Sunday, February 27, 2011


On Monday, my neighbor taught him to play.

On Tuesday, we got the game at Wal-mart and played for 90 minutes after supper. We packed up our money and wrote down what space we were on to continue playing (leaving the board out with Kate in the house is out of the question).

On Wednesday, we continued. Craig was raking in the money and property and I was getting tired of it so I sold my property to Sam for $50.

On Thursday, Craig and Sam finished that game, with Craig letting Sam win.

On Friday, I played with Sam, and we tried out the "speed version," with the new dice. It made it more interesting and fun (to me). At bedtime, I suggested we count our money and the person with the most would win . . . after I hid $500 under my leg so Sam would win.

On Saturday, I played another game with Sam. Despite mentioning to Craig that one of us could win the next game (no funny business), Sam creamed me. The "speed dice" actually dragged the game out a little; if you roll Mr. Monopoly, you move your counted spaces and then move to the next property owned by the other player. This meant Sam would pass "go," collect $200, then have to move to Pacific Ave. and pay me $52. Finally I gave him Pacific for one of the rents I owed him and the game wound down from there.

I think it's Craig's turn to play.

update, 7:25 PM: Sam wanted to play with Craig. Kate wanted to play Monopoly Jr. with Craig. I agreed to start the game with Sam and Craig would swap out when he was finished with Jr. We were pretty evenly matched, although at the beginning I made some poor choices trying to set up Craig to not cream Sam, but then I kept playing and Craig made the kids supper.

The point is: I didn't exactly let him win. I rolled quickly before he could move to my 2-house yellow property (there was a mix up of which piece he moved and how far to move) and landed on 4-house Boardwalk. It was all down hill from there.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

'Round Here

It's school vacation week. I found out last year that I can't go into these things without a plan or I go crazy. This year my friend mentioned a week-long class at the Y for Sam. It's been great; he's gotten exercise and it fills up the morning AND today I got to run around the track almost 4 times (with Kate and her little buddy Abby).

I haven't written anything for awhile, not because of a lack of things to write about or absence of projects going on around here . . . I had a bunch of posts set up to post and then just kind of ran out of steam.

So I thought I'd do a way-back Wednesday post but couldn't think of a good story.

It's that time of year when Craig works late most nights so "kids' choice" is a common occurrence. Sam seems to have crested some kind of hill and eats what is served most nights sans complaints.

I mean the nights where I make real food and not do the short-order cook routine.

Kate is in a particularly ornery stage and rejects almost everything I offer to eat and disagrees with pretty much everything I say. When she's asleep, I go in her room and stroke her hair and pray for her.

I do the same for Sam but it's harder to get close to him without waking him up.

My nails are breaking very easily and are very short right now and still break. I think it's from my carpal tunnel syndrome brace things; I think they're reducing the circulation to my fingers.

I should eat some jello.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Beauty and the Beast

A few weeks ago I took S & K to see Tangled. Kate loved it.

loved, loved, loved it.

I wasn't quite ready for how much she loved it.

I mean, obviously she was the model for Rapunzel's hair.

This is actually the before picture from when we took her for her first haircut.

But I digress. What was I talking about?

Oh, after Tangled, I realized she had never seen any of the Disney Princess movies. There's a few reasons for this: Since Sam is the older child, we were more about Thomas and Lightning McQueen by the time Kate came along. I mentioned my issues with the whole princess thing, and also, in every one of those movies, there's something scary (Ursula, anyone? or "Kill the Beast"? ).

My point is, without actively trying, we had avoided watching the movies that are typically a big part of little girls' vocabularies.

So I got Beauty and the Beast (on videotape!) from the library. Kate refused to watch it.

Her older friend came over and I suggested watching it and the friend was super-enthusiastic so they did. Almost all of it; we stopped it before the Beast's transformation so Kate has no idea what really happened.

I was kind of excited to watch it with her, snuggle up, and sing along with these songs that are embedded in my head. But once Belle's first song started ("there goes the baker with his tray like always"), I had a major flashback to Bob Jones University.

Feelings of dread, anxiety, unhappiness . . . PTSD. OK, I get it. Not PTSD to the level of war vets, but the symptoms* are there.

*distressing memories, dreams, guilt

It took me back to my freshman year and watching the movie in the FMA (edited, of course [seriously. There was a part or two that they silenced so we would not be corrupted by whatever ghastly ungodly word snuck into a G movie. from 1991.]). Plus we listened to the soundtrack all the time because there was very little listenable music that checked (but of course not the last song on the soundtrack, where some celebrity du jour sang the title song).

It was weird; usually I can tell when an unpleasant reminder is coming (like my mom's continuing ardent love for the place) but this caught me off guard.

(singing) "look, there she goes that girl is strange but special . . . " I imagined I was Belle. The Bob Jones community were the townspeople singing about me. But no. Not special. Just another rule-breaker to them.

"Barely even friends, then somebody bends unexpectedly" I thought any minute I was going to meet my true love . . . I went through a lot of boys looking for approval and it was such a waste . . .

Maybe Kate will see the end of the movie. Maybe she won't sit that long for awhile yet. But in a larger sense I hope she learns it's just a movie, a fairytale, a story.

Happily Ever After is for heaven.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ribbon Mobile

I've had this project in mind for a good two years. A friend made one for her daughter's nursery and while Kate was already 2, I thought it would still look good in her room, but hung high to be out of her reach.

It's been in my head since then and sometimes I'd pick up supplies (like ribbon for a dollar). Then I was poking around on the Pottery Barn websites (because sometimes there's good stuff on sale) and saw this (again) on PB Teen:

The Be Ribboned Mobile.

Seeing that, and the fact that she's now 4, I got motivated enough to make mine.

First I got out the (super-cheap) embroidery hoop I'd picked up at A. C. Moore for this project and painted it white.

{imagine picture of spray painting process here}

Then I tied on some ribbon to hang it. There was nothing mathematical about how I did that, although I sort of wish I had done 4 or tried harder to space them evenly so it would hang levelly without much effort (had to play with it once I hung it and used glue dots on the hook to keep it where I wanted it).

I know what you're thinking: what is going on in the background?

They're painting. With their faces painted like Pokemon. Pikachu and Pidgeotto, to be exact.

That activity lasted almost as long as my project.

(from the ribbon collection)

I draped them over the inner part of the hoop, sort of trying to space them out. (I know. It looks like I do this stuff in the middle of the night or something. It's the basement and I have decided to refer to it as the "craft cave" and take pictures regardless of how dark they are).

Right at the end, I figured out that I could use glue dots to hold the ribbon in place to they didn't slide around. Most of the ribbon was double over but some I just used one length and the glue dot held it in place.

Then I added the outer hoop and asked my husband for a hook. I did have to do some trimming and straightening. Mine are longer and not as evenly trimmed at the PB one, but I'm happy with it.

Here it is in context:

Can I just say how happy I am with how this picture turned out? I was playing with settings on the camera and had opened the curtain on her skylight to try to get natural light in. It didn't look this good on the preview.

Oh, but wait. That clock and fan don't really go. They are from real life and real life doesn't have to do with staging, does it? Let's try that again:

Clock (that doesn't work) and bear from a shelf; little jewelry box from my grandma that she's not allowed to touch.

Much better.

Her Nana has made her a quilt to cover the bed; it's done (and amazing) but we haven't gotten it yet (that's her baby quilt on the bed there). On the quilt rack is her blanket from her Aunty Reb, and yes, that's the pillow I made the other week.

I'll take another one when we get the quilt and I hang the picture I have to hang over her bed (there was more spray painting invovled).

Stay tuned.

Linking to the Craft Catwalk at Embellishing Life.

Also featured on One Pretty Thing.

Friday, February 11, 2011


My sister, who got me hooked on alchemy this past summer, recently mentioned stumble. I'd read a few posts where ohamanda posted her stumble finds but hadn't checked into it. Takes a sister's recommendation to sell me on something, I guess.

It (like alchemy) is highly addictive. And fun. And . . . well, yes. A big time-waster. I say to myself, "two more stumble clicks and then I have to stop," but I "like" 3 out of every 4 sites I stumble upon.

Maybe I should be pickier.

Some favorites from this past week:

1. Cookies 'n Cream Oreo Fudge Brownies - I would have unglued my butt from the sofa to make these last night if I'd had ice cream in the house.

2. Bembo's Zoo - I'm saving this to show Kate on a day when she's jumping out of her skin. I think it'll make her laugh.

3. 100 Essential Reads - There are several on here that I've read . . . yay. The "to read" list is long enough.

4. Cake Batter Pancakes - So wrong and yet so right . . .

5. Easter Eggs - totally would have done with pink for Valentine's Day except we don't have any balloons.

I know, a house with no ice cream or balloons? What's wrong with us?

And the best thing Stumble has given me is Cluck. Cluck. Sew. I already have 2 disappearing 9-patch quilts to show you, inspired by her.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


It snowed once when I was at BJU. It was my freshman year and I was "dating" John-John Franks, who I had purchased in the XK guy auction.

I guess I could do a post on the guy auction. Maybe later.

It was a Saturday. John-John and I were in the Student Center so I wonder if we had lunch at the Snack Shop (he was a town student). I don't know. I do remember having a snowball fight with Basilean (his society) there in the student center "mall" and hiding around the corner near the Concert Center (now Stratton Hall) and then . . .

you guessed it.

We got in trouble for throwing snowballs (select one of the following):
a. on front campus
b. in a co-ed situation
c. at all.

Then we went to the stadium and there were masses of people there having a huge snowball fight where apparently that behavior was allowed. It could not have lasted too long since there was only about 2" of snow anyway.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tony (again)

I'm sort of (not really) doing P90X again . . . but not really. I'm pretending I am trying to focus on the cardio. So far I've done 3 days on and 4 days off. I'm pretty sure that's not how the program works best but time will tell (I optimistically tell myself).

After awhile, Tony's chatter becomes comforting. So here are 10 things he says that I crackup over, anticipate him saying, or try to work into daily conversations:

1. Get out of your head about it.

2. This is Pam, I call her Blam.

3. A few more seconds and then we're going to X city.

4. Do your best, forget the rest.

5. That's a short uncle.

6. Do you want tickets to the show?

7. I hate that Steve had a funnier line than me.

8. The world-famous Karen pot-stirrers

9. Drink your water, people.

10. Not a bad idea to slip a little recovery drink in your water.

Next week, the top ten reasons I don't hang with Tony as much as I should.

Head over to ohamanda for more lists.

And drink your water, people!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Scrap Marathon

A few weeks ago my friend hosted an all-day crop. I went and had a fantastic time . . . as you will see. While taking these pictures, I realized I was missing journaling or a date or just something, so some of these got alterations but I didn't take pictures of any changes.
Some have comments and some don't, they're just there to enjoy.

These (above and below) are two pages separated by a 4-picture photo storage page. I saw this idea in an old issue of Creating Keepsakes and use it every once in awhile to add pictures without a lot of effort.

These pictures are from this past summer when we went to the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester. Did I blog about that? It was fantastic. I had a "scavenger hunt" for Sam and Kate of things to find in the art or in the museum. There's some of that in the photo page.

I also had them recreate paintings they saw. Sam was really into it, especially the Picasso, so I included his drawings, too.

These (above and below) have the same photo storage page in between the regular pages. I'm missing pictures in the bottom vertical picture slot so don't let that throw you off.

Also on this page I painted (for the first time) some raw chipboard (the swirl). I love how it turned out.

I ended up sanding the scallop cardstock on this one.

This one, of course, needs the "A" in Halloween. It must have fallen off in transport. Now if I could just find those letters in my newly organized scrap area . . .

The letters on this one were cut on a cricut. I hand-cut the water splashes . . . another unusual technique for me but I love how it turned out. You can't really see it but the journaling on this is really cheesy.

I love, love, love these papers. I think these are Wednesday and Saturday. Love them. This is a design from one of Close to my Heart's design books, Cherish or Imagine.

Oh, and that kraft paper I used for the base is from Hobby Lobby.

I've even done a few pages since . . . I love scrapping and the indulgence of a whole day to spend on it. sigh.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Root of the Problem

The other day I was making dinner. Kate asked what I was doing, and since I had no reason to hide what I was doing, I answered that I was making dinner.

"I don't LIKE dinner!" she announced.

Oh, I thought, maybe that's the problem.

A day or two later, we were going to brunch after church. When we told Kate we were going to brunch, she said,

(wait for it)

"I don't like brunch."

So it's not the food we're making or the way we're making it. Apparently there are at least two categories of meals that she just doesn't like.