Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 family pictures

2013 was a great year here on our little half acre of happiness.

Little boys grew and got bigger, 

 big girls got bigger, prettier, and smarter,

and little girls got sillier, cuter, and bigger as well.

This past year as a wonderful year, full of good family times.

We wish you all a wonderful New Year and hope you find happiness in 2014.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

My closet redo

Kelsey, my 11 year old, is my little organizer.   
Since she has been out of school for Christmas Break, she has totally reorganized and rearranged and changed and altered her own bedroom numerous times. 
Yesterday, when that got boring, she asked if she could tackle my closet.
Be grateful I didn't get a "BEFORE" photo.

 My closet is a scary place. 
Truly a disaster. 
She emptied it, all of it. 
The clothing hanging up.  The clothing, bedding, books, games, and other crap on the shelves.
The books, bags, shoes, and roping paraphernalia on the floor. 
And yes, that is a real horse leg skeleton you see as well.

This is what she did. 
It is a modern miracle.
Notice the color coordinated rainbow clothing.
She had Matt and I take an oath to continue this nice, fine, organized, orderly method for at least a month.
I am eternally grateful.
Although, she will have to reorganize soon for us, I am sure.
One thing I am embarrassed to report about and that I was also abashed to explain to Kelsey was my collection of hideous belts.  From the early 90s.
When I went school clothes shopping my Junior and Senior year of high school, all I bought was shorts. 
And they all seemed to come with their own belt.  That was just how the early 90s were.
I am very fashion challenged and I don't really know what goes with what.  Including belts.
So I wrote on the back of each belt with marker what shorts they came with, that way when my shorts went to the wash, I would know what belt to put back on them when they were nicely folded and returned to my bed by my sweet mother.
I explained this logic to Kelsey. 
She is a fashionista.  It comes natural to her.
She rolled her eyes. And laughed.
I was a little more embarrassed that I had belts from 1992, cheaply made belts to boot, than I was about my lack of fashion sense.
I would however, swallow my pride and let Kelsey in on my hideous belt secret to get my closet cleaned and reorganized any day.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

my absence

What can I say about a 6 week blogging absence?
Well, I finished the red ruffle fabric dresses!


Monday, November 04, 2013

Hooray for Kendal

This is Kendal on her first day of preschool in May of 2008.
She was so so little, only three years old.
3 years old is the age they can start Early Intervention Preschool.
Because of Kendal's seizures and her lack of mental and social development, she was able to take advantage of the Early Intervention programs.
Previous to her attending their preschool, we had a speech therapist and occupational therapist come to our home every 2 weeks to work with Kendal.  When she turned three, she moved into preschool.

Sweet Kendal, she is the child that seems to be the one that deals with all kinds of crazy conditions and hardships.  The seizures and their medications, with all their horrible side effects, recently eye problems that required 6 months of wearing a patch and glasses forever, attention and hyperactivity issues, and in these two pictures, a broken leg.  (Weakened skeletal system was one bad side effect of her seizure meds.)
She wasn't supposed to walk on that broken leg, and the doctor said he would cast it at such a crazy angle to make it physically impossible for her to walk on.
Well, Kendal seems to be handed plenty of hardships, but she also overcomes them.
Not only did she walk on it, she jumped on the trampoline! 

(This picture was the day she got the cast removed, I didn't let her jump on it until then, promise!)

She has the spunky little personality to overcome the challenges that she gets to face in this life.
She and the great doctors overcame the seizures, she overcame her eye condition in half the time her eye doctor expected, she overcame her speech issues, she overcame her learning issues and repeated first grade with a great success, and she will continue to overcome whatever comes her way.

Last month I had a meeting with her teachers and administrators at her school where she is now in second grade.  The Special Education teachers did some extensive testing with Kendal in September and wanted to discuss the results with me. 
She has been in the Special Education system since those early days of the therapists visiting our home when she was two, then 2 years of Early Intervention preschool, all day Kindergarten, first grade twice, three years of summer school, and now. She received help in her classes every day with Math, went to speech a few times a week, and also went to get extra help with the special education teachers.  I have been pleased with all the help and attention she has received.

All the testing came back saying that Kendal is now a pretty average little second grader.  She reads above grade level, spells above grade level, and  completes math and other subjects at grade level as well.  Her IQ skyrocketed and is above average, and her speech and actions are age appropriate. 
So, they exited her out of the special education system.
Yep, just like that.  
It was a great day.  The administrators and teachers say this rarely ever happens.  Most kids stay with the programs because they still need them.  Kendal doesn't anymore.  She overcame it all.

Those early days of so many EEG's at Primary Children's Hospital are long gone.  The days of over the top high blood pressure and kidney stones are gone.  The summers of staying in the house during the day because she couldn't actually sweat, and overheating was a real life issue are over.  The days of no immune system and seizures are gone.  The days of me worrying if she would ever talk again are long gone.  The days of me wondering if she will ever learn to read are gone.

I still worry about her, that is for sure.  I still get frustrated when I listen to her read and she sounds out the first three letters and then guesses the rest of the word.  I still tell her to sit still while she wiggles and does her homework after school.  I still have to make her eat a snack when she thinks she isn't hungry.  I still worry if she is being nice to her friends at school.  I still hope she is listening to her teacher and being respectful.
I still worry, but it is the normal worrying of a mother for a child.  
The normal concerns.
Thank Heaven.
And thank Heaven that He blessed her with the personality to overcome.

Monday, October 28, 2013

my mama kitty

Kenna woke up from her sweet nap today with this crazy hair that I call a Rooster Tail.  That is what my mom called them, so that is what I call them.  It reminds me of being a kid and hearing my mom say that.

Anyway, Kelsey, my 11 year old just said to me "Mom, did you know that mother cat's have a lot of hair balls?"  Kelsey loves cats.  We have two outdoor cats that she adores and they love her too, so I wasn't surprised to hear this statement/question about cats.  I figured she had learned it at school or on one of her many youtube adventures.  So, I agreed with her. 
Then she said "Wanna know how I know?"  I asked her how.  She made me fall apart laughing when she said "I tried to lick Kenna's rooster tail down earlier today." 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

how long does it take you to watch a movie?

My husband's birthday was at the first of the month.  I gave him the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice on dvd.  And a package of mini Snickers.  He was not really thrilled (SURPRISE!) If you know my husband, he was not thrilled at all, but he was a good sport.
We talked a few hours after he opened his new gifts.  I asked how his birthday at work had been and what he thought of his gifts.  He said it was a good day, but wondered why he got this dvd in particular, since his idea of a good movie is Ironman 8, or some movie with a suspenseful spying plot and amazing gadgets.

I then said, "Well, what did you give me for my birthday?" He couldn't remember.
I said, "Well, you gave me the Pirates of the Caribbean number 3 movie, and a family sized bag of peanut M&Ms."
He had a blank look on his face and said "OK?"
I told him that I hadn't even seen the second Pirates movie, could barely sit through the first one, and that I dislike peanut M&Ms.
He laughed.  Hard.

So, I asked him about 10 days ago if I could open the wrapping on his birthday gift and watch it.  He consented.  Well, I am happy to announcement that I completed it today!  YIPPEE!  It is only a 5 and a half hour movie, but it has taken me some time to get through it.  Not for lack of interest, for I have LOVED it, but for lack of time.  It was a wonderful watch!  I love the Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightly, but I HAD to watch this one.
I made an 1820's time period, Jane Austenish, day dress last winter.  I think I need to sew up a ball gown now.  Oh, the Netherfield Ball scenes were incredible!  All of it was!  So, when the Christmas presents are all made, I will dive into another Regency dress.
I also laid out the 110 log cabin quilt blocks today on the front room floor.  I think I have decided on the layout.  Thanks to all the Facebook comments and opinions, and the ones here on the blog!  I will get busy!

Monday, October 21, 2013

I am making a Log Cabin quilt, finally

Two weeks ago I cut this pile into strips for a log cabin quilt.  I have had this fabric for a few years, and have wanted to make a traditional quilt pattern using it.  My aunt Barbara made a log cabin quilt about 8 years ago that I fell in love with, Matt gave me a log cabin quilt book for my birthday a few years ago, and my neighbor Debbie and her daughter Kami made a log cabin quilt last winter.  I decided it was my turn, plus, it's another quilt to add to my civil war living history basket of tricks!

I used this fabric, plus a jelly roll, to make 110 of these log cabin blocks that are 10 inches square.  I finished the blocks over the weekend.

Now, comes the fun part.  The setting.  There are so many ways to set log cabin blocks for different looks.  I have it narrowed down to three variations that I want to make -  Streak of Lightning, Barn Raising, or Straight Furrows.

This log cabin quilt was made in the 1870s, from silk by Sophronia Ellen Turnbow Carter.  She was born in Alabama, but came to Utah as a Mormon pioneer.  I apologize for the bad photo, but I took a picture of it out of my book Quilts & Women of the Mormon Migrations.  It isn't one of the settings I am choosing from, but it is gorgeous.

This is a Streak of Lightning setting, maker unknown, 1865-1885, in probably Jackson County, Missouri.  I love this quilt.

This is a Barn Raising setting with lights in the middle, made from 1880-1910 with wools in the United States. I love this one as well, its a traditional setting for log cabin quilts.

This is another Barn Raising setting, but with the darks in the center.  The maker is unknown but probably from New Jersey.  The time frame on this one is 1910-1930 and is made of wools. 

This is the Straight Furrows setting.  This beauty was made in 1878 by Clarinda Bush Graham of Lyons, Iowa. Love love love!

So friends, if you feel inclined to help me with my setting decision, let me know which one you like the most.  Streak of Lightning, Barn Raising, or Straight Furrows.  Oh the decisions! Oh, and it may not be obvious to the non-quilter, but my log cabin quilts have fewer logs in them.  They were amazing ladies who made these quilts - so many logs in each block, and they were sometimes only 1/2" wide!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

an AH-HA moment

We had another fall day out in the forest over the weekend.
We packed a little picnic this time around and ate lunch in the trees.


The goal was to get one more monster load of firewood for the season.

My kids were great.  
Great little wood gatherers.

It was a brisk but pretty day and I was thinking about what a beautiful place I live as we went about our work.
I was also thinking about how blessed we are to have the opportunity to work together as a family.

As I was watching my sweet little ones haul the wood Matt had cut into the trailer, I was a little overcome with motherly emotions for a minute.

I thought about how blessed I am to have these little people in my life.  I realized how much they mean to me, how much I love them.
I am so lucky to be given these four little souls to raise.
My live would be incomplete without them.

So I cleared the lump in my throat, blinked away the few tears in my eyes, and finished loading the trailer.

Then I made Matt kiss me for the camera, much to his chagrin!

Monday, October 14, 2013

gray ruffle fabric skirt

Okay, another ruffle fabric project.  This time I bought a 26" remnant piece of this slate gray color.  I think it was around $8 or something like that.  I made up the skirt at this length.  That is just what you do - make it then cut to length when you are finished.  This is obviously a horrible length for me - so I had a friend help me decide a good length for me.

I cut off 6 ruffles from the bottom, and then reinforced the seam that I had cut so it wouldn't come undone.  Kelsey is going to have herself a gray infinity scarf now, and she is excited!

Here is the new length, much more becoming than the longer version.  Now I know if I ever buy another remnant, that I only need about a 19 or 20 inch length to work with!

This is a horrible picture, and its upside down with bad lighting, but I had to show the elastic waistband I attached the ruffle fabric to- easy as pie!

Kenna and I wore our new ruffles to church yesterday.  It sounds silly, but I am not the most feminine dressed person, and the ruffles were a pretty big stretch for me.  And as unfeminine as it sounds, I felt like a wooly mammoth!  There was alot of movement going on when I walked, and alot of "stuff" just hanging down from me that I am not used to!  Therefore, the wooly mammoth, but it was a fun little project.


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