Monday, March 31, 2008

50th Post!

50 things: (More lists!)

Eliza Belle
  1. Rolled from her back to her front today. Finally! I was beginning to worry.

  2. Has worn something other than jammies the last two Sundays. Still in jammies at home.

  3. Hates her car seat, but that's okay. We live less than 5 min. from most anywhere we go.

  4. Smiliest baby we've had ... unless you try to take her picture. :-)

  5. Thinks her sisters are hilarious. (I think so, too, but for different reasons.)

  6. Likes to chew on her bottom lip.

  7. Sucks her thumb, but only when she's lying down.

  8. Doesn't have any eyebrows. Those are shadows in that picture.

  9. Sleeps on her stomach.

  10. If one more person tells me that she doesn't look anything like the rest of us, I'm going to slap them. (In my mind, of course.)

Madeline Claire

  1. Asks to go to the potty, toots on it, wipes her booty, gets off and proceeds to tinkle in the floor. This happens daily.

  2. Passes windies at the dinner table and says, "What was that?" every time. Do you see a theme here?

  3. Prefers her Daddy, her Papa, and her Grand-dad. (Ah, that explains it ...)

  4. Has a big imagination.

  5. Likes to paint and will tell you exactly what she is painting. Today it was flowers with polka-dots.

  6. Loves her friends "Es" (Ellis) and "Larn" (Lauren).

  7. Sings as she goes about her day, sings herself to sleep. My brother used to do that.

  8. Wears her rain boots with everything.

  9. Timid when it comes to physical things such as climbing and sliding.

  10. Walked early, but still tends to fall down several times a day.

Sophie Jane

  1. Walked at 9 months and has been super coordinated ever since.

  2. Not timid in the slightest when it comes to physical things, but is really shy around people.

  3. Changes her clothes several times a day.

  4. Has been picking out and putting together her own outfits since she was about 18 months old. (For real. Before she had the words, she would point and growl.)

  5. Loves, loves, loves knee socks.

  6. Extremely literal. If you ask her what she is painting, she usually says, "paint".

  7. Favorite store is Home Depot.

  8. Interested in my sewing projects; I think because sewing is very literal and she can see how everything is put together. She loves puzzles, too, for the same reason.

  9. Prefers her Nana and her Grammy.

  10. Wants to marry her Daddy. Says Maddie can marry Mr. Kevin. :-)

Danna Lyn (Boring me)

  1. Favorite color: yellow

  2. Favorite movie: White Christmas

  3. Favorite song: Son of a Preacher Man

  4. Favorite worship song: Days of Elijah (the Southwest fight song)

  5. Favorite t.v. show: Project Runway, Dancing with the Stars

  6. Favorite hobby: hmmm....

  7. Favorite new hobby: I think maybe running! But, I'm still bad at it.

  8. Favorite memory: summers - both of my parents were in education, so we had lots of family time

  9. Favorite phrase: oh, stars

  10. Favorite muppet: Fozzie Bear

Jeffrey Wayne

  1. Plays pick-up basketball every Monday night.

  2. Has asthma, but you would never know it.

  3. Really nice singing voice, but again you would never know it.

  4. 8 inches taller than me.

  5. Loves him some Popeyes chicken.

  6. Doesn't drink coffee. What?!?!

  7. Director of NEA Clinic Physical Therapy. Loves being a therapist.

  8. Serves as a deacon in the Connect and Serve ministry at church.

  9. Built quite a bit of our furniture.

  10. Was "Chief Big Tracks" at ASU. I'd show you a picture, but I value my marriage.

There you go. You are now 50 things smarter.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Alright, after attending not one, but two baby showers today, I feel compelled to talk about something I feel is hugely important- buying handmade.

Now, you know I love to make stuff, but this is not a commercial for me. I don't sell the stuff I make. (For reasons that could fill a whole other post!) This is for those talented stay-at-home-moms out there, who do this to make a little on the side.

Think about your favorite gifts that you have received. Maybe it was a birthday present, or a wedding or baby gift. Or maybe it was just because. If you didn't ask for that favorite gift specifically, chances are it was your favorite because someone made it with only you in mind.

Some of the gifts that people were oo-ing and ah-ing about at the showers today were personalized wipes covers, embroidered towels, and sweet little hand-sewn rompers. (Well, okay, except for me who was drooling over every little bit of baby boy paraphernalia. But, again, a whole other post...) The question everyone kept asking was, "Who made this?"
So, the reasons are many:
  • you support your local mommy economy
  • your money is well-spent (you know you are getting your $ worth)
  • the recipient loves the gift (and isn't that what we all want?)

See? Win, win, win! Here are a list of people who make beautiful hand-made goods: Amy Barrett, Amy Griffin, Jamie Stahl, Kristi Barnett (local who does my pleating).

Sorry to be obnoxious about this, but I feel so very strongly that this is a good thing! End of commercial.

Well okay, since we are on the topic of talented mommies, Amy and Jenny make cakes that belong in magazines! For real, end of commercial.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Show it Saturday - t-shirt

Here is something super simple to do with your kiddos. We used some baby t-shirts (but any size will work!). Inspiration: Pottery Barn Kids.

First, I washed them.

Then I drew some shapes on sheets of felt (25 cents at the Hobby Lobby).

Sophie cut the shapes out and then I just stitched them onto the shirt.

There was no interfacing or glue or ironing, so it is really soft. Just pin them to the shirt and stitch like you are sewing a button. Then take the pins out. :-) Voila!!!! Custom t-shirt for a couple bucks!

I let her pick what shapes to do, so we have an elephant, a bird, a giraffe (which looks more like a dinosaur. I'm not so good at the drawing!) and a square with an "E" for Eliza. Felt is surprisingly easy to cut with her little safety scissors. I did even out some of the jaggedy edges, though.

They were so easy, I'm going to let Maddie do some next time I go to Hobby Lobby.

They would make cute baby gifts!

We've washed them several times and the dye in the felt doesn't bleed onto the shirt nor does it shrink or pucker.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Something frustrating:

Our neighbors are putting there firebird in the car show this weekend, and they were out revving the engine at 6:45 in the a.m. . Let me tell you, nothing is scarier to some little girls than a big old noise right outside their window. Mass screaming ensued. Why am I being so whiny? Because, Friday is my only day that we don't have to get up and get somewhere. Friday is sacred, folks. Sigh. And, boo hoo. Sigh some more ...

Something sweet:

Sophie and Maddie ran smack into each other today. They hit so hard it knocked them both down. Still lying on the ground, Maddie's first words were, "Sophie, you okay?". Oh, that girl. She is totally forgiven for the tantrum in Wal-mart yesterday.

Something weird:

Jeff got home today bearing pound cake, which I heart. He says, "How much do you love me?" Sophie pipes up from the other room with "five!". Maybe we should stop asking questions in her presence.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Oh, X-Box Wife, you should know that I can't resist a list! The point is to make a list of 13. Confession is good for the soul, so here's my list:

13 Confessions

  1. I have very immature eating habits. I still like spaghettios and Kool-aid.

  2. Sometimes I laugh when my little ladies break windies.

  3. My favorite shoes came from Limited Too. For real. My girls don't even shop there.

  4. I have a love/hate relationship with reality t.v.

  5. I am the slowest runner in my running class.

  6. I ate dessert tonight even though I didn't finish my supper.

  7. Maddie mispronounces a lot of words and we don't always correct her, because we think it's cute. For example: she calls pickles ... tickles and she calls popsicles ... pickles. Go figure. Cute, though.

  8. I've never done any mission work with my husband. Not even stateside.

  9. I'm 4 weeks behind in my ladies' Bible study.

  10. I drive my van until I'm running on fumes.

  11. Several times I have repeated dirty jokes because I didn't get them.

  12. I don't like to pray in front of people.

  13. I may have said to you that I like surprises, but I don't.

Ah, that does feel good.

WAVE STITCH (Baby or Half-space)

Back to the smocking! The next stitch we will work on is a variation on the cable stitch, but instead of stitching in a straight line, we will add one little step to make it look like a wave (hence the name!)
Step 1: find your middle "thread knot"marker

Step 2: Look at your pattern. Does it say begin on the guide thread, or does it say begin half-way between two guide threads? Mine says to begin at the half-way point, so I will bring my needle through there.

(Note - we will be stitching 1/2 the space between guide threads. That is why it is sometimes known as the "half-space wave")

Step 3: Make a "down cable". (The down cable is one straight stitch with the thread "down" below the needle.) Remember! The first stitch is always over 2 pleats, then every stitch after that is one pleat at a time.

Step 4: Instead of making your next stitch in a straight line, take your needle up half a space on the next pleat over, keeping your thread "down" below the needle again. (Sort of like a long down cable).

Step 5: Make an "up cable" (The up cable is a straight stitch with the thread "up" above the needle. Step 6: Now we are going to stitch back down to the row we started, with the thread "up" above the needle. (Like a long or slanted up cable).

There you go! You have just made a baby wave! Isn't it pretty? Now we just repeat!

Remember to ask me questions!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Praise God!

I've been struggling with self-doubt lately in regards to my spiritual life. My failures in regards to spiritual matters. I feel like I am a weak pray-er and I've fallen way behind on my ladies' Bible study. It's frustrating when you feel like it's something you should and could fix, but you find all these reasons not to.

All day today, the song "When the Night is Falling" has been running through my head. When Sophie was just weeks old, she was diagnosed with the dreaded colic. It was just she and I at home all day and she would just scream and scream. Some days I would just hold her and cry too and sing, "how I love you child, I love you". Over and over. It was our theme song. No matter how long we would sit there, crying, I still loved her so much.

So, the entire day, I've been thinking about that time and, more specifically that song. Then, tonight, we sang that song at church. I immediately began crying. In church, y'all. Danna doesn't do that.

Now, you can take this story any way you want, but I believe God was comforting me. He was reminding me of where I am not a failure. Praising in song comes natural.

Unforgettable moments of praise to me:

  • singing "Hand in Hand" after my baptism, crying but not really understanding
  • my mom singing "He gave me a Song" (pretty much my entire childhood)
  • the Sunday night devos my freshman year at Harding in the lobby of the admin. building
  • the Sunday morning at Downtown (happy clappy) that when the service was over, the entire congregation erupted into spontaneous applause
  • hearing "I Will Praise You in This Storm" for the first time at the Casting Crowns concert

All of these moments were so special. And tonight God reminded me that to be able to praise is a gift He gave us. I cannot explain to you the feeling of comfort/euphoria I am experiencing right now. I feel like I just got back from a youth rally!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

10 Things Tuesday

XBOX Wife Ten Things Tuesday
Tutorials have been moved to Thursdays. I love the thankful list too much!

  1. I pushed myself during my running class. Sure, it was yesterday, but I'm feeling it today.

  2. Sophie got to go back to school today. (And see Mrs. Kelly, the Final Authority on All Things. Well, according to my child.)

  3. Getting to hold Mads as she cried for Sophie during naptime. Tuesdays are rough because she has to nap alone. It was nice that I could comfort her.

  4. I wore my tie-dyed t-shirt today! Hated by my family, beloved by me! Did I mention I'm a little backward when it comes to fashion?

  5. These pillows on soulemama. I just might be inspired to make something other than little girl dresses...

  6. When I held Eliza up to burp her today, she turned her head and gave my face a huge lick. I know, gross, right? But it gave me a Big Laugh, and who isn't thankful for a Big Laugh?

  7. I perused Liz's Blog - Mabel's House, today. I recommend it. Especially to you interior designer types. Just beautiful. Andria, her style made me think of you...

  8. Heard from not one, but two old friends today!

  9. Saw my friend Barrett, today. The phrase "breath of fresh air"? personified.

  10. The Kitty Skirt. Without it, what would Sophie wear to water her flowers?

Thanks X-Box Wife! I've started doing this mentally every day!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Manicure Monday

My girls are obsessed with having their nails painted. (Well, really just nail polish in general. I have to hide it.) Yesterday, I told Sophie we would paint her nails for church, but, surprise surprise, we ran out of time. I kept putting her off all day, trying to get stuff done. (Housework had been neglected in favor of finishing Easter dresses.)

Last night about midnight she wakes up screaming. Jeff gets up with her. When he gets back, he asks me, "Um, did you promise Sophie you would paint her nails?" I told you, she's obsessed.

This morning, Jeff had the day off and was eating breakfast with the girls. I am feeding Eliza when Sophie asks me again to please paint her nails. As soon as I am finished, I promise.

Evidently, she doesn't trust me. 10 minutes later she comes in with one hand and foot painted red, one hand and foot painted pink. Mads too. Just the way they like it.

Their daddy is the best.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter photos!

The picture of the older two was taken before church. I didn't put Eliza's dress on her until we were heading out the door, because she is such a little spitter.

Group photo after church. Sorry about the askew bow and drooly chin on Eliza, but it was the only one where she was looking up at the camera.

I have a new appreciation for single parents. Jeff's at the NCAA tournament and we are missing him!

It's Our Anniversary!

Those of you with weak stomachs, LOOK AWAY! This could get mushy. :-)
In honor of our 6th anniversary, the following are 6 things I love that were discovered after we were married, or

6 Reasons I Would Marry Jeff All Over Again:

  1. No matter how short is hair is, he still gets bed-head every morning.
  2. He's such a talented carpenter! My favorite pieces of furniture are the ones he builds.
  3. He really, really, really loves his job and works hard at it. (He worked hard before we were married, but didn't love his job...)
  4. He acts like I am the best seamstress he has ever seen and encourages my sewing obsession.
  5. He looks like a prince from one of the Disney princess movies. (Yeah, I know, probably all wives think this about their husbands.) I hadn't been drowning in all these Disney images when we got married; so, of course, I found him handsome, just not prince-like. :-)
  6. He is a complete natural at fatherhood. And he loves it. This is one of the best gifts God has ever given me.

Okay, I'm done! Hope your nausea goes away by dinnertime. Hee!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Show it off Saturday

Well, it's 10:30 and I finally finished the girls' dresses. Next time I get a wild hair and decide to make 3 bishop dresses in a tiny amount of time, slap me across the face. Too much hand-sewing to do in a hurry.

Here they are. I had to put the bows in there because I got lucky and found bows to match exactly. No, I didn't make the bows. I feel a little sinful because I just spent so much on them. Definitely not good stewardship of our money. However, Jamie is about to teach me how to make them. It's going to totally turn my life around. :-)

Thanks for all the input on my shoe delimma. It worked so well, I'm thinking about taking it to the blog every time I have a crisis of fashion. Some of you who know me well are afraid that this means it will be a daily thing. I say to you, "Could be..."

Friday, March 21, 2008

I Heart Dustyn

I had a date tonight with my sister. We've never done anything together just the two of us. At least not since she was older. Is it because we don't get along? On the contrary! I adore her. Our situation is just a little unusual.
  • I was 16 when she was born. She was 11 when Sophie was born. She's closer in age to my children.
  • I left for college before she was two.
  • We've never really looked alike. That may not seem like much, but sisters like to resemble each other, usually.
  • Up to this point, she's felt more like a favorite niece or a cousin.

Tonight, though, we had the best time. We laughed, she made fun of me (in that way only 15 year olds can), we bought shoes. On the whole, it was fabulous. I felt younger; I think she felt older. And we definitely felt like sisters.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Time To Myself

Had a little me time tonight. The point was to find some new shoes to wear for Easter. I have some navy blue pants with a little pin stripe that are really pretty, but I don't know what color shoes to wear with them. I'm so backward when it comes to fashion. :-)
First stop: Shoe Carnival. The sales persons wouldn't let me be, and I was afraid they might see my unpainted toes. So although they had some pretty shoes, I left.
Next stop: TJ Maxx. Nothing cute for a size 9. (yeah, I know. 5 foot 4 and a size 9 foot. it is fairly ridiculous. I wear a size 10 when I'm pregnant.) Got some cute baby gifts for Ami and Michelle, though.
Then: Old Navy. didn't go for their shoes, it was just right beside TJ Maxx and I had a 15% coupon.
Last: Target. because they had Barbie Mariposa on sale.
Then it was time to go home for bedtime prayers with the little ones.
I can waste time like nobody's business. And, I still didn't get any shoes. ( I got a little distracted from TJ Maxx on.)
Any ideas about what shoes go with navy? And please don't say navy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Am Really Letting Myself Go...

What a sad day it was...

The girls and I were out running errands today. Stopped by the bank. Got Sonic slushies. Went to Wal-Mart to get formula. As we got to Wal-Mart I realized something. I was still wearing my houseshoes. Not little slippers, either. Big fuzzy blue houseshoes.

Several questions went through my mind:

  • What could have been so urgent that I couldn't take the time to put on decent footwear?

  • Oh no, what if this is actually the real me, and not the frazzled stay-at-home-mom version?

  • If my husband were to have seen me like this before we were married, would he have given me a second glance? (don't want to think about that one!)

  • If I went ahead and shopped in these, do you think anyone would notice?

That's when I realized I needed some help!

Now, I should have seen this coming. I've been going down this path for some time, making excuses all the way. I rarely wear make-up. (Hey, some people think freckles are cute!)

Don't always get a decent shower. (Well, that's what ball caps are for, am I right?)

Wear houseshoes to Wal-Mart. (Um, I guess I'm just losing it.)

To make matters worse, I went into the playroom today and at first couldn't find my own kid!

Just one of those days, I guess.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ten Things Tuesday

No tutorial today! Gotta finish those Easter dresses or this Sunday my girls will be going to church nekkid. (not that they would mind)

Today I am thankful for:
  1. Hot showers
  2. Madeline in Paris DVD (so I could work on said Easter dresses)
  3. that I had extra needles when the one in my machine broke
  4. Jammie days
  5. We raised the windows today and turned off heat and air!
  6. my husband is folding the clothes
  7. reimbursement check came in
  8. no sore-ness from running yesterday (maybe cause I didn't put forth much effort?)
  9. Maddie had no significant boo-boos today
  10. DANCING WITH THE STARS!!!!!!!!!! OH YEAH!!!!!!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Oh, they're Cousins...

Picture this: 5 kids, 2 nights, 1 house. Translation: lots of laughs, wound-up toddlers, exhausted adults. We got to spend time with my Lovely niece and Adorable nephew over the weekend (and Antie and Uncle Ryan, of course). I always thought kids were kids, but that's not exactly true. Girls are girls, and boys are most definitely boys.
My 2 year old nephew is hilarious. We got him some plastic dinosaurs for his birthday (so much for my handmade pledge, huh), and he carried one around in each hand for the rest of the day. Now, that's not really gender specific. What is all boy is what he did with the dinosaurs. Now, remember, I have 3 girls. Our toys dance and kiss and get snuggled. These dinosaurs fought constantly and went around the house growling, "DINOSAURS!" That's probably not that funny to those of you who have boys, but for me I thought it was hysterical. It's like he's from a completely different planet (one where they fight and growl a lot).

Here's the only picture I could get of all five of them. Cousin pow-wow. No adults allowed.

Here's what they were doing most of the time. Girls twirling, boy stomping.

And one for those of you who thought Sophie's hair was curly, may I present my niece Abby, owner of the prettiest curls you'll ever see. (And yes, there is a pretty face under there somewhere...)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Scream Fest '08

Well, it took us about 2 hours to drive to Jeff's parents' house. Eliza cried for about 1 hr and 30 minutes of that. Nothing worked. Our children have never been of the "deep sleep in the car" school of napping, but MAN this was rough. Jeff is convinced she set a record of some sort. So, to keep our minds occupied with something other than our screaming baby, we started coming up with things that this situation made us thankful for.
  • Her lungs are healthy enough to have screaming fits.
  • Our ears are able to hear the screams, because that means we also get to hear her laugh.
  • Since we have had at least one baby traveling with us for the past (almost) 4 years we are getting the "screaming baby in the car" phase over in one clump.
  • We now have a greater appreciation for silence.
  • The older two seemed to be oblivious to the drama, so engrossed they were in the adventures of Dora and the mermaids.
  • We're so glad God gave her to us, and if that means our ears are ringing by the end of a trip, so be it.

My biggest fear in parenting is that I'll get so consumed with something I find almost intolerable (baby travel) that I'll forget to notice all the things that are so wonderful.

Friday, March 14, 2008

10 Things

I know, I know. You're supposed to be doing these lists on Tuesday. Whoops! I'm very bad with time. All my days are a blur of diapering and crying and feeding and laughing and, if I'm lucky, a little sleeping here and there. Better late than never...

10 Things I am thankful for today:

  1. Phonecalls from the hubby throughout the day. It's nice to be thought of.

  2. Portable DVD players. We're going to the big Mountain View for the weekend. It's only about 2 1/2 hrs. away but the girls just can't handle it without a little Barbie cinema!

  3. That my in-laws didn't have any major damage during the 5 tornados that hit Mountain View about a month ago. They were very lucky.

  4. Make-up. I should probably wear this more often.

  5. Hot chocolate, hot tea, hot coffee. See a theme here? I have a sore throat.

  6. These shoes. Sophie told me to throw them away today. They are broken, she says. They've been good to us, I say. Only seven dollars and let's face it, since they are hot pink, they go with just about everything in her closet.

  7. My semi-new (Christmas) serger. My seams have had an extreme makeover.

  8. That we have a deck to play on when the backyard is all wet and mushy.

  9. Seeing my brother yesterday. Law school + Texas = never getting to see him. The girls haven't stopped talking about "Uncle Danny" all day!

  10. Three little girls in three years. I know it's cliche' to say this, but God gave me just what I needed, instead of what I thought I wanted. What a blessing they are to me. And what a blessing they are to each other!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I think I'm confusing you, my darlings, so I'm going slower today. (Because, if you are confused, it is my fault. Smocking is easy!)

Find the center of your pleated fabric by looking for your marker (thread knot). (photo 1)

Next, I'm going to look at my pattern to find the row I am to begin on.

My pattern calls for an outline stitch (today's lesson) on row 1.

So, I find row 1(the very top row) on my fabric. (photo 2)

Taking my needle to the back, I am going to poke it through in the center valley. (photo 3)

Next look at your pattern. If your pattern tells you to use an outline stitch, it will say up cable or down cable. If it doesn't say, you can pick one!

If it says up cable, make sure the thread stays above the needle. (photo 4)

If it says down cable, make sure the thread stays below the needle. (photo 5)

Mine says down cable, so I will begin with my thread below the needle.

For the first stitch, you need to stitch over 2 pleats. (photo 6)

The OUTLINE STITCH is just a down cable or up cable repeated for the entire row. For example: my pattern says down cable for the outline stitch so instead of alternating like we did for the cable stitch, I will always keep my thread below my needle. (photo 7)

The end result should look like twisted rope. Ask me questions!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Disclaimer: I will pick back up with the smocking tutorial tomorrow. It took longer than I thought it would to get all the photos lined up in the right spots (and the blogger dudes decided I didn't need as many photos as I wanted). Point is, I was working on it during family time, and I promised myself when I started this blog to only work on it during feeding times or after the girls were asleep. Let's see, one month in and already breaking that rule! Not good. So, tomorrow is mother's day out day for Mads and school for Sophie. That will give me plenty of time to fight with it! :-) If there is something you don't understand, please ask!

Something I learned from Maddie this week: the wheels on the bus do indeed go round and round all day long. I think it's time to teach her a new song...
Something I learned from Eliza this week: formula diapers = very, very bad smell.

Yesterday morning I was feeding Eliza her bottle when Sophie woke up. She walked in, took a good look at me, and then ran over and gave me a big hug.

"What's up, Hon?" says me.

"Oh, Mommy! Eliza's not chewin' on your boobies anymore!" says Sophie.

Always looking out for her Mommy, that girl. I just love her. :-)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Look Down!

For some reason the smocking tutorial was posted below the music discussion. Sorry!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Music Advice

Well, I was going to begin the smocking tutorial today; but Mr. Blogger won't let me put pictures on here. Instead I'm going to ask for some help for a friend of mine. She commutes with her almost 3 yr old twins about an hour (one way). She is in dire need of some new music for them! Any suggestions?
Here are the Ramsey girls' current favorites:
  • Old School Elvis (Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock, etc.)
  • Soundtracks (Mary Poppins, Annie, and Sound of Music. I'm not kidding. They can totally rock out to some "Doe a Deer")
  • Kid's Dance Party (Kids singing songs that have dances that go with them. Think Macarena, Electric Slide)
  • 100 Sunday School Songs
  • Sly and the Family Stone Greatest Hits

What are your kids listening to?

Let's Get Smocking! - CABLE STITCH

The first thing we will do is thread the needle. Almost all the smocking you will ever do will use 3 strands. If the pattern wants you to use a different # of strands, it will specifically say. If it doesn't say, use 3. From now on, when I refer to the thread, I'm referring to the 3 strands.

I usually begin with about a yard of thread. You can use more or less - just remember that the more thread you use, the easier it is to get tangled. Thread all 3 strands through the eye of the needle and pull through until the ends are almost even, (You want one end to be longer, as in cross-stitch). Tie a knot in the longer end.


You will always smock from left to right, and you will always begin in the middle of the fabric. (If you are left handed, you will smock right to left). To find the middle, fold the pleated fabric in half (photo 1). Take your needle and pull it through where the fabric folds. You should have a knot on one side now. Tie the other side in a knot and cut it off. Now you should have a visual aid to tell you where you are to begin each time.(photo 2)

All the smocking patterns I have used begin with a cable stitch. The pattern will tell you which row to begin on. You will use the gathering threads as your guide to keep your rows straight. During stitching, your needle should always be parallel with your guide thread.


Thread alternates below and above the needle, stitching just the top of each pleat. Take your needle to the back of your fabric and pull it through on the row you will begin on, remembering to start in the middle.(photo 2) The first stitch you make will always cover 2 pleats, after that, you will stitch one at a time.

DOWN CABLE: the thread is "down" below the needle (photo 2)

UP CABLE: The thread is "up" above the needle (photo 3)

Go back and forth (down cable, up cable, down cable, etc. ) until you come to about a half inch from the end, re threading if necessary. (photo 4) When you come to the end of the row, pull your needle through to the back and tie a knot. Turn your fabric upside down, pull the needle up one pleat to the left of the middle, and beginning with a stitch over 2 pleats, repeat everything that you just did all the way to the other end.(photo 5)

If you began with a down cable, when you flip it over, you will begin with a down cable also.


  • The first stitch is over 2 pleats. After that, it is one pleat at a time. Down cable, up cable

  • Your needle should always point towards the middle.

  • Your needle should stay parallel to your gathering threads.
  • Stitch just the top of the pleats. You shouldn't touch the guide thread with your stitches.
  • Any questions, just ask!
  • Yes, I do need a manicure. Sorry!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Today we dyed Easter eggs. And then hunted them in our living room. And then ate them. Don't say, "yuck". I bet you did it when you were a little kid. (although it was kinda nasty, come to think of it...)

Interesting stuff: the 30 day encouragement challenge. Locals - we really needed this last summer when we were studying Power of a Praying Wife. It calls us to empower our spouses by not saying anything negative to them or about them. There's a link to it on Dallas' blog. I'd post a link but I've got the lazies today. I would have started the challenge today, but I am pms-ing. Sorry, honey. Next week I am gonna be so sweet ...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Show it off Saturday!

Here is my project from the week. I made these little sundresses out of some green toile. Super easy. No buttons, zippers, or facings. There is one for each child, but the only clear picture was of one, so mulitply it by three for the full effect.

We also had about 24 hours of snow. Here are the results! Daddy and the girls' project for the week is a little snow troll. I didn't get a good picture of it. Just imagine a triangle with a face. And, if you can't tell, Sophie is wearing a dress over her snow clothes.

Now, I don't know if it's because I am back on the caffeine, but all the blog posts out there have been pretty hysterical this week. The best thing about this new blogiverse I've found is that I feel like maybe my life is not quite so crazy after all.

And then I see this photo ...