Friday, October 31, 2008


It's that time of year to get my crafty bug on. My sewing machine broke a month or so ago, right when I was had just gotten a bunch of inspiration for projects (mainly from other blogs). Well, my wonderful sister-in-law (thanks, Sara) had an extra machine and has let me borrow it. I was so excited! It is a REALLY nice Baby Lock machine that does way more than my old Singer. What a treat.

So, of course I had to get started on one of the projects I've had on my to-do list. With the cold weather, all of our scarves and hats have come back out. The last few years, I've kept them in a cloth bag and had to dig through it looking for the one I want. Well, I found this great idea for a scarf hanger on a blog - unfortunately, I could not find it again to give them credit. I used a piece of felt and some ribbon that I've had in my stash for quite a while. I used push pins to attach it to the back of our coat closet door. Tadah! Now I just have to figure out a way to hang all the hats - they're still in the bag.

And here's a sneak-peak at the goodies I've been hand-embroidering here and there.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

We went to the Washington Farms Pumpkin Patch last Saturday. My Mom, brother, sister-in-law, and nephew all came to join us (Dad was hunting). It was really fun! Mom made E this precious dress out of old corduroys. Great up-cycling!

Grammi w/ the two grand-babies

Looking at hoppies

Allegood Family pic (Spencer was distracted by all the pumpkins)

'I want this one!'

I originally got in the cow with Esther (really cramped). She told me she wanted to ride by herself. She went all around the farm on her own - Miss Independent.

We got one big pumpkin and a medium pumpkin to accompany the original baby pumpkin. I had grand ambitions to carve an owl into the pumpkin, but ended up with a simple face.

She didn't like the squishy feeling

Last night, E and I went to the library's Spook Night. She wore her Dr. Fleming scrubs that Aunt Sara got her last year. She looked so cute! Here's her Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde faces.

We still have the butterfly fairy outfit for Friday. Ben has to work, but E and I plan to take a lap around the neighborhood to show off the cuteness. She doesn't eat candy and we don' need to, so I don't plan on gathering too much. We will see....

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sick day

Esther came down with a bit of a cough yesterday. She's had some sort of cold every month since starting at Morningstar. I know it is normal for kids to get sick when they start school, but I'm really over it (and I'm sure she is too). Anyway, I called in to work and kept her home from school today, so not to pass on her germs.
So what do you do with a sick [almost] two year old when it is raining all day?
Make a fall leaf wreath out of a cereal box and yard nature collections

Collecting berries for the project

Final product to be hung on our door once the glue is dry

Make Harvest muffins (pumpkin, cranberries, apples, pecans) = YUM

Way to much watching tv for my liking - and enjoying muffins

Lots of books

Our arsenal of 'meds' - homeopathics, juice, and elderberry (the miracle herb for colds)

Hoping for a better day tomorrow. We have plans to go to the Pumpkin Patch with my brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and Mom. I'm really excited and hope Esther is up to it. (:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Monarch Update

Our monarch butterfly emerged this morning. I've been watching the chrysalis over the last few days as it darkened. A few days before the monarch emerges, the chrysalis become transparent and you can see the dark orange and black wings of the newly formed butterfly. Once out of its chrysalis, it pumps fluid into its crinkled wings and suns its wings to dry them before taking flight. Esther was very excited to see the 'big, beautiful butterfly'. As the wings are so fragile while drying, I didn't let her touch it. I wish we had a tagging kit at home so it could be tracked to Mexico. There are a couple of really neat programs where you place small, numbered stickers on the monarch's wings (no, this doesn't hurt them) and send in the information to a database. Then, local Mexicans are paid to gather the monarchs during their 'hibernation' and record the numbers. This information is placed on a public database. It is a really neat thing for classes and families to do. There are so many things that can be taught using monarchs and migration as a catalyst. Monarch Watch is one organization that we've used at the Garden. Another that covers many migrating species is Journey North. Scientists also use this data to study the species and factors that may be leading to their decline.
Okay, enough environmental education for the day . Can you tell I love what I do?
Here are some photos.
The empty chrysalis

Drying its wings and preparing for life as a butterfly. It is still on our pine, but has started flapping its wings some (I'm looking out the window as I type). I was just able to see that it (she) is a female, which is determined by a black spot on its wings if it is male and lack there of, if it is female. It is easier to see if you are looking at the monarch with its wings open.
She's soon to take off into this world. Good luck!

No, don't touch it! :)

Fall Weekend II

Dad reminded me yesterday that I haven't posted a new blog lately. Here are a few pics from our weekend. We didn't do much, just stayed around the house: cleaned, napped, and enjoyed the fall weather.
Cuddling with Papa on a cool morning

We are so lucky to have a few parks w/in walking distance of our house. We go to the Intermural fields/Lake Herrick once or twice a week to get some exercise, enjoy the scenery, and feed the ducks- if they're around. We especially enjoyed the beautiful fall colors this weekend!

Very proud of her rock skipping skills!

And with fall leaves, comes the joy of raking. We don't need to rake, as our landlord picks them up, but Esther really enjoys it. She rakes them into a 'piyal' and then jumps in them (like a bunny rabbit - 'hoppy, hoppy, hoppy" with hand motions of bunny ears)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Embroidery, Cookies, and Singing

Watching the trash truck (and really cute tights!)

Here are pictures of the little sweatshirt I embroidered Esther. For my first attempt at embroidery, I think it turned out pretty well. Thanks, Mom, for your goody box of threads.

Esther and I made oatmeal cookies today. It's a relatively healthy recipe, but I think they are delicious. She loves helping me cook and, of course, enjoys eating them too. Here's the recipe:
2 stick butter (I use Smart Balance)
1 c brown sugar (I reduced it and added maple syrup)
2 eggs
2 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c + 2 TBL milk (I use soymilk)
2 c oats (add last)
Mix 1st three ingredients. Mix dry ingredients separately. Combine wet and dry. Add milk and oatmeal. I also add 1 cup of craisins, since I don't care for raisins. Cook 10 min at 350. YUM!

I've mentioned how Esther loves to sing. Well, I finally got it on video during our lunch today. She has a full mouth half the time, so some of it is quite hard to understand. She misses a few letters in the ABCs and words in the other songs, but for her age, I think it is pretty good (of course that is probably the proud parent in me). Unfortunately, Zouga interrupted the performance. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wonderful Fall Weekend

My heart was warmed to find this little monarch chrysalis in my Norfolk pine a few days ago (notice the new layout picture). At least I know one will complete its metamorphosis. We are watching and waiting for the butterfly to emerge. It should probably be another week. I'll keep you posted if I get a picture.

Speaking of butterflies, here is my sweetest butterfly. I didn't feel the picture last week did the dress justice. It has an adorable dragonfly embroidered on the front and sewn on wings on the back. Esther's been practicing being a butterfly fairy for Halloween and has been fluttering (flapping) all over the yard.

E and I walked up to the Pumpkin Patch at a local church on Friday. This small pumpkin is the first one she picked up and was the one she wanted. It won't do to leave it outside, so she has been taking it from place to place around the house. I think she would sleep with it if we would let her.

It was beautiful weekend, not too chilly, but a nice, cool wind. We enjoyed the company of my brother and sister-in-law on Saturday for the Georgia game. I napped most of the game, but was happy they won, so the moods in the house would be pleasant (have I mentioned that I really don't care about sports).
Today was a 'cozy-on-the-couch' kind of Sunday. I read, crocheted, and started embroidering (pictures to come). I crocheted this cute little hat for Esther. I absolutely love it and will probably make one for myself. After trying (and pulling out) 2-3 different hat patterns, this one turned out perfect. Here is the pattern for any crocheters out there. It is the slant stich hat. I used size H hook and tend to crochet really tight, so it made the perfect size for Esther. Ben's parents brought me the beautiful green wool yarn back from Ireland and I have been holding onto for years, waiting for the perfect project. The purple flower was an easy addition to give it some girly flare. Esther seems to like it and is now ready for the coming chilly fall mornings. (her 'cheese' face, again)

The rest of our Sunday, we spent playing in the yard, taking a walk for ice cream (smoothie for non-dairy Esther), and Ben is now studying for his Microbiology class.

It is getting late. Off to bed and back to a busy week in the morning...