Monday, May 28, 2012

Family Fun Day

Happy Memorial Day! 

Our plans for today shifted and changed a lot over the course of the weekend.  My husband wanted to drive a few hours out to go to one of the more historical State Parks, one fitting for the meaning of the day.  I wanted to drive a slightly shorter distance to a creek we visited last year.  In the end, we just stayed pretty local and walked a bridge.  We have a lot of foot bridges around here, and he had never been to the biggest one.


People who don't live around here always laugh and think I'm making up the name of the bridge, but there you have it in stone.... the Big Dam Bridge.  It goes over, obviously, a lock and dam on the Arkansas River.  Last summer, the girls and I would go walk it and have picnic dinners on occasion.  So today, I packed a picnic lunch and we went off on our adventure.

It was hot and there's no shade over the bridge, but there is usually a really awesome breeze at the top of the bridge, so that was really nice.  We discovered a trail at the other end of the bridge that the girls and I had never noticed before (my husband has some weird trail radar or something... if there is a trail, he's going to find it), so we went back over the bridge to the van and drove to the other side (our lunch was in the van and no one wanted to walk the bridge twice... it's pretty long - and we were HOT), ate our lunch and went down the trail.

We ate an entire cantaloupe.

I'm a huge weenie when it comes to being hot.  Lord knows that I try, but it just zaps everything out of me.  Halfway through the trail, I was ready to just be done.  Granted, it was a good 10* cooler on the trail because it was so wooded, but I was hot, sweaty, dirty, and ready to go home. 

I looked like this only not so cute.

The girls wanted to go to a playground, but I just couldn't bring myself to sit in the sun while they played.  So we bribed them with ice cream instead.


I'm sure the staff at Dixie Cafe enjoyed our dirty, sweaty, smelly selves.  =)  I made sure we tipped well. 

It was a good kickoff to summer, even if I did poop out.  I'm determined to make myself get out there and enjoy the sun this summer.  I intend to go through multiple bottles of sunscreen (and apply it to myself a little better... I have splotches of red on my shoulders LOL) and a ton of water bottles.  I am going to hold myself to taking the girls to the pool or water park at least once a week.  We are going to be out there overdosing on Vitamin D as much as possible.  =)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day, a day early

I've mentioned that we've started going to a new church.  Something about this church feels really nostalgic to me and it always stirs up memories of when I was a kid in church.  Last Sunday, it reminded me of my aunt who passed away a few years ago.  Today, as they were passing out plaques to families of members who passed away this past year, I was reminded of my Pawpaw.  It's been a very long time (18 or 19 years?) since he died, but I missed him so much right then.  I remembered  his Coleman Dairy uniform.  He only wore his dentures during family dinners, not that he needed them because he could eat an apple without them.  He was an amazing guitar player... he could play anything by ear after hearing it.  He smelled like tobacco and Old Spice.  I still love the smell of tobacco.  He was such a gruff kind of guy, and he called all of us Susie or Sis.  It's been a while since I've thought about him so much, and it was overwhelming.  I loved that man.  =)

After church and lunch, we headed out to have another blast from the past. A friend of mine, Nikki, is in town and had brought me some fat quarters cut from vintage sheets.  We grew up on the same road and in the same church.  I've known her family since I was a little girl and they still live out near where I grew up.  So we took the girls out there and I got to visit with Nikki's grandparents Sallie and Bud, and her dad John.  The girls got to ride around their large yard in Rangers and it was just a really great time.

On the way home, I took a quick peek at the fabric Nikki gave me and found this:


I had sheets like this as a kid on my bed.  Talk about another rush of memories!  I am just so excited to have this.  Before, I had a few ideas of what to do with these different fat quarters... maybe a curtain for the girls' room or patchwork dresses.  Nope, now, I have to be selfish.  I'm honest-to-goodness thinking that I must make a quilt.  With that fat quarter smack in the middle, uncut and in all it's glory.  I'll have to get my sister to help me with the quilting and binding, but I'm going to figure out the top.  There were two whole sheets tucked into the bag, so fingers crossed, I can make it big enough for our full sized bed.  (And Nikki will be so proud, being a quilter herself!)

It's been quite a day for memories.  Tomorrow we'll go out and make some memories of our own, filled with gratitude for all the men and women who gave their lives to give us the freedom we so often take for granted.

Hope you've had a wonderful weekend so far and I hope you have a great day tomorrow!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

One more day...

... and it's Summer Break.

I'm feeling a little conflicted.  I'm glad the school year is over, but I'm not ready for it either.  I'm frantically making plans for the first few weeks, to keep the girls busy and avoid the boredom that causes them to get mischievous.  I went through a  phase where I was determined that they would have to go to child care and was even prepared to take on a second job part-time to pay for it.  But we've decided that if we can just keep them busy, we'll survive the summer.


We went today to get library cards for all three of the girls.  I've had one at our main library system, of course, but this is a separate library and they have just an amazing kids' department, so we went to get our cards there.  The girls are all signed up for the summer reading program and are really excited about it.  Olivia came home today with a ton of workbooks that her teacher was getting rid of and told me that we didn't have to go anywhere this summer.... she had plenty to do.  But she will take Wednesdays off to go to the book club meetings at the library.  She's such a nerd.  I couldn't be prouder.  =)

We'll have trips to the pool, picnics, Farmer's market... I'm still searching for relatively inexpensive things to do outside of the house.  We'll do crafts at home like tie-dying and painting.  I'm just determined that this is going to be the best summer. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Livi's Journal

I made a deal with the girls that they could take turns going to the grocery store with me.  Usually, I thoroughly enjoy going alone, but I don't have many opportunities for one-on-one time with the girls.  Sunday was Olivia's turn.

While we were wandering around the store, she found a journal and started begging me for it.  I know she loves to write and I eventually gave in.  She has been writing tid bits in it ever since.


Since she's only 7, she doesn't mind if I read it.  In fact, she insists on it.  It's quite good for my ego, too.  ;)  I love seeing how well she writes, how even if she spells a word wrong that it's easy to figure out.  She's definitely a child full of love.... she mostly writes about people and things she loves right now.

I need to take some pictures of it, for memory's sake.  To pull out and look at in a few years when she hates me and won't let me within 10 feet of her private thoughts.  To remind myself that she was once sweet.  =)

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Today I woke up and looked out the kitchen window at our garden.  We have a mystery plant way outside of our garden... most likely something we planted last year that got hit by the mower.  The blooms on it were huge!

The tomato cage is so my husband doesn't mow it down ;)

We aren't sure what is going to grow, but we'll find out soon!

We're thinking pumpkin, maybe? 

Before we discovered the mystery plant's baby, I found this little baby tomato...


Isabelle said, "Welcome to our garden, little one!"


After that we went to church.  You know, it's been a few years since we've gone to church regularly.  We had been going to a pretty small, new church and while most people there were super nice, it felt like the pastor went out of his way to never even say "hello" to me.  And with a very small congregation, it just felt intentional to me and really bothered me.  We tried a few other churches, but nothing ever felt just right.  We've gone to this new church just a couple of times.  It's larger, but not too big.  When we walked up to the door this morning, the pastor greeted me by name, and had even made a point of learning all three of my girls names and who was who.  It just kind of felt like I had finally found the right place. 


I mentioned to Olivia yesterday that I was planning on teaching her how to sew this summer.  Oh my word, you would have thought I told her we were going to Disneyland.  For the next 24 hours I heard a random sampling of all the projects she wants to make (mostly doll clothes) and "Can you teach me now, Mommy?  Pleeeeeeeeeeease?"

I figured I needed to go ahead and do it before my brain exploded from her excitement.

I told her we were going to start simple and we'd make a skirt.  I let her pick out the fabric - with a little direction.  Her original choice was a red and white floral print and a blue butterfly print.  I told her to just pick two fat quarters that matched.  ;)  She also found some eyelet trim and insisted that it had to go on the bottom.  I figured I'd add it as a bonus for all her hard work.

I let her sit in my lap and "steer" while I worked the pedal.  Then I let her work the pedal while I steered. I tried to teach her what is what on the machine, finished the seams for her on the serger, explained the parts I had to do for her (I won't let her iron yet).  She was just so excited, and we had an audience of eager future students. 

So, I'd like to show you Olivia's first sewing project...


If you can't tell, she's very proud.  =)  I am, too.

And, of course, Isabelle and Zoe were not going to let Olivia hog the camera time.



Photobomb, anyone?

I love these crazy kids! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How to make a child's lab coat

Zoe's Mother's Day Out director is always gushing about the little dresses that Zoe sometimes wears to school that I make.  A few weeks ago, she asked me if I thought I would be able to make a lab coat for her little boy's Mad Scientist birthday party coming up in June.  I told her I'd have to look into it and I'd get back with her.

Well, what I discovered is a serious lack of child sized lab coat patterns.  I did run across something somewhere (forgive me for not saving it so I could link to it), that suggested using a shirt pattern and just making it longer.  Made sense to me.  So I went looking for a suitable shirt pattern. 

This is what I went with:


Any Hawaiian-style shirt pattern will work, this was the brand on sale when I went.  =)

I bought some plain white cotton fabric and made two changes to the pattern.  One, I made the sleeves long.  Two, I added 6 inches to the length.  That's it.  Otherwise, I just followed the directions for the pattern. 

Normally, I would make it a size bigger than needed, as well, but ended up making it the same size as the kid because I bought the pattern before asking what size he was and 8 was the biggest size.  Hawaiian shirts are baggy anyway, so it will be fine.

lab coat

I opted to not put any pockets on it, but it would have been a nice addition.  After ripping the collar out twice, I just needed to be done with it and I knew she didn't care.  It was my first time sewing a collar and I must say I'm not itching to do it again any time soon.  I'm not one of those people who claim to be friends with the seam ripper.  It's usually a project killer if I have to start ripping seams.  Sad, but true.  However, making a little money gives me extra patience.  ;)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Full up...

What a great weekend!  I stepped out of my comfort zone quite a bit and was rewarded immensely.

Friday night they had a kids' movie night at church and I dropped the girls off and spent over 2 hours by myself.  I was pretty much at a loss of what to do with myself.  I went to JoAnn's first... normally I have a pretty short time limit when I go - it's either my lunch break or I'm trying to beat the kid melt-down clock - so I thought I would probably spend hours there daydreaming.  Nope.  10 minutes and I was bored.  =)  I went home and sewed another log cabin block, started another and messed it up, and decided to go wait for the kids at the church.  It was nice, though.

Saturday, my sister took me to my first yoga class.  I've done yoga at home with various workouts, but I was pretty sure it would be a whole other world in an actual class, and I was right.  I don't like crowds, and there were 21 people in a small studio.  I'm very self-conscious and wasn't sure I'd enjoy it at all.  But I did.  I barely registered anyone other than the instructor and occasionally my sister and the guy beside me (who looked so out of place that it was just awesome).  I also don't enjoy being touched, but during mediation, the instructor would come over and touch us and it was actually very comforting and a little emotional.  I've been told that doing yoga releases emotions that you bottle up, and I'm terrible about bottling up emotions.  I have to say I am a believer in that respect because I've been pretty emotional this weekend.   I have 4 more classes paid for already, and if this first class is any indication, I'm going to be hooked in no time.  Hooked and sore.... good grief, I'm sore today!

Today, of course, is Mother's Day.  My girls are too little to do much on their own and my husband works nights, so I didn't expect to wake up to breakfast in bed.  And I didn't.  I actually woke up on the couch to Olivia whining for breakfast and my body screaming at me for loving Pigeon Pose so much yesterday.  I got the girls ready and we went to church.

Now, we don't usually go to church on a normal basis.  I seem to have a hard time finding a place that I feel very comfortable.  We have visited the Halloween carnival a few years at this particular church, so around Christmas, I took the girls there a few times.  But then, I fell back into my usual not-going-to-church routine.  The girls ask me every so often when we're going back, so I took them last week.  I've been thinking about all the fun I had in church as a kid, and I want my kids to have that.  Plus, I have started to recognize that I'm halfway to hermit-hood here.  I hardly talk to anyone other than my husband and coworkers on a daily basis and the more I let myself be like that, the harder it is for me to actually interact with people.  Anyway, that's when they found out about the movie night and they were so excited about it.  I had people welcome me last week, but this week was almost overwhelming.  One lady made it a point to sit next to me and several other people stopped me to talk to me.  It felt really good and we'll definitely go back. 

Afterwards, we went to wake up Mr. Bill and then went to see my mom.  After dinner, I got cold - which is really unusual at my mom's house, usually we're all sweating - so I grabbed a blanket and fell asleep on Bill for the better part of How To Train Your Dragon

So that was my weekend... putting myself out there and enjoying new experiences and people. And a nap.  That was the cherry on top =)

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Olivia and Isabelle both had some really sweet things for me today for Mother's Day that they made at school.  I really love the handmade stuff.  This, in particular, just made me giggle...


I like how she decided that walking was a better relaxation technique for me than getting on the computer.  (Note to self:  spend less time on computer...)  I would never say my favorite food is tacos, but when I do take them somewhere for dinner, it's usually Mexican - because it's cheap, they love it, and I hate McDonalds.  But the best part is "besckety."

If you say it out loud, you'll get it.  Besckety... spaghetti.  Olivia loves my besckety sauce and usually won't eat any other kind.  Makes me kind of proud.   Lucky for her, that's what is on the menu for Mother's Day tomorrow. 

I finally finished my Grandma Violet pillow tonight.  Except for the buttons... where are the buttons?  I can't find them.  Figures.

Grandma Violet Cushion

I loved this project.  It's a pattern from The Royal Sisters.  I've admired her blog for a long time and when I went looking for pillow patterns, this jumped out at me.  Isabelle picked out the yarn, because it was supposed to be for her birthday, but I didn't finish it in time.  Now, I'm thinking of trying to convince her in the morning that her Grandma really needs this Grandma Violet.  I'll offer to make her another pillow from a couple of other patterns I snagged this week. 

I had to make the pillow insert myself... and it's not quite as full as I'd like, but it'll work.  It's as big as I could make it... the muslin was only so wide.  =)  Actually, in retrospect, I could have made it bigger.  I'll keep it in mind when I make the Grandma Daisy pillow.  For myself.  =)

And as a sidenote... last time we went to my mom's, she asked me to mend a shirt that had a popped seam.  It should have been a 30 second fix.  Just run it through the serger for about 3 inches and done.  But noooooooo.  Lucy threw a fit and I had to rethread her.  So a 30 second easy-peasy project turned into an hour of me swearing like a sailor.  I swear they make those things so only someone with child-size hands can thread it.

I hope you all have a Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

That was fun!

So, I told you my idea of making a quilt top curtain.  I had planned on finishing up the lab coat I started, but since I won't see the MDO director until Monday, and I was just in a mood, I decided to bust open the jelly roll and start playing around.

I decided that since this won't have a backing on it that I should use the serger.  I didn't think using it as a curtain would cause the ends to fray like crazy or anything, but it would need to be washed occasionally. It was actually pretty easy and came out looking very clean on the back.

I finished one square.  I'm thinking there will probably be 9 squares.  Or 6... depends on how far the jelly roll goes.  My brain isn't doing math tonight.  My kitchen window doesn't need to be fully covered, so I'm good either way.

Here is my first attempt at a log cabin square...


Sidenote:  Is that not a hideous paint job?  Ugh.  My landlady loves it.  The girls' bedroom is worse.  It's a terrible shade of green and white faux something or other.  Gross.

I'm so impressed with myself.  And I really enjoyed it.  It's so much more relaxing than sewing a dress. 

I think this is going to be neat.  Maybe after this, I'll make something really colorful for the girls' bedroom.  Rainbow colored maybe.  I should start stocking up on fat quarters or something.

In other news...

Zoe made me the neatest Mother's Day gift at school.  A really clever twist on the whole hand print with poem thing that they always do.  Look...


It's a washcloth.  I thought it was so great.  =)  I actually want to go buy some more washcloths and do Olivia and Isabelle's hand prints on them and then frame them to put in the bathroom.

Might be a good summer craft project....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

All sorts of crazy.

I've been thinking a lot about summer break, since it's sneaking up on us in less than three weeks.  Summers can be pretty stressful around here with my bunch, because when they get bored, things get destroyed.  I would like to avoid as much destruction as possible.  Obviously.

I decided to have a little "family meeting" with the girls and start discussing how things are going to go this summer and start drilling the rules into their heads.  My husband has a hard time waking up in the morning, so I was trying to explain to them that they cannot go outside unless he is fully awake just in case they need him.  Isabelle starts listing off reasons they might need him, which included Big Foot coming in the yard.  I'm glad she has all the bases covered there.

Then we were talking about not making big messes and getting into things like scissors and somehow Isabelle starts asking about what happens if Daddy makes a machine that can make more kids and we end up with two more Isabelles.  Heaven help me if that were to happen.

Once she started in on Daddy's plans to make a disappearing machine, I saw that I had clearly lost all control over the meeting and decided to adjourn.  I had no idea I married a mad scientist, but Isabelle certainly has faith in him.

So... on to a crazy idea I have.

I don't really quilt.  I have made a quilt top before, but it's just a quilt top... it's never been put through the whole sandwiching, quilting, binding rigamarole.  I keep thinking I'll do it one day, but I always find something else to do.  I do like the concept of quilting... making the top anyway. 

I have a few friends that quilt, as well as my little sister, so it's quite often that a pin for a quilt design pops up on Pinterest among my friends' pins.  Like this one...

Now, the thing about this picture that has my wheels spinning is not that I adore the quilt - and I do, it's really pretty - but I really love the look of it in the window.  It reminds me of a stained glass window.  So I thought.... why can't I make a quilt top curtain? 

I can. 

And I think I will.

A friend of mine mentioned that you can get fabric cuts at Tuesday Morning at insane prices... like the jelly roll I picked up for $4.


They had full yard bundles, 6 yards for $8... fat quarter bundles...  layer cakes... the prices varied from $4 to $24 for a huge fat quarter bundle.  Granted, most of it was - in my personal opinion - ugly as sin, but I think I definitely snagged a good bargain.  Especially since this is just an experiment and - bonus - I don't have to cut my own strips.

Anyway, this is pretty much the color scheme I aspire to in my kitchen (like I have some kind of decorating theme anywhere in the house...) and it's one of the smallest windows in the house, so I think I'll give it a try.  I will probably go the log cabin square route like in the pin.  I might be a disaster or look like a mess, but it will be fun to try.  But if it looks like a blue-green stained glass window when the sun shines in.... I'll be a happy woman.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

More Teeth

Shhh.  Don't tell anyone, but I caught the Tooth Fairy!


She's pretty cute, huh?  I think she needs a wand.  I have to dig out my felt and see if I have any white and then find some sort of stick.  She's pretty tiny, so the wand has to be pretty tiny, too.

She's a gift for our dental hygienist.  I hope she likes her.  =)

Today I got off my lazy behind and took the girls to church.  Zoe has been asking lately when we're going, so I knew it had been too long.  I want to take them regularly, but I'm just so lazy on Sunday mornings that I find excuses.  This morning, Olivia and Isabelle made little prayer books and drew pictures of the things they wanted to pray about. 


They both prayed for my mouth.  Isn't that sweet?  I promise none of my teeth are jagged and pointy, despite the fact that they've felt like monster teeth lately.  I've actually felt really good the past two days.  Thank God for antibiotics.


I was confused by this picture.  Olivia explained that it's Grandma.  I asked her what was coming out of her mouth and she told me it was her breathing machine.  My mom has emphysema and has an updraft machine, but I really don't know when she's ever used it when the girls have been around.  It just goes to show how observant children are, even when they don't let on.  It made me a little sad that they can see that my mom has trouble breathing, but I'm so proud of how compassionate they are.  My kids are just precious.

We opted out of Family Fun Day today for just a ride around nowhere and a family trip to the grocery store.  It actually was the first time ever that we walked out of the store without me chanting "Never again.  Never, ever, ever again."  Of course, Bill and the girls stopped at the deli to get a snack and didn't catch up with me until I was almost finished....  but we were all there, if not together.  =)

Working on a diaper cover tonight.  I have no baby bottom to try it on, only some measurements a friend took for me, so we'll see how it goes.  =)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Back to life...

I've spent most of the past week in considerable pain with an abscessed tooth.  I really haven't done anything that didn't have to be done.  I get to have a root canal at the end of the month... in a tooth that I have already had a root canal in.  There are 3 roots in that particular tooth and I don't know if he just did one or two last time, but there is definitely at least one he didn't.  It seems like ages before he can do it, so I am crossing my fingers that the antibiotics keep this at bay until then.

I'm a geek, so I was googling "tooth 14" to see how many roots it had and I found this page that showed what emotions and other body systems were "linked" to each tooth.  Like astrology in your mouth.  I didn't peruse any of my other teeth, but I thought it was really interesting the emotions that are linked to this particular tooth and how it was fitting that it was the one hurting.  I think it's a part of the holistic medicine concepts.  I don't know if I really subscribe to all of that, but I do find it very intriguing.


I obviously haven't been very crafty.  I finished my baby sock  monkey pattern and didn't touch a hook until last night.  Despite the other things I need to be doing, I started a Tooth Fairy amigurumi.  I planned on making this months ago... for our dental hygienist.  My kids love going to the dentist and she's the main reason why, so I wanted to make her something.  Our first couple of dental experiences with Olivia and a pediatric dental office were less than stellar (a room of 6 or so dental chairs filled with screaming children.... Olivia was terrified), so I just want to show her some appreciation for turning that around.  And who knows?  Maybe I'll rack up some Karma points and either get an earlier appointment for my root canal or, at the least, my tooth will be fine until then.  I'm just so nervous it will flare up again....

I'm just glad to be feeling like a human being again.  =)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

You're his cheeseburger, his precious cheeseburger...

Tell me you know that song?  It's the best Veggie Tales song ever.  In fact, I can't believe I haven't taught Isabelle to sing it yet.  I'm a failure as a mother.

I just realized I never shared Isabelle's cheeseburger that was supposed to be a pillow but wasn't.  I didn't get it finished for her birthday party.  I didn't even get it finished in time to give it to her on her birthday, but I did finish it on her birthday, so that has to count for something.

Here you go... all Instagrammed and everything...



I'm just impressed that I figured out how to get Instagram photos onto Flickr.  I've been geeking out over Instagram for a couple of weeks.  Yes, I know... I'm way behind.  I didn't know I could get it on my Droid.

Anyway, in case you were wondering, I used this pattern from Nerdigurmi.  It's free and you don't have to sew all the components together... it's all one continuous piece.  I didn't put a face on it.  =(  And I got in trouble for forgetting to put the sesame seeds on it.  For shame!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Coming soon....

I've had a request to shrink my Sock Monkey beanie to baby-size and that's what I'm working on right now.  I should have it finished in the next day or two.  I'll post it up here in case anyone else was wanting to make an itty bitty version.

In addition, I'm going to try to work out a Sock Monkey diaper cover.  When I went looking at Sock Monkey diaper covers, I was kind of baffled that I couldn't find any that actually looked like a Sock Monkey butt.  I saw a few with tails, but none with the sock heel design.  So I'm going to try to work that out.  I may not be able to make it work, but I'll be so excited if I can.

Aaaand... I was asked by the Mother's Day Out director to make a lab coat for her little boy's Mad Scientist party next month.  I could not find one little lab coat pattern, but I think I have it figured out.  I might post a little tutorial explaining what I do when I'm finished.  

This is what I like best... figuring out new things.  I have been thinking about the whole flea market plan and I am just so afraid that I'll be unhappy making up an inventory, even if it sells well.  I think maybe these requests are a sign that if I want to try to make some money with my crochet/sewing skills that patterns are going to be the way.  For now.  I am going to set a goal to have at least one pattern other than the Sock Monkey things by the end of May.  Any suggestions on what I should create?  I have several ideas.  As usual.

So that's what's going on over here.  I can't believe it's already May.  And Mother's Day is less than 2 weeks away.  Good grief.  School's out in less than 4 weeks.  Crazy. 

All right... back to work...


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