Monday, April 30, 2012

one or two happies . . .

In lieu of a design wall ... because I don't have things that together yet ... I thought it might be kind of fun to share the video of Sawyer's birthday that James (Sawyer's daddy) shot and put together.  I know it's a little bit dated, but there's a purpose.  
If you watch it, you'll notice that Sawyer's shirt changes after he enjoys his birthday cupcake.  Watch that shirt!

And then of course, there's my dear little dolly Ellie who just celebrated her 15 week old birthday!  
She's growing so fast!

Our kick-off GLOW event was superb . . . we had such a marvelous time!  We're gearing up for our next event which will be called, "Batter's Up".  Get it?! 
We'll be enjoying a Gigi's Cupcakes buffet and putting together bleacher cheer bags for the moms and grandmas of the boys on the baseball team our church sponsors.  Should be fun!

I'll have a marvelous recipe for a carrot cake, something quilty, and something campy later this week.  Happy Monday!!!  :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

stash report #18?!

I can't believe I'm this far behind on stash reports, although really it's okay, since I haven't had anything different to report until this week anyway.

Used/donated this week: 2.5 yards
Used/donated year-to-date: 12.25 yards
Purchased/added this week: 3.0 yards
Purchased/added year-to-date: 56.25 yards
Net used/donated for 2012: -44.0 yards
My in and out were pretty even.  It was nice to finally have *anything* be able to go into the "out" pile!   As ever, linking up with Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times for the weekly stash reporting!  :)
It's been a very crazy couple of weeks which involve stomach viruses, losing a hard drive, overnight stays at the hospital with fractured sinus cavities (my son), and some *very* good things too, which I'll share soon!
I did manage to finish up my April doll swap quilt, but can only show a smidgen of it here, until it's received by its intended!
And it's nice to be back, too, by the way.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

*sigh* . . .

Just a quick update so no one thinks I've fallen off the face of the earth:

Sewing machine - all better and home where it belongs!

Computer - another sad, sad story.  If you're wondering *why* I haven't posted anything since last Friday, my crashed and burned laptop is the reason.  Hopefully by sometime next week I'll be back in the swing of things.  I do not enjoy blog posting, reading, or commenting from my phone, though I'll try not to get too far behind.  My blogging friends are so wonderful!!

Diet - I started South Beach on Sunday.  This morning I weighed in 13 pounds lighter than I did last Thursday at the doctor's office.  I'm too happy and excited about that to be too upset about the computer.  Hey, you gotta take it where you can get it, right?!!

Grandbabies - are still a sweet, sweet joy.  Ellie gets bigger everyday (in fact, Jocelyn was lamenting this week that she's grown out of most of her 0-3 month clothes) and Sawyer is incredibly sweet and all-boy at the same time.  And they are both the chattiest children ... I love it!

My darling husband - celebrated his 50th birthday on Tuesday!!  Happy birthday to the love of my life!   


Friday, April 13, 2012

before you break for the weekend . . .

If you get a chance, take a moment to visit this very special blog for Avery.

This is Avery:
Isn't she just darling?!  Avery has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), which is an incurable genetic disease.  I'd never even heard of it until I found her blog through a link on my Jocelyn's facebook page.  

The purpose of her blog is to chronicle the precious days that Avery has and to raise awareness of SMA.  Please swing by and look at all the fun things that Avery is crossing off (and adding!) to her bucket list.  Especially her sweet little tea party!!  And if you're able -- share the link love.  The more people that know about SMA, the more likely a cure is going to be found!


granddaughters, doll quilts, and diets . . .

Oh my!

I had a lovely, lovely day with my darling little Miss Ellie Pearl yesterday.  She just keeps getting more and more personable!  I swear I could just sit there and chat and coo and smile and grin with her for hours!  Yesterday, between naps, she showed me how she plays on her mat with her toys (especially Jacque le Peacock).
And then she gave me that Mona Lisa smile that usually precipitates the full blown grin . . . 
Gracious but I could eat her UP!

Today, after Todd made the run to the post office, I had a lovely treat!
I had forgotten Barbara (from Cat Patches), my swap partner this month, had told me it was on the way!  Isn't it darling!!  I love the mixers and beaters!  And I love the quilting on this too.  And the back view  . . .

And the tag (and the postcard greeting she included)!
I love, LOVE it Barbara:  thank you *so* much!!!

I had a good--and encouraging--visit with my doc yesterday.  Sunday is the start day.  We're celebrating Todd's birthday (the big five-oh) on Saturday (it's actually on the 17th) and didn't want to start a diet before then -- his birthday cake-of-choice is a Carvel's ice cream cake.  Definitely not on the Phase 1 food list.  LOL!

On my way home last night I noticed that one of the small grocery stores was advertising split chicken breasts for a dollar a pound.  Since we're going to be doing a lot of chicken for the next several months, I decided to pull in and get some.  I got four, four pound plus packs of chicken breasts (four breasts per package).  That's a LOT of chicken!  I knew I didn't want to stick it all in the freezer like it was, so this is what I did.

I opened up each package, pulled out the breasts, pulled back the skin, and filleted off a 4-6 ounce portion.

I then pulled the skin back over what was left.

I laid the fillets out and covered them with press and seal to freeze them individually.

I put the rib pieces in a casserole dish to bake (I mean there was still 10-12 ounces on each breast). 
Covered them with a little garlic and onion powders, a little rosemary, and a little salt and pepper.  When they finish baking I'll pick them -- portion out the cooked meat into 1-1/2 cup portions -- and then boil the rest down for stock.

I feel like the frugal housewife!  Yay for me!

Tonight we have campers coming in, and the weather will be glorious for them!  I'm so looking forward to it!

HAPPY Friday!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

the road of life . . .

Today's the day . . . 

Wow!  It's actually the "day" for several things!  First off, my good ol' Janome DC3050 is headed off to the shop.  
Todd loaded 'er up for me and I'll drop 'er off at Huntsville Sew & Vac on my way to big stop number two . . .

My follow-up doctor's appointment where we made BIG life changing decisions.  *sigh*  Is it awful to admit that in anticipation of these big lifestyle diet changes, Todd and I have indulged just a bit?!  LOL!  Not too terribly, mind you, but we have nonetheless. 
I'm pretty sure, based on the research that I've done, that we're going to end up going with The South Beach Diet.  It's fairly straightforward.  The big thing (and the one thing that's probably most important to me) is the elimination of sugar.  I *know* I'm a sugar addict!!  I've read the book cover-to-cover and looked at the phases and correlating food lists.  Should be interesting.  I'm *so* grateful that Todd's agreed to do it with me -- especially phase one, which is the most limiting (and intimidating)!  Changes like this work better when you've got a partner walking through it with you, don't you think?

From there I'll head to Jocelyn's and spend the day with her and my Ellie!!  Yay!!  Then I'm headed to Fayetteville to attend their local guild meeting.  One of the women I am in Sunday school with is co-delivering the night's program on using orphan/boo-boo blocks.  Her co-partner is Cindy, my friend and the owner of Hooked on Quilting!  Should be a fun night.

So, that's it for me today ... I better get my show on the road.  Keep in mind that a joyful heart makes a cheerful face!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

new additions and a pretty meal . . .

Meet Bear.
Or whatever his name is going to be.  "Bear" was tossed around the most last night, because he's going to be such a BIG dog when he grows up -- and he rather looks like a little polar bear now!  He's a Great Pyrenees, and his grandpa weighed in at 165 pounds!  Can you imagine having that much dog around?!
They're also very gentle and great with children and have terrific dispositions.  And they're herders, so the more kids you have, the more they can help keep them in line.  LOL!  Todd and I have friends who had six puppies to sell and I had known James and Kim were very interested in this particular breed, so last night I went with them to check them out.  Sawyer was in his element.  The place was like a petting zoo, with goats, mini-ponies, dogs, cats and chicks.  I think he really wanted to bring home a goat.  All the way home he kept bleating, "Baaaaaa!"  Oh yeah -- and he did tell us a couple of times that he wanted to ride the pony.  He was serious!

In other news . . . my mom and dad celebrated a quiet Easter this year.  My dad's back is giving him trouble and so travel is not an easy thing for him right now.  My mom, who's ever-creative, was determined to make their Easter meals fun and festive for the two of them, and I think she hit the mark!
I love the egg in a bacon basket!  This would be a fun Easter breakfast.  (Edit:  here's a link on how to make the egg in a bacon baskets.  And then add a 'chives' handle and set it amongst some greens!)

And the shrimp salad bunny, with his deviled egg ears, is just darling!  And look at how nicely her meringue daisies turned out!
But the meringue bunny is my favorite!  What a sweet treat!  I think sometimes the leaning is to scale back when we find it's just the two of us, but I like my mom's thinking here.  Make it fun for two!  Sometimes I need that reminder ... Todd and I have found ourselves as 'just the two of us' on special occasions before, and it's important to not [always] use that as an excuse to do little or nothing.  Don't you agree??!

Hippity-hoppity Tuesday!


Monday, April 09, 2012

all kinds of family fun . . .

What a *busy* last several days!!  We've been non-stop and loving every minute of it.  Friday I spent the day with Ellie. 
She's grown so much and has just starting talking and cooing ... what a heart melter she is!
On my way home, I picked up Sawyer so he and I could go to Cornerstone and decorate eggs.  I would have taken pictures but I forget how hard it is to be the 'overseer' *and* the picture taker!  Sawyer spent the night with me, for the first time since before the surgery -- I had so missed having him spend the night!

We were up early and went for a ride on the golf cart to check out the camp.  Nothing much about that morning besides a frog, though.  Ribbet.  After Kim picked him up, we headed to Fayetteville to catch a baseball game (our church is sponsoring a coach-pitch team) and then went to their egg hunt.  From there we grabbed a quick bit and then headed to Flint River to watch Sawyer on his very first Easter Egg hunt!
And do you know he ran right up to that bunny and gave him a hug?!  I was so surprised!  Paw-paw took him over a second time.  Sawyer loves to be in Paw-paw's arms!
He had such a blast, and he was raring to go!
He understood the concept of picking up eggs pretty well, I'd say.

Then yesterday we all had Easter dinner at Kim and James's.   After dinner, we went outside and took family pictures.  I think this was my absolute favorite of the day:
Aren't they precious?  Sawyer was such a good cousin, throwing his arm around Ellie!  I am blessed beyond measure!

Have a great Monday and a terrific week!


Wednesday, April 04, 2012

creative outlets . . .

While I wait for my machine to be able to go in to get fixed up, I'm finding other means by which to be creative.  Of course, I'm working on getting our women's ministry up and rolling.  This will be the insert for this Sunday's bulletin:
I'm having such fun coming up with ideas and putting together a program -- it's exciting to see what God's doing and going to do!!

I also took this opportunity to go back to my Moda prize and really appreciate the fabrics that had been included in it.  One of the sweet comments on that prize post (from Kris) had shared a little more information on the collection, which is the Friendship Collection by Howard Morris Collections:
Collections for a Cause - Friendship by Howard Marcus - This 1850’s friendship quilt from Philadelphia is the Ninth in a Series of reproduction quilts featuring the Howard Marcus Collection. The series includes antique quilts from across America. This friendship quilt is believed to be a wedding or anniversary quilt. With a cheerful red and cream color palette and fine applique work, this quilt was made with love and friendship for a happy occasion. The center of each block is signed in a beautiful script further indicating the quilter’s desire to create her very finest work. Many of the signatures are from members of the same family. It is our hope that you, too, will create a friendship quilt for the special loved ones in your life. Supporting the Cause…Feeding America “Whose mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.”
How fine is that?  Further indication to me that I need to use these fabrics to 'pay it forward' as it were.  Anyway, I took the fat quarter bundle apart and laid all the pretties out on the table . . . 
And pulled some out that really caught my attention.
These are just such sweet, sweet prints . . . oh yes, I'll have a lovely time playing with these!

And my doctor's visit went fairly well on Monday.  He told me that there is noticeable bone growth around the fusion, which is terrific news, and that the screws are solid and there's good bone growth around them as well.  He said there is a large bone spur that's developed in the front and a lot of bone fragments on the side where the donor bone was packed, which may be causing my pain.  He said the process and healing is very slow and he wants to give it another six months (which is when I'll go back next).  He also put me on an anti-inflammatory, to see if that helps with swelling and pain.  I've noticed a positive difference since then, which is very encouraging to me.

I asked him (mind you, he did not bring this up) if losing a significant amount of weight would be helpful.  LOL!  He took that and ran with it!  Although he was quick to tell me that it's got to be strictly lifestyle changes in diet -- no exercise.  I guess I wouldn't be a good candidate for The Biggest Loser, then.  Haha! 

I happened to have an appointment with my GP that day, as well, and I told him what Dr. DeOrio had said and told him I needed input, guidance and HELP!  Really what I wanted was for him to give me a magic pill (or something) but he was far more practical.  He told me to not change anything for the next three days and to just record what I ate and to track the grams of carbs and sugars.  Then (and not until those three days have passed, which is tomorrow) I am to get online and thoroughly research the South Beach Diet and the 17-Day Diet.  Then I'm to compare those diets to my three days of notes and make some decisions and draw some conclusions.  Then I'll bring it all back to him next week, and he will help me chart out a course of action.  

So that's where I am ... looking forward to seeing where I end up!


Sunday, April 01, 2012

stash report #14 . . .

So here are the numbers for this week ... a little intake, thanks to my fall fat quarter winnings (and Kris at Lavender Quilts!) ... but no outgoing.  But I will, soon, I hope!

Used/donated this week: 0.0 yards
Used/donated year-to-date: 9.75 yards
Purchased/added this week: 1.5 yards
Purchased/added year-to-date: 53.25 yards
Net used/donated for 2012: -43.5 yards

I'm linking up to Patchwork Times for the weekly stash report. Be sure to check out how others fared this past week!