Author Archives: Jo

Charity Quilt from Ronda

Ronda has been busy again.  She had wrote a bit ago that she had hoped to get caught up on quilts…but then I sent her some more.  Poor girl.  I feel her pain about being so close to getting caught up and then having more to do.  She’s a trooper though and sent these two quilts most recently.

Ronda writes:
Two more quilt finishes for you!  The first top was sent to me from Kathy M. in Westerly, RI.   These sampler blocks use Christmasy looking fabrics or maybe they are just wintery prints ~ wreathes and snowmen and such.”


So I paired it up with some red, gold, and green stars for the backing and green binding from my stash.  The quilt finished up at 46 X 59 and was donated to the Child Advocacy Center.

The second top was
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Operation Skinny Pete

Oh what a day Tuesday was.  Gannon had surgery that ended up more complicated than they anticipated.

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Kalissa will write an update.  Just know Gannon is okay but had a couple bumps in the road.

Those “bumps” meant on overnight stay at the hospital in Iowa City. Craig was there and we needed to get Craig back home.  He had a couple commitments that he had to tend to that we all decided were important enough for us to work to get him home.

The plan was for Buck to drive from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City and get Craig.  He’d drive to Independence and meet me and I’d make the last leg of the journey home.  That was all good except I had Georgia and Carver.  So…I was to meet Jason, Kelli’s husband, in West Union and he’d take the kids.  Carver would stay overnight with Kelli and Jason.  Kelli was working but Jason would wrangle the kids until I got home.

I couldn’t leave until 5pm when childcare was over and Karl was back to my house with my pickup.  He had taken my pickup as he got a hog from his work and it was processed at the locker and ready to pick up so he took my truck to work with the idea that he would stop there and pick the pig up on his was home from work.

(So many things in our family turn into “whole things”…this was another one)

So shortly before 5pm I got a message from Karl, “Leaving locker now Wilbur is on board“.  I had to read it twice before I realized “Wilbur” meant the processed meat.

Then the chat group our kids and I have on Messenger lit up…

Buck:  “Leaving Lisbon ETA 30 min”  translation:  Buck lives in Lisbon and he was leaving.  He’d arrive at the hospital in 30 minutes.

Karl:  “Alpha Bear has left”.  Apparently I’m Alpha Bear and I had left with Georgia and Carver.
Karl:  “Loco 23 is on station as backup”.  Karl was available as a back up if anything happened.  Karl is Loco 23.

Kelli:  “Ding dong will be leaving at 1930. Ding dongs substitute shall be in west union at 1730…hopefully.”  Kelli is apparently Ding Dong.  She’ll leave work at 7:30pm but her substitute, Jason, will be in West Union to meet me at 5:30pm.

Me:  (In slightly more normal language)  “Pit stop at the farm store so this guy could get a yogurt. Waiting for Jason now”.


Buck:  “I got Skinny Pete”.  This means…
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In my Mail..and special delivery too.

Last week I told you about quilt tops that Debbie had sent.  I had said the three of them I was passing on to my friend Doreen who is a driving force in a local Quilts of Valor group.  Well Doreen came by and picked the up…and of course, in typical Doreen style, brought me goodies.

Check them out….It’s a scrap box of Kaffe prints.  YAHOO!!  
She sent these as I always tell of my love of stars and polka dots.  Doreen is so thoughtful.
…and she didn’t forget the kiddos.There were all sorts of goodies for them.

Doreen is so sweet.  She was thrilled to get the donated tops.  Gradually the group she works with is catching up with Quilts of Valor for our county.  In four years or so that they have been working at it, they have done about 100 quilts a year.  Impressive for a small group…right??

The quilts that Doreen picked up will be going to a neighboring county.  All of the counties in Iowa do not have a Quilt of Valor group and Doreen and a friend are working to honor the veterans of other counties as well.  These will be put together and passed along to those veterans.  If anyone wants to make quilt tops that are in patriotic colors, Doreen will happily find the quilts a home.  As always, many hands make light work.

I got packages in the mail too.  This one came from Jan from The Colorful Fabriholic.  I hadn’t read Jan’s before so ended up on a bunny trail checking  it out.  (you all know how goes)  Jan has some beautiful quilts.  She’s a regular blogger too.  It’s hard for me to follow blogs of people who don’t regularly blog.  I’m not saying everyone should blog as much as I do…but something regular like three times a week or so.  Anyway…here is what Jan sent. Continue reading

Childcare Chronicles

Childcare has been going so good as of late.  The babies are almost a year old and have fallen into a bit of a schedule that is predictable.  The 2 and 3 year olds are better at thinking up their own ideas for play.  The school agers are getting along a little better.  I love it.

This always seems to happen right before I get another baby….the kids get totally manageable and then a baby comes and changes things up.   My soon to be coming new baby was born in early January so in March she’ll be starting here part time.

One of my other childcare families is expecting in March so we’ll add that little one to the fold in May.  By then we’ll be close to summer and the chaos of having everyone here, school aged kids included, will begin.   It’s an ever changing cycle.  The only time I’m really sad is when families decided it’s time to phase out of childcare.  The kiddos I’ve grown to love over the years have grown enough to be home on their own without my supervision.  I always have to remind myself that it’s all a good thing and part of life.

Anyway…we’ve all been busy doing some crafty things…Several of them were Valentines related and even though that’s past, I’m going to share a couple of them with you as they were just so cute.

Being it was Valentines we recently talked about hearts.  With the 2’s and 3’s we were talking a lot about hearts, as in the shape….and hearts, as in the organ that pumps your blood.  It’s really hard for little kids not to immediately think of the heart shape when I say heart.  So we did a few fun things that..and we made these.  They were hilarious.  Although we did these for Valentines, you can make them anytime.

We laid a newsprint roll of paper on the floor, had the kids lay on it and we traced them.  Kelli was here that day and it was a huge help.

Then the kids “decorated” the tracing so it looked like them.  Remember these kiddos are still at the age that making a stick person is hard.  After that we took a heart shaped cookie cutter, dipped it in paint and found the place where our heart is on our traced bodies and stamped a heart there.  Then being it was Valentines, I printed a paper that said, “My heart beats for you”.  The kids were so proud of them.  It was a fun project…and a cheap project too.

This one was Carver’s.  See the eyes and mouth.  He was wearing a striped shirt this day so put stripes on his shirt.  Listening to the kids talk as they were making there was hilarious.

One of the hard things about childcare…making projects affordable.  I often have five, and up to 10 if the school agers are here, kids that want to do a project.  If the project cost $1 each, then there went $10 of profit to me.  Of course I do that occasionally but as often as I can, I try to do things with paper or recycled objects.  It also another reason when I thrilled when readers gift me kids craft kits.

Here’s a project we did with recyclables.  A lot of my moms use the “Unstoppables”.  It’s a washing machine agent that makes your clothes smell good among other things.

Well I had parents bring them in…one mom even got one out of the recycling bin. (Yes I washed it well)  I took off the labels, cleaned them the best I could and then they were ready for the kids.

We took the lids off and the kids filled the container with cotton balls.  (Below is how they looked finished)


After they were filled the kids decided the color of their scarf.  I cut two strips of felt and hot glued them to the back.

I brought the ends around to the front and I tied it..or they tied it depending on their ability.  From there I glued on a felt nose.  The kids picked out buttons and I glued them on.


A pompom of their choosing was glued to the top and then the kids could pick out buttons to glue down the tummy if they wanted.


They turned out so cute.  Here are the kiddos with them.

It was a super fun project.  The kids loved it but I did a lot of the work.  It’s not my favorite kids of project as there is not a lot of child work to it…but knowing that, I tried really hard to interject learning into it.  Asking questions like “How many buttons do you want to put on his tummy?”  Or asking if the hat and scarf matched.

It would likely be a better project for older kids who could handle a low heat glue gun on their own….but it was fun and the kids loved them.

I’ll close this chronicle with a couple of fun pictures of the kiddos….this is Carver.  He slept like this for over an hour.  How, I don’t know.

This little guy is super smart.  I got donuts for the kids for breakfast one day.  He was just ready to take a bite and he said, “Look it’s Orson’s “O”.”  He took a bite out of it and said, “Look it’s Carver’s “C”.”  Then he turned the donut to the position it is in the picture and said, “Now I have a “U”.”  He really is a smart little guy….  ..and super sweet too.

I’m still loving my time with the kiddos and as the days march on towards spring, I’m getting the itch to get them, and me, outside!!  I think all of us at my house can agree that we love making crafts and hanging out together but doing it outside is WAY more fun.  Sadly here in Iowa we have at least another month (or maybe two) before we can hope for spring like days.

…and that is the latest childcare chronicle.