Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Mother's Love

Many years ago my mom decided to make a quilt.  She embroidered six of the twelve blocks, then life got busy.  So my great grandmother finished embroidering the last six blocks.  That quilt never got made.  My grandma pulled out the blocks last year and gave half to my sister and half to me.  She asked us to figure out what type of quilt we would like to make with the blocks we were given and she would make the quilts to the best of her ability.

My sister's quilt is officially done.  Grandma pieced it and took it locally to be machine quilted.  Then grandma bound it.  It is a beautiful queen sized quilt. We didn't realize until we looked at it laying on my grandma's bed that the embroidered blocks form two large circles in the center of the quilt.

My quilt on the other hand is still a work in progress.  I wanted it to be like a flower garden with fences and playful flowers along the perimeter.  The type of piecing that I wanted for the fences also reminds me the stained glass windows that grandpa use to make.  Anyway, grandma has the center of the quilt pieced.  

Right now she is working on the white edge adornments- vines and flowers.  It is seeming to be quite a challenge, but to me plants are wild and unpredictable.  So I do not expect it to be prefect, or balanced, or to a set pattern.  Once the flowers and vines are in place, then an outside border that mimics the inside fences will be put on.  I believe that grandma is arranging for the ladies at our church to quilt it so it will hold even more significance and sentimental value for me.  I should be pleasantly surprised none the less and look forward to its completion.  I will make sure to post a picture when it is finished, although I am sure that it is months away.  

So as you can see, mom's simple project has encompassed four generations.  Mom and grandpa have been gone for two and half years now (today would of been grandpa's birthday), and last week was the nineteen year anniversary of great-grandma death.  I hope that mom, grandpa, and great grandma will look down at us and say "What beautiful quilts!  What beautiful memories!" 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Just Another Saturday

I'm getting a bit bored with my blog.  I think it is time to update it again.  So hopefully in the next few weeks you will see changes occurring here and there.  Of course, it is also dependent on the amount of time I have available.  Which at times can be slim to none, Ha ha ha ha.  So I'm going to start doing some dreaming, hanging out on Pinterest, and surfing the web to find some ideas that inspire me.  I am sure to learn quite a bit along the way.

Anyway back to reality, we have not done much this weekend.  Hubby has been under the weather, so he stayed home from work today.  The kids and I went shopping with grandma A this morning.  I cooked a new recipe for supper (see below).  Yummy!!!!  

I introduced the kids to the movie "Annie" this afternoon.  It brings back memories of a childhood friend that I have lost contact with when she moved out east after she graduatedDuring part of my childhood we lived with my grandparent's and she lived just a few houses down.  Well may be one of these days, I will bump into her again.

I have been reading a series of books by Kathleen Morgan on my kindle the last few weeks.  I have gobbled down "Daughter of Joy", "Woman of Grace", "Lady of Light" and am currently reading "Child of Promise."  I have really enjoyed this series.  It is Christian fiction and is set in the late 1890s to early 1900s near Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Each book has a major theme with smaller themes intermingled within.  The first book is about faith, listening, and courage.  The second book is about forgiveness, love, and peace.  The third book is about discovery, pride, and trust.  I am only on chapter one of the fourth book, but cannot wait to see what adventures are hidden inside.

Oh, without further adieu . . . tonight's new recipe.

Perfect Winter Beef Stew

3/4 cup Italian Dressing ( I made homemade)
2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
6 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 lb.sliced fresh mushrooms ( I used canned)
1 large onion, chopped
6 carrots (about 1 lb.), sliced ( I used baby carrots)
1-1/2 lb. red potatoes (about 5), peeled, cut into large chunks
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) beef broth

Pour dressing over stew meat in resealable plastic bag.  Seal bag; turn to evenly coat meat with dressing.  Refrigerate 30 minutes to marinate.  Cook bacon in large saucepan on medium heat 5 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally.  Use slotted spoon to remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan; drain bacon on paper towels.  Add mushrooms and onions to reserved drippings; cook on medium-high heat. 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Remove stew meat from marinade; add to saucepan with carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, broth, and bacon.  Discard bag and marinade.  Bring stew to boil, stirring occasionally; cover.  Simmer on low heat 1-1/2 hours or until beef is done and stew is thickened, stirring occasionally and uncovering for the last 15 minutes.

I'll post the Italian Dressing recipe soon.  I managed to misplace my dry mix recipe, but did figure out how to hydrate it. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tweet! Tweet!

Just some shots on the camera 
taken over lunch breaks at work.

Red Bellied Woodpecker (female)

Northern Cardinal (male)

White Breasted Nuthatch

Downy Woodpecker (female)

American Goldfinch

Northern Cardinal (female)

Fox Squirrel

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Birthday Marathon 2013

Whew!  Birthday Marathon is officially over!  Yay!

Pumpkin is now six and Princess is now four.  It can be crazy at times when your kids birthdays are only three days apart.  Good thing that they do not mind a joint birthday party at this age.  In a few years, I might have to start throwing birthday parties on separate weekends.  Ugh! 

We had a Scooby Doo & Rapunzel themed party this year.  We had family and friends over to celebrate.  Since the party actually fell on Princess's birthday this year, I let her choose what we did first presents or cupcakes.  Can you guess which one won?????  Yep, it was the presents!

The kids were very blessed this year.  They got clothes, books, toys and more.  I think Princess likes her 18" Merida doll with matching dress from her paternal cousins the best.  Pumpkin is quite taken with his volcano dinosaur playset that we got him (my table on the other hand is still a sticky mess from hours of play last night).

Next birthday on the list is daddy's at the end of the month.  Well better get a move on with preparing supper.  Have a lovely week!