Sunday at the Races

Yesterday Mike took Soph and I to Horseman's Park, bc it was the last day of the races here in Omaha. Despite the heat – and a nasty burn – we had a lot of fun.

Here's Mike, explaining to Sophie how the racing and betting program works…

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(Instead of a new hat for the event, Sophie bought some new stick-on nails and applied those. Who doesn't wear black polish and skulls to the races?)

Of course, Mike and Sophie both decided that this was the horse to beat:

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The bugle sounds, and soon they're off!

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Woohoo, come on, Flashy Mike!

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Flashy Mike?

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Where in the hay is Flashy Mike?

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Look! There he is!

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Come on, boy, you can do it! You only have one more lap to catch up!

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Okay, Flashy Mike sort of got left behind, but that's okay. He was fun to watch. 🙂

After that crushing defeat, Mike and Sophie decided it was time to eat…

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…And they picnicked on the back of a fire truck.

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Soon Sophie was back to studying the numbers in the program…

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In the next race, Sophie chose a horse named No Matter What to win, and he did! Sophie was suddenly $18 richer, and decided to finish out her day at the races by jumping in the bounce houses and getting her face painted… Only in the Land of Opportunity can a 10-year-old bet horses and have her face painted on the same day.

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(While Sophie was waiting in the hour-long line, Mike brought her a red snow cone.)

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I don't recall the Avatars having red lips and teeth, but that's okay. 🙂

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Mike walked over to speak with one of his former co-workers, Officer Cardinas, and Sophie was pleased to meet him.

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Remember when I mentioned that there was a "nasty burn" during the day? If you've ever accidentally touched your leg to a motorcycle muffler, you know exactly what I mean…


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None of us realized how badly it hurt her, bc all she allowed herself to say was "Ouch!" So we carried on…

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Something in her expression, however, told me that she wasn't feeling as lighthearted as she was moments ago, and as soon as she was off of the motorcycle, she walked away from the group and started to cry. 🙁

Her poor leg blistered up in the back, so the officers gave her some ice water from their cooler, and Mike tried comforting her, explaining that he didn't realize she was so close to the muffler. (Btw, the cops weren't at the races to show the public their motorcycles and let kids sit on them… we were just visiting them bc Mike knew who they were, and Soph thought it would be fun to sit on a motorcycle.)

To make her feel better, we went to Sophie's favorite restaurant: Olive Garden.

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Her Avatar makeup had a few tear-streaks in it, but eventually she cheered up.

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Her dad has that effect on her. I guess that means Flashy Mike's a winner after all. 😉

Cereal Killer

This morning I found evidence that Breanna had been in the kitchen after I'd gone to bed last night:

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Exhibit A: Dried Kashi cereal in a bowl. The other girls refuse to eat Kashi cereal.

Exhibit B: Ladle. When all of the regular spoons in the drawer are used, Breanna has been known to resort to larger utensils, rather than having to actually wash something.

Have you ever tried to eat with a ladle?

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Speaking of Breanna, I took some pictures of her last week, even though her senior photo days are far behind her now. But it was fun anyway, and she's finally learning to not shy away from me when I tell her I want to take her picture.

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I loved this one, but Breanna didn't really care for it; somehow, I see traces of my little girl in her face, so I'm fond of it…

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(I still can't get over that.)

Here's the same photo as above, only in an antique color…

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There once was a young girl named Bre
Who found herself very hun-gry.
Although it was late,
With a ladle she ate
For all of the spoons were dir-ty.

Finishes, Freaks, and a Freebie

It occured to me yesterday after I posted this photo…

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…that one of the sisters looks a little like this:

Beaker

I loved Beaker when I was growing up.

And then there's this character, who reminds me of pretty much any Muppet. He got a little bummed that Breanna's muscles are almost as big as his are…

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I think he should be Mr. January in a Cop Calendar. I'd so buy that.

On to some great finishes people have shared with me! I love these!

First up, here is Pascale's Trifle for a Friend finish…

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Gorgeous! I love the color!

And here is Nancy's Yankee Poodle, which she actually sent to me on July 4th… 

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Soooo cute, Nancy, and the trim is fantastic!

Finally, here is the latest freebie that was posted on my blog, designed by my own Breanna, and stitched by Christie

4thofjuly by Christie

Christie left off the words bc she wanted to make it into a pincushion. I love it! Breanna will be so happy to see this!

Breanna has actually designed a few things that I'd love to try to get released under Plum Street, bc they are such sweet designs (with any profit going to the "poor college kid" herself, as she says). Someone suggested recently that Breanna design a French flag in the same theme as her 4th of July freebie, so she did! It's to celebrate Bastille Day, which was July 14th. At least there's plenty of time to stitch it before next year!

You'll have to head over to Breanna's new freebie blog, Blueberry Lane Samplers to download it. 🙂

Thank you to everyone who sent me pictures of their beautiful finished pieces. I love all of them!

ETA: For those of you who think Mike is a stripper, don't worry. He really is the police, with a real uniform and everything.

Black and White

It's amazing how siblings turn out being so different from each other… if one is outgoing, another will be reserved; if one is the troublemaker, another will be the peace keeper.

If one is a muscular, intimidating gym rat, another will be a slender, meek, timid mouse.

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If one is Breanna, another is Sabrina. And vice-versa.

The Winners!

Yes, you read that right – winners! As in three! I recalled that when I did my giveaway last year, I chose 3 people to win… the first number chosen won 5 charts, the second won 3, and the third won 1… I had my 3 girls choose 3 random numbers, and that's how the winners were selected.

Thank you so very much to each of you for leaving me the warmest, friendliest comments… they mean so much!

Blogiversary Winner! from Paulette Stewart on Vimeo.

Congratulations to the three winners! Email me at paulette71@yahoo.com so we can exchange info!

And somebody remind me again why children shouldn't have frappuccinos?

Thtwaw-behweeth.

My Sabrina will be a senior this coming fall, and I still can't get over it. She was always the little girl with the huge blue eyes and the wispy, strawberry hair that wouldn't stay in place… she was the buck-toothed toddler bc of her love of thumb-sucking, the too-tall middle-schooler who had a -2 sized waist (and could never shop in the popular 'tween stores the way her friends did bc everything was too big on her)… she was a balm to my soul, and her lisp when she spoke made my life that much more enjoyable.

I'll never forget how she would come home from preschool and I'd have a little conversation with her…

Me: "How was school, sweet girl?"

Little Sabrina: "Good!"

Me: "What did you have for a snack?"

Little Sabrina: "Duht and wuhmth."

Me: "Umm…. what?"

Little Sabrina: "Duht and wuhmth, Mom!"

Upon explanation, I realized this was a snack made of crushed Oreos and gummy worms, placed in a plastic cup with a spoon.

Dirt and Worms. 

Another time, she ran up behind me and threw her arms around my waist, as high as she could reach…

Little Sabrina: "Hey Mom, geth [guess] what I'm doing?"

Me: "Hmmm…. are you giving me a hug?"

Little Sabrina: (giggling) "Nope! I'm thmellin' you butt-cwack!"

I'll leave you to translate that one.

Oh, at the fun my family has had at Sabrina's expense… she has been – and continues to be – a delight. (Okay, I don't exactly speak for her sisters.) She's outgrown the lisp, can now fit into the popular 'tween stores' clothing (although she doesn't care to shop there any more), and prefers sniffing perfumes to butt cwacks. (Thank you, Lord.)

She's now my Big Sabrina, and since she'll be a big senior this year, it was time to get her photos done.

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When I first posted a practice photo of her, some of you asked if we were responsible for taking our own senior pictures. The answer is no, we don't have to take our own; there are plenty of studios around here to take senior portraits – and I plan on getting her yearbook photo done at one of them. But Sabrina decided she wanted to pay me a huge compliment by asking me to do them myself. I was honored! Flattered! My goodness, what teenager wants their mom to do their photo shoot?

So we headed out for some practice photos, to see if I could really do it and to see if what I came up with would be satisfactory to her. (I gave her the option of getting a professional studio to do them in case it didn't work out, and promised her my feelings would not be hurt in the least.)

It was a really fun day, and we traveled all over the city to find interesting places to shoot. She was very patient with me, and for that I'm grateful. Photography is certainly a mighty huge subject to learn, and I've got a long way to go.

Here are some of the photos we took that day… and of all the lovely things I remember about my Little Sabrina, there's one thing about Big Sabrina that I'll never forget: she is never without chewing gum (or chipped blue nail polish). Of course, I didn't realize this until I looked at all the photos on the computer monitor. Aaargh!


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This one was out of focus, but I still loved her expression…


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When the weather isn't so muggy out (which causes my camera lens to fog up horribly), we're going to head back out for the real thing. (I've also been making Breanna help me practice as well, bc Sophie and the dogs run the other way when they see me holding my camera.)

If you're still reading this far down, I'd like to thank you so much for bearing with me while I gush about my girl. As the middle child, she's usually the one who has to float along with what others want to do, and sometimes feels a little forgotten in the chaos. I'm proud of the young woman she's becoming, and that all that chaos has made her the calm in the eye of the tornado.

Either that, or she's still got gummy worms stuck in her teeth and can't speak to argue with the rest of us.

Check back tomorrow to see who won the Giveaway in the previous post. There's still time to enter!

Happy 2 Years!

I began my blogging adventure back in 2004, and this many years later I'm still having an awful lot of fun with it. It's amazing to me that so many of you will take time out of your day to visit and see what's up in this crazy family of mine, or perhaps check to see if – by some remote chance – I've posted something stitching-related. (I actually do that sometimes!)

Two years ago I made the move from my Xanga blog to this one, and to celebrate the anniversary of my "new" blog, I will once again be giving away 5 Plum Street Samplers charts to a random commenter to this post. (Deep breaths, Mom. I realize commenter isn't a real word.)

Here's the don'tcha-know:

1. Simply leave a comment under this post.
2. One entry per person, please!
3. The winner may choose 5 currently-released Plum Street Samplers charts.

Here are some examples…

Mosaic

The winner will be announced on Wednesday!

And speaking of charts, I have to interject a quick correction to the information for Olga: The model info states that I stitched her over 1 linen thread. Not so! (I run for the hills when I see "over one thread," bc these eyes of mine can't manage it on their own any more.)  I stitched it over 2 threads, and I'd like to thank Bonnie for asking the question, "Did you really stitch that over one thread? I'm impressed!"  Sorry to disappoint you, Bonnie. I promise I'll design something for over one thread soon, but it will have to be on 8 count fabric.

Thank you again, with all my heart, for being such kindhearted readers. Your warm comments and sweet emails mean so much, and I'm very happy to have made so many new friendships through this blog of mine.

If you decide to enter, good luck!

Sugar or Bust

Recently Mike took Sophie to Kansas City for a fun dad-and-daughter trip. This was supposed to be all about an amusement park, a water park, and a baseball game, but it ended up being a "Hey Mom, glad you're not here" vacation.

I'm generally the wet blanket for Miss Sophie when it comes to junk food. And although her dad does the best he can with not giving in to her wiley charms (cough-yeahright-cough), he decided this particular weekend that it was going to be a free-for-all for his youngest daughter. And best of all: he'd text the photos to me to show his unbridled parental authority when I'm not around…

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Hark! What's this I see? Something with nutritional value?

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It looks like the two of them are sugar-crashing…

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This is Sophie's all-time-favorite, more-expensive-than-Starbucks treat:

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Someone was nice enough to take a great photo of Mike and Sophie:

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They did manage to squeeze a few rides in between snack binges…

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Now that they're back, I've decided to invest in a treadmill. And ban them from ever leaving town by themselves again.

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Senior

Sabrina and I headed out today to scout out some places to take her senior photos. We had a lot of fun and took about 220 practice shots… and it’s a good thing they were just for practice, bc I realized in almost all of them, she was chewing gum!


I did manage to find one image that didn’t give away the gum…


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It was a fun day with my little middle girl.