Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hold Your Quilting Plans Loosely

I need therapy. I am serious! So how do I get it??? I make quilts. I have all my 2010 quilting goals lined up, but because of my need for therapy, I have to change those.....Hold Your Plans Loosely....I do that often, and good thing. I started off with some Fabric Therapy. TJ needs a new quilt from Grandma.
Doesn't that blue look like the perfect "ocean"? I think some sailboats (or pirate ships) will be just the thing!!! Emerson also needs a new quilt. I saw this on Karen's blog and she graciously sent me a copy of the pattern she got from an older magazine. I think it is a perfect quilt for Emerson!! (Those 9 patches are 3" finished!) I may add some flowers to that vine also.All I needed was some background fabric, a nice yellow and a crisp green! I have lots of blues, pinks, and lavenders to add in.I will still continue with the Hidden Star, and the Pink and Brown will stay in the hoop until it is finished, but all else will be put on the back burner until these quilts are finished and covering my grandchildren! (I think I can squeeze in a Libby Quilt every month too!)
PERFECT therapy....though it is NOT cheap!
Here are a few Sassy pictures. She has found quilting to be quite fun also. She spends much time chasing my thread as I hand quilt.....it is a race to see if she can catch the loop before it disappears into the fabric! She usually wins!Eventually she wears out.....but not before she wears me out!I sure love that cat!!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Setting things Straight and Kid Pics

Isn't that sweet? TJ made that for me in Sunday School yesterday! He was very proud of it.
My weekend was full, but I made sure my Saturday was a nice "down" day. Lots of hand quilting and movie watching. I did spend some of Saturday setting things straight.Yeah, I could not take that wonky looking border, so I ripped it all out and put in a nice, miniature, paisley print. That right side looks a little off in the picture, but don't fret....I just did not smooth it out before I took the photo. It is all perfectly straight looking.
TJ and Zach spent a good part of Friday afternoon making a snow fort. TJ was not willing to pose in it, but he would sit on the porch for a photo op..... Zach was more than willing to show you their creation.....it was complete with swords (baseball bats), cannon balls (basketballs), and shields (pop tents and a wagon).When they were all done, after a good 2 hours, they came in for some warmth. Zach gave a big sigh and said, "Ahhhhh, it's great to be back in my natural habitat." I agreed!!! heehee
Emerson and TJ both loved the doll house and accessories that "Old Grandma" (my mom) brought them.Their Daddy took it all home for them on Saturday, and they played for hours and hours.....Daddy included. They had such fun!!
Sunday we met them for church and then they headed home for the afternoon with their Dad. They came over for homemade Lasagna, and a couple of hours of play, before heading back to their other Grandmother's house. These next pictures are not the best....blurry and out of focus, but you get the idea. I loved this cute little dress Emerson wore to church. (that blur behind her is Zach running)She looks so grown up! Not too grown up to be Paw Paw's "baby girl".We sure did enjoy them. Divorce is not a fun thing. It feels almost evil in how it is played out and my most earnest prayer is that my grandchildren are not affected. I know that is extremely foolish to think, but I pray that God, Himself, would guard their hearts and minds. I know that they are loved deeply by both sides of their family and I know that God loves everyone involved. It is my only thing to hang onto in the midst of all of this loss.
Gosh, I didn't mean to end this on a down note.
Monday is a favorite day of the week for me....everything seems fresh. Now, I am off to begin my week. Be blessed!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Friday Night Sew In

I had my Friday Night Sew In planned from the day I signed up, a few weeks ago. I would head to my sewing room around 5 pm and Sweetheart would take care of dinner and the kids....he agreed. I would spend the entire evening and into the wee hours, pounding out the Hidden Star! By morning it would be a top!
Somewhere along the way, I remembered that the 19th was the night I would have my grandkids. This changes everything. I LOVE having my grandkids and would give up a Friday Night Sew In to have them here, no questions asked! Still, Emerson goes to bed by 8 and TJ and Zach could watch a movie with Charlotte. That was the new plan. Then I started getting a sinus infection and knew my plans of wee hour sewing were doomed. That was ok, too. I could hand quilt the evening away! I planned to get a section like this completed.....This plan completely changed yesterday when my mail came. A year or so ago, I saw the book "Prairie Children and Their Quilts" on Libby's blog, "A Simple Girl". I wanted it right away! It has been on my "list" ever since. I have enjoyed seeing Libby make a few of the quilts and fell in love with them. There are 14 and I want to make them all and do an entire wall in my home of these little quilts. Anyway, I mentioned this desire to Libby....not "Simply Libby", but "Hand Wash Only" Libby! Are you confused, yet?? She had the book and wanted to send it to me. I was too excited for words. Yesterday it arrived..........along with a couple of fat quarters that I plan to use in one of the quilts. Now my Friday Night Sew In plans had to change yet again. Sinus infection aside, I was going to piece one of those quilts!!! I got Emerson to bed and the boys at the computer on Lego.com....my sewing time would not be alone time, but that is ok.I picked the quilt and the fabrics and my night began at precisely 8:15!!!I did not think I could do the entire top, but I would put a good dent in it! Cutting is not my favorite part of the process, but it needs to be done and it needs to be done exact! These little quilts call for tiny pieces....2 5/8" squares to be made into triangles.....1 1/4" strips for borders.....all little bits.By 9:45 I had all the Bear Paw blocks put together and sashed.In trying to stay true to the colors and style, I pulled a dark blue plaid (which is what they called for) for the first border. I do not use plaids in borders.....and rarely in anything other than applique, or triangles. I don't like "wonky" looking, and plaids can do that even if you are precise in your piecing. That is exactly what happened.....still I am not changing it. It will stay the way it is.I chose a gold, instead of a brown, for the outside border. I like how it turned out! By 10:30 it was a finished top measuring 19 1/4 X 19 1/4.
The illusion of a "wonky" border aside, I think it turned out cute!! Maybe I can quilt that wonky corner out!So that is my Friday Night Sew In. I think I will call these my "Libby Quilts". One Libby introduced me to the book, and another Libby gifted me with it. Seems fitting!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Training Daughters

I admit (OPENLY) that I do not have a clue how to raise a daughter. Growing up a daughter, with a sister, you would think I would have picked up a few things from my mom, but I guess I did not pay attention. Raising boys.....now THAT is something I can do. I read an amazing article the other day. I even shared it with Charlotte.....if you click here, you can read it too. I was majorly convicted during the first part of the article, but the last parts, actually made me think I might just be able to do this after all!
I thought back to when I was 12 and 13.....I had household duties which included, cleaning up the kitchen, vacuuming and dusting, keeping my room clean, and even doing the families laundry (wonder if that is why I detest laundry?). Charlotte has been given some duties over the last year. She has been in charge of her room for quite a while....she has to do her own laundry....she is asked to put Zach's laundry away....she is to wipe down the kid's bathroom daily and give it a good cleaning once a week, she empties the dishwasher, and she is to clean up the kitchen after dinner 4-5 nights a week. Does that sound like a lot? It really isn't. Her laundry is done once a week, as is Zach's. The kitchen is not a total mess....I clean as I cook (for the most part) so it is a matter of loading the dishwasher and wiping the counters and stove top. The kids bathroom takes about 4 minutes to wipe down and about 20 minutes to deep clean. All these jobs contained training. I worked with her and set standards of work. She met them in every task....until recently. Recently she half way makes her bed....there are dirty clothes on her floor AFTER she says her room is clean....the kids bathroom stinks......Zach's clothes have been a wrinkled mess, as are hers.......the counters and stove top never get wiped down after dinner and the sink is disgusting (you all know how I feel about a clean sink!) and I can not count how many times lately I have pulled a dirty spoon, fork, or knife out of the drawer. So.....what do I do? Do I criticize her? Do I make her go back and re-do the job? Do I follow her around making sure she does it all correctly? I really do not have the time, nor energy for any of that. Here is what I did....I pulled all of her jobs, except one....her bedroom. I explained to her there is a "ladder" to chores. You are trained in an area and when that area is mastered you move on. She seemed relieved that she no longer had chores. bwahahahah!!!!! Little did she know the ramifications to that!
As the days went by, my kitchen sparkled again.........laundry is folded nicely an put away.....the kids bathroom smells like a flower garden....and I can get a spoon out without picking a dried noodle off of it!
I did my (her) chores happily, singing and smiling through it all. It was not long before Charlotte began asking, "Mom, can I empty the dishwasher for you?", "Mom, do you want me to clean the kitchen? You can just relax tonight.", "Mom, I can load these dishes up for you." I would smile and say "No, thank you Charlotte. I noticed you are still learning how to clean your room. Just focus on that one job." She would reply, "My room is clean." I could easily come back with, "Sorry, Charlotte, but I saw pieces of paper all over your floor, and your laundry was "near" the hamper, but not "in" the hamper, and your bed looks like your still in it. You need to practice that job before you can move back up the ladder." Her face would drop and I would continue on with my own chores. Speaking of chores....I LOVE THIS STUFF!!!! It cleans great and smells wonderful! I feel like the Biggest Loser show....throwing a commercial into the middle of the post without you knowing! OK, back to Charlotte. The kicker came when she asked to make dinner....something she LOVES to do. "Sorry, honey, but that is way up the ladder.....you were there once and with some effort, you can make it again." All of a sudden her room was clean daily.....she has been allowed to move up a rung to unloading the dishwasher again. I explained that a dirty item would result in her stepping back a rung. So far, so good. Training daughters....it is no fun and I am not good at it!
Boys....let's talk boys for a minute. Zach is a master builder of Legos.He is also working hard to keep his room clean and his bed made. Since we moved all his toys downstairs, it has made it easier for him. We have also been working on "staying in bed at night" and let me say, he has done great! This kid was climbing out of his crib at 18 months and has been getting out of bed at night ever since. We put his bedtime back to 8 pm and told him when he could stay in bed 7 days in a row, he could have his "age appropriate" bedtime back. It worked....easy. Boys are a breeze!
Training kitten's is not hard either...."Go lay down, Sassy."Sassy is doing well....she always uses her litter box. She has not gotten on the counters, and she is willing to play whenever you want. She has a sinus infection and got a shot of antibiotics yesterday. She is eating well and is very playful, but her nose is stuffy and she sneezes alot. Dr. Frost thinks the shot will do the trick!I have spent most afternoons watching the Olympics and quilting.I am ready to turn the corner to the 3rd side of the quilt....my original goal was to be done with the body and starting the borders by Feb. 1st. Well that did not work out. Still, I will continue to work hard and cross this quilt off my list soon!
Of course, my chores will get done first!!! Gotta be that example! If you have a daughter, then you must read Mrs. Fuentes' article....again, you can find it by clicking here.Have a blessed day!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

In Honor Of The Olympics

The Winter Olympics start today. Here is Kyle lighting the Special Olympics torch....a HUGE honor for him, and one of my most proud "Mom Moments".He is a Gold Medal winner many times over!LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!!!!!