Thursday, May 29, 2008

one more week, this-n-that, life has become crazy!

Oh, where to begin!
I feel like it's been FOREVER since I've updated on here!
The school year is winding down, but the level of expectancies sure hasn't! Between writing finals, grading projects, grading homework (because of COURSE we need to keep the kids on their toes until the last day!!!), and getting all that blasted paperwork into the District Office (surveys, and more surveys, and Purcahse orders for next year's budget)---I'm just TRYING to keep my head above water right now.

My energy level slowly gets zapped period by period---I can't believe how many of my 8th graders have "closed up shop" already. Amazingly, my high school web design class is still plugging away. They really don't have a choice---many of them still have three projects to whip out my next Friday's deadline! But....these 8th graders!!! My Math 8 group (outside of about 8 of them) have just shut down. I'm typically up jumping around the classroom, keeping them excited about finding correct methods of solving problems, trying to over-react "crazily" when they make correct responses....But......My energy is TRULY just getting zapped. One after another...."ugh, do I really have to do this?" "oh, who cares?" "this is just pointless" "*eyes wandering outside*". It's draining!!! Mind you, Math 8 is my lower students---those students that don't have high math academic understanding. So, many of them already don't have much of a work ethic :0(

BUT, even my Algebra 8 students are starting to shut down! Ahhhh! These are the students that help me keep my sanity on a day-to-day basis. These are the students who CARE about their grades and their learning. These are the students who enjoy math, understand math, and get excited with challenges.

Well....not these past two days! Many of them haven't been able to find the "passion" for learning that last new topic of the year. Oh dear......

However, with all of this said, I did pull aside one of my Math 8 students and thanked her. and I quote..."Kenzie. Thank you! It truly is students like you that make my job worth while. You were absent yesterday, but here you are, bright and early, finding out what you missed and what needs to be made up." THIS girl is a student who was CONSTANTLY absent as a 7th grader, RARELY turned in homework assignments. WOW! She has had an amazing "maturing" year. Her response was memorable. and I quote...(dumb-founded)...."wow, Mrs. S. I really wasn't expecting to hear anything like that, but it sure means a lot. Thank you!"

So, here I sit---head spinning with what I even need to accomplish tonight. I've already written the Team Quiz for Math 8 tomorrow. I need to write both Math 8 and Algebra 8 finals (but I'll probably procrastinate and write them over the weekend.) I have a few late papers that need to be graded (but I'll probably procrastinate and grade them tomorrow during prep.) I have McD's projects to grade---a GOOD THREE HOURS WORTH!!! UGH! (But I'll put that off until the car-ride to Grandma's house tomorrow while Paul is driving us there.) Purchase orders are definitely on the agenda (but I'll put those off until the drive HOME from Grandma's house because I'll beg Paul to drive back too (a 2 1/2 hour trip)---and we have a rule that if one drives up, the other of us will drive back---so I'll really have to beg.)

Why all this procrastination? Because I haven't SEWED since Monday!!!! My sewing room is still a-shambles with scraps strewn about from the final steps of Grandpa's Stars-n-Stripes. I'd like to get down there and clean up, and MAYBE even tackle some more of OC#4 since #5 has been published already.

I will try to take some time to peek at my faithful followers' blogs (specially a certain SOMEONE who has had her first week of summer vacation!!)......*sigh*.....soon.......soon......I can make it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

One crazy thing after another today!!!

It started like any ordinary day....

...and remained rather ordinary, until about 8:00 pm.
That's when the craziness started!

Paul arrived with THEM around 8:00, with the girls in tow. Of COURSE the girls were chompin' at the bit to see them and get them out of the box as quickly as possible. The girls went CRAZY and GIGGLY and just NUTS! Which, of course, was not all that wonderful because it was BEDTIME! Needless to say, bedtime was postponed for about 30 minutes. So...lalalalala, I finally became the "meanie-mommie" and literally carried and dragged the girls into the house for bed. At 9:00, Paul had not come inside yet, so I went outside to see what he was doing. (Duh, right!)

*chuckling at the memory of what I saw when I walked into the garage. I only WISH I had the camera at that exact moment to capture his face*

In addition to the 4 "big" chickens, he also brought home 10 chicks that are about 4-5 weeks old. I found him unrolling a roll of chicken wire, and his only comment to me was "Umm...did you sense I was in trouble?" and he chuckled.
Come to find out that SEVEN of the chicks had jumped out of the make-shift pen he put together for the night in the garage (only for the little ones. The big ones are outside). Yeah, well, three of them remained in the pen, so he was placing a roll of chicken wire over the top to keep them in. But.......*laffin*.....for the next 20 minutes we were chasing the other SEVEN around the garage, TYRING to catch them and get them in the pen.

Finally....SUCCESS! And here I thought *I* didn't need to do anything with these birds!!!!! So he is now sitting on the couch, reading "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens" and we're still chuckling over what we MIGHT have gotten ourselves into!!!

Okay...but the craziness doesn't stop there. After reading throught 85 emails, I came across a very curious one. Lo-n-behold, I WON!!!!! I had completely forgotten that the Quilting Gallery ( was having a give-a-way for the 6 month of blogging. Well, I WON! And, of course, I MUST say the ol' cliche---(please forgive me)---- I NEVER WIN ANYTHING!

To wrap up this post, I also ran tonight, but nothing out of the ordinary there, except it really went smoothly. AND, I think I figured out why I've been registering "dead" in the HR%. I think my watch batteries need to be replaced, because at about 3 minutes into my run, my watch went "wacko" and started beeping, then went completely blank. Good thing I had a BACKUP watch on.....(yeah, yeah, yeah....a bit weird! I know!!!) I like wearing both watches, because my "normal" watch, I use to keep an eye on my time, and the HR watch I use see my HR. So, another 3.2 miles down, with yet another tiny improvement on my time.

Off to bed I go.....HOPING I won't hear the chicks! (Our bedroom shares a wall with the garage)......

Happy Thursday! I probably won't be checking in again until Sunday night.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Stars-n-Stripes top done

The title says it all! WOW! I can't believe I actually found some time again to get downstairs for MORE than just a few minutes. The top is laying out on the floor, with hopes of being sandwiched on Thursday, to begin the quilting process. Now....just to come up with the quilt design again..... I'm thinking simple meander IF my machine's tension doesn't drive me BONKERS again!

Short -n- Sweet tonight folks! Happy sewing!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Craziness setting in???

So, any of you ever "dream" and surf to find Ultra-marathon races?????

The above link is what happens when I have a motivational running experience in my day......
So........How CRAZY would I be to put that on my schedule for this year as a goal????

50 miles.....let's see---they close their course 12 hours from the start, so....
12 hours * 60 = 720 total minutes
720minutes / 50 miles = 14.4 min/mile
So....14 minute and 24 second miles........That is DO-ABLE!!!! a goal, as a goal......yeah........
I figure I have 2 marathons on my belt, and this race is 2 weeks after my marathon this year.....I could use the marathon race as a "training" race to the Ultra......this ALMOST seems to make sense, in a weird-running-wacko way!!!
And...this course is along the BEAUTIFUL coast of Door County in Wisconsin. (If you look at the map of the USA, most of our teachers teach us early on that Wisconsin looks like the mittened left hand of a toddler :0) So, this race is along the "thumb" of the mitten. (The eastern sliver of the state---our penisula)

Okay---I'll re-read this blog next week to see if I still feel the same.....


Procrastinating... I may not QUITE have this mentality YET about running, tonight's run was MUCH more enjoyable than any so far since I've started up again. The wind finally wasn't a factor; but it was raining lightly. I ran the 3.2 miles course again, this time in 35:42. So.....I'm getting there. OH, AND for most of the run, I was tinkering with my HR band and watch, trying to figure out why I was registering "dead." I had a 0% HR for most of the run, so......considering......35:42 isn't too bad for a dead chick! :0)

As promised, here are the pictures from the graduation....

Julie and myself

Julie and Cassie

And I thought I'd share a few pics of Candance from this weekend......
.....between getting busted with the baby powder...

...or the 2008 version of "stacking blocks".....

I don't think I'll get any quilting done tonight. As the title of this post eludes, I'm procrastinating! I have a stack of Math 8 "Can you eat Healthy at Mcdonals's for a week?" rough-drafts that are calling my name. So.....that is TOP priority, and then, I'll probably be too drained for quilting.....

Happy Monday....

Sunday, May 18, 2008

WHERE did the weekend go?

*slumping into chair*
*kicking up feet*

No pictures tonight---to tired to mess with downloading.

Yesterday's schedule:
Woke at 7:15; breakfast, shower, "groom" myself and Cassie; do a few loads of laundry, wash dishes, pick up house; headed to the Twin Cities at 10:00. Arrive at Twin Cities at 12:15; ate a little lunch with Julie and her family (see previous post for an introduction of Julie). 1:00; headed to Graduation ceremony. The ceremony was a bit long, with one extremely boring speaker, but tolerable. One thousand ten graduates crossed the platform; whew! It took 1 hour and 20 minutes to recite everyone's name as they crossed. So 4:30, ceremony was over. Headed back to Julie's for some munchies; said bye to her family; and headed off to the Mall of America, since all Zoo's were closing at 5:00. We took Cass on a rollercoaser (her FIRST); hung out for a couple of hours, and headed home at 8:30pm . Arrived home at 11:00 pm, and fell into bed with Cass.
No quilting Saturday.

Today's schedule:
Woke at 6:28; breakfast and cartoons. Started grading test papers at 7:00; stayed on top of keeping the laundry machine loaded; finished the last bit of "homework" at 9:10. Threw bed linens into washing machine, loaded dishwasher and hand washed other dishes. At 10:15, upstairs to pick up the loft area and the girls' bedrooms. At 11:00, outside to plant a quarter of the garden. At 12:15, inside to make lunch. 12:45, downstairs to complete sewing the Stars-n-Stripes rows together and started putting on borders. 1:30, upstairs to check on Candace, and fell asleep next to her. (YEAH!!!!!, But WHY do I feel guilty about that?!?!?!) 2:15, woke and made a snack for Caitlyn and Cassie; back outside to plant two more rows of corns. 3:00, afternoon "lunch" for Paul who just came home from his job-site, hauling wood. 3:45, loaded the truck with entire family, and went to Dad's job site to help him haul the next load. 4:00-7:00; cut and carried wood to trailer. 7:20, dropped off back at home; made supper for girls. 8:00, rush-readied the girls for bed, 8:15 tucked in. 8:25; pulled bed linens from the dryer and made bed. 8:35; laid on bed, SOOO tempted to just go to sleep. 8:50, shushed Paul off to the shower (Peee-Uuuuu!) and logged on to Internet. 9:10---current time.

Good night everyone! I'm tired, don't mean to whine, but I'm bummmmed I wasn't able to put more time into quilting this weekend. *sigh*

I do have darling photos from yesterday, and will HOPEFULLY be certain to get those up tomorrow.

Where DID this weekend go?!?!??

Friday, May 16, 2008


Running entry again....*yawwwwwwwwwn*

Holy buckets---AGAIN! I ran my 3.2 mile route tonight, which is another out-n-back from the house. I really LIKE this route for training because it's very hilly! Well....ummm...I like it when I'm IN shape! When I'm NOT in shape, it's a big OWWWY!!
The 1.6 m out was okay....tolerable, managable, with LOTS of wind pushing me along :0). But....whew....the turn-around was TOUGH! In fact, WALKING even kept my HR up at 90% of my max HR. YIKES! I didn't even BOTHER trying to run on the way back. Those winds were GUSTY! Nothing beats resistance training. :0)

On the quilting side of life---I really should try to get downstairs tonight, but I'm beat. Not just from running, but I'm just beat! It's been a long week and I am loaded with papers to grade and lesson plans to write for next week. So, I will probably just keep my feet up and grade, grade, grade and plan, plan, plan.

Tomorrow, I have a former student graduating from college. (pictured left----that's me on the right!)

She was my student-aide when she was in HS. She also was my babysitter for years before leaving for out-of-state college two years ago. Also, for the past two years, she and I have been running buddies. It may be "weird" to think that she is a former student of mind and now we are very good and close friends. But, she IS only 10 years younger than me----and I think about some of my close co-workers who are 10 years older than me. It DID take her a while to call me by my first name, though. AND, I still have her younger siblings in my classes, so there are ackward moments when we all may be together. But, what a WONDERFUL family! They have such great morals, and they are so respectful. I wish we could have more students like them!

Actually, come to think of it....I can't really remember WHEN she and I crossed the "teacher-student" line and became "acquaintences." I guess that it is kinda weird.....

Alright, alright....I'm off to grade papers......(maybe!)
It's so tempting to just sit and relax with the laptop and view some blogs.....
(sigh)...what to do, what to do....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

One of many suggestions from Bonnie

Amanda, one of my faithful daily UK blog readers, questioned about ....

"Tell me - do you double stitch when you are cutting off triangular corners so that you've already got dinky half-square triangles? I've started doing that since Bonnie's suggestion."

The half-triangles pictured here (which I am using in my Scrappy Basket (see below) block from Bonnie's pattern (see her instructions)) are all "bonuses" made from double-sewing my Oklahoma Backroads bricks.

In fact, it's quite commical how I never batted an eye in the past to throw out the clippings. Now-----Heaven forbid!!! However, to make the sashings for Grandpa's Stars and Stripes, I need to clip off the little pieces. I truly debated whether to double-sew the pieces or not----but eventually decided NOT to. The unfinished pieces I needed to sew were 1.5", so by the time I sewed the diagonal, and then double sewed, I realistically would have had a teeeeeeny half-triangle square left. SO teeny, that by the time I sewed it to anthing else, there MAYBE would be 1/4" square viewable!!!

So, YES! I double-sew! Look at all those bonuses I created just from what normally would have been clipped and thrown away. In fact, I've looked a some of my recent Quilting publications, and I cringe at the waste the patterns create.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Progress, not perfection...

No folks. This title does not refer to quilting in any way shape or form.


...I finally got motivated and hit the road for the first time in months!!! I talked with a co-worker earlier today who is interested in competing in her first 5K---she does not consider herself a runner (yet). So, I told her about a race that is coming up in four weeks that I HAD planned on doing, but wasn't really preparing for most likely would NOT have run it. However, we both made the commitment to each other today, so.......time to start training again.

I have a Road-ID bracelet that I wear in the event I keel over and die when I'm out training for my marathon since those runs need to be on the upwards of 15+ miles......
anyway....the last line I have on my ID is a saying: "Progress, not perfection."

Oh I EVER need to keep that in mind today!

A simple two miles today, just to get the road under my feet again. Holy Buckets! You'd think my body has never run that duration before! Pant-Pant-Gasp------I think you are seeing a "picture." It is Dang-tootin windy out today! So the mile out was full-force wind coming at me. By the time I hit the turn-around (which is actually only .9 miles out), my heart-rate (HR) was at 101% of my max!!! Here's a word to the wise for those non-runners out there-----101% of your max is NOT GOOD unless you're sprinting for the finish line of a race!
So, at the turn around-----walking time! I allowed myself to walk for 100-200 meters, at the same time bringing my HR down to 77%, then started off jogging again.
Now, I DID say the wind was against me heading out, right?!?! in the HECK was it against me AGAIN on the way back?!?!? To add to this, there is a majorly minor hill halfway up our road.

(definition of a majorly minor hill: not huge, but not little--about 200 meters long, somewhat steep).

By the time I emerged at the top, my HR was back up to 102%, so I walked .....again! Another 100 meters later, I was back jogging to bring me back to home.

So......1.8 miles took me........20:08 minutes! *gasp!!!* Not the best time in the world, by far! My average HR was 174bpm (beats per minute). The good news: I burned 174 calories. (All data is from my HR monitor---I love it!)

When I came back from the run, Paul and the girls were gone. So, I guessing they are off to pick up the chickens (and chickies) from his friend. I should head downstairs to do some quilting, but I think I'll be opening up my Running Training log from last summer and start planning out my schedule for this year. Hey....who knows.....the race that I have my PR (personal record) in is 6 weeks away. That might just be enough time to whip my legs and body back into "break-neck-speed" shape.

okay, okay, just kidding! I'm no cheetah; I'm short!!! 5'3, born with sprinting legs. It's difficult to train my muscles to endure the distance!!! Give me a 200 meter race and I'll DEFINITELY be in my element!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

You might be a redneck if.....

*chuckling at Angela's comment a few posts ago* farm here...just LOTS of land to use. The horses were DH's idea for the girls; and I didn't mind one bit. I always wanted a horse as a little girl. We get the girls out on them when we can. This picture was taken in 2005; the first time we saddled up Eddie, the smaller of the two. Now, Cassie (oldest) rides Champion while Caitlyn rides Eddie. Champion is QUITE a bit more "spunky" and sometimes wants to go where HE wants..... This is NOT my favorite picture....Eddie is doing a great job hiding my belly that was pregnant with Candace. My algeries are so bad in the Fall, so I rarely wear my contacts in August!

Okay...back to being a "redneck".....
I told DH that I put a picture up showing the start of his Chicken Coop (which is now complete, but no chickens yet. Time ran short today!) And I told him about Angela's comment. He looked as me COMPLETELY serious, and said...."well, you know we're getting two pigs in a couple of weeks, right??"

OMG! He's nuts!!! But I think he's dead serious!

So....Farmer Amy I am becoming!

Another OCD'er found!!!

I wasn't "feeling" quilting once putting the girls to bed tonight, so instead, I thought I would sit back and visit other blog sites tonight. It's been awhile since I've searched out any "new" ones.

WOW! If you have not visited AmandaJean's site (, please take a moment. For those of you who read my site (or even Soscrappy's for this matter), you may have pondered...."WHEN do these mom's have time to quilt?"

Well appears AmandaJean is yet another OCD quilter and mom. My goodness! Her site is LOADED with goodies.

Happy to look at more blogs....

The afternoon update...

The day isn't over yet, but I'm taking a break. I needed to come up at 3:00 to cut up some potatoes and carrots to throw in with the Roast I'm "cooking" in the slow-cooker. So, now, I'm sitting back and watching a VeggieTales movie with the girls and checking in with the latest.

More putzy pieces....blah, blah, blah! And more ironing of all those putzy pieces....blah, blah, blah! But......

...the end is in sight! All the pieces are complete, and I've already pieced four rows together before taking my break. And I must say once more....PUTZY! So many stinkin' pieces!!

Also, while needing some more 1.5" Light squares for my Leaders/Enders (I've been simply sewing 1.5" light and dark squares together), a lightbulb occurred to me! I pulled out the scrappy basket block that Bonnie had on her site earlier this week, and I figured....GOLLY....I could whip out these blocks in no time using them as my Leaders and Enders. So, at this point, I have enough pieces ready to put three whole blocks together already. Amazing!

Also, you may be wondering...."Ummm...Amy, I thought you were planting your garden today."

Yeah, well....Paul and I talked this morning, looking at the thermometer, and decided to wait at least one more week. But Paul did get out on the tractor to till up the garden. For Amanda, Yes! We have a large garden. That's the joy of having 10 acres of previously owned farm-land.

We have about an acre used for the horses, which we got two years ago. I don't know exactly what breed they are, but I would almost consider them welsh-ponies. They are "ponies" but BIG ponies! Candace and I took some time this morning to give them some goodies, so a Photo-op was born :0)

And since we weren't going to planting the garden, Paul decided is was a good time to start making a chicken coop. And, of course, my response was ...." A WHAT???" He chuckled, and said...."Oh yes dear, I forgot to tell you, I'm getting some chickens later today from a buddy...."

OH DEAR!!! I'll keep you all posted on THAT endeavor!

Anyway, I'll probably get back downstairs later tonight once the girls are in bed, but I'm going to take a break until then. Besides, I need to put together our school's Tech Plan Website. So I'm off to work on that now.

Gloomy morning

It's 7:30 am and I just rolled out of bed. The girls actually didn't wake until 7:15. And, I kid you not, ALL of them woke up within 2 minutes of eachother. Candance was the first, then Caitlyn, and Cassie came bounding down the stairs a minute later. Ummm.....actually, she didn't "bound" down the stairs on her butt.......she actually "slides" down the stairs. Gosh, I remember doing that when I was younger too!

The weather is mighty gloomy out right now. Dreary, cloudy and 48 degress right now. BRRRRRR! (That's 7 degrees C for my non-US readers). Ooooooooooo......Which brings me to a slight tangent......

Being a math teacher, I simply need to state that American's are foolish!!!! What "idiot" way back when decided to use the foot, inch, mile and fahrenheit scale???? MOST of the rest of the world uses the Metric system. Which is a "DUH" system because everything is base 10 related which makes it so easy! But of course, my students don't think it's easy because they've been growing up using the "Standard Units" system........ummmmmmm...."STANDARD!?" Who decided that was the name of the "US" units....???? It sure isn't Standard when you consider the rest of the world!

Okay. There. I have now made my point known.

I have a feeling we won't be heading outside for a couple of hours until the weather decides to get a little friendlier, so I'm going to make up some French-toast for breakfast and then try to get downstairs for an hour of sewing.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Progress on OC and Stars-n-Stripes

I've had a full day.....
and believe it or not, it started at 5:55 am (sorta). #2 (Caitlyn) came marching down the stairs. You have GOT to be kidding me! We usually have to drag her out of bed at 6:30 during the week.....*sigh*
So, breakfast was made a little early...
We went grocery shopping at 8:00am, back at 9:15, unpacked by 9:45 (yeah.....LOTS of groceries!). Then DH had to head to Rice Lake (town about 30 minutes away) to get a few specialty items (oil for tractor so we can till the garden up and plant it tomorrow; and my contacts came in at the Shopko optical.
So, while he was gone, I actually CLEANED!!!!! But I limited myself to an hour so that I could get some quitling done. So, my bathroom is clean, all the dished were washed up, and a couple loads of laundry got done.
(not that this has anything to do with this blog, but when I was out looking for a "cleaning toilet" image, I came across this graphic. I giggled, so I thought I'd share it here too.....)

By 11:00, I headed down to the basement to start OC#4. I pulled out my colors that have been set aside for a month. The dark brown/black and the light brown/gray colors are my two colors for this part. However....I wasn't "feeling" those drab colors today....Nope, Nope, Nope.

So.....I gawked, peered, dug, and sifted through the stash.....

Ta-da! The green you see pictured is what I "felt!" I was able to cut all the triangles and get all of the green/black squares pieced before DH returned. But then, I had to play "mom" for a bit because Cassie was invited to a bowling-birthday party today at 1:00. DH husband actually took her and hung out with the birthday girl's dad while I stayed home with the younger two. I plopped a movie in the Portable DVD player downstairs, so I was actually able to continue sewing. Yeah! I finished up 10 of the 30 blocks and laid them out before deciding to put it aside around 3:00. I'll tell ya this though----I have a feeling this is going to be a larger quilt than CC. Those 9 blocks pictured take up a good size! 9.5" blocks......

It was time to get back to Grandpa's Stars and Stripes. After cutting up yet MORE 1.5" whites, I started piecing some sashing. Putzy, putzy, putzy. It's this method: "place the 1.5" blue square on the 5.5" white strip, sew the diagonal, trim off access." On BOTH sides of the 5.5" strip. Then, sew two of the strips together. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I'm kind of tired of such SMALL pieces!!!

But, lo-n-behold. Throughout the rest of the afternoon and evening, I've been able to complete ALL the white sashings. I'm actually amazed I haven't run out of material! I mean, those white PJ's weren't all that big, even with the shorts. I have the solid burgandy colored pants yet that haven't been used at all. I will most likely use these as a border, so this will end up being an excellent sized quilt for Dad.

Here is one fullly completed section that shows how the sashing creates the blue stars.

I won't get a lot of quilting time tomorrow because we plan to plant the garden and do some other yard work. Spring has FINALLY sprouted here in Wisconsin, but I'm a bit nervous about planting yet. It's still unseasonably cold---many nights are still in the 30's!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Inward introduction

Just reading Soscrappy's blog really put me into an "internal analysis" mood. Feel free to read along and meet my family, but I really just want to internalize for a moment----what is meaningful to me?

I haven't introduced any pictures of my girls yet, except maybe a few "solo" shots here-n-there while they've been around me during quilting times. These are my angels; not always perfect, peaceful, and loving, but tolerable :0)
Cassie (pictured right) is the oldest and is your typical first born. She is independent and everything has come easy to her from day 1. She has been the "leader" of all of them when it comes to when milestones were met (crawling, walking, talking, etc.) She spoiled us into thinking that parenthood is a breeze. She is now in first grade. THANKFULLY, academics are yet another breeze for her. Everything just "makes sense" to her.

Cailtyn (pictured left) is the middle child, and fits the "middle-child" stereotype. Needy, clingy, whiny. The whole package. She has tried my patience pretty much since day 1, but.......what I can I say? She's my girl and I love her. She HAS become easier and not so whiny in the past year (she is now 4), but she will probably always be known as my "Drama Queen." :0)

Candace (pictured middle) is the baby and WILL be the baby. No more babies being planned :0) Candace really doesn't fit any stereotype right now. She just "flows." She reminds me a lot of Cassie as a baby because she "solid and tough" like Cassie was. (oh yeah----Cassie is your typical tom-boy!!!!). However, Candace's speech hasn't come along as easy as the other two. In fact, just today, I contacted our "Birth-to-three" program because I'm just concerned! She's almost 2 1/2, but I just feel concerned about her communication (or lack there of.) Her cognitive ability is no worry---my goodness! She can run, jump and play better than Cailtyn! My biggest concern is she just doesn't mimick sounds like I think she should at her age.....I'll say a word, and she just almost "grunts" back sounds; nothing at all like what I had said. My sister was a Birth-to-three "teacher" for years so I contacted her tonight. She basically said she didn't share 100% of my concerns, but "yes...her communication is a bit of a concern." Bottom-line: the evaluation costs nothing and I can hopefully have some peace of mind regardless of the outcome.

These lil' ladies definitely keep me on my toes! It goes without saying that they are my life. In fact, the other day, a very frightening moment happened as I was driving back from my mom's house. I "head-nodded" about an hour into the drive! Talking about a wake-up call (no pun intended!). The only thoughts going through my head were......"holy buckets! Wake up! If you have an accident---that's it. The family is gone! Wake up and be responsible for your girls!"

And naturally, none of this can be complete with my DH, Paul. Of all the pictures I sorted through tonight to represent him, this is "it!" He loves his girls (even though he jokes about having the shot gun at the door when they start dating; which, by the way, they won't do until they're 23!!!) He is a wonderful dad and husband. He always is giving of his time, and is very understanding when I just need a "break." We are coming up on our 10th anniversary this summer, and the time has amazingly flown by! TEN YEARS!

So on those days when I'm just not feeling very "nice mommy" like, I'll come back to this blog, look at these pictures, and come to realize how fortunate I am. Too many news clips tonight about chldren getting hurt/killed at the hands of their parents. It just makes me want to cry. The heat of the moment can be a bad thing, and i know accidents can always happen.

With Mother's Day right around the corner, this entry seems to fit the bill. Have a wonderful weekend to all and enjoy your day on Sunday! We are all special and our families need us (just as much as we need them.)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Some new progress: Stars n Stripes

I did indeed sew for a bit last night, but only an hour. By 9:30, I was cashed! These "Block #1's" were half completed, so I was able to whip them out in no time tonight. (18 of them)

I really didn't think I would get all that far because I didn't start sewing until 7:00 tonight, and I wasn't overly motivated. Besides, these blocks may be small and relatively quick, but they can be putzy.

I needed to cut up some more 1.5" strips from the white and red PJ's before I was able to begin the Block #2's.

The 2nd blocks (17 of them) surprisingly went together rather quickly; maybe in a little over an hour. I took some time to lay them out, and I truly had all intentions of stopping once I snapped the picture of all of them laid out, but.......we know how that goes.....

Upon seeing them finished, and knowing it was only 9:15, I figured I would take a little time to attempt some of the sashings. These two sashings were done lickity-split! And naturally, I wanted to get an idea of how large the quilt is at this point, so I took some time to lay out all the blocks and blue squares, leaving room for the sashings yet to come.

With some borders, this is going to be a great lap-sized quilt for my Dad (if I decide to give it to him.) I'm torn between this one and the Oklahoma Backroads quilt that is still spread out on the floor too. Realistically, I think I can finish both within the next two weeks before his Retirement party, so maybe I'll take both of them and have Mom decide. Or, heck, maybe I'll just gift both to him!!! :0)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Staying afloat...somehow

Whew! What DAY is it today?!?!?
It's been crazy and chaotic this week, and FINALLY I have chance to breathe...

I'm not even going to BOTHER trying to recap the past few days; it's been a complete whirlwind.

But, amazingly, I was able to complete OC#3 and catch myself up! I even incorporated some of the new scraps purchased over the weekend.

I also have been slowly cutting up the "Grandpa PJ's" (burgandies, white and blue) I bought this weekend. In a few free moments, I did some surfing on the net to find the "perfect pattern" for the fabrics. Golly! That was tough! At first I didn't find anything. But then, after another hour, I had four possibilities, and I couldn't decide! My choices were a simple Ohio Star block.........
.....and whatever this block to the right is called :0)

...and then I found this quilt, and liked the layout. It would be very easy to make in reds, white, and blues.

But I finally decided on a design by Quick Quilts: "Stars and Stripes Forever"
Last night, I actually put an hour's worth of time into cutting some strips and piecing two log cabin blocks for the pattern. I hope to put some hours in later tonight, too...
But FIRST, I have a handful of Algebra tests to grade. I WILL keep that top priority! :0)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Catching up and "Treasures found"

WOW! It's been since Tuesday!
I headed to Mom's on Wednesday and didn't arrive until late. Then, had to get up EARLY Thursday to get to my math workshop 2 hours from mom's house. *sigh*.....I was disappointed in the workshop, but did learn a few things.

Not surprising, the day didn't improve until I stopped at a quilt shop near the convention. I hit a jackpot of scraps! I picked up 5 Gallon-size bags of scraps for $1.50 each (one was larger and was $3.00). Pictured here are all the scraps separated by darks and lights. I can using these on the Oklahoma Backroads for my dad.

Also, this piece was in one of the bags of scraps. My gosh! It's practially finished! The quilting motive is already chalked into it for me! I'm thinking of finishing this one with hand-quilting. It's small enough and I have so much better stitches by hand than by machine.

Once I arrived back at my mom's house, she informed me it was the "City-wide" garage sale weekend. Well...golly gee! I know I don't have to tell you what we did the next morning!!!

It is quite comical how "quilters" see garage sales. Take, for instance, this stack of men's plaids. Jackpot at one sale!!! Each shirt was $.50 - $1.00. My mom said "oh...did you find some shirts for Paul?" I simply said...."Nope! I found some great fabric for my next quilt!!!!"

Here are some other finds.....
Lovely purple/blue flower "Scrubs." $1.00. I'm SURE I'll find a nice project for this fabric. How cute!

Plus, I'm all about color-coordinating (as long as a project is NOT meant to be scrappy.) These are also purple (but difficult to tell from the photo.) And these are also HUGE! You can't really tell how HUGE they are, but I could easily put both of my legs in one of these. These were a bit more expensive, but worth the fabric. Easily a yard and a half here! $2.50

Amazing deal here!!!! TEN CENTS! Then again, WHO really would wear this?!?!? But, there is SO much fabric here! Easily over a yard!

These "Grandpa PJ's" were at one garage sale for $1.00 a set. (The white and red are each a set of a top and matching shorts.) The navy blue is a short-sleeve shirt, and the bottom red fabric is a pair of "relaxing" pants. The reds are actually burgandy, and I thought they would create a great Red, White and Blue something-er-other.

Well, off to the local Florist for some plum and pear trees. Maybe some potatoes, strawberries and rhubard bushes too.