Monday, March 31, 2008

For My Birthday

This just in...Attention Everyone!!! I have just been informed that my dear husband, at this very moment in time, is purchasing 2 tickets to a Yankee game at Yankee stadium. And not only this, but they are playing the Red Sox for this game.

Okay. Breathe Anna, breathe. Whew!

So, my birthday is in a couple of weeks and I have been asking for a year now if he would take me to a Yankee game up in the Bronx this year. You see...its the last year the Yankees will be playing their stadium. Why is this such a big deal to me? Well, its the House that Ruth built. (go read that article to find out more) Its where Yankee magic happens time and time again. I am hoping that by my attending this one game this year against our biggest rivals, I will help out in some small way towards that Yankee magic and they will win the World Series this year.

Anyways, I am pretty excited about my birthday gift and I can't wait for these next two weeks to pass so I can be in New York City and see my beloved Yankees play. ACK!!! I can barely breath I am so excited. I gotta go crochet. I'll be back later when I can think and type better. (I just hope my shaking hands CAN crochet)

Breathe Anna....just breathe.

Let's Go Fly a Kite!

We will start our tale with a little song from Mary Poppins, the movie, to get us in the proper, kite-flying mood.



It must be national kite month or something because we are finding kite festivals all over town. Especially this past weekend. We decided to head out to Gunston Hall and fly ourselves a kite. Having recently finished reading Mary Poppins and feeling in that Mary Poppins sort of mood, the notion struck that we needed to teach Chloe the delicate art of kite flying.

We started with a $1 kite from Walmart and headed over to Gunston Hall for their Kite Festival. As we arrived we saw a large procession of fire trucks. Not so much a procession, really, as they were stationary...more of a line, I suppose. Chloe wanted to sit in the truck like all the other kiddies so we stood in line and waited.

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And waited...

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And finally got to the truck. The firemen lifted Chloe to the seat and she grinned.

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I think the fire truck was the highlight of her day. Although...she was pretty excited when we took the kite to the field and began the pre-flight preparations.

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Chloe chased the tails of the kite around before we got the chance to get our kite airborne. She must have thought it was a game of some sort, because Daddy would yank the kite gently away from her and she would giggle profusely and run even faster to catch it the next time.

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We finally got it airborne and handed the string to Chloe for her first ever fite-flying experience.

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There wasn't enough breeze to keep the kite in the air for long. We ran around the field trying to keep it up. It was a great workout! For us! Chloe seemed more interested in crashing through the crinkly leaves on the ground than flying the kite. It was more fun to watch Daddy and Mommy run around.

The whole day was filled with fun things. A bubble machine automatically blew bubbles continuously, allowing the kids to run around and catch them to their hearts content. We saw old-fashioned basket weaving,a puppet show using wooden pieces instead of our traditional puppets, 18th century dancing complete with musical instruments and Chloe even got to go to "school" and write with a quill.

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We had a delightful day, all in all.

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Now I must be off to clean up this house and get cracking on some projects around here. Being sick last week really put me behind. Didn't get a lick of sewing done, although I did finish a lovely doily for Chloe's Hope Chest which I will have to show you one of these days. So I best be getting off this computer here and get started on my work.

P.S. In case anyone would like to mourn with us, our little fishy Sprinkles died Friday. Its kind of funny. For about 2 months I didn't feed these fish (Sprinkles and "Q") because I didn't want them any more. Do you think they died? Nope. Well, when I began reading about St. Francis, I felt convicted about my murderous intent towards these creatures crafted by God and I started feeding them again and taking care of their aquarium. Now, once I start taking care of them...one dies. Go figure. Anyways, we must now go find some mates for "Q" since he is a school sort of fish and I am sure he is feeling pretty lonely right about now.

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

400th Post Giveaway!

This post marks my 400th post on this blog. WOW! I feel like I have accomplished so much and yet so little. Anyways, despite my misgivings regarding the importance of this momentous achievement, I am having my first ever giveaway on my blog. Just for you!

First I will show you what I am giving you. Then I will tell you what you must do to recieve this prize.

THE PRIZE

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In this package you will find 3 little doilies crocheted by yours truly. Yes, in case you wondered, they are indeed Patricia Kristofferson doilies. (Would I give away anything but the best on this here blog?) I suppose you all wanna see some closeups of the doilies, fun-style. Well, I came prepared.

Doily Number One...

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Doily Number Two...

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Doily Number Three...

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Also included in this "spring themed" package are some scrapbooking stickers...

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And a basket making kit for your little one...

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Some Velvet stickers for your little one to color...

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Darling Dragonfly ribbon in pink (because we gotta have something pink in this giveaway)

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And a cute pencil with bunny eraser on the end.

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Now to tell you what you must do to recieve the prize. Its not hard. All you gotta do is leave me a comment on this post. Yup. That's it. Just leave a comment here with the link to your blog (or your email if you don't have a blog) and I will have a drawing for the delightful spring package on Friday.

Who knows...maybe I will start having giveaways more often. This could be loads of fun!

So, let's celebrate my 400th post!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Big Hunt

Well, I'm only a couple of days late wishing you all a Happy Easter. So...Happy Easter. I hope you all had a lovely day. While we were sure to celebrate our Lord's Resurrection on Easter morning, I have to be honest and say that, for me, the day was anything but lovely. I got food poisoning from one of our eggs. Fun. I spent the entire church service trying to maintain my poise and it all let loose as soon as I walked in our back door after driving home from church. The rest of the afternoon/evening was spent on the couch sleeping with a headache.

But, the good news is that our Lord is indeed risen and someday I will be in His Presence and I will never succomb to food poisoning or headaches again. What a glorious day that will be.

Until then, we will make the most of what we have. And what we have is the cutest little girl in the world. She remembers hunting eggs last year and has continued to point out her basket of eggs at least once a week since. So, its no wonder she was excited Sunday morning on her egg hunt. Check out the video.



Please stop by tomorrow. I just know you aren't going to want to miss this. We will be having a giveaway of some sort and I am sure you will want to play. I just know it. Its a big day for me and I want to celebrate it with you. But more on that tomorrow. I am off to plant some seeds and paint a door. Fun! Have a wonderful day all day long.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

We had a PARTY!

3 Things NOT to do when you are insanely busy:

1) Get Sick
2) Forget to eat lunch
3) Sleep

1 Thing TO do when you are insanely busy:

1) PARTY!!!!!!!

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So, what does a stay at home mother do to become "insanely busy", you ask? Ohhh...plenty. Lots of things really. Let's see here...she can have her own crochet business and always look for ways to do more with it. (which I happen to do) She can cook every meal from scratch. (because that's the only way this mama knows how to do it...or actually...the only way this mama likes to do it. No "processed" food for me) She can also write multiple posts on her blog, day after day. (although that has been lacking here lately. Sorry.) She can also volunteer to design a website for her church. (because us crazy people are always looking for more to do, right?) And while designing said website she can start reading an entire book on CSS because an insanely busy, stay-at-home mother must always be learning something entirely new whereby she officially earns her "insane" classification. Thats right. This mama is learning CSS. Yay! (or Bother! Whichever way you chose to look at it)

So, how does an insanely busy mother cope? She throws a party. And not just any party, mind you. A huge, THIRD birthday party for the little love of her life. She applies herself to learn the art of cake decorating so she can make the perfect Mickey Mouse birthday cake.

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The three weeks of hard work paid off, don't you think? Its time to assemble "The Gift".

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And decorate the newly re-painted basement.

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So that when Chloe came down the stairs in the morning, she saw this...

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You should have seen her face. She was completely and thoroughly excited. I guess the jumping on the bed for 20 minutes with Mama before bedtime the night before helped in that excitement department. (Have I mentioned this Mama loves parties???) Oh...and here's a picture of her face.

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Excited???

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You may be wondering as to the cardboard box "decor" you see in the photos. Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph the "main attraction" of the party, the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Yup. We built a huge Mickey Mouse Clubhouse out of cardboard boxes that filled about 1/3 of our basement. The kids loved it.

But anways, back to the storyline. After a few moments of awe (and breathless wonderment) Chloe spotted "The Gift".

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Thats all it took. She couldn't stay away from it the rest of the day. (except during her party, of course. This kid loves people)

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And then it was time to don our party hats and PARTY!

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Receiving the cake with candles. (notice the birthday dress? I didn't finish her crocheted dress in time, and I might not even be able to get it done in time for Easter either. But at least she had a special dress)

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Opening gifts was a blast this year. It was Chloe's first time really getting into it. Each and every gift she opened recieved an "Oh! Look!" before she even got the tissue out the bag or the wrapping off the box. It was so funny. When asked what it was she would reply, "I don't know" in the most excited voice you can imagine.

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Then she would hold the gift out from her and let everyone state what it was before she dropped it on the floor and proceeded to the next gift.

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The "Big Hit" toy was this microphone thing. She wouldn't put it down the rest of the party.

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She even held it against her mouth while opening the rest of her gifts. The most memorable gift opening of the day was the puzzle. We had her open a few gifts in the morning after she saw her kitchen. One of them happened to be a puzzle. She tore off the wrapping and said her customary, "Oh! Look!" and when asked what it was she stated in a confused sort of voice, "An Ariel Box". It was, in fact, an Ariel puzzle and once we explained that to her she grinned and laughed.

Now just because the party is over doesn't mean the party is over. We had some friends stay for supper that night. Tacos, chicken and dumplings, macaroni and cheese, and cornbread. Oh, and don't forget the cake and homemade ice cream. So, the kids went downstairs after supper and trashed the rest of the basement filled with boxes, balloons, confetti (because this particular Mama thinks confetti makes for a perfect party) and wrapping paper. The adults stayed upstairs and played Balderdash. It was only after everyone left that we realized Chloe had yet to open the rest of her gifts from us. Silly us. So at 10:00 at night, we sat on our bed and opened presents.

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We don't want Chloe to forget people and since we live so far from family we use pictures. James held up a picture of Grandpa and Grandma while she opened her gift from them.

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And that littler bugger is so smart. As soon as I grabbed the picture and asked her if she remembered who it was, she stated quite simply, "gwanna an gwanna". (which means...you guessed it...grandpa and grandma) She hasn't seen them since their visit last October. What a memory this kid has. In fact, up in our bedroom closet where we stored her unused pinata from last year's birthday party (which got used this year) sits her Easter basket from last year filled with her plastic eggs. She points it out to me at least once a month saying, "Eggs, Mama! Eggs!" Oh boy...its gonna be a fun Easter!

So, now...this insanely busy Mama has begun plotting out next year's party. And do you know what's she thinking??? Dress up! And the cake? Have you seen the 2008 Wilton Yearbook? Take a look at that cover. Did I mention I am insane? I am trying to figure out how to incorporate a castle cake into a dress-up party. Hmmm...gotta give it some though. Oh well. I got a year to come up with it. *wink*

So now this insanely busy Mama needs a second cup of coffee and to GET TO WORK! (maybe she needs to get out of her pajamas first)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Little Bit of Weekend Work

WHEW! *swiping sweat off brow* What a weekend!

As many of you have probably already figured out by now, I like to keep busy. I don't think a day goes by in my life where I am not busy with something. Mopping the floor, dusting the ceiling fan, organizing the garden hoses...

So this weekend we decided to install a new closet door on our closet in the basement which previously stood doorless. First we took out the old tracks that in some distant past held doors we never heard tell of. This track was covered by the most disgusting red carpet you have ever seen. After a bit of hard labor we accomplished it.

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And the carpetless plank.

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Pulling up this carpet let out a most awful stench which I am hoping will dissipate by Saturday. (because Saturday is the PARTY!!! Woooo Hoooo!) And Wa-la!!! After about 3 hours we finally got the doors in and I must say that the basement looks transformed.

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Notice those pretty colors on the walls? Those colors were not always there. I did it. Yup! Me, myself and I. You have NO idea how difficult it is to paint an entire basement covered in fake rocks. It must be done by hand. Needless to say, my carpal tunnel has flared up due to this monumental task I have undertaken. BUT, it looks heaps better, don't you think? Here's the old colors.

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Try to imagine how dark the basement would be in those dark colors. Not a bright, cheery sort of lair, if you ask me. Much better now though. Yes. Much better. I am still working away at it though. The task is far from over. I am in the middle of painting the trim white around the closet doors and the windows. Oh yes. That's right. Dear and handy-ful James installed new trim around those lovely windows I put in last summer. It looks better too.

Without trim...
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And with trim...
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Take no notice of the blue painter's tape around the window. That will be gone once I finish painting the trim. One more coat oughta do it. Now...after this project, I think I may tackle the wall coming down into the basement.

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That wall presents a diaster. You see, the wall which you cannot see in the picture bears the bruises of careless movers. It would seem that the corner down the stairs is slightly smaller than most of the furniture in the basement, so the movers whacked away at the wall with the furniture just to get it down there. (or up here, since the wall was like that before we moved in) I must borrow a book from the library that teaches how to repair drywall. I aim to repair this wall myself. (an idea I caught onto in the book "Created to be His HelpMeet".)

So, little by little, the house repairs are getting done. I must go now to shower before James gets home. I hope you all have a wonderful day. And those of you with buckets of snow...go enjoy a snowball fight for me. (because I am a little antsy to throw a snowball at James and instigate a little fight, but we have no snow. Schucks)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Games and Anya

Chloe figured out that Daddy and Mama actually possess individual names and now initiates conversations by addressing us with our given names, Games and Anya. (translated - James and Anna)

Example:

Chloe: "Games!"

Long pause

Chloe: "GAMES!"

Another long pause.

Chloe: "GAMES!!!!"

Daddy turns and looks at Chloe.

Chloe: (giggling) "Games?"

Daddy: "My name is Daddy."

Chloe giggles again and runs into the other room. This same senario plays out for "Anya" as well. What a smart cookie this kid is.

So, the week finally came to an end and what a week it was. Needless to say, I am quite pleased that it is, indeed, over. Let me start at the beginning.

~~ Sunday ~~
Spring Fever hit full force and we ventured to Home Depot and bought about a trillion packets of seeds and supplies. (okay...slight exaggeration...we bought a handful. The fever has completely taken over my brain so I might be given to some exaggerations now and again.)

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I planted them in this nifty little greenhouse thingie. Can you tell I am a little anxious for spring to get here already?

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I checked out a book from the library called Crops in Pots. I plan on doing quite a bit of pots of crops and you will more than likely hear more about this endeavor later. (I do highly recommend this book though.

~~ Monday ~~
Mondays are extremely busy days for me. Laundry, cleaning, baking bread and many other "chores" that I do.

I let Chloe play outside on Monday because it was such a nice day. She found a new little chair for herself. I call it her papasan chair.

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Chloe now drinks tea. I give it to her in a little cracked teacup of mine and she throroughly enjoys this novelty. Of course, her tea looks and tastes more like milk than tea, really...

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~~ Tuesday ~~
With my spring fever still in full rage, I headed out to Joann's and bought some lovely new fabric for some summer dresses. I let Chloe pick out her own 3 colors.

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I splurged on myself and bought some lovely silk rayon to make this dress for me.

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Excitement abounded on Tuesday. It was after Tuesday that the week flew downhill at top speed.

~~ Wednesday ~~

In much anticipation and my bones dancing with excitement, I sewed "THE DRESS". Uggg!

Its Disgusting!

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I halfway redeemed the dress by wearing a cute little sweater over the top of it. If I hadn't, I would have looked like an large pregnant mama in a mumu. Terrible, I tell you. Utterly retched. It looks nothing like that cute and stylish ensemble in the picture on the pattern. NOTHING! I have the fabric for another dress, but uggg...I think I will pick a different pattern. (might I add that James commented on how nice it looked...until I took the sweater off, at which point he laughed right out and then turned his head in shame. I will NOT be wearing this dress in public...or around James, for that matter)

In an attempt to redeem the day, I baked some zucchini bread. Let me tell you that possess a talent akin to the Midas Touch...only what I touch blows up instead of turning into gold. At least this was the case for Wednesday. My zucchini bread blew up all over the entire oven. And when I say "entire" I do mean entire. (I haven't cleaned it up yet because my heart died with that blowup on Wednesday and I just can't bring myself to deal the catastrophe yet) I knew Thursday would be better so I went to bed.

~~ Thursday ~~
Errand day. I despise errand day. This week was no different. Driving in the city scares me to death and this city is the worst one I have ever seen. These drivers are crazy. Literally crazy. And they can't even blame it on a cell phone because the most craziest of them all aren't using them.

Anyways, Thursday was slighty better than Wednesday because I bought some fun supplies for Chloe's birthday party. Its gonna be a Mickey Mouse party! Woo Hoo. My baby's having a birthday! My baby's having a birthday! (can you tell this Mama's proud of her baby?) Well, sadly this excitement was short lived. I found the supplies I bought cheaper at Walmart than the two stores I drove across town to buy them at. And since I hate driving so much, I will not be returning the more expensive items and use them instead. (I am kicking my own rear end here while I pout)

BUT.................

I redeemed Thursday by making two dresses for Chloe. She's thrilled. I made her "buggy dwess" and her "aahsc cweem dwess".

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Notice the ladybugs on the dress? Hence the name "buggy dwess" christened by Chloe. Her "aahsc cweem dwess" might end up being her birthday party dress. Just look at how cute this one is.

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This kid has great taste in colors. Its bright and very "spring-ey". Perfect. Chloe is really getting into this modeling thing.

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Of course, she added a silly element to the photo shoot and while placing her hands neatly in her lap, pulled down as hard as she could to pull the dress down in the front. She thought this was hilarious and would laugh everytime the camera shutter clicked. (because it was at that moment that she would pull it down...funny kid, this one)

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When the "posing" reached new heights, I knew it was time to quit. Anyways...cute fabric, eh?

I used the undestroyed portion of the zucchini bread left from Wednesday's explosion and made some delicious Fresh Crab and Zucchini sandwiches from my Tea-Time at the Inn cookbook. Yum.

~~ Friday ~~

Today dawned bright and early for me. I won't get into any details, but large, noisy raincoats at 5:00 in the morning, entering and exiting the bedroom multiple times played a large part in the early start to my day.

My girlfriend took me to the China company again (have I told you how much I love this place?) and I bought a few pieces of china. I got two unique teacups, a creamer pitcher and a soup ladle for $6. Can't beat that. Then we went for coffee and hit an antique store where I picked up a couple of books for Chloe's library. The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit, Crackle Creek and God Made Kittens. Finding good books always redeems a bad week. Always.

After coming home, I decided to practice Chloe's birthday cake. I inverted the baking pan and decorated it in white icing just to practice those tricky stars. (why can't I get them right? Anyone???)

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I am getting better though. I grasped the concept a bit better and even twisted the tube of icing slightly with each new star so they were inset into each other.

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I am frusterated about one thing though. I can still see through the stars to the tin (or cake) below. Is this normal? Do I have to ice the cake flat first before I put on the stars? And if so, do I have to ice it in whatever colors the stars are that are going to be on top? (that could become alot of different icing) Or is the problem all in my stars?

Anyways, the day is done and I am about to go relax with the family. Barbequed Chicken Pizza for dinner and maybe watching Midnight Run after the kid goes to bed. I love that movie. James makes it hilarious. He can quote it like nothing I've ever seen. So, they are waiting for me. Have a delightful weekend everyone. I hope you didn't miss me too bad this week. Good Evening.