Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
In the beginning of August we were invited to the second wedding this summer. Actually I posted the cakes from this wedding a few days ago. As I had made dresses for my older girls for the wedding in June, they had something nice to wear. My 7y. old also had a dress I made for her in spring. But the 9y. didn't get a dress this year and she really wanted a new one from some knit fabric in my stash that she fell in love with a while ago. So, I tackled the job just three days before the wedding. I made mistake of quickly measuring her before she left for grandma's house and then sewing without her home. It turned out that the top was way too small. So, I made a new bodice for the dress, but she wore the small shrug. I plan to make her a new bigger one so she can wear the dress possibly next summer as well. I actually altered a McCall's 5038 (tanktop and shrug) to a dress by adding a self-drafted tiered skirt. You can find a full review on it here. She we very happy to have a new dress.
My mom wanted a new dress as well and bought some fabric and picked a pattern from my collection. She just wanted me to help her with the English instructions and cutting, but in the end I ended up sewing the whole dress for her, as she was very busy and I would have needed to sit down with her and explain to her much of the instructions. This was supposed to be a 2-hour dress, but it turned out to be pretty difficult. Still, we manage to get it done at the last minute and she was happy. She wants another dress from this pattern, but I will have to figure out a few more modifications. My full review of this McCall's 4374 is posted at Patternreview.
Friday, August 24, 2007
My oldest two girls (14 and 12) had some creative moments the past two days and created a book about Sleeping Beauty with all the craft materials they could find at home. I was really proud of them that they worked together well and finished the project so quickly. Now the younger ones want to do something similar =). Here is the whole book:
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Candy at Keeping the Home is doing a chronicle of her whole week and invited other bloggers to join her. I don’t think I can manage to chronicle a whole week, but I thought I could join at least for a day =).
I woke up to the sound of hubby’s alarm. I didn’t sleep well, since it’s starting to be very hot again. Even the fan didn’t help. But it’s another day filled with responsibilities, so better get up. It’s still summer holidays here, so we don’t have a strict schedule. We are very flexible and all of us are enjoying it, because when school starts in 10 days, there is going to be enough structure!
Since the older girls were supposed to go to grandma’s house for the day, they also woke up earlier and got ready. Hubby went to morning devotions to work, but planned to take the day off after that to work on the house.
My oldest went to the store to buy fresh milk and bread. They ate breakfast and helped me to do all the dishes from last night (we had been working on the house till dark and we all too tired to do them last night). Hubby came, changed and took the girls, while picking up his father to help him work on the house.
The little ones were still asleep, so I made myself a cup of coffee, had some breakfast and checked mail. I made a few important phone calls to friends and family. Then I finished cleaning the kitchen and swept and mopped the floor (before the little ones woke up).
It seemed quite hot to me, so I checked the weather forecast for today on the internet. Oh my – 38C! That’s way too hot for this time of the year. That means no going out for the children during the day, only in the evening.
The younger children got up (9,7 and 4) and had breakfast. After that I send the two girls to strip their beds and pick up all the clothes in their room. I can’t afford to wash all our bedding every week. So I rotate the rooms and this week it is DD 9 and 7’s turn. The I put a load in the washer. I went up to the bedrooms (which by now were like sauna), closed up all the windows and shades, but it doesn’t help much. While the girls were still cleaning their room and
We all went down, because it was too hot to stay up there. The children went to draw at the table. I ironed about 15 things which were piling up in the last weeks and I am so happy I got that chore done. It’s not that I dislike ironing, but somehow it just gets postponed from time to time.
The children cleaned up the drawing table and the girls went to play with dolls on the couch, while
I went to start preparing lunch. I decided to make an easy scalloped potato casserole. I peeled and sliced some potatoes and onions. I layered these with a bit of chopped canned ham in a glass dish and poured over it about 2 cups of seasoned white sauce. I put it in the oven and washed the dishes. Then I had some grapes for snack.
Meanwhile my mom came for a very short visit. She had been to the doctor (walking) and needed to cool down, as we are on her way. After she left, the children switched at the computer and I took
Just then hubby came to get some things for the house, so I quickly served him lunch and packed some for grandfather who stayed at the building site. When he left, I sat down with the children to eat our lunch. After that I did the dishes, 9 y. old shaped the yeast rolls, 7y. old wiped the dishes and 4y. helped clean the table and wiped it.
I really wanted to lay down a bit, but had to stay up switching the sheets with baking in the oven. So, instead I ironed one more dress (that I had missed in the morning), hung up the washed laundry and did some correspondence while keeping an eye on the baking.
Finally, I managed to put my feet up for a few minutes and then it was time to take the baked goodies to the workers at the house. I have not yet walked from this location to our building site, but I dared to try it out with the children. Well, it took us a good half an hour and we were all pretty heated and tired, but it’s not so bad considering we had a 4 year old walking with us all the way. =)
We stayed a bit at the site, sweeping some floors and witnessing the historic moment of the first dry-wall being screwed into the bedroom ceiling. The children thought that was very exciting. Then since hubby had to drive his father home, we also got a ride back home. But we didn’t stay there for very long, since some friends have invited the children to take a dip in their small pool. So, we got the swimming suits and walked again to our friends house. This was a shorter walk, only about 15 minutes. It was still hot, but the sun wasn’t frying by this time. The little ones had a blast with some other children in the pool. Not much room for swimming, but they didn’t mind.
When it got dark and hubby and my dad finished working at the house, he came to pick us up. The children were supposed to sleep at my parents as another treat, so picked up their PJ’s at home and drove them to the grandparents. We enjoyed some fellowship with my parents (and a quick supper) and then headed finally home.
The house is hot, it will be hard for this pregnant lady who can’t tolerate heat very well to get some good sleep, but I will try. Tomorrow is a busy day, as the men will be working on the house all day and I will be cooking and baking for them. It’s supposed to be as hot as today. Good night!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
This summer we attended two weddings. The children were so excited, as the last wedding we attended was almost 5 years ago and they barely remembered it. Now I could write a whole novel on the wedding traditions in our area, but most are slowly changing and are not so much predictable anymore as they were in the past. One tradition has remained though and is present at all weddings still. And that is that all guests (traditionally each family) bring a wedding cake to the wedding.
I suppose this was started (many years ago) to help the family hosting a wedding, but it has been blown to great proportions in the past several decades. So, when you attend a wedding, besides bringing a gift you also bring a cake. Then around mid-night after all the other courses of food had been served, the cakes are brought out and set before each family that brought them (they write down the names). Then each family eats from their own cake and share with other people around. Before going home, each family brings whatever is still left on their tray (usually a lot) to the hostess and she take part of their cake for the hosting family, part to put on some other guests tray and gives you a piece of another cake to take home. This is kind of nice, because we have cake for the next Sunday (and sometimes the whole week, LOL). But the cakes have been getting bigger and bigger and usually there is way more cake than people to eat it.
On the last wedding my 9y. took quite a few pictures of the cakes on the tables, so I just wanted to share with you. BTW, most of these cakes are ordered - not from a shop, but from women in town who make cakes for an extra income. I guess me and my mom are one of the rare people that still make our own cakes (taste better and is cheaper in my opinion =) for weddings. At these last two weddings we kind of broke the rule and made one cake for both families together, because we thought it would be a waste of money and time to make two huge cakes.
So, here is our humble cake that mom baked and I decorated (we wanted as little frosting as possible):
And here are samples of other cakes brought to the wedding (just a few of them):
Of course, closest relatives have some cakes made especially for the couple, which the bride and groom usually share with everybody. The right cake was a regular layer cake with different flavor for each tier. The structure on the left is very traditional here and made from sugar and walnuts. It's kind of like candy, hard and crunchy and the bride breaks off pieces off the fence and gives to the guests. In the middle of the structure are two molded lambs.