Monday, November 28, 2011



Outside my window...It's kinda grey/overcast.

I am thankful...for so very much and attempting to convert Thanksgiving into Thanksliving.

In the kitchen...are some fun ingredients that I'm looking forward to including in some tasty treats. 

I am wearing...a sweater, scarf & jeans

I am creating...well...I just created my second quilt. A bit more involved than my first and almost totally different than I originally planned. When I laid it out, I didn't like the pattern I had - I redesigned it :) 

From the learning rooms...I'm learning more about quilting as I quilt more. This time around  I learned that stripes are tricky and triangles are too!  And I forgot to allow for the sewing margin on the diagonal of the triangles. When you sew two triangles together to make a square, that diagonal sewing margin in addition to the outside edge margin significantly alters the size of the square and ultimately the size of the quilt! It actually all worked out fine as the "final" size was almost as big as a down blanket I recently purchased so I just added a border and then sewed the quilt top right to the blanket. I love the feel .... it's puffy, thick,  a bit crunchy (hmm...there's got to be a better word but I can't find it ...but this is one of the things I like most about this one)  and it's so warm and comfy and I love the medium weight and the different fabric textures. 

I am looking forward to...making yet another quilt. This one for my son for Christmas. I took him to the fabric store with me the other day to pick out materials/colors/patterns that he liked. Not a place most guys would want to go, nor is it something most guys would even want to do with their mom - but he was a good sport about it and I'm so glad I brought him! I would have never come up with this combination of fabrics on my own...but I like them! I really do. And I know he does too.   

I am  wondering..what this next quilt for Spokes is going to look like when it's done considering that the one I just made is nothing like what I originally pictured in my mind and I'm hoping that I can finish it by Christmas.

I am reading... Well - I'm going to read this book with my family around the dinner table beginning this evening. I need to put it on the dinner table so I don't forget. Click the pic for more info:

Around the house...Things are beginning to look rather festive. My husband, Strike & Spokes put up the Christmas lights on our house yesterday. The kids put up the tree. We will keep it with only the lights and the star for a little while before we decorate it. 

I am going... to put up a few more Christmas decorations. 

I am thinking... That Strike is going to get a lot of milage out of these...  

I texted her to let her know I had a little surprise for her when she gets home from school :) 

I am hearing...Playmaker playing the piano. Beautiful. 

I am pondering...Yesterday's sermon. We almost decided to stay home from church yesterday but I'm so glad we didn't. I didn't want the sermon to end. Really interesting. Perhaps more on that later.

I'm also pondering a quote from the movie Playmaker and I finished watching together this morning ... to the effect that when babies enter the world, their fists are clenched tightly because they don't know any better and they want to take everything. But -- when someone dies, their hands are wide open because - when we near the end ... we finally realize that we're not taking anything with us.

One of my favorite things... Heath Bars :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours. 

Don't forget to thank God 
 for that stack of dirty dishes ;) 

I've posted this before - and will probably post it again. 
Hmmm....perhaps then this is the beginning of a new tradition?! :)  

Thank God for dirty dishes;
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We're eating very well
With home, health, and happiness,
I shouldn't want to fuss;
By the stack of evidence,
God's been very good to us.

Author Unknown

Friday, November 18, 2011

sneak peaks

Just some sneak peaks of quilting projects in various stages of progress at our house. 

Below. Fabric for my next quilt.   Still keeping it simple but this one is destined to be a bit more involved than my first in that I designed my own pattern and will actually be building simple blocks w/ triangles this time around. The blocks will be smaller/5 inches with a total of 120 blocks (10 rows x 12 rows) / 50" x 60". 

Playmaker's quilt is well underway and is ready for the border. 

Strike's gotten some of her squares cut. She has so little time to work on it  but hopefully she'll have some time soon.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

my first quilt

I did it! I FiNallY made my very first quilt!  Actually it's my husband's. I gave it to him. I'm sew proud of myself :)  - Just wish it hadn't taken me sew long to finish it. I started it way back in 2009 with a friend who coached me thru' much of the process. I was seeeew close to being done when I put it away to revisit another day. I finally pulled it out again just the other day and determined to finish it this time around.  I have a history of starting projects and not finishing them sew, for me, this is a big deal :) 

I used 7" blocks,
 appliqued the circles & half circles by hand sewing them on 
  and it measures aprx 54" x 69".

Hubby and I test drove it last night. We snuggled under it while watching TV and I'm pleased to report that it did exactly what it was supposed to do ...  - kept us cozy and warm and looked pretty while doing it :)

I gather from this project that sewing is much like life. 
You can learn a lot from your mistakes
and - well, I'll just say ...
I learned sew much! ;)  


it was sew much fun that
I'm already planning my next one.

Monday, November 14, 2011

good monday morning

Good Monday morning! 


Outside my window...It's dark.  I got up w/ my husband around 4AM & stayed up after he went to work. My days seem much longer and I'm able to accomplish more when I do this. 

I am wondering...if I just found the secret to a "longer" life?! .... Perhaps I would savor more moments and life wouldn't fly by so fast if I got up at 4AM year round! ;)

I am thinking...about writing some handwritten letters to people who might not realize how much I care about them, how much they mean to me - how much I admire them - &/or why I admire them, etc.  They won't know unless I tell them, right?!  

From the learning rooms...I am learning that less is more - and that more, bigger, faster, cheaper (or more expensive for that matter)  is not necessarily better. 

I am thankful...that I didn't go all the way through life without figuring out, for the most part, what I'm still learning (see previous line).  

In the kitchen...Spokes came home this weekend and I made a ham dinner on Sat. Enjoyed havin' the whole family around the table.  I used leftovers to make a breakfast casserole to heat up for lunch after church -- and judging by the amount of ham that's still left, we'll be eating leftovers for awhile. Fine with me! Keeps meal planning simple. 

I am bathrobe & slippers

I am creating...not one but three quilts! I have one to finish and both of the girls started their very first quilts last week. All are simple/patchwork.  The clerk, who was a stranger to us,  commented about how the two girls are as different as night and day as she was cutting their fabrics. Who knew that picking out fabrics shed so much light on one's personality?!

I am going... - well - I think I'm going to serve truffles (hand made locally & to die for!) for Thanksgiving dessert. 

I am looking forward handmade chocolates, from the same shop I plan to buy the previously mentioned truffles, as Christmas gifts for the mailman, husband's co-workers, neighbors, etc. They're gonna LoVe it! :) No Dunkin' Donuts gift cards this year! ... Well - maybe only for the piano teacher....or perhaps he'd like chocolate covered espresso beans instead?! The ones I gave my husband recently were a hit with his co-workers :) 

I am reading...still reading In His Image. Almost done!

I am hoping...that the bill to have my husband's car fixed won't be too crazy expensive :/  Should know later today.

Around the house...It's so quiet....except for when Strike's alarm goes off. Something tells me she hasn't reset it since daylight savings time?! 

I am hearing...the clock ticking even as ...

I am pondering...

 LORD, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, 
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Psalm 90:1, 2 (NIV)

It's really that last line that I'm pondering. Yesterday's sermon was about that. My husband had a headache after church and I told him I thought it was the sermon that caused it :) Well...trying to wrap one's head around eternity is bound to give anyone who is currently stuck in time, a headache! Go ahead - give it a try....and then take two aspirin ;)

One of my favorite things... The aforementioned truffles ;)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

the journey

I just ordered this devotional to read in the evenings around the dinner table beginning just after Thankgiving and going through to Christmas. There are 28 "chapters" so it's just about perfect for that time period - especially since it allows for a few "grace days" in case we don't get to it for some reason. I hope it's as good as it looks. Click the pic for more info:

Imagine the world, over 2,000 years ago-a time shrouded in darkness and uncertainty. A young woman named Mary and her husband, Joseph, travel many miles to the village of Bethlehem. To passersby, they would seem all but ordinary. Now imagine the sheer, almost unfathomable magnitude of the secret task carried by this young couple. This is the journey of the people whom God chose for a most sacred purpose--to bring the Son of God, our Messiah, into the world.

This four-week devotional based on Adam Hamilton's The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem offers readings, Scripture selections, and heartfelt prayers to help you celebrate and reflect during the Advent and Christmas season. This volume stands alone as a devotional, but is especially useful as a companion to The Journey.  via

I'm also taking some time today to make a few (key word here) lists and plans for the upcoming holidays. Fun! :)

a novel staircase

I love this concept! Clever. :)

and here's another practical idea as well..

Monday, November 7, 2011



Outside my window...there's still snow on the ground but it's supposed to warm up to near 70 later this week! :) 

I am thinking...about how to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.  Really enjoyed keeping it small and quiet and simple last year. 

I am thankful...that I can still be a stay at home mom while my girls are teens. Just so grateful. 

From the learning rooms...I learned what a murmuration is this past week. So cool! Beautiful. Amazing! If you're curious click HERE.

In the kitchen...After the grease fire I decided to paint the cabinets a different color - but I haven't done that yet. Really want to get that done but don't really want to do it. Know what I mean? 

I am wearing...a black fleece CuddlDud shirt w/ blue jeans. I discovered  CuddlDuds Fleecewear with Stretch  just recently and I have a full set now. So soft. So cozy. So warm. SOooo comfy! If only they never needed to be washed! 

I am creating...In my mind I'm creating a simple Thanksgiving centerpiece.

Perhaps something like this:


this one on the right: 

I am shop for boots with my daughter. FUN! 

I am wondering...if I will really follow through with my plan to get up early ... as in around 4:00 AM while my husband is working a different schedule for a while. I love the early morning. Just don't like getting out of bed ;)

I am reading...still reading In His Image. Learning so much. It's reeaally good.  Very interesting. Co-written by a surgeon and a pastor.

I am hoping...that if/when my husband goes to Taiwan next year,  I might be able to join him there for a bit. 

I am looking forward to... Thanksgiving. To making it an extra special time. To setting the table. To getting up early and preparing the feast with my husband. To watching the Macy's parade. 

I am hearing...almost nothing. Love the sound of silence once in a while.

Around the house... there are leaves to be raked. 

I am pondering...Just when it was that my baby girl turned into a beautiful young lady...

Sissy helping Strike get ready for her first dance / Homecoming

Silly girl. She looooves to have fun! :)  

One of my favorite things...see what I'm wearing... above :) 

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Just curious. Do you know what a murmuration is?  If not, may I suggest you watch this video first before scrolling down for more info? You're in for a treat! Seriously! This is amazing.


A “murmuration” of starlings, as this phenomenon is known, must be one of the most magical, yet underrated, wildlife spectacles on display in winter. Impenetrable as the flock’s movements might seem to the human eye, the underlying maths is comparatively straightforward. Each bird strives to fly as close to its neighbours as possible, instantly copying any changes in speed or direction. As a result, tiny deviations by one bird are magnified and distorted by those surrounding it, creating rippling, swirling patterns. In other words, this is a classic case of mathematical chaos (larger shapes composed of infinitely varied smaller patterns). 

Click HERE for more info.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

a picture inside of a picture

I just stumbled on this pic. Love it. This past Fathers Day one of the kids made daddy a "card" using a picture taken long ago when we lived in Oregon and set it as the screen saver on his i-pad. Later we tried to re-create that pic with the old one held front and center.  I was just thinking how fun it would be to do that year after year! If I figured it correctly and we were to do it just one more time it would be a picture of a picture inside a picture inside another picture.... ;)