Kids' Seat #1

Well, our two kids' seats for our bike are done, as seen previously. Our friends Lois and Jesse, who were the inspiration for us getting our bike, wanted one of our kids' seats also. So Tray and I got started on it. I just applied the first coat of stain, and it's already looking beautiful!
Penny's kids' seat

Unfortunately, I had a bad experience on my first ride with the girls. Last Friday, we headed out for a joyride. As I was crossing a really busy intersection, I shifted the gears in a way that made the bike very upset, and the chain locked. I couldn't pedal, and I didn't have enough oomf to get through the intersection. I had to get off the bike quickly, and walk it to the other side. Well, easier said than done with a very rear-heavy bike. I lost control of the bike in my stressed out state, and the girls and the bike started toppling over. I started freaking out as the light was changing in the 4 lane street, with me in the middle. A Good Samaritan in a huge pickup truck quickly pulled up, jumped out, helped me right the bike, and walked it with me to the curb, stopping traffic as we went. It was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me with the kids. I got scratched up, but the girls were miraculously unscathed. I was shaking, freaking out, and crying. I called Tray at work and said, "I never want to ride this bike again, I am so pissed and scared."
Thankfully, I was able to get the chain moving again (it was just my mis-shifting error, I really should NOT have ridden the bike without being completely comfortable with the shifters). I am grateful for God's grace, in not only keeping us all three (four) safe, but also providing someone who stepped in to get us to safety. I was NOT alone. I felt so foolish, and so humbled, and so terrible that my foolishness had involved my children's safety. Thankfully, I talked it out with the girls and apologized, and expected them to never want to ride the bike again. Well, they forgave me and said they weren't hurt, and that mommy just needs to get better at riding the bike before I take them out again.
I'm grateful.


Very Baby Cloth Diapers

I am very pleased to announce my membership in the Very Baby Approved Seamstress Club. It sounds like a mouthful, but what it really means is that I've been approved to make and sell some excellent cloth diapers! These diapers are beautiful and functional, and have been featured on SouleMama's blog.
Please stay tuned to my Etsy Shop, and bear with me as I finish my last couple weeks of school. I will have some diapers posted ASAP! In the mean time, check out Very Baby's website.


Maiden Voyage!

Tray and the girls just headed off on their maiden voyage on our Surly Big Dummy family bike:
Check out more photos on our Flickr page!


Yogurt and Granola

I started making yogurt and granola a couple of months ago. I bought myself a yogurt maker, with high hopes of it being a magical ticket to perfect yogurt every time. In reality, I just finally made a batch that I like, both in flavor and consistency. After scalding the milk, I let it cool to incubation temperature, and I add my starter (other yogurt with active cultures). I put it in my yogurt maker for 8-9 hours. Then I strain the yogurt in my yogurt-cheese-making bag for a couple of hours, and add vanilla extract and stevia to taste. I use the strained liquid to make homemade bread (in place of the water)-yum!
The granola is something my mom always made when we were growing up. I always hated it. I don't follow a recipe, just rolled oats, some salt, some wheat germ, and coconut flakes, mix in some oil and honey and possibly almonds. Bake in a baking pan at 350 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes, until cooked to your desired doneness. Add dried fruit if you like, store in a container, and enjoy. Even my 2 year old loves it! She calls it "vanola".


Sunshine, bikes, gardens, SPRING

Once again, I've been neglecting this blog. I have been swamped with school work, and trying to get into my studio to keep myself a little sane from time to time.
We are moving along with our family bike build, the next step is the girls' seats. Tray and I went out for a date the other night, and I got to sit on the back! It was so much fun.
Girls on bike
We are helping with weeding and planting flowers and general upkeep at our community garden. My friend Lois is the boss lady, and she has already put in a ton of work organizing, helping, digging, and working to make it awesome. There are about 5 or 6 raised beds that people are growing veggies in, and some benches and tables and a periphery area to be filled with flowers. Exiting! Last night we had a picnic there, which was a bit of a whine fest for our girls, but in the end was good:
Community garden