Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ella's 1st Pool Experience

We had a great day at Pop and Cici's house Saturday. They live in Ballentrae
and their neighborhood has a pool. The water was really cold but we still had a
great time!! Those are Pop's knees in the first!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Garden-naysayers (Mom)

So far, my garden, with as little effort as possible, is really taking off. I have had to add 3 cages around the tomatoes for all the weight. The Bell peppers are about waist high, but no bell peppers yet. I've got 2 cucumber plants climbing cages. Also, my 3 squash and 2 zucchini plants are performing beautifully. I wish I had put in this little effort last year! I have not cultivated, and haven't pained over every single weed. They have gotten organic food twice and organic pesticide once, and mostly the rain and the sprinkler system has done all the watering.
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Look at those lashes!

Lovin the potty!

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Yea for me, I'm on the potty!

Pooped, figuratively of

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Thursday, May 28, 2009


I really appreciate the comments left after my last post, I know everyone has the same feelings from time to time. I hope my list didn't come across whiny or unappreciative. I have a wonderful life and I am abundantly blessed! I really just wanted to get the clutter of my thoughts down on "paper" and out of my head. I'm a list type of girl. First I have to visually see the list....not just in my mind, prioritize, and make a plan of action! Get busy, or in some cases get patient, and let God provide for my wants and needs where He sees fit. Some of those "wants" were just silly and unrealistic. I think every mother (or woman for that matter) has, at one point, wanted to be super-mom, super-wife, and super-me! We all want our lives to be fulfilling to ourselves and our families. It's not possible for us to get even close to the perfection that we aspire to...but doesn't mean you don't try. Sometimes you just have to step back, regroup, and strategize on where your headed.

Here was my plan, it's not long term, it's not life changing (or maybe it is), but I needed a change.

Step 1 - I bought a sewing/embroidery machine. Its not the Bernina I dreamed of, it's the Singer CE-250. It does most of the same things for ALOT less money! Hopefully now I can mark off #4 on my list. Additional posts on this to come....

Step 2 - Revamped our budget. I keep spreadsheets and I use quicken. It helps me keep our finances organized. I'm a big fan of Dave Ramsey and we've been working the steps for a while now, but we still have quite a ways to go. (#19 will hopefully soon be checked)

  • I moved enough around so that we could give the PROPER tithe. 10%, not just what we could spare. (Wow, when we dropped that first check in the offering plate, I can't describe the joy and freedom I felt. Worship was especially good Sunday as well.) It certainly was a good first step. As with anything you need God to help you with, talking to him, is always the best approach. (#20)

Step 3 - I committed to start P90x with my husband. It's a 90 day workout/meal program. He's starting over just for me (he was about 40 days into it), so if I drop out he will be furious with me. Also, I have decided to post about the program. I need to feel a responsibility to fulfill my commitment. I certainly don't want to post that I dropped out! (#16, although it won't be effortless.)

Step 4 - It's summer YAY!! So there's nothing on T.V anyway. Except, "So you think you can dance" So now is a good time to get used to living without the TV. Right now we only watch it from 9-10:30pm anyway. Ella goes to bed at 8, workout till 9, bed by 10:30. Still, I would like to read or talk to Jason or Sew during that time (#4,22,&7, woohoo!)

Step 5 - I have had several offers to start a sewing group, and orienteering (not quite geocaching, but still outdoorsy and fun). I plan on following through with those as well. (#11)

Step 6 - Currently, (fingers crossed) planning a caving trip. LOVE IT!! I will also count this towards my need for an (#8,28)

Step 7 - Well, this is not actually a step. Ella has FOREVER only wanted Jason and not really wanted me. But she would blow kisses. OH HOW THE TABLES HAVE TURNED....not that I'm gloating, it's definately my turn. Not only is she Momma's baby, but I get kisses on the lips. Jason still gets them blown to him. Now if we could just work on the "I love you." I know its coming soon. (#21)

The rest of the list will just have to wait.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In a Funk...

Summer is here, my favorite! My husband prefers the winter. OK, well, I'm antsy, I want to do things and I'm utterly unsatisfied. Which is not to say that I am not totally blessed and I would change my circumstances in any way, but I might like to amend the journey. He does P90X in the basement every night, getting totally ripped, while I'm upstairs, putting Ella to bed, cleaning up the kitchen, (but not doing the dishes, he does that,) then searching eBay or craigslist for the elusive perfect deal on an embroidery machine that does everything but costs nothing. Then I lay in the floor and trace patterns or cut out fabric, only not to sew them, because I'm waiting to buy the perfect sewing machine! In the meantime, I have gotten addicted to facebook, which is a MAJOR time drain, but so much fun. But I don't want to chat with all my old friends, I want to go out and do something with them. But wait, we all have kids and bedtimes and jobs and responsibility. Blah! Then when the weekend comes and we can go and do things, like hike (not swim, because I'm not ready for a swim suit yet) it's pouring down raining!! AAAHHHH! Here is my wants/don't wants list. I need to vent.

Things I want –
1. I want to bake delicious food from scratch and make a mess with Ella and never gain weight.
2. I want to swim everyday.
3. I want to put Ella in swimming lessons.
4. I want to sew beautiful clothes for Ella, and make curtains, and hand towels for every season.
5. I want to decorate my house in a light airy, warm theme that never has to be cleaned and always looks good.
6. I want a camper – not a RV, where’s the fun in that?
7. I want a home without TV!!!!
8. I want to go caving.
9. I want to do charity work.
10. I want to run through sprinklers.
11. I want to take classes or be part of a club: sewing classes, baking classes, photography classes, book club, fitness boot camp, geocaching, something, with a group that I really like.

12. I want to finish our basement and Bonus room.
13. I want to have another baby, without having another baby.
14. I want my husband to surprise me.
15. I want to go on an elaborate vacation. Not one, that I have bargain shopped for, for 6 months, and am too exhausted from doing all the planning to enjoy the trip.
16. I want to be in great shape, and I want it to be effortless.
17. I want more time.
18. I want a paycheck and benefits to stay home with Ella.
19. I want to be debt free.
20. I want to hunger and yearn for the presence of God, like I have in the past.
21. I want Ella to say “I love you” and then kiss me.
22. I want to have time to read.
23. I want to make digital scrapbooks for each year of my marriage.
24. I want to go to the theatre, not the movie theater.
25. I want to know what to feed Ella.
26. I want to make fun crafty projects but not have to clean up.
27. I want a deep freeze, a storage house, a riding lawn mower, a Bernina sewing/embroidery machine; I mentioned the camper, a pool, and a new treadmill.
28. I want an adventure.
29. I want Jason and I to want the same things.

Things I don’t want –
1. I don’t want ants, spiders, termites, mosquitoes, worms, grasshoppers, or any other creepy crawly around me or my plants and especially not in the house.
2. I don’t want to pull weeds.
3. I don’t want to move up a clothing size.
4. I don’t want to spend all my time on the computer.
5. I don’t want to work out in the basement – I need fresh air!
6. I don’t want to clean grout or toilets.
7. I don’t want to stand in line.
8. I don’t want to manipulate spreadsheets all day.
9. I don’t want to be sore, tired, or grumpy.
10. I don’t want to have a headache.

OK - I feel better already...Now that you've suffered through reading all that, on a lighter note, MeeMaw got a table for Ella for one of her birthday presents. We are trying to teach her not to take her sippy cup into the living room and only drink at the table. She's doing pretty good, but its been a challenge getting her to not climb on the table.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Love Story meets Viva La Vida

I found this georgous arrangement on A Listmaker's Life.
It is by John Schmidt. It's Taylor Swift meets Coldplay. If you think your not interested, just listen anyway. It's pretty awesome.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Jenny...come quick...bring the camera!

The 21st of May was our 4th anniversary. We had made plans to get out of town, do some hiking, and lounge around. Well, due to unforeseen circumstances, our plans were cancelled. It was really OK though, because we would have had to drive over 6-8 hours to get out of the rain bubble that was(is) covering the southeast. We ended up taking Ella to my mom's Friday night. Saturday, we slept late, saw a movie (Terminator - pretty good), went to dinner, then rented more movies (The Happening - disappointing, & Seven Pounds - good, but I figured out the plot in the first 20 minutes). Yes, we are boring, but it was so nice just to lay around on the couch! Sunday after church, we drove to Tuscaloosa to get Ella and grill out with my mom for memorial day. Later that night, we watched ANOTHER movie, Twilight - sorry Stephanie, I liked it. It felt so good to pick up my baby after being away from her for 2 nights. She seemed happy to see us as well, but was REALLY craving our undivided attention, which led to whining and total devastation! That trend continued on Monday, as we tried to go shopping. OH MY GOODNESS, I couldn't find sizes while making sure she didn't hurt herself, run away, pull everything of the shelves, etc, etc. I'm more exhausted now than I was before the weekend. That's what happens when you sleep in two mornings, your body forgets how busy you usually are, and punishes you when you have to get busy again! All that said, she really is an angel. She was playing so sweet and singing in her room before bedtime. I heard Jason call for me to bring the camera. She had tossed her babies out of their baby bed and had crawled in, singing "Rock, rock, rock."

What a sweet picture. It's too bad her hair was all in her face.
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Minky Dress

Ella wore dress #2 to school today. These are for you, mom.

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New Flash

I finally got an external flash for my Nikon. Wolfe Camera was closing at the Galleria and they had some pretty good deals. I will have to learn how to bounce the light just right. I thought some of the effects were very interesting, depending on how I turned the angle of the flash. I'm excited about practicing! I have an aborable model!!

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pillowcase dress

Last night I made Ella 2 Pillowcase style dresses. I had some cute zebra print fabric and some left over minky fabric from Ella's nap mat. I looked at a couple of different tutorials on making these but ended up pretty much doing my own thing.

Step 1 - Measure your child. First measure the length from her collar bone to her knee then add an inch or two for your hem. I only added one inch because I wanted to add trim at the bottom of both. Second, measure her width and double it.

Step 2 - Cut out your fabric. Ella happened to be 15" long and 9 1/2" wide. So I cut out 2 rectangles 16" X 19".

Step 3 - Right sides together, sew 1/4" seam down both sides of the fabric. Press seam open.

Step 4 - Sew your hem. If your adding trim, pin it to the right side of the fabric with the bottom of the trim pointing toward the collar. It may look like your sewing it on upside down, but once your done, fold the trim to the wrong side of the fabric and press. Starting at a side seam, topstitch all the way around the hem and your done with that part! I'm sure that was about as clear as mud. It's hard to describe some things without pictures.

Step 5 - Cut the arm holes. The next part you just have to be a little creative. I measured down each side 4 inches and over from the top 2 1/2 inches. Ella is wearing size 12 month and it worked great for her, you might have to make it a little smaller or larger for different ages. Then I just cut them out. You will be cutting through two layers of fabric so you better pin it so it doesn't slip. Be sure to curve the cut where the two measurements will meet (It will look like your cutting out a J shape). Turn the fabric under 1/4" under the arms, press, then sew in place.

Step 6 - Fold the Collars down according to what size elastic you have laying around. I had 5/8 so I turned the collars down 1". If you had 1", you would turn it down 1 1/4". Stitch around the bottom. Leaving enough space to slide your elastic through.

Step 7 - Take a safety pin and pin one end of the elastic to help you pull it through. After you pull it through one side, slide your fabric down the elastic until its bunched to a width you like. Cut your elastic and pull it out of the fabric. Cut a second strip of elastic the same length. Pull the elastic back through your fabric.

Step 8 - Attach your ribbon. After you pull you elastic through, cut 4 lengths of ribbon. You may want to practice trying a bow to see how much ribbon you need. I have no recommendation on ribbon width. I used 1" but I thought it was too wide, but others have commented that they liked it. Sew 1 of your ribbons to 1 end of the elastic. Slide the ribbon and elastic into the fabric so that the ends are hidden. Then topstitch the ribbon and elastic so that it won't slide anymore. I sewed over the existing 1/4 seam. Repeat three more times.

I won't be suprised if you can't reproduce this dress based on my tutorial. I don't think I'll get a job writing tutorials. If anyone is interested in it, and has any suggestions, I will be happy to clarify.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Weekend Update

Sorry I have gotten way behind on posting. Last week we had torrential rains all week! My giant flower pots on the front porch filled up to overflowing more than once. Each time I tipped them on their side, drained them, & got all wet and dirty before work. After the second time, that dim bulb in my brain kind of flickered and......

Problem solved! Now, I have a dirty porch problem.

I started planting flower boxes for the second floor balcony. Unsure if they would fit, of course I didn't measure, I only bought one planter. It fit with plenty of room for another. In the mean time... the rain started again. Three days later I planted the second planter. Note to not leave your plants in the basement with no light for three days, all of the flowers will fall off.

Then... we went to Tuscaloosa to give my mom her Mother's Day Present. Hard Labor! She wanted a post and rail fence put up like ours on BOTH sides of her property. She was kind enough to rent an auger for us.

This was my Mother's day present from Ella. Mine came from Lowe's. I couldn't find a link to it, but I thought it was an awesome present!!! Yay!!

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