Thursday, August 26, 2010

First Day - Ella

Here are the obligatory first day of school photos.  Not only was it Ella’s first day, it was her first day at this school.  She is now attending 1st grade at our nearby public school.  Here she is ready to walk to school.


Found a friend from Daisy Scouts and acting class.


Wow, big girl with her own locker.


Beginning of school year flag raising ceremony.


To be honest, I’m not sure how Ella is feeling about school.  She is very quiet and melancholy when I pick her up.  Not herself at all.  I don’t think the kids are allowed to talk much at all.  This is very different from her past experience in a Montessori school where there was definitely time to be quiet, but also lots of time to socialize and self-select activities.  At least she had lunch and recess and she said she made a new friend today.  Hopefully she will start getting into a groove and feel more comfortable.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Though I haven’t written a post specifically about it, I think it was apparent that I took a class this summer.  More specifically, I took Intro. to Social Work at our local community college.  I wanted more evidence that this may be a field I’d like to pursue (or not).  That mission was accomplished (I loved it) and then some…


(Illinois State is where I earned a degree in a different decade.  Not where I have currently take classes.)

Being an older student with a family and other responsibilities is so much different than being a student who is young, alone and single and has few other responsibilities.  For me, at least, I do better when I have more to do, up to a point.  Though I forgot how intense summer school is, I was still able to strike a somewhat healthy balance between studies and other family responsibilities, though some extras like sewing and other crafting totally fell off my radar.

The big surprise to me was the difference in attitude.  Not that I had a bad attitude as a teen/young twenty something the first time around in college.  But this time, I was so much more interested in what I was learning.  I also saw the value of participating in class and probably spoke up 10 times more than I did when I was younger.  I felt no reservations asking the teacher for help or clarification on assignments, I easily took a leadership roll in many group projects and my previous years of professional writing experience were an asset for writing assignments.

I was an overachiever.  I got an A on every test and assignment.  Because I’m smart?  I don’t know if that’s the case.  But I do know that I applied myself and really, really wanted to do well.

Now I am filling out applications for part time graduate programs in the area.  Why not?  Will I actually do it?  I don’t know, but at least I can put that option in place.

This semester I’m taking a Statistics class.  It is a requirement for admission to most Social Work programs and I never took it before.  I love math.  But I hope it is not to much stress with the other activities I have going on this “semester.”

I’m excited.  Taking a class after being a stay at home mom for 6 1/2 years after working for 10 years and being in college for 6 years was an eye opener.  It is amazing how much I forgot how intellectual I am and then how quickly I was reminded of that when I took a class.  It was good for my soul and made me feel better about myself.

I know that being a mom is a very important role and it has its rewards.  But it is quite another thing when you actually have someone praising you for your good work and giving measurable feedback via grades and comments.  I think it makes me a better mom.

Is it ok if I want both?

Is it ok if I want to find something to do for others on a flexible schedule so that I can also be there for my family?

I don’t know how this will all turn out.  All I can do is take it one step at a time and enjoy it along the way.

And the field I desire to go into is another topic.  It is a bit surprising, but then again it isn’t.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our Boy

I don’t think I could love a little boy as much as I do our son.  I would never trade him for anything in the world.


I commissioned the plaque seen above from Crystal at Little Bit Funky.  It is perfect since Miles says his nickname is Smiles and it really does fit him.

He is really maturing this year.  He is happy, interested, helpful, entertaining, loving, sweet and kind.  He has the best smile and a great laugh that I’ve never heard before I heard his.  Watch out, he could work himself into your heart and it will be hard to say no to anything.  Even when you know saying no is for his own good.

He is Miles…

Soccer Player in Training


Before he was born, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about having a son.  And we didn’t know he was a boy until he was born.  I always had worked with girls through teaching dance and baton.  I am a girl and I know more about girl things.  But Miles has shown me that having a boy can be a rewarding experience.

Pop-up Camper Cranker


He is a sensitive soul and shows so much gratitude for almost everything.

He takes great joy in so many things, as does his sister.  It warms my heart every time I see them discover and play.

Sand Castle Builder


And I keep telling him he’s not allowed to grow up!  But he insists that he will.  At which time, I am sure I’ll love him just as much, if not more than I do now.

Loving and Loyal Son



Surgery update.  It is a long story with some scary moments, but it is over, I am recovering, and some “surprise” cells they found in the nodule turned out to be benign.  My husband and parents came through for me in every sense of the word and a lot of wonderful friends were praying.  I am so very thankful for everything.

For now I have a little bit of a fever and last night my blood pressure was below where it should have been.  So I am still praying for an uncomplicated recovery.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Scenes from a Camping Trip

About a month ago, we purchased a used pop up camper.  Jason grew up camping in a pop up with his family and even traveled around the country with this mode of “motel”.  I did not.  It took me a while to warm up to the idea.

We planned a trip for this week from Sunday through Thursday to Point Beach State Park which is near Two Rivers, Wisconsin.  This was our second trip.  Our first being a short getaway at a nearby RV park. 

Here is our camper all set up.  We seem to have tackled most of the logistical issues with storage and organization.


This park is in a very woodsy area.


This is just a very pretty photo of Ella when she and Jason went out to get something.


The bonus is that we were right next to a beach on Lake Michigan.

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The water was gorgeously clear and pretty shallow for quite a long distance out from the shore.


It was not crowded at all, but also not too hard to find a friend to play with.

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Fun for all ages!


Cooking is always an experience.  Here the kids make banana boats.  (not the ice cream variety)


Lots of time to play together.  I am soaking up the time that I can still pick up my children to play with them.


The kids seemed to sleep really well.  Us, well some nights were better than others.


Though I can be a little neurotic when it comes to dirt, public showers and other issues while camping, I think we had a pretty nice time.  It was good for us.



In other news…  I go in for a pre-op appointment with my surgeon today and to get a blood test.  I will be having a partial thyroidectomy on Monday morning and staying overnight at the hospital until Tuesday.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Car Organizers: Two Versions

In my last post I revealed the helicopter version of a car organizer I made upon the request of a friend. This was my first attempt at a car organizer and I was quite pleased with the result.

I have now finished the strawberry version and wow, how cute is that!

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For those of you who may be coming from linky parties, here is the helicopter version again.


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Thursday, August 5, 2010

What Is It?

I really love how this turned out!  My friend Becky, who I met as a vendor next to me at the Farmer’s Market asked if I could make something for her.  I decided to try it out.  You can find these at stores, namely stores online.  But they are all black.  She wanted some color.


Any clue yet?  I bet these will give it away!


Is it what you thought?


I am really quite pleased with it.  I used Craft Fuse (a stiff interfacing) for the fabric and lined it all with navy duck cloth, so it should be super durable and not floppy.  There is durable webbing to hook it over the headrest and around the seat which fastens with two D-rings.  Navy trim was used to finish all of the raw edges.

It has a generous open pocket on the bottom for books, with mesh pockets on the sides for pencils and such.  An additional mesh pocket was added in the middle for other items and two side by side roomy pockets with Velcro flaps are up on top.  Next up is a more pink version for her daughter!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Just Bag It

After my class was over, I was set on having a fun August.  Somehow it has turned into somewhat busy, and stressful August.

To relieve some stress, I broke open a new shipment of fabric, which I obtained through a trade, and started in on making a simple bag.


I like this fabric so much.  It is just so cute and unusual.  The designer, Laurie Wisburn, has been printing her own fabric independently and selling it through her own Etsy store Scarlet Fig.  Recently she has had her line, Tufted Tweets, picked up and printed by Robert Kaufman and it is out for sale.  I love the different color choices.  Red with orange, aqua with lime, and purple with purple.  RK will also be picking up her previous line, Urban Circus to print in large quantities and it should be available in August.  I may need to pick up some of this for bibs.  That is, if I have time to even make bibs!

I just felt the fabric and the bag calling me to make it.  I’m not sure what it’s for.  Does anyone think they might want it? 


It will be reversible.

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