Thursday, December 30, 2010

looking back...and ahead...

...and getting dizzy, trying to do both simultaneously...

I found this layout I made last January. One of my last layouts (I stopped scrapping shortly after that. And no, I don't miss it. I'm a purist and would rather let the pictures tell the story without adding papers and embellishments. At least that's my goal.)

Let's recap my successes, shall we?

1. Obviously didn't happen (see intro).

2. She is reading. Fluently. At a second-grade level. Not bad, since she won't be 6 'til May! I'm so proud of her.

3. I did this. I had pictures that were serious competition...one tied for "best picture in this category." I'm thrilled!

4. I'm working on this one still. It's pretty engrained in me. I'm improving bit by bit, though.

5. I'm not really sure what I meant by this one. I think we've done that, in that we're in better shape overall. We still spend more than we ought to on things like eating out, but we're learning.

6. Oh yeah, I did this one! I discovered Pioneer Woman!

7. I fell off the wagon on Facebook games for a couple months. They ruled my life during the summer, when I should have been outside....ha. That's funny. I don't go outside if I can help it, even when there isn't a foot of snow out there! But I shouldn't have played those games. I've recommitted to staying away and have done well for a few months now.

8. This, on the other hand, is worse than a year ago. I don't know if we have too much clutter, too small a house, or if I just need to prioritize better. I think it's A and C, though I like to blame it on B because then I don't have to do anything about it but whine and complain. I'm good at that.

9. I'm not sure I did this the whole year, but I have a huge collection of pictures for 2010, and there are some that I really like.

10. Last 6 pounds are gone, but I haven't done much in the way of exercising.



So What about 2011??


1. Improve my photography. Learn new techniques, and get out there and practice.
I'm a part of a weekly challenge with a theme we have to shoot that week, and we'll have the chance to give and get feedback so we can improve.

2. Get at least a dozen pictures on etsy for sale. and hopefully actually sell a couple.

3. Declutter and get this house in a state where it *can* be kept more orderly on a regular basis.

4. Potty-train Hudson, if he's ready.

5. Teach Bekah to read. She's already most of the way there, but she's lost interest. I told her when she's 4 we'll start working on it again.

6. Blog regularly.

7. Do at least one random act of kindness each season. I have no idea what I'll do, or for whom, but I'm excited about the idea.

8. Do stomach exercises regularly and get my muscles in shape.

9. Choose a curriculum for Jasmine for 1st grade, and let the school know she exists and get the paperwork all set for being her official teacher!

10. --to be determined--

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Realizations

1. The Goodberry family just isn't normal, and that's all there is to it.
(Goodberry being the family I (Charla) grew up in)
Other families leave it as "Love, Joy, Peace." Not us. This is the annual display on the mantle.

2.  Kids can get completely overwhelmed with gift-opening. Especially 20-month-olds.

3. I'm wondering how long until I can find my floor and any table space again.

4. Cookbooks are fun. Especially Pioneer Woman's. I've already made one recipe...twice...YUMMMM!

5. This is my first Christmas since 2003 that I haven't been either pregnant or nursing (Hudson led the weaning process 1 1/2 weeks ago).
Side note: I averaged 24 months a child (in how long they nursed). I'm very excited!

6. It's time to get back to cleaning and finding a patch of floor...

7. After I upload our Christmas song on YouTube. Want to hear what the Salutation Carol sounds like? Click here!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Header

I'm taking this week off of the computer.
Yeah, I know. Ironic that I'm posting, eh?

I had a few things I needed to do, though. And since Hudson looks absolutely incredibly cute in a picture I took of him this morning, putting up that picture as my new header became priority.

For people who just read my posts via Feedblitz, here's what the header now looks like:


what do you think? could *you* say no??

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jasmine's time to shine!

Tonight we took the kids out driving to see the Christmas lights. On the way, Jasmine mentioned something about the Christmas story, so I asked her to tell me the story.
She did.
I melted.
So when we got home, I had her tell it again.
She told it two ways.

A Little People pageant:



and told using words she might have heard once or twice:


(if you're reading this in Feedblitz, you may need to click through to watch the videos. I'm not sure if it ever lets videos come directly in.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Funny moments

We've had an exciting day today. This morning we made two kinds of Christmas cookies. The kids helped, and got in the way, and helped more. It was actually pretty fun (except for the moments when I worried Hudson was going to touch the open, hot oven)!

There were a couple fun moments this morning:

Jasmine and Bekah put their ponytail holders on their feet/ankles and are wiggling around the room saying "ork!" Being penguins.

Earlier this morning, the three kids climbed into a laundry basket, and Bekah announced, "please keep your arms, hands, feet and legs inside."


and two exciting things (only one got a picture): Jasmine lost two top teeth! One was because she banged into the lid of our blanket box a few months ago (it loosened both front top teeth), but the other went because it was time.








And a frustrating moment but I'll try to just enjoy it here. It only works on my computer, but I set up a cool look on Facebook. I have no idea why it isn't working on anyone else's screen!!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Artsy Photos

These are the pictures that, as Pioneer Woman always puts it, make my skirt fly up. These are the ones I couldn't wait to load onto the computer and play with in Photoshop.









Which one(s) is/are your favorite?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Randomness

1. Jasmine lost her third tooth Friday night.
She looks pretty cute!

2. It fell out earlier than it was "supposed" to (judging by when it came in in relation to the others) so it may be missing awhile longer than the norm.

3. Its buddy is on its way out too (same reason).

4. She has 5 loose teeth right now.

5. Oh wait, maybe 4 because she lost the one.

6. think I should wake her up to wiggle them and count?

7. Nah.

8. We're not too worried about gender roles in this house.

9. Hudson's dolly is pink (it's all Target had in the non-battery-operated dolls).

10. but this still cracked me up.





11. Yes, that was all his doing.

12. He needs a haircut. He's sporting a nice "tail" right about now.

13. If I *ever* complain this winter about dry skin, tell me to come back and re-read this post.



Seriously. And that didn't include the little "Belle lotion" that the girls have and adore.


14. I finished my Christmas shopping!!

15. Now on to wrapping. I got the first two shifts done this weekend but have a lot ahead of me.

Friday, December 10, 2010

santa

Last week we met Santa. We had to talk to the girls about what they were supposed to do when they met him. When I told them he'd ask what they wanted for Christmas, they remembered that last year he'd given them a candy cane and a pencil, so they told me that's what they'd tell him.
So I tried to explain that he's asking what they'd like to get on Christmas day...something like a Leapster cartridge??
They thought that sounded like a good idea, but then they thought it meant they'd be walking home with their requested gifts.
So more discussion was needed.
We stood out in the cold and wind for about 20 minutes, plus another 15-20 inside the caboose where Santa sits. My camera didn't enjoy it any more than the kids did, and I'm having a little problem with it, though nothing horrendous.
But they enjoyed the visit!






When we were walking out, Bekah said, "that wasn't scary at all!"


...so I didn't take many pictures this week, because I was nervous I'd find out something was actually physically wrong with my camera. (the focal point won't move from the spot on the right, so I'm having a tough time setting up shots).
But I decided it was time to give it a try today, so after the kids had their bath, I got them all dressed up in matching clothes and set up my little 'studio.'





 

(I loved this last one. I asked the kids to go get their three dolls. The girls obliged, but Hudson decided to leave his Abby upstairs and instead bring in this noisy toy. I love the girls' body language in the shot!)

Confessions

1. I don't like A Christmas Story.  Maybe if I was from that generation it would mean more to me. I don't know.

2. I get really stressed if I don't have my Christmas presents all bought by December 10th.

3. I can't figure out why I'm so stressed today.

4. I don't like Polar Express, either. Well, actually, just the part from after the fun Chocolate song and when they get to the North Pole. I like the rest of it.

5. I love chocolate, but very few of the cookies I consider to be "Christmas cookies" have chocolate in them.

6. My new least-favorite Christmas song (just because I don't listen to the radio so don't have to hear the 12 whines of Christmas or whatever that one is) is "Do you hear what I hear?", which is on my iTunes Christmas playlist three times, and one time it's "referenced" in another song. (I just hid them so I don't have to keep hearing it).

7. I have always disliked picardy thirds. Bach could get away with it because he went gradually into it, but all songwriters just throw the major chord onto the end of a song. To me, it's the musical equivalent of "and then he woke up."

8. I just hid every version of "What Child Is This" from my songlist (don't worry; I started with 8 versions of the song) that ends in a picardy third.

9. My favorite part of Christmas used to be Christmas breakfast. We're creating our own traditions now, so I don't have a favorite part now. I just love the whole Christmas Eve/Day as long as the snow stays off the roads.

10. When I was a teen, I came up with my own alternative words to "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" (which is on my playlist twice in the 10.6 hours of music, but I may hide them. I'm not sure) and "White Christmas" (two versions, neither are Bing). Neither made any reference to the white stuff that shows up here whether we want it or not.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Chalecters

We did very little visiting the characters this year. Or, as the girls insist they are called, the "chalecters." I refuse to teach them the right way to say it.

But we managed to find a bunch anyways!





They insisted on meeting Jiminy Cricket, in spite of the fact that they haven't seen his movie.
I just like that they have photographic proof that they were once "waist-high to a cricket."

I never understood why the lines were always long to meet Chip and Dale. They're cute, but their cartoons always drove me crazy because I couldn't understand them. But now that I've seen them in action, I get it!





Bekah had just bought these Mickey Mitts, and was a great sport about letting Chip and Dale borrow them. And Jasmine was a good sport about what Chip did to her, too.
(ever wonder how to tell the difference? Chip has the black nose, Dale's is red.)





The girls loved that whole experience!

The girls have met Pocahontas every year, even though this is another movie they've never seen. They just think she's really pretty!









Not much else to say. They also met four of the princesses at Cinderella's Castle when we were there for dinner, but those pictures aren't good. like, at all. So you can just imagine them meeting Ariel, Belle, Snow White (who was adorable! She teased a cranky Hudson that he was just like one of her Dwarf friends, but cuter!) and Aurora!

Babies

I don't think it's a secret that I'm a sucker for babies. I like to smell their heads and kiss their toes.*

So when I saw the baby giraffe on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Animal Kingdom (Disney's newest park in Walt Disney World), I was pretty excited. Josh liked even better that we actually saw him running. Usually they're pretty still when we see them in the zoo, but since they have the whole savanna to play in, they actually use it!

Then, a little bit later, we got to the elephants. And saw the cutest baby elephant there, playing with his mother and friends.

The "tour guide" said he'd never seen them playing like that, so we knew we'd seen something special.





After the Safari, we took the walking tour. (from two times there now, I can pretty safely say the Asia walking tour is much more exciting than the Africa one, even if the tigers aren't even visible or there's a woman there taking a video of the tiger breathing in the only location where you could almost see his eyes, just because the decorations are out of this world in the Asia Jungle Trek.)

So where was I?...

Oh yeah. the walking tour. There, we saw a 9-month old gorilla. Oh my goodness.



Watching him (her? I forget) behaving like a human toddler, realizing he (she?) was about the same size as Bekah...it was just too much. I loved it!!

And of course there are the human-types. They can be pretty cute, too.

(I call this one "drunk on Life")
And in case you haven't had quite enough cuteness, this will definitely put you over the edge. (just don't comment on his bruise. He hasn't quite figured out how to safely follow the girls when they start climbing around the furniture).
video


*no, this is not a hint of any "news" from here. I've retired that type of news and am leaving it up to my sisters and sisters-in-law!!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Second Disney Trip of 2010

I'm still sifting through the 1900 pictures I took over the past two weeks. I've starred 86. This could be a doozy of a post.

1. Cruise food really is that good.


2. And the service was better.


3. Pluto can scare dog-lovers.
4. Chip can restore said person's faith in "chalecters." (no picture but it was sweet)

5. Public bathrooms aren't ideal, but better to need them than to experience dehydration.

6. Crossword puzzles make good Sudoku boards for 5-year olds.


7. It is possible to pack far too much, and way too little, at the same time.

8. Tip: buy enough diapers at the store on land before getting on a cruise. Things are wicked expensive with no competition.

9. this post, and the photo edits, are going to span more than one day.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Two Steps Removed

Story One:

1. Jasmine's favorite thing to pretend right now is that she's a baby. She crawls around and makes baby noises.

2. Hudson has started imitating Jasmine. Crawling around the room and making baby noises is pretty funny coming from someone who's just now starting to talk!


Story Two:
We now own Wii Sport Resort, which the girls *love* to play. Jasmine has become the family's Flying Ace, and Bekah's favorite thing is the "fighting games" (fencing).

Yesterday while I was making dinner, I overheard them say "let's play basketball," but the game was off. I realized they were pretending to play...the Wii version of the game.

Yay for creativity!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Crocheting

**warning** some of this will be "shop talk." Sorry to anyone who doesn't crochet!!

On Saturday, I found a pattern for a crocheted afghan that I thought would be fun and really pretty. So I took Jasmine to Hobby Lobby to pick out yarn so I could make her a blanket. It's another triple-thick one, using three strands of yarn at the same time with a HUGE hook (I think it's a P...15.5mm)
This is the first afghan I made in that style:
It's huge. And thick. It has big holes in the pattern, but it warms us beautifully. 

I liked the look of a new pattern I found online. 
 
But by mid-day Sunday, I knew something wasn't quite right.

Um, something was *very* not right.

I was about to rip it all out and start again, but decided it was the perfect dimensions for a...

CAPE! Which she's been begging me for for months now!!

Your wish is my command, Jasmine.

So the boring part (ignore if you don't crochet)
my question is: can you help me figure out if it was *my* fault or the pattern's?? I know where the problem happened, and the math works perfectly for me to be right on that. But I'm getting my brain all twisted up when I try to figure out whether I was following the pattern correctly or not.

the basic pattern was 8 rows of sc, then a row of:
1dc, skip next sc, [(3 dc in next sc) skip next two sc] repeat [] to near the end, and then end with a couple more dc.

First of all, I misread the directions. I was doing *1 dc, skip, (3dc in next sc) skip next two sc* all the way across. But does the math work out that that should have worked???

I started out with 80 chains. By the time I stopped, I had 32 stitches. I'd done the dc rows 4 times. I figured out, if there were 4 stitches in 5 spaces, the math works perfectly for it to get down from 80 to 32. But I can't figure out if that's what really happened.

Any thoughts??