Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Few Completed Quilt Projects

I've been playing around with bag patterns and came across this one which started with double-sided, pre-quilted fabric and turned out just lovely. My photography skills need work and that's why the coloring of the fabric looks off, but in real life the colors and shape are perfect. The pattern came from a Fun Quilts magazine and is super easy.

I also just finished Lee's quilt. It started as a Christmas present, turned into a birthday present and then was finally finished two weeks later. He's happy because it's just what he wanted. He asked for something camo and puffy.

And just to remind me how summery summer is I finished this wall hanging which I started last summer. The pattern was a gift from a friend. It's from Homespun Charm.

Tuesday Movie Night

Tuesdays are still dedicated to pizza and a movie. I haven't been posting our choices for quite a while, but I'll work at making it a habit again. This week it was College Road Trip. The review is slightly down on the movie compared to how I would rate it. I'm not a "Raven" fan, but she wasn't quite so over the top in this movie which made it easy to watch. Definitely the last line is the best. Dads don't know everything. We just try really hard to do the best we can.

My rating - cute flick
DH and I watched Fireproof a couple weeks ago. Great movie! Read a well written summary and thoughtful review here.
I'm also watching the 5 part series, God or the Girl. Tonight DH and I will watch the last episode and finally find out who takes the cloth and who doesn't. With Lent upon us the word sacrifice has found its way into many of our conversations and I feel it would be fitting to watch the episode where Dan builds and carries the cross for 20 miles. He is reminded with every step to look to God and not himself for the strength to continue. Perfect for Lent.

The Shoe is on the Other Foot

I am the teacher. I teach math, reading, grammar, spelling rules, phonics rules, chemistry, sewing, baking, cleaning, baby caretaking, morals, religion. Really the list could go on and on. I like being in that position; I like knowing the practical and the trivial material. And I can say with absolute sureness that I do not like not knowing. Learning how to crochet has put me into a position of not knowing, BIG TIME. Grace learned from a friend and is hastily trying to teach me the basic chain and single crochet stitch so that I can be in the know when I attend a women's gathering where we'll be crafting crocheted kitchen scrubbies. I've had a couple of lessons so far. The first one let Grace in on my little secret. She turned to me at one point and said, "Mom, crocheting just takes practice, you'll get it." I unraveled the yarn and tried again forgetting how to even make the beginning slip knot. Again she reassured me and showed me step by step. I clumsily held the yarn and H hook and made another mess of it all. I needed a break. Grace said, "Mom, you know how you feel right now, that's how I feel when I have to do nouns and verbs and predicates and all that grammar stuff." We ended the first lesson. I really thought about that comment. So often I get frustrated that she can't remember the difference between a helping verb and state of being verb or that certain is spelled with a 'c' and not an 's'. For gosh sake I just told her five minutes ago. Why can't she just listen carefully, internalize it and remember? She opened my eyes this week to just how hard it is to learn something new, brand spanking new and for the very first time. I need to remember that my 5th grade knowledge comes easily because it's not new anymore. I've had years (and years and years) of perfecting it. Someday she'll understand grammar and I will, with Grace as my teacher, learn how to crochet.

Boys and Quantities

Being a part of the female community allows me insight into what my girls are thinking and doing and why they play the way they play. I understand them most days. Good chance I've either thought or done whatever it is they're doing. Grace often times will say to me, "How did you know __________?" My reply is always the same, "I was an 11 year old girl once, I just know what they do."

I can't say the same about boys. I am not from the male community; I don't try to pretend to be and quite honestly I don't always understand the way they think, act, play, fight...... basically anything; I just don't quite get them, although I try very hard. I once read Bringing Up Boys and found it to be a good read. Maybe I should pull that off the shelf again. Anyway this week I had a couple of quick exchanges with Lee (10) reinforcing my misunderstanding of boys.

One morning around 9:30 he grumbled about having had a small breakfast, being hungry and having to wait until 10:15 for a snack. I wondered aloud how he could be hungry when he just ate around 7:00. He shot back with, "I only had time for six bowls of cereal because I have so many morning jobs to get done before school starts and I need time to play, too!" Can the words only and six bowls be used in the same sentence?

As Lee was heading in to take a shower I mentioned to him that a bottle of men's hair and body wash was in the shower and that he should start using it. He said he'd been using it a lot already and thought it smelled really good. I examined the bottle while I was showering and noticed that about 1/4 inch was used up and it's been in the shower for at least a month.

Boys and Quantities
small breakfast = 6 bowls of cereal
a lot of soap = approx. 1 Tbsp. per month

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

I'm eating dark chocolate, but only for the heart healthy antioxidants.
Wishing you a very sweet day.

Friday, February 13, 2009

How To Get Rid of Your Brother

Ray: Can I play?

Lou: NO!

Ray: I want to be a veterinarian, too.

Lou: NO! You pretend to be a lost dog.

Ray: Yeah.

Lou: Now go get lost.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

6 Months Already

As with any baby, the first year seems to pass all too quickly. It's not any different with Little J. At 6 months today, he is half way to the year mark. Here he is month by month. Every day we fall more and more in love with him (if that's even possible).
So fragile and dependent in the NICU

At 1 month he literally slept all the time and always with one eye open. Those were trying, worrisome days. Would he ever grow?

And then came the heart meds. He nursed and still slept a lot and grew a tiny bit.

At 3 months he was stable enough to take on vacation. He was nursing well and growing a little. With his heart condition his growth was slow.

At 4 months came the heart surgery. Here he proudly wears his Children's Hospital of Wisconsin t-shirt. His feet were finally pink and not purple.

I remember this day well. It was late, I was tired and oh my! he's 5 months old and it's time for another picture. And of course the low battery light was flashing. Life had been pretty blurry at this point. We were just 4 weeks post surgery and trying so hard to get back in the swing of school work after the week off for surgery and then Christmas, New Year's and illness.

Today he's 6 months old. I think he's made the most progress this last month. He holds his head up and can sit upright with support (lots of it). He even wears big boy clothes. Don't you just love overalls?

Happy half birthday Little J

We love you

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

All Things Love and Hearts

We've been focusing on Valentine's Day this week. Here are a few pics of what we've done besides reading a ton of books and playing outside. Temps as high as 44 today. Nice for getting outside, but they come in just sopping wet and as far as sanding goes...let's just say it's not going. It's just too warm today. For my husband's sake I hope temps drop slightly for the rest of the week.

This art project came from Art Projects for Kids. I like this site and find lots of inspiring art ideas. The kids browse the site as well looking for art ideas.
I just love the way Little J is holding onto Lou - such safety found in his big sister's arms.
These peanut butter bon-bons are a favorite. And nothing says love like a little chocolate. The recipe is so simple: 2 cups each of powdered sugar, graham cracker crumbs and peanut butter, 1/4 c. of softened butter. Combine, roll in balls, chill or freeze. Dip in melted chocolate chips with a little parafin for shine. I use about 2 cups chips which doesn't cover all the bon-bons, but I have a few who like them uncoated. We keep them in the freezer because they are just so good frozen. Mmmm.
I love her eyes.
Grace took these pictures of the Redpolls. What a thrill it was to finally identify these birds correctly. Note the little cap of red and yellow beak. I'm sure they've been around other years, but I've never looked close enough. I think I let them pass as a drab finch other years. Read about them in this book, a favorite of mine. They appear to be female, but I have seen males as well. They have an extra patch of red on their chin.

Today we spent time working through the heart unit from this book, which I've had for a while and this week it seemed fitting to study the heart. After chemistry, which is on hold this week, we'll jump into more human body studies.
How will you be celebrating Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Kids Speak Out

(passing by while the kids watched Ant Bully)
Me: So, is this a good movie? What's it about?

Lee: It's AWESOME! I don't think you'd get it, Mom.
(while sweeping the kitchen floor)
Lou: I like having these new suppertime chores.

Me: Really? Why's that?

Lou: You know when you're barefoot in the morning it feels so gross to walk on the kitchen floor...all the crumbs and sand. Now that I've been sweeping every night the floor feels so smooth...I like that.
(after a morning of changed up school plans)
Grace: So when do you plan on us doing schoolwork?

Me: (dumbfounded)I thought we were doing school.

Grace: (accusatory)You and dad are always harping about education and how important it is and then we spend an entire morning painting, watching Redpolls, reading about St. Valentine, memorizing Valentine poetry! Where's the math and spelling and awful grammar? I don't feel like I learned a thing today.
(while coloring with a four year old)
Me: What color should I color the horse?

Ray: DEAD!

Me: What color for the bananas?


Me: What color should the house be?