Sunday, August 29, 2010

And so it begins...

Holy cow! Last week was a doosey! Here's a quick snapshot...

Monday: 8-noon (Vball practice), noon-3 (paperwork in my classroom), 5:30-6:30 (Candace's orientation), evening (prepare for vball events)
Tuesday: ummm....I don't remember what I did in the morning....paperwork, I'm sure! 3:00-9:00 (Vball scrimmage)
Wednesday: 8-noon (Vball practice), noon-4 (classroom work), 4-8 (school shopping and dinner at Pizza Hut)
Thursday: 8-2:30 (Teacher inservice), 2:30-8:30 (Volleyball Triangular away), 9:00 (supper)
Friday: 8-3:30 (Teacher inservice), 3:30-6:00 (Vball practice), 6:00-7:00 (papwork in my classroom), 7:00-bed....FINALLY some family relaxing time
Saturday: 8:00-3:00 (Volleyball tournament away), 4:00-8:00 (TUBING ON THE BOAT!!!!), 9:00 (collapse on the couch)
Today: SLEEP 'TIL 8:00! ;0) 8-noon (volleyball stats paperwork, update stats online, write article for newspaper), noon-4:00 (write syllabus for newly created Statistics course and start planning the schedule)

of course, here-n-there scattered throughout is just a WEEE bit of time to stay ahead of the laundry. The dishes have officially been pawned over to DH (until I lose patience at the balancing stack of dishes and end up doing them myself!) ;0)

This week will bring one more day of teacher inservice (Monday), more volleyball events (Tuesday away & Thursday home), and the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL (WEDNESDAY!)

yeah....."and so it begins....."

September BOM posted

Yes, I've been away from the blog lately, but still able to get the September BOM's posted a few days early (see BOM page). This month brings us:

Mother's Favorite

Squares within Squares

Arrow Crown

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I remembered the camera THIS time ;0)

GLORIOUS DAY today. And THIS TIME....we remembered the camera.

Gosh---there's no fun going on here, right? ;0)

Eight hours on the water....does this pic really surprise you?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I love my girls! All of them!

My children "girls" were wonderful yesterday; able to take my mind off of things that were troubling me. I love them!

My volleyball "girls" had an absolute AMAZING practice this morning (yeah...mean coach here! Saturday AM practice!)...and confirmed that the choices that were made for team selections were correct. I love them!

And, DH and I are absolutely KICKING ourselves! We took the "big" boat out on the Lake yesterday and borrowed a friend's tube and rope setup----and we DID NOT TAKE THE CAMERA!. This was the girls' first time out on the tube and they had a BLAST! The boating time started with me, (of course), showing them "how it was done." It was also the opportunity for DH and I to work out the appropriate speed where it could be fun for the girls, but safe. None of them can swim (yet); and Candace and Caitlyn ARE only 4 & 6 respectively, afterall; we didn't want them to be scared :0)


once we found that "good speed"-------- **giggle**.............I had "FUN"! DH cranked the speed, and the girls had a good time watching me fly and bump and twist and turn over the giNORmous waves DH was making. OOOOOOdles of laughs!

I tandemed with Candace and Caitlyn separately before they tubed by themselves. Poor Caitlyn got a HUGE face wash when a wave crested a bit higher than planned....but she held on like a trooper, spittering and sputtering and laughing, giving us the thumb's up.

Oh---did I mention that MOM was more nervous and scared for the girls than they actually were themselves? ;0)

When we finally called it quits, we dealt with the pouts and whines....but they sky was losing light! What a FUN afternoon!

And yeah----practice this morning was fabulous! I really DO love coaching this sport and the girls!

This afternoon, I don't have a lot planned. Right now, I'm thinking of just relaxing with a good book while the girls enjoy their Wii time. Cassie has a friend over, so they're playing a "new" game....
I will consider making my way downstairs...but I'm okay if I don't, too :0)

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A reminder from 2009: Best Weight Loss Program...

Tip #1 to a sure weight loss program:
Become a Head coach of a sport

Two days now where it's been go-go-go-go....and it's dinner time before you know it and you realize all you've eaten all day is a banana.

Quilting time will be taking a hit; I'm pretty exhausted (mentally more than anything right now) and I just enjoy trying to relax (unfortunately with little success). Played some board games with the girls this afternoon; snuggled with Candace and Caitlyn at various times as well. And VERY thankful I have a husband willing to have an open ear and is understanding of the mental "blah" I'm going through today and yesterday. It's one of those days where I REALLY wish there was an on/off switch for the mind. Please let sleep come quickly tonight!

On a more humorous note.....

While out looking for a perfect graphic....I came across these two cartoons, too....

Hope they made you smile, because I sure had a good giggle!

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pineapple Blossoms - DONE; Volleyball beginnings...

Whew! At least the lack of motivation yesterday wasn't contagious to today....
The pantograph used: Chinese Crescents. Bobbins used: ummm....10? Quilting time (loading to finish): ummmm.....6-7 hours? {I guess I didn't keep excellent records for this quilt}. Both the customer and myself felt this pantograph was very fitting due to the orientalness of it; her plans for the quilt will be to gift it to her Nephew & wife for their anniversary and they currently reside in Japan. Feels good to have it done ahead of schedule :0)!!!!

See the whole quilt here...

Two days into volleyball practice and I realize that I have not updated my blogging world with my Assistant Coach news. My second assistant coaching position was filled a week-n-half ago with a previous Junior Highschool coach. She has 5 years under her belt and was ready and interested to "move up" in the world of volleyball. SO, BOTH my assistant coaching positions are filled, and we're rockin'-n-rollin' in try-outs right now. Whew-eeee......TOUGH YEAR for decision making, though! I graduated 6 seniors last year, so only have 3 returning players. Talented group of girls are bustin' their butts for the open Varsity spots, in addition to the turn-over that Junior Varsity is also facing. Not a whole lot of stress (yet); tomorrow afternoon might be a different story though when the final team selections need to be made.

Happy Tuesday :0)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Motivation, anyone?

I was FINE.....until I decided to sit down.

Even then, I was FINE....until I decided to scan through the channels.

I was FINE...until I saw an afternoon marathon of "Pawn Stars".

I suppose an hour of relaxing won't kill me, right? I can always get downstairs to work on Pineapple Blossom later, right?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Star struck; the girls' rooms & clothes, and the Farm have kept me away

Star Struck (55 x 72)

I had ALL intentions of updating Thursday evening and again on Friday before leaving for the last weekend I'll have "free" pretty much until volleyball is over....BUT, I'll get to that in a moment.

I woke on Thursday very motivated to quilt something for myself, not that I plan on keeping this quilt for sure.

I spent the morning piecing a backing of random scrappy 10" squares. Once lunch was made, eaten, and cleaned up, I was able to spend the rest of the day quilting away.

By 4:00, I was starting the binding, and by 4:30, the binding was completed by machine. I used the "Curly Q" pantograph yet again---most definitely my favorite so far!

I went to peek on the girls.
DH and I BOTH laid in on the girls that morning that "enough was enough! The rooms get cleaned TODAY!" So, they spent the entire day upstairs...since 9:30.

Thank GOODNESS I was still motivated, because "MOMMY-STYLE CLEANING" ensued.

Five hours, four garbage bags and 5 boxes loaded with donations later....the rooms AND loft were seriously cleaned AND decluttered! It was 10:00 when I finally carried everything to the main floor; DH said he would take care of all the donations first thing Friday morning. So, by that time, I wasn't interested in updating the blog anymore.

THEN...comes Friday. I had some bloodwork scheduled right away in the morning; DH kept the girls with him while he took care of the donations AND took a much-needed trip to the local garbage dump. On the way back from my appointment, I stopped in at school to check over some last minute things to ensure that everything was ready for Monday morning's practice. In my years of maturing, I've started to live my a new motto...."expect the worst so then you'll never be disappointed." It's a good thing I was expecting the worst, because....that's ALMOST what I encounted. However.....bringing everyone up to speed----I spent a few hours this weekend with paperwork, and....well...... I guess I'm prepared as best I can be for tomorrow morning.

Okay....backtracking to Friday. When I arrived home, DH was still out-n-about, so I took a moment to catch up on emails and had ALL intentions of updating the blog. Well----remember "Pineapple Blossoms"? I received an email that a lady in TX was interested in having the quilt finished, so I spent the next hour between talking with her on the phone, checking my stash to see what I had available for backing and batting....blah, blah, blah...... DH had great timing, because I had just decided I needed to just break down and purchase some yardage for backing when he arrived home. I went to do a quick fabric shopping spree so that I could have everything ready come Monday when I plan to start to finish the project.

THEN....some quick lunch while DH and Caitlyn were out in the garden picking green beans, cucumbers.....the usual lot.

THEN....(okay, but now, it was only 1:00)...I schlepped Cassie upstairs and we (she) tried on EVERY single piece of clothing she had in her closet AND dresser. At one point, DH asked if I would be ready to leave (for the farm) by 3:00----I asked him what time it was and he said 2:30. (Ummm.......we weren't even halfway through her closet!!!!). She kicked it into a little bit of a higher gear at that point, and FINALLY at 4:00, we were done! One box for donation and two boxes for "hand-me-downs" later, her closet AND dresser were COMPLETELY organized and full of clothes that actually fit her. But, she was a bit skimpy on how many pants she had for school. Guess what we did on Saturday??? ;0) She's now COMPLETELY set for school after that shopping spree (she came away with 7 more pairs of pants/jeans).

Oh....but...stay with me! Still on Friday here.........."CAITLYN----your turn now!!!!" (I don't think DH was too happy, but I was on a ROLL and still motivated, and it NEEDED to get done!!!!"
Candace was feeling left out a little bit, so she joined in here-n-there too. By 5:30....both Caitlyn and Candace's closets were organized. Their dressers have YET to be done, but I wasn't going to push my luck TOO much with DH. By 6:00......we were packed and rolling on our way to the farm.

The weekend was very relaxing. Once I told myself I didn't need to be so ANAL about having perfect volleyball notes and that it was okay to have scribbles and things crossed off----that it didn't need to be rewritten AGAIN just for "meeting" stuff......I was able to kick back and enjoy the weekend. MIL and I headed in to Walmart (which is where we did the school shopping for Cassie). We (of course) had to check out the fabric section. Boy, I tell ya!....this is ONE Walmart that STILL carries fabric and GREAT fabric selections at that. I walked away with some backing for BOTH Green Beauty AND Shades of Green, which will be next on my quilting list once Pineapple Blossoms is finished. And then---she and I found a cute (free) pattern that both decided to make for certain individuals, so...we worked together to help pick out each other's fabric. Sorry----I haven't even THOUGHT about taking a picture of the fabric goodies---soon enough though.

Today....arrived home at 2:30 and went straight away into unpacking, starting laundry, picking produce from the garden, heading downstairs to press the newly purchased/washed fabric for Pineapple Blossom's backing, loaded it on the frame as to be ready for starting the quilting tomorrow afternoon, canning another 7 quarts of dill pickles, cleaning & cutting a large bowl full of green beans {will wait until the next picking in two days to actually can the whole lot}.....and now....finally sitting and UPDATING THE BLOG!


How was your weekend???? I'm off to look around and find out!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

How many blogs do YOU follow?

I just spent my typical morning reading all the recent updates that my blogging buddies have done since I last looked ..... (that was, like, last night). I will miss this once school starts! Maybe I'll purposefully have to set my alarm for 5:00 am every morning JUST so I can catch up on everyone and get my "blogging-fix" everyday!

First, let me can NEVER read too many blogs! Right? Every now-n-then, a new blogger will post a comment, and my typical response is to head over to their blog to read up on their life. It is AMAZING who we meet via blogging! I just counted the # of blogs I have linked directly off my page---42 (if my memory serves). BUT, there are a few others that I "follow" and catch their posts via my dashboard.

What about you? How many blogs do you "follow" and/or read daily?

How many "giveaways" have you entered??? ((guiltily trying to count on my hands and toes, running out of appendages)

How many "giveaways" have you won??? (I think Andee is the winner there??????)

Anyway---just taking a moment to say a big morning "HIYA" to all my blogging buddies that take time to read my posts on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. I have enjoyed getting to know each and every one of you!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How's THIS for payment?

(Remember Jen? working on her quilt here, or actually quiting a pass here?)

Jen (via phone): So, ah...Mrs. Skattebo. Are you going to be home for awhile?
Me: Ummm....yes
Jen: an hour?
Me: Yes. I have no plans to go anywhere.
Jen: Okay, next question. Do you like ice cream?
Jen: Alright, one more question. Do you have room in your freezer?
Me: ...ummmm....yes?.....
Jen: Okay, see you soon. {{Click}}

DH and I were just starting to put dinner on the table when she shows up.....with THIS!!!

THIS would be a home-made Oreo Cookie Ice Cream cake. Jen has been known to make some delicious cakes before, but....well......{{pun intended}}.....this one LITERALLY "takes the cake!"

PERFECT end to tonight's meal, and the girls all approved! THANK YOU JEN!!!!!!!!

Another quilt for MIL...

My MIL's Balloon quilt didn't really inspire me today when I eventually made my way downstairs, but it needed to get done. It measures 38.5" x 44".

backing fabric

Definitely nothing that would win me any awards.....but as (I believe it was Candace?) who said something like......."Done is better than perfect." Or maybe it was Linda (TX)?.....

Anyway.....this lil' quilt confirmed that I MUCH prefer to quilt using a pantograph than freehand. Not having a stitch regulator to help me when I get to's a bit difficult. However, an edge-to-edge pantograph doesn't have any (many) corners that I need to stop for....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Some BOM preppin...

Since I tackled the four/week Midget blocks this morning, I didn't feel so pressed to push anymore out (unlike Angela! Psht---over-achiever that she is!) ;0)

Once we arrived back from my appointment and had a snack, I was free to play around in my sewing room until dinner. As I've said numerous times in recent posts, summer vacation is tick-tockin' away and I still have the October BOM to make sure I don't "forget" to

...with a lil' bit of cheating this time around, I'm using two original blocks from Quilter's Cache that I've been eyeing up ever since the beginning of this BOM. The 3rd block being planned is again a traditional one. I've been trying to be frugal and using up as many odds-n-ends pieces from my reserved pile of fabs for this BOM (since this will be the last of the BOM for the year). I have a feeling I'll make up a "bonus block" (or two) with any left over pieces I'll have, but for now......ALMOST all three blocks are prepped! The one pictured on the left needs more time, but dinner time rolled around, and I'm parenting solo tonight (with a storm rolling through), so I can't really get back least not until the girls fall asleep. And by that time, I probably won't feel like getting back downstairs ;0)

Oh of choice....The Patriot with Mel Gibson. I ended up getting about half way through it before I needed to shut things down...

Happy Tuesday (again)

and five, six, seven, eight...

no...not counting down a jazz tune....

...just showing off the products of my morning sewing session.

Movie background noise of choice: Transformers

Block 5: Pinapple.

I didn't keep track of the total time for this block, but I was working on both #5 and #6 (below) simultaneously and it took all of Horton Hears a Who and 3/4 of Transformers. In other words: a BUTT-LOAD of time! :0)

Block 6: Palm

Block 7: At the Depot

Thank GOODNESS this block didn't require paper-piecing. These "normal" blocks will help me keep my sanity throughout this project... make piecing the corners a bit more exact (afterall one lil' bit "off" and these TINY blocks go kiddy-wompas!), I pulled out my EasyAngle ruler to trim off the lil' corners.

Block 8: Tricolor Block (I know this as Rail Fence???)

Actually, the fabrics for this block were being pulled right when the credits started rolling. By the time the credits were finished, I was already sewing away.....I couldn't just LEAVE it unfinished, so I took an additional 5 minutes to finish it up. SOOOOO EASY and almost perfect 5"!

Sadly, time for me to jump in the shower and actually start my day; shower, lunch, appointment, school-shopping(?), and then time to head back home for maybe some more sewing :0)
Happy Tuesday!

Midget 5 & 6 progress

Yup, yup.....headed downstairs after dinner (YUMMMMY pork sholder roast, mashed potatoes -n- gravy....typical meat-n-potatoes meal). I was working on Midget #5-Pineapple, but then started up on #6: Palm and fed each block under the machine, one after another. Movie of choice: Horton Hears a Who (...."a person's a person, no matter how small"...). {{I'm going to run out of "midget-minded" movie titles soon though}}. This is the extent of my piecing for the duration of the movie. I hope to finish them up today AND piece #7 & #8 before needing to leave for my Doc appt.

Another scorcher with opressive humidity today!!!! NOT a good week for HS Football to start! The forecast all week is 90's with humidity to make it feel near 100. Our school holds practices in the evening hours (5-9, I think). But still.....ugh!

THANKS JILL! I hadn't been reading Sentimental Stitch's regular blog posts lately, so...when she posted her 116th block post, she informed her readers that she'll be retiring the first 55 Midget blocks, so.....I spent the past hour saving ALL 116 blocks. Alright ... I guess that means I'm in it for good now, huh?

Monday, August 9, 2010

A perfect day for quilting... (as long as you have AC!)

OMGoodness! If you can get past the dust and visible grease....yeah, that says 123.1 degrees!!! Mind you, it's in the sun.....BUT STILL!!!!! I DID venture out to give Shadow some water for drinking and doused him with some as well...ugh! Opressive!!!!! He was having a nap in the shade, in a lovely "cool" pit he dug next to his house. He seems to be taking the heat well!

I printed out the next handful of midget blocks with intentions of catching up to Angela, but when I turned the light on in my quilting room, my Twilight units caught my eye. That sounded like a better plan than the midgets, so....New Moon was placed into the DVD, and away I went.

By the end of the movie, this is how far I was. The final "arrow units" had been cut, sewn, and started to be pressed.

Pressing took quite a bit longer than usual because I took my time pressing the seams open. This sure made for some perfect points!!!

After some lunch, I THEN had intentions of hitting the midget blocks.....but.....

eh....I was having too much fun with the Twilight blocks. SO.....Twilight was put into the DVD player (again), and onward I went.

By mid-movie, I pieced my first two complete blocks. Unfortunately, they are about 1/4" too small in certain

I set them aside for the time being to stew over what my next steps will be. Maybe I'll remove my name from the list (it wouldn't hurt my feelings at all, because I can imagine these blocks looking AMAZING together in another quilt similar to Green Beauty (aka: Jared Takes a Wife). Maybe I'll change my block for the swap??? I dunno. But if these continue being a bit small, I wouldn't feel right AT ALL swapping them out.

Hmmmm....maybe tonight I'll get to the midget blocks?????
(I'm sensing that familiar feeling.......U........F........O........) ;0)

Oh yeah----I DO have other things up on my Design Wall from working on my September BOM blocks over the past couple of days. All three are done but the directions need to be typed up yet. Yeah....they're blurred out on the bottom ;0) Kinda neat how that first one blurred to show a circular design! Have no fear, though----no curved piecing coming.

A Monday all to me!??

Gardening and canning completed yesterday.
Laundry not calling to me quite yet.
Living room and kitchen cleaned up yesterday.
The girls' rooms and loft area are their responsibility.

Yeah---I think my schedule is fairly open for today!!!
So, plans?
Catch up with Angela!

Midget block #5 and #6 (maybe #7 and #8, too?) will be on my chopping block.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

That nap helped!!!

Well, folks, I DID NOT help the girls with their mess, and in all honesty, I haven't even gone upstairs to see how far they got. They were simply informed that if they each wanted a friend over or even go to the beach during these last few weeks of summer, the rooms and loft need cleaning.

I (kinda) reluctantly headed downstairs to see about working on the 3rd BOM for September, and after 10 minutes, I was well underway and finding some renewed energy. Movie of choice today: "Bedazzle", and it took me the whole movie to sort through my scraps to use up some and to piece the entire block.....and as you can see.....yet another block utilizing Flying Geese units :0)

By 5:00, the movie and block both came to an end and it was time to head upstairs to start dinner: spaghetti with sauce and garlic bread.

While that was cooking, I worked on cleaning and cutting the green beans that had been marinating in the sink with cold water all day....

...and once dinner was over, it was time to start the canning process. Seven more pints to add to our pantry...

...and since I was still going strong, while the canner was "cooking" away and once dishes were done up, I thawed out some rhubarb from last month and made my Rhubarb Crunch dish.

Amy's Favorite Rhubarb dish: "Rhubarb Crunch"
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup dry oatmeal
1/2 cup butter
2-3 cups rhubarb (3 cups makes a fuller "filling")
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 Tbls corn stach

Mix flour, brown sugar, oatmeal and softened butter. Press half into bottom of 8x8 or 9x9 dish. Spread rhubarb on top.
Bring water, sugar and corn starch to a boil in medium sized pan. Pour over rhubarb and sprinkle the remaining "crunch" on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

...and's that time of year again. I mowed lawn (on Tuesday, was it??) and was just fine! But Wednesday, when I was out taking care of the animals.....yup! I became Sneezy of the 7 dwarfs. So, these meds will be my best friend for the next couple of months, usually until mid-end October once ragweed completely freezes away.

The girls had the camera last night after baths were's Candace sporting her newly trimmed bangs and one red tongue. I can't remember what she had ????

Yeah, even I posed for a pic with towel wrapped around my head, and a slightly red complexion from the day of vball in the sun.

Mmmmmmmm.......the buzzer dinged a bit ago and I took the Rhubarb dish out of the oven. By now, it's cooled just enough for me to have one (large) piece for dessert.

GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN to all my blogging teacher friends who head back tomorrow. Some of you head back later on this week. I still have this week off, but will need to spend some time (probably Wed) making sure I'm ready for the following Monday when volleyball practice starts. If I didn't coach, I would still have two complete weeks and three days the following week off before teachers need to head back in Wisconsin. We have a (stupid) state law that forBIDS school to begin until September 1. At least we're not as bad off as Michigan----they can't start until after Labor Day!!!! In certain years, that ends up being a REALLY LATE start!!!