What did you do during your summer vacation?

I have been thinking of elementary school lately, and since the summer is winding down, I thought of the paper everyone had to write at the beginning of the school year entitled: "What did you do during your summer vacation?"

To answer that question, I have been sewing, sewing, and, oh yes, sewing. I don't have pictures of all I have been sewing, because not all of it is done, plus half of it is at my mother-in-law's house.
Top priority was making blankets for Fuzz Ball and Lydia. I had a wonderful friend in college who made me an adorable rag quilt that I used as a pattern for a quilt for Benjamin last year-ish. I knew I wanted to make one for Fuzz Ball, so I decided that Lydia needed one too (she has been using the one my friend made me). Well, here are pictures of the two blankets, or "de-de's" as Benjamin calls them.Benjamin picked all the fabrics for this blanket. He did a great job of coordinating colors. He was set on the monster fabric, which you can see here.
Lydia's blanket was a little harder to match than Fuzz Ball's. She would find a fabric she liked, and then we couldn't find enough different matching fabrics to go with it. She finally settled on a cupcake fabric she liked. I think it turned out beautifully!All-in-all I am very pleased with the results. Lydia loves hers, and we will see what Fuzz Ball thinks of his.


Summer days and musings

So we are in the throws of audit season, and Brian has been on two audits this week (he will be back this evening). He gets to be home this weekend, then back on to the next audit. It makes me think of that cheesy Willie Nelson song that I will not say the title of, because I don't want it stuck in my head all day. I am so glad that he is great at what he does. I love my amazing husband!

Anyway, back to the post I promised when we got home from the 4th of July weekend. Brian's parents were gracious enough to invite us to stay with them in Pogosa Springs, CO for the weekend. There was a parade that was not a parade--it was a political campaign (Lydia was excited for the candy, but they were not allowed to throw candy at the start of the parade, only down by the riverfront.) Benjamin was excited by the old-fashioned fire truck that came by. After we finished with the parade, we went down by the riverwalk where the city was hosting an art fair and had carnival rides. We let the kids choose one ride they wanted to go on. Lydia chose the ferris wheel. I was unsure if she would like it, but she absolutely loved it.

Benjamin is in love with all things that move. So he chose a little car ride. He was so excited because he got to pick his car first, but got so impatient by the end that he hopped out of the car just before the ride was ready to start. Brian put him back in, and they got rolling.

That evening Brian and Asa took the kids to play miniature golf.

Lydia was really good at golfing.Brian took this adorable picture of Benjamin and Lydia just after they got back from golfing.

We went on a hike the next day, and I cannot tell you the name of the waterfalls, because I do not remember. They were beautiful, though.

I love this picture of Brian and Benjamin! They were washing their feet off in the frigid water.

On the way home, we stopped at another hike to see another waterfall. What is it about nature that is so awe-inspiring? I absolutely love gorgeous things, and this waterfall was no exception. No vacation would be complete without the sighting of a bear. Well, okay, this was actually my first sighting of a bear, but it was amazing. We were driving down Wolf Creek Pass and saw a bunch of cars pulled off the road. Before I knew what was happening, Brian swerved off too, and informed me that everyone was gawking at a bear. Well, of course we have to have proof of what we actually saw, so here you go!


Microwave Duty

We had a fabulous weekend, and until I can get the camera unpacked and pictures uploaded, you are getting a post about what I have been doing this morning, and a few secret tips on how to make one of the worst jobs a snap.

I am what you would call a sporadic microwave cleaner. I won't tell you the last time I cleaned it, probably because I do not remember when that glorious day was. "But Tia," you say, "if you wiped down your microwave every evening, it would remain spotless and you wouldn't have to go at it with elbow grease once in a blue moon." Well, I don't go at it with elbow grease, just wipe it down every once in a while when it seems to be particularly in need. I should have taken a picture, but did not, and there do not seem to be links to dirty microwaves on the internet. I am sure you can imagine a dirty microwave, though. Perhaps all you need to do is open your own microwave to imagine.

You are probably wondering why I said all I have to do is "wipe it down" when I clean it. Don't worry, I used to scrub at the caked on goodness, and it would take a half hour to get it clean, but that was before I worked as a waitress previous to my marriage. For those of you who have worked at a greasy spoon, you know that the microwave is one of the worst places in the kitchen, and it is a waitress' job to clean the microwave. A seasoned waitress gave me this tip, and I am passing it on to you.

**Disclaimer: You all probably have some secret recipe for cleaning the microwave, for those of you who do not, or want to branch out, give it a try.

1. Get a cup.
2. Fill half full of water.
3. Put in microwave and microwave on high for 5 minutes while you unload the dishwasher, etc.
4. Once finished, leave it in for 10 minutes while you do something else.
5. Simply wipe, because the steam loosened everything.

I would suggest wiping the top off first, then work your way down. It goes faster this way. All in all, it takes about 3 minutes of effort to get it sparkling, about 18 minutes total! If you have a particularly caked on microwave, you may want to let the water sit for longer than 10 minutes to let the steam work its magic.