Monday, December 19, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Only a little more time left until the end of the year. I'm happy to say that I finished the Log Cabin Baby quilt and actually got it to the mom within days a finishing. This is particularly surprising since we don't see each other that often but I decided Saturday to keep the quilt in the car with me from now on just in case and, lo and behold, I saw her Saturday night!

Yesterday, I finished the machine quilting on Rooty Tooty. I had originally planned to use this as a couch throw, then S. claimed it as soon as the top was finished. It's a little bit of a weird size (52"x 73")since I was just playing and was going to use it for the couch, but it should be alright for S.'s bunk bed. While I was quilting it, dh tried to stake a claim to it so he and S. kept teasing each other the whole rest of the day about who was going to get to keep the quilt. I still have to make the binding and attach it before either of them gets it. I've got two Dr. Who DVDs coming from Netflix tomorrow which will be perfect for getting the handwork binding done.

If I finish that this week, then I'll work on one of the twin quilts from my UFO list. They both need borders to finish the tops and I'll have to piece a backing for each. I have yellow borders cut for them but I found out the twins really like pink so I have to decide if I'm going to frame them in pink or just stick with the yellow. If I'm super good, maybe I'll be able to get those finished (at least to the binding phase) by the end of the year.

I, also, have a scarf for the Special Olympics to finish up. H. kept trying to stake a claim to it, so I'll have to make one for him as well. The colors for this year's Special Olympics' scarves are perfect for a scarf for H. since his coat is navy blue with a red lining. I love serendipity!

Check out more design walls on Judy's blog.

In case you're wondering about what happened with the cut quilt, I told A.'s mom. She talked to her and A. still claims she didn't do it. We have a policy in this house that if you don't see it happen, don't blame anyone, so I've decided just to drop it but keep an eye on her from now on.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Remember how I said a few weeks ago that all I had to do was quilt Log Cabin Baby and then I was going to get Rooty Tooty machine quilted? Hey. I just finished the hand quilting yesterday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can finish the binding in the next day or so and THEN I'll work on Rooty Tooty. I guess that's the fate of being a busy homeschooling mom. I only get bits of time here and there to work on my quilty projects. :P

I've also had a bit of a dilemma here the last week or so. I have a 9 year old girl that I watch in the afternoons while her mom works PT. She a bit mischievous and chatty and tends to have problems staying focused on finishing her homeschool work. She (imo) acts younger than her age probably since she's the baby of her family and came when her sisters were already teenagers. She and my Z. tend to talk a lot and distract each other so that they both get behind. She's here when we do our co-op class but has chosen not to join in. I'd been allowing her to work by herself in my girls' bedroom while we did our class downstairs. Usually this hasn't been a problem but about a week and a half ago, Z came downstairs and told me she had ripped her bed sheet. I went to see what she was talking about and found this...

The sheet was not ripped it had been cut, and it's a big cut. Apparently the little girl (A.) had pointed out the "rip" to Z. the day before. There was also scribbled ink on her sheet and S.'s and a scribble on their bunk bed. My girls are old enough to know better and Z. was very upset that I would yell at her for ripping the sheet;she had no idea that it had been cut. It became obvious that A. had likely cut the sheet some time during our class when she was by herself. I talked to her mom, we both talked to A., she apologized and bought Z. new sheets from her allowance. We decided as a punishment she would not be allowed to stay in the girls' room by herself for a while. A few days ago, Z. told me she found a cut in her quilt. I thought she meant her comforter so I went to look and this is what I found...

Most likely, this was done at the same time as the sheet but A. completely denies doing this. Z. uses her quilt all the time but doesn't really make her bed so she hadn't noticed before (and she never would have done it herself since she likes her quilt). I haven't told A.'s mom yet about the quilt. DH was home on the day we found out about the quilt and said that I should just tell the mom that we can't watch A. anymore. (A. overheard our conversation and I know she hasn't told her mom about what happened either.) Her mom's my friend and I don't want to create any bad feelings between us so I'm at a loss about what to do.

Anyone have any suggestions?

I know it's a busy time of year, but there's plenty of eye candy and inspiration on the other Design Wall posts on Judy's blog to check out if you have some down time.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Help Stand up to Islamophobia

I don't know if you are aware of this but there is a reality-type program on TLC called "All American Muslim". Since this program came on the air, anti-Muslim groups have targeted the advertisers of the show claiming it's "propaganda" because the Muslims represented on the program are too normal! How dare TLC show Muslims as being just like everyone else?!?

Unfortunately, those seeking to promote fear and hatred have succeeded with at least one company that they have targeted. Lowe's representatives have admitted to caving in by pulling their advertising from the show, which is really rather idiotic on their parts since there were many loyal Lowe's customers in the Muslim community.

I'm an ordinary, "run of the mill", average American who is also a Muslim. Guess what? So are most Muslims in this country. This is true despite what you hear in the media. We work hard, raise our children, pay our taxes, support and give back to our communities. Basically, we're just like everyone else. Are their bad apples among Muslims? Yes, just like every other group in America. But just like everyone else, the majority of Muslims are good, law-abiding citizens just living their lives.

It would mean a great deal to me if you would sign the petition and pass it on to others you may know so that other companies will not be so inclined to cave to the pressure of a few who are bent on demonizing an entire population.

If you would like to read more on this, there is a good blog entry here:

or check out the show here:

Thanks for your support.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Barely a whisper

What's worse than a woman who can't talk?
A Mom who can't talk.
What's worse than a mom who can't talk?
A homeschooling mom who can't talk. (especially one that teaches two co-op classes with 7 active, talkative students and who was supposed to have an prospective homeschooling mom come over to chat and see how homeschooling works around my house)

I've had a bit of a cold for a few days. Yesterday, my voice was a little creaky but seemed otherwise ok. That is until I decided to give my mom a call in the evening. Within 10 min. of getting off the phone, my voice started to fade. By morning, it was barely above a whisper. I waited a while hoping it would come back as I got my day going. No luck! I had to call my friend and whisper that I'd have to reschedule. Her response? She made me a pot of soup!!! How cool is that?!?

I decided to go ahead with the classes today but thought I would talk just a bit and let them play "Take Off!" (a fun, geography game) and Mad Libs card game. I actually ended up talking much more than I had intended but it was the quietest class ever! They had no choice but be quiet if they wanted to hear what I was trying to say. By the time we got to the games, my voice was almost completely gone.

We have class again in the morning but it's a quiz and report day* so I'll have very little talking I need to do.

My kids are taking advantage of the fact I can't talk much by playing on the computer right now instead of getting ready for bed since they know I can't yell at them from my computer even though I'm just a room away. :P

*In case you're wondering-Report day started because the kids were starting to talk way too much in class (just random, stream of conscious type talking not on topic or even in the general neighborhood of on topic chatter) so I decided to give everyone an opportunity to talk in class each and every week. We alternate between reports on countries and scientist. The following week they have a quiz on what everyone presented. If it's countries, they have to tell me the country, capital, what the people are called and then find it on a map. For the scientists, they tell me who they were, when and where they lived, what they did and then place them on a time line. The students range from a 3rd grader up to 2 eight graders so it's a challenge to keep things as even for them as possible. I think I'm going to have to make some more accommodations for the 3rd grader since she's struggling a bit with memorizing the info.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

Do you want to see my Thanksgiving "Turkey"?

I had sent the kids outside so we could take some pictures to send to my mom. The little boys decided to ride their bikes while waiting for everyone else. H. looked down near the garage door and tried to tell me there was something in a glue trap. My guess is that he couldn't remember the word "snake", instead he said there's one of those "things". Well, we live in an outer suburb with lots of bugs and other creepy, crawlies so a "thing" could mean a whole lot of lifeforms. I assumed he meant a big cricket or a cave centipede. Instead he meant...

This little guy got itself stuck on a glue trap that we use to keep the bug population in our garage down. (Keeping that pop. down reduces the number that come inside for a visit.) It was either looking for a warm place to hibernate or saw what looked like a bug buffet and decided to tuck in. Either way it got itself in big trouble. The entire underside of its body was completely trapped in this super sticky glue. The other kids and dh were coming out at this point and we discussed what to do. I decided that the most humane thing to do would be to try and get it unstuck by loosening the glue with warm water. The first attempt got his lower jaw unglued but on the second attempt it tried to bite the glue and got both jaws stuck and a mouthful of glue. Eventually I got it completely off the trap but he still had glue sticking to his body which made it hard for him to slither. Dh took the initiative and used some gas as a solvent, which removed all traces of the glue that I could feel. We placed him on a log in a protected area and he slowly made his way under the leaves. I'm not sure if it will survive but we did our best.

On an interesting note, S. had just gotten a book all about snakes from the library Last night! We now know that Turkey is an eastern garter snake, probably not much older than a baby since it wasn't very big and babies are 5-9 in. Here's hoping that Turkey recovers from his tough day and has many more bug-catching, mouse-catching days to come.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I would love to say that I finished the Log Cabin Baby but that just didn't happen. I'm still working on it here and there when I have a few minutes. I'll get there soon enough I guess.

One of the (many) things that took up valuable quilting time is repainting the girls' room. When we moved in early 2007, the girls couldn't agree on a paint color; one wanted pink, the other purple. We choose pale shades (almost matching) of both colors and paint two walls each color. They'd outgrown that color scheme and have been asking since summer to repaint their room. Well, dh was off visiting his parents and that means that the chaos of paint wouldn't interfere so much with our routine. During previous trips, I've stripped the wallpaper off of the bottom half of our dining room walls and repainted them, repainted our bedroom and painted an under the staircase closet that I use as a pantry. (Each project happened on different trips.) DH was gone less than 2 weeks this time and I hadn't planned on doing any painting, only quilting, but the girls can be rather persuasive. It helped that they both quickly agreed on a color. Them agreeing on anything is just shy of a miracle around here when it comes to their room. Besides repainting, we rearranged the furniture including the bunk bed. (Thank God for the help and added muscle of my now teenage son.) They're now very happy in their aqua bedroom with no more "babyish" paint.

Iranian women don't do much baking because there seems to be a bakery on just about every corner (at least in Shiraz). The selections are pretty standard but each place puts their own spin on things. It's quite common to drive out of your way to get to your favorite shop, passing up several others along the way.

Layered sponge cake with whipped cream topping pre-cut into serving size pieces is a favorite as are cookies made with rice flour. Cream puffs are another go-to dessert for when company's coming.
One of my favorites is a puff pastry that they call a danish but tastes something like a donut without the fatty aftertaste you get with donuts. When you go to the bakery, you order kilos of cakes rather than by the number you want. The bakeries often sell candy and/or chocolate by the kilo as well.

DH brought back some of the usual treats from Iran.

Sohan-a kind of crunchy candy with pistachios on top
Little kalooche-bite-size rice flour cookies-the kids love these, R. asked for 4 boxes just for him

Large kalooche-these are kind of like big Fig Newtons but with a date/walnut paste filling -one of my favorites

He also brought back some surprises.

There's a slightly sweet breakfast flat bread spiced with cardamon. (Sorry, I can't remember it's name.) It's so very good and addicting, like a not-too-sweet cookie.
The biggest surprise though was the cream puffs!

My ingenious sister-in-law came up with the idea of putting them in old yogurt containers.They worked out perfectly, not a squashed cream puff in the batch. M. (ds1)so misses these cream puffs which are his absolute favorite Iranian treat.

You can check out more design walls on Judy's blog.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Once again, I actually have something to show today. Yippy!

I finished two quilts this week. The blue quilt was just a little late. I had all but one half of the binding sewn down by the time of the baby shower on Saturday. I tried finishing it up at the shower but I was so tired, I started making stupid mistakes so just took it home and finished it Sunday a.m. and dropped it off in the afternoon. I, also, gave the batik baby quilt to a new mom. (I finished this one a couple of months ago but have only seen the mom twice, by chance, since her baby was born.) All of the quilts were well received and I got lots of questions about all of the different aspects of quilting. It was a bit stressful to get them done so quickly but I'm glad I did.

I found out on Tuesday that the recipient of the log cabin baby quilt would not be at the baby shower so that took some of the pressure off. I decided to hand quilt it because the machine quilting started to get on my nerves by the end of the second baby quilt. So this is what I'll be working on this week and IF I get it finished, I'll start on quilting the Rooty Tooty quilt for dd1.

Enjoy some quilty inspiration at Judy's blog and have a great week.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I didn't get as far as I need to on the 3 baby quilts. I've finished piecing all but the last backing. I've started it and everything's cut so it shouldn't take too long. The final quilt, which I didn't have a set idea on colors, held me up. I pulled somewhat at random but didn't like how it looked. DD1 suggested that I group them by colors so I had to set aside 5 of the blocks. The parrots and the pansies don't necessary fit their color group so well, but I really like the parrots and I'm have very few purples. The others I have are just too dark for this quilt. Oh, well. It's a good thing that baby's aren't picky!

I, also, have the binding on all three quilts ready and waiting, which is a first for me. Usually I don't make the binding until the quilting is finished. I still need to sandwich, quilt and bind at least 2 of the 3 quilts by 1:30 Saturday! Nothing like setting big goals with a fast-approaching, unchangeable deadline to bring on the adrenaline!

Time to get moving. Check out the other design walls at Judy's blog.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The cost of eating healthy

This is in relation to a post on Patchwork Times about the disparity between the cost of healthy food and junk food. This is a bit of a soapbox issue for me.

I maintain a spreadsheet of all of our spending going back for years based on all of our spending so I can assure your my numbers are accurate. Anything edible gets recorded in our food spending category whether it's celery, milkshakes, tomato plants or junk food from a vending machine.

The cost of junk food versus good food issue is one that bugs me a lot. We average $229/week for food which comes out to $4.68/person/day. We eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies, many of which are organic, and 3-4 gal. of organic milk per week. I cook most of what we eat, although we do eat some prepackaged items like veggie burgers. I bake often but I don't make my own bread. I only buy whole wheat bread and rolls. Our garden produced very little this year, probably not even enough to cover the cost of the starter and replacement plants the deer ate. We eat out only occasionally and only at Subway, Ikea (a good, large $9 pizza), Chuck E. Cheese (for birthdays with coupons) and, twice this year, we had Dominos. We hardly drink soda (none for the kids) and no junk juice/sugar water, only 100% juices even for juice boxes. We eat generally only small portions of meat and it's always with lots of veggies. I even mix shredded zucchini, onion and potato into our hamburgers.

According to USDA rates for Aug., our spending falls between the Thrifty and Low-Cost Plans. We used to fall below the Thrift levels before I started buying organic milk and before the kids hit major growth spurts. We maintained these levels even when I was going to school full time while taking care of 3 kids under 6 and pregnant with our 4th. We're all healthy; my kids are above average on growth charts, with the height matching or above the weight percentage.

To get the best prices on the foods we eat, I usually shop at 2-3 stores per week and make only 1 shopping trip per week. I've gotten pretty good at knowing who has the best prices on most of what we eat and can assess each store's "sale" price based on the cost of the same item at different stores. Some books suggest that you keep a little notebook with you to write down the prices at different store but I have enough experience that I just keep that info stored in my memory. I only occasionally use coupons since most of them are for prepackaged stuff that we wouldn't normally buy anyway. I have brand loyalty for certain products but have no problem buying the store brand of other things. After taste testings, I found that some store brands are even better than the name brands I was buying. (If you have a Wegman's near you, many of their store brands are quite good.)

I keep a stocked pantry and when I cook, I usually cook enough for 2-3 meals. Although, now that the kids are bigger, it's harder to make enough for three meals. There are days when they'll eat just about whatever is even remotely edible.
The extras go in the fridge for later in the week or in the freezer to use on days when I'm too busy or don't feel like cooking. We even use these meals when we go on vacation. (We bring dry rice and our rice cooker, as well.)

We sit down and eat most lunches and nearly every dinner together. The TV is in the basement, so no way to watch and eat a regular meal. Every once in a while, we'll have a "picnic" and a movie night.

Eating well can be done on a budget without a garden and having a busy life. It's all about choices.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I've got lots to show today. I've been a very busy quilter this last week. Why? I've got a friend's baby shower coming up on the 29th and it's being hosted by the mom who I made the wrong color baby quilt for. Remember that?

Well, I never got around to making her another quilt and I'd feel really bad making one for the shower and not bringing one for her. Plus, I finished the log cabin baby quilt top and back. I'm going to be incredibly busy for the next week and a half. I've got a set deadline and have to be finished with all three.

When I was working on another quilt the soon to be recipient of the log cabin baby was fascinated by the different fabrics so I told her mom that I would make the backing pieced with lots of variety. I like the idea and look so much that I'm going to try doing it for all three quilts, essentially making each one reversible. I'm not sure how much of a pain it will be to quilt it. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it won't be too bad, especially since my machine quilting skills are not the greatest.

The colors and pattern on the front were chosen before the baby was born but they are so appropriate for this little girl since she was born at home in a blackout during a blizzard! (The home birth was planned; the blizzard and blackout just add to a great birth story.) Top, back and binding are made. I need to sandwich, quilt and bind this one. I'm pretty sure the mom will be at the shower as well so I really want to get this done. Besides, her little girl was born back in Feb. 2010. I think it's about time to deliver this one.

The blue nine patch is the replacement for the pink disappearing nine patch that I had made. I was going to do another disappearing nine patch but I was too tired last night and just wanted to get it done. It still needs a blue border which I haven't pulled yet. This one needs a border, back, binding made plus the quilting and binding.

The last one I haven't even pulled the fabric for or settled on colors. I have decided on a bow tie pattern though and I have plenty of 5" squares already cut to choose from.

The week before last I finished binding the batik baby quilt from my last post, so that now ready to give.

Besides quilting, H. had his 4th birthday which required making a cake and a mandatory trip to Chuck E. Cheese.

This week, we've got two dr.'s appointments, a birthday party, a girl scouts meeting and a group coming to visit our mosque (which means dessert lady mode for me). Tops and backs need to be finished today or tomorrow so that I can get the quilting done Wed. and Thur.

By this time next week, I should have three baby quilts in the process of being bound and on the 29th I'll have four quilts ready to give. Wish me luck!

Go check out Judy's blog for more inspiration.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Design Wall Monday (kinda)

Better late than never, right?

Did you miss me?

I can't believe it's been almost 2 months since I posted. As usual life's been busy, but I've gotten a few things done as well.

Ramadan matched up almost exactly with the month of August this year. Between daily baking and cooking and then dinner and programs at the masjid/mosque, Ramadan related activities took up no less than 5-6 hours each day. Besides the work, I finished handquilting the batik baby quilt, made one scarf for the Special Olympics, crocheted most of an almost twin size throw for DH's birthday and made two simple skirts for myself.

Now that we're in September, we're back to homeschooling. Once again this year, DH and I are teaching (in an informal co-op)not just our kids but now 5 other kids from 3 families. (Biology, English and history for me. Physics and math for dh.) I, also, have one girl who is going to be hanging out with us part-time every weekday since her mom works but still wanted to homeschool her. Mom homeschools in the a.m. then brings her to me and she finishes up whatever she needs to and gets play time with my girls. She's the youngest in their family with both of her sisters grown and married so it's more like she's an only child because of the age difference. She seems to be enjoying herself so far as do my girls. We're still working on balancing social time with assignment time though.

Another friend is about to be put on 3 months bedrest with her second pregnancy. Her husband plans to work from home 3 days a week and take her to preschool/daycare 2 days but he's just asked us if we can watch her at least one of the days he works from home. He's afraid he's going to get too far behind in his work especially since she's a bit of a handful. So there is a possibility that we'll add a 3 year old to the mix once a week. I don't think my house will ever be clean again. ;D

My garden didn't produce much this year. We had really dry weather most of the season until the beginning of this month. Now we've had over 9.5 in. just this month with more rain predicted for the next 3 days. The 4 zucchini plants all died out mysteriously with only 4 zucchinis produced. We got 3 mini watermelons a bit smaller than soccer balls, 3 tiny eggplants, 1 red pepper and 3 ripe full size tomatoes. The only plant that really produced is the cherry tomato. We've gotten over a 100 ripe tomatoes off of it with a lot still developing. We would have had more than 200 but the abundance of rain has caused at least 100 to split open. With the weather being so soggy and cooling down, I picked all of the green tomatoes off of the other two tomato plants. I'd rather they ripen inside and we might actually get to enjoy them than wait and hope the bugs and rain don't destroy them.
Note: The one ripening is supposed to be that weird color. It's a purple tomato, as are more than half the tomatoes on the plate. Notice how small my little eggplant is and they all grew C-shaped.

For this week, I'm hoping to finish up the black, white and pink log cabin blocks and get them to flimsy stage. My best chance of that happening is either Wed. or Thur. when we have nothing planned for the day except the kids doing their weekly assignments. Wish me luck. And go check out the other design walls for inspiration at Judy's blog.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Yes, I actually have something to share today!

We just got back a few days ago from a week long trip to a family-friendly summer camp and I took along a UFO to work on during down times. I almost got all of the quilting finished, just 1/2 of one of the long sides and the squares on 3 of the sides left to do. I quilted in the ditch around the inside of each small rectangle, along the sides of each square and around the inside of the small squares. I'll finish up the quilting probably today and get to work on the binding. Once I get it done, I'll give it to one of the women in our mosque expecting her first baby at the end of the month.

I was hoping to have all of the quilting done by now but ended up with 11 loads of laundry once we got back. I also had to give the garden some attention. The hot weather has been great for the zucchini and we now have 4 watermelons growing but the tomatoes and green pepper are still slow to develop this year. (No thanks to the deer that kept eating the tops of the plants.) When we left, we had a couple of zucchini about half way along. When we got back, I found this....

It's as long as my three year old's arm from shoulder to fingertips and weighs 4 lbs. The kids were thrilled and immediately started begging for zucchini bread. The little "C" shaped veggie at the top is an Ichiban eggplant. Unfortunately, it didn't get very big. We also had one tiny cherry tomato that S. ate as soon as she saw it.

Remember I was telling you how I see shapes and patterns in the most unusual places. This tree was right outside our cabin window at the camp.

You see the man's face there between the two branch stumps, right?

Go check out the other Design Walls at Judy's blog.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Design Wall/Window Sill

Ok, I know it's Tuesday, but better late than never! ;)

I finished the lime green block for my Boxed Rainbow quilt. Next up is the dark blue or maybe the red. I haven't decided yet. Sorry about the blurry picture.

I, also, have to make myself a new swimsuit. The elastic in the fabric is shot so that it's way too loose now. That's not surprising since I made the suit more than 3 years ago. I want to redesign it as well since the skirt gets annoying when I'm trying to do the water aerobics class. I think I'm going to cut it more like a long, slightly fitted t-shirt. Z.'s due for a new one as well. Her's has faded from a nice blue to almost silver and it's starting to get too small.

We took the kids swimming a few times last week and H. has finally learned to enjoy the water. He used to scream if you made him get in the pool but Sun. he didn't want to get out after more than an hour. It looks like after Ramadan we'll be spending lots of time at the pool.

We went to Six Flags on Thurs. which was fun despite the heat. The kids had earned free tickets for the Read to Succeed program, I got a free ticket as their teacher so that only left having to get a ticket for dh. We went in the afternoon and rarely encountered any lines. The nice part was that there were plenty of rides for my two little guys unlike Sea World where they were too small for most of the rides. We enjoyed so much that we're considering season passes for next year. It's less than an hour and a half from here. The only downside is that they don't allow you to bring any drinks into the park, which leaves buying bottled water at $3.50 a piece or using the one water fountain we found that provides warm water (not exactly refreshing on a hot summer day). I understand them not wanting you to bring things into the park but they could at least have a few more water fountains with cool/cold water.

Well, I'm off to get busy on my suit. Check out the other Design Walls at Judy's blog.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Patterns everywhere

Ok, I'm one of those people who sees patterns or pictures all over the place. I'll look at the leaves or bark of the tree and search for faces or forms. Have you ever tried that? Sometimes, you have to let your vision go a little blurry but most of the time, if you look closely enough you're sure to find some. It's kind of like the optical illusion pictures where you see an old woman or a young woman, two vases or two faces, etc.

I also tend to eat my M&Ms is color patterns. Ya know- green, orange, green or red, red, blue, red, red, blue. I'm weird, I know. Anyway, one day I had grabbed a handful of mini M&Ms and eaten a few without paying much attention. I set the rest down to type something, then looked back down and noticed that they fell into a perfect set of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, each in a different color. See? (Of course, I arranged them for the picture.)

BTW, finding the mini M&Ms in the bulk section of Wegman's grocery store probably has a lot to do with why I gained weight. Before I found them, I wasn't losing but at least I wasn't gaining either. But a girl's got to have her chocolate!

In part, because of hurting my foot on the treadmill, I went swimming for the first time in over a year and the same morning took my first ever water aerobics class. I had been swimming laps and doing some other exercises for a good 45 minutes and noticed that there were quite a few older people arriving as I was getting ready to go. One of the ladies, who had been in the pool about the same time as I had suggested that I stay for the class. Since dh was watching the kids and it was still kind of early in the morning, I changed my mind about leaving and decided to stick around. In my head, I was thinking that the class couldn't possibly too hard since most of the participants looked to be over 65, so doing the class on top of what I had already done would be no problem. Yeah! Apparently, you get out of if what you put into it and since you stay cool in the pool, you don't necessarily notice how hard you're working. That is until you get out! By the time the class was finished, my arms felt like spaghetti. By the end of the day, my whole body was sore. But, I found something I really enjoy doing and, at least for the next few weeks before Ramadan, I plan on hitting the early morning class on days when dh works from home.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Ok, ok. I know it's Tuesday. But, in my defense, I was out most of yesterday.

And I actually have something to show. Yippy! I got the "boxes" finished for the Bottled Rainbows quilt. Come to think about it, I think I'll rename my Boxed Rainbow. It seems to fit better. Now I have to cut the batting and start picking out scraps. I'm hoping to finish one or two squares per week. It's a quilt as you go design as well as machine applique neither of which I've never tried before. I don't know how much I'll like the process but I do like the colors all together.

I finally got a picture of the shirt I made for Z. I told you the print was kinda in your face. You can't really tell in the picture but it's got glitter all over it too.

Here's an example of the summer pants I make for the girls. It's just a simple elastic waist design with pockets. The girls both really like picking out the fabrics each year and wear them constantly so I know they like them.

These pants are one of Z.'s choices. Often when she chooses fabric, I really question her decisions, but most of the time they look pretty good on, so I've learned to hold my tongue and trust her choices. This fabric was one of those times, but it's really grown on me and I'm considering looking for more so that I can make a shirt out of it. This would definitely be stepping outside my comfort zone since almost every shirt I own is a solid color.

R. and H. have asked for pairs of their own and picked out flaming soccer ball fabric and camo lizards so I guess those are on the agenda for this week.

If you haven't already, check out the other design wall posts on Judy's blog.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Warning! PMS-induced Pity party in session! Proceed at your own risk!

Normally, I love the month of June. The weather's nice, homeschooling is done, we have plenty of time for outings and heck, who doesn't like the month they were born in?

Not this year though!

This year June has definitely been a disappointment! We've had record breaking heat on and off for the first third of the month. The limited rainfall has my veggies growing veerrrry slowly this year. Every last one of us came down with some rhino virus that had us coughing and blowing noses for up to two weeks per person; resulting in a sinus infection and antibiotics for dh. After it seemed that all of the kids were better, over the course of the last week, three came down with stomach problems, which turns out to be a result of strep throat. We now have 4 out of seven people in this house on antibiotics and I'm really hoping the other two kids don't end up with strep. I'll take my chances without antibiotics if it hits me. Me and antibiotics don't mix well. This is so frustrating because we so rarely get sick around here but this has just dragged on almost all month, bouncing from one person to the next.

My birthday present this year was a membership to a fitness center so that we could all go swimming. It started on June 4 and the beginning of our home confinement/quarantine because of sick kids started June 5. Argh!

To top it off, I think I have a stress fracture of my foot from running on the treadmill a couple of days ago. I was fine while running but yesterday it started to hurt just walking around and still hurts today. That's about the only impact running has had on my anatomy. Since the end of March, I've covered over 140 miles on my treadmill at just over an hour per session and lost absolutely no weight! In fact, I weigh more now than I did when I started. How fair is that!?! (No, I don't run the whole time. I combine 4.2 mph walking with 5.0-6.0 mph 1-3 min. sprints.)

I had a friend (a trained but not practicing dr.) tell me to go get my thyroid checked because that can effect weight gain/loss but I haven't done it yet. I hate going to the dr. and haven't seen any dr. since my last 6 week postpartum check up more than three and a half years ago. The last primary care dr. I had left medicine to be a mom nearly 8 years ago and I only saw her once.

I, also, messed around with the layout/colors of my blog and hate how it turned out but can't get it back to the original so now I'm going to have to start over again to try and, at least, make it a little better.

So, yeah, I'm definitely ready to say good bye to June!

Thank you for letting me get that out of my system.

On the plus side,
-we have all our needs met,
-dh has a good job with good insurance,
-I really like our pediatricians,
-we have plenty of entertainment options to keep sick kids busy,
-I've gotten 4 pairs of pants finished for the girls with two others cut and waiting to be sewn,
-despite my complaining, no one here is seriously sick,
-we have antibiotics to treat the strep infections-a privilege that would have saved my grandfather a life time of heart problems after a two bouts of rheumatic fever
-we live in a time when we can learn so much, without ever leaving home

Thank you God for all the blessings, big and small.