Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Big J" for Turkey Day

The Hubby and I flew to sunny Colorado for the Thanksgiving weekend. Through Phoenix this time around, we enjoyed the canyon land geography between Phoenix and Grand Junction. It is truly amazing how deeply crevassed and many monolithed the western country is even from 33,000 feet up in the wild blue. I kept speculating where we were in relation to geographical points of interest that I am familiar with, and I was usually wrong. Next time I should grab my nephew Christopher who personally flies those routes often enough that he knows what and where everything is located.

My parents took us for a lovely drive in my childhood "backyard,"over "the Monument" (Colorado National Monument) which is located a few miles southwest of the city. We felt like we were in a car commercial with the scenery around us.
 One of thousands of precarious rocks
 The "Coke Ovens"
GPK's in their Lexus SUV

We were pleasantly surprised when Jonathan decided to join us for a couple days and we enjoyed being able to spend some time with him as well as my little sis Camille, her husband Brad, my mom Joyce and my dad Sam. Mom is seeing less and less and her arthritis is giving her some miserable pain

Grandma Joycie and Jonathan G.
Smallest Thanksgiving gathering ever
Still a few dishes for Brad to do.

Another trip to the Monument for a hike was also part of the trip for John, Jonathan, & Brad.
Hiking Father and Son
Very cool formations.
The other thing that we did a lot in GJ was go to movies. Saw a couple of good ones.

A great relaxing week with some wonderful people.

Thanks all!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

So Many Trees

We were gone for Thanksgiving and so held the mail for 5 mail days.
Yesterday the mail lady brought us all our kept mail and we had 4 letters and …  ALL THESE CATALOGS.

You think someone wants us to buy something?


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Now A "Twins" Shower

We have a cute new mother-to-be in our ward or church congregation that is having a couple of boys. She and her husband just moved into our area and don't know many people. They have no family around and are just getting started with jobs and a life together. 
We decided to welcome them with a baby shower and we had it at our home. I cooked the same things that I had for the bridal shower held just 4 days before and I also decorated similarly.
I started by redoing this paper cone wreath and added different blues and banner so that the colors look like baby boy colors.
I've been spying these diaper cakes online the last couple of years, and now I decided to make one up for the new mom and her nursery.
With a cute jungle theme and using monkeys and elephants, I was able to find a fun ribbon that is striped with the same colors as the apparent new nursery.
We had great food and the turnout of women in the Los Gatos Ward was fabulous.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wedding Shower

quiche, chicken w/peanut sauce, butter lettuce salad, shrimp
My friend Lois and I threw a shower for a long time friend of our daughters. I personally have spent many days and nights with this cute girl and her mother at volleyball tournaments throughout Stephanie's middle school and high school years, so wanted to show my support and love for her as she enters the realm of married person.
I made pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, and chocolate coconut filled cupcakes with whipped chocolate cream frosting. We also served "Icing on the Cake" banana cupcakes.
We had the party at Lois's home and I decorated and helped with food, etc. Here is my new paper wreath deco. Just made paper cones and dipped the edges in blue glitter. Finished it off with cake cutouts and medallions of various colors and sizes.
Leslie and Jolyn with "pretend" Stephanie in the middle. She couldn't come to town for the shower, because of a coaching obligation.
Here's out cute bride to be.
Lois (L's mom), Jolyn, me, Leslie, Debbi (J's mom)
And all the mothers with daughters too.

Fun time was had by all.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mine are the Cutest

Here's a little belated Halloween post. Full of pictures of the 5 cutest kids ever.
The purple and green Witch Ballerina and the Skeleton Ballerina in their homemade matching tutu's start off this parade.
The Rocket Robot has got to be the best costume his dad ever conceived and was the hit of the party as well as the neighborhood.
 Check out the back of this costume.
And the face on this kid is so cute and excited. He couldn't take stairs very well but I heard no complaints as he navigated our neighborhood with his much faster sisters. 
 Can you hear this one saying Woo, Woo all day long?
 What an adorable little owl. She was joined by her Red Robin mother that was "sitting on the nest," and her father who was a Bird Watcher, and ...
this little Peacock who was decorated with care from head to toe.
 She loved being able to fan up her tail whenever she pleased, or just leave it down for a pretty tag along tail.
Cutest 5 in the world? Talented kids of mine putting these all together.
I rest my case.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fan Chart

My parents are celebrating their 65 Wedding Anniversary with us this weekend. All my siblings and spouses are meeting up in Salt Lake City for a memorable time together. We start by attending a symphony which represents the love of music that my parents have shared on a daily basis from the time they met in the 7th grad up until today.

The next morning we are all going to a temple session in the SLC Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This wonderful couple was married in this temple in September of 1947.
AMAZING! Their love of the gospel of Jesus Christ is another thing that they have been able to happily share throughout every day of their marriage.
Lastly, we are meeting up with more of the extended family at a restaurant in Orem for a nice lunch/dinner (linner) later that day. Again, their love of family is one of the great things in my parents life, and they have shared it well.

I was able to make a genealogy poster for them that looks like the picture above. It was surprisingly easy to do because my ancestors are already in the data base.  So, if you have your ancestors information already it will be easy, if you don't then there will be a LOT of investigating to do before you can have a chart like this one.
Big shout out to all my family members, (mostly ones from the generation preceding mine) who took their time to find all these ancestors for us.  You did a terrific job.

You can't see this chart very well because of it's size and the small names in all the blanks, but a little explanation of it is that the fathers side is on the right with his father in blue and his mothers side in various shades of green as the families come together. The red and yellow sides are the different generations and names of my mothers family up to the 6th great grandfathers and mothers. It will be fun to compare what we know and remember of these names and places where they came from. The dates of birth are included up until the 4th great grandparents.
I increased the regular 8.5 x 11" size to a large 24" x 36" poster and found a frame for it so it will be easier to look at.

So in short, here is what I had to do to get this chart completed.
Quick rundown:

*Go up to     and under "Resources" click on family history. I signed in and found my grandparents names already there. I plugged in my name and up came all my connections back several generations. You DO NOT have to be a member of the LDS church to use this site.

*Now go to create and login, then click on "Create".

Walla !!!!!!   It appears, all filled in (except some of the 8th and 9th generation names that no one has found yet.)

It just APPEARS!

*I then downloaded the complete chart, converted it to JPEG for the printer and took it to Walgreens Drug Store to have it made into a poster. You could order it online and just download it to their site or Costco, or any photo center, but I wasn't sure what size I wanted, so I went in to the store. I picked them because they were having a 40% off on enlarging. So it cost me 40% of $29.95.
Not bad for a couple hours of my time.

And did you hear me when I said "It just appears?" I really didn't even do anything.
AWESOME.  My parents will love it. Looking at these names all in one nice concise place.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

GG Pa & Ma

We had a very nice visit from my parents last month.
Dad drove all the way from St. George in one day and Mom, who doesn't drive anymore, seemed chipper after the long day too.
The Hubby took my Dad and son D to the Priesthood session of General Conference and for their traditional steak dinner afterwards, and although Dad enjoyed it, it was a little much for him to eat so late at night and such a heavy meal.
 They both loved our new back yard. The impatients have bloomed out nicely so there is pink everywhere you look. Not very fall like here.
We drove up to Alamo to visit a friend on my parents from their high school days. The husband of their friend has a "reader" machine for people with macular degeneration, and my mom (who has it) wanted to check it out.  I think she doesn't sit still for long enough to use something like that, but that is just my opinion.

We hung around here at home most of the time, and we also shopped a little and went out to eat a few times. Both of them like to go out for food for all three meals day, probably because they don't like to cook themselves. I am so used to never leaving my house unless I have to, that this is a foreign concept to me.

We were a bit worried about Dad driving here by himself in one day, but they did so well that when they left a week later I wasn't worried about them at all. And of course they had a great time, and did well. If I am as healthy and alert as they are at 86, I will be happy!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Another Charlotte

The Hubby took me on a ride last year and we stopped by a cool quilt shop in Livermore. (CA)
While there he said that I should make a small quilt for each holiday and hang it in our family room on the tall wall adjacent to the shorter kitchen ceiling.
I thought, "Sure, now you are adding to my to do list that is already a couple miles long." But I didn't think it was a bad idea, so I stashed it in the back of my mind. My home isn't the type that would lend itself to hanging quilts on walls, but I do make my share of different kinds of quilts, and although I don't want a country or farm house decor, the small quilt off by itself will probably work.
So this October I finished my first small holiday quilt.

*I already have one that my sis made me for Christmas, so now I've got 2.

Here is a picture of the quilt in the making. I first made a stop sign shaped black center and then started adding strips or a different black fabric all the way around. Choosing several patterns of black fabric I continued more rows outward until the desired octagonal size was achieved.  I used silver thread to quilt it to a backing and batting creating the web.

Now time to make spiders. A bunch of bright halloweeny colored circles were cut and I made yo-yo's of various sizes out of them. I used
2 circles that were 7 inches in diameter,
2 - 10 inches and
1 - 15 inch yoyo.
These fold gather to approximately half of the original size of circle.

The legs were made from narrow ⅜ inch ribbon. Take a 8 - 14 inch piece of ribbon and fold it in half, then fold one side over the other at the fold. Now take the ribbon on the bottom and fold it crosswise over the top, fairly tight to the first ribbon. Now that 1st ribbon is on the bottom so you fold it over to the top. Holding the ribbon so the top is the center and newly folded ribbon, continue folding the ribbons alternating them back and forth over the center. Pin together the two ends when they are too short to go on further.  Continue, making 8 legs for each spider.

Then I glued these legs onto the fabric under where the spiders would be sewn.
I put googly eyes on each spider. (don't look close, this was a sloppy glue affair) Large and medium eyes make for some interest.
The small spiders are just small yoyo's with colored cotton string for legs.

 Walla! My Halloween quilt. Up high on the wall that stops where the kitchen ceiling begins.
Not too scary, but still October 31ish.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


We have seen several huge spiders and webs around here since fall arrived and the plants and back yard are all finished. 
 The other day when Lena was at our home, I showed her one of the webs that stretched between the corner of the house and a bush 8 feet away. Lena then asked her insightful question of the afternoon, " Where is Charlotte?" 

I thought, "What a cute little granddaughter. Her Mom must read to her for her to know who Charlotte even is. Good job!"
Not a great picture of said spider web.

It got me thinking about a quote that I read referenced from the popular book. It is Charlotte talking about her children and how important they are to her.

..Charlotte from Charlotte's Web:

 "My Egg sac (her children) "My magnum opus, my great work, the finest thing I have ever made. Inside are my eggs, five hundred and fourteen of them. I counted them. I got started counting, so I kept on, just to keep my mind occupied. I guarantee it is strong. It's made out of the toughest material I have ."
                            - Charlotte explaining to Wilbur about her work.

Our children...are our "magnum opus. Our great work!"  Whether they come out rotten and drive us crazy:-), perfect and drive us crazy, or just as "our kids" and make us better people, they are our "Magnum Opus!"

How do we protect them? What is the toughest material we have? Is it love? testimony? example?
Those precious children sometimes become so protected that they can't grow and develop for themselves. Unlike Charlotte's children, ours are never allowed to fall from the top and see if they can catch themselves.

I feel like I have armed some of my "great works" with good strong testimonies, questioning minds, prayerful hearts, and self esteem. With these same tools of strength, some of them have acquired these strengths of mine in lesser amounts. Hopefully they will continue to grow as I do and as they assist those around them to be their best.

We all can, with the help of our Lord, eventually be a Magnum Opus. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Who Does This?

I am finally finished with a project that was a pain. I replaced the weather stripping on the older windows in our home.
It all started 4 years ago when we were remodeling out front living/dining rooms and entryway. I noticed the old stripping was fragile to the touch and would basically fall apart if you wiped or cleaned the window edges.
I couldn't find anything to replace it with at the hardware store except.

Something like this foam, that was sticky on one side and not with any notch type thing that fit into the grooves around our windows. I then asked a window seller that we had purchased our front door from about this and he indicated that he could get some for me. 

He ended up selling us a couple hundred feet of this grey plastic seal, and I hired Michael to put it in for me.

It never got done. My boy had it on his "list" of things to do for cash the summer after his high school year as well as the next summer (5 months) before his mission but ...... it didn't get accomplished.

So this past summer we were painting the house which was part of the snowball affect with the other massive job we were about, and I again had to address this window cold leaking issue. Now I could not find the original stripping (the Hubby had no idea what I was even talking about, even though it had been an issue for 3 years and I had fought Michael about it numerous times. Go figure.)
Was that even a sentence?
So I found some online that was white and ordered 15 feet of it to make sure it was the right stuff before I ordered more.
It was the right stuff. Starting in Michael's room I fixed one and a half windows.
And then I ordered 200 more feet of this stuff.

Then I accidentally found our original grey stripping in the heater room of our home. 

Next, I sent back the 200 foot spool of beautiful white weather stripping.

So I proceeded to strip away, finishing Michaels, then the bathroom windows and the front bedroom.  
It took me about 8 hours on this particular day and so I chatted with various people walking past our house about what I was doing and no one even knew that this task should be on their radar. Several of the windows had stripping that was gone completely and the bees or wasps had filled up other areas of the small tubing with some sort of crunchy stuff. There were large holes in lots of places, and it was generally completely rotted out where the sun shines on it. This is mainly on the East and South side of the home, where the sunshine is at it's brightest and best much of the year.

Including the day that I had selected to put it up. It was HOT!

So, I ran out of the stuff.

Ordered 30 feet more.

Put the rest of it up today and ...

DONE - nearly 4 years later. Aren't you excited that you don't have to continue reading about this gripping subject?