Friday, August 28, 2009

first day of school

Oh my.

Josiah had his first day of preschool today. He's turning 4 in November, so he misses the cutoff for K4 by about a month. So he's in K3 and is a bit of an anomaly among the other 3 year olds. He's about 43 inches tall and could quite easily blend in with the 5 and 6 year olds, if it wasn't for the fact that he acts exactly his age.

He has been going through his school supplies over and over since we bought them a few weeks ago. He'll line them up perfectly into a row and just gaze at them for several minutes. Then he'll put them back in his backpack only to pull them back out and repeat the really is quite darling.

I found myself feeling quite "mom-ish" as I labeled all his supplies with a permanent marker, laid his clothes out, and packed him a lunch last night. It feels like I am entering a new phase of parenthood...the one where I watch the little ones that I have held so close begin to venture out, testing the bounds of their independence. It's bittersweet. And for Josiah, it's absolutely exhilarating! He really didn't want to come home today, but I'm afraid his mom had had enough independence for one day...


Finally finished this blanket for one of my dearest friends who had her third child about a month ago. The sex of her baby was a surprise, so I waited till she delivered to start (that's how I justify it taking so long...) Technically it's not really a quilt, because there's no batting in between the's more like a glorified receiving blanket. But it's patchwork and it looks like a quilt so that's what I've been calling it...

I thought it turned out well, for a first attempt. The squares of the various fabrics were already cut and came pre-packaged, for which I was grateful. It's not always easy for me to pick out complementary fabrics for this sort of thing, although I think I'm getting better at it.

I didn't have the time or dedication to hand quilt it, so I machine- sewed down the the middle section of squares in one direction to keep the layers together. The backing is just a chocolate colored twin sized sheet I found on clearance, cut to size and used to bind the edges.

One final note: I finally bought a rotary cutter and mat for this project, and can now say, with conviction, that they are most definitely necessary tools for any sort of quilting.

Monday, August 10, 2009


We went up camping in the South Hills this weekend with some of Kevin's co-workers. Here are some of my favorite shots of the family...
Eli and his hot dog (that he just dropped in the dirt)...

Eli with some chocolate (and dirt) on his face...

Noah staying warm...

Josiah loves camping...

I shouldn't be surprised that the little wild man LOVED this 4-wheeler...

Keeping warm...

Noah and I by the fire...

We were fortunate enough to be able to use our friends' trailer, so we stayed fairly warm and everyone made it through the night relatively unscathed. We were all completely exhausted by the time we got home...and we were only gone about 24 hours! Camping with three small boys is something, let me tell you. I've never seen such dirty, happy faces! They didn't want to come home, but mom and dad were totally worn out.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I made some blueberry scones tonight with this basic scone/biscuit recipe and was reminded how wonderfully versatile and easy it is. I got it from my mom a few years back when I was trying to make homemade strawberry shortcake and just couldn't quite duplicate her light, slightly sweet shortcake. This recipe can be used to make plain shortcake, scones, or savory drop biscuits depending on what is added.

Here's the basic recipe:
  • 2 cups flour (my mom always sifts it...I never do)
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar (increase to about 3 tbsp if you are making shortcake or scones)
Mix these dry ingredients together thoroughly and then cut in:
  • 5 to 6 tbsp butter, slightly softened
You should have a sort of crumbly mixture after cutting in the butter. Then add:
  • 1 cup milk or cream, stir to combine.
If you are making scones, stir in your additional ingredients and top with a bit of raw/turbinado sugar. A few of my favorite scone variations are orange zest with cranberries, dried blueberries, and of course, chocolate chips...the possibilities are quite endless.

For savory biscuits, you can try adding bacon, cheese and chives or sundried tomatoes and feta...again, endless possibilities!

Drop by tablespoonful onto cookie sheet and shape as desired. Bake at 350 until the tops of the scones start to turn golden, 10 to 15 minutes depending on the oven.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I snapped these shots of my middle son Eli the other day. He's 19 months old and finally growing into that noggin of his, even though he's quite small for his age. I think he's still catching up from his early start. That's baby Noah's hat he has on, and it's a little too small, but he loves it and just looks so darling when he puts it on. He walks around the house like a little drill sergeant and barks out unintelligible orders to all of us, the dog included. He says a few words like "baaaay beee" (that's what he calls Noah) and "wooo-woo" (that's what he calls the dog-when he says it he sounds just like a little hound dog) and, of course, "mama" and "baaa" (ball). Everything he says sounds like a question, because his little voice goes up about an octave at the end of every word. He loves to climb on the table or up on the window sill (as he was doing in these photos) and frequently topples off, only to climb right back up again. He is, by far, my most determined child, and it takes a LOT to redirect him. Sometimes I wonder if he's getting lost in the shuffle, but he lights up when I stop and just pay attention to him. He's got the most darling little dimple on his right cheek, and it's so worth the time to get him to smile! It will be good to have a little more one-on-one time with my little wild man when his big brother heads off to preschool this fall.