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my random ramblings about crafts, writing, books and kids

Archive for the tag “kids”

Not-So-Merry Christmas

So our Christmas was a bust. Especially mine.

Christmas Eve is when we traditionally have our big meal. It’s how we did it when I was a kid so my mom could relax on Christmas instead of being busy cooking all day–it’s a tradition I’ve kept alive (with a few exceptions over the years).

So, Jack (9) woke me at 10am on Christmas Eve because I promised to bake cookies. Meagan (19) had to work until 7pm so we were going to have a late dinner anyway. Lots of extra time to get those cookies done.

I was in the kitchen by 10:30am and ended up having to clean all the stuff I told the kids to have done before I could bake. I just don’t have the energy to clean and bake, but I pushed through, determined to improve what was going to be a dismal Christmas morning (more on that later).

Anyway, I got the dough for kolackies and sugar cookies in the fridge to chill and was about to just end the day because I was in so much pain my back and hips from leaning over the counters, but my husband offered me a reserve oxy from when he had his surgery. It got me through the day (mostly).

With Jack’s help (and occasionally the other kids), I managed to make batches of chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, and ranger cookies. I also had to make the filling for the kolackies because you can’t buy the Solo filling here anymore. The raspberry filling (made from frozen raspberries, sugar and lemon juice) turned out perfect, but the apricot one (made from dried apricots and sugar) was too sweet–next time, I won’t add the sugar or not as much. The kolackies themselves turned out great. It’s the first year we’ve had them in a while because of the filling issue.

We also managed to fit in a couple hands of UNO while the cookies were baking and then it was time to clean up and get the pork roast in the Instant Pot.

All-in-all, I was on my feet pretty much nonstop from 10:30am until we ate at nearly 9pm (the cooking took way longer than I anticipated and I got the meat in the pot later than I had wanted) minus the 20 minutes to play UNO and maybe 30 minutes after I put the meat in. By that time, the oxy had worn off, and I was in so much pain, I was nearly in tears but the night wasn’t over.

After dinner, I snuck off upstairs to finish the gifts I was working on. I still had to put together a llama and put the finishing touches on a couple other things. And wrap it all. All without the kids barging in and ruining the surprise. I was up until 5am.

And then I started feeling sick to my stomach. I still have no idea what was wrong. I managed to get things wrapped and under the tree, but left the stocking stuffers in the car (the kids know it’s not from Santa). I was so sick, all I could do was crawl in bed and cry myself to sleep.

Jack tried to wake me at 9 the next morning, but I was still too sick to move. My head felt like it would explode and every time I moved, I wanted to puke. And I was just plain exhausted. I obviously overdid it on Christmas Eve. I slept until 6:30pm then managed to eat a tiny bit of leftovers but was back in bed by 9pm and slept until 2:30am. Stayed up for an hour before I started feeling dizzy and sick again then slept until noon the next day. I didn’t watch the kids open their presents or get to see my grandson on his first Christmas. I was that sick. It sucked.


The kids, gracious as always, loved their one gift each. Meagan (19) got a shawl I made from a pattern in a 1970s booklet I found. Owen (18) got a cribbage board because he’d been wanting one for a while now. Brenna (17) got a stuffed llama. She wanted me to make her another little giraffe because the one I made her was taken hostage by the baby even though I made him his own, but I did the llama instead–it sleeps on her bed now. Nora (13) got her blanket finished. I started it in January as part of a monthly crochet-a-long, telling her it would be done by Christmas. It almost wasn’t because I ran out of yarn and had no money for more, but managed to get just enough to finish it two days before Christmas. Jack (9) got a little game about submarines and exploring the oceans (we haven’t had a chance to play it yet). And Arrow (6 months) got his own llama that I think his mama is claiming as her own. And each person got a food-themed ornament.

That’s it. It wasn’t until two days after Christmas that the kids finally got their stocking stuffers–chicken in a biscuit crackers, sour gummy worms, toothbrushes, and toothpaste.

That was the entirety of Christmas at our house. I guess the baby enjoyed playing with the wrapping paper and ornaments the most.

Being poor sucks. In the past, I managed to salvage Christmas because a friend sent me money. She was our real-life Santa for years, but she moved out of the country this year so I didn’t expect anything. I used the birthday money my dad sent me (which he always specifies to spend on myself) on the games, snacks and a Sims 4 expansion (we actually got 3 of them–Meagan paid for one and the third I used some other money I had stashed on my paypal that may or may not belong to one of the kids).

I hope everyone else’s Christmases were more merry.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from the sunny but very cool Pacific Northwest.

My 9yo son, Jack, as Link and my 4mo grandson, Arrow, as a wizard. I made both costumes myself.

I had no patterns so for the wizard robes, I took on of his bathrobes and traced around it then just kind of winged it. His mother added a bunch of felt starts. Then I made the hat completely on the fly, deciding to add the hair and beard last second. Barely got it done in time to go trick-or-treating.

For the Link costume, I used the version from the Windwaker game because it’s a simple design. Again, no pattern. Just measured him and sewed, hoping for the best. Turned out better than I hoped. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the energy to solve the issues with the boots covering his toes and we got a flat tire right before Halloween so I couldn’t afford to buy the pants and undershirt I found at Target.

Hope everyone had a great day and didn’t get sick on too much candy.

New Addition

Finally got some cute pictures to post of the newest family addition.

Introducing Arrow Finnegan…


Born June 7 at 12:47am. 7lbs, 3oz; 19″ long.


His daddy just adores him. Totally wrapped around his little fingers (just like grampa but totally not gramma, not at all).


Mom did great. Eighteen-years-old, and she made it look easy. Started induction at 10pm on the 5th, got the epidural around noon on the 6th, started pushing at 11:10pm, and he was born an hour and a half later. She’s a great mom–I’m so proud of her.

We finally broke down and got me a new phone. I’ve had the same one since 2013, and it’s been mostly unusable for the last two years with most of the screen untouchable. But the camera worked, and with a little trouble, I could get the photos onto my laptop to use, but when I went to upload the pictures of the birth, I couldn’t do it. My DSLR camera broke last year as well, so I was in tears not being able to take pictures of the little guy.

So I got a new Galaxy 10e. The quality is amazing (better than my old phone and the DSLR which is 12 years old). Can’t wait to get more pictures of this sweet boy.

A Conversation with Jack

So this happened with my seven-year-old son.

Jack: When can I have my tablet back?
Me: On Monday after you do your homework.
Jack: But why?
Me: Because you got it taken away for not going to bed when you were told and lying about it.
Jack: But I didn’t!
Me: You were standing right here when I told you to go to bed at 9:30 then you lied to Daddy and said no one told you to go to bed.
Jack: But I didn’t lie. No one told me that.
Me: You were standing right here! You even whined about it.
Jack: No I didn’t.
Me: You’re lying to me about lying right now.
Jack: No I’m not.
Me: o_0


Mine really do crack me up. When they’re not making me want to strangle them. I try to write down as many ridiculous conversations as I can. There are a bunch on my tumblr.


It’s that time of year again. The air gets cooler, the leaves start to fall, and the kids are finally out of my hair. Finally. There was some question if this was going to happen earlier this week with the fires raging so close to home. The kids were disappointed to learn the flames never left Archer Mountain so school was on as scheduled.


Owen (10th) & Brenna (9th)



Nora (6th) and Meagan


Meagan & Jack (2nd)


Jack showing off his new bookbag


This sums up the first day for everyone

Everyone got off okay except for Nora. Her bus never came. There was apparently a mix-up in the bus times between the high school and middle school. And the driver was new. The bus was supposed to come at 7:45am. At 8am, it still hadn’t arrived. School starts at 8:04am. Nora waited until 8:10 then started walking because she was already late. The neighbor across the street decided to drive the one other kid still waiting (I guess he lived next door to her) and offered to take Nora, but she’d already gotten a ride with a friend’s mom who was on her way back from dropping her daughter off.


The bus did eventually come by–45 minutes late. Which meant it was 15 minutes late to pick up the elementary kids. Not that Jack minded. There were some problems with getting Jack home as well. The bus went all over the place instead of the route it was supposed to take. He was twenty minutes late getting home. The father of the new kindergartener at the stop was on the phone with the school, freaking out. Poor guy. I tried to warn him that the bus is always late the first day.

Everyone had a good day. Jack loved school and Nora was finally excited to be in middle school. She loves her drama class the most (first period so she missed half of it the first day).

And me? I’m enjoying my time alone. Or would be if Meagan was in school. She should be a senior but dropped out and just hangs around the house, bugging me. Hopefully, she’ll find a job soon (I’m not holding my breath, though).

Another Scrapbook Page

I’m on a role. That first page inspired me to try another. This time with a photo my kids took while on a hike/picnic near out house. They took a lot of great photos so I’m going to have a lot to scrapbook.


Happy Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day in the US, Canada, and a bunch of other countries.

Don’t forget to call up your mom (or that special woman that is like a mother to you) and tell her how much you love her. *

I wish I could, but my mother died over sixteen years ago. If I could go back in time…

So Happy Mother’s Day to my mom (who is no longer with me):

me and mom at uncle denny's

Me and my mom in 1985 (I think–I was about 8)

And Happy Mother’s Day to my mother-in-law, Kay (who we lost in March):


Kay and Jack (3 weeks old) in 2010

And I guess, Happy Mother’s Day to me!

(Christmas Eve 2016–trying to get a nice picture of all five of them is like trying to nail jell-o to the wall.)

*Unless your mother is/was a abusive bitch–then call the “mother” in your life–whether she’s an aunt, a grandmother, a friend, or the old lady down the street. Whomever she may be–let her know how much you appreciate her being in your life.


Happy Birthday

Happy 11th Birthday to my youngest daughter, Nora.

nora_031917Drinking a smoothie at our monthly NaNo write-in.

Throwback Thursday

July 4, 2014

Owen, age 12

Throwback Thursday

Sisterly love, May 2006


Brenna (3) & Meagan (5)

They were so adorable and loved each other. What happened?

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