Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thailand Fun - Part 2

I wanted to show you some of the fun pictures that Princess Four took in Thailand. She had some wonderful experiences and I am kind of sad that she didn't get to ride the elephants but the day they went it was too muddy. 
She saw lots of great places as you can see by these fun pictures. There were many different Buddah's but I can't show you them all so I picked some of what I thought were fun pictures.  
I think they keep building bigger and more elaborate Buddha's so that they can get tourist dollars.  

There were also lots of pictures of her with the orphans and kids on the Moken Island but once again, I thought that one or two would be enough to give you an idea of how her trip went.

You can also see the houses on the water in one of the other pictures. 

She said stickers, beach balls, funny glasses and noses, and fingernail polish were the favorite toys in about that order. 

In a country where there is so much poverty, it is amazing to see how elaborate the temples are and how beautiful they are. 
There are so many different types of Buddhas and in so many places. 

I wonder what people think about our country. Probably the same thing.Lots of riches and so much poverty in the same country.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mini Prince or Princess One - Queen Grandma

I guess it is now official. Prince and Princess Number One are expecting a baby. They announced it this week. I have known for a month or two but couldn't say anything due to them wanting to get through the first three months before letting people know. I think that is a smart move when anyone is expecting.

They were a bit worried about twins as my father is a triplet and my sister and cousin both have twins so they were relieved to know that they are having just one prince or princess.

She has been sick most mornings but has found some calming influence by taking a little apple cider vinegar with vanilla in all her water. We are extremely happy and looking forward to having our first grandchild, niece or nephew. We are expecting the great event in February. I'm sure this isn't the last you will be hearing about this great event. I'll keep you posted.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Thailand Adventure - Part 1

Princess Four has arrived home. She has been trying to regroup and get over her jet lag and time differences as they are almost exactly opposite us. She was up all night  and slept most of the afternoon but we are trying to get her back on track as she is heading out for a week leadership retreat this week. 

She had a great experience going to first LA, then to Singapore, then to Japan and then to Thailand. 

She said she started sweating the minute she got off the plane. She said it was so hot and humid that she, for the first time in her life, sweat until her shirt was wet. 

You can see all the kids with their cameras out as they first see the beautiful ocean. 

Then they went to the orphanage first and were welcomed by the children. 

Next, they went on boat rides to the island where the Moken people live. They did some service there but many of the things they planned to help with weren't useful as the people have come to figure out what they need to do to survive and our concepts won't work in their "world". 
They also didn't allow the youth to clean up certain areas as they were so filthy they were concerned about their health. 

I will try to put the pictures up in an order of her activities for a few days as there are so many cute pictures that I want to share. 

The school house is so sad. You can see the flooring is peeling up and isn't good. 

I am glad she was able to go and experience another culture for a few weeks and was able to share her beautiful spirit with the people there. 

She said the children there were all really small and the natives are afraid to go to the Dr.'s because one of the women was taken to the hospital and didn't come back. It really makes you grateful for clean and new schools and good medical care amongst other things. 
Isn't this shell decoration cute. They cute pieces of straws to put between the shells for spacers. Wouldn't this be a lovely view to have each morning when you woke up? The problem for them is that they don't have any modern conveniences. I could show the photos of the water well that Rotary helped put in but don't want to take space with that. Lets just say it doesn't make you want to drink the water. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Nascar Home Decorating - Who Would Have Thought

It has been a very crazy week. I am posting this as a quick post as I am extremely tired and it is 4:30 in the morning. Lets just say Princess Four is home and used to Thai time.... 

I went to a party a year or so ago at a home and I was amazed at his home decorating style. He was a big NASCAR fan and was so creative in some of his ideas that I thought I would share them. They are not mine at all but I thought I would share them with you as he is so creative.

He bought new parts and made an engine in his home and cut glass and put it over the engine so it could be a coffee table. I asked about using old parts as that would be cheap but the consensus was that used parts wouldn't look cool or be authentic and would be dirty and used looking so the motor is REALLY heavy according to the owner. 

Then he took rims, cut them and made book ends. I don't know if he took the book ends and had them signed or they were made and signed and he bought them but I thought it was creative of whoever made them. 

He had a manikin and dressed her in a NASCAR collector jacket and you can see a little of her here. She is also hold a pool cue as she is next to the pool table in the basement. There is the lighted engine / motor which was quite cool looking as  well in that picture. 
The NASCAR tires, I hear you can purchase,or at least  used to be able to purchase, after races from your favorite racer for $25 - $50 a tire. He purchased a set and made them into end tables and then he used a few to make a pool stick holder. He took glass and cut holes in the center so the sticks could sit down inside it. I thought that was one of his more cleaver designs. 

I have to say my very favorite idea that I saw, and he shared, was that he bought a red fridge. He then went and purchased a Snap-on tool box. He tried to just get the hardware and they wouldn't sell it so he then took all the hardware off the tool box and affixed it to the fridge so that the fridge looks like a huge tool box.

He had a cool plexiglass holder on one wall and a longer one on the other wall that held his collection of "hot wheel" cars. He had LOTS of them. They had a mirror behind the holders so it reflects the other side of the car.

It was definitely not a woman's home but for a man, I have to give him the "Theme Decorating Award" as I have never seen a man decorate like that. It is like something I would have done. But, I have no boys and I am not a NASCAR fan. 

Wasn't that a fun yet fast post!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

HOT and CRAZY Free Fun Day

Prince and Princess One bought us a great gift for Christmas last year. It was a City Pass. Most cities have something like this where you can get into different locations for free through the year with one initial cost. 

I guess Groupon was offering a deal so they purchased us each a pass. It was really a thoughtful gift but I was stressing out that we don't live near the city so I was worried they wouldn't get used enough to justify the cost. 

I planned a weekend where I thought we could do it just before Princess Four went to Thailand. 

We have been so busy that I haven't been able to share this post. I have some advice that I wanted to share in this post so I felt that I should share it. 

We got some free tokens while the girls were dancing at the fourth festival as there was a scratch off two and win card in the middle of the program. 

Princess Five won $5 in tokens to one of the places listed on the "City Pass" so we thought we would go there. 

First off, if you are going to go anywhere in 100 degree weather, take some way to cool yourself. This place doesn't allow outside food or drink but..... 

There was a line out the door for hours (letting out the air conditioning) and to buy us a slush each, we waited 40 minutes in line. It took so long that we had to leave the line just as we reached the order booth as we had scheduled Laser Tag and if we didn't go then, it would be another two hours before we could get in as there were so many people there.

I was so upset by the heat in the place and the wait that I told the overworked girl at the counter that I was paying for the slushes then and when we got out of the laser tag, we would come and get them filled but I wasn't about to wait for another 40 or more minutes to get a drink. There were so many people there that the air conditioning wasn't keeping up and we were all getting dehydrated. 

The first thing we did upon arriving, was to sign up for the laser tag and then went "Black light golfing" where the balls glow. It was fun but short as there were only a few holes and we had people stacked up waiting behind us. 

We then went out to do the bumper boats and waited an hour in the heat with not much shade only to find out that if you are wet from the boats, you can't go into laser tag. It would have been nice if they had that posted near the sign up for tag or where you line up for the boats but they didn't say anything until we had waited in the heat for an hour. So, we didn't dare get wet on the boats which would have cooled us down. 

By then, we were so hot we got in line for the slushies. I felt like I was going to pass out from the heat as there were hundreds of people in the arcade, ride, rock wall area. I broke into one of the party rooms where I could see the streamers moving hoping to get cool. We enjoyed a little breeze in there while we drank our slushes but it was still hot.  
The girls spent their tokens and the last thing the younger girls wanted to do was the "Go carts." (Half of the rides weren't open. My guess is they didn't have the staff to man them as they were VERY understaffed the entire time) 

Princess Two and Three didn't want to do it as they can drive and were feeling really hot so they sat down and wanted to leave. I wanted to enjoy lunch together but the line was long and Princess four and five not driving have never gotten to drive little cars as they were too young when we did Disney and they haven't been to a "Go Cart" place before so they were excited about it and wanted to stay. 

Princess Two literally had a melt down. She started crying and feeling faint as it was so hot and there were so many people and no shade while you were in line except for a few feet where the workers stand. I was on the phone with her and could see her sitting on a bench crying. I was about to leave the line and make us all leave worried about her health when I told her to leave and stop at the Subway down the street and get something to eat and get a cool drink in the air conditioning. She gathered herself together and left in her car to regroup. 
She called us about five minutes later, just as we were next to get into our go carts and said she was better just sitting in her car in the air conditioning. 

I stayed to ride the go carts so that Princess Four and Five could have that experience as it isn't any fun going on things by yourself and we don't get to that area of the state often but I was still stressed about Princess Two. I looked down and on the race track right next to the car I chose was a penny. It was shinny and I just reached down and picked it up and looked over at Princess Four who was next to me and said, "Guess what I just found... A penny!" and she said, "Of course you did mom." 
I smiled and knew everything was going to be alright with Princess Two. We finished our race and arrived at Subway right after they ordered their food and Princess Two said just getting a drink made her feel better. 

My warning and the reason for writing this post. DON'T go to any place that offers a "Pass" during a holiday week. Go on a week day. Don't go to any place that is outdoor without some way to cool your self on a hot day. 
They sell little misters that you can fill with ice and then water and they spray you and keep you cool. Don't go anywhere without a bottle of water even if they say "No outside food or drink." as they may have long lines and each time you need a drink, you won't want to wait the 30 minutes to get one. With that many people, the water fountains had no pressure and weren't cold. When we got back for our slushie fill up after laser tag, the line had doubled from when we waited earlier. 

Take sugar snacks so that if someone gets low blood sugar, you can give them something to boost it until you can get them some food. I seriously think if we had waited much longer, she could have passed out. 

It turned a supposed to be fun day into a scary day. I won't be doing that again. We had fun but the heat made it really stressful for us all when it should have been a fun thing. I KNOW that they had more than their capacity in that place that day. I would be interested to see what the occupancy limit is and what their receipts show for the day. 

When we were leaving I had princess Four hold up the penny as a reminder.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Birthday Dress - Isn't She Adorable

I took Princess Five shopping for her fourteenth birthday. She found lots of clothes she liked but her favorite was this dress. She loved the way it fit and loved the style and colors. However, it was a little shorter than she liked and she asked me at the store if I thought I could make it longer. 

At the store, in the lights there, it looked like the trim was black. I told her I thought I had some lace or something we could use to fix it. I got home and got busy helping someone with something and she asked me if I could "fix" it for her to wear the next day for church. 

I thought it would be a quick fix. I went to my craft stuff and pulled out some black lace only to find out that the color of the dress trim is a really dark brown. 
That wasn't going to work so I pulled out some white lace hoping that could work and it wasn't going well. I had company so I had to take a break and get dinner and Princess needed to go babysitting so I prayed about what to do to help her as I wanted to support her in trying to be modest and comfortable in the dress and I knew she would be disappointed if she wasn't able to wear it the next day.

After praying about it, I called my sister who lives about ten minutes away. I drove over to her house with the dress and asked if she had anything I could use to lengthen it. Her daughter is the one getting married and her wedding colors have a peach in them so my sister just happened to have some peach organza. I took some other ribbons just in case and when I arrived home there were several options as to how to use the fabric. 
I thought about making a petticoat out of it and putting tulle inside the entire thing but that would use lots of the fabric that my sister still needed. Then I thought, I could make a petticoat out of some tulle I already had and just sew a strip of the fabric onto the bottom of the slip. I pinned it like that and the tulle made the dress poof like I wanted but the fabric at the bottom was too far under the dress when it needed to be at the bottom edge. So, I decided to just add the fabric to the bottom that was already there on the seam so that it wouldn't show when stitched on and then to make the "poof" that the dress needed, I quickly made a slip out of tulle. 

Basically, all I did for the slip was to make a big tube out of the tulle by folding it in half and sewing up one side and across the top and left about three inches on the top open to turn it right side out. Then, once it was turned around that way. I slipped elastic in which I had cut to the size of her waist. Once it was inside the big tube. I pinned one side and then pulled the elastic stretched out (inside the tulle) as I pinned the tulle to it first, at the half mark, and then, at the "1/4" point on the stretched out elastic. Then, I pulled the elastic out and zig-zagged the elastic inside the tulle. 

Doing it this way made all the seams of the itchy tulle on the inside so the bottom was a folded edge and the top edges were folded inside as well as the side seam. I told her if it was still itchy, she could just put on another slip under it. 

To add the extra two-three inches on the bottom of the dress, I just cut a strip twice as thick as I wanted it to be and folded it over and then pinned it to the seam where the bottom edging of the dress was already sewed on. 

As you can see, I zig-zagged that on as well as I didn't want the organza to fray in the wash. I sewed the side seam first and zig-zagged on that edge before turning it right sides out and pinning it to the bottom seam. I will mention that at first I had it pinned to the top side of the seam and it made the dress hang funny so I unpinned it and sewed it to the bottom side of the seam as you can see in the pictures.

I finished it late in the night as the company kept me busy for awhile. I wrote a card and pinned it to the dress and hung it up for Princess to see first thing in the morning of her birthday. She looked beautiful and got compliments throughout the day and actually got one this week from someone who noticed it and commented when we saw them later. 

I know that made her feel beautiful and special and I am grateful that I have the talent to be able to figure out how to do that. I am grateful that I can pray to my Heavenly Father about simple things and know He cares enough to give me guidance how to help figure out the things I am asking Him about. (See a post about that here.)I am grateful that I have a sister who is willing to share her fabric when no other place in town would have probably had that color and type of fabric that I needed and that late on a Saturday night. I am grateful that my Princess want to be modest and comfortable and still feel pretty and stylish. I am grateful that I have a working sewing machine (see about that here) and the list goes on and on. 

Just today, as I drove down the main street, I was giving gratitude for this and that thing. There are so many things that I am grateful for today especially. I am not sure why they were all so close to the surface but I give gratitude for that as well as I sometimes need reminders to give gratitude for all that I am blessed with.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Western Swing 101 Taught By Princess Three

The other day, we went to a going away party for one of Princess Three's best friends. Actually, it is her best friend. She is leaving as a missionary for the next year an a half and so Princess Three came home for the party. 

It was a teary event several times when they hugged goodbye but in the middle of the party, I was visiting with a friends son and I look over and Princess Three is teaching Princess Five how to western swing. 

Princess Five has never had any direction in this type of dance because all of her dance experience has been on dance teams and never with a partner. 

Princess Three and Princess Two both went to Western Swing at College and both enjoy it. I have always enjoyed swing dancing and used to go quite often but it has been awhile since I have gone. 

Within a few minutes, Princess Five had it down and they were all over the floor. I wanted to take some pictures but worried if I took out the camera that the dancing Princesses would stop. I turned to talk with my friends son and held the camera over my shoulder and told him to guide me. So he told me "up, right" etc and I took a picture. The girls figured out what I was up to and did stop until I begged them to let me take a few pictures as I thought it was so cute. 

The boy I was talking with said, "My sister won't dance with me." He seemed sad about that. I asked him why he thought she wouldn't dance with him and he thought she felt it was "weird." 

It wasn't until that point that I thought how grateful I am that my girls like each other. I know my sisters and I fought growing up but I can only think of one time that my girls actually got into it. 

I guess I have started taking that for granted because it didn't seem weird to me at all that my girls would dance together. They like talking, playing games and joking with each other and we often just laugh for hours as one plays off what the other said. 

What we have is truly a blessing and I am SO blessed and grateful for the Princesses in my life. They bring me such joy and rarely give me stress (except when learning to drive but that isn't on purpose) as a mom. I must have done something right in heaven to be blessed with such loving, kind and charitable daughters to have in my family. 

Here is a video of their last dance. I think Princess Three is an excellent teacher and obviously, Princess Five is a great student and quick study. I do cherish each day with them.

It reminded me of the song... "I hope you dance...." I'm glad the girls decided to dance.....

Monday, July 22, 2013

Invite Holder Done and Pedicures Followed

This weekend was all invitation holders. I spent two days working on finishing them while Princess Four is still in Thailand, and Princess Five was doing a youth activity with our church youth. 

I had two days home alone and so I watched a few shows I have had for years that I have wanted to watch and haven't had time without kids. Some things like foreign subtitles movies, I can't get my girls to watch. So, I watched those while finishing the invitation holders. 

I can't say I was sad when my brother-in-law picked them up today. I was glad to have them off my "to do" list. I still need to finish my trailer and because of house company, I never did finish getting through the craft stuff in my sewing room. I got a good start but there are still so many things going on that it isn't a priority. 

I was happy to have Princess Three make an appearance today as her best friend is leaving to serve as a missionary for our church and so Princess came home to say goodbye. It was a VERY teary farewell but I enjoyed visiting with her family and helping with the meal afterwards. 

Princess One dated one of her brothers in high school and it was good to see him with his two little boys and see how happy he is. One of the other brothers is getting married in August and it was good to catch up with all of them. 

Princess Three asked me for a pedicure and a manicure and I also did Princess Five's as well. Princess Five asked Princess three to make lines on her nails. She cut up masking tape into thin strips and put it over the base coat of yellow that I painted on Princess Five's nails. 

She placed the masking tape in even lines on the yellow and painted them with black. The black she used was old and sticky but it still came out ok but by the time they tested one, Princess Five was tired and wanted to go to bed. I am not sure if she will finish it tomorrow but I thought it came out looking cute. I suggested if they placed the tape in all directions on different fingers, it would look cool. I think it was the colors of yellow and black she wasn't excited about.  She was tired from her weekend activities and didn't like the colors as it looked like a bumble bee.

Perhaps tomorrow, we will use thinner nail polish and try a different top coat color. I thought it looked cool but being a tired girl and a long weekend had her going to bed early.