March 27, 2011

At the Park

We took a family trip to the park last weekend.  The weather was glorious and it was nice to all get out for some play and a walk around.

I met some nice people on the playground too, which is always a bonus.  It was an African American family and so I'm always asking for advice on hair products and especially if there is a hair salon semi-close that they would recommend.  The mom had very nice hair so I thought she might be a good resource and she was.

Yep, there's a picture of me too - surprise!  No make-up and all.  Keepin' it real.  Actually that's me most days, running out the door and realizing I have no make-up and I haven't done Etame's hair.  I should probably keep an emergency hair care kit in the car.  Have a great week friends!

March 23, 2011

A Quilt for My Niece

As I posted earlier, we have a new niece!  She seems to be adjusting well so far and I'm sure they are all anxious to get back home and get settled.

It has been really fun to follow along with them through my sister's emails and blog posts.  She seems like such a special girl and I can't wait to meet her.  Unfortunately that won't be until August when we head out to Oregon to visit family.

Until then, I'm working on a quilt for her.  It's my way of connecting.  The anticipation of her seeing this quilt for the first time just makes me smile as I work on it.

Here's a little preview.  I'm nearly done with the quilt top and will start soon on the back and quilting it all together.  I used all fabrics that I had in my stash, which was challenging yet very satisfying.  I designed it on paper myself and I'll explain the significance of it all later (although those of you who follow her blog can probably guess it).

March 19, 2011

3 Years!

Etame's Birthday was a couple weeks ago too.  We decided, whether good or bad, to have her party the day after Landon's party.

We invited all of her preschool class plus a couple good friends.  It was her first party and she had fun being the center of attention.

It was only one hour but perfect for kids her age.  Just enough time to talk and play and eat cake.

We played the simple game of drop the clothespin into the jar.  A classic that seems to be a hit at this age.  I remember playing it when I was little.

We are so blessed to be surrounded by nice friends for our children.  It's a treat to watch them grow their friendships with one another.

Sometime this week I will write a letter to her birth mother as I do every year close to her birthday.  I'm sure she thinks of Etame on her birthday and hopes that somehow she is safe and happy in the world.

March 17, 2011

5 Months

Tosca is now 5 months old.  She is rolling around, trying to crawl.  She does this move where she pretends she is an airplane and is really just high-centered on the ground.  It's quite funny, and cute.

She still our super happy girl, smiling at people and curious about her siblings.  Love.

March 15, 2011

Journey Across the World to Meet Your New Daughter

This is what my sister and family are doing this week!  They are going to pick up their new daughter whom they are adopting from China.  I am going to help her out with posts from China so that she can keep us all informed of their happenings.  She is a hilarious, enjoyable writer and has a way of connecting you to their story full of busy children and household.

Almost all of their children (6 of them in a foreign country!) are traveling together to go pick up my soon-to-be niece who is 11 years old.  What joy these next two weeks will bring!

Visit her blog to follow their adventure >> Crazy For Kids

March 14, 2011


Our boy is now 7 years old!  We celebrated by having a party at the house where he invited his classmates/friends over for a party. 

He thought of the theme - Greek Gods.  I can't tell you how creative he was in thinking up games and ideas for the party.  But no matter.  All 7 year-old boys want is room to run!

We bagged the games idea after we saw what 18 (!) boys looked like running around the yard.  Darts (throw the lightning spear) to pop the balloon no longer seemed feasible, or safe.

The eating contest that Landon so ingeniously thought of (Cronus ate his children) wasn't going to be necessary.  Those cookies would better just be given to the boys while they wait for pizza.

It was wild.  It was loud.  It was fun.  It was ALL outside.

As each boy arrived, Landon showed them the name tags pre-written with the Gods he chose.  They selected a Greek God to be, put the name tag on, chose between the 3 colors of t-shirts.  Once they had their t-shirt on, we gave them a flashlight and wrote their "name" on it and sent them outside.  It was an evening party which was perfect for flashlights and they were the hit of the night.

I of course liked the t-shirts that I spent many hours on using freezer-paper stenciling.  I bought the t-shirt packs at Wal-Mart.  Originally I was going to buy $3 Ts but then a nice woman in the store suggested I buy undershirts.  Perfect!  I was able to buy 5 for $6.99.  Much better.  I just had to buy 10-12s so they actually fit loosely and not too snug.

We played "Lightning Beam Tag" for at least an hour.  One person would count, everyone else would hide.  When that person found someone, they turned on their "beam" and found others.  We continued until everyone was found.  This meant I frequently had to line everyone up to count heads to make sure we had all the Greek Gods. There was only a couple moments of panic when we had some participants who were advanced at hiding.  It was pitch dark outside and I just hoped no one went to far back into the woods!

We went from backyard to front yard and then to backyard again.  The boys refused to have me open the gate for them - they all wanted to climb over.  All Boys I tell you.

It was the biggest entertaining success in my mind.  A flurry of activity and I really think each and every boy had fun.  They all were out playing together, eating together, and laughing screaming together!

These two little minis wanted to get out there but we were worried they'd be trampled!

March 8, 2011

Mr. Penguin

Creative name, right?  I have been knitting this penguin for over two years!  Yes, I like to string projects along.  I started this to give to Etame, even before we had her referral.  Calvin, Landon, and I went on a cruise with my parents down to South America and I thought it was appropriate and funny to start to create a penguin to give to our soon-to-be-daughter from Ethiopia.

It has been so fulfilling to make goals this month and finish off some long-lasting projects!  Creating should be fun, but when you have too many unfinished (WIPs) hanging over your head, it feels overwhelming.  Plus, the husband gets tired of seeing my projects left on the couch for weeks on end.

I always thought knitting anything other than a scarf was too much for me.  But the step by step instructions from a good book made it easy for me to do it piece by piece.  I love the result.  I get so protective of these creations that I have spend so much time on, that I have a hard time letting the kids play with them and take them off the shelf!

March 5, 2011

The Tooth PIllow

Our little boy lost his very first tooth on his 7th birthday!  He has been waiting over two years for this exact occasion and so of course we had to treat it with celebration.  respect.  delicacy.

Some sewing was in order.  We needed a pillow to house the tooth!

I pulled this together in a bit more than an hour I guess.  It's a football as requested by Landon.  It's not a baked potato, which I'm aware of its close resemblance.  I was all set to make this monster pillow to hold his tooth, but then I had to go rogue when talk of a football came up.

I used my Crop-A-Dile tool to make the grommets.  I picked it up years ago at Costco, of all places.  then I strung yarn through the holes.  I used the free-motion foot on my machine to do the lettering and tooth outline.  The little pouch holds the tooth, and the moolah!

So I gave it to Landon with the tooth all tucked in there.  When I The Tooth Fairy went in to exchange the tooth for the money, she couldn't find the pillow!  Finally after some searching, she found it deep under his pillow.  She tried to pull it out and... he sat straight up in bed.  The Tooth Fairy was panicked!  Would she be seen?  Just as she was planning her escape, he crashed back down on the pillow and immediately started snoring again.  Relief!

He was so excited that he woke up at 1:30 in the morning and came running in our room, "The Tooth Fairy left me $2!" and hopped in with us.  It's like he was more excited for this than Christmas.  Seriously excited.

Then at school he not only got to hear his name over the morning announcements for his birthday but he was looking forward to getting sung "the tooth song" by the class.  So sweet, the important things in a 7 year old's world.

March 3, 2011

Applique - Birthday Tote

I finally figured out how to applique and have it look good!  I have tried this before on a t-shirt for Landon and it didn't work out so well.  I used knit before and it stretched in all directions.

Well I obviously needed some directions, a recipe to follow.  I need a formula to follow and to know that it will turn out.

This tote was inspired by this little book that I bought for a friend of Etame's.  It was his 3rd birthday and I felt this little owl and tote bag combo was perfect for him.  I followed the applique instructions from this book, Scandinavian Stitches.  It's a great book full of projects.  I like the design aesthetic of simple designs outlined in black thread.

I tried it out making this tote and I love the result.  It took longer than I expected, but isn't that the truth with most projects?  I used paper-backed fusible webbing.  I think it's called "wonder under" or used to be called that.  I ordered it from Sew Mama Sew.  I probably could have found it at JoAnns but I don't love going in that mega-store.  I prefer to shop and support the little places where they package your goods nicely and send a pretty note with it.  Plus, even though you have to pay shipping, overall it is less (at least for me) when you aren't tempted by everything else in the store.

So I hope this special little boy likes his special little tote to hold his book and other treasures.  Handmade is so fun to give.