Friday, January 30, 2015

This and That

Hi there.  My name is CMerie and I used to blog here.  I made a New Years Resolution to blog twice a week.  I failed before I even started.  You know how it is, you don't blog, and don't blog and pretty soon it's hard to blog.  You feel as if you have to update every little thing that happened, (because it's important!) and then you get so far behind you feel you'll never catch up.  So consider this a catch up post and an attempt to get back in the blogging saddle.  Skip it if you want.  Or don't. 
  
 
 So first how about some crafting?  I have been working on a particular cross stitch project for my husband for years.  I started it when we first moved here to Arizona, which was back in 2007.  It's a doozy, which means it's hard to see progress.  Which in turn means I continue to put off working on it.

I had a little inspiration (driven largely by a Joann's gift card) to create a case of some sort to house this particular project and all the tools needed for it.  My thought was this would inspire me to work on the project itself.  And that reasoning (while a little....strange) has actually seemed to help.

One side holds all the floss I need at any particular time, along with a needle case, scissors, a seam ripper (for ALL those times I mess up), and those rubbery thimble things.  Behind all of these things is a spot for the pattern.  (The pattern actually slides all the way to the bottom, I just pulled it out a little so you could see it was there.)


The other side holds the embroidery hooped project, along with one small pocket for the current floss-in-progress.  Again, the hoop is pulled out just so you can see.

The entire thing lays flat when open and is stiffened inside by cardboard so it's nice and sturdy.  You can fold the embroidery hoop side under while working on the project and the whole thing fits nicely on my lap with everything I need easily accessible.

And when I'm not working on the project, it folds up and velcros shut to keep out curious little hands.
 Because of this little case, I've worked on my project more in the past few weeks than I have in the past few months.  Success!
 
On to other bits of randomness.
 
Recently we signed Fritter up for karate, and he has really been doing well.  This week he tested for his orange belt.  Hi-ya!
 
 
 
Ladybug and Sunflower are taking a ballet/tap class together.  It is my biased opinion that nothing is cuter than little girls in tutus.



Fritter's Blue Knight's Club has been making a Mass kit this year, and so my children had the inspiration to play Mass.  He used the past week's Magnifikid as his missal.  I love it when this kind of stuff happens without my bidding.

 Winter in Arizona is a time to get out and hike and explore, and so we've been trying to take advantage of that (sorry all you northerners!).  A few weeks ago, we loaded our GPS with a geocache and headed out into the desert.  We never did find it, and so ended up hiking about three miles total with nothing to show for it in the end (except the fun of it, of course).  Dan carried Sunflower on his back, and I carried Froggy in the front carrier.  We were exhausted by the end of it and both of us required afternoon naps (thankfully the two big kids were tired and slept as well).



Showing Arizona winter fashion.  A USA t-shirt on one, and a long sleeve shirt and snow hat on the other.
 And then, just to mix things up a bit, we decided to head to the snowy north for a little sledding trip.

Loving the finger in front of the camera.






Unfortunately we only manage to stay for a very short time.  My poor dear husband had succumbed to the flu and then Fritter came down with it too.  They were dropping like flies all around me and we needed to rush to get home so we could hunker down for the duration.


And boy was it a tough one.  Every single person in my home came down with the flu (with one also getting the stomach flu on top of it all) except for me.  I felt like I needed a vacation once everyone was healthy.  Taking care of sick people is exhausting.  Besides all the above medicine, we had to do twice daily breathing treatments for all four children.
 There.  I'm caught up.  Now on to more regular blogging adventures!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I Want To Wish You A Merry Christmas

 I did not want to blog about the flu from you-know-where that has hit our family.  I'm not going to tell you about all the coughing and hacking and fevers going on in our house.  I wanted to blog about our Christmas.  I wanted to tell you all about what a great Christmas we had, and about the surprise visit from my brother-in-law.

I wanted to tell you how we crazily decided that going to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve was a good idea, including waking four sleeping children and putting them into uncomfortable clothes. 






I wanted to tell you about Christmas morning, and how so very tired I was after doing the Christmas thing parents must do AFTER midnight Mass and BEFORE going to bed.  How very tired, but also how very happy.  I wanted to tell you how grateful my children were to received their gifts and how there were no "gimmies" in our house that day.  How Froggy received his giraffe pillow pet and how not only did he lay down on the floor to snuggle with it, he also went into his room to get his lovey giraffe to snuggle.  How I heard him say "piwow" for the first time and how it made my heart melt.

 How my girls both got jumper balls and how much they adored them, and how much I adore them because they tire them out so quickly and make them stay OUTSIDE!
 How my sweet Ladybug got a Twilight Turtle and how much she loves it...
 ...and how the biggest Daniel Tiger fan in the world was overjoyed to receive her very own Daniel Tiger.
 
How Fritter received his light saber and became a Padawan learner.
 I wanted to tell you less about the things my children received as gifts this year, and more about the things that they made for us and for each other.  So much time and effort (and love!) went into the making of gifts this year.  I probably will tell you more about these another time, because they really deserve a post of their own.

More than all that, I wanted to tell you Merry Christmas!  I hope yours was full of many blessings.

Friday, December 12, 2014

{phfr} - Bad Blogger Update

This time of year gets so crazy for me (and probably for all of you as well) that I find it hard to keep up blogging even the most important events in our family.  Without further ado...
 
{pretty}
 
My grandfather (who was almost 95!) recently passed away, so Fritter and I flew back to Wyoming for his funeral.  This has been one of those tough years for my family.  It wasn't long ago that we lost my grandmother too.  So this was a melancholy trip, though it's always nice to see family (see happy below).
 
Flying back to Wyoming actually means flying into Denver and then driving a couple hours home.  So this was a welcome sight (and a pretty sign!):
 
 


As a kid (we traveled a lot!) I always knew I was close to home when I saw the buffalo on the hill.  This time was no different! And I find the prairie so pretty.
 {happy}
 
Seeing family is always a happy experience.  The day of my (maternal) grandfather's funeral was also my other (paternal) grandmother's birthday.  It was very nice to see her, though she had trouble remembering me. *sigh* We could call this happy and melancholy.
 
 
Fritter and I were able to spare a little bit of time to visit with an old college friend and his new baby.  This particular friend held Fritter when he was just a baby.  This time I got to hold his first born.
 
The happy family!
 
In other news we had another birthday!  Ladybug turned six (6!) the day before Thanksgiving.  My little girl is growing up. *sob*
And she got her first big girl doll!

She asked for a strawberry cake.  We compromised on a chocolate cake with strawberry frosting.  And butterflies!
 Because my grandfather's funeral was on the feast of St. Nicholas, and we would be in Wyoming, we celebrated here a little early.  (St. Nicholas is good like that!)
St. Nicholas brought us new books (affiliate links):

Dan: The Brothers Karamazov
CMerie: Lucia, Child of Light
Fritter: The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey & The Miracle of St. Nicholas
Ladybug: The Very First Christmas &  A Small Miracle
Sunflower (and Froggy): The Night of Las Posadas

And of course chocolate coins!

 
{funny}

Here in Arizona, we experience Autumn just as everyone else in the country is having fun with winter. :)  So I sent Fritter out to rake up the leaves in the front yard, and Ladybug followed him out.  Before I knew it, they were running from the end of the block and diving in the pile of leaves.  It looked like such fun the rest of us had to join in.
 



And then they got crazy and decided to throw the leaves everywhere.  By the time our fun was over, it was dinner time and bath time.  So Fritter had to rake the leaves again the next day.  And he did.  Without complaint!
{real}

We finally pulled our Christmas tree out on Wednesday with the plan to set it up and watch Elf together as a family.  But when we plugged in the lights on the tree, only part of the strand lit up.  After going through the unlit sections, light by light, we found at least 20 dead bulbs.  Of course we didn't have that many spare bulbs of this sort to replace them, but plenty of various other bulbs.  (Why, oh why do they not standardize the bulb ends?!)  So I patiently (ha!) swapped out the wrong ends for the right ends on new bulbs and then we put them back into the strand of lights.
The pile of dead lights with tips taken off.
It worked and the tree is lit, but it was only after all the hard work was done that I realized it probably would have been easier (and faster!) to pay $4 for a new strand of lights.  Remind me of that next Christmas, please? 
 
 
So we didn't get to watch Elf that night, since by the time we were done, it was past the kids' bedtimes.  We made up for it last night with pizza in front of the movie.
 
Go visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more contentment!
 

Monday, December 1, 2014

When Everyone Has A Cold...


It must be time for chicken noodle soup.  Or in this case turkey rice soup with homemade broth, leftover turkey, and leftover ham because there wasn't enough turkey.  Plus a loaf of bread from the freezer.  Yummy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Caterpillar Update

The day after I posted about our caterpillar, we left the house for just a little while and when we came home we found our little guy transformed.  We were disappointed we had to miss it happen, but everyone is still thrilled he (or she?) made it this far!

Do you see him hanging by the zipper?


Yesterday we went with our homeschool group on a field trip to the Butterfly Wonderland.  I guess you could say we're doing an impromptu unit study on butterflies.  I went in a little apprehensive about the thought of butterflies landing on me.  And they did!  Land on me, I mean.  Once on my head (that was my biggest fear actually), another time on my back.  And each child received about the same treatment.  Sunflower is the only one who has inherited my fear of anything resembling a bug or spider, and she was found many times running and screaming away from the butterflies.  She may be scarred for life.  :)

Do you see what's on Froggy's head?  What about on the butterfly bench behind us?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

{phfr} - Goings On and a Happy Birthday

{pretty}
I mentioned before that we had found a caterpillar.  This morning I went to look for him in his little habitat (borrowed from a good friend) and finally found him on the roof.  He has strung himself up and it looks like he may be ready to build his chrysalis.  He's pretty in an ugly sort of way.  :)
 

Normally this time of year I already have plenty of pureed pumpkin in the freezer from those very cheap Halloween pumpkins.  Alas, this year I was running behind (as I seem to do in most everything nowadays) and by the time I got around to buying pumpkins all I could find were the more expensive pie pumpkins.  I bought four pumpkins anyway, and yesterday cooked them all and pureed them.  Considering each pumpkin was $1.99, and I bought four of them for a total of $7.96, I managed to get the equivalent of seven cans of pureed pumpkin.  A can of pumpkin is around $3.  That's a savings of over $13!  Economical indeed.  Plus, it's also kind of pretty.

{happy}
We celebrated another birthday around here.  Fritter turned 8 on Saturday.  What else does an eight year old boy want than a real pair of cowboy boots?  We've been hearing an awful lot about rounding up cattle and lassoing things around here lately.

He asked for a volcano cake.  This is the best I could do.  If my kids didn't enjoy my cakes so much I would have turn in my cake making license.
 
{funny}
This is more funny in the not so funny way (whatever that means).  Pumpkin seeds.  Sitting on the counter in a colander until I can get around to roasting them.  Ha ha.  Funny.
 
 
 {real}

What's real is that we wouldn't get very far without prayer, now would we?  Without grace we have nothing.
Go visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more contentment!