Saturday, June 30, 2012


I performed a bit of surgery today. I have been working on a test knit and the sleeve didn't seem quite right. After communicating with the designer she rewrote the sleeve. I suppose I could have ripped the sleeve back to the correct length, did a little song and dance to get the right stitch count, and finished it off; but, I decided that doing it right was a better idea.

I cut a small hole, ran a piece of waste yarn through what would become the live stitches, cut it, and then tried it on the boy. The fit is much better now. I'll be done the other arm in a jiffy!


Our brother recently started dating. Last week he asked us to make a cake for the six year old daughter of his girlfriend. He dropped off two boxes of cake mix and two things of frosting. He told Little Sister that the six year old liked Barbie and to do what ever she wanted to the cake.

I have been wanting to make a Barbie dress cake for a long time. I do not have any daughters of my own so I thought: "Hey, let's go crazy." We went to Wal-mart to pick up extra batter, frosting, frosting in a tube (all my cake decorating stuff is MIA), and most importantly the perfect Barbie.

I thought we were being clever by putting two cake batters in one baking type dish to make a nice deep dress. Not such a good idea after all. The dress to almost two hours to bake and was super dense. However, it did look amazing.

I was told we made the Mom and the little girl almost cry. Apparently the Mom had received a Barbie cake like this for her sixth birthday. I was also told that the little girl was so excited that as soon as the candles were out she was trying to get the Barbie out of the cake! 

I am so happy that we were able to make a little girl very happy.

Happy Sixth Birthday!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gumball Challenge

Sadly, we will not be able to make it to Wilton Library's awesome summer reading program. So I made up my own. I saw a glimpse of one on someone elses blog, probably through Ginny's Yarn Along maybe a week or two ago? I thought it was an amazing idea.

What I did was draw a giant gumball machine. I then painted it, laid contact paper over the ball and filled it with over 300 round stickers. On the bottom I wrote the prize: Empty the Gumball Machine and win a brownie sundae!. Together the kiddos will empty the gumball by completing one (or more) of seven challenges.When they complete a challenge then can remove a sticker. When the machine is empty we will choose a day that most of the kids will be here and have a great big ice cream eating bash! Here are our list of challenges.
  1. Read for 10mins at home or 30mins at daycare (at daycare there is a mandatory read or lay/sit quietly time for 30mins, I didn't want it to be too easy to empty the machine)
  2. Finish a chapter book (age appropriate) 
  3. Tell me Five Fascinating Facts (about anything: apples to ninjas to star trek and zebras. If they read about it and it wasn't something obvious ie: sharks swim in water, sharks eat fish, ect it counts.)
  4. Cook me Something New (from another country, region, or just something they've never tried)
  5. Help someone else to Read (we have a lot of littles in the daycare and sometimes we can't stop to read to them. Also, if they are reading to a little it there is no minimum time requirement, two seconds count! 
  6. Write a story or comic strip (I told the boys no bathroom talk or nudity in their pictures. I also said that they could retell a familiar story: Harry Potter, Sonic, ect)
  7. Read to learn (any size book, any reading level, any non-fiction)
Those were my challenges, but I'm sure you can think of others! As a side note the librarian was here (she runs a program where she brings her story time to day-cares along with 15 books that stay for two weeks!) and she said it was great. I told the boys today that if the machine was emptied I'd fill it again and let them empty it again.

Today I was given a comic strip about Sonic after rest time and the other boy read all day. I'll be letting him rip a bunch of stickers off in the morning.

Oh, the other thing I did was make a little mark under some of the stickers for a special prize. If one of the marks are exposed then everyone will get a Popsicle!

Happy Summer and Happy Reading!

Wet and Wild

Everyone cooled off in the heat with a little water.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Yarn Along

As you can see I'm almost done with the sweater! Since this photo I have knit 1/2 of the second sleeve and joined my third ball of yarn! Yahoo! I think my issue with this sweater is the sleeves, well it's always has been, its not how the pattern is written or how it looks, its picking up all those stitches! I think I want to knit a sweater where the sleeves are sewn on and compare the two. I do like seamless construction, but I don't like how the pick ups look. Maybe there's a technique I need to learn?

I am very excited about reaching the end of this sweater. I will work on my sisters and my fingerless gloves next. My sisters I will work on when I don't have too many kids awake and mine I can work on while there are kids awake!

I finished Dragon Slippers and I was going to buy the next two for my Nook, then I remembered my vow to read a classic so I will read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea next. I already started it and so far it's an easy read. My biggest issue with classics is that they are hard to read. I tried several times to read David Copperfield and never got very far or maybe I did finish it?

Joining Ginny and you should too! Feel free to leave a link to your WIP and Yarn Alongs!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What Stomper Can Do

Words (that you might understand--there are lots more that we don't):
  • baby
  • Mama (not that he means me, just anyone who's name he doesn't want to use or he uses it to ask for an item that he wants)
  • Papa
  • Delia (yes, he can say my first name)
  • Vinnie (the dog)
  • Bumpa
  • Mimi
  • Da-da-da = Grandfather
  • Gamma/Mamma/Mama = Grandma
  • Eenie/Au'nee Eenie = Auntie Teeny
  • Au'nee = Auntie (Jenna)
  • cracker (which just means food)
  • chichen = chicken
  • ack = duck
  • car
  • ga-ga/da-da/ga-da = Froggie (his "lovey")
  • shoes
  • all done
  • animal sounds: duck, chicken, horse, cow, dog, cat
  • ayhu = yes
  • ack = Uncle Zack

Signs (we haven't been expanding his signs):
  • more
  • music
  • eat
  • please
  • milk
  • shoes
  • all done
  • drink 

  • singing
  • hand washing
  • picks up toys
  • hugging
  • snuggling
  • steps up & down one small stair
  • follows two part directions
  • stacks blocks
  • calls the dog/cat (not that they listen)
  • climbs
  • my favorite: sets the table (see video)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fathers Day

The little red dashes are the Appalachian Trail,
the white feet on the sidewalk in the above pictures are also the trail.

Shortly after this picture was taken he fell face first and started to
shiver, so we got out and when on the merry-go-round

Stomper signing "more"
 One of my favorite memories as a child was going on a picnic for Fathers Day. I'm not sure if we went home after church to pack it up or if it was in the car waiting for us, but I do remember spending the day with Dad. I thought that a picnic would be the perfect way to spend the day and a good tradition to start. Jason and I enjoy driving aimlessly around and Stomper is a good traveler, so we decided to go for it.

We drove down several dirt roads to see where they went and had to have a plan B picnic spot because Stomper fell asleep (never wake a sleeping baby!). We were in the truck for hours, the three of us, our little family. We saw amazing mountain views and dipped our toes in some very cold water.

It was really great to get away, just the three of us.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Trail Mix Cookies

Cookies are a big thing around here, mostly because once a batch is made, it's gone in a matter of hours. The other day my Dad came home with store bought cookies and said to me (the baker of the cookies) "These cookies are great, can you make cookies like this?" To which I replied, "You don't like my cookies?" He said, "I like your cookies, but these ones are soft and chewy, can you make yours like this?" And so the quest began to find the perfect oatmeal cookie for Dad.

Mom kept telling me, "I have an oatmeal cookie recipe that I think will work." But, being stubborn I sought out one of my own, and failed. Twice. Today I actually listened and had success!

I made them big like the men like (I like to eat lots of cookies not just one giant cookie) and filled them with butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, cranberries, raisins, and finely chopped almonds. They are soft, sweet, and perfect.

Trail Mix Cookies (bake at 350deg)

3 Cup Brown Sugar (not packed)
1 Cup Shortening (Butter will make them flatter)
1.5 tsp Cinnamon
3 Eggs
1.5 tsp baking powder
6 Tbs hot water
1.5tsp baking soda
2 Cup white flour
2 Cup whole wheat flour
3 Cup Oatmeal
2 Cup Trail Mix

1.Cream shortening & sugar
2. Add eggs, then cinnamon and baking powder
3. Dissolve soda in water and add
4.Mix flours, oatmeal, and trail mix together in a separate bowl
5. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture (dough will be thick)
6. Form into balls (about the size of a large meatball) and then squish flat (I could fit about 6 on a cookie sheet).
7. Bake for 13-15 minute or until top is slightly browned and edges are brown. It should be slightly firm to the touch

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Yarn Along

I have not made a lot of progress on the sweater since my last Yarn Along. I have been dutifully knitting on it  a bit at a time. I got quite a bit done yesterday while the daycare kiddos played outside. I am optimistic about finishing the first sleeve today or tomorrow. The plan is to finish the sleeve, knit the collar, and then finally knit the last sleeve. I have been dedicating all my knitting energy to this sweater. Next I will be finish my sisters fingerless gloves, then my fingerless gloves, a teddy bear that just needs to be sewn together, and then back to designing and getting my items test knit.

I've been reading a bit here and there. The book I've settled on is Dragon Slippers. I like how it starts:

It was my aunt who decided to give me to the dragon. Not that she was evil or didn't care for me. It's just that we were very poor and she was, as was said in those parts, dumber than two turnips in a rain barrel.

As with most middle school books the pace is fast, descriptions minimal, main characters well thought out, and just a bit of magic tossed in for luck! It has just enough humor and intrigue in it with out being heavy handed. I will be reading the other two in the series. With my nook fixed I've been playing games at night when I should be reading (or sleeping), so it's been slow going. Reading is far more relaxing and probably more conducive to sleeping.

What has been taking up all my time? My poultry. I'm in love. Check out these two links to see them: Chickens and Ducks.

As with most Wednesdays I'm joining Ginny and you should too. Leave a link in the comments of what you are reading/knitting

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Family Night

Wednesday is Family Night. We make a tasty dinner and eat together while sitting down. It keeps us all connected together since our lives are getting busier, and our brother moved out.

Stomper "helped" us choose what dessert to make and then kept himself busy with a bit of flour in some measuring cups. He thought the plain flour tasted yummy, but I'm not sure why.

Last night after dinner, Jason made a fire. Instruments appeared for the first time in a long time at our house and it was nice to hear the siblings play and fool around. I took out my knitting to work on the pattern I'm testing (for a moment I considered tossing it into the flames, but I didn't). I really enjoy these long summer(ish) nights and I look forward to many more.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Yarn Along

 Finished the body of the sweater and a book.The book is WondLa and it is amazing. It's a children's book, maybe 5th grade level? It has lots of illustrations, but they aren't too distracting. I read it in three nights while my husband worked. I love young adult and children's fiction, it is so easy to pick up and put down.
And moved on to more books and some sleeves. My Little Sister suggested I try these books too. This week I'll be catching up on all my blogs because Stomper broke the cord to my Nook and I haven't read any blogs in over a week! I miss all my blogging buddies!
I am more than half way along with my test knit. I am enjoy the testing and the knitting, but the pattern only so-so. However, I've only made top down raglans so I have nothing to compare this sweater too. I love the way the cables look which is why I asked to do this knit. I will be suggesting this pattern to other knitters once the test is completed. The sweater is size 4, but I think I'll be having him wear it this winter. He'll be so sick of this sweater by the time he out grows it! When I first put it on him he was so excited. Usually I tell him, "Don't touch Mummy's knitting please." But this time I said, "Do you want to wear it?" He squealed in delight!

Joining Ginny and you should too!
Feel free to leave a link to your books and knitting!

Monday, June 4, 2012


Feeling a little stir crazy in this wet weather. It's only been a few days, but it feels like a lot longer. Here's hoping that the rain relents and we can all go outside soon. Not sure how the garden is going to do with all this rain. Fairly certain that the potatoes will rot and the cabbages and Brussels won't do to good. There's always next year!

Friday, June 1, 2012

{this moment}

A single photo, no words, of a moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.
Joining Amanda and you should too!

Feel free to leave a link of your own moment

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