Tuesday, March 26, 2013

We love him to pieces

The little man of the house turned 4 years old the other day.  It is incredible that time passes so quickly.  He  was born on a snowy, cold day.

 His first birthday was a beautiful spring day and we worked and played in the yard.  He got to play in his own cake wearing just his diaper that night as well.  Silly and messy tradition!

 His second birthday was pretty special because Matt had just been able to come home from the ICU after breaking 11 ribs, most in two places, breaking his sternum in 2 places, separating his shoulder, and collapsing a lung.  He got a sweet birthday cake with farm toys all over it.

 His third birthday last year was cold and snowy in Heber City, so we headed south and worked on the farm with his cousins.  He and Judd shared a birthday cake that night because Judd's birthday is the day before Emmitt's.

 Emmit's fourth birthday was a lazy cold Sunday and was celebrated with just us.  He loved that the Primary kids sang to him on his birthday, and he got to watch whatever movie he wanted in the afternoon. 

 His birthday cake was Kelsey's creative creation.  She made little bats with Oreo cookies.  It wasn't the Superhero cake he expected, but he loved it.
What a sweet little boy we have at our house.  We love him to pieces.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


 I am currently reading a book that has me a bit absorbed.  I was reading in it a few days ago and I read a few paragraphs that hit me pretty hard.  They talked about relationships.  The book said that no relationship we make and develop with someone else is a coincidence.  It is divinely planned and arranged by our Father in Heaven.  He knows how we need to grow, qualities we need to develop, knowledge we need to gain, tests we need to pass or even possibly fail, how we can be helped by a particular someone, and how we can help someone as well.

I have always valued the good people in my life and thought that I have something to learn from all of them, but I never really understood that God put them in my life on purpose, for a reason I can't understand.  He knows me and you, and he loves us more than we can begin to understand.  He knows what experiences will make us better people, and He knows what people to put in our path to help us be better people as well.

I value all the relationships I have had so far in my little life.  Great parents, siblings, in-laws, cousins, childhood friends, high school friends (they happen to be the same childhood friends!), college friends, people from all the LDS wards we have lived in, work friends, neighborhood friends, etc.  As I type, I am thinking of folks in particular and all the great people that I have had the pleasure of knowing, playing with, working with, serving with, and living with.  It makes a big lump form in my throat.

 So this is a little shout out to the girlfriends I have had in my life.  Thanks girls.  I hope your association with me has been as good as my association with you.  I thank Heaven that you were placed in my life on purpose, because God knew we need each other. 

Debbie, Emiko, and Stephanie Horn - I can't find a good picture, but I love you just the same!  TORI and MOM - you are your own category.  You are my girlfriends, but since we share the same crazy genetics, you are bound to me no matter what!  Ladies, thanks for everything you have taught me, and all that I still need to learn.  Our friendship was destiny.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Irish Brigade apron and St Patrick's Day parade

Well, there it is.  The Irish Brigade apron for the St. Patrick's Day parade.  I mentioned that I wanted to make one last week in this post.  I finished it Friday night and wore it Saturday morning.  That is just how I work!  The two original regiments that made up the Irish Brigade at the first of the American civil war were the 63rd New York Infantry and the 69th New York Infantry, although there were more regiments that became part of the Irish Brigade later in the war.  There are great stories about the "Fighting 69th" and that is what I wanted to put on my patriotic apron, but I was just plain lazy and I didn't want to applique all the letters of the word FIGHTING, so I slapped the 63rd on there instead.  The harp of Erin is from the Irish Brigade flag and is used on many Irish items.  

The girls also wanted aprons for the parade as well, so I made each of them one too.  They sure turned out cute, as far as green goes anyway!

This picture has some pretty bad morning sun, but here we are, getting ready in the parade line.  Kenna wore the green and yellow wool sacque coat I made a few years ago for Emmitt.  The inspiration and pattern for the coat was from Amy at A Day in 1862.

One more picture.  When I was making the apron, I measured it to go about knee-length on me.  When I put it on with my hoop and petticoats at the parade, it is a bit shorter!  I didn't put that into consideration, but its all good for one day a year.

Here are the fellas getting ready.  They are some of my most favorite people on the planet.  I love our civil war group and the great times we have together.  They are wonderful people.

Oh, and sweet Kenna.  Everyone loved the baby.  Of course they did, she is so cute and she smiled and smiled at everyone.  She does this little squeal thing, and she was working that happy squeal all through the parade.  My left arm is still a little sore from carrying her for all those hours and all those miles.  Just kidding, we didn't walk THAT far, but of course I had to hold her for quite a few hours.  I should be used to it, but boy is my arm sore!

After the parade we were walking back to the parking lot and the crazy roller derby gals wanted a picture with our handsome soldiers.  Wow, what a wild parade it was!  I did see a little too much of a few entries, and of course I didn't get to see enough of the bag pipers or the Irish dancers.  The weather was great and we had a super day showing our Irish.  I think I figured it out once - I am only like 3/64ths Irish, but Irish still the same.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rarely am I totally pleased with myself

Every night when I go to bed, I lay there and reflect on the kind of "mother day" I had.

Rarely am I totally pleased with myself.

I always seem to lose my cool at least once, or answer a homework question with little patience, or even give too quick of a hug when they wanted a longer one.

I tell myself every night that tomorrow will be better, I will be better.

Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't.  
I just hope they will remember that the good times with their mother outweigh the less-than ideal times with their mother, by tons and tons. 

That is how I will remember these times anyway.

An apron for St. Patricks Day Parade, in honor of The Irish Brigade

The Saint Patrick's Day Parade is this Saturday in Salt Lake City.  I didn't think I would be able to go because Matt has a huge bull sale that day.  He is selling a few bulls and its a big day for him.  I offered my support to go with him.  Last night when we were discussing our plans, he told me that although it will be an important day for him, he will be busy and at the sale all day and then has to AI some cattle later that evening.  Well, that was all I needed to hear.  I came to the conclusion that offering my support was appreciated, but neither of us really wanted me and our 4 offspring there with him!  Perfect, now said offspring and I will be able to go to the parade with our Fort Douglas Museum Living History Detachment group.

The Irish have a great history in the American Civil War. Click here if you want to read a bit about it.  The most well known of the Irish is The Irish Brigade, and within that, the 69th and 63rd New York Regiments.  They were there for the First Battle of Bull Run and actually were formed as a militia unit before the civil war even began.  The "Fighting 69th" were known for their bravery during WWI and the unit fought in Baghdad in 2004 and 2005.  There is a fantastic monument at Gettysburg raised in honor of the Irish Brigade, as well as at Antietam.

 Hopefully today I get to sew.  I want to make a patriotic apron to wear to the parade this Saturday.  The picture below from Harper's Weekly shows a patriotic apron that was made and worn by many sweet gals during the civil war to show their support.  This one below would have been red and white on the bottom, just like the Confederate flag, and then the blue with the stars on the bib part of the apron, would have varied between 7 and 15 stars, depending on the time of the war and how many states were being represented as part of the Confederacy.

This one is an original and is in The Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, VA.  It is a circa 1861-1865, Confederate apron, made & worn by a young girl, Martha L. Booton. Made out of scraps from a flag created for soldiers from Page County. Cotton cloth apron features a blue bib with seven five-pointed stars; skirt has alternating bars of red & white cotton. Composition mimics the flag adopted by the Confederacy in 1861.

This sweet reenacting gal has made a gorgeous patriotic apron.  I love the stars on the medici belt portion of the apron.  Once again, it is a Confederate apron by the obvious two red bars and one white bar on the bottom portion, and the amount of stars on the belt portion.

This apron is a Union apron.  That is obvious by the amount of stars on the top bib portion, and the multiple red and white stripes on the bottom portion.  In May 1861 the women of Clear Spring, Maryland began wearing Union aprons: “The bib is studded with stars, the skirt streaked with stripes, and warm, true, brave hearts, beating under all.”

So my challenge for the next few days is to make an apron to wear to the Saint Patrick's Day parade.  I think I will use the flag of the 69th Regiment as my muse!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Suggestions on my civil war plaid dress would be appreciated!

I have wanted a plaid civil war dress for some time.
When I saw this fabric, I decided the time was then.
That was fall of 2011.  I made the bodice last winter.
I need to finish it!
We have a really fun reenacting season coming up soon - it is going to be a great spring and summer on the civil war homefront in Utah.
There is a matching skirt that goes with it of course.
I need to trim it.  Any ideas?  I would love some suggestions!
Here are a few period images of plaid day dresses that I am thinking about. 

I love whatever that crazy shoulder sleeve thing the first gal has going on.
Her sleeve cuffs are pretty wild as well. I think she is very pretty too.
The second dress is pretty plain, just a bit on the back of the sleeve and a contrasting belt.
The third one has some major sleeve gathering and maybe some ruching going on, and what looks like beautiful ruching on the front of the bodice. 
Did I mention that I already have about 10 yards of ruching made of the same plaid fabric?
It would sure be great to use it!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

L&C Farms Chest

My sister in law Emiko told me that my birthday present wouldn't fit in Matt's car so he couldn't bring it home to me.  I wondered what in the world it could be!  About 10 days later she called and asked what time we got home from church and that they wanted to come and visit.  She lives 2 hours away.

Emiko, her husband which is Matt's brother, and their 4 kids drove up with this sweet chest in the back of their Suburban for a fantastic Sunday afternoon visit.  WHAT A TREAT!  This is my birthday present.  If I think about it, I can smell the cedar right now as I type!  MMMMMM!!  It is gorgeous to boot, with a sweet tray that fits right on top.  I love the side handles, love the rope handle, love it all.

My sister in law, Emiko, had this made for me.  There was an old shed at the farm that was falling in and needed to be torn down.  She tore it down, yes, she is like that - she can do ANYTHING, and she saved the wood for a project, this project.  This BEAUTIFUL chest is made from an L&C Farms shed and I LOVE IT!

The wood is old spruce or pine, and it was part of the roof of the shed, so it has this awesome texture to it.  Weathered and old, the color is incredible, and traces of very flat lichens are all over it.  I love it. Completely love it.  It makes me smile.  The construction is incredible and the workmanship is amazing.  What a lovely gift.  I am pretty sure it is one of my all time favorite gifts I have ever received.  I love personal gifts, ones that were made with me in mind.  Ones that have deep meaning.  Thank you so much Emiko, I am in awe of your sentimental heart and generosity. 

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Totally Pink All Girls Chess Day

I remember the first state elementary school chess tournament we went to.  I was so blown away and flabbergasted by all the little nerds walking around the U of U campus, headed the same direction we were headed.  Kelsey was in Kindergarten.  I couldn't stop giggling when we first arrived, then I realized how seriously some parents and kids were taking the tournament, and I tried to stop giggling.  I didn't know what 'ranking numbers' meant, what "pairings are up" meant, what the significance of being on a higher numbered chess board meant, and a whole host of other chess language terms.

Well, I get it now.  Most of it anyway.  I have had practice.  We went to the All Girls State Chess Tournament on Saturday.  There were about 90 girls there.  The chess board tables were decorated with pink balloons and the trophy table was a shimmer of pink and gold.  There was face painting and jewelry making for the girls in between matches.  It was fun.  It was a little more relaxed than the State Elementary Chess Tournament that occurs this coming Saturday.  There were still the intense players and parents who practiced and practiced game ending strategies between the 5 matches everyone got to play, but there were more kids playing TempleRun and Minesweeper on various devices and just playing like girls instead of die hard chess gurus. 

Kelsey landed 3rd place for the 5th grade division.  She won 4 matches and lost 1.  Kendal ended up with 8th place for the 1st grade division.  She won 2 matches and lost 3.  It was a big deal for her, because this is was the first time she has won any matches at a tournament.  She was so excited.  She was envious of Kelsey's trophy though and wished her medal with a pink ribbon would have been a shiny trophy.  I am proud of both of them for playing, playing well, and having an enjoyable time. Kendal made a few new little friends that she played with in between matches.  She needed that to make it a good day for her.  Yeah for chess and all that it teaches my girls.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

The Lost Prince and Our Sweet Princess Kendal

I just watched this movie the other night.
I got it from the library last week.
I am not sure what I was looking for in the "L" section, but I saw this and it intrigued me.
First because it is historical and takes place during World War I, second because it is based on a true story of the Royal family in England, and third, because it deals with epilepsy.

This movie, The Lost Prince, is about Prince John, the youngest son of King George V and Queen Mary of England.  He suffered from epilepsy and also a learning disorder, possibly something similar to what we refer to now as autism.  It was a fantastic movie.  One reason I also enjoyed the movie was because it portrays the relationship with the Romanov family of Russia, which is of course interesting due to the Anastasia stories.  The movie made me cry a few times, and laugh a few times as well.  
Prince John was born in 1905 and died in 1919 at the age of 13.  His parents, the King and Queen of England were in the middle of World War I when John was suffering from the worst of his seizure episodes.  He had a devoted nanny, Lalla, who I love in the movie.  She is incredible.  

 Many know that I have my own little story with epilepsy.  Kendal, my now 7 year old, started having bizarre seizures in March of 2007, a few months prior to her 2nd birthday.  The seizures escalated to around 15 to 18 a day in just a few weeks time.  She was diagnosed with 'infantile spasms,' a severe form of epilepsy in infants and young children. 
After a super rough summer and a whole mess of super expensive drugs, the seizures stopped on July 4th, Independence Day 2007.  Since that time, she spent 4 more years on anti-seizure meds without one recurring episode.  She hasn't been on anti-seizure meds for almost 2 years and we are so grateful.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders website says this:
While epilepsy cannot currently be cured, for some people it does eventually go away. One study found that children with idiopathic epilepsy, or epilepsy with an unknown cause, had a 68 to 92 percent chance of becoming seizure-free by 20 years after their diagnosis. The odds of becoming seizure-free are not as good for adults or for children with severe epilepsy syndromes, but it is nonetheless possible that seizures may decrease or even stop over time. This is more likely if the epilepsy has been well-controlled by medication or if the person has had epilepsy surgery.

Kendal's particular type of epilepsy doesn't have such great statistics.  About 70% of the infants that have infantile spasms never progress mentally beyond the age when the seizures began to occur.  
We could have a near 2 year old in a near 8 year old body.  Watching this movie about a real boy 100 years ago, makes me so so so grateful for modern medicine and the knowledge that we have today.
The picture of Kendal I posted is from the state of Utah All Girls Chess Tournament held over the weekend where she finished 8th place in the 1st grade division.  We are so so blessed.

This photo is of the British Royal Family children.  John is the youngest child, found on the front left.
The movie only portrays his brother George, also on the front row.
Prince John was kept hidden from much of the public eye, especially when he got older and his family and the doctors realized he wasn't going to get much better and overcome epilepsy and his learning disability.  He spent most of this time with the nanny Lalla, and the last few years of his life were spent out in a country home away from the palace and the city.

This is Prince John and Lalla, whose real name was Charlotte Bill in 1912.
John would have been 7 or 8 years old here.  
That is how old my Kendal is right now.
I am incredibly grateful that we understand health issues more than we did 100 years ago.
I am grateful for the medicines that made all the difference for my Kendal and kept those erratic brain waves under control so her brain could develop and continue to grow.
I am grateful we don't have to hide her away and she can be accepted for who she is, unlike 100 years ago.
I am grateful we can look forward to a long, happy, fulfilling, normal life with my spunky Kendal girl.


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