Music Note Rag Quilt

I completed another custom rag quilt a few weeks ago for our next door neighbor.  She’s a high school senior now and she’s quite the accomplished singer.  Her school colors are maroon and black and she went and picked out all her fabrics on her own and just dropped them next door to me and I sewed it up for her.  This ended up being a queen sized quilt with a super soft minky backing.  Check it out!

Click on the pictures to zoom in.

Here you can see a little peek of the white minky backing.

Sun Ripened Iced Tea

We’ve been doing a lot of very summery things around here in Louisiana.  The heat is insane as it has been 100+ since June.  We’re just spending a lot of time in the pool and indoors in an effort to avoid sunburns and heat stroke!

Devin mentioned the other day that his mom used to make sweet tea by putting it out in the sun in the Indiana summer.  So I decided I’d try and recreate that sweet tea for him because surely all this heat can be good for something.  🙂

So, here it is, my own recipe for Sun Ripened Iced Tea.

You need:

  • A 1 gallon container with a lid (I got mine at Walmart for around $5, it’s plastic.)
  • 10-12 tea bags
  • Water (You can use bottled if you’re fancy, but I just get it from the tap.  Good ole bayou water.  Yum.)
  • Direct sunlight 
Fill up your container with water and add all the tea bags.  I use 12.  I used 6 the first time and Devin said it was horrible.  10 was getting closer to his liking and 12 put us in the money zone.  So, trial and error worked for us, so just start somewhere and go from there.  
Then, I put the tea directly in the sun to brew for about 4-6 hours.  Make sure you put the lid on it.  I actually ended up forgetting about it and left it outside overnight once and it was fine the next day.  Thank goodness the lid was on, there’s no telling what kind of bugs might have been going for a swim otherwise.  So, just leave it out there until it gets as dark as you want it.  In the picture at the top, my tea was only out there for about 20 minutes.  It gets darker and darker. 
Once it’s done, I bring it in.  Throw away all the tea bags and put the whole thing in the fridge.   I don’t like sugar in my tea, just a splash of lemon for me, but Devin likes A LOT of sugar like a true southerner so I just put the whole thing in the fridge to cool, and we fix our glasses how we like it.  Works better for guests that way too.
Have fun making some awesome summer iced tea!


June has been a very challenging month around here to say the least.

Teething has been awful for Dieter and has caused all sorts of symptoms like fever, throwing up, no sleep, no eating, stomach problems, you name it he’s got it.  I even took him to the doctor once because I thought surely something else must be going on here but they couldn’t find anything else wrong with him.  He’s just been super sensitive to his teeth and he’s miserable.  He’s got 2 now on the bottom and he’s working on 2 more.

I started potty training Rylea which was a complete failure up until recently and we often started our days with her screaming, “I NEED A DIAPER MOMMY!!!!!!!”  No amount of Minnie or Dora big girl panties was going to convince this girl that she could be a big girl.  I was determined though to not regress so we pushed through it.  If she can tell me when she’s doing a #2 and tell me she needs a new diaper then it’s time to go on the potty as far as I’m concerned.  Plus, 2 babies in diapers is exhausting mentally and financially and I’m over it.

Dieter also discovered this new trick called crawling.  He’s not the typical crawler though, he’s an army crawler.  Using one of his feet to get some leverage, he pulls the rest of his body using his arms and just kinda drags himself everywhere.  Surprisingly he’s really quick and getting into everything he can get his hands on.  I also think being direct pressure on his belly constantly has added to the throwing up and it’s often heard around here, “Mommy, Dieter pook again,” and sure enough I round the corner to see him sliding around in it all over the floor.  Yuck.

All of this is normal kid stuff, but I don’t think it would be as taxing and exhausting if we had friends or family around to lend a hand when things get tough or when I need to go to the doctor or the store or something.  I have not had one single break from the kids since we moved here 1 year ago.  There’s just no one around to offer that break to us, and I refuse to offer my children up to any strangers.  It is so the desire of my heart that the Lord would orchestrate a job for Devin closer to family!

On top of all the stuff with the kiddos, some terrible stuff has happened at the golf course and Devin’s job security is now questionable to say the least and we’re just kinda living day by day not knowing what’s going to happen next.  Through all of this though, I hold tight to the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 for our family and know that He is in control and He is the One that we will answer to in the end.  I’m so thankful I’m not at the wheel of my life because I’m sure I’ve drive it into a ditch constantly!!!

Here’s hoping for a better July!

Rylea Goes Potty

Rylea finally decided to pee in the potty yesterday.  Holy cow, she won’t be in diapers until she goes to high school?  Great!

We’ve been without a diaper for 4 days now expect at bed and naptime.  Rylea knows she’ll get a diaper at nap so she would hold it and she’d go in her diaper as soon as she went to bed.  I was even giving her liquids all the time, and hoping for an accident even so we could quickly make it to the potty and have the “don’t pee on the floor” discussion.  It was driving me crazy.  So, yesterday I had the revelation to not do a nap with her at all.

Finally, around 4pm she said she had to potty (which she was saying all the time and sitting and not going) so I said ok and told her to sit on the potty thinking that nothing would come of it.  Well she peed right away and just looked at me with a big smile on her face.  Mommy started acting like a fool, singing and dancing and jumping up and down.   I was so happy I was literally trying not to cry.  We cleaned up and I picked her up and swung her around in a circle.  Man that was awesome.

Now, she did have a #2 accident on the floor yesterday which is the most disgusting thing ever.  Ugh, so gross.  She started screaming “MOMMY I NEED A DIAPER!” and before the word diaper was out of her mouth, there it went.  Right on the floor.  That was especially awesome because I also have a crawling 7 month that is very curious.  You can imagine….

So, anyway, I just wanted to document Ry’s very first successful use of the potty here so I could remember it later.  Here’s hoping for more!

The Two-Piece Dilemma

Lately I’ve been studying the Bible pretty closely especially when it comes to what God says about beauty.  As a young woman, I struggled greatly in this area, always looking to the world and the people in it for validation.  Clearly, this was before I found Jesus and ultimately chose to look to Him for every thing in my life.  Gaining all my fulfillment from Him and what His word says about me has transformed my life, and it will transform yours as well.  For those of you who haven’t spent a lot of time in the word, I’ll give you a super short intro and if you want to know more please just ask!

God’s definition of beauty and man’s definition of beauty vary so differently that I’m not even sure they should be called the same word.  1 Peter 3:3-4  says “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”  So, in fact, God looks at the beauty of someone as what they have, deep down in the depths of their heart, not how they wear their hair, make up, or clothes.  1 Samuel 16:7 also says, “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’ ”  I think that pretty much sums it up.  God isn’t looking at how awesomely your new pair of shoes coordinates with your outfit.  The entire reason we were put on this earth was the be beautiful from the inside out in order to bring Him all the glory.

This leads me to an answer to a question I’m often asked (sometimes by members of our own families), “Why don’t you put Rylea in those little cutie patootie bikinis?”  For the record, Rylea has never worn a two piece bathing suit, and since I’ve found Jesus neither have I, and we never will.  It has nothing to do with how I might feel about my body (even though, trust me, you all dodged that bullet when I decided that we wouldn’t be wearing two pieces!).  It has everything to do with what my Creator thinks is beautiful.  You might know Jesus and feel differently, and that’s OK.  That’s something that you need to take up with Him.  I’m not here to judge or even convict you.  I’m leaving that up to the Lord.  I’m just here to publicly answer a question I get asked quite frequently.  If you’re not sure how you feel then I encourage you to do your own research in the Bible and pray a lot.  God will direct you.  He always does.

Don’t get me wrong, I think those little girl bikinis are some of the cutest things I’ve seen.  But, that’s just the thing.  It’s not about what I think is cute, it’s about what my Father thinks is beautiful.  My eyes are flawed and clouded by Satan and this world.  My perfect Father believes that our bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit to dwell and we should treat our bodies as such.  It’s never going to be OK for me or my daughter to walk around in our bra and underwear in front of total strangers in public so it’s never going to be OK for me to wear the same thing in different colors in a bathing suit.  My body belongs to my God and my husband and Rylea’s body belongs to God and, Lord willing, her future husband.  I don’t think my daughter any less beautiful for the clothes she does or does not wear.  I pray often that I would see my children with His eyes so I can better understand how the Lord views me as His own.  We were bought with a price, and we deserve Hell.  The least I can do is cover up and dress in a way that pleases my Lord and teach my daughter to do the same.

Rylea’s 2nd Birthday

On May 30 my little Rylea turned 2 years old.  My little sister and little brother, Melissa and Jonathan, came to visit us in Louisiana all the way from New York, and they got to celebrate with us too!  We sent Rylea to bed on Sunday night and got to decorating the house and wrapping presents so we could surprise her in the morning.

I created the cake bunting in Microsoft Publisher and Mel cut it out and glued it to some ribbon.  Then I tied it to some chopsticks and stuck it in the cake.  Easy and cute.

We blew up about a million balloons and then Mel and I sewed them together into a banner that we hung over her new bike from Grandpa.

We had lots of cake, m&ms, donuts, and just sugar in general.  Rylea was definitely princess for the day and fun was had by all.  We are just so thankful for our little Princess Rylea and we love her so much.  She has brought so much joy to our lives these past two years and I love watching her grow!












Kelsi’s Rag Quilt

I just finished up this little crib size quilt for a friend in Naples to give to her soon-to-be niece, Kelsi.  The request was something brown and pink, and I was given free range on the choice of patterns and fabrics.  I love it when someone tells me that because then I get to make a quilt that I would love to receive.

This quilt measures approximately 33 x 44 which is the perfect size for covering baby up in the crib or letting her play on the floor.

Did I mention that I have labels now? I made them using some printable photo transfer paper and Microsoft Publisher. It was pretty quick and easy and it makes helps my items look more finished.  I should have done it a long time ago really.  They are completely machine washable even.

This one is going out in the mail today.  I can’t wait to see some pictures of it in use!