Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

So, there are a few things we usually stick fast to. One is keeping Christmas simple. We do not participate in  Black Friday shopping. We have always told the girls that Santa is make believe, and they only get one gift from us (though usually make out really well because our families are so large). I love saying that my girls know more about Saint Nicholas and Saint Basil than the legend of Santa. We do mostly handmade items for our family for the holidays. It just feels better, and the girls LOVE picking out what they made for what family members. For us to, it means more to get a tub of cookies or a special recipe than stuff from Walmart.

That being said, last night Kevin and our brother in law Dave announced yesterday that they are going to Best Buy. At midnight. To wait in line to be there at opening to get a doorbuster deal. This floored me, because Kevin, well, my husband is not a spender. We get most of our furniture from Craigslist and thrift stores. When we do need a big item like electronics or appliances, he will spend months researching what he wants and figuring out when and where to get the best price. We will spend almost every weekend hitting all the stores near us, just to see what they had in their scratch and dent sections.

Apparently, one of the doorbuster deals was a TV. The TV he has wanted for a while. Up until this morning, we were using a 20 inch computer monitor as a TV. Hey, it worked. Sure, Kevin missed having his gaming monitor at his desk, but we needed something. This set up has been working for us for about a year now. Kevin would often talk about buying something else, so he could get his monitor back and watch his shows on a TV you didn't need a magnifying glass to see from the couch. So, off Kevin went with Dave at 11 last night, to sit for HOURS in the freezing rain, to get their item tickets for what they wanted at 3 am, then for the doors to open at 5 am. Kev said there was at least 100 people in line by the time 5 rolled around. It took them until 7am to finish checking out. To me, that is insane.

Apparently, for the make and model of TV, they saved almost 40%. Saving that percentage on something he wanted made Kevin really happy. He came home with the grin of a 12 year old boy who got his red rider bb gun for Christmas. He set it up immediately, smiling the whole time.

Now that the cardinal rule of no shopping on black friday was broken, I just hope he doesn't see the TV advertised for less later. That, and I hope both the boys get over whatever illness they now have from sitting out in the freezing rain for hours. They both just woke up with sniffles and coughs, took dayquil and are sitting on the couch under a blanket, watching the new big TV with grins on their faces....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Sew... I have been out of sorts for a while, it seems I want to nap at every possible moment instead of sew or blog! I did manage to finish a quilt for a friend's birthday, simple and quick in batiks

The other reason I have been out of sorts is all the running around! The girls have had a lot going on at their schools, we are getting ready for Kevin's family coming over this Thanksgiving, Evie is practicing like a mad woman for her piano recital, Rena has tae kwon do, it just seems we never stop!

Rena's school had a Thanksgiving Play last week, which was absolutely adorable! She also did a trike a thon for St. Jude's Hospital.

In this photo Rena is in the front corner, first row! She had a blast.

I owe a lot of gratitude to her teacher, Mrs. Jan. The school itself is wonderful, a true caring christan environment. It was so hard for me, after what happened at the last school, to trust sending her to another place. It's wierd though, so many people lead me to Carriage Hills, first our quilt guild president Theresa had sent her children there, and recommended it to me. Then another mom who had children there about 5 years ago told me her experience and how wonderful it was. I was still getting through all the emotions, especially the anger and hurt, from the first school. Then Evie's piano teacher, who goes to the church, sat with me and told her what she knew of the preschool.

Evie's piano teacher plays piano for the church, and for the preschool programs! She knows the teachers and director, and knowing what I had been through already, sat with me a while after a lesson and told me all she knew, then called the director and helped set me up with a meeting and to see the school. I was at the point where I knew Serena needed to be in preschool, but still didn't know where to trust. After meeting everyone there, it clicked where this was where God was leading us, this was where she needed to be.

Since she has started, she is a different girl! Her confidence is back, she is being responsible with her chores and helping around the house, she is excited to go to school.

The other bonus, and I am also greatful for, is that to help Serena get over the emotional abuse at the first preschool we had to stop attending church there. It was a Methodist Church, and since I am Orthodox and Kevin is Lutheran, it was a compromise. Since then, I have gotten Kevin to take us to the Greek Orthodox Church in Memphis. It does take us about a half hour to get there, but the drive is worth it. I feel soooo much better now we are able to take communion, and that Vasili will have a 40 day blessing after he is born. Kevin loves that the service is in English, so who knows, maybe I'll be able to get him to convert one of these days :)

Oh, and if you get a chance and have read this far, pick up a copy of Mark Lipinski's Christmas 365 with this cover

My yia's recipe for Koulourakia is on page 78, along with a really cute picture of the girls!!!

Happy Sewing, Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nap Mat

Sorry the pictures are aweful, but this weekend I wipped up a nap mat for Serena. She needs one for Kindergarten next year and her amazing new preschool has aftercare, which we are going to try out tomorrow so I can stay for the whole quilt guild meeting :) I haven't been to a guild meeting since August.

I found the tutorial for the nap mat on Jenny Garland's Blog. It's an easy sew. I did do velco instead of bottons though.

I like how it rolls up really easily. and she uses velco on one side so the mat comes out to clean, or if you decide to make 2 you don't have to rebuy the foam.

Serena looooves it. I used fleece instead of minky, because it was on sale :)

We're happy with how it turned out, It only took about 2 hours from start to finish if that. My dad is visiting from PA, and then my aunt and uncle came out from Arkansas, and with soccer on Saturday morning I literally had a short window of time to get it together!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Serena wanted to be a Train Engineer

I made the trick or treat bags for them, half yard of fabric, french seamed like a pillowcase, then hemmed and handles added! So easy!

Evie spent a lot of time designing her costume and picking out the fabric. She is Thunder Girl! Superhero who can control Thunder and Lightning to fight crime. Her civilian name is Evie Evanson, an art and math teacher by day and crime fighter by night!

She was totally in love with her costume. It didn't take too long to make, but I hate working with Lame!

In other news, Rena's new preschool is awesome! Through Evie's piano teacher, we found Carriage Hills Baptist Preschool, which it the next town over, but really worth the drive! She has had no issues at all. Her teacher Mrs. Jan has almost 20 years experience teaching and is really sweet. She loves school again.

Now that Halloween is over, back to sewing baby things!