Hi Ho Santa

The plan was for the girls to wear their princess dresses for today’s visit, but since both dresses were AWOL (at the parents) we had to improvise. 

A quick trip through Target for new shirts - and fancy matching headbands - and we were back in business. 

Jac wasn’t happy about having her picture taken by strangers - or having grandma out of her reach - but she was fairly cooperative when the big girls held her.

 The only smiling picture in the lot.

But she took one look at the bearded guy in the red suit and decided no.way. was she doing this.

Leia cajoled and PopPop sat on the floor within reach but out of camera range, ready to grab Jac if she made good her escape. 

A few quick snaps and we were done.

Despite the tears, we got some fun shots. 


One of these days I’m going to make a scrapbook of only Santa visits, going back to when Pop and I were kids. Bet there’s a few crying kids in there too. 


Sushi Christmas

We always get together with Breanne and her family sometime in December to celebrate Christmas. Finding time in her family’s busy schedule can be tricky, so imagine our surprise when today - early in the season! - was clear for us both.

AND, miracle of miracles, my holiday shopping is d.o.n.e., so the presents were ready to be wrapped and loaded into the flannel pillowcases I finished last night. 

I love going to dinner in Breanne's area - there are so many unusual, and delicious, choices. 

Tonight was Kura, a Japanese restaurant that serves sushi on a conveyor belt. See something you like? Pull on the plate, the lid pops up and voila!, dinner is served. 

There’s an iPad for ordering hot or non-sushi items, like Leia's 4 plates (!!) of tempura shrimp and my baked shrimp in avocado (soooooo goooooood). These are delivered by a second conveyor belt, directly to your table.

 Leia, as we’re leaving for the restaurant: Eww, I don’t like sushi. Also Leia, halfway though dinner: I loooooove this place. Can we come back again next week??

The chefs stood behind our table so we were able to watch them work. Travis was fascinated by the torch one guy was using. You could see the wheels turning in his head, thinking of ways he could try that at home . . .

A few baby snuggles (Isaac is 14 months and 25 pounds; such a sweetie!),

a little birthday cake (proudly decorated for me by Travis)

a trial run on the new pillowcase 

and it was time to go home. Time flew by way too fast. 

Merry Everything, y’all!


It's Done!

Bound, washed and ready for its glamour shots.

I started this in July, thinking it would be a quick finish.

I was wrong about “quick” but it is finished and ready to go to its new home on Christmas Day.

I tried to find something for the backing in my ever-growing stash but nothing was quite right. A quick trip to my LQS turned up this metallic print that I love. I *might* have gone back a few days later and bought more . . . Did I mention my stash keeps growing??

That’s one quilt down and three (four?) to go before St. Nick makes his annual appearance. Wish me luck. . . .


Christmas Miracle

It’s not even December and our tree is up. It’s a Christmas miracle!

We usually decorate around the middle of December - sometimes as late as the week before Christmas - but with Rachel and Addy coming (!!) the third weekend and Leia being at her mom's this weekend, we decided early is better.

The amazement on Jaclyn's face when she got up from her nap and saw the decorated tree was priceless. Wish I’d thought to get photos - major grandma fail. 

Mary got the tree bug today too, so that branch of the family also has their decorating well underway.

Sure is looking Christmasy around here. Merry Everything, y’all!


Cookie Day

Leia and I love making - and sharing - cookies, but Mary is gluten-intolerant so she’s never able to indulge. Plus, she’s not much of a chocolate person when it comes to sweets and Leia and I looooooove chocolate.

But Mary does like ginger and cinnamon, so today we got some gluten-free flour and made special Mary cookies.

The recipe calls for rolling the dough into balls, then dropping them in sugar for a sweet coating. Our dough was too wet and gooey to roll, so I dropped spoonfuls of dough in the sugar and Leia rolled them into kinda ball-shapes and put them on the baking sheet. 

It wasn’t pretty but we got it done. And the cookies look great. 

Unfortunately, no one here likes ginger cookies so we’ll need to wait for tomorrow, when we see Mary, for the official taste test. And if they aren’t any good? No worries - this was just our first try. We have lots of ingredients to try again . . . and again . . .



Friday we took Leia to see “Something Rotten” at the Ahmanson Theatre in downtown LA.

We arrived with over an hour to spare - we weren’t taking any chances with Black Friday traffic! - 

giving us time to have lunch, admire the scenery, 

 “How much longer?? I’m borrrrrrrrrrred.” Only 10 minutes to go!

and for Leia to make a friend while playing in the fountain.

I’d scored discount seats in the fourth row (!!!) giving us a great view. 

If you have a chance to see this, GO! It was hilarious, with songs we are still humming days later. 

 Checking out the orchestra pit.

On Saturday, I started a quilt top for the new grandboy

 So boring! Rip and restart.

and on Sunday Leanne helped me rip it apart.

  Leanne insisted she needed my cheater specs to see the stitches. Personally, I think she just liked the pink.

The colors looked fine in the quilt shop but once I had it on the design wall, it just looked drab. It’s on hold while I wait for the postal service to deliver the perfect (I hope) replacement fabric. 

This was Leanne’s first time using a seam ripper and she got it right the first try. I’m hoping she continues to enjoy ripping, cause there’s going to be a lot of it before this quilt is done...



We had a great day

with family, 

food and relaxation.

 Stab the bread before it escapes!

Jac thought everyone was here just for her benefit,

either to hold her or feed her.

  Identical expressions. Mother and daughter.

She probably wasn’t far wrong.  

 Jac and Aunt Shelly

Happy turkey day, y’all!


Leanne's Quilt

After an emergency run to the local quilt shop for new border fabric*,

Leanne's project is officially ready for its trip to the long-arm quilter.

Doesn’t she look proud? As well she should - Leanne was involved in the decision making every step of the way, from picking out all the fabric to selecting the layout (I tried to talk her into another design - any other design - but she knew what she wanted. And she was right . . .)

Putting the back together turned out to be the hardest part of the entire thing. Saving a few pennies by buying 2.5 yards instead of 3 meant major math headaches for me.

I was afraid all those seams would be a lot more noticeable than they are. Want to see how much fabric I had left over??

One tiny pillow's worth. Now that’s cutting it close!

* I had at least 15 shades of pink fabric in my stash, but Leanne and I agreed that none of them was “right”. Shopping was our only option.


In The Works

Now that my craft room has been rearranged for quilting, I’m getting a lot more sewing  projects started - and finished. Yay!

Hand-stitching the binding on this quilt. Probably could have finished it tonight if Lily hadn’t decided to “help” me. These make great tv watching listening projects.

Leanne’s quilt is on the design wall. She decided the block placement tonight and I’m hoping to get it sewn together this week.

Just got this one back from the quilter. It’s gorgeous! Binding goes on this week and it goes to its new home in December. I loved working on this one.

Christmas table runner is half done, thanks to two sewing sessions at Debbie’s house. Need one more day to finish the piecing and another day (or two) for quilting. I still think I can get it finished this year . . .

I'm also planning/working on: 1) a rag quilt for a friend; 2) a Christmas present baby quilt for Isaac; 3) small quilt for Jac in the same fabric Leanne used in her quilt; 4) a quilt with Leia for her new baby brother; and . . . .  So many ideas. So little time!