Archive | October 2017

Happy Halloween!

Wow, I’m so behind!  Well, I’m keeping it together in real life, just neglecting my online duties.  These are the things I have to recognize but don’t have time to do right at the moment.  They are on my list:

#1 – I was nominated for a blogging award.  I’m always flattered when people think my blog is good 🙂  I’ll be doing a better job on receiving it and passing it on ASAP.

#2 – I was also tagged for a 7 days and 7 black and white picture (no people) challenge and I also really want to do it.  It just has to wait a couple days.

#3 – I still intend to do the blog every day in November, I need to sign up officially but I again, miss blogging and even have a list now in my book of lists of topics to write about.

 

Here is what I have been keeping up on;  The Election is under a week away, this time next week I will know if all the work went into something productive or if the people who hate taxes won.  Seriously, I don’t like taxes, I do like safe streets and our town moving in the right direction.  The schools need to be funded.  period.  When I hear someone complain in the paper about how their taxes will increase by $500 a year I do a little mental math and see that their house is APPRAISED for TAX (not what it would sell on the market for mind you) at over $500,000.00.  The tax is under $10 per 100k of home value.  Please don’t cry on my shoulder about how you can’t afford it as you sip your $5 latte and type letters to the editor on your brand new laptop.  I digress…  We pledged a positive campaign and we are sticking by it.

In this last week we have a rally on Saturday, we are doing some last minute press in the paper, and I’m increasing the volume on all our social media.  I do hope it works, the alternative is really not fun.

Halloween.  I don’t know if the kids noticed but this year we didn’t do as much as normal but I still pulled off a few fun things.  The world also wasn’t helping, 2 events we were supposed to go to got rained out.  They were all super excited heading out to school today for their Halloween adventures.  1 is going to the pumpkin patch so she had to put on cold weather gear since this week we are at freezing temps.  1 is in the costume parade and 1 is watching and I’ll be there too taking pictures.  Tonight we are going to trick or treat door to door with friends and then go to the fantastic indoor party we love.  I’m also making the skull-shaped pizza for dinner.  Last night was mummy dogs, I’ve been sneaking spiders and eyeballs (fake) into lunches and snacks all last week, and today this is their snack.img_4366.jpg

I also gave them the once yearly treat of cereal with marshmallows.  Who does not love Halloween theme cereal!img_4358

And as always we did the shirts for 2 weeks before, here is the final day and while I didn’t do my normal daily picture this outfit was too cute to ignore.  img_4368

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you can tell by her face she knew that maybe she went too far with her pattern mixing. Please note she is hiding her watermelon leggings.

 

we did the pumpkin carving thing, only one did actual carving and the others painted.  It looks pretty idealized in the picture but in reality, I was so tired I could hardly help so they got free reign on design.

We also did get out to two events, a trunk or treat that had a fun little ‘spooky’ music play after.  Given that it was at a church they could not resist throwing in some all saints day things and that was actually pretty cool.  They also let the kids do a bell song and even with no practice (they held up cards for the color bell) they were ok.  Some kids just rang the entire time but they must have special church bells that work together so it was loud but not horrible.

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the other event was the Highschool spooky concert.  I love that they get so into it and even though the selection of Halloween style music arranged for a band, orchestra and chorus must be limited, they have been different every year.

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And I think this is long enough.  I have to get out and do some things before the events for today get rolling.  Tomorrow we start daily blogging so I’ll put up the costumes in their completeness 🙂  Hope you all have a happy Halloween.

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Jasmine!

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This year with all the extra work I’m doing I can’t handcraft each costume so step one was the thrift store for all 3 girls.  We scored on 2 (Amazon took care of 3) and here is my incredibly easy Jasmine costume.

  1. We got lucky at the store to find a women’s skirt in the right color and with gorgeous Indian beading.  I was really just looking for a skirt in the correct color and gauzy fabric so I think that even if you don’t find something beaded you can find something ‘right’img_4236.jpg I took some ribbon and stitched it onto the top to make two straps.  We were lucky that the fit was pretty good otherwise but my plan was to make a few tucks if it was too big.  The extra perk is that the length lets us get away with normal leggings, not poofy pants, and, since it is so pretty she doesn’t notice that it isn’t the belly showing style that Jasmine actually wears.  This works much better for a 5 year old.

2.  For the iconic hair, I got a simple black wig and some foldover elastic in the right color. It was easy to tie 3 spots to make just the right hairdo for Jasmine.  Foldover elastic is easier than ribbon since it won’t slip.

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3. The key to costumes is getting some details right and for Jasmine, the headband with the jewel is the most memorable.  I used Sculpey clay and got a pack of ‘gems’ that had a big one in the right blue.  The only trick I did was in order of operations;

  • make the round piece of clay and press the jewel into it to make an imprint.  Remove jewel and poke 4 holes in the imprint like buttonholes
  • bake Sculpey clay
  • sew the gold onto a length of foldover elastic, just like a button
  • glue gem into its spot, covering the sewing
  • position the headband onto the wig and pin/sewimg_4295

We tried to make the gold necklace and hoop earrings also out of Sculpey clay.  The earrings worked but I’m not sure they are worth it since the hair covers her ears and the clips hurt her after 10 min.  The necklace was a failure, broke in 5 min so we scratched that and just used the pretty chunky necklace in the right color (also a thrift find).

This entire thing had about 10min of hand sewing, some creative shopping, preschool level sculpting, and hot glue.  I won’t be winning any cosplay prizes but I think she captures the spirit of the princess and she loves it.  It cost about $15 total and I think she will actually wear the dress again and NOT look like a costume.

 

Week long weekend

Yesterday was Monday, my well-documented love of Monday persists.  It is the day to put things back together or start new things.  The kids happily went off to school because, for them, this is a 3 day week.  They have Thursday through Monday off for Minnesota’s best made up holiday – MEA (?) weekend.  It is a conference, I think, maybe hunting opens?  I’m not even sure but I am just glad that random school vacations don’t mean career limiting moves.

I’m cramming what I normally do all week into 3 days but I’m also plotting what we can all do together.  Sometimes they are fantastic at helping, sometimes I don’t get anything done.  We will have to see…  I can say my goal is to get all the winter and summer stuff swapped and maybe, just maybe, make it so a car could park in our garage.  Aim high you know.

The title works a little for last weekend too.  While not actually a week long, Lars left for an event in way far away South Dakota (11 hours and an entire time zone away) on Friday morning.  I had Friday solo and decided to take the opportunity to do one of the local hikes that I had been meaning to do for years.  There was a set of difficult people on facebook (politics.. ugh) so a few hours outside taking pictures of fall leaves was just what I needed.  I did try and do something responsible by replacing the lightbulbs in my laundry room fixture and I say try because while I did get them replaced I did it wrong and actually broke the fixture…  oops put that problem on the shelf for Monday…

My solo weekend was well planned to NOT be particularly solo.  Friday we had a long wished for sleepover with one of Zoe’s friends.  It was more work than it should have been, who thinks bringing logs from the backyard into the bedroom is a good idea? Saturday morning was not up to par for sleepover fun because we all had early things to do, she had a soccer game and we had a vote yes event.  The event went well, there was a great playground but don’t you know it Fiona fell and smashed her face.  Not the best exit queue but gets the others going. img_4243

The kids were a bit terrible with fighting on Saturday after we got home and my nerves were on edge from dealing with yahoo trolls on the internet, so I was a bit shouty and separated them all but had a light at the end of the tunnel – we had an afternoon outing planned with our old daycare friends.  They arrived after lunch and we all went out to the girlscout haunted camp event and it was really fun.  The kids pulled it together and were happy and cooperative and Jon is one of those friends that it feels like no time passes.  We left the camp due to rain but had been there for 4 hours already! They stayed for some pizza and it was a fun cap to the day.

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Sunday everyone actually slept in, making up a bit of sleepover sleep debt.  They also played together like it was their job.  So well that I called a friend to watch them so I could grocery shop because they didn’t want to leave their game.  I needed to tidy and shop because Lars’s cousin was coming to town and we have not seen her (in person) for 6 years or more.  Vacation Mom also saved the day by whisking in and talking them all swimming so I could get in a quick workout and finish the cleaning.  Everyone needs an extra mom friend on hand!  Lars got home just after his cousin arrived and the visit was fantastic. We got all the family info and played a game and had a lovely dinner.  She even showed us how to use snapchat, I can’t wait to totally figure it out but it really works well as a kid distractor. The kids were good and while they ducked a few of their standard Sunday chores I’ll take it for their generally great behavior.

It was a long 3 days, I needed my Monday yesterday.  Instead of just getting ahead though I decided it was time to fix all the lighting issues in the house.  That is a story for tomorrow where hopefully I have a happy ending to the saga but let’s just say if you want some customer service, just drop a giant fluorescent bulb in the store.

 

Blog Offical

Since money has now changed hands, we are actually in contract to build a house!

We are moving about 5 miles away, up one exit on the highway, and on the other side of 35.  It has been an interesting few months looking at all the houses and going back and forth between existing home or building.

  • existing homes usually have a better house to ‘stuff’ value, like, for the same price as a new construction you ALSO get an outbuilding or a finished basement or a larger house.

Problem is, every house we liked was on land that we didn’t like and vice versa.  We also have pretty strict location limits because I want to stay in the district and keep close enough to the school to avoid changing.  What we found was good land in a good location for a good price that came with a builder.  The builder seems decent and we liked the model homes we toured and he is also very local and is willing to listen.  When I asked for a more energy efficient house he told me that modern techniques were very sound and he uses good materials.  That isn’t what I was getting at exactly but the fact that he listened when I talked passive solar and flipping the house layout to take advantage of winter sun gives me hope that this can be collaborative.  He also thought our carport idea was cool too, I do like them so far…

A timeline at least has a start now, finish in the spring.  Hope to sell this house in early spring to make a smooth transition.  Between now and then I’m going to be talking to some solar contractors and figuring out the world of solar farming.  The land is 4 acre (1.5 hectare for my metric friends) and very sunny – currently a corn field.  I wish there were some trees, but, we can plant those.  Step one was talking to our energy company and they don’t do it personally and pointed me at local companies that do.  I would love to make our house run on just the energy we produce but I need to learn the ways and hows of it.  It will be a fun project I hope!

That is the big news of the month.  All the other things are a bit crazy.  I’m behind on Halloween costumes, vote yes campaign is doing well, kids are all good, Lars is on a diet so is working out a ton, he has a goal to bike to Duluth (180ish miles) in the spring so he is biking a lot.  I choose busy nearly every time over bored!

October already?

My time hop has been reminding me that it is time to plan Halloween.  No grand family theme this year, we are not even positive what Fiona wants to be yet.

Niamh in her years’ long love of the Greek gods would like to be Artimus.  Easy!  I can just make garb, add a few accessories, and possibly a “Hi, my name is” badge.

Zoe would like to be a police officer.  I am not sure why but she does.  She now super wants to do it once Lars volunteered to be a criminal that she can chase and arrest.

Fiona is still quite unsure and we might just go to the store and look around.  I think she should go as Dorothy so Prima can be her accessory but she has never even seen the movie.

Overall they are on the easy side and I’m glad because this campaign takes up quite a bit of time.  I am enjoying it overall, the planning is going well, people are responding positively.  The proof will come on election day though and I seriously hope we made the impact I feel like we are making.

Finding time to get a good post is proving impossible so I’m going to try short ones for a bit and see if that is easier.  who knows!