Saturday, October 31, 2009

Counting The Days

We had a few opportunities to get together with Adam in the past couple months and we made the most of it.  Dinner out just before he left for training will probably be the last get-together at a restuarant for a long while.  The kids were awesome but it's lots easier to enjoy each other when they can relax too and sitting around chatting is not their idea of relaxing.

Adam had a pass a few weeks after training started and we all (except John - he had one of those pesty things called a work day - we missed him) spent a day at Justin and Dayna's.
Now this is the kids idea of relaxing!

And the boys idea of relaxing . . .

Recently Adam had a last pass before deployment and we all got together at his place.  I think we thought it would be easy for him that way - he wouldn't have to go anywhere.  He has a nice place that's perfect for him.  And he has it furnished / decorated really nice. It suits him. 

Insert 6 more adults, three active little ones and two babies . . . . . let's say it got interesting.  But it turned out great. The kids didn't have their usual "playground full of toys" but found ways to entertain themselves.  Pretend naps in Adam's bed were a laughing hit for a while. Adam's gazillion magnets of words on his fridge turned into art. And the empty box from the Chinese food . . . well you know kids and boxes.

The babies played "switch-the-moms" . . .

Zak took pictures . . .

Scott and I thought it was kind of amazing to sit back and watch what has become of our three little kids . . . the noisy, chaotic, full of love, family. 

Adam had quieter visits with each of us while he was home and had time with his friends.  Scott and I had lunch with him and visited some more while he folded his laundry and packed.  We said our goodbyes and got our last hugs.

We love you Adam.  We're proud of you.  We're going to miss you (already do).  Be safe.
And we'll be counting the days until we can see you again.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Balance Sheet

The debits and credits in my life have been flowing fast the last week or so. 

I'm so low on my blogging account.  And I've missed it!  Also very low on my sewing/quilting account.  And I've missed that even more!!

The driving account is way off balance.  Over 1200 miles in the last 8 days. I know that's not a lot of driving in and of itself, but that wasn't the busy part.  That was just to get to the busy parts.  I swear, you could drop me down anywhere along that hundred mile strip and even with just the trees for reference I could tell you where I was.

But my grandbaby loving account got filled up to overflowing.

I've had a chance to hold new baby Dexter lots and look into his eyes (and pretend he was looking back and seeing me; and pretend those were real smiles).  Love those new baby stretches when the whole body, including the face, gets involved. I've had time to play with Cooper, read books, chase each other around the table (which includes helpless fits of laughter when we catch each other) have kiss attacks and more.  And time to sit in the rocker and snuggle while he helped me sing Toora Loora Loora.  So cute to hear his little voice learning to imitate those words.

Zak and Caycee spent a night at our house. We colored a lot and ate lots of pancakes (and talked about them even more! - they were requested (a request that was diverted except at breakfast) at every meal). Lots of hugs and snuggling while we read books. Froggy Goes To Camp is still a favorite.  And we had actual conversations.  It's wonderful to hear about life from their perspective. Lynzee spent two nights here (Zak did NOT approve at first of her staying here when he left) so we got some alone time with her.  She's so funny about her moods.  She is so happy and content and then, in a flash, crying and crying, then flash, happy and content.  But LOTS more happy than sad. I filled up on snuggling, and adored those smiling eyes.

And we had nearly a whole day with all the grandkids, our kids and kids-in-law together.  Noisy, noisy, fill-up-your-heart fun.  More on that in another post.

I just eeked by on the work accounts, fitting in what absolutely had to be done when I'd find a free minute or two.  And then marathon sessions on the one "free" day.  Every once in a while I think ahead - I got lots done in the work department before all the craziness started. I'm SO fortunate to have work-at-home jobs.

Housework, laundry, yardwork.  I'm in the red on those - I'll start catching up today.  Well, maybe tomorrow.  The blogging and sewing/quilting are calling a bit louder.

One account that I'll never be able to get balanced is my prayers of thanks and praise.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pandas And Their Babies Are Just So Cute

VERY short, must watch.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy Birth Day Dexter John

Baby and mom (who couldn't stop crying happy tears)

Dad adoring his new bundle.

Mom gazing into her baby's eyes as he nurses for the first time. 
The heart swells.

Dad laid baby down to change his diaper but got sidetracked by the perfect little feet.

Big brother Cooper holding his brother Dexter John.
Again with the heart.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Cooper!

Cooper was very excited about the whole cake thing.

Not so excited about the fire on his cake.

And fun to watch as he opened his presents.  "WOW" was heard a lot, long and drawn out, WOOOOOWW - so cute!

Our Sarah is one of the bravest people I know . . . . She planned their wedding (a big one for which she and John, not their parents, handled all the details) for a week after first year law school finals. . . . For her job as an attorney for kids in the DCFS system she visited clients in neighborhoods that her father and brother don't feel comfortable venturing unless they are wearing a gun (legally, of course). . . . She's thinking of going to the zoo with a two year old on her due date . . . .

But, when it came time to have a birthday party for Cooper, for some reason she was afraid to have the celebration too close to his birthday for fear that his little brother would decide to arrive and interupt the party.  So we celebrated two weekends ago. Now. Come on little brother.  Everyone is ready and waiting.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wanda's Quilt - A Preview

The colors on this quilt are so pretty. The soft lilac thread for the quilting is blending in well on the print fabric and brightening up the dark squares nicely.  I just wish I could drag my quilt frame out into the daylight so that the picture would look better.  Wanda, I hope you like it so far! 

Wanda just started blogging.  Check out Cakes and Stuff.

Lazy Daisy Teapot

One more teapot finished!  And this went so much better.  No puckers! 
Thanks to Karen for suggesting stabilizer for the back.
Thanks to Pam (at the quilt shop) for pointing out the right products (I needed better fusible too).
And thanks to Sandy (at the quilt shop) for understanding that applique is a whole new world.
Quilting certainly isn't a solitary hobby!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Storage Bag Test

I bought a storage bag recently.  Just one, to see if they really work.  I thought I'd test it out on a big bulky comforter that we're not using.  It's taking up one huge shelf and it's stuffed in there.

The comforter . . .

The bag . . .

It's really big.  I bought the largest one but I should have read the size.  32" X 48"  It's kinda overkill.

The comforter in the bag . . .

And, finally, the bag and the comforter minus the air. 

It's really thin.
The bag is too big to go back on the shelf so under the bed it goes.
I'll use these again, just not quite so big.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Florida Quilt Quilted. Now Where Is My Wine?

Finished.  You wouldn't know it to look at it, but for some reason whenever I worked on the quilting on this quilt I had a hankering for a glass of wine and a history lesson.  With a few belly laughs thrown in for good measure.

Karen, it'll be heading to you via Decorative on Friday.  Thanks for allowing me the pleasure of quilting it!

Tea Party block

Tea Party BOM, Block 5
2 teapots down, 3 to go

I sure struggle with applique.  I love the way it looks when someone else does it. Mine always has puckers and I have trouble keeping track of all the little pieces and it takes sooooooo long to finish one block.  So many steps... the tracing, the cutting, the fusing, the cutting, finding the right thread color (and bobbin to match!) threading the machine and then changing colors . . . and on and on and on.  I have such a shortage of patience. 

But I'm learning with each block, and I think maybe there is a possibility that I might actually enjoy doing applique by the time I'm finished with this quilt.  Maybe the results are worth it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Plan: From UFO to DFO X 8 in 83 days

Finn at Pieces From My Scrapbag is hosting a New Years Eve UFO Challenge.  What a good idea.  Instead of making New Years resolutions we'll be enjoying accomplishments.  Then we can start all over again creating new UFOs for next year's challenge.  I selected eight of my UFOs to finish . . .

I need 9 more blocks and borders, then this will be a Quilt of Valor.

My Map Quilt still needs binding and embellishments.  I dream of pulling the quilting stitches and doing that over again, but I think it will stay a dream.

I came across all these little pieces that are from my start on Beth Ferrier's Ribbons & Blooms.  I never got any farther that this because the applique - which I hear is EASY with her method - just scared me thinking about it.  All this other fabric was to be used in the quilt so I need to design something with all of it.

Straddling Snowboy top was finished when we still lived at the farm.  It needs to be quilted, embellished, and bound.  It'll be nice to be able to hang it this year.

This simple patriotic table topper needs to be quilted & bound.

Birdie Baby Quilt needs to be quilted and bound.

I'm getting really ambitious with these last two!  Tea Party is a BOM with 5 teapots and only 1 is finished so far.

On Point BOM has 14 blocks and one LARGE center block.  I think 7 of the blocks are finished.

So that's 8 projects and 83 days.  Ready, Set, Go!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Procrastination Productivity

I had a project recently that I really wanted / needed to finish.  But for some reason I couldn't get back to it.  I'd head to the sewing room and then leaving the room wasn't an option because that would mean I really wasn't going to do what I supposed to do.  If something else needed doing in the room in the meantime, at least I was in the vicinity of said project, and there was a chance some work would get done on it.

Seemed like the perfect time to clean and reorganize everything.  I found some shelves, moved the dressers, and starting pulling fabric out of drawers. The fabric got folded and sorted and placed on the shelves until the shelves were full. I need more shelves 'cause there's more fabric. Then I filled the drawers with the other sewing stuff that was laying around.  I've been wanting to do this for a while. The procrastination gave me the motivation!

I like walking into my sewing area now and seeing the fabric there. You were right, Karen, it needs to be out where I can see it.  And it brightens the room a bit.

Next time I have a project that MUST get done, maybe I can paint the dressers.  I'm thinking white.

Monday, October 5, 2009

How Hard Can It Be?

I've always been a DIY wanna-be.  I'd get great ideas for making something and would often act on it.  Unfortunately my talents and stick-to-it-iveness didn't quite match my aspirations.  Oh, there were successes along the way.  I made a kneeling mat for Sarah when she started preschool.  It was a cute patchwork top (the quilting desire started a LONG time ago) with some padding and was just the right size.  I used to make baby carriers and T-shirts.

And whenever Scott & I started a project together it would get finished.  That's because Scott is determined and has lots of stick-to-it-iveness.  When he would decide something was going to happen, it happened.  We built a carport and a nice deck at our city house.  We built one little deck and one big deck at the farm.  We laid a wood floor. We put up fences. And we built nine stalls - really nice ones, if I do say so myself. 

But all my other crafty and DIY stuff would get started and not finished - LOTS of it. The boys mats for preschool never got finished - I finally bought some for them.  I started jewelry, never finished.  I started scrapbooking, never finished. I started simple woodworking, never finished. You get the picture. Since I've started quilting I find I finish things.  What a great feeling and a great confidence booster. I now start lots of projects and finish them.

Not to change the subject, but we live pretty far from any walk-in welcome hair places.  There's a really nice lady in town that does a great job but I'm too impatient to make an appointment.  When I want a haircut I want it NOW.  Getting a haircut for me means giving up an afternoon when you figure the driving, the wait, the cut and the driving home. I've been really needing a haircut for a few weeks now and just haven't had the opportunity to get it done.

Getting impatient with my hair I played with pulling it up between my fingers like they do and pretending I had scissors in the other hand.  It seems I could do that all over my head and it wasn't too awkward.  I thought "I could really do this!  How hard could it be, really?!"  So with my new found confidence I grabbed the scissors and grabbed my hair and started.  AAAAKKKKKKKK.  What was I thinking?!  It really IS hard to cut your own short hair.  I still really need a haircut, but only in some places now.  Short haircuts have been permanently crossed off my DIY list.  Well, I may be able to cut someone else's short hair, just not my own.  Anyone want a haircut?

Michele's Quilt . . . Finished!

As usual the picture doesn't do the quilt justice.  It's just soooo pretty and was fun to quilt.  It's in the mail and on the way.  I hope you like it Michele!  Thanks for trusting me with your special quilt.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Michele's Quilt

I'm quilting for hire on this beautiful baby quilt. Michele kindly gave me permission to post pictures. Such a pleasure to work on - it's just gorgeous.  Due to unexpected company (brother Jay stopped in with pizza! - what a pleasant surprise) I just did a bobbin's worth tonight.  I'll finish it tomorrow after heading up north for breakfast with family.

My "Quilting Sister"

Friday, October 2, 2009