Sunday, February 26, 2012

Beginning to think about Graduation - Decorating Ideas

Today we had a meeting at school to begin planning Ethan's graduation party. Brett and Ethan will be graduating together. In the big room and the main room we would like to hang up some sort of fun garland, or flag bunting, etc. The big room has buttresses.
Party Tassel Tutorial and Table Decoration Idea:
These are from the Dec. 21, 2011 Joe and Cheryl blog where they have generously included a tutorial.

The tassels are made from 1'=2'long strips of fabric or ribbon. Each tassel has about 6 pieces. It seems like the fabric pieces are pretty wide.

I like this idea, too, though I think ours will have some nice garden fauna and paper dots of various sizes that match the colors the boys will be using.

I also really like the sewn paper garland

from Minieco blog (OCt. 21, 2010)
And then there is the bunting or garland with a variety of shapes from Purl Bee.
This idea for dealing with banner and streamers is fun, too. It is another idea from Martha Stewart.
It is a good starting point. I'd like to get going with the decorations so that I have time to enjoy making them, instead of it being a big push.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The View From Here - On The Cusp of My Son Being Grown

This evening my son is at a special dinner event to honor Eagle Scouts. I wish that I was there with him, but did not work out that way.
This, the place that I am in, is a rather unexpected place to be. I am so proud of the young man he as become. We have weathered the difficult storm that we had to navigate through when he was in the middle of his teen years. In the last four or five months he has matured so much.

He is wise, thoughtful, passionate and intense. He is a wonderful person. In just a few short months he will be graduating from high school, the very school that we started for him. I believe he is both excited and a bit nervous. Up until now he has spent his life with myself or his dad close at hand. I stayed home with him until he was ready to go to school. My husband teaches at our school. When he leaves AVS he will be going out into the real world - ON HIS OWN.

Intellectually, I know he will be fine, or rather, more than fine. He has focus and a bit of magic in his life. He has a knack for making things go the way he needs them to go.

Emotionally, I find myself in an odd place, the very place I was standing just before he entered school. I wonder and I worry. Were we strict enough when we needed to be? Have we been supportive enough, but also helped him have a realistic view of the world? Have we given him the tools he will need to navigate the rocky, choppy waters ahead? What will it be life when he moves out? Oh my, how I will miss him. (Okay, this part makes me weepy and so I will change directions.)

He has come to a place where he seems content, happy and with a sense of purpose. He has a plan, a good one, for his future. He loves to be active and work with his hands. He wants to earn a degree in welding and then use that to help make an engineering degree a possibility. But he is at a place where he must earn a specific score on a math test in order to be able to follow that pathway. He spent the last few weeks making up for years of not doing enough math. He is working through 25 sections a day. I hold my breath, wishing my math skills were good enough to help him, but they are not. Luckily, he dad is able to help him. He works late into the night. He took the test on Wednesday and missed the mark. He has until next Wednesday, to make it happen. Otherwise, his plans will take a slight modification in finding his way there. I wish I had the power to make it happen. But I also know that those struggles are going to produce some of the most valuable lessons that he needs to learn.
I love my son and I am proud of him.. I look forward the bright future he has ahead of him. I am thankful that I am able to be part of it all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Letters and Doodling

Here are a few fun things I've made that were inspired by some of the lessons in the doodling and lettering class I am enjoying.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Green Haired Paleo Girl

Ellie has decided that she needs to make herself more unique. She dyed some of her hair green, which was pretty, but only lasted one day.
When I asked her if she was bummed that it washed out so quickly she shot back that she does not waste her emotions on things like that.

My husband is worried that he is going to become fat. He looks at his father and older brothers and wants to move away from where the road took them. Ellie is also very conscious of what she eats. They have decided that we will embark on trying out the Paleo diet. It is essentially a diet that does not include carbs, dairy, beans, grains or sugar. The two of them decided to follow the 30 day diet as prescribed in the book about the diet.

Here's what we had for our meals yesterday and today. So far everything was tasty:

Dinner on Saturday was Salmon with Pecans, Roasted Green Beans, a bit of apple and a side salad.

Breakfast 2-4 eggs, almonds and a small piece of fruit and/or berries;
Lunch - Chicken Fajita Salad.
Dinner: Rotisserie Chicken, Roasted Broccoli with olive oil and garlic, side salad.
Grilled Salmon with Pecans and Rosemary
From: The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf
(1 serving)

Coconut oil (to oil the pan)
1# Salmon
2 tsp Pecans, chopped
2 tsp Rosemary
Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place foil on a baking sheet, add a bit of coconut oil to help reduce how much the fish sticks to the foil. Place salmon, skin down, on the pan.
Sprinkle on the pecans, rosemary and salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes, being sure that it is cooked well and flakes easily with a fork.

Roasted Green Beans

1# Green Beans, cleaned with the ends removed
1 TB Olive Oil
1 tea Thyme

Coat the beans with the olive oil and thyme. Place on a foil covered pan and roast for 20 minutes in an oven heated to 350 degrees.


Chicken Fajita Salad

1 TB Olive Oil
3/4 cup Onions, sliced
1# Chicken, boneless, skinless and cut into strips
1/2 tea. Cumin
2 tea. Oregano
1 cup Bell Pepper, diced
1-2 Tomatoes, diced
1 Avocado, diced
Red Leaf Lettuce, cleaned

Add the olive oil to a hot skillet. Saute the onions until soft. Add in the chicken, spices and peppers. stirring often to distribute the spices and even out the cooking.
While that is cooking, place the red leaf lettuce, tomatoes and avocado in a bowl, toss. Top with the chicken and veggie mix. (If this is being packed for lunch, be sure to place the chicken and veggie mix in its own container, while the salad part has its own container, too.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Postcard For the Colorado High School Cycling League

Ellie had such as wonderful time at the mountain bike races last fall. I am so glad that opportunity exists for her. It was only the second season.

It is important to me to be a contributing member of the groups that I am part of so I offered my skills to help design a graphs PR program for the Colorado High School Cycling League. This is a draft of the postcard. I am pretty pleased with how it is coming out. The file size is small, which worries me a bit. I will do a practice run with the printer to make sure it looks as good on paper as it does on the screen. The rider in the front is from our team.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fancy Pants - Wanna Dance?

This, the weekend before Valentine's Day, was a good time for a dance.
Ellie and Christy put on the "Fancy Pants Dance" at school. It was fun. The kids had a great time. It was a dress up event, but it still had a party feel to it.

Ethan and Kohlton do a bit of fancy dancing.

On Saturday night Ethan went to a dance at Golden High School with a friend. He had a good time, but being so close to graduating, felt a bit older and bigger than many of those that were at the party. That might be in part that many of the girls in the group he was with are about a foot short than he is. His usual crowd of friends can look him in the eye, instead of his chest. I had to go before he was ready, but I got him to let us snap this photo anyway.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Crazy Amounts of Snow Means FUN! (okay, and a little back ache, too)

Last Thursday there were dire predictions of a huge, kick-butt storm on its way to our neck of the woods. Being able to forecast predictably here is more of a wish and a goal than a reality. However, that storm moved in and dumped - big time. Schools, recreation centers, churches, etc. were closed. I loved having an unexpected day off! I got tons done which meant that I had a fun weekend.

On Sunday we packed up the kids, the sleds and the snowshoes for a great outing at Pence Park. Luckily, my husband is an amazing photographer who has a good eye and the ability to catch the action! Yeah, Baby!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

2011 Colorado Cross Cup Awards

Going to a party is always fun, and going to one with food and awards is even better.
On Saturday we went to the 2011 Colorado Cross Cup (cyclocross) awards party where Ellie got to hang out with her friends from the team. She also won two awards - Best All Around Racer and Best All Around Team in the Junior Women 15-16 division.
One of my favorite thing from the evening was the fun from one of the adult teams who opted to dress up. One guy worn a fez, a red cape and a fun, animal print jacket. He happened to be the only one who showed up for his set of awards on the podium. As each other competitor was not on the box, he would jump to that box and pump up the crowds. A woman on his team wore wild black and gold sparkly tights with a gold lame and Superwoman style gold boots.

On a completely different note, here's a recipe that my family recently enjoyed.

Parmesan Baked Eggs
via: Pinch of Yum

1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon oil
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 eggs
1 tablespoon heavy cream
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a small saucepan, heat butter and oil. Add shallot and saute until soft and fragrant, 3-5 minutes. Add herbs and salt; remove from heat and stir to combine. The mixture should be somewhat coarse and just a little buttery.
Preheat the oven to 375. Place a small pat of butter (about 1 teaspoon) in the bottom of each of 3 ramekins. Place in oven until butter is melted.
Remove ramekins from oven, add 1 teaspoon of cream to each, and crack 2 eggs into each ramekin without breaking the yolk. Sprinkle the herb mixture over the top of each ramekin and return to the oven. Bake for about 7 minutes.
Turn up the heat to the broil setting and let the eggs broil for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from oven when egg whites are just set and yolks are still soft. Let stand for 3-5 minutes before serving. Season with salt and pepper.

Author's notes - I found the timing of this to be really important – down to the minute. The eggs might look like they aren’t done if they are runny on top, but that can just be the cream rising to the top of the ramekin. If you cook these too long, the yolks get hard and they aren’t as good. (I think my eggs might have benefited for about another minute in the oven.)

Also, if you want the cheese to be melted on top, add the cheese before putting the ramekins in the oven. I didn’t do this because it made it trickier to see if the eggs were done or not.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Being a Bit Artsy on a Snow Day

It was a crazy, busy week that was capped of by a lovely, sort of unexpected snow day on Friday. (I think we got about 18" of snow.) It was a nice gift of time. On my way between meetings on Thursday I went by Agnes of Glass and picked up the paperweight that I made. I am very pleased with how it turned out.

I hope to be able to take more classes at her shop.

I've also had a bit of time to sit and enjoy knitting. This morning I sat on the couch at the foot of my bed, a sleepy cat by my side, knitting and watching the snow drift down in fat snowflakes.
The fit is nice. The wool is warm, especially since there are two layers with the colorway I am knitting.

I also spent a bit of time cruising the net. I came across a fun doodling and lettering class that I decided to take. It had already started, but I decided that I could catch up easily. It is "Letter Love 101" offered by Joanne Sharpe. I've already had a good time.

One of the assignments was to write out, "Play, practice, write, repeat."

This was a quote I found on another website. I thought it provided good practice, too.

Today the sun came out and the streets were driveable again. This meant that I could make my way the art store and pick up some new, wonderful markers. (I've always had a weakness for markers, paint, etc.) This time I got a few Copics and some Primsa markers - what fun!