Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In the Mountains

It seems that we've been traveling a whole bunch lately. Great! It's just the way I like it. I love adventure and seeing new things. I also love seeing the beauty that God has created in the world. The mountains at Thanksgiving time are lovely pictures of God's creativity. Mountains in the south and the west are different but both are beautiful. The leaves change colors and the scenery morphs into a world of color. Here are some examples of the beauty of the north Georgia mountains.
Jackie with Santa in Helen Georgia. Our family at the Brasstown Valley Resort the day after Thanksgiving.

Unicoi State Park
The view from the cabin where we stayed.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Incredible Toddler Bed Cap!!!

Some of my more avid readers have heard about this and asked me to make sure I posted pictures once it is complete. I have now finished (drum roll please) Jackie's bunk bed cap! I love it. I think that it's my favorite quilt I've ever made. I was going to post instructions with pictures of how to make it, but I decided just to sew it, so I could get it completed before I left for Thanksgiving. It is now complete, and the pictures are at the bottom. The big pillow on Jackie's bed is Jackie's early Christmas present from her Aunt Anne, Uncle Jim, cousin Alissa, and cousin Robin. Thanks to Aunt Anne's family for the cute pillow that matches Jackie's new bed. Next on the agenda is to paint Jackie's wall, so her whole room is finished. We hope to complete Jackie's room before Christmas.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgivi. . . On to Christmas

I love Christmas. I love everything about Christmas, but honestly, people. Thanksgiving is a holiday, too. I love Thanksgiving. I love the family time, the vacation time, and I REALLY love the food. When did the general American public start skipping Thanksgiving?

The biggest problem that I see with the worldly market skipping Thanksgiving is that it changes the entire emphasis of Christmas, too. Thanksgiving is about giving Thanks to God for the things we have. Yes, it does have to do with the pilgrims and the Native Americans. They were thankful that Squanto helped them survive their first year in this new land, but their thanks was sent up in prayer.

Christmas is not celebrated really on Jesus's birthday, but it is the time of the year when we choose to celebrate his birthday. Christmas seems to get more and more commercialized every year and less and less centered around Christ. Therefore, even as the stores commercialize Chrstimas, please remember that we aren't celebrating X-mas, and we DO have a Thanksgiving time. Let's celebrate this season with good will toward men, a whole bunch of charity, and gratitude to our Heavenly Father who has blessed us so much.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

10 Tips for flying with small children

Since my parents live on the other side of the country, and I really enjoy seeing my family, I have traveled with small children many many times. Traveling with an infant is different than traveling with a 3 year old. I am learning to revisit my ideas of traveling. However, here are some tips that I have learned the hard way.

1) If you have a baby, have something for them to suck on when the plane is taking off and landing. For me, it's just easiest to start nursing as soon as the plane starts taxiing. Then, it's common for my baby to fall asleep 15 minutes or so into the flight. Also, it helps the baby's ears to equalize, so they don't hurt.

2) Take a foldable stroller. You can check a stroller or carseat or a travel system (where the carseat clips onto the stroller) plane side. When going through security, the stroller gives you a place to put the child while you load everything else onto the conveyor belt. Then, take the child out and put the stroller/carseat on last. Pick it up as soon as it goes through, put it back together and strap the child in again while you put your laptop back in its bag etc.

3) Check the airport for suggestions on how early to arrive. With children, plan on 15 more minutes. It takes me 15 more minutes to get through security with children than when I'm by myself. If you have more time waiting for your flight, you can wander around the airport and get some wiggles out before the plane takes off.

4) If your baby is bigger than his age, take a copy of his/her birth certificate with you. This is not always required, but if your baby is 18 months old and looks like he's 2 1/2, you'll be sure not to run into any trouble.

5) Limit the carry-ons. With small children, you have your hands full enough. I like to combine my carry-on bag with the diaper bag. Also, I let Jackie carry her own small backpack with her toys and books in it.

6) If you have a full carseat and not just an infant carrier, check it as luggage. If they lose it, the airline must lend you another one. Also, take it from my experiences, carrying a carseat through the airport is unwieldly, heavy, and just plain miserable.

7) Take empty sippy cups and bottles. Fill them up in the airport. Also, most flights have a beverage service. You can get water or juice and fill up the sippy cups with that. It gets hairy trying to take sippy cups, liquid formula or that type of stuff on the planes now.

8) Take advantage of curbside check in. For $2-3 dollars per suitcase (depending on airport or airline), the sky cap will check your suitcases for you from the curb, and you don't have to haul all of your suitcases into the airport. Renting a luggage cart can cost $3.50 anyway, and you often still have to take your stuff over to the x-ray machine even after you're checked in inside. Dropping off all luggage at the curb gives you more chance to help your children inside and help them enjoy the airport instead of giving all your attention to a suitcase.

9) If you're parking your own car at the airport, look around for places you can park just off from the airport and then take the shuttle. It's usually much cheaper. For example, airport parking in Atlanta can cost $15 dollars a day for long term parking depending on which parking lot you choose. Whereas, there are places that have a shuttle service from an off airport lot where you can park for $10 a day and ride the shuttle. Then, the driver drops you right off at the curb. With the curbside shuttle service and the sky cap, you can minimalize your luggage handling.

10) Take early morning or late night flights. Sleeping children are easier than busy children. When we flew home from Utah, we purposely got an afternoon flight thinking that it would be easier to fly at that time when it was more convenient to get to the airport and our kids would be happy. All other flights I've taken with my kids have been late night flights and early morning flights. They're much easier because the kids are tired and the airplane ride helps them hold still. Then, they sleep.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My trip to Utah

I really loved my trip to Utah. We spent time in both Mesa Verde and Arches National Parks, and Jackie got to go trick-or-treating from Grandma's house. Then, we went to my friend's wedding in Manti, UT. I love that temple! We also got to spend time at Temple Square, Welfare Square, and the Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City. Here are some pictures highlights from various parts of the journey. Enjoy!

Jackie was a kitten, and Ben was a duck for Halloween.

Thanks to my friend Wanda for taking this picture! Rob and I standing on the side of the mesa at Mesa Verde National Park, CO.

The first picture is the Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park. The second picture is the Sky in southeastern Utah between the Colorado border and Monticello.

At Sand Dune Arch in Arches National Park Broken Arch at Arches National Park. The arch looks broken because of a crack in the top.
The landscape from the other side of Broken Arch

The Manti Temple where my friend got married. It's my favorite temple.

The Salt Lake Temple at dusk. This is a picture of our whole traveling party taken from the top of the Church office building by an Australian guy who we met up there. He made us all laugh.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Toddler bed sheets number 2

Here are the instructions for how to sew a top sheet for a toddler bed.

First, cut a square of fabric 45 inches by 60 inches.

Then, cut out a six inch square from each of the bottom corners.

Then, take the edges of one of the bottom squares, and sew them together, right sides together. Repeat with the other one.

Make a casing around the two long sides and the bottom edge of the fabric. To make a casing: Turn under (wrong sides together) 1/4 inch all the way around and sew around it. Then, turn under again 1/2 to 3/4 inches around. Sew again as close to the previous stitching as possible. Leave a hole about half way down on each of the long sides.

Then, put about 85 inches of elastic through the bottom half of the sheet using the holes you left in the casing. Start by using a medium to large safety pin and pinning one end of elastic to the sheet right next to the first hole in the casing. I use another pin to pin through the other end of the elastic to make it easier to pull the elastic through the casing. Then, I gather the casing over the safety pin and pull the elastic all the way through the casing until I get to the hole on the other side of the sheet.

Then, I keep pulling it and moving the gathers of the casings along the elastic until the bottom looks about as gathered as the bottom of a fitted sheet.

Then, I sew a straight line across the casing right before the hole I left to sew the elastic in place. I do that on both ends of the elastic.

Then, I sew the holes closed.

The final step is to hem the top. You can either do just a turn twice and hem or do a wide hem like you would for a normal sheet. To do a wide hem, turn under the first time 1/4 inch and sew and then turn under again about 2 1/2 inches and sew as close to the first stitching as possible.

If you choose to make these sheets and have any questions, feel free to email me. le35@yahoo.com

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Can I just say again, I love Utah! My friend Tracy got married last night, Nov. 2. Since she was going to get married, Rob and I decided to make a family vacation out of coming to Utah, and my friend Wanda came with us along with her daughter Corley. It has really been a BLAST so far. So many new things. I have taken tons of pictures, and I will post some of them after I can figure out which ones I should post. I'm going to try to post an entire slide show that is saved somewhere else, but it should go over well.

Right now, we are at The Cliff Lodge at Snowbird in Utah. It is absolutely gorgeous. There is snow up here, and there hasn't been anywhere else we've been. My Georgia friends are way excited to see some snow. Smile big. I'm off to play some more. YAY!