Archive for July, 2007

Jul 31 2007

new august banner

Published by under daily,gardening,photos

crazy mokes - august 2007

I like it.

Nay, I LOVE it.

3 responses so far

Jul 30 2007

The Turn-Around

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids

Today, the cleaning ladies come.

So yesterday, we had to clean up the house.

After we finished putting the gazillion toys away and straightening up for the cleaning ladies, I decided to rearrange the family room. After we moved the chair and couch, all the lost lego wheels and baby doll bottles were discovered underneath their depths and were returned to their rightful homes, we broke out the vacuum and vacuumed up all the accumulated grime before moving the furniture to their final homes.

So the furniture got moved, and everything was settled, and we were sitting on the couch resting from our labors, when Ethan, in his poking around of the vacuum cleaner, unlatched the barrel that holds the dirt, and emptied it all over the family room floor. Mine and James’ let out an indignant, “ETHAN!!!” which was followed up in our heads with, “What the &$%* are you doing?!”

Sometimes Ethan will instantly say, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” before we can even get any exclamation out, as if he’s trying to pre-empt anything we might say. But this time, he pulled the Turn-Around. Out come the grumpy face, the hands went straight to the hips, and he turned to us and said, “WELL! You guys shouldn’t keep so much DIRT IN THERE!”

It was comical really. I mean, hello! Of course! We shouldn’t KEEP DIRT IN THE VACUUM how silly of us! Obviously, this is our fault, and we should apologize for the outburst. HA!

This, unfortunately isn’t an uncommon occurence.. The Turn-Around, I mean, not the emptying out of the vacuum all over the floor. He will often try to turn things around to get out of something he has done, and this is probably because James and I both are more than willing to admit that something could have been our fault.

The little smarty pants obviously is on to something with this Turn-Around thing. It was just the ridiculousness of his claim that made me realize this defense mechanism he had been honing all this time.

So, the anger of the mess was quickly overcome at the comedy of the fact that Ethan thinking the dirt all over the floor was OUR fault, that I decided we needed to turn this sort of thing around. We need to turn around the Turn-Around, if you will!

He was about 80% in Grump Defensive Mode, which made it more difficult, but I started to tell him that when you do something wrong, or have an accident, the better thing to do is to apologize, and then see what you can do to make it right. He stalked off in the middle of it, and then came back just to stick his face RIGHT in mine, which is what he does when he’s mad at you. I pointed out that I wasn’t angry, and I just wanted to talk, and then continued. I told him that the right thing to do when you’ve made a mistake, the manly thing to do, is to admit it, and then try to make it right.

He was resistant, initially, but after I prodded him a bit, and said, “How can you make this mistake right? What happened? [I made a mess on the floor] How can you get rid of the mess? [VACUUM IT UP!]” Then, he got pretty excited, because the thing that got him into this mess in the first place, was screwing around in the vacuum, which he LOVES to do, will now get him out of it. He pulled out the handle attachment and started vacuuming up all the mess, and then when most of it was sucked up, he vacuumed the actual floor. It was very cute.

We’ll have to see if the lesson behind it stuck at all, or he will just remember the fun vacuuming part. I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for the Turn-Around and try to follow through on the “Be a Man” initiative.

One response so far

Jul 27 2007

some completely unrelated bits

Published by under daily

I like the word “bits.”

I always associate it with the private bits of your body, though. Good word. Bits.

Where was I?

I swear I had things to talk about before I started this post, but now they’ve all gone.

OH I REMEMBER! Crafty stuff. Since I’m going to be baking in the next few days I decided I should probably up and finish the scalloped baby blanket for a neighborhood bunco friend already. James had a movie I was kind of uneasy about watching so he watched it, and I finished sewing the blanket.

I didn’t pre-wash the fabric, like you’re supposed to do, because I’m hoping that it will shrink up and get that lovely vintage puckered look.

So last night, I finished the quilting and the edge stitching on the blanket, and squealed with glee! I tossed it into the wash before going to bed, setting the water to hot, which I hardly EVER do (I hope that was OK, but I wanted it to really shrink up!)

This morning, I tossed it in the dryer (also on the highest setting, but there’s only 3 settings, so it’s not that unusual) and now I can’t wait to get home, run up the stairs and pull it out of the dryer and see how it came out.

It’s like christmas morning! Except it’ll be afternoon! Squweeeee!


My kids are so completely opposite when it comes to body temperature. Ethan has alwasy loved the long sleeves, long pants, and lately, his big fluffy flannel quilt that my mom made for my sister to give him when he was born. It’s very simple, nice thick batting, tied off with yarn instead of quilting, and it’s his FAVORITE. It’s his “warm blankey.”

Jocelyn has always kicked off all her covers. Even in the dead of winter, we go in to check on her, and her bottom will be sticking up with nothing on it but her jammies. I am not so sure that it is body temperature related though. She could just hate getting tangled up in the blankies, as little kids are wont to do. She does allow you to put a sheet over her, but rarely more than that.


I don’t know why were were on the subject, but somehow, we got to talking about bunk beds. I think we were all in the car going somewhere, including james, and Jocelyn said, “What’s a bunk bed?” I know she knew what one was, but Ethan started in on describing a bunk bed to her in such an amusing convoluted way I didn’t say a word. Just kept grinning at James and listening. And wishing I had a video camera for such events. As far as I can remember, it went something like this:

“First, there’s a bed, and it’s made out of wood, and then there’s sticks. very long sticks, and they go on the corners of the bed. and then there’s another bed and it goes on the top of the sticks so it’s a bed too, only on top! and then there are more sticks and those make the ladder. See, Jocelyn?”

Jocelyn had no freaking idea what he was talking about, so I told her that it’s like the bed Grandma has in her basement and she got it.

One response so far

Jul 26 2007

are YOU coming to my concert?

Published by under amy's head,daily,likes & irks

Because it’s going to be fun! Quick details, 7pm Saturday, at Manassas Presbyterian Church in Manassas. It will probably last little over an hour, and there will be refreshments afterward. Please come. I will love you forever.

More details here.

So that brings me to the refreshments. What to make.. what to make.. I love to bake, and baking for an event is even better, because then you don’t have to have all the baked goods in your house. Where you will just eat them. OK maybe not you, but me.

However, there is a complication. A few months ago, I was making cookie doug and thought, “oh I don’t need to change out the wire whisks to the batter beater, it’ll be fine.” This was at the end, when the dough gets really thick and stiff. So cue a minute later a horrible noise eminates from my mixer and look, sure enough, I broke the wire whisk. I can’t remember what happened next, but next I managed to break my mixer bowl.

So then I go looking online for a replacement part and run up onto some bad news.

See, I didn’t buy a pansy kitchen aid mixer like everyone else in the world has (including everyone on the food network). I bought a knock off of my mother’s mixer, a mixer she’s had for over 20 years.. hell, it may be over 30 years now, the Bosch Universal Mixer. This is a mixer that can knead enough bread dough to feed a family of 8, and yes, that’s what my mother used it for when I was young.

So I’ve always wanted a mixer like hers, hello 700 watts, not like the pansy kitchen aid of only 325 (i am probably wrong on both, but it’s more) and it is also a very high choice among those who make a lot of bread. So I bought one! Except no, I didn’t, I bought a knock off of one! Big mistake!

In my defense, I found about this new mixer, the Dimension 2000, which looks and acts just like the Bosch, from a little bakery/mixer part store in Utah, when my mom and I went in to get her a new lid for her mixer bowl. The bakery part of the shop had switched from the Bosch machines to the Dimension 2000 machines and couldn’t stop singing it’s praises. So when I got back home, I researched a bit, and purchased my mixer, hopefully to last me 20 years or more!

Well, I went online to buy me a new bowl… and the company has apparently gone out of business. Since there are still some parts out there, I bought a new mixer bowl for my mixer, but if anything does go wrong again with my mixer.. well, I’m screwed. Doh.

That should teach me a lesson to never go with the knock-off!

Anyway, I ordered it on Sunday night and thought it would get here in time for my baking spree for the concert, but UPS has it scheduled to arrive on Monday.


Making tres leche cake (yum, you know you want to come) and carrot cake cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting is going to be a lot more work with only a hand mixer.

Anyone want to lend me their pansy ass extremely delightful and not to mention top quality kitchenaid?

3 responses so far

Jul 23 2007


Published by under daily

Micheal Jackson’s video “Thriller” as performed by over 1500 inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, Cebu, Philippines.

I could NOT tear my eyes away.


2 responses so far

Jul 23 2007

i am so going to make this

Published by under amy's head,crafty,daily,kids

In fact.. I’m going to make 2. One for Ethan, one for Jocelyn.

Fabric.. fabric.. what kind of fabric..

One response so far

Jul 21 2007

i’m sorry, i cannot come to the blog right now. i’m busy reading harry potter. please look at this garden porn and i’ll be back with you sometime next week.

Published by under daily,gardening,photos

sunflowers against the deck


This is my mystery squash. It turned up right in my row of sunflowers and I’ve no idea how it got there. I recognized it as some sort of squash, let it grow, and now it’s threatening to invade china. Anyone know what it is?
mystery squash

mystery squash

(same squash, different angle)
mystery squash

I shoudln’t be allowed to plant anything that hangs. Only things that have access to the timer released drip irrigation watering system.
dying hanging basket
I’m sorry. Please forgive me.

overflowing cherry tomato plants, both of which need staking desparately. Still producing prodigiously.
cherry tomato plants

tomato plant

fruit of my labor.. too bad i let the zucchini overgrow

After 3 years, my hydrangea finally produced 2 blooms. This is the one that shows.
pink hydrangea

3 responses so far

Jul 20 2007

harry potter

Published by under amy's head,daily,likes & irks

We’re all (and by “all” I mean James and I) getting a little crazed in the panders household. Why, you ask?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I am so excited I can barely contain myself.

I am so sad and depressed that this is it, this is the end, damn.

If you don’t really care about Harry Potter, then you should stop reading now.
If you haven’t read the last 6 books and don’t want to hear possible spoilers, then you should stop reading now.
If you don’t want to hear theories and thoughts on the possibilities of book 7, then you should also stop reading now.

Continue Reading »

One response so far

Jul 20 2007

ethan silliness

Published by under daily,kids,photos

ethan in goggles

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Jul 18 2007

the quilts my mom built

Published by under crafty,daily,kids,photos

My grandmother was a quilter.* My mother is a quilter. She makes beautiful quilts.

Our trip to Utah in May/June included a long weekend camping in souther utah, near Moab. My entire family was there, with the exception of my sister’s husband. All five of my siblings, and all of their kids were there. There’s kind of 2 waves of grandkids. The older kids, and the younger kids. My niece Susan is the oldest of the older kids, at almost 16 and it ranges down to my nephew Eric, who is 9. There are 5 younger kids, aged 5, 4, 3, 3, and 3. Ethan is the oldest, and Jocelyn is the youngest of the younger set.

Anyway, I got kind of side tracked there – my point is, a nice time for our family, having everyone there, and especially for my folks who got to see all of their grandkids. We’re usually the weak link in family get togethers, as we live on the east coast and no one else in my family lives further east than Colorado.

So for our camping trip, my mom got those cute LED head lamps for all the older kids, and for the younger kids, she made each one a camp blankey.

Here are Ethan’s and Jocelyn’s blankeys. (I took these at night, so while I tweaked the white balance so the colors look OK, some of the pictures look a little washed out.)

Ethan’s camp blanket
camp blanket

Ethan’s camp blanket
camp blanket

Ethan’s camp blanket
camp blanket

Jocelyn’s camp blanket
jocelyn's camp blanket

Corner button
jocelyn's camp blanket

Close up of stitching
jocelyn's camp blanket


2 responses so far

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