Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Tender Mercy

A week ago, Friday, we started our annual trip to Ensign Ranch at the Seattle Temple. I always love attending the temple, but this particular trip was extra awesome. I was able to attend with three of my siblings--Adam, Gina and Kyle--and Adam's wife, Casandra. What topped the awesomeness off was my Dad officiated the session we attended. I was seriously crying tears of joy before we left our house that morning and they didn't stop completely until we left the temple grounds. It was so special.

We attended the 10 am session. We'd been in there for about 45 minutes when I realized something. I was going to be the only person in my family who wouldn't be participating in the prayer at the end of the session.  I started scanning the room. Everyone else in the room was a stranger I didn't recognize and believe it or not, I'm not brave or confident enough to just go up there to the circle and wait for a partner. I just don't have it in me.

I started praying. I told Heavenly Father I'd really like to participate in the prayer if it be His will. The session continued and I prayed the rest of the time. When it was time for the prayer, Adam and Casandra as well as Gina and Kyle went up to participate and I watched the group grow. When it appeared the company was complete and I was still seated, I felt a little sad. Gina was motioning me to come up and join, but I just shook my head. Then a brother stood and went to join the company. I immediately followed suit. I was able to tell him he had been an answer to my prayers, because I had 5 family member in the group.

When the session was over and Casandra, Adam, Gina and I were all squished on a couch, waiting for our Dad, that brother came and spoke to me. He told me he had the impression he'd be participating in the prayer three different times that morning, including right before he stood up to join. He said the first thought came to him before he had even made it to the men's room.

He then told me, "Heavenly Father is mindful of you."

He was right! Heavenly Father is mindful of me. He was preparing to answer my prayer before I even knew I had a request.

It certainly was one of His tender mercies, meant specifically for me. I am still grateful.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Finish it up Friday

See these little one inch beauties?  I made them into a quilt...with a lot of boarder. The most common response to this quilt when I showed it to my family was, 'it's white' and 'i don't get it'. My family is full of nerds.

 The binding is a collection of many scraps I had. No segment is more than 20 inches long.
 This is the first quilt I've named, that's not called 'the ugly quilt.' It's the black sheep. Can you guess why?
It measures 60 x 72 inches. Perfect for a twin size blanket or a lap quilt.

Linking up with cmp finish it up friday.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Finish it up Friday and some other junk too.

By the time you are reading this, I will be on the road to the Seattle Temple and then off to Ensign Ranch for a 4 day reunion of AWESOMENESS!!! Be jealous.

I have one finish for the week. I'm pretty excited about it because I drew the pattern myself and I've never seen a quilt like it.

 I was at my friends house the other day and this pillow caught my attention. I quickly fell into stalker mode and took a picture of it.
Here is my version of it. It's 64 inches square. I was going to make it bigger, but I ran out of the white--tone on tone polka dot fabric I was using. I love it
 I didn't have anything good enough to put on the back, so I pieced it.
Stay tuned for next week. These are some of the 1" quilt blocks and you will see awesomeness in the form of a twin size quilt. It's already done, I just need to quilt it. I will be doing that this weekend at the ranch!
Have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by.

Thank you Kate, for linking me up to cmq's finish it up friday since I am out of town.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

rearranging work spaces

This week my friend, Carie, gave me a desk with a hutch on it. I immediately started cleaning out my sewing mess. It was completely out of control, so I'd been sorting through it for a few days already. 

Before the new desk. It's messy right? I'm embarrassed to tell you it looks really good compared to what it typically is. 

After the rearranging. You'll notice my WIP (Works in Progress) wall had to be taken down, but have no fear. I've moved it and it's now bigger.  

This is the wall where my sewing cupboards where. I am using a king sized flannel sheet this time. I love that I have more space and I also love that the blocks stick right to the sheet without having to be pinned.

Anna likes it too.  She was designing quilt blocks today.

The two blocks on the left where rearranged. The blocks on the right, I had already sewn together.

I did my best to keep the blocks looking the way she put them on the wall. I did make a couple of small  changed, so they would be able to squared up without losing her design.

These are all her blocks so far. It's going to be an awesome quilt. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Awkward and Awesome


  • My sleep schedule. I have never recovered from working graveyard shifts. I sleep from 1:30 to 4:30 in the morning and from 9 to 11:45 in the morning. Although that is less than 6 hours in every 24, I feel like I've wasted my day, quite often. The other night I took a sleeping pill at 8 with the intention of sleeping through the night and then staying up all day--an attempt to get back on schedule. I fought extreme tired for 4 hours before giving in to a nap, after the sleeping pill only made me feel paralyzed  but did not help me sleep. more lame than awkward.
  • Ken sitting up at 3 in the morning and getting dressed to go on a removal. He was asleep. There was no removal.
  • I was just looking for a picture of awkwardness, because I download them at random times, and I came across about 40 photos on our hard drive of people I don't know. Ken made a tribute video for a family at work and didn't use a flash drive. I'll be deleting those in a few minutes.
  • I still haven't figured out how to make a fabric bowl. However, they are less like sombreros and more like garden hats now. {Thanks April for the sombrero song. I had forgotten that one!}


  • Some of the children in jr. primary have learned to snap. They are their own percussion during singing time.
  • I made tortilla pizza twice this week. It's regular pizza with a tortilla for crust. I put spinach, artichokes, tomatoes and mushroom on it. I loved it, both times.
  • I had my bi-annual interview last night to have my temple recommend renewed. It had expired. I don't like it when that happens.
  • Although I have not done well on making my bed, I have not missed scripture study this year.
  • Matthew and I finally made it to Les Schwab to get the tire on my van fixed. It was under warranty. I like it when that happens.
  • Ensign Ranch is in 8 days.
  • Matthew and I are reading President Monson's biography right now [as part of his home school curriculum. we mix church and state.] I highly recommend it.[mixing church and state and reading that book.
  • I have a friend on the East Coast. {That's not the awesome part.} When I'm up at 4:30 and 5 in the morning, and want to talk to a friend, I can call her. She's up already. If she can't sleep at 10 or 11 or midnight her time, she can call me. I'm still up. It's awesome. That's the only thing awesome about her living over there.
  • This picture of Nicole, taken right before first grade. I just found it and it sure makes my heart smile.

Awkward and Awesome:

I am going to be taking a quilt class this year. It's one night a month, and we will be making 12 blocks. My first class is on the 24th. (My dad's birthday.) I have been studying the pattern and the supply list. I'm so excited and nervous that I'll be lame, that I made the first block last night as a trial run. I'm glad I did it though, because I'm going to tweak my supply list so I'll like my block better. That is the beauty of creating. Everybody can make theirs how they want to. I love it.

I made the block on the bottom right hand corner.

11 Years Later...

Robert would have been 11 years old today. 
Time eases pain, but it certainly doesn't heal completely.

He had my crooked pinkies and he looked like a blonde Matthew.
He was beautiful.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Warning! You may feel dumber after reading this post...

Yesterday my friend posted about the warning on her jar of peanuts which was 'this jar may contain peanuts.' duh. She has given me the push I needed to post my list of warnings I have been collecting.  So here goes.

WARNING: This toy is suitable for all ages, but it is also a toy, and thus kind of a weird thing to buy a grown woman. Your best case scenario is that she adds this to an existing teddy bear collection, in which case you are dating someone with an existing teddy bear collection.

  • A little over a week ago, Ken and I bought a space heater for our bedroom. The warning on that giant thing was do not use in bed. Scoot over Ken! We're putting this thing right in bed us. Who would do that?  Obviously, somebody would. They would also complain to the company about it. That is why there is a label on there.  
  • On the Washable, no run, Elmer's School Glue there is a caution: Do not dry clean.  Here's a bonus one from Dedra: Don't fix anything you have to dry clean with Elmer's glue!
  • There was a side note attached to the globe I received for Christmas. Not intended for use in an educational setting.
  • On my curling iron: for external use only. ummm... 
  • On my hair dryer: Do not use in the shower. Do not use while sleeping.
  • One a box of Midol PMS: Do not use if you have prostate problem. [If you have PMS and a prostate, you have bigger problems to deal with, than what drugs you are taking for your cramps.]
  • On a digital thermometer:Do not use orally after using rectally.
  • On a shower cap: Fits one head.
  • On a TV remote control: Not dishwasher safe.
So, there you have it.  Those are labels I've seen lately. I know there are more and I may do another post about this subject at a later date.

I'm sure you've seen this picture before, but just in case you haven't...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Good Idea, Bad Idea

Good Idea: Nativity Scenes featuring people and animals in a stable setting.
Bad Idea: Nativity Scenes featuring only penguins. Although some may think said scene is rich in religious symbolism, I'm judging on the side of blasphemy.

Good Idea: Going to the movies.
Bad Idea: Going at midnight. It was late at the beginning of the movie!

Good Idea: Drinking a nice, refreshing, diet Pepsi.  delish!
Good Idea: Spinach Artichoke dip with pita chips. also delish!
Bad Idea: Drinking a nice, refreshing, diet Pepsi while eating Spinach Artichoke dip with pita chips. The vinegar and soda mixed do not taste refreshing or delicious.

Dear Rhonda, 

It is probably similar to eating pickles with egg nog. bleh.

Good Idea: Doing a crossword puzzle in the newspaper.
Bad Idea: Doing the New York Times crossword puzzle.  I am not so good at them.  Thank you Ken for buying me a year supply of them. I feel really smrt.

Good Idea: Setting New Years resolutions.
Bad Ideas: Telling you people.

As of January 7, 2013, I have only made my bed two times.  My average for the month is really good so far. It could be worse, but it will get better.

As for the rest of my goals:

  • Using capital letters on this blog is going well.
  • I am still looking for the right place to donate quilts.
  • I tried something new today and made 3 major fails and 1 success. I was trying to make fabric cord bowls and ended up with sombreros. Luckily for Gina, I have a 3 pack of sombreros for her.
Two of my three 'bowls' that didn't work out so well, and the bottom thing is a trivet. It will hold a hot pan or dish to protect my counters and dinner table. The trivet worked out.

Do you see how the bottom one looks like a bowl and the top one looks like a gardener's hat? I'm still trying to figure out how to make mine a bowl.

  • I haven't chosen my 5ks yet, but I will be doing 2 of them.
Okay, that's it! 
Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Memory Monday

I have been picking up a bunch of girls and one boy from seminary the last few days. Every time I pull into the parking lot at the end of the meeting, I can't help but remember my years in seminary.

I loved seminary. So much. I hardly ever missed. I loved it so much, my mom would threaten to not let me go if I didn't get certain chores done. You can judge her for that if you choose, but it worked. I always got those chores done.

Here are some things that have not changed:

  • People dressed in all typed of attire exit the church after seminary...pajamas, sweats, jeans and t-shirts, and more.
  • Kids park their cars where ever they want. It's like they pull in, think that's good enough and put the car in park. {I noticed this more at the beginning of the school year, but there are still a couple who drive to the beat of their own drum. Or park, rather.}
  • There is a meeting after the meeting. Kids standing around talking in the parking lot before they go to their separate schools. When I was a kid, our seminary classes departed to two different high schools as well.
  • You can see the love of the gospel in the eyes of the youth leaving the church and heading to school.
Here are some memories from my years in seminary:
  • When I was in Silverdale 3rd ward, for all of two weeks of seminary, we carpooled from the church to the school. My parents drove one of those weeks and my mom and dad brought us hot pizza to eat in the car on our way to school.
  • When the parking lot at the Nels Nelson building was icy, we would drive fast and slam on our breaks to see if the car would spin out.  Those driving standards had better luck.
  • I could fit 9 people in my Dad's Buick, a 5 passenger car.
  • I could hit 85 mph, before I passed the Strong's home at the top of Nels Nelson, leaving me just enough time to slow down before coming to the 4 way stop.
  • My seminary teacher my junior year raised sheep.  She would come to seminary late sometimes because ewes were birthing through the night. They named all their female lambs names that had ewe in it. ewenicorn, ewe light up my life, etc.
  • That same year, we all met at her home for the last seminary before Christmas and she and her husband made us breakfast. Those of us who didn't drive, all piled into her big truck and got a ride to school.
  • I was not a kind student to my teacher my sophomore year. Partly because we had a personality conflict, mostly because I was a brat. It's too bad I have no idea where to find her. I would apologize.
  • My senior year, we met at my teacher's house. I sat in front of the piano, on the floor, every day.
  • I was so good at scripture mastery my sophomore year, on the night of scripture chase, I used a brand new Book of Mormon and had 100% accuracy.
  • I didn't know one scripture mastery scripture my Senior year.  That's another thing I'd do over.
I went all 4 years with mostly the same group of friends. There were some falling outs along the way, but for the most part, I loved every minute of it. I'm happy to see Nicole having that same kind of experience so far.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Good Mail

I received a package of awesomeness in the mail last week, one that deserves it's own special post.  Here is most of the loot I was gifted.

giant post it notes! 8 inches by 6 inches
see my can opener as an example.
13 fat quarters! [I'm never going to get my stash below 400 yards...]
A book of insults. 
There's a test below. 
See if you can figure them out.
***edited to add...forget the test. I didn't notice the bad words.  

more fabric scraps.
Obligatory cat fabric which we include in every package we send each other. [Not this specific fabric, but something not cute--with cats on it.]
Homemade cinnamon hardtack candy.
A bowl she made. 
I'm using it to store pins when I'm not sewing, and as a thread catcher when I am sewing.

Kate also sent a little present for each of the kids. 
Matthew refers to her town as Butt-ler. 
We ate the Swedish chocolate in about 5 seconds.

Thank Kate! I love love loved it! 
I'm going to make you something special ed very soon.

Good Morning!

Church starts at 9 am this year!! I'm so happy about this. I just thought I'd share.

Farewell to:

•Sleeping in far too late.
•Finding a reason every week to skip the late starting meeting.
•Talking myself out of said reason listed previously.
•Hours of unnecessary frustration with my children, who are just biding their time until church too.

Welcome to:

•Sunday afternoon naps.
•Leisurely family time after church.
•The possibility of extended family time after the block.

I'm so excited! Enjoy the Holy Sabbath! I'm certainly going to.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

This and That From This Week (or That one...)

Yesterday I got a flat tire while I was driving 5 ladies from Seminary to school.  I didn't know it was a flat tire at first, because the tire didn't actually go flat. I ran over a really thick wire and it started out as a small knocking sound. By the time I was less than a mile to the high school, I was expecting all the idiot lights on my dash to start shouting at me and smoke or something larger to shoot out from underneath my hood...like a motor or something.  But alas, no idiot lights responded, so I prayed as I drove the last 1/2 mile to the *escuela. [That means school, in Spanish.] As I moved into the turn lane to pull into the school, a light on the dashboard finally lit up. It looked like this:
I pulled into the first parking space at the high school and had the ladies walk across the parking lot to the school and then I called Ken to come and get me. [Remember, at this point, I still didn't know it was a flat tire. I thought it was much much worse.]  While I waited for Ken, I googled the idiot light and I found out it meant 'low tire pressure.' Impossible, I thought. There is not way all that sound came from a low tire. [I also thought it was cool I have an idiot light for a low tire.] 

Because I know nothing about cars, I didn't not get out and investigate under the hood and I was pretty sure the light indicator was incorrect, so I didn't inspect my tires either. When Ken showed up, I got out of the van and as I was getting into his car, I noticed something was hanging down from the top of the wheel well on the driver front side of the van. I walked over to see what it was and that is when I noticed the huge wire, which was actually an industrial size tent stake, jammed into my tire. Phew! Nothing under the hood is going to shoot into the sky and spontaneously combust. [I was worried about that too.]  

It also turns out that idiot lights are called idiot lights for a reason. I should have believed it and not spent the 20 minutes it took Ken to pick me, thinking about worse possible scenarios for my current situation.  

When Ken got off work last night, we went back to the school to change the tire. Matthew and Ken worked on that thing for an hour. Time was spent trying to get the spare out from underneath the van, loosening of lug nuts, jacking up, and taking lug nuts off [the lug nuts/jacking part was about 5 minutes] and then we could not get the tire off. It was stuck. So stuck, in fact, that Ken called his friend, Ray, to come help him change our tire. Ray brought his son, Kegan, with him. 

So now we have 4 dudes who can't get the tire off. [How many dudes does it take to change a tire...]  I finally call my brother Adam and he instructs them to kick the crap out of the tire, close to the rim, to loosen it. Much kicking commenced. [I really should have videotaped the ordeal.] 

The tire came off, the spare was put on, lug nuts back on, van lowered, lug nuts tightened, and viola! The 20 minute tire change took over an hour and a half, 4 guys there-physically working on the tire, and a call to a 5th.  We are smrt.  

*you're welcome for your daily Spanish lesson. It was brought to you by tacos and a pinata.
ps. this story kind of reminds me of the ordeal to fix the poopy phone.


Other things that happened this week include:
  • We had good friends from Vancouver, WA  and my Dad come over for New Years Eve. 
  • At midnight we had a grinder siren which we sounded repeatedly. It totally made me miss tornado sirens in Larned. I loved them!
  • Our neighbor was playing her bagpipes at midnight as well.  People on our street really know how to party.
  • Ken and I went to Les Miserables and dinner with my Dad and some of our friends on Monday.
  • The kids went back to school on Wednesday.
  • I drove Nicole and the other kids from Seminary to the high school 3 days this week. I was glad to be able to drive because my friend, Viviane has been driving the whole school year.
  • We didn't build a fire in our wood stove all day last Sunday and on Monday morning when we woke up, our house was 61 degrees.  That is too cold for comfort.
  • I received a package in the mail from my friend, Kate, who lives in Butler, PA. I will be dedicating a whole post to that package because it is so awesome!
  • My sewing table is almost completely cleaned off. If you've ever been to my house, you know what an accomplishment that is!
  • Lastly, I have made dinner every day this year. Yes. I am that good.

This is my last piece of news for this post:

Ensign Ranch is in 13 days!!!
For more information on Ensign Ranch, click here.

Dear, Dad, Ryan, Adam, Gina and Kyle,

Get your  bags packed! We'll see you in less than two weeks!

Love, Dedra

Friday, January 4, 2013

Finish it up Friday

Here it is, my first finish of 2013: another fat quarter quilt.

It's 25 fat quarters, 1 sheet plus extra fabric for the top and bottom and a lot of yellow thread on top, multi colors of thread on the underside. I was emptying bobbins so I would be able to fill them all with one color for my next project. I was unsure when I started, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  I had to change out some fabrics from my original pull. All of this came from my stash. I didn't have to buy any new fabric. I love that.

**this post linked up with cmq's finish it up friday

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