Sunday, August 30, 2009

back to school: homeschool style

Normally, August is spent with at least some sort of homeschool preparation going on. This August? You guessed it. None. So this week the three oldest are off to Grandma and Grandpa's while the three youngest and I get ready for school to start. It should be interesting, but that is the way we like it. Right? A trip to Exodus Provisions for a few new books, trying to figure out some new techniques for a certain daughter that gets off task a bit, working out a schedule of sorts, getting all of the school supplies in order....and I am sure this list will grow as the week progresses. It is definitely time, though, as the girls have been asking when we can start "doing school" again.

I am just glad that I am not sinking a ton of dough into new school clothes, a list of required school supplies (some brand specific) and that I get to make decisions along the lines of "I think we should do geography this year." or "I think Rachel is ready for ________" Ah, the flexibility. I love homeschooling!

Friday, August 28, 2009

hi. my name is old blue.

hi. nice to meet you. they call me old blue because I am dedicated to storing berries of a blue nature and because I am...old. (but we don't need to talk about that part. I do my job, and that is what counts.) Yep, 7 cubic feet that are completely full of blueberries.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Last night was the birthday bash, and in true Sarah fashion, I did not take a single picture. *gasp!* Luckily, I didn't clean up last night and took a few pictures of the aftermath for you folks who weren't able to join in the fun. (yes, we are rubbing it in....NEXT year, let's make it happen.)

We made zippered pouches, mini notebooks, the obligatory 9 patch for my 31 squared birthday quilt (we are still 11 short, but that brings us to the issue of child labor....), newborn caps and covered button bobbies. I just loved having all of my fabulous friends, old and new, under one roof. I am truly blessed. The most fun part for me in the planning? Putting together presents for my guests. I chose small and simple things that I love. (Think of Oprah's list, but *way* cheaper.) Old copies of my favorite books, bottles of my favorite shades of spray paint, get the idea. I enjoyed getting them altogether and I hope all of my friends will find unique ways to incorporate them into their homes.

The key to success: banishing the kids to a tent out back. There were a few infiltrations, but overall, it worked fabulously.

Monday, August 24, 2009

party prep

busily getting ready for tomorrow.

shopping? check.
crafts ready? Maybe by midnight?
house clean? Maybe by tomorrow at 8. Let's emphasize "maybe".
kids screaming as I type? you betcha.

Friday, August 21, 2009

guilt: it does a mother good

I've been feeling a lot of guilt about some certain cavities in a very young daughter's mouth. It blew me away that she got them and left me crying on the phone to my mom on the way home from the dentist. I still feel plenty of healthy motherly guilt over the whole thing, but Elise-isms sure do lighten the mood.

Elise: Can I have some kix?
Mom: No. Your mouth is still a little funny (trying to help her understand numb) from the dentist. Let's wait.
Elise: My mouth is not funny. I went to the dentist. They fixed it. My teeth are pretty now!

Fast forward to the next morning. I had to wake her up and put her in the car for piano, just like I had to do for her dentist appointment. She immediately told me that she wasn't going to the dentist because they already fixed her teeth! She was pretty relieved to learn that we were just going to Ms. Jill's. Ways we are preventing more of these dang cavities: I bought a door lock for the pantry and I am randomly brushing her teeth throughout the day. (Don't worry...not too obsessively.) She is our forager and although she wasn't eating a lot of junk food, she was eating often. There was that time that I couldn't find my brand new container of strawberries from Costco. After looking everywhere, I thought to ask Elise where it was. She simply told me "Behind the couch." And there it was, half full. See? Major forager.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

typing the day away

The click clack of the typewriter has become a common sound around our house and I love it! I think most people underestimate the power that the click clack ding can have on you, but it appears that it does influence one to run out to the nearest thrift store and buy a type writer of one's own. (Just ask Faith!)

Yes, it is fun to see all of the "documents" the kids create. Yes, I have already used it to create some of mine own. (all of them being short of "1"s since that is our typewriter's biggest shortfall)
Yes, it was a challenge trying to explain to Chris why our kids are drawn to a typewriter instead of a computer. "You know, you can make the computer click clack, too?" The best part? Hearing the click clack and realizing that it is coming from Elise. She will type for a good 20 minutes at a time and emerge with her document, explaining the m's, s's, a's and o's that her page is full of and mimicking the clicks, clacks and dings that she heard while typing.

a royal aristocrat typewriter: $4
6 ribbons of ink: $28
listening to my 3 year old type away the day: priceless

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hannah's beach

Clarification: You are really invited to my little birthday party. I am getting everything ready for a very crafty/fun party. Come one, come all. (unless you are a crazy person of sorts, although mildly crazy is accepted so that people like myself can come. Also, sorry to be discriminatory, but no boys are allowed.)

Hannah has been struggling with water for almost a year now. (not the drinking type, but the bodies of water type. Oceans, lakes, etc...) This started the week after Chris' stroke when the family took the girls to the beach as a diversion of sorts. I am pretty sure that it was related to a certain lack of security that comes with not knowing what is going to happen to your dad. Tie that in with being old enough to suddenly realize that bad things can happen to you and you have a major fear of water. It started out with her going into this unreal crying to herself "I just want to go home. home sweet home. Take me home!" Through many run-ins with water, we have made slow progress. We bribed her to go on a canoe in a lake. (Pet Society time, ice cream AND 5 "my littlest petshop" toys) We explained high tides and low tides and eventually got her okay clamming in bays. We got her to play in the dry sand instead of crying the whole time we were at the beach. Let's just say that it has been a long summer. ;) Fast forward to this past Saturday.

A dear friend was visiting Oregon and there was need for a quick trip to see the ocean. Ironically, we went to the beach that this whole hydrophobia started. As we were coming out of the tunnel that leads to the beach, Hannah announced to me that this beach should be called "Scary Beach" because of the big waves and that she wanted to go to a bay. I told her I thought it should be called pretty beach and carried on. She kept asking if we could leave and I finally distracted her with some sand castle making. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her sneak up to the water line. Then we saw her get her toes wet and boy was she proud of herself! Before long, she was jumping waves with the bunch of them and left the beach completely soaks. I am so proud of her for overcoming this and it was such a great feeling to have her complain when it was time to leave! Since summer is coming to an end, I promised her another beach trip this week so she can really enjoy it. The bad news? Elise was scared just because Hannah was. Now I have two more kids to keep from drowning. Dang. The good news? Hannah and I decided that it is now to be known as "Hannah's beach". I personally think that has a nicer ring to it than "Lost Boy's Beach". Who came up with that?

Where are the pictures? On Jennifer's camera, probably somewhere in between Wyoming and Arkansas. Hopefully on here soon because they were cute.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

happy birthday to me

it’s my party and i can sew if i want to.....

when: tuesday, august 25th

8 pm to late

where: mi casa

Rules of the Party:

Nobody will be forced to sew, but you will be forced to have fun!

lots of projects will be provided, but if you have something you’d like to work on, bring it!

Feel free to bring your machine, too.

No presents allowed. Anyone bringing presents will get clean up duty. (and that includes all of my toilets.)

I feel like I have be blessed so much over the past year by all of you wonderful friends out there. I know that the road would have been a heck of a lot bumpier if it weren't for you guys. Because you all are just down right fabulous, I am in a celebratory mood of sorts. (not the kind that is going to get me off my duff and cooking a gourmet meal or anything, but I am easily persuaded to craft it up.) All of you non psycho friends out there (most of you know who you are) are cordially invited to come celebrate my best year yet. I have some fun little surprises up my sleeve. My only request? RSVP so I can have plenty of fun for everyone.

modest is hottest

Today I got to talk with 48 lovely 10-11 year olds about modesty and it got me wanting to chime in here about it all. We had some fun times putting together modest outfits out of Rachel's closet, with the help of shade shirts. (and of course, doing our share of accessorizing) These girls had some style, putting together some pretty chic outfits.

The most profound thing that the girls put together today? The idea that if you dress as if you respect your body, you will attract boys who respect your body. If you dress as if you have no respect for your body....yep. A wonderful truth that I hope every one of those girls remembers as they go through the next 10 or so years. It makes me sad to think that there are so many girls out there that are not taught the basics of covering up and respecting their bodies. On the other hand, I am so grateful that for every trashy trend out there, we have some fabulously modest trends on our side. Longer shirts, Bermudas, Capris, layering....I think it is quite the blessing to have these tools!

The real lesson from today: modest brings immediate blessings, like repaired computers. After completing a day of "modesty training", I came home to my computer, restored in all of its glory. I informed Chris that he should probably go down and give the girls dinner, as I was going to be busy. (just kidding, guys! I did not sit out on dinner for my computer. I waited until after bedtime, thank you!)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


help...dying without internet access. stole into Chris' work computer for this brief cry for help. Please petition the Mac Store to SOON. And when that happens, I will begin going through the 3 photography sessions waiting on my flash cards and updating all of you folks on the happenings of the last week. (because they were just down right fun!)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Book love

(please accept apologies for out of focus picture, but this does belong in my kitchen, don't you think?)

Have I told you about Paperbook Swap? At first, I was reluctant. It appeared to be mainly stocked by trashy romance novels. (sorry, Grandma.) I have recently found that if you dig deep enough, you can find your share of treasures. (for free, I might add.) Since I am a bit of a book horder, I share books that are considered trashy to me and that are wanted by someone else. In turn, I choose books like this:
We also enjoy Mrs. Krauss' Open House For Butterflies. Some of my favorite lines:
A baby is to have a parade for.
You can always brag about what you don't have. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah. You have a red wagon and I don't!

Cute, nonsensical out of the mouth of babes stuff, coupled with the artistry of Maurice Sendak. (You know, Where the Wild Things Are) Good ole' fashion fun and hours of silly giggling with the girls.

Monday, August 3, 2009

fair frenzied

Here are your pictures, mom. (you know, the ones I promised to get up here a week ago? See how your patience pays off? Last week they would have been pictures of the project, but this week you get fair info, too!) Last week was the due date for fair entries. In all fairness, it has been a busier than normal summer. BUT I have ruled out staying up until 3 am to finish fair projects in the future. Here is the run down: Rachel got 4 1st place ribbons and 2 second place ones. Her embroidery and pj capris are going to the state fair. She was a very determined girly, turning down a bbq and a sleepover, all for the sake of finishing her projects. Overheard while working on a project: "I can't wait for fair to be over. I am sick of sewing straight lines and making sure my tension is right! I hate the fair!" It was great to have a high standard inflicted on them by someone else and I think she has come to understand the pay off of quality. Great fair lesson #2. (the 1st was all about procrastination. the 3rd? Mom, DON'T touch the exhibits!)
Rachel: "My first embroidery that I finished and I won first place!"
Mom: "See! You should finish more of your embroidery projects!"
Chloe and Autumn are not old enough to do official entries, but I am pretty sure they would have rocked the competition if they could have. (No motherly bias here, I tell you.) Autumn made a "sleeping fairy" that I think was her nicest fairy yet. Very nice craftsmanship and just plain stinking cute. (and completed while I wasn't even home. Go, Autumn.)
Chloe was a little bit of an over achiever, making an apron, pj capris and a zippered pouch.
I helped guide Chloe as she was sewing (mainly because I was making up the patterns as we went along) and she is such a diligent seamstress. Straight lines and good taste. I would give her two options for her pattern and she continually chose the harder (and cuter) option.
(note the hankie in her apron. She even chose it out at the antique store and bought it by herself.) She sewed every stitch on her projects, ironed everything the needed ironing and chose out all of the fabric. It was rewarding for them to see all of their hard work on display and they are already planning for next year. My favorite part? I love that the judges nicely hold them to a standard of high quality work. They expect zig zagged edges, reinforced seams and all sorts of standards that were foreign to me until a couple of years ago. My girls are going to out sew me over the next few years and I can't wait! Speaking of which, guess where we are this week! Yep. Sewing Camp, part deux. We packed up plenty of adorable fabric that will come home in lovely new forms. My biggest complaint about sewing camp? While all of the kids are sewing, Lia and I are stuck, sewing machine-less. Sigh. What is a mom to do?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

dinner reservations


my dear sweet husband is accepting dinner reservations. Yes, I am abandoning him for the week for sewing camp, part deux. This leaves him with only one option, and it is a desperate one. Sushi, every night. (okay, so maybe not his only option, but he is limited.) He is witty and entertaining (when he isn't pulling my leg into believing that he had to be rescued from Netarts Bay in a clamming trip gone bad!) and the plus side of his stroke and recent weight loss? He doesn't eat much. Heck, Rachel out eats him.

On a serious note: If he looks like he is withering away, he might have run out of blueberries. (Yes, every one of those 132 lbs) Send him to Gordon's Acres, immediately. But first ask him who got blueberries on my sheets.