Monday, June 29, 2009

On the Road

We are leaving later this week to go visit our family 500 miles away. The kids and I will be gone for a whole month! That is such a long time, but I'm really looking forward to it. I don't know how regular my blogging will be, but I'll check in when I get a chance. The next couple of days will be spent packing and cleaning. And then we hit the road. I thought I'd post a picture of a road sign that I took in Wyoming a couple of years ago. It still makes me laugh.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Finding Joy: Part II

I was kneading dough the other night to make some rolls for dinner and suddenly realized how much I was enjoying it. The texture, the warmth, the smell, having my very own giant ball of "play dough" to squish over and over, my kids asking for bites of dough to eat, and my own happy memories of watching my mom knead dough and getting bites from her. Maybe this is one of my little quirks, I don't know. Does anyone else enjoy kneading dough?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Some Quilt Progress

The night before last my husband spent the evening at the temple and I stayed home with the kids. (I got to go last week while he stayed home.) The temple is about an hour and a half away from us so he didn't get home until 11:00. While he was gone I sewed and sewed and sewed.

I finished up my last squares for my nine patch quilt. Now I can start putting it together. But I really have no idea when that will happen.

And I finished putting together a quilt top for Ellen who is turning 5 today. I wanted to have the whole quilt done by today, but I'm not a very fast sewer and finding time to sew is a little difficult too, so it's not done yet. But she really likes the quilt top. I do too. She asked for a pretty quilt for her bed. Right now she has a brown and green comforter that works just fine, it just is not very girly at all. So I had her choose some fabric from my stash and I picked out one more to go with it. I picked out the green gingham with the pink flowers. Everything else was her idea, and they look really nice together.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Hiding Place

Over the last year or so a few (at least 6) people have suggested that I read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. I finally read it! It is the story of the Ten Boom family who lived in Haarlem, Holland during WWII. The family consisted of Casper, the elderly father, and his daughters, Betsie and Corrie. They were a Christian family and hid Jews in a special hiding place in their home. Eventually they were caught and sent to prison. Casper died quite soon afterwards. Betsie and Corrie were separated for a time, but eventually ended up back together when they were sent to the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp.

As with any war-time story there are many sad events in this book. But Corrie and Betsie's faith is so strong and encouraging that it changes this sad story into a very uplifting one. They experienced great love and amazing miracles as they tried hard to follow the teachings of Christ. I am so glad I read it. The Hiding Place shows that even in the most dire of circumstances, our Heavenly Father is mindful of us and will still answer our prayers and give us help. I happily recommend it!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Finding Joy: Part I

I've been trying to think more about the joyful things in life lately than the things that don't neccesarily bring me joy. Today some of those things are:

The new header I made. I love those lilacs!

Singing songs with my children. Especially Once There Was a Snowman sung backwards. In June!

Puffy white and gray clouds.

Phone calls from my husband.

The freedom of summertime.

Watching my 8 year old and my 18 month old cleaning up their bedroom together. Complete with high fives.

Big hugs.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

It's Sunday afternoon...

...and almost everyone is asleep.

There are only two of us still awake. It seems that no matter where we go, we run into sleeping people. So we are trying to be very quiet. I don't mind the quiet. It is very peaceful and gives me a chance to think. That's something that doesn't happen very often.

I think I'm going to go write a real letter and put it in the mail. That's something that doesn't happen very often either, but I think it should. Hope you are having a peaceful Sabbath too.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday's Fix-up: sock bags

It has been so long since I last posted a Friday's Fix-up! I am very excited to have one today, even if it is a little different than my normal fix-ups.

I struggle with laundry. Not the washing and drying part so much, but the folding and putting away part. Especially the socks! Having seven people in our family means that we go through about 49 pairs of socks a week. Minimum! Then I have to sort them and try to match them up and always have about 10 socks left over without mates. (Where could they possibly be going?!?) I dislike it so much that I put off the job as long as I can. But then one morning I always end up hearing, "MOOOooooom! I need socks!" I really don't like that either. Here is my solution. (I really, REALLY hope it helps.)

Each person in the family now has their own sock bag.

I bought these mesh bags 4/$1 at the dollar store. They were all the same color so I sewed a letter onto each bag, and now we can all tell quickly whose bag is whose. We put our dirty socks into the bag when we take them off our feet and I collect the bags when I'm doing the laundry. The socks will stay in the bags all through the washer and dryer, then I'll fold the socks for the younger kids, myself, and James. The older two have to fold their own socks. The clean socks will be put away and we will have a nice clean sock bag ready for more dirty socks.

I am SO excited!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Memories of Road Trips

Today is Wordfull Wednesday from Chocolate on My Cranium. Visit Cocoa's super blog to read more Wordfull Wednesday entries. The topic for today is memorable family vacations or summer time memories.

There are two family vacations that I remember most, however I sometimes get a little mixed up as to what actually happened on which vacation. Both of them were long road trips from Idaho to Tennessee to visit my great-grandmother, Grandmama Templin. The first was when I was 5 and the second when I was 8. We had a little red station-wagon, and my parents just folded down the back seat and laid out some blankets for my brothers and I to lay on and away we went. We had such a wonderful time back there! We counted semi trucks and played games like Cat in the Window and Bug. Sometimes my mom would take a nap in the back and I would get to sit up front with my dad and be the navigator. That was always a prized spot! When I was old enough, being the navigator meant that I would study the map and then make decisions about where we were going and which road we would take to get there. I'm sure my dad gave his input, but I was still the navigator and was in charge of getting us to our destination. That was a great feeling to have.

We couldn't just drive straight to Tennessee without stopping, and so we did stop at some wonderful places. Even though I was only five I can still remember looking at Mt. Rushmore and seeing those great big stone faces. We also stopped at Nauvoo. The only thing I really remember from Nauvoo is a little cemetery we walked through. We also stopped in Missouri to visit my Aunt Ruby. She was not really my aunt, but a cousin of my great-grandfather, but she was an aunt to us. I remember going with her to visit an old house out in the country, and it seems that it had been a house that she or maybe her mother had lived in as a child. There were some loose boards with nails strewn around, and I remember she held my hand and made sure I stepped carefully. Some time I need to write a whole post just about Aunt Ruby.

Finally we made it to Tullahoma, TN. I remember sleeping in sleeping bags in Grandmama's living room with my brothers. We did a little sightseeing with Grandmama, driving around the beautiful hills of Tennessee. I had never seen so many deciduous trees! We also went to Lynchburg and toured the Jack Daniels distillery. When we went into the huge room with the giant vats of corn mash, I just about got sick from the smell and one of my parents had to quickly take me out. Isn't it funny the things you remember? I remember going for a ride with Grandmama in her great big black car.

I don't have any pictures of Grandmama so I got this picture from my Uncle Jim's blog.

I only got to visit Grandmama three times before she died, but I am so grateful for each of those visits. I was young and don't remember very much now, but I do remember Grandmama and what she looked like and how she talked and what her house looked like and smelled like and what a neat yard she had and how she loved us.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Life Is Good

I have not posted here in over three weeks!!! How did that happen? Well, a bit of this and a bit of that and I just didn't blog. Or sometimes I did sit down to blog, and couldn't get the words to come out right.

But life has been good. I've been enjoying some very good books, some wonderful visitors, some beautiful weather, standing in my kitchen while lovely lilac scented breezes blow through my window, the end of the school year, puppet shows and great concerts in the park, picnics and hiking with my family, and right now I'm enjoying the company of a very sweet three-year-old who happens to be the only child up so far and who is showing off her amazing talent of wiggling her chin.

Oh, yes. Life is VERY good.