Thursday, December 29, 2016

Moving In!

We haven't celebrated Christmas yet, that's tomorrow, but I've already had Christmas! The addition is finished!

Bathroom is complete. I was rinsing a fake plant if you noticed the odd thing in the shower.

DH was sitting by the "fire". It's an electric fireplace, but it does have an optional heater. 

DH wants a quilt on this bed ASAP, but we'll see how that goes. For now, I'm OK with the vintage style bedspread. It's made in the USA, which is hard to find these days.

Finally, this is my new sewing area! I could hardly bring myself to sew in our last bedroom, because it was so cramped I felt claustrophobic. I'm thinking this will be better. I'll still miss having a sewing room, but with a house this full, I'm just happy for this sewing corner. I think having my ironing station up is going to make things much easier. 

I am so excited to be in our new room before the New Year! Maybe things will be better in 2017, 2016 has been a really hard year. I'm certainly having a nice start in our new addition! Happy New Year to all, may we all have a better year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Getting Closer

The closer the addition gets to completion, the more antsy I get to move into it! Waiting was easier when it didn't look like a room. 

This is the ceramic tile flooring I chose for the hall and bath. It looks like wood, but it's not so it's safe for wet areas. 

DS the Younger is in town on leave, and we got him to help DH to put up the wall mural I wanted! I just might need a sound machine to play forest sounds in my new retreat ;-)

The bathroom is coming along now. The sink and vanity are in, but the plumbing isn't connected. The medicine cabinet and light are up. The towel bars are hung. Basically we are down to plumbing, carpeting, and masonry, as our chimney needs to be made three feet taller. 

We bought an electric media fireplace to place on the wall opposite the mural. DD#2 thought it was hilarious we did that. She said we put a fake forest on one wall, and a fake fireplace on the opposite wall to burn it down! I saw her point, but I told her I looked at it as luxury camping. 

It looks like it will take until the end of next week to get the addition finished, because of the holidays.

On Sunday we had all the wives and grandkids here at the house. We were missing a couple of the men, but were very thankful to have as many of the family around as we did. 

We didn't celebrate Christmas that day, because three of these grandkids are waiting anxiously for their daddy to arrive from South Africa tomorrow. DD#1 and her three kids have been separated from him for 2 months while he was waiting for his American visa to come through. Now all of his paperwork is in order, and he'll be joining them to start their new lives in the USA! We won't be celebrating Christmas until the 30th, so he'll even have some time to get over jet lag. 

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, no matter which holiday you celebrate!

Sunday, December 11, 2016


Still no sewing in this house! Right now we've got six grandkids in the house since one of our DDIL is visiting! One two year old, two four year olds, two five year olds, and one seven year old! Let the games begin!

Who can resist a bubble machine in the backyard?

This is my living room right now. I came downstairs to blog while they are busy watching a movie!

Right now it's all about people, and just keeping up with all of that is an adventure!

We've now got a nice slab of concrete behind the addition. DH is thinking this will be a nice spot to work on his scooters!

The addition has been painted inside and out. I like the silvery gray color, and the ceiling fan is UP!

The stucco is painted now. I took this pic before they took all the paper down off the windows and brick. I chose a color as close to the siding color as I could get, that pale yellow. No more trenches though the side yard now that the plumbing is in, and they filled the huge holes in the driveway that had to be made to connect to the sewers. The addition is getting closer to being done!

I'm finished with the Christmas shopping, but I keep having to buy things for the addition. Yesterday I ordered a custom window shade, today I ordered curtains and  curtain rod. We ordered an electric media fireplace for the addition. It can hold the TV, has storage space for some DVD's, an electric fireplace to set a relaxing mood and it can be a heater or we can have the flames with no heat! We are really aiming to make a room a retreat from the chaos.

DH really wants a quilt I made on our bed, but the one on our bed currently is shredding, not to mention the fact it won't match the new room. I have one about half quilted that was supposed to be for our bed, but it's not a great match for our new room either. I give away quilts faster than I make them, so I just don't have extra quilts lying around. For now, I ordered an old fashioned chenille bedspread to go on our bed in the new room, and I'm debating on ideas for a new quilt to make for the new room. The quilt on our bed now, I'm going to cut down to throw size, and that way I can salvage most of it. It was made from fabrics I bought in Hawaii on our 25th anniversary trip. We've been married almost 33 years, so it's been on our bed for several years now. 

At any rate, I'll have to decide what look I want in our new room, and go from there on quilt design. At least I'll be thinking quilty thoughts, even without time to sew!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had planned to have our Thanksgiving celebration a couple weeks ago with lots of extra people, and Mr LJ's arrival nixed those plans. DH is working today, as he does on most holidays being an Emergency Room nurse. We ended up having a smaller version of Thanksgiving last night, with only 11 in attendance. For anyone who thinks 11 is a lot, remember, right now there are 9 people living here, so 11 is only two extras!

This has been a really hard year, but there is still so much to be thankful for! DS the Elder got married this year, and by doing so brought another grandchild and a new daughter into the family. Mr LJ was born adding yet another grandchild. DD#1's family moving to the USA really caught us by surprise, but I'm so thankful to have them closer instead of on the other side of the world. We're praying her husband will be here by Christmas! The hard parts of this year have been really hard, and they aren't over yet, but still I see blessings all around.

Today, since we didn't have anything celebratory to do, I broke out some Punch balloons for the grandkids. The weather is great!

I sewed long enough to repair a pair of pants, but that's as far as I got. 

The builder's are moving along on the addition.

This photo was taken looking in the exterior door to the master suite. Drywall is up!

Looking down the master suite hallway, you can see the door opening to the bathroom on the right, as well as the opening to the kitchen to the left of that. That area you can see tile shows how far into the house we moved the doorway. That tile is from the kitchen, we moved the doorway in towards the house almost three feet, to allow for the master bath doorway to be where we wanted it. 

The shower is installed in the master bath. It's the same style shower we had installed in the upstairs master bath, and we loved it, so we bought another one. Tile showers are pretty, but the fiberglass ones are MUCH easier to clean. I like easy. The shower is 36x60 inches, so a nice sized shower for a master suite.

I leave for Phoenix on Sunday, and I'll be gone about two weeks. I doubt I'll blog while I'm gone, I'll be too busy getting cuddles from Mr. LJ and helping DD#2 around the house. I'm anxious to see what gets done on the addition while I'm gone!

I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving, and whether life is hard or going well for you right now, may you always see blessings!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Newest Grandson

DD#2 had her baby! I am so excited to show you pics of Lincoln James! After this, he will be referred to as Mr. LJ, since I already have a grandson I refer to as Mr. L. (Why do I use terms like DD#2 or DSIL or Mr LJ when referring to my family? The first is a privacy issue, this is my blog, and not my kids' blog, so I try to give them a certain amount of anonimity. The other is much more basic. I have five kids, four of which are married, I have 8 grandchildren. If I used their names, you'd never be able to keep track who I was talking about!)

I got to hold him when he was less than a day old!

One of the few pics of him awake!

Most of the time he's a sleepy baby!

He weighed 6 lbs 8 oz, which isn't bad for being three weeks early. He is 19 inches long. Most importantly, he and Mama are both doing well!

I know I haven't been blogging much. I mostly use this as a quilting blog, and I have had no time to sew anything! We've got nine people living here, and that alone is enough to keep me busy. Add in holiday preparations, construction on the house, a new grandbaby, and everything else that's going on, and my head is spinning!

DD#3 got a new (to her) car! Her SUV was on it's last days, and this car is low mileage, so hopefully will serve her well for several years.

The addition is coming along. The stucco will be going up on the outside soon. The electrical inspection and plumbing inspection was today, and it passed with no problems, so hopefully we'll see drywall going up inside soon!

We've remodeled several rooms over the years, but this is our first experience with an addition. SOOOO many decisions to make! I'm used to choosing paint and tile, but being asked where do you want all your outlets, how many switches do you want to which lights and such are completely new questions to me. I'm pretty stressed with all the construction going on, and I'll be so happy when it's done, but I am also getting really excited about our new bedroom. It is all coming together to be much nicer than I expected at the beginning. The electrician suggested some changes would have never occurred to me. The framer and I ended up coming up with an idea to add a second closet without taking any square footage out of the main space. The bathroom is larger than I thought it would be, that storage room we're turning into a bathroom has been so full of stuff the whole time we've lived here, I never realized how large it was. The bedroom itself is also larger than I originally thought we'd be able to have. As far as decorating goes, I'm going gray on most things, which is a little odd for me, but the shades I chose just seem restful to me. 

I'll be going up to help DD#2 care for baby Lincoln when her husband has to go back to work. Since she had to have a c-section, recovery could be slow. I am frantically trying to finish my Christmas shopping and wrapping before I go up to Phoenix for a couple weeks. I'm one stocking short for Christmas, and I'm debating trying to bring the stuff up to Phoenix and use my daughter's sewing machine to make another one. I'm already bringing some sewing stuff up to Phoenix, because she needs some Pack and Play sheets and doesn't like the ones she bought. You know you have a big family when 16 stockings aren't enough, and not even everyone will be here for Christmas!

Monday, October 31, 2016

New Arrivals

So much has happened since my last blog post! DD#1 and her three kids arrived!

The cousins have been getting to know each other.

They've been great at sharing, especially at sharing the stomach bug that's going around! All five kids have had it, and now DD#3 is sick with it. Five sick kids in the house can make for some interesting times. Brings back memories of raising our five kids.

My niece got married, and she had a beautiful wedding. This is the niece who got the purple and silver quilt.

We now have a South African cat in the house. She thought she was traveling by suitcase...

...but that wasn't allowed so she came in a pet crate.

She's adjusting to life in the USA quite nicely.

Work on the home addition continues.

First some framing...

...And the start of some walls...

...the beginnings of a roof.

Weeks of work left to do, but it's well begun now. Today there was lots of jackhammering, as they get ready to add plumbing where there was none before. I am really excited about the master suite addition, and I love watching it come together. 

Friday, October 21, 2016


I remember when I was pregnant, back in the day, sonogram pictures were fuzzy outlines. DD#2 just had a bit of a scare with her pregnancy, but thankfully, all is well. She just got this sonogram pic.

How crazy is that? Now we know this little guy has daddy's nose before he's born!

DD#1 just landed on US soil, and DH is in Dallas meeting them. A few more hours, and I'll get to see them!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


I feel like it's been forever since I blogged! I was up in Phoenix for almost two weeks, helping DD#2 get moved. I went up there after her baby shower here in Tucson. I got home last Thursday, and got to work on preparing the house for DD#1 and her kids to arrive. Before I tackled their areas, I had to tackle my bedroom first. 

I'm much happier with the looks of these shelves now they they don't look so chaotic. I also managed to move several things out of my bedroom, so this is something I can live with.

The room my grandsons will be in now looks like this.

I tried to set up my daughters room like an efficiency apartment. She'll be sharing this room with her little girl, and eventually with her husband, if he arrives before the addition is finished. Once the addition is finished, they can have our bedroom, and DH and I will move to the addition. 

As for the addition, the work has started, and the foundation will be poured first thing tomorrow morning!

I took this photo after they made the forms for the cement footers, but before they arranged the rebar and wire grid to reenforce the concrete. The inspection was this morning, and everything is a GO!

Here you can see they've removed the outer wall from what was a storage room, but will be the master bath. The white door will be moved 90 degrees, to that short wall, and the brown door will be moved about 3 feet into the house, and that door will go from the new master suite to the kitchen. I am so excited to see this project started. DH and I have talked about doing this for years, and it's finally becoming a reality!

Sewing? Nope, not a stitch. BUT...I did pin-baste a quilt today, and I've got another quilt laid out to pin-baste tomorrow. If I have any pins after that one, I'll try to pin-baste another on Friday. DD#1 and the three grandkids arrive on Friday evening, and I could use the distraction. Hopefully DSIL won't have to wait too long for his American visa, and can come join his family before too long. 

I still have one quilt I'd really like to finish this year, it's the one I pin-basted today, the fairy and stars quilt. During the time our house is so full, I'm not sure how much time I'll have for sewing, but I do plan some alone time sewing for sanity's sake. I don't know about you, but I get grumpy if I don't get any sewing time. 

I have my 2017 quilting plan mostly figured out. I have a couple deadline quilts on the list, one I'll make from my pre-cuts, one is already cut out. My pre-cut strips and strings are easily accessible, for when I'm really in the mood to piece, but overall, my plan is to make 2017 the year of the UFO. Working on UFO's allows me to clear my plate a bit, and I can keep out the least amount of stuff and still have plenty to sew. I can get to my yardage, it's just in the room DD#1 will be staying in, but my fat quarter through one yard pieces are buried under the stairs with a lot of my dismantled sewing room. I kept my UFO's easily accessible, and I could stay busy with what is easily accessible for a couple years! I'm trying to avoid a lot of cutting, since I have no good area to do that now, so concentrating on UFO's and pre-cuts eliminates cutting being a problem. To sub-cut my pre-cuts, I just need a tv tray and a small cutting mat. I've got both of those, so I'm good. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do with my house full of blessings!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Looking Better

My last post, everything was just a mess, and I had hurt my shoulder. Well, thanks to some excellent advice I received, my shoulder is much better, all the baby quilts are done, aside from food and last minute cleaning I'm ready for the baby shower, and most of the places that are being rearranged are looking better.

The room that will belong to grandsons #1 and #4 now looks like this-

I still need to move out my cutting table, but at least it's disassembled. Everything else in this pic is staying in here. The shelves will house toys, the bed linens are on them now, plus a stuffed animal for each of the grandkids moving in. The cardboard boxes hold the bunk beds, which I'm hoping to assemble tomorrow.

The "guest room" is now cleaned up enough for DD#2 and DSIL to sleep here Saturday night.

I've still got a lot to do in here, but it's going to have to wait. I'm going home with DD#2 and DSIL after the baby shower on Sunday, so I can help them with the packing and unpacking since they are moving. I'll be gone over a week, so I'll leave a honey-do list for DH and DD#3, so hopefully a few things will get done while I'm gone.

I'm hoping to make quite a bit of progress on the room for my grandsons tomorrow, The weekend is pretty booked, with preparations for the baby shower, and make DD#2's birthday dinner. Her birthday is Saturday, her baby shower Sunday. I'll have a week after I get back to get the last of the rearranging done before DD#1 arrives with her 3 kids. Time is just flying!

Today my big project was to consolidate two sets of shelves into one, and move the other set out, so we are one step closer to being ready for the addition.

  I was forced to finish culling my cookbooks, because I had to get rid of quite a bit to have two sets of shelves go down to one. I think this is fairly workable. The white shelves next to these are leaving the house, a friend is taking them. I've got them empty except for some things for the baby shower, which will be moved on Sunday. The other thing that needs to be done in this area before building starts, is DH's tool cabinet needs to be moved right next to these brown shelves, where the white shelves currently are. Well, I'm hoping that happens while I'm gone! I know the tool cabinet is too heavy for me to move. I'm also hoping construction starts while I'm gone.

The grandson on the way will be named Lincoln, and DH has already decided to call him Hot Rod, after the old song Hot Rod Lincoln. As a result of that, I'm doing a Hot Rod themed shower.

I spent a good part of a day tracing these arrow shapes and cutting them out. Any guess what they are?

They folded into envelopes for a baby shower Jeopardy game! This game took me much longer than I bargained for to put together and come up with questions. There are a couple ready made ones available online, but I couldn't find one I was completely happy with, so a couple of the categories I mostly used questions from those, but mostly I did a bunch of internet research and came up with my own questions.

I've got the favors done (chocolate, can't go wrong with chocolate, right?), and overall I'm feeling pretty confident about the shower.

Just in case you didn't feel like that was enough to get done, I also finished all three baby quilts!

This is Lincoln's quilt. His nursery is Legend of Zelda themed (it's a video game).  am going to tell him Nana played on his quilt before he did, because I tried some new quilting designs on it.




Clouds and Wind, I need more practice on this one, but I was making it up as I went along, so it's passable.

I needed the backing to be just a bit wider than WOF, so I hit the orphan block box, and added some Flying Geese to make it wide enough.

This baby quilt is going to a friend of a friend, who is a huge New England Patriots fan. It's my childhood home team, so I was happy to make it. 

This one is going to my best friend's daughter. She's doing a Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin themed nursery, and I happened to have two different fall themed Peanuts fabrics in my stash. I designed the quilt myself, no pattern. 

This quilt was just a little too wide for WOF too, so the orphan bin came to the rescue again!

Lest you think I am totally a whirlwind and have everything on schedule, here is my current downfall.

This is what got dumped in my bedroom while cleaning out the other rooms! This is not something I can live with, especially in my bedroom, so I'm already working on a couple solutions. I am hoping within a couple weeks after I'm back, I will have this in a much more organized, cleaner looking situation. I ordered new white totes to go on the wire shelves, which will fit two totes to a shelf. Eliminating all the mismatched containers should make it more visibly relaxing. The stacked bins will be moved out, the cardboard boxes as well. I know I can't peacefully live in a bedroom this chaotic, so it will be my first priority after I get the rooms ready for DD#1's family. I'm just really pressed for time right now, so it needed to get dumped here temporarily, but I don't intend to leave it like this. 

As I come up with storage solutions for quilting without a sewing room, I'll show them, so maybe it will help someone else. One of the things I have the stuff to do, but haven't had a chance to do yet, is I bought Command hooks, with the no damage removable sticky pads. I plan to hang my most used quilting rulers along the inside walls of my sewing cabinet, where my legs go. They won't be in my way hanging along the sides, but they'll be more handy than digging through a drawer for them. When I get a sewing room back, I'll go back to hanging my rulers on pegboard, which I really like, but for now, this will help.