Friday, September 26, 2008

Inquiring Minds

May like to know my Christmas wish list.

So, I thought I'd make it public!

I would like:

A SERGER!!! (either a Brother or a Singer)
3 large Tupperware canisters
3 medium Tupperware canisters
2 small Tupperware cannisters
Kitchen Aid pasta making attatchment
Genuine railroad dining car dinner service ware

oh, and, ummmmm, clothes?

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Xavian and I picked up some leaves as we were walking home from school yesterday. Some are so pretty they don't even look real!

Are these colors not stunning?

Xavian & I had so much fun!

Monday, September 22, 2008

To the Orchard!

A huge, Huge, HUGE Thank You to R. & J.

They let me have all the apples I wanted, and pears too! You know some apple sauce, apple butter, pears, and all kinds of yummy goodness is heading over that fence!

They have some land in the country with a couple apple trees. No pesticides. All natural grow like crazy, branches so full they almost touched the ground apple trees. And a couple pear trees.

I have 2 overflowing large laundry baskets of apples for about 2.5 hours of picking. And in 5 minutes, I filled a 5-gallon bucket with pears!

I have some serious canning ahead of me!

I wonder how much all those apples weigh?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Every Dinner Is An Event

At least at our house!

It's so nice to be home again and sitting around the dinning room table, eating as a family. I really do love to cook! And I (at the moment) have 3 very willing taste testers. Korra & Xavian set the table really well on their own now, and Saxton has started joining us by sitting in his high chair and banging things on his tray.

I decided to give using cloth napkins full time a go, and it's been working out really well! I made yellow and green ones to match the kitchen, I have have burgundy satin ones, green Christmas ones, and some older white ones that I have had for years. The treasure, though, is the hand embroidered ones with the acorns and fall leaves-so pretty! My G-ma G. gave me the embroidered delights.
I'm hoping the cloth napkins help us with the grocery budget, as prices are soaring in the grocery stores. Either way, they're pretty, work better than paper, and wash up wonderfully!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

You Can't Go Home Again

With every trip to visit my parents, this has become more and more edvident. I'm reminded why it was so easy to move away and stay away. And I'm reminded why I don't make a huge effort to visit.

I grew up (for the most part) in a small town where everyone "knows" everyone's business. Even sadder, if no one is sharing the most intimate details of your life, they will make it up for you.

My mother thrives in that society. I find it all revolting and annoying.

I don't really have a "home" to visit either. We rented pretty much my entire childhood (I think they tried to buy a house for 2 or 3 years). I can point and say, we lived in that house, and that one, and that one, and, oh!, there's the trailer we rented, and we lived in 3 different houses on that same street. The houses (and trailer) were filled with worn out hand-me-down furniture. Often, the couch was covered in Mom's stuff, and there for, no one could sit on it anyway. My mom hates to clean. She has those craft show signs declaring such all over her house. Sayings like, you can touch my dust but please don't write in it, my house was clean yesterday-sorry you missed, ect.

I have a fondness for a 77 T-Bird. Dad bought it when I was 5 or 6, and I drove it while I served in the Air Force 15 years later. But, that car was wrecked by my brother, and I have no clue where it is now.

I guess my point is, I feel rootless when I'm there. There is no where that I feel warm and fuzzy. I just feel like I'm existing in that town.

I hope J. & I are creating a home our children will want to visit. We do things a lot different than my parents. We do things different than his parents. And I wouldn't change a thing.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Come On, Ride the Train! (The ride out west)

Okay. So everyone knows we took the train out West when we went on vacation. Let me tell you about our wonderful experience riding the rails!

First off, let me just say that Amtrack is noitorious for being late. Or so we had heard. We were to board the Lake Shore Limited at 1:30am in Erie, Pa. Sadly, our train was delayed in Albany, NY when someone was struck and killed by a freight train and the line was closed until the accident investigation was completed. We boarded at 4:35am, slid into our roomettes' beds and quickly fell asleep. The porter took care of the 2 bags too large to store in our roomettes.

We woke and ate breakfast in the dining car at around 8:30am. Since we were in a sleeper car and considered first class, our breakfast was free of charge. Let me tell you how yummy breakfast was! J., Xavian, & Korra had the thickest french toast, and I had a cheese omlet with fried potatoes. The chef prepared our breakfast fresh, from the center of the car. Soooooo yummy!

Here we are, all excited and ready to eat!

We returned to our roomettes and napped a bit more. The guys woke up and check out the train, while the porter put away the beds and reset the seating. When Korra, Saxton and I returned to the land of the living, I joined J. and we watched the world go by. The Chicago skyline was pretty impressive!

The Chicago's Union Station is supposed to be quite impressive, but, we wouldn't know. Since our train was running behind, we didn't have time to check things out. Amtrak brings you in below street level, and the 1st class lounge is at the same level. Amtrak gets kudos for service here: when we were deboarding, our porter told us to stay put by our bags. A redcap pulled right up, loaded us and our bags, and zipped us to the lounge! No fighting crowds with 3 kids!

The kids and I relaxed in the lounge while J. changed his return ticket (he had to come back early for work) and checked the bags. Every employee had a smile on their face, were polite, and was way helpful! When's the last time you got that at an airport?

Before we knew it, it was time to board the Southwest Chief!

The Southwest Chief is a superliner, as in it's 2 levels. The coach seats are on the top level, while the bags and restrooms are on the bottom level. There is a dining car AND an observation car with a snack bar on the lower level.

Shortly after the Chief pulled out of the station, around came a gentleman taking dinner reservations. Ahhhhh, service.

Dinner was, how do I say this? It was fantastic? Tasty? Everything we hoped it would be? All of the above. I had trout, J. had half a roasted hen, and the kids had mac in cheese.

Psssssst. Amtrak-what's with the plastic dishes?

Later, while J. caught a nap, the kids and I had cookies and root beer from the snack bar while we watched the sun set.

Dinky little cookies.

We relaxed and dozed off and on in our Lazy Boy-like recliners pretty much the rest of the ride. No popping ears, no one grumbling because you leaned your seat back, and no stress. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

Now, the Union Station in Kansas City, MO is big. Not too big. Just big enough to accomidate 20,000 people in the origional waiting room alone. Cozy. Having arrived after 10pm, there was no one there but the security guard and the passengers getting on and off the train. J. and I took tons of pictures of the architecture. It was so beautiful! Painted ceilings, chandeliers, shining marble floors, carved wood, soaring collums, a massive station clock, 3 restraunts, sales stands, and soooooo much more! Just: wow.

(please excuse some of these photos were taken when the kids and I returned to the station)

Monday, September 8, 2008

I am a domestic goddess for a reason...


Today, I am making my MIL's signature homemade pasta sauce. Right now, it's slow cooking on the stove, then I will can it. Yum, yum! All the tomatoes used are out of my garden and my neighbor's tomato patch. 48 cups of pured tomatoes, celery, bell peppers, and onions. My MIL doesn't use bell peppers in her's; it's my signature touch. Can't tell you the rest of the recipe (oh yeah, it's a secret), but if you could smell it right now.... Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

My Baby Brother's Family

I took these as a belated wedding gift for my younger brother C. We just caught the sun setting, which cast some good and not so good lighting. I had fun clicking away for them. And my nephew is such of joy to be around. I miss you guys!

I haven't had a chance to completely edit them all, but here's your sneek peek too!

Quick Peek of those Senior Pictures, too!

Well, J. Here they are. Don't try to impress the ladies too much with the tuxedo look *wink*wink* You were soooooo easy to work with! Here's a sneak peek for you, too!

Future Uncle M. Becomes Official Uncle M.

First, let me say what a privilage it was to photograph such a special day for Aunt C. & Future (and now Official) Uncle M. Everything was soooooo simple and beautiful. Aunt C.'s wedding dress was sooooooo pretty! And, I have been to weddings where the bridesmaids dresses, were, well, what you think of when it comes to bridesmaids dresses, BUT these bridesmaids dresses were prom pretty!

Aunt C.- You were glowing and so happy! What a joy to be there as you prepared for the ceremony, and oh! how sweet to see how you smiled at Uncle M.

Uncle M.- You made me laugh more than once during the ceremony. It's obvious how much you love Aunt C. Welcome to the family!

And so, as promised, here is a sneak peek at a couple pictures (unedited)! I'm putting my nose to the grinder and finishing the editing this week.

Making Baby Legs from a Sweater

I know people can make these from socks, but I wanted some nice & warm ones, and I happened to have an old 2t Gap wool blend sweater that was Xavian's. It's been in about 5 yardsales, and since I'm having a fall yardsale this weekend, I set it out again. Hurricane something or other has sent cool weather our way, and it reminded me that I want to tryout some baby legs on Saxton.

I picked up the sweater (it's a beautiful shade of navy blue), measured the arms against Saxton's legs, and wondered if I could make legs out of them. I inquired if anyone knew how on the nest, and SqueekyTaco (aka: the maker of Crunchy Clean on gave me the link for making legs with women's socks, so I looked over the blogger's directions and thought, well, maybe I can find one's made from a sweater online? Google yielded nothing useful. I looked back at the sweater and thought, well, someone's got to be the first to try, right? And although, I'm sure I'm not the first, I am hoping my posting my how-to will help other mommies out there!

Here's the sweater I started with:

Then, I cut the sleeves off, making sure I left the finished edge where the sleeve connected to the torso on the arms:

I turned the sleeve inside out, and then I threaded my yarn needle with yarn I have on hand (hence the white), and pulled it thru the seam of the sleeve on the top of the sleeve. I secured by tying the yarn into a knot, wrapped around a knitted stitch to secure:

I turned the top of the sleeve down to make a hem of sorts and to adjust for the shoulder rise of the sleeve. I whip stitched the edge by threading thru the back of the knitted stiches, careful not to pull it tight:
Once I had stitched it down completely, I tied the yarn off where I tied when I started. Notice how the knitted row is straight:

I turned the top of the sleeve down to make a hem of sorts and to adjust for the shoulder rise of the sleeve. I whip stitched the edge by threading thru the back of the knitted stiches, careful not to pull it tight:

Here is the sleeve turned right side out. It still has a shorter side, good for the inside of the leg:

I doubled the yarn on my needle, and starting on the side of the sleeve, I wove it in and out of the top of it, all the way around, and tied the ends, leaving 4" at eack end with out tightening the yarn:

Here, I've put them on Saxton, tightened the top, above his chubby thighs, and tied into a bow:

I tucked the tied yarn into the tops so he can't untie them, and voila! I made baby legs!!! You can too...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Saxton is getting big waaaaaaaaay too fast!

Went to the pedi on Wednesday. He weighs 17 lbs 12 oz! What a big, healthy boy! He's inbetween the 75th & 80th percentile for weight & height (a soaring 25.5 inches!) He's using his hands really well, and today, he was sitting in his Bumbo, and he found his toes. Cute, cute, cute!

Monday, September 1, 2008

I opened my Etsy store!

It's here! Right now, all I have are hair bows, but watch for custom one of a kind painted jeans & button jewelry to be added soon!

The link is to the right of my blog under "in case you're interested"