Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Post of 2009

The rest of our trip was very nice, but Kurt's brother didn't know the password for his wireless network so putting up a blog entry wasn't possible. Ryan has a great time playing with his cousins on both sides of the family and told us that it didn't quite make up for not having a brother but that it was still pretty fun.
Anna decided to have a little New Years Eve party this evening and invited her friend Sierra over. She was impatient though and most of the festivities occurred at about 4:30. We had sparkling grape juice as well as ginger ale which the kids all thought was pretty fancy. They all wanted to stay up late but finally gave up about half an hour ago. Sierra and Anna went over to her house though, so they may be having better luck with being night owls.

I still haven't figured out how to do one of those fancy picture collages with all of last years projects, but I worked on a list during the car ride, so maybe I'll make that post tomorrow. It is almost time for a new year here and I was trying hard to finish off a few loose ends today.

I will definitely be doing a UFO a month again this year and will be sure to put it out there as an official challenge if Amy doesn't beat me to it. I saw that she is doing a BOM this year so I will have to add that one to my list. In between finishing the unpacking and laundry today I pulled out one last UFO from last year. Double Delight has been languishing without borders for quite a while. I did a thin strip of yellow and then a wide band of blue. I tried some square in a square cornerstones using extra nine patches, but as I look at the picture, I think they stand out a bit too much, maybe because I used different greens. It is done though, which is better than not done. I'm going to keep it as a flimsy for a while and do a batch of quilting at some point when motivation strikes. I keep toying with the idea of investing in a handiquilter, but it is just a fleeting thought for now.
Lizzie is settling in nicely now that we finally have her home again. She has become quite confident and very much enjoys being outside. She enjoyed meeting all of the big dogs during our travels, but seems to like having our undivided attention as well.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Ho Ho Ho

Happy Christmas day to everyone out there. We are safely in the cold rain of Georgia today ready for round two of our Christmas festivities.

I quilted frantically to get Sister's Choice ready for Mom in time and it is officially done. As soon as I sat down to start stitching the binding down, Lizzie scootched on over to keep me company. She is an excellent quilting companion and didn't seem to mind the time required to stitch down almost 500 linear inches of binding!! I'm well caught up on my DVR backlog now and the quilt is ready for Christmas giving.
I caught up on everyone's blogs on my iphone during the trip and Amy has me thinking about my quilting plans for next year. I think I finished 8 of my UFOs on the Patchwork Penguin Challenge. I was absolutely reliable until School started again in August and then I hardly sewed anything for 4 months. It was an excellent challenge though and I finished off several projects that I am sure would have languished without the extra motivation. I've got several lists going now with ideas for next year and will have to figure out how to do one of those cool photo collages to highlight my accomplishments for last year.
I also finished another Dear Jane Block in the car. I forget what the name was.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas to All!

Santa came to our house early this year. As Sydney is so fond of telling everyone to today. "He knows we are going to travel."
That meant last night was the traditional Christmas eve parade of activities including milk and cookies for Santa and new pajamas. For me it also meant driving down to pick up the one present from Mom and Dad. Our neighbor Barbara agreed to keep her overnight and woke up with us at 5 this morning to sneak her inside. She was much bigger than when I met her at Thanksgiving and will need a new collar and kennel sometime this week.
We opened up all the other presents first thing this morning and then brought in the new puppy who was waiting patiently in the garage. Ryan promptly suggested Elizabeth as a name and the girls readily agreed. It was about a minute and a half before it got shortened. So here she is, Lizzie, our newest family member:

Anna dove right in and started telling us all the things we need to know about dogs. Apparently she learned a lot from visiting Nana and watching Animal Planet on TV. Lizzie is not at all shy and was quickly exploring her new surroundings and visiting each of us for attention. If anyone tries to leave her alone she follows them with a forlorn look on her little face.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

2 Sleeps

We all went to see Anna's ice skating performance last night. It was exactly like a dance recital except on skates. Each of the age groups had two numbers and then they all came out for the opening and the finale. Sydney was fast asleep before intermission and Ryan was pretty grumpy about having to sit there for so long. Reminding him about how many football games we all sat through for him didn't seem to add any perspective to the situation.
Kurt finally had the idea to let him take some pictures with the new camera and that finally cheered him up a bit.
Today I have been cleaning non stop in preparation for Christmas. Somehow everything just feels more festive to me when the house is tidy. I lost count on the laundry at about load number 8, but I can almost see the bottom of the hamper. I was planning on watching TV while all this folding and sorting was going on, but apparently the TV broke last night. Kurt took it all apart and figured out it was a bad color wheel. We pondered ordering the part and fixing it ourselves, but eventually realized that TVs have gotten a lot cheaper since we got our last set and it was going to make a lot more sense to just start fresh. So off he went to pick up a new TV while I watched Hulu on the laptop. Still no sewing going on, but I am still hopeful.

Friday, December 18, 2009

3 Sleeps

I took a celebratory power nap this afternoon after my last final was graded and Kurt got out the ladder so the kids could put some ornaments on the top half of the tree. The bottom half has been mostly done for a while, but it is hard to read the top without standing on something very tall. Did you catch that subtle hidden statement about my last final being graded? Woohoo, Christmas vacation has officially begun!

On Wednesday Anna had a performance with her school choir at a local retirement community. She sang her first ever solo and I was so choked up about it little tears welled up in my eyes. It is still amazing to me that these tiny babies I gave birth to have turned into functioning breathing people with their own interests and agendas.

Then Thursday brought picture day at Sydney's gymnastics class and she was happy to show off for the new camera. Kurt got a new digital SLR for our Christmas present and I had fun playing with all the new settings.

He wanted to know if I really wanted to take 523 pictures. How could I not want to when some of them turned out as cute as this?
The first of the ice skating Christmas shows is tonight so I'm guessing the camera will get a bit more of a workout. My mom was supposed to be coming down to watch it, but my nephew is back in the hospital and she has stayed home to help my sister out until he is all better again.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

6 Sleeps

Last night was Girl Scouts. It worked out well, 'cause it was the only night this week without an ice skating rehearsal or performance. Anna also had a chorus performance this afternoon and the kids have short days at school. It all works out well though with finals at my school. There are some advantages to teaching when you have kids in school.

Santa is coming in just 6 short days and then I'll be boring you all silly with adorably cute photos of the new puppy currently known as Phoebe. I'm pretty sure she is the one on the right. Just remember, I held out for as long as I could.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Not Quite a Quilt

Anna is doing a school project called Holidays Around the World next week at school. She chose China to research and wanted a Kimono for her costume. We picked out the fabric and she cut out the pattern last weekend and today I sewed it all together for her. She's been at ice skating rehearsals almost daily lately so I'm glad she got an early start on this. If I were a really good mom we would have done all the sewing together, but I chose to just get it done instead.

Kurt and Ryan were Cub Scout camping for the last two days and seemed to have a very good time despite quite a bit of rain. Apparently 8 year old boys think it is really cool to play badminton in a downpour.
We've been obsessed with the school rezoning thing lately, but I think have finally decided to give it up as a lost cause. I'm pretty sure things will turn out exactly the same despite all of the work we've put into it, and a couple of quotes in the local paper. I'm trying to just let it go, but it is easier said than done. I guess the momma bear in all of us gets riled up when somebody starts messing with our kids.
Just one more day of classes for my students before finals start on Tuesday. The main thing that means for me is that absolutely everything has to get done immediately. I'm starting to get all the loose ends tied up and am hoping to have a fairly relaxing time of it once exams actually start.
Santa is coming soon -- he is bringing Kurt and I a new camera so I'll be sure to post lots of pictures of our new family addition. I put my foot down for a long time about the whole puppy thing, but I am almost looking forward to it. Almost.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Update on Crazy

Thanksgiving was great. We got to see all of my family and Kurt's as well. The kids all had so much fun playing with their cousins. I took some terrific pictures, but left the camera at Mom's house. I ALMOST got mom's quilt done. It is sitting near the sewing machine ready to go. I had to rethread the machine though because Anna and I are making a Kimono for her Holiday's around the World celebration next week in school. The quilt will make a great Christmas gift, right? Ryan read 23 Cam Jansen books to go to a special party in the library and got some special spy gear as a prize.
We are in the middle of a big school rezoning fight and it has become my new hobby. Who knew that taking on the school board could take so much time? There is a big meeting tomorrow and Kurt is going to speak in defense of the plan we have developed as an alternative to the really crazy plans they have put forth. Apparently there are an infinite number of ways to present exactly the same data to make it support entirely contradictory ideas. I'm not sure what the final outcome will be, but we will feel better for getting involved in the process when it is all done.
Just 5 teaching days left in the semester and then 4 days of finals. Santa is coming a little early this year and he will be bringing a new Pug puppy to our house. I've fought getting a dog for a long time now but finally caved. I guess I just need another hobby to add to the list, right?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Back and Basting

I must admit that I have accomplished very little on the quilting front lately. School has taken over my life almost entirely, and the little bit of time and energy I have left at the end of the day is swallowed by the kids with their activities and agendas. Thanksgiving is looming though, and I had a mental deadline that I wanted to meet. The sisters choice quilt I promised Mom has been sitting in a corner of the study getting wrinkled since pre-planning started in August. I dusted it off (literally) and started the layering process yesterday after Ice skating, and girls day (movie lunch and shoe shopping). Sydney jumped right in and wanted to help with the "hand sewing" required to get a piece of batting big enough for this monstrously huge quilt.She thought sewing was pretty fun and wanted to know if I would buy her a machine when she was a grown up so she could sew too. She thought maybe she could sew with just her hands until then though.
I got it pinned up last night and this morning and even started on the actual quilting after more ice skating and before OM this afternoon. Tomorrow night is lost to sewing because we have a community action meeting about some proposed school rezoning that is going on. I guess I'd better get busy or it won't quite make it. I'm tempted to spend some time catching up on other people's blogs, but I guess that can wait for just a bit longer.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

One Little Bit at a Time

I finally found the mental energy today to pull out my Sister's Choice Quilt for Mom. We're going to be headed up for Thanksgiving and I really need to take the finished quilt when we go. I think that things are starting to settle into a pattern around here. It is not a relaxing pattern, but it is at least becoming predictable. It's not just that I am busier at work these days, I counted on that. It is also that the kids are also getting busier. Piano, sports and cheer-leading happen during aftercare, but the gymnastics, ice skating, football, chess and scouts still take up most of the evenings and weekends. It is all good stuff, but finding time to sit in front of a sewing machine isn't always possible. Maybe I should find some handwork to satisfy my creative urges for a while?
Anyway, I pieced a back today at 120x120 inches to have a bit of a cushion for the 114x114 Sisters Choice top! This flimsy is ginormous! I fit it to the bed though, so that is the size it should be. I also did a bit of clearing out in the guest bedroom, so I can set it up to sew again. I'm sure that will make it easier to pop in for a few minutes when I am feeling the urge. I have enough batting on hand, but it will have to be pieced together to fit. I should be able to start the basting tomorrow if all goes well. Kurt is going to be out of town for a conference, so I won't feel at all guilty about having it out for a while. I hope I have enough safety pins.
I am feeling a little bummed about falling off the UFO a month challenge. I can still hop back on the wagon for October, but I've completely missed August and September. Still, I feel good about having finished 7 UFOs so far. Maybe next year I'll make it a 10 month challenge in recognition of the fact that things are pretty busy at the beginning of the school year.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Still a Quilter?

I recently went on facebook and asked a simple question, "How long can you go without running and still call yourself a runner?" Now I'm starting to think the same about quilting. Girl Scout paperwork has taken over the desk where my sewing machine used to sit. I did run yesterday, but the quilting is still on a bit of a hiatus. I keep thinking that things will settle down -- I keep thinking it will be soon. This is a short week at school. We've combined the PSAT with parent conferences and teacher in-services to have a nice long weekend for the kids. Maybe this will be my chance. The quarter has just ended and so grading is up to date. Maybe I'll take a stitch or two soon. Not tonight, I have a meeting, or tomorrow, that is Girl Scouts, then Wednesday is football, but I don't have to go. Maybe that will my chance. I'll send the girls along to cheer and get out Mom's Sister's Choice to baste. It has to be done before Thanksgiving. I'd better get going.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Where I Live

I think we all take our homes for granted. Some of us grow up somewhere and end up staying there forever. We didn't like the cold and decided to move south. We aimed for North Carolina, but missed by a few states and ended up in Florida. It was strange at first to see all the palm trees and live so close to the ocean, but we adjusted. Before long it seemed pretty normal to us. Occasionally though, it hits me that I live in a place that other people visit on vacations.
Anna had a field trip on Monday to the "river". That is what we call the local estuary for reasons I don't quite comprehend. She was so excited when she talked about taking the big giant net into the water and listed off all of the critters they caught. Rather nonchalantly she mentioned that while they were there, an airplane flew overhead carrying the space shuttle back to the cape.
Tuesday I was watching our school announcements when they had a special segment on the surfing club. They took lots of footage of curling waves and sandy beaches. It is odd to think that as I sit in class I am only a few miles away from all of that. I used to look at houses next to the beach and wonder how they could ever get anything done with so much sun and surf outside their front doors.
Today it was rainy. I thought it was regular rain, but then on the way to work they said it was the remnants of hurricane Fred. I missed that hurricane I guess, but it was a nice soaking rain. As I stood in car line for my duty, I looked on to a huge double rainbow. By lunchtime it was 90 and sunny.
I still have a couple of days left in the week. I wonder what wonders they will bring?

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I was going to write a post about how crazy busy everything was around here and that I haven't had time to do anything quilt related lately. Then I read Amy's post (check out the margins) and realized that my days are pretty calm and peaceful by comparison. Up at 6, kids to the bus by 7. Fortunately the bus is Kurt's job so I try to get to school not much after 7. Students are in for morning help and make-up work by 7:30 and school starts at 8. My mornings are full with one Anatomy followed by two of Chemistry. Then it is lunch and two of Biology in the afternoon. It is a nice flow actually, with the same classes grouped together and a lunch break to switch gears. The schedule rotates, but I have two blocks of planning time somewhere in the afternoon. Where I try to get enough done that I won't have to work all evening on school. Students are in again for help in the afternoon, or on Tuesdays we have meetings.
My kids have decided they would like to be picked up by 4, and most of the time I am able to do that. We have developed a habit of stopping on the way home, at the produce stand or the library, or just at 7-11 if they think they have been good enough for a treat. We are home around 4:30 with a few minutes of down time and checks of homework, reading logs and emptying of backpacks. Home nights are peaceful with baths and stories and time to play.
Right now I wish there were more home nights, but I'm sure that will change. Sydney has gymnastics on Thursday until 5, so that pushes things back a bit later. Ryan has football practice at least twice a week at 6 and a game thrown once a week. Those nights we try to get home earlier so he doesn't end end up eating dinner in the car. Scouts are only every other week, but the leader meetings fill in the off weeks. Ice Skating and chess happen on the weekends, so things are spread out pretty well. I think the balance is reasonable, although now Anna wants to do the ice skating show for Christmas, and that may tip things the other way. I'll be taking her up to skate while Kurt takes Ryan to his football and poor Sydney will be baggage for one or the other.
Like anything else, it is a balancing act. There is an ebb and flow as I go where I need to go and get done what needs to get done. Rarely is there so much to be done that I don't feel like I can accomplish it all. But rarely is there idle time when I look for something to do. I have a quilt sitting in the other room waiting patiently for a last border, and between the birthday parties, play dates and weekend chores, it just might happen one of these days. If not, I'll pick it all up again before the scouts come on Tuesday and start all over again.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Coming up for Air?

It is hard to believe how long it has been since my last post. It is too easy it is to fall out of a routine when new commitments start pulling on your time. I have only added one extra class to my schedule, but the switch from part to full time has taken over a much larger proportion of my day. It is all going well and my days are full of lots of good things, but full they are. The kids are still loving their time everyday in aftercare. They are signed up for lots of extra lessons and activities and still don't want me to pull them away from the fun too early.
We were able to make it to Georgia this weekend to visit with family. It was great to have all of the cousins together with plenty of time to play and talk and just hang out together.

Zach is doing very well right now. He is happy and getting into everything. The oxygen is still a constant reminder of his health issues as is the feeding tube, but there is still hope that those might go away eventually.

It is great to be close enough to family to see them on a long weekend. I know Mom would love for us to live even closer, but it is good to be able to make the drive on a somewhat regular basis.

Obviously, activity on the quilting front has been slim. I took the Tea Rose Sampler for Paige to have on her new bed and she took to it right away. It hasn't made it onto the bed yet because she is too busy snuggling with it. I hadn't specifically intended that quilt for her, but until the Whirly Giggles comes together, it seems to be making her happy. I took the Sister's Choice up with the materials to put on the final border and get it layered and sized to the bed. I managed to get two of the four sides on, but couldn't make much progress with everything else going on.
Next weekend seems calm so far. Maybe I'll be able to find some quality time with my machine and finish up a little bit of something. Maybe.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Little Walking Petri Dishes

It took 7 whole days after school started for the germs to get to me. Everyone is worried about the swine flu, but I have been overcome with a common head cold. Usually I would tough it out and go to work anyway, but showing up sniffling and red nosed would probably not go over so well right now. So here I sit with my tissues and orange juice, doing very little of anything at all.
The first week of school was good. My kids are settling in nicely and are happy with their teachers. My classes are good. The new prep is taking a lot of time, but I like the material and the students. Juggling the three classes is fun, and I'm never bored.
On the quilting front, I finished up the first border on Mom's Sister's Choice quilt. It needs to be ironed so I can get the last border measured up. I'm going to try quilting it in two sections. Although I've never done it that way, Amy does all her quilts that way and swears by it. I'm hoping I have some time to get it all layered up this weekend.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

First Day of School

The first day of school has come and gone.

Brand new outfits. Freshly sharpened pencils. Backpacks stuffed to overflowing.

So many mixed emotions flowing through us all.

Funny story. The kids are in aftercare this year for the first time. I worry about them because that is what moms do. I thought I would let them go and get signed in yesterday, but not make them stay too long. So I rushed through my own work and dashed to the school to pick them up as soon as possible. They didn't want to go home. Sydney stomped her foot and demanded to stay longer because she hadn't had enough time to play with her friends. I couldn't drag her out the door until after I promised to pick her up later today.
My own students return tomorrow. I think everything is ready and waiting for them. I guess I'll find out soon enough. I haven't spent much time lately looking and commenting on everyone's blog. I'm sure I will have time to catch up again when everything settles into a normal routine. I hope you are all well and still enjoying your own vacations.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Julie and Julia

I had promised the kids I would take them to see Aliens in the Attic this morning. Last week I took them to G-Force on the spur of the minute and as soon as we got home, Anna's friend Sierra called to see if she wanted to see it (again). Because Ryan had gone the night before with two of his friends, that meant that two of my children saw the same movie twice in a very short period of time. So this time, I planned ahead and asked Sierra if she wanted to join us. Her mom is my friend Meisje, who also volunteered to come along so I would have grown-up company. At that point I started to feel bad that we were both going to have to sit through the same silly kids movie. That is when the plan started to form. Instead of sitting with the kids through two hours of Aliens, we would settle them into their movie and then go see Julie and Julia, which just happened to start five minutes later. What a brilliant plan! Julie and Julia was absolutely delightful. I would highly recommend it, especially to anyone that has a blog. In case you haven't seen the previews, it is the story of a woman who decides to work her way through every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking during the course of a year while blogging about her progress. It is, of course, about more than just cooking. After the movie we went out to Jason's Deli for lunch and then popped into the book store on the way home. It was an excellent way to say goodbye to summer. The kids hop on the school bus bright and early in the morning for a brand new school year. Crisp new backpacks, freshly sharpened number two pencils, gleaming white notebook paper, empty folders awaiting possibilities. What could be better than a brand new start? I truly think that one of the best things about teaching is the ability to start new and fresh every single year. How many jobs offer that?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ends and Beginings

I'm off to school for the day to try to get a head start on my own work before official meetings commence tomorrow. I'd like to print out a syllabus, year long plan, student learning plan and unit 1 lesson plan for each of my three preps. I also want to print out the same for the classes the new teacher is taking on. If the copiers are open, I'll also copy the day 1 handouts.
I couldn't rush off without trying to get a final picture of the green and purple star quilt after finishing the binding last night. It is going to be called Twilight based on a suggestion by Quilt Pixie who thought it looked like a sunrise.

The kids called last night to let me know how their visit with the grandparents is going. Sydney said they were coming home from a baseball game between a gray team and a green team but nobody got any points. They ate ice cream though, so it was a lot of fun. They are both having a lot of fun with Sunny who is Nana's new labradoodle. I have a feeling that I am getting closer and closer to losing the puppy battle. Kurt was on line last week looking up shelter and rescue pugs. Maybe I can convince everyone that next summer would be a good time. Big sigh, I was looking for a new hobby and feeling like I don't clean up after enough mess makers, right?

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Just finished the quilting on the blue and purple star quilt. Quilt Pixie suggested Sunrise as a name for the purple of the sky and the green for trees. To me it looks more nightimey. So how about Twilight? I'll sleep on it. I'm trying hard not to stay up until all hours, so I'll put on the binding in the morning. I did a basic meaner in the middle and put feathers in the borders. The thread matches exactly, so they don't show up at all. Probably best, a chance to practice on a real quilt and not see all the mistakes. Anyway, I used washable marker to sketch the general shape, so I'll have to throw this one in the wash as soon as the binding is done. Quilt Penguin has posted the UFO for August, it is number one, so for me that is my Elm Creek Quilt. It is just in need of hand quilting, so that is a good project for August which will be busy with back to school.


It is amazing how much can be accomplished with absolutely no interruptions. I kept peering over my shoulder all day, expecting somebody to need something, but it was just me and a sewing machine all day long. I got the borders put on the purple and green star quilt, pieced a backing, layered, basted, and am now about half done with quilting. I'm taking a dinner break and then I think I'll go finish it up. Tomorrow there are errands that need done, so I'll see what I can finish up today.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dinner for One

My entire family has abandoned me for the week and flown to North Carolina to visit family. It is strangely quiet in my house right now and I think I am enjoying it. Kurt usually has to take vacation time to stay with the kids during preplanning so this year he decided to actually go on a vacation. I'll be back at school next week getting ready for classes to start. I went in to school this morning for a couple of hours and again this afternoon. In between I made 5 more blocks to add to the purple and green star quilt and put it all together. It doesn't look so bad from a distance, but when you get up close and personal it show off truly shoddy workmanship. Still, finished is better than perfect, and I have learned oodles since I started this quilt 7 years ago. Now that I look at the picture I am bothered by the asymmetry, but I'm trying not to think about it. I'm going to add a wide blue border and get it all layered up likety split. Then I'll go see what the August UFO is and move on with my life. Does anybody have a better suggestion for a name than purple and green star quilt?

Thursday, July 30, 2009


As summer winds down and I know I should be putting away my summer projects. Finishing up loose ends. Tidying away the sewing room. Instead I suddenly decided that I didn't want to miss a month of the UFO challenge and that I should really take another look at the July project. I had 8 blocks from a BOM many years ago. I picked a more challenging pattern than I was ready for and was not happy with the way the blocks were coming together. It got put away, and by the time I took it out again, the room it was being made to match had been redecorated. And so it sat and languished. I didn't want to devote a lot of time and energy to a quilt that I have no earthly purpose for anymore. After playing with the blocks, I decided I could stretch the existing blocks by whipping up some Irish Chain blocks to alternate them with. I did that yesterday, and just finished putting them together in a 3 x 5 setting. With the blocks finishing at 12 inches, that only makes it 36 inches wide. Not enough to comfortably snuggle with (unless you are really skinny I guess). So now that I have put this much time into it, I'm thinking that I could make 2 more star blocks of some sort and three of the Irish Chains to bring it to a small snuggle size. I could also just start randomly adding the extra four patches to the sides until I run out. I guess I'll sit here and stare at it until inspiration strikes. Inspiration better not take too long though, there is only one more day in July!

The kids have all been adding their own chaos to the mix. They are tearing up the house to pack for their trip while trying to make sure they play with every single friend and every single game and toy before they leave. Sydney had our new neighbor over yesterday and they played Clue, Sorry, Trouble, Kerplunk, Connect 4 and Martian Matter all at the same time. If only I had waited one more day to mop the kitchen floor! It truly is insane around here. All in a good way though.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Switching Gears

It is hard to switch from full blown summer mode to back to school, but I am looking forward to a new school year. Kurt was nice enough to entertain the kids on Friday with trip to Universal while I went in to work on my classroom. It has been 6 long years since I last had a classroom of my own and I am SO looking forward to it. I wasn't sure if I would move my Marine Science quilts into my new room or leave them in the lab with the aquarium to keep the marine theme going in there. While checking e-mail last week I learned that we hired a new science teacher to fill the part-time slot, so she will be using the lab as her "office". Therefore I hung those in my room to represent the Biology portion of my course load. I also hung up Anatomy posters as well as displaying the models for that prep. Then of course I had to find a spot for the periodic table for Chemistry. I sorted supplies into the storage boxes I made from the Crazy Mom quilts tutorial, although I switched to a sturdier cardboard and used some tape to keep the sides together. They match the little curtain I made to add some color above the outside door.

I had already spent several days going through everything that had been left from previous occupants. I found business cards from a guy who left before I started teaching there, and occupied the room three teachers ago! Untold hours were spent cleaning, organizing, purging, arranging, you get the idea. It isn't done yet, but I do think it is starting to look more inviting. While I am not exactly obsessive about organization, I do enjoy knowing what I have and where it is. Along with all of the physical organization, I also began the planning of courses and curriculum, with rewriting of syllabi and such. Again, I'm not done yet by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel like I at least got a good solid start.
The weekend was spent on usual weekend things, birthday party, ice skating, yard work, laundry. Kurt is taking all three of the kids to see his parents next week during pre-planning, so this marks the official last week of summer vacation. Yesterday we had an outing to buy school supplies, and we are trying to make sure that everyone gets to chose at least one outing to finish off the break.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Today was a Phyllis day. That is what we call every other Thursday when our housekeeper, Phyllis, comes and works her magic. It is a lovely thing to have something done in my house that I do not have to do myself. I have long ago gotten over the guilt of having help and learned to enjoy every moment.
So the kids and I went got up bright and early, ran some errands, saw a free movie, had lunch out and visited the fabric store. We went to Target to look for new backpacks, and not finding the exactly the right kind, were headed out when I saw that Janet Evanovich has a new book. I've read all of her books, even those goofy "written as" books that they always republish when an author hits it big. They are a funny, quick read with no literary qualities at all. I'm finishing up Emma on my i pod right now, so there is some sort of ying and yang there I'm sure.
Here I sit in my sparkling clean house, listening to my fabric in the dryer, getting ready to dive into a brand new book and thinking, life is good.
Oh, on a side note, I saw one of, my students at the fabric store and she said she tried to get into my first period Anatomy class, but couldn't because it was full. So that is two new bits of information. My Anatomy class is first period, and it is full. I am slowly starting to work my way back into school mode. Maybe I'll log on later and see if my rosters are posted yet and go through e-mail. Slowly, slowly.......

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Two Havles, Not yet Hole

I just finished sewing together the blocks for the 2nd half of Sister's Choice. Wow did that take a long time! I really haven't done much else yet today. The second half still doesn't have a border, so I'll take care of that tomorrow. I'm not sure what to do with the corners. Usually my quilts hang shorter than this. Is the corner of a bedspread supposed to be rounded or squared up or what?

Half Quilt

I got half of Mom's quilt put together last night. I don't have quite enough green for the other half of the first border, so I'll either put the other half together and add the border later or run out today for a bit more green. The final border will be enough of the green to make it the right size. Anna's bed is queen sized, so I'll take it up there to see how it hangs. It is supposed to fall to the ground, so the exact dimensions are somewhat important.

I also got a few blocks cut out for my next quilt while supervising swimming yesterday afternoon. I sent those through as leaders and enders while making the top. This is a quilt for my niece Paige and the colors are based on some sheets that my sister gave me to make a dust ruffle. Dust ruffles seem to be a recurring theme around here lately. I'm also supposed to make one for my nephew Zach. If I were a really good sister I'd get those put together and off in the mail ASAP. The kids are standing patiently by the pool waiting for me to come out, so I'd better grab my fabric and go watch.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blocks Done

Finally finished the blocks for the Sister's Choice quilt! Mom decided that she like the green lattice after all, so I'm using the yellow as corner stones. I made it 8 blocks by 8, so that leaves room for about 6 inches of border all around.

I initially thought that I would use extra squares, but it seemed to blend in with the yellow corner stones. Then I thought about breaking the squares up into patches with some green strips.
It seemed pretty busy, so I also considered using 4.5 inch strips instead, again breaking them up with the green where the cornerstones are.
The other option is a simple solid border. I could also give up on borders completely and just make another row of blocks to make the quilt finish at 108 by 108. I'll let it simmer overnight and see how it looks in the light of day. Tonight I think I'll cut out the rest of the yellow squares and call it a night. Hopefully I'll be ready to sew the blocks together tomorrow. The kids want to go to the zoo, so maybe in the afternoon.