Category Archives: Everyday Life

How Embarrassing, 3 Months? Really?

Photo by George Hodan

Photo by George Hodan

It is embarrassing to think that its been about 3 months since I’ve been on the blog.  Good intentions lead my goal making for this year, trying to write something at least once a month, but some how LIFE had other plans for me.  You know the saying, “Life happens when you make other plans.”  Nothing bad, mind you, but life, busyness, too much of everything got in the way.

Thankfully, I don’t think I’ve had a school year like this since, oh, I first started teaching – that very first year about 10 years ago.  This year once Christmas break finished it was a steady roller coaster.  It felt just like a roller coaster too.  One minute I was climbing that slow, jerky climb to the top, knowing full well that there was going to be one heck of a drop on the other side.  Slowly, painfully it climbed, it was torture.  The top couldn’t come fast enough because on the other side was an easy descent – just incredibly quick – often I would blink and it would be over A couple of twists and turns and loop d loops thrown at me and then another monstrous climb.  And once March hit, hold on to your socks, Jen, it is going to be quite a ride until June.  Often I felt like the dandelion in the picture above, just holding on as the rain was pummelling me.

There was little time for anything, and I mean anything.  From March to June I was busy, almost every evening with one thing or another as well as on the weekends.  On evenings or weekends I was at home, I was prepping or working on something for upcoming events/classes/meetings OR I was passed out on the sofa from exhaustion.  I missed out on time with Nate and Ella and Molly and that was too much for me.  God bless Nate for picking up the slack at home, and not once complaining about it.  (Though, between you and me, I think it means i’m going to have to keep pretty tight lipped come hunting season this year.) Anyways, I wasn’t very fun either and I looked a little worse for wear – lets just say I tried a lot of anti puffy, dark circle removing eye cream, still trying to find one that works.

When June came, I felt better.  I was sleeping, really sleeping, not just a couple of hours here or there, but for 6-8 hours. That is practically unheard of for me.  Probably because I was trying to catch up on months of sleep depravation.

This upcoming school year, there are some changes coming.  I am reclaiming my time, my family time, my priorities and putting somethings on hold or aside.  It will be healthier.

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Merry Christmas

molly christmas card

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December 25, 2014 · 5:11 am

Where has the TIME gone?

So its December.  You probably already know that.  For me, I’m still having trouble grasping that.  Its December. Where did September, October, and November go exactly?  It really does feel like yesterday that I was going to the introduction days for the start of the school year and now I sit here on December 13 and wonder how we got there.

It has been an incredibly busy 3 months.  Busy like I cannot remember in past years.  The school year has had its challenges.  We went through some changes this year, including a new mark book/attendance system, live grades, each student having their own computer to use, Google drive for assignments, then google classroom, new policies and a few more things here and there.  The learning curve has been steep to say the least and free time spent recuperating from the busyness.

Our Ella is 18 months now.  Which means she is walking/running all over and at least ONE EYE has to be kept on her at all times, otherwise you could have an entire egg cartoon dumped on the floor, “uhh ohhh.”  She is quite busy and down time with her is reading the same book over and over again – which isn’t a bad thing at all.

I have been working on some quilting projects, just seems I can’t show you them quite yet.  Most of them are for the guild I belong to and are for end of the year challenges that have to stay a SECRET.

I have been working on a couple of projects here and there that I seem to go back and forth between, just getting little bits done at a time.  This is a block from Elizabeth Hartman’s Fancy Fox.  I took a class on it this summer and have been slowly working on a fox here and there.  I’m using Kona Cottons, Liberty of London, and Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Chambrey.  I’m loving how they are turning out.  Can’t wait to finish the skulk of foxes.

I really have missed writing on the blog and have started many posts, but have gotten taken away from them for one reason or another.  I hope to write more in the remainder of the year and into the new year as well.

 

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Oh Summer, where are you going?

Right now I am in the throws of getting ready for back to school. Oh the prep work for back to school!  Schedules, calendars, lesson/unit/long range plans, first classes, etc.   But along with that comes prepping the new guild schedule/program/brochure, finishing a commission quilt I am working on, back to school shopping, while still enjoying the last bit of summer that remains.

august

During Ella’s naps I try to spread my time between the projects.  A little school here, a little quilting here, a little housework there, and guild planning also….there.  And its not like I’ve been procrastinating and waiting till August to work on stuff.  I’ve been working on guild stuff and school stuff since the beginning of July, its just been in smaller chunks of time instead of a few full days and I’m done.

But with all that, Ella and I have had a great summer together.    We have gone biking most days or for walks, visited friends and were outside as much as we could be.  Ella and I just wrapped up swimming lessons at the pool which was a great time.  She loves the water and was happy to be in it – though it was rather cold so she was good after 30 minutes.  We visited the zoo quite a bit as well.  She is now becoming quite interactive with the animals – well as far as pointing and banging on the glass is interacting.  The spray park was another destination that we went to this summer and she had such fun, though she hasn’t quite realized that the slide is something you go down, not climb up.  Its been a rather warm summer for us, so we were thankful we splurged and got one of those little kiddie pools.  We play in it most afternoons.  To clarify, Ella plays and I get splashed.

Even though there seem to be much to do, and everyday I seem to find something new I have to do, it just doesn’t matter because we are going to enjoy this last week of summer.

 

 

 

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Let Me Introduce You To….

The Sowers of Jireh.  A friend of mine introduced me to the group a little while ago.  She brought in some of their amazing products and told the story of how they began and the work they are doing.

The Sowers of Jireh began October 2011 in San Vicente, El Salvador by a group of determined young Calgarians. It started with a dream of starting a sewing centre where women could come and learn a skill, or use one they already had. This in turn would help them support their families. Even more, it would give them hope, confidence and a chance at a better life.

Is Sowers a misprint? Nope. Just a play on words. Jesus tells a story about a sower in the Bible. As he sowed his seeds, some fell on rocks, some fell in the ditch, some among thorns and some in rich fertile soil. We, like the sower, are trying to plant and cultivate ideas, dreams and skills among some impoverished people in El Salvador so that they can grow and flourish.

They have some terrific products on their website like their quilts, bracelets, silk screen items and some fun coasters.  You can even design your own quilt.  They give you plenty of customization options with their products.  You can even design your own shirt to silk screen.

Please check them out.  They are making some great things and doing some amazing work.

 

 

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2013 in review

I can’t believe that the year is over and we are just beginning 2014. Honestly, where did the time go?

2013 seemed to be jammed packed this year.  It seems like it was only yesterday that I was ill with morning….all day sickness, that Nate helped supervise a junior high ski trip, that I somehow was getting bigger and bigger daily, we completed our nursery and got ready for our new arrival and taught my last day – for a while.

Then Ella came in June and everything changed.  It feels like our lives finally got interesting once she arrived and there has not been a dull moment since and makes us wonder what we did with our time before.  Her laugher, her smile, those cheeks, the sounds she makes, and her wiggles when she gets excited.  She has been a blessing to us.

I worked through out the year on only a few quilts and spent quite a bit of time hand stitching or my newest in front of the tv activity – crocheting.  Unfortunately, those projects aren’t finished yet so I don’t have anything to show you.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for visiting my little blog.  I love to read your comments and get excited when you “like” a post.  I am so grateful and humbled by those of you who follow me and thank you very much for that.

Every year WordPress.com puts out these stat reports and I must admit I enjoy reading them and seeing them because I am often floored by how many people visit and from all over the world.  Nigeria, Indonesia, Argentina?  Really?  Wow – thank you so much.

Again, all I can say is thank you so much.  For following me, for leaving your input, for your kind words, your likes and being part of my life.

Hope you all have a blessed new year!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 31,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Crafting is a Sport

How many of you have heard something to the affect of, “Oh, you are JUST crafting, well I am ___________ (insert sport/athletic event/physical activity).”  Trying to make you feel as though you are doing something, well,  below what they are doing?  Well I have.  And I am here to set the record straight.

CRAFTING IS A SPORT. 

Myself, I am a quilter/sewist/a new crocheter.  I have dabbled in jewellery making, knitting and done some serious scrap booking, but I take my quilting/sewing and crocheting seriously right now so my examples will be based on them.

As I said CRAFTING is a SPORT.  According to the dictionary the definition of a sport is

“an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”

Well come on people, crafting totally involves skill.  You’ve seen people’s quilts and think, “how did they get the points so perfect,” or “look at that free motion quilting,” or “really? that is hand quilted”.  Or people’s crocheted works – I still marvel after the crocheted Sheldon Cooper  I saw.  Those all takes skill.  What about  people who make beautiful jewellery?  Or scrapbook pages?  My friend Michelle and Paula are amazing knitters – AH.MAZE.ING.  Painting, clothing making, it all takes skill.

Ok, next part of the definition….competes against each other.  Every guild/club/studio has competitions, if it is viewer’s choice, or meeting a club challenge, or being entered into juried shows where there is a prize – even if it is just bragging rights.    I know ladies who stay up until 3-4am to make sure they have something to enter for the competitions.  There is competition.  And like sports you congratulated the winner and shake their hand, but in your own mind you are totally thinking how the victory should have been YOURS!

Physical exertion?  Have you ever hauled around a king sized quilt with about 1000 safety pins in a domestic sewing machine with only 6-7″ throat space between your needle and the machine?  Then you know all about physical exertion.  Aching shoulders, tired arms, tension across your neck for hours on end- physical exertion.   What about basting that king size quilt?  Huddled over it, feet getting sore, back aching, fingers past the point of no return then you have felt the burn.  Or the tension in your wrist from cutting out little paper flowers for scrap booking and all the glueing.

What about injuries?  They are totally in crafting as well.  There is blood from needles being stabbed in your fingers, or pins when it comes to basting.  There are scissor mishaps too.  I’ve seen people get attacked by their sewing machine needles when one breaks or when it runs over their finger.  There has also been those dreadful pictures of a misguided rotary cutter and fingers….oh I shudder just thinking about that and all those stitches.  And I’ll be honest with you, I think I just caused myself tennis elbow from all the crocheting and hand stitching I’ve been doing.  And what will I do to fix it?  Maybe a brace, a regiment of icing and physio?  Will I stop?  NO WAY!  Because if Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos) can play through his injuries and still win – then so can I.

CRAFTING IS A SPORT, plain and simple!

 

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