My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Busy doing nothing June 7, 2017






School for us ended last week.  In typical fashion we ended with one child finishing at the very last moment.  1:00 am, on the final day.

These are my final two – one becoming a sophomore and one a junior, but heading off to college (not uncommon in our state – and something his oldest brother did also).  So I’m down to one.  I’m sure he’s thrilled at the prospect of being the only one left for me to hover over.


With their “finals” done for school, and the third-born done with testing for college entrance, I am off on my summer schedule.


Redecorating the clinic I volunteer at.

Renovations coming along quite nicely (picture coming soon… it’s a looooong tedious project I’m working on).

Some summer schooling (I don’t want them going brain-dead after all that work).  But it’s a light schedule.

Getting ready for the third-born’s mission trip to Costa Rica this summer.


Family reunion.

Two-week-tour.  (In Hawaii… ppffffttttt – that’s camp!)

And, of course, my trip to see the second-born’s graduation from basic next week!  Eek! Not only do I get to see him follow in his dad’s footsteps, but it’s also my first trip alone.  I am both looking forward to it, and nervous.


So much to do, and only three months to fit it all in.   Along with all the usual stuff like yearly testing, working on the quilt still and babies showing up at the end of the summer.

I am enjoying the weather, and the schedule.



Office photo



I love being busy doing “nothing”.





Two down… May 23, 2016






Our second-born, also known as Michael, turned 18 today.  We wouldn’t dare say it’s been a breeze, because he was definitely our challenge.  The one where if it was going to go wrong, it went wrong… and yet, he still came out amazing!

From about the 5th month of pregnancy I knew something wasn’t right?  Born two weeks late but induced due to a slowing heart rate, he was literally pulled out by our midwife because his shoulders had become stuck.   He was already challenging us!  After delivery though, his little heart came back twice as strong.

He was quiet and strong.

After a couple of weeks with this perfect little bundle, his jaundice set in.  “Pumpkin” the nurses called him when we headed back to the hospital for the light therapy.  His bilirubin count was so high they nearly took him in an ambulance.  That’s when the quiet ended, but the strong didn’t.

For over four years this little man cried.  Cried like his fingers had been closed in a car door.  We went to doctor after doctor, all the while being told he was just fine, it was just who he was.  Four years of no sleep.  Four years of rashes everywhere.  Listening to screaming for the majority of the day.  Four years of having strangers whisper, or tell me straight to my face what a terrible parent I was because of his screaming.  Four years of not knowing how to fix his hurting.






But when he did stop, if only for an hour or so, he was so happy, and so beautiful.






After four years, we decided to take him to a therapist to see if they could help.  “Take him to a naturopath if the doctors won’t listen!”, he said.

Best advice ever!

Our son was allergic to several foods – corn, wheat (gluten) and dairy (casein).  All of his favorites of course!  After cutting those out, we were still left with a kid who only knew how to get angry, but could now at least function.  Four years of therapy to correct the damage that had been done and all the time lost, and some very caring church leaders, coaches, naturopaths, family and friends who stuck it out with us, he was a completely different kid.





Always challenging.  Always pushing.  Always trying something new.  I couldn’t imagine what life would have been like without him, his energy, his mischievous giggle from the other room and the lessons he brought with him.  Still strong, sometimes quiet.  Always a challenge.

Scary delivery, jaundice, food allergies, night terrors, stitches, multiple goose-eggs, Poison Ivy, two broken arms, and none of it slowed him down!


Michael 1


Yes, he still has his allergies, albeit less intense now.  Yes, he manages quite well with them.  Yes, it’s changed everything in our life, mostly for the better.  Not so much for out pocket book, but definitely for our bodies.  And I am thankful for that!







Our computer nerd through and through, he’s graduating high school with a certificate in Computer Technology, and is about to leave home for a new adventure.  I’m sure however, we’ll see him grocery shopping our pantry and finding his way home for the wash machine.  This strong willed, energetic, enthusiastic, kid is ready for the world… I hope it’s ready for him because he doesn’t knock down easily!








Don’t call me, baby! April 5, 2014

Filed under: Knitting,Made by me,Random thoughts,Sewing — blankenmom @ 11:01 pm
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I have a small confession…. I loathe baby showers.  I wasn’t all that excited over mine even.  I will send you all sorts of gifts if you don’t make me come!


A bunch of squealing women, touching one poor woman who’s too fat to run and hide.  Not that she’d fit anyway.  Sitting in the most uncomfortable chair in the room, everyone staring at her as she goes through each gift, hoping it’s not that ugly item she specifically passed over three times at the store.  And everyone hoping they didn’t buy that one item she specifically passed over three times in the store!


The last one I attended I won most of the games, possibly due to the fact that I was the only one who had kids already – so they stopped letting me play.  Sore losers!


I posted about the rattles I was making for a friend of ours.  After several years of waiting, they’re having a small litter.  A boy and a girl.

Having known our friend since 9th grade (we won’t go in to how many years exactly that is!) we are very excited for them!  He was one of the few who stuck around when we had our first, and was one of our witnesses when we got married.  19 years later, he’s getting two of his own.


How could I not get excited?


How could I not get even more excited when I was told “Hey, we love you, but we don’t want you driving all this way just for a shower.”  OMG’sh – I love these two!  Not to mention, I don’t know *any* of her friends.  Awkward!  So this was most excellent!


In my excitement I may have gone a little over board… maybe.  But by-golly I had a blast!




I admit that it’s orange… that wasn’t my intention I swear!  The yarn is coral and when we went back to buy the fabric – it looked like it matched perfectly?  Darn fabric store lighting!  Goes awfully well with the teal though doesn’t it?


This is just what I put in the basket – I still have a few left overs!  Anyone need baby items?


The end results were great – I was very pleased!  And much relieved when they told me how much they liked it on its arrival.  It can be a bit nerve-racking when you hand make something not requested – who knows if they’ll actually like it or think “Oh my lanta – this is the ugliest thing anyone has ever made?”.  Oh, don’t act like you’ve never gotten one of those!


I guess the lesson here is – if you want a haul from blankenmom, don’t invite her!






Items in the basket ~

  • Two handmade, softest blankets you’ll ever lay your hands on.  NOT in pink or blue.
  • Eight handmade, softest washcloths you’ll ever lay your hands on.  NOT in pink or blue.
  • 12 handmade burp cloths.  NOT in pink or blue. 
  • Seven handmade, reusable diaper wipes/washcloths.  NOT in pink or blue.
  • Eight handmade baby rattles.  NOT in pink or blue.
  • 10 white onesies in 0-3, 3-6 and 6-9 months.
  • Four store bought gauze blankets.  (Where were those when I had the boys?)
  • Two boxes of flushable diaper liners.
  • A gift card for what-ever was forgotten.



Mazel Tov my friends!


I got me a graduate! June 20, 2013

Filed under: Boys,Family,Homeschooling,Moving — blankenmom @ 8:18 pm
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Two of his best friends (yes you're seeing double)

Two of his best friends



Ok, really it’s not as special as it sounds.  With over 200 people in just his college graduating class alone, not to mention the high school he was registered with and 1000’s of schools around the country and even more across the world, we’re pretty small and insignificant.  I get that.


But in our tiny little, blankenworld it’s a big deal!  While working full-time, he graduated from high school with a two-year degree from a local community college – with a 3.59 no less!  (No, no proud mama here.)  It’s a great program in our state that uses school funds to advance students who qualify to local community colleges giving them a leg up and saving $1000’s in student loans for later schooling if the student chooses to go on.  I LOVE this program!  I love my tax dollars going to this program for not just my students, but students around the state.  I wish every state had this!

Our student…. our adult, will be moving out next month and looking for an apprenticeship in baking or work in a restaurant instead of going on to more schooling (at least for now).  After seeing our student loans from dental school and reading up on just how scary they are for others his age with no promise of jobs on the other end, he’s chosen to forego the whole process – being forced into classes that have nothing to do with what he loves to do – and go straight to the source.


“But wait” you say.  “What about being a well-rounded human being that knows about ancient civilizations, poems and women’s studies?”  And I say to that – how exactly is that going to help him bake a cake, frost a cookie or hand a little girl a free cupcake?  Life, not studies, are what truly make you well-rounded and teach you real lessons.  And knowing my son, he’ll be reading up on most of those things anyway.


So unless he’s going to be  scientist, doctor or teacher, I think he’s got the right idea.  I hope his brothers are as wise as he is.  (Although I’m quite sure #3 will be going on to college since he’s an engineer type – I’d prefer people building my bridges go on to further their education a bit.  But that’s just me.)

Along with his wonderful girlfriend who graduates next year, at his side.  And after he learns a few more skills and saves up some major money, he plans on opening his own bakery/coffee shop like one of his mentors back on the east coast.


It’s so much fun to watch a whole new future start – kids are constantly amazing!






He’s ready.  I think we’ve done alright with this one.