on the bus

Jesse and I popped in at the school last week, and our bus driver, Miss Sheryl (and her school bus), was already there ready for after-school pickup. Jesse wanted to say hi, and Miss Sheryl invited him aboard.

This is the seat he picked, and Miss Sheryl told him he probably can't sit back there until fourth grade.

birthday day traditions

We started Lydia's birthday with her requested breakfast - sausage gravy and biscuits.

She was loaded up with cake balls for her school birthday treat.

When she got home, her siblings gave her a gift.

She's been eyeing up those sequin pillows every time we see one in a store, and we found one in the Target dollar bin in gold, her favorite color. It pretty much already had Lydia's name on it.

Lydia FaceTimed with Uncle Derek, Aunt Bethany and Ellie. (Then Aunt Rachel. Then Uncle Austin. Then Uncle Ryan (and cousins).)

After a dinner of macaroni and cheese (and red peppers and applesauce) it was time for dirt dessert.

She got all but one candle with one blow.

Then it was time for the birthday ruler.

Lydia hit four feet (our little peanut)!

Lydia read our Jesus Storybook Bible story at Jesse's bedtime. (When I close my eyes while she's reading, I can hear her little toddler voice still in her current voice sometimes.)


Lydia turns eight today!

This girl is a gift of creative energy. Happy Birthday! We love you, Lydia Kate!


These kids play together often as the three in this photo that aren't mine live behind us. (You can see their house behind the monkey on the far left of the monkey bars.) I am grateful to have next-door (or across-the-swamp) neighbors with kids of similar ages - that they are also kids my kids love to be with is just an amazing bonus.

I still hang out with some of my childhood neighbor friends thirty years later, so who knows where these ties will resurface in their lives. Life stories are fascinating like that.

doll quilt

guest blogger: Lydia

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Last year on my birthday, I got a sewing machine. I've been using it here and there over the past year. Over the weekend, I made this quilt for my dolls. Mama taught me some new skills at the end with the binding, but I pieced and sewed the whole thing myself!

(Mama says next time she'll teach me how to make my own bias tape.)

Nonna's Christmas stockings

Back in 2009, I realized my "error" (just kidding, Mom!) when I made stockings for my mom for her growing family of in-law children. Those married children started making babies, and babies needed Christmas stockings.

At first, I was also attempting to make stockings for my family (my husband and kids) at my house, but Aunt Barb (my Pop-Pop's sister) kept sending new ones for my new babies. So I gladly kept the ones from Aunt Barb and scratched having to do double duty on stocking manufacturing. (If Aunt Barb makes these stockings for all her grandkids and great-grandkids AND her nieces/nephews, great-nieces/nephews and great-great-nieces/nephews (as she does!), she may hold a record for knitting stockings.)

Now, when there is a new baby in the family (since everyone is married and the spouse stockings are complete), I make a new stocking for my parent's house. The toe and liner of each stocking is unique. Each kid has a Christmas fabric while some of the adults have…

turkey project

guest blogger: Heidi

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In first grade, there is a turkey project where we have to disguise a turkey for Thanksgiving (so that he will not be eaten).

Mine says, "I am not a turkey . . . I am Charlie Brown. Good grief!"