Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

And, Happy Samhain to my witchier readers! AND Happy Birthday to my Melodie. Last night, we finally carved our pumpkins. The kids had a blast.

Charlie took a spoonful of pumpkin guts to the face, and of course I d
idn't think to get a picture of that! Atley was trying to scoop his goop and accidentally flung it at him. Dan's been working alot of overtime lately, so he didn't get home in time to help and was bummed. It was almost 8, and the girls had school today. I had waited as long as I could. Oh well, he can help next year! Actually, next year we might be able to do our own pumpkins again. The last couple years, we just haven't done our own because there were so many to help with. Ari did hers all by herself, and she was the first one done. She got her pumpkin from the field trip her class went on at the beginning of the month. Her pumpkin is a witch. Atley did a really good job on his, too. His is a bat. He scooped the guts and did about half of it himself. I finished up. For the pumpkin he had, he did a really good job. It was very tough, and I think a baking pumpkin might have gotten mixed in with the lot. Melodie did most of hers herself, too. It's a spider. I helped on the legs a little, and we had a problem with the head due to bad engineering. (I always forget about the having to leave part of it not cut or the middle won't stay!) Charlie's pumpkin is a Shrek baby. It was Melodie's idea. I was quite proud of myself!

And here are all of our lighted pumpkins:

I got up early to work today, and of course our internet service was on the blink, so I didn't get any early work done. I had about an hour to finish up last night, and Dan got home so late I didn't get out to get Melodie's presents, so we had to do that after we dropped the girls off to school today. AND, I didn't get the cake baked last night because I wanted to go to bed so I could get up early, so that's in the oven right now. I still need to boil potatoes for some potato salad because the grandparents are coming over tonight for pizza and cake and ice cream. I've got to quit work around 1:00 to go to the girls' Halloween parties at school, and my grandparents will probably be waiting at home when we get home from school. The house is a mess. Oh yeah, did I mention I'm supposed to work today!?! Oh well, I'm sure we'll manage to get most stuff done. I bought Atley a pack of Thomas stickers from the dollar store this morning and told him if he cleans for me, he can have some of his trick-or-treat candy and the pack of stickers. Yes, it's bribery, and no I don't think it's wrong. If it works, use it! Anywho,

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I couldn't think of a title for today....just random stringing together of thoughts, I guess. Yesterday was an eventful day. We dropped the girls off at school, then went right to the store for groceries. Ari's teacher sent a note home Monday night they were low on snack, and I wasn't about to go to the store down the street and pay 3 times what I would at the store the next day. Then, we rushed home (I was running late because I was looking for birthday presents for Melodie. Did you know Walmart does not sell diaries with locks? Heads up, just in case you were in the market.) I hurried up and frosted the cupcakes I made to take in to Melodie's class for her birthday. We did it yesterday since their class Halloween party is Friday, and the teacher wanted her to get a special day, and not just stuck in with the party. How more thoughtful can you get? Atley helped put sprinkles on them. Then, we ran to school, dropped off the snack with Ari's class, and ran down to Melodie's class. Well, I had only been in her new classroom for this year once, and apparently I didn't remember which one it was, because we walked into the wrong classroom (after knocking...but they had paper covering the window so we couldn't see in) and Atley yelled peek-a-boo! Oops! I apologized, but the teacher still seemed really ticked. Geez, I said I was sorry. Anyway, so we found the right classroom and shared in the cupcakes and singing with 21 very hyper 3rd and 4th graders! I have NEVER seen them THIS hyper. Wow. Friday, I think I'll take my chances with the kindergarteners! (I'm a room mom in both girls' classes.)

I finished up a cell phone pouch for my Harry Potter House Cup Transfiguration class. I crocheted it up from the wool yarn I dyed for Herbology with the black walnuts, then I felted it. I think I might give the felting another go. It's not quite as fitted as I wanted it to be. I'm torn though, because there's enough room to slip my license and debit card or a couple dollars in it if I don't want to take a purse somewhere. Hmmmm...decisions, decisions. I also started a pair of mittens for Charlie yesterday. I don't like my decrease and am going to give it another go. Plus, Dan said that my idea of V on one and W on the other is stupid, and if you don't but the VW on each one, it won't make sense. So, I'm going to try to work out a teeny weeny VW symbol. (Dan is a HUGE VW bug fan. I used to be, until I got Dan. Now, I hate those tiny little cars.) Anyway, my first intarsia work was a VW hat for Dan and one for Atley. Charlie needs a winter hat, so I did start on that after the mitten failure yesterday because it's a quick knit. I'm going to add ear flaps and ties to his, though. I got the yarn for the girls', too, but I'm going to do those for Yule.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland

Ok, so there's not THAT much snow, ok so NONE that stuck, but we had our first flakes today folks!! I must say, I was as giddy as a little schoolgirl to see those flakes...or a preschool boy, as the case may be. My schoolgirls were already at school. I can only assume if they saw the snow, they were in fact quite peeved because they could not go out in it. My mom said some stations are calling for 2 inches by tomorrow...others nada. It is Ohio, I'm sure one or both of them will be right. And, I know, a mere few posts ago I was complaining about the nonexistant snow, and now I'm happy. If we get those 2 inches, talk to me then. I'll be back to hating it again in no time!

Sunday, October 26, 2008



Wow. That's all I can say, wow. Some BEAUTIFUL custom, hand sewn children's clothes. This just blows my mind. I've always considered myself a fairly accomplished seamstress....not anymore!! Wow, again, wow.

Trick or Treat

Today was trick-or-treat. Last night we also went trick-or-treating at my in-law's. We have the motherload of candy right now. The bowl overflow-eth.

First we stopped by at my dad's new place to check it out on the way to my in-law's and unfortunately found out my step-mom was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. :0( I've talked to my dad and my one told me!

Then, we went to my in-laws, trick-or-treated up a few blocks, and went back to chow some of the best pizza in the world! If you're ever in NE Ohio, Rasici's pizza in the North Hill part of Akron is the best pizza you will ever eat! Dan's Granny got to see Charlie for the first time.

Then, we had trick-or-treat today. The kids were so excited. Without further ado, here are the costumes that yes, I got finished in time! I even got them done with 2 hours to spare!

From L-R: Princess Fiona, Batman, Shrek baby, and Indian princess

Friday, October 24, 2008

Palin blessed against "witchcraft"

Ok, this is scary. As a pagan, it really bothers me that a person that could be deciding the law of the land (let's face it, McCain is old, he's had poor health, the odds aren't good for the next 4 years) is like this. A person that narrow-minded could be deciding on HER morals what is good for the country. Does that mean paganism will become outlawed? I love this rebuttal. Thanks to SpiderWitch on Rav for posting these! Scary, scary stuff. It's one thing to agree to disagree, but this is too much. As Deborah said, don't worry Sarah Palin, this witch will stay far, far away from you! I wouldn't want to get pitbull lipstick or $150,000 wardrobe lint on my ritual garb.

Happy 50th Smurfday!

Well, my mom just emailed me to brighten up my funk. It is the 50th Smurfday to my favoritest cartoon ever....that's right, the Smurfs! I even bought a box of Smurf cookies when I was in France, and I still have the box, yes, proven time and time again, I am a dork. I've still got my smurf head radio and my Grumpy, Baby, and Smurfette dolls up in the attic. The Smurfs have partnered with Unicef to raise funds. See, they're even goodwill ambassadors! Who doesn't love the Smurfs. Here is a link to their Happy 50th Smurfday site. They're even FINALLY making a new Smurf movie, from the director of Shrek 2 and Shrek the 3rd. Yay! I'm so happy!

La la, la la la la, la, la la, la la. La la, la la la la, la, la la, la la.

Still in a funk

Sorry for the depressing diatribe from yesterday. I've been trying really hard lately to not stress about things I can't change, but I guess it all finally caught up to me. I'm still in a funk, but I feel a little better. Thanks for letting me vent that. I've added a link to support Vote No for Issue 8 in California. It's at the bottom of the page. It's compliments of the ever amusing, insightful dad over at Looky, Daddy. If you've got kids, I highly recommend you check him out if you haven't already.

Well, I have 0 Halloween costumes done right now. We are supposed to be at my in-laws at 5 tomorrow afternoon to go trick or treating, and we're stopping by my dad and step-mom's new house which is on the way at 3 to drop off some pics of the kids and an exceptionally late birthday card and hopefully fit a gas grill in the back of the truck. Yeah, I know, good luck with that. How late will I be up tonight trying to get 4 costumes done?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tired of it all.....

I just realized I'm a very tired person. I'm tired of bills. I'm tired of being completely broke. I'm tired of all of the people who have worked hard all of their lives getting screwed, while people who do everything they can to mooch and steal from the system get everything handed to them on a golden platter. I'm tired of bigoted people who think their way is the right way and everyone else is wrong. I'm tired of people who think they should vote on morals rather than on the issues of freedoms and equalities for all. I'm tired of these same people who say they are so morally rightgeous try to hold back those that can get ahead, even in the youngest and most impressionable of ages. I'm tired of working for less pay because some suit decided they'd save a couple dollars a day by sending my work to India, even though they had to bring most of it back because they realized that quality work is hard to come by, but they're too stubborn to admit they were completely wrong and let India keep the easy stuff, while I get paid less for harder work. I'm tired of people from India who steal people in America's jobs calling me because my house payment is past the due date, but still in the grace period so not technically late. I'm tired of the smart kids getting screwed, even in the smart kid class, because they're supposed to fit "the mold" like everyone else, and even though they're so, so exceptionally bright, they still have to suffer through being spoon fed moronic concepts that they are lightyears past. I'm tired of being tired. I'm tired of being cold. I'm tired of being crammed into this box of a house. I'm tired of snow, even though it's not here yet. I'm tired of the little kids getting screwed because kindergarten teachers are apparently not very robust and sick all the time, and the kids cry when they teacher is out for over a week and they think they will never see them again (and sometimes they don' can we go through this twice!?!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My view of the Duggars and the Gosselins.....

Well, there seems to be a hot debate on both of these families recently. These are my opinions, take them as you will. I'm not going to argue with anyone. It's just my POV and my IMNSHO. I've watched them both. In fact, I have seen almost, if not all of their episodes. For the longest time, the Duggars would make me cringe. I felt so bad for the kids. I'm glad to see they seem to be lightening up now. I still don't agree with alot of their ideas, but that's mostly religious/moral beliefs, and obviously everyone is entitled to their own. I'm not one to tell them they are wrong, but I most certainly disagree. I still think the kids are pretty sheltered. And, while yes I think it's good to a point to not overwhelm children with things they are not emotionally or psychologically able to handle, I do think it's still important that they at least be exposed to them, just so they know how to act in that situation. I think if you live such a sheltered life that you've never experienced the things the vast amount of society has, once you are thrown into that in adulthood at the ripe old age of 18, you'll have a much harder time adjusting. As a parent, I feel it is my job to get my kids ready for society. Whatever parts of society I don't agree with, they still need to know about, so they will not be thrown into culture-shock when they are on their own. All in all, the Duggars are really starting to grow on me, especially since the older girls are at least allowed to dress like they're from this century (I loved I think it was Jessa's comment about being modern modest.) And yay for Michelle for finally getting over that bad 80's bang job! And, isn't it nice not to see 3 and 4 year olds wearing bibs and using little plastic potties sporadically placed throughout the house? I still find it rather hypocritical that Josh and Anna couldn't kiss before they were married but they were out watching an R-rated movie with Jana and John-David. As far as I know, the only Christian movie that was R-rated was the Passion, and thankfully I don't think that's in theaters anymore. But, again that's their business and though I don't agree with it, it's their life.

As for the Gosselins, I can't really watch them anymore. The kids are absolutely adorable, and unfortunately Maddy reminds me too much of Melodie, but god I can't stand Kate! At first it was okay, she's wound a little tight....8 kids will do that to you. She's just so mean, though! I mean, she treats Jon like crap, she's downright cold to the kids, and it just breaks my heart when she sits in her little white plastic chair in the garage yelling at Jon to organize things when he's actually TRYING to play with the kids and be a good dad. And the kids notice, and they did point it out on TV. That's sad. Also, if all of the things surrounding the loss of Aunt Jodi from normal episodes are true, it really makes me lose respect for J&K. Aunt Jodi put up with alot (the gum episode...please!) She genuinely and sincerely seemed to love and care about the kids and be an overall good person. I just think that Kate has lost sight of why she said they initially started the show. I've seen their roster of speaking engagements from their website, and I don't see how that can't hurt the kids. Either they have to travel every few weekends or they're left at home without their mom and dad. Neither are good for small kids! They need stability and their parents, not 15 hour car/plane rides and a nanny. Plus, what about the older girls? Are they left at home with a nanny, or are they pulled out of school for all this travel? It's irresponsible. It really is a shame, and I fully agree with everyone who says there should be the same laws in place to protect these kids as there are professional child actors. Child actors at least generally only film a few months out of the year, they have time contraints, etc on how long they're allowed to be filmed. What about these kids? And is anyone looking out for their future? They should all have trust funds set up in their names that J&K can't touch because if it wasn't for them, there wouldn't be a show, and they should be allowed to reap the rewards when they are of a proper age. Greed is a horrible thing. And why do they need to build a purported 8000 sq ft house? The Duggars house isn't quite that big, and they have twice as many children and plenty of space! I don't see how the Gosselin's current house is so bad. The kids have plenty of space in their rooms. They don't all need their own rooms! For god's sake, I don't think my living room is as big as the little girls' room, not to mention my 11 x 12 Master. And no, I'm not jealous. Yes, I would like more space in my house, and we're either going to add on a dining room/library/office with a second floor master to this house, or we're going to buy a bigger house out in the country with a basement, at least 1 1/2 baths, and at least 3 regular bedrooms when we can afford it. I don't think Kate is a good role model for a mom. I mean, I know I do and say things I regret to my kids, and it breaks my heart, and I apologize when I know I may have said something hurtful out of anger, especially with Melodie and how trying she can be. But Kate, she never shows remorse. People come back with "but it's edited, and they want good, exciting TV." I'm sorry, but J&K seem more than happy with TLC and the film crew, and I think if they were really skewing the reality all that much and making her look like THAT bad of a person, that J&K would say something. I know I would! Yes it's "their life" but they've chosen to show "their life" to millions of people, and if they didn't want criticism, they shouldn't have done it. No they're not perfect, no one is, I'm most certainly not, but I know I dearly love my children, and I would never shut one of them in a dark room on a hard, cold linoleum floor while they were sick just to save me the grief of washing an extra blanket or 2! When my kids are sick, they either stay in their beds, or I put a waterproof mattress pad and a sheet on the couch. There, no scrubbing a puke covered couch, throw the dirty laundry in with the other 2 loads or so of laundry I do a big deal! And stains and clothes? Well, first off Melodie refuses to use a napkin, and even if I don't get something in the wash right away, it rarely stains. Try Purex (if you're not allergic, my grandma is) it's great stuff! For any tough stains, I rub on a little bit of stain stick. BTW, I only do this on school clothes or dress up clothes, not play clothes. Play clothes are just that, clothes to be played in. And how heartbreaking was it that for the little kids' birthdays they went to do the cupcakes, and they couldn't even have any fun decorating them? If Kate was so worried about their clothes, she could have changed them (which she said she was too lazy to do) or she could have done it on a day they weren't going to be wearing church clothes! Plus, it seemed from one episode the kids didn't even go in during church, that they were in the nursery bible school there, so why do they have to dress up to go to nursery school at church? FWIW, Melodie is about 2 weeks younger than the twins, and Atley is about 2 months younger than the little kids. Atley has not used a potty chair since he was 2. My baby wears a 4 year old does not. He has also not used a bib since he was 2. Isn't it important enough to teach proper table manners and etiquette, even if it means helping to prevent those horrible stains Kate has to spend "hours" removing?!?! I just can't bear to watch them anymore, and I hope someone can do something to make sure the kids' (all 8 of them) best interests are looked out for before it's too late. Dan will be so happy. He can't stand that show. We've been taking bets on the day Kate finally gets a chance of her own medicine and Jon loses it and goes off on her for once. You know, they did say he holds everything in and has one big blow up....tick tick tick....can't be long now! That dynamite has got to be primed to the Nth power by now!

Wacky Wednesday

Poor Ari, my little antisocial, ever angry, nonconformist bean. Love that child to death. She is very angry that today is Wacky Wednesday. She didn't want to not match! Of course, Dan said last night to give her a pack of M&M's for not conforming because she also didn't want to enter the poster contest, which of course Melodie was up at 6 AM working on to finish this morning. Melodie, of course, is so worried that she might not win first place (I couldn't bear to break it to her that she most likely won't.) Let's just say, she is definitely more on the avant garde, modern, inventive end of the art spectrum, and I doubt a big purple poster with BM on it will win top spot in a boy's locker room! (That BM is for Beat McKinley.) She also took careful planning in her wardrobe and hairstyle.

It's also fundraiser time. They are selling insanely overpriced crap. Some of the food stuff, it's $11 for basically a pack of sugar, cinnamon, oatmeal and a few tablespoons of flour. You still have to provide your own apples and pie crust! $11 for a strudel topping!?! You surely can make that for 75 cents from your own pantry. And of course, both of them have to sell. I suppose I could combine them and make them split the prizes, but that never works. Plus, the classes are competing against each other for a pizza party. To win anything worth anything, you have to sell 25 items, and that's for a soccer ball...times 2! I'm sorry, but I'll just buy the soccer ball, thanks. It's cheaper! Actually, the top selling prize is pretty nice, but you have to sell 90 things to get it. You can choose between a portable DVD player and an overnight stay at a local indoor water park for 4. They say not to go door to door, but who can sell that much? I have a HUGE family, and we will be nowhere close. We won't even be close to getting them both a soccer ball.

Well, last night I almost got Charlie's baby donkey-dragon done for his costume! I've got 3 legs and the wings to do, then the assembly. I need to get started on my transfiguration homework for the House Cup, too. I'm making a felted DPN first felted project! Well, hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go. (If not, I'll never get done today, and I have to finish at least one costume tonight, or I'll never get them all done in time!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Broke the Winning Streak

Well, we did so good for so long, but alas, another tardy! And we were like, 10 minutes late today. Of course, it was because of Melodie. She was "mesmetized" by the running bathwater. My poor little Luna. I kept on her, but she just wouldn't get ready, so she wasn't allowed to wear her hat to school today. Ari couldn't find the hat I bought in France that I let her wear to kindergarten hat day (when they learned about Mr. many kids from the 80's remember the letter people???), so she wore her Amish hat. This is spirit week. Every day at school, the kids have different things. Tomorrow is pajama day, Wednesday is "wacky clothes" (why is wearing clothes inside out fun?), Thursday is orange and black day, and Friday is Football uniforms, cheerleading uniforms, or tiger emblazoned clothes. There will also be the Beat McKinley parade Friday night, followed by the Beat McKinley bonfire and city pep rally. I HATE spirit week. Mainly, because I hate the stupid school district. Let's put it this way, the high school football stadium has an Astroturf field, and there is a psychology text book with an example of fan psychosis about the crazy fans of this team. Yes, high school football. I'm all about supporting your team, but they take it to an extreme, so much to the fact that before the city hospital closed their OB ward about 5 years ago, every baby boy born in the city was given their very own little baby sized football. The girls? Nada. They got into trouble a few years ago for scouting for new players and buying them off to come play. HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL!?!?! This is not the NFL people. Anyway, so, today was hat day. And, our mascot, the one and only Obie the tiger, will be visiting school today. Is this a high school student in a costume you ask? No, of course not, it's a REAL baby tiger. As a patter of fact, he's probably there as I type. According to our spirit week schedule, he should have arrived at school 10 minutes ago. They walk him, on a leash, in a gym full of elementary students. But this is okay, because it's for the team.

Anyway, enough of my hate of the school district. Last night, I picked up my Aunt Chris's Afghan again. I am bound and determined to finally get that thing done for my SIL this year so I never have to see it again! This will be the third try at a Christmas gift, though she's still hasn't moved out yet, so I don't feel quite so bad. But geez, I just want it done! I've majorly cut back my handmade Christmas/Yule list. I'm probably going to save most of the afghans (except this one) for next year. I'm halfway done, and I'm using a K hook, so hopefully I can do it. Plus, it is nice for when the kids are up and I can't work on their stuff. At least I can still be productive. If I get it done in time, no WHEN I get it done in time, I'm going to hopefully get moving on Dan's blanket that I started last year. It's HUGE, but so is he, and that's why it is. He constantly complains about the size of our blankets because my family is all small, and they make small blankets. Hey, we're covered...sorry he's a giant! lol Anyway, he whines all the time about his feet being cold and wanting a bigger blanket, so I am making one. I'm using up all that Red Heart in my stash! I will also be using that on a bunch of Pokemon stuff I'm making for Melodie for Christmas. She dearly loves Pokemon, and Rav has a bunch of patterns for Pokemon critters.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Shrek Baby

Well, here is the first part of Charlie's Halloween costume! I finished it up yesterday. It's crocheted. I used a size N hook, Red Heart super saver from the stash, and did a ch2, 6sc in ch. Then I worked out doing 2 sc in each sc, then 1 sc, 2sc in next sc, and repeated that around. Each row I made 1 more sc in between where I increased with the 2sc. (Like the next row was sc in next 2 sc, then 2 sc in next sc; sc in next 3 sc.) I did that up until about 9 in between increases, did a couple rows of just sc, decided it wasn't quite big enough, did 10 between increases, a row of sc, 11 between increases, then finished the sc to the bottom. I did the final row DC. For the ears, I chained 10 and joined, did sc in each ch around. I did 7 rows of the single crochet. Then, I did 2sc in first sc, sc in next 5, 2sc in next sc for 1 row; then 4 in between, then 3 in between, then I did just a row of sc to keep it less trumpet-y and more Shrek-y. I sewed the ears on, and voila!

Also, here is a pic of our baby snapping turtle. You can hardly see him (new camera, still figuring out how to use it.) He will either be going to the in-laws or the Wilderness Center this week. He's too hard to take care of, and we keep our house too cold for him to be comfy. At least we saved him from dogs and getting squished in a parking lot!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Breast Cancer Dishcloth Knitting Calendar

Hi guys! Breast cancer research is very dear to my heart. As you may know, my wonderful midwife, Brenda, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and I'd like to do anything I can that might help her. Although I didn't get my design finished in time, they did put together a great calendar with lots of great knitting patterns. It is a PDF download that you can print out yourself or take to a place like Kinko's and have bound. Proceeds go to breast cancer research. Please check it out if you want to help a great cause and get some beautiful dishcloth and Tawashi patterns! Click on the link to the left to go to the website. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Amish Day!

Well, yesterday we had our annual trip to Amish Country. Ever since I was a little girl, my mom would always take me down to Amish Country for a day of good food and good shopping. We have carried the tradition on with my kids, and we went yesterday! When I was a little girl, we used to go as a HUGE group with my aunts and cousins. Well, guess who we ran into yesterday? Apparently, they had no school, too! It was a fun day. We rode the little train at the one store....Atley's favorite part of the day. We lost Melodie for about 5 minutes. (She had gone off with one of my cousins and didn't tell anyone else she was leaving.) All in all, it was a good day!

Charlie's second tooth finally came through!

On a sad note, I just got an email from American Girl....and they're discontinuing Samantha and her whole collection! Samantha was my first doll, and she's always been my favorite. I know, I'm a big dork. She was a big deal to me, though! I can still remember when I opened her on Christmas morning. I was going to give all of my dolls to the girls when they get a little older, but I just don't think I can give them Samantha now.

Our pseudo-reunion was fun. I made pumpkin pie. I also neglected to put sugar in the pumpkin pie. Sorry guys! Why didn't anyone say anything!?! Dan got his silly station wagon. Hopefully, this means my poor children will finally get to leave the state! My god, we may even make it to an ocean!

As for my knitting, I finished 1 of my Moonlight Slipper Socks for my Astronomy class in the Harry Potter Knitting and Crocheting House Cup on Rav. I've got the ribbing done on #2 and am ready to start the intarsia. I need to get a move's supposed to get cold in 2 days!

Friday, October 10, 2008

New pets!

Well, we've acquired 2 new pets this past week. We got a woolybear caterpillar that we're going to try to over-winter and watch turn into a Tiger moth in the spring. (Directions on how to do so can be found here:Capture a Bear for the Winter.) We've only had it since Saturday. It was fine this morning. This afternoon, it's on the bottom of its jar. I hope it's doing it's "sleeping-on-the-bottom-after-being-tired-of-perching-on-the-twig" thing and not it's "dead" thing! I think we'll keep our eye out for some more, just in case!

Today, Dan was up at a friend's shop doing some work to some of the Herbie pieces. When he was leaving, he found a baby snapping turtle in the parking lot! He didn't know it was a snapping turtle. He came home and shoved a Taco Bell cup in my face and said look what I caught you! I looked and said "a snapping turtle!?!?" He said, no it's not. I found it on Google images. I was na na na na. It's really cute, though. He's only about as big as a silver dollar. He's in our old hermit crab cage. When he gets too big for his cage, we'll see about setting him free at the Wilderness Center or taking him to the Sanders Center. We've named him Woodstock. That way, he can be Charlie's and we don't have to get Charlie a goldfish right now, since he's the only kid without a goldfish. I'll try to get some pictures later. I took some with my new camera, but I think it's too fancy for my poor picture taking skills, and I couldn't get it to focus right. I'll try again later when I don't have 3 kids bouncing off me asking if they can just touch the turtle one time.

My yarn is looking good. It's still drying. I got about half of it untangled. It's looking alot more brown now. I've got it hanging above my dryer to hopefully help it dry a little faster. I'm antsy to get knitting with it!

Oh, and for our grand tardies! In fact, the girls were even ready early for school this morning. Dan took them for me, and he brought me home a maple cream stick! (There is an AWESOME bakery right by the girls' school.) Yay! It's been a good day. Now, I just have to clean tonight and FINALLY get out my Samhain decorations for our "reunion" tomorrow!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I've been "dyeing" to try this!

This morning, I decided to cut work for an hour, and Atley and I gathered walnuts! We took them out to the driveway and smashed them with a rock, carefully choosing the ones without maggots in them (ewww!) and giving those back to the squirrels. Atley was a big helper and carried the bucket for mommy, and even picked some off the tree! When we were done, without prompting, he said, "Thank you for the nuts, Mr. Tree!"

nuts 001a

Then, we poured boiling water over the hulls and let them steep for an hour until the water cooled down.

nuts 002

Then, I added the yarn and let that steep for about an hour and a half to 2 hours. I did add just a tablespoon or so of vinegar, just to be on the safe side. I had taken some of the hulls out to make the yarn fit. (And dyed my arm!) Atley told me "Thank the nuts momma." Do I have another inherently pagan child coming up?


I took the yarn out, rinsed it (this time, I remembered I had leftover gloves that the midwife didn't use when Charlie was born still laying around), and here's what I got!


It's starting to look a little more chocolate-like now that it's drying some. For future reference: Strain hulls or put them in cheesecloth. There are little flecks of hull strewn throughout my yarn, but it looks like that should shake out fairly easily when it dries.

Yay! I'm so excited, though. I can see I'll be doing more dyeing in my future!

Four down, one to go!

Well, we made it just on time again more day...Friday, our tardy nemesis. It is pajama day for kindergarten tomorrow. (They just learned about Mr. P., you know.) I should just give Ari a bath tonight and let her just wear the pajamas she's going to wear to school to that weird?

My 10 year class reunion is Saturday, but I'm not going. I had planned on it, but it is at a really crappy little place, and they want $50 a couple, and I'm sorry....the only people I want to see that are actually going to go, I still talk to! Why do I want to pay $50 to go eat at a crappy place and see people that hated me? So, I'm having my friends over because they think it's ridiculous too, and we're going to "reunite" at our place. Dan's going to make bourbon brats for the guys and lemon pepper chicken for the girls. I also double booked that day and have a Tastefully Simple party to go to at my cousin's. Who can miss a chance to get Tastefully Simple food, though!?! I've been waiting for someone to have one of those parties for like 3 years since my neighbor's sister had one. Hers was on my anniversary. Tastefully Simple parties just always have to fall on days I have other stuff going on.

So, when I talked to my mom this morning, she asks me if I want to hear the bad news. Apparently, last night one of my uncles (my mom is one of 12 kids....only 3 uncles though) was up on his roof (we're not sure why...he just built the house himself and finished it like a year ago, so it shouldn't need a new roof) and he fell off. His wife called from the ER last night and it got passed through the phone list. We haven't heard anything yet, but as of last night he had at least broken his leg again (he had to have a rod placed in it about 8 years ago because he was trying to do tricks on my cousin's bike when they were up visiting and fell and broke it then), plus his hand, something about maybe his pelvis. He was also in a really, really bad car accident about 20 years ago, and I can't remember what all injuries he had from that. I remember his ex-wife had a head injury and my other uncle broke his neck, so I don't know if he had any old injuries from that that might have been exacerbated by the fall. We'll probably hear more later today. I'm usually last on "the list" if I get called at all, so he'll probably be out of the hospital before I hear. I'll have to call my cousin who's having the Tastefully Simple party later. She's usually second to last, so we try to call each other when we hear stuff since no one else does.

Charlie has enough hair to have hat hair! I was so excited. I kept putting his pumpkin hat on and taking it off just to see his hat hair. I finally had one baby with hair when they were born, and it all fell out. He's growing it back now, though! Yay! He is sitting in his little walker next to me, just squealing away. (And before people think I'm a bad mom....yes, it's a regular walker. No, we don't have any stairs, not even a basement, so he can't fall!)

I didn't get much knitting done last night. The new season of South Park started last night! Yay! They played the World of Warcraft one right before the debut, too. Good stuff. I did get the cuff and 2 rows of knitting done on my slipper socks, though. Well, 1 slipper sock. I'm hoping to get alot done tonight since it's worsted weight. I'm hoping it will knit up pretty quickly.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's raining, it's pouring......

The old Wednesday is boring.........

I just don't like Wednesday's. It takes me so long to get into the swing of things on Wednesday's. And, it's raining. I hate rain in the morning. Rain in the morning means I have wet, whiny children to deal with, and still try to get to school on time (which we've done every day so far this week *knock on wood* so take that state BOE!) Now, we'll probably be really tardy the rest of the week. That's my luck.

I whipped up a little hat for Charlie last night! It's so cute. It's a pumpkin hat pattern from Rav (and Lion Brand or Bernat, I think), and I put it in my projects as "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Cash!" I've been dying to say that, but my MIL made a rude comment about Atley looking like Charlie Brown when he was a baby (which he completely doesn't, and pissed me off) and I hate mentioning Charlie Brown in reference to the boys...but I just couldn't resist!

Speaking of the in-law's....we're going there for their city's trick-or-treat night...which means I have to get costumes made a week early! Good Grief! (In the words of our fair leader, good ole' Chuck.) Four kids, 4 costumes, 2 weeks....can it be done? Charlie is getting a little green beanie with ogre ears, a white turtleneck, gray or brown pants, brown booties with fur, and a little felt vest. I'm also going to crochet him a little donkey to hold. I just decided that last night. No even better, I'll crochet him a baby donkey dragon to hold! He's going to be a Shrek baby from Shrek the 3rd, which we have decided he looks like in all his fatness, shown here in new pumpkin hat:

rav12 003a

Ari is going to be Princess Fiona. I've had (most of) the fabric since last Halloween for her dress. She wanted to be Fiona last Halloween, but the mean old ladies that cut fabric at JoAnn's prevented her from being Fiona last year by pissing off the stressed out pregnant lady when she went to try to get just 1 more yard of green satin because the original old lady significantly underestimated the amount of said fabric that would be needed to make said Fiona dress! So, Ari was Hermione last year, because she had Hermione clothes. I did get the rest of the fabric a few months later, and other than that, I have not bought fabric from there until yesterday, when I got this year's batch.

Melodie is going to be an Indian girl. Thank god! She wanted to be a Pokemon, then she wanted to be the Whomping Willow. Tan felt, feathers, and ribbons are ready!

Atley had his mind set to be a blue T-Rex (because you know how prevalent blue T-Rex's are, and they're quite different from the perfectly usable green T-Rex costume I made him last year that still fits, but I digress...) until he saw the Batman mask. He is now going to be Batman. Mask bought, black felt ready for wings, yellow for the bat oval, and we're debating what version of Batman we want to do. I was thinking of Dark Knight and was going to purchase black pants and long sleeved T-shirt. Dan was thinking trad Batman, with gray fixin's. Atley wants a blue Batman. We'll have that figured out by next Tuesday when I go to the store.

Chunky Monkey is just being very stubborn. I started to work on him for a little while after I finished the hat last night......and he broke my G hook! I even bought him real safety eyes yesterday, and he still had to act up on me again. I've got aluminum hooks in F, H, I, and every other size, but not G. So, I'm stuck, and I went to Joann's and Walmart yesterday before said hook broke, so I'm torn. Do I frog (it's only been about 6 rows) and start over with a different sized hook? Do I wait until next week and pick up a new (aluminum) G hook? Do I concede to Chunky Monkey and let him win this war I've decided to declare on the primate that refuses to be? Decisions, decisions.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cool blog

Check out this blog: . It's a cool blog, and the author also has some beautiful handspun yarn! She's also running a contest where you can win some of that beautiful handspun! Yay! Who doesn't like a good contest, right?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Not much to say

It's the weekend, so no exciting morning down-to-the-wire mad rush to make it to school posts. This next week should be interesting, though. They sent a paper home that the state is keeping tabs this whole next week on attendance, late arrivals and early dismissals, etc. this week having to do with funding. Let's see if we can go tardy-free all week!

My cousin found out yesterday she is having a little girl. Yay for little girl knitting and crocheting! I have a 100-year old Irish baby bonnet pattern in my queue I've been dying to make.

I was the first one done for my Potions class for the Harry Potter Knitting and Crocheting House Cup on Rav! I'm going to start my Astronomy assignment tonight. I'm doing Moonlight Slipper Socks...for me! Imagine, knitting something for myself!?! I'm also going to do a Baby Grab Ball for Charms class (for Charlie for Yule), dye some yarn with walnuts for Herbology, and then make a felted DPN holder out of it for Transfiguration. I've never dyed or felted, so that should be interesting! I have been wanting to try dyeing since we went to Pioneer Days at the museum, though. We have a black walnut tree, and I'm going to fight the squirrels for some nuts to dye with!

I've decided to try Chunky Monkey again. This time, he will be done in crochet in an amigurami (sp?) style. (Which I understand just means crocheted around in circles.) Hopefully, I'll have better luck with him that way. I had been kind of off crocheting since I learned how to knit, but I whipped up a pair of Chucks styled baby booties for Charlie, and I miss doing it, so I thought that might be a better way to go with the Chunk until I'm more confident in my knitting designing.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

First tooth!

Charlie's first tooth finally came through this morning! It was one of the bottom fronts. The other one looks like it should come through any day now, too. He'll be munching down Cheerios before I know it!

For my knitting, I've thought about making the ill-fated Chunky Monkey into a Tom Turkey and giving the "Chunk" a new go. I really wanted to make something special for Charlie.....Cartman Pumpkin-head is not it! Oh well, we all have to learn somehow, right? My left handed version of "Cash" is now available.

Well, that's all I've got for now. I was just SO excited about Charlie's tooth, I had to share it with the world!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

And just when you think you have them figured out...

They switch it up on you! This morning, Melodie got ready first! I still had to yell at her 15 times to get out of the bathroom, but once she did she actually got ready for once! Of course, Ari must have missed the stress, so she threw a tantrum because she had to wear pants. It's 40 degrees out this morning and all of her leggings are in the wash, so she couldn't wear a skirt. Heaven forbid I don't want them to be cold!

Oh, and then she screamed for 15 minutes because I told them I was going to try to get them on the bus. They are supposed to go to local school G. They go to local school B through intradistrict open enrollment because way back before Melodie started kindergarten, I called to find out the cut off date. Her birthday was 1 month past it. This was when she was just about to turn 4. She knew all of her letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and was working on reading. They said if she could read by the spring, they'd test her for early enrollment, but no one did it and it was horrible and they didn't recommend it and no they didn't want to meet her unless she could read, blah, blah blah. So, even though she was reading by then, we decided if they were that against it, we wouldn't test her. We did decide to send her to the smaller, more "country" school of which they can't ride the bus since we're supposed to go to the other school. I talked to a higher-up last year, who said they should be able to ride, since buses do go right past our house.

Well, I got the same rude lady I did 3 years ago when I called this morning, because before we weren't sure if we wanted them to ride the bus anyway. Well, gas prices being what they are, even 8 miles a day adds up, and since we're paying taxes anyway, we might as well use the amenities, right? WRONG! Even though one bus goes right past our house, they can't ride it! Apparently, it is just for handicapped kids. I said that's fine, I don't mind if my kids ride a bus with handicapped kids, my kids don't care about stuff like that. They said only special needs kids can ride the bus. I say, technically my daughter is special needs, because she is gifted, and gifted kids get special needs privileges, too, just of a different kind. She basically said nice try. I say, but the lady at the bakery's granddaughter lives on the other side of town, and she's in my daughter's come she gets to ride a bus? Rude lady: Because, that school isn't doing well and the No Child Left Behind act says kids can go to a better school in the same district. Me: But, my daughter's needs weren't going to be met at the school she was at, and I didn't want her to "be left behind" so that's why we're going to a different school. (The gifted coordinator even chewed the principal at that school out because of how we were handled. Thanks, W., for another fuck up the ass....the economy, gas prices, wars, and screwing smart kids out of a decent education! Way to go!) Again, just because crappy principal school has a gifted class, we get screwed again. Me: I went to T (different local school district) for high school, and open enrollment kids were taken all the way out there on an open enrollment bus, why do they get to ride the bus and they're not even in the district, and my kids can't even though I pay for it? Rude lady: You can talk to a supervisor.

Well, at least the supervisor tried to work with me. We figured out a way to get them on in the mornings, but I'd have to walk them up the block, and there is no way for them to come home. I'd rather take the baby out in the snow in a truck than walking a block in subzero temps, so we're still screwed. I still might try to re-contact said higher up who said he should be able to get my kids on a bus. I don't know if it's worth any more wasted breath, though. The supervisor said my only other option was if they were assigned to a bus.

Anyway, last night, Ari had an actual homework paper.....and she hates it! The crying ensued then, too. She started saying how horrible she is at kindergarten, and she doesn't know anything, and it's too hard. So, I'm off to email the teacher when I'm done blogging (priorities, you know ;0) to see if there is anything extra we can work on, and if she's doing okay, and how they think her speech is going. (Maybe if I can get Melodie on an IEP for gifted and Ari is finally identified with speech problems, then they can ride the god damn bus!?!?!) And no, of course blogging is not a priority over my kids. It just jogged my memory that I meant to email this morning and of course forgot. (I forget things on my grocery list, if I even remember the list at all.)

As for my knitting.....well, that's taken a giant dump, too. Chunky Monkey is not what I envisioned. He looks like Eric Cartman with a pumpkin head. Back to the drawing board on that one!