Feb 28, 2015

Liam's Puzzle Quilt

I don't know if it's that I'm getting older or if I've just made so many quilts that I don't think about it anymore, BUT I keep making quilts and giving them away without taking any photos of the finished quilt! I almost always have photos of the fabric AND the design wall but I've gotten lax in the *finished* category! (I had Camille bring Liam's quilt with her when she came down this week so I could get this photo.)

Be that as it may, I'm here to share Liam's puzzle. I am so pleased with how it turned out. (And it has a soft minkee aqua with white polkie-dottie back... but no pix!)

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This quilt involves a good story... and you know how I love good stories!

Early summer 2013 I was working on Bishop Doxey's thank-you-quilt when a friend in the ward told me she would donate fabric for the back of the quilt from her business. I didn't even know she had a business! But I quickly learned she had some absolutely darling Riley Blake fabrics that would be just right for Fiona's polkie-dottie quilt. (I'd clipped the pattern several years previous knowing it was just right for a Camille-baby!)

Camille and I looked at them online and decided on these wonderful fabrics. They are beautiful, fun fabrics! I picked them up at the warehouse and stuck them in my fabric closet to wait while I finished the Bishop's quilt.

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Several week later I pulled them out and lined them up on my ironing board... and although they were still beautiful, fun fabrics THEY WERE ALL WRONG FOR BABY-FIONA'S QUILT! So I quickly came up with Plan B... which was just right for Miss Bitty!

I carefully replaced these fun Riley Blake fabrics in the USPS mailing envelope I'd picked them in and returned them to the depths of my closet.

Fast forward 16 months... now I need to make a quilt for baby-Liam. Camille went internet shopping for ideas; she came up with a cute pattern- Connect the Dots quilt from  eQuilterPatterns.com with the predominate colors of aqua and red.

Well...

I still hadn't forgotten about the fun Riley Blake fabrics. I just happened to have a great start on Liam's quilt with fabrics JUST RIGHT for a baby boy! So I did what I do best... drove 2.3 miles to Corn Wagon to find more darling fabrics to round out this puzzle quilt.

The fabrics on the right are the ones I found at Corn Wagon. The four in front came in the neatest Riley Blake fabric panel made up of 4 printed fat quarter! PERFECT!! I pulled in two more stripes from non-Riley Blake lines to round out the collection! The red/aqua/white stripe also became the bias binding.

(And can I point out what a saver I am? Those teeny pieces up front will get used up in something else fun!)

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A design wall is essential for a project like this. Mine is nothing fancy. I picked up a set of full-size flannel sheets on clearance several years ago. The flat sheet is a permanent fixture in my sewing room. I used to take it down and put it away but then asked myself why! I just drove my old sewing machine needles [instead of nails] through the sheet to hang my rulers, cutters and mats.  I can temporarily add the fitted sheet, now flattened, when I have a really big project.

I always take photos during the design process for two reasons- Looking at the small photo helps me see the color/light/dark balance better and if I get confused in the sewing process I can refer to my photo.

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I also decided to add a red border (see the lead photo) to stop the eye and finish off the quilt before the fun bias binding.

And I can't just leave you hanging about Miss Bitty's new sleep arrangement. They got Elise's toddler bed out of storage and set it up in the baby room. Her polkie-dottie quilt is just right for her little-self bed.

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Yup, and this involves another story. Fiona and I love to go on walks, frequently to Target (to buy Bunny Milk!) I found a beautiful, soft, purple extra-deep twin size fitted sheet on clearance (do we see a pattern here?) I picked out all of the seams and elastic and made TWO toddler size fitted sheets. I still had a couple of good size pieces left... but not big enough for a pillow case.

Remember those little piece I save? Welp, I'd saved them from Fiona's quilt too and scratched together enough to make this pieced pillow case. I even embroidered her name on it (It reminds me of my tiny-girl pillow case my sisters made for me with MY name embroidered on it!)

I have to say I absolutely LOVE to create!  It just fills me up!

Feb 24, 2015

Certified [C]hunk!

We usually host 3rd Sunday Grammie-dinner each month. All of our local children are invited; some months we have more attendees than others. This month (and yes, I know that February 22 wasn't the 3rd Sunday) we had most of them here! Yay. After everyone had gone home Gordon said, "We had 23 people here tonight!" So we weren't surprised that there were NO LEFTOVERS!!

I so enjoy this facet of living near many of our children and grandchildren... and I always feel a longing for those that aren't here! I count this as one of my great blessings.

And even though there were 13 grandchildren here I only managed to get one decent photo- this little man!

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His shirt, which you can't read, says CERTIFIED HUNK... but Grammie thinks it should have a C in front of hunk!

This is the first time that I've really gotten to hold him for very long. And let me tell you... this Grammie drank in every drop of baby-sweetness!

Feb 17, 2015

At The Park

One of my things I loved to do when my kids were small is go to the park... now I've graduated to grammie-duties at the park. Know what? They are still just a fun!

I got to take these littles to the park THIS-day!

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Roxie was so good sticking with Jude until he felt comfortable on his own. (Well, HE thought he was on his own... Grammie shadowed him pretty closely!)

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They ran, climbed, slid and played on the swings until they were tired and ready to head home.

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But before we did Jude showed off his skills with a solo run down the big slide... giggling all the way.

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Feb 13, 2015

Happy Grammie-Duties

I was going to start this post by saying that one of my favorite, happy Grammie-duties is photo shots, and it is... but now that I think about it, I can't think of ANYTHING about Grammie-duties that I don't like! Seriously!

I always love to take photos of my family because then I get to come home upload them to my computer, look at them up-close and large, edit, examine and enhance them. By the time I'm finished I've gotten my Grammie-cup over-flowing!

Miss Bitty surely knows how to ham for the camera! I can't imagine where she get that from! Recently Camille described her as engaging. I love that word!

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One of the secretaries at Camille's school made this darling Very Hungry Caterpiller outfit for Liam. He truly lives up to that image. I guess when you come into the world half-grown you are mighty hungry!

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Now this is a funny one... I made this basket for Camille to use as the diapie basket: holding two sizes of diapies, wipes, bum cream, etc. As I was making it, and it is amply-sized, I thought how cute it would be to take newborn pix using this as a prop...

Erm... Liam didn't get the memo and, as you can see, he doesn't fit. (Now here's another thing I want to know. How do photographers get photos of mailable, play-doh babies? Do they drug them? None of my babies or grandbabies put up with that sort of silliness. Again, I wonder where that comes from?)

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This is one of my favorites. Fiona, just a tiny girl herself, is so sweet, understanding and loving with her new brother. She will put out her little arms wanting to hold him.

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When Camille saw this photo of Fiona she exclaimed how much she thought Fiona looked like her. So I went ferreting and just happened to find a photo of Camille at the very same age. These two photos don't point it out as much as I see it. These precious baby-girls born almost 28 years apart! I sure love these angelic faces!

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But the resemblance that still stand out to me is how much Fiona looks like my Mom, Elsie.

Feb 6, 2015

Liam Jude Anthony

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Somebody Some-baby was in a hurry to get here! Apparently he can't read Mommy's calendar yet to see that his birthday was scheduled for February 3rd!

In the wee hours of February 1st he started getting very impatient to GET OUT! NOW!!

Mr Some-baby persisted all the day long (yes, even during the Superbowl!) until the nice doctors said they would let him out.

This little, erm, not-so-little man made his appearance at 10:20pm, 2.1.15. He weighed in at a hefty 9 pounds 6 ounces and was 21.5" tall.

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Since Master Liam was born late at night the rest of the family played tag-team with not-so-big sister, Miss Bitty, it wasn't until the next day that Grammie and Grampy really got a good look at this wonderful newest boy! (And you know what? Even though Liam is #27 he is still just as special to this Grammie's heart as all the rest. See how that works... love just multiples exponentially.)

No one under 14 is allowed to interact with the newborns so that made for more tag-teaming. The next day Grammie and Grampy went in to visit with Liam while Mommy and Daddy visited with Fiona in the lobby. But you won't get any complaints from us...

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We got to have a wonderful one-on-one visit.

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Admiring his sweet little face...

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and his beautiful full head of hair.

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So it wasn't until he was 3-days old that Grammie could get a picture of Liam with his parents and adoring big sister.

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Feb 5, 2015

Waiting for Liam

When you're a tiny girl waiting can be hard...

Although Fiona was able to go to the hospital to see Mommy and Daddy in the lobby each day she wasn't able to meet her new baby brother due to flu season.

Finally, after three long days of waiting, Mommy would be coming home and bringing Liam and Daddy! We thought it would be nice to go get balloons for this new sweet sibling. Fortunately as we were walking into the story it occurred to this Grammie that Miss Bitty-girl would NEED a balloon too! The trip home was a little stressful for Fiona trapped in the backseat with balloons wanting to attack her... good thing it's just a short jaunt.

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After tying the *Happy Liam* balloons to the mailbox we couldn't bear to go inside. How many warm February days do we get in Utah? (Well, actually this month every day so far has been in the high 50s and today was 68°!)

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We walked up and down her street several times finding many treasures, running, saying hi to all and practicing stepping up and down all by ourselves without using hands!

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After such a busy morning we needed to have a nice peanut buttah-louw-unch! This Bitty-girl is crazy for peanut butter! Her Grampy taught her the delights of peanut butter straight from the jar on Sunday night just after Liam's arrival! Yes, and Grammie accommodated every request from this Bitty-girl for pb-straight-up on a spoon!

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Then it was time for a story or two, snuggles with Grammie, a bottle and a nap...

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She woke up happy and we played a little game. She is a funny girl, every time I get out my iPhone for a pix she comes running to see what photo I'm taking... but you get the idea of this darling, somewhat blurry, face.

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At last the time arrived! Miss Bitty waited at the window most patiently to wave as Daddy brought the rest of her family home. (Camille said it made her cry to see this little cherub waving at her through the window.)

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This look! This wonderful, most precious look sums up Miss Bitty's opinion about her new brother!

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And we all think he is pretty awesome!

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LIAM- 19 HOURS OLD

(Liam will get his very own post tomorrow)

As an aside-

I ruminate at night when I'm trying to fall asleep. One night I lay there thinking of the level a trust given me by MY precious daughter to provide care for her MOST PRECIOUS daughter for the past 3 days. My cup runneth over!

And now, today, here alone at Grammie's own house I'm having Miss Bitty withdrawals! Good thing we can FaceTime!!

Jan 29, 2015

Grammie Date

I had the great pleasure of going on a date with two of my darling granddaughters! What a treat! I've been to Thanksgiving Point gardens many times, but I haven't done much else than one movie and a quick walk-through the Dinosaur Museum. So when Jessica offered I jumped at the chance. This day we went to the Museum of Natural Curiosity- which is a bit like any museum... you have to go back many times to see everything!

Both girls were very excited to introduce Grammie to this new experience. They showed me the little door, which Grammie walked through too with barely a stoop!

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They made a beeline to this play area and told me all about the time Sophie plummeted from the top to the bottom all at once- and didn't even cry!!

I love how Roxie's hair is full of static electricity.

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They negotiated the rope bridges with Roxie never leaving Sophie behind. I am always so impressed at how kind and loving these children are to each other. (Good home training!) We poked around in a few of the rooms enjoying different experiences.

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One was the Cave of Courage. Roxie asked if I wanted to go through and since I could see that it required lots of bending and crawling, I opted out. So off they went. What I didn't know is that they were in the pitch black and had to feel their way through a maze! There were cameras so I could watch their progress. Roxie always had a hold of Sophie. After several minutes I started to panic... Yikes! Then I could hear Sophie's plaintive plea, "Grammie, how do we get out?" Luckily there was a very brave boy who went in, at my request, to help them find the way out. I gave Soph a big hug but there were no tears. Again with the yikes!

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They wanted to go outside and since it was a mild day, 45°, we did. They had a dandy time sliding, climbing, teetering and zip-lining! (Grammie even zipped once!)

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But after 2 hours Grammie was hungry and tired...

Then it was Grammie's turn to introduce these sweeties to a culinary delight. El Pollo Loco just makes my mouth happy! (We are lucky enough to have one of the two in Utah! That was a happy day for me since they are all over in CA!)

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The best part... I don't think these two have ever eaten drumsticks before. But the time Roxie finished the second one she told me she thought she had it figured out!

I can tell you, we need to do this more often!

Jan 27, 2015

Laundry Pedestal

You may remember that last March we bought a new front-loading Samsung washer and dryer. Boy, oh boy, are they ever the pip! This model has the a steam feature on both the washer and dryer. Gordon's undershirts have long been plagued with deodorant stained armpits. NOT ANY MORE! It only took one wash on the steam cycle and his *bunders* are as clean and white as new... even the ones that are practically threadbare.

There is only one problem with my new super-dee-dupper laundry-duo... they are too low. My poor old low back just can't do all the bending over so I end up kneeling on the rug in order to move a load from the washer to the dryer. (Guess it's a good thing that my knees still work really well!)

I NEEDED a laundry pedestal... but I wasn't going to pay the $259.99 a piece that's wanted at Lowe's. (Where we purchased the washer and dryer). Besides the drawers in those are so shallow you really can't store much in them.

Enter Pinterest! (Can that ever suck you in if you'll let it!)

I had a purpose so I dove right in. I spent several hours over a couple of days ferreting out just what I liked the best and came up with some very workable and helpful plans. I liked Courtney's take on Ana White's plans that she got from Sausha... yeah, that's kind of how it goes on Pinterest!

Behold... my new laundry pedestal!!

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I am so happy with how it turned out! And, for me, half the fun was in the making. I like that there is no bottom shelf so I can easily clean under there AND let's face it... retrieve lost items that always fall behind the washer and dryer disappearing forever!

One tweak Courtney made, and I copied, is the four legs support the pedestal top and the frame is screw right into the 4x4" legs instead of using brackets. I also made my pedestal 58" x 30" x 15 3/4" so I can still hang my ironing board next to the dryer.

I went to my favorite Home Depot where, for a fraction of the cost ($100), I bought the materials. They offer free cutting at my store so I had them cut the MDF for me... I'm terrible when it comes to using a circular saw! And even though I wore gloves, I wore a blister at the base of my right thumb from drilling in all of those 3" screws!

I also discovered that a quart of Behr primer and paint would have been more than enough. (Hmmm... what else do I want to paint smoky-grey-blue?)

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(BTW- can you believe this beautiful January weather here in Utah? I feel like we're having a Palmdale winter!)

Once it was all built, painted and distressed Gordon and I moved it into the laundry room but we knew there was no way WE could lift that washer up 15 3/4"!! Enter our wonderful friends (and Home Teachers): Clark, Brooks and even Spencer came to do the heavy lifting.

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I dazzled them with my skills of hooking up the washer and dryer AND then getting out from behind them. I told them I'd just climb over the top. They watched me lift my leg to the height of my shoulder and crawl out like a squirrel...  they were amazed. Clark said he never would have been able to stand up...

And I was also needed to shimmy under to level the back legs on the dryer. There are many times when being a short gal is very advantageous! I've never wanted to be tall... good thing, I guess! (Hey, those are good lookin' 62-year old legs! I'll keep them!)

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I'm so pleased to have my washer and dryer at this new, convenient height! It has opened up a whole new level of laundry fulfillment!

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Jan 22, 2015

The Best Move I've Ever Made!

For a girl who was born and raised in the same little house in Greenville, CA, I've sure moved around a lot; so I know a thing or two about moving! The sad part is that 17 of the 25 moves happened between 1970-80! (That pretty much sums up that decade of my life!)

Other than the first 17 years and 10 months I spent in my first home the longest I've lived at any address was 8 years and 10 months...

Until now!

We've lived here, on our little quarter acre of heaven for 10 years. As Gordon and I were driving to the Temple yesterday I mentioned to him something that has been rolling around in my little head but finally found its way out-

THIS IS THE BEST MOVE I'VE EVER MADE!

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(PHOTO TAKEN MAY 2014)

Gordon asked why so I started counting off the blessings (name them one by one!)
  • We are close to many of our children and grandchildren and get to interact with them on a frequent basis.
  • We have a paid for home.
  • We are able to serve in the Temple often.
  • We have the privilege of being ordinance workers- which has brought greater meaning to the wonderful blessings administered there.
  • We live in a wonderful neighborhood and community.
  • We are surrounded by good people trying to do the right thing.
  • We live in the mountains (a plus for this mountain-born girl).
  • We live in an area with a lower cost of living.
  • We have four seasons!
The list could go on and on. But I just wanted to share here, publicly, my great gratitude to my Heavenly Father who truly has "opened the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that there is not room enough to receive."

Jan 10, 2015

Primary Sharing Time Jan- week 2

I always feel like I want to share any ideas I have with others. Today's post may be too late to help many folks, but since I was sick most of the week this is when you get it.

My responsibility as Primary 1st counselor is to not only write the Sacrament meeting program but to do the 2nd week sharing time. I'm frequently at a loss with the small amount of help from the 2015 outline so I have to search for other ideas.

I hope this can help others in their calling.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God

I will follow the outline in the Primary sharing time booklet for week 2.

For Jr Primary I will have additional pictures of Jesus displayed. We will talk about Jesus, who is the Son of God and read the scriptures outlined. Then sing Tell Me The Stories of Jesus.

I will pass out these small coloring books to the children and let them draw their own pictures of their favorite stories of Jesus.

You should be able to right click the image and do a save as. Then print on your computer. I printed mine on 8.5 x 11.  Then added one blank sheet of paper and  cut both papers in thirds horizontally, fold in half and staple on the fold.