Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So happy together....

I can't see me...
...lovin' nobody but you...
...for all my life...
...when you're with me..., the skies will be blue...

...for all my life... and you...
...and you and me. No matter how they toss the dice, it had to be. The only one for me is you and you for me. So happy together!
**Lyrics credited to a Nylons song.


Future nerd!


Sorry kids but it's time to learn now.
It wouldn't be a family vacation with some forced learning, right? You all know how I love an educational vacation!! While we were at Lake Erie this weekend, we visited the glacial grooves on Kelley's Island. They were interesting to look at (for about 5 minutes) and were right across the road from the public beach where we hung out.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wild thing....I think I love you...

A herd
I think this was a moose** that I was petting but I'm not sure.
Come over and eat my food, please. I am waiting ever-so-patiently.


A rare white zebra

Wow. You're HUGE.

Nice rack, Mr Moose**

What pretty eyes you have, Mr. Moose**

Nice horns, Mr. Texas Longhorn

Wow, the horns really are impressive up close.

Ok, so not all of the animals were wild but when you watch a gigantic Longhorn or buffalo poke his head in your car, it's a little intimidating. I may or may not have thrown a carrot out the window in a temporary moment of freak out. You can't prove anything (unless you ask Myles about it because it may have been his carrot that I yanked from his unwilling hand. He's still a little bitter about the situation.).

**Since completing this post a couple days ago, I was informed by our resident wildlife expert, Connie, that these are actually ELK and not MOOSE. She even used these 2 websites as a brief explanation of the differences. Click on MOOSE and ELK. Yes, she really did supply these websites as tutorials.

I am still semi-confident I got the Texas Longhorn and buffalo correct. I'm also fairly certain that I am a human and not an orangutan but the jury is still out on that one.

This trip was sponsored by Ella

The winner and her prize
Hey! You got any food down there?

Yup. We've got a little.
I could use a little dessert
Ella (and Luke) participated in a summer reading program at a local library (Grammie's). Ella was lucky enough to win one of the end of the year prizes because she completed the weekly reading goal and attended the weekly entertainment. Her prize was a VIP free carload pass for the African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton. With the pass, you could go thru the safari all day with up to 6 people, food to feed to the animals, and camel and pony rides for the kids.
It was a blast! The kids loved it!
I'll post more with the other animals separately but I thought the giraffe deserved a little extra attention. He was so cute!

The roof...the roof...the roof is on fire

We've been going to Grammie's library's story hour this summer. Every Wednesday, they have different people go to the library to entertain the kids. This past Wednesdays entertainer was the local fire department. They let the kids try on all their gear, get in the truck, then get doused with the hose. So fun!

It was a big first step for the little guy.
All the kids enjoyed it

Myles was thinking about safety first

Those are some big boots to fill.
They kinda look like a functional Ugg on Ella.
Can I get this in a small?
You just got hosed.

We're back!

We went away for a few days and just got back a few hours ago. I'll try to start posting some pix tonight. We had so much fun!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I love these 2 pictures of Ella and Myles...

...but could not think of any funny captions worthy of them. I must be losing my mojo. I guess this post is a DIY so think up your own caption.

Quilt Post 2

Grab a cutting mat (the grey thing with lines on it), ruler (the clear thing with yellow lines and the brand name Omnigrid on it), your rotary cutter (the blue thing), and your fabric.

I tend to use the selvage edge as a guideline to square up my fabric. So take your ruler and cut a straight line using that area as your guide. Make sure you hold the ruler firmly (super firm because you do not want the fabric to move while you're cutting) with your non-dominant hand. I tried to get a pic of this but one of my hands had to hold my camera and press the button. You'll just have to imagine my left hand is securing the ruler. After you've removed the selvage edge, turn the fabric so the side that you just cut is directly in front of you.

For the quilt that I'm working on, I want strips the length of the fabric that are 1.5 inches wide. Using the straight edge you just made as a guide, take your rotary cutter and cut a strip. Enlarge photo by clicking on it if you need to. If you enlarge it, you will also be able to see an Elmo sticker that placed there by a 1 year old Ella that I have cut and recut many times.

When I took a quilting class around a year or more ago, the instructor told me that I cut my material in a weird way. I have no idea what makes it weird (maybe my friend, Kortney, could tell me what it is) or what the correct alternative should be, etc. She just said it was unique and had everyone take a look at my weirdness (just one of the reasons that I did not enjoy her as an instructor). With cutting material in a repetitive pattern like this (where you're just cutting 1.5 inch strip after 1.5 inch strip), you can stack the material like an accordian. I am very uptight about cutting my material and do not use this method. Seems like everytime I've tried to use this method, my measurements are off and I have to redo things way too much.
I'll need a ton more of those strips for my pattern. We will pin together/sew some of these 1.5 inch strips next time.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wait, Wait, Wait! We have a last minute nomination for Mother of the Year

That's right. It's me. I make my son hug large statues which makes me great.

No, wait. That's NOT what makes me an awesome MOTY (Mother of the Year for those of you who could not figure out the acronym) candidate. Here's a little story.

So I decided last week during the 95 degree heat to let Ella invite a friend over (long time blog readers may remember Reagan) to hang out. I had big aspirations for MOTY. Big. Huge.

We went to Olentangy Caverns and things were so lovely. As a side note, kids under 7 are free so I only had to pay for myself which was $8 with my online 20% off coupon. The kids ran around for about 15 minutes before the tour started and had a great time once we were down below. They were so well behaved (Clearly I am an awesome Mom for having beaten them into submission for so many years. Disclaimer: Please do not turn me in to Children's Services. I jest about the was really the locking them in the closet without food or water that sealed the deal). A local news station reporter was at the Caverns and the reporter wanted to interview Luke about how much he loved the caverns. He declined her offer.

After the caverns, we drove to the Orange Township Pool. We had never been there before but I had many friends tell me that it was great and that I should take the kids there. We had to park pretty far away because it was super hot and there were tons of people there. The kids had their bathing suits on under their regular clothes and they helped carry their towels as we walked to the pool. We got up to the counter and I told the guy I had a 4 year old, a 5 year old, a 6 year old, and an adult. He asked if we were Orange Township residents. I told him no (cause my Mama taught me never to lie--clearly a MOTY candidate in her day).
Him: Ok, that will be $48.
Me: Uh, come again?
Him: $48 dollars
Me: Wow, I don't have that much on me. I only have $40. Let me run to the car and come back.
The kids ever so politely followed me back to the car carefully holding their towels so they didn't drag in the parking lot. I scrounged around in the car and found $4 to bring my total to $44 which was still not enough so I grabbed my debit card, too. We walked back to the entrance.

Me: Well, I couldn't find enough cash in my car so here's my debit card.
Him: We don't take that. Cash or check.
Me: You'll take my check but not a debit card?? Sorry kids. I guess we can't go to the pool today.
We walk away.
Kids looking longingly at the pool: It looked like a nice pool. Did you see all those slides?
Me: Yes, kids. Just keep walking and stop drooling.
Ella walking along some pine trees and pushing the branches out of her way: Hey, I just got stung.
Me not stopping as I'm walking along: What? You did not get stung, sweetie. If you got stung you would be crying and it would hurt a ton. I bet you just got poked by the pine needles.
Ella: ok
Back in the car driving down the road......
Me: I am so sorry about the pool, you guys. I'm not sure where an ATM is around here to get more cash so let's just go and find another pool to swim in.
Them: Ok
Ella: Hey Mom, look at my finger.
(At this point, she raises her finger which is now 2 times the normal size of a finger.)
Me: What happened to your finger?
Ella: I told you already. I got stung. See?
Insert shock and panic here. Aron is allergic to bees and had to take bee venom shots for about 10 years to build up a resistance to (hopefully) avoid another anaphylaxis episode like the one he had when he was 10.

I immediately jerk the car off the road and put my hazards on.

Ella (holding up her finger): I didn't get stung in the lungs, Mom. I got stung in the finger. See?
Ella: Stop yelling at me. Watch.
Me: Ok, you're fine. Next time, make sure I know that you were stung and I don't just blow you off again, ok? (Way to blame the victim, right?)
Ella: Ok.
Me: Here, hold this 1/2 empty Taco Bell cup on your finger. It has ice in it and will help the swelling. Now if you could just lean forward a bit, sweetie, Mommy needs a little swig of diet coke. Thanks, Hon. Try not to melt all the ice with your hot, swollen finger. 'k thanks.

Aaaaaaaand, let the MOTY acceptance speech writing begin.
P.S. Orange Township Aquatic Center: Thanks for sucking the fun out of a day at the pool. You can take your $5 admission for "residents of Orange Township only" policy and shove it where the pool don't shine.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Let's get it started in here

Thanks for voting everyone. I know this isn't everyone's cup of tea. For those of you who are into it, enjoy and settle in for a long ride (it'll take me quite a while). For those of you who aren't into it, just fast forward through these posts and get to the cute kid pix.

For background, I usually find a pattern of what I would like to make in a quilting magazine. They provide complete directions for the type of quilt you are making. That being said I don't think I've ever completely followed the directions that they give. I'm always tweaking something here or there (or for that matter, EVERYWHERE) as I go along. The only time I've ever truly followed a pattern in anything I've ever sewed is when my 4H instructors made me and the one time I took a quilting class. I do, however, use them as a general guideline for what I'm doing.

The pattern I chose comes from Quilt Magazine Fall 2005 edition by quilt designer Gyleen Fitzgerald. It's called Sunshine and Shadows according to the magazine but when I Googled this quilt name it came up with a completely different looking pattern. I guess I'm just going by Gyleen's Sunshine and Shadows.

Page 1
Page 2

Page 3. Above is a picture of a smaller version of what my finished product will be.

My selection of fabrics both from a distance...
...and up close
For the fabric, I went to a super huge fabric store in Shiloh Ohio which is west of Ohio's Amish country. Their website says they're in Amish country. I would call this an extreme stretch but enjoy their store nonetheless. I mean, they have over 7000 bolts of fabric.
7000 bolts, people!
Fabric selection can be hard. Getting just the right color combination takes some time and effort. You have to be willing to walk around the store for an hour looking at fabrics or remove or add a fabric after you get it home. I've read that you should always use 100% cotton although I have seen patterns that use silk. It probably depends on the amount of laundering the item will get because some fabric types will stretch or warp in strange places when they're not cotton. Stop me if I'm getting anything wrong, Kortney.
I'll also try to keep you updated on how much this project costs. I'll not factor in costs such as my sewing machine, pins, needles, scissors, etc because these are standard basics that I did not specifically buy for this project nor will I count the cost of washing/drying material (To me, this cost is negligible but if you really want to know the combined total is 29 cents. Although, if you want to be more specific, I threw the material in with a regular load of my laundry so you'd have to divide this up between the fabric, 9 shirts, 3 pairs of pants, assorted socks, and underwear).
So here we go. My fabric is washed and pressed (essential steps before you start to cut) and I have my general instructions along with a brand new needle in my sewing machine. You should always start with a new needle before a big project like this. I'm going to assume that my reader has basic sewing skills because otherwise, there is simply too much to explain.
Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Has anyone else seen this video? I nearly cried I was laughing so hard.

What happened to this kid?!

Try not to count the many ribs you see. I promise that I feed him.

Dear Thief

While we were having fun at a family wedding and happily snapping these photos, you were busy breaking into Aunt Annie's apartment and stealing her stuff. These things I wish for you:
May you get stuck in a heinous rain storm as you walk to the pawn shop.
May the money you get from pawning her stuff fall out of your pocket as you skip home.
May the trees you jumped into as you leaped off their terrace be full of poison ivy that leaves you with an itchy rash you can't get rid of.
May every piece of wedding cake you eat from now on taste like sand.
In short, you stink.