Friday, December 27, 2013

Quilt made from my dad's shirts

 My dad passed away last year after a battle with cancer so I wanted to do something special with his shirts. I used this pattern to make my first quilt out of his shirts. It takes seven shirts to make the quilt.
 I left pockets and tags to add character to the quilt and show it was made from shirts.

 It is my first quilt so don't look too closely as blocks don't match perfectly. Learning as I go.
The back of the quilt is pieced from the backs and scraps of the shirts. I gave this to my step mother for Christmas. I have a tub of shirts and ties and hope to make a quilt for each of my children and myself in the coming year.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

 I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas this year. We had a very blessed year and kind of kept it simple this year. It was my first year with two children out of the house. One is in the army and could not come home. That is a new part of growing up that I will have to get used to. The other one is local so she was able to be with us, just different.

 Some of my favorite ornaments: the kids photos. They get an ornament each year that is either something that is part of that year such as getting a driver's license or is something they are into that year such as Spider man.

May God bless you in the coming year!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Back to Mississippi

 My Uncle George passed away so I traveled back to my parents hometown of Laurel, Mississippi. Uncle George was a month from turning 93 years old. He was an amazing man of God that blessed all he came in contact with. All the men on my dad's side are big men.... most 6'4" so they make a presence in a room. Uncle George was a Mississippi Highway for 26 years and he loved these guys. He was the oldest retired Mississippi Highway Patrolman at his death. They had honor guards at his wake to guard his body, which changed out every 30 minutes. That was so amazing and touching. At the graveside they stood in formation and gave him a 21 gun salute. Uncle George was known for giving everyone $2 bills with Matthew 5:13 on them. He was a people person so he would hand them to people and say, "That $2 isn't much, but that verse written on there is worth more than you could ever imagine." Without bringing up another thing about God unless they asked, he'd talk about other stuff leaving the person feeling cared for and a lasting impression. It was his unique way of witnessing to others.

 My cousin, aunt, stepmother, and me at the funeral.
 I went by to see where Mama grew up. Her dad built this little log home, which was later added onto. It is about to fall apart now, but you can see the original log structure below. It had a porch and long section coming off where the unpainted wood is and also another section matching the green part to the right of the porch section. All of that has been torn down.

 The church was right at the entrance to their road. Mama became the pianist at the age of 9 and continued until she and my dad moved to Jackson. She was also the church secretary. Dad joined when they married and was the chairman of the deacons.

In talking to my uncle I found out that my  great grandfather settled in Collins, MS. His son, my grandfather's brother bought hundreds of acres in Laurel for $.50 an acre. He wanted his dad to come live on the land near him so my great grandfather did. He later sold his son, my grandfather, 42 acres for $1 an acre. My grandfather couldn't pay the whole $42, so my uncle remembers having to walk $3 over to make payments. So, my dad and his five brothers and sisters each received 6 acres of that 42 acres, with my grandmother having the other 6 acres. We had family all around that 42 acres belonging to dad's uncle and other uncles and aunts. The cemetery is filled with Harpers from way back.
 My great grandfather (above) and my great great grandfather (below)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Canned Peaches


We stopped by Clanton, AL on our way home from south Alabama and I got a half bushel of peaches. I was really discouraged because on Monday they firm and I was sick Tuesday. By Tuesday night I had to throw away four because they were furry. The rest all had soft and some rotten spots. I couldn't believe how fast they were rotting.
So, Wednesday I had to get them canned. I threw away so much cutting off the soft spots. In all I ended up with 17 pints. I saw a recipe for gluten free peach muffins I will have to try.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Exterior Paint Colors

This is our house now and we are having it painted next month. I've been trying to figure out what colors I want to use. We will also be working on the front flower beds, removing and replanting some bushes and trees.


 I am going a darker tan/creme color on the trim. I then want to paint the shutters and door a medium-dark gray.  I debated how to paint the door and door trim out. I'll show some options:

The one above has the sidelights painted out the trim color. As I have driven around that is the option on almost all the newer homes in our area. For a traditional house like mine it makes it look like you have a lot of mill work and presence when I don't have an overhang or any other details.

The one above and below painted out all the mill work in the same color. I love this look, too. So, I've really debated. In the end, I think I have chosen to paint the sidelights and trim in the trim color and just paint the door gray.

My next decision was whether to paint the garage door gray or the trim color. Almost all the garage doors in our area are the trim color. Which is white, beige, tan. Which will show dirt a lot easier. So, I think I like the look of painting ours gray. It will show less dirt.

I plan to order this carriage house door kit. It is the hardware and the "windows" are a panel with black Plexiglas panels that look like glass. I think it really makes the plain door look so much better. Our door is seen as you come down the street so is one of the first views of our home.
This is the back of my home. I've decided to paint it in the gray also pretty much for the same reason of not showing dirt. We have red clay which is awful when it splashes on the wood.
So, there you go.... all my decisions. Now to find the perfect colors. 


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Gluten free at Olive Garden

We ate at Olive Garden for our anniversary. I am so excited that they offer gluten free pasta. I was able to eat the salad without croutons. Then, I had the penne pasta with grilled chicken and a garlic marinara sauce. So good! I did have a glass of wine, too :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Anniversary in Birmingham, AL

We celebrated our 25th anniversary. We have booked a trip to Italy in the fall so I wasn't expecting to go anywhere else bet dinner and when I got my beautiful 25 roses I called to say thank you and he told me to pack an overnight bag. He had hotel points so we got a room in Birmingham, AL. Birmingham is about 90 miles south of us. I've been to Birmingham many times, but always for events or home school activities, not as a tourist.

 This is the Vulcan. It is the largest iron statue in the United States. It was made for the World's Fair. It sits on Red Mountain and at the base of the man there is an observation deck. It was so funny because the height didn't bother me at all and there was a guy that stood in the doorway of the stairwell and I was wanting a photo in the doorway and he wouldn't move. He finally tiptoed out, very far away from the railing and I realized he was petrified to be up there. He wouldn't go near the railing at all or around to the front. And he took the stairs four flights because it was a glass elevator. We stood over an hour waiting for the sun to set and every single group that came up had someone in it that was scared to get near the railing. It was so funny to watch them.

 The tower overlooks the city. We enjoyed watching the sun go down and reflect in the clouds.

 Their botanical gardens were free so we went and walked around.

 Downtown is the Alabama Theater. It is amazingly beautiful inside, but it was closed. On the sidewalk they have stars of famous Alabama people.

 Last year when I downloaded a free copy to the book While the World Watched by Carolyn Maull. She experienced living in Birmingham during the civil rights times. She was just a few feet away when the bomb went off at 16th Street Baptist Church, killing four of her friends. It was a really great read and taught me so much about what all happened during that time. I am saddened by what our people did to people of color back then.

 Across from the church is Kelly Ingram Park. In 1963 the park was the staging ground for the demonstrations. In the park the police chief made the mass arrests, then let loose the dogs and fire hose cannons on the people. Most of them children!

 Then we went to Sloss Furnace. It is an old iron furnace.

 Some signs around town. The old Dr. Pepper bottling plant has been turned into an antique mall.

 I've never heard that Birmingham has a replica of the Statue of Liberty. It was commissioned by the founder of Liberty National Life Insurance to sit upon the headquarter building in Birmingham. It was later moved to its current location.