Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Grasshopper Days

For today, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Outside my window...
looks NOTHING like the photo above.
The calendar may say spring,
but with the crazy cold winter we've had...
Delay-of-game foul.
Blooming isn't happening yet.

who remembers,
"It's Winds-day!"
(Hint: It was a blustery day in the 100 Acre Wood.)
And why... WHY???
Why is it always windy on garbage day???

the deep and abiding love I have for...
my crockpot.
Twenty minutes of prep this morning, and BAM,
dinner's ready.

Happy First Day of Spring!

* Tate is in the middle of finals week
* Wyatt is STILL looking (sort of) for a job
* Gunnar is plugging along just fine (well, with a side of teenage drama)
* Kerry is keeping his head above water with work
* and I am juggling everyone ;D

* everyone is healthy!  bonus! (because it's so easy not to think about it... until we're not)
* the boybarians were home to help carry in the load
I brought home from Costco
* I got my quilt back from the quilter!!!
* Wyatt just filled out his own tax return, without my help

have to put the binding on the quilt, and then I can show it off,
but here's a sneak peek at the quilting...

to make a cup of tea :D

new music!

on the piano, I like flats better than sharps (why???),
but with the violin it's the opposite!

Looking forward to...
beef roast for dinner,
and all the work is already done ;D

In the kitchen...
I love the feeling of having the cupboards packed full of food!
And we just did a big "cabzilla" cleaning and inspection,
and made sure everything was still up to date
(and not old and expired - ewwwww!)

In the learning rooms...
* Tate is blazing through his finals - just one more to go tomorrow
* he went on a bonus field trip today to a digester,
where they're turning cow poop into energy,
how cool is that?!
* Gunnar is looking forward to TWO dissections later this week,
a fish and an ENORMOUS frog

Around the house...
is it time yet?
The calendar says spring,
but I'm not sure I'm ready to take the flannel sheets off!

Noticing that...
EVERYONE has noticed the cake on the counter,
and felt compelled to ask me if they can eat it NOW.
How about after dinner, for dessert???

Something to remember for later...
you moms of girls, let me tell you,
boys have their teenage drama too.
Someone NEEDS a new pillow TODAY,
RIGHT NOW, because he can't possibly get good sleep
with his OLD PILLOW!
And DON'T LAUGH because 

But it is.

The Mother Load...
I've been chipping away at it,
and looking forward to spring break,
when I can put the minions to work.
But - of course - Tate and Gunnar's spring breaks don't line up.
Because why on earth would we want life to make sense?

Something fun (weird) to share...
So I went to Costco today with my mom.
We divide and conquer - do our own shopping and meet at the car.
Our Costco moved to a new, bigger building in November,
and I haven't been to the new one yet.

* The good news is,
it appears to be laid out exactly like the old one,
for which Costco has my immense gratitude.

* The weird new is,
mom and I spent the exact same amount of money.
How does that even happen???
Within a dollar of each other!

* Also, had you seen her vehicle, you'd have been properly impressed.
Because getting $810 worth of groceries and toilet paper into her car
was like an extreme Tetris challenge.
And let me assure you, we rose to the challenge ;D

A favorite quote for today...
When we're not quite sure, we end up
making decisions based on what we really love.
- Jon Bloom

So look at the pattern of your decisions...

A Bible verse for today...
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of His heart through all generations.
Psalm 33:11

A few plans for the rest of the week...
I used to be organized and post this on Monday,
when the week was ahead of me, rather than half gone.
What's left?
I get to go to BSF tomorrow :D

A peek into my world...
from a long-ago visit to a wildlife park with the boys...

Salamander is happy to see you!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Which means that yesterday was Pi Day!
Did you celebrate?
We did!

Outside my window...


has given way to this...

Rain.  Rain.  Rain.

I just saw a an article claiming that Seattle has
already reached its normal ANNUAL rain fall.

True, if slightly misleading, as they started counting in October
with the beginning of the rainy season.
But I don't think anyone in western Washington needs to worry about drought this year.



a quiet house :D


Does anyone like Daylight Saving Time???


* Tate has finals next week
* our friends the Choates are finishing their last village stay
* Kerry has a lot of work (good!)
and can get feeling kind of burned out (not so good)
* Wyatt is still looking for a job... 


* for all the work Kerry has been busy with
* for my BSF group - really enjoying it!
* everyone is healthy - yay :D
* for our pastor, to whom this does NOT apply...


to have friends to dinner this evening.

TO dinner.  Not FOR dinner.

Prepositions are so important ;D


In the kitchen...

pork roast in the crock pot,
veggies and rice to go with,
and a cherry dump cake cooling above the oven.

In the learning... rooms?

Tate was rightfully proud of himself for mastering parallel parking.
(How about a "thanks, Mom!"
for all those hours behind the wheel with him?)

And I was patting myself on the back for teaching two young men to drive,
and enjoying the freedom of sending rather than taking them,
and feeling confident about it.

When I realized....

Gunnar gets his learner's permit this summer,
and it starts all over again.

Around the house...

since Wyatt is still unemployed
he's my "house help".

It's fabulous :D

Something to remember...

the boys get a quarterly magazine from CAP...

Oh look!  An article about the Bellingham Squadron!

Look closer...

written by our very own

Cadet Captain Tate Garrett!

The Mother Load...

a million pesky little things.
It's like being pecked to death by chickens.

Let's not go there, shall we?

A favorite quote for today...

The stillness in which we find God is not superficial,
a mere absence of fidgeting or talking.
It is a deliberate and quiet attentiveness -
receptive, alert, ready...

Silence is one form of worship.

Elizabeth Eliot

A verse for today...

The Lord is in His holy temple;
let all the earth be silent before Him.

Habakkuk 2:20


Mother of three boys, much???

Because they were all three in the kitchen doing dishes (yay!)
and laughing uproariously as Gunnar related the story
of the surprisingly loud sound made today
when one boy in his class slapped another boy on the behind.

Because they may be 15, 18, and 20, but...  hilarious, that.

This blog meme just doesn't have a heading for that kind of thing, does it?

On that note...

A peek into my world...

from a visit to Northwest Trek several years ago...

Salamander says, "Hi!"

Thursday, March 9, 2017

2017 Baby Quilt #2 - Woven

Our friends the Randalls are expecting Baby #2 in August.
That's a long time away!
No hurry, right?

But they live in Myanmar and don't have a reliable way to receive mail

Lucky for me, the grandparents had planned a February visit and had some room in their luggage for a gift to ride along... 

I saw a tutorial for this quilt on the Moda Bake Shop site,
made with a coordinated fabric line.
Looked gorgeous!
The instructions were clear,
and it was easy to reduce the number of blocks
to make this a baby-size quilt.

I think the pattern - the woven look -
is enhanced in a larger quilt with more blocks,
but it was a fun experiment to make!

My only caveat is that the design requires
pressing the seams open
which isn't normally a good practice in quilting.
I had problems with some of the seams gapping,
for no apparent reason
(even with a good quarter-inch seam allowance on both sides),
that I had to re-sew before quilting.

Plus, pressing seams open takes longer and makes it harder to nest seams
and match seam intersections,
so not a technique I'm in any hurry to repeat!
But it was worth it :D

The first block I made... I made wrong.
So rather than leave it an orphan,
(or pick it apart, because who has time for THAT?!)
I experimented with making a crinkly, taggy blanket.

This is a VERY AMATEUR first attempt,
so I hope it holds together for the baby!

Inner crinkly-ness achieved compliments of:

No, there are no tortilla chips inside!
I washed out the bag and sewed a square of it inside,
in place of batting.

Whatever works, right?!

And I "wrapped" it in this little bag,
for my very Dutch friend Breanna :D

Success!  Present delivered!

And though it's really for the next baby,
I'm glad Lena is enjoying it now :D

I guess she's adapted to the tropical climate!
Snuggling in a blanket when it's probably 90F?
Yep.  She's adapted!  And adorable :D

We miss you, Randalls!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Grasshopper Days


Grasshopper Days

For today, Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Outside my window...
And rain.

I think this explains a lot:

the ever-present furnace,
because this winter has been colder than the last three or four.

consider yourselves warned:

* for stamina and endurance for Kerry, who has LOTS of work (hallelujah!),
* for a job for Wyatt,
* continued diligence for my 20-credits-every-quarter Tate,
* and guidance for Gunnar who wants an adventure in his life...
on a very limited budget.

A sunny, snowy morning.

* for all the work Kerry is swamped with!
* for beautiful snowy days
* and for the extra "margin" in my life this year for new experiences

Guess who was in our driveway overnight?

I've been working on a quilt for ME,
and just packed it off to the quilter's,
as it's too big to go through my regular sewing machine.
Can't wait to see how it comes out!

Walking in a winter wonderland :D

to bed early,
because I live such an exhilarating life.

I love how the snow was sliding off the branch, but still holding together.

that I've been holding the violin incorrectly,
so now I feel like I'm starting all over,
holding it the right way.
Well, three steps forward,
two steps back.
But better to fix it now than try to fix it a year from now,
when the habit is harder to break.
Back to very-sick-crow squawk-squawk.

I wonder if the people who live in this house notice
that I often stop there for a photo of the lake?!

Looking forward to...
having enough skill to play music that's fun to play and hear!

Must be a curly willow!

Around the house...
gee... I should've left my winter stuff out a lot longer this year!
The lake froze over, we had two major snow accumulations,
and beyond that we've had LOTS of days with snow on the ground -
way more than usual, and I'm loving it :D

Big Rock Pond

Noticing that...
aren't these guys cute?!
Gunnar and his friend AJ are doing the same biology course,
so AJ's mom and I scheduled all their dissections together.
 Last Friday was "crawdad day" :D

Something to remember for later...
preserved specimens don't last forever.
Probably better not to buy the dissection kit
two years in advance.
Now that my boys are all aging out of homeschooling,
I've got it all dialed in.  ;D

Something fun to share...
just when you need a friend,
God brings one along.
Even better,
a whole family of friends!
So thankful for my friend Sara,
and her crew :D

The Mother Load...
* we're STILL working on replacing Tate's power cels (for his CI's)  GRRRRRRR
* need to get Tate a passport
(no, he's not going anywhere any time soon,
but now that he's 18, if we even want to go to Canada...)
* inventory cabzilla and the big freezer
* sort the boys' hats/gloves/etc with them
* prepare binding for The Quilt, for when it returns
* get stamps
* clean my craft room -
you wouldn't believe how much lint quilt-making generates
... and more... 

More snow just yesterday, while I was running around with my mom!

A favorite quote for today...
If you want to hear God audibly,
then read the Bible out loud.
- David Mathis

All the spring flowers... in a snow storm.
Welcome to Washington.

One of my favorite things...
FINISHING things... like the quilt top.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
clean and organize,
doesn't that sound fabulous?
When I get it all organized,
then I can start the next project ;D

Snow through the windshield, and NO I wasn't driving ;D

A peek into my world...

a purple, snowy morning.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Outside my window...
it was a misty, moisty morning,
and I went for a walk :D

the minions, doing dishes.
Yay, minions!

the joys of chilled beverages,
and the convenience of having our food
in OUR fridge in OUR kitchen
(but still thankful for our neighbors, who rescued us :D ).

Oooooo!  Shiny!

Tate is about to register for another 20-credit quarter,
and Gunnar is about to register for the next year of high school.
I've already mentioned how
I am of an
but we won't be registering for eight classes.
Meeting with the advisor tomorrow.
Aaaand Wyatt is still looking for a job.

* for my fridge :D
* for a great time yesterday with my friend Laura
* making (slow) progress on a quilt for ME
* absolutely loving my BSF group and the study

Well HELLO, Frank.

blue jeans, red long-sleeve shirt, black sweater...
no more snow, but it's still cold.

a quilt for me,
sneak-peek pics below.

I love that Tate is a driver now!
Wyatt has an appointment - takes himself.
The other boys are going to CAP,
and I'm staying home!

Saving Leonardo, by Nancy Pearcey.
Got about two thirds through and realize that I wan't really retaining it,
so started over, taking notes...
Because if you can't explain it,
you don't understand it.

Gunnar and I had our violin lesson today.
My brain knows what the music should sound like,
but my fingers can't keep up.

Looking forward to...
making music that isn't squawking.

In the kitchen...
elk sausage, cheese and crackers.
Fruit.  Veggies.
It's a "snacky dinner".

In the learning rooms...
I am working myself out of a job,
at least the teaching part.

The trees have a fur coat.

Around the house...
books and electronics.
The detritus of the boybarians.

Noticing that...
it's almost light enough in the morning that Gunnar
could start riding his bike to school again.
He'll be so excited.

Something to remember for later...
all the energy these boys have!

The Mother Load...
I need to keep calling Advanced Bionics about replacing Tate's batteries.
They've been so wonderful about anything that's under warranty,
but trying to get insurance to approve the batteries?
Like pushing jello uphill on a hot day.

This was the pile I started with.
Edited out the darker/brighter blues - save for another project.
Added in a couple others.
See the greenish shirt with the little parrots?
Watch for them...

Something fun to share...
my secret quilting power-source:

A favorite quote for today...
He reminds us that when we feel as though He's forgotten us,
it is an experience common to His faith children -
common enough to warrant congregational singing about it.
And as we pray or sing such psalms, they remind us that God, in fact,
has not forgotten us, that what we feel isn't always real,
and that God's promises are truer than our perceptions.
 - Jon Bloom

One of my favorite things...
seeing the boys mature into responsibility.

Each pin holds together all the pieces for one block.

A Bible verse...
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:9

A peek into my world...

Block Number Two