Tuesday, May 31, 2011

While the kids were away...

the parents (especially me) did play. Darrin had to work most of the time the kids were back in Iowa visiting their grandparents, but I had time to do a little crafting and cooking.

I made some Fudge Island Bars (no recipe link, it's from an actual cookbook) shortly after the kids left. Why I made a jelly roll for just Darrin and me is beyond me. Needless to say, some of these ended up going in to the freezer for later.
Oatmeal Island Fudge Bars

As the week started, I was all set to make foods that normally send Ian in to a tizzy at supper time. One of them we tried was a chicken and veggie lasagna. I was even surprised Darrin said it was okay to make this past week as he doesn't eat most of the veggies in it. But he ate this dish, and had seconds. Even took the leftovers for lunch the next day. I just wish it would have been creamier. There wasn't a lot of cream to it.
Chicken & Veggie Lasagna

The rest of the dishes I thought I would make didn't end up getting made. Turns out we're not as hungry or consistent about staying on schedule when the kids aren't around. The fruit in the fridge doesn't get eaten as fast, either. Doesn't help that we went out and had several "Date Night" dinners.

The best date night we had while they were gone was to see Wicked at the Orpheum. I HATE the Wizard of Oz, so I was a bit skeptical of the musical, even though everyone I talked to assured me they weren't much related. Well, they were right. I LOVED the whole thing: the story line, the songs, the costumes, and the lighting effects. Oh how I wish cameras had been allowed.
Wicked @ the Orpheum

I spent some time the week they were gone quilting. I made the two blocks for the May friendship block quilt exchange. The first is a "Wonky Square-in-Square" for Jenn. It was totally outside the box of what I normally do, but I enjoyed this. It was so freeing not to worry about cutting everything evenly.
Wonky Square-in-Square

The second is an "Eight-Pointed Star" for Trish. Thankfully Jen shared paper piecing for this with all of us, which was a huge help, as the directions on quilter's cache didn't make much sense to me.
Eight Pointed Star

I also finished quilting and binding a blue monochromatic quilt. As with every other quilt I've made, it wasn't done by its deadline, but hopefully it will be loved by its eventual recipient nonetheless. Even though the pictures don't show the colors the best, from the lightest block to the darkest, they are some type of blue shade. I quilted it in an all-over meander with a Sulky Blendables in blue.
Blue Blocks
Quilting on Blue Blocks

Then there was a bit of scrapboking, too. These first two pages I have had sitting nearly done for the longest time and finally I put some journaling and titles on them. The last one are some pictures and paper I've had for awhile and just finally got it put together. My goal this summer- a layout each week for both kids. We'll see if it happens...
Egg Hunt 08
Easter Basket 08
First Smores

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

First Day of Summer

Today is the official start of summer vacation! The weather, however, thinks it's still early spring (granted I think we got out extremely early this year). The kids are back in Iowa with their grandparents right now and the house is eerily quiet. I have high hopes of things to accomplish today: purging my closet, doing all the laundry, cleaning Annaliese's carpet, backing up our pictures online, and doing my quilt blocks for exchange. We'll see how much of that actually gets done.

Here's a glimpse at my first project while the kids have been gone. We had our family pictures taken over a month ago. Our photographer was Darrin's co-worker Chris Otwell, and instead of buying prints, we bought the digital RAW files. It's the first time I've ever edited files in the RAW format, and if they weren't such big files, I'd put that as the default on our camera now. I've had lots of fun editing them, but sometimes I think I have too much fun and then end up looking a bit alien like. There are so many pictures to choose from. That day we had trouble getting a decent family picture; trying to get both kids to look at the camera and smile is a heroic feat. And Ian, when you tell him to say "Cheese" launches into what he thinks is a smile, but is really something that just looks awkward. Annaliese doesn't yet understand that you're supposed to smile at a camera, so in some ways the outtakes are way more fun for me to look at than the actual images I edited for print. Here are a few of the edits (for family members, I'm working on putting up a whole gallery of them so you can tell us which ones you'd like in print form).

Love Her

Big Eyes

Daddy & Daughter


Happy Girl

Helpful Big Brother

My Little Man


Love the Dimples

My Guy

There's still quite a few left to edit, and I may go back and play around with some of these just a bit more. Editing these sure made me miss my kiddos, but I know they're having a blast with Grandma and Grandpa.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Weekend

This weekend began early for me with a Mother's Day party at Ian's preschool. There we had cupcakes and punch. I opened a gift Ian made me, a painted flowerpot, and then planted flowers they had for us to plant.
My Mother's Day Gift

On Saturday we planted our gardens. Behind our house, in a flower bed I've never used, we planted tomatoes and peppers. I'm curious to see how well that will work out. We met Marlena and Noah later on at the church plot to plant the rest of the loot (zucchini, sweet potatoes, peas, beans, onions, broccoli, and lettuce). Annaliese and Walter did a great job entertaining themselves on their blankets. Marlena pointed out how some may think it's interesting that Annaliese had a blue blanket and Walter a pink one. We were just glad they brought toys, as we weren't that prepared...
The Garden Crew
Planting Onions
Annaliese and Walter
Ready for the Sun

The actual Mother's Day wasn't that much different than any other day. Darrin gave me tickets to see Wicked. Aside from the flower from Ian's preschool, I got another flower from Sunday School, painted hand prints with poems from both of their day cares, and a plaster hand print of Ian from Sunday school.
Mother's Day Loot

It was National Scrapbooking Day on Saturday, and I finished my first scrapbooking page since... November, or possibly even before that. I ended up making three pages, and now I'm on a roll and don't want to stop.
Toes Layout
Cherry Cute Layout
Interview with Ian Layout
This one about Ian is an interview I did with him. If you want to read, click the imagine. In Flickr, go to actions> all sizes. You'll be able to read it. Some of them are quite funny.