28 June 2011

I Am A Robot

Robot Birthday Party
So, one of the crazy things that happened in the last year was Max’s 4th birthday party. I figured it was about time that I threw the kid a birthday party now that we were in an actual house that could hold more than 6 people at a time and he would remember it.

Max was, and is still, obsessed with Robots. I would like to blame The Backyardigans along with Star Wars and the Daleks for this craze of his.

So how does one plan and create a robot birthday party? You troll the internet for ideas that you can steal ,ahem, borrow and use for your own devious plans.

The list started out huge, of course. I had this fantasy that I was going to hang fabric – something sparkly and shiny and cover the table and floors in textured shiny vinyl…but Reality left a voicemail and said NOOOOOO!

So I contained myself with nice, simple decorations:
Robot Birthday Party

Thanks to 2 fabulous webpages Wendolonia and The Hostess Blog, I was able to create an invitation for the party and decorations.
(I am so grateful to those who are for craftier than I when it comes to the computer and Photoshop.)

There were lots of snacks and a robot birthday cake.
Robot Birthday Party

Betty Crocker has a “pattern” and video on how to cut and decorate your sheet cake into a tasty robot cake. It was a bit rough. I am sooooo much better with fabric than I am with cake. But Max loved it and that is all that matters.
BTW – Did you know that there is spray paint for your baked goods? Silver Spray paint to boot! (Where does that expression come from anyway?)

12 June 2011

In our last episode.....

... we left our heroine (me) desperately searching for a job, studying for the Foreign Service, watching the World Cup and getting ready to move house (that part you may have not known about).

As you know, the Germans lost to Spain (stupid Octopus) taking third when it was all over. They had some great team members this year: Klose, Mueller and Oezil - and my other favorite Schweinsteiger (because you know it is a fun name to say). It was shame to see the team captain Ballack out on the wounded listed.

As for the FSWE, I did not pass (again). I knew it the second I finished the multiple choice, which is such a shame because my essay rocked! It was a topic that was catered to me – could have argued it any which way and I felt I could have given a solid, grammatically correct short essay. But they do not grade the essay unless you pass the multiple choice. I didn’t even bother to ask what my score was this year. I knew that I had failed and that was that. I decided to take this June off and will sit for the exam this fall (2011).

By end of last summer we had moved into a large house with my brother and spent a fabulous week’s vacation with my sister’s family at OBX.
This year I was able to plant a garden! (I know I kill things but we shall see how it goes – that is if the damn deer don’t eat it all first!)

evil deer force vegtables to be caged

And what about my job situation? After almost 8 years, Jacqui decided to sell Woolwinders. It was obvious her heart was not into it anymore as she had started a new amazing business that was meant to be a side thing, but really took off. Paige, one of the teachers and employees made an offer Jacqui and Lew could not refuse. She bought the store, remodeled and opened an all new Woolwinders one month later. The store is beautiful! It is a different atmosphere but still a beautiful place to shop and visit. During this time I was offered two jobs, one of which was sort of of out of the blue as it was something that I had interviewed for 2.5 previous and had heard nary a word. The other was a job at another yarn store as a part-time manager, which I WOULD HAVE LOVED!!!!! But alas, medical benefits and larger salary came in to play – even Fritz and my brother were sad for me since they knew how much I really wanted the yarn shop gig to begin with.

All things work out for the best! On August 10th I began my training as a store manager for one of the 2 major fabric chains in the country. I don’t plan to ever link to it or say its name because I know they troll the internet (like all bosses these days) to see what their employees might be saying about them. It's the one that is less craft more fabric.Yes, it says it on my Facebook account and I will leave it at that.

The initial downside of the job was that I was offered the store in Leesburg, VA – 50 miles away – not the one in Gaithersburg only 13 miles away. I had a beautiful remodeled store with a fabulous crew (minus an assistant manager) that I hand-picked and it was a breeze – almost no customers really. But then I got my wish and as of February 28th I was moved to the crazy, insane, floor falling apart Gaithersburg store and I LOVE IT!!! More than half my crew is Spanish speaking to go with more than half my spanish speaking customer base. I have been learning to understand a lot of sewing-Spanish.

No more 15 hours of commuting a week and less money spent on gas and no toll road! More time spent with Max and I was able to plan his fabulous Robot themed 4th birthday party!
That is another post for another time (and I promise there will be more other times now that I have caught up with my life – almost)