Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jeremiah Photography

Today I discovered a bunch of pics on my camera and desktop that Jeremiah has taken, that he wanted me to put on my blog. Since I've been remiss about doing so I thought I'd share them all here now.

Bob the Tomato, a picture Jeremiah and I colored at work last Tuesday. <---

A couch pillow, on the floor, at his aunt Charlene's house in South Carolina. --->

His latest box of cereal. He had to have. He doesn't like. <---

Me cutting up a green pepper to cook in something for dinner. --->

His new kicks. He's very proud of them; though he's driving me insane with the wanting to learn to tie his shoes. It's slow going. <---

Mater, on my cutting mat. --->

The Men's room door at Charles Town Harbor Landing in Charleston, South Carolina.<---

My schedule for October and list of pertinent people/phone numbers for work.--->

The star I colored in at work the other night. It was a slow night. <---
Nana Juanita's wheelchair wheel, being rolled along at Charles Town Harbor Landing by Nana Cheryl. --->

I hope you've enjoyed this little look at the world through a 4 year old's eyes. Either that or you're taking my blog off your follow list, LOL!!

The Crabtree Vow Renewal

5 years ago my very best friend Bethany married the love of her life Rush, in my parents living room (was supposed to be an outdoor wedding but it rained.) A lot has happened since then.

They've added 2 beautiful childen to their family, bringing their total of kids to 3.
Rush has served 18 months in Iraq (not to mention the weeks of basic they put him through before he left, again).
They moved out of state, away from family, to be near an army base he's currently stationed at--just to name a few.

Most importantly, a few months ago, Rush gave his life to Jesus. What a blessing that now their marriage is "equally yoked." I know this has been a great relief to Bethany, having a husband who wil lpray with her and believe with her for things when life is hard.

The Army is sending Rush back to Afganistan a couple days before Thanksgiving, this will be his second tour there, he went when he was 17. Before he leaves they wanted to have a small ceremony, outdoors like their first wedding was supposed to be, to renew their vows as husband and wife before the Lord and their friends.

This past Thursday Mom knocked herself out cooking a wonderfull dinner to serve: Coq au Vin, which is a delicious chicken dish (she made her sans mushrooms because Bethany's Mom is terribly allergic, but cooked them seperately for we who love them) , brown-sugar glazed baby veggies, garlic cheeseball, an orgasmically chocolate cake with strawberries and ganache (the top layer, heart shaped, was white cake with strawberries and ganache). I took some orange almond rolls I'd made out of the freezer to add to it, along with some honey/rum butter for topping them.

Bethany's Dad "officiated" the event, saying some nice things about the couple and then Bethany and Rush read each other their vows that they had written. Beautiful words!!

The food was almost cold by the time we ate, but still incredibly tastily delicious and everyone had a good time! We did it at the park behind my house and the kids all played on the playground. I swept 1/4 cup of sand off my floors after they all left, LOL!!!

Please remember to say a prayer, if you will, for Rush while he's overseas for safety, and for Bethany who will be doing the single-Mom thing again for 18 months, for sanity and peace.
** I know those probably aren't the actual recipes Mom used to make her coq au vin and ganache but I thought I'd share some good ones with you, incase you were inspired to try something new and INSANELY delicious!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Princess Cottage

Rome may not have been built in a day but this adorable little princess cottage was, sans interior decorating but we didn't have paint for that.

The church we attend, Faith Promise in Knoxville TN, is having a Princess and Pirates play for the kids on Halloween weekend. Wednesday night they, being some other people, built a pirate ship. Saturday we, being Mom, Diantha and I met and spent 4 hours building a stone cottage out of 2" industrial foam.

We mixed some gray and painted the whole thing, then went around with a lighter color painting "mortor" between the "stones". Mom and Diantha painted a flower vines while I used brown paper sandwhich bags to make a "cedar-shake roof".

It has a "wooden" door that sets in the life-sized (at least height wise) doorway and a window box in the window. The person playing the princess is a grown up woman so the doorwa is actually about 5'8. We figured if I could walk through it, chances are she will be able too.

The roof also just sets on top of the two-sided cottage, otherwise they wouldn't be able to fit it through the doorway to take it to the stage.

Mom did the majority of the cutting, all I did was the measly crooked window box, LoL! It seems she is better with a razor blade than the rest of us! : ) We used hot glue and wooden dowls to put the walls together.

Mom also did these super cute little "stones" and the fake "window" on the one wall.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Oh walNuts!

We have a walnut tree in the yard, and though I'd much rather have a pecan tree (not liking walnuts very much myself), one can't complain. So it's walnut harvest time and I've spent several hours the last 2 days creeping around my side yard with a bucket hauling walnuts. There must be 2,000 walnuts that have fallen our of the tree. A couple weeks ago my Mom mentioned that I should give her some of the hulls so she could make some natural brown dye to dye wool/yarn with. Last night on twitter another lady asked the same thing, so today I've been wandering around with 2 buckets--one for nuts and one for hauls.

The nuts I'm tossing up on the roof of our little metal shed to start drying until I can make some sort of screen drying rack thing. The hauls I'm laying on our driveway to dry. It may not look like much in the picture but the hulls take up about a 4'x3' area right now, the nuts cover about 1/4th-1/3rd of the total shed roof. I think I've "harvested" about 1/4 of what has fallen. And the universe has been mocking me today; more nuts have fallen around me, narrowly missing my head.
I have no idea what I'm going to do with all these nuts. I just hate to see them all go to waste. This is being a big task but I am dreading the bigger task of shelling all these things after they've dried! LoL! I am wondering if I can sell gallon-sized bags of the hulls (after they've dried of course) on etsy for fibery people to use for dye? I dunnp, we'll see how much Mom wants. : )

I am too OCD for this though, I work at it for a couple hours and decide it's time to go wash up and can't because on my way to the house I see MORE WALNUTS! It's driving me nuts. I feel almost panic that there are still walnuts on the ground, even though I am leaving some on purpose for the squirrels. Isn't that odd? LOL!! And I have a feeling the squirrels are going to help themselves to the nuts drying on the roof too. I found one this morning that had been bitten into even though I am making sure not to keep any like that for us. Maybe I'm making it a little easier on the little furry critters. The Bowmans will have fat squirrels to match our fat fish!

Meanwhile, Artemas has been helping by occupying the kids:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Celebrating Squishies!

Only to a quilter or knitter would a "squishy" be a good thing, LoL! This week has been a week for squishies so far, and I am lovin' it!!!

Sunday, while the shower fiasco was going on in the bathroom, I sat upon the couch in the living room and finished not only Jeremiah's "deadfish" hat (badly) but I also then added eyes to the hat I made niece Maisie last year for Christmas because she loved the eyes on Jeremiah's so much. I tried to do girly eyes but I had limited supplies and I'm not sure they turned out like they were in my head but she was happy with them nonetheless.

I also finished that "Finger Friendly" hat I was working on for my friend's Mom, Nancy. I hope it fits her! As soon as I got it done I thought, oh no! It's too small!! Of course I have a big head where my friend and her Mom have realitively small heads so I hope it will fit her.

Monday's mail was AWESOME! Diantha sold some yarn I'd made and instead of giving me the moola they went on etsy and picked me out something fun! This cool iron on patch that says "Knitting Ninja - Armed with Pointy Objects"-- I can't wait to put this one something. I'm thinking my jacket. Right on the arm, like a tattoo.

Then a BEAUTIFUL merino, bamboo and nylon batt called "Grape Godess" from Spincerely on etsy. I can't wait to start spinning this one however....

The rosey pink jump rings Mom had ordered for me to spin into Diantha's Rosalie batt came in the mail from Unkamen Supplies!! I have to start on that today, LoL! I LOVE using their jump rings, they are so wonderful to work with, and spinning them into yarn adds such a bright, unique touch!

Also in the mail were the peacock blue jump rings I ordered from them! Squee! These are going in some kind of yarn for ME. Wonder if peacock blue would would in the grape goddess batt? haha Maybe not but I will stash them and get another batt to go with them. Hmm, might have to buy some more fiber.

Which brings me to the yarn I finished last night! The white is pure, undyed merino and the brown is a mystery wool that Marion sent me. I thought the brown by itself might be a little scratchy for me but now that it is plied with the merino the resulting bulky yarn is sooooooo soft! Like a cloud! I love it. I thought it looked like an Oreo or something but Tony says it reminds him of an owl. : ) I am wondering if I should knit him a hat out of it. It's only 88 yards but since it's bulky that's plenty to knit him a hat or me some fingerless gloves, LoL!

Also on Monday morning I got a new tattoo! I drew a rough drawing and took it to Alter Ego Tattoo and Piercing on Kingston Pike in Knoxville. Jon there did my and Tony's last tats and we were really happy with our experience there. Jon was busy so Josh did this one for me, he cleaned up my drawing, fixed the leaf to look like a cherry blossom leaf instead of just a plain leaf and drew the cherry blossoms for me. He did a beautiful job on the tattoo. I Love it!! This picture isn't very good, I couldn't get it sharp enough. It's hard taking a pic of the outside of your ankle. Also, it will look better in about a week when it's healed more!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Shower Fiasco

Saturday we drove 2.5hrs over to Greeneville for our niece's 8th birthday party. The kids had a blast, we ate pizza, socialized with family. It was a nice time. During the party my brother-in-law Jordy mentioned to Tony that he and Keely (his wife) were worrying they were going to have to get a new shower soon. Apparently theirs was poring down in the wall and flooding the floor whenever they used it. He was worried I guess because he doesn't really know how to do home improvement-y type things.

Tony and I talked about it privately and decided to help them out by buying their new shower and starting to help put it in. We thought it would be a few hour ordeal. It ended up being a 27 hour fiasco.
We hadn't intended to spend the night in Greeneville but we got back from Lowe's with the shower about 9:30pm, the guys turned the water off to take the old shower out. Got it out (and laid in the yard, true redneck style) and discovered the leak had molded the wall. Ooops, too late to buy drywall! Crap!

The water-proof-treated boards under the tub were saturated and we thought they might have to be replaced too but after having the window open and a fan turned on them 9 hours later when they were mostly dried out the guys were thrilled to discover they were just wet, not molded!

They recruited help from brother-in-law number 2 and together they biult 2 new sub walls to set the new shower to, ran new pipes (which was a fiasco in itself) and set the walls of the shower in. But then the old pipe to run up to the shower didn't fit. So off they went to walmart for some felxhose and some fitting glue. 2 hrs later they hooked the shower head up, turned the water back on and the fitting on the backside of the shower sprayed water all over the wall. Sigh. This happened 3 times.
Finally it was 1:30am Mon morning and Tony had to admit defeat and we packed up and left. Keith (bro-inlaw #2) said he was off today and would fix it.

So we tried to do a nice thing and really ended up tearing up their house and making them go without running water (flushing toilets) for 22 hours. But! When they get it done they'll have a really nice, beautiful, white, sparkling shower!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

An Etsy Day

Today was one of those days where it would have been better to just stay in bed. Everything I've done has gone wrong today, right from the minute we woke up and I started to dress Jeremiah to leave and realized his sneakers had gotten soaked in the rain yesterday and had soured overnight. It's a good thing he had some nice new knit slippers to wear over his socks in the car and at Nana's!!

Then on the way to Mom's I discovered Hannah riding in her car seat with 6 cents in her mouth. 6 cents she must have put in there about 20 minutes before I discovered it. At least, I hope it was just 6 cents. Sigh.

We went to Mom's bright and early because the local large newspaper, the Knoxville Newsentinal, was sending a photographer to take pictures of our family doing our respective crafty things for our shops. I made a bad, Diantha carded some fiber, Veronica spun some yarn on a drop spindle, my Mom and Dad made some soap, Mom dyed some recycled yarns and Artemas worked on a walking stick from pearwood. Whew!

All my mayhem, mishaps and annoyances from things not going correctly aside, today was a productive day. I made this "Think Solar" bag and listed it in my etsy shop. I really got in touch with my quilting roots making this one, actually making a wonky star quilt block instead of just scrap piecing the front.

I helped Mom sort, photograph and list these little pet yarns-- small mini skeins of handspun yarn we spin from each batt Diantha makes to sell in her shop, so people can see how the fiber will spin up. They are gorgeous, wonderful skeins of yarn, they are just little. We separated them into "Manly" colors and "Fun and Bright" colors and they're available in Diantha's Fluff4Ewe shop.

I unwound a sweater for Mom and dyed some skeins of yarn for her shop. Like this one, Florin Channel, which is one of the latest recycled yarns in her The Princess Bride series! If you're into high-end fibers at reasonable prices, pop into her My7kids shop from time to time, as she listed a couple new yarns today and has 2 or 3 to list over the rest of the weekend! One is a gorgeous blue and black self-striping sock yarn, that if it doesn't sell, I will be keeping and knitting myself some luscious socks!...after Christmas.

I made the CUTEST little spindle for my brother Artemas to list in his GotWood4You shop. My parents has a couple storms knock down 2 HUGE bradford pear trees in their yarn and instead of just throwing out the wood he is recycling it into all kinds of things, spindles, buttons, walking sticks, votive holders--anything he can think of. It's a lot of fun to play with power tools! The little spindle I made isn't listed yet, but there are a few others to look at.

Then the kids and I went to walmart to get Jeremiah some sneakers and me a pair of jeans--gasp! I actually found one that FIT! And to get my niece a birthday present. Now we're finally home and I would love, love, love to spin a little. My overwhelmed and overwrought mind is craving the relaxation of using my drop spindle but my body might just be too tired. Might just have to sit here and veg and watch The Proposal.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Holy 2x4s Batman!

It's a wall! I had to work Sunday night at our church from about 6-9 and when I got home, I was very surprised and extremely please to discover that in my absence my dear hubby and my brother had built the doorframe, wall frame and hung the door to our bedroom upstairs! Squee!!

You can see in this picture that we're basically just moving the wall and doorframe forward about 3 feet, even with the existing wall on the right (you can see a sliver of green). Then all the existing walls on the inside of the doorway are going to get torn down. We're still needing to put up one piece of drywall on the outside, and drywall the inside, but alas... we ran out and here in East TN "winter" means "rain". Today was sunny but instead of going to buy drywall Tony ran out and had my oil changed, bought me new windshield wipers, put gas in my car, etc so I'm not complaining! I'm so excited that progress is really being made upstairs and the end is in sight--soon we will actually have our OWN bedroom! Nuts, I know!
Sunday we went to Mom's where Tony and Dad put in their new dishwasher. While I was sitting around helping yell at children I got the rest of 1 slipper sock and an entire 2nd sock knitted for Jeremiah! He LOVES them. He picked out the yarn saying he needed new slippers and a deadfish hat. I am working on the hat now and it is never ending. I'm starting to get very burned out on it but it really is not too far from completion and is already so cute.

Saturday night Tony was off and Mom and all the kids came over so we could hit the annual Antiques festival that they have here in downtown Clinton. We left Tony off to begin working on the doorway upstairs and we wandered around downtown in the cold, with the children's noses all running. It was great fun and I bought Mom a screen door LOL! On our way home Mom got a call that her very dear friend Tina was passing thru town on her way back home to FL and wanted a visit. I live closer to the interstate than Mom so we gave her directions to my house and we all had a very fun, noisy visit! I finished my purple Decode hat while they were here.

After Tina left, Mom snapped a picture of me being very worn out and having a very bad headache. I was lying on the floor and Hannah put a Bumblebee transformers mask on my face. Sometimes people take your picture when you don't particularly care for them to. The scissors are not really sticking out of my head but were in fact just lying on the floor where I left them when I finished using them to snip the yarn on my purple hat. I did pick them up when I got up.

As some of you may know, and the rest of you will know now, my parents are expecting their 8th child in May!! Mom had her first prenatal appointment with Dr Roberts yesterday which also happened to be my Dad's 67th birthday.
My Dad LOVES flannel and thinks everything should be flannel and so as a birthday gift/joke/sort of I took the Baby Bjourne carrier I had for Hannah which was still in new condition, washed it and made a flannel cover for it! The cover has a zipper on one side for easy on/off to make it machine washable and is oooh soo fluffy and comfy. I wish I had thought of this when I was using it for Hannah because it would have been SO much softer against her skin than the material the carrier is made out of, which is slightly rough. Though I swear the cover looks like a flannel uterus to me.