Monday, December 28, 2009

New Etsy Store!

I have launched my new Etsy store with a grand total of ONE item!
Why Little Yellow Coat you say? Because I like stores that have three word titles, and because I've been hanging on to this adorable girl coat for years! I bought it at a garage sale and despite having two sons have kept it in my closet as an inspiration. I love the scallops on the yoke and on the bonnet (not pictured). The inside is meticulously lined, so you can't see any raw edges anywhere! It's a work of art in my opinion. Here is a pic of the items coming soon to Little Yellow Coat.
These are the "Beatrice" pillows. I have only put one of them in the store because I'm hoping to get into the "recent activity" sampler offered on the front page of the Etsy site - by putting in one of them at a time. Yes, I'm not only crafty, but I'm crafty too! You can go see my new store by clicking the picture of the little yellow corduroy coat in my sidebar.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry Christmas!

This is my last blog for this year and to steal and idea from Lady Linguaphile it's only a picture blog! Merry Christmas Everyone!
Can you find:
2 scissors?
a giraffe?
gold beads?
where the time went?











How Pete brought me his apple:








Lots of Ruby Dolls from One Red Robin. I gave them to all the girls that would be here this christmas. I wonder if they'll name them?



I had an absolutely wonderful Christmas! It's amazing how we saw so many people and did so much but I don't feel totally stressed out. It's not over yet so it could happen but I'm going to have faith! Here are some pics of all we did!





From left to right: my homemade candies, our big family caroling, at the San Antonio Riverwalk...
There were also train rides, leaf-blowing, tree-house climbing, treasure-hunting, road-tripping, present wrapping, present tearing open willy nilly, xylophoning, movie seeing, and bread baking.
I'm so thankful for my wonderful Christmas.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Miscellany


I've been slaving away this week on Christmas presents, mostly just for my adorable niece and nephew. While I sew Peter likes to bring me a "cup of tea". He's very careful and brings me the empty china cup: "Here go Mommy." I drink it and say thank you. "Want sommore? - Ohkay, I be wight back - ohkay Mommy?"
I've been thinking I should try to make my own boys something so they don't feel left out. Today I proudly butchered one of my older son's sweatshirts to make pants for my two year old from the tutorial I saw here.
I've been virtually nosing around Australia via the links on one of my favorite blogs: One Red Robin and Skip the Chips.

Can anyone tell I've just learned how to insert links into my text! HA! Unfortunately I can't find my camera at the moment or I'd put up pictures of the pants, and all the other things I've promised to put pictures up for.

Instead I'll just tell stories.
Building 4 is the apartment building where I go to visit Chin families. I look after all the families in building 4 - I try to visit them all once a week. The one I frequent most is: Biak & Sui Zam's apartment. (Biak and Sui Zam being the moms of the two families that live in that one 2 bedroom apartment) I was happy this week because Sui Zam was up while I was there. She's hardly ever been around since she got a job. Yeah for the job! Sad for me missing her because she's really awesome. I so wish we could communicate better because I know she's really funny - I've gotten good at reading faces - I know she'd be sarcastic a lot! Biak is full of sweetness and has a baby boy who is starting to smile. The highlight of the visit for Peter was when we showed off one of our mom-lays-on-the-ground-and-flips-him-over-with-her-legs-tricks. All the ladies exclaimed at that! We also showed a little girl (daughter of a friend of Biak's) the Very Hungry Caterpillar Book. She's 13 months old and all she really wanted (like all toddlers) was to just stick her diminutive finger in the holes. Eventually Peter got her to pretend to eat the strawberries.

Interesting note:
Words that are the same in most Chin dialects:
Strawberry
Banana
Mango
(lots of other fruits - you get the idea)
Merry Christmas
Bible
Jesus

I was chatting with a friend of James' who is from Chin State, Myanmar and he was telling me all about his families emigration to America. It was quite complicated. At one point he was living with his grandmother for several months while his parents (in Maylaysia at that time) worked to get him out. James told him that we pray for the Christians who are being tortured and killed there and he immediately responded "that's why we left!" I asked him if his family had been tortured, and he said "no - because they left" but he knew people who had been.
I am so thankful at this very moment that I do not have to flee the country, leaving my child behind because of torture and threat of death. Right now Peter has a fever, and I'm dissappointed that I probably won't be able to do the things I'd planned to do today, but I have medicine, we have clothes, we have heat, we have a home.
I am so so blessed.

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas (that one was in Chin)

Lissa

Monday, November 30, 2009

All Hands On Deck The Halls

I wonder how many artists dream in color? I wonder if dreaming in color is more common to certain groups of people? A random yoga website said that "scientists say" we dream in color 80% of the time. No idea where they got that number. WikiAnswers had man-off-the-street entries saying all manner of things. The hardest part seems to be remembering whether you dreamt in color or not.

I personally have really vivid dreams, with very romantic plots (surprising I know) with very detailed clothing. At least, I notice all the details in my dreams. For example once I dreamt of a woman in a silk stormy-gray-blue dress (long sleeves and hem), with an overdress of golden lace!

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (just under a week ago) I literally dreamed up a craft! I woke up knowing each of the steps, and just what materials I needed. I had been trying to think of a craft that could reflect each of the Waxler grandchildren, and be homemade, and small. I was trying to think of something I could do with hands - to show the kids handsizes at their respective ages. Well I woke up with a solution so I'm going to share it with ya'll!

Hand Christmas Ornament Tutorial

Merry Christmas!



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Half Baked



I've discovered that not only am I a compulsive baker, I am potentially a compulsively baking stalker. Seriously, whenever I become a fan of someone - really really a fan - I tend to contact them, encourage them (everybody gets discouraged sometimes), and offer them baked goods.


For example, I once wrote an encouraging letter to President Bush, and if I remember right I offered to bake him cookies if he was ever going through Hillsboro. So here's the list.


People I have offered baked goods to:


President George W. Bush,


Laura Bush (same letter)


The designer of a children's website (as a bribe to tell me how to find the "secret passageway")


Our pastor




The designer of the website, since he was in England, declined my offer of oatmeal cookies but was very helpful and told me the key to the secret passageway. I got a lovely form letter from our President with a charming gold seal upon it, and from my pastor (granted there are 7,000 in the congregation) I got a nice email too.




Here are some people I would like to personally deliver baked goods to:


Dick Francis, novelist, homemade bread


Anne McCaffrey, novelist, a bubbly pie


Nastia Liukin, olympic gold medalist, the buttery oatmeal cookies my mother makes


Gary Paulsen, novelist, Iditarod runner, Chocolate chip, chocolate cookies


Laura Bush, First Lady, homemade bread


Aung San Suu Kyi, homemade bread




I don't know exactly why my affection, or respect for writers, world leaders and athletes takes this form. I think it has something to do with the instinct to feed that which you love. If I'm proud of someone I want to feed them, cook them a dinner, bake them a pie. One part of the Bible that I always thought made perfect sense was Esther cooking two dinners for her husband. Teachers always tried to stress that she did this because he was the king, he could chop off her head, etc. But I always thought it made perfect sense! She probably cooked him chicken fried steak. And that widow that Elijah went to (or was it Elisha?) was making dumplings as a last dinner! Makes sense.


One of my favorite books as a child was little black Sambo. I hear it's been criticized as being racist. I've never understood that. You have a well-dressed little African boy. He is beset by tigers and intelligently, though sadly gives up his beautiful things. BUT! they get their just deserts and in a delicious turn (quite literally) of fate turn into - of all things - BUTTER! I mean how much better can it get? Ferocious man-eating felines or butter. Sambo gets all his stuff back (and in my book, all his things were these lovely saturated colors like hot pink and teal, and gold, and you get the idea), and when he goes home his mom makes him pancakes with the butter!



Another food story that I like was when Jesus cooked fish for all the disciples when he got back. I think everyone should throw a fish fry right after Easter in honor of that. In fact, I may start that tradition! I'll think about it while I go whip up some sugar cookies for my son's teachers.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

RBG

My brother in law recently informed me that all computer wires are in Red Blue and Green. Abbreviated RBG. It brought back to mind a museum exhibit I had seen once with the same title (to wit: Red Blue Green). They were all really simple lithographs with just the three colors. I remember thinking at the time...And they're exhibiting this? But maybe there was a point there somewhere.


Today I was taking pictures of Peter outside. He's so beautiful (empirically he is, there just no denying it) I do this a lot. So here is my version of RBG. I have to say, these are beautiful colors. Almost a recipe for photo success. Another photo taking tip: Dress your kid in a color that matches your playground (there are usually at least two to choose from), take them to the playground and snap away! Go for solids, and neutral. If your playground is all wooden, pick any solid color that your kids look good in! There's a video for you at the bottom. Time to give my model a nap.

Coming soon: Our worm ranch!

Have a good weekend everyone!


video

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

State Fair, Spelling and Silly 2 year olds!

Cute little pigs at the Texas State Fair:
Creepy four-horned goats!
James and I had a great time at the biggest state fair in the USA! No really Oprah said it was!

And we were there on the same day as her! But we didn't see her. We did see a baby giraffe, alpacas, llamas, camels, baby ducks and petted most of them too!

It's amazingly expensive. We got $20 worth of tickets and it was only enough for about 2 "rides" for the two of us. I let James go through a fun house on his own. We went into a "Snake House" and saw all manner of really long, or really lethal snakes. It was cool. We even saw a spitting Cobra (I think I always thought those were a joke). I told him we would have to do free things to fill up our time, that we couldn't much more than one or two rides. I let him pick.

He picked the ride that spins you around like you're in a pie-dish and the panel you're leaning back against slides up and there you are stranded in mid air. I would've been sick anyway so the seizure-inducing strobes, deafening heavy metal, and drug induced cgi perks! James was really scared right before it started but I told him he would love it. He did.

We wanted to go on the big Ferris Wheel known as the "Texas Star", but it was being worked on when we went by. We thought it was out for the day so we used up our tickets, then it opened. Bummer. I got James a legitimate original "Fletcher's Corny Dog" on a stick. I tried a fried Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, and we brought Mark home a fried Honey Bun. All and sundry will be amazed that I did not try the much-touted fried butter. My legs were tired and the stand that had it was on the other side of the park.


The only thing I made James do that he didn't want to do was go to the quilt exhibit. It was great but they were all up so high you had to crane your neck to look at them. Probably so people wouldn't touch them. In the same building was the butter sculpture. James was impressed. In a very cold, office-sized room was a replica of an old-fashioned bar, with a bartender, lady, fighting duo, overturned chair,table and barstools. All life size and ALL out of butter. The fact that it was all pale yellow took some of the drama out of the subject matter.


We had a wonderful time and the next day my legs hurt from walking and my shoulders hurt from carrying our backpack. As it should be.

Now for your delectation and delight, some of James' school work:

James’ spelling word sentences (spelling word is underlined)
October 6, 2009
1. The bark of the tree is brown.
2. I lock my bicke evry day.
3. I like black dogs.
4. You go back to your room!!! (exclamation points are his)
5. I pick you.
6. The clock tels time.
7. A tack keeps things up.
8. The duck qaked.
9. I sat on a rock.
10. The spark brnd my morshmelowe.
11. I stuck sum gum to the wall.
12. I work at shcool.
13. I got a check from the bake.
14. My brothr is wacky.
15. I fownd a nickel.


And also…
How to Make a Peanut
butter and Jelly
Sadich
First, you need 1 peace of bred. Next, you need Jelly, peanut butter, a knife, and a plate. OK first, you need to spred the Jelly on 1 haf of the bred with a knife and the peanut butter on the athr haf then you fold the sandwich. and Finolly eat it!




Peter is lots of fun right now too! A few days ago I finished unloading the dishwasher and closed it up. Peter ran over to it and opened it up again. He pulled the top drawer out and grabbed an apple. He must've stashed it there when my back was turned.

Today he picked up an alligator-shaped chime set (yes I'm married to a band director) and said "I bring my iphone Mommy. I was so confused until I realized that he was referring to his XYlophone! I think of it as a keyboard!"

He has discovered "like", but not the first person pronoun "I". So it's"

Me like Elmo Mommy! Me like this. Me like you Mommy (my favorite), Me like James. Me like big red dog. Me like gummy fruits, and sometimes of course Me NO like this. But not as often as you might think.

I have really really missed the internet. Our modem has been broken and it took about two weeks for a new one to be delivered. I've like to gone crazy! So I'm back on now, and hopefully mostly sane.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Ween!

No, this blog has nothing to do with nursing (that would be I Wean!).

This blog is about (surprise surprise) Peter and James!
Peter's vocabulary is expanding like, well, something that expands really fast.
We are having to watch what we say more carefully for we never know when Peter will echo us:
"fat guy?"
"cut me off?"
"can't you drive?"
and of course the ever popular stereotypical...."why?"
My favorite is when he accomplishes anything he feels pleased about (a hop, finding a letter, ramming two cars together), he celebrates a victory by shouting: "I Ween!" often with both fists in the air and tiny index fingers pointing stubbily to the ceiling.
Corrie gave me what may have been a compliment her charming back handed way (back of the hand - like a slap eh?) "Peter is the most stereotypical two year old I've ever seen."
Thank you?
Maybe her spiritual gift isn't encouragement.

I'm just teasing Corrie. You didn't hurt my feelings, I thought it was really funny.

Last week, while I was in the bathroom (don't worry this won't be gross) - I had the door locked. Which may be why Peter doesn't know the word "door". He thinks the thing that swings closed on hinges is a "doorlock". Anyway I was in the bathroom and recieved indelible proof of the reader culture that Mark, James and I are demonstrating for Pete. He began to send me books under the crack of the door.
"Here you go Mommy!"
I recieved all seven of the Chronicles of Narnia, and a pamphlet by John Piper on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Lest you think that I was in there for a long time (with the door locked and my 2 year old unattended)- they were all stacked next to the bathroom door, and were fired through there in a matter of minutes. It was rather exciting for me too.

I started cutting out fabric that Corrie brought me from L.A.'s fabric district. And in saying so I make this the 3rd blog (I think, unless I missed one by Barbara) about fabric bought on ONE TRIP! And I wasn't even there! I think that's cool. I decided to try and match the pattern across seam lines, so I had to cut the fabric all wonky, and not in an efficient space-saving method at all. Still, the skirt looks groovy so far.
However Peter decided that since his Mom was bent practically double on the ground doing tedious work with scissors, ruler, and pencil - this was a good time to go climb on her back! Poor kiddo. I didn't do much fun with him today. I plan to make it up to him tomorrow.

My fabric is a big bold black and white print, with funky modern flowers. It rocks! You picked really well Corrie. By the way Corrie, although you mentioned that you bought fabric, you didn't show us a lovely pic of what you got like Rachel. Tsk Tsk (I love pitting bloggers against each other!) Please remedy that!

Good night all
Lissa

Sunday, August 16, 2009

How to Surprise Your Wife



There are several categories of surprises, and each one has their own rules or procedures.


1. The Extravagant Surprise: a surprise so extravagant and unthinkable that is overwhelms your wife. Examples: You fly her to Europe, the winter Olympics, New York (flying her pretty much anywhere suddenly will just about do it...well...let's give Duluth a miss).



Needs: little or no packaging. Arrange for childcare yourself. Allow at least 2 months planning for 2 nights away, and two more weeks for every night after that. So to go away for 4 nights, you need to make your babysitter calls 3 months in advance (not that I every pull this off, but it would simplify things a lot). You can pack your wife's things for her (subcategory: Gretna Green ) or you can tell the plan a week-night before so she can pack herself (subcategory: Capricious Whim)




2. The Specific Surprise: a surprise based on specifically declared wishes, dreams or needs that your wife has mentioned and have not yet been fulfilled. The benefit of this kind of surprise is that it can cost very little.



Needs: the smaller the item the more important the packaging.



Example: a new bathtub stopper should be wrapped in a jewelry box (as my husband did last Christmas causing me utter confusion for at least 3 seconds until I realized it wasn't a pendant).




3.The Partial Surprise: just as it says - a surprise in which your wife knows part of the plan but not all. This is beneficial when you want to give your wife a surprise but it is not extravagant, and she hasn't ever talked about the activity or object involved. Your wife can look forward to the dinner out, but knows you have something else unexpected up your sleeve. This is almost the best of both worlds. This way, if the surprise bombs (she really had no interest in professional wrestling) at least the dinner was nice.



Needs: a clue to the surprise activity. A good way to do this is to instruct your wife in what to wear or bring. "Be ready to get dirty." "Bring sunblock." "Wear something comfortable but dressy." "Wear shoes you can walk for a while in."



A clue along these lines gets her in the right mood. She has knowledge of some of the basic activities involved in your surprise.




I hope these objective procedures will be helpful to anyone about to celebrate their anniversary or their wife's birthday.






Glen Rose: Dinosaur Valley State Park



The Waxler family had a great time on Saturday at Dinosaur Valley. We got a little sunburnt, a little smoky, pretty dirty, some horsefly stings (OH MY GOODNESS THEY WERE THE BIGGEST FLIES I'D EVER SEEN AND THEY STUNG LIKE A MOSQUITO!), and wet too!




We didn't "camp" we just picnicked, but we did set up a sort of tent-like shelter. I am really jazzed about that because I made it myself. It was a goodwill sheet to which I sewed 8 loops (4 corners, 4 side midpoints)! I used 6 tent pegs and 2 packets of 50 ft. nylong camping cord. AND IT WORKED! HA!




We learned that next time we need to bring a whole extra cooler full of drinks and ice. We ran out of drinks about 6:30 pm and the kids were reduced to dipping their cups in the ice water in the bottom of the cooler. The trick was to not "scoop" and get bits of dirt and grass in your cup, but to let the water barely rush over the lip of the cup...then it was pretty clean.

We saw dinosaur tracks, and life size models, and bought some souvenirs. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. We swam in the Paluxy river, and saw minnows. James and I swam in the section called "Blue Hole" and James even jumped off a really high bank - over a rock ledge - into a very deep section (the blue hole, although it was muddy brown-green yesterday). I tried to do this, but I was just too scared.




I had so much fun, it was like when we were kids only it was the lake, and Zilker, and a little of the Davlin's grandparents all rolled into one!



Before we left we drove over to the campsite area's showers and I washed all the boys and myself so we'd be clean when we got home (1 cup, bottle of handsoap, towel). It felt so good to be clean - my hair's a little brittle now, though.


On the way home Mark and I talked about our upcoming anniversary. He said he wants to surprise me with something, so I came up with some guidelines for him. Not all the ones I started with - just the Partial surprise guidelines. But it got me thinking.



I love you all!

Lissa



Friday, August 14, 2009

small miracles

I am so excited about tomorrow!
We are going to Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose TX. Mark, who is admittedly not an outdoors person, has consented to go and be in an un-air-conditioned environment for (the plan is) 12 hours! This state park is really cool because there are a lot of dinosaur tracks in the riverbeds that surround the park. I say riverbeds because here in Texas natural rivers are a seasonal thing. We are hoping there will be actual rivers at the state park while we are there. If there are, they will be the Paluxy and Brazos rivers.
Also there are two life-sized dinosaur models that tower over the wilted Texas grass. So you will soon be seeing pictures of us with a T-rex, and an Apatosaurus.

In other exciting news, Peter took his nap in a grown-up bed today. He's been begging and beggin to get to sleep in a big bed like his brother, and now that we have bunk beds - things have really come to a head. I'm sort of giving into tantrums, but since his object is a "growing up" one I don't mind so much.
Just like if he throws a fit about getting a safe and responsible summer job - I'll give in.

So I tucked him in about 12:45 and he stayed in the bed, and was actually asleep by 1:05 when I checked on him!

It was not like this with James.
In short, I'm astounded.

So the cribs days are numbered...and our closet can look forward to having yet another "big ticket item" stored in it that we can't part with.
Of course we can't get rid of the crib! We'll use it again when we have a little girl!
I plan to keep the crib until Peter really gets the hang of sleeping in the bed. As yet, he hasn't tried to get out of bed because it's so cool. But when that happens it'll be "BACK TO THE CRIB WITH YOU!"

Tonight Dad and Mark are going to a Rangers vs Red Sox game. They are very excited because these teams are (apparently) battling it out for the play-offs. I have high hopes for the Rangers because, as they say, things always come in threes!

Almost done now.
Just want everyone to know that I'm quite pleased with David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, in short, I like it.

Sweet dreams!
Lissa

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gettin' my blog legs back

JUICE BALL
Peter has started coming up to me saying "juice ball." It used to be just "ball." What he said when he wanted a grape. But now he's modified it to juice ball. I think that's pretty smart.

Mark discovered CollegeHumor.com. You have to be careful, but some of their spoofs are hysterical!
My favorites are:
Web Site Story
Slumdog Price is Right
Tv Show Song

PEACE OUT!
I said goodbye to some kids leaving using this farewell today and when I shut the door Mark started laughing!

Today we (me and the boys) went to Lake Lewisville. I didn't realize it was only $3 a vehicle for residents! We're gonna go a lot more. It's a heck of a lot cheaper than the Lewisville Waterpark...but it's the Lake!
Peter was not happy with the water.
You'd think I was torturing him.
"NO MOMMA NO MOMMA NO NO NO NO NO!"
The whole first segment that we were in the water. Which by obvious necessity became a shorter period than it would otherwise have been. After the torture session we went to the playground (not too far, luckily). After the playground we had our pb&j sandwiches back on our blanket and then went into the water again. We were blessed to have a great big cottonwood (the same kind as in our front yard in Pflugerville) shading the area all around our picnic table, so after swimming a little more I laid Peter down in the shade and he snuggled under a blanket (about 1pm). Then we came home!

In other news! We are starting our own used furniture store!
No not really.
But it feels like it.
In James and Peter's room there is currently (ahem):
Beds: 4 (if you count the bunk beds as two)
Tables: 2 (desk and "side")
Dressers/Drawers: 2 (large wood and small plastic)
Bookshelf: 1

I know this is all terribly fascinating for you but I am merely making the somewhat obvious point that there is too much furniture in their room.
The question is, having availed ourselves of Craigslist (original and modified by Corrie-advice) and of Ebay (twice once with reduced price) do we keep trying to sell the bed suite that we don't really need, or do we find a way to store it (heaven help us).
Heard from James in the bathtub tonight.
"Mom you know the octopus with the suction cups on it?" [a toy]
"yes"
"They don't taste good."
"How do you know that?" (I say laughing)
"I chewed on 'em"
Currently on the Wii,
Grandfather is on the clarinet, Mark French horn, Granny on bassoon, and James is conducting!
I know none of this is very interesting, but I haven't blogged in so long that I really feel I just need to get my hand back in.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Storm



Last night major winds hit our part of Texas, and tore off chimneys of our apartment building. Thankfully my family and I were not even there, and our chimney made it through. We were out shopping during the storm, in Wal-Mart, haven of the middle-class. God protected our children from the scare they would have had, had we been there. As it was they were pretty disturbed. Last night I also had to finish a quilt for my baby sister who is getting married on Saturday.

Last night I fell apart because I realized that I'm losing my little sister.

Last Christmas when my sister's boyfriend proposed, my mother, (other) sister and I hatched a plan to make a wedding quilt for the couple (well - really for the bride). We all made different blocks and my (other) sister made sashing and it was my job to piece the whole thing together.


We finally got the kids to bed ("Don't worry no more chimneys will fall down"). And it was time to sew. I was still pretty strung out - adrenaline-drained. So I played a little MarioKart. Then the dishwasher really needed to emptied. Then I really needed to pack for the trip to the wedding site. Then I realized I was stalling.


I quit that and went and pinned the second to last seam (I was really close to finishing) and tried to think about why I was stalling finishing the top of the quilt we'd been working on for six months. I realized that on some level I didn't want to finish because I was worried she wouldn't like it. I was worried they would use the quilt too roughly, or wash it improperly, or use it as a dog bed.

I was afraid to let it go.

Circumstances in our upbringing led to my always feeling responsible for her. I've tried and tried to let go lately (since she graduated from high school) and thought I had succeeded quite well.


I hadn't.

I had succeeded in not giving her nearly as much advice, and not trying to keep her from ever making a mistake - emotional, spiritual, navigational. I think I secretly felt that I could justify ALL my mistakes in life if they served to keep my baby sister from making the same ones. Like, I tried life first, and I can tell her which way to go now.

HA!


Well it hit me that she's getting married and this REALLY has to stop being my job now. I REALLY have to let her go and do her thing and make her own mistakes and trust the Lord, that he will look after his daughter.

I was afraid to let her go.



Fortunately I had finished pinning the seam by the time I started crying.

Situations like this (11:30pm, crying, sewing) usually call for a Dr. Pepper and a prayer.


Feeling more soothed, I sewed the seam.

Then I went back to MarioKart.

I won a silver cup.

Then I finished the quilt. Pinned the last seam. Sewed the last seam. Ironed the last seam. Letting go.




Now granted we still have to quilt the thing. So this whole metaphor falls apart at this point. But maybe the year I take quilting the top can be the year I learn REALLY to let go of her.Sister Mine.


Then I'll let go of the quilt too.

But maybe I'll enter it in a show first. And if you want pictures let me know.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009


James: What do cows say when they are confused?
Me: What?
James: I'm so confooooooooooooosed!

Me: Can you say Granny?
Peter: Manman.
Me: Can you say Grandfather?
Peter: no.

Me: Ok Peter let's change your diaper!
Peter: playground?
Me: No, diaper, then lunch!
Peter: playground?
Me: No. Lunch!
Peter: playground?
Me: No.
Peter: (sigh) playground.

And sometimes on our way to the car:
[screaming] PLAYGROUND! PLAYGROUND! PLAYGROUND!

Quotes from Becca's wedding preparations:

Becca (to Robert): Which of these pink roses is the most masculine?

Becca (to Lissa): I had a whole lot to say about you.

Holly(to Lissa - something I never thought to hear her say):
I'm going to buy a whole bunch of tulle.

Becca (about the groomsmen): Oh, they're off in the woods somewhere.


James in his "Super Cleaning Gear" with snowboots (no we didn't use them in Texas, we had to go to New Mexico to use them) and goggles!


Monday, June 1, 2009

Corn Syrup and Potholders















If you accidentally drop a potholder while trying to take a roast (or something) out of the oven, and it falls all the way down to the heating element, it will ignite and begin to burn. Just get your tongs and grab it out. Throw it directly into the trash. Get your seven year old to learn to make them and make you a new one since you had that one since you in fifth grade and lets face it the homemade kind are way more durable than the ones you get as wedding gifts.

If you bring a squirt bottle to a baseball game ( you were planning to take your sisters advice and use it to cool off your children) it is possible your two-year-old will get hold of it and squirt himself for the next 30 minutes. In this way he will keep himself cool and amused. He may also eliminate the need for a bath that night!

If your almost two-year-old manages to reach up on the counter and grab an opened snack cup of mandarin oranges that you are about to give him...you're gonna need to scrub the corn syrup off the floor. The swiffer wet jet will leave it sticky. Even if you give it all day - it will still be sticky.






A recent painting of mine. This photo makes it look grayer than it is. I painted it on white paper!



Friday, May 29, 2009

Stick it to the Man for $4.50

I recently went to Wal-Mart and saw that they were having a sale on rosebushes. After calmly thinking about it for a minute (Oh My Gosh! Roses are on SALE, Let's buy them ALL!), I thought it might be worth it to pick one up.
Of course, I live in an apartment and I am not the gardener. No, I planned to plant that baby in soil I don't technically own. I have asked the apartment manager if the "owners" would consider allowing a community garden. I thought it was worth a shot in these eco-friendly times. Well I'm still waiting to hear what they thought of THAT idea. They also won't put bike racks in front of ANY apartments. I never thought of myself as a tree-hugger or anything, but bike racks would be useful.
So anyway, I bought a rosebush for $4.50. It's lavender. There was one rose left on it when I bought it (hopefully it wasn't on sale because it had swine flu or something) and it smelled really nice. Well, the rose died, and so far no new ones. Of course that was only three days ago, and I've been checking it twice a day. But I'm ahead of myself. I get it home and in the utmost secrecy of the dead of night (8:30 pm and well lit by the Post Office parking lights 'cross the fence) I carried our family shovel around the back of our building.
We live in the back corner of the complex so we only get foundation-planted privet - no boxwoods like the buildings in the center of the complex, not to mention the flowering annuals that the near-the-gate people get. From past observation I knew there was a convenient gap in the bushes. Yep, you guessed it - I planted my $4.50 rosebush....wait for it....IN THE GAP! I know, brilliant right?
I'm thinkin' what are they gonna do? The maintenance men are the only workers who go back there. Hopefully they won't notice my little "rosa anarchia." I can just see them going to the manager: "Someone's been planting rogue rosebushes in the back lot. We gotta nip this in the bud, no pun intended ma'am, or they're gonna start in on bedding plants next. Before you can say 'possession is 9/10ths of the law' there'll be allium, begonias, and God forbid - cannas tearin' it up back there."
Even if they do - I'm only out $4.50! HA!

But you know, the maintenance men were right, this is just my foot in the door. If they'll let this slide I'll try some alliums.

And here's Peter where we like to lay in the grass and look up at the tree. In the background you can see the back. The rose bush is right around that corner.


Friday, May 15, 2009
















Sayings of James:

"Mom, guess what. "
"what?"
"I'm a taco. You want to know why?"
"why?"

"Because I tacolot!"
"You sure do."

"Mom, mountains don't have bathrooms so they have to pee in their pants!"


Sayings of Peter:
"blahblow?"
"blahblow?"
"blahblow?"

[translation: "playground? playground? playground?"]

"BAHBOW!"
["POPCORN!]


"mo chiss?"
["more cheese?"]


Two days ago Peter ran up to me leaned over my shoulder (I was sitting on the floor), put his arms around me and whispered in my ear "playground" and ran away. His version of subliminal messaging.


I'm working on convincing James that I'm sporadically a mind reader. I've told him it doesn't work all the time. I think it's working. (Evil laughter...fade out)



My lingerie party dress...


Wait.


The dress I made for a lingerie party (that's better) came out pretty well! I put a belt around it so it wouldn't look like lingerie for Doris Day. I edged the neck and armholes with picot ribbon (the kind with little loops). If they would keep laying down like I want them too, they'd be a really cool detail.




Thursday, May 14, 2009

Showering Clothes

My sister has a wedding shower on Saturday, and of course I decided today, Thursday, that I have nothing to wear. I'm pretty sure all Becca's friends will be wearing cute sundresses, my friend Holly is wearing one of those new long dresses, and so I need something "showery" too!

That being said. I don't have any money to buy anything so, surprise surprise I'm going to try and make something. Do I have lots of time on my hands? Do I have other projects I could be finishing? Does my house look like a scary homeschoolers house? (No, Yes, Yes, and coming up - No) Do I let any of that give me pause?

Years ago when GAP (the store) was going through a flowing-whites-ecrus-linens-on-the-beach phase I bought this beautiful skirt in white linen with a flounce along the bottom. It fit me perfectly. Actually it fit my personality perfectly, and my ideal image of myself perfectly. In reality I needed to be at least 5 inches taller and anorexic to pull it off. But it was so pretty I never could bring myself to get rid of it. I did try out dying with tea on it, so now it's not snow-white anymore. It's very vintage looking.
The plan:
The plan is to use the long skirt to make a knee length dress. I have a cotton fabric that's really close to the same color, so that is going to be sleeves, and neckline and the skirt is going to be sewn onto those.
Theoretically anyway.
At the moment I don't have the right color thread. Everything is pinned and waiting until my baby wakes up.

Heres a question:
Why do people walk into Discount Tire (as I did twice this week) and say: "I need a new tire?"
It's like people walking into Starbucks saying, "uh...I need some coffee?"
They don't do that!
They finally get to the counter and say....
Grande Mocha....blah blah - tino.
So people should walk into Discount Tire straight up to the counter and say:
I need a Yokohama Light Monstro."
"Would you like an airing of your current tires with that?"
"Yes please!"
"That'll be 150.62, napkins are on the island."


If the GAP skirt/dress works I'll put up pictures.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Easter Dress

My grandmother could be counted on to buy me and my sisters an Easter dress every year from a wonderful store in Houston called "Chocolate Soup." But then, I believe, it went out of business and after that, every January (or February or March) my mother would say "You need a new dress for church", and I would say "I want to buy it this year". We would climb into the car (they didn't have minivans yet) and head to Barton Creek Mall. There to climb in the playground at The Children's Place (it had a slide and a tv) and look through the racks at Sears and Foley's. After two hours I would always say: "Mom, what I really want is for you to make me a dress!" So we would head off to Hancock Fabrics and I'd look through the pattern catalogs. "Not Vogue. Their patterns are too hard", she'd say and, "you can make a simple dress look special if the fabric is special."


One year my dress was light blue with white bows on each side of the waist. Another year, It was a flowery violet print with striped piping (that my mother had to make herself). One year it was a black and pink flowery calico and we bought a lace collar (my victorian phase) to go on it. The sleeves on that dress never quite worked out so I didn't wear it. But a few years later we made my sister wear it for a picture session because she didn't have a dress that looked anything like mine or baby Becca's. Sorry about that Corrie.


About halfway throught highschool, every time I'd pick out fabric for a dress (and this happened all the time, not just Easter), Mom would say "don't you already have a dress just like this?" Usually I would.

Well this year Mom, I've followed some of the rules and broken some, and I did already have a dress a lot like this that you made. But, it was two kids and a husband ago so I thought it was o.k. to have a replay.

I picked a simple pattern and a fancy fabric.


This is "dynasty jacquard" (whatever that means). When it was time for the belt I didn't want to make one, and so reverted to the old pick-out-a-nice-ribbon trick.

My philosophy on picking out a ribbon is to ignore colors and look for the prettiest ribbon on the racks. Can you tell?


The pattern was simple but it was a Vogue pattern.


Oh and I had to put in a side zipper. Never done that before!


The finishing touch? I made myself a petticoat.

I've had a "thing" for petticoats my whole life. Every petticoat we ever had in the house with three girls in it - I'm pretty sure they were all mine originally. And most of the tutus. Yeah, I was one of those girls.

But here's the kicker (as we say here in Texas): my toddler had a very high fever Saturday night so we ended up not even going to church on Sunday. I was so dissappointed. We're gonna have redo this Sunday. Everyone who has a suit will wear it. I'll wear my dress and my toddler will wear his dressy clothes. We'll all head to First Baptist Smithfield and pretend it's Easter Sunday. Then we'll go take pictures in the blue bonnets beside the highway somewhere, while hoping not to get run over!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Pesach-Tex

As of this very moment I'm enjoying the delirious activities of my feverish toddler (101.6 down from 102.8). He's throwing blank copier paper all over the floor (we're letting him). Previously, I enjoyed watching him lick a book (The Ugly Duckling). Now he's hopping to and fro on his papers. I can tell his fever is going down because he's up and about. That's nice.

Crazy Quote of the week: (not that I intend to do this weekly...
"James, pull your pants up before you try to walk."


Earlier this evening we had the privilege of joining a family for their first ever (annual?) Passover meal. Also called "Pesach". Never been apart of that before. It was a bit hectic with a 1:1 kid to adult ratio.


"Please I don't want to eat purple cauliflower!"


The cauliflower, incidentally, tasted rather good. Much better than I remember from my childhood. I think I like it overcooked (the hostess said she overcooked it). However it looked like some sort of cancerous growth removed from Barney.
"Don't you want to taste the parsley dipped in saltwater?"

James just shakes his head. Shake, shake shake shake shake shake.

It was hard to get down. I really had to chew it into bits before I could wash it down with water. Felt like I was eating clover.

With Peter in the throes of his fever, and having to mind the matzo ball soup, which I forgot to prepare ahead of time, I sort of missed all the wonderful tie-ins between the Lamb of the Passover, and the Lamb of God.



But here's the thing.

Little children, feverish or not, plenty of them to go around - they are a blessing from the Lord. We'll do better next year, but I think God is pleased to have his little "goy" children learning a tradition from his chosen people. The passover is a symbol of our salvation through Jesus, and that happens to people in the midst of their hectic lives, not when everything is reverent, and quiet, and picturesque. For us tonight, the reverence was in our hearts, if perhaps, not in our ears.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fuzzivore

My son Peter has a special internal homing device. He's always finding fuzz in strange places. Then he rolls it into a little ball, and pops it in his mouth!
Nine times out of ten I can tell he's got something in his mouth, and when I have him spit it out it's fuzz!
Now why he chooses to put fiber fill, carpet fuzz, yarn and random lint in his mouth I have no idea. He doesn't eat legos, but he finds unnameable crumbs and of course being nearly two, pops them in his mouth without further ado!

Viva la fuzz!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hail to the Chief

The local weather service dramatically prepared us for hail last night. It's odd how in our modern age, the measurement of hail is still in the dark ages - or the 1940's.
It's all baseballs and hen eggs and nickels!
I think it'd be more fun if there was a definite geographic/cultural "fingerprint" on the hail.

Here are some offerings for new hail denominations:
In Texas:
We got hail here the size of a shotgun shell!
.....the size of a squirrel skull!
.....the size of endangered frogs!
.....the size of tumbleweeds!
.....the size of cow patties!

In Washington State:
As you can see, the hail is Grande toward the north part of town, in the south you're dealing with Tall.

In California:
This snow sure hurts!

Monday, March 30, 2009


I'm a "just a minute" kind of mom. As in "Stay right there I'm gonna get the camera it'll just take a minute." This can be dicey, and sometimes downright illegal. But, like all moms who don't have professional nannies - living on the edge is a way of life.


Do I take the kiddo inside where he can get into trouble while I come back and get the groceries? Or do I leave him buckled in his seat in the car where he can be stolen along with the car and take the groceries in...

I usually go with leaving him unattended in the house rather than out of it.


Then there's bad judgement based on boredom....He'll be ok while I run and get a book to read. Sadly, I can't even remember what I went to get "for just a minute." I left him throwing toys into the bathtub, which seemed safe enough. Guess not.


Odds in Ends

I've decided that a family should really put some thought into the bumper stickers they put on the back of their minivan. Or more appropriately the number of bumper stickers on the back of their minivan that are exactly the same. Case in point:

We're proud of our Cubscout! and We're proud of our Cubscout!

I shudder to think of the dysfunctional family that needs to proclaim twice:

I'm NOT proud of our juvenile delinquent. and
I'm NOT proud of our juvenile delinquent either!



I think it's wonderful that all the parts on the Lego people are interchangeable.
Need a hammer?
Yeah I left mine in my other legs.