Monday, August 30, 2010

just do it

When people see something I've sewn
I often hear "I wish I could sew like that!"
or some other sentiment along those lines.

Just do it.

The only way to be able to sew 'like that'
is to start sewing.
I haven't always been able to sew like this.
Almost every time I make something,
Tyler comments on how my skills have improved.
And he's right!
This was my very first clothing refashion
almost exactly 2 years ago
and this was this week's.
Big difference!
(I see my photography skills have improved - thankfully - too)
I would have never been able to make what I make today
without learning
I'm looking forward to what I'll be able to make tomorrow.

You want to be able to sew?
Start sewing.
You want to paint?
Start painting.
You want to ride a bucking bronco?
Start riding.
Just don't expect to stay on the beast right out of the chute.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

2 hours at Carol Ann Cross


We do
a lot of salsa around here.
the food - not the dance.
It's relatively healthy
and everyone likes it.
The youngest capable person usually gets the job of making it
Tyler or I will make it on occasion.
Our salsa is our version of Stephanie's recipe
that I got years ago at the Martha Stewart ladies night at Central.
(That was a good night - I learned to decoupage that night
and I also learned that you could (gasp) make your own tortillas)
We like to make it fresh as we need it
which is often a couple of times a week.

Sort-of Stephanie's Salsa
in the bowl of a food processor, put
2 garlic cloves
a small chunk of onion - maybe 2 Tbs worth
a jalapeno (more or less depending on how hot you like it,
and how hot your peppers are
we've got some wicked hot jalapenos)
a pinch or two of cilantro
1 -15 oz can of diced tomatoes

whir it till the veggies are all chopped up
then add another can of diced tomatoes
and whir it again for just a few seconds this time.
If you've got any Banana Pepper Rings in the fridge,
adding a Tbs or so of the juice makes it extra tasty.
This is super easy for us to make
because we keep most of the veggies in the freezer at all times.

I buy 3 lbs of peeled garlic at Sam's and keep it in the freezer
and we grab out cloves as we need them.
It lasts us about 3 months.
fresh is better, but it's a hassle to peel the cloves
and for some reason, garlic bulbs go bad really quickly in this house.

We run a bunch of jalapenos through the food processor at one time,
spread them out on cookie sheets and freeze
and then seal in zipper bags & store in the freezer.
It's easy to just grab out however much we need.

Cilantro we use fresh, but who could ever use a whole bunch??
After we've made a batch or two of salsa
I stick whats left of the bundle in the freezer - as is.
We just pinch off what we need.
When it runs out - I buy another bunch and we start the cycle again.

all this salsa talk is making me hungry....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

7 quick takes - late August edition

Tyler and I went out on a date Tuesday evening.
It’s been quite awhile since we had a proper date.
Proper date meaning
we aren’t making a quick run to the grocery store…
It wasn’t exactly for our anniversary
which sorta got lost in all the busy of late
but more in honor of it.
Less pressure that way, I think.

We went to the movies on said date
and had a blast.
which I don’t exactly recommend, per se,
but we did both laugh out loud
several times.
And we had the theater pretty much to ourselves.
There may or may not have been some kissin’ going on.

While waiting for show-time
Tyler gave me an anniversary gift.
(I gave him a trip to Belize ~ that counts, right?)
Money for a camera!!!
He didn’t even know I’d been eyeing some;
He just figured it was time for me to step up a bit.
I’m a little nervous about my lack-of-retention
I was planning to wait
‘til I got next year’s challenge money to buy one
in hopes of my brain returning by then
so I could actually learn to use the thing.

Josiah was playing with fabric scraps a few weeks ago
and put together a quilt for the girls.
He got to operate the foot pedal
while I sewed.

I’m glad I put my own sewing aside to do this with him;
I’m not always good at that.
Actually, just 2 days earlier
Jeremiah had wanted to sew something
and I told him I was too busy to help,
he’d have to do it on his own.
I wish I could have a do-over.

Speaking of Josiah
he is really maturing lately.
That boy has been a challenge
pretty much his whole life,
so this is big.

Lexi is an awful lot like her brother
Enough said.
Ya’ll pray for us.

Ya’ll pray for us, would you?
We are trying to discern God’s will for our family.
This is nothing new
we’re always trying to discern His will
we’re thinking He may be taking us
in a bit of a different direction than we’ve been heading
so we need to be extra-discerning

Friday, August 27, 2010

the perfect coleslaw recipe

I can hardly believe
I used to buy Kraft coleslaw dressing
to make my slaw.
I hadn't found a recipe that was to my liking,
and that was the best I'd come up with.
It's been years since I've even made coleslaw.
Last Fall
there was recipe in the paper for KFC's slaw
so I saved it.
Of course
I've tweaked it a bit
based on what I had in the fridge
and what I like.
And now
I give you
the recipe
perfect coleslaw

1 medium sized head of cabbage, finely shredded
then chopped just a bit so the shreds aren't too long
1 carrot, finely shredded
about 2 Tbs finely minced onion (fresh, not dried)
1/4 c. milk
1/3 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayo
2 1/2 Tbs honey (or 1/4 - 1/3 c. sugar, if you must use it)
1 1/2 Tbs white vinegar
2 1/2 Tbs lemon juice
a bit of salt & pepper

Just throw it all in a big bowl & mix well.
Transfer to serving bowl
and refrigerate.
Best when the flavors can mingle a few hours

cooks note: I would never dirty three measuring cups;
I use a 1/2 c. measure filled halfway for the milk
3/4 of the way full for the s.cream and full for the mayo

Thursday, August 26, 2010

that's a record

I'm more behind than usual in my school planning this year.
As in
I opened a catalog for the first time
late afternoon.
But you know what?
I'm done.
Just ordered.

I had to let go of 'how I'd like to do school'
in order to embrace
'what we can realistically do'.
And I am ok with that.
I really think I am.

to work on schedules...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer, what have you done to me??

I don't know what to say.
I just don't.

I was grabbing just a bite
(albeit a big one, Lana)
before heading to bed,
of the chocolate coconut cheesecake ice-cream
in the big freezer.
It was soft;
that freezer has issues,
so I moved it into the little fridge freezer.
That's when I saw them.
There are
- brace yourself -
containers of ice-cream in my freezer!
five, if you count Brandon's personal Breyers' snickers carton
but it just has a tiny dollop left
(and, technically, it's in the faulty freezer,
not with the other four offenders)
We don't eat sugar.
Sugar is of the devil.
(well, almost)
It does bad stuff to people;
I know this!
And here I sit,
having either purchased myself
or authorized the purchase of all this poison.
All in the name of 'summer treats'.
I can't toss it;
that would be wasteful
and everyone knows I'm a frugal gal
but please,
stop me!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

sometimes I wonder

why we bother to buy toys.

Lily was playing with something at nap time.
I had her give it to me.
She did, but I could see she was concealing something else.
I asked, "Do you have another toy?"
She nodded and I held out my hand.

A ball of fluff
smaller than a cotton ball,
that's what she was trying to hang on to
for her nap-time playing pleasure.
A little ball of fluff.
I think I need to sort through the play room again.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Lex' loves rice

I was nursing Lexi
sort of getting ready
for getting ready
for bed
when I remembered it'd been a few hours since she'd eaten.
I always like to try to get her tummy good and full
in hopes that she'll wake less to nurse.
Sometimes it works;
sometimes it doesn't.
I asked, "Do you want some oatmeal?"
Lexi loves oatmeal.
Without unhooking, she said, "uh uh."
Then, her eyes lit up and she sat right up and said, "Rice!"
She hopped down
went to the fridge, pulled out the rice and grabbed a bowl.

Lexi loves rice, too.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

and all was right in the world

I couldn't get a picture of it
but Lex' was just so precious tonight;
we were praying
and there she was
eyes squeezed shut
shoveling pizza into her mouth like there was no tomorrow
With the exception of the 4 littles ones
having a nasty cold
now that Daddy is home
all is right in the world again.

Monday, August 16, 2010

countdown to Papa

(and Ton'!!)

only 12 hours to go

I think we're going to make it


I was all proud of myself
for remembering
first thing this morning
to renew our library books.
Problem is
I remembered the wrong day!
They should have been renewed Wednesday.
21 books.
So now I have a $9.60 fine.
I could have bought a book with that!
Of course, in thinking about it
I don't go to the library on Mondays.
I don't go anywhere on Mondays.
Tony works on Mondays.
I am stuck home with no vehicle on Mondays.
oh why
did I have in my head all week
that they were due Monday??
I miss my brain!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

kindness of strangers

We hadn't been in the store two minutes
before I'd started thinking,
"This was a mistake.

I missed the last two thread sales;
I sure didn't want to miss another one.
I had a whole box full of plush FOE
just waiting to be perfectly paired up with thread.

turned into
The Beastie
as soon as we got over to the thread aisle.

To make matters worse,
optimistic fool that I am
had decided it would be fun for the kids to help match the colors.
Not so much.
Fun for them, yes; for me,
Brandon lovingly took Lexi walking through Hancocks
while we worked on our matching skills.
Josiah isn't too bad, actually.
Lily & Jeremiah may need to have their eyes checked!

I had several other things to look at
and by the time I was about ready to have them cut my fabric
I was pretty much done.
And then
this very well put together lady
with an adorable
(but huge!)
stopped me and said,
"You are a good mother!"
I smiled the smile of the weary and replied,
"Well, thank-you. I don't feel much like a good mother.
I feel very impatient right about now."
It just takes so long shopping and running errands
with a passel of kids.
They love to look at (and touch) everything.
"Well, of course you are a bit impatient;
look where you are. You are in a fabric store with children."
I appreciated her comment
I was still weary
and I was still in a fabric store with a bunch of kids.
And I couldn't leave quite yet...
Then I got to chatting with the sweet little old lady next to me
while our fabric was being cut.
I asked what she was doing with her's
(I almost always do that - kinda funny, for an introvert)
and we talked for several minutes.
And she began admiring my 'lovely family'.
Then her friend, Bernie
(I refrained from telling them that is my dog's name...)
came over to visit to.
And they talked to the little ones
and praised my big helper
(whom they guessed was fifteen)
and told me over and over what a lovely family we were.
And I remembered
we really are a lovely family.
I forget sometimes.

check this out

I know you never click on my links;
you'll want to click this time
and read about what Tyler's been up to.
while I've been home.

night math

This is one of those days
when I wonder if it might have been better
to just not have gone to bed
at all.
Lexi woke up ten times
in nine hours.
I nursed her anywhere from 12 - 30 minutes each time.
I normally just fall back asleep at some point while she's nursing;
not last night.
Not even one time.
In addition to taking care of Lex' needs,
Lily woke up 3 times needing attention
so I was back and forth between the girls all night,
sleeping often with Lily
in an attempt to keep her from waking up yet again.
Lily isn't quite so easy to tend to in the night;
she doesn't nurse (obviously ;-)
and often isn't really fully awake
so she's not exactly rational...
I haven't attempted to figure out how much sleep
I actually got.
Not sure my calculations would be accurate anyways.
This is one of those days
I wish I used caffeine.

Friday, August 13, 2010

mail time

On Fridays
when I worked a double shift at Shoney's
would drive over to my apartment
and check my mail.
She was always looking for the same thing:
a letter from my love
I got two
(count them, two!)
Three, if you want to be technical
but two of them were really the same note; sent in two parts
'cause technology works that way sometimes.
The difference between 24 years ago
when the letters flew fast and furious between us
and today is
back then
I had one shot at getting a letter.
If the mail came and there was no letter,
that was it for the day;
I'd start anticipating tomorrow's mail run.
This week
I have been checking my e-mail and facebook
like a crazy woman
just waiting for those three little words
One thing that hasn't changed
after all these years:
the thrill I feel
Tyler -------
in the return address

Thursday, August 12, 2010

proof that Lily is a blond


"Now, where was that shirt I just had?"

"Oh yeah, I'm still wearing it!"

oh, Momma loves you, Precious Blond Girl!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Shawn, you ASTOUND me!

I've done it again.
A small flash of pure genius
that just tickles me to no end.
Cutting bangs has always been a bit tricksy;
you just have to trim off 1/4 - 1/3 of an inch
but the kid is all worried about getting hair in their eyes.
And to be fair
said kid usually does get hair in their eyes
because they didn't listen to Momma,
"Just keep your eyes shut."
I have masking taped 1 ply of t.p. to the forehead
and that method works decently
at keeping all those short pokey hairs out
but drawing on eyebrows in exactly the right spot is a challenge.
I taped a sandwich bag to Lily's forehead
and it worked beautifully!
She could still see,
so she didn't have the frustration of being blinded by the toilet paper
and I could see right where I needed to cut
and not one trimmed hair came near her eyes!
It would have been really perfect
if I'd have had her stand over the trash can;
the hair would've just slid right off the bag into the trash!

*It goes without saying, but if you try this,
careful of plastic by the nose and mouth. yada yada yada*

nope, she can't

the guys are packed
and ready to go
besides snacks and just a couple of other things from Walmart.

I only managed to get 4 pairs of pants
and 2 shirts made.
They took quite a bit longer than I expected
but overall I am pretty pleased with how everything turned out.
I think it's some of my best workmanship
and I learned a lot.
(nothing that I can remember at the moment. boo!)
I wasn't nervous, exactly,
but I really didn't want to mess these up.
I mean
I didn't want to end up with something that looked
or truthfully, even hand-made.
That's fine for girl's dresses
and kids clothes,
but a man doesn't really want to walk around in something
that screams 'my wife / mum made this'...
I don't think their clothes scream that.
whisper it, perhaps, but not scream...
Tyler's shirt
went together especially well.
(or is it good? I'm so tired, I'm not sure....)
I just grabbed a shirt from his closet
threw it on top of the fabric
and cut.
My pieces all matched up perfectly!
I've not had that happen before
even with store bought patterns.
Too bad it fit Tony perfectly
and not Tyler.

Of course
we didn't manage to squeeze in a photo shoot
before they got packed...
I love you both
and am so excited to see how God uses you this week.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

can she do it?

Can she turn these 14 yards of Italian linen
4 pairs of pants
5 shirts
by Saturday??

We shall see.

probably not
with this kind of help

(Shanna - that is the quilt I was wondering about)

just what I needed

Brandon got this card today
as a (very kind, but un-necessary) thank-you from Grampa Bil
for all his hard work Saturday
(Tyler & Brandon went to help Bill replace the kitchen floor
and by replace, I mean replace.completely. down to the dirt, replace...)
Needless to say
I've grown a bit weary from the events of the past several weeks
and I was still sniffling
about never mind what
when Brandon opened his card and showed it to me.
I busted out laughing
and things didn't seem quite so bad after all.
so, thanks, Bill, for the timely thanks

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

the sage continues. and ends.

To make a ridiculously long story short
(ya'll would be so proud of me
I just deleted the whole sorry tale)
it now appears that my washer and dryer were not
in fact
after all.

The washer was messing up because of plumbing issues
after installing a third
- this time brand-new dryer -
(I was tired of messing around...)
I discovered that it is quite likely
that at least some of the dryer's issues
were due to a flipped circuit.

Did you know
that a large appliance
like a dryer
uses a double fuse or circuit??
and that when a dryer tumbles but does not heat
that is the likely culprit?
the 2 appliance guys I consulted with
were not aware of this either.

I now have my old working washer
and a brand new dryer
that I probably didn't need
and two
sort-of working appliance on a trailer
that I will be returning tomorrow
because I've already told the guy I was returning them.
Only now I have to tell him
that his dryer probably does work after all
and I am just stupid.

this is sorta how I'm feeling about now

would it surprise anyone that while I was posting this
my kitchen was flooding??

he's at it again

I was going to try to make it work;
I'm somewhat adaptable
after all.
the washer kept getting crankier and crankier.
I went and bought a new-to-me w/d set yesterday.
The guy delivered them around 5.
He tested both.
They seemed to work just fine.
Fast forward several hours;
I did a load.
I was happy my Tony would have a clean uniform
to wear to work today.
Washer worked fine
although there is a belt smell that I'm not thrilled about.
My new dryer works just like my old dryer.
air only.
It's ironic.
I've been writing a post in my head
about how I mange to get it all done.
By all
mind you
I mean all of the laundry.
I certainly don't get it all all done!
But I do manage to keep up with the laundry fairly well.
or rather, I did...