Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happiness is a Warm Scarf


Remember the post where I promised I'd upload pictures of the second pink boa scarf I was knitting? I finished it just before Christmastime 2011. (Yes it took me a long time, but I didn't work on it much over the summer or while I was in the throes of morning sickness). I used breast cancer awareness yarn from Bernat.

It was a gift for my mom who has been a breast cancer survivor for 20+ years (so thankful!).




Sadly my friend for whom I knit the first scarf is no longer here. My thoughts go frequently to her family. Do the monthly self-checks and get those mammograms ladies! Early detection really is key to better survival rates.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Common Sense and Common Courtesy Rules

After I got the kids off to school last week I began picking up around the house. It seemed to me that there has been a general lack of common sense lately in our home. In response I typed up the following:

Common Sense/Common Courtesy Rules

1. Put away the milk when you are done pouring cereal. No one likes sour milk.

2. If you spill cereal while pouring it, pick/sweep it up. No one likes stepping on cereal.

3. If you use the last square of toilet paper, take off the empty roll and replace it with a new one .

4. If the bathroom is running low on new toilet paper rolls, stock the bathroom. The toilet paper is kept in the bottom of the linen closet.

5. Put the cap on the toothpaste and put it away when you are done with it.

6. Wipe up any toothpaste you've gotten on the counter.

7. You have a hamper--use it. There are no excuses for dropping your clothes two feet from the hamper.

8. If you take off your shoes the moment you walk in the door and put them in the shoe box, you'll always know where your shoes are. You will avoid the morning panic of wondering what you'll wear on your feet at school.

9. Shoes (and socks) never belong on the counter or table. These are surfaces where we prepare and/or eat foods. Do you really want to introduce germs to the place where your food is?

10. If I ask you to put away washrags and towels, that does not mean they belong in your bedroom. They belong in the bathroom cabinet and drawer.

11. When you are done using one item, put it away before you get out a new one.

12. The barstools belong at the kitchen bar. They do not belong in your room, the laundry room, or any closet.

13. If you are rushed for time in eating breakfast, please do not pour yourself cereal in the biggest bowl you can find. Use the smallest bowl and refill it if you finish what you've poured. The amount of cereal we waste is staggering.

14. When you get up in the morning or come home from school, it would be appreciated if you would check the dishwasher and if it is clean, unload your part. It will help the house to run more smoothly.

15. Flush the toilet and wash your hands. This was part of your potty training. I know you can do it.

16. Please do not be shocked/angry/flabbergasted that each day when you come home from school we have a short break/snack then we work on homework, practice your musical instrument and do chores and/or scout work. This is the same routine we've been doing for years.

17. Please remember that your dad and I are your biggest advocates. We love you more than anyone--save the Savior and our Heavenly Father. We are not your enemies. We are not out to ruin your life. We are here to teach you what you need to know to be a successful adult and contributing member of society. Your choices will affect any consequences you earn. Sometimes they will be good and sometimes they will be bad--it all depends upon you and the choices you make. It is up to you. We love you.

I don't know if this will make a difference to the kids or not. As I've mentioned, some of them have extra challenges. I'll still be posting it though, and when I get my office done and my vinyl machine back up and running I plan on putting this in large letters on the wall.

I should add I posted this on facebook and my uncle tells me that I should just let the milk sour, eat and leave crumbs in their beds and basically turn the tables on them. I may eventually have to try that, but for now we'll work on friendly reminders.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Woodworking pt. 1

So just before we took our family vacation this summer, I was totally inspired by Ana White's farmhouse bed for 18" dolls. My dear husband just wasn't interested in making it, but after seeing the directions and having helped put my fair share of Pinewood Derby cars as well as checking out blogs like Sawdust and Paper Scraps, I thought, "Why couldn't I learn to do this?"

So family vacation time comes--I have to say, my dad has got great woodworking skills. Growing up we had a cupboard he had made for us where we stored all of our pretend food. He also made a high chair and the stable that housed our Nativity set. Many years ago he made this stable--one for each of my sisters and I--which was a slightly larger replica of the one my family grew up with.

The second nativity (on the right) was a gift from my in-laws. They got it in South Africa.

Then last year we were presented with


He modeled it after the advent calendar in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. He found a website that served as a jumping off point, and then made his own templates. Each tiny window has tiny hinges and it was all lovingly put together by my parents. (My mom did the bulk of the painting). I don't have great pictures of all of the detail, but it's there.


A widows walk cleverly made from paperclips, the architectural elements just under the roofline, and the tiny icicles they attached are just a few of them.


He began working on the first one for my mom after he finally retired. It turned out wonderfully, and then he set to work making one for each of my sisters and I.

I have to say, I'm so proud of my dad! He was also one of my inspirations. I asked him if he would be willing to teach me some basic woodworking skills when we saw them for our family vacation. He said he would! Part 2 to soon follow.