Friday, June 14, 2013

Early Father's Day

Thank you so much for your comments on my appliqued bags post. I loved reading about the things you've done for your own children, or that your parents did when you were young. I think my small Bears will love their bags and we're looking forward to surprising them tomorrow morning before we leave for our trip. I bought some lollipops yesterday and I plan to slip a couple into each bag as well, which should definitely be a hit.

I'm so ready for vacation, but as the mom, it's not exactly the most restful thing for me. I've been packing all week and checking things off my to-do lists to get everyone ready to go. We have numerous activities planned, but we also have lots of hanging-around time planned too. For most of our trip, we'll be staying in a two-bedroom apartment with kitchen, living room and roof deck; it's really nice and I'm looking forward to the home-away-from-home aspect. I foresee some lazing, easy cooking and drinks...many drinks.

I'm tired. The small Bears have their last swimming lesson of the current session this morning; I will enjoy having a few weeks off from daily pool visits before their other session begins in July. I like taking them and swimming lessons are important, but that under-tree crowd just got worse as the days passed. Evidently, no parent in history ever did anything right. You know, except them. Good grief...I ended up bringing a book containing over 800 pages so I'd have plenty to read while ignoring them. The price you pay for shade.

I'm looking forward to not having any major musical instruments on vacation with us, though the Bear said last night that he wishes to pack his harmonica for the trip. I agreed, wearily. I've been listening, daily, to a seven-year-old boy teaching himself to play "Greensleeves" on our electric piano, almost exclusively choosing to use some type of "brass"-simulation setting. Meanwhile, his sister plays her lap harp, belting out a song she calls "Cola Kameeser." That's "Karma Chameleon" to the rest of us.


Tonight, we're celebrating Father's Day a couple of days early so that we won't need to take the Bear's gifts on the road with us. I'll be serving one of our family's favorites, Barefoot Contessa's parmesan chicken (I seize any opportunity to channel my inner Ina), accompanied by pasta with garlic and oil and broccoli. There will be pound cake (store-bought) with berries for dessert. Would you like to see what we're giving him for Father's Day? I'm pretty proud of this year's selection of gifts.

I made this counted cross-stitch piece for him, using a pattern I purchased from Subversive Cross-Stitch. Have you ever seen this website? You definitely need to have a look. This website specializes in very funny, sometimes obscene, cross-stitch patterns. The woman behind the company likes the idea of inappropriate sayings made into quaint little samplers. I also see the appeal. The pattern I bought is not obscene, but it is funny. "Genuis At Work," get it? I made this for the Bear because he was recently given his own office at work. He will be moving into it later this summer. I had told him I would make him something special for his office, and I kicked around lots of ideas, such as an afghan in his school colors, a wall-hanging, a decoration for the door...nothing really spoke to me. Then I remembered Subversive Cross-Stitch and showed him the website, and had him help me choose a work-appropriate design. This is the one he wanted. I chose "manly" colors and framed it handsomely in faux walnut. And my darling "Genuis" can enjoy it forever.

He's getting two new t-shirts. He's into funny t-shirts, so I try to find ones that will speak to him. I often buy them, as I did this time, from TeeFury, which is a fun website. They offer one shirt per day, and it's always interesting. They're cheap too, only $10 per shirt. These two were offered at various points during the spring and I grabbed them. Do you recognize the references? Each references one of his favorite movies. The one on the left depicts Jeff Bridges's character Jeff Lebowski, from The Big Lebowski, in a Michael Jordan-esque pose. The name of the design is "Air Lebowski," actually. You can see his bowling bowl, White Russian, bathrobe and shower shoes. The shirt on the right is inspired by the movie The Karate Kid. You might remember the karate tournament scene where someone said "Sweep the leg!" and the kids in skeleton costumes, etc...or, erm, you might not. I've watched both of these movies a lot myself, if you couldn't tell. I've previously given him shirts which reference, among other shows and movies, Napoleon Dynamite, The IT Crowd and Doctor Who. Nerd alert.

And finally, there is candy. It's a tradition in his family to give your father Andes mints, so we've carried that forward. I was surprised not to be able to find the little box anymore, now they only sell a gigantic bag of them, I guess? Indulgence, indeed. He's also getting a Lindt dark chocolate bar with wasabi. I'll take some Andes mints, thanks.

He's a wonderful father. He didn't have it easy at the beginning. He was our son's full caregiver in the early days, when I was too sick to leave the bed. He would bring me the baby to nurse, and he did all the rest. Later, he took similar charge with our newborn daughter (and then-toddler son). He was a pretty remarkable new dad. He works very hard and is a kind, caring, supportive and loving husband and father. He gives both small Bears lots of attention and is very engaged in our part-time homeschooling, especially with the LB and his math. He makes me laugh at least ten times a day, brings me ice cream without being asked, bats nary an eyelash at crafting supplies ordered from foreign countries and always shares his chocolate.


We'll be leaving for our vacation early in the morning and I think I'll be taking a little break from blogging while we're away. We'll be home in a week and I look forward to sharing highlights of our trip. I hope that Father's Day is a pleasant one with your families.


  1. Just a quick note before we leave for the cottage...
    Have a wonderful trip...and relax!!!
    Easier said than done,eh???
    Great Dad's day gifts..he'll be thrilled!!
    See you when you get back!!

    Linda :o)

  2. Oh Jennifer, you're bringing back all my favourites - Kenny Rogers and now Boy George! Love it. Awesome presents, the cross-stitch especially. Hope you have a wonderful trip and the Mr has a very Happy Father's Day. Look forward to hearing about it when you get back. Mel x

  3. The price you pay for shade! LOL!!! I really am laughing out loud for that...and the mom comment. Scottsdale moms: they're why I remain a loner. :-) Enjoy your trip. Find shade with people you love and rest assured, you're getting it right. Safe travels.


  4. Oh dear, those mums sound so annoying! You do well keeping your patience, Jennifer! Have the most wonderful trip, relax and make the most of that quality time with your lovely family. I hope it is relatively music free for you too! And Happy Father's dad to Bear, I am sure he will love his gifts, so thoughtful. Looking forward to reading your posts when you get back. Safe journey. x

  5. Lovely gifts and the cross stitch is really great. Such a lovely post actually, I always enjoy reading your posts, they are so nicely written. Hope you have a wonderful holiday.
    M x

  6. I am happy for you that you get to go on vacation, it's always fun. I must say, you are such a nice family! Congrats to hubby for getting his own office! I look forward to photos when you return. Have a great journey! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  7. Hope you have a wonderful time x Jane (P.S. The I.T. Crowd is an all time family favourite in our house!)

  8. Jennifer,

    What a wonderful post. I hope you all enjoy your holiday, and I look forward to hearing all about it. The cross stitch made me laugh, and for the record The Karate Kid was one of my fav films as a teenager. My sister and I would regularly hire it from the video store. And happy father's day to your husband.

    Leanne xx

  9. This sounds perfect!
    I enjoy reading your blog,
    so am awarding you the Liebster.

  10. Wonderful post Jennifer - wonderful family - wonderful 'makes'! Enjoy your trip together and I'll be looking forward to your 'catch-up' afterwards!
    Travel safely,
    Joy x

  11. The Big Lebowski is one of my favourites, so funny and so sad at the same time and my boys used to love The Karate Kid, though the follow-ups weren't so popular.
    Lovely post and lovely family.
    Have a good and safe trip. x

  12. What a super wonderful family you have there. I remember "sweep the leg" :)
    I should go check out that website! Have a wonderful trip and I do hope you have time to relax and have pure fun!!
    Handmade Cuties

  13. That's a lovely blog on your husband. Mine is similar, a great Dad, chocolate sharing man who cracks me up, intentionally or otherwise. Have a great holiday and enjoy your (many) drinks!!

  14. What a lovely post- Enjoy your vacation with your family- have a great time:)

  15. The joys of young talent - at least your son doesn't play the accordion! :-)

    Your husband sounds like a wonderful man. I hope he reads your blog so he can see the kind things you have written about him.

    Have a great time on your vacation!

  16. Thanks so much for your comment, following you on GFC and bloglovin, hope you follow back XO

  17. Hi Jennifer, Hope you have a save journey,lots of fun family time and hope you all return fully charged again!!!

  18. I hope you have a wonderful vacation!!

  19. Have a lovely vacation - enjoy Colorado!

  20. I love Ina! She's not on tv much here but I went through a phase a while back of watching clips of old episodes of Barefoot Contessa on youtube. Love the cross stitch. Enjoy fathers day together and have a wonderful holiday. xx

  21. Missed you, you're gone! Hope you're all having a wonderful time :)

  22. Awesome gifts! Looks like dad got spoiled. :)

    I look forward to reading about your vacation! I know you'll all have an amazing time!!!

  23. What a beautiful family, you are truly blessed. Have a great vacay!

  24. Amazing gifts for a loving family. Thank you for the share.

  25. I laughed out loud at your comment about the other parents at the swim lessons...I've been sitting off by myself with a book for a while now. I'm an Ina girl, too. I found you through the Meet and Greet Hop, and now I'm a follower. Come visit me at Blue Plate Sundays!

  26. Hi Jennifer,

    The man of your house must be very happy receiving these great gifts!

    Greeting from Australia and nice to know you via blogging. I'm now your latest follower and hope to hear from you when you are back from your break.

    Hope that your family and you will have a nice and relaxing holiday. See ya!


  27. Just love that family picture at the end. I really enjoy reading your blog. Jo x


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