Monday, October 16, 2006

Halloween Meme

Sketchy of Living the Sweet Life tagged me for a Halloween meme. I love Halloween, and the questions to this one are likewise as fun!

1.What's the scariest movie you've ever seen? I really don't like scary movies. Not Psycho, for sure. I remember being so disappointed in that one. Actually it was a tv show that has scared me the most. The Little House on the Praire episode where the blind school burns down, and one of the teachers gets trapped on the top floor with Mary's baby. The image of her screaming and burning to death as she wacks the baby against a window has haunted me for years. SHUDDER. Okay, that question wasn't so fun after all.

2. What was your favorite Halloween Costume from childhood, and adulthood? My favorite as a kid was a gypsy. I wore canning rings as earrings! I later wore a gypsy costume in high school to play the fortune teller for a neighborhood carnival. There was a photographer there from the paper who kept trying to take my picture. I was self conscious, of course, and kept trying to avoid him, mostly hiding in my sweltering hot tent. Somehow, he managed to get one of me as I peeked out. I was on the front page the next day. My brief moment of fame!

3. If you had an unlimited budget, what would your Fantasy Costume be for this Halloween? I'd dress the whole family in costumes from Lord of the Rings. Everyone could find a character they liked, and I could wear one of those cool Elven maiden costumes.

4.When was the last time you went Trick Or Treating? 2 years ago, with the kids. Last year I was the candy giver outer.

5.What is your favorite Halloween treat? My favorite candy is definitely dark chocolate. But, I have to pick candy corn for this question. I remember as a kid relishing them as I ate them one color at a time.

6. Tell us about a scary nightmare you had. When I was around 7, I remember having a recurring nightmare about walking home from school everyday with a group of kids. On the way home, we would stop in the field behind my Grandpa's house, pull the wooden cover off of a deep hole dug in the dirt, and help kids out of it. Then a really mean girl pushed some new kids in it, we replaced the lid, and repeated the whole thing the next day. I always woke up when I got pushed and started falling into the dark hole. I had to invent elaborate happy endings to get over that one.

7. What is your Supernatural Fear? Possession by evil spirits.

8. What is your Creepy-Crawlie Fear? There are these bugs called cave crickets or camel crickets. They look like hump backed spiders with long bent legs. They can jump 6 feet in any direction. You have one chance to kill them. If you miss, you have no idea where they disappeared to. I came home one night when I was a nanny and found one in my room. I missed it. After tearing my room apart looking for it, I ended up sleeping on the couch in the study.

9. Tell us about a time when you saw a ghost, or heard something go Bump in the night. I've never seen a ghost. When my husband and I were first married, some older girls I knew from the Boy's and Girl's Club were having a sleepover and came to visit me in the middle of the night. The tallest of them wore a hoodie, with a mannequin's head on her head inside the hood, making her look unnaturally tall and creepy. My husband groggily opened the door, took one look, slammed the door, and ran and hid under the covers. He said later he was sure someone had come to kill us. I guessed they might come visit me, and just laughed and went and opened the door again. He hadn't even relocked it! At least he is very brave and cool headed when fully awake!

10. Would you ever stay in a real Haunted House overnight? It depends. If it was REALLY haunted, as in needing exorcism, definitely not. But, my husband and I used to love visiting all the haunted house fundraisers along the Wasatch Front. It's fun to be scared when you know its not real! Especially, if I have my brave AWAKE husband to hide behind while I scream! So, that kind of Haunted House I would love to stay in, at least until I got really tired and wanted to sleep undisturbed.

11. Are you a traditionalist (just a face) Jack O'Lantern Carver, or do you get really creative with your pumpkins? Traditionalist. I just carve whatever lopsided, toothy faces my kids draw on their pumpkins for them.

12. How much do you decorate your home for Halloween? I decorate more for Fall because I can keep it up longer. We do hang the kid's creations from school, a few window clings, and orange lights and fake spider webs up on the porch.

13. What do you want on your Tombstone? Pepperoni and Black olives. ; ) Actually, I think the old white marble headstones, with script lettering, are really beautiful. I like the ones with the four line verses under the name and dates. I can't think of a verse right now for it, though.

I'm keeping the tags in the family this time: my cousin, Suzanne at A Rose By Any Other Name and my sisters, ItyBtyFrog at ItyBtyFrog Ideas, and Jettara at What Was I Thinking...

Friday, October 13, 2006


Since having children, I have learned that mother's make far more sacrifices for the benefit of their children than any "nonmother type person" can possibly imagine. And every once in awhile, I am surprised to learn of a new sacrifice I am willing to make for one of my children. Tonight was such a moment.

We get to go see Marvin playing drums in several parades this fall. We had never gone to ANY parades before he started doing this, and have discovered we LOVE small town parades. The marching bands, military groups marching and all the candy throwing are our favorites.

Tonight was the local University Homecoming Parade. It was 42 degrees outside and DH couldn't come. So I bundled everyone up really well, the kids grabbed grocery sacks for the candy haul, and away we went. Of course with all that candy flying through the air, Elsie wanted some. So, I gave her a dum dum sucker. Awhile later, I gave her another. And then another. 3 suckers for a toddler seems like alot. But, by this time we were into this parade for over an hour, not counting the "wait for it to start time"! Her hand became very, very sticky. Do I have wipes or napkins with me? No, of course not! She has developed this thing about having "ticky" hands and starts freaking out. I have no idea how much longer we have of this parade, so I did the only thing I could do:

I licked her hand clean. Really. Mmm. Slobber sauce.

(Oh, and we still feel like it was a great time!)

Ever made any unusual sacrifices for your children?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Works For Me: Sewing Shortcuts

I am not much of a sewer usually. When my oldest daughter was a baby, I made a series of cute little dresses complete with roses on hats, pinafores and pantaloons. Froo Froo stuff. I started when she was about 6 months and finished them when she was wearing size 2T. Luckily, I knew myself well enough to have made large sizes so they still fit her.

It kind of burned me out on the clothing making thing and in recent years I've focused more on curtains and cushions and such. I'm really a quick results kind of person. I have a hard time sticking to projects that take a lot of time, and I no longer have a lot of time.

Last spring, I realized that I had three little girls and had yet to do the matchy matchy thing. I could even match me with them. So, I decided to sew again. But, I decided I would try things a little differently and this is what I've learned:

1. Elastic is wonderful! I passed up any pattern that required zippers, gathering fabric, wide hems, buttons or interfacing. Simple styles are just as darling as frilly ones. Plus, I decided I'm not out to impress with my sewing skills. In fact, if you lift up one of my girl's hems to check the quality of my stitching I will no longer consider you my friend!

2. You don't need to make a casing for the elastic when inserting it in sleeves. Before sewing the sleeve's seam, just stretch the elastic along the casing line and stitch down the middle of it.

3. Use a pattern more than once. Patterns can be expensive, so I decided to use up some of my fabric stash to practice with the patterns. Bonus: more space in the sewing tubs and more clothes for the girls. And, each time I get faster at it because I now have the instructions practically memorized. It hasn't gotten boring because I have tried to make different variations using different fabrics and trims.

4.There is more than one way to sew the same thing. Take the easiest route. For example, the skirt I sewed for myself wanted me to make a tiny narrow drawstring with an elastic section in it's middle that would be threaded through a casing, coming out of buttonholes to be tied. Forget that! I just put elastic in a casing like I did my daughters and called it done!

5. When sewing multi-size patterns for myself, I cut off the larger sizes on the pattern. I figure when or if I do gain multiple sizes I'll be too depressed about it to sew myself clothes anyways.

6. When cutting out large pattern pieces, I used overturned, heavy cereal bowls instead of pins. Saves much time and keeps slippery fabric in place better.

7. Lace is wonderful! It hides uneven stitching and can give a nice detail without having to gather fabric. Just use gathered lace instead.

8. I adhered a piece of magnetic tape to my sewing machine to stick pins to. I now spend less time looking for my pin cushion. Also, I set up to sew where there is no carpet. Pins dropped on a hard floor are less likely to land pointing up and ready to stab your foot while you're looking for them. Ouch!

9. I completely made one of each outfit, before cutting out more, to better check sizes. The blouse I made for my oldest daughter, for example, ended up fitting everywhere but in length. I didn't want her showing off her belly button every time she raised her arms, so I sewed an eyelet trim around the bottom to make it more modest. The rest of the blouses I cut out for her, I made sure to add length.

So, what sewing shortcuts have you found?

And don't forget to check out more Works For Me Wednesday ideas over at Shannon's Rocks in My Dryer!

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday: Family Scripture Study

It's Wednesday! Today's Works for Me Wednesday is about studying the scriptures as a family. We used to be really consistent about reading the scriptures together as a family at bedtime. As the kids have gotten older and our evenings have filled with activities, our bedtimes became crazier and our family scripture study slackened way off. We've recently come up with a solution that seems to be working for us.

Our oldest has to leave for the bus at 6:45 am, so we have started having breakfast together at 6:30 am. While we usually like to visit during meals, we found we were all a bit cranky at breakfast. So, we do our scripture study then. At first I would read, while they ate. But, then we started listening to the scriptures being read for free on the internet here. It is working great, so far. Having someone else reading them allows me to have my hands busy pouring juice or cutting the baby's pancakes. (And I can eat, too!)And it is a great way to start our day! Works for Me!

Be sure to check out more Works for Me Wednesday ideas over at Shannon's blog.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Let's Decorate for an Autumn Party!

I LOVE Fall. I love the fresh start of a new school year and the new school supplies that go with it. I love feeling a crisp in the air and seeing the leaves start to put on their fall colors. I love how it makes me want to bake pumpkin bread and apple pie, and how it makes my husband want to make his homemade cinnamon ice cream.

And I love decorating for fall. I'm not one of those people who decorate for every holiday and season. But, I really have a good time with decorating for fall and Christmas. September 23rd was the official first day of Autumn. So, I've made the house look official, too.

I love to see other people's decorations, too. So, I thought it would be fun to have a virtual Autumn party. Everyone is invited! The only catch is, YOU are in charge of the decorations! Once you have decorated, post pictures on your blog and then post a link to them here. I'll pass around the virtual pumpkin muffins and apple cider, and we'll all sit back and enjoy the fun fall photos!

You can include your Halloween decorations, and any other special things you do for fall, too.