February 29, 2012

Sew What

I don't fancy myself as a seamstress. I'm not. But occasionally the need arises and I sew something simple. Then I started seeing a lot of hand made items. And when the opportunity presented itself to do something myself, I jumped in. With two feet. As in, I bought a serger sewing machine. Crazy, I know. I'm having trouble threading it and can't even get it to stitch right. My brain doesn't want to figure it out. Yet, I know that if I persist then I'll learn how it works and I'll be able to make more cool stuff. Here are my latest projects: pillows, an apron and baby blanket. I've got a few other projects up my sleeve if I ever figure out how to work my new machine.

February 28, 2012

Love Notes

Someone gave us these Sassy letters
several years ago.
Probaby for Graeden.
But babies don't read.
So we used them in our shower.
They never made it to our kids' tub.
Not even once.

We use them to write each other notes.
Usually about current happenings.
Silly notes.
Happy notes.
Sad notes.
Congratulatory notes.
And last but not least...
Love notes.

This note is in honor of going to see Beauty and the Best last weekend.
Tymon thought I was calling him a beast.
Maybe I was.

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February 26, 2012

Mini Chocolate Chip

This morning Graeden made the family chocolate chip pancakes. Mainly because I didn't want to get out of bed was nursing Kira. I really like it when he wants to cook. He does a great job and usually only a few pancakes need to be sent back to the kitchen for some quality grill time.

Conversation at the dinner table tonight:

Me: Who wants that chocolate chip?! (pointing to a leftover mini-chocolate chip from this morning)
Elliott: Me! (grabs chip and pops it in his mouth)
Graeden: I call dibs on it!
Tymon: Too late. You're going to have to wait for him to poop it out.
Graeden: You better clean it up real good, Mister!

I'm still laughing. The inflection of Graeden's voice in that last line was a mix of earnestness and seriousness. Entirely fantastic.

Spelt Bread

I made some spelt bread today. Looks good, right? Spelt is similar to wheat and has a high gluten content. If you are wheat gluten-sensitive then you may be able to tolerate spelt gluten just fine. I'm not convinced that "high gluten" means the same if it's not wheat though. This dough wasn't very elastic.

Well, these loaves were set to come out of the oven right before we left for church. No problem. A couple of minutes before we left, I tapped them and they sounded hollow. So I pulled one out of the oven, shook it out of the pan and onto the cooling rack. And it broke in half. I was surprised to find dough oozing out of the middle and burning my fingers. I guess I need to have formal training in what hollow sounds like. I put both pans back in the oven to finish cooking on whatever residual heat was left in the oven. I'm not sure what the kids' sandwiches will be like tomorrow. Eek.

Totally Unrelated:
Tymon and his computer chair - before and after photos. I was nervous about this *recliner* chair when the kids would get in it. They never fell though. Tymon did once. Good thing the waste bin was right under it so he didn't completely topple over. New office chairs saved us from certain destruction and all is well at the Johns'.

February 24, 2012

Kira Steps Up



She's hung out on the bottom step before.
Tonight she's stepping up to find out
what kind of fun and excitement
her siblings have in the playroom.
Lucky girl.



Apparently, the excitement for the evening was cross-dressing.
Except Jocelyn.
She's wearing one of Kira's dresses like a skirt.
Always good times at the Johns'.

February 12, 2012

Downward Dog

I stopped going to yoga when I was pregnant with Kira. Combining my natural hyper-flexibility with relaxin (pregnancy hormone that loosens joints) and yoga wasn't a positive combination for me. But apparently it was for Kira. She likes the downward facing dog pose the best. Even when she's nursing. I don't like that so much. But she does. I guess milk tastes better yoga-style. She even looks at me every so often and smiles so I'm pretty sure she knows how unusual her behavior appears.
I will now interrupt this post to give you a too much information alert: Kira also likes to turn her head the wrong way when she's nursing. So, instead of me looking down and seeing her face, I see the back of her head...which makes it easier to kiss since it's closer to my face.  

I find myself giving this girl extra loves and hugs. She is so cute. And talented, too. Not every 7 month old is a self-taught yoga queen or pulls herself up to fold the laundry on the couch. This one is a keeper. That's for sure.

February 10, 2012

You Can't Be Sick Today

7:26 am - Graeden and Elliott say they feel sick and don't really want to eat breakfast.
7:26:15 am - Me: "Too bad. You can't be sick today. I've got too much going on. I'm going to school today to be the art docent in both Jett and Graeden's classrooms."

7:30 am - Tymon gives the boys bread bags to hurl in if they get sick on the bus. He even opened up Elliott's to make sure he could easily access it in a hurry.

9:00 am - Elliott's teacher calls me and says Elliott isn't feeling well. His head is on the desk but he's still trying to do his work. He didn't want her to call me. (He knows he's not supposed to be sick - ha ha.)

9:05 am - my parents say they can pick up Elliott and take him to their office where he can sleep on the couch there or watch movies.

10:00 am - Jocelyn, Kira and I arrive in Jett's classroom. Jocelyn sits next to Jett and does the project. Jett's teacher holds Kira (her ovaries are burning) and I teach the kids about van Gogh's Starry Night and replicate the scene with oil pastels.

11:00 am - lock down drill
11:10 am - Jocelyn has her first speech therapy session. I think this is going to be the best thing ever. She's got homework she's excited to do (working on the s sound).

11:45 am - get to Graeden's class and prepare supplies for students. Another docent teaches about tints and shades and we do a mosaic project.

1:15 pm - School's out and the kids and I are putting art supplies away. The boys ask where Elliott is. After saying that he was with NanaBapa (my kids say it as one word) Graeden then proceeds to tell me that he threw up on the bus.

What?!

Yeah. But he did it all quiet-like. In the bag. No one knew except his two friends next to him. When he got to class he put it in the trash. His teacher saw and asked him if he was okay. Apparently, he felt better after getting rid of last night's salad (a fantastic orange pomegranate one).

And here's me: trying not to laugh out loud. I'm so proud of my boy. What a trooper. 

5:30 pm - Tymon comes home and takes a nap
7:30 pm - we go to wake up Tymon for scriptures and Jocelyn jumps on the bed. He says he's feeling sick. We leave.

7:32 pm - "Bridget! I need you!" Tymon calls to the next room.
7:33 pm - I'm flushing the contents of his barf bowl.

February 9, 2012

Just Sick

Remember the last time we got sick at our house? This time wasn't as bad. It started out innocently enough with Elliott not feeling well before dinner Tuesday night. Then he hurled. Every couple hours. Until 3 am, when Graeden tried to make it to the toilet but vomited all over Jett's feet as he was getting down from the bunkbed. I took a little mattress and set it up next to the bathroom. No more midnight sheet cleaning for me.

About 8am it was my turn. Unlike the last time, this time I'm not pregnant. I didn't realize the predicament being sick is when nursing. I had nothing to give Kira. I was empty and couldn't refuel. We're so lucky that she didn't get sick, too. I had enough energy to give her a bottle. Luckily she figured out how to hold it. Smart girl.

Shutters in master bath and bedroom. Before and After.
 Attention to any Johns-stalking peeping Toms: THE SHOW IS OVER! After living with naked windows for 38.5 months, we put up shutters.

I used to tell myself we lived on a greenbelt and no one was looking. And that may be true. But this week when I was standing at the mail box, I noticed the shutters in our windows were visible. And which window? Yes, that's right. Only the master bathroom. Now I'm blushing. Tymon assures me that anyone looking would have only see pink bodies. Not even be able to distinguish man/woman. Ha ha. What an optimist.

Besides the neighbors not being able to watch us shower anymore, the shutters are also good for keeping rooms dark when you're sick and want to sleep all day. Yup. Did that. So glad to be feeling better. AND I got my first return letter today. Yay! 

February 1, 2012

A Month Of Letters

Did I ever tell you that I used to write letters? Real ones. By hand. With actual postage attached. In the summer, I'd watch for the mailman every day. And get antsy if he was running behind.

It started when I was ten. My aunt hooked me up with the daughter of one of her friends in France. We became pen pals. She thought my mundane life was exciting. And I liked learning from her what life was like in another country. Growing up in a different religion than me. I had other pen pals, too.

Letter writing brings back happy memories of lazy summer days. The sun shining and me running to the mailbox as soon as the mailman came. The pure delight at finding a letter with my name on it. My eyes instantly lighting up and my fingers working to rip it open as quickly as possible. I devoured every word before getting back inside. I moved to my bedroom, laid down and reread the details I missed in my initial excitement.

Over the years, I amassed quite a collection of letters. I'm not sure what to do with them. They have been sitting in my closet for years. Decades. I move them from house to house. I've thought about tossing them out. But I can't.
Most of my letters are from friends.  But some of them are mine. Gifted to me by my parents. They are the letters I wrote to them while having adventures around the world. That's my history in those boxes.

I came across a challenge today. Write one letter per day for the month of February. This challenge was made for me. I'm taking it. Per chance I can make someone else's day a little brighter. But mostly, I want to relive my sunny days of youth in and reconnect with my former self.

To tell you the truth, it was really hard to start writing a letter this evening. I didn't know how to start. I didn't know what to say. I'm rusty. Plus, it's just WEIRD to write letters nowadays. What's the purpose? Just because? I'm writing just for giggles and not because I want something? I felt like I had to explain myself. BUT I DIDN'T. I just pretended that this letter wasn't out of the ordinary at all.

I know you're dying to know what I wrote about. Well, I'll tell you. Bread. Surprise, surprise! Ha ha ha.

I know this may sound obvious, but here goes anyway. If you want to make bread for sandwiches, you should make it in a sandwhich loaf pan. Duh! When my Pullman loaf pan came today, I immediately cleaned it and put my dough inside to rise. I've never used one before and putting a lid on it seemed strange to me. But it turned out well and the sandwiches we had for lunch were fantastic. This particular brand has a silicone non-stick lining fused into the pan so there's no nead to grease the pan first. After baking, the bread came right out. I love that. This bread above is 100% fresh ground whole wheat and rye. I'm really liking rye these days. It's not like the strong tasting bread they sell in the stores. I don't put caraway seeds in mine. Rye has a nice mild flavor and makes a hearty loaf.
 
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