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!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


do not put to bed without sleep sack.

This is how I found my little one when I went to get him from his nap. Well actually he was in the far corner of the crib standing just watching the door. As I walked in he started cackling!

In other news, life is busy. My personality is to be busy~ probably too busy~ but busy is not always good ~ Unfortunately, I truly love to be busy. I love to do. I love the feeling of getting things accomplished. I am by nature a list maker so I love the feeling of checking things off of the list. I have always, at least since high school, felt like I accomplish more when I have more to do. I guess it is because I am more focused, more aware of time, more intentional. I do not do well with the words from Psalm 46:10 where it says Be still and know that I am God. I need to work on this but for the moment thankfully God can hit moving targets.

Busy at school ~

Busy at church ~

Busy at home ~

Busy with friends ~

Busy sewing ~
Busy cooking ~

Busy learning ~

Don't let me fool you! In each day as much gets done as doesn't get done. I often walk around my house and wonder what I did with my time because so much seems left undone. Therefore, I have learned to measure my "to do" list not so much by what I have written down {that is for my feeble brain to remember} and crossed off {that is for my prideful feeling of accomplishment} but by the other little things that are important to me as a mother.

At the end of the day I want to be able to answer yes to each of these questions...
The Basics... which involve more than meets the eye!
Were they clean?
Were they dressed?
Were they fed?
The Extras... which hopefully build life skills and encourage the development of giving, independent, productive, self-sufficient adults!
Did I read to my children?
Did I sit down on the floor and play with them ~ if only for a moment?
Did we make, build, or create something?
Did we have snuggle time somewhere in the day?
Did we have conversations?
Did we pray or read from the Bible?
Did we do something for someone else?

As they have gotten older and more self-sufficient, I have to be more intentional about these things because they play so well together. This week, it has been brought to my attention repeatedly how "lucky" I am that they play so well together. I have reflected on those comments and made two revelations: 1.) I take it for granted 2) I feel that it is not luck but a blessing and I have added it to my list of things to be thankful for.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

A Lenten Resolve

Fast from criticism, and feast on praise.
Fast from self-pity, and feast on joy.
Fast from ill temper, and feast on peace.
Fast from resentment, and feast on contentment.
Fast from jealousy, and feast on love.
Fast from pride, and feast on humility.
Fast from selfishness, and feast on service.
Fast from fear, and feast on faith.

Unfortunately, I don't know who wrote this and I wish I did so I could give the author due credit. I love these words ~ I stumbled upon them many years ago when Frank and I were visiting churches and received a myriad assortment of church bulletins each week. I pull these words out each lent to dwell on them, pray over them, and attempt to live by them. Easter has always been my favorite holiday and in the years when I am able to "keep lent" it makes Easter morning that much more glorious.

I have had the privilege of meeting some wonderful people through the church we did in fact join and one of those special people has posted some tips for lent with little ones.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras Mania

Laissez Les Bons Temps Roullex!

Happy Mardi Gras! For those of you who don't know ~ today is Mardi Gras Day ~

We spent the better part of last week and the weekend in Mobile celebrating Mardi Gras. Did you know that Mobile is the "Mother of all Mardi Gras?" When you think of Mardi Gras, your mind probably immediately jumps to the craziness of New Orleans, and why wouldn't it. New Orleans plays host to the most famous {and probably the most wild} Mardi Gras celebrations, but the reality is that Mobile hosted the original Mardi Gras in the United States. Those of us who are native to Mobile are quick ~ probably too quick ~ to point that out! In truth, Mobile does provide a tamer, more family friendly place to spend this time of celebration before the season of lent begins.
We went downtown for the parades...
We found old friends on the street...
We waited...
We froze...

"Throw me something mister! Please!" We like it all ~ doubloons, serpentine, cups, beads, moonpies...

*Note in the picture the "peanut butter" moon pie. That was the new flavor last year, and I have yet to try it. I like to catch moon pies but don't love to eat moon pies. I am however looking forward to trying this peanut butter especially after trying the new flavor for year. Mint! It was delectable ~very similar to a Girl Scout Thin Mint, and who can resist those.

We are having a very small Mardi Gras party this evening, and we spent some time yesterday preparing. Because our cupboards were bare our day began at the grocery store but then we started our preparations.

We made masks for place cards... We made a King Cake {or four} ~ one for dessert, one for Mary Frances, one for Stephen to take to school, one extra...
We boiled and picked the chicken to make jambalaya ~ I'll spare you those photos.

I cleaned the kitchen twice - in fact the dishwasher was emptied and counters cleaned two times and still returned home from small group and there was stuff all of the counters and the sink was full of dishes waiting to enter the dishwasher. You know the walk from one side of the house {yesterday the kitchen} where you can see progress to the other {yesterday the bedrooms} where nothing is being accomplished. No pictures of that either ~ I would be embarrassed.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Good Stuff

The Gift... I finished my sister 'n law's baby gift just in the nick of time.

As I was sitting at my machine putting together this gown, I had some time to think. I made a couple of realizations about my sewing and smocking. Because I have now put together many different garments for my three children, my construction is much improved over those items I first made for Mary Frances however my smocking leaves something to be desired. I think it is because prior to children when I sat down to smock I sat down to smock. I wasn't grabbing a cable stitch here and a trellis stitch there in between all the other things of our daily life. Note to self - be more intentional when you sit down to smock!
The Shower...

The Flowers...

Not as pretty as in the picture in Southern Living but got the job done ~ cheered me up, provided a touch of spring and color to the table.

The Concert...

It was a busy weekend and we haven't even gotten to Sunday yet ~ a quiet family night Friday, baby shower in Montgomery Saturday morning, haircut late Saturday afternoon, and dinner guests Saturday evening.

As I was climbing into bed Friday, I made the realization that we could not all sit at our dining room table. Typically when we have company it is our family and one other so we all {adults and children} sit at the dining room table. We can squeeze 8 or more into our dining room table but the reality is that it comfortably seats 6 so the wheels started turning. I decided that I would put the 6 adults at the dining room table plus the high chair and the 6 children in the kitchen at the breakfast room table. We have a pub table that can open to comfortably seat 6 in our kitchen. We turned it, opened it, moved it to use the chairs and church pew for seating, covered it with butcher paper, and let the children go. They had a ball! They played, they colored, they ate lasagna, they played some more, they ran around the house, they sang, they screamed, they ate trifle, and they performed. Pictured above is the best I could do for a photo opportunity and comes no where near capturing it all. The picture is of the concert they put on for us. What a joyful noise!

We enjoyed a comfortable dinner with friends Saturday night. It was really nice to be with good friends who we don't see often enough. The children were well behaved and entertained themselves while we visited around the table.
Looking forward to what this day has in store...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Donuts with Dad

This invitation came home about three weeks ago, and I'm not sure if I had ever seen my daughter so excited about something. She has been looking forward to it and talking about this event ever since then.

I think she was excited about having the opportunity to invite her daddy to school ~ to see her classroom, to meet her friends, to see her work, to experience her teachers. It came home on a Wednesday, and we were meeting Frank at church. Mary Frances had the forsight to ask if she could take it in the car with her to give it to Frank as soon as she saw him. And she did! From the day she brought the invitation home she asked if she could wear her "pink dress with flowers all over it." I wish that blogging was able to capture the hand motions that went along with the request. They were clearly used to hammer home the point that there were flowers all over the dress. Please just imagine the drama behind it ~ but know that it was precious, sweet drama. She had even {already before seeing Frank} planned that she wanted Frank to wear his pink shirt which she LOVES. I think she was also very concerned about hurting my feelings that I wasn't invited, because she kept telling me that she has another surprise, and I will get to come to school in the spring.

Well, February 5th finally came. I have no good picture because I felt a little silly taking the camera into the classroom full of daddies while carrying Walker with Stephen by my side. I took this one from the door. It's as good as it gets~

Mary Frances had a ball! When we went around the table at dinner to tell the family what our favorite part of the day was, she did not hesitate, did not stop to think, did not hedge ~ her answer was a resounding "having daddy come to school with me." After dinner, the big children went to play, I went to sew, and Frank went through some work. Mary Frances brought him the to wear since she was working.

One proud 4 1/2 year old!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mothering Matters

Boy did I need to read these words this week!

From What Every Mom Needs by Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall

"Does mothering matter? This questions demands an answer...A woman's work is determined by her work's value and the amount she accomplishes. But a mother's work is never finished or is constantly coming undone, and few people reward or recognize the nurturing skills used in mothering.

Though changing diapers and cuddling a baby may seem trivial, mothers are doing eternally significant work in developing a little person into an adult. As Leo Tolstoy wrote in the The Lion and the Honeycomb, "Yes, mothers, in your hands more than in those of anyone else, lies the salvation of the world."

Mothering matters!"

The title of the post could have been "Upside Down."

We've had the stomach bug this week and our house is upside down. This picture highlights the week without going into the gory details. I post only because I do want to remember the not so great moments of motherhood so that I can have perspective when my children are in these shoes. I want to remember so I can empathize. In fact I gives me perspective for the day.

As I was ironing the dust ruffle to put back on Stephen's bed, I was so thankful that I do not work outside of the home so I was not having to stress over taking a day off or scramble for childcare. I was also thankful that this happens every now and then. No it isn't fun, but it passes! Now that is the perspective that I needed!

Slowly, the house is coming back together, but I must admit I woke up grumpy over it today. I looked around and saw all that needs to be done before our company gets here for dinner tomorrow night, and it was downright depressing. That list is just what "needs" to get done and does not include the "wants," but I also know that somehow what needs to get done will get done! No, it won't be perfect, but it never is! That perfection is only in my head and the way that I see others' lives. In reality, they aren't perfect either, but I am able to overlook their imperfections. Why do I have such a hard time overlooking my own?

Forging ahead...finally we could all leave the house! We went to the grocery store, and I bought flowers. It was a whim and out of character for me, but somehow those flowers made it all better. I love tulips ~ tulips in the winter and daisies in the summer are my favorites. There was an arrangement in February's Southern Living that I am hoping to emulate. Will post pictures if able to do it ~ flowers are not my forte.

Okay, dinner is in the refrigerator for tomorrow and I'm off to finish a baby gift!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Baby Bibs

Hello Friends,

Bibs for babies are essential at one time or another. My favorite are made by Circo and come from Target ~ relatively inexpensive, cute, and easy to clean. However, sometimes you need something a bit dressier ~ either because you are going out or you just need a change of scenery.The above photo was the inspiration behind this creation. When Walker was born I received two super cute bibs monogrammed with his name. They were my "go to" bibs when we were leaving the house or having company. They were really cute and easy to throw in the washing machine. Bottom line ~ I might like them more than my Target standbys.
So, I've been at my machines again and this time I've created what I think is a super easy bib. I made mine with a scrap of white pique and white terry cloth for the backing. I embroidered a green cross on it. You could put a name or an applique instead of the cross.
Check out my models ~ bedhead and all. {That's why we keep a spray bottle in the bathroom with the brush.} I couldn't get a picture of just the bid because I am not a very good photographer, and I couldn't get the light to cooperate.

Of course I can't ever sit down and accomplish a task at one sitting, but if I had this bid would have taken less than an hour including the time it took to cut the pattern, embroider the cross, put it together, and attach the Velcro. I am definitely going to make some more of these jewels. I have two girly gifts I need to make. I will try to do them start to finish to give you a better idea of the time involved.
Mary Frances and I are attending a very special baby shower this weekend and I am going to wrap this sweet bib up from my sweet pea. My gift is still in the works...will try to post later.

How to make this bib...
1. trace your favorite baby bib
2. add 1/4 inch for a seam allowance
3. cut out for your pattern ~ I often use the newspaper to make my own patterns
4. cut bib out of two different fabrics
5. embellish front (or not ~ you choose)
6. stitch right sides together leaving a 1-2 inch opening for turning ~ (*tip - leave the opening on a straight edge to make it easier to close)
7. turn using bodkin to smooth seams
8. topstitch edge to create a finished look and close opening
9. stitch a square of Velcro for closure
10. Voila! Ready to wrap or wear!