Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spaz vs The Machine

This weekend our Girl Scout troop is hosting an All Scouts Day where we plan on giving our girls the badges and fun patches that they have earned this year (providing we don't get rained out - South Florida is proving to be a rainy lady for the past few days). I'm super excited because Goober's Cub Scout pack will be doing their crossover ceremony at the event, too. I love it when scouts get together in harmonious scout love.

At any rate, yesterday one of my super awesome co-leader's (we have 3 leaders for our troop and we really do need every one of our heads to make it work) went to the dollar store and bought these adorable little green tote bags to give to each of the girls with their awards.

The three of us communicate with each other frequently in a little facebook chat, so yesterday this was part of the chat that my co-leaders had when I wasn't looking.

That's right. I recently purchased an embroidery machine. 

It all started because of scouts (everything in my life seems to start because of scouts). The kids uniforms looked like crap. Goober's Cub Scout shirt had stains on it from where I bled my own blood while attempting to sew on his numbers, Munchkin's vest was empty with a ziploc baggie of pretty patches attached to it, and Bug had nothing on his shirt at all. It was $2 a patch to have someone else sew them on (with three kids that adds up super fast) and even though many of my fellow scout parents had volunteered to help out nothing had ever come to fruition.  So I told The Man that I needed a sewing machine.

When we started looking at sewing machines and realized that so many of them now come with this cool embroidery function, we decided that it might just be a wise investment to add on to my growing t-shirt business. Embroidered stuff is desirable, yanno?

So we purchased a fancy schmancy sewing/embroidery combo and a bunch of thread.  Immediately upon getting the machine home, The Man set out to learn everything and anything he could about the machine. Before I knew it he was using scrap fabric I had lying around to embroider hearts and flowers and everything else the machine had already loaded in it.

But me? I stuck to sewing.  The embroidery thing intimidated me. You had to use a screw driver thing to change it from a sewing machine to an embroidery machine and you had to trap the fabric in this modern day fabric torture device and it was just plain scary. So I avoided it.

Until yesterday's message.

I had to get over the hump.  It was for the girls.

So I let my co-leader know she could come over with the bags and we'd embroider them.

Y'all... from the get-go the machine and I battled. The Man decided that last night was the night to get me to figure this all out and offered only guidance but wouldn't do any of the actual work. First, trying to get the thick woven material into the scary torture device (I hear it's called a loom) was a nightmare. But once I figured that out, then I had to do the programming to actually put the name on the bag in the right position. 

After way too long figuring that out, the machine was ready to go and I pressed the magic green button.

Almost immediately the machine threw the needle right out of the damn thing toward my face. It was trying to blind me.

What I have done to piss this machine off, I'll never know. 

I figured out I was using too wimpy of a needle and had to beef it up. Luckily The Man had the foresight to have already purchased some beefier needles. So we changed the needle and tried again. 

About halfway through embroidering the first name, the needle flew out at me again! Hah! You missed me, machine!

I had forgotten to tighten it in with the screwdriver thingie. 

This time I tightened it nicely, and started on another bag. 

The next three bags went off without a hitch. I was starting to feel comfortable. The machine felt me relax and struck again.  

This time, the thread by the bobbin was all a mess and stuck up in the machine in all sorts of places and I had to use the jaws of life to actually free the bag from the machine's thready clutches. Two bags down - good thing they were only a dollar.

After freeing the same bag from the machine three times, refilling the bobbin, winding thread on the underside of where the bobbin sits to wind it instead of actually on the bobbin, and destroying yet another bag, I finally completed adorable embroidery on 5 out of the 8 bags.

Later today I'll have to run and pick up some more bags from the dollar store to replace the ones that were damaged. 

In last night's lesson I learned a few things - one being that you should only attempt embroidery with alcohol readily available - and I think I might be getting the hang of the machine. Eventually I think I might be able to actually do some neat stuff with it.

For today, though, I think the machine and I will give each other some space.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Girl Scout Scrapbooking Freebies and Bridging Certificates and TShirts, too!

It's about time.

We've been working on our site for custom Girl Scout troop tshirts for what seems like forever.  Every time I would think it was done, there was more to do. But now, finally, it's up and functional and running and all the bugs are worked out (I hope). I've received orders and fulfilled them and people are happy.  Our facebook page is working (go like it! I'll wait here) and I've even got coupon codes and stuff (you have to like the facebook page to get them - I told you I'd wait). Fancy, huh?

I can't tell you how happy I am. :)

To celebrate, I'm offering freebies! Scrapbooking freebies, that is. I bet you didn't know that one of my hidden passions is digital scrapbooking. I sort of love making pretty photo collage style things with them and I've made a few sets.

I do sell a few on the site, but I also made some freebie bonus sets that are completely free to download and use. Get them here (and check out the rest of the site, yeah?)

But it doesn't stop there. Bridging season is upon us. That's right, right now (well, probably this weekend and next), all across the country, little Daisy Girl Scouts are becoming Brownie Girl Scouts and little Brownie Girl Scouts are becoming Junior Girl Scouts. Sassy Junior Girl Scouts are becoming Cadette Girl Scouts and dedicated Cadette Girl Scouts are becoming Senior Girl Scouts. It's happening everywhere.

Our troop isn't bridging this year - our girls are entering their 2nd year as Cadettes - but I know lots of girls who are and we are so proud of them all! Every time a girl recommits herself to Girl Scouting for another year my heart swells with happiness. There is truly, nothing a girl can't do.

But enough with the mushy stuff. I made free printable certificates for those super-fantastic girls! They're high resolution and can be printed at home or professionally if you're feeling ambitious. There's a couple to choose from and you can get them here.

And go check out the site! We don't plan on stopping with just Girl Scout shirts, either. In the future we plan on adding more athletic designs and youth group designs and pretty much anything people want.

It's gonna be fun!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday Goobsday

Following yesterday's theme, today is all about Goober. That's right, Tuesday Goobsday. (Bug's day is going to be Sunday - so don't think I'm neglecting him when there's no post until then.)

Goober is 9 right now and will be turning 10 in September. Being the youngest in our family, I often forget how much he can do and he surprises me daily with his personality. 

When my children were babies and toddlers, I always felt like I knew them inside and out. They were from me, they were a part of me.  And then they all started to develop their personalities. And Goober has quite the personality. 

He's a constant joker and he loves to mess with people. Around our house we constantly call him "The Troll" because, much like an Internet troll, he will say things with the sole intention of getting a rise out of someone. He will act clueless about the simplest things in order to drive a person crazy with questions and then laugh when his victim realizes his questions are so ridiculous that he absolutely must be messing with them. He always has a snappy comeback to every situation and his mouth never stops.



From the moment his eyes open in the morning his mouth starts going. He's telling stories, he's making sounds, he's asking questions. I'm not sure how his teachers at school ever get a thought across to the rest of the class. 

This year Munchkin and Bug are both going to middle school which lets out a full two hours after Goober gets home. So every school day this year, I have enjoyed two hours of uninterrupted Goober time with just the two of us. I've learned more than I ever cared to learn about LEGOs, really tall buildings, and his world traveling third grade teacher. 

Goober wanted to build a special creation for me to feature on the blog today, but I didn't give him enough time. There's always next week.

Goober has more LEGOs than any kid should have. I almost feel guilty that there are underprivileged kids in this world who have never seen a LEGO and my 9 year-old has two 18 gallon bins overflowing.  But he loves them so much and he never asks for anything else. Every birthday and Christmas since he was 4 has been a LEGOfest. He says he wants to be an architect when he grows up (after his NFL career is over), so I feel a little less guilty considering we're starting him down a career path. 

He's just finishing his first year as a cub scout and will start his first season of tackle football this summer. 

I'm thinking Tuesdays will be my easiest blog day because Goober never gives me a shortage of material to work with. Tune in next Tuesday to see what LEGO masterpiece Goober comes up with. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Monday Munchkin Day

I was trying to think of a way to get myself a little more blog inspired. I mean, really, where did my motivation go? Perhaps it was leeched from me along with all of the energy I used to have in my 20s. Can I get a caffeine drip up in here?

So anyway, I decided to get back to why I started the blog in the first place. It was an outlet for me to write and express myself and a place for me to document my children as they grow.

With that in mind, I've decided to devote one day a week to each of my three children, starting today. Monday will be Munchkin's day. Monday Munchkin Day.

I should probably come up with a cute graphic. Hold on a second.

There we go. That's much better.

Munchkin is currently 11 years old. She is an enigma to me. She is somehow so much like I was at her age and yet so very different.

Munchkin loves horses. In fact, as I type this she is there, at the barn, shoveling manure and riding and immersing herself in that world. I loved horses when I was her age, too, but I didn't have the same moxie that Munchkin has. Munchkin has no fear. She'll walk straight up to the biggest off-the-track Thoroughbred in the field, throw a halter on him, and show him who's boss. She amazes me.

On Mothers Day this year, Munchkin rode in a local show and won Grand Champion for her classes. I knew she had improved over the past year that she's been showing, but Grand Champion? This means she had the highest overall score of all of the riders in her category. I cannot think of a better Mothers Day gift.

Munchkin doesn't stop with horses, though. Munchkin never stops. She will try anything and she's GOOD at everything. Enigma, I tell you.

She's just completing her first year of middle school and decided she wanted to play the alto saxophone with the band. I prepared myself for needing earplugs on a regular basis in the house while she practiced, but the girl can actually play a tune. She's no Sonny Rollins, but I really don't hate listening to her practice. Next year she wants to try out the tenor sax and I'm sure she'll do great with that, too.

Munchkin's next challenge is that she has decided to play flag football with our area's co-ed league. The Man and I are looking forward to many hot, sweaty summer days at the park watching our little girl rock a football.

I really can't tell you how proud we are of her. She's seriously an unstoppable force.