Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Winding up Easter

Well we have all survived our Easter weekend in Indiana. We had an uneventful drive up on Friday, for which I was thankful. Erin's family arrived on Saturday and the cousins got down to the business of having fun. Saturday night the moms got down to the business of making like a bunny. Since it was literally freezing cold out, eggs and baskets stayed inside.

Sunday morning Rachel reported hearing the bunny in the living room, so there was much excitement as they passed through the living room into the library and caught sight of eggs all over the place. We got them dressed and then let the egg hunt commence. It was funny, in places where there were several eggs the kids would just grab one and move to another part of the room. Sarah was the exception though. She is no dummy. She cleaned up before she moved on! I like the way that gal thinks!

I tried to go easy on the candy this year, but between as Easter themed birthday party, an egg hunt at pre-school, a trip to a nursing home in Hanover for an egg hunt, goody bags from church and then the loot from the bunny, we are overwhelmed with candy at our house. It's all been consolidated and put up so that the little munchers can't get to it on their own. Otherwise it would be wild times at our house. As it is, I will have to field requests for treats constantly for the next several months.

A few weeks ago I was starting to feel a cold coming on, but it happened to be the day that Emily Martin was going to be on Martha. I really wanted to see the show, and the only way I could guarantee that I'd get to see it (and hear it) is to go to the Y, so that's where we headed after dropping Rachel off at school. I caught the show and was inspired to make some of the dolls that she made with Martha as Easter gifts for the girls and my niece. By the time I got around to it (mid. week last week) I had to act fast, but they came together relatively easily and were somewhat of a hit, although the candy was far more exciting. Directions and the pattern for the doll can be found on Martha's site. The downside of being able to see the show was that I think my workout did me in for the rest of the week and then some. I battled that cold for a while, but am happy that it is gone now.

Also gone is what we woke up to the day after Easter. With no mention of it on the news, sneaky mother nature dropped a few inches of snow Monday morning. Rachel's response was "It snows after Easter?!?". I don't know if it was so surprising to her because it's now officially spring and it shouldn't be snowing any more or if she thought it was some sort of rule that it snows the day after Easter, and will be awaiting it next year as well.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sarah's lucky day

We had a busy afternoon yesterday. I whipped up a batch of sugar cookie dough in the morning, we cut them out and baked them after lunch and then a neighbor friend came over to decorate the cookies with the girls. Sarah wore one of her uniforms ....underwear. She does not like to be restricted by clothing and often opts to shed the days outfit in favor of just the basics. Thankfully, since we were having company, she donned an apron as well. There was an abundance of sprinkle consumption while the cookies were being decorated and a total abandon for hygiene, as fingers got sticky and were licked clean, then proceeded to decorate more cookies. (Feel free to decline if we offer you a cookie)

That's not what made Sarah's day so lucky though. While I was getting dinner ready Sarah had come into the kitchen to ask me if I thought there were any snails out. I think we had looked for some the other day and not found any. She must have been missing her buddies. Since it had rained all morning, I figured that there probably were some out and about in our yard, so after dinner we headed out to have a look. We checked their favorite hangout first and thought we'd hit the jackpot - they were everywhere. Sarah was eagerly collecting them in her hands until there were just too many and a bucket was needed to hold them all. Throughout the evening Rachel exclaimed, "Sarah, it's your lucky day!" and "You've hit the jackpot!". (She's all about hitting the jackpot these days.) Her excitement for Sarah was really sweet.

My favorite part of the evening was the terrified scream that Sarah let out while we were in the midst of hunting and gathering snails. I ran to see what was the matter, imagining snails climbing up her arms and onto her head or perhaps her getting bitten by the dreaded Siamese Biting Snails, but in her shaken little voice she told me that she'd just seen an ant. The horror.

In the end, we were left with a bucket of snails. Sarah knew just where she wanted to put them too, on the porch. Actually, she wants to bring them in the house, but like I said before, I draw the line at the door. I really dreaded this many snails being left on our screened in porch and could just imagine a lot of crunching under foot as Jim left for work in the morning, so alas, they were banished to the front step, much to Sarah's sadness. It was funny to see the bucket later in the evening, with all the little guys high tailing it up and out. They were all dispersed by this morning. On to greener pastures.

Monday, March 17, 2008

In preparation for Easter

It seems like we are moving from one holiday to another at lightening speed these days. Both the girls' birthdays are now behind us and before we've fully recovered from that, Easter is on our heels. Aside from printing out some leprechaun coloring pages, we pretty much had to forgo St. Patrick's Day today. Just not enough time to prepare for everything! Yesterday evening we sat down to do some eggs Martha Stewart style. My aunt has done these for a few years now, and was kind enough at Christmas to make up a kit for us - she sent everything but the eggs. A good thing indeed! I blew out most of these using the Blas-Fix egg blower that she sent, but didn't really have a plan for all the yolk and whites, so I did hard boil a few as well. Of course, the hard boiled ones are the prettiest ones and I will be sad to crack them open.

The girls really enjoyed doing this. I was a bit hesitant about them handling the empty eggs, so they chose the silks to wrap the eggs in and I did the wrapping. This is really as easy as wrapping pieces of silk around the eggs, wrapping a piece of cotton tightly around that, securing with a twist tie and boiling in a pot of water and vinegar. The results are so much fun! The big unveiling was a big hit with all of us. Now if I can just keep them from getting broken!

It's beginning to look like spring outside as well as in around here. No wonder I can hardly breathe and my throat feels like it's swelling shut. Ahhh.. spring is in the air!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Apron Love

I am lovin' this apron pattern. I first saw it on angry chicken, when it was posted for the Tie One On-polka dotted aprons theme. You can view the whole set on flickr, and you can see and buy this particular pattern ("Emmeline") over at Montessori by Hand. The pattern and instructions are really easy to follow. Some people seem to think that I actually really know how to sew, but my only confidence is in sewing straight lines (which in reality, are probably not all that straight either). I did a few things for the first time with this apron. For one, it requires darts. I almost felt like it would be a deal breaker for me, but who knew they could be so easy! I also made my first batch of bias tape on the bias. Easy again, who knew! This apron came together really quickly and easily. Dare I say I didn't even have to rip anything out? And the funnest thing about this pattern? It's reversible! So two aprons in one! I chose a matchy matchy floral/paisley for one side and polka dots for the other. Now that I look at the polka dot pattern on me, I'm thinking it may not be the most flattering way to go, but alas. This one is actually a birthday present for my sister (ssshhh...don't tell her), so I'll let her stress over the polka dot side. I'm itching to make another and already have the fabric bought, but not washed. I'm excited about the fabric for the next one, which will also be a gift, but I'm not saying for who. Can you guess who you are by the fabric? You'll have a while to guess, as I'm thinking about stashing it away for Christmas. I swore I'd start early this year, so March sounds like a good starting point!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


One of my belated birthday gifts was delivered this weekend when my parents came down to celebrate Sarah's birthday with us. I made this little embroidered piece for them, based on a drawing that Rachel had done. I love the drawing so much, with the big fluffy clouds, lots of grass and the smiley girl. She can draw such great things, as long as I haven't requested anything from her. If I ask for a drawing, I get three pink scribbly circles and am told they are "pink balls" or a few squiggly lines that are "tadpoles". She's crafty, that gal! Anyhow, I was inspired to do this after seeing what Amanda at Soule Mama had done with some of her kid's drawings. I love this way of preserving the girls' artwork. I have plans to make lots more, just need to put the plans into action. I've already started a pile of drawings to work from though.

I'm trying to learn some different things as I go, so this was the first time that I've made my own binding. For this, it was pretty straight forward. I didn't worry about cutting it on the bias, which at the time seemed terribly scary, but is something I've now done for another project and is not nearly as scary as it seems. I followed Alicia Paulson's binding tutorial and only made one really stupid mistake that I hopefully won't make again.

It is amazing to me how much information is out there on the web. I am overwhelmed with how much there is to learn and to be inspired by. How lucky we are that we can benefit from all the sharing that goes on out in this virtual world!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ballerinas abound

Sarah has a modeling gig. It's not a typical gig, but she is the model, nonetheless. A friend of my parents is a painter and did this painting. She first painted Sarah about a month ago, when she saw an email of the girls after they'd dressed themselves. (It's the first picture I posted on this blog.) After she painted that, she asked for more pictures to use and I've been sending her some. I almost didn't send her this one, seeing as how it was just a back view, but I thought the picture expressed so much about Sarah that I went ahead and sent it. Ironically, it's the first one she chose to paint. She is thinking of doing a series, as I'd taken a slew of pictures of the girls outside in their tutus last winter on a warm day. I just love this painting, as I can feel Sarah in it, how she often just takes off by herself, content to be alone, doing her own thing. This painting is up for auction on ebay, so check it out, along with all Kathie's other beautiful paintings. I made the girls' tutus using an a tutorial I found online. This wasn't the one, but it looks like the same deal. No sewing, just tying some knots. Easy peasy.

Since Rachel seems to be getting the short end of the stick as far as her picture showing up here, I thought I'd share one of her in her tutu from last Halloween. Here she is as Angelina Ballerina.

I was hoping that I'd have pictures of an apron that I'm almost done with to share soon, but seeing as how I seem to have misplaced the instructions, I'm at a standstill. This is most disappointing, as I'd intended to finish it up tonight. I'm off to dig through a weeks worth of paper recycling now to see if it might have landed in there. Good times all around!

Monday, March 3, 2008


My little birthday girl
Originally uploaded by cebbtn

My baby is three today. I almost said my tiny baby, but the reality is, she has never been a tiny baby. Always a big girl, from day one - all nine pounds of her. She has been so excited about her upcoming birthday, asking every day if today is the day. She is all ready to join the "big girl" club. I'm not sure I'm ready, but I am certain of one thing and that is , whether I'm ready or not, she's off and running. Jim and I both greeted her this morning with "Happy Birthday" in bed and she just relished in it. We did too. It seems harder to believe that she is three than it did when Rachel turned three - maybe because we still had a baby in the house then. Happy Birthday sweet girl!