Monday, March 29, 2010


So I got the pruning and spiffing bug. This sweet little clump of sticks used to be a 6 foot tall honeysuckle shrub. I got it from my grandmother about 5 years ago. It was a volunteer in her yard that she didn't want. When I planted it here, it was about 8 inches tall and had two little stems. It has liked my yard and grown well but the past few years it has had a bad case of aphids around July. A really bad case. I wanted to get rid of it completely this spring, but I decided I would give it a haircut and see what happens this year. If I am unhappy with it, or I already killed it, I will get rid of that sweet thing and put some other shrub in that spot.

I wish I would have taken a before picture. Maybe I will take a July picture and let you know how the little guy fared. My goal this week is to clean up my yard - completely. I already have the back of Matt's truck about half full of yard debris - trees and shrubs I have pruned and gunk I have cleaned out of my perennial beds. I plan on taking a totally full truck to the dump at the end of this week. HOORAY! I am so ready for spring! See how much snow we have left? Isn't it wonderful?!?

Friday, March 26, 2010

self binding mitered corner receiving blankets

I just made a little light receiving blanket for a cute gal that lives a few blocks away that had a sweet baby boy a week or so ago. I have not made one of these in awhile, but they are so darling so I knew I wanted to make one. The first time I learned this technique, it was from my neighbor, Debbie. She is an amazing seamstress and just happens to be the USU Extension agent for the county. I totally lucked out on neighbors, not only can she answer almost any question I have, (or at least know where to look for the answer) she is a great friend. I love ya Debbie! Anyway, here is the link to her pattern for these blankets. There are great pictures and she explains it so great. You can not mess up with these instructions.

My friend Natalia who owns and operates has a super fun blog and she also has a tutorial for these blankets on her blog. Check it out. I have been visiting there for the past week or so looking at her tutorial. She uses some super fun fabric and adds a few embellishments.

Emmitt and his cake

Emmitt turned one year old the other day and he got dirt for his birthday. Why do we spent money on expensive gifts when the sweet lad was perfectly happy with his dirt? It was a beautiful day and so I spent some more time digging up grass where I want to plant shrubs and flowers. Emmitt LOVED the dirt. He was so happy just sitting there and running his hands over the beautiful soil! It is wild to think that his 1st birthday was splendid t-shirt weather and the day he was born was freezing cold and snowing.

Emmitt got something besides dirt. He got a few trucks and loaders and also a Glo-Worm. My sister used to have a Glo-Worm when she was little and she LOVED it. When she had a little boy a few years ago, I gave him one. He LOVES it also and goes to sleep with it every night. So I was not surprised when Emmitt opened a gift from my mom and it was a Glo-Worm. He is very intrigued, but I must say my two girls are more in love with it than he is right now. Maybe it will grow on him!
After opening a few gifts, we let him eat his cake. We did this with the two girls and it is such a kick in the pants. I decorated his little cake with 2 chocolate Easter bunnies and once he had those morsels of goodness in each hand, he was just fine. He didn't want to have much to do with the cake. He was very content with his chocolate. I knew the boy took after me in some way!
After each bunny head was consumed, Matt was worried about a major tummy ache so I took them away. With much encouragement from his sisters, he decided to try the cake.

He ate a few little bites, but it was all about the feel and texture in his hands. I suppose the extreme laughter and squealing of delight from the two older ones helped quite a bit, so most of the cake ended up on the table and the floor.

Emmitt went promptly to the tub while I cleaned up. The girls then got a piece of perfectly square and unclenched cake. Then off to bed we all went. What a wonderful birthday for our Mister Emmitt.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

a year ago

On March 23 2009, I had Matt take this picture because I figured my time was coming soon. By the way, who loves the purple velour pants besides my sister? ANYONE?

Today is March 23rd 2010 and my sweet baby boy Emmitt turns one year old tomorrow! Oh my how the time has flown. I love this little man so much. He adds so much life to our little family. How blessed we are to have him come to our family and show us all the love in his little tiny heart.

I had Matt take these pictures tonight because I figure time will continue to fly right by!

Monday, March 22, 2010

the weekend

The Cranes had a super fun, busy weekend. Matt and Kendal left Friday morning to attend a funeral. Matt's great uncle Roy passed away. Matt and his siblings sure love Uncle Roy and Aunt Marilyn.

Friday I went to the library to get a movie for Kelsey and I to enjoy that night. I picked out seven movies and she chose Father of the Bride. It was a cute one and it cracked her up. She said to me a few times "Will Dad feel like this when I get married? I hope Kendal gets married first so she can break his heart and not me."

Kelsey, Emmitt, and I woke up Saturday morning at 6:00 and left our house at 7:00 for the Elementary State Chess Tournament. Matt and Kendal spent Friday night in Salina and went to a bull sale on Saturday, along with playing at the farm and getting work done with the cows. Kendal loved it and I loved that I didn't have to chase a 4 year old around the U of U during our chess day!

It was a long day. The folks that did the tournament this year must have been using a new pairing system because we had to wait at least an hour between each match for the new pairings to be posted for the next match. Everyone gets to play 6 matches and Kelsey did pretty good. She won 3 and lost 3. Not as great as we wanted, but she had great time. In between matches Kelsey would go outside and play in the trees, on the rocks, and all over the lawn. I am glad it was such a nice day!

Emmitt loved the stairs. I wouldn't let him crawl on the stairs indoors, but let him have at the ones outside. He was such a good boy. He only got a 1/2 hour nap and he was truly so great.

We took another student from our elementary school down to the tournament named Stuart. Kelsey knew who he was before Saturday and I know his mom, and they were so great together. They played paper airplanes, drew pictures, ran around outside, and played chess. I think she has a new great friend. Kelsey is going to be so embarrased when she sees this picture in 8 years, but she was so darling sitting with Stuart I could not resist.

There were 64 second graders at the tournament and Kelsey ended up at 26th place. If she would have won her last match she would have ended up at 9th place. Seems crazy, but that is how they score things and how they match up players. The other two matches she lost were great matches. One of the girls that beat her ended up at 3rd place and one of the boys that beat her ended up at 6th.

She still got a trophy, though not as big as she wanted. She did have a super day. A long day, but a fun one. We got home around 7:30 that night. 12 hours of chess is enough to make this mom tired!

Emmitt was a super trouper and I am so grateful it was so nice outside. We spent alot of time outside during the breaks.

Matt and Kendal got home Saturday night around 9:00. They had a super time too. Kendal got in the wind a little too much because Sunday morning she woke up to a bloody pillow and a bloody ear. I took her to the doctor Monday and her ear drum had ruptured. Poor thing. The kicker is that we kept asking her if her ear hurt and she kept telling us no. That girl and her major pain tolerance amazes me.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

spring spring spring Seven Brides style

Today I was walking down the DRY sidewalk in front of my house that was covered in snow just less than a week ago and I found myself whistling a nice little happy tune. I sometimes catch myself whistling, and I have to concentrate to decide what tune I caught myself with, and this time I caught myself with SPRING SPRING SPRING from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

I absolutely love this movie. I remember going to watch the high school perform this musical when I was in middle school and I loved it then. ( I had a small crush on Wayne High School's Kelly Peterson who played Gideon. I think he is 6 or 7 years older than me, but he was so cute and so nice -and I was only 11 years old!) My friend Jen and her boys were watching it a few years ago and got me hooked again. I borrowed her movie a few times and checked it out from the library a few times also. The girls love it, Kelsey especially. She sings the fun songs too and gets so silly when the 'romance' parts are playing. Matt even breaks into song when we watch this movie!

Anyway, it was a great little tune to be whistling and it made me happy. It is supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow, but spring is really here.
I could not find the original on youtube of Spring spring spring, but I found this recording by Micheal Feinstein. He does an amazing job. Check it out if you have time.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ruching and flitting

Why can't I finish a project? I never thought I was a flaky or flitty person, but lately I can not seem to concentrate on just one thing. I have an amazing Civil War dress for myself in 2 pieces, the bodice and the skirt. Can I put the two together? NOPE. Kelsey's baptism dress lacks the buttons (button holes are finished) and a hem. Can I finish it? NOPE - something else catches my eye and off I flit! I sign up for the Round Robin group at quilt guild. I have 6 round robins that are completed tops but not quilted yet, do I care? NOPE - I sign up again. I have a half a dozen flower beds that need attention. Do I give it to them? NOPE - I dig up grass all day today and yesterday to make a new flower bed. I am driving myself crazy!

But, I do have something finished. It took me a few peaceful hours Sunday afternoon and a couple of hours late last night while waiting for Matt to complete a C-section, but I did it. I finished a civil war era dress for Kelsey. It was meant for Kendal, but it is much to big, so Kelsey gets it.

Sunday afternoon I had Matt turn a tube of fabric that is 270 inches right side out to make a ruched (pronounced rooshed) frilly on the bottom hem of the dress. I then did a long diagonal running stitch and gathered that 270 inches to fit the 80 inch bottom hem of the skirt.

Here is the bottom hem and ruching. I think it turned out so pretty.

Here is Kelsey in her new FINISHED dress. She loves it. She wanted to wear it to school today and it made my heart melt. She is loving the whole old fashioned thing and she hasn't even been to an event yet! The top picture is taken with 2 petticoats and it looks so pretty. The problem is that the petticoats don't stay at her natural waist and hang way too low. I thought we could get away with out a stay (a type of tank top thingy that you can button petticoats to) but I suppose I need to make one each for the girls. The bottom picture is of the back of the dress and is taken without petticoats because they kept falling 3 inches below the skirt! But I had to show the cute waistband I made that makes such a lovely bow.

So, since I am being so flitty - should I start Kendal's dress again but 2 sizes smaller this time, or begin with the stays? Maybe I will flit outside and finish my digging up grass mess, oh, but wait, I have a quilt block to make to start my round robin project. And then there is always the other 18 unfinished quilting projects in my closet. Oh, and I need MY dress done soon too. And Emmitt's? What will the poor boy wear? I think I need to go to bed. I forgot how much the sunshine wears me out, but I LOVE it!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Why America is great

I taught a lesson last Sunday and in my preparations I found this story and quote, it is fabulous. I didn't have time to use it in my lesson so I figured I would share it here. I found it in the book titled Righteous Warriors by John Bytheway.

In the late 1800s, a French philosopher named Alexis de Tocqueville visited the United States, looking for what made America great. What he finally discovered and credited for America's greatness is my favorite part of the following quote, which is attributed to him:

"I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors . . . ; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning . . . Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

I love that quote. Why can't I express myself so eloquently as others? I really do have a problem with that. I wish I could make the feelings in my heart and mind turn into words. America is great and I pray we remain great.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

snow and kites

Yesterday when Kelsey got home from school she wanted to fly kites. There was a definite breeze going on and it was COLD! I told her it was too cold but she was adamant so I went along with it and figured she would realize it was too cold and come back in the house. WRONG! She talked Kendal into going out also and the two of them had a super time.

I had to hoist Kelsey up onto the roof once, rescue Kelsey's kite from the neighbor's tree, rescue Kendal's kite from the fence and the roof, but when a complete stranger stopped by to get Kendal's kite out of our Autumn Ash tree, I told the sweet girls it was time to go in the house. The fierce March wind had taken its toll - on the girls' cheeks and hands, and also on the poor CARS kite.
Here's to SPRING!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Quilt guild friendship blocks

So last night was glorious quilt guild again. We were supposed to have Jill Finley from Jillily Studios ( ) come up and give us a great trunk show and tell us a ton of inspiring stories, but when she got to the mouth of Provo Canyon and read "CHAINS REQUIRED" she turned around and stayed home. I don't blame her. My sister Tori was going to come up to our guild meeting also, but her better judgment took over and she stayed home too.
Anyway, we still had a fabulous and inspiring night. I had 3 friendship blocks I needed to finish up to take last night and here they are:

Bethany's simple darling ShooFly block.

The monster Santa block I made for Kandy.
I think Ol' Saint Nick turned out darling!

I was supposed to make a snowman block for Heather, so I did but I also made him a little girlfriend too.
In return for the blocks I made for my friends, I received the 12 blocks that were made for me last night. The directions I gave the ladies asked them to make me a 12 inch star block using yellow fabric for the star and blue fabric for the background. I now have 12 darling and very different star blocks that need to be put together. I love the friendship block exchange!
Natalia does our guild blog now, check it out - it is darling.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

the girls' 1860s underpinnings

I am finished with my girls' 1860s underpinnings for now. Kelsey has a chemise, a pair of pantaloons/drawers, and two petticoats - all in white pima cotton that used to be Matt's grandma Ethelyn's fabric. Kendal has just one each of pantaloons, chemise, and petticoat and they are made in a nice Kona muslin. They both need a few more of everything, but at least one set is made.

The other night Kendal tried on her newly hemmed chemise and pantaloons. She was fresh out of the tub and was just so pleased with her new little outfit. I sat back and watched her and it was like a trip back in time. The fire was crackling, the house was nice and cozy, she was clean and her hair was free and curly all over her pretty little head, and the muslin underthings just made me smile. I thought I had stepped back 150 years for just a second or two.

Girls in the mid 1800s used to wear pantaloons/drawers on the bottom and a chemise on top. The chemise served as a guard to keep the dresses cleaner from body oils, perspiration, and extended the wearing interval of dresses. The chemise length was usually worn around the knee. Kelsey's chemise is a little long, but now I know the pattern. The drawers were between the knee and mid-calf length and helped keep sweet little somersaulting girls modest.

Here is Kelsey with her 2 petticoats, chemise, and drawers. The petticoats added loft and softness to the dresses of the day and also helped insulate the girl. Winter petticoats were often made out of wool flannel.
Kendal only has one petticoat as of right now. She needs a few more. I love the trim I put on the bottom of her petticoat - it is so darling and so 'period.'

All in all, the girls love their new underthings and they are excited to wear them. I hope we will have a super time this spring and summer doing the great local Civil War reenacting I have in mind. There are quite a few events that are coming up (keep Memorial Day weekend open for Camp Floyd!) with one in our very own Heber City in September! HOORAY! Everyone is officially invited as of right now. Period dress is NOT a requirement, but Kate, I would love to see the Regency You anyway!

Now I need to get my dress finished I started a few months ago. I need to add a little more trim to the skirt and attach it to the bodice. THEN I will make the girls their dresses. I have some fabric I purchased a few months ago that at the time I thought was 'ugly' reproduction fabric. Now I must say it has definitely grown on me - I think it is quaint and quite lovely now.

Monday, March 01, 2010


I went to a GRAINS class last week and it was fabulous. My friend Lynette is quite the lady and she has become interested in all kinds of funky grains and how to cook with them. WOW! I can not begin to report what I learned, but I will report what I have done since the class!

I bought some red quinoa last week and put it in with our taco meat. Joe remembers the last time I loaded taco meat with something other than meat, but Matt loved this time around! Red quinoa can be used to add to meat, you can grind it up and put it in with your bread flour, you can put it in cookies, you can throw it in with a pasta dish, you can make a quinoa salad, etc etc. I tried all of the above the other night at Lynette's.

Lynette gave us a few recipes to try and I was going to make the red quinoa cookies on Saturday, but I looked at the recipe and it calls for 4 cubes of margarine or butter! HOLY SMOKES! I could not put that much butter into one recipe. I just could not bring myself to do it. So, I must figure out what would be great for the remainder of the pound of red quinoa I bought!

Lynette had a bunch of wheat mills/grinders at the class for us to try. We tried about 5 electric mills and 3 hand mills. I have heard horror stories about hand grinders, but I was pleasantly surprised - it was not THAT bad! I think I need to purchase myself a grinder/mill. The one I liked the best was WonderMill brand. If I get one, I can grind up red quinoa, white quinoa, buckwheat, kamut, spelt, amaranth, and whole host of other fun, healthy whole grains and make some delicious bread and cookies in no time at all. Get this - if your grind up popcorn you get the best looking cornmeal imaginable. My life has been forever altered!


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