Thursday, May 24, 2018

Grasshopper Days


Grasshopper Days


For today, Thursday, May 24, 2018

Outside my window...  cottonwood snow, can you see it?


It looks a bit like a fairy-land at times.

Thinking...  the boys are turning into men, right before my eyes, but still...


... moments of goofiness.
The "Bro-hirrim" doing dishes.

You'd have to be a LOTR nerd to get that...

Praying...  for good attitudes about an upcoming room-swap.

Thankful... we had a great weekend away - pics coming soon - with the Grasshopper Five and Grandpa and Grandma Grasshopper.

Creating... looking through a new quilt book and dreaming of different projects!

Going... next door, to my neighbors', to "push Ralph's button".
It's time for his once-a-month test of his
"help-I've-fallen-and-I-can't-get-up" button.

For real.

I know, try to control your envy of this exciting life I lead.

Looking forward to...  the end of the school year is sooooo close!

In the kitchen... marinating some pork to grill tonight.

Around the house... the boybarians got all the screens back on (windows and doors) so we can have All The Fresh Air blowing through.

Noticing that... I often walk the same route in the morning, and try to take a picture at this spot every time - fun to watch the changes, day to day.




The Mother Load... fits on one page again.
So, success, right?

A favorite quote for today...
Gunnar and I are reading/discussing through Kevin De Young's Just Do Something.
The writer of the foreword says something to the effect that the book will smack you upside the head once or twice...
"But you'll be better for the smack."
Having read the book before...
AMEN.

Need a gift idea for a high school or college grad?
Get them Just Do Something.
It's a winner.

One of my favorite things... the days that all the boys are out of the house.
Is that awful?
I LOVE the boys.
I love being with them.
And I've loved homeschooling them
for the last eleven or twelve years.
But the few hours (every other week) when the schedules align,
and they're all out, going and doing at once...
it's pretty awesome.

A peek into my world... here's a preview from our weekend getaway!


Monday, April 30, 2018

Grasshopper Days


Grasshopper Days


For today, Monday, April 30, 2018.  

Outside my window...  a damp day.
Gunnar and I have been for a walk already,
with rain misting around us.
Don't be fooled - the pics (below) are from late last week.

I am thinking...  sure, normal - average - can be boring.
But normal can be a huge blessing, too.
I like my life uncomplicated.
Whew.


I am thankful... for our church family :D

I am wearing... my I'm-not-leaving-the-house-today uniform -
sweats and a t-shirt.
Clearly, I aim to impress.

I am creating... I have some Christmas fabric I'm making a plan for.

I am reading... still working through When Life and Beliefs Collide: How Knowing God Makes a Difference.  Not a book to rush through.

I am hoping... for warmer, breezy days, perfect for...


A friend from church messaged me that at her apartment
she's not allowed to hang out laundry because,
she was told,
"it looks trashy".
Good grief.
Only trashy people wear clothes???
I mean, I'll 'hide' the undies in the middle of the mix, but really... trashy?

In the kitchen... I think meatballs for dinner.  Thawing some sausage to go with the ground beef, then make some sweet and sour... mmmm mmmmm.

Around the house... I've been helping my elderly next door neighbor-cousins navigate some big changes in their lives.  They wanted to thank me... 
with my very own recliner!
I have AWESOME neighbors :D
And my very own chair.
Which the boybarians may sit in when I'm not in the room.


I am pondering... I remember reading that someone had invented a Kardashian filter, so you never ever had to see anything about them (from the internet) again.
When will someone invent a cilantro filter?!?!
I never ever want to see another recipe with cilantro again.
Why is this trendy?
It's like eating soap. Ugh.

A favorite quote for the day...
Never be sympathetic with the soul whose case makes you come to the conclusion that God is hard
God is more tender than we can conceive.
- Oswald Chambers

A peek into my day... I posted on Friday about the "family coaster" I made to organize our drinking cups, yet this is what I still find in the kitchen...


WHY???
WHY is it too hard to move that green cup six inches back onto the coaster???
And can you guess who's non-compliant? ;D

A peek into my world...

Friday, April 27, 2018

A Solution?

It's great that the boybarians are willing to use things more than once.
We don't have to wash
every single thing
every single time
it gets used.

Bath towels.
Jeans.
Drinking glasses.

But you know what's not great?
Multiple identical drinking glasses all over the kitchen counter because,
I'l use it again.

Yah, but... 
Which one is yours?

So I think I have a solution.


It's basically a communal coaster that sits right next to the sink.


Everyone has a color.


Know your color.
Put your glass on your color.


So far so good - the boys are cooperating.


So why did I find the husband's glass... 
on the counter, right next to his space???

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Ta-Daaaaa!

We have finished, painted trim!
And closet doors!
Window trim!
Door trim!
Floor trim!

I'm a little excited.


See how the windows (above) just have wallboard right up to the 2x4s?

Now they look like this:



And the boys' closet and door that used to look like this...


... now look like this!


Their other window looks good too :D



I don't have any good "before" of my office/craft room, but look!



 I know, I know...
you're probably thinking,

"Ummmm, it's a window."

Yah.  But it's a window WITH PAINTED TRIM, instead of the raw edges of the dry wall and 2x4s.


Our hallway closets, formerly hung with curtains (pushed up here, for cleaning)




... were temporarily kind of a carnival fun-house...


But now look fabulous!



Our bedroom also had curtains hanging over the closets... 


... now look so clean and bright and uncluttered!



And I'm hoping that finally, finally we'll say goodbye to winter.
So I've changed the bedroom from flannel sheets and the down comforter...


... to spring sheets and a quilt I made. 


Okay, spring, I'm ready.
Don't fail me now.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Grasshopper Days


Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, April 23, 2018

Outside my window...  please note, the photo above is not reality...
that would be from sometime in May, some year in the past.
As a friend and I fb-ed this morning we realized that
Maine was warmer than Washington.

MAINE.

We keep hoping that spring will finally appear.
What we actually still have are frosty mornings because it's now January 113th.


The deer have not gotten the memo and are shedding their winter coats,
so they look all mangy. 


I saw six when I was out walking - two groups of three.
Not the same three.  One of them has a gimpy deer that was probably hit by a car. 


Hearing... the dryer, though I'm thinking of putting some things on the line just to see if they'll make any progress toward getting dry.  Wish me luck.

Praying...  for my boys, Philippians 1:27,
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.  Then... I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel.

Thankful... that they all appear to have genuine faith.

Wearing... the many layers of spring, because these days can easily swing from frosty mornings to mid-70s afternoons.

Creating...  I went to an English Paper Piecing class on Saturday, just to try something new, and because a friend from BSF was teaching :D  She makes AMAZING quilts out of little tiny pieces, that look like this...


I fiddled away at it all afternoon to come up with...


... one little flower, made of hexagons.
(The white basting threads will go away.)

The prospect of making the dozens more that a quilt would require is a bit overwhelming right now, so I think it will make a pretty little coaster for my tea :D

I enjoyed the class and I'm fascinated by the process, but I'm not sure I love handwork enough to commit to a big project... thinking about it.

Reading... still working on the theology book, but mixing in some lighter reading.
Just finished The King's Speech, and Tilt, and looking forward to borrowing a book that a friend just enjoyed.

Learning... don't ignore that shimmy in the back of the van.
Getting new tires today.
*sigh*

Looking forward to... the day I feel like I finally have it all together.
HA HA HA HA HA!!!

In the kitchen... I thought we would have a "festival" dinner (that's when we clean up all the leftovers in the fridge), but I think all the boybarians have gotten ahead of me on that.

Around the house... the new closet doors, door trim, window trim, floor trim, etc and painting are DONE!  Hallelujah.
I'll get pics soon!

Noticing that... doing one project always reveals a dozen more that need doing, but I'm enjoying what is done.

The Mother Load... laundry, laundry, and more laundry.
Weather or not, the flannel sheets are coming off today.

A verse for today...
Amos 4:13
He who forms the mountains and creates the wind...
reveals His thoughts to mankind.

A peek into my world...

Trilliums in the woods...


 ... and an interesting sky.


Monday, April 16, 2018

Grasshopper Days


Grasshopper Days


For today, Monday, April 16, 2018
TAX DAY...

Outside my window... see photo above
And - oh look! - fresh snow at Longmire (low elevation near Mt. Rainier) this morning... I guess in Washington...
Spring? We don't need no stinkin' spring.


Hearing... the dryer, again. And again. And again.
Because we're not drying on the line yet - see photo above.

Pondering... apparently it's now January 106th.
Saw this on a walk last week - yes, that's fresh snow.



Praying... upcoming transitions for Tate and Gunnar;
Tate will graduate in June (yay!) and already has been offered a (paid!) summer internship.  Don't know if it will lead to a permanent job, but it's a good start.
Gunnar will finish high school in June, and will be a college student through Running Start in the fall. Whew!

Thanking... for the progress on painting (closet doors, door and window trim) inside the house.

Wearing... jeans, long-sleeve lime green t-shirt, navy sweater - it's cold!
Spring isn't trying hard enough, except for this tulip tree.
Blooming madly, and blowing wildly in the wind.



Creating... just finished a baby quilt - won't be revealed until probably June :D
Attempted to make an unusual piece of fabric into a table-cloth.
That was a spectacular failure.
It wasn't quite big enough, so I tried adding a border around it,
which looked very unfortunately like a bedskirt.
No thank you.
Bed skirts are a mystery to me. WHY???
Why are they even a thing???

Going... to the grocery store because the boybarians need
another six gallons of milk.
Not kidding.

Reading... When Life and Beliefs Collide: How Knowing God Makes a Difference, by Carolyn Custis James.  Read this years ago and so glad to "find" it again.  Women need to be good theologians.

Looking forward to... maybe, maybe we'll be able to have a little family trip this fall.


In the kitchen... I'm home alone today - all the boybarians are at work or school, so I have more than plenty of time to make good home-cooked food, but I HAVE NO PLAN. This is a recurring problem. I've always admired those people that plan their menu a month (or even a week!) at a time. Why doesn't that work for me???  My fall-back is chicken.  Quick and easy to make, and everyone loves it.  Maybe I'll give it more thought and get inspired. But don't hold your breath.

In the learning rooms... we don't really HAVE a learning room any more.  Don't really NEED one. The boys mostly study all over the living room and dining room (why??? they have desks in their room and everything!)  And remember the big move two years ago?  We're about to do another one - a smaller version, with less furniture involved.  Wyatt has enjoyed having his own room for two years.  Tate will have a summer job that most likely involves shift work (and sleeping in the day) so he will NEED his own room.  Plus... it's his turn. So he and Wyatt will be swapping spaces, and Wyatt will be sharing with Gunnar again.

And Wyatt's about as excited about that as you might imagine.

Hanging tightly to my inner peace... oh look! A flower!


Around the house... how long will it take the boys to notice I put out a little leftover Easter candy?

A peek into my world... Gunnar was just asking me when the trilliums would bloom, and ta-daaaaa...

Friday, April 13, 2018

Happy Swoon Block Party

I've been doing a few quilting projects lately, because - HELLO - it feels like
January 103rd.
I keep thinking I should probably take the flannel sheets off the bed, but then... NOPE.
Low 40s, windy, and about to rain.
Yesterday? Fresh snow in the hills around the lake.  No kidding.

But in happier news, another Chapel baby... another quilt :D


A few years ago a "new" quilt block swept the quilting interwebs.
Like so many quilt blocks, it goes by more than one name...
Dutch Rose, Carpenter's Wheel, and now - reborn - as Swoon.


Pretty, but SO MANY PIECES for each block.

Then I saw that somebody had the idea of just making it big - a one-block quilt.


That seemed much more do-able.

And it seemed so much more fun to make some of the blocks into little houses...


Which made the Swoon block into Swoon houses...
a whole happy neighborhood of them.

It's a Swoon block party. ;D


The orange house is my favorite,
all because of that bee in the window.


It's a colorful neighborhood!







Piecing all those houses took more time than I thought, especially because after cutting ALL the pieces and starting the first house, my sewing machine went on strike and had to go to the repairman.  Arrrrgh.  He got it all fixied, and I was on a roll.  The houses came together as I had hoped, and the rest of the piecing went pretty smoothly.

Then, apparently, I lost my mind.

After quilting a star inside the block inside the star (on the front), I thought it would be so cool to quilt a huge spiral on the rest of the quilt.  Which took a long time multiplied by forever.

But it does look kind of cool.


What drove me to the Cliffs of Insanity is that I had an old spool of variegated thread I thought would look good. But the thread was absolute CRAP.  It kept breaking.  The thought of picking out what I'd already done and starting over with new (better!) thread did occur to me, but... just, no. No, no, no.  I'd rather go forward than back.

I have no idea what made the blurry, spinny effect on this last photo, but it accurately represents how I was feeling by the time I finished!