Thursday, August 28, 2008

Not Sew Perfect

My first sewing machine was given to me by Santa and it was called "Sew Perfect". The machine did not live up to its name (imagine that), and my experiences with sewing my kitchen valances were remarkably similar.

Here is what I learned about sewing:

1. The first piece is always sewn wrong. There is no getting around a first-timers mistakes.
2. The worst part of the job is cutting everything out. Spend lots of time on this step so you don't regret the entire project - no mistakes can be made here.
3. Make your own decorative cording. I did, and I was successful at it. The premade stuff is horribly expensive.
4. If you have a weakness for fringe, like I do, remember that it is from the devil and will make you regret spending an arm and a leg on it. The fringe costs as much as all of your fabric and it contracts and expands at its own will, no matter how many pins you use.
5. I will never forgot or regret this experience because it made me appreciate my sweet momma that made all my dresses for me.

Pictures are coming, once I get the knobs drilled for the installation...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What Was I Thinking?

I have been diligently working on sewing my kitchen valances this week. I am not a seamstress, although I can relate to the spelling of that word - seam stress. There are mucho windows but one little old me and I am waning.

Pricing of valances was very scary. I would have needed $400-500 to get something up on them, if only there was something for me to choose from out there in the retail world. I have saved money with the sewing, but it is officially not worth it today. I'm tired and I need a genie to polish these off in the next two days so my kitchen doesn't rattle like a tin can when I have company on Sunday.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Mountain Man

It's rainy here in Georgia (thank you Hurricane Fay) and pretty cool, which brings out the Montana in my husband. We have less than two weeks before the small group Bible study starts and we have a little landscaping to get done. We purchase a zip line for our backyard so the children can zip through the wood (approximately 100 feet of line will be laid) and Scott has worked two evenings, in the rain, chopping trees and clearing debris and running the zip line. I can't wait to take off on our new toy...
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Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Big Blue Eyes Just Got Bigger

Darby, the ten-ager, is now the proud owner and wearer of contacts. We had a special class on the care and keeping of contacts and she did really well. She puts them in and takes them out without my assistance. I watch her, but I am not allowed to do it because she is really owning these lenses. I am excited for her and she is over the moon with pride.
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10 Pins, 10 Years

Darby had a 'girl's night out' for her 10th birthday, mostly because Dad had a meeting and we needed some fun ASAP. We had fun with Camille and glow-in-the-dark bowling, pizza and Slush Puppies, and lots of games and prizes. It seems to me that these family entertainment centers that are geared to kids in elementary and middle school must be like Vegas for kids. The games are looking like roulette wheels and slot machines. It was very fun and we all had a good time. Birthday #10 was a good one.
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Friday, August 22, 2008

Small Groups - Not So Small

My family is starting a small group Bible study on Sunday evenings at our house. I am looking forward to this challenge and have REALLY missed being a part of a small group study. But for us, with no friends at church yet and no idea about where to start connecting, we decided to have an open sign-up for our small group.

It worked. They keep signing up. The fire marshall is going to need to inspect the house and give us a maximum occupancy limit. This is not exactly how I planned it, but we are hoping for the best. We are spending the next two weeks tightening up the place with cleaning, curtain making, landscaping, and praying that there will be much less than 50 people show up. I'll keep you posted on the progress...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Roxy's Art

Roxy learned about drawing different kinds of faces in art class yesterday. I feel sorry for the poor bald guy getting stung by a bee. Yet another piece where pain and/or suffering is present...
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Momma Better Repent

So, Darby read my blog and did not appreciate the "Latin Lover" comment. Scott made the comment, not me, and I was just sharing the humor with the eworld. So, I must make an apology to my daughter. I thought it was humorous that someone like Antonio Banderas was sitting next to her, but it isn't that funny when you are three days away from being 10. I met Ricky's parents at Open House and they are not Latin, although the Dad is extremely tan from either landscaping jobs or excessive golfing, I guess.

Open House went pretty well. I still have a good opinion of the school and the general population. Scott went to the first grade class and has a slightly different view. You see, he was old in that room and did not have tattoo sleeves and piercings and a Boston concert tshirt. Preacher Man is definitely the odd man out in there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

She's So Unusual

Darby is best described as unusual. You may have picked up on that already. Her intensity, her interests, her hair - all of it is not typical. We find that she makes us laugh at the most unexpected times, such as last night when she was describing her classmates. The teacher has rearranged the seating assignments and Darby has new faces in her section. Her neighbor, whom she referred to as "Little Ricky", made her pause for a moment to collect her thoughts: "He must be Latin, with the hair, the skin, the dark piercing eyes..."

Who new that Darby's Latin "lover" would bring such consternation (this is yet again a Darby word she learned when she was 3).
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Monday, August 18, 2008

The Six Year Old's Perspective

Scott has found that Roxy wants to do everything with him lately. The poor guy can hardly get a private moment, and Scott likes to have a lot of solitude. So, when he was trying to run away for a walk, Roxy joined him and proceeded to talk the entire time. The conversation concluded like this:

Scott: So Roxy, what do you think you will be when you grow up?

Roxy: I think I should be something really interesting, like a vet or a doctor. What do you think you will be when you grow up Dad?

Scott: Well, Roxy, I'm pretty old already. I'm grown up. I guess I will just keep on being a preacher.

Roxy: You're a PREACHER?

Who knew that Roxy could do perplexed so well...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Back in the Banana Seat Again

We did it again. We rode bikes this morning - which was just a gorgeous day. We even doubled our distance to 8.4 miles (the last four were going up a slight incline that wore me out.) Roxy chose the bike attachment and loved it and was ready to do another 8 miles, but I overruled that suggestion and we went to Quizno's for our Sammies. Good morning for a good family day.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Seems Like Yesterday

I have been looking for old pictures of Dar, reflecting on what she looked like, how she spoke, etc. This pic is from her 7th birthday and it has me feeling nostalgic. I have to notice the simply awful walls behind us. I lived with what could be a candidate for the ugliest kitchen in America for over a year. I do not miss those walls. It makes me feel better about all the work that remains to be done at my current house - nothing in this house is half as bad as that old kitchen.
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hello Old Friend, Hello New Friend

Scott was so happy to have an old friend from Oklahoma in town yesterday. They spent the day together visiting people we knew from Chattanooga and driving up there and back to Atlanta. We all had dinner last night at Ted's Montana Grill, Scott's favorite restaurant (we always get bison there) and we went to church.

I love seeing my husband excited about things. He's a reserved type of guy in public, but he has some friendships that are very dear to him. How I wish we weren't so far from those that know us best! We have new friends and are working hard on that side of things, but there is nothing like an old friend. I have to remember the patience that I need to get things going here.

The girls are really good this week. I am not hearing anything about missing old friends, like I am feeling right now. Darby and Roxy have both made a friend at school and that has been the answer to my prayers for them. Darby has not thought of school negatively for two days, which is just a little prayer bonus as far as I'm concerned. Life is good.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Computer Needs a Diet

I have gotten a computer diagnosis from That Computer Chick, who fixes/rehabs computers that are ailing. My computer was full of junk food, not unlike my children. I received a list of all the things to avoid doing on the internet and it is depressing. The computer chick thought that it was my child that was going to Popcap every day, so I just went along with it. It's only a virtual omission, right?

Our new list of no-no activities:

MiniClip games
Popcap games
Coupons that are not received via email
Free music downloads
Icons and Smilies (say bu-bye to that cute kitty, Roxy)
Gambling and porn (we already abstain from these)

now I'm wondering how we will enjoy our computer...I miss my games. they were like my Dr. Pepper.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Verdict Is In...

Darby gave Due West Elementary's first day o'school 3 out of five stars. "The teacher was talking very big. It felt like a miasma."

Roxy gave the first day five out of five stars. "I like the red padding on the playground and I can't wait to buy a pencil in the pencil machine."

So, can you guess which child is the optimist and which child is the pessimist?

Mom's first day o'school was five out of five stars. "I really enjoyed watching the Olympics, cleaning my kitchen, and working out at the Y. They have small TVs at each and every cycle, treadmill, and eliptical trainer machine. If only workouts were sweat-free, it would be perfect." Go Mom!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Quotidian First Day Pic

Just had to reuse one of Darby's words. The girls got off to school, and I managed not to cry. Darby and Roxy were in good spirits and I can't wait for them to get home so we can pop some popcorn and rehash the day. I have never felt so quiet before. I managed to clean the kitchen, tidy bedrooms, and get started on a massive sewing project. I kept the TV on for company. This feels so kids. I have to take a blog time-out to get the computer rehab done, so bu-bye for now.
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Saturday, August 9, 2008

How Many Car Tags Do You Have?

You know you have moved around when you start collecting license plates. We have two brand new Georgia plates on our cars now ($38 a piece) and the Oklahoma plates are antiques. The cheapest plates were from Tennessee ($25 a piece) and the most expensive plates were from Oklahoma.
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Hiking in Georgia

Posted by PicasaScott took Darby and Roxy for a hike today at Pickett's Mill battlefield. The highlight (for the girls at least) was playing in a creek in the woods. I missed this one (darn) but I will relive it all as I check the girls for ticks - they brought one home on the backpack.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Another Redneck Moment Today

We are getting ready to go to our redneck swimming pool. It is out in Paulding County, which is where the country folk live, and you are always guaranteed to see: At least three women with large tattoos and one of them related to the Georgia Bulldogs, at least two people swimming completely clothed, and no women with figures any better than mine.

I also popped my head outside to check on our trash disposal people. I am not kidding - they were wearing white tank undershirts, commonly known as "wife beaters", and still no gloves. For some reason, that irks me. At least keep your hands clean!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Advertise the Redneck Way

1. Create a flyer for your home-based company, like house cleaning services. Mention Christ at least two times. Include Old Testament Bible verse.

2. Price your services ridiculously cheap ($39.95 for cleaning 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, kitchen, breakfast nook, dining room, living room, halls and foyer.

3. Buy ziploc sandwich bags. Add a scoop of rocks in every bag (like gravel-size rocks). Place flyer in bag with rocks.

4. Drive through neighborhood and chuck bags at every house you see.

5. Be sure and mention the Federal Supreme Court case that allows you to leave this bag o' rocks at everybody's house.

I am currently enjoying this little gem we received today. For some reason, here in Georgia I have received more services solicitation that reference the Bible than anywhere else I have lived. I loved the creepy one I got from the piano tuner/mover. You turn the flyer over and it references "the wages of sin is death" from the King James version of the Bible. It shows a body burning up in red flames. Gives you such a warmy, fuzzy feeling.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Peace and Quiet Coming Soon

I had to escape my family last night. I left in the pouring rain and I took my husband's car so the newer car (mine) wouldn't get hail damage. You just never know around here. I had had a doozy of a day and I trolled my favorite discount stores, looking at their clearance items. Just waiting for something that I can use at the house.

When my girls wear me down to a raw place, I start to dream about school. How they will be gone all day. How I can do a couple of chores in peace. How I can work out at the Y. How I can be a better housekeeper. I will miss them and the fun things we do together, but a girl needs a happy place to go to once in a while.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Deep Thoughts with Darby Franks

My eldest daughter, still nine, was reading her Daring Book for Girls book, enjoying all the trivial items in it. She takes after me in this way. And out of nowhere she starts a conversation:

Darby: Mom, do you know what I don't like about going to school?

Mom, hesitantly waiting for bad news: Uh, what?

Darby: The quotidian sameness of it all.

Mom: What's that?

Darby: You know, the way every day is the same and nothing ever really changes.

Mom: Same with me making dinner. Although I never thought it was quotidian.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Darby in the Youth Group?

I was thinking about Darby in the youth group last night. She has had the opportunity to meet some teenagers, and she acts differently around them. Change in posture, change in voice, laughing at everything a 14 year old boy says. I am starting to freak out a little.

We took part in the end of summer program where the youth group shares a meal and everything they did all summer long. Darby was very intrigued. They are pretty wacky as well, because she was laughing the loudest when they reenacted their mission trips and camp trips with the Bible flannel board pieces. I thought it was very funny, too, but not half as funny as Dar.

In a few weeks she is 10. Maybe that is why I am feeling so...

I can't believe I have a child that will soon be a teenager.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Poem by Roxy

Roxy wrote this poem when our power was out. It is so good it must be shared.

My candle burns bright
It goes out at night
I open my window and
I see a pretty twinkle
That you now see in my eye

No power? No problem!

We were without power for quite some time Saturday night. I still needed to entertain a couple of kids who were worried about the storm, so a candlelit bath was just the diversion that worked. I LOVE having a big bathtub and candles. So does Roxy. I have taught here how to cover her body in bubbles for modesty. Ain't she cute.
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Last night we had a bit of a storm blow in - apparently the beginning of hurricane season does mean something to the people way up in northwest Georgia. Major wind and rain and hail shut down the airport for a while. The winds up at my house blew down two trees in our woods, covered our driveway and porches with debris, and knocked down some enormous trees close to our neighborhood. A tree snapped a telephone pole in two and left us without power for almost eight hours.

Somehow, all of this has left Scott excited about buying a chainsaw. I guess ticks and poison ivy can't keep a good man down.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Take Me Back to 1986

The family and I did something new and fun today. I say new because it is something that I haven't done since approximately 1986. We rented bikes and rode on the Silver Comet Trail. The trail was once a railroad running from Birmingham AL to New York City. No longer functional, the parks department paved the old railway and made it into a humongous, gorgeous biking, walking, skating trail. You can go all the way to the AL state line via this bike trail.

No pictures, you say? I have no idea what I look like on a bike, and neither will you. Google the trail if you will, but after a 22 year hiatus, the image of me on a bike will be postponed to a later date. I will say it was fun and that we will be going back. Even Darby liked it, and sweating is so "not her thing". Roxy can't wait to go back, but she was in a sidecar and made no effort beyond dressing her stuffed animals in the appropriate "going out to play" clothes. And Scott did not act like he wanted to strangle us, so that makes the trip a four-way win.