Thursday, June 6, 2013

May flowers

May. Also went ridiculously fast. Temperatures rose, daffodils and tulips bloomed, and we started mowing the lawn every week. It rained a solid week or two, so we got a slow start on some spring-time fun.

 The girls beaded some headbands
We blew bubbles on the deck
My dad came to town for a few days...he had a business meeting in Chicago, so he spent three days with us. And we put him to work. He built me two planter boxes, 3'x10', which after he left, I ever-so-painfully-and-slowly filled with 2 cubic yards of topsoil. I had to take the dirt from our driveway to the far corner of our backyard, where I thought we would get the best sun (and least amount of interference from children). My back is still in pain. But my garden is planted. More photos of that to come.
After Dad's meeting in Chicago, we went to the Shedd Aquarium. Photo dump follows...

After Dad left, we started having marvelous 70 degree weather. So we went to the beach whenever possible. One reason I love the location of our house - one mile from a nice little-known beach on Lake Michigan. If it weren't for getting so sandy, we would go every day.

Once when we were there with friends they actually found buried treasure - a total of about 65 cents - so it was hard to pull Hattie from that spot as her pirating dreams were literally coming true.
When Dad was here, he got started building a swing set, which Paul finished up throughout the month. The kids pretty much live outside now.

Random, I know, but while cleaning the laundry room, Niels discovered the hole in our floor, designed for flood drainage (I think), which is usually covered by a rug. He couldn't stop putting stuff inside it. He hasn't been that entertained in months.
And my silly Anna-bug, who, when being baby sat at a friends' house, preferred to sleep on the kitchen floor rather than in bed with Hattie.
 And who, a few days later, conked out naked on the floor after a bath. I love this little bug.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

April came and went so fast

I feel like I play catch-up on here way too often. But I guess that means that if I'm not spending time blogging, I'm spending more time with my kids. Ha. If only that were true. 

Besides being remarkably cold, April was a good month. On April 30th, the Wisconsin wilderness was still gray, dead, and barren. Suddenly in May it came back to life. I don't think I've ever enjoyed or anticipated the coming of spring as much as this year, after 6 months of winter.

 We went to the Milwaukee Art Museum, which is spectacular. Will go back soon without kids.
 And I made loads of freezer jam.
 April also brought 3 cavities to Hattie. She was a trooper, but couldn't quite get used to being numb.
 I made bacon-wrapped meatloaf and made everyone happy.
And to end the month I went to Arizona. Alone. Without any kids. Yes, there were three precious nieces and nephews there, but these babies were a welcome break. My four sisters, my mom, and I rented a house for the weekend and simply enjoyed being together. We really did nothing besides eat, talk, and swim at the pool. A much needed getaway. Which we will need to repeat more often.
Phoebe and Jared are only 1 day apart...
...And little Lily is about two months younger than P & J.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Two years later

This is easily the biggest project I've ever made. 124'' x 124''. I started working on it sometime in the spring of 2011. By the time my annual pilgrimage to Oregon rolled around in the summer, I had it partially pieced together. I brought it with me, hoping to finish piecing it together while at my parents in Oregon, and quilt it in Utah at Paul's aunt's house (on our way back to Utah.) So I slaved away while on vacation, hurrying to finish it up before my return to Texas. And I did! I finished the top just in time. But as luck would have it, Paul's aunt wasn't going to be in town on the same dates I was, so I wouldn't be able to use her amazing industrial-sized machine quilter :( I was in a bind. There was no way I could quilt it on my tiny machine. I am very anti tying quilts with yarn...I think it's tacky. And I knew it would take me a decade to hand quilt it. So I bit the bullet and paid someone to quilt it for me. It was worth. And I love how it turned out. So ever since August of 2011, I have had a beautiful king-sized quilt tucked away in my closet - with everything done except the binding. Since we don't have a king-sized bed (on the wish list) I haven't been in a hurry to do the binding. Finally, 2 years later and suddenly needing a project, I finished it up. It is back in my closet, but at least I can check it off the 'to do' list.