Monday, November 30, 2009

Congratulations, Pete!

Pete is an All-State Musician! He will be playing timpani in the Junior All-State Band. It was so exciting to receive the email yesterday and see the list with his name on it, including a number 1 ranking. Oh, yeah. He's number 1 in the state!

(Sorry about the bad picture. It's the only one I have of him on timpani.)

I may have mentioned before what an awesome drummer he is. He'll play any kind of percussion with any kind of band. He just loves to play. He is considering a career in music, possibly in the military. I couldn't be more proud.

We went to a big pre-Thanksgiving party at a friend's house that included live music. In between bands, Pete jumped on the drum set and jammed for a good 15 minutes. He never stopped or hesitated. He flowed from one style of music to another effortlessly. Parents recognized distinctive drum riffs from classic rock and the kids danced to the marching band cadence. He rocks!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Busy Week!

Wow, time flies. I didn't intend to be away from the blog for so long. We have been super busy, but it's been the fun kind of busy!

Julia and Josh went to the Homecoming Dance, and she looked beautiful. We couldn't convince Pete to go without a date and he didn't want to ask someone to go with him. Maybe next time.

I was so proud to present Julia with her Girl Scout Silver Award. Next up: Gold!

I dug out this craft from the past for Thanksgiving. I made these walnut and felt turkeys with my mom, probably about 30 years ago! It's amazing how well that Sobo glue held up. Is it weird that I remember what kind of glue we used?

And a couple of new crafts:
I love my yo-yo tree from the current Quilts and More magazine. I'm obsessed with making yo-yos now. I have a Sizzix die cut machine and I'm using it to cut 4" fabric circles. It sure beats cutting all those circles by hand!

Pete has a new craft, too! He's melting vinyl albums into bowls. None of his father's vinyl was injured in the making of these bowls! We scored some decent titles at a thrift store.

We're jumping into Christmas preparations with both feet. We have an Advent wreath-making workshop at church tomorrow and then we'll start decorating. Julia and Pete want to make the most of the season this year. Lots of baking, decorating and gift making. Yay!

Happy Advent!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

For Tickles

My niece asked if I could make something for her daughter Lily's favorite stuffed animal, Tickles. Lately, Lily insists that Tickles needs to be wrapped up in a blanket at naptime and bedtime. If Tickles comes unwrapped, Lily calls out, "Mommy Tickles blanket!" You can imagine, responding to this call every 5 minutes can get old fast. Hopefully this little sleeping bag for Tickles will be helpful. Tickles' sleeping bag is being modeled by Julia's Mommy Bear.

Julia's hair was blonder and curlier when she was little, and she looked a lot like Goldilocks. She happened to have 3 white teddy bears in different sizes which became Daddy Bear, Mommy Bear and Baby Bear. When she was about 3, she created distinctive voices for them. Our favorite was her Daddy Bear voice, which was adorably gruff for a 3 year old.

I'm not sure why, but Mommy Bear didn't get played with as much as Daddy Bear and Baby Bear. I guess mommies aren't as much fun as daddies and babies. Mommy Bear must have been busy doing laundry and cooking the porridge!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterna's Day

A Day to Honor and Remember.

Remembering my father,

Honoring my father-in-law.

Julia was honored to play Taps this morning for the Vietnam veterans.
I love seeing her in her Girl Scout uniform, playing with her friend Manny in his Boy Scout uniform. The veterans and their families were so grateful to the kids for being there.

Then we went to the parade.
Pete is playing the snare drum on the end, with his hat off-kilter.

I had to run across the street to catch Julia on the other side.

Following the parade, there is a ceremony at the memorial in a beautiful park on the river.
Veterans, dignitaries, clergy, a guest speaker, military color guard, and Civil War reenactors (with a canon!). What more could you ask for?

And the band plays again.

I love my band geeks!

Julia delivered this QOV to a teacher yesterday to give to her husband who was injured in Iraq.
She has 6 or 7 others to deliver soon. We're hoping to present them to people she knows - a cousin's husband, a cousin of a cousin, and friends' fathers.

This Veteran's Day, Honor and Remember the men and women who have sacrificed so much to keep us free.

Meet Daisy!

Meet Daisy.

Daisy was born on August 16, 2009.
Her birth parents are Josh & Julia.

The day after she was born, Daisy went on an amazing adventure with her Girl Scout friends. They went to Savannah, Georgia to the birthplace of the founder of Girl Scouts of the USA, Juliette Gordon Low.

They went to lots of fun places. They went on a trolley ride and a dolphin cruise, ate at fun restaurants, and did lots of Girl Scouty things. Daisy even got to meet the Waving Girl's dog.

Since Daisy is a member of the Toy Society, her friends wanted her to find a home with a special little girl.

Today, they left her on a bench in a park with a special note:
"Take Me Home, I'm Yours!"

The Veteran's Day parade in our town ends at this park, so we knew lots of kids would be playing here after the parade. Can you see Daisy on the bench on the right?

We can't wait to find out who Daisy went home with. We're hoping her new friend is a Girl Scout, or will grow up to be one someday!

Update 11/18/09:
Daisy is Drop #782. No word yet on her new home.

I should have mentioned that Daisy is a Black Apple Doll.
Find the pattern at Martha Stewart.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Swine Flu, Halloween, and Charlie

Pete and I have been down and out with swine flu (H1N1) all week. Luckily, we didn't have any of the intestinal symptoms. It was all in our heads. Haha. It hit me hard a week ago Friday, then Pete's symptoms started on Sunday. He coughs a lot on a good day, so we didn't realize he was sick until he got a fever. Unfortunately for me, I ended up with an ear infection, and after 4 days of antibiotic, I still feel like I'm under water. And I hate being under water.

Julia hopes to stay healthy long enough to get her vaccination in school on Monday. Bill has been working long hours, which is keeping him away from our germs. Pete and I are on the mend, and I plan to get out of the house today for some sunshine and vitamin D.

To recap the past week, Halloween is huge in our neighborhood. 100 houses, close together, means kids from all over town come here to trick-or-treat. I buy enough candy for 400 kids. We think there were fewer than that this year, maybe 200-300. Julia's friend Genevieve came over to help Julia and Josh pass out candy, and she was shocked by the swarms of trick-or-treaters.

You can see our pumpkins on the porch. Not our best effort. Julia planned to carve Cinderella's coach, and Pete used the Woodstock logo to celebrate the 40th anniversary. We've never done any scraping, and we didn't have the right tools, but they made a good effort. Josh gutted my pumpkin for me (thank you!), but I didn't have the energy for my usual elaborate carving. So I asked Bill for the electric drill and the biggest drill bits we own. Using power tools on a pumpkin is a blast! The flesh was flying!

This was my view of the world from the couch late Thursday afternoon. The light was eerily beautiful, which was hard to capture with our point and shoot camera.

Pete went out on the porch to take this one. I like the way the flag looks translucent. As he came back in he took a deep breath of fresh air. After being cooped up, it's the little things that matter most.

Today is the day my mother will have to bid farewell to her beloved Charlie. Her apartment will seem so empty without him. She has been so funny with this bunny. She brought him to her exercise class at the senior center last week to sell raffle tickets, and just happened to run into a couple of reporters from the small local newspaper. She said, "Have you met Charlie?" Here they are, ON THE FRONT PAGE!

Take a deep breath of fresh air today!