Monday, August 25, 2014

First day of school!

It's the first day of school!!  For this one year, all of my children will be in elementary school together.  The three older children were so excited for Jonah to start school this morning that they forgot to be nervous about themselves.

Each of them bravely walked into their classrooms without a look back.  Of course I cried.  How could I not?  This year is especially difficult for me....the last day of sending a child off to Kindergarten....I can't help feeling a bit bereft.....and then there's the fact that I'll be starting school myself (cosmetology) next week.  It's hard to even imagine what this school year is going to look like; what our lives are going to feel like.

But for today, I am going to rest in the stillness and peace of finally being alone.

Monday, January 27, 2014

teaching friends: first handspun

Two weeks ago, my friend Pixie and I worked to restore a spinning wheel that's been in her family for.....well, and unknown number of years, actually.  But it has obviously been very, very well used, as is evidenced by all of the replaced parts and worn pieces.

We managed to get it to spin with great difficulty, but it seems that this particular wheel will best live on as a monument to past efforts, as there didn't seem to be a way to get this to work efficiently enough to spin more than a few feet of yarn.  But that deep happy feeling of working to restore a tool that has served so many years...that was truly priceless.

Eventually I got some of my drop spindles out, and taught Pixie how to spin on that, because the wheel was clearly not going to be a learning tool.

The look on her face as she spun and plied her very first skein of yarn reminded me why I adore teaching these ancient industrial skills.

A deeply satisfying evening.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Andrew's Kitchen: Episode 1 - Popcorn

Today we woke to ice and snow on the ground....well, just a dusting really, but enough for Central Texas to shut down for the day.  Yay no school!!

Today's events have included: sleeping in (well, just me -- the children all woke up early because they didn't need to ohmygosh), a family workout ("Jillian Michaels: 6 Week Six-Pack" -- available for free streaming right now on Amazon if you have Prime, and kicking my booty oh so good!), baking chocolate chip cookies, friends, and filming the very first episode of Andrew's Kitchen.

Tonight there will be late night movies, and we're looking forward to Greg coming home for the weekend tomorrow night!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sour Candy Challenge

Today was a school holiday.  Happily this meant I was able to turn off my alarm, sleep in, throw out the schedule.  Sadly, this meant that...for lack of a schedule, the children eventually turned on each other and it became a bickering, stressful mess of a day.

Then my friend Pixie arrived, we started watching YouTube videos together and....well one thing lead to another, and the next thing I knew, I was out at the grocery store buying a giant bag of the sourest candy I could find.

Then we decided to video the children tasting everything because....well a little kid with a great big sour face is a pretty funny thing, what can I say?

Of course Pixie and I had to try it out next:

In the end, no one had any taste buds left, we were all flying high on sugar, and no one was bored.  Score!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Enchanted Rock

Greg took some time off of work right around Christmas, so one day he took the children to Enchanted Rock for hiking and caving and wild outdoor fun.

Because there's nothing like an awesome Daddy Adventure Day!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Family rock climb

Rock climbing is something that Greg and the children have enjoyed for quite a while now, but up until I had the surgery to put my stomach muscles back together last May, I wasn't able to be part of it (due to my complete lack of core strength).  It was frustrating to even think about, because I used to climb everything when I was little, with no effort!

Ever since my Dr released me to start working out again and rehabilitating myself, I've been pushing myself hard to regain strength and build my stamina.  In October of last year (5 months post-op), I decided that I was finally strong enough to attempt to climb.

(somehow this is the only one I got of Andrew)

And finally....

It was very hard for me to get up onto the wall, and there were a few moments where I couldn't find a good hand or foothold and wanted to give up, but I AM WAY TO STUBBORN FOR THAT, so I kept going...and made it all the way to the top.  Sounds lame to say that I'm psyched to have climbed as high as my small children, but there it is -- I'm right damn proud of myself, and don't you forget it!

My arms ached for days after, and I definitely have a long way to go with building strength and grip, but it felt great that I was able to do it at all.

It was also super fun to spend the morning together as a family....even though I don't really like the outdoors....or nature....and we forgot the bug spray and mosquitoes find me especially delicious....but yay family memories!  I feel like I'm ready to try the wall again soon.  But this time I'm going to remember to take a deet shower first.

(For the complete set, check out all the pics from our day over here on Flickr)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Year's Eve Party 2013

We have started a tradition of bringing in the new year with a costume party and a bunch of friends.  Because parties are already fun, but costumes!!  Costumes OBVIOUSLY make everything even better.  Obviously.

This year's theme was Board Games and/or YouTube.  Our friends came in costumes that varied in stages of WOW, SMART, and OUTRAGEOUS!!  We didn't award prizes, but if we had, everyone would have won something, because each costume was truly in a class of it's own.

Shoots and Ladders:


Pirate and Bunny:




Risk soldier:

There were a few more costumes we didn't catch photographic proof of (to include Elijah as "one of the blue pegs from LIFE" and Lavella as "Sophia Grace"), but it was certainly a night to remember!  So much fun with our friends, and a wonderful way to kick off the new year.  

Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Fairy House afternoon


"How about fairy houses?"

Several hours later....
Fairy house

Fairy house

Fairy house

Fairy house

Friday, January 10, 2014

Christamas 2013

For Christmas this year, Greg took about 10 days off from work, and we enjoyed dedicating that time to doing special things together as a family, and quality time with friends.

As is our tradition, we made a special Christmas Eve dinner -- this time it was hamburgers for the children, and lobster for Greg and I, along with roasted potatoes, corn tossed in butter, fresh baguette, and our family's favorite green salad with apples and candied pecans (dressing it with Julia Child's vinegrette with shallots).  There was an incident where my oven door fell off and had to be propped up with a kitchen chair until the potatoes and bread were done baking, but NEVER FEAR!  Dinner turned out anyway.

Christmas morning I set out cinnamon rolls to rise (as always, put together the day before, chilled in the refrigerator overnight), and after eating a light breakfast, we opened our gifts to each other, then Skyped in family to open the rest of the gifts together.

Puffles --- googly-eyed stuffed creatures I made for the children

After gifts we had lunch of cinnamon rolls (ready at last!!), then the children went outside for a wild New Nerf Gun and Bow & Arrow War.  For dinner we had leftovers and some special cheeses/crackers/cured meats.  I love being able to eat something a little bit special and lovely on Christmas night that doesn't involve me standing in the kitchen all day!

At the end of the night, Greg and I sat in the dark with just the lit Christmas tree, and shared a few sips of a very special bottle of bourbon (which had taken him months to track down).

Two days of a beautiful Christmas.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Christmas Stockings

For years now, I've intended to make Christmas stockings for our family.  This meant that I also absolutely refused to buy any.  So we've simply been stocking-less.  About 3 years ago I bought 6 different flannels from, choosing prints that would miss-match but "go" together in a kind of quirky sort of way.  Of course, the moment I decided to pull the trigger on this project was this past year, Christmas Eve.  OF COURSE.

Inspired by this super-simple design (A Beautiful Mess), I traced out a pattern (using two 8-1/2 x 11 sheets of paper taped together), and in one afternoon.....

Cut out and ready to sew

After all of the stressing about finding the perfect mish-mash of fabric patterns, and worrying the project would be complicated (cuff?  no cuff? how big should a stocking be?  ohmygosh I can draw my own pattern??), it was a relief and a joy to see them done.

It was also pretty funny to see that, after all of the worries on making it "quirky enough" my children decided to tie them haphazardly to the railing with bits of yarn and stuffed them with anything small enough to fit in them.  Greg and I started laughing when we realized that it didn't really matter what I had done....the children would have Quirked It Right Up for me regardless of WHAT I had done!

Oh my.  I kind of LOVE these though!  I'm sure that at some point I'll make different ones, but right now, these are exactly crazy, wrong, and perfect.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...