Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
So I've started a list. It's tremendously helpful to just have a list. For instance, without a list I wouldn't know that I have 9 children's teachers to give gifts to for the holidays. Knowing that there are 9 of them helped us decide how much we can afford to give to each, and now one stop to a local coffee shop and 9 gift cards later (plus 9 Christmas cards made by the kids), and that item can be checked off my list.
I also got my husband to sit down with me and look over a list of folks to send cards to. It looks like we need to buy about 40 holiday cards, and we worked together to select a card that we like. We're going to buy our cards from Amnesty International this year, a cause dear to my husband's heart after some of his experiences in Iraq.
Otherwise, the kids and I have a few projects to do to make things for all the other family on our list. There are a few things for me to purchase (not too many, really). It helps a great deal that my mother is opting for an early celebration on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, with all us kids just doing a cookie exchange and helping her trim her Christmas tree. Then we will do a Secret Santa drawing for gift-giving at my Dad's house, and that just leaves us with my in-law's who obligingly have a small family since he only has one sibling. We'll mail a box to his father and step-mother who live out of state.
I've already orderd the bulk of the kids's gifts, as we are not doing a handmade holiday at home this year. No, the kids are getting a used Nintendo ds and a Lego Harry Potter set. Then I'm (or Santa, you know) filling the girl's stocking with a ds game, a mini-Samantha doll, hair doodahs, and art supplies. The boy will get a card game, some disgusting putty stuff, a comic book, and art supplies. My husband and I will fill each other's stockings.
A plan feels good.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
What would we do without the library? It's such a part of our lives! How else could I afford to keep the boy stocked with listening options like this?
I just finished reading The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, a clever mystery novel with a precocious, chemistry-mad eleven year old protagonist. Flavia de Luce is one of the most interesting characters I've read in a long time, and between the chemistry and the philately (stamp collecting, don't you know) references this was a very quirky and engaging novel.
We all listened to Maniac Magee in the car, read by S. Epatha Merkerson (of Law and Order). It's such a sweet book, touching on adult topics like racism in a way that is still right for kids, and she does a great job reading it. Very enjoyable.
Carbon continues to listen to all the sequels to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I haven't listened, and I imagine it loses a lot without the illustrations, but he's still laughing out loud with those headphones on his head, so that's a thumbs up from him.
Our new Read Aloud at night is Bunnicula Strikes Again. Carbon loves the Bunnicula books, and I enjoy how they gently poke fun at a lot of "pulp" kids lit.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Some days it is quiet here. But some mornings look like this in our nursery.
Or, take an afternoon like right now. As I sit here, blogging as a reward after bustling about laying out materials for the Sunday lessons, this is going on in the building:
- The minister is meeting with a congregant in his office.
- That congregants kids are hanging out in the nursery, "self-regulating".
- There is a group here setting up the Audio/Visual presentation needs of a Saturday event.
- The church administrator is hard at work on her computer, almost hidden by the huge pile of work on her desk.
- The volunteer who takes care of our kitchen is here cleaning and grinding coffee for Sunday.
- The volunteer who manages the artwork hanging in our sanctuary is here changing out the art work.
- There is someone making photocopies in the work room.
It's not happening right now, but at any time there could be folks walking through our doors looking for help with money or food. There could be people coming to look over the space for a possible wedding location, or a funeral location. Sometimes, this place feels far from quiet.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
- I got two pumpkins out of my garden this year - two very sweet little pumpkins. I also harvested one little tiny winter squash, a bunch of scarlet runner beans to dry, and potatoes and jerusalem artichokes. The garden is just about dead for the year.
- I finally gave up on the concept of using groundcover plants as weed control in my flower beds. The moss is lovely, but most of the others I purchased are just scraggly looking as they spread. And they don't actually control grass and dandelions, both of which just grow up through them and then are very difficult to weed out without a lot of damage to the groundcover plant. With fall clean up, I've just pulled all those suckers out.
- I spread mulch over my flower garden bed, in the place of the groundcovers.
- I've planted my garlic for next year.
- The jerusalem artichoke harvest was OK, but not as prolific as I had been led to expect it should be. But I planted them in the corner of my garden that ALWAYS fails - so the fact that I got anything at all is probably good.
- In the indoor realm, I needed to salvage Hypatia's ballet leotard after it was stained. I had a mad impulse to just try dying the leotard in a kettle of beet soup I'd made that no one liked much and wouldn't eat as leftovers. Beets are a natural dye, right? I turned away from that mad impulse, however, and played it safe with a box of Ritz, which turned the leotard a very nice and consistent purple. Should I have tried it anyway?
- We've been enjoying toasted pumpkin seeds from all our jack o'lanterns. My husband tried seasoning them with soy sauce, and got a result he and Carbon like a lot.
- I planted lettuce and spinach seed in pots and put them out in my backporch greenhouse. They are sprouting - we'll see.
- I've saved pumpkin seeds and beans for next spring's planting.
How is autumn treating you? Just about time to turn aside from the garden and focus on sewing!