Archive for July, 2007

Boys, Bees and Blues

The Boys:

A and E downtown

Yep, they’re actually wearing something I made them!
These were done in the Spring, but neither one has really worn them. At the time, I thought- yay, I can finally use some of that bolt of camo material Chris inherited from his Grandfather for something. I had them pick out the size of their letter, what shirt they wanted to use, and even had them help with the ironing. You would think they’d be into wearing them. Nope. The shirts just sat in their closets. Augie has actually worn his every once in a while, but Eddie doesn’t ever wear long-sleeves. I’ve tried everything with that kid, but now that it’s summer there hasn’t really been an issue. I hope we don’t get into it again this fall.
Anyway, Chris took them downtown all day on Saturday and rode just about every form of mass transportation in Portland. (I was told by one 5 year old that they rode 3 buses, 2 trams, 2 trolly’s, one MAX- phew!) It was cold and rainy that day and suddenly, out of the blue, down the stairs they come, sportin’ their shirts. Here’s to my handsome boys wearing something homemade (even with the funny face!).

The Bees:

Yellowjacket's Nest

It’s actually not a bee’s nest, but a yellowjacket’s. It’s not summer in Portland until you are fighting with these suckers for your dinner. Usually, they form their nest’s underground, but noooo. Not this year. This year, they dared us and built their nest right over our heads. Of course, the first thing Chris says is, “Isn’t it beautiful? I wonder how I’m gonna preserve it”. So off to the MacBook he went to research the “best” way to do it. After a little poison, some trimming of the tree, two garbage bags and a couple days in the chest freezer, the nest is preserved and hanging in a 7th grade Science classroom. Don’t you just wish it was your child’s?

And lastly, the Blues:

10 pounds of Blueberries

I picked about 10 lbs of these last week and we’ve just about eaten them all. Everyone loves a fresh blueberry. These were a little early yet, but they are still as sweet as can be. I’ve made muffins and a pie with them, but want to bake moooore. We’re going to go again tomorrow and try to pick enough to store away. It’ll just be me and the kids again so wish me luck!


What Is Thaaat?

What Is It?

It’s my new purse of course! It looks scary on the inside, but turned out well once it was all put together:

Linen Purse

I didn’t use a pattern which is probably why the inside is such a mess. I had a terrible time trying to match up everything at the top corners of the bag where it meets the strap.


There was all the piping to deal with, the inside lining, the outside, and the strap. My sewing machine could barely make it through all the layers. It’s not what I wanted, but it’s fine.

Outside of Bag

The outside is made of black linen that I had intended to make another shirt with, but I really wanted a black, linen bag so I used it. The other fabric is Amy Butler’s Lotus Collection which is really beautiful fabric. I love the blue with the dark black. I quilted it a little, but wanted to do more. I made the piping using the floral fabric and was surprised how easy it was to do. (FYI- when the instructions tell you to cut on the bias- do it. I found out if you don’t, the piping wrinkles- look closely: messy messy. I didn’t have enough fabric to cut on the bias so I just cut my strips vertically. Now I know.)

Inside of Purse

There’s only one large pocket on the inside with more piping at the top with the black linen. I used a magnetic snap for the first time which I like and will use again.

So in the end, I barely made it for Sew Mama Sew’s bag month, but it’s done!  I’m a happy mama.

Open Soon

Okay, I usually don’t get excited about new stores coming to town, but it’s IKEA! IMO many stores have tried to copy IKEA’s style and cost, but just can’t. I am so excited and Fini, I know you are too because it will be open when you come- no more having to stop at the Seattle one. It opens next Wednesday, July 25th at 9am, but I don’t know if I will brave the crowds. I heard that people actually camp out to wait in line. Now, you know I have much better things to do with my time… wait, what time? I realized last night, no 3 am counts as this morning, that summer is already flying by and I haven’t really planned much. I need to get going…

note: I know that I said I’m trying to buy less stuff, but we have a nasty bathroom and an unfinished basement that we want to fix up soon. We would like to get most stuff used, but there are some things you just can’t. Hopefully IKEA will help us do it with a little more style and less money than those other chain stores.

Going Green

Chris took this picture in the newest building up at OHSU:

Bathroom Sign

It’s in one of those Green Buildings that I think are amazing. I guess it rescues, treats and recycles water on-site which allows it to use less than half of the amount of water that a conventional building it’s size would use and it flushes less than 300 gallons of water per day! Makes you stop and think how much water do you really need in your daily living and how much of it can you recycle…

So I looked up our water usage after hearing this and saw that in the Spring of this year, we used an average 176 gallons/day. Our water usage was rated “Poor” and that we need to learn to conserve. Well of course, I came up with excuses right away: we’re a family of 5!, we’re home all the time, I take care of other kids too!, we use cloth diapers that need to be washed all the time, etc, etc, etc… But in fact, I know we can improve by: turning the water off when brushing teeth, shortening shower time, putting away clothes instead of just tossing it into the laundry, hand washing more dishes,- oh, I could go on and on. (By the way, “excellent” is less than 80 gallons/day.) So, I’ve been reading and getting some great ideas and facts from this blog so hop on over and read a little please.

Here’s some other facts I’ve learned:
It takes 66 gallons of water to make one liter of Coke.
It takes 49 gallons of water to make one glass of milk.
A single serving of steak? 2,600 gallons!
And lastly, before you purchase that next bottled water, just think that it costs 10,000 times more than tap and it’s not any healthier.

And since I’m on the subject, have you switched to green power yet? Ever since that Enron thing, Chris has had bad, no make that very bad thoughts about power companies and has been very tentative to do anything with them. We finally made the plunge last month and it was made a little easier for him since we were guaranteed a price freeze for a number of years. I think we’re one of the last to switch over, but I feel a little better about the whole thing. Now, if I can only remember to not use as much– that would be the ultimate goal.

Cherry Pickin’

Here’s what 40 pounds of Rainer cherries look like:

Rainer Cherries

The kids and I drove out to White Salmon yesterday and picked these beauties. It was a gorgeous day to drive through the Gorge and the kids all had a great time. The trees were small and loaded with cherries so it didn’t even take me that long to pick. Augie picked over 5 pounds all on his own, but Eddie and Olivia probably ate that much while we were up there. Chris and I pitted them last night and already have them in the freezer to keep them nice and fresh. I didn’t freeze Augie’s because he wants to make himself a pie. I have no idea what I’m going to do with all of them, but they are so sweet and tasty on their own that they may not get a chance to be made into something else!

It was a good thing we went picking yesterday because today it’s supposed to hit 102! Good thing the pool was set up last week:

Cooling Down

Chris and Augie couldn’t stay out of it while it was filling up and had to see who could dunk their head in first.  I think Augie won since he was all the way in whereas Daddy was a little chicken.  With this heat, everyone will be getting in today.

Happy Summer!

One Word… or Two

I’ve been tagged by Mama Milton so here goes…

Where is your cell phone? don’t own one
Relationship? strong
Your hair? too long
Work? never ending
Your sister? best friend
Your favorite thing? wedding ring
Your dream last night? short
Your favorite drink? milkshake
Your dream car? any that fits 3 car seats easily
The room you’re in? “Red Room”- yep, the carpet is actually RED!
Your shoes? Reef slippers
Your fears? terminal illness
What do you want to be in 10 years? Supermom
Who did you hang out with this weekend? family
What are you not good at? cleaning
Muffin? blueberry
One of your wish list items? maid
Where you grew up? all over
Last thing you did? get kissed
What are you wearing? tank-top and shorts
What aren’t you wearing? socks
Your pet? Charlie Cat
Your computer? Mac
Your life? easygoing
Your mood? irritated
Missing? quiet
What are you thinking about right now? kids need to be in bed
Your car? big
Your kitchen? small
Your summer? awesome
Your favorite color? red
Last time you laughed? this evening
Last time you cried? this morning
School? hate it
Love? listening to kids

Happy 4th!

This is how we found the kids this morning…

Blueberry Breakfast

– on the stairs with their faces stained with blueberries. I think Ms O had the most since she seemed to be grabbing handfuls at a time!

Soon after, the house was filled with family while we celebrated the 4th with sun, hamburgers and fireworks:

4th of July

For some of the loud ones, the boys couldn’t decide if they liked it or not. We put some earplugs in Eddie’s ears which allowed him to enjoy the rest of the evening. Augie loved the sparklers which he turned into light sabers and even Eddie held a couple as well:

Augie and His

We had a great evening and went to bed tired, but full and happy. We hope you and yours had a great 4th as well!