Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve - 2011

To quote Leo from Little Einsteins, "I can not believe it!" 

I cannot believe that it's already the end of 2011.

I judged 8 forensics meets this past winter, which is a personal best.  (I have to get my letters ready to mail out to the schools week to hopefully judge in 2012.)

Spent a weekend with the kids at my sister's house in March. (Must try to do that again this year!)

We had 16 inches of snow one day in March. (And almost nothing so far this winter.)

Finished my first year as a 7th grade Catechist and went back for more this fall.

In April, my children let me in on their secret language - didn't realize that my kids spoke Dragon.  (I'm not fluent!)

In May, I was fortunate enough to be able to help them work on and then judge the 5th grade speech contest.

I was able to substitute teach several times at the end of last school year.  (This year, my time has been at home with Fixit and making sure I'm home by 11:20 for when the kids get home from 4K.)

For Mother's Day, we made an unexpected trip to go see Great Grandma after she was admitted to the hospital. She ended up fine and told us we were the best medicine she could have had!

One of my Etsy sales, a bride and groom gnome set, were actually used as a cake topper for someone's wedding!

Ok, not a proud Mama moment, but a memorable one...Had Fixit hold up two fingers, look at Bug, and tell her that she's two words for her.  First one is "dumb" and the second is "a$$" - Bug responded with, "I've got one word for you and it's stupid!"  I still don't know where Fixit learned that word.  (I can only hope that we've soaped that one out of her!)

I spent quite a few hours, not quite finishing, painting the playsets.  Plus, we added a playhouse and swingset to the SumFisch Park aka our back yard.

I participated in 5 craft shows this year - some were a bust and some were great.  I've learned from other people who do these more often, there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to what and when people will buy.

We went to Breakfast on the Farm at the farm I worked on all through high school - Wow, is it different!

We had a weird day in June when the cats were all looking at the garage and there was a pheasant on the garage roof.  (Yep, that was a weird one!)

Had fun at my husband's cousin's wedding this summer, lots of time with family that we don't get to see very often.

Did LOTS of canning starting in June all the way through November.  Everything from Strawberry Jam to Tomato Soup and Applesauce. (Plus lots more along the way - figured it out to over 200 quarts of stuff this year, and lots of it was done in pints and half pints!  Phew!)

My brother and my brother-in-law were awesome this summer.  We thought that Great Grandma was going to come and live with us for several months, so we needed to upgrade the downstairs bathroom and make the guest bedroom warmer and more comfortable.  So, they busted their butts this summer and it's done except for the finish trim and some paint.  Great Grandma went to a different grandchild's house, but my rooms are updated and I could never have gotten it done without them.

Made a giraffe cake for Fixit's 3rd birthday.  Bug had a pink flamingo.  K was gracious enough to share her family party with her younger cousin, and her aunt made her a cute tractor cake.

I ventured into the world of sewing this year.  Hadn't sewn in YEARS!!!!!!!  But I took the plunge, and for my birthday I got a new Singer machine.  Then, I spent a little too much on ebay getting fabric and stuff.  Then, this fall, I ended up cleaning out a sewing room at an estate sale.  I got over 200 yards of material plus a serger sewing machine for about $200.  I've already used quite a bit of the fabric.  Plus, I was able to trade fabric for some clothese for Bug. Some of it has turned into a Christmas present for my niece. 

Spent time driving back and forth to the Milwaukee VA this year trying to figure out what is wrong with my husband's thumb and wrist.  Might be carpul tunnel might not be, for way too many trips this year.

Here was my Facebook update for August 19th (sometimes you just need to put it out there word for word):  45 quarts of dill pickles. Check. Bushel of peaches waiting to be picked up. Check.  Youngest daughter hitting middle daughter causing big nosebleed. Check. Going to be a LONG day. Check

K started third grade and the bus picks her up!  (The bus had driven past our house twice a day for 3 years, but we were out of district and they wouldn't pick her up.  I don't know what changed and I didn't ask questions. She gets to ride the bus!)

Bug started 4K - and she rides the bus.  I miss my girl.

Who know that a forest fire in Minnesota - about 6 1/2 hours away could affect us here in NE Wisconsin.  One did this past summer, the wind currents were just "right" to mess up the air quality around here for about 3 days.  Weird.

In September, I was at the ER twice within 20 hours for two separate head injuries.  Mild concussion for K after falling and hitting her head on a table.  Then not 24 hours later, back at the ER with Bug and an almost 2-inch gash in her head after she jumped into bed and hit her head on the post.

Had a wonderful visit from my big older sister in October.  It was just a long weekend, but it was so nice to see her again.  (We fought like GIRLS in high school, but now she's one of my best friends!)

I started to blog this year - somedays nice. somedays....need to get motivated.

I was introduced to the Sistery Mystery Detective Team this fall.  Perfect case closure rate.

Participated in the Art Garage Holiday Sale again this year.  I sold a couple of things, but I'm not sure if it was worth the headache of rushing to get things done.

Started a new puppet line to go with my crafts this year.

We spent Thanksgiving at the zoo and the girls serenaded the wild turkey.  Quite the comedy act.  Family Thanksgiving was later in the week, so more people could come.

We held our 4th annual cookie party in December.  What a great bunch of people to spend a day with.

When I write it out like this, it was a very busy year.  (Thank goodness for Facebook and saving status updates!)


Friday, December 30, 2011

UGH! She's only 9!

K and I, K and her Dad, and K and her sisters have been butting heads all day!

I realize that she's only 9.  Most of the time, she is very sweet and very helpful.

Today, it was snap at a Fixit for wanting to help her. Yell at Bug because they looked at each other.  Just that silly pettiness that drives me insane.

Most of the time, she is so mature.  Today has not been one of those day.  I don't have a "normal" 9-year-old to compare her to, but I know that my extraordinary 9-year-old is driving me batty.

"Hail Mary full of grace. The Lord is with thee.  Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God - pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen." 

Dear Mother of all,

Please help me be patient and understanding. Please help me listen and love.  Please help me help her and the rest of my family.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

This Did Not Turn Out

This did not work out at all.


I guess that I really have to learn how to read patterns.  This is evidence that I have absolutely no clue what I am doing when I crochet.  This thing, that we have dubbed "the brain" was supposed to be the starting point to Fixit's blanket.  Hmmmm.

This did not go well.  Seriously, it used two skeins of yarn (...not a bad thing...) but what the heck is it?

I was attempting to make a square.  When the square wasn't working, I started on a circle to make a large oval blanket.  mmm heh...  I would say that I added too many stitches and it took on a mind of it's own.  The pink ruffle was about two yards short of an entire 4 ounce skein of Red Heart - so like 220 yards of yarn in ONE row of double crochet.

S, now the kids have a relatively safe "ball" to use in the house and I get to look for a pattern to actually USE.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Yarn Along - December 28, 2011

I'm yarning along with Ginny again this week. 

It's just the finished pictures of Bug's blanket.  I just "wing" all my blankets, so when I got done with what was supposed to be the center section, I changed my mind.

I ended up doing a shell pattern around the outside and I was going to add more to the ruffle, but she only wanted 3 rows of shells - it was still almost two skeins of yarn.

Here's the blanket:


And as for reading, I just finished:

A Spy in the House (The Agency, #1)

It was a fun read about a girl's school in Victorian England that was training the girls to be independent thinkers, instead of just aiming for marriage or a life on the streets.  The main character, Anna Quinn, had been at the school since she was 12.  Now that she was 17, she was not happy as a junior teacher to the younger girls.  She is inducted into the secret AGENCY where women are sent into roles that are virtually invisible like governess or companion to act as intelligence gatherers/spies for Scotland Yard, among others.

It was a fun book and there are supposed to be a couple more in the series.  I'm going to check with my library to see if they have the other ones, yet.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Recap

I wish there was a way that I could enable my children to see that Christmas isn't about the gifts, but about the birth of Jesus Christ and being with family.

No, I take that back.  I think my kids are ahead of the game on what Christmas is all about, but I think the generosity of others in the present department leads them astray.

I'm as guilty as the rest of them.  i went into this holiday season with the absolute intent that we were going to do homemade presents this year.  We didn't need store-bought presents.  Then, I succumbed to the secular "must give more" attitude.

It's three days after our family gathering and massive gift opening.  Amazingly, I don't think that any toys have been broken, yet.  I will admit to removing the batteries from a couple of toys and repurposing them somewhere else, but I won't tell you from what toy!  There are several items that need to be returned and or exchanged due to duplication - who knew that K would get TWO pottery wheels for Christmas!  And it will be known as the year that adults didn't get to unwrap their own presents - we were being too slow for the kids, so they opened ours, too!

I was going to return the duplicate presents and immediately get a replacement.  The more I think about it, the less I am inclined to do that, depending on the way the stores handle returns.  I would much rather get a gift card to be used at a later date or the money to be able to put into our accounts or apply to our favorite charity.

We just don't need anything else right now.  The kids are overwhelmed with what they have and I'm getting ornery with the clutter and the "too much-ness" of it all.

But, I will leave you with my favorite pictures from this weekend.  It's not because of the presents in these pictures, but the looks on people's faces.

Yep - stomping on bubble wrap is more fun than presents.

K was so happy that she squealed when she opened this from Grandma and Grandpa.

My cute, pregnant sister-in-law - we got the same book from my Mom.

Grandma and K

The twins from separate parents - my nephew and Fixit

Bug and her new dress.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Totally Random

Here are some pictures from the last couple of days that have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, just random life!

Umm, yeah.  That's a lot of yarn. (and it wasn't all of it!)
Yep, it's a cute little tooshy!
Little bit of random.

Have a good day!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Well, good intentions went out the window this morning.

Had a wonderful day with family yesterday and did most of our gift opening.  The girls made a haul!  Bug said she didn't feel good, but we were hoping it was the excitement of the day.  Nope - she got sick last night and has been sleeping most of today and still feels lousy.

I don't feel that great, either.

So, K was upset that we weren't going to Mass this morning.  I lucked out and found Christmas Eve Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict playing as a rerun on EWTN and we watched it.  My husband even sat and watched part of it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

This is the first time that I'm joining in on the PHFR hosted by Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Here are the prettiest things we have:





Who is that mustashioed stranger?
My Pink Knight - she was saving the Queen (me)


The dog ISN'T supposed to be on the couch, but how could I make her get down?
Yeah, "trying" to get us all in the picture on a timed shot.

YES!  Managed to all get in the shot and all look good!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yarn Along - Bug's Blanket

This is my first Yarn Along with Ginny at small things.  It's going to be crochet for me, because I have to relearn how to knit.  As for what I'm reading, I'm going to admit to a guilty pleasure. In a fit of nostalgia, I ordered a ton of the classic (like from the 40's and 50's) Nancy Drew mysteries from the library.  I love those!

I'm working on a Blanket for Bug.  I just got some of the Tunisian Crochet hooks and started her blanket with those.  I am planning on making it three stripes wide, but I think I'm going to have to redo the first stripe, because it was much looser than the section I'm currently working on.  The outer sections are going to be Red Heart Plum Pudding and the center section is Red Heart Aran.  I think I'm going to do the border in Aran, also, but I'll decide that when I'm that far.

Merry Christmas!

Chocolate Goggles???

Here is what happens when Fixit decides to use the two chocolate-covered pretzel rings that I gave her as a snack as goggles.

I didn't realize it at first, so when I saw her, I had to hold her down and scrub her off (after the photo op, of course!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Program

I'm going to play a little catch up today on posts

Thursday, K had her Christmas Program at school, and she goes to Catholic school, so it still is a "CHRISTMAS" Program.

The music teacher outdid herself again this time.  I think this was the best concert they've done in the 4 years that we've been going.

It was a Victorian Christmas based on A Christmas Carol (The Muppet version) and the Nativity.  The kids did an amazing job and it was a great tribute to Joan Ladowski, the teacher that passed away last week.

And to toot my own horn a little, I think K's hair turned out really cute.  Here are some pictures:

She was so excited that she had the biggest bonnet.

Isn't she pretty!

See the hair - that's lots of hairspray and curling iron time.

The tribute to Mrs. Ladowski in the lobby.

All-day preschool, they are so cute.

Kindergarten and the 12 days of Christmas

1st Grade was the choir, there is only 6 of them.

5th grade Nativity

2nd grade were Christmas Present with their kazoo horns

5th Grade at Scrooge's shop

3rd Grade and Christmas Past

More 3rd Grade

4th Grade and Tiny Tim

Scrooge and Marley and Marley (ala Muppet Christmas Carol)

Cast picture

K and her best Friend, Emmy -they are so cute!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Maybe it's Starting to Sink in

At supper last night, Fixit was trying to spell the neighbor's name.  (She is only three and is already quite proficient and verbally spelling names.) 

She couldn't think of it, so, "The devil made me forget. Errrrrrrrrr." (with fists clenched in frustration)

So, Bug helped her spell it. 

Then, "That's right.  I can hear God now!"

Let my children always be able to hear God.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Space Aliens

Because that just sounds cooler to the 3-5 year old set, than hot dogs and noodles.  Take any straight pasta, I really think spaghetti would work better than fettucine, break each piece into several smaller pieces. Stick hard pasta through hot dog coins.  Cook in boiling water until noodles are done.  Serve. We had some leftover spaghetti sauce, so they got some of that.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Weekend Happenings - Cookie & Birthday Parties

Saturday, our house was the site of the 4th (at least) Annual Cookie Party.  This pretty much entails: frosting a 5-gallon pail's worth of sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies; dipping everything under the sun in chocolate; and eating All. Day. Long.


We invited 24 people and we had 16 people here - which was about the perfect number.  The 9 kids had a blast decorating the cookies.  K and I had done the cookie baking last weekend - and we couldn't find the Christmas cutters, so we had dinosaurs, flowers, cars, teddy bears, and lots of stars and circles.  I use a sour cream sugar cookie recipe, so they aren't so sweet - then we frost the cookies with a cream cheese frosting, again, not so sweet.  Then, when I make the gingerbread cookies, I cut up some of my homemade crystalized ginger, so you get the bite of the spicy ginger.  Yum!  Then, we use about 20 types of sprinkles - everything from standard red and green sugar to cows, pigs, and school buses. (We consider it a yearly challenge to come up with the most original sprinkles.)

Everyone brings a dish to pass, so we don't all succumb to the sugar coma.

Then, the adults dip into the chocolate.  I made four types of homemade marshmallows (easy peasy) vanilla bean, cinnamon, toasted coconut, and caramel covered.  So, we dipped those and dried fruit, nuts, cookies, and whatever else we can dip in chocolate.

Then, we have the picture of the aftermath:

Then, on to Sunday...

Birthday party for K and my nephew.  The kids raked it in.  Thank you to my sister-in-law for hosting that.