My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Shake your groove thing….. December 4, 2013






The Christmas tree is up and the decorations are all, well mostly, unpacked.  I even busted out long-lost, slightly melted Christmas candles that made it through several moves, only to finally be lit by one slightly pyro 11-year-old with entirely too much glee.




Last year we weren’t much in the mood to decorate, so we put up the tree with just the lights.  This year, in spite of being off our game and still trying to find our groove, we’ve broken out the whole sha-bang!  I’ve even begun putting up the banister lights out back (front?) so as to “out-do” that giant house across the way.

I may need to buy some more lights?!

I’ve gone so far as to look into hooks for the roof for this coming year so I don’t fall off while I’m up there – pain hurts!  A two-story drop would make me a bit grouchy and I’ve got some serious one-upping to do!


As for the sewing room redo… yeah, that’s been put on hold.  The second-born has been working on some pretty good drawings and he wanted a drafting table to assist in this.  We looked up some free plans and came up with a good table!


Can we say “wood shop”!  Darn homeschoolers – always making it a learning moment.






Ok, so it won’t win any awards, but for the kids first attempt at woodworking – it’s not too shabby!  We learned several good lessons.  First being, check mom’s measurements – she’s sort of a flake!

As for my room, it will have to wait until after the holidays.  I’m swamped.  Not so much with things to do, just with thoughts and thinkings and wonderings.  Don’t roll your eyes – that can be exhausting!

Besides, I’ve been cooking.  I know – it’s scary!  Which seems to take an annoying amount of time?  I’ve even been cooking *well*.  I know – even scarier!  Which takes even *more* time. 

Being able to afford real food AND watch some t.v. while I’m cooking is working out nicely for the family.  Not to mention a timer that tells me when the food hits the right temp.  I can go downstairs to make sure the second-born doesn’t cut his arm off with the saw or watch the fourth-born play with the candle wax and still not burn the food.  It’s like magic!


We’re finding our places, a soccer game, a Christmas song, a first fireplace lighting, a youth group meeting, and a crisp, cold morning at time.


Until we’re fully grooving, I’ll be over here, getting wax out of the carpeting….



Yards and yards February 26, 2013






I just finished buying fabric for my churches upcoming Good Friday and Easter service plays.  As I “speak”, 140+ yards of quilting cotton are being washed and ready to be ironed….. I hate ironing, but it’s for a good cause dang it!
























Let’s see here, that would be….

  • 12 Apostles
  • 8 men
  • 5 women
  • 2 angels
  • 1 Pilate


…… in about 3 weeks.


That’s…. like a town.  I think I’ve actually been to that one?


So I’m setting my sparkly costume aside to work on some more “spiritual” work.  I’ll be praying I finish in time!






This also means schoolwork in mom’s sewing room and breaks only for sleep, soccer and arguing with the insurance company (yes, we’re still trying to get a floor).






Is all the work worth it?  Of course!  Free sewing project – always worth it!  Oh and you know, a good message to boot.


Distractions February 1, 2013

Filed under: Boys,Knitting,Sewing — blankenmom @ 9:37 pm
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It appears as though I haven’t been doing much sewing lately.  That my complaining has eclipsed my abilities to function.

I swear – I’ve been busy!  A girl’s got to have some sort of distraction from life you know.


Let’s start with the last Christmas present I made.  I sent it off to my brother a few weeks after Christmas, but hey, it made it didn’t it!

It’s made with Fisherman’s Wool (still has the lanolin) in our family’s pattern.  It’s an Irish thing.







My MIL bought some different yarns for me to work with, in whatever patterns I choose.  I began with some hand-dyed linen she found on discount.  I think she’ll like what I did with it?






When I got my treadle sewing machine, I wanted to practice at it.  You may not know this, but it does take a bit of practice and patience to get the cadence down to go with the beauty.  So I started to make a “thread scarf”.  A scarf you sew on water solvent stabilizer.  Between moves however, I never hooked the belt back up.  On a night when my brain wasn’t functioning enough to work on any patterns, I pulled it back out.  Back and forth I could handle!  This is what I got – I love it in my hair now that it’s less stiff.  I’ll definitely be making another one.






My son had been asking for flannel backed satin p.j.’s (don’t knock him – guys love silky!) and since he got a pair, I thought it was only fair I finally got some too.  However, I got the amount of fabric suggested and as usual, between me conserving fabric in the layout and my… uh … lack of height, I managed to get several items out of the yardage I bought.














It was my turn to have something knitted for myself.  I went through my stocking stash and out came the yummiest, mouth-wateringest, softest yarn EVER!  I’m just in love!






Ok, I need to give a disclaimer before you see this next one…… it’s not pink.  I swear it!  Ok, it’s slightly pink – it’s coral.  The actual color is Coral pink.  But it’s very obnoxious, so I’m good with it!   The color that shows up in the picture however, is NOT the color that it is!!  Evil camera.

These are fingerless gloves I made for when I’m sitting out at soccer games.  Frankly, for when I’m sitting in at soccer games too.  The indoor arena has been COLD lately!





I’m almost embarrassed to post that one.  Those look SO gag me pink.  *bleck*


And lastly, I promise, with all my heart to never, ever, ever post a picture of myself in these!  At least that you’ll be able to tell.  HA!

After several attempts at making a scarf out of this ribbon yarn that I absolutely love (I mean, the color is perfect, the glitter is perfect.  The yarn is perfect!).  It finally dawned on me to stop attempting a scarf – it’s not like I wear them anyway!  I came up with these, extremely awesome shorts!  Bloomers if you will.  Perfect for under costumes that are just a bit too short for decency as a mom and just weird enough to hang on my sewing room wall to freak my boys out!




Black and blue May 8, 2012

Filed under: Boys,Family,Random thoughts,WTFr — blankenmom @ 4:06 pm
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This last Saturday I spent the entire day at the indoor soccer field.  It wasn’t sunny out, so I really had no problem with that.  Not to mention watching 3 of my 4 boys play soccer is always a blast – even if some of them aren’t the best on the team. 


In between the second and third game, the boys and I were outside playing our own little game.  We were out there for about and hour and had such a blast!  About 5 minutes before going in for the last game I was goalie and managed to sprain 4 fingers on my right hand, but mostly the ring finger – that’s the hand I use! 


I never realized until now how much I use that finger for everyday use?  I don’t need it to pick my nose?  I don’t wear a ring on it?  It’s not the “naughty” finger?  And I don’t use it to look fancy while drinking tea.  But man does it hurt to do anything!


And each morning I get to wake up and see it become a new color.  The first morning it was shiny purple-red, all fat and swollen.  Yesterday it was green, with a lump in the middle and this morning it was green and blue spotted with very little swelling.  There’s even been some interesting popping and crackling for added effect.  It’s been sorta fun!


And in spite of me cutting 30+ lbs of meat last night (before it went bad) it’s only slightly sore, which surprises me!


Sewing is out for a bit, typing has been a challenge and bathroom visits have been interesting – I don’t know how people with broken fingers, hands and arms do this?


Tonight I play my game of soccer – but I’m not goalie thank goodness!  We’ll see what new injury I can come home with?


Would I play with them again, knowing how much this hurts?  Heck ya!  What a blast we had out there and remembering their laughter makes any pain fade away, just like the colors on my finger.





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…