Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Movie Day

So Julianne and I decided to have a "movie" day today. She's been wanting to see"Nine."   While it was rated PG13 I think it was a bit too suggestive for someone her age.  There really was no nudity but it was pretty much all about sex.   Other than that,  I'm still not sure what I think of the movie.

It reminded me a bit of "Moulin Rouge."  Very artsy.  Not a lot of sympathy for the main character ~ basically a whiny, womanizing, writer/director who is having trouble coming up with a script for his current movie. A married man who sleeps or tries to sleep with every woman in the movie.   There were some fantastic women in the movie.  Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Fergie, Penelope Cruz, Sofia Loren and Kate Hudson.  His wife is played by Marion Cotillard who I've not heard of before but she was great in this movie.  The sound track is fantastic as are the costumes.   I guess it's just not my cup of tea, but really well done for what it was.

We had a good time having movie day though.  We microwaved some popcorn, got some twizzlers (red vines which are NOT the same and don't taste very good at all) & chocolate and soda, of course.  DSCN1350   Excuse the mess on the couch ~ I was going through a bunch of fabric scraps for my next project!

We did also rent "Sherlock Holmes" which we watched tonight with Richard and while I thought it was going to be good ~ it was FANTASTIC.   Really, really enjoyable!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Has it already been a month?

IMG_0410Can you believe our little Charlie Girl is 1 month old already?? Where does the time go? Rich, the kids and I went up to see her on Saturday which just happened to be her 1 month birthday. Julianne and I had done a little shopping for her this week and we wanted to bring the outfits up before she grew out of them.


The kids hadn't gotten to see her since she was born so I had to compete for "Charlie time" with them.  I think they kinda like her ( A LOT) She and Grampy even took a bit of a nap together on the couch. So cute!

Oh, and look how strong she is already...

Holding her head up like a big girl!!

Jen said she needed more burp clothes so I got to work on a few for her. 

These were so much fun to make ~ I may just have to do some for the Etsy shop.  I think they would go over well.  My favorite so far is the Diaper Diva.  I also have the embroidery to do a Diaper Dude.  How cute would that be with cowboy fabric??

Tomorrow I will be in the sewing room again, working on a little something for a different special little girl who has a big girl birthday coming up... stay tuned!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

School -is-out-for summer, thank you Alice Cooper

Will that song ever go out of style? I think not. People for many generations to come will sing that song on the last day of school.

Me, I'm doubly grateful. No more "having" to get up early. I'll still probably get up at the same time I always do but now I'll have the quiet mornings all to myself. No more yelling at the kids to get ready to go. No more worrying about Nathaniel's homework...which brings me to... THE BOY GOT ALL A's & B's on his final report card. Julianne did as well ~ but then she always does. Nathaniel, on the other hand pulled an F at midterm up to a B! How awesome is that. He feels so much better about himself. We do make sure to tell Julianne how proud we are of her grades as well. Now if I could just get her to stop yelling at us!

DSC08844Teacher/staff gifts have been made and given. Hit a small glitch this year cause Julianne wanted me to make her teacher a "Wizard of Oz" Screen bag which I did ~ but yesterday morning she remembered (I forgot too) that we gave her teacher a screen bag at Christmas. That plus the fact that I hadn't gotten the chance to finish the "Betty Boop" screen bag I was making for the front office clerk had me come up with a something else.  Guess I'll put it in my Etsy shop.
DSC08850Plan "B" turned out to be coasters & gift cards. The two staff gals got the summer watermelon coasters and Julianne's teacher got the Oz coasters. I did wrap them up in pretty ribbons and such so they looked a bit better. Problem solved.

Nate and Sadie both got their summer hair cuts...DSC08843IMG_0381

IMG_0389Last night was the end of the year softball game. The 4 local elementary schools (teachers) play each other at the big stadium (where the Washington Nationals play their Spring games). Our team played at 7:15 but we always go for the first game too because the school they used to go to plays then and they get to see their friends from that school.

It was actually a great game. We "almost" won. The final score was 11 to 12 which is amazing since NO ONE has ever beaten the team we played. As a matter of fact, no one else will even switch to play them. Our teachers made some fantastic plays. You can tell they've really been practicing. They looked great out there.
The kids always have a great time. We barely see them during the game. They travel in packs and every once in a while we see them walk by. The only time they acknowledge us is to ask for money to buy something (drinks, peanuts, icecream)... but it's okay. We get to enjoy the game that way. Of course I was selling foam fingers again! Last time, I swear cause as of today I am no longer on the executive board for the PTO and I'm telling you ~ It feels great! No obligations on my plate! I'll still volunteer when I have the time but I got pretty burned out this last couple of years. Go me!
In any case... summer is here. We have a cruise planned (Counting the days till that) and we will spend some time up in Jacksonville with Jen, Jeremy & the baby and I'm sure they'll spend some time here as well. My Bestest friend, MaryAnn and one of her daughters plan on coming down for a visit. Mostly I'll be hanging out in my pool and just chillaxing (is that still a word?)

To sum it all up: Today is the first day of the rest of my summer!

Friday, May 21, 2010

4:45 AM

It's 4:45 in the morning and I can't sleep. I hope what I write won't prevent you from sleeping but I can't guarantee it.

Tomorrow (well, today really) is the last day of school here. I found out yesterday that one of the children in our school died the night before. It was a little girl in third grade. She died as a result of peanut allergies. She was at a friends house and ate a piece of chocolate that I guess had nuts in it. The friend's family did not know about her allergies and there was no epi pen. That is pretty much all of the story that I know except her name and who's class she was in.

I don't know if they told her classmates yesterday but it didn't spread around the school if they did because Julianne didn't know anything about it. I guess that's a good thing.

I got a message via facebook tonight from someone at the school letting me know that there will be a memorial service on Saturday and that the parents are asking for donations to help pay for the funeral in lieu of flowers.

I'm not laying any blame here. I can't even imagine what those parents must be going through. And yet, it crosses my mind over and over ~ the thought of losing one of my children. It's unbearable. Can you imagine what the parents of the friend (and her little friend) must also be feeling? How helpless they must have felt. I don't know what was done, or what wasn't. Like I said, no blame here. Just a head and heart swirling with emotions for all the people involved.

I will not be going to the service. I really didn't know this little girl. Julianne looked her up in the yearbook and recognized her as someone who used to wave at me. I get that a lot. As PTO vice president, I'm sometimes in and out of the classrooms a lot as well as being pretty visible at all the functions. I know it would be perfectly acceptable for me to go to pay my respects but I can't. I just can't. I think to sit in a room with this grieving family would be just more than I could handle. Is that selfish of me? Probably. What could I even say to them to give them comfort? I really don't know. I already think life is way to fragile. To see the reality of it isn't something I can put myself through.

As much as I will try to bury my head in the sand and pretend this didn't happen just to make it easier on me ~ while these poor parents try to pay for a funeral they sure didn't expect .... This is why I'm up and unable to sleep at 4:45.

I've already whispered a prayer both for these families involved and to thank God that my family is right here with me. I hope you will do the same.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Census taker

DSC08835So my job as a census taker is pretty much done. What was supposed to last 8 to 10 weeks ended up lasting barely 3 weeks and that's including our week of training.

It wasn't bad at all ~ other than the fact that it was pretty darn hot, most people were cooperative. Some invited me in, one even offered me sun screen. Most of the homes I visited were actually empty. I'd even say more then half of them were. My main area was a retirement community ~ a very nice one at that. Neighbors were more than happy to fill me in on the status of the houses. One woman was out walking her dog and invited me to come along so she could point out all the empty houses (and the circumstances surrounding them). I think they were just happy to have someone new to chat with.

I wish it had lasted a bit longer cause the extra dollars came in kinda handy. It'll allow us to do some fun stuff this summer. Some of my coworkers did have some incidents with people. Some had doors slammed in their face, some got yelled out a few even got cussed out. Fortunately for me the worst that was said to me was "what do you want" in a bit of a gruff voice. His wife was nice though and gave me the information I needed.

And while I said I was "pretty much" done, I still have 4 open NRFU's (Non Response Follow Up's). Hopefully I can knock those out this week and be done with it. Rumor has it that when we are officially released, our name goes back into a hat (so to speak) and we may get called back for some follow up work. I'm not holding my breath though and honestly there were other people working that really really needed the work and I'm hoping they get it.

Most of the people I worked with were nice ~ a few had some issues. Some had more issues than they should have. Hopefully those issues didn't come across talking to the public. We had one ranting and raving about the "damn illegals" and how they shouldn't be counted blah blah blah... when in reality they are the ones that needed to be counted the most. Realize that they are the one using public health care, schools and other resources badly needed. Without their numbers we have no way to accommodate the masses.  Besides, whatever your stance on political issues, we were representatives of the government ~ sworn in and everything ~ and opinions, especially controversial ones needed to be kept in check.

In any case, it was a rewarding experience and I highly recommend you sign up to work for the next one.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chicken Spaghetti ala The Pioneer Woman

So I attempted my first Pioneer Woman recipe today. For a cost of just about $20.00 I was able to feed the 4 of us plus have left overs for forever. I forget that she cooks for a zillion people. I was able to fill my biggest casserole dish and put a tub away for another time. The recipe is on page 130 of her cook book in case you care to follow along...
Here are my during pictures...
DSC08830 DSC08831 DSC08832 DSC08833
And the final result...DSC08836
 And the review from the kids...
It was a lot more work than I am used to... being super busy during the week, I look for quick and easy recipes. It took me about 2 hrs prep time to make this dish ~ and then another 40 minutes in the oven.
Will I make it again? Yes, it was a big hit.

Was it worth it? Yes, but I think next time I'll save myself some work and either cook boneless/skinless chicken which is what I normally do or buy a precooked chicken from the grocery store. It's about the same price and always tastes yummy.

I actually made dessert last night as well. DSC08839 It is warm spiced peaches and bananas DSC08838 over vanilla ice cream in a shortcake shell. DSC08842
Richard and Nate really liked it. Julianne doesn't eat peaches ~ go figure. I do have a recipe to make the spiced peaches from scratch but I cheated with the jar ones. Really, just as good and saved me a ton of work.

Next up... Ree's famous cinnamon rolls. I can do all the prep on a Saturday night and bake em up for Sunday morning. Wish me luck.

Monday, May 17, 2010

It's Still a Bit Bittersweet Day

It really was a nice Mother's day. I got the most beautiful roses from my darling husband. DSC08796
He knows orange roses are my favorites!

Julianne got me the 3 disc DVD of New Moon.  It was a win/win for her.  She's been wanting this ever since it came out and I have to admit, I did too.  She and I went to see it in the theater on opening day.  We are both HUGE fans. 
She also picked out my gift from Nate.  It was Train's new CD.  Again a win/win for her cause she loves the song "Soul Sister."  I think we listened to it about a thousand times on the way to Orlando. 

My favorite song on the CD is "Save me San Francisco." 

After presents and breakfast we went down to So. Fla to visit with Richard's mom.  We went to see the Disney documentary "Oceans."  It was really really amazing.  The only problem was the music.  It was so soothing and surreal that I started to doze off a few times.   If we ever get a big flat screen TV  (yes, we are a bit behind the times when it comes to our TV viewing) it'll definitely be a DVD to own.  Now I want to see "Earth" from last year.  Next years film will be "Big Cats" which also looks stunning.

It's still a bittersweet day for me because I always miss my mom.  I so wish that the older/more mature (no laughing) me could talk to her now.  I have so much I want to tell her and ask her and share with her. DSC08727  It's especially poignant this year because I'm a grandmother now and I so understand how much she loved my Jennifer.    It's just the best.

It also brings me memories of Angie. DSC00892 We always called her on Mother's day so the kids could wish her a happy mother's day.  Although we had emailed quite a bit up until her death in June, the last time I actually spoke with her was on Mother's day that year.  I'm am happy that the last thing we said to each other was "I love you."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Up, Up and Away

The last planned flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off on Friday. I was up at the school just prior to the launch and was able to snap these...
I'm so gonna miss this.

Band and Chorus and Soccer, Oh my...

It's the end of the school year, the end of the soccer season and our family schedule is jammed packed. Nate had a band conert DSC08761C He played drums, xylophone, and coronet.

Julianne had a chorus concert DSC08776 This concert was to celebrate our school winning a "Blue Ribbon" award. We were one of 312 in the nation to be awarded this honor. I got to be a VIP with reserved seats and a special reception afterwards.  Aren't I just so special?DSC08773

Nate had his final soccer game of the season DSC08787 They lost (again) but it was a really good game. We/he have not decided if he'll play again next season but we are not going to opt out of PE for next year.

PTO is winding down for the year. They were hoping I'd take over as president next year but with everything else going on I have opted not to be on the executive board in the fall. I'll still be as active as time allows but we will have a whole new board next year. We have a couple more functions to finish up this year and then we'll turn everything over to the new board.

I, for one, am looking forward to the summer ~ no meetings, no functions, just lots and lots of pool time which, by the way is now warm enough to enjoy. Richard even got me a new float chair for the pool. Ah, its heaven.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Still sewing...

In between everything else ~ I am still sewing away. The Etsy shop is actually doing alright. I'm averaging about 1 or 2 sales a week. Mostly my wallets. I really need to do some more. People really seem to like them.

I have a couple of "Charlie" projects in the works although I screwed up a couple of crib sheets I was doing last week. I guess I was tired and not thinking straight. I was mostly done with them when I realized I cut them both 10" too short! More fabric for the scrap heap I guess.

DSC08784I recently made myself a new purse I took all my favorite things from all the other purses I've done and came up with my own design. Inside pockets including a pen pocket DSC08783 which I now can't live without. It's nice to be able to find a pen in my purse without digging. These side ties DSC08782 give the bag a nicer shape and I like the way they look. The front pocket is roomy and has a velcro closure to stop stuff from falling out.  The perfect place to keep my cell phone so I can grab it quick.  The buttons are purely decorative. I, of course, made a matching wallet.  It's now my very favorite purse and I've already got another one in the planning stages ~ which means I've gotten the fabrics but not much more. Just wait till you see what I come up with.  I think I would like to make a commercial pattern for this one... just got to figure out how to.  Maybe I'll start with my wallet pattern.  Much easier.

DSC08780I also got an order to make this tennis towel.    I hadn't done one of these before but I think it turned out really well ~ and my customer was very happy with it.  She was giving it to the captain of her tennis team.  This might be a great thing to offer on my Etsy shop because the custom embroidery can be done once it's ordered.   Could do golf ones as well.

I need about 30 more hours in each day to get done all the sewing I need/want to do.  Next up are quilted duffel bags for Julz and Nate ~ just in time for us to go on a CRUISE!!!