Monday, June 29, 2009

New Grandbaby Update!

I spent the day at Travis and Kerry's painting and varnishing. They are hard at work in their basement doing a little remodeling and finishing work. Since Kerry really shouldn't be around the fumes I volunteered to help. I did convince Kerry to pose for a picture so everyone could see how she is progressing.

Kerry says the baby is VERY active! She feels good except that she is having a hard time sleeping. Her due date is August 26th, but they feel she'll go early. We'll just wait and see. Travis has a birthday on August 14th so maybe that will be the day. The ultra sound technician could tell the sex the last time they were there, so she wrote it down and put it in an envelope which Travis sealed with packing tape so no one could peek! We're about split on what we think it is. Grandpa would like a boy to carry on the Juilfs name. I would love to have a granddaughter, what with having three grandsons already. It's time to buy pink, frilly, and dolls! But whatever it is we will be happy when it's here and healthy!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Flower Beds

I love flowers, but with our addition we still are in somewhat of a transition, so I don't have any flower beds by the house. I have been working on a flower bed by my fence south of the house. It actually got started when we were getting ready to dig. I had to move the plants or lose them! Soooooo, we moved a bunch to the south fence line. Last year because fo back problems I was unable to do much in the way of yardwork so they were REALLY weedy! This year, however, I have been trying to keep on top of the weeds.

This is the east end of the bed.

The middle.

And the west end of the bed.

In the bed are lots of hostas, irises, lilies, sedum, purple cone flower, phlox, a rose bush, and a clematis. The rose bush was new last year and was almost dead this spring. We cut it back and it is starting to do well. The clematis is a cutting from a friend's mother. It is fall blooming and I am excited to see it thrive.

We adopted some lilies from Trina and Tanner. The first one has bloomed!

Along the south side of the house I have day lilies. which are native to Iowa, a clematis, burning bush, some daisies, phlox, mums, and impatiens.

I love the lavendar clematis!

And the impatiens look so nice in the bucket on the milk can. I have one of these on each side of the garage door.

I like to accessorize the garden beds with things like birdhouses, little fences, benches, flags, and other decorations. Doesn't this little guy look cute reading his book in the flower bed?

All of the trees in our front yard are surrounded by hostas. By the east end of the south flower bed we also have an area with the flag, a redbud tree, two burning bushes, hostas, phlox, and another plant.(I can't think of it's name!) One of the garages is bordered by peony bushes and hostas, and the back driveway is lined with hostas. I also have a patio area in the back that contains , hostas, tiger lilies, and day lilies in addition to a container full of phlox that I use to replant in different areas. I also have a bunch of irises in the garden just waiting to be replanted by the house.

Having flower beds are a lot of work, but so beautiful to look at! Now, if someone would just get rid of my creeping charlie and morning glories I would really be happy!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

More Koozies

Back in January I shared my Koozies. I made the pattern and sewed up a bunch. I gave them to my female family members who in turn took them to work. This led to some orders. One order that I've been working on was for 12 Koozies with a "horse" theme. Of course they all needed to be a little different. So, off to Joanne's I went looking for horsey material. I found two patterns and then bought fat quarters in brown and black to coordinate. Next it was off to Hobby Lobby for trim--fringe, beads, hairy gimp, and rick rack. I've been working on these rather slowly. I just got tired of making them! Does that ever happen to you? Well, I made a deal with myself that I couldn't go on to something new until these were done....and I have a grandchild on the way so that means a quilt to make! I finished the koozies today! Yah!!!

I made thirteen in all, just so she can leave out one that she doesn't like.

Some had fringe.

Some had beads.

And some had hairy gimp.

I am happy to move on to something else and I hope she likes them!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


In a May post I told you about my uncle, Bob, who had passed away in TN. My Aunt Ruthie has decided to sell their home and move somewhere closer to family. They built their home 11 years ago in the Cumberland Lake Development. They aren't on the water, but are in a secluded woodsy area that is beautiful! Anyway, the home needed some upkeep to prepare it for sale so my sister, Kathy, nephew, Clint, daughter, Trina, and son-in-law, Tanner along with Bud and I made the trip. Kathy and Clint arrived Wednesday afternoon and we arrived Thursday morning about 5:00a.m. After a couple of hours of sleep we started in on the house.

Trina spent about five hours power washing the porch to prepare it for painting.

Kathy, Tanner, and I painted, although I do have to admit that I only worked on the kitchen while they painted the bedroom, bathroom, laundry room, and porch.

We packed.

We rearranged cupboards.

We dusted.

We even tried a unique way to dust the ceiling fan. I'm pretty sure it was Tanner's idea to throw the dust rag up there.

Notice Tanner is now trying to tell Trina how to get it down after he failed at his try. Bud, of course, is just lending moral support throughout the ordeal.

Bud and Clint fixed screens, moved furniture, pulled up all the carpet, did some electrical work, did a little chaulking, scattered rock, cleaned gutters, fixed lattice, and tended a fire.

Clint REALLY did do more than this photo portrays, although this is what he preferred to do!

All in all we got a lot of work done. The carpet should be put in on Thursday and then I think it should be ready to show.

I really did do more than just take photos! I was in charge of the food, cleaning, staging, etc.
I'm sure this was an emotional weekend for my aunt, although she didn't show it. We worked hard and had a few laughs together.

Thank you to Trina, Tanner, and Clint for going along. It is nice to see the younger generation lending a hand. Thanks also goes out to Trilby and the boys for taking care of Cuddles, Max, and Marley! Tasha and Kyle also did our cattle chores while we were gone.

We got home about 2:00a.m. Sunday morning. Trina and Tanner spent the night and left around ten to go get their babies. Bud and I pretty much just chilled all day. We were exhausted!

God has not called us to see through each other, but to see each other through. ~Author Unknown

What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?
George Eliot:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What do you Collect?

I don't really think of myself as a "collector", but as I look around my house I do have collections of some things. One of the things I collect is nuns. Not the real live ones, but dolls or small statues that are nuns. I have many memories of nuns as I went to Catholic school until fourth grade. We had three nuns in my small town--Sister Ethel was the oldest (she taught my mom) and she taught grades 1-4, Sister Rose Agnes was the spunky one with some red hair peeking out of her habit! She taught music and science and PE to all grades. I remember her doing cartwheels many times in her habit! Sister Wilma was the principal and the stern one. She had a habit of walking around with her hands in front of her fingertips touching and moving them in and out. She was the one to be afraid of!

Most of the nuns in my collection came from my mother. This first one is my biggest one. She makes me think of Sister Wilma.

This one makes me think of Sister Ethel. She is smaller and not quite as stern looking.

These are smaller ones that are more fun loving!

What do you collect?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Our D.C. Vacation

All of my kids and my husband had all been to D.C. But I hadn't! Bud kept telling me we would go "next year". So, this year was it! We left the Moline airport Friday, June 5th bound for D.C. I was so excited for this vacation. First to see D.C. and secondly because Bud and I have never really had much of a vacation for just the two of us--even after 34 years! We flew into Baltimore as the rates were much better. After a Super Shuttle trip through D.C. traffic we finally arrived at our motel. We stayed at Embassy Suites about 1.5 miles from the mall(where the monuments are.....not shopping!). We had a wonderful suite, hot breakfast, and snacks and drinks in the evening. We checked in, talked to the concierge and headed off to see the monuments in the drizzle and to eat at Union Station!

Saturday we again headed out for the mall only to find out that there were about 45,000 walkers/runner in the mall area, so the buses weren't running. So on foot we headed to the Washington Memorial to get our tickets for the evening trip to the top, saw the Jefferson Memorial, the Holocaust Museum, the Wall, the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Korean Memorial, the Smithsonian Castle, and the Air and Space Museum. We then went up into the Washington Memorial at dusk, and then went back to the Korean Memorial to view it in the dark. We opted for a taxi to get back to the hotel. WHEW!! We estimated that we walked about 15 miles that day!

Sunday we took off on a bus tour headed for Mt. Vernon in beautiful weather. We spent about three hours there and could have spent more time, but we had to board the bus again. We viewed several places in Alexandria, VA then the Iwo Jima Memorial on the way to Arlington Cemetery. At Arlington Cemetery we boarded a tram which toured us around the cemetery and we watched the changing of the guards. Next was the Air Force Memorial we were then on to the 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon. We ended our day with supper at Union Station.

Monday we boarded a tram which toured us around the U.S. Capital, the White House, Ford Theatre, and some of the office buildings. We then disembarked at the Smithsonian Castle. We headed for the Museum of Natural History. We saw the Hope Diamond and I took a lot of photos of rocks and minerals to use in an imovie for science. Then we headed for the Museum of American History. There we saw the ruby slippers, First Ladies' Dresses, a Lincoln Display, and more than I could possibly tell you. We then embarked on a new experience as we changed hotels and needed to take the train to the Baltimore Airport area.

Tuesday we again boarded the train (the MARC) to head into D.C. First we went to ChinaTown. (Don't go there!) We had both seen ChinaTown in New York and I had also in San Francisco, and thought we'd enjoy this one, but it isn't much. Then, we visited the Smithsonian Photo Gallery. This is where the presidential portraits are displayed. I loved the photos. It is so hard to imagine how old some of these paintings are and how well preserved they are. We then went down to the fish market. It was interesting to see the fresh fish and how BIG the shrimp are. We had a wonderful lunch of crabcakes. YUM! After that we were off to the IMAX at the Air and Space Museum. There we watched Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. We walked out the door to a downpour! After catching a bus back to Union Station and eating supper we said good-bye to D.C. and boarded the MARC.

Wednesday we took "light rail" to Baltimore where we visited the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We had a tour of the Basilica which was very interesting. We then took off for Inner Harbor. There Bud toured the USS Constellation, the last all sail warship built by the US Navy and also a submarine. I relaxed at the Cheesecake Factory with my book. Then our fun was over! We checked out of the hotel and headed home.

This was definitely not a restful vacation! We WALKED and we WALKED! But we saw many wonderful things. I am so happy to have visited all of these memorials and museums. A bonus is that now when I discuss some of these things with my students I have first person experience in being there.

I hope you have enjoyed a few of our photos. If you haven't been to D.C. you must put it on your list.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Porch Swap

As I began reading blogs in the fall I mostly read blogs that were prim or country decorators or quilters or crafters. They often talked about the swaps they were having. I wanted so badly to join one, but I didn't feel that I really could. I finally got the nerve up to join a porch swap in May. I was paired with another Kim and given the instructions. I had lots of ideas, but couldn't make a decision. I wanted something that would fit what she likes, something I'd enjoy making, and yet something that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to mail! Also, this was for someone who decorates in the prim style, which I only have touches of. This also made me continue to waver. I sent it off and am hoping she likes it.

In the meantime, I received my package from her today. I am thrilled with what I got! Here's a photo of the entire boxful.

The pillow is navy homespun to put in one of my rocking chairs, the star will go perfectly with the ones on the wall, the dainty flowers painted on red and the embroidered prayer sign will look great too!

The citronella candles will help keep the bugs at bay on those nice summer evenings. And I have been wanting the eco friendly water bottle and now I have one!!

These ladybugs will look great on the fruit jars I grunged up and put wire handles on!

Thanks, Kim! I hope you enjoyed your box too!

I'm Baaaaack!!

WHEW!! What a busy month! Well, report cards are done, cums completed, kids passed on to the next grade, and I've moved all of my stuff to my new room. We celebrated the end of the year with a pool party for all of the kids and a dinner party at Carlo's for all of the staff. So, we're officially done until August!

Bud and I left EARLY Friday morning for Washington, D. C. for a vacation. We had a great time and got home late last night. I will be posting about it later. First I have things to catch up on--clothes to wash, garden and flower beds to weed, house to dust, yard to mow, groceries to buy, birthday gifts to buy, and a birthday cake to make. Plus, I need to get back on my exercise schedule.

But for now, I'm procrastinating! I haven't looked at blogs in weeks, nor have I just relaxed for a while.

I've picked a winner for my giveaway. It was not very scientific, but since it's been hanging in cyberspace for so long I just wanted to get this decision done! There were seven people who posted to win. So, I called Trilby to ask her to choose a number between 1 & 7, but she was otherwise occupied! Bud was next on the list and he choose #6. So that means that Kim at is the winner!! Kim was my Porch Swap partner--my first swap. So, Kim, I will be contacting you to discuss the colors you'd like for your apron!

That's it for now.......

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I'm Still Here!

Yes, it's been a long time since I have posted. Anyone who is a teacher knows that the end of the year gets crazy!! Report cards, class lists, end of the year books to make, cums to fill out, reading folders to complete, ITBS forms to update, etc. etc. And to top it off I have moved rooms. Yes, it's just to the other side of the curtain, but to go through eight years of accumulation plus the twelve years of second grade stuff I moved earlier, well, it took a while.

I know I have a giveaway to draw for, but I'm going to be away from the computer for a few days again. I'll be back in the swing of it next week and will begin to blog regularly after that. In the meantime, check out my daughter and son-in-law's blog that they have just started: