Monday, February 29, 2016

Smith Plantation

We took a step back in time at the Smith Plantation.  Located beside Roswell City Hall, you move from present day government buildings to a plantation home build in the 1840s.  It is nestled among large trees and other landscaping, giving you the feeling that you have escaped back in time, until you hear the loud sirens of fire trucks rushing past on the main road not too far away!

These are pictures of three generations of Smiths.  Unfortunately, the family ended as none of last generation had children.

Though cotton is usually thought of as the cash crop of the south, the Smiths only had about 10% of their land seeded in cotton.  The rest was used for whatever they could get to grow!

The parlor.  The Smith entertained with music and cards.

One of the Smith sons, "Willie", died of dysentery during the War Between the States.  His parents never unpacked his chest, and just placed it in the attic.  It wasn't rediscovered for over 100 years!

Part of the formal dinning room.  I am amazed at the large table.  We need one in our home!

The Smith daughters' bedroom with the "necessary" chair beside the bed.  

There was a series of painting hung on the wall going up the stairs.  They were all painted by Arthur Smith.  If I understood correctly, that was the first Arthur.

This is the parson's room.  The room was left open for travelling preachers.   The only cost for the preacher to stay was sharing any news from the rest of the world. 

We had wanted to have the tour with our friend, Amy, but she did not do our tour.  We still got to talk for a few minutes and see her dressed in her hoop skirt!

After touring the house, we spent some time in the cook house.  The kids got to make corn husk dolls!

We had a great time at the Smith Plantation.  We didn't get a chance to see all that they have to see, so we hope to go back again to tour the grounds.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Project 365: Week 8

Hey, do you know what?!  I am actually doing this post on time!  That almost never happens these days.  This post is for February 21 - 27. 

Sunday: I am thankful to our Lord Jesus Christ that we can worship openly here in this country without fear or concern.  May around the world don't have that freedom.
 Patrick is not standing, he is leaning against the door!

Monday: Mercy found Avalyn's sunglasses.  She is such a goof ball.  I am thankful for my children having siblings.  They learn so much from each other.

Tuesday: Look at this pretty fabric!  I am thankful for beautiful fabric.  It may not be important, but it is nice getting to work with pretty things.  This is the main fabric for the back of Mercy's bed size quilt.

Wednesday: I planned a field trip for the kids' astronomy class.  I drove three of my children and three of Megan's.  We met up with several other moms and their children at the Fernbank planetarium.  The kids got to look around a small museum and then see the planetarium.  It was a nice time. I am thankful for the opportunity to see something different to help the kids understand more about what they are learning.  Here we are inside a kaleidoscope. I was surprised at how hard it was to get a good picture in here!

Thursday: I was feeling terrible!  I had a headache that hurt every time I moved, and every time someone or something made noise.  I took a couple of pictures of my dog laying on one of the kids art buckets.  It doesn't look like a comfortable pillow.  I am thankful for quiet days at home.  Even though I wasn't feeling well, and I didn't take the kids to school, the day was nice and quiet.

Friday: I still wasn't feeling well, but a bit better than on Thursday.  Patrick wanted to help Keira with the dishes.  I am thankful for my children helping with the house work.  With so many people in the family, I couldn't do all the work myself.  I am thankful that they are learning skills to work around the house.

Saturday:  Avalyn got a dragon book from the consignment sale.  She has made several of the dragons.  She loves throwing them and I love watching them fly.  We took them outside to let the dragons be in their natural habitat.  I am thankful for Avalyn and her interests in all sorts of things!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Parking Hopping: Old Mill Park

We had a little over 30 minutes to kill before we went on a tour at the Smith Plantation in Roswell.  I had previously looked up a park in that was nearby for us to picnic at, but instead, we just went to explore!  We visited Old Mill Park, and it was absolutely beautiful!  I wish we had all day to hike around and see all the ruins and the waterfall.  We did not, so we will just have to go back another time!
I wanted to visit the park specifically to see the covered bridge.  It is beautiful, as you would expect!

Love the extra revenue stream!

I'm not sure what this building is because we didn't get a lot of time to explore, but it had beautiful old brick work that would make good pictures up close.

The view of the creek from the middle of the covered bridge.

Adrian, Mercy, and Sophia looking down at the rapids.

All the kids on the bridge.  I didn't get a single picture of all the kids where Kyle wasn't making a silly face.

Though this picture is a bit over exposed, I love looking through the trusses on the roof of the bridge.

I remember to take the tripod, and we managed to take a family picture! 

Thanks to the Presley's :P, our kids like to do a "silly picture".  They have often been my favorite ones because you can see everyone trying not to laugh!

We will definitely be going back to Old Mill Park and finding the waterfall and hiking around!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

At Nanny and PopPop

It had been a long time since we had visited Nanny and PopPop at their house. 

The kids love to watch YouTube videos with PopPop, so several of them scurried up the stairs to PopPop's office to watch some Snoopy.

 The rest of the kids headed outside to the swings and play house.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the girls in the play house, but Mercy kept saying that it was her little house because she could fit in the door!  She and Keira had a good time playing in the house!
Patrick really Loved the swing!  He kept laughing and talking as I pushed him.  I couldn't stop laughing with him because he was just so happy!

Among the toys, Avalyn found a straw construction set.  She enjoyed trying to put as many together as she could. 

We had a nice time visiting with Nanny and PopPop and look forward to seeing them again soon.  

Monday, February 22, 2016

Project 365: Week 7

Feb. 14 - Feb. 20

Sunday:  I usually forget to take pictures on the Lord's Day, but Sunday night, I saw this quilt hanging on the back of a chair.  I love all the small strips!  I am thankful for the Lord giving us a day of rest from our normal labors.  Sometimes, Sundays feel hard because there seems to be extra to do and we have to get out the door at a certain time.  But I am grateful to my God who gives abundantly to his people!

Monday: I gave Mercy these green slippers (they used to belong to Sophia).  Mercy promptly declared herself a dinosaur and kept telling me to ask, "What is your dinosaur doing?"  I am thankful for little things bringing joy.  I need this reminder: to take joy in small things.

Tuesday: On Monday night, I went to a large consignment sale with my mom and sister.  It is an event!  One of the things on my list was a balance bike for Mercy.  She got to try it out on Tuesday.  Mercy loved it!  I am thankful for the ability to take time to go to this sale and to buy good quality things for my family and a cheaper price.

Wednesday: (This was Mercy's week!)  This is one of the outfits that I bought for Mercy at the Kidsignment sale.   She Loves the birds and danced around in the skirt!  (But notice the dinosaur slippers!  I don't think she took them off for a week!)  I am thankful for her smile and her love of the color pink!

Thursday: Being the busiest day of the week, I was away from home until almost 5pm.  I was so tired that I went to bed before 9.  Adrian finished playing Settlers of Catan Sea Farers.   Avalyn enjoyed balancing her pieces.  I am thankful for mindful games that are fun and teach thinking at the same time.

Friday: This is the only picture I took on Friday!  I had plans to do a lot of other things, but it didn't happen.  I went to Megan's house and we sewed for a while.  I brought her this binding for a quilt she is working on.  I showed her how I make letters.  I have almost finished all the letters for Mercy's name!  But my sewing machine broke on Thursday.  Hopefully Adrian will be able to repair it quickly so that I can finish Mercy's quilt!  I am thankful that my sister and I enjoy the same hobby so that we can work off each other and learn and grow together!

Saturday: A friend from church works at a historical house in Roswell, so we decided to visit her on Saturday.  Unfortunately, she did not do our tour, but we still got to see her all dressed up in her hoop skirt anyway.  We enjoyed the tour of the Smith Plantation, and the kids got to make corn husk dolls in the cook house afterwards.  But before the tour, we stopped at a park that I found online that was near the plantation.  It is a beautiful park that we want to visit again soon and explore!  For today, we walked across the bridge a couple of times and took some pictures.  Next time we want to find the waterfall!  I am thankful for learning about history in interesting ways.  We got to see a how a plantation home was used from 1800s until 1990s, and we got to see a mill that was first built in the 1830s!  We will definitely be going back, hopefully soon.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Project 365: Week 6

This is a week late!  Oh, well.  I will hopefully post this weeks Project 365 soon, but until then, here is the one for the week of February 7 - 13.

Sunday:  I stayed home from church Sunday morning because I still wasn't feeling well.  Patrick really enjoyed climbing the stairs over and over.  Whenever I would get him, he would giggle and laugh!  I am thankful for quiet, restful Lord's days.  

Monday: Keira had a Physical Therapy evaluation.  It didn't go as I expected.  The therapist said that it appears that it is not her patella, but the ligaments of her hamstring.   I think that may be true, but I do think her patella is also a problem.  I guess time will tell.  For now we have some exercises to do to help her heal.  After the evaluation, we went to the small cemetery that I stopped at last week.  This time it was a clear, cold day.  I am thankful to live in a place where we can see experts who know how to help us when we are sick or hurting.  I know this is something we should not take for granted because many people around the world don't have this kind of access.

Tuesday:  We had "snow" again in Georgia.  It was so beautiful to see it falling on and off throughout the day.  I loved watching it.  I am glad I got out early to get a couple of pictures because it didn't stick much at all.  I love that you can see the individual flakes on the monkey grass.  I am thankful for snow!  I would definitely take more if the Lord wills to send it to us.

Wednesday:  Every 6 months, my mom, sister, and I sell at a local consignment sale.  This is no small inside the church gym sale.  It is hosted at the Gwinnett County fair grounds and has 1500 sellers!  They fill two buildings to the brim the first day or two of the sale.  We find the process of selling to be tedious and annoying in many ways, but we love shopping at the sale because of the bargins and the ability to get everything we need all at one time.  I am thankful for this opportunity to cloth my children in quality used clothing. (Even if I complain about the process sometimes.)

Thursday: Megan and I have been spending our time on Thursdays during the kids classes at the church to sew.  The last couple of weeks, we have been working on putting scraps leftover from previous projects together into new quilts.  But I was especially excited to get to show Megan the quilt top that I finished this week.  This is the top for Mercy's bed size quilt.  This is my first time using a pattern and my first time piecing curves.  I was really nervous and thought that it would take me forever to put it together, but it came together really easily.  This thing is huge!  It is supposed to be a twin, but I think it could fit a double or even a queen bed easily.  I LOVE it!  I know Mercy will, too. I am thankful for the ability to sew and make pretty things for my family.  I am thankful that my husband supports my efforts in these areas.

Friday:  We went to visit Adrian's parents.  It had been way too long since we had visited them at their house.  One of the kids favorite things to do with PopPop is to watch youtube videos.  They got to Snoopy!  I am thankful for wonderful in-laws.  Adrian's mom and I are good friends and I enjoy spending time with her.

Saturday:  I finished our taxes!!!  I am thankful to have this task completed!  I am thankful for an accountant who takes care of all the details, and I am thankful to God for providing for our every need.

Sewing: January in review

 Last year, I tried to take a picture every day of the year.  I got tired of the project several times, but stuck with it.  This year, I have continued to take pictures, but I wanted to pursue other things.  Particularly, I wanted to make some time to sew.  I don't want to sew all the time as my kids need me and I need to take care of my home, but I do hope to take some of my time to sew this year.  To that end, I started on three projects. 
The first is a quilt for Mercy.  See, I have made each of my children a bed size quilt for them when they are between 3 and 4 years old.  I bought a quilt pattern, a first for me, to make a Mercy's quilt.  With this pattern, I thought it may take me a year to make it, so I started early.  As it turns out, I have made good progress.
With this pattern, you first cut all your fabric, then you cut and sew the curve pieces.  That scared me!  I had only sewn curves once and that was for a quilting bee.  Adrian told me I should stretch myself, and I am so glad I did!  Though the curves took time and care (not mindless sewing), they weren't that hard when I got into the rhythm of them.

The first several curves took an hour or so to sew, but after that, I got faster and I finished the rest of the required curves sooner than I expected.

The quilt is assembled in rows.  It seems like a lot of work to make each row and then sew the rows together, but for someone like me, who isn't used to following a pattern, this worked really well.  The pattern was easy to follow and I LOVED watching each row add to the overall design of the quilt.

Even the seams look fun!

The first completed panel.  This quilt is going to be huge!  It is supposed to be a twin, but the width is probably one and a half times as big as my other children's twin size quilts!

The second project that I started was the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club.  Each month a well know quilter designs a project to stretch and grow those involved.  The project for January was bias tape applique.  I had only made bias tape once before (I usually use straight grain tape for my quilts), and I don't like applique!  I eventually found a line drawing that I thought was interesting, and tried to replicate it with the tape.  I really like how it turned out!  I may try this technique again.  In fact, I am talking to Megan about using it to write a name on the back of a quilt she is thinking about making.

The last project I started uses fabric that I have had for at least 6 years!  I hope this one wouldn't take too long to finish, but I am not really in a hurry to work on it either.  Mercy's quilt is a higher priority right now.  But in January, I cut into my Dr. Seuss fat quarter bundle to make wonky stars!  Wonky stars are still some of my favorite blocks even though I have made them several times.  I thought it would be an appropriate fit for Dr. Seuss.