Friday, January 30, 2009

rock noodle noodle rock noodle noodle rock noodle noodle

#2 and I had a great time sorting, counting and making patterns for some home math the other day. And he looked so cute writing his patterns and practicing writing his numbers I couldn't resist snapping this photo.

He is a eager learner and loves hands on, moving around opportunities to practice his skills.

#3 happily sat cutting up a piece of paper, that boy loves scissors. And #4 thought sitting in his high chair eating animal crackers was fine for most of our lesson.

We've got a birthday party this weekend. And some presents to finish! Have a great weekend yourself!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

100th Post!!!

This is my 100th post! I've been trying to think of something really creative to do for my 100th post; 100 things about me, 100 things I love, etc. Nothing is coming to mind.

And now I'm too tired to think of 100 anything.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Unfinished Projects::Finished::Pillowcases

There is quite a long story about these pillowcases. Since you're here, I'll tell you.

I think about 7 years ago, when we'd recently moved back home with our 2 month old #1 I went to a quilt class with my best friend and her mom. The class was making pillowcases.

As part of the class we picked out fabric then followed the directions with the teachers help to make a cuffed pillowcase with piping between the cuff and the case.

I only got one pillowcase done that evening. I brought it home and stuck the finished one, the directions and the fabric left to finish the second one in my stash of sewing stuff.

Since then we've moved and I've moved my sewing stuff from closet to closet and moved this pile of stuff right along.

The other was time! I took the stuff out of the unfinished projects tub and got to work. It took about 15 minutes to have the matching pillowcase complete. 15 minutes! 7 years and 15 minutes!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


The kids got a basketball hoop for Christmas from Papa B. Mr. Wiedz got it to our house and put together last week. #1 went right to it. Mr. Wiedz taught her "around the world" and mostly she had a lot of fun playing with him. Most days after school she shoots until she makes 20 baskets.

Her game last weekend showed her practice is paying off. She made 4 baskets in the game. An improvement over the 2 she made the week before and the 0 she made all of last season!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Unfinished Projects

I emptied my unfinished projects tub the other evening and took a picture of everything in there. Some things are small, like the bags in the front right of the photo, they only need drawstrings. Some things are big, like the wall hanging in the back right that needs backed and quilted. Or all the pieces of last years $5 Quilt Club blocks and Challenge blocks that need put together and finished in their own quilts. The bag in the top left...full of half started quilt blocks that are from my even earlier beginning days...scary!

Hopefully in the weeks/months ahead you'll be seeing these things in their finished state!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sewing: Part 3

The new curtains for our room are complete. Mr. Wiedz found the fabric at our local big-box store for only $1.50 a yard! And it is beautiful!

I used some backing I had left over from this quilt to back these. Now our room is dark on the off chance we can sleep in past daylight.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Letting go!

#1 helped me make some baked goods last week. Since she's such "a big kid now" and "can do it herself" I let her measure and stir without assistance. Though it took everything I had not to do it myself or correct her.

What's a little flour? It was a nice time together and we had enough flour for the bread, the cake and the counter (and the floor)!

Cooking was also a good way to get some reading in, practice measuring and work on fractions.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sick days

Here are a couple of shots of what sick days look like around here.

#4 needing constantly held...the sling is the thing. #2 in his pajamas all day (this photo taken while dinner making and cake decorating).

#3 falling asleep in the chair while watching his favorite movie, Milo and Otis.

Monday, January 19, 2009


We celebrated my birthday this weekend with a simple time together as a family. Mr. Wiedz worked with the kids to make me a cake. My favorite, German Chocolate with German Chocolate frosting. No one else in my house likes this kind of cake so it is a real treat to get it on my birthday. The kids told Mr. Wiedz what they wanted written on it and then helped make dots to decorate.

The cake followed a delicious crab dinner caught the day before by Mr. Wiedz. Crab is a special treat for me...LOVED it!

The birthday followed a week full of sick babes and was low key. A chance to sit and relax with another adult at home. #4 had his worse day yet but #2 and #3 were feeling much better.

I got a lot of calls from friends and family with well wishes. A original song written by #1 was given proudly at the beginning of the day. And Mr. Wiedz did dishes while I lingered over my dinner. A wonderful day!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sewing: Part 2

During our remodel mess and subsequent cleaning and organizing I started a "tub" of unfinished projects that were stored in various craft closets. After Christmas my goal has been to get to finishing some of these projects.

This bag is one of them.

A couple years back I started looking into ways to make my own grocery bags. At the grocery store I frequent they give you $.06 for each bag, plus it just is a handy and sometimes cute way to carry things around.

I found a pattern/tutorial for making a bag just like the plastic store ones and saved it in my favorites. Sometime later I decided what fabric I wanted to use and set it aside.

Fast forward a couple years and during nap time last week I made the bag! The fabric was in my unfinished projects tub and the pattern still saved in my favorites, most importantly, the link still worked!

A friend gave me the cute Mary Engelbriet fabric before #1 was born, 7 years ago (thank you, Jennifer) and I think it was put to good use.
I used the bag last night at the store and it worked but I think I have some modifications in mind for next time.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sewing: Part 1

Well, #4 has this bug horrible now...constant runny nose and these SAD eyes. #3 is in the beginning stages! Tomorrow should be another fun day. #1 is still feeling alright although wasn't in the mood for school today and slept past 8AM so after missing the bus (7:45) I wasn't in the mood to pack all my sick boys in the car and take her either.

Now that I'm done "computering" I'm hoping to finish some new curtains for our bedroom during today's nap time, pictures tomorrow...after I clean my room (or at least the part where the a good curtain picture will show).

This little sewing project I made last week during a blissful nap time.

I've been stalking SouleMama for a couple weeks now. In the week between Christmas and New Years I even read some of her archives. A couple of years ago she made a bunch of smocks fashioned after a vintage one she found thrifting. Her little girl looked SO adorable in all the pictures she showed of the cute smock shirts.

#1 isn't so little anymore but I thought she'd look pretty adorable herself in one. I used a t-shirt that she's currently wearing as my "pattern". The arms are a little long and narrow and the body could have some more give or room.

The tie in back
I used some old khaki color so if it didn't turn out I wouldn't be disappointed. And I've had this black bias tape laying around for a year or so, again wouldn't miss it too much if I did terrible.

It did turn out though and #1 likes it. I'm going to get some more bias tape, won't do hems any other way now if I can help it (!), and I'll try again with some more modifications.

The basketball is almost always with her now. Her brothers gave it to her for Christmas and now that practice has started again, its all basketball.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Now it starts...

#2 is sick. It has been brewing since Saturday but we're on day 2 of 100% couch time.

#1 wanted to stay home today from school (just being lazy) but I said she'll be sick in a couple of days and be missing school then so she had to go today. What a bad mom!

I'm sure #3 and #4 will be following brother's example any day although they are both my clinging kids which means I won't have kids on the couch I'll be juggling two of them fighting for a place to lay down on my lap.

Oh the joys!

Wish I knew how to schedule posts.


I took some laundry into #1's room to put away and found this on her bed. Picturing her sitting in here making her "schedule".

For those of you loyal blog readers that really know our family you'll know how many comments I get about #1 being just like me.

Some more proof...

She's so much like me!

Monday, January 12, 2009


During all of the remodeling mess I stored our seasonal books. First in the heap in the kitchen, then I thought I had moved them to the new storage closet (which used to be my hallway). In all of my searching though I could not find the books. I looked and looked all through Christmas because all of our Christmas books were where ever I had put this pile of books.

A couple of nights ago Mr. Wiedz was looking for a pair of pants he opened a drawer of his dresser and there were all my books! I was so excited. I put away the fall books that I was waiting to put away and got out the winter books the next morning!

The boys had a great time this morning digging through the basket.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A walk for our sanity

Thursday was turning into a LONG day. When #1 got home from school and started crying because she couldn't hear a movie on TV over the screaming/yelling/craziness of her brothers I figured SOMETHING had to be done to get us through the late afternoon hours.

A walk to our local "pooh sticks" bridge was in order. The kids and I haven't walked to the bridge in a LONG time. Another thing I've put off figuring it was too much work with the baby.

This Thursday though it didn't seem like too much work. It was a nice walk. We got our blood pumping. Got our wiggles out. Breathed deep. Watched the water flow both where is should and where is only because of all the rain and snow-melt. We also collected some new treasures to start our own nature table, trying to bring a little of the outside in.

After we finished throwing sticks in the fast moving water we started back for home. The walk back always comes with more whining and it was getting colder. The man who owns some horses on the way back came out to feed them and invited us to the barn to "help" throw the hay and to visit the horses. The kids have visited there before on walks with Grandma D.

It was all a great way to spend the late afternoon. By the time we got back it was time to whip up dinner, run around and play, takes baths, have a story and get to bed.

A Thursday saved.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Trying something new

Alysun over at Paradise posted about her kids playing in the sink the other day. She had photos of her littlest one standing at the sink playing. Her littlest is the same age at #4. Playing in the sink is not something I've ever given #4 the opportunity to do.
It is so messy.
It takes too much effort on my part.
But she said something in her post that got me thinking, knowing that cleaning up a little water and changing a wet baby is easier than a defiant child or in my case a bored baby. I had never thought of cleaning up the water or changing the baby as easy but yesterday I let him try. He loved it. His smile and excitement were so cute.

While his brothers were occupied doing something else and wouldn't compete for space at the sink, therefore knocking #4 from his stool, he played for a long while. I got dishes done and tidied up the kitchen. He had fun. I only stopped him when he started dumping cupfuls of water on the floor.

And clean up was easy. I've even started thinking that some spilled water on the floor is a good way to get a spot on the floor mopped!
Thanks for the idea, Alysun.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I got the bag done for #1. She had asked for this after I completed a similar one for #2 for wrestling but I kept it hidden while in progress. This morning I had it hanging on her breaky chair. When she came to the table her eyes lit up with recognition. She was excited.

I embroidered the lines on the basketball and hand appliqued it to the outer fabric. #2 helped me decide where to write her name (because of Mr. Wiedz's security requests I've cloned it out using my handy photo program), rounding the basketball along the side and top with a permanent marker.

This bag I wanted to line but I wasn't so sure how. I got the fabric out that I knew I wanted to use, some left over blue I don't remember where and some more of the old sheet I used for the hankies. I knew the shape I wanted and started laying things together, and cutting. Pretty soon I knew what I was doing!

It turned out just like I wanted it to. A flat bottom bag but with a little better shape than #2's bag.

I guess we're both excited about #1's basketball bag.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What we've been doing...

So Saturday I was by myself with the kiddos at home on a cold, drizzly day. We did nothing. I think the TV was on the entire day and #2 had that blasted DS on all day. Mr. Wiedz was cutting up a tree that fell over from the storms at his dad's house. And he and Papa went on a dump run (they did take #3 with them on that trip, small blessings).

But after that LONG boring day we've been busy!

Sunday, after a beautiful church service where a fabulous lady shared her gift of music with us, and a quick lunch Mr. Wiedz took the big kids outside with him to unload all the wood thanks to that tree in Papa's front yard. #3 and #4 were, of course, napping during this.

I HATED loading/stacking wood when I was little. HATED. IT.

I even remember telling my parents Sundays were to be a day of rest and we shouldn't be hauling/stacking wood. Didn't work. Now, here are my kids, dutifully hauling/stacking wood on Sunday!

While they were out there I stayed in. I tried to make some order in the kitchen and in attempt to stay with the "extra something" I tackled this:

And turned it into this. I don't think I got rid of anything just resorted, re-stacked, wiped down and made a little more organized.

I even did another cabinet and I did purge some old lids that don't match anything and a burnt up pan that I don't use anymore.
Before dinner the kids got their monetary reward for all the hauling and stacking.

#1 is saving up for some more American Girl accessories (including getting Kit's ears pierced) so she'll do anything for a quarter. Don't tell her it'll take FOREVER to get anything at that pay scale!

To add to #1's cuteness right now she asked me for some handkerchiefs, "since it is getting to be runny nose time". Sunday night we cut up an old sheet (had holes and stains) and after bedtime I hemmed them and sat with Mr. Wiedz watching basketball (or football, I don't remember) while I added some embroidery.

She was very excited the next morning when I had them sitting at her breaky spot. She's carried one each day in her pocket!

Monday, I was helper in #2's preschool class. There are 9 preschoolers (joined by a kindergartner when her class is done with recess) and I am wiped out at the end of the day with them.
There are a couple of boys who turned four mid-September so they are right on the line of going into Kindergarten next year. They test me big time! Being the helper is a big deal for the teacher, who loves parents to help each day. And #2 was really excited I was going to be there!

The biggest news is Mr. Wiedz has gone back to school! Today was his first day of classes. He was able to register for 16 credits at the University of Oregon (1.5 hour drive from our house). Luckily all those credits are Tuesdays and Thursdays which cuts down his travel time and therefore our gas bill.
He is excited about the opportunity to complete his degree. It is a lifetime goal and he is now one step closer! He'll have another term to go, for sure. He's majoring in Policy, Public Planning and Management (PPPM) which has some courses only offered each term. Because of work he missed Fall term so he may have to wait and complete some of the required courses next fall but it'll only take a term or two of 16+ credits and he'll be DONE!
I am proud of him for working so hard to get to this point. It'll be a real challenge to balance all the school work, the driving to school and the being at school with the work he still has to do, basketball to coach, wrestling practice to attend, family, home, church, parenting and life but I know he can do it!
Now I'm off to try to complete her other request. A bag to tote her basketball supplies to school/practice. I made a wrestling bag for #2 and now she needs one of her own.

Friday, January 2, 2009

My "something extra"

Rachel over at Home Sanctuary posted her resolution to do one thing extra each day. Not wanting to get sucked into my standard list of resolutions or goals or whatever...I always fail.

But one thing extra. One thing I didn't want to do or thought I didn't have time to do. Maybe I could tackle that.

So in that spirit when I was cleaning off the dining room table this afternoon I was about to move this basket back to where it the laundry filling up.

Instead, I did one extra thing today. I folded socks.

I do not usually fold socks. I tend to pile them until 1) the pile keeps falling over and making more of a mess or 2) everyone is yelling because they can't find socks and it takes many more minutes to get anywhere since I have to stop what I'm doing to find matching socks in the basket.

Today: extra...folded socks.

Catching Up:Christmas Day

Christmas Day was a wonderful day to be a family. #1 woke us up about 7am to let us know that Santa had come. I talked her into cuddling with me until #4 got up (it is just against everything in me to get up before him). Once all the boys were awake and the adults had coffee we let the kids start with their stockings and move into opening gifts. We took our time as much as we could, going one at a time and weaving in an adult opening with the kids taking turns. #4 was not interested in much other than the candy so he had a little pile of presents to open later.
After the presents were opened it was time for breakfast. Christmas morning breakfast is the same EVERY year and I LOVE it. I use my mom’s recipe for sticky buns and get them ready the night before (actually I usually do it the afternoon before but I ran out of time this year and was up until 1am to get it finished). While we’re opening presents the buns are cooking and making the house smell fabulous. We also have a tradition we inherited from my mother in law. The canned goods that were preserved this summer (read all about my canning season here) are not allowed to be opened until Christmas morning. So with our sticky buns we enjoy the first taste of the peaches and pears from the summer.

The rest of the afternoon was spent playing with the new toys, a nice nap for #4, tidying up and cooking for our Christmas dinner. My parents usually come for dinner but because of the snow storm they were stuck in their new house. #2 didn’t put the DS down until I made him get dressed for dinner (at 3 o’clock)!

We cooked a ham from the pigs we raised this summer. It was huge and it turned out wonderful! Mr. Wiedz was in charge of the ham and he did a perfect job seasoning it, glazing it and carving it. We had so much left over we put a bag in our freezer, sent a bag home with the in-laws, took a bag to my parents, sent a bag to town for Papa B, gave some to K and sent some home with Grandpa A, plus we ate another bag in our fridge for a couple days. I also used the bone for ham and bean soup on the 30th!

The day was wonderful and quiet and calm. Perfect. I do wish we had more traditions that focused on Christ’s birth for the kids and the adults to reflect better. We did light our final advent candle and read a couple verses from Luke to finish our advent readings. I just know there is more we could do. I’ll add that to my list of things I want to do next year.

It was a Merry Christmas!

Catching Up:Christmas Eve

***Note: The Christmas posts are only to be part of "the record" as it were.****

We spent Christmas Eve with Mr. Wiedz’s family, the J’s. The snow and ice made things a little difficult, Aunt M even wanted to postpone the party until New Years but the family wouldn’t hear of it.

We’d thought we might go up to Portland earlier in the day to spend some time with my parents then head to the party. But chains were required on I5 all morning and the freeway was even closed down a couple of times the day before so we cancelled that part of the day.

We didn’t get the memo about what time the party started so we were an hour early. Because of the storm there was nowhere else to go so we hung out at the party place. I’d been so busy trying to get ready to leave that I didn’t pack any toys so we were a little stretched to come up with activities for everyone before the family got there.

The snow did make everything take longer, Uncle C went to get his mom and that took 3 ½ hours instead of 1 hour, but we had a great prime rib dinner with all the fixings and a fabulous time with the family. All the aunts and uncles spoil our kids with gifts and hugs and tons of attention.

Precious memories!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

What happens when Mama is on the computer for too long!

He pulled them off the counter and smashed them all and played in them until I turned around and found him...had to take a picture before I took them away!

Catching up:Gift Baskets

Years ago I wanted to give my neighbors and “the people” in our lives a little something at Christmas. “The people” being our pastor and family, my best friends family, my friend at our local store, the mail-lady.

Over the years these gift baskets have changed but this year they turned out really great! I was really happy with them and VERY happy to have them done and ready to give. It is so fun delivering them, wishing all these people in my life a Merry Christmas and spreading a little joy if I can.

This year’s basket held:
caramel corn
sugar cookies
seafoam candy
a mini-loaf of banana bread

The caramel corn was a new addition this year, added to help fill the basket and it did so perfectly. I made a lot of batches of caramel corn, we couldn’t keep out of it so I only got about 3 bags full from each batch!

The sugar cookies were a last minute addition once I realized I didn’t like/didn’t think I was good at peanut brittle. After my first batch of peanut brittle I decided to change my plan to sugar cookies. The power went out while I was frosting them but I was just grateful all the cookies were out of the oven!

Seafoam is my favorite candy that you buy in candy shops at the beach. 2 years ago Mr. Wiedz came home from the beach with some seafoam for me. As we were eating it he commented that I could probably make it myself. So I did what any modern girl would do…looked it up on the internet. I found a couple recipes and after some trial and error can replicate pretty well my favorite candy.

Banana bread was last on the list. This year I got the mini loaf stoneware pan from Pampered Chef in November when it was on sale. I was even able to make extra loaves for our freezer.

Hope all "my people" had a Merry Christmas!