30 August 2008

Go Ducks

Right behind our house is a freeway. I know, aren't we lucky? We actually forget it's there most of the time except when we try to have friends over in the evening and we get hoarse trying to have a conversation over the rush hour traffic.

So I was out in the backyard the other day and looked across the freeway to this scene. It really sparked some excitement inside of me. Here's why:

Top flag: Olympic fever--literally. I'm surprised we didn't end up with fevers from all the sleep we missed trying to stay up and watch the primetime coverage. The Olympic games were a lot of fun and it's always sad when they're over. Whenever our boys see American flags flying around these days they say, "GO USA!"

Bottom flag: End of Olympics = End of Summer--which is mostly sad except that now football season begins and we have two great teams to cheer for this year. Tonight, we're going to our very first Duck game at Autzen Stadium. We've lived here for 3 years now and still have yet to step foot in that awesome facility. Go Ducks!

And even though there's no BYU flag flying: Go Cougars! (they most certainly take precedence over the Ducks, being the Alma Mater and the potential BCS-busting team)

26 August 2008

Hooray for Kindergarten

I am a big fan of the blog, Make and Takes. Many of the fun things we've done this summer have come from Marie's fun and creative posts.

James is starting kindergarten next week, and I wanted to do something special before his first day. Using two ideas from Make and Takes, (this one, and this one), we had a super fun day.

Grandma wanted so badly to be the one to take James on his "backpack date", but since she lives a couple of states away, she let me be her surrogate for the day.

James picked out a fun green backpack
(and dropped a couple on the floor in all the excitement)

We went to Taco Bell, James's favorite restaurant
(and, let's be honest--I love it too.)

James's order: 2 soft tacos
My order: triple layer nachos and a cheesy bean and rice burrito
(Weren't you just dying to know what we ate?)

This one needs no explanation

25 August 2008

Monday Fun Find #11

Today's Monday Fun Find is a unique pair of earrings, made by kimquinndotcom.
3 Jump Ring Earrings

KimQuinn calls them clean and simple. I think the simplicity is what makes them so fabulous.

Happy Monday!

23 August 2008

The wrap skirt reveal

Remember this Monday fun find? (I suppose you could just scroll down a bit and look at it as well because it wasn't that long ago, right?)
  • I visited Toni Coward's blog (she's the awesome Australian mom who is the mastermind behind this pattern) and immediately added it to my google reader. She posts about her life as a mother of two cute kids, her sewing projects and some great recipes. I was also impressed that in her sidebar, she proudly displays what she believes--it truly is a small world.
  • When I made a comment thanking her for the quick shipping and to let her know we share the same beliefs, she commented back with a couple of suggestions about how to make the skirt even more modest. She said she usually makes it a bit longer, and uses a bit more fabric than the pattern suggests. That information was very helpful, and I'm happy with the final result. Thanks Toni!
  • The fabric I used was a pretty heavy bottomweight twill with a bit of spandex. It was in the red tag clearance section, so I couldn't resist. I love the colors, but next time I'll try a fabric that is a bit more lightweight. (The bottom looks like it isn't even, but it's just the picture angle)
  • Speaking of lightweight fabric, I went to the Goodwill today to search their fabric, and hit the jackpot--4 yards of high quality black sateen for 2 bucks! It is brand new--someone bought it, never made the project that they bought it for, and gave it away. I'm thinking it will probably end up being another wrap skirt soon. In fact, I could make like 3 wrap skirts out of that. I just have to find a cute fabric for the ties and the bottom. What a deal! You can't beat 50 cents a yard for quality fabric. Seriously, if you sew--go to your local Goodwill and search their fabric. You might just find something awesome.
If you have some fabric you think would make a cute skirt--send it! Email me or make a comment and we can figure it out.

18 August 2008


Amber, Brittany, DaNae, & JeuneElle on their fun trip to New York

The old saying goes when you marry your spouse, you also marry his or her family, right? So perhaps you can imagine my initial apprehension upon finding out that Jeff had four, yes four, all older sisters.

Now, in my family there are also four girls, so the lucky girl to marry our one brother probably had the same apprehension. In fact, once, we sisters decided that it would make things much easier if we just chose our brother's wife for him, so as to avoid any potential discord in the family if we didn't like who he chose. (Lucky for us, he chose better than we ever could have and she makes our family so much better than it was before she was around).

Perhaps Jeff's sisters had the same pact--and perhaps they were much more nervous to meet me for fear of the potential disruption of their sister bonds, since Jeff, like my brother, also ended up choosing for himself. And again, lucky for me, I couldn't have asked for better sisters-in-law (including Jeff's brother's cute wife, who came along later)--they were immediately kind, welcoming, accepting and in the 7+ years that I've been their in-law, I have developed a love, respect, and individual relationship with each one of them. They are all strong, independent women (with very different personalities), great mothers, and examples to me of righteous living and service. Each of them deserves a post of their own, but today, since the gift at the bottom of this post is in celebration of her new baby girl, the rest of this one will be about JeuneElle.

JeuneElle, the oldest of the four, probably has no idea how she has inspired me as a seamstress. On my first Halloween as a Fuller, I got to see the amazing costumes she stayed up all night sewing for her boys, made without a pattern, as is her specialty, and I decided I wanted to be like her when I grew up. For James's 2-year-old birthday, she found out he loved Super Grover and whipped out a cape in an hour that, three years later, is still the favorite item in our dress-up box. Although she doesn't have a lot of time to sew in her busy life, the things she makes are unique and very well-crafted.

She has always been incredibly generous--in fact, we were the lucky recipients of much of her baby gear 5+ years ago. Since much of it is too used and grungy to give back, we have been trying to think of the perfect baby gift for the little girl joining their family soon.

When she requested a limabeanhome custom diaper bag, I was absolutely flattered and have been nervous about making it perfect ever since. Jeff helped me pick out some great fabric when we were in Portland, and here is the final product. I really hope she likes it and it suits her needs.

It will be in the mail very soon. Jnel and family--we're so excited for your baby to arrive, and wish we could be there to welcome her. For now, this bag will have to suffice. It is made with much love.

14 August 2008

Summer day

Today the boys and I walked to the park for lunch. The weather was breezy and warm and I enjoyed eating my salad full of fresh, farmer's market veggies with tomatoes and cucumbers from my garden. The walk home included squirrel watching, stopping to let fuzzy caterpillars cross the sidewalk, a 5-year old analysis about why skunks like their own stink, and best of all, fresh blackberries for dessert picked all along the trail.

All year long I wait for this time--when blackberries are free for the picking all around the city, vegetables are ready to be harvested for salads everyday, the sunshine is out all day long, and the nights are still long and warm.

I love summer. I love Oregon. I LOVE Oregon in the summer. Everyday of rain and gray during the year is worth it just to live here in the summer.

11 August 2008

Monday Fun Find #10

If you click on this Monday fun find and find that it has been sold, it's probably because I bought it.
The Versatile Wrap Sewing Pattern

I've wanted for a long time to purchase this pattern from makeitperfect , and featuring it here makes me want it even more. When I was a missionary in South Africa, I brought home a couple of wrap skirts in different styles--they are so comfortable and since being back in America, I have been searching for more, but to no avail. This one seems to be the perfect length and looks very easy to make.

Once I receive the pattern and make a skirt, I'll post pics and then you can all send me your favorite fabric to be made into your very own adorable wrap skirt.

**Just FYI--From today forward, Monday Fun Finds will be posted every other Monday.

10 August 2008

The Law Of The Jungle

The River of Doubt, a non-fiction account of Theodore Roosevelt's horrible and spectacular journey down the Amazon River, written by Candice Millard, is, for me, a departure from the books I normally read.

I was originally interested in this book at the recommendation of a friend for its historical significance. It was a challenging read, but finishing the book left me deeply satisfied as well as educated about life in the rainforest, Teddy Roosevelt's generous & adventurous personality, and his respectful style of parenting.

Perhaps because I find myself constantly immersed in the challenge of raising my own children, I am always looking for ways I can improve as a parent. Millard occasionally leaves the story of the river expedition to give some insight into the character's lives before the journey, particularly Roosevelt, as she describes his childhood, some of his experiences as the President of the United States, and a few family stories about the raising of his six children.

Roosevelt's son, Kermit, joined him on this challenging journey down the Amazon, and I enjoyed reading the author's portrayal of the relationship between father and son.

"According to Kermit, Roosevelt had always held his children 'responsible to the law of the jungle.' He never tolerated greed or sloth, especially during camping trips, when, even only a few miles from home, the children's courage, patience, and magnanimity could be tested to their limits. 'Not even the smallest child was allowed to show a disposition to grab, or select his pieces of chicken,' Kermit recalled. 'We were taught that that was an unpardonable offense out camping, and might cause the culprit to be left behind next time.'Roosevelt had witnesed this low threshold for discomfort in some of his closest friends, and he believed that it showed a shallowness of character that he was determined never to see in his own children.

Roosevelt was proud of his son on this expedition. . .not only did Kermit never fight for the best piece of meat, but the few times that the expedition had meat, he was often the man who had brought it into camp" (pp. 252-253)

The "Law of the Jungle" to which Kermit refers, is a poem written by Rudyard Kipling. Here is the opening stanza of the poem:

Now this is the law of the Jungle--as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdle the tree-trunk, the Law runneth forward and back--
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the pack.

I do not claim to be immune from displays of selfishness and greed, but, in my own challenge to overcome these character flaws, I hope to teach my children to work hard and think of others before themselves.

If it makes them better people, I believe I will also hold my children "responsible to the law of the jungle."

08 August 2008

And the winner is. . .

Thanks so much to everyone for entering the giveaway! The winner of the random drawing is sweetest petula.

I really appreciate all the nice comments everyone left, and look forward to more giveaways in the very near future.