Sewing with Knits

Posted in Crafts on March 5th, 2015 by jen – 1 Comment

In an effort to expand my sewing skills, I purchased an online course, Sewing with Knits, from Craftsy.com. The class explains different types of knit fabric, the basics of sewing with them, and walks you through five patterns to practice these new skills. I was excited to learn so I could broaden my skills and the types of garments I could make for myself and the girls.

I bought my fabrics and the necessary accouterments, and finished the first project: a hooded sweatshirt.

Photoshoot

Then life happened and I let the class sit for two years. Yes, I finished that first project in January 2013! And even though I've sewn several knit garments since then, one of my 2015 goals was to finish the course.

So, I'm happy to report that I did it! I took time over the last two weeks to complete the other four projects. A scoop neck t-shirt, v-neck t-shirt, Surplice dress, and yoga pants. (One of my other goals is to work through my stash of fabric. Good thing I had all this knit sitting around!)

Lots of Jen clothes

What? You didn't know I was a triplet? Just kidding. Chad had a bit of fun taking pictures of these items!

Sewing with Knits A scoop-neck too

There were some new techniques that I learned, and other techniques that I prefer my way of doing things. I can now confidently say that I'm no longer intimidated by knits, and am actually eager to sew with them more!

V-neck and yoga pants

Now, I'm off to finish another Craftsy.com course, Beginner Serging.

Exploring aquatic treasures

Posted in Field trips, Leah, School on March 1st, 2015 by jen – 1 Comment

Leah's class has been learning about the rainforest, so to reinforce their lessons we headed to the National Aquarium on Wednesday. Leah was super excited that I was coming along and riding on the bus to get there was an exciting start to the day!

Field trip fun

As the kids arrived, they examined a turtle shell up close. They were then tasked with the mission of counting how many turtles they could find at the aquarium.

Turtle shell

After seeing lots of little fish, this big guy was quite a surprise.

Big fish

Leah and Norah loved eating lunch together while being entertained by the dolphins and trainers.

Lunch buddies

Who knew dolphins love Jell-O? The trainers played a little Jell-O baseball to give the dolphins a treat.

Jell-O baseball

I was chaperone to three of the girls, so I paired up with the chaperone of the other three girls and we all explored the Aquarium together. Looks like these girls had a great day!

All the girls

First sleepover

Posted in Molly on February 23rd, 2015 by c-had – 1 Comment

Molly had her first sleepover Saturday. She had her friend Jordan, who lives behind us and has been in her class the past two years, join us for the night at our house. Molly’s been looking forward to this for a long time.

We didn’t expect to have this happen during a huge snow storm, but thankfully we didn’t have any outdoor activities planned. Jordan arrived mid-afternoon and the girls played for a while. This included Leah, who was included in most things before bedtime.

Then it was time to make dinner. The girls made their own pizzas. Jen and I instead had one prepared by the gourmet chef DiGiorno.

Sleepover pizzas

After dinner, it was movie time. The girls curled up on the floor to watch The Lego Movie for the millionth time. Jen popped them some popcorn and they had a grand time.

After the movie, the girls headed to bed. Molly and Jordan got to sleep in the guest room, so they could have a room to themselves. Leah did not like this, but she managed to get a good night’s sleep anyway. Molly and Jordan slept very well, too.

The next morning the girls got up, had breakfast, and played a bit before it was time for Jordan to head home. When that time came, she bundled up tight and headed home. She then trudged through the foot of snow in our back yard and up the hill to her house.

Thanks for hanging out with us, Jordan!

Self-care sewing

Posted in Crafts on February 22nd, 2015 by jen – Be the first to comment

Every now and then, I take a break from sewing for others and make something for myself. I used a recent snow day to make this knit Laurel dress. (You may have caught a sneak peak in this post!)

A little self-care sewing

I was also finally able to complete the request of two little girls and make a Hampton hoodie for me.

Hampton hoodie

I was able to eek out just enough fabric left over from the above knit dress to make my hoodie. I had considered making mine all out of the light blue color (that I used to make Chad's), but then he reminded me that the girls would want us to wear our new hoodies together. So, no Sadie Hawkins matching shirts for us!

Fabric magic

We can now all sport our new hoodies together!

Hooded portrait

Fresh powder

Posted in Leah, Molly on February 21st, 2015 by c-had – Be the first to comment

While we’ve had a lot of cold in January and February, we haven’t had much snow. Monday night gave us our first significant snowfall (about 5 inches). So, after having President’s Day off on Monday, Molly had a snow day on Tuesday.

The snow was a very fine powder, the kind I imagine skiers love. This is great for sledding (though not as great for snowmen who need wetter, stickier snow). The girls and I headed out for some fun on the hills in our side yard and our neighbor's yard. Here are a couple of the early runs.

The powder meant Leah could kick up a real cloud of snow while sliding down the hill without a sled (as she is wont to do).

Sliding

The powdery snow wasn’t sticky enough for snowmen and snowballs, but the girls made snowballs anyway. They wouldn’t stick together very long, so they could only be thrown from close range.

Snowball fight

After some fun, everyone helped out with the shoveling. The girls were even kind enough to shovel off my car.

Shoveling

Looking out the window as I write this, it looks like I’m in the middle of a snow globe. We may have waited a while for our first decent snow, but it seems to have only taken 4 days to get another one.

Following our inner stars

Posted in Family outings, Leah, Molly on February 20th, 2015 by jen – 1 Comment

For the past year, Molly and Leah have been asking to visit the American Girl store. So, I surprised them and we followed our inner stars into the northern Virginia DC suburbs, along with Matilda and Ellie.

Trip to American Girl store

The store is two levels of dolls, doll cloths, girl clothes, and lots of accessories. Molly found a cute hat to model.

Modeling a cute hat

I never thought I'd be taking my child’s picture in a bathroom, but I had to show how well thought out the store is. The bathrooms all included doll holders, in the stalls and by the sinks.

Pictues in the bathroom?

There are doll displays all over the store. Leah found a perfect place for Rose to have a chat with a new friend, Grace.

Playing before lunch

Apparently Grace is a friendly girl because Molly McIntire needed to meet the new Girl of the Year too.

Molly found the same friend

While there, we also had lunch at the Bistro, complete with seats for the dolls at the table.

Bistro lunch

Each doll was presented with a tea cup and saucer, because dolls get thirsty at lunchtime too.

Doll drinks

Molly did a nice job of documenting that Stacie, Julie, and I enjoyed the day as well.

Budding photographer

After lunch, Molly McIntire and Rose were treated to an afternoon at the doll salon. I was happy that someone else was brushing the dolls’ hair.

Doll salon

The dolls also had a nice spa treatment, including a cleaning, massage, and nice smelling powder.

Doll spa

Leah chose a fishtail braid for Rose, who sat very patiently to have her hair braided.

Fancy braid for Rose

New hairstyles, a spa cleaning, and new clothes. I’d say Rose and Molly McIntire had a great day. Oh, Molly and Leah loved the day too!

New clothes too

Church at home

Posted in Church, Leah, Molly on February 19th, 2015 by c-had – Be the first to comment

On Saturday night, we had a bit of snow and a lot of wind. Sunday morning, the snow was still on the street. While it wasn’t much, we’d had 3 vehicles lose control on the very steep hill we live on during the last snowfall, so we decided not to chance driving to church. Instead, we held church at home. I led some songs (both some "big church" songs and some children’s church songs).

Molly led the scripture reading.

Scripture reader

Leah led the prayer. Apparently, she thought she needed to sound different when praying for the service instead of her usual prayers, so she threw in lots of amusing parts. These included praying “for all the people’s issues” which is a phrase I’ve never heard her say before.

Prayer leader

All the goodies that Mardi Gras has

Posted in Celebrations, Leah, Playdates on February 17th, 2015 by jen – Be the first to comment

King cake, beads, and New Orleans jazz…all the goodies that Mardi Gras has!

I hosted our annual Mardi Gras party last Thursday. While I was in Louisiana last month, I picked up a new Mardi Gras book, so I read to our guests about the traditions of Mardi Gras and then the kids enjoyed making their own festive masks.

Annual Mardi Gras party

Who's behind that mask?

Who's behind that mask?

We also had a King Cake bake-off. I made two king cakes from two different recipes. The smaller cake is a recipe I've been using for many years. The larger cake is a new McKenzie’s King cake copycat recipe that a high school friend recently shared. The only difference was the dough; the cream cheese filling, icing and sugars were all the same. Many of the adults at the party tried both and voted. The larger cake was deemed the winner; the dough was more pastry-like and as Chad commented, "It's closer to what I think of when you say King Cake."

King cake bake-off

Leah loved having her preschool friends over to celebrate. Happy Mardi Gras!

Indoor soccer

Posted in Leah, Sports on February 15th, 2015 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Leah has taken up soccer this winter. Since outdoor soccer in the cold/snow/ice is a poor plan, this is of course indoors. Here she is knocking over cones as she pretends to be the Joker (the other team was Batman, who had to pick up the cones to fix the city broken by Joker).

Indoor soccer

When Leah picked soccer, she said she wanted to do it with “the people who talk funny”. This meant she wanted soccer with UK Elite, where all the teachers are from the UK. She loved soccer with them this past summer, and it’s just as much fun indoors in the winter. Here she is trying to hit Syndrome (played by Coach Ian) with a fireball to stop his evil antics.

Attack

Leah’s moving as fast as Dash. Too fast for any camera.

Moving fast

Leah scores a goal!

Goal

Leah’s choir sings in February

Posted in Church, Leah on February 13th, 2015 by c-had – Be the first to comment

This week, Leah’s choir sang in church. And not only did they sing, they also played choir chimes.