8th Birthday Celebration

For his 8th birthday, my sweet son wanted to have a food drive. So we sent out invites asking friends to bring a few bucks for a present and a food item for the food pantry. I wasn’t sure how he would feel not having a pile of presents to open like at every other birthday, but the whole thing was awesome. We had his party at the Tae Kwan Do studio and it was super fun, and then we took the 67 lbs(!) of food he collected to the food bank a few days later. The TKD instructor gave him a special “community” band for his TKD belt. Very awesome. What I loved the most was that everyone helped to make a big deal out of his food drive idea, which just encourages his giving heart even more. It was a wonderful birthday. And he’s being very patient with the money that his generous friends (parents) gave him – waiting until after Christmas to pick out his birthday toy.

I feel like I should tag this with #firstworldproblems, but we have so much. A safe neighborhood, good friends, plenty to eat. I worry sometimes that my kid’s easy existence is setting him up for trouble as an adult, or somehow not preparing him for real life. But this whole experience has put my mind at ease a little. He was excited to drop off the food, and still excited to have a little money to get a toy after Christmas – excited about both. And that’s fair, right? What more can I ask?

Here are some photos:

Cake and party favors

TKD training

Cutting the cake with a sword

I especially love this one of Grandma’s excitement about the sword!

Dropping off the donation at the food pantry

67lbs!

Lots more pictures here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/beatyfamily/sets/72157638719977514/

Happy Handmade Halloween!

We had a great Halloween party with the neighbors. Flat-bed trailer with hay, Thriller on the stereo, at least 20 kids and 1000’s of pieces of candy!

Here’s this year’s handmade costume. I took an XS ladies’ sweat suit from Old Navy, cut it way down and embellished. Introducing the Lego Ninjago Green Ninja – a little before and after action!

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Hope your Halloween was awesome, too!

I also took this picture with my phone…no idea what happened, but it’s very creepy!
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Yee Haw!

It’s official – we’re moving to Texas. It’s actually been official for a few weeks and things have been pretty crazy around here – hence the total lack of blogging. The movers come on Tuesday, and I’m totally unprepared. Luckily, they’re doing all the packing. Lucky for me, anyway. For them – not so lucky. I just hope the two new underbed storage containers I ordered from the Container Store show up in the next day or two so I can pack up the giant pile of folded fabric and quilt tops that’s on my sewing table right now. Basically, unpacking is going to be a NIGHTMARE because our house is packed to the gills and kind of a mess.

My husband already made the journey by car – SoCal to TX with FIVE cats in the car. I had to sit in the car and roll down the window, and he’d put a cat in and I’d roll it up real quick. Otherwise they’d jump out. I’m really not sure how he made it. And after hiding in a hotel room for the last week – saying he only had two cats in there, he’s finally got a little apartment for us while we look for a house. TOO crazy. Here are some blurry, hectic photos of the great cat adventure.

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I think I remember my husband saying something about “those better not go on the internet!”…but it’s his own fault if he never bothers to read my blog. *evil laugh* They’re also his cats…so he made his bed. But they made it safe and sound, with only minimal lasting mental trauma and lots of scratches. So no animals were harmed in the making of these photos.

More great tutorials!

Seriously, there just isn’t enough time in the day to sew all the things I want to sew. I’ve been admiring these box bags (which my husband calls dopp kits) by splityarn for some time, but couldn’t wrap my mind around the ends. Then I found this AWESOME tutorial by drago[knit]fly. THANK YOU!

In other news, my adorable kid has made up his own language. In the car today, he’d say “what’s red?” and I’d say “roja”…we were working on Spanish. Then he says, “what’s mooshkin?” and then he cracks up. He’s got a whole list of such words. Here are a few: mooshkin, monkshin, bosh, spoosh, bonkshin, maupshin, maups, faumps…I’m guessing on the spelling here. I really think only bosh and spoosh have meanings – which is basically when he does a power ranger move on something. All the rest are purely for silliness sake. I happen to love those words. They make my monkshin faumps!

Thanksgiving

It looks like we’ll be having Thanksgiving at our house – or maybe my sister-in-law’s – and Christmas at my brother-in-law. Despite the wierdness involved in my brother-in-law recently getting divorced and his ex-wife recently moving BACK IN with him, I’m looking forward to the holidays. I think my father-in-law may come out for Thanksgiving, and my mother-in-law already has her tickets for Christmas. I’m glad that worked out on it’s own, because those two can not be in the same room…and they were both talking about coming for Christmas. Sadly, I won’t be seeing my parents.

So anyway, I’m sure to be on the hook for some cooking. I’ve already got my copy of Real Simple ready to go with easy Thanksgiving recipes…but did you know that MyRecipes.com is all the recipes from Real Simple, Southern Living, Cooking Light and a few others? It’s awesome. It’s kind of annoying too, since I’ve been saving back issues of these magazines for years because of the recipes. Glass half full – I can give them to the library and free up magazine holders for quilting mags!

Anyway, check it out. Besides pillsbury.com, it’s my numero uno recipe site. I recommend searching for dessert recipes. And then eating said desserts in lieu of veggies.

Why we love Harry

Our favorite CDs around the house are by Harry Connick, Jr., who I love with a white hot passion. Um, I mean, I think he’s pretty handsome. Anyway, we do a lot of dancing to Harry…here’s a little taste of my son’s dancing skills:

old home week

A couple weeks ago, I traveled to FL for a work conference. First of all, as a corporate girl turned stay-at-home mommy, this was a wonderful escape. My awesome job put us up at the Hard Rock resort, a lovely establishment, and fed us like queens (and one lone king…until last week, we only had one male coworker). I had a ball. We got lots of work done, but we also did quite a bit of drinking, eating, and we saw Blue Man Group! In our conference room, there was this huge coffee bar set up – coffee, flavored syrups, hot tea, ice water, soda…I drank fresh coffee all day. I loved it.
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As for the work part, I’ve worked for this company – which is strictly virtual – for almost a year, and this was the first time I had met my bosses and coworkers. It was so nice to put faces with names and acutally have a conversation with people without emoticons. I learned a ton of ways to work more efficiently, we came up with great ideas…it was invigorating.

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Funny what a little adult conversation does for stay-at-home-moms.

I structured the trip so I could see some friends and family also, since I went to college in Orlando, and High School close by in Cocoa Beach. I got to see my grandfather in the nursing home, which was kind of awful because he didn’t recognize me. I got to see my best friend from high school, my best friend from college, I took a tour of my unrecognizable campus, and went up to Jacksonville to see my sister and nephews real fast. It was a whirlwind, but it was awesome. Here are a few photos:

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Well, that’s probably enough for now. I’ve got some crafty pictures to post, so I better get to it :)

Here’s to the Mothers!

A small photo salute to some of the mommies in my life…

Here’s to my pretty mama, who I miss every day. That’s my awesome sister in the photo – who’s a heck of a mom also.

Here’s to my super wonderful step-mom, Sandy. She puts up with my dad, and for that, she deserves a medal! Even better, she loves me. I’m a lucky girl.

Here’s to Luchy, my lovely mother-in-law, who I’ve come to know and love and be supremely grateful for.

Here’s to my Grandma Jo, the sweetest, most wonderful grandma on the planet.

Here’s to my Grandma Grace, who died far too young and I’ve always missed knowing.

Here’s to my dad’s mom, my Nana Petters who was my kindred spirit. She taught me a great love for matching shoes and handbags and Esther Williams movies. I never met my Great Grandmother Adelaide, but I know she was well loved.

Here’s to Mama, David’s grandmother, who is feisty and funny and too far away.

There are, of course, a ton of other mothers in my life. But I don’t have all day – my husband took my son to the park! I’ve got a quilt store to go to! I just wanted to take a minute and share the special women in my life with the blogosphere. I miss you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!

(p.s., this post has been a disaster. I just couldn’t get the photos and their captions laid out the way I wanted. I put in code and wordpress takes it out. So, sorry you probably don’t know who’s in what picture. The important thing is to tell the world how great they all are, right?)

mom, dad and kitty

dad and sandy

luchy and william

grandma jo and sandy

Grace and Peggy

petters 1973

mama and william

Where the wind comes sweeping down the plains…

That’s right, I’ve been in Oklahoma. I took my little baby and we flew out to see Gramie and Papa. I know I’ve been absent for a little while, but I wasn’t in drug rehabilitation or detox or something. No, I was visiting my parents – and it was great! All except for the day we left. All our flights were cancelled, so we got rebooked on another airline leaving 7 hours later, only to have our second leg delayed 4 hours. We got lucky and caught an earlier flight, but it came into a different airport, so I still had to drive to the first airport and pick up my luggage at 1:30 am. LONG day, hauling around a 2 year old and all his accoutrements. Lucky for me he’s such a good boy.

Anyway, we had a great time with my parents and that’s what matters. I got to meet my new future step-sister in-law, William got to spend lots of time with Gramie Sandy and Papa Bob, get his face licked off by their little dog Chica, and I even got to go to a fabric store where the fabric was almost 1/2 the price as it is here! Pictures coming to flickr soon!