Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's almost 2009

This year has gone by quickly. Sam turned 2, Amy turned 4, Ed started 2nd grade (thank goodness, because 1st grade almost killed all desire he had for school), and Alex became a teenager. I started my second year of teaching, and, starting next week, I'll be teaching AP Calculus all day long. Dave started a new job, and it is keeping him busy.

My goals for next year...

  1. Learn to knit
  2. Make more fiber post cards
  3. Read more with the kids
  4. Do Wii Fit 5 times a week
  5. Read every day
  6. Make 3 at least lap-size quilts
Why do I think this will be the year to learn to knit? I thought that last year and the year before, too. I don't know why. But I have to keep trying...

Fiber post cards are fun to make. I can explore lots of things while doing these. I should send them to people though...

I really need to encourage Ed to read more. And Amy and Sam love to be read to. Alex likes for me to read the same books he does. That is a lot of reading... Maybe Alex can read what our AP Lit classes read because I try to keep up with them.

Wii Fit is a lot of fun. I did it today for a half an hour. It is brutally honest, but it is god for me.

Read every day. Just to calm my mind.

And I miss quilting.

And one more thing... I spent 4 weeks at the beach this year. I want to go for five next year...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Some Fiber Fun This Weekend

I just finished this piece. I used a lot of beads from Margaret. It was a lot of fun to do. Just a little bit of whimsy. The piece is 5x7 inches.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I don't do things like this...

A friend and I are going to the Billy Joel and Elton John concert in March. She got us tickets this morning. I am so excited! I don't do things like this. But I always want to. So now, I am going. And I will not spend the next three months stressing out about where we are going to park. Really, I don't mind driving anywhere, I just don't like to park. I am SO EXCITED!!!!

And I have learned a lot about friendship this week. I am not going to elaborate, but I am happy that I have friends on whom I can depend. And, I think a couple of people learned that they can depend on me, too.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I just finished reading...

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. I was born in 1970. In history class, we never quite made it to the Vietnam War. I have never seen Platoon. I have watched M*A*S*H, though. (I know it is about the Korean War.) This book was one of those I wish I could have stopped reading, but I knew I had to read it. I had to finish it. I started it because the 10th grade lit classes were reading it. I like to keep up with what my students are reading. I finished it because I had to. It was an important book for me because it linked me to my brother-in-law, who will be going back to war in the upcoming year. It seems like we just got him back...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I am preparing a gluten-free Thanksgiving meal today. We are having chicken instead of turkey because I like chicken better. I am better at cooking chicken. So that is what we are having. We are also having corn bread dressing. I made the cornbread with garbanzo bean flour instead of wheat flour. It tastes just fine. There will be green beans and a green salad, along with some kind of potato dish. We haven't decided on that, yet. We are having a fourless chocolate torte for dessert. It is from a Williams Sonoma cookbook.

I am thankful for...
  • Steady jobs for both Dave and myself
  • Healthy, happy children
  • The gluten-free section at Whole Foods
  • Good food
  • Good friends
I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I just finished reading...

I just finished reading an interesting book called Persepolis. It was written by Marjane Satrapi. Ms. Satrapi is the same age as me. She grew up in Iran, and this book is a story of her life. In a way, it is the history of my life, but from a different perspective. The same news events, different views. Here is the trailer from the movie, which I have not seen.

Baby It's Cold Outside

It was 19 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. That is cold to me. That is all.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Exhaustion has set in

That it has been a rough week is an understatement. I am very tired. But, we get an entire week off for Thanksgiving. I am ready for it. I plan to be creative. I plan to relax. I plan to play with the kids. On the other hand, Dave plans to paint, repair the garage door, and... I really wanted to go out of town for at least a few days. The littles and I might head to Savannah to see my sister. Or we may just stay here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

She's Four!

Here she is in a new dress from Mimaugh. Note that the baby doll also has on a new dress from Mimaugh. The doll dress is one of a pair (you know, Bitty Baby has a twin) and both are hand smocked, just like Amy's dress. Don't you just love grandmothers?

I found gluten free doughnuts for her breakfast. She had french fries and fruit for lunch. She picked the local Mexican restaurant for dinner. It is easy to do gluten free at Mexican restaurants. There she had her first restaurant Sprite. Until now, she has had to drink juice in a sippy cup from home. Now she is a big girl and has transitioned to getting a Sprite every once in a while. Then we came back to the house for gluten free chocolate cake. She was excited for everyone to have gluten free cake. (Every once in a while she says, "Mom, do you remember when I was a gluten girl?")

Sunday, November 09, 2008

This Week...

Sunday: Georgia Shrimp with gluten free past, gluten free home made bread (a first), salad
Monday: Hamburgers on the grill (local beef), salad
Tuesday: Free Range Chicken in the crock pot, fruit and cheese
Wednesday: Fast food due to tennis
Thursday: Chili (although not Margret's complicated one)
Friday: Chicken salad, gluten free bread
Saturday: Probably Los Arcos

On the calendar:
Sunday: Championship winning team soccer party
Monday: LEGO Robotics work session
Tuesday: Fiber Art Fusion
Wednesday: Tennis
Thursday: NOTHING
Friday: Soccer game
Saturday: Hair cut

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A documentary I cannot wait to see...

A high school acquaintance of mine is producing a documentary about the campaign of President-elect Barak Obama. I am glad we have HBO, and not just for Bill Maher, although he is reason enough.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I voted. There was no line. I got there at 3:10 and was done at 3:20. I love voting!

Monday, November 03, 2008

A House Full of Kids

Tomorrow, I have to work, but the older kids don't have school. Amy has school, and Sam will go to his sitter's. However, my husband just said something about having a house full of kids tomorrow. I don't think having the older two constitutes a house full of kids. He assured me that normal people think that two kids is plenty.

Ed is excited about going with his dad to vote. I will vote on my way home. Have I mentioned how much I love voting? And I heard a couple of rumors...Krispy Kreme will give a free doughnut to people who vote. And Starbucks will give free coffee to people who vote.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Baby Quilt Pictures And a Hodge Podge of Other Stugg

Here is the baby quilt. I tried to channel Debra Spincic when I was working on it. I love her fabric combinations, and I was trying to go outside of my box a little on this one. I was planning on a piano keys border for the last border, but I ran out of time. It was going to be pink and ivory. I wish I had found the time to do that. The mother-to-be was thrilled with the quilt, though.

Thanks for all the nice emails about Amy. I think she was less hurt than I was. I am a little overprotective of her because she does have fragile health. I know it is not right to do this, but I worry every day that she will show symptoms of juvenile diabetes. The celiac diagnosis has made my worry more intense. I know I can do nothing to change the future. If she is going to have diabetes, she is going to have it, and there is nothing I can do.

On a totally different note, I went out with some friends from work last night. We went to a tapas bar in the western part of the county. Whenever I get that far west, I feel like I am in Alabama. (No really, it isn't that bad over there.) There was a live band playing eighties covers. I had a couple of martinis. One was a pineapple upside down martini. The other was key lime pie. My friend had a manderin one that was really good, too. I have become a martini fan. The food was pretty good. The dancing was pretty bad. I had a really nice time. I need to get out more often. One thing that bothered me, though, was the waiter kept rubbing my back when he was taking our order. Maybe that is ok? I don't know. I am just not that touchy-feely, I guess.

And one more thing, I found a gluten free bread machine mix a Kroger today. It was really good. We had it with gluten free pasta for dinner. I used to make the Publix Apron meal most weeks. Most of them have gluten, so I have stopped that. I am feeling a little more in control of things right now, so maybe I will start searching out some new gluten free recipes.

Lastly, does anyone else remember watching "Hodge Podge Lodge" on PBS when they were little?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I don't have the strength to be a mom to a little girl

Amy and I went to a birthday party today. The other little girls decided to be mean to my child. One of them spit in her face. And the other moms just stood there. No one said anything. Anything. I could not believe it. So we left. And I had to make someone else move their car so we could leave. I am so hurt for my child. Is this a typical little girl thing? I hope not.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I made a quilt this weekend

And at some point, I will upload the pictures. It is a baby quilt. I just thought I would pop in and say hello.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Someone to clean the house

I am seriously thinking of paying someone to clean the house. I just can't do it all. With three kids playing soccer every weekend, one taking ballet, one playing chess, and one playing tennis, doing robotics, playing the cello, etc. I just cannot keep up. So I think I will give up cleaning toilets and mopping floors. Is that ok?

That said, in geometry tomorrow we are starting a unit on similarity and proportion. I am kicking it off with a short clip from a DVD about the making of Star Wars. It is about how they used scale models to do the special effects. I hope the kids like it. They are also doing a project where they have to enlarge a piece of art. I gave them several choices, including pictures of both presidential candidates. Many of them would rather draw than eat, so I think they will have fun with it.

Well, I should try to get some sleep.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

My First Memory

Jane Ann wrote about her first memory. Here is mine...

I was three years old. We drove to Colorado to spend a week at a cabin in Estes Park. I don't remember driving to Colorado, although I am told that my older sister had a colorful language experience in my grandparents' car looking for a hotel in Kansas somewhere. She was five at the time. Anyway, I do remember spending the week in the park. I had my first pair of genuine Levis jeans. I went "fishing" in a stream with a stick and yard. The yarn was aqua, so my grandma must have been knitting or crocheting something aqua. My aunt and uncle were there. I remember brushing my aunt's really long hair. I remember feeding chipmunks. I remember there was mud outside the cabin when we arrived and that my grandma didn't want her shoes to get muddy.

I wish I could find my pictures. They are in a box in the basement in a photocube that my aunt and uncle gave me. That photocube sat beside my bed for many years. A couple of years ago, Ed saw it and thought I was him in the pictures. I was hair-challenged when I was young. I didn't really get hair until I was three. My almost two year old has more hair than I did in those pictures.

Anyway, that is my earliest memory. I love the Rocky Mountains. My aunt had us singing, "America, The Beautiful" while we hiked in the purple mountain majesties. And everytime I hear that song, I think of that trip.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This week

Let's see...This week I proctored a math tournament on Monday, I went to a class on teaching exceptional children on Tuesday, Wednesday I tutored calculus after school, Thursday I made an incredible salad for dinner, Friday I went to a fun party, I went to two soccer games on Saturday, and today I got Alex his required reading book and some new shoes and boots for me. That is my week in a nutshell.

A couple of weeks ago, I was buying Amy ballet slippers. This week, I bought little Mia Hamm shin guards and soccer socks. She had her first game on Saturday. I was really worried that she would just stand around, but she did not. She played pretty well. She dribbled the ball down the field. She passed to a teammate. She scored a goal. She had fun. I have to get a picture of all the kids in their uniforms for you all.

In other news...
Alex participated in the math tournament on Monday night. He starts tennis team this week.
Ed is bored in school, as usual. However, he has been taking extra work with him and doing that instead of coloring. He is participating in chess again this year.
Amy is still loving ballet class. She likes to demonstrate her dance moves, although sometimes she segues into Camp Rock moves.
Sam likes to tell people he is a "big BOY!" It is pretty funny.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another week gone by

It was a busy week at school, and I am taking a class one night a week, so that takes up some time, too. I suspect this week will be busy, too.

This morning, the littles and I went to an antiques festival in Marietta Square. I found a great table made from an old barn door. I should have bought it. I am sitting here regretting that I do not own it. I really am. And I didn't even pick up a card from the dealer so I could call him later. I want that table. It was gorgeous. So now I am thinking that I need to drive to Ohio and see if the people who bought my grandparents' barn will sell me the door. Which would be so much more expensive than the table was. And what are the chances that these people would sell me the door? They might just think I was completely off my rocker. (And they might be right.) Of course, my parents are there this weekend. My dad might just be up for the adventure, but I don't know how they would get the door to me. And my mom would definitely think I was odd. And I don't know how to make a door into a table. I mean, I could probably figure it out, but it certainly would have been easier just to buy that table. And perhaps my grandparents barn has been long since knocked down because it was in tough shape when we sold it. Maybe I could just haunt antique stores until I find one. Or look for a closer barn to find a door.

Other than that, we are just waiting for the guys to get home from tennis/soocer/soccer so we can have some dinner. It has been a pretty lazy afternoon.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My Sweet Little Girl

This week at Amy's school, they started after school ballet classes. When I picked her up, she was talking all about this ballet class. I asked, and the teacher just said that they let her try it out that afternoon. I asked Amy if she wanted to take ballet classes, and she said she did. So I got the sign up information and went to get Sam at his sitter's. The sitter asked me if Amy was signed up for ballet. I said she wasn't currently, but that I was going to fill out the form and mail the check the next day since she loved the free trial-class so much.

Turns out, it was not a free trial-class. My precocious daughter had convinced a group of four adults that she was indeed registered for ballet class, and that they must have made some mistake. They actually believed her.

So now Amy is officially registered to take her second ballet class on Monday. I get to go buy ballet shoes this weekend. I hope they still come with the elastic not attached so I can sew it on. I took ballet for 8 years, and I am very excited that Amy is taking it.

You see, I am one of those people that other people thing over-schedule their kids. They all do a couple of activities. But we still have dinner as a family every night of the week except one. And that one night is because I have a class on teaching exceptional children for seven weeks. After that, we will be back eating together every night. (The class is required for certification as a highly qualified teacher in Georgia. It is actually rather interesting.) Well, Sam is not scheduled for any sports, yet, but I am sure he will play soccer in a couple of years when he is old enough.

Edited to add: The ballet slippers already had the elastic sewn on. It is not quite in the right place, but the shoes would come unraveled if I took it out to move it. So, it will stay where it is.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Interesting Times

One cool thing a high school teacher gets to see is kids who are getting ready to vote for the first time. Every day, the discussion is interesting, deep, and well-researched. These students watched all the prime time coverage of both conventions. They are not only opinionated, they are well-informed. It is exciting to see people excited about an election.

I remember the first time I voted. It was the Democratic Primary in Maryland in 1988. I voted for Al Gore. I vote for Al Gore a lot, even when he is not on the ballot. (Not more than once in a single election, though. I wouldn't want you all thinking I am doing anything wrong. Unless you think that voting for Al Gore is wrong, and certainly that is your prerogative.) Back to 1988, my parents were both home from work sick that day. I drove them to the polls (in our white Plymouth Reliant K Car that you had to turn the AC off to have enough power to turn left, but that is another story) and made them vote. I voted absentee in my first general election, and not for Al Gore, because I was at school in another state.

So I realized that I have been voting for 20 years. I have never missed an election. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant when I voted in 2004. I got bumped to the front of the line because I am pretty sure the elderly gentleman working the polling place thought I was going to drop that baby right then and there. She arrived two weeks later to the day, and was 9lbs 3 oz, so I probably did look like I was ready to give birth. I was also pregnant when I voted in 2000, although not quite so far along. However, I did get bumped to the front of the line that time, too. Elderly gentlemen working polling places are very kind to pregnant women. I am happy to say that I will never vote pregnant again. In 2006, for the gubernatorial election, Sam was only a couple of weeks old. I had to take all of the children with me to vote. There was no line to speak of, so no getting bumped that time. I imagine that I will get to stand in line this time.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Using up scaps

I love a big piece of fabric. Once I cut into a piece of fabric, I tend not to want to use it again. I don't know why, but I love yardage. If it is less than a half a yard, I don't think about using it. So today I decided to make something using only things I have cut into previously. This is what came out.
I squared-up some pieces of fabric, and then I started sewing them together at random. Then, I squared again, added a few pieces here and there, and made this thing. I was thinking of adding some appliqued circles, but now I am not sure. It is about 36 inches on one side. It looks like a baby's lovey to me. So it may be going to one of my many pregnant friends and colleagues. (It seems like I know a lot of pregnant people right now. Weird.)

I like this post

I like to read the Mental Multivitamin blog. This post is one I enjoyed this morning. As someone who has been called an education snob more than once, well, let's just say I liked this post.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Margaret DOES have a blog

My beautiful friend Margaret, who gave me all those gorgeous beads, and whom I adore with all my heart, has a blog. I cannot wait until she puts up pictures of the wonderful things she makes. So here it is: Fiber Dream Diva.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Busy Saturday

After a crisis at school this week, I didn't think my piece would make it to Breaking Traditions. There just wasn't a day I could leave early enough to get to the post office. Luckily, Lynn Krawcyzk, who curates (and everything else) the show, allowed me to mail it today. So the little people and I got to the post office at 8:30 this morning when it opened. A Tree Grows in... is safely on its way to Michigan. This is the fourth time I have had a piece in a show, and I am thinking I should try to make something for a juried show next. I am still thinking on that.

After the post office, I realized I needed a file off my computer at school to write a test this weekend. So we drove over to school because usually someone is there on Saturday mornings. Well, someone had a flat tire, so the school was locked. No file for me this weekend. That will teach me to put EVERYTHING on my jump drive.

Next, we made a quick trip to the Target. I decided to go to the one by school in case the flat tire got fixed and I could get into the building after all. Well, that is the last time I go to that Target. I live in an affluent area, but my school is on a totally different economic plane. It makes a huge difference in what Target stocks, the attitude of the employees and security, and just the general cleanliness of the store. It was kind of sad.

The flat tire still wasn't fixed, so I headed back towards this side of town. I wanted to pick up some goggles for a college freshman that I know who needs a good care package. I know which ones she uses, and I know they carry them at a local swim store. (These goggles are a little beyond what Target carries.) The swim store was supposed to open at 10. It was almost 11 when I got there, and it was closed. So no goggles this weekend.

Then I had to go to four different stores before I could find something that Dave had requested. The crappy Target didn't have it. The nice Target didn't have it. Publix and Walgreens didn't have it. Finally, I found it in Rite Aid. And I bought every one that they had. (I am hoping by typing this, in a couple of months when I need to find the item again, I can remember I found it at Rite Aid.)

By then, the little people were hungry, although they were not whiney. The second part may have had something to do with the toys they got at the crappy Target. So we made a quick trip through the McDonald's drive through. The two split a Happy Meal, with Sam eating the chicken nuggets and gluten-free Amy having the fries. We add fruit and yogurt at home, and they are both happy, although they are beginning to argue over the toy. (Which will wind up in the trash by the end of the day.)

So now, it is not even 1:00, and we are back home from our somewhat successful morning. Dave and the big kids are at soccer practice. The littles will go down for a nap soon, and I am going to go play in the studio. I want to do some more dimensional work.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Mid-Week Post

That probably doesn't need a hyphen, does it Kory?

It is another crazy week here. I was at school until almost 9 last night for Open House. This event is when the parents come to school in the evening to meet their kids' teachers. I attended the two for my boys last week.

I have been thinking lately how much my kids are growing up. My oldest is in eighth grade. Some days I wonder where the past 13 years have gone. Other days, I think I can feel every second of it. Sam is almost two. Sam and Alex are 12 years apart in school years, so when Alex is a senior in high school, Sam will be in kindergarten. We have quite the spread. (And we get asked if we are Catholic a lot. We are not. We just cannot get pregnant when we want to, and cannot not get pregnant when we don't want to.) Amy is growing up quickly. She wears a lot of her cousins' hand-me-down clothes. She had on a dress today that was my niece's. My niece is not a freshman in high school. Ed is one of those kids who is brilliant, a great athlete, and most things just come easy to him. And if it doesn't come easy to him, he can be very persistent.

Other random thoughts... I just finished Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I am glad she is wrote a sequel, which will come out next year. I really was never single as a grown-up. I married Dave when I was 22 and had Alex at 25. When I read about some of the things single people get to do, I get a little envious. But, I love Dave and love my kids, so I am where I want to be. However, I really want to go to Italy. (Except when I remember Rian's experience.) Someday, I will. Maybe. But for now, a relaxing couple of weeks at the beach condo is what I really love to do on vacation.

Have I mentioned how much I love teaching AP Calculus? I really love teaching AP Calculus.

Well, that is all. I have many other random thoughts. Some I am not allowed to share. One that I can share is that I want a chicken biscuit for breakfast tomorrow, so I may have to go to Chick-fil-a on my way to school. Another is that the Fresh Produce store in the Avenue in East Cobb gives teachers a 20% discount every day. I saved $27 this weekend. So my sister-in-law got a better present and I got a new Vera Bradley Puccini backpack and key/cellphone case. I want to be a cross of Sharon, Rian, Rebecca, and Debra when I grow up. And Margaret, but she doesn't have a blog!

Time to put some little people to bed.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The plans for this week

Well, food plans fell apart a little last week. With Dave going out of town, soccer practice starting, and two PTA/Back to School meetings, life got a little hectic. So this week, I concentrated on crock pot type meals for the week. Oh, and one day of gluten free mac and cheese.

Dinner Plans:
Sunday--Los Arcos for SIL's birthday
Monday--Chicken and mushrooms in the crock pot
Tuesday--Mac and Cheese
Wednesday--Ribs in the crock pot
Thursday--Turkey and black bean chili in the crock pot
Friday--Baked chicken (maybe for a salad)

To accomplish:
Birthday present for A
Mail A Tree Grows In... piece
Pick up art from Margaret
Get UTEE pot (maybe, but really, I loved making those beads...)
Some sort of art
Tuesday--PTA at OHS (yes, I am a member of 3 PTA's and 1 PTO), A soccer practice
Wednesday--Tennis Meeting
Thursday--E soccer practice

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Tree Grows in...

Here is the piece I just finished for the Breaking Traditions Art Quilt Exhibit at the American Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan. The show is September 26-28 at the Rock Financial Center. Last year, Family Values: Nursing Mom was in the show. This year, the show is a little different. All the pieces will be the same size and hung next to each other to create the illusion of one giant quilt. Pretty cool. And, the proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society in conjunction with Fiber Art for a Cause.

Here is a silk ribbon butterfly.

A silk ribbon flower and a leaf turning colors.
More silk ribbon flowers.

The silk ribbon came from Nicholas Kniel's shop, always an exciting and pleasant adventure. The flowers are in his book, which is to die for. It has directions for all sorts of incredible ribbon flowers. The trunk is a bunch of different kinds of yarn couched to the background of hand-dyed blue fabric.

Now if I can figure out how to ship it without the flowers being crushed.

The theme this year is Celebrating Care Givers. Trees provide many of the same things care givers do. They provide shelter, life giving oxygen, shade, fruit, and beauty. The one turning leaf represents all of the care givers who give all of themselves. So many care givers give so much, that they neglect their own needs. The butterfly represents hospice. Well, I am still working on the artist statement.

And here is a picture of Amy.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Second Week of School Plans

Sunday: Salmon on the grill, salad
Monday: Barbecue beef in the crock pot
Tuesday: Pick up Wendy's on the way home
Wednesday: Grilled chicken salad
Thursday: Baked Ziti
Friday: Eat out
Saturday: Baked chicken

To Accomplish:
Monday: At school early to watch first GT class, EK dentist
Tuesday: HTMS PTA meeting and Open House, DK NC
Thursday: EK Soccer, TES PTA meeting and Open House

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A little bit of nothing

So I was back at work all week. I really like teaching high school math, but I also loved being home all the time, but I really love saving money for college tuitions and retirement, but getting six people out of the house in the mornings is hard, but... Well, I could go on forever. It is what it is.

I have been walking 5-6 days a week. It feels really great. I have dropped about 10 lbs in the last month. I am also doing the 8 Minutes in the Morning by Jorge Cruise. It is quick, easy, and a good work out. I definitely see the difference.

With my daughter having celiac disease and my oldest having high cholesterol, we have really had to change how we eat. Having a plan for the week is helping there. Part of the problem is that Alex cannot lose any weight. Most people, when they lower their cholesterol, also need to lose weight. If anything, Alex could afford to gain a few pounds. We are working at it. Reading the chapter in the You the Owners Manual was very helpful to both of us. When we went shopping for lunches today, he picked out turkey hot dogs, Sun Chips, and low fat yogurt. I was proud of him for being able to do that.

School starts tomorrow. I better pack back packs and lunches. Have a great week!

Next Week's Plan

Well, this week went pretty well. I got all of the reading done, and none of the sewing or yard work. Oh well.

Dinner plans:
Sunday: Baked chicken, potatoes on the grill, apple slices
Monday: Crockpot turkey chili
Tuesday: Fresh tomato spaghetti
Wednesday: Salmon, salad
Thursday: Chicken Salad
Friday: Grilled chicken salad
Saturday: Turkey burgers

To Accomplish:
Finish Tree Wall Hanging
Mail Tree Wall Hanging to Breaking Traditions
Frame bird picture
Attend FAF
All kids and mom have a successful first week of school

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Planning this week

Sunday--turkey burgers, grilled potatoes, salad
Monday--fresh tomatoes on spaghetti
Tuesday--grilled chicken salad
Wednesday--grilled salmon, green beans, baked potatoes
Thursday--turkey chili in the crock pot, frozen veggies, salad
Friday--fruit, cheese, crackers, salad
Saturday--tuna salad over mixed greens

Things to accomplish
  • ribbon flowers for tree
  • read 1st chapter of Elegant Universe
  • finish The Mysterious Benedict Society
  • read first chapter of You the Owners Manual and discuss with Alex
  • first lesson in Latin
  • get one beaded jewelry book and supplies to make a project
  • get bird picture framed
  • weed bed at end of driveway

Tomorrow is the day

I go back to work tomorrow. I had so much fun being home this summer. We played. We learned. We went to the beach. We did some art. We spent a lot of time in doctors' offices and waiting for test results. We are still waiting for some test results. We also got organized so that this school year should go more smoothly.

This week, Dave is home with the kids while I go to pre-planning. This semester, I am only teaching one new class, AP Calculus AB, and I have a lot of help with that one. I am also teaching geometry, but I did that last semester and feel pretty good about it. I have made some changes in how I will teach it based on last semester's results.

I am going to try to keep up with my art and my blog this year. I missed doing art last year, and I think my life suffered a bit because of it. My art plans include:
  • Finishing my tree piece for Breaking Traditions
  • Learning to make beaded jewelry
  • Making fiber books
  • Doing an exploration of 3-D fiber art to prepare for next year's Fiber Art Fusion show.
I have the kids' afterschooling plans made out.

  • Latina Christiana I
  • You The Owners Manual by Dr. Oz and Dr. Rosien
  • History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer
  • Classical Writing Aesop using the older beginner's workbook
  • Prima Latina
  • Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer and supplemental books
  • Classical Writing Aesop and the workbook
  • Copywork based on Barak Obama speeches
  • Get Ready for the Code
  • Counting lots of stuff
Sam just gets lots of hugs and stories read to him.

I will try not to fall off the face of the earth again. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I go into this next school year.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What Fun!

Yesterday I got to help hang Fiber Art Fusion's show at The Art Place gallery in Marietta, Georgia. The title of the show is Transformations. There are some incredible pieces at the show. It will be up until August 22. If you are in the area, stop by. I have three small pieces in the show, and one that my geometry classes made.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Work and the Kids

Here is a 4x6 piece I did. You cannot see it very well, but there is a map of Europe stamped on the lutridor. The charms are stamps on shrink plastic.

And here are my two youngest children.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gifts from Margaret

Here are pictures of my wonderful gifts from Margaret. Thank you very much. After I post this, I am going to add beads to something...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Another 5x7 and a Trip to Margaret's House

Well, blogger won't let me upload any pictures right now. Suffice it to say, I worked on another 5x7, and I was going to show it to you.

My three youngest and I visited my friend Margaret this morning. I wish I could point you to a site with Margaret's beautiful work on it, but I don't think her work is on the internet anywhere. Margaret, we need to fix this problem. Margaret does the most exquisite bead work and crazy quilting. She is an important and integral part of Fiber Art Fusion. And she is one of the most generous people you could ever meet.

I mentioned in an email that I wanted to go bead shopping and asked for suggestions for bead stores. Margaret invited me over to shop in her home. (I would love to show you pictures of the beautiful beads Margaret gave me, but blogger won't let me.) Not only did she give me beautiful beads, she also gave me some sweet little ceramic pots, and some gorgeous velvet that Nicholas Kneil had given her. (And in my mind, it is leftovers from some beautiful designer gown that Nicholas was involved in making. Probably not, but I can pretend...)

Margaret also entertained my children with matchbox cars, colored pencils, an electric pencil sharpener (Sam is finally clean, Margaret,) and Mardi Gras beads. We have all been wearing bead necklaces all day.

So thank you a million times Miss Margaret. You are one sweet, classy, and wonderful lady!

Friday, July 11, 2008


At Fiber Art Fusion, a friend said she was going to try to work in non-abstract (I know there is a word, but it is escaping me) for a change. Well, I decided to try something more abstract. So I am trying some 5x7 pieces with different techniques. On this one, I just sewed various blue-green fibers onto a black piece of fabric. The black fabric was fused to a piece of interfacing to facilitate sewing. I used invisible thread and my darning foot with a small zigzag stitch. Then I fused it to a piece of Peltex for stability. Here is a close-up shot.

I think this could make a good ocean background. I was going to add some shells, but I really like it the way it is.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chicken Mummy Day 1

Here is our chicken mummy on day 1. I hope this works and doesn't just make a smelly mess. So far, we washed him, put him in a plastic bag, and covered and filled him with salt. Then we washed our hands really well. Ed, Amy, and Sam are involved so far. I think Alex will get in on it before the end.

Next step in our history study is to put a time line up. I am trying to figure out the best place. I think we will use the upstairs hallway. If anyone has done this, please let me know how long your time line was, and if you did all time on it, or divided it up by what you were studying. I know I cannot put Big Bang on one end and today on the other and just divide time because everything would happen in the last few inches. I was thinking of starting around 7000 BC and going to now, and put an arrow on the end saying 5 miles to the beginning of time or something like that. Any opinions?

Another day, another appointment

Now that I am teaching, I make a lot of doctor and dentist appointments for the summer. Today I took my oldest to the dentist. I just realized that on all the millions of forms I had to sign, I put yesterday's date. Ugh. At least they let me fill out all the paper work for the middle two who go in 11 days today. (Or yesterday, I guess.)

I ran two miles the morning. Well, I walked about 1/4 of one mile up hill. Those hills are killing me. Tomorrow I am going to add in some distance.

Today, I am going to work on a 5x7 piece for the Fiber Art Fusion show at The Art Place on Sandy Plains Road.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Fractured Quilt

Last night at Fiber Art Fusion, we had a new member. He has just moved here from Northern California. (He told me the town, and now I can only remember that it was 2 hours north of San Francisco.) Anyway, he and I were talking about doing a fractured quilt. So if any of you Fiber Art Fusion ladies are reading this, think about it. He said we could just do one with the two of us if no one else is interested.

One of the things I teach in geometry and algebra is proportions. To hook the kids on the first day, I do a fractured artwork piece with them. This first one is of a Picasso. It was done by my Algebra I students.

This second one was done by my geometry students. It is an Ellis Wilson print.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


When we were in Florida, there were storms almost every day. Now that we are back home, the same phenomenon is happening here. Just as Dave and Alex were going out to play tennis last night, a nasty storm came in. We were even under a severe thunderstorm warning for a while.

Tonight is my Fiber Art Fusion meeting. I have to remember to attend the meeting. Actually, remembering to attend is not the problem. It is remembering where the meeting is located that is that problem.

Off to work on the round robin piece for this month. One of these days I am going to work on it in advance...

P.S. I ran again this morning.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Monday Monday

Have I mentioned how much I am enjoying being home for the summer? I really enjoyed teaching, but I am having fun relaxing with my kids, too. And I found the Natural Market today which has the mother lode of gluten free food. Even chicken nuggets. Yipee!

First some beach pictures...
Here is Sam on the beach his first day. He is running from the ocean. By the end of the two weeks he was running towards the ocean.

Amy loved the ocean from minute one. She loves boogie boarding and being out with the big kids, hence the life jacket.

This is Ed and his sand Sphinx. (I bought the chicken and salt for the chicken mummy today...)

Alex and his sand structure.

So before noon today, I managed to run two miles (well, I probably walked about 2/3 of a mile during it,) drop off a check at the sitter's, go to the bank, go to two grocery stores, and feed everyone lunch. This afternoon, the other calculus teacher came over and we set up a time line for the course. And now I am thinking about dinner. What should we have?

Oh, and if anyone runs, can you please tell me, am I going to start loving it soon? I did use the time to think about a lot of things. I had a little panic attack about calculus, but I am now over it. (It comes back, though, every once in a while.)

The part that makes me the most nervous about teaching is finding a way to fit everything in before the test. In Georgia, End Of Course Tests are given with about two weeks left in the semester. Considering the semester is 18 weeks long, and we lose about a week to other school activities, I have 15 weeks to teach 12 chapters of Geometry or Algebra I or whatever before that EOCT. We teach calculus year round, so I do have plenty of time for it. We plan to finish new material before spring break, and take the time after spring break to review for the early May AP (Advanced Placement) Exam. In geometry, I have to do a section a day to have any hope of keeping up. In calculus, I can take a couple of days per section and still have plenty of time to review. I am feeling better about it every day.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Fort Pierce

I just got back from two weeks in Fort Pierce, Florida. We stayed in my sister's beach front condo. I'll post some pictures soon. I am trying not to fall back off the face of the earth. But, we don't have internet access at the condo. My husband did go into town to the Panera to do some work one day and use their Wifi. However, I didn't think it would be nice to take my gluten free child to Panera, so I didn't go.

Right before I left, I finished the t-shirt quilt. I forgot to take a picture before I delivered it. But, it went to the home of a professional photographer, so I am going to ask for a picture of it. Do you think that would be ok?

I got interviewed for an article for the Atlanta paper, but I was not mentioned. Oh well.

I am up to running a mile now. I want to be to three before school starts in the middle of August. It is hot, though. Right now, I run the first mile, walk 5 minutes, run another 5 minutes, walk 5 minutes, etc. until I have gone three miles.

I am currently reading The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer. I am reading the children's version, Story of the World, to my seven year old. We are both learning a lot. He is fascinated by ancient Egypt. I can see a chicken mummy showing up in my life this week. He made the Sphinx out of sand at the beach.

I finished the calculus class. I am amazed at how much calculus I remember, and was surprised at how much you can do on a graphing calculator. Wow!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quick Note

I am taking a class about teaching AP Calculus this week. The first couple of days were pretty boring, but it has picked up as the week has gone on.

I quilted the t-shirt quilt last night. I will do the binding tonight. Then I will wash it, take pictures, and deliver it. YIPPEE!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Today at the quilt store

I decided that I didn't have enough of the fusible interfacing for the t-shirt quilt. So I did a "quick" run into Tiny Stitches. Did I say quick? Well, my good friend Sharon was working. I haven't seen Sharon in a while, so I had to talk with her. And then I fell in love with this line of fabric and had to get a couple of yards. I have no idea what I am going to do with it, but I like it.

When I got back, I got the mail. Our Latin curricula had arrived. We are all so excited to be starting Latin. Ed says we are going to sit around talking Latin so Dad cannot understand us. So far we have learned Hello is Salve, when you are talking to one person and Salvete when you are talking to more than one person. So I guess Caesar Augustus would say to the Senate, Salvete. Or maybe not.
And this is Amy eating her gluten-free waffle. They are kind of saw dust-esque. I need to go to the natural foods store to get some stuff for her.

Yesterday didn't turn out as I had hoped

In the morning, I got a call from the kids' pediatrician. My daughter has Celiac Disease. This means she cannot eat gluten. Ever. Gluten is in everything. Everything. Ok, not everything, but a lot of stuff you wouldn't think about. Needless to say, it kind of threw me for a little while.

I did get the t-shirts cut out. I did not get them fused. That will happen today.

I didn't get to use the moon button. Maybe today...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A New Day

I just finished my workout. I did a half hour of step aerobics to General Hospital. I can almost get all of General Hospital watched in a half hour.

Today I am going to do all the cutting and fusing for a t-shirt quilt. I don't really enjoy these, but this one is for a graduating senior who has been influential (in a great way) on the lives of my children. She saw another one that I did, and she thought it was more interesting than other ones she has seen. (She liked the lack of blank space.) So I said I would make it. And her mom is paying me, which will offset the writing curricula I am buying for the kids.

After I get the cutting and fusing done, I have this white button that has been sitting by my desk for a few days that is just asking to become a moon. So I am going to start a piece where it can be the moon. So here's hoping that whatever top it is from never needs its spare button...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It has been forever

I finally finished something. My fiber arts group, Fiber Art Fusion, is having a show at the end of July. I finished my piece for it yesterday. And, Dave found the digital camera, so I could take pictures of it. It is a little accordion fold book. The theme of the show is Transformation. I took all of the same shapes, the house and the moon, and made them with different colors, textures, and put them in different places. In math, a transformation is when you move a thing to a new place. So it is kind of a geometry thing, too, since that is what I taught this year. The original idea for these little house pictures came from Deborah Boschert's book, Small Art Quilts, Creating a Series.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

9 x 12 Round Robin

Fiber Art Fusion is having a 9 x 12 Round Robin. 12 of us created a 9 x 12 base from which to start. Each month it visits a new person. That person will embellish the piece. The next month it will move on to the next person. Next January, we will have our finished pieces. It should be a lot of fun. I won't get to post pictures in progress, though, because we are trying to keep them a secret from their original owner. So here is mine at the beginning. We'll see what we get in a year...
I made this little journal to travel with the piece so people could write their thoughts.

Amazing Race Birthday Party

Today, my Ed turned seven years old. Wow. That is hard to believe. He is my second child. (My first will be 13 in a couple of month. How did that happen?) We had 5 of his friends over for a birthday party today. We did our own Amazing Race. Each child was given a Magic Tree House reference book about space, and a map of the house with different rooms labeled the names of the planets, Pluto, and the Moon. (Some of the planets were outside, too.) Anyway, they were given clues and had to figure out using their books which planet they were supposed to visit next. Some of the planets had tasks for them to do, like bowl three frames of Wii bowling, or do 10 sit-ups. They all had a blast. One of the teams could read much better than the other teams, and they won. I did follow one team around so I could help them with their reading. But really, they all had a lot of fun. And, of course, no one was ready to leave when their mom came. And one mom said, "Leave it to Julie to have a birthday party game that requires reading!"

Here is a picture of my kids a the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It is 2008

Wow. I cannot believe it is 2008. I started thinking of my accomplishments of 2007, and I think I had a decent year. I sold a house, got a job, got accepted into a teacher certification program, and had two quilts hang in shows for the first time ever. I made it through my first semester of teaching high school, and had the highest End of Course Test average of all of the Algebra I teachers in my school. I also sent out Christmas cards this year, which I never managed to do last year. (Well, they went out yesterday, so I guess they are New Years cards.)

This year my goal is to be more organized. I hope I can manage it.

Happy New Year!