Friday, April 04, 2014

making cookies

Yes, that is the cutest little pink apron you have ever seen!

I have sweet memories of making cookies when I was a little girl.
My mom would get out all the ingredients, let me measure them out and mix it all together, then my mom would return all the ingredients to their correct kitchen home while I wore out my arm stirring and stirring and stirring.  About the time she got everything put away, my little arm was totally given out and she would finish mixing it all into perfection.
Then we would use the double spoon method to get the dough onto the cookie sheet, and my mom would bake them and do the dishes.
Making cookies was such an easy thing for me back then.  I didn't have to round up all the ingredients, put them away, do dishes, clean up the table and counters, and I am pretty sure I disappeared until that timer buzzed and the cookies were done.  There wasn't even a mess to clean up!
The other day I was feeling the need for something sweet, and I had two little ones that wanted to help.  It was a sweet memory for me as I put the butter and cocoa and everything else needed in the pan for Kendal to whip up a batch of No Bake Cookies.
Thanks so much mom.  Hopefully my kids enjoy the process as much as I did.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Emmitt spent his birthday moving pipe at the farm and making furrows at the ranch

A few weeks ago we did the whole Kindergarten Registration thing.  It about broke my heart.  Emmitt turned 5 years old on Monday.  My best boy is growing up.

 The kids were out of school on Monday, so we spent the weekend in Salina.  Monday we all helped out with the gated pipe that had to be moved and put back together at the farm.  It was a gorgeous day, and a great day for a birthday if you are a 5 year old boy.  Emmitt found his own birthday present as well.  He told me it was a dinosaur bone.  His paleontology dreams were buried when his sister told him it was a cow!

I am grateful for the sunshine and the fresh air we were able to play and work in.  Spring is such a wonderful time of year.

I am grateful my kids like to get dirty, well, some of them.  I am grateful for my beautiful family and my extended family as well.

It was a wonderful day and much needed family time.  We rarely get to do much with everyone involved, even though there are only 6 of us.  We enjoyed each other's company and I especially enjoyed the sunshine.

a fresh coat

 I really really really dislike painting.
I spend so much time thinking about how awful it will be, that I am tired before I even start!
But this paint job NEEDED to get completed.
I meant to do it 6 months ago, but now is good too.
When we got new flooring last year, I ripped out a strange and annoying little desk type cabinet in this corner.  It was a junk gatherer and just its location made me angry.
The wall behind it needed to be repainted, as did the entire nicked up wall.

So I mentally prepared myself (dreaded) for painting and got busy.

Its funny what a clean, fresh coat of paint can do.
I still have a junk collector, just not such a big one now.
Now I am preparing for the opposite wall to look spiffy next week.
But I still dislike painting!
So I will leave on this happy note,
Isn't she the cutest thing?
(Oh, and another painted wall behind her from a few months ago!)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

our Irish parade day

 Last Saturday the girls and I headed to Salt Lake City for the St. Patrick's Day Parade with our civil war group.  IT WAS A FREEZING COLD DAY!
Here they are trying to keep warm in the bitter cold wind.
I grabbed a few shawls as an after thought, glad I did.
Here we are last year, the weather was beautiful.  When we finished the parade, the girls wore shorts and we went out to lunch. 
This year when we finished, we just wanted to get in the car, out of the wind, and turn on the heater full blast.  That is exactly what we did!

But despite the cold cold day, the girls were so great.  Especially Kenna.  Her poor little chubby hands were purple from the cold. 
My friend Amanda has this awesome 1880s baby carrier that she rode in for the parade.  
Kelsey pulled her and it was great.   

The St Patrick's Day Parade is a pretty fun parade.  There are so many wild, green folks there as parade entries, and in the crowds. 
The parade goes through the Gateway Shopping Center which is really fun.  There were people in every nook and cranny, especially the sunny spots!  My friend Crusan had daughters in the parade and she watched the parade from an overhead crosswalk and snapped a few pictures for us.

Excuse my horrible petticoats, and I wish you could see Kenna being pulled behind Kelsey, but that is us.  We have such a fun group of friends that reenact with us.  They are all great.

It was a good day, and the heater in the car was wonderful. 
We look forward to next year and warmer weather.  Although I think this was the perfect excuse for me to make myself a civil war era coat, a paletot.  Oh, that would have been fantastic!


Friday, March 21, 2014

I love a good chocolate bunny!

About two years ago I made a new friend named Tiff.  I have actually never met her, but I found her wonderful blog and I enjoy reading about her life in Maine, her sweet family, and the things on her mind.  One of the first blog posts I read of hers was about Easter decorations.  Tiff is an incredible interior decorator.  Incredible.
Anyway, on her blog she talked about some ceramic bunnies she bought at a thrift store that she painted brown to make her very own chocolate bunny decorations for Easter.  I love the idea and of course I love chocolate, so I logged away the idea in my mind.

Kelsey wanted to go to the thrift store a few days ago to see if they had some clothing for her nerd day, 'Napolean Dynamite Day' at school.  Of course nothing in her closet was nerdy enough, so she looked in mine.  OUCH!  Just kidding, I know I am not the fashion expert she would like me to be, but she still loves me.  Anyway, I told her to look for some bunnies to paint while she was at the thrift store.  She found these three.

And she painted them for me last night.  We now have some cute chocolate bunnies for our little Easter decoration table now.  So cute.  Thanks so much Tiff and HAPPY SPRING!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

round robin time

Its Round Robin time again at my local quilt guild.  Love this time of year!
I get to add an applique border to this arrangement.  The rules say the second border must have some applique and should be no larger than 4.5 inches wide.  The owner of this center block is going to tea dye the entire top when it is completed which will be really fun to see. 
So, any ideas for the applique border I need to add?

This is the block I had last month for the first border.  I added the red and white checkerboard border to this one.  The rules for the first border were that it had to be a pieced border, and also no larger than 3.5 inches wide.

Round Robins are so fun.  They are one of my favorite things about our quilt guild.  It is always so fun to see how the quilt tops turn out and especially the creativity of my quilting friends.

It is sort of a toss up of my favorite Round Robin quilt to date, but this is for sure up there, and so is this one.  Although, I have loved every single one, although they all aren't linked here. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Getting my Irish on!

A few years ago my dad called and asked if we were having corned beef and cabbage for dinner. I told him no way, I am not Irish. He then told me oh yes I was. My retort was that Mary Lamont, who is an ancestor of ours, only gave me 1/32 part Irish. That was not enough to cook a corned beef.
I was only guessing when I said 1/32, but I looked it up and I was right, Mary's father Robert was born in Londonderry County in Northern Ireland in 1726 and he is my great great great grandfather. His dad named John died when he was only nice years old.  He immigrated to New York. His mother was a MacKenzie named Margarit.
So, that was the first year I ever ate corned beef and cabbage, let alone made it. 
It was fantastic!
Friday night my friends Caleb and Amanda played with their band at an Irish Restaurant and Pub in Park City.  I went and listened to them for a few hours and again enjoyed some delicious corned beef and cabbage.  It was so so so good! (The music and the food!) 

The new format for is incredible.  Just this morning I found this picture of another Irish ancestor, Henry Chesnut. He is my mom's great grandpa. 
He was born in 1830 in Kilkeel, Ireland.  His mother was Ellen McDonald.  Henry, his siblings, and his parents immigrated to Utah.  He married a Scotish lass named Grace Knox.

So this St Patrick's Day I am sure we will be having corned beef and cabbage again, because for pity sakes, I am a whopping 3/32 Irish!
My 1/16 dash of Irish from the Chesnuts and 1/32 pinch of Irish from the Lamonts is enough for me to celebrate.  I know that isn't much for the pure Irish folks, but its enough for me to enjoy the holiday and for the girls and I to march in the St Patrick's Day Parade in Salt Lake City again this year with our 1860s friends.   


Thursday, March 06, 2014

oh how we love homework

We have been experiencing some very nice spring-like weather here lately.
So when Kendal gets home from school, she and Emmitt want to be outside.
Yesterday I told her that when they came in from playing, it was homework time.
Kendal isn't too fond of homework time.
An hour and a half passed after she had been home from school, and Kendal still hadn't darkened the door.  Usually some after school hunger drives her inside.  Not the case.

I went out to see what was keeping Kendal and Emmitt so engaged that her hunger could be forgotten.
They were in the chicken coop with a dust pan, broom, cardboard box, and face masks.

The prospects of doing homework must have been truly awful to think it was a good idea to clean out the chicken coop without being asked to do it!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

freezer meal swap

A few weeks ago a handful of my neighborhood lady friends and I got together for a freezer meal swap.  We each picked a recipe, made 6 of that recipe, then got together and traded everyone for a meal.  So we all ended up with 6 different freezer meals.  We had done this a few years ago and it was great, so it was time to try it again.  We ate a pan of manicotti made for one of the dinners the other night.  It was wonderful.

The recipe I used is from Kelly at NewLeaf Wellness from this site.  I made Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour BBQ Chicken for everyone.  I actually haven't tried it yet, hope its not too HOT! I made a few extra meals because I have quite a few friends expecting babies in the next few months.

Kelsey, as usual, was my helper.  She mixed all the sauce for me.  What a mess my kitchen was, and what a great time we had.

Monday, February 24, 2014

my civil war signature quilt

Anyone who knows me or reads about me, knows that I have a hard time finishing my quilting projects.  I really do.  I have a great idea, I LOVE to cut fabric, I love to sew it up, but usually I am just a border short of complete, and then I lose interest.  Well, I never lost interest with this quilt, it really just took me awhile to get the top completed. 

So, this one is FINISHED, excepting a few more signatures from my friends.  Not just any friends, my civil war reenacting friends.

I found the interior print of Grant and Lee at a wonderful quilt shop called Elaine's Quilt Block in Salt Lake City in the clearance fabric bin in the basement.  I bought two of the panels.  Two?  Why did I only buy two?  Who knows!  I held onto it for awhile and then decided to make a signature medallion style quilt with it in the center. 

So a few years ago I got busy making 5 inch square in a square signature blocks.  I took them along with me to various meetings and events that our civil war group was involved in, and had my friends sign them.  I am still missing a good handful of my Utah civil war friends, but I will catch up with them soon.

Well, a few days ago I put the final border on this baby and I am saying it is finished.  Its around 50 inches by 65 inches.  All the blocks are not signed yet.  I still have those Utah friends I have known for years that need to sign it, and then I made some wonderful Idaho friends last year.  Some of them have signed it, but not as many as I would like.  I am headed to Idaho for an event in two months and I can't wait to get a few more from those great folks.

I am a pretty sentimental person, and I love meeting people and making friends.  I think this quilt right here is going to be one of my favorite quilts I have ever made.  Just for the sake of all the memories that flow through my mind when I read the names of my friends that enjoy the mid 1860s with me.  Such wonderful times like singing songs around a fire, laughing over me falling down during the Virginia Reel, lacing up corsets and giggling over split drawers, eating cornbread and watching the guys roll cartridges, laughing in my tent with a lantern, cheesecake, and a mandolin, watching my kids jump rope and play with their cloth dolls and wooden swords, getting my hair done up into a bun just as the public arrive, and just spending great times with my favorite friends. Yep, a favorite quilt for sure.

Signature or memory quilts were very popular during the mid 1800s.  With many people headed west, going to war, or getting married and moving away, signature quilt blocks were made by loved ones and sent with those leaving as a sweet memento of friendship and kinship.  Unlike today with the ease of traveling, many times those farewells were final.  It was a wonderful way to remember those close to you and those you loved while you were away.  The reasons still apply today.  I want to remember these friends I have made, to have a little piece of them, and something to trigger beautiful memories.

Now, to get it off to the quilter.  Oh, and I gave that other Grant and Lee panel to a sweet lady last year who fell in love with it at an Elizabeth Stewart Clark sewing conference we were attending.  Her name was Luann.  Hopefully I see her again too.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

the canal

There is a settling pond and canal up above my parents house.  Last Spring Break I blogged about it here.  I think its so funny that my kids love to go there all the time now.
 When we were there last spring, I showed them the culvert that connects the pond to the canal.  I told them I used to play in it, scooting back and forth between the pond and the canal all spring, until the water came.  They would not enter last year, no way!

Giving them a year to think about it must have made them brave.  And I know they had thought about it because Kendal asked me many questions about it over the past year. 
Last spring I told them about the perfect boot print I found in that culvert when I was little and pretty much decided Leprechauns were real and there were some that lived in the foothills above my house.
Kendal still talks about that little boot print.  It must be like magic to her too.
Before I knew it, Kendal, Emmitt, and my nephew Brogan were through the culvert and ready to find some little people.

We didn't find any, but we went on an adventure walk down the dry canal bed.


Well, mostly dry.  We ran into a few muddy spots. 
But we just kept walking down the canal.  I would tell them things like "this was the best tubing spot" and "my brother and his friends had the best hut right up there" and "we used to have a rope swing right here over the canal."  It was truly a walk down memory lane.

It was sort of a windy day, so being down in the canal kept us out of the wind. 
They could get muddy, throw rocks, get sticks, yell and holler, and have a great time.  You know, just be a kid.

Spending the long President's Day Weekend at my parents' home with cousins was a highlight to this dreary February for my sweet things. 
Spending the long President's Day Weekend at my parents' home with my kids, niece, nephews, and my incredible parents was also a wonderful highlight to my entire winter.
I love that place.
I guess that is why its called HOME.


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