Peek A Boo Quilt

Peek A Boo Quilt
The Peek A Boo Quilt, one of my favorite quilting accomplishments!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mommy Guilt

After a full weekend of single parenting, I'm ready for a break.

Church has been a challenge with Allie, ever since I was pregnant with her.  Of course, instead of feeling like I would pass out or puke, now I have to deal with non-stop active girl.  A girl that would be super happy if I let her wander among everyone, and even happier if she could sing and talk at full volume whenever she wants.

I used to enjoy church.  I don't so much anymore.  It's a weekly chore.  I love my chosen faith and I like the church family we're a part of right now.  The only problem is there is no nursery.  Which means by default the congregation decided that they'd rather have the children in the church and hear them.  Which is fine, but does not allow for the parents to be spiritually refilled.  How can a mama get anything from the sermon when keeping the goldfish crackers from being thrown or ground in the floor, hoping the current activity for said 23 month old to keep her quiet for just 30 more seconds while using mommy super-powers to come up with another activity when that one gets old.  Where exactly does that leave time for hearing God's word and digesting it.

Today we didn't make it through the service.  I couldn't do it.  The people around us deserved to be able to remember something about the service other than how annoying/cute/busy a certain little girl is.

As I was driving away from church today, this thought occurred to me.  The most effective and successful momma's I know are the most selfless ones.  You have to be willing to be selfless as a parent, especially as the primary parent.  You give things up and don't let the resentment about that affect your behavior.  I, however, am not that wonderful, effective and successful momma.  I am selfish.  I resent that I am not able to what I want, when I want, or how I want. I have to take the girls, especially Allie into consideration. 

I was almost in tears, then to break the tension, turned on the local K-Love radio.  I couldn't sit through service, have communion or hear the sermon, but I was able to be fed spiritually - just a bit, and I feel better.

How in the world could I be resentful of these two?

And now I get to pray and realize that I'm not perfect, and that God chose me to be Mother to my girls.  That somehow I'm more suited to this job for them than anyone else in the world.

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.

I repeat that verse alot.  Repeat it with me. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Back to Sharing

I don't even know when the last time I wrote was.  Probably sometime this summer.

I've been wanting to post for a while, but have been procrastinating because it's been so long.

I've missed writing my thoughts and sharing my pictures.

I've accomplished lots of quilting and learned some things.

I've contined to parent, sometimes alone, sometimes with Hubby, sometimes with my mom.

I'm finally beginning to feel "at home" in this house only to realize that our time left here is probably shorter than the time already spent here.  That makes me sigh.

I have so many wonderful friends.  I want to have a big party and just celebrate all my wonderful friendships.  I've never done anything like that, it's out of my comfort zone and I'd have to clean.

I need to download and organize all the pictures I've taken this summer.

I need to continue to keep record of the quilts and projects I've done.  That is overwhelming to me.

I worry that the next place I live won't be near a quilt store.

I've ordered my first DSLR camera and I'm anxiously awaiting it's arrival.  It was supposed to be a Christmas present, but I didn't want to wait that long.  My "good" camera died.  I really want to capture the Laurel Highlands this last fall and winter here.  I also want to have a working knowledge of it, so I can capture Christmas this year.

I need to go get the girls ready.  Hubby is meeting a friend and his family for lunch and we get to go too.

Have a Blessed Day!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer is Hot

Today is hot.  It's a perfect beach day.  The only problem is that we're back in PA. We arrived yesterday - with the hot weather.

"Windows" in our drizzle castles.
The girls and I spent the last few weeks up in MI at my mom's, in the house where I grew up.  It seems so much smaller now than it did then.  The bonus of going home when Hubby is TDY, is that mom's house is less than a mile from Lake Huron.  The beach.  White sand.  And at this time of year, cooooold water.

Bug added a water feature to
the castle which evenually
collapsed it.
We didn't get to go to the beach, but 3 times while we were up there. Partly because the weather was just too cool and kind of rainy.  And, truth be told, I like the concept of the beach much more than I actually like being there. 

Our last visit to the beach, the day before we came home was wonderful.  We left Baby Pie at home with Gramma.  The temperature was in the mid to upper 70's and there was a stiff breeze blowing.  We went in the late afternoon, so the sun was behind me, when I was watching Bug in the water.  Bug and I made drizzle sand castles, and she played in the water much more than I did.  I waded in, just enough to rinse the sand off my legs.  At one point I actually layed down on the towel and enjoyed the mild temp and the breeze and could have fallen asleep.

It was a 9 hour drive back yesterday.  I am so thankful for our van.  However, she needs some new shoes.  Her treads are about gone.  So, tomorrow, I get to take her to the shop and drop about $800.  Ack. Cough.  I have much more fun things I'd rather spend that money on, but our safety is worth it.

We, with most of the country, are having a heat wave.  Yuck.  Our hosue doesn't have air conditioning, so it's blasted hot.  Currently 85 degrees in the house.  The bonus is that we're not out in the sun in the heat and humidity and can have fans blowing on us.  I honestly hate sweating.  I've come to terms with sweating when I work out, but when I'm just sitting, or walking around the house I do not wish to be sticky.  I do not like feeling as though I need multiple showers in a day. 

Tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter.  Yuck.  I bought a kiddie pool at WalMart today.  It has a slide built in, but need some assembly.  I have to put in the handle and screw it in place.  At this point, that sounds like way more work and sweat than I'm willing to do.  Got it put together and water in it.  Of course it had a hole, I patched with duct tape...  After the sun hits it tomorrow, it'll feel great in the afternoon.

Friday, June 8, 2012

First Beach Day of 2012

Blue skies, white fluffy clouds, a great breeze, warm sand, clear water, a close to shore super shallow sandbar and you have my ultimate day at the beach.

Here are some pics of our first day at the beach of the year.

Sigh - don't you just wish you could hang out with me and the girls?

If my big sister is doing it, I want to too!

And what a great big sis she is!

This is exactly how I feel about perfect beach days!

Lovin' her toes in the sand.

She's laying on the sandbar.

I'll leave you with one of my all time favorite views. 

I do truly wish you all could experience a beautiful beach day like this one, they don't happen nearly frequently enough!

Someday I'll be able to run my pics through Photoshop to make them look like they should.  Just have to figure out how to use it!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Summer of C25K Training Begins!

Check it out here!
I have signed my family up for the Color Me Rad 5K race in Pittsuburgh on August 25.  I have no doubt that Hubby and Baby Pie will make it through the race just fine.  Bug and I on the other hand will need to definately train up for it.  I named our team Mandatory Fun, because I think that's just what the training for this will be like.

I found a C25K app on my Droid.  That's  Couch to 5K.  It's a training program that take you from your couch to running a 5K in 8 weeks.  We have about 12 weeks til the race, but I have a feeling I'm going to need to do some of the training weeks a couple of times.

We have found a wonderful trail, a short drive from our house.  It's just over 2 miles long total, so will be good for us to use while we're here.  It is very shady and has awesome views of the river.  We walked the trail twice, once with our "regular" stroller which didn't like going over the gravel and bumps very well.  And we walked it a second time with the new bike trailer converted to jogging stroller that we bought for just this purpose.  It works much better.

Today was our first official C25K training day.  We did a 5 minute warmup walk then 8 sets of jogging (here after I'll be calling it running) for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds.  Then a 5 minute cool down, which was more like 10+ because it's and out and back trail and the extra little bit of walking does a body good.

It was very hard to get out of the house this morning.  Hubby left for his 3 weeks of Annual Training at midnight, so we all slept in.  Then I had a hard time getting everyone moving toward the door.  I actually had a meltdown of my own.  I beat my head against the freezer door - I really did I'm ashamed to say - and I cried.  Big huge tears and sobs of frustration.  I know I need to do this to be healthy - but it would have been so much easier to just let the girls play and watch tv, and all I was getting from my almost 11 year old was resistance.

Finally got in the van and moving and I apologized for my behavior and tried to explain what I was feeling.

After the run/walk we both felt quite triumphant.  I'm proud that we're getting out and moving and that hopefully I'm showing Bug that running isn't all pain and agony and it can be enjoyable.

We're headed up to MI to my mom's house in a few days and we'll stay up there for a couple of weeks.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around the 24/7 single parent life - again.  My goal is to pick up and clean the house so when we come home it's welcoming and not the tragic chaos that is surrounding me now.

A bonus for travelling so much this summer, I justified the purchase and installation of a remote starter for the van because boarding the cat is so ridiculously expensive.

I feel bad for all of us that Hubby will be gone so much this summer.  Bug has 87 days off from school.  Hubby will only be home for 32 of them.  That's way less than half.  The bonus is that of those 32, he's taking 20 of them as leave, so we'll have him all to ourselves!

Well, off to be the house-slave and pick up, clean and orgainize.  Bug is my anti-organizer.  She follows me around and undoes all the "good" I do.  Sigh.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Baby Quilts

Wow, I'm behind in publishing the pictures of my latest two quilts.  I have several friends that I do playdates with on a regular basis and I've decided to make quilts for their kids, or kids to be as the case may be.

I started with a charm pack (40-ish 5x5-inch squared) and the same number of white squares and sewed them together  to make 1/2 square triangles.
I then sewed the 1/2 square triangles together to create pinwheels.
After deciding on how to lay out the pinwheels and adding borders I was able to quilt.  I love this part of quilting.   For me it's very calming.  You can see the stippling that has been done and the plain fabric in front of the needle that has yet to be done.  These two quilts quilted up quickly - almost too fast for my taste.  (That was a lot of "q" words in one sentence.)

The right quilt is for Aria - daughter of my friend Annie.  She received her quilt for her 2nd birthday.  The left quilt is for Piper, daughter to be of the same friend.  Annie received Piper's quilt at her surprise baby sprinkle a few weeks ago.

This is the back of Aria's quilt.  I like to get "artsy-fartsy" and add fun things to the back of my quilts every so often.  Hubby and Bug both say that it looks like I've run out of material and had to add something extra to make up for it.  Silly people.

Here's the back of Piper's.  I like that you can really see where I did and didn't quilt. 

I really like the effect I achieved on the corners of Aria's quilt.  I had a vision in my head of what I wanted it to look like and it turned out just right!
I also played and played with the blocks before I ended up doing a diagonal color stripe design.  That was lots of fun. It took up several days worth of nap times for me to make my final decision.
As you can see, the borders of Piper's quilt aren't quite so fancy.  However, since I figured all babies love tags of sorts her quilt is framed with prairie points.  I love the effect, and it really wasn't too difficult to do either.

Here's a semi-close up of the prairie points.

I'm also pretty proud of their names.  I appliqued them.  I attempted applique several years ago and it was a complete disaster and I swore I'd never do it again.  Ha!  Never say never.  I took my time and, though they're by no means the best applique I've ever seen, it's my best and far far from my worst.

I went to a quilt shop a few weeks ago and they had charm packs on sale for quite reasonable prices, so I stocked up.  These quilts were my first time using charm packs, and I must say I really enjoyed them.  Needless to say, I have bunches more to make more quilts with.  I wonder if anyone would buy one?

Looking forward to completing my next project - a rope bag!  The next baby quilt for play date friend doesn't need to be done til September, so I have time to play with other projects for a while.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Ok, I admit - I love all things lemon.

I love lemonade.

I hate being fat.

I love lemonade.

I hate being fat even more.

It occurred to me 3 days ago that I have been drinking waaaaaaay to much.  This fact occurred to me after I made my second pitcher of lemonade in one day.  I finished off the pitcher from the day before, so maybe there was one glass.  Then I made a pitcher.  By the time Bug was to be home from school I had finished off the pitcher and was making a second.  It hit me - Baby Pie doesn't drink lemonade, neither do Kiki the cat or Sasha Dog.  I, as in me, as in the skinny person trapped in this fat body, drank 2 quarts of lemonade.  All by myself.  I can't do just a little, obviously. 

I have quit lemonade.  I'm day two of water only.  I'm feeling pretty good about myself.  I haven't totally given up sugary drinks.  I allow myself a can of Wild Cherry Pepsi for breakfast.  I don't do coffee, can't stand the taste of the stuff without lots of sugar and cream, so I figure for about the same calories I can drink what I prefer.  I also have a can for lunch.  I was doing this in addition to the lemonade before, so I've not really added anything.

Here is the proof of my lemonade consumption.  The Tang container on the left is the size of the container a normal person would purchase lemonade in.  The industrial size Country Time container is how I purchase my lemonade, in multiples from Sam's Club. 

We were going through one of these huge containers every couple of weeks.  I now realize that it was more like I was going through one of these every few weeks as no one else in the house drinks it in the volume I do.

The bonus is that I don't find myself snacking nearly as much either.  I have found that my normal snacks, white cheddar cheezits or cookies don't taste nearly as good with plain water, so I'm just not munching on them.

Today, as a treat, I purchased a Brita in the fridge filtered water dispenser.  I'd been thinking about getting one for a while.  Yesterday, Bug told me she'd drink more water if it was bottled.  Um - no, I'm not going to purchase bottled water when we can get it straight from the tap.  I think her point was that bottled water is typically refrigerated and colder than what we get from the tap.  Her comment and my "aha moment" led to me sipping my first glass of refrigerated filtered water on the rocks.
Took me a few minutes to get it taken and uploaded.  I need a refill now!

What simple changes are you going to make to be healthier?

Have a great day!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Spring Photos

Ok, here are the pics of my girls by Jason Bafile Photography.  I love them all and am so thrilled to be able to share them!  This is the first time we've ever done a non-studio photo shoot - what a great experience.  I'm sold, we'll definately be doing this again!

The last two are my favorites, what are yours?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sanity Saver

Dimensions 10.5" x 12.5" x 4.5"
and 18" handles.
For all the wonderful-ness of this past weekend, this week hasn't been all that easy at all.  Looking back to Monday it's obvious that Baby Pie was getting sick.  Tuesday, we went to our last MOPS meeting of the year.  And man, has this year just flown by!  By the time we stopped at the store after MOPS, Baby Pie was looking extra worn out and glassy eyed.  When she woke up from her nap she was burning up.  In went the Tylenol - she does not like Tylenol and is very skilled at spitting for distance.  I didn't add anymore to the dose, but what ever did manage to get down her throat made a huge difference.  She fell asleep again and I sat down to sew.

I started this bag on Thursday night at quilting.  I had 14 extra squares left from making the baby quilts.  I decided to make a bag and left the two very plain squares out - they'll find a home in something else at some point.  I managed to get the outside designed, cut and sewed and the inside cut, so that when I was at home all I'd have left to do was the quilting and the assembly.

4 pockets on the inside.
I was able to completely finish the bag yesterday.  Yay me!  It was a wonderful zen place to take my mind from worrying about Baby Pie, and Hubby working super late multiple nights this week, and what to do with Bug this summer.

Here it is.  I think the colors are wonderful, but really don't have a use for it.  Ok, I can always use another bag, but honestly I need a little income to feed this fabric habit of mine.  I think I'm going to try to sell it for $30 plus shipping if my buyer isn't local.  Any takers?

 I've begun hunting precut "charm packs" online because I really enjoyed this project and can see making more of them if there is interest.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

I think I have had potentially my best mothers day yet, or should I say weekend?  I was able to go quilting on Thursday night.  Friday, the driveway was seal coated and we just had a lazy day at the house.  I did get to go grocery shopping by myself Friday evening, always a treat. 

Saturday, we went to Brookville to deliver computers to a unit there from Hubby's unit.  I got to eat lunch with an "old" friend - we haven't seen each other in 20 years - and we spent a few hours chatting and watching my girls playing and her sons (teenagers) awkwardly watching them.  After we parted ways, Hubby and the girls let me go to the local quilt shop, where I spent an hour or more drooling over all kinds of fabric, and dreaming of projects that I could do.

Yesterday the weather man was calling for only a 20% chance of rain for today.

Today we were planning to go to the Pittsburgh Zoo, however, it rained and rained and rained.  We didn't give up though.  While we were driving there and the sprinkles turned to drizzle and then to rain, we decided to either go to the Carnegie Science Museum or the Pittsburgh Children's Museum.  The Children's Museum won out.  We figured that it was designed better for Baby Pie.  I had a great time watching both my girls explore and play.  Both Hubby and I were able to explore and play with them.

We were able to try out our "new to us" Kelty Framed Backpack Stroller.  Hubby loved it because it's narrower than our graco.  Baby Pie seemed to really enjoy it too, because she was up higher and able to see better, or at least that's what we think.

I am truly blessed.  After needing help to have Bug and being told that we wouldn't be able to get pregnant again, then having Baby Pie, the wonder and perfect timing of God's plans truly amaze me.

I'll add photos later, if I remember to at all.

I remembered to add the pictures!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hello again...

It has been a loooong time since I physically picked up my Bible and read from it.  I have been doing a daily devotion from Joyce Meyer through an app on my phone.  But, today I felt the call, the need to physically hold my bible, turn the pages and read.

It took me a few minutes to find my old friend.  I knew where it should be and it was there, but buried under a seldom used journal and a box of my husbands computer stuff, on the shelf of my nightstand.

I didn't know what I was going to read.  Hadn't thought that far ahead when I felt the pull to read from it. 

I wiped off a layer of dust, (I'm embarrassed to admit that) and took a quick photo of it to celebrate my reunion.  Since Bug was watching Cars 2 in the living room, and I am quite sure I would have napped had I chosen to read in bed, I decided to read on the front porch.

Our front porch has seen more inviting days - currently with the sand and water table on it, there is a thin dusting of sand all over the floor.  It's quite thick around the table.  That did not deter me.  It's a mild day here - blue sky, white fluffy clouds, mid-70's, a little humid but with a soft breeze.  Balmy.

I stared at my Bible.  Flipped through the pages. They make the most delightful crinkly sound.  Quickly looked at a few of the bits and scraps of paper stuck in it here and there hoping for inspiration.  Nothing.  I then said a quick prayer - "Ok God, the Holy Spirit has moved me to open your book of love letters to me, where should I read."  I then noticed several page corners folded over, from something being shoved against them, and said alright, I'll look here.  The first folded over page was at the beginning of Hebrews 11 and the folds ended at the end of the book of 1 Peter.  I read them all.  Amazed at the profound things I'd read before and underlined.  Wondering what the significance was for me then.  Wishing I'd brought a pencil out to underline things now.  Realizing that I think when I underline in the future, I'll put a date with it to jog my memory.

It was pretty neat to read with a "fresh" mind.  I also enjoyed that my Diakonia education came popping back out at certain points. 

Hoping for a wonderful and peaceful evening with the family!  Grab your Bible and read.  Not for a devotion, not for classwork, just for the joy of reading.  It's a wholly different experience!

Happy Reading!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sunset, Sand and Sleep

I wanted to share the sunset from yesterday evening with you.  It was really beautiful.  I wish I had a better view, without my neighbors house directly across the street.    Shades of pinks, purples and blues. 

It was an 80 degree day and the evening didn't cool down nearly quickly enough.  I'm looking forward to our next move (date and location to be determined) because our next house will have air conditioning!

Bug came home from school not feeling very well, but she found some energy reserve to play with Baby Pie at the sand and water table.

I added polished aquarium stones and acrylic aquarium gems to it today.  Since Baby Pie has a love for collecting stones from the road, I figured maybe the porch would be just as fun if there were some stones to collect there.

I believe my theory was marginally successful.  However the sand sieve is difficult for her to use because you need to hold it at such a big angle to actually scoop with it.  I think a slotted spoon may be a better choice.  I'll try to find one at the dollar store in the next few days.

Unfortunately the energy reserve ran out and on this 80 degree day, my poor Bugger-boo felt so bad that she actually went to bed and curled up under her quilt.  I asked her if I could open the windows in her room so at least she'd have some moving air and she emphatically refused.  She slept hard for about 4 hours.  I'm hoping she's able to sleep tonight. 

Poor Hubby has a super long drill weekend.  He'll be at work til at least 10pm tonight.  Tomorrow, he's taking off work so we can go to Wheeling for a memorial service for his cousin.  Hope to be home before the wee hours of Sunday morning.  Then he has to work all day Sunday too.  On top of it, he has a paper that needs to be turned in by Sunday night.  I don't know who'll be more happy when he's done with all his schooling (for the near future) in September.

I wilt in the heat.  Needless to say, I have barely done any work today.  I desperately need to get laundry completed and the house picked up.  We have a handyman coming over tomorrow to do an estimate for a repair to the tile in our tub.  Sigh.  I also have a stack of dishes in the sink.  They were on the counter around the sink, til I spilled lemonade and had to clean that up. Ha.