"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oregon Grape Time Again

It's berry pickin' time again. Oregon Grapes :) Last year it was just my daughter and I, but this year we got two of the brothers involved too.

The seven year old did a surprisingly good job, considering it was his first year picking.

It was nice to have the 20 year old's help as well - great conversation, and comedy entertainment to boot!

In about an hour and a half, we ended up with a large dish tub full. I sent them over to Bugga's house this morning so she could make them into juice. We're busy packing and preparing for a short weekend excursion to meet my sister's new baby this weekend, and won't have time to get to them before we leave. We like to get together and make jelly together, so she'll make the juice and we'll do the jelly next week.

The two year old didn't get to go, but had to check out the cache.

I treated the kids to shakes (my vegan 20 year old had a veggie burger instead) for helping with the picking.

This is what happens when you take goofy self portraits in the house of a blogger ;) You end up n the blog. Truly, I love this picture. It sums up her personality perfectly, so I had to include it, right?

This is a random pic, but I thought it was cute that despite the fact that this futon couch is over 6 feet long, the two year old had to sit practically on top of his brother :) Guess he likes him :)

He likes the baby too. He was checking out his fingers, and he said, "L---'s fingers are little." I replied, "Yes, he does have little fingers." Then he excitedly said, with much emphasis, "He DOES have little fingers!" - as if it was the first time he had had the thought. :)

Later in the day he wasn't in such a good mood. He was really tired because we had extra daycare kids here and he didn't get his nap. He had just thrown a bunch of toys after his brother worked to clean them up, and his sister made him pick every one of them up, and even had to threaten to spank him to get him to comply. The funny thing about this was that he put himself in the chair - this is the naughty spot for the daycare. He stayed mad for a long time - probably sat with this same pouty face for about 5 minutes, then got up and went on as if nothing ever happened.

Speaking of pouty faces... This is the look the baby gave me when I checked out his bandaged arm.

See the bandaid? He had to have a blood test yesterday morning - out of a normal vein, not the foot like normal for babies. They had taken blood to test the day before out of his heel, but since it partially clotted, it gave a high reading for potassium. They had to do the test over to insure that it was the clotting that caused it, and not really high potassium. When they did the draw from his arm, they used the same size needle as they do on adults. It looked huge compared to his arm. I hoped we could hold him still enough. It was pretty miserable for him, and I think he was remembering that when he gave me the pouty face for checking the bandage. I will give the nurse credit though - she did a great job and he only has the tiniest little bruise.

This is just a random photo. I liked the angle of it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wasting Time in Jackson Hole

Yesterday I had to take the baby up to Jackson Hole for a doctor's appointment. I figured I'd be smart and go up early enough to get all the shopping I needed to do done before the appointment, so we could head right home afterwards. So much for planning.

The doctor ordered a blood test for the baby that needed to be done when he had an empty stomach. I had just nursed him before walking into the appointment. So we needed to hang out for a few hours, but had nothing to do. I had done all the shopping, and knew going into stores would only lead to spending money unnecessarily. So after I had a long lunch, I took him to a park.
He hated it. It was windy. And he just hasn't spent that much time outside yet. And he was mad that I wouldn't nurse him. He wasn't hungry - just tired - but sometimes we nurse just because he wants to.

This is how I finally calmed him down. I had to hold the pacifier tightly in his mouth, with my hand over his eyes and rubbing his cheek. He won't usually take a pacifier from me (go figure). He rested for a bit until we had to move.

Can you see the bugs on the blanket? We were sitting in the shade, under a big tree. I started to notice that there were an awful lot of little black bugs. When I looked closer it seemed like they had the body shape of aphids. I haven't ever noticed black aphids before - and these were bigger than the white ones. So I'm not sure what they were. I figured they weren't hurting anything, so kept on reading and trying to calm the baby. But they just kept multiplying. And then they started falling into my book. So I figured they were probably also falling onto me... We had to move.

It was too hot to sit in the sun, so we walked to the only store nearby ... the quilt store ;) I promise, I hadn't intended to go to the quilt shop... but I had 2 more hours to burn, so I had to do something. And, after my great find this past weekend, I didn't allow myself to spend a dime. Instead, I took pictures. I thought this pillow was pretty cute. What a quick, fun project. Probably have to make one of these someday :)

This was a super-easy, clever quilt. The snowflake blocks are made from a batik that has snowflakes printed on them.

I love this. Definitely have to make one of these. The funny thing (or should I say insane) is that they sell the black cut outs - precut and pre-centered - you just have to iron them on. The insane part is the price. I looked at one of a moose that was $35!! It isn't that hard to trace a design onto fusible webbing, iron it on and cut it out, then iron it to your fabric. I actually enjoy that process, and now that I think of it, I a project like that in the works... somewhere... if I still have it...

This was a lap-size quilt but look at all that piecing. It's not something I would make, but I was very impressed.

Talk about impressive. This one is in the works, and it's going to be a beautiful quilt.

Here's the other half on the design wall, that still needs to be sewn together. The lady was working on it right there in the store.

They sell the pattern for this one. I love the colors they've used. Very eye-catching.

Don't these look like little fortune cookies? They are actually pin cushions you wear like a ring. Might be a handy thing :) If nothing else, it's fun.

I love how they display things. It's all things western in Jackson Hole, so fabric is displayed in boots, and most quilts have a Western Wildlife theme - moose, bears, elk, etc. Love it here! AND, I managed to leave without buying anything! Gotta be a record for me ;)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Motherload of Yard Sales

I love yard sales. Today especially. See the stack of goodies I came home with?

Here's a better view of it all. This is the yardage I bought. The lady who was selling it had a huge, long table full of bolts of fabric no longer on their cardboard. This was her personal stash ... the part she was clearing out. She has tons more in her sewing room. This is just some of the stuff she wanted to declutter. I wish I had taken my camera along. The table was stacked about 2 feet high and was one of those really long tables - or maybe even two of them put together. She was asking $3/yard for the good stuff, and $1/yard for cheaper brands. Most of what I got was Moda and other good quality fabrics. When the lady measured out the fabric, she was very generous. Anything under a yard she just said, "Oh, I'll just give you that." And for larger chunks, she just measured whole yards, so if something was 3 7/8 yards, she only charged me for 3 yards. And her yards were very generous too - more like a yard and a half. Now, sitting here at the end of the day, my biggest challenge is NOT running back out there and seeing how much she would take for all the rest of it - ha - like I have the money or the space for that!

Here are some close-ups of some of my favorites ...

This one will work well with my turquoise and red hexagon quilt.

This is a beautiful batik and it measures over 12 yards! She also threw in a "scrap" of this fabric that is over a yard. This one piece alone would have cost almost double what I paid everything I bought if I had purchased it in a quilt shop.

The flower fabric is flannel. I have just the project in mind for it ;)

So many cute, girly fabrics! And I have all boys. Well, all that want stuff made for them anyway. My daughter's a little over that. There were so many more cute girly fabrics that I didn't buy.

This is my favorite find. I had wanted to make a quilt of this set when it came out, but couldn't justify the expense at the time. Now I have several yards of each print. I think the flowers measured 6 yards or so. I don't remember the others.

I didn't get a close up of the red with orange dots, or the purple with stars and moons.

The cowboy print at the top has quite a bit of yardage to it as well. She wasn't cutting anything, so what she had left was what you had to buy. I would have bought a lot of other fabrics if she would have been cutting them, but I didn't need nearly a full bolt of them. Plus, that gets pricey pretty quickly.

This is about 1/2 yard of fleece, which she gave me for free. I think I'll see if it's enough to make the 2 year old a jacket. Otherwise I'll add some solid colored fleece and make a blanket.

I got this over-sized box of scraps for $2. Some of their "scraps" are over a yard long - many are at least an eighth. All are big enough to easily be usable.

There's more than a yard of this purple, which was in the scrap box. It has the best feel of any of the fabrics.

The first thing I did was to dump out the scraps and sort them all. This large pile of scraps will work in the tone-on-tone color scheme of my Farmer's Wife quilt. There is every color of the rainbow in this collection - in several shades, as well as grey, brown and black.

I obsessively organized all the Farmer's Wife scraps into color order :) so I could easily find them. I thought that would be especially useful since I am currently working on that quilt. Or at least I would like to be working on it. I don't seem to be making much progress, having only completed two blocks so far. Having these scraps will enable me to practice paper piecing without feeling guilty about wasting my fabric!

There was a good assortment of white and cream linens in the scrap box - some are pretty big pieces. I can see these being the backdrop for my new obsession - embroidery!

Of course there was a pretty good size pile of ugly fabric too. No offense to those of you who are into tropical flowers and ocean life. It's just not my thing. I'm thinking these will still be usable though if I use them in a very small scale - maybe a postage stamp quilt - or even the small pieces of The Farmer's Wife.

So, it was a very good yard sale day. I also managed to pick up a king size set of vintage sheets. I intended to use that fabric to make more reusable grocery bags, but since they're king size, I might just keep them for the bed. I'll have to look them over and see if they're in good enough condition for that.

We also had our yard sale today - at a friend's house. We didn't do as well as we had hoped, but managed to raise some money for the parsonage windows and siding. Every little bit counts, I guess. And an added bonus is that we have cleared out a lot of stuff. We filled our Ford Excursion twice, and also the back of a truck, so now the garage (and our closets and kitchen) feels really spacious. Our next project is to go through and organize everything we have left. Then I want to get all of my books cataloged into a computer program so I know what I have and where to find it! And some sort of cataloging system needs to be worked up for the sewing room too... I just have more projects than I have time for - as usual. :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fun Family Fishing & a Photo Shoot

Tuesday, after I got home from picking up the 20 year old from the bus station, we decided to go out and enjoy the outdoors. We loaded up the family and fishing gear, stopped at Subway for some picnic food, and hit the road. We are fortunate here. We can be to about 10 different lakes in anywhere from 10-30 minutes. Not sure why they all look so serious in that picture. Sort of the deer in the headlights effect.

This is what they looked like for most of the drive ... goofy. We went to one of the lakes that is farther away, so it took us about 20 minutes to drive there. But not a lot of people go there - especially midweek - so it was very peaceful.

And beautiful. This is zoomed in across the lake. The lake actually extends much farther than it looks - there is a narrow passageway where the gap in the trees is, allowing boats to go through. You have to be extremely careful, and navigate through the narrows practically not moving at all because there are huge boulders that will kill your boat. Thankfully the lakes are very clear here and you can see clear to the bottom, so the boulders are easy to see... easier to see than to miss.

Anyway, it is a beautiful lake. I enjoy just getting away from town and being out at the lake. Seems like it calms me down just to be there. I think it's just the idea of getting away from the daily grind and breathing cool, fresh mountain air.

It was such a calm, peaceful night...

I think this is one of my favorite pictures from the evening. It looks very calm and relaxing, but the 7 year old was holding onto the 2 year old because the two year old kept taking off toward the bridge at a full speed run.

He's afraid of nearly everything, but I would have been happier if he had shown a little more respect for the danger of the bridge. There's no water under it - we fished from down below here, but it would have been a pretty big fall.

Here's a view from below the bridge. It was at least a 12-15 foot drop. I liked the way the sun was peeking through under it.

Once we got there, everybody was in a rush to get fishing. I love that our kids enjoy the outdoors as much as we do. Of course everyone wants help right away so they can start fishing.

This is the most accurate picture of my husband I can think of. In fact, it probably the one picture I have of him that best sums him up :)

Our daughter doesn't have a fishing license this year. She didn't feel like she would get enough use out of one, so never got around to buying one. So we put her in charge of helping the boys.

They both love to fish, but aren't quite to the point of being able to do it all themselves. She gets them all rigged up and then casts for the two year old, and they go to it.

Just look at that excitement!

Speaking of excitement... we had some exciting moments, until we figured out the 7 year old was snagged on the bottom :)

Same problem here, though it's a fun picture. We all kept getting snagged, and lost several hooks :(

My daughter's real passion is photography. While the boys fished, and then ate their picnic dinner, she roamed around and took pictures.

She got some great shots.

Then she found a fence and decided to try to get some good pictures of the boys.

She told him to pose like "The Thinker." He just looked at her with a blank stare. Hard to pose like something you've never heard of ;)

We found an awesome, huge tree with a "playhouse" underneath it. The boys had great fun running around under it.

We wanted to get the baby in on the action, but he wasn't real happy about it. He had been sleeping in the truck for most of the time, and thought being awake ought to equate to being fed...

The two year old was trying to comfort him. Sweet brothers ;)

Here's a silly one for you ;)

I wanted a picture of all the kids together, so I took these next few. This one was the best, despite the crying 2 year old. He was over it by then.

I like this casual, scattered look :)

Most of the pictures turned out more like this - ha. Do you know how hard it is to get five kids to all stand still and smile at the same time???