March Inn

Why"March Inn?" March Inn was the name of that magic place where I spent my summers growing up. I have alluded to this place before, and I probably will again. March Inn is no longer standing. The waters of Katrina rendered it unlivable so my children will never know that "March Inn." That makes me sad. In fact it brings me to tears whenever I think about it. I want my children to have their own "March Inn," and I want to capture our lives as they are growing and changing. I invite you to "march inn" to our lives. My hope is that you will catch glimpses of the real world. You will see our creations. You will see our chaos. You will see our affection. You will also see our frustrations, fears, and disappointments. Enjoy your march!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Celine, Celine

Zoom in on the title...

Yes, you read it right Celine, Celine What Have You Seen: A Book About Cousins. I am going to be an aunt and even better my children are going to have cousins. Not just cousins, but first cousins! I am ecstatic - I haven't been able to keep the smile off of my face all weekend as the thought enters my mind. Anna and Bill are going to be wonderful parents, and I already love this little one "to the moon and back" as they once told Mary Frances.

It was a soggy, rainy weekend around here. Lots of inside playtime and football. The picture doesn't capture it, but Stephen was so excited that Mary Frances painted his toenails. My poor child - first pink cowboy boots and hats and now painted toenails. We finally made a break and headed for a playground after naps yesterday.
Our breakthrough for the weekend...

Walker finally loves his bath with big brother and sister. We have been struggling because he has such bad eczema on his bottom. That bath water hurts, but for now brother and sister's entertainment has him laughing, splashing, and playing.

Off to change sheets, make a picnic, and get everyone dressed for storytime, errands, and gymnastics. The question of the day - Where to picnic in the rain?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Recently Completed Applique

About the newly posted applique creations...

Raggy Pumpkin

I did the raggy pumpkin on WalMart's granimals white top. Because it is a swing top the applique can really only go in the corner. Next time I do the pumpkin, I would put a piece of brown fabric behind the stem, but it really turned out cute. Mary Frances can't wait to wear it. Now I just need to make some matching pants.

Santa Face

I am beginning to think about Christmas. I have this santa face in two different sizes. The small size is perfect for a pair of holiday fancy pants or baby's bid. It is also good on an infant's sleep saque. The large size is great for a t-shirt or turtleneck. I have done it in red {as shown} which is good for boys or girls and also in pink with green trim which is really cute for your girly girl.

Sock Monkey

My little monkey needed a "monkey" to wear. This design is meant for an insert. It is two small sock monkey heads that I put an S in between. I did the "s" instead of a name so both of my boys can wear it. I think one of these monkeys would be cute on a onesie for an infant and one might fit on a pocket of Target's white shirts. I haven't tried it but I think it could be done.

Our Dirty Joke

Mary Frances was about two when my dad taught her a "dirty joke". She went around telling everyone she knew a dirty joke. When asked what it was, she replied, "A white horse fell in a mud puddle." Well Stephen's dirty joke of the day is, "I fell in the mud puddle," and he really did. Sadly, he didn't think it was too funny when it happened.

This One's for MaMa

I consider myself blessed beyond measure. One of the greatest blessings and priveleges of my life is that I knew three of my great-grandparents. MaMa was my father's grandmother. My scanner is broken or I would include a picture. MaMa lived until she was 98. Wow! I was at summer camp when she passed away, and I distinctly remember making the realization that in her life span she saw gas powered automobiles become the standard mode of travel all the way to space exploration. That was staggering to me!

My brother and I, along with our double first cousins, had the privilege and pleasure of spending our summers at MaMa's summer home. Many of the best and most vivid memories of my childhood come from those summers. MaMa was the matriarch of the house and one of the duties of the matriarch was to plan and do most of the cooking. Well into her 90's you could find MaMa at home in the hot kitchen of March Inn.

Peaches are among my favorite summer foods and MaMa would go at least weekly to the "little girl" to buy peaches and tomatoes. She would then make scrumptious peach cobbler. For those of you who know anything about southern peach cobbler you know that it is very sweet in its own right. It doesn't need a topping to make it any sweeter. Well in MaMa's eyes cobbler wasn't complete unless ladened with what she called "hard sauce". Hard sauce was a delectable combination of softened butter and confection sugar with a dash of vanilla. This combination was put back into the refrigerator to harden and then spooned onto hot out of the oven fruit cobbler. I think I truly liked the hard sauce even better than the cobbler.
So what's the point? Well about a month ago a couple came over for dinner with their precious little one, and she brought a yummy strawberry shortcake. Mind you it was different than any strawberry shortcake I had ever had, but I loved it. There was a familiar taste that I craved, but I couldn't quite put my finger on why. I asked my friend for the recipe and prepared it the following weekend. The familiar taste that I loved so as a child was the combination of butter and confection sugar - uncooked mind you. Here is the recipe:

Strawberry Shortcake
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup soft butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups strawberries (or other fruit)
1 cup whipping cream lightly sweetened

Press crumbs in a 11x7x2 pan. Cream butter and gradually add sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat until fluffy but do not overbeat. Spread over graham crackers. Place strawberries on top. Whip cream and lightly sweeten. Spoon over berries. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

You might want to try it before summer completely slips into fall. Will try to post other promised recipes soon!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rally Day

Good Morning Family, Friends, Followers,

I want to write about Rally Day. For those of you who are not familiar with the term "rally day" it is the beginning of a new Sunday School year. I had never heard this term before moving here, but it appears many of our area churches (am I'm sure yours as well) use this term to signify the transition from one Sunday School class to the next. For one reason or another, my family has never attended church on Rally Day Sunday. This Rally Day was different - Frank and I are teaching Mary Frances' Sunday School class this year. I am truly looking forward to being more involved in the Christian education process at the Advent, getting to know her church friends, getting to know more parents from the church, but most of all for sharing this experience with Frank. We missed the calling last year, when Mary Frances was in the 3K class which is the first year of real Sunday School, not nursery. At some point during the year we decided we would teach each of our children during their 4K year so here we are at the beginning.

First, let me say it is going to be a challenge to get all five of us to the church and the two little ones delivered to the nursery by 8:30 each Sunday, but I know we can do it. Yesterday went off without a hitch! In fact it was the calmest I have ever gotten in the car to get downtown for church. Usually my blood pressure is sky high by that point. Minus Walker's tears and Stephen's melancholy expression here is a picture to prove it...
What I really wanted to say is how overjoyed I was as Frank and I each held one of Mary Frances' hands to walk into "big church." I look at Mary Frances each day and think how big she has gotten. As we walked through Clingman Commons, we were surrounded by adults and older children. There she was right between us with the biggest, proudest smile on her face, and I realized how little she still is and how much she still gets to experience. I am thankful that we still have so much time together! I also realized how hard it is going to be on me (not her) to watch her go to kindergarten next year. My eyes were blurry with tears as we entered the sanctuary and then sang one of my favorite hymns which is usually reserved for All Saints Day (I Sing a Song of the Saints of God) -All of this over my oldest being in church with us instead of the nursery. You never know when joy is going to fill you to overflowing.

The other highlight of the morning was picking Stephen up from his new class. Stephen is a smart cookie and wants to do everything his big sister does. While he didn't vocalize it exactly, I think he was none too happy that she was staying with us, and he got to go to the nursery. Thankfully, we rode the elevator and walked into class with a neighbor/friend so the screaming had subsided, and I think he had a wonderful first Sunday. He ran to me, carrying his church bag which is as big as he is, and said "My new class fun" in his sweet two year old speech that often only a mother can understand - warmed my heart to overflowing again.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Football and Helicopters

Okay, see I really am trying to be better at this. We have had a fabulous fall Saturday. We went for a long (when I say long I mean a 1+ hour - up and down big hills) family walk this morning. As you can imagine with our three little ones we are a two jog stroller family. I'm sure it is comical to pass us, but it sure is nice to all be out enjoying the fresh air together.

Mary Frances had a precious friend come play. They were so sweet to each other and to her brothers. It made my heart smile!

I made a Sam's run and went to the grocery store.

Now for the best part...

During the kiddos nap Frank played golf with his dad, and I pleated an outfit for each of my boys and two bishop dresses for Mary Frances.

Then Frank and I prepared dinner so it would be ready to eat once his parents arrived.

Even better...

During the Auburn game and basically the second half once the children were asleep I smocked (minus the backsmocking) an entire outfit for Walker. Granted it was only one helicopter for a Cory's Bubble.
Maybe I can get it put together quickly. Will post pictures of my bristle bean when completed!

Friday, September 11, 2009

One Month Ago

I've decided I am not very good at this, but I am willing to keep trying. I can think in blog posts all day and sometimes I even have some really good stuff to share, but the reality of getting to the computer, uploading pictures, and typing a post just doesn't happen. It doesn't help that our computer is slow as molasses, and I am always taxing it to the limits with e-mail, multiple websites, PowerPoint, word, etc all open at the same time.

A lot has happened in the past month...
- I've actually accomplished some sewing and monogramming
- School started
Mary Frances is going to school four days this year and Stephen two. I'm keeping Walker home with me for another year. I'm looking forward to some one on one time with my littlest man. It is hard for me to believe that MFS will begin kindergarten in less than one year. I intend to cherish our Mondays together. We will go to the library for Stephen's storytime every other week, and do something else fun on the other Mondays.

- Celebrated my birthday with family and a delicious meal. I am no Frank Stitt but I do know my way around the kitchen. Included on the menu was a rendition of Frank Stitt's Eggplant Gratin. It received rave reviews from many a food critic around my table and satisfied the most discriminate of palates including my children.
- Presented two presentations for teachers at a preschool and day care center and have a new speech evaluation scheduled.

- Completed my first applique order - 7 raggy burp cloths.
- Attended multiple meetings for preschool, Junior League, church etc. Helped with the inaugural attempt at afternoon carpool at my children's school. No pictures to represent my volunteer endeavors. Like promised, I will try not dwell on those commitments.
- Delivered my mother 'n laws surprise birthday gift. The pictures I intended to post are on my camera at her house. Maybe later...
Okay, enough about life in our house. That's the big stuff! I am going to try to be better about posting, but for now I am off to work on some fall clothes for my precious little ones and take a shower for a surprise date with my husband.

Fall is in the air - the temperature is dropping, football is airing, mums and gourds are appearing. I'm dreaming up some tasty fall menus. Hope you all have a good weekend!