Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ten on Thursday

1-I have been a maniac at the sewing machine over the last week and a half. Sneaking away at random moments throughout the day and drinking coffee late so I'll have a reason to stay up and dance the jitterbug while pressing the pedal of creation. This week, I learned how to make a ruffle. I texted my friend, who is an A-MAZING seamstress,

"I just made a skirt with a ruffle. I was all proud of myself for figuring out my machine & amazed by how quickly the skirt was coming together. So excited was I that I attached the ruffle inside out. With a zig-zag stitch. I laughed. Then I cussed. My sewing skills aren't improving much, but I'm becoming one heck of a seam ripper."

Though they aren't fantastically made, I have five new skirts to show for my effort; each one slightly better than the last. Jude has four new pair of shorts and Titus has one. Four skirts are on the counter ready for finishing for gifts. And there is one other fabric laundered and ready to be cut into a romper for Jude.

2-While sewing is definitely the economical way to dress a growing family, when Sean sees how much I spent at Joann's this week, I may not be able to sing that song. At least not in tune or with much conviction. That said, each pair of shorts for J, 1/2 yard of fabric+elastic=<$4. The skirts, maybe...$6 each.

3-We started school on Monday. So far, so good. The boys are doing math on the computer(Teaching Textbooks), as well as Wordly Wise online. It frees up just enough time for me to give Titus one on one attention for math and reading.

4-Jude's school day consists of things such as...<turn down your volume before hitting play>

5-My poor children. Our next house must have a pool, access to a pool, or be on the beach. I vote for the beach, myself...
6-For now, the sprinkler will have to do.
8-Sometimes I think we ought to just do the world a favor and keep having babies. I mean, seriously, look at this handsome devil.
9-Looking at airplanes. :D
10-At my friend's beautiful, beautiful house with beautiful, beautiful settings and backgrounds and photo ops.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ten on Tuesday

1>I have finally purchased the last piece of the end of summer. I'm quite proud of myself for not finalizing the full price purchases and was able to piece together a curriculum for THREE kids for <$500. That's huge. HUGE. Last year I spent two and a half times that by paying retail and for only two kids. If we were paying private school tuition, we couldn't send one kid for one month for what I spent on an entire year. I just can't pat my own back hard enough. And I purchased exactly what I intended. I didn't have to skimp or cut corners. eBay(with a quick bid and ruthless last minute aggression), Thriftbooks(huge, huge savings), and coupon codes) are where it's at.

Well done, Chrisi-tania, well done.

2>Aw, Chrisi-tania a nickname my brother gave me. I hadn't thought of it for quite some time.

3>The big two were having a yelling contest while I was grilling dinner the other night. High pitched screams, low screams, short screams, drawn out screams, screams with accents.

"Knock if off, guys. People will think something is wrong, yelling like that," I said.
Simon rebutted, "People don't care. This is the USA. That stands for, 'Selfish, greedy buttholes.'"

Where does one even begin with that? My red, white, and blue heart hurt a little. Was I to address the 'butthole' or the disdain for the wonderful country in which he was privileged to be born?

He continued on, making a strikingly good point about our culture, "Nobody cares if something is happening to someone else. We can scream all we want and not one person would ask why."

I asked, "Well, why is that? What is the root of the problem? I assure you that it is not just in America. Why does selfishness persist? I'm looking for one word..." I hinted.

"President?" he answered.

"Sin," I corrected through my raucous laughter. Perhaps we should just listen to music in the car instead of talk radio. Or not.

4>I treat him like a child way more often than I should. It's when I see a picture like this that it hits me like a ton of bricks. I'm trying, Kiddo, er...son. Young man? Shhhhheesh. Look at the feet on him. He doesn't seem to outgrow clothes very quickly, but he's reached the stage of outgrowing shoes faster than he gets them dirty. And his shirts? They smell like cologne now. Just like his daddy's. Dad's. Oi, see? Not ready.

5>I have these pictures of Sean that we got from his parents at Christmas. They span his whole childhood. I'm okay flipping through the baby ones and childhood ones. It's when I get to the teenage ones. There's one of him at 13, in particular. It makes my heart race and not in a good way. It's like looking into my very near future. He went from little boy to this gangly teen in the span of one picture and it makes nervous. Like I'll just wake up one morning and Simon will have arms and legs that are too long for his body and an Adam's apple that bobs when he laughs and facial hair and I'M NOT READY!!!! 

6>I do realize it's not about me. Just proclaiming that here and now. It deserves it's own point.

7>Lately this is the only way I can get all four in one frame. Disjointed as it may seem, I kinda love it. Felix interacting with Jude. Jude being receptive-he isn't always. Titus with a giant piece of bark that he didn't put down the entire time we were there. And Simon, messing with a loose molar. 

8>Simon has taken to sending messages in his pictures. Mean, just mean. But kinda funny. 

I did at least have a look of disapproval on my face. 
I made that skirt, by the way, and didn't even have to rip out any seams. It may not survive the washing machine though...I've heard that every time you sew, you learn something new. The lesson from this skirt: don't use linen. It's a mess and I can't keep the ends from unraveling no matter what I do. I leave a trail of threads wherever I go. It turned out a bit more shabby chic than I intended, which works out because I'm always a bit more shabby than I intend.

9>Sometimes I don't see their love until I'm looking back through pictures. It's easily missed amidst the punching and tackling and constant bickering. Eeeeevery once in a while my shutter is fast enough to catch a millisecond hug.

10>Lastly, this little chucklehead is SIXTEEN months old. He cracks us up. I don't remember this age being so much fun. I remember the stress of trying to keep a sixteen month old from plummeting to their demise multiple times a day. I remember the shrieks of having to leave a playground they have no intention of ever leaving. I remember the mess of self feeding. But I had forgotten the hilarity of their discoveries and fascination with life. It's a good age.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Ten on Tuesday

1_I've come to realize I'm too cheap for eBay. I'd almost rather pay retail than deal with the emotions that come with the auction experience. To get so honed in on a particular item. To watch it like a hawk. To spend days picking it apart only to realize during the final countdown, "Nah, I don't really want it."

2_I have successfully hunted down over $500 in savings for this years curriculum via thrift There are just a handful of books I can't find anywhere online or otherwise, but I refuse to give in and pay retail.

3_Homeschooling the kids is getting equally harder and more exciting as they get older. I'm so thankful Sean plans to take over science and math just as soon as his schedule allows.

4_Moody Beauty.

5_Two laughing boys because of two silly girls. 
6_I can't believe we're a week past June already. Time is moving! Some days it still feels like the end is still so far away. Sean has just two more out rotations after his current clinical site. TWO MORE. 

7_While the Navy contingency of his class already knows where they are going, we still do not and probably won't for a while. Which is just awesome. 

8_Another one of this guy just because...

9_Rumor is, it's going to be 75 degrees tomorrow with low humidity. Ohio wins the Spring, Summer, and Fall category. 

10_That said, I'd give anything to feel the warm, sticky, ocean breeze right about now. 

Saturday, July 05, 2014


A couple at our church has gatherings at their house all the time. This is the first we've attended and we had a blast. They have five acres of stuff to do and the kids didn't stop for a second. 

This guy was all about Mr. Bud's antique car and tractor. 
 This guy and Felix were all about the pool. Felix was swimming his little fins off from 1-4. 
Simon opted out of swimming. Too many little kids taking up the water space I suppose. He was perfectly content to play Apples to Apples with this group. 
 "Oh, she caught me with a pink cupcake!"
 "Is she gonna take it? Knock it to the ground? Just keep smiling..."
 "She's taking pictures..."
 "Perhaps I'm safe to...
 just get a quick lick of the icing?"
 "Steady. Steeeady."
 Lest you think I'm evil, I do let them go nuts every once in a while. Luckily, this "pitch in" was full of homemade goodness and nobody walked away from the gathering ill. :D

Once we got home, Felix asked to go to bed. I warned him that naps were not permitted at six o'clock and that if he opted in, it was for the night. 

Titus's "PFFFFFT" sums that up.
 Two hours later, this little charred head appeared just in time for sparklers. 
 "Who needs sparklers when you have pretzel rods and hummus?"
 "Nomnomnom, hummus is a finger food." 

 "More hummus, please."

 "Unattended hummus? Don't mind if I do."

 Jude trying to grab the essence of the sparkler. I love Sean's, "AHHHT!" face.
 I also love his, "knock-it-off-you-just-hit-me-in-the-side-of-the-head-with-a-pop-it!" face.

 "Daddy, they're too close to my hummus."
 "MY HUMMUS!!!!!"
 I was setting up for some timer shots and caught this one. I would love to post the video that accompanies this, but the blog isn't private enough. Let's just say, there's a reason you must be 18 to buy sparklers and there's a reason renting carries a damage deposit.  

Sean was showing them the burn marks on the side of his new shoe. 
 "So, I'm going to light you on fire." says the older brother.
 "Mm hmm. I have the lighter."
 And then I managed to get the following timer shots. It's historical in that no one was injured and I didn't yell at anyone pictured. Not even a little bit. While half the party is in pajamas and the matching sitchiation is not even being attempted, I kinda love these. 
 Especially Titus's crazy faces and Jude's attention as I dash to and fro the camera. 

 Not loving Simon's crazy eye as he holds the lighter, though...

 Then they found a live cicada, 
 a baby lightning bug(for which Titus has a major soft spot),
 & his parents. 
The End.