Sunday, July 22, 2007

tennessee treasures

our trip to tennessee not only gave us a chance to visit with family, but it also brought some treasures my way...
first of all, i got to visit my first out-of-town quilt shop! yeah, yeah, i know, how can an avid quilter for several years not seek out those wonderful little shops as she travels? two reasons my friend, first...i haven't been traveling (mainly due to work), and second...i haven't had opportunity as many times when i am travelling it is on a tight timeline. but this time, when i spotted a billboard on the interstate for the little blessings quilt shop in tennessee i squealed and mentioned it to dh who chuckled and said maybe...not because of a lack of burning need and desire to stand beside me as i caressed bolts of fabric and oohed and ahhed over new books and notions (note sarcasm), but rather because it was 12:00 am, and likely i couldn't go without breaking in and having to schedule time to visit the local jail as well.
well, the idea got tabled and didn't return to my mind as we hopped from family to family over the next few days, but, as we were on our way to visit my cousin crystal and her lovely family and i saw another billboard. quickly i realized that my exit for her house was also the exit for the shop! for joy! so dd and dh agreed to grant me me some time to visit, dropping me off and seeking other things to do for awhile. unfortunately, the local fireworks shop was closed, and dd was quite tired, so my visit was cut short and we journeyed on to crystal's.
but my hubby is so fantastic, he really wanted me to return to the shop and enjoy browsing, so he watched dd while he napped and i did return later that day with crystal....

at the shop i picked up several charm squares (they don't carry them at my local shop, so this was a great treat), which i intend to turn into a throw for my bedroom and a table runner. i also picked up some remnant floral fabric for 25% off, and a new fat quarter friendly book. i paid too much for the book, but it had a an interlocking star pattern that i truly adored, and home it came! overall a very good haul, and i stayed well under $100!
as if this wasn't enough, that evening revealed another quilting treat.
my cousin tammy, also a quilter, called me into her room so we could go through her collection of my grandma pauline's quilt scraps. i came home with several! gotta love true vintage...
as we chatted and perused (what a wonderful time, i really miss her!) she pulled out this beauty
apparently, grandma pauline was in the process of creating a quilt for each of her surviving children, but she went to be with the Lord before she finished. this top tammy had been able to keep.
ok, really, how cool is this thing! it is truly a genuine scrap quilt, made of old shirts and scraps, nothing from a fabric store here folks. she had used a turtle block (created from a modified drunkard's path) to create a fun and bright quilt top for her youngest son. can you see the turtles???
my cousin and i had fun looking at it and talking family stuff, then she surprised and honored me by asking me to take this treasure home and complete the quilt.
once i resumed breathing, we agreed that i could do this and then get the quilt back to her when i finished. it does make me nervous, because i want to do it and grandma justice. but, i came up with a plan!
i am now piecing a small-scale table runner using the same block. i can then quilt it using several different pattern ideas, then show tammy and let her give me input before i begin on the real deal.
this will not only let me have a sample to share with tammy, but i am creating this sample sized for a piece of furniture in my living room and dipping into my own stash of grandma's scraps, so i will have a mini replica of my own! i hope to post pics of a finished sample top soon!
as if all this wasn't enough, my most recent order from connecting was awaiting me when i returned home
can't wait to use the scallop tool for a quilt binding! so much to little time... ;)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

our Lord is coming!

in the family car on the way to my cousin's house in tennessee, the following was heard from the backseat:
"mommy, daddy, the clouds are moving,
God moves the clouds...

(gasp) the clouds are moving, that means that our Lord is coming!"

where u been?

alas, this last week was a very busy one...even on the mrsmandy scale of busy it was busy!
on thursday, our family travelled to the natural bridge zoo - dd's zoo count #6 (just ask, he'll tell ya LOL;))
dd and daddy rode asha, the african elephant.

then, after feeding the giraffes, visiting the baby camels and bears, dd took a minute to ride an alligator

we ended the trip getting our picture taken with the baby tiger cub, india. she is on loan from another zoo, so we couldn't hold her, but she kept swatting dd with her tail and he loved it, mommy, this baby tiger loves me so much!


on friday, i got a special treat! i had a daddy-daughter day with my pop! as an anniversary and birthday gift to me, my parents wanted to purchase some much needed tires for my car and they insisted (rightly so) that we take care of it before our road trip this past weekend. so, while sams installed my newly gifted tires, my dad loaded up some bikes and we hit the bike trails that my hometown created to replace the old railway tracks downtown on the riverfront. what a blessing it was to spend those hours with my father, riding through tunnels and on tree-shaded paths by the river. we had a chance to exercise, talk, and just enjoy each other's company. i am so blessed to have such a great daddy, he even took me to lunch after and went with me to pick up our newly-painted school bus which i then delivered to the school. it was a wonderful day that we plan on repeating soon!


after arriving home from my bike trip we all began packing for a quickly planned and swiftly executed trip to tennessee. it was truly one of those i-can-get-the-weekend-free-have-the-opportunity-haven't-been-in-far-too-long moments that we couldn't pass up, especially considering that my dh will be back in football season ~ and therefore mia until after thanksgiving~ beginning next week, making this the only time we can all go. we left on saturday right after a baby shower, and arrived in tennessee at my uncle's house at about midnight (our time). the trip was great, and dd travels wonderfully, but having just arrived home today, i have to say that i am pooped!

saturday - wednesday

i was able to deliver the daddy, who hung the moon quilt to my cousin, visit with my 89-year-old grandmother, and spend time with family that i hadn't seen in a long while. i also came home with some quilting treasures....... i'll share more on our trip later, right now i have about 10 pounds of laundry and some work to make up.

ps. janet - my avitar is a llama! i took her pick about a year and a half ago at a petting zoo while visiting my sis in new york. i thought she was just so posh, and yet so....not. love her! ;) have a great day lady!

Monday, July 09, 2007

happy anniversary my love

about 5 years before this picture was taken, my youth pastors encouraged me to make a list of everything that i wanted in a future husband. after taking some time to prayerfully consider each item, i finally had my list. i remember writing it on the board on the back of my bedroom door and claiming each of them for my future husband. among those items listed were: love God truly with all of his heart, a strong spiritual family leader, open to a family committed to full-time ministry, love children....

my dearest husband, you are a tribute to the faithfulness of our Lord to answer our prayers for you are everything i listed and so much more than i had thought i needed. i love you, and cannot wait for the rest of our life together.

manic monday

well, besides being one of the hottest days of the summer for us here in good ole virginny (too hot for me to drink coffee...ya know it is toasty! LOL!) it was also a very busy one. i am taking tomorrow off work to spend the day with hubby golfing, eating lunch, and generally hanging-out 'cause tomorrow is our 9th anniversary. yes, 9 years ago i married my best friend between you and me one of the smartest things i ever did!
i had a full day at work, scheduling field trips, coordinating children's ministry activities, meeting with various prek staffers about various prek items, etc. i am enjoying the new position at work. so far i haven't had as much time at home, but summer is peak busy time 'cause with all the kids outta school, i get to fill the time for them! i am still praying for wisdom in continuing to train and develop my leadership team, but i have the time now to work out in the mornings, i have a super garden in the back yard (pictures to come), i am getting thursday's with my little guy, and have found more time for quilting and practicing my guitar. blessings, and as i adjust to the schedule and continue to get guidance from the Lord it will get even better!
today, when i got home i helped hubby fill little man's swimming pool, changed for the gym, then was delayed when my little guy achieved an unfortunate milestone by stepping on his first baby bumblebee.
poor little poppet.
after a lot of tears, peroxide, and yes ~tweezers to remove a stinger ~ he was giggling again and i was off for my aerobics class...had a sub teacher...don't wanna talk about it ;)
came home, cooked dinner, gave the dog a bath (gave myself a backache in the process, but she is ohsofluffy), put little man to bed, and now i am settling down to watch one of my favorite shows.
busy, yet happy day.

today inspired me to take a minute and count my many blessings ~

5 little blessings to count today:
1. sunsets
2. garden fresh vegetables
3. my little boy's laughter
4. freshly painted toenails
5. a good acoustic guitar CD

got 5 little blessings you want to share?

beautiful, huh?

Friday, July 06, 2007

mr. guitar man

a busy busy gal

well, now i can add one more thing to my yeah, i can do that list. on thursday the 5th i passed my cdl exam, allowing me to drive our preschool's new activity bus! i did quite a bit of training, especially for the pre-trip inspection...yes, i now know what a slack adjuster is, where it is located, and how to tell if it is broken...wild huh?
i am really happy that i passed, 'cause my kids have been waiting. needless to say that studying and preparing for this has taken up a lot of my time over the past week or so, hence the lack of blogging.....
something else that has occupied a great deal of my time these last two weeks....
YIPPEE! Daddy, Who Hung the Moon? has left his spot on my design wall and is awaiting transport to a very special little guy! dh was kind enough to hold it up outside for the photo...what a dear! i have to admit that the checkerboard border went a little wonky, and i wanted to set the entire thing on fire as laughing and crying i fought to ease and adjust it as i attached it to the quilt....but alas my pyromania ebbed, i regained my sanity, and decided that perfection wasn't required. and ya know, the end result is ok. once it was quilted, the puffiness of the boarder vanished quite nicely, so i can live with it...not to mention, the little guy will not care:)

ya know, i am quickly discovering that quilting is my favorite part of pretty much any project. i had so much fun free-motion quilting the sky space around the upper two stars and the moon. seriously, after reading teach me how to machine quilt, i haven't been the same...i free motion everything! for this, i combined some curlies, waves, and stars to fill in the space. it is so much fun to let go and just.....go....
another cool thing unique to this project ~ i free-motion quilted the moon with glow-in-the-dark-thread. super cool when the lights go out...its a night light, its a quilt, its a night light, its a quilt....

i did reign myself in and quilted the stars in the ditch with a single line of echo quilting inside each one, but not to be too terribly normal i used multi-tonal yellow thread.
i love the way it crinkles after washing, yummy. i only machine quilt my quilts for little ones so they will stand up to multiple (and thorough) washings.

as if that wasn't enough to occupy my time and keep me from my blogging space, i also got a long-awaited goodie in the mail on tuesday...
...can't wait to play!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

safari park, here we come

finally, a chance for a family mini-vaca! we have been trying to get away for awhile, so this sat. dd, dh, and i headed over to natural bridge to visit the safari park. i love living in VA, we are so close to so many amazing places that we can just hop over to for a day of fun, and still come home and sleep in our own little beds!
unfortunately, the day began a little out of kilter, as we took a curvier route (to save some time....yeah right) and my little guy ended up ralphing in the back seat. so, after spending about 20 minutes rinsing my nearly naked kid with bottled water on the side of the road, we loaded up and proceeded to drive to the nearest walmart for new undies, shorts, and shoes.

he did end up with a cool tie-dye souvenir t-shirt (pictures below), which he loved. he was such a trooper, after his mouth finished "exploding" - as he puts it, he quietly stated..."mommy, now we have to go to the zoo."
can't argue with that, so off we went.

the safari park at natural bridge is by far one of the best places to visit if you have kids! we began by visiting the feeding area, where dd got to feed the goats, baby goats, and pigs.

we have to cutest video of him doing this with the babies, he kept saying, "aw, you're so you". adorable!
the kangaroos were a little to pooped to hop....
boy, just looking at this guy made me want a nap!

we also saw "the guys from madagascar who like to move it, move it!" as dd says....

they had several huge tortoises, this guy was the biggest, and the close enough to touch, although i wouldn't recommend it!

in his own, true, 4 year-old style, dd loved the huge fake turtle even more than the real ones!

by far the best thing about the park was the hay ride! the largest part of the zoo is wide open land where many animals are allowed to roam free. you can either drive through (and have a llama steal your tissues from the front of your car), or buy a hayride ticket that gets you a one-hour tour and a bucket of food to use to feed the animals. as i said, they are running around loose for you to observe and interact with. we saw so many amazing animals.

first up was junior. dd got to feed junior during the first part of the tour. it was really one of those oh my goodness everyone should do this at least once sorta things... dd also got to feed the buffalo and the camels. - not to mention the pigs, llamas, birds......... and, although we didn't get to feed them they like to nibble on fingers we go within touching distance of a zebraand later on he got to pet an albino corn snake (sarah) who was making the rounds in the zoo.

we had a great time, and both my wild things agreed that it was well worth the trip (and the vomit)!