Monday, July 26, 2010

Catching up, photo edition

Our garden is yielding pounds of tomatoes. Thomas enjoyed helping me harvest some of them.

I think I might have mentioned the birds that took up residence in our hanging planter. They had babies, and now the parents seem to have moved on, but the babies are happily hanging out in our backyard. They spend most of their time under our tomato plants, emerging sometimes to explore the grass, the strawberry patch, or if they're really feeling daring, hopping up onto my clean laundry!

They're awfully sweet little things, and the boys are really enjoying this up close and personal encounter with baby birds. So am I!

Our summer has been much busier than I had anticipated. The boys are not getting their normal quiet times and rest/naptimes as frequently as I'd like. Poor Thomas was so tired one day he fell asleep and simply couldn't be awakened.

I've noticed that Thomas has started being very clingy with me recently, and I think much of that may be because of our more hectic pace, which usually includes being away from home and around people. I think he feels a bit overwhelmed, and his method of dealing with that is attaching himself to my leg and not letting go. Literally. :)

One of the things that filled last week was VBS. Our church went to Ancient Egypt, and oh my goodness, it was wonderful! Here is Jonathan, recreating VBS fun. The green chalk is eye make-up, and the pants on his head make him "look like Pharaoh" (I think he actually meant Joseph - there was some confusion about that all week!)

Jonathan has also been busy with Tang Soo Do classes each Saturday morning. He alternates between being very proud of himself, and informing me that he doesn't want to do it anymore because it makes him too tired. Can it be? Something actually uses up all his energy? I have to say that his complaints make me feel a lot better about how tired I am after class! :)

Josiah is being his sweet self in the midst of all the busyness. Although he did discover, today, that the best way to get Mom's attention is just to start yelling every request. Sigh. The thing is, I can't really be mad, because he's right.

Kitchen remodel, day 32

This process has taken a LOT longer than we originally anticipated. It seems that you get what you pay for, and we have definitely reaped the results of our low budget: poor communication, multiple weeks between demolition and rebuilding, and workers who don't show up when they're expected.

However, progress has been made, and we're starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. :)

The bulk of the granite has been installed.

Clean-up after all that installation was quite the job!

And eventually our appliances and plumbing got hooked back up! (Praise God for that VERY LARGE MERCY!!!)

I absolutely LOVE my microwave/vent over the stove. All that previously wasted space is now useful, and (once it is installed) I'll have a lot more counter space where our old microwave used to be.

Here is a close-up of our granite. I like it - it looks beachy and peaceful to me.

A lot of work still remains to be done.

But theoretically, someday, it will be. :)

Jonathan's photography 2

Interesting, no?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sewing project: summer tote bag

Isn't it pretty? I'm so pleased with how it turned out!

I followed this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew (seriously amazing website if you ever want to sew anything) and then I amended it a bit to add this band around the top.

It has sturdy handles which are actually sewed in with five stitches and still manages to look nice.

And the bottom is flattened with that neat corner stitch, which I like. It makes carrying books so much easier.

It is a simpler bag than many I've seen, because it doesn't have a lining. The designer uses french seams to finish the inside, so there are no loose or fraying edges anywhere. I've never been able to figure out what a french seam is, until this tutorial. Now it makes sense! And they aren't even hard. :)

Thanks, Irene, for such a clear and helpful tutorial!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


You know how when you fall in love, you get a little silly for awhile? Can't work, can't think, can't sleep; you just want to gaze into your beloved's eyes and adore them?

Yep. I'm in love.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Jonathan's photography

Jonathan has been fascinated with our digital camera for a long time now, but I haven't (until recently) been willing to let him "play" with it. He would like to point out that he isn't playing, he's taking pictures!

This morning I let him enjoy himself and take as many pictures as he wanted, and a lot of them turned out really nicely!

I find it interesting to see what he considers photograph-worthy (the grill?)

and I also like watching him discover things like lens distance from his object.

He was most proud of this one, because he managed to capture the bee before it flew away.

House Rules

picture credit

This afternoon Jonathan was invited to play inside a neighbor friend's house. This is a big deal, because we don't often allow it (we prefer to keep the kids in the more neutral, not to mention visible, area outside our house). So Jonathan came running inside to ask if he could please go inside R's house to play? I said yes, and then added "I want to remind you about the rules before you go." In a tearing hurry, apparently, Jonathan rattled off "I already know. Don't watch movies, don't eat sweet things without asking, don't bite or hit or kick because if I do I'll have to come in and I can't go out again because this is my only chance."

Isn't it nice to know your child knows the rules! :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010


World Cup Champions!

And the octopus who predicted it...


CVS trip 7-11-10

I forgot to take a picture before putting it all away - sorry! But this week's trip is just further confirmation that CVS is the place where I want to shop.

Have I mentioned how much I like the people? When I walked in, Karen waved at me, Dan greeted me by name, and the manager, Mike, said hello to the boys when we walked by. They're all wonderful, helpful, friendly people.

My particular CVS takes competitor coupons. This is definitely a YMMV situation - some do, some don't. Mine happens to be working pretty hard to get surrounding business, so they accept Rite Aid coupons AND Target coupons (I've never tried Walgreens coupons, but I assume they'd take those too). Since these are rung up as "store coupons", they can be paired with regular manufacturer coupons. This can make for some pretty sweet deals.

Today I purchased the following:

2 gallons of milk
2 big boxes of cheerios
contact solution
2 Pulsar toothbrushes
John Frieda shampoo
John Frieda conditioner
10 papermate pens
child safety scissors

After coupons, I used $8 in ecbs and paid $3.06 out of pocket (mostly tax). But I received $15 in new ecbs, for a net profit of just under $4. Which is pretty great, don't you think?

Sunday, July 04, 2010

That's it, we're done.

I am done, done, DONE with shopping at Rite Aid. "Nevermore" quoth I. I've had it.

Rite Aid has some great deals. Really great. Use your coupons wisely, paired up with sales, and you can get lots of things you need and lots of things to donate for very little out of pocket expense. You can, that is, if you don't mind being treated like a thief every time you try to pay for your purchases.

In all the time I've been shopping at Rite Aid, I have yet to find one single person, cashier OR manager, who has any idea how to handle coupons. They don't know that there is a corporate Rite Aid coupon policy. When I show it to them, they tell me that it doesn't apply to their store, or they argue grammar (try explaining coupon grammar to a native Spanish speaker - oh, so much fun). What none of them have any grasp of is that coupons are MONEY to their store. I'm not ripping them off, I'm keeping them in business.

I don't plan to do that, anymore.

Friday, July 02, 2010

History does NOT repeat itself!

Remember the troubles facing New York midwives? Thanks to lots of grass roots action and (yes!) reasonable legislators, the Midwifery Modernization Act has passed both the House and the Senate, and awaits the governor's signature.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Huntington Garden free day tickets - hurry!

Anyone want to come to the Huntington with us on the morning of August 5th? There are still tickets available - hurry over here, they go quickly!