Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December. part one

Christmas, as usual, came and went too quickly for our taste! We are still enjoying the holidays, but I get terribly sad at how fast it goes. I so love the atmosphere, decorations, cheesy movies, baking, gifting, excited children, fun activities, etc. Because David is still on graveyard shift - which I have come to realize is the attempted murderer of Christmas - I haven't gotten to blog at all. By the time he is awake for a bit in the afternoon I am too busy with the family to do it, then by the time he leaves for work, I am both too tired, and this year, too busy still! He worked late today and is due home any minute, so I'll try to be quick about sharing a bit of our holiday. 

Starting the month off, our Parks and Rec put on an event with free roller skating, meeting Santa, and caroling downtown to the annual Lighting. We didn't take part in the caroling, which would have been fun, but the weather became so cold! We were not dressed for it and had already planned to take the kids to dinner after. This was the first time roller skating for our kids, and they had a marvelous time! I have been vaguely aware the old skating rink had been hosting some skating, but apparently it is a regular thing now. It will be fun to take the kids again. I wasn't sure how the kids would do with meeting Santa, but Amelia marched right up to him and stuck her hand out for a shake! Emma deemed herself too old to get in on the picture, but later wished she had. Poor thing, sometimes being almost 10 isn't fun. So quickly heading to the not-quite-a-girl-not-quite-a woman age. The dress Amelia is wearing in these photos actually used to be my oldest daughter, Rachel's! I can't believe I still have it.

This was our first year to cut our own tree down at a local tree farm. It was a lot of fun, and has been determined to be an official family tradition. All trees, no matter the size, are $25. I loved the more natural shape of the tree compared to the douglas fir we usually purchase at Fred Meyer. The branches were much sturdier, too. I still love our old trees, but I really loved this one! There was another family there with their five kids, who all hopped right on to the back of David's truck. The kids had fun chit chatting a bit while dad paid for the tree. The picture of Martae and Rachel is a little misleading, as that pic is of them with her dad, while they got their tree, but I just love the picture of the three of them, and it fit in with the collage, haha. Rachel has recovered from having that super sweet baby amazingly. 

We took a picture of the kids to send with our cards - it can be tricky getting five kids to all smile (normally - not like a crazy person), and turned out to be impossible with a dog this year, oh my!!! We went with the center one, and maybe the dog will do better next year. We don't even bother to try to include our kitties!!

We've had a bit of craftiness this year, with some wintery crafts planned for today. I spent many a night knitting until 3 in the morning, trying to finish up. I still have a blanket I'm finishing for Rachel and Martae. The top scarf I'm "modelling" is a "Gru" scarf for my son, Scott. The other scarf I'm wearing is a stripey Doctor Who scarf for Scott's girlfriend, Cecilia. I am sure I picked the two longest scarves I could have! Emma started knitting on a loom, and loves it. As she watched me knit, she really wanted to give it another go, but I knew I just didn't have the time to teach her and finish presents. I realized I don't have a non-silly picture of her with it, and she gave it to a friend of hers. Still, I think it's a cute picture. I was inspired by Marion to make the reindeer cards. Everybody contributed their thumbprint, though I had to instruct David that I did NOT want a jail-style, rolled thumbprint, hahaha!!! He had done exactly that when I gave him a practice piece of paper, too funny.  At the bottom of each I wrote, "Merry Christmas from the Hillard Herd". I want to do one just to frame, they turned out so great! I made my grandbaby her first Christmas dress. I wish I could have had her here to size it to, but it still turned out nicely. She's just so darn tiny!! Patterns always run big for newborns. We made some play "snow" for the kids. Amelia's got her feet in the last bit of it. Messy, but a lot of fun. It's just three cups of baking soda with a half cup of cheap hair conditioner, and it feels cold. I buy baking soda by the bag at Costco, so I will make them a bigger batch next time, but it was so much fun for them. They played with mini lalaloopsy dolls, vehicles, little people, and I don't know what else. Emma made a little winter diorama. The three youngest made cotton ball wreath that we sprinkled with fake snow and glitter, and have only just hung now that we're slowly packing Santa away. We will keep all the winter things out as long as possible, this is my favorite time of year!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Taking the Bad with the Very Good

(The Bad)

Know what this is? Yup. Heartbreak in the form of half a head of my daughter's beautiful hair. Little Stinker climbed the toilet and felt around on the shelves, knowing the hair cutting scissors were there, supposedly out of her reach. No. Such. Thing.

 She may appear remorseful in this picture, but she isn't. She was looking into the cd she was holding, she is actually Quite Unrepentant!

I can sort of hide it in a skimpy ponytail, but will have to thin the other half out, too!! (And yes, I need to clean my house! I have stuff stacked all over the place, ugh!!)
 (The Very Bad) 

This happened in a storm yesterday to my poor daughter. Just when they lost their car insurance, too. I won't go into all their personal details, but Tillamook, Oregon is NOT  a friendly place for black people. That racism still exists just blows me away. I guess it shouldn't, stupid does exist everywhere. Martae is applying for a Corrections Deputy position up here, please be praying he does well on his testing and gets the job! It is a good job, it is what my husband does, and I've been able to stay home with our kids, which I am so thankful for.

Fortunately there is still this (The Very Good):

Having Sweet Dreams!
 Beautiful baby girl!

 Her eyes are open more and more. She is also quite full of smiles already.

Just how she was in mommy's tummy!

Already a week old! The time has only just begun to fly for mom and dad!
Alaina is such a beautiful little girl and I will freely admit that one of the benefits to Martae becoming a deputy up here would be getting to see this little girl grow up! I do feel sympathy for his mom, she is all the way over in Chicago. Off for some grocery shopping before I get back home to clean and get ready for church tomorrow. We've been absent from there for what feels like forever - I'll go into that later, hahaha.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

She's Here!

My granddaughter was born yesterday, Nov 15! She's super tiny, 6 lbs even, 18 1/2" long! It was a little tricky getting pictures in the weird hospital lighting, but here's a few for now. Rachel did really well, and looks wonderful. They're at home now, enjoying time as a new family, visitors checking out the new baby. We'll host an open house in a few weeks, so friends and family up here can see her. I was so happy we were actually all healthy, so we were able to go down the same day! I'm so paranoid after all the illness/pinkeye stuff we had last year, hahaha! I don't remember if I said before, but her name is Alaina (Rachel's middle name is Alain) Christine (Martae's mom's middle name is Christina). Daddy is super excited. Well, off to pick up #1 son's girlfriend from work, but I was antsy to share our grandbaby news!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cold Weather and Some Finished Projects for Grandbaby!

David burning our summer collection of burnables in our overgrown backyard.

So thankful for this wood stove!!

First doughnuts of Fall - such a good recipe!

Cold weather always means bringing my old Little People out!

Recovered car seat for grandbaby!

After realizing poor hubby must be working overtime, I also realized I should sneak in a bit of a post! Our weather has finally gotten cold, after a rather warm (record making, even!) Fall. We never did gather firewood over the summer, so we had to make a mad search for some. We ended up finding some that came with a guarantee of swift delivery, but we certainly paid the price for it! I'll admit I was a bit teary and fussy, though mostly kept it to myself, the night before. The man brought it out in a dump truck, which thrilled the kids to bits,  Mia, especially. They had so much fun watching it dump all that wood out! After loading a bunch of it, we are extremely grateful that it appears to be a very generous cord of wood, unless we've just been getting shorted in the past, hahaha! Mostly, I am very thankful to have had the money in the bank to cover it. We have had years that we would not have had it. We are very hopeful to get a new furnace next year, but that's been a hope for many years now. Something Else is always good at showing it's face, needing the money! I am very thankful to have that wood stove, even when we do have a furnace, we plan to keep the heat fairly low and supplement with wood heat. The thing I look forward to most with having a furnace again is a warm bathroom! Our house is old and not insulated. Still, as we read our way through the Little House on the Prairie series, I am reminded to also be thankful that our bathroom is in the house!
With the cold, we've made our first batch of doughnuts for the year, I'll share the recipe later, when I've had time to find it again (groan). They were sooo good. I made three batches the first day - one with egg replacer (worked perfectly!) for my oldest son and his housemates. Scott is not a doughnut eater, but even he raved over these. The other batch went to work with David, and we ate the third! We went through a couple  more batches, then decided maybe we didn't really need doughnuts daily, heehee.
Rachel may be getting induced today, I'm anxiously awaiting. She's an hour and a half away, and I keep feeling like I should be there, hovering, which would actually drive us both batty. Neither of us are the type to want people - even family- around during these kinds of things. I can remember when I was in labor with her and my in-laws kept hovering around. I was hissing at her dad "GET THEM OUT OF HERE!!! I DON'T WANT THEM HERE!! I CAN'T FOCUS UNTIL THEY LEAVE!!!" My mom was with my when I had my first baby, and I couldn't stand her being there! I only want baby's dad with me. Funny thing is, I don't care how many strangers are there! Have a new nurse? Bring her in!  Have a class of med students who want to see what's going on? Bring 'em in! Have a group of people just curious about birthing babies? Bring 'em in! Back to the point of this paragraph, I had told Rachel not to worry about a car seat, I still had Mia's and she could have it. It's good til 2017 and it has the kind of handle we both prefer. She wasn't crazy about the neutrality of it, so I offered to recover it for her. I found the perfect fabric for it and am so happy with how it turned out! The trim was already a light grey, so I was able to reuse a few pieces. I also finished the blanket I crocheted for baby! I used a Red Heart acrylic, which isn't my favorite, but at the time that who had the right colors. I am actually amazed at how soft it is, after washing it! I still have the car seat, when I got it out of the closet, a strap was missing!! I've ordered new ones for her, which she deserves, anyway, but we've been stressed about how she's going to get that baby home from the hospital. Turns out she's got a regular size car seat in her car for a little boy she babysits, she just didn't realize until we were talking last night that they can be used for newborns, too. What a huge relief! Well, this is a bit rushed, but I'm glad to have had a bit of time for it, though sorry for the lack of sleep poor David is getting!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Baby Shower

 David worked a 12 hour, midnight to noon shift, so he gets off work in ten minutes. I realized I should take advantage, and write up a quick post! Graveyard shift is the hardest time for me to blog, as our computer is in our bedroom! In an old farmhouse like ours, you've just got to make things work where they work, and this is where it ended up and works best.  I really, REALLY miss my laptop. I don't remember if I've said before, but only days after we got it back from having the screen replaced, Owen came running out after getting hurt and slammed it into a cup of milk as he threw himself on me. So. I hosted my daughter's baby shower, which, being done by me, during this particular project finishing time, means complete chaos the days leading up to the big day. I warned her that the sewing area would not likely be clean and nice, I was only willing to stash so much that I would have to pull out again. Of course I wish I'd gotten so much more done, but there are only so many hours in a day. I had scheduled just a short party, Rachel and I neither one really enjoy baby showers, but...it's her first baby, so ya gotta! After a late night, I had given myself the hour between 1 and 2 to finish last minute things. At twenty to one, I was still not dressed, my mom was going to be over shortly to help, and Rachel was already there - looking at me rather oddly. I said something like, "I know, I've still got too many things to finish, but my mom's coming at 1 to help. We should be ready by 1:30 for those who come early". She says, "Mom, the invitations say this thing starts at 1:00". My eyes bug out, I run to the computer, and sure enough! How on earth did I push this an hour later in my brain?!? I throw my clothes on, my husband's aunt, cousin and niece are already walking up the walkway! Fortunately we were close enough to "finished" to just chuck a couple snacks out the window, figuratively speaking. I got very few pictures, but everyone really did have a wonderful time, there was plenty of good food, good things to drink, no games (we both really don't like baby shower games, though I have played a couple fun ones in the past), just lots of catching up with family and friends. We ended up with my son, Rachel's best guy friend (we used to think they would end up together!), and Martae at the shower.

This is my favorite picture. Martae is so excited to be a dad. I just love the smile on his face! He really enjoyed all the clothes, books and baby stuff they received. My mom and I went together and bought their crib, though I need to get a mattress still! Because we're weirdos, the car seat I had for Mia is still plenty new, and has the kind of handle Rachel likes, so she gets that. I'm going to be doctoring up the cover today, so the colors match hers. 

This is my Mother in Law. I was so happy she was able to come, her health has not been the best and she has been mostly housebound for quite a while. Without going into weird family details, that is my nephew  behind her, and that is the first time they've gotten to meet! That is my oldest kid on the couch, Scott.

These are a couple of the baby related projects I'd (almost) finished, and used for the party. The fabric ones are still a little loosey-goosey because we've managed to misplace my staple gun. The baby's room is being done in lavendar, gray, and white, with jungle animals. I have a bunting that I was attaching to bias tape when Rachel pointed out my timing error, so it got thrown into my bedroom! I'll finish that today, too. I've got to get all these baby things done for her, though she's realizing the baby really won't be in her room much for a while. I really would like them done so I can move onto holiday fun projects! I'm already pushing that, time-wise, as it is!! Good grief, every year seems to fly faster than the year before. I'm so excited for my daughter, that first baby is such a sweet time, she'll get to be a mommy this Christmas!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Ready to Slow Down!

Aidan trying to get out of the picture! Mom was too fast, heeheehee!

Wow. Where to begin, yet keep it short. We have been so insanely busy this summer, yet we've rarely left the house! The busyness will continue, I'm afraid, as I will be hosting a baby shower for my daughter in a few short weeks, and there is still so much to accomplish before then. We did force ourselves to get out a couple times. Having our old steps and flooring from our porch was a good excuse to head to the beach and have a couple bonfires!

A couple months ago, I was at the fabric store, when I saw this lady who I knew, but wasn't sure why I knew her, but I also knew I should know her. She was on the phone, we kept eyeballing each other, but I had to go. On my way home I suddenly, without a doubt knew who she was. When David and I first married, we went to a church where this young lady (at the time) went. She was maybe 20, I was 26, recently remarried, with two kids and  pregnant soon after getting married. A couple years later we started getting to be friends, but David and I moved back up here and didn't stay in touch with anybody. No reason, we just didn't. Well, this was her. I just wasn't fully registering that it was her because it was a strange place to run into her. I figured maybe she was on vacation or something, but was kicking myself for not staying at the store. Oh well. Well fast forward a week or so and I get a weird friend request on facebook, which I almost deleted, because I didn't recognize the last name. Fortunately I checked it first, because it was my friend, Heather, she is now married, and lives 15 minutes away from me!! And has for almost a year!! She thought we had moved somewhere else. We've gone to the beach with them a couple times now. She introduced me to s'mores made with roasted marshmallows and chocolate mint sandwich cookies. Holy Yum!

I don't know why we don't go to the beach all the time. It's so beautiful. The sunsets are so beautiful. I took these two pictures almost one after the other, and you can see how fast the lighting changes. Amelia absolutely adores the beach - we can NOT tell her we are going until the very last minute, or she spends the day asking, "We can go to the beach now?"  over and over and over, with some crying and demanding thrown in here and there.

I love this picture of Emma and Owen. David hates it, Emma looks so grown up. She does, and I've seen firsthand how fast it goes. Emma has become a full blown book worm. I love it.

I went to Goodwill today and scored a bunch of books -most of the Beezus and Ramona books, and another series I have never heard of, but looked fun. They were $.99 each.

I also found some nice rubber boots, as the girls both needed a new pair before the rain comes. Mia is modelling them (on the wrong feet) quite enthusiastically.

Photobomb Underwear Boy!
 And then, we have Owen, who has been wearing underwear for the last two, extremely hot, days. We've been a bit jealous at his ability to run around so scantily clad, but for whatever reason, our kids think it would be too icky to have us all run around like that! I don't understand, haahaahaaa.

I've been hoping to find one of these for a while, between the things people have done with printer trays, and this extremely cute house. I have some of my Little People from when I was a little myself. The kids play with most of what I have, and have acquired, but I have saved out some of my wooden ones. This will get a paint job and some scrapbook paper. Some day. We'll see.

I started this blanket on our way back from a long-distance family day, when I realized I needed a no-think project to work on. I haven't even had time to work on that lately (though I do like the colors)! I also have a gift in the making, that I would really like to finish and get sent out! I really like it, and hope she does, too, but good grief, it just shouldn't be taking me so long to get to it. I just took two of our kids for achievement testing, but still need to plan out our next school year. The lady who does the testing had a grammar book that is exactly what I've been looking for, so I am excited about that. I'll go into more of what we've been getting done later, but it's been so long since I've had the chance to post, that I wanted to get something on here! It's so funny, David being on swing shift always makes me think I'm going to have free time in the evenings, but both times he's been on this shift since I started blogging again have been such busy times! I have been sneaking little peeks into other's blogs, and it seems as though we are not the only super busy people right now! I am looking forward to more finishing, and a slower, cooler Fall!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Thrift Store Finds

Well, we finally purchased the bulk of what we will need to redo our porch - our pocketbooks are crying just a little! I've missed keeping up on my blogging and visiting with you wonderful ladies, so it's a good time to at least share some things I've brought home from the thrift stores!

I found these two board games from the '60's - I love the pictures, graphics, and colors of both of them!

Terrible pictures, but I've gotten a new camera (did I mention mine died, or did that happen after everything else broke, haha?), and need to figure it out. It's just an updated version of the one I used to have, a Nikon Coolpix, nothing super fancy, but I really like it. 

It actually took me THREE trips to one of our favorite thrift stores before I brought home this ironstone gravy boat! For $2!! What is wrong with me?? Really, I was simply trying to not bring home more "stuff", and it has a crack up the side, so I won't be actually using it for gravy. Still. After two trips of not bringing it home, I decided if it was there when we went back, I would get it. And, I did!

This is one of my favorite finds - I love the box, and there are so many beautiful pictures! I like them uncolored, though I'm not sure what I will do with them yet. They would make a wonderful gallery wall, I'm just not sure where I'll find the wall space!

My daughter thought these were weird, but I couldn't pass up the yellow and pink chicken recipe cards!

I've now got a good sized jar of old wedding bells, fans, and this bride.

As well as a good sized amount of baby things - these will come in handy for a baby shower I will be having for my daughter.

I fell in love with this platter - think I'm going to have to watch myself on the platters!

These trims all came in a bag together, now I must make a decision as to what I will make with them. Those types of decisions kill me. I'm always sure that as soon as I commit, cut, and sew, that I will see the "perfect" project that I should have saved them for. The next picture is not from a thrift store,

this is a picture of my GRANDDAUGHTER!!!!! Yep, my daughter is having a baby girl. We are getting very excited to see her, though we still have a good long wait!                                                                   

 Linking up with:   Revisionary Life