Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sassy Apron Swap

I maybe have blogged about this before but here we go again, with a little more detail.

Somehow, through craft blog surfing, I found a post about a certain apron swap and for some reason joined in the fun. Why? I don't know, I don't have the time, my sewing machine stays inactive a good portion of the time and I have other crafty obligations that I am currently procrastinating. In any case, I went to the blog that was hosting and signed up.

A couple of days later I got my gal that I would be making an apron for and went to check out her blog to get a sense of who she is and what kind of apron I should make. I was reading one of her posts and she mentioned a pattern or recipe (I can't remember) that was her Grandma B_____. That last name is my Grandma's maiden name, ok, small world, not a common name but she is in the Western US, distant relative probably. I read further about how she and her family went home to Missouri. Hmm, my Grandma's brother lives in Missouri, still a small world. Then through further investigation (blog nosiness) I clicked from here to there and found that this gal who I am making the apron for is the grand-daughter of my Grandma's brother! Out of over 150 swap participants, the organizer not knowing me and me not knowing her, I am linked with a second cousin? And this will maybe give it away if by chance the recipient finds my blog before the package gets to her, the organizer is my Mom's cousin! My Grandma's niece.

What is even more coincidental is my Grandma had been talking a lot about this brother because he had just had a heart attack and was not doing well. Through this weird connection of the apron swap, I contacted Lucy, the organizer, about the relationship and she thoughtfully kept me updated on her father so I could keep my Grandma updated. Unfortunately, her father passed away a couple of weeks ago (about 4 days after this connection was made).

It was great to find this family connection through random circumstances and made this swap a lot more fun. The theme is Spring, so I thought a bright and colorful apron would be great to pull anyone out of the End of Winter Doldrums. And include a soup recipe. And it needs to have a pocket. Here is mine. The bird's name is Skippy-loo.

I just finished an apron for Caroline and need to make 2 more for little girl birthdays that are coming up.

I am also including in the pockets pictures that I borrowed from Grandma and scanned and printed. My grandma is the only girl, with four brothers (one was in the house reading). They called her Mimi. The gal's grandpa is the one right behind Grandma. The little boy in the front is the youngest and they called him Whitey. Their dad (Glynn) would make up stories about the Adventures of Mimi and Whitey. Their mom, Lucile, is who the organizer of the swap is named after.

My Great-Grandpa was a farmer/rancher. They kids would spend time out on the ranch and in the city. My grandma is the little girl on the left, the gal's grandpa is sitting next to her with the hat pulled over his eyes.

And these are the Great Grandparents on their wedding day. Glynn and Lucile. I grew up hearing story after story from Grandma about the adventures that she and her brothers created. So many stories. She has always told us family history, connected the dots, given us all a sense of who we belong to, where we came from.

I hope this gal likes her apron, it is BRIGHT!!! but it was fun to make and even more fun to prepare the whole package. It was fun for my grandma to go through pictures with me and tell me more stories, some repeats, some new.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

100th Day of Kindegarten

No, it isn't Grumpy Old Men, or a visual interpretation of Smokey Robinson's "Tears of a Clown" (I like the Flying Pickets' version better). Today was E's 100th day of K. They were asked to dress up like they are 100 and bring a collection of 100 things. E did not want to dress up - he wanted to be a 100 year old Sonic if he had to be anything. Instead, we put together what he would wear. The cowboy galoshes were his idea.

I drew wrinkles on his face, he was sad, he got to wear shorts (or shants as we call them in our house) in the winter, he was sad, he got to wear his dad's tie, he was sad. He was sad all the way to school, he was sad when we did a parade into sibling's classes, he made me carry him because he was too tired (maybe he is in 100 years old). He did begin to smile eventually.
Then he got his award for being a Gold Medal Member of the 100's club (counting to 100 by 1's, 2's, 5's, 10's, writing 1 to 100 and counting backwards from 100 to 1). Then he got to show his collection, in groupings of ten equaling 100. Don't look to closely, the nine and the ten are both 11 pennies strong - I was a little distracted, Eli would have never made that mistake.
It really was quite fun to see this little pint-sized oldies. Some went all out, some did less. I guess I have to look forward to embracing my inner nerd when I turn 100.

As for creating, I am in a bit of a slump. I so want to be in painting and sewing, so I just need to make it happen. Because really, I need to have it. Between family life and extra-curriculars outside the home and quality time with the husband, there has got to be time. I am going to have to make a sacrifice and spend less time on the computer - which is probably a good idea. That is my goal this next 2 weeks - more productivity in the workroom, less perusing. Wish me luck.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

On the Shelves!

We have put the first set of punchneedle patterns into local stores today! This has been so long in coming, I can't even tell you. Have a look at the inaugural designs and let me know what you think.

First we have the royal one, Prince of Quails. He stands a majestic 5 x 5 inches when completely punched

Then we have the Star Gazer, though he might be more of a court jester. He is 5 3/4 x 7 inches when finished

Belle of the Ball is our little gal who stands 5 x 7 inches when complete.

And finally, our little friend Strut. He is 5 x 5 inches when he graces a room.

Punchneedle embroidery, or needlepunch, is an easy way to embroider. This embroidery technique is worked with a special tool called a punch needle which creates loops on the fabric (very similiar to rug hooking, just on a smaller scale). Amazing textures from the one easily learned stitch used in this punchneedle embroidery method are achieved by incorporating a myriad of different colored threads, yarns and silk ribbons through various sized punchneedles. If you haven't tried this type embroidery, give it a shot, it is really fun and something different.

Each pattern comes with a pre-printed pattern on high quality cloth so you are ready to go, along with a list of materials needed and instructions. And, if you know of any needle arts shop you think would like to carry these guys, let me know. Or if you would like to try one out, leave me your contact info. Thanks. We are so excited about these and I am not above self-promoting on my blog.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It isn't just my children that do it

My days are often filled with the background noise of "Caroline, OW!" followed with Eli then saying, "Caroline wrestle with me again", and then "Caroline OW!" or "E-YI, I'm first!" and then "E-YI, let's race again!", so this video totally makes me laugh. Plus, the little boy has an accent, I want an accent.

I don't think that baby is a baby, just a really small man masquerading as a baby to get free food!

Tomorrow, I will share our adventures in Valentine's Day. My husband tries so hard!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My brains on toast

For pretty much the last 10 months, probably much longer, I have felt like my mind isn't exactly what it used to be. Like scrambled eggs. Chalk it up to 6 years of less than prime sleeping (although, I probably had less all through college and still managed to pull great grades and go go go like the Energizer Bunny) and not being in my 20's any longer.

For Christmas my gal Cori gave me a bunch of cards with verbal challenges. Some of them make my brain completely shut down and I have to "reboot" but I must persevere - can't let my brain go to mush... must push on...

Want to try one? Leave me your comments and I'll post the answer later this week - and if you are right, you get a gold star... sorry, that's all I got.

What two opposites can be spelled by rearranging the letters of UNGOODLY?

I haven't looked at the answer, so I am going to work it out and probably be wrong. I get called a smart a** more than a smart gal these days, so...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

This is....

This is... is a new game I am working on, originating from Angela, she is quite brilliant. This week's theme is This is Sunday Lunch. I'm not very original today. My mom is out of town and so I invited my dad over to have lunch with us. He is having a colonoscopy on Tuesday, so tomorrow it is jello and water for him, may as well stuff him with a hearty meal. I made Beef Stew again, which I had already blogged about here. I have been craving it ever since. But I didn't want to be working on it all day, so I made it last night, a firm believer that beef stew is better the next day. And it was good. Did I mention that I swore off sweets for Lent and it is getting really hard? I should probably eat an apple, but it isn't as fun.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

100th Post, 100 things I am Grateful For

It is my 100th post and I have been thinking a lot of what I am grateful for. For the past while I have been writing these things in a journal I keep in my car and pull out when I am waiting in a line, picking up kids or whatever. This is more for me than anything and in no particular order, I am grateful for:

-a husband who loves me

-a husband who loves his kids


-my birthing body


-snow tires

-Eli's kindergarten teacher

-tried and true friends

-a "new" friend that already feels tried and true



-my brothers

-summer thunderstorms

-the first crocus, daffodil or tulip of the Spring

-creative people

-inspiring words

-educators, all sorts

-really good books

-really good children's books

-really good illustrations

-the color orange

-heated car seats

-open car windows in the spring


-fantastic music, the kind that makes you want to move or feel

-good friends for my children

-dates with Dave

-good babysitters

-couples that we both love to be with


-good Indian food


-skim milk



-my college education

-my college experiences

-trying experiences

-emotional and spiritual growth

-my in-laws - all of them, parents, brothers, sisters

-nieces and nephews

-a home

-our public school system

-good schools in my neighborhood

-the "village" who helps raise my kids, you know who you are

-apple pie

-all sorts of ribbons


-visual inspiration

-peas picked right from the garden

-a healthy garden

-good genes

-modern medicine

-modern technology


-good tv

-people who aren't just like me, thank goodness

-healthy children

-energetic children

-curious children

-a little girl who won't wear anything but dresses

-a little boy who has just learned the funny face he makes is an ace in the hole

-a big brother, that last night was overheard telling Caroline, "I'm your big brother, so I take care of you"

-a brother who can tell when his little sister is processing something in her mind and might need to talk about it

-dear cousins

-a dear aunt

-shopping carts that my two older kids can sit in, together

-really great paper

-really great prints on fabric

-the people who create the great paper and fabric collections

-a washer and dryer

-dinner with my girlfriends

-warm laundry fresh from the dryer

-a warm summer night, with just enough breeze to keep the mosquitos away so we can play outside or just sit with neighbors and laugh at our kids playing

-a passport

-my hands

-good water pressure in the shower

-cooking a good meal

-keeping in touch


-side-splitting laughter


-good kid music

-dancing with my kids

-digital cameras

-inspirational teachers

-my blogging friends

-new connections with old friends

-instant gratification

-not so instant gratification

-clever people

-clever ads

-thought provoking conversations

-thought provoking reading

-sincere people

-good shopping



-a job done well


-considerate people

and I think I just went over 100, that was way too easy and I could go on and on, I am a lucky gal.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Name Game

When our daughter was born, Dave and I could not agree on a name, which is no surprise. With Eli, we couldn't even come up with a name we both agreed on, and didn't have a list at all but an hour before leaving the hospital we both (I) thought Elijah was a great name.

With Caroline, I had liked the name since I was about 5 months along. It was never a name I had ever considered before. I kept it in the back of my mind. I am not a gal who can decide the names of my children before they are born or even conceived, I always just call my babies in utero Baby. Dave was not digging the name at all. But he didn't have any alternatives. Then, while in the hospital, he was pushing a little a couple other names. Both names that I really like. But I still wanted Caroline. No one else wanted it though. We left the hospital with Baby Girl. Finally, after a few days, we named her Caroline. Dave struck a deal - we can name her Caroline, she is not to be called Carol, Care, Carrie, Carolyn and so on AND the next girl is named one of these two names that he had suggested. He thinks he won a battle, but I like both those names and would use them anytime. The bad part? Eli couldn't say his r's or l's. He can now, but Caroline is working on it. At least she can spell it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Taylor Dayne is Back!

I noticed on my iTunes that Taylor Dayne has a new album out. This song, "Tell It To My Heart", comes immediately to mind when you mention her name. Amanda, correct me if I am wrong, but didn't we warm up to this at dance EVERY time when we were in junior high? When I looked it up on YouTube, it pulled up the cover by Kids Incorporated, who I so wanted to be a part of. So here are two flashbacks in one. Try not to have this song or the Kids theme song in you mind all night.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I Voted Today!

I voted! Not today, but an early vote the other day. I loved that they had this option. I really am not in a position to stand in long lines and vote, not with the little kids around. So, if you have a Super Tuesday primary election today GO VOTE!!! Even if you aren't voting for my candidate, you should vote for someone.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Ramblings of some memories

Last night Dave and I met friends at the Bombay House, one of my favorite restaurants. When I walked in, there was something about the smell that reminded me of the time I spent in Israel and more specifically Jerusalem. I went on a study abroad with BYU's Jerusalem Center about 12 years ago. I don't speak about it often, for no particular reason, but have found that it comes up in conversation more and more. When we sat down I remarked that the smells reminded me of Jerusalem and the couple we were with laughed and said they had just said the same thing. Oddly enough, Michelle had gone about 3 years after me and her husband actually over-lapped with my trip. During a month that our group was traveling around (see below) another group comes and stays at the center - my friend Jared, Michelle's husband, was in that group. So of course, I never met him, but a small coincidence.

Anyway, this all took me down memory lane. I have a horrid memory about important things so this was more of a hazy, maybe walk down a lane. I was really homesick while there, not very happy at all, but really got into it in the end. I didn't take my course work overly seriously because none of the credits would transfer to my university (I didn't go to BYU except as a student for the semester) but would really like to retake the courses now, pass/fail of course.

We spent a lot of time in and out of the Old City of Jerusalem, which has an amazing history and diversity to it. I love this photo I took of a Haredi father and his children.

Being there for the semester I was, we were able to travel more extensively and for one month we left the Jerusalem Center and spent time in Jordan, Egypt, working on a kibbutz (Ein Gev is where we stayed while on the Galilee, but I believe that we stayed and worked on a kibbutz down the road). We would spend time doing day trips around this history rich area where Christ spent a lot of his ministry. The picture to the right is of me taken where Christ gave the Sermon on the Mount, or the Beatitudes.

To the left, Pete and me in a boat on the Sea of Galilee.

This picture of a man and his children was taken in Jordan (I am pretty sure). Amazing things to see there.

What I really need to do is find all of my photos, sit down with others and figure out where they are all taken. In the picture below, my friend Angel is on the left (she is who I posted about just previous to this, her son is in the hospital), she and I were locker partners in high school and ended up being roomies in Israel, mostly randomly. She is one of the best people I know. Next to her is Stephanie - she formally introduced me to Dave, better known as my husband, then me, and then Holly, who I see pretty close to never but oddly enough her older sister lives right up the street from me.

***edit 02/07*** I was just at the hospital visiting Angel, Rob and Charlie Cooper -(which is a whole other emotional post that I might get the guts to write ) and Rob started making fun of Ang over this picture of us in Jerusalem 12 years ago. And because Rob is in a position to make fun of his totally hot wife because he is in triathalon condition, I thought it only fair to add this pic of Ang taken today, at Charlie's bedside, 10 days without sleep. Um, Rob, seriously, how did you luck out? Not only is she beautiful but one of the nicest, most sincere, caring, smart people I know. It is good to be able to laugh with them when all I did was cry on my way to and from the hospital!***

The moral of the story for me - which wasn't learned early enough- is don't let great adventures and opportunities pass you by. I wish I could do it all over again and put in some effort. I would also like to take similiar class now, except from Rabbi Rosen, he was a pompous .....

Of course this will have to be when I learn to manage my time better, so I am not holding my breath.

Have any of you read "Exodus" by Leon Uris? An amazing book with almost all of its contents taking place in Israel and the cities and areas we lived in and visited. I would highly recommend it.

Back to the Bombay House. I would say most, if not all of the people who work there are from India. And most wear turbans or another form of a head dress because of their religion, they are Sikhs. Our water boy was telling us why his was wrapped a certain way and a few other things about his religion. I really need to learn more, so maybe I will study it, but I will tell you that he was carrying a dagger, for religious purposes, but wasn't allowed to show us.

Charlie Cooper

I know this has been seen by a lot of you in other blogs but the more the merrier. My friends, Angel and Rob, have been up at the hospital for over a week now with their 9 month old son Charlie who has Pneumoccocal Meningitis. Please keep him in your prayers, he is hanging in there but could use the help,