Saturday, October 20, 2012

Brought to You by the Letter 'B'

We've been (very) slowly learning our alphabet around here, covering the letter 'B' in the last few weeks.  We started with two of our favorite things, bikes & beavers and we've also done a few other 'B' focused activities:
 We made banana pancakes on a lazy Saturday morning with a recipe I found online.  It was a fun treat (although I think we all generally prefer regular pancakes).
And Allison was thrilled to get to use a box of band-aids to decorate her letter 'B' card!

 And, finally, we stamped some bugs.  This was probably her favorite 'B' activity.
I also wanted to note this was the first time I've noticed Allison taking great pains to ensure good quality in her art work.  She was trying really hard to make 'good' clear stamps (like the one circled in yellow) as opposed to the blurry one circled in blue.  When she made a good stamp she'd say a little 'YES!' and when it was bad she'd make this little 'Erg!' noise.  We're glad to see she's taking some pride in her work!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away

 This past Friday we said good-bye to our fabulous fall weather and the typical Oregon fall rain moved in.  I had been saving Allison's umbrella and rain boots for when rain arrived, so I told her I had a surprise for her when I picked her up from pre-school.  She was so excited to see her umbrella (or 'cumbrella' to her) and boots and that they matched her rain coat (I bought it big last year and picked up the boots & umbrella on clearance last spring!).  She instantly wanted to go for a walk.  And has asked for walks all weekend...she won't let a little rain stop her from having fun!

Pumpkin Patch 2012

 We took advantage of some gorgeous fall weather last weekend and headed to our local pumpkin patch.  Our good friends, the Wagners, joined us.  We love this farm, it is a smaller local farm and the owners let the kids 'drive' the tractor for the hay ride.  It helps when you are the only folks on the ride to get a chance to drive (we went during the football game - the place was pretty empty!).  Allison was afraid to drive out, so Bekah & Nate took drove us to the pumpkin patch.

 Our girls and their pumpkins!  Or 'pumpquins' as Allison likes to call them.

 We had plenty of time to wait for the hay ride to come back and get us so we took lots of pictures in the beautiful sun!

 Allison & Mark drove us back to the main building.  

 And when we were done we picked up a few donuts.  These donuts are seriously some of the most amazing donuts ever (and that means something coming from a Kroon!).  They are cake donuts rolled in cinnamon & sugar, crispy/crunchy on the outside but nice and soft on the inside.  The cinnamon & sugar add just a touch of sweetness but they actually aren't that sweet.  They are fabulous.  It is a good thing I only get to eat them once a year!
 And then we tried to get a family photo with the pumpkins but someone was being quite the stinker.....she cracked Miss Jodi (the photographer) up!

Eventually all good things must come to an end.  Allison was quite sad when Bekah drove off.  We left shortly after!

Friday, October 5, 2012

That Time of Year

 I'm trying to get our family pictures & cards together early this year so we headed out to take advantage of beautiful weather to take some family pictures with a tripod.  Mark was giving me a hard time thinking he was going to be roasting in a long sleeve shirt but as it turns out we were all freezing!  The sun was going down way faster than we expected and the wind was definitely blowing but I'm happy to say our 2012 family pictures are done.  Not perfect but done.  Here are two of my favorites from the evening! 

Finished in 2012 No. 8

 Some very good friends of ours are in the process of adopting a baby boy.  I saw this quilt in pictures from the quilt market back in 2011 showcasing the Children at Play fabric.  I had a lot of the fabric left-over from my nephew Logan's quilt so I decided this would make a perfect baby boy quilt for my friends.  Especially considering the Dad has a PhD in mechanical engineering after studying fluidics.....and yes, a paper airplane is a perfect demonstration of fluidics.  I actually quilted this one by myself.  I tried to mimic the paper airplane swirls and I was definitely better at the bottom than when I started at the top.  I also actually hand embroidered the lines behind the paper airplane, too.  My one disappointment was in the applique work.  I followed the pattern instructions and tried to fold the edge under and found that very difficult to do at the corners.  The applique is secure but some fraying will be visible.  Next time I'll stick to my usual methods of applique.  The tutorial for this one can be found on Michael Miller's fabric blog here
 I used some more extra fabric to cover mats from some frames and I really like how they turned out, I may have to make more of these (the frames are actually really nice frames made by a local frame shop so the mats are very sturdy and held up well to having fabric glued to them using normal fabric glue).  I also have a 'paper' airplane mobile in progress, pictures of that sometime soon, hopefully!  And the baby's grandmother made some fabulous crib sheets and a diaper bag to match the quilt - it is going to be an adorable nursery.  Hopefully I'll get pictures of it all when it is put together.
Oh yes, and I had a very special little princess supervising my picture taking for these quilts.  I won Mom of the Year award for buying that Sleeping Beauty dress at Target.  Her Cinderella dress was literally in shreds so I figured it was time for a new one with Halloween coming up.

Finished in 2012 No. 7

This little quilt is a baby quilt I finished for my newest, niece Lauren.  I actually managed to have it finished by her due date, but she arrived early!  I had this one professionally quilted and I love how it turned out.  I used two sets of California Girl and Kona Snow charm packs for this one and made simple half-square-triangles which I turned into pinwheels.  The colors perfect for a baby girl quilt...the quilter noted it is such an interesting mix of modern and old-fashioned style.  I did a bias cut binding with the coral colored stripe fabric from the line and it is backed with one of the cream floral fabrics from the line as well.  Hopefully Lauren will be able to enjoy it for many years to come!

Allison's New Bike

 We started shopping for a 'pedal' bike for Allison back in July.  We debated all sorts of options (although the fact that it would be pink or purple was never debated!) and carried a very sad preschooler out of REI when we decided not to get one there.  Finally, in mid-September we realized she was ready and if we got one soon it could be used quite a bit before the rain settled in.  We ended up finding a light-weight kids bike so we were able to get a 16" which will hopefully work for a few years now.  We have the training wheels on it but she doesn't need them too much, she's struggling to figure out the whole brakes thing, though, so until she's got that down we're going to leave them on.  So far our girl loves her PINK bicycle and we are really enjoying beautiful fall weather with lots of evening bike rides.  We're hoping it lasts for a long time......

 Our only two rules so far for riding apparel are she must wear close-toed shoes and she has to wear a helmet.  She ends up with quite the fancy bike riding outfits and almost always has a bag in tow (and there are always snacks in her bag!).  I love the picture above with baby's head peaking out of her backpack.
 Our silly, bike loving girl!