What a week

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Last week was packed. Back to school, back to EVERYTHING! It included lots of cleaning the house – 2 weeks of all five of us here took a toll on my obsessive organizing & cleaning. Well, time was better spent enjoying each other’s company and exploring our town, eating out, shopping, having company over etc. I can truly say that I felt like the cleaning lady of the house once everyone was out of the house Monday morning. It was hours and hours of sweeping, scrubbing, wiping, mopping, vacuuming, folding a DOZEN loads of laundry!!! I almost passed out.

 

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(Who needs a gym when you have two thousand square feet of wooden floors to mop?)

Baby Stella was under the weather and instead of sleeping more she whined more and wanted to be held – more! We couldn’t even do our morning walks to the park because of the bitter cold and wet weather. So no distraction here. I felt especially sad for my older two who didn’t get any recess ALL week. That’s got to suck big time. Couped up at school for seven hours! The weather didn’t improve until the weekend which didn’t really make a difference on Saturday because we had an early basketball game and friends over at 2 pm. No park time. Just more cleaning for me! 4 hours non-stop post game & before company arrived!!! Carpel tunnel syndrome is no joke!!

I prepared a classic three course afternoon tea with my all-time favorite finger sandwiches, homemade chai, fresh minty iced tea and scones with whipped cream (didn’t want to make another trip to the store for clotted cream- sorry). Good company & good food almost justified all the work ahead but not quite … By the time our company had left I was cleaning again and opted for a taco take-out for dinner. Had I cooked that night it would have been the straw that broke the camels back. No kiddin’!

This week had everything g in it from house work (see above pictures), errands – lots of errands!, cooking, tutoring (kids’s started German lessons back up! Yeah for that!!), lots of indoor sports (basketball & futsal):

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We had a teacher’s birthday on Wednesday who I made this infinity scarf for:

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Seda told me she wore it immediately and didn’t take it off all day!!! 🙂

And our neighbor’s daughter turned 11 on Friday. I made her this gift:

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Seda had been waiting for some clothes for her new doll since Christmas so I started on those:

Exhibit one is an everyday skirt with adorable ribbon sewn to the lower part of skirt. Polka dots for extra fun.

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Exhibit two is my first attempt to make a coat! No collar, no belt, but a cute golden bottom! Made from a left-over Henry Miller fabric I had in my stash’photo 1 (13)

And while I was at the sewing table I felt like making more of these just to have in my stash for last-minute birthday gifts:

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And these little hair bow ties inspired me to start my own flickr page. I posted & tagged the oliver+s group there. I love how easy these are to make & that the instructions are free. Thanks Oliver + S! 

And unfortunately a computer crash!!!! That’s also the reason why I am using my son’s kindle to write this post. But on a positive note – a very very positive note: I finally had an email exchange with the graphic designer who is going to be doing a logo for YaseminTea!!! This feels like a late Christmas gift to me or better yet an early birthday present. It was a long time coming … say since September 2013! Two unexpected set-backs from two different designers later we got a line of communication!!! I am over the moon about this recent progress and cannot wait to add a professional look to my site and a cute label to everything I sew. Fingers crossed I’ll have a working computer soon and a fresh look to my online appearance. 🙂 Stay tuned.

Love – always,

Yasemin

Kids & Christmas

I have to say, I miss sitting in front of my PC to write down what’s happening around here… It’s been five days and I’ve been super busy – as expected. But not taking at least a few minutes to ‘reflect’ on the last few days makes me feel unorganized. Boy, but this week was packed! With my husband travelling one more time before the end of the year it’s been extra busy for me. It meant I had to be dressed and out the house with ALL kids by 7:30 am! I hadn’t taken the kids to school in a few weeks and didn’t realize how bad the construction on this relatively short drive had gotten. Oh, I so hope that everything will be fixed by the time school starts in January. I feel sorry for people who have to deal with traffic, construction etc. etc. on the road EVERY DAY! That can take a toll on a person.

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Once back home from dropping off the children, I had to tie all loose ends around here before they are off for the year tomorrow! All little packages have to arrive – now!!! Starting tomorrow afternoon I won’t have the freedom to spread out on the dining table and take my time wrapping gifts. Kids will be around and nosy!!! Last year I had to wrap the last packages inside of my closet. Trying not to let it get there this time. Talking about last minute gifts though, last night Seda’s present arrived in the mail.

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I ordered a photo book for her that I am so excited about. It’s pictures from six years of SEDA! All the cute faces she makes, all the fun places she’s already been to, all of the fun clothes she wears!!! Priceless. So far, my favorite gift under the tree this year. ‘The world according to Seda’. One page has all of the pictures she has ‘edited’ on my husbands Ipad. They are so funny. Makes me smile to look at them.

In other news, I am weaning off the baby. She’s 15 months now and that’s about the time I weaned her big brother & sis off as well. I really need to prioritize my sleep in the new year. 15 months of interrupted sleep cycles is wearing me down. The kids need me to be well rested in the mornings. I can’t justify coasting through the day. It’s been a couple of rough nights & nap times around here. But once this little munchkin finally settles down, she is so peaceful & I am so peaceful & PRODUCTIVE!! I just love my children – especially when they are asleep :-).

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Although, she is pretty darned adorable ‘awake’ as well! 🙂

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Oh, and here is the pouch I’ve made my friend Jen on Saturday. They came over for dinner on Sunday. It was so good to hang out. It’s nice that all our children like to play together as well. PLUS: The men get along really well, too!!! Yeah!

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And this is the present we gave Seda’s friend Chloe for her 6th birthday yesterday. I had no idea how many birthday gifts I would be making this month. Foolishly, I had been focusing on Christmas only instead. Next year I need to take into account how many birthday gifts I have to make / buy for December friends, too.

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Chloe has gotten a violet & yellow combo doll quilt & pillow. Unfortunately, there was not enough time for the ‘standard’ Yasemin Tea doll skirt. Instead I made the quilt extra large and also the pillow is huge & fluffy. Perfect for her American Girl doll.

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Unlike the other doll quilts I’ve made, this one does not consist of equal squares. I changed it up a bit. Each time I construct one of these little doll quilts the picture in my head of my king-sized dream quilt is becoming clearer & clearer… One day soon I wish to tackle this grand task of making a huge quilt pieced together only of my favorite fabric scraps. Some day in 2014…

On today’s to-do list: TEACHER’S GIFTS! I better get to them before my baby decides she has napped enough. Otherwise, I’ll be doing more of this:

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Have a wonderful rest of the week everyone. It’s almost Christmas!!

Love,

Yasemin

It’s beginning to look …

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We are only three days into December and I have decided that this is going to be a great finish to an already amazing year. I feel ahead of schedule in terms of gifts & Christmas related stuff in general. I decided that this year’s motto is going to be: Simply Christmas! Nothing too elaborate nothing too time-consuming or expensive, nothing that costs a lot of stress … Simply Christmas! I even purchased the kid’s advent calendar this year! I’ve never done that before. Usually these are the welcome opportunities for crafters like me to go overboard. But not this year. Not when Playmobil makes these cute boxes. At a price of $19.99 who has time & energy to make one? I don’t!

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Behind each door is a piece of the castle setting including princess bride & groom, king, armoire, a chest of gold etc. etc.

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And how about this little thing for a buck from Trader Joe’s? A tiny square of milk chocolate to sweeten each morning. Perfect!

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Oh, there is more: My friend Elke sent this cute card from Germany just in time to open the first door. Behind each door is a cute gingerbread ornament.

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I am liking the idea of keeping it simple this year very much. At first, my Christmas to-do list was long. I intended to make a whole set of fabric & felt ornaments. That’s why these guys have been hanging on my wall for weeks as a reminder.

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I even planned on purchasing some ornaments in the jazzy new colors that have been displayed in stores since October! But why? That’s not going to make our holiday any better. Not mine, not my husband’s (he is always happy to not have to buy anything anyway :-)). As for the kids? They don’t know the difference when it comes to old or new home decor in the first place. It saves me another long wait in line at the store which baby Stella is thankful for too! All around a good decision!! Pat pat pat …

This year I am using as much fresh seasonal greenery as possible.  Add a couple of candles and voila! Done! The post-holiday clean-up at the end of the month will be so easy. Plus, I don’t have to store anything else which means less clutter!!! Amen to that! SIMPLY CHRISTMAS!

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As far as holiday cards? Done in 30 minutes at home! I used this picture below that a kind stranger volunteered to take of us last week, put a little app magic to it (I used the free app Pic Collage & Over) and printed on photo paper at home! Sorry Shutterfly. You ain’t getting my money this year. I have places to go, people to see …

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Alternative card option:

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Regarding kid’s visit with Santa? We’ve already gotten that out of the way after Thanksgiving, too. We went to Watters Creek. No lines. No hassle. Kid’s had extra time to bond with Santa. So sweet. Isaiah asked for a LeBron James jersey. Santa couldn’t hide his dislike … he he he. After all, we are in Texas and he had to rub it in that he prefers the San Antonia Spurs. Dang Santa! What happened to being bias??? He almost blew his cover. I wonder how long my son will believe in the magic of Christmas anyway. Seda asked for an American Girl doll. So far she has (only) a bitty twin – Ciara. She had an unusually happy smile on her face – first time for her. Of course, if you get to ask this man in red for an AMERICAN GIRL DOLL you better smile ear to ear.

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Not surprisingly the baby screamed on all but one picture. You can still see the little tears. I love this look though. It’s a classic one-year old meats the big guy kind of look. Precious.

In other news, I have absolutely NO IDEA what to give my hubby for Christmas. He is better at this than me. He always thinks of something that I don’t even dream of but really really love all the more. This year I got NOTHING! I know what I am not doing: clothes, perfume, hat, socks, books … I do that every Father’s Day, birthday & Christmas, too. He loves technology. But he is up to date on those. He doesn’t wear a watch and thinks those are obsolete which I don’t agree with but anyway. So what’s left? He doesn’t wear jewelry – obviously. He doesn’t craft or have any other handy hobbies. He could use a pair of designer glasses. Hmmm?? I am thinking… still thinking… I’ve done photo books which he loved. I’ve done a personal horoscope & analysis which he LOVED! Now what? Golf? Still thinking … Well, this might be THE ONE challenge for me this season.

I’ll keep thinking and leave you as usual with LOVE! This one’s in form of a banana peel courtesy of my 6-year old.

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She sees beauty & love everywhere. On that note:

Love,

Yasemin

 

Just when you think …

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Last week was an unusually busy week for us. Until this week! Suddenly, starting Saturday we were crazy busy. Hope that doesn’t mean next week will be even busier?!! Here’s a recap:

Last Saturday, my nine-year old played his first-ever soccer playoff game. The moment the game started the atmosphere along the sidelines became heated and hostile. My son has been playing recreational soccer ever since he turned five. We’ve spent every Saturday in the fall & spring on the soccer field – first in Southern California and now in North Texas. Some teams we played against were friendly others not so much. But this past Saturday with this being the first playoff game for eight & nine-year olds it looked like people came to win! That is at any price!! Long story short we somehow made it to the semi-finals! Yeah! We had one day to rest  before we faced off the best team in the league. Half of this team trains 2 or three times a week with professional coaches. I guess they call that pre-select soccer … It’s no understatement that we were the underdogs and as it happens a lot in life we did really well – that is until half-time. Then the tides turned and this super duper team beat us 5:2… We were out of the playoffs just like that … 🙁

That should have meant the end of soccer for us for the remainder of the year. But not so fast!! Right after the game my husband got approached by the winning team’s ‘manager’. They wanted our son to play a tournament with their exclusive select team this weekend. They wanted him at practice twice this week in order to prep for Saturday’s THREE tournament games!!!  Just when I thought we could retire the cleats & shin guards for the year we had to get back in gear – again? I tell you these sports are really a family affair. They are all-consuming even on a recreational level. The time & energy you dedicate as a family is mind blowing!

Also, these kids have to go to school too! Hello?? Especially this week when Isaiah had three benchmark tests scheduled! First time for third grade. Needless to say I cancelled this week’s German lesson to give ALL of us a little break in the afternoons at least one day this week! With the temps finally dropping to low 40’s it is so nice to have an afternoon at home with the kids.

In terms of sewing & crafting or even holiday shopping I didn’t get as much done this week as I wished. However, I finally finished my first QUILT TOP!!!! 

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My teacher was right. The most time consuming part of this quilt top was piecing the nine rows together. All I had left to do was to sew together eight 32.5″ strips and voila! I have a finished quilt top! Now, I have to find time to go to JoAnn’s to purchase the batting!

The other progress I made this week in my sewing room was finally printing out yasemintea.com labels. I used Avery (#8938) Light Fabric transfers and printed www.yasemintea.com and YaseminTea.com labels in sizes 12, 14, & 16 (mirrow imaged) and ironed them on the inside of my pretty pouches! I’ll be giving those as gifts this season!!!

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(I couldn’t decide which I liked better: www.yasemintea.com or simply: YaseminTea.com??)

I gave the chevron pouch to my son’s classroom teacher for her birthday this week. She got a little gift card in the pouch as well. You know, a Target gift card never hurt nobody :-)).

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The second person on my list this week: Our wonderful, super-organized soccer manager mom. I filled a pretty floral pouch with some of my favorite things from Whole Foods. Hope she’ll enjoy all the little organic goodness!

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Talking about soccer again, we have a fun little party planned tomorrow evening. We are going to have a end of season party and make s’mores with the team! I decided last-minute to print some of the gorgeous pictures that one of the dads takes at all our games. I am also printing the scores of each game.  After all, we scored over 70 goals this season!!! Wow! What a season! Go STARS!

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I am planning on hanging this poster in my son’s room after the party.

The ‘photographer’ dad is getting this t-shirt from us. I found it on Etsy. The perfect place for unique gifts!

Photography Camera Smile T-Shirt  Digital Camera Tshirt Photographers Tee Shirt Mens Womens Ladies Youth Kids Geek Funny

Well friends, that’s all the time I have while my baby is taking her long morning nap. It’s chilly outside and supposed to rain tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed that we still get to play in this tournament. Would be sad after all the practice my boy put into it this week. Also, we would hate to cancel the team party. My daughter and I are especially excited about the s’mores tomorrow night!! So rain rain go away … 🙂

Love & Peace

Yasemin

A week in review

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Sometimes when I look back at our week I am in disbelief of all the action around here. This week feels like a typical crazy busy week in December: Frequent visits to the post office, shopping for the perfect gifts, wrapping gifts, printing pictures, eating holiday spiced goodies, receiving pretty packages from family in Germany … This all happened this week and it’s only the first week of November!

First off, the children received a huge box in the mail from my sister-in-law, Julia.

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Although it was meant as a late birthday package it felt more like Christmas to us. With temperatures dipping and the evenings getting longer we turned on the fire place and had a gift opening ceremony in front of it! I wanted to be sure that we enjoyed every inch of gift wrap and every pretty bow and detail that my sister-in-law had lovingly put together for us.

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My sister-in-law is the best. She always puts so much thought and love into her gifts. Each kid got an absolutely age appropriate and fun gift that appealed to their interest at the moment. She always knows and understands. A mom herself she is also a preschool teacher. For me she is the PERFECT mom. Patient, knowledgeable, kind. I just love her. The way she is able to spoil my children from such a long distance is a talent on its own. I  feel so fortunate to have her in our family.

But back to the package. It contained not only the treats my kids like but also an educational book for each child which is perfect since my two older ones are taking Germany lessons at the moment. The baby got this cute picture book. She sent Seda a friendship bracelet kit and Isaiah a paper airplane set. She couldn’t have picked better gifts for them! Oh, she even thought about me. She knows how much I love these crunchy chocolate covered rice crispy squares called: Nippon! Yumm! And it is no secret that I LOVE tea! She sent me this Yogi-tea called: Gluecks Tee (Happy Tea). And happy I was as I brewed a cup of this delicious herbal blend of organic cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, orange peels & hops. Ahhhhh…

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This tea is perfect to get you in the Holiday spirit. It’s also ideal to warm you up after a walk in the cold, wet fall weather. The baby and I have been taking morning walks rain or shine. Coming back inside to a hot cup of tea is instant HAPPINESS! Thank you my dear Julia! You are a gem within our family! We love you so much!

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In other news, I have spent every free minute this week trying to finish these rows for my final class this Sunday. Boy oh boy! I could have never imagined how tedious quilt-making would be. The measuring, cutting, sewing, pressing, remeasuring, RIPPING SEAMS! and finally sewing it back together!!!

Here is how far I’ve gotten as of last night.

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Of course, I should be sewing right now while baby naps but I felt like writing instead. Oh well, sometimes it’s best to step away from a project of this magnitude in order to see the wood for the trees. Instead of trees it’s: Tilt-a-Whirl, Candy Cane Triangles, Rick Racks, Half Square Triangles and don’t even get me started on those Flying Geese! Although they are my favorite once finished they are a lot of work! You mark a diagonal line on the wrong side of each 2.5″ square, position the marked square on a rectangle, stitch on the line, trim seams to 1/4″, walk over to your ironing board, press open and repeat on the adjacent corner … Now you have only made ONE! You have to make 16! of these to yield 32.5″!!! This is seriously a test for my patience!

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Enough of quilt-making. This morning the baby and I drove to Trader Joe’s to get some grocery shopping done. I had skipped last week so you can imagine how long my wish list shopping list was … There are a few things there that no other store sells. For example: COOKIE BUTTER! Like it says on the label: All you have to do is taste it to understand! 🙂

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While there, I was also to purchase my daughter’s coaches gift. Tomorrow will be her last game of the season. We never get them anything as a team but I like to show them our gratitude with a little something sweet. Last season we gave them gift cards to our local cupcake store. Cupcakes make great gifts but who can say no to Belgian chocolates? I also loved the packaging. Hope they’ll like them, too.

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Oh, and while there I bought my all-time favorite Christmas cookie from Germany. Sugar glazed gingerbread cookies. They are not your average gingerbread cookie. To me they taste more like a pumpkin-spiced muffin! So lecker! 🙂photo 1 (2)That’s how great Trader Joe’s is! They are stocked for the holidays with the best from around the world. Perfect for gift giving and enjoying yourself!

While at Trader Joe’s I couldn’t help but stop by Half Priced Books. They emailed coupons for 20%, 30% & 40% off this week. I already took advantage of the 40% coupon on Tuesday and purchased this book:

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Today, I couldn’t find another craft/sewing book and instead got started on my Christmas shopping 2013 ! And this is what I used my 30% coupon for:

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Good for Seda! She loves to make things and loves Fancy Nancy. She is sort of a Fancy Nancy herself.

Now, I have exactly five minutes left to ‘tackle’ these Flying Geese before my baby decides she has given her mommy enough of a break napped long enough.

Of to another fun-filled, productive weekend!

Love,

Yasemin

 

Happy Halloween

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This has been one heck of a week! My routine was completely thrown off since last Friday. Yes, Friday was a great day for our family. I loved every minute of it. But there was no time to catch up on paperwork, cleaning, sewing, blogging etc.

First off, we had to ALL be up and ready to leave the house by 7:30 am to be at the kid’s school for a very special ceremony. That was a challenge on its own!

Both kids got awarded ‘Star Student’ for their great overall attitude & behavior. Butch and I couldn’t have been happier.

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 Afterwards it was hard for me to get back in the groove of things at home. We still had a long afternoon and a very special dinner planned for the kids… Another late night!

Saturday was a typical day on the soccer field. Both kids had games, both kids won their games & the weather was absolutely gorgeous. That evening we had a birthday dinner at a friend’s house with kids and all… It was super nice to have some great food & conversation but of course by the time we got home everyone was EXHAUSTED!! No sleeping in on Sunday either. Kids had early birthday parties to attend. I had to finish doing stuff around the house, feed everyone and jet off to my second quilting class!!! That was a nice 3 hour break – ahhhhh. Finally we started piecing! I made some ‘piano keys’ & ‘bricks’ :-).

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And just like that the weekend was over and Monday was here with a bang! Butch had to be on a plane bright & early, kids had ‘ribbon day’ every single day of the week which meant bring money in to donate to that day’s fundraiser & dress up in the given theme such as cool shades, partner look, crazy hair, story book character etc. etc. Boy, could they have picked a worse week. With the hubby out of town on business, Halloween costumes to finish off, soccer practices & games, German lessons, my third grader had to dress as a pioneer on Friday! This meant a whole new costume to make for me. I hadn’t even started the hoodie transformation yet.

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(My mission: Turn a black hoodie into a Big Bad Wolf! I found a great tutorial here. Thanks Ellie!)

But since I found the idea of sewing ‘boy’s clothes’ so intriguing (usually it’s the girls that benefit from this mom & her sewing machine) I stopped everything else to research this Pioneer look. With pioneer look I mean piles and piles of laundry to fold away, stacks and stacks of papers to go through and file off … I think you get the idea. 🙂

During my research I found this picture on Etsy and got to work. I was actually surprised at how easy this look came together. Even my boy liked it which made me extra excited.

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Today though, finally with daddy back in town!! 🙂 things are looking much better & calmer. Kids were very quick to dress into their costumes bright  & early. I loved how they were in character immediately. Now they are off to school. Hubby is at work. Baby took an early nap 🙂 and I can enjoy this chai while I am in my sunny studio typing away. Ahhhhh. Exhale. I am bracing myself for a sugar overload this evening and another busy & long day tomorrow. Isaiah has a very important end of season game scheduled that his team absolutely has to win to advance to the play-offs. I am keeping my fingers crossed for this hard-working boy.

One thing that got neglected this week is my first homework from quilt class. We are half way through the session and I am still cutting. Oh boy. What a long & meticulous process quilt making is! The book is not really helpful without my patient teacher by my side.

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Oh well. Let’s get to it.

Hope you are making something fun today and I hope you have a safe & happy Halloween!

Boo,

Yasemin

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P.S. This is what Isaiah looked like as a pioneer.

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Day 1 on a 9 month project

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Today marks the day of conception! I know what you are thinking. Baby #4 in the making? No! Nooooooooo!!!

Today, my children start their weekly German tutoring!  They have until mid June 2014 to get a head start! That’s roughly 9 months! I have searched hi & low, tried different techniques involving games, apps, bribery etc. etc. I even contacted the local German Language School without any immediate success. Now finally, things seem to fall into place.

When we returned from visiting family in Germany in July I was DETERMINED!!! to have Isaiah & Seda learn enough German until the next summer to be able to communicate with my mother, my aunts, my friends, well with anybody! My initial plan was to create a curriculum and spend 2 or 3 afternoon – one hour each – playing games with my kids, learning basic sentence structure, reading books about Germany and thus igniting a fire in them. It only seemed to spark an interest in my daughter. My son, who is now nine, had absolutely no interest whatsoever. I was mostly concerned about him picking it up rather quickly because he’ll be going to 4th grade next year. That’s when he really needed to be mastering any language. The whole basic sight word method doesn’t fly there anymore. I remember fourth grade back in 1985 or 1986… It was getting touch. No more child’s play. I am sure it’s truer today where all schools are putting more pressure on children’s academic success.

In the back of my mind I always thought that the International School in Hamburg would be our refuge but after researching it and looking at the cost structure I got a pretty harsh reality check. Over 10,000 Euro in tuition each year in addition to other costs!! Also, how could I send one and not the other to this fancy school? That would double the cost which made it nearly impossible to even consider. Back to square one.

So I did what I usually do when I don’t know what to do – I googled it! It never even crossed my mind that there would be German schools here in Dallas/Fort Worth. I found the Dallas Goethe Center. Strike! That gave me hope. They had tailor made classes for each age group but … only on Saturdays! Dang it! Saturday is dedicated to soccer around here. It’s almost religious to us. I couldn’t possibly take that away from them could I? Next best option was to see if anyone at that school would be willing to privately tutor these two. Knowing that this would be an expensive undertaking but very convenient (they’d come to us!) and also more efficient (since time was ticking!!) we went for it! We met with the director, Barbara, and one of her teachers. After agreeing to all the contract terms and the pricing unfortunately the teacher she had in mind for us couldn’t commit to driving almost an hour each way in rush hour traffic to our house twice a week. What a bummer! I couldn’t believe it! Again weeks and weeks passed without any progress. No teacher’s available to teach at that rate! Dang, did they check the minimum wage in the US lately? This was quadruple the price that any Target employee would get.

Barbara knew how important and time-sensitive this was for us so she generously gave me the name of their competitor here in DFW. I had no idea that there was another school in the area. How exciting! I immediately contacted the German School of Dallas. I got a response the same day. Someone would actually tutor my children – but – at their house – not ours! Aaaand … she lived 45 minute car ride away – on toll roads!! Nevertheless, we met her last Wednesday and agreed to start our weekly (not bi-weekly!) classes today – Friday, October 11!!! She’ll be teaching both kids together at her home. Sabrina, our new German tutor, teaches on Saturdays at the German School of Dallas and is a certified in Germany as an Elementary School teacher.  A match made in heaven I’d say minus the distance of course. It’s all going to be worth it I am sure. My children get to taste the sweetness of being bilingual. Heck, they get to communicate with their ‘Oma’ for the first time. That alone justifies the expense!

I think that speaking more than your mother-tongue is – next to reading and writing – one of the biggest things I can give my children. I should know. I speak five different languages. It helped me in every area of my life from making friends, applying for jobs, traveling etc. etc. Hey, my English got me a husband after all! 🙂

I keep my fingers crossed that my children already have a seed planted in them from when they were babies and I exclusively spoke German to them. Until they started making American friends. Today, I am even more determined to keep it up with Stella, my one year old. This is going to benefit her and us in the long run. For one, we wouldn’t have to fork out hundreds of dollars for it! Instead, she could be taking piano lessons or something with that money!

I am going to post progress reports (every nine-weeks maybe :-)). I hope that you’ll be inspired to teach your children a second (or third!) language, too.

Auf Wiedersehen!! (Excuse me while I head over to the couch to watch last night’s episode of Project Runway!) 🙂

P.S. Pictures are from our Berlin visit back in 2009. (1) Our favorite German snack. (2)  Reichtagsgebaeude. (3) Brandenburger Tor

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A star is born!

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It’s time to bring out the balloons & light a candle! We have yet another birthday girl in the house. Our little Stella turns ONE today!

Rewind 364 days: Impatiently we have been waiting for your entrance into the world. It was way past your due date and my tummy was getting rounder and rounder. You know you are huge when even strangers gasp at the sight of your tummy!

 We had been living in our new home for over 2 months and in Texas for almost 4 months when finally over the weekend the little pokes and aches started getting more intense. Since we planned to have you at home I tried really hard to visualize how this whole thing would go down. We had your brother and sister here and no friends and family nearby to call. What would they be doing? Would they wonder why mommy was moaning and groaning? Would they just watch TV in the other room? Or could it be that maybe just maybe you would decide to come in the middle of the night while the house was quite? And so it was, Sunday night once both big kids settled down for the night (Isaiah had to get up early to go to school!) my labor was in full swing. Your dad & I walked up and down that hallway a hundred times! No joke!! It was a marathon. At about 11:30 pm, I got your daddy to call the midwife. She actually said to call her back when the contractions were LONGER! REALLY??? Not more frequent but longer! Dang it! How can they tell by just talking to you over the phone how imminent it really is? I just started to think that I had to give birth to you without any assistance. I clenched that trusty Iphone with the contraction app and recorded every little thing.

 Finally at about 2 am in the morning our angel midwife Amy (from Allen Birthing Center) arrived. She has the most gently voice and knows just how to assist without intruding. She gave me so much confidence that I could do this. Shortly after Amy arrived you decided it was time for your grand entrance! (I won’t go into the little hiccup we had when daddy fell of the bed trying to record the birth. Hey, on the bright side we got some great pictures and Amy got a good laugh.) And as for your brother & sis? They stayed fast asleep until Seda (of course Seda!), little Miss Inquisitive, woke up about 10 minutes before the head popped out. But as I imagined Disney channel came to the rescue and after watching me for only a few minutes she was off to her once-in a lifetime chance of watching TV at 2:30 am!!!!! Isaiah, the true gentleman, joined us once Stella was all wrapped up in a towel. 🙂 No icky visuals here.

I absolutely love love love remembering the day you were born! I love the feeling of joy & absolute bliss when I held your little warm body. Sharing you with the rest of the family is one of my proudest moments. You have marked your place in our hearts little Stella Elle! We are so happy you are here and now ONE year old! Happy happy birthday my love! And many many more.

Saturday mornings

Saturday is game day in our house. Soccer that is! But on TV my boys are watching football. Sorry guys, I can imagine doing so many other things with my time. Of course, soccer games are family affairs. But the whole fantasy football thing and the endless TV watching September through almost February!!! Not my cup of tea.

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There she goes my soccer player. Real athletes wear hot pink! Second game of the season and another WIN for Team Mosby!! I gotta say, she has improved so much in one year. Last year towards the last quarter of the game I could see her energy levels going down down down. Today I overheard her asking the coach to please go back in! Really? My little girl prefers to play in the heat!! instead of chatting with her girl friends in this amazing shade that one of  the moms brought!

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(It’s nice to have someone else think of something for a change!) 

Final score: 15:0! Now that’s a reason to smile!