New Year’s Resolutions

So do you make New Year’s resolutions?  I have.  I don’t always, but this year I think I am going to.  With birthday number 48 just passing, it has me remembering that next comes 49 and after that birthday number 50.  That 5-0 birthday scares me a little…just like birthday 30 scared me.  40 didn’t faze me at all.  The big 5-0 makes me think I should have taken better care of myself but then I realized that I should quit thinking about 50 and start living a little better at 48 so 50 can be a little more pleasant.  That sounds like a much better plan. The activities and choices we make today have a significant impact on the way we age in the future.  So what am I doing to be living a little better at 48 that will help me grow old a little more gracefully? Dogs Here’s me, the dogs, and their glow-in-the-dark leashes. Here are my resolutions:

#1  I am going to move more.  I didn’t say run marathons….just move more.  In the past year or so I have gotten lax in walking.  I’ll be honest.  I am not good at walking myself but I am really good at walking a dog.  Why is that?  I think I know.  I am a caregiver type.  I care for other things but caring for myself…not so much.  I’ll walk the dog because it needs to be walked but I’ll give you every excuse I can not to walk just me.  So…I plan to keep fostering dogs.  They need to be walked so I’ll walk them.  That’s my plan for moving more.

#2  I am going to keep taking my medications and keep going to the doctor when I should.

#3  I am going to drink more water…I try for the recommended eight glass… don’t make it and quit altogether.  So it’s time for a new goal.  4 glasses of water each and every day…no pop substitutes.  I bought myself a bag of lemons so I can have lemon water.  That might help.  I know four is WAY under the recommendation but if I have a smaller goal of four and always make it, working my way up to five won’t be so hard.

#4 Keep quilting… it just plain makes me happy!! #5 Keep my attitude or gratitude.

So those are my resolutions…with a New Year right around the corner, you’ve probably started thinking about your resolutions – but have you taken into consideration how the activities you chose to participate in now will help you Get Old? Making lofty New Year’s resolutions always make me sad-they typically include deprivation and I can never stick to them.  I hope you make some goals-attainable goals-for the New Year.  I’d love to have you grow old along with me. What are you doing to Get Old well?  Tell us at and join the conversation on and I am participating in a sponsored campaign hosted by Pfizer and Get Old. I received compensation for this post. All opinions stated are my own.  

There’s more than one way to become a teacher….

Today I am getting together with Walt Disney’s Studios and sharing a personal story of how I overcame an obstacle in my life. I am the youngest of five kids.  I have a sister who is sixteen years older than me and our three brothers are in between.  When I was four I became an aunt for the first time…and quickly more nieces and nephews followed.  When those nieces and nephews came for a visit, I was the entertainment committee thanks to the school room my mom provided for us to play in.  My mom was a garage saler and a thrifter just like I am.  She bought school desks, black boards and supplies so that my nieces, nephews, and I could all play…and play we did. Just to show you all the great goodies my mom provided for us in our school room, here’s a picture of me with my copy of the Declaration of Independence that my mom purchased for it. DeclarationofIndependence We didn’t just play school.  I really taught them and I loved it.  My mom always said I was a natural born teacher.  When my senior year of high school rolled around, no one in my family really asked what I was going to do.  They all knew I would go to college and become a teacher.  At the time back in 1984, no one in my family had been to college and all were cheering me to be the first in the family to graduate from college. Before long I was at Mankato State University in Minnesota pursuing that teaching degree.  At the time, I wanted to be a high school English teacher.  Things were going well.  I was taking as many classes as possible working my way through college when I went home with my roommate and met a guy.  That guy and I started dating and ten months later I got a positive pregnancy test.  Yes.  I was pregnant.  I told the guy… I told my mom and packed my bags.  That dream that my family had for me to become a teacher was over.  I lost my chance to be a teacher.  I was marrying the guy and my life was going a different direction. My family was supportive.  The guy was supportive.  I was somewhat depressed.  At that time, there weren’t on-line classes.  We were far enough away that there was no way to commute to college.  The teaching dream was dead and honestly, I was a little sad.  People weren’t kind.  People in the small town talked and people would stop talking when I walked into the room.  I was “that” girl….the pregnant one. I got married and we moved to my husband’s community.  I started working at the local school as a teacher’s assistant.  I loved it.  We had our first baby, Kelli, and our next, Kayla, a year later.  At that point there was no use to work so we had another baby, Buck.  Three kids in three years.  My husband and I moved and I was isolated, just me and kids while Hubby worked long hours.  That’s when I first realized that maybe…just maybe…my dream wasn’t really over.  I had my own little classroom of my own kids and I was the parent/teacher. We moved again and again adding two more kids, Karl and Kalissa, to the mix.  At different times I investigated going back to college but still it wasn’t feasible.  I did odd jobs which allowed me stay home with the kids…but the love of teaching didn’t wane.  I taught story hour…I taught Sunday School.  The teacher was still in me. When our youngest went to kindergarten, I started providing in-home childcare.  I loved it.  I had my own little group of kids to teach.  While doing that I went to community college and got my Early Childhood Education degree…it wasn’t the four year degree I wanted…but it was still a step towards teaching. That was 8 years ago.  I no longer do childcare.  Now I teach in other ways.  I teach continuing education classes for child care providers in NE Iowa and Southern Minnesota and I am the owner and operator of the website Making Learning Fun.  The site is filled with FREE early learning ideas so that teachers, childcare providers, librarians or anyone else who loves children can come and download learning ideas for kids for free.  I don’t have day to day interaction with kids but every day throughout the globe, people are using ideas from my website to help children.  I just love knowing that I am a part of that.  Via my work on my website a part of me goes into the classroom.  I feel so honored. I am a teacher.  It may not be in the traditional way but teaching is what I do.  I teach via my website.  I even teach via my blog by providing tutorials and patterns for all of you.  God created me to teach…and He helped me find ways to do it without the four year degree I thought I needed to be a teacher. I am so blessed.  I can stay at home and work…I don’t need good clothes and I don’t have to commute.  I can run outside and help that guy that I am still married to when he needs help farming.  I can be there when my kids need me….I am so glad that I learned that there truly is more than one way to be a teacher. I recently got a chance to sit down with a few of my kiddos and watch Monster’s University.  We loved it.

Isn’t it funny how no matter how old a person grows, Disney can still make them laugh?  As the kids watched the show, I couldn’t help but wonder what life has in store for them.  Will life trip them up with an unplanned pregnancy?  Will things not go as they dream?  I am so glad that they got a chance to see that even though there are forks in the road it doesn’t mean we lose our way. Seeing that framed copy of the Declaration of Independence that my mom bought for our old school room always makes me smile…I can’t help but think of the words, “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.  Teaching  is part of my happiness…and I am going to pursue it no matter what.  Like my mom always said..I am a born teacher. So would you like a chance to win a $50 Visa Gift Card and a Monsters University Blu-ray Combo Pack?  Just leave a comment here telling how you believed in yourself and you followed your dream.


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What I’m Working On…

My deadline quilt is coming along….Here’s what I can show you.

Not much to see…right?  I’ve been trimming some half square triangles which isn’t very exciting.

In between all of that I sneak in a few leader and ender pieces.  Typically it’s spool blocks but I took a little break from them to sew a few Odds and Ends blocks.  I got all the blocks sewn that were cut out and we so excited.  Then Kelli told me if I only had that many blocks, my quilt would be pretty small so I cut out 10 more blocks.

Putting them together in between my deadline project and working on them has been a joy.  I just love these blocks and can’t wait for the to be a quilt.  This is definitely a slow and steady project though.

To see what others are working on, check out Patchwork Times.  If you like giveaways we have two going on-one is sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop (yes it’s for fabric) and the other is sponsored by C&T Publishing for the ebook Making Quilts (It’s a great book)!

Stash Report

Kelli and I both have been sewing as much as we can possibly keep up but we can’t keep up with the fabric shipment that showed up this week….

Can you believe there was actually more fabric than this??  Kelli took some home that she is planning on cutting out.  I think there is fabric here for 6-yes SIX quilts.  We really need to get moving along if we’re ever going to manage all of this.  Believe it or not, we have other projects besides these that are in the works too.

Kelli’s current project is about half finished and mine is about 1/3 of the way along.  Both of our deadlines are fast approaching so I think one day this week, I am just going to take the day off and sew.  That’s one advantage of being self employed…but then I come back the next day and am really behind.

Hubby is gearing up for fall field work.  Once that is in full swing we are taking a break from working so hard at the new house.  Then I am going to sew like crazy…

We did have a finish this week.  It’s Kelli’s Layer Cake Strip Quilt.  If you missed it, you can see it here.

So here’s the stash report…Thankfully I don’t count in fabric anymore….

Used this Week:   3 store bought + 3 recycled

Used year to Date:  160 yards store bought +  43.5 Moda fabric + 46.5 yards of recycled fabric…

To see more stash reports, check out Patchwork Times.

Don’t forget to check out the $100 VISA gift card from Glidden and BlogHer given away, another giveaway sponsored by the Fat Quarter Shop (yes it’s for fabric) and the other is sponsored by C&T Publishing for the ebook Making Quilts (It’s a great book)!

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