Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Louise!

Where there is a Thelma, there must be a Louise!

Although, how their birthdays managed to be so dang close together, I don't know! Happy Birthday, Sherrie and best wishes for a lovely year!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Somebody's Five Now

Five seems like such a big number for my babies to reach. Tate has hit it today and I have to admit that I actually don't mind him getting bigger. Any of them really. There always seems to be some fabulous new advantage to their growing that replaces whatever bit of babydom that I might feel sad about losing. My little man woke this morning and I asked him if he felt different. What it felt like being five. He said "I feel like a chicken-fried head!"


Five was the only birthday Cal has had a friend party for, so Tate deserved one as well. He was so sweet choosing families that we are friends with and kids from age 2 to 7, mostly girls! Last year I made him a birthday crown and a few days before his friend party he started asking me to make him something. Oops. Hadn't really planned anything this year. I was busy stressing about throwing a party and nothing "handmade specific" was on my radar for him. Still, when your babe ASKS you to make something, you find a way to do it. So I drummed up a wonky "Tate" banner and now have thoughts of one for each of them and a multi-use "happy birthday" one to hang above.

The friend party was a success, as were the word search puzzles that Tate is currently in love with. There were some threats before hand about the party being cancelled, as he was NOT thrilled with the puzzle book HE got and wanted a different one and was acting like a naughty little stinker over it. Luckily his big brother generously offered to switch and the day was saved.

The highlight of the day for me was his awesome cupcakes. I saw this idea on a google image search and Mike figured out it was fondant. But neither of us had any experience with the stuff and the idea of trying to make it for the first time for a party seemed too intimidating. Luckily, I mentioned it to my friend Kelly and she saved the day. Firstly, she knew you could buy fondant already made and colored and, more importantly, she LIKES to cook and bake and try new things and is really good at it. She traced and cut out little patterns for us and she and I made all the pieces the night before and it turned out so cool and was really fun and easy; like playing with edible play dough!

Totally awesome for my little Mario obsessed dude.

Ah, a success!
Little man Tate, Pip, Pippy, Pippa, Pippa Pants, Pippa Dippa, Tatopotumus, Tato, Hot Potato, Honey Bunny, Goofball, Knucklehead. Whatever the name, you are my silly, ridiculously stubborn, creative, smart, unstoppable, funny little man. And my baby boy always.

Enjoy 5 in all its glory.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Somebody's a pretty girl.

And she knows it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Baby Steps, or Something More Like a Slow Crawl

We've been in our house now for, going on, a year and a half. Worked on it for almost a year before that, and, I have to confess that we are nearly as jumbly and disorganized and unfinished as we were when we moved in. That isn't ENTIRELY true. We seem to be taking small steps forward all the time, but sometimes it is so much easier to see all that we are wanting to be done, rather than what has been accomplished. Somehow moving here with three small babes and a mostly non-existent decorating budget has hampered our ability to manage even small tasks. And, on top of it all, there always seems to be a hot water tank or a missing door hinge or a broken window that eats away at the financial end. Yesterday I attempted to rearrange, yet again. my living room to accommodate two sets of furniture (both handed down to us from family) because I don't know which I want to keep in the room, and the potential-down-the-road rec-room in the basement is currently a pipe dream as it's filled from brim to bottom with boxes, and because, frankly, I like the extra seating. The results seem BETTER, although I have no idea what we'll do when we need to put up the Christmas tree, but in the process I seem to have jumbled up two other rooms and now feel potently aware of a great deal of bare wall space. All this rambling to say that, for today, I am choosing to celebrating a small wiggle in our decorating and organizing progress rather than dwell on the disasters that surround me.

Unfortunately, this little wiggle took place in our bathroom, which is truly the tiniest of things, and something was happening with my flash and the pics are not the best. But I shall celebrate anyway. Celebrate the sweetest of vintage embroidery, given to me by my dear sister Michelle:

Celebrate this sweet cabinet with the broken glass in the corner, given to me by Unc and Amy from their own bathroom remodeling and fixed up and hung by my daddy:

Celebrate the little hymnal rack that came from the church pew that is now my bed and is keeping the magazines from piling up on the back of the toilet (*ahem*) and my husband, who hung it and the clock at my request and without complaint:

Celebrating that we HAVE a bathroom and a sweet little house and loving and supportive families. And, somehow, that makes it not matter so much that there's a wall missing in my basement and a zillions chips and scratches in the practically new paint jobs and no proper basket to hold my hats and mittens this winter. It will come, one thrifty little step at a time.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

On Giving Gifts

Oh, thank you everyone for the Thelma love! I really needed a little boost this week and every comment made me smile. Right now, all my babes are sick and the boys both have double ear infections. Antibiotics are working, I think, so we are hopefully on the mend. My sister loved Thelma too, which makes me the happiest. But she wasn't really FROM me, even though I made her, so I whipped up a little something of my own.

I have to confess that my siblings and I don't usually do birthday gifts. It's not because we're stingy or unloving. I think we are often just too practical about the whole thing and, of course, we never want to put pressure (financial or otherwise) on anyone else to feel the need to reciprocate. But I often find myself wanting to give something and with a renewed sense of craftiness in the past couple years, I feel there are so many more options to express my birthday wishes in a frugal way.

Kathy, dear, hope it keeps you warm indoors and out.

It is better to give than receive, but maybe one of these days I'll manage to keep one of these for myself.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Thelma!

Today is my sister Kathleen's birthday. So a few weeks ago, when her dear friend Sherrie asked me to make her a doll for her big day, I was thrilled! Make my sister a doll? Super fun commission. And here she is, accessories and all!

But, there was a hitch to the request. The doll was not to be named Kathy, but Thelma. At some point in their friendship, my brother-in-law dubbed them "Thelma and Louise." Truth be told, the thought of my sister as "Thelma" made me crack up. But, OH, the possibilities! Should she have acid washed jeans? Too much eyeshadow? A pistol?

In the end, the pistol was a must and Thelma was born.

It's hard to see, but the "T" embroidered on her shirt is sort of curly in a Laverne (and Shirley) sort of way. An homage to "doin it her way." And we certainly couldn't do without the big hair and sunglasses!

The Thelma accessories were so much fun to do but, in the end, the sweet Kathy side is my favorite.

Hope you have a lovely day Sis (you know, shooting an episode of "Community") and I have a little something for you from ME if we make it tomorrow... ear infections pending.

Yup, there's always something.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Seasons Change

I am not sure if I have ever in my life felt as pulled in so many directions as I do right now. I feel like tree limbs propelled from my center. Possibly it is because they are mostly GOOD directions, which makes it hard to cut off any of the limbs. If I am not here very much, or checking in with you very much, it is because I am in a season of pruning and reshaping. And there is the coming holiday busyness to attend to as well. The happy hustle and bustle that always seems to be accompanied by a bit of stress. I am hoping, to get back to taking some more pictures, getting some order in my house and attacking some long back-logged projects. Wordless Wednesdays seem to have mostly been lost around here. And sometimes it is so good to be QUIET. I might even indulge in another book or two, because reading is addictive for me and I think I might be on the verge of a winter binge.

Or, it's quite possible that I will be standing at my sink with a backache because ::sniff::sniff:: my dishwasher has gone on strike and there isn't any "dishwasher account" at the moment. Boy, if I felt like I never left the kitchen before......

Well, I do leave. It's just to do the laundry.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Getting ready on Friday night with Unc and Amy. Pumpkin carving followed by "Abbott and Costello meet the Mummy."

Then on to Halloween, Nana and Papa style, complete with Swamp Juice:


Witches fingers:

And some cute, but chilly, Nintendo kids:

And now we're just left with candy.

Weeks and weeks of candy.