Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Young Composer

My oldest son entered a contest a few months back .  Local music teachers were given a theme by the conductor of the orchestra; and students were to compose a piece on piano using the theme as a starting point.  My boy's piece was one of the ones chosen to be performed by the orchestra at their Christmas concert!

It was pretty cool, he had a couple of individual orchestration lessons with the conductor and got to choose which instruments play which part.  Best of all was hearing his creation performed by an awesome orchestra.

While he has moved way beyond my piano and music skill, I do think I could teach him a thing or two about bowing and enjoying the limelight a little more.

Check it out:

Friday, December 30, 2011

My Month

Wow, a month passed without a single post from me.  My month was busy with going to class parties, sing-a-longs, and concerts galore between the six kids.  I finally got a chance to download some pictures and here are some things I missed telling you about.

First, my redhead turned 7.  She had enough birthday money to buy herself her first American Girl doll, but we found a used bedroom set someone was selling that she fell in love with.  Can you believe she chose to spend the money on furniture rather than a doll?!?  She and her little sister pooled up their birthday money and paid for 2/3 of their new ultra girly furniture!  They are so proud and once I finish painting their room I'll put pictures up.

We had a week of very nice weather in December with temps near the 70s.  I happened to look out the window one of those days to see my little girl playing and had to snap some candid (through the window) pictures.  Notice anything different about her?

Below is when she caught me snapping and sulked off.  By the way, those are tennis balls.

My youngest boy finally lost a top tooth......

and discovered the joys of playing with tape.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Last night was the last night I'll ever have a 5 year old child.  Sad, isn't it?  Well she wasn't sad!  She had me french braid her hair just so she could take it out first thing this morning for curly hair.

This morning she wore her finest birthday dress to school (good thing there was no P.E. this week), and had me bring Popsicles to her class for after lunch.

And since I can be talked into things easily, she had me check her out of school early to play with her new Moxie doll. 

I usually make them their favorite meal for supper and when I asked her what she wanted tonight she said, "Junk."  I don't think I can do that, so I guess we'll just have her next favorite thing ... PB&J sandwiches.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Things I'm thankful for -

My church - we recently changed churches and I'm so thankful for the new one we found.  It's not like any other church we've ever been a part of, in fact - no two services have been alike.  Derek says I have a short attention span, so maybe that's why I love not knowing what to expect.  There is one thing I do expect, though, and that's for the Word of God to be preached and for my life to be changed.  It is every week.  Oh- and they feed our family on Wednesdays for free.  I love knowing I don't have to cook one night of the week.

My family - I'm so thankful for a devoted husband whose funny, hardworking, loving, and can make me laugh in almost any situation.  Yesterday marked our 17th Thanksgiving as husband and wife!   I'm thankful for all of our kids that are healthy and happy.  My youngest got an ear infection last week and was put on medicine.  She asked for pills instead of liquid.  As I gave her her medicine that first morning I thought, I am so glad that we are out of the liquid medicine phase.  I know that's stupid, but when you have a couple on liquid meds at the same time, do you know how many dirty teaspoons you go through?  So I guess I'm say I'm also thankful for modern medicine.  Speaking of phases, I'm out of the liquid medicine stage, the diaper stage, the not knowing when you're going to throw-up and you spew all over the sofa stage, the Teletubby stage .... and for all of that, I am thankful.  While I do miss the cute toddling around, I kind of like this teen/ tween phase, you can hold pretty good conversations and they are really funny.

My home - while it feels like a money pit sometimes, I love my house and I'm thankful for it.  Not only the house, but the location - I love my community and the things offered in it.

My extended family - My Mother makes the best dressing you will ever put in your mouth, while my Father makes the best jokes.  I love going to spend time with my family, and we all had a lot of fun at their house on Thursday.  I got to meet a 94 year old great aunt that I've never met before.  I found out today that she inspired Derek to start to exercise more and drink only water, but then again I've also seen Derek drink two cans of Coke today so far.  The kids enjoyed playing with their cousins while I enjoyed visiting with my Mom and sisters.

Lazy days - I am thankful when the kids are out of school and we can just sit back and relax with nowhere to go.  I've taught one kid how to play Cribbage and the rest of us have been enjoying a new card game I got called Dutch Blitz.  Just like it says on the box, we think "It's a vonderful goot game!" 

I did find out something this week - my sweet little angel on the right cheats at cards!

My van - Some people make fun of our 12 passenger van, but I love it.  Sure, it looks like we're a commercial company carrying cargo; but the kids have lots of room to spread out and we can take 4 extra friends with us anytime, anywhere.  Can your car do that?

A free turkey from Ingles - Yes, I earned a free 14lb bird with my turkey points this year!

There are so many more things that I'm thankful for, but I'm not sure the pages of my blog could hold them all.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Christmas Wish List

I've decided to write down my wish list for this Christmas because people usually ask me and I usually have nothing to tell them.  I've been thinking about it today and here is my list:

King size electric blanket - mine barely warms anymore.  I don't care what color as it won't show, just as long as it is warm.

Electric skillet - a rectangular one.  I've had one since we got married, but one of my kids dropped mine several months back and it broke. 

A big area rug for my den - like this one, or this one, or this one.

Paint for my bathroom, I like this Meander Blue from Sherwin Williams.

A headboard for my bed.  I've been planning on making one for years, but we still just sleep headboard-less bead.  So if you're reading this Derek, you could get me some plywood and foam and a few hours of help.

Frying pan - I would like just a simple, cheap medium sized frying pan.  I have three small 6 in ones that are too small, and a couple of huge heavy ones that are too big.  I need one that is juuuust right.  Maybe a 10 incher. 

Hardwood floors for my living room and dining room.

A working bathroom off the kitchen, with new shower so the girls will stop using mine.

True Blood: The Complete Third Season

True Blood: The Complete Fourth Season

This cute little owl ornament.

A rolling pin - I think mine broke or something. I didn't think about it until I made a pie last month, and while it wasn't difficult to roll out the dough with my small ergonomic Pampered Chef pin, it was extremely difficult to transfer the dough from the counter to the pan.

The Cricut pens that fit into your machine to draw instead of cut.

A subscription to Molly Makes magazine.

A measuring cup that measures more than 1 cup.  Something to measure 2 - 4 cups at a time.

A really big mixing bowl like my Mom's.

My kitchen floor mopped and resealed.

My shower re-grouted.

Towels - we bought four nice towels from Macys last year that were "Hotel" quality.  They are white with brownish stripes on each end.  Derek and I get to use two, and then the other kids usually fight over who gets to use the "fluffy towels".


House shoes - I wear a size 7 1/2 or 8.

Patio chairs.

Fire pit for patio.

There you go, something for every budget.  I know a lot of these are over the top; but a girl can dream, right?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Photo of the Week

Tom Selleck Fan Club

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kyoko Dress

To tell you the truth, I never thought I liked the Kyoko dress pattern by modkid.  It wasn't until I saw some of the amazing creations on the MODKID Flickr group that I decided I wanted to make one for my girls.

Sometimes I make them dresses that I'm so proud of, and they could care less for them.  However, this was not one of those times!  As you can see in the pictures, she was more than pleased with her new outfit.  Well, once I added the obi (the cummerbund thing).   

Added just because it was so cute.

Even the redhead loved it and wants me to make her one.  I had her try it on to see if I needed to go up a size.  Luckily, I don't have to trace another pattern, because it fits her perfectly!

Since I made plenty of bias tape, I think I'll go buy different fabric that will match the zebra accent for a second dress. 

Look at those peepers!

Bottom line, I loved making this pattern.  The instructions were very clear and this was a quick sew.  It probably took about three hours, including making my own bias tape.  I'm looking forward to making another!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Book Purse

I found this great little tutorial a while back from Hungry Panda for making a purse out of a book.

The hardest part was picking out a book to destroy.

I bought this really cool Titanic book several years ago with visions of my boys devouring every word.  In reality, no one has ever opened it up to read one sentence out of it; so I didn't feel so bad about ripping out its insides.  Well, I did .... but I got over it pretty quick.

I can't remember at what angle I drew the side of my pattern, but I didn't do what the pattern suggested.  I think I did it 60 degrees because that was the only option on my ruler I had.  Therefore, my purse opens a little wider than the purse in the tutorial.

I also added a little tab for the Velcro closure. 

Thanks to the E6000 glue, this little project was surprisingly easy with fairly little sewing.  It was also FUN, especially since I got together with my Mom and sister for a little craft day. 

There is only one problem, though.  My crazy cute book purse is too small to hold all of my crap!  Seriously, not even my wallet.  I need to make one of those thin wallets that just holds your license and some cash for the days I want to look all librarian chic.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Darn It!

After playing with a huge but lovable dog over the weekend, my son came home with a nice tear in his new shirt.

My Mom has darned things for my kids before, and it always looks fairly good.  The one time I tried it, it didn't look too good.  The trick that I didn't know about and my Mom told me earlier this week is to put fabric under what your darning.  Duh .... why didn't I think of that?

As you can see in the above picture, the tear was L shaped, so I had to darn a fairly large area.

It's much better than throwing the shirt away, and since the hole was in the bottom of the shirt I don't think it's that noticeable.  I really should have used a different color thread.  If I were a professional, I would have done gray thread on the gray square, and red on the red.  However, I am not a professional; just a simple Mom who saved a shirt from the trash.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Finished Jump Rope Dress

The Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress is finished.  Wow, that argyle print turned out much wilder and crazy than I expected!  Looking back, I should have chosen the Scottie print as the main fabric and the argyle as the accent.  Ah well, she loves it anyway.  In fact, the brighter and wilder, the better in her eyes.

Fun pattern, she loves it, and I will make it again.  Next time, I will make the view B, which doesn't have a waist.  I really didn't like view B on the pattern, but after looking through Flickr, I like the no-waist view B much better.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Easy Peter Pan Costume

It's that time of year, the time for the annual 2nd grade Fairy Tale Ball!  Although the teacher said to not buy anything, but use costumes or clothes around the house; my boy insisted on being Peter Pan.  Instead of buying a costume, I opted on making one.  I bought a $4 shirt from Hobby Lobby and cut off the bottom and the sleeves.  I also poked some holes in the top and wove a strip of leather to "lace" it up.  

For the pants, they didn't have ANY green knit, so I had to use brown.  I bought $4 worth of knit and used a pajama pants pattern I have.  It's honestly the WORST sewing job I've ever done .... BUT, the beauty of knit is that you don't have to finish it and it won't unravel.  It honestly took less than 30 minutes to make since I didn't have to hem or worry about the seams.  If you don't sew, you could easily just pick up some cheap leggings in the girls section.  I would have done this since he has little sisters who could use the leggings after Halloween, but my Target only had bright colors like yellow, teal, and pink.  Isn't that crazy?  It's not like it's Fall, Target.

For the hat - I took a $.79 big sheet of stiff felt and made a "paper hat" with it, then stuck a red feather in the side.

Total cost = $9, total time = maybe an hour

He is so happy and proud and excited, I don't think he'll be able to go to sleep tonight! 

Peter Pan's shadow

In other news Living this month, Martha Stewart showed how to make ghost using a foam head and cheesecloth.  Trust me, hers looked much more ghastly than mine turned out.  Although I will say that his reflection in the photo turned out a little freaky.  This apparition is supposed to be hanging from the porch, but he fell down yesterday and is now perched on a broom in the corner of my foyer.  It's just another thing that Martha makes it look totally cool and my version is a flop.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Never too old or too manly to play Polly Pockets with your sister.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pleased With Myself

My Mom and I got to spend the day together last week having an afternoon tea at the tahCha Teahouse.  Side note, they have GREAT hot teas if you ever have a chance to stop by.  On the way, we stopped by Intown Quilters.  It was a GREAT fabric store that we've been wanting to go to for two years and I'm so glad we finally made it.

I fell in love with the Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress  pattern over the internet, but I couldn't find it in the 4-8 size.  Well Intown Quilters had it!  I snatched it up and found this crazy cute argyle fabric and got to work right way.  However, I quickly lost steam when I read the directions and saw I had to do a placket.  Words like "precise" scared me a bit, because as you can see from my interfacing strips, I'm not exactly precise.  Now that I look at the picture, the pattern is off on the argyle, too - although I cut that on the fold, so not my fault.

Anyway, I persevered and followed step by step ......

Outside right placket
Inside right placket

 And sewed my first placket!

In the end, the plackets were not near as bad as I thought they'd be; and like the title of my post says, I'm pleased.

Too bad I have 5 bushels of apples that need tending to and I can't finish the dress.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pumpkin Picking

We spent Saturday with my sister and her family going to find deals on apples and also to stop by Bradley's Pumpkin Patch to pick up pumpkins for carving later this month.  We had a lot of fun riding with the thousands of other people in Elijay doing the same thing.  We found a farm off the rode that sold huge mountain cabbage for $2 a head, and a big basket of sweet potatoes for $7, which we split between the two families; but we got some of the biggest laughs stopping by a tiny shed on the side of the road that sold garlic.

I don't know ... maybe it was from driving in a car with 12 people for over two hours... but my sister, brother-in-law, and I found the jumbo garlic in the back left corner funny as we waited in the car and watched Derek dealing. 
Of course that's the garlic he bought and posed with.

My sweet taters and cabbage

We spent the night with my sister on Saturday night, who happened to be having "allergy" trouble but ended up running a fever for the following two days.  I think the fun was worth catching her funk, although I have been drinking all kinds of vitamins through teas.

One the way home my family ate supper at Cracker Barrel where I found the coolest candle.  It's a Woodwick candle and the wick is made out of .....wood.  It crackles as it burns and in this great spooky jar it gives off a dancing type glow.  I love it!