Friday, July 30, 2010


Our house guests for July have packed up and gone.  The visit flew by and we had a great time with them.
Cousin Grant was here for a month long school (podiatry) rotation at the Kaiser Hospital in Santa Clara.
The first week was broken up with a visit from G's mom (my sister) & dad. The last week was made exciting by Katz (DD) having her baby early.

Cooper, their 11 month old baby, graduated from hilarious growls at dinner to squeals of delight when he got ahold of something good. He was motoring around furniture a lot faster by the end of the month. Soon he'll be walking.

Michael especially has a bond with this little family as they lived with us 3 years ago for about 8 months.
Thanks for being in our lives guys. Have fun in Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, etc on your other rotations.
We love you!

Monday, July 26, 2010

She's Here!

Cossette Kelly 7-24-10
7 lb. 3 oz.

We have another little precious child added to our family.  Healthy and beautiful even though she was 1 day shy of a full term 37 week gestation. Look at those cheeks and dark hair. Wonder how long it will last.
Here comes her big sister to the hospital with GramVi and Uncle Michael.
She's gonna like the new toy.
New and improved family.
Good job, sweet daughter of mine.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Leeding's

One of the highlight events of our Oregon trip for me was brunch at Jan's house.
I first have to tell you a little about Jan.
Our blooming family moved into a neighborhood of new homes and young families in 1981.
Jan and her captivating family of 5 moved in straight across the street from us just a few months later and we became fast friends with them all. Jennifer was just barely 4, Matt was almost 2 just like our little Jonathan, and Kelsey was in her second 6 months. I was pregnant with David, so we were all young and energetic.
I always had pretty good instincts when it comes to taking care of the children and being on top of schedules, good eating, etc. I worked at Emanuel Hospital in the orthopedic ward a few days a week, so many things I did were necessary and/or educational. But Jan taught me how to be a mom in many other ways.
She would schedule in walks through the extending neighborhoods, lunch out in the "common area", hot wheels contests, pine cone hunts in the more mature parks of Portland, Rose Parades, birthday parties, doughboy pool days, trampolining, sports, golf tournaments, and just general fun times.

We always had a field day when we were with the Leeding's.
Kim our neighbor up the street with her two cute little girls was also in on the daily life.
Brooke Hikade, Kelsey Leeding, Matt L., Jonathan, Jennifer L (top), Lindsey H. (David - not pictured)
Here is the group of the kiddles at the Sauvie Island pumpkin patch in 1982.
Jan was quite the cheerleader in all areas of the kids life.  Jonathan and Matt were often on the same soccer or baseball teams. "Go Matt!  Pass it up!"
As we added to our family, they were always there to help. Here Jennifer is enjoying Kathryn. She would do Kathryn's hair and play with her for hours.
David (middle) on his first day of first grade. Jonathan  (3rd grade), Kelsey (2nd grade) 1988

We moved away from the SE neighborhood of Portland in 1990 after spending 9 years and having 3 more children. Michael was born the next year so his memories don't go back this far, but for the rest of our children it really all started there.

Well, fast forward to June 2010. I contacted Jan just a week or so before we went to Portland and she, with Jennifer and Kelsey put together a great little party at her home in NE Portland. She invited the Hikade's and the 2 girls were able to come with their new babies although we missed their parents. She invited Scott who still lives out in the Clackamas area, and he, Matthew, and the two girls with their little families all showed up.
The food and set up were simply beautiful and her house is a great, old, well kept house in an old section of town. (I don't know what the style would be considered - probably "Craftsman")
Jennifer, Lindsay, Brooke, Kelsey, Matt, David, Kathryn, Jonathan, Stephanie, & (front row) Michael
Here are the children 20 years later. My now 5 kids, the 3 Leeding's and the 2 Hikade's. What a handsome group.  We will never know those little kids again, but our memories will always be happy and full. They are all finding their way as adults in the world now and creating childhood memories for their own kids.
Quite the next generation. More adorable little ones and their cute parents.
Can't quite believe that we are the grandparents.

Thanks Jan, you are the best! And on such short notice you made us all feel special.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bristol's Blessing Dress

When I made my first Baby Blessing dress for a great niece more than 10 years ago, I vowed to myself that I would make one for each of my siblings families. I also made it a goal to make one for each of my children to use for their baby girls when the time came.
Well, the next girl that was born already had plans for something else. I decided that with such a personal gift, I needed to be sensitive to traditions and preferences of each individual family and not try to force my ideas on any of them.  Then I had a granddaughter of my own and my DIL also had other intentions for a blessing dress for the new little one.  So I just went with the flow and instead of making one for each "family" I now just make one for each child who's mother wants me too.
How's that?  Adapt and don't make my goals into someone else's.
Forward to now....
I've got to get to work on Kathryn's #2 girl's dress. She is due next month, and Kathryn has planned the dress with me, so I need to get going on it.
In the mean time, my SIL asked me to make one for their newest granddaughter and I want to show you that one.
This is baby Bristol and she is so beautiful in her blessing gown.
I made it out of natural silk dupioni, or raw silk. Her mother wanted me to make it out of her wedding dress, but we just got more of the same fabric instead of cutting into the actual wedding dress.
I started by making rows of pintucks in the fabric to use on the underskirt of the dress as well as on the bodice and sleeves.
I have a little plastic foot to use to separate each tuck from the previously sewn one.  I filled them with pearl cotton and used a double needle that had a separation of 1.6 mm.
This photo shows the beautiful sheen of the silk fabric.  I used the pintuck fabric in a "V" shape on the bodice, sleeves and bottom of the dress slip.
The top of the bodice pin tucks have french val lace gathered around it, and the seam between the skirt and bodice is finished with self piping.
Something that is easy to do, but gives a great finished look in the end.
Just cut 1 1/4 inch strips on the bias (diagonal on the fabric) because the bias is stretchier and so it makes the piping easier to go around any necessary corners.
The sleeves have the same detail but the lace surrounding the tucked fabric is not gathered. Notice the seam attaching the lace has tiny "entredeux" holes to give it an antique look.  I used a fat needle and a special stitch that most machines have, to give this affect.
Then I gathered the bottom of the main skirt up a little on the sides so that the underskirt peeks through.
Other blessing dressed I have made are in another previous post if you want to investigate further.
Here is the little bundle of joy. The day in Oregon was beautiful and the family time was really nice.
And Aunt Vicki even got to hold Bristol.
The proud father Sam with all the men in my family who were in on the blessing.  Large group, wouldn't you say, for one little child.
The whole group. We were all in town for the wedding the Friday before, so the party at Tom and Tracey's (the new grandparents) was full.

Thanks for letting me participate by making the dress Becky.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Not "Bed Bath & Beyond."  Not "Bye Bye Baby."
I took this sweet picture of our "Beautiful Baby Boy."
While his more active sisters were playing in the pool.
He remained over in the shade, silently sleeping in a yellow inter tube.
"Sleep tight."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Outdoor Eating

My niece asked me today if we ever use the "dining room" in our house.
Well, I replied that we basically only use it between Oct. 21 and Easter (whenever that is) each year. Random dates that are determined by the Hubby's birthday and the end of the holidays that typically don't encompass warm weather.
At this lovely time of year, we usually take our hiney's outside for a less formal dining experience. On the 4th of July for instance, we ate some deviled eggs that none of the adult children had ever attempted to make.
They turned out pretty darn good. Mayonnaise and dijon mustard mixed in with the yolks and some nice sweet paprika from Hungary sprinkled over the top. Simple and yummy.
Some of PW's Rosemary Mozzarella Skewers, with a little grape tomato thrown in for color and extra flavor.
Stars and stripes red velvet cake for dessert. It turned out pretty good too. I added baby chocolate chips to the batter, and used pre-made Pastry Pride ready to whip topping for the icing on top. This is always a light favorite for people.

Those Costco raspberries are the BEST. The blueberries are pretty tasty too.
I also found Black Cherry soda pop at Costco, along with the good Rootbeer.
Michael was a little impatient.
And it blew up in the freezer while he was getting it cold ASAP.

The Hurrier I Go,
The Behinder I Get.
This is a saying that was on a plaque in my Grandma Kelly's kitchen in my childhood.

After having to clean up the glass and frozen pop in the freezer, Michael now understands this cute little saying.
Turns out, Lena and David like the Black Cherry. This too, reminds me of my childhood.

Bright /Retro Girlie Outfits

Last month I finished up a couple of cute little outfits for 2 of my darling granddaughters.
The summery dress/pants pattern, purchased a while back, was calling my name and I had decided to make these lightweight cotton play clothes to match the a-line sweaters I had previously knitted, (and felted).
I used bright yellow, pink, orange flowered fabric for Lexy's outfit.
I also used my serger sewing machine more for these little dresses and pants than I have in a long time.
Two short seams and the topstitching were the only things I did with my conventional sewing machine.
That made the projects go really fast. I like that!
This is the model that enjoys the process. Her pants have the dark pink, orange and yellow. The dress is mostly the floral print that brings all the colors together.
Cute, happy girl.
The other model isn't quite as eager in front of the camera.
She has some help from her Daddy here. And you notice it is a little cool, so she has the matching sweater on for comfort.
I just used 3 fabrics for the smaller version.  Kind of 60's style. The neckline didn't translate down to this 18 month size. I think I needed to try it on her a little more before I completed the downsize, although she doesn't seem to care much.
The little drawstrings around the legs can be loosened or tightened according to your desire. The waistband is elastic.
Such a great pattern in two completely different fabric waves.
It is enjoyable sewing for little girls. (Big girls would never wear these showy outfits. Tee Hee)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Felted & Finished

I truly can't believe that I didn't take a picture of this coat/sweater before I shrunk it.

I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, because I had previously made another much smaller sweater from the same pattern, and I decided I thought the shape the pattern produced would make an adorable retro 3/4 length boiled wool coat for Lexy.
Problem was ... I didn't know how big to make the pre shrunk sweater, or for that matter, how much yarn to purchase for the experimental project.
So I just "went for it."

And, yes, I did run out of yarn.  So the back bodice piece, which I had to go find semi matching yarn for, is slightly off color. It kind of looks like I just color blocked the back. I also added a contrasting yellow piping between the colors and that kinda hides the difference in fushia pinks.

Before washing the finished product in hot and very soapy water, it was a large and misshapen garment. It would have been too limply hanging on a body to look cute or even to not stretch out as the wearer was walking across the street. I knitted it with large needles (11's) and with the very easily felted "Cascade 220" yarn. I decided to leave the buttons off, as the heavy, even stiff, new fabric will stay in place with the simple tie.
I am happy with the finished coat like sweater. I think if I was to do it again, I'd make it a little longer for the width. I think things shrink more lengthwise than widthwise, but it actually fits her pretty well.
Lexy likes it too.

The "U"

Michael took me with him to college orientation yesterday.
We learned all about what needs to happen in order to start off right at the University of Utah.
Made me a bit more comfortable sending him away. (I think it made him more comfortable too.)
Go Utes?!

New Arrivals

This month we have some house guests.
Michael's "cousin buddy" and his wife are back after 3 years and they brought an adorable 11 month old baby Cooper with them.
Brad and Camille came to see them the first week they are here. 
Here we are on a walk around the Bay marshlands.
We had them living here a few years ago for 8 months as they were preparing to attend podiatry school in Florida, and cousin Grant is now starting his 4th year of school by going to 5 different training rotations around the west.
It's great that they were able to start with San Jose, 'cause Michael will be moving into his college experience in a couple months.
We are going to really enjoy them for the month of July.
Welcome to Grant, Genie, and Cooper.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

PAUL !!!!!!

Fill the world with silly love songs.
"I Love You."
This is seriously so cool.
Thanks Hun.

Lincoln City

Our trip continued over to the Oregon beach where we rented a house for a few days. The weather was a little overcast on the first full day, but then we had 3 absolutely gorgeous days that followed.
Being that this is a rare occurrence in the Pacific Northwest, I thought I should make a big point about how awesome the weather was for our stay.
The weather was AMAZING.
We rented a house close to the beach that fit our entire family of 13 plus 1 one night, and 12 the other nights.  Jonathan came the first night with his friend Levi, but they left after the first day to go climb Mt. Rainier.  David's family of 5 crammed into one bedroom, and did exceptionally well. Kathryn's family also easily shared a room.
It was a cute, 3 story, beach themed house, with hardwood floors and cozy rooms. Called "Maggies House," it can be rented from here.  It is  in the "Roads End" area of Lincoln City.
My parents stayed in town at a condominium that is owned by a coworker of my brother-in-law. That way they could see us once a day, but not have to climb our stairs, or listen to our constant noise.
My sister Kathy's family also rented a house near the same beach. It was a huge vacation house with games and rooms for all ages. We spent some fun time with cousins and 2nd cousins as well.
We had invited my whole extended family to try to come and spend a little reunion, but our families were the only ones to be able to attend.
We played in the sand. Old kids ...
...and young kids.
Ran the sand through our little pudgy fingers.
Played a little baseball.
(She got pretty good too)
Flew a "Barbie" kite.
Explored the beach.
And kept warm. I said it was beautiful, but it was still Oregon.  The temps were in the high 60's to low 70's with a chilly wind most of the time.

Michael, the Hubby and I took a long walk into town via the beach for a little shopping, and Kara rescued us after a couple hours.

I think everyone had a great time.

I know I did.