Saturday, December 29, 2012

Almost a month later....

I can't believe my last post was almost a month ago! So if you follow you are probably wondering how the football tournament turned out. After the first win the boys lost the next two which gave them fourth place out of 8 teams in their division. As a mom it seemed that the refs had something against our boys, there were a ton of bad calls against us and not enough for the other team.  They were blatantly face masking and not getting it called. Oh well, and life goes on. I am really proud of the boys for their hard effort and sportsmanship in the face of difficulty.

Coach Knight receiving medals
Chandler, Carter, and Daniel getting medals
As a special surprise for the team the coaches treated the team to a night at the Nickelodeon Resort in Orlando. They had a great time getting slimed and swimming in a pool that was more than large enough for the whole team :)

The Sting boys doing a fun Nickelodeon relay
Donovon getting slimed
Unfortunately I was not feeling well as we checked into the hotel, feeling feverish and starting to cough. So I medicated heavily with mucus relief and Advil and tylenol and forged on. Saturday was a long drive home to Huntsville, still heavily medicated. Chandler and Isaiah were troopers and well behaved for the long trip. It was good to be home. By Sunday I was feeling really lousy and didn't get off the sofa all day. Every time I coughed my chest burned. Monday I decided to take myself to the walk in clinic up the street. I am always afraid of picking up something else at those places. The doctor prescribed antibiotics and steroids for the cough. The doctor said 24-36 hours and I would be feeling great. As far as I could tell the medications made me feel nauseous and dizzy but did nothing for the cough. I am just now not coughing, almost a month later. (I had never taken steroids before and hope to never take them again, they made me feel horrible.)

Jackson and Chandler modeling just a fraction of the Gator stuff from Grandma Joanie
So with a week being away from home and the next week plus trying to get well, this month flew by. Christmas has come and gone, in a flurry of Orange and Blue thanks to my step-mom Joanie.  I don't know how she does it, but she always finds the most unusual Gator paraphernalia. The weather is dreary, wet and cold. Honestly, it matches my mood. More on the reasons for that some time in the future, maybe.  So what do I do when life gets me down? Just keep quilting, just keep quilting, what do we do? We quilt, we quilt. (my version of life according to Dory).

Here is a peek at what I worked on the day after Christmas, all for me!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

AYF National Championships

American Youth Football National Championships.

#3 son CG has had a blast playing football for the first time this year.  He was recruited by last season's baseball coaches to play football due to his size. The first week of full pads practice was a rough start since he has a bizarre stomach virus. At first I thought maybe it was nerves about the hitting and pads but fortunately he got over it and it turned out to be a virus of some sort. So the team had a fantastic season and earned the right to play in the National Championship Tournament near Orlando, FL.
It is already day four of this road trip!  We have been "busy bees" - ha. We left Huntsville Friday around 6:00 pm and stopped near Ringold GA for dinner and then in Tifton, GA for a few hours of sleep. Saturday we drove about 4.5 hours to arrive at our hotel just before 2:00 pm. Some of the families caravanned but the Henrys and Labellas went on our own. We all arrived safely at about the same time. 
Coach brought the equipment and snacks in a U-haul

Chandler helping haul our stuff in

After everyone got their stuff into the hotel the team had to check in as a unit to the tournament and weigh in.  It was amazing to see just how many teams there were.  This was the second round of check-ins and it was packed.  There are a lot of teams here from all over the country.
Check-in for the tournament

After check-ins we got settled and had a team meeting.  The coaches headed off to a coach's meeting and a few of the moms took most of the boys to Chik-fil-a for dinner.  Then the boys did a little swimming. It is really just rough housing in a pool. 

Ms. Monica feeling the love
On Sunday the boys did a practice in the morning and then got to go SeaWorld.  Before leaving for the park we got together to give the team mom manager a gift.  She has done an amazing job this season. I am sure it has not been the easiest job.

the team at SeaWorld

CG petting the sting rays

petting the dolphins
This was Chandler's first time to SeaWorld. There are two big roller coasters and the boys ran back and forth between them for a long time. I finally pulled CG away and made him go see the sea life.  He liked seeing the rays, dolphins, turtles and manatees. I was able to get his name painted in crazy tropical letters, so now he has a name picture that matches his big brothers'. (They got theirs when we lived in Florida).  The day concluded with the Shamu show.  The boys liked getting splashed.  I stayed in the dry zone!

Monday was game day, the reason we travelled all this way. The boys were calm and a bit nervous at breakfast.  They played at 11:00 v. a team from St. Louis Missouri. We won 12-0 and so get to continue on in the winners bracket, so there are two more games, Wednesday and Friday. 

Chandler's Nonna and Gingaddy (Kevin's parents) and Aunt Pam and cousins Kaitlyn and Morgan came over from Tampa to see his game yesterday and then we had lunch with them. That was really nice!

Today they had practice and are doing their study hall and we may go to Universal  later.  I can't believe it is only Tuesday!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Apple core quilt for customer

This is a sweet apple core quilt done in small floral prints.  Nearly every "block" is of a different fabric. I used a pastel variegated to quilt front and back in edge to edge flowers.  The wavy borders were a first for me.  The backing fabric is actually a panel of cut and make pillow cases.  Louise M. made this quilt. When I asked her how long it took to make she couldn't answer...or didn't want to maybe.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

My latest finish

This always makes me laugh out loud. I hope your turkey did not end up on the floor! I cooked ours on convect roast with the thermometer probe plugged into the oven.  It was juicy and delicious and cooked in about half the time.  That was not in the plan but we made it work. 

I have completed my first t-shirt quilt for someone else.  Here are the shirts cut out.
Quilt on Cinnamon. 
Look at the cute apple core quilt on the wall. That one is next. I am being challenged by the non-straight edges on it. I found a variegated thread that matches the sweet florals in the fabrics. 

After cutting out the shirts I didn't feel like doing a straight sashing, so I checked with the owner and it was okay to get creative. I did ask for color choices and here is what I came up with. It took a lot longer than I had planned but I am pleased with the results. I also bound it by machine, which is a first for me. I am not super happy with that, it looks a bit sloppy, but it  took a fraction of the time.  I wasn't looking forward to spending the whole weekend turning the binding. It is pretty big, 80 x 90, and heavy. 

Now to start her second one, for a son currently serving our country in Afghanistan. 

After getting the binding done in a flash I spent Black Friday sewing for myself yesterday.  Maybe we will go shopping today? Maybe not. Have a pleasant rest of the weekend. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

This year my baby is 10 years old. So when I can still get him to go do "seasonal" things willingly I cherish those memories.  Getting a friend to go along helps a lot. How much would my heart melt if the whole family actually did something together.  I am thinking in about 10 years when the boys are on their own and starving I can bribe them in exchange for a meal.

Here are some photos of our trip to Lyon Family Farms in Taft, TN.

There is another Cotton Pickin' Pumpkin Patch closer but they are always very crowded so we thought we'd try a new place this year. It did not disappoint.  CG and his friend had a great time. We went Sunday before Halloween, which is another reason we chose this one, the other was closed that day.  The bouncy pillow was torn and so that was a bit disappointing for the boys, but they managed to make a go of it.

The highlight for me, seeing Connor's face when he took his first bite of a fried Snickers bar. That boy was in absolute heaven! The only other place I have seen the fried Snickers is at the Texas State Fair and honestly, I would go to the Fair JUST for that delicacy (and then go run about 10 miles the next day to work it off)

Corn in the corn crib

bouncy slide

Rolling in a tube "Rat Races"

CG trying to get the alpaca to spit at him

He's got to find just the right one...
Trying to find our way out of the corn maze. We never did it right and wound up "breaking out". 

 And the cotton! We have lived in Alabama for two full years now so this is the second cotton "bloom" I have seen.  Seeing it live really is amazing. My friend Denise had a great post on the cotton harvest at her blog "Count It All Joy". Click on over to see it. Very interesting stuff.  Its always good to know about local culture and business.  Too bad all of this beautiful cotton gets sent overseas to be made into fabric.  I read that there are zero cotton mills in America and thus the price of my quilting stash continues to rise at an alarming rate. So sad.

In Texas we had Bluebonnets, in Alabama cotton. 


Monday, October 29, 2012

What Cinnamon and I have been working on

Here are some quilts I have completed for others on my Gammill longarm machine. I post them on completion on my web site: too. 
Ivy leaves in sashing. Pale green thread looks white on dark green. 
Back of quilt block detail and sashing around it. Done in a pale green thread, it looks darker on white.  
Front block detail of Elouise P's quilt. 
Charmaine L. Purple black and gray, block of the month from Quilter's Combo. For her son in law, no flowers here!
Detail of quilting with purple variegated thread on black area of quilt.
Dianne R. A block exchange with friends in civil war reproduction fabric.
The back detail of Dianne R's quilt, a leaf pattern all over.
Charmaine L. Block of the month from Quilter's Combo a couple of years ago. Quilted in small circles (sorry for the poor detail).

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A little after the fact

I am a little delayed in this topic.  A couple of weeks ago I went on a retreat, to quilt.  Until I quilted the only retreats I knew about were of the spiritual nature with women's groups from church.  Well, I retreated from my world and went about 30 minutes from home up the road to Scottsboro, Alabama for 3 days and nights of me time.  Of course my me time was spent creating a quilt for #1 son and working on my "X  block" exchange (of which I have apparently lost a whole set).

Grand Oak Retreat is an amazing place.  It is nestled up off the road (way up and off).  The first picture above is actually from the yard looking down the driveway.  Beneath those bushes is a water feature.  They have a chicken coop. I gathered the eggs one day which we had in our breakfast the following day. A first for me. I know it is not glamorous or exciting, but this city girl has always wanted chickens.  Living in a master planned community prohibits that and so I live vicariously through those who are able to. I got a kick out of Cindy telling me about her chicken adventures.  Specifically how she and and her dear hubby would chase the chickens around the yard to get them into the coop in the evening until one day they forgot and when they went outside all the chickens were already in, amazingly all by themselves.  The city humans didn't know it was instinct for the chickens to go to roost at dusk. I'm sure just one of many great stories about the place. 

This is a sunrise picture from the balcony overlooking Lake Guntersville. Yes we actually slept and got up early enough to see sunrise. This sunrise actually fizzled out though. It was the strangest thing, all glorious pinks one minute and the next, nothing. 

I had to get a picture of the wildflowers in bloom, in October.  This verified for me that it was not just my wildflowers that are blooming so late this year. I have some that are as tall as me and just now getting ready to bloom.  I have had a hard time convincing the hubster that they really aren't weeds! It is a sight, the flowers in bloom with the fall leaves covering the yard. 

Are you wondering what I worked on during the retreat? It will be revealed soon, its almost done. It is red and black and white and appropriate for an 18 year old male. I will be working on it tomorrow and hopefully get the blocks attached together and bordered. I will also be adjusting to a cold front coming through our neck of the woods. Happy Fall!