25 December 2008

It's JUST what I always wanted!!!

This is the phrase heard most often coming out of Tyler's mouth on Christmas morning as he opened his Christmas presents. He alternated between this one and "Oh Cool!" or "Oh Neat!" WHO teaches this child these phrases and their correct usage and inflection!?! He was cracking everyone up with his reactions to presents. Papa Dale and Grandma Carol got Tyler his own tool set.

Among other things, Grandma Maggie and Papa Mike got Tyler an Optimus Prime Transformer. How Tyler knows about Transformers, I'm not sure...he's never seen the show, movie, etc. but he loves them!

One thing that was hilarious was when Tyler opened a present that was wrapped in a box that origionally had a dish washing rack. He saw the picture of the rack on the box and asked what it was. When he learned that the box was for a washing rack, he said, "Hmmm..." and turned to move on to the next gift without opening the box. He wasn't even going to give it the time of day!

Countdown Chocolates

This year, Mom and Dad bought Ty a chocolate advent calendar from Trader Joe's, but as they were on vacation, it was a little delayed. We told Tyler that every day he'd get a chocolate and then when the chocolates were all gone, it would be time for Christmas. Small problem: because we started late, the chocolates would not be done by Christmas. Bigger problem: Tyler remembered every chocolate he had eaten and would have easily noticed if I had "equalized" the amount of chocolates with the amount of days left before Christmas. Solution?? We started a new tradition this year that I REALLY like. Each day, Tyler would get to choose 2 Chocolates--one for himself and one to give away to someone else of his choice. I felt that this would be good practice for him giving things to other people (especially things that he really wanted for himself) and teach him to have a generous spirit. One thing that made me happy to see was when he was very careful to make sure everyone around him had the opportunity to share the chocolate love!

20 December 2008

Harper Family Christmas

The Harper Family Christmas was an exciting time or delicious (and beautifully presented!) food with a large portion or the family present (Dorris and Grace were the only two siblings not represented, but since they are in Idaho, I guess they have an excuse?)

And it turned into quite the crafty show and tell! Kim was working on a new pair of slippers:
I was desperately trying to finish a Christmas Present Hat (don't worry, I did finish it before Christmas Eve...barely)
Mom and Aunt Sue were able to show off their nearly completed "Roman Holiday" quilt that they plan to donate to the MCC Sale;

19 December 2008

8 Tiny Reindeer...

I had the opportunity to help out at Tyler's school Christmas Party. Now, I have always had a lot of respect for those blessed individuals who take care out my child every day, but each time I help out at Tyler's school, I am desperately glad that the person in charge of maintaining order, sanity and safety during the day with eight 3-4year olds is NOT me! Miss Pam and Miss Esperanza are so wonderful with the kids who they have in their classes. During the school party, I got to help the kids make "jingle bell" necklaces.
We also made reindeer hats with antlers and ears.
It was great to see all the kids with their reindeer antler hats decorating cupcakes and eating lunch. It was so Fun!!!

18 December 2008

Live Dangerously!

I knew I was low on gas, but when I filled up at Costco, I was a little surprised at how close I had cut it!

(my car manual says that I have an 18 Gallon tank!)

14 December 2008

13 December 2008

It's all about the LONG Arms!

Long arm quilting machines, I mean. Kim finished her green/yellow/white Irish Chain quilt and now it's ready to be quilted. Since we seem to prefer to send out our quilts to actually be quilted, Kim, Mom and I took a field trip to pick out the design, etc. that would end up on her quilt. It was an exciting adventure!

11 December 2008

The Great Hat Swap!

So, in a previous post I showed the hat that I had knit. I have come to the conclusion that although I love the color, the yarn is delicious and the pattern is super fun, it's just a bit too small for me. Kim just recently finished a wonderful black hat.
She has come to the disappointing (for her) conclusion that this hat is just a wee bit to big for her head. Solution? Switch Hats!!! Pictures of hats with their new owners to come! (she will not complete the hat swap until I weave in the ends of the red one...heehee...)

10 December 2008

Christmas Programs are Hilarious!

Tyler's School Christmas Program was absolutely a riot. These poor teachers have been practicing these songs with this group of kids for several months and Tyler has been coming home singing Away in a Manger, "Police Davidad" and Happy Birthday Jesus for a very long time. Tyler told me that "Police Davidad" (Feliz Navidad for those who don't speak 3 year old Spanish) was his favorite song because he got to shake the maracas.But of course about half way through each song, most of the kids got a little bored/distracted (hence the Christmas Programs are Hilarious post title!)

07 December 2008

And they all went Wii Wii Wiii all the way home!

For her birthday, my mom received a Wii and also the Wii Fit/sport games. It was decided that a Wii night was in order. We played Golf, Baseball, bowling, tennis, we skiied, bounced soccer balls off our heads, and hula hooped...Sadly, there are no pictures of the hula hooping (although, I was REALLY getting into it!) One of my favorite parts was how adventurous Kim was with her golf strategy...Water? NO problem, she can make it over! Sand Bar? Don't even worry about it...The other very exciting part about Wiing the night away is disovering you have muscles you thought you had banished from your life forever...especially when they remind you of their presence in the middle of the night when you are trying to sleep!

(please note the time--we really did Wii the night away!)

03 December 2008

Hmmm...not my idea of fun...

I went to pick up Tyler from school and we decided to stop off at the grocery store for dinner (Mom and Dad left for a 1 week stay in Avila and they left a barren fridge behind). When we came into the kitchen to put all the groceries away, this is what we saw:
Thanks Piper....It means a lot to me to know you wanted me to feel needed.

02 December 2008

Celtic Thunder Yumminess!

Kim received a ticket to Celtic Thunder for her birthday/Christmas present from Doug and I received a ticket to the same show for my early Christmas present from Doug SOOOO....we decided to go together. It was an absolutely AMAZING show! I had a great time listening to the music and watching the performers (hence the "yumminess" in the title) and Kim and I had a blast joking and laughing about a variety of crazy topics. THANK YOU DOUG!!!

29 November 2008

Almost done at B3...

We have been working over at the condo a LOT lately and we're now almost done! Cabinets are painted and have just gotten new knobs.
The whole place has been steamed to death. (Think Brocoli that is steamed beyond recognition.)

My Mancub watched his "namesake" movie.

The walls were painted and now we have replaced the towel bars ;-)

Dad tiled the bathroom floor (AND IT LOOKS AWESOME!!)

Yay Team B3!!!!!

(PLEASE NOTE: There are no pictures included of Kiki because she was at home preparing the rental contract and oddly enough did not think to set the timer to take a self-picture...I know...how wierd of her!)

26 November 2008

Tyler does Costco

How does one go through Costco with a 3 year old (who has Christmas on the brain) in tow??? VERY Slowly!!! We had to try out their play kitchen...
Test out the "Cars" Backrest pillow...in the middle of the aisle...
We tested out EVERYTHING that had a button to press...
Note to self: Only attempt Costco when nobody's tired, everyone's fed and you have all the time in the world!

25 November 2008

The Bag Lady...

I found a very fun pattern online for a string market bag (you know, the kind that is supposed to stretch to a waaaay bigger size than it looks like it should?) and was extremely intrigued. At nearly the same time, I was exploring JoAnn's online yarn shop and found a very fun turquoise and green and yellow cotton yarn. Coincidentally, the perfect yarn for this particular pattern. So, I started knitting the bag and loved how the variegated yarn color was turning into a self striping-ish pattern. Mom saw the bag and LOVED the yarn so (just like a surrogate mother who grows a baby knowing she's going to have to give it away at the end), I completed the bag with her in mind. Without further adooooo...And here's the Bag Lady:

24 November 2008

Oh Sew Charming!

Cindy Wiens is the craftiest person I know! And now she's the most famous person I know! She designed a quilt pattern based off of the floor tile at Taco Grande taco shop (for those who don't know, it's an amazing taco shop where my associates and I eat a lot!) Cindy created a pattern and now IT'S FOR SALE ON THE INTERNET!!! I am anxious to find my charm pack that is worthy of such a fun (an meaningful) quilt project.

20 November 2008


(OK, Blasphemous title aside) I HAVE A FOLLOWER!!! Granted, Jesus has millions, I have 1; Jesus was worthy, my worthiness is yet to be determined; Jesus was...well, I could go on and on about how I am so NOT like Jesus...BUT in this one matter, I am like Jesus. To my follower...Thank you! I will try to be worthy of your devotion...to everyone else...Why aren't you my follower?
(for those who have no idea what I'm talking about...apparently blogspot has a thing called a follower to fascilitate greater ease in internet stalking the people in your life...)

19 November 2008

Blog Report Card

Well, everyone know's how teachers just adore report cards and tracking growth and measuring, etc. So, I thought it would be fun to give my blog a report card based on Stephen's suggestions of blog analyzing tools.

The Readability-Apparently, I write at a High School Level on this blog.
The Gender Analyzer- Good News!! According to this, there is an 85% chance that this blog is written by a female! (what? do I put hearts where the dots should be on my "i" 's ???)
The Typealyzer Supposedly decides which side of the brain you use to write your blog. This analysis determined that I am of the ESFP personality type. Here's the handy dandy description they gave of me:
"The Performers
The entertaining and friendly type. They are
especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings
with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present
moment and donĂ‚´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting
themselves. The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a
concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate
confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management

I would say they are partly right...I'm not so sure on the "rarely initiate confrontation" bit...if confrontation can increase my level of personal entertainment, I am more than happy to initiate confrontation...Case in point? "So, isn't it interesting that President Bush did " (you fill in the blank with whatever remotely controversial thing he may have done) and then sit back and watch the feathers fly...(Please note: this is especially entertaining with family because you know exactly which buttons to push to create the most entertaining diatribes.)

18 November 2008

There is a new kid on the block!

This weekend we (Me, Mom, Dad, Kim and Tyler) spent our time painting and cleaning, plumbing and steaming(carpets that is...)

12 November 2008

What a lovely way to pass a Saturday!

While at the Civil War Reenactment, I met several ladies who are members of the Fresno Weavers and Spinners Guild and they invited me to their November meeting. I, of course, had to take them up on the invitation and so this past Saturday, I hied myself off to the Clovis Senior Center to meet up with the Spinners and Weavers. One lady was generous enough to loan me her spinning wheel
and I turned her lovely orange roving into lovely "one-of-a-kind" yarn (translation: although everyone at the meeting who saw my product said that I was doing very well for a first time spinner, I could see that it was slubby and very much over twisted.)

But like any beginner mastering (slaughtering?) a new skill, I was very pleased with the results and it was fun to have all of the other spinners giving me tips on hand positioning, foot action, tension, etc. because each of them has been spinning for as long as I've been alive and so I had access to extreme amounts of expertise. From the bobbin (pictured above) of one ply wool yarn, I then was able to create a fantastically unique two ply yarn

I now am the oh so proud owner of a very small ball of handspun wool (an amount appropriate to knit a thumb warmer for a hitch-hiking runaway) and a craving for my own spinning wheel...and wool...and someday maybe a sheep! There was one fellow at the spinners meeting who is an engineer and he has been spinning for over 40 years. He explained to us all about the way to measure the angle of spin and angle of ply and had a weight and everything so that we would be able to reproduce the uber-consistent yarn that you can purchase at a store. After seeing my finished prouduct, I could only laugh and dream of the day that I am good enough to spin consistently.

Now here's a guy who loves to rub it in...

Sometimes people really do deserve to be smacked...

11 November 2008

Random Tyler

Who says rags are just for washing??? For Tyler's birthday, he received a beautiful turquoise towel and set of rags from Aunt Sue and Uncle George. Tyler has decided that the rags make awesome blankets for those blustery days when even your head gets chilly.
Tyler's school took a trip to the pumpkin patch and this is the pumpkin he picked out to bring home with him. He was Soooo proud of it!
Tyler took his pumpkin over to his Grandma Carol and Papa Dale's house and he worked diligently with his two cousins, Jacob and Mary, to carve a massive amount of pumpkins.
Tyler's old Crocs broke, so Papa Mike went to get him some new ones from REI. Tyler was so pleased with them that the first night he had them, he wanted to wear them to bed.

Tyler was Spider Man for Halloween and he wasn't too sure about the whole door to door aspect of Trick-Or-Treating...but he was quite sure he enjoyed people giving him candy...

06 November 2008

Twilight Craze!

So, I thought I was above it...I scoffed at the people who told me that Twilight was a must read and stuck to my story--"Vampire stories are dumb. You will never catch me reading those books." Working at a junior high/high school with untold numbers of teenage girls all swooning over Edward the Vampire and Jacob Black made me laugh and think "I'm sooooo glad that's not me!" I even found out that they have "TEAM EDWARD" and "TEAM JACOB" t-shirts BUT!!! (you knew there was a but coming, right?) apparently I am incapable of sticking to my guns. Kim checked Twilight out from the library and I was forced to read it. She made me, I swear!! I was hooked. I feel like a junior high girl because even I am picking "Teams" (Go team Jacob!) even if I don't think I'll ever buy the shirt. One of the things that I find so fascinating about this Twilight Phenomenon (Craze!) is that it is so widespread. Even though I never thought there was a chance that I would read it, I was sucked in...I am even probably going to go to the movie (I've even been invited to the midnight showing, though I haven't decided yet if I'm going.) I found a pretty funny blog about it and now when my students are talking about it in class I feel a smug sense of being included; I know what they are talking about! There are 4 books in the saga and they are not tiny books...In the last week (Since Sunday) I have read the last three with the exception of the last 100 pages of the last book and I expect to have those completed by tonight :-) So.....You will understand if when I talk to you I say, "Hi. My name is Tanya and I read Twilight."

31 October 2008

"The Cutest Little Cowpoke"

So, Tyler went with Doug and his family to something (Clovis Fest? I think...) in Old Town Clovis and they took pictures there of Tyler with a pony...stinkin' adorable! Somewhere I have a picture of me when I was almost Tyler's same age and in almost the same pose...If I find them, you can bet they will be posted for comparison...