Monthly Archives: May 2011

Tomorrow: Carrie’s Summer

Okay, so I’m really excited about tomorrow.  I have been writing a post about Carrie’s summer …

This is Carrie, by the way … in case you forgot….

[Not sure who that gigantic blur is next to her …]

Anyway, I’m really excited to share with you what I’ve been learning about in regards to Care’s summer.  Because she’s cool …

And she puts up with a lot from my kids …

Oh yeah, and she’s cool.  Did I say that already?

Hope to see you tomorrow!

A Slice of Our Holiday

As promised, I updated our Memorial Day pictures this weekend.  Hey!  In my defense … I remembered yesterday that we didn’t have pictures from last year because we were in the middle of a cross-country marathon drive.  I’ll have to tell that story another time … I’ll also have to figure out my excuses for the other three years not having pictures at a later date as well.

We started out our morning with a parade…

And, the “A++ Father Award for Standing in The Hot Sun On a Parade Route” goes to … my husband!  I say this because I was over here for about 98.5% of the morning …

…sitting on the step of a dentist’s office in the shade of the building right behind Bob the whole time.   PS: I wish I could tell you why Aidan makes that face at the camera, but I can’t, because I don’t know why.  I think my two year old is officially “too cool for school” … or the camera … whichever the case may be.

A funny thing about my family …

We love to cheer on a parade.  Side note: look at my prim and proper mother with her backwards hat!  I have no idea why it’s like that in this picture, but I’m sure she’ll die just a tiny bit when she sees it.

Anyway, we love to cheer a parade!  Please notice my dad’s wide open mouth … he spends a large amount of any parade we attend calling out to the participants.  There’s one parade we attend every year where we’ve started noticing that the same people sit by us year after year.  I think it’s because my father is almost as entertaining as the parade.  When we were younger, he’d call out and cheer to all the church and school kids we knew in the marching bands, etc.  Now, he calls out to people he knows from the city … everyone from the mayor to the marching veteran whose coffee he pours at Starbuck’s and recognizes by name.  We laugh and it’s entertaining, but my dad has a great gift for making people feel special, even those he doesn’t know … as evidenced in this picture: he’s calling out to the flute players and telling them what a great job they’re doing.  True story.  He often calls out to the parents marching alongside the groups and bands with “Way to go, PARENTS!  You guys make it happen!!”  I love my dad.

We finally got out of the heat for an awesome lunch that included an addictive spinach salad (a recipe I WILL be posting in the future) and then a little of this …

I’ll just let this picture speak for itself.  Powerful in it’s total lack of action, right?

After a little siesta, we let the kids hang out in the sprinkler.  I should just preface this by saying … I LOVE these pictures!  I love them so much that I drool over them a little every time I look at them.  Okay, I’m done.

Side note: THIS is why you cloth diaper.  Green, Schmeen … do it for the awesome pictures of your babies’ little bums in adorable colors, that’s why.

If this picture had sound, you’d hear Darcy and Aidan laughing while Chase shrieks at the top of his lungs while clapping his hands.

Try as they might, the kids could no longer be patient after a while and so it was time for dessert … and by “kids“, I may mean “adults“, and by “dessert” I definitely mean “s’mores” … oh, yes.  However, the kids (the real kids) aren’t big on s’mores yet (yes, I know, something is genetically wrong) so they got ice cream cones.  Which probably made for better pictures anyway …

Not one to do things by half, my youngest ignored the “licking” concept and moved into the more intense ice cream consumption phase of trying to put the whole cone into his mouth.

Which didn’t really pay off as he ended up with more ON him then in him …

Please note the totally hair-tastic look of this child.  Gracious, he’s going to hate this picture some day!  However, for his mother, it will always be a work of art.

Hope you all made the most of your day and enjoyed it!

Have a funny Memorial day story or pic?  Feel free to post it below!

Swaddling Blanket (the good, the bad, and the ugly)

It is done!  My MDW (Memorial Day Weekend) project is completed!

In other good news, I got back behind the wheel of the sewing machine (wheel? hey, don’t kill the cliche, okay?) for the first time since I helped my mom make matching PJs for me and my American Girl doll when I was 9.  This was BIG.  I don’t sew.

Side note:  This is where my mom and I are complete opposites.  She says that all four of her children’s labors were more easy than setting up her first e-mail account but the woman can whip up vintage Vogue shift dresses over a 48 hr period with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back.  Think I’m kidding?  It’s an impressive sight to behold!  The pattern practically bows down to her.  Anyway, back to me … I’m more with the computer than the sewing machine myself, so, this was epic.

As much as I’d love to “blog announce” that the blanket is perfect and I’m a natural, my finished product is probably closer to a grade school sewing class feel than a start-your-own-etsy-site feel.  But, I feel that I, for one, am stronger for it (cleansing breath of deep and profound maturity).

Haha!  Now for the technical stuff…

First, always read the manual (which I did) … even the trouble-shooting section (which I didn’t), and here’s why …

Hmmm ... Embroidery thread ... now that would have been helpful to know!

Because I ignored [cough], I mean, overlooked this paragraph, I experienced a couple, shall we say “thread malfunctions” that may or may not have involved a seam ripper and a prayers for patience.  It also meant that the regular, non-embroidery thread I was using for my decorative finishing stitch went through cycles of doing this:

 

puckered, warped, and just plain weird

Overall, the finished impression isn’t totally hideous.  Nobody is running in terror.  But, the “decorative stitch” I picked just looks more like my favorite inside-out sweatshirt stitching from high school than I’d like it to.

Second, the original pattern blog didn’t mention this, but I struggled with the different strengths/characteristics/whatever of sewing flannel to cotton.  The flannel was more stretchy than the cotton and I felt like I was fighting it more than I would have liked.  But that’s okay, I’m over it.    And I’m already dreaming about trying another one of these guys in all flannel for my little Fall baby.  :)

Last, Big Plus! Look at the SIZE! Have you ever seen such an awesome swaddling blanket?  I’m thinking that this will be great for covering the carrier and tummy time as well!

Sorry about the shadow-y quality.  This is what happens when you take pictures on your phone’s camera at 10:30 at night.  Learn from me.  Take normal pictures at normal times with normal light, okay?  Thank you.  Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the animal print is green, teal, orange, brown and yellow on a cream background and the flannel stripe is in the same colors plus a dark navy (which I chose to accentuate with the aforementioned disaster of a decorative stitch).

That pretty much concludes my thoughts on this project.  It was fun, easy, cute (especially if you follow all your sewing machine instructions) and I would definitely keep the pattern/idea on my list to reuse for baby shower gifts, etc.

Did I mention that I was taking pictures of this at 10:30 PM?  I’m not old.  It’s the pregnancy, really.  Anyhow, I need to sign off before my kids wake back up at half past the crack of dawn.

More on our extended weekend later …

Have a great Memorial Day!

PS:  want the blanket pattern?  You’ll find it at Passionate Homemaking – click here.

A Weekend Project

Photo: Passionate Homemaking

Isn’t this beautiful?  I can almost see a little one snuggled into it.  Of course, that could be just me … I seem to have babies on my mind recently.  Not sure why …

I read about this beautiful blanket over at Passionate Homemaking and haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since.  It looks amazingly simple … the perfect project for somebody like me: the “I-think-I-learned-how-to-sew-a-long-time-ago” seamstress.  Of course, mine won’t be in these rich feminine colors, a moment of silence, please.  …okay, moving on… Mine will also take significantly longer to complete than the couple hours truly needed.  (see also: something about interruptions and small children) 

This will most likely be my Saturday.  What’s on your list today?

Friday Five: The “You May Address Me As…” edition

Remember when I was going to do a “Friday Five” post every Friday?  Yeah, me too.  Let’s not talk about it … I’ll face my procrastination sometime after the weekend.

Hey!  But, because it’s actually Friday today, and because the royal wedding really wasn’t that long ago, and the history of the British monarchy is so cool (nerd alert!), and because our president and his wife made news over there this week, I give you … the “You May Adress Me As …” edition of “Friday Five”!!

Epic Sidenote: I chose these five out of England’s finest because of personality similarities or likely accomplishments … just want to make it clear that I’m not equating my baby boy with a head-chopping, divorce-crazed guy, okay?  Are ya with me? 

Robert: William I, aka: “William the Conqueror”.  To put it in perspective, this guy lived shortly after history went into four digits (think, 1028 or so).  He became the first Norman king of England persuasively through a large scale invasion (ever heard of the Battle of Hastings?).  England took to this fairly well … hey, during his coronation they only “boo’d” loudly and set fire to the houses around the church while abandoning the ceremony to loot … classy, huh?  His reign saw the introduction of Norman-French culture, widespread reform, and also the first nation-wide survey to determine England’s productivity.  Get this!  He died from serious abdominal injuries (look out for those horse pommels if you’re ever unseated while riding!) sustained in battle.  Oh, but it doesn’t stop there … his burial is even more interesting!  Due to length of time and heat, his body bloated and the priests had to literally shove him into the sarcophagus.  Again with the classiness.  (this is why I love history)

EllieElizabeth I, aka: “Good Queen Bess”.  She was the last of the House of Tudor, only daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. (I bet she won the “Interesting Parents” contest every time)  Despite parliament whining at her for most of her life, she refused to marry.  The “Elizabethan Era” was characterized by military victories (Sir Francis Drake), drama (ever heard of a guy named Will Shakespeare?) and the forging of a national identity (over her 44 years on the throne!).  She has been charaterized as short-tempered and charismatic (explaining the lack of marriage?), and supported the spread and strengthening of the English Protestant church.  Sidenote: just to be clear, I picked her because of her charisma and accomplishments … NOT her rumored short temper.  Just to be clear …

Darcy: Queen Victoria, aka: A National Icon.  She gets the award for longest reigning monarch (63 years!) and was also the first Empress of India (see also: “crazy international expansion).  The last monarch of the House of Hanover, her reign is marked by significant change and progress.  With all 9 of her children and 26 of her 42 grandchildren marrying into royal/noble households, she is often referred to as the “Grandmother of Europe”.  How do you like them apples?

AidanEdward VII, aka: The Guy They Named the “Edwardian Era” After.  Queen Victoria’s oldest son, he was the first and last monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (renamed the House of Windsor by his son due to anti-German sentiment … also, the British might have found it too much to pronounce … oh wait, that part was just me).  His reign, falling just inside the new 20th century, is charaterized by great strides in technology and society.  Edward is also celebrated for all he did to foster good relations with Europe (particularly France … who still had their feather ruffled over all the times England had tried to take them over … oops!)   He was also a pretty good judge of character: he didn’t get on well with his nephew Wilhelm and was known to have thought that Wilhelm was likely to start a war.  World War I started four years after Edward’s death and effectively ended the “Edwardian Era”.

Chase:  Henry VIII, aka: The Guy With the Bad Temper, aka: I just couldn’t help myself.  Of the House of Tudor, Henry was attractive and charismatic and was actually quite accomplished (an author and composer! … gee, I wonder when he found time to do the kinging?)  His reign was one of absolute power and he is (of course) best known for 1) Divorcing himself from the Catholic church, and 2) Divorcing himself from half the women in England.  Well, maybe not half, but still 6 wives isn’t something to sneeze at!  He is generally depicted as a smart, but all around crabby man.  

If this whetted an appetite for more on the British monarchy, go grab yourself a 500 page volume of British history for your Memorial Day weekend!  Or, if you’re not a total dork like me, at least watch “The King’s Speech” because it’s an awesome monarchy story (about a guy I didn’t even feature today) and is not to be missed.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Week @ Large

Hey, so, about our week …!  Because I know you’ve all been dying to know …

Right now, we’re spending a lot of time with my little sister who is in town for the week after doing this:

Aw, isn’t she pretty?  Don’t be fooled, she’s also a bratty little sister.   Sidenote: She’s flanked here by the parental units who flew to LA to make sure she did the dirty deed and actually graduated.  And another sidenote [because they’re fun]: that bling she’s wearing is a lei made out of chocolate candies.  I wish I’d graduated from her school.

Care leaves for a summer ministry position tomorrow morning.  Stay tuned on this story.  As I’ve been talking with her, this ministry makes me want to cry because it’s so amazing and I’m looking forward to writing more about it sometime this weekend or next week.

On a pretty major note, we started off the week with a little of this:

Meet “E4” — 4th child and 3rd boy, due in the Fall.  Isn’t he cute?  He has his father’s fuzzy features, don’t you think?  Haha! …ahem.  Anyway…

On an (almost, but not really) equally major note, we’ll be finishing the week with this:

For those of you who might not know this if it slapped you in the face, this is PIZZA.  Chicago-style pizza.  Everything-else-you’ve-ever-eaten-pales-in-comparison pizza.  From Lou Malnati’s.  I think I’m actually drooling a little. [Mike Blackburn, wherever you are, eat your heart out]

We’re also looking forward to the long weekend in which we hope to be doing a little of this:

This is us at a Memorial Day parade …about a hundred years ago.  …which was apparently the last time either of us took a camera to a parade.  Plans to rectify that this weekend … so you all can see how much more mature we are [ha!] and also how many more children we have now [hahaha!].

More from the Ewoldts at large (or the large Ewoldts?) very soon …

Child of Grace

March 5th: The baby could be anticipated with joy

And what is left of this story?  The baby

Darcy (“the one who dwells in the stronghold”) Charis (“grace”) was born at 6:59 AM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2006.  My prayer for her has always been that she would live to fulfill her name: that she would dwell in the shadow of the Almighty and forever be a testimony of His Grace.  She was and is a child picture of my grace as well.

And so I began … raising my daughter while working full time to provide for us both, trusting God to meet our every need, and feeling completely led to stay single and reach others for Christ with my story of God’s faithfulness.

More than once, I was told with well-meaning intentions (or so I choose to believe) that others were praying for a husband to “rescue” me, but I really didn’t consider myself a person to be rescued.  God loved me and provided for me more and better than any human husband could and between that and the many promises of the Word to the fatherless, Darcy and I felt incredibly covered in this season.

Yet …

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” ~ Proverbs 16:9

This was not the end of a story, but the close of another chapter.

 

**Missed the rest of the story (so far)?  It’s right here!**

Story of My Life (update)

Hey!  If you’re new to e-family or even if you’re not new and you just haven’t had a chance to catch up on this, here are the different chapters from my testimony of God’s faithfulness over the last several years.  Make sure to come back tomorrow as well because there’s another chapter that I’ve been working on … short and sweet … but NOT TO BE MISSED.

Prologue: It Confounds Logic

Is There Another Way?

The Dual Road

A Moment of Insight

A Time of Joy in Shifting Sand

The Peaceful Decision

If You’re Lucky, You Get A Phone Call

March 5th, pt I

March 5th, pt II

Coming tomorrow [05/23/2011]  … Child of Grace

 

Skinned Knees, Runny Noses, and Pots

I’m happy to report that we survived the start of our pot* garden on Friday!

*just to be clear, I’m talking legal pot, or potS rather … as in the terra cotta kind.  Or really, fake terra cotta because I’m cheap.

It was not without it’s small bumps (literally and figuratively), but now, after one trip to the plant store (virtually disaster free …ha!), ever so many snack crackers used to bribe the children, 4 skinned knees, 15 nose wipes, one disciplinary action (we SHARE the toy car, we do not extricate our little brothers and/or pull the car over on top of him), three showers, two small sun burns, and one missed nap (and possibly a partridge in a pear tree?) …

TaDa!

[Hey, you can also see my gorgeous Mother’s Day rose in the background … an idea my hubby got from the Pioneer Woman …well, don’t look too closely actually, it had a pretty hacked-up pruning experience yesterday, poor thing]

Darcy picked two veggies: yellow pepper and cucumber, Aidan picked his nose, and Chase tried to pick something sticky off the cart (ew).

I picked some herbs.  I’m so excited about growing herbs!  Have I mentioned this?  I plan on spending some time this summer reading exactly how to utilize the plants beyond “Wow, they smell great!” and “I feel so cool for growing herbs!”. Know of any good info?  Pass it along, please. 

I’m especially excited about the Lavender.  I love Lavender.  I have a little crush on it and utilize it as much as I possibly can.  (Think: healing/relaxing, household cleaners, air freshening, etc, etc … more on that later)

So this is our start … off hand I’m thinking of adding tomato, peas, and lettuce.  (Be impressed with my impressive planning ahead skills)  Wishing I had enough room for some things like squash and pumpkins!

Have some suggestions for us?  Please … I’m always in need of suggestions … share away!  Have a favorite veggie?  Share that too!

Cliches, Bribes, and Gardens

Today is the day …

I’m pulling myself up by my bootstraps, I’m putting my nose to the grindstone, I’m … well, I’m having a cliche party at the moment, but today is the day I’m finally going to attack my gardening dilemma.

Living in a condo makes this aspect of life a little more challenging for us.  We’ve explored the possibility of community garden plots, but sadly, our community auctioned off a majority of it’s plots for the high school LaCrosse fields and so that option is out.  We have also discussed a porch garden in pots, but our home faces due North and we only get early morning and late afternoon sun … ah, a moment of silence for all the things I wish I’d considered before we bought this place … although!  I will say, I do save on my cooling bills in the summer because we almost never get direct sunlight in here.  (it’s like a cave)

Moving on …

So, at this moment, I’m leaning towards putting a couple shade-loving plants in pots on our porch.  Because we NEED (NEED!!) green things around here!  And then begging my parents (who live across town) and possibly also promising to wash their dishes or take out their trash all summer in exchange for putting some pots of veggies in their yard — which gets crazy sun all the time.    [Mom and Dad, if you’re reading this, I never promised to wash your dishes and take out your trash.  You never saw this post.  Repeat after me …]

Sound like a garden plan?

Wish me luck!  Maybe not so much on the “gardening aspect” as in the “getting three kids through the gardening store without spectacular disaster” aspect.

Stay tuned …

[Disclaimer: my garden will look nothing like this garden.  I’m just saying … consider yourself warned …]