Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Thrifty Thrifty

A few weeks ago there was a giant yard sale fundraiser for a boy in our area who was killed in a roll-over accident at the high school. The lady that teaches swim lessons to my kids lives in the same neighborhood as this family. She sent out an email to all of her swim families asking for donations to the yard sale. We took some things from Scofield and a few things from our closets. We stopped by on the morning of the yard sale to check things out and support this family. We found this dingy, dusty shelf. I thought it would make a good little shelf to stick in the storage room and store my fabric and other sewing supplies.
I decided to spray paint it.
And now I love it.
And I don't want to stick it in the storage room.
I stuck the picture and the other little knick knacks on it to see how it looks.
I really LOVE it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Surround Yourself...

I have told this story a few times and I thought it would be a good idea to record it.

About a year ago this summer I had my second foot surgery.

I went in to the doctor last fall for my follow up appointment. The dr. said that my foot was not perfect, but it was as good as it was going to get. So, I asked him if I could do physical activities again. He said yes. I asked if running counted and he said, “yes. The more you do the better. Run. Jump. Skip. Ski. Whatever you want to do, do it. The more the better. It will strengthen your muscles and tendons in your foot and keep them strong.”

I was happy about the good news. I went home and told Rick that I was now cleared to run so I thought I should look for a local 5k and sign up and begin training. Rick’s response was, “why would you do that? You’ve already done a 5k. Do something bigger, something you haven’t done before. You should do a half marathon.”

I thought he was crazy.

But I started running. The first time I ran, I made it to the end of the driveway. Each day that I ran I would make it a little further. One day I mentioned that crazy idea of running a half marathon to one of my friends. She said, “great, let’s both sign up.”

I now had 3 people telling me that I could do something that I had never done. I didn’t think I would ever be able to do it considering I had spent half of the previous 6 months in a cast/using crutches. I didn’t actually run with my friend. More importantly, she was there to check on me and make sure I ran. She would email me or call. It was her concern for me that encouraged me to stick with my training schedule and therefore finish a half marathon.

This was similar to the experience that I had at Girls Camp. We got up on a Tuesday morning to hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls. It’s a 5 ½ mile round trip hike from the campground to the falls and back. On the day we hiked, it was clear, sunny, and HOT. We had about 45 people hiking together. Some in our group were athletic and conditioned to hike. Others were a little less adept at hiking through sand and rocks and were lacking in the thrill of hiking in the dry Southern Utah desert. Ages ranged from 12 to 60 something. So, needless to say we had quite a range of abilities and desires. Some didn’t do well with the heat and got dehydrated. Others had a hard time with their shoes filling with sand and the way the toes had to bend to get through the thick sand (that would be me!)

Because I was hiking slow myself, I was able to observe when people ahead of me were having a difficult time and had to stop. It seems like every single time someone would need a break another person was there to wait with them or help them and encourage them to continue.

I came to the same conclusion regarding both of these experiences:

In order to do difficult things, we must surround ourselves with people who have the same goal in mind whether that goal is training for and running a marathon or hiking 5 ½ miles to a waterfall or living a Christlike life. It seems that if we surround ourselves with people who are trying to do the same things that we are, then we will be more successful than if we attempt to do hard things without any support.

I think about all of those girls who were hiking in that hot summer sun. I really doubt that many of us would have completed the hike if we had set out on our own. I’m pretty sure that I would have turned around and gone back to the shade and called it a day. But every girl that said that the hike was hard was later happy that she endured and continued and did hard things. Relaxing in the shade and refreshing ourselves in the waterfall was such a reward and made the hike back down less difficult as well.

I think of our journey in life. It is important to surround ourselves with those who also have similar goals in mind. Sometimes I wonder why it is necessary to go to Church each week and to all of the other various meetings and commitments. But, I think that it is necessary to be close to other people in order to “bear one another’s burdens”. We need to be close to others in a physical and spiritual sense. Life is hard. ”Thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 31:16). But in the meantime, we need to be surround ourselves with those who share our same ideals. They will encourage us and we will in turn encourage them.

One of my favorite quotes is: “what is this life for if not to make life less difficult for one another.”




Endure to the end.

And help someone else along the way.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I am so spoiled!!!

This is what I gave myself for Sierra's birthday.
I know.
But I didn't have to yell at her today to practice the piano,
I just had to text her.
It was awesome.
And yes, we are celebrating yet another birthday at Arctic Circle.
We need to branch out a little, but hey--the price was right.

Works in Progress

These 3 quilts are all projects that Summer, BK, my mom and I are all working together on...

The tops are done and the top 2 have been quilted.
The bottom one is mostly Summer's project. It needs to be quilted.

The binding needs to be done on all 3 and then you will see the finished project.
The sewing machine is in the shop for the rest of the week.
I guess I better get the laundry and yard work done so that when it cools off soon we can get the projects done.

Monday, September 13, 2010

10 years ago...

10 things about Sierra
1. Sierra is very easy going
2. her favorite color is blue
3. she is an amazing sculptor
4. she likes to swim and ride her bike
5. she is a good snuggler
6. she likes to sleep-in
7. she gives good footrubs
8. she skips like a professional
9. she loves her Grandma's
10. she wants to have 10 kids of her own

Happy Birthday Sierra

Sunday, September 12, 2010

This Old House...Final Edition

This is the bedroom. this furniture might look familiar to some of you.
Rick and I got this bed and dresser when we first got married.
We were trying to think how many times this bed has been taken apart and moved.
It has to be at least 20.
And it's still solid as a rock.
The Living Room:
Complete with the deer head.
And our Hurricane Katrina salvaged couch and chairs.

And the Kitchen...
We chose the yellow cabinet color and then while we were at Ikea looking for counter tops, we saw the back splash with the blue stripes. So, we matched the wall color to the blue in the backsplash. The shelves above the sink, the hooks, and the magnetic strips all came from Ikea.
This view of the window wall shows the original wall paper that was in the house.
We decided to leave it for now. Mostly because I feared that once we started tearing wallpaper off the wall it would lead to at least 4 more projects. I'm pretty certain that wallpaper is currently holding the entire house together.
If anyone else is opposed to the wallpaper,
I have no issues at all with letting it go.
Just be assured that I will NOT be participating in any more projects for a very long while. maybe ever.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Conversations with Cole

A little background info...
Last weekend, Rick and Summer participated in a little SCUBA adventure. One of the neighbors in Scofield had capsized his boat and lost all of his gear and almost lost his boat and his life, for that matter. He was distraught about losing all of his "stuff" so he called Rick and asked Rick if it was possible to dive and look for his gear. So, Rick called a few of his diving friends and arranged for a dive.
Unfortunately there was a lot of wind and the visibility was only about 4 inches. No treasures were found. And poor little Summer didn't even get to dive.

well, a few days later Cole and Rick had the following conversation:

Cole: "Dad, you know when you went diving for Charlie's stuff?"

Dad: "Yes, Cole"

Cole: "Well, did you find any treasures, you know like skeletons or skulls or anything?"

Dad: "uhhh, no Cole."

Cole: "Oh. That's sure too bad..."

(do you think the kid has seen too much Scooby Doo or what???)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I know Spanish

OK, Summer is taking Spanish right now in school. She asks me questions a lot because I took 4 years of Spanish in high school and 15 credits of Spanish in college. yea, so I pretty much am fluent (not really).
Well, it all sounds like gibberish to Cole so he puts a bunch of weird syllables together and asks me what it means because he is speaking Spanish. His favorite thing to do is make-up words from English words.

For example, he says this weird version of "thank you" by rhyming
thank to talk
and by rhyming
you to saw.
So, now we all say thank you in Cole "spanish" and then laugh because everyone but Cole knows that thank you is really "gracias". But we just keep saying it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

two cute girls wearing aprons

I made these 2 for gifts.
I hope the happy homemakers like their aprons.
I've got a big stash of fabric I need to get working on.
I'm looking forward to cooler days,
for some reason it seems like a good time to sew when it's cool.
BK and I have been working on a little project together.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Some thoughts from Rick (printed in our ward newsletter)

As Summer draws to a close and the weather begins to cool, we begin to see many changes in our family's lives. A new school year starts, new commitments arise, and we seem to become involved in more activities than during the leisure days of summer. We now have homework to do, or homework to help with. There are new commitments in our lives. School meetings and ball games to attend. Lessons and practices take up a larger part of our lives. It seems as the days become shorter our lives become much more hectic and we can become overwhelmed with our day to day activities and commitments. We find that we have to make changes in our routine to fit everything we need to do into 24 hours. As this begins to happen I would suggest that we recommit ourselves to service.

We are a church of service. From our callings in the church to home teaching and visiting teaching, blessing and passing the sacrament, collecting fast offerings, setting up and taking down chairs, taking meals to the sick, helping people move into and out of the ward, attending the temple, cleaning the church building, attending meetings and activities that others have spent so much time in preparation for, as well as countless acts of service that go unseen - We are a church of service.

The scriptures abound with calls for service. King Benjamin taught “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” In a talk by President Monson, he says “The Savior taught His disciples, 'For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.' I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives.”

Sometimes we feel so overwhelmed by the business of our daily lives that we can forget those who need our help and the blessings we receive by providing that help. I relate a story from my own life not because I am a master at giving service but because it illustrates a point. Many years ago I was getting off the freeway in Orem by UVU. I was coming home from work and was tired. There was an old pick-up truck 2 or 3 vehicles in front of me. The light turned green and the truck did not move. We waited. Finally the two cars in front pulled around and went on their way and I was now stuck behind the truck through another red light. The light turned green again and still the truck did not move. My level of annoyance began to rise, but I was impressed that I should get out and see if the driver needed help. I went to the passenger side of the truck and there was a young mother with tears steaming down her face and her child in a car seat next to her. She told me her truck had stalled and she had been sitting there for 45 minutes and I was the first one to stop and help. This was before the days of cell phones so she had no way to call for help. I got behind her truck and started to push, soon I was joined by another man and a woman and we pushed the truck through that long intersection and to the side of the road. Another woman then stopped and offered a ride to the young mother and her child, and eventually we were all on our way. The thing that has stuck with me all these years is that she had sat in one of the busiest intersection in the state for 45 minutes. How many people had passed her by? I am grateful for the impression I had to stop and help that day and the lesson it taught me about service.

In a talk by President Monson, he says “I am confident it is the intention of each member of the Church to serve and to help those in need. At baptism we covenanted to “bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light.” How many times has your heart been touched as you have witnessed the need of another? How often have you intended to be the one to help? And yet, how often has day-to-day living interfered and you’ve left it for others to help, feeling that “oh, surely someone will take care of that need”?

We become so caught up in the busyness of our lives. Were we to step back, however, and take a good look at what we’re doing, we may find that we have immersed ourselves in the “thick of thin things.” In other words, too often we spend most of our time taking care of the things which do not really matter much at all in the grand scheme of things, neglecting those more important causes.

It is my prayer that as the new school year begins and the seasons begin to change that we can recommit ourselves to the service of others and the savior.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Noxious Weeds or Beautiful Blossom?

Thistles remind me of my dad.
I think that it was his passion in life to single handedly eradicate the world of this beautiful purple blooming cousin to the artichoke.

When he would go to Fairview to his cabin and find a Thistle growing on the property, no one could do a thing, not even potty, until every Thistle plant was uprooted and destroyed.

Last week when we rode on Skyline Drive, the mountain was full of purple blossoms.
My dad would have flipped at all of the millions of Thistle plants in bloom.
I kinda thought they were pretty.
Cole got a kick out of touching the purple blossoms that were still soft and not prickley.

There are some Thistle plants growing in my front yard right now.
I keep thinking I need to get my tail in gear and get them out--Dad would be so disappointed.
But, after seeing them blossoming so beautifully on Skyline Drive, maybe I will let them just grow for a few more days until I see a pretty purple flower
(but I WILL get rid of them before they go to seed unlike my sweet, kind, old, grumpy next door neighbor whom I think plants Thistle seeds just to spite me...)