Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Freecycle Magic

A while back, while I was still living in Idaho, I heard of an organization called freecycle. The concept of giving away your stuff for free so it can be recycled and stay out of landfills sounded amazing, not because I'm that environmentally conscious, but because I'm inherently cheap. I signed up right away, dreaming of getting awesome stuff, like dressers, toys, books, and clothes all for free. What I ended up getting instead, was about 20 emails every hour, notifying me of something being given away or being asked for. People in Idaho Falls have a lot of "needs" and even though you weren't supposed to ask for charity, people still did, along with a sob story to explain why the person is asking for a handout. When there was something being offered for free that did sound like something I could use, I would email back right away, only to find out that I was too late - someone else had already contacted the offerer. This happened 99% of the time. All those "needy" people signed up for freecycle must have had a blackberry attached to their hip with the fastest fingers in the West.

For all the months I was signed up for the local freecycle group in Idaho, the only things I acquired that weren't junk was a child's desk, a dozen paperback learn-to-read Spongebob Squarepants books, and fresh artichokes. The constant emails were annoying, and always being too late on getting the good stuff was frustrating. So when our family moved to the Tucson area, I very gladly cut my ties to the Idaho Falls freecycle group and, with a bit of hesitancy, signed up for the local Greenvalley freecycle group. At first I thought something was wrong. They must not have added me to the list, because my email inbox did not receive any emails from freecycle for weeks! Oh well, I thought. I'm not going to worry about whether they added me to the group or not. It's probably just as well that I don't get a ton of annoying emails. But then, a strange thing happened. One week, there was a freecycle posting. And then the next week, another posting. I couldn't believe the difference from Idaho Falls to Green Valley. Instead of 20 emails an hour, I was receiving one to three emails a week! It was great!

And then on Monday, I responded to a freecycle posting saying I wanted some of the things that were bring offered. I noticed the email was a couple of hours old, so I didn't hold out any hope of actually getting these items, because in Idaho Falls, to be successful you had to respond within minutes. Much to my surprise, I was contacted by the offerer and we arranged a time and place for me to pick up the items. I couldn't believe my luck! So what did I get from this fortuitous exchange?
Essentially some vintage (aka "junky") jewelry boxes and some Christmas tins (not pictured because they are stored in the garage with the future purpose of holding sweets that I can then give away). But as you can see from the photos above, what I really received was hours and hours of children using their imagination and self-entertaining, which for a mom, is priceless.
Here's to many more happy months on the GreenValley freecycle group!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Piano Recital

I'm probably way too behind to catch up properly on the last couple months, but these photos were too cute not to post. So in a catching-up effort, here they are.
Back in May, Kate had her piano recital. Sort of. I got the date wrong, and we went to the Piano Gallery one date after her scheduled recital. So we were the only ones there, but the two people working at the store allowed us to hold a solo recital, and here are a few pictures from that night. Kate did great. She has been able to pick up on her lessons very well, and we are delighted with her progress. Now I just have to find a teacher in Arizona so she can continue her lessons.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Some Catching Up To Do

A lot has happened since my last post. Beside moving 1000 miles, we celebrated two birthdays and other milestones.

Avery turned four - here is the cake I made, using one of those giant cupcake pans. I didn't like how one side cooked faster than the other.
Here is he family enjoying one of Avery's new toys, the bubble machine!
Lilly turned two!

Not related to Lilly's birthday in anyway, but this dress Ave is wearing is something I made in sewing class!

The happy birthday girl, looking a little beat up with a cold sore and a cut on the cheek.

Lilly loves cats, so I made her a cat cake.

Our other milestones include me learning how to sew (yay!), Kate's piano recital (photos to come), Kate & Avery's dance recital (photos to come), Mac starting grad school, and registering Kate for Kindergarten (yikes!)