Friday, July 31, 2009

sewing classes

This summer a friend of mine and I taught four weeks of sewing camp to beginner seamstresses. Most fell within the 7-13 year old range, and all were adorable. They learned sewing machine basics (how to thread the machine, make a bobbin), how to sew stitches and the different ways to manipulate the stitches. They made a heart pillow, a pillowcase, a tote bag, a skirt, an owl pillow, and we even got into quilting in a couple of the classes that worked at a faster pace.

We were so scared the first week, but by the second or third day, we felt pretty comfortable with what we were doing. By this week, our last, we were old hands at it. Today was the last day of the last camp. What fun. I have also taught a few students on an individual basis because they were unable to make any of the camps, and that was neat, too, teaching one-on-one.

I realized in the process that my daughters wanted to learn to sew, too. Number 3 actually went to the first week of camp and did quite well. Number 1 (the patient, loving, helpful, mature-all-of-a-sudden firstborn, whom shall be referred to in this sentence as Cinderella because she babysat and cooked for me while I was teaching - but making a ton of cash for it, by the way, so it wasn't all THAT grueling!) mentioned in passing that she would love to know how to sew. I kept looking for an opportunity to sit down with her, but the summer has just flown by. Today, though, all of our patience paid off. Today was that day.

We had planned to go school shopping. (In two weeks she will be a freshman in high school!) But the wee ones had not napped and I was not about to do that to myself (take two cranky kids to Target, are you kidding me?!?!) Rather, I put a movie on for #4 and 5 and sat down at the dining room table with her in front of the sewing machine. She was a quick study and in no time she not only had the machine and the stitches down, but had made a cute drawstring backpack that she will be able to use for gym class (which she has FIRST period - bless her heart, she is gonna have to be sweaty the very first class of the day).

She has blossomed into an even more wonderful person this summer and I have sooo enjoyed her company. eeek! How will either of us survive her going to high school I wonder?!?! Whenever I get that cold, clammy feeling about it all, I remember the glimpses I have seen this summer of what she will be like as an adult and I relax.... it's a very good thing.

But, still if it's possible, could someone please clip the wings of time?

the critic's review

Wendy's Asian Sweet & Spicy chicken


(unless you have not had your recommended daily allowance of cardboard, in which case, get the fries too)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

having a ball

A masquerade ball that is!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

much needed prayer time

King and all the kids have gone to a family reunion for the day in Tryon, NC, which is a few hours away. After having the kids all week at the beach, he decided I needed a day off. So this whole day is mine. Whoo hooo!

It's hard to get direction as to what to get accomplished (for instance, it's noon and I'm still in my nightgown - how decadent!). There is a TON of laundry which needs to be done - bedding from 8 beds at the beach, towels, bathing suits, clothes, etc. The house is a wreck, so on and so forth. I've slowly been working through the piles of laundry and I really want to work on a sewing project which "upcycles" men's dress shirts I got from thrift stores into little girls' dresses.

However, I know I was WAY behind on some much needed prayer time. So, I switched the laundry, got everything else "at bay" and sat on the couch and just prayed. Using my rosary beads, and along with the rosary prayers, I let the Holy Spirit guide my heart and head and prayed for so many things - a different prayer for each bead. It was such a nice way to encompass prayers for so many people I care for. I prayed for safety, protection, healing, and so on for family, friends, our country, the Church, our priests/pastors... the list goes on. It was truly a joy and I really look at the time as a gift.

I struggle with so many things and I KNOW full well that prayer is the answer. Why then do I not take more time to spend in prayer? Not only would it bring me ever closer to Christ, but it would bring me such peace and deep joy. What's wrong with me that I let other things get in the way? It is similar to my struggle with exercising/eating right... why in the world do I not take the time to do what is right?

I am definitely a "work in progress" and cannot throw any stones at the Israelites for wandering around in the desert for 40 years. Heck, I'm going to be 42 soon and I'm still lost.

For today, though, I am very thankful for the quiet time I was able to spend in prayer.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

rested, relaxed, and sun-kissed

Ahhhhh. Just got back from a week at the beach with my crayzee (but favorite) sistah. When we finally got to the beach each day that we went, it was so relaxing to sit at the shore and watch the kids have a good time.

While we were there, I mentally compiled a list of some of my favorite, simple things about summer:
-thrift stores in a different town
-box fans
-pool time
-white, loose-fitting cotton clothes
-ice cream sandwiches
-card games
-giggles from kids with lightly bronzed skin and hair that has been bleached a bit by the sun

Beach humor:
Number 4 to me (his feet had "fallen asleep"): "Mom, I have stars in my feet." Youngest niece: "Yeah, me too, I have starfish in my feet, too."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

halter dress

This is nothing like it started out to be, but it turned out pretty darned cute anyway. She is asleep right now, otherwise I'd snap a photo of her in the dress.

Front view

back view

Thursday, July 16, 2009

a streak

When a creative idea comes to fruition, it is sooo good. Right now I have a scrap of fabric and two antique tea towels.... and a really really cool idea for "recycling" (Lord, save me, I'm starting to sound "green"!)

Here's a sneak preview:
ps- Vicki, I know I need to call you.... I haven't forgotten. Love you! (Don't fall down any steps since I mentioned your name, kay?)

Monday, July 13, 2009


....thy name is cole slaw.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

homemade ice cream

There are a couple of things that MUST happen each summer. One of them is to make ice cream in the ice cream freezer King and I got as a wedding gift from my dad's cousin and her husband, Jan and Mickey.

Some of the very best ice cream we have ever made is a recipe I got from King's sister, Kath. Tonight we made it with Splenda to cut down on some of the calories and it was just as scrumptious and a few less calories. If you like cheesecake, you will love this ice cream.

Homemade Buttermilk Ice Cream
1 half gallon buttermilk (the whole milk kind)
1 pint heavy whipping cream
2 cups sugar (or Splenda)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
(don't forget to get rock salt!)

2 gawkers gawking and a partridge in a pair tree

On the way to run an errand today (with emphasis on the word "run") I got behind a car from Missouri. I think we got up to 10 MPH once, but the rest of the time the driver was leisurely sightseeing. I noticed that his head as well as the passenger's head turned left and then right, gazing at the nice, old homes along the street.

I guess behavior like this is why they call it the "Show Me" state!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

all work that before lunch?

After getting the baby's room/my sewing room done, I went downstairs and really worked on decluttering so many surfaces in the dining room/butler's pantry/kitchen area. It feels wonderful to know that things are getting to the place where they belong: put away!
PMS- harness the power!

photo ID quiz

I saw the photo when I was reading Little Jenny Wren's latest blog entry tonight. I immediately recognized the kitchen I had spent so many hours in, but never really had been there at all.

Do you recognize whose kitchen it is? I'll give you a hint, it does not belong to any of the ladies making such a fuss over the cake.

better than therapy

Y'know when you have chaos in your life and you are desperately grasping for anything that can create peace and calm in your life? Well, my friend Tori and her husband, Danny were the vehicle (note the double entendre here) in which that peaceful calm was brought into my life most recently. (....along with King and #2, the handsome, strapping young man that he is.)

A piece of furniture sort of fell into my lap by default. Big, brown, and bulky (there's a joke in there somewhere), I wasn't sure where I was going to use it. However, when I remembered that the baby basically has NO closet or drawer space, I decided to use it in her room.

"Her room"... which also serves as my sewing room, when she isn't sleeping. It looked more like a messy junk heap. There was stuff all over the place, no organization at all - kid stuff mingled with my stuff and vice versa. The unvarnished truth is that I use the dining room table more often to sew and the concept of a peaceful, organized sewing room is a pipe dream.

.....Until now. All I can say is thank you to Tori and Danny for making all of this peace, calm, and organized space happen.

Her side of the room... side of the room.

Her stack of "fabric" stack of fabric.

Daddy reading a story before naptime.................a cute hook thingie.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

a poll

Toothpaste: paste or gel?

I keep thinking that my children must love gel, but anytime I get regular "original" paste Colgate, they swarm on it like so many flies at a picnic. It's gotten to where I have to hide the stuff. Gosh, good thing they haven't seen me sniffing laundry detergent. (kidding!!!) 8-P

So, what about you? Are you an Aim kind of kid, or do you raid your mother's Colgate stash too?

ps- Pepsodent does NOT count. That stuff is just plain nasty.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

wise words from the king

Catching me just before I went into orbit about someone else's crisis, King's wise words came to mind:

"Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

Monday, July 6, 2009


Lately in the evenings I hit a brick wall in the energy department. I can go and go and go and then all of a sudden, I need a drool rag. It recently happened when we were up in NC at my mom's. She and I went to the grocery store after sundown. Having a hard time putting one foot in front of the other as though I was in quicksand, I told her, "I seemed to have lost the plot. And if the plot gets any thicker, I'm going under."