Thursday, July 31, 2008

Colin's 7th birthday

Well, I took a lot of pictures while Colin was opening his presents tonight, but I was having trouble with my camera, so a bunch of them turned out dark. Something wasn't working right with the flash....but I still got a lot!

Mom also blogged about Colin's birthday this morning. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to get that boy to smile right for pictures!! He immediately acts cheesy and either smiles some silly grin, or clamps his mouth shut in a frozen smile. Good grief! 6/7 year-olds!

After he found the "treasure":

Playdough! When I told Mom I wanted to get him some playdough, she groaned and I pointed out that we have hard floors now. It won't be as bad as when I had playdough!:

Unwrapping something with great speed!:

Uh-oh, badminton rackets (racquets?) and an evil grin...this does not look good for me:

What is it?! Apparently, the bag with hearts was the only gift bag Grandma had...:

Ooo, one of those things!:

Weird, squishy's eating my foot:

Gracie does not like the squishy ball!!:

BIG box:

Mom was wondering if he could tell from the shipping label what it was...well, technically, but he doesn't know what that means:

What are these?:

AH! That's what it is! A cap gun:

Doesn't he look smugly happy? And old! *sniff*:


There are more photos below this, or in the last post, depending on how you read this.

More pictures

Perfect Gracie-sized box:

Go away. My cable ties:


I warned you, annoying human!!:

Pretzel cat:

Unwrapping something:

Colin explaining how his toy works:

Colin squishing Grandma and Grandpa:

The birthday boy takes out the bag of wrapping paper:

A new outdoor game to figure out! All I know about ladderball is that you should be careful not to get the balls stuck in the trees:

The cake...I really don't like how the writing turned out. I used jam like I did on that other cake a few weeks ago, but apparently it doesn't work real well for it's really weird-looking:

Colin with his cake:

I don't think he spit on it... :

So, that was Colin's birthday! I'm pretty happy with how the cat on his cake turned out, but it wasn't easy...and those butterscotch chips are awfully sticky! Ick. And if they're stuck together in the bag the way the chocolate chips get sometimes, they don't come apart like chocolate...they just melt together more. Arrrgh.... Mom and I also realized tonight that we really don't like cake all that well...chocolate cake is good, and carrot cake, and some various tube cakes...but it's just SO sweet! I think maybe we like chocolate cake without icing. I mean, I did like it, and I'd eat cake again, we're just not big fans of cake for some reason.

Anyway...everyone else is in bed, so I should probably go to bed. :)

Colin's treasure hunt

These were the clues I wrote for Colin's "treasure hunt"...I think I could have made them harder! Well, I don't know if I could have thought of any harder ones, but he figured these out pretty easily. He really enjoyed it too!!

This is a treasure hunt for your present! Find the 1st clue behind Gracie’s favorite treat. (Greenie treats in the pantry)

The 2nd clue is under what Natalie just painted. (Bathroom cabinet)

The 3rd clue is where the strawberries swing. (Strawberries in hanging basket)

One of your pandas is holding the 4th clue. (Stuffed panda in his room)

The 5th clue is behind the game in Natalie’s room. (Behind the Chinese Checkers board)

How does Dad get into work? Find the 6th clue there. (In the drawer with his badge)

Have you done all your chores? The 7th clue is waiting for you with one of your chores…pay attention while you do your work. (Recycling waiting to go out)

You saw me!! What’s green and yellow and likes to climb…and tastes good too? Find your 8th clue there. (On the squash trellis)

What do you look for at 11:30 and 3:00? The 9th clue is next to it. (In the basket with the TV remote)

What cold thing do you eat in the living room? The 10th clue is shivering next to it. (In the freezer by the ice cream)

Good Job!!!! Now find your present in the fallen structure in the woods. ☺ (In the fallen down brick fort my friends and I built)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sermons and...utter nonsense!

I was listening to a sermon by John Macarthur while I was knitting today, and after listening to it, I was thinking that I would like to get the Macarthur Study Bible. So I did a Google search on it, to find out what places sell them, and it looks like you can buy them on Amazon. I just wish it came in KJV, because that's what I'm used to. Oh well, NKJV is close, or I could get the NASB and be able to follow along in church better.

The Macarthur sermon I listened to I found on, but they only had three on there, so I looked for some more.
This place has all the Grace To You episodes, and this one has other sermons. The problem with both of those places is there's no easy way to download the sermons. The GTY episodes look they can be downloaded easily, but they just pull up in the page. And the links on the pages don't work for "save link as".
With things like that I usually end up pulling a blog post page, make a link to the mp3 and then without publishing the post, switch to "preview" mode so I can right-click on the link and save it as an mp3 file. Is there another, easier way to save a file like that? It seems like there should be, but I haven't figured it out.

Oh, also while looking for the Macarthur Study Bible, I came across this lunatic's page! Wow, he certainly has a high opinion of himself, and an extreme dislike of John Macarthur among others. Some of the well-known teachers he lists on his homepage are in error, but certainly not all of them.

This Darwin Fish (and he says that's his real name) says he hasn't found any other pastor who's truly following the Bible and his group cult is called the "true church". Most of his arguments on the website seem to be based on him taking a person's, or the Bible's words extremely literally. Well, maybe not always, because you wouldn't think you could go that far off by taking the words of the Bible literally, but he's somehow twisting that even. As for men's words, they're in trouble if they use one slightly wrong word to explain something. Any word that you would usually look at and in context be able to know what the person was saying, is taken as flatly literal...sheesh. It's so illogical too, even I can see that!
I didn't read all the website...I'm sure he has even more things on there that are unbiblical, but his arguments against Macarthur and others are bad enough, and I couldn't take any more.

*groan* I think I have a headache now. The only bright point in this I can see is that he is pretty obviously teaching strange things, as opposed to say, the emergent churches that are closer to being mainstream churches. What has sadly become mainstream, that is.

And not that one logical fallacy alone could condemn them, but they also managed to insert a Red Herring into the answer to one of the FAQ:

Q6. Has Darwin ever been convicted of a crime?

No, as of this date Darwin has never even been arrested. Actually, Darwin served as a Probation Officer for several years prior to his full time ministry.

What does the fact that he was a probation officer have to do with that? It doesn't prove sounds impressive, but doesn't really have anything to do with the question.

Well, he says they only have about 50 people in their church...that's a relief, he hasn't deceived too many people yet. :( Oh wait, I don't know if he could or not...he also seems to think that if a preacher is very popular and well-known, with lots of followers, he must be wrong, because that many people wouldn't follow someone who was really speaking the truth! Hmm...I wonder what his reaction would be to a bunch of people following his teachings?

Whoof...sorry about the ranting. All that to say that Macarthur's sermons are good, despite what that nut says, and I don't know how to save mp3s easily. :p

Oh yes

I also made cookies yesterday...because they sounded good and since Mom was making a casserole for supper I could make cookies in the late afternoon without being in the way.

Oatmeal (my dad's favorite)...plain oatmeal with no raisins. Dad and I don't like raisins in our oatmeal cookies.

I thought this was funny!

On a Claire Day

Things that go "bump" in the morning

So yesterday morning my alarm went off and I rolled over to get it and fell out of bed.

Okay...let me know when you stop laughing.

Done? Okay, I'll continue. ;) How on earth did someone my age fall out of bed you're wondering...good question. Apparently when I sleep very, very soundly, I flip back and forth several times, so I end up with the covers bunched up around my neck, or I'm all the way over on one side of the bed. Since my bed's up against the wall, that means I either fall out or elbow the wall. Elbowing the wall, I have done, falling out of bed, I haven't. Ouch. Luckily for whichever of my cats that decides to sleep with me, I don't sleep that soundly very often at all! :p

I was glad my mattress and box spring are right on the floor, because I didn't have far to fall...not that it didn't still hurt. And then Colin rushed in (because he's always up early) to find out what had happened and if I was alright, and when he figured out I was alright started telling me about a dream he had about sheep sleeping in bunk beds and falling out of them, and saying "baa" when they landed. Meanwhile I'm still lying on the floor sort of wide-awake and yet still asleep.

"And then the other sheep rolled out and landed on the other one, and went "baaa"!" says Colin. "Baa," I said.

So I finally managed to wake up completely and go wash my hair and get dressed...and then I entered some more giveaways before breakfast. And I thought I was getting going on getting these things entered early, until I saw a comment Annabeth (hi, Annabeth!) had left on a giveaway at 6:30-something...and realized I wasn't early at fact, I wasn't even up at 6:30!! It was 7 when my alarm went off and I rolled out of bed! :p

Anyway...I got going early (for me) and then Colin and I cleaned his room later in the morning...and it wasn't as tragic as it's been sometimes. He was willing to throw some stuff away and did a good job of sorting things back into their proper boxes, and he straightened his bookshelf all by himself. Yay!

And then...I can't remember what else I did yesterday...I got some stuff done though. Oh, I got some recipes copied out of a cookbook a friend let me borrow, and I played "tennis" with Colin for a while, and I knitted some last night. Oh, and I went to Dollar Tree to look at those dishes, and when I looked at them more closely, it looked like the paint would chip off easily, so I decided not to get them, but I found a ring-binder and I got some waxed paper. And then I went to the grocery store and got some stuff we needed for Colin's birthday supper tomorrow. Hamburgers and corn is what he wants. I didn't get the corn yet, and hopefully the stuff from the grocery store will be good, but Dad's going to get it on his way home Thursday, so it's as fresh as possible. As fresh as it can be from the store anyway! Dad stopped at a produce stand yesterday, but their corn didn't look very good either.

So Mom and I need to wrap Colin's presents today, and then I'll make the cake tomorrow.

Wow, there's over 800 giveaways listed this morning! I can't believe how many there are!

Well, I should get going, there are lots of things I should be doing today!

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's Monday...and...well, it's Monday

Hmm...I've been on the computer a lot today!! I've been entering a bunch of the giveaways on the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival. Not that I ever win anything. I finally won one of the daily giveaways on there, but I've never yet won anything from the carnival. Oh well, I'll see if I win anything...

I did get my chores done today too, though. And I'll probably get some knitting done tonight to make up for all this computer time today. I found out last night that I knitted several inches past where I needed to on my sweater...I was supposed to knit till it was eight inches and then do something else on it...and apparently I can't judge eight inches. So I measured it last night and had to pull some of it out...*sigh* I need to remember to measure more often, I don't have time to be wasting knitting unnecessarily. For some reason I never can seem to remember to get a picture of my sweater...I'll probably be done with it before I get a picture taken!

I found out last night that if I'm outside in the humidity my hair starts curling. I was trying to brush the little pieces around my face out of the way because they were bothering me...and I couldn't get my hair to smooth down out of my was springy! My hair? Springy? Impossible.

I read somewhere that when you get a mosquito bite you should slap it a lot to get the blood flowing to it so it won't itch as much. That actually works! You end up with a nice welt where the mosquito bit you (from blood going to the spot, not from slapping very, very hard) but it doesn't itch and then it goes away completely. Wow! I don't know whether this would always work, or work for all people, but it's certainly worth a try...unless you're someplace where if you start slapping a mosquito bite people might look at you funny... ;p

I went to Dollar Tree when I was out shopping for Colin's birthday present Saturday...they have some really neat dishes there. White with different green leaves on them, very cute. I'm thinking about getting a few place-settings...I don't know. I'll go back and take a look at them. They were microwave and dishwasher safe and they seemed pretty sturdy, and you can't really beat the price. There are lots of interesting things at Dollar Tree...a lot of the sort of things that you "didn't know you needed" but some practical things that you would buy anyway. Like waxed paper...65 sq.ft. for a dollar, which is cheaper than the grocery store and it was the name brand stuff. Cut-rite or whatever it's called. Hmm...I should have looked for a cheap ring binder too...I'll have to look if I go back. I want a binder to put my schedule and time-sheet and notes from work in.

I finally got around to putting netting around my tomato plants...after I've had three tomatoes stolen now! I don't even know if these tomatoes are any good, because I haven't gotten to taste one myself! The animals apparently like them...but they're not very picky.

Gas prices are going down!!! Hurrah! Well, it's still not exactly cheap but anything's better. $3.84 at the regular gas stations yesterday, and $3.73 at Costco.

With all these blog giveaways, I'm thinking about doing a giveaway in September for my birthday...because...well, just because it will be my birthday! Anyway, I was thinking of giving away a camera strap like I made for my camera, and you'd have a choice of a few it wouldn't have to be floral. So if my "cousin-who-wanders-around-taking-pictures" (aka: John) could win it too. lol! So would anyone be interested in that? Because I wouldn't want to have a giveaway and all if no one would want to enter. :p

If you haven't noticed already, there isn't any main point to this post.

Things I need to do this week:

*Sign up for a Red Cross CPR/First Aid class

*Figure out what days I want to work in August... C. (the mom) wants a few days to study for her board exams that she's taking in October, so she wanted me to come take care of the baby either a few whole days or half days in the first two weeks of I need to talk to Dad about whether he's got anything going on then that will interfere at all.

*Figure out what I'm cooking on Thursday

*Get a bunch of crafting done

*Bake some bread

And probably lots of other things too...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday stuff

Okay, I got the stuff I need for Colin's present...which is actually several items in a box. And I made a treasure hunt to find it. :) It's not a very hard treasure hunt (at least I don't think it is) but we'll see. Some of the clues are harder than others. And they're all ready.

Then for his cake I'm planning on putting a tortoiseshell cat on it, made out of chocolate, white, and butterscotch chips. It was one of the ideas he had for his cake, so that's what I'm going with. What's not so easy is coming up with a cat picture to copy! I finally ended up taking a photo of Gracie and messing with it in Photoshop, but it looks rather weird. But it's enough to go by anyway...I doesn't have to be perfect. Which is good, because I really can't draw. If any of my readers have amazing tortoiseshell cat-drawing skills, let me know...because it really is a bit scary. :p

I mostly wanted to do something that didn't require large amounts of colored icing with tons of food coloring in it. Last year I made him a cake with a road and everything...and the road tasted really nasty and turned your tongue black if you ate I think no more black food coloring on cakes! :p So hopefully the cat will work.

And they have butterscotch chips at Aldi! I knew they had started carrying "white baking chips" but I was afraid I'd have to get the others at the store, and pay whatever outrageous price they were just to use half (or less) of the bag. So that's nice.

Apparently tomorrow night we're going to do the same thing we did last Sunday and everyone's going to get together at the Beasleys' house!! :)

Now I have ironing to do, so I'd better go get it done.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Finished projects

Well, I got my cabinet all painted and put back together. Now it's nice and white and freshly painted. :) Much better.

Look what's on one of my squash plants! Well, it's a squash, it's supposed to be there, but it's the first butternut squash that's started growing, and it's so tiny.

I worked on an apron yesterday and today. I wanted to make one before I used the really nice fabric I got, since I'm figuring it out as I go. I didn't want to mess up the good fabric if I made some mistake. So I made this one out of some fabric I already had...and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I will have some changes to make when I sew the other one, like I need to attach the trim differently, and the top doesn't need to be as full, and I need to make the back ties longer, and it's going to be double-sided while this one was only one layer. But anyway...apron (thanks to Colin for the picture!:) :

And I also made a camera strap out of the same fabric while I was at it:

It's long enough to hang around my neck, which is what I've been wanting. I have a case with a strap, but then I have to get the camera out of the case before I can take a picture. This way I can have it around my neck and easily accessible. I was thinking that I would take a picture of the strap attached to the camera so you could see how it worked...but...I realized I've only got one camera. So I wouldn't really be able to take a picture of the camera with the camera, now would I? No, I didn't think so. ;p

This is what my parents are doing this weekend, but tomorrow I have some shopping to do...because Colin's birthday is next Thursday and I haven't finished my present yet, or gotten what I need to decorate the cake. Hmm...that's two things I need to get done this next week: figure out something that has to do with his present, and figure out the cake. I know what I'm putting on it, but I need to find some pictures for reference. Oh wait, it also sounds like I'm going to the grocery store tomorrow! Oh, I needed to anyway...nevermind.

It's Friday already

Oh, that's right, there was a reason we were all milling about in the front yard before my cousins left...GROUP PICTURE!!! Oh and also to make the mailman wonder what was wrong with us...but that wasn't hard.Obviously, Uncle Jim took this picture, since he isn't in the picture. :) So, there we all are...and we all have our eyes open and are looking at the camera...that's pretty good. :p

And because I just thought of this yesterday:

The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything ~Reliant K

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pictures part 2

More pictures.

Looking at clothes at Goodwill:

Stripy shirt:

Horrible purple velvet plaid shirt Rebecca came across...I'm not sure why she looks so happy...probably laughing at my look of horror:

Andrea doesn't want her picture taken:

Getting ready to leave:

Andrea is "shocked" about something:

Okay, they're getting in the van:

Leave already!! My, we're all blurry! I'm also not really sure why we all look so mad in this picture:

Oh wait, I know why I look peeved...we had been having some big discussion about backing out of driveways because Grandpa about took out our plants around the mailbox when he backed out the day before. I think I said I'm not very good at backing, but I could back out of the driveway fine. So Uncle Jim was purposely backing out horribly so I could see how to not do it or something...I was not amused. :p

Yep, that was it...because actually, I'm the only one who looks peeved really...I'm not sure you can tell from this picture because it's so blurry, but Colin looks dramatically worried, Dad's wondering what on earth Uncle Jim is doing, Mom is laughing at Uncle Jim, Grandpa thinks it's funny, but is wondering why he's doing that, and Grandma does not approve. That sound pretty accurate, family members? As I said, I'm not sure that it's obvious to someone who doesn't know our family, but I recognize those expressions. ;p

This reminds me, look what I saw at Target a couple weeks ago! Apples To Apples: On the go

Now I know what else I can ask for for my birthday! So far the only two things I'd come up with were salad plates to go with my dishes and some scarves. So here's a third thing anyway.

And the best part? "100% new card content"!!!!
And it comes in a nice little box with a handle on it...obviously it has fewer cards, but if they're new, who cares how many there are?

Oh, I see there's also the party box expansions one and even more cards! Wow, you could collect all of them and have thousands of cards to play Apples to Apples with!!

Pictures part 1

My cousin John emailed me the pictures he took while they were here's some more pictures. Some of these are a little weird...and these are the more normal ones even! :p John was wandering around taking pictures the whole time they were here, so we were alternately tired of having pictures taken, or didn't even know he was taking these.

Rebecca and Andrea on the swings...discussing something:

R. and A. done with the discussion:

Why does my hair always look bright red in outdoor photos?:

It also would have been nice if someone had told me we were having our picture taken...since apparently everyone else knew!!...and Dad and Rebecca both look like they're about to kill John...hmm...

I guess I must have been standing up, although it looks like I'm about to backhand Rebecca with the camera...since I don't remember doing that and she doesn't look worried, that must not have been the case!:

Rebecca blogging:

Interesting ladybug we found:

Picture of...a streetlight, I believe? It's pretty neat-looking anyway!:

This one cracks me up...because you can just see Colin's head peering at the camera I'm holding!: