Thursday, December 31, 2015

Another quilt!

I can finally post my newest quilt!

I started it last January as soon as my broken wrist could handle cutting fabric and I didn't finish it until the week before Christmas.  

I could have had it done by March if I had just worked on it a little everyday but it fell to the wayside for months at a time.  
I instantly regretted the quilting pattern that I chose. The quilt is 72in by 78in - do you know how many times I had to stuff that quilt through my machine throat to turn it?!?!  Too many.  But it was worth it!

I am very pleased with how it came out. This one went to my Mother-In-Law for Christmas.  

And now to start on the next! I am very glad that I have many pro-quilters in my new Sunday school class and I already have learned a few nuggets of quilting wisdom from them. I want to have most of it done before the baby is born....but we'll see.

Monday, December 14, 2015


Today we went to see Santa at Bass Pro Shop.   It was way more fun than going to the mall and we got a free picture.  It's not the best but what can you expect?

The girls have been looking forward to seeing Santa for quite a while now.  Claire hasn't been able to decide what she wanted and kept coming up with weird suggestions that I tried to discourage. Mostly those ridiculous things you see on tv around Christmas time like Stompeez and similar absurdities that I would throw away a few days later.  (We don't have room for that kind of junk!)  Luckily, she went with "You can just surprise me."  Phew!

Sweet Joy has a very specific list. She wanted a Sophia doll. socks, and a purple dress or shirt. Reasonable, small, and inexpensive suggestions. Santa can do that.

Apparently the Santa at Bass Pro Shop is a "photo op only" Santa and does not talk to the kids. You can write him a letter while you wait in line and put it in his mailbox,and you'd better because he won't ask you if you've been good and what you want for Christmas - he won't even give you a "Ho".  He just sits there and endures, probably questioning his life decisions with each screaming child that is taken off his lap.

Joy telling Dad what to write.

Paige surprised us all by being nice to Santa and sitting on his lap all by herself.  She did not cry at all and she is very proud of her picture with him.  "That me!" she says.

After Santa, we shot at the shooting range,

admired the reindeer,

and rode the carousal....

all for free!

Paige was not too sure about the whole ride thing.

We also just enjoyed walking around the store, looking at the fish, waterfalls, and taxidermy.

Afterward, we went to get our Christmas tree. I can't remember the last time I actually enjoyed decorating the tree. What a pain it is!  There are so many rules!  So many different ways to break ornaments! And a huge shortage of branches that can bear the weight of any ornament.  We got it done though.  I only have 4 ornaments in need of some glue gun repair.

This upcoming week is our busiest one before Christmas.  Next Monday our "to do" list will be complete and I can relax and enjoy the season.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Autumn Apples

It's that time of year again.
  The time when I give caramel apples to my girls and try to get a few good pictures of them eating them.  
Why do I do this?  I don't know, it's tradition.

Monday, November 2, 2015

That's what our baby is made of.....

Today was finally the day when we got to find out the sex of Tompkins baby #4 and make sure everything was growing well. (which I was concerned about since I haven't gained any weight and my tummy JUST started to poke out a little bit ago.)

We were so happy to find out that all looked good with the baby and were super surprised to find out that it is a BOY!
Needless to say we are ecstatic. Well, Josh and I are but the girls are not so happy.  They don't want a "naughty boy" and Claire is "Disappointed in the Lord" for giving us a boy.
I was fully prepared for and wanted another girl.  Mostly for economic reasons but I really enjoy my girls and would have been perfectly happy with one more.  

It's because of this that I have been so irritated with people this time around saying things like "I bet you want a boy huh?"  "Your poor husband!  That better be a boy!" or chanting "Boy boy boy boy boy!" in my ear everytime I pass them by.  I understand that our culture assumes you want to have the one gender you don't have and that people think they are being funny or sympathizing with me because, obviously I want a boy, right?  Maybe it's all these male pregnancy hormones racing through me that are making me more annoyed than I usually am but I am just glad that we finally know and can move on.

Here are some thoughts that have gone through my head today about having a boy:

Hurray!  I don't have someone else's hair to do before we leave the house!
This complicates our rooming situation - nah, Paige and the boy can share rooms for a looooooong time.
I am so happy that Josh will finally get his son!
I won't be able to say "Come on girls!" to my entourage anymore
Ugh!  We have to buy a whole new genre of clothes, toys, games, etc.etc.etc.
I can finally get rid of our baby girl clothes!
Paige is my last baby girl! *tear
Maybe we should try for one more boy so this one doesn't grow up alone in his maleness....

Yes, things will be quite different in our house come March.
 We are celebrating a healthy baby boy and praying for his safe arrival.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween 2015

 I originally had big plans for costumes this year.  The girls were going to be Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, the 3 good fairies from Sleeping Beauty.  It would have been so cute and of course Paige would have been Merryweather, the chubby, blue, fairy.  After my original fabric purchase at Goodwill my mom and I realized that they still needed, capes, and hats and that the dresses had to be sewn completely from scratch.....x 3.  We decided (after a trip to Joann) that these costumes were not only going to be a huge hassle and time consuming but also very costly.  So right there and then we decided (upon Claire's request) to go with the Disney fairies instead.  

I already had Paige's costume, Claire's and Joy's we found at Goodwill for $6 and $5 and the wings are from the dollar store.  Yes!  My kind of costumes!  Of course each costume needed a little help to fit better and make it a little more special but I spent about 40 minutes on the 3 combined. 

Silvermist - The Water Fairy

Rosetta - The Flower Fairy

 and of course, Tinkerbell - the Tinker Fairy.

 We had a lot of fun on this photo shoot.  However, as we were getting ready, Joy decided to touch the curling iron to see if it was on. So she had a big white blister on her finger and of course her poor finger burned like crazy for the next 3 hours.  We were already in too deep to call off the picture session so we gave her the only thing from my mom's freezer that was easy to hold and would stay cold long enough - a  frozen sausage wrapped in foil.  (after we got to the park we realized we could have/should have cut it so it was....smaller.  This is why Joy's hand is behind something in most pictures.

Paige reenacting the Little House on The Prairie intro.
Joy smiling/crying through the burning finger pain.
 Laughing at Paige in between shots.

Luckily, these girls are just as happy (if not more) with the switch in costumes and I have enjoyed a stress-free costume season.

Happy Halloween! 
 Next year we'll need a costume idea for four!

Monday, September 7, 2015


That's right we are expecting baby #4!

  I am 12 weeks along and looking forward to a March baby.  Not too hot, not too cold.   
And for the inquiring minds out there who want to know, it was planned.   
We'll find out what it is sometime around Halloween!

Saturday, September 5, 2015


We have spent this past week recovering from our camping trip.   We spent 3 nights up on the rim with the Jacks family.   
The trip was very similar to last year's.   There aren't too many things you can do with so many small girls.  So we stuck with the basics. 

Hiking to the raspberry sinkhole near the campground, 

Visiting the fish hatchery and picking blackberries and apples.

And just chilling at the campsite.

The girls all love to ride bikes and scooters.  Most of their time was spent this way. 

But there was plenty of time for hide and seek, bubble blowing in the woods,

playing in the dirt and picking flowers.

The girls all love camping.  Paige did extremely well. 
There was a lot of falling and tripping and getting scraped (and dandelion eating) but nothing too damaging. 

We were extremely lucky that it only rained on our last evening at camp.

The thunder was scary!

 We did have to hunker down in our tent right after dinner all the way until morning.

Jenni gave the girls lollipops on the last day while we were packing up the cars.  It kept them busy for a looooooooong time.   Here is a video of some extreme sucker sharing.

We had such a fun time.   Every time we go camping, I wish that we did it more often.  (But it is SO MUCH WORK!)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

American Girl Place

Today we decided to go to the new American Girl Place in Scottsdale. 

 I have always been an avid fan of American Girl. I remember staring longingly at the black and white picture in the back of the Meet Samantha book, of the 3 dolls available and just wishing and wishing for the Samantha doll.  My parents gave her to me for Christmas when I was 8 and after that I carefully saved my money for years and years and slowly bought the original six historical dolls. (They were only $82 back then - now $115) Then I realized that they were just going to keep making new ones and I was getting a little old to be buying dolls so I called it quits and hoped that someday I would have a little girl who would enjoy them. Because I was older they were mostly on display and are in perfect condition still.
So, we go with my mom and I made it very clear to the girls that we weren't buying anything.  I let the girls pick a doll to take with us and they were excited. We thought maybe we'd get an ice cream at the bistro in the store.   
What a joke this place was!  All it is is a store with a billion displays of hundreds of dollars worth of dolls and their accessories.  The place was tiny and unless you were going to drop a few hundred dollars on some new clothes and accessories there was nothing to actually "do". They did have a doll salon where you could pay $15-$20 to have someone style your dolls hair or pierce their ears.  What!?  We went to the bistro that must sit about 17 people total and asked if we could get on ice cream to share but they were booked until 2pm and if you wanted lunch they were booked through October.  We were there for about 25 minutes and were done.  I enjoyed looking at the new dolls.  It brought back fond memories of how excited I was when I finally had enough money to buy one and opening that box for the first time.  
After today I decided that the girls aren't old enough to handle my dolls and they are put away.  Well, Claire would be fine but Joy wreaked havoc on Samantha.  Claire wants to get one of the ones that looks like her.  I think she has a long wait though - she was already saving for a volleyball and goggles and now a $115 doll!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Beach Vacation

Last week we escaped the record heat and enjoyed the beaches in California.   My parents were planning on going to visit old friends and as a little get away for their 35th wedding anniversary,  we were planning to go at some point during the summer so we decided to combine our trips and we went together.   We couldn't have asked for better weather!
We stayed in a hotel a few miles off the coast and drove to a different beach each day.
 The first day we drove, dropped off our stuff at the hotel and went to Huntington Beach.
 The next day we went to Balboa Island.   The girls enjoyed the ferry ride
 but walking around the island was not much fun for them and it was really hot.
There was a ferris wheel in the Balboa Fun Zone so we patiently waited til it opened and took the girls on their very first ferris wheel ride.
Waiting and sharing an icee so nicely!
They loved it.   Even Paige wasn't scared.
 Later we walked on to the pier just to say that we did.
and headed to Corona Del Mar beach.  The entire trip Claire was constantly in the water, either jumping waves or boogie boarding.
Literally ALL DAY.
The younger two loved the sandy beach - although Paige was very brave and got in the water often.

 Josh and I decided to walk up to a lookout point with the girls but Claire didn't want to come.  
She stayed on the beach with Nana and Poppy and played volleyball,
and met a "special friend".  He boogie boarded with her the rest of the day.  He was a nice little boy.  
 Claire wanted to come back to this beach the next day because she thought he might be back.
We went to Huntington instead but we were in further up the coast this time and water was not so good for little kids.  The waves were strong and breaking right at the shore.   The girls played on the shore flew kites and napped. 

The last day we were all sad to have to leave.  We only stayed at the beach for a few hours.

We had so much fun and the girls were so good on this trip!  Paige is a champ.  She is definitely making up for her first year of terror.   We couldn't have asked for a better toddler.  We were mostly worried that Joy would be whiny and fragile, but we stuck with her gluten free diet the entire time and she was great!