Thursday, July 15, 2010

Not For Nothing

So my lousy bowl of fabric strawberries proved itself pretty useful today. John had gotten a Toy Story 3 paint by numbers set in the dollar section at Michaels, and then Maggie and Harry just had to join in. I'm working on a fabric covered canvas "quilt" of sorts for my stairway wall, and just happened to have some extra canvas boards lying about, so we were set. Except we didn't know what to paint...imagine, just a blank canvas in front of you with no idea of what to do!

Pretty good renderings I think... and John was pretty impressed with his own creation:

These pictures are for my mom to see that I really can relax and let the kids make a mess of things....

Just look at that counter filled with painting paraphernalia!

Maybe my laissez faire attitude of the day came from reading this article in New York Magazine this morning...(well to be honest, there was a story about the article on the Today show and I looked it up...I'm not really in the habit of reading new York Magazine or anything). The title is "All Joy and No Fun, Why Parents Hate Parenting". Here's the link if you're interested. Just kind of got me to thinking....parenting is obviously joyful, but how often does the happiness of it shine through....hopefully more often than not.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Kids Went to Washington For 10 Days And All I Got Was This Lousy Bowl of Fabric Strawberries

Seriously...I had HALF of my children gone, and what did I spend my time doing?

Making enough fabric strawberries to fill my trifle bowl.

For any particular reason, you ask?

No, they just looked pretty and made me happy, so I just kept making them.
(Thanks to Vanessa for the tutorial BTW)
Well, there were a few other things....

My take of "Subway" art that I see all around the internet, but in pillow form.

And then these little guys got delivered a few days ago, so it took some time to figure them out....

And then there was one other "little" thing.

That's the view from the head of my bed now. I mentioned to my husband a few weeks ago (while in the midst of an arthritic flare that just about did me in) that I might be more inclined to watch movies with him after the kids went to bed if he would watch them in our room where I could relax in my big comfy bed. To which he responded with distinct disdain in his voice, "on that TV? It's only 32 inches"

Oh the horror.

Thus began the quest for a new TV "for me". I have to admit, it's a pretty little thing. Well, "little" might not be the best word for it. But pretty it definately is.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Well, I may have committed myself to staying home for the entire summer, but these two brave people who are literally twice my age (sorry guys) did not. So when Grandpa Joe and Grandma Carole announced that they were going to make the thousand mile long drive to Uncle Nate and Aunt Kate's farm up in Washington, my three oldest seized the opportunity for a getaway and invited themselves along.

They left our house on Monday morning, traveled all day, stayed the night in Southern Oregon, and then traveled the rest of the way on Tuesday. I haven't heard much from them, which means they must be having too good of a time to call too often.

Here are a few pictures I received as text messages...the quality isn't great, but you get what you get. I'm sure they'll have lots more pictures when they return on Tuesday.

As for myself, I'm home with my second "set" of children. It's been fun to watch these three with their older siblings gone. The dynamic has certainly changed, and it will be interesting to see what happens when the first "set" returns. Well, maybe interesting isn't the word...maybe volatile is more the word I'm looking for. I guess only time will tell.

At any rate, thank you to Grandpa Joe and Grandma are certainly more brave than I am this summer, and I'm sure my children will always remember this special time they got to spend with you.

We miss you guys!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Celebration Conundrum

After driving to Utah and back last month, I had to sit down and have a serious discussion with myself about limitations. In particular, physical limitations that my body seems to have placed itself. It used to be no problem whatsoever to put four or five or six kids in the car and drive us all to Utah or Oregon, or wherever the fun was to be found. Sadly for me,I find that not to be the case any longer. So after the last trip, I committed myself to staying home for the summer, and also, trying to be happy about doing that. This committment came with a few challenges.

First, what to do with all these kids for the hundred days of summer?

And second, foremost in my childrens minds'...

I guess I didn't realize that so many of our last years' Independance Days were celebrated in Oregon. I didn't realize that to my children, Oregon was the only place to spend it. So, we had a little talk. I asked them, "What is it about Oregon that makes the Fourth so fun?" The overwhelming answer that came back was, "Fireworks, the blowtorch, and dancing Grandpa Steve". (I'm not sure about the dancing Grandpa Steve part?...maybe I missed that last year.) Anyway, we found most of these hurdles easy enough to get over. Alyssa brought us some Oregon Fireworks on her way back to Southern California, and I went to Lowe's and bought a blow torch. Easy enough.

Then, we realized that the Fourth of July was on Sunday. Now, you know me, I love to dress the part for holidays. And I love to dress the kids for the holidays too. Joe IV is finally starting to put up a fuss about being dressed like everyone else, but everyone else still doesn't seem to mind. I didn't attempt to get a picture of them all together, but did get some snipets of our day...

I thought these boys looked especially patriotic. Jack was dressed the same, but slept through the photo shoot...

It took some convincing, but I finally got Maggie to consent to wearing her "boyfriend blazer", even though it was really just her little brother's church coat.

And then, we set a pretty table, made some star shaped jello, and poured ourselves some red, white and blue drinks. Dad and Grandpa explained the chemistry involved in it all...

Finally, the lights went down and we got busy in the backyard. Harry was of course the official "torch-master" and all the kids enjoyed some sparklers and fountains of color.

In the end, we all still missed Oregon a bit...but we realized that what we missed about Oregon were the people; Grandma Lark and [dancing] Grandpa Steve, Aunts and Uncles and all the fun cousins. The rest of it though, could all be found at home.