Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Easter, the last Easter post for this year.

 My boys are obsessed with scary, skulls, monsters (sound like Halloween), so when a fantastic face painter is at Grahm's class Easter Party - he picks this - vampire.  Other kids picked bunny, tiger, butterfly, fairy, ghost, sponge bob - okay - it does sound like Grahm fit in.

Charlotte was a Tinkerbell fairy, in her 2 favorite colors.

 Pretty serious sack race.

 Tug of war.  I love old school games.

I was trying to get her to look at me , but the sun was to bright and my shadow didn't help.

The kids made these Easter baskets at the party, then we had lots of yummy snacks and treats.  I made mini-red velvet cupcakes with green frosting, chocolate shaving nests with a chocolate egg (forgot to take a pic).  Then they played fun games, listened to a story and hunted for eggs.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Egg Hunting

What kid doesn't love a traditional Egg Hunt?  Grahm was not happy that I was going to hide empty plastic Eggs.  I told him he could just find his quota of real eggs (4) and maybe next year the Easter Bunny would fill up a few eggs instead of his basket.  I think he decided that 4 eggs is not much of a hunt and that his basket holds more candy than eggs do.

This is the only pic of Grahm I got, he was off and running.  I think he found all the easy eggs.  Next year we will have to give the girls a head start.

 Jason wanted me to get a pic of Tennyson and an egg, she thought it was very rude to sit her down at dinner time.

She looks like she doesn't want to get dirty.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Promise

Spring Break is bittersweet.  It is nice to finally get a break from school and schedules, but not so sweet because it is too short.  It is a promise of lazy summer days to come. 

I know that some politicians believe that our kids should go to school year round, I think that is ridiculous.  I have heard that we only want to keep summer vacations because we romanticize about lazy summer days.  I think those politicians need to visit some of our houses during the summer.  They are the opposite of lazy.  Summer is a time for a different type of education.  They still have a structure and a schedule.  It is an education that our society needs.  Our responsibilities inside the 4 walls of our homes are more important than any outside those walls.  We work together getting jobs done around the house, they learn work before play, they learn to get along again, they learn about how to keep a successful home going (compromise, kindness, patience, work, fun, etc...) and so much more.  If they are ever bored during the summer, they get to learn to be creative.

I know that it would be more convenient for families that have working parents if school was year round, but it should not be mandatory.  School is very important, teachers should be better compensated for the work they do.  However; school can not teach my children to be successful adults, it can only provide them with a portion of the tools they need.

What do you think about year round school?

I promise to explore, swim, jump, run, clean, mow, weed, nap, picnic, learn, create, bake, build, sew, and be bored with my kids in a few more weeks.

Sorry about the rant.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Here are the Easter outfits for this year.  I really debated about the bow-ties.  If you love bow-ties then this is not meant to offend, but I think they are kind of geeky.  I know they seem to be more in for kids lately.  I am still getting used to them.  Jayce did have to deal with some ribbing from his class mates.  I need to get the boys a belt that can be worn with something other than wranglers.  Oh, and if you notice Grahm's hair - not me.  He really wants Bieber Hair - he is in Kindergarten for Pete's Sake.  I do have him talked into short hair for the summer.  I am going to try and get better pictures of the kids when they are in better moods and we are not rushed for church.

Charlotte's dress was really fun to make (not to iron, pleats give me such fits).  The trim I got on e-bay, I think it is from the 70's, but it was perfect.

Grahm was coerced with the promise of 1 crazy picture at the end.  Here it is.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ruched Pillow Tutorial

Here is my version of a ruched pillow.  I wanted something with lines in it, I think it turned out cute.  Feel free to use this tutorial for personal use.  Thanks.
1.  First you need to cut out your fabric.  Cut out 2 squares of fabric to fit your pillow form or desired size.  Remember to cut your fabric to the size of your form or slightly smaller to have nice full pillow.  The third piece of fabric you cut out needs to be your pillow size in one direction and 2X the length of the other side.  Mine was a rectangle (18X36).

 2.  Next you will need to mark the lines you want to gather on with a fabric marking pen or chalk or something.  (I pieced my tops together because I was using leftover scraps of white muslin). 
3.  You need to mark the center of your pillow at the edges and at your marked lines.  Also mark the center of one of your square piece of fabrics.

 4.  You need to sew a gathering thread.  Use your longest stitch and stitch the top edges, bottom edge and your 2 marked lines, be sure to leave long tails.  (You are not sewing anything together, you only have the one piece of fabric).
 5.  Now you will line up your centers of your extra long piece and the other pillow square you marked the center on. 

 6.  Pin your extra long piece to the square piece at the edges and the centers.  This is 4 pins on each edges and down the center, you have pinned in 12 places.
 7.  Start pulling your gathering thread.  Pull until the top (gathered) piece of fabric is now the same width as the underneath piece of fabric.  Repeat for each line.  I like to work on one half at a time.  I pull from the left until the left side is all nice and ruched and then I work from the right.
 8.  Pin your fabric the underneath piece of fabric.  Be sure to keep your top piece pulled tight, make sure you line stays straight.
 9.  I used a lot of pins.
 10.  If you are adding any trim add it now.  Pin the trim on top of your line.  Again, make sure you keep your lines straight.

11.  Sew on the top edge, you lines (or on top of your trim), and the bottom edge.  Sew nice and straight - take your time - you don't want to unpick.  Now your ruching can't move around on you.
 12.  Pin the remaining square to the top of your ruched pillow piece (right sides together).  Sew around the edge, be sure to leave an opening wide enough for your form to get through.  I like to round my corners, if you do this is the time to do it. 
13.  Turn your pillow right side out.  (I dyed mine a blueish grey to match my living room).  Stuff it and hand sew the opening closed.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Somebody Stop Me

Why do I stuff too much into one week.  I need someone here to tell me to step back every know and then.  If Jason tells me to reign in the horses I just think he is afraid of me adding more responsibility to his to do list (which it always does).

This week I have been finishing up the Easter Dress, planning a Birthday Party, getting ready for Easter, oh and I decided to get sick (temp of 102) - ugh.  Thank goodness the fever broke last night and we should be ready for Saturday and Sunday.

I will be posting my tutorial for the ruched pillow tomorrow.  Thanks for being patient with me.

Monday, April 18, 2011


If yor son is breaking out a little by his nose and you give him a washcloth to scrub his face you had better clarify that you don't mean scrub the bumps off. 

Sorry for the break last week - Spring Break.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Shoes and a Headband

Here are another pair of shoes I made for Tennyson.  I changed the shape of the heel and narrowed the shoe a little.  I like the fit better.  We will see if I can do the next pair even better!

I also tried a little headband.  The knit it was made from stretched out completely and I don't think it will ever return to its old size.  Oh, well.  It was cute for a few days.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Only About a Week Late

These are Okinawan Sweet Potatoes.  The dirt here is so rich in minerals that you simply dust the excess off and enjoy them dirty.  They are an acquired taste.

Well,  that is what I told the kids for April Fools.  They thought they were yummy in the end.  These are from the Martha Stewart Mag - March 2011.  She suggested them for a St. Patrick's Day treat.

It was so funny listening to them try and get Jason.  Who spit his out by the way.  They are basically little balls of cream cheese frosting rolled in cinnamon.  My kids even tried to trick the neighbor girl, who then treated her parents.  Poor neighbors.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jersey Fabric Headband


I saw this super cute bracelet and tutorial over at V and Co.  Vanessa is super fun and creative.  Her video tutorial is so cute, she is real and juggles it all including her daughter's potty break in the middle of it.  When she first posted her tutorial she said she thought this bracelet would be the perfect beach accessory.  You wouldn't have to care if it got wet or ruined.  They are super easy to make.

I immediately thought of a headband to keep the stragglers out of my face while I am pool side or swimming in the ocean.  I just made it longer, not enough for all the way around, I wanted it to be tight and use some stretch.  I like a little bit of tails, too.  Now I need to find some knit that matches my swimsuits.  I used old T-shirts to make mine.  The headband would be cute with a flower clipped on it.  Using a patterned knit would also be fun, I tried a stripe out for fun.

(My strips from this old shirt were too short for the 4 finger version, too many knots - but at least I have an idea for how a stripe will look)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Date Night - out in Okinawa

Last week Jason and I had a babysitter so we decided to get dinner and try out a restaurant.  The atmosphere was cool (except the unedited rap music - why do the Japanese like rap?). 

These are the booths in the back. 

You take your shoes off at the restaurant.  When we got to our booth we thought ww were going to be sitting cross legged on the floor, but after you crawl in there is a hole under the table for your legs.

This flower booth was really cool.

Here we are in our booth.

We ordered several dishes off the menu. 

We tried an Okinawan pancake - it reminded me of a crepe, except with seaweed in it, mayo and another sauce on top and topped with fish flakes. 

We had garlic fried rice.  Sushi - Tuna.  Some pasta. 

We also had an assortment of skewers.  They consisted of pork belly (bacon without the cure), chicken, chicken skin, mushrooms, chicken gizzards, quail eggs wrapped in bacon, and another one we weren't sure -  pork we think.

My favorite part of the night is when Jason asks them a question and the say something that we don't really understand.  They then look at me hoping I understood and my expression is no better.  I look at Jason and then we both nod at them so they will think we got it.  Then Jason repeats the process with the next person who comes to our table.