Why hello there, old blog! Long time no see, visit, check, update, or otherwise engage with!

And here it is! My semi-annual post about how maybe I will start posting on this blog again, since I really don’t want the blog to die off entirely.

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A Hedgehog for Hazel


When I accompanied Mabel to the State History Fair a couple of weeks ago,  we stopped at a nearby quilt shop and I bought enough of this fabric to make a simple skirt for Hazel, who loves to wear skirts. Then later I got a different idea, and I asked Mabel to draw a hedgehog embroidery design for me.

To sew the top I used out-of-print Butterick pattern 3547. It took me longer to make than such a simple design seemed like it should, mostly because I had to refer to the instructions a lot for the construction of the lining with the butterfly sleeve, and I had some trial and error coming up with a technique to insert the embroidered piece.

Now that I’ve figured the pattern out, I could make another one twice as fast–but unfortunately there are other projects I’d rather move on to.


I safety-pinned this onto Hazel before it was finished so that I could get photos before dark, then came inside and sat on the floor for twenty minutes sorting through a gallon bag of brown vintage buttons until I found a set.


Even though this project wasn’t as quick-and-easy as I’d hoped, I loved anticipating how it would turn out. Now Henry wants something with an embroidered hedgehog on it–so I’m trying to figure out what to make for him. (Like I said, on to the next project.)


By the way, Mabel’s once-beloved pet hedgehog Spike has moved on to a new owner. He was a lot of work to care for, and after Mabel had exhausted every bribery resource getting Rose and Henry to clean his cage, she finally decided she was done with hedgehog ownership, and sold him last October. None of the kids was sad to see him go–although Mabel still misses him when she’s in the mood for a hedgie photoshoot. I was a little more sad to see him go–but I never cleaned his cage. Even so, it’s a relief not to nag the kids to clean his cage anymore.


Last moments with Spike

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How to kill an hour on a Sunday afternoon–Mabel’s satirical science board

I just found this while sorting through old papers, and decided to type it up before recycling it. Mabel’s best estimate is that she made this when she was seven, or maybe nine.


The Study: How ignorant can big brothers be?


Are big brothers more ignorant under certain circumstances?


I think there will be slight differences.


I believe under magor circumstances, he is more ignorant than usual. When he’s concentrated on other things, he doesn’t notice things as much. He notices as bigger or shinier things.


The Study

Test 3: Ike’s stuff-How ignorant can big brothers be? Does Ike notice me with his own stuff? (Yes, but further testing)


Test 3 Phase 1: Wolf
I took his stuffed wolf and walked around with it. Result: Negative. He saw me and got angry. (and took it.)


Test 3 Phase 2: Gun
I took his Big Bad Bow™ and snuck around. Result: Negative. He saw me and was ticked off


Test 3 Phase 3: Ocarina
I took his Ocarina
Result: Negative. He got REALLY, REALLY, angry.

He seems to notice more when I take his stuff.

Posted in My kids actually are funny (and sweet and wonderful), My kids think they're funny | 4 Comments

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there


Santa’s been here! He made it by about 11:20 PM, which isn’t quite a record in this house, but still leaves Dean and me plenty of time to stay up too late grading finals (him) or playing Scrabble online (me).

Today Mabel pointed out to Hazel that Hazel’s stuffed penguin Mingo is turning one year old tomorrow, so she helped Hazel write a letter to Santa and put it in the mailbox. Then Mabel made sure that Mingo got a present from Santa–this little Santa hat, that she whipped together tonight.


Our rule is that we can’t open presents on Christmas morning until we’ve had breakfast, so to help them resist, in past years the kids have wanted to put a baby gate or masking tape across the door to the living room. This year I got the idea to embellish on that concept by covering the door to the living room, as well as the railed opening in our hallway that looks onto the living room, with wrapping paper.

stockings02 Stockings01 Papered_02Elf Isaac was my Christmas elf for this job. He said the wrapping paper wasn’t easy to work with–but we were all pleased with the results.

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Hazel’s Makeshift Nativity


We haven’t put up our nativity scene yet–we’ll do that today or tomorrow–but Hazel got to play with a Fisher Price one at a neighbor’s house the other day, and was inspired.

I think we have some other animals she could have used with our doll house things (and even some people and a baby) but I love how she worked with what she had on hand.



Hazel_Nativity05Cows (with blanket over them)


Hazel_Nativity03Caterpillar and whale (the whale is small and is under the blanket)

And Hazel’s description of the whole thing:

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Hazel demonstrates how to use a cell phone


Mabel’s really been wanting to get a phone, but Hazel beat her to it–using nothing but an empty kids’ crayon box from PF Chang, a skewer, paper, crayons, and tape.


As you can see, Hazel knows exactly how to use her new phone.


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Helping Children Cope With Loss

(Maybe I shouldn’t use that title–it’s going to get me all kinds of misdirected traffic. I offer my apologies in advance to you, the misdirected. Also, I’m pretty sure Mabel would say this little carefully-placed note of hers wasn’t worth a photo nor a blog post. She often underestimates how entertained by her it’s normal for me to be.)

chocolate_almond_01 chocolate_almond_02

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