Friday, November 18, 2011

A Little More Color

For those of you who get easily creeped out by the supernatural, I would like to lighten the situation with some bright, "lively" colors. Heeheehee.... Here is a glimpse at some of what I have been working on. I will show you more very soon.

These have since become blocks and now a baby quilt top. I still have to make the back and the binding. These were really radiant, fun colors to work with and I love the cute town fabric!!!

These are the unfinished front of my tooth fairy pillows.....

And the backs......

 Here is a larger quilt I am going to frame in grey. It will be a free motion quilting study, whereas each square will have a different experimental threading design.

And here is a glimpse of the first baby quilt top I made for my shop. I love using a little red! Can't wait to complete the entire quilt....

And I thought I would throw in Jared's dinosaur book he made for school. He basically studied the 7 different categories of dinosaurs and how they each differ. As one can see on the cover, he shows them all: pachycephalosaurs, ornithopods, stegasaurs, ankylosaurs, sauropods, ceratopsians, and therapods. The coolest thing about home school is that I am also learning, as well!

Have a great Friday and weekend!!!!

Living in a Haunted House?

Let me start this post by saying that I know I am going to sound like a crazy lady. I am very aware of this. I wasn't going to say anything to anybody, but it is so interesting and intriguing, that I must share with you our discovery. I am a skeptical and analytical person, who likes concrete explanation. I am always open to possibilities, yet I have still found no logical explanation for this. Here it goes... ever since we returned from the haunted castle a couple months ago, we have been experiencing orb activity in our home. I was curious because it seemed like the orb activity increased around the children. So, I took several photos in all rooms of the house, which ended up being orb-free. I was relieved and feeling silly until I took a couple photos when they were sitting in their room. There were some orbs that moved around from photo to photo. I was pretty scared at first with thoughts of other presences perhaps having followed us home. So, I put it out of my mind for a while. I have since periodically caught them on camera, which can be annoying when I am simply attempting to capture a normal, clear photo. Several photos are perfectly clear and yet, several have orb movement. We think it is spirit energy or something along those lines. We are pretty convinced, though entirely open for alternate explanation. All I can say is that they were never present before we went to the castle, and I have thousands of photos in our home from the same that are orb-free prior to visiting the place. Truly, I am not fearful anymore. I am okay with consciously coexisting with these potential spirits. We joke about it now and like to think of it as many of the lonely boys who died at the castle and just want to be around a loving family. This may not be the case, but it is fun to think of it this way. Exciting!!

So, these photos are from merely one day recently, though there have been several other occasions. All I was doing this day was taking photos of the 3 boys playing together. I got more than I bargained for, though. Look primarily at the speaker in the picture below. In other consecutive photos, it is not present there anymore.

Lots of activity in this one. Maybe they feed off of human energy, which is why they are more drawn to children? Maybe....maybe not......
 What is that around Jared's head...and by his foot? Hmmmmm....

They have change locations again, within seconds.......
 What the heck are all of those? Very interesting... By the way, I love the stance, Lukey. Darn orbs are messing up my photo of my son! :)

So we decided to move to a different part of the room to experiment with these orbs. Plus, we just wanted to make goofy faces..... The photo is orb-free from what I can see.......

But moments later...... a couple appeared (look mainly near Luke's head).....

 A couple random spots on the wall that you will not see in other photos as I stood here taking pictures, one after the other.

Cute faces!!!! Look above the desk... that wasn't there before.... nor was it in the corner on the wall by the door.
 A couple vague ones...questionable, I suppose....
 Not much going on, but you will notice 2 random circles on the floor in front of the desk. They are not in the next photo, taken seconds after.
 And what are those huge transparent circles that just magically appeared? Hmmmm..........

Look at all those in front of the curtain!


Where the heck did that bright one come from randomly?

They keep moving as I stand there and continue taking photos... excuse the cobwebs, by the way. I have since cleaned them. ;) 
 Whoa! Way more than when the kids were over there. Huh.......

Cool! Lots of activity now....maybe they are not drawn to the goodness!
 Look on the wall and kinda on Jared's dresser (yes, it is dusty, but you will notice the difference in the next photo)......

The orbs are no longer on the wall and there is now a visible orb in front of the bookcase. Trippy. 

It is obviously not dust, especially with the hit and miss of orbs in photos in any given room. If it were dust, it would be more consistent. Besides, dust doesn't reflect like that when flashed. Furthermore, we know it is not water spots on the camera due to the circles moving when the camera has not moved and the fact that some photos are completely clear throughout the photo sequence. So, what could it be? Don't know for sure, but it is pretty awesome just the same. What do you think??


Thursday, November 17, 2011

What's New?

Life has been crazy, as usual. Between looking ravenously for employment, vigorously catching up on home school, preparing for the long winter ahead, and consistently trying to work on items for my shop, among tons of other daily pileups, we are constantly busy around here. It is funny to think about a family farm right now. Where does one find the time? Actually, a friend of mine grew up on a family farm and she is going to teach me first hand much of what she knows (that is if I have time to go and visit with her!!). Currently, she has twenty chickens of all different breeds. She has four sons, but feels that twenty hens are too many. So, she said she wanted to give me four of them, in addition to the materials to build a chicken tractor. She said she will keep them through the winter for us. Awesome! That way, in the spring, they are more self-sustaining with their free-range abilities when there is no more snow on the ground. Thank you, Katie. Anyway, I would like to share a few things with you, aside from the above thoughts.

I have noticed there aren't too many photos of the children and I together, so, on a whim, I decided to take one of those delayed photos because there were some perfectly flat rocks on which to perch the camera at the beginning of one of our many hiking trails. I am just happy we have been making more time for hiking lately. It is good for one's soul to be in nature. :)

I had to share this photo because it is just too dang cute! In the dress-up basket, I just added Jared's old 4T formal suit worn at my best friend's wedding, knowing that Dylan can easily fit in it. The vest, the galoshes, the casual look beneath, and the priceless body language, all comes together in a fantastic look. Very Dylan, might I add. ;)

Another thing I have noticed lately is that I have very few photos of all 3 brothers together. This one is quite lovely, as they are in their element, enjoying an activity in unison, despite the age gap from 3 to 12. I love it!!! 

The other thing I will share with you briefly is our Christmas Quilt....only a sneak peek, though. Perhaps I will show the entire quilt top tomorrow, when there is daylight. It has inspired me to get going on the 5 baby quilts I am currently working on, though progress has already been made. Four quilt tops have been completed, one in progress still. Two backings and bindings are complete. All I need is a bunch of batting to complete the two and to soon complete the others. Fun!
I started this quilt last night and I already finished it this evening. It is better than I visualized prior to patching it together. Beautiful fabric from Connecting Threads, among the first I have ever bought new (most of my stash was from the thrift store previously).

Soon, I will share some of the other finished baby quilt tops and, perhaps, I will buy some batting tomorrow so I can finish some of the quilts yearning to be completed. Until then, good night. It is getting a bit late. More soon........


Friday, November 11, 2011

Autumn Bike Ride

Riding through the neighborhood on my bike, 
Passing through like the breeze,
No two properties, nor trees alike, 
Will soon change with winter freeze.
By Jayme

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Zigzag Rainbow Baby Quilt Top

This is the first baby quilt top I will share with you that, when finished, will be sold in my shop on Etsy. Yes, I know fairly recently I said I didn't feel ready to do so, but I have since refined my skills, to my own amazement. Furthermore, I am simply ready to sell my work as it unfolds. The shop will open when a few things are ready to go. Right now there are 2 finished quilt tops, 2 partially completed tops, 1 nearly done top (all for babies), and 6 tooth fairy pillows that are each 90% finished. So, here is the one that was finished this evening. The colors burst forth with the white zigzags between each color. I really enjoyed using a variety of fabrics, rather than making a uniform pattern within each zigzag. It gives it a bit more character anyway. :)

Be back with more soon.....


Saturday, November 05, 2011

Fall Pumpkin Recipes

One of my favorite elements of fall and winter is the continuous opportunity to bake and create new things and old in the kitchen. The togetherness of making food with one another, the warmth of the oven or stovetop, the warmth of food freshly baked, the coziness therein, the natural ingredients, the appreciation of the process and the divine results, the nourishment of tummy and soul, etc....... It is a wonderful thing, especially when there are family and friends to share with. So, I decided to come up with a few pumpkin-esque recipes this last week to celebrate the continuing harvest season.


Iced Pumpkin Cookies

 These lightly-spiced cookies were super moist and sweet. Every bite was like a taste of Autumn, cozy at home by the fire. Enjoy!


2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda                
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves                
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract                

2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter                
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.
  4. To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.                

This recipe should easily make 36 cookies, about 3 batches in the oven.


 Spiced Pumpkin Bread

This bread was very simple and delicious. I will definitely make this Fall comfort food again next year... in fact, I am making at least another loaf before year's end! The boys loved it and it certainly didn't last a day in our house. You can find the recipe here at Plain and Joyful Living.


 Peanut Butter Pumpkins

These cute little treats were a blast for the boys to help with, but they are certainly a bit on the sweet side. These are along the lines of a healthier version of candy, being that they are made mostly of peanut butter, but they still have a ton of butter and sugar. A titillating pleasure for those with a fierce sweet tooth, these pumpkins are a cute, simple treat that little ones can enjoy.


1/2 cup butter 
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 (16 ounce) package confectioners' sugar, sifted   
red food coloring  
yellow food coloring  
green decorators icing   


Melt butter in a large bowl and add a few drops of yellow and red food coloring, until mixture has a nice orange color.
  1. Add the peanut butter and confectioners sugar and mix together until a dough-like consistency is reached. (This means that when the dough is nice and stiff and it gets hard to add any more sugar, to let it go at that).
  2. Shape dough into small balls shaped like pumpkins; make ridges on the pumpkins with a toothpick or butter knife.
  3. Add a small amount of green decorators icing to the top of each pumpkin for a stem.
  4. Refrigerate, if you like, to allow pumpkins to firm.
  5. Serve on a plate lined with toasted coconut and Halloween decorated cookies, if desired; these also look good on top of cupcakes.


Pumpkin Spice Latte

This was fantastic! My old beat up mug that was only half full happened to be the only photo I caught between all of our lattes. The 3 boys dove in right away before I could capture a pretty picture. Can't blame them. The only modification I made to their's from that of mine was that they didn't have any coffee in their's. Lovely recipe for those who want to kick up their coffee or hot chocolate craving a notch or two. This recipe can be found here...with a much nicer photo, too. ;)


Pumpkin Hummus

This delicious hummus is great for parties, snacking, or even a pretty solid lunch. We were certainly full once 3 of us finished this platter for a mid-day meal last week. There was a fantastic balance between the pumpkin, garbanzo beans, and spices. We just couldn't get enough, me and the little ones. I will certainly make this one again! The pumpkin hummus recipe can be found at the same website as the latte above.

......And there were even leftovers after filling up.....


So, there you have it. A cozy little collection of pumpkin recipes, aside from the obvious traditional pumpkin pie. Try them and enjoy! Let me know if you have any more fantastic ideas for pumpkin recipes. In the case that we try a few more, perhaps I will share a pumpkin recipes post #2.


Friday, November 04, 2011


Halloween was mellow, as it is every year for us. We usually hit Main St. in town with the kids because it is early, safe, and fun to see the creativity in others' costumes. There are usually some pretty creative ones. My favorite this year had to be a little boy who was maybe 7 years old, dressed up as Edward Scissorhands. The perfection of the wig and the costume, along with his professional-looking makeup job made him look like a movie-quality Mini-me of the original character. Not only was he super cute, but genuine and cool. The other winning costume ended up being my old friend (though I didn't realize it until later) in a homemade-walking-on-her-head costume. She was literally talking to me with her hands in the air, faceless, through a pair of pants, holding shoes as if her feet were above her. She was cracking up as she gave me "crotch hugs". Hee hee hee! Clever, Leslie. You are such a goofball!

This year, for several months, Jared has been talking about being a vampire. I tried to steer him away from that a bit, suggesting a scarecrow or something easy to create with very little. But, No. His unwavering choice was undeniable on my part, and I had to make this happen for him. How could I let him down? We had neither the money for a "frivolous" costume, nor materials and patterns to make one. So, we happened to find some clearance fabric in black and in red. I bought it and came up with a vampiric cape pattern that seemed to come together as I tried it on Jared several times, as if he were a mannequin. We had some black hair spray from last year, we threw in a pair of cheap teeth and makeup, and voila! He loved it and he looked awesome!!! Dylan inherited the monkey costume in their dress-up clothes. Jared wore this costume when he was Dylan's age, too. Nothing wrong with hand-me-downs. Cuteness is timeless and Dylan pulls off the costume with an original cuteness. :)

And here is silly me..... I neither wear makeup nor dresses and skirts. So, Halloween is my excuse to "get girly." I wasn't going to dress up, but I saw this gorgeous skirt in my closet....beautiful, but I just know I will never wear it.... and I found the cape in the very back. So, last minute, I created a Colonial witch...mildly like the characters of Hocus Pocus. It looks better with the hood of my cloak on my head, but it's a decent enough shot. ;)

We just enjoyed the simplicity of the celebration, along with the inevitable entertainment of others clad in their Halloween spirit, and the kids enjoyed the short-lived ability to binge on candy before we returned home.

~ Happy Halloween~

A Day In Apple Hill

Though we technically live here, Apple Hill is a fantastic place to meet up with family because it is essentially just down the road. Convenient and cost-effective. Harvesty and fun. I thought we were going to be getting little pumpkins for the boys, but we got a couple bags of apples instead. Yay! Apple pies among other treats are on the menu in the near future.

Contemplating, Awaiting what is to come....

Chilling on the Tire Swing ....

Reaching, Picking, Gathering...

Tossing, Catching, Munching.....

Going for the Perfect Apple....

Concentrating, Helping, Eating Pumpkin Muffins....

Smiling, Laughing, Enjoying......

Avoiding his photo being taken and laughing, knowing that Mom was catching him when he wasn't even aware of it.

Turning with a perfect smile when calling his name out and tricking him, once again....

Stroking Brother's hair.....

Amusing the Girls....

Laughing, Conversing, Amazing me with how fast these little ones are growing.......

Swinging, Playing, Hanging....

Flying Back and Forth, Showing off......

Intensely Talking, Connecting, Hanging Out.......

We didn't really do too much that day, but it was a day of beautiful young faces and laughs and togetherness. Happy Harvest!