Monday, February 24, 2014

The Miscellanea

Audrey Jane and her lost love...

Way back in October or November, Jane started talking about Sebastian. He was a boy at school who, unfortunately, was in a different kindergarten class. She mentioned him often, and it eventually escalated into full-on wedding plans. This was her Thanksgiving note from school.

The picture is blurry, so I'll transcribe.

I am thankful for Sebastian. 
I am thankful for my frend. 
Then is for famle (family)
My frend is Sebastian.

Sadly, Sebastian moved over Christmas break and Jane never got to say goodbye. In his absence, she has since fallen in love with Peter Pan.

Her favorite color is now green because that's the color he wears.

I remember a boy who fell in love with me in first grade. He used to give me pencils and whistles and candy regularly. His name was Andrew. First loves. Sigh.

By the way, I'm not mocking. She takes it seriously and so do I.

Megan's quilt...

Way back in the day--you know, like September--I had the thought that it would be cool to make a quilt for Megan. Jane and Ben have both graduated beyond their baby receiving blankets and on to bigger, toddler/preschool/kindergarten-sized blankets, but Megan still only has the baby blanket. It would be nice to have something small enough for her to still carry around but big enough to actually cover her up. And bonus if it's homemade.

So, too close for her birthday so that didn't happen. And neither did Christmas. I talked about it a lot, but coming up with extra money for fabric and supplies while prepping Christmas was way too much of a stretch, so the quilt sat on the back burner.

Remember that ginormous Christmas gift that Chris bought for me?

It was this rotary cutter, large clear ruler, and cutting mat. We spent a date night (because we are oh-so-cool married people) going out to dinner and then hanging out at JoAnn's buying quilt fabric.

Day one--cut out the pink squares (the other squares I had bought pre-cut online). Day two--lay out all the squares and arrange the pattern.

Day three--sew the front panel together. Because I'm awesome, I sewed all 80 squares into three strips in one day, even though it was the very first time I've actually sewed something on purpose. (We were in a hurry, so Chris attached the panels with the last two seams for me the next day. Group project!)

Next up is a border to make it slightly bigger, but that's waiting until I have money in my budget again...I already spent all my extra on fabric this time around.


I don't have anything in particular to report about Ben. He's Ben. Just ask him.


Recent noteworthy--he finally has all of his Rubik's cubes on display again in his office at school.


I'm still pregnant. Yay! Made it to 15 weeks. The dress I wore to church yesterday finally me look pregnant.

The clothes I'm wearing today, however, do not. Go figure.

I thought I had more to say about stuff today, but...I'm tired and bored of being on the computer. Another day, then.

I did recently eat a scone that looked rather like the Millenium Falcon. There is that.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Three Little Pigs

Dad is back at school today after having three days off, but Jane is still home (she already had today and Monday off pre-winter weather). The four of us were sitting down to lunch when Megan graciously offered to tell us a story. I wish that I had been writing it down while she said it, but I'll reproduce it best I can here.

Once upon a time there were three little pigs. They really wanted to get into the castle, but they weren't allowed. Every time they went in the king tossed them out. He did that because the castle rule was No Animals Allowed.

The only animals allowed in the castle were sheep. The king didn't toss them out. So the pigs got costumes like sheep and sneaked into the castle. The king knew they were pigs because he could see their pig noses and their pig feet. He tossed them out!

The pigs fixed their costumes to cover up their noses and their feet and sneaked back into the castle. The king still knew they were pigs because he could see their pig tails. He tossed them out again.

The pigs fixed their costumes so they covered their whole bodies and sneaked back into the castle and stole all the gold! That's why they wanted to get into the castle. They looked just like sheep, but the king heard them oink like pigs so he sent a dragon to catch them when they ran away with the gold.

Two of the pigs were fast and ran away, but one pig was too slow and the dragon killed it. The other pigs buried the pig that died and they hid all the gold.

The End

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Georgia wins some additional beauty points. Nice comeback, winter.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Atlanta Ice Storm, or We're Not From Around Here

Chris and Jane were both home from school yesterday because of the impending storm. Impending means it hadn't happened yet. It was odd to have them both around all day when all it did was rain.

Weird started on Monday when they preemptively cancelled school for Jane for Tuesday and Wednesday, even though nothing had happened yet.

Then it was weird when it was still only raining on Tuesday and they cancelled school for Thursday.

Finally today it actually makes sense. It didn't snow. It iced.

Chris and I took out the garbage this morning (mostly an excuse to go outside). At 9:30, well past regular leave-for-work hours, there was only one other set of footprints outside.

On a normal day, my van is one of maybe two or three cars in the parking lot. Today, no one has left home.

Well. We're not from around here, and we're all kind of bored sitting at home. So we went for a pleasure drive. Yes, I'm serious. We dug our car out from solid ice just to drive around for fun in an ice storm. Like I said, we're not from around here.

Unearthing the car was interesting as all the doors were frozen shut. We managed to wedge one door open, then Chris forced the other doors from the inside. The cracking ice was cool.

And then we drove around. There were hardly any cars out, though there were a fair number of pedestrians. The road was slick and icy, but nothing hard if you know what you're doing. Which I suppose is why no one else was out.

One difference I will say in Georgia versus Utah is hills. There are hills everywhere, whereas Salt Lake Valley is essentially flat on all the main roads. We passed more than one road that was closed because the hills made it impassable.

It was kind of eerie. Very, very few businesses were open. This entire strip mall, and the whole shopping complex behind it, were closed. We honestly passed maybe three places that were open. Maybe.

Even Costco was deserted. Don't see that often.

It was actually a rather entertaining drive. Different view of this place we live, and interesting to reminisce about how this same storm would play out in Utah or Idaho. And it was a fun adventure. We like adventures.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Effects of Recent Catastrophe

First, let me give the happy update that our freezer isn't broken. Ben had turned the dial all the way to off, so it just had to be turned back on. And I caught it in enough time to get most of the food out and into the fridge's freezer, so we're good there. Yay!

Second, let me add the next Broken Things adventure. Chris had meetings before church, so he was driving separately than me. Luckily, I happened to be following him in the van when the clutch just quit working on his car. Goodness. Just fits the theme we've built up for 2014, eh?

Positive Review of that moment--our home teacher drove past right then, pulled over, and had a tow hitch on his car. We happened to have a tow rope in the van. And we gave our home teacher his first opportunity driving a car being towed. Experience, man.

Positive Review of today--Chris only had one class today that was over at 10:00, so he was able to come home early and take apart his car to diagnose the problem. This is what he found.

And here's the fix.

And it works. Yay! Free tow, free fix. The end.

Breathe a sigh of relief.

And now on to the real story of today. Remember the apocalypse two weeks ago? Well guess's supposed to snow again tomorrow.

Let's note here that it hasn't snowed yet. At all. But school is cancelled tomorrow...and Wednesday.

We were short on bread, so I went to the grocery store this evening. Apparently everyone thinks the world is going to end again because they were all at the grocery store, too.

No shopping carts. The only one there showed up right when I took the picture.

Severely depleted bread supply.

Lines halfway down the aisles.

Panic is setting in around the city, I think. I'll be interested to see how much/if it actually snows.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Odd Couple

The washing machine saga continues...

From where I left off before, we were buying a new computer control panel thing for the washing machine, fingers crossed and double crossed that it would work because the part is not returnable. We waited a little extra-long to actually get the part--it was supposed to arrive Wednesday of last week, but then it snowed. Snowmageddon, right? Our extra money paid for two-day shipping was negated and we didn't get the package until Monday afternoon.

Guess what? It didn't work.

I can't say that I was surprised, or even frustrated really. I don't think I ever actually expected that part to make any difference because nothing else had made a difference. I was getting really used to this sight in my kitchen.

There was one good outcome of ordering that new control board--Chris was able to actually read all the instructions that came with it and found out how to run the test program that generates the error codes to tell you where the problem is. You know, that thing we wanted the Bosch repairman to know how to do. The goodness kind of ended there, though. The error codes did, in fact, reveal where the problem was. Good.

Bad: it was the one single part in the entire machine that costs more than the two parts we had already paid for. Between the three of them, it would have cost more than it did when we bought the dang machine brand new.

So we gave up.

Welcome to the "new" washing machine, courtesy of craigslist:

P.S. Oh, how I miss KSL classifieds.

It isn't as pretty, it isn't as big, and it isn't as energy efficient. But, it gets the clothes clean. One load of towels already successfully washed.

We're going to hold on to that success for just a minute longer, especially considering that in the process of writing this post I discovered that our chest freezer seems to be malfunctioning and I have an entire freezer full of no longer frozen food. Has this apartment just cursed all our appliances? Can't we catch a break?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Well, that was quick

I love that we have the tradition of doing a jigsaw puzzle of an ancient world map for each of our kids.

I like blogging the in-progress pictures and sharing our puzzle-gluing trade secrets.

I like having friends come over to help in the project that takes months of invested time.

Being pregnant with Baby #4 most definitely requires a new puzzle. Months of continued entertainment!

Oh...wait. It's already done.

It had started with sorting into ziploc bags because we weren't really sure where we were going to set up.

I had the grand idea of how to move the puzzle up on top of the shelves in the office so it was out of the way when we weren't working on it, and otherwise we could watch Netflix and sit in our nice comfy office chairs and just plug away.

Eventually we had finished enough that we were able to remove the already-completed top and make it small enough to fit through the office door. Then we could enjoy Lord of the Rings on our flatscreen with real speakers and sit on the couch while puzzling--or, as often in my case, lay on the couch while Chris puzzled because I was too sick to sit up that long.

It was a great setup, really. And things only got better with the friends who did come to help, though I have no pictures of it... There were several weeks when Charisse came to give me my violin lesson, then just stayed for a couple hours to work on the puzzle.

Today was just such a day. And now it's done.

This is a new record for us. I still had a couple months of pregnancy left when we finished Jane's puzzle. Megan's puzzle was glued about four days before she was born. Ben's...well, Ben's puzzle was finished about, ahem, fifteen months after he was born. 6,000 pieces was no small feat.

This time, though. Wow. It's 3,000 pieces, like Megan's, and it's done. I hit second trimester on Monday--we finished this one before the first trimester is even over.

We're just experts at map puzzles now. 14,000 collective pieces does lend itself well to certain puzzling insights. And, might I add, we have never lost a single piece of all 14,000.