October 22, 2010

Sew busy

This week has been a long, long week. This poor kid has been sick, sick, sick.

He didn't move off of the couch except to bed from Sunday through Wednesday. He has bronchitis. Finally, today, he is feeling better. Except now he has a mysterious rash.

So, what did we do to keep busy while being house bound this week? Meg played and tried hard to antagonize her brother, which didn't work well. I sewed. In between bouts of coughing, orange juice fetching, temperature taking and everything else, I sewed. I had a couple of project I wanted to finish up.

First was this cute coat I did in a sew-a-long with Christine at From an Igloo. That was wonderful. It took me a while to finish because of the embroidery design. I knew what I wanted, it was just a matter of figuring it out. The pattern is from Dear My Kids. Her patterns are easy to ready and follow and run pretty true to size. Very fun project, finally finished. I picked up the fabric from Michael Levine's loft at the fabulous $2.00 per pound pricing. Also from Christine, I did these easy peasy no pattern knit pants that are under the skirt. I ended up cutting the skirt fabric wrong due to inattention (i.e. sick kids, phone calls and my sister having a baby) but the cut fabric turned out to be the perfect size for these cute leggings. I told Meg they could double as jammy pants. She's happy about that. And I learned a few things about sewing knits along the way.
House on Hill Road has has this Twirly Skirt Pattern up for some time. I have loved it for a while, but just now got around to making up a skirt from it. I love that people are so creative and so willing to share. I can duplicate almost anything, but coming up with it myself is just too much for me. I did make the extra ribbon embellishment to add to it, and I debated on it for a while. Too much? In the end, the wearer loved it, so I guess it was a good call. She just loves to twirl around in it.

Sew, what's next? I do have a brand new niece, Cambrie Linda. I am sure she is in need of something made with love from her Auntie. Then again, there's that mailing thing. I need an assistant, just for post office runs. We will see what happens over the next few days. Hopefully the Good Health Fairy will visit us tonight and everyone will be well and happy tomorrow. I surely hope so. Justin has a final to take.

October 21, 2010

More Arizona

Someone thought we may have left the Big kid at home on our latest Arizona adventure. No pictures of him, he said. Well, there was one picture of him in the collage. Top right, just so you know. The problem is that the kid is getting bigger. He doesn't hold still, and he's good at avoiding the camera lens. I hate to post horrible pictures and as a result, he's not represented as much as the short, cute, camera loving child we have. For the record, when he was her age, he begged for pictures to be taken of him. And I have a ton of cute 3 year old pictures of him. Now he's almost 10 and he's too cool for the lens I guess. Check out the shot of him and his dad. I wonder where he gets the lens scowl from?

Here is all of the photos I got of the big kid in AZ. He was there with us, really. Also, I don't have a favorite child, but I do have a favored shooting subject. And it changes from week to week.


October 19, 2010

Weekend Get Away

A couple of weekends ago we took a little trip to Arizona to visit the kids Grandpa. We love visiting there. The kids think it's a great adventure to stay in his travel trailer (where he lives) and they love to go play in the desert. Meg asked him to get out the "penny finder" or metal detctor. We searched for gold or other treasures, but found only tin cans and other odd and old metal pieces. Meg just loved the digging part. Adam loved the ATV and flying through the desert with dad or grandpa or whoever would take him. Pretty soon he will be big enough to fly off on his own. We all came home with sunburns, smiles and good memories. Thanks for having us, Joe. See you again soon.

October 8, 2010

To Becky, the Chemo Warrior Princess

{source} Sarah Kang 

My sweet cousin Becky lost her valiant fight with breast cancer today at the University of Washington Hospital. She fought very hard against a very aggressive and difficult cancer. She kept her sense of humor and good spirits to the very end and everyone who was around her felt of her love and the joy. Her husband and young children will be very, very sad for long while, but having their mom's smiling face and laughter in their memories will help to carry them through. I know Becky is in the loving arms of her older brother Jonathan, who died 17 year ago, also from cancer. They all have a deep faith and testimony of Jesus Christ and have been stalwart examples of showing love in difficult times. She was a Warrior, a Fighter, and one of the greatest examples of humor, facing adversity, and faith I have known. I am thrilled she was part of the rich tapestry of my family. All my love Becky. Until we meet again.

October 7, 2010

This is My Life

Yeserday was a busy day. I had reports for church due that evening and was struggling to get all of the needed information together so that I could finish them. Laundry was mounting again and dishes remained undone in the kitchen. We are getting ready for a little weekend trip and I had gathering things together on my list of the "to-do's".  To keep Meg occupied while I was compiling data, I gave her a pre-school book to color in. She wasn't content to just sit and color, she wanted to write her letters. She needed my help.

Within a few minutes, she was on my lap tracing letters and sounding out words. I stopped for a minute a looked around. Dishes still on the table from breakfast. Glue sticks from the book report worked on this morning. Pens and pencils of all kinds. My VT papers stacked here and there. A sweater from this morning's walk and a magazine I had intended to read. Sitting on top of all of it was my daughter's preschool workbook. I could see how happy she was to have some attention, some love and caring and well deserved praise for learning something new. She tried to write an M but had done it upside down. I told her it looked like a W and she turned the book upside down, telling me "Look now. It's an M now, Mom."

I thought "This is my life." Dishes undone, laundry to fold, a table to clear away, reports still to do, but happy, smart, trusting children to make it all worthwhile. Maybe I don't live a glamorous lifestyle, or even an upper-middle class lifestyle, but I live the life I want to live and the one that will teach me the most and test my limits, just the way it's supposed to be. I am thankful for that.

I love this quote from a recent conference I saw. It says it all about my life right now:

"I know that each of us has a vital and essential role as a daughter of God. He has bestowed upon His daughters divine attributes for the purpose of forwarding His work. God has entrusted women with the sacred work of bearing and rearing children. No other work is more important. It is a holy calling. The noblest office for a woman is the sacred work of building eternal families, ideally in partnership with her husband."  Steadfast and Immovable, Silvia H. Allred

October 6, 2010

What I learned about my Husband today

After almost 19 years of marriage, I love my husband mow more than ever. I never would have foreseen the journey we have taken to get where we are. I also have absolutely no foreshadowing of what's to come. But, today, after all this time, I learned something about my husband.

 If you know him at all, you know he is a man of few words. What he says carries weight because he doesn't just idly chat. He's got a wicked sense of humor, but you have to know him a long time to see it. He doesn't talk on the phone. At all. He hates it. He never answers it and it was well after we were married that he would even care to figure out how to dial long distance. When calling from places like Hong Kong, Japan, or the UAE it involved a lot of numbers and a lot of patience.

My sister Robin and I used to have a running joke about my dear hubby. Our joke was about our family cell phone plan. We had 700 minutes and we would laugh that my Mom (who's on our plan) would use well over half of them, I would use about a quarter of them and Justin would use 3 minutes. In at least 5 phone calls. We laughed about it all the time, but it was true more times than it wasn't.

Getting him to call home even while on deployment was difficult. While stationed in Guam he spent many many months in Japan. They had a system set up where you could call home for free for 15 minutes per day. I got a phone call once a month, maybe. In the days before e-mail sometimes that was hard for me. I actually had one wife tell me "Your husband must not love you as much as he should. Certainly not as much as my husband loves me." To which I had to bite back saying something really, really not nice and move on. She wasn't joking. Rude, huh? He loved me, he just didn't love the phone.

This morning his work phone stayed home due to a late alarm and a rush for the door. It had been charging all night and just didn't make the transition to the uniform before he left. Just after his departure, it started ringing. And ringing. And ringing. Between 5:30 am and about 9 it must have gone off 10 times. At one point I answered it and told the person on the other line it had left at home. They guy tells me he works in the same office and offers to have Justin contact me about the phone. He did call from work. I mentioned his phone had been going off a lot to which he replied, "Yep. That's a typical morning for me."

What? He talks on the phone for work? A lot?  A really lot from the sounds of the vibrating phone on the counter. Today I learned he is fully proficient in the use of his cell phone. He's a good manager and he's a busy guy at work. He works hard and does things that he doesn't enjoy so that others around him can have a better working environment and be more efficient. So go ahead, give him a call. He might even answer. Just don't expect a long conversation.

October 1, 2010

What could be better?

What could be better on a stormy, cloudy and grumpy day than hot, fresh chocolate chip cookies cooling on the table.

And bread rising in the kitchen?

It was a grumpy day at my house yesterday, everyone was out of sorts. Maybe it was the lightening, maybe the thunder, but probably not the rain. We like rain. In any case, fresh baked goodies made everyone feel better though. Ahhhh, the power of comfort food. Can you smell it yet? Oh, you have to add in the smell of chili in the slow cooker too. Perfect.