Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December Happenings

Finally I got the Christmas tree up.  I did not do as much decorating this year as I normally do, because we have been so busy.  The kids have had all sorts of activities.  Iris has had her orchestra concert and her vocal concert. 
I actually caught her smiling!
I have traveled alot this winter and am glad that we are staying put for Christmas.  We traveled last weekend to Southern Illinois for Nathan's graduation.  He was one of the (very) few non internationals receiving a masters degree in electrical and computer engineering.
It was hard to get a good picture of him, since he was so far away.  While we were there we celebrated Zadok's 7th birthday.
On the quilting front, I finished two items this month.  I finished the mystery quilt that we started in a workshop with the guild.  I quilted it on the machine.  I am getting better, I can just about do a straight line!
I also finished a baby quilt for a neighbor.  I forgot to take a picture of it when I completed it, but took some when I was trying to quilt it.  The cat is soooo helpful in all that I do!
He has an expression of "This is my quilt...so back away lady"
Another fun opportunity I had this month was to set a table for a ladies dinner at church.  I used my everyday dishes and silverware so I felt I had to pump up the centerpiece and the accessories.  I used mismatched china and put old broaches on the napkin rings I made. I made the topiary, music garland, and some signs.  My theme was "Let Heaven and Nature Sing".  I used old sheet music as the accents on the votives.

Well, I better go.  I have to prepare for another birthday party for Zadok, finish shopping for gifts, and figure out what I will be making for Christmas dinner!

Friday, November 4, 2011


We have now had a hard frost and the garden has stopped producing.  We were able to get beans and tomatoes up to Halloween, which makes up for not producing much in the middle of summer.  I have been trying hard to get some things done.  I have completely finished two quilts.  I made a lap quilt for my mom with a line of fabric called Lilac Hill.  The pattern was from a book called scrap basket sensations and is made up of 2 1/2 inch strips.  I had it quilted by a local long-armer.  I hope she likes it!
 I also completely finished by paper piecing project. I quilted it myself with a simple pattern of triangles.
 Another project I hope to complete soon is the block of the month from the Pella Area Quilters Guild.  I love the color scheme, but I did not think about the finished project when I started making the blocks.  If I was smart I would have used the same background fabric for all blocks.  All the blocks have the same range of colors, so I hope it will work.
On the home front,we had a very busy Halloween.  We had two parties and then trick or treating.  We put a little more effort in decorating the house.  I think it was a success.  Several 8-9 year old boys said the house was haunted or "creeeepy", which was the effect we were looking for.  We put a ghost on the second story.  I used white fabric and then lit it with a black light.  We also used some pillars that I picked up at What Cheer and placed it in front of the porch and put our gargoyles on it.  We used lots of candles and the effect was nice.  I did not get any pictures of the kids or Nathan.  I am a bad mom for taking pictures of my kids.
The kids have been busy also.  We went on a camping trip with the Boy Scouts.  It actually went alot smoother then I thought it would and we now think we will try to camp more next summer.  The boy scouts had several stations set up and Zadok had a good time tying knots, shooting guns, etc.
Iris has been busy.  She has joined show choir and is still active in orchestra.  Last weekend she participated in a festival with other middle school orchestras.  They practiced all day and then had a concert at night.  I ended up chaperoning because no other parents volunteered.  It was not that stressful.  Orchestra kids are not really known for their trouble making antics.  It was hard to get a picture of her, she was toward the back of the stage.  They sounded pretty good for a group of middle school kids.
Today the kids have the day off and we are enjoying doing nothing!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Random Life

It has been hot here.  The cats have been feeling it and are hogging the cool air.  This is a position I find Mr. Nibbles in quite often.
I went and got a henna tattoo with some friends on Friday.  A gal around here does it for a free will donation to Voice of the Martyrs.
I have been forcing my children to play Settlers of Catan.  I like playing games, but I have a bit of an addiction issue to video games, so I tend to leave them alone.  I suspect that I will have to start paying them to play Settlers with me in the future.  Here is a board that Iris won.  We know that it was not following the rules precisely, but she liked the way that she dominated the board.  She is the white pieces.
My garden is producing alot of tomatoes and green beans.  I know what we will be having for supper.  This is today's and yesterday's yield.  I have been playing the part of the "tomato fairy" frequently for my friends.
I am glad that I planted a cutting garden this year.  It is nice to have some fresh flowers around the house.  I often but some basil in the arrangements and that makes them smell very nice.
I have a better idea of what to do with the garden next year.  Number one on the list is plant less tomatoes.  I am also going to try to have a better variety of vegetables.   I suppose I need to write these things down before next spring comes and I go buying 10+ tomato plants again!

End of Summer Happenings

Wow!  We have been busy.  All within the last month we took a mini vacation with just me and the kids to Missouri, kids have started school again, and in general been very busy.  We went to Silver Dollar City.  We were brave and tried riding powder keg again.  Last summer when we were at SDC we rode it and a sensor tripped and the ride stopped at the top of the highest hill.  We had to climb out of the ride and walk down the side of the track.  I was proud of the kids because they did not panic.  It did give us a great story though.  This is the first time back on it and as you can see Iris is a bit apprehensive.  We ended up riding 3 times.  Kids loved the roller coasters this time around.
 We also went to Bass Pro and Lamberts with grandma.  I should not even buy a meal for Zadok, he eats only the rolls and we bring the rest of his meal home with us.
 On the way back to Iowa we go through the Osage Beach/Camdenton area.  We stopped and went through Bridal Cave.  The kids went through the cave at SDC earlier this spring and it really made an impression on Zadok.

 We also stopped at Ha Ha Tonka. Zadok thinks we should live in a castle like this. 
Living in Iowa, I miss having lots of interesting things within a 2 hour drive.  Anyway....

Kids started school two weeks ago, but it has been difficult to get into a routine.  We still have days that are beastly hot and most schools around here do not have air conditioning.  The first week of school they got out early two days and again two days this week.  I do not blame them.  By ten in the morning some of the classrooms are close to 100 degrees.  Z's school does not have air conditioning and I can tell that when I pick him up he is exhausted.  I did not get very good "1st day of school" pics.  Iris rode her bike with a friend and Z and I walked to his school.  Here is Iris looking pretty in her new clothes.
 She had a flat tire, so she watched while her friend pumped it up.
 Here is Zadok all slicked down and clean.
You would think that with kids back in school I would have more time for cleaning and such, but no.  I have been home for about two seconds in the last two weeks.  I am hoping to have more time in about two more weeks.  I help with AWANA at church and we are getting ready for kickoff, so that is where most of my time is spent these days.  I am ready to get into a routine and for the weather to be a bit more fall like, except that means winter is around the corner and I am not ready for that!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I don't know if there is a psychological condition that manifests itself in chronic unfinished projects.  If there is, I have it.  I have an unfinished dissertation, unfinished house remodel, unfinished quilts, unfinished everything.  I admit that my favorite part of anything is the planning and the design.  Actually doing the work to see completion, not so much the favorite.  Anywho...I wanted to post some unfinished projects, hoping that this will spur me to a great personality change and lead me down the road to finishing.  Probably not.

Our unfinished office:

Don't you love the pink flowers?  I have paint colors chosen, light fixtures and fabrics bought, extra desk procured, etc.  Just have to do it now. 

These are some of the quilt blocks that I have made:
 Stars made from charm packs.
 This is supposed to be a quilt for Zadok. I have to add sashing.
 These are fun string blocks.
 I have to figure out how to incorporate these fabrics and blocks together.
 Star experiments
Lots of green....

I also have quite a few quilt tops done, I just have to quilt them or have them quilted.
 These I set on point,  I actually really like the way this one turned out.
 Arkansas Crossroads.
 A purple quilt for Iris
 A fallish type quilt that the cat likes
 A simple Irish Chain
 Film Strip?  I liked the fabrics.
 A kaleidoscope quilt.  I might make another one of these someday.
 One of my own designs
 Underground Railroad.  I call it my Pond Quilt.
 I call this Garden Windows, also my own design.  I messed up the squaring up of the blocks and the seams do not match.
A rainbow quilt, also a favorite of the cats.

There are some quilts that I am putting a little more thought and time into and these are the ones that I am most likely to finish soon.
 This is my clamshell/log cabin quilt.  I need to finish sewing the rows together.  I WILL have this one done by the Tulip Time quilt show.  Each of the strips for the log cabin finishes at either 1inch or a 1/2 inch. 
 These are kaleidoscope blocks all made from one fabric. I am not real thrilled how this one is working out.
 This is my neptune quilt:  I love this one also.  I made three types of blocks for this one:
 The field is a type of star.
I did paper piecing for the corner blocks.  
I did a series of greekish type blocks for the outer border.The issue with this quilt is figuring out the measurements for the sashing and such to make it all go together.

Everything would go much quicker if I could just teach the cats to quilt.

They love to lay down on whatever I am working on.