Thursday, September 27, 2007

20 Questions

I have joined the Sweet Goodness Sister Swap and still trying to figure out which one of my sisters I want to swap....teeheehee ~ Susan, Stacey, I don't know yet but one of you gotta go...LOL!! I'm cracking myself up here...
Anywho, I have been paired with my brand-new sister, Catiean and to help her get to know me better my task today is to answer these 20 questions:
1. Favorite Color: I am pretty fickle in the favorite color department, but tend to stay in the realm of fallish type colors ~ orange, greens, browns, deep reds. Oh, wait, I can't forget aqua and pink and blue...see what I mean??
2. Chocolate Lover? Milk, Dark, White, or none of the above? No, I don't love chocolate, but on the other hand I don't hate it either. Just not my favorite.
3. What is your favorite craft hobby? Right now it seems to be embroidery with wool felt. and knitting...I change this like the wind also.
4. What is a craft/art hobby that you would like to start? I'd like to try my hand at quilting one of these days.
5. What craft do you NOT have an interest in or just not great in ( so your partner doesn’t send something you wouldn’t use)? hmmm....that's a hard one. I really think that I need to try everything, so just feel free to send me anything your heart desires.
6. Do you have any allergies? (we don’t want to send anything with peanuts if it’ll make you blow up like a balloon!) Yes, dairy hates me, but I don't think you'll be sending me any ice cream through the mail, so we're pretty safe. and what I can't eat, rest assured that somebody in this house will!
7.What’s your favorite part of Halloween? Decorating, candy eating, costumes, or something else? I love to decorate, but on the actual day, my favorite part is handing out candy and seeing all the adorable little costumes.
8. Do you decorate for Thanksgiving/Fall? Yes, I'm acquiring quite the little turkey collection.
9. December Holidays--what holiday do you celebrate? What type of decorations do you like to put up in your house for that holiday? We celebrate Christmas. I have a lighted Christmas village that I try to add to every year and our ornaments tend to run pretty traditional.
10. Do you have any children, if so what are their ages, boys/girls? "That's how we became the Brady Bunch..." We have 6 kids, Sam-26, Ryan-24, Kevin-21, Brittany-20, Shilo-17 and Dustin-15. We also have two brand-new grandsons, Ayden-2 months and Noah-3 weeks.
11. Do you have any pets, if so what kind? two black dogs, Blackie and Muffin and one black cat, Boots. Very Halloween-ish don't you think?
12. Are you a reader? If so, what type of books do you like? Oh yes! I love to read and always have a book going. I really like to read anything as long as it's interesting and a good read, fiction or non-fiction, it doesn't matter. Right now I'm reading my first Anne Rice vampire book, Merrick. It's just okay...
13. Are you celebrating a birthday or anniversary in October, November, or December? Yes, I turn the big 40 on October 2nd. YIKES! We also have LOTS of family birthdays. 4 of the kids and 2 of their spouses have birthdays in these months.
14. Do you collect anything? If so what type of things do you collect? Not really. I don't have a collection of any one thing. Just a hodgepodge of things that catch my eye.
15. What type of things do you like to cook? Are you an appetizer person, cookie maker, dessert freak or a take out type of person?? I LOVE to cook, so pretty much anything goes, but my favorite is probably baking with pies way up there on the list of favorites.
16. What is your favorite scent? Is there one that you can’t stand? Pumpkin Spice is my all time favorite candle. I have alot of hay fever type allergies, so can't do hardly anything floral, though I do really like lavender.
17. What’s your favorite song? That again is a hard one....Way too many to pick just one. I was raised on Country music and it is still my favorite, but I also love classic rock and 80's pop.
18. What’s the last movie you went to see at the movie theater? The Nanny Diaries with my daughter.
19. What’s your favorite Candy? Licorice, hands down.
20. Tea or Coffee or other? Tea, but I do enjoy a good flavored coffee from time to time...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Puddle Ducks

(Picture "borrowed" from Flicr ~ I failed to note where ~ so sorry!)

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! I was a single mom for many years, raising my kids on my own without the help of any child support coming my way, so I did what I had to do and worked two jobs for more years than I want to count. I had a hard time, as a lot of parents do, finding good day cares where I felt comfortable leaving my kids. I have some horror stories I could tell, as I'm sure do many of you. I feel like I didn't raise my kids, the sitters did while I was at work making money to pay the daycares. It was a vicious cycle. Anyway, I've always said that when my kids had babies of their own, that I wanted to be the one to watch those babies while they worked, so they wouldn't have to go through the daycare nightmares that I did. Our first grandbaby, little Ayden, is in Germany, so not much I can do there to relieve that pressure for Ryan and Natascha, but Natascha doesn't have to go back to work for quite some time yet and her family is there. Our newest, little Noah, is here and Brittany does have to go back to work pretty soon. We are not in a spot where I can just stay home to watch our grandbaby, so I am doing the next best thing. On November 1st, I am opening a home daycare. My licensing is in place and I have taken the CPR, child abuse and food handling certifications that are needed here in Oregon. Puddle Ducks Day Care is being born. I am structuring my time like a pre-school with music time, letters and numbers, playtime of course, reading time, crafting time, etc... I am so excited and so looking forward to spending my days with these fresh little wonderful people. Yeah for Puddle Ducks!

I have been wanting to show you a couple of things that I have gotten from fellow bloggers lately, so without further adieu...

These sweeter than sweet little baby booties (I think she's calling them Carpet Shoes now) came from Laurie at Old School Acres. I was out making bloggy visits one day, flipped over to Lauries site, and 'Lo and Behold this little booties came up with a post that she had just listed them on etsy. With the little octupus and crab on them, I just had to have them for our new grandson. Living on the coast, they are absolutely perfect. Check out her other "carpet shoes", they are fantastic!

I splurged and bought myself a present for my new craft room a couple of weeks ago. This lovely Mermaid came from Lucy's Etsy shop over at Sweet Repeats. Lucy has recently started selling some of her collages that she's been perfecting. This was one of the first that she had done and I just loved her, so when she started selling them I kept waiting for the Mermaid to show up in her site. When she didn't, I asked Lucy about her. She didn't think anyone would be interested since this was one of her earliest pieces. WRONG! She is hanging right beside my sewing machine. Lucy was one of my very first blogging buddies, so I love that I have a piece of her work in my creative space.

And look what Lucy threw in ~ one of her mini altered clipboards. It's in my favorite fall colors and I just love it. Thanks, Lucy!!

See, I really have been squeezing in a tiny bit of crafting between all the other craziness that's been going on around here lately. I just haven't really completed anything, but it's a new week, things are gonna start happening in that sewing room. Above you can see a new bib that is embroideried and ready for sewing, a little Raggedy Ann doll that needs to be stuffed and sewn, a knitted Christmas stocking in progress, a wool bear stuffie and a cat pin-cushion/needle book. At least I have projects to finish.

May you all be blessed with new adventures...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Family Togetherness

There is nothing like a new baby in the house to bring the family together. Unfortunately, many of these family meetings are taking place between the witching hour of midnight and 2am and seem to include bleary eyes and wild hair. Noah is the one calling these impromptu meetings together by imitating a screech monkey whenever his diaper is being changed. The latest meeting of the minds came after Grandpa and I listened to the jungle sounds coming out of him for a good ten minutes last night. We rushed up the stairs to find Noah wildly flailing his limbs around while his Mama squinted up at us through sleep-deprived eyes. One hand held a loose diaper in place over his male parts, while another hand reached blindly for the baby wipes. Brittany must be the Vice President of these meetings, since she is the one who directed me to please bring more diapers, onesies, jammies and recieving blankets into the living room. As Shilo and Dustin joined us, rubbing sleepy eyes and whining, I thought maybe the meeting was training for diaper changing 101. The Vice President directed her siblings to return to their beds as the meeting siren was a false alarm. The extra long siren had been going off because the littlest member of the household had needed changed and while diaper number one was off and before diaper number two had properly been installed, he had pee'd all over himself and his blankies. Having wiped up the mess from this mishap, with the screeching rising in pitch, but before actually securing diaper number two in place, the loud one's Mama noticed that poo-poo was now squirting out onto the clean diaper. This is the point where Grandma and Grandpa charged into the room to assess the situation (and join the meeting). Thus the call for more cotton reinforcements from the babies room. Diaper number three was firmly secured in place, clothing and blankies changed, a liquid middle of the night snack for the monkey eaten and the meeting was adjourned, until the following night. I did complain to management. I think these meeting should possibly by held at the other 1 o'clock. You know, the one where the sun is out. Shilo has since asked me if I know where the best place to buy a good pair of earplugs is...

In the last post I showed you one of the yummy concoctions to come out of our kitchen, but I failed to show you the actual kitchen. Here is just one view of it. I love it. The countertops are the original light pink formica, in great shape, and they are edged in stainless steel. Very retro 50's cool. The kitchen is open and airy and just feels good. The view of the river and valley while I'm washing the dishes doesn't hurt anything either.

This is the view from one of our kitchen windows. We take the doggies down to this ballfield every night for a quick run and sometimes to kick their ball. Any time of day someone is down there with their dogs. The deer come up the little drainage beside it and nibble on our pear trees on their way through.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fall Baking

The feel of fall was in the air yesterday. As I looked around my kitchen, my eyes fell on the zucchini sitting on the counter just waiting to be made into yummy treats. I decided on Chocolate Zucchini Cake which was a recipe of my Mom's and smells so delicious baking. I seem to gravitate to a lot of things these days that remind me of Mom. Here is her recipe:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sour milk
2 1/2 cups flour
4 Tblsp. baking cocoa
1 Tblsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/4 cup chocolate chips ( I used chocolate chunks)
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Preheat your oven to 325. Grease a 9x13x2" cake pan.

Cream butter, oil and sugar together. Add eggs, vanilla and sour milk. Blend thoroughly. Sift together flour, cocoa, soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Blend with creamed mixture. Stir in zucchini. Spoon into greased and floured pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Enjoy!

Happy baking!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Name Game...

Copied (with general permission of course!) from Monica at The Happy Zombie

The Name Game

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car),
Brandy Seabring

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie),
Vanilla NutterButter

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name),

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal),
Orange Pig

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born),
Kaye LaGrande

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first),

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink),
The Aqua Margarita

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers),
Rolin Charles

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy),
Lavender Flicks

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ),
Sharon Alvin

And a few more…

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter),
Hargett Houston

12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower).
Autumn Daisy

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Peach Pajammie

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree),
Strawberry Special K Aspen

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”),
The Knitting Foggy Tour

16. YOUR WRITING PERSONA NAME: (The name your parents "almost" gave you + your Grandmothers maiden name)
Stephanie Dallas

That was just kinda silly and fun ~ feel free to join right in.

Six Years Ago...

My head is bowed, remembering...I choose silence today.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Little Noah Thomas

Noah Thomas joined the world on September 7th, 2007 at 2:42 pm. He weighted in at 7lbs. 4oz. and was 20 inches long. He is adorable...

Here is Mama and baby enjoying their first minutes together.

Brittany had been having very light contractions 10 minutes apart for four or five days. On thursday morning she called me after her doctor had sent her straight from her appointment to the hospital to be induced. She was dialated to 2cm and after the meds, her contractions became 1 to 4 minutes apart for the rest of the long day. They were pretty light and she was pretty comfortable most of the day besides a raging headache and alot of back pain, but the baby was making no progress. She was still at 2cm and he still was a ways up the birth canal. At about 9pm, they gave her the option of going home and coming back to try again on Sunday or of starting the meds to make the contractions harder. She choose to keep trying, so we had a long hard night with the contractions tripling in intensity and coming 1 minute apart for the next 9 hours. At 7:30, she was at 6cm and her water was broken. It would be any time now, we were all very excited. The doctor kept popping her head in ~ "Are we ready yet?!" At 1pm, she was still at 6cm, her cervix was thickening back up and all contractions had stopped. Now the doctor said, "We're going in." And that is how Noah Thomas came into this world. The poor little guy had tried So hard and SO long that he could have definately held his own as one of the coneheads on Saturday Night Live. Silly little man.

Mama and baby are doing well.

Here's how we waited:

Brittany just lounged about (okay, so this is the pretty picture. I didn't take any of the ugly painful part. That just wouldn't have been nice.)

Grandma knitting...

and Grandpa sleeping.

Jodi, my friend over at This Handmade Life has won the little blue guy drawing. Wa-hoo!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

No Baby In Sight...

except for these raccoon babies next door. There is a mama and four kits that climb up onto our neighbors deck several times a day to see what's for dinner. They leave a tub of water out also, so the coons climb right in and have a bath after eating. Quite comical to watch. I haven't yet gotten any pictures of the mama deer and her two babies that love to nibble on my pear trees as they make their rounds of the neighborhood. There seems to be a plethera of varmits in our new yard, including a new to us but old doggie that we rescued from the pound this last weekend. I will get pictures taken and tell you Muffin's story soon. I promise!

My first package at our new house. How fun. I was a participant in the Summer Goodness Swap over at Sweet Goodness Swaps this summer. You may remember my Mermaid Bag from a previous post. Anyway, for this swap, you were to use some type of a container to hold all of your swap goodies, but first you had to decorate that container some way. I decided to make my container which turned out to be that mermaid bag which I knit out of raffia. I submitted a picture of it and turns out that I won the container contest. I'm tickled to death and way honored as there were some really nifty containers entered. This is the first thing I have ever won with one of my handmade projects. What a boost to the old ego! The picture that you see here is my prizes from Rebecca, who is one of the hostess'. In this swap the color combo was yellow and orange. Look what she sent me! That vintage table cloth is just like one my Mom had when I was a little girl. Rebecca made that lemon potholder, which I absolutely adore. It is already hanging in my kitchen! There is an orange tea towel and a bag of vintage buttons, ribbons, bias tape and a very cool old thimble. Thank you, Rebecca. I love it! I was actually stood up by my partner in this swap for the first time ever, but winning this wonderful prize so makes up for it. Keep an eye out for the next Sweet Goodness Swap...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Come On In...

Welcome to our friendly home on Pleasant Avenue. Come in, come in. I'm so glad you've stopped by for a quick visit.

This is our new living room. Sit down! Can I get you a glass of iced tea? We absolutely adore this brick fireplace and I'm in love with the built in bookshelf in the corner. We have arranged the furniture about 100 times so far and have not yet come up with an arragement that we love. Partly because of the furniture that we have and also the furniture that we don't have. I do NOT want the fireplace hidden behind this high backed love seat, so other arrangements are in the works. We think a lower backed love seat that you can see over easier is in order, pulled out a little farther in the room will make room for a couple of smaller reading chairs and and a sofa table between them facing the fireplace for a cozy little reading retreat. I'll let you know what we decide...

Come on out to the deck. This view is also visible from all the living area's of our house ~ living room, dining room and kitchen. We feel so incredibly blessed and really can't quite believe that we are here.

Isn't this pretty? I love to sit at night and watch the cars lights as they twinkle and sparkle across the brigde.

Well, here she is...still pregnant. Brittany's due date was actually yesterday but we're still waiting. Her and Chris didn't want to find out if they are having a boy or girl. Go ahead, what do you think? Boy or Girl? When?? Everyone who leaves a guess is going in the hat for a little blue or pink surprise of their own that will come from me, so give it your best shot....