Sunday, November 25, 2007


I am happy to announce that my brother Tyler and his girlfriend Kim just got engaged on Friday November 23rd! We are so excited to be welcoming this wonderful woman into our family, she and Tyler really were made for one another. She was completely surprised when, after a hike on snow shoes up to Lake Agnes, next to the frozen lake, Tyler told her he had a surprise for her in his coat pocket. She reached in and there was the box! He then popped the question and she said yes. The ring pictured here is not the ring, but the closest one I could find to it. If I could grab the ring in the middle and twist it about 90 degrees so that the accent diamonds weren't headed straight for the middle, that would be the ring. It's absolutely gorgeous, Tyler did a great job picking it all on his own. They haven't set a date yet, but I'm sure the planning will commence sooner than later. We love you both so much and are just over the moon excited for you as your lives will soon become one!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Stocking Instructions

Several of you have asked me where I got the pattern for my stockings. Just click here. But I must give my notes as well since I tweaked things a bit to make the stockings the way I envisioned them. First of all, instead of using outer material, fusible fleece and liner material, I used already quilted material and then liner material. This saved a step and gave the stockings a more country feel, which is what I was going for. The patchwork, stocking cuff, toe patch and heal patch were all pieces I sewed on before sewing the liners on. I drew my own patterns for these. I then followed the pattern instructions to a T up until the very last step, which was sewing the front and back finished pieces together. Instead of sewing them front to front and turning them inside out, I simply pinned the front and back together, liner to liner, and sewed them together with a zigzag stitch. This gave the fronts a more primitive country look and made the stocking "fuller" in size. It also lets them hang flatter so you can fully appreciate the shape and design of the stocking. If you decide to do patches on the fronts, be sure to keep the design simple if you plan to sew them on with your sewing machine, otherwise you should hand sew them on. Lastly, take your time cutting your front/back and liner pieces and make sure they are exactly the same size. Then make sure you do a nice 1/4 inch seem so that when you go to sew your fronts and backs together, they line up nicely. If they're not perfectly the same size, you can make it work when you pin them together, but it will make your job much easier if you are careful in the cutting and seaming process leading up to the final assembly. I hope this all makes sense and is helpful if you are planning to make this pattern. Please feel free to email me with any further questions if you get stumped somewhere in the process. Happy sewing!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Look Mom!

Here you have it, my very first sewing project as an adult woman! I must say, making these stockings was very fun and I think I'm hooked. They're not quite done yet. My next project will be cross-stitching our names into each one (don't worry, I've got extra fabric for at least two more:)).

My mom recently passed down her old Singer sewing machine to me. This thing has been around since I was little and probably longer, I'll have to ask my mom just how long. It's a little finicky, sometimes sluggish, a few loose wires, but with a little TLC, we have bonded over these four stockings and I may just name her by the next project. I think I'll be participating in BooMama's Christmas Home Tour, so I'll let you know when you can see them hanging on my mantel. One Christmas task down, many to go! But I'm smiling and loving every minute of it!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Insert Face in Dryer and...

Nothing like a dryer fiasco to start your Saturday morning. I had put a load of the girls lights in the dryer the night before. As I thoughtlessly began to empty the clothes into my basket, horror crept in as I realized there were dark purple spots and streaks on EVERYTHING! Upon further investigation I found the culprit, the broken off tip of a purple crayon, from one of Emma's pant pockets I gather. How something so small could reek such havoc I don't know, but the clothes were only the beginning. The full realization of the horror came when I saw the inside of the dryer! You guessed it, purple streaks COVERED the entire inside of the dryer! I started to panic, these are my brand new front loaders that Travis so generously gave me for a birthday a year and a half ago! But panic turned into my face glued to the computer screen as I searched for ways to remove melted crayon from clothes and my dryer. I'm still working on the clothes, I've had success with about half of them. I need to make a run to Walmart for a few more items to try with the clothes. But as for the dryer, I'm happy to report that I found a solution! After trying Softscrub with bleach, Oxyclean, Advantage, and all this with a Magic Eraser and minimal to NO success, I stumbled across a suggestion for glass-ceramic cook top cleaner. Luckily we have a bottle since we have a glass top range, and to my pure glee, it worked magically! Just squirt the cleaner on a dry paper towel, start scrubbing and voila! (Apparently plain white toothpaste works in the same way.) After the job was officially done, about an hour and a half later, I was exhausted and in desperate need of a shower. Having your face in a dryer full of fumes for that long can't be good for you. Lesson learned? ALWAYS check every pocket of your kid's clothes before washing them. I also encouraged Emma never to put crayons in her pockets again, but I think I'll still be checking every time. If any of you have suggestions for getting melted crayon stains out of clothes, PLEASE send along the advice. Ah, the stuff of motherhood. I'm sure broken T.V.'s and melted crayons in the dryer are just the beginning. We have to laugh or we'll cry right!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Accident or Divine Intervention?

The afternoon begins as any other. After a satisfying lunch, the girls and I spend the hour before nap time playing in Emma's room. 1:00pm rolls around, nap time in our house, but friskiness abounds so I'm guessing it will take some effort. Chloe is also battling a cold complete with cough and runny nose, which makes it harder for her to get settled down to sleep. I lay Chloe down, the coughing ensues, then the crying when she becomes frustrated that she can't suck her thumb with a plugged up nose. I let her work on it for awhile while I read Emma her nap time story. Emma is tucked in, eyes closed tightly in hopes that sleep will come easily. I sit down at my sewing machine to work on my Christmas stockings. Chloe goes in and out of fussing and almost falling asleep, we're almost there. Then Emma calls from her room, "Mommy!" I come in knowing what petition will come next, smile hiding behind my lips. "Emma's havin a rough time, I'm just not tired. See, I'm happy, I'm not grumpy! Can I have a quiet time, I don't need a nap today?" Chloe revs up the crying and I can tell she's given up trying to fall asleep as I can tell she's now standing up in the crib. I tell Emma she can watch her Little Bear movie while I check on Chloe and then have some quiet time of my own. She happily agrees, I set her up with the movie, then go in to rock with Chloe for a bit. "You're the end of the rainbow, my pot of gold, you're daddy's little girl, to have and to hold, a precious gem is what you are, you're mommy's bright and shining start..." CRASH! BOOM! A big noise comes from the living room! I jump up, my heart and I race into the living room hoping for the best. Low and behold, the T.V. is face down on the floor and Emma is on the couch looking like a deer in headlights. My own eyes bugging out, in a slow monotone grumble I ask, "WHAT. DID. YOU. DO?!?" Apparently, she had climbed up on the armoire and pulled the T.V. off it's shelf because she "didn't want to watch T.V. anymore". In dumbfounded awe I ask, "why didn't you just push the off button?" She's been forbidden to climb on the armoire before, so the appropriate consequences ensued, accompanied with a stern explanation of what could have happened to her and how sad mommy and daddy would be if she was really hurt and needed to go to the hospital. She was genuinely remorseful, poor thing, and scared by the whole thing, which hopefully made a lasting impression. Upon inspection of the T.V., I realized that the power cord was torn in half by the whole ordeal. So until we buy a new cord, and assuming there was no internal damage, we are without television. I must say, I'm not so sure I want it back. I'd like to see how our lives change without that black box tempting us with trance-like, imagineless, inactivity on a daily basis. I must admit, sometimes I put a movie in for Emma just so I can get some things done uninterrupted. But what am I depriving her imagination from in the process, how am I thwarting her creativity? Heaven forbid boredom set in, whatever would she do?! Do I so easily forget life is not about constant entertainment? That sometimes the greatest thoughts and bursts of creativity come from times of nothingness, times when we must invent our next thought our action. Don't worry, I'm not going to get on some anti-television rampage, but let's just say that my daughter literally tearing our T.V. from the wall gave me all kinds of inspiration to seriously limit our family's use of it. I'm going to think twice the next time I want the "easy way out". I think a few more trips to the library and a few less movies on during the day is in order. Accident or Divine intervention, I don't know, you be the judge. But I'm thinking perhaps a little bit of both!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Friends For Life!

Jenn from Munchkin Land has tagged me for the “Picture Me” meme. I’m supposed to post a picture of me, write about it, and tag three people.
Any guess who these two kids might be?
It's Jenn and I!
Yep, since the second grade, when our mothers introduced us and pretty much commanded us to be friends, we have been. We've had our ups and downs, drifted and rekindled, but as it stands now, there's no way in the world I will ever let this beautiful woman slip out of my life. She means too much to me, she is too much to me. God in his sovereignty brought us together as young girls, and my life is all the better for His profound blessing! Rock on tight-rolled pants!
I love you more than words Jenn!
Who am I tagging? Anyone who would like to participate!