Friday, February 22, 2013

Rainy Day

Sometimes I wish I were better at spontaneous blogging. I write my posts a week ahead and this works very well for our busy life and schedule that I am not trying to squeeze in time to write each day. I sort of envy the gorgeous and beautifully written posts such as those found at Posie Gets Cozy and Enjoying the Small Things. { love it!} Oh, and Flower Patch Farmgirl is great at this too.

Today was one of those days I wanted to document and live artfully. Rain {or snow or gray days for that matter} do something to me. I turn into this foodie, nester, crafty person and want to do it all as quickly as possible. I want to try new recipes, craft ideas, redo something, start a big project.

I opened a bunch of my Pinterest boards looking for food/craft inspiration and printed off several recipes to try.

Meanwhile, we've been having trouble with our heat and I realized what a complete wimp I've become at being cold. It was 66 and dropping in our house and I was having a hard time getting warm. Boom - food inspiration - we needed something warm and cozy.

But first, I guess I felt the need to start a big project and was feeling ambitious. I have this book from the library right now and can I just tell you how much I'm loving it?!

You'll catch a view of the first project we did on my next Slow Day post. As I was reading this book, I made a list of projects I wanted to try and work on as a family and so far we've done number one and today, added number two.

A quilt. I know - I am crazy for starting something like that. But, wait - it gets worse! We also got elbow deep in cookie baking and decorating, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I pulled fabrics from my fabric shelf and the girls helped me cut and arrange randomly in a line: {I am super pleased that I had everything to make this! We did not go anywhere today and all of the supplies worked out perfectly.}

As I had warming Chili bubbling on the stove, it reminded me how I dreaded the words that we were having chili for supper when I was younger. Or, vegetable soup. Or spaghetti. Or anything with chunky tomatoes in it. My mom only served me one small spoon full and I was still the last one at the table staring at that spoon full {now cold as ice} waiting to be swallowed. I've somewhat redeemed this mess by realizing I can do smooth tomato things but absolutely no chunks of tomato. I've been this way for 36 years and I guess it is just the way things are going to be. I should note here that Pioneer Woman's chili recipe {not the one on her blog - but in her first cookbook} has re-introduced chili to my life and I actually love it! I bet you knew already that I do not put the can of diced tomatoes in, only tomato sauce.

Littles lunched on a quilt in our Den with twinkly lights strung overhead and watched Berenstain Bears. Hooray for deciding that movie-during-lunch day would be Fridays. It used to be a question I heard every day and I finally instituted Friday movie with lunch and it's working fantastic.

After movie time, we got to cookie baking. I was sort of inspired to do this via the above book as well. Typically, I roll and cut out the cookies and let littles decorate - but I was feeling like it would be a good choice to let them be more hands on.

By the way, in case you think that I am so great at doing all this fun stuff with my children - may I just confess how this cookie baking thing stressed me out? It did. Ok, there you go. My Mom can testify as she called at the end of it and it was nothing less than chaotic. {sorry, Mom!}

Emily even made a cookie shaped like the state of South Carolina!

Since we were in baking mode, I thought it would be fun to try this as I hadn't gotten to do it for Valentine's Day as hoped. Note, learn from my mistakes - you must not just cut a slit in the cookie, you must cut a notch. Big difference apparently. Eventually I figured it out after breaking the first ones.

Whew - cookies are done!

Three hours later, I guess we should get back to the mess in the living room and make some progress on this quilt. The girls are eager to sew and it actually went pretty well.

Hooray for a machine that does not require use of the foot pedal. I've hardly used the foot pedal since getting this machine - I love the convenience of one less cord and the little button is so much quicker and more kid-friendly.

I did a little sewing too - here was my view:

 Then, the girls bundled their long strip and got to learn how to iron! They both loved it. Score. Samuel got in on this too.

Emily wanted to pretend we were crafting girls in France ~

Then she arranged the strips on the floor and took these photos while I was sewing strips together.

I had to stop before finishing this step as it was dinner time and I needed to get that going! I made this Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken and then put it in this Better-Than-Takeout Chicken Fried Rice. Yum!

We ate in the living room as part of our Family Night which I will post about next Friday. I had a jar of applesauce on the end table next to where I was sitting and loved how at home it looked there. It made me smile to think of making cookies and quilts and homemade applesauce together and all the living that goes on in these walls.

The girls stayed up and we did finish the quilt. I need to add the ties - but all the main sewing is finished. I didn't get a picture though and the girls guessed numbers to see who got to sleep with it tonight. Emily is snuggled with it now and Rachel tomorrow night.

The rain is falling gently still on our sky lights and I've stayed up way too late - but it feels good and spontaneous to write about my day. It will be beauty to me the next time I look at it and I won't remember all the frazzled feelings or messes but the beauty that came out of them.


Faye Henry said...

Such a wonderful keeper of the home type of post. So enjoyed reading it as it takes me back when the kids were all here.. Time flies but I still do these things but by myself unless a grandson happens by.. smile.. Thank heavens my hubby enjoys the simple things of life, as well..
God bless..

Lisa said...

WOW! You certainly accomplished a lot in one day! Especially considering the kids got to help :) Love the colors on the quilt!

*carrie* said...

Whew, that makes me tired reading it. =) And I would never think to take an artsy pic of eggshells.

Gray days make me melankaly =) also. Sunshine for me!

Simply Quaint said...

Oh how it makes me think back to wanting my children to young again... enjoy, they grow so fast... you are an inspiration...I am the same way, a multi tasker, I get something in my head then off I go, i usually have 3-4 projects going at one time... I enjoy your blog so much, look forward to reading it daily... Enjoys those little ones they sure seem to be such a wonderful loving bunch..

Anonymous said...

I love how real you are Monica, I always found it really stressful to bake with my little one. I don't think I ever let him near my sewing machine which is a real shame now he's a teenager and really not interested.

Is your machine a Brother? I used one like that with no foot pedal which seemed really weird to start with but once I got past that it was actually really useful.

Spur of the moment projects are often the best!

Charlotte in the UK

~katie~ said...

Amazing job on the quilt!!! Wow ~ a quilt in a day ~ y'all so inspire me! ♥ Looks like a mama graciously making the best out of the day and the kids following suit very gratefully! Great job!

Blessings ~

The Mayo Family said...

Oh my I love it!
The quilt is absolutly a sweet way to get them "all' creating & learning a love for sewing
(near to this Momma's heart) I am feeling really from old school today...a machine with no 'foot peddle' hello what have I missed?
I read the birth story of Dash...sweet makes it seem like yesterday mine last sweet baby was born! Time marches!
Thanks for sharing & so glad to see sweet Mrs Henry has been over to visit! She is a blessing~

Kelli said...

Wow what a day! You are an amazing mom and with every post I feel so inspired...I love how you kept it real and said that baking cookies was a bit stressful. I feel that way sometimes cooking you my little one.
Have a great weekend!

Leanne said...

oh, favorite thing that you wrote in this post was "all the living that goes on in these walls"...what a gift you are giving to your children!! love it!. I need to check that book out AND that chicken teryaki recipe!! this was a great encouragement to me!!
can you tell me what kind of machine you have?

Unknown said...

What a lovely and inspiring post! Making memories can be messy...but as you have shown, so worth the effort. Your children are very blessed to have such a giving mama.
Amy O'Quinn

Wendi said...

I spent part of my morning pinning chicken recipes. I will be adding the chicken teryaki recipe to my list of ones to try.

Thank you for admitting that making cookies with your littles stressed you out. Not that I am happy you were stressed, but it made me feel normal. I was actually happy when Megan lost interest in baking with me after the first half an hour. For the same reason... she was stressing me out. Thankfully she will remember the cookie baking and not the stressing me out part. I know this because she just told me how fun it was to be in the kitchen with me earlier. :)

Blessings on the rest of your weekend!

Carters said...

Please post your pictures of your quilt! You make it look so doable for even someone that sews very little. What are you going to use for the back? Thanks for posting links to your recipes...I always trust the recipes you post...and I get so many great recipe ideas to try from your blog.

Jen said...

Love the quilt! And so impressed that you finished it in ONE day with help from the littles! And, very impressed that you made such involved cookies too! I'm sure I would have chosen drop cookies that would have been easier!

And, so you know you're not alone, I HATE HATE HATE chunks of tomatoes. Ick! And I don't even like beans in any from! So I make skyline chili-no beans and served over spaghetti noodles with cheddar cheese. Always a hit!

And, I would take rain and gray every day! I love it. So homey and cozy!

angie said...

For most, gray rainy days makes them want to curl up with a hot cuppa and a book. It seems to have the opposite affect on you! I tried to explain this phenomenon to my hubby the other day as my justification for liking winter even though i am always cold. When we can't go outside and do chores/play, there are less distractions, and it leads to more time for crafting, nesting, fluffing.
I already checked my library for that book. No luck, but it appears to be worth purchasing. I'll look forward to seeing the other project that you've done from this book.
My daughter is learning to sew. I loved seeing your girls trying their hand at your machine. Hanna is starting on pajamas soon. But that quilt looks approachable.
Thanks for the sneak peek into your full of life home day!

Anonymous said...

I know this may sound crazy but I just heard about this show a few weeks ago. Would you recommend starting from Season 1 and going forward? I was too afraid to watch the last few episodes of this Season as to not spoil the whole story line. Love your party decor!Susan Branch is coming out with a book on her travels to England and includes places like Beatrix Potters farm. Go to her blog to read all about it. A must have book!

Mana Laura said...

Amazing! You made a quilt in one day? I also wanted to say thanks for posting earlier (I think it was you) about making a pennant banner - it inspired me. I am in the process of making three alphabet banners for my three boys' rooms (I live in a children's center in a dorm with 24 boys, ages 4-8). It's a big project making three but very fun, glad to be crafting. Blessings, Laura