Monday, August 10, 2009

Time Flies...

The days of May, June and July are all past us and August is almost half way gone. Time moves on so quickly and yet we sometimes spend our days wondering when they will end so we can get to tomorrow. How sad...

Let's see if I can recall the past few months... (with some help from the Project 365 notebook, of course!)

In May I took Kylie shopping for some new clothes. Her tastes run decidedly pop-punk with a smidge of goth. Chad had my wedding ring fixed. That was nice - it's been 3 years since I've been able to wear it. Jeremy is doing well with baseball. His team is ranked no. 1 and he's been mostly playing first base. They won their championship game and went to playoffs. I've been working on organizing photos so I can do some scrapbooking. It's been raining and raining and raining. The duck family in our pond had 13 ducklings. :D

June saw the end of the playoffs for Jeremy. The Braves were out of the tournament after their 3rd game. Still a great season! The kids' friends, John and Anna (from Brazil) left to go on vacation to Canada. I've been working on new curly dreads :D lately and installed them for the trip to MI. Went to Chad's 20yr high school reunion and Sheri's baby shower. Chad had some more work done on his tatoo while in Michigan - it's pretty awesome.

July I started my full-time training for a marathon I want to walk in December in Las Vegas. I don't know that we'll get there, but I'm training for it! Kylie stubbed her big toe and most of the nail popped right off. We suspect she'd injured it some time before and the nail was detached from the nail bed, which is why it wasn't as bad as she thought it'd be when we clipped it. Ouch! Once it was cleaned up, we noticed that a bit of nail was already growing back under the one we'd just taken off! How weird is that? I brought home a bunch of my mom's photo albums and have been sorting the pics and getting them out of those nasty magnectic books. yuck! I also learned to knit! I've made several scarves now :D And towards the end of the month we had a dust storm from Africa move in and gave us the most magnificent sunsets!

Now it's August and the kids are officially on summer break. With them off the books it's time for Mom to hit the books. I have begun an online class on the history of fashion, offered by a former professor from Alaska. I've always been a fan of her website - so much information! - and now I'm doing the self-study from one of her many classes.

That's the highlights. It's actually kind of sad that I can sum up the last few months in those three short paragraphs...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Life and Times - April edition

So, April has come and gone. Gone in a wink! Life keeps us busy :D

I've been working on sorting photos and going through old video tapes. Ah, memories! The kids grow up way, way too fast. One blink and poof! they've aged a dozen years. And so have we...

Jeremy wanted a baseball birthday again this year. So I recreated the field but this time around I made some fondant baseball players. What an adventure. I bought white, pre-made fondant and colored it myself. Then made a set of ball players in red jerseys and a couple in blue. Unfortunately, I made them way too tall and they wouldn't stand up. So I had to take them apart and chop up the pieces to make them a bit smaller and squatter, so they'd stand on their own. The cake was a hit. And Jeremy loves anything baseball. In fact, most every gift was related to baseball! Including a fancy new bat!

For Easter we did a quick egg-dying session, which was interrupted for several hours as Jeremy disappeared to play baseball with one of his friends. The next day the eggs were turned into a meal and the kids hunted for the plastic ones. Chad hid them even harder this year. Jeremy did a lot of crawling, Kylie not so much.

At the end of the month Chad and I went to Epcot. It's the Flower Festival so I was able to get some creative photos. It's not often Chad and I get to go anywhere so this was a real treat. We even splurged and had dessert in France!

Project 365 is going well. The scrapbook is all caught up, so I have to wait a couple weeks before I can scrap any more. But I am working on other scrapping projects, so I don't starve for creative outlets :D I also have several other projects in the works :D

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Life and Times - Mar 09 Edition

Did March start out like a lion or a lamb? I really can't recall. I do remember the weather being comfortable, so a lamb! :D

The month started out with a bang, everyone settling into the new RV and trying to remember where we put our things. Quite the adventure, that. It took a bit of fiddling but we managed to figure out the new stove/oven combo. Unfortunately, the oven doesn't have the correct knob, so we had to buy a temperature thing-a-ma-jig to hang in the oven. It takes forever to find the correct settings! The correct knob is still on order :(

Jeremy has been working on his pitching. We have a natural pitching mound at the base of our pine tree. Jeremy pitches from the tree, across the street, into the lot across from us. We have a home plate but no catchers gear. Dad has no problem catching, but I tend to get hit.

I've begun working on a new baby quilt. I'm using colors way outside my comfort zone, so we'll see how it turns out :)

I also started working on the gable hood for my Tudor gown project. I got as far as making the pattern for the gable and had to set it aside. I fear a bit more research is needed before I begin assembly. The directions I've collected so far are way more confusing than they need to be! And, since I'm busy with the aforementioned baby quilt, I really don't have the spare time!

Project 365 is still going strong. Unfortunately, I missed a day this month :(

About mid-month Chad had some time off so we went on a little trip to Manatee Springs State Park. It was utterly beautiful! We were too late to see the manatees but that afforded Chad and the kids the opportunity to swim in the springs - at a constant temperature of 72 degrees...brrr...that's a bit chilly really! But the water was just to beautiful to ignore. We also chose this park for it's many mountain biking trails. We rode lots of trails, some made of sand :( and some cut through the woods on hard pack :) We even got to climb down into a sink hole! A small one, but you could see the damage. It made an interesting topic of conversation and an impromptu school lesson!

March is the height of strawberry season here in Florida and we made sure to get our fill. I think we ate a quart a day for 3 weeks straight! And not once did we make shortcake - can you believe it? Towards the end of the month the berries started showing signs of decay :( I wish I could have made some freezer jam, but there's just no space for it in a RV!

We had a surprising early morning visitor this month. A clearly disillusioned red-headed woodpecker came knocking in the dusky hours of dawn. He was quite confused when he couldn't get his breakfast out of our RV windows! I caught him flitting from the pine tree along side the trailer onto the windowpane directly opposite. He must have assumed the reflection to be another tree! Alas, nothing to be gained there! I managed to grab the camera and catch him in the act and then he went on his way. Silly woodpecker!

The kids had a sleepover with their friends. This would not have been possible in the old RV, but the new one has much more space. We ordered pizza, had some rice krispie treats and ice cream. They played games, went swimming, watched a movie and had a great time.

The day before Chad's birthday he took Jeremy and a couple of his friends to the pre-season Braves/Red Sox game at Disney's Wide World of Sports. We were only able to get the tickets because Jeremy's old coach had tickets he wasn't going to be able to use. So we lucked out and Jeremy got to experience a Major League Baseball game.

And on the last day of the month we celebrated Chad's birthday. I gave him a few choices for his birthday cake/dessert and he chose my Blueberry Torte (yum!) He had a huge pile of gifts to open and instead of opening them as soon as he got home, he made the kids wait until after dinner. He said it gave us something to look forward to, but I think he used that time to study the packages and figure out what they were before he opened them. He does that. And he did it again. The only thing he didn't figure out was the item wrapped in a gift bag! We got him a nice soft foot stool (so he won't use my step ladder), a new rice cooker, and some lights to add to his outdoor kitchen.

All in all it was a good month. We kept pretty busy, as usual, because the time just flew right on by. Baseball is already half over now. Spring is passing into summer, the days, and the nights, are getting hotter.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Life and Times - Feb 09 edition

The month of February came and went without the internet. I could say I got a lot done without it, but I'm also way behind because I didn't have it!

February saw the beginning of spring training. Jeremy was NOT placed in the majors after all. They had too many boys sign up so they took the youngest players and moved them down. There were 8 students who were moved down to minors. Jeremy was only slightly dissapointed, but I have to say that Chad and I were quite happy with that decision. Unfortunately, Jeremy didn't get his old coaches team. A new coach drafted him and was quite unwilling to trade him back to the other coach! At first Jeremy didn't understand, but now he knows how the drafting system works.

We've had practice 3 nights a week all month and Jeremy has been doing very well. It looks like he'll be playing mostly 3rd and 1st base, and may even get some pitching in!

His first game was on the 28th. And would you believe it? His team (the Braves) had to play against his old coach - the RedSox! It was quite interesting. Chad and I were cheering for both teams :D At one point, Jeremy's friend Jacob was pitching to him and they just kept smiling at each other! It was so funny! In the end, the Braves won 9 to 1. Jeremy made a great play at 3rd base, tagging out a runner that was trying to steal. Even the RedSox coaches congratulated him on such a great play!

The second biggest event of the month was the most traumatic. Our RV was totalled by the insurance company! One of the exterior walls popped open and when we made the claim they said the repairs cost more that the RV was valued, so they would not pay for it and forced us to relinguish the RV by the end of the month. So we had about 8 days to find a new RV or apartment or other home option, get all the necessary paperwork arranged, and orchestrate the move from one to the other as smoothly as possible. In the end we bought a 5th wheel trailer rather than a motorized coach. Mainly because we couldn't find a motor coach within our budget. But the new trailer is very nice, with 3 slide outs to give us an actual living room/dining room space, a bit bigger kitchen, and a bunkhouse with a 1/2 bath for the kids.

Jeremy made a new friend here in the park this month. Kane and his sister Nicole visit us every day after school and spend most of the weekend at our new lot. It's unfortunate that they will be moving in March. Donovan, Jeremy's friend from Oregon, will also be leaving mid-March. It will be a sad day when they are gone. :(

We DJed the Valentines Dinner Dance again this year. A couple ladies made sure to find us and give us very detailed lists of the music they would prefer! It was very helpful, to be sure. The dancing couples were very grateful to have some of their favorites. It definitely made the evening more enjoyable for us, since we didn't have everyone complaining about the music!

Instead of going out for Valentines Day (since we were DJing the dance) Chad and I sent the kids to Wendy's Sunday night for a sleep-over and we went to Universal to see The Village People at the mardi gras celebration. I enjoyed the concert, but I was more enthused with the parade and the fabulous costumes everyone was wearing!

I made a new wig this month. I think it's a bit too punk-teenager for me. I like it, but just not on me - so I doubt I'll ever wear it. I'll probably list it for sale on my fake hair community. I know they'll snap it up. I also finished a set of dread falls for Erica. She gave me the hair back in October and I'm just now finished. Of course, cutting my hand in Jan. didn't help - but by then I'd had most of them done. There were just too many other things I needed to get done. I'm not wearing dreads this month. The last ones were so heavy I needed the break. Maybe next month?

**CORRECTION** I finished all the embroidery on my Tudor forepart in February, not January as previously posted. I'm sure I was confused because I posted January's update just after completing it. :P But that's okay - I don't mind sharing it again :P

As far as Project 365 goes, I haven't missed a day yet. I did sometimes not get around to taking the picture during the day, but I always took it first thing the next morning so they stayed in order. I know that's fudging it a bit, but the spirit of the challenge is still there, right?

I celebrated my birthday this month by making some gingerbread-chocolate chip muffins and spending the day with the family. I recieved many wishes for a great birthday and I thank all of you for your thoughts, cards, emails, phone calls, and gifts. A couple days later, on Chad's day off, we went to BD's Mongolian for lunch. The waitress made me a lovely hat from tinfoil and the manager made me an ice cream sundae! Yum! :D

This month's edition is a bit out of order, but that's pretty much the gist of it. Perhaps March will be a bit more entertaining?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The life and times - Jan 09 edition

First and foremost: my computer has a virus or two...or three... and they can't be cleaned until the next update, which I cannot get until I renew my internet security. So, until then, I have to use Chad's computer. Which means very little internet use for me and no pictures in any of my journals, blogs, websites, or online photo books. :( This is also why I've decided to make monthly posts to hit the highlights. If you can't read the whole thing, skimming works- I've highlighted some bits for you. And if you don't have time for that - well, then, you need to slow down a little! Go smell some roses...or coffee...or whatever it takes to relax!

On to the happenings:

I've taken the Project 365 Challenge! Which means, ultimately, that I will have even more pictures to deal with at the end of this year. But I'm really enjoying it! The process is sure to challenge me as well as improve my current level of artistry. So far this year I've only missed 2 days, but I did remember the next morning so I was able to take a photo to represent the previous day. I haven't been able to use my Rebel for this project yet because my memory card is full. I don't erase them because it causes damage to the card. I just file them with the CDs for each year and purchase a new card. But, I have yet to purchase said card so I've had to use the little Sony CyberShot we bought for K a couple years ago. It's a pretty good camera for outdoor shots, but take it indoors and you don't get anything worth exclaiming over. So I'm hoping to get my new memory card soon so I can use my big camera and really start challenging my skills!

Baseball season has begun here - a whole 4 weeks earlier than last year! Tryouts were the last Monday of the month. J has a new coach this year as he is now in the majors. His team this season is the Braves. He has a set practice schedule 3 days a week until the official opening of the season at the end of February. His first game will be Feb. 28th! Hopefully one of the 4 coaches will keep the stat book so I can sit back and enjoy the games!

Swim Team has been put on hold due to moving back to the RV and the lack of liquid assets. K doesn't seem to be too put out over it. She's been having sleepovers with her friend just about every other week since we got back from MI over Christmas. But now that we're in the RV they won't be having them quite as often since we can't have the kids here. The RV barely fits 4 so 6 would be insane! Maybe we could get permission for a tent?? She's also been asking me about make-up lately. One particular day she even begged me to put some eyeliner on her! They grow up so fast... I gave her a short lesson and explained that with her amazing lashes she didn't need much liner. I put just a touch on the lower lashline and she was happy.

Sheraton Vista Resorts has gone the way of most vacation ownership companies - downhill. Chad has left Sheraton and gone to Hilton. After two weeks of training he hit the floor running. He's had two sales so far, which is great. I just wish the payout was a bit quicker. They have a really weird pay schedule, but their daily bonus schedule is pretty nifty. Chad seems to like the job quite well and is excited to finally be seeing tours with some potential.

I've been working really hard on getting the embroidery done on my Tudor forepart (fancy skirt that shows through the slit in the top skirt). Finally, after a little over 120 hours of embroidery, the skirt is finished. With the embroidery anyway. I'm still debating the addition of "oes" (the original sequin), which would require at least another 120 hours of meticulous hand sewing. And then it will need to be lined and a waistband attached, as well as hooks and eyes to attach it to the petticoat. Whew! I'm glad it's done! On to another project...

The Intrepid hit it's infamous "80,000 mile curse" a few miles early. Luckily for us! I know you're thinking - "lucky?" but yes, we were lucky. Half the parts were covered by warranty! But only until 80,000 miles! Hah! So, $2000 later and only 200+ miles left of the warranty, we're watching the car like a hawk and taking it back to the shop for anything! Next on the fix-it list is the truck. I don't think we'll be quite so lucky with that one.

As a last little tidbit, I tried a new recipe that seemed dubious to me but was a huge hit - even with J! I couldn't believe he ate it! It was a homemade "salsa" but turned out more like a salad, but you eat it with tortilla "scoops". It's made with black beans, cucumber, red onion, yellow pepper, jalapeno pepper, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and cumin. It was sooooo good! J has asked when I'm going to make it again! That's when you know you've got a keeper :D

And that's January, not quite in a nutshell, but, there it is. :P