Childcare Chronicles


Each week when the kids leave on Friday, I always hope that they come back on Monday healthy.  We have been so plagued with coughs and colds this week.  I have NEVER had anything like this before.  NEVER.  I keep being amazed that I’m not getting more bugs than I am.  When a blog reader, Ila, said I live in a petri dish, she was SO right.

Last weekend was same…runny nosed, coughing kids left on Friday and prayed for a good Monday with healthy kiddos, then realized I had President’s Day off so prayed for healthy kids to return on Tuesday.  It didn’t happen.

As of Thursday I three kids on antibiotics.  The cough and colds have been terrible.  The baby even got RSV.  It just doesn’t end…and as proof of that, Friday morning one of the school aged kids started puking and Friday I sent another home complaining of a tummy ache…and one with an ear infection.  UGH.

Even with the “yuck” we did a few fun things.

We made these trains one day.  The 2-3 year olds are learning the letters in their names.  The engine has the kids name on it and the box cars all have the letters of their name.

The trains are staying here and the kiddos are going to practice recognizing the letters in their name and putting them in order.  The kids love doing this.

I know of a fer of you who read the blog are teachers, grandparents who provide childcare or are involved with kiddos in some way.  It anyone want the programmable train print off to make this, drop me an email to and I’ll send it your way.  The request can only come to that email or I can’t get it to you.

Remember my little girl who wants me to make her a quilt?  For a long time she was stuck on Zuckerwaite from Bonnie Hunter’s String Fling book.  Well I almost had a little problem.  She started paging through Bonnie’s newest book, Addicted to Scraps and found the quilt Twirl Around.  Well…now she’s not sure which quilt I should make.  At this point I have two of Zucherwaite cut out and partially sewn so I’m REALLY hoping she stick with Zuckerwaite.  She’s observant enough to know if I “made the wrong one”.


She’s a real quilt lover.

Friday school was cancelled so Neighbor Girl was here all day.  She love babies.  She played with Carver for a long time.  Here they are playing “So Big”. [Read more...]

What a Week!


I had a crazy week this week.

First off on Monday three of my families were going to be gone for the day because of President’s Day.  I ended up taking the day off and thought I would get lot done…I didn’t.  I did enjoy the day and I did get a few things done but lots?  Nope.  That’s okay.  I had fun and that’s important too.

The weather here had been fascinating.  Honest.  Completely fascinating.  When in February in Iowa do parents let their kids outside with short sleeves and no coat at all??  NEVER.  Well that’s what we did most of the beginning of the week.  The weather was amazing.  Which is what is going to make this snow storm/blizzard we are experiencing now so much worse.  We got teased into believing spring was around the corner.

Here’s Carver outside with no coat in February.


Just before we were going to take him in I thought I better snap a picture quick and mark the weather history.

Today…it’s more like this…We’re expecting LOTS of snow….high winds.  We are just on the edge of the blizzard area…

…but got only two inches of snow and then rain.  There was freezing rain so school was cancelled.

From summer to winter all in a day or two…that’s Iowa for you!

Neighbor Girl has been coming every day before and after school now….usually one day on the weekend too.  We’re still hanging out and having fun.  She ends up eating here often as Mom works late a couple days a week.
Here I was teaching her how to make baking powder biscuits from scratch. [Read more...]

Friday Finish: ABC Panel Baby Quilt


It happened.  My baby quilt is finished.

I have to say, this has been one of the most fun projects that I’ve done in a long time.  I love the freedom of no pattern and working as go.  All the decisions are mine (with your help) but in the end I choose EVERYTHING…This quilt went from something I wanted to finish quickly to something I wanted to last for forever.

I ended up purchasing several more panels that I used for this with the intention that more baby quilts will be made with it.  Will they be this exact layout…likely not but a couple might be.


I know that some of you bought the panel too.  In light of that I am going to record a few of the things I did when making this.

All of the scrap blocks start with a red square.  The size all varied.  I made it into a square in a square and added random strips of fabric from my string bucket around and around until the blocks were 7″ x 7″.

The panel started out like this…


I cut it into block and cut the blocks down so that they were 4 1/2″ x 7″.


It’s hard to find a good way to lay out 26 letters of the alphabet.  I started with a block then panel block and so on for the top row.

The second row started with a 2″ strip and the went panel block, scrappy block and ended with a 2″ strip again.

Then I made alternating rows.


When I came to the bottom row I needed to come up with something…  I got the inspiration to free form the baby’s name.  I ended up added to the top and bottom to get it up to size.  Scrappy strips went at the end of the name to bring it up to size.  I ended up making 26 scrappy blocks.  I had the 26 panel letters and improvised on the last row.

This was the border plan… [Read more...]

What I’m Reading: Two by Two


I just finished up listening to the audio book Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks.

Whenever I see a Nicholas Sparks book I put it on my reading list.  I’ve never been disappointed before and hoped I wouldn’t be this time either.

As far as I know, I’ve read every Nicholas Sparks book there is.  I’ve never been disappointed and this time I wasn’t either.  The book features a father/daughter relationship along with a brother/sister relationship.  Both play a big part in the book.  The book, as I listened along, was a little bit predictable…but then again, most of his books are.  Isn’t that why we continue reading them?

Here’s what Amazon had to say, “At 32, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that. But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear…and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down. In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality. Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding-one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined.”

Amazon readers give the book 4.2 stars.  That really surprised me.  I read some of the reviews left on Amazon.  They were harsh…really harsh.  There is no way that the book should get a one star rating.  No way at all!  The book was very Nicholas Sparksish.  There was happiness-then sadness-a growing period and then an ending.  I think reading a Nicholas Sparks book is always a bit the same…kind of like eating at a chain restaurant.  If you order the burger and fries…it will taste the same in whatever restaurant you order it in.  The thing is though…it’s always good-just like his books are always good.  They aren’t the best book you’re ever read but they are always good.  I liked the book.  I thought it was very similar to all Nicholas Sparks books…simply good….and that’s a good thing, at least for me it is.