Tuesday, December 30, 2008

On Christmas Cards

I just mailed our Christmas cards yesterday. They are late, but I'm not too upset by it. I'm over it. I thought the story behind our picture would make a great post.

Last year, I almost didn't send out any cards. 2007 was not the best of years for us. (That's a very tactful understatement.) It was a painful year, with several people close to us going through separation, divorce, and loss. My dad was in a coma for several days. My cornea started to peel off. Lots of other things happened that I still have trouble talking about. By the time December rolled around, Stuart and I would joke about our Christmas letter. We had several versions going that we could never send. (He still thinks I should write about it in a book, "The Christmas Letter We Never Sent") Somehow, at the last minute, I scraped up enough good things to write about, and sent out a family self-portrait.

We got so many good responses from that picture. I would have never have believed it! So many people commented on it that we decided to make it "our thing". A family self-portrait. Not us at a breathtakingly beautiful vacation spot, or us at a wedding or other event. Us, at home. By ourselves. Taken by one of us (usually Stuart, since his arms are longest). We have to take lots of pictures to get one that we all like, but that's part of the fun. Last year, us on the couch. This year, us with lights.

Hope everyone had a very great Christmas. See you next year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Samuel ready for his Christmas show at school :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve


hanging out and having snacks

Making cookies for Santa!

Sally's got mad baking skills.

the Christmas Eve gifts


I got Sam's blanket finished in time! :)

Sally gave Sam some reindeer food.

Here they are sprinkling it on the yard.

(notice - short sleeves and no shoes)


Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Making fun of Twillight

Thanks to Amber for this link - it is way way funny.

The Juice Box ~ The Twilight Before Christmas

I have about a dozen favorite parts, but won't put any of them here because I don't want to spoil it for you. Go watch. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Most popular forward of the season

I've received this link four times via email in the past week. It is funny!

Beware of the Doghouse!



"Fold this, Double Bag!"

"Quiche and chai lattes - every night."

Thanks for a laugh, everyone!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

snowflakes

Where we live, we won't get any real snowflakes, so the kids and I made these:

Where did I get my mad snowflake skills? This website: Make-A-Flake. Very fun. Sally and I played with it for a while, then we started in on the real thing. Pretty good, huh? (Yes, I need to even up the hanging. Next year . . . . more even thread cutting.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

One from last year

I found this one last year and still like it quite a bit.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Good Christmas Songs Gone Bad

This one's for our Adult Sunday School classk, especially for Scott.

And you thought it couldn't get worse - it just did.
Jessica Simpson singing Breath of Heaven.
With strange out-of-focus victorian angels.
I'd love to get a digital frame and load this up for the next white elephant gift exchange!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

love actually

This is a favorite of Sally's and mine -the school concert scene.

Enjoy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Favorite Quotes from Elf

"Treat every day like Christmas."

"There's room for everyone on the nice list."

"The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear."

"Son of a nutcracker!"

"I'm a cotton-headed ninny-muggins."

"I just like to smile. Smiling's my favorite!"

"Francisco! That's fun to say! Francisco."

"Oooh! It's very sucky."

"Candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup."

"Did you hear that?"

"The yellow ones don't stop."

"He's an angry elf."

"SANTA!!! I know him! I know him!"

Did I miss your favorite? Sing out in the comments!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

back to regular programming

my scroogieness is over. thanks for all the suggestions for music. turns out i needed retail therapy (gifts for the kids), a few episodes of scrubs, and a new knitting project. (yes, i am weird that way. it's all part of my charm.) i'm working on a cotton scarf knit lengthwise, so it took me awhile to cast on 234 stitches, but i'm only knitting a few rows for a skinny scarf. i should finish today or tomorrow. nothing makes me feel better like a freshly knitted scarf.

i am sure my scroogieness had something to do with the boy being unpleasant this week. he's been surly and stomping his feet and i'm sending him to his room so i don't smack the attitude off of his face and off he goes, stomping and growling at me, and then decides to punish me by having a real loud cry in there. it's wearing me down, people. but, never fear. i've revived myself with coffee and cheerios, and i'm ready to face another day. (but not ready for capital letters - don't know what that's about.)

i've decided that the rest of the posts this year will be about christmas at our house. hold on to your seats, because coming up are our favorite quotes from elf, our favorite songs this year, and lovely pictures to dazzle you and put you right in the christmas spirit. it's gonna be cheerful, it's gonna be sappy, and so help me, YOU'LL LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT. (oh look, the capitals are back)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

humbug

i'm feeling very grinchy today. i'm sure it will pass, but yesterday i actully did not like this mother job and had a very sucky day (yep, very sucky) and even the dog didn't trust me and ran away from me, even though i held a treat and he usually will do anything for a treat.

today i cleaned the pool, and guess what? it's green. bah.

in the car, i turned off the christmas music. (sorry sherry, i should have made sure you were sitting down before i told you that i did not listen to christmas music on a day in the middle of december. hope you didn't hit your head or anything.) i put in some big&rich and turned up the volume real loud.

it helped.

i need some christmas spirit, but sadly, i have to play a video game with the boy and then head off to find some freshly made tamales for my man. maybe i need angry girl rock instead of snarky country songs. maybe my bad mood calls for some kelly clarkson.

i do have the meredith brooks if things go very wrong.

what music do you listen to when you're having a bad day? sing out in the comments. i need inspiration!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Another Gold Star Winner


Alli from That's What We Said correctly identified "It's very sucky!" from the movie Elf. Great job! She gets a Gold Star AND a link on the sidebar (ok, would have done that anyway, but doesn't it feel better as an award?)

PS - they got their blog title from The Office - here's a great YouTube video with all of the "That's what she said"s. So funny. As good as the "So's your face" from Scrubs. HELLO! (Which reminds of me of the Seinfeld "Hello! La la la!")

Saturday, December 06, 2008

It's come to this.

Back when we first got married, I was very specific about my gift needs with my new husband. Major appliances did not count as Christmas or anniversary or birthday gifts. If the washer happened to break some time after Halloween, he could not buy a new washing machine and announce, "Merry Christmas honey!" Not acceptable.

After the first few years, I told him to not get me an anniversary gift - just a card and take me out to dinner. On our ninth anniversary I told him I expected something Very Nice for our tenth anniversary, and he had a year to shop. (He did very very well, but I suspect that his mom "helped" quite a bit. (thankyouthankyouthankyou!))

For the past few weeks, I've been telling him all I want for Christmas is a new vacuum cleaner. I suspect that he didn't believe me and that he secretly is hoping that this isn't some sick kind of joke. It's not - that is really all I want. Bagless. HEPA filter. Attachments that I'll actually use. And yesterday, I got it. A store by us is going out of business, and they are down to 40-60% off. Stuart called me twice to see if I went to check the deals and get my vacuum. The one I got was the last one - the floor model - and I got it for a steal. I'm really really happy with it. I brought it home and tried it out, then called Stuart. "Hi honey! Guess what? I just vacuumed our bedroom, and then I walked out, and I left shoe marks on the carpet! Shoe marks! This vacuum ROCKS!"

Today, Sally and I used every single attachment - which, by the way, all of them are "on board" in nifty little slots - and we cleaned baseboards and corners and the fan vents in the bathroom (ah, yuck!) and then we emptied it and were totally disgusted with ourselves. Then we took the sheets off of the bed and vacuumed the mattress. We kept saying to each other, "It's very sucky!" (Points will be given for the first commenter to identify the movie that quote is from!)

I'm thrilled. About a vacuum. Merry Christmas to me.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Conversations with Samuel

Today, a monolouge from the grocery store.

"Two for Five. That one's two for six. There's a seven. Oh, ten for ten. That means if we get three, then that's three. Why are you only getting three? Can we get ten? Oooh - there's a Santa!"

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Knit Bit: Fangirl Gift

So I was a little obsessed with the Twilight series and movie, but I'm pretty over it now. The movie was good, but I didn't find it great. However, I did have to knit a gift for my fangirl friend who dragged my very old self out to the midnight showing, introduced me to her nice (and young) friends, and made me feel young all over again.

As an early birthday gift and a Happy Twilight Day gift, I gave Beth these:


Twilight fingerless gloves.

The images are based on the first book (Twilight) and the third book (Eclipse).

Yes, she likes.

Beth, I hope you have a very happy birthday and get everything you want and more.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

happy thanksgiving

Fun thanksgiving crafts - thanks again to The Crafty Crow for great ideas.

(and a PS - if you are planning on making these next year, buy the candy corn in October. They don't sell it in November around here. Luckily I had a few sources - thanks to S and Mom for the candy corn!)

Sally's turkey cookie:

Evan made one too:

Josh really liked it, but you can't tell from this picture :)

And of course, Samuel:We had some early Christmas gifts to open from Grandma and Grandpa:And then the kids read themselves a bedtime story while the grownups played cards.
An excellent day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Compliment? or Crazy Much?

So while I did not dress up for the midnight showing of Twilight, I did get asked

if I colored my hair to look like Victoria, the Bad Vampire.


(for the record, No, I didn't.)

Twilight movie comments

It was good. Parts were great, others not so much. I'll keep my comments to the comments section, so click if you want to read them, but be warned that there will be spoilers in there. Also, add your own two cents. That's the fun :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today's the day

that I go see Twilight!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fires Update

Last night, I read that the Triangle Fire (that's what they are calling the fires near our house - one started in Brea and the other one started in Anaheim Hills (also called the Freeway Fire) and these two merged into one big fire in the hills behind Yorba Linda) was 40% contained, and it must be higher this morning because when we went outside it didn't smell like stepping into a campfire. The air is not fresh, but it's not smoky either. I can't wait to be able to open up the house - we have our house open almost every day of the year, and having all the windows closed since Saturday has given me a huge headache. I was really worried about my eyes, too, but they are doing very well. (Controlled air is very drying for my eyes.)

Today is back to school, back to normal. I can't help but think of the people who won't be back to normal anytime soon. Those families who lost everything in the fire. My friend told me that the house she wanted - the house she didn't get - is half gone. Several houses on that street are completely burned to the ground. I can't imagine. She also told me of a family who stayed in their neighborhood and when they saw that a neighbor's house was starting to burn, they grabbed garden hoses and put it out. There are still amazingly kind and generous people in the world. Some of them even live in Orange County. Imagine that.

I'm off to kindergarten, to open juice boxes and put kids in time out for hitting each other with sticks. (Don't you wish you were me?)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fires Update

First off, we are o.k. The fires are close enough to us that we have ash on the ground all around us, and we have some friends that were evacuated that spent the night here. Our street has not been evacuated and our neighborhood is quiet.

It is so sad to think that so many homes have burned to the ground. So many families lost everything last night. We are so blessed to be safe, to be able to keep our friends safe too.

Pray for our firefighters and for the wind to die down. Pray for containment. Pray for rain.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Best of Samuel

I was reading through the Conversations posts last night, and these still make me laugh.

(Samuel walks out of his room wearing only a shirt and heads to the bathroom)
"Sally, don't look at me, 'cause I'm naked. Very, very naked."
24 April 2007

"You know, snow can melt. I saw that on a show."
9 May 2007

"Hey Auntie Tam, can you buy that big bag of meat for me and my dad?"
23 May 2007

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Knit Bit: Socks in Progress


These are a gift, so it may seem strange that I'm putting pictures up of them in progress, but it's trickery. The person receiving these knows that I'm knitting her socks, and I seriously don't think it will detract from the gift at all if she sees the progress. The sock yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in the Indian Summer colorway. I'm fairly certain that is the name of the color, but the color wasn't on the yarn label, so I can't be 100% sure. (The trickery is that I'm knitting other gifts that I can't show, so that's why the knitting content has been low. As I give the gifts out, I can post pics. One of the gifts I'm super super excited about, and thankfully it's not a Christmas gift, so I don't have to keep the secret very long. You'll see pictures in a few weeks!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One More

This is from Halloween night - Sally with our favorite baby ZoeZoe was a little ladybug - SO CUTE!

Knit Bit: Ready to Cast On

Monday, November 10, 2008

Knit Bit: Blue Fingerless Gloves

I bought one skein of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in Navy to see if I like this yarn. I had it in mind to make myself a sweater. However. I found out that this happens to be a discontinued color, so I think that it would be a bad choice for a whole sweater. But perfect for some gloves!
Ever since I knit up those purple fingerless gloves last year, I've loved them. They are great. This pair, though, is based on two patterns that I found and I combined them to get these lovely gloves. Also - see that little bit of yarn in the middle?
That's all that is left. I used the entire skein except that little bit left. That means that I knit the gloves at the same time from opposite ends of the skien, and that I used as much as possible while keeping the gloves the same size.

I love stuff like that.

Another Story In Which I Look Like An Idiot

So this is a long overdue post. Several weeks ago, my friend Beth and I were running some errands together. Our first stop was to Kinkos to make some copies. After, we got in the car and I was driving out of the parking lot, and Beth says to me, very calmly, "Um, Sheila, you have a bug on your arm . . . . " She trailed off because by this point, I have looked down and I see a very large (gianormous!) bug crawling up my arm. I freak out because (a) I have a tank top on and this thing is on my skin, (b) I didn't feel it until I saw it, which is creepy, and (c) I have no idea what kind of bug this is (Beth - any comments here?), and (d) oh yeah, I have a bad history with bugs crawling on me (my dad can tell you a great story involving a cockroach in a mexican hotel bathroom). So I stop the car (thankfully I was still in the parking lot) and scream and flick the bug on Beth.

Not my finest moment.

We both freak out and exit the car, screaming like little girls (ok, maybe just me) and I'm yelling "I'M SORRY! I HAD A BUG ON ME! I'M SORRY! WHERE IS IT? A BUG WAS ON ME!"

Yeah, it wasn't pretty.

I found a piece of paper, scooped the bug up (which was now crawling up Beth's seat), and set him free into the parking lot. He flew away, which creeped me out even more. We got back into the car, me still muttering apologies and laughing, and Beth telling me she can't believe I would flick a bug at her.

Then Samuel asks from the back seat, "What was THAT all about?"

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Halloween Photos

For Halloween this year, we went to a big party at our church called Trunk or Treat. We had our car there and passed out lots and lots of candy. Here's me (the halloween princess) and Sam (the jedi): And here's me with Sally (the 80's girl (yes, I was thrilled she picked this!)):
(special thanks to Beth for help with the sweatshirt and the side-pony)
Here's our friends who helped pass out candy, Jack (the dragon) and Mia (the mermaid):

Super fun time at the Trunk or Treat! My only regret was that we didn't get any pictures of the kids on the mechanical bull. That was a bloggable moment, my friends!


Monday, November 03, 2008

Crazy Monday

I don't think I've posted yet on the craziness of my Mondays (if i have, forgive me, because here i go again . .. . ) Mondays are insane. I am starting and stopping all day long. Take Sally to school, come home. Clean breakfast stuff, finish getting myself and Sam ready. Today I made dinner (crockpot stuff) and am wring a little something for the blog. Then it's off to school again, to take Sam and to work the kindergarten playground. Then I have an hour off (today I need to run to the bank) and it's back to school for lunch/recess. Then it's get Sam, do his homework while I eat lunch, then get Sally, then get her a snack before we are off to gymnastics. Then it's help Sally with her homework at gymnastics and watch Sam so I can comment on his skills on the way home. Then it's get dinner into Sally as fast as I can because she has to digest it before soccer practice, which we usually have to leave for about an hour after we get home from gymnastics. After soccer, I chase the kids to bed and collapse on the couch.

All that to say that I do have halloween pics, but I have no idea when I'll have time to post them today. Maybe tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quote of the Day

This was from last week's show (which I am finally getting around to watching) and it cracked me up:

"Diseased kidneys are not tchotchkes for your coffee table."
~Dr. Bailey, Grey's Anatomy

Monday, October 27, 2008

Conversations with Samuel

(explaining an episode of Spongebob to me)

Samuel: "He lost his remembery."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Soccer Fangirl

Today we went to a LA Galaxy soccer game. It was super fun. Sally's team got to go on the field before the game and parade across the field.(Sally is the only one with red shorts. She has a white and blue hat on.)

Then the game started, and guess who was playing? That's right - #23.
David Beckham.
I played soccer fangirl and took several pictures of him.
It was so cool to see him play in person.
We had lots of fun :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Teddy Bear Cookies

Here's the recipe for the teddy bear cookies. Very fun to make with kids. I put out a ruler for them to get the right size of balls, but after a few measurements they just went for it. They all tasted good :)

Peanut Butter Teddy Bear Cookies

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
(1/2) tsp salt
72 mini chocolate chips (more or less, as you see fit)

In a large mixing bowl, beat the milk, peanut butter, vanilla, and egg until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; add to peanut butter mixture and mix well.

For each bear, shape dough into one 1 in. ball, one (3/4) in. ball, six (1/2) in. ball, and one (1/4) in. ball. On an ungreased baking sheet, flatten largest ball for body. Use next size for the head. Use the six for ears, arms, and feet. Smallest one is for the nose. Use chocolate chips for eyes and belly button.

Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets.

This is from a Taste of Home's Quick Cooking magazine from 2002.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I finished the fourth (and final) Twilight book on Friday night, so I feel like my life is returning to normal. Those books - they really grabbed my attention.

We saw Fireproof this weekend (thanks, K&M!) and it is a really good movie. Everyone who is married should see it. (click on the title for a link to the official movie site)

It's 8:30 am, and I've already got everyone breakfast, made the kids lunches, got myself ready, got Sally to school, emptied the dishwasher, folded a load of laundry, started another load of laundry, made my bed, and fed the dog. Now I'm going to get another cup of coffee and knit something. Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Miscellany

I watched the new House last night (yippee!) and my stupid TiVo cut off the last few minutes. Fortunately, Stuart was recording Fringe on the other TiVo, and it started with the ending of House, so I got to see it after all! Then I watched Fringe with him, and now I'm into that show too. (sigh)

I renewed my teaching credential. I just checked my status, and I'm all legal. It's valid until 2013. It's crazy to think about what my life will be like in 2013. Sally will be a freshman in high school, and Samuel will be in fifth grade. I will have celebrated twenty years of marriage (in 2012). I can't even get my mind around that. Crazy.

I just got an email from the library that the fourth Twilight book, Breaking Dawn, is being held for me. I can pick it up today! I love the library.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Teddy Bear Cookies

Last week the kids and I made these cute tedddy bear cookies. The dough is for a peanut butter cookie, and you make lots of different size balls for the body of the bear, and then decorate it with mini chocolate chips.
Samuel's cookies:
Sally's cookies:

They had alot of fun.

I'll try and post the recipe later this week. It's great for little bakers.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Knit Bit: Hats!

More baby hats for charity:

so fun!

Sick Day

Samuel is home sick today. He was up several times in the night with a fever. He worries me so much when he's sick because he's so blase about how he feels. He doesn't complain or moan. He was lying awake in his bed with his light on, and he told me he was just waiting for someone else to wake up. I gave him some medicine for the fever, some water and some sprite, and a cold washcloth for his head. Then I fell into restless sleep, dreaming that I tried to do all the things I was going to do today while Samuel slept at home. I'd call to check on him, and he'd be scared and crying and I'd try to get back home to him and then I'd wake up . . . of course I'd NEVER leave a five year old kid home alone, which is probably the whole point of the nightmare. So after I got Sally off to school, I made the phone calls and emails to clear my schedule for the day. I know that my first priority is to my kids, and that I am certainly doing what is right by staying home to take care of him, and that the world will not fall apart without my wonderful presence for one day. But there is still the guilt, feeling like I am letting people down. I feel like I should be old enough to be over this kind of stuff.

It's very windy today. There are fires in several places in LA county today, and the wind is making things very dangerous. Days like these are surreal to me.

I'm going to go make some bread. I hope that baking - something homey and comfy and warm and good - will make me and my family feel safe.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spooky October Picture


The kids in front of a mural at SeaWorld. They were totally surprised. Sam = good surprise; Sally = bad surprise. Live and learn.
We stayed at a great hotel in downtown San Diego, and made it there in time to eat dinner at our favorite place by the huge kissing people statue. We had breakfast at a great place, the Big Kitchen Cafe, and I can't say enough nice things about it. We were served by none other than Judy herself, and we will be going back there again. Best bacon ever, and the strawberry jam was perfection. Stuart had an omlete and Judy had the cook put in roasted garlic in there and it was goooood. There are pictures on every surface of every wall, and we played a super long game of I Spy with the kids while we waited for our food. We will be going back there again. If you are in San Diego, go there for breakfast.
That's all for now. Must go play Monopoly Jr with the kids.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Don't Tell Them . . . .

. . . but we're planning a surprise trip to SeaWorld this Friday. The kids have no idea. I'm so excited about it! I'm trying to figure out when to pack - Samuel will not pick up on anything unusual, but Sally will know for sure that something is up. San Diego is one of my favorite cities to visit. I think I might love to live there, but I'm almost afraid that if we ever do, it will lose some of it's charm.

Nothing much new around here. School, work, laundry, dishes . . . . . the days go by fast. I was reminded by my dear friend, MaryBeth (I know you go by Mary these days, but you'll always be MaryBeth to me!), to enjoy the trip and focus on each day, to not be so focused on the destination that I miss the point of the trip. Great post, MaryBeth! (click on that last sentence for the link to the post)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Knit Bit: Baby Hat

The first of many cute little baby hatsfor the Knit One, Save One project.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Knit Bit: Charity Knitting

A few years ago I knit up some hats for a project called Caps to the Capital. They were really fun to make because baby hats, especially preemie hats, are a very quick project. Last week, I got a postcard about a new project (from Save the Children, the same group that did Caps to the Capital) called Knit One, Save One. The deadline is the end of this year, so if you'd like to join me and make a hat, you have three months! There are patterns for easy knit and crochet hats in the Action Kit - you can download it free.

I finished the Red Scarf, and it turned out to be plenty long, too. The pattern wasn't as much fun to knit up as it is fun to look at, so I'm really glad I'm finished :)
Yarn: Patons Shetland Chunky Tweeds (2 skeins exactly)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ramblings

I just got off of facebook. Boy do I love flair! (for those of you non-facebook types, you can collect little buttons - called flair - that represent almost anything that represents you - books, tv shows, movies, political party, fun quotes, funny quotes, etc and etc) It's a very strange thing to have this collection of people that my life has crossed over the years assembled in one place. I've been thinking alot about high school recently and it seems like a whole other lifetime ago. I read my yearbook and a few of the people that wrote in there I have no recollection of them at all. I find that sad and shocking at the same time. (People, write the first and last names of your friends in your yearbook. Don't think you'll remember - you may not. Trust me.) I found one of my teachers from high school and send him a note. I don't know if he will remember me.

After reading the first two Twilight books in record time (two days each - pretty good considering I cooked and cleaned too), I did not permit myself to buy the third book. Unfortunately, my library had it on the shelf. I have it now - started it last night. Lucky for me (and for the fam) it doesn't hold my interest as much as the first two did, so I think I'll be able to finish it at a saner pace than the first two. We shall see.

I'm off to bed. To read.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Rain

It's raining right now. I love the rain. (I know this is partly because rain is more a novelty than the norm around here, but still. Love it.) I can see the sun behind the clouds, so I know it won't last, but I wish that it would. I always sleep great when it's raining. (7:53 am)

10:43 am - Now it's still raining and there is thunder and lightening. I'm loving this day! (the dog is freaking out, though. he's such a baby.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

An Open Letter

Dear Mom,

I thought of you this morning when Sally spilled her glass of milk. It got on the homework she was finishing, it ran across the table, it dripped through the seam in the middle of the table down to three chairs. It pooled under the table, then ran across the floor. It took me over an hour to clean it all up.

As I was gritting my teeth against the frustration and anger, I realized that I never properly thanked you for never yelling at us when we spilled our milk (or our juice or water or any of the other dozens of things we spilled over the years). So, Mom, thank you for never yelling at us. Because of your fine example, I didn't yell at your granddaughter today.

I even held her hand on the walk to school and told her it was no big deal and that I wasn't mad at all. Once I said it, I knew I meant it, too.

Love,
Sheila

Conversations with Samuel and Sally

(over dinner)
Sam: "Sometimes aliens are real and sometimes they are mass-kes."
Me: "What?"
Sam: "When it's Halloween, they probably aren't real, and then you just pull off the mask, and there is a person. Not an alien."
Me: "So you think that aliens are real?"
Sam: "Yeah, they can be."
Sally: "I don't believe in aliens."
Me: "Me either."
Sam: "Well, I believe in dinosaurs, too."
Sally: "I believe in dinosaurs, but in the past. They're dead now."
Me: "All of them?"
Sally: "Yeah. Oh, well, maybe the Loch Ness monster."
Me: "You think the Loch Ness monster is a dinosaur?"
Sally: "Yes."
Sam: "No. Those are just machines or sticks with people holding them."
Sally: "Sam, not everything is the way it is on Scooby Doo."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Soapbox

I have never discussed politics on the blog until now. And I do realize that by writing this post, I am going to stir up some controversy. So before I start, let me begin by saying that it's my blog and you don't have to read it, and it's a free country and you don't have to agree with me. (Also, I'll delete your comments if they are rude, so play nice.)

However, I know lots of you readers are living in California, and I don't know if you have heard of AB 2567. This is a bill in California that would make May 22 a holiday - Harvy Milk Day. He was "one of the nation’s first openly gay leaders" and he "inspired his community to stand strong and proud in the face of adversity.” (Read more here and here and here.)

My issue is not with this man - I don't know of his work so I can't speak to it's value - or even with the fact that the California Legislature wants to honor him. My issue is this: "The bill would encourage public schools and educational institutions to conduct activities teaching students about this important LGBT leader." Please tell me how this day would go in my son's kindergarten class - my five year old son, who has not even asked the sex questions yet. Or what activities my fourth grader would participate in, who knows some of the facts of sex, but who does not know what the words lesbian or bisexual mean (and probably she doesn't understand gay either.) Can you imagine the scene when the kids ask what LGBT means? (Do you know what it means?)

My issue is not with choice - regardless of what I think is right and wrong or what my choice is, people in this country are free to choose who they want to be intimate with. My issue is this: why does it need to be the defining characteristic about a person? What you do in your bedroom is not my business - and it is not my children's business either. I know that sex education in public schools is important because not all parents are involved with teaching their kids about sex (and morality) (and they should be, but that's another soapbox), but can we keep it age appropriate? Bottom line: I'm not anti-LGBT; I'm pro-privacy.

Now that the state budget was passed yesterday, our govenor will be looking at this piece of legislation. Make your voice heard. You can call Govenor Schwarzenegger's office at (916)445-2841 and let him know what you think of AB 2567. I just called and voted NO.

For ease of the phone menus, when you call:
(916)445-2841
press 1 (to continue in English )
then press 2 (to voice your opinion on legislation)
then press 1 (to select AB 2567)
then press 1 (for YES) or 2 (for NO)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cracking Myself Up

I've been watching way too much House, since they keep running House marathons. I think there are 9 or 10 episodes on the TiVo today. I may have to randomly delete some of them.

It's funny the way that Dr. House's character is so abrasive and at the same time so appealing. And it amazes me that almost everyone I talk to who watches the show has the same reaction.

So my friend, Beth, and I were watching Sense and Sensibility (the Emma Thompson version) and in walks Charlotte Palmer, and I laugh because she plays Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter #5, and then Mr. Palmer comes on the screen and I scream out "IT'S HOUSE!" because he's played by Hugh Laurie and then I laugh and laugh. Beth had to pause the movie because I wouldn't stop. I'm a mess sometimes. (And for you, Joelle, because my ignorance about famous people amuses you so much, I had no idea he was born in England. So he is talking with the accent and I laugh again and Beth says, "Well yeah, he IS English" and I an a goner. English actors who have to learn to speak with an American accent - that's too much for me.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Conversations with Samuel

(in the parking lot right before church)

Samuel: "Why did that car park right next to you?"
Me: "They can park where they want. It's a free country. People can do what they want."
Samuel: "No they can't."
Me: "Yes, they can. That is one of the great things about America - freedom."
Samuel: "People can't do what they want to."
Me: "Yes, actually they can."
Samuel: "No, they can't, because if they could, then when you tell me to do stuff, then I could say 'Naa naa I can't hear you I'm just going to play this game anyway' and you know I can't do that."
Me: "Well, yes, you can, but there are consequences for that choice. You'd get in trouble. But you are still free to make that choice."
Samuel: (mumbling now) "No I can't."
Stuart: (laughing at me) "Your son just called you a dictator!"
Me: "I prefer benevolent monarch."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Helper

What I had in mind when I had the idea to set up a yoga area in the living room:
What Samuel changed it into:

RIP

As I type this, the kids are performing a funeral for a baby lizard that drowned in the pool today. He joins Krabby (the hermit crab) on the south side of the yard. Sally read Psalms 23, and both kids said a prayer.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Job

So, after nine years of staying home with young children, I am back at work. (Sort of.) I am working at my kids' school as a playground supervisor (kindergarten) and a noon duty supervisor (three days a week). It's not well paid, and there are no benefits, but I love it. The kindergarten kids are the best. I've been able to comfort a few sad kids, brush off a few injured kids (nothing serious, thankfully), and open dozens of juice pouches. It's really a privilege to be able to help make these kids first experience with school a positive one. (And now that Samuel is going by Sam, I'm known as "Sam's Mom".)

Both kids are doing great so far this year and both of them love their teachers. What a blessing to have such qualitiy people teaching at a public school!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Knit Bit: More Cute Baby Stuff

Just finished this today - the Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono:
made just for a brand new baby girl, who has three older brothers and needs some cute pink handknits (with sparkly lavender bows, no less)

Hang on, baby - this will be on it's way soon!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Knit Bit: Evil Genius

Sometimes, several things come together at once. This is what happened: I love to knit, and I love all things Harry Potter. So I was thinking about the things that I have knit, and the things that are considered "traditional knitted items", and I got this idea that I wanted to knit a tea cozy. Tea cozies are, to me, kind of a classic and sometimes tacky knitted object. (It's akin to those plastic canvas kleenex covers or crocheted toilet paper covers. It's classic and tacky at the same time.) So as I was thinking about this, and looking at some tea cozy patterns (all of them uninspiring to me), Stuart suggested that I make a Harry Potter inspired tea cozy. YES! This really inspired me. (He inspires me all the time, actually.)

The fifth movie, Order of the Phoenix, features a great character - Dolores Umbridge. (pictured below) She's pure evil in the books, but the movie really brought out the evil genius of Professor Umbridge. She wears pink all of the time. She talks in a high, sweet, kind voice. She's short. She looks like a favorite aunt. And she's still pretty vile. And in the movie, she drinks tea.

Enter the final element: a Harry Potter themed contest on Ravelry (yes, of course I'm doing it!) and put all these elements together and out comes this:


The Evil Genius Tea Cozy


Here's the back:


It says "Naughty children deserve to be punished" - one of Professor Umbridge's tradmark sayings. It's embroidered in a french script with yarn that is actually purple (it looks a little black in this picture).

It makes me laugh every time I look at it. Special thanks to Stuart for the idea, and to my mom for the tea pot.

Knitters: I'll be posting the pattern here soon. You can have it free and make one yourself!