Friday, August 14, 2009

My angel is one!

Posted via iPhone

Monday, August 10, 2009

Her Brother, Her Friend.

Sometimes the pure tenderness that is demonstrated by my son in times of distress amazes me. He knows. He knows when to slow it down and when to comfort where comfort is needed. Here, he has realized that his sister has not walked or crawled for the last day and is offering a soothing touch and the comfort of his presence. He is laying next to her watching Veggie Tales while mommy and daddy took care of things around the house in preparation for a trip to Urgent Care.

As a kid who generally gets a bad rap for being too loud and boisterous : he really is a tender and kind hearted child. I'm sure that seems unreal to some: to those who have simply labeled him and haven't taken the time to get to know him. He is spirited. Emotional. Sensitive. Joyous. All of these things could be described in a negative way as well- but we won't use those negative terms. I love my son and I know every side of him, and I know he acts out when there are people around with which he is not comfortable. I know that he acts out when he doesn't get attention or when he feels insecure. My job as his mother is to recognize those times and to protect him. I'm also his advocate: and I will no longer tolerate the negative terms given by others. He is spirited. And that's okay. Thomas Jefferson, Barack Obama, Jim Carrey, Thomas Edison, and Jim Henson were all spirited as children. My son is going to be someone someday: and the traits that are viewed as flaws today will be the very traits that keep him on the path to success.

But he is very tenderhearted, kind and loving. In the right situation he will do the right thing. He is my pride and joy.: and I would never want him to be a different child.


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Ella's new dresses & my favorite guys!!

A quick update tonight...

These are Ella's little seƱorita dresses from Puerto Rico. Gee, Grandaddy and the girls brought them back for her!! Gee made matching bows for them... I can't wait for her to wear them!!! She is doing a little better today: at least walking and crawling again thank goodness!!

And here are my two favorite guys in the world. I swear these boys worked in the house so much this week: I am so blessed and so thankful! They also grilled some awesome food a few times this week too! Joe has become quite the grill cook!! He touched up the walls in the house, cleaned the garage and installed my decorative hooks by the door. He is awesome!!!


Saturday, August 08, 2009

Oh no! Has it been too long?

And just where did the time go? Well I have been slacking on blogging because I just now figured out how to blog from my phone. Now that I can I will certainly be doing more if it! I've abandoned the computer for good now that I have a phone that will do it all!!

I spent the evening in urgent care with Ella Bella... And it's been one if those whirlwind type of days!!!

I'm hoping to be back to blogging regularly!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Say Cheese with the Cheese!

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

He is the best pizza maker, EVER!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tye Dye

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

We had a fun day of Tye Dying! I think the boys had so much fun with the colors and the rubber bands! Their shirts came out pretty awesome, too!

Signature and Photo Quilt

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

A signature and photo quilt that I helped my sister assemble for a class project. It turned out awesome!

Wii Boxing Fun!

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

The boys playing Wii boxing. Camden stripped off the Buzz light year suit because they were both jumping around so much he said he was getting hot. LOL. Today they asked if they could put on their costumes and play again. Something about playing in a costume helps them do better. LOL.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

This blog...

*****Edited****** Thank you all for your wonderful comments! I have decided to continue with this blog. I don't have time to update two and I really would like to focus on one! I appreciate the comments about raising children in a creative way, and I'm striving to do that every day! Thanks SO much everyone! I'm glad to know that there are folks out there that enjoy my blog!

This blog has somehow morphed into my daily adventures with the kids and I've left out my art, which was what this blog was all about to begin with. I'm making a change and will be only showing my art on this blog from now on. :) Of course if I make art with the kids that will be featured too. Bear with me while I get used to this change. My posts may be few and far between.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ella's Photo Shoot

I did a photo shoot today for Ella's First Birthday Invite. Although we are just having a small party with family, I still wanted to do an invite, as a keepsake for her scrapbook (when I ever get to THAT!)... and... well just because!

The bunny pose...

The cute clapping pose...

The fairy princess in the grass pose...

And my favorite... she was laughing at her daddy...

But I chose to use it in black and white since the rest of her invite was in color!

And I'll show the invite when it gets closer to the bday. :)

That's it for tonight, going to watch Freaks and Geeks with Joe now! :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Blueberry, Ms. Darcy's Knitted Cupcakes

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

So adoreable and so cute, yet, not edible. The best kind. ;)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finished the Art Quilt

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Joe played in a softball tournament this week so I was able to finish the art quilt wallhanging Etsy order in the evenings this week. It came out wonderful. This is just one of the views of thread writing that I did. I also quilted the little girl's name throughout it. I'm very pleased.

In other news, there is nothing much going on. We spent the day today at the pool and that coupled with a long weekend and an even longer week, I'm pretty much exhausted.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sew Connected 3 May Block for Sunnynole

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

My block made by Solihubb... It's SO AMAZING! She is a talented quilter!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Just wanted to post something quickly today. I've been sick with a miagraine and throwing up all day. That and taking care of kids made for one rough day. I'm just posting a fast one today.

I love it that my little boy asks for a plate of veggies as a snack before dinner. Raw. Veggies. (With a side of dressing of course!!)

I've been exploring Meal Makeover Moms. And if you have picky eaters in your house (or are just looking for new healthy recipes and tips, they are a GREAT resource!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sticker Time!

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

I've been really studying preschool curriculum books to figure out different ways to work on fine motor skills... and one of the ways is to have kids peel stickers off of a page and stick them onto a card.

Boring... I thought...

BUT, I did it anyway... and THEY LOVED it ... and it literally kept them occupied for 30 minutes! Talk about fun!

The act of peeling and sticking develops fine motor skills by exercising small muscle groups in fingers in coordination with the eyes. The development of these skills helps preschoolers eventually write, draw, button their buttons, work zippers, etc. Very important skills!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Where Have I Been?

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

I don't know where I have been- probably changing diapers, cleaning up macaroni off the floor, grocery shopping, cooking, making bottles, filling up waterguns, taking kids to swim lessons, washing clothes, weeding my garden, oh! that's where I've been! Too busy with the thrilling things in life.

Today was one of those popsicle kind of days.... and we had a lot of fun in the back yard with the water guns.

I still have pictures to share from Fort Lauderdale. I'll get to that soon. I still have orders for etsy to finish. And a quilt for my husband's friend. And a yoga bag that needs a strap. And a LOT of monthly quilt blocks from May and June. It's all piled up on me.

And, I'll get to it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Just a Quickie

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

A quick update in list form:

We are home safely from Fort Lauderdale.

We have great pictures to share and I will get them loaded soon.

Joe and I are on day 3 of Jillian Michael's 30-day shred.

She is a tough trainer, and I have never cheered for ab work in my life but I do now because I actually get to lay down.

Even Joe thinks it's a hard workout, he who sort of snubbed workout videos in the past.

We are eating more healthy and are having one raw night a week where raw fruits and veggies are what we have- with some dipping sauces. Believe it or not, Camden is loving it. How many three year olds do you know that will eat raw broccoli and cauliflower? If he has a bit of Ranch dressing he will.

All the rain that we have gotten in past weeks has really helped our front garden take off. I have to weed it every morning.

I'm working on an online bible study Believing God by Beth Moore. There are a lot of great women in the group and I'm already seeing it blossom and we're just approaching week 2.

I am way behind on quilting bee quilt blocks and custom order quilts. I have lots of things waiting in my queue- Finish an art quilt, a yoga bag, a few father's day projects. So, I'm keeping busy.

Ella is eating solids now. She has become quite the foodie.

I have recently discovered that Candy Land is the most boring game...ever. I played it a lot when I was little and thought it was great. (Thanks Mom and Dad..) But the more and more Camden begs me to play it with him the more and more I just... think it's boring! Maybe we need to get TROUBLE (popOmatic!)... I know my sisters and I played that like crazy. Or perhaps Guess Who.

I've missed yoga for three straight weeks now and I'm just going to surrender to going by myself... When I invite someone, it just never seems to work out. I even got my sister TO THE DOOR and they ended up being closed that day, hmph.

And that's it. That's all for now. I'm off to drink my Crystal Light and put my feet up for the last remaining nine minutes of nap time.

Monday, June 01, 2009


Photos by: Jessica Chapman

I spent a half day at school today - away from the kids - cleaning out my classroom and packing up my personal belongings. The school that I have called "my school" - that I have taught at since I started teaching is closing. I have been reassigned to a "new school", and even though I have applied for and have been granted family medical leave for another year, it was bittersweet packing up my things today. I pulled books out of stacks to show my sister with excitement. Truly I've missed being in this element.

I have completely enjoyed spending the last year with my kids and I am blessed to be able to do it for another year at least. It was with bittersweet joy that I signed off on the paper at my new school today that confirmed "yes, I will be out another year". And I spent the day in silent prayer with God questioning if I had made the right choice. Another year? Is that the right thing?

Later that evening, as Camden and I pulled out of the driveway to do an errand, just the two of us... he called my name.


I pressed my foot lightly on the brake and turned to him.

"Yes, hon?," I said.

"I missed you today. So much."

I paused. Unable to utter a word, struck by this confirmation from my three year old son. The expression on his face as he uttered those few words will forever be branded on my heart.

"I missed you too, baby." I managed to get out.

And as I turned my head back to the road, my eyes misty with awe, I knew. I knew I had made the right decision.

And I'm happy that it was confirmed.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cam's Allergic Reaction

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Swollen lips, welts all over face and body- this is what we've seen and dealt with the last few days. We don't know what is causing it. He is on extreme doses of steroids and Benadryl. This has lasted since Thursday night- and he has been to the ER twice because once his eyes swelled almost shut and the other time his lips were swelling and we were concerned about his breathing. So we've had to keep a close eye on him. This, coupled with a lot of other stressors has made for an interesting last few days.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Running out of steam.

ER trip #2 last night- for an allergic reaction even worse than the one before. This time we got to see his eyes swell almost shut. That, paired with some other stress factors have made for a pretty stressful last few days- and I can feel it. So, I'll be busy working on household stuff and errands and organizing and cooking- because that's what I have to do, keep busy, protect and care for my little family.

Luckily we'll be taking a much needed trip this weekend to visit my parents. We haven't been down to visit since Thanksgiving so we are super thrilled. It will be Camden's first baseball game with his Daddy and Granddaddy and Gee. We leave on Thursday. He can't wait!

Friday, May 29, 2009

At this point anything will do.

I'm running on little to no sleep because I spent a few hours in the middle of the night with Camden in the ER. It was just a reaction to something that he ate, but it made him break out and swell and he looked awful. One phone call to his pediatrician to "ask" about it... and she sent us to the ER.

He is doing fine now after a dose of benadryl and he's on steroids two times a day for a week. And he was a trooper. Very well behaved considering he's 3 and it was 1am, 2am, 3am... and we had to do a lot of waiting. We had fruit punch and graham crackers and watched the disney channel in his hospital cubicle room as we waited for the doctor and then the specialist and then the Rx so we could GO!!

And I'm really bummed that I didn't have my pocket camera in my purse so I could share the image with you of him, laying on the hospital bed, shooting imaginary buzz lightyear lasers out of his arm at the doctors as they walked by, while wearing his darth vadar pajamas and sneakers. The nurses all thought he was so cute. Because he is.

And today, a long day with the kids. Grilled cheese for lunch today because at this point, anything will do. I'm looking forward to naptime today because I'm going to nap right along with them.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Eating and Sleeping, Uninterrupted.

Joe and I were out of town this weekend. We needed a little getaway and my sisters were very willing to help out by keeping the kids overnight for us.

It was AMAZING. I forgot what it was like to go to a restaurant and eat without having to stop five dozen times during the course of the meal to change a diaper or pick something up off the floor or pour some more juice or put someone in time out. Really. We had FIVE uninterrupted meals. FIVE.
And we had HOURS and HOURS of uninterrupted SLEEP. We went to our hotel and took a nap, then got up and went out for a nice dinner, then came back, laid in bed watching great tv and movies, and went to sleep. It sounds like a very boring trip, but it was EXACTLY what we wanted to do: that in which we do not get to do (all the parents in the room say "AMEN!")

But, I do have to admit, as we were pulling out of the driveway, the kids were waving in the window, and I shed a tear (or two)- OKAY, I BOOHOOED- because it was the first time I have left my Ella overnight. Joe totally and completely made fun of me. And then he said he felt like he was about to cry too... and he said but his tears would be TEARS OF JOY! WOOHOO! NO KIDS FOR 36 hours!!! I just kinda laughed and tried to dry it up real quick.... And I also have to admit, that although I slept great, I did wake up and look at the clock at six am this morning, and just a small part of me missed Ella standing in her bed saying MAMAMAMAMA, ready for her 6am feeding. But then I smiled, thinking, Hmm... I don't have to get up.... which was nice.

But really I totally had an awesome time. But I TOTALLY was ready to see my babies when we got home. I missed them. SO much.

We had great food, great conversation and laughed our heads off. Because we always end up laughing at the same silly stuff. Stuff that really isn't funny to other people, but it's funny to us.

It was our four year anniversary on the 22nd. Four years and we are getting along better now than we ever have. In fact, I bought Joe the Fireproof Love Dare book for our anniversary. And he laughed when I gave it to him. Because he had already bought it himself on the way to work the day after we saw the Fireproof movie, and was doing it on me for days without me even knowing! I knew things were peachy but I was not sure why! LOL! SO- I have the other copy and now I am doing it too... I encourage you to get it- no matter where you are at in your marriage- even if things are peachy they can always be better! For us, it has made us make sure that we make time for us, because everyone knows that you can get lost in the roles of "Mommy and Daddy" and it can take over. We are more considerate of each other- we are closer. It has just been amazing.

About as amazing as uninterrupted eating and sleeping. :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Clever Nesting Post: Hanging By A Thread

My second post in this series is up at Clever Nesting. Head on over there to read it.

I will be back blogging here soon. Promise.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Clever Nesting Post: Mother and Daughter, Needle and Thread

Mosey on over to Clever Nesting to read my first post in my guest post series on sewing. It's titled Mother and Daughter, Needle and Thread.

Guest Blogger for Clever Nesting

I will be guest blogging over at Clever Nesting this week. I will link back to my posts from there so certainly just check back here to be notified when a new one is up.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Bachelorette Recap: Or, I have nothing else to write about, So, I have begun taking notes and reporting on The Bachelorette.

A quick run to the grocery for baby formula and Diet Coke - and a quick run because The Bachelorette was coming on at nine and I needed to get back to see it live. I dashed upstairs, threw on my PJs and settled down with my notebook and pen. "Whatcha writing?" Joe asked as the intro started. "Notes," I said.

Yes. Notes on the show. Because it's important and I'm gonna blog about it. I got an eye roll and a chuckle and an approving nod. As I've said before, he's very supportive of my creative endeavors. Both big and small.

My first impression (which I quickly twittered during a commerical break) was, bleh. No one really stood out for me as "amazing". But we all know that I already got him. Right, Mom?

My show notes became a list of men and occupation which quickly became decorated with stars next to the good ones and x's next to the bad ones. Or small notes like "nerd" "dork" "fake". What's the difference between nerd and dork? I don't know. Did you know that I used to be a middle school teacher? That may help you understand me a little better.

The highlights came mid show as each man was trying to have their personal time with Ms. Beautiful. Joe and I both cracked up as Jesse The Wine Maker chatted with Ms. Thang and another guy made a mockery of him "I am Jesse, I got da vinyaad." That cracked us UP! So much so that as Joe was staring into the pantry to find his snack he kept repeating it, as I giggled from my note-taking chair.

And so the show dragged on to the end... the much awaited rose ceremony.

And I predicted it... She picked Jake. And Jesse. And Wes.

And Stephen the lawyer was shaking his head in mockery as Wes was chosen. Which turned my attention to Stephen's reactions for the rest of the rose ceremony.

And of course she then chose the breakdancer guy? WHAT? What happened to looking for the well-rounded man? Oh, I keep forgetting that she's not my sister- she's not hearing my advice as I am thinking it. Sucks for her.

Thank goodness she chose Simon, I bet it was that lovely tea his mamma sent. And Stephen the lawyer continued to make nasty faces.

And she chose cool hair Mike... And beaky Brian...And Sasha, alas, someone else that I chose for her... Julian, though? Come on Jillian and Julian just sounds funny.

John P was a cutie and had a good job. I would have traded him for the breakdancer guy. I didn't like seeing him go.

And because Stephen the nerdy Lawyer drew so much attention to himself with his reactions, I of course was just tickled by his ending comments, er, excuses. "Maybe she's a little more country and I'm a little more city"... yeah, Newsflash Walter Cronkite... you arent!.... er, maybe she likes cool and you're just a little too nerdy. And your faces were so awful during the entire rose ceremony even if you were TO get a rose, I would have changed my mind and chosen ANYONE but you.

So, out of all of them I like Jesse The Wine Maker. And Sasha the Oil/Gas Consultant. And Jake The Pilot. Because as I said before if she's planning to marry, she's gotta look at the whole package deal.

And what were those previews about some of those men having girlfriends? We'll have to see next week. But once I find out who those guys are they will be blacklisted too. And I'm hoping that girl is smart enough to do it. (At this point I'm thinking maybe she SHOULD have chosen Stephen (the disgruntled) Lawyer. We all know he doesn't already have a girlfriend.)

I just like seeing those grown men cry. Because it helps me understand what my husband's life must be like.

Here's to next week! Oh, the drama...

29 Gifts in 29 Days- A Loopy Giveaway!

~This Giveaway is Over. After using to randomly generate a number, we have a winner. That would be Jeff. Thanks for playing everyone!~ True Random Number Generator Min:1 Max:23 Result: 1

--edited May 19th, 3pm.--

It's no secret that I am a fan of the baby sling. I have a hotsling and a maya wrap and the oldie-but-goodie "over the shoulder baby holder"- which to be honest is the most comfortable of the bunch. ....................And then I discovered loopdiloops, a shop owned by Dani- who makes custom baby slings that are durable, comfortable, affordable, and PRETTY. I immediately fell in love and now I have one of my own. Because pretty earns extra points for me.

And now it's your chance to have one too. Read on.

My fondness for the baby sling goes way beyond the cuteness factor. It really is a lot easier to wear your baby around. More things get done and your baby is kept close to you. Hotslings has a current ad running that says "a free pair of hands included with every hotslings purchase"... and they are not kidding. It's amazing how awesome it is to know that your child is with you, comforted, and then you are free to do other things.

In my case, the sling- or, well, the proverbial "extra pair of hands" has come in handy on many occasions. Blessed with a "spirited" 3 year old, we have been on many adventures where- without the sling for the baby- it could have been disastrous taking the two of them out in public. I have saved Camden from falling into a gorilla cage at the zoo, from running in front of a car at Target, from climbing the fence into the neighbors yard to pet the "big puppy" (YIKES!) all while wearing Ella securely in a sling. I have kept my house in order and done many a loads of laundry and dishes, all while soothing my baby by carrying her around with me in the sling.

There are also many other benefits to baby wearing- it's actually really good for the baby (and you!)- its great for bonding with the baby and it's the ultimate example of attachment parenting if that's what you're into. Babies cry less. Mothers cry less. So, really, we all win.

So-- in my effort to spread the love a'la 29 gifts in 29 days via , I have paired up with Dani at loopdiloops to provide you with this giveaway. The winner will get a custom loopdiloops sling made with designer fabrics.

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment in the comment section and voila! you are entered. It is that simple.

And I do encourage you to visit to learn more about this global giving movement. And if you plan to join in, I'd like to hear about it.

I also encourage you to visit Dani's etsy shop to see more of her lovely baby slings! They are truly works of art. Thanks to Dani for sponsoring this give away!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

In The Mail

Ella and I got a new one of these in the mail today. ... A new one for my growing girl! Thanks to Dani for making it for us and for sending it so quickly. We are excited to try it out and do a full product review! This will certainly make things easier for us when playing with the boys or working outside (and this one is not as hot as our other one!) We will get to try it out tomorrow because she and I will be going to the doctor for her check up. She has still been a little under the weather so we are hoping to find out why tomorrow.


Photos by: Jessica Chapman

A few blogs that I read do weekly photos within just a few minutes of waking up. Here is my version. My darling boy and I, having a quiet cup of coffee. Together.

(Okay- Before the child-feeding police come to get me I must confess that he really has a different "version" of coffee. He isn't drinking pure regular coffee- but a little kid-friendly concoction that a sweet Starbucks Barista taught me.)

But still. It's his "coffee".

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mushroom city and a promise

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

My little mushrooms on my garden quilt wallhanging. I'm thrilled about this new technique. And my poor son is begging me to get started on his three little pigs quilt. And so, I have promised him, and myself that once I finish this one, his quilt will be next.

And now, we are off to meet friends at the park for lunch. Fun stuff.

Wordless Wednesday

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Monday, May 11, 2009

Orange Creamsicle Quilt

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

The Orange Creamsicle Quilt is done and on it's way to Dani in Canada. I was able to finish this in spite of everyone being sick in my house - including myself. I worked on it into the wee hours of the morning a few nights in a row and voila! It was done! I'm amazed at how the loopy crazy quilting was just so much easier than the normal perfect stitch in the ditch that I normally do. I'm very pleased with this one.

And the bottom photo is a little invention of mine- I call it a "Linus Loop". A little loop for dragging the quilt around the house. Because cuddily quilts like this are meant to be dragged around. :)

Side note: If you have been following my blog closely, this originally was going to be a baby quilt for one of Joe's friends who did us a huge favor. However, I was worried about the orange, and then, I had an order from Dani who requested a baby quilt in orange and whites- and thus, the Orange Creamsicle idea came to fruition and had a new home- and I ended up making a pink and red sock monkey quilt top for Joe's friend. That's in the queue to get quilted. Once I FIND the time. If you find any time, send it my way, ok!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

He is just not cooperating lately with photos, so this was the BEST we could do. AHHH!

Joe and I are laid up with the sickness that has plagued our home for the last week. Of course. On mother's day. But oh, well, we will celebrate another day. Mine started earlier than Joe's so I'm with the kiddos while he's still recovering. He watched them last night while I was at my worst phase. Hopefully we'll all be better soon. This certainly has NOT been fun. I'm exhausted from cleaning up after sick kids and exhausted from being sick myself. I'm puttering around though- getting things reorganized and put back together- and of course doing laundry- because that's the never ending task when people are sick.

Here's to a better tomorrow!!! :)

Block for SunnyNole

Photos by: Rocklilly

And this is the block that rocklilly made- SO cool, huh! :)

Oh I just can't wait to get these and get this quilt put together! SO FUN!

block for SunnyNole :: sc3-may

Photos by: Ashley

This is the block that Ashley made for my bird quilt. Amazing, isn't it? She designed that herself!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Color and Dot

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

These are laid out and ready for me to get started on a custom order art quilt for a little girl's bedroom. I'm excited to get started on it in my "free" time which will be this weekend, late nights! I LOVE the colors and the polka dots have my heart.

I also have two other quilts in my queue that are waiting to be quilted. They have been halted because of the sickness that invaded my home recently- but, I will get to them soon! I'm going to be pulling "cram sessions" at night after the kids go to bed in order to make some progress on these.

Today we are cleaning house and working outside in the gardens together as a family. Ella has discovered the grass and just loves sitting in it and watching us.

I also just recently listened to an interview on tranquiltiy du jour with Kelly Rae, an awesome mixed media artist and I'm just thrilled with her work, and what an awesome website! Naturally, all my free time is devoted to sewing right now but it's fun to look at.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Because my life really is like one big box of chocolates.

I have been writing this over and over in my head today - because these are the days truly worth writing about. And of course, once everyone is content and asleep and the laundry is done (oh, the laundry when kids are sick!) - I get time to sit down and write, and I can't for the life of me remember any of what I had planned to say.

The bad news is- Camden and Ella are both sick with some nasty stomach flu. And Wal-Mart was out of hand sanitizer because apparently everyone in Tallahassee is afraid of the swine flu- and I know what you're thinking and no my kids don't have the swine flu.

The good news is- While Wal-Mart was out of hand sanitizer, they had Jello Pudding Pops.

Joe and I thought the Jello Pudding Pops were non-existent since the invention of the fat free fudge pop. (Even though they don't even come close to comparing!) But, Alas! As I was scanning the popscicle section for the lowest sugar slowest melting popsicle that they had for my son's aching tummy, my eyes about popped out of my head when I saw the Jello Pudding Pops. And you know I was excited about them because I went wild and bought TWO boxes. And when I got home and told my husband what I had in the bag, you would have thought I bagged up Angelina Jolie and brought her home.

So in between cleaning up puke and doing laundry, we sat on the couch together eating pudding pops. And while I had him focused and quiet, I made sure to let him know that he can have ALL the vanilla ones. Because the chocolate ones were mine.

And not only did I stumble upon the pudding pops today, but I actually watched my husband do not two, not three, not four, but FIVE loads of laundry. Yes, five, because both children in our house were puking on everything that we own. And everything that we own that is not able to be thrown in the washer (say, the carpet, the couch)- had a towel over it, which in turn, had to be changed and washed each time a child so much as drooled on it, because that's how we roll over here- we take great measure not to reinfect.

On a more serious note, I'm hoping and praying for a good night. Joe is downstairs with Camden, and I'm about to retreat upstairs with Ella. Ella needs to keep her fluids down and do well tonight. We have a recheck at 8.30am in the morning.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Pool Days

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

We've been spending lots of days at the pool- because it's nice, it's cool, everyone is well behaved and it lets a lot of energy out! ;)

Monday, May 04, 2009

The block that Dallas made!

Photos by: Dallas (for the journey)

Dallas made birdhouses for my bird quilt! Isn't this fab! I'm thrilled with this one. Way to go, Dallas! :)

The OTHER block that Sarah made!

Photos by: Sarah Akester

She found this bird in her own stash and made another block for me! So nice!

The block that Sarah made

Photos by: Sarah Akester

Love it :) SO much!

The block that Amy made

Photos by: Amy H

And this is the bird block that Amy made. LOVE those appliques! :)

The block that Jennifer made

Photos by: Jennifer Johnson

for my bird quilt- LOVE those japanese birds in the middle :)

The block that Cathy made

Photos by: Cathy McKillip

And this is the block that Cathy made for my bird quilt!

The blocks that John made

Photos by: John Adams

And these are the blocks that John made for my bird quilt. :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

My First Birdie Block

This is the first birdie block of my birdie quilt. This was made by a fine woman in Thailand. Such a sweet lady and such a cool block! I'm getting thrilled to see all of the others. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

My sister, my friend.

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

Dear Leslie,

I can't believe you're graduating on Saturday from mine and dad's alma mater. And you chose the same major as I did, following in my footsteps. It makes me feel so proud to see your love for English Education. And you know from my experience that you'll never be "rich", but you'll be so loved and so rewarded in other ways, that it won't matter!

Do you remember when you were in kindergarten and I was in 5th grade at Central Avenue Elementary? I would walk you to class every day because you needed me to be there. To make sure you made it okay. Because you may have forgotten where your class was on day 2, 15, 78, or 120. You would promise each day that you would do it by yourself, then as we pulled in to school, in your little Minnie mouse voice, you'd ask me to PLEASE take you, and I would. I even had to explain to Mr. Edder that my sister was quiet needy and needed me to walk her to class each day, and excuse ME if I'm late. And he did. What I found even funnier is that you couldn't find YOUR class each morning without my "help", but you could certainly find MINE at the end of the day, because the younger grades were always dismissed first. You would make a bee line for the 5th grade wing and you'd hang out by Mr. Edder's door, waiting on me to emerge.

It was no surprise that when you went to college I would have to show you around campus and walk you to your classes as well. It was with a sense of pride and independence that I "showed you the ropes". And living together for that first year was certainly an experience. You learned all too well the art of turning a light off when you were done in your room. Looking back, I realize now that you were being stubborn because you had left your momma back in Fort Lauderdale, only to come live with your "other momma" here in Tally. And that's NOT what you wanted- you wanted a 'roommate' and 'friend'. But, I, was Just. Too. Motherly. It wasn't until I moved out and left you plateless and without a can opener that you had to start figuring things out on your own. In hindsight, I think it was the best thing for ya, perhaps not the best thing for me though...hahaha!

I love you, Leslie! I am so proud of you and your accomplishments. I'm so proud to share an alma mater (and major!) with you. I'm even more happy that we are not only sisters, but great friends.

Welcome to the "real world". :)

Love ya!


Saturday, April 25, 2009

That's Amore!

Tonight we made homemade pizza. It was so wonderful. Camden loved kneading the dough, and helping me spread it out. This is a great activity to do to get your children involved with the preparation of dinner.

Okay, here's the quick recipe for the dough- it's just one that I found online- nothing special, but I liked this one because you don't have to leave the dough to rise for an hour - you can use it immediately. (And it was actually very good- pizza parlor quality good!)

Easy Peasy Pizza Dough

1 small package of Active Dry Yeast (About 1tbsp.)

1 cup of warm water

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. vegetable oil (or any other kind of oil) - I used EVOO

2 1/2 cups Bread Flour

Dissolve yeast in cup of warm water. Add sugar, salt, oil and flour, stir until sticky. Flour your surface, toss the dough ball onto it and knead it for 10 minutes. *This is where you should involve your children!*

This is Camden having fun kneading the dough. He had so much fun, I'm sure we exceeded the 10-minute kneading directions, because at this point, I washed up the dishes that I had used to mix it to give him a little more time with the dough.

Once the dough is kneaded, roll it out. (I don't have a rolling pin so I just used a glass because that's what my mom always did... hehehe!)... Place it into a pizza pan, *or a cookie sheet*, (I didn't have a pizza pan either, so we just used a cookie sheet, it was a square pizza but it didn't taste any different! Rolling pin and pizza pan are on my kitchen list of "things needed"... :)

Then top your pizza with whatever you'd like to top it with! We used sauce, cheese and pepperoni.

My little boy who was so proud of his pizza. He put on the cheese and pepperonis for me! Before we put it in the oven he said "this is gonna be soooooooooo goooood!" He's such an optimistic little guy isn't he? Either that or he really has faith in his mama's cookin'!

And you know what? He was right! It was Soooooooo Gooooooooooood! I'm thinking next time we'll top it with veggies galore! We were both very proud of our pizza. That's Amore!

Sometimes you just need a little comfort food...

I have had an abundance of canned diced tomatoes lately and really needed to think of new and innovative ways to use them. I've made chili. I've made Rachel Ray's Tortizzas (pizzas on a tortilla)... And still, I have these diced tomatoes and need to use them! I made baked chicken one night and served diced tomatoes over rice- I thought it was great, but everyone else in my family gawked. To me, that was southern cooking at it's finest. The only thing missing was the stick of butter a'la Paula Deen!

And so, I heard about this fabulous soup recipe- Creamy Tomato Soup. And I made it this evening. And ya'll, this was the ULTIMATE comfort food. And my favorite part? It was so easy! (The only thing that I felt was missing was the bread bowl... I will attempt those next time.) I highly recommend serving this with some sort of bread for dipping. Yes, dipping. It's a thick and creamy soup and it's SOOO delish!

Creamy Tomato Soup

2 cups skim milk

1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes, undrained (I used fire roasted- use whatever you'd like!)

1 8oz. pkg cream cheese (I used lowfat and it tasted fine.)

1/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh basil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

Note: You may omit the fresh basil if desired.

Place all ingredients into a blender. Process until smooth.

Transfer to a large saucepan. Heat until heated completely. Serve steaming in a bread bowl or with bread for dipping.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Orange Creamsicle - in progress

Photos by: Jessica Chapman

This is the first block in my Orange Creamsicle quilt. I have a stack of orange fabrics in my studio right now and coupled with white trim, they are going to make a very cute baby quilt- and I'm just excited about the name itself.... this will be for a friend of my husbands who just did us a very huge favor- his wife is expecting and this gift will be mailed to them as an unexpected thank you, from us.