Friday, February 26, 2010


Cat + vacuuming?
Why, catcuuming, of course!
The fastest and most effective way to rid your pet of unwanted hair*

I'm so clean and fluffy!

*Don't try this on an unwilling cat. You will be sorry. The model has been trained since
kitteh-hood to appreciate a good vacuuming. He purrs the whole time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

PW strikes again

Whatever you are having for breakfast isn't nearly as good as what I'm having...

Piping hot cinnamon rolls from scratch. You can thank Ree for this, and my certainty that I could not live one more day without making them for myself.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

FO-baby sweater

I have a finished object to show! They are few and far between in these parts, so I have to show them off :)
It's a vintage baby sweater...I don't have the book in front of me (and I am too lazy to go get it), so I can't give you all of the details on the pattern.
I can say that I really enjoyed watching this come together! At first I was a little irritated with it, because it's knit in two pieces and then seamed together. It should be one seamless piece. I have never done stranded color work on a flat piece before, so it was hard for me to carry the colors and work the chart backwards. If I knit this again (And I'm thinking I will), I will knit in the round and carry the pattern on both sides.
I also modified the top a little. I was afraid that the head hole was going to be too snug, so I left it open to the armhole, and I'm going to get some cute tiny buttons to close up the shoulder.

The pattern sizing is 6-12 months, but the colorwork makes the front not have a lot of stretch, so it looks smaller than that to me. I wish I had a baby to try it on! For now, I'll just have to imagine baby Johnston sporting it in the fall.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Main Entry: ser·en·dip·i·ty
Pronunciation: \-ˈdi-pə-\
Function: noun
Etymology: from its possession by the heroes of the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip
Date: 1754

: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for; also : an instance of this

Last night I was wishing for nothing more than to not have to drive to soccer practice tonight.

This morning woke up to a snow day, and the realization that my world looks like the inside of a recently shaken snowglobe. It's beautiful, ethereal, and most undoubtedly will result in no practice.


Saturday, February 20, 2010


"Just because I have a Coke moustache, doesn't mean I was drinking your pop, Mom."
-Emma, the guilty party

Friday, February 19, 2010

{fashion} tragedy strikes!

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful and insightful comments yesterday! Having the benefit of time and a little space, things don't look so grim right now. Bart & I will talk with Emma over the weekend about any further proceedings. It's good to have a few options. I love the internets.
Now, on to my tragedy!
Yesterday I had to throw away my favorite pair of jeans.
My one pair of ultra comfy, perfectly broken in denim began disintegrating after their last washing, and even though I milked it for a week, the time had come to throw them away or risk showing my underpants to anyone who looked at my booty. I was going to try and milk it further by patching the biggest spot, but it was obvious to me that it would quickly become a losing games and I was just better off accepting the inevitable, however tragic.
For every one of you out there who loves to shop for clothing, there is one of us at home who would rather stick hot pokers into her flesh than step foot into a store and actually try on clothes. I am one of the later. I hate shopping for myself. Of course, that stems mostly from the fact that I am in denial about how fat I have become, that it's so much easier to lay the blame on the clothing.
They weren't even a particularily flattering pair of jeans. I always had to hike them up 50 times a day. But I loved them. Now I have to try and find a replacement.
And AND to top it off, my body has been falling apart (even worse than normal) this week. I haven't been able to smell or taste for the last 2 days. My skin is beginning to resemble a crocodile in July. My scalp is extra extra dry, and I pulled out 2 more really long, coarse white hairs. White hairs, people! Like I went from 41 to 51 overnight. I know you would assume that they would blend in with my blond hair and be unnoticeable, but you would be wrong wrong wrong. They are coarse and kinky and don't lay flat with the rest of my hair.
Growing older is not for sissies!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

7th grade conundrum

Last night, Emma came to me with a problem, and I'm interested to hear what all of you out there in blogland think. I can always use a fresh perspective!

Em had a test the other day in Language Arts. She was having some problem understanding some of the material, so she asked the teacher for clarification. The teacher told her that she had it right. She takes the test, is graded, and got a 69%. A D+.
One of the problems she got wrong was a simple error- a fill in the circle which she did correctly, but wrote the incorrect letter on the line. She pointed it out to the teacher, who responded with a 'I have to count it as wrong' tough luck response.
The other question she got wrong was the exact thing she asked the teacher about, who told her she was right in her thinking... marked it as completely wrong.
Emma is beyond upset. Since the beginning of the year, she pulled up her grades and every test was 100% or 95%, and then she has this 69%. She's mad that it's going to give her a B at best, but even more mad that she was THATCLOSE to failing the test altogether. She doesn't understand what she did wrong.
I asked her to talk to the teacher, to see if there is any way that she can make it up with extra credit or re-do it, but she won't. It's too embarrasing, and she will get emotional and cry and everyone will know her business. I asked her if she wants me to talk to the teacher, but she says that's even more embarrasing. But she also doesn't want to accept the grade either.
I don't know what to do!
I did tell her that one bad grade isn't the end of the world, and that I am still so proud of her. That she isn't in trouble for getting a bad grade, and that I'm glad she was up front about it. I always ask after they get something wrong if they understand what they did incorrectly-to me that is far more important than the actual grade. It means they are learning from their mistakes. She doesn't understand what she did wrong, nor does she feel like the teacher will tell her after she had approached her before the test and got incorrect imformation.
What would you do? Would you talk to the teacher anyway? Would you let your child handle it how she wants to?
Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I've got a bad case of the Februaries.
Not to mention a sinus infection. Came up on me superfast. A little bit of sneezing and then a monster headache with incredible pressure for 2 days. Viola, sinus infection made to order. My head feels like it's filled with quick drying cement, and overall I just feel like crap. Haven't felt like doing anything...knitting hurts, reading hurts, laying down hurts. You know you are pathetic when laying down hurts. I've oficially crossed the line.
Already the week has gone to hell in a handbasket. I haven't made out the meal plan. I haven't shopped. I can't really taste anything nor do I have much of an appetite, so cooking just seems pointless. Bart is doing the South Beach diet, so he isn't eating with us anyway. The days have been grey and cold; each day just flows into the next in one long stream of boredom.
I really hate February.
The only saving grace has been watching the Olympics, which I have been whenever I can. Yesterday Evan stayed home from school and we watched the snowboard cross and pairs' figure skating from the night before. The problem with watching with a boy is that he wants to fast forward through all the stuff I want to watch. After 2 pairs, he was done with figure skating and would have watched just about anything else. Heathen.
I just found out that my cousin Reagan is pregnant with a boy, due in September. That brings the total to 4 baby boys I know born in 2010. Julie, I think maybe the odds are with you!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

a quiet Saturday in store

I loved seeing my crabby yard art covered just so in snow!

Saturday morning and I was up early, for no reason at all. The kids both had plans last night, and Ev slept over at a friends'. That's the second time in a month they both went out and left us parents at home. At 10 & 12. I suppose by the time they are old enough to drive we'll never see them! I really wanted to watch the Olympic opening ceremony last night, but we DVR'd to watch today, together. If I can get them to postpone CSI, that is.
Both kids have games today. Emma's doesn't start until just before 9pm. Oh joy. On a positive note, it gives her plenty of time to deliver the girl scout cookies that she didn't get to yesterday. I did my part; meeting with 2 friends for coffee and chitchat and cookie exchange.
Just about time to pick up Evan...hope you all have a nice weekend!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


...the number of boxes of Girl Scout cookies that were in my house today!


The best part of 8" of freshly fallen snow? Igloos, of course!

Emma came out in these snow pants. Sized 6x. She was puzzled as to why they were so tight in the crotch. Not to mention, about 12 inches too short!!

The finished igloo, big enough for two!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

the difference 24 hours makes

Taken at noon February 9th
taken at 9am February 10th

Well it finally came, our big snow!
As predicted, we got at least 8" as far as I can tell. Everything is calm and quiet and bright. They say that the winds are going to start and there will be lots of blowing and drifting, so for now the kids are enjoying a bonus day off school and I am contemplating whether or not to shovel the foot of the driveway. 'Not' is winning.
I find it very amusing that a kid I can barely get up on school mornings has been a perky little busybody, outside for an hour already! He is trying to make an igloo. He's having fun, anyway!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A litle bit of craftiness over the weekend

I did a little bit of this...
...and a little bit of this...
...and some of this, too...
All in various stages of completion. Not to mention the 900 other things I have going at any given minute. I like to start new projects, what can I say? I promise to show FO when there are some actual FO's!
in other news:
  • Rumor has it that we are going to get some snow tomorrow! And while I usually never root for the white stuff, our winter has been so pathetic I would love for it to blanket us in it's crystalline white beauty. Then again, Thursday is GS cookie delivery day, and I will have to unload 50 cases of cookies out of the car. By myself. Gah.
  • It was report card week! My smartie girl got 2 A+'s and 6 A's (she's such an under achiever!) and my equally smart boy got high marks all across the board. He's had a rough semester behaviour-wise, so I was worried that it would be reflected in his grades. Lucky for him, it wasn't. Now he can sleep in the house with the rest of the family.
  • Starting to plan my SIL's baby shower. Emma spent hours looking at all the schnitzel available online that you can get personalized for showers. Obviously, she won't have access to the credit card or we would have more crap than we know what to do with! If anyone knows any good, fun baby shower games, pass them along! I'm trying to be more creative than baby bingo.
  • We went to a soccer warehouse sale this weekend, where we got 2 pair of cleats, one soccer ball, one mini ball, one pair of shinguards, one really nice pair of goalie gloves, one mens' track pants and one pair of shorts...all for under $100. Everything was 50-85% off. There were hundreds of people crammed into this tiny 'warehouse' of madness. Couldn't get out fast enough.
  • I'm hoping Bart can get the snowblower started...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Meal Plan

Way back at the beginning of the year I wrote some non-resolutions , with the first being to be on top of things. It's going well so far...I haven't missed any of those pesky teacher-work days, nor have I forgotten to sign and send in any permission slips.

One of the ways I am achieving my goal is having a bi-weekly meal plan. I sort of got the idea from Nicole, who is crazy and does an entire month at a time. (Ha! Just wait until her kids start developing weird eating habits or sign up for sports, then we'll see if she can still stick to a whole month pre-planned.) Then I put my own spin on it. Plan out the meals for 2 weeks, and do all the shopping at once.
Of course I do have to pop into the store to replentish milk and veggies and the occasional forgotten item, but I am not going to Kroger 5 times a week anymore! Therefore, I am saving my family money by taking unnecessary trips into the palace of delicious things.
Having the list written out and posted on the fridge also eliminates the constant questioning about what we are having for dinner. If you want to know, get up and see for yourself.

Also, the stress? Gone! I already know what's for dinner, so I don't need to try and figure it out at 5:30 each night. Far and away the best part of the whole deal!

And! The meals are interchangeable! If I should happen to not feel like cooking pot roast on Tuesday, I switch it with another days' meal. I already have the ingredients, so I'm covered. Helpful for nights when you notice that ham & pork loin are right next to each other. Whoopsie! (this might have happened this week.)

I forgot to build in a leftover day, always popular in these parts. You would think that I am scraping food out of the trash bin to feed them. I'm getting better at calculating proportions so we don't have as many leftovers, but some days are a total crapshoot. Some days Emma eats like a bird. Some days, like a horse. Hard to know which animal I'm going to get.

We are also eating better. I am buying less pre-prepared stuff and making things from scratch. Buying in bulk and then freezing stuff right away, like fruit and veggies. We drink a lot of smoothies and smoothie kits are expensive! So are veggies. And I never seem to have any in the house that aren't freezerburned beyond recognition.
Last week, we made homemade pizza from scratch. It wasn't the world's best za or anything, but Evan & I had a lot of fun kneading the dough, and cutting up all the ingredients. We know that next time we need to roll it thinner, use more sauce and double the cheese! We made it though, and that counts for something.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a letter to the world's most famous marmot

Dear Punxsutawney Phil,
Hello from Michigan! We are big fans of your species, and for years have loving called your brothers 'George'. We watch for you carefully whenever we are out about town, as there are many George's here.
Anyway, I understand that down there in Gobbler's Nob you saw your shadow today, which traditionally means that we should expect another six weeks of winter. Can we talk about this?
Winter has royally sucked this year in Michigan. I tried to find the exact statistics, but will have to rely upon my wits to tell you that we have had only 6" of the white stuff this year. Unacceptable! Winter is supposed to bring with it snow, so that kids may sled and snowboard and throw snowballs and build snow forts and drink unlimited amounts of hot cocoa. Instead, we have frigid temperatures and only enough slush to ditry the cuffs of my pants and keep my car in a constant state of filthiness. The world is grey and drab and not pleasing to look at one bit.
If we have to have six more weeks of winter, could we please have some of the fun that winter is supposed to bring, and not just the icky stuff?
In fact, I was thinking that maybe you are tired of all the media attention and are ready to retire to a warmer climate. I have a volunteer perfect for the job! His name is Fat Squirrel, and he loves to romp and play during the chilly days. Maybe we can count the inches of chub around his middle to determine how long winter will last...
Um...Phil...maybe we're not ready for you to retire just yet. According to FS, winter will last approximately 9 more weeks. I think someone needs to start his diet!