Monday, November 29, 2010


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The Lord has blessed Casey and I greatly this year as far as abundance goes--his job, our house, etc... I think I have learned a little bit about Paul's statement on being content whatever the circumstances. Part of contentment includes letting go of anxiety about the future. We have spent many years with very little in the way of money, so it is hard not to let anxiety get in the way of trusting God for the future, or relishing His goodness to us without that nagging fear of losing it all in the back of our minds. We could very well lose it all tomorrow. But, contentment means embracing with joy our situation, trusting the Lord's providence, whether we are enjoying much or little--both sets of circumstances can provide tremendous growth and teach valuable lessons! "Rejoice in all things!" has been my mantra of late--and it really is possible!

Casey's family came down and stayed with us for Thanksgiving. My mother-in-law wanted some pictures while we were all together so we went outside with my self-timer and got this one:
And this one of the eight grand kids...
Our house made entertaining this number of people soooo wonderful. The kids disappeared outside, or the boys played with the Wii downstairs and the girls played upstairs in the girls' room. It was easy to forget there were eight kids in the house!

I LOVE this one of Casey's parents. I am so blessed to be part of their family. John did a large chunk of the cooking (turkey included!) which was awesome :)

My mom had a tradition of having a new puzzle out on holidays with lots of company. I bought this one and had is set out. It was done by the next day! Everyone had a hand in it, it was so much fun! (I highly recommend these Wasjig puzzles--they are sort of mystery puzzles. You have a picture, but you're building the puzzle from the perspective of someone inside the picture! Very clever and super fun :)
Here are the men getting into the puzzle action:

This pic speaks for itself :)
And a photo of our spread!

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving and are still rejoicing in God's goodness!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy, Happy Birthday to Casey!!!

Casey is 30 today :)  It's fitting that his birthday is so close to Thanksgiving because he is one of the things that I am most thankful for.
For his birthday, he wanted to go to Blackhawk, so a few weeks ago that's what we did! His parents came to watch the kids and we took off for a night at a hotel/casino, where we had tons of fun and Casey lost some money at Black Jack, haha. We were on the 25th floor--here's the view of the town from our window:

And here are some picture from the drive.  Before we left, we had lunch with some of Casey's work people (because Applebee's gives free lunch to Veterans on Veteran's Day) and one of the other wives said, "I don't like Colorado".  SHOCK! I have lived here almost my whole life and I don't know that I've ever heard someone utter those words.  Driving to Blackhawk right after that, surrounded by this kind of beauty and only an hour away from home, I couldn't stop marveling at it. Don't listen people, Colorado is amazing!

Happy birthday, Babe, I love you lots and lots :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Carol of the Bells

Some friends of mine posted this on Facebook last night. I showed it to my girls. They fell in love.

It is beautiful, right?  I don't know if the girls like the song or the princess dresses, it's hard to say :)

We do love this song, though, Natalie loves to dance around the house to this version (by far my favorite ever):

This leads me to the obvious question--if I were looking for some new Christmas songs to put on my iPod, what would you suggest? I like old and new, so comment away!

I would like to leave you with some cute pics of my funny little guy.  In many ways, I am loathe to see him grow up--he's soooo adorable just where he is ;) Then again, the wandering-around-whining-my-name-but-having-nothing-to-say-phase can go.  You know that phase, right?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving roundup and Christmas sewing

We are awash in holiday details here and it's fun :)  I have lots of little Christmas projects going on.  These sea horses are coming along...
And I have a nice stack of bean bags, waiting to be filled--gifts for little friends :)
But, before Christmas, we have Thanksgiving to look forward to! The girls and I are getting into it this year--they are finally old enough for some of the fun crafts out there.  Today we made these little Pilgrim paper dolls. If you have little girls who love paper dolls, Making Friends is a must-bookmark for you! You can print for free all different themes of paper dolls, clothes, hair and even some animals.

Tomorrow we'll be making these Pilgrim hats for all my kids and the littler cousins who are coming on Thanksgiving.  Looks fun, right?

You can find the instructions, along with lots of other ideas for Thanksgiving crafts and things, here. Good old Martha Stewart! :)

This morning, on one of the blogs I read (I can't remember which one, sorry), I saw a link to this awesome printable Give Thanks banner designed and offered to us for free by Second Street. I haven't made one yet, but I want to!
Next, there are lots of great crafts, printables, games and more for Thanksgiving at Family Fun.

We also have a few good Thanksgiving books we've been enjoying.

  1. Thanks for Thanksgiving  
       3. I'm a Turkey!
I LOVE collecting books for all the holidays and bringing them out during that particular time of year.  I try to get some after each holiday when they go on clearance so I'll have a few new ones for the next year.  I would love some good suggestions! If you have favorite Thanksgiving or Christmas books for kids, let me know in the comments.  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Around the house sightings...

We've had a quiet evening around here.  My kids have been wonderfully self-entertaining since we bought some new markers and this huge roll of white paper at Hobby Lobby for 3 bucks.  Totally worth it.  They've made life-size ball gowns, a coach and a road.  Can't wait to see what's next :)
Kelby got some new boots today--he's wearing them now, with no pants, just a hoodie and a diaper. It's adorable, take my word for it.
The cast of Beauty and the Beast congregated on the window sill to watch the short-lived blustery snow we had today:
And some books I ordered came in the mail! Yay!
These pictures are not great, I know.  I have yet to master my manual settings in low light.  But who's judging, right? ;)

A word about these books:  I originally ordered these on Amazon, plus one more (that Barnes & Noble didn't have in stock.  But, with the Free Super-Saver shipping, they wouldn't have shipped until late December or early January!!! That's just ridiculous, so I canceled the order and ordered from Barnes & Noble instead.  There prices are usually the same and since I'm a B&N member ($25 a year and totally worth it if you go there often like me), 2-day shipping is always free, no minimum purchase required.  However, I was chatting with my sister yesterday and she informed me of Amazon Mom, a free Amazon program that offers discounts on certain kids' items and free 2-day shipping (I think only on kid-related products, books included) for up to one year!  I joined immediately. Now I can order that other book I wanted with free shipping.  Perfect :)

The clearance at Old Navy is an extra %50 off again. The girls zeroed in on these tulle skirts without missing a beat.  For $3 a piece, I did not put up a fight :)
There, let's see, can I give free promotionals to any other businesses today??? Really, I should get paid for this ;)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kelby's Room--Check. Living Room...well, almost

So, I am finally getting around to posting pics of Kelby's finished room! I actually still want to make a paper airplane mobile to hang from the ceiling, but I don't know when I'll get to it, with Thanksgiving coming up and all (I'm hosting a big holiday for the first time, yikes!) So, I'll show you what I have, and it's awesome, if I may say so myself :)
I saw this map outline idea in a Pottery Barn magazine.  I borrowed a projector from church and made it happen. Turned out great, thanks to my lovely cousin Jordan's help :)
I picked up a linen shower curtain from a thrift store, maybe a year ago, thinking it would make a great window treatment.  I cut it in fourths, because I needed four panels and then added trims to make it big enough.  I LOVE how these turned out.  I threaded twine through the holes in the top, rather than buying rings or making tabs.  The license plates are something we've had lying around, well, since we lived in Georgia, obviously :)  They fit in great in his room.
These vintage car prints were my grandfather's.  My mom remembers her mother ordering them when she was a kid and she offered them to me several years ago.  I think I only had Natalie at the time, so boys weren't even on my radar, but I'm SO glad I kept them! They're one of my favorite things and Kelby loves pointing out the truck and the one he thinks is a Jeep.  That's what my parents drive and he points out Jeeps everywhere. The wooden shelves were already in the room, but were covered in white contact paper.  When I started peeling it off, I thought they looked kinda cool just as exposed wood, so I left them. (Or, I just didn't want another thing to paint, hahaha.)
This is pretty cool because it was Casey's army trunk.  I cleaned it off, painted it inside and out and made a cushion out of some boat flannel I'd bought for a baby blanket, but cut wrong.  Turned out to be a perfect toy box after Casey put the non-finger-squishing hinges on it :)

And there ya have it! This room cost very little--the paint was the main expense.  I got the lamp at a yard sale for less than a dollar, then painted the base white and covered the shade in fabric that a friend gave me (The same fabric on the curtains).  The curtains may have cost $5. Even the rods were given to me.  (If people know you've just moved, they start pawning all their stuff on you, it's awesome :) The little four-section white shelf was built by my Father-in-Law. (I know, I'm a lucky gal).

Since I was taking pictures, I went ahead and took some of the almost-finished living room.  I made new curtains yesterday, after going to Denver Fabrics and getting all the fabric and ribbon for $26!!! They have the best deals on home dec stuff, let me tell ya.  I like this room soooo much better now!
I got a quote on reupholstering my $10 sofa...$1700.00!!!!!! Yeah, it's gonna stay green.  My color wheel quilt looks right at home there, don't you think?

And here's the view from the stairway landing:
We keep the toy box and a corner of toys with the play kitchen in the living room.  Makes it much easier to keep the mess under control than when they were all kept in the girls' room! It's more fun for kids who come visit too.
Can you believe I scored this rug on Craigslist?? It's Pottery Barn and costs $750.  I got it for $130--the same amount I'd made from selling some other things on Craiglist and was saving for a big rug.  I had my eye on this exact one, but was just looking for something similar.  The fact that I found THE rug on Craigslist is kind of an anomaly.  The lady didn't know it was Pottery Barn until Casey told her and she checked the tag and said, "Man! I could've gotten sooo much more money for this!!" I love it. Can't you picture a distressed-white-salvaged-door-turned-coffee-table there in the middle???? I can. Finding said door, though, in the right size, takes a lot of patient searching, as it turns out.

I hope you all have a fabulous week! Thanksgiving is right around the corner!! Anyone wanna calm my nerves about hosting "The Meal"???? Anyone?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

in the Christmas mood...

I told you that the tree skirt Jenn made for my birthday sparked a Christmas quilt idea for me, remember?  Casey has been gone these last 8 days (we expect him back in the next hour or so, yay!) and so I spent my days sewing whenever I had a spare moment.  My sewing machine is a pretty good remedy for loneliness, it turns out, haha.  As is my little sewing buddy:
I am so grateful for kids who get along very well together and it really makes me glad they are all so close together--the girls pretty much entertain themselves all the time together now.  Kelby plays with them sometimes, but he generally likes to be in the big middle of whatever I am doing, which is okay by me :)  For this reason, I recently parked my sewing machine on the dining room table, which is working out pretty well.  There will come a season when my upstairs sewing room actually gets used, right?

Anyway, for my tree skirt,  Jenn used the red version of a fabric that I had bought three years ago now in white. It's one of those that I love so much, I was hesitant to cut into it.  Last year, I started adding some other Christmas fabrics to my stash, with every intention of someday making a Christmas quilt.  This week, I decided that if I keep waiting for some un-busy November in the future to make said quilt, it will never get done.  So I dug in :) By today, I had this...
This is one of the easier patterns in Material Obsession, called Retro Starburst.  It goes together quickly and I love, love, love how it turned out.  In case you're wondering, I will not be hand quilting this one--I do want it done this year, after all ;)

But, speaking of hand quilting, I cannot believe I am actually putting the binding on this beauty:
I will finish the hand sewing tonight and it will be d-o-n-e. Finally! I love it all the more though for all the time I've spent with it--we're emotionally connected now, ha!

At the risk of sounding like I have tons of free time and all I do is sew (please know this is not the case--I do have 3 little kids after all--we just stay home a lot and Casey being gone gives me more extra time, somehow ;),  I also made this little dress for myself last week:
It was not my intention to cut my head off, but it's hard getting a picture of yourself like this--I took a bazillion, and this is as good as it's gonna get.  This is one of the fabrics the blessed older lady at church gave me--I think it's from the 60's maybe? It had a tag on it from K-Mart for 58 cents.  58 CENTS! I like the pattern of this dress a lot, I will probably make it again.  I don't feel like going upstairs to see which number it is, but it's a Simplicity.  If you really want to know, tell me in the comments and I'll check for you :)

In other news, it's snowing here today for the first time!! We usually get snow long before now, but this has been a wonderfully-long Fall.  Here's a pic of our backyard--I will never tire of this view from my kitchen window:

And, signing off...

So sweet :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I had my last 20-something birthday this week.  Even though Casey is out of town with the army, I have some amazing friends that made sure I didn't have a lonely birthday :)  I got my hair done (thanks, Becky, it's fabulous!)
Melissa made me a cake. (yum!)
And, Becky made me these scarves and Melissa gave me this necklace!
Not only did they come bearing gifts, they came with lunch :) Thanks, girls!

My sister sent me these in the mail:
I loooove tea towels and this one is beautiful! (And matches my kitchen :)  And I also love these Barnes & Noble classics, of which I have a nicely-growing collection.  I can't wait to start reading this one!

Remember how I told you my friend Jenn was visiting? (I'm so glad she was here over my birthday, with Casey gone and all.  I would not liked to have been alone! Jenn made me this AMAZING Christmas tree skirt!!
In case you're curious, she used the tutorial at Tallgrass Prairie Studio.  I am super impressed with Jenn's free-motioning.  Mine is not that good compared to this :)  Jenn, I absolutely love this! It inspired me to start a Christmas quilt, which I will share in the next couple of days :) I cannot wait to put it under our tree--our BIG tree in our new house, after several years of a tiny tree (which we loved anyway and have fond memories of :)

My parents and my in-laws both gave me money--what birthday girl doesn't like a little cash?? ;)  I bought some dresses, some boots and these little cuties from, you guessed it, Anthropologie, who so kindly sends me a coupon every year for my birthday, haha!
They look so adorable in my open cupboard.

I had an amazing birthday and felt so loved. I am so very thankful for my particular set of close friends and my loving family, both mine and Casey's, and grow more thankful for all of you with each passing year!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival!!

I missed out on the Spring festival because...well, I was moving, enough said :)  But, I've made such great progress on this current quilt, that I definitely want to participate in the Fall Festival!! So, if you're here from the Blogger's Quilt Festival, welcome :)  I can't wait to peruse all of your beautiful work too!

I am so excited to be able to finally share this quilt with you all (almost) in it's entirety!!!!!  I finished the main part of the hand quilting last night and have only the borders left to do, then the binding, obviously.  I started this quilt for my oldest daughter, who's five, after completing this quilt for my other daughter, who's three.  I suppose now I need to get working on one for the little guy :)  So, without further ado...
This is the Strawberry Fields pattern from the book, Material Obsession, which I absolutely love and would like to make every single quilt out of :) It's the first ever quilt that I've quilted completely by hand and I really love the effect.  Thankfully, Natalie has been very patient with me ;)  Here is a close up of the star quilting in the middle of each block:
And there is a heart in the middle of each corner piece.  (Don't inspect too closely--it's not perfect :)

So, what makes this quilt even more special, is the fact that my dear friend Jenn is visiting me this week for my birthday (yes, I'm 29 today!) and we are both making this same quilt!! Jenn and I met 9 years ago in Georgia, just before both our husbands left for Iraq.  It was a God-ordained friendship, we are both convinced.  9 years and 5 kids between the two of us later, we still try to see each other once or twice a year.  This is the two of us at our Harvest party at church last Friday (no, I don't usually dress in pig tails and a clown costume, hahaha)
Anyway, Jenn brought her quilt with her to work on the hand quilting (she is making this for her oldest daughter too!) Today, we hung them side by side.  I can't believe how different they look!!
Aren't they beautiful????? I can't wait to finish it and put it on Natlie's bed and see what it looks like with Layla's!  Maybe that will inspire me to paint and finally decorate their room! (By the way, Kelby's room is all done and awesome! I'll share pics later this week, I can't wait to show you :)