Something So Big

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cute Things They Say, the Wynne Edition

"I want to go to the zoo and see the pecans!!" --Wynne, age 4, referring to the peacocks at Vilas Park

"Look, Mom! You have bumps on your hand just like Grandma!"--Wynne, referring to the veins on the backs of my hands

"Wynne has a chubby butt!" --Paige, 7, teasing her baby sister
"That's not very nice to say." --Me (the mom)
"Yeah, Paige. Mom has the most chubbiest butt of all!" --Wynne

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer Daze

As the new school year comes zooming in on us, the remaining summer days have been a blur. Last weekend was our season opener at Pioneer Stadium!

Cy worked really hard the other day. It was HOT!

The kids are pretty fun to talk to, when you get a chance to visit with them one-on-one. Paige found out that Uncle Joe is a pretty fun guy, too.

Ally kept busy taking rushing stats. Fortunately most of them were on OUR team's side!

Unfortunately, most of the penalty yards were also on our side. Coach had plenty to talk about!

The Chieftain offense has a nice blend of pass and run...

...and we came out on top, 34-0!

Even the water boy needs hydration :)

A "W" always makes for a happier weekend!

Football season is super-busy for an already-busy guy. But he managed to get our new playground mulch spread and installed a smaller (more manageable) sandbox.

I don't know if you noticed our little lady in her pj's at 4:00 in the afternoon. That was after changing out of her church dress and into some other outfit. (I think she averages 4 clothing changes a day.) Just right for apple-picking though, right Wynne?

Shae and Paige set up their own "town" on the basketball court for bike riding. They are excellent cyclists. One of our dreams is to make a big paved path around the whole place. Wouldn't that be awesome??

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good.--Romans 12:9

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wacky Water Wars

Cy planned out a boys vs. girls water fight birthday party the other night. Everyone was instructed to bring a change of clothes and their own water weapon!!

Maddy, Catherine, and Paige get ready for the big showdown.

Shae took a turn on the big slip & slide that Mark put up! (Thanks Grandpa Donny!)

Cy explained the "rules" to both sides. Then he fielded questions for about half an hour. (This after days of me urging him to get the game all figured out and written down ahead of time! Oh well; sometimes it's best to learn on the job.)

My best picture of the girls team: Ally, Claire, Maddy, Catherine, Paige, and Shae (Wynne and Kate not pictured).

The boys team (clockwise from lower left): Mitchel, Cy, Nolan, Noah, Will, Alex, Gabe, and Brady.

Injured reserve list for the boys team: Garrison. Hidden under his Thomas towel, he fell asleep before the actual hide-and-seek-and-get-wet part began. He wasn't injured, but he was very tired. Poor thing!

The boys looking for the girls' "power" (blue plastic tube things that Cy called "the power". Each team had to hide two of them, then try to find the other team's "Powers" and take them back to their home base. Cy's only rules were "you can't bury it, and you can't go in the pasture". Um, that leaves us like, uh, 7 acres. No biggie.

After half an hour of nobody finding anyone's "power", we took a break for pizza and Doritos. I told each team to give the other team a clue in the form of a riddle. Claire, Ally, and Maddy tried to figure out what the boys meant by "You'll find me at Mount Rushmore."

After another 30 minutes, the boys managed to find one of the girls' powers. It was getting late and everybody wanted this cake, so we called it a night!

Cy's sisters and I had fun making this water park-slash-water fight cake. Complete with Lifesaver mint inner tubes! That's supposed to be Wynne in the middle of the cake (blonde girl swimming) while Cy is in the foreground blasting his big water bazooka.

We combined the girls' Polly Pocket slides with Cy's Legos to create one amazingly accurate rendition, didn't we? There's Ally sliding down on a tube while I sit back and relax on the lounger. (Okay-that last part is not very realistic, as even I, Slacker Mom, could not just sit there and watch as my kids were swimming in the deep water.)

Too bad they don't make Lego wine coolers. That Mom's right hand is just waiting for one!

Already a Decade!

Ten years ago you were born, my son. I can't believe it's already been a decade since you entered my life with your life. You were the loudest, hungriest baby in the hospital nursery and I remember feeling a mixture of glee, pride, thankfulness, and terror when our eyes first met. Ally had a baby brother! We had a son to carry on the family name! You were so big and strong, and you were born an hour before kick-off! You were healthy! And you were a totally new creature to me--a boy. My brothers are 8 years plus older than me, so I didn't really know the mechanics of boys. (I honestly can't recall ever changing a boy's diaper before you.) I wasn't ready for you at all.

I don't know if it's gender or personality or what--I suspect it's a blend of both--but you are the one kid who's kept me up at night the most. The one with the most emergency room visits...the most stitches...the most square footage of cleaning to be done after mid-night vomit attacks...and at times, the most frustrating kid to figure out. The one reason I purchased Jim Dobson's "The Strong-Willed Child". The one who can turn this house upside down the fastest with your projects or with your tantrums.

The grubbiest one. The one who's in too big of a hurry to lift the lid and aim correctly. The one who doesn't flush. The one who, ironically, uses waaaaayyyyyyyyy too much toilet paper. The one who never puts away his clothes. The one who sneaks the forbidden food and drink.

The one with the keenest sense of humor. The one who can share sarcasm and make me laugh when I'm not supposed to be laughing. The one who can share some pretty deep thoughts when I get a chance to talk to you, one-on-one.

It's been a decade of adventure, frustration, laughter, tears, super heroes, Legos, Star Wars, and God. I've never talked to God more than in this past decade, and I'm pretty sure you have a little something to do with that. I'm still not ready for you!!

But I wouldn't trade this last decade for anything. And I want the next one to slow the heck down.

Happy Birthday, Cy! Love ya, Buddy:)

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.--John 13:34-35 ESV

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cats & Dogs Days of Summer

Hot dog, it's been hot these past few weeks! Drives the kids into the air conditioning (aren't we so deprived) and thus, into the summer version of cabin fever. Which in turn drives their mother bonko.

They've been fighting like cats and dogs lately. They are soooooo ready for school.

It usually doesn't end with a smile. More like a scream, loud crying, and a time-out.

Ally must have taken these pictures because I am too busy refereeing and crying on the inside during the ruckus that is sometimes our house.

It doesn't help that Dad is gone most of August at football practice. Sometimes he takes the boy with him, which usually (but not necessarily) means a reduction in noise and tears.

Oh, but then there are fleeting moments of cooperation and actual APPRECIATION for one another! Fleeting, blissful moments...

...moments of peace and genuine care for one another...

...when no one is screaming or hurting someone, but rather complimenting or helping their brother or sister. (without any prompting by Mom or Dad!)

Why do I write about such things? How can I expose the nitty-gritty of our daily lives? Who cares? Well, it's mostly therapeutic for me. Second, it proves to my husband what it can look and sound like around here when he's away. Third, it will be good evidence when the children are older and wondering what's wrong with their own kids!!
Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.--Proverbs 1:8-9

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cute Things They Say, August Edition

"Mom it looks aDORable!!" --Wynne, age 4, commenting on the pink polo top she picked out for me to wear yesterday

"Hug Monster!!!"--Paige, age 7, when she wants to give you a hug

"They said some words that made me feel uncomfortable." --Shae, age 7, on hearing "Shut up!" from some kids at a birthday party. The "cute" thing about this is that she can say the same words without feeling uncomfortable at all!! Funny how that works.

"Mom, I think you'll be kinda proud of me because it's exercise, but I know Dad will probably get mad..." --Cy, almost 10, right before telling me how he rode his bicycle from football practice, along the highway in town, over to the gas station to use the restroom. When I asked him why he rode all the way over there instead of using the school restroom, all he said was "Hot wax!" (The school custodians had just waxed the floors.) Then his sisters reminded him that there was a porta-potty at the other end of the football field, next to the baseball field. "Doh!!"

"I'm so proud of my nails!" --Ally, age 11, displaying her newly painted fingernails which have not been bitten off for the first time in ?? years

"I'm so happy of me!!"--Paige, upon learning she passed her swimming lessons

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sew What Are You Going to Do

"So what are you going to do with all your free time?" is the question I've been asked a lot lately. Our baby is going to 4K preschool beginning in September, so I will be home alone for approximately 14 hours a week!

Believe me, I've been thinking (partially dreading) this time for a year now. On the one hand, it will be nice to have some time (for the first time in almost 12 years) where I am not needed for childcare. But on the other hand, there is something very sad and lonely about that. Mark and I felt a bit of this on our vacation a few weeks ago when Wynne jumped in the 3-foot end of the pool all by herself, not needing anyone to catch her. >sniff sniff<

SEW anyway, I was thinking about getting back to some sewing. I was on a sewing kick back in the spring, and here's proof...
I made this pillowcase dress for Wynne's birthday. Her little baby doll got a matching skirt!

Wynne loves to wear dresses every day, so I love how you can just wear this over a top and leggings any time of the year. I also love the vintage pastel pattern of this pillowcase.

These are matching dresses and bandanas for our nieces Mady (20 months at that time) and Lauren (3 months). The bandanas turned out wonky, so I made them some headbands later. More vintage pillowcases I scooped up at the local Goodwill.

These are among my favorite creations. Our 2-year-old niece and 4-month-old nephew got matching outfits for his baptism. I bought a little hat for Tage at Dollar Tree and sewed a fish on it for interest. One of my more creative moments!

Because clothes are boring gifts (especially for little boys), I made Tage a little taggy/crinkly toy, too. When I get some time I want to crank out a bunch of these for baby gifts because I think they are the neatest darn thing ever. My kids all loved chewing on taggy stuff when they were babies, and the crinkly noise? Get this: cereal packaging. Can run through the washer, won't disintegrate. Genius. (Thank you to my Sewing Blogger Friends!!)

You can't really see what this is, but it's an oilcloth (tablecloth) diaper case/changing pad. Throw in a diaper and some wipes and you're good to go for short trips with your baby. (Why didn't I think of this and have time for this when I had babies??)

More pillowcase dresses. (Goodwill clerks and I are on a first-name basis now.) This time I made matching ones for all my girls AND me. Plus headbands. I love the headband pattern (thank you again, Internets!) Oh yeah, my pillowcase is not a dress because they don't make pillowcases that big. I don't look good in sleeveless anything, so I sewed a little ruffly flap on the top of my straps (at far left). Another one of my creative moments.

My girls and I modeling our matching outfits. Ally was less than thrilled to wear it as a dress, so she tucked it into her shorts. It turned out cute, I think! We all wore these to my dad's 80th birthday party (when the girls sang "Ain't She Sweet" for him). Ain't we sweet?!

I made a Panther Banner for my sister Marla's birthday. She is a coach and her kids all play sports for the I-G Panthers, so I scrounged up every scrap of red, black and white I had. I made it long enough to hang from her garage or mantel, for graduation parties, big games, birthdays, whatever. If I could get my hands on a bunch of weather-proof fabric, I would love to sell these to sports fans. (Another home business scheme! Stop me!!)

Like I said, I'm a beginner sewer, self-taught on the Internets. I turn out pretty rough stuff, and I owe all the credit (or blame) to my sister Deb. Debby loaned me her sewing machine a few years ago, so I could learn the ropes. I made little quilts for babies, a few larger t-shirt quilts, and then I put the sewing machine to rest for a few years. This past winter/spring, I got the itch to make stuff for the kids, but Deb needed her sewing machine back. So I bought a $5.00 Singer at Goodwill. It lasted half a day before the stitching mechanism-thingie broke. I took it to a local repairman (he's awesome; he knows sewing machines inside and out), and he told me it would cost more to fix than to buy another. So he sold me this 30-year-old beast that he had purchased at auction and tuned up. It's gotta be 25 pounds at least. This baby ain't goin' nowhere! (That's why it's a big commitment to use. You have to lug it out of the closet, carry it downstairs, and set it on the kitchen table. Then don't plan on using that kitchen table for eating for a few days.) I think it's made out of retired airplane fuselage from World War II or something. But definitely worth 20 bucks.

For over a year, I had been trying to find time to figure out the pattern for Don't-Get-Out-Of-Bed Pants. The blog world knows them as fun, fashionable, and ultra-comfortable because they're made out of bedsheets. I was determined to make a pair for my niece for high school graduation. I had plenty of fabric left over for a laundry bag and headband.

Kaycie also got a spa wrap that I made. I figured it would be good for her to use when she steps out of the shower in her college dorm. I so want one of these!! (I think Paige does, too!)

Kaycie's sister Sammie got a pair of lounge pants, too, for her 16th birthday. I just had to try them on. The sad thing is, I haven't had time to make a pair for myself yet. The even sadder thing is that I don't know if they even fit my nieces. They probably don't think they're as "cool" as their ancient aunt does.

Just in case you were worried that I didn't make any more pillowcase's a pair I made for my great-nieces. They are 1- and 2-year-old cousins who celebrated birthdays in mid-May and early June. I thought it would be fun for them to dress alike when they get together! (My sister, their grandmother, watches them at her house once a week.)

Here's another brother-sister set. My brother's grandson and his sister turned 3 and 1 in June, and we were invited to their party. It's a challenge to find a fabric that suits both genders, but it's fun! I screwed up on Leila's dress because I started cutting off the wrong end...hers was supposed to have the dark brown trim on it, too. Darn it!

For my niece who just got her license, a Panther (red and black) lanyard. For me, a multi-colored funky lanyard to hold my 79 keys. That's how many it feels like when it's jangling around my neck. But hey! At least I don't lock my keys in the car (um, yeah right, huh Astrid?)!

Another project I'd like to further pursue--the fabric book cover. I bought one for my Bible from some Mexican ladies our church supports, and I just love it. I tried to make my own pattern for a few girls who were graduating from high school, including the front pencil pocket. The stitching is atrocious.

Yet another project awaiting me. Totes and crayon rolls. I thought it would be nice for our church to have about a dozen busy bags for children to use during our worship service. I've been collecting fabric from folks at church and hope to get these made by the start of Sunday School. Wish me luck!!

You may have noticed this cute little model in a lot of the above pictures. If you know of a sturdy, SAFE child-sized sewing machine, I'd love to hear about it! Here we are with our last project of the spring, water bottle carriers. We made some for ourselves (which were lifesavers at those 20,000 baseball and softball games) and also as a thank-you gift to our teachers at the end of the school year.

Sew I haven't done any sewing since early June. A little something called summer vacation with the kids home kind of takes up most my time now.

I should probably start making thank-you gifts for teachers at the BEGINNING of the school year, too, huh?
--A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;--Ecclesiastes 3:7 King James Version