Archive for the 'daily' Category

Mar 31 2011

We did have a 6 year old, but this 7 year old has taken her place

This dollhouse was built by James’ grandfather. It’s been waiting in a closet for this girl to be old enough to appreciate it.

IMAG0120
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Jan 18 2011

10 minute blogging – struggling with time

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

It occurred to me that a lot of the time I struggle to do all the things I WANT to do because I don’t think I have enough TIME.

I don’t blog as much as I want to — not enough time.

I don’t create NEW jewelry as much as I want to – not enough time.

I don’t stop and play with my kids as much as I want to should – not enough time!

I know this is really all bullshit. I have plenty of time if I would just DO IT ALREADY. It’s this mindset of — but I work full time, but I have a husband and 2 kids, but I need to clean the kitchen, but I really want to watch old episodes of Doctor Who while I sit here and make copies of jewelry I’ve already made — it really is bullshit. Just clutter in my head that I need to clear out to make room to DO IT ALREADY.

So this is a new years resolution. There’s lots I can do — even if I don’t have hours of time at my disposal. If I have 10 minutes – I can jot my thoughts right here in this blog. I can doodle in my sketchbook. I can grab a nerf gun and/or barbie doll and fire away/braid away.

Here’s to getting past all the stuff I need to do to the stuff I WANT to do — 10 minutes at a time.

And that’s 10 minutes. I’m off to my first enameling class of the term now! Can’t wait!

-amy

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Dec 30 2010

Early morning bed party snuggles

This morning I created a monster.

Well, 2 monsters, really.

Every morning (unless we’re on the ball and up and rarin’ to go — yeah, not usually happening!) when I hear a kid stirring, I give our family whistle, and wait to see if a little blur comes running into our room. After a few whistles, we usually have 2 little hot water bottles climb into bed with us for a little morning snuggle.
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Aug 27 2010

The Summer of Harry Potter

My kids are pretty good readers, in that they enjoy sitting down and reading, you know, when they have to. Or when Mommy hid the Legos and Barbies. OK, I don’t do that — those legos are very small and difficult to pick up, you know, and when I pick up Barbie, I am overpowered by the need to style her hair.

So no, seriously, they do enjoy books and have always enjoyed books. Jocelyn has taken to reading in a scary way this past kindergarten year, and many the time James and I have looked at each other with eyes wide and said, “Did she really just read ‘Transcendentalism?'” I know you’re not supposed to compare your children, but dude! She is *way* better at reading at this age than Ethan was at this age!

Reading has been a little trickier for Ethan, mostly because he prefers to look at the first letter of a word and then take a while guess if he doesn’t know it, rather than, you know, that pesky sounding it out and all. This however, hasn’t dampened his love of reading at all, and this past 2nd grade year when the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” movie came out and the craze swept the elementary school, he read through all three books within, and I swear I’m not making this up, 15 minutes.* There just may have been a few words in there that he took wild stabs at, and when asked, he has no idea of the names of the characters — this is due, I’m sure, to just not having heard them said out loud.** Don’t worry. He can tell you word for word the fart joke told by said character.
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Aug 08 2010

BrickFair 2010

We’ve always been big fans of legos in this house, so after attending the last 2 years as the “public”, we decided to do the whole registration, as exhibitors, for this year’s BrickFair 2010. It has been awesome!

This year, they moved from the Tyson’s Sheraton, to the Chantilly Expo Center, a move I thought was a little dubious, as which would you prefer to hang out in? A lovely hotel, or a concrete warehouse? However, it was always totally jam packed at the Sheraton during public hours, so the expo center was definitely the best move.

Public hours are on Saturday and Sunday from 11-4. the public pays $10, enters, looks at all the awesome displays, watches a few Brick Films, builds their own at the Stay and Play, maybe take the little ones for a bounce on the moon bounce, watches the Mindstorms competition, maybe a little Bingo for Lego prizes. All very awesome.

So what do you get if you go the full registration route? Well, first, you pay about $50, instead of $10, and there are no discounted registrations. If you are over 6, you register, and if you’re under 18, you must be accompanied by an adult, who must also register.

But oh the awesomeness you get as a full registrant!!

First of all, you don’t just walk through and look at everyone’s creations. You get to bring your own MOC — “My Own Creation”. Ethan registered his “Pokeball Factory” and a very awesomesauce “Missile Launcher”. Next year, we’ll have to see about ALL of us bringing MOCs!

Here are some of the seminars: Historic Architechture, Teaching Math with The Brick, Landscaping, Lights! Camera! Lego!, Arduino Processor, Bloggers’ Roundtable, and more.

You get to participate in The Running of the Bulls, which is a Lego Store sale – after the store closes, they reopen and sell damaged boxes (barely noticeable damage!) to Brickees for a significant discount. SIGNIFICANT!

There are lots of awesome games – Bingo (the registrants only bingo has the big lego prizes, unlike the mini bingo that the public is allowed to play), Minotaurus Tournament, Combo Build, Speed Build, & Dirty Buildster. After 9pm on Saturday night, they kick out any kids and have BYOB time, with a LEGO Hold’em Tournament, Dirter Brickster, and of course, the Drunk Speed-Build.

There is a charity auction, and a yard sale — where folks put out the stuff they want to unload, and the lego market is open! I saw some vintage legos, still in the box, from the 70s. It was incredible!! there is also opening and closing ceremonies, and awards given for the best MOCs from each category — which registrants get to vote for, and enter, of course!

James went to the Running of the Bulls while I went home with the kids, and the next night, he went home with the kids and I stayed to play Hold’em. (I totally won, came heads up with another guy who lives not even a mile from me, that it turns out I’d met at some other poker events in the area.) James and the kids should have stayed long, because Ethan would have rocked the house with the Dirty buildster (each entrant is given a cup of assorted legos and makes the best creation they can). I was walking around oohing and ahhing as the Dirty Buildsters were creating, when I got tapped to be the co-judge! It was very tough, as they were all so awesome, but the other judge and I didn’t pull each other’s hair too much to decide on the winners.

It has been just incredibly awesome. My only sadness is I keep thinking, “Next year, we need to do that.” or “Next year, we’re definitely doing THIS!” But alas, next year, we will not be in the DC metro area anymore — we’ll be moving to Denver next summer. Maybe we’ll come back for a vacation for BrickFair 2011 — We’ll definitely be making plans for some of the other lego festivals going on around the country (sadly, none in Denver).

If you like Legos, and want to feel what’s it’s like to dock with the Mother Ship and meet more of “your kind of people” — I can’t recommend registering as a full exhibitor at the BrickFair any more — it is just awesome – awesome folks, awesome MOCS, awesome fun.

http://www.brickfair.com

I will post some pictures this week of some of the awesome MOCs on display!

-amy

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Feb 17 2010

Olympic Fever Baby!

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

I thought about writing about all this snow, but I’m so sick of the subject, I am not even going to think about it! I will just say that my kids have now been out of school since Thursday, Feb 4th. THE FOURTH. IT IS NOW THE SEVENTEENTH.

I KNOW. TRUST ME I KNOW.

School is on tomorrow, but on a 2 hour delayed start all the rest of this week. It absolutely boggles the mind. Along with the fact that Target is/has been selling SWIMSUITS since January 1st.

I HAD TO ORDER SNOW SHOVELS OVER THE INTERNET. So many chain stores missed the opportunity to make a killing by getting more winter stuff in stock, but no. They insist on putting out spring fertilizer instead. Thank god for local hardware stores (I love my True Value!)

Anyway, on to happier subjects!

I really enjoy the Olympics, but it seems like I just never get to sit down and watch them the last 2-4 years. They make me somewhat nostalgic, because I remember watching as a kid, seeing Mary Lou Retton get that 10 — what a ride! And also, my husband James and I first met 1996, and he came down to Atlanta where I was living at the time the summer of the 1996 Olympics. I remember it as such a heady time of new twitterpated love, my first experience truly away from home as an adult, and to top it all off, Olympic fever in the city — it was an exciting time!

So I was determined to get some Olympics in and when Ethan asked, upon arriving at home this evening, if he and Jocelyn coudl watch some TV, I immediately replied, “YES!” with such vehemence, that he instantly knew something was up! I flipped on some Tivoed figure skating/skiing, and let it run as I got some dinner ready.

The Olympics are pretty exciting on their own, but seeing through my kids eyes made it even more awesome!

here’s pretty much how it went all night:
from them:
“WHOA!”
“WOW!”
“MOM! YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE THIS!”

(I was right there, by the way!)

Jocelyn was especially taken with the figure skating, as I knew she would be. She instantly starting dancing around the room and talking about how SHE could be in the Olympics when SHE was grown up. I tried to tell her that some of these athletes started training and practicing at HER age, and she instantly took it up.

“Mom! I’m going to do it! I’ll practice every day after school, see? Like this!” (Jump. Soar. Run. Twist. All in my living room.)

“Mom, I am going to need a dress like that when I’m grown up. Can you sew me one? How about Grandma? Can she sew me one? Look mom, the skirt only comes down to here. Are you sure we could find one when I’m big?”

Ethan wasn’t planning and plotting his Olympic wins, but he was still extremely impressed. He hasn’t been tainted by male machismo and thought the figure skating was just as impressive as Jocelyn did, and the vice versa – Jocelyn thought the mogal ski runs & jumps was spectacular as well.

At one point, at their outbursts and gasps at these seemingly death defying feats, I replied with a mild, “Yes, I know, it’s neat, isn’t it.”

Ethan instantly corrected me: “MOM. IT IS NOT NEAT. IT IS…. A W E S O M E !!!!”

I’m glad I’m not the only one in this house not to have Olympic fever!

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Aug 14 2009

2nd place!

Published by under amy's head,challenge,daily

I entered 3 pieces of jewelry into the Prince William county fair this year. I’ve never entered anything before — in fact, I’ve never actually been to the fair. I always seem to remember to go looking for information AFTER it’s over! I have many fond memories of the Snohomish County Fair in Washington when I was a teen, and so I’m glad I finally got it together to get to the fair this year!

So yes, when I went looking for information, I realized that it wasn’t too late to enter some exhibits! So I did!

I entered my “Luscious” necklace, currently on sale at Artfire:

My copper romanov bracelet with swarovski crystals:

And also, a new pair of earrings I can’t show you! Because they are being blindly judged in a “big and gaudy” earring challenge for a Yahoo jewelry group I’m on.

My necklace won second place. I am super tickled. I’m trying not to be disappointed about the earrings, because I just ADORE them, but oh well. It’s been fun — a little thrilling! and I am very happy to have my necklace win a ribbon.

– amy

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Jul 26 2009

home sweet home and a 1-a-day challenge

We are back from vacation. It was wonderful. My brother is now married. We partied hard with my side of the family. And then we drove from southern Oregon up to Portland, which is right on the border with Washington state. We saw a bit more family, as my aunt is in Vancouver, WA, but mostly, the rest of the trip was our own little family vacation. James and I both got to do our own geeky things – his were comic book shops and beer — LOTS OF BEER. Mine was bead & craft & fabric stores — LOTS OF BEADS AND FABRIC. It’s a good thing we don’t live there or Fabric Depot, The Bead Source, and Umawajirasanakanukiwa alone would bankrupt us.

I REALLY didn’t worry about food while we were there. And so it was no surprise when I was up 5 pounds at weight watchers today. But one thing vacation has done for me, is it has given me lots of MOTIVATION! I am buckling down for an awesome week to get back to where I was. I usually buy breakfast AND lunch, mostly because of lack of preparation, so this week I am going to try to get everything ready to go before hand.

I also am feeling all gung-ho about getting this house clean and decluttered! Our problem is when we clean up we shuttle crap from one surface to another, and so it gets messy again easily. Time to get RID of all the crap, find permanent homes for everything we own, and keep it clean! This will be a long-term project, but as I said, GUNG-HO!

I’ve also kind of been hunting for a new purse for the last few months. I even bought one at JC Penney’s and tried it out at home before I decided it really just wasn’t me. So after buying a big pile of gorgeous fabric in Portland (Fabric Depot is awesome) I think I need to clear off my sewing table in the next month or so and make me a new purse.

I took some rings with me on vacation, but didn’t really do much with them. It was a nice jewelry vacation, really. And I bought a lot of beads while I was there. I tried to envision what I would do with each bead before I bought them, so I am now FULL of ideas.

One reason why I gravitate to chain maille is that there is a pattern to follow and even with no modifications at all, it looks incredible. Sometimes I sit with beads and get the beader’s equivalent of writer’s block. So many different combinations possible! Too stiffling! What if I get it wrong! So being full of ideas is a lovely feeling. On the flip side though, doing ONLY chain maille is stifling too. Some pieces are VERY time consuming, and also it puts all the pieces (except earrings!) in my shop at a fairly high price point.

I want to jump-start all these visions and quell the beader’s block before it begins, so I thought I would do a little challenge for myself. A piece of jewelry a day for a week. This will also help me build up some inventory, which I need, and help build in a better variety of price points on pieces in my shop. I have lots of ideas for earrings, which will make it a fun and easy challenge, not to mention if it will probably get me to actually FINISH a few of the things that are 3/4 of the way to complete! If any jewelry designers out there want to join me, please comment, I’d be just tickled!

I’m also working on another challenge, though this one is not self imposed. I am a member of a wire wrapping group on yahoo, and right now there is a “Big & Gaudy” Earring challenge. The only criteria is that they should be at LEAST 2 inches long. I am having a blast sketching out different possibilities, but the deadline has started to loom, so it’s time to stop sketching and start MAKING! I’ll show those off when the deadline comes as well.

I’m telling you, all this motivation feels AWESOME!

That’s it for now — so nice to be home — so nice to be filled with ENERGY! Hopefully it’ll last!

-amy wonders where the hell ‘gung-ho’ came from. let’s blame canada.

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Jul 19 2009

Three Girl Cousins

Published by under daily,kids,moblogging,photos

They were very sad when it was time to say goodbye three days later. We miss you Clara and Mary!

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Jul 02 2009

Medicating Legally.

Published by under amy's head,daily,house,marriage,photos

This is a bitch session, so let’s just go at it, shall we? Basically, we are bleeding money around the Sanders-Pancoast household. Gushing. Dare I say soon to be HEMMORAGHING.

  1. Foot. My joint in my toe, which I mentioned once before, is inflamed with arthritis. It has gone back and forth between improving and getting worse for the last month, so the doctor suggested we get an orthotic to go in my shoe, that would relieve any pressure on that joint and allow it to heal.

    My insurance doesn’t cover this orthotic. It is not cheap.

    Damn insurance.

  2. Next up! The AC on our main level stopped with the making of nice and chilly. One hour visit later, and there goes two car payments.
  3. Next up! Last week, James’ 2006 Subaru Impreza STI died on his way to 5 Guys. A tow to our auto shop and TWO DAYS OF THEM LOOKING AT IT confirmed our worst fears that it was the engine, which would probably have to be rebuilt.

    So, obviously, it’s still under warranty, it only has 55k miles on it and is only 3 years old. Subaru to the rescue, right?

    So then we had it towed to Subaru, who are now saying scary things like, “we must have all maintenance records/this air filter looks like it has never been changed” in order to determine if they will cover it under warranty.

    First of all, we bought it used, so we don’t even have all the records, and second of all, James has done some oil changes himself. They could feasible put up a major stink.

    If they do not cover it under warrantee, an engine rebuild could run around 3 mortgage payments. Oh, and if the turbo is shot as well, that’s another month’s worth of daycare right there.

    Also? That first tow? To our shop? Turns out, we only had roadside assistance for MY car, but not for HIS car. So that was some $$$ right there. (I immediately remedied that situation, so the next tow was partially covered and much less painful.)

  4. Oh and lucky us, we have birds nesting in our roofline, in two different places. I fear some of them have gotten into the attic. This has actually been going on for a while, but I’m just now getting around to getting someone to take care of it. Which I’m sure is going to cost some bucks. Urgh.
  5. And finally? We’re going on vacation to Oregon in 2 weeks. Many things are already paid for (like the airplane tickets, for example) but many other things are not. Right before you go on vacation is never a good time to tighten up the purse-strings.

So… Last night, all of this was kind of weighing on James and I. The car stuff especially. If it weren’t for some good friends loaning us the use of their 3rd car, we’d be totally screwed, transportation wise. And if we have to pay for an engine rebuild ourselves? Makes you want to cry.

“Kids,” we called out, “how do you feel about going out and getting a job?”

They weren’t too ecstatic about the idea. We let them know college might not be in the cards after mommy and daddy paid for all this crap.

After moaning a lot and uncurling myself up from the fetal position, I remembered Heather, from dooce.com, when she and Jon had to face the massive bill for replacing their entire sewer line. She concocted, and I quote, the Oh My God Our Plumbing’s Fucked Cookie.

Well, last night, I concocted the Oh My God Our Car (Might Be) Fucked Cocktail.

First, some ice in a very very big glass. Big. Very big. Let’s go skimpy on the ice, shall we?

Then some vodka.

That doesn’t look like enough. MORE VODKA.

OK. That should make my liver stand up and take notice. Now a little kahlua.

And finally, we top it off with milk.

Hmm. It needs something. Something spectacular. I mean, this is a spectacular amount of money we’re hemmoraghing around here.

Ahh, much better. Hot pink BENDY STRAW!!

And there it is. The “We Might Be Fucked” cocktail.

If it turns out, we’re not fucked? I’ll make a “Yay, We’re Not Fucked!” version.

-amy, who just KNOWS her sister is going to read this and cringe every time she sees the f word. Sorry, Ellen.
-amy isn’t even going to THINK about the possibility of her dad reading this. The one who’s worst curse is, “Oh, SCRUD.”

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