Yesterday evening was an open-house of sorts for Sophie's elementary school, during which she reunited with old classmates and met her new third-grade teacher. She was having loads of fun getting to see who would be in her class this year, until she found out that one boy in particular - her arch enemy - would also be there. Her face went from cheery and optimistic to dark and doomy, so I figured there had to be more to her reaction than just the fact that this boy has cooties. Her explanation suddenly made my expression go from proud and excited to shocked and horrified: the boy was none other than the second-grade's infamous Ear Wax Squirter. Apparently, he likes to stick his finger deep in his ear and when he's satisfied with his findings, he proceeds to wave that finger in any poor, unsuspecting girl's face, laughing maniacally at her appalled squealing. Thinking that perhaps Sophie was being a little dramatic, I asked another mother if she had ever heard of the Ear Wax Squirter. Her expression suddenly went from jovial and delighted to fearful and wretched. I knew right then that Sophie was not just being a little dramatic.
But there were happier times to be had during the open house, and here are a couple of those moments:
After the open house, we all decided to go bowling at this really cool, brand new alley where they had the lights off and everything sort of glowed. It made taking pictures difficult, but that didn't stop anyone from posing:
In this photo, Breanna is clearly planning the old "stick-your-sweaty-socks-in-someone's-face" sneak-attack on her unsuspecting boyfriend, who is trying to look cherubic for the camera:
And here is Breanna post-attack, very satisfied with the result:
But since love is blind, all was forgiven:
And so ends one of our last summertime adventures for the year. School starts tomorrow, which means Sophie will trade in her flip-flops for running shoes in order to escape unruly classmates, and Breanna and Cody will miss each other terribly when their school-and-work-and-practice schedules resume. But Sabrina, who is always ready for a challenge, is more than ready to take on the 10th grade. Happy New School Year!
I finally got some moulding picked out for 2 pieces that have been sitting around for a while. I suppose they're not technically "oldies," but they sure felt like it, sitting there in the back of the closet, all but forgotten!
The first is Blackbird Designs' first Loose Feathers chart of the year. It's called "Where My Heart Blooms," and I hung it right over the entryway from my kitchen into my diningroom.
The second is kind of a change of pace for me, bc I don't normally display my models in my home. As many of you know, once they are photographed, they are relegated to the basement until I call on them for a trunk show. But something about the colors in "From His Hand" just spoke to me, and I'm able to forget that this is one of my designs. (My house is full of other people's designs, which I love greatly!)
Anyway, I love the moulding for it. Mom helped me choose both of them, so thank you, Mom! And she also helped me with the moulding for Sampler Girl's "At Home with Jane Austen" (see below), so as soon as that frame comes in and I've got it all assembled, I'll post it. I can't wait!
Once every couple of weeks, Cody and Brea have what they call a "Fancy Day," when they wear something other than t-shirts and shorts and head to Kona Grille or Baby Blue for sushi, and then to the Old Market district for lots of artsy-fartsy shops and old-fashioned ice cream. Breanna loves these days bc she is very much a girly-girl who loves a good reason to do her hair and makeup and wear her funky Betsy Johnson shoes.
Fancy Day this time around included another couple, good friends Jared and Chaley. I made all the lovebirds stand still for me so I could take pictures before they headed out on the town, which naturally drew several long sighs and "Oh maaan, I didn't sign up for this!" lamentations. But who do you think will come begging for copies of these when they find out how cute they all looked? Yep, you got it. The Fancy Day Wailers themselves.
Let's just keep Cody away from anything with caffeine, shall we? Have fun, kiddos, and Happy Fancy Day!
One of my favorite blogs to keep up with is Sampler Girl's blog, which is found in my blogroll on the sidebar (At the Honeysuckle Tree). Tanya is one of the most down-to-earth people I know, and it's bc of her that I started blogging again. Something about her entries just makes me smile, and I thought, "Well if she's not afraid to share her day-to-day with everyone, why should I be?" (And so what if my girls are just a tad bit scarier than her sweet boys are?)
One thing you'll notice throughout Tanya's blog is her infectious love for Jane Austen. I, too, love Ms. Austen, but Tanya really loves her. She has several designs based on her books, and I decided to take her cue and do what I always say I'm going to do: stitch to a Jane Austen movie. So here's what I chose to watch:
And here is what I stitched:
Don't you just love those summery colors? They're all Crescent Colours, and the fabric is a mystery to me, but I believe it's by Lakeside Linens. Here is Tanya's cross stitch website, if you'd like to have a look at this pattern and the companion she just came out with: Sampler Girl. They're both wonderful!
When Breanna's-boyfriend-Cody came into our lives, I thought he'd bring with him a sense of balance... order... a fresh face with a calm demeanor. He's incredibly pleasant to have around, and is willing to talk about anything you want, will play any board or card or video game Mike wants to play, and will eat anything (and everything) that passes in front of him at the table. Or the kitchen counter. Or the hallway. Doesn't matter, the boy will eat it.
When I sit in my living room in the late afternoons, I sit there to stitch and relax and drink coffee and enjoy the sunshine that streams through the window behind me. However, when I do decide to sit there, it's as if I've turned into the Pied Piper, bc suddenly every person in the house under the age of 99 will decide to join me. And Cody, with his calm demeanor, is no exception.
What's that you say? Yes, I see it too. An unnaturally large toe is attached to the foot that Sir Cody is about to... well, frankly I don't know what he's about to do. But I do know that Breanna gets a kick out of playing with said fake appendage.
Unfortunately, neither of these children will ever be able to run for public office. Ever. (And is that really my sampler motif book Cody is looking through??)
Here is another child who joined me in my living room yesterday:
She's one of Sabrina's sweet friends, and I caught her laughing at Cody and Brea's antics - despite the fact that just moments earlier, Brea and Cody were both accusing she and Sabrina of being "lowly underclassmen."
Here are the lowly underclassmen together:
They don't exactly appear to have relaxation in mind, I'm afraid. How can I stitch and relax and drink coffee and enjoy the sunshine streaming through the window behind me when I have these maniacal faces sitting across from me?
I suppose I should count my blessings. At least they don't run the other way when they hear the pipe play.
My little Junebug finally joined the rest of us in the family and outgrew her vision. At her eye exam, I didn't accompany her into the room where the optometrist dilated her eyes, but later Sophie told me that when the puff of air burst out at her, she was so taken by surprise that she let out a yell and almost fell out of her seat.
Anyway, she got the glasses she so longed for, and I love the frames she chose!
Last week Breanna and Cody decided that they wanted to surprise Cody's dad for his birthday by baking him a cake. They went to the grocery store, picked out the box with the prettiest picture on the front, threw a can of icing in the cart, and came home to rough up my kitchen.
This same couple mentions often how they'd like to host-and-post a cooking show on YouTube. I don't think they realize that people don't take cooking show hosts very seriously when the hosts are incredibly fascinated and distracted by the simple rotation speeds of the mixer. And that people expect the hosts to say more than, "Oooooh, look. Cooool."
And "Look - look! It all mixes in without even using a spoon."
Because these sweet child-chefs can be quite messy (read: catastrophic) in the kitchen, I convinced them that using my Martha Stewart cake decorator tips and Wilton icing recipe would only cause them much undue stress bc of how inconvenient they are. So they chose instead to use a pre-mixed can of decorator icing with one of the attached tips. However, when it came down to who would actually be doing the "HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD" part, an aggressive debate ensued. Breanna won, and Cody was left to do the writing.
(To be whispered in your best Discovery Channel voice: "Notice how the male hostile holds the can just so.. the look of pure concentration on his face is amazing. I've never seen anything quite like it... to see one of these younglings in a moment of calm domesticity is a rare thing indeed...")
(Oh - and pay no attention to the dirty plate in the background - Brea and Cody invaded the kitchen as soon as they finished eating.)
When Cody was all finished with his work, he said, "It is good."
He then called Breanna in to inspect and she was quite sure she shouldn't have tried so hard to lose the debate. So she told him to add sprinkles.
"Oh forget it - just give it to me already!"
I pray the hostiles never find out when my birthday is. Happy Birthday, Cody's Dad!
My dad sent me a wonderful story today, and I thought I'd share it with you.
Malachi 3:3 says:
'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.'
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.
That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.
As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says:
'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.'
She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time.
The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?'
He smiled at her and answered,
'Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it.'
If today you are feeling the heat of the fire , remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.