Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Stole a Sewing Moment

My parents' recent visit was so wonderful. I miss them terribly. Naturally, as time goes on and we all get older, it becomes harder and harder to say goodbye to them. I started crying about their departure several days before they actually got onto the road. I was so emotionally exhausted after they left early in the morning over a week ago that I went back to bed for a couple of hours.

Yep. I'm a sap.

I've wanted to post highlights of their visit; but I've had so much going on lately, that I haven't had much blogging time. I do, however, want to share the ONE sewing project I've completed. It's been quite a while since I spent time producing anything in my sewing room. What a special treat it was to have my mom sit in there with me as I made a little something for her to take home with her.

Mom was struck by the selections in Amy Butler's Style Stitches, and she chose this checkbook cover. The hardest part of making it is cutting out the pieces and applying the fusible interfacing (only because I hate doing it). From there, it's smooth sailing, which is a nice change from the painstaking agony of assembling the clutch I made from this book last year.

Mom really liked this decor fabric, which in retrospect, was too heavy for some of the stabilizer listed in the instructions. If I use decor fabric again, I'll forego the Peltex.

Mom was just tickled with her checkbook cover. Daddy even liked it! I love sharing things with them. They are so incredibly generous to us, and they joyfully and enthusiastically receive whatever small token we share with them.

I'm in need of a spring bag for myself, and I've been brainstorming. Hopefully I'll have something good to post in the very near future. I'm so behind on the many posts that I've wanted to write. So many ideas; not nearly enough time...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bittersweet Day

Graham caught an anole with his hat while we did our school work on the patio this afternoon.

After sixteen wonderful days, we had to face the inevitable departure of my sweet parents early this morning.
I think that I may have cried about three or four times throughout the day.
I miss them already, and they're only half-way back to Pennsylvania.

Despite our sadness over saying good-bye to Grandma and Pap, the children and I had a marvelous, lazy school day. Our spring break lasted longer than normal, since we don't like to spend the grandparents' visit on a rigid daily schedule.
(We have all year to do that!)
So, we'll be easing slowly back into a routine and taking advantage of the splendor of early spring in these parts.

After a late breakfast, we started our day with Bible reading, followed by a little history lesson on a famous home scholar from the past, as well as some good music:

(Takin' it back to the "old school")

Graham and Gabriela have been studying one of my favorite topics in science:
It's been a long time since we've gone out to the patio with binoculars, field guides, and nature journals, so today seemed like a perfect opportunity.
All we ended up seeing, though, were a few black vultures.

The dogs enjoyed our time outside.

Gabriela teased Penelope with her pen.

Caelyn came out briefly to shake her bathroom rug.

Rhodes loves a reason to bask lazily in the sun.

Penelope, whom we affectionately call "Menina", occupied part of her time by taunting a beetle.

I was wishing that we had brought our weather field guide out with us. I wasn't able to tell the children, off-hand, which kind of clouds these are.

Between the freeze a year ago, and last summer's drought, we're losing many trees.

I called to check on my parents' progress on the road.

Rhodes was "reppin'" our home team.

After we finished our school work, Graham and I did some online research of how best to rid our yard of a long-time nemesis. Incidentally, we learned yet another reason not to eat Splenda.

The Resident Exterminator
(He kept asking to blow up the ant mounds, but that idea didn't sit well with me.)

Spring means more grilling, so Craig Grayson did a thorough cleaning of our grill this afternoon.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pap's Craftsmanship

When each of our girls turns 16, my dad makes a hope chest as a birthday gift.
Since two boys come before the next girl, Daddy (aka "Pap") brainstormed ideas for what their milestone gifts should be.

He came up with something very fitting.

Every young man should own a tool chest!

Not only did my dad spend months working on this tool chest, but he and my mom drove 1360 miles, from their house to ours, and personally delivered it!

This was Daddy's first time using a dovetail design to join the sides. I think he did a stellar job.
There's a story behind the wood, too.

Since my childhood, my Uncle Mike (one of my dad's older brothers) has been selling his own recipe of BBQ sauce around the Pittsburgh area.
I didn't know it then, but all of those years, the proceeds went toward his ministry and the dream of one day buying his own church building (he is a pastor).
At my grandfather's funeral a little over a year ago, I got to see the long-awaited fruit of Uncle Mikes diligence & trust in God's timing.

Daddy has done some remodeling jobs around the very old church building, and there was some wood that Uncle Mike thought should be thrown out.
So, Daddy reclaimed the wood and used it to build Craig Grayson's tool chest.

Daddy is amazing. He can do just about anything. I'm so grateful that he and Mom are here for a visit. We have missed our many fun times of fellowship with them.

Just to prove that I'm not vain, I included this photo that shows one of the many awful faces I make when I'm being expressive. What a treat to sit on the sofa with my mom and the girls, chatting and catching up.