January 28, 2009

In Memory of

This post is in memory of my Grandma Carmen Colwell. She passed away peacefully today surrounded by family after a brief fight with a horrible cancer. Grandpa is also ill with cancer, and so sad right now. My heart just aches for him.

Grandma Carmen always paid attention to the details. Her house was always clean, her heart was always full. She was spunky, fiesty, and no nonsense. You couldn't pass things over on her and if you wanted to know the truth, she would always tell you. She had a bright smile and a quiet grace. We will miss her.

January 24, 2009

A is for Annabelle

Meg and I took a little trip to the library today. We picked up some books I had on hold and trekked through the toddler section for a while. Meg loves books more than any child I know and at almost 2 years old will spend hours reading to herself or having others read to her. People comment on it all the time. She's a great little bibliophile.
While I was waiting, the children's librarian came up to me (we know each other from lots of story time's at the library) and told me there was a special story time and exhibition in a few minutes and we might enjoy it. After prying Meg's books from her hands while she cried so that I could check them out, and then giving them back to her, we went to the conference room to hear the story.

There were about 5 or 6 older women in the room, all working on doll clothing and some had dolls in boxes next to them or on their laps. It was a meeting of the county doll club and it was about the book A is for Annabelle. As it turns out, this Annabelle character has somewhat of a cult following. The sweet lady giving the lecture had brought her Annabelle display with her. All items she had handmade for an antique French doll about 14 inches tall. She had reproduced every single dress and outfit from the book, every detail down to the locket and handmade leather doll gloves. It was amazing, stunning, and I about lost my mind. I can't keep my dishes done and some days my baby doesn't get dressed all day. (Maybe that was a confession I didn't need to make.)

This lady was amazing at what she did. She used period fabric for her clothes, antique buttons and tatted collars for dolls dresses. She told stories of sending some of her work to Haiti because there was a lady there who specialized in miniature embroidery work and then, later, flying there with her dolls stowed in the cockpit of a commercial flight to meet the woman and the village. She had a journal for the doll and pictures of the amazing places she had taken the doll, including the White House. My head was spinning. I guess if you are going to have a hobby, you should have one that takes you places.

As it turns out, she's not the only one with this hobby. The Annabelle Doll Club seems to be an international sensation among doll enthusiasts. I found this blog about one in New England. I wonder if in 50 or 60 years people will understand the Pokemon phenomena?

I don't have the book yet, but now it's in my library cue.

January 18, 2009

A Great Big THANKS

This is a GREAT BIG THANKS to my Grandma, who is downright amazing. Justin and I took our weekend away and Grandma came to take care of the darlings for us while we went. We had a great time, it was luxurious and over the top. I am glad we won it, because we could have never paid for it. We hiked and explored and spent some great quality time together. It was really a great weekend for us. I took the Minolta with us, so film is yet to be developed.

Grandma came and cooked scrambled eggs for dinner and again for breakfast, because that's what the kids wanted. (It seems to me that I didn't get catered to like that when I was younger.) She gave baths and had lenient bedtimes and let Adam play Wii to his hearts content. She got up at night with Meg and fed her all the snacks she wanted and even got her to take good naps. What a great grandma. Thanks for all you do Grandma. We love you.

January 9, 2009


Some things are just more important than others. I have been teaching Ombudsman Basic Training all week at the base and loving it, except that I am so not used to having to leave my kiddos all day and then come home to all of the stuff that didn't magically get done without me. It's been rough in that respect. As a result, my Christmas tree is still up. We didn't get home until New Year's Day, and then I have been gone all this week, so it's still up. The Christmas boxes are still empty and the table is still overflowing with stuff I don't know what to do with. So many things to do. So what's my priority today?
Rocking my baby. She's sick with a fever and general mal-content. She's sad and she doesn't know why. She's not sleeping, she's not eating, and she's hot. She wants Mommy and no one else will do. So here I sit, typing one handed, with a toddler on my lap, thumb in her mouth and playing with her ear with her other hand, unwilling to move. It's a fake tree, and I like having the Nativities out. They can stay out for a while longer, because today, I am not getting dressed, not opening the curtains, not doing the dishes and not going anywhere. I am rocking my baby. For this moment in time, I get to be her everything and I really can make it better. That won't be the case forever, so today, she is the only thing on my to-do list.

January 5, 2009

Life is hard when you are under 3 feet tall

Poor Meg. Just can't seem to catch a break. Either she has it and she doesn't want it, or she doesn't have it and she does want it. What's that they say about being 2? She's not quite 2 yet, but it looks like we are close enough.

In case you were wondering, she did get her turn, and she wasn't all that thrilled about it once she got there.

It did help a little once brother got on with her. She was none to patient about waiting for him to take another turn by himself though.

Grandpa is determined to make horse people of out them yet. Chyanne was a great horse to put up with screeching Meg though. Adam was a great rider this time around. Maybe next time he won't even need to be led around.

January 2, 2009

My Sewing Debaccle

I am not a seamstress. Stress is the key word when I sit down to sew. I don't know if it's not understanding the impossible directions, a bit of a sewing language barrier, or having the rest of the house in total chaos while I am consumed by a project, but it's just not a good thing. In any case, thanks to Mom Bread, I decided to do the cutest project this year for all of our nieces and nephews. She made it look so cute and easy... Sigh.

All of our little ones got a custom apron and matching chef's hat. Along with that went wooden spoons and a cute little cooking for kids cookbook. Mom's and Dad's also got aprons (no hats) and grilling accessories. Babies got smocks. In spite of all of the chaos that went into the making of these gifts, they looked adorable on all of the children and everyone looked pretty pleased with them. The idea was to encourage a family activity, and who doesn't like to eat?

Again, I am no pro, but here's the pictures. Somehow I forgot to take pictures of the cute purple one with yellow rick rack on the hat and the darling green ones with brown accents. Maybe the Mom's will send me some pictures of them being modeled?

January 1, 2009

Hightlights of Christmas Break

Here are a few highlights of our Christmas vacation.

  • Snow, snow, snow. Sledding and laughing and not getting the car stuck.
  • The kids getting to ride horses.
  • Playing with cousins and cousins new Christmas toys.
  • Visiting with family we don't see often.
  • Bug getting to beat lots of new people at Monopoly.
  • Visiting OMSI. (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry)
  • Reading some good books in the car.
  • Listening to Meg sing Jingle Bells 150 times an hour until she fell asleep in the car.
  • Seeing Twilight with my SIL. Late at night, and almost kid free.
  • Early morning shopping with another SIL to find that "perfect" gift.
  • Great food, and not having to stress over cooking it.