Saturday, February 28, 2015

Keeping busy

Earlier this week my nephew Myles turned 21. It's hard to wrap my brain around him being so old. I did not want to send him any old store bought card, so I asked the kids to draw some pictures for him. Sam got right on it. James didn't want to, so I colored instead. I had each child hold up a drawing and took there photo and inserted it onto a Touchnote postcard.  Here's the finished product:

Sam drew her picture in the style of Mindcraft. It's a Vedic game and she knows Myles likes video games. I only had to take the one photo of her. 

As for James...this boy. He was upset that he hadn't colored a picture for Myles. As I was working on a deadline to try and get the postcard out in time to reach him on his birthday I told James he could color one later. Here are the photos of James I took before giving up:
 I may end up using this college for Janes' 21st birthday. I swear it was only yesterday when Mykes was his age!  In case you're wondering, I didn't reach the deadline.  The postcard ended up getting into the mail on his birthday. Hopefully he'll still appreciate the love and thought that went into it. 

Today we visited a park one of my coworkers told me about in Old Norlunga. In the early years it had been used as an open market, a place to sell goods and livestock. 

We brought a picnic lunch and the kids enjoyed feeding their sandwich crusts to the ducks. Surprisingly, the ducks went the other way and would only retrieve the food after we'd walk the other way. 

There was another child there throwing in full slices of bread. The ripples in the water surrounding the bread are from fish eating it. They were dark colored fish about the size of my index finger. Watching them devour the bread was quite impressive. 

There were a lot of birds I the area. These ones were quite noisy. I have a feeling one of them was responsible for the poop on my windshield too. 

Sam tempted fate by walking out on a couple of jagged rocks sticking out of the water to get a closer look at the fish eating the bread. Of course James had to do his best to keep up with big sister. 

This fountain is a memorial to Princess Diana. I thought it was neat that the community was moved enough by her death to fundrais and install it. 

Daddy enjoyed walking around the park too. I couldn't get over the size of this gum tree. It's the largest I've ever seen. 

Another section of the park houses this carved tree. I have no clue how long it's been there. It sure would be neat to have seen the complete carving. If you look closely you can make out the shoulder and legs of an aboriginal holding a boomerang. 

I'm glad we went to the park when we did. A short time after leaving we heard thunder which was followed by a brief downpour. 

I got the call this afternoon that the kids' quilts have been quilted. I'm so excited and can hardly wait to pick them up. I will need to trim the edges and see on the binding (fabric that covers the edges). Still, it's so much farther along than many of my other projects have ever gotten. 

When we pick up Sam and James' quilts we'll be dropping off Jordan's. I'm so happy it has come together so easily up to this point. I just embroidered her name on it tonight. I love how bright and cheery it is. 

Alyssa's quilt top is complete and the fabric store has solid colored quilt fabric on sale this week so I bought the fabric needed for that. Unfortunately, the color pink I wanted had been cut. I wanted 3 meters and they had sections of 1, 2, and 1 1/2. I bought the 1 and 2 meter sections; however, once they went through the wash and were pressed they ended up being a smidge different. One is just a tad lighter than the other. This photo does not do it justice. It is noticeable enough that Sam could tell the difference. Now I'll have to come up with a creative way to hide the fact that they're two different dye lots. 

The process of making the blocks used in Alyssa'a quilt can be quite wasteful as it involves trimming off half of two small squares that are sewn to a larger square. I couldn't see pitching all these leftover triangles, so I sewed them into half square triangles before trimming them from the block. I figured I'd arrange them nicely and use them for part of the back. 

This is what I've done so far. It's a time consuming process to designate which pattern to use and what way to arrange the different fabrics. Once determining the pattern each little square gets trimmed to be exactly 1 3/4 inches before being sewn together. I do appreciate the "sampler" look. I tend to spend nearly as much time laying out the blocks as I do trimming and sewing them. Tonight Sam helped setting up the blocks...what a great little helper. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Getting going

My weight continues to be a struggle. I  officially weight the most I have in eight years and am not happy about it. I'm trying hard to change my mindset about food as there are so many yummy things here that aren't available in the US. 

Last week I started back to running and going to the gym. It was going great until I worked three day shifts. After work my feet and knees just ache and as my day starts at 5am I'm beyond exhaustedby the time I get home. I have not lost motivation and have a plan on kicking it back into gear. 

In addition to this, I've been talking to a couple of coworkers who are currently using a diet program called Light and Easy. They only had good things to say. The good is real food, it's split up in such a way to help you recignize portion sizes, it tastes good, they're full when there done without cravings for sweets, and there's no contracts. After talking to Mike, we decided to give it a try. And the following day tge good was delivered. 

The eskie it came in contained dry ice to keep the frozen food Frizen and the fresh food fresh. After school I showed the kids what happens when dry ice meets water. They thought it was great fun. 

Prior to having decided to start this new diet program I had promised Mike some homemade pie. I made one apple and one peach., both from scratch. They turned out yummy. Or course my kitchen is always messy when I'm done. As my kitchen lacks usable counter tops I had to spread the mess to the dining room as well. Oh well, at least they turned out yummy. Friends are coming by today to pick up the remaining pie. 

James had another good week at Kindy. Mike chuckles as the teachers always sound so surprised when they comment what a busy active boy he is. I'm wondering if it's because he's very active without being a trouble maker as he is also a very kind and friendly boy...unless he's interacting with his sister. 

My dsrking husband has done all the work this morning to allow me the opportunity to sleep in. It's a wonderful feeling after waking early and working hard during the week. At any rate of better get up and get going. I hope you all have a great week. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Photos by Sam

I love that Sam has a camera phone that links with mine. It allows for a tiny glimpse into her world. 

Last night Mike and I had the opportunity to go on a date.  As was Saturday evening and we didn't have reservations, the first two places we stolpped at to try and eat could not accommodate us unless we ate outside.  We've been having warm days, it's just on the cusp of being too hot, but not quite.  Because of this we opted to not eat outside and try a little cafe.  It's always a little never wracking when you're the only patrons in an establishment.  All the same, it was pretty good.  As an added bonus, they had free wifi and I was able to update the new iOS on my phone.  I've thinking well have to have coffee there again sometime soon so I can update Mikes tablet and Sam's phone as well.  

iOS is the operating system for our phones and tablet.  Apple periodically "fixes" or updates this system and then we have to download the new version to these devices.  Although the update is free, our access to it via the Internet or wifi is not.  We have a limit of 8GB per month to share between the devices.  If we go over that limit we pay an additional $10 per GB of data.  This most recent update was a smidge over 2GB.  We have three devices which means 3/4 of our month's supply could be sucked up just on this update.  Because of this I've been putting off updating which has caused some programs on these devices to go a bit haywire or stop working altogether.   Anyway, the free unlimited wifi made my day.
 After dinner we headed to the movies where we watched The Kingsmen.  We really enjoyed it.  It was Kill Bill, James Bond, and Mars Attacks all rolled into one.  The evening was warm with a slight breeze and the moon was the tiniest sliver peaking through a few scattered clouds.  

When we got home James was already sound asleep.  This was no surprise as he had fallen asleep in the car earlier in the day.  Sam wasn't asleep yet as she had been reading.  Thankfully she did fall asleep pretty quickly once we were home.  She fought sleep as a baby and continues to do so.  I think she was still pretty exhausted from her busy day yesterday.  She had been complaining throughout the day that her back and right shoulder were really achy.  I explained that she probably used different muscles trampolining than what she's used to.  As for the shoulder, on sexton of the trampoline place was dedicated for dodgeball and I'm pretty sure that throwing the balls contributed to the shoulder soreness.

This morning I woke before the sun.  It was just warm enough to be uncomfortable and I couldn't get back to sleep.  After farting around on my phone I finally decided to get out of bed and head to the gym.  I've had so much fun sewing lately that even though my gut is back to normal and the migraines have disappeared, I haven't added excercise back into my daily routine.  This is not a when I'm still eating as though I'm on vacation and will never have access to the sweets and yummy Aussie food that I've missed for twenty years. Believe it or not just like memorizing bible verses or practicing the accordion, the simple act of putting a reward sticker o the calendar the days I've exercised helps motivate me to continue to do so.  It's also quite rewarding at the end of the week or month.

Alyssa's quilt is coming right along.  The lower two thirds are fully assembled; I may want to add more length, we'll see. The kids do really well walking around my project which occupies the floor of one side of our L shaped living room. It's been fabulous being able to leave it out and with the sewing machine on its owns little castered bench it's really allowed me to get the projects moving quickly.  I can sew while still being part of the activity.  I can peoce a few blocks while waiting for dinner to cook.  It just been so nice.