Monday, April 26, 2010

A Wonderful Gift...

My all-time favorite quilt block is Dove in the Window.  (My all-time favorite quilt block that I'll actually make... Log Cabin.)

Dove in the Window is a difficult pattern to find... and a difficult pattern to make.  So, imagine my delight when my dear friend Chrissy offered to tackle the beast to make a fabric-matching quilt for Julia (she completed one for Raven the day Raven was born... oh, yeah!).  She set out on the adventure and I will say, this quilt was definitely about the journey and the destination.

Imagine my further delight when this quilt showed up at my front door earlier this week delivered by Linda Schminke of Quilting Corner here in Pella.  Chrissy had sent the quilt top with me so that I could take it to Linda to discuss the quilting in it (beautiful!) and Linda and Chrissy took care of the rest (transaction-wise).  Chrissy and I discussed briefly the possibility of this quilt being done in time for the Tulip Time Quilt Show, but if she is anything like me, I know she is a busy woman (even more so than me, I think!), and I wasn't expecting to see the quilt finished.  So, it was such a fun surprise to see Linda with a finished quilt -- bound and everything!  And... done a full week before it was even needed for the show!  Thank you to Linda for binding the quilt...

... and of course, MANY THANKS to my darling friend Chrissy for being willing to attempt this beauty... it was difficult, but oh so gorgeous in the end!  I love the quilt... and obviously Julia does too!  (She couldn't get enough of rolling around on it and saying, "Ooooh!  Pretty!")  Thank you, Chrissy!


Thursday, April 22, 2010


Julia was a trooper this morning and stuck it out with me while I set up my raised flower beds, so after hanging around me for over an hour, she completely deserved a good bout of swinging.  And... baby, blanket, and milk had to come along as well!  Hee!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Our Backyard

Today I was looking outside our back door and thought, Wow, our backyard sure is pretty this time of year!  With the crab apple and regular apple trees blooming and the tree foliage small and freshly green, it's quite a picture!

Our trees provide the perfect amount of shade for our entire backyard which makes playing outside pleasant at all times of the day.  And, the weather has been so nice (low-to-mid 70s) that I've easily been able to take the girls out to play or for walks or to hang out while tending to some of our plants.

I love the rejuvenation that is spring... so fresh and so full of possibilities... too bad it gives way to hot and humid summers!  Ha!


Monday, April 19, 2010

The Car Cart

Well... it happened.  My baby isn't crawling yet or eating solid food, but she is too heavy to carry in her bucket car seat, so I bought her the next car seat up (a convertible Britax Marathon... woohoo!) and it arrived today.  I installed the car seat and then we needed to make a trip to the store.

This was our first "cart" adventure for BOTH girls... and when you have two kids and they are both OUT of their car seats, you pretty much need to use the big carts... The Car Cart!

I totally had to take this picture of the girls in the store in the cart and then I immediately thought of the time that Adam almost had his camera absconded (and who knows what else) for taking a picture in a grocery/store in China... ah, good times.  No one cared that I was taking pictures of my kids.

Let the good times roll...!  Raven is not getting any younger, I suppose!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Baby Gift

There's nothing like your friend's water breaking to finally put the fire under you to try something you've been meaning to try for a while in terms of a baby gift...... :)

I had picked up a cute packet of fabrics (thanks to Janice for introducing me to these cuties) and some soft flannel and backing fabric and thought I'd try my own little Take-Along.  Julia has a Taggie Blankie that she has always loved and I always meant to make some... this is a version of that... instead of the ribbon tags, I put satin blanket binding around the edge.

Then I had a little fun... my machine does lettering, so I programmed in the name of the new baby-not-yet-born-as-of-last-night and stitched it around the edge... I can't wait to give Allison and Jeremy this little giftie when I meet their new baby girl... yay!  (So, come on, Allison...!  Woohoo!  So exciting!  Can you tell I am excited to hear about this  baby being born?  I love babies and love that so many of my friends are due this month... yay!)



What's the flower between your chin and your nose...?  :)

Last night Julia was adamant that we go outside before dinner ("Ouw tide!  Side!  Mama?  MAMA?  Side?  SIDE, MAMA?????"), so we decided to hunt for tulips in our yard and bring them inside for table decoration.  As you may know, Julia is a Big Girl now, so she was going to carry (some of) them.

How to get her BACK inside?  All I had to do was suggest she show Daddy and Raven her flowers... she was back inside in a whip!

(Why I included the second picture... this seems to be the universal stance for a two-year-old when you say "smile!" -- tip your head back as far as you can go and plant a big fake one on our face!)


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Seven Months

Believe it or not, Raven is seven months old today already... wow!

Adam and I were talking last night and he mentioned that it seems that the nine months pregnant sure seems to go by slower than once the baby is out and growing... I would agree!

Raven is growing like a weed and I am sure by now she has hit the 17 lb mark.  She is easily wearing outfits that Julia NEVER filled out... (see pictures... Julia was always so tiny in these dresses...!).  Today I finally gave up and left the car seat in the car... she is lighter to carry if I take her out than to try and lug her around in the bucket anymore... and sadly the handle is broken on it now too... I have a feeling we'll be saying "buh-bye" to that car seat sooner than later.

She still has no real interest in food and we haven't been pushing it.  We have been practicing with sitting up and she is very good at that.  She still mostly rolls from her back to her belly, but she is gaining strength there as well.  We aren't close to crawling yet, but you can tell the thought of moving around intrigues her. 

She has become "grabby" and very interested in the world around her... but she is mellow, so when you take something away from her (or more often than not, when JULIA takes something away from her), she fusses for a few seconds but then looks for something else to occupy her.  I love how mellow this kid is... and how SMILEY!  She is so much fun just to LOOK at because she will throw you a smile even in the middle of a crying fit.

Which, crying fits really don't happen too often.  Honest.  If she is crying, there is something wrong, and it still remains that it is most likely needing to eat or needing to sleep.

Though... she is starting to show tendencies of the "stranger danger" biz and I don't doubt that before long, she won't want to go to anyone but mom or dad.

What else can I tell you about this lovely little girl?  :)  I know that she is a dear to our family and we couldn't imagine not having her here... and it is so awesome how well she and Julia get along (still).  Julia is still her protector and loves her baby sister... I'm cherishing these times while they last!

(pictures... many of the tulips are already a-bloomin' here in Pella so how fun was it to get pictures of Raven at seven months in front of one of the beds up town... Julia had no problem sitting next to her sister, but trying to get them to both look at me at the same time was somewhat amusing and never did pan out...)


Diaper Bag!

I love to make bags... and it has been a long time since I made a diaper bag, so it was fun to make this one.  I will get this out there right away... I am itching to take it apart and fix a few things but I won't... because, well... taking a bag apart and having it go back together even remotely nicely is a pain... and, well... I don't really *want* to take it apart.  (Ha, if the recipient wants the "issues" fixed, THEN I will take it apart!)

I made this for my friend Janice, who is expecting at the end of the month.  She had this stack of absolutely FABULOUS "children's fabric" that she brought out at the retreat in February, and I'm fairly certain I drooled on it.  Funny enough, I had bought a yard each of two of the fabrics in the pack she had... great minds!  She mentioned she wanted to make a diaper bag from it, and I had just finished a bag and was itching to make one from scratch, so I offered up my services.

Sure, sure, that was almost two months ago... I had pieces done but kept neglecting to buy a zipper when I was out, and I needed the zipper to really solidly put it together.  I finally put it on my shopping list this last Friday and actually remembered to buy the darn thing...!  So, last night I finally found the time I needed to finish piecing this cute bag together.

I threw in some of my own fabric from the two yards I had bought... I love the patchwork'd-ness of this bag, but at the same time, I felt like some solidness was needed to round it out, so used cute green owl fabric for the gusset and strap.  I used a white with green polka dots on the inside.

I am fairly happy with how the bag turned out, though I would change the side pockets... they are too long and start too high... I think they will be basically unusable.  And, I normally don't use a gusset... I wanted to try it out... I might go back to my "old way" of doing things.  It worked out fine, but seemed a little more work for not anything that I didn't already get from my "old way", and it also made the inside of the bag loose... not my fave.

Things I loved about it, though... what a great opportunity to practice more free-motion quilting and have I mentioned out cute the fabric is...?

BUT... Janice... I hope you LOVE it anyway... and if you don't, I know someone who can fix the things you don't love about it.  :)  Either way... thanks for the chance to make a bag for you!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Common Words

What do a basket, a crock pot, a peacock, a pocket, and a backpack all have in common?

In Julia speak, the all sound like the same word... and Adam and I find that word to be HILARIOUS!

This video doesn't do justice to how funny hearing her say these words really is... but we had to try, because we know before long, she will be saying all of these words correctly and we'll have completely forgotten what it sounded like when she would say a certain words. It is amazing to hear her parrot us and try so very hard to get it right. :)

Oddly enough, she says the word "bucket" without any trouble what so ever. :)

I also love her use of the word "heavy"... one of those things where I think, "When did she learn this? How did she learn what heavy was?" Boggles the mind.


Happy Easter!

(There is a reason why I take 20 pictures of 1 shot only to end up with 1 good one...!)
Here is Julia in her Easter Dress!  How fun!  (I apologize; I didn't get one of Raven's; it was a busy day!)

We celebrated Easter yesterday first by attending church.  Adam was in the band and I was in the choir, so we were at church with the kidlets at 7:30 am.  I was amazed by how well that went, considering how little sleep Adam and I got.  ;)  We each took charge of a kid and they both turned out okay yesterday.

We were part of both first and second service, and it was simply amazing to be a part of it but also to be there and witness God moving through the church on Easter morning... so beautiful!

Then we came home and had lunch with friends from church... what a blessed day!  Six adults and six kids.  One of our friends had a birthday yesterday, so Adam played Happy Birthday for her on the piano.  We had turkey, beef roast, mashed potatoes, rolls, fruit salad, and jello cake.  Yum!
Raven is a bit sick and has had a fever since Thursday.  It is in the mid-range... I've stopped giving her Tylenol because it bothers me to give her Tylenol so much... today she woke up a bit after 7 am without a fever... so off to daycare she went.  I am hopeful that she had a good day.  I think maybe it is just teething, but it is becoming a little ridiculous... I am not getting a whole lot of sleep and Raven is having a hard time getting comfy to sleep.  Poor baby.  Poor Mommy!  And poor Daddy too, as I bring Raven into our room in the middle of the night so as not to wake up Julia.

I hope you all have a fabulous week!  And, I hope you enjoyed today's posts!


Trip to the Park

This last Thursday it was very warm (almost 80) and seemed like the perfect day to make our first trip to the park for the season.  (Good thing too, as rain is in the forecast for much of this week!)  Both girls enjoyed the swings, but Julia especially enjoyed the equipment... Mommy didn't enjoy trying to find Julia half the time while holding a little baby.  But, we had a good time and it was fun to burn off the energy with the kids!  Next time we go to the "big" park, I hope Adam can come with so that we can each take a kid and they can do their respective "play".  :)


Dyeing Easter Eggs

This is the second year that I've dyed Easter Eggs with Julia.  While last year she had no problem sticking her fingers in and turning them any variety of colors, this year she put in the first egg, pulled out her fingers, and said, "Yucky!"  So, Julia stuck to decorating the eggs with crayons and Mommy took care of the actual dyeing.  We also colored the paper.  It's fun!

Don't you want to just pinch 'em?

Julia was a "skinny" baby and had what I always called "chicken legs" (oh, Julia, please don't read this and develop an eating disorder as a side-effect in the future)... so I marvel daily at the legs on Raven... they are so delicious!  I just want to pinch them and then eat one for dinner.  Ha!  Seriously, though, she is just as cute as can be and the little bit of leg chunk certainly adds to the cuteness factor...!