Saturday, February 16, 2008

My New Look

I just spent the morning creating my blogs new Header, and I am very pleased. I think it came together well. I had to shrink it to size so for those of you who would like a closer look click on the image below...

I used an assortment of pictures from last March through this past January. I put it together in Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0 and tried to showcase each of us equally. Well, there goes my Saturday morning. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Quilting...A New Adventure!

I grew up being schooled in the ways of home-making by my Grandma Graham. One of the skills I worked on with her was Quilting. I would spend hours and hours working with her on one quilting project after another. But my grandmother's idea of quilting was finding a piece of fabric that could easily be followed to tie or quilt. The quilts were clean, fresh and beautiful but very uncomplicated. She knew how to piece-quilt but, as a mother of 8 home alone 5-out of-7 days in a week, simpler was better. Quilts were always made for birthdays, graduations, weddings and births of little ones.

Nearly eleven years ago my Grandma Graham was working on the quilt for my cousin Kenny's wedding when she had a stroke. The stroke has left her with limited use of one-side of her body and she has had to give up many of her former activities. I know that she misses the opportunities she use to be able to take to serve others. So throughout the years I have tried, at every opportunity possible, to do what she might do and (in this case) make a Quilt.

Last year my cousin Rachael had her first baby and at her shower I had everyone help to tie a quilt. This year my older brother, Joshua, and his wife, Adele, are having their first baby, a boy! Once again I have decided that a quilt IS needed for the baby shower. But because I am soooo excited to be an aunt for the very first time I decided that I would learn how to do something new and piece-quilt. Well, I started with the idea of piece-quilting and instead learned how to strip-quilt and modified the "log cabin" design to come up with this:

It was loads of fun. Excepting the children climbing all over me while I was thus consumed. All is not yet finished, of course, I am the one making this after all. I plan on using a machine washable pen to draw in designs for people to quilt while at the baby shower next month. And then I am still planning on putting a fun pointy edge on it after it is quilted. This project has been fun and didn't take too long (Monday of last week to Tuesday of this week) and I can't wait for the fun to begin at the Baby Shower! ;)


10 Things I Love About My Family

10. All of my children still give me hugs and kisses upon request.

9. Leah will draw pictures for me on days when I've been having a hard time.

8. Mason is the first one to run to the door and give you a hug when you've just arrived home.

7. Owen snuggles into your shoulder and pats your back when he is ready to go to sleep.
(It just warms my heart to have him still be my little "baby".)

6. Kevin takes out the trash.

5. Leah tells me, "You're the prettiest mommy ever."

4. Mason will cuddle with me on the couch.

3. Owen's smile, that's all I have to say. :)

2. Kevin's easy interaction with our children. Those kids love him and so do I.

1. The knowledge that I have that we WILL be together FOREVER.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sabbath Day Moments

I had a Sister from my ward today ask me if I had journaled about an experience we had a couple weeks ago with Leah at Church. I had NO idea what she was referring to, she reminded me and that is what brings me here today.

Leah is our "fun, fun, fun" child. Games, activities, friends the more hype the better. This energy of hers has made her a bit of a phenomena to her parents. We love her, we just struggle daily to help her...make the decisions we want her to make. :) For instance, going to church.

Over the last couple of months, and especially since the start of the New Year and 9 am church, Leah has been struggling with the concept of attending church. Our preparation for Sunday usually begins on Thursday or Friday talking about our weekend and what we would do each day. Maybe talk about what she wants to wear to Church, who she would see at Church, we might even discuss breakfast options. :) I have borne testimony of why I go to Church and want to be there. I have sung with her her favorite Primary songs while getting ready for Church and still, still we have experiences like these...

Sunday, December 16th---Leah was dragging her feet all morning long. She didn't want what was made for breakfast. She wanted a snack at 12noon when we are suppose to be heading down the stairs to the car to make it to Church on time. When we got to Church we sat in the pew behind the before-mentioned Sister and her family.

As a rule I do not allow my children any "distractions" when the Sacrament of Bread and Water is being passed around the congregation. They are allowed to color in a coloring book until a member of the Ward Bishopric stands to begin the service. Then all coloring books are removed and Quiet Books with pictures of Christ, prophets, and other gospel principles are pulled out and available. Only the Quiet Books are allowed until the Aaronic Priesthood members (generally 12-18 year old young men) are dismissed to sit with the congregation. Leah knows this routine and it has served, at times, as an added incentive to prepare properly and arrive at church with time to settle in and acclimate (i.e. color).

On this day Leah was having (to quote her) "a rough day". So when the Sacrament was being passed and we were sitting sans coloring book it really wasn't too surprising to us to hear her say, "Church is boring. Why do we have to come? All we do is sit...and do nothing." Kevin and I just looked at each other shaking our heads and sadly smiling. We have worked so hard to instill in her a love of the gospel, and though she loves aspects of Church her "fun, fun, fun" mentality has a hard time wrapping her mind around "Church". I'm not too worried, she's 5, and I believe we are on the right path to helping her see Our Savior's love in all things.

Lets fast forward to this past Sunday, February 3rd---We prepared Saturday night, bathing/showering, pulling out clothes for church, setting the alarm, and making sure there was something pre-made for breakfast. Sunday morning came and things went pretty well. We got to Church at 8:45am and I really needed to have been there at 8:30am to do all I needed to do, c'est la vie. Kevin took the kids into the Chapel and sat with them while I made a mad dash to draw a "Great and Spacious Building" and "Tree of Life" for Sharing Time and to pull out and review the attendance roles. Kevin was getting pretty nervous till I slid in during the Sacrament Hymn. Disaster 1 averted. But possible Disaster 2 still hung in the future.

The previous day I had been called and asked to give the Benediction. I accepted and remembered all morning long...until the closing hymn was being sung. I was gathering all coloring things and cleaning up so my kids could focus on being reverent for the closing prayer (i.e. Benediction). When the final note was sung it took me a moment and a half to realize I already should have been heading to the pulpit. I quickly stood and pushed out of my pew and to the pulpit nearly losing my footing. Owen screamed thinking I was leaving him and didn't stop till he realized I was before him and talking, by the time I had spoken 10 words he was calm.

After saying, "Amen," and starting to leave the "stand" Leah says, in her normal voice, "Good job Mommy. You did great!" Her normal voice is what most would consider their voice projecting. It made me smile. I think I caught a few others smiling as well. :)