Monday, July 3, 2017

Last day of school

The last day of school was a while ago, but I'd be remiss if I didn't share the pictures I took of my big girl.  So here she is:





Oh, first grade.  You're not going to know what hit you.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Books and books and books

Books I read in February:
The Sinister Pig. Tony Hillerman
Bitterroot. James Lee Bourke*
The Jumberjanes, Vols. 1-3. *

Books I read in March:
How Children Succeed. Paul Tough*

Books I read in April:
Together is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration. Simon Sinek*
The Spider Woman's Daughter. Anne Hillerman*

Books I read in May
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. Natasha Pulley*

Books I read in June:
Mr. Chartwell. Rebecca Hunt*
In a Dark, Dark Wood. Ruth Ware*

There were probably a few others I read that I didn't write down anywhere.  I found a note on my phone that said I read The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders, but it doesn't say when.  I remember liking that pretty well. 

I liked some of the books, and others I just kept reading because I wanted to participate in my library's year-long reading challenge.  I hated Bitterroot, but finished it because it let me check the box for a book with a one-word title.  Together is Better could be read in a day (check), The Watchmaker of Filigree Street was someone's first novel (check), Mr. Chartwell featured a character's name in the title (check), and How Children Succeed was a nonfiction book (check). 

There were a few (maybe more than a few) books I started reading and then stopped because I wasn't having fun.  Cody got me a scary crime novel that wound up being way too scary.  There were some I checked out of the library just to enjoy the pictures (there was one on terrariums that I sort of remember). 

Evelyn is still reading like a house on fire.  She's enrolled in our library's summer reading program, where she fills out a slip telling the library how may books she's read and then puts stickers on her chart.  She's been (sort of) keeping up with the number of books she's read all by herself, because she's a big girl.  She's also doing well in her school's summer reading challenge that is supposed to encourage kids to read at least 15 minutes a day.  Keeping up with that is more on the adults in her life and we're all just guesstimating.  When I don't know, I just write down 90 minutes for most days.  Some days are more play-heavy than others so she doesn't read as much, but any time we drive somewhere she reads almost the entire time.  I feel silly writing down that she reads 2+ hours a day, but her reading teacher will probably believe us.  What I have trouble believing is that she tried reading some Sherlock Holmes yesterday, but here we are.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Oh look, a post!

I keep meaning to write a post about all the books I've read in the past few months, but the months keep getting away from me and it's not going to happen tonight.  I'm doing the thing again where I stare at a screen for way too long all day long and when I come home I just want to knit and watch Rizzoli & Isles after Evelyn goes to bed.  Eventually work will ease up and I'll run out of episodes to watch and then I'll finally plug in this steam engine of a laptop when the need to (attempt to) amusing on the internet hits.

In the meantime, let me assure that I'm having a nice summer.  We have some potted plants, Evelyn is partying with a nice variety of babysitters, and last week I took her to city hall on a Friday and then we went to the Plantation and Agriculture Museum on a Saturday.  We're doing summer break things pretty well!  Cody and I might go see Wonder Woman next week, and I'm pretty excited to catch a summer blockbuster during the actual summer.

Here's a picture of my Wonder Woman that I took a couple of months ago:


This was on her dad and uncle's birthday.  I was telling her that it was going to be a fun party and asked if she wanted to dress up for it.  She misunderstood and confidently announced, "Yeah, I'll wear my Wonder Woman costume."  She looked lovely, though.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

I have now knit a hat for a chicken

I always think I'm done with knitting or crocheting silly things and then I find a pattern or an occasion that brings me back.

Like this bunny hat for a chicken.

 

I saw this pattern a few days before Easter and knew in my heart of hearts I needed to make it for one of my mom's chickens.  I sent a photo of the pattern page to my siblings with a joke about making it and they earnestly encouraged me to go for it.

I got so  excited that I ran around the office showing co-workers the creation.  They were confused, but supportive. 

I went home, grabbed some needles and some yarn and got started.

Then I remembered how much I dislike knitting small things.  So I ripped back the slippery yarn I had been using and switched to good ol' Red Heart.  Stiff, squeaky yarn can be a godsend when knitting small items in the round. 

I had trouble making the ears, mostly because I was knitting them in the car on the way to my parents' house on Saturday while Evelyn kept talking in the back seat and I felt like I was pulling my fingers out of the knuckles every time I tried to decrease.  Using worsted weight yarn and #3 needles (the pattern calls for #4 but I couldn't find any, and I have a pretty loose gauge) eliminated the need for wire to make the ears stand up, but my hands were killing me.  So I didn't finish the hat Saturday. 

Then, on Easter: a miracle.  I finished the hat.  My fingers survived.  And I had time to sew on the ears before lunch.  I finally showed my mom the hat.  Another miracle: she loved it. 

Who could resist the seasonal charm?

My family is always very sweet about my craft projects, but some of them are a bit....unnecessary.  And celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior by sticking a hat on an animal whose head is already plenty covered is a little ridiculous.  But Mom was so pumped she ran right out the door to catch a chicken as soon as I showed her the hat. 


This is exactly the kind of dumb fun we're into, but we don't normally put so much time and effort into it.  But I'm glad I did.  It was a fun project, and we all got a kick out of it.

Except for the chicken.

She's fine now, I promise.

*A quick note for anyone who wants to try this at home: the pattern was written for a small chicken.  If you have large breed chickens, or a chicken with a large comb, consider casting on 28 stitches instead of the recommended 24.  Going up a needle size probably wouldn't hurt either. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Sunday

Sunday: church, egg hunts at church, pizza at home, child shenanigans, and more egg hunting.


















Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Saturday, 04.15.17

We spent a lot of time outside this weekend.  We're sniffly and sunburned and generally worn out.  But it was a really lovely time.  I didn't get pictures of everyone, but we were all together.  The kids hunted eggs twice on Saturday AND we celebrated my dad's birthday.

No one took naps.

Everyone ate too much.



























Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mom's day off, 03.24.17

I had last Friday off and it was amazing.  I haven't had a weekday off since some day in January when Evelyn was getting over a stomach virus.  This time was much better.  Evelyn had spring break last week, which I dubbed Grandparentfest 2017 because she spent a lot of time with her grandparents and loved it.  Her grandparents loved it.  But I have to say, I was ready to have some fun as well.  I've been working late most nights and the weather's been pretty good and I was just ready to get out.

So Friday morning, that's what we did. First stop: Pinnacle Mountain State Park.  And its playground.






Then: the West Summit Trail. 





We took a break and sent this night picture to her dad, who also couldn't get any days off for spring break because we're a couple of geniuses who have jobs with busy seasons at the very same time.  Yikes.





We made it to the top!  I didn't many pictures because it was windy and my legs were worn out and my mind was shot from trying to get a whining six-year-old up a mountain (even though she didn't want to turn around) and worrying about how we were going to get down.  Anyway, here she is enjoying her well-packed backpack and some binoculars.





She also enjoyed eating a snack and wearing a headlamp in daylight.  She still had to have it turned on.





She made a report in her notebook about how we made it up the mountain.









Then we slid our way down and fell a bunch of times.  We ate some grilled cheese sandwiches at home, I washed off the dust and pollen while she watched TV, and then we went to the library!

We returned some things and read some things and checked out some things.  I looked at the new art exhibit.  She read a book.





On our way home, I took a picture of her with the tulips downtown.  I've done this every spring since she was a newborn.  I'm glad I had a chance to do it again.



I also did two loads of laundry and made dinner from frozen things and canned things.  It was a really, really good day off.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Evelyn's birthday

Evelyn turned 6!





We started the day off with donuts and sent her to school with cupcakes.  Then we had pizza for dinner!

Here she is making her birthday wish.





We had her party on Saturday.  It was a Minnie Mouse theme!








Cousins were there!










There are a bunch of great pictures on people's phones and my mother-in-law's camera (that she printed out. People liked their souvenirs!), but this is what I managed to get on my camera.  I think half of the fun of the party came from planning it.  The birthday girl loved throwing balloons, posing for pictures, picking out napkins, giving out goodie bags, and seeing friends and family. 

She still mispronounces "animals" and "enemies".  She thinks she actually flies if she jumps off of a high enough point.  She reads.  She aces spelling tests.  She believes in magic.  She's bossy.  She can't tie her shoes.  She likes puns.  She doesn't sit in my lap very often anymore.

She's a whole 6 years old.  It's going to be a big year!