Monday, April 29, 2013

Some of our wildlife

Toby's (and, therefore, Daniel's) favorite bird - the cardinal - - is spending a lot of time in our yard.
 We've had loads of goldfinches, too - they love sunflower seeds, if you want to lure them to your yard.
 Everyone always gets a big kick out of the tree frogs. This guy was hiding out underneath one of the cushions on the deck...., of course, my kids brought him in the house and let him crawl up the window!
We've been very privileged to host a small bird of prey (perhaps a hawk) and a bluebird recently, though their stays were to brief to get photographic documentation. Looking forward to hummingbirds and nesting robins!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A fine family tradition

All families have traditions. Usually they have to do with how they spend the holidays or where they go on vacation. Not us, though - we like to crank things up a notch. Our tradition is...chin stitches. A couple summers ago, Anna was the first to split her chin, with Abi catching up the very next Saturday. It'd been a little while since that injury, so I suppose we were due - I'm honestly surprised it had taken that long...

This time, it was some rough play between the boys in the bathtub that resulted in a charming little flesh wound. It wasn't bleeding terribly, but in an awkward spot, so it was off to Patient First:
 The thickly-accented Russian doctor (who I believe also treated Anna) hooked Dan up with 5 little stitches, and Dan was good to go. Little guy went through the whole thing with nary a peep.
He was pretty good about the whole thing, though the following day he seemed to be doing everything in his power to earn himself some more stitches: jumping off things, jumping into things, falling off things, getting trapped between things...I'm happy to report, however, that Dan's stitches are now out and he is back in action.
Though the children seem to be doing their best to earn a few scars and war stories, it'll take a little more than that to beat my record. I continue to be the current reigning Stitches Champion, holding steady at more than 36 stitches (not including any delivery-related stitches). Long may it continue, children - you don't need to win this one.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Birthday

Sunday was my sweet husband's 38th birthday. I remember when I was growing up and thinking that 36 sounded really...not old, exactly, but very adult. While he is very much a man, I wouldn't always describe him as (ahem) an "adult".
In honor of my "always-manly-but-sometimes-less-than-adult" husband, I'd like to share a few little tidbits about the man I married:
  1. He shares his birthday with Queen Elizabeth II.
  2. He was born early and had a hernia at 6 weeks old.
  3. He has a very strange affinity for bananas. He likes them any which way - on cereal, in ice cream, on pizza, covered in garlic, herbs and cheese. He also likes their price. On that front, at least, I see his point.
  4. He loves cardinals. The flash of a brilliant, red bird across the yard is enough to make his day.
  5. He grew up in a seaside town, but doesn't much care for the beach.
  6. He writes left-handed but does pretty much everything else right-handed.
  7. He's one of those annoyingly clever people that can do almost anything he tries. Never played baseball - hits 2 home runs. Doesn't play an instrument - can tap out tunes he hears on the piano. No plumbing experience - guts and refits a bathroom. Annoying, but a great guy to know.
  8. There's little he wouldn't do to help someone. He's been known to move furniture, meet a friend in need at any hour, give generously, rescue stray/injured animals, and generally bend over backwards for folks. And he does it cheerfully, knowing that doing so honors the Lord.
  9. He owned a Milli Vanilli tape in high school. (He continues to wear the mark of Shame.)
  10. He might be the most safety conscious man I know. Hats, safety specs, ear protection - we've got it all, folks. He even brought home a gas mask for the kids to try on once. (I think a bad diaper might have been involved.)
  11. He's a very "creative" dancer. Kind of like Homer Simpson - he is all white boy.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A "Chair Lift"

I can't call it a "face lift", since chairs don't have faces (do they?), but it's not actually a chair lift in the strictest sense. Whatever, you get the idea - I redecorated my sewing chair!
Using this site as a jumping off point (I had this pinned for ages!), I found some upholstery fabric in my closet (actually, our curtains from our house in Birmingham), stretched a piece over the seat and stapled underneath without removing the old cover. Then, I unscrewed the back, stretched and staple down the fabric again. On the back, however, there's a gap between what the fabric and where the screws go in. I cut one more square and covered the gap under where the screws fasten by using some spray adhesive on both the chair and the fabric. Worked like a charm. Reattach back to chair and we were back in business. 
In keeping with my "near-instant gratification" requirements for almost all crafts, this little project took about 20 minutes, mainly because I was looking for the right screwdriver.
And in less than one episode of Little Einsteins, my work room is a little more "me". Which make me happy.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

In Threes

I'm not sure how many times I've knitted this pattern...
...with this wool (in orchid this time)...
...but I have yet to be tired of it.
Anybody want one? :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In which a change is not as good as a rest

The change: I'm sick. I hate being sick. I'm also a little dumb (that's not a change, though). When life gets busy and I get a little twirly, I think to myself, "Maybe I need to take a sick day. A couple days in bed nursing something not-horrible might be kind of nice." See? Not my brightest moment.
It started last week, with first Dan, then Caleb and Ellie coming down with coughs. The older ones managed to avoid it so far, mainly because they don't feel the need to get into everyone's faces the way the younger ones do. They passed it to me, I believe, in a dastardly attempt to get more TV time. Their plan backfired, however - don't they know that with warm weather and (for the first time in 15 years) a lack of doggy-deposits in the yard means they play outside? A clever move, my worthy little foes, yet I remain triumphant! :)
Now, I sit, still needing to keep with things/life in some measure, as it appears that you don't really get to stay in bed all day unless you are, indeed, suffering from something fairly horrible/contagious. For me, some sinus congestion and a sore throat do not qualify. Pity.
I ended  up having to miss my book club last night, which was so disappointing on two counts: 1) I worked really hard to get the book finished in time and really wanted to hear what others thought of it, and 2) I promised to make cake for those who finished. I will be sure to redeem myself next month! We'll be reading The Kitchen House, for anyone who's interested. I'll have to get a hold of it soon...
Hope you hearty and hale people are enjoying the spring; I'll be back out there myself, as soon I no longer need to be in arm's reach of a tissue at all times!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What happened to spring?!

These photos are roughly 2 or so weeks old:

Today, the high is 91. Um, what's up with that?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Slings I Make but Do Not Photograph

I made my first sling back when Dan was born, and it has been well worth the investment. I have used that thing so much - I love hands-free baby snuggles. Because I use it so much - particularly in church - it's understandable that a few like-minded mommies should want one of their own.
So, over the last 6 or so months, I've made about 6 slings for various friends and friends-of-friends, and would you believe I took not one picture until the most recent? Even that one isn't that hot:

So, from here on out, I commit to continue making slings and attempting to photograph them more, if only to prove to myself that the sewing machine is worth the space it takes up.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Right now

  • Dan is doing well with potty training - yay! It's not perfect - last week he peed as soon as we set foot in the library, and yesterday he had a rather messy accident (ahem) - but he's made it through church and 3+ hour co-op, accident-free. I'm telling you, you've got a appreciate the little things.
  • Caleb has now cut two teeth, and gauging by the grouch, there are more coming. In between bouts of misery, though, he really is marvelous.
  • God has been showing me lately, the hard way, that I am very quick to become angry when my comfort, plan, or desire for ease is threatened. The sinful response of anger is obviously wrong, but it's an indicator of other heart issues that need addressing. One way I've been helped is by choosing to prepare myself for things not going my way ahead of time and praying for both my response to glorify God, and for Him to be at work in the issues that tend to act as a trigger (bickering or complaining, for instance). While there is still far to go, I have seen grace and growth - and that's no small thing.
  • We had a lovely Easter, rejoicing over baptisms at church and enjoying wonderful food and company with friends. And for the record, I successfully completed my Pinterest fast! Taking a tech/social media break was a helpful exercise, one I am considering doing more often.
  • While it's only barely spring, I'm seeing the beginning of the shift towards summer: only 4 weeks of co-op left, planning for next year's schooling has begun, Noah's baseball clinic starts this Saturday. How is it possible that I'm ready for the next season, even as we scramble to finish well where we're at?
  • I'm almost finished working on this little project for a friend at co-op. I love this pattern and I love the yarn!
  • Our family has done little in the way of field trips so far this year (I blame the baby). With improved weather, bigger baby, and a healthy dose of mother-guilt, I'm planning on getting my people out and about more. Any suggestions for an excellent field trip?
What are you and yours up to?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wanna make a cute kid hat?

Take some fingering-weight/sock yarn and cast on 104 sts on size 4 or 5 needles, working in the round.

K2 P2 for an inch, followed by stockinette st for 6 or so inches. Flip it inside out and finish with 3 needle cast off.
Weave in ends and place securely on cold head. Fits a large 3 year-old head, or normal-sized dome on an older child.