Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Post of 2009

The rest of our trip was very nice, but Kurt's brother didn't know the password for his wireless network so putting up a blog entry wasn't possible. Ryan has a great time playing with his cousins on both sides of the family and told us that it didn't quite make up for not having a brother but that it was still pretty fun.
Anna decided to have a little New Years Eve party this evening and invited her friend Sierra over. She was impatient though and most of the festivities occurred at about 4:30. We had sparkling grape juice as well as ginger ale which the kids all thought was pretty fancy. They all wanted to stay up late but finally gave up about half an hour ago. Sierra and Anna went over to her house though, so they may be having better luck with being night owls.

I still haven't figured out how to do one of those fancy picture collages with all of last years projects, but I worked on a list during the car ride, so maybe I'll make that post tomorrow. It is almost time for a new year here and I was trying hard to finish off a few loose ends today.

I will definitely be doing a UFO a month again this year and will be sure to put it out there as an official challenge if Amy doesn't beat me to it. I saw that she is doing a BOM this year so I will have to add that one to my list. In between finishing the unpacking and laundry today I pulled out one last UFO from last year. Double Delight has been languishing without borders for quite a while. I did a thin strip of yellow and then a wide band of blue. I tried some square in a square cornerstones using extra nine patches, but as I look at the picture, I think they stand out a bit too much, maybe because I used different greens. It is done though, which is better than not done. I'm going to keep it as a flimsy for a while and do a batch of quilting at some point when motivation strikes. I keep toying with the idea of investing in a handiquilter, but it is just a fleeting thought for now.
Lizzie is settling in nicely now that we finally have her home again. She has become quite confident and very much enjoys being outside. She enjoyed meeting all of the big dogs during our travels, but seems to like having our undivided attention as well.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Ho Ho Ho

Happy Christmas day to everyone out there. We are safely in the cold rain of Georgia today ready for round two of our Christmas festivities.

I quilted frantically to get Sister's Choice ready for Mom in time and it is officially done. As soon as I sat down to start stitching the binding down, Lizzie scootched on over to keep me company. She is an excellent quilting companion and didn't seem to mind the time required to stitch down almost 500 linear inches of binding!! I'm well caught up on my DVR backlog now and the quilt is ready for Christmas giving.
I caught up on everyone's blogs on my iphone during the trip and Amy has me thinking about my quilting plans for next year. I think I finished 8 of my UFOs on the Patchwork Penguin Challenge. I was absolutely reliable until School started again in August and then I hardly sewed anything for 4 months. It was an excellent challenge though and I finished off several projects that I am sure would have languished without the extra motivation. I've got several lists going now with ideas for next year and will have to figure out how to do one of those cool photo collages to highlight my accomplishments for last year.
I also finished another Dear Jane Block in the car. I forget what the name was.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas to All!

Santa came to our house early this year. As Sydney is so fond of telling everyone to today. "He knows we are going to travel."
That meant last night was the traditional Christmas eve parade of activities including milk and cookies for Santa and new pajamas. For me it also meant driving down to pick up the one present from Mom and Dad. Our neighbor Barbara agreed to keep her overnight and woke up with us at 5 this morning to sneak her inside. She was much bigger than when I met her at Thanksgiving and will need a new collar and kennel sometime this week.
We opened up all the other presents first thing this morning and then brought in the new puppy who was waiting patiently in the garage. Ryan promptly suggested Elizabeth as a name and the girls readily agreed. It was about a minute and a half before it got shortened. So here she is, Lizzie, our newest family member:

Anna dove right in and started telling us all the things we need to know about dogs. Apparently she learned a lot from visiting Nana and watching Animal Planet on TV. Lizzie is not at all shy and was quickly exploring her new surroundings and visiting each of us for attention. If anyone tries to leave her alone she follows them with a forlorn look on her little face.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

2 Sleeps

We all went to see Anna's ice skating performance last night. It was exactly like a dance recital except on skates. Each of the age groups had two numbers and then they all came out for the opening and the finale. Sydney was fast asleep before intermission and Ryan was pretty grumpy about having to sit there for so long. Reminding him about how many football games we all sat through for him didn't seem to add any perspective to the situation.
Kurt finally had the idea to let him take some pictures with the new camera and that finally cheered him up a bit.
Today I have been cleaning non stop in preparation for Christmas. Somehow everything just feels more festive to me when the house is tidy. I lost count on the laundry at about load number 8, but I can almost see the bottom of the hamper. I was planning on watching TV while all this folding and sorting was going on, but apparently the TV broke last night. Kurt took it all apart and figured out it was a bad color wheel. We pondered ordering the part and fixing it ourselves, but eventually realized that TVs have gotten a lot cheaper since we got our last set and it was going to make a lot more sense to just start fresh. So off he went to pick up a new TV while I watched Hulu on the laptop. Still no sewing going on, but I am still hopeful.

Friday, December 18, 2009

3 Sleeps

I took a celebratory power nap this afternoon after my last final was graded and Kurt got out the ladder so the kids could put some ornaments on the top half of the tree. The bottom half has been mostly done for a while, but it is hard to read the top without standing on something very tall. Did you catch that subtle hidden statement about my last final being graded? Woohoo, Christmas vacation has officially begun!

On Wednesday Anna had a performance with her school choir at a local retirement community. She sang her first ever solo and I was so choked up about it little tears welled up in my eyes. It is still amazing to me that these tiny babies I gave birth to have turned into functioning breathing people with their own interests and agendas.

Then Thursday brought picture day at Sydney's gymnastics class and she was happy to show off for the new camera. Kurt got a new digital SLR for our Christmas present and I had fun playing with all the new settings.

He wanted to know if I really wanted to take 523 pictures. How could I not want to when some of them turned out as cute as this?
The first of the ice skating Christmas shows is tonight so I'm guessing the camera will get a bit more of a workout. My mom was supposed to be coming down to watch it, but my nephew is back in the hospital and she has stayed home to help my sister out until he is all better again.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

6 Sleeps

Last night was Girl Scouts. It worked out well, 'cause it was the only night this week without an ice skating rehearsal or performance. Anna also had a chorus performance this afternoon and the kids have short days at school. It all works out well though with finals at my school. There are some advantages to teaching when you have kids in school.

Santa is coming in just 6 short days and then I'll be boring you all silly with adorably cute photos of the new puppy currently known as Phoebe. I'm pretty sure she is the one on the right. Just remember, I held out for as long as I could.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Not Quite a Quilt

Anna is doing a school project called Holidays Around the World next week at school. She chose China to research and wanted a Kimono for her costume. We picked out the fabric and she cut out the pattern last weekend and today I sewed it all together for her. She's been at ice skating rehearsals almost daily lately so I'm glad she got an early start on this. If I were a really good mom we would have done all the sewing together, but I chose to just get it done instead.

Kurt and Ryan were Cub Scout camping for the last two days and seemed to have a very good time despite quite a bit of rain. Apparently 8 year old boys think it is really cool to play badminton in a downpour.
We've been obsessed with the school rezoning thing lately, but I think have finally decided to give it up as a lost cause. I'm pretty sure things will turn out exactly the same despite all of the work we've put into it, and a couple of quotes in the local paper. I'm trying to just let it go, but it is easier said than done. I guess the momma bear in all of us gets riled up when somebody starts messing with our kids.
Just one more day of classes for my students before finals start on Tuesday. The main thing that means for me is that absolutely everything has to get done immediately. I'm starting to get all the loose ends tied up and am hoping to have a fairly relaxing time of it once exams actually start.
Santa is coming soon -- he is bringing Kurt and I a new camera so I'll be sure to post lots of pictures of our new family addition. I put my foot down for a long time about the whole puppy thing, but I am almost looking forward to it. Almost.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Update on Crazy

Thanksgiving was great. We got to see all of my family and Kurt's as well. The kids all had so much fun playing with their cousins. I took some terrific pictures, but left the camera at Mom's house. I ALMOST got mom's quilt done. It is sitting near the sewing machine ready to go. I had to rethread the machine though because Anna and I are making a Kimono for her Holiday's around the World celebration next week in school. The quilt will make a great Christmas gift, right? Ryan read 23 Cam Jansen books to go to a special party in the library and got some special spy gear as a prize.
We are in the middle of a big school rezoning fight and it has become my new hobby. Who knew that taking on the school board could take so much time? There is a big meeting tomorrow and Kurt is going to speak in defense of the plan we have developed as an alternative to the really crazy plans they have put forth. Apparently there are an infinite number of ways to present exactly the same data to make it support entirely contradictory ideas. I'm not sure what the final outcome will be, but we will feel better for getting involved in the process when it is all done.
Just 5 teaching days left in the semester and then 4 days of finals. Santa is coming a little early this year and he will be bringing a new Pug puppy to our house. I've fought getting a dog for a long time now but finally caved. I guess I just need another hobby to add to the list, right?