About Me

South Louisiana
I have been married for 20 years to a great husband and we have 8 children ranging in age from 1 to 18 years. I am a homeschooling mom, which can be very challenging. I love sewing, knitting, reading, gardening and have recently started oil painting. I love to create. I really want to have a blog to show off some of the stuff I create, but I also want to share about my life and family. email me at ctrich8@bellsouth.net

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pierce is home and some Christmas sewing

First of all, an update on Pierce. He is home and feeling great! They are making him take it easy, but if it were up to him, he would be outside, running around playing football LOL The doctors STILL don't know what happened. We are just praying it was some wierd virus that ran it's course and will never appear again. I know they are keeping a close eye on him, just in case. This is just a reminder that ultimately our children are in God's hands and there is only so much we can do to protect them. This is becoming more and more clear to me as my oldest gets closer and closer to adulthood. I like to think I have ultimate control, but I know that is wishful thinking. I just have to trust God to watch over them. Thank you again everyone for all of your thoughts and prayers, they meant so much to me : )

I got some Christmas sewing done yesterday. I am making this Wee Wonderfuls pattern for Ava and for my new little niece, Jessie. My SIL Gloria and BIL Kevin (the parents of Pierce) are in the process of adopting a 2 1/2 year old little girl. She is the sweetest little thing. I made her doll first, but still havn't finished the hair or the face, I need to get the materials for that. So, you are going to see the little outfits modeled on her faceless, bald doll LOL Is it just me, or is it a major pain in the butt to set in sleeves on doll clothes? Setting in sleeves is not my favorite sewing task, but on teeny, tiny doll clothes, it is nearly impossible! I think I may start doing it by hand just to save myself the frustration and bad words muttered under my breath lol It will probably be quicker that way too. I love this pattern, it is very well written and easy to understand. Hilary gives lots of tips to make things easier.

This little dress is for Ava's doll

This one is for Jessie's doll, I did the pintucks backwards, but I think they still look fine, so I am not redoing it.

I have Ava's doll all sewn up, but need to make a trip to Joanns for more stuffing and wool felt for the eyes and yarn for the hair. I had bought some Bamboo stuffing the other day, but it has this squeaky feel when I hold it, even after stuffing the doll it has the squeaky feel :shudder: This is the equivalent to nails raked across a chalk board for me! It is making me cringe just writing about it. I stuffed two arms before I couldn't stand it anymore. I went and found some leftover polyester stuffing to do Jessie's doll. I can't find any cotton stuffing locally, so I guess I will just stick with the polyester.

Here is Ava's doll, minus stuffing and the jumper and the cut out shirt for Jessie's doll.

While sewing yesterday, I listened to the Twilight Movie Soundtrack. I am getting giddy about the movie Friday! There is a huge group of us *older* people going on Friday at 4:40, we already bought our tickets : ) I know, we are going to the old folks showing, I guess that is about right, considering this is a teen movie. I never get this excited about movies. I don't know what it is about the Twilight series, but I am so hooked. It is the perfect fantasy escape for me. I finished reading Stephenie Meyer's other book The Host this weekend. I really love her writing, this book wasn't quite as affecting as Twilight, but it was still really good. I hope it does well enough for her to write sequels. I really want to know what happens to Jared , Melanie, Jamie, Wanderer and Ian.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Good news!

They took Pierce off of all the machines this morning. They had him on a ventilator and were keeping him sedated because everytime he would start to come to, he would freak out. Gloria, my SIL, was terrified that he wouldn't be able to talk because he could only grunt during the seizure and the seizure lasted for at least 40 minutes. Anyway, as soon as he woke up, he asked his mom to blow his nose! LOL Praise God, this made Gloria feel so much better because she just kept saying she wanted him to wake up and say "Hey, Mom" He doesn't remember what happened to him, but his memory seems fine otherwise. As far as I know, they still don't know what caused the seizure, and I don't think they are saying he is out of the woods yet. But this is an awesome improvement. My husband is at the hospital right now with his brother, so I may know more when he comes home.

Thanks everyone for the prayers, I truly believe that prayer can change things!

Please pray for my nephew Pierce

My 10 year old nephew was brought to the hospital yesterday morning having seizures. He was conscious but could not speak. No one knows what happened. He was in the back when they found him already having the seizure. He has no known medical problems and had not been sick. He is in ICU right now, and they still have no clue what is going on. A CAT scan showed his brain was fine, no brain damage. And so far his spinal tap cultures are coming back normal. They were thinking he might have meningitis or encephalitis. As you can imagine, we are all terrified. He is such a sweet young boy, always happy and full of energy. Please pray that they can find out what is going on and that it will be something that can be cured. It is heartbreaking to watch my SIL, she keeps saying "you know, sometimes you don't get to keep your babies." : ( It is like she is trying to prepare herself for the worst. I havn't gotten an update yet this morning, I am praying that they will have some good news when I call.

You can see Pierce in this picture, he is in the middle row, in back of Samuel and next to Isabella.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A beautiful day and some random pictures

These pictures are from 2 weeks ago. I had forgotten I took them until I downloaded pictures from my camera. It was one of those spur of the moment times that you sometimes don't take the time to enjoy. For once, I let myself enjoy the moment. We were supposed to be finishing up schoolwork, which we were behind for the day when we heard the fighter jets. The Sertoma Airshow was that weekend and the planes were practicing. We live fairly close to the airport, so they were doing some of their maneuvers right over our house. The kids were dying to go out and watch. I had an internal struggle, thinking that we *really* needed to finish school, but then I just gave in because they wouldn't have been paying attention anyway. You couldn't exactly ignore the noise of the jets lol

There is a huge field in back of our house and a newly constructed lake for a new neighborhood. So we all went sit out there because it was hard to see the planes completely with all the trees around our house. We even brought Pixie, our beagle, she loved being out and smelling all the new smells. The planes flew right over us several times in formation. They were so low that we could see the cockpits. Samuel was beyond excited, Ava was a little scared because they were LOUD! She would hide her head in my neck whenever they would approach. After watching the planes for a good 20 minutes I thought maybe I could take some awesome pictures, so I sent Parker in the house for the camera. Well, don't ya know they didn't fly close to us once I had the camera. I took some pictures of the kids anyway. It was just gorgeous outside, the pictures are a nice reminder of a beautiful day. I am so glad I took the time to truly enjoy it, school still managed to get finished and we have a lovely memory.

Savannah was a good girl and brought her school books out with her, she didn't really get any work done, though lol

Samuel kicking around while waiting for the next plane to fly over : )

Austin was a good big brother and carried Ava back to the house, he didn't even mind that she was holding on to his face lol

My Dad actually got tickets for us for the actual Airshow that Sunday. He works for one of the oil comanies that was sponsoring the show. We had front row seats with a tent for shade and free food. We could see it all right in front of us. The main event was the Thunderbirds and they were AWESOME! Of course, I forgot my camera :smacks head: I am still sick about this, because I could have taken the BEST pictures.

I also found this picture of Ava trying on my first Edith Twirl Skirt. This is Jona's pattern and I really enjoyed making it. The picture is taken after Ava's bath. The skirt isn't for her, you can see it is too big. It was for my good friend Lessie's little girl. She sure loved it though, she automatically started twirling LOL I need to make her one of her own. ( you can click on the picture to see the skirt better)

Just a random picture of Samuel, this is how he fell asleep the other night. He always falls asleep in strange places. We just left him here and he slept all night lol Yes, my almost 5 year old IS potty trained, but he still wets the bed. It's easier to put a diaper on him than to clean up a mess every morning. Diapers are much cheaper than pull ups and he doesn't care either way. If it starts to bother him, I will buy him pull ups, I promise ; )

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Machine Quilting Adventure

Wow, I havn't posted in over a week, time sure does fly. I have been steadily working on the quilting of my quilt. It has definitely been a learning process. First of all, I can't just do things easily the first time, no, I have to make it hard. It's just that I wanted the quilt to have a certain look to it, and just a basic quilting in the ditch wasn't going to do it. I wanted all of the squares echo quilted 4 or 5 times, which didn't seem like it would be difficult until I started to do it. I thought I could use my walking foot and stitch and turn and stitch and turn until all the squares were done. Well, maybe if I had a smaller quilt, which a smart first time quilter would have done. No, I had to make a twin size quilt for my first go at quilting. I actually sized down from a king size quilt, I am not THAT nuts LOL Anyway, you can not just pivot and turn a twin sized quilt, no sirree. I tried, and my arms were killing me after half a square. So, I thought maybe I could just stitch each side of a square in a long line, stopping for the sashing and restarting. Well, that was just a pain. I even tried to handquilt : O My efforts were not so pretty. That will definitely take some practice and I do want this quilt finished before the next decade. I finally realized my only option was to do the squares free motion. Of course, I practiced on one square before I started on my quilt. I kinda got the hang of it and while my stitches are not all even, I figure it will give a folksy look to the quilt. Anyway, that is what I am telling myself LOL I am sure I will look at this quilt in the future and think what a mess I made of the quilting.

After all of this, I thought maybe I should check some books out from the library on machine quilting. Well, there are all sorts of tips LOL And all 3 authors stressed how important it was to practice, practice, practice before starting on your actual quilt. Well, I got all sorts of practice ON my quilt LOL I don't have time to waste practicing. So, I am sure the last squares I do are going to look completely different than the first ones. But like I said, that will be folksy, right? Come on, help me lie to myself lol Even with the tips though, maneuvering that quilt is a workout! I have to conciously make myself relax my shoulders, because I am going to end up with some sort of injury if I am not careful. Oh, and I got some finger condoms (seriously, that is what they look like!) to help me grip the quilt. Still not sure if I like them yet. The gripping does help, but I hate having something on my fingers, I can't feel what I am doing. I am hoping the next time around is much easier, I guess it is like everything else, it takes hours of practice to master.

Here are my two practice squares. Of course, the square was super easy to do with the walking foot on this tiny square. You can see my first attempts at free motion. I think my flower looks pretty good considering I have never done this before lol The second practice square was to see if I could do the squares free motion. They resembled squares, so I figured I was good to go : ) Looking at it now, it looks awful, I must have been tired when I made that decision.

Here are some squares on the quilt. I didn't realize until I had done several squares that I was supposed to grid quilt in the ditch first before starting the quilting inside the squares. I should have read those dang books first! So, now I am doing my quilting in the ditch, I am almost finished, so should be able to start on those free motion squares again soon.

I included a picture of the finger *grippers* because I think they look so funny! JUST LIKE miniature condoms! LOLOLOL

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Handmade Christmas and a bathroom

Like many of you, I'm sure, I check out Sew Mama Sew's blog daily. I was already planning to make a lot of gifts for Christmas, but Sew Mama has made me even more enthusiastic. Already I have the fabric and patterns I need for pajamas for my 2 teenage nieces and all of my children. I do this every year for my children. I am also planning an apron each for Sam and Ava. Chad made this adorable play kitchen for them last year and I think they need aprons just like mama. And just now, as I was visiting One Shabby Chick's blog, I found this wonderful pattern from Wee Wonderfuls. This would be perfect for Ava and possibly Savannah. I have some more ideas, but I think I will try to tackle these gifts and see how much, if any, time I have left lol

I am really trying to be careful about gifts this year. There is nothing I hate more than finding discarded toys 2 days after Christmas. Most stuff is crap nowadays, and I just end up throwing it in a toy box never to be played with again. What a huge waste of money, just so they have presents to open on Christmas morning. I have noticed in the past that handmade and well thought out gifts are always appreciated much more. Sometimes, because I have so many to buy for, I end up just throwing stuff together. I WILL NOT do that this year. However, there is only a limited amount of time before Christmas, so I need to prioritize and get my butt in gear if I am going to accomplish my goal. I may have to put my quilt on the backburner for a little while. The quilting is coming along, FINALLY! But this is a whole other post LOL I had just a *little* trouble with the whole machine quilting thing.

In the middle of all this, Chad and I are doing a mini remodel on the kids' bathroom. Our house was built in the middle 70's and the bathroom is still original. It is really a great bathroom, it is huge, but the sinks and cabinets have had it. Dh found some new faucets and sinks on clearance at Home Depot this morning. The sinks were $40 a piece and the faucets were marked down from $80 to $30!!!! So, for under $200 we have brand new sinks and faucets. We will be keeping the green marble counter tops because it is a huge counter and would be expensive to replace. I know, I know, green countertops? But I really like them, they are that avocado green that was so popular in the 70's and I have always loved that color. So, we are making do. We are going to reface the cabinets with bead board and paint because we can't afford new cabinets either. We are watching for some tub faucets to go on sale or clearance and we will buy those new too. I would love a complete remodel, but that just isn't in the budget and probably won't be until the kids are grown and gone LOL But I think a few new fixtures and some clean new paint will make a big difference. This is the bathroom that everyone uses, so I really want it to look nice and right now it just looks gross. I will share pictures as we do this.

It will probably take several weeks because we will only have time here and there. Lots going on and dh has been working almost non stop lately. He has always worked two jobs, his regular job with the city and he does plumbing with his brother on the side. The plumbing business is doing well right now, so lots of extra work. This is good and bad. Good because it means extra money at a time when we really need it and bad because Chad isn't around much. Add in some other carpentry jobs he has also gotten and he is working until late at night almost every day. I am so thankful to have a hard working husband who is so talented. The fact that he knows how to do all of this plumbing and carpentry means that we can do all of this remodeling ourselves, which saves a TON of money on labor! Sorry for rambling about this, I didn't even realize I was going to talk about it lol I am very proud of my hubby, he works very hard so that I can stay home with our children, and he does it with a great attitude. God has really blessed me : )