My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Apple Cider beer and a loooong week June 1, 2012

Filed under: Boys,Church,Family,Homeschooling,Hubby,Navy,Sewing — blankenmom @ 11:39 pm
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To be truthful, this long week went by in a flash.  Mostly do to the activity levels – *ZOOM*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m exhausted, but at least have a lot to show for it….. including an extra 15 or so pounds thanks to a new find – Apple Cider beer!  It’s *yummy* and my dentist man is parked right behind my workout equipment.  Between these two, it’s making me look like I’ve put on my “freshman 15”.  I should probably stop asking him when he ships out next however?  We’ll need to be remedying this – PRONTO!

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been enlisted in making “planets”  and various other crafts for our churches VBS (vacation bible school).  So while the last two remaining boys finish up their schoolwork for the year, I sit and roll balls, giving us endless jokes for a family full of males! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of last weekend I FINALLY finished a long-awaited UFO project.  I had gotten to the point of “good-enough”, which is never a good spot to be in.  But they are finished and I’m moving on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am finishing up 4 pairs of pajama bottoms for my dentist man tonight – those should go over well on the ship – HA!

 

 

 

 

My favorite is the “yoga frog”!

 

 

 

And I have a stack of my own clothes to work on…. I hope I still have enough fabric after this weight gain? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer can’t quite come fast enough with all it’s free time that it’s teasing me with!

 

I guess the lesson here is to drink more Apple Cider beer and then the weeks will go by REALLY fast and I won’t care how big my belly gets! 

 

 

Got my summer plans down!

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Boys vs. Girls *parent style* January 10, 2012

Filed under: Boys,Family — blankenmom @ 12:43 am
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*I* am the mother of boys.  This is a fact.  I have been since birth.  Frogs, toads, lizards, snakes, small or large rodents – always my favorite. 

pink – definitely not.

Dirt, cow-pies, canals and pastures are where you could find me.  Happily.

clean – definitely not.

 

 

 

As I was watching folks at the soccer arena (where I spend all my free time now), I made an observation.  *Parents* of boys and girls are different, not just the kids themselves.  As most of us know after all, up to a certain age, they’re all the same anyway!  (The kids, not the parents)

As we’re rushing our way in 3 minutes late to my 3rd game of the weekend (3rd time late) and hoping my youngest has all his clothes on.  Our conversation in the car on the way over being, “Do you have BOTH socks on and 2 shin guards?  Do you have the CLEAN blue shirt on… did you put on underwear??”  Yes, I know, I could have just looked before we left, but remember we’re late.  I was busy getting his water, telling his brothers not to set the house on fire and being told by the oldest what time he’d be home, all while he was doing his best to tie his shoes at a snail’s pace.  (The 9-year-old, not the 16-year-old)

Luckily he wore both shoes… this time.

I was happy he made it out to the field complete.  Short, buzzed hair to aid in my sanity.  I don’t think he or his brothers even know how to brush/comb their hair?  (I did stop at velcro shoes!)  Color coded boxes, dishes, blankets, pillows and marks on their laptops, books or matching toys.  Matching, nondescript soccer items placed in a “communal bag” so there is no mad, crazy searching at the inevitable last-minute that we head out, just grab and go!  (Well, that’s at least the way it was supposed to work)

Why does all this matter?

As I look around at all the other families.  The 5 girls on his team (yes, he’s the only boy – my little stud!)  Hair tied up in cute little bow’s, flashy little soccer socks above their shiny pink/purple cleats.  Water bottles that match their mother’s or sister’s (one set of twins, another set of sisters).  Shirts with cute sayings, not a stain on them! 

They look like they spent all morning getting ready and were there in plenty of time for not just the game, but practice as well.  I’m sure *their* mothers even fed them before the game. 

What?  We’re supposed to feed them too?

If you were to watch a mother of all boys and a mother of all girls walk into a building, 9 times out of 10, you’d know which-is-which with out the kids in tow. 

I will say that the mom’s with a mixed gaggle are a bit tougher to pick out?  I hate to call them “normal”, I mean really – what IS normal?  But they’re the closest anyone can really get.

How do you pick out one of each?

The mother of boys looks like she’s just happy to have made it.  Hair is usually in a ponytail, pulled back, put up or short.  How do you plunge a toilet or remove shoe prints from the ceiling with your hair in your face?  Clothes may match, but that’s most likely because she’s dressing out of a basket – no time to actually put the clothes away, so they may be the clothes you saw her in last week at this time.  Don’t worry – they’re clean!  Tennies – always!  As the boys get older, the tennies get fancier!  Make-up… hahahaha!  Yeah right, the boys used that as war paint several years back. (No worries – there’s pic’s for future girlfriends!)  Coffee in hand – probably not her first one of the day.

Mothers of girls on the other hand, bless their hearts, show up like a fresh daisy!  (Have you ever smelled a daisy btw?)  They may be hurried, but they look great in their rush!   Perfectly quaffed hair done, and I mean done.  Blow dried, brushed, curled/straightened and sprayed… with something?  What is that?  Make-up, done just right (ok, sometimes there’s way to much, but really, they made the effort).  Their clothes match, not out of necessity, but because they actually shopped that way.    Even their shoes match!  They chose an outfit that morning and went with it – FANCY!  Her water bottle in hand – probably not her first one of the day. 

I can’t claim to know the intricacies of their lives, never been there.  But it seems very put together?

There *are* of course exceptions to these rules – there always has to be that ONE woman who throws everything off.  Boys with no stains and girls with hair that goes everywhere (I like that girl!).

 

As the boys get older some of these things get easier.  I even brush my hair everyday now.  But I’ll never be the mother of girls, we’ll see how I do with grand-girls?

I do admire these women, they have something I don’t and at times think I could, quite possibly enjoy – sanity.  But God in his great wisdom knew what would suite me best and sent pink bundles to women who know how to match.

Besides, who would I blame the frogs on…

 

Perfect day! May 22, 2011

If you are reading this – you were not one of the chosen ones! 

But that’s ok, neither was anyone I know.  So the second coming is still alluding, well everyone.  Few – I had a few things I still wanted to get done.  *wink*

Last night we had “Armageddon pizza” and today we went to the Farmer’s Market and beach (might as well enjoy our last day on Earth after all).  Perfect day for the beach too; except that everyone else seemed to have the same idea, we even saw our neighbor there.  Even the hubby went; it was so much fun to watch him boogie board with the boys!  The first-born chose to sit in the sand, grousing that we made him venture out into the sun, but his brothers had a good time making sand castles, boogie boarding and beating each other with large pieces of drift wood.  We even had a small crab come join us – it even attempted to stow away in our wagon.  We did leave the girls at home though; to hot, to many people and I wanted to just sit.

 

 
Tomorrow will be back to the usual, short of the heat.  It’s supposed to 90*+, that should slow everyone down!  Monday will be a big day though.  Our second-born will be 13, an actual teenager!!  So on top of him being bi-polar, we’ll get teenage mood swings – just what I was hoping for… yay.  In all honesty, it’s has already started.  The eye rolling, the attitude; all the wonderful little mannerism’s of a teenager.  Still love the kid – just can’t wait till he’s human again.  We’ll have school off for the day, Chuck E. Cheese and the local ice cream parlor is the call of the day, #2 will be getting his usual “rice-cream” however.  And the big gift will be a new bike – you know, right before we move  just to add extra weight!
 
The knitting – the knitting is going slowly, very slowly.  Ok, I’m bored with the skirt.  I DID however find a LYS – EEK!  Of course I found it, we’ve only got 3 weeks left here!  But at least I’ll know where it is for when we get stationed here next.  I got two new yarns; how could I not?  To just go in and feel – that’s just crazy talk!   Now, if they’d just get a fabric store before we’re here next, I might not ever leave! 
 

Cascade Yarns - Alpaca Lace

 

Knit One, Crochet too - 2nd Time Cotton

 
If you’re wondering about the constant knitting and no sewing, trust me, I’ll be back to the sewing as soon as we get to the new place.  I can’t wait to get my machines humming again and to feel the fabric slipping through my hands!
 
On top of all this wonderfulness, I made an excellent meal!  Don’t laugh – it was good!  We’re trying to clean out the fridge to avoid our usual “handing out the meat” that we usually end up doing right before we leave.  Unfortunately, that left us with 8 pounds of tilapia.  It’s supposed to be a mild fish, without a lot of flavor.  But instead I found it had a very “fishy” flavor that I really don’t like – and I LOVE fish, so that wasn’t a good sign.  I found a Curry Stew recipe that was REALLY good.  It covered the flavor of the tilapia, but was very spicy, not good on a hot day.  But even the two resident fish hater’s had to admit it was pretty good and the house “chef” could only state that it needed more salt.  Not to bad for someone who can burn a grilled cheese sandwich!  The second-born even liked it; poor kid can’t have Casein so no whipping cream for him, just rice milk.  But the third-born was stoked that it was spicy, that boy LOVES spicy!  We will definitely be making it again, but in the winter.
 
Tonight we sat to watch a movie together, while running out to get something from the van for the movie we noticed 3 toads sitting on our front walk – one was HUGE!  No pic’s?  I was having to much fun catching them!
 
What a perfect day!
 

Bizarre happenings October 28, 2010

Filed under: Hubby,Knitting,Sewing,WTFr — blankenmom @ 10:53 pm
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It’s still very hot and muggy and if your tired of listening to me complain about it, tough.  I’m tired of waking up to it!  It’s October, I’m supposed to be in sweaters and jeans, warm and fuzzy from the lack of shaving my legs and eating hearty stews and soups, feeling all snuggly and warm with my family near by.  On top of that my hands have finally succumbed to the weather; I can’t knit, can’t hold the needle to sew the buttonholes and can barely even type.  The old lady dog is feeling it too, lumbering around all stiff and painful.  The locals think it’s pretty funny, mmm, not feeling it.

He kind of looks like he has a hang over doesn't he?

We had another visitor in the boys’ Bionicle bucket today.  It’s a pretty one too!  The boys wanted to play with their Bionicles, so they carefully pulled it out and set it on the table where it stayed until this evening, where it promptly returned to the bucket. 

The comedy of life sometimes is just to good.  On the bridge to the vet’s office the traffic was backed up pretty far once I got to the “scene” of the cause I really had to laugh out loud!  I kid-you-not a woman jogging was the cause of a 1/4 mile back up!  Really, are you kidding me!  Fully covered on the major area’s and wasn’t even that well endowed?  It was just one of those bizarre things, but it gave me a good laugh.

I took the cat in for her blood work today.  As I’m sitting there rolling the words “renal failure” around in my head and feeling like I might be on the verge of tears, I see a woman walk in with her spastic wiener dog needing a nail trim (the dog, not the woman).  She sits for a few minutes, talking to this squirmy little boy like it was her first child, making me giggle.  The tech comes to get the dog and has to *drag* it into the back.  Which again, makes me giggle.  (It was on a harness, no one panic, no animals were harmed in the making of this story)  The woman starts pacing around the room, touching everything, finally getting a bag of food and some treats.  She stands at the door, where her furbaby went in and I swear starts kind of whimpering and whining, sort of like her dog.  She turns and asks the receptionist if her dog is ok, if getting the nails clipped hurts?  The receptionist explains that it doesn’t.  She looks at me and I tell her our dogs have the same issue, for different reasons.  She gives out a quiet huff and mumbles “what ever” on the verge of tears.  At this point I wanted to start laughing out loud, and my cats possible renal failure all of a sudden became a smaller issue to me.  I DO NOT want to be one of THOSE people.  You bet I’m going to be sad when the ladies pass, but I would like to also have a few small pieces of reality to hold on to, such as – it is still an animal, not my child!  That being said, we get into the car and the cat looks at me as if to say “I hate you, and I know where you live!” 

The boys are spastic, and driving me up the wall.  Most likely because of the heat and we just haven’t found our groove yet.  We’ll probably find it about June, when we move.  I’m driving the poor hubby insane!  He’s attempting to find me “play dates”.  “But what if I don’t like them?  Can I come home and I can talk about how much I don’t like them?”  His reply “Sure, a change of conversation would be nice!”  Hahaha  A sign of a good hubby.  The greater job at Walmart is looking REAL nice.

It was fend for yourself night tonight, which is good since my hands hurt and that ment I got to finish my mashed potato’s.  The boys always like that too, so they all get what ever they want, as long as it’s a real meal.  Watermelon and cheese counts as a real meal?  Wasn’t that a Seseme Street song? *giggle*

I am also glad I finished my hat-turned-scarf yesterday, since there will be no knitting tonight.  Hopefully I’ll be back to normal tomorrow so I can finish the jacket in time for my sewing machine to arrive.  I’ve also got another order for some necklaces I make for someone.  It’s a hit or miss thing for me since it’s not really what I do, but it makes me money, it’s legal and I can do it from home, I’ll give it a whirl!  It leaves me with supplies for sewing too, so it works out well for me.

Last night I had caffeine and was up until 3:30.  And then today I had half of the first-born’s cinnamon buns that he made and was pinging off the walls at the vets office.  About an hour after I got home all I wanted to do was sleep and now am wide awake and can’t do anything.  *Sheesh*  This might be a long night!  I suppose this would be a good opportunity to get some Christmas presents ordered.  This is when I’d just sit and people watch at the last place… drunks are so entertaining!  I suppose I could go out and look at the stars and watch the owls and bats.  That’s more my style.  Ooh – I need those light up needles so I can knit in the dark!  Of course, that would probably attract the bats and I’d end up being attacked by the wildlife.  Hmmm,  maybe I don’t need them?

I’ll leave you with this – for those of you who sew, or are a sewing enabler, you’ll probably relate to one or more of these:

http://mrbilll.users.sonic.net/Costuming/Humor/2am.html

 

Minions October 26, 2010

Filed under: Boys,Family,Hubby,Knitting,Moving,Pets,Places — blankenmom @ 9:44 pm
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A very slow day, hot and muggy.  You really didn’t want to move, but it wasn’t quite warm enough for most of us to justify the a.c. but enough to just sit.  The sky was empty of clouds and even the planes, that’s kind of unusual, but a nice break from the noise.

Which of course came with frosting.... mmmm...

The first-born finished off the cinnamon rolls he had started last night, making for a very nice lunch.  The second-born, who can’t eat them was less pleased with the amount of dishes that came out of the project.  Having to wash the dishes of something you don’t even get to eat, really is unfair.  However, life is unfair, so he still “got” to do the dishes.  Ok, I’m really not all as mean as that.  He had cookies for his dessert.  Because of the expense of the poor kids cookies, he only get’s 3 little cookies instead of the monstrous rolls his brothers and dad wolfed down. 

About the time the hubby got home I was starting dinner.  We did our usual routine of asking about each others day while the hubby sat down.  That’s when he noticed that not just the boys followed me everywhere, but the girls too.  MINIONS!  At one point we had all four boys and all three girls in our room.  After sending the boys out to play, and getting tired of all three of the girls following me from room to room, I finally locked the them in the room with their dad (the pets, not the boys) and cleaned the kitchen.  All-by-myself!  My kitchen is very clean now I’d like to say.  After about 30 minutes of listening to the Oly Monster whine at the door, the hubby let her out again. Traitor!  As you can see, they were truly offended.

The cat's new resting place, under my feet?

 I can never get the timing right for dinner.  When I want it to take all day, it takes an hour.  When I want it to take an hour, it takes hours….  So tonight we ate at 7:30, when I had planned on 6:00.  Stupid pork roast!  It was a really good dinner for once though.  The first-born made a really good bbq sauce a few days ago that went very nicely with it.  But again, the second born can’t have it, so it was a dish it for yourself sort of thing since we couldn’t put it on the whole roast.  My point to this is that as I pulled the roast out of the crockpot tonight, the handle of the lid busted off.  This poor crockpot – it’s really done.  It no longer has ANY handles, just two screws stuck out of the side.  The ceramic pot itself has a huge chip in it and the outside of the cooking part is all rusted.  But it still worked, so I didn’t want to throw it out.  Hmmm – I’m thinking it might be time?

One of our visitors from last night decided to try their luck at our house again.  The boys all got to touch it, the little guy (or girl?) was nice enough to sit still. 

After looking at all the pretties in the Webs catalog, I’m trying to figure out what to get the hubby’s mother and granny.  As long as it’s hand-made, even if it’s easy, their happy.  As long as it’s inexpensive, my stomach is happy.  I’m sure the two can compromise.  I’ve come to the conclusion, while looking through the catalog, that some of these people assume money grows on sheep.  $45 a skein… down from $57, and it takes “only 6 skeins” to make the sweater they designed to go with it?  Yeah, you better keep dropping that price before I can even look at that page! 

We have someone new coming to look at the house up north tomorrow.  A mother with six boys – Jealous!  We already have someone interested, but we want to see who’s money is greener first.  I’m sort of leaning towards the 6 boys though….

Tomorrow the hubby’s last day of on call duty and our second day of swim lessons.  Wish me luck!

 

Swim away from lightning October 25, 2010

It’s been a watery sort of day.  Between the humidity of last night and this morning, the swimming lessons this afternoon and the pouring down rain of this evening.  The rain is what I had hoped would break the humidity, but NO, it just makes it worse.

This morning I woke and my sheets, which were newly washed (I love clean sheet day) were sticking to me.  Not the best way to wake up, but the boys were already doing their schoolwork, so I can’t complain.  Until I got the joy of listening to four little and not so little boys complain to me about their impending swim lessons that I’m *making* them take.  Hey, I was nice enough to put them in private lessons until they caught up with their cohorts, what else do they want?  We had to leave by 2:30 and the same boys who didn’t want to go, had their swimshorts on by noon, the only exception being the first-born, who was still growling at me for ruining his life.  Well, at least I’m good for something!

By the time 2:30 rolled around the boys all piled into the van, much to the disappointment to the girls who had to stay home.  *80 is much to hot to leave them in the car for and hour.

Swim lessons went well, the three younger ones had a great time, as I thought they would, but the first-born just gave the very nice swim instructor the evil eye.  NOT COOL!  But seems as how his permit is on the line, I think Wednesday will go differently.  What happened to my little boy who loved to participate, loved people, loved the water, loved everything?  Oh yes, I remember, he turned into a teenager.  yay. 

I however, got much further on my hat-turned-scarf, much to the confusion of passer-by’s.  It was a bit humid in the pool area for me to be working with the yarn, but I managed.  If we keep these lessons up, I should get plenty of projects done.   Ooh – the new Webs catalog came out too, Knitting Porn – WooHoo!  I’ll be drooling over some pretties for the next few weeks, window shopping the catalog.

I called on my poor sewing machine tonight.  They still haven’t shipped it off, they’re waiting to get their money from the shipper for the repairs.  *sniffle*  I just want my baby back!  At this rate, we may move again before they ship it.

We met the most wonderful old woman named Viola (said like Violet).  I mentioned to her that we looked at that name when we were pregnant, if we were to have a girl.  She said “And you didn’t have any girls to name that did you!  Because I am the original.  The one and only!  You’all miss me when I’m gone too!” (said with a very thick southern drawl)  Haha, Cracked me up!  The boys however were more concerned with her mustache that was coming in quite nicely.  Later on, she joined them in the pool with her stylish printed bathing suite and shower cap.

We survived the first day of swimming and got home just before the hubby.  The boys were starving, so dinner was first priority.  Why is it that I’m always making something red when I’m wearing light-colored shorts?  While making our grand dinner of homemade sloppy joe’s on noodles (I am the gourmet, aren’t I) the hubby gave me a great rundown of his day with a new assistant.  And when I say new, I mean, this was her first time working on real people.  Not exactly what you need when you have serious work to be done.  But being the dental stud that he is, he managed. 

That’s about the time that the storm started.  We’ve been hearing about the storm all day, so it was almost to the point of hurry up and get it done with already!  Thunderstorm warnings, tornado warnings, flash flood warnings and granted, it was pretty good storm, but really we were just glad for it to be over.  The cat is now livid with me for making her come in, even though she knows she hates the rain and isn’t allowed out at night and the old lady dog spent the whole time under my desk, breathing her even more humid breath on me.  All this then stirs up the Oly Monster who starts running around the house.  Have you ever seen a 140# dog run through a 1000 sqft house?  At that point you just get out-of-the-way and sit down. 

The best part about the rain and subsequent flooding is the local wild life that comes out.  No, no crocodiles and sadly, no lizards this time either.  But lot’s of frogs and toads, and they were all nice enough to sit still for me while I was trying to get a shot of them in the driveway.  Yes, I’m eight…. what do you want, I’m the mother of boys!  At least I didn’t bring any into the house this time. yet  

 So the storm is done and everything is soggy, it’s still hot and humid, in October.  But the first-born has cinnamon buns in the oven, mmmm.  That makes the humidity a little more bearable.