Sunday, December 21, 2008

Red Velvet Cake

A YUMMY red velvet cake from my great-grandmother's (aka Granny) recipe. Let me know if you'd like the recipe. I have it in a word file and will email it to you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Picked up a few iron-on appliques from Quiltware and added them to Kathy's gowns. Kathy, I'm aware that I STILL haven't put some in the mail to you. Please bear with me!

Oh, I also have some loomed hats to send for your St. Jude drive. Austin received them as a gift, but they are too small for his head.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Little Crafting

Believe it or not, I did a little sewing this week. Piedmont in Atlanta needed some things and I was out of little sewn wraps. I made 6 and have a few more cut out. They are super easy to make and do fill a great need. The satin was from the dress I cut up earlier this year to make this gown. These guys were made on my trip out to California in October. I'm just now getting around to posting a picture. The pattern is here....don't look closely though as you will see that I didn't do the right stitches. I guess that's what happens when you haven't crocheted in 18 months.

Btw, if any of you out there want to make some, make them small. Sharon (doesn't blog) has sent EGF 111 of them in the last few weeks. I told her that she must have arms of steel!! Mine are abou half the size of the ones she made.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas Wreath

I was in need of a change. Burgandy had been our holiday colors for ohhh....12 years or so. I recently fell in love with the new lime green and red decorations. With some green poinsettias and a little ribbon, the old wreath becomes new again.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Election Day Crafts

I know...I know....I'm slow, but you're getting used to that aren't you??

I have the hardest time keeping ribbons in Hannah's hair. If I tie a bow, it falls out by the end of the day. If I use a bow on a clip, it ends up down around her ear or something. So....tie some ribbon on a ponnytail holder and problem solved....except that this is the only one I've made so far.

Hannah was out of school for Election Day. She loves to do crafts and I found this one to try. I'm not sure that they turned out all that great, but they were fun anyway....once I figured out that a veggie peeler works better than a cheese grater.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Hannah's finally on the mend (although still wheezing a little bit) and we'll be on the road for a few days.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In case you're keeping track

I took Hannah back to the ped yesterday (3rd time in 7 days) after she puked yesterday morning and did not get off the couch until 11am. Once there she had a temp of 99.something and still wheezing and O2 sat of 91. So, ped ordered a chest and head x-ray. Then, added singulair, duoneb (to be alternated with the albuterol) in the nebulizer, and orapred. Seriously...this is nuts. Chest x-ray was clear and sinuses impacted per the radiologist. I'll call the ped this morning. Last night she had a 101 temp and slept for 45 mins on the way home. I tried to get her to eat an ice cream sandwich and she wouldn't even do that. SURELY all of these drugs will make her better.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Advice Needed re: Memory Boxes

One of Jason's co-workers in Chicago has volunteered his group to make memory boxes as a team building experience. They volunteer every year doing community projects and this year they would like to help us. Obviously, I can't go to Chicago to help out so I'm thinking of ordering things online and having it shipped to them.

There will be 10-12 individuals working 4-6 hours on memory boxes. Do you have any clue how many boxes I should order? I guess I'll order paint, brushes, paper, stickers, etc.

They want to do this the week of Dec 9th so I need to get ordering. If you have any advice, please post. I want to make sure that this is a successful project. Thanks!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Emmazing Giving

The generosity of Jason's peers continue! This note was shoved under Jason's door while he was on a conference call. Desiree took part in the charity giving program for the first time this year saying that she was very moved by our story. As I talked on Monday, I saw her wiping her eyes.

Each day during the campaign, winners are drawn and money is sent to the charity of their choice. Desiree won Day 3 and has donated her $500 to Emmazing Grace. Thanks so much, Desiree!!!


Yep, add pneumonia to the list of Hannah's ailments. I took her back to the pediatrician tomorrow because she's still coughing non-stop. We saw a different dr in the practice. She says the wheezing is gone, but she can hear the crackling in the bottom of her right lung. She did not x-ray her. So....we're armed with breathing treatments and antibiotics.....surely she'll make the turn for the better this weekend.

Catherine - yes, her papers said RAD like you mentioned. This dr was no so convinced she has asthma. I don't know....will discuss it with the original dr next week at her follow-up appointment.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


My precious Hannah has a tough run of it lately. I'm a bit overwhelmed and not too sure which way to turn.

I've blogged about Hannah's balance and coordination issues, about her new shoe inserts, about the MRI and physical therapy. Well, Tuesday we had a follow-up post MRI with the neurologist. As I shared, the MRI was clear. Apparently, that doesn't rule out cerebal palsy. He confirmed that she does have very mild CP. I'm shocked. The good news is is what it's not progressive and she'll just continue on with her PT. But, I'm shocked and can't seem to process it all. I mean, it's obvious now that she has more than just "clumsy" issues. When PT pins her down on tasks, you can see leftside involvement too.

And, as if that's not enough news for the week, yesterday she was diagnosed with asthma. Since 2 years of age, she's had middle of the night croup attacks out of the blue. If you've never experienced one, they are scary!! She gasps for air, barks like a seal, has stridor, etc. Our routine is to rush to her, head to the little bathroom, turn on the hot shower. Jason sits with her trying to keep her from freaking out, while I rush to the frig to grab the steroids. You're supposed to grow out of the croup. It's caused by a virus, but children get it because their passages through their voicebox are small. She should have grown out of it by now.

She's had 2 attacks since starting kindergarten in Aug. Recent events (including inaccurate shot records, weight recording, missing the flat feet & CP, etc) caused me to change pediatricians. Yesterday I took her to a new one because she's had a cough (so bad that she threw up the night before) for 2 weeks, since her last croup attack. This is not even close to being the first time she's thrown up for coughing so hard. It is not uncommon at all for her to cough for 2 hours at night when she's sick like this. I've talked to every pediatrician that would listen at the old office.

Well, the new one yesterday immediately said she has asthma. She's now on nebulizer albuterol treatments. Her O2 sats were 89 and 91 yesterday before the treatment. This all confuses me too because I thought that asthma was the acute attacks with exercise and such. I guess I have a lot to learn.

Gotta run. Austin's ready for me to get off the computer. ;-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


The launch of the charity campaign went very well yesterday. Jason's company was very gracious and warm. The death of a child is not an easy subject to embrace and I can't thank all everyone enough for opening their hearts to the subject. We all wish there was no need for bereavement gowns/funeral costs, but the fact remains that there is unfortunately a great need.

I spoke in front of probably 75-80 people, including one of the VP's :-). Plus, the presentation was broadcast via webcam to a small group at a few other locations. The feedback so far has been very positive.

Thanks all of you that posted encouraging words yesterday. I felt your support, along with that of my precious Emma Grace.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Big Day for Emmazing Grace

Positive thoughts are VERY welcome....please be specific ....I need non-stuttering vibes, non-embarrassing vibes, etc.

Jason's company launches their annual charity giving campaign today. A few weeks ago, he was asked to tape a brief message about Emmazing Grace. He is featured in the launch video that is being shown throughout the US beginning today.

And, this morning, I'm heading into his office to speak in front of 150 people. YIKES!!! so..... positive thoughts, please. It's a quick "talk" and I'm taking some donations in with me.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Little late

Spooky Witch - Hannah insisted on being spooky this year and she's already thinking about next year
Puppy on the loose - Since Austin's first word was dog, we figured it was appropriate that his costume be a dog this year.

Just wanted to post a few more Halloween photos. We all had a great time. Hannah TorT'd 3 full hours. She was exhausted, as shown in the last photo. Austin was able to make it to 8pm, a full hour after his usual bedtime.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dog and Beth

Sat night was an adult Halloween Party in our neighborhood. This is Jason as Dog the Bounty Hunter and me as his wife Beth. It's the first time that we've ever gone to a costume party and there were some AMAZING costumes.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy 35th Birthday Jason


Late one afternoon this week, I went outside to feed the dogs, turn the compost bin, and pick a couple tomatoes. We're still getting a few each week. I noticed that my carrots had shot up. I planted them back in the spring and have pulled a few up along the way, but they were never more than an inch long. Much to my surprise, I found these.

A few recent pictures from our front porch.....the view never gets old.

My sister and her husband are coming this weekend. We'll be attending a costume Halloween party. Stay tuned for some pictures....sure to make you laugh.
I'm dedicated my free time to Emmazing Grace next week. I need to get some shipments out and we have some exciting things in the work. If it comes to pass, I'll blog about it....don't want to jinx it, you know.
Hope everyone is doing well!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Just got the MRI results and it's NORMAL!! :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Today's Events

It was a rough day with the MRI. Hannah is scared to death of needles, so much so that she has to leave the room when Austin gets a shot. After she cried hysterically when the nurse put the numbing cream on her arms for the IV, we decided to go with some versed to calm her down. It hit her like a ton of bricks. It was quite funny, though, because EVERYTHING was funny to her, even being stuck in the arm for the IV. We were allowed to stay with her as they put her to sleep.

All was going pretty good until it was time to wake up. She wouldn't wake on her own so after about an hour we woke her. She cried non-stop for over 2 hours. She was just plain MAD....mad that she didn't get the MRI (obviously couldn't remember it), mad that we were going home, mad at the bandaid, mad that she didn't get an MRI, oh and mad that she didn't get an MRI. It was NUTS!

But, by mid to late afternoon she was back to normal and not remembering a thing. We hope to get some results late tomorrow, but it may be Monday.

Thanks for all the prayers!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hannah's MRI

Around noon today, the neurologist called and said that radiology could get Hannah in for the MRI at 10am in the morning (as in Thurs morning). Prayers and Positive Thoughts are Welcome! I feel like all will be ok, but I'm a bit nervous anyway.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Work in Progress

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Still here

Just CRAZY BUSY! Life has gotten insanely busy lately and it will be that way for the next several weeks, possibly through the end of the year. Hannah is now in twice weekly physical therapy and has a neurology consult today. She has some issues with flat feet, overpronation, and overall balance and coordination. After today's consult, we hope to be assured that it's nothing serious, just some clumsiness that will be overcome with a little help. I'll write more when we know more.

Throw in a root canal, regular dentist appointments, annual check-ups, flu shots, and landscaping the backyard.....and...well, it's just CRAZY BUSY around here.

Anyway, here's the only finished project that I have photographed although I did crochet a tiny bunting while on the plane last week for a long Mommy Weekend in California.

Monday, September 22, 2008

For Kate

Yes, it's apparently time for tantrums, Kate.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

3rd Annual Balloon Release

This year we hiked to the top of Sawnee Mountain, the mountain that we watch the sunrise over from our front porch. We released balloons from the Indians Seats, exposed boulders that may have served some ceremonial purpose for Native American inhabitants dating as far back as c. 500 B.C.E.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm here

It's been a crazy last couple of weeks, including some MAJOR tooth pain and a root canal that I have to go back to get finished in 3 weeks. I apparently injured my bottom left front tooth at some point in time. The tooth was so infected that the endodontist couldn't finish filling the tooth and I have to go back in 3 weeks to have the root canal finished. I lived off of Lortab from Monday night to Friday night. Finally, on Saturday I began to feel better.

I spent the first part of this week catching up and the last 3 days with not much sleep. Austin's having a rough time with Sissy bringing home Kindergarten colds.

I have pictures of Emma's balloon release that we did last Sunday since I was too sick to do it on her angelversary. I'll work on getting them posted soon.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Cell phones

I know I've been quiet these last few days. We've had a lot of home projects going and both kids have been battling a cold for a few weeks now.

I would like to take a quick second to say that I'm still working on fulfilling my pledge.

1 - Today, I mailed off 3 cell phones to Cell Phones for Soldiers. Go to their site, print off a free shipping label, and stick it in the mail. It's that easy. Cell Phones for Soldiers sell the phones to a recycling facility and with the proceeds purchase phone cards for soldiers. There are even directions on how to erase your personal data from the phones.

2 - I listed an old electric typewriter that is still in great condition on freecycle. I've had 2 people interested, but no one has picked up yet. The first to respond says she still wants it, but that her mom had a stroke and she can't come get it right now. I'm going to hold on to it a bit longer. I still can't believe someone wanted a typewriter. Said Hannah, "Mom, it's kind of like a computer keyboard." hee! hee!


Yesterday I had my FIRST EVER tennis match. About 6 weeks ago, I started taking some basic fundamentals lessons and signed up for the doubles tennis team. I was assured that my inexperience wouldn't matter. There are 5 lines that play each week, Line 1 being the best players and 5 the worst. I was, quite obviously, placed on Line 5 but paired with a woman that knew how to play.

On Friday, Austin and I ventured out to the local sporting goods store to buy me a cute little tennis outfit for my first match. You know, the least I could do was look like I knew what I was doing. I soooo needed that cute little tennis outfit.
The black skirts were $50 each, but the torquoise and red ones were only $24.99. I settled on torquoise, but when flipping through to find my size, one was marked $12.97. I snatched it up and tried it on. It was a bit long, but such is life when you're vertically challenged.
Fast forward to yesterday.....prior to ripping the tags off, I modelled my cute new tennis outfit for Hannah and Jason. They approved. As I pulled the tags, cute new TENNIS outfit is actually a GOLF outfit. :wink: Yep, GOLF, but it's CUTE!

After a minor breakdown, I head out the door with my $30 racket, jug of frozen water and a can of balls dressed in my cute new GOLF outfit.
Our match started at 2:30pm and it's g-d knows how hot on the courts....sweltering hot. My jug of frozen water was already melted and the match had not even started.
Half way through the first set, I started to feel pretty bad and then the chill bumps came. Yep, it was hotter than blue blazes and I had chill bumps. I think I need a break, nausea hits and I sat down.....oh so embarrassed. Ice was brought to me to stuff down my shirt. The opposing team (the home team) brought me gartoraid and we moved to the shade. Upon standing, I was light headed. Ugh...not good, NEVER had this happen.....ummmm....VERY embarrassed now. Drink, I can't drink.....
But I did! And, after drinking 2 gatoraids and the rest of my water, I recovered and finished playing. All and all, it was a good day.....minus the near heat exhaustion. I served, had some good shots, and overall had a good time. And....learned to DRINK before going to the courts.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thanks Everyone!!

Just wanted to say thank you for all the sweet messages regarding Emma's 3rd Birthday! It was a really rough day for me. Special dates always seem to send me into a tailspin. I kept thinking that I would type out a special post, but in the end I didn't have it in me.

In other news, we got a new roof yesterday due to hail damage. Austin and I spent much of the day out and about, which gave me plenty of time to shop for the prizes. I "think" I have everything bought now. Winners, be expecting your packages late next week.

Hugs to all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday Emma Grace!

We love you!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Awww...thanks, Kate!

Kate gave me an award! Thanks, my dear....not sure I deserve it, but thanks any way. :-)

Now for the hard part. I nominate:

Kathy, who has one of the most generous hearts.
Knit-A-Little, another great mom and charity crafter.
Woolwinder, who does an amazing job of detailing her knitting projects.
Marcia, and yet another wonderful charity crafter.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fulfilling my pledge...again

Today is my good friend's birthday. Happy Birthday, Beth!!!

It was hard for me to send an e-card instead of a paper card. She NEVER forgets my birthday, but I wanted to fulfill my pledge. I hope she understands!

While I was at it, I sent an e-card to my friend, Jill, that is going through some really tough personal things.

Hugs to both of you!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Winners Are....

In a random, yet slightly chaotic, drawing

the first 3 names FLUNG from the pot were
CONGRATULATIONS! I will be contacting each of you in the next few days about your prizes.

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all that participated in the 3rd Annual Remembering Emma Grace Donation Drive. Without you, this would not be possible!! The blessings that you give the struggling families are remarkable. I do not have the words to express how thankful I am for each of you.
Total collected: An unbelievable 1296 items and $648
Think we can beat that next year??

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fulfilling My Pledge

I've made a few strides in fulfilling my MyZeroWaste pledge.

Fabric Shopping Bag - This bag is one that I won at our annual Easter Egg Hunt. It's from Target and holds probably 3-4 plastic bags worth of groceries. I used it on Thursday. I still want to make some using old fabric from this pattern.
Composting - Here's the start of our compost pile.

When discussing recycling and the MyZeroWaste pledge with friends, I was pointed toward a few ideas for reducing junk mail.
Green Dimes - This was the first site that I was alerted to and I signed up for the free version of it. This group will lead you through steps to opt out of mailings. If you wish to pay $20 they will do all the work for you and plant 5 trees in your name. Again, I chose the free service and see how it works out.
Catalog Choice - When I signed up for Green Dimes, there was steps to opt out of catalog mailings. I haven't signed up for Catalogue Choice yet in hopes that the catalog mailings are covered with Green Dimes. I will research further when I have time.
OptOutPreScreen - This will opt you out of the pre-approved credit card mailings. The same link is included in Green Dimes, but I think there's a form that must be completed and mailed in. I will research this link also more when I have time. The pre-approved credit card mailings are a HUGE risk to idenity theft and fraud.....speaking of which, I need to tell you all what recently happened to me, but that's going to have to wait until I have more time. LOL!


Aug 15th

Today's the last day of the 3rd Annual EGF Donation Drive!! I know a few of you have things in the process of being shipped. If you haven't contacted me, please do and I'll add you to the drawing.

Current totals are AMAZING!!! 1186 items & $533

Thank you ALL for your time, energy, and heart!! It will probably be a few more days before I pick the 3 winning names. Then, depending on the winners (and their craft of choice) I will be buying some more prizes. I decided to wait to see who wins.

Hugs to all!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Want to take a pledge?

My Zero Waste is having a competition. Wanna join and reduce your household waste? (Note: I can't get my pledge to go through on their form).

I pledge to:
I will talk to at least one family member or friend to promote recycling.
I will recycle an old mobile phone.
I will take active steps to stop junk mail being delivered to my home. (not sure how to do this so if anyone has an idea, please let me know!!!)
I will offer unwanted item on Freecycle or take to a charity shop.
I will use washable cloths instead of kitchen towel. (I assume this means cutting down on paper towels)
I will send an email greeting card instead of a paper one.
I will cancel my telephone directory / Yellow pages (didn't know you could do this, but I'll look into this for sure!)
I will use a reusable bottle for water.
I will start a compost heap, wormery or bokashi.
I will make one meal from leftovers.
I will start using reusable shopping bags instead of carrier bags.
I will continue to garden and use curbside recycling.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Here is the link to the patterns that EGF has had success with. Particularly, Toni's Burial Gown as is for a girl and DC the skirt for a boy. Sharon, one of our wonderful volunteers, has emailed me directions for making it larger. I can share that with those that want it.

As you will look, you will notice that a few of the links are no good. Here are the corrections:
Marilyn's Bubble Suit and Aunt B's Angel Wrap

I know nothing about knitting, but this Sleeper Sack is really popular. It is, however, small. Since I know nothing about knitting, it may easily be enlarged.

You can also look through Bev's Country Cottage and pick one that suits your ability. Kathy has some personal crochet patterns on her sidebar, too. Wool Winder does a great job of detailing the patterns she uses, too.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

EGF Need

Emmazing Grace needs some 5-7 lb gown sets. We rarely get them donated, but unfortunately they are needed from time to time. I have recently received 2 requests for the large gowns. If you could help out, please let me know. I will be working on some myself in the coming weeks.


These curtains were formerly used on french doors two houses ago in Mississippi. My mom and grandmother made them for me before I learned to sew. Last night, I cut off the wood board at the top that was permanently affixed to the doors and shortened them up a bit.
They are now over the garden tub in our bathroom. We wanted to leave the top windows open so that we could enjoy the view. Since it's on the 3rd floor and unless you're on our neighbor's roof, you can't see in.
Stained glass would be pretty on the bottom windows instead of the curtains......maybe one day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

And, they're off.......

Austin's first steps

Hannah's first day of Kindergarten

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dress for Emma's Doll

Whipped this together today using the Threads of Love pattern. I let Hannah pick out the bows. I'll mail it to Mom in time to put it on her grave for her birthday in a few weeks.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

New Gown Pattern

A couple of weeks ago, this adorably little gown (along with 7 others to match) came in the mail from a lady that I have never "met" before. I emailed her a thank you, but never heard back from her.

I just love this pattern because there is no fighting with the neckline. It's a simple ribbon casing.

So, I decided to sacrifice one of the gowns. Yesterday as the kids were playing, my seamripper and I got to work. I've now traced out the pattern and written simple instructions.

If you're interested in this pattern, please email me or leave your email address in the comment section.

Monday, August 04, 2008

And another one

Just finished this set over the weekend. The striped flannel wouldn't have been my first choice, but it's the only thing I could find locally that matched the scalloped edging. My choice of fabric shops is Hobby Lobby and Walmart.....torture, pure torture!!

Next in line:

Another little set - just have the blanket and bonnet to complete

Curtains for my bathroom

A dress for Emma's doll that sits on her grave. I removed it at Christmas because it was looking so worn. I want to replace it by her birthday.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Strawberry Fig Preserves

Using figs from my grandmother's that we picked on the way back through after our beach trip a few weeks ago, we made strawberry fig preservers.

They didn't turn out just right the first go around. The did not gel up.

So, Friday night we cooked them down some more and I think WE DID IT! I tried them Saturday morning and they were yummy.

Here's the detail of what I'll do the first go around next time...

Cover 6 cups of fresh figs with 6 cups of sugar (I may use a tad less).

Place in frig over night.

Bring to a rolling boil stirring frequently so that it won't stick and burn.

In a separate pot, place your jars, flats, and rings and heat until they get nice and hot.

Cook figs until desired consistency. Judge by scooping out some of the "juice" into a bowl and place in the frig. If it sets up in a few minutes, then it's probably good.

During the last 3 or 4 mins left, add 4 small packets of strawberry jello.

Remove jars from hot bath and scoop the figs into jars. As the preserves start to cool, the lids suck down creating a tight seal.