Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Peppermints in the Christmas Tree

Remember when I made checkers for my checkerboard?  No?  Huh, maybe I haven't told you all about that yet.  Well, anyway, today I'm gonna talk about how I used the left over wooden circles. 

I had 13 and I painted them all white. 
 You can see my plans that I made before I started, along with part of a grocery list and some math I had been doing.

Then I drew pen on them to guide me to paint the red stripes.  They looked good enough to eat.  I decoupaged them for a little shine and to seal them. 

I got Derek to drill tiny holes in each one. 

I cut ribbon and burned the edges before putting it through the hole in each peppermint. 
Here are a couple on the tree.

I thought they turned out pretty good.  I know the pictures aren't great, but my flash was a bit too bright I think.  It always happens when I take a picture of something white, but I don't know enough about what I'm doing to adjust the flash. 

Like my tree?  I can't have any ornaments near the bottom because our cat, Penelope, likes to mess with them.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

This is the Season, Beloved of the Year

We are getting into the Christmas spirit at our house.  We've put up the Christmas tree and decorated it with ornaments.  I want to make some ornaments that look like peppermints this year.  I need to find little wooden disks to paint.  In my mind they look really cute. 
We had a nice Thanksgiving this year.  We went to Derek's parents' house.  We took 4 pies.  I was told to bring that many because of how many people were coming.  I kept getting confused because when my mother-in-law would list off the people coming there would be a certain amount, but then she would give me a different number.  Lo, and behold, there were three surprise guests.  Some of our Utah relatives showed up, so that was really cool. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Derek and I have been married for 9 years.  Sometimes it just doesn't seem that long.  Then I think, "wait, I have a 7 yr old.  I better have been married for 9 years!"  These 9 years have been great.  We hardly ever argue with each other, we enjoy each other's company, we agree on most things, and only tease each other a little bit.  We seem to have been designed for each other.  Okay, that's enough sappiness.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ready and Waiting!

We're getting ready for Halloween! 

Emmy is Tinkerbell.

Andrew is Luke Skywalker.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Nephew's Got a Brand New Bag

Well, so far we've made good progress on Halloween stuff.  Emmy's costume is completely done, Andrew's is almost done, and I still need to make my riding hood, but I at least have the fabric.  Yesterday I got a text message from a sister-in-law asking me if I had made her son a trick or treating bag last year.  I told her I did the bags at least two years ago, so he wouldn't have been born yet, and therefore no bag was made for him.  Luckily, I'm a packrat.  I still had the fabric leftovers from when I made the bag for her daughter.  I used a different color to line it, though, and a different trim.  Hers was a rick rack I think and his is a satin ribbon that says boo.  Now they'll be able to tell the difference.  Here's a picture of the little boy's bag I finished yesterday.
Now I just need to get it to my Father-in-law so that he can deliver it for me.  It's hard to live so far away from everybody.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Random Thoughts of Autumntime

I got a set of glass Pyrex baking dishes.  You know, the kind with the plastic lid.  I just wanted the 9x13, but I found one with a smaller 7x11 dish, also with lid.  I've been baking brownies in this dish and they always work out just right.  My track record with brownies was never good, so I just wonder why now I can bake them correctly.  I think maybe it's the glass vs. metal, or maybe the shape of the pan.  I don't know for sure. 

The weather here has gotten crisper.  I've been covering the kids with a second blanket after they go to sleep.  I think I may need to get a second blanket as well.  This is my favorite season.  I can finally wear my hair down more.  In the summer it's just too darn hot.  I also like to dress in layers.  Emi has started wearing thick tights to school again.  Derek found some Hello Kitty tights when we were at Walmart the other day.  We'd looked at Target, but they didn't have any of the thick ones.  I couldn't believe Walmart had them already.  I figured it was pointless to look, but Derek checked and was rewarded.  Walmart doesn't usually have them till mid-December.  Emi is delighted.

Now here's a picture for you to enjoy for no reason.

This is my Dad with my kids riding on an indoor carousel in Reno.  We'd been to the zoo earlier that day.  My Mom and I are riding on a stationary old-timey carriage behind them.  I couldn't believe my Dad actually rode on a horse.  I mean, real horses would be normal, but not carousel horses.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How To Ruin Pasta

I made fettuccine tonight for dinner.  I cooked some sausages to go with it instead of ground beef.  As I was draining the noodles in the sink i dropped the pot and it landed upside down and sent all my noodles into the disposal.  "Noooo!" I cried and the kids came to see what was wrong.  Everybody laughed at me.  I ended up making spaghetti noodles instead.  Of course since I had to cook more noodles and I packed them up for Derek to take to work since he didn't get to eat at home.  I felt so dumb.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Happy Holidaze

The other day I was hanging out with one of my sisters-in-law and we were walking through Michaels and talking about how excited we are for the holiday season coming up.  I love this time of year.  I love all the decorations that people put up.  I like to just go through neighborhoods and look at what everyone has done.  I think this year I might really get into it.  let the kids help with carving pumpkins and maybe make a Halloween wreath for the front door and drink apple cider everyday.  I need to get going on the kids costumes and mine and Derek's.  Emi wants to be Tinkerbell, Andy wants to be Luke Skywalker, I want to be Red Riding Hood, and I want Derek to be the Big Bad Wolf.  I still have over a month to get it all figured out, so no pressure at least.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Emi's Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Hello again!  According to my friend Jacquey (sp?) people still read my blog, so I just thought that I would do a post to let y'all know what's been going on with me.  I write this as a kitty sits on my arms purring.  I don't know why cats think they must always have attention.  This morning my daughter Emi wouldn't get socks on her feet.  I told her she had to wear them to school.  She informed me that her friend Alison didn't wear socks to school yesterday.  I don't really like Alison, but I didn't tell Emi that.  I just said that since I'm not Alison's mother it really doesn't matter to me what that girl does.  I reminded Emi that the longer she took at home the less time she would get to play before school started.  By that time it was past the time we usually leave.  Finally she got herself together and we were on our way.  After parking at the school Andrew rushed to the playground and started playing with some kids.  Emi and I walked so we took a little longer.  Just after going through the fence the bell rang and she burst into tears because she didn't get to play.  I walked her to her class and of course Alison was there and had to comment to her little friends "look, Emily's crying.  Emily's crying."  I can't stand that girl.  I told Emi to stop crying right then and she pulled herself together.  She gave me a hug and kiss and went to the door where she turned back to wave to me as I smiled and waved to her.  She went in the classroom and I think her teacher saw me chuckle.  I can't wait until parent teacher conferences.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wet and Wild

We had a fun day today.  The kids and I met up with some people from church at the fountains in Victorian Square in Sparks.  The fountains were pretty cool.  I've never been down there, so I didn't know what to expect, but there was so much water and it was plenty for all the kids that were there.  Our group had about 10 kids, but there were about 50 other kids also playing.  We took our lunch with us and we had a picnic.  I think we were there for about 2 hours.  Don't worry, we took sun block lotion.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Fire and the Cat

So, we've been having a little excitement these last few days.  I recently found my camera again, school for the kids ended, we had cousins in town, and two fires in our town this week.  Yep, two separate fires.  Monday we went to visit my sister and Derek's mom to return the cousins that had been staying with us.  While we were gone I found out that there was a fire near my house, very near.  It destroyed two houses and a few sheds.  I took this picture from my back yard.  The trucks are in the neighbor's yard and you can see the wreckage in the yard kitty-corner to that. 
 It was very close, but the wind was pushing it the other way.  We are so grateful that we were not affected. 

Today is my birthday.  I'm now 32.  Derek got the day off of work so he could spend it with me.  We went window shopping and then went for some frozen yogurt.  At some point Derek said something about getting me a cat.  I thought he was joking.  A cat is the very last thing I would ever expect him to give me.  Somehow we ended up at the humane society and now we have a cat.  We named her Penelope and she is a nine month old calico. I've had to keep telling the kids to put her down and stop carrying her everywhere.  So far she seems to be doing pretty good with us.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's a Miracle!

I was looking for one of my computer accessories, a connector for my mp3 player, and I was searching the top of the game shelf for it and lo and behold there was my camera that's been missing for months!  Yay!  Now I just need to do something photo-worthy.  I can't do it right now, though.  Gots to go make some carrots to go with the meatloaf.  You know you're jealous.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Crazy Traffic Today

Whew!  What a day!  Today Emmy gave me a flower in a pot.  She painted the pot at school, but the teacher was going to put a sealant on the pot.  However when she opened the can there was no spout thingy.  After I picked up the kids we went to the store to get some sealant to put on the pot.  On the way home traffic was crazy!  It was about 5:30 and must have been rush hour.  At one point a couple of cars ahead of me slammed on their brakes.  I thought I was going to hit the mini van in front of me, but I stopped in time.  Whew, I was so relieved!  I just started to drive forward again when "WHAM" I got rear ended!  All three of us were wearing our seat belts and we're fine.  At least for now we are.  The paramedic said that if anything comes up we can have them come to our house or we can go to the hospital.  The driver of the other car and her mother both left in the ambulance.  They looked very shaken and a little bit hurt.  I hope they are okay.  Andrew also gave me a gift.  A sunflower seed in a cup, so hopefully, I'll have another flower soon

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Story Problems

I was on Facebook today and I had to hide a post of one of my friends. Usually this is because of swearing, or gross pictures, but this one was different. It was a feel-good article about a miracle baby that had been pronounced dead, but then miraculously came back to life. I can't read articles like that. It's not that I'm not happy for these people, I just don't want to share in some strangers joy when it comes to something like this. I guess because I never got that kind of miracle when I wanted it. It's been over three years since we lost our baby, but we've never gotten over it. I guess if somebody I knew had a miracle like that I would be glad for them, but it would make me feel sad. I don't know how to explain this. I don't usually do blogs like this. I try to keep things light on here. I don't want to make anybody uncomfortable, but sometimes I just need to say something, even if nobody reads it.

Okay, onto a lighter topic. Emmy just discovered that I ate some of her chocolate bunnies from her easter basket. Hee hee hee. At least she's yelling about it and not crying. It makes me laugh.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sick Day = Game Day

Emmy and Andy spent the night at my mom's house last night. Emmy got sick several times during the night. Too bad for Gramma, ha ha! I feel really bad about that. They came back this morning. I made Emmy lay down for a while. Andy and I played Connect Four, Chinese Checkers, and then Chess. Pretty soon Emmy felt okay enough to get up and watch us. Then we all three played Hi Ho Cherry-O, then Qwirkle. Whew, my brain is tired. Emmy is laying down again. It's nice that the kids are better able to play the board games we have.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Short Order Cook

Andy wants to be a chef when he grows up. Today he made sandwiches for himself, Emmy, and Derek. I'm sick on the couch, so the kids have been helping me a lot. Andrew seems so much more mature now. Next week he is turning 7. I can't believe I'll have a 7 year old.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Blue Willow China

My mother-in-law has Blue Willow China. I'd never seen it, or if I had I'd never noticed it. She told me that the pattern was pretty famous. Since then I've been seeing this pattern everywhere! Today, on Darby O'Gill I saw it. It's in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Roseanne, and mentioned in the Anne of Green Gables books along with dozens of others that I can't think of right now. It's crazy how often it pops up in movies and tv shows. Sometimes it's in red, not blue. The story is easy to find, but basically it's about two star-crossed lovers that were turned into birds. There's always birds and a bridge and a house. I'm just surprised every time I see it and marvel that I never noticed it before. Has anyone else noticed how popular this china is?

Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm Pround of Irish Blarney and Irish Sentiment

It's that time of year again to celebrate our Irish heritage. I'm a quarter Irish. My mom is half.
It's seems that everybody is Irish on St. Patrick's Day. People with no Irish heritage at all seem to party till all hours of the night. Of course, I'm not catholic, but I suppose I can still celebrate a great man. This year St. Patty's day is not on a school day, so I didn't have to worry about the pinching or not wearing green for the kids. The kids wear uniforms, so getting Emmy to wear green would mean maybe a ribbon in the hair. I don't know if people still do the pinching thing, but I know when I was a kid it was really popular. Some years all I wore was an "I'm Irish" pin with a little leprechaun on it. I don't have it anymore, but I wish that I did. My kids could wear them too since they are an eighth Irish. Maybe one of these years I'll get some.

On another note, starting this afternoon the kids are now on spring break. They are in year round school, so the breaks are super long. They don't go back till the third week of April. I foresee much reading and many board games. Also, some cousins are coming to visit. Hopefully Andrew and Emmy won't be too bored.

I went to Andrew's class today with cupcakes. One little girl read to me, three little boys did a puzzle with me, and Andy introduced me to many of his classmates. He seems to be pretty well liked. There was one little boy named Arnulfo who says he lives next door to us, but I've never seen him. He says he's seen us before. I told him to come and talk to us next time he sees us outside and then he can show me which house is his. He wants Andrew to come play at his house, but I said I'd have to talk to his mom first. I need to know what kind of people they are before I let my kids go there and to be sure the parents will be there. For instance, is every other word they say a swear word? Are they rude? I think most people would pass my test. When I was a kid I had some friends that were very different from me. I'd spend the night at their house and we'd have fun. The parents smoked and let us watch whatever we wanted on the TV. That was probably a bad idea for a ten year old me. I would just need to let my kids' friends' parents know that my kids have certain limits. I think most people would respect that. I let my kids watch some movies that I know other people wouldn't let their kids. For instance, the Harry Potter movies. Violence and witchcraft abound, but it's fantasy. Super hero movies are okay, too. The Dark Knight is pretty creepy. The main characters are nuts, but it's fantasy.

Tomorrow we will be watching Darby O'Gill and the Little People. Emmy thinks the banshee is pretty scary. When I was a kid I must have been so desensitized because I thought she was the coolest part.

Well, I guess that's enough for one post. I kinda got off track from where I started. Irish = Good. Swearing = Bad. There, that's my post in a nutshell. Oh, bonus points for anyone who can name the movie the post title comes from.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nerd Alert: St. Valentine's Day!

It's Valentine's Day again! I've always liked this holiday, even when I didn't have somebody. I guess in a way it reinforced my hope of finding someone someday. In elementary school I always like giving and receiving cards and candy. My mom always bought us each a box of valentine cards to give to our classmates, but it always seemed that one box was never enough. We always had to make about 5 extra that didn't match the others at all. I think it was aconspiracy on the part of the card companies. Make us buy two boxes instead of one. Now I love making cards myself. My kids have little cards to give to their classmates and we taped a chocolate to each one. Mmmm, dove chocolates, so good. No envelopes, though. This year my kids made valentine mailboxes at school. I kinda wanted to do it, but I guess the teachers had something else in mind. Hey, it's their class; I'm not the boss. I still like this holiday now that I have someone to share it with. I think I have the best Valentine - Derek is awesome. He already gave me my present a few days ago. He got me the first three "Twilight" movies. He even watched a little bit with me, which was a huge surprise. He's kinda anti-Twilight. He did enjoy the ending of Eclipse, though. You know, the battle scene. I have to say, as far as battle scenes go it's one of the best that I've seen.
On another note, I'm a huge nerd, so I just couldn't post about Valentine's Day without going into the history of it. Here's what I found at Enjoy!

The Legend of St. Valentine

The history of Valentine's Day--and the story of its patron saint--is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first "valentine" greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl--possibly his jailor's daughter--who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed "From your Valentine," an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and--most importantly--romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Origins of Valentine's Day: A Pagan Festival in February

While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial--which probably occurred around A.D. 270--others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to "Christianize" the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat's hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city's bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

Valentine's Day: A Day of Romance

Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”--at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds' mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine's Day should be a day for romance.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

Typical Valentine's Day Greetings

In addition to the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine's Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one's feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine's Day greetings.

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap." Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Shoulda Taken the Camera

Tonight, the kids and I went to a Valentine's dance at church. It was a lot of fun. At first the kids didn't know what to do. Andrew said he was too shy to dance. Emmy would only hang on to me. Slowly they started to feel more comfortable. Andrew mostly ran around and played with a paper airplane, but he did dance to a few songs. Then some slow song came on and he asked the little girl sitting next to me if she wanted to dance. She said no, which surprised me. I told Andrew I would dance with him and so we did, but very soon the little girl had this look of regret on her face. I asked did she want to dance now and she did. I helped them get there hands into the right positions and they were very cute to watch. Emmy had a lot of fun dancing with an older girl she's friends with, but near the end she danced with a little boy her age. They were so cute together. Of course the room was dim, so my phone didn't take good pictures. I hadn't even thought to take a camera. My friend had planned to bring hers, but she also forgot. I guess we'll just have the memories. So, by the time we left Andrew was engaged to a little girl he's friends with. Not the same girl he danced with, but a different girl. Emmy was very excited that Andrew got engaged.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Frog Story

I know, I've been really bad. I haven't had anything cool enough to write about happen lately. The funniest thing happened today, though. So, the last couple of days Derek and I have been playing a sort of game with each other. One of the kids got a little toy frog for Christmas and Derek and I have been hiding it places for the other to find. This morning I found it in my closed laptop, so I put in in his shoe. I took the kids to school and when I got back Derek said he had hidden it. I was skeptical because it didn't seem likely he'd put his shoes on yet. I asked him how he knew where I put it. He said he knew as soon as I put it there. I said "how did you know it was in your shoe?" He said "you just told me." Ugh! I played his little game! I had to hide it again. Derek took the garbage out a little while later and he told me he would hide it while I was picking the kids up from school. I went out to my van and there it was on my steering wheel waiting for me. I laughed the whole way to the school.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

This was me the Tuesday before Christmas.

Derek took this picture. We wanted to remember what it looked like because later we were going to the salon. Yep, I cut it off. I think I shed about 1½ feet. Now I look like this.

Emmy took this picture for me. I think she did a pretty good job, once she kept her own fingers out of the way. We mailed the hair to Locks of Love in the hopes that they can use it.

Some people were really surprised when they first saw me, but everybody seemed to like it.