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

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lots of Kid Stuff and What-Not

Well this post is a hodge-podge of kid stuff if I've ever seen one.  Not much crafting going on around here - unless you count by the kids.  I even gave up my sewing time on Sunday and worked on lesson plans for homeschool.  Lots of catch-up going on around here.  Throw into that a training meeting for the daycare in Jackson Hole, which took all of Saturday since the weather was lousy.  I drove about 40 miles an hour all the way up and back, plus had a ton of shopping to do on top of the training.  Then late Saturday night, my daughter kicked off a round of the stomach flu at our house.  Most of our daycare kids (or their parents at least) opted to stay away from our germs, so it was pretty quiet around here today.  I think we're over it now... hopefully.
 The other day I finally figured out that the baby will sit in his Bumbo seat after I feed him and visit with me.  I set him on the table and sit right in front of him, always right there with him.  He thought it was pretty cool to get to hang out with me and be able to see me at the same time.  Usually I can't put him down for more than a minute.
 Here he is after we removed the bib.
 My nearly 8 year old is pretty handy with his Etch-a-Sketch.  Here's his version of the baby in his Bumbo.
 Not to bad, eh?
 He drew the same thing with a paper and pencil.
 Here's another Etch-A-Sketch picture he made right before doing the one with the baby.  In case you can't make it out, it's Jesus, the cross, and the empty tomb with the stone rolled away.
 The three year old got ahold of my scissors and went to town on some scraps - thankfully paper scraps and not my hexagons, which I had out on the table at the time.
 He was very careful about it, and the first time he managed to cut a piece off (rather than just fringing the edges) he was so excited.  He said, "I cut yellow!"
 Even though he was doing well with the big scissors, I figured he might be safer and have better control with the kid scissors, so I made the switch.  He wouldn't let me take the big ones off the table, so I had to watch until he wasn't looking and slip them away.
 The scraps were left on the table by the seven year old, who had been working hard to make a football helmet.  Here the baby is modeling it.
 And here's a better view on the three year old.
 Nice combo, eh?
 The seven year old and three year old have "real" play Bronco's helmets.  They like to get right in the baby's face with them, because he'll grab the face mask and try to suck on the bars.
 He loves all the attention.
 The boys also decided to make a playhouse out of the piano and bench.  No lack of entertainment around here with all these boys!
At the end of the day, Daddy read them a bedtime story - Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site.  Pretty cute!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

 You know this can't end well, right?

 It actually didn't look too bad...

... until he got to the end of the hill. He "practiced" this trick all afternoon Monday.  We had a great President's Day.  It was just me and my three youngest.  My husband and daughter worked and I didn't have any daycare kids, so it was very quiet around here.  It was nice to enjoy just my own children for a change.

 Speaking of enjoying my children, someone has figured out that when Mom's holding the camera he gets more attention when he's hamming it up.

 And the three year old comes running so he can be in the picture too.  I won't be surprised if the three year old becomes a photographer.  He already knows how to use the camera and how to view pictures of himself on it. :)

 See him sitting up on his own here?  He's still not terribly stable, and prefers to have something to hang onto, but he's getting it figured out.  It takes awhile to figure these things out when all you want to do is have Mom hold you.

 I can't believe how much he looks like his Papa (my husband's Dad).

 I decided to get my hexagons out and play with them today.  I'm trying to decide on a layout, and I'm having a rough time figuring out what to do.  I tried a few different patterns.  Any thoughts on which one I ought to use?  The first one, I'm afraid, will end up looking like a giant target.  Looking at it here though, I wonder if instead of using concentric circles, if I made it a giant swirl, with the colors getting wider as it went out, if that would be an interesting effect?

 This one is more random looking, but consists of three blue - two red - three blue, etc.

 This one just has no reds touching - sort of the same pattern idea as the second one, but without the reds together.

 Then I thought maybe I should make a path that meanders through the quilt (the blue would be the path).

Or maybe just waves of color coming in from each side, or sort of a zebra stripe pattern in blue and red.  Right now I'm leaning toward the second or third layout, but I'm really not sure.  I originally wanted it to look random, but I can never really do a random pattern... it's always planned random, which by definition isn't really random at all, is it?  I've also thought about getting more fabrics that read as whites -  like the one in the mix there that is white with tiny red dots - and then doing something like blocks of diamonds in blue and in red, separated by lines of white.  It would look sort of like an argyle pattern (or at least it does in my head).  But that would require quite a bit more fabric, and I'm noticing that a lot of the fabrics I thought would read as white look more like reds in the photo.  So I'm really not sure what I'll do.  I'm going to have to think about it.  Let me know what you think.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


It's been a productive day... finally!   

 It seems like I've been working on these bibs for a month, but it's only been just over two weeks - since the 2nd.  Finally, they are completely finished ... all 27 of them.

 I didn't think about needing that many snaps, so I had to use what I had.  So some of the snaps are black, some pearly white and some huge, ugly bronze looking ones.  All of these were intended for western shirts I was going to make my guys, but since I never seems to get to those, I figured it would be better to use what I have on hand than to buy more ... especially since I would have had to get them at the pricey local quilt shop.  I'm not even sure they would have them.  And we were just at Walmart (100 miles away) yesterday!  Guess I better put them on my list for the next trip there, so I will have some on hand.

 Here's my other big accomplishment - shelves!  I really wanted an enclosed cabinet here, something like a vanity cabinet, but after looking at Home Depot, Walmart and Kmart, I figured out that I would be paying at least $60 for something that looked decent, and would only hold a few little items.  The original idea was to keep sharp items I didn't want the kids to have access to on those shelves, but it's nice to be able to keep more supplies there too.

So what's up there?  The top shelf has a few of my favorite and most used books - The Farmer's Wife quilt, along with printed paper piecing patterns in the big green binder.  I want to get back to trying to do some of those.  My hexagon quilt pieces are up there in the container too.  I haven't had much time for handwork anymore since the baby is more active when he's nursing, and would just try to grab whatever I try to work on.  Now, when he's awake and alert, I visit with him while I nurse.  When he needs to go to sleep, I read.

The middle shelf has three containers of threads - black/white/grey, bright/dark, and light/pastel.  A friend gave me most of these when cleaning out her mother's stash.  Many of them are old, and none are name brand.  I have a few nice name brand spools of quilting threads, but only a few, and those are set aside for specific projects.  Also on that shelf are my crochet hooks, and a smaller, more manageable box of hexagons to stitch.  I've used up all the papers I have for that project (600 of them!) and will have to stitch the hexagons together before I can do anything else.  I want a fairly random pattern, but I can never truly do random.  I have to do "planned random" - which if you think about it, is an oxymoron.  Anyway, the big box with stars and stripes holds all my miscellaneous notions - elastic, fold over elastic, velcro, buttons, marking pens and pencils, elastic thread, and so on.
The shelf on the bottom holds my bobbins, scissors, rotary cutter, pins, and a couple inspirational pictures.

This cross stitch was done by one of my best friends from a long time ago.  We were going to a ladies' Christmas meeting and were supposed to take a gift.  The gift exchange was done by a draw of numbers - whoever got number one got to pick their gift first, number two could steal that gift or open their own, and so on.  I knew what her gift was, and thankfully was able to pick it :)  I knew because I had helped her pick out the frame, and wrap it ;)  Regardless of how deviously I ended up with it, this will always make me smile when I see it.

This other piece of artwork is something I put together with a cheap frame and some scrapbook papers.  It says "You are His workmanship."
Okay, you knew I couldn't do a post without some cute baby pictures, right?  This is the first time I have seen him tuck his arms behind his head.  I found him asleep like that.  His brothers used to do this all the time - especially the three year old.  Looks pretty comfy!

He's been in such a good mood lately, and his skin has been much clearer.

Saturday I took the baby, and my 19 year old daughter to the town 100 miles away.  My daughter sells Premier Designs Jewelry, and had a show down there, so the baby and I did some shopping while she did her show.
The boys stayed home and went sledding with Dad.

... or they played with sticks.  The three year old didn't care for sledding.  I thought he might not be thrilled with it.  He's afraid of everything.  But he likes sticks ... and goggles.  So he had a good time.

The seven year old is a regular kamikazi. 

There's a pretty decent hill in town for sledding.  It's steeper than it looks in the picture.  After they finished sledding, they went and picked up our fruits and veggies from the co-op, then watched a movie.  We ended up not getting home until midnight.  My daughter had some clothes shopping she needed to do to get some dress slacks for her new job, and then she wanted to get together with a friend for dinner in a town 12 miles further away.  We had a nice visit though (her mom came too, so I had someone to visit with).  It was a good day for everyone.

Order and Organization

"Let all things be done decently and in order." I Corinthians 14:40

That was part of the passage our pastor preached on this morning.  I am a total failure at doing things decently and in order.  I run around like a chicken with my head cut off, frustrated and constantly upset that I can't seem to find time for the things to do, and when I do make time to do them, I can't find the things I need in order to get them done.  I've decided it's high time to do something about that.

Today, I decided I was going to sew after lunch, when everyone else typically takes a Sunday afternoon nap.  Not that I couldn't use a nap myself, but I'm very frustrated that I've spent so much time on a simple project like making new bibs.  So after feeding the baby, I put him in the living room in the swing, so he could nap there instead of his crib, which I recently moved my sewing machine next to.  And I was sewing along just fine, until all these thoughts came to me and I had to stop and get them down where I would remember them.  Anyway, I got to thinking that I not only need a place for everything, but also a time for everything.  I recently read a great piece of advise on a blog somewhere (sorry I can't remember where) that advised having a place for everything.  Okay, I've heard that before.  But then she said, if there's something you want to keep, but can't find a place for it, get rid of something else so it will have a place.  Duh.  Why didn't I ever think of that?  My problem is that I have too many things I'm trying to keep, and not enough space for the things I actually want or need.  Okay so that's the plan for the organization.  Now for the orderliness.

It occurred to me as I was sewing, that I ought to set aside Sunday afternoons to do all my sewing.  I can cut things out and prep them during the week, especially while supervising napping daycare kids, and then if I get a chance in the evening to sew a bit, that's great.  If not, I'll have everything ready for Sunday afternoon.  Then I got to thinking, I just need a routine time for each thing I need to do during the week - homeschool prep, preschool prep, doing the finances, processing the mail, etc.  I don't do well with an hour-by-hour schedule, but a simple routine of "Monday morning I'm going to___" might work.  Or maybe I'll give the hourly schedule another try.  It would probably greatly reduce the chaos of the daycare.  We'll see.  I have to think about that some more.  But for now, I need to get back to my sewing before everyone wakes up from their naps!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Short Night

Last night was a very short night.  I crawled into bed shortly after midnight, which is normal for me, following a late night nursing session and getting all those last minute things done that can only be done after all the kids are in bed.  It seems like I get them all done, and then think up "just one more" thing I need to do before bed, and before you know it, it's tomorrow before I even get to sleep.  

Anyway, this is pretty typical for me.  But last night, I had just drifted off when I heard the baby spitting up.  I knew it was a lot.  I turned on a soft light and found that the poor thing had thrown up everything he had eaten.  So at 1 am, I was bathing a baby, changing bedding, running a load of laundry, and sanitizing everything in sight.  The baby didn't seem to mind.  He was all smiles.  It didn't seem to bother him even when he was dry heaving.  He'd get sick, then grin the biggest grin.  He seemed to think it was quite an accomplishment to have both Mom and Dad get up with him in the middle of the night.  Anyway, not to be gross or anything, but he was still trying to get sick even after his bath, and I was worried he might choke if I laid him down in bed and fell asleep.  So I sat up with him, holding him until after 3 am, until I was pretty sure he was sound asleep and didn't seem to be getting sick anymore.  He woke again at 6 wanting to nurse.  I fed him then tried to go back to sleep.  I had to be up by 7 to get ready for the daycare, so there wasn't much sleeping involved. I hoped to go back to sleep for a bit this morning after the daycare kids arrived, and before my daughter headed off to her first day of her new job, leaving her to watch the kids until 10 or so.  (This is her first real job, so she was pretty happy to go.)  Would you believe I couldn't sleep?  Not even for five minutes!!  I was actually surprised how well I was able to get through the day without being too tired. 

 So here it is, nearly 11 pm, and I'm still working on a few of those "one last things" before I head to bed "early."  HA.  Anyway, I did manage to get those bibs turned right side out.  Half of them are pinned closed where I turned them and ready to be top-stitched.  Three of them are top stitched.  I was amazed at how peaceful it was for me to be able to sew in the bedroom with the door shut.  Nobody interrupting, no noise.  It was nice.  (Of course the kids were in bed too, which was nice.)  Anyway, can you believe it can take anyone so long to make bibs?  Ugh.  It's very frustrating.  It seems like I ought to be able to whip these out in an afternoon.  And I could, if there were nothing else to do.  But there is...  Anyway, I guess there is some consolation in the fact that there are 27 of them.  I've been wanting to start one of those other quilts - either the Lil' Twister or the Kaleidoscope quilt I'm making from another set of fat quarters I won last year.  That quilt is going to be for my daughter, and I want to have it done for her to take to college this fall, so I think I probably ought to work on that one first...  We'll see.  I told myself I wouldn't start anything else until these bibs are done.  As for today, I'm just happy I managed to get anything done.

The baby seems better tonight.  He hasn't been sick again since 8 am, and he managed to hold down all his feedings, including some applesauce tonight.  All he did all day was nurse every once in awhile, and lay in his crib.  He didn't really sleep much, but didn't want to be up and around.  Hopefully he's beyond the bellyache.  He was in a good mood tonight and very vocal about having some real food at the dinner table.  I'm hoping he's in the mood to sleep tonight.  I sure could use it! Wish me luck.  Goodnight ~

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Second Half of the Organizing

 I managed to get everything loaded onto the shelf we had to move yesterday.  The section on the left was the one that was in the bedroom.  It blocks a window now, but we don't open it anyway, and it's on the south side of the house so it tends to make it pretty warm in the summer.  Not that we're anywhere near summer.  That doesn't come around here until July.  And no, I'm not exaggerating.

 So now this is all of our homeschool stuff for this year, including reference books like atlases, dictionaries, small encyclopedias, etc. and all the different crayons, markers, and so on.  Seems like a lot for only one student, doesn't it?  But we don't use textbooks, so each subject is a series of real books instead.  I love homeschooling this way!  It makes all the subjects really come alive.  I didn't ever get a chance to make up the homeschooling plan for the week, but this is a big step in the right direction.  At least now I ought to be able to find everything I need when I need it!

 So here's a peek at my next project (or you could also call this "starting another project despite the fact that I haven't finished any others recently!")  I won most of this fabric a couple weeks ago, but wanted to add a bit to it.

 There were two greys in the stack I won (paired with the black and white dots in the picture below.) I decided to pick up another grey (the one on the top of the pile), and a couple of different black and white prints.
 The top two prints are new.  I'm not sure I need both greys and black and whites though.  I'll have to see once I get to playing with it.  I may just stick with one or the other.

 One of the blues had purple in it, and I thought it might be nice to add some purples, so I picked up three different fat prints.  I think they really add to the quilt.  This is intended to be a child's quilt using the Lil' Twister ruler.

I absolutely love this print, so I had to buy a few yards.  I'm thinking of using it for the border and backing.  The print really deserves to be used as a huge piece, so a backing is perfect.  I'd love to make a skirt out of this stuff.  Maybe I should have bought a whole bolt - lol.  I seriously LOVE this print. :)

I don't know when I'll get to sew this, but I'm hoping to start it as soon as the bibs are finished.  Of course I have fabric picked out and set aside for at least 4 or more (definitely more) other quilts too, so we'll see if I get to it anytime soon.  I used my store credit to pay for much of this anyway.  Everything other than the black was just fat quarters, and 9 of the pieces are ones I won, so I don't feel too guilty about it :)