Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quilts of late

This one Amber and I have made before. Sarah made it for her teacher who was having twin boys. They were born this week about 10 wks. premature, but so far they seem healthy.
Oliver and Owen? Can't recall exactly.

Not quilted yet, but soon to be. The teacher wouldn't give them her address to keep in touch (probably because she isn't supposed to) but I told Sarah we have an in because we do their taxes and have their address on file.

I love cowboy fabric for little boys.
So cute.

Nice crease right down the middle--it had been folded before I took the pic.

This one is for a baby in our ward named, can you guess? His dad is a major marathon runner. Now, when I say major I am not exaggerating. The man runs 20 miles a day. In the snow.
So he ran the Boston marathon last year, which is a pretty big deal because you have to have run a certain time in another marathon just to qualify to run in the Boston.

They have three boys, Brandon, Brad, and Britton.
After an 8 year gap they up and decided to have another one.
Seems fitting to me.

I made this quilt for Penny after my friend gave me this Valentine print fabric.
She told me when she saw it it reminded her so much of me she just had to get it.
Then she got all teary-eyed when she gave it to me.

I rarely make seasonal quilts, but with this kind of Valentine fabric I had to create something fit for the season.
Found the perfect green to go with it too!--adorable.

So this is my latest project in the making. This one is a big-un too.
I am in love with it already. Check out these colors!!

These are a couple of the blocks. The pattern below was used by our quilt shop here in Springville, but instead of the red base fabric she used this black tulip fabric. I just love it.
Big Twilight fan, the designer called it, "Meet me in the Meadow."
I went ahead and took the class on this one and was glad I did.
Being a non-fan myself, I didn't wear my Twilight attire.
The instructor pulled me into their back room
where on the wall there was a giant picture of Edward.

I was polite and made sure to say goodbye to him when I left.

Turn your head because I couldn't figure out how to turn it.
Now picture black instead of the red background.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My new friends

During the tax season it seems like unintentional tradition for me to do something to the house. Peter is gone and I am free to create chaos without supervision. Last year it was the kid's rooms. This year a much less ambitious project of plants.

Very sad story: When I moved here I brought two plants that lived very happy lives until last year when things got rough and they were neglected. It was especially sad because one was given to me by Penny for Easter years ago, and the other one was from a basket given to us for my Mom's funeral from all our friends back in the Cupertino Ward.

Alas, by the time I got to them they could not be saved. So after envying the beautiful plants around my friend's houses I decided I was ready to commit again.

Except sometimes I don't do something in a small way (my teen is here rolling his eyes). For the past few days I've been buying plants and pots. The garage is covered in potting soil but my house looks lots more homey now.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More of my John

Our favorite John quotes lately:
(Speaking of the dog)"I feel bad for Charlie." ("Oh? Why is that John?") "Cause he is gonna die."

"I like milk from soy cows!"

" I don't want to watch this! I want to watch 'James and the Gina Peach!'"

What was John doing as I was blissfully dozing off around 11pm the other night? Cutting our cat Caramel's hair. Again. I was rudely awakened by a noise which let me know he was up lurking around.
He is awake late most nights because my poor little OCD kid can't get to sleep. So he plays until late in the night. Building things, arranging things, eating things.
Don't get me wrong, he makes plenty of messes, but he can also be very orderly.

Pool table at my grandpa's house.
Dinner anyone?

This is typical of what I wake up to in the morning as John sleeps until 10am.
No one is allowed to touch the creations, including but not limited to, moving the rice pack.

I went back to bed after the kids left this morning, something I haven't done in a while. I left the TV on PBS and a granola bar on the counter.
Did he eat that? Heck no! Instead he set himself up with this:

Note the apple juice in the giant cup, (kinda looks like pee, doesn't it? Caught me off guard for a second) the remote control, and the phone. He gave me my messages when I got up.
"Mom. Someone called from Tehachapi. I think it was Cameron's mom. Then this guy called and I told him you were sleeping." Thanks John!!

Then he told me he wanted strawberry oatmeal on the double.
"Strawberry mom! Remember I want only strawberry every morning."
Got that one loud and clear John.
We all got that, don't we?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ode to my hairdresser (again)

Got my hair done on Friday and Sarah took this picture for me today.
Lacey was patient with me and recut my hair twice until I was satisfied.
(shorter! shorter!)
I can easily get ready in 20 min. from the time I hit the shower in the morning.
25 min. if I'm having an off day.
So great.
And I went darker red. I like it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Just thought I'd share the news that I HAVE FINALLY BEEN RELEASED FROM PRIMARY!!

I had never taught in primary before. I had been a secretary in our primary in CA before we moved, but that was the first time in my life I had ever served in there. I guess I should have known I couldn't evade it forever.

The first year here in Utah I was called into Sunbeams and I tell you it was baptism by fire. I don't do small kids so well, and so of course put me in with the 3, 4, and 5 yr. olds. Never in my life have I dealt with a more difficult child than in that first class. She would bust out the door and run down the hall so fast I could hardly catch her, and then when I'd catch her just before she took off out the door she would start screaming, "You're hurting me!! You're hurting me!!" Could I just die? Pretty much. I would frequently go home and cry.

I know 3 yrs. doesn't seem like a long time to those who have spent a lifetime in primary, but for me it has been forever. This last year was the breaker for me. The Sunbeam teachers didn't show up most of the time and so they would just randomly end up in our CTR 5 class. After a couple of months or more of this I finally called to let them know that even though my exceedingly sweet co-teacher said it was fine, it was not fine by me. I needed to be asked beforehand. There were subs the next Sunday.

By the middle of the year I knew I had had enough. It was such a hard year and I felt like my cup was not just empty, but bone dry and beginning to crack. I found myself crying in Sharing Time. Finally I told one of the counselors they were welcome to call me in next year but I wouldn't be coming.
I know. Think what you want. Just know I don't feel guilty one bit.

So guess what? My name showed up on the teacher roll again the this year for the CTR 5's. At first I panicked, but then I remembered that no one could force me to do something I didn't want to do. It was certainly no secret I was done. Later that day I was told they were aware of my feelings and were "working on it."

I thought I had an out because Peter is Sunday School President and had talked about calling me in to teach the 12 yr. olds. When I pressed him he told me it wasn't going to work out because they had told Peter someone"had other plans" for me. So last Saturday we finally had a member of the Bishopric call at 9:30 at night wanting to come over. Was it too late? Should we do it another time? Heck no. Get over here now, I said.

He asked me to be a Cubscout den leader. Do I know anything about doing this? Not really. It has been a while since I even had a son in Cubscouts, but that doesn't matter. I don't care what they are calling me into so long as I'M BEING CALLED OUT OF PRIMARY.

The next day I was sustained in Scouts, but not released from primary. What gives??! So today was the last day. They released me. Officially. When a primary counselor came to thank me for all my work and to tell me how much they would miss having me in there I told her thanks, I wish I could say the same, but really not so much.
Was I supposed to lie?
I am wanting to split up the wolves and the bears so I can do my own thing with the my wolves and that has already generated objection.
All I have to say is if you don't want waves don't call me into your auxiliary.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mentally Unstable Son O' Mine

This morning I went into my bathroom to find that John had left this in the bathtub. Rebecca is not going to be happy because not only is that her pickle jar, but that is her cloth baby doll.
Sarah and I were both very disturbed (wish I had her reaction on video--picture puzzled/confused/grossed out all at once) and could not help thinking about the babies in jars we had seen in museums. Museums is one thing. It just isn't something you want to run into unexpectedly.
Like in your house.
In your bathroom.
With a bottle beside it.

So this got me to thinking that I had better have on record, in case I die, exactly how to make John's breakfast. These directions must be followed with exactness. If at any step you make a mistake you will need to start over again.


Get out 2 packages of Strawberry Oatmeal.
It must be Quaker and it must be Strawberry.
Open them but don't pour them into anything.
If you are out someone will have to make an emergency rush to the store.
Best to stock up while at Walmart. They are cheapest there.

Now get this bowl and fill halfway to the line with water.
Microwave for 1 min.

Do not use this bowl. It does not have a line.

Take out this spoon.

Absolutely NOT this spoon.

Pour milk in a clean plastic cup (not glass) and then place by bowl of hot water, spoon, and opened packages of oatmeal. John will do the rest.
Sometimes this must be repeated more than once during the day.

When our pediatrician suggested John might be obsessive/compulsive we were not necessarily surprised, but it was upsetting nonetheless. When I mentioned this to Amber she looked at me and said, "Ummm...duh."

Hmmm. Guess I may have just overlooked something.

I like to assume John will make it through life just learning to cope with his strange habits, but we do push him to deviate on things.

Just not the oatmeal. Don't mess with the oatmeal.

Travis and Ginny

My cousin Ginny was married January 30th in the Logan Temple and I took wedding photos for the first time. I don't see myself as a wedding photographer in my future.

The temperature was somewhere in the teens and we thought we would surely freeze to death--especially Ginny! Thanks be I remembered to bring gloves because the photographer doesn't get to put their hands in their pockets too often. I saw several other brides who wore cloaks that were very nice, but Ginny wanted none of that! She looked great and Travis was a very cooperative groom. They held a dinner for everyone after the wedding and it was all very nice.

Ginny is the independent type and we all got a little giggle in when the sealer asked Travis to help her up and down from the alter until Ginny finally said, "I got it."

They are going to be living here in Springville now so I'm sure we'll be getting together soon.
Congratulations Travis & Ginny!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Why I love food

Though she had many good qualities, my mom could not cook. If it did not come in a box, can, or some other packaging, we didn't eat it. Yes, even vegetables. There was no produce isle in my mom's world.

The star meal and main staple of our house was macaroni & cheese and applesauce. We joke about it all the time, but in all seriousness, we ate it a lot. Kraft depended on us.

Starfish, Rice-a-Roni, Cambell's. They all loved us, and frankly we loved them back. Jay and I never complained about mac and cheese. We just happily ate it up. I thought my mom was brilliant when she took canned biscuit dough, wrapped it around a hot dog, and called it a pig in a blanket. We ate a lot of those canned biscuits, and I thought they were great. The only problem was both mom and I were scared to open them because the can would pop. So we'd pass the can back and forth peeling it a little each time. When it was sufficiently peeled we'd plug our ears and she would smash it on the floor until it would pop open. Often it took several whacks.

As we reflect on this at least we can now say we consider ourselves well-preserved. My personal favorite was Mom's chicken casserole. Recipe: Layer canned chicken, can of peas, Cream of Chicken soup, mashed potatoes (previously flaked) and then throw cheese on top. I could eat the whole steaming casserole of slop by myself. Dad however, chooses to selectively eliminate the memories of that particular dish.

When Aaron came along Mom was too ill to cook much. No one fed that poor kid breakfast. He was a little gnome forriging through the forest of our kitchen. He lived on cheap yogurts from morning until night. I worried when I went to college that something would happen and Dad would forget to buy yogurts and he would starve. If not for the fact that we had to take him to daycare because mom couldn't care for him during the day, Aaron may have never eaten a decent meal. We were all pretty independent I guess.
Not that this made us unaware that other families ate delicacies unknown to us. Flour tortillas, salad with spaghetti made with real meat, chicken noodle soup from scratch. We tried not to think on this too much. But when we went to my Grandma's house (oddly my mother's mother) Jay and I would eat like we had never seen food before. I'd go through plate after plate and Grandma would say, "I swear kid, you've got a hollow leg!"
I only wished I did. I'd have used it for storage when I had the chance.

It was not an accident that six months after Mom died Dad married Linda, who just by some strange coincidence happens to be a gourmet cook. The only complaint Dad has is that he says she won't cook the same thing twice. When something is especially delectable he wants it again, but Linda has already moved on. They are food experts of sorts and travel all over the world eating an array of exotic and mouth-watering dishes. Dad frequents Farmer's markets and they have an enormous garden. You may remember that no one can eat like my Dad. 24 hours a day and never gains a pound. He eats in the middle of the night after eating all day. His meals are like endless appetizers. You can't blame the man. He has a lot of time to make up for.

One Thanksgiving after I had married and been formally introduced to the buffet of incredible real food out there by Peter's mother, I made stuffing. I was shocked to see my Dad eating it.
I leaned over and quietly reminded him, "Dad, you hate stuffing."
"No," he said, "I don't. I hate the way your Mom made stuffing."
Poor Mom. Poor Stovetop.
What am I saying? Poor Dad!