Monday, April 7, 2014

Sewing Room

 My sewing room has always been pretty much a disaster zone.  We tossed around ideas of how to fix it up but it always seemed like it would be an expensive venture so we just never did anything.   Near the end of last year my dad found some furniture in one of the houses he was cleaning out and it fit perfectly in the sewing room.  Free furniture was just the inspiration I needed to get the sewing room into shape. Dad was willing to paint the room which was super nice!  I mentioned to dad that if he ever saw a chandelier in one of his houses that I would take one.  A few weeks later he came home with this gorgeous chandelier, even better than I had pictured.  It was so amazing to watch God provide so completely.

Because of the angle of the room it's hard to get a good picture.

The chandelier was brass so Jeff painted it pink for me.  We joked that someday the kids will find out the chandelier was worth something in all it's original brass glory. But the pink is just so cute.

One shelving unit holds craft supplies.


The other has all my fabric.

A birthday gift from Jeff's mom to keep all my stray spools in line.

Trims, ribbon and buttons organized by color (a labor of love on my mom's part). I found the wire baskets and containers at the Dollar Tree which fit the budget nicely.

An Ann Voskamp quote that fits with what the Lord is teaching me right now.  "What is time for if not to bless".


I knew that I didn't want sewing themed artwork on the wall, I wanted something girly and vintage.  But I absolutely couldn't figure out what to do that was cute and not outrageously expensive or complicated.  I stumbled across a picture that inspired the idea for these vintage lady silhouettes.  I had a lot of fun putting them together one late night when Jeff was away at a men's retreat.

Jeff set up a counter for me to set up my machines.  I wanted as little free surface as possible since I know my knack for filling spaces up with clutter.

I've worked on more projects recently because I can go in for 15 or 20 minutes and actually sew instead of clearing off a space and finding what I need.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Coming Back...

I think we've officially exited survival mode and are now back into "real" life.  Jeff has a great aunt that says "everything comes all in a bunch". That's certainly been true for us in the area of health the past two months. On top of wretched morning sickness we had a round of a violent stomach flu, a teething baby and sinus infections and colds.  I have to admit there were days when feeling sorry for myself sounded much more appealing than choosing joy. It made me feel kind of wimpy because really, in the scheme of life how big of a deal is the flu? God gave grace for the season and no one seems much the worse for the wear.

Here's a few of the things we've been up to as seen through the lens of my camera. Honestly, we do have children other than Elise.  Maybe it's just because I know how quickly they change at this stage but she has quite a few more pictures than anyone else. Where's Ginetta?  I guess I'll have to work on that!

The cold and snow seemed to go on forever and for the most part no one in this house minded. 

 I got to take pictures of my new niece (Jeff's side) which was a lot of fun especially since she was super cooperative.

The girls all tried bowling at a party for foster families held recently.  We have really appreciated the events held for foster families since we've had the opportunity to do some really fun things that wouldn't normally be in the budget.


Teaching Elise how to play ring around the rosy.

                                       Dress up and craziness, a normal combination around here
Elise had her first birthday at the end of March. Of course she didn't have a clue as to what was going on but her sisters were so excited that she knew it must be something fun.

                                  Celene took this picture of my grandmother and Elise and I think there is something so                                    sweet about it.
All the girls really wanted to get Elise something for her birthday and this blanket was what Ginetta chose for her. I loved the way they wanted to make her birthday so special. 
 Here's a side story about life with small children. The girls have limited resources so I thought we would go to a local thrift store where I knew they could find gifts to fit their .75 cent budget. It's a little thrift store and always packed on Friday nights because they have a half price sale. But Jeff was away and I decided I was brave enough to go with all the kids.  By the sweat of my brow we finally had all the gifts chosen and were standing in a long line.  As we neared our turn I told the girls to get their money ready so they could pay. One daughter (who shall remain nameless) told me she didn't know where she had put her wallet.  I was hoping maybe it only had .50 cents in it our something and we could just leave it and move on. But no, she had put $5 in it so we had to make a search through the whole store trying to find the wallet.  After a while we gave up and left the cashier our number in case she found it. We finally made it back to the car after more sweating and deep breathing exercises on my part.  The nameless daughter looks in the car and says "Oh, look here's my wallet in the car. Isn't that funny?"  Hilarious.

Grandpa helps with the birthday pie.

                                 The big girls got to go to an American Girl doll tea party which was the highlight of the month for them.  Shelby took Molly which was my doll when I was a little girl, that just makes me feel old!
Little Miss is big enough to stand on a stool and "help" in the kitchen now.

But not quite big enough to go outside with all the big kids.

She loves her vittles as my mom says.  Here she's thoroughly enjoying a lime donated to her by one of her sisters.

When I found out I was pregnant I had this vague idea that during the weeks of morning sickness all of the kids would rise to the occasion and we would make it through with easy sailing in the behavior department.  I can't say that happened like my dreams. But some days they really did and this was one of them.  I was under strict orders  to rest while they took care of everything. I heard the familiar sounds of dishes being put away, Elise being dressed, piano practice, etc.  Then Shelby came in to bring me the breakfast she had made for me. She told me "Mom, I tried to make it extra pretty for you".  Eating it made me horribly sick but her delight was so worth it!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Saturday, January 25, 2014

School Days

Celene was learning about similes and had to fill in the blanks for sentences like 
Pat is flat as a ________
                                 Her answer to Pat is sad as a________ was "sad as Mommy without 6 little girls". 
 Glad she knows I'm happy to be their mom.

Shelby has always loved words and the world of spelling them herself has recently opened up to her. Or should I say, attempting to spell them.

Ginetta was being naughty in the car one day and I told her that since she was not obeying she would have to have a consequence when we got home.  A grumpy little voiced replied " I don't want a consonant".  Perhaps she prefers vowels.

There aren't any snow days for our school but everyone was quite delighted when the mounds of white stuff meant a day off work for Dad.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Around Our House This Week

I think Celene is trying her best to turn Elise into a big girl!

                              We're always glad to see the kids enjoying their work but Jeff and I had to laugh at this production last night.  All Jeff asked Shelby to do was vacuum around the table and it turned into quite the event complete with an audience.

I know I've mentioned before that the kids each have a day of the week that is "their" day.  One of the benefits that I've come to really appreciate is that it gives them a chance to do things that I wouldn't let the whole crowd do together.  The thought of all five polishing their own fingernails at one time or all using face paint scares me a little. But when Shelby wanted to become a clown for her day that seemed like a doable option since it only involved one child.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


As for most people, December was very busy for us. Since then I've been bitten by some sort of January organizing frenzy. I'm noticing how overdue we are for a good purging in every room. But before too much more time goes by here are some highlights from our Christmas season.
Once upon a long time ago when I didn't have a house full of my own little girls I hosted a few parties for the girls at church.  I made costumes from the Colonial and Civil War eras and we did historical crafts, etc.
I decided it was time to pull the costumes out of storage and have a Colonial party.

 It may not have been the most graceful Virginia Reel but it was certainly a very enthusiastic version.
Watching the kids anticipate our traditions was such a delight. Here Celene unpacks their nativity sets.

Aunt Deborah and Uncle Chris always host us for a Christmas dinner which I find to be quite generous.  Having six little children eat in your house can be a stretch when you're used to them let alone when the only person you ever eat with knows how to stay in their chair, use a napkin rather than a sleeve,etc.
Some lovely snow days! 
On Christmas Eve morning I brought up the Christmas china that I had started collecting the year I was ten and we had a special breakfast.  I only have 8 place settings because when I started my collection I guess that was the biggest family I could imagine ;)

"Sleeping" in front of the tree on Christmas Eve

                                Mom had worked hard with the three big girls on a special presentation for Christmas                                    morning which told the story of redemption.

Uncle Evan demonstrates how to play their new game. The girls are also wearing the skirts I had made them as a gift.  On black Friday Joann's had a great sale on flannel so I decided to make each of them three skirts just for everyday.  Nice twirly ones that would make them feel very girly.  Of course I did remember in the store that 5X3=15 but when I actually sat down to sew them it seemed like a very large number.

Gingerbread houses on Christmas afternoon have definitely become a tradition as well. Celene's almost made me feel a little sad. It was the first year she actually had a planned design instead of just trying to see how much candy she could load on one small house.

So there's our month...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Impossible Age

As usual Elise and I were up early this morning so I decided to take her 9 month pictures. Nine months. It's delightful to watch her explore her world but almost impossible to get a decent picture.
I did manage one where she was looking at me!

But for the most part she wanted nothing on her head and..

                                only sat still for about half the time it took for me to put her in place and get back to                                       my camera :)

We've had a lovely, though tiring for mom, Christmas season! It's been such fun to watch the girls grow old enough to look forward to our traditions.