Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The New Member of the Family

No, I don't have any good news about the adoption.  We are still waiting.

But I did get a new sewing machine that has made my life sooooo nice in the meantime!  With the help of Christmas and birthday gifts from my family, I purchased a Juki TL2000Qi.  It looks really basic - no computer screen, no list of 200 different kinds of stitches, not even a buttonhole option - but it is exactly what I need.  This machine is designed to stitch a really good straight stitch and free-motion smoothly and it does both just fine with plenty of space for quilts to move around.  I can also put my heel down on the pedal and cut my thread and it comes with a knee lever (see that thing hanging down in front?) that lifts the foot up and down.  Hands free!  Oh, I could go 1500 stitches a minute if I wanted to.

I think that is pretty cool. 

I am a dork like that.  :)

So I have been doing some playing around on it, piecing a new quilt, and doing the quilting on this penny patch quilt that I made before Christmas.  It is meant for the couch, so I have been happily experimenting on it, not minding if some of the circles are a little wonky and the stitch length isn't even.  Just getting used to the new machine and making something for us in the process.

The back is a creamy colored flannel and you can really see the pattern!  I finished it up a couple of days ago and picked up the binding fabric.  Hopefully I'll have a finished quilt for you to see after a couple of evenings of attaching the binding.  It goes a lot slower if I am watching something really interesting on tv...or if there is popcorn involved.  :)

And for all of you grandparent types reading this, here is one of the dozen goofy faces that have been going on here recently.  :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Feeding the birds, entertaining the cat, and keeping busy

We have been feeling pretty bad for our feathered friends lately.  With snow covering the ground and sub zero temperatures for a week at a time, Timothy helped them out with some pinecone feeders.  It was also a great way for Timothy to get his hands dirty and work on his sensory input!

I have been working on quilting the project that Tigger decided was comfy enough without the quilting being done.  Evidently her thick layer of fat kept her from feeling the dozens of safety pins holding the quilt layers together.  Timothy decided that she needed a song.  :)

We have also broken in a Christmas gift, an art easel!  Still deciding between left and right these days...I have been watching closely to see if he favors one over the other, but it is still 50/50.

He told me that it was a picture of daddy.  :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The story behind a good picture

How many pictures does it take to get "the picture"?
(no one screaming or sticking a finger up his nose and everyone smiling and looking at the camera)

(pretty high standards, no?)

1. Timothy screaming, Eli staring, Jared trying to get T to smile

2. Big boys look good, T still fussing and E still staring

3.  Almost there...

4. Lost the Eli smile...

5.  Smile back, hiding behind hands, Jason's smile is waning...

6. Momentary loss of interest of all parties involved

7. Finger up the nose, T is now staring

8. Too many cameras involved, lack of eye contact

9.  Aaaaaaand, the little boys are done.

10.  The keeper!  This one happened about halfway through the session.
So we decided to add the girls...

Great other than Timothy falling apart.

Okay, enough...boys done as are their relatives.  We called this one early.
Shots of Papa and Nana with the boys were discussed, but are being saved for next time.

Christmas fun

Christmas Eve!  We have been trying to figure out how to celebrate the different aspects of Christmas while maintaining balance, a focus on our Savior, and keeping everything low-key with everything going on at church.  We thought we had it figured out until Jared got a call at lunch to head to the hospital for an emergency situation with a church member.  Life never goes as we plan...

After Jared got back from the hospital, we opened gifts to each other and talked to my parents via Skype.  We didn't have gifts to open because our box from Michigan got a free trip to California and then back to Iowa first, but thats ok because our box to them went to Florida.  Go figure.  :)

Instead of boring you with pictures of Timothy ripping paper, here is Timothy conducting a full examination of daddy with the hit gift of the day, a doctor's kit.

First the ears...

Reflexes were good...

Pulse nice and strong...

He contemplated surgery...

But opted for a hug instead.  :)

Christmas Day!

The Erickson side of the family at Eric and Michelle's house.  I don't have anything else from the day because I put my camera down and enjoyed the crowd.  With 22 eventually sitting down together for a meal, it was a very happy, noisy, and delicious meal followed by lots of festivities.

The next evening we celebrated with the immediate family and did a gift exchange.  Again, instead of the normal gift opening pictures, here are a few of the boys, eating bananas.  It was quite comical...

Jared and his 12 beers of Christmas (many thanks to my father-in-law for collecting the variety)

Back at home, Timothy really enjoyed the new headlamp.  Thanks Uncle Keith and Aunt Jill!  :)

Getting closer to Christmas...

We haven't had a chance to make it to see Santa since he visited Timothy in the NICU right after he was born until this year...Santa made a visit to our local theater!

Timothy was really excited as we waited and watched happily from afar, but it didn't go well...he wouldn't even take the candy cane from me until we got home.  Hopefully next year will be better.

I got one more good dose of preserving in before Christmas and I did 2 batches - quick pickles and relishes and then a box of pears from that the music boosters were selling for the band.  My dish for the family Christmas party was the relish tray.  After an engaging discussion over emails on the topic, I brought both pickled items and cut veggies...

L to R: pickled mushrooms, cranberries, pears, radishes, and dilly beans.  YUM!

Above, cranberry and pear relish (really sweet and tart at the same time) and some pear butter!

Birthday Boy

So, its been awhile, but we were really busy and sometimes the blog takes the back burner.  We'll get you updated with the past month's activities over the next couple of posts.

First, Timothy turned 3!

This lucky duck had two birthday cakes!  One at home, and one at grandma and grandpa's house, along with lots of people to help him celebrate...

Taking a picture for Facebook...

Timothy wouldn't have anything to do with the hats, but Papa and Uncle Thom did!

Cole with his fan club.  :)

Still wearing their bracelets from swimming in October together.  Timothy was excited to see Cole still wearing his...