Friday, January 28, 2011

they're working!

My lucky lanterns are working!

I signed up a few months ago to receive a free Chrome notebook, otherwise called CR-48. Andy sent me the link, and while I figured I would never actually get one, I figured it couldn't hurt. I never heard anything back. Then yesterday, the UPS guy came knocking at our door. The only thing I was expecting was a roll of 5 1/2 yards of cream colored zipper(for my big project that is going to take me forever). This was a fairly large box, so I knew it had to be something else.

When I opened the box, I found a Chrome notebook. Completely unexpected!

The notebook is a pilot program. It is for those of us who 'live on the web', which is basically me. I check email, browse the web, blog, check Facebook, and that's about it. We're supposed to use the notebook and give them feedback. It looks like you can still sign up to get one, although you do have to realize this is not the finished notebook so there still could be some issues. Here is the link:

I think Andy was more excited than me. Another toy to play with - he couldn't keep his hands off it last night. We both noticed right away that we couldn't upload pictures. I would put in my SD card, and nothing happened. Apparently they really mean for this to be a web only computer. Or they haven't tested it enough so that is not yet an option. Andy switched the notebook from beta mode to developer mode(or something like that, you'll have to excuse my lack of computer knowledge here), and now it works.

Andy also showed me how to upload pictures I've taken with my Android phone to Picasa, and then I can use them in my blog. So maybe I have to do things differently? UGH! This is getting too difficult for me - I just don't get how it all works!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Winter Afternoons

Alex in the afternoon:

He doesn't sleep well at night - STILL! - so he takes a mega nap during the day. By mega I mean he is completely knocked out. I can put his coat on him, take him in and out of the car, lay him in shopping carts, etc. and he doesn't even stir. There are many days I don't want him to be sleeping, but once he is out, there is no waking this kid! Too bad this doesn't happen at night. I try to keep him up with no naps during the day so he'll sleep at night, but the second I put him in the car to pick up the kids from school he is OUT!

Drew after school(notice our new window!):

We've started letting the kids play video games on school nights(some nights not all of them), but only after they have done everything else, which includes practicing the piano, reading their books, cleaning up their room/toys, and getting ready for bed. He'll do anything if he thinks it will give him a chance to play games! He practiced for 30 minutes yesterday, without any complaining or squirming, which is very unusual for him. Drew is doing wonderful at reading too. He has really started figuring it out, and it is so great to see him excited about reading. He gets a huge goofy grin on his face when he reads a book to us. The kids bring home baggie books from school (3 books they choose in their skill level) each night, and they are supposed to read them for their homework.

Faye after school:

She loves to color and write(and read), so she spends most afternoons coloring or drawing pictures. Occasionally she will get a book out and read after school, but usually she saves that for when she goes to bed. Many nights we have to take her books away and tell her to get to sleep. She picked out a Junie B. Jones book at the library on Tuesday, and she read it in about an hour. Faye isn't doing the baggie books at school since they don't have any books in her skill level. Her teacher is working on getting her into an Accelerated Reader (AR) program, where she'll pick a book from the library and once she's finished she'll take a computer quiz to test her comprehension, and also write and draw about what she read. She took a quiz on the Junie B. Jones book and got 100%. Both Faye and Drew came home telling me about Faye getting 100% - Drew was just as excited as Faye(although he had no idea what 100% meant)!

We're all looking forward to spring, when we can all get outside, going for walks, riding bikes, playing at the park, and working in the garden. But until then, we'll stay busy inside.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Alex is our little comedian. He is the 3rd child, so he tries to get attention any way he can, usually in the form of making us all laugh. I think it also has to do with his age, 2 1/2 year olds can be really funny. He even cracks himself up. He can make me and Andy laugh fairly easily, and he likes that, but he really loves it when he can make Faye and Drew laugh. There's nothing like making your big brother and sister laugh! He'll do whatever it takes to get a laugh out of us, but his go to move is to take off all his clothes and run around naked, dancing and jumping and saying funny stuff. It always gets a lot of laughs from the older kids.

He's really good at entertaining himself when I'm working on something and Faye and Drew are at school. I'm working on a big project I'm really excited about. I spent around 2 hours yesterday just cutting fabric, and I'm not even finished yet. Alex was great the whole time, watching, helping, and then measuring. He can count to 20 pretty well, sometimes he leaves out a few numbers here or there, but he gets it for the most part. He 'measured' from the table to the fan over and over, and in case you were wondering, it measures 20!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Smashing Smock

This morning I decided to make the smashing smock from Anna Maria Horner's book, Seams to Me.  I pre-washed and cut my fabric several days ago, but I ran out of black thread, so I had to wait to put it together.  It was a really cold week and I wasn't too excited about dragging Alex around town, even for something I really wanted. But yesterday I was out and about, so I picked up the black thread(and a billion other things at the fabric store).

The book says the pattern is a size medium and I've never been a size medium. Sometimes even size small is too large for me. I followed the instructions to make the pattern smaller, and well, after sewing it all together it is way too small!  After reading some reviews online, I noticed that the pattern being small is a very common problem.  Why didn't I look online first and read some reviews? I was so disappointed that I wasted all that time and fabric for something that doesn't fit. I like it and it was so simple to make, so I'll try again and see if I can get the right fit. Hopefully I don't waste another morning!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What I've been working on

Here is what I've been working on this week - other than all the things from my last post (like installing/moving appliances). When things get really crazy I find myself starting lots of projects. Andy likes to tease me about it, but there could be worse things I could be doing, so he should get over it. Sorry for the poor pictures - most of them were taken after dark and we don't have good lighting in our house.

This project was so much fun and easy to make, and something I really needed too!

A place to put all my sewing needles!

I also made a matching cover for my sewing machine. Its only been a year or two that I've been thinking about it. Didn't take me long at all!

This is the Schoolhouse Tunic. It was very quick and simple to make, and I really like it, but it turned out just a little too big for me despite making the smallest size - no surprises there. I wore it with a belt and it fit a little better, but I think I will take it in so I can wear it without. I had just been washing dishes, so ignore the water spots if you can!


I have had terrible luck, if you can call it that, in the past few days (and weeks and months), even though I made black eyed peas on New Years day.  I won't be doing that next year. I've also been making Lucky lamps hoping that will help, but so far they are not so lucky.  Alex dumped my coffee cup over onto several paper lamps I made - and they take a long time to make. But I think they are so freakin cute and worth the time spent!

I'm not really sure what I have planned for these, but I have a mini string of 20 lights and these will go onto the string of lights, with one light in each lantern.  I was up to over 10 lanterns, but the coffee spill destroyed at least 4 of them. Maybe my luck will change once I've finished.

My bad luck:

  • Dryer broke
  • Had to haul old appliance up basement stairs, over stove, and take new one downstairs - made my arms sore - Andy told me to work out more.
  • Picked out a new desk (very old restored desk), went to pick it up, and it was sold to somebody else even though it was promised to me.  I've been looking for something for months!
  • Washer broke.
  • Picked out a new washer with delivery, installation, and haul away of old one.  We ended up installing the washer ourselves, and hauling the old washer up the basement stairs, because they wouldn't do it - made my back sore.
  • Got new windows installed this week, only one of them shattered and we now have plywood covering the window until new window is made and shipped to Home Depot.  Could be two or three more weeks.
  • Checked my bank account and saw that somebody in Georgia spent all my money plus some at TJ Maxx.  Had to cancel debit card.
At least life is keeping me busy!