Monday, February 18, 2008


I am tempted to do what my friend did and put my stuff in several different blogs, but it's 1:15 in the morning (thank you Tori!), so we'll do this the quicker way. I haven't even had time to sit down and do this earlier, so here I am, doing this now while most are asleep.

Sean had to work on Valentine's Night, but he sent me flowers at work (after my manager thought that some birthday flowers for Peggy were for me. I laughed at the idea of Sean sending me flowers, so she made sure that I gave him a hard time. He felt the pressure and thought he had better send them :) ). They were beautiful! Even if he felt compelled, I was still so excited that they actually came. And I think he put the compelled act on just for show :) Tammie talked to her husband and mentioned to him that my husband sent me flowers and he told her, "Tell her to give you one!"

Since Sean worked that night, Sara invited us over to Mom's for dinner (which she fixed). It was delicious! She made Saucy Hearts and broccoli and cheese, Mom made a pink jell-o salad, and we had rolls. After we let the food settle, we had pie and ice cream too! Mmmm good! Thanks Sara for the wonderful meal!

Friday I did home visits with Caleb's assistant teacher. Mrs. Sandy wasn't able to go and their FSW (Family Service Worker) was sick, so Cozette asked me to go. We tried 17 homes and made 9 visits. It was a real eye-opener. I am glad I got to experience that and hope that I don't have to do it next week. But Mrs. Bonnie is really great and I was so glad to get to know her better. She also did my home visit for Caleb while we had some extra time.

Friday night our kids went to the Sterling and Sean and I went on a date! It's been a while, so it was exciting. We went to the mall and voted on our favorite boo-boo quilt. There was a record 47 quilts there and they were so beautiful! We did a little shopping and then went over to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. We got there around 8:30 and still had to wait about 25 minutes. It was packed! But the food was wonderful (Sean wasn't as pleased, but still went away satisfied). We picked up Tori and then went home and went to bed! The other four camped out on the Sterlings family room floor in sleeping bags with their cousins. It was so cute.

I would have slept in, since most of the little people were gone, but Saturday was Make a Blanket Day at the mall. Dad took Mom and I over and we got there around 8:30 am to find a good spot and set up. There are more and more people every year, so we had to make sure we could get a good place. Sean and the kids stopped by to see the quilts (Isabelle wanted to see Mommy's quilt). I did have to give a disclaimer to everyone on all the girls hair. The all had quite the bed head. :)
When blanket day is at the mall, there is paper piecing to do. Mom and I enjoy putting the blocks together and we like getting a bunch and doing them all together. We didn't have enough plugs to plug in two sewing machines and Mom's travel iron, so one person sewed while the other ironed, lined up pieces and trimmed. It was a lot of fun. All together we made about 16 blocks. With each block that you do, you can try for a prize. They use a ping pong machine and if you get an orange ping pong, you get 10 extra tickets for the special prize drawings. If you get a yellow ping pong, you get to pick a prize off of the door prize table. If you get a white one, well, thanks for trying and here's another block :) Mom is really good at getting the colored balls, so I made her do most of it. She ended up with 2(?) door prize ping pongs and 6 or more special prize tickets ping pongs. She's amazing! She got the first one right away and picked up a kit to make a travel sewing bag with things to go in it. She happens to have one already and it also just so happens that I mentioned to her that I wanted one like that, so she got it for me :) She is so sweet! I got my name called first thing for a door prize and picked up a pair of snippers for rag quilt snipping. I was really excited about both! She also picked up a pair of snippers with her second ping pong ball prize. She got a snuggly scarf when her name was finally called for a door prize. The great thing about Project Linus and this chapter of it is that they are so good to their volunteers! Mary and Cheryl really know how to make these days so wonderful! We sat by our friend, Judy Brumaster. We got to know her at the November, 2006 Appreciation Breakfast and have enjoyed her ever since. She is a wonderful lady with an amazing memory. I saw her at the Feb. make a blanket day in 2007 and she asked when I was due. When I saw her in June, she said she had been keeping an eye out for our birth announcement in the paper and was excited to find it at the end of May. This picture of her is when she won one of the special drawings. We cheered loudly for her. We didn't win any of the special drawings, but the very last drawing that they did, was for a $900 Baby Lock Sewing Machine that was donated by Baby Lock and Stewarts. Those who pre-registered got to enter the drawing and when we put our names in, I told Mary that if Mom won, I got the machine. We all laughed and Mom explained that my machine just broke a few days earlier. I never win any of the big prizes, so I was busy sewing and not paying much attention. When they called my name I freaked out! Mom and I just kept hugging and we were almost crying. Mary had said that every time that they give a sewing machine away, it always seems to go to someone who really needs it, and this time it was no exception. Mom whispered to me, "Oh! I was hoping you would get it! I have been saying a little prayer all day that you would get it!" I love that woman! I am so grateful for my new machine! It truly is a blessing to me! I have already sewn my travel case with it and I love it!!
Mom and I were on the front page of the local section! And my name is at the very end of the article for winning the machine.

This is Mary Balagna. She is the Vice Pres. of the National Office for Project Linus and the President of our chapter. She is an amazing woman. I can't believe all that she manages to accomplish. Cheryl Hughes is the Vice Pres. and is wonderful at helping her. I guess that's how Mary does it. Between them and all the volunteers, each Project Linus event is amazing.

Lastly, my mother-in-law came Sunday afternoon. Sean and the four older kids went to Champaign and picked her up. They were so excited! It's always wonderful to have Mamaw here. She love to help and to spoil. I have a video of Livy and Mamaw playing and then I think I might be done. I am ready to go back to bed now that Tori is quiet. I hear Sean sleeping away and my eyes are getting heavy again. One more picture before I go... Nora won't leave Tori alone! Here, she doesn't seem to mind too much :) Yeah, I should have done this in several different blogs. Sorry it's so long!

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I began thinking about hobbies today. I wonder what hobbies others enjoy. Some are obvious, such as Soni and quilting. Others may be guilty pleasures. I seem to have a collection of hobbies ranging from banjo playing to radio. At the former I am neither proficient or dedicated. Seems each time I pick up to play I break a string. Radio, however is both entertaining and educational.

I listen to short wave regularly. I love the variety from around the world available on such a simple medium. I also hold a ham radio license and talk on there occasionally. I have a hand held unit that is on most of the time. I have aspirations to pass the test for a General class license that will allow me to use a 10 meter radio I have and talk over even greater distances. There is something about this hobby that attracts me. I find myself learning more in a wide variety of fields studying radio than any other hobby I have been involved in. This makes me think it will be a long-lived interest.

I have several other "pasttimes" I enjoy, but few I would consider a hobby. What are some of the ways you relax and pass time for amusement. I have a few guesses at obvious answers, but try to surprise me with a good one.



Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I am so glad that Monday is over! It was good. Don't get me wrong. But it wore me out. I went to work as usual and had my first not so good day. I don't like to be micromanaged and that is what my manager is. I made up a new phone list for the office with Head Starts addresses and phone numbers also and printed of copies for anyone who wanted it (everyone), but apparently, someone felt upset about this and Mary had to come tell me that I was not to copy ANYTHING until Cozette gave her initial to it. Oh brother! It's an extension list! Grrr

But I did get to go over to Site 2 (where Nora and Caleb are) and help in one of the classrooms. Cozette told me to just go home from there. I didn't need to come back to the office just for 1/2 an hour. So I got to pick up the little ones and go home.

Mom came over to watch the kids yesterday. I thought that Sean would probably need some sleep after all the work and lack of sleep this past weekend. She has been sewing the top of my boo boo quilt (so Sean designed it and Mom sewed it together - Sean said I was a good manager :)). She has been so helpful! She always is, but yesterday she was sick and still she was here caring for kids and sewing. I did add a picture of Tori. Mom fixed her hair after her nap and she looked so cute. Belle missed the bus (it wasn't her regular one I guess) so Dad was good enough to take her to school. He even walked her in. Cute. Wonder if it brought back any memories?

I babysat at the Lauper-Cook's last night. Those kids are so great. Jasper was born in October, so Julie needed someone with experience with babies. That is definitely me! Julie's grandfather passed away and she headed out this morning to go to the funeral. I took the three girls with me to the Daines' house where they were going to spend the next few days. After that, I stopped at mom's and picked up the blanket top that she took home to work on, and then headed over to Wal-mart for some groceries. I FINALLY got home around 10:30. Sean and I decided that after work tonight, I was staying home!

Isabelle was supposed to jump in the jump rope for heart thing, but her teacher forgot. She was so sad and I think she even cried. Mrs. Williams gave her a little "I'm Sorry!" present (it really was sweet). This was clear back in December. Well, I guess she came home with all kinds of prizes for the money that she did raise. She got a couple of t-shirts, a jump-rope, a radio, and some other stuff. She was pretty excited about that. The picture is her this morning, just after waking up. She was embarrassed that I was taking a picture of her looking like that. My little girl is growing up!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

More Hair Cuts

Well, today I did it. I cut Olivia's hair. Not just trimmed it. She didn't exactly sit still either. If toddler hair cutting were an Olympic sport, I would get the gold! The left picture was taken tonight, Feb. 9, 2008, and the one on the right was taken in July of 2006. There is a little bit of difference in them :) I will try to put the movie on too if I can, but I am falling asleep as I type, so I am not going to try too hard. I spent the afternoon at the DeVisser's, and although Dorothy only needed a couple of things at the store, I am just tired. Maybe it's the drive up and back. I am out of practice driving long distances.

Sean is working this weekend. Bathing five kids should also be an Olympic sport. While I was getting things ready and making kids clean up the bathroom, Nora was downstairs being busy herself. We had breakfast for dinner and I hadn't gotten the food put away. She poured syrup in the juice pitcher and all over Tori and her tray. I failed to get a picture of that. I was too mad to think about it. I hate sticky things. Tori had it all over her front, her arms and her hair. Let's just say that she was the first in the bath. Grrr, this is what happens when Daddy is gone...

Friday, February 8, 2008

Oh! So Good!

Tonight was ladies night! My friend Julie had a spa night and I dragged Sara over with me (not that she was kicking and screaming or anything). Mom and Sean 2 watched all the kids (including Sami Cami) for about 4 hours! They are very brave and so great to take that much time for us. Those kids were tired when we got home. Be I am really glad we had the opportunity to go. It was sooo wonderful. Julie had a massage therapist there and we each had a 20 minute back massage. I have never had a professional one before and it was heaven. I just wanted to lay there for ever and ever. I also had a foot bath and foot massage (I did those myself, since I would be too embarrassed to have anyone else touch my crusty feet), a facial, crepes, herbal tea and quiet, adult conversation. I was wonderful!

Tori got her bangs cut today. They have been driving me crazy. I finally pinned her down and snipped them. It wasn't easy. She fought me almost the whole time! I did miss some, but maybe I will wait till she is sleeping in my arms or something. How does an 8 month old have so much hair?

I love my job. Can I just say that again? Cozette, my manager, left at lunchtime for the day. When we all came back, there wasn't much to do. A lot of people were just sitting around. Me included. Daciena came in and told us that the director said we could go home if we wanted to, and still get paid for 8 hours! Since Nora and Caleb don't have school on Fridays and Sean works tonight, I wasn't sure I wanted to go home just yet, but went ahead and took the opportunity. I did get a little nap at home even. Cozette asked Tammie and I if we would put together a monthly newsletter. Boy! She asked the right person here! I was so excited to have something like that to do. I have done several newsletters and they even have publisher, so this will be easy for me. I am anxious to get started. I already got a letter out to all 12 teachers, the 2 site managers and the appropriate staff at the main office. Now I just need to get info to put into the newsletter.

Oh! Today was payday and I got my first real paycheck in 8 years! It's official! And I found out that we got paid for the snow day. And I guess it's not normal to have an hour paid lunch, so I actually only work 7 hours. Man, this is the job for me!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I hate being sick. It doesn't happen often. I guess pregnancy makes up for that. Last night (or rather, early this morning) I was cutting fabric for my boo boo quilt when Belle comes down and says "Mommy! Throw up!" After some inquiring, I found out that Nora had leaned over her bunk (she's on top) and threw up on the floor. I don't handle vomit well at all. Sean usually takes care of it but he was working. I actually had to wake Nora up and ask her if she threw up and at first she said "No." After questioning Belle and Nora more, and Nora woke up more, she said she did it.

After getting it cleaned up and kids back to bed, I went back down to finish cutting. I was wanting to get to bed, but I was worried that Nora would need me again and I wouldn't hear her from my room. About 45 minutes later (around 2am) Belle came out and went to the bathroom (AGAIN!) I was about to yell at her to go back to bed and quit stalling, but the next thing I hear is, "Mommy! I think I need a bowl!" I told her to use the toilet since she was right there, and there was nothing to clean up (whew!) Great! Two puking kids! Who was next? I went right to bed before someone else started up on it and luckily, everyone was fine the rest of the night. Belle even went to school and Nora would have if she and Caleb hadn't missed the bus. But I did wake up feeling nauseous and sore all over. It wasn't too bad though and I managed to work through it, but I am soooo tired now! Ahhh, motherhood!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Ahh, Sundays...

I love the weekends when Sean doesn't work. I talk like this is old hat, and I realize that he has only been working for a month, but already I am thinking a week in advance. Last Sunday I was so excited that the next Sunday he wouldn't be working. Today, on my way to do music with the Nursery, it came to me that next weekend I would be all alone. :( I have to learn how to enjoy the here and now and look forward only on the harder weekends. Today I got to have a nap. I woke up and the sun was still shining and I thought I was late for work! I really panicked for a minute. Sean laughed and said "You're late for work!"

Spencer, Saucy and Sami Cami came over last evening while Sean2 (that's my sister Sara's husband for anyone who doesn't know. My Sean is Sean1, since he joined the family first.) and Sara went on a date. I haven't had many chances to hold little Sami Cami (Okay, it's Samantha Camilla and goes by Cami, but we can't help ourselves). She is a month old and it's my favorite age, but darn that little Tori who is a little possessive of her mommy. But last night I did get to hold her a little between naps. Spencer and Saucy spent the night and it was interesting and not too bad getting them all bathed last night and ready for church by 8:45 this morning. And that includes 5 girls hair and Spencer's hair. I am amazing :) Okay, I had some help.

Cami was blessed today. It was wonderful to hear the blessing that her daddy gave her. And Dad came too! My Sean said that we need to have a baby next year so that we can get Dad to church next year. He should get to church at least once a year ;) I said "Riigghht, let's do that..."

Have I mentioned how much hair Tori has? She had a headband in her hair today, not just because it went with the outfit. Good grief! It makes her look older than her 8 1/2 months.

Well, our boo boo quilt challenges are due on the 8th. Mom got her quilt top all finished and it's all pinned together, she just has to bind it and quilt it! I haven't started... WHAT A SURPRISE! It might be a little more difficult to finish, I mean start, now that I am working. If you don't know what Project Linus is, I added a link to my favorites. I have three blankets that I would like to get finished by blanket day, but I will be lucky just to finish the boo boo quilt.

Speaking of work...I love it! I didn't get to go on Friday, seeing as how there was about 8 inches of snow on our road. (I don't get this's ice, it's a rain storm, it' s a snow storm, it's thundering and lightening - yes, today it thundered and lightninged (as I shake my head in disgust) all in the same week!) But it is great. The people I work with are wonderful. The teacher, whose classes I am responsible for as a family service worker is just a ball of sunshine, but I haven't seen her too much yet. The three ladies that I share an office space with are all very sweet. Peggy has been there about 3 years (?) and is very quick to answer any questions that we have. Tammie and Michelle started with me, so Peggy gets lots of questions from us. So far, we all work well together. Peggy is a blogging queen! She has the Jankowski Family Blog and is great at posting! I am amazed!

I enjoy going over to Site 2. I love all the children and I love seeing my own. On Wednesday, Tammie and Mary (who has been training us) were going through a recipe book over at site 2 and found a Red Velvet Cake. They said, "I bet Amy could make that! Hey, Amy, can you make this?" I told them that I could with a recipe, so they were going to make a copy for me. On Thursday, they asked if I had made it, and remembered that the copy machine still wasn't working, so they had me copy it down by hand. Tonight I made the cake. I don't know how it tastes, but hopefully it will pass the test.

I hear lots of noise upstairs. I probably should go check it out. I also have to make sure they haven't decided to eat the cake. I have been worrying about that. I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend and please encourage Sean to add some more! He said he did his one.