Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Yarn Along

What's that you say?  You don't think I've knit anything since the last time I posted this project?   Well, that's mostly true.  We've had a pretty busy party week around here with the twin's birthday, followed by Nate's birthday, followed by Easter and my hands just haven't seemed to make it to the needles lately.  Although I did spend a good hour or so frogging bits and tinking bits of this little vest so that it may in fact seem shorter than in the last picture I posted. 

I've felt some frustration with the pattern--namely that it assumes that I'm a five star knitter and can fill in the blanks on my own.  I think it's quite annoying that the pattern basically ends after you join for the arm holes.  It instructs to just keep knitting as you have been following the cable pattern until your desired length.  EXCEPT that when going back and forth, you purl on the wrong side.  It fails to mention that when you join to knit in the round, you need to add a round of knit.  It's probably something that should be obvious--but it wasn't to me.  Anyway--back on track.  Hopefully I'll find some time to knit this week.

I picked up The Glass Castle at the thrift store some time ago.  I had read Half Broke Horses before and liked that one.  But I had heard that this one is pretty depressing.  So I've let it sit on the shelf until I'm more in the mood for a depressing book.  When do you really ever get in that mood?  I finally figured that the author's life (it's a memoir) couldn't have been all that bad if she managed to become a successful New York Times Bestselling author.  So far I'm liking it. 

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Stanely Rabbits

Around 10:00 on Easter Eve as I was stuffing bunny arms (ten of them) Nate asked me, "Why do you do this every holiday?"  He of course was referring to:  creating a large scale handmade project for myself and then putting it off until the very last minute.  To him it seems stressful, time consuming and totally unnecessary.  He pointed out that we have plenty of things to fill their Easter baskets with.  It's not as if we Need anything else.  And chances are the kids won't be "wowed" sufficiently to justify the time and effort it takes to make bunny softies.  He was right of course--on both counts. 
But my response was also right as it felt true, and made perfect sense.  It was simply that I like to do it.  I honestly don't care if I'm down a few hours of sleep.  I don't care that it's not necessary or that it may not be duly appreciated.  I know I'm doing it for myself--this sewing stuff, more than for the kids.  But I'm alright with that.  Because it's fun to me.  I excused myself from the bedroom/sewing room when all my pieces were put together, went down to the basement with some needle and thread for the hand work and very contentedly watched a good movie while I put faces on these five bunnies.  It was really fun--really. 
Once I realized that I want to sew, that I enjoy sewing things for my children, it doesn't really matter then how well the item is received.  I've already received joy in the making.  Though I like to flatter myself that the kids do like what I make them. 
Easter morning met the kids with five bunnies waiting for them on the couch.  They each chose the one they wanted (interesting that I would have picked differently for them).  And I do believe they are happy with their bunnies.  Oliver promptly named his bunny "Stanley" after the bunny from That Rabbit belongs to Emily Brown book that we all enjoy so much.  And then Byrdie requested a mouth for her bunny so that it would look a little more like Stanley--of course why didn't think of that.  I gave each bunny a "face lift."  They do look so much friendlier with a mouth.  Byrdie's made a harness for her bunny--"bunny wunny?" or "pickles?" and has taken it on several adventures already.   
I am quite certain that the big kids would have preferred a new Webkins that I have in a bag in my closet waiting patiently for a rainy day, literally.  But they seem to enjoy their hand made bunnies well enough.  And how many more years will I be able to sew a softie for each and every one of my children with any kind of positive reaction.  Oliver's soon to be out of the stuffed animal phase I'm guessing.  I'm happy to have snuck one last soft friend in--his very own Stanley. 
The pattern for the rabbits was Martha Stewart's Menswear Bunny made with five different colors of Woolies Flannel. 


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Day



Random musings of the day:

Beatrice was simultaneous terrified of and drawn to the wind up yellow chick from the dollar store.  She thinks it is alive and will only hold it buy a tuft of fur at the top of its head.  But she continued to bring it to us to wind it up.  Then she would set it down to let it hop making sure to back up quickly.  When it fell on the ground once she hollered, "catch it!"

The night before Easter, Oliver built an egg catapult with Lego robotics pieces and then spent the afternoon launching eggs onto the concrete where they would crack for us to use in egg salad. 

After my very weak and empty threat that the Easter Bunny doesn't visit messy houses, Louisa dictated a note to Byrdie and they left it on the couch with their baskets.  It read, "Dear Easter Bunny, I love you.  Please bring us eggs even though our house is dirty."

Church went over fifteen minutes.  Now I know--I know, worshiping is the entire purpose behind this holiday.  But three hours + two two year olds + nap/lunch time + a large dose of sugar for breakfast = an eternal fifteen minutes. 

Carrot juice is so refreshing after a handful of jellybeans and mini Cadbury eggs.

Hunting for Eggs

Occasionally I feel bad for my last three children because when it comes to attending things like annual Easter egg hunts, I feel kind of burnt out.  We did these things more regularly for Oliver and Byrdie and I'm sure we had fun.  But at this point in our family, with seven of us, I just have no desire to run around town meeting Easter bunnies and then stand by while my children gather up more sugar than I ever want them to consume.

However, when a long time primary worker who lives around the corner hosts a local egg hunt in her yard, well, I think we can manage that.  She's also the one who dresses up like a witch on Halloween and serves "potion" from her cauldron.  Don't you just love people like this who continue to make magic for other people's children even when hers are grown?  As we headed over to her house Louisa even wondered, "maybe she'll dress up like a witch today for the egg hunt." 

It was a well planned and carried out activity complete with a few different relay games, "Bunny, Bunny, Egg," and a complete egg hunt which allowed each child to gather 26!!! eggs filled with candy.  Oh my!  We had plans to cut the twins off short but they did it themselves once they found out the first egg had candy in it.  They took a seat and contented themselves for quite some time. 

And just when we thought we had enough candy to last us a couple of years, Louisa went and found the "golden" egg which won herself a giant chocolate Easter Bunny.  We're thinking chocolate fondue. 

I suspect no one in this family will ever be deprived hunting for eggs.

Friday, April 18, 2014


I'm a week behind on laundry.  I haven't had a car for almost a month.  I really wasn't in the mood to look at the lunar eclipse.  I'm glad I did. 

If something has left an impression on you this week feel free to share it here. 

Happy 38th

Going with the twins to Mommy and Me tumbling class--and proud to be the only daddy there.

A trip to Brigham City to buy a new (to us) car--how many people actually get a car for their birthday!

Lunch downtown Ogden--trout cobb salad and bread pudding.

Hobo dinners in the firepit.

Presents and chocolate and banana cream pie.

Lots of love from lots of loved ones.

Happy 38th Nathan.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

10 non-candy things to put in an Easter egg

Each year as I try to get new and fun ideas of what to fill our Easter baskets with, I ask around to friends and family about what they put in.  I'm continually surprised by the response that so many people just do candy. 
Now I don't know if I'm extra conscious about loading my children up with so much candy on a Sunday morning that is meant to be peaceful and meditative, or if it's my love for little treasures and the hunt thereof that I like to fill baskets with things mostly non-candy.  Most likely the latter I'm afraid. 
Regardless of the reason, whenever this time of year rolls around my eyes are always peeled for small little trinkets.  I know this post is coming pretty late in the game to do most people any good for this Easter.  But if you're a procrastinator like myself, you still have plenty of time to run a few places for your own Easter basket treasures. 
This year, I decided to look for extra small things that would fit into the eggs themselves.  It was a fun challenge.  Here are ten things I have so far. 

A small measuring tape.  I found these for 99 cents.

Lip balm.

These are super great.  They are little recording devices where you push down to record a thirty second message or song and then you can play it back.

Some kind of jewelry--bracelet, necklace etc.

Fingernail polish.

A die with letters, days of the week, countries etc.

Really strong magnets.

A hackey sack.

A Lego mini figure.

And a geode or other fancy rock.

I also like to fit in a book and some sort of outside toy/play thing such as rocket balloons, different types of balls, sidewalk chalk, gliders, bubbles or water toys. 

What about you?  What are some fun and unique ideas that you've used over the years?