Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pet FISH - Prince Eric and Life!

Alyssa has a new pet - A beta Fish. She has named him "Prince Eric" P.E. for short. She has had him for about 3 weeks now and I am amazed at how intrigued she is by this fish. She remembers to feed him without being told (most days). She likes to talk to him and now she is trying to "train him". Can you train a fish? She is trying to train him to kiss her finger when she puts it in the bowl. She wants to pet him. I have to laugh at her innocents! I am glad that she is liking this new pet. We are going to need a bigger bowl soon. I don't like having to change the water every week!!

Stephen is doing very good with his drumming. I love that he practices every day. Today I was teaching Alyssa English and all of a sudden I heard Stephen playing. He finished his work and instead of playing video games or "doing chores" while waiting to work with me - he will go and practice his drumming!! He is becoming better every day!! I am amazed at his talent! God has truly given him a gift!!

Detto has been swamped. He was determined to grill the other night, but we are so busy that it was dark before he was able to get started! He decided to grill about 20 sausages, since it was so late anyways! Sometimes I wonder about his reasoning!! I had to get a picture of him. He has been sooo busy lately, I want proof that he is actually around!! Hahaha! Hopefully God will lift his load soon! Just pray for him!!

We are halfway done with our art class and the kids are still thrilled! It is great! I don't have to remind them to do their homework. They absolutely love it! They are learning so much. Mr. Thom is a great teacher. He is friendly, encouraging, and the kids love him!! I am looking forward to next years class already! They are learning shading and color blending! It's just great!
I have been sewing up a storm this week!! I have been staying up late every night! Except last night. I was in bed by 10:30pm, that is early for me. I was just exhausted from such a long day. I am 3/4 of the way done on my "My Blue Heaven" Quilt!! The blocks look great!! Here are some of my hourglass blocks. See how the middle looks like an hourglass? I love to sew!! I will have the other half done, hopefully today before Alyssa's baseball game.
By the way... Alyssa's team won on Tuesday night. They won 12 to 4!! And... Alyssa made it home for the first time. She is a great hitter and consistently gets her teammates home, but the hitters after her are not strong hitters. She normally makes it to either 1st or 2nd base and then someone behind her gets out!! Well, Tuesday she was the last hitter and so the beginning of the lineup started again and someone hit her home!! Alyssa was on third and bases were loaded, we were down by two... One of her teammates hit a home run and she was finally able to make it all the way home!! Yeah!! I have told her another way to make it home is to hit a home run, but she laughs whenever I tell her that!! Oh well! I hope we have another great night tonight!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

In case you didnt know

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:30 ish

2. Diamonds or pearls? diamonds

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Monsters & Aliens in 3-D (AWESOME!!)
4. What is your favorite TV show? House (But I hardly ever watch it!)

5.. What do you usually have for breakfast? cereal and fruit

6. What is your middle name? Marie
7. What food do you dislike? ANYTHING SPICY OR CHINESE
8. What is your favorite CD at moment? Taylor Swift

9. What type of car do you drive? Navigator
10. Favorite sandwich? turkey, mayo, cheese, letuce & mustard
11. What characteristics do you despise? two-facedness
12. Favorite item of clothing? pj's or beach clothes

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? I would go on a CRUISE!!
14. Favorite brand of clothing? who cares

15. Where would you retire to? a horse ranch w/ my hubby!!
16. What was your most memorable birthday? my 23rd (I think) Detto took me to St. Augustine and we spent the whole weekend being LAZY!!

17. What is your favorite sport to watch? whatever sport my kids are playing at the time!!
18. Furthest place you are sending this? ???

19. Person you expect to send it back first? don't know
20. When is your Birthday? September 2nd
21. Are you a morning person or a night person? neither, lol....I'm a middle of the day person.
22. What is your shoe size? 8 1/2
23. Pets? yea, a fish
24. New and exciting news you'd like to share? My sister is pregnant!! Am I aloud to tell? I am soooooo excited!!
25. What did you want to be when you were little? a school teacher, Mom, Lawyer, Singer, etc.
26. How are you today? good

27. What is your favorite candy? DARK CHOCOLATE
28. What is your favorite flower? Roses, violets, and tulips
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? May 9th
30. What's your full name? Lisa Marie Mongiovi
31. What are you listening to right now? My kids talking about their WATER, WATER Everywhere!!
32. What was the last thing you ate? a peanut butter cracker
33. Do you believe in ghosts or UFO's? yea
34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Purple
35. How is the weather right now? Warm 87 deg.
36. The first person you spoke to on the phone today? Lisa
37. Favorite soft drink? Dr. Pepper

38. Favorite restaurant? I dont have a favorite

39. Real hair color? red/brown/auburn

40. What was your favorite toy as a child? my cabage patch kid with the cornsilk hair
41. Summer or winter? spring or fall

42. Hugs or kisses? both depending.

43. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate BABY

44. Coffee or tea? tea
45. Do you want your friends to email you back? sure

46.When was the last time you cried? today - I am having an emotional day!
47. What is under your bed? fabric!!

48. What did you do last night? sew
49. What are you afraid of? losing a family member

50. Salty or sweet? sweet

51. How many keys on your key ring? i dunno
52. How many years at your current job?... which job? wife? mother? teacher?
53. Favorite day of the week? saturday
54. How many towns have you lived in? 6ish
55. Do you make friends easily? it depends....i used to make friends with everyone, but I am much more cautious now. I can be aquatences/friends with everyone, but I have very few TRUE FRIENDS!

Monday, April 27, 2009


I HATE SNAKES!! For those of you who know me you know - I HATE SNAKES!
Well God has decided that is is best for us to have not one - but TWO Yucky Snakes! Detto has tried twice to kill them, but they are too fast and they crawl into the huge bushes that we have on the side of the house. This morning he chased snakes until almost 10am. I wouldn't let him leave for work because both were sunning themselves on the driveway. By the time he got the shovel and came back they were making their escape!! He has commissioned Stephen to guard me and be my shovel carrier so I can leave the house sometime today!!
I am supposed to be working in the garden, but I dont know if that will happen!!
Pray for me! I HATE SNAKES!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

One Block at a Time

”I try to approach life the same way I approach a quilt – One Block at a Time! Hopefully I will have a masterpiece in the end” -Lisa Mongiovi

I was trying to encourange my buddy to take on a new sewing project and came up with a new saying! I love it!!
I have done this and gotten so much sewing done this weekend - so far!!! I stayed up late Friday night and Sat. night sewing!! I am working on a quilt called "My Blue Heaven". While I am doing this I am also making lots of 4 patches for my stamp quilt! I am soooo excitied!
I have finished almost all of my hourglass triangles. I have finished 77 and I only need 90!! Yeah 13 more to go!
Here is my inspiration. I dont know if you can see what it is.... It's Fudge. I have to use a fork so I dont get fudge on the fabric. It really helps me work! Some people drink coffee - I use fudge... It's the same high, I think!!!

I woke up this morning and realized I have haven't shared my view with you!! I love the view in the morning out my bedroom window.

I will miss it when we move! Yes, we are thinking of moving!! Just pray for us!! I look outside at all that green and it overwhelms me. God takes care of each plant, bird, bug, and flower. I know that if He is doing all of that - what kind of plan is He laying out for me? I just have to trust and pray - I know everything will work out!!

Look what I made for Sissy -

I saw this fabric at JOANN'S and couldn't pass it up! It spoke to me and said "I want Alyssa to wear me. She will dance and spin and I will feel the breeze!" I had to get it. I must say I was inspired by some friends as well. Their daughters looked soooo cute in their little sundress!! I might change the ribbon that I used for the straps for Sissy's. I dont think the bow's are big enough!!

This week I plan to start another Baby Quilt for someone in the family!! I love that so many people are having babies! I am finally at the place where I can say that I am not sick with Baby Fever!! I have been secretly been jealous of all you BABY MACHINES. But now that I have Chloe 3 days a week, it has helped me recover. I am getting to the place where I am glad when she comes in the morning and glad when she goes home. I dont get a whole lot of sewing done when she is here. She isn't crawling yet, but she will be soon. I am remembering the next stages and realize that I am about to be getting a whole lot less work done while she is here! But thats ok. I dont know if I could imagine not watching her. She brings so much joy to my family. The kids love her, I love her, and yes, even Detto is addicted.

Lisa please forgive me but...

I also made another one of my Quilt-A-Long Blocks. I was supposed to wait for Monday but... I couldn't wait. I will have Chloe Monday-Wednesday and I didnt want to wait all the way until Thursday. I know this is just an excuse, but I didn't want to wait!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring is OVER

Well, We are back in school. We eased our way back into a full blown school week! It is hard to get back into the swing of things. Expecially after taking off TWO WHOLE WEEKS!!

We are loving getting back into it though!! Alyssa is doing a unit study on Pilgrims this week. It is so much fun!! We are taking things slow so that we absorb as much as possible!!

I am moving along on my postage stamp quilt. This is all I have done SEW far (haha sew, get it - so). I have cut ALOT MORE 2" squares!! This is a great project to work on while doing others!!
I am working on a quilt called "My Blue Heaven" by Bonnie @ Quiltville!
The other thing I am thrilled about is that I will be able to use my 115 half-square out of my scrap pile!! These have been sitting for a few months waiting for the right project!!
These are my starter triangles!! I will make these into hourglass triangle blocks and stars!! I am trying to do some scrappy projects to avoid spending any money right now!! I have lots of blue fabrics in my piles!! (I did buy a few 1/4 yard fabrics - JOANN Fabrics had everything 50% off!!)
I also just finished this quilt top for my sister-in-law Margarita who is pregnant with another BOY!!! Yeah!! This will be her 4th child!! Yeah!!
And... This is my first block in the Quilt-A-Long!!
Lisa, Isnt it great?? This isnt week #1! I think this is week 4! Lisa and I precut all of the fabric before she left for Nevada. Now we are quilting one block per week together (well, apart)!!
I really like this quilt-a-long!! It is soooo pretty!
I loved our spring break because I was able to sew - ALOT!! And I got most of my sewing area organized!! I wont show you pictures though - I am not sure if anyone but me can tell it was cleaned! I love that I am reducing some of my fabric stash!! I am really enjoying this stash-buster thing!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Postage Stamp Quilt

I know, I know.... I must have lost my mind, But...

I have decided to start a "Postage Stamp Quilt"!!

For those of you who are scratching your head, let me help you. A postage stamp quilt is a quilt made up of thousands of little pieces of fabric.

These are what inspired me:

Yesterday & late into the night, I spent time cutting up my scrap fabric into pieces and strips.

I have decided to make mine 2" X 2" squares. I know that is small, but it will be sooooo pretty!!

I cant wait to start. The only problem is I cant start this project until I work on some of my UFO's!! I am going to use these as leaders and enders to make both projects move along faster!!
I am starting another quilt a long next week with my quilting buddy Lisa!! Yeah I cant wait. It will be a 12 week project!! Here is a quick pick of what the blocks will look like:

I am going to be using different fabric and colors, so mine will be a little different. I am so excited!
This is my fabric for the quilt!!

I have finished two more baby quilts this week for prego ladies in my life. It seems like everyone around me is pregnant!! Wow! I am also going to try and organize my sewing area...soon!

I know that making this postage stamp quilt will help with my scraps! I had 4 walmart bags full of scraps and now with all my cutting and prep for this stamp quilt I am only down to one and a bit!! Yeah!!
I have been reading alot about scrap busters lately. I am thinking of joining a scrap busters group!! Their whole purpose is to not buy new material, but to make quilts out of all of your left over fabric / scraps from other quilts that you have made. I have made over 15 quilts and so I have tons of scraps.
Alyssa started her first quilt yesterday and was thrilled. She is using the princess fabric that I bought while I was in Nevada earlier this year. She is going to make a mini quilt. It will be 15.5" X 15.5"!! It will be the perfect size for a beginner. Her accent colors are pale green and of course PINK!!

She helped measure and then she said "Mom, you cut please. I don't want to cut off my finger!" I had to laugh! She is very wise for only being 8 years old!! (For those of you who don't know this. I cut off part of my left hand pointer finger last year while cutting fabric!! It grew back some and all of my nail grew back. You cant tell unless I hold up my hand!)
Well, off we go into the world of quilting. Once you step in, you will never get out! I am going to work on a little each week with her and we will probably finish it within 3-4 weeks!! I am going to let her do all of the sewing! She practiced sewing straight lines yesterday. She also learned how to thread the machine and put in the bobbin!! She is an amazing girl!

I will be posting her progress and of course mine! See ya soon!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Break Week 2

We are having a great Spring Break so far! We are on week two and loving every minute of it.
Yesterday we went to our Art Class and then we had a picnic at the park with our friends. The kids love going to art and to the park. It makes a great mid week break from our routine!!! We played at the park for a few hours. The Lady Lake park is so nice, they just added new playground equipment! Stephen played basketball with the other homeschool boys and some kids who were on spring break. They played for over an hour! I was tired just watching!!
It was a lovely day for being outside!
After the park the kids wanted to invite some friends over, so....
Alyssa and the girls dressed up and put on several plays for me and Sam (the kids mom)!! The boys played video games and played outside until... just a note here Alyssa is a very strong willed girl! I wonder where she gets it from?... Alyssa coerced the boys into joining her acting company. Then all of the kids put on a "Western Themed" play for us. It was so cute to listen to them talk with a "twang"!! It was so much fun. We are going to have to have them over again. The kids really enjoyed it.
I love spring break. I love the way the air feels this time of year. I love that the temperature is just right for playing outside! It really gives me a boost to finish off the rest of the school year! I cant wait for school to start next week. I have been watching kids all week, which is loads of fun, but I miss spending one on one time with my kids. I love homeschooling and being able to share and talk to the kids. Its not just me talking / teaching, every lesson is a dance. There is input from both sides. The kids ask sooooo many questions, it makes me feel like there are really getting it!! I am so blessed to be home with my kids all of the time.
I love them so much and it is amazing to watch them grow!
Well, today is another day. We start our quilting class today. Wish us luck!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Quilting Rocks!!


I have had a blast Quilting this weekend! My parents took the kids and so I have Friday and Saturday to catch up on projects!! I got so much accomplished! I was able to finish 3 baby quilts and make my EASTER table cloth / Quilt! See isn't it cute? (It looks like there is something wrong in the lower left corner, but it is the angle of the picture. This top is made up of different blocks that I got from my Block Swap that I did on CAFE MOM!! I love Quilting Mom's!!
I had already made the tops to the baby quilts (I made those earlier in the week), however I was able to baste, quilt, and bind all three without kid interruptions!! Yeah Me!!

I love to quilt. I realized that I work best when my work area is sorted, but messy. I wasn't sure what fabric to use as backing or binding for one of these quilts and then I saw "The FABRIC"! It was peeking out of a pile of fabric! It was so bright and colorful and the fabric YELLED (yes, fabric talks to me!)! It Yelled "HEY USE ME! I WILL BE PERFECT FOR THAT QUILT", so I was obedient and listened!! I used it and it looks great!

This is the backing Fabric!!!

The same thing happened with the binding fabric!! Wow!
I also was able to catch up on my BOM (block of the month) Blocks! I hadn't don't the blocks for March or April. So I cut and pieced those! I am loving this BOM.

March Blocks

April Blocks!
There are actually two blocks per month!!
Quilting is so enjoyable to me! I woke up early to quilt today (on a Saturday ~ WOW)!!
I feel so great when I have finished a project and it looks so neat!! I love to quilt.
I was also able to get my fabric packs together for my quilting class on Thursday (there is still time to sign up, if you haven't already! I only have 3 more spots to sign up NOW!!)

I am really excited about this class!! We will be making a mini quilt!
Alyssa was the reason behind the class. See, I bought a new sewing machine a few weeks ago. It is about time, the one I had before was not meant for quilting. It was designed for someone who was going to hem a few pairs of pants or make a few Christmas gifts. Not someone who enjoys POWER QUILTING! I kept having trouble with the machine overheating, so I saved my meager pennies and bought myself a better machine. The new one is meant for quilting. It is so great, I love it!! Anyways, Alyssa asked me if she could have/use my old machine. I love that she is so interested in sewing and quilting. I asked her what she wanted to use the machine for... and that's when she asked me if she was old enough to learn to quilt!! I said of course you are!! And now I am teaching a quilting class!!
I also took a few pics of my MESS / CREATIVE sewing area to show you where I work!
I don't mind the clutter. I organize my area once a month so it doesn't get too bad! I like that I can watch movies or listen to music while I am quilting and sewing!! It makes it more enjoyable for me!! I wonder if other quilters listen to music or watch movies while quilting??
Well, I am thrilled with all that I accomplished these last two days! I hope I can stay on a roll and get more done!! This is supposed to be a busy week so, we will see!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring is HERE and so are Strawberry Shortcake's

WOW, I love strawberries!!

Last week we went with some other homeschoolers and picked organic / hydroponic strawberries in Plant City, Fl!! It was tons of fun (I forgot my camera, sorry no pics!) My kids and I picked over 25 lbs. of strawberries and over 5 lbs. of other hydroponic veggies!! This place was great! They had lettuce, bell peppers, cucumbers, green beans, etc. It was the best U-Pick I have ever gone to. There was no bending or squatting, everything was reach out and pick it!! The other great thing was the more you pick the cheaper it is! We only paid $1 per lb. of food!! I was in shock!!

We had a blast! The kids loved that we went with other homeschoolers!! It was well worth the drive!
So all of those strawberries means I have to figure out what to do with all of them. I made two batches of strawberry jam and we have been eating summer salads (w/ strawberries and nuts, YUMMY)!! Now I still have strawberries... what to do?? what to do??
Make Strawberry Shortcake of course!!

It has been cold this week and today it really warmed up, so....
I called the kids inside from playing and had a super special surprise for them....


It was so good I had to share with all! I remember my Mom making us strawberry shortcake and it was so yummy! Sometime we would have it with ice cream on top and sometimes Whip Cream!! I love it either way!!

The kids scarfed it down! It was all gone within minutes and Alyssa even started licking her plate!!

I took the shortcake and piled strawberries on top and then covered them with homemade strawberry syrup!! We topped all of that off with FLUFFY WHIP CREAM!
(Did you guess that I am a whip cream addict?)

It was so yummy! I think that everyone must make this for their little ones!! You are under my mind control power ~~~ Make Strawberry Shortcake for your Family TONIGHT!!
(kids, your welcome! If it didn't work ~ at least I tried!)
Well, I hope that you are as happy as I am the Spring is finally here and I plan on enjoying all of the SWEET benefits!!
Have a Blessed Day!! And EAT SOME STRAWBERRIES!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Canning Strawberry Jam

Well I decided to show you how I make Strawberry Jam!

It is really quite fun and suprisingly easy!
I am bummed that I have to do it without my trusty canning buddy-Lisa.
She moved to Nevada, but I know that she will be glad to see that I am still at it!!

The steps are quite simple:
1. You cut up the strawberries and remove the husk.

2. You boil your jars and lids!

3. You boil the strawberries and add the sugar and Ball powdered Pectin.

4. Ladle hot jam into hot jars. Make sure you leave 1/4 inch headspace.

5. Add two-piece cap.

6. Place the jar into boiling water canner.

7. Boil for 10 min!!

8. Remove from water and listen for the "Pop"!!