Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's A Go!

I have mentioned the books Handmade Home and The Creative Family a bunch of times, I know, and here I go again. 

There is the cutest journal project in Handmade Home that I have been wanting to do. I want to make several just to be used as journals or scrapbooks for the boys and one for me to scribble all my lists and stuff. But I also wanted to make one to use in a special way.

Introducing, The Pen Pal Journal! 

We made ours out of binder paper, the backs of old homework, used coloring book pages and an old, cut up folder for the covers.

I got my friend Isabel and her two girls, very dear friends from our Navy family days, on board and we are going to do collages, collect treasures, write, draw and have all kinds of pen-pal fun. 

I can't wait to get started!

They have a great home school going on over there so I am hoping our little journal will lend itself to all sorts of learning about states, cities, time and anything else that comes up. 

Have a lovely weekend and stick something in the mail for a far away friend!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Crafty Organizer.

With the boys at school and Minna being as easy-going as she is, I seem to have a tad more time on my hands during the day so I want to use them more. My hands, I mean.

I have said that I have been feeling the need to be creative and learn or re-learn some skills like knitting and needlework and I have fallen hopelessly in love with embroidery. I got books, I got linen, I got cute scissors, I got needles, I got cards, (yes embroidery on paper!) and best of all I got floss. 

We love the floss. Kids are great for picking out colors by the way. All this creativity and designing and stitching has led to quite a collective mess in the office/craft room/storage room. It's an ongoing dilemma

First order of business, organize that floss! We wind up our floss, we stack it and bunch it all up. One of us, I won't name names, drags it around with one end in her mouth. It's one flossy disaster. 

So, when I came across this old, now new knitting project, I also stumbled upon a half finished, oddly sized crocheted hat. It was too big for even the biggest of heads so I wasn't inspired to finish it. That's OK because it has a new purpose.

You guessed it, holding our floss! I love just grabbing my hoop and yarn bowl of thread when I am ready to stitch. It is cute and a decent size for now but we will certainly need more room someday. Like I said, storage is an ongoing dilemma

What has been one of your best unexpected and fun organizational solutions? I'd love to hear them.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Park, Purple Girls and Baby Brother.

Now around THIS time last week, we got to go visit 6 week old Carter and his big sis. Oh, just some of our favorite people. We walked and played, stuffed ourselves with sandwiches then came home with shoes full of sand and lots of new clothes for M, thanks Jules! 

How quickly we all forget that not long ago we had our own 6 week-er in the house. 

That's why it's awfully nice to have friends with new babies.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Last Summer Project.

Man, it's quiet around here.

At this time last week the boys and I were waiting for our papier mache bowls to dry so we could put them to good use.

We took a nudge from Handmade Home (again) and started cutting up used paper and junk mail into strips. Good scissor practice for little hands. Then, in the spirit of using what you have, which is a major theme in the book, we just added water to some old Elmer's Glue we already had and without knowing if it would be TOO sticky or not, we dove right in.

It was pretty fun! The boys really liked the idea of being able to make their very own bowls. Of course they repeatedly asked why they couldn't be used for food but were happy they could put treasures in them.

It was a little tricky getting the dried bowl separated from the forms, in this case, glass bowls. The boys used foil as a barrier and that seemed to be best. I used plastic wrap. I don't know if it is just the nature of papier mache or if it was the non-standard white glue we used, but it was REALLY difficult to get my bowl off. I almost wanted to give up but then I would lose my neat paper bowl AND my pretty salad bowl. I didn't relent and just pried at the thing all day and it finally gave.

Now I have a bowl for yarn projects in the living room. One boy uses his for rocks and I think I saw a treasured pocket knife in the other. We will probably have many bowls once the rainy season is around.

I am off to play with a little lady and count the minutes til' we get to go pick up our boys.

Have a great Tuesday. 

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just Us Girls.

These days, because most kiddos go to preschool or daycare, the first day of school doesn't seem to be a big deal for the kids or the parents. Not the case for us. 

We did our own home version of preschool so today was not easy. Today I not only sent my oldest to second grade (already?!), I sent my middle, my five year old, my baby boy, to KINDERGARTEN. I am glad to say that I wasn't the only Mama on the school grounds choking back tears and looking a tad red around the eyes. I sure was happy to hide behind the camera a little when needed though.

Both boys hugged me good bye, looking a little nervous, but ready. I take some pride in the fact that they are prepared and eager to learn and meet new friends. They are probably more prepared than their old Ma. Isn't that always the way?

I wish for them a full and happy year. Also, I wish for myself that this quiet around here doesn't drive me crazy.

Minna and I will make some noise and find plenty to do, I am sure.

Happy, happy first day of school. 

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Good First Week And Good Things To Come.

I took these photos the night before J started his new job. I wanted to get shots of him in his Two Rock Volunteer Fire gear before he put on his new uniform. 

We were all excited for his first day and what the future has in store. There is so much uncertainty surrounding this amazing new job that we strive to hold onto what we do know for certain. 

We know that no matter what, we have each other,  

and boy oh boy, are we proud of our Dad!

"Thinking Of You" Cards.

Can't send actual hearts in the mail.

So I'll be sending the next best thing.

Stamped hearts, stitched with lots of care.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Cold One.

Here's a summer treat (or anytime, who am I kidding?) that we learned from J's family.

I call it-
"The Stirred, Not Shaken, Shake"

What you need;

Willing Children
Favorite Ice Cream (w/out nuts is best)
Cute cup, mug or glass

Fill mug 1/2 or so full of ice cream.
Add milk to top it off.
With the spoon, squish ice cream around. Carefully at first, the milk can and will, squirt out.
When slightly blended, stir a bit faster if you want.
Smoosh and stir until desired shake-ness is achieved.

Now spoon it up or drink it down...


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Cheap Date.

As the butterflies flitted in my stomach, excited and nervous about J's first day on the job, I knew I just needed to get out of the house. The boys and I decided to go out for a stroll. 

Petaluma Downtown is the best you can find for strolling and window shopping. The boys help push Minna along (usually arguing over who gets to do so) and we just soak it all in. Fun way to pass the time.

We had to stop at The Seed Bank because Sully was so impressed with the idea of a "seed bank" in a very old building that used to be a "real bank", with money instead of seeds. "That's a REALLY good idea!" He said. 

Then, after the bookstore, knitting store and others it's time for Heebee-Jeebee. (Couldn't find a web-site or photo. I'll keep looking.) What a cool place. They have a bit of everything. Cool wood toys, an old photo booth, gag gifts, natural fiber children's clothing, etc. 

Best of all they have "The Champion".  An antique horse that still works and gives a pretty lengthy jaunt. We got our 25 cents worth out of the day for sure. 

Plus, the fresh air tamed the butterflies...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Good First Day.


Morning, it's early.

After some huddling close in a sleeping house over some eggs, I just listened to J's motorcycle speed off.

After A LOT of work, training, devotion and a tad of luck, he just rode off in the direction of his first day as a paid firefighter in San Fransisco. 

It is a scary and bold move.

He leaves monotonous hours behind a desk (not at all where he belongs), for ever-changing, hectic overnight shifts. The days of feeling secure, especially by today's standards, in a stable federal job are over. Instead, he will be gaining priceless experience in a less-than-stable job that makes his heart race. A job that he is meant to do. A job that he has done happily, free of charge for two years. 

I am really proud of him, of course, but mostly I am happy for him. It is not easy being a one income family and he has always carried that responsibility without complaint. Now, he's doing what he loves. Few experience that.

Still a scary move? Sure. Will it be easy? Nope. Not for any of us. Worrying about job permanence, his safety, missing one another, and that schedule!

Not easy for sure. For him, there is no doubt that it was the right move and worth it, worth it all.

As for me?

HE'S worth it.


                                                          (above photo by JT)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

saturday (Introducing-Wordless Weekends.)

First installment of new-style weekend posts. No writing, just some shots that sum up what went on out here.

(I should note the whole wordless weekend thing was kind of inspired by Soulemama. Check out her "weekending" photos. She is a great mama-photographer.)

So, on the weekends, no more words. 

Starting... now!

Friday, August 14, 2009

New Obsession, New Beginning.

Minna has moved on from eating every teeny-tiny thing she finds on the ground. Phew! This includes bugs, coins and petrified food by the way, ick. The new obsession is much less harmful and pretty funny. 

She wants to sit inside stuff. Her obsession lies in the challenge of getting inside in the first place though. Once in, she sits content for quite a while. I love it!

A pretty red box for blocks? Sure!

The dog water bowl at grandmas? Yes please!

A minuscule basket that holds baby socks? Don't have to ask me twice!

All baby cute-ness aside, this coming weekend marks an end for us out here in Two Rock. It also marks the beginning of the unknown. I will divulge more on Monday.

For now, we are happy where we sit.

Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Only Took A Decade.

Look at this new neck warmer or half scarf. If you really wanna get fancy, you can call it neck-candy. This thing was 10 years in the making and it is finally finished and ready to wear when cold weather and wind hits Two Rock. I started it when we lived in Silverdale, Washington and I was just learning to knit. It was supposed to be a long scarf/wrap but I saw some cute neck warmers in this book that inspired me to use one skein. Plus I certainly didn't mind cutting time in half either. Could have taken me 20 total! Just kidding, this is only the second time picking up this project in the past 10. I am addicted to yarn again...
I knitted furiously for two days then went to Knitterly and got cute buttons, tied them on and viola, finished! I am starting a new scarf, hopefully full length and will be taking a knitting class with my Mother-in-law next month. Fun! Now I can learn the right way to hold the needles. Somehow I don't think propping a needle on my hip is correct, hmm?

Here I am modeling it, which is mortifying by the way and very difficult to edit oneself. Not to mention steamy hot because it nearly hit 90 today. (Photograph courtesy of Sully-boy.)

Have a nice evening and hope you finish something neat and creative from your to-do list.