Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lexi loves


She will even ask siblings to do her "readin' lesson" with her if I'm not available at precisely the moment she wants to do it.

This is good, 
because once upon a time,

(I love that beautiful face!)

what's up

I made make-up a couple of weeks ago.
It's crazy inexpensive compared to $20 for 1/4 of an ounce of Bare Minerals foundation, which is what I usually used to buy.
I still need to work on my formula a bit,
my color isn't quite right (although I'm rapidly losing my tan, so maybe I ought to just leave the color alone) 
and I'd prefer a little more coverage.
Necessary tweaks aside, I'm thrilled with it.


I'm nearly positive there's something wrong with my camera.
I haven't been happy with my pictures for quite some time, and I've just assumed it's my lack of skill,
but I think there is something wrong with the focusing.
When Melissa took pictures of the girls' baptisms Sunday (Thank-you!!! :-) she agreed that it seemed off.


I finally started letting my chickens out again.
I hate keeping them locked in the coop.
What's the point??

We've lost 2 already.
Of course, I cried,
and told Tyler I'm done.

But of course, I'm not really done. 


I leave for California the day after tomorrow.
I can hardly wait!!!!
I'm mostly packed already.
I still haven't figured out what to take as my 'personal bag'
and I also haven't settled on my sewing project.
My EPP would be a logical choice, since it's so small, 
but my fingers/hands can handle more quilting than EPP sewing.
I had decided I would take Any Which Way
(Oh goodness, I have a confession to make on that one - but it'll have to wait)
but it's awfully big for an airplane.
So - I don't know...

I've been ordering birthday presents. 
(Ton's birthday was in September, but he was in the field and couldn't get mail,
so we were going to send gifts when he got home, so Kacy wouldn't have to trip over them for a month. 
Then we decided I'd just bring a party when I went :-)
I've also been ordering 'Momma's coming to visit for the first time' presents :-)
I've had everything shipped there
and have given (repeated ;-) strict instructions for No Peeking!

It's all very exciting.


The kids have TKD testing Saturday.
Fortunately, my flight isn't until 2:30
so I'll get to watch them before I go.
Josiah will be testing (again) for his black belt,
so there's some anxiousness surrounding testing, to be sure!
TJ is going to come down to watch,
and Josiah has already requested that he be a board-holder.
Maybe having two of his big bubs right there with him will help?
The boy has skill, I can tell you that.


I found this when I was just finishing up paying the bills:

Thanks, Jeremiah ~ You make Momma smile!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

creamy bacon and mushroom chicken

A few weeks ago,
I made Man Pleasing Chicken for dinner.
(I'd link to it, but I don't actually make it like the recipe. Shocking, I know.)
The kids wondered why it was called that and were suggesting alternative names.
One of them asked me if I'd made up the recipe
and Brandon said, "If Mom made it up, it wouldn't have a name."
I was feeling particularly uninspired when it was time to cook this evening,
but I put on my big girl panties,
 turned on some music,
and dug around in the fridge.
(Tyler went to Aldi's for me yesterday, so we have veggies again :-)
When I spotted the mushrooms, inspiration struck
and I knew it was going to be a good dinner after all.

I set my medium-sized frying pan over med-high heat
and dropped a stick of butter in it.
While it melted,
I cut up the 1/2 lb of mushrooms and tossed them in the pan
with a generous amount of garlic powder
and a more reasonable amount of onion powder, season-all,  black pepper,
and a little bit of salt.

When the mushrooms were cooked and the butter was bubbling,
I turned the heat down a bit and
added 8 oz of cream cheese,
and about a half a cup each of cream and parmesan cheese.

While the cheeses were melting,
I cut 4 large (raw) chicken breasts in half (in retrospect, it could really have been cut into bite size pieces, since we served it on rice)
and placed them in a casserole dish that I dug out of the recesses of the cabinet.
(I went from uninspired to downright fancy!)
Then I sprinkled a few TBS of bacon bits on the chicken,
then poured the (now melty and fully mixed up) sauce over the chicken & bits.

Cooked it, uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours,
then let it sit out just a bit before serving.

When Tyler picked at it tasted it he said, "What is this?!"
I gave my usual reply,
"You have to give it a name," he demanded, 
"so I'll know what to ask for when I want you to make it again."

So I did.
'Creamy Bacon and Mushroom Chicken'.
Tyler thinks there should be more sauce, though
and that it should be called Crack Chicken - do with that what you will....)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

in which I run (a little) again

Once upon a time,
for a short season,
Tyler and I used to walk in the evening.
(He actually wrote about it way back when he kept a blog. I'm fairly certain I've mentioned it as well.)
Highlight of my days, those walks were.

We haven't taken a walk in years
(can you believe its been 3 years since I hurt my heel/achilles trying to 'run for God'?!)
and even though I exercise regularly now,
up until the hike last weekend, I haven't done any walking or running 
beyond what is necessary for regular household/kid management.
(oh - that's not entirely true - I sometimes run out to the chicken coop, just to prove I can)
I even try to spread out my grocery procurement enough that I don't have to do marathon shopping.

I've been thinking lately though,
about moving my exercise outside for a bit.
And so, today, I did.

I turned on my interval timer app (I actually have a couple)
to the 35 second high intensity, 
1 minute 20 second low intensity
did a pull-up in the hallway,
and set off down the drive.

yes. I pretty much always have fabric fuzz and/or threads stuck to me. Fortunately, Tyler thinks its cute :-)

I walked briskly through the warm-up,
and when it buzzed for my first HI interval, I ran full speed ahead.
I ran until the timer beeped,
then fast-walked 'til it was time to run again.

At round 4, I thought,
Man! I'm doing super!

Round 6 - I am awesome!!

Round 8
I thought,
I am killing this!
So when it was time to cool down,
I jogged.

I had 4 seconds left on my cool down timer when the pain started.
But it wasn't pain in my heel, or my knee :-)
just a bit of discomfort in my hip flexors.

Maybe I overdid it a wee smidge...

I felt a little sheepish (as I walked) the rest of the way home,
and I may end up having a little epsom salt bath this evening,
but it did feel good to be out there,
and I hope Tyler and I can squeeze in some walks before the weather turns too cold

Monday, October 13, 2014


It's my fault;
I did complain about lame weekends, after all,
but my goodness, this weekend was full!
Maybe a happy medium next weekend??

The game.
It wasn't quite as bad as I anticipated.
(which is often the case - so my method of totally dreading things really works in my favor 
and shouldn't be called 'pessimistic' ;-)

It did rain,
but it wasn't freezing, and with my plastic bag with a hood, I stayed somewhat dry.
Plus, I got a sweet white jacket out of the deal.
(Apparently, they sometimes tell you what color to wear based on where you are sitting.)
Now, I don't ordinarily wear white,
and told Tyler I'd never wear the jacket again,
but he seems to think it looks pretty great on me :-)
so I may have to change my mind about that.

I was pretty worn out from being gone from home over 10 hours
and hanging around 70,000 screaming people for several hours,
(half of them drunk...)
watching a game that I can not for the life of me understand
(yet another reason basketball is a better sport)
and seriously considered staying home from church
when my hair was still wet
at the time I normally would already have it completely fixed.
I sent Tyler a text that it wasn't looking too good...
But I remembered that I thought maybe Braxton was preaching,
and I really wanted to hear him, since I somehow have missed half of his sermons,
so I rallied,
and settled on smoothing my hair into a high ponytail after mostly blowing it dry,
and made it out the door *just* in time.

Right before walking out the door, I remembered that it was the final day of the Parade of Homes,
which we really needed to go to this year
to help with some window decisions,
so grabbed a pair of boots that were more comfortable for walking hours in than the ones I was wearing.

Before we could go anywhere, we had to stop at the mall and buy Lexi a pair of shoes
because the pair she was wearing had worn to church but could no longer wear was hurting her toes.
We also bought Lily a few pairs 
as most of her shoes are to small,
and looked for jeans for the boys.

Since we used our eating lunch time
we just stopped in at the Neighborhood Market
and grabbed a few things to make a picnic lunch
and ate in the van by the waterfall behind the shopping center.

Then we spent a few hours touring houses.
Apparently the big thing this year is using as many materials in your kitchen as possible.
and tiny brightly colored glass tiles.
We suspect that those houses are going to look dated soon.
And of course, had the 'hand-scraped' flooring, 
which I really am not a fan of.
It just looks so mechanically-made, to me.
Imagine that.

There was a 'singing' at church at 5:30 that Tyler wanted to go to,
so we ended up just spending the whole afternoon (and evening) in town.
We had a popcorn dinner with Psych
and then Tyler and Brandon and I watched an episode of Royal Pains
and the whirlwind weekend
was over.

Friday, October 10, 2014

quilt show

I suppose technically you could count the time, 5+ years ago at the Spinach Festival
when we paid a buck, 
and popped into a small shop to look at a dozen or so quilts
as my first quilt show,
but this one seemed much more show-like,
so I'm calling it
my first real quilt show.

I enjoyed it,
even though I was most definitely the youngest person there
and most of the quilts weren't really my style.
Or if I liked the style,
I wasn't crazy about fabric choices...
(Those ladies are real fond of their batiks and blenders!)

I recognized several patterns, so I think it means I really am a quilter :-)
(just in case we weren't entirely sure...)

Forgive my fabulous cell-phone shots.
I'd planned on buying some goodies,
(plus it was raining - ugh!)
and I didn't want to lug around a camera, too.
Turns out I only bought 1/2 yard of fabric, so I could've handled it. ah well.
No need to be proud of me for showing restraint, though - that's really all that called to me.

I was hoping to see a Farmer's Wife, but no dice.
This was a Dear Jane, which is sorta similar.
The lady who made it worked 15 years on this baby!
It was entirely hand-quilted - not sure about the piecing.

The blocks finish at 4"
so that little star in the center of this block is like, an inch!
That's a bit fiddly for my blood...
(but quite impressive)

I'm not a fan of square quilts, 
or medallion quilts,
I think she'd be tickled to know some quilter in Arkansas won a blue ribbon with her pattern.

This was one of the few quilts that was quilted by a domestic machine 
(at least that is my guess - I suppose it could have been long-armed?)

This next quilt is from the book Nearly Insane,
similar to  a Farmer's Wife.

The blocks on it are a bit bigger than the Dear Jane's, maybe 5 1/2 inches finished?
And it looks like, on average,
there are more pieces per block.
This one had 96!

This was hand-quilted in the ditch.
I must admit - I don't understand the whole quilt in the ditch thing,
especially when going to all the work of hand quilting.

I want all my stitches to show! ;-)

I kinda liked this border - I've not seen this block before, not sure what it's called. (anybody know?)
With the exception of the corner blocks, which are squares,
the border is made of rectangle blocks that alternate directions to form the zig zag.

This next one is really not my style at all,
but you've got to appreciate all the time that went into it!
It's needle turn appliqued,
and hand quilted in a 1 " cross hatch pattern around, but not across the applique.

The quilter who made it had at least 3 quilts similar to this in the show.
She came up while I was looking at it.
I congratulated her and asked how many hours a day she spends sewing.
She said, "Oh maybe 4. Or 5 or 6..."

Which I totally understand - when you love what you do, it's easy to lose track of time.

My favorite quilt, I didn't take a picture of.
It was a queen size hand-quilted white whole cloth quilt.

Maybe someday....

Thursday, October 9, 2014

looking back, looking ahead

I told Tyler we'd had too many lame weekends lately,
so he took us to Devil's Den Saturday for a hike and picnic.

I was grateful to be able to go hiking, and wasn't the least bit sore afterwards :-)

There were a few moments, however, 
the hike,
when I was rather nervous
and more than once thought, 'this is why it's best I don't go along on these trips'.
My children are fairly daring.
I don't want to be the mom who is always saying, "Be careful!"
So I don't.
But I had to walk away a few times...

In spite of the imagined near-death's,
it was a really nice weekend.
Thanks, Love.


I'm not following my prescribed schedule for my Super Secret Commissioned Project,
but still, I am making good progress
and I'm right on track. (I think.)


I have been so, so tired lately,
(No - I'm not pregnant ;-)
and have often had to go back to bed after seeing Tyler off in the mornings.
I hate that!
But I am thankful Brandon holds down the fort for me.

I was having the "What is wrong with me?!" conversation with myself,
when I remembered that the body needs extra sleep to repair itself.
So maybe I am finally healing??
That's what I'm going with...


There is a quilt show in the Fort  this weekend,
so I think I'm going to run over there for a few hours tomorrow.
After that, it's Taco Night.

Also this weekend,
I'm going to my annual Razorback game Saturday.
Siri tells me the weather is going to be bad. Rain.
So you know I am really excited about that. (gag)
I think the only thing worse than being hot at a football game,
is being wet
at a football game.

Basketball is a much better sport.


We try to have a family get together with my mom and siblings in the fall,
We shoot skeet (I think that's the correct way to say it)
have a bonfire,
eat chili with tons of add-in/fixin's
and catch up with each other
since it's usually been Easter since we were together last,
so that needs to get on the calendar real quick like.


For my birthday,
Tyler bought me a ticket.
A ticket to California!!
To go see my boy and his girl!!!
Now that, I really am super excited about!
To make it even better,
Tyler is taking the week off to spend with the kids,
so they'll be having their own fun here
and I won't have to worry about them one bit.

(Those rocks!
 How cool is that?
We found them that way, and added a few stacks of our own, too.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

pigeon at the wheel?

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus is a fun little book by Mo Willems.
It begins with the bus-driver telling you, the reader, not to let the pigeon drive the bus.
Kids will identify with some of the many ways the pigeon tries to talk you into letting him drive the bus.
It's worth checking out from your library,
but unless you buy it from a yard sale, like I did, I don't know that its really worth owning (Sorry, Mo)
This quilt, however, is worth owning, I think, even if you don't know the story.
(most of which you will find on the back of the quilt, actually :-)

Made from all organic fabrics (with the exception on the appliqued pigeons)
and machine pieced with Aurifil thread,
the washed and tumbled dry quilt measures 39 1/2  x 51 inches.

It's filled with one layer of warm and white batting
and carefully quilted by machine with a light tan Aurifil 50 wt thread (#2310)
with two intersecting lines of hand-quilting thrown in,
just because :-)
For the hand-quilting, I used black button & craft thread instead of my usual size 8 perle cotton;
the lack of luster in the thread went well with the typeface used in the fabric, I thought.

I machine sewed the binding on,
then hand-stitched it down on the back.
I tried a variety of threads for that task, but settled on using Gutermann sew-all.

I thoroughly enjoyed making this little quilt.
(and those pigeons just make me smile :-)

Don't Let the Pigeons Drive the Bus (the quilt...) (which I also talked about here) is available for sale for $175.
100% of the proceeds will go towards the purchase of a sewing machine for Rahab's Rope and the women they rescue,
so - if you buy this quilt, you're not only getting a truly one-of-a-kind quilt,
you're also getting to help changes lives!

Linking up with lots of kind and creative women over at Lee's and Amanda's