Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Joe and Laurie's feast...

Did you think we were finished with our feast just because the 25th has slipped by us? No way! We are still rolling along.

Laurie and Joe live in Alabama and there are lots of deer in 'Bama. So they brought a cooler containing 50 venison steaks... now, I admit, even that is a LOT for a family our size. At first I thought the steaks must be smallish. But no, upon thawing, they filled the biggest bowl I own- and you guys know I own some really big bowls. A BIG bowl of venison steaks. Joe and Laurie were such troopers as they chicken fried those steaks that seemed to come out of the bowl like the widow's oil pot. Never ending. There was gravy to go with. We made cheese sticks for the appetizer- a new thing for most of my kids and a big hit. Then there were crispy fries and creamed corn. The pop was in the cooler packed with snow- bottles of orange, strawberry, and rootbeer. That cooler has seen more action this winter than it did all summer! Her dessert... well, we had to forego dessert- which was no hardship as we were all thoroughly stuffed. She had made two big pans of dirt dessert- a favorite, but apparently there is a BIG difference in "instant" pudding mix and the "cook and serve" variety. Who knew? So we popped them in the freezer and we have had them this afternoon as a mid day snack- enjoyed by a house full of cousins and kids and such. Joe and Laurie found really cool shades at the dollar store and that was their gift to the kids. How neat, and very Joe and Laurie. The scripture reading was from 2 Timothy 2- about being a workman that need not be ashamed.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Will's Feast...

Will is...generous and kind. There's nothing that he has that won't be yours if he thinks you could use it. And there's nothing he won't try to get for you or do for you if he thinks you need it. I have a wonderful quilting room to prove it and I am sure there are many people out there who have benefited from his generosity. He's fun-loving and loud and everything a guy should be- he'll watch the movie Persuasion with me and is very opinonated about how much sweeter Ann is than Lizzie of Pride and Prejudice. Then he'll get a kick out of Clint Eastwood. Cracks me up, but that's Bill. He has a way of taking care of everyone. And I love how he takes care of us.

His feast... well, it had his name written all over it. He had a beach party in mind- I am so thankful he resisted the urge to buy a few bags of sand- though I hardly think the floors would have suffered from it... Beach Boys were blasting from the CD player. He strung a volleyball net across the dining room. There were plastic tableclothes and plates and forks. He grilled out- in the garage- burgers and hotdogs and we fixed baked beans and mac and cheese (our friends Scott and Nena joined in the fun.) He had his drinks chilling in a cooler filled with snow. And for dessert he had chocolate cake and as his gift... well, he bought these foam sun visors and letter stickers with dolphins and fish and such to decorate your own visor. He always gives his guests a giant chocolate bar, and he didn't disappoint this year. We had so much fun and our guests were such good sports with our sillyness. He read 1 Tim. 5:6-12 about being content and pursuing better things.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Paul's feast...

Here's Paul. He was surprisingly agreeable about posing for a picture. I'll not look a gift horse in the mouth. He is 15 and has always seemed older than he is- but it looks like he is catching up with himself. Sigh. He is a very good kid. Tends to be quiet- except when he is ordering the "little maggots" around. Then he bellows and the little ones just giggle and squeal because it's impossible to take him seriously- if he were really angry he'd be real quiet. Plus, he has a real soft spot for the little ones. He loves football and everything sports. His asthma slows him down a little these days- not that he would ever admit it. He's singularly stubborn. He's bold. And very spiritually minded. And we just love him to peices.

His feast was... well it was a bit Chinese. He had paper lanterns and candles on the table- not near each other. Paul had fortune cookies and chopsticks with his dinner along with sweet and sour chicken and rice- for the appetizer. Paul always has a way of going overboard, but no one around here seems to mind! His main course was pasta shells and cheese, homemade. Pretty good I must say. He had bought all the kids a round Coke- have you seen those bottles? They are so cute. But just in case they needed more to drink he had sparkling grape juice in the fridge. See? Always planning for things. And sure enough we drank it all. His dessert was a peach skillet cake with vanilla ice cream- very small servings as everyone was stuffed. His gift was an assortment of candy. The scripture reading was the end of Col. 3 and the beginning of Col. 4, about being the kind of servant we should be.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Abraham's feast...
Most of you already know Abe- but let me introduce him to the rest of you. He's 6 and a typical 6. In so many ways. He loves to be read to- he will sit and listen for hours if I could read that long. He loves to run around the house on all fours and swordplay is one of his favorite things to do- he looks really cool brandishing his sword of pvc piping. A Nerf Sword is on his Xmas wish list. He is very sweet and loving-gives lots of kisses and hugs and snuggles. His sisters insist that he sleep with them on the nights that are especially cold- according to them he is a "heater." He usually gives in but sometimes he puts his foot down and they are stuck on their own. And yes, he has a shiner and a tooth missing. Adorable. That's Abe. Adorable Abe.
His feast was a "Feliz Navidad." We rehung the red chili pepper lights- Abe's favorite color is red. He had lots and lots of candles- Dad and I were nervous the whole meal. He had fresh pineapple and oranges for his appetitzer. And then he had a mexican meal of tacos and nachos- of which we have leftovers- still cooking for two more guys. We bought bottles of Mexican pop for his drink- the kids always like it when they get their own bottle. The pop was red. Of course. His dessert was a white cake with chocolate icing. About a third of the way through frosting the cake, he asks for me to finish it for him because, "I'm not an expert at everything." He had a few holes in his cake, but nobody minded. His gift we found at the dollar store. They are squishy balls that are covered in a net- when you squeeze them they bulge out grotesquely. The kids love 'em. Bill read Psalm 103- about the gift God gave/gives to us and how great is His love towards us.
Now we are having a bit of snow- like powdered sugar sifting down from the sky- beautiful.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Favorite things...
Seeing the end of that quilt move up past the bar. WOW! What a great sensation that brings to my heart. To know I am within reach of the end of a project. This particular quilt was a biggee- a king size. So the end was especially thrilling. I have a pillow scarf to quilt that is a match for it, but the biggest part of the job is done and I'm loving that. And it turned out so pretty. This quilt was made by my Aunt Isobel. She has since bought her a "little" quilting machine- I am sure it seems plenty big to her- just not so big that she'd want to quilt a king size quilt on it. But she is have a blast with it and table runners. She's been bitten by the quilting bug. there is such a feeling of accomplishment when you can quilt your own projects.
The batting in this quilt is "Green." Quite literally. It is made from 28 2-liter bottles. How cool is that? It is lightweight and yet very warm. I think Aunt Isobel is going to like it as much as I do. There is almost no lint and it quilts up lovely. You should try it next time- Quilter's Dream Green.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Favorite things...

I love key lime pie and this is one of the easiest recipes I have ever used. It is just delish!

Key Lime Pie

one 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup of Nellie and Joe's Key West Lime juice(found in better supermarkets)

combine milk, egg yolks, and lime juice and mix well until smooth.
pour filling into a 9" graham cracker pie shell
bake at 350* for 15 minutes
Cool, refrigerate until chilled and top with whipped cream.

So simple and sooooo good.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Eva's feast...
Sweet Eva. Sweet sweet Eva... Will and I had five boys in a row. When I was pregnant with Eva people would ask if I thought it was a girl this time and I would just laugh. How could it be? Well, it was! The sweetest girl ever and everything a mama could want in a daughter. She is so good to her sometimes bossy younger sister and she is so patient with a sometimes demanding younger brother. She's just as sweet as she can be and is growing into quite the young lady. She has her Grandfather's chin and her Grandmother's kind and thoughtful disposition. She is one of those rare people who "get" other people. She understands why people are the way they are. A real joy.
She had her feast last night- we had a guest. Mr Jim, a widower from church. She had decorated the table with a pink tablecloth and the same lights that John used on the flying saucer. Yes, she mixes pink with red, white and blue and green. It worked! We were so excited about our company, we completely forgot about our appetizers. So we sat at the table and had chicken velvet soup and corndogs. We fixed a very large pot of soup and there was none left over as Paul had four bowls and I am pretty sure that most of the other boys had almost as much. Mr. Jim announced that it was the best soup he ever had and Eva just glowed. Eva made toast to go with the soup. And for dessert she served a HUGE cookie stuffed with M&Ms and frosted with buttercream icing. Her drink was a buffet full of different flavors of Mountain dew- there are quite a few out there and she didn't know which one her brothers liked best, so we got them all. Her gifts were Pez dispensers with different characters to suit each person. Bill read Philippians 2:3- about not being selfish and putting others before ourselves.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Favorite things...
Every December, I like to take pictures of my favorite things and post it here. So...
I got new shoes, I got new shoes!!! Sound like a two year old, don't I? But I love new shoes!! This is my first pair of new winter shoes in 9 years so you can't say I am some kinda compulsive shopper for new shoes. I just like really nice, expensive shoes and I can only afford them once a decade! Giggle. These are my new Birkies and I think they are the cutest things ever. No, they don't minimize the size of my foot- when you wear a 9.5 (42 in Birk world) nothing is going to make your foot look small. My toes have room to wiggle and the footbed is sooooo soft! I ordered them online and got free shipping and there they were on my doorstep! I got new shoes, I got new shoes!!

Monday, December 07, 2009

John's feast...
This is that precocious kid in the movies that you don't think really exists. Yes, he does exist and his name is John. John is constantly inventing things- wooden bikes, every gadget imaginable and duct tape is his favorite medium. The kid can make anything with duct tape. He is a very pleasant child that needs no entertaining- he is perfectly capable of doing that for himself. He loves to sew and seconds only myself at time spent at the machine. He is getting ready to quilt his first quilt- all he needs is a sheet for the backing. He is constantly, and I do mean constantly, smiling.
His feast, well... it had a theme. "Alien Invasion." Only John. That's a flying saucer up there, hanging from the ceiling- complete with lights. Made from a hula hoop, aluminam foil and, of course, duct tape. He had some flashing white lights trailing behind it. He had me play with the dimmer switch to the lights as he invited his guests in. They were impressed. His appetizer was chocolate stuffed crescent rolls, and blue jello with fruit in it, in stemware. Then he served fetticini alfredo that was colored a lovely shade of kelly green...made perfect sense as it was alien food. Bread sticks were in their natural state. Blue punch. Ice cream with your choice of candy bar topping. His gifts were tiny kaliedescopes. Bill read Colosians 3, putting on the new man and putting aside the old one. Despite the odd color of the food, everyone ate their fill and we have leftovers galore- I guess I was still fixing food for two other men... two young men that I miss a whole lot at our special meals. But I am blessed to have the six healthy children home with us. And I know those two boys of mine are happy and healthy and enjoying the blessings God is giving them.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Feast Days!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, it's that time of the year, again! Didn't the year just fly by? But I must admit that I am very thankful to be here on this side of it! Most of my blog readers have been waiting patiently for this day, but for the newbies here~

Explanation of Feast Days:

  • Quite a few years ago, I decided that the holiday season was just too full of thoughts and energy surrounding the "stuff we get." (As the parent of 8 children, I just didn't see any way around the holidays being a disappointment because of tight finiancial circumstances.) Children are naturally generous, but we can really ruin that by making the holidays about material things- which, let's face it, they won't remember a month from now, much less as they grow into adults.

  • So I decided to use, loosely, the lesson of Esther and create a month of meditation on the "service we give." Let's just try to do something simple in the service of others. Acts of kindness. Memories of time spent with family that will last them a lifetime. Not about stuff that money can buy, but about service that can be freely given.

  • Hence, Feast Days! On the first day of December, the children draw numbers to set up the sequence of Feast days- all fitting within the month of December, but may overflow into January. After the numbers have been drawn they all meet with me, individually, in my room and make out their menu for their Feast. It's all a grand secret. It becomes obvious that they have been putting a lot of thought into their menus for several months- and keeping it a secret- amazing! They try their best to choose dishes that are family favorites- ones they know their brothers and sisters will love. They also plan how they are going to decorate the kitchen and what small gift they hope to give their siblings- there is a $5 limit on all 6 gifts and decorations, so you can imagine they are quite simple- like a pretty sparkly pencil, a holiday cup or a fancy bit of candy. The decorations can be gleaned from the attic and with a bit of tinsel thrown in, it usually is quite festive!

  • I usually take each child to lunch before their feast and then we go shopping for their ingredients. They have to heft all the food into the house while the other children are hiding upstairs. The kitchen is curtained off from prying eyes and we begin to cook. What fun this is for me to have the company of each child as they excitedly giggle and whisper about who is going to be the most surprised and who is going to like which dish the most!

  • Then, my favorite part. The child opens the curtain and very ceremoniously invites his guests to the feast. The children are so sweet and encouraging about the decoations and the good smells. We sit around the table and Bill reads a scripture then we each say what we are thankful for and after the prayer, the feasting begins. The server is the child who prepared the feast and they always wait until last to serve their own plate. The food is usually stashed away in the oven to stay warm and so it is a lot of fun to see what comes out next!

  • Finally the dishes are done by me and the host. More time together and the feast ends.

Boo's feast...

This is Boo and she's a doll. Just a doll. She is one of those children that is very easily pleased and has no trouble making up her mind about what she likes and doesn't like. Take her to the candy store and she see what she wants right away! No dithering around, worrying about making the right/wrong choice. She's not crazy about big rambunctious dogs- which puts our dog on the list. She is silly and fun- as you can probably tell by the sparkle in her eyes. She loves to dress up and she put on her best frock for the occasion. Her feast was so uniquely Boo. She had all the bacon you can eat- a rarity in a big family. And sausages and then she served pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream. She made little kabobs of fruit and marshmallows. For dessert she made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing and sprinkles- the girl loves her chocolate. Oh, and she had chocolate milk. Her gifts were little penny mazes- you know the ones with a tiny ball that you have to get to the center of the maze. Jacob won first with his maze. I John 4:6-11 was our reading- about loving others as God loved us and gave his son. We had a grand time, but now I need to be rolled to bed!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Speaking of sampler quilts...
Karen said I could make a sampler quilt if I kept making hexagons... Well, funny she should mention that. This is the new back for my "Bones" quilt. Interesting, huh? I call all of my leftover blocks, practice blocks, failure blocks, "don't know what to do with it" blocks, my bones- you know they rattle around in your closet and make you feel guilty. So I made a top out of bones and black Kona. Even added some improvisational bones to drive the point home. A couple years after I had the top finished, guess what? Yep, the bones were rattling around in there again. So I dragged them out of there- some of them kicking and screaming- and whipped them up into a back for the bones quilt. I plan on bordering it in black Kona, too. But how cool is that? A quilt made entirely of throw aways- I bet some of you are saying I should have stuck to throwing them away, but I like the idea of making something from nothing. I even have saved all of my little bits of binding and have plenty to bind it with. I am going to also use the remainder of thread that is too little to use on a quilt. Waste not, want not.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Quilted but not bound...

but they look much better this way. The binding will only improve them, too. Frame them out so to speak. So many steps to quilting. As my Dad says, "No such thing as a little job."
I'm loving the green one. Used up some batting scraps with these smaller projects. I need to get some bigger batts at the local quilt shop this weekend- she is having an early bird special and I plan on being there when the doors open. I am completely out of batting and how can one quilt without it? Does make for interesting times when you are splicing little bits together- trying to make sure you are using all the same loft... I could just say that I meant for there to be mountains and valleys in the quilt. Yeah, I'd buy that.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Looks like the pinks won...

But really, there was a compromise as I added green coping strips to the center block. Don't you wish there were coping strips for people? Things that would help us fit in? I digress. So I sewed this one together and not for me. And then I found a pattern for an easy pineapple block and sewed that up- like that much more. I just left off the last two rows of strips on the corners. I could see me making a few of those at a time and eventually having enough for a quilt. My friend just wants a little something to put under some hand painted china. The pineapple block is 17 inches and the other(monstrosity) is 28 inches. Think the smaller will suit her better, but ya never know, so I'll quilt them both up. The chevron one isn't as bad as it looks... I hope.
Friday kicks off our Feast Season, for those of you that have been popping in to see when it starts. You didn't think we cancelled do you? Never! And we love sharing it with you. It's going to be a blast!
And Sarah, my "new" look is NOT orange. It's nutmeg. And you call yourself a quilter...sad sad sad.

Decisions, decisions...

What think you? Green or Pink? Just can't make up my mind... I tried mixing them, but the chevrons don't show up that way. It is for a friend and all she said was pink and green- which there are tons of shades of both, so... decisions, decisions.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

How do I do it?

How, oh how, do I function in this mess? I did clean it up before the holiday, but still... I suppose it would go against the grain for me to take a picture of the straightened room, now wouldn't it? I have project on top of project- stacked to the ceiling- literally. And yet I wander around out there like I have nothing to do! Probably have too much to do and am simply overwhelmed. Or maybe underwhelmed. That's why there are so many options of what to do- I get bored rather quickly and starting projects seem to be my favorite thing. And hey! I like finishing, it's just the middle part that sometimes bores me. Time to make a list and start some finishing. Honestly, when projects have been stowed long enough, they regain their interesting qualities. Sometimes.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

brother Craig
son Jacob
sis in law Lisa
nephew Ben, son Abe, daughters, Eve and Boo
nephew Jonathan
son John, nephew Josiah
son, Paul

For The Beauty of The Earth

by Folliott S. Pierpoint, 1864

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies;
For the love which from our birth,
Over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child;
Friends on Earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Random Post...

Mondays... you know I love them because that is my sweet William's day off. I didn't get to see him as much as I would have liked as he is helping a friend build a woodshed. A deluxe model woodshed.

Then we went to the grocery store only to find that Walmart doesn't have any turkeys. ???!!! Is it Thanksgiving this week or not? Found some at Aldi and bought two smaller birds. Butterballs, no less. So I'm all ready for the baking/cooking/eating frenzy that is Thanksgiving on the Prairie. My younger brother and his family plan on coming. Always more fun with extended family to share the the joy of the season.

My sweet daughter-in-law just found out that her mother is now cancer free. It has been a long year. We are all extra thankful this year and praising God for His goodness and care.

A ferret got into my chicken tractor and summarily killed every last one of my chickens. The children were horrified and started to empathaize with that last chicken as she watched her sisters all get the bite... Well, that's one less chore to do this winter. Ya have to look on the bright side.

Not been sewing any. Figure I'll rectify that situation come the morrow. I have a quilt on the frame- a barter job. One quilt, quilted, for two yards of minkee and maybe a batting. Might work on those swirling stars some more. In between batches of fudge. Making batches of fudge, not eating them. Could always make a few more Wonder Wallets. Or get my four blocks for my block exchange doen. Oh! I forgot! I did sew up a little basket, this morning. It was a pattern from and it called for sewing greeting cards together. Well, you know I am not going to do that much hand sewing, so I just stabilized some fabric and sewed it together on the sewing machine. Turned out right cute, if I do say so, myself.

Friday, November 20, 2009

What a day!!

Cleaning house... finally. And now I am all weary and tired to the bones. How do people clean houses all day long? Yuck. It's not a bad job with lots of little helpers. I can just think of several other things that I'd rather be doing. Ya know? It isn't altogether clean, but I don't want to be a hypocrite. Having a cleaner house does have it's perks. There is no longer that nervous feeling you get when you know there are some chemistry experiments going on in your own refrigerator. You realize that your light fixtures are clear and not amber. Cobwebs are no longer draping every surface above the 6 foot mark. All good things. Laundry is still piled up and there just does not remain enough time to get it all done. My sweet William suggested I put it in the garage. He sniggered and I rolled my eyes. Do you know how long it would take to get it all in the garage? really, the ignorance of some people. So I guess we will have to circumvent the laundry room. Maybe drape it all with a particularly lovely quilt... Did I forget to mention we are expecting around 50 house guests, tomorrow evening? Won't that be fun? I have my dining room cleared out and folding chairs all strategically set up. Hope everyone fits. We are having a potluck/pitchin/carryin and then we are gonna do a little singing. The acoustics should be good with the 12' ceiling, huh? Alas, the drywall still isn't finished. I had such high hopes... but and however, once the folding chairs are moved out, I figure drywalling will be a cinch. Right? (the beautiful quilt is a gift from our own sweet Darcie- I have quilts hanging on every wall- wonder what the R value is? I think they distract nicely from the splatter of joint compound. Decorating in a construction zone. "What's your decorating style?" "Oh, I'm all for cottage industrial."

The wonderwallets are what I made while I was procrastinating. A friend wants to add them to her stockings for Xmas. I get cell phone bags in exchange.

The following quilt... well, thought it would be good for a giggle. Julie in the barn was lamenting original quilts in blogland. Thought I'd show her a "one of a kind!" It's a round robin of sorts that has grown into a monster. No, stop that. Tilting your head sideways doesn't make it look any better.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tesselation frustrations...
Last week, my "friend" Sandy cleared out some of her stash and a bag of flannel found it's way into my stash. I was very excited about the acquistion- she had all the stars sewn, afterall. So I just jumped in with both feet. Realized the water was shallow, indeed. The directions were pretty sketchy, at best- with no directions to speak of once you got the stars all sewn up. Then I realize that every- and I mean every- seam is not only curved but inset... I called Sandy all kinds of names and accused her of being pure evil. Now I realize why it came to visit at my house. Should have sent it straight home. After laughing her head off at me, she suggested I make a table runner out of it and pass the remainder of the stars along. But who ever heard of a flannel tablerunner? So... I have been sewing- none, yes NONE of the points are matching up, but I keep trudging along bouyed by the hope that maybe- just out of shear coincidence- two points will eventually come together. You never know. It has been rather an adventure and the flannel is a forgiving medium, when all is said and done. The borders are a complete mystery. The picture that came with the "pattern" is all of 2x3"!!! I mean, would it have broken the bank to make a 4x6" picture? At least then you had hope of being able to figure just how to finish this thing off. Am I griping too much? I don't mean to. I'm actually having a good time cutting peices out with scissors again. Gasp! How long has it been since I did that? I am four rows done with just one more to go. And then insetting all of these weird shaped pieces to hopefully end up with a straight-edged quilt.
I have a house full of company coming this weekend and next. Don't you know I am sewing when I should be cleaning. Can't seem to help myself. Some kind of coping mechanism, no doubt. Works for me. The kids have opted to wait until the last day to clean house- so confident that we can get it done in one day. Ahh, naive little things. But I seem happy enough to go along with them. Have a great week!

Wayward Fabric Club...
meets today at 11am at Vera Mae's. That's on Walnut street. Free parking on Jackson. Sorry for the late notice. Hope to see you all there. Don't forget your trade blocks.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

World Diabetes Awareness Day...
Hope you're wearing blue! This is my nephew Benjamin sitting on a stump with my Abe. He has been a type I diabetic since he was 5 years old. We so desperately need a cure! Insulin keeps us alive, but there are so many complication- even in everyday life. As Ben says, "Diabetes can be quite frustrating." I couldn't agree with him more. So take a minute and say a prayer that someone out there figures out a way to cure this terrible disease. Thanks!

Friday, November 06, 2009

"Orange" you glad...
it's autumn? The kids and I love this time of year. Even Bill loves the nipy air- seems to motivate him with building projects. Here is a little crafty for kids- that is so easy and fun. You just take a fat quarter of orange fabric and tuck it into a tube of bathroom tissue... oh alright, toilet paper! No sewing or pinning or anything like that. Just set the toilet paper roll in the center of the fat quarter and bring the side up and tuck the ends into the tube. Then you roll up a paper lunch bag and shove it into the tube. Add a little leaf and you have one adorable little pumpkin! When it's time to drag out the winter decorations, just snag that fat quarter off the roll and put everything back. Waste not want not! Hope everyone has a great day!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Getting ahead of the game...

the cooler air has me thinking about the winter months when a bit of color is always so cheerful. I had a fun time making these projects. The snowman(Pearl Louise Krush) is about 20x30" and the table runner(Terry Martin)...well, it's made with 12 blocks. The snowman's applique was a bit of a trial, because I grabbed the wrong roll of adhesive-the heavy instead of the light- and had to do the whole thing over again. Note to self- do not store them together. Originally I had it in hot pink and purple. Come on, it was cute. Plus I wanted it to be just wintery, not just Christmasy, ya know? But he's OK as is. The runner I made out of postcard fabric scraps and I love the brightness of it. It just makes me smile.
I miss my boys. Our oldest son is married and living in Alabama(450miles away.) I talked to him on the phone, yesterday, and he seems to be loving married life- and is thrilled with how much cheaper two can live together as compared with apart. Our second oldest son is living in West Virginia(400 miles away.) He is training to be an evangelist and is loving every moment of it. He was one of those crazy "kids" that camped outside a new Chick-fil-a and won a year's worth of free sandwiches! But I baked cookies today!!!!! And it just isn't the same without them! Daniel loves my lemon cookies with raspberry filling and I also made chocolate chip cookies. And honey ginger cookies and even four loaves of friendship bread. Oh, none of it will go to waste, but when I baked, the "boys" would walk through the door, smelling the air and professing that I truly must love them since I baked for them. Aw... Jacob(16y) just came in the door sniffing the air and being all appreciative. How sweet is that? I think I'm gonna have myself a little cry...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mama said that there'd be days like this...
Abe is happy as a clam- even with two black eyes. When I asked what happened, he said he ran into the floor. Then he confessed that one of the black eyes was due to a run in with the kitchen bench- apparently he was playing the part of the bull and the bench didn't flinch. He is scarfing down the remainder of the icing left in the bowl- I might have left a little more than usual. He needed a bit of a pick me up.
I've been sewing quite a bit, actually. And doing laundry. Enjoying the last of the warmer weather. Kinda nippy, but nice. Let's see... I appliqued a snowman wallhanging and whipped up a table runner of three blocks that I liked in a magazine. I love finding interesting looking block in quilters' magazines and just sewing one for the fun of it. If I love it, then I might sew more for a project. The quilt magazines are on loan from Sandy- I certainly couldn't afford the things. Not saying they aren't worth it, just saying wow, do they ever cost alot! I'll post pictures soon.
We had company for dinner last night- what fun! Made poppyseed chicken casserole. Go ahead and google it. It was very tasty and a hit with even the pickier eaters. And sooooo easy to make. Then we quilted a baby quilt and played some table tennis. A very productive and enjoyable evening. Need to do that more. Good times, good friends. Good life.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wayward Fabric Club...

We're meeting at Puerto Vallarta on Tillotson, at 11am on Tuesday, October 27th. Don't forget your four exchange blocks. For those of you not in the Wayward Fabric Club...

Color play. You know, where you play with color. These are my four blocks for an exchange and I didn't have enough fabric to make them all the same color, as I am determined to use only from my scraps. So the reproduction block is for Sandy, who likes everything reproduction. The traditional colored block is for Kathy who likes, yep, traditional. The batik is not for me- believe it or not. That's for Tanya. And the grey block is for me. I love grey. Heather grey, stone grey, slate grey. I can't understand who wouldn't like it. It is so peaceful and restful...yawn. Gonna go take a nap.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Autumn is upon us...
Dontcha just love the changing seasons? I do. Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the bright colors(lots of orange, ya know) and the cool crisp air. The smell of fading leaves and woodsmoke. Mmmm... I just love it. The soy beans are all cut here on the prairie- the fields do look a bit empty, but it's time to give them a rest. Maybe that's why I love autumn- time for us to take a rest! Time to sweep out the cobwebs that have gathered from the neglect of living outdoors more than in over the summer months. Fluff the pillows on the couch, drag out some throw quilts to cozy up the room. Yep, I love a good, rest-full, autumn.
Welp, here's a small wallhanging I've been noodling on. Such fun to do these little bitty ones- no pressure, just one little block comes out and then when it is all sewn up it goes back in the box- until I feel a need to admire the little darlings and then I pull out another one. Sew some. Iron some. It's all great fun. No deadlines, no "gotta getter dones." Just sewing for the fun of it. Remember how to do that? Seems like I just get all goal-oriented sometimes and all my energy is focused on the end, instead of the doing. And, reality being what it is- there's a place for that. But boy is it fun to just noodle away the morning with the laundry going in the background(so I don't feel like a complete slacker) and sew for the fun of it. Give it a try- it's really "quite refreshing."

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just a few snapshots...
My sis took some pictures and was good enough to share them with us. The professional ones are still in editing, but I am sure they will be worth the wait. (I really did not feel well, but it wasn't about me so just ignore my puffy face and eyes- it's been a long year. So many happy events, but I must say that I am ready to start feeling better. Now if determination were all I needed...) But aren't they a beautiful couple? I say that all the time, but it's true, isn't it? They are on their way back from their honeymoon, today. They spent the week in a cabin in the mountains of West Virginia. Same as Will and I. They have a sweet little home in Alabama to settle into- wish it was closer, but glad to know they are among dear friends and family. Already making plans for them to visit ;-)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tranquility lake...
This is the lake where the wedding took place. It is a very peaceful- very Laurie and Joe. One picture was taken before dawn- I am up early most days when I am not sleeping in my own bed. The other picture was taken the evening before the wedding. Wish you all could have been there as it was one of those beautiful moments that make you smile every time you think of it. Where to start?
A few days before the wedding we all moved into the cabins around the lake. How relaxing is that? I stuck my feet in that cool water several times before the big day- the dock is the perfect height. The children would line up beside me-sweet memories. Donna, the mother of the bride got to soak her feet once before falling and breaking her foot. She is on chemo treatments, and steroids, so her bones are fragile. Poor thing. But you'd hardly guess how much pain she was in- she just kept chugging along and smiling. All the big meals were planned ahead of time and even one provided by friends. Again, how relaxing, not having to worry about mundane things- like how to feed 40 some people. We had a little meltdown a few days before the wedding- 90% chance of rain and an outdoor event was planned. The dining hall was so not what the bride wanted for her wedding and I couldn't blame her, but she was such a trooper and once she and Joe got to spend some time together...we were all at peace that the best thing would happen. And it did!
The sunny/rainy picture is taken from inside a round stone pavillion of sorts- complete with fireplace. After a bit of wedding decorating and some twinkly lights the bride was fair to bursting with excitement. That's Laurie, always smiling. We were all so happy that she was happy! It really was a perfect setting for her celtic inspired wedding. (So where's the wedding pictures, you ask? Well, when I try to snag one of my sis' pictures, they end up the size of a thumbnail. I'll figure it out and be sure to post more pictures as they are available.)
The wedding morning dawned dark and dreary- but it wasn't raining, yet. Some outside pictures were taken and then as it began to sprinkle, things were moved under cover. It was such a sweet gentle rain that it didn't really interfere with the whole wedding event- just made it even more magical. We were all seated to the sound of celtic music- the grooms came in to the sound of celtic drums- way cool. And then the wedding ceremony was so sweetly conducted by the bride's father. There wasn't a dry eye in the place- except Joe and Laurie, who just stood there smiling at each other. I don't think they lingered even an hour at the reception- they were in a hurry to start their new life together- and who could blame them?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Leaving you with something pretty to look at...

"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go, I'm standing here outside the door..." Yep, it's time. Time to drive to Alabama and see our oldest son say, "I do." The girls have shoes to match their flower girl dresses. Abe has dress shoes and socks to match his ring bearer suit. My dress... well, it will have to do. Will has a suit and even a pair of dress shoes to match. Guys, that man can be just too cheap! He bought a pair of size 12 shoes(when he wears a 10 1/2) because they were cheaper. Not to worry, says he- he'll just wear an extra pair of socks. Paul found him a pair in the proper size in the mountain of shoes that reside in our laundry room- so now he can return the "cheap" shoes and save even more. Gifts for the bridal party are all finished up. I am sure I am forgetting something, but hopefully it will be the type of thing one can procure at Walmart. The kids are chomping at the bit to get going, but we have to wait for an important piece of mail to come. So here I am chatting with you. Could be picking up the house so that it doesn't look like a bomb exploded... but you guys know that just isn't in me to care at this point.
Dontcha love this quilt? My Uncle Greg made it and generously gave it to me. I cried for a week, I know. I was just so overwhelmed. That was two years ago, come Christmas. I believe it is a Jenny Beyer pattern. Who else could be so sadistic? No offense, Jenny. I am glad you are the way you are- means a mighty fine looking quilt for me! So I have been staring at it, trying to decide on a quilting pattern. Sometimes you have get acquainted with a top to be able to quilt it. Some holler out at the very beginning for the design they want. Others make you squeeze it out of them. So I chattered away at it and, surprisingly, it kept quiet. It doesn't look like the quiet sort, does it? Finally I came across a loose and free type of feather thingy... and since it didn't protest... away we went. Two years in the finishing. I am pretty sure it took him over a year to peice. All by hand. love. That's a good name for it.