Life is nothing is not ever changing. I've realized as an adult I don't deal as well with change as I used to but, to be honest, I'm going to have to realize that the new normal is ever changing.... Even the things that are 'new' situations in our life are changing faster then we could have ever dreamed. First, we have a new student here at school....
She's very excited and *mostly* focused. She is woking hard to finish all 2nd grade work so that she can catch up to Ethan and be in third grade. She's most excited to learn cursive. I love having her home and watching her learn... LOVE IT!
Because of the ever changing situations in our family we seem to be in a constant state if change in regards to not just our schedules or time or age but also our home. We moved in 20 months ago and would never have thought we'd need more space but here we are in desperate need of a home office for Husbandface, a schoolroom for the homeschoolers and a craft space for me.. so let the projects begin.
Our piano room is now turning into the school room... because we needed to make room for more books and students while still being close to the heart of the house for Cameron. Imagine built-in bookcases all along that wall.... it'll be a thing of beauty I tell you!
Our Master Closet is getting a facelift... so we can be a little more organized and maybe I'll be able to find my pre-pregnancy clothes. I'm going for a French Laundry styled space instead of a laundry piled up styled space.
Doug's temporary office is now in our bedroom... so he still has space while we get started on his basement office. Because, ya know, the college dormroom darkroom look just wasn't cutting it.
and the Laundry Room is entering it's FINAL PHASE! While the Dream Pantry Space is is entering phase 1... What once was THIS is now this..
Hopefully everything will come together just as fast in real life as I have it planned in my head.
Last January I set a new years resolution to learn how to quilt in 2012. Then I took a trip to BettySue's and called Alicia and talked her into navigating her way through the unknown with me. We picked a simple brick pattern from pintrest and since we can't leave well enough alone we opted to change the design and pattern a little. BUT... WE BOTH FINISHED!! Yes, since I've finished this one I've made more and now I can see the mistakes I made BUT that is part of the process... grow and learn and move on.
(and on a side note, if you're wanting to get into quilting this brick idea really is THE BEST BEGINNER QUILT OUT THERE!! 100% basic!) We used some fun Grinch Who Stole Christmas Fabric by Kaufman and I added some pinks/turquoises to bring out the cindy-lou-sho character. I made mine a single size for Lorali's Bed and named it Lorali-Lou-Who.... since the Who Hair has turned into her little Christmas Eve tradition - 2009 & 2011.
And since the world seemed to align for me, just this once, Pottery Barn came out with these AWESOME Grinch Sheets and well, I couldn't pass them up. After whipping up a few Grinch-y pillows and adding a few who-ville decorations to her room, She LOVES it all!
It also adds to my goal to get a Christmas Quilt for every room in the house! (I already have a Santa's from Around the World quilt & Snowmen at Night quilt but next year I plan to get a holiday throw for the living room done and a King Size Christmas Quilt for my room)
How do you decorate for the holidays at your house? Do you decorate bedrooms too? Joanna
About 7 years ago I was reading a book and holding a newborn baby girl on my chest. The book was a beautiful book with a strong woman with and even stronger daughter and I thought about how I was going to teach my daughter to be strong and tender and hardworking and loving and sensitive and all the other amazing qualities a good female role model has. Instead of realizing what a daunting task this seemed to be, I started making a list. A list of MUST READ books for her. Lessons that are taught much more elequently then I could.... while it is an ever changing/ updating list this is Our Mother/Daughter Book List as of right now...
The Paper Bag Princess- I first read this in Middle School at EFY but, it's message is so beautiful and simple and endearing I want my daughter to remember it... always. We have read this one often since she was 2, hopefully as she grows she'll remember she's never too big for a good picture book.
Madeline- Because really, who doesn't love this spunky girl full of adventure and determination.
Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots? I loved this book the moment I read it. A princess can be whoever she wants to be!
The Secret Garden- Lorali and I actually already read this one aloud together and oh my goodness, it was magical! It was sofun to see her realize what happened and to talk to her about how changing your attitude can change your happiness. If She's in the backyard, she and the boys are almost always playing Secret Garden.
A Little Princess- This one she's getting for Christmas. She's watched the Shirley Temple movie soo much but I want her to read the book as well. Such a strong character teaching her about endurance and having a good attitude. I can't wait to get started.
Pollyanna- Same message as Little Princess- and yes, I think having a good attitude is an important enough lesson that it needs to be reenforced. A Good Attitude can change her life and I want that for her. She's getting this for Christmas as well.
Charlotte's Web By EB White- A classic... I mean, no childhood is complete without this one, no matter how many times they watch the movie they need to read the book, if only to learn that the book is always better then the movie.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - We read this a few years ago to all the kids and watching this little girl grow up is really enchanting and I'm soo glad we jumped ahead and read to them this level of book (and they enjoyed it!) . Even Doug loved the writing and the setting (A Cotton Farm in Texas). It's a great book about being inquesitive and unexpected.
Pippi Longstocking By Asterid Lindgren- This one's a cute read, fun and silly and important because I want Lorali to know that life doesn't have to be storybook to be real or fun.
Little House on the Prairie By Laura Ingalls Wilder- Another classic... with lots of strong women that have different strengths and still have lessons to learn from one another. I love that aspect.
Tuck Everlasting By Natalie Babbitt- A fantasy novel about immortality and asking if it's worth it or not.... it's actually a lot of the same questions asked in Twilight without the terrible - creepy bad example of an unhealthy relationship and minus the teenage engst.
Freckles and Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter- A classic girl-meets-boy and sets out on an adventure novel. It's wonderfully written and protrays a girls love for nature that will stay with the reader for years to come. Even the mother-daughter conflict has a lesson to be learned.
Anne of Greene Gables By L.M. Montgomery- Because really, I've never met any woman ever who has actually read these books and not fallen in love with them. Anne is the perfect example of endearing, imperfect, perfection. She's smart and teander and flawed and strong. LOVE IT!
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott- Another classic with a lot of very different female role models that teach a million lessons. They're all flawed, they're individuals and yet still strong and smart and loving. While my Little Miss doesn't have the joys of having a sister this book will certainly give her that, even if it's just for the 546 pages of the book. Besides, Lorali wants to be an author when she grows up and I want her to read about Jo and how she became and author.
The Diary of a Young Girl By Anne Frank- This one I want both my boys and girls to read.... To learn the frailness of life, to understand the importance of family, to realize the strength and power of even a young child.
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli- A great pre-teen novel that teaches individuality and acceptance and staying true to who you are. Very short, quick read but fun and entertaining as well.
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok- A wonderful book about a girl who emigrated to the US with her Mom and lives a double life as star student at school and sweatshop working, obediant daughter at home. Wonderful novel that highlights womens ability (and sometimes flaw) to translate feelings and parts of themselves when they're with different people/settings. Strong female lead that is flawed enough to learn from what not to do and strong enough to overcome that.
The Scarlet Letter For the casual reader Hester Prynne might be a victim but she is everything more then that as well. She's flawed and hurt and full of faith, she is strong in the face of unforeseen challenges and a complex woman who is worth looking at through an individuals eyes.
The Secret Life of Bees By Sue Monk Kidd- I loved the perpective that this one gave. I want Lorali to learn that surrounding yourself with people that love her both family and friends will not only make her life easier but happier.
Plain Truth and My Sister's Keeper By Jodi Picoult - Because every woman needs to know what others go through to protect thier children, to stay part of a group and what lengths people go to in order to hide the truth --- and how many people can get hurt. Besides, a little mystery and intrigue are good for ya. ;)
Gone With the Wind- This one needs to be read as a right of passage. Then re-read at different points in her life as she grows up. Because as endearing as Scarlet O'hare is later in life there are a lot of pitfalls to avoid by learning from her mistakes.
The Help By Katheryn Stocket - I loved this one! It's beautiful and powerful. I think I want my daughter to read it because I need her to understand the power of words. The power of one person and the the power you can have when you combine the two.
Moon Over Manifest- I loved what little Abilene discovers to be a 'true place' and I hope my daughter can discover for herself what that means.
Emma By Jane Austen - One, I think every woman needs to learn the dangers of meddling in another person's life and Two, I think it's imporant to love even the flawed characters in our life. Besides this one you can get lost in and the beautiful english countryside is as good of place as any to disappear.
Memiors of a Geisha By Arthur Golden- This one was actually one of the first books to make it on the list. I think it's important to read things in a timely manner and at an age appropriate time but I also think that many books can help you mature and understand the world around you. This is one of those books and I want Lorali to read this before she turns 18.
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells- This one made the list because Lorali needs to learn that every book doesnt have to be life changing but can still teach a lesson. It also has a wonderful mother/daughter/sister/family storyline that relatable and challenging and heartwarming and irreplaceable.
The Other Bolyn Girl by Philippa Gregory - I think girls are smart. I also think that the world doesn't always expect them to be. This book is wonderful for teaching because of the historical aspect of it and still relevant to us today. It's wonderfully written and thought provocing. So it's on the list.
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant - Another book that I feel Lorali needs to read before she moves out of my home. It's important that she recognize that there were strong women in the bible and that women are there to support other women.
Eat, Pray, Love - (iBook) Another one I read because of someone else. The movie was coming out and I had a Girl's Night Out planned with all the Wallace Women to see it so I figured I'd read it first. I liked it, I was drawn to the fact that the Author really puts herself out there and writes about so much, personally. She's willing to share it all in an effort of self-discovery. I also liked her thoughts about God. Specifically God within You. For me it resonates with my thoughts on eternal life/progression and The King Follett Discourses, Man (and Woman) as God. I wish more people we comfortable writting about and sharing and reading about thier spirituality. The more we read about others the more we realize that religion is all individual and so similar regardless of what church someone goes to.
The Hiding Place By Corrie Ten Boom - Oh I have read this one at least a dozen times. I love Corrie and her sister. One's strength and leadership and one's faith. They were amazing women with pure hearts and and amazing life of living your beliefs. I hope to someday be one-tenth as stong of an example as they were.
Jane Eyre- A woman that suffers greatly yet proves to be passionate, complex, smart and maintain her individual identity without conforming. Lorali, While it's important to see anothers example and admire them and even want to be like them it's also just as important, if not more so, to find your
Much Ado About Nothing- Because reading it will make you enjoy the play that much more and understand the opposite sex that much more and yourself even more then that!!
Book Thief - Set in a poor Nazi German town with a young girl as the center of the story. This is easily one of my favorite books ever. I loved the way it was written. I loved the characters. The writing was poetic and full of artistry. It was beautiful and horrific and magical and profound. The narrator is Death who surprisingly finds the beauty in the human soul. I would recommend this to EVERYONE! Please read it.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- This one I've seen on stage, every movie and read the book too many times to count. I love it. enough said.
Les Miserables By Victor Hugo - A change your life- defining book. Right after Bible and Book of Mormon this ranks up there as one of the most important books in my life. And another one I think Lorali needs to read it before she leaves home. Maybe I'll take you to the broadway show when you get it done. Another book I think EVERYONE needs toRE- read as an adult. Powerful, thought provoking, spiritual and absolutely perfect. This one is the creme-de-le-creme.
So there it is... my list for my Lorali. For now. Hopefully she will learn to love reading as much as I do and learn to lose herself in them, learn from them and grow from it. I'm sure I'll add to our little list as I can think of it but this is what I've come up with over the last few years. What do you think? Any I missed?
*and just because of your name I'm going to add to this list SHOWS YOU MUST WATCH (or maybe that's another list all together) but top of that list is Gilmore Girls (and not just because of your name) Rory Gilmore is an avid reader.... you can look at her book reccomendations HERE.
Okay Kiddos. Mommy has a lesson to share and I need you listening to this one. Every year I set goals. Some I accomplish, others are carried over for years and years until I actually move it to the top of the TO-DO list instead of the TO-WISH list. Quilting is one of those things for me. I have always loved and treasured your Grandma's quilts and her talent. I've loved how she's found a way to make things so beautiful and have it be stress relieving at the same time. So... I told myself that someday I'd learn.... Someday finally came around this January and I have been cranking out a quilt a month since but it isn't all about the beauty and perfect finished product. It never really is in life, is it? I've had countless frustrating moments learning how to quilt, I've given myself migraines over thinking it, or wasted a lot of fabric on accidental cuts. I've washed and shrunk when I shouldn't have and I've scorched fabric with the iron, I've tried new techniques... and really, I HAVE FAILED! I have ruined quilts I have MESSED UP! I'm not perfect and I'm the first to admit it. The thing is, I want you to realize that IT'S OKAY! No one expects perfection and really, it's not about that. It's about learning and PROGRESS and getting better a tiny bit day by day. I made this quilt in April just after Cam was born. I loved the funky colors, and wanted something really bright to go outside for our new little movie theatre area.... I also wanted it do quickly so you guys could start enjoying it as soon as the movie area was set up. So I worked on peicing the quilt top for 2 days straight... and LOVED IT. Then I figured I'd quilt it myself because the quilter I was using already had another top of mine and was working w a 4 week turn around time and besides, I had never done that before! So why not try it! I didn't have Grandma or Spring or Teri to walk me through this step so after a little online research and a few YouTube videos I thought I'd just try....
Needless to say, It didn't turn out so well...I even bound it but apparently had my measurements off.... by over an inch! The binding was just as big of a disaster. It's not pretty and it's not right I know that now.
But I tried! I even tried to talk you guys into hand picking out all my seams $1 a row I paid Lorali... her attention span only lasted about 8 bucks worth. :) I was trying to undo all my mistakes and "save" the quilt. After a few weeks of pouting over my FAILURE, I started thinking. Save my quilt? From what?! A life of imperfection? No way! This is exactly what life is all about. It' imperfect. It's beautiful and I enjoyed doing it. Will I continue to have crappy binding? or terrible quilting? NO! I will learn from it, I will grow and I will embrace the imperfections in not just my quilting but myself. In my life. Things aren't always as perfectly stitched up as Grandma's quilts... but everyday we're all getting a little better. I hope each of you will realize that yes, your life will have imperfections. Your relations might have a wrinkle here or there and you might wish you could do something that seems hard and impossible but, that's OKAY! You can grow, you can learn, you can say 'I'm sorry' and you can move on! You can iron out mistakes and wash away the stains and mend anything. Just enjoy the process of learning and growing.
I mess up at a lot of things, I'm certainly not a perfect person but I'm trying the best I can. I do have perfection in my life though, and that is you guys! YOU ARE THE BEST, MOST PERFECT THING I'VE EVER BEEN A PART OF and YOU'VE BEEN THE THING THAT BRINGS ME THE MOST JOY! Thanks for constantly forgiving me and my foibiles and for loving me....and my wonky quilts.
Three kids in school?! What the heck?! Time is going by way too fast around here. Today Ethan started 3rd Grade. Lorali Started 2nd Grade and Owen? He's in Pre-K!!! Three kids, Three schools and Three different schedules. My life is about to get crasy and hectic and I'm brying on the inside but, THEY ARE SO EXCITED it's hard not to get caught up with their infectious smiles.
The party is cleaned up and done but the pictures are just getting uploaded. It was such a success. My little seven year old was beaming the entire time so even the minute things that were forgetten or messed up didn't matter. The invites (here) were sent out ahead of time complete with miniature one for the invites dolls. I scoured the internet trying to find a Silhouette of a little girl with her American Girl Doll and couldn't find one so I ended up snapping a picture of Lorali and using that. It ended up becoming the 'logo' of the event. The Colors were pink, grey and white and it was inspired by anything vintage. For the food I choose a brunch menu with everything miniature/tea sized. About 20 minutes before the party Lorali mentions having an official menu like a restaurant so we printed some up incuding as many of her friend's doll's names that we could remember. Even the dolls had their own tiny menu's.
The dolls got their own table too. The tea cups were painted by the birthday girl and at the end of the party, everyone got to take one home for the dolls.
The decorations were actually pretty low key because it was set in the backyard. A few simple balloons were placed around the yard but I decided to focus on the tablescape instead. I cut scraps of leftover fabic for doll and little girl cloth napkins for added color and cute scalloped plates, individual menus and milk bottles added consistency to the table even with the mismatched teacups.
For the party favors we printed out a 'thank you' card and put all the little favors in bags (white for the girls, pink for the dolls). Inside was a balloon, pinwheel, notebook (one girl sized and one doll sized) and a doll quilt and pillow. They also added the cloth napkins and doll teacups they had used eariler.
Overall there are only a few things I wish I had changed.... one, the girls want to sit by their dolls the entire time. I should have had them sitting next to eachother all at one big table. and two, if I had had the time I would have had Lorali make a little bit of doll food out of polymer clay and the girls could have taken that home too. But, Overall I don't think anyone was disappointed.