Wednesday, December 31, 2008

birthday time

Today is my brother-in-law's birthday. Yes, New Year's Eve.

Happy Birthday Greg!

(That's my sister and Greg diving in the Bahamas...I know, cool, huh?)


Here are a few pictures that give you a peek into our Christmas. The girls were thrilled with each and every gift. It took all morning to open the gifts because they wanted to play with each gift as it was opened.

1. Princess polly pocket size...what was I thinking? The shoes are so tiny! 2. Miss E finally has her own "computer"...future blogger? 3. The EyeClops! too cool for words. 4. Perfection...a game that requires silence and concentration...until you run out of time and they all pop out, then there is a lot of squeals! 5. Little chef...both girls got aprons and chef hats...we'll be baking some muffins really soon. 6. A joyous reaction to her very own flashlight. Both girls got one..lots of fun! 7. The baby, not mine, is the sweet new addition to our cousin's family. My girls just swooned over her...until she cried then they started searching for a pacifier! 8. The expression that sums up how the girls felt all day long!

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Here are pictures of the other aprons I made. Now that they have been given I can show them to you. And, remember that flock of birds I made...they were given as gifts, too. They look sweet hanging on the tree. I also crocheted my first scarf...a gift for Tim. He likes it and the girls got him a hat and gloves to match...charcoal gray. The best part...when I washed and dried it, it didn't unravel!! The last two pictures are more gifts the girls are really fuzzy princess robes and Tinkertoys...fancy PINK Tinkertoys.

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I hope your holiday was filled with joy!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

little known facts

Well, my friends, January is almost here so this holiday season is quickly coming to a end. I look forward to the festivities all year long and I enjoy every minute of the Christmas holiday. However, there are certain things that I look forward to more than others.
I don't look forward to shopping but I do enjoy wrapping the gifts.
I don't like the idea of so many calories but I do enjoy yummy holiday fruitcake, pumpkin roll, fudge, ....I did limit my intake...not only to eat healthier but also because it takes a lot of miles to run off those calories.
I don't like how the radio plays the same Christmas songs all the time since there are so many choices out there but I do enjoy lots and lots of Christmas music. Some favorites in our house are Aaron Neville, Harry Connick, Jr., and for me Christmas wouldn't be complete without listening to Julie Andrews. I try to limit the Julie Andrews music while Tim is home...a man can only take so much.
I don't like reruns when I sit down at night to wrap presents or finish up some sewing but I do enjoy seeing the traditional Christmas movies instead. Some of our favorites, in no particular order, are A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, The Grinch, Christmas Vacation...and not Christmas-y but shown every year therefore included...Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Sound of Music. I think it's genetic but The Sound of Music is probably my all-time favorite movie. It's on right now. I think I've seen it every Christmas my entire life. Of course I own a copy of it and show bits and pieces of it to my girls now and then. At this point though, I think Star Wars or Cinderella would win if they were given a choice. All in good time though. All in good time. Seriously though, it is my favorite movie. Little known fact: I walked down the aisle to Edelweiss. No, no one was singing, it was just the piano. Well, my sister was supposed to play the flute, too, but she "forgot" to take her flute down the aisle with her. Go ahead mock me if you want to, I don't mind. Just listen to ol' George sing it and watch Maria swoon over him.

Hmm, I like that blue dress. I wonder if I could make that. I digress.
So there you have it. My holiday enjoyment is complete. The Sound of Music usually wraps it up. Now I need to finish pinning pieces of a twirly skirt for the birthday girl. I usually make a dress with fabric that matches the birthday theme, but this year I have decided try something new and exciting and patternless! I'm going to make a skirt and vest, hopefully with some trim and turquoise beads. Indian Powwow birthday, remember?
I hope your Christmas was wonderful! And as always, thanks for stopping by the Clothesline.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

quick update

Okay, I know I owe you an update and some pictures from our trip to my grandparents farm and the space museum. I also know that I should be sharing pictures of the other aprons I made as gifts for Christmas. And yes, I should be sharing some cute pictures from Christmas day. However, my brain is in full-steam-ahead mode because Miss O's birthday is next Friday...January 2nd. My first baby is going to be 6 years old. SIX years old, people! How did that happen?! Where has the time gone? How did she get so big?
Feeling better. I've got things to sew, ideas to come up with, gifts to buy, an Indian Powwow cake and decorations to create, and I have got to do some serious house cleaning! I've got plenty of time.....ha!
So here is an abbreviated to be added later.
A family gathering at the farm + my own hunk of fruitcake sneaked to me by my grandma = the perfect gift (go ahead, call me crazy...but I love fruitcake)
A husband with a great idea + a fun family trip to the Air & Space Museum that we ALL enjoyed = a homeschooling mom's dream (seriously, is there anything better than having fun AND learning at the same time?)
Reading the story of Jesus' birth over breakfast + a Christmas day full of family and gifts = a blessed day and a grateful heart

Thursday, December 18, 2008


...the week before Christmas and all through the room
there were piles of fabric that caused her to swoon
the sewing machine hummed and used all of the thread
as visions of aprons danced in her head
each one must be different but beautiful still
time's running out, but make them, I will
these pictures I took when they were complete
the recipients thought them to be very sweet
there's more sewing to do and seams to be pressed
more coffee I'll drink, and then I'll get dressed
enjoy each minute as Christmas draws near
and remember the reason, our Savior, so dear

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thankful thursday

This has been a crazy week...sorry for the lack of posts. It is Thankful Thursday though and I have much to be thankful for today.
First, I am thankful that although I have a cold right now, my children do not. I am also thankful that it's just a cold and not a nasty stomach virus.
Second, I am thankful for the time that I got to spend with my family over the weekend. I always wish the visit could be longer, but we enjoyed the time we had. Also, it was my PopPop's 88th birthday!
Third, I am thankful for the little overnight trip with Tim and the girls. We spent the night in a hotel (the girls first time in a hotel) then we went to the National Air & Space Museum right outside of D.C. by Dulles International Airport. Really fun. Lots of cool planes and helicopters...and the Space Shuttle Enterprise!

More details and pictures to come, but if you'll excuse me, I need to go blow my nose...again!

Friday, December 12, 2008

why am I here....

...when I should be sewing, cooking, and wrapping? We'll be going to visit my grandparents at the the farm this weekend so I won't be blogging. I promise to share pictures and crazy stories about it later. Oh, I just realized that I missed Thankful Thursday yesterday. This week has been so busy. I am thankful though. I am thankful that I get to see my family tomorrow. I am thankful that my sewing machine is still working...'cause I have been working her to death. I am thankful that the sun is shining and the sky is blue today. It's been raining and super cold all week so today feels like a heat wave. I am thankful that my children are healthy. I wouldn't want to take any germs to the farm. I am thankful that my girls still take naps because I need to accomplish a lot before it's time for them to wake up.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

fancier is always better

Last Saturday we took the girls to Home Depot for the Kid's Workshop. Miss O has been really into building things lately...building with Legos, building with magnetix, building various contraptions with jump ropes and toys. Of course E follows right along. Then we read the book Littlejim's Gift. It's a great Christmas story about working hard, loving your family, and thinking of others. Oh, the life lessons to be learned in just one story. Anyway, the little boy in the story wanted a child-sized set of tools. Well, that just put O right over the edge. So when I learned from Heather how fun the Kid's Workshops were I just had to take the girls. The project was to build an easel. The girls received a Home Depot apron, a pin to attach that shows the project they built, and a certificate of completion. There were safety glasses, child-sized hammers, nails, bolts, wing nuts, washers....oh the joy! They really enjoyed the whole experience. I had to help E a little bit, she was like a mad woman with that hammer.O did most of her project independently...I just had to (bravely) hold the wood together so she could hammer the nail. She didn't hit my hand...not even once! Pretty good for her first project. They were both very pleased with the final product but when we got home they thought it needed to be a little fancier. They immediately got to work adding just the right amount of girly-ness.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

is sharing always a good thing?

As of late, my girls have thought it to be a grand idea to share clothes...nope, not with each other because that would be fine, but with their dolls. What's wrong with putting their clothes on the doll baby? you ask. Well, you see, that's not what they're doing. What they are doing is squeezing their big bodies into the clothes that the doll wears! Let me explain. You know how when your kids grow out of their baby clothes you always save a few outfits? Well, I saved the most special ones, like their first Easter dresses, fancy, handmade, smocked dresses, a precious onesie (or two). That's all good...and normal. Well, E got a big doll for Christmas a couple of years ago so I saved some of the 6month clothes for this doll..cheaper than buying doll clothes. So when E and O were playing with their dolls a little too quietly the other day this is what I found.

So you see, O is holding the doll, Rebecca, and E is wearing the dress that had been on the doll. Yep, size 6M!!! It looks like a tank top on her, but it's really a dress. And no, she didn't stop there. She also squeezed her big booty into the matching bloomers as well. Soon after this incident, when were all done laughing, O emerged from her room in anther one of Rebecca's dresses.
Yes, that's a baby dress. A sack really. It's supposed to be long-sleeved and it has a drawstring at the bottom to cinch up the dress to keep the baby all cozy and warm. But yet, here is my nearly six-year-old wearing it...and having a marvelous time!

'tis the season

With all of the distractions this time of year it's nice to see that my children remember what Christmas is really about.
Sparkling lights and ornaments on the tree are beautiful, especially in the evening after a long, busy day. (Can you see me in there?)
In preparation for the family gathering this weekend there has been a flurry of measuring, cutting, and sewing...oh, and ironing.

Friday, December 5, 2008

sometimes ...

...I feel like a nut!

This is one of my holiday favorites. It's nice to enjoy a nutritious nutty snack and a hot cup of tea sometimes. The girls are like little beggars as soon as they hear the first cracking sound. They enjoy eating the almonds, but I think they enjoy watching the nut-cracking process even more. It's a challenge to crack the shell just right so that the nut inside doesn't break...I'm rarely successful, but the end result is still such a treat. Of course, every few minutes E will ask if there are any peanuts in there. I reassure her that there are NO PEANUTS so she is safe, but I also remind her that she is doing the right thing by asking over and over. It's a good habit that both girls's for E's health and ask away!

Well, I just got them down for nap time and I feel like I could use a nap, too. Let me just recap our morning. I didn't make a to-do list today because sometimes that feels overwhelming. What I did do was write things down that I accomplished as the day went along. This is my reverse to-do list: 1)put away clean, folded laundry 2)sort dirty laundry 3)put 1st load in washer 4)change sheets on all beds...this alone is enough for the day. I mean, when was the last time you changed sheets, blankets, quilts on a bunk bed? Seriously, it's like a workout. I wonder how many calories I burn because it's hard work trying to take off 4layers and put on 4layers all while I'm on the mattress that I'm trying to cover. Surely it's a sight to see. Anyway, the girls entertain themselves, while I burn my calories, by playing with the...dirty sheets. Eewww! Okay, so they're probably not that dirty, but they roll up in them, pile them up and jump in them, spread them out and lay down on them while the other one drags the sheet. Oh, it's quite the hay day! 5)put in next load of laundry 6)fix and serve snack 7)put some laundry in dryer (ugh!) and crazily hang my Martha Washington Blanket on the clothesline. Yeah, I know it's super cold, but today it's tolerable and there's a breeze so the blanket may actually dry...although I'll have to put in the dryer tonight for a few minutes just to soften it up a little. 8)take girls outside to play...they made "nature soup" and I raked leaves...burning more calories! 9)back inside we go to warm up while I put in the last load of laundry 10)fix, serve, and eat lunch and enjoy time with Daddy on his lunch break 11)put girls down for a nap then write blog post. Phew! That's my day so far and it's only 1:45. Okay, so in between all of those things there was a little singing, dancing, playing, and cleaning up of toys...those things are just part of our every day life so they didn't get numbered .:o) Now, I've got some Christmas gifts to work on so I think I'll take this quiet time to sew instead of nap. Plus, I can't work on the girls' gifts while they're awake...they're too stinkin' smart....they'll figure it out! So enjoy your day!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

thankful thursday

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings. ~Henry Ward Beecher

It's the little things that get overlooked, forgotten, and taken for granted. Here are a few simple that I am thankful for today.
As promised, I took a picture of the girls' Shirley Temple dolls on display at our library. I am thankful that O & E were excited to share their treasures. I am also thankful for the joy it brought them every time someone stopped to oooh and aaaah over the dolls. (Is it just me or does E look a little like that doll beside her?)
Today the temperature got up in the 50s! The sun was shining and there was no wind...we haven't had a nice day like this in a long time. I am so thankful that we were able to play outside for a long time. The girls rode their bikes, raked some leaves, ran a few races, picked berries out of my monkey grass, and "fed" the crickets that were hiding beside the house. We were having so much fun I forgot to take any pictures. I did enjoy a nice, steamy cup of my most favorite tea when we finally made back inside, and for that, I am thankful.
There's nothing quite like a delicious orange or red grapefruit to satisfy my craving for all things citrus. However, as you are probably well aware, the price of citrus fruits is outrageous! Then I saw an ad in my Family Fun magazine for these.....
I hadn't seen them in the stores yet and just assumed they'd be expensive, too. Well, my dear husband brought home this bag full of Cuties. They are so easy to peel, so sweet, and not a seed to be seen. They are just the right size for the girls and just the perfect little boost of vitamin C that we need right now. Thanks Dear. We are all thankful for this special, nutritious, delicious treat.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

who needs texting?

Maybe it's just because I don't have teenage children, maybe it's because I don't work in the business world, maybe it's because I just don't *get* texting. I think it's great to be able to send a text to someone who isn't able to talk on their phone at that moment, but when two people sit and text back and forth, that's just, well....wouldn't it be easier and faster to just call them and talk? My point? you ask. My point is that my 5 year old demonstrated her own version of texting. We were in the living room together when she got up and went into the kitchen to draw on the easel. Five minutes later she called me to look at the picture she had drawn.
Wouldn't it have been faster to just say, "Mom, can I have a drink?" I know, asking isn't nearly as cute as this picture :o)


I can't believe it's been almost a week since I've posted here on the Clothesline. Sorry about that, but I have a feeling that you understand. A lot has been going on here and I have lots to share so sit back with a fresh cuppa coffee, tea, or eggnog and relax.

~Our Thanksgiving was really nice. We didn't travel, we stayed in town with my husband's family. We had a nice relaxing morning watching the parade in our jammies. The girls just love the floats and bands...and well, everything. The actual family gathering was nice, too...22 family members, delicious food, Christmas music. Does it get any better than that?
~A couple of weeks ago Adrienne was kind enough to teach me the basics of crocheting. My Grandma has always crocheted. I mean, like forever, really! I can't remember a time when she didn't have a room full of yarn and pile of shiny, colorful crochet hooks. Somehow I managed to make it to the ripe old age of 35 without ever learning. How does that happen? Anyway, when Adrienne showed off her new skills I had to ask her to share the knowledge. Have I made anything yet? No. Have I been practicing? Oh yes. I have been practicing the basic stitches. Adrienne sent me this link for video tutorials to help me out so I wouldn't forget what she taught me. Well, let me tell you, those video tutorials are great. I even tried some of the fancier stitches. Oh the fun! I can't believe my Grandma never taught me how to do this. I hope she'll be pleasantly surprised when I show her that I learned. And, of course, I fully expect her to teach me some new tricks...and maybe share a little yarn..hehe!

Here's my first attempt. Small, but growing.
Here are my other practice pieces. As I worked on the big piece I tried a different stitch ever other row or so. Keeping the tension on the yarn and the tightness of the stitches is something that takes practice. Oh, then I found some patterns that I want to try but they require crocheting in the round instead of in rows so now I'm practicing that. It's a little more difficult to do but with practice it should get easier.
~Oh, I filled my car up the other day for....wait for it...wait for it.....$25!!! Sweet! I know, not really monumental, but still what a treat to not have to fork over $60.
~Remember when I told you how great our library is here? Well, in the children's area at the circulation desk there are two display cases that change every month. What is on display? you ask. Oh, well, right now one of the cases is holding two large Shirley Temple dolls that my Grandma gave to my well as 12 small Shirley Temple figurines that are part of a calendar display. O & E were excited to put the pretty dolls on display for other children to see. (I'll post a picture after our trip to the library later today)
~On the exercise front, yes, I am still running. I know, I know...crazy right? I mean, who would have thought way back in August that I, Angela, would, first of all be running at all, let alone running outside in the freezing cold weather. When I ran on Saturday night with Heather it started to sleet then rain when we were as far from the end of our run as possible. Now, I can't really complain about running in the rain since both of my 5K races were in the rain,but sleet and freezing rain is a whole other ball game. Seriously people, it's not easy staying motivated when it's so cold outside, but having friends like Kim and Heather is really the best thing ever. We keep each other accountable and motivated.
~Distance covered since I began running on August 8th ~~~~~~~ 175.81 miles!!!
Well, I think that's all the leftovers in my brain, I think I need another cuppa coffee. Won't you join me?