. Such an awesome family, anyone who meets them, falls in love with them.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was extremely low-key. Even for us, haha. Saturday morning through early afternoon Mia ran errands with David, they had a lot of fun, but close to the end she became oddly quiet. By the time they came home, she just wanted to snuggle up with me. I was growing suspicious, and sure enough, before I knew it, she was throwing up all over me! Eww, poor girl. The rest of the day was spent snuggling, being watchful with a bucket, and changing out blankets. She and I spent the night on the fold out couch, trying to keep liquids in her. About 4:30 in the morning, she popped straight up and said, "I'm hungry and thirsty" and ate half a burrito and drank some water. She slept quite a bit after that.

 By morning I was feeling a little put out, after being up most of the night I had to make my own coffee, grr. Everybody else slept in, because "Mother's Day".  I cut myself a piece of peanut butter cheesecake and grumbled a bit. Finally everyone started getting up, David was sweet and went to get me chocolate croissants and Dutch Bros coffee. He and the kids gave me my presents; the flowers in the white vase, a portable phone charger (I had borrowed Rachel's while she was visiting, so handy!!) and a drill of my own to keep in the house, haha! I just laid on the couch all day with Mia, who would get up and run around for short spurts, then crawl back up and sleep. I watched several movies on tv, which was kind of nice, but usually something I enjoy more during stormy or rainy weather. I had been planning to start sewing a quilt for my bed, buy, hey. What better way to celebrate Mother's Day than being a mom!  Later in the night Scott came by after work, he's just started cooking at a pub and is really enjoying it. He brought me the smaller glass vase of flowers and this hilarious "MoM Hefeweizen" made with rose petals. He wrote a really beautiful, sweet letter on the card he gave me, which I will be keeping! Such a sweet kid, we struggled with him so much when he was young, he was so filled with hurt. So many days were spent just begging God to help us get through the moment, not to mention the day. To help us to not just *react* to him. I've seen so many children/grown children acting out today, and so many judgmental people complaining about adults not controlling their children. I kind of get it, but we live in a time of such a mixed understanding and expectation. We put our kids through so much and get mad when they don't know how to cope. Everything is someone else's fault or because of some condition, anyway. Morality has been tossed out the window, being akin to a judgmental, self-righteous kind of people. 

How would one "control" their child without beating them,anyway? Why should anyone be "controlling" their child? Silliness. Why can't people focus on raising children who love and respect people, make good choices, but have grace and compassion when they fail? Those children won't need to be controlled, only led. Today it's judgmental and wrong even in churches for christians to show concern for a fellow member falling away. Morality has never been a bad thing, it is protective and nurturing when done without hypocrisy and judgmental attitudes. We live in a time when few people can recognize the difference between "judgmental" and "having judgment". A time when what we want is more important than what is best for us. A time that treats teenagers like children who are supposed to know how to be functioning adults upon high school graduation. As difficult as Scott's youth was, we learned a lot about parenting and taking a different path. Having him is what gave us the conviction and strength to homeschool our other kids. We learned how important a healthy heart is, Scott was in so much emotional pain that school was genuinely unimportant and just silly. Although I am not against public school (on the contrary, before we moved back to Astoria, we had a wonderful school, with really wonderful teachers), I have seen firsthand how ill matched many schools are with most of today's kids. I'll go on about that some other time, I didn't really mean to go on in this post, but it is good to see that trusting what I knew about my son and us. I allowed him to drop out after his "Sophomore" year (he in no way had enough credits to ever graduate on  time, and here, if a student takes longer than four years to finish high school, they are considered a dropout), and it was the best decision I could have made for him. He moved out, dog-paddled his way through life for a few years. He will be 23 in June and has already lived his hard years - not that hard things might not still come to him, of course, but his emotional well being is so much better than it ever was. He loves his family so much, and can express it now. He is an intelligent man, and should he decide to get his GED or even diploma, I know he'll be surprised at how easy it will be for him. Even without either, he is doing the job he wanted to do. He's always enjoyed cooking and has had an easy time getting the job he wants. He's going to be trying to get a job on a fish processing boat (still cooking), it will be a sacrifice because he would be out for months at a time, but it is a job that pays very well. His very sweet girlfriend is supportive of him, which is huge. In the mean time, he was recently offered two local jobs, both knowing he was going to be trying for the job on the boat, and willing for him to come back after he's done. 
Back to yesterday! I'd seen these pillowcases on ebay, unfortunately they were for bid only. I generally avoid bidding like the plague, I prefer Buy It Now! The blue is the color of my bedroom walls, so I've been watchful. There was only one bidder all week, and they were at $8.99.  The bid ended yesterday, and after only one bidder for a week, there were four others by evening. I finally threw my bid in, with a top bid of $40. A little steep for pillowcases, but I figured... Mother's Day (big sheepish grin). I didn't want to look after the bid closed, and was still feeling a little iffy about the $40 if I happened to win. Would David kill me over $40 pillowcases, haha? I finally checked, and I won! For $14.00!!!!! Now that I feel pretty good about! I can't wait to finally get our room together. Planning to start on my quilt later today, but must get the kids set up with their schoolwork first. David is picking up another project for me after he gets off work today. One I know he's a bit stressed about, but I'll share that tomorrow. David made steak and eggs for dinner, and it was so good! He had wanted something fancier or take out (I usually love Chinese takeout for small holidays) but the dinner he made completely hit the spot. I really did have a lovely Mother's Day, and after getting better sleep last night, I do feel better today, anyway. Only a couple wake-ups with Mia through the night, then David quietly got himself ready for work without waking us up, so we got to sleep later. 

How was your Mother's Day?