Sunday, February 23, 2020

Is It Really a Fail?


One of the things I learned as a parent was that things don't always work out as you expect. I would think a particular experience with my children was going to go one way and very often most often it went in a completely different direction. I used to think that experience was a failure, but looking back at through the eyes of a grandmother I wonder, "Was it really a failure? Or was it just an experience with a different yet beautiful ending that taught me a lesson about my children?”

Back when my children (remember, they are quadruplets) were very young, perhaps about two or three years old, there was a show for children their age at our public library. I was so excited to take them. Actually, I was excited about getting out of the house. Believe me it was a feat to get all of them dressed, into the van, and into the library. We got into the library, sat down on the floor, and the show began. And. Then. Came. The. Clown! That was the day I discovered that two of my children were terrified of clowns. They screamed and attempted to climb onto into me. So, I got all of their coats back on, loaded them all back into the van, and took them back home. Actually, they were all happy to be home. I was the disappointed one. After several attempts at library programs that they really wanted no part of, I took them to the bookstore. I discovered that my children were much happier at the bookstore than they were at the library. I think it was because at the bookstore I read to them instead of the librarian, there was food, nobody told them to sit down and be quiet,  it was just us - just the five of us, and they had my undivided attention. I must admit I prefer bookstores over libraries. They all grew up to be avid readers, and we all have wonderful memories of times spent in our favorite bookstores.

 Now that I am a grandmother, I spend time on websites (and bookstores) looking for activities to do with my grandson. Lately, on Pinterest there are sensory bags being made for babies. The Pinterest photos show four, five, six month old babies sitting at their highchairs or on the floor playing with these sensory bags. A few people put a piece of card stock in the bag with some acrylic paint on it so the baby could finger paint. Then they hung these paintings on their refrigerator. I first read about it here on Molly Yeh's blog. She was very creative and had her baby paint with chocolate. Molly provided this link for using paint. I thought this sounded like a great idea, so I got a bag all prepared for my grandson Liam to finger paint after lunch. Well that didn't go exactly as planned. He promptly managed to get the bag, which I had duct taped to his highchair tray, up and he banged the bag around and bent and twisted  it. I haven't finger painted in a long time, but I don't remember that as being part of the process. I put the bag aside and figured we would try it again in a couple of weeks. My husband wanted to throw the bag away, but I decided to keep it. I took the paper out of the bag and laid it out to dry. When I went back and looked at the picture I smiled. That picture was the perfect representation of Liam's personality! The paper was bent and wrinkled, and the paint had been so removed in areas that even some of the paper lifted. I laughed. This is Liam. He loves to bang with and on everything. I wrote the date on the paper and put it aside to create a gift for his mom. She will smile and say, "That's Liam!" I will try this again in a couple of weeks and see what he does. I think I will learn even more about Liam.

So, are these really failures or are they lessons? Lessons about who these children really are. These experiences shouldn't be about me as the mom or the grandmother. These experiences are about the children. Just like I learned that my children preferred a bookstore over a library I will learn what Liam prefers, and we will create memories doing what he loves to do.

I love being a grandmother!
Have a great week!


Friday, February 14, 2020

I Love Being A Grandmother!

 Yep! I was promoted to Grandma in June when my beautiful, sweet, perfect grandson Liam was born.

My husband and I have been given the honor and the privilege of caring for him three days a week!  

We thought, "We raised quadruplets. This is one baby, three days a week, there's two of us - how hard can it be?" 🤣 We hadn't considered that we are now 31 years older. Still, we are both thrilled to be having this special time with this adorable little man. 💙

Our home is once again filled with baby items; crib, changing table, bottles, play-mat, infant seat, the smell of Dreft, and more. I LOVE IT!!!

I am a bit overwhelmed by all the changes in taking care of babies since my children were babies. No bumper guards, no blankets in the crib, no stuffed animals in the crib, baby sleeps on his/her back, pacifiers are encouraged, do not let them sleep in the car seat when it is not in the car or stroller. There's something called a sleep sack and everyone seems to use a sound machine at sleep time. 

I purchased the book What to Expect the First Year and spent a considerable amount of time reading it today. This book first came out in 1989 - 30 years ago. Same author, new information. Great information! Very helpful! 

                                          See my post-its? I took notes.

I love to knit and crochet! A baby to create for! Who could ask for more!? He was Olaf for Halloween. I loved making his costume! 

I've made two pairs of mittens and another had for him. 

I'm working on a blanket for him, BUT since no blankets are allowed in the crib he won't be using it until he moves to a toddler bed. That's okay. I can wait. I know from experience that time will be here all too fast. 

There's so much to look forward to with this little guy! I love being a grandmother!

Have a great week!
Terry (aka Grandma Terry)


Monday, March 11, 2019

Crochet Time

Hello! So glad you are here!

I love this Erma Bombeck quote! I pray that I use all of the gifts and talents that God has given to me too. 🙏 

Winter in NJ provides plenty of stay home and crochet time. I love snow! 

Baby D's baby shower is coming up, and I am crocheting these mini-baskets to fill with candy and use as party favors. Yes, it's a boy! I found the basket pattern here:

I am crocheting this blanket for Baby D's baby --- my coming in June grandson! 💙 I can't wait! I purchased the Sleep Tight Teddy Bear Blanket pattern from Annie's. The designer is Christine Naugle. You can also find her pattern on Ravelry. 

Sleep Tight Teddy Bear Blanket / Lovey

This is what the finished blanket should look like. Hopefully. Just in different colors. You can find Christine and her gorgeous patterns here:

I was crocheting shamrocks to make a garland for my kitchen window. That is Dory. She steals them every chance she can and bats them all over the floor. She's very gentle with them. I love Dory! She is 14 years old and a real love bug. She talks and she cuddles. She is very good company!

Here's the garland all hung up. I am very happy with it! Here's the link for the garland pattern:

I considered crocheting cupcake pincushions as favors for Baby D's shower. Baby C said that she liked the baskets better, so the baskets it is. They are also much less time consuming. I downloaded this pattern for free on Ravelry. The designer is Beth David. 

I found this cupcake pattern on Pinterest. The pattern was for crocheting a cupcake ring. I just made the cupcake and glued it onto a tiny clothespin. It makes an adorable paper clip. Fun! You can find the original pattern here:

Sometimes I make treats that one can actually eat. 😉 These are actually baked donuts. I didn't have a donut pan so I used a muffin tin. They are glazed with blueberry glaze. They are yummy! Have you heard of the food network show Girl Meets Farm? This is Molly's recipe. She is adorable, and she is expecting a baby just like my baby. Here's the link to this yummy recipe:

I was washing Dory's food dishes the other day and when I looked down I saw this perfect heart. I love finding hearts in unexpected places. 💖

I hope you have a joyful day and maybe find a heart of your own.
Terry 💗

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A Few Recent and Ongoing Projects


Winter can seem like forever here in NJ. We've been blessed with a few days of temperatures in the high 50s. On those "warm" days we turn off the heat, open the doors and windows, and let the fresh air in the house. I go for long walks in the fresh air on those wonderful days too. Then there are the days like today. When it is 20 degrees with real feel temperatures in the single digits. Brrr! The too-cold-to-leave-the-house-days are wonderful for some just-for-fun projects. 

Back in January, after the Christmas decorations were put away, I decided to decorate for winter. I visited Pinterest for some ideas, and then I created the above. I walked around the house looking for silver objects. I found the silver tray, silver glitter, silver Christmas balls, silver bells, and the silver ribbon. In the jar they all went. I also had a package of snow. So, I sprinkled a bit of that into the jar and also put it on the tray. I was very happy with it. What do you think? Would you add anything? I think it would make a pretty centerpiece for a silver anniversary party too. 

I also put this together for our kitchen table. When creating the centerpiece I started with a silver tray. You can't see it because it is under the white wreath. I used it to add a little height. Next came the white wreath. I set a cake stand into the center of the wreath. On top of the cake stand is tinsel, blue bottle brush trees, and a candle. I used a battery operated tea light. It looks so pretty at night, and I can leave the glass dome on. I added the two snowflake battery operated candles. They were a bit too short so I popped them into matching glass vases and the height issue was solved. It all looked so pretty when it was lit up at night.

I have wanted to make homemade marshmallows for years. I finally made them!  I found my recipe here: They are absolutely delicious! Especially in a cup of hot chocolate! Yum! 

I packaged them up and gave them as Valentine gifts. They were a hit! They are easy to make, but you do need a candy thermometer, and it will be easier if you have a stand mixer.  

There are a few more things going on right now.

My daughter - Baby D is having a baby in June. For those of you who don't know, my children are quadruplets. When multiples are born the hospital labels them Baby A, B, C, D, etc. Baby D is expecting a boy! The baby shower is in April. So much to do to get ready for the shower and the baby! 

My son - Baby B is getting married in November. The bridal shower is in September. Lots of planning and shopping to be done. 


More about that another day.

Have a wonderful winter's day!
Terry ❄

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Retired Life So Far


I am 7 months retired! Wow! Where did the time go? How did I manage to do all that I do and work too!?

June was filled with parties - retirement parties and birthday parties. Our children threw a surprise 60th birthday party for my husband and me. Boy were we surprised! They really got us! It was a wonderful party. I didn't want the evening to end!

July and August were filled with summer activities - gardening, entertaining, long early morning walks, and spending some time at the beach with family. Oh yes! I volunteered at our town's used book sale. It's a huge sale! I loved working there being surrounded by books and by people who love books. So much fun! In July, my husband and I spent a few days at Lake George in NY celebrating our 37th wedding anniversary.

The gorgeous Lake George. This water is so clean it is used for drinking water. 

September and October were a bit challenging as I created new autumn routines. I still went for long morning walks with my best friend. I spent a lot of time decorating my home for the fall and making it cozy and warm. My husband and I spent some time in Martha's Vineyard, MA and in Newport, RI. Going to Martha's Vineyard had been a long time dream of mine. I am very grateful that my husband made that dream come true. Martha's Vineyard is so beautiful and relaxing!

A small fishing village on Martha's Vineyard. 

Vineyard Haven - I love what the words on top of the clock. I want this in my house!

A ferry leaving Martha's Vineyard in the evening.

Oak Bluffs

The car museum in Newport. 

Newport - lots and lots of boats.

November brought Thanksgiving and family from NJ, PA, and California! We had a wonderful time cooking, laughing, talking, and eating. Lots of eating! We spent a few days in Rehoboth, DE. There is lots of great shopping there.

A Christmas decoration at The Boardwalk Hotel in Rehoboth. See the blue in the background? That's the ocean!

A heart shaped reflection. 


My sister on the left, my cousin in the middle, me on the right.

December was filled with Christmas activities - shopping, parties, cooking, wrapping, eating. Lots of eating! Once again!

Among all of that was exciting news!
1. I'm going to be a grandma! In June!

It's a boy!

2. My son is getting married! In November!

Now it is January, and things have slowed down at bit. Actually a lot. I have fallen into a very nice winter routine of:
~ work - I have a new job (part-time) working from home for a children's e-book company.
~ exercise - I still walk outside as much as possible.
~ reading - Truthfully, I could really curl up and read all day long.
~ creating - knitting, crocheting, felting, crafting - all while watching the Hallmark channel.

~ just taking it easy allowing winter to just be what it is meant to be - a time to hibernate and rest and renew.

I love my retired life!

I pray all is well with you!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

A Wedding Countdown Jar for Him


We've had a lot of snow in New Jersey.

This is the view outside of my studio doors. 

School was closed for three days blessing me with the gift of  time to write lesson plans and craft.

In my last post I shared the wedding countdown jar I created for a colleague. Not expecting to receive one, her fiance said that he would like one with a top hat. I was blessed with the time, so I made him one. 

This is a view from the side. It is only 53 days until their wedding. I probably should have chosen a smaller jar. 53 Hershey kisses doesn't look like much in this jar.

Here's the front of the jar. I think it came out pretty cute. What do you think?

Happy Crafting!