Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cold turkey

Thanksgiving went off mostly without any problems. We ended up eating almost two hours after we'd planned because some sweet little boy (Simon!) accidentally turned off the oven when he tried to turn the oven light on. We think it was off for about at least an hour if not longer. Long enough to cool off. I am pretty sure he'll never live that one down though. "Hey, remember when you turned off the turkey?" Yeah, he's gonna hate it.

Other than that we're just chillin' this weekend. I had big plans of working on the last of the yard clean up, making flannel pajama bottoms, starting on my ornaments, and watching some more Lost Season 3. Then, then I started reading. Damn books. I didn't even get out of my pj's yesterday. It was awesome...

Today I'll try to get something done around here. I've already showered, aren't you proud?

I will get some pictures of my current projects up soon. No really, I will.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Adventures in potty training

And so begins the adventures in potty training. Why? Because I am tired of diapers. I am tired of paying for them and tired of changing them. Potty training isn't an over night fix but we'll get him in big boy pants soon. He is off to a fabulous start. I'd say he's going on the potty about half the time. Although when he goes on the potty all the pee tends to go on the floor. Darn those little male appendages. Can't they point down while sitting? I know I help him point down when he sits but then after he's done there's pee on the floor. Grr. I don't think teaching a 2 year old how to stand and aim would be any less messy. It probably would create more of a mess, like on the walls too. I guess I just don't remember cleaning up as much pee when Simon potty trained. Hannah, well, girls are easier. Anatomy folks.

Seeing as tomorrow in the big day, you know Thanksgiving, I have to bake a pie today. I am going to do it all from scratch. I'll use my pumpkin puree from last month and I'm even planning on making the crust. Wish me luck! Mom's bringing a pie too so if I muck it up we'll just be having apple.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We'll be enjoying a small quiet dinner with my just my mom and little brother. Who am I kidding, it's never quiet here. I have 3 loud kids! Ok, let's revise that to say we'll be having a smaller than usual amount of people attending our Thanksgiving feast.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My girl

I got to spend the day with my girl today. We don't get to just do things alone together. Usually I have a little 2 year old tag along in tow. But not today. I had some errands to run and I was also going to meet my mom up in Princeton for a cup of coffee. So, I asked Hannah if she wanted to come along.

We ran by a local quilt store and dropped off a food donation so I could get a free yard of fabric. Yeah, free is one of my favorite words. I didn't find anything I wanted ( I have no idea what the deal is with that store but I just never like anything. Weird.) so I let Hannah pick out some fabric for a pillow case.

I had to stop and get gas in order to make it all the way to Princeton. May I complain about Jersey for a minute and then I'll get back to my lovely day. Thanks. You can't pump your own gas here. It's illegal. Retarded? Yeah. Welcome to Jersey. The gas station was super busy. I waited a few minutes and no gas station dude came over. So, I broke the law! I pumped my own gas. I know pumping gas is a challenge and only highly qualified people can do it but I thought I could manage. Freakin' New Jersey.

Then we headed off to Princeton with a full tank of illegally pumped gas. We meet my mom and Paul at Starbucks and after walking around a bit we grabbed a bite to eat at Panera. It's nice to be able to hang out with my mom whenever. And Princeton is such a perfect college town. Hannah says she's going to go there for college. She sure sets her goals high.

Dan texted me while we were with mom that he was taking the boys to a movie. They were going to take Seth to his first movie. I was a bit sad to miss out on that silly little milestone but I knew they'd have a great time together watching Bolt.

Hannah came with me for my last errand. I needed some things from Joann's to make Christmas ornaments. She also helped me pick out some fabric for flannel pajama bottoms. She even had to help me look up the patterns in the big pattern book and find them in the drawers. We girls will be matching since she like the fabric I picked out. I found a really cool one for Simon that had guitars on it but there wasn't enough fabric left on the bolt. Bummer. When we were standing in line I was talking to the lady behind me and mentioned that I wished I had a coupon with me. She offered my one of hers that she had in her purse if I'd let her go in front of me. Ah, done! She actually handed me two coupons and I go the use them both. That nice lady saved me $25! I like her.

We finished with just enough time to race to the movie theater to see Twilight. The teenagers in the theater were just as entertaining as the movie. When the main actor came out the girls actually cheered. Wow, he's adorable and all but seriously. Hannah liked the movie but just like me liked the book better. Once I get a few books I have qued up out of the way I'll read the rest of the Twilight books.

Well, I have no pictures to share. I just hung out with my girl. It was a good day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Things are pretty normal around these parts. Not much is happening. Things will get very busy through the month of December so I am trying to enjoy the lull. There are a ton of things going on at the school next month. Teacher conferences+ Bake Sale+ Holiday Shop+ Theater Week= Oh my god, could they pack more in before Christmas! Let's not talk about the fact that I don't even have my shopping for Thanksgiving done yet or any inkling of what I'm doing for everyone for Christmas!!! Ack!


Well, I thought I'd share a few pictures. I tried to get all three kids together on Saturday when we cleaned up the yard but they were in too big of a hurry to get back in the house where it was warm. Hannah vanished before I got get a good picture of her. Sissies I tell ya, it wasn't even cold.

He loaded up his bucket with leaves and dumped it by the curb.

Simon gathered the sticks I cut.

Look he does manual labor! Tee, hee.

Seth was all worn out after the yard work. I like that the cat needed a nap too.

Seth had story time and craft at the library today. He made an Octopus puppet. Obviously, we weren't doing something Thanksgiving themed. Once I paid my overdue fees we were able to check out some new books and a movie.

Oh, I got the corner points in on my wall quilt! I know, no one cares but me. I think it'll look sweet when it's all quilted and bound. Of course, it's been so long since I stared it, it really doesn't go with anything in our house. Hmm.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Book monster

Have I told you about the voracious book monster in our house? She is quite adorable and quite hungry for books.

Hannah's teacher sent her home with the book Twilight, that I had to approve of course, and she read it in a day. Friday night she read about 200 pages and by noon the next day the entire novel was done. She begged us to go buy her the next book but we told her no. ( I know we are mean like that. Hey, it's expensive to feed her book habit.) I decided to read this book also because for some reason it is a huge deal amongst teenage girls. Gorgeous vampires was cool abilities, what's not to like. The book was entertaining and I can see the appeal. It's worth a read. Her teacher bought herself the second book and offered it to Hannah because she was so excited to read it. The teacher called me to tell me she hadn't read it yet but she assumed it was along the same lines. She suggested I could look it over first and decide if it was ok or not. She also told Hannah to take her time and read it over a few days.

Hannah came home grinning from ear to ear, plopped down on the couch and began to read. This monring when I woke up she had a few pages left. When I reminder her that she had been told to read it slow she said she had read it over two days.

She devours books. I think she reads faster than I do. Quite frightening and yet utterly fascinating.

They have made a movie out of the first book but from seeing the previews it's a bit different than the book. I am torn as to whether or not Hannah should be allowed to see the movie. It is PG-13. She's seen movies like X men and those are rated PG-13 and so are all the Spiderman movies. She hasn't asked to see the movie yet but I know she will. She's only 10. What do you think, if she can read the book, is the movie ok?

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Wow, curves are a slow process. Taking two fabrics that curve opposite directions, pining them together, sewing a nice scant quarter inch with back stitches at each end... well, it's kinda hard. No wonder I left it alone for 5 years. No one I know will probably EVER get a double wedding ring quilt when they get married so don't even ask. Ok, you can ask but the answer will be something like, "Ha, ha, ha, ha... ah, no!"

I did make a big mistake when I first started. I looked at the first block I had make 20 million years ago, saw it had black to the inside and red on the outside. So that's how I put the next circle together. Then when I sewed the two top circles together I realized I had done something wrong.

It looked wrong. Well, duh. The circles over lap each other like rings! I should have sewn it with all the red curves in. The block belongs in a different spot. I wasn't happy about having to redo those curved seams.

Here it is last night before I sewed the two rows together.

Now, I just need to figure out how to get the corner points in. The book I have only says they can be added when the top is done. Any suggestions?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Comfort food and rain

What is it about rainy days that make you want to curl up with a hot cup of coffee and a good book. Maybe some warm soup for dinner. Or maybe just quilt the day away... ok, not happening with a toddler around. I don't understand why people grumble about the rain. Just like snow it allows you to stay inside and be mellow. You don't have to rush around. Relax, slow down.

Well, I always get my coffee in and I did read a bit this morning while Seth played with playdough and then watched a show. I am reading an interesting book right now. It's called The Girls Who Went Away and so far it's a very good read. It's hard not to cry when you read some of the stories.

As for dinner tonight I wanted to make Chili. It's a hit around here, except with Seth, so I knew it'd be worth the effort. I make chili kind of like my dad did. He made it bachelor style. You know everything from a can. Tomato sauce, chili beans, add some browned hamburger and a packet of chili seasoning. Done. Oh, don't forget the saltine crackers. I have embellished his recipe a tad and often wonder what my daddy would think of it. Would he like it? Let's see, what changes I've made.

I cooked up my own pinto beans and red beans today. Not hard, just takes longer. Of course I wasn't exactly sure how much to make so I over estimated. I had almost 8 cups of cooked beans when I was done. Oops. Guess, I'll use less beans next time. Then I sauteed onion with ground turkey. Obviously I needed tomato sauce and I added diced tomatoes and corn. I like the corn. Not everyone likes corn in their chili but since this is my chili I get to make it how I want to, don't I. I do still like to use chili mix powder because well, I like the flavor. I did throw some cumin in there since cumin is a fabulous flavor. Sometimes if I have green pepper I'll add that in too but I didn't have any today. I made way too much (because of all the beans) so I froze some for later. It was so yummy. Hannah even had seconds.

Do you think the additions make for a good sounding Chili? I think my dad would like it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Project dog sitting, underway

My mom went out of town for a few days and we brought her lovely dog to our house. Maggie is a great little dog. If all dogs were this good I'd get one but they're not. She follows me everywhere though. I've had a song running through my head for a while now. You might remember those commercials for My Buddy? "Wherever I go (s)he goes, my buddy, my buddy, my buddy and me!" AHH! She also hasn't tried to eat any of the cats around. I think she'd lose to one of my cats. Malaya is my smallest cat but she has guts.

Other than having a dog under foot all day things are normal. The kids keep trying to get Maggie to come to them and well, she won't. She stays with me. Dan runs a close second if I'm not here. Right now she's laying right next to my chair and if I get up so does she. My cat is not amused that the dog is with me all the time. One more day, kitty, one more day. Then you can have your lap back.

I took Hannah to the Orthodontist today to get her spacer out. They think she'll be out of her braces in a few months. Woo hoo.

I wish I had some good stuff to show you about quilting but I've got nothing. I am actually hoping to get a few UFO's (Un-Finished Object) done. I have a double wedding ring wall hanging that has been sitting around waiting to be finished for, um, about 5 years. Sad but true. One ring down 3 to go. Can't be that hard! Curves, I can do that... I think... then bias binding... I guess I could do that.

I also owe a friend a crazy block pillow out of some cool silk fabric she gave me... a year or so ago.

I shamefully still haven't made a charity quilt but some of the guilt has been off set because I helped tie three charity quilts at our last guild meeting. See, I'm charitable!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Funny for you but not for me

I totally grabbed a lady's ass at the grocery store today. I accidentally knocked into her because the store was jam packed, it was a Sunday after all. Anyway, after I bumped her I automatically put my arm out to steady her (I guess I am used to knocking into little kids and they tend to fall over?) and when I put my arm down my hand landed right on her ass! Oh my god! I was totally embarrassed. I apologized profusely and then hustled out of that aisle.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

Hey, remember all those pumpkins I had to do something with? Let's make pumpkin bread! First I cut, gutted, baked, scooped, strained, and pureed most of the pumpkins yesterday. I still have two more to deal with. Seth was my little helper as usual. If he turns out to be the best at cooking and sewing you'll know who to blame. :)

I ended up with 8 cups of pureed pumpkin so I froze the rest for later. Can you say, Happy Thanksgiving! We even toasted the seeds with cinnamon and a smidge of salt, sugar and nutmeg. Yum.

Pumpkin guts!

Gutted and ready to be baked.

The pureed pumpkin ready for some ingredients to make Pumpkin Bread!!!

Yummy bread.

Want the recipe?

Pumpkin Bread

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree (or your own hard earned pureed pumpkin!)
4 eggs
1 cup veg oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp ground ginger

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 7 x 3 loaf pans. (I used to regualr sized loaf pans and cooked for a few extra minutes.)
2. In a large bowl mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg,cloves, and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. . Pour into prepared pans.
3. Bake for about 50 minutes. Loaves are done when toothpick comes out clean!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Where were you...

... when history was made?

We decided to wake up our older two so they could witness for themselves the acceptance speech of our first ever black president.

It's so profoundly awesome it is beyond words.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I just found out yesterday that my daughter was part of a bullying incident. I can't even describe how disheartening this is. My Hannah. Bullying? Can't be.

But it happened.

They played a game where one person sits and the middle and you say truths about them. They are supposed to leave the circle feeling better about themselves but with one of the girls, they said mean things. Hannah says that she only said she could be annoying sometimes. Does that make it better since you didn't say something really mean? NO! You can't stand around someone saying OR letting other people say mean things about someone. I don't care how annoying you might think this kid is. Yes, I can see how easily this happened and even though my kid has a good heart she did a bad thing. Can't you imagine being in the middle of that circle? It just breaks my heart. To top it off I never heard about this incident until I was at a Girl Scouts meeting to talk about bullying.

We've talked and talked about this with Hannah. With little tears streaming down all of our faces about how wrong it was and how it can NEVER happen again. EVER. Period.

The problem comes down to I don't know how to help her fix this. Sure she can apologize, as a matter of fact she has to write her a letter of apology, but how can we keep this little girl from getting hurt again. See, said little girl wants to be friends with Hannah's friends but they don't like her all that much. Is there ever a nice way to say, "Gee you are a great person but I really don't want to be friends with you." You can't just say sorry we don't want to play with you today everyday. What if this little girl doesn't have any other friends? Is it right to force Hannah to be friends with someone to save hurting this little girls feelings?

Hannah is a good kid. Growing up and learning how to navigate in the world is tough. We've all dealt with this crap. You can't sit with so and so at lunch because they don't like the other people you sit with or you want to play with one friend but they won't play with anyone else you like. It's stupid. It sucks. It hurts people. Girls, girls can be mean too. Boys use their fists to fight, while girls use their words. I want to make sure it stops NOW!

She knows first hand how much it hurts to want to be someones friend and have them be mean to her. We dealt with it in Kindergarten and and a bit in 1st grade.

All I know is she has to learn to stand up for other people. She should have said this game is wrong and I won't play it. But she didn't walk away. She bullied someone.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The quilt top... done. I just sent C a picture of it.


I hope she likes it. I think it's adorable.

I have questions like- Does she want borders? How does she want it quilted?

I'd leave it as is. What do yo think? Borders? As far as quilting, I'd suggest using mono filament on top and just stippling it. Non quilters, that means use clear thread that's like fine fishing line and the quilt pattern is just simple meandering, like I can do but I don't think I'd do it. I'd worry too much about stitch length mistakes.

Updated to add: She loves it. Hurray!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Apples make me go bananas

The apple pie filling was a test of my patients I tell ya. It couldn't be easy. Starting with when mom and I were going to first do it two weeks ago. We were missing an ingredient that the local store didn't carry. Ok, fine. I figured I'd do it the next weekend. Mom would have to bring all her canning stuff to my house but we'd make it work. I thought I got the right stuff at the store but NO I got liquid pectin and the recipe called for Instant Clear Jell Powder... wait, what. What is clear jell powder? Turns out it's a modified corn starch if you care at all. So, I called around and no one had it in stock. I had to order it off the internet. Since I already had to order something off the internet, why not ask for an early Christmas present?

I got my own canning supplies. Now, this apple pie filling is getting more expensive by the minute.

I got up this morning to make it. I was worried that the apples wouldn't make it much longer and after all the money mom and I spent picking the darn things I wasn't about to let them go bad. Well, the recipe said it'd make 4 quart jars. Irony of ironies, I only had 3 quart jars.... Are you effin' kidding me! Seriously!

Off to the store again for quart jars. Turns out I needed more lemon juice too. (These better be the best pies ever!)

I did manage to make it all today. I hope I did it all right. Cross those fingers. I followed all the instructions.

I took these lovely apples.

All these ingredients.

And turned it into this.

Please don't notice that there wasn't enough for 4 full quart jars after all. These pies better be good!