Saturday, June 4, 2011

And So It Begins . . .

Summer has finally arrived. And I'm not talking about finally having non-Arctic temperatures. I'm talking about kids home all day, alternating between trying to play on the computer all day and kill each other. You must have a plan. We have one full week under our belts and so far so good. I only thought about them going back to school 5, maybe 6 times this week. OK, maybe it was more, but I'm sure I shouldn't admit that.

Our summer plan is for every day to have some work and then every day we have something fun. One of our fun things has been to read The Twits by Roald Dahl together. It's one of my favorites. By reading 10 pages a night together, we have finished it in about a week. And then, thanks to the Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes book, we had a good plan to make a Mr. Twit for dinner.

If you haven't read the book (and you need to), Mr. Twit was a "foul and smelly old man" whose face was not only "covered with thick hair, the stuff even sprouted in revolting tufts out of his nostrils and ear-holes." The best part of his horrible beard was all the food that got stuck there that he saved for later snacks. Mrs. Twit was also horrid and they amuse themselves by playing horrible tricks on each other and tormenting small animals until they finally get taught a lesson. I won't reveal more than that because seriously, you need to read it.

So here's the point of the post--a picture of our Mr. Twit who was fun to make and even more fun to eat. Now for something to do for the other 73 days of summer . . .

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Mormon Mom's Dilemma

Modest Prom Dress. This is the dilemma. And while there are shops and web sites now to help with this dilemma, price is also a factor for us. I don't want to spend a small fortune, and I want my daughter to have a beautiful, modest dress. I don't think that's too much to ask for. I am not exaggerating when I say this could be the catalyst for a short stay in a mental facility.

So we were in England a few weeks ago and I asked my daughter if she wanted me to look in London for a dress. She said yes and gave me 3 criteria: long, with sleeves, and easy to match. So I found a BEAUTIFUL dress for a great price . . . that matched only one of the criteria. Why did I ignore the other 2? you may ask. Did I mention how utterly pretty and shimmery it is? And I apparently had an over-inflated estimation of my skills in being able to fix it. So I bought it.

And now I am paying the price. I spent the better part of two days going to every fabric store in Provo and the Salt Lake area trying to find matching fabric. No go. She finally agreed I could take the chiffon scarf things that hung down the back of the dress to use for sleeves. Spent another afternoon taking in seams to try and fit her skinny little self. Totally messed it up and nearly had a heart attack until I figured out what I had done and was able to fix it. I think I will need a spa day when this is finished to recover.

I have bugged my sewing friends for ideas. Jeny has sent sketches. Gayle has inspected and offered ideas. And Sarah (, has spent lots of time helping us with her creative genius. Tomorrow is Project Sleeves.

This is a rough idea of what I'm working on. (Does it look skinnier? I've taken it in twice and have to do it again.) Wish me luck. I need new thread and possibly some more chiffon to add another layer under the sleeves for coverage. And in the middle of this insanity, I am making her an Easter dress. Did I mention I have an over-inflated opinion of my capabilities? sigh . . .

Here's the top so far:

And then, just for fun, here is a picture of my new sewing box, which I LOVE.

I'll post more tomorrow unless I'm in a padded room somewhere whispering to myself.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sometimes We Make a Big Mess

Here's the castle we made for Brenton's Medieval Days project. He and Glenn built it the night before Glenn left for China (thank you, thank you!) and Brenton finished up by mixing drywall plaster and sand (in my kitchen--hence the MESS) and covering the castle. I stepped in with my glue gun to help with the grass and we chopped the head off a dinosaur for the Loch Ness monster. One of those projects when you breathe a HUGE sigh of relief to see it finished and not be ugly.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

In Case You're Wondering

If you're wondering why there's a shirt in my freezer, it's because it has gum on it. I read somewhere that if you are so cursed, put the offending item in the freezer and the gum will peel right off. So I did that but it's been a few weeks and I haven't gotten around to peeling it off yet.

So indicative of my life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

For Those of Us Who Don't Get to Go to the Caribbean this Winter

I've been feeling a little sorry for myself that I am not going on a cruise or a vacation to somewhere warm and balmy. Although some warm and balmy spots (Haiti) are probably a little less fortunate than here. OK, so no more feeling sorry for myself. I have a home that is still standing, a family that is intact, and I can brush my teeth every morning and have a hot bath. Life's not so bad. And today is National Pie Day. Just so you know.

I have a new goal for January. It is to write down every day things that have made me happy. Here are some things from my list so far:

*yummy food
*the weekend
*not using credit cards for my shopping
*delicious nap with a fuzzy blanket and the cat
*loyal friends
*no sugar
*rain boots for shovelling slush
*dependable children
*plowing snow this morning without crashing

And I'm pretty sure my Boston Cream Pie that I'm going to make will make the list as well. I've only done this for 3 days and my outlook on January is better already.

So to wrap it up, here are 2 happy quotes:

"There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world." Robert Louis Stevenson

"I have two choices. I can choose to be happy or I can choose to be sad. I choose to be happy." Marjorie Pay Hinckley

So for today, I will choose to be happy and hope that it rubs off on the rest of the world. And if any of you are going on vacation to the Caribbean, I hope you bring me some vanilla. Because then I will be even more happy. The End.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Even though this is one of my new favorite books, I am not writing about the book. I am also not writing about pie. What I am writing about is niceness. Specifically, I am writing about nice people at the bottom of the pie of humanity.

I've been thinking lately about what makes really nice people. It is a mystery to me since deep down, I am not very nice. I like to pretend that I am and I keep trying to be nicer, but at my core, I am selfish and mean. So one of the hallmarks of a nice person, to me, is that when they talk to you, they like to talk about you. (This is why I like my nice friends.) First, they ask about all my children--and here's a secret: Doting on my children is something I simply can't resist. And nice people ask about things I'm interested in. They also ask lots of questions. Sometimes I play a game to see if I can steer the conversation topic to them so I'm not just talking about me the whole time. It's hard to do. And usually I'm quite happy talking about me. But that is because I am not very nice. There are other things, too, that nice people do--but this is the one I've been thinking about.

Believe it or not, I am trying to be a nice person. I have it on good authority that it's possible to change your very nature, which is good, since the one I came with is pretty self-centered. Luckily, I seem to have an inordinate number of nice friends to learn from. Some of them might even know how to make pie, which would be nice of them to bring me. It's just a thought.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And a Little Tutu

Project #2 has been Kendyl's tutu. I'm not especially impressed with it--I saw a tutu I was trying to copy and apparently in my mind my abilities are far greater than what they actually are. But it's done and it's just for dress up so hopefully she'll be happy.

On to Project #3.