After 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I found the wonder of mothering slowly starting to get crowded out by the mundane feeling. I realized our world seems to surround people with the negative, and complaining about blessings seems totally acceptable. So I decided to fight against that "normalcy" and focus only on the positive. I look back to my first year as a mom when everything was new and keeping house was fun and I aim to have that attitude again. This blog is my outlet to showcase the daily miracles that surround me in my blessed life as a stay-at-home mom so that I will never forget the wonder of it all.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lazy Days Skirts

I've seen a lot of people sewing with Oliver + S patterns.  I've been kind of interested in checking out the patterns, but I'm not fond of patterns in general.  Then on SouleMama's blog, I saw that she had made her little girl Oliver + S's "Lazy Days Skirt" pattern, and she mentioned it was FREE!  My kind of deal.  So I headed over to Oliver + S and not only was the "Lazy Days Skirt" pattern free, it was also not a pattern but more of a tutorial.  SWEET!  My kind of sewing.  I whipped two up that afternoon.  It was amazingly easy.  I literally read through the tutorial one time and then set to it.  It was so simple, I didn't have to read through the tutorial again.  That's sewing at its finest for me.  Simple and free.
I had been wanting to make Felicity some skirts that she could wear this spring with tights and sweaters, and then into the summer with just T shirts.  The Lazy Days Skirt is the perfect fit.  I had to contain myself and not whip her up an entire wardrobe of skirts that night.

She calls this one her "Apple" skirt.
The print is actually called "Poppies."  But Felicity says apple, so it's her apple skirt.

And this is her hedgehog skirt.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this fabric.  In fact it might be my 2nd favorite fabric ever.  My favorite fabric ever was used to make these pants for Kian.  I paid way too much for it though, in my opinion. I'm a thrifty fabric junky.  BUT, I've never regretted that purchase as I keep using the smallest scraps for little things like this.

Felicity loves when I make her clothes.  Or anything really.  But she loves clothes and I've just started dabbling in the sewing of clothes.  She loved these skirts so much that I used them as nap incentives.  I haven't been getting naps out of her for a while.  I don't mind that, but I'd like her to have quiet time in her room every afternoon.  She had been making lots of noise during quiet time, which kept all potential nappers awake.  I told her that if she was loud, I'd come take the skirt right off her.  She was loud, I followed through, and she was VERY upset to have lost the privilege to wear her mama made skirt.  So, she quieted down to try to earn her skirt back, and ended up taking a nap!  Let's just say I was very happy to give her the skirt back once she woke and this technique has been used just a few times since.

Linking these to a sewing bee found here.

Kids at Work

The carrot bed is in!!!  Our younger two have been consistently helpful when it comes to all the work we've been doing since starting this urban homestead project.  Logan, however, has had to have a few talkings to about how the whole family pitches in so that the whole family can enjoy the fruits of our labor.  So it was nice to see him helping Zac with the carrot bed.

Felicity loves everything about our urban homesteading work.  We call her our little farm girl.

I hope to grow some great carrots, but this may be one of the cutest things to grace this planter bed.
Celebrating the placed carrot bed by doing a little dance in it.

Today Logan and Felicity transferred our composted Fall leaf pile to the mulch pile.  It was stinky work but they did great.  And we have some AMAZING compost!

Now the compost, full of HUGE worms, is mixed in to the mulch pile where it will speed up decomposition and make us some beautiful gunk.

At the bottom of our compost, we found TONS of HUGE worms.  The pictures don't do these buggers justice.  I have never in my life seen worms this big.  I'm taking that as a sign that we did good with our compost pile.

And there's our farm girl with compost smear on her cute cheeks, babying her worm.  She was afraid he'd fall so she kept her other hand hovering above her worm friend.

Here's a few big boys in my husband's hand, and he's not a small man.  These were not even the biggest ones.
All the worms were transported to the little carrot bed and CLOSELY inspected by Kian, who is yet to find the guts to touch one, but gets closer every day.

Seriously, can she get cuter?  I'm glad she's enjoying this work so much.  It gives us something to bond over, and something for her to take pride in.  We've needed that.

Little man trying so hard.

Today I planted nasturtium and a first batch of hollyhock straight into the ground.  Did you know that hollyhock flowers are edible?  Has anyone tried them? 
I also planted a lemon cucumber plant.  We wanted to do all seeds, but we couldn't find lemon cucumber seeds locally, so we went ahead and got a plant today.
I also planted just 3 little cilantro seeds into the little carrot bed.

I love all these sprouting shots, but LOVE this last one. 
Welcome to the world baby squash sprout.  :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Greens and spinach. 
A pepper is sprouting too, though it looks a lot like the spinach planted just next to it.  Since we had three helpers under 5 years old, I wouldn't be surprised if that pepper sprout really is a spinach sprout. 
The sun is out for the first time in a while today, so I set our Jiffy trays in the sun in hopes to entice others to sprout.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


It's been raining for a LONG time around here.  The kids are doing great being cooped up, mainly thanks to our covered porch.  They can still get fresh air and jump and holler.  But even that lasts only so long for kids who stare out at their bikes dripping with rain upon rain.  Since starting our urban homestead, I've learned that no matter the weather, there's stuff to do in the yard.  So we've taken advantage of the breaks in the rain and gone out to weed and rip more stuff out of the yard.  Lately, there's been less breaks in the rain and no one wanted to stay inside all day today, ESPECIALLY since Zac was home.  So we just went out in it anyways.  Zac said our neighbors must think we're crazy.  But I think they already do.  :)  It was just a gentle rain, most of the time, and wonderful to garden in.  We found TONS of worms and moved them into a wine half barrel, which will be my first carrot bed.

  We have plans to put in a large carrot bed, since carrots are the main veggies our kids like, but that is yet to be built and I'm itching to get my carrot seeds in.  Zac ripped up more huge stumps and I finally said goodbye to a beautiful climbing rose that was just utilizing too much potential edible plant space.  I felt like a plant murderer. 
We moved aside some great mulch from where our large carrot bed will go.  I took some Iris down to my neighbor who LOVES to leaf blow many yards (not ours) in our cul de sac, and asked him if he'd mind dumping his leaf mulch in our yard instead of green wasting it.  He was very happy to do that and have more room in his green waste.  So I've now acquired us a lifetime supply of mulch!

As we've made piles upon piles of waste pulled from the yard, I couldn't help but think that if we are able to produce THIS MUCH waste in our yard, think of how much edible goodness we potentially have room for.

I wish I'd taken pics of the waste along the way.  This is only what we did today.  Mounds of waste have already been taken away in our green waste bin.
I unearthed our walkway and plan to give it a bit more TLC with decomposed granite in between each step.

Zac is going snowboarding with our brother in law tomorrow so while Kian napped, he and the two big kids headed up to my mom's to grab his snow stuff out of her attic.  I had ample time to work on Logan's i-spy quilt since he was out of the house and I finished the top!  I'm so excited, but a bit nervous about the next step, which is the backing, quilting, binding part.  I usually back my quilts with a blanket in a pillow case type fashion, and then turn and topstitch.  I'd really like to learn the whole quilting process and hope to have time to do that with his i-Spy.  I also raided my scraps and found enough to add two more rows to my nephew's i-Spy quilt to just make it as big and fun as possible.

While still waiting for Zac and the big kids to get home, I enjoyed some one on one time with Kian after he woke up.  While I sewed the last boarders onto Logan's quilt, he played ball with himself.  Sometimes he'd bring me his ball to throw so he could fetch it.  :)  He's done this since he could walk.  Yes, we play fetch with our 1 year old.  :)  He's becoming quite the talker and after I threw the ball, he would exclaim, "I get it!".  At one point I asked him where his Tickity (his lovie) was and he said, "I no know.", his new favorite expression.  So I told him to go find it.  He came back with it and told me "Tickity night night.", which means Tickity was sleeping in his crib.  I LOVE having a little talker in the house.  We missed this stage with Felicity and I had forgotten how much fun it is.
Can't Tickity and I blog with you Mama?

Just as Zac and the big kids arrived home, our load of firewood did too.  We've been expecting it for a few days but the guy didn't want to drop it in the pouring rain.  Zac and the kids all helped bring the wood up onto our front porch, and stacked it nicely.

This boy can turn anything into a guitar.

Kian is very insistent upon helping these days.  If he's crabby, I'll ask for his help with a job and he cheers right up.  He insists on clearing his plate from the table after every meal, like he sees his siblings do.  If I forget to hand him his plate to clear after getting him out of his chair, he will throw a fit! 

He stayed up on the porch with me but his sister and brother brought him pieces to carry from the stairs to the pile, and he was very proud.

Tonight was Earth Hour.  Basically, people across the World go without lights for one hour, starting at 8:30p.m. their time.  Our kids go to bed by 7:30ish and we wanted them to take part in the whole hour, so we did Earth Hour at our house at 6:30p.m.  Due to our busy day, we ate a late dinner.  This allowed us to eat dinner by candle light, followed by getting ready for bed by candle light, and doing our nightly reading by candle light.  I've been reading Little House In The Big Woods to Felicity and Logan every night.  Earth Hour was perfect timing for us because not only did we have good discussions with the kids about energy conservation, we also talked about the reality that this was how Mary, Laura, baby Carrie, Ma, and Pa lived every day!  This hit home to Logan especially who was not a fan of our dark house. 

Did anyone else take part in Earth Hour?
Here's a link to a video about it if you are interested.
It's pretty cool.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Dirt on Grammy

My kids are beyond blessed by their Grammy.  Remember this post about being stolen away?  Well, in case you were wondering what my kids got to do while Daddy and Mama escaped for a secret getaway, my mom recently sent me these pics of THEIR weekend with her.

Put together a 5 year old boy, a big dirt hill, and a broken Tonka truck bottom and you can imagine what happened next.  Yep, a California sled.  :)

There's that Californian sled being put to use on a smaller hill of decomposed granite.
Needless to say, my mom bathed 3 kids just a few times during that weekend.
And if you know me personally and have questioned why I like dirt and mud and worms, its because of my mom and the freedom she allowed us to just go outside and get into everything.  I wasn't much of a girly girl, but I remember loving to wear dresses when I was little because they were easy to pull up around my waist for easy tree climbing.  Plus my bare legs were so free!  :)  I would sometimes tuck my dress skirt into my undies when I needed it out of the way and needed two hands to, say, climb our orange tree.  My undies were always, not because of accidents, but because of sitting in the dirt with my dress hiked up.  Dirt and mud is a mess I LOVE to see on my kids!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I've been wanting to share my sewing progress for a while now but we have SLOWLY been transitioning over to a new computer and I haven't yet started editing photos on it.  I decided I didn't care and would just post the photos raw.  When we got this new computer, with its bright gorgeous screen, I looked at the pics on my blog and was surprised to see I did NOT like how a lot of them were edited.  I realized my old computer made the pics look different because the screen was so old.  Oh well.  Not going to go back and redo them now.  Anyways, I'll start by posting a finished project.
I have a new nephew!  He will be cloth diapered so cloth wipes were requested.  This is a pile of 42.  I have another friend who is expecting and who requested wipes as well.  I sewed both stashes at the same time, 42 in each, and let me just say, I'm DONE with sewing cloth wipes for quite some time.  I wanted to make them each a full set of 50 but I just couldn't get past 42 each.  I sewed way more than that because I was using up scrap flannel, including girl prints.  Then both found out they were having boys.  So I just threw the girl ones in with our stash.  We needed to up it a bit anyways.  The things on the back of the chair are two burp cloths, made using the scraps from the quilt my sister made him.

Also made with my sister's quilt scraps is this crinkle taggie.  I tried out the string quilt block that I planned on using in our Ca. King size quilt and I may be rethinking it.  It was kinda hard to make it lay nice.  I'm going to give it one more trial run before ditching it completely.

A church taggie with a SOFT minky back.  I think this is called crazy quilting.  I made it using the TINIEST scrap pieces and I really love how it looks.

And I had to throw together a doll diapering set for the big sister.  I didn't have many larger scraps at the time I sewed these so they took on a patriotic theme, which may be odd, but I don't think the 2 year old big sis will mind at all.

Logan keeps reminding me that his birthday is only a few short weeks away.  I keep smiling at him and nodding my head when he mentions it.  Then all of a sudden, what he's been saying for days FINALLY hit me.  A few SHORT weeks!  I've gotta get busy on his birthday sewing.  So last night I finally added the sashing to his i-Spy quilt.
Logan's quilt is done in a Stacked Coin least I think that's what it's called.  ???
My nephew's birthday is just a few days after Logan's and his i-Spy quilt just needs a back!

His is made in the typical random piecing that many i-Spys are done in.  I plan to make quite a few of these and want each one's layout to be different.

And to add to the obsession, I used some i-spy scraps to make these place mat tops.  I hope to make my kids a whole set for Easter.

A skirt ALMOST done for Lissy.

A few yo yos to make something a bit more girly.

Our California King quilt material cut into strips just waiting for me to make a decision already about how this quilt is going to go together.
So which of these unfinished projects will I get to today?  I don't know.  Hopefully ONE of them at least.  Its a gloomy, rainy day here....the perfect sewing day.  But I must get my house jobs and homeschool done before I get sucked into my sewing.  And then the kids must stay occupied to actually LET me get to it all.  So we shall see.  :)

Most likely, I won't get to this growing pile of mending.  Quilts and skirts are way more fun!