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Thursday, December 26, 2013

A quick trip to Utah

Ken flew down to Utah on December 16 to be with his Dad during the final hours of his earthly life. Keith passed away only three hours after Ken got there, in the early morning of December 17.  The kids and I went down to Utah, along with my Dad, who we will call 'our professional driver' for the remainder of this post.  The drive was more eventful than one hopes. We had iffy weather and roads over the blues, a flat tire in Baker City, Oregon and snow floor between Mountain Home and Burley. Dad and I were thankful for every mile of good roads we had because we were expecting the roads to be nasty from Burley to Ogden, but there didn't get bad until Bountiful.

In case you have never made this drive, I have some pictures for you, so you'll be able to identify which state you are driving in.

Oregon: You have to drive slow or you'll get a ticket...again.

Utah: temples and tailgaters.

Tailgaters
Idaho: Two trucks going the same speed in both lanes for miles and miles and miles.



Now you'll be able to recognize your surroundings.

We got home from Utah on the 23rd, and we were all really glad to be home in our own surroundings. Be it ever humble, there is no place like home.

Obligatory Christmas Post.

I didn't take one picture of the Christmas festivities this year. On purpose.  Sometimes I am so busy documenting the fun that it's not fun for me at all. I didn't want it to be that way. The day was low key and super fun. Here is a list of some of the things we did and got.

*We watched Elf, The Polar Express, Swan Princess Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and (after Anna went to bed) White House Down.
* 4 pairs of boots, 2 puzzles, over a dozen Sharpees, Oster 76 classic clippers, and a couple lumps of coal were among the gifts received yesterday.
*We ate grazed all the day long. There were several boxes of cereal, a lot of soda, a giant Stouffer's Mac & Cheese (My girls' favorite), bagels, cheese and crackers, and more to eat. It was a sugary carb fest.
*Only one child told me what they wanted for Christmas next year.
*Three gifts were purchased in the wrong size. Two are already exchanged, the other is being returned. The label is printed and ready to be taken to UPS.
*In less than 24 hours, all signs of Christmas will be taken down, boxed up, and put back in the garage, but the spirit of the season will hopefully continue to stay with me through out the rest of the year and all of next, until it is time to decorate again.

I hope your day was great and as stress-free as ours was.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Nativity "scene"

I had my girls set up the nativity scene the other night. This is what I saw when they had either declared it perfect or abandoned the job for pumpkin pie.



Here's a closer view of some particularly special areas of the crime scene.




I don't know how to explain this.
I told Nicole to please fix it and now 
they are all congregating in a circle and the animals are standing watch.



Help.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

a few finishes

I joined two quilt classes/bees this year and I fell behind over the summer. I've spent the last 3 days catching up. The first 6 blocks are for the quilting class I'm taking at church. The last three are for the Virtual Quilting Bee, being sponsored by the Diary of a Quilter. I need to make 6 more blocks for the latter, but I'm all caught up on the church class.

I will now go and make Thanksgiving Dinner/Lunch. Have a great weekend! Wait until tomorrow to shop. Everyone should be with their family today. Even after 4 pm.




I don't like this one. I'm going to redo it.






Tuesday, November 26, 2013

21 Years In The Making

Once upon a time there were two sisters, Gina and Dedra. When they were 7 and 15 years old, they were in their room talking about the wedding reception they had just been a part of for their oldest sister, Wendi. While talking about the things they wanted for their own weddings, Gina admitted a fear she had had for a couple of years. She told Dedra was didn't think their Mom, Charlet, would be alive when she got married. Dedra thought this was an unnecessary fear, but instead of saying that, the girls formed a plan that evening. They decided if their mom wasn't there for Gina, Dedra would be there in her proxy. In the same conversation, Dedra said if their mom wasn't there for her, she would ask Wendi to stand in place for their Mom.

It was only 4 short years later, when Dedra got married. The night before her wedding, while the girls were talking in their room, for the last time, they continued the conversation for the 100th time about how Gina's wedding would be. Dedra assured Gina their Mom would be there and Gina assured Dedra, that she wouldn't be. That night, the girls planned a slumber party the night before Gina's wedding, and a trip to Red Robin. Gina also told Dedra, since their Mom made the three older girls' wedding dresses, Dedra would have to make hers.

In 2006, when Charlet got breast cancer the first time, it was the first time Dedra believed their Mom might not be around when Gina got married. The girls continued their plans: Sparkly earrings, eat peanut m&ms on the way to the temple, eat chocolate and caramel inside the temple, Dedra would do Gina's hair.

Charlet went into remission, but cancer beat her in 2010 and Gina was unmarried. Her worry as a young child, was actually a loving Heavenly Father, preparing a sweet girl to be okay on her wedding day, with out having her Mom physically present.

***

Gina and I have had dozens of conversations about her wedding. We talked about her dress, the pattern, how we'd do her hair, where we would eat the night before the wedding, the music we would listen to while she got ready. We discussed who would be present in the bride's room, what temple she'd get married in, what her colors would be, and so on. While some ideas came and went, there were a few that remained the same, even from the time she was 7 years old.

***

November 15 Gina called me. She asked me what I was doing the next Friday, November 22. I told her I didn't have any plans and she told me she wanted me in Utah with Dad. She and her fiance had decided to move their wedding up and they already had to temple booked. I, of course, told her I'd be there. There was one stipulation. She and Joe were keeping the wedding a secret and I wasn't to tell anyone. Done.

Dad and I drove to Utah on Tuesday, the 19th. I tailored the front of her dress the morning after we go there, we got her sparkly earrings from the mall and tank top to wear under her dress. We got our toes did, and they are painted the same color nail polish that our mom wore. I tried on her wedding ring before she got to. This was karma. She wore my wedding ring before I did, too. I added the sleeves to her dress on Thursday night and made scarves to match the ties Joe and the Dad's wore. When we were so tired we couldn't stay away, Gina, Dad and I went to Red Robin and ate too much food. 

The day of Gina's wedding, we ate tamales and diet Pepsi for breakfast, we did Gina's hair, packed her bag for the temple and met Joe there.

We ate peanut m&ms on the way to the temple and a twix inside. I helped her get dressed and bossed her best as I could.

The ceremony was small and private. There were 7 in attendance including Gina, Joe, and the officiator. Every person who we came in contact with told Gina and Joe how great it was that their group was small. "Sacred things are private," the Sealer said.

Before Joe and Gina were married, while they were receiving instruction, I looked over to where she and Joe were sitting. There was an empty chair right next to Gina, and as I watched her, I could see in my minds' eye, our Mom sitting in that chair. I didn't see her physically, but her outline was as clear as day in my mind. I may have been the sister Gina chose to be there in person, but I know our Mom  was there.

Gina and Joe were married by 2:30 that afternoon in the Draper Temple. I was blessed and honored to be in attendance. I love that Gina and I made a plan that we were able to stick to. There are 19 pictures below for your viewing pleasure. 

Some of our siblings are not happy about the secretiveness of this event and I don't blame them. I'd be sad if I wasn't invited too. I also know, it would not take me a long time to heal from the initial hurt, so I could then choose to not be offended about the way Gina and Joe chose to start their eternity.


The car is loaded!

Dad, waiting for us at Claire's


We put lace over her tank top so it would match her dress.


Gina's sleeve and tank top before the sleeves are attached to her dress.


Making Gina look pretty.





video
A video to watch.
Please note they are wearing black shoes. 
They didn't plan this, but they loved that is turned out that way. 
I do too.


Me and my friend Trishelle. Her husband took pictures of Gina and Joe.




The 6 of us at lunch after the wedding.

The real reason Gina wanted me at her wedding. Because she is controlling and bossy.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Boatload of Finishes

Another 'piece of paper'. I love this one better than the last. I'm still trying to decide what to'write' on it.


Four beanbags for a hopscotch board


Anna's homemade present for Christmas.

Nicole's 'test dress'. She asked me to make her a dress out of satiny fabric and I wasn't sure of her size, so I made a test dress out of the pattern to make sure it fit her well.

I was pretty sure Anna would want a test dress too, even though she is way easier to sew for. I'll make her a satiny dress also...but a different color than Nicole's

Both girls together. Their dresses are made of the same fabrics, but I don't think they're matchy matchy.
This post is being linked up to CMQ's Finish it up Friday. I haven't linked up in about seven months. It's nice to be sewing again. I really did start and finish all of these this week too.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Paper to Draw on

About seven years ago I made a quilt for Gina. On every block there was at least one five-point star. On the quilt I made two blocks that looked like sheets of blank paper. I wrote across the top "Dear Journal" with a star because she was and is a big journal-er. (I couldn't get it to upload to this here postdango.)

Fast forward to today. I wanted to sew something that I could start and finish today. I decided I wanted to make a mini quilt that looks like a blank sheet of paper. 

After I finished the sheet of paper, I decided it needed more (and not because the quilt job looks TER-RIB-LE.) What better to do with a blank sheet of paper, than color and doodle on it? That's what I did. I bought some variegated thread and tried every single free motion quilting style I could think of. I also write a few things and drew a few pictures.


This is my finished sheet of paper. It's to scale. a regular sheet is 8.5 by 11.  This is 25.5 by 33










 I LOVE this little quilt A LOT. 
I'm going to hang it up and I'm going to use giant push pins. 
It just seems fitting.

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