Pre-Weekend

Crazy Quilt

So here’s the crazy quilt I’ve been working on in my spare time. I watched half of Luther last night with the girls and stitched away. This is my new alternative to wasting that time on the Internet while watching movies, because I can’t just sit and watch a movie; I get antsy and twitchy and inevitably end up walking out of the room to find something else to do before the movie is over if I don’t have something else to do.

I’m not exactly sure how big I’m going to let this thing get. It’s already starting to get a bit out of control, but I’m sort of going for a double-size quilt, so I’ve got a long way to go.

Crazy Quilt, Long Shot

And it just sort of occurred to me that after I get the top pieced together I’ve got to do something about a middle layer and a backing. And then a binding. Oh, and the quilting, which I’ve never done before. I really don’t want this project to turn into the Braided Rug of 2003.

You see, I started a braided rug for one of the girl’s rooms back in Colorado. That project spread into 2004 and by the end of 2004 we began making our plans to move, so that project got packed away and never finished. I found it the other day and it is a symbol of pretty much the way I do everything: gung ho start, fizzled finish.

I keep thinking one of these days I will finish it. Maybe I should just call it done now and consider it a small rug instead of the intended room-sized rug it started out to be. Yeah. That might be a good idea.

Anyway, so the quilt. I’ve now got four girls very interested in the progress of this thing, so it’s kind built-in crafting accountability; they are totally ready to curl up under it and watch movies with it, so I need to get it finished while they are still all living in our home with us.

Now that I’ve learned how easy it is for me to engage in both conversation and mental processing while doing a fairly mindless project with my hands (one that requires no pattern to follow, just stick two pieces wrong sides together and sew them up!), I’m planning to take my basket to a class Craig and I are taking at Covenant this weekend ( Music and Theology with Denis Haack). I haven’t had a class since last spring, so I’m looking forward to it, and anything by Denis Haack or Jerram Barrs is high on my list for filling out my remaining 9 hours on my Graduate Certificate.

My parents are coming into town tonight to hang out with the girls and I have a whole list of grunt work jobs opportunities for my dad to do while I’m sewing in educational heaven. We will probably also eat dinner out tomorrow, thereby putting a one-day halt in our consumption of canned diced tomatoes.

Last thing: today I got an email in which I was given a real live writing assignment (i.e. the kind that pays per word). Then we get to go to the class this weekend and I can sew. This has the potential to be a really great weekend. *Grin*

In Which Neither Spaghetti, Nor Pizza, Nor Anything Made with Ground Beef or Canned Diced Tomatoes Sounds Even Remotely Appealing

So we’re smack in the middle of our 30 day “Clean Out the Freezer/Pantry Challenge” because I overspent the grocery budget last month. It’s 5:30 pm and I should have something cooking by now. In reality, I have no idea what I’m making tonight and the options have seriously limited themselves over the past two weeks.

I have no idea how I ended up with some 52,000 cans of diced tomatoes, but let me tell you – they are getting harder and harder to disguise and I still have about 51,000 left. (Okay, really I have about 14 left.) Fourteen cans of diced tomatoes still to go. I’m still scratching my head on that one.

Craft of the Week

Zipper Bags

I’ve been making these little zipper bags lately. I’m totally addicted to them now. They are so cute and so easy and they turned the mess inside my purse into a pretty fun place (for me) to see. I got the idea from The Simple Wife Handmade (she has a bunch of really cute zippy purses for sale right now). I then followed the tutorial guide from here.

I made several for my purse to hold sets of things that usually all fall to the bottom in a heap.

What's in the bag?

I’ve got one for all things financial; my checkbook, wallet, calculator, loose change, ect. Another holds a couple of notepads and my pens. Another is for all the plastic cards I need for various places (Blockbuster, Oberweis, etc.), and another holds all things girly, including, but not limited to lip gloss and errant hairbands.

The final look makes me smile really big. But then again, it doesn’t take much.

An Organized Purse

I had to go to Walmart today and while there, stocked up on zippers (my first two bags were made from some old zippers I had in a box, circa 1977). I have a feeling my scrapbook is now on hold.

One Everything

Super E4

Lately we’ve been listening a lot to Here Come The 123s from They Might Be Giants. From the third song:

“There’s only one everything
Remember these words
There’s only one everything
And if you go out and count up everything
It all adds up to one”

This post is a random assortment of things that all add up to one; that is, one major jumble in my brain (we really like the album, by the way – personal favorites are One Dozen Monkeys and High Five!).

1. So I’ve mentioned we went through a period of fasting over some issues. It seems we’ve come to a few conclusions regarding those and, while I’m not sure I’m exactly EXCITED about the conclusions, I am at peace. And right now, peace is enough.

2. Switching workspaces with Craig last week, I’ve been a lot more crafty this week, but now the bedroom is in serious need of an overhaul because I’ve got little stacks, big stacks, and random piles in between (it’s a disease, you know). But, according to our family scrapbook, I’m done with my history class and Craig is through Greek. We’re also well into our first fall semester, and Millie is about to turn into 2. Good times.

3. I keep working away on my crazy quilt and have really been enjoying doing it by hand. I hauled the basket to a gathering tonight and sewed while talking. I’ve always needed something to attend to while in a social gathering (it used to be small babies, but for the past several years I’ve not had anything to hide behind; now it’s my sewing basket). I process better when I’m working on something and actually participated more in the conversation because I had a physical distraction.

4. I’ve been going through a biblical worldview curriculum with the girls for the past several weeks and have absolutely loved it. It was developed by Summit Ministries in Colorado. I found out about it from some friends of ours on staff with Summit, and bought it last fall when I was working on the worldview stuff for GWP. It wasn’t what I needed for that project, but I was still impressed with what they did and decided to go through it with the girls. It’s totally the worldview education I never got. Good stuff.

5. That’s all.  I’m going to bed now. Night!

2nd Saturday

We’re on our second snow day in a row. The girls made the observation that it is like having three Saturdays in a row, with Saturday being tomorrow (never mind the fact that we did do a full day’s worth of school yesterday and completed all of today’s so that we could really have an extra day off today).

Normally, this is my kind of situation. I love being forced to not leave the house. All activities cancelled and all my family home – love it. But even I am beginning to go a bit stir-crazy.

Stir-crazy for me manifests itself by starting a gazillion things and leaving them mid-completion and moving on to something else. I tend to operate that way anyway, but on a day like today I operate like that times 50: I’ve started laundry, started scrapbooking, started contacting Navigator collegiate ministries to send them the link to my verse pack page, started brainstorming about three different (but all legitimate) ways to get to the conference this July, started cleaning the girls’ room, started weeding through their crazy-out-of-control book stash again, started our Sabbath meal for tomorrow, started, started, started.

Completed nothing.

I think maybe I need to start a movie or something. That, I might complete.

Lunar Eclipse, Half Pint Style

We watched the lunar eclipse with the girls tonight. In case you missed it, here is a visual of the show (it’s very scientific and stuff, so prepare to be amazed).
Here’s Mr. Moon at approximately 8:00 pm:

00pm

Here are my crazy kids, freezing on the driveway at approximately 8:02 pm:

00pm

Here’s everyone taking a hot chocolate break at approximately 8:12 pm:

Hot Chocolate Break, 8:10pm

Here’s everyone taking a halftime crash course in lunar eclipses via Google:

Learning About Lunar Eclipes from Inside

Here’s Maddie trying drawing it all out:

More Visual Rendering

Here’s Mr. Moon at approximately 8:33 pm:

30pm

Here’s they are again, freezing on the driveway (they’re so cold they’re delirious):

Crazy and Cold Kiddos

Here’s Mr. Moon acting like a bowling ball (he is also delirious):

Bowling Moon

Mr. Moon at approximately 8:52 pm:

52pm

Bye-bye, Mr. Moon., 9:00 pm:

00pm Done

We hauled in the sleeping bags and Craig put the girls to bed.

My nose is still freezing.

Seasons

I’m in a season of sewing right now. It’s been a long time since I’ve just completed project after project after project, and it feels really great to be doing that again (both the completing as well as the creating). However, it is very evident why this particular aspect of my life comes in seasons – as with other seasons, I neglect other needed things to complete the task(s) at hand.
This manifests itself in big ways (letting Millie get too much movie time) and insignificant ways (having nothing more noteworthy to write here than that after almost three years of living in the Midwest, I finally, out of sheer curiosity, took the girls to a White Castle today for an after school snack; I will not tell you how much I really liked those goofy, greasy little cheeseburgers because that would make me seem like I don’t really care about whole foods and health and such, but then everyone already knows I have a serious weakness for French fries…but there, I’ve gotten off track again).

I keep intending to do some cleaning but get side-tracked by a purse or a pillow or some verse packs (by the way, Sheri, I should have enough to fill your request by now – I’ll try to remember to package them up tomorrow; also, for the rest of you, I’ve updated the verse packs page with new options – I’m a sewing machine (*groan*)).

I’ve loved the fabrics I’ve been working with so much that I decided to try hand quilting with the scraps. My rationale in the past has always been, why hand sew when machine sewing is so much faster and more sturdy? My rationale now for trying it is that I can sew socially (as in while watching a movie with my family) with hand sewing, while machine sewing is a mostly solitary endeavor. Anyway, I’ve gotten off track again.

And that’s the way it goes around here – I keep getting off-track. I walk into a room and begin putting things away and inevitably pick up something that reminds me of sewing and there I go again. Part of me wants to keep this going because I know that when I stop, it will be for like six months or something, but the other part of me reminds me that I still have to prepare meals for my family and they still need clothes hanging in their closets and, oh yes, we do still homeschool three days each week and I need to oversee that as well.

So all that to say I’m in a season right now – a season of sewing. I’ll write something again sometime, but until then I’ve got some fabric to cut.

Ah, Saturday

K6 Before the Party

We had Katie’s party last night and boy, am I glad it’s Saturday now. Really, though, it was fun and there are only a few things I would have done differently had I known then what I know now. Hindsight 20/20 and all that.

Pre-Party Prep

The main thing I would have done? I would have left waivers at the door for parents to sign giving permission for their kids to consume as much cupcake/ice cream/juice box/pizza as their little tummies could hold. The waiver would remove any responsibility from me for either making decisions regarding how much each child could eat or dealing with the consequences from said over-consumption. Live and learn.

Nail Salon

The next thing I would have done is shortened the time by 1 hour. On the invitations, I said the party was officially from 5-9, but that pizza would be served at 5:30 and a movie would start at 7:30; come when you can and leave when you must. I really thought we’d have several come later as well as several leave early because 9 is pretty late for this crowd. Almost everyone showed up by 5. See that key word by? That means several came a bit early, and everyone stayed until 9.

Gift Table

Also, I sort of “over-invited” thinking that we’d have about 2/3 actually be able to come. Again, I was surprised; out of 10 girls invited, all 10 came. Add these to my 4 and you have a pretty good idea of what I was up against last night. I intentionally planned this party on a night Craig had class so he wouldn’t need to be here for it. This was a good plan and one I will repeat should I someday think about doing this again.
Dinner in Our Jammies

One last lesson learned is that my kids are movie junkies, probably more so than the rest of the general population. They generally don’t have any problems with watching movies they’ve seen before; this was not the case for the majority of the rest of the girls. Everyone began the movie with us when we started it, but 20 minutes later 3 had escaped to the playroom upstairs. Twenty more minutes later, 3 more escaped. By the end of the movie we had more up than down and most of the ones down were in the dining room playing with Katie’s new toys.

This left my own Chloe and Millie left in front of the TV watching the movie. Incidentally, do you have any idea how hard it is to choose one movie you think no parents will have a problem with? I landed on Charlotte’s Web (the current version), which seemed like a brilliant plan (until I had 12 of the 14 girls abandon it at some point during the show).

IMG_4656.JPG

One of my friends from the girls’ school asked if she could stay for the party, and I was glad for that. We needed to supervise a bit (like when 3 girls thought it would be fun to jump from one top bunk to another and I had to put on my “angry eyes” [just kidding]), but the girls sort of self-entertained for a good chunk of the night, so I had a lot of time to chat with my friend, so that was fun.

Presents!

After everyone left, my own girls asked if they could continue on with the sleep-over idea, so they spread their sleeping bags back out, watched some more of a movie until Craig came home from class, and then went to sleep.

Movie Time

Today we’re in recovery mode, and we’re eating a lot of leftover pizza. I’m not preparing a Sabbath meal for tonight because the best way we can enter into a 24-hour rest this weekend is to do so in a clean(er) house than what we’ve currently got going. So that’s that. Birthday season has come to a close and it ended with a bang. Katie loved every bit of it and for that alone I would do it again.

Aftermath