Independence Day

Happy Independence Day!!!

Today, I am thankful to be living in the greatest country on earth. And, though I know it didn’t come about until the War of 1812, and wasn’t even officially our national anthem until 1931, I would like to post our national anthem. All of it.

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


And now for some history (what is left of history- it seems these days that everything has been revised, taking out all reference to God, honor, nobility of character, so on and so forth). The history of the Star Spangled Banner (both the song and the flag).


On Easter Pictures

What happens when you carefully plan out coordinating Easter outfits for the entire family in the hopes of taking a nice family picture?

Your son falls six feet and lands on his face.

The resulting black eye and bruised cheek were not conducive to taking nice looking pictures ready to frame, so we postponed the photography session until it is healed.

Weather Report

We are finally moving out of our “temporary” residence after a year here. We are extremely excited and carefully planned our move for Eric’s day off, which has finally come around: this Wednesday, tomorrow! I have been packing quite a bit the last few days, but since we are moving into a smaller space, we are planning on leaving behind quite a few things, so I am really only worried about moving “essentials” and a few other things and leaving behind the rest to be gone through at my leisure.

However, it is not the packing or the unpacking or the sorting that has me worried right now, its the transporting. We decided a month ago to forego the U-Haul rental because we found it to be cost-prohibitive, mostly because Eric can “borrow” a Tundra for free from work; it will be more trips, but its free. Can’t beat free! However, we live in Colorado. Sunday was a beautiful day, 70 degrees or more, just beautiful out. However, I noticed the little red light show up on my phone’s cool weather system. A “Winter Weather Warning” had been issued for Pueblo County. Here is the weather report:

Sunday: beautiful, warm, 70 degrees

Monday: beautiful, warm, 70 degrees

Tuesday: beautiful, cool, evening showers predicted

Wednesday: cold, SNOW, cold, 36 degrees

Thursday: beautiful, cool-warm

Friday: beautiful, warm

HUH??? The very day that we are moving is the only day that has snow??? Our moving plan is going crazy now, trying to figure out how to protect our belongings from the weather, ie. tarps, weather bags for the mattresses, towels for the entryway. It’s not fun, let me tell you! But, I am still going to praise the Lord, we are moving into an affordable apartment that happens to have new carpet, new vinyl, and a new toilet. Yeah!!!

Thanksgiving then Christmas

Here is Thanksgiving:


It was awesome, delicious, beautiful and served on a tablecloth that I made from a thrifted sheet in the time it took for the turkey to go from 160 degrees to button-popping goodness. It was fun! We were able to break out my mom’s china from 30 years ago, which is a moment my sister, Karee, and I wait for every year. It would have been nice to have some “out of towners” in for a visit but our new “in-towner”, my brother-in-law, Jon was a welcome addition. We played Scattergories which I was terrible at!

All in all, it was a wonderful day, and only slightly overshadowed by the fact that my husband is one of those people now, who camped out at Best Buy to get a computer for Jon. They left at 9:30pm and got back around 6 in the morning. Did I mention that it was 19 degrees outside?

Now, we have moved on. We are still eating turkey and figuring out how we are going to burn the extra calories with all that yummy goodness in the fridge, but I have moved on to this:

which is a pile of the strips that have been cut for Jordyn’s quilt that she will hopefully be getting for Christmas this year. I am doing everything wrong, there are too many colors and we discussed how bad I am at math in the previous post. I did manage to get them all put together correctly this morning. Noah’s strips have all been sewn into their appropriate threesome, ready to be cut.

More or less.

I will post more pictures as these become blocks this weekend! I still have the center motif to do which will be mostly applique work. It is a lot of work, but I really hope that they will like them.

Jump Start on Christmas Gifts


This is a fun “what was I thinking” kind of Christmas gift. I found this crochet pattern in a book that I found at the library a month or so ago. Among other things, the pattern suggested that you could make a scarf. When I saw the picture on the opposite page, the first thing I thought was how much my sister, Karee, would enjoy it. I let her choose the color because I wanted it to match her preferences and her wardrobe.


She selected a pure white thread, a number 20, which means it is twice as small as the smallest thread they sell at Walmart.

The completed motif takes seven “rounds” and ends up in about a 5 inch diameter. I have completed 3, only 31 to go!


Dressing for the Summer

So here we are, the first day of August, summer is in full bloom and women who would otherwise dress modestly are finding excuse after excuse to not wear beautiful, long, flowing garments. I think the heat issue boils down to what is socially acceptable. In the 1800s, when they had a scorching week (like those in the Pacific Northwest have been having lately) they had no alternative. They couldn’t strip out of their clothes and run around half-naked so they had to figure out what to do to keep themselves cool. They could stay out of the sun, wear light colored clothes, wear a hat, and stay well hydrated. They had the joy in knowing that this too shall pass while they fanned themselves with homemade fans and ate things that cooled them off.

Today, when it gets warm, we think we need to remove clothing, because it is socially acceptable to do so. This way, we don’t need to be as inconvenienced by the seasons. Unlike the extremely seasonal lives of our ancestors, our lives run year-long, not offering any variation based on the season. We are spoiled by air conditioning and heating systems as well as our recreational activities.

We assume that the only way to cool down is to remove clothing (or wear less of them)- that it is the inherent properties in clothing that are making us overly warm. This isn’t always the case though. Think about it, have you ever sat in a car wearing something black? I have, I was wearing a new black skirt and the sun was shining right on my lap and I was frying. My mother offered me her white sweater and I refused saying it would just make me hotter. However, eventually I gave in and you know what? It made me cooler! Adding a white layer actually reflected the sun enough that I could feel a difference. There is a reason that you see women’s clothing from older time periods in white. We rarely wear white these days, even pastels aren’t really “in fashion” but for summer clothes, white is essential. Now, I am a plus sized woman and the thought of draping myself in white is not appealing, so for now, I try to stick to cotton because it breathes, and as light a color as I dare to go, especially on top. It really does help!

AND DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!! Sweat is your body’s own air conditioning, if you are not hydrated, it doesn’t work. Common sense applies even if you are wearing tank tops and cut-offs or a beautiful flowing dress- stay out of the sun and keep covered when you are in the sun!!!

What to Wear?

I have been following Lady Lydia’s blog, Living at Home, for a long time but lately she has been doing a series on modest and feminine clothing reflected in older artwork and how to apply that to our daily wardrobes. It has been an excellent source of inspiration for me. I have always been dependent on current fashion to dictate both the style and fabric. I thought that I was choosing things that I liked, but really, I wasn’t. Now I have several dresses to make with less than thrilling fabric, but that’s okay. They are still nice and will be pretty.

So with the school year coming up, even though we are still smack dab in the middle of summer, I have been trying to figure out what dresses I am going to make for fall and winter. I will probably start with a summer weight dress, but only one. I also need to be sewing for my daughter too. Basically, I have enough sewing to keep me busy for a long time!
Here is my sewing list:
Daughter (Jordyn):
2 Summer dresses for her birthday in August
2 Corduroy dresses for fall/winter
2 Cotton long-sleeve dresses
2 Full slips
5 pairs of modesty shorts/capris
2 knee length bloomers out of flannel
3 2 winter nightgowns (one in progress)
Brown skirt (already cut out)
Blue skirt
2-3 Blouses
1 Summer Dress
3 2 Fall/Winter Dresses
3 Full slips
1 Half slip
5 Pairs of bloomers
1-2 Pairs of flannel bloomers
3 Nightgowns
Christmas Outfits (that is for Christmas pictures, not receiving on-)
Vest for Noah and Eric
Dress for Jordyn
Skirt and Blouse for Me
Among all of that, I have several little projects, a handbag (or two or three…), these cute crayon roll-up bags, a couple of stuffed animals and dolls for Christmas gifts and I would also like to make my children each a new quilt for their bed for Christmas. Yes, I am already thinking about what to do for Christmas. I don’t know if we’ll do Santa Claus this year. It really disturbs me that I am required to do a substantial amount of lying to my children just for the “fun” of it, but we’ll see what the husband thinks. Feel free to weigh in on the topic. (We have decided to do Santa, based largely on another family’s discussion of the topic with us.)
I suppose what I am trying to say is: I have a ton of sewing to do!! I love reading progress reports, so I will probably try to post some as well, with pictures. I doubt that those items will be enough to get us completely through the winter, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to make a dress here or there once I’ve gotten into a good routine. I am still looking for an easier dress pattern to make for my daughter (with no buttons or zippers) because I am rarely buying everything for the dress in one stop and I don’t like having to wait to find matching buttons or zippers. It’s much easier if the pattern is just simple! I just found this one, which comes with two different sleeve options and looks easy.
What I really need now is to carve out some time in my schedule to sew. It shouldn’t be terribly difficult because of my current living situation, but it will require me to sacrifice nights lounging around the TV and most likely, my sacrosanct naptime as well. Hopefully, it will be worth it in the end, to know that I have created two wardrobes for my family and moved on to the Christmas gifts…
Updated 10/24/2009