Sunday, March 28, 2010


The kids and I are staying at my parents house in MD this week. Regan went to church with my parents this morning, but the rest of the kids and I stayed home because I think Micah has Strep Throat.
Anyway, the kids were playing downstairs in the basement and I was eating breakfast and checking email when Tallulah came up and told me she found a really lizard in the basement. She then produced a green rubber lizard, you know, the kind you get out of those little toy/candy machines at the grocery store.
A few minutes later Max calls up the stairs and says there is something long and skinny that looks like a snake and it is moving. I, of course, ignored him (he did not sound alarmed and I was certain he was playing along with Tallulah) and kept eating and emailing. Next think you know Micah is down the stairs saying "mom, you better come quick, its going away." Now they'd caught my attention. I walked over to the stairs and...
"Ack! That's I snake!"
(I took these with my zoom lens, careful not to get too close!) I totally freaked out, there was a snake in the basement- slithering around on the floor where just a few hours before my children were sleeping! I tried calling my parents, but they were already at church and did not answer their phone. I called Phil, who of course could not really help me since he is 200 miles away and finally after typing "There is a snake in my basement" into google decided to call animal control. They were here in less then 20 minutes and the guys just picked the snake up and carried it out the door! Turns out it was just a garter snake, harmless... but still a little freaky IN your house!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

in one corner...

there is a major, 4 person wrestling match going on (complete with blaring VBS music playing and kids screaming).

In the other corner, this.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

saying "yes"

I have been inspired by Ann to say "yes" more this year. I think I am often failing at this challenge- but today I said "yes"!
Despite all the reasons I had to say "no" I said "yes", and you know what I heard Regan say to the others? "Most parents wouldn't let their kids do this." Now that feels good (even if it's not true). She feels heard, her creativity encouraged and our relationship bolstered by one little yes on a sunny Saturday morning! I hope this is something I remember to do more often!
Their first customer (our neighbor).

Friday, March 19, 2010

hooded towel

My mom made hooded towels for all my kids when they were about 1 and we still use and love them- even though the kids have other towels these are our go-to towels for bath time in our house. I made this towel for our friends little boy- we are going to his 1 year birthday party tomorrow.
They are really simple to make, if I were really organized I would have taken pictures and done a quick tutorial for you. Instead I will tell you how I made mine with a few pictures of the finished product thrown in. Oh, and please excuse my sewing desk- is is a wonder I can sew anything there is so much stuff piled on it! Anyway, at midnight it is the only place in the house with enough light to take a somewhat decent picture... and what exactly am I doing up at midnight sewing and posting on my blog you ask? Why watching the Maryland-Houston basket ball game of course! Go Terps!

Okay, so back to the towels :)

1 bath towel
1 hand towel
strip of coordinating fabric

First I folded back (right sides together) about 4 inches of the long side of the hand towel, making the width of the hand towel about 12 inches, then stitched along the edge.

Next I cut a strip of fabric 2.5" wide and 1/2" longer than the hand towel. I folded/pressed the edges under 1/4" all around and zig zag stitched onto the hand towel covering the seam from where I folded the edge back.
Then I folded the hand towel in half, right sides together, and stitch the edge opposite the cuff together from fold to ends of towel (about 1/4" from the edge).

And last I used a zig zag stitch to attached the hood to the towel centered along the long side of the towel.Sorry if this is totally confusing- I am only somewhat coherent at this hour!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

it is really difficult...

to take a picture of your camera strap when it is still on the camera! Anywho- I've been wanting to make myself a new camera strap and I had an extremely long list of things to do yesterday, so it just make sense that I should start a new project instead! So, I dug through my fabric scraps in search of my Anna Maria Horner scraps and started cutting... It came together quickly, until I realized my machine could not handle the pleather. I finished hand-stitching the... (I don't know what you call those things... the leather, or in this case pleather, things at the end of the fabric)- I finished sewing those things tonight... and then I was too lazy to take the strap off the camera (I sewed the fabric on while the ends were still attached to the camera) to take pictures. So this is what you get!I think I could make more of these, it was really fun to piece together and I am really happy with the results!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

at the end of the rainbow

With the help of my photography assistant, (Regan) we finally captured that smile. Pure Gold!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

meet the crew

(from left to right) Blue John Swashbuckle, Captain Flint Swordswallower, Chloe Jump the Plank and Captain Mack the Goat.

We've been trudging along in school, but with nobody really enjoying it. I knew we needed a change up, something fun, even if just for a few weeks. Two weeks ago I came across this on the Homeschool freebie of the day site and, since we had a thrifted copy of Treasure Island laying around, I printed out a copy to look over. Then, while we were at the library last week there was a pile of Pirate books on the top shelf of the "to be shelved" cart so I grabbed them up- it was providence- we were to do a study on Pirates. And this morning confirmation that I am doing the right thing came when Micah came in to the living room begging to do school and Regan started panning a pirate show that the kids will put on at the end of our study- this is when I love homeschooling!
Yesterday we did lesson 1- we read the first 3 chapters of Treasure Island and everyone made their own Jolly Roger flag and picked their Pirate names.

Here is Captain Flint Swordswallower showing off his skills :)
They've been dressed like Pirates all day- actually, Max is pretty much dressed like a pirate all the time- I do make him put on regular clothes when we go out in public though.

Monday, March 15, 2010

trying to capture the smile

I almost get it every time!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

under construction

Yesterday morning we noticed a bit of a "funk" in Regan's room- I thought it was just from having the door closed all the time and told her to leave it open and let the air circulate in a bit, but as the day went on the "funk" got worse and worse. By the time we got home from Parents Night (yay for the YMCA!) it smelled like something had died in her room. We tore the room apart trying to find the source of the stank and played 20 questions with Regan about what it could possibly be- hidden food, something spilled etc. Turns out she spilled a cup of water she was using to do water colors and I guess she did not soak up the water very well. I am guessing that the excess water and remnants of the previous owners cat mixed together and resulted in our house smelling a bit like a litter box. We tried getting the smell out with various sprays and baking soda, but to no avail- so today after church I did this-
We are hoping to put down hardwood floors someday- so we didn't really want to re-carpet the room, so this is our temporary fix. Phil found some remnant carpet pieces in the shed and I cut them out to fit the space- duck taping them down to hold them in place and cover up the not so even seems I made with my handy-dandy Xacto knife (not the best tool for carpet cutting). Now we are in the market for a cute, inexpensive area rug to cover this lovely "fix"!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

apron 2

Tallulah loved modeling her new apron for the camera.
I used McCall's 5997- this is a size 3-4 and is plenty big for Tallulah (she's 3.5). I made a few adjustments when sewing- like using french seams for a more finished look, but otherwise I followed the pattern- I've got two more cut out and ready to sew, hopefully I will have more pictures for you soon! Next up, Regan's apron!

Friday, March 12, 2010

apron 1

I had hoped to finish this up and post about it yesterday- but as I am discovering- life with 5 kids (one being a newborn) is much slower then I expect it to be! I keep making these ridiculous "to do" list in my head and accomplishing nearly nothing on them! In this case, what I thought I could do it one day ended up taking 3.
Anywho- this is the Tea Cup Corset Apron from Meg McElwee's book, Sew Liberated. The pattern is pretty involved (41 steps in all) but very well written and easy to follow. I really like how she goes the extra mile to have seems finished nicely or hidden all together (many store bought patterns I have used leave lots of raw edges and exposed seems). This was the first thing I made from the book and I love how it turned out, I look forward to trying more of her projects!

Up next- two matching apron's for Regan and Lulu (using McCall's 5997).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

on our way...

to crazy hair night at AWANA!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

on her own

Regan has been sneaking off to her room a lot recently taking with her needles, thread, fabric, buttons etc. and, with out any direction from me, sewing/creating up a storm in there! Here are a couple of the projects she has been working on in the last few weeks...
This is one of the things that I love about homeschooling- my kids have time to create, explore, imagine and pretend. One of the things I remind myself of when I think I might like to put them of the bus the next morning :)

Monday, March 8, 2010


I've got a couple of apron patterns that I have been wanting to try (one is the apron in the Sew Liberated book)- I finally made it to the fabric store today to buy some fabric for them. The top 3 are for the aprons. Regan somehow convinced me that she wanted to make a dress, so I let her pick out some fabric (the yellow with butterfly's) and a pattern. She of course wants to do it all on her own, but I told her that we would have to do it together- hopefully I wont pull out all my hair on this one! And that monster fabric on the bottom was just so cute we could not resist it, so I got a couple yards to make pj pants for the boys.

I've also been working on a pattern for my quilt.
This is a project I am taking slowly- probably won't really get working on it until summer when I can really dedicate some time to it, but it has been fun working out the details in the meantime!

What are you working on right now?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

beating the winter blues

We surprised the kids last week with a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge here in Williamsburg. They were offering a discount for homeschoolers (in conjunction with the Williamsburg homeschool week) so for an incredible rate we were able to spend one night in a two bedroom suite and spend two days at the water park!

I packed up and loaded the car while the kids were asleep so they had no idea where we were going or what we were doing. Even when we pulled into the GWL parking lot they still thought we were just "checking it out" and not staying there! Needless to say, when they figured out that we were in fact staying AND that they got to spend two days at the water park they were thrilled! In Max's words "Mommy, this is the best surprise ever!"

So, I took somewhere around 100 pictures and narrowing down which ones to put on here was a challenge, but here are a few highlights from our stay...

Story time in front of the fire in our suite.

Fun times playing in the waves with Daddy.

It was like returning to the womb for Addie with all that white noise and the 80-some degree's. She slept pretty much the whole time!

Water slides with Daddy. (Can you see Max's feet sticking up between Phil's?)

At the end of the Canyon River slide- Tallulah was not so sure about that one!

The Flow Rider
Even I got in on the action!
I have some great wipe-out pictures of Phil on this, but decided not to post them to help preserve his pride :)

In case you weren't sure, we had a great time- if you ever have the chance, GO!

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