Monday, February 28, 2011

A Typical Conversation.

Here is the conversation I had with Minna this morning. Most questions I ask her these days pretty much go along these lines. She just got me real good with this one.

ME "Minna, what do you want for breakfast?"
MINNA "What!?" (said in a high pitch with a very sharp, breathy T sound)
ME "What would you like for breakfast today?"
MINNA "What!?"
ME "What. Do. You. Want. For. Your. Breakfast?"
MINNA "What!?"
ME "I'm not gonna' repeat it again you silly."
MINNA "What!?"
ME "I. Am. Not. Going. To. Repeat. It. Again."
MINNA "Just tell me though!"
ME (sighs. feels silly myself. drops bread in toaster.)

So that's what you would hear several times a day out here when the boys are all away and us gals are holding down the fort. She keeps me sharp.

Anyway. What wasn't typical about our morning is that we had some watercolor with our breakfast and coffee. Why not, right? The sun was so pretty and it is so exciting to see it coming in the windows so early these days. It starts getting light around 8:00 am now! Plus I try not to say no when she asks to paint because she is so interested in it. Don't want to curb that.

Also out of the ordinary, I got my March calendar painted up and filled in BEFORE March! Only hours before, but it is still before! I am having fun making these up and hanging them on the fridge for a quick glance when I need one. I have two 12 month calendars elsewhere and didn't need a third. I might as well join in on the painting fun too.

Happy Monday (typical or not) on this last day o' February!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

This Moment.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

-Amanda Soule (SouleMama)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Vocab Series-BALALAIKA

Our new town has a very interesting history and being a newcomer, I have lots to learn. We are open and interested and I love tagging along on school trips to the museums and such so I can absorb as much as possible. We are so lucky that the boys go to a school where the teachers are passionate about history and art and have the resources to facilitate that.

Speaking of art and history, I just got my tired 3rd grader into bed after his debut on stage with his school. Oh yes. He was dancing. And singing. (I had to refrain from writing "GEEEEEEEE!" here. Sorry.)

Not just any dancing and singing. Russian, dancing and singing. Here is where the new vocabulary comes in; we got to hear the beautiful traditional Russian instrument, the BALALAIKA. Didn't get any good pictures. Drat. I battled with the lighting.

Again though, it was not just any balalaika playing, no no, but The Kodiak Russian Balalaika Players. (Still looking for a good link.) They are internationally known and amazing. I think the balalaika has taken the place of the violin as my fave instrument. It is emotional and lovely. The sound gives me a lump in my throat and makes me suck in my breath like solo violin music does but it has a folky feel. Heading to iTunes to get me some songs ASAP.

Anyway, the students have been practicing for months and Sully was all worried about his costume looking like a dress. It didn't. And he was worried about dancing with certain people and forgetting words. None of the above were a problem and Minna was dancing on the sidelines and we all learned something. Plus I want to make one of those sweet headpieces and a little Russian folk dress for Minna to dance around in at home to my new balalaika music.

Jeff was working but got to run over with a radio and watch the whole thing. The beauty of working right next to the school. Sweet set-up for us.

So! Learn all about the balalaika and you never know when there might be a quiz. I will be throwing new words your way every now and again. Be ready with your pencil and notebook.

Spokoinoi nochi! (Oh please let this be right and not a curse word or something. I don't mean that kind of vocabulary.)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Just One Of Those Days.

My mischievous middle boy.

Full of pride.

And surprises.

One tooth closer to being that much bigger.

These kinds of days are good.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Capelet A Day.

Happy Monday!

Look at the little shawl/poncho/capelets I have been making! I like to call them capelets because it sounds cute and that's what the pattern designer called them. I used this easy pattern and I loved how quick and simple it was. I get them done in one evening, or a few hours, or during a couple of episodes of "LOST". Just depends on how you measure your own time.

I have made 4 total. (Two for Minna, two more for friends.)
So comfy and warm for doing things like...

taking your morning coffee.

Or "sneaking" pieces of gum from the pantry.

And taking stylish walks around the neighborhood. Not pictured here, but my personal fave is wearing the capelet over your down jacket if it's chilly enough.

Also useful when working on the bike out in the shop. Not exactly heated in there you know.

And here is number four. Hot off the hooks ready to makes it way to California for a special friend in dire need of a capelet with a big, bright pink flower. (Just wear it over a tank top with all the 70 degree weather you have been having... in February.)

No prob. February is just fine out here because Minna's got her shoulders covered!

Note-To make the capelet a bit bigger and also more fitted instead of a slight bell shape, I used a J hook and on the third round, I only did 2 HDC in every other DC instead of in each DC. Does that make sense? If not, come on over and I will show you what I did. :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Moment" Overload.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

-Amanda Soule (SouleMama)

Select "moments" from 10/2010 and 12/2010 when we were in a little rental or a hotel while we waited for our home to be ready. Seems so long ago now, but was very hard and slow-going while we were amidst it all. Look at the special moments that came from that time anyway. I had to whittle down my choices too!

There now. All caught up so next Friday's "This Moment" can be current.

Can't wait to see what's in store for us.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

1000 Cranes For 1000 Miles.

I have to share an awesome kid-creation today. This is a special project not only because of the artist that created it (my Sully-boy) but because it was made from the heart, for his baby sis. It was a long time in the making. I should have titled this post "1000 Cranes For 1000 Miles, In 1000 hours'.

It's Sully's version of a "1000 Cranes" project that he found in one of the many origami books he has checked out from our old library. (Miss that place.) There are so many neat books, new and old on the subject for him to choose from. I hope he loves the art form forever.

Especially because I get to enjoy the product of all the folding, creasing and trial and error that happens. Every time he ends up with something beautiful like this...

He turned all those cranes (not really 1000, but close) into a mobile with embroidery floss and some sticks found in the yard. The hole punching and tying teeny knots became a little tedious and took two evenings, with my help, to get it just the way he wanted. Very precise that boy of mine. It was meant to hang in Minna's room. Yet, it's still up in the dinning room because we couldn't find a good spot in Minna's unique and quite small room for it. (A tour of her little corner coming soon!)

I reassured him that we would figure something out and in the meantime he is letting me keep it where it is. I am so lucky.

One of the neatest parts of this project is that Sully started it back in California. He probably had about half of the cranes done before we moved. We pressed each one flat and wrapped them carefully and put them in a box to be packed and shipped with all our stuff. They made it safe and sound and he picked up where he left off. He began as soon as he had his origami bag and his desk set up.

The sweet little guys actually traveled something more like 3000 miles if you can believe it.

That's a lot.

I sure am glad they made it.

(3/18/11) Sully said that every crane he makes from now on will be a tribute to the victims and survivors of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Folding 1000 cranes is to bring happiness and peace to those in need. After I read this post to Sully he said "I will hope for all those families while I fold."

That's the idea, my sweet boy...

Monday, February 14, 2011

For Valentine's Day.

It's Valentine's Day! Did you go overboard with decorating this year? We did. We cut and painted and tacked up so many different hearts that I lost track and I don't have room to share pictures of them all.

We cranked many painted coffee filter versions that were hung up and mailed to loved ones in California and Idaho. If you happened upon our front step you knew what you were getting into because the door is covered with these.

We painted some newspaper hearts with water colors which are my personal favorite. My second favorite are the ones cut from pages of our old Dish Network instruction manual. I just knew that would come in handy. It really was worth packing and moving it all the way here!

(Just a gratuitous, pretty, pink ballerina heart making picture. I couldn't help myself.)

And with the product of all our cutting and painting we sewed strings of hearts to hang. I got the idea from DottieAngel. (She makes the most beautiful stuff by the way.) I taped these guys up all over the place. This string is hanging right in the middle of our kitchen counter where we eat most meals. The ones below are in our living room window. Hearts! Everywhere you turn!

Anyway, it is really fun sewing paper. You must do it. I am trying to figure out what paper shapes to sew together now that I can leave up year round for everybody to get tangled in.

I am certain I will think of something.

For now, have a sweet Valentine's Day with all your loves!

Friday, February 11, 2011

This Moment-The Game Of Catch Up.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

-Amanda Soule (SouleMama)


Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Most Improved.

Keepin' it light and quick today!

Remember these from last Valentine's? I tried so very hard to crochet tiny hearts. My fingers hurt. My eyes hurt. Then my pride hurt because these were the closest I got to a heart shape.

This year was another story. I found this pattern and they come out perfect each time. No pain or suffering involved. Just fun.

I have to figure out what to do with them now. Any ideas? I have about 30 hearts hanging around. I've been mostly lining 'em up and taking pictures of them and fussing with them here and there and taking some more pictures of them. I have a few hanging from the fridge, but what you see here is basically all the action they are getting.

All I know is that I definitely deserve "most improved" in the crocheting useless bobbles department. They actually look like hearts!