Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas

While looking through the Christmas pictures, I realized that I really sucked at taking them this year! There are VERY few, so I'll just share a couple. We each opened one gift on Christmas Eve - new pj's for everyone. By 7:05 on Christmas morning, all presents (that I was busy wrapping till 11:30 the night before wrapping) had been ripped open and being played with. Other than the awesome colored pencil and crayon rolls that their amazing mother made, the boys' favorite presents were a metal detector for Taylor...

and a new Transformer for Landon.

I got my wish this year, and we were finally able to spend the day at home, just the four of us. There was no fighting about having to get dressed, or leaving the toys at home. We watched Christmas movies, played with toys, had a turkey dinner, I surfed the net and found the REAL Nutcracker (now I just have to remember to order it sometime), munched on cookies and chocolate popcorn, played a few board games, and that was it!

Saturday we went to my parent's house for Christmas with them. Both my brothers were there, so within the first 20 minutes of me being there, they had me on the floor tickling me (whenever we're all together, those two tend to gang up on me - they consider it a tradition)! I used to think that they would outgrow it, but since they're still doing it at 32 and 24, I'm not sure when that will be.

After a delicious meal, we opened gifts. Of all the gifts, my favorites were the 2 new additions to my nutcracker collection, a new wooden spoon (made by my 5th grade math teacher) for my wooden spoon collection, and a new MP3 player. We all sat around playing with the kids and chatting. It was nice to get to know Stefan a little better. He is a foreign exchange student from Germany who is staying with my uncle. Shawn and I decided that we age well compared to most of our former classmates (either that or we're delusional). Since Kelsey knows where all the good thrift stores in KC are, we discussed what he needs to be looking for on my wish list. It was a good day.

Sunday morning I tried sleeping in a little. Then Jeremy informed me that the boys and I needed to leave for a while because we weren't going to have any water for a while. Our hot water heater has been having issues (I can't even get my hair washed before the water turns cold), so he and his dad were going to put in a new one. Back to mom and dad's we went. Kelsey was just leaving to go home, and my SIL had just left to go do some shopping, so we hung out with my parents, Shawn, and his kiddos for the day.

I was trying to get pictures of the kids, but Landon was being a boob, he kept closing his eyes. Looking at this picture, I realized that I don't think I've ever mentioned his eyelashes. They are lllllooooonnnnnggggg and dark. He gets those from his daddy. Taylor has my lashes - while they are long, they're not nearly as dark.

Our plans for today include some much needed cleaning and a little more shopping (I didn't make it to the butcher shop or the book store yesterday) before we meet my mom at the Hastings Museum. I should also start thinking about the new year's resolutions I probably won't keep!

Monday, December 29, 2008

House of Testosterone

I don't have much time this morning, as we are getting ready to head to mom and dad's to watch my niece and nephew (their big sister has an appointment in Omaha, so my brother and SIL stayed at my parent's instead of driving 2 hours home last night, then 5 hours to O and 5 hours back home tonight - mom and dad live 3 hours from Omaha, so about 4 hours of driving are saved).

Anyway...my mom bought me a book that I started reading last night, and it's PERFECT for those of us who are outnumbered by men/boys (they really are the same thing aren't they?).

You can find the book here and here, and the author, Sharon O'Donnell, also has a website/blog called Mom of Boys. I haven't had a chance to really look at that, yet, but am always looking for ways to save my sanity!

With any luck, I'll be back tomorrow with a recap of our Christmas!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Weekend Wisdom


"May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you and all your heart might desire."

~Irish Blessing~


The Stewart side of my family (my mom's mom's side!), Christmas 1959. Back row: Joe (my great-grandpa's brother) and my Grandpa Southern; Middle row: my Great-Grandma Alice, uncle Tom, Great-Aunt Irene (Charles' wife), my Grandma Southern, Great-Uncle Charles, and Great-Uncle Faye; Sitting on floor (back to front): George Stewart (Joe's son), my Great-Grandpa Charley, and my adorably chubby mom!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas


Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years. Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart.
~George Matthew Adams~

Friday, December 19, 2008

Weekend Wisdom


"Only those who look with the eyes of children can lose themselves in the object of their wonder."
~Eberhard Arnold~

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

For anyone who loves Handmade Toys

I rarely post more than once in one day, but this is important.

I've seen this on a few blogs, and thought I'd share with everyone who visits mine as well. We simply cannot let this happen. My letters are going out today.

Modge Podge

Whew! These last few days have been busy. I have pictures from Saturday, but with my camera being at my mom's house, I can't post any (which is really unfortunate because I wanted to show you how pretty the snow looks on my window box this morning).

First of all, I want to thank everybody who donated to the Knit Your Bit project! I recieved a phone call yesterday from a nursing home in Kansas who recieved their package on Friday. They recieved 2 lap blankets, a scarf, a hat, and a pair of gloves (all items went to separate veterans). With each gift, I also included a letter explaining what these gifts were for. The administrator told me the men were so touched by our appreciation that they even allowed themselves to cry. This is something I would like to do again next year, but I think I'll start in June or July. I had several people who wanted to send something, but needed more time to get something made.

Saturday
Saturday was the annual Scouting With The Storm event in Kearney. It always takes place on Stormy's (the mascot) birthday, and through the cub scouts, we can get cheap tickets. We only stayed for the first period, but it was definitely an eventful one! In less than two minutes into the game, there was the first of three fights in that period, a very rude lady stole a puck from my dad, and Landon threw up.

Actually Landon got sick before the puck flew out. He's been having some issues over the last couple of weeks. Every once in a while, his tummy can't digest sugar and he gets sick. Once he throws up, he's fine. He was munching on some popcorn when he got sick (thank God for that popcorn bag!), so we were going to leave right then. He wanted to stay, so I told him we'd stay for the last 7 minutes of the period.

After getting sick, I put him on my lap so he could see a little better, and within seconds of him getting on my lap, a puck flew over the windows, hit Landon's seat, then my mom's foot, and rolled down the row. Dad had it in his hand, and as he was sitting back up the nasty woman next to him took it right out of his hand. Dad, not wanting to cause a scene said nothing. However...I had to say something. The people sitting in front of us and next to my dad were from a town about 20 minutes from here. I know what they're like, and very kindly told dad that you can't expect any better behavior from people from BH. (We play them in baseball, and they cheat. They cheat so much that they rarely even try hiding it. When we call them on it, they try to lie. They can't stand that Roseland is better than BH in baseball. I think it has a lot to do with coaching. Our coaches treat the boys (ages 11-14) with respect, and rarely, if ever yell at the boys. BH's coaches are constantly yelling and screaming at their players.) The lady in front of my glared at me, but she has always been extremely rude to me at scouting events, so I expected nothing less.

We left and dad took Landon home while mom, Taylor, and I did some shopping at Hobby Lobby and Target. Both places were VERY busy, but we did find some really good deals!

Sunday
We had all stayed up until 11:30 Saturday night watching a movie, so we all slept in Sunday morning. Jeremy and Taylor decided they wanted to run into town around 10:30, and the plan was for them to bring home some lunch. The got home just before noon. Taylor looked like he was going to cry, and Jeremy looked ANGRY. J informs me that our bank account has been wiped out. WHAT?! He went to pay for his things at Wal-Mart, and his debit card was rejected (he almost never carries cash or his checkbook). So, he tried going to an ATM, but that told him there was a balance of $0.00 in the account.

Monday
Monday was COLD! When L (a little boy I watch before school and after school on Fridays) got here at 6:30, the windchill made it feel like -20 degrees (fahrenheit). The high for yesterday was 5, the low was -7. Right now it's only 2. (Speaking of fahrenheit, have you ever smelled that cologne for men? YUMMY! There's another one that is absolutely delicious, but I can't remember what it's called.)

We found out there was some kind of glitch in the bank's system, and thankfully, none of our money is missing. Dad was telling me that he had that happen to him once at the bank he used when he lived in Abilene. The bank had some kind of safety thing set up so whenever someone tried hacking into the system, or tried attaching a virus, the entire system shut down. We're just glad we can pay our bills!

I spent the day working on Christmas presents (my list in the sidebar is slowly shrinking!), then moved my sewing table into what will soon be my sewing room! I realized I have way too much fabric, and I seriously need to start getting some of my projects done. I put most of my fabric into my new cart (the basket measures about 22" high, 16" wide, and 13" from back to front). Now you can barely see the handle (which sticks 12" above the top of the basket), and I have 4 of those black fabric Wal-Mart bags filled with more fabric!

Today
Today's plans are just the same ol' same ol'. Dishes and laundry. Then, I think I'm going to rearrange the living room a little bit. I still have several projects that need to be finished, so I'm sure I'll be working on those as well. What are you all doing?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Weekend Wisdom


"I never kept up with the fashions. I believed in wearing what I thought looked good on me."
~Bettie Page~


Bettie Page passed away yesterday. She was 85.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday

It's been a little while since I've done the VTT, and I'm very excited to show you my recent purchase. Last weekend there was a Vintage Christmas Flea Market held at the Adams County Fairgrounds. My mom and I were in heaven! Everywhere we looked, there were things we wanted, and we had a hard time controlling ourselves. One booth had a bunch of old cowboy stuff, and there was a book from 1984 that listed all of the brands in Nebraska. We found my grandpa's brand, and my great-uncles's. It was just kind of neat seeing them in a book.

As we wandered around, I saw a cart. I stared and stared at it thinking of all the possibilities. It would look really cute outside on its side as a planter, or I could put it in the bathroom to hold towels. Once I get my sewing room done, it would be a great place to store fabric. But, do I really need it? You know that feeling you get when you look at something and your entire body is telling you that you have to buy it? That's what it was like. However, I decided (knowing full well that it would be gone if I waited) that we would look around some more, and if it was still there when we came back, then it was meant to be.

Here is my new planter/towel basket/fabric basket

with a cute green handle.


It even folds up, which would be great to take for picnics or to our next flea market. We may even have to see how many times we can fill it up on the Junk Jaunt next fall!



To see more vintage finds, go here!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What Was I Thinking?!

So, I decided to make most of our Christmas presents this year, and I really should have known better. Here I am, with only 2 weeks left, and I have a TON of stuff to finish up. My list:

Taylor and Landon (one for each)
crayon roll (Taylor-done)
pencil roll (Taylor-done)
quilt (both done)
bed buddy
Navy pillow
pillow sham


Natalie & Ali (one for each)
apron
crayon roll
bag
skirt


Brody
patchwork turtle
crayon roll
bag

Maddox
crayon roll

"Mo" - DONE
3 bibs
3 burp cloths
blanket
flannel jingle block

Mom
apron
tea towels (done)
oven mitts
bracelet (done)

Shawn - DONE
pencil roll

Kelsey
oven mitts
hot pads


Amber
apron
tea towels (done)
oven mitts
bracelet


I know that once I get started, these things shouldn't take long at all. I'm just a procrastinator, so it takes a little bit to actually get started!

Monday, December 8, 2008

1545 Taking Over Our House!

Friday afternoon, I went into town to pick up our Pack's popcorn - all $2017 worth. $1545 of that was Taylor's (there's only two boys in the Pack), and it has taken over our living room!


Since he sold more than $1,500, on January 3, Taylor will get to go to the University of Nebraska for the first ever Exclusive Nebraska Cornhusker Experience! The package includes:
  • TWO passes (1 for Scout & 1 for Adult) to our Special and Exclusive University of Nebraska Cornhusker Expereince.
  • Do the "Tunnel Walk" just like the Cornhusker Football players!
  • See the acutal Football Athletic Facilities - like the Heisman Room, The Press Box and other cool stuff - on a special Memorial Stadium Tour guided by a player just for us!
  • ALL attendees get a Commemorative Cornhusker Experience Scouting Hat!
  • TWO free tickets to see a Cornhusker Basketball Game on 1/3/2009
    Chance to get other COOL Cornhusker Experience stuff like door prizes, autographed posters, and recognition/special seats at the game.
He was 1 of only 8 boys in the entire district to get to go! He thought this would be the perfect Christmas present for my dad, and I'm sure they'll both have a wonderful time!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Weekend Wisdom


After thirty, a body has a mind of its own.
~ Bette Midler ~


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Counting Down, Negotiations, and more

It seems like we're constantly counting down to something...2 days till I pick up the popcorn for delivery...12 school days until Christmas break...22 days till Christmas...29 days till the launch of another (possibly 2 more) blogs. All this counting down seems to take up a lot of time, which I seem to have very little of lately.

A couple of projects I've worked on over the last few days:

Taylor's quilt.
I'm almost done, I just need to get some more red bias tape to finish the edges. For any professional quilters out there, please don't scold me if using bias tape is unacceptable in quilt making! I tend to just make things up as I go, and 1/2 double fold bias tape is what I'm using because it's easy! I'm not sure if this could be considered a quilt, or just a blanket. With the exception of the toile fabric, I used navy, light blue, red, and cream colored sheets for the top, a white sheet for the middle layer instead of batting, and a red sheet (navy for Landon's) for the back layer. Total cost averaged out to about $20 for each one, and I still have plenty of fabric left over for other things!

Isn't Gretta (the green sewing machine) beautiful? I'll have to take a better picture and introduce her properly.

The other project I finished was a quick one. I have a small collection of thimbles, and have been looking for a way to display them. I have an old window from the farm hanging in our living room with tin frames on either side. So, I decided to try and make a "window sill" for my thimbles to sit on. It was hard to match the color, but I came close enough, I think!


If you're curious the pictures in the frames are as follows: Left frame top to bottom - windmill from the farm, the boys in their overalls a couple of years ago, and one of the autogates on the road that leads to the farm; Right frame top to bottom - fence at the farm, the boys' 2006 summer photo, the chair I'm in love with!

And a closer view of my thimbles (and yes, that is a dead dandelion on the window - it was a gift from Landon). Not that you can really see any details, but they are from left to right: Platte River Road Archway, Seattle, Ruby Red Slippers, Eisenhower Museum, my grandma's, my great-grandma's, Canada, Tijuana, Oregon Coast, and the Greyhound Hall of Fame.

****************************************************

We live in a very small house. It has 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, an eat-in kitchen, a living room, and a creepy basement we use only for storage. We could easily fit 3 more of our houses in our gigantic yard, though! The boys decided they want to share a bedroom, which leaves 1 bedroom open. For the last couple of years, this has been known as the "computer room" or "dad's room" because this is the room that Jeremy has all his crap. He has recently realized how nice it would be for all of us if I had my own craft room. Right now, my sewing table is in the living room. It's actually a pretty decent sewing table that we got from Wal-Mart a few years ago. When it's all closed up, it looks like an actual piece of furniture. Look here for pictures of it.

Anyway...the other day, my wonderful husband said that he's been thinking about giving up his man cave so that I can have it for a sewing/craft room. (Happy Dance!) But, he wants me to get rid of the piano so he can have a recliner in the living room. (thud!) I will NOT give up my piano. No way, no how. However, I did point out to him a few other places where he could stick a recliner - two of which are actually in the living room. He's been thinking it over for the last couple of days, and I'm cautiously optimistic that I may finally get my own sewing room!

*****************************************

Now, I NEED YOUR HELP!!! I have figured out all of our Christmas gifts for this year except one. I have been wanting to make as many gifts as possible this year, but for the life of me, I can't figure out what to do for my 1-year-old nephew. He has more stuff than any child could possibly figure out what to do with. I made him a nice warm blanket for Christmas last year, so that's out, and I've looked through my craft & sewing books, but haven't had much luck. I thought about making him a stuffed turtle (he used to stick his pointy little tongue out all the time, so he was nicknamed "Turtle Tongue" for a while), but other than that (and possibly a t-shirt that says "Aunt Heather ROCKS!), I'm clueless. His sisters are each getting an apron, a crayon roll (filled with crayons), a sketchbook, and a bag to put it all in.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

KYB Reminder


I just wanted to send out a reminder to everyone who has signed up for Knit Your Bit, but has not sent me your package, yet. If at all possible, please have them in the mail to me by this Friday, December 5th.

Thank you all again for your generosity!


Friday, November 28, 2008

Weekend Wisdom

" Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being."
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe~

Monday, November 24, 2008

She's on her way!

I just got back from the Post Office, and sent this lovely lady on her way! I like her so much that I plan on making one for myself, too!




My partner asked for an apron with frills and sparkles. I am absolutely terrible at ruffles, so the plan was to find some cute frilly trim. Once I had the fabrics picked out, I was afraid that a frilly trim would be too much, though. However, I believe this apron sparkles quite a bit without any trim. The red has a pretty shine to it when the light hits it. For the waist band and ties, I used white costume satin. The bottom wedges were created with two fabrics - a silver costume satin underneath a sheer white fabric with snowflakes (and the snowflakes are very sparkly - not that you can tell from this picture, though)!

The pattern is the "Twirl Girl" from A is for Aprons. I have to admit that I was not particularly fond of this pattern until my partner from the last FAS sent me her beautiful creation using this pattern!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas Must-Watch Movies

We have a list of movies that we absolutely MUST watch between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We usually watch the same classics every year, and add in one or two newer movies. Here's our list so far:


A Christmas Story

Christmas Vacation

Frosty the Snowman

Holiday Inn
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

Yes, we watch both of them. We can't get enough of Whoville!


It's A Wonderful Life


Miracle on 34th Street


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer


White Christmas

Last, but not least, we always watch "A Claymation Christmas Celebration" at my mom's. Does anybody remember this? The California Raisins were just one of the "acts" singing Christmas Carols. My mom recorded it way back in 1987 when it was on TV, and I've yet to find it on DVD. Luckily, I was able to find it on YouTube!

Part One








Part Two






Part Three





Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekend Wisdom


"Don't gossip - particularily about other women. Don't make sarcastic and catty remarks. Kindness is the secret to true femininity."
~Carol Landis~

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday - My mom!

If I had to use one word to describe my mom, I think it would be BEAUTIFUL.

She first brought joy to my grandparents in 1955 at a time when they desperately needed it (mom's sister was still born the year before). Since then, she has brought love and kindness to everybody she has come in contact with. Everybody who has met my mom loves her. She makes you feel good about yourself even when you're at your lowest point.

As a mom, she has worked hard to give my brothers and I all the important things in life: love, trust, support, generosity, independence, honesty. When my brothers or I are faced with a difficult decision, she listens to our worries, talks to us about all the possibilies, and lets us know that whatever we decide, she's there.

We had a conversation a while back when I told her that I try to be as good a mom to my kids as she has been to me. She said that's how she has felt about my grandma (another amazing woman), so it's no wonder why my mom is the person she is.

So, how can I forget to tell this beautiful person Happy Birthday? I don't know.

Happy Birthday, MOM (11 days late)!
My mom and uncle Tom on Easter in 1958 or '59.
If you ever go to Fort Robinson in the Nebraska panhandle, my mom lived in Adobe 9A until she was 11 years old. Grandpa used to work for the Meat Animal Research Center, and they were located in Fort Rob before moving to central Nebraska.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy 8th Birthday!

How can this little guy...

turn into this so fast?

Happy 8th Birthday, my first born, my Tater Bug!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Farewell

Wednesday morning, we will be saying our final farewell to a good man. Jeremy's Grandpa George left us Saturday night to go be with his beloved wife, Nellie.

Life was pretty unkind to George in his youth, but he grew up to be a very good man who will be missed by all.

The photo above is from George's 100th birthday party in March 2007. There's my father-in-law Jim, Jeremy holding Landon, George, and Taylor. Four generations of strong, proud, and kind Nabower men.
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