March may have come in like a lion but we sure had a lamb of a weekend. Temps were in the 70s both days. Crazy. We’re back to more seasonal March weather now, blustery and colder. But about the weekend, it was a really good one, and not just the weather. Saturday morning Katie and I headed to Molly‘s place to have lunch with Molly and Emily and their gangs plus Erin who was visiting for the weekend.
It’s always fun to go to Molly’s and it was great to meet Emily and Erin. We arrived a little early and Katie just took off to collect eggs with Mary and Emma and I helped Molly get lunch ready. How I wish we lived closer. I’m blessed to have such thoughtful and generous friends though, even if they live hours away. Both Emma and Katie were hoping to go in the swimming pool — apparently being 6 or 7 makes you immune to freezing water — but after Emily and Erin arrived we went to the creek instead. I brought some gifts for the ladies and we ate lunch, each helping with the other’s children. Erin and Emily left and I helped Molly clean up lunch while we talked about our girls.
On Sunday Stefan had a race in the morning and we celebrated his birthday with some of our extended family. Katie went to my parents’ and Tristan helped me make the birthday dinner — spaghetti bolognese — and birthday cake before everyone returned for a loud, laughter-filled evening with the windows open. A perfect weekend really, thank you March.
Last week Papa was in Paris for business. At one time he was going there at least once a month but recently the trips have been more intermittent. We love France. Every time he’s headed over there we make a list of what we want him to bring back. The list varies but always includes clothes for the urchins from DPAM, some magazines for me, and underwear for the urchins from Petit Bateau. Actually one of Stefan’s French counterparts used to tease him about always going to Petit Bateau. Last week Gaétan offered to shop the Petit Bateau sale for us at the end of the month. Who says the French are snobby?
Unless he is just swamped with work Stefan is always successful with stuff for the urchins. My magazines though have never been successfully procured. It turns out the street stalls don’t stock children/parent or crafty magazines. But this time was different because a copy of Marie Claire Idées now lives with me. The timing was perfect too since the current issue came with a mini-mag about preserving. I don’t speak French but those photos sure look yummy.
So, now that Stefan has a magazine source I think I need to add another crazy thing to the list and I think that thing should be fabric. Does anybody know where the fabric stores are in Paris?
Thrifting in my neck of the woods is pretty bad. The stores are mostly bare except for really bad stuff from the 80s. What we do have in abundance though is antique stores. This weekend a store near my mom was having a groundhog day weekend sale. The store is in an old house and different vendors have different rooms in the house. It makes for really fun poking around looking for treasures. Of course this time my mom and I — my best antiquing partner — were poking around while corralling an urchin who wanted to touch everything, especially if it was breakable. Still, I managed to uncover a couple of great things in our quick sweep of the place. My mom went back through more thoroughly after I removed Mister TouchEverything from the premises and called me to tell me she found something else — one of the many reasons she’s my best antiquing partner ever.
Anyway, Papa is in love with two of the three things that have made their home with us and he wasted no time in using them in some photographs:
I was looking for a vintage suitcase with Katie in mind — I’m trying to improve the dress-up/play-pretend box in our house — and she and Tristan carried this one around all afternoon. The table and chairs was the real score of the day. Papa has been wanting something like the set for a while and as soon as I saw it I took the tag to buy it. Luckily the price was reasonable because who knows how much I would have paid. As for what I brought home that he didn’t like, I’m hoping it will grow on him.
Published January 19, 2008
Cooking , In the Kitchen , Papa Urchin
Poor Papa, he loves pancakes and french toast and he married someone who is more of a scrambled egg kind of girl. He really hoped our kids would like pancakes because, really what kid doesn’t like pancakes? Well, that would be our kids. No pancakes, french toast, or waffles can be coaxed past their lips. Recently he convinced Katrina to try a different kind of pancake — crepes — and much to his surprise she liked them. I think she really thought of them as more of tortillas — which she loves — and filled her crepe with cheese and sour cream. So last week she told us she wanted pancakes for dinner, the kind she likes. So Papa set out to make some crepes and realizing that most of us would need something a little more substantial came across a recipe for crepe quiche lorraine. They turned out to be very yummy, and pretty too. I had nothing to do with making them but I think they were pretty easy. They made an excellent last minute dinner for sure.
You may remember our first fishing game back in August, well this is an improved version for a swap with a friend. Papa turned the handle for the fishing rod and both the handle and rod are coated with Tried and True wood finish. The hook is made of wool felt and a very strong magnet is sandwiched inside. The fish are made from cotton denim and some have selvedge fins or tails — each has a metal washer inside, held in place by the embroidered eye. Last but not least is a canvas bag to hold the catch with a measuring tape handle to see if you caught a whopper.
Published December 25, 2007
Papa Urchin , This & That
Hi, Papa Urchin here today. Unfortunately, Mama is suffering the lingering effects of a food poisoning incident on Saturday night. — I fully blame Santa! No seriously, we took the kids to the swanky mall Saturday afternoon to see Santa. Just as we walked up, they closed the line so the big guy could take his dinner break. We decided to do some shopping and get dinner ourselves. All was well, we got some last minute gifts, had a nice dinner at a upscale chain grill and saw the big man. By bed time we knew somethings was wrong, by morning Mama was saying “[she] had never been so sick in her life.” If Santa had only thrown back a few more cookies at lunch, we never would have had dinner at the mall and none of this would have happened. — Mama is progressing back to health, but still in need of extra sleep, so here I am. We were able to make it to church last night, but will have a quiet dinner at home tonight. (Does anyone deliver on Christmas Day?)
I don’t really have anything crafty for you today, but how about some pictures. After church and munchies with the family at our place, the kids set out to feed the reindeer. –Every year our family doctor gives us bags of reindeer food (oats and glitter) for the kids to leave on the front lawn. He always tells the kids that his daughters swear by the stuff, I always wonder if anyone mentioned the fact that daddy is a doctor? Either way it’s always a fun time with the kids and makes for great pictures if you can capture the glitter in the air (which I didn’t this year.)
Next up, stockings hung by the mantel with care. — In case you are wondering that is not our real mantle. We couldn’t find stocking hangers that worked with heavy stocking and our stone mantel so a few years ago I whipped up a wood box and we screwed mug hooks to it. This works great with those overload stockings and then packs up with the rest of the decorations.
Christmas morning started well, as you can see Tristan was not very interested in posing for his picture on the stairs before checking out all the loot Santa brought. The joy of the kids faces as they unwrapped their gifts helped Mama feel better, but still not well enough to make it to Grandma & Granddad Urchins house for the annual dinner. Finally, as a parting shot you can see my attempt at a christmas photo of the kids. This one didn’t make the cut, but you can see the one that did over at Urchins.
Merry Christmas from the Urchins, and expect to see Mama back in action before the New Year. She has a number of handmade gifts for your blog reading delights.
Amidst the turkey a certain someone in our house turned two. Really, it’s just hard to believe. My niece — who is five years old — said Soon Tristan will be a tid [kid] and I can’t believe she’s right. Boy the time just flies by. So, a train party happened to celebrate.
Here’s the cake:
Papa gets all credit for the cake and the roundhouse. Thanks Jennifer — no blog — for the great roundhouse idea.
Here’s a view of the table:
I had trouble figuring out what would be “train food” so we just went with Tristan’s favorites. I made the tablecloth from some fabric with vintage train tickets on it and bordered with a black/gray calico.
This is the awesome engine that Papa and his dad, Opa, made:
I told them to make an engine to pull the wagon and left the house. When I came back this is what they had done. It was so much better than I ever thought it could be. We converted the wagon into a coal car and I made some coal — beanbags — and we made a game of tossing the coal into the coal car. It was a big hit, even with the older siblings. The little ones liked to drive the engine too. The tracks are just black electrical tape on the carpet — thanks to Anina for that idea.
And lastly, here’s our little engineer blowing out the candles:
He was especially fond of the skittle wheels although he did seem to like the cake too. He’s been singing Happy Birthday for over a week now and trying to blow out any flame he sees — including those in the fireplace. He got some great gifts too but I’ll save those for another day.