Friday, December 21, 2012

{this moment}

. . . . . . . .
{this moment} - Every Friday.
A single photo - no words - capturing a simple, special moment from the week.
A moment I want to savor and remember forever. Inspired by SouleMama
. . . . . . . .

Ellie - age 4
. . . . . . . .
If you're inspired to do the same,
leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for others to find and see.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

:: Right Now



Right now I am:
:: thankful for beautiful, simple, Christmas things surrounding us
:: listening to Michale Buble's "Let It Snow"
:: enjoing the bounty of wrapped gifts under the tree
:: glad for the tiny Red Rainboots (given to my by a sweet sister and friend) sitting on my kitchen windowsill - a gentle reminder to not get frustrated by the many tiny scraps of paper forever covering our school room floor
:: making hot cocoa for children come in, cold from sledding
:: trying to teach the children (3-8yrs) to hang up their piles of outdoor clothing after coming in!
:: loving the smell of clean laundry as we fold - using this laundry system - which has saved my life
:: thinking on Kathleen Nelson's prompting about priorities: "...task while mothering - don't mother while tasking"
:: noticing everyone drawn to the living room by the heat of the woodstove, as snow swirls outdoors
:: watching a box of Cuties last only a few days
:: pondering thoughts from the book, "A Joyful Mother of Children" by Linda J. Eyre

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

:: Celebrating 40 Years

My folks celebrated a very special night last night, and we considered it an honor to be witnesses to 40 years of marriage.  (Have you ever tried to find cards that say "40th Wedding Anniversary"?  Let's just say there aren't many to pick from!)

Alaina's store-front sign
Growing up, us kids would sometimes "put on a restaurant" for my grandparents or my folks, so this was the perfect opportunity to demonstrate this example to our children.  So we put on a restaurant for them - the Davis Family Olive Garden.  The kids and neice Alaina (decked out in black/white and aprons) made menus and were the waiters/waitresses.   By candlelight, we served salad, breadsticks and Chicken Parmesan.  After dinner, more of the extended family joined us for homemade apple pie and ice cream.
We do not take lightly this heritage we have been given.  God willing, in another 31 years, maybe Josh and I will be able to do the same for our children. =)

Friday, December 14, 2012

{this moment}

. . . . . . . .
{this moment} - Every Friday.
A single photo - no words - capturing a simple, special moment from the week.
A moment I want to savor and remember forever. Inspired by SouleMama
. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .
If you're inspired to do the same,
leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for others to find and see.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

:: Books Right Now

Recently, we have been enjoying a few good children's books from our local library. With children ages 2-8, I like them not too short, but not painfully long (to read out-loud).  And they make us laugh whenever we get to our favorite spots.

Officer Buckle and Gloria, by Peggy Rathmann
A fun story about humorous safety tips, but mostly friendship.

Doctor DeSoto, by William Steig
The kids ask me to read this one over and over again.  They love it when we get to this page:
Room on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson
We got this one around Halloween, but love it so much we are still reading it. 
A whole series of books that we adore.  I think we've checked out every single one time and time again.  I love reading these outloud.

My 8-year-old couldn't put this one down, and then Josh read it aloud at night to all the kids.  A wonderful story about a tree-frog.  There is a second book, too.
Pibbin the Small: A Tale of Friendship Bog

Hank the Cowdog.  by John R. Erickson
A whole series of books.
But we love to get the Book-on-CD and listen to these out-loud.
Just hearing the voice of Hank makes us laugh.  I use these for the kids' quiet hour.  My 6-year-old and 8-year-old especially love these.
The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog (Hank the Cowdog (Quality))
So that's a little of what we are reading.  What about you?

Monday, December 10, 2012

:: Picnic Rollup Christmas Quilt


Last year when I made this christmas quilt for my Mom, I also made one for me. Same fabric line (I threw in a little pink fabric), but different pattern.  I thought this pattern looked like wrapped presents.

I quilted it in a stippling pattern all over the main part, and then tried my hand at a simple free-motion design in the red borders.  It was thrilling... like drawing on fabric.  Only the pencil (needle) doesn't move - the paper (fabric) does.  =)  I love the way it turned out.  And I think the quilting process may be my new favorite part of making a quilt.
Wouldn't you just love to have a christmas quilt for every room, bed, and couch of the house?  I know I sure would.
Fabric: 12 Days of Christmas (Kate Spain), and a few others
Pattern:  Picnic Rollup (C. Roskelley)

Friday, December 7, 2012

{this moment}

. . . . . . . .
{this moment} - Every Friday.
A single photo - no words - capturing a simple, special moment from the week.
A moment I want to savor and remember forever. Inspired by SouleMama
. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .
If you're inspired to do the same,
leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for others to find and see.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

:: "First" Quilts

"First" quilts are unique.  Full of mistakes and imperfections, but also full of lessons learned,
skills aquired, and a love discovered.
Really, the very first quilt I pieced, quilted and bound was this one. I'm almost embarrassed to show you, but it does need to be given a special honor, as this quilt was the catalyst to my quilting career.

It's not necessarily colors I love, but it was a great beginning "block-of-the-month" quilt I did at my local quilt shop. And feeling the need to finish it (ie - learn to machine quilt, buy a quilting foot, and figure out how in the world I make a binding!) was what got me going. I learned so much on this quilt. And for that, I love it.

This next quilt was also a "first" for me.  The first baby quilt I ever made. And the first quilt I ever gave away.

I made it for a childhood friend of mine who just had her first baby girl. Before she went into labor she didn't know what she was having.  So once the baby was born and we found out it was a girl, I hurried to buy the fabric. I think I cut, pieced, quilted and finished it in 1 week! I was so excited to make this for her and get it mailed off to Maryland.

pattern:  Sweet Pea by Camille Roskelley
fabric:  Sunkissed by Sweetwater (Moda)
quilting:  loops and daisies

Ellie also made her "first" quilt almost 2 years ago (when she was 4).   She would sit on my lap at the sewing machine and piece together the squares, "just one more, Mom...just one more."   When I put a label on the back, she insisted on naming her quilt Liz.  I think cause the fabric line was called "Bliss".

This was anoter one of the first "real" quilts I machine quilted.  I really like those daisies 'n loops.  They are so feminine.

Hope you're not getting tired of all these quilts.  There are a few more to come!

Monday, December 3, 2012

:: Christmas Traditions

It just feels like Christmas is in the air!
We got our decorations up, including the new sign I made for our front porch.
We have a yearly pre-Christmas tradition. 
Each member of our family picks out an ornament to buy.  Either something they love, something from the year, or just one they found that day that suits their fancy.  Then once the kids are grown, they will each have a collection of ornaments to take with them for their own tree.  We have done this since our very first Christmas, and the kids L.O.V.E. it.
I remember as newlyweds, Josh and I had a hard time decorating our first tree - I even wired pinecones to the branches to fill them up!
As the family has gotten bigger, our tastes have become less expensive.  =)  St. Nicks is no longer in the budget.  So this year we headed off to Target.  (do your kids love climbing through "the hole" as much as mine do?)
I really do try to let them pick out whatever they want, and not sway their opinion.  However, I did have one stipulation this year:  it had to be non-breakable.  (that in itself is a memory of where our family is at this year).  Amazingly, Target had tons of felt ornaments, they are adorable, and were only $3 each!
 Ellie and Audrey both picked Owls, before I could snatch one up for myself.  =)  Good choice, girls.

Mine was the snowman.  Every year I seem to end up with a snowman... or a red glittery ball.  =)

As soon as Hannah found this reindeer it never left her clutches.  We didn't even have to ask which one she wanted.  I love that she picked it, because it'll be one of those incredibly sentimental (and incredibly ugly) ornaments someday, when all the yarn is saging and hanging off.  =)  But she will love it.

In typical Josh/Jack fashion, they picked the same ornament.  Just different colors. 

So that's one of our traditions.  What's a favorite family tradition of yours?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

:: Advent Calendar

The excitement level is high over here.
Not that it needed any helping, with Christmas just 25 days away, but I finished this advent calendar in the nick of time, and now we have something to help us count down the days. 
My sister-in-law was describing an advent calendar her grandmother made for them growing up, and she found the (almost exact) pattern here.  It was just what we were looking for, and we both made one this year.  I love that it's not candy every day till Christmas.  
The pockets are all stuffed with tiny wooden ornaments, ready to be hung on the silver bells. (I found the bells in a pack at walmart - gold and silver mixed - I chose to use the silver ones)
First ornament hung.  23 more to go!

Modern Pearls Quilt Along - Week Four (the finish!)

Good Morning, friends!  It's the fourth (and final) week of our Modern Pearls Quilt Along, and this is where all those 9 patches start t...