Saturday, June 19, 2010

Shower Decor

Thought I'd show some pictures of our table and decor from last weeks shower.
We set the brunch table up in the dining room table, and then the dessert table on the far wall of this same room.
I had made sugar cookies in the shape of onesies. (on the left)
Hand dipped strawberries from my favorite roadside stand. (on the right center)

We had cute little handmade boxes of Acia/Blueberry Chocolates, and "Juicy Pear" Jelly Bellies for favors.
I cut these boxes out on my Sizzix Big Shot that I mentioned in the previous post, then taped them together.
I also used some of the little boxes and onesie invite look-a-likes in the banners that were hanging in a few places, such as above the dessert table and mantle.
The main dessert was little buntlet cakes from "Nothing Bundt Cakes" in town.
Also on the dessert table were fine little chocolate bars that I wrapped in the matching papers, and purple and green rock candy and lolly sticks that I stuck into white matching vessels.
I also threaded matching ribbons through my white holey plates and tiers cake stands to go with the whole place.
Here are the busy hostesses in the wonderful kitchen.

We ate outside, and the day was so lovely that we decided to open gifts out there as well.
Such a beautiful setting. The yard is magnificent and the view unmatched by any other home I know.
Okay, camera girl, just turn around and snap one. .....  Sorry, sometimes I don't think past my nose.

We ate beautiful homemade quiches, (by Debbie and Laurie), and a great grilled pineapple salad, (by Carolyn, who also did the flowers beautifully). I also made Rosemary Mozzarella Skewers that I got of of PW's blog. Yum! (I added little grape tomatoes to the skewers)

What a great group of friends to throw a shower with, and it turned out just right for the "mom's" friends and family to celebrate the new addition with her.

Thanks, ladies!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kitten Dress

Just another shower post. The gift I made for her actual present at the shower was a little square yoked dress to go with the onesie that I made for the example at the shower.
New mom apparently likes cats, and the baby is going to by born under the sign of "Leo". It is the Chinese year of the Tiger, and so I thought I'd make the dress out of kitty fabric.
I just did a simple, no collar, short sleeved dress.
The geometric design of smocking on the front and back is just a 4 row pattern. I think I went across the bodice about 6 times with my needle (4 on the right side, 2 on the wrong side to hold the pleats)
Not terribly time consuming, but cute non-the-less.
It matches the onesie, so she doesn't get cold wearing it in early spring (It's a 6 month size)

BTW  ....   The Lakers Won!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Onesies Cont.

Last month I had a post about some baby shower invitations that I was making. They were the inspiration for the entire shower that some friends and I put on this past Saturday. (Yes, I know I was up all night Friday doing Grad Night, but this was the only time the Aunt could be in town for her dear nieces shower, so we just did it.)
There were no games played at this shower, but if you wanted to decorate a onesie, we had some items on hand to help you accomplish the task.
Here are some ladies in Laurie's kitchen nook decorating away. We had iron on fabrics, fabric markers for writing and drawing, stamps with baby themes, stencils, etc.
Notice the cute little baby carriage I found at the nursery. I filled it with about 25 onesies of different sizes (and a few odd colors), and the women used all but 5 of them.  Hopefully the sweet new baby will get good use out of them.

This shower was for our friend Debbie's daughter. She is due at the beginning of August, and is such a gracious recipient of gifts. The new mom's Grandmother and a few Aunt's were there with gifts in hand.
So were the new Grandmothers-to-be. It is a first grandchild for both of them and excitement is all around.

I had previously decorated my onesie, so that I could help out others when the shower was in progress.
Here's how I did it.
I chose a colored one, and I used some fabric that I was making into a dress to match. There are so many patterns and ideas on the internet, and I used the ruffle buns idea, so that when baby girl crawls away in her new dress, her going will look as cute as her coming.

I changed it up a bit. Here are the differences.
  * I used 4 rows of ruffle and started at the top of the leg curve and went down from there.
      (the first one I made last fall, seemed to be too high on babies hiney, this lowers it a bit and adds a bit more ruffle)
  * My sewing machine has this GREAT rolled  hem foot and it finishes the seams off so sharp.
The ruffle is finished very nicely. I do think that one of these days I'll do one that is "pinked" instead of serged or sewed at all, giving it a frayed look for a chic up-to date finish, but for now this is what I did.
Then on the front of the "shirt" I ironed on some flowers.
I just got a "Big Shot", or "Sizzix" machine and it cuts the shapes out for me.
Problem is, you have to buy each shape to cut, and they aren't cheap enough for me.
This one ($20) cuts out 4 sizes of daisy flowers. I better cut a lot of daisy for that, but you know me, I get tired of one project, so I move on and that is wasting my $$$.
Anyway, it does look cute on the front of the baby shirt.  I had ironed on "Wonder Under" to the fabric before cutting it out, so then after the cut I just peeled off the attached paper and ironed it onto the fashion fabric.
And you can see the ruffle buns in the mirror.
BTW, I had Michael come into the sewing room to hold the hanger the onesie was on for the picture. I was having a hard time seeing the back and front at the same time for this shot, but Michael quickly assessed the situation and said, "Why don't you just hang up the onesie on the ironing board and take the shot sitting down."
Sometimes I just don't see beyond my nose.  Kinda embarrassing how I didn't think of that myself.

Shower post coming up.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

LGHS Class of 2010

He got it done. My baby done graduate from high school. He looked all handsome in his BLACK.
Black gown, black striped shirt, black tie. We were able to spot him a little easier from the middle of the crowd 'cause he wasn't wearing a light color like most of the grads.
Our High School has a casual but wonderful graduation.  We have the perfect setting with the school as a back drop and the crowd sitting/standing/talking/making noise on the front lawn.
This beautiful old school has been a landmark in our town since 1925 and has been the setting for several movies, and photos. It is such a classic old high school and when they remodeled it in 2005, the look and setup was not changed a bit.

The students file out in groups of 4. Every other group is boys in black followed by girls in white.
The kids get to choose one person that they get to "walk" with and they come down the steps just smiling.
Michael walked with Charlie. He went to kindergarten with Charlie, and they have been friends all the way through.
We then listen to 3 short speeches given by students who tried out for the job, and then they diplomas are given out.
Nice smile MBH!
The families are there to yell and some bring their foghorns. (Kathryn uploaded and app for that)
We had one of the younger crowds.
Hats fly and it's all over.
Good job Bud.
You are awesome!!!!
Onward and upward.

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. The most you can do is live inside that hope, running down its hallways, touching the walls on both sides.
                                                                  Barbara Kingslover 
                                                    commencement, Duke University 2008

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Swim Party

There are grad parties going on all around us. I told Michael that even if he doesn't want a formal party with all our friends and some of his, he should go ahead and have a pool party tomorrow after school.
He thought that was a great idea, so off I went this am to Costco and purchased a party.
About 35 kids came and ate a lot of food, signed yearbooks, swam, played basketball, listened to music, and ate more food.
What a nice bunch of kids.
Michael was very appreciative.
He even helped with clean up. Didn't even have to ask him.  Must be growin' up.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Memory Board?

A couple of peeps have asked me ...

Wait ... side note here.  My funny son really has a tough time not saying "aks" in the sacrament prayer every Sunday. It always makes me smile during the prayer, which is not entirely appropriate, but I think it's cute. He has a mental block about it, 'cause it happened once, so he says that one word, "ask" just slightly slower than the rest of the prayer. I'm sure no one else notices it at all, but like I said, I always smile.
As I write this, we are listening to the commentators talk about the Laker/Celtic game and we are coming up with other words that they can't say. "Ask, both, length," have turned into "Aks, bofe, lenth." I guess it is the Ebonics thing, and Michael, in making fun of the interviewers a few years ago, started saying "aks." He really never says it in actual conversation anymore, but because he messed it up once in the sacrament prayer, it makes him nervous. Kinda cute?

Okay, back to my original topic.

At Los Gatos High School, the seniors parents put on a big, fancy "Grad Night" the night the kids graduate. We have planning meetings for at least 6 months before the event and there are numerous committees to sign yourself up for to help in carrying out the biggest party any of us has ever seen.
I am in charge of the "Midnight BBQ" this year. It isn't a very big job, but at least I'm helping out some. In past graduations I have been the treasurer for the whole event, involved in decorating bathrooms, outside venues, and the salon.  There is a casino, a stage where a magician and bands play, a beach side fire pit, bumper cars, blow up games, etc. It is truly an overwhelmingly amazing night for the kids. The Hubby and I have always run a shift during the all night party and sometimes have stayed all night, depending on our commitment.
The event is being set up all this week for the Friday night deadline, and so I thought I'd talk a little about it here.
One room that we let the kids into during the week prior looks like it is nearing completion.
As you enter the small gym, there are moms working on the wallpaper of pictures that go all the way around the entire room.  I turned in about 40 old pictures, blown up to 8.5 x 11, and so did many other parents. These picture the wallpaper is made up of,  have to include more than one senior and can be taken from their early childhood up to current photos. There are many pictures of birthday parties, grade school field trips, just playmates, etc lining the room.
Then, in the center of the room are about 300 "Memory Boards." One is made for each child, usually by their mother, and it tells the story of the young life.  It is truly amazing to me that you get nearly every parent participating in this endeavor. It literally takes me hours to accumulate the pictures I want on my board, then copy them, then plan how I want to place them on the board.
Some are more simple, some are done professionally, but it is still a time sucker, and I think it's pretty cool that we have so many participants.
In the picture above, you can see one with a theatre curtain. This girl is in drama, and it is showcased along with her family, friends, and other interests. You also see one with a "path" through the child's life. People come up with all sorts of unique boards.
Here is Michael's board.  I put a few basketball pictures in the center, but all around the edges there are over 100 small thumbnail pictures of his play. That way I could reserve most of the center for family, trips, friends, school, and other activities. I got it into the room early enough that I got a good eye level spot for displaying it. Kinda out of the main stream of walking around, so as not to be too in your face,
but still a great spot.
He went into the room yesterday with several friends after school. He really liked it.
It is my very super favorite room at the grad night.

With our first couple of graduates, the room wasn't opened until the grad night itself, but there is so much to see, and so many other things to do that night, that someone decided to have it open to viewing during the work week. I think it is a great idea.
The surrounding pictures in the room all get taken down in 5 x 5 foot sections and saved for later use in reunions and the like. The individuals boards get sent home with the graduate, on the morning after grad night.

My Stephanie still has hers prominently displayed in her apartment bedroom. I think it tells her that her mom loves her whenever she turns around. She sent me a picture the other day, and it doesn't do it justice, but here it is.
And here is Kathryn's, a little worse for the wear.
I just found David's and I Jonathan's in the spare bedroom under the bed. I knew they were around here somewhere, and looked under my bed to no avail.  Then when I went into the front bedroom to wash sheets for Stephanie's visit home this weekend, I spotted something that looked familiar under there. My clean home?  You get the picture. (teehee)
Looks like someone took off a couple of pictures that were too cute to miss.  These last two were done on regular poster board, before the committee's were telling us just how things worked best.
This first attempt was even done in the direction of a portrait instead of a landscape. I'm sure we didn't have specific directions. (or I didn't follow them very well)  The really obvious thing about this one is that I literally copied pictures from J's photo album onto regular copy paper. They are flimsy and don't hold the color very well at all. I'm sure it looked fine at the time.
Memory Boards at LG have really progressed over the past 12 years since I started working on these grad nights.
Just wait a few days and I'll show you the night itself.

So this is one thing I've been working on for this special son of mine.
More later.

Monday, June 7, 2010

M's 1st Graduation of the Week

Our children are DONE WITH SEMINARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, after 16 straight years of making sure that one or sometimes two children made it to the church at 6 am every day before high school, we are DONE.
Michael attended the graduation ceremony last night at the stake center. It was one hour long and then it was all over.
I am both excited and a bit melancholy all at once.
I did catch an issue when looking at the diploma just this am. Apparently, Michael didn't have to even wake up early this year. It states that he graduated last year, 2009, so I'm not real sure why he had to be sleep deprived this year as well.

My two oldest siblings who graduated high school in '67 and '71 honestly did get to graduate after going for 3 years. Most people at the time didn't even think of going their senior year. By the time Tom, Vicki (me), and Camille came along in '73, '76, & '77 respectively, seminary requirements had switched and we had to go all 4 years.

Let me explain seminary a bit, if anyone reading this doesn't have a clue what I'm talking about.
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we have a high school course of study which we call seminary.  In the 4 years of HS, the curriculum takes you through:
1. Old Testament
2. New Testament
3. Book of Mormon
4. Church History (including modern revelation and doctrine)

This course is taught by volunteers, and attended by kids that are in high school. During the 16 years that my children have been attending, I woke up most mornings with them. ( I'd say probably less mornings as each became older.)  For 4 of the years I taught the class myself.  The first year teaching, Kathryn was a senior, the next 2 years I taught Stephanie's jr. and sr. class and the 4th year Michael was a freshman. That last year was the only year that I taught all 4 classes of kids together, but since then that is how they've done it. Our numbers had just dwindled down too few to warrant having to split the kids into a younger and older class.
When our two oldest boys were preschoolers, the Hubby taught early morning seminary in Oregon, to the high schoolers in Clackamas Ward.  We, as a family, have been involved for many years in this great program.
Seriously, how many high school kids relish waking up an extra hour and a half earlier than their peers, so they can go do "Bible Study?" I really had few complaints from my kids. David was probably the most negative about going every morning, but he still did it without moaning too greatly. He just compensated by sleeping during Math class the whole way through high school.

Seminary has been a blessing in our lives. It teaches teenagers that mind over matter is doable, that there is someone (their teacher) who cares about them and their progress towards knowledge of the Gospel. Some teachers are favorites, loving and nurturing the young minds, while others help my children figure out how to get along with variety of personalities. Last night one of Michael's teachers wouldn't even comment on him as a person, and I thought it was too bad that she didn't allow herself to get to know this great kid of mine. Children in this great program learn their minds can memorize scriptures, grasp gospel messages, and that they can be an example to all their peers. They learn and gain understanding about controversial as well as obvious Gospel truths.

I think the kids in Utah and other more Mormon populated areas lose out on the sacrifice that it takes to go to early morning seminary. We moved to NorCal just as Jonathan was entering high school and therefore seminary.  He would have had "release time" seminary during the class day in his Oregon school, but that was not to be here in Saratoga Stake.
I am so glad that my children have all had the opportunity, as I did, to learn and gain testimonies of the gospel through seminary.
Good Job Michael, (and all your siblings). You guys are awesome, and we are proud to have you as our children.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Whoo! Whoo!

I never beat the Hubby out of bed in the morning. It is just something I'm not competitive about.
"Knock yourself out Sweety, I don't have to be first here," is my standing motto.

Well I thought I did just that yesterday. I got up, leaving him soundly sleeping, and I went into the sewing room to start another project, then when I got to a stopping place, so I took off down to the high school to drop off Michael's Memory Board, because today is when we vie for placement of our kids posters for the grad week coming up.
(Believe me, I will do a post on the memory boards in the near future.)

When I arrived back home, the Hubby and Michael were both up eating, and that's when I found out the truth. I had not beat him up at all. He had been awake from 2:15 until about 6:00 am. He had accomplished all sorts of things and then was able to go back to sleep which is a rarety.

My accomplishments weren't so great after all, but I want to show the cute little shirt I made Ells.
Cute little owl fabric, and one of my favorite sewing tools built right into the machine.
The rolled hem foot just turns the fabric under twice so no raw edges are showing and then the needle comes along and seals the deal. Makes for a perfect edge. I just love it.
I also used another tool that I haven't used since high school. Elastic thread. I used it 35 years ago for tube tops for Camille and me.  
This time around, I got this cute pattern "Claire" by Sandi Henderson of Portabellopixie Patterns.
...and it called for "shirring" with the elastic thread as the important tool.
Turned out so good. I'm gonna remember this in the future.
Got the pattern by ordering from this store.  But you can also order it direct from the designer .
Such cute stuff.

I failed to get a picture of Ells in the finished product. I'll get one my DD took of her sleeping in it off my phone.
There we go. Kinda bunched up, but you can see how the shirring works more or less.  When I put it on her, she marched right out to show her parentals.

Pretty good for a 3 hour morning.