Halloween this year.

Jack the Alien (costume hand made by mom.  Just look at that fabulous i-cord trim!)

Emma the Witch (costume not made by mom. Thank Goodness!)
Mark the mangled pedestrian (again, made by mom.)

We even had an unexpected but very appropriate guest just minutes before heading out!

This year we all split up for beggars night.  Emma, Jack and I went out to a friends neighborhood.  Mark being too big to go out with his little siblings went out with a group of middle schoolers.  Ah, how times have changed.  Overall the haul was good.  The best house by far this year was the house decked out in Christmas lights with Santa and Mrs. Claus on the porch handing out candy canes.  The kids got a kick out of saying "Merry Christmas!"  instead of "Trick-or-Treat"  through out the rest of the evening.  I am sure we confused several generous homeowners.  


Mark's Poetry Corner

Mark has been studying types of poetry in English.  His first assignment was a Biographical Poem which included a collage of pictures, words and some of his favorite things.  Unfortunately I did not get a picture.  His next poetry assignment was a concrete poem, in which he wrote a poem and had to make a three dimensional model to go with his theme.  I was most impressed with his creativity and we both had to brainstorm to find away to get it to stand upright.  


Mr. Bones

Mr. Bones is the name of a Halloween skeleton we have.  He is about 5 feet tall, is two dimensional and has pivotal joints.  My kids are fascinated by skeletons.  We actually have 3 which they enjoy playing with during Halloween season.  Mr. Bones being the largest is naturally the most fun.  I am always slightly shocked when I walk into a room and Mr. Bones has changed positions.  I find my self thinking, "Did he look like that earlier?"  Mr. Bones has even been known to cheer for  Ohio State proudly  displaying the O-H-I-O with his arms.  I thought I would share some of the newest positions in which I have discovered Mr. Bones.

Mr. Bones the contortionist..

Mr. Bones doing his yoga.

Well, this one is self explanatory.


Tonight I made calzones.  This is a new recipe of mine, one I  thought everyone liked.  Because it is Tuesday we are driving everywhere in overlapping schedules.  I made dinner while John took Jack to piano.  Then John and Mark ate while I picked up Jack.  When Jack and I got home, John and Mark left for Soccer.  Then Jack and I sat down to eat.  After I was finished, I started loading the dishwasher while Jack continued to eat.  Jack is always the last done.  When I was finished I noticed that Jack was away from the table but there was still 1/2 of a calzone left on his plate. 
 I said, "Jack are you finished?"  
"Yes."  was his reply.
"Are you still full from the pretzels you ate before piano?"  i enquired.  (which would have been odd since he only grabbed a handful as he was walking out the door.
And his response was.."No..ummm. It's just that...ummm.  Yea, Ok I'll go with your answer.
(He'll be hungry in an hour.)


Quidditch Quiz 2

1. What animal does the portrait in the Muggle Prime Minster’s office resemble?
a. Rat

b. Frog
c. Cat
d. Lion

2. What drink does Romilda Vane try to give Harry?
a. Gillywater
b. Butterbeer
c. Pumpkin Juice
d. Elf-Made Wine

3. What is the name of the person who heads the Holyhead Harpies?
a. Gwenog Smith

b. Gwenog Jones
c. Glen Jones
d. Glen Smith

4. How many ‘Exceeds Expectation’ grades does Harry receive in his O.W.L’s?
a. 6
b. 3

c. 5
d. 4

5. What is Professor Sughorn’s favorite candy?
a. Cockroach Clusters
b. Sherbet Lemon
c. Acid Pops
d. Crystallized Pineapple

6. What tattoo is Harry reported to have on his chest?
a. Mermaid
b. Blast Ended Skrewt

c. Hippogriff
d. Unicorn

7. What color robes do the staff at the Weasley’s shop wear?
a. Buttercup

b. Magenta
c. Royal Blue
d. Aqua

8. What is the man outside Flourish and Blotts selling?

a. Amulets
b. Cloaks
c. Wands
d. Hats

9. How much is the skull, which Hermione enquires about at Borgin and Burkes, worth?
a. 9 Galleons
b. 18 Galleons

c. 16 Galleons
d. 12 Galleons

10. What are Professor Slughorn’s initials?
a. H.F.G.

b. H.E.F.
c. H.A.L.
d. H.K.D.

The worstest day

Help! (crying and sniffling in the background)  If  you can read this please help me!  (blows nose)  Please I am begging you (down on knees groveling)  I cannot go on!  It just isn't fair!  Why me?  Why now?  This day will go down as the worst day of my life! (more crying)

  This morning my coffee maker died!  And it didn't even give me one cup yet!  How am I supposed to keep going.  I cannot be expected to function today.  Don't call me.  Don't try to cheer me up!  Just get me some Flippin' Coffee!  And do it NOW!
 I cannot possibly have a good day now! My day is ruined!  I guess I will just crawl over to Starbucks and beg for mercy!  Maybe they will take pity on me and let me lie on the sofa with a coffee I.V.   I cannot just go from a 1-2 pot a day drinker to quitting cold turkey!  This is an abomination!  It is a sad state of life when a mother of three cannot get just one cup of coffee!  All I am asking for is for some small miracle.  If you are reading this please pray for me.

Caffeine is my shepherd; I shall not doze.
It maketh me to wake in green pastures:
It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.
It restoreth my buzz:
It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction,
I will fear no Equal™:
For thou art with me; thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of The Starbucks:
Thou anointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the House of Mochas forever.
~Author Unknown

  This just may be the worst day of my life.(sniff)


The Challenge

Every year the quilting guild sets forth a challenge to its member.  This is in attempt to help everyone get creative and perhaps try something they wouldn't have otherwise.  This year the theme for the challenge is creating and using dimension (either physical dimension or through optical illusion).  Our quilts will be displayed at the December meeting and will be voted upon by members not participating in the challenge.   With that said here is my entry.

 (Sorry not the best of pictures ) It is only a quilt top so I still have to quilt it.  This is currently presenting a problem because yet again I dont know what to quilt on it...UGH!  As soon as i get more navy thread in I plan on starting and hopefully it will be finished before the holiday rush hits me.


A friendly visitor

This weekend, because I had put it off for so long,  I finally broke down and let Emma put up the Halloween decorations.  I'll admit that after struggling to dig out the boxes and re-arrange the closet I was not in the mood to put anything up that I knew I would have to take down in less than a month.  However,  after listening to the kids sing their made up Halloween carols I was more in the spirit.   I even helped!  It was during my helpful phase, that we encountered our visitor.  I was bringing in a ceramic sun I keep hanging on the front porch and exchanging it for my autumn wreath when Mark exclaims, "WHAT, was that!!"  I turn around just as he identifies it, "IT'S a gecko!"  Well we have lots of them here, but needless to say I wasn't too happy with it being in the house.  So, we set out to catch the little bugger, and boy are they fast!  I have to say I never realized they are really good at climbing!  After several minutes of trying to corner it, which is something really difficult to do when your trying to catch something that can climb walls, we were able to contain it.  I mean thank goodness for Tupperware. 
 Then we had to figure out a way to keep it contained and get it outside, without squashing it.  Fortunately, John being more mechanical than I had the answer and it no time it was FREE AT LAST! 

 He was a pretty little fellow and one I have not seen around here before.  

I think he will enjoy his new home better than ours.

More Homework...

#1 What are the three important things in Chapter 13 Harry needs to remember?

1. Tom Riddle showed contempt for anything that made him ordinary
2. Tom Riddle is highly self-sufficient, secretive and friendless
3. Tom Riddle has a tendency to collect trophies and souvenirs

#2 What did Merope sell when she was alone in London before the baby was born?
Merope sold the locket that belonged to Salazar Slytherin

#3 What does Mrs Cole like to drink?

#4 What does Tom Riddle demand Professor Dumbledor do twice when they first met?
He demands that Dumbledore tell the TRUTH

#5 What did Mundungus nick from the Black house?
Black Family heirlooms, and the locket that Kreacher Stole

Emma Knits

This weekend Emma started on the knifty knitter circular loom.  We had to dig out all of the craft projects to do while sitting at the soccer tournament.  Well, it is not uncommon to start a project on the knifty knitter.  It is however, much more common to not finish a project started on the knifty knitter.   We have several size circular looms and the majority of them have half started projects on them.  This weekend she was determined to finish her hat.  And she did it!  yeah Emma another knitter in progress. 

Doesn't her baby look warm and snuggly?



Our homework this week is to explain the importance of chapter 10 in The Half Blood Prince.  I have never been really good at essays but, I am really good at rambling, so I'll give it a shot.

Chapter 10 is The House of Gaunt.  It is the now the time Dumbledore tells Harry, that Harry "be given certain information." At this time Dumbledore pulls out his pensive and we find out they, Dumbledore and Harry, are going back to the memories of Bob Ogden together.  We join Bob as he travels to the home of the Gaunt's.  There we meet Morfin, Marvolo (Voldemorts grandfather) and Merope (Voldemort's mother).  In this chapter the arrogance, pride and the temper of the Gaunt family is shown, as well as their ability to speak parseltongue.  This is the first time we also see Tom Riddle Sr. and learn of the devious way in which Merope and Tom became married.  It is my guess that Merope after enduring hatred, abuse and deplorable living conditions,  seeks an escape through Tom and is looking for love she never received.  We see that Voldemort isn't actually a true-blood  after all.  We can guess that Voldemort's hatred toward muggles lies in the fact he was  abandoned by his father, who was himself a muggle.  One can assume that Voldemort's distrust in muggles lies not only in the anger he feels from having his father leave but, also the shame he may have felt from being the product of trickery.  

This is in stark contrast to the love, caring and warmth in which Harry received as an infant.   The reader can also draw parallels between Harry and Voldemort in that Voldemorts power grows in the dark arts, full of hatred, lies and distrust.  While Harry's power grows in the Love he still feels from his parents, as well as the trust he gives and receives from his friends and his drive to find the truth.  Even as Dumbledore is explaining the story of the Gaunts to Harry,  Harry is unable to imagine any other circumstances for Merope and Tom to have married other than Love.  


School Pictures have arrived!

Despite my greatest worries and fears the school pictures turned out very nice.  This year they offered a CD with the image stored on it for purchase.  This way I can print out as many  as I want!  Beware they will soon be arriving in your mailbox!!

Mark age 11

Jack age 8

Emma age 7



This weekend was my first weekend in Hogsmeade.  As a first year, I have heard many stories of the place so, I wasn't sure what to expect.   Truthfully, it was just nice to be out of Hogwarts!  I  started my adventure alone in the hopes of meeting up with a few others later. I wandered down to Scrivershafts to get a new quill.  With my new quill safely tucked away I headed down to Dervish and Banges.  We have a wicked homework assignment this week History of Magic. UGH.   I was hoping on getting some pointers about enchanting the wand to write while i dictated.  As I enter the shop I was amazed at all of the things in the shop.  Half of which I couldn't tell you what they did.  Unfortunately, the man in the shop didn't know anything about enchanted quills other than the kind that wrote without ink.  Whatever that's about.   I did however purchase these.  I was told they were made by goblins.   I don't know about that, but they do remind me of Peeves, The Bloody Barron and Nearly Headless Nick.

Next, I went to Honeydukes, as did many from Hogwarts, because they were PACKED.  I wanted some chocolate frogs but they were out, so I settled for Liquorice Wands.  Just about the time I was ready to meet up with the others, I saw tons of people gathering around yelling.  Then there was a huge explosion and purple smoke was everywhere.   Well, I don't have to tell you I didn't stick around to find out what was going on.  With a name like Riddle people often find reason to blame you for things, so you can see why I ran.  I haven't seen or talked to the others since the incident so I don't know what went on but I am anxious to hear.   I'll keep you posted.


Giving Back

Yesterday we were at the Amigo Airsho here in El Paso.  It is an annual event here, but this year we did it a little different.  The Paso del Norte Quilt Guild I belong to does Wounded Warrior Quilts to present to soldiers wounded in war.  We sew them together quilt them and present as many soldiers as we can with quilts.  The best part is that we have members of the public, military or non-military, sign quilt blocks.  

They write their well wishes on to the quilt blocks  and we incorporate the blocks into the quilt.  Recently we have been having trouble getting enough signatures to complete the quilts.  Thanks to a wonderful connection  this year we were able to get a booth at the airsho and get people to sign the blocks.  In an attempt to open the eyes of my children to the people who do so much for them, I signed us up to work the event tent.  I was unsure as to how the kids would react to this.  It required us to stop complete strangers, many of whom did not speak English well, and try to convince them to sign a quilt block.  Initially they were shy and reserved.

    They truly exceeded my expectations.  By the end they were stopping strangers and asking them to participate in the quilt signing.  I was so impressed with them!  Jack and Mark worked the crowds and Emma stood behind the table and helped people as they came up to the tables.  It was a very proud moment for me to witness.  


Don't we all feel like this monday morning?  Poor thing fell asleep before she could even eat.  


Soccer Quilt

Here it is the official Soccer Game Quilt--TA-DA!

Since Mark is back playing travel soccer this year I decided to do a Quilt for Jack and Emma to sit on while they "watch" the game.  I used a bunch of Marks old T-shirts and some fabric from my ever growing stash and Poof: a quilt.  Jack and Emma are usually quite bored at Marks soccer games so the bring lots of things to keep themselves busy.  Crafts, Legos, Nintendo etc.  Now they have a cushy place to do their activities.  I did a little experiment on this quilt, (and why not since it is going to be contiuously tossed on the ground!)  I tryed a technique called Trapunto.  Trapunto is a technique where you use extra batting under a portion of the quilt to add dimension to the quilt.  Here are my results.

Over all I was pleased with the result.  I think I over did it on the extra batting,  next time I'll use a little less.  
Now we are all set for the next two weekends of Tournaments! 


Doin' the Happy Dance

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, It is to be hereby know that Kristin has Finally Finished her PI Shawl!
  (The crowd goes wild! Music is Blasting and I am doing the Happy Dance)  
As many of you know the pi shawl has been my chain and ball this summer.  I have been toting it around in my knitting bag for at least 4 months.  It has suffered through many a time out and has been frogged many times.  It has hindered my knitting and quilting of other projects and generally driven me BONKERS!  But no more I say!  It is finished.  TA-DA! 

Weighing in at just under 2 pounds and made of hand dyed lace weight yarn.  It has approximately 2200 yards of yarn in it and is just over 6 feet wide. 

 It is warm, soft and HUGE!  I will be able to wrap my self up like a burrito and be cozy and warm here in El Paso!  Now all we need is Winter!



Well, I have been very busy this week.  (Like I am not other weeks)  This week I have been doing a lot of finishing and starting of projects, not just my own.  We started the 3 science fair projects this week.  Trying to keep track of all of the data, gathering supplies and just deciding what we are going to do is exhausting.  The actual "experiment" is the shortest part! HA!  

Mark is trying to find out what substances ants are most attracted to.  This first requires Ants.  You would think it would be easy to find a few ants.  Not so.  We have set up the experiment twice without an ant to be found.   And once, one of our experiment plates was confiscated by a bird!  I Cannot Believe it!  Therefore we need a new strategy this weekend.  

Emma is trying to find out what brand of microwave popcorn leaves the fewest unpopped kernels.  This requires digesting LOTS of popcorn.  (Note to self, rethink experiments requiring ingesting large amounts of food)  She has been really enjoying this experiment and has come up with her own, unique, method for recording the kernels.  

Jack is experimenting with yeast and what makes bread rise.  This i fear will also require a lot of food consumption, as we plan on making some homemade bread with our yeast.  He is super excited because he loves to eat raw bread dough and of course bread fresh and warm out of the oven is YUMMY!!!