Thursday, March 31, 2011

Boy Blankie? CHECK!

I saw this most Marvel Hill-ish material and it spoke to me.
It said "Take me I'm yours!"
This print (and the one following) are part of a collection by Ellen Crimi-Trent called
Woodland Friends II.  I'm in love with the vibrant colors and playful mood.
And the Moose - can't forget that precious Moose!

(So Baby, if you're a little Boy baby... we're ready for you now!)

Also, I've had some fabric intended just for an apron and today?
I decided to make myself a Birthday present!
Yep.  Tomorrow is my birthday and I've had one favorite apron I got at my bridal shower
about 14 years ago.
It's never been my favorite print, but it has been my favorite splatter-guard
and it's been tired out for some time.  This darling new fabric gives me the perfect incentive
and since it calls my name too...
Happy Birthday to ME!

Just a FYI, the bird fabric in my Baby Girl blanket is a design by Valori Wells.
You can even find some lovely Valori Wells fabrics as well as other wonderful
bird prints on Amazon if you type in "Bird Fabric by the yard".

Promise to show me if you create something wonderful!

Aaaaand She's OFF!

Susanna has aced the "Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons"
That means the book is all Olivia's!
She's been waiting for quite a while now, and because I didn't let her start
while Sue was still working through it, she resorted to teaching herself what she could.
"Mom, how do you spell...?"

Strangely, now that we have officially started the book together I find
the girl is bored out of her mind!
Doesn't take kindly to all the repetitive rhyming and saying words slowwwwly and fast.
It's not a game.
It's not fun.
She's heard it all before when Sue did it.
And I am going to kill reading to make her jump through all the hoops
just because that's the program.

Today I decided to make that book work for ME instead.
I let Olivia skip all the exercises and just say the sounds and a few words
until we got to a list of words and THAT made her little heart go pitter-pat!
I especially enjoyed how she wanted to give me a sentence for each word she read:

"SEED... I have a seed I am going to plant!"


"SEE... I can see it and YOU can't!  That's bragging, isn't it mom?"

We made it to the first "story" with accompanying picture in lesson 13
and that just tickled her SO much.  Perhaps now we can slow back down
to the books intended pace.  But if not, that's okay.
That book has been a super resource for me, but as with any tool we use in
helping our children to learn new things we must not forget that we are trying
to LEARN something, not complete a checklist.
So... whatever you use, don't be a slave to it.  make it work for YOU!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Look Mom...


 (says Carolina Truth from within a nest of colorful pillows and cuddling close to her best buddy)

ART: learning to get out of our box

Time to try some different mediums.

Today we drew our very FIRST self portraits
and experienced our FIRST soft Pastels...






Do you know how intimidating it is to try something for the first time?
Those soft, dusty, pigment-rich chalks are so... different!
Some of my children were intimidated by drawing themselves this way,
but WOW!  How GREAT they did!  And after they followed through
with this first, they were off!

It was good for me to sit down WITH my little bugs because I often get
them started on a project and then I do something else while they are busy.
I've been needing to sit down and learn and participate with them.
It was new for me too.
I used soft pastels once for a class waaaaaay back in my past
but never to draw a person. 

This kinda made me want to sit down with the kiddos again!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Drawing Near

We must be in the last weeks before baby's arrival.
All the signs point to it.

This drawing is only a partially-accurate rendition of me.
I am not embracing a lot of touch these days.
I am not so patient and graceful as I look in the picture.

There are moments
when all this is true.

And it's always my hearts desire to gather my chicks around
to revel in the moments.
To be loved so thoroughly - even though I deserve it so little.

My children are ready to meet this new sibling.
They are baby's best fan club!
They talk to baby
follow baby's movements with tender hands on my belly
suggest names
make plans to help hold baby...
rub my feet...

Yes. I am ready; and I am loved.
Baby is loved.
We're a lucky twosome these days!

"Where's Bryce" Episode #2

What makes "rough-start" days sweet:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Saturday on Friday

Beloved husband home for one whole day
before another stint of travel meant a Holiday for us!

I don't mind all the travel though, because he is planning to spend the next month and a half at least
being here for me, for baby's birth, and getting into our new juggling groove.

Today though, he plumbed in a DRYER for me, and did some other manly household
duties while I sat as near as possible with my quilting and kept the coffee hot.

This is the crew helping Dad change the hinges on the dryer door:

And this is the finished baby girl receiving blanket.
There's a boy blanket in the works too since we don't know who baby is yet.

 I couldn't resist the orange flannel back, but I have a feeling I might look at it one day
and grin as I remember the season of my infatuation with orange.  The light weight cotton front though...
I am infatuated with that as well.  I love love LOVE the birds!
Since I knew the cotton wouldn't "stick" to the flannel after a washing,
I quilted all the birds.  I wish I had more time for projects like this because it's just about doable for me
and SO relaxing to do repetitive hand-work!

It was a lovely, snowy, cozy-by-the-fire day.  All of us together with sips of tea, and sips of coffee, and sips of hot cocoa... soon Spring will be fully here, and the cozy season will be over.
I'm enjoying the last of the cold for as long as it lasts:-)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Capturing moments

Isn't it good to stop and capture moments sometimes?
They are so fleeting!
In this case I was sitting on an unmade bed, attaching brackets to a picture frame
while the roar and din of a rowdy circus met my ears from not afar-off.
I was very industrious getting ready for my husbands return - you know,
hanging pictures and the like.
(What overflowing trash can? Pile of laundry you ask? Wha-?  It's not in the picture!)
To be fair I did wash the sheets, but as I was saying...
It gets downright convenient to take candid pictures when I have a set of nimble
6-year-old legs to fetch my camera for me any time I beckon!

Now I can continue to enjoy this moment a little longer
which is nice, because that pile of laundry is not so fleeting!

Olivia my Artist

This picture just makes me smile - inside and out!

Olivia is the most experimental artist I've had yet
as pertains to people and posture and movement.
They each have different areas where they shine,  but recently Olivias artwork has come alive. 

She is able to interpret her imagination in such a way
that you believe you were there in the story.

I thought this scene was quite wonderful for a young lady of 5.

And this pig puppet she made today 
(with her newly-acquired hot glue gun)was entirely her creation!

Just LOOK at those cute little piggy-legs hanging down.
Simply FABULOUS little daughter of mine!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wheeeeere is Bryce?

I'm afraid that question is asked too often at our house
and it's usually me doing the asking.
Not that any of the children are known to secretly stash him away in a closet,
but I usually count on their 5 pairs of eyes, and that many feet to find him out
and report.
I think the perks of being sixth-born are highly underrated!

Oh the things you can get away with.

Before I even thought to ask that question late morning today,
I spied him here.
In the midst of the school-day busyness and mayhem he was here just as you now see him
(only, both hands IN the bowl of oatmeal) and since this was all taking place below my belly
(so rather out of my sight), he had been able to enjoy his freedom
for a pleasant uninterrupted while.

What makes this picture so hilarious to me is the story behind the enterprise.

You see, Bryce and I have been waring for dominance
over the past several weeks.

At breakfast I ask him, "Are you hungry?" 
"Yah!" he replies with gusto.
"Here. I have your breakfast; say Bite Please?"
and from this point forward we find he is more determined than he is hungry
because he absolutely   will.  not.  say.  "Bite Please"

He can.
He used to.
He'll say "Bite"
And he'll say "Please"
but just so you know it's not in compliance with request,
you won't hear those two words together.

In case you wonder, I don't require this performance at every meal.
I hope I am a bit wiser after 6.  Yikes!

In any case, Bryce took matters into his own capable and chubby hands this morning
when no one was on guard.  He just helped himself to that bowl of cold left-overs
sitting on the table (apparently within reach) and moved them to a more convenient
(and inconspicuous) location.
Where I found him - caught red-handed.

You can see how he trembled at my discovery.

I guess it's not so scary to be caught by a barefoot pregnant lady
who laughs and grabs the camera, hoping you'll stick your hands back in the bowl
just because she wants to turn your naughtiness into a photo shoot.

We're not sure who won the battle today,
but one thing is becoming apparently clear...

It can really pay to be a little fish in a big pond.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Put Off Long Enough

I'm not sure but this may be the first official pregnancy picture with baby 7!
So who wants the baby Scoop?
I am beginning to nest.  I have passed the 34 week mark and am feeling
countdown-ish.  So I am.  Counting down, that is, until the day (or night) arrives
when we make this little one's acquaintance.
I can hardly wait!!!

This pregnancy has been "boringly normal" which is the best thing a woman can
hear from her doctor or midwife.
I have settled on a couple of dear midwives near to us who have been working together
for 25 years or so.  I am currently hoping to deliver baby at home on Marvel Hill
(I have hot water again since last week - Yippee!!)
but they also have a comfortable little birth center we can drive to if we so choose at the
last moment.  I am very thankful for God's provision in these women, and look forward to
seeing tiny 7's story unfold at the end of this chapter.

One thing especially different about this pregnancy is that I have been feeling all baby's
limb movement at the front of my belly.  It's been fun to feel more feet and elbows, but I
can't make out exactly what's what.  My midwife thinks head is down which is all I was really
wanting to be reassured of!

Other than that, I am frantic trying to finish Bryce's baby scrapbook and Christmas stocking
as well as a few things I have personally put my hand to creating just for this new little person I love.
Between school and chores and life, 6 more weeks doesn't seem like very much time to wrap up
the details!

Oh yeah.  Then there's the name conundrum.  I'm open to any and all suggestions for either gender.
Preferably your favorites, but then, AJ has already contributed Khubilai Khan.
And Hans Solo (he is helpful like that).
So really, anything is fair game at this point! HA!

More than anything I would be blessed to have your prayers for my time of labor and delivery.
I would be so grateful to go into it with peace and grace - no fear or anxiety.
I know I can count on you my precious friends!

I love you much,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Party ON!

This night...
It's now pretty late.  11:00 is late for starting a party at least, but that's exactly what I'm about to do.

Little Bugletts are tucked into bed
and steaming hot cocoa is awaiting a dollup of whipped cream and sprinkle of cinnamon.

Probably I should be tucked in for the night, but my beloved is away so bed is a bit lonely
and the crackling fire is more companionable than the dark.

I was thinking I would gather up a baby blanket I need to finish for this wee one
and sit in front of a movie that doesn't need my eyes riveted to the screen.
I was thinking Pride and Prejudice (the A&E version)
but put back in Roy Rogers the kids were earlier watching.

Roy Rogers and hot cocoa...

by glowing firelight and while working towards the finished end of a project. 
Does that not sound like a party?

Before I sign off to enjoy my party-of-one, I must brag a little.
Clayton Praise made this serving spoon for me from a burl he found.
I'm so honored that he thought of me!  I am so loved.
Once successfully gouging out the inside of this burl, he has gone on to make spoon after spoon.
A new passion, and for every spoon he makes there is a fortunate, cherished person he intends to gift.

And here's my tiniest boy.  Today I had had the melancholy sensation of not wanting him to be bumped from the "baby" position in a few weeks.  This is a first for me. 
Mother of six-going-on-seven...
Can you believe there are new growing pains to be experienced even this far into the game?

Aren't boys wonderful?!

Friday, March 18, 2011

my most favorite person....

to know
to think of
to love
to look at
to laugh with
to wonder about
to tease
to dream of
to watch
to smile at
to dress up for
to bring coffee to
to pick up socks after
to share with
to give to
to call 
to kiss
to wait for
to see coming
to talk to
to be with
 to be loved by.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Olivia!

Dearest little daughter,
Do you remember that I was giving Dad a haircut when I went into labor with you?
I couldn't stand up to finish, and Dad insisted he wasn't going to the hospital with only half a haircut
so Gramsie had to finish up for him!

After 9 months of longing to meet you, and a couple hours of really hard work...

You finally arrived!

And that was the last I remember of celebrating Saint Patrick's day, because celebrating YOU every year
has been so much more joy-filled and important in my life!

 On this morning, five years later, you rose before the sun.
I requested that you wait a bit (please) before commencing with festivities.
-Say, at least until there was enough light to see without a flashlight?

 Look at those morning faces!

And here's my girl learning to braid Friendship bracelets...

Enjoying some birthday phone calls

This year...
Daddy's traveling.
It's snowing outside.
You chose pink instead of purple.
Wanted a hot glue gun...
and sewing box.
Got a hand-made spoon Clayton lovingly fashioned from a tree burl.

...and ate your pink cupcake with it, I might add.

The party consisted of 3 brothers, 2 sisters, 1 momma, 4 Cousins, 1 Auntie
and 1 unidentified sibling in the secret place.

For only 2 families, it equaled 1 large-ish party!

This is that 1 Auntie and I together five years ago minus 5 months

And again 6 months later...

Now this.
I doubt we really know what we're in for long-term.

I'm not showing you a current picture of us because we look pretty tired at this point ;-D

The cupcakes were a hit though, and the party-ers really knew how to have a good time!

This one says it all, doesn't it?

Apron that Auntie Hannah made for O

Good bye cousins!
Thank you so much for sharing Olivia's day!

Olivia Honor mine....
You are my songbird.  My cuddler.  My artist.
Today you are smack-dab middle in order of birth - a place which seems easy to overlook
especially being one so obliging and easy.
But you are not to be unnoticed!  Oh NO!  For one thing Olivia, you are lovely in every way.
Beautiful to look upon, and gentle of spirit.  You are a delight to your daddy and I,
and such a precious friend to (and for) your siblings.

I love you so very much sweet daughter and beloved friend.

Happy 5th Birthday little lady!