June 30, 2009

back pain or not...

Right now I really feel like I'm in need of some therapeutic sewing (not for my back, obviously, that's a whole other story). So yes, I got out THAT quilt that was never finished in spite of my whole two attempts to work on it over the last year. I've made more progress than ever before. The quilt top is almost done, batting drying outside. Could it be real? A quilt done by the end of the week?

And I truly don't care if those blocks don't match. Here are my reasons:

* yes, I'm sewing with back pain
* it's my first quilt, which will most likely end up being a picnic blanket, or something in that nature.
* who's going to look closely? I mean, how often do we get visitors or people to have a picnic with?
* I'm not patient enough for re-doing it, I just want it DONE.
* I care about colors and prints more and I care about intricate pattern or perfect stitching.
* as long as it's DONE and usable, I'll be happy as a clam.

June 25, 2009

Summer Solstice Festival

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Yesterday we got to attend out first ever Summer Solstice Festival. It was an interesting and unique (for us) experience, and it felt great to be surrounded by people and many many children (not an every day occurrence for me, not counting Mark and kids here). I truly enjoyed feeling such positive atmosphere and only wished Maya and Elijah had a bit more fun. They are really not used to such events, especially when there's nobody familiar to them. As a result, Elijah felt more comfortable watching the events from distance and Maya... well, no surprises there. She fell apart sometime between the moment when I didn't let her have someone else's birthday cake for dinner (she thought it was mine, because she knows my birthday will be in a few days)and the time when Mark gently reminded her, while she was playing with hula-hoops, that her untouched dinner was sitting on the plate. Everything after that was a blur. Mark took screaming Maya away from the crowd and spend a good 20-minutes trying to get her to calm down, while I was packing our stuff with Anya on my back, watching Elijah with one eye to make sure he didn't burn anyone with the stick he kept putting in the fire.







(the rest of the photos here)

All in all, the amount of stress was within normal limits (by our standards) and as Mark and I concluded later, there were lessons we both learned and things we both enjoyed. Still, hoping to do better next time...

and before I forget, a recipe for my summer 'must-have' salad (the yellow and orange one)

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carrots (about 4)
beets (2 medium sized)
walnuts (about 1 cup)
agave nectar (or honey)
apple cider vinegar
extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Peel and grade carrots and beets. I used yellow beets this time which I never tried before. I think I prefer stronger flavor of red beets. Crumble walnuts into the salad and add the rest of the ingredients to taste. Simple, eh?

(no recipe for quinoa salad this time, I just frantically mixed it together as Mark was putting kids into the car. I may try to recreate it soon :)

June 22, 2009

weekend summary

First I finally made a serged cloth diaper. Turned out fantastic (yes, I spent enough time on it to deserve a bit of a shameless praise) and so soft, perfect for cuddling if you don't have a little bunny or kitty. But unfortunately too big for little A. Lesson learned: FattyCakes pattern runs big (at least for size L which is supposed to fit 22-30lbs range).

finished. done.

Also managed to have our first successful yard sale trip on Saturday(or second yard sale trip this season, not often enough, if you ask me. that's one of my biggest reasons for wanting to learn driving this summer. just kidding. partially.) We managed to score this lovey Danish retro chair for a whole $1. It's in amazing condition, but I still want to try re-upholstering it. Also Anya got some sweet girly clothes for this fall (and cooler summer days, if we keep having those *crossing my fingers*).

yard sale find

Mark got several awesome gifts from us on Sunday - a nice little shoulder bag for carrying his books and papers that he takes to church or to work all the time, breakfast consisting of a whole bowl of chocolate chip cookies baked the night before when he was sleeping, cards from Maya and Elijah (Anya wasn't in the mood), and uninterrupted sleep for most of the night up until 11:15 a.m.

father' day gift

The beginning of the day was promising, although kids managed to turn it into a 'normal' day, complete with fighting, whining, and some intense yelling from Maya. (Ahhhh, sweet Maya with a 'Y', always a mystery... Don't know what bit that girl, she's been wearing her grumpy face and yelling at everyone all week. Today she accused Elijah of 'munching' on his cereal too much, and got quite upset that he dared to look at her during breakfast. And she called him 'sensitive' while shouting all her complains into my face. Go figure.)

that's how she's been looking at us most of the time last week.

We ended our day with a warm bowl of soup, which kids didn't even touch (completely expected that and had spaghetti ready for them). I wasn't planning to cook that night, but things didn't go as we planned, so I tried to figure out what was going to be for dinner. I don't deal with unexpected changes in plans very well. My cooking mojo was definitely missing that night. The soup turned out quite good, but not the kind of flavor that usually makes me want to sit down and share the recipe through my blog. So no recipe yet, although I absolutely plan on tweaking this soup to make it more exciting for my palate. I did enjoy barley and kale together, they make a good couple.

Saying goodbye...

Barbie and Josiah, summer 2007

It's not easy to say goodbye... especially when you have to say it to a friend whom you know you won't see very often... especially when you don't have that many friends to begin with. As sad as it was for us to say goodbye to our dear friends last week, I'm truly excited for them to move back to CA, which I know they always wanted to do, and hope their new friends will treat them well. If not, they'll have to answer to me.

last Friday, before parting our ways

And of course, it makes my heart ache that I won't be able to see this little girl more often. She just had to turn out so cute that you can't get that sweet face out of your mind. Not fair!

We shared many happy moments together, laughed together, and cried together too. I won't forget our dinners, trips to the bakery and just visits for no other reason but to spend some time together. There's no way to explain how much all this means to someone who doesn't make friends easily, who chooses friends that become her soulmates, not just casual acquaintances...

June 15, 2009

Rain. Love.

Unsurprisingly, today was raining again. Not "agaaain", but "AGAIN!". Yes, rain makes me happy. And this whole month of June it's been making me happy pretty much every day. Love listening to the rain, better yet, to a good quality thunderstorm. Walking in the summer rain with all 3 kids is surprisingly relaxing as well. I'll be sad when this unexpected (for Utah) season of rain will end (my guess is, this week), and the dry endless heat will take over.

I knew it was going to rain, so I warned Mark that right after church we'd go for a drive... In the rain... And we did... We entered the canyon with sky being partly cloudy and when we turned around after 15 minutes of driving, we saw the familiar stormy sky waiting for us ahead. "FUN!", I said, as we headed towards the storm.

Poor Elijah, he slept right through it and missed all the fun...

June 14, 2009

Since this night isn't looking very promising...

Here I am, at 1 a.m., blogging in the dark while Maya is tossing on the couch with a large bowl sitting on the floor. Do I need to explain what it's for? Poor kid, every time she gets sick like that, she begs me to ask Heavenly Father to help her not to throw up and to just make her feel better...

Sickness aside, I should probably use this opportunity and recap a few things that we've done recently and I didn't get a chance to mention them. Well, at least one thing.

We made bread! Not just any bread, but unbelievably easy 'no-knead' bread that tastes very similar to the bread I grew up on (texture could use some work, but the main idea is the same). Sorry, but even after living in the U.S. for 7 years I still miss the 'real' bread. And just to prove that it's better than pre-cut store bought stuff, Elijah (our toughest critic) devoured one piece after another, crust (yes, CRUST!) included. Our loaf was gone in less than 2 hours. No butter, no jam, just plain bread. It's THAT good.

Maya mixed the dough all by herself

p.s. Maya just got up and walked over to me asking for a hug. Her hot little head next to me for a few seconds was a good enough reason to stay up while everyone else is sleeping...

June 10, 2009

Artist in the making

"Midnight Forest" by Anya, age 1(2009). Chalk, outside of the front door.

Anya loves chalk. She discovered it quite early, just after she turned 1. Although I don't really know what she likes to do with the chalk better - eat it or draw with it.

the girl was nekkid when she created her masterpiece. And I do have the blackmail shot, but I promised to her that I won't show it to everyone until she turns 16.

June 9, 2009

Hiking season

us, hiking
us, hiking over the hill, past the tree with a nest and a bird in it. Maya's art, 2009

There's nothing like going back to the woods after being cooped up inside the house for several long months. The fresh air is almost intoxicating and makes you wish you could put some in a jar and take it home so you could inhale it from time-to-time when busy city life gets overwhelming and there's no chance to escape on a whim... But the photos will do too.