Aug 31, 2013

Back to School

Earlier this month we had our annual family back to school tea and now school is in full swing. I have tried to be at the first day of school for each of my grands since the first year of preschool with the oldest. I have been pretty successful, with only 2 misses. (I missed Chloe's first day of preschool this year because we were on vacation, :( but I drove her to school this past Tuesday and walked her to her class-only to have her tear up and break my heart!)

This was a year of change for four of my granddaughters. Sofia started to Kindergarten on the 7th. New school, new teacher, new kids.....lots of anxiety. But she did fabulous and had a wonderful first day. Now she hops out of the car in the mornings and eagerly hurries to her class. 

One week later was the first day of school for Katelyn, Emily and Madison. They are attending a new school this year too because they are building a new home and will be moving in the next few weeks. Katelyn is in 5th grade this year, Emily is in 3rd and Madison is in 2nd. They are loving their new school, making new friends, and settling in quite well. 

Chloe was the last school start this year. She is three years old now, so she is in 3K. She's attending the same preschool she went to last year and still loves it. 

It's always sad to see summer end, but new school supplies, the smell of textbooks and the routine of the school year have always been a comforting rite of passage in the Autumn. My granddaughters seem to love school as much as their moms and Grammy did. I hope you have a great year, girls! 

Aug 29, 2013

Vacation Time

My husband and I had a wonderful vacation this month. We went to St. Louis, MO, which I will be the first to admit is not a top ten vacation destination for everyone.  But, we were attending a family wedding and both of us have aunts, uncles and cousins in the area that we wanted to visit, so it was the perfect for us. 

Our trip north was divided up with an overnight stop in Paducah, KY. And since I have been a good girl this year, it just so happened that Hancock's of Paducah was at the exact same exit off the interstate that our hotel was! Imagine that! 

I'm not sure what I had expected on my first trip to this fabric mecca, but it was different than I had thought it would be. I guess I was expecting more of a quilt shop atmosphere with lots of samples up to tempt you. 

But, Hancock's is all about the fabric! It was one HUGE room with bolt, after shelf, after aisle of fabric! I was speechless.

The first thing that caught my eye when I walked in was this huge table piled with "end of bolts" for $5.99/yard. I grabbed a cart and started digging. Some time later my husband roused from his nap in the car and came in to check on me and see what all the fascination was about. I was still standing in the same spot I had been since I walked in the door! Oh, the treasures I was finding! 

As it turns out, that was all the time I had! I never even walked up and down the aisles to look at all the beautiful bolts of brand new fabrics. I took my fabric to a table to be measured and then to the register to pay. I bought 38 different fabrics! And I had a purpose for each and every one of them-no "stash building" for me. I found 12 different fabrics from Moda's 3 Sister's Wintergreen line. I am going to be able to make a gorgeous Christmas quilt with them. I found a Snoopy fabric to use in a quilt I am going to make for my granddaughter, Madison. I bought some fabric for gifts for friends. I bought two identical 2 1/2 yard pieces that will be a wonderful backing on a quilt. I found two that I knew my daughter, Melissa would like. I was very pleased with my purchases. :)

We needed to finish our trip, because we had a wedding to attend that night. It was a gorgeous lake side ceremony at a winery. The weather was perfect and we danced the night away. 

We did some sight seeing while in town too. We toured the Anheuser-Busch brewery. I got to see my first Clydesdale horses up close and personal. They are huge and beautiful creatures!

The tour was fascinating. 

 The brewery is so ornate.

A true St. Louis landmark.

It was fun to learn how they make the beer.

And at the end you get to sample their wares! Cheers!

No trip to St. Louis is complete without a trip to the top of the arch. And so we did....

What a spectacular view!

We spent an afternoon strolling the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

We also visited the towns of St. Charles, MO and Lebanon, IL. Both have lots of little shops that are great for finding gifts to take home with you. 

Even with all of the fun sightseeing we did, our favorite part of this trip was the time we got to spend with family. Every minute we shared with loved ones were treasured times. It is so wonderful to be able to just sit and relax and visit one on one with each and every one. It's a vacation that we will never forget. 

Aug 5, 2013

Back to School Tea

Our family loves to get together and we LOVE traditions! When our kids were growing up if we happened to do something twice they would say we "always" did this or that and then they wanted to do it every time. We had lots of traditions. For example, we had to eat onion dip and chips when we decorated our Christmas tree-I don't know why I ever even served it once, but they loved it and a tradition was started. Our son, Matthew, informed his fiancee last Christmas that they had to have onion dip while they decorated their tree. She was totally baffled about the reason behind this and I told her it was "just tradition". I'm sure other families have lots of traditions too, but ours just seemed to be a little quirkier than most. The fact that as adults our kids have continued some of those traditions and are passing them on to their families is reassuring to me as a parent that maybe I did a pretty good job with them. And that warms my heart. 

Three years ago Melissa decided to hold a back to school tea at her house. And thus began a new family tradition. The next year Meredith held it at her home and for the last two years I have hosted it. Our family has really grown in the last three years too. This year there were 14 of us present. It's always a fun afternoon. We have different kinds of finger sandwiches (including peanut butter and jelly), brownies, cupcakes, teas, etc. The little girls enjoy putting on a dress and having a party and we "big girls" love a chance to chat. This year was our first year to have a "man" at our party. Ollie is now 6 months old and he had a grand time being passed around and loved on by all.

I love family traditions and this is now one of my favorites! 

Aug 1, 2013

Sofia and Lisa

I am SO excited! I checked my email this morning and I had an email from Lisa Bongean that she has a new post on her blog. (I get one every time she posts so I don't miss a thing.) When I saw her latest post I was jumping up and down and had to call my daughter, email my friends the link and post it on Facebook!! 

My granddaughter, Sofia, is on Lisa's blog! There is a picture of the two of them from a quilt show in Georgia. I showed the picture to Lisa when she was the guest speaker at the East Cobb Quilters Guild meeting in May and she asked me to email it to her. Lisa remembered Sofia, and me taking their pic, and she wanted a copy of it too. I had no idea that she would share it in a blog post! 

AWESOME!!!  (Insert great big smiley face here)

Here is the link to Lisa's post 

and here is where I posted the same picture on my blog in June.

When my daughter Melissa showed the post to Sof, she hugged her mom and said "Aw, that's the sweetest thing!"  And it is.

Happy Quilting!