Monday, August 30, 2010


This is Sloak.

Jeremy caught Sloak on the beach of Cyprus Lake last weekend. Caught him on his leg as he was jumping. Apparently (I wasn't there at the capturing) he kept catching him and letting him go as he really didn't want to let him go but Daddy said he should. The compromise was that he could bring Sloak back to the campsite to show Mommy.
I could hear the excitement as they approached. Jeremy was extremely proud. Can't you just see how much he loves Sloak?

Unfortunately, I think Jeremy really thought he would be able to keep Sloak. He was quite sad to say goodbye as Daddy took Sloak back to the lake. The next few days were interspersed with sighs and declarations of "I miss Sloak".

On our last morning as Jonathan took down the tent, I took the boys back to the lake so Jeremy could shout out one last goodbye to Sloak, hoping that he would hear him.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A few of my favorite things

Continuing with my resolution to try to not be so negative I decided to write a bit about some of my favorite things. Not the obvious, my family, praying, teaching list, but the little things that make me smile list.

Pad Thai - I still haven't gotten my own recipe perfected yet - this is at a Thai restaurant on Danforth

Snuggling up in Jeremy's quilt, I know it's not mine I just borrow it a lot.

Costco Trailmix - it's a great snack

A good cup of tea in my big New York mug

Jeremy's bed head

Elijah's art

Olivia's dimple

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Jeremy Bear

A couple of nights ago Jonathan and I were watching a movie when we heard the footsteps of a small boy scampering upstairs. The same small boy ran downstairs and took a full stop in front of me.
"Mom, I can't find my water cup"
Jonathan happened to have it next to him and passed it to Jeremy, who took it, sipped, shook it, realised it was empty and said, "There's no water".
I filled it, he drank from it and then ran back upstairs. When Jonathan checked on him he was fasr asleep cuddling the sippy cup. It was very cute, even more so because he had the most fantastic piece of sticking up bed head. I captured the hair the next morning at breakfast.

My next project

Look what I got...some 30's storybook reproduction fabric. These are the fabrics I'm going to use to make Olivia's name in stuffed letters.

Like this, only Olivia, not Sara.

Quilts in my life

I said a couple of weeks ago how blessed I've been to have been gifted quilts for my kids. I found them all and took pictures. I know I should have pressed them first, but they are well loved.

This is Olivia's Peter Rabbit quilt my mom made her.  It sits in her crib.  So sweet for my sweet girl.

This is Elijah's Noah's ark toddler quilt.  He used it until he got his big boy quilt for Christmas.  He still like to snuggle in it though.  My mom made this one too.

This is Jeremy's baby quilt.  My mom says it is her favorite of the quilt's she has made.  He still likes to snuggle in this too.

My mom made this hockey quilt for Elijah for Christmas this past year.  This is is regular bed quilt.  It suits him perfectly.

This is Jeremy's monkey quilt my mom made, perfect for my little monkey.  It is his bed quilt.

This is Olivia's winter quilt by my mom.  I fell in love with it because it is the perfect little girl snuggle up quilt. 

This was Elijah's baby quilt from my mom.  I have plans to press it properly and hang it for Olivia.

 This is Olivia's owl quilt from Jill.  You can read the story behind this quilt here.

This is Jeremy's storybook quilt from Jill that you can read about here.  This is the quilt I steal all the time for myself.

I've been creative

This is the little taggie blankie I made for Olivia the other night.  I used stuff I already had.  The blankie part is two pieces of the pink chenille I had leftover from the little quilt I made her.  The ribbon is from piles of ribbon that I've kept just in case.  This was really easy to do.  I cut the chenille into two equal sizes and then put them together so the 'good' sides were facing each other.  I then cut 10 pieces of different ribbons into different lengths (about 3-4 inches each).  I folded each ribbon in half and then sandwiched the fold inside the fabric, leaving a tail out.  The tails I folded over the fabric on each side and pinned on.  I then sewed around the edges of the blankie, making sure to reinforce the ribbons.  I left a 2 inch hole and started to turn the blankie out to the good side.  It was then that I realised that I had pinned the ribbons backwards.  So here marks the first time my seam ripper came in handy.  I took out all the thread that was holding in the offending ribbons.  Re-folded (correctly this time), reinserted and sewed it all together again.  This time when I turned the blankie out, it looked great.  I sewed the opening shut and decided to go around the whole thing once more to give it a finished look.  The result I think is cute and more importantly, Olivia loves it!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I have the makings of an addict

I can see how people fall in love with the art of sewing. There is something very satisfying in creating and being able to look at something and think "I made that". I spent today making some very basic costumes for next week's VBS. It basically gave me the opportunity to practice sewing a seam and sewing straight.
I spent a good portion of my free time over the past few days looking up projects and ideas. I'm in love with Maggie and Sparrow. I really want to try my hand at making a bird mobile like she has on her site. I also discovered that there is a fabulous fabric store 15 minutes away from where I live. I had so much fun looking through their fabrics online and look forward to visiting their shop (hopefully sometime this week). I especially love their 1930's reproductions. They remind me of the quilt that Jill made for Jeremy. The one I steal all the time to curl up in myself. Maybe it's time I gave Jeremy his quilt back and made one of my own?
Speaking of which. I've been so blessed to have been gifted so many beautiful quilts for my children from Jill and Mom over the past number of years. I loved them so much before and I love them that much more now. I'll have to take new pictures of them all and post them again to show how gorgeous they are.
Now I am a woman of many projects. First up is finishing my Rageddy Ann and Andy dolls restorations. The original clothes are mended and washed. The dolls are washed. The stains are removed. I'm working on the hair right now (Andy received 1/2 a head of hair last night and I hope to finish his tonight, Ann will be next). Then, I need to make each of them new hats as well as an apron and bloomers for Ann.
I then want to make some things for Olivia. I found some pretty purple micro-fleece in the clearance bin today to make her some comfy, warm pants to crawl around in this fall. There's enough material that I could make a shirt too (if I find a pattern), as well as a hat (which I do have a pattern for).
I also am aiming to make a few baby toys (a little taggie blanket with the scraps from the baby quilt, and a soft rattle). I'd also like to make her name in soft letters, I think that's so cool. So it looks like once Olivia has her own room (or at least a better space in our room that's hers) the theme will be storybook antique. It goes so well with the Peter Rabbit quilt Mom made her that's on her crib. As well as the Ann and Andy that I'm restoring for her.
I got out a great little sewing book for baby things at the library called Simple Sewing for Baby by Lotta Jansdotter that has some pretty things in it. I'd love to make her one of those little dresses, so sweet. Though Taryn did tell me about a simple Pillowcase dress that would be so cute too.
Elijah has asked for a Jedi Robe, so I found a pattern for those online too. And you know if I make one for him, I have to make one for Jeremy too :o). Lots to keep me busy and practice this new skill.

Friday, August 13, 2010

So Cozy

My Elijah and I have a summer tradition that we call "so cozy". It started 2 summers ago. I don't remember if he was having trouble sleeping, or, if he just woke up at some point in the night. I remember it was a lovely night and instead of coaxing him back to bed, I took a big blanket and said "Come on". We then curled up together on the steps of our house and watched the stars and chatted.
Last summer we did it again. That was the summer we saw a skunk go through our yard (it didn't notice us, thank goodness).
This year, we tried one time in July with no success. Living in Toronto, we just can't see the stars, it's too bright. Elijah was disappointed as it looked like our summer tradition of "so cozy" was no more.
Last night, we decided that we would have a family evening out. We packed up the kids (in their PJ's) and headed for the country. We stopped first for an old fashioned burger complete with homemade french fries and onion rings from Steer Inn Burgers in Richmond Hill (open since 1961 by the same pair of brothers). Once it was dark enough we headed towards Stouffville and kept on driving. We thought it was still too bright in Stouffville, so we went further north. I don't know the little village we came to, but we did find an abandoned building lot out at a crossroads. We parked, got out the blankets and waited. Last night was the most perfect night to see The Perseids meteor shower. I've never seen a meteor before. I've always wanted to see this, but it seemed that I remembered too late, or that the weather was not cooperative to go and do this.
All I have to say is "WOW". These were absolutely amazing. We debated waking Jeremy up (as he'd fallen asleep on the drive) but decided we couldn't let him miss this. So we were all up. And boy, it was spectacular. Elijah said it was like watching fireworks, God's fireworks. And that was true. So impressive. So beautiful. Fantastic. So although it wasn't just the two of us alone this year, Elijah and I did get to have "so cozy" after all.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My New Toy

I did it. After how many years of hemming and hawing and saying I didn't need one and feeling intimidated at the thought of having one, I bought a sewing machine.

I'm really glad it came with a how to use DVD because the whole idea of this really intimidated me. I walk into fabric stores and get a feeling that the people working there are looking at me and thinking "what is SHE doing here? SHE doesn't belong". But I also look at the beautiful things my mom and a few of my friends have made and long to be able to do that. It irks me spending money to have Stitch It hem my husband's pants because I know it's probably a very easy thing to do yourself.

Once I got past all that and dove in, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. And I really enjoyed it. I can see how some people become addicted. I made a little quilt from a quilt kit. Here it is:

I know it isn't perfect, not even close really. But I had fun. I can see the mistakes and take from them all because this was my first project and the whole point was to learn. And I learned a lot. Here's a few things that came up:

-always put the presser foot down - that was a bit of a mess
-watch out for pins coming up the line (I broke a needle because of this)
-a rotary cutter is necessary if I want to make more quilts - I hand cut all the pieces and they were a bit of a mishmash
-check the piecing together part over - one row of blocks is backwards and the rows aren't straight

I actually didn't intend to make a quilt, I wanted to make Olivia some leggings, but I saw this kit and thought it would be a good little project for me. I really like how there are so many different textures in it for her little hands to explore.  I think she likes it too.

Side note: The back is the green stripe flannel. I just didn't take a picture of that.

Too Funny

So I found this hilarious.  The dental hygenist who was working on my teeth was going on and on about how she limits sugars and how her kids have never eaten Kraft Dinner or chicken nuggets.  She then tells me that her 5 year old had his first cavity.  Hmmm, my (then) 5 year old has never had a cavity but has eaten all of those things she's won't let her kids eat.  Hilarious to me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Muppet Memories

Elijah is really into Star Wars right now.  We've let him watch Episode IV and Episode I.  The rest are going to wait until I think they won't give him nightmares.  We popped into the Central Library last week and I happened to spot a Muppet Show DVD.  Not just any Muppet Show DVD, but the Muppet Show with Mark Hamil hosting.  It's a very odd Star Wars tribute, but enjoyable.  Quite funny really.

I started to get those warm, fuzzy memories watching the DVD.  We used to watch the Muppet Show as a family when I was a kid.  The shows still hold up today.  I'm glad they are on DVD.

It's also quite possible that I loved the Muppets so much that I wanted to be one.  I used to go around telling people that my name was Krissy Muppet Doan.

Here are a few things that I remember fondly from my childhood:

The Muppets
Popcorn and Hot Chocolate on a Rainy Day
Listening to Juice Newton on LP afterschool
Hiking in all sorts of BC hiking spots
peeling shrimp
camping in Oregon
collecting pop cans with my friends so we could buy candy with the refund money
a comfy, cozy spot on the couch when I was sick
ABC Saturday morning cartoons with my brother

About Parking Lots

I know this is starting to be more Kristen's Complaints than Kristen's Contemplations, but I need to vent somewhere!
You need to slow down in parking lots people!  They are not roadways!  There are people walking in them, with carts, with strollers, with small children!  And no, speeding up and then slowing down just for the speed bumps is not acceptable.  The speed bumps are there to keep you slow - there's a reason for them, and it isn't to annoy you.
When backing up, look behind you please.  Small children may be there. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Random Thoughts

Things that are bothering me right now:

-The plan to build a mosque at Ground Zero.  Really!  I think that's completely tacky, insensitive and completely unnecessary.
-Jay walkers - esp. those who are texting, listening to their iPods, or on their cell phones
-People who don't signal, particularly on the 401
-the fact that I'm in a larger city, yet have to go to 2 or 3 stores to fill my grocery list, when I used to have to go to just one when I lived in Saint John
-that it takes much longer to go anywhere here, even to the bank and back
-ignorance and intolerance of those of different cultures from Jane Average white woman in Toronto (yes, I will stick up for the veiled woman whose limited English doesn't let her express what she needs to say)

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