Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Farmyard Babies

Tyler's preschool teacher (Ranita) is having a baby. And the baby shower is Thursday during class. Yes, I know, that is tomorrow....

After my encounter with the mother's in his class, I didn't feel comfortable just handing them the $30 they wanted from each student to buy her a gift. And Tyler wanted the baby to have a quilt from him.

So....last Friday, I got busy, and made this quilt:

It's smaller than my normal baby quilt (I somehow end up making all quilts huge), but.....I think I'm in love with it. I know Tyler is in love with it. You can't see it in these pictures, and it is too dark to get a really good picture, but I quilted "love Tyler" into the quilting design (which I will try and get another picture of tomorrow). Which he was thrilled with. I should have done the bias binding, but....seeing as how I quilted it after I got home from work today, went to soccer practice with BOTH kids, came home and did chores, and machine stitched the binding down, bias binding was the last thing on my mind! Right now it is in the washer. I'll stay up to put it in the dryer and then I am off to bed!

Ranita's mother saw the quilt today while I was at work (we all go to the same church denomination and she is involved with the district and is in and out of the district office where I work) - she wants me to make a bumper pad and dust ruffle to match. She thinks Ranita will love it.

I certainly am hopeful that she will.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Quick Finish

Yesterday I cleaned out the barn. At least it is a little more organized now and it's swept. I need Todd to help me move some of the heavy stuff (well, really I don't, but I'll make him feel important. And.....if I show that I can move the heavy stuff, I'll be doing it all the time, right?).

I had to pick Jessie up from school - she was complaining that she had a stomach ache. I'm pretty sure it's the medication she is on - upset stomach and headache is one of the side effects along with decreased appetite - and she did tell me she didn't eat much for lunch as it didn't sound good. So I made her favorite for dinner last night (grilled chicken sandwiches, cole slaw and potatoe wedges cooked on the grill with sour cream and shredded cheese) and sent her to school with some healthy snacks for her to munch on at snack time and on the bus ride home.

So I was out in the barn by myself. Tyler says he got stung by a bee on the hand. But I couldn't see a mark, and by the time Todd got home 2 hours later, he was stung by a bee, a honey bee, a wasp, a yellow jacket and a hornet - all at the same time. So I let him put ice on them and sit outside.

After we watched "24" last night (that is pretty much the only show I will sit down and watch) I put together a baby quilt for Tyler's teacher. I don't know why it is rotated get the idea. She's doing the baby's room in baby farm animals, and I found the farm animal fabric on ebay. This is just 1 corner of it- there are 4 rows of farm animal fabric and 3 rows of 4 patch squares. At least it's going quick - the baby shower is Thursday. I'll quilt it tonight (something simple - maybe circles or a meander) and put the binding on it tomorrow night. Nothing like waiting til the last minute, I know but.....when it's 88 degrees outside, who wants to be inside???
Have a great day everyone!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pig heaven

Our whirlwind trip went wonderfully. We could not have asked for better weather (high 80's).

We left Saturday night a little after 6 - pulled into the farm at 9:05 - which included stopping for Wendy's at a drive through. 195 miles down. Much thanks to that trucker we got behind that was moving. ahem.
Sunday morning we were up, had breakfast and out in the field looking at calves. Hopefully, one of these 2 will be coming home with us later this fall:

I tell you though, we were in a polaris wrangler (?) and going straight down and straight up some of those hills - pretty scary. Todd's aunt and uncle live on top of a mountain - no two ways about it - and I guess when you have to get to the bottom, what do you do?

They had a couple calves that needed capturing and ear tagging - so Todd helped his cousin Adam while I drove the wrangler (we won't mention the downed tree I drove over - Adam did tell me it could go over anything). Although I'm glad I was in charge of driving rather than catching calves. This momma was the calmest one. I was laughing too hard while they were getting chased by momma cows to take any pictures of the other ones.

We loaded up piggys about 10:30, and hit the road for home. Another just over 3 hour drive, and we pulled in. Got piggies unloaded, in their respective pens, and headed to Todd's parents to eat dinner and pick up the kids. The kids of course wanted to come right home and see the pigs but I told them I wasn't cooking so they agreed to wait until after we ate.

Tyler is not real thrilled that his pigs didn't want to come right up to him. But they are only 5 weeks old so hopefully they will get friendlier towards him soon. And he wasn't thrilled that they are girl pigs - apparently he wanted boy pigs - but then decided he was cool with it.

Jessie's pigs are a pain in the BUTT! Knocking over their water pan, their feed pan, etc. So we had to quick build the pig waterer as they are into everything.

Hopefully tonight we can get the barn cleaned and organized. It's looking a little full right now since we had to quick empty out another pen for the pigs - Adam thought the little ones wouldn't grow good if they were in with the bigger pair.

Have a great day!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Yes I disappeared. I've been reading everyone's blog faithfully, having some good laughs but....

For some reason, this spring seems busier than any other spring.
The start of the week was cold. And rainy. But nonetheless, Wednesday night both kids had soccer. At the same time. 15 miles apart. So I drop Jessie off, and race to Tyler's practice. Only to look ahead down the road and see storm clouds. I no sooner pull in at Tyler's practice and it starts thundering and lightning.
So back to Jessie's practice we go. To sit. Through the 2 hour practice.
This was the view as I was headed back to Jessie's practice. The bright blue sky was ahead of us....and you can see what was in my mirror behind us!
Yesterday I had to go 45 min. away to get a few bags of pig feed that are the same as what the pigs are eating in PA at this point in time. Today I'm checking with our feed store on what they have for the pigs - I'm NOT driving 1 1/2 hours just for special pig feed.
And I finished piecing this table topper, and it's basted and ready for me to practice my hand quilting on the way to and from PA on Sunday:

Tonight I have to go get a friend's pig box so we can haul 4 piggies home from PA safely. Todd is working late today and probably all day tomorrow, so the kids and I will be busy. I'll put them to work bedding the pig pen and cleaning up the barn while I mow the yard. And of course, we have soccer games tomorrow morning.

At least it may finally be warming up here - 78 today and 84 tomorrow - I cannot WAIT! I'm itching to get out in my garden - maybe I'll have to break down and plant some lettuce seeds this weekend.....


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Not very motivated.....

Of course, with doing the whole steer show thing this weekend, plus soccer I am a little behind on the necessities like clean laundry and a clean bathroom.

I've done 7 loads of laundry between yesterday and today, I have about 5 loads folded and put away, and 4 more loads to do. One of these years I will get caught up.

We've had a change of plans for the weekend. APPARENTLY, we need to have Jessie's 4-H pigs in our possession by May 1st. So Todd and I are driving the 3 1/2 hour 1 way trip to PA on Sunday. And his parents are watching the kids for the day. I don't know that I am looking forward to driving 7 hours in a single day but.....I certainly don't want someone from the swine committee showing up May 2nd to see if we have our pigs and them not be here and she get disqualified!

Have a great evening!

Monday, April 20, 2009

We have created a MONSTER

Jessie showed Oreo for the first time yesterday......and we have definitely created a MONSTER.

Who would have thought it would take 3 adults and 2 kids to get one little girl and one steer into the ring???

But she enjoyed it tremendously. And we (Todd and I) are sooooooo tired!

She showed in 2 classes, the market steer class and the Wayne County born and bred class. She ended up 3rd in her market steer class (out of 7) and 6th in the Wayne County class (out of 10). Not to shabby for her 1st time in the ring.
All we asked her to do was lead him (and hang onto him), keep his head up and scratch his belly and keep him calm. We didn't want her to set him up (getting his feet square so he looks nice) even though she knows how to do that and has been practicing. We thought it's enough for her first show to just hang onto him. Because he can be a butthead. She quickly figured out when she should be setting him up, and got him set up correctly in both classes.
She came out of the ring after the first class wanting to know when the next show was, where it was and if we could go.

I'm just glad she had a good time and didn't come out of the ring saying I'm NEVER showing a steer again.....

Friday, April 17, 2009

2 days...

With 2 days to go until the show, we've been busy, to say the least. Last night Jessie had tutoring until 5:00, then an extra soccer practice from 6-7:30 (her former coach offered to help her out on some kicking problems she is having). So I got out there upon getting home from work and washed and dried Oreo, as he is being clipped tonight.

Him and I survived, and he is clean. When I get done working today, I'm going home to wash him again, dry him again, and then Jason can come work his magic. Lucky Todd - he's either been working or taking a conceal and carry class in the evenings to get his permit. I've already told Todd and Jessie that they are is in charge of the baths for Oreo on Saturday and Sunday (and she was ticked that she wasn't there yesterday to wash him).....

Tonight, Oreo is being clipped, and we are taking one of Jessie's friends to go to my nephew's house to look at rabbits for this little girl.

Isn't the sun a wonderful thing????After 3 days of nonstop rain, we finally saw 61 yesterday and SUN! Today will be 68 and more SUN, tomorrow 72 and lots of SUN and then back in the mid 60s for Sunday.

Amazing how much better a person feels after just being out in the sunlight!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Teacher Quilts

A number of you seemed to be in awe of the amount of quilts I'm doing for the kids' teachers this year - here's my "explanation" and a little bit of a rant!

When Jessie was in 1st grade, she had 2 teachers who job shared. The other room mom and I got the fantastic idea to make both teachers a quilt - we had the kids draw on white muslin a design for each teacher. I then put the borders on it and sewed around it and turned it right side out (envelope edge) and Janet quilted around each block. We would have done traditional quilting, but we thought of this idea the 1st of May....and the party was the end of May. We had 4 sets of fabric markers, and sent a set of markers home with 4 kids - when they sent their fabric and markers back, we sent out another round.

Same room Mom and I are room moms again this year (her son and Jessie have been in the same class together since kindergarten, and we've been room moms together every year). This year, we sent the fabric and markers to school, and had the art teacher organize the kids to make their blocks - note to self - MUCH better idea.

I have the fabric and blocks - I'll do the sashing, basting and quilting - Janet will sew the binding on.

Now for the rant!

2 weeks ago, Tyler calls me at work from the babysitters - all upset to no end. Seems there is a gift for the teachers being planned, and one of the mom's brought up the quilt I had done for Jessie's teacher (her daughter and Jessie are in the same class, her son and Tyler are in the same class). So they thought this was a fantastic idea.

Only problem - these people don't know their heads from holes in the ground.

They HONESTLY thought it would be just dandy to cut a used couch slipcover into squares and have the kids draw on the back with sharpie markers. And Tyler knows what a quilt is supposed to look like. And when he got the packet - he was a little disappointed. Add to the fact, the letter that came home with the packet said "Mrs. Bair has kindly agreed to quilt this quilt using the rest of the slipcover for the backing and a fleece blanekt for the batting."

WHAT THE %&#)%@&()?

No one mentioned a word to me......

I call this mom and ask her how she thinks this will work.....well, we wont have to buy fabric and I managed to get most of the squares so they don't show any stains.

In the end I lost my cool and told her I would not quilt this quilt (I am not running that mess through my Bernina), Tyler would not be contributing to it, etc...... After we go round and round, I volunteered to buy all the fabric and batting, put the top together, quilt it and bind it - and if parents want to give me a couple dollars for the materials, fine, if not, that is fine too. Tyler has had 2 awesome preschool teachers, I want them to have something wonderful to remember this class by....not a used, stain slipcover colored on with sharpie markers.

As I told Todd, I am NOT a professional quilter, I DO NOT do this for a living, I HAVE NO desire to quilt for a living, but......I do not want it said that I quilted something so inferior.....and I want to take NO CHANCE in breaking my 13 year old Bernina.......I don't want a new machine just yet:) He thought that was a fabulous idea (not wanting a new machine) after seeing the prices on new Berninas......

So my machine will be kicking it in high gear in the coming weeks, whether I am feeling motivated or not.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Not a whole lot going on here.....

we've been working with Oreo every single night. The kids enjoy running the blower on him.....

And here is one way to get your cat to sleep with you:

I went in to put Tyler's easter webkinz in his bed with him (he had lost it and I found it in our bed) and as I put it down on his pillow (so he wouldn't maybe knock it out of bed), the cat screeched at me. I guess when you are pinned down by a little boy and another hand lands on you - it could be considered kinda scary:). Yes, I did quick turn Tyler's light on to take this picture, but he sleeps through anything....

No sewing has been happening, just cooking, working and trying to avoid the mud and rain. It's been raining pretty much nonstop since Monday morning......although, I do need to get my hiney in gear after this weekend - I have 3 teacher quilts to finish up by the middle of May.....
Have a great day!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Game On!!

With 7 days to go until the first steer show, we've been busy as heck here......

Let's see....Thursday afternoon a friend called - after I was done painting 1 wall in Tyler's room. We went to a park for an hour for the kids to blow off steam and then got pizza for dinner. 3 adults and 4 kids polished off a family size pizza (20 slices) and a small (8 slices) along with a mixed salad.

Friday afternoon the kids and I went to see Race to Witch Mountain. Should have gone and seen the Hannah Montana movie, but Tyler didn't want to watch a girly movie. Race to Witch Mountain was good, but not that good. Bid on 2 pigs for Jessie's 4-h project by phone Friday evening. Won both little piggies......we will go get them here in the next few weeks.

Saturday morning both kids had soccer games. And it was COLD out there at 9:00 in the morning for Jessie's game. And the field was WET. Jessie played her heart out, but you can see where as the kids get older, the girls get a little bit intimidated by the older boys. Especially the bigger boys. Tyler was a maniac during his game, which is no surprise. He just goes. And goes.

Saturday afternoon - we tried to wash Jessie's steer Red Man. Let's just say his former nickname of psycho calf - fits him really good. He bent the 1st grooming chute in half before we could get him out, and then tried to flip over the second grooming chute. Todd threatened to send him to Creston today, but we decided we want the satisfaction of eating his butt if he doesn't straighten out. So we get out Oreo - and he stands there like a champ while we wash and blow him dry. So Oreo wins the draw to go to the show this Sunday. Because we KNOW he will behave and not do anything stupid. And at this point, we are going for Jessie to have fun and gain some experience.

Sunday, we worked at cleaning up behind the barn. Piles of rough cut lumber that was punky went to the burn pile. Of course, we clean it up, and think it would make a great area to turn her pigs out into for exercize (it will be about 40x60 when we get it all fenced in. So we will go this week or next and get the boards and the posts, and will get it fenced in and use it for Jessie to walk her steers in, and turn out the pigs in.

We did have a wonderful Easter up at my parents with my sister, brother, grandmother, uncle and Todd's parents. But now, I am so ready to go back to work. I've worked way to hard these last few days and gotten nothing accomplished that I had hoped too....


Thursday, April 9, 2009


Well, I haven't gotten a whole lot done, but I've gotten enough done.

Tyler's got a BLUE wall in his room. Think bright royal blue......I stripped the wallpaper border off of 2 walls today in his room, and then painted 1 wall blue. Saphire blue paint. need to get another quart to give it a second coat. But he is loving it. The last 2 walls will either be white, a light beige or light grey. Still thinking.....if anyone has any suggestions on the color - SPEAK UP!

I got a 20 foot pole painted white that we are going to hang purple martin birdhouses on.

Tomorrow the kids and I are going to the matinee of Race to Witch Mountain. Jessie wanted to watch the Hannah Montana movie, but Tyler didn't want to watch a girly movie.

I'm so glad I have 3 more days before going to work again. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Why oh why

Do I let certain rooms of my house get overrun with clutter?

I had today off work - AWESOME. A day to play with the kids, sew, hang out.....

Oh No. I had to start cleaning out rooms.

Tyler's room looked like a bomb had gone off in it (and still does, really):

Then I got to the computer/sewing room. Pretty bad when I cannot get inside the door:

But....I cleaned out my roll top desk and moved it out into the family room. I'm thinking I can store IMPORTANT mail in here (like bills and such) and then we can pay them on a regular basis. No more hunting and searching for that elusive paper that got laid on the table 2 weeks ago. Do I need this roll top desk? Probably not....but.....Todd got it for me for a Christmas present the first Christmas we lived in this I cannot bear to part with it.

Pretty bad when I have around the desk cleaned up, and I have 2 bags of trash to show for my efforts.

I'm working tomorrow til noon, so hopefully I can squeeze in some blog reading after work. I miss catching up with everyone terribly bad, but....duty is calling.

Hope everyone has a great evening!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Piggy Love

This weekend included a whirlwind trip back to visit family in PA. Specifically, Todd's Aund and Uncle. Their son Adam raises show pigs. Good piggys. And he is having an auction this Friday (which we cannot attend due to prior committments). They honestly live up on top of a mountain, and you can see for miles and miles.....

So we wanted to go back and see his pigs. So we would have an idea about what the heck we are getting into.

57 little piglets all in a barn. These pigs have the life. Yes, they are inside, but it's so stinkin cold, they enjoy it. THeir pens get cleaned out every 8 hours and fresh straw put in, they have heat lamps, fresh water and plenty of grain. I was amazed that it did not stink when we first walked in there (after about 6 hours since the pens had been cleaned).

They also raise cattle (of course) and this weekend was a big weekend for calves for them. I think there were 12 born (they are expecting 130-140 total, and they had 40 some before we arrived) this weekend alone.

Of course, as we are looking at calves, Jessie picks out the calf she wants for next year's steer project (and it would be the high dollar one). I couldn't get a better picture of him standing up - Mom wasn't too thrilled that we were on the wrangler looking at him.

The kids cannot wait until pigs come to our house - I think they thought they could easily put them in the back of the Durango and bring them home with us.

I guess I know what we will be doing this summer!

Friday, April 3, 2009


6 years ago today, Tyler was born.

My SIL had just left maybe 30 minutes before my contractions started - Todd had agreed with me that it would be a great idea to have his sister come on a weekly basis and clean the kitchens and bathrooms (which might have also owned to the fact that if I got down on my hands and knees to scrub the floors I couldn't get back up and move and had told him he would have to start doing these things).

Todd was at an auction in Kidron, about 30 min. away.

My contractions started off with a bang - 3 minutes apart (at 5:00 p.m.). I called Todd - if you're not here in 20 min. I'm driving myself to the hospital.

He came flying in 22 min. later - we get to the hospital and I've already been on the phone with the doctor asking for my epidural as soon as I get there.

6 1/2 hours later, Tyler is born.....

What an easy baby. He slept through the night at 7 weeks old, walked at 13 months and always had a smile.

He was a sentimental little boy - just looking at him wrong would upset him to no end and he would start crying (thankfully he has outgrown it now). He is all boy, into tractors, farming, hunting, playing in the mud.

I cannot believe that he is 6 years old already.

He grows like a weed. A couple years ago I jokingly said he needed to quit growing (he was growing out of his jeans every 2-3 months at that point) and oh.....he got so upset with me thinking that he was growing to fast. He fights with his sister, and gets rather inventive on ways to antagonize her. He enjoys school right now, and is so ready for kindergarten in the fall.

Happy birthday buddy! Love you,

PS - today was the birthday party with grandparents, family and friends. I'll be back tomorrow with piggy pictures - I am EXHAUSTED!


Can you tell I am SO ready for the weekend?

What have I been up to? Well, Tyler's birthday is Sunday, and we had his party at school on Wednesday:

We are headed out to Punxsutawney, PA today (in fact, I am leaving work at noon so I can clean the house real quick before we go) to look at Jessie's pigs. Todd's cousin raises them and sells them for 4-H projects, and he has his sale on Good Friday (all the pigs are under 1 month old). But he wants us to make a final decision on which pigs we would like to try and buy through the sale. My suggestions that he pick the pig out so far have fallen on deaf ears. Lots of piggy pictures will be forthcoming on Monday.

Sunday, right when we get home (if all goes according to plan, this will be between noon and 1:00), Jessie's 4-H advisor is coming over to work with her and her steer and heifer for the upcoming show on the 19th.

And at 4:30, we are having family and friends over for Tyler's birthday dinner.

Here's the newest baby to the farm (the one born at 12:36 a.m.):

And here is the first baby, who has some structural problems in her back legs (you can sort of see on her left back leg how crooked it is - think very bow legged cowboy with no muscle tone in his legs). Hopefully she will grow out of them....she's a feisty little buggar.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Think Spring

Here is my spring table runner. I just need to get a solid (blue, green or beige) to fill in between each square. I like it - not what I was envisioning but....sometimes that is for the best, right?

And I don't know why in the world the picture is rotated get the idea

Also, a BIG THANK YOU to my bloggy friend Ana for nominating me for this award:

the rules are:

1. put the logo on your blog or post.

2. nominate blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude.

3. link to your nominees within your post.

4. let them know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. share the love and link this post to the person from whom you received your award.

Here's how I'm doing this one....anyone who left a comment on either my last post or my RIP Abby post - take the award from me:) I'm too computer illiterate to write down everyone's blog addresses on a piece of paper, do the links and go from there. I know there's got to be an easier way to add links but....I only know what I know. I'll visit your blogs here shortly to let you know you've received the award....later tonight or tomorrow.....we've been working with the steers and heifers and BOTH kids had soccer...


PS - Happy April Fools Day everyone.