Monday, December 31, 2007

2008

Happy New Year! I hope it's a wonderful one for you. Heck, I hope it's a wonderful one for me! 2007 was full of a lot of challenges. I am grateful to my family and to my gaggle of friends who helped me through it. Also, I am grateful for my Curly. He's awesome. And, no, that's not the NyQuil talking.

Here's to a new year full of love and laughter, and lots of stitching.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Angels We Have Heard on High

Notice how her voice begins to crack, but like the consumate professional she is, she keeps on singing. Sparkly angels, indeed.


video

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Finally Caught Up

The sickness I have been dodging finally caught up with me. I have had the aches, pains, chills, sweats, coughing, sneezing, fever, etc etc. The kids and Curly have been sick, too, but are feeling much better today. I don't hurt today, but I still have chills and the other stuff. All I can say is, I am glad I got this after Christmas. I cannot imagine getting Christmas ready feeling like I did yesterday.

This week I discovered bloglines. Well, Jean discovered it and told me about it. For people who check a lot of blogs (like myself), it is invaluable. It tells you when one of the blogs you read has a new post. Check it out. You won't be sorry!

Now I am going to find a blanket and wrap up in it. I am freezing!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Birthday Box



The gift we gave to my family was a birthday box. It's a fabulous idea that I hope works really well for us. I took unfinished cigar boxes that I got at Michael's, cut out some fabric for the top, and then used Mod Podge to put it all together. I had to sand down the tops when we were done, since the glue dried bumpy. Mini-me was my big helper on this and did all the painting of the glue. The box can be used to store a calendar in the lid, along with cards and stamps for mailing. Genius! Hopefully they will contribute to a well organized 2008.

Two Projects



This Christmas, I worked on two projects that took up most of my time the week before Christmas. I also did some smaller projects that were quick and easy. Here is what Gracie would do while I sewed the binding on the quilt:


It made is slightly difficult to work. The green/blue quilt was for my SIL, Melissa, and the green/brown/purple one was for my SIL, Becky. They opened them today, and I think they liked them. The fun thing for me was that I was able to put my new Molly Patch labels on the back. I took a picture of the labels on a set of burp cloths, but it came out blurry. I did not get a new camera for Christmas. Oh well. Maybe next year I will be a nice girl and get some electronics.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Projects

I have been working my little fingers to the nubs, but I can't so anything yet. Christmas is coming! It's coming a little faster than I wish it would, but you work with what you've been given. I have a couple of little stitching ditties that are done, a couple of quilty items, and maybe some fun stuff made using my favorite thing, Mod Podge. Photos to come after gifts have been received. I have had a pretty bad head cold, which has slowed my progress and modified some plans, but other than that, I am on target. Happy Holidays and good luck getting your projects done. If you're like me, you'll be working like an elf until the big day.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Decorating

I have finally put out our Dickens houses. They look great. If I get anymore, I will need a new place to put them. I have been very slow getting the decorations going. It's so much work, and I haven't been feeling too great. Today I woke up with a stuffy nose and sore throat. But, if I wait until I feel great, the decorating will never get done.

Today in the mail was a letter from Auntie Ree. In the letter was a photo of 2 year old Curly. It took me a minute to figure out who it was, because it looks just like Patch, but with curly hair. Crazy. Thanks, Auntie Ree! I wish I had a scanner so that I could post it. Maybe if I take a picture of it. We'll have to try it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday Morning

I am listening to James Taylor Christmas while the girls play nativity with their Playmobile set. Patch is climbing on the furniture. Oh, if only we got snow instead of rain, this scene could continue all day.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Broken

I have a broken toe. It's my middle one on my left foot. It hurts. I did it yesterday afternoon while trying to avoid mowing Patch down. It was actually feeling better this morning, but someone trod upon it. Now it kills.

We have wet, cold rain coming down. Patch didn't sleep well last night, and Curly was up with him (on account of my broken toe), so I drove Flower to school so Curly could get a little more sleep. What was wrong with Patch, you ask? Well, he didn't want to go to bed. He cried from 9 until after 1, and then started up again at 5:30. He's a stinker, yes sirree.

Did I mention my toe was broken?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Teacher Gifts

My aunt used to cross stitch little gifts for my cousins teachers. I always thought that was so cool, and wanted to do that when I had kids and they had teachers. The Ex takes care of gifts from Flower, but this Christmas, I got to show off for Mini-me's two teachers: Miss Kelly and Miss Terri.


The pattern I used is called "Noel" by MeMe's Everlastings by Trail Creek Farm. I also did one up on its own, to be placed on a cool polka dot star pillow. I think these turned out really cute. They were fast and easy. Hopefully Miss Kelly and Miss Terri will love them and use them in their Christmas decorating.

Monday, December 10, 2007

He Speaks!

Patch said what I consider to be his first real word yesterday: Tree. He pointed right at the Christmas tree, and spoke. He did not speak clearly, but it was very clear what he was saying. It's a Christmas miracle.

Patch also discovered the joy of climbing over the weekend. I don't know what made him so bold, but it's driving me nuts. He climbs in our blue leather chair and stands there. Sometimes he jumps, but he always sits when I tell him to.

Flower learned the hard way why it's important to speak clearly. She was using her baby talk to say "Sit, Patch." It came out a little more offensive than she intended.

Mini-me learned the hard way that even when we're in a hurry and we're feeling tired, it's still important to take the time to take off your tights and use the toilet. Times were out and bottoms were spanked.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sad News

The Primitive Sampler will be closing its doors on December 22. I am so sad. I will miss having a cross stitch shop within walking distance. I will miss having a shop within reasonable driving distance. Wendy, the owner, said a woman will hopefully be opening a new shop in downtown Frederick that will include antiques and stitching. Did I mention I am sad? When Curly and I got married 5 years ago, I was a little hesitant about moving here. It was far removed from where I grew up, where my friends were, were my family was, and even where I worked. When I found out Frederick had both a Talbots and a needlework shop, I knew I could make it work. Now, I rarely shop at Talbots and there will be no needlework shop. Should we move?

In a perfect world, I would open up my own place. I have so many ideas for a needlework shop. It would not include antiques. It would include classes and retreats and lots of store models. It would include fabric for finishing and lots of kits. It would be like the Shepherds Bush of the East. Maybe someday.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Cookies


Today, Mini-me and I made some sugar cookies while Patch napped. It was a fun bonding time, even though she didn't quite grasp the concept of cutting the cookies from the edges. Oh well. The cookies are pretty silly. They are gingerbread men that look like they have a bite taken out of them. I have never piped icing around the edge before, and I think it turned out pretty well.
Patch and Mini-me are spending the day and night with the Ex. I know, it surprised me too. I'm a bigger woman than I gave myself credit for. Mini-me wanted to take some cookies with them because, as she put it, "It's polite." Anyway, Curly and I will be performing and setting the mood for the National Tree Lighting ceremony with some other folks from Way off Broadway. Don't look for us on TV, though. Our part ends when that part begins. Our purpose is to create a festive holiday ambiance. And, as we all know, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Must Be Beautiful in Frederick This Time of Year ...

All that snow.

It's coming down at a pretty good pace. They did not cancel school, which is a bummer. Driving out to get Flower this afternoon will also be a tad treacherous. So, not quite the "snow day" I was hoping for (where we are all socked in and I can sit and quilt or stitch and watch movies and make hot cocoa and grilled cheese sandwiches). Instead, it's a messy day of boots and heavy coats and trudging around.

Lauren had her baby boy last night at 8:30. Her contractions started about 1 pm. That is a short labor and I am appropriately jealous. She is part of my quilting group. We make a baby quilt for every new baby for the members of our group, and for the playgroup we're all a part of (I say we, but I'm not as active. My kids are a little older than theirs). Lauren had already made 3 quilts for baby Graham before we could even get started on one! We decided on an "I Spy" quilt that can be used for her older boy as well. I finished the binding on it last night, and now it's ready to take over to her. She'll be so surprised, since we work on these quilts in "super secret" meetings.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Drama

We have our fair share of drama here. Between Flower and Mini-me, hardly a sentence is spoken that does not need an exclamation point! This morning, I exacted a harsh sentence of time out on the stairs for Mini-me. In her distress, she yelled "I never want to see you again!" I sent her to her room. Poof! Her wish was granted.

Since it was quiet, I had a chance to head over to Camille's blog. I don't get on it as often as I would like, because it's really slow to load on my computer. If I understood computers better, I would know why. Anyway, she designs really cute quilt patterns. She's doing a give-away for some of them. Hope I win.

My friend Lauren is having her baby today. Hopefully everything will go well for her so I can visit her tomorrow :)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Snow please?

The weather forecast for today included snow and freezing rain. That did not happen. I am ready for a little snow. Not so much that we are stuck inside for too long, but just enough to delay the start of our day. The next chance for snow is Wednesday. We are planning to get our Christmas tree Wednesday after picking up Flower from school. Cutting down a tree while it gently snows on our little family would just be too picturesque.

I am off to watch White Christmas for the first time this holiday season. It's the perfect movie to stitch to, since I already know it by heart. I don't have to have my eyes on it to know that the best things happen while you're dancing, or that it's cozier to sit girl boy girl boy.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Dear Santa,

This year has gone by fast, hasn't it? I'm pretty sure I've been a good girl, but I honestly can't remember. Since you see me when I'm sleeping and know when I'm awake, you probably have a better idea than I do. In case I get a check mark in the "good" column, here are some things I want:

1. You know I love fabric. Moda and Robert Kaufman make my heart sing. The Fat Quarter Shop has gift certificates. How great is that?

2. You know I love to bake. I especially love cupcakes. So how about a giant cupcake pan? Let's be honest with ourselves here; wouldn't you rather have a giant cupcake than some boring old cookies?

3. You know I love Martha. What's not to love? One of her pretty bundt pans would make a nice addition to my bakeware.

4. You know my camera(s) are not working so good. Now I can't get the pictures to upload on my computer. It's frustrating. I would love a new camera. My only criteria is that it have more than 7 megapixels and take clear pictures close up.

Santa, I know I'm asking a lot. But it's not like I expect diamonds. Well, not big diamonds.

Signed,
Jana O'Kigin

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ho Ho Ho

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to click here!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Thanksgiving Haiku

My sweet potatoes:
So delicious and creamy.
Tasty breakfast treat.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Recip-ease 5

I do not like any kind of food that comes from water, be it sea, lake, or stream. But, my Curly loves it all. And, since I love my Curly, I suck it up and make some stinky dish for him. His request for Turkey Day is crab dip to eat while watching pre-dinner football.

As a side note -- I am using canned crab for this. I was at Costco yesterday, and so was a can. Hopefully it will be to Curly's liking :)

Crab Dip
2 – 8 oz packages of softened cream cheese
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp mustard
2 T dried minced onion
1 tsp salt
Beat above ingredients. Fold in 2 T chopped parsley and a dash of garlic powder. Add 2 – 6 ounce packages of frozen crab.
Chill and serve with crackers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Recip-ease 4

I found this one online the other day. I am a big fan of traditional stuffing, but this one might be worth a shot. The recipe even included nutritional information.

Cornbread Apricot Stuffing

Ingredients
Cooking spray
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
2 (15.75-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package cornbread dressing mix
18 dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation
Melt butter in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and celery 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in broth and cook 2 minutes or until fully heated. Stir in dressing mix and remaining ingredients.

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 147(29% from fat); FAT 4.6g (sat 2.1g,mono 1g,poly 0.1g); PROTEIN 3.2g; CHOLESTEROL 9mg; CALCIUM 33mg; SODIUM 478mg; FIBER 1.7g; IRON 1.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 22.9g

Monday, November 19, 2007

Recip-ease 3

This is one of my favorite things to serve as an appetizer. It's a different take on the normal creamy artichoke dip. Serve with fancy butterfly crackers or baguette slices.

Artichoke Dip
2 cups Parmesan cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
16 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped (I don’t chop them too finely)
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Recip-ease 2

Who doesn't love a delicious pie? I know I can't resist a slice. I love to make pie, and I love to make pie crust from scratch. I would be lying if I said I was really great at it -- I'm not. But, it still tastes good. Here is one of my favorite holiday pies --Apricot Cranberry. Enjoy!

Festive Cranberry-Apricot Pie (fr0m Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook)

Pie crust
1/2 c sugar
3 Tbl cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
3 15 1/4-ounce cans apricot halves, drained and cut into quarters
1/2 c dried cranberries, snipped
1 egg white
1 Tbl milk
1 Tbl sugar
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1. Line a 9-inch pie place with 1/2 pie crust. Make edges pretty.

2. In large bowl combine the 1/2 c sugar, the cornstarch, the 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, and the salt. Stir in apricots and cranberries. Spoon fruit mixture into pastry-lined pie plate.

3. Roll remaining dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Using a 1- to 1 1/2-inch leaf-shaped cutter or other desired cutter, cut 36 to 40 shapes from the dough. In a small bowl stir together egg white and milk. Brush egg white mixture over pastry shapes; reserve remaining egg white mixture. Stir together the 1 Tbl sugar and 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Sprinkle half of the pastry shapes with the sugar mixture. Arrange 10 to 12 of the shapes, alternating brushed and sprinkled shapes, in a circle in center of the top of pie filling. Brush edge of crust with remaining egg white mixture. Evenly distribute the remaining pastry shapes around edge of crust.

4. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie lightly with foil. Bake in a 375* oven for 35 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 15 minutes more. Cool on wire rack.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Recip-ease

This recipe has been served at our Thanksgiving dinners for generations. Well, not really. But we sure like it. I'm a little fuzzy on where the recipe came from (I think from a cookbook called "When Mormons Meet they Eat"), but I say it's my mom's. If you don't like sweet potatoes with marshmallows, give this a try. It's especially delicious for breakfast. Just a little note -- we often leave the nuts out of the topping because several folks in the family have nut allergies. It tastes really good either way.

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
Bake and then peel and mash: 5 medium sized sweet potatoes.
Add:
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ cup sugar
2 T cream
Place in a casserole and top with the following:
¼ cup soft butter
3 T flour
¾ cups brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans
Mix topping until it is like coarse meal. Sprinkle over potatoes. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Chili

I make a mean chili. It's a real crowd-pleaser, even though it didn't win our ward chili cook-off last year. I have been asked to post the recipe, and so I will.

I love this time of year because of the food. It's no secret that I'm an eater, and I'm okay with that. Thanksgiving and Christmas are full of such wonderful dishes. Even though they are the same every year, I can't wait to eat them again. This next week, I will be posting some of my favorite recipes. Try them out and let me know how you like them!

Chili con Carne

2 lbs ground beef (can also use a combination of meats, like pork and veal)
1 large onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1-2 cans diced tomatoes (save liquid for later)
1/2 cup beef stock
2 packages McCormicks chili spice
2 cans kidney beans, drained

In a large pot, brown ground beef. Add salt and pepper to taste. When meat is no longer pink and broken up into small pieces, remove from pot using a slotted spoon, and place in a bowl. Without draining fat, add the onions and bell peppers to the pot. You may need to add a little olive oil if using a lean meat. Once veggies are tender, add beef to the pot with tomatoes and stock. Add spices. If the chili seems too thick, add some liquid from the diced tomatoes or more beef stock. Simmer on the stove uncovered for at least 30-45 minutes. The longer it simmers, the better it tastes. About 5 minutes before serving, add kidney beans.

Serve with fritos, cheese, sour cream, green onions, and corn bread.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mini-me went to school today, Patch is smiling, Flower is coming this afternoon, and Curly is hard at work. Hallelujah!

I am a little worried that I will become sick at the most inopportune time -- such as the night before Thanksgiving. That would be nothing short of tragic. So, I've begun Thanksgiving dinner prep. On Monday, I put together the sweet potato casserole. Today, I made the stuffing and the cranberry sauce. All of that is now in my freezer. I don't want to make the pies just yet, but I will make the dough in the next two days and put that in the freezer as well. I will make the rolls the day of, but I can do those in my sleep. We are going to have peas and mashed potatoes, both of which need to be done day of as well. I'm trying to decide if I want to do green bean casserole or green bean with shallots. I think I'll do green beans with shallots. We have enough rich, cream filled dishes. Curly really wants me to have sauerkraut. He claims it's a "Frederick thing." I'm not quite convinced of that. I think sauerkraut is fine, but not so sure about at the Thanksgiving table. Maybe if my Grandma says it's okay....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Last Sickness

Patch has croup. He is now on the same antibiotic as Curly and Mini-me. He has been a sleepy boy today.

I hope tomorrow I will have something a little less medical to say.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Speaking Too Soon

Last night, Curly and I were working on a puzzle. We were enjoying being just the two of us after a long day of caring for sick ones and his rehearsal. Then, at about 9 pm, the phone rang. It was the doctor Curly and Patch had seen on Wednesday. She told Curly that his lab results had just come in (at 9 pm on a Sunday?) and that he had strep and haemophilus (which is a bacteria that just makes you sicker). He asked if he could pick up the prescription Monday morning, and the doctor answered that since the haemophilus was "insidious," he should get on antibiotics asap. So he did. He's on the same stuff Mini-me took for pneumonia.


I am pretty done with sick people. I have been dodging the bullet through hand washing and sheer dumb luck. But haemophilus? Man, I don't think I can dodge this one...The doctor said the kids won't get it because they have been inoculated for it. However, it can cause pneumonia and conjunctivitis, both things my kids have had. It's a little suspect, don't you think? I have put in a call to the doctor to ask her some questions, and hopefully those will be answered positively (as in: just a coincidence) instead of negatively (as in: come in for lab work).

In the meantime, I have kept Mini-me home for one more day. She still has a little cough and a runny nose. I want her to have one more day of rest before I stick her back in the germ colony that is preschool. The kids are watching Finding Nemo, so I think I'll get some sewing done. Come back tomorrow and see what new infectious disease the O'Kigins have caught!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ezmeralda's House of Crap

I got Ezmeralda's house almost all finished and realized I didn't even like it. The parts I was to backstitch words on looks messy -- you can't even read what it says. I am putting it away for awhile, maybe a year. If I take it out again and like it, then I'll finish it. Otherwise, I'm moving on. I have too much to do to work on it.

Mini-me is feeling much better. She is grouchy and demanding and all other things almost-4-year-olds can be. Patch on the other hand, not so good. He was running a small fever last night, and coughed so much he couldn't catch his breath, and then through a mighty tantrum, thus restricting breathing further. Curly's cold is better, and I am still healthy. I credit my longevity to Diet Coke. Oh, and needlework, which keeps my blood pressure down.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Lame Excuses

I am full of lame excuses this week on why I'm not exercising. It's been a week since I hit the gym. Frankly, I am too tired. I've got nothin' left. And, if I did have something left, I should probably expend it on cleaning up the kitchen, right?

Patch has discovered my shoes. He likes to put one on and then walk around the living room. This, and other things, gets Mini-me all riled up. She doesn't think Patch should be able to touch things.

My final thought for the day is about Christmas gifts. Mini-me loves "magic wands." She'll take anything that is long and straight (a stick, a rod, a plastic tube), and wave it around. As I sit typing, she has a magic wand in her hand. I think for Christmas, I will make her a bunch of magic wands, and decorate them with ribbon and sparkles. She'll love it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I Know You Want to Be Me

Don't be jealous of my fabulous life. Not even when you hear that Patch has pink eye. That's right, he's sick, too. Curly also has a virus that as yet is unidentified. We are pumping him with Theraflu and chloraseptic. With all of this, I sure hope I get to make another visit to the Target pharmacy tomorrow. They might miss me!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

On the Mend

Mini-me is doing much better. Thanks for the prayers and well wishes. Her fever is gone and she is a little more like herself. She's been fighting with Patch today and kicking the dog. Her color is still a little off, and her eyes have yet to regain their sparkle, but we're getting there.

On the other hand, Patch woke up from his nap with goopy eyes. My expert opinion is that he has pink eye. I tried to call tonight to get an appointment for tomorrow, but they schedule their "sick" appointments day of, and the only other appointment they had available to schedule was at 4, when we'll be on our way home from picking up Flower. Hopefully I'll be able to get something earlier with a doctor I like -- not Doctor Lee, or the doctor who, while examining Mini-me at about 15 months, let her fall off the table. I can't remember her name, but I'll know it if I hear it.

I feel pretty good, albeit worn out, but Curly feels sick. His voice is scratchy and he keeps pulling blankets under his chin, which means his throat hurts. I really hope I don't catch any of this stuff. It's only two weeks until Thanksgiving and less than 2 months until Christmas. There's no time for Mama to be sick!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sick Mini-me, the Continuing Saga

Today has been a rough day. I took Mini-me to the doctor, because her fever has been high since Thursday, even with the Motrin/Tylenol dance. We saw a doctor I don't much care for, who was very dismissive and sent us home saying "She has a cold." Frankly, I didn't buy it, and said as much while on my way out. Three hours later, when her fever reached a frightening 105.4, I called back demanding to speak with our normal doctor. I made Curly talk with him, because I was a touch emotional by that point. He was very sympathetic, and said he had seen several cases of pneumonia in the past little while that could only be detected by x-ray, not by listening. We got her in to get a chest x-ray, and by 5:00 we had a new diagnosis of pneumonia. Not a cold. We have her on some heavy duty antibiotics, Curly and our friend gave her a priesthood blessing, and she is fast asleep.

I am emotionally spent. I have felt so neurotic over the past few days. I have not been able to shake the feeling that there was something wrong with Mini-me. That's not a good, nor restful, feeling to have. I even left in the middle of sacrament meeting yesterday to call home, because I was so sure she was in bad shape. I cannot tell you how relieved I am that I am not crazy, yet I wish Mini-me wasn't this sick.

My plan for tomorrow is to keep her in her feety pjs and let her watch movies. Or sleep. Luckily Patch is easily entertained.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Sick Mini-me

Mini-me has been running a fever since Thursday. Medicine helps a little, but it doesn't get rid of the fever. She also has a sore throat and a cough. As a strep expert, I don't think she has it. I could be wrong, though. I have been wrong before. Once. We are supposed to have a birthday party for Grandpa tonight, but I think Mini-me and may have to sit this one out. I don't want to get anyone else sick, and I don't want her to get sicker. (More sick? Sicker sounds wrong, like funner.) I'll send my Barefoot Contessa layer cake and some apple dip I made with Curly, Flower, and Patch.

Also on the docket for today is a gig with the Towne Singers. We will be singing on the Trolley that makes a loop around Frederick. We will be singing Christmas songs. Today is the kick-off for the holiday shopping season in Downtown Frederick. It makes me feel panicky inside. I am not anywhere near ready with my gifts this year. I don't even have supplies. I better get on that. I did get my turkey ordered from Hemp's Meats yesterday. At least I'm ahead of the game on that.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Thanks and Giving

It's the season for thanks and giving. It's time to put away the whimsy and wonder of Halloween, and put up the traditional. My mother has a couple of cross stitched trays. I love those trays. They are functional, yet display a talent and craft. A couple of years ago, I found the perfect pattern for my first tray.


Right now, it is on my table with a harvest tablecloth and candle holders shaped like turkeys. On Thanksgiving, I will use it to serve appetizers. I am hosting my first Thanksgiving this year. I plan on serving all the traditional things I grew up loving, and also the things my husband loves. I've asked his mother to bring the rice stuffing, and I will provide the bread stuffing. We'll have sweet potato casserole, homemade rolls, cranberry sauce (from a can, cut on the lines), peas, green beans, and jello salad served on a nice piece of iceberg lettuce that no one eats, but is always there. Since rice stuffing needs to be cooked in a turkey, Judy will do that turkey, and I will do one on the grill, recipe courtesy of my dad. Oh, what a feast. We'll watch the parade, eat lots of food, fall asleep watching football, and play bingo. It's the perfect day.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Photos




Happy Halloween

Halloween was a raging success. I served chili with cornbread mini-muffins (that had bacon, cheese, and green onions in them) and pumpkin dip. We started with 18 people, and then at 5:30 our surprise visitors of Jessica, Jane, and Abby arrived, bringing the party total to 21. There were 4 babies and 3 big kids to go trick-or-treating. PT really got into the Yoda feeling, and led the way. Patch thought it was very fun, but got a little upset if we took his spider hat off. Mini-me took things at her own pace, while Flower and Jane charged ahead. The sheer volume of candy was astounding. While we were out, Grandma did most of the dishes while GrandPatty and PapaKen handed out candy. The Ex and Rope even had a great time. He had 2 bowls of chili. I'm just saying.

Blogger is not allowing me to upload pictures right now, so I'll add them later. Hope your Halloween was just as spooktacular as ours!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Delicious

I love pumpkin. I simply cannot get enough during the fall. If you love pumpkin (or even just like it), you must try this recipe. Serve with whipped cream and maple syrup and you have one tasty meal.

PUMPKIN WAFFLES
ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter,Melted
Vegetable oil, or PAM, for waffle iron.

Preparation:
Heat oven to 250°F and preheat waffle iron.
Sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended, then whisk in milk, buttermilk, pumpkin, and butter until smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients just until smooth.
Brush waffle iron lightly with oil and spoon batter (about 2 cups for four 4-inch Belgian waffles) into waffle iron, spreading quickly. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer waffles to rack in oven to keep warm and crisp. Make more waffles in same manner.

Patch and Mini-me even thought it was good. I don't know if Flower will like them. I somehow doubt she would. She doesn't love pumpkin as much as I do.

Whoops

Something quite embarrassing happened this week. I got invited to join Shelfari by a friend of mine, and by my mom. I logged on, filled everything out, clicked who I wanted to invite, and clicked send. Then, I went to my email inbox and noticed some strange things. People that I had not invited were responding. I got several "thanks for the email" messages. Or "I haven't heard from you in forever!" messages. As careful as I was, I still sent the invite to my ENTIRE ADDRESS BOOK. I sent it to my Bishop. I sent it to a cross stitch designer I met several years ago and had a question for, again, several years ago. I had a few people email back that they would not be participating. I thought you weren't supposed to be embarrassed once you turned 30...So, anyone who is reading this who got an invite from me and is thinking "Wow, I don't know her that well. Why would she invite me to do this?" I am so sorry!

Friday, October 26, 2007

To Market, to Market

I read a lot of blogs. Maybe not as many as Camille, but a lot. Because I am on this quilting kick (that I hope never leaves me because it's fun), I have found lots of quilting blogs that I like. Nearly every one of them has stopped posting for a few days to go to the quilt market in Texas. The quilt market is for vendors (people who design stuff) and for shop owners (people who buy the stuff and then sell it to me). I am neither a vendor nor a shop owner, so I can't go. But I wish I could. It sounds like a lot of fun. For the next few days, I am without my favorite blogs. Maybe I can get some housework done.

Curly has taken the girls tonight to our neighborhood Halloween party. It's at the elementary school that's within walking distance, but because of the deluge of rain, they drove. I was given detailed instruction on how to properly dress Flower so she looked like a Mexican princess/flamenco dancer. I think I did okay. Mini-me is a princess. I let them both wear make-up, and they walked out of here like they were hot stuff. We took pictures, which I will post later. Patch was too tired to go. I hope he's not too tired on Halloween night -- we have a lot of houses to hit!

Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday to REBECCAH!!!! She's old and frail and I don't know what I'd do without her.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

And the Winner Is....

The Highlight Addict was the first to comment, so she is the first winner. Hooray!

The second winner is DanceNPlay. I will not ship to you, because you live a block away. I'll give them to you at the Trunk or Treat on Saturday (now you have to go!).

Thanks to all those who left comments, either on the blog or by email. I know sometimes it's hard to leave comments, because you can get caught in a security loop asking if you want to display insecure information, so I applaud those who broke through.

Tonight I have been working on place mats. I had several people ask if The Molly Patch did quilted place mats. Indeed, we do. I'll have photos soon.

Also, to clarify -- I am the "Best Step-mom. Ever." because Flower said so as I put her to bed last night. It's not a title I have given myself, although I would gladly do that. I have never been afraid of tooting my own horn, if you get what I mean.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Best Step-Mom. EVER.

Sorry to all you other smoms out there, I am the best one. Ever. For some of you, that news might be hard to accept. Get over it. Here's what I did to earn that distinction:

1. I made pizza. From scratch. And cookie suckers (oreos covered in chocolate on a stick).
2. I made Flower take a bath, but I let her choose the temperature and made it very short.
3. I made funny faces and gave them "relaxing" face massages while we flossed.
4. I tickled the girls.
5. I read not 1, but 2 stories tonight.

You see, I truly am the best. Ever.

It's not to late to leave a comment on my 300th post and be entered to win some coasters. If you are having trouble leaving a comment, email me a janakigin at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Gym

This morning at the gym, I was next to one of "those people" on the elliptical machines. He was someone who obviously does not watch sports, but prefers Sports Center. Every clip he watched was met with an "Oh, no!" Or, "Oh, man!" He was not as vocal as a guy I watched a few years ago, who actually yelled at the refs and kept saying "Did you see that?" to people. It took all I had not to shout back "Yes! I saw it! LAST NIGHT!!!" The guy today was also a sweater. I have observed him before, and would not have chosen to be next to him, but he came up when I was halfway through my time.

There are bullies at the gym. If you are on a machine a bully wants, they stand uncomfortably close until you finish. In the locker room, the bullies are old ladies who walk around naked. They make sure they tell you when your towel is on the wrong hook. They hog the benches. They hang with their gangs in the sauna room. They get what they want because, frankly, talking with a naked old woman is less than pleasant.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thanks, S. Baldwin

I ordered new checks online on Oct 11. On the 12th, I got a notice they had been shipped. Today, I called my bank to find out what had happened. The woman said, "There is a note from UPS saying they were signed for by S. Baldwin, the receptionist." I swear, I am going to fire that receptionist...Oh wait. I don't have one because this isn't a business it's a house!!! 40 minutes later, I have a new account and new checks on the way. Again. Hopefully S. Baldwin won't botch this one. If so, she's outta here. I don't care if it is almost the holidays.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Colin and Brad

Last night we went to the Colin and Brad show. They were on Who's Line is it Anyway? for those who couldn't place the names. The whole show is improv and was very funny. I laughed so hard I have a sore throat today. The funniest sketch they did was with mousetraps. They set 100 live mousetraps on the stage, put goggles on so they couldn't see, then walked barefoot through the mousetraps while playing the alphabet game (everything they say has to start with the next letter of the alphabet). We had such a good time.

Flower learned to ride her bike without training wheels. She has been resisting for quite some time. She does very well and now rides up and down the alley like she's been doing it forever. Mini-me wanted a piece of the action, so now has her own little bike with training wheels. The best part about her bike is that it's a Spider-man bike. Somehow, Curly managed to talk her out of a princess bike and into a Spider-man bike, thinking that it was okay for her to ride a boy bike, but Unacceptable for Patch to ride a girls bike. Mini-me doesn't care too much what it looks like, she just cares that she can go really fast. She was riding behind me yesterday, calling out, "Watch out, Mommy!" Lucky for, she never caught up.

Last night I had a very strange dream involving Troy from High School Musical, my aunt, and a Talbots store. Very, very strange.

Don't forget to keep leaving comments on my 300th post! Anyone can win, even mothers-in-law.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

#300!!!

Here it is -- the much anticipated 300th post. What to blog about, what to blog about....I could blog about the kids, my weight, my husband, my house, my dog, my city, or my crafting. Or, I could just give something away. I think I'll just do that.

I am giving away a set of four quilted coasters made my The Molly Patch. The picture here is of one set, but if you win, I will email you photos of the other choices. I love choices. They are 4 inches square and come in lots of styles. If you don't win and would like to buy some, let me know!


So here's how to win. Be the first to write a comment. That's an automatic win. The next winner will be chosen from at random from those who leave a comment. You can comment about anything, but please, try to keep the love-fest of me to a minimum. I know I'm awesome, we don't all have to gush. You have until the 305th post to comment on this post before I chose a winner. (For those who don't want to count posts, that will happen on Monday or Tuesday.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Weight Loss Wednesday

I am down another 2 pounds, which makes a total of 10. I am sure my counselor would be proud of me, but she is still south of the border. I am sure she's having a marvelous time. I spent about 2 hours at the gym today and feel completely wiped out. I love the Rep-Reebok class, but I am so sore. I find myself stretching my arms and back throughout the day. Already I feel a little more toned, which is awesome. When the time comes to take our Christmas card photo, I hope to be a size smaller and a lot leaner. Wish me luck.

My next post will be my 300th. I will be having a fabulous give-away, so tell all your friends. You won't want to miss it! (I know, I know. It will never live up to the hype. Oh well.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Plan of Attack

There is much to do this week. I was all set to blog about the things we have going on, but got thrown a bit of a curve ball. The Ex's grandma is not doing well out in Cali. We will have Flower a few extra days this next week. That part is great. The extra trips out to her school are not so hot, especially since I just got our American Express bill. The gas portion was not pretty. We have the usual clean the bathrooms, kitchen, vacuum and dust, do the laundry type of chores. We have the bake a cake for a meeting and make a pot of chili for a chili cook-off type of cooking. And, we have some fun crafting coming up. It's almost my 300th post. In a couple of days, I will be having a 300th Post Celebratory Give-Away. Come back and check it out.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Holiday Gift Giving

I like to have my holiday shopping done by Thanksgiving. I like to know what projects I am doing as gifts and have supplies purchased by Thanksgiving. This doesn't always happen. For one, we pay for Christmas using Curly's dinner theater tips. Good tips don't start until after Thanksgiving. For another, my handmade gift list is usually too ambitious. I've compiled a list of my favorite online sites for special gifts. Here they are, in no particular order:
  • Omaha Steaks. These steaks come perfectly portioned (the size of a deck of cards), are easy to freeze, and delicious to eat. Plus, they have lots of extras, like twice baked potatoes and molten lava chocolate cake.
  • Brownies. My sister in law showed me this site just recently, when we realized we both forgot our favorite older brothers birthday. Whoops! The only way to adequately grovel is to send decadent brownies.
  • Lobster Gram. For the ultimate foodie, this is the ultimate gift. For a reasonable price, they will send everything your recipient needs to have a great lobster meal, including the pot.
  • 1-800-Flowers. Does it bother anyone else that the website name is a phone number? That aside, I love to get and give flowers. There is something so nice and thoughtful about a bouquet of flowers.
  • Carsons Ribs. This one is solely for nostalgia. This is the restaurant we used to go to the night after Thanksgiving. The ribs are delicious and travel very well.
  • Cookies. Whether you go with the fun Cookies by Design or the mall favorite of Mrs. Fields, everyone loves a cookie. Cookies by Design even has same day delivery, so send a bouquet of cookies to yourself when you're having a bad day at work. You can sign the card "From your secret admirer." I won't tell...
  • Sausage and Cheese. Last, but not least, who can forget the great summer sausage by mail? A holiday gathering just cries out for a beef stick and a crock of cheese. Order yours today.

These are just a tip of the iceberg of what's out there. What specialty items do you like to send by mail?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Overheard

As we were waiting in line to get tickets to see Bourne Ultimatum at the Ghetto Mall, I couldn't help but overhear what the people behind us were saying.

Mom: We're gonna see _________.
Son: But I want to see ________.
M: No, it's rated R.
S: So's your movie.
M: It's a different kind of R.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Family Fun


Today we went to the best corn maze in Frederick (and therefore, anywhere). It's out in Creagarstown, MD, which is about 15 minutes from our house. Every year, the maze is a different theme. This year it was Pirates. We love Pirates. Curly's sister Beanie and her flight attendant friend Thaun came with us (I think that's how you spell his name -- not so sure). Mini-me held the map and found the checkpoints and helped us conquer the octopus maze. We are going to go back, taking Flower, so that we can go through the other two parts of the maze. Join us, if you like.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pretty

At my quilting group this week, I started on my "Turning Twenty...Again!" quilt. No, it has nothing to do with my denial that I am 30. I wish. It's a pattern that takes 20 fat quarters of fabric and makes a quilt out of them. I got some great fabric from the store I love in Hagerstown. If anyone wants to take a trip out there with me, let me know. We can hit them and then the ribbon store, and maybe the Ann Taylor outlet. I digress...



Here are my two favorite fabrics out of the 20:





I wish the picture had been clearer. Our good digital camera was dropped (I don't like to place blame), and our okay camera has only 4 megapixels. It's stoneage. The ones out now have 10 megapixels for less than this one.


Anyway, it's a very random quilt, and I hope the ending effect is as cool as I hope it will be. Right now, I have 20 blocks that are 16 1/2" square. It's going to be a big quilt. I like big quilts. You can share a big quilt. I hope to finish the top tonight after the kids go to bed, but that's only if I can get it done before The Office at 9.


The other fun thing from this week was this great cake I made for Curly's meeting.


Again, blurry. It's a chocolate pumpkin cake with a cinnamon cream cheese whipped cream frosting and chocolate glaze. The pumpkin makes it good for you, because pumpkin is a "super food." It was a hit at the meeting and will probably be served at our Spooktacular Halloween Party. People are dying for an invitation. Missing it would be scary. Only the bootiful people will be there.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Weight Loss Wednesday

Today I did something I haven't done before: I turned my computer off. I went to the gym, came home and checked email, and then turned the laptop off. It was nice not to be compulsive about email and blogs all day. Instead, I was compulsive about quilting, but that's a story for another day.

It was not a stellar week with losing weight, but that's okay. I know what I did wrong (ate too much) and know how to correct it (eat less). My counselor is livin' la vida loca in South America this week. Maybe she'll bring me back a Brazilian string bikini as motivation. (Just kidding, Mom. Please do not get me a Brazilian string bikini.)

I had a disappointing first half of my workout today. The teacher was not very motivating. First of all, she was my size. I don't want an instructor who is my size. I want an instructor who is a toothpick and has more energy than my 3 year old. She also wasn't very good at calling the steps, and I got confused. I don't like being confused in front of other aerobickers. Before anyone rushes to her aide and says "Maybe she was new." No, she was not new. I remember her as an instructor before I got pregnant with Patch. The second part of my workout was fabulous. I did a Rep-Reebok class after the aerobics class. It's a toning class, where reps are counted with the beat of the music. I can really feel my triceps right now as I type. Tomorrow will not be pretty. When I went to pick up Patch from the playroom, he was laying on the mat, just looking up. One of the workers told me that sometimes he just takes a break like that. I thought it was funny and wished I had had my camera.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Perspective

I have been thinking about one General Conference talk a lot since this weekend. It was "the talk" by Sister Julie Beck. She started at the Relief Society meeting, and ended in a general session of conference (which text is not yet available online, but will be by Thursday). Her talks centered around being the best in every way being a woman allows you to be. I loved her talks. They made me feel like I haven't been doing enough, especially when she talked about "mothers who know" having clean houses. I do not have a clean, organized house. I do have a renewed commitment to clean and organize. In fact, all my laundry is now folded and ready to be placed into drawers and closets. That doesn't happen very often. My floor is vacuumed, and my surfaces have been dusted. Becoming the best housekeeper is going to take some time for me, but I am up for the challenge.

There has been some major negative talk in blogland about Sister Beck's talks. I found them to be depressing and spiritually debilitating. One commentary I read, however, was wonderful. Head over to Daring Young Mom's blog to read it. She is a great writer and has good, positive things to say.

There are a lot of things that I need to work on in order to be "the best." I am excited to try.

Monday, October 08, 2007

One Week Into October...

Halloween is fast approaching. Do you have your costume yet? I just got an email saying that Patch's costume is on its way. He's going to be a spider. So spooky. We are planning a party for our family who live close. I'm trying to think of clever names for everyday kid-friendly food. I know about making hot dogs into octopuses, but I want to go beyond that. Any suggestions?

Curly is going to be home tonight, which I think is so great. We are trying to be better with our Family Home Evening. I don't know who will give the lesson, maybe Mini-me. She's a very good story teller.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I Love a Parade!

I love a good parade, especially the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Another great one is the parade that just passed my house this morning: the Frederick In the Street Parade. It starts at 10 and is done by 10:30. The Frederick High marching band kicked it off. Following them were about a dozen cub scouts. Miss Frederick participated. Politicians rode in convertibles (and got yelled at by the lesbians across the street). Chick-Fil-a gave out stuffed cows. The Musical Theater Factory performed "Thriller" as it walked. My favorite was the Frederick Pipe and Drum band, made up of bagpipes and men in kilts. Rounding out the parade was the Thomas Johnson High School marching band. Our kids loved it, especially the part where we didn't have to drive to it or fight for a spot. It's a win for everyone.

On the docket for the rest of the day is the In the Street celebration. Curly and I are singing with the Towne Singers at 2:30. The weather isn't too bad, yet, so it will probably be packed downtown. The city closes Market Street between South and 7th Streets until for the entire day. Brewer's Alley has built a brick oven on the street in front of their restaurant to make some delicious brick oven pizzas. Isabella's usually has their top sellers of asparagus fries and goat cheese fritters ready to eat. The theater groups can perform on one outdoor stage, and local bands are on several other stages around the city. It's one of my favorite festivals the city puts on, second only in my heart to the Kris Kringle Processional.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Scary Moment

Last night, we had our Towne Singers rehearsal here at our house. Mini-me was already asleep, and Patch was ready for bed, just not in it yet. He was following the cat around and followed her into the kitchen. We could hear him touching stuff, and all of a sudden it was quiet. I went in and realized he was gone. I had a slight moment of panic, thinking maybe he fell down the basement stairs. But as the basement stairs are wooden and noisy and we heard no sound, I figured that wasn't it. I looked down the stairs, and there was Patch, about 5 steps down, carefully navigating his way down. I had been working with him on down earlier in the day. The kid is a fast learner.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Weight Loss Wednesday

Week Two was fantastic. I am down another 2 pounds. Woo-hoo! The advice this week was "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels." Being thin feels awfully good. I haven't been there in a long time.

The YMCA has been updating their machines lately. They have these great new machines that have TV screens on them. You plug your headphones in and then watch whatever you want. It makes the time go much faster when you've got Martha or Matt Lauer right in front of you.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I Heart Martha

Oh, Martha. How I love thee. Let me count the ways.

1. I love the impossible desserts and time consuming dinners that you demonstrate on your show. No one I know cooks like that, but it's fun to pretend that someday, I could serve up Moroccan Lamb Tagine followed by a delicious Pear Charlotte to my family and not have them all cry.

2. I love the crafts that in order to complete, you must by the supplies from your line at Michael's. You are an expert at everything. You try to get all your guests to make stuff, even Chris Matthews had to make his own button.

3. I love that you are an expert on all things home-keeping, when we all know you're a career girl at heart.

4. I love the image of you pruning your own gardens and tending your own flock of chickens. I just don't think it happens, but you want me to think it does.

Oh, Martha. What would I do without the impossible standard of perfection you give us all? Without you, I wouldn't want to replace my dowdy old ceiling fan with a wonderful chandelier made from mini pumpkins and cranberries. Without you, I wouldn't want to make my own "Vote 2008" tee-shirt. Without you, I wouldn't want to make unique gifts out of stamps and office supplies. Without you, I never would have attempted to make my own marshmallows (but I wholeheartedly agree that store bought ones taste like cardboard).

Thank you, Martha. I really do love you.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Irving




This baby quilt was made with Robert Kaufman's Every Iota line and measures 40 inches square. If you are interested in ordering this quilt, please contact me by email at jana at mollypatch dot com. Other fabrics and sizes are available.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Search Results

In looking at my stats for the week, I noticed some funny google searches that led people to my blog. My favorite was "naked witch cross stitch." Good luck with that. I think you'll have better luck creating your own pattern.

To the person looking for "the queen of the church of thailand the advice give to people," I hope you have enjoyed the weight loss advice doled out by the queen of our family, my mom. I didn't know the Church of Thailand had a queen, but I'm sure she gives great advice.

There were several others looking for patterns of dora, flowers, etc. I don't make my own patterns. Yet. Keep checking back.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I Have A Wide Foot

Now that you've read the title, hopefully the rest of the post will make sense.

Today is beautiful. The weather can hardly be improved upon, except maybe by subtracting about 10 degrees. As part of our "better you" program I have put our family on, we went for a walk. We even took Gracie. She was a little scared, but since most of Frederick is dog friendly, she was welcomed more places than our kids.

I wore my new shoes. They are red and have orange insoles. When I tried them on, it was like walking on a pillow. I thought no shoe could be more comfortable and more stylish at the same time. As we walked up and down the streets and paths of Frederick, my wide foot began to expand. When we got home, taking them off was like releasing Ursula the sea witch from her mortal form. I still think the shoes are cute. I just hope that they will become more comfortable.

Friday, September 28, 2007

MIA

When I went to blog for Weight Loss Wednesday, my computer was acting funny. It was slow and would lose Internet* connection spontaneously. I finally got my entry written, and it wouldn't post. I was sad. If I had been able to post, I would have said that my weight loss is off to an excellent new beginning. In the first week, I have lost 7 pounds. Not too shabby. The advice for the week is that we do not eat to Feel Full, but to Fuel the Furnace. My mom loves alliteration.

I have two rewards waiting for me. As soon as I get under a certain weight, I can use one of my gift certificates for a salon and get a facial or a massage. I can't decide which. After I lose 10 more pounds (from what I weighed in on Monday), I can buy a corduroy jacket from Talbots. Hopefully, in the time it takes me to lose 10 more pounds, it will feel like fall.

Today is a busy day. I have to make 150 mini pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for opening night of FtP's The Fantastics. I am on the events committee. The Towne Singers will be singing in the lobby before the show, then during the show I will help set up for the opening night reception.

Did anyone see The Office last night? I know it's an obscure show...Just kidding. I thought it was great. Curly got a little annoyed with me because I was so excited Jim and Pam are really dating. Grey's Anatomy also did not disappoint. I was ready to hate Meredith's sister, but I really like her. This is going to be a problem for her because everyone likes the sister. Meredith is going to need to cool down the jealousy vibe she gives off....(I love talking about shows as if the characters were real.)

Have a great weekend. Check back in for a final photo of the first Molly Patch quilt. It's so cute, you'll all want one.

*Did you know that "Internet" is supposed to be capitalized? Spell check says so...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Firemen


It's Safety Week at Costco. When we arrived today at 1:15, there were firetrucks and ambulances in the parking lot. I loaded the kids in the cart and went to meet the "guys who keep us safe." We checked out the trucks, saw where they keep the hoses and the ladders, and then sat in the drivers seat. The firemen gave the kids hats before we went into the store. I think I'll bring fun hats every time we go to Costco. The kids were quiet and well entertained for the hour we were there.

Monday, September 24, 2007

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Tonight is the start of premier week. We have the DVR all set to go. Sadly, many shows conflict. I'll be watching some down in the playroom while the others record. Tonight, I am so excited about the return of Heroes. That show kept me guessing all last season. Who knows what they'll throw at us this time. The new show I am looking forward to tonight is Chuck. It looks funny.

Here's the rundown for the rest of the week:

Tuesday --
Returning: Dancing with the Stars (duh!)
New: None

Wednesday --
Returning: Criminal Minds.
New: Private Practice. What trouble will Addison get herself into with a new set of hot doctors around her? Bonus: Taye Diggs.

Thursday --
Returning: Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy, My Name is Earl, The Office
New: None. Who needs new shows on Thursday?

Friday --
Returning: None
New: Moonlight. It's about vampires. I like vampires.

So far, no news on Jericho, even though I know it's coming back because fans sent peanuts to the network when it was cancelled (if you don't get that, you obviously have missed a great show). 30 Rock and Scrubs aren't starting yet, either.

The new season will give ample time for stitching, quilting, knitting, and just relaxing. I love it! I have a lot of projects to finish. Now if only the weather would cooperate and turn cool...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Almost Done

The quilt I have been working on for some Molly Patch customers is almost done. I did the quilting yesterday, all by machine. I found this great star pattern for the border by Borders Made Easy. It's a product that you attatch to the quilt and follow for the perfect border. It is so much easier than drawing the pattern out with chalk. By the time you get to the end, the chalk has always worn off and you have to guess what comes next, which can be frustrating. Zero frustration with Borders Made Easy.

Here's a photo, or two, of the QUIP:





This is the first time I have designed a quilt star to finish. It took all my brain power, because putting squares on point can be tricky, but it was worth it. The main part of the fabric is a line called Every Iota by Robert Kaufman. I found most of it online. The back is this really soft, nubby material. It's a little hard to work with because if the stretch, but the result is so great. Who wouldn't want to cuddle their baby in such softness? All I have left to do is the binding, which is actually my favorite part. I have named this quilt (because you have to name a quilt) the Irving. Hope they like it :)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

Photo Friday


I call this: "Inspiration."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Birthday

Today, Gracie is 1. Or 7. You know, dog years. She is still very much a puppy, but is calming down. We love her crazy self. (We also know that most of you do not. That's okay, we don't judge.)

Quote of the Day

Mini-Me: Flower, come jump with me!
Flower: I can't. I'm too beautiful. Look at me.

Overheard this morning before Flower went to school.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Weight Loss Wednesday

Yes, my friends, Weight Loss Wednesday is back. I have taken a bit of a hiatus, but now I am back with a vengeance. I decided last week that Jenny was a tad too expensive. Lean Cuisine is owned by the same company, and the nutritional exchanges for the food is the same. The element of Jenny I knew I needed was the counselor. I need someone I can weigh in with, I need someone I can check in with weekly. Naturally, I thought of my mom. She has successfully waged the battle of the bulge and is always full of advice and encouragement for me. We began on Monday, which will be my new weigh-in day. Her advice this week? It's okay to be hungry. Tell that to my kids at 3:30 in the afternoon when they're starving.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Fair!

The fair came to town this weekend. We had a ball. Flower was finally tall (and brave) enough to go on some faster rides. Mini-me cried, because she's wanted to go on the roller coaster for 2 years in a row now, but has been too short. They rode in the belly of a bear with Curly:










Went on a crazy motorcycle ride:






Went on a ride that took your straight up, and then dropped you, several times:








We did the dime toss and won 2 glasses:








We did the carousel. Patch was less than impressed:






We saw livestock. Oh, the livestock. Patch loved the piggies. The girls liked the milking exhibition:



What a fun time we had! We can't wait for next year.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

QUIPs and WIPs

Here's my latest QUIP (quilt in progress):






Here's my latest cross stitch WIP (work in progress):



I have been busy cleaning and organizing for the fall, so I have not been able to devote the time I would like to my projects. Maybe this weekend I'll have a little more time. If not, Esmeralda may not have a home for Halloween!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Nutshell


A picture is definitely worth a thousand words.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Jump!

This is Patch's favorite thing to do: he climbs up the first two stairs to the landing. Then, while I count to 3, he crouches down as low as he can. Then, he stands up really fast and yells either "Doe!" or "Dump!" It is so funny. We are supposed to "catch" him when he does this. Here is a picture of the wind up:


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hair

Before


After


Before


After

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Pizza


We are having pizza for dinner -- the kind we make ourselves, not the kind the teenager brings. While I wait for it cook, I thought I would post a picture from our recent summer vacation. This was taken at some falls in Yellowstone. Our little family is a lot of fun. The kids are always singing or pretending. If you ever get the chance to see them act out Seussical the Musical, don't pass it up. Sometimes they let me be Gertrude.
Patch has not felt too well today. He's been a little grumpy and has taken 2 long naps. He's fussing now, but he has to stay in his high chair until dinner is over. He can make it up those stairs so fast. I hope he likes his pizza, or else he's going to be really mad.

Double Play

I think I may have said I few times that I enjoy cross stitching. And, if I haven't, let me say that I enjoy cross stitching. I also enjoy a good baseball game. Combine the two, and you have a phenomenon known as "Stitch 'N Pitch." The website has a list of teams that hosted the event, with 3 games still to come. Unfortunately, none are near me. Curly read me an article yesterday about a recent event. Apparently you get to sit in a "special" section that is full of stitchers. I doubt they sell many hot dogs in that section.

On my stitching front, I am still plugging away at Esmeralda's House. My new goal is to have it done by the end of the month so it can be framed by Halloween. Last night I finished the top of my Olivia quilt. It is so cute. A little busy, but cute. My favorite part is the border, which is made of strips that show Olivia exercising with the words "Exercising is good. Accessorizing is better."

The county fair starts next week, and for the first time in 3 years I have no cross stitch to enter. I am very sad about that. I have finished a couple of pieces, but have not been able to get them framed. One is a very cute Thanksgiving circle. I want to have that made into a tray. I may enter the baked goods competition. Last year my 5 Flavor Cake did not do so well. I'm hoping for a better showing this year in the cake category.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It's Freezing!

I love the temperature gauge on a car. I'm a weather nerd -- I could watch Dopplar Radar for hours on end. While driving in Grandma and Grandpa's car this morning, I had to laugh when I saw that the temperature outside was 33 with a warning for ice. If only....it's actually 90. Thanks again for the use of the car, even if the temperature doesn't work :)

Ballerina