Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Like I said yesterday, we went to Rotary Gardens on Emma's birthday to take some pictures. Emma loves to use my camera and I thought maybe I could get some decent pictures of the children, not to mention, this is one of my favorite places on earth to go. I did get SOME decent pictures of the girls, but most of them were either of them running away, doing flips or being goofy. I love that my camera does a decent job of capturing action because their facial expressions are always best when they are moving quickly. At least the flowers were cooperating.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

7 Years Old

Emma turned 7 on May 22nd. I can't believe it, but it is true. I know every mom says that they can't believe how fast their kids are growing up, and that is true, but it just seems to me like 7 is no longer a little girl. 6 still seemed little, but 7, not at all. We have decided that the kids can have a "friend" party every other year, so this year was just a family deal for her. That was very difficult for my social butterfly to handle (no worries about socialization for this homeschooler...she creates her own social opportunities everywhere we go). On her actual birthday, Curt took the day off of work and we headed to the Madison Children's Museum and lunch at Pizzaria Uno's on State Street. We had to be home by 1 for daddy to head off to his last track meet. The girls and I rested for a bit and then we went to the Beauty Shop for Emma to get her first "big girl" haircut at the beauty shop (I have always cut their hair up to this point). Then we went to Rotary Gardens in Janesville to take pictures. Aunt Mando was able to meet us there. I will do a separate post just of garden pics another day. We ran and played and had too much fun and then headed to McDonald's for supper (her choice, certainly not mine). Then it was home for full facials with make up and everything and manicures. We finished the night by curling up on the couch and watching Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman on DVD (perfect!). On Saturday we had the fam over for Emma's party. She chose a Luau theme this year. I made her a dress and we had some basic decorations and of course the cake. Super fun birthday for a super fun girl. She said it was all perfect, even though she was scheming right up to the end on how to get some friends here too.
In her birthday outfit.

Big Girl Hair Cut!
This one shows her personality perfectly. All dressed up fancy, but ready to build something too.

Looking 17, not 7.

My mom bought Emma a model rocket kit for her present (at Emma's request). Daddy spent several hours with them on Monday assembling and firing the rockets. Good thing we have a before picture, because 1 rocket is pretty much burned up and the other one is evidently orbiting the earth and never returned.

Our "Luau" cake, designed by Emma, decorated by mom and Mando.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Bag

I have been volunteering to do some pattern testing for Kathy at Pink Chalk Studio, now also of Pink by Post. The latest (and my favorite so far) is this great bag that she calls the Mail Sack. I tested it in March and she released the pattern officially last week. This is my original version, made from her original pattern with no alterations or corrections. There were some small alterations made in the final version of the pattern and I am planning on making the final version in more neutral colors ( I have been dressing to match the bag). It is the perfect bottomless bag. I took it to a track meet last week and had an umbrella, sunscreen, sunglasses, a water bottle, a fleece pullover and all my usual notebooks, wallet, pens... in it. I found the bag easy to make and learned some new techniques with it. Kathy does a great job of writing instructions in a way that seems conversational instead of formal and technical. She is also amazingly generous and kind, so go visit her sites.
The outside view. It is made out out hoarded Amy Butler and Heather Bailey fabrics with matching linen.
The inside has a zipper pocket and 2 other pockets for sunglasses, etc.

It is meant to be worn across the body sling style. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have of me wearing it that way. You can see it in the reflection.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


The first weekend in May, Curt had a computer geek conference to attend in St. Paul, MN. He was going to be gone for 4 days and the business was paying for a room and none of his partners were going with, so the girls and I decided to go along. I knew we were not going to be able to see Curt much or spend much time with him, but we would be able to do some fun stuff and it would be better than staying home by myself with the Hoodlums (as I like to call them). It worked out that My Mandy was able to come with also and spend part of the weekend with us and part of the weekend with her husband's brother and his family. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza (way out of our league) which is happily situated on the Mississippi River and very near many great sites. We were within walking distance of the Minnesota Children's Museum and the Minnesota Science Museum and only a short drive from Grand Avenue (shopping!) and Como Zoo. Our 4 days were quite full and fun. If you ask the girls, the best part was the hotel pool and watching Chronicles of Narnia in bed on hotel cable. If you ask Mandy and I, the worst part was no TLC, HGTV or Bravo on the hotel cable! When Mandy posts pictures, I will link to her Flickr, because she was the main photographer of the weekend, but here are a few of my shots.
Face painting the Children's Museum. Notice my really cool bag in the mirror reflection. I will post about that later today or tomorrow.
My little scientist. Her only hope for the Science Museum was that she would be able to wear a lab coat and goggles like a real scientist. Wish granted. We got to scrape cheek cells and look at them under a microscope.

Como Park Zoo/Amusement ParkOur Hotel from across the river (the dark grey building). We had an amazing view of St. Paul and the river from our 12th floor window.