Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Happy chaos stamp/star quilt

Okay, so I actually have one more quilt to share this year.
And yes, it's almost more of a placemat. :) But it took so. much. work! So we're splitting the difference and calling it a baby quilt. A happy chaos stamp baby quilt. With some star bursts in there too, just for fun.
My idea started when I found those wonderfully colorful houses this summer on my annual Utah fabric hunt. I was pretty sure I had a bunch of colorful scraps I could use (and use up!) to surround them somehow. Sure enough, collection was pretty easy once I started digging through my scrap piles back home. It was the looooong process of sewing together each 2.5 square I wasn't anticipating. Took forever. Like, maybe 20 hours, over the course of many weeks, maybe more? I don't like to think about it. :) It's over now, all's forgotten, thank heavens.
I had an additional quilt holder helper the morning of this shoot. Pretty sure he was camouflaged in all that color, but he was there. And here's the back, a bit of a (still colorful) sigh of relief, no?
Although it isn't quite big enough to fit around both bodies (hence the placemat imagery), Annie managed to snuggle in for a few minutes before it was sent off to its new owner (my VT partner who was pleased that it almost exactly fits into a pack-n-play. Thinks I did it that way on purpose, ha!).
 A few details here for me to remember: I know the houses get a little lost in the smattering, but up close they are still soooo delicious. And I'm slowly but surely using my little mer-made tags from AC and her mama. Love you gal.
So there you have it! One more quilt for the books. My next quilt will be full of very LARGE quilt blocks.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving in Gville

We just got home from a fantastic few days in our old stomping grounds.
Lions and tigers and gators, oh my!
We have fantastic friends who host us and feed us and entertain all our wild requests and in return, I try not to bug by taking too many pictures. Plus, sometimes it's nice to just be in the moment, you know?
One afternoon, though, we went over to our old student housing and walked like we used to past the student gardens to see the alligators at lake Alice. Perfect camera time. 
Soren insisted on bringing his "inja tuhtle" along.

Oh, the moss. I can't say I've missed the moss, but it does make quite a statement, doesn't it? 
Here's our "group." I'm so sneaky.
And here's Mr. Alligator. Too close, wasn't I? 
Yeah, decision-making lapse there, sorry readers-who-are-also-gramas. Thank goodness we're still around to tell the tale.
Bigger kids, but still enjoying each other's company. As parents, we couldn't ask for better.
Okay, maybe this is better.
We walked a little more around the lake, enjoying the weather, remembering fun (and nervous) moments with our neighborhood gators, then said goodbye to that special place for another couple of whiles.
Well, okay, one more moss shot. It's the sun flare's fault.
We so enjoyed our time in Gville. Thanks to all who made our visit delightful! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Fall (and by fall I mean all year) quilting

One more quilt done this year! I think that makes two total. :)
The Gingko Tree is about to drop all its leaves, so I made the troops go out there today and take pictures.
My how I love this tree!
Oh yeah, back to the quilt! My friend helped me pick out fabrics for this LAST THANKSGIVING. 
I finally figured out what design I wanted sometime in February I think. 
I got it all sewn up and ready to start quilting in time for April conference. 
Little by little (by little by little) I hand-stitched more and more triangles until our long drive to NJ/NY in June, when I believe I finished it up around hour 11 (and wondered what I would do the whole way home!). 
Got home, went to Utah for the summer, hemmed and hawed about the binding, decided on white for a pattern of sorts (still not sure about it, but thankfully I don't care anymore--it's done and that's most important!), sewed the back binding on just in time for October Conference, when I hand sewed it to the front (and stayed awake! double win!) and voila! 
Done done done. And done.
I was all set to keep this one. We have even, kept it in our house this last month+. But then one of Brandon's favorite colleagues/students got married and we couldn't travel to the wedding but will be seeing them later this week and so, yeah, gonna give it to them. Sorry Mom, I know you wish I'd keep one at some point!
Here's a little bit of the hand sewing detail:
Big shouts out to my helpers, who stood on tippy toes and were good sports during the photo shoot.
Annie just wanted to "snuggle in it one more time."
So yeah, not keeping the quilt. Keeping the tree though!
 (Cheater picture from last week when some of the leaves were still green)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Popsy's Phone Pics

You might have been wondering where Zane has been during all this autumn picture taking. The words "divide and conquer" come to mind. There is usually more than one destination on the calendar during the weekend and more often than not, B and Z stick together. One activity they have been involved in multiple times now is the renting of chair backs at Clemson Football games (with proceeds going to the middle school band wherein Z acts as percussion section leader these days). At first glance, this seems like an awesome deal--work the pre-game, get into the game for free! However, then one remembers how loooooong football games are and that part of the chair back rentals gig is retrieving said chair backs after everyone has left. Add all that to the couple of hours early they have to be at the stadium (make that three!), and basically they are away from home 11-12 hours. Phew! At least the Tigers won the first game the boys worked, as evidenced by the happy phone pics below (not quite the same outcome this last Saturday):
 (Homemade lanyard for the "employee" badge--Z remembered a real one for the next one)
Anyway, if Zane's not at swim practice, he and Brandon are probably out having fun together. 

And now that I've said that, one night last week I had the privilege of taking Zane to the CU percussion ensemble concert (which totally rocked!) while the other kids got to join their Pops for an evening of basketball. And popcorn. Emphasis on the popcorn.
I used to have to request pictures but now B just knows. Soren's poses must be documented.

Yesterday in church, the bishop's teenage daughter was giving a talk on family councils. She said, "No families are perfect, at least I know MINE isn't," which garnered a chuckle from the crowd. Soren, on my lap and apparently listening along while he ate his snack of raisins and cheerios, replied "Mine is," just loud enough for me to hear it and make my day.  Perhaps he's not ALL turkey pants.

One more Soren quote. We were at the Publix deli counter today and I was trying to have him try some cheese. "Pleh, Blech, YUCK!" he said after attempting some provolone. 
"So you're saying you're not a big cheese guy?" I asked.
"No, I a SMALL cheese guy...........actually, I a dessert guy!"
CheeseCAKE, maybe. A fellow after my own heart.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

"Make a pile and jump right in, jump right in, jump right in...."

At preschool we've been singing all kinds of autumn songs. One favorite (to the tune of "London Bridge") is "All the leaves are falling down." Falling down, falling down, you get the picture. Second verse: take a rake and rake them up, etc, (last line, of course: it is autumn!). But the third verse is the one with all the REAL action. Or the make-believe action on the preschool rug. "Make a pile and JUMP right in, JUMP right in, JUMP right in (you get it--JUMP on the JUMP)."
I didn't realize how big of an impact this song was having on my little buddy until today when we were for reals raking [billions and billions of] leaves and he said, "Can we make a pile and JUMP (while JUMPING) right in?" 
Well of course we can! So I gathered a small bit of the mass into a pile ("Whoa, that's a leaf mountain!" he said), and we began our song. "All the leaves are falling down.......take your rake and rake them up.....it is autumn!"
Then, "make a pile and JUMP right in! JUMP right in! JUMP right in! Make a pile and JUMP right in!"
 It is Autumn!
 I love it when I can come through for this kid on the "fun parent" scale. Sure, I do it mainly for the pictures. But he doesn't need to know that.
 Do you know, this week I was sneaking outside for a minute so I said to him, 
"Soren, I'm going outside for a minute, you be safe ok?" 
"Ok mom!" 
"Ok, I love you!" 
"I love you too mom..................actually, I don't!" 
Insert cry/laugh emoji here, please!
Turkey pants, but I love him anyway. 
 At one point he was in all the way to his head: "I'm camouflaged mom!"
 Then: "This is getting in my UNDERwear."
And with that, we were through! 
Later, we picked up Annie from Nutcracker practice. "We have a leaf MOUNTAIN for you, Annie!" exclaimed Soren. "That's all right, I'm not really into that anymore," was her reply.
Then she saw the leaf mountain. "Well, maybe just one big jump!"
They played for another long while until again, the underwear problem. 
"Tuck your shirt into your pants! IT! IS! AUTUMN!"

Friday, November 11, 2016

"Fhankful Tree 2016"

It's mid-November and you know what that means: time for our once-a-year Family Home Evening reflection on all that we are thankful for! It is through this "tradition" I see why traditions really are cool: the kids totally look forward to it (although daylight savings really hit Soren hard and if I remember correctly he was upstairs looking for jammies and a bed screaming, "Don't sing! Stop singing!!" while the rest of us were at the table trying for an opening hymn), it brings us together as a family for more than four and a half minutes (well, four out of five ain't bad, folks), and it gives me a great reason to go out and take pictures in my front yard (which happens to be ridiculous in its beauty right now).
We have some new additions to the yard brilliance this year. These little, unassuming bushes I planted last summer have been turning into "burning bushes" by light of dusk the past few nights. 
 As the sun got lower and lower, the color just popped. Perfect spot for the Thankful tree.

Of course, it's hard to pick out all the thankful gems. Note the most important ones (by chance) in yellow: Mom, Pops, water, sleep, Jesus, Stuffys (baba). Also good are braces, Colors (purple, blue, and green) and Publix ("where shopping is a pleasure!" Annie wrote); mom's cooking, the plan of salvation, percussion, the scriptures, AND 'Survivor' (Zane is my favorite 12 year old); hard work and prestressed concrete (any guesses?); and for me, well, I cut out the leaves and dealt with the 4-year old so I'm thankful for family members who would fill up the thankful tree while I worked!

Gone were the typos this year, but I was still heart-warmed because "2016 Thankful tree" looked a little more like "2016 Fhankful tree"--and that will be enough to remember it by.
***
 Speaking of my yard, here are some pictures from 10 minutes later.
 
Notice how the burning bush kept getting more and more brilliant!
Kids, ever wonder what your piano teacher does while she waits for you to arrive for a lesson? Front yard pictures!
Thank you Fhankful tree 2016!