Jack’s New Talent

Even though we spent the Memorial Day weekend at the beach, it was too nice out on Tuesday not to head to the beach again.  Jack didn’t want to go and claimed that he was just going to sit in his chair and watch.  He didn’t even want to put his bathing suit on.

But, mean Mommy made him put his suit on and as soon as we were at the beach, he was in the water.  Didn’t even unfold his chair.

We were having such a great time at the beach that we didn’t want to leave.  However there were some nasty looking rainclouds as far as we could see and it started spitting a little bit of rain.  We packed up our stuff and ran to the car through the rain.

On the way home, Jack said, “Why do we have to go to the beach so much now?”

I told him because the weather was hot and sunny and it feels good to be at the beach, playing in the water and with our friends.

He then said, “I guess that’s my new talent.”

I asked (while smiling), “Going to the beach is your new talent?”

And he said, “Yeah, it must be because we do it so much.”

Kindergarten Graduation and End of Year Show

Last week, Jack’s preschool held their End of Year Show and Kindergarten Graduation.  Both Jack and Casey were very excited about the show.  They each had songs to sing with their classes and had been practicing for weeks.  Jack especially was excited.  When we talked about missing his end of year party a couple weeks ago so we could go to Philly for Mother’s Day Weekend he said he was fine with that, but he wanted to make sure we weren’t going to miss the end of year show.

The day before the show they practiced for the graduation ceremony and had their pictures taken in their caps and gowns.  Jack told me there was a special song that they were going to play and that he was going to smile really big when he heard that song and walk down the aisle.  When I started singing a bit of Pomp & Circumstance for him he was very impressed that I knew the song already.  And just like he said, when he walked down the aisle he had a huge smile on his face.  I couldn’t capture it with the camera or the video because we were too far away, but it was there.  Even his teacher commented on it.

I spent $60 at Target the day before the show so that Jack would have a nice outfit.  I was tired of him not really having any dress clothes.  At first I just went to get him a new shirt.  Then I decided he needed pants that matched better than the others I had already bought him.  I went to get in line and realized that he had no dress shoes and this was not an occasion where his crocs would do.  Oh, and I suppose he needs dress socks and a belt to go with that.  I bought them all in a size 6 and the outfit was a bit too big for him.  But I hemmed up the pants.  Actually, I taped them up with masking tape.  We cinched in the waist and he looked good!  And, since it’s a little big, he can wear this outfit for every dress up occasion for the next 3 years…and totally justify the money spent 🙂

Casey sang two songs with her class and did a really great job.  You could tell she was having fun and excited to sing the song for everyone.

Jack’s class joined the group and they sang a few songs with the rest of the school.  (Good thing he was in a few numbers without the cap & gown so everyone I could appreciate his nice outfit.)

Then Casey sat with her class and the kindergarten class got ready to graduate.

They all marched in and took their places on the stage.

There was a little bit of time for silliness.

They sang their special kindergarten songs.  I am so proud of Jack because I know I could hear his voice when he was singing.  That’s a big deal for a little guy who wouldn’t do any singing with his class two years ago.

Then they got their diplomas.  Jack thought he had been tricked because there was nothing actually written on the paper they got.

Jack and his teachers…

And we got one bad family picture 🙂  Doesn’t Pat look nice in pink though?

Jack was very excited to graduate from kindergarten.  He had a great year with his teacher and friends.  They showed a video of the kindergarten students at the end of the program.  They asked each one what they favorite part of kindergarten was and what they were going to miss next year.  Jack said his favorite part was playing on the playground and that he was going to miss his friends Jon and TJ.  One little boy said, “I’m going to miss my friends…some of my friends!”

I thought I was going to cry through the whole thing but once the show started and I was trying to capture everything on camera and video while still enjoying the show I was distracted enough to forget the tears.  I’m so proud of the wonderful year that both Jack and Casey had at school.  They learned so much and grew so much.  On the last day of school when we went to pick them up, I really did tear up.  We’re going to miss this school next year!

Casey’s Eye Drama

A scene from the car –

Casey:  [Screaming and crying] My eye, Mommy!  I just poked myself in the eye!

Me:  Okay, it will feel better in a minute.

Jack:  Maybe she’s getting the red eye.  [Also known as pink eye.]

Me:  No, if she just poked herself then she’s not getting the red eye.

Casey:  [still crying]

Me:  Is it feeling better Casey?

Casey:  No.  Am I getting sick?

Me:  No.  You just said that you poked yourself.

Casey:  No, I didn’t.

Me:  You told me you poked your eye.  If you didn’t poke it, what happened to it?

Casey:  I don’t know.  I didn’t poke it.

Me:  [Silence.]

Casey:  Oh Jack, did you just see that Mighty Machine over there?

Thus concludes the eye poking drama.

Cole’s Coastal Quilt

Amy's Creative Side

Time for my semi-annual post on my sewing/quilting blog!  I’ve sewed and created a little more than what the blog shows but I just don’t seem to have time to get posts up on this blog and my family blog too.  However, when Amy’s semi-annual Bloggers’ Quilt Festival comes around, I get excited to get a post up and see all the other wonderful quilts.  The festival was one of my biggest inspirations for starting to quilt.  Although I haven’t been making a lot of quilts, I still enjoy it when I have the time and there are always quilt ideas swirling through my head.

I made this quilt for the newest addition to our extended family.  When my sister-in-law had her first ultrasound, the tech said it was a boy.  Then she had a second ultrasound and they said it was a girl.  It was around this time that I asked her for some ideas on the color of the baby’s room so I could work on a quilt.  She said the baby would be sharing a room with big brother.  Big brother’s room is sports themed and mostly red and blue.  At first I was a little disappointed to be making a quilt for a little girl with red and blue.  But then I did a little fabric search and found some beautiful fabric bundles with red, blue and pink and I thought they were just perfect for the room – the right colors but definitely girly!

I started cutting my pieces and then ended up taking a break for a bit.  I was just about to get back to the project when we got a phone call that a third ultrasound (pretty close to her due date) showed that it was definitely a boy.  Back to square one.

I did some online fabric searching again and I couldn’t seem to find any cute bundles in red and blue for a boy.  Strangely, it had been much easier for a girl.  I had already purchased some of Emily Herrick’s Going Coastal fabric but I was unsure if my sister-in-law would want a coastal feel to the quilt.  I decided to go with it because the colors really were great for the room.  I picked up a few more of the fabrics, including the madras plaid that I knew I wanted to use for the backing and the stripe down the middle.  

When I went to put this together, I realized that only had enough different fabrics for 5 stripes instead of the 6 that I had planned.  Somewhere along the line I missed getting the green that I wanted.  I think Cole was already born at that point so I found some Joel Dewberry fabric in my stash that worked well.  To be honest I’ve always thought that the fabric was little bits of coral but when I read the selvage I realized it is a Manzanita branch.  It still looks like coral to me and in the context of this quilt I imagine that’s what everyone else will think too.

The inspiration for this quilt is from Holly at Bijou Lovely Designs.  She posted her Color Block quilt and I knew that I definitely wanted to make one.  She mentioned that if there was enough interest she would come up with a pattern.  After I didn’t see one for a while I decided I could figure it out myself.  Especially since Cole was already born and I needed to get this quilt finished and in the mail!  I think the size came out to be 45 x 54.  Shortly after I finished this, Holly published the pattern.   

When I realized that I didn’t have quite enough of the plaid for the whole back I decided to do a kind of reverse of the front.  I love how it came out and even happier that I managed to get it lined up well when I was basting because there wasn’t any excess fabric in that middle section.

For quilting I was again inspired by Holly and used her video tutorial for wavy line quilting.  It looks like waves and so it ties in perfectly with the beachy quilt. And it was so easy!  I’ve always done straight line quilting on my quilts and have yet to branch into free motion quilting yet but after doing the wavy quilting I think I might enjoy some FMQ.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my quilt and its story!

Mother’s Day Weekend

After the Crayola Factory on Friday, we had more fun events to keep us busy.  We visited Uncle Matt and Aunt Kelly.  The kids played loudly until Brady finally woke up from his nap and could go out to play.  We went to a huge castle playground that we had visited last time we were in the area.  It’s about 8 kid-sized stories tall and you could get lost in there.  Last time we were there, Casey did.  She stuck to the smaller areas and played with Brady most of the time.  They had some monkey bars that she could reach all by herself and she swung across them without any help for the first time.  She was very proud of that.  She couldn’t wait to get home and try it out on the monkey bars in the backyard.

For dinner we went out to my father in law’s country club with Pat’s parents and Matt, Kelly and Brady.  We had a great dinner.  The table was beside the door so we could let the kids go out and play on the patio when they got restless.  Which was every 5 minutes or so.  The chocolate milk that we ordered for Jack and Casey came in a huge glass with whipped cream on top and I think that may have fueled their inability to sit still.  Brady is 20 months old and I forgot how fast a 20 month old can be.  My chasing skills were a little out of practice.  One minute he’s running toward the street and the next he’s running towards a set of stairs.  

Sunday morning we got up very early so we could walk in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Mother’s Day Walk in Philadelphia.  We were walking to support Pat’s Aunt Kathy and another family friend.  I can’t remember the last time I had to wake the kids up before 7…and this was way before 7.  We sweetened the deal with a train ride to the middle of Philly.  Jack claimed it was his very first train ride…very different from when he went on the subway last year.

All of the breast cancer survivors were standing on the top of the steps at the Art Museum and it was very impressive to see them all up there.  They descended the steps and met up with their families and then everyone set out on the walk.

We had a couple of umbrella strollers for the kids.  The one Jack chose to ride in was a good 15 years old and sometimes the wheels didn’t always roll the way they should have.  I have to say how impressed I was with my husband who pushed this stroller the whole time, while hunched over, and not once did he curse…or tell Jack to get out and walk.  I didn’t tell him but that show of patience felt like a really nice Mother’s Day gift for me.

It was amazing to see the huge crowd of people wearing pink to support finding a cure for breast cancer.  It was also a little overwhelming to see how many people were touched by it and it’s only one kind of cancer.  I’m very glad we were able to meet up with family and make it to the walk this year.

After the walk we took the train back and packed up our car.  Pat’s Aunt Kathy invited everyone back to her house after the walk and we spent a great afternoon in her backyard.  The kids played, we got to visit with everyone we probably won’t see for a couple years while we’re in Tennessee and there were tables and tables of delicious food.  It was a great get together.

Casey picked up on Pat and Matt calling Pop Pop “Bernie” as in Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s and started telling everyone, “My Pop Pop is Bernie!”  She got a kick out of making everyone laugh.  Maybe you see the resemblance too…

Picture from last Easter.  In full disclosure, those are Jack’s sunglasses

After a stop at Ikea for a few pieces of furniture to take to the new house, a stop at the airport to drop Pat off, a drive through Widener University to find gas, 4 stops for the kids to use the bathroom, we finally arrived – exhausted – at our house.  At one point Jack fell asleep using a balloon for a pillow.  And they both fell asleep 10 minutes before we got home.  It was a great weekend and I’m so glad that we made the trip!

   

    

Crayola Factory

What a fun and busy Mother’s Day Weekend!  Jack, Casey and I drove to Philly, picked Pat up at the airport there and spent the weekend with his family.  As we normally do when we are up there, we packed our weekend full of adventures.

Part of why I wanted to get back to Philly before we head to Tennessee for a couple years is that I realized the kids were probably a great age for the Crayola Factory – The Crayola Experience.  It is in Easton, PA about an hour and a half from Pat’s parents.

We made the trip through some hilly and windy roads which the kids thought was a lot of fun until Casey experienced her first bout of carsickness.  I got a bag in time, but didn’t quite get it opened up all the way.  I didn’t specifically have a change of clothes for her but we happened to have a whole bag of hand me downs that I had brought for my sister-in-law.  We managed to find an outfit that would still fit and cleaned Casey up.  Thankfully, we were only 5 minutes from the factory.

The kids had a great time at the factory.  I had read something to them from the internet about being able to do a bunch of crafts and not having to clean up and Jack was pretty excited about that.  There is basically a station in the museum for each product that Crayola makes – markers, crayons, paint, modeling clay, etc and the kids craft their way through the place.  I thought it would be a little more factory-like.  Although we did see a presentation of how they make crayons and markers with some of their machines.

I remembered my camera so here is our visit in pictures…

Jack was pretty sure he had just spotted the world’s largest crayon.  It’s actually a yellow plastic crayon.  You have to go into the gift shop to see the largest crayon.

Chalk tic-tac-toe with Nana.

Daddy helping Jack with his “flying saucer.”

Dancing with Nana.

Excited about something 🙂

Trying on her space suit.

Making his space suit.

Working hard with Nana…

Another neat part of the museum was a hands on model canal system.  As we drove to Easton, we followed the Delaware river for a while and could see where the canals used to be.  Pat informed us that they used mules to pull cargo up the river through the canals.  The kids got to pretend to be mules at the museum and sent their boats through a series of locks and ramps to get to the other side.  It was a really neat display and the kids loved getting their hands wet.

And I guess Casey got her shirt wet too!

After a trip to the store to see the world’s largest crayon and buy some goodies, we had a great lunch at Pearly Baker’s Alehouse.  The kids collected a special set of 4 different crayons throughout the museum so they got to color with them while we waited for lunch.