Friday, July 24, 2009

Seven Quick Takes


Check in with Jen for more Quick Takes.




I realized the other day that I need to start sewing tags into the boys' mama-sewn clothes. Ender has no clue where the front side is on those clothes because I've always told him to put the tag in back! The other reason is that I often make them matching pants or pajamas or whatever and they are close enough in size that  I need a surefire way to know if I'm holding the 2T or 3T. Anyone have suggestions for tags? Maybe twill tags? Ribbon? Something that will wash well and help me out when I'm folding laundry.




 I have a new fully functional dishwasher! It came yesterday and it has already been on a test run. I love that it actually cleans the dishes. Now to teach Ezra to resist the urge to stand on the door when it's open . . .




Ezra made a curious little Montessori connection yesterday. Ender and I had been playing Uno when the dishwasher guys showed up so we paused our game while I talked with them and showed them to the kitchen. When I came back to the table, Ezra had taken our cards and lined them up- red with red, blue with blue, etc., just like the color box work. He was so proud of himself and to be honest I was surprised that he thought to organize them that way.




As a testament to my giant geekitude I am going to confess that I spent an hour or two the other day creating an excel file to track my current crafting projects and projects I've planned for the future. I included notes on whether or not fabric has already been purchased, new skills I need for the project, how long I think it will take me . . . I'm kind of nuts. And the whole point of it is that writing it down organizes it in my head so I can go against the written plan.




Ender asked if I might be able to sew some clothes for his teddy bear. Apparently Bear-Bear is tired of going naked, so I've spent an unreasonable amount of time trying to figure out how to do that. I've only been sewing clothing for about 6 months so I'm still only beginning to figure this out. Maybe a doll pattern would save my brain from all the horrible math? 




I caught a link on yahoo yesterday to 100 things that our kids either won't know about or will think are completely antiquated by the time they're old enough to care.  They include things like card catalogues at libraries, VHS tapes, looking things up in actual dictionaries, encyclopedias and phone books, etc. Some of these sound "old" to me already, so I'm pretty sure my kids will never have heard of things like rotary phones and answering machines.




 I have read this post to begin my morning every day this week. I know it's an older post, but it's fresh and timely for me. It also led me here, another daily stop this week.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

July Goal Check-In

1. Plant a garden this year and hopefully end up with edible produce. We've had strawberries and loose leaf lettuce and spinach out of the garden. A crazy squirrel has made off with most of the tomatoes (Brian compares my relationship with this squirrel as "caddyshack-ian") but I'm still hopeful we'll have a few! We had the first of the peppers last week. Mmmm. :) 

2. Eat at-home prepared meals only for a week. We've been so close to this almost every week this summer, but either Brian or I end up having a mid-week "let's order pizza or chinese" thing, and that ruins the streak. The big deal though is that I've been spending a lot of time in my kitchen and we're mostly eating homemade- definitely a big step in the right direction.

3. Read 20 fiction books this year. I've finished 7 books and I'm in the middle of book 9- Kushiel's Scion. I've decided that the answer to my obsession with books the thickness of bricks is to read 2 at the same time, or one big book along with a few middle readers or YA books, so I just started Farmer Boy as well.

4. Start Bible memory with Ender and build it into a habit. I need to be more consistent with this. It's really all on me- he has an amazing memory and I'm the one that forgets to pull out the box each morning. The box now has a home on the kitchen counter. I'm the queen of Out of Sight, Out of Mind.

5. Keep my nightstand area completely clear for 30 days except for vitamins, Bible and 1 current book. This hasn’t happened yet, but it has definitely been closer! The night stand currently has 5 books (all that I'm reading- 2 fiction, one non-fic, my prayer journal and Bible), the baby monitor, kleenex, the camera and water . . . and about 80 pens and pencils. Weird how stuff like that migrates to my side of the bed.

6. Keep/Toss/Donate 15 items each day for 30 days. Finished in January/February!

7. Move systematically through the house to declutter and re-organize. I've been doing pretty good at maintaining lately, and I finished with the kitchen earlier in the month. I'm trying to get things done in the laundry room now- the room that hold our washer and dryer, 2 laundry baskets, the vacuum, the pantry and all the assorted stuff that doesn't really have a home. It looks terrible.

8. Drink water. Make juice an occasional thing and soda a rare thing. After 3 weeks without any soda at all in June I had my first yummy taste of Dr. Pepper one day at lunch and then couldn't get to sleep that night until 1:30 A.M. I didn' t think too much of it until I had soda again a few days later and had the same problem. Without soda? I'm in bed between 10-10:30 and asleep without a problem. Since Ezra has been getting up at 5:30 for the last month or so the extra sleep has proved useful! So no soda for me. I've been drinking cranberry or grapefruit juice in the mornings and water the rest of the time.

9. Move to using as many fresh ingredients as possible in our cooking. Whenever Brian and I have decided to make diet changes the answer for our family has always been to make sure we don't purchase the things that we're cutting from our diets and to make very available the things that we want to have more of. We've been eating almost obscene amounts of fresh fruit and veggies this summer and I have purposely not bought anything pre-packaged. I have had to stay well organized with my meal planning for this to work, but it has been so worth the extra effort and extra time in the kitchen. Ender really likes to cook with me and I will never tire of the boys asking for more grapes or apples or broccoli.

10. Re-evaluate my goals every 3 months. I haven't checked in on this since late March, but I think we're keeping up okay. There is still work to be done here!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


This summer I'm only teaching 3 afternoons a week, so on the other days I've been able to enjoy a quiet nap time with Ender while Ezra sleeps. We usually spend the first hour or so on Montessori work and we read together.

The second hour is project time. I sew or knit usually (or do a little housework if I'm behind!) and Ender works on whatever he'd like. It has been art projects for awhile now, but he took a turn in the last few days. He spent an entire afternoon hard at work on this project, even after Ezra woke up.



Ender asked to use several things together to build his city. His materials included jenga blocks, unit blocks, and the geometric solids. A few animals were introduced toward the end. He built and rebuilt each section until it was "right" (his word) and he tried several options before deciding which way he liked it best.



 And, of course, he had to capture his work with his camera for Daddy to see, just in case the city wasn't around by the time Daddy came home. Daddy was able to be home a bit early that day and Mama was successful in keeping Ezra from behaving like a wrecking ball until Daddy got there.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Apron-y Goodness

Here are the two aprons I made last week. Apologies in advance for dark picture quality. The light was not so good and the flash made everything all wonky like it always does. So no- our living room walls are not painted "halloween glow orange".

This first one is made from a vintage sheet I found a few weeks back. It's a pretty simple apron with just the one box pleat in the front. I like the little blue flowers- something to make me happy while I'm doing housework.

The second one is made from a "pepper" remnant that I found at Joann's for 50 cents and a few scraps I had left from other projects. Ender especially loves the pepper apron, probably because he helped to work the pedal on the machine. I set it to the slowest speed and he helped me finish off the edges.

We should all thank Superman for the photography because he had a certain look of "more apron pictures???" on his face. Bless the man for not saying a single word.
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