Tuesday, September 30

Still sick

I am still feeling the crud in my sinus. It is times like this that I am so thankful that I rarely get sick. (Knocking on wood of course.) But then I think it makes me all the more pitiful when I do get sick.
A and I spent the morning on our errands that didn't get done yesterday. This included the RV store, the auto parts store, Hobby Lobby & Target. My favorite of course were the last two. Hobby Lobby provided some new Montessori materials to put away for later, some embroidery floss and bobbins to keep them (and the others) organized, lots of beautiful florals and a wreath base to make to celebrate fall. That last project will be put aside until I can recover my living room from the mass of stuff that was our vacation. (Only a little left to do.) Target was uber fun because I got to pick out my birthday presents from Hubs. I also got some new non-leaking sippy cups for our boy, a heat pad since our old one seems to be out on permanent loan, and I looked at the potty training tools that we will need to be purchasing soon. I am hopeful that the Montessori article I recently read is right when it suggests that a child is sensitive to toileting at around 18 months. Wouldn't that be grand? Target had some great eye candy for me and I was reluctant to leave the store. A was so tired that he fell asleep sitting up in the cart. As soon as I saw that he was going to stay asleep I scooped him up and laid him in the seat horizontally with his head proped on my purse for a pillow. It is amazing the places that kids can fall asleep.
Are you watching the ticker on the right side of the screen? My birthday is in just two days, well only one because there is only 30 minutes left to this day. Those who love me know that I certainly feel that my birthday should be a national holiday so I will be taking the day off of most of my domestic duties. I am thinking about taking A, Col & GG to the Art Museum to celebrate. We will see how I am feeling tomorrow to decide.
Well I need my rest so I am off to bed. Clinky with the NyQuil.

Monday, September 29

Back from vacation

We made it back from our first vacation ok. A got sick on Wednesday and stayed that way even through today. I picked it up on Saturday as we were preparing to leave. Hubs got it while driving home. So our house is a sick one right now. Hubs did go to work today but he is just good like that. I am miserable. A was pushing all of my buttons today. I am ready to call it a day and hope that tomorrow is much better.
As soon as I feel better I will make a real post about the vacation along with the crafts that I completed while there. Until then I'll leave you with a few photos from our vacation.These were taken on the way home at a beautiful rest / view area in Utah called Spotted Wolf. The signs were enlightening and the view was breathtaking.We don't know of any other place in the world that we could have let A run in the road. This is the canyon where Grandma Shirley & Grandpa Gene live.

These kids are getting so big. I remember when she was just a newborn baby.

Of course I feel like I gained 10 lbs from all of Grandma's homemade meals. A liked the spaghetti and garlic bread most of all. There was not a day out there that we didn't have 3 huge meals. Thanks Grandma it was delicious. Oh, I almost forgot to thank Grandpa for the delicious tri tip on Friday night. It was fantastic.

Now for some NyQuil and a good night's rest.

Friday, September 19

Going on Vacation

Tonight the Hubs, A and I leave for California. It is going to be wonderful to get out into the middle of nowhere (literally) to relax for a week. I anticipate much couple time with Hubs, lots of time for A to spend with his great grandparents, time for friends and even some alone reading and crafting time.
I am taking along several books on Montessori, some embroidery work, and some wool and a crochet hook for beanie making. I hope to have plenty of time to work on everything that I want to while out there. I am also taking my camera in hopes of getting lots of good images for future posts.
Have a wonderful time while I am gone.

Tuesday, September 16

Busy Bees

The hubs is not at work today. His projects are all done with the exception of a couple. Those will be taken care of by T while we are in CA. Perfect. If everything wraps up well then we will be off on Friday night, returning next week on Friday or Saturday. I will then have about a week to get it together to go to AZ. We will certainly be busy bees for a while.
Today we got the camper registered, new glasses ordered for N, new lenses put in his sunglasses and some cute fall-esque clothes for A. We stopped at Old Navy and Lane Bryant looking for a cute fall coat for me but didn't find anything I really liked. I will be on a look out for something good.

Monday, September 15

One gift down, only like a million to go...

Once upon a time... this last February... my mom showed me how to make a rag quilt. So when the occasion arose for a little girl's first birthday I knew just what to make. It was quite simple. I think the longest part of the whole process was picking out the material. I hope GG likes it.

Next up on the list is a Pleated Beauty Bag and a Wool Cap. Both are in process at the moment. Most likely the cap will be done first, even though I just started it last night. The bag is shaping up beautifully though. Want a peek? The stitching is a little wonky but I think it has character. Plus with this being my first attempt at satin stitch applique I think I did a remarkable job. Lessons learned? 1) make sure to use the correct foot when sewing. 2) hand work might be better next time. 3) sometimes simple is better. (I started on the outside decorative stitch and looking back think I should have just left it like it was since the loop stitch does not add to it.)

Once I finish the bag and cap I am going to have to go to the fabric store again. I am thinking I will do the Napkin & Coaster sets for 3 couples.
*D&A need something that will go in their formal dining room... which is a beautiful red. Maybe something in black & ivory?
*C&C have a simple dining room and they love the outdoors so I am thinking green & brown combos.
*C&M just got a dining table and need to have something to adorn it. She loves the big sunflowers outside her window, so maybe something in yellow. Then again this could make lovely napkins and coasters.

Oh its a good thing I am not there yet because I get lost in the fabric store.

Truth Be Told

I am inspired by Randi @ I Have To Say...

~Today I took the time to put on a dress and pearls. I feel feminine and pretty.
~My new shoes make me smile and I find myself thinking about what I could wear them with. (Part of the reason for wearing the dress today.)
~I love it when my kitchen is clean first thing in the morning. Pure BLISS I tell ya.
~I am anxious for our upcoming vacations to California and Arizona. It will be wonderful to get to the middle of nowhere and just be for a week. It will also be fantastic to visit The Mama and Papa John too. Oh yeah, don't forget the sibs.
~I love to put away my laundry. It is peaceful.
~I listen to many audio books. Lots of romance novels, self help and business books. Sometimes I think too many self help books. But if I don't help myself who will?
~I would love to have a brand spankin' new Jeep like this one. At only $33k I don't think it will be happening any time soon. But if I win the lotto you can bet I will be at the dealership as soon as possible. Isn't she pretty?
~My mom is great. She makes a really good therapist. Thanks again ma.

I am putting these positive thoughts out in the world so that they may come back to me.

Saturday, September 13

A is for Apple, H is for House.

I just finished reading Teaching Montessori At Home: The Pre-School Years by Elizabeth G. Hainstock. While this was written many years ago it is still insightful and full of practical ideas for preschooling at home. I have a list (can you tell that I just LOVE lists?) of the ideas that I want to use with A. I have a separate list of the materials that I can make. In an effort to save money I will be making as many (there are a lot) of the materials that I can make at home (or the sign shop). I see several materials that I will have to purchase but I think I will look for them on Craigslist or Ebay before looking at the stores.
I am wondering if there are any other At Home Montessori mama's in our area. I have heard of doing a homeschool co-op so maybe there will be something like this for preschoolers. I will certainly be content to push forward if nothing like this is around but it certainly would be reassuring to have a local source for brains to pick when I am stumped. And I also know that there are a multitude of bloggers out there who are teaching montessori at home and are willing to share their thoughts. (What a relief.)
So first things first. I will begin making the Prepared Environment over the next several months. (As much as I can with seriously limited space.) I started a list (another one) this morning regarding the changes that I feel need to be made in A's bedroom. I will be doing this in the living room and kitchen too. I need to chat with Hubs before I begin on this because it is going to effect future purchases and arrangements too. Although I am certain that Hubs will just tell me to do whatever I feel is necessary.

On a related topic of purchases and space... I may have found a house for us. I walked to see it last Sunday and certainly fell in like with the place. It has a lot of potential and needs a ton of TLC. But the size is good and so is the location. The big bonus... the price was dropped by $10k in the last week. Woo Hoo. This means that it is even closer to our getting it. Want to look at it? Check here. There is an issue with lead based paint (as on almost all old houses) but they are limited to the exterior of the house so I don't think that will prevent us from making a bid on it. With the bid amount we would likely place on this our house payment would be comparable to our current rent. I just can't see us not getting into something like this if it is going to build our equity and cost us the same or a tiny bit more to own. However, since Hub and I have been looking at houses for the last 4.5 years I am not going to get my hopes up too high until we are actually making the bid. Even then it could be rejected so I will reserve most of my excitement until we close on it.

Friday, September 12

Hello Baseball Fans!

Rain, Rain , Go Away!
This morning it is raining. Not a lot but enough for me to be concerned about the baseball game tonight. I am not sure that A will be able to go.
Yesterday instead of dropping A off at Granny's house I decided to stay for a while myself and get in a visit. When he went down for a nap I did got to Barnes & Noble in search of Teach Me To Do It Myself by Maja Pitamic and Montessori Play & Learn by Lesley Britton. Unfortunately my local B&N does not carry these or other montessori titles in the store. So I had to order them in because these titles aren't available from my library. I hope they call me soon to pick them up. The good thing is that I got a 10% off coupon in my email last night so I will be able to use that to purchase these books.
My library did have a couple of books that I checked out yesterday. (I currently have 19 books checked out. EEK!) The first is Teaching Montessori in the Home by Elizabeth Hainstock. I started this one last night but didn't get too far into it before it was time to go to bed. I can't wait for some reading time this afternoon. I also got Raise a Smarter Child by Kindergarten, The Homeschooling Handbook, Baby Read Aloud Basics, and The ABC's of Homeschooling. I am not sure how much of each of these books will help me on my quest for home preschooling but it couldn't hurt to give them a quick read.
I am absolutely loving these blogs! Chasing Cherios and Montessori Free Fall. These moms have great ideas and I will certainly be taking their advice and incorporating it into our world.

Wednesday, September 10

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it

Friday night I am going to be free for several hours. For REAL! Granny and Uncle T decided over a month ago that they would like to take Little Man to his first Dodgers/Rockies game. Hubs was up for it but I was feeling... shall we say less into it. Large crowds, Downtown, just really not my thing. Throw in a sport and I'd just about rather be anywhere else.
So while Uncle T was having a hissy last month because of the CPK/Cherry Creek issue he tore up his ticket. Dude, you were kinda the point behind going but whatever. Today Granny reminded me of the occasion and told me about Uncle T's oops. I could not help but to have a smile grow on my face as she told me these words. Two reasons... First, I get to do a good thing and let Uncle T go while getting out of something I didn't want to do in the first place. Second, I get HOURS (seriously at least 3-5 hours) of me time while they take our Lil Slugger to his first ball game. Ahh, BLISS! Could one ask for more? I don't think so.
What to do? Finish the rag quilt for GG? Get a pedi? Go to bed profoundly early? Watch whatever I want on TV all night long? (oh, that sounds good. I wonder if What Not To Wear has any new episodes On Demand?) Paint my nails? Read a book or ten? WOW, too much temptation. I really must consider this before I get to the end of tomorrow.
Oh, and another PLUS provided by Granny... I get a couple of hours to myself tomorrow too. After A's nap and her shopping I get to drop him off while I do shopping and maybe make a little headway on my quilt. Can you say "SWEET!" cause it sure tastes alright by me.

Ok, so any other excitement? Yeppers. It looks like next month while Hubs is out braving the wilderness and hoping to fill our freezer I will be in the warmth that is Phoenix. This means that I am going to have to go here and pick up some serious fabric. Ok, So Blissful Living is out since their address is MESA. (Can you call 'em Ma or what?) Maybe I can talk Jen or Jona into letting me lurk in their home based stores and see if I can help myself from drooling all over their beautieous fabric. Cross your fingers cause I might just find the opportunity to get the material to do our bedroom. I promise that if we get to go either place that I will post color combos for it. The anticipation is almost too much.

Any ideas?
Here is the main fabrics... I really like the idea of a mostly B&W room with a few accents of pink. The pink is what I need to decide on case the B&W prints have been in my head for a really long time.

I can't decide if I want the black or the white background. Maybe I will do one side of each. The bedskirt is gonna be the stripe. Now to decide on the pink. Here are a couple of options...
I'm kinda leaning toward the white background with the first pink one. That way it's not just one pink and there is another color.
Decisions, decisions. And since I am practically snooring into my space bar I am gonna call it a night and end this tangent. Don't you love tangents?

Note to self... and others

These gingerbread waffles look so good that I just had to leave myself a reminder to try them. That is as soon as I get a waffle iron.

Last night instead of blogging...

Last night I was up way too late on my computer but I found inspiration and could not close the laptop for hours. I think I may have found something to obsess about for the next few months until the new year. Over here you will see what I am taking about. I have been lamenting much about A getting an education before he starts Pre-K. Earlier this year I read a couple of books on the Montessori way and was really intrigued. Now that I have a working model from which to pull our activities I am excited. I am thinking about starting this at the beginning of 2009. I will be using the remainder of September to evaluate the idea and discuss it with Hubs. Then if we agree about this method I will be preparing to start At-Home Preschool from Oct -Dec. I am hoping that we can put a few items needed for school on A's christmas wish list. I will also start a few activities with A in December as well as talk about having school time. Best to prepare him rather than just throw him in the water. Ya know.

Today is going to be busy and I am already behind. I hope the checkout lane is short and I can make some of it up.

Monday, September 8

A tired gal

Tonight I am a tired gal. Good thing my hubs wanted to order pizza to watch the Raiders/Broncos game. (I have no idea how it turned out and honestly could care less.) I made big progress on the quilt for GG today. I appliqued the circles on the green facing panels using a super cute decorative stitch from my handy-dandy sewing machine. (I really liked playing with the decorative stitches and think I will be using them more in the future.) I then got my whole first row (4 panels) sewn together. And half (2 panels) of the second row. I would have done more but my boy was begging for me to read him Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? by Dr. Seuss. That was the instant priority. All is good though because I have nearly a week and a half to finish it. I seriously doubt that it will take more than two more good naps like today to finish. I can't wait to wash it and see how it gets all un-ravelly (good word) any perfect.
I must be getting to bed in hopes of getting up early tomorrow to start my full day.

Sunday, September 7

It's gonna be a handmade holiday

My lists are getting in the holiday spirit even if I am no where near ready for it. I thought that I would keep tabs on my projects for gifts here. My goal is 100% handmade gifts this year. Part of my reason is because I want to take back christmas from the big box stores and really feel the spirit of the season. The other part of my reason is to have our year end expenses under control. By making things for everyone through out the year I am spreading out the cost. If all goes well I will be continuing with this tradition next year.

DH - wool beanie, if I still have time I may make a lap quilt, anything else will probably be bought.
Little Man - rag quilt, (crayon roll, colored pencil roll, marker roll) if time permits I will do these (we are also going to get him a big boy bed so the quilt will need to be more substantial than I was going to make.)

Dad - calendar, jam & banana bread. (Last year we did a photo mug and deck of card from Snapfish and he loved them so maybe this year the calendar will envoke the same feeling.)

Sister - handbag (3 compartment, small, black, zipper and snap)
BIL - jam & banana bread, calendar
Princess V - rag quilt
Jay Bug - rag quilt

Uncle Doug & Aunt Phyllis - Calendar, banana bread, Embroidered napkins (4)

Dean & Ashley -banana bread, jam, calendar
Crystal - handbag

Uncle Dane - jam & banana bread, calendar

Papa John - calendar, jam & banana bread
The Mama - apron
Katie & Josh -calendar, jam & banana bread
Scarlett - tutu

Tracy - jam & banana bread, calendar
Susan - apron & hipslinger if time allows
Damon (ship to HI) - jam & banana bread, calendar
Linda - hipslinger if I have time

Matt - wool beanie & scarf, jam, banana bread
Colleen - handbag
GG - Doll

Cory & Stacy - calendar, jam & banana bread
Logan - rag quilt
Big Tracy - calendar, jam, banana bread

Gene & Shirley - Calendar
Bill & Sue - Calendar

Extras: classy notebook, quite book, reversible journal cover, fabric diaper case, car trash bag, tote 2, tote 3, swatch portraits, eye pillow, wellness gifts, sachets, lavender crafts, scrabble tile pendant, baby projects, diaper/messenger bag, portfolio, decoupage silouettes

***disclaimer: this post may be revised often as I make decisions about different projects. I PROMISE to share the things that I complete unless they are for The Mama or any other visitors that may find out what their gift is before the season is upon us.***
***revised Sept 29*** completed project
***revised Oct 7*** changed up projects
***revised Oct 18*** completed project, reduced projects
***revised Nov 4*** completed project

Saturday, September 6

Princess V is really 4!

When a Princess wants a swing for her birthday and her dad walks on the wild side this is what you get...

A Giant Tree swing that attaches to 2 trees, the house and the upper level of the deck.

This is a single...
And here is a triple...
Get her up high dad!
The other kids look on with anticipation for their own turn.
One last time for the birthday girl.

Ok, it's time to open presents and sing Happy Birthday!
Mister A liked the balloons best. Or was it the Barbie paraphernalia?
Grandpa Bob makes sure that J doesn't miss out. We are equal opportunity birthday in this fam.
And they must match. Pink for her, silver for him.
I just love the looks that I get from Princess each year when she opens our gift. Priceless!

Who wants to decorate their own cupcakes?
Great decorations J. (You look so much like your mama in this picture.)
Don't forget our featured little lady...
I may never have a daughter but that is OK because I have a niece who loves to dress up. What a beautiful model!
Remember this apron? Here it is on the intended model. I was so happy when she wore it for most of her party. Strike a pose V.
A was amazed by all the little plastic parts that come with a Barbie bath. He even showed V how to use the hairbrush.

What a beautiful day with a beautiful family and friends. Thanks sister for including us in your day. Thanks V for all the photo ops.

Friday, September 5

I need a pocket!

Why do I buy clothes without pockets? Because they are cute and I am really wondering if they make my butt look big rather than if there is ample room to stow my electronic life (aka cell phone), lighter, a extra paci, car keys and whatever other miscellany that ends up in a pocket.
I was tellin' The Mama about my need the other day ad she told me to send her some pockets from worn out jeans. (It's on my ever present list ma.) I can't wait to see what she does with some used jeans pockets. Interesting.
So that is a long intro to what I discovered on Craftster this morning. This neato Hipslinger. Not quite a fanny pack so my sister can't laugh at me but something sleek that would be nice to wear to the park on my walk with A or even something for around the house while picking up when it is just a bit too hot to wear an apron. I am off to print this tutorial and add it to my (not quite complete) craft notebook.

Thursday, September 4

Fabric Combos from Hobby Lobby

Today while I was picking up some batting for an upcoming rag quilt I drooled over some pretty cotton prints. Here are a few combos that I liked lots. (I apologize for the quality of the photos, they are from my phone.)

I like the stripes for a bias tape, the cream background for the waistband and ties and the dark pink background for the body of an apron. I think I even like these for a tote or small bag.

These prints would look really good with the remaining bias tape that I made.

I love the true color of these two. The lime is really set off by the blues.

These are another set that would make a lovely apron or bag. Once again I think the stripe would make a pretty bias tape with the polka dots as the ties and the flowers for the bib and skirt.

The Mama~ This is a combo that I like for your apron if you still want to use the pink leopard print and stripes.
This would also make a cute bag. I like the black print for a top too.
The Mama~ This is another idea with the leopard & stripes like V's.
I am thinking of using the top one as a quilt top for V.

The top print isn't polka dots it's tiny hearts. I love it. I think they would complement a nice B&W polka dot too.

This might be my favorite of what I saw today. The colors are very modern but the pattern reminds me of another time.

If only I had endless cash to build my stash because these ALL would have followed me home today. As it was I settled for batting at a 30% discount. How often can I go into a fabric store and leave with only spending $5? Not very!

Tuesday, September 2

Plan your work then work your plan

We do not need to know "how" or "where" but there is one question that we should all ask whenever we start anything: "What am I doing this for?" ~Paulo Coelho

Last night I was up way too late trying to sort out a few things to prepare myself for the new month. Tonight I need to get to bed on time (10:30) and catch up on my much needed beauty sleep.
So what did I do?
I went through my notebook, well one of them anyway. I want to try a new schedule for my household blessings during September. I am constantly working on perfecting the balance of HB's with other commitments, time with A and personal recharge/fitness time. I have a good plan for the month that I think will work.

My Daily Blessings:
Wash Dishes (x2)
Make Bed & Pick Up House
Sweep Living Room & Kitchen
Laundry (x2)
Brush Teeth (x2)
Check Business & Personal Email

Weekly Blessings:
Change Sheets
Process Inbox
Meal Plan
Grocery Shopping
Park (x2)
Arts & Crafts
Reading Time (x3)
Visit Col
Sewing (x4)
Blog (x4)
Repost CL ad

Bi-Weekly Blessings:
WIC Shopping
Visit Dad
Sweep Outside

Monthly Blessings:
Living Room
A's Bedroom
Weed Garden
Costco Shopping

With all that laid out I need to get it into my palm for my reminders and see how it works out for the next month or two.
The quote at the top is something I came across in Life: Selected Quotations by Paulo Coelho. This book has many great quotes but this one jumped off the page at me today. I need to be more mindful of the reason that I am doing things. In the spirit of that I will say that I am rehabing my HB list in an effort to simplify my life and make more time for A and the hubster.

Monday, September 1

Ideas for The Mama's Apron

The Mama~
I need your input to which apron you think you'd like better. I think the first one would look more like V's but the second would give you more coverage

I am thinking too that either apron would look better with a different fabric than the polka dot. I want to go to the fabric store with you in mind and pick out something just for you. There are lots of great prints at Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's these days. Heck even Wal-Mart has a few cute prints that I still need to play with. I might even try some new fabric that I have found online.