Thursday, December 30, 2010


Isn't that a lot of crows?? Gracious! They were having a blast poking around in our straw mulch- looking for bugs or finding nest materials, I'm not certain! I love seeing these flocks of crows in the spring time, though- lots of fluffed-up, ridiculous, adolescent birds with a chip on their shoulder. They sqauwk and preen and fight for the best spot on the roofs and lawns.

I've been promising Ernie ALL YEAR LONG that at Christmas time, we would decorate gingerbread boys. Christmas time came, and I couldn't face making an entire batch of sticky gingerbread dough, and fussily decorating an army of boys and girls. Luckily, our grocery store bakery was selling individual gingerbread boys with a handful of assorted loose sprinkles. PERFECT!! I gave the girls a bowl of honey, and a chop stick each, and let them go to down decorating their little men. Ernie carefully covered every feature of her cookie- eyes, smile, buttons, outline- before eating it. Mimi ate all her sprinkles, ate all the honey, and left most of her boy behind. I think it's kind of a personality test, don't you?

I made these as part of an appetizer spread on Christmas Eve- I barely had time to grab one for myself before they were polished off! I made a triple batch for a guy-get-together to watch a holiday bowl husband was pretty pleased :) (And yes...we won. Bow down to Washington! Woof!)

After such a crazy wind up to Christmas, it's been lovely to have some quiet time this week! The girls and I went out grocery shopping yesterday, and it felt like a major accomplishment. (Well, grocerying and returning....because remember, I'm the ding-a-ling who bought all their Christmas clothes in the wrong sizes? The girls had fun using their store credits to pick out some presents for themselves though.) I can not WAIT to show you guys pictures of our master bedroom. It was a dingy swine color, and I didn't let it bug me too much because it's just paint, you know? Wonder Daddy pulled everything out of the room and spackled holes on Tuesday, spent Wednesday priming the walls and ceiling, and painted the ceiling and walls Thursday. Friday the outlets will get replaced (my vacuum plug won't even stay in the wall if someone bumps the cord, they're that loose!) and things get put back in. The ceiling is a bright white, and the walls are the most amazing grey-blue....very Pacific Ocean. Very dreamy and calm. Calm like nowhere else in our house is- we've worked at at building up kid-friendly energy in our house, and needed a Grown Up Getaway.

He's a genius at picking colors, and takes it seriously! We've had a growing collection of paint chips and paint samples taped and brushed on the bedroom walls for at least 2 years now. (The attached bathroom is going to be a pale lavendar, with white woodwork. Yum. That should get painted before he heads back to work next week too!)
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A List

A really sweet decoration for Baby Boy's room, from his Nana Great. (That's not my arm holding it up. FYI.)

1. I'm 35 weeks pregnant. No, I am NOT ready. But I have cleaned out all the pink blankets, and am excited to start using the adorable, cozy BOY blankets sweet people have given us!

2. I am nesting. In reverse. I am currently in the process of filling the trunk of our Honda Pilot with stuff to drop off at Goodwill (well, the DI trailer, actually.)

3. In the process of this nesting, I filled our garbage can and most of our recycle bin the day BEFORE Christmas. Yes, yes- my husband was pleased about that. Luckily, in all our Christmas wanderings we've found empty bins for most of our extra bags of trash.

4. I can no longer sleep comfortably in my bed, which means I'm on the couch, which means I'm sad. I slept in a chair with Mimi in my arms for about 3 months when she was born- if I need to do that again, I didn't want to add MORE time away from my hubby on the front end!

5. Christmas was spectacular. So much family, so much food! I was spoiled rotten this year- my library grew by 7 fantastic books, I am the delighted owner of a 20-cup rice cooker (so I can stop begging my sister to bring rice when I cook curry for family meals), and I have so much much chocolate. Oh, and cookie scoops. I love cookie scoops! (I'm not going to list everything I got, because that would be tacky, right? So..if I didn't list your present, I love it very, very much. I'll tell you so in the thank you note that I'm going to write.)

6. My husband is home for the week, and working on projects. My room (that I no longer sleep in) is currently torn into tiny pieces, as he prepares to paint the walls. Among other projects. Help.

7. I watched "Princess and the Frog" this morning with the girls. I want to know why that movie is rated G? Adorable...but a little intense for the young crowd. Yeah?

8. Every time I feel ill, I'm afraid I'm going into labor, because that's how my last labor started. My husband didn't even know that, he was asleep- I was scared I wouldn't be able to wake him up in the few minutes I had between being sick!

9. If you're going to host Christmas Eve dinner, make lots and lots of food. Leftovers are delicious. Especially baked brie topped with last year's meyer lemon marmalade. It's not bad that I eat the rind, is it??

10. I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend, and enjoy this season!
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gifts We've Made

Little gifts we've made recently, for birthdays (we celebrated Holiday Season Birthday #5 and #6 this week, and that's just the folks who live within driving distance. There are four others on his side of the family....and we're about to add two more holiday babies between me and my sister-in-law. Oh my.)

I found this gorgeous piece of fabric at our local Joann's shop- I think it's brocade? Seems to be a polyester, just looking at it made the edges unravel! I purchased a square (44 inches square) of it, and sewed around the edges with the presser foot to check the fraying, and to give me a mark to fold on when I double-folded the edges to hem it. A brand new needle REALLY helped get through this thick, slick fabric! It didn't want to lay flat, either- the edges kept warping and pulling. We picked this one out to go on top of Mom and Dad's fancy, shiny, black grand piano- she has a gorgeous silver nativity set from Mexico that she sets up on the piano every year, and a old, old, hand-painted tea set from Europe that lives there the rest of the year. (It's a gorgeous set- maroon, each piece with a different hand-painted scene from Napolean's career.)

For a friend's daughter, quick clip-on earrings for the dress up box. I see a lot of these in our future, for little girls' birthdays.

I knit the green scarf you see Uncle Bear wearing here- turns out you CAN knit flat pieces on round looms! (Yes, I'm a Knifty Knitter...I don't even know how to hold knitting needles!) If you know how to loom knit, basically you cast on for 18 or 20 pegs (or however wide you want it,) knit off, and cast on in the OPPOSITE direction. Just go back and forth! Check YouTube for videos of how to finish the last edge- I can't find the video I watched, but there are LOTS of folks out there making tutorials on hacking with round looms.
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Monday, December 20, 2010

The Morning

The girls, working on birthday cards

Ace in the hole

I have to tell you about this second picture. Two weeks ago, Ernie discovered that she could cross her eyes, and that Mommy can't. This is now her secret weapon. Mom and Dad getting grumpy at the dinner table at her antics and sass? Next time we look at her, this is what we get.

I think we are done with paint for the year. After the girls finished their birthday cards, we finished up some Christmas projects, and had a well-deserved bath. I really think paint is done for the year, and that kiddo crafts are done too. Hooray! One more box to ship off, a few more Mommy projects to finish, and some cookies. We must have more Christmas cookies! I've been promising Ernie all year that we'd do gingerbread men at Christmas time, so I definitely see a little batch of cookies in our near future.
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Thursday, December 16, 2010


(July 2010, building the boxes)

It's plan your gardens!!  Around here, with a frost-free-date in mid-April, our first veggies hit the dirt late January/early February (starting transplants, peas, spinach) so now is the time!

You can see my schedule here...are you growing a garden this year?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Somebody Make Her Stop

We can all agree that I have an amazing sister. Right?

Someone has got to stop her.

Monday night, we pooled our parental capacities and took the four kids to the local "garden of lights." We figured 3 adults would be a match for 4 kids. (Uncle LoLo couldn't make it.)

At the end of the garden's path, we found a paved trail that would take us back to our parking lot at an adjacent building, bypassing the crowded, narrow shoulder of the road we'd pushed the strollers up on our way into the park. Score! Plus, at the end of the trail was an enormous astro-turf field. Wonder Daddy turned the kids loose, hoping to let out some energy before we took them home for bed. Aunt LoLo (who had been tucking her daughter back INTO bed until at least 10:30 the previous nights) shouted out "If she falls asleep by 8:45 you get brownies!"

My man is a man who loves brownies.

He ran those kids ragged, up, down, and AROUND the field.

Wednesday, we had brownies on our kitchen counter.

Oh, and Wednesday night I had a house full of teen girls helping me make 4 batches of sugar cookies for a church party. I made the other 4 batches we needed on Thursday morning, and Aunt LoLo came and helped make one last batch for our own cookie jar.

And then Thursday night was the Christmas Recital for our combined piano studios- Aunt LoLo brought a loaf of pumpkin bread (1 of 24 loaves she made Tuesday), and a platter of chocolate crinkle cookies.


Aunt LoLo must be stopped.
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