Saturday, September 26, 2009

happy Saturday

It is Saturday again and a happy day! I have plans to make a quilt today for my pastor. It was his birthday this week and I am hoping to get the quilt done today so I can bring it to church tomorrow. It is supposed to be 105 degrees today so what better to do than stay inside and sew? I also plan to make some brownies and get them in the mail to my daughter. I had better get out to the grocery store early this morning before my tires melt in the heat :)

I sent her some cookies last week. Now that she has a car, she doesn't need me to send anything else because she can just drive to WalMart and pick up whatever she needs, but she doesn't have access to an oven, so home made baked goods still remind her to call home every once in a while.

Hope to be back later with something to show for the day.

Things have been busy with grading papers all week long. I'm still trying to figure out how to get more work done in the same amount of time without going crazy. So far, it isn't working :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

something different

today we did something different. My older son is really into his music. He plays the trombone for the band and is in 7th grade. He loves the trombone and playing music and the high school jazz band was going to be playing at the local outlet stores this afternoon so we decided to go down and listen to them play. I took all of the kids and made a fun afternoon of listening to the band play, watching and playing with my little guy on the playground stuff and getting some Jamba Juice. We also got some Jelly Bellys (a local factory makes them). It was really fun and a great way to take my mind off my headache. Just getting out of the house and playing was fun. I'm hot and tired and could use a nap, so I think I will sleep well tonight.

Here's a link to what my oldest is up to in college. She is back to playing tennis again and having lots of fun. Wish I could be there to watch her. I just found out that she got a job teaching tennis to kids who are home schooled and having fun doing that. She has always been really good with younger kids.

another weekend

wow, what a week. I've had a migraine for 5 days now. I've been working all week with it but it drains the energy out of me and I haven't been able to do anything fun to show here on the blog. Bummer.

We had back to school night this week too. Just more added stress and longer day. But there was a really good turnout of parents and that helps explain why I have such great kids this year.

I'm hoping to get some quality quilting time this weekend and some time to unwind and relax. The weather is very strange. It was over 100 degrees yesterday and this morning looks like it could rain. We had rain las weekend too. Strange!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Quilting progress

Yes, I have been quilting since school started, just not keeping up well with the numbers or posting pictures on the blog. Too many things to do, too little time.

I just finished grading all of the tests the kids took on Friday and now have a few minutes to post the pictures of the quilts I have worked on since school started 3 weeks ago.

I also got a little nap in there. I was trying to watch football with my husband while grading papers. I don't know how people watch football and stay awake. Every time he watches sports, I fall asleep. Doesn't matter which sport it is, football, baseball, golf (that one gets me after 5 minutes) but maybe it is the announcer's voice, or the buzz of the crowd, but something about the sport and I'm in dreamland.

A quick nap and I had the energy to plow through the rest of the tests and now I can play again for the rest of the day. Well, there is laundry to do and dinner to cook, but inbetween doing those things :)

Today I quilted two quilts. I may get a third one in tonight. I started on it, but ran out of bobbin thread and decided to take a break.

I love having lots and lots of the backing fabric already loaded on the frame so all I have to do is throw another quilt top on and pin and away I go. Seriously 20 minutes and I have a quilt quilted. My pile of quilted quilts is getting bigger. I think it is time to call my binding buddy Rhoda and see if she is up for more work. I'll talk to Carla this week and see if she can make the transfer.

This next batch of quilts will go to a local foster organization and into the hands of kids who are taken from their homes by Child Protective Services. Those kids need hugs too. I've tried to get them quilts before, but they asked me how much they cost and were very suspicious of me. Now, I have a contact that knows the people and can bring the quilts and get them where they need to go. (Hear that Wendy--they are coming to you :)

6 from Washington

These 6 quilts came from Washington and are headed out to Kazakhstan.
They arrived 2 weeks ago and I have been bad about not posting them here for all to see.
I can't believe how beautiful they all are.
I have been enjoying looking at the piecing and quilting of these quilts for the last two weeks and that is probably why I haven't wanted to take them to church just yet.
I love looking at quilts at a show, and this is just like having a private quilt show in my own home! I feel so special to get to pass these along.
They come from a blogging friend, Naomi and you can tell she put a lot of love into each one. If you click on each picture, it will enlarge and you can see the wonderful quilting on the quilt.
Thank you again Naomi.

The last of the 150 quilts

I am pretty sure we made well over 150 quilts this year for Kazakhstan. I have lost count here in the last couple of weeks just because there are so many quilts. I need about 3 hours to sit and just count the pictures and go back through the blog to make sure I have all of the quilts accounted for. That isn't going to happen. But, here are the last pictures of the quilts that are heading to Kazakhstan to the orphanage in Almaty for Christmas.

This was a huge project and I never could have completed it without Carla. She organized two quilting days and got about 30 people together to help sew tops together and to put the binding on about 60 of these quilts.

It is so good to have like-minded friends help out with a huge project like this.

The other person who helped out so much was Jenny. She and her mom sewed about 100 of the quilt tops. I still have about 40 of them to quilt. I just gave her all of the quilt kits that everyone had cut out and the two of them sewed like the wind. She would bring them over in bags and a couple weeks ago, she brought over the last 20 or so they had finished up before taking their vacation to Hawaii.

So, what are the future plans? Well, there is another orpahange in Kazakhstan for handicapped children who heard about the quilts from America and now wants some.

Plus, the foster kids here in Ameria who could use a hug.
Things sure have slowed down since school started, but I haven't stopped. I have about 10 quilts that I have quilted that need to be posted here and I have done some other sewing as well. Yesterday I sewed together the backing for more quilting. I have grand plans to work through the fabric stash this year and get is down to a manageable level and get the stuff out of the shed and all into the house so it is all useable.
I'm going through the stuff in the house and pulling out the stuff that isn't the prettiest so I can use that for the backing fabrics. I just sit and sew together really long strips the width of the fabric and then roll that onto the quilting frame so I can quilt multiple quilts without having to load the backing each time.
Right now I'm working through the blues, since I have enough blue fabrics to fill two crates in the house.
The quilt tops I have are just short of the width of fabric, so I don't have to piece the backing to make it wider. Simply put the quilt top on and quilt away. I think I will quilt at least one quilt today. I miss being able to spend time every day quilting.
Summer...where are you?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

strange week

This week has had its share of strangeness.
Tuesday was the board meeting where all of the teacher were supposed to go and show our support for the union and stand up against the unfair decision that the school board was going to make to cut our pay by 8%. There were about 150 people at the meeting, wearing orange (orange = organize) and during the day, the district office and union people had been in negotiations for the new contract. They do this every time we come to a stalemate and every time they come to a last minute agreement because they know that we mean business and come up with some kind of plan to make everyone happy (or at least keep us from striking)
Well, I saw the union president right before we went into the meeting and I asked her if they had come to some kind of agreement. She told me no, they didn't reach an agreement this time. She was going to make an announcement, but they had not reached an agreement. I was very surprised.
I asked again, if they had come closer to agreeing and the lady standing behind her said they had not even come close to an agreement and that nothing was decided during the 9 hours of negotiations that day.
So, we all filed into the board meeting and signed in on the roster.
The first thing that the school board president said after the opening of the meeting was that after a long day of negotiations the two sides had come to a tenative agreement.
I was so mad that two people from the union lied to my face just moments before. They had agreed and signed a tenative agreement. They were just mad because they didn't get everything they wanted in the agreement.
So, they wouldn't tell us what the agreement was until a few days later and the next day was my son's back to school night.
At his Back to School night, there were about 10 teachers out passing out fliers saying how unfair the district was being and letting parents know that they are not happy with the offer the district made. At this time, we have no idea what the offer is. One of the ladies who lied to me tried to give me a paper and my son says, 'let's run'. So, we ran past her and into the school.
His open house was great. His teacher was very professional, upbeat and excited for the school year. The parents were excited and offered to help in the classroom. All of the class sizes have increased this year and there are now 28 kids in the kindergarten classes instead of 20 so the parents are offering to come in and help the teachers out. I was really encouraged to see the parents offer to buy supplies and volunteer to help out and left really excited for a great year for my son.
On the way out, all of the protesting teachers had left. But my son gets this great idea to run back to the car. We had to park about 3 blocks away.
As we are jogging, I tripped on a crack in the sidewalk and fell. I did a super tripple spin on the way down and landed in the gutter that was full of water. I rolled completely over and just wanted to lay there and cry. But I couldn't because there were people behind me on the sidewalk and I was so embarassed! I got up and started to run. My little guy says, "Run, Mommy, Run!" I felt a bit like Forest Gump and probably looked a lot like him too. My pants were soaking wet and I'm running 2 blocks to get back to my car, laughing and crying the whole way.
Well, the next day I woke up with a sore knee, hip, shoulder and neck. My neck still hurts today. Feels just like whiplash from when I had the car accident about a year and a half ago! Crazy!!! Let's just see if I ever run again :)
So, we had a meeting on Thursday to find out the details of this tenative agreement and the union people are telling us not to vote for it. Of course, the president gets in trouble for doing this by the district lawyer. He says that she signed the contract saying she will present it in good faith. She says she felt she had to sign it or they would have imposed it on us.
I just wish there was a way out of the union. Both sides have lied to the teachers and both sides expect us to believe them. When I ask the union people about the lies they are spreading, they say, well the district office started the lies, so it is ok for us to spread lies too. They know that the information they are giving out are lies, but they justify them by saying they have to lie because the district lies too. Unbeilevable.
So, the funniest part of the week was yesterday when my little guy came home from kindergarten. I picked him up yesterday, which is a special treat for him and he was carrying an American flag he made. I asked him why he had the flag and he said that it was because it was a special day. I asked him about it and he said "today is a sad day. Two planes crashed into each other and a lot of people died. Abraham Lincoln went to the movies and got shot. Oh, and Michael Jackson just died."
I have no idea what they talked about in school yesterday, but he put a bunch of stories together to come up with that one.
It reminds me of when I taught first grade. It was during the gulf war and many students had parents deployed. We had sharing time where we passed a small object around the circle. If you were holding the object, you got to talk and share your ideas about the topic. Well, this time the object was a small stone. The topic of conversation was Iraq and the war. So, the first kid says his dad is in Iraq and is flying a plane. The next kid says he picked up a rock on the way to school. The next kid says he saw a really big rock one time when hiking and the kids kept talking about rocks. I kept thinking, we are talking about Iraq kids, not rocks, but if you say a rock and Iraq quickly, they sound almost the same and to a 6 year old who doesn't know the difference and the object they are holding in their hand is a rock...
Good memories :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

my arms are so tired

I pulled all of the quilts out of bags and had my son take pictures. I trimmed all of the loose threads and have them stacked and ready for church next week. Now, just to post them all on here and I will be caught up. There are about 30 more that need posting so watch for them over the next week to show up, a few a day until they are all done.

I guess I should start going to the gym and working out because I can barely lift my arms to type now from holding up so many quilts for pictures! OUCH>

I hope you enjoy seeing all of the hard work from this summer. I can't believe we got so much work done and I can't believe how little I have gotten done since going back to work. It seems like I had more time last school year to do things for me and I have no idea where the time is going this year.

I had plans to do something fun today with the kids, but they want to stay home and play video games and I don't really feel like going anywhere either. Daughter #2 is the only one who has energy to do anything so I'm not sure if we will actually go out and do anything or not.

I have a couple of packages to drop in the mail, but even those don't have to go out today. Maybe just a relaxing day around the house is what I really need to recharge for a long stretch of work.