Thursday, September 29, 2011

Growing Up

When we were in Alaska Allison discovered how to crawl out of her pack-n-play. Once we were home she realized she could also crawl out of her crib. At which point we decided it was time to be done with her crib. Sort of. We turned it into a toddler bed. Allison loves it. She is actually quite content to play on her bed now. I've also slowly updated her room a bit from when she was first born. Here are some of the updates....

Her big girl bed with the fun new wall decals. They are not nearly the quality you get from Uppercase Living, but I loved the colors & designs in these decals from Target (and the price was hard to beat!)

A new laundry tote and a floor pillow I made. You can't tell but the pink fabric has little orange owls on it. Mark really likes this pillow, he even requested it. He's come a long ways from being rather annoyed with my first floor pillows.

I changed up the wall art. More from Target. Target is such a wonderful place!
And the rocking chair where we read lots and lots of stories. With a very special quilt made by my dear friend, Melissa.

Ah yes, Allison & I on her bed. She loves taking pictures with the self timer. In her room there weren't many options to set one up so I ended up sitting on her bed. It is quite small!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Finished in 2011 No. 12

I finished another quilt last weekend, this one for a very sweet & tiny little girl named Cooper, born just a few weeks ago. I saw her briefly on Saturday when I dropped this by. I used the same pattern I used earlier this summer from the Cluck, Cluck, Sew Blog. And now I really need to get my machine in for it's yearly maintenance so I won't be posting about quilts for awhile. We can get back to regular programming like a certain 2-year-old and her crazy adventures!

I used a fabulous purple fabric for the backing and binding. All of the other fabrics were selected to coordinate. I have about a 1/2 yard left over and I'm dreaming of what I can do with it!

I did a very basic machine quilting pattern - just straight lines across the quilt with a beautiful purple & green variegated thread.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Finished in 2011 No. 10

I have been doing a lot of sewing lately. My poor machine is over due for it's yearly maintenance but I'm trying to wrap up a few projects before I take it in. This project was a quilt for my friend, Sara, and I just finished it last weekend. Sara lives on a farm and loves it! They have cows and chickens and who knows what else on their farm. And Sara had a baby girl just about a week ago. I found this Riley Blake fabric collection online at, and bought it in a 10" stacker (note - this is a very economical way to make a quilt almost no scrap at all!). I then cut up the fabric using a good ol' stack-n-wack method and pieced it all together. I love the patchwork feel of the quilt, especially since it has a nice homey farm feel. I quilted it using a random pattern with pink & green variegated thread. I also washed this quilt before giving it away, I love the nice crinkly feeling of a quilt after being washed.

I backed the quilt with a really soft red and white polka dot flannel. It is seriously one of the softest flannels around. So here is to hoping baby Corina gets lots of snuggle time on this one!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Finished in 2011 No. 9

This quilt was a project. Not because it was particularly difficult or complex but because I wanted to do it just right. Last summer I found a fabric that I loved. It is the light blue fabric with the big red/orange poppies on it. I bought over 2 yards from I then proceeded to look at different patterns (and buy coordinating fabric for the patterns) until I finally found this quilt pattern in the Winter 2011 edition of 'Quilts & More' magazine. Unfortunately this pattern is not available online but they have plenty of others available at the online magazine. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite sources for quilting inspiration. Anyhow, I eventually picked out all the fabrics I wanted for this ended up more blue than I had originally intended but it came together well. I had enough of the different coordinating fabrics left-over to piece together a back. In some ways I think the back is my favorite part! (And I still had enough left to make another quilt top but that is for another post!) I'm planning to hang this quilt initially. Either in the living room or master bedroom, I'm still deciding. I'm sure we'll use it some day but for now I wanted it to liven up my walls. It is quite large, 70x70 inches.

Since it was so big the quilting took me a long time. First I had to decide how to quilt it. I knew it was going to be too big to do random all-over quilting (and I couldn't settle on a thread color for that anyhow). I ended up using three different types of quilting (and yes, I haven't trimmed all the threads yet but I'm still going to call it 'done'):

First I did free-hand spirals in the center of each of the white setting blocks. This was inspired by the quilting in the pattern I was using. I did not quilt the white 1/2 squares around the edge, I may go back and do them someday, for now I couldn't decide how,

Then I did straight lines that criss-crossed through the big blue squares. These were probably the easiest,

And finally, around the outer border I did straight lines approximately 3" apart. This required lots of starts & stops, for which I was very thankful to have an automatic tie off and an automatic scissors function on my sewing machine. Whew!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Summer Heat

The first week in September we finally had some hot weather around here. I am normally not a fan of hot weather but I actually really enjoyed the week of heat. I should add, it was still moderately hot, I don't think it was above the mid-90s around here and it never hit 100 - whew! We managed to get out and enjoy the sunshine quite a bit. We have to before the clouds move in. Allison really enjoyed some pool time. I'd sit with my feet in the water while she splashed around. It was fabulous.

We also took a few trips to the park. The late evening was perfect, nice and warm and light and so much fun. Allison has been playing a little 'store' game with the keyboard on one of the play structures. I have no idea what she is trying to sell us but it is pretty cute.

And what would a trip to the park be without a drink from the water fountain?

Have I Mentioned..

That I love this girl? She makes me smile!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Labor Day Hike

Our whole family was excited to have a three day weekend and we spent Labor Day together as a family. We headed out fairly early on an adventure to beat the heat. We hiked up Bald Hill.
At the top I found a nice shady area under a tree to take some family pictures.... We tried to take a 'grumpy face' picture and Allison had a fabulous smile. Gotta love those 2-year-olds.

Once we hiked back down we pulled Allison's bike out to let her ride around a bit. She was very distracted by the blackberries on the trail. We had a hard time keeping her moving. About the only way was to promise to keep her well stocked thanks to Daddy's picking. She cracks us up! And she isn't the only blackberry lover in the far this summer we've had two fresh blackberry pies and a batch of blackberry jam made!

Monday, September 12, 2011

An Indoor Saturday

Although Allison is a bit on the young side she has had a lot of interest in using the bathroom lately. Well, for months actually. I finally caved in and decided we needed to give her a chance to try out 'big girl underwear' for a day. I chose the Saturday of Labor Day weekend since it would only take up 1/3 of my weekend rather than 1/2. After a quick trip to the Saturday market we came home, put the big girl undies on and loaded her up with salty snacks and juice! It was a big day. For both of us. Allison was successful about 50% of the time. About 100% of my patience was used up by the end of the day. I was soooo thankful for some extra absorbent training pants from my friend, Jodi. We still have a long ways to go, but she has actually been going to the bathroom more often lately when she asks to sit on the potty. That is a big step forward in my book. We'll get there sooner or later!
We spent the day finding all sorts of activities to do inside where we could be close to the potty. I pulled out our 'Memory' game and Allison loved making matches. We also played with play dough, watched movies, colored lots of pictures and ended the day with a football party with Mr. Brent (who was a really good sport for putting up with Potty Training Day 1 for an evening!).

I did it!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


We spent the last weekend of August camping with family and friends in Central Oregon. It was fun (although Mark likes to remind me it was also a lot of work!). We enjoyed spending time together as a family and with friends, spending time outdoors and eating all sorts of special treats. Here is a brief snapshot of what our weekend of camping was like:

We rode our bikes down to the Diamond Lake resort. Mark & Allison explored the docks. We would love to go back and spend more time, renting a boat, fishing and playing bumper boats of course!

What it looks like when the Booth, Bronson, Curtis and Wagner families arrive at the resort!

Our time at the beach was cut short due to an incoming thunderstorm. The storm actually missed us, traveling northwest instead of due west. Regardless, we scratched our dinner plans and headed for the nearby pizza parlour for dinner!

Logan missed the beach time - he was so tuckered out he fell asleep in his Chariot!

Our girl surprised us by going in the water! She is usually pretty timid but on this day she went straight in, all the way up to her shoulders.

Baby Zeke and his cowboy bath. He isn't really a baby anymore but he is the youngest!

Jodi had a fun little craft for the girls. They went out and collected random pieces of nature...

And glued them to black construction paper. Bekah took her craft very seriously! Allison & Emma enjoyed it but didn't have much to show for their efforts!

And of course, we had a campfire, complete with s'mores thanks to Miss Sam. Allison had her first lesson in roasting marshmallows compliments of her father, a master roaster!

Nothing quite like a campfire with silly friends!

The girls went on several bike rides together. Jodi called them the campinground bike posse and it was quite fitting. Emma (on the right) is fantastic at riding her Strider bike, which made Allison want to ride her balance bike more. Since we've been home she's been riding almost daily and has definitely improved (more on that in yet another post!). Nothing like a little peer pressure to get a girl inspired!

And of course, we ended our camping adventure with a huge ice cream cone from the camp store. Yummy! We can't wait for next year. Although it is a lot of work (and sleepless nights with a 2-year-old who apparently doesn't like sleeping bags) the memories and time with friends was definitely worth it!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Crater Lake

At the end of August we took a family camping trip with some good friends down at Diamond Lake, which is very close to Crater Lake. None in our family had ever been to Crater Lake. In my case I consider it excusable since I didn't move to Oregon until college but Mark was born & raised in Oregon! Since we were so close we decided we had to go. We were so glad we did. It was a beautiful day.

The lake is so blue! I know everyone says that about Crater Lake but it is still something amazing to behold. The sky was blue, too. Not a cloud in sight (until later that day, but that is for another post!)

There is a rock wall around all the viewpoints. You aren't supposed to go over it. Our little girl loved walking on it a little too much for my comfort. We finally had to lay down the law and stop letting her walk on it.

Of course great places are even better with friends along. Allison adores Becca and Emma and had so much fun playing with them all weekend. Do you think three girls could get any cuter?

We had a picnic before we headed out to drive around the remainder of the loop. Allison loves her 'appa jus' especially on a bright sunny day. Allison fell asleep so Mark & I were able to enjoy the drive and views all the way around the lake. We've already decided we're going back next year with my parents in tow. With all the biking we're pretty sure they'd have a great time and there are many more areas we want to explore around the lake.