Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Our deck is on the south side of our house and I love it that way.  By Monday all the snow on the south and east sides of our house had melted, and Emmitt and I were enjoying the wonderful weather outside.  We refilled one of the bird feeders, and I brought out the little plastic picnic table.  When the girls got home from school on Monday, they had an ice cream after school picnic on the deck on the table.  I knew it wasn't going to last, but we woke up to this on Tuesday morning!

 It is snowing again and we are supposed to get even more all night.  It has been such a mild winter, I am not complaining, but when Emmitt saw the birdfeeder covered in snow, he was worried about those birds!  The snow just makes me want to sew and cook!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Who doesn't like a tea party?

This past Saturday, we had our 2nd Annual Utah Civil War Association Ladies Auxiliary Tea Social.  It was delightful!  We met at one of our members home, Victoria's, in northern Utah and what a treat it was!  She and her mother Jane spent so much time getting ready for a beautiful afternoon together in her Country/Victorian home. 

This picture here is our Social last year in February.  It was our first official meeting, and we have benefited from each other's friendships all year!

Anyway, our afternoon was spent eating scrumptious treats, chatting, and learning more about the 1860s era and what was expected of a woman during such a rough time as the American Civil War.  Victoria arranged for a very knowledgeable lady and author, Tracy, to come and give a presentation about ladies in the time period.  Tracy was one of the initial members of the Utah Civil War Association years ago.  She was a crack up, and at the same time, so very willing to share her knowledge with us.


This is Jane, mother of Victoria.  She made many of the dessert delicacies, and boy were they wonderful!  She is British, so it was fun for our tea to have a bit of an English flair to it.

Tracy, our wonderful guest and presenter, and Victoria, our amazingly gracious hostess.

I just loved all the beautiful treats.  (You can tell food is muy importante to me right now!)  This is mine and Kay's dessert plates.  It doesn't show the tomato bisque soup, the spinach and berry salad, the quiche, nor the cucumber tea sandwiches we enjoyed!  Boy oh boy!  The fruity plate is mine.  I am not sure why I passed up the gorgeous chocolate cake.  It was made for my friend Amanda's birthday which we celebrated as well, but the fruit just seemed to hit the spot!

Here is the party, minus a few, including me.  Since I doubt I could fit into any of my civil war era dresses, and the thought of just wearing such confining clothing gave me pre-claustrophobia, I was the photographer in modern clothing.  Our numbers were smaller this year than last year, but we still had such a wonderful time.  Thanks so much Victoria and Jane for such a fun and amiable day, and for my civil war lady friends that spent the day with me in laughter.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Civil War Pomegranates Quilt Complete, well the top at least!

I completed the love apple or pomegranate applique on one of my civil war quilts today.  YIPPEE!  It was actually quite enjoyable to do, as much as I was dreading the applique.

So here it is before the applique - all kinds of hideous mint green fabric yelling at you.

 And here it is after, with the applique filling in some of that non-period mint green fabric.  I think it looks like it belongs, and that makes me happy.  So now I get to take it to my friend Natalia to be machine quilted.  Yeah, I know, not period correct, but actually it wasn't unheard of at the time.  My friend Sandra Starley, an amazing quilt historian, has a few quilts made in the 1860s and beyond that are machine quilted.  Imagine that!  Natalia will do an incredible job.

And just some useless information - today I opened the last of my bottled peaches.  I had a scrumptious lunch of peaches and cottage cheese!  YUM!  I guess that means I will have another reason to visit Capitol Reef National Park again this summer and get some peaches and will be bottling up a storm!  There is nothing like home-canned peaches!  It is funny how many MORE peaches I can fit into a jar than Del Monte can fit into the same sized can!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

 On the menu for dinner - chicken pot pie and chocolate pudding pie.  Matt and I will love it, the kids will not.  I tell Kelsey often that we can't have tacos and spaghetti every night of the week!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


 Saturday Matt took all the kids south for the day.  The girls got to play with cousins at a birthday party and go swimming, and Emmitt got to help his dad and Uncle Mark take care of the cows.  After I sent them off at 5:30 am, I went back to bed until 9:00 and then I went shopping -  to Home Depot.  I know, sounds lame, but I love it.  That is my idea of a shopping trip!  Anyway, I bought some 2 inch faux wood blinds for my bedroom.  Today was the magic day to put them up.  I like the looks of things.  They sure let in a lot of light. 

A couple of weeks ago I made these cute little valances as well.  They are simple and that is what I like. 

I was taking a picture of the quilt when I took this picture last year, but it sort of shows the previous window treatments I had.  Matt called the flowy fabric I had hanging "brothel curtains."  So I think he will like my changes.  I took down the blue roller shades that we put in when we first bought the house.  They were cheap and nice at the time, but it is time for an upgrade.  Plus, the one shade on the side of my bed wouldn't work, so I never got to open the shade and let the light in.  I think that is what I like about my new blinds now - lots of light even when the blinds are down but open.  I know faux wood is not designer stuff, but it is perfect for me.  By the way, I dislike the word 'faux.'  First off, I want to say FOX, second, they should just say 'fake' or 'imitation.'  But then only Rachel would buy it, right?

Monday, February 20, 2012


Matt brought these magical 5 tubs to my house a few days ago.  They have been in storage at my sister in law Amanda's house.  They are full of maternity clothes.  Quite a few of them.  I have been living this pregnancy in a few of my sister's maternity clothes and I am so ready for a few more choices.  My clothes from previous pregnancies have been in those magical tubs.  It is quite the assortment.  Clothing from me, my sister Tori, my sister in law Amanda, her friend named Shari from Wyoming, my sister in law Mindy, my good friend Jen, and I am sure a few other donors make up this wonderful collection.  You would only know the excitement of such a JACKPOT if you have been pregnant before and forced to wear hideous maternity clothes!
So Sunday afternoon I went through the five tubs and picked these clothes.  I filled 3 of the tubs back up, and only emptied two.  Amanda can really stack them tight in those tubs!  So this heap (not even half of what is available) is what I think I will actually wear.  I remember most of the clothing, but I was so delighted to see a few new shirts and the fact that I will actually be pregnant in the summer and be able to wear the cute capris- there are at least 30 of them!  Not kidding.  That right there is the only benefit of being pregnant in the summer - capris.  I have not been looking forward to a summer pregnancy, but it all seems a little better and brighter now!  Well, off to clean out my closet and make room!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Female Brain

My parents are amazing people.  They have the wonderful quality about them that makes you listen to EVERY thing they say.  They don't tell anyone what to do, but when their opinion is offered, people listen.  Including me. 

The perfect example of this was last week.  They graciously came up to our home to watch our kids overnight while Matt and I went to Wendover.  I was supposed to make them paint too, but time got away from us.  Anyway, they both have been very well aware of the little issues between my kids and I, especially my oldest lately.  So, before Matt and I left for our trip, my dad said to me "Rachel, I read this book recently that I think you will like.  Its on my Kindle, you can take it with you and read it as you cross the boring salt flats to Wendover.  Its called The Female Brain.  It is so good, I should have read it 40 years ago!" as he winks at my mom.  I giggle and say something like "Oh yeah?"
He responded with "Yeah, now that I know how that brain works, I can make your mom smile by doing the simplest things."  I laugh again and say "Dad, I am a female, I know how crazy we are and how to figure us out!"  He came back with "Oh, but this book is different.  Since you have a house full of females and another one on the way, you could really figure those girls out," and added with a big cheesy smile  "and read it out loud to Matt too!"
I gave in and he showed me how to run his Kindle.  Funny huh, my dad has to show me technology!

 Anyway, I whipped out the Kindle during the salt flats and read it.  I must admit, since I am a biology nerd, all the parts of the brain and the hormones they produce was fun to read about.  I remember learning much of that info in college, but who is supposed to remember what the hypothalamus does and secretes?  The book begins with infancy, moves on to childhood, then puberty, adulthood, falling in love, pregnancy, and I then I guess menopause.  I am not sure, because I am not there yet.

Why am I writing about this??  Because, my great dad, in his fatherly wisdom knew I needed to read about that darn puberty stage and refresh my mind on how Kelsey is beginning to feel and why she is acting the way she has been lately.  That sweet angel girl of mine has been making me crazy lately, and my dad knew this book would help.  It did.  Definitely.  The more I read, the more I understood and remembered that pesky time called pre-adolescence.  As I was reading some parts of the book out loud to Matt, he said "You need to have a chat with Kelsey and tell her what is going on in her body and in her brain to help her understand herself."  I did just that, the day after we got home.  HarmonyJoyUnderstandingLoveCompassionHappinessBliss.  That is how we have been now for a week and it is wonderful.  Matt, Kelsey, and I.  Our understanding of each other is great right now.  There were even parts in the book that explained much of Kendal's behavior, and made me think of ways to make my relationship with her stronger.   I know we have a long road of  teenagerhood ahead of us, but  thanks dad, so much, for your way of making my life better without lecturing me.  Now, if we could all parent the way my dad does...

 I was not able to finish the book on my dad's Kindle, so I went to the library earlier this week and checked out the book for awhile so I could finish it.  It has been enlightening to read about our brain's way of making us falling in love, feel so many emotions with all that estrogen, testosterone, oxytocin, and all those other hormones raging in our bodies, along with pregnancy, and motherhood.
When I was at the library, I also found and checked out this book, written by the same author, Louann Brizendine.  Hmmm, should I delve into that realm?!?!  I told my dad I found The Male Brain and he retorted, "That should be a short book."  It is actually fatter than the first - interesting! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Love Apples

Last night I finished preparing my applique pieces for my civil war round robin quilt I decided to name after Rebekah of the Bible, wife of Isaac and mother of Esau and Jacob.  These applique shapes are called Pomegranates or Love Apples.  I think those are super fun names for the flower, or fruit, or whatever you want to call them!  Maybe the quilt will be called Rebekah's Pomegranates.  I guess pomegranates are native to Persia, Iran, Pakistan, and the entire Middle East and Mediterranean areas, and they have many symbolic meanings, mostly ancient, because it seems these days we are too busy to care about symbolism too much anymore. (kind of sad)  Fertility, prosperity, and ambition are just a few of the symbolic meanings of the pomegranate.  Wikipedia says that scouts brought the fruit back to Moses as a sign of the fertile land ahead - the promised land.  It also says that some scholars think the pomegranate may be the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.  Well, with all that pomegranate info, lets get back to quilting!

Here is the quilt I am using as my pomegranate inspiration.  It was finished in 1865 by Mrs. Benjamin Franklin Buckner of Virginia.  Her husband rode with Jeb Stuart in the American Civil War and was an amazing whistler, performing for the Confederate troops often.  I think this quilt is divine!  It measures 80" by 99".  The hand applique is amazing!  I like how only one side has the swag border.  It was made that way because the bed the quilt covered was probably pushed up against the wall in the corner.  If you have ever done hand applique, you would be like Mrs Buckner, and not waste such time and energy appliqueing that border around the entire quilt when it would be up against the wall!

So here is my quilt.  Yeah, I know, its not full of pomegranates like Mrs. Buckner's quilt.  I would drive myself mad with all that applique!  I am just putting four sweet little love apples around the center block, in the light minty green triangles.  I started this quilt in Jan 2010 as my round robin for the year. (Click on the link if you are interested.)  I included the fabric with my center block that got passed around so the ladies would use civil war reproduction fabric as they added each border for me.  I included that nasty light mint green thinking it would look okay, and not knowing really for sure if it were similar to cw repro fabric.  Well, I know a lot more now than I did then, and it is NOT at all similar to civil war fabric colors.  I don't want to take the quilt apart and replace it.  That is why I want to cover it up a bit with love apples!  I want to camouflage that hideous green, because the rest of the entire quilt is made with good quality civil war reproduction fabric. 

Hopefully in a few days I will have the final picture of Rebekah's Pomegranates ready to see.  I hope my plan does not backfire, and bring MORE attention to that ugly minty green!  I always love participating in round robin quilts.  3 different ladies did the first complex borders for me, then I finished it up with the dark green, squares, rectangles, and the  little dark green borders to make it bigger.  I just remembered while typing this that I need to make a center block for quilt guild next month to begin this year's round robin exchange.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Half way there!

I suppose this is a good post for Valentine's Day.  I could do something a little more romantic, but since my husband got beef jerky this morning as his Valentines Day gift, you can see how romantic I can truly be!  It sounds bad, but he will enjoy it MUCH more than some chocolatey or sweetsie treat.  See?  So I am just practical if not romantic!
So here is my post - I am half way there.  Well, hopefully a little more than half way.  I am 20 weeks pregnant and we found out last week that we are adding another little girl to our family.  Kelsey's first comment was "poor Emmitt" but then a smile overtook her face and I am sure she was thinking about doing her little hair and dressing her up like a proper frilly little girl.  Kendal can hardly contain herself with anticipation.  EVERY prayer she sends up involves our little baby.

Matt and I didn't find out the gender of our other children, but for some reason I wanted to know what to expect at our house with this one.  I had thought of a few wonderful boy names, but neglected the girl names.  I have some pondering to do about that.
Anyway, hope your Valentine's Day is wonderful and you give your sweetheart something besides beef jerky!

Monday, February 13, 2012


My Kelsey turned 10 over the weekend.  Wow, where has the time gone?  I realize this top picture is quite hideous, but it was taken Sunday morning as soon as Emmitt woke up.  He has been stripping in the night telling me he gets too hot.  When Kendal used to do that, I safety pinned her one piece zip up pajamas closed and she couldn't figure it out.  I think I will try that with Emmitt tonight, since when I checked on him last night before I turned in, he was once again pajamaless and snuggled into his bed!  Anyway, it is a rough picture, but everyone was so excited for Kelsey to open her presents, there was no time to get decent!

 We keep things pretty simple at our house for birthdays.  I like to keep them family affairs rather than a mad and crazy friend frenzy.  God sent us to live in families and since they are the most fundamental and important unit in society, we might as well love each other and enjoy being together, especially on big days like birthdays.  
Kelsey had a fantastic day.  She got a few fun presents, went to church where they sang to her and made her feel special, had a family movie night, ate cake, and of course played with balloons all day.
Today 2 friends are coming home from school with her for a couple of hours to play a few silly games and have a fun time together.  She is a sweet girl and it is amazing how much she has grown and progressed over the past 10 years.  I know she is destined to be an amazing woman, and I hope Matt and I are doing what we should to help her develop into that amazing person she is meant to be, and is already becoming.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


For Christmas my sister in law had a great idea for presents for our husbands - tickets and a weekend away to watch Easton Corbin sing to us.  So my parents came up to watch the kids and we headed to Wendover for a little fun.  Matt and Emmitt love to sing Easton Corbin songs along with youtube - it is really cute actually.

There is no way to get a decent picture of him at the concert, so here is the best I could do.  We really had an enjoyable time.  There are some folks that can't actually sing live, but Easton Corbin did a great job and he sounded great!  I did decide that the rowdy crowd isn't really my idea of a good time, so I am glad we sat by some normal folks at the concert!  No surprise there!

We spent the night in Wendover and really enjoyed hanging out with Matt's brother Mark and his wife Emiko.  I am glad she had such a great idea and that we actually got these two farm boys and home bodies out of town for a bit!

 Saturday morning before we headed for home, we stopped at the WWII Wendover Air Field Museum.  It was really interesting.  Enola Gay, the B-29 that dropped the atomic bombs in Japan was housed in Wendover, Utah.  I can't remember the exact numbers, but 5 or 6 72-man aircraft crews were trained in Wendover as well.  Enola Gay's crew didn't just train in Wendover. The Enola Gay mission actually launched from Wendover. On June 14, 1945, the newly manufactured B-29 was ferried from Nebraska to the army base there. On June 27, 1945, it took off from Wendover for the South Pacific. After stops at Guam and the Marianas Islands, the aircraft carried out its historic mission on August 6 and 9, 1945, dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan surrendered a month later.

 The museum in Wendover is just getting funding to refurbish the buildings left there after the US military closed the base in 1969, so it is a work in progress.  I still found it very interesting.  I read the book Unbroken, a World War II Story of Survival, Resilience,and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand last winter.  It is an amazing book - the true story of Louis Zamperini, a member of a B-24 crew that went down over the Pacific Ocean in May 1943.  
The museum has this C-123 that you can go walk through and climb through.  When I was in the plane, all I could think about was reading that book and the stress and turmoil going through Zamperini's crew as they realized they were going down, after many previous successful yet stressful missions.  I am such a hormonal gal at this point in my life, that I teared up in the plane and couldn't talk or else I would have made squeaking noises because of the emotion that filled my throat.  Same for the my emotions in the museum!  I am such a tenderhearted, patriotic baby! 
The plane I walked through in Wendover wasn't even used in WWII, but it still had an impact on my tender little heart.  The C-123 was a military transport aircraft that was used by the US Coast Guard in South East Asia and was the aircraft used to spray Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
Matt has never been a history buff, nor interested in the war stories I have always found amazing and inspiring, but he did enjoy this little stop in Wendover and I was happy to share it with him.  I was happy to share the entire get-away with him.  It was a much needed time away from our sweet little ones.  We haven't done anything like that since we had kids - wow, that is crazy!  We reconnected and truly enjoyed each others company.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

I have been having a few rough parenting days with my sweet gal who is soon to turn 10 years old this weekend.  I keep going to bed thinking "Do I expect too much from her?" and "I need her to trust and respect me now, because in a few years it will be even more difficult."  Thoughts like that as I consider the day that has just passed.  Today I read a blog I follow and it made me feel a bit better about things - parenting things.  It gave me a bit of hope also.  Have a look, it might make you feel better too.    Celebrating Motherhood Everyday

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Heber 9th Ward sisters are making I SPY QUILTS this month.  I love it when the ladies get together to giggle and sew.  I have some very fond memories of sewing with my neighborhood ladies on chilly winter nights and also warm summer evenings.  My heart tells me it is time to sew and chat again.  Every lady that participates will bring me 1/2 yard of 3 different fabrics for me to cut into 81/2 inch squares.  Then we will all  meet together, exchange squares, and get sewing.  (and giggling, and chatting, and eating chocolate, and sometimes dancing, and singing, and laughing)

Monday, February 06, 2012

 I wish I could say I have been up to something like these pictures show, but I have not.  Although, a pergola/arbor is in my summer construction plans.  YIPPEE! 

 Anyway, this is what I have been up to for the past week, no wait, 6 weeks.  Family history reading.  It has seemed to engulf me lately.  I have always been interested in it and always dabbled in the stories of my amazing ancestors, but for some reason the stories are very interesting to me right now.  They truly do amaze me.  They give me hope and strength in what I need to do, and they help me realize what a good and easy life I have, mostly because of their sacrifices.

 This is Elijah Hiett Maxfield, my paternal grandpa's grandfather.  I just ordered this book a few weeks ago and I read most of it yesterday.  He is just one example of many of the extraordinary people I get to call my ancestors.  Well, off to! 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...