Saturday, December 26, 2009


The joy of Christmas is wonderful to see in the eyes of your kids.

Of course, mommy gets to enjoy Christmas too...

My mom and Paul are here! Hurray! Tomorrow we are taking advantage of the nice weather and going to the city.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Twas the night before Chirstmas

The children are nestled all snug in their beds...

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Snow! Finally, real snow in Jersey! Close to two feet. It's pretty funny how they respond to snow around here though. People went shopping the day before like a huge blizzard was coming and the schools were closed Monday even though the snow storm was over Saturday night... weird. It's just snow, right!

So, the kids got to play outside in the snow on Sunday... and again on Monday, and today too.

Hannah had a sleepover with her BFF Saturday night and I had to dig out the car before I could go get her. One of our fabulous neighbors came over with his snow-blower and took care of our driveway for us! Woo, hoo! I got the whole sidewalk around the house done before he came over. Before you buy a house on a corner lot consider how much sidewalk comes with it!

Since Christmas is right around the corner, already, Seth and I baked some cookies today. He is a great little helper.

Hannah wanted to make a gift for her friend so she stayed up late to make it with me. Those little wallets are adorable and easy. It would have been done much quicker but she wanted to do the sewing.

Lots to do before Friday. All the gifts are wrapped and under the tree but I need to get Christmas dinner stuff and get the house ready for my mom and brother! Yay, my mommy will be here!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Christmas has been good to me so far...

I got a delicious selection of batiks from my secret Santa and I won first prize for the quilt top challenge at the quilt guild meeting. Ok, it was a drawing, but I still won! First prize is.... (drum roll, please) free machine quilting on my quilt top! I took in this one:

I'll show it to you all when it's done!

Birthday boy!

I should be studying for my final tomorrow but I'd rather tell you about someone having a birthday. Simon turned 9 today. He took cookies to share with his class today. He wanted Chinese food for dinner tonight, so we had Chinese food. There's so much food that we'll be eating it for days!

All he's been asking us for is a guitar. Dan talked to some of his musician friends and they suggested learning on an electric guitar as apposed to an acoustic. We talked with Simon about what a big gift that would be and he was fine with it being a birthday/Christmas gift. Hannah got her present early too so why not. Santa better come through this year! Simon was so ecstatic to see the guitar he wanted. I sure hope he learns how to play it... quietly.

I am always amazed at how quickly they grow. He was a little just yesterday.

Alki Beach 2002.

Happy Birthday, Simon!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tree,desk, and ornaments

Busy day today. To start our day off nice and early, Dan and I drove to Pennington to pick up a desk for Hannah. She's been wanting a desk for a while and even asked for one for Christmas. I found a great used Pottery Barn desk off of craigslist. Desk, hutch, and chair for $100! Can't beat that. Since we were already in Pennington I got to run into the quilt store up there to get a gift I needed for the quilt guild meeting on Monday and a small little something for me too! I told Dan to put it under the tree since it was for Christmas.

On our way back home we decided to pick up the Christmas tree. The kids were off with Said at a cool miniature train place. (Only Said will take all my kids out by himself... yeah, we like him!) The kids have the most fun decorating the tree anyway. A little hot cocoa and Christmas music makes it all the more fun too!

I've made a few ornaments so far.

I decided to make a friendship star. I originally wanted to make these awesome snowflakes but as usual I don't have enough time. I really need to start much early. I think I said that last year... I don't know how quickly I'll get them all done, but once this last week of finals is over I can get to them quickly. Although it'll make shipping a bit much to get all the ornaments sent out the week of Christmas. I still need to get cards out... I don't like having all these things to do at once. Simon's birthday is next week too. He also has an appointment with the doctor to get the fit of his brace checked and an xray to see how his scoliosis curve is. Busy, busy, busy.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Daniel wanted me to post the picture I took of the kids for the Christmas card this year. It's amazing how many photos you have to take to get one where they aren't goofing off, looking away, or just plain ruining the photo! This one will do though.

I can't wait to hang the cards I get on the little tree I got. I think it's adorable.

The semester is almost over. I went to the doctor on Monday to get some shots so I can go attend college next semester. I haven't had one since I was maybe 12. I got a tetanus booster, the first of 3 Hep B shots, and a blood draw, all at once. The nice nurse gave Seth some stickers for being so good at the doctor... all I got was a sore shoulder.

I should be getting more info from GCU soon so I'll know who to meet with to get the finacial aid in order and what classes I need. (Did I mention that I got a scholarship too! Yay, for me!) Once we figure out what my schedule will be we can get Seth all taken care of. Oddly, my biggest worry isn't about if I can handle the school work, it's how Seth will do with mommy being away from him. I know he'll be fine but I can't help but worry about my babies.

Ok, I've got a few papers to write and some research to do so I better get to it!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Snow ball fight

Saturday night we got our first snow fall of the season. It didn't accumulate much, but that didn't stop the kids from going out to play in it. Said went out to play with them too. Snow is a novelty if you're from Arizona. I look at the snow and think, that's it?

Fun was had and hot cocoa awaited them inside. What more do you need after playing in the snow? A toasty fire, maybe....

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Sewing and cookies

I used my sewing machine again! It makes me so happy. Yes, that's all it takes to make me happy, a little bit of sewing time. I made two blocks and I think this will work out well. The pattern only calls for 6 blocks but most likely I'll need 12 blocks total. I haven't decided if I'm exactly doubling the quilt size or not. The blocks are 20" so they're pretty big. I don't think I want it with borders and all to come out to almost 80 x 100. That's ridiculously long for a full size width but I don't know if I'd want it 80 x 80 either.... oh, the decisions....

Tonight we are going to the Cub Scouts holiday party and we were asked to bring cookies along. Well, if it's Christmas time and I am asked for cookies, then I have to make Ginger Cookies!

Ginger Cookies

3/4 cup butter-flavored shortening*
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking soda

Cream together shortening, sugar, eggs and molasses. Sift flour, slat, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture.

Shape into small balls and roll in a bowl of sugar. Place on greased cookies sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool on sheet for 1 minute before removing to cooling racks.

For gingerbread men: Chill dough for 15 minutes, roll out to 1/4" thickness, cut out shapes, and bake as directed.

* I substituted a 1/2 cup of regular Crisco and 1/4 cup of butter.

These are some of my favorite cookies. They're also a good one to make if you'd like your kids to help. They can roll the dough into little balls and roll it in the sugar. Hannah actually did all the measuring for the dry ingredients this time. We also have made these cookies in the past for the teachers as a Christmas gift and given it to them along with a $5 coffee card. Simple and easy. You should try the cookies. Soooo delicious!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Quilt? Study? Neither...

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with a few of our dear friends. I made enough food to feed an army though. I can't help myself. Dan only wants turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. I like the side dishes too. So, I made baked yams, green beans tossed with almonds, roasted veggies, my grandma's fruit salad, and of course, we had the rolls and cranberry sauce. Yummy, yummy, yummy. I had to stop myself from making an acorn squash too. I love how you spend all day cooking, 20 minutes eating, and an hour cleaning it all up! It's totally worth it.

Simon helped us stuff the bird.

Seth worked on his own dinner while we prepared ours.

I'd love to now show you some pictures of all the quilting I did over the weekend but I didn't do anything. I just decided to do.... well, absolutely nothing. It felt fabulous. Sometimes you need to do that. I have stumbled upon some great quilting blogs recently and you should go check out all their delightful creations. The Sometimes Crafter, I have to say..., Portabellopixie, and crazy mom quilts. I know there are many more out there. Which one is your favorite?

I am quite torn over spending my time on school work when I'd much rather be indulging in my addictive, yet truly rewarding, quilting hobby.

Must. write. paper. and. study.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

College bound

I got some exciting news, I got into Georgian Court University's nursing program, and I start in January! I am very excited, yet nervous and scared. I've been a stay at home mom for so many years this will be a complete change of pace for our whole family. I've got a lot of things to figure out in the next month-ish before school starts. Mostly what were gonna do with Seth while I'm at school. It'll all work out. Baby steps here. I still can't believe I'll be a full time student so soon! Yay me!

A little Simon update- he is doing great. He seems to be mending just fine and hasn't turned into a werewolf yet. We're keeping a close eye on him though. When's the next full moon?

I had fun preparing some of our Thanksgiving foods for tomorrow. Pies are being brought to us so I didn't make them this year. The kids helped me make dinner rolls from scratch. I've always purchased them before. They're really easy to make. Time consuming but easy. Hopefully they'll taste as good as they look!

From this:

To this:

We also made cranberry sauce.

I am eagerly anticipating eating all the delcious food tomorrow. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Enjoy your four day weekend.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Emergency room visit

My son was bitten by a dog today. He went to the neighbors house to deliver the Cub Scout popcorn they ordered. Their dogs burst out of the door and went after him! Once we knew the bite had punctured his skin we knew he had to go to the ER. I actually ran over to the neighbors house and told/yelled them that this was absolutely NOT OK and I was taking my son to the ER and filing a police report.

Simon was great at the hospital. They had to flush the wound and bandage it. They apparently don't stitch dog bites. Thank God these people give their dog all their shots or we'd have to get Simon a rabies shot! He has to be on antibiotics though.

We talked to the police after we got home and filed a report. The hospital also files one with the health department. In a few days I can go in to file the formal complaint. I'm sure the neighbors love their dog but a dog that goes after a child unprovoked isn't a good dog and something will be done about it. One of our other neighbors saw it happen (silly me thought it'd be ok for my son to go to a friends house without his mommy) and he already told some of the other neighbors and he said he'd talk to the police for me if we needed it. Gotta love a small community! They even came over after we were home to make sure Simon was ok and they brought him a gift. So sweet!

I took some picture right before they bandaged Simon's leg up. I can't believe what this dog did to my kid. What if the dog hadn't stopped after just one bite? What about the rest of the neighborhood kids?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rag quilt part 2 and New Moon

All the raw edges were clipped and this was before I washed it.

All washed up!

The rag quilt is off to its new home. As is the last baby quilt I made. I went to the post office yesterday. It's nice to be done with a few projects. I have a big paper to do for my English class so I don't think I'll be playing with fabric this weekend. Maybe if I get the paper done quickly... 5 pages shouldn't be too hard...

Last night Hannah, Tiff and I went to see the midnight showing of New Moon. We got to the theater at like 10 pm and there were a lot of people already there. Most of them in Twilight shirts! They had 4 theaters showing it. The movie was pretty much what I expected it be and Hannah loved it. There were many oh's, ah's, and hooting during the movie. I loved that people gasped at times during the movie. Seriously? You wouldn't be in the theater if you weren't a bit of a twihard, that probably means you've read ALL the books, and you're surprised when something happens? Really? I have to say, the eye candy was yummy even if some of it was jail bait...

I got Hannah home and in bed by 3 am. She got up at 7 for school without a complaint. I expect by the end of the day she'll be quite the grouch. I'm fine but I don't require as much sleep. I'm glad I got to go do this with her. Not to say that every movie she wants to see at midnight we'll go to but at least I know she can handle it.

Picture taken on Tiff's phone.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rag quilt

Rag quilts are so awesome. Quick, easy, adorable, soft and cozy. It shouldn't take long to finish up and then I can slowly begin the wedding quilt. I might hold off on it until Christmas break though. I'll have a break from school which means I might actually be able to accomplish some crafting!

I decided to make this quilt 30" x 35" with 5" finished blocks. (The layout will be 6 x 7 which would give you 42 blocks on the front. 42 for the back as well.) Cut 84 6" blocks. Sew the front and back together at the same time, with the raw edges on the front side, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Once it's all sewn together, stitch 1/2" around the outside too, clip the raw edges, and wash it up. Done.

I'll show you the results when I'm done. You can make the blocks any size you want. You can even add batting in the middle for added warmth but you have to stitch it down to secure it. Really, these quilts are fun and easy. Clipping the raw edges is the challenging part but with a good pair of spring action scissors it goes much faster.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Fabric and trebuchets

It was so wonderful to go to the fabric store all by myself! No small people to distract me. Just me, myself, and I. I brought home some yummy batiks for a wedding quilt. I made an executive decision about the color way. I think this is going to be awesome!

Since I don't have a lot of quilt action going on here I'm going to post progress pictures as I go. The recipient won't be shocked by the gift but at least they'll know I worked hard on it. I still maintain my return policy. If you don't like it please give it back. I can always use another quilt in my house and I can always buy someone a blender instead. :)

While I was out gallivanting around I also went slumming at Joann's.

I picked up some flannels for a quick baby quilt and a few fun ones to make pillow cases for the kids. The little stinkers have already seen the fabrics so there's no surprising them now! Also during my trek I noticed that my car was shaking pretty bad. Now, I don't speak Car and Driver but I do know that this is a bad thing. We were planning on going to the Punkin Chunkin in Delaware and I wasn't ok with the idea of driving my car all the way down there and back. I'd hate to get stranded 3 hours away from home. Our wonderful friends helped us out so we could still go by letting us use their car. It was tight fit in a Jetta but we knew the car wouldn't have any problems with the trip. Only good friends let you take their car to another state!

The punkin chunkin was... interesting. It's hard for the kids to track the thrown pumpkin and you couldn't see where they landed either. Then the kids had to wait for the next attempt to track the thrown pumpkin. Boredom set in. I think the grown men had more fun than the kids.

Unfortunately, it wasn't interesting enough to hold the kid attention for very long though. After driving 3 hours there they were ready to go home after 2 hours. Oh, well. It was easier to head out than to watch the kids get crankier and crankier. Oddly, it was a hot day in the sun and they had to stand. Take chairs if you go.

Oh, and if you're ever driving down HW 13 in DE and the speed limit sign says 45, slow down quickly, the tickets are expensive. He pulled two of us over at once. How's that for efficiency.