Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 243

I have another book post today, but this one is a tiny bit different. I put Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl on hold a few weeks ago, and on a whim decided to put the CD set on hold also. I used to listen to a lot of books on CD when Paul was little, and basically didn't talk as much, because I drive around quite a bit to get kids to and from childcare.

After I found ways to finish listening to the book on CD I borrowed for our drive to my cousin's wedding, I thought I might be able to listen to an entire book that way. I'm almost done with the second to last disk and will probably be able to finish it in the next couple of days. Aside from the fact that I've really been enjoying the book, I also like the benefit of feeling like I can do other things while "reading".

I may have to see what other books I can get from the library to listen to. As a bonus, the audio book became available fairly quickly, and I'm still better than 100 people away from receiving the paper version.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 242

It seems like I talk about books a lot, but I mention this one because I finally finished it and it's only taken me about 2 1/2 months. It's Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and it's a really good book about censorship.

It was written more than 50 years ago, and has a lot of very relevant stuff to say about technology and how we can end up using it to busy ourselves with stimulation and not take the time to question and think.

It's actually a very easy read and less than 200 pages. The reason why it took me so long is I've been working on other things and have been getting to bed later than I should. So when I'd pick it up, I'd make it about a page or two before I was fighting to keep my eyes open.

I actually cracked my brother up, who originally mentioned the book to me, by telling him I had about a page and a half left. He thought it was pretty humorous that I could be that close to the end and just decide to save it for another day.

I really recommend this book. It's interesting to think about. I didn't do it justice with my description, so check it out for yourself.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day 241

For six hours today I took a riveting class taught by Tracy Stanley (just in case you missed my last post). We started off with 3" x 3" sheets of brass and bronze. We marked off squares, textured them, antiqued them, cut them out, rounded the corners, pounded the edges, picked out charms and created decorative components. Then we started riveting the pieces together.

It wasn't until I looked at my first completed square of metal that I actually started getting into this class. The thing about metal working is you have to do 10-15 different steps before you finally start to see some results and anywhere along the line something can go wrong. I didn't like making all of these decisions - this metal or that metal? this texture? more texture? how do I lay it out?

What I loved about this class is that pretty much all of those decisions didn't have a wrong answer. It was a lot of playing around and experimenting, but for the most part everything turned out great. I was really pleased with what I accomplished. I think I was able to complete more of this project than I have with any other metal work class I've taken in the past.

I can't wait to complete this into a bracelet, and I'm already thinking of other things I want to try out. Unfortunately, there are quite a few tools that I would like to add to my beading supplies.

Had to share this picture from today also just because the colors were so fantastic!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 240

I am taking a metal working class taught by Tracy Stanley for most of the day tomorrow. I decided to lay out the tools I'll need for class. My sister-in-law and I are sharing some tools, so I don't have everything I'll need, but it's a good start. I used my gift certificate from my anniversary to purchase the hammers this afternoon.

It should be an awesome class, but I have to admit that I'm still a little bummed that it's not the resin class I really wanted to take. But there are only so many resources. Next time.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 239

Paul starts preschool as a new student at daddy's school next week. Tonight was the ice cream social where new students are able to visit the school, see their classroom, meet their teacher, and of course, have ice cream.

This picture is of my oldest's creation of vanilla with Oreos and M&Ms. It was much more colorful than mine with just Oreos.

He's excited about starting school next week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 238

Last Friday night I placed an order with Foxy Findings. I discovered this site through Twitter somehow. I think she started following me first, and after looking at her site and seeing all of the discounted shell beads, crystals, and gemstones, I figured she'd be a fun gal to follow.

I have to admit that I was a bit hooked after I won my first Twitter contest. The only downside for me is the $100 minimum for free shipping. I'm all about the free shipping. Since I'm not actively selling my jewelry, $100 is quite a bit to spend on play beads.

Occasionally she'll have one day of free shipping for $30, while I missed the first few, I was able to catch the one last Friday. I'm so excited because my purchases arrived this afternoon, and there is an amazing amount of stuff for just over $35!

I can't wait to get started playing with this fun collection of beads!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 237

This evening we went out to claim Cold Stone's free ice cream for my husband's birthday last week. Before we headed back home we thought the boys might like to burn off some energy in the outdoor play area.

One of the things for the kids to play with is a kind of water feature. I thought the captured water droplets in this picture (with the point-and-shoot) were pretty cool!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 236

It was a beading night for me tonight. Several months ago, I discovered one of the jump rings on my favorite bracelet needed to be fixed. Instead of taking the two minutes I needed to repair it at the time, I set it aside and forgot about it. I found it again when I was looking for a necklace this weekend, and decided I'd been without it long enough.

After I finished the fix, I was looking for something else and stumbled upon the ingredients for this simple necklace. My favorite local bead shop had a Mother's Day bracelet event, and after making the bracelet, I purchased the supplies for a necklace in the same pattern.

I decided to make the necklace at home, and after more than three months, it's finally done. I really like it, but it's a bit longer than I'd prefer, so I'm debating on taking an inch or more off of the chain.

Below is a picture of the bracelet from the Mother's Day event with Swarovski pearls and crystals in
Montana. Then the chain bracelet that is my very favorite. I need to wear it again because it's starting to tarnish. And finally my new necklace. I can't remember the Swarovski colors I finally decided on. I'll look them up later.

Here's another shot of the necklace. Yet again breaking my one-picture-a-day rule.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 235

The frenzy that is back-to-school starts in our household again tomorrow. My husband is a teacher, so he has meetings and work-type stuff going on the week before the kids start back. Instead of driving straight to work (and sleeping an additional 30 minutes or so), I will be taking the kids over to my parents bright and early tomorrow morning.

Conventional wisdom says to be as prepared as you can be the night before, so my picture of the day is of the stuff I need to pack in the car staged by our front door.

Summer vacation is officially over.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 234

I've been wanting to make this for almost two weeks since PCC posted the recipe on Twitter. I bought a semi-tart apples from the Farmers Market last week. I would have made it last weekend, but we needed to leave too early in the morning for my cousin's wedding.

Since I couldn't do it last weekend, I didn't try to find bread until this week. The boys and I found this perfect cinnamon bread at the grocery store.

It took some time and my kitchen was a mess, but the results were devine! I'll have to make this again later this fall.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day 233

For Christmas, my brother gave Paul one of those toys with the hundreds of pins where you can put your hand under it and it'll show a three dimensional mold of your hand. Paul had it for a day or two before the head broke off of two of the screws holding all the pieces together. Fortunately for him, his mother works for a fastener distributor and fixing something like this should be child's play.

The fix really wasn't too difficult. I took the very, very cheap plastic screws out and replaced them with stainless steel to stand up to four-year-old play. The hard part was actually putting back in the hundred or so pins that got misaligned as I was moving the toy around.

I'm happy to report that it's all fixed and Paul is ecstatic. This picture is of the toy and some of the broken pieces.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 232

Just found out this evening that my plans for childcare for this coming school year might not be working out like I'd hoped. This is my quick attempt at trying to visualize the schedule to try to come up with some alternatives. I feel like I'm trying to work a logic problem with no solution. Hopefully things will pull together so we can work something out.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 231

My parents took us out for dinner this evening for my husband's birthday. I saw this plate as we were leaving and thought the pattern and colors were very cool.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 230

Today is my husband's birthday and a few days ago he mentioned that he really wanted some Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats. The problem is that Matt can't have peanut butter yet. I took the ingredients to work and during my lunch I managed to make a batch of treats, separate out a bit for Matt (and me since I'm not a big fan of the peanut butter ones), and add peanut butter to the rest.

It's not quite how the directions say you should do it, so the peanut butter wasn't as well blended as it should have been, but my husband was thrilled, so that's all that really matters.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 229

I'm still exhausted from our trip this weekend for my cousin's wedding. I don't know what it is about driving nine hours in one day, but somehow it wears you out. Tonight I decided I'd put one of the last CDs from the book I listened to during our drive home on my iPhone. I'm going to listen to it in bed as I drift off to sleep early.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day 228

I spent much of the afternoon getting clothes ready for the dreaded trip to eBay. I ironed and took pictures. It will probably take me most of the week to edit pictures, create text, and finally upload my listings, but it's a start. Every year I feel like I'm doing this late, so I hope that things go well. I guess the ultimate goal is to get some stuff out of the house.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Day 227

We took a little road trip today out to Dayton, Oregon for my cousin's wedding. It was at a winery and a gorgeous venue. The view was amazing. I took this picture looking out into the valley as the sun was getting ready to set. I really like how it turned out.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 226

We hadn't been to Costco for a while and since our list was nice and long, we decided to go tonight. One of the places my husband likes to look is at the books and see what's interesting. I'd been debating over getting the Twilight series for probably five or six months. They had it back in stock again, so I finally decided to make the purchase. I'm hoping to get to read the first two again before the newest movie is out in November.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day 225

I haven't done a cloud picture for a while and today seemed like a good day because there's a storm coming in. We were at home and it started raining this afternoon right before we were going to leave for t-ball. We figured we'd go out and see if they were still going to play, and by the time we got about 10 minutes from home, the rain was gone.

You could tell from the field that the rain wasn't going to hold off forever, but fortunately, we were only slightly sprinkled on while the kids were playing.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day 224

The excessive heat from a few weeks ago has done a real number on our front yard. I was surveying the damage this afternoon and found this cute little flower poking up through the browned out leaves in our center planter. Maybe if we get some good rain in the fall, some of the plants will make a recovery.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day 223

We had a meet-and-greet with the other parents and preschoolers this afternoon. There have actually been several of them this summer, but this is the first one we've been able to attend because Paul has quite a few summer activities that have conflicted. This one was coordinated more by the school than by other parents.

It was really nice to get to meet the other kids from Paul's preschool and the other parents. Sadly, I introduced myself as the parent they'll probably never see since grandma will be dropping Paul off and dad will be taking him home. It's nice that we are able to make such arrangements, but I'll miss being able to know the parents better.

That's Paul running in the green striped shirt.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 222

We were out to dinner tonight at one of my very favorite places, and Matt kept looking up at the ceiling while we were eating. Finally, I had to look up and see what was so fascinating. All I could really come up with were the lamps that were over the table, and I have to admit that I thought they were pretty cool too.

I really liked the colors and shapes of the glass shades. Matt has a pretty good eye.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day 221

Back-to-school is just around the corner, so my oldest and I went school supply shopping this morning. What an interesting adventure!

I misunderstood the ad at the store I thought we'd buy his supplies, so Target got most of our business. Then after several stores and a check on the website, I discovered that Crayola does not make 10-count washable markers. They make 10-count regular markers, and 8-count washable ones. We went with the 8-count because I figured I wanted washable over pen count.

None of the package sizes were quite right. They wanted 24 pencils, but they came in packages of 10. I could get 24, but those were $2.50 while the packages of 10 were .10ea. I figure the 6 extra pencils might make up for the missing pens.

It took a couple of hours, but Paul was really quite good the whole time. I think he liked having that one-on-one time, and he's pretty excited about starting school.

Oh, and I almost forgot my kudos for Target. I had to buy 6 packages of markers, and the sign said $1.50ea. They rang up at $2ea, so I figured I must have read the sign wrong. I decided to go back to check on it, and sure enough, the sign said $1.50 but it expired yesterday. I took it to the gal to show her I wasn't crazy and she actually credited me back the difference. I was pleasantly surprised!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day 220

This afternoon I met up with a friend to shop the half-priced portion of a consignment sale going on this weekend. I was actually going to be participating in the sale, but the time to get everything ready was too short, the location too far away, and we had too many things going on.

I do have to say that for me, shopping during the last couple of hours paid off really well. I was able to pick up two shirts for Paul at half price. For Matt, I got overalls, a sweater vest and polo, and two shirts. All of this for about $24, and they were good brands like Talbot Kids and Gymboree.

And I got a Mariner's backpack for a dollar. (I know it was a promotional item, but I didn't have to collect the milk products for it.) I was really pleased with what I found.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Day 219

This is my workspace, and as you might notice, it's a bit on the messy side. One of the downsides of our new home is that there is not a huge amount of built in storage. I've kind of taken over this nook in the bonus room, but I don't have a lot of places to put my stuff.

I'm working on a plan to change that. I have to do some research and pricing, but I thought a before picture would be the way to start.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 218

I spent a good hour this morning working on figuring out our calendar for the next several months - more specifically, September through the end of the year. It seems like this last quarter of the year flies by with school starting up again, holidays galore, fall and winter activities, and several birthdays.

I made some progress, but decided to take a break and come back to it later.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 217

These are probably past their prime, but I noticed these little flowers on one of the shrubs that lines our driveway. It's the sort of shrub that I wouldn't have thought had blossoms, but I was pleased to discover that it did.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day 216

The fog was really cool in the valley as I was heading to work this morning. I nearly dropped the camera out the window of the car, which would not have made for a good start to the morning.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Day 215

My oldest wasn't feeling well on Saturday night, so I decided to stay home from church with the kids yesterday. Rob went without us because he was playing that morning. When he came home, he brought me these lovely tulips for our anniversary. They were looking so pretty this afternoon that I had to capture a few of them.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day 214

Our 12th anniversary turned into sort of a last minute affair. My sweet husband wanted to make surprise plans, but the coming week is so overbooked that it wasn't working out. Then there were the floating activities that were tying up a couple of days because plans were up in the air.

As the weekend got closer, things finally started settling down and in the dust emerged our actual wedding anniversary to go out and celebrate. A last minute call to his parents (for the second time in three days) and we were on our way to celebrating this evening.

We decided to go into the city to Pike Place Market and walk around the shops and then stroll up to 6th Avenue and Pine for dinner at Il Fornaio. This authentic Italian restaurant was fantastic. We had an early reservation in order to not keep the kids up too late, so we were one of the first patrons for dinner.

Since it was our first visit, they gave us complimentary
bruschetta, which was delicious. The picture of the day was my dinner choice of Pennoni alla Vodka, which was pasta in a vodka-cream-tomato sauce with bacon. It was fantastic.

I mentioned that it was our anniversary, so they also gave us our choice of dessert. We settled on the Rosina al Cioccolato, which was chocolate mousse, fresh raspberries and sponge cake soaked with Triple Sec. It was amazing. The wine was fantastic too.

All and all, a great meal with a pretty awesome guy. I'm looking forward to another 12 years of adventure. ^_^

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day 213

Our plans to do anything today were kind of thrown off by a four-year-old with a fever, so while he was napping on the couch, we tried out the new Wii Sports Resort. It arrived earlier this week, but with the Summer Heat Stroke of 2009, we really didn't feel like trying it out.

It is a lot of fun. We only played a few of the games, but were really interested in how the bowling was different than in the original Wii Sports games. For one thing, the characters are now sporting Hawaiian shirts, so you know it has to be better.