Thursday, May 31, 2012

another reason we don't do children's church

Lily is in the LEM
softly singing,
"I-i-i-i-i I'm desperate for you...."
Which is much better than 'Arky Akry' or 'Father Abraham'
in so many ways.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Operation Less Nasty is going a bit more slowly than some of our projects.
My handsome handyman had to take over the wall-fixing, 
since he didn't much care for my plan.
In all fairness, his fix is way nicer than mine would have been.
He thinks perhaps I set the bar too low ;-)

Being that it's the end of the month, 
I have to do bothersome life things, like balance checkbooks and pay the bills.
It's getting in the way of my operation here
we've made some great progress,
and we even have an electrical outlet now!!
Oh, the possibilities!
I have several sub-projects in the works,
a couple of which I am especially tickled about.
I'll fill you in as soon as I get the chance.

Taken w my iphone at Lowe's - waiting on an associate to find the overrated Zep grout cleaner and whitener. 

*to see the (mostly)completed project, go here*

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I may be just a little bit impulsive

Most of you know,
We purchased  the home in which we currently live 
because of the land.
Love the land.
(almost 10 acres)
The house? Dis gusting!!
Not counting the LEM (Lou_______ Expansion Module) which has definitely helped us spread out a bit
the house boasts fewer than 1000 sq ft
of cheaply built, poorly maintained, sub-standard, termite infested junk.
(like how I used the word 'fewer' there, Lana? ;-)
We (mostly Tyler and the big kids) worked ridiculously hard to get the house livable
before we moved in.
We've been saving money to build 
ever since.
Saving money takes a long time.
especially when you're a larger than average family 
living on one income.
We've done a few things over the years, so that the house drives me less nuts,
like filling in the paneling in the living room with drywall mud, adding texture and painting.
The room still looks bad, mind you, but not as bad as before.
We did this project in less than a week right before Lily was born.
Just up and decided to tear the wall out that was falling down (literally)
a couple of weeks before Lily was born.
The (quickly hatched) plan was to drywall, but after ripping down the piece of paneling, 
we discovered there was
nothing to attach drywall to.
No studs, just a couple of boards thrown in all catywampus.
Tyler would have had to completely rebuild the walls.
Eh. Not worth it.
So he threw is a couple of strategically placed boards,
we screwed the paneling back in, and switched to plan b.

Another time,
also decided on the spur of the moment,
this time executed in maybe 3 days,
we did the same thing in the dining room:
filled paneling groves, added texture and painted.
We also painted the wall of bookshelves.
The roller coaster floor, we left alone.
not good, but better.

Then there was the kitchen floor.
Let Operation Less Nasty The Bathroom commence.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

three mousekateers

As soon as I saw Rosie's little mouse-in-a-tin, I pinned it.
I'd planned on making it for Lily for her birthday, but forgot about it.
I made her a wedding dress instead. 

I expect she's happy I forgot ;-)

I was telling my mom the Thursday before our trip
that I hadn't really planned car-stuff for the kids.
We laughed about the contents that Lily packed in her travel bag,
which looked like it could have easily been the trash from cleaning out a vehicle.
Feeling like a heel, I ran to Hobby Lobby and grabbed some supplies
and the kids and I put together some lacing kits 
and zip bags of ocean-themed foam stickers and 5x7 foam boards to create pictures.
They didn't touch any of it
until after we got back home.
Note to self; they rarely play with your kits in the car.
Quit making them!
(This is not the first time this has happened ;-)

I decided on Friday that I was making mice.
We were planning to leave at 2:00 Saturday morning.
I had picked up a couple of tins for the girls from the dollar aisle at Target
and later decided that Josiah would like one too,
(I didn't figure Jeremiah would play with a set)
so I called Tyler and asked him to pick up a tin of Altoids on his way home.
neither the mice nor their bedding
got made.

I did manage to pull together some leftover quilt squares,
batting and felt scraps, 
and a little baggie of fluff.
My own little hand-sewing sewing kit :-)

I never touched it.
The whole way there, it sat its little box.
The entire week of vacation, not a lick of sewing was done.
But on the way home,
I pulled it out.
I made Lexi's first, figuring she could use something new to occupy her...
Her mattress was a tad too small (oops)
and I started sewing her pillow right sides together, so I changed how I was going to make it.
I passed back the tin as soon as I had the mouse, mattress, and pillow made,
then sent back the cover when I got it finished. 

Lily, of course, wanted one asap.
I made each item in the order she requested
(being a whole 5 days later, I no longer remember what that order was...)
and passed back each piece as it was finished.

Josiah's set I made later  in the afternoon.
They were super easy to make  (the fact that they need not be perfect helped ;-)
and I love wool blend felt!
I'm glad I opted to use it for the mice.
I'd never used any felt except the stuff available locally, prior to making Lex's doll.
One touch, and now, I'm a felt snob. Seriously, this stuff is buttery!

The only other sewing I 've fit in this week
(but really it's all that was on my list...)
was more hand-sewing;
I've done 5 or 6 of the red pinwheel blocks in the sort-of-aqua floss,
and now I only have one or two left!!
I've gotten much faster 

of course, there's still plenty of room for more improvement...

I still need to work on the corner blocks and outer border.
And of course, the binding....
I'd hoped to have it finished in time to enter it in Amy's quilt festival
but that's just not going to happen.

In the reading department ~ I read To Kill A Mockingbird for the first time in my life..
I thought it was extremely well-written
and a very good representation of life at that time.
I found myself wishing that I would respond more like Atticus did as a parent,
he's a wise one, that Atticus.
I also thought it'd be really nice to send the kids outside to play for the entire day ;-)

to see what others are sewing and reading, visit Elizabeth's
needle and thREAD

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

oh dear.

I'm not one of those mommas who insists the children eat everything on their plate.
Until it's gone.
Meals and meals of the same plate.
Until it's empty.
Mostly because I, myself, have food issues.

Tonight, however,
little miss Lex' was telling me she was hungry
while her plate sat
not empty
on the table.
So I told her she wasn't getting anything else to eat until she finished her mashed potatoes.
Which aren't exactly mashed potatoes;
they were mashed 1/2 potatoes, 1/2 cauliflower.
She doesn't hate them, but she sure doesn't love them either.
She decided to get back to playing.
she came in a half hour or so later,
"I'm still hungry."
"Your mashed potatoes are still sitting on the table. When they're gone, you can have some fruit."
She went to the table.
I heard plate and silverware noises.
A few minutes later she came to tell me that her food was gone.
"You ate all of it? Is your plate empty?"
"Yes," she answered.
"Okay," I said, "You can look in the fridge and see what you might want.
You have to ask first, though, to be sure you can have it."
She chose strawberries.
As I walked into the kitchen to rinse them,
I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a plate - upside down.
I sat the berries on the table
(We added some blueberries to the snack, too - both on sale at Aldi this week)
and picked up the upside down plate.
which was on top
of another plate.
A plate of mashed cauliflower potatoes!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

trip talkin'

Do you have any idea how long it takes to sift through a couple hundred photos
and get a few of them uploaded on a blog?
My word.
I started that post (having already sorted -somewhat- through pictures) at 11:40 last night.
I figured I'd be in bed in no time.
I am such a funny one.
The trip.
Can I just say I hate going on trips?
The getting ready totally stresses me out,
and the drive? Hate it.
Add to that, the forecast for Cape San Blas 
was calling for
All week long.
I pictured a dreary week of being stuck in the house (albeit a nice big one)
watching nasty weather through the sliding glass door;
that took the wind out of my sails.
Long about Thursday, I was ready to say 'forget the stupid beach!'

We somehow managed to get a houseful of people
ready to live elsewhere for a week
and left the house Saturday at 2:21 am
twenty-one minutes behind schedule.

I felt frazzly the entire drive
(which actually went quite well,
 in spite of the fact that most of the kids never went back to sleep)
until we saw the Gulf 
and I immediately felt a little bit excited
(Then Tyler told me it wasn't actually the Gulf. 
So what - it was big water
and it sounded good and smelled good)
When we pulled up to the beach house,
I may have squealed in delight.
Then I texted my sister :-)

The weather was varied (but never really stormy)
but it was all good.
Overcast days we didn't have to worry about getting burnt
and the water was much rougher, making for great boogie-boarding.
The sunny days, the water was prettier (but there was more sea weed on the beach??)
and the guys were able to do some kayaking and skimboarding.

I was amazed at how the beach was constantly changing.
One day, just a few shells; next day, the beach was overflowing with 'em.

Most days the shoreline was 'shallow' - one day it was much deeper and 'ridge-y'
and there was a sandbar way out that hadn't been there before.

We ate in the car on the way there
we fixed all of our meals at the beach house.
I had planned on eating our regular healthy food
with a few treats sprinkled in.
It was a vacation after all.
We ended up restocking the treats a few times ;-)
The big ones were quite ready to get back to good eating;
the little ones think they would be happy to continue with the junk...
Let's just say that when one don't regularly consume sugar and such,
it's definitely noticeable when you do.
I hadn't planned food for the way home,
so we ate out.
Kripsy Kreme for breakfast.
A not very good Mexican place for lunch,
followed by Frosties from Wendy's (did you know they sell a vanilla frosty? wrong!)
Dinner was David's Burgers in Conway
(which was delish and just a fun family-owned place. Plus you get fry re-fills!)
We topped that off with ice-cream bars.
It is quite possible that I gained 2 of the 3 vacation pounds I gained
on the drive home!

We were busier than I anticipated being,
which is bizarre, since we weren't doing anything except playing.
I guess that's just how it is since there's a bunch of us.
I brought my quilt along, thinking I'd get it finished except for the binding.
Didn't add one stitch.
I did mange to read a book over the course of the week,
by reading when I laid Lex' down for a nap the few times she took one,
and during my lovely nighttime baths.
(the tub in this house is so uncomfortable, I have only had a handful of relaxing
baths since we moved 6 + years ago. All of them have been on vacation.
We don't take many vacations..... I really enjoyed my baths!)
a little Lexi story.
As you probably know,
Lexi loves baby Nella.
When we're shopping, she'll look at an outfit and say, "Nella would look so cute in that!"
She's just part of our life. From a distance....
Lex' came out to the beach not long after we'd gotten there
and in an extremely disappointed voice said,
"I've looked everywhere for Nella. She's supposed to be in Florida
 but I can't find her anywhere." 
Poor sweetie. 
She thought she was going to get to play with Nella at the beach.
I told Tyler I didn't know why so many people go to Disneyworld (land?) for vacation;
a week at a  house on the beach has got to be about the best vacation there is!
The only thing that would make it better
would be another week.
or two ;-)
And maybe a cook....

my camera bag still smells like the beach

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

swimmin' suities for my cuties

It all started when I saw Baby Nella's new suit a few weeks ago:


I know!
Is that not the most darling little suit you've ever seen?

Lily could barely squeeze into her last year's suits
so it's been on my list to get a couple of new ones made.
I took her to pick out fabric for one of them
and figured for the other one, I'd use some leftover fabric from years past .

from January 2010 ~ my first suits!!

But Nella's suit kept rolling around in my mind
so I went back to the fabric store
and grabbed some yellow-gold (crappy) swimsuit fabric
(2 way stretch? How can they call that swimsuit fabric? 
Silly me just went for the color and didn't bother to actually feel it; I was in such a rush.)
Then I decided if Lily had a princess suit,
Lexi would probably want one also, even though she didn't need a suit,
seeing that she can wear Lily's old ones... 
So I grabbed some blue, too.
(Which was a perfectly acceptable 4-way stretch swimsuit fabric)

Belle & Cinderella!!

I thought Lil's suit was soo much fancier than Lexi's
and felt kinda bad about it.
I mean, the whole point of making one, was so she'd have a fancy suit, too.
I needn't have worried, she loves it!
I hate that my photos didn't end up being very good;
I took like fifty of 'em.
But if you look really closely, maybe you can see that Lexi's has that pouf thing at the sides...

Since I spent more than my usual amount of suit-makin' time sewing those suits,
I told Lily the suit I'd be making with her fabric would be a simple one.

She's such a sweetie that she didn't mind one bit.
This one actually fits quite a bit better than the Belle suit.
(Nice and snug - so it doesn't start falling off once it's wet.
This fabric is pretty lame, too - not as much Lycra as I'd prefer, so the suit sagging was a valid concern.
I made the bottoms first and had her hop in the tub so we could see how they'd preform. 
She said once they were wet, they fit perfectly.)

I wasn't the only one sewing this week!

Lily had a hankering to sew a bag
(of course!)
and she had picked out a fat quarter when we were at Hancocks, so she used that.

I glued the edges with a basting glue so she wouldn't have to work around pins
and then drew stitching lines for her to follow.
She did super, only going around the fabric (rather than up and down) a couple of times.

Sadly, there's been very little reading going on this week.
I sat down once with a book, but never even managed to crack the cover.
To see what other gals are sewing and reading, visit Elizabeth's with needle & thREAD.