Archive for the 'house' Category

Jan 28 2013

Ender Pants!

Published by under house,jewelry

Ender at the animal hospital

Ender at the animal hospital, post surgery

Well, I hope I didn’t jinx poor Ender by introducing him and his sister Valentine on this here blog in my last post.
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Aug 12 2011


Published by under amy's head,house,kids,photos

Well, here we are! In Colorado! We’ve now been in our new house for just over a month. And wow, it feels much longer!

I really wish I had blogged during this whole process, because it has been totally surreal. The weeks before leaving Virginia was filled with “last times” doing this, and “last time” doing that. I do want to write a little bit about it, and plus I have photos. Always good to post photos!

Jocelyn had her ballet/jazz dance recital the week before our departure.

Since James’ company was relocating us, it was very nice to have packers come in and totally pack us up. What would have taken us weeks was done in 2 days. Amazing! We were packed up Thursday June 23 and part of Friday, and then everything was loaded onto the moving truck. We left that evening and headed for Indiana, to visit with my brother’s family. The kids had a blast.

cousins: ages 2-16, all playing legos. only missing 1 cousin who was out of town

trampolines – always fun

Last fall we drove to Utah and tried going w/out any sort of portable DVD player(s). We had the kind with 2 screens that strapped onto the back of the front seats’ headrests and there was always some todo about who got to pick what and Jocelyn would always get bored 15 minutes into her choice and Ethan would be stuck with it and so we just did away with it. We played movies over the car speakers (just from our phones/ipods) and it worked out fine, though this trip we didn’t even do that. There was a lot of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Nintendo DS playing, and the trip really did go well with minimal arguments.

We spent Sunday with my brother’s family, and then hit the road Monday and had dinner with James’ sister in St. Louis. Tuesday we were on the road when our VA house closed (didn’t have to be there, the relocation company handled it all, yay!) and we squealed with delight somewhere in Kansas when our realtor called and told us all went smoothly. Wednesday we arrived in Colorado and Thursday we closed on our new house. Then we had a long 4th of July holiday weekend of spending the days in our empty house or at the hotel pool, while we waited for our household goods to arrive. The moving truck arrived Tuesday, July 5th and there was much rejoicing at having all our stuff, albeit hidden away in boxes!

I have been adjusting to staying home with the kids, and I think we’ve settled into a nice groove — just in time for school to start! Only a week left, and then school begins. I will soon know the feeling of bliss every other stay at home mom feels when the little whiners darlings go off to school!

My Etsy shop and my own website are back up and taking orders — and lots of new things are cooking just waiting to get photographed and posted. Now if I could only find my macro lens…


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Apr 14 2011

Fun with boxes

These pictures are pretty old now, but better late than never!

We had my brother and his family come visit us a few weeks ago. The weekend after they came, we were having the entire house interior painted, so the house was either scary “you’ve been robbed!” clean, or a mass of migraine inducing “a twister came through here!” messy (the basement).

We boxed up a lot of stuff, and had a lot of boxes around which the kids LOVED. Ethan, Jocelyn, cousin Kade & Eric built a massive box fort which sadly, I didn’t get a picture of. But I did get pictures of Elizabeth, the adorable almost 2 year old!
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Mar 02 2011


Published by under amy's head,house,kids,overheard


A week or so ago, James and I were cleaning out our guest room really thoroughly (getting this house ready to put on the market!) and the kids were also supposed to be cleaning their rooms.

We were all working pretty hard, when Ethan came in, toting a nerf gun, and announced, “When we’re done with all this work, I suggest we have the BATTLE OF OUR LIVES.”

Nerf gun battles abound at our house. We agreed that sounded like a fantastic idea.


Today is Dr. Suess’ birthday, and our school is honoring it with a book character dress up day. I didn’t remember until late last night, so this morning was fraught with quickly trying to come up with SOMEthing, ANYthing, for the kids to dress up with.
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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, 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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Oct 15 2008

Stuff I Have Made In The Past 3 Months

Maybe not THREE months, but it feels like I’ve been making or trying out a lot of things that I’ve neglected to report on. Some of which is DARN CUTE or DARN TASTY!

Darn cute:

Baby Blanket

Big Footed Bunny with reversable dress (this shot was still in progress, never got a completed shot):
big footed bunny Dress on side A

big footed bunnyDress on side B

Granola (it was OK at best):

And with no photo accompaniment,
Monkey Bread

Potato soup (it was ok, but got much better as it aged)

Beef Stew (Still have some of this in the fridge, and it was Yum, despite some technical difficulties)

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (orange, with jack-o-lantern faces painted on) (I guess I could still take some photos of these) (for some reason everytime I eat one, I think of our friend Kurt, who loves anything with pumpkin – Kurt, you would love these)

I also have a bunch of things on deck that I am aching to get started on.

I need, nay, I REQUIRE myself to make chili in the very near future, along with some cornbread.

Butternut Squash soup

Butternut squash risotto (this one may be dropped)

Braided Challah Bread

Picture Day dress for Jocelyn
I saw this adorable corderoy jumper at Kolh’s yesterday that I am going to try to make for Jocelyn. It was a dark chocolate brown with a pink long sleeved knit shirt underneath. Pink and brown always make me swoon, so sweet. We’ll see if this actually gets accomplished. There was another one next to it, pink with cute little princess embroidery embellishments along the bottom.

It is also at

Very sweet. I am not going to repeat my mistake from last year and put her in a busy print for picture day. NO SIR.

Circle Skirt for Jocelyn
This, I actually did for Jocelyn last night, using the Fold Over Elastic that Angry Chicken has been going on about. Now, with normal elastic, you measure the waist and then make the elastic 2 inches shorter. I cut the elastic about 5 inches shorter with some trepidation, and it is still too loose. I should have just not worried about the actual measurement and just stretched it as tight as I could while sewing it on. There will be sewing and adjustments made tonight. I also don’t like the look of the full circle of the skirt, so I may be fiddling around with using only half a circle as well.
Final note on this skirt, I cut into some beloved fabric that I had been saving forever, but looking at the HUGE STACK OF PINK fabric, I shook it off and cut (the fabric I used is the top right in the picture in that link). As my mother always says, there will always be cute fabric, no need to hoard. I will be showing this skirt off when I finally work out the kinks.


Picture taken last night, immediately after finishing

Taken this morning.

Hopefully James got some good pictures with the camera, as these iphone photos leave much to be desired. Still, I am VERY proud of myself, as this sucker pretty much came directly out of my head, no patterns involved (though some tulle inspiration probably came from the dress I saw in Kohl’s).

And finally, I have ordered a bunch of stuff to start beading jewelry again. I say “again” like I used to do it last week, but I haven’t done anything with beads since high school, when me & friends used to string beads onto fishing line, melt the knot with a lighter and call it good. I have actually ordered some tools and got a book and even am going to take a CLASS! My initial order should have been here by now, but due to my recent ordering of fabric on the internet for my mother, I accidently put down an address that was half my own, and half my mom’s, for my bead order. Who knows where it is now, DOH. So this, “Did it come did it come??!” ending with deflation and RE-ordering has made me super excited to GET GOING ALREADY!

– amy will string you along with a trinket or two

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Sep 28 2008

a-garage sale-ing we went!

Published by under amy's head,daily,house,kids,photography

This saturday was our community yard sale. Basically, everyone puts out their stuff if they feel like it and there’s a communal sharing of junk. It’s a GREAT time for the kids to take their money jars and go out scouting for a new toy or two. They both totally scored.

I saw this one, and if Jocelyn hadn’t wanted it, well, let’s just say it was coming home one way or another. SO CUTE!!

strawberry shortcake house

strawberry shortcake house

I love this, I love this, I LOVE THIS! I remember being super jealous of my best friend neighbor Heidi, who had just about every strawberry shortcake doll that was out at the time. I LOVE that they’ve started putting these dolls out again. Jocelyn has a Strawberry (with a scooter, and the kitty, Custard) and a Blueberry, both of whom have lost their clothes and whose hair is all tangley. Strawberry was MIA, but Blueberry has been having a fine, naked time in her new house. I must say, best $2 every spent!

Our $2 new acquisition did however, cost us more money than that, because by Sunday, I had decided we needed, nay MUST HAVE AT THIS MOMENT, more strawberry shortcake dolls in the house. I got a Crepes Suzette doll for Jocelyn, and a Lemon Meringue doll for me. I have just 2 things to say: These little gals certainly are pricey, at $8.99 each. Secondly, I love that they are actually GIRLS. Not women with inhuman measurements, not girls trying to look like women, not… (dare I say it? I probably shouldn’t say it, oh hell I’ll just say it) dolls who look more like WHORES dressed like they are trying to make a buck or two on a Saturday night. I am happy to spend some money on Strawberry Shortcake and try to direct any obsessions in the making in that direction rather than Princess Disney, Bratz, Barbie, or whatever other skanky ho doll comes around. (And yes, she has already barbies, disney princesses, and bratz, and I also had barbies galore.. they’re not banned in this household, I am just more than happy to point my innocent 4 year old in a more girl-like direction.)

Ethan also lucked out, I just am not as effervescent about his purchases, because they don’t hold childhood nostalgia for me. He picked up a pretty nifty helicopter, which has a hook on the bottom, and a cool propeller that spins, as well as a firetruck that does a variety of things that I can’t quite follow, despite his showing me time after time.

James came home with a borrowed Canon 70-200 f4 IS L lens (which for the non-photography knowledgeable, DROOOOOOOOL! We’re talking over a grand on this baby.) So, the kids and I set up a little photo shoot. I need to build a light box!

The lens was very nice, but I’m still quite happy with our lens, the Sigma 50-150 f2.8. No image stabilizer, but it’s a bit faster which should even out. I think the Canon is a hair nicer with the IS and the longer zoom then ours, but I feel no need to lament our choice. The Sigma was a little more than half the cost of the Canon, it’s a great lens, especially to our very amateur eyes!

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Sep 11 2008

Dishes, Light Sabres and Pink Hair, OH MY!

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

James and I met with Ethan’s teacher, and also one of a school counselor, and I feel a lot better. I think we are seeing a lot of improvement, and the day in question was just a tough day. He has gotten greens all week (since then) and yesterday he even went through the entire day w/out getting his panther taken away (yay!)

Jocelyn wasn’t feeling well yesterday morning. I took her temperature which was normal, and was coughing it up to a case of the grumpies, when she threw up. I was not in the room and I have a feeling it was more like a “spit up” situation than throw up, but I couldn’t in good conscious send her in after that, so she stayed home and I tried to work anyway.

Ethan was very grumpy at having to go to school when his sister got to stay home, so I promised I’d pick him up at school (instead of going to daycare afterward). Jocelyn and I brought their money jars, which had several weeks allowances socked away in them, and after we picked him up from school, we went to target – me, to forward my obsession with finding the perfect new dishes to buy, and them, to while away the time pointing to something that costs $80, and asking me, “Do I have enough money for that?” before settling on something they actually can afford.

I have NO IDEA why (ok maybe a little idea why), or even HOW Jocelyn spotted this, but she choose a fake hair extension. A bright PINK hair extension.

jocelyn in pink hair

I had no idea how this fake hair is supposed to be applied, but I treated it like a very awkward pony tail elastic and muddled through anyway.

jocelyn with pink hair

Ethan chose a light saber.

ethan with red light sabre

It does not have any batteries, and so doesn’t make any sounds, but that just means he gets to make the sounds himself.

ethan with red light sabre

He choose red, despite my pointing out that that’s the bad guys color, but he insisted (red being his favorite color).

Yes, these are taken still at Target, because Ethan had his toy open the SECOND the cashier rang it up and handed it to him, and Jocelyn insisted on getting her pink hair on.

ethan and jocelyn
And yes. I let her wear a tutu to target. I don’t usually allow dress up clothes outside the house, but for some reason I let her. Maybe because she’s getting to big to get away with this much longer.. might as well let her do it now while she can! (I’d like to go to Target in a tutu! Am I too big?)

After they picked out their toys, I made the mistake of walking them through the halloween section, where they decided to be NEW characters for halloween instead of the same characters as last year. DOH! Jocelyn decided she wants to be a witch (though this actually would be easy to do at home, and actually, I think I may have turned her towards COWGIRL, which I would love to make for her again) and Ethan wants to be Darth Vader. (“I already have the light sabre for it!”)

Of course, there was much moaning and groaning when I dragged them through housewares. The dishes were a bust. Although I really like this pattern, but I don’t like the shape of the dishes at all. Too traditional.

carousel dishes at target
These are made by Corelle. I like a -lot- of the Corelle patterns, but finally ruled the brand out completely. No matter the pattern, the bowls only have a colored stripe around the rim. I want my bowls to look pretty too! So no Corelle.

These ones I liked too, but were on clearance and didn’t have everything available.

dishes at target

I especially like how I could buy them all separately, because we don’t use mugs, and invariably when we purches the 16 piece place settings for 4.. we have shelves of mugs we never use. And if we’re REALLY unlucky… saucers too. Blech.

All this culminated in a huge internet dish-hunt last night (interrupted by Jocelyn REPEATEDLY getting out of bed, long past her bedtime grrr) which if you’re curious, you can see on flickr. However, I just have to say that I LOVE THESE DISHES SO MUCH:

target melamine zak pazio

And look! No mugs! Sadly, they break all my rules of what my new dishes must entail (no melamine being the first rule, I’m sorry melamine, but we NEED to be able to microwave our dishes, and you don’t let us! At least, not w/out experiencing 3rd degree burns.[1. Melamine material heats up much faster than normal, so if you put something on a melamine plate and nuke it, your food may still be cold, but the plate will burn you when you go to pull it out! It’s too bad, because I love melamine.]), but if they ever show up in target stores, they may find their way home ANYWAY.)

Here is my #1 favorite right now, and they’re on sale, so I could get 12 place settings for cheap! However, since they’re on sale …. there are no serving dishes available in this pattern. Doh. So now I’m wondering if I should go with some other pattern that I can also get platters and serving bowls in? Our kitchen is always kind of woefully unequipped when it comes to serving dishes (even serving utensils) so I’m thinking yes, I should – especially when the “runners up” so to speak are also super awesome.

My #1 favorite: Mikasa Autumn Frost
mikasa autumn frost

Runner up: Mikasa Red Berries

I love the red berries, but I would prefer a squarish plate. This might be a deal breaker for me. This pattern however, has a CRAZY amount of serving dish choices, so I have to consider it:

mikasa red berries

Another runner up: Mikasa Wispy Floral

mikasa wispy floral

Isn’t it pretty?? I really do like this one a lot. Some serving dishes, but not many. This is probably my #2 choice after Autumn Frost.

I have found it amusing how my aesthetic runs from super simple, minimal design and clean lines (all these mikasa patterns for example) and the crazy psychodelic patterns with super saturated colors (the choices above from Target). I’m not going to think about what that says about me as a person. Something we don’t need to pick at, right?

I’m definitely not going to rush this, as even if these choices go away… well, there’s sure to be some more awesome patterns out soon.

– amy spent the night dreaming of dishes, and getting clawed by a kitty

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Jan 29 2008

tivo! yay!

Published by under amy's head,house

We have 3 tivos. Our newest tivo, is the HD Series 3 that we got with the new HD tv in our basement. We struggled with the whole, “Do we stay with DirecTV and use their (inferior) DVR for HD? Or ditch DirecTV altogether and hope we have more options with our cable company in the next year?”

We ditched DirecTV. We just couldn’t not use a tivo DVR, it’s as simple as that. The thought of having to go through a menu screen that wasn’t tivo’s? AGONY. So, right now, we have little to no HD shows, but hopefully that will change in the next few months. We had a lifetime subscription with our original (non-working) Tivo, that we transfered to the HD Tivo box using a very old grandfather “you can transfer lifetime subscriptions one time!” clause.

Our other two tivos we bought about 2 or maybe even 3 years ago. Series 2, I think 40 hours. They’ve served us pretty well. Until one day in December when our family room Tivo showed the blue Tivo screen of death. It would cycle on and show a “we’re trying to see about the problem screen” and then turn off and repeat, over and over. I called Tivo and sure enough, it was a dead hard drive.

At the time, they offered us a new box for around $150. We checked the only place for all your geeky tivo hard drives and tricked out tivos ( and found we could get a new hard drive for around $120. We opted to not upgrade, move our bedroom Tivo (not used THAT much) to the family room and planned to buy a new hard drive sometime in the future.

I neglected, however, to stop service on the dead Tivo, so today, in anticipation of that $10 charge to my credit card at the beginning of next month, I called up Tivo to cancel service.

They offered me a $69 upgrade to a dual tuner 80 hour Tivo! New, not refurbished!

I quickly called James, he agreed it was a great deal, and now, we have a new Tivo which will be shipped to us soon. We’ll probably move the family room box back up to our bedroom where it will not be used that often (I use it to watch Friends reruns while I fold laundry), and put the new dual tuner tivo in the family room.

I just love Tivo. Our first Tivo box was purchased for Christmas in 1999 for $500, with an additional $300 going for the lifetime subscription (which is still earning it’s money back today). $800 for a dual income couple with no kids was still a lot of money, but I must say out of all the useless gadgets that have come through this household (I’m talking about you, cat litter box that was supposed to scoop the poop for me) TIVO HAS BEEN THE BEST.

The end.

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Dec 25 2007

happy christmas

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

1 – big footed bunny (from Hillary Lang‘s Put Together pattern) finished up christmas eve for Jocelyn.
2 – Ethan colored in and cut out this angel at school, then one morning a few days ago, took the original, traced it, colored it in, cut it out all by himself (actually, before James and I were even up out of bed) — so that his sister would have one. how sweet is that!
3 – Jocelyn playing on the new Leapster L-Max (a dora game)
4 – Ethan playing with his new CAT excavator, with daddy looking on
5 – Christmas stockings – re-hung after all the hullabaloo
6 – general christmasness all over the living room floor

Well, Christmas day is almost over, and aside for a little bumpiness Christmas eve, it’s been very enjoyable. Everyone is thrilled with their presents. The hit for Jocelyn was the Woody and Jessie duo – upscaled even the major present, a wooden dollhouse with furniture & people. For Ethan, he really has played with everything, but the big two, excavator and firetruck, are definite hits. I am pleased that the wooden blocks and acorns that Santa put in the stockings were met with glee and not indifference (and acorns were handy for scooping and dumping) along with the watercolors and fancy edge scissors.

I haven’t really had the Christmas spirit the last few days. You know, that feeling of wonder and warm fuzzies. I really love the warm fuzzy christmas feeling, so I tried to get it back, but I guess being royally bitchy chases it away for good.. Cynicism and childlike wonder just don’t mix, especially if you throw in a really sore throat and hacking cough.

But then Christmas morning comes, and watching these kids’ little faces light up with excitement, hearing them shout, “SANTA ATE ALL THE COOKIES! AND DRANK THE MILK,” watching them be so kind to each other, “Thank you for the present, Mommy/Daddy/Jocelyn/Ethan!” and the warm cinnamon roll aroma floating throughout the house – I didn’t need any childlike wonder, because there was plenty of it to go around.

Ethan, as I tucked him in tonight: “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Jocelyn as I tucked her in tonight: “Jessie doesn’t want to sleep in her hat, mommy.”

Merry Christmas!

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