Thursday, January 29, 2009


Our mushroom kit has been busily growing. It said it would take 7-10 days to get started, so I didn't worry at first. But even at 10 days, there wasn't really anything there. Slowly, we got these little teeny, tiny spots. I figured they must be baby mushrooms, but they weren't much to look at. The packaging said they would double in size daily. Well... not at first. But then they got to a decent sort of size, as below:
And here they are today, 2 days later.
At first I thought the clump of mushrooms was the button type, but then they got bigger and browner and the lone mushroom popped up in the corner.  That one really did seem to pop up out of nowhere, so it must have at least doubled overnight!  We're still not exactly sure when they are "full grown" and ready to be picked, but probably by this weekend.
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

cats hindering posts

I'm sure you've noticed the distinct lack of posts recently.  It's not that nothing has been going on, but rather plenty has.  A big part of the issue has been demanding cats!  It seems as though every time I sit down, I end up with a cat in my lap (and sometimes both cats).  And they will stay for a good long while - yesterday I had both cats on me for at least an hour and a half, with one or the other on me for another hour.  I finally had to kick off a cat to get dinner fixed.

It is very pleasant to sit with cats.  I'm getting more reading done than I was for a while, and my lap is staying nice and toasty warm.  But its very hard to blog.  Even if/when they trap me at the computer, they tend to trap one arm such that I'm restricted to hunt and peck typing (which I despise!).

While both hands are currently unencumbered, I'll post a bit about our weekend.  

M took the SAT on Sat morning, for the Duke TIP program.  He wasn't too happy about giving up his Saturday morning for a test, but he was in good spirits when I picked him up.  I took him out for his choice of lunch (Sonic) and then dropped him off for a Scout trip to the Aquarium.  They spent the night there and saw all sorts of aquatic things.  I haven't actually heard too many details of the trip though (he's mad at me for all sorts of things - like making him print out his essay, fixing soup for dinner, not letting him sit on A, ...)

D and A worked on A's pinewood derby car on Saturday morning.  They got it all cut out and the wheels and axels straightened (or whatever it is that they do to them).  A still needs to sand his car and paint it.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Free-piecing Spring

I've been working on learning to free-piece letters, but its going slowly.  I've had several false starts on letters, with seams having to be ripped out - or even the whole letter restarted.  I finally got one whole word done, though.  And now I'm working on another word. It's actually half done (the easy half of course!)
My"I" is still shorter than the other letters (and tis was my second try already).  I haven't fully decided if I'm going to leave it like that or try to redo it.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Scenes from Christmas

Some scenes from Christmas vacation that I forgot to post earlier. Oops.

A and his cousin B in front of the tree.

D reading and cousin B playing with Barbie (I think).
Uncle I and M rocking out to Guitar Hero.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ice Skating with cousins

Before Christmas break ended we were finally able to get together with my cousin Charlie and his family.  Our first attempt was aborted due to his trip to the ER.  But a few days later, we all managed to get together to take the kids ice skating.

A was a little shaky at first and held on to the railing, but soon enough, he was skating out in the middle.  He still walks as much as skates, but he is getting better - and he got away from the wall quicker this year than last year.

M takes a quick spin with my mom.  She only went around the rink 2 times.  Then she said that was "enough".

Cousin Mac is skating here.  It's his first time on ice skates.  He's doing well by this point.  He says that ice skating is easier than roller skating.  A thinks so too.
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New Reading Pose

Yet another strange way to read.
I know I've posted other interesting poses that the kids get in for reading, but they never cease to find new ones I guess.
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Monday, January 05, 2009

geocaching in VA

While we were visiting in VA over the holidays, one day we went out geocaching. The first two caches we found relatively easily (one very easily), without really needing the GPS.

But then the next ones were in a much more wooded areas and further off the road - we would never have found them without the GPS.

We tramped around quite a while (and through some mud we didn't need to have gotten into), before we found this cache. It included a disposable camera to take a photo of ourselves with the rubber chicken. We took another with our camera.

Here's M getting really silly with the chicken.

For as big as this cache was, it was hidden really well - it took us a good while to find it.

The last cache had us scrambling up and down hills and ending up in someone's backyard before realizing that we needed to be on the other side of the river. It was getting dark by the time we finally found it. Cousin B was really excited to claim a pocketknife out of the cache (she left some Japanese yen that I'm sure someone else will be thrilled to find).

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Finished by Friday - I can finally show these

I actually finished these up before Christmas, but since they were presents for family who sometimes read this blog, I didn't want to spoil the surprise.

This is a tote bag I made for my MIL. It's lined and quilted. I used a sturdier twill for the bottom.

These are lined shopping bags I made for my 2 SILs. The lining on the pepper bag is really a shocking lime green, but it seemed to go so well with the peppers (and you don't see a lot of it at once) that it really seems to work.

I made these mostly from a pattern I found.  I didn't quite follow it exactly, though - on the blue one I made first I misinterpreted the pattern and made the handles more narrow.  Then when I made the second one I changed the way I did the bottom - I didn't do the gusset, I folded the bag on the inside and sewed crosswise to create more of a bottom (similar to the tote bag above).

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Polar Bear Plunge 2009

The intrepid plungers before:
They are shivering and telling us to hurry up and take the pictures!

and after:

Brrr! It was cold out there.

This was the 3rd annual polar bear plunge, but we missed the 2nd one last year somehow. M and D both participated in the first annual plunge in 2007. I think it was colder outside this year, but I'm not sure how much difference there was in water temperature. Both times it was awfully cold - colder than I'm interested in, for sure!

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Happy Blogaversary

Happy Blogging Anniversary to me! It's hard to believe that I've been blogging for 3 years now, but I checked and my first posts were 1/1/06. A is now the same age that M was then, but both kids did a much better job of staying up to watch the new year in. Back in 2006, they both conked out before 11. We were probably not playing exciting games back then, however.

This year, though, they were both going strong at midnight, wanting to stay up and play on the computer more. Nope. They were in bed by 12:15 and probably asleep soon after. M even slept in til after 9 this morning - unheard of around here.

For dinner we had a picnic of appetizers in the living room in front of the fireplace. Menu included pot stickers, cheese quesadillas, pizza rolls, carrot and celery sticks.

Then we listened to Capitol Steps - always a treat. After that it was time to break out the games. First up was the new game the kids got from Uncle D and Aunt K - Galaxy Trucker. It was lots of fun and we got to see some new twists in the game we hadn't seen the first time we played - like M and D each ran out of humans on their ship at one point (in different rounds) and had to sit out that round.

After Galaxy Trucker, we played a rousing game of Blokus. More fun and that took us reasonably close to midnight. We watched the ball drop and then on to bed.
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