Wednesday, April 2, 2014

When The Cat's Away . . .

. . . we craft!!  David and the 4 middle size boys went away for a couple days/nights to sell their fur.  We decided to have a crafting party when they were gone.

Aimee was in the process of making a small scrapbook.  (She didn't allow me to photograph her!!)

Bronwyn made MANY scrapbook pages.

Rachel asked Hunter, Walker and Morgan if they wanted to scrapbook, too.  Of course, they said "yes!", so she set them up in the middle of the living room with old pictures and papers.  They had a wonderful time!!

Rachel was in the middle of working on a page here.

Tried to keep Tanner out of trouble by feeding him cookies:)

Tara's "crafting" was cinnamon raisin bread, cookies and some soup for dinner.  Nummy, nummy!!

I managed to finish one scrapbook page and then got busy reorganizing my ribbon.

In my head I was thinking they were going to be gone longer, so it didn't really feel like I accomplished much because I had to be gone on Friday.  Oh, well . . . it was fun while it lasted . . . and another craft day is coming soon!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dr. Seuss and Smell

The week of Dr. Seuss' birthday we had a little fun.  Along with reading a few of his books and doing some Dr. Seuss related activities, we had a special lunch one day.

"Thing One and Thing Two"

"One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" - Candy fish in blue jello (water)
"Pink ink for the Yink"

"The Cat in the Hat"


We did a little project with smell last week.  Each cup contained a cotton ball that had been scented.  There was a match for each scent.

Each cup was labeled with a shape or a letter that they all recognized...Morgan and Walker don't know what numbers look like yet, so this worked better than numbering them.

I had them smell each cup and tell me what they thought it smelled like, as well as if it smelled like a different cup they had already smelled.  On their dry erase boards they made a chart of which cups had matching smells.

Walker recognizes about 10 letters now and can write W, M, I, and H.  Hunter knows all his letters and sounds and is reading short words.  They all are excited when school starts every morning.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

School Again

A while back we did a science experiment.  We washed pennies.  We came up with a list of things that might work to clean them and they each told me what they thought would work best.  We tried water, soap, salt water, lemon juice, vinegar, vinegar and salt, and taco sauce.  I put some of each in separate cups and then we dropped the pennies in.  After a few minutes, we took them out to compare.

Vinegar and salt worked best, so the next day they got to wash them with that.
They all looked about like the dark ones there.  The clean one is one somebody washed.

Morgan showing a penny she was washing.

I got them each a dry erase board from the Dollar Tree.  They love them :)  We were doing addition in this picture.

While we were doing school one morning, Tanner was enjoying himself in the toy cupboard :)

Most mornings they are wondering when it's time for school.  Though when I bring out the alphabet flash cards Morgan usually gets's not so bad once we get going :)  And they're learning new letters slowly but surely!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pig Cookies!

Grandma Kulla always made turkey cookies for Thanksgiving.  I remember at least once, probably after Saturday night sauna, Grandma had taken pig cookies out of the freezer for us.  Yum!  They are made with the same recipe as turkey cookies.  I got her pig cookie cutter.  And a while back I finally used it!
It's a 3 day process.  This time I did it in 2 days.  The dough is supposed to refrigerate overnight, but instead I finished it in the morning and baked them in the evening.

They are time consuming.  The dough must stay cold, so you take a little bit at a time and leave the rest in the fridge.  Plenty of flour so the dough doesn't stick.  The ears on the left side were prone to come off when I picked up the cookie cutter too quickly..or was taking the dough out of the cookie cutter because it stuck to it.  They reattached themselves while they baked.

While they are still hot, you put a warm glaze on them.  With each step taking so much time, and the baking only taking 5-8 minutes, the oven often sat empty, waiting for a new pan to be ready.

They disappeared quickly :)


Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Sweet Baby Quilt

A little over a year ago I was (im)patiently waiting the arrival of our 13th child.  I had carpel tunnel, high blood pressure, my FIL had recently died and my MIL was terminally ill with cancer.  I'd chosen an adorable baby quilt to make for a girl.  Unfortunately, I hadn't paid attention to how much work it was going to be!!  Also, I didn't have any pregnancy related problems at the time I chose it.  This week when I finished it, I decided it truly was worth all my work.  I'm just glad I had a boy and his quilt was already finished when he arrived almost 3 weeks early.

I found my pattern here, on the Riley Blake website.  It was called Vintage Chic.  If you haven't been there, you might want to check it out.  They have tons of free patterns.  I had to refigure everything so I could make it a baby quilt.  When trying to decide what kind of fabric to use, Aimee found this line of fabric online . . . Aviary 2 in Lilac, by Joel Dewberry.  I thought it was sooo cute . . . but wasn't really thinking about what small pieces I would be cutting and, for the most part, you can't see what most of these prints really look like.  I still like the end result.

A few facts:  This quilt is 37" X 40".  It has 476 triangles of fabric in the chevron part of the quilt, making up 238 2" finished blocks.  Um . . . yeah!!!  So, with my sore wrists/arms, I had to square up each block to 2 1/2" after I sewed them all together.  Like I said . . . totally worth it!  But, I don't think I'll do it again:)  And, it will only go to a daughter or granddaughter because I don't think anyone will pay me enough for it!!!

Aren't these little birdies just so adorable??

Here's a photo of the back of my quilt.  I used minky.  I'm not sure if I like the back or the front better!!  I really do like the front better, but I really do like how the quilting shows up on the back!

A little closer up.

And the whole thing.

So there's my bragging for the day:)

Looking forward to a craft day on Monday . . . and lots of visiting!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I've been helping Hunter at home with learning his letters.  Walker and Morgan want to do school, too!  Walker now knows his alphabet and Morgan almost has it down.  The other day Walker learned how to write "W", so today he got to do "a", the second letter in his name.  First I printed out a big "a" for him to fill in with different objects.

He used Legos first.

Morgan wanted to do it, too, so I printed off an "M" for her.  She knows "M" is for "me and Mom!"  Here she is filling hers in with dominoes.

Lincoln logs were another thing they used.

Morgan really filled up her M! . . . and the rest of her paper :)

Hunter was done with his "school" so he played with Legos while they did their letters.

All 3 of them got to write their letters with their finger in flour on a plate.  They thought that was fun!  And then Walker finally got to write "a"s.

Then they all decided they were done and went off to play.  I'll have to work more with Walker on his "a"s another day.  He is a good student and always anxious to move on!  When we did "W", I had him filling in a W with different objects and he told me he wants to write "W" today!  So I let him be done doing that and he got to start writing it :)  He did pretty good!


*I've been getting lots of ideas and worksheets from

***Mom's editing here . . . Rachel is an EXCELLENT teacher!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Annual Stitch & Chatter Quilt Retreat

Our Stitch 'n Chatter group had our annual quilt retreat on Saturday.  Everyone works on their own quilt.  This year Marcella taught us the "Band Box" quilt.  We're given a list of what is needed and buy our own fabric if we want to do the group project.  These three quilts are done using the technique each a little differently.  I'm working on a quilt that will be similar to the middle one, with the blocks "on point".

Since it was our 10th annual retreat, we displayed a quilt made from each year's group project (I didn't get a picture of all of them).  I've been to each of the retreats and have done the group project every year except for one.

These quilts were made two years ago.  I didn't work on the group project that year because I'd made this one, which was very similar, the fall before.

This was the quilt from our first retreat - Yellow Brick Road.

Wacky Stars

This is a quilt from several years ago that I made for Tara - Blooms for Annabelle.

Rachel came to the retreat this year.  Many years ago she came to babysit for me, but has never been there quilting.

Jan, laying out her quilt blocks.  She was making a bright children's quilt.

Jerrie Lynn showed off this pretty quilt that she was making.

It's so nice to get together with the ladies to quilt.  I love having the whole day to work and visit.  Of course, it even nicer on the years I don't have a baby along with me, but still fun even then!  Tanner got to join us (with Aimee) for most of the day this year. 

Very much looking forward to, and hoping I will be able to attend, the beach retreat in the fall!!!