Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Big Jim

Happy Birthday Big Jim!

My dad has been a constant source of strength in my life.  He is always kind, loving, and caring to me and my family.  He has taught me the importance of hard work, loyalty, family, honesty and forgiveness.  He has taught me that life isn't fair, but you just continue on day by day.

He is a quiet man, but loves his family.  He is there whenever I need a sounding board.  He is a very strong, stubborn (sometimes too stubborn) man, yet has a very emotional side to him.  We have laughed together and cried together over the years.  He and I have a very open, honest relationship and I know no matter what I say to him, its ok.  Even if its to get after him about something.  We can always talk through anything and be ok by the end of the conversation.

I love to watch him with my kids - wrestling on the ground, playing with them outside, always trying to make them laugh.

I am lucky to have grown up with such a great man.  I am blessed to have so many of his traits (maybe not the stubborn one - I have it, but it may not be a blessing!)

I love you Dad, and hope we have years of celebrations left in us!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How do you chain sew?

Over the last few weeks I have been trying to work on my Route 44 quilt.  Basically the blocks are 4 patches - and I've been busy chain sewing them together.  I'm interested to know if there are any quilters out there do you chain sew?

Do you get all your pieces put together and pinned before you begin the sewing or do you just pin as you along (assuming you do pin).  Do you get all blocks sewn before pressing?  Do you sew one side and then the next side or do you press between the two sides?  I'm always interested to know how others are doing it out there.  Wondering if there are more efficient ways to make things easier and faster.
Per Carrie's advice in our Route 44 class - she suggested using Niagara as a spray starch.  During my Schnibble mystery class I took in January - where I spent an hour sewing things together wrong and the next hour unpicking my blocks, I noticed a girl who was sewing her rows together perfectly.  I asked her why she was having NO problems whatsoever when I was struggling so much.  She said it was because she was using a spray starch for the first time and couldn't believe what a difference it was making in her sewing. No fabrics were pulling, things seemed straighter....she was a believer and after seeing her rows so was I!  So I bought this and I've been using it on my blocks....what a difference a spray makes!  I too am a believer.  I found mine at Walmart - and next time I'll be buying a case!
So I've finished my first round of 100 4 patch blocks and surrounded them with the half square triangles. They are all sew, pressed, and trimmed.  I am now moving on to my next set of 100 4 patch blocks.  I hope to have those completed this week.

I've also been working on some quilting.  Seems when it rains it pours.  I have nothing to quilt all of 2011 and some how at the end of March was bombarded with quilts.  I'm trying to keep up and falling short!  So off to quilt some more this week!  Hopefully when my back gets tired, or I'm on yet another boring work call, I can fit in some chain sewing and get all my blocks done!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Menu Mondays

I did pretty good this last week.  What I didn't get to during the week, I did finish up this weekend.  I have to say the Chicken Taquitos  are delicious!  I made them for lunch today and I've been planning a Cinco de Mayo party in my head ever since just so I can make them again.

Also - remember last week when I said I had only cooked once in the last 3 weeks....I tried Pioneer Women's Sour Cream Noodle bake.  It was really good.  Instead of doubling the layers like her recipe calls for, I just did a single layer but twice...and froze one for later...which is what we'll be having on Tuesday.  Here goes - another week of ideas.

Monday - chicken tacos
Tuesday - Sour Cream Noodle Bake
Wednesday - Sandwiches or eat out (I'm going to a wedding shower!)
Thursday - Baked Ziti
Friday - Asian Chicken Salad

Sunday, April 17, 2011


This morning I was running Jake up to my mom's to go to church.  He started off by singing Show Me The Way to go Home - a family favorite.  Then the chatter began.  Telling me how when he gets big he can do this or that.  I wasn't saying much, just smiling to myself listening to his constant chatter.  He than said, "you know mom, I can be anything I want when I grow up."  I smiled again and turned to him and said "Of course you can.  Anything you want."

It amazes me how much of my mom I see in Jake.  The things he says, the songs he sings, the hugs and I love you's that come from his actions.  All these things are little pieces of my mom.  My children get to spend 3 days a week with Grama Polly.  They are so excited every morning when the door knocks and they both go running to greet her.  How lucky and blessed we are to have her as such a presence in our our lives.  The lessons I learned from my mom - are now being taught to my kids - by my mom!

From the songs we were sung each night before we went to bed, which are now sung to my kids at nap time.  To days in the sun and pool which are some of my fondest memories.  My kids spend their summers outside playing with Grama Polly in the backyard.  Being taught that I can do anything I set my mind to, was drilled into my head by my mom since before I can remember.  That lesson is obviously being taught to Jake.  Him saying in the car today "I can be anything when I grow up" is 100% Grama Polly speaking to Jake.

My mom is such a fun, caring, strong, loving person.  I love to spend time with her and see her laugh and smile.  I love watching her with my kids, and the cute little inside stories and relationship they have.  I love watching her transform her house from season to season, throw a party, or work in her yard.  She has such an eye and hand on all things beautiful.  I am so impressed with how she has grown and the strength she has shown me all my life, but especially the last few years.

I am so grateful I have such a wonderful mother in my life, and in the lives of my kids.  We all love you. Happy Birthday mom!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Menu Mondays

I haven't posted menus the last few weeks, because I've only cooked once in about 3 weeks!  I've decided Sam is never going to eat a variety of foods, if he isn't getting them put in front of him - so here I go again with another week.

Monday - Tacos
Tuesday - Southwest Chicken Wraps
Wednesday - Grilled Cheese sandwiches
Thursday - Creamed Chicken over Toast
Friday - Salmon w/noodles
Saturday - Baked Taquitos

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lazy days and Sundays

Today I ....

Folded clothes that have been clean for over a week.
Had a dance party to black eye peas with the kids
Took a nap
Breakfast with an old friend. Fun catching up.
Watched the Masters
Thought of grandpa Jiggs
Introduced Jake to Star Wars - he has been trying to move Sam with the force all day.
Watched my boys be WWF wrestlers - it's kind of scary.
Hope to be productive and get some quilting done tonight!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Friday

This week seemed as if it would never end.  I'm thrilled for the weekend to be here and a little down time.  This week was full and tiring, yet I feel like I didn't accomplish anything.  Ever feel that way?

Last night we had a family night - watched the movie Tangled and ate popcorn.  I'm happy to report we can add popcorn to the other 3 meals Sam will eat.  It was a fun night - kids were good - popcorn was buttered - what could be better?

Hopefully this weekend and coming weeks I'll feel a little more caught up and start feeling like my ole' self again.