Monday, December 30, 2013

Last Christmas

(I went back and edited this post - I was trying to play catch up while sick over Christmas. Not a good idea!) Before I put together what we did/didn't do this year, I wanted to finally put something down about last year. I can't even remember most of Christmas Day, I'll have to see if someone here can jog my memory - I'm not even sure where pictures are stored. Ugh. One of the many reasons I wanted to get back into blogging after deleting my old blog. I stink at getting pictures printed out, I don't scrapbook, blogging is perfect for me! Moving along, last year I actually signed up for my first swap, through Little Pink Studio. Apparently I never took pictures of the stuff I filled it with. Bummer. My partner was Tamatha, from  snipsandthreads (she just posted on this swap, too - I don't feel so bad, haha! She also has great pictures of everything on her blog).   I filled her stocking with  locally roasted coffee samples, local chocolates, some vintage Christmas tags I scored at Goodwill, vintage trims, vintage snowman and candy cane patches, and I made her an ornament from an old cookie cutter with an an angel in it.  I made my partner's stocking out of an old chenille blanket, old doily, and some old buttons. I really like it, and looking back at it, may have to make myself one- I still have another doily with the red and white flip-flopped. 

 Upon opening my stocking, I laughed a bit - our fillers were so much alike. I kicked myself because I actually even had one of those snowmen with white cocoa in my hands before sending it off. I had so much fun with this swap! I admit, I was concerned about there being "enough" in it, and whether or not it would be "good enough",  so it was truly a relief to see that it was. Of course, I could do a million swaps and I think I would always feel that way!

We  made small gingerbread houses, using cookie cutters for the fronts and making patterns for the rest of the house. We've bought the cute little villages before, but they're just so very tiny! We didn't do any this year, the month just zipped by so quickly. Everybody had pinkeye, so I also was trying to keep everybody from touching too many surfaces, foods, etc. I made those glass trees a couple years ago, I did make a few more this year. Now I have plenty and need to leave them be when I spot more at Goodwill! I really like the colored ones. Not great pictures, but I really don't have time to edit at this point in time! Especially with a sick leech-baby. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Birthday Girls and Guy

December was going really well, we were getting fun stuff done, actually completed a puzzle without Little Miss destroying it and losing pieces, when some wonderful mother decided it would be a Good Thing to send her son to AWANA with pinkeye. {SIGH} Well, we are one of those families that enjoys doing things one, maybe two, at a time. Needless to say, we dragged pinkeye out as long as we could! Blogging went by the wayside while we spent weeks following each other, wiping down and sanitizing everything. No fun. Eventually I'll get Christmas blogged about, but for now I will at least squeeze in a bit about our December birthdays.

Rachel turned 19 on the first. She's so easy to please as to be boring, as far as birthdays are concerned. She likes tiramisu cake from Fred Meyer - we even managed to find a large one for the price of a smaller one! For dinner, her favorite is one of my easiest comfort food meals - chicken and dumpling cream soup. I felt like such a loser in the effort department, but everything was tasty, and she was happy.  

Hubby was 42 on the 7th. Gulp. I'm still trying to figure out where our 30's went! Seems I don't remember much about them, they zipped by too quickly. Sometimes not quickly enough, though, when I really think back on them. This picture was actually taken on Christmas morning - like the garbage bag in the background, hahaha? He, too, was easy. We started a tradition a few years ago, where he picks up a new video game for his present. Boring, but we're kind of at that stage in life.

Miss Crazy Girl turned two on the 20th. What a terrible thing to do to a child! Well, we don't really "do" birthday parties, so I guess it really doesn't matter like it did when I was a kid! I always felt so bad for my oldest boy, who did go to public school, and whose birthday was right at the beginning of summer. This picture of Amelia was her getting ready to go play in the snow during our too few snow days. Goof.
Anyway, Emma made Amelia a birthday crown. I think it stayed on just long enough for a couple pictures, and no more.

She is my owl girl, and when I found these on Pinterest, I knew they'd be pretty easy to do - and they were! I was actually very pleased with how they turned out. We were going to have a small party with my cousin and three of her kids, but, you know. Pinkeye.

Amelia didn't notice anything missing, she got a cute little set of tools for play dough, some new Christmas jammies, and Owl Cakes. What more could a two year old want?

Friday, December 13, 2013

This Moment

I've been inspired by Soulemama to share in a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Fuzzy Morning

 I love waking up to the world being white! This will be a running theme here as long as we have cold weather! Or rather, as long as I continue blogging and have cold weather! I'd likely sleep through some of these mornings, but I have an early riser that makes sure I don't miss them.
 This morning I wished I had a better camera, something I don't normally care about. Or maybe that I knew better how to use the one I have! Everything was covered in icy fuzz. Amelia came out with me, and we walked around while she poked at the tiny spikes.
 When she first came out, I asked her to look up and smile. I didn't get a scowl this time, just this rather wry look. No smiles on demand, little stinker.

 There were a lot of geese out this morning, Amelia really, really, likes birds and loves watching these guys. About the time it seems as though they're leaving for good, they come on back. We actually have quite a few Canada geese around here. We have a lot of birds in general. I keep thinking it would be fun to make some gelatin/bird seed molds, but I haven't done it yet.

By the time my fingers were freezing, the sun was coming out. The fuzz will be melted off too soon, but I sure enjoy my mornings with my little non-smiling stinker head.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Teased by Snow

We had a short celebration yesterday, when we were teased by the hope of snow. The weather has been very cold, the weather people said we may get a bit of snow, and we were all Very Hopeful People. In the afternoon, while my boys were loading firewood, a massive hailstorm began. Coats were scrambled for, spirits were high, and we all went out to enjoy what brief whiteness we had, including a neighbor boy, below. Alan, my 10 year old, couldn't believe how happy freezing whiteness made me, as I was grinning hugely through the whole downpour of icy little balls. Sadly, it melted off too soon. 

There is still quite a chill in the air, everybody is wanting in to be warm.

 Everybody has their favorite spots- Luna, above, claimed this spot years ago. From the first bit of truly cold weather, until spring, she can be found curled up on top of the tv cabinet. From spring through summer, she is barely seen in the house. The coloring is weird in this picture, but Delilah, below, blends in quite nicely between the wall and wood stove. There she is warm and safe from the not-quite-two year old.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

So Thankful

Is it too repetitive to say I am thankful that my family is healthy, fed, and warm? Because I am. My two grown children, included. My daughter, Rachel, is spending the day with her dad and step-mom, my oldest son, Scott, is spending the day with us. They live together with a couple of housemates, and though things are not easy, they get their bills paid, have food, electricity, etc.They also live a street over from us, so we're pretty close if they do need anything. Usually coffee and something baked. Sometimes a ride somewhere when gas and money are low.
( Man, this girl does NOT like to smile for pictures!!)The kids here love when they come for a visit, though there is some squabbling out there right now, the guys are playing some new game on the Xbox. *sigh* At least we got to watch the parade first!
Amelia has braided hair today. I love tiny little french braids, though they don't generally last long. Owen wanted very badly to get in on the picture, too. Afterward, he asked, "Did you get one with me in it?" My tablet photo album is filled with "selfies" he's taken. Over and over and over again, so many with just the top of his head, it's so funny. I get to be extremely lazy today, and don't have to cook anything for dinner -  my mom is doing it, and since there will be only us added to them, it isn't any more work for her than any other time they have us over. Time for some deep breathing and planning before I get swamped with making all the Christmas food and treats for people, namely countless cake balls for my husband's co-workers at the jail. This time of year they literally will be chanting for them in the background whenever hubby calls home! 
 This year one of my biggest  "thanks" is for the safe delivery of my newest niece, Tirzah Hope. She wasn't doing well at the end of my sister's very long pregnancy (she goes about three weeks "late" with every single one). This was her first c-section, as baby's heart rate was dropping rather alarmingly. Emily is spending Thanksgiving in the hospital, getting some much needed rest before going home.
My very biggest thanks is that my niece, (my sister's second oldest) has just been declared "free of cancer". This is the best news we all could have gotten! Although we know she is in God's hands, and had she died, she'd happily be in heaven, everybody here would have missed her greatly. She's such a wonderful girl, loves God and people so much. Well, I'm thankful to not have the family(and by "the family", I mean all of us! "Actual" family, church family, etc.) not have to go through grieving. Grieving the loss of loved ones stinks. So Yay! Very happy for her to be home cooking Thanksgiving dinner with her big sister!

Friday, November 22, 2013

This Moment

      {this moment}
A Friday ritual, inspired by Soulemama. A simple moment - no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Goodwill and Crocheted Snowflakes

Here's Miss Scowls When She Spies The Camera enjoying her morning ritual of breakfast and coffee on the couch with Dad before he goes to work. We've been binge watching Doc Martin, since we realized the whole thing was on hulu, and we watch most of one episode before he leaves in the morning. The last two mornings, Amelia has insisted that Daddy take not only his thermos of coffee with him to work, but also her little cup of milk and coffee! Apparently she realizes how tiresome working at a jail can be. 
 I had to go get a few groceries before today's winds kicked up (love windy, stormy weather!!), so I ran into Goodwill first and came away with a few goodies- bags of old trim are one of my favorite finds, I'll have to take some better pictures when I get them properly wound, but there is some great ric rac in there with the lace.
 This little angel is almost, but not quite a bit much for my taste - there was a bell with her that Amelia was given to play with until it finds it's way into the trash.
 Found some more Shiny Brites - this picture really doesn't do justice, the white has a really nice patina to it, but right now I'm more concerned with keeping the blogging ball rolling!
 I love these coasters, not sure what I'll do with them, maybe something bunting related.

 Bird was in with the angel, I think I will add it to the advent calender I really hope to get made this year!
Owen was in need of some new pants, as he had worn most of his others out. It's a wonderful thing to have kids thrilled to bits over thrift store clothes! I love so much that they just don't care where things come from, and are quite frugal already - they will see how much something can cost new and will say, "Never mind, let's see if we can find something like it at Goodwill, or maybe it will go on sale later." 
Last, but not least, I have actually gotten started making some of Lucy's snowflakes! I read the pattern over last year, and though I could see they were super simple, I never got to them. These still need to be blocked, but I am really enjoying them. They are perfect for making while travelling, watching t.v., or helping with schoolwork.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Grandma's House and One Project Done

This girl was born with her daddy's crazy flexible eyebrows, and loves to use them on everybody. Unfortunately, it's difficult to get a good picture of her raising an eyebrow or giving a truly great scowl.  This is as close as I've gotten so far! Wednesday evenings Amelia gets to go hang out at my parent's house, while the  rest of us go to Awana. Their yard is pictured above, and they have so many mushrooms everywhere. I've only posted some of the pictures, but they are fun to see. I don't know why they strike us as so cute and even magical, but they do! The top one we all agreed looks like a tiny birdbath. 

David had an extra day off on Monday, and even though we had plenty we should have been doing, he asked my parents to take the youngest three kids so we could run off together for the day. We just headed up north to Longview, went to Michael's (David needed more rub-n-buff, makes me giggle that my husband is the one who wanted to go to the craft store, but having a crafty husband does make for a husband sympathetic to my crafty pursuits. Though he isn't fond of the mess- he has the garage for his mess, but my sewing room is really part of the kitchen), Goodwill, and Arby's. We really like Arby's, and don't have one where we live, but as we were leaving, we remembered that Longview has an Applebee's, which we both would have preferred. Man, we were just so tired from so long weeks, that we just weren't thinking. Still, it was really nice to get out alone for a bit. And, I scored a bag of Shiny Brite ornaments for $1.50, love that!! I also got a Santa head mug, though I didn't get a picture of it. 
 I have even gotten one small project done! For the girls's room. I found the pattern in a craft magazine, though it only had one little one in the picture, so I redid it a bit to have Amelia and Emma. I'm planning on finishing up a mobile I started a month ago. I had seen some of the crocheted lampshades on Pinterest, and liked how some of them looked. I made something similar, and wanted small owls hanging from it, then couldn't decide on the pattern for them until I found a Christmas craft magazine with some really cute ones. *Hopefully* I will have that to post this weekend.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Bit Ramble-y

It's funny how something so simple as blogging can be such a difficult thing to get back into once you've had to put it aside for a while. I regularly think about it, take pictures for it, take notice of small acts and conversations through the day that I'd like to keep somewhere, and know that I will be sorry that I'm not putting it all together for my family's remembrance, and still, I just don't.  Christmas is coming and we are hosting my husband's annual family party this year, which means I am seeing every little thing that hasn't been done yet around the house, as well as all the extra cleaning I'd like to get done. I'm not caught up in having everything "perfect", but would like to see what I can accomplish. I've accepted long ago that my husband and I are too imperfect and easily put off and distracted for anything close to perfectionb! Then God gave us five more versions of ourselves as a great blessing (joke!). My older two "kids" (from my first marriage- PLEASE God, help us to teach these kids to hear and listen to your voice over any human's voice!) live together a whole street away from us. There was a lot of emotional havoc in our home for many years, things have settled down greatly. My oldest son has also done a lot of Growing Up, which I love. His sweet heart is breaking through hardened walls, he has a job that he really enjoys at a really nice restaurant that I have yet to get a certain husband to take me to, he openly loves on his siblings- all of them.  (And by certain husband, I do mean mine!!) Anyway, my current blogging goal is to at least post the little things I do get done each day, no matter how small. Oh- one of my favorite blogs is back, Cultivating Home, is back. So excited, I love seeing families that actually get a Godly start in life.

Speaking of getting to putting things on here to remember,I'm finally getting a picture from Halloween up, we had a Steampunk theme with the homemade costumes. Emma and Alan both won contests for their age groups, though I felt a *little* bad for Aidan- he and Alan were in the same age group and the final voting was between the two of them! I was sure Aidan won (the voting was by applause- not very reliable, as all you have to do to win is have the most family or loudest family), but the woman in charge announced Alan. Alan was sweet and split the prizes, which consisted of some junk, candy, two gift cards to our favorite local pizza place and some free video rentals. The kids all had fun and  got enough trick or treating in to feel like they had a well-rounded night of it. I'm hoping that by next year we can maybe have a party at home or something. As a christian, halloween has given me some fits over the years- there are so many viewpoints on celebrating it. We had years of trick or treating, years of church parties, years of skipping it, years of having tracts to hand out with the candy- it gets crazy and not a little silly to get so stressed over something that isn't what it used to be. For us, we realized that if we were having a harvest party at church, well, that wasn't us "not" celebrating halloween, that was "how" we celebrated halloween. Also, that when a church has a party that says, "Dress up as your favorite bible character", well, that just isn't terribly fun. Especially when one is married to a sci-fi geek who loves to make really cool costumes. And I am completely opposed to the family going to comic con! Eww. So, we embrace the Modern, Meaningless, Holiday in Which One Gets To Play Dress Up And Acquire Candy version of halloween. No celebrating witches. No celebrating spirits of the dead.

I can't believe I was left alone long enough to get this done! Likely because Saturday is a school day in our house, and the kids all know that when I am finished, they need to hop on and begin work.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Stormy Stuff

We've been having the best stormy day. It started with some serious lightening and thunder around 4 am. Although I adore storms, a couple of my kids do NOT, and so I snuggled the littlest one while waiting for others to wake up scared. Amelia (the littlest one, 21 months) never budged, nobody budged- not even our "new to us" dog.  I couldn't believe everybody just slept. The house shook something fierce. I am always extra thankful for a house that was built by a shipbuilder in 1915.This picture was taken by a lucky lady in town (I mean, what a shot!), and shared on facebook. We live just outside of town, this is in town,and that is the Megler bridge, joining Oregon to Washington. I'm using this picture since I haven't been able to find my camera charger. So lame. It has been one thing after another trying to get back into blogging. I kind of just set it aside, mentally, for a bit longer. My hubby starts day shift in a couple days, so our family schedule will be changing. I figure this will be a good time to start, since the whole start with the beginning of swing shift thing that I had envisioned failed to come to fruition. Not sure what part of the day I'll blog, we'll see how that goes. I will have plenty of projects and things to post with fall here. Fall and winter are my favorite seasons. Winter would be, hands down, but for the very sad fact that we just really don't get snow here. We skipped out on church today, I'm not sure if we're battling colds or allergies, but between that and the storm, hubby decided we'd just stay home. Apparently he also needed sleep, he slept until 11:30!! We spent a  bit of the afternoon cleaning up, my oldest two (who once "hated" each other, but now live together a street over from us, heeheehaahaa) stopped by for a while to raid the kitchen for food and coffee. After they left the rest of us finally picked up where we had left off with Farmer Boy many months ago, then Aidan, my 13 year old, made some doughnuts. Unfortunately for the youngest three, they were yeast doughnuts and will have to wait for breakfast. They were so bummed. Then I watched Foyle's War. By myself. Boo. I am very much looking forward to having my husband home to watch t.v. with! Well, I'm off to see if I can find that cord and get some of my own pictures of the stormy weather! Although I doubt I'll get any good ones of lightening, I don't know if we'll actually get more of it. I confess, I hope we do.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Getting Started (Again) And The Beach

Yay! After multiple computer mishaps I finally get to try my hand at blogging again. I'm sure many bloggers will be happy to see my comments become comments rather than mini blog posts! Starting fresh always feels awkward-I want to write about everything and everybody, all at once, so I'm just jump-starting with a short post on a bit of our summer fun. We live on the coast, but rarely end up going to the beach - probably because our summers are about a month long, weather-wise. In that month we're usually trying to cram in whatever warm weather projects, repairs, and fun stuff we can. This particular day was wonderfully warm and pleasant. It was Amelia's first time being old enough to get down and play at the beach and she LOVED it! She especially enjoyed lying on the sand. It was a 'little' strange and a 'lot' cute! Everybody had a great time- even the thirteen year old had a big smile on his face! At least, until he realized I was taking pictures!