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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Everyone Is Doing It...

As much as I love to sew for Ella, she does not always love what I make her.  I never know what I am going to get.

I can either get this...
 or this...

The real reason is that Ella loves knit!  She would wear a knit dress every single day!  So, any time I make her something that is not knit, I am taking a big risk.  Because if Ella does not like it (even if I get it approved by her before I make it) she will not wear it, or at least there will be a lot of tears the two or three times that I force her to wear it because I made it.  

The problem is I rarely sew with knit.  For two reasons really.  1.  It is very difficult to find cute, reasonably priced knit that makes it worth the effort.  2.  Knit is very different to sew with!  And I am very far from perfecting it!  But since Ella (and now Sara Wells) loves knit so much, I have been reading up on it lately.  The more that I read, the more I realized most people got their knit fabric from old t-shirts. So I thought, if everyone else is doing it, so can I!

For the next couple of weeks I just kept my eyes peeled for any cute (x-large) t-shirts on sale.  (Since I have gotten rid of boxes full of clothes with each of our three moves this year, I knew I would not stumble across any treasures in our closets.)  I just happened to go to Old Navy on the right day, all of their clearance items were 50% off.  After digging and digging, I found this cute orange strip for only $1.75.  I kept my fingers crossing hoping to find another one.  
And I did (plus two tank tops for me for the summer, about $1.00 each, and a sweater that was $8.00).  

So, I turned this...
 into this
and this.
 For Ella's skirt I did a simple gathered skirt with a large (3 layer) ruffled flower.
 Then I put small (1 layer) gathered flowers on the girls' shirts.
It was a big hit with Ella
 and with Sara Wells!

And with Sara Wells having a stronger opinion lately than Ella about what she wears, I feel really good about making something that both girls love.  My craftsmanship on the skirt and bloomers is definitely not where I would like it to be, but I was able to use the original shirt hem on both the skirt and bloomers so from a distance, at least, they look professional.

**If anyone has any great tips or resources to sewing with knits, I would love to know them!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

One Year Later...

It is hard to believe that one year ago today we were trying to figure out how we were going to deal with this!  
The number one question that Murray and I get is, "How is your house situation?"  The answer is, it is exactly the same it was the morning of April 27th with a blue tarp instead of a tree on the roof (and all the problems you might imagine would occur over the course of a year with a hole in the roof only covered by a tarp).

The day the movers came and packed up our house and moved us for the first time, we never imagined we would have two more moves within the same year!  You know when I type it, it sounds very crazy, especially for a mom of three young children.  But the Lord has shown us an extreme amount of Grace!  It has been a great year!  While I have lost it a few times (ok, maybe more than just a few), we really don't feel like this year has been characterized by packing up and moving all the time.  Each house has brought us lots and lots of fun memories!

First Rental House:
We will always remember the Dance Parties we had in our shag carpeted den...
Sara Wells starting to join in on all of our art projects...
 all the fun treats that we made...
and of course dress up.

Rental House #2
We had so many fun memories in Rental House #2.  Things we will never forget are 

Carving our pumpkin...
Christmas morning...
Sara Wells's Second Birthday...
And all the fun we had playing outside!

Rental House #3
Although we have only been here a short time, we know this house is going to be great for our family!  The Lee kids love to play outside!  Leaving Rental #2, we did not think it was going to get any better than living on a cul-de-sac and having a killer rope swing, but our new house is great!
Our new backyard is every child's dream.  The Lee kids play for hours outside every day!  The yard, and all the fun we have had together outside, will definitely be the thing we remember most about this house!

April 27th is a day that we will never forget.  I will never forget the sound of that tree falling on our house!  But that is not what forever marks the day in our life.  To our family, it is a very visible display of God's protection.

In 1 Samuel, Samuel placed a large stone, Ebenezer, to always remind the Israelites, and all those that passed by, of God's faithfulness to his people.  When they saw this stone, the people were always reminded of God's faithfulness, mercy and restoration.  I wish I did a better job of physically keeping a record of the ways that God has been faithful to me and to our family so that in times of struggle I can always look to a physical reminder of God's faithfulness.  April 27th will forever be one of those reminders.  I will never forget how God protected our family on April 27, 2011, our family at 5:30 a.m. in Cahaba Heights and Wellon and Stephen's family at 5:30 p.m. in Tuscaloosa.  The only times I have gotten really emotional about the tornados are when I see specials on tv or at sporting events (yes, I have cried at several football games and even a gymnastics competition) where they have dedicated highlights of the tornados and the victims.  Not because of what we lost, or Wellon and Stephen lost, but because of how God protected us!  What we have been through is so little compared to the complete devastation that some families have been through in the past year.  I will always look to this day and be reminded that God protected us on that day.  His protection may not always look like protecting us physically.  But, we can look at this day and see how He does protect us and be reminded that there is never a time that we are out of his hands.  No matter what the situation looks like through our eyes, we know that God is always working for our good and will never let his plan be hindered. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Secret Ingredient

The past couple of years our garden our garden has not been the biggest success.  For a number of reasons.  
The number one reason is the deer!  UGG!  Those deer!  Last year we took a lot of measures to keep the deer away.  But the number two, the tornado, happened and we had to leave our garden all alone.  Without tending, the garden was hopeless.  We got a few tomatoes and lots and lots of basil and sage, but that was it.  
When I realized we were not going back to our house anytime soon, I never imagined we would have a garden at our new home.  It was just something we were going to have to wait for. 
But we were pleasantly surprised when we found the perfect garden spot (we are a little worried about the amount of sunlight, but crossing our fingers it will be enough).  

Besides the small detail of enough sunlight, we are feeling very positive about our garden.  Number one reason is we have a very large fence around our yard which will definitely keep those pesky deer out (when I say pesky I mean, the last time Murray went to our house he counted 11 deer prancing away from our backyard, I think they were even laughing!).  And number two is our secret ingredient:


They have got to have the best tag line ever:
"We are Number 1 in the Number 2 Business"

When Murray got home, he told the kids he had a big surprise for them in his car.  Any mention of surprise brings the excitement level in the house up 100 fold!  So when he told them it was 5 bags of cow poop they were a little deflated.  
 However, once they got outside and started spreading the Moo-Nure, they had a blast!

 We have added a few new suspects to our garden this year:
 Lima Beans

If the garden does come in like we are hoping it will, we are going to have lots and lots of beans, peppers and tomatoes!  Hopefully plenty to share!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy Birthday

Chloe and Fitz!

I know I say the same thing over and over again, but...
it seems like just yesterday these two were teeny tiny babies!

We celebrated Chloe and Fitz's Second Birthay last Saturday at a Capes and Tutus Party.
The kids took the theme a little loosely.

Chloe was Tinkerbell.
Sara Wells was Supergirl
 Fitz was a soccer player (his superhero at the moment, I am not sure 
if it is a specific player or just the costume)
 Miller was Superman without the cape.

 This is my favorite picture of the two of them.  
Neither let go of their favorite birthday presents, 
even when it was time to eat cake.
I don't think Fitz has let go of his "bob" yet:)

Happy Birthday sweet babies!!!!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Growing Up

Our kids are growing up faster than we can handle.  And while it often makes me so sad that the time is going so quickly, as they get older we are able to enjoy a lot more things together as a family.  This past weekend was Ella's soccer festival.  As if the games weren't enough fun, the Chick-fil-a cow was there!  Who doesn't love playing soccer with the Chick-fil-a cow!

We no longer have to constantly be on our guard, but can actually take a breath and enjoy where we are.

Although sometimes not everyone agrees with our idea of fun.

We went to the farm on Sunday and I realized how quickly we went from babies on a blanket
to big kids climbing trees, fighting bad guys
and catching toads.
At one point we did get a little too relaxed and forgot to at least keep a close eye on our two year old and she wandered a little ways away (she is the second small person in this picture heading towards the creek) but we found her before she got into too much mischief.

So, while we are sad our little babies are growing before our eyes, we are really enjoying the new phase that we are entering!