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, April 25, 2011

Easter Sewing In Review

My week of Easter sewing in review...

My sewing machine and I have a love - hate relationship. I love it most of the time. That is right up until it is time to do buttonholes. Buttonholes I said! That means I am almost finished with the garment. Wrong! That is when we begin to fight and typically Mr. Pfaff wins. AHRG!!

Monday began quite nicely. I easily attached the collar and was down to a shirttail hem, buttonholes, and buttons. Should have been easy! Not so... Mr. Pfaff had other plans... Truly I spent about two hours {that I didn't have} trying to get buttonholes on Stephen's shirt for Easter. I was cranky, short with my children, near tears, and generally frustrated. So I walked away to make cupcakes and go outside with the children.

Tuesday, I took my machine in to be looked at and for help with the buttonholes. The saleslady provided some good advice. Upon arriving home the advice could not be headed ~ my machine wouldn't pick up the bobbin thread for the buttonhole stitch. I decided to carry on by asking my mom to bring her machine and move forward on Walker's outfit. Easter is coming in a hurry!

Wednesday, I worked on Walker's outfit and completed it down to the handwork for the collar. Now that's progress... The children made these bunnies to go on top of the cupcakes for Stephen's class. A perfect rainy afternoon activity!

Thursday, not much time for sewing between the pledge of allegiance, St. Luke's Board meeting, photography class, Sams run, mom arriving, and preparing pancakes. Somehow I managed to complete and attach the collar to Walker's outfit.

Friday, a quick trip to Atlanta to pick up sconces, my mom's birthday celebration, and back to those buttonholes. No luck. Now my machine will not consistently pick up the bobbin thread for any stitch. Went to bed feeling utterly defeated!

Saturday, I stitched buttonholes by hand and felt doubtful that Mary Frances was going to have a new dress to wear on Easter morning. After an early morning run to Wally World I new I at least had to try or I would be terribly mad at myself.

Sunday, a wonderful Easter! I realized the dress is for me and it is more important that we experience the significance of Easter morning. I want Mary Frances to have these pretty lacy dresses that I have always admired, and Easter is just the excuse to make the dress. In reality, it doesn't matter when the dress gets finished as long as it gets finished. And it will!

Here we are at Monday again...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Welcome Happy Morning

Welcome happy morning age to age we say...
What a happy {and fun} {and sweet} morning {and day} it has been!

I hope each of you have had the opportunity to celebrate the resurrection of our risen Lord ~ to dwell on what that means, to praise and give thanks for the hope of this glorious resurrection.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lessons Learned

Service your sewing machine!

Okay to all of you ladies out there who love to stitch up a cute garment for your child or make dreamy draperies for your home please listen up...

I don't want to sound like I'm trying to tell you what to do, but I want to save you some of the heartache I am going through right now. My sweet Mary Frances is not going to get a new Easter dress for the second year in a row in part because my sewing machine is acting up.

Please read your sewing machine manual or call the dealer and see how often your machine should be serviced. Then take a break from the machine and take it in to be serviced in order to keep it working in tip top shape.

I know none of us think we can give it up for the time it takes to be serviced nor do we want to spend the money but I can assure you mine is going in first thing Monday morning.

Friday, April 22, 2011

God Our Father

Where to begin...

First, I need to thank my mom and Frank's dad. They were troopers because this was our idea not their idea, but they helped to make it a reality. In hopes of helping our children learn how to serve others, Frank and I volunteered our family to serve breakfast for 70 women at a downtown homeless shelter.

So Thursday evening after putting the kiddos to bed, we made pancakes ~ lots of pancakes! We didn't count, but we think there were over 300. We had two electric griddles and three skillets turning them out. The men had flipping flapjacks down to a fine art. Almost upon stepping foot in the door, I put my mom to work frying six pounds of bacon so at least that done.

Friday morning we arrived downtown in time to begin serving breakfast at 6:30.
After getting all of the food and drinks ready to serve was asked the children if anyone would like to say the blessing . Stephen imediately volunteered so we all walked out the door to stand with the women and let Stephen pray for their food. I had tears in my eyes as I watched my sweet boy fold his hands, bow his head, and sing God our Father.

At that moment I realized this was what was important, and it did not matter if their Easter outfits were completed by church on Sunday morning.

A new Good Friday tradition ~ I hope!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pixels are Cheap

Today I was so blessed to be able to go to a photography class taught be someone I would love to call a friend. In reality she is an acquaintance...She is spunky, creative, outgoing, fun, and cute to boot. It was taught by Katherine Berdy of Katherine S. Berdy Photography. If you want to see her work visit her here.

I heard things I have heard before but can't ever keep straight in my head. ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed.... It's true the more you hear things the more they stick. I learned a lot!

One of the things Katherine said was that pixels are cheap. Again so true! This is why we probably all have hard drives or worse yet memory cards FULL of pictures we are never going to print. {Why is it that we can't erase those terrible ones?} It is also why Frank and I say if you take enough pictures you are sure to get a good one once in awhile. Katherine validated this point when she spoke of return rate in pictures. She had a teacher tell her once that getting 2 good shots out of 100 is a good return! Wow! Now Katherine is a professional and if I remember correctly she says she aims to get seven good shots out of ten or maybe it was three out of ten. Anyhoo, her return rate is much better than the typical mom out there photographing her kids.

She had an idea for practicing shots that I love and can't wait to try. She had a teacher tell her once ~ walk out your door, take ten steps, stop, and stand there for twenty minutes and take as many pictures as you can. What a fun way to explore different angles and try to get really creative. Hopefully I'll get to show you some fun new photographs of my kiddos in their Easter finery next week.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We've Been Offline

Last Monday, we had a little mishap in our house causing me to be without a computer throughout the week. Fortunately, I have a handy and resourceful husband, and he was able to get us back up and running. Whenever I am without a computer I realize how dependent upon this machine I have become. Sad but true!

While we were offline, we had some exciting developments at our house...

The windows were delivered, primed, and installed ~

As I watched the delivery truck drive away I realized why we chose the windows that we did!

Just Kidding!

Some stone was delivered~
We can't wait to see it going up on the house!

We took a family outing to a Baron's game ~

Stephen made a new friend ~ the catcher gave him a ball!

Betsy's first live sporting event!

Mary Frances ran her second mile race ~

Oh what a difference 3/4 of a mile makes...

but she ran the entire way! That was her goal!

I hope each and every one of you has a blessed Holy Week.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Easy Breasy Peanut Butter Cookies

Do you ever say that in your house? We often say "easy breasy" when something is completed more quickly or easily than the children anticipated. Cheesy but effective particularly when there has been much complaining over completing a task.
Today I want to share with you an easy breasy recipe that I first tried just before Christmas. We were having an impromptu hamburger dinner with friends and I needed a quick dessert but I wasn't really in the mood for my "go to" recipe {i.e., chocolate chip}. I have been wanting to share this recipe since then because they were super easy and yummy, but I haven't have any pictures to accompany a post. The recipe is for Peanut Butter Cookies! They are truly what I consider to be the easiest and tastiest cookies around. The best part is that they only require four ingredients { you probably already have in your pantry} and they don't require a mixer. They are quickly becoming my "go to" cookie recipe which means they are replacing Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies.

So with out further ado, here's the recipe:

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir ingredients in a medium size bowl until completely mixed. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet. Press flat with a fork. Bake at 350 10-15 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Makes about 2 dozen depending on your cookie size.

To make them a bit differently add 1 cup chocolate chips prior to mixing the dough.

Warning: they don't last long ~ you might want to double or even triple the recipe.

An aside:
Back in February, I realized the merit of posting recipes on my blog. We were going to the lake for the weekend, and at the last minute Frank asked me to make this strawberry shortcake for dessert. Well I forgot! Yes, that means I forgot to check the recipe and I forgot to gather the ingredients. It wasn't a big deal, and we certainly could have done without. However, once we got to the lake it turned out someone needed to run into town for something so I was able to check my archives to find out exactly what I needed to make the dessert. Since then I have wanted to be more diligent in posting recipes, however we are usually doing well to get a recipe prepped, prepared, and to the table. Often taking pictures just aren't in the cards.

So back to those cookies...Why were we making cookies? Why in the world did I need to triple the recipe?

We took pizza, peanut butter cookies, and drinks to the workmen at the house and we are having company for dinner tonight.

I hope you and yours have a wonderful spring weekend!