Friday, April 29, 2016

sham, shazam

A few days after we gave TJ and Keri their (amazing) quilt,
they decided they'd really like some pillow shams to go with it.

They suggested it would make a really nice anniversary gift.
And it would have,
except that we don't really do anniversary gifts
(with 8 kids, it's best not to start traditions we can't keep...)
so I decided rather than making them wait 'til next Christmas,
it could be T's birthday gift.

So that the crinkling would match the quilt,
(which was quilted as I pieced...)
I ditch stitched all of the vertical seams.

Not surprisingly, the shams took considerably longer to make 
than I'd anticipated, 
so I didn't get them done in time
to get them in the mail to arrive by T's birthday.

It turned out good for him, though;
since they were going to be late, 
I decided to add some hand quilting in the (lovely, mitered ;-) border.

I figured what the hey
and hand stitched the 'hem' on the back, too.

Since Carole told me that a machine sewn hem really is more sturdy,
I decided I should learn to do a machine sewn binding I can be happy with.

I was successful,
but honestly,
it was because the fabric is so well-suited for it.

I'll still do a hand stitched hem most of the time, 
but with a carefully chosen binding,
I suppose
I would be okay with machine sewing it when the quilt demands it.

I hope you like your shams, T (and Keri! ;-)
Love you!!

linking up with AmandaJean

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thursday's this and thats

Oh y'all!

So much has been happening.

I only thought time was moving fast the past few weeks...

Saturday was TKD testing
and everyone passed.

Brandon tests for his 2nd degree black belt July 23rd!


Sunday was the grand finale for Kid XP
(the Sunday evening program for preschoolers - 5th grade)

They did a skating party.

At the last minute,
Tyler lovingly decided to give me the evening off,
so I got a few hours by myself to recharge.

I had more than enough work to fill the 2 hours,
but I decided to start it off with an actual break.

I took my knitting needles and my little ball of yarn
(which have remained untouched 
since a few days after Family camp
when I finished up my second wash cloth)
and sat out in the sunshine in the hammock
and cast on 22 stiches
and then knit 'til my timer went off 30 minutes later.

It was refreshing.

I cleaned.


Monday we spent a couple of hours 
window and door (and also grocery) shopping.

Then we picked up Tony and Kacy and Hadley
at the airport at 11 o'clock that night :-)

Hadley is the sweetest, easiest baby I've ever seen
and we can't get enough of her.


Tuesday was Tyler's birthday

(we also went door shopping.
Front entry doors are really expensive.
Who knew?!)


and Wednesday
- Wednesday -
the framers got started on the house!!

My dad came down to join us for the occasion
(and quite possibly to oversee the work ;-)
which I thought was really sweet,
and TJ came down late afternoon
and hung out with us 'til midnight.

It was nice to have all of my boys here
for a bit.
(and I was able to give him his birthday present,
albeit a few days late...)

Wednesday was also the day we needed to make our final window decisions,
because the framers 
started putting the walls up today,
and had to know first thing in the morning
what size all rough openings need to be.
(that sounds a whole lot less stressful than it was)

We ordered a porta potty for the workers, too.

They bring their lunch,
so they don't leave the premises all day,
which means, 
short of peeing in the bushes,
they had no means of relieving themselves.


Let's see.

Today Tyler let me sleep in.
(was that just this morning?!)
That extra hour was really nice!
(but I always feel bad when I don't make him breakfast...)

My main priority of the day was to balance checkbooks and pay the bills.
between playing with Hadley,
tending to building business,
and just regular life-type interruptions,
didn't get completed until early afternoon)

It's all done for another month,
and I am grateful Tyler works so hard to provide for our family.

Kacy and I ran to town to pick up a few things
 for our family feast following Brandon's graduation Saturday,
and firmed up our (minimal) decor plans.

We've still got to buy all of the food,
fill balloons with helium
(the ones Kacy picked out are perfect!)
and do lots of food prep,
including making burger buns,
because my brother in law would be so sad
if we didn't have them.

When we got back from shopping,
I made lettuce wraps for (a late) dinner,
(Hadley helped)

While I was making dinner,
the guys and Kacy moved hundreds (maybe thousands) of pounds of lumber
since there's an 80 % chance of rain tomorrow.

Tony and Kacy went on a dessert date,
so I'm babysitting Hadley while I work on this post.

She's sleeping,

I told you she was so easy!!


Tomorrow is dedicated to getting ready for Saturday.
And baby snuggles and smiles...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

and this one, too

When we roamed downtown Van Buren
snapping Senior pictures,
Josiah came along as our pack mule.
(thanks, Bud!!)

So I ended up with a couple of great pictures of him, too :-)



I know. This one is blurry. But I love their faces!

Oh, Josiah.
Momma loves you to the moon and back!

Monday, April 18, 2016

this boy!


ok. so this isn't really a 'senior picture' but I love it, and it's my blog ;-)  (Lexi took this one!)

We might have gotten a little tickled here....


How I love him!

Brandon ~ Every time I start thinking about you graduating, 
my throat constricts, my heart stops for a moment, and my eyes leak. 
I know that life is going to change around here. 
And I'm not often a big fan of change...

Very simply, 
I will miss you.

I'll miss you sharing what you've learned (aka taught yourself).
I'll miss laughing with you at your jokes.
 And my stupidity. 
(and some of your inventions. Like charging seats... ;-)

I'll miss smelling coffee at random times, 
because you've just fixed yourself a cup.
Because even though you are a 'teen', you are an adult.

Mostly, though, I'll just miss you.

You are so precious to me, Son. 
Out of all of our kids, you brought about the most change in me. 
I became a better person when I became your mom. 
Thank you.

Sometimes I feel like you got the short end of the stick 
– being in the middle, all by yourself.
And maybe you did. 
But Dad and I get a little more of you because of it. 
(and vise versa)

(I know, I know. This is supposed to be about you, not me...)

I am so pleased with the person you are. 
You are kind and patient. You're helpful. You are observant. 
You're creative, and talented. 
And everyone knows you're a good lookin' kid.
You're humble and focus on others waaay more than yourself. 
You're a hard worker, and a good learner.
You are a delight.

My prayer continues to be
that God will fill you with the knowledge of his will
through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,
so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord
and please him in every way:
bearing fruit in every good work,
growing in the knowledge of God,
being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might
so that you may have great endurance and patience. 
(Col 1:9-11)

Much love, Mom

Friday, April 15, 2016

Thursday this and that turns into Friday's five


Life is moving at warp speed.

Joy Prom* is coming up on the 23rd.
We'll be helping to decorate for it
and I'll be helping with hair and makeup the night of prom
serving as an escort.
(which just sounds awful and I cringe every time I say it)
(but it also means I need a fancy dress.
and shoes...)

I helped with dress fittings for the prom Monday and Wednesday
and Brandon and I went to Fayetteville
for an appointment on Tuesday.

I have major sewing to do for TJ's birthday (April 22nd)
(of which I have not even started - yikes!)

Tony and Kacy and Hadley are coming on the 25th,
(the day before Tyler's birthday :-)
so we've got to get the girl's room thoroughly cleaned and ready for them,
and just the house cleaned well
in general.

Graduation is the 30th
so there is plenty of prep work to be done for that
(mostly for the family celebration part, though,
the actual ceremony is already nailed down and will be pretty low-key)

We still haven't started the slideshow / video yet
(yikes again!)
and my plan of going through all photos by last weekend
didn't work out.

In fact, I still have the entire external hard drive to sift through.
Brandon is going to have to teach me
how to get pictures from it
into my 'Brandon file'...

Then of course, 
we have major construction going on in our back yard
(happy dance)

we still home school

and I can't stay off of my blasted foot
long enough for it to heal.

I'm not making an appointment just yet,
but I am beginning to consider the notion
that may have to happen : /


Lexi was in the bathroom while I was putting on makeup Sunday.
She asked what my foundation was for,
so I put it on half of my face and turned to look at her.
"See?" I asked, "It just sorta evens out my skin a little."
"Yeah." she replied,
"I see.
It also makes it the color of old people's skin."

That's just what I was going for.
(I was desperately in need of a haircut at the time
(I got one today - yay!!)
and it was day 27 of my cycle.
My weight was the highest its been in years.
we were going to spend the day with Tyler's family
which always fills me with feelings of inferiority and angst,
so you can imagine how good I was feeling about myself after that!)


I have re-washed the load of clothes in the washer 
3 times
and re-rinsed it twice.

The other laundry is piling up....


Wednesdays are fairly rushed for dinner
even on a week when we've got nothing extra going on,
because we leave the house a few minutes after 6
for 242.

This week it was extra rushed 
with me barely getting home by 5.

I wasn't able to get dinner going immediately 
and before I knew it,
it was almost 5:30!

Which meant I didn't have enough time
to make the quick meal I was planning to make
(lentils and rice)

Lily put some hotdogs in a pan
while I cut up a cantaloupe
and then diced a half of an onion.
We opened a bag of chips,
and called it 'dinner'.

Lexi thought it was hilarious that we ate such food for dinner.

I'm thinking I see lots of 'not dinner food' dinners in our future.


I don't want to get too excited,
but I'm thinking 
I might be on the right track
with my new supplement regime.

More on that later...


*Joy Prom - our church is hosting a prom
for people (ages 16 - 60) with disabilities.

(I wrote this post yesterday, but didn't quite get it finished.
The load of laundry mentioned has been dried and folded,
and two more loads have been washed.
We'll see if I can get the second one out of the washer in a timely manner.

I've gotten most of the way through 2009 on the external drive,
so only a few more years to go.)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

this and that on another Thursday

I put myself on a new supplement protocol this week;
I hope to report fantastic things in the near future.

At the moment,
I seem to be coming down 
with the little bug that Tyler had a few days ago.

I'm popping essential oil pills every few hours to combat it.
(2 drops of Purify and 2 drops of Immune something or other from Ananda)


I've been going through pictures for Brandon's graduation video.

I didn't even bother with telling myself I'd organize them 
before the next kid graduates....

I've gone through all printed photos
(which go through Jeremiah's birth)
now I have to move on to the digital ones.

I'd really like to get them all gathered by Sunday,
which will give us 6 days to turn them into a proper slideshow.

Seems reasonable.


I looked at the pictures
a little differently than I may have
the other 3 times I've done this,
and what I saw
(besides the fact that I take crappy pictures
and had some awful hair at times)
was that our kids had a great, full childhood.
They were happy and loved.

Most of the pictures are just life
- nothing fancy -
definitely no 'Pinterest moments'
just a family 
living life.
And it was good.


My iron is dying.
I know...

I've actually had problems with it since it was just a few weeks old,
but it's gotten much worse in the past couple weeks.

Which is kinda funny, 
since I haven't even been sewing,
so it's only being used about 10 minutes
5 nights a week.


I have to clean off my sewing desk.
it's so piled high with junk
and 'in progress' work
 let's be honest, 
stuff that needs repairing 
that it will likely never get,
that there's no room for me to sew
even if I had the time or inclination to.

I can't put it off any longer.


I decided one cup of coffee a day
wasn't hurting me none.

Coffee stays.


I won't put it off any longer...

I'm off to get my shovel

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

block work

No quilt blocks;
the blocks worked on this week
were of the cement variety...

Seven pallets of lightweight block 
were delivered around 3:00 Monday afternoon.

Jesse and his crew had 4 of the pallets unloaded in no time.

They showed up at 8:00 Tuesday morning
and worked a full day,
taking a short break for lunch
and a tiny ice cream break mid afternoon.

The guys were super nice,
patiently answered questions,
taught us a little about block work,
and let the kids and I help a little (on the places that won't show ;-)
(except Bran' - he helped with the real work...)

Jesse said Brandon caught on quick
and was pretty good for a beginner.

We'll have to go back and add the block under the LEM after we move it,
and Brandon feels pretty confident that he and Tyler can do that themselves. :-)

They came back this morning again,
a little before 8 this time,
and finished up before noon.

speaking of garages.... This was snapped right outside of the boy's bedroom - looking into (or rather, under) the garage

front of the house, the mudroom is there on the right :-)

the back porch area - the living room is straight ahead.
(I may end up with a nice little collection of pallets :-)

crawlspace access, under the dining room

Daniel (the concrete guy) comes back
to get the garage ready for concrete on Friday morning.

(Jeremiah wasn't really keen to do any block work;
he was more interested in fishing...)