Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall Break

First day of Fall Break:

Kind of a dreary, rainy morning, huh?

Those droopy sunflowers in the background say it best. Time for pumpkin scones! From Money Saving Mom's suggestion I used the recipe from Sweet Pea's Kitchen: When it was time to make the glaze we found we are out of powdered sugar. Lexi was very sad but they were very good anyway. This is breakfast, not dessert, right? This was all that was left after just four of us dug in and later Zachary ended up eating another:

So, a couple left for Millie (who did not feel like eating at all) or maybe some for snack. I'd call these a success. 

Money Saving Mom posted these as part of a successful freezer cooking session:

I hope to be making more pumpkin recipes this week-a mix of old favorites and new recipes. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What's for dinner?

Over the past week (Friday-Friday):
Pizza (of course):

Birthday dinner of tofu and greens plus onion rings and cake:
(Millie helped bake the cake and both girls sifted sugar for frosting)

Assorted roasted veggies, bread and salad:
Friday night pizza with a twist: Easy Bake Oven!
Jeffrey made some regular size, too:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Only one month late. :)  Saturday, May 5th, after Jeffrey finished the 3-State, 3-Mounatain Challenge (best time ever!) we went to watch the girls scrimmage with the group they've been taking a soccer clinic with:

Afterwards we decided we were too tired to even supervise supper making. Never mind that Zachary needed to leave at our usual suppertime to get to the CFC soccer game. He won a season pass when his team won the neighborhood soccer cup. We decided to do something totally outside our norm: go out to supper at a Mexican restaurant on Cinco de Mayo. We don't go out to eat a lot and we take the kids even less often. And I hate crowds and noise. Somehow, though, it sounded like fun for once. We went to a local spot, not far from Jeffrey's office-Taco Mamacita. They serve local food which I love. And we went early. Talk about a cultural experience! There were certainly a lot of people there and I did not notice any other kids (I did as we left). We had to show i.d., not at the door, but still in the parking lot! We got wristbands, too. The kids _tried_ to, then we explained. There was a wait only long enough for a potty break ("I drank all my water bottle in the car!") and we got seats with a good view of the t.v.:

"Mommy, I want the white horse to win and it's winning!" Oh, yeah, it's time for the Kentucky Derby. Zachary had his own entertainment. The horses were almost enough and when they weren't there was a guy in Mexican garb to watch and crayons for coloring:

Why color the kids' menu when you can color the pretty lady on the coasters? While we waited for our food I looked up Cinco de Mayo on Wikipedia. It's primarily an American holiday to celebrate Mexican heritage. It is also observed in some regions of Mexico, mainly in Puebla where it celebrates victory over a battle with the French. We enjoyed it the typical American way; as an excuse to eat some yummy Mexican food.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Now We Are Six

Happy Birthday, Millie!
 When I was One, I had just begun.
When I was Two, I was nearly new.
When I was Three, I was hardly me.
When I was Four I was not much more.
When I was Five, I was just alive.
But now I am Six,
I'm as clever as clever.
So I think I'll be six now,
For ever and ever.

-A. A. Milne

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wild Life

Living so close to the foot of Lookout Mountain, we see and hear many animals that we might not expect in the city, or at least not in such a large number. Birds and opossums are the most common, along with the occasional raccoon or coyote. This week we found a more unusual critter.

I looked it up and when I found it is fairly localized, near threatened and often found only in wild areas (or at least that's how I interpreted the info) I decided to add our observation to You can upload your own observations and look at what others have added. Maybe I'll add some more in the future-I'll certainly be keeping my eyes open!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

16 Months to 16 Years

Today Teddy turns 16! It wasn't too long ago he was aspiring to be a programmer like his Daddy:
Taking care of the kitties like his Mommy:
Now he seems all grown up:
Happy Birthday Teddy!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

KCWC-Sewing School Edition

It's not procrastinating if you're accomplishing something else, is it? I resolved my indecision about the dresses by letting Lexi choose the contrast fabric-done! Then I decided how many extra details by how much fabric there is-check! I just cannot bring myself to cut out those big dress panels; it's too much commitment. I'll get there.

In the meantime I decided to make some skirts WITH the girls. Something I've been meaning to do for a while. I checked out Sewing School from the library and now it's on our to-buy list. The emphasis is on the kids doing as much of the work as possible: threading their needles, tying knots, the sewing and tying off at the end. I love how it's a totally freeing book; the stitches taught are running stitch and whipstitch, no complicated backstitch necessary. There's even a chapter on mending! Another freeing thing: the results. There are pictures of actual kids and their actual projects. They are not perfect but they are cute and functional anyway. Check out their blog.

One of the projects/patterns in the book is a basic skirt. It's an a-line with an elastic waistband-two skirt pieces to cut and then the seams, hem and casing. Pretty fast on a machine. Well, of course I had to change it up. The skirt is a little long and our fabric of choice was limited. I also hate sewing a casing for elastic (and threading it, getting the elastic the right length, sewing it...). I was pretty excited to discover Dana's circle skirt with exposed elastic waist (she has lots of other tutorials, too). I made two for the girls' Halloween costumes this past year.

I got even more excited when I discovered using knit fabric or even the neck of a turtleneck for a yoga band. That's what I ended up using on Millie's Lemon Meringue skirt.

So, I altered the pattern for My Very Own Skirt by making a hem facing pattern and shortened skirt pattern. I had some fabric for the main skirt from a yard sale and more fabric from a different yard sale. This was part of a pillow case-why hem a skirt if someone's already done the hemming for you? Millie traced the pattern and cut it out:

 She pinned it:

 Then we sewed together on my sewing machine :

It's not a very kid-friendly machine but, like other Singers you can put the foot pedal up and use a knee lever to run it. So Millie got to make it go and I helped guide the fabric through. I did the pressing myself. Millie's a pretty capable, independent kid but we were pretty agreed that making a mistake with an iron is too much. After the skirt was sewed together I did the yoga band myself. Mills was pretty tired and ready for a rest by then. She had worked hard! Her reward:

That night we went out to celebrate Teddy's birthday early. Pizza, Aquarium, Clumpies. Right after we got to the Aquarium Millie got a compliment on her skirt. She was proudly able to say, "I made it myself, today!" 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

KCWC-take two

Success! Daytime is definitely better for me for projects. Better light, more energy, coffee, girls gone, what more could I want? Well, perhaps decisiveness! I have all the pattern printed and cut out correctly in both sizes. Now, do I want to add a contrast band at the hem? Widen the yoke? Add with to and gather the front? Add rickrack? And which fabric for the contrast: a yellow plaid, solid yellow, green check? There are some pretty cute options out there.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'd rather be gardening

Mondays are pretty busy for me so I was not sure I would be doing anything for the Kid's Clothing Week Challenge. However, there's always going to be something else to do (part of the point of the challenge) so I buckled down and attempted to get something done. I decided to start with Oliver + S's Popover Sundress pattern. There are a few things I want to change and The Haley Dress tutorial will help with that. I was going to use that tutorial and not the popover pattern but I would have had to draft my own pattern.

The Popover is a free pattern in a pdf. I opted not to print the instructions-that's what laptops are for! I noted that the pattern needs to be printed in landscape at 100%, tested a sheet, then got to work. After cutting out all the pieces and taping them together (it prints on 8.5 x 11 paper) the last piece (actually, the first I printed) did not fit! This is when I realized two things: 1. After the test sheet the rest of the sheets did not print at the correct size and 2. I cut Millie's pattern in size 5, not 6! Definitely time for bed-and it was only 10:00! I tried to comfort myself with the fact it was just the paper and not the fabric-or worse, the whole dress! Checking the Oliver + S forums someone did just that; made a tiny dress. I went to bed with plans to try again in the morning while the girls would be gone.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kids Clothing Week Challenge

I'm restarting my blog through Blogger just in time for this year's Kids Clothing Week Challenge at Elsie Marley. I have no idea what I'm doing blogging (for instance, I'd love to have a picture to go with the link) but I'm hoping it will be fun. KCWC starts the 23rd and I hope to post as I go.