Back to School Time!

I Just realized that 90% of my blog titles include an exclamation point. lol. #SorryNotSorry. But y’all! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Back to school! July was hard, mainly because it’s do dang hot we can barely handle the walk from the house to the car let alone actually being outside. I also had a bit of a funk feeling like a failure because, despite my elaborate plans, we did basically zero academics this summer. I’m trying to remind myself of all that I *did* accomplish- the room swap, teaching Xander to swim, Mia being comfortable in the water, summer camps, getting Mia to wear her hearing aids, vegging with Kate, so many appointments, swimming, swimming, swimming. πŸ™‚ And now we’re down to the last bittersweet week of summer and it’s already jam packed with back to school events and more appointments. I think our laid back summer was just what we all needed to recharge after our first school year back at an actual school, but they are beyond ready to get to see their friends again. πŸ™‚ Let’s see how the July goals went…

  1. Advent Calendar. Yikes. Not only did I not work on this at all (again) but we didn’t even do Christmas in July.
  2. Bee Yourself. I got the hexagons done! But I still need to finish the lyric block and the London flag. Might be time to pack this up for a while and out up something new…
  3. Quilt Show. I got the caterpillars all entered! Now i jut need to attach the sleeve to the back and make the labels.
  4. Hexagons. I got them rebasted! My grandmother and I basted the center section on her kitchen table and got it all marked for quilting. I’m making some progress and I’m loving it!
  5. Project Life. Um, I didn’t even look at this.
  6. Scrap Prep. I not only got July 2019 prepped, I got it scrapped! I didn’t get anything done on August or September, but progress is progress. πŸ™‚
  7. Scrap February 2021. I never did find these pics…
  8. Scrap Current Pages. I didn’t get 10 done, but I did get 2 done. πŸ™‚ Plus all of July 2022 is edited and printed. And I got 30 new background pages done!
  9. Ice Cream Soda. I got the pink, red, orange bottom corner done. πŸ™‚
  10. Labels. Not yet.

Shall we set some August goals?

  1. Scrap June and July 2022. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
  2. Print pics for August and September 2019. I’m making a push to finish 2019 before the end of the year.
  3. Interview books. One of my favorite annual traditions!
  4. First day of school pictures. Maybe I’ll even print some of the backlog this year.
  5. Advent Calendar. omg. I have to start working on this. RaptorDad and I are listening to a book on tape and I’m hoping to get some serious work done on the advent calendar. I think finish the trim and do 2 toys.
  6. Hexagons. I’d like to quilt the center part that’s already basted.
  7. Caterpillars. I need to attach a sleeve for the quilt show!
  8. Bee Yourself Quilt. I’m bored again. I’m going to attempt to finish the lyric block, but then I think I’m going to take it down and put something else back up.
  9. Ice Cream Soda. Hmm… Maybe I’ll try to get round 6 done? It’s already prepped. (I think?)
  10. Snacks. I’m playing DND (don’t judge lol) and we’re going to take turns bringing snacks. I want to make mine themey! πŸ™‚

It’s Almost Summer!

You guys! It’s almost summer!!! And I am so freaking excited. πŸ™‚ Let’s see how April went…

  1. Butterfly and Caterpillar Quilts. Still no labels (which is ridiculous since they shouldn’t take more than an hour lol) but I did manage to finish the quilts themselves. πŸ™‚ Twinsies were delighted with them.
  2. Party Time. It went swimmingly! RaptorDad truly excels at party planning.
  3. Subbing. I subbed 6 days plus I had some birthday money that I put in there as the equivalent of a 7th day. Not too shabby! I really need 9 (7 for Africa +2 for the car) but such is life. lol. Subbing 6 days in a month was honestly about as much as I can handle so I’m looking for creative ways to make up the difference. Maybe some summer mini-sessions? Something to ponder.
  4. Scrap Gap. ::sigh:: I didn’t scrap a single page this month.
  5. Project Life. Nope. Nothing there either.
  6. Current Scrapbooks. Um… yeah. See above. lol.
  7. Advent Calendar. I didn’t even come close to finishing this, but I did pull it out and work on it one day.
  8. Quilt Retreat. This was amazing! I had so much fun and I made so much progress on my smitten quilt. πŸ™‚
  9. Summer Plans. Didn’t book any fun day trips, but I did get their summer camps scheduled and I emailed about swim lessons.
  10. Weekly Schedule. Didn’t do much on this, but I did decide on our weekly themes- each week will be a different country. Japan is up first and I’m so excited! πŸ™‚

So May Goals…

  1. Smitten Quilt. Obviously. lol. I’m within striking distance! I’d love to finish this top this month and I honestly think I can do it!
  2. Teacher Gifts. Need to figure out something cute and budget friendly. lol.
  3. Scrap. I’d like to scrap 10 current layouts. I need to be doing something and clearly old stuff isn’t very motivating. lol.
  4. Finalize Summer Master Schedule. By this, I mean getting a monthly view summer wall calendar and putting everything in it- camps, event, field trips, themes, etc.
  5. Advent Calendar. I’d like to switch this up a bit- I want to spend 4 nights on it this month- roughly 1 a week.
  6. Passport. I need to renew my passport for Africa! I want to get it sent off this month just so I can get it back waaaaay before I need it. πŸ™‚
  7. Pool Pass. We bought a pool pass! I’m so freaking excited. I’m determined that Xander will learn to swim this summer. We need to go get our pictures taken for our pass so we can start swimming. πŸ™‚
  8. Prep round 6 and 7 of my Ice Cream Soda quilt.
  9. Prep Japan week. So many fun ideas! I would like to get everything finalized for our first few weeks.
  10. Prep Week 2. I need to decide on a country and prep week 2. Maybe Greece? I feel like if I have at least the first 2 weeks prepped, it’ll be a good start.

Can it be done? Who knows. lol. But bottom line, I’d like to make some progress on my quilts, get back to scrapbooking, and set us up for summer success. Fingers crossed!

April Goals!

We made it through March! A bit bittersweet because it marks a year that we’ve been living in lockdown. It’s been crazy watching my timehop posts come up from last March when we thought this was going to over in just a few weeks, and yet here we are. lol. I am FOR SURE ready for my kids to go back to school next fall. But you know what? I have also really loved this year as we’ve been forced to slow down and spend 24/7 together. I feel like my kids are much closer than they used to be now that they are their only playmates. And as frustrating as virtual school is, there has been something magical about teaching my kids to read. <3

  1. Hexies. Totally got another block done!
  2. Caterpillar Quilt. ::sigh:: I did not get the center done, but I did make some progress on in. I got another row done and got a bunch more pinwheels done! Only one row to go. πŸ™‚
  3. Project Life. Well, I got less done on this this month, but I did get February finished so that’s something.
  4. Scrapbook. I didn’t get 4 months done, but I did get 2! I got January of 2021 and February of 2019. Slowly but surely making progress. πŸ™‚
  5. Monthly Kid Adventure. We did 2 this month since it was spring break! We went to Longhorn Caverns State Park and Mustang Island State Park. Highly recommend both!
  6. Monthly Seasonal Celebration. We did some stuff for Saint Patrick’s Day, but we also made pie for Pi Day which was super fun. πŸ™‚
  7. Staff Development. Whoops. I didn’t even look at this. lol. Oh well.
  8. Windchime Quilt. I got block number 11 done!
  9. Low Volume Log Cabin. Not only did I do 6 blocks, I did 14 AND got them all assembled into a quilt top!
  10. Ice Cream Soda. I got the joining pieces on round 1, and I got 3/7 blocks done for round 4. πŸ™‚

And now for April. πŸ™‚

  1. Hexies. Always hexies. lol. I want to get another block done this month. I’m also teaching a virtual workshop on English Paper Piecing this month so I need to update my presentation.
  2. Caterpillar Quilt. No excuses. I have to design and applique 2 more blocks and then add the last row.
  3. Project Life. I guess finish March 2021?
  4. Scrapbook. I’d love to finish February and March of 2021 and March of 2019. This will never happen. lol.
  5. Monthly Kid Adventure. Not sure where we’re going this month… Need to figure it out!
  6. Monthly Seasonal Celebration. Easter! I even remembered to order white eggs and a dye kit. lol.
  7. Bluebonnet Pictures. I usually do these in March, but I feel like the bluebonnets are coming out a bit late this year. I need to find a good location and figure out some outfits.
  8. 60 Degree Diamond Quilt. I need to pull this out and finish quilting it.
  9. GoPro. RaptorDad got me a GoPro for my birthday! I’m so excited! I would love to edit together a little video this month and put it on the blog. πŸ™‚
  10. Twins Turn 6! The RaptorBabies turn 6 this month! ::sob:: Where has the time gone?!? I need to figure out something to make their birthday fun since we can’t have a party.

Epiphany Celebration!

I was envisioning more of a snowflake craft extravaganza when I thought about a January seasonal celebration, but then Epiphany! I usually try (and fail) to make a king cake for Mardi Gras. But when I was looking up ideas for epiphany this year, king cake kept coming up. Then it hit me, KING cake= 3 KINGS! Duh!

Usually my cake is tasty but ugly. My dough is just never right. But this year, I went straight to my favorite baking recipe site: King Arthur Flour. You guys, if you’re not using their recipes, you are missing out! They are so easy to follow and they never disappoint.

So this year I kneaded it waaaaaay longer than I normally do and it turned out so good! It rolled out into an actual rectangle JUST LIKE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO! And it was absolutely delicious. I didn’t roll it out quite big enough so it baked into a bit of a blob, but there was an actual spiral with filling inside. And it was soooooo good. I just need to remember to order some purple sugar sprinkles. My just-add-red-food-coloring-to-the-blue-sprinkles-plan didn’t ::quite:: work out the way I had planned, but the kids didn’t complain. πŸ™‚

Happy New Year!!!

I love the new year! Everything always seems so fresh, shiny, new, and full of possibilities. πŸ™‚ I’ve been doing some project updates this week, but for the sake of clarity I’m going to do a very brief recap of my 2020 goals.

  1. Project life. 16/20.
  2. Scrapbook. 9/20.
  3. Hexies Progress. Done!
  4. Kid Adventures. Done!
  5. Montessori Trays. Done!
  6. Girl Scouts. 13/20.
  7. Bee Yourself Quilt. 15/20.
  8. Blog posts. Done!
  9. Liturgical Living. 9/20.
  10. Home Projects. 17/20.
  11. Recipes. 4/20.
  12. Butterfly/ Caterpillar Progress. Done!
  13. Nine Patches. Done!
  14. Date Nights. 8/20.
  15. Plants. Done!
  16. Staff Development Progress. Done!
  17. Books. Done!
  18. Trash. 15/20.
  19. Caring Place. 12/20.
  20. Pounds. Well, I’m still up 5 pound from my pre-quarantine weight, but I am down 15 from my covid high, so a partial win? It’s finally moving in the right direction at any rate.

I have been trying to decide how I want to structure my goals for this year, but I just can’t choose! The time for dillydallying is past though so here goes. As much as I loved 20x20in2020, it was kind of a lot to keep track of and I felt like I was shoehorning in some goals that didn’t really fit the structure, so I’m changing it up this year. I’ve decided to pick 10 things to work on this year, and then I’ll probably still set smaller monthly goals.

  1. I want to finish my hexies! At least the center of the top. lol. That’s 14 more hexie blocks and then the assembly. Once it’s together, I’ll need to make some decisions about borders etc, but just getting the hexies together would be amazing. Since I finished 14 blocks this year, it feels achievable?
  2. Butterfly Quilt. I have the center assembled, just need to make some decisions about borders and finish the pinwheels. I’d love to have this completely finished by the end of the year, but a lot of that hangs on how I decide to quilt it. At minimum, I’d like to have the top completed.
  3. Caterpillar Quilt. Same except that I’m not as far along with this one. I have the top 8 rows assembled and all of the caterpillars appliqued. I need to finish the embroidery on 2 caterpillars, design and applique 5 blocks of fruit, and assemble the center. Also, so many pinwheels. lol.
  4. Project Life. I want to finish 2019 (3 layouts), 2020 (November and December), and keep current with 2021. I think there is zero chance that this happens, lol, but it’s good to have goals.
  5. Scrapbooks. I’d love to finish 2020 (6 months), keep current with 2021, and make some progress towards closing the gaps. Hmm… I’m so far behind it’s hard to know what to set as a goal. lol. You know what? I’m splitting this goal, so number 5 will be current scrapbooks: 2020 and 2021. I think this is actually doable. Which leads us to goal number 6…
  6. The dreaded scrapbook gap… I’m caught up through the end of October 2018. So maybe finish 2018 and then scrap every other month for 2019? No, better idea. I’m going to shoot for finishing the calendar layouts (which I hate doing) and then 2 additional layouts per month. That way at least something will be scrapped for each month and it’s seems more doable.
  7. Bucilla Advent Calendar. I’m adding this to my master list so that I will be reminded to work on it all year instead of waiting until mid November to pull it out. lol.
  8. Monthly Kid Adventures. I want to pick one bigger adventure each month. Something totally new. Current ideas include some local state parks.
  9. Monthly Seasonal Celebration. Pick a monthly theme and do something. lol.
  10. Homeschool. Take advantage of our Blossom and Root curriculum! Not sure how to make this measurable, but it’s a goal nonetheless.

So then I’m left with January goals…

  1. Thank you notes.
  2. December Daily.
  3. Project Life. Finish 2019 and November 2020. Work on January 2021.
  4. Scrapbooks. I’m focusing on Project Life this month, so just keeping current with January 2021.
  5. Kid Adventure. I want to take the kids to Mother Neff State Park. It seems like a totally doable day trip.
  6. Get organized for January homeschool.
  7. Finish teal and navy fruit blocks. This is high priority! I want to get the caterpillars to the same spot as the butterflies.
  8. Hexies. I’d like to finish 1 block.
  9. Seasonal Celebration. I’m sure I’ll come up with something? Maybe some new Montessori trays?
  10. Windchime. I’d like to prep and finish 1 block.

Whew! That was a long post, but it helps me to organize my thoughts and set goals. I’ll try to have some more posts with pictures soon!

2020 Quilty Recap

I thought it might be good to do a little progress report on all of my quilts. One of my goals for 2020 is to actually ::finish:: some projects and I’m hoping this helps motivate me to accomplish that!

  1. Hexagons. The OG quilt. I started off the year with 11 of the 12 super hexies completed, 20 blocks total, and fully 1/3 of the quilt sewn together. I now have all 12 of the super hexies done, 34 out of 48 blocks completed, and 1/2 of the quilt assembled. Which sounds pretty impressive when I type it out! I basically got 14 blocks done this year and I have 14 to go. I’d really love to finish this top this year.
  2. Bee Yourself. This is the second oldest UFO quilt and I made some real progress this year! I started off the year with 21/ 63 blocks done and I’m ending with 36/ 63 done. That’s 15 new blocks done! Plus, I have a plan for most of the remaining blocks which is half the battle!
  3. The third oldest UFO quilt is my Christmas one. I started the year off with the top finished. I ended up sending it out to be quilted by a longarmer and it looks amazing! I’m about halfway done with the binding and then it will be finished. πŸ™‚
  4. Next up is my Windchimes! I started the year with 3 blocks complete and now I have 9! I thought about stopping here and making a small wall hanging, but I love these blocks too much to quit. I’m thinking maybe 4×4? Or even the full 5×5!
  5. Then comes the Butterflies and Caterpillars. I started the year with 16 butterflies done and now I have all 39 finished! For the caterpillars, I started with 5 done and now I have all 11 done minus a teeny bit of embroidery on 2 of them. As for the fruit, I started the year with no fruit and I now have 12/ 17 done. I’ve also finished all of the 9 patches and I’m about 1/4 of the way through the pinwheels. πŸ™‚
  6. Pixilated Heart Quilt! This one was so fun and easy that I’m considering making a second one. πŸ™‚ I finished the top last year between Christmas and New Years, then I set it aside for a loooooong time. I actually quilted it myself and bound it this year. It’s a favorite to snuggle with on the couch!
  7. I started by 60* diamond wallhanging in April and it’s almost done! I’m hand quilting it so it’s taking a bit longer, but I’ve just got the border to go. πŸ™‚
  8. In May I started a low volume log cabin quilt and I’ve now got 6 blocks done. I’m in no hurry with this one, but it’s been fun to play with low volume fabrics.
  9. And my final new project is my Ice Cream Soda Quilt! I love this one so much! I have 14 blocks done and a bunch more to go. I think there’s something like 68 in the finished quilt? They are so much fun! I’m not in any rush to finish this one; I’m just enjoying playing with all of the pretty fussy cuts. πŸ™‚

All this to say that my big quilty goals this year are to finish the hexagon, butterfly, and caterpillar tops. πŸ™‚

Scrapping?

This year, I feel like I’ve made loads of progress on my quilts, decent progress on Project Life, and minimal progress on my scrapbooks. I’m considering a big push to get some scrapping done this week to avoid getting further behind. So some mini goals…

  1. Project Life. I was doing really great on this goal, but then the last 2 months I’ve done basically nothing. I’d really love to do the last 3 weeks of 2019 at minimum. If I could get November and December of 2020 done it would be a minor miracle. It would also mean that I would be completely caught up with Project Life! I was doing so well doing Project Life in real time and I’d like to continue with that trend in the new year. Which means I should really order a new album and page protectors. lol.
  2. Scrapbooking. ::le sigh:: Thus far, I’ve managed to get 9 months done which means that instead of catching up I’ve fallen further behind. I was loving working in real time, but then I fell off the bandwagon in September. Speaking of which, the only layout missing for September is the calendar layout. I’d like to get that done, plus 2 more months. That would mean that I’d have completed 12 months in the past 12 months. Going forward, I want to get back to scrapping in real time while working on closing the gaps. More on this later in the week. lol.
  3. December Daily. I’m keeping it super simple this year, so I’d really like to wrap it up this week. I made a point to simplify the design so that there’s only 1 pic per day and I tried to be intentional about making sure I had a pic for each day. Today I’m going to try to get all of the pics printed.

I’m currently debating if I want to try for another massive year long goals project. Maybe? I do like the idea of 20x21in2021. But some of my goals don’t really lend themselves to that format. So maybe set 21 project goals instead? I know that I will probably end up starting some new projects (lol) but I’d also really like to finish some projects. Like catching up with the scrapbooks. The butterfly and caterpillar quilts. The hexagon quilt. Still pondering.

Halloween!

Y’all. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. And I’m so sad that it’s so weird this year. No pumpkin patch, no trick or treating, ugh. It sucks. BUT!!! I decided that I had to find a way to make it fun for the kids anyway.

I felt like a massive slacker, but I didn’t have it in me to make costumes this year. My plan was for the kids to just dress up from their dress up bin, but then earlier this week that made me really sad so I ordered some costumes as a surprise for the twins. They were huge hits with my Frozen obsessed Mia and ninja obsessed Xander. πŸ™‚ Kate didn’t want to dress up until this morning, lol, but luckily she was able to dig out last year’s costume.

I was looking through my pinterest board to see if anything looked fun and I found this pumpkin balloon activity I had pinned years ago. Luckily, RaptorDad is ever indulgent with my crazy ideas so he tracked down some balloons and helped me make this.

We shoved a piece of candy in each balloon as we were blowing them up and then taped them together into a pumpkin shape. Then the kids took turns popping the balloons and finding the candy. It was a ton of fun. πŸ™‚

Chantilly Lace Cake

Y’all.Β  Whole Foods makes this insanely addictive cake called a Chantilly Lace cake.Β  It’s RaptorDad’s favorite.Β  πŸ™‚Β  Considering that every time we venture into a Whole Foods I manage to blow the grocery budget on gourmet olives and baked goods, I decided that I needed to learn how to bake this cake myself so I could limit our exposure to temptation.Β  lol.Β  After much searching, I found a copy cat recipe that looked pretty amazing and assembled all of the fancy ingredients.Β  Except for, you know, sugar.Β  lol.Β  So back to the store we went.Β  Y’all.Β  It did not disappoint.

It’s probably a good thing that this recipe is insanely complicated because if it was easy, I’m afraid I’d be making it once a week and we’d all gain 1000 pounds.Β  lol.

Kate was working on her edible model of the Alamo (why???) that was due today, but she took a break to make a fondant flower for the cake.