Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mystery Tote project

My mom, grandma, and I are doing a Mystery Tote project, so named because the creator of the project reveals only one step of the instructions at a time. There are no pre-project glimpses of the end product. This is a very stretching experience for someone who is as perfectionistic (read: obsessive compulsive!) as I am!
Of course, any project must first be inspected by Her Royal Highness.

Here is my fabric, all washed, pressed, and ready to cut:

And here are my cut pieces, ready for Step 2:

On a side note: I know it is very pathetic to feel happy about being "ahead" of my mom in the project, considering that this past Monday she had surgery to remove her gallbladder and she is in the painful and unpleasant throes of recovery...but I never get to be ahead of my Energizer-bunny mother, so I have to enjoy it while I can...even if it's very, very pathetic. I love you, Mom -- feel all better soon, even if it means I don't get to be ahead anymore!!! :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Our field trip to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Yesterday was our field trip to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. My friend Karen came with us, and we all had a wonderful day! We ended our visit with the Children's Garden, which is kid-sized and kid-friendly and a good way for them to burn off all the leftover energy before the trip home!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Glimpses of the man to come

David recently asked his daddy for some extra jobs to earn extra money towards the toy he's saving up to buy. Today he decided to tackle one of those jobs -- pulling the old cornstalks out of the garden in preparation for planting the fall garden. It truly was hard, hot work, but he stuck to it and finished the whole job, even without me right next to him for moral support (I kept peeking from the kitchen window!). When he came in, he was covered in dirt, he was so sweaty that his hair was dripping, and he could hardly put one foot in front of the other! Besides the money he earned, I also rewarded him as men both big and small like most of all -- a big dinner (after bath, of course)! My sweet little man -- he's growing up so fast...!
~~~
Abigail, meanwhile, decided that she would help her big brother.
She got off to a great start.
By the next time I looked out the window, she was quite a few feet away, intently studying the sky.

The next time I looked, she was all the way over at the fort,

calling, "Here I am, David!"

(Hey, everybody needs a cheerleader, right?!)

And very shortly thereafter, she was inside the house,

lying quietly on the kitchen floor.

(I'm not entirely sure if she liked the coolness of the tiles
or if she just thought I wouldn't notice her there!)

Hey, at least they won't both grow up in one fell swoop.

For that, I am grateful!

This week in science

We finally got to finish and fly our gliders!
Now that we've finished this experiment,
our section on flying is complete.
Next week we'll begin learning about
habitat, instinct, and extinction.
So much fun stuff!

Welcome to high-speed, Grandma!

Something noteworthy has happened this week...my grandma is now hooked up to the Internet via high-speed!!! When they got their first computer a few years ago, there was quite a bit of trepidation...but Grandma has been very brave, and after many instructions, many try-and-try-again sessions, and quite a few threats to the computer of throwing it into the river if it didn't cooperate, my grandmother has become very web-and-email savvy and I am very proud of her!!! (Grandpa is happy to let Grandma do the computer part and then fill him in on the details, and that's okay, too -- especially since he is very, very patient with our near-addiction-need to be connected across the miles via the Internet!!!) Welcome to high speed, Grandma -- hope you're enjoying the blog even more now that it doesn't take eons to load it! -- and we're glad that we can share our everyday lives with you in even this small way!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We love having Daddy at home!

Our favorite parts of a Daddy-working-from-home day:
sharing snacktime, eating dinner as a family,
and getting playtime with him after dinner.
Above: Today's snacktime -- fresh-from-the-oven blueberry muffins and coffee

Backyard visitors

The first several years we lived here, every summer/fall this doe visited and always brought her twin fawns. Ever since we cleared the overgrowth out of the back wooded area and got our dog, though, they haven't come, so we were thrilled to see them yesterday morning! Our lessons were quickly interrupted so that we could watch them -- and as Abigail kept exclaiming, "Deer are so beautiful!" The pictures aren't the greatest, but that wasn't the most important activity of the moment!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sweet singing of the little ones

The kids sang in church last night...I was very disappointed to miss it but very grateful for advanced technology so that I could at least watch it on video!
Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books
Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

My free fabric

The fabric that I won from Sew, Mama, Sew arrived in today's mail...a nice pick-me-up! It's lovely, even moreso than it looked online. The background is an antiqued white, not a bright white, so it looks authentically aged -- perfect for the look I was going for. Can hardly wait to get the apron started...hopefully in the next couple of weeks...

When Mommy's under the weather...

I started feeling nasty Thursday night and got worse as the weekend progressed (another lovely ovarian cyst bursting). When Bruce went to work Friday morning, he left David with a solemn admonition to take good care of Mommy, so before we started school, David insisted on cleaning up his messes in the living room and even vacuuming. We got through school and I headed straight for the couch, but David sent me to the restroom first so that he could get my spot ready. When I arrived, I saw that he had made me a first-rate hospital room, complete with comfy blankets to curl up in, my bed pillow, my book, the phone, the remotes, and...this is the best part...an IV pole. He took everything off of our coat stand (never mind that he just dumped it all on the floor!), hooked up one end of some red yarn to the stand and tied the other end around my wrist -- voila, an IV! He was very, very serious about it and kept explaining to his sister that it was an IV to make me feel better. I was allowed to detach it only to eat my lunch and to use the restroom.He also made lunch for all of us...look at my sandwich...how sweet is that?! Although it's worth a chuckle or two, it was also very heartwarming to see just how serious he was about taking care of me. He was very attentive to my every need, he helped his sister with whatever she needed all afternoon, and just generally ran the household until his daddy got home. My sweet, sweet little guy!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy birthday, Greta!

Hope your day has been
a pleasant one...
Happy birthday!

Science experiments -- learning about flight

God sent us a wonderfully windy day today (which is unusual for us in the summer, at least without a thunderstorm accompanying it!) so that we could go out and fly kites. I've been wanting to do this with the kids, since it's a great way to experience lift, drag, thrust, etc -- all the things we've been studying in science -- but it's hard to do in the humid stillness of a southern summer, so we've been waiting for the right conditions. As usual, I had just as much fun as the kids did, I think!
...and here we are working on another science project earlier this week. We are building two gliders, each with different-sized wings, so that we can compare their aerodynamics. We were going to finish and fly them today, but it was too windy to fly gliders...and perfect for kites!

Happiness is...new books!

It's so much fun to watch these two tear into an Amazon box! (...and the silence that follows is nice, too!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I WON!!!

For the very first time in my life (literally), I have won a drawing. And the thing that makes it worth waiting for? It's a free yard of fabric!!! The Sew,Mama,Sew website has so many beautiful fabrics that I like to meander through and dream about, and each Friday on the blog, there is a drawing to win a free yard of fabric...and I've won. I'm still giddy with shock, but now the real work begins...because how do I choose just one?! I have decided to use the fabric to make an apron. I love to wear aprons, I have been wanting to make a retro apron for quite a while now (a la "Leave it to Beaver", the era when the apron reigned as queen!), and it would be a nice to way to memorialize this momentous occasion in my life (my first-ever drawing-win!) with something that will last a good long time. At least my choice of that era helps to narrow my fabric choices a little bit...so far I am leaning towards Vintage Cherry Red from the Farmer's Market collection...can't you see it with bright red edging? Of course, I am not even halfway through the fabric collections yet. :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Two weeks down!

It's hard to believe that we've already completed two weeks of school...the days have just flown by. School is continuing to go well; the kids are doing great and I am thoroughly enjoying the new role of 'formal' teacher.
We have been learning about flight; air pressure, airfoil, aerodynamics, lift, thrust, drag, etc., so today we finished our school day by going outside to observe flying creatures/objects and their characteristics -- I'm not sure which one of us is having the most fun with this school-thing!!!
After observing butterflies, birds, falling leaves, an airplane, a bug, and the kids swinging, the kids launched their paper airplanes from the fort.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A new quilt in the works

Today my friend Karen came over to share another afternoon of sewing and conversation. Today we started to assemble a quilt that must currently remain a "mystery quilt" -- no more details until a few months down the road when its recipient and story are revealed -- but at least I can share a "from-afar" picture! (The ivory in the corners are just filler blocks; after we laid out the original pieces tonight, we changed our minds on the fabric choice for those blocks and so we need to get something new...quilter's prerogative!!!) It's always so nice to share amiable conversation and even the occasional companionable silence while our hands are busy, and it's also very nice to end the day with so much to show for our time!

Eleven years ago today...

...Bruce and I headed out as friends
to dinner and a baseball game...
and left as a couple.
It was eleven years ago today that we started dating...
a day that we fondly refer to as our "dating anniversary".
~
I love you, Hon...thanks for that wonderful evening
and for the even more wonderful years that have followed!
I am so thankful to have shared them with you...
Happy 11th dating anniversary!

Our very own hayfield

A couple of weeks ago, our lawnmower died...I got on the phone with our family expert (my dad!) who walked me through how to take it apart and what to look for, but there was nothing I could find. Bruce and his dad have each had a quick go at it, too, but it appears to be something that is not in the quick-fix category! Both of our family expert-mechanics are currently unavailable (one is in NY, and one is in FL pouring concrete for the foundation of his new addition -- I can't understand why they won't just pop over to help me?! :) ) The lawnmower repair place down the road is several weeks behind due to demand.
So in the meantime our lawn had grown to jungle status and we realized that we were going to have to do something in the interim, so I found a neighbor whose son cuts lawns and they came and whipped everything into shape this past weekend. The back lawn was so thick and tall that it looked like a cut hayfield out there after they were done. (Literally.) We need to rake up all of the clippings -- and David wasted no time in getting the job started. He went at it with the rake and actually raked up a pretty good-sized pile. Abigail ran around grabbing handfuls and carrying them over to David's pile. They're good workers when they set their mind to it!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Summer produce

This is a gladiolus that has come up every year but never bloomed; this year it bloomed and it's gorgeous! It is a very pale yellow with a lavender blush. Glads are some of my favorite flowers anyway, but this one is a real beauty.
We have been getting countless cucumbers and tomatoes out of the garden...yum.
(Yes, those are cucumbers, not zucchini!)

Hearing check July '08

Yesterday we had hearing checks -- David was essentially stable (again -- yay!) and Abigail actually had a good bit of improvement; she has regained a decent percentage of what she lost in her big slide over the last couple of months. Thank You, Lord!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Catching up!

Yes, I am fully aware of how behind I am on posting. This past week was so crazy...I am trying to figure out how to balance doing school all morning and then get everything else done in the afternoon. That wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for all of the afternoon appointments we've had! Unfortunately, the blog is rather far down on the priority list when life is this busy. Oh well...I'll figure it out eventually (I hope!), and in the meantime, here is a "potluck post" to catch you up on some of our doings this week...
Here is Abigail wearing one of the hairthings I made for her. (This picture was at a playground that we stopped at for a few minutes between appointments.)
Remember the post we did of David getting new ear molds made? Well, this is Abigail getting hers made. She has made up her mind that it is an awful thing and therefore carries on dramatically while they're being done. Poor RaDora has to be the bad guy...she tries to make it less stressful for Abigail by doing things like letting Abigail help make ear molds for her baby doll first...but Abigail will have none of it. Hopefully she'll grow out of the phobia completely very soon (at least we have improved from two sets ago, when I had to literally hold her whole body in a wrestling-grip to hold her still while she screamed hysterically...). As you can see from two of the pictures, once she gets distracted, she has fun and forgets that she's trying to be a drama queen...

Here is a picture of the kids hard at work on their schoolwork...

Here is a picture of my dining room taken over by sewing paraphernalia, at least for a few hours. My mom (in Florida), grandma and great-aunt (in NY), my friend Jessica (FL), and I (in GA) are all sewing blocks for a quilt to be assembled and sent to a sick, wounded, or rehabbing soldier in a military hospital in Washington state. My mom designed the quilt, then selected, bought, and sent the specific fabrics to each of us to use (we wanted there to be harmony despite the many sewing hands!), so all we have to do is sew the blocks according to our instructions and then send them back to my mom, who will assemble them and quilt it. I have half of my blocks done so far (you can see the quilt design on the paper on the lower right hand side of the picture)...
My in-laws came to spend the weekend with us before they head back home to N.C. (they have been at my brother-in-law's house holding down the fort for the past seventeen weeks while my sister-in-law was on bedrest/in the hospital). It has been really nice to spend time with them...I am very blessed to have in-laws who are truly like a second set of parents to me and so it is always a joy to have a visit from them! And of course, the kids always love to have grandparents here...yesterday we went to the pool for a while, where Grandma hung out with Abigail and Grandpa taught David to play Marco Polo.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Finally...a doggie breakthrough!

It appears that Baker has finally grown a brain cell!
Thanks to Jared for the inspiration --
I had tried to teach Baker to do this trick
but gave up until I recently saw Jared's Mya do it
and so I decided to try again...
We still need to work on some finesse, but it's a start!
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Monday, August 04, 2008

Our first day of school '08-'09

Our first day of school went very well. Both kids were very excited to start and did a great job paying attention.
David is in first grade and taking his big-boy status very seriously. He was especially excited to be starting his new science program (Apologia Zoology). Abigail is in K4 this year (although she is doing K5 & 1st grade work)...our plan is to let her come and go as she pleases this year, enjoying her last year of childhood freedom, but today she didn't want to miss a minute of the action and she sat through the whole 4 1/2 hours!

Since our Zoology book is about Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day (of Creation), on the way to Abigail's OT this afternoon, we stopped by a local pond to feed the ducks and geese. The picture of Abigail isn't very high-quality, because she wouldn't budge off of my lap (she was quite sure the geese were just waiting for their chance to "get" her -- note how tightly she attached herself to me!), but David was afraid that if he took too long with the camera, Abigail might get to feed more bread than he would...so it's not the best picture he's ever taken!





The picture below is of David with his Science Observation notebook, studying the waterfowl so he could write down the important stuff. There's so much new and exciting stuff to do this year!