Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

HELP!!!

I love my family dearly BUT family time is starting to get to me. It all started off with the snow day the Friday before Christmas. Then it was the cold weather - we couldn't get outside. Then the holidays - wonderful time - seriously! I really enjoyed being with the families. We visited and had a really good time.

BUT I AM TIRED OF DISNEY MOVIES! Wall-E, KungFu Panda, Rattatoili, Tinkerbell....

I AM TIRED OF BEING WITH MY CHILDREN 24/7 (Please don't think horribly of me - I love them BUT they would try the patience of the Saints!!!)

I AM TIRED OF WII!

Ian is starting to whine about when he gets to go back to school. I feel his pain! He wants to see his friends - again, I feel his pain.

Tomorrow...
  • I am going to start a book from the nightstand (I need to show you a picture of how many books I have been collecting to read during the last year).
  • I am going to my craft room and I am going to CREATE! (Actually, I am going to finish some projects that have already been created, but not quite finished!)
  • I am going to go outside NO MATTER what the temperature! I don't think I will have to do much convincing to get the older son out on the snow shoes.
  • I am going to finish the Noro striped scarf that everyone is making.
What do you think? Think it is possible?

Take care everybody.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Fun Day

We have been stuck inside for several days now. I think the last day I sent the boys outside to play was Friday. It's been just too darn cold! A bit of cabin fever was setting in - we all needed a some "fresh" air.

Zoe and the kids battled the cold and made the trek to our house yesterday. The boys had fun playing together.


We had an excellent time playing Wii. We tried out almost every game. We were so good at American Idol that E. needed needed ear protection!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

39 Times Around the Sun

Today I have been around the sun 39 times. I don't want to seem like an "ole fart", but where have the last 15 gone?


This is a picture of me when I was about 4. I'm the blond with the big hair in the back- the brunette in the front is my cousin. It was her birthday.

In celebration of my birthday this year, I decided to write 39 "things" that I have learned so far in my life. They are in completely random order. Here goes.....
  1. Icicles are meant to be eaten.
  2. The feeling of mud squishing between my toes is luscious.
  3. A boot kicked in the basement is likely to go through a window.
  4. The smell of baby poop isn't really that bad (when it is your baby).
  5. Fresh is almost always better.
  6. Read a little bit everyday.
  7. It's ok to have guilty pleasures (reading People, listening to 80's big hair music).
  8. Eat outside as much as possible in the summer. The food tastes so much better.
  9. People watch. You'll learn a lot about what is going on around you.
  10. Say Hi to at least 3 people you don't know everyday - advice from Ma Kelly a really cool prof. at UW-FdL. You'll feel better and more connected.
  11. Chocolate - dark chocolate - do I need to say more?
  12. Try this. Take some spearmint lifesavers outside at night and crunch them between your teeth with another person watching for the sparks. Too cool!
  13. Catch lightening bugs with your kids.
  14. Read everyday to your kids. It makes a difference.
  15. I have never stopped learning from my Mom and Dad.
  16. It's nice to have snoring on the other side of the bed (most nights).
  17. Fresh strawberries right from the field, still warm from the sun are delicious.
  18. Don't eat too many of those fresh strawberries from the field - yucky stuff happens.
  19. Be open to new experiences.
  20. Friends arrive in your life when you really need them.
  21. People say mean words that really hurt sometimes.
  22. People say words that warm your heart and make your soul soar!
  23. Apologize, even if it kills you and try not to have the last word.
  24. Hot pizza, right out of the oven, will ALWAYS burn your mouth. Ditto on a nice hot cup of coffee.
  25. Hair grows.
  26. Choose your words wisely in a "discussion" or you will be doing #23.
  27. In-laws really aren't that bad.
  28. Take 5 minutes for yourself everyday - even if it means locking the bathroom door with the kids on the other side, knocking and saying "Mom.....Mom.....Mom.....".
  29. My Mom still makes the best grill-cheese sandwich. Actually my mom makes the best of quite a few foods.
  30. Jeans that fit are hard to find when you don't want to deal with your body image. Ditto for swimsuits, bras.....
  31. Big water (the ocean, Great Lakes) is energizing for me.
  32. I love the beach.
  33. Listen, really listen when people are talking and when they aren't.
  34. Gardening (playing in the dirt) is important to me.
  35. Wear your seat belt. You never know what is going to happen when you are in a vehicle.
  36. Sitting under a hair dryer is one of the most relaxing things on Earth. When I was little my mom had a dryer with a cap that I got to wear when my hair got "set". I still love sitting under the dryer at the salon when I get my hair "done". It's quiet and warm.
  37. The smell of babies is best for me right in the crook of the neck. Hmmmm.
  38. I try to appreciate my husband for who he is (even though he drives me insane at times).
  39. Get a hobby. Doesn't matter what it is. Just get one so that you have something that makes you feel good about yourself and fills in some of your "empty" time with happiness.
So that's that. I'm going to go play games with my students and eat out with my family tonight because on my birthday everyone celebrates!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

SNOW DAY!!!!

I woke up at 4:50 this morning and looked outside. It had snowed a little bit - at least, I thought it was a little bit. It was very dark and I didn't have my glasses on, so I turned on the t.v. Several of the schools that I was supposed to go to were closed already. I waited for 30 minutes for my last school to close and turned off the t.v.

Ah a day off! I actually have had two days off, but that's another story.

The deck is cleared off . The laundry is folded. Now it is time to play.

Yummy, Yummy fiber.

Another hint. I've wanted one - not necessarily this one, but the Craftacular was very good to me and with the rest I had saved.....

I bought this. Yesterday, I went to Susan's Fiber Shop. I tried out several and finally decided on the Sonata. I had it working yesterday while I was there, but when I tried it last night. I couldn't get the bobbin to load the yarn. I just need to keep trying. I'm excited!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A little bit of snow

My helper has been outside for about 30 minutes sweeping snow from the deck. He was outside throwing the ball for the dog and decided to help out because we are supposed to get more snow tonight. He wanted to make it easier for me tomorrow morning. Check out the socks peeking out of the boots. Do you have any idea what they might be? He found some "Christmas stockings" downstairs. They are stockings that you would hang on a hearth, if you had one. I guess they are the right fit and thickness for snow boots and sweeping.

A Nice Long Weekend

We had a wonderful, long weekend. We seemed to pack a lot into 4 days.

Simon's birthday was on Thanksgiving this year. He had an airplane cake and his favorite - home-made mac and cheese. There was also turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, beans, and sweet potato souffle. BUT the mac and cheese was the best - according to him.

The boys played with some birthday gifts under the food table while the adults digested -I mean rested after eating.
We went to Capaul's Tree Farm to get our tree on Friday. We had it cut and decorated by noon! Ian got to video the process this year. It will be interesting to watch what he took.


We went to the Christmas Parade in Beloit. We had tons of fun. The boys were in the front row when Santa got off the fire truck. Their eyes got as big as saucers. Then, Santa turned on the downtown Christmas tree and the parade started. There were some wonderful floats decorated with lights and people.

I have most of my Craftacular items finished, priced and in the "box". I'm going to continue to work on the little socks. If only big socks went this fast!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Class Reunion

Last Saturday night was my 20th class reunion. Did I go? Naw... Did I send pictures for the "20th Reunion" DVD? Nah, who wants to see me 20 years later? Well, I just viewed the video somewhere on the internet and I'm feeling......It's hard to describe.

High school was not the best part of my life. I am not one of "those" people who believe that nothing better would come after I graduated from school (Here were lots of pic's of those people on the video). It was the next step after junior high and the last step before college. But I feel.....

In high school, I was quiet, kind of dorky, but had a passion for fairness and what it right, big picture right, morally right. I was a fairly good student and had few friends. I am still friends with one person from that time in my life. I was a "good kid". I had a drive, but was afraid, of what? Life? What other people thought? What my parents thought? Failure?

Ok, so I'm still quiet in new situations, and I'm still dorky -I admit it. I like to dance to music on the radio or tv by myself or infront of other people. I like music, movies, books and stuff that very few others like. I still fight for what is fair and push people to think about uncomfortable "things" in different ways - too see the situation from a different view point. Some would even say I am opinionated. I have a few friends who I love to spend time with doing whatever it is that we do to amuse ourselves.

I like who I have become - most days I am very comfortable in the skin I'm in. I am I'm a work in progress, hopefully getting better every day. I'm cool with that.

So why do I feel this way?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Little Pleasures

Quiet after a day of too much fun.
I heart these little stockings. They have been so much fun to make and a part of the Craftacular "booty".

Simon got a new haircut. It is really, really short. We are hoping it will keep him from pulling out the little bits that he has been doing for a while. He also has to watch any tv or movies in his underwear. When I went out to the living room, he was laying on the couch Fred Garvin style watching Wallace and Gromit.

Now it's time to get some clothes on "Fred" and go outside for awhile.

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's done

The next stage in writing my final project is done - well the draft was just emailed to my adviser for proofing!

Ahhhh, that feels good.

Now for the weekend - quiet house (boys gone, Kal gig), sewing with Stephanie, reading (for pleasure and for school), and loafing around!!!

I'm so ready for this weekend.

Enjoy everyone!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

6 Random Things...

A while back I was tagged by Stephanie to comment on 6 random "things" about myself. Well, here goes:
  • I am terrified of chickens. I have always been - especially when they fly up and fluff their feathers and put their legs out like they are going to attack you. They make this horrible racket and feathers fly every where...I only pretend to be brave around them now when I am with the boys because this is really irrational.
  • I hiked most of the Chilcoot Trail in 1998 with a friend. It was one of the routes used during the Alaskan gold rush starting in Skagway, AK to the gold of the Klondike. We got as far as the 10,000 stairs area (not literally anymore - stairs were cut in the snow during the winter to aid the prospectors in getting up and over the pass) and my friend couldn't go any further. I haven't been on any major hikes since then.
  • I learned to knit six years ago. I learned to crochet in 4-H eons ago - I wasn't a very good crocheter BUT think I am a fairly good knitter though.
  • There was a time when I wanted to quit teaching to become a trained chef/baker. I wanted to go to the American Culinary Institute in New York. I didn't do it though. I guess I like teaching work hours better.
  • I am a morning person - love it.
  • I am a semi-earth mother. I do take remedies and try to eat naturally. I try to buy healthy and local BUT it is hard. Don't get me wrong, we eat our fair share of McDonalds, boxed food and we do see a traditional doctor. I wish it was easier (read less expensive) to buy healthy food and use holistic medicine.
Well, there it is. I think it is pretty random, don't you think. If you want to play along go ahead.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Task Master

Here's my task master for getting projects done for the Craftacular on December 6th at the Masonic Temple in Madison (shameless plug. I will be sharing a booth with Zoe and Stephanie). I mentioned that I needed to spend some time in the craft/guest room every day this weekend. Well, I was there for a while Friday morning, today and who knows about tomorrow, BUT I'm pretty sure my little guy will be reminding me to "go downstairs and get some work done".

Seriously though, if you are going to be in the Madison area and want to go to a craft show. Try the one on December 6th at the Masonic Temple. I hear it is going to be a good one!!

Halloween

It was a perfect Halloween. The boys didn't have to wear jackets over their costumes. We walked up the street, but didn't ask for candy at many places. Ian was mostly looking for buddies from school to yell "hey....". He had fun though. They also went treat-or-treating at Heidi's work.
It was warm enough to have a fire and hand out candy outside this year. Heidi and Gerry came over to enjoy the evening with us.

ps. Happy Birthday Dad.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Peticure

Part of last night's dinner conversation.....

Me: I'm going to meet Anne for a girl's day.
K: When?
M: November 14th. We are going to meet in Beaver Dam for pedicures.
Simon: Beaver Dam?
M: Yup.
S: Why are you taking Eddie (the cat) and Shadow (the dog) to Beaver Dam for petacures? What ARE you going to do to them?

Halloween party

We went to a Halloween Party on Saturday afternoon. It really was a lot of fun for the kids and the adults. There were lots of games, prizes and all of the money went to a good cause - UNICEF. The haunted house was a hit with the older two boys.

Here are some pics that the kids took.

Spidey

A good one of Simon smiling (maybe E should come and take our family pictures)

A happy one of Zoe

Me

And one of Ian being just "too cool"

Friday, October 24, 2008

Week in review

We had a very busy week. Man was it busy. On Saturday, we carved some of our pumpkins. We had fun deciding what designs we were going to use. Ian did his all by himself. Simon has some "issues" with textures and wasn't going to put his hand inside the pumpkin, so I cleaned it out and he drew the design. Kal spend 3 hours - I'm not exaggerating - cleaning and carving his pumpkin. I only have a picture of the process. I'll have to get a pic of the pumpkins lit up at night before they get all mushy.


Now, please don't email me about this picture. Ian thought Eddie needed a Halloween costume. Our cat Ray, used to love (ok not love - tolerate) being dressed up, so it is only logical in a 6 year old's mind that Eddie would also like to dress up. Let's see...what do you think?

Our biggest event of the week was Ian's 6th birthday. He chose fruity rice crispies as his cake. When he woke up, he asked me 3 times if it was"really" his birthday. I kept saying yes. When he finally got out of bed, he came to the kitchen and said, "I really do feel bigger today!"

On the paper front, I took my IRB quiz (required by the university) and passed SO now I need to write up my proposal for the research. As Dorie (in Nemo) says, "Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming."

This weekend promises more fun - crafting, a Halloween party, and hockey!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

How do you spell relief?

Three more papers emailed to my advisor for my lit. review (only three more to go) BUT now I can start my IRB. That's a great big YEAH for me everyone!!

Now to go enjoy what is left of the day!

The pumpkin farm

We started our day at the Blue Spoon in Prairie du Sac yesterday. The boys love the restaurant and always order pancakes with syrup when we are there for breakfast. After we ate, we walked by the Wisconsin River.

Kal tried to show his prowess at skipping stones. He was pretty good, but Ian thought it was more fun to try to see which rock made the biggest splash.

There was lots of graffiti under the bridge. Kal said too bad he didn't bring a can of paint - he would paint "Kari + Kal" (I heart him). Sage advice was given from Ian. He didn't think it was a good idea because the police could come and get him for vandalism. Simon's advice was a bit more practical - he would have to buy a longer ladder than what he had at home.

Green Thumb Farm was fun. They had all kinds of "stuff" that the boys really enjoyed - a huge side down an elevator (the kind used to get hay into the mow), a bounce house, corn maze, apple chunking, animals.......

Ian was determined to get his apple to go the furthest. I heard that it went out of the field (I was in the port-o-potty with Simon).

All in all we had a wonderful day. I heard the boys talking about it this morning before they got out of bed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What's your favorite cereal?

Here's part of the supper conversation:

S: Hey... They served ertmeal (oatmeal) for breakfast today.
M: Really.
S: Yup. I pushed it far, far away. (You have to visualize his face all scrunched up and the arms pushing a bowl).
M: So how was it?
S: I didn't eat that stuff (attitude). I tried in S's room and it tasted like horse!

At which point Kal and I burst out laughing. Simon looked at us like we were crazy!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ahhh...quiet

Ahhhh. It's quiet, finally....Kal took the boys to swimming today. I have approximately 1.5 hours of no testosterone. Now don't get me wrong. I love all of the men in my house BUT today was a challenge. Two young boys were stuck in the house while it rained. They kept themselves busy (getting out Christmas decorations) and building a city around said decorations in my sewing room while I finished some bed buddies. They cleaned up the Christmas village and followed me upstairs, where the oldest male in the house kept turning up the volume of the football game because the youngest two were too loud.

I've decided to participate in Sockoberfest. As you can see I won't be doing the mystery socks or starting anything new. I have four partial pairs of socks - 2 pairs with one finished and 2 with one almost finished. They are all generic socks. I am going to keep them in that cute little bag for the month and see what I can accomplish knitting wise.

Ok, I'm going to go enjoy the quiet.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Trip to the park

On our way to the park was a huge pile of dirt...

A construction site...

Some rocks to put on the back of the bike (This was in front of a retirement home. Several people gathered to watch Simon "load" the rocks").....

The rose bushes near the park on the way home....

And the big pile of dirt again!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sooo.....

I've debated blogging about Ian's school year. He loves school and as a typical boy he likes recess, gym, music, and art. He is a boys boy. I'm not making any excuses because I know my son. I know he is wiggly and can be loud (he is my son after all), but he is also kind, smart and knowledgeable about sharks (a great life skill).

In my eyes, he has had a rough start. He has been in the quiet room too many times (my opinion) for a kindergartner. He has been saying, "I don't know what's wrong with me?" a lot. When we talk about it, he always says he is doing things "wrong". I have spend many minutes assuring that how he is doing it is not wrong, just different.

I'm the one with the problem. I am a teacher, a special ed. teacher, so I know when kids are struggling they need help. I'm the one who provides the help....

A couple of days ago, we got a letter saying that he would be in a reading group 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes to help him with literacy skills - naming letters, matching letters and sounds and other literacy "stuff". This is not news to me. I knew that he wasn't ready for that part of kindergarten, but it makes me sad. I didn't think he was that far behind....

I have sat "on the other side of the table" for many years talking with parents regarding the areas of need for their child need. It is so different being the parent, especially when no one has talked to you. When all of the information you have received came in a letter.

How do I become the advocate for my child that I coach other parents to be for their child or that I do for their children?

I know that Ian needs this. I have to try not to feel guilty that I didn't "teach" him enough before he started school. And maybe that's it. I feel guilty for not spending the time on those skills with him. It will get better. He is a smart resilient kid.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Uber weekend

Ahhh. You hear that. That was my weekend with friends quilting, sewing, and laughing. I haven't laughed so much in such a long time - about what? Anything and everything.

We sewed (a lot), enjoyed the sunshine, took a little walk around the labyrinth. It was just plain ole fun with friends.

I got two quilt tops almost finished (just need the borders), sewed on a binding, and made a bag (no pics of those either :). Oh and I won a chicken pin cushion!

I'm going to say it one more time. I had a great, relaxing, fun weekend. Thanks, ladies.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pin cushion and thread catcher

I saw these made up at the Quilt Expo and wondered if I could make one. In fact, my Mom and her friend Judy were commenting on them and I said I would just pay the $14 that the shop was charging and get one.

Well, when I got home I checked the wonderful world wide web and wouldn't you know I found a pattern (of course I made my own modifications). I made one for my Mom, one for Judy, one for an exchange and 3 for the quilting weekend coming up.

Now, I'm off to eat something I probably shouldn't this late at night.

Note to self.....

Dear Self,
Next time you decide to pull weeds, take a look around, especially in the season of wasps, bees, flies or anything that stings. Do not keep pulling one more until the wasps have themselves worked up into a fury! Your hand will hurt when the wasps decide to defend his sacred space - it will hurt like you know what and the neighbors do not need to hear you swear at the top of your lungs.
Take care,
me

I was going to include a picture of the wasps' sacred space in the the flower garden BUT I'm not going out there again until dark and it will be with a can of spray.

On other fronts, I think I am working out of my funk. I am super busy and I'm dealing with it by doing nothing! I haven't worked on my paper, which I really need to do. I'm going to clean out my car so that I don't have any excuses not to work on the darn thing when I have a minute here or there during the day instead of knitting or reading a book.

I have cleaned the house (well the kitchen, living room and bathroom - the rooms that really count).Tried to weed. Took two boys to Kohl's and to get haircuts. They had to try their new shirts on today at Kohl's, they saw some bigger boys using the dressing room and also had to use it. It was the coolest feeling standing outside the dressing room, knocking on the door asking,"Does it fit? Can I see?" and the two of them modeling the new clothes for me. I didn't dare ask the older one to try on the new pants, that would have been pushing my luck.

Now I am going to put the binding on this blanket that got immediately put into service last week even though it was only quilted.
Do you think our house might be a little warm right now?

Take care, k

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I've been good

We went to the sheep and wool festival on Saturday. The boys were so excited to see the baby lambs but very disappointed that they could not touch them. They did get to touch other sheep though.... Ian tried to touch a very handsome ram that promptly slammed his horns into the stanchion (what do you call the cage that sheep are in at a fair?), sending him into hysterics. He was so scared after that. I guess that ram had had enough of people trying to touch him.

I want you all to know that I did not buy a wheel. Oh there were many, beautiful wheels (like the birds eye maple one hmm) BUT I didn't do it. I know that I need to take a class or go to a shop that will let me try one out for a little bit. I know, I know, but the temptation... I bought two really cool bowls (if I could find the card I would post it. She has an etsy shop.... maybe it is still in my purse) and two skeins of yarn. Wow I was good!

Last night, we went to the soccer fields near our house to launch the rocket. I have to admit that it was a lot of fun. We sat on the grass talking about our day - the boys and I did, Kal was busy getting the rocket to fly - just having fun relaxing.

Kal had the hardest job! I got to goof around with the boys between launches.

Have a good night everyone.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A day of firsts

Simon went to daycare by himself today. He was not very happy about it. It's weird. In 3 1/2 years, Ian has always been there. He went to a new classroom and was happy by the time I left him.

Here is the kindergartner. He was soooo excited. He went to school for a partial day and was impressed with his classroom and the gym! Then he spent the rest of the day with his dad. They went shopping (for themselves - toys) and swimming.

People were asking me all day how I felt about Ian going to kindergarten - if I was sad or if I cried. All I could say was that I didn't cry and I wasn't sad like I was when he first went to daycare. I cried and cried then. Oh I was devastated that day. BUT today it was more like a melancholy feeling, a non-descript feeling sad. A knowing that he is moving on. He is growing and learning and I know that I will be a part of that. I am excited for him, his world is opening even bigger. I can't wait to hear his new stories, but he is growing up. Luckily for me, it will be a while before he leaves the house!