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Showing posts from February, 2011

So You Think You're Crafty: Who Me?

Okay, I couldn't say anything before now... but I have gone and done something rather insane.

I signed up to audition for season 7 of So You Think You're Crafty.

Am I a little nuts!? Yeah, just a little. Especially since--if I get in--I'll be doing this entire thing while trying to pack & sell a house AND move across the country.

The craziest part is that I didn't realize the auditions were this week until I opened my blog this morning. It gave me shivers all down my spine to realize I was doing something that I've previously thought was WAY out of my league.

But everyone keeps telling me how creative I am and I guess it got to my head.

I'm so nervous! I'm not even sure I want to win (because of the packing and moving thing) but I sure don't want to fail!!!

Anyway, I can't tell you which craft is mine, but I want you to go check them out and vote for the one you like best... then come over here and tell me which one you think is mine.

The votin…

Journaling Project

If you haven't noticed... I like to hear myself write. I've always been very prolific when it comes to empty space and what I have to say. I've kept a journal since I was about twelve (although not consistently), which makes for a neat little pile in my box of remembrances.

So journaling, in one form or another, is a big hobby of mine. Well, the other day I came up with a fun new way to sneak in a little more computer time in the guise of telling my story.

Art Journaling is so popular right now and I love the end products that people make, but I don't seem to have a knack for it. So I'm practicing, I've decided to make a digital art journal. Each day I am going to attempt to create a 'picture' of something I'm thinking about. There are so many free digital images online--half of which I seem to have acquired--that I wanted to put some practice into another variation on the old journal.

Here's one of the pages I've done so far:

This is only my…

10 Things About Me

1. I used to be seriously jealous that my middle name Ann didn't come with an 'e.'

2. My favorite poem is The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes.

3. I like pink more than blue, but blue more than red.

4. I buy a caffeine free Diet Coke every time I go to the grocery store. It used to be just a regular Diet Coke but I'm a complete caffeine addict so I switched over in an attempt to stave off my cravings.

5. When I was eighteen I nearly got a tattoo, but chickened out at the last minute.

6. I used to be jealous of the other kids at school who got to stay home for Strep Throat. Then I got it--and got it again--and got it again--and again--and again. I now get Strep Throat extremely easily.

7. My real name is Charity.

8. I tried to convince my husband to name the Mischievite 'Wentworth', but my husband said that "no son of his was going to be named after a character in a Jane Austen novel."

9. I am 5'10" which is the same height as Michelle Obama, Nicole…

To Quilt: Part Deux

Yesterday I took the chance to work on the second step of making a quilt. The mathematics.


Okay, so bear with me while I try to explain this.... math is not my strong point so explaining it might be a little harder.

First I took my basic layout and used it as a guide for what I wanted. Since I made this somewhat to scale (ie 8x10 when my quilt will be around 80x100) I knew that in the end what I was going to want was a quilt 5 blocks long by 4 blocks wide.

So.... if I know my quilt is 105 inches long and that I need 5 squares I can then divide that and come out with 21. I did the same with the width (81/4) and since that didn't come out even I just rounded up. Making my squares 21 x 21 inches.

Following me? We're still in the elementary education system here.

Then I had to make my master pattern.

 This was accomplished with a lot of aspirin and some help from my math loving roommate.

I had to divide my square into five increasingly smaller squares that were sectioned off …

My Balm of Gilead

My Mischievite has one of the softest spirits I've ever known. He has this way about him that is like a salve upon my wounded heart.

Not that my heart is wounded very often, but sometimes it is and then there is this little boy with his bright eyes and his trying-to-be-red hair smiling down at me and kissing me and hugging away all my unseen demons.

Like this morning when I woke up groggy and hurting. I'd had the most horrible dream about Ralexwin not loving me and locking me in my house and hiding my keys so I couldn't run away. I was feeling dreadfully betrayed when I opened my eyes to the sound of that same husband rummaging around for his clothes. So I rolled back over and went back to sleep, wishing the day away.

Some time later the bedroom light flips on and I feel the bed shift as a body climbs on.

"Mommy, it's mo'ning. Time to wake up!" Then the Mischievite's arms are draped around my chest, his hands pressed to my cheeks and his kisses are ra…

The Princess & The Pea

We have these two college girls that live in our basement and one of them, M., has been working her darnedest to grow a little pea in a little pot in the kitchen window.

The pea has overcome seemingly insurmountable odds like being forgotten about for several weeks or being dropped and snapped in half.

Well, yesterday the pea met it's match. My other downstairs girl, E. committed an atrocious act of terrorism against M. and murdered the pea.

She made it look like such an accident too! One minute she was washing the dishes and the next there was a crash followed by her seemingly shocked gasp.

The pea had "accidentally" crashed into the sink. The soil surrounding the pea had "accidentally" fallen down the drain.

Poor pea.... it didn't have a chance.

* * *
On a side note, another dear blogger has requested a view of my handwriting. I'm ashamed to admit it's atrocious and nothing like what a girls ought to look like, but I'll show you anyway.

* * *

Twilight Advice

I've a question... a matter of advice, really. My Vicbowin wants to read Twilight.  My first reaction, when she was 8, was an absolute no, but Vicbowin keeps asking and I know she's been peaking looks at the thing.
So I begin to wonder whether or not it's a big deal for her to read the book. At 9 years old I don't think she'll pick up on half of the stuff that a 16 year old would and I don't think she would be in danger of the obsessive infatuation that most women seem to have with either Jacob or Edward.
But I also don't like the idea of my 9 year old reading something so sexually charged. And that's not even getting into the whole Edward-Bella unhealthy relationship thing.
What do you think? Is she too young to be reading such a book? Or am I just being uptight?
Lets discuss, I need some outside opinions to help me make this decision.

PS I'm totally team Jacob.

Anthropologie Can Sit in the Back

Anthropologie is, by far, one of the funnest (is that a word?) places to find ideas at. It entirely possible that I react so strongly to the price tags that my creativity kicks in out of sheer impulse. My second strongest response to those prices--after the gasp-- is to find out how I can make something like it.

Case in point is this magnificent crocheted throw that they have over there.

I immediately fell in love with this thing. Ralexwin was decidedly NON in love with it, but since I'm the one that decorates he doesn't really get to have an opinion. ::wink:: But who wants to pay two hundred dollars for a throw? Well, evidently some people do it's just that I currently don't fall into that category.
The category I do fall into, however, is that of the crocheting capable.
I took about three looks at this beauty and I thought to myself... I can totally do that.
So I did.
I used this little project as an opportunity to improve my crocheting. I'm still in the fairly basic …

Love Notes

So I think I just failed one of those life tests that you don't know you've taken until they're over.

Yep. Just had one.

It involved the ladies at church coming up with this idea to write love notes to one another and then on Valentine's Day take the notes, with a bag of candy, to each woman's home.

I will sheepishly admit that I thought the idea was cheesy. I will also admit that I don't do serious cheese. I'll do silly cheese, but not the serious kind.

So I didn't write any notes.... well, I didn't intend to write any notes but I did end up writing two, one of which was for my friend who handed me a pile of papers and told me I was being rude. I wrote her a super cheese note--out of silliness.

Then what happens?

Come on... I know you can guess.------Right.

I got a bunch of love notes, all of which told me how friendly and nice and personable I was.

And all I could think, while reading through my little pile, was of the big, fat, circled, underline…

Dear Valentine

To Quilt

Vicbowin has decided that she wants to make her own comforter set (with my help of course). I've actually never made a full bed set before, but I imagine that it's not much harder than making the quilt and I've done plenty of those.

So I thought that since this is going to be my running project for awhile I'd let you all in on the fun of it. Today I thought I'd tell you about the first steps that I take when planning out a quilt.

First--come up with a pattern. Since I'm working with an 9 year old I started off using pictures of quilts I found online. She whittled her choices down to this one:

 Which I guess is a Pottery Barn quilt, so I'll be making a Pottery Barn knock-off while I'm at it.

Now the key with quilting is that it's all an optical illusion. It's taking basic, easy to sew shapes, like squares, and making them look like different shapes. I'm really good at squares. In fact I did a good job of repeatedly mentioning to my little Vic…

The Anti-Love Letters Volume 2

Dear (insert old boyfriend here),
I look back on our relationship and the only thing I can say is... what was I thinking?
Better Off Without You
* * *
Dear Creepy Guys #1-52,
I don't know who taught you how to pick up on a girl, but you really need some pointers, like if you're going to start the introduction with a body comment, go for the smile.
Human Being of the XX Variety
* * *
Dear Creepy Guys #53-78,
You should be in prison.
Name Withheld
* * *
Dear Repair Man,
I am capable of thought even the kind that involves nuts and bolts. In fact I'm probably quicker than you are. So let's just cut to the chase shall we.
Rosie the Riveter
* * *
Dear Modern Man,
I'm a perfectly comfortable being your equal as long as the children and I get off the ship first.

Funny Things the Kids Say Part 567

Vicbowin: What if you lived in steam?
Later to her brothers: Guys, never walk in steam and if you ever have the chance, don't live in it... it'll kill you.

Vicbowin: Mom, what's your least favorite finger? I, myself, am not very fond of my thumb.

Mischievite: Pete and Pete are in a boat... and then them they fall out and then them died. (actually joke goes: Pete and Repete are in a boat, Pete falls out, whose left?)

Me: Since no one has school tomorrow I expect you all to sleep in.

Albowin: What!?

Vicbowin: Mom, Dad said that we could get up at 6:30.

Me: That's fine, but I just thought you might want to sleep in a little.

Vicbowin: Why?

Vicbowin version of 'Wheels on the Bus': The wheels on the bus go horizontal, horizontal, horizontal. The wheels on the bus go horizontal, all through the town.

The wipers on the bus go vertical, vertical, vertical. The wipers on the bus go vertical, all through the town.

The cell phone on the bus goes "Ah, a…

More Options

Alright. I played around some more (taking into account what you guys suggested) and this is what I've come up with.
I like them both, but which one looks best.
Or #2

Or neither and you want me to go back to the original three I had?


Yesterday a friend and I to a trip down to the nearest city to drop her car off at the dealership. Since the biggest store in our little college town is Wal-Mart and the only other place to really find clothes is Maurices going to Sioux City is kind of a big to do. (note: I never in my life thought I'd live anywhere near Iowa... and now here I am, envying it's larger towns.) 

So we gathered up our four non-schooling munchkins and did a little (a lot) of feet throbbing shopping. First we had to go to Hobby Lobby, because it's the next best thing to Heaven, then we went over to Sioux City's bigger, better Wal-Mart.

By now we've been out for at least 2 hours. The babies--18 months and 14 months--are starting to fall apart. The kiddos--the Mischievite and the love of his life 'A'-- were putting my sons nick-name to the test by hiding in clothing racks and making us shout through the store.

Divide and conquer became the motto of our day. 'You take these two,…

Repost: No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service

Today I am off and running errands most of the morning, so I thought I'd repost. I once went in for a pedicure and had the lady tell me that I had worse calluses than her Military Special Forces brother. This post helps explain why that is. Enjoy!


I was going to devote an entire blog post to describing how I ended up at a social event last night with no shoes... but then I woke up this morning and decided that was boring. So the process of picking a new blog topic began and as I usually do I became annoyed with thinking. I wish it would all just click in to place when I want it to, but sometimes it doesn't and I am left tapping my fingers on the keyboard.

Do you like shoes? I don't. I never have, really.

When I was a child I spent a lot of time running around without shoes on, my brothers used to say I had 'Indian feet'--(how completely non PC is that? I'm offended!)--which meant that my feet were tough enough for me to run over our rock laden driveway with…

New Design Input... Please?

I've been toying around with some new designs for my blog (someday maybe I'll pay someone to do it for me) and have come up with a few that might be acceptable alternatives to the one I have going on right now.

But I thought I'd run them past you, my readers, and see what you think. Be sure to leave a comment and tell me what you like, dislike, wish all blogs had and which of the options appeals to you.

Ready? Be sure to click on each one to make them larger.

Option #1  I like this one alot, but my friend says it's not personal enough and you don't learn anything about me. Vicbowin says she loves it. What do you think?

Option #2  Not a big fan of this one. I'm okay with the header (I like the picture of me) but feel it's a bit thrown together. You?
Option #3 Trying to find enough red to make this one work (but not so much as to be overwhelming) was difficult. I like the result, but I think the wording on the header looks cramped. Thoughts?

My Baby is Super Cute When:

...she sits on top of a box and her legs are to short to reach the ground.

...she walks past the garbage can, looks inside and for no reason at all drops whatever she's holding in.

...she has her hair in pig tails.

...her brother is making a ruckus during diaper changing time and she looks across at him and hollars "Daaawwwp!" (which means stop)

...she can be heard on the other side of the house clomping around in her dad's cowboy boots.

...her friend 'L' comes over and they run to each other and kiss. the middle of the night, after infinite minutes of crying I pull her out of her crib and she folds herself into me and immediately falls asleep.

...she smiles her cheese smile that scrunches her eyes shut.

...she tells jokes in jibberish, then laughs at them.

...she helps clean up the table.

...she tries to hold her own around her older siblings.

...she attempts to inflict pain on me by hitting.

...she actually finds a spot and stays there during Hide &am…

The Anti-Love Letter

So, it's February and since everyone is going to be blogging about all things love I thought I'd go ahead and write a bunch of anti-love letters.

Dear Old Navy,

I don't love you. I know that I keep coming back to you, but the truth is I think you're cheap and I'd rather be with Gap, but Gap asks too much of me so I keep falling back on you.

I imagine that you don't mind too much. You never seem to mind when I show up at your door, but I just thought we ought to make our relationship clear. I'm really a Gap girl, you're just my fall-back. I hope that doesn't hurt you too much.




Dear Gap,
I know we've had this on again, off again relationship for years now, but I have to tell you something--I went and saw American Eagle over Christmas and I'm considering leaving you for AE. Will it crush you? Is it possible that if things don't work out with AE you'll let me come back?
I hope so.
P.S. I finally told Old Navy…

Groundhog's Day 'WinStyle

Today is the Mischievite's 4th birthday. He crawled into bed with me this morning and I said "Do you know what today is?"

Without hesitation he announced:


So we talked about the day he was born and all the wonderful people who held him when he was a baby. He asked me if he had to get shots like his little sister and I explained how that worked.

Then we just cuddled.

Then the phone rang and I got the pleasure of discovering that the schools were closed for a second day due to 'extreme weather.' Which means it's frickin' cold outside!

Right now it's -8*F but with the windchill making it feels like -28*F.

Poor little Mischievite, we were going to go to lunch with Ralexwin, but not with the whole herd. So we will have to find some other lunch celebration.

I can't believe my boy is 4. He was 3 for so long that it's weird he's finally moved up. I think it must be because his birthday is a bit out there away from everyone …