Happy Birthday, Jim Henson.

25 09 2009

If you’re my age, Jim Henson is likely your own personal god. He probably shaped the way you learned, how you looked at the world, what you laughed at. He created some of your best friends.

I’m celebrating his life’s work today with the kids, watching The Muppet Show. I’ll leave you with this fun article, In Honor of Jim Henson’s Birthday, Five Things Mindblowing Muppet Revelations.


A’s special day

23 09 2009


I try to give each child some “special time” alone with mommy whenever I can swing it. It takes some intense planning at times but it is so worth it. Especially for A. He was the baby of the family for 6 years and then all of a sudden he had a baby sister. It was a surprise for all of us (most of all me!) but it set him back a bit.

Since Z had a church event and S didn’t have to work, I asked him to have some time with E. Then A and I were off to the park!


There is always at least one person flying a kite or two at this park but we’ve personally never had the opportunity. It was a windy Sunday, a little too windy for lightweight kites, but we took a chance.

A was so excited, he had been wanting to fly his kite for ages. I really feel bad that it took us this long. I packed a blanket, which never got sat on, two kites, water and my camera.

The mighty kite man surveys his handiwork

The mighty kite man surveys his handiwork

At one point, I noticed a 3 year old boy watching A intently. Since A had the kite up in the air so well, we let the little boy fly it for a while. His dad said we made his day; the boy had always wanted to fly a kite!

We spent an hour or so flying two different kites. One, a cheapie Yoda kite, couldn’t stand the wind, so we gave up on it. We hit a yard sale on the way home but didn’t find anything special.


What better way to end a special day than with a game of Star Wars Trivial Pursuit?

Tennis, World Music and terrible sewing

23 09 2009


Z has just a few more tennis lessons left and it’s been amazing to see how much he has improved from just a few weeks ago. He loves it. I’m so happy, I really felt that he needed a sport to participate in since he quit Kung Fu. I love that he’s excited about it and looks forward to it. I am sad that it’s almost over, but he still has piano.

Yard Sales

The boys cannot wait to go yard sale shopping on weekends. I didn’t find much for me this weekend (a few pieces of cheap yet cute jewelery) but the boys did well. They spent about $4 total.

But they definitely have different approaches: A buys things he finds exciting or different or fun. He “backwards bargains”. It goes something like this:
A: How much is this?
Seller: X.
A: *sad tone* ohhhh… I don’t have that much.
S: Oh? Well… how much do you have?
A: half of X.
S: OK, you can have it for that. And while you’re at it, why don’t you pick out a free rug for your room?

(Yeah, the boys both got free – and super cool – rugs for their rooms but I didn’t get photos of them)

Z is more cautious, he thinks through his purchases. He weighs his options. He decides if he can do without. And then he bargains. And can he ever bargain! He talks people down so well I have him do it for my purchases as well.

Yard sales are a great opportunity for kids to learn so many things. They get to learn the value of a dollar, how to take something old and reuse it, how to bargain, how to check merchandise before you buy and how to shrug it off if it’s broken, how to count out money, how to navigate streets and maps, how to deal with people and best of all, how to decide it it’s really worth it. If you don’t already, I really encourage you to take your (appropriately aged) children to yard sales.

World Music Festial


On Saturday we were lucky enough to attend the yearly world music festival. We’d missed the last few years so I was excited to go this year. S’s mom gave us some money to try different foods.

When we arrived the band that was on stage was playing heavy metal. Don’t get me wrong, I love heavy metal, but it wasn’t what I was expecting at a “world music” festival. S teased me that heavy metal is played in the world!


Beside that one “sour note” (ouch!), the festival was quite fun. Lots of booths selling African art and drums, flowy “hippie-ish” clothes, amazing handmade jewelery, purses, all sorts of crafty type booths.


E was instantly drawn to the purses. What a girly girl. I am not kidding when I say she already has more purses than I do.

One booth featured a woman doing henna. I so wanted to have some done but A) There was a huge huge line, B) The kids were restless and wanted to eat and C) I didn’t have the money to waste on it.

We had a delicious Indian sampler (the kids got to pick and they chose Indian over burgers, so proud!) with curries and coconut sauce and lentils and … yum!


We had a blast, I love when we are able to get to events like this. My health doesn’t always allow for family adventures and it was so nice sitting on the lawn, eating curry, listening to drummers and watching a spontaneous display of hula-hooping.

As for sewing, I’ve been doing a lot with very little to show for it. I finished a prototype hoodie for E that I’m fairly pleased with. I need to figure out an enclosure and shorten the length, otherwise it’s pretty alright for a first try.

I made myself a t-shirt based on one I love, but the fabric is terrible, all ravely, and I tried to do an interesting shoulder tie so it turned into a mess.

I decided to create some bloomers with ruffles. The ruffles didn’t make it on the bloomers and they were too small for E anyway.

Even through all this I feel undaunted – a strange sensation. Usually I would be filled with loathing and self doubt. But I know I can only improve from here!

Look for another post soon, I only had time and/or room to post about half the weekend.

Sharpie to rocket in 10 minutes

18 09 2009

I did promise to share some of my husband’s crafty projects too, so here is one of my favorites.


Here it is up close, and yes, most of S’s non-work shirts look like that.


The boys were so excited to try it out, so we went to the least populated and least surrounded by trees and wires to celebrate it’s test flight.


I have to admit, it was pretty exciting. True, I was NASA’s live feed of launches, but I haven’t seen anything in person since our 6th grade rocketry section in science class. Even little E thought it was great.

The rocket completed three missions until it went missing.


Total cost of this craft if you were to buy the materials in stores: $8ish? I don’t know how much that air costs.

Men’s workshirts into toddler swing skirt

17 09 2009


She seems happy eh?

I used a great tutorial from Vegbee and 8ish hours later (hard to judge between driving kids to functions and classes and having a toddler at your legs) this was the end result!


For my first real project of any magnitude, I’m alright with it. I know I can do better. I know the bottom seam is crooked, but I opted to forgo the bias tape or anything that would weigh it down more, so I folded it over. Maybe not the best choice for someone with my sewing skills.


Also, the butt is shorter than the front, even though she hardly has a butt, even with a diaper! I should shorten the front next time. (I know this photo looks like the exact opposite, it’s just the way she’s standing)


E makes Tyra Banks proud with her crazy angles. She probably needs to work on smiling with her eyes though.

This was quite a fun and frugal sewing project. I used 3 of S’s work shirts that didn’t quite fit him, cut them into strips and sewed those together, then cut them out using a template.


I could have actually done this with 2 shirts, but I liked the tricolor pattern and I had plenty of shirts to work with.

I was really moving right along, proud of myself for getting it mostly right and all the seams the right direction, etc, when this happened.


It took me forever to realize that anything was wrong, I wasted so so so much thread doing this. Don’t even ask me how long it took to figure out what was happening. I’m a self taught noob, remember? S knows more about sewing than I do!


Total cost: FREE, however, I know my husband’s shirt supply won’t last, so thrift store bought this would be about $12 on a bad day. Yard sale bought? $3ish. I’m definitely going to make another one, but this time in my size. S has 4 or 5 green greyish shirts that will make a very lovely skirt!

(Oh, BTW, I was telling my mom about this and she freaked out, thinking I was using all of S’s good work shirts lol)

Sale at Joanns
Joann’s has all their fat quarters on sale for $0.99. I bought a few really gorgeous patterns and felt spoiled. I should keep better track of how much I’m spending on this crafting I started to save money 🙂

That’s it for now. I’m going out with my mom to buy notions and velcro for her belly dance costume. Now that’s another great story…

Free Pirate Stuff

17 09 2009

Are you ready for Talk Like a Pirate Day on Sept 19th? I dunno, I’m kinda over pirates, but I do love free stuff!


Isn’t that cute? You can get this for free, just head over to Urban Threads. They also have an adorable thread and needle Jolly Roger.

I think I will make eye patches for the boys. They are very much into pirates and are always shouting about “booty and grog”. Other parents look at me funny.

If you are into paper crafting, which I would love to try, you can make this cute little treasure box.

Have fun pirating! And of course, don’t forget to knit like a pirate.

Treasure Tuesday

16 09 2009

What’s that you say? It’s Wed? Wait, is it? Now I don’t even know anymore. Let’s just play pretend.

Yesterday, whatever day that was, E and I went thrift shopping. I usually thrift on Tuesdays, for whatever reason, on weeks I have a bit of spare change. I came home with all this, a good 10 + yards.


That “black” is actually a very deep purple that was perfect for the waistband of a swing skirt I finished. Unfortunately, it’s too big for E and she refuses to keep it on. I guess we’ll get pictures of it next year.

I love the floral, take a look:
I just love the big print here, I dunno! It’s a sheet, so I imagine I’ll make another swing skirt for E.

On top of a few notions, I got all this for $3.75. I also scoped out some men’s work shirts for my latest project. But more on that later.

Because this part is even better

Yesterday, S called home from work just to say how much he appreciated me. Isn’t that sweet! He’s awfully good at that kind of thing. And he said he can see my sewing skills improve daily. Now that’s a compliment!

But when he came home for lunch he walked in with this:
I hadn’t even realized I’d been saying I wanted one. But he did. He pays attention to me, more than I even do.

You guys, I did it right this time. I hit the jackpot in the husband lottery!