Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My New Velcro Roll Arrived

Friday, May 23, 2008

Six-Word Movie Reviews

Have you heard that thing about the six-word biography? I can't think of any off the top of my head, but it's all the rage at the moment...summing up something (or someone) in six words. Well, that's the goal for this round of movie reviews: a six word review, and then a one word summary.

family-friendly, catchy music, mocks cliches

Martian Child
Adopting is hard, love conquers all
(poor reviews, but it hit home--reminded me more than a little of my early days with Wolf...)

pregnant teens are crude, funny, wise
(pregnancy from a naive teen's perspective...crude in places, but often funny, and heartwarming)

deserved every academy award it got

Sweeny Todd
Glad I watched, but won't repeat
(yes, it's a musical...a Stephen Sondheim musical. This ain't no Rogers & Hammerstein, ok?!)

Ahhh, I almost made it. I just HAD to add comments to a couple of them. Well hey, that was fun, now we know I shouldn't try that again!
We're going to see Prince Caspian this I can't wait!

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

Aren't they just so cute?

Saving the world by re-using paper bags and brown packing paper...
and saving my customers some money by not having to charge for packaging!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

See that new picture at the top there?
[now shown as the top banner in this post]
That's the view out my bedroom window.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Oh Really?

Tonight I was washing dishes, and Hubby was setting the table for dinner. He reached to grab two clean (but wet) plates from the drying rack...
Me: There are dry ones in the cupboard, why don't you use them?
Hubby: These aren't that wet
Me: Yes, but you see if you take those then it will take me longer to fill up the rack.
Hubby: Oh I see, so when it's full you stop washing?
Me: Yup. I figure I'll never get totally caught up, so I just fill the rack a couple times a day.
Hubby: When I do dishes I dry them and then fill the rack again [in fairness, I do fit a lot more in the rack than he does]. I do that until the sink is empty...and when the sink is empty I am less likely to leave stuff in it--I'll wash it right away to keep the sink clean.
Me: I don't have the energy to keep up with that, so I just fill the rack.
Hubby: It's true, I don't do the dishes that often...
Me: Yup
Hubby: ...unless I'm really mad at you, then I take it out on the dishes. I can get the kitchen really clean..... [trails off as he realizes what he said]
Me: Really? What can I do to anger you tonight dear?!

To be fair, I have been known to take out my frustrations by cleaning too.

And, well, if you visit our cluttered little house, you'll realize that we don't get mad at each other very often. We're too busy laughing at ourselves and having deep conversations like this one.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Frugal Friday--Clothing

Alrighty, so as part of my series on saving the world, I've decided to do a post (there will be more in the future) on ways to stretch a dollar, then turn it sideways and make it stretch some more.
I should add the official caveat that I am still an apprentice at this--my mother is the genius. (Why would that be surprising--she is a genius about most things!)

Frugality is not just about getting by when you're poor, it's about wise use of the money that you have--however much that may be. I believe that buying the costlier (but higher quality) item can be the frugal choice. It's not about saving two pennies now, so much as it is about saving in the long run. This is why I will never ever EVER recommend The Evil Empire (Walmart) as a frugal option. (*gag**choke**Ihatethem*) I will have to do a saving-the-world post about boycotting TEE sometime, but not today.

Anyway, todays tips are about clothing:

Ask the kids how they feel about having holes in the knees of their jeans, or having patches...I never would wear something patched, but I rarely made holes either. If I did make a hole, we didn't patch the pants, we cut them off into shorts or capris. Wolf, on the other hand, puts holes in the knees of everything. I buy reinforced knee pants from Sears, and when they eventually wear through I patch them with scraps of denim from old jeans that were beyond repair. I don't use the expensive iron on patches because they are thin and ironing alone doesn't hold up for very long--I use real denim and zig-zag it on all over the hold and then around the edges of the patch. Sometimes I take scraps of bright, fun fabrics and sew them over the patch on the outside, so that the heavy patching stitches don't show, just the fun funky 'designer' 'patch' from the outside. (When I was in high school and college I used to hand-sew my jeans with embroidery floss in bright colors--I sewed a flower on one back pocket and then made brightly colored accents on various places in the pants, as well as actually sewing shut holes. I loved them, hippie that I am!)
When the patched pants wear though again (and they always do with Wolf!) then I sometimes patch a second time, but usually just cut them off into shorts. If the pants are too far gone to be shorts, then I cut out all the seams/zippers and use the large pieces for denim quilts, and the small ones for patching other pants.

The same basic principles apply to other types of clothing. Buy good stuff, then as it wears out, consider patching, cutting it off (long sleeves with worn cuffs can be cut to 3/4 sleeves or short sleeves), or putting it to a new use. There are cute patterns for making a button-up dress shirt into a little girl's sundress for example. Tee-shirts can make fun logo-filled quilts. Old tees, sweats, or towels can be cut up to make great rags (I use old tee-shirts to make cloth kleenex--it's nice and soft on a sore nose, and I just wash them with the linens or diapers). Smallish pieces of fabric also are fun for beanbags, dress-up clothing, doll clothing, or doll quilts.

Here is a tip on making easy quilts from scraps: pick a height, such as 7". Cut pieces all of the same height, and of whatever width will fit on the piece you have. Sew them all together in rows--the heights will match (giving nice rows) but the the widths will be different (so no columns). Another option is to alternate tall rows (9") with short rows (5")--that's what I'm doing on my current quilt. It's a great way to use both large and small scraps in the same quilt!

Short version: buy quality stuff, patch it when you can, cut it off if it's past patching, and use 'dead' items to make rags, quilts, toys, and patches.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Oh, by the way, I think it's about time for feel-yourself-up Friday too. Go ahead ladies, do that breast self exam. You know you should.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Wee Ones stitch markers

Wee Ones offers unique and adorable stitch markers. Being handmade, each one is slightly unique, and the creator takes custom orders! After looking through her selection of cute little doggies and wildlife, my husband decided to order a custom set for me. (The dog looks just like our pet dog, and the others are because Dragon, Wolf, and Bear are nicknames for family members). The pictures don't do justice to how small and intricate these are--each one can sit easily on a dime--probably two could sit on a dime together. They are tiny! Truly WEE ones!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Essence of Who We Are as Women

"The First Presidency six decades ago called motherhood “the highest, holiest service … assumed by mankind.” Have you ever wondered why prophets have taught the doctrine of motherhood—and it is doctrine—again and again? I have. I have thought long and hard about the work of women of God. And I have wrestled with what the doctrine of motherhood means for all of us...
"Satan has declared war on motherhood. He knows that those who rock the cradle can rock his earthly empire. And he knows that without righteous mothers loving and leading the next generation, the kingdom of God will fail. When we understand the magnitude of motherhood, it becomes clear why prophets have been so protective of woman’s most sacred role.
"While we tend to equate motherhood solely with maternity, in the Lord’s language, the word mother has layers of meaning. Of all the words they could have chosen to define her role and her essence, both God the Father and Adam called Eve “the mother of all living”—and they did so
before she ever bore a child. Like Eve, our motherhood began before we were born. Just as worthy men were foreordained to hold the priesthood in mortality, righteous women were endowed premortally with the privilege of motherhood. Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us...
"Motherhood is not what was left over after our Father blessed His sons with priesthood ordination. It was the most ennobling endowment He could give His daughters, a sacred trust that gave women an unparalleled role in helping His children keep their second estate. As President J. Reuben Clark Jr. declared, motherhood is “as divinely called, as eternally important in its place as the Priesthood itself.”

Shari L Dew
"Are We Not All Mothers"

Turning into My Mother

I have realized that I am turning into my mother.

My thin, curly hair stands up all over the place--since I started using the henna it's even red like hers. I have blue eyes and stretch marks and smile lines. My breasts are big, my hands are small, and I have insanely high arches in my feet.
I have had more pregnancies than I have children to show for them. I have nearly died in miscarrying.
I sew. I knit. I quilt. I garden. I can. I cook. I write. I design. I create. I teach.
I always have a kid on my hip and I feel like I never quite catch up with the dishes or the housework. I like to cook, but I am utterly burned out on deciding what to make for dinner. My favorite meal is one that someone else cooks for me. I am tired of washing diapers.
I do not accept the status quo--I am the change I want to see in the world. I do not take anyone's advice as fact, no matter what degrees they have; but I read and research and learn all I can and form my own, educated, opinions. I do not hesitate to tell others what I learn.
I respect the Earth. I respect people. I wish we would all learn to get along a little better.
I am a woman of faith. I pray for my children. I support my husband and his dreams--both the realistic and the not-so-realistic. I can stretch a dime further than some people can stretch a dollar. I have little in worldly wealth, but much in heavenly treasure.

I have realized that I am turning into my mother.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

In honor of Mother's Day (and also because I've been meaning to do it for two weeks!) I planted forget-me-nots in my front planter box today. Forget-me-nots are my mother's favorite flower, and when we got to Alaska I learned that they are also the Alaskan state flower! How cool is that?!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Nursing a Toddler... not like nursing an infant.

An infant nurses for nourishment, comfort, and security.

A toddler nurses for nourishment, comfort, security, and FUN!
Toddlers engage in "walk-by nursings" wherein they sneak in a sip while literally still walking by.
Toddlers like to play "peek-a-boobie."
Toddlers know how to lift up your shirt and get at what they want--by themselves.
Toddlers think it's funny when the milk shoots across the room, and they will pull off repeatedly just to see it do so.
Toddlers get so excited about nursing that they laugh and then milk comes out their nose.
Toddlers like to drink from one side while cuddling the other (without that pesky bra in the way, thank-you-very-much!)
Toddlers give lup-bats* to the breast.
Toddlers like to nurse while climbing, standing, sitting, rocking, playing with blocks, or otherwise wiggling a LOT.
Toddlers like to nurse upside-down.
Toddlers like to give breast-zerberts in between sucks.
Toddlers say "nurn!" and sign "milk" while nursing, and then afterwards smile and say "doo!" (thank you)
Toddlers run and run and run and run...and then climb into the big bed (by themselves) and lay down and start signing 'milk' because they are ready to nurse to sleep now.
Toddlers melt mommy's heart in a whole new way.

Do all nursing toddlers do this? Well, I don't really know. But mine sure does!

*Wolf's toddler pronunciation of 'love pats' (so-named because pats on the bottom are obviously not little spanks...)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Some Things I Have Learned

I finally decided to jump in and participate in Rocks In My Dryer's "Works For Me Wednesday" this week...only this week she's doing a special "Doesn't Work For Me" where we all get to share stories of things gone horribly wrong.

*cue evil laugh*

Well, let's see...

I have learned that one should NOT try to substitute dish soap for dishwasher soap. Not even just for half of the cup.

Even the most EC proficient baby held in the proper manner over a proper receptacle still needs some help aiming...

Also, I will totally copy what someone else already said and repeat that disposable diapers do not work for me. They leak, they stink...oh yeah, and they destroy the earth. Ewww. I love cloth.
I will repeat myself, and say that disposable menstrual products don't work for me either. They leak, they stink, they destroy...hey, haven't I heard that recently somewhere?!

Finally, I have learned that Nair hair removal lotion is bad news: I tried it 7 years ago and it STILL gives me the willies to think how much it stung. It also was not successful at removing my leg hair--which is neither thick nor dark. Nevermind that I have since given up shaving my legs altogether. Nair is still a painful memory, and worth warning the world about!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bring the Rain

I found this blog through the blog of a friend. Something told me to follow the link, so I did.
In the next hour I read the entire blog. Last January this family found out (at a routine 20wk ultrasound) that their unborn daughter had several physical conditions which would probably not allow her to live. The blog is a magnificent testimony of trust and faith in God, and moved me more than I can really say.
Their little girl was born April 7, and lived only a couple of hours. The date is significant to me as that is the same date my first angel got his wings.
Seriously, if you can watch this slideshow without crying, you probably have no heart. You definitely have no children.

They called their blog "bring the rain" which is explained here. It's a longish post, but worth the read, as it is so applicable to life in general... If you don't read any other link from this post, follow this one.

I just don't know what else to say about it should just go read it yourself.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Wisdom of Him

All things have been done in the wisdom of Him who knoweth all things.

2 Nephi 2:24

I love the simplicity and brevity, yet incredible depth of this message.
This is my sister's favorite scripture. I cross-stitched it for her when we were in college...and realized just how poignant it is.

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