Thursday, November 8, 2012

Halloween 2012

I have to say that these pictures are stolen from Phil's mom.  An iPhone update made my phone crash earlier this week.  After restoring my phone, it started working again, but all my pictures from the month of October were lost.  Anyway, Phil's mom and Don came to visit us the day before Halloween last week, which also happened to be the day after Jack and I spent the middle of the night in the ER for his croup.  Remember how I said he had been feeling great since his tubes?  Well, this past week has been a bumpy ride with him, but thankfully, his ears have remained clear through all this.  Anyway, Grammy helped us carve pumpkins during her visit.  Grammy helped Ryan scoop the guts out of the pumpkins.  Next, the boys drew their designs on their pumpkins (Jack needed some help), then I cut out the faces.  

Sadly, the pictures of the finished Jack-o-lanterns are gone, save the one that I posted on Instagram.  

The boys dressed up as Spiderman and a Jedi.  Both were feeling rather grumpy for pictures.  Despite their unhappy demeanor in the pictures, they had a great Halloween.  

Flea Market Fancy Quilt

I have been a fan of Denyse Schmidt's quilt designs for quite some time now.  I remember seeing one of her quilt design books in college, or just after, and being amazed at the uniqueness of her quilts.  I remember telling my mom that if ever I started quilting, I would want to do something like that.  Despite this fact, I didn't really pay attention to her fabric lines until after the original Flea Market Fancy was out of production.  When I found out that a re-release was going to happen, I was so excited.  I called Strawberry Patches to find out when the store would be carrying the line and anxiously awaited its arrival.  While anticipating this new line of fabric, I started combing Flickr and Pinterest for quilt ideas.  I finally found the quilt below as inspiration(Echino, which is another favorite fabric collection, is what is used on the inspiration quilt).  I loved the conceptual juxtaposition of the vintage inspired Flea Market Fancy with the modern quilt design.  I also wanted to try quilting with Essex Linen.  I thought the texture would bring something different to the quilt.

I showed the inspiration photo to my mom and she and I set about trying to figure out the math for each block.  This is the part of quilting that is most challenging for me.  I guess I could always just buy ready made patterns to circumvent this step, but what's the fun in that?

This summer, I finally got around to piecing the blocks together.  I made one major mistake when I was putting the blocks together; I sewed all the vertical strips to the blocks without realizing that their was a directionality to each column of blocks.  I ruefully pulled each block apart and set about making a complete layout on my make shift design wall (i.e. a vinyl table cloth hung on the wall).

I tried many different layouts and color combos before coming up with the top I finally sewed together. I then had to come up with a back that I liked.

I thought it would be really fun to make the back of the quilt look like one gigantic quilt block.  I actually had to do algebra to get the dimensions right on this.  I never thought I would have to do that again after high school.  

I used irregular straight line quilting and am really pleased with the results.  The Essex Linen makes the quilt heavier than normal, but I really like how it looks.

The back is one of my favorite parts.  

The best part is that I still have a lot of Flea Market Fancy left over.  

Jack's Tubes, round 2

Jack, for as long as I can remember, has had ear infections.  They have always been chronic and frustrating.  He's had them so much that he even stopped complaining if his ears hurt.  He would just act really grouchy and finally it would dawn on us that it was another ear infection.  Jack had his first round of tubes put in when he was 18 months old.  They helped tremendously.  They fell out last November on our trip to Portland.  A few days after they fell out while on our trip, Jack got an ear infection and the whole chronic cycle started again.  This summer, we worked with our pediatrician to try different allergy medicines to try and stop the drainage and control the ear infections to no avail.  Finally in August, our doctor sent us to the House Ear Clinic in L.A.  The doctor recommended tubes and possibly an adenoidectomy.  We decided to go back to Dr. Zerlin for our surgery so we wouldn't have to travel out of town and have to stay in a hotel.  We also decided to have the adenoidectomy.  Jack felt so bad all summer and all through September he was miserable.  We read through the literature about the side effects and what to watch for with the surgeries and I was a little worried about how he would feel and how long it would take to recover since it wasn't just tubes.  

Jack was a trooper for his surgery.

He cried a little when he came out of anesthesia, but once he figured out where he was, he was so happy.  He was even asking to eat on the way home from the surgery!  We weren't supposed to let him have anything except soft, cold, foods, but he was begging for chicken nuggets (we made him wait).  He has felt great ever since having his surgery and I never noticed what a snorty little sleeper he was, but since he had the adenoidectomy, he is so quiet when he sleeps.  I'm so glad he feels better!

And this is just because he's so cute when he sleeps.

Pumpkin Patch(es)

This year, we got the chance to go to two pumpkin patches. The first Pumpkin Patch was called Hillcrest and it was just outside Reedley.  Our friends, Seth and Amy, invited us to join them.  The coolest part of this place is that it had a half scale narrow gauge steam train the kids could ride on.  Apparently, it also runs during Christmas when the farm functions as a Christmas tree farm.  I would love to go back and check it out.  

Anyway, Jack was showing off  his awesome "cheese" face for these family pictures.  Pretty great.

The day was also great because the weather was actually cool.  

The boys were absolutely mesmerized when the train pulled into the little station.  It was very cool.

Jack, Ryan, and Liam, were three peas in a pod.  And how could they not be when their dads have been best friends forever!

I have no idea what Jack was doing in this picture, but it cracked me up.

Our second pumpkin patch trip was to Banducci's.  We love going to this pumpkin patch.  Our Sunday school class planned an event there, which made it even more fun since we were with so many of our friends.  A new addition this year was the pony rides.  Jack was in heaven!  He is such an animal lover. 

Ryan had a great time too.  

After we got all our pumpkins, we went to Dewar's for ice cream.  All the kids in our Sunday school class were sugared up and bouncing around the patio.  It was pretty funny.  And loud.  After teaching all day and then pumpkin patching that night, I was pretty tired (or maybe just my ears were) so we headed home.  I think our class should remember to do this again next year.  

Ryan's 6th Birthday

Better late than never, right?  Life has been going by at the speed of light ever since school started this year.  I kept meaning to post lots of things, but never got around to it.  

Anyway, for Ryan's 6th birthday (Can you believe it?!?! Six already?!?!?), he wanted to have a Lego birthday.  He actually went back and forth between Angry Birds and Legos, but finally settled on Legos.  He also couldn't make up his mind as to what kind of dessert he wanted.  At first he just wanted cookies and ice cream since cake has never been a favorite.  I was fine with that, but, he tasted Phil's chocolate sheet cake (which Phil refers to as just 'birthday cake')  at Phil's birthday and decided that he liked that too.  I looked at tons of pins on Pinterest to figure out what to do for Ryan's cake and finally thought of a green Lego board.  It was simple and I liked how it looked.  I used M&M's for the pegs and real Legos to write his name.   

For the sugar cookies, I rolled out my dough, measured 2x3 squares, and cut the dough with my pizza cutter.  I dyed the frosting to match the M&M's, then used M&M's for the pegs.  They don't look perfect, but they tasted good.

Ryan had all his buddies there.  I so enjoyed watching him play with all his friends.  

Ryan and Phil also built all the table decorations.  I'm sorry that I didn't take pictures of all his creations because they were really cute.  

Ryan got tons of new toys to play with, which still occupy a lot of his time.  He loved every single thing he got.

This look just cracks me up.

Both great grandma's were also in attendance, which I'm so thankful for.

Ryan also had a lot of help with his candles.  It was a great party and a lot of fun.  We had so much fun celebrating our boy.