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Finished 

Early this week I finished up the quilt and bunny and got them into their new owners hands.  

 Bunny Pattern and Quilt Tutorial

I really like how both of them turned out. Now I am daydreaming about how I want to make my next quilt. Something for Christmas maybe??

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Next Up Quilting

The bunny is done, back is pieced and basting is complete; now I just need a window of time to get started on the quilting.   

The top is complete. Once I figured out how to keep all the blocks in order and turned the right direction, things sped up and I finished it that same afternoon.    

For the pattern I used this tutorial. This is not my first time making this quilt but it is the first time I used her suggestion for color balance and I am really glad I did. I love how this turned out. 

  Later that evening we ALL went out trick or treating. Well Dave and I just walked with the kids. But the big kids went trick or treating too. At 17 and 14 the big kids are getting pretty old but I really enjoyed doing this activity as a family this year. And I am pretty sure it will be the last year for at least one of them.  

 Becasue I still haven’t  decided on backing fabric and still need batting for the quilt, I decided to make a Jack Rabbit with the scraps to go along with the quilt. She is all stuffed now but needs her head attached. As soon as I make it back to the store to pick up some floss for a face I will get her all put together. I still can’t decide if she needs a skirt or a dress though. We shall see. 

A little trick

Happy Halloween!!

This Halloween day is pretty quiet. All costume prep is done, a simple dinner is planned and ready to go and so I am spending a little time on  my new project. 

A trick? 

Well I discovered that if I mark my blocks with a washable marker I can keep track of my rows and columns much easier. When assembling a quilt top I mess up the order of the blocks frequently. I have tried taking a picture of the blocks all places in order and referring to it as needed in the past but with this quilt and with many of the blocks looking so similar I was getting fustruated by it.  

 I sure wish I had thought of this before. 

Some Pink and Gold

   It has been quite a while since I cut into fabric for a quilt. I am pretty excited. 

Early Mornings (right now) 


(Waiting in the car during early morning seminary)

With all the moves we do and as the kids grow and hit different stages in their life, our schedules and routines have to follow suit. What worked one year, one month and sometimes even one week may not work now.

But right NOW, this moment in our family’s life, this is my early morning routine. It was wonderful to savor and reflect on such ordinary moments with these people I live with and bask in the joy and peace they bring. Also to consider ways that I can strengthen my relationships with them, even at this early hour.

4:45am – My alarm goes off. It is such a shock and I regret that I didn’t set it for 4:35 so I could push the snooze. Regardless of the need to get up, I lay in bed a couple of minutes, notice Dave sleeping next to me, adjust my body so I can relax for a moment with my hand resting against his warm body.

5:52 – It’s late, so I hurry out of bed, potty, get dressed, pull my hair up into a sloppy bun, and head to the little kids room, in the dark, using my phone flashlight app to light the way.

5:55 – I enter their room, place the phone on the dresser with the light pointing to the ceiling to softly illuminate the room. After a second or two to admire Hollis’ chubby cheeks framed in his new haircut, I adjust his body so he is laying the right direction and cover him properly in hopes that he will sleep comfortably until 8:00am.

Next I move over to Bron’s bed. She is wrapped up tightly in a thick grandpa made blanket. As I peel the blanket off her, she begins to stretch and I react to this movement by sliding her legs over to the side of the bed. By the time her legs reach the edge, she wakes up enough to stumble across the room and wait at the door for me to illuminate the way. Before leaving the room I glance around to see that everything is in order and then quietly close the door.

Following Bron to my room, I stop at the door, illuminating the room ceiling until she slides into my bed. I like to imagine she is snuggling up to her dad, adjusting for a few moments until she is still. I close the door partiality and head to Thisbe’s room.

Thisbe sleeps completely covered and so I can turn the light on right away without shocking her. She hears me as I unplug her fan and I ask her if she is awake. After I have been reassured, I head to the school room where I plug in the fan, turn on my exercise video, slip on my shoes and head to the fridge for the spray bottle.

5:02 – It’s late! I walk over to Magnus’ room and before turning on the light I spritz his face (per his request) with the cold water. Before I leave I spritz his face a couple more times as he tries to hide it, assuring me he is up. I ask if he is sure and then take the bottle back to the fridge.

Finally, I start my video and slowly work out the kinks in body.

Finding Peace with the Pain

I have been very hesitant to share this part of my life. It has so many feelings attached to it. Some really painful ones and really many that I just don’t understand yet.  However, I feel like I should at least attemp to document this time in our family’s life. 

I can not tell the whole story though. It is way to much for me to try and digest. In fact, right now all I can really wrap my brain around is a small part of MY experience. Some sadness, how I coped, and a little about what I learned.

So… Dave deployed. He packed up all that he needed for 6 months into a large duffle bag, kissed his family goodbye and left the country. 

I won’t talk about his experience but I do want to show this pic. 

  
This picture make me laugh every time I look at it. It is his first time participating in Mustache March. I can’t decide if I am happy or sad I never got to kiss him with that thing on his upper lip. But apparently if anyone can pull off a mustache, he can. 

To keep it simple (mostly because I lack the ability to understand let alone explain all those feelings I experienced) lets just say, I was really really sad to have him gone. I have never lost a close loved one to death and so I can not say this from experience but it felt like I was mourning him like I would if he had died. My heart was broken.  

This was a new depth of heart ache for me and it caught me off guard. I would love to say that I handled it gracefully but I didn’t. I did the best I could though and don’t have any regrets. 

I may have handled it better if I was only dealing with my own personal emotions. I don’t live alone though, and had 4 struggling children in the home with me. To be honest it was not always pretty and we definitely had our ugly moments of struggle but…

WE MADE IT!!

And I would even say we came out stronger. Well I guess I can only speak for myself here; I made it out stronger and as a mother I can tell our family is stronger and more united because of it. I would even go as far as saying I am grateful for the experience. 

As far as the coping goes, I relied on my faith and the testimony I have of our savior Jesus Christ more than I ever have. His grace is the only reason I made it. It became absolutely clear to me the difference between my own ability and the strength He provided. I never had relief from the pain in my heart but I had so many blessings to feel grateful for that I had peace with the pain. 

I think that is all I want to say about this right now. 

Anyway, he’s back and we are finding a normal again with his transition back into the home, a new season, and the start of a new school year. 

Inserts

     

A little crafting has been going on around here. I made myself a fabric fauxdori (Madori Travelers Notebook) a few weeks back along with some trial inserts. After using it for a few weeks trying out different types of notebooks, I decided that I needed a bunch of lined notebooks for journaling and scripture study and a few custom list notebooks for my routine. So I made some. A beautiful rainbow of them. 

For the notebooks I followed this tutorial. To make the lines on the paper I just opened a Word document and set the page up with two columns and filled the pages with underscore lines. 

A photo walk

Today I actually got out with the sole purpose of taking some pictures. Well some adult conversation as well. Funny thing though, I forgot my camera and was stuck using my phone. Regardless, I feel like celebrating because I went. 

   
           

Uncurling

I really thought I hated this plant. It pokes me as I walk to my front door, all the way through my clothes. It catches me off guard every time and makes me angry. I have to keep it trimmed way back to avoid this.

When I saw the center of it swelling and getting ready to send up some new leaves I furloughed my brow thinking about cutting off and hauling away the older leaves getting pricked and scratched all the while.

Then as these leaves started to grow and uncurl I forgave it for its pokey terrible leaves. These little uncurling leaves are so beautiful and worth any pokes and scratches I will have to endure.

At least I feel like this now.


    

Swimming 

  

Swimming season is upon us and the girls have signed up for swim team. There’s nothing like scheduling something for every single weekday, for a handful of weeks, to speed up time a bit. 

Prom

My beautiful daughter went to her first formal dance. Even a few days before the dance she was beaming with excitement and anticipation. It is really fun having a child old enough to be experiencing these types of things.

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Camping 

A couple of weeks ago we had a huge storm in our neighborhood. Like many roofs now need replacing and many cars need body work due to the wind and hail. This is the night we decided to go camping.

Don’t worry we were not camping in our neighborhood and missed out on the hail. We were close though and got quite the surprise at 3:00 in the morning while all snug in our tents.

A night to remember for sure.

In the morning we found a few displaced critters including this spider.  To be honest, it seems kind of small now that I look at the pictures but we were all a little uncomfortable with the idea of him being under our tent.

I am glad we braved the rain though. We weren’t expecting such an exciting night but memories we definitely made.

And the next day…Sun

Perfect

Toilet Paper Babies

Sometimes as a mother I get distracted and then notice that my two year old is being really quiet and I haven’t heard from him for a while.  I know you mothers out there know just what I’m talking about. Right?? 

Well, this time it was me realizing that Hollis was still in the bathroom and it has been quite some time. I peeked in to find him arranging a completely unrolled (a fresh roll no less) roll of toilet paper into a nice pile. He was so proud and stood up and declared “Baby!!” 

Not sure what he was talking about I asked him what he was doing and he started to gather this large pile of tissue and declared “Baby!” 

He quickly left the bathroom with as much of his pile he could carry and started talking about a blanket and wasn’t satisfied until I had it all wrapped up. 

   
     

It’s a good thing he’s so cute…

It was a lovely day.   

   

  • Started my day with my favorite breakfast, refrigerator oats. (1/2 cup oats, 5/8 cup milk in a jar overnight. I heat mine in the microwave with a drizzle of maple syrup in the morning)
  • Lovely flowers delivered to my door from Dave. 
  • A couple visits from friends bearing gifts and birthday wishes.
  • I ate lots of cookies. 
  • A good long nap
  • And more cookies. 

My favorite part of the day was heading to the temple. (If you want to learn more about our temples see this link.) My mother and I both traveled to our local temple, mine in San Antonio hers in Seattle, talked along the way with Bluetooth in our cars, searved our ancestors in our temples and then talked on our way home. 

A perfect way to start a new year. 

39 Years Old

  
Today I turn 39. I just realized that this will be my very last year in my 30’s. Not at all sure how I feel about that.

Today promises to be busy and not with traditional birthday fun. I do have a few things up my sleeve to make it special though. 

Holding The Bowl

The calendar says it’s time for another birthday but it just doesn’t feel like it. Dave has been out of town and so we celebrated his birthday almost a month ago as we prepared a care package for him instead of the usual cake and presents last week. Usually the house has leftover decorations from his day to remind me that my special day is on the way. Not this year. Hmm

I decided to break more birthday tradition this year and make up a batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookies to enjoy instead of cake. (You can find the recipe here)   

It’s still a couple days early but I figured I’d make up the dough today so I can snack on it a bit. I also have a friend who could use a few of these cooked up for her family today. Hollis and I need a couple to sample as well. You know, just to make sure they are birthday worthy.

And so the fun begins. 

One of my favorite memories with my mother is of making cookies together. My job was to hold the bowl. As a young girl she contracted polio leaving her with only minimal use of her right arm. If someone wasn’t there to hold the bowl it would spin and spin as she used the beaters. I was always rewarded with one of the beaters and if I wasn’t taking turns holding the bowl (it was often a coveted position when making cookies) I got both. 

Now that I have my own children I often ask someone to hold the bowl for me when I use the hand mixer. Not that I need the help but because I love to share the experience of baking cookies with them. The big kids will all tell me that I have already told them, again and again, that I used to hold the bowl for my mother. I tell them all about it anyway. 

Today it is Hollis’ turn to help with the cookies.  The first time he has been interested. He is even strong enough to hold the bowl. 

   
        
So… Are these cookies birthday worthy??

   

They most certainly are.  

 

Together

This is a rare scene that I hope to see more of. 

   
   

Getting Started

I have got my time organized and now all that is left for me to do is get to work.

Tuesday – Blog

That’s what it said on my schedule. For one reason or another I decided to not give up on this blog.

Today I bring you my daily companion, dramatically playing with his favorite little people character.

The Chicken

This is the scene just after getting knocked out in their wrestling match.

BAWK!!


  

Really!?

This weekend we celebrated Magnus turning 13. We now have two teenagers in the house. TWO!! Am I really old enough for this? I must be.

Magnus has been a delight from the very beginning. Loving, thoughtful, teachable, considerate and unselfish. I couldn’t be more proud to be his Mama.

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Well hello there…

It sure has been a while. Things got crazy and this blog was removed from the to do list.

With all the craziness of summer camps, packing and moving I somehow managed to finish all 6 of my quilts before the move. 3 scrap penny patch quilts and 3 baby quilt for new mamas. However, all the pictures are still on my camera waiting to be uploaded. I hope to show them to you but I am not committing to anything right now. Well anything except enjoying my summer and finishing the unpacking.

I do have some fun news though. My baby Hollis turned 2 yesterday. Here are some pics from his day. All and more found on Instagram #hollisis2 Follow me at lirpacrom.

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38

Well, it happened. I turned 38. Funny though, when I imagine what 38 years is like, I don’t feel I fit the bill. I suspect that is normal though.

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Pics from my birthday walk with Hollis.

Today

Magnus returned from a scout campout with brown legs and arms and a pink neck and cheeks. I guess sunscreen will be in his pack for next time.

Bron and I, with some help from Thisbe, planted some peas in a large pot, crossing our fingers we can enjoy a few pods before it is time to move.

Thisbe gathered and filled another jar with walnut shells found beneath our oak trees.

I noticed splatters of pink smoothie on the stair well walls and walked by without cleaning it up. Don’t judge but it is still there.

Almost Time

I am getting excited to get going and finish up these quilts. I’ve got the first top and back pressed and ready to go. To be honest this top is my least favorite. So, to get it out of the way, if you will, I am quilting it first.

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There is an orange fairy costume that comes before I will let myself even baste this one. Oh and I still need to get some batting. Details

 

 

Burning

Today I woke up with my heart just burning with love. Gods love for me but also love for my life.
After a couple of days of fighting almost opposite feelings (hormones??) it was so wonderful to see things clearly.

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While watching my daughter walk into Seminary this love and peace was almost overflowing. I felt so proud and honored to be her mother. This girl, my first born, the one who made me a mother, has taught me so much.

At home, I watched my 8 year old proudly using her new skill of tying her own shoes. I thought about the day before on the couch, assuring her that if she tried it 200 times she would have it. (isn’t it funny that I was teaching this at 8?) She was beaming as she wiped away her tears. ” It didn’t even take close to that many times.”  I wouldn’t have traded that moment with her for anything.

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Then there was the moment at the dentist. I watched this mature woman,
probably the age of my mother, lift and even more mature woman (her own mother??) out of the car and into a wheelchair. At this point things were overflowing. I watched and was filled with love for my own parents and inlaws. Will I get to have the honor of being there for them, and serve them in the way that they served my husband and I so many years ago. Oh, how I wish we lived closer.

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Oh this life! Isn’t it wonderful, that we have people to share it with? People to love and be loved by. Those to teach and be taught by. Mouths to kiss and bodies to hold. Moments to share and treasure.
Today my heart is just burning.

Some Extra Time

My free time at home is pretty limited. Having only one kid at home during the day, a busy toddler no less, really sucks it all up. If any time presents it’s self I have to choose between so many things I want to do. A nap usually wins. (Early morning seminary and late evening Dr Who episodes with my husband, makes for a tired mama.) However, I have had a few days with extra free time. I would set a 30 minute timer for the nap and wake up and sew or read a book.
Right now I reading a David A. Bednar book called Increase in Learning. My mom sent me an early birthday present of this and two other of his books.
For sewing, I’ve been working on my last penny patch quilt. I have all the squares completed and am hoping for some extra time so I can sew them all together.

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Once I get the top and back done I can measure all the quilts and figure out how much batting I need to get. I think a 40% off coupon to Hobby Lobby will be helpful with this purchase.

A special thank you to a thoughtful reader. Tia of Julibeans rebuilt the pdf for my Bear and Bunny Pattern to include the missing instructions for the jacket. Thank you so much.

The link in Patterns and Tutorials has been updated and you can also click on the picture below.

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Yellow, Purple and Grey

We enjoyed a simple conference weekend. As of now we have not maintained any traditions around this twice yearly two day event. Well other than the actual gathering and watching it as a family.
This year we had an active, mobile, noisy toddler with us. I don’t remember Hollis being much of a disturbance in October but boy things were different this time. There was the normal happy toddler noises but also the desperately trying to get your attention, throw a toy at your head things too. At one point he was dive bombing people from the couch. Ouch.

Funny Hollis Story

I am pretty sure he assumed that each person speaking was simply give a very long prayer. When he noticed the person talking on the computer he would fold his arms and close his eyes super tight and start mimicking what the speaker was saying. Slowly we’d see his eyes start to open and then he’d shut them tight again, continuing to mimic what the speaker was saying. After a few moments he would get bored and wander the living room and play until he noticed the speaker again. Quickly he’d close his eyes and fold his arms and repeat.

Such a cutie.

By the end of each two hour session he was pretty crazy and loud. I wondered more than once why we were even bothering watching conference. I always concluded that it was well worth any disruption. If not for the message it’s self then for the tradition of gathering.

Today I revisited the Sunday morning session and listened to it while I did some sewing. David A Bednar’s talk was very enlightening. (hmm, how did I miss this talk? Maybe it was the crazy toddler insisting on riding my leg like a horse) I had one of those, this talk was written just for me moments. If not, it was something, I too, really needed to hear.

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So about these quilt blocks.

These belong to my last Penny Patch quilt made from my scraps. I am really loving the yellow, purple, and grey combo. I didn’t give much forethought to this or any of the other penny patch scrap color combos. These were just what I had left. My hope is that I can continue to find time to revisit conference,  during Hollis’ nap time, down in my little sewing nook. I am itching to complete this top so I can move on to quilting. This one will make 5 quilts that will be ready to be quilted. Three penny patches and two baby quilts for gifts. I suppose the baby quilts should be done first since those little girls will be born in the next few months but the kids are hoping I get to work on the penny patch they have claimed for themselves.

 

“Mama, mama”

 

 

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Hollis surprised us by walking towards me, arms out stretched, saying “Mama…Mama.” This was followed my me scooping him up and getting the biggest hug ever. I hugged and squeezed him till he just about popped.

This little guy only uses a few words and none consistently. So this “Mama!” was so very special. Thank you Hollis, you definitely made my year.

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This weekend our family will be camping out in the living room to watch General Conference. I love this time of year and encourage you to join us in listening to a prophets voice. You can find it here.

Letting Go

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(Pictures from my walk yesterday)

If there is one thing that I am pretty good at, it is not over scheduling myself. When there are too many too dos on the list my brain seizes, anxiety sets in, I turn into Sargent Mom, and no body is happy. I know this about me. So, I try to plan accordingly.

Sometimes you just can’t avoid it. If I know this kind of day is coming and I don’t let the thought of it overwhelm me so I can think straight, I usually do as much prep work that I can. You know, do and extra load of laundry the day before if it can’t wait. If dinner is complicated and I can’t change it, I try to as much chopping and what not the night before. Things like that.

Well, today is one of those days. I did as much prep work that I could and knew in advance things would be a little crazy. Said major prayers that I wouldn’t say anything I would regret and just left the day up to God. If I had to miss an appointment because one went too long or if the kitchen was a total disaster, I would just have to let it go. I would do my best.

Napping – totally out of the question. Blogging – not today. Ha!

Should I be surprised? NO!

One of the things I need to work on in letting go. Just doing my best and leaving the rest up to God. It always works out if I do.

Today I ended up with a three hour break. Three hours! I got a restful nap, dinner ready to slide into the oven later, pictures uploaded, and a this blog post written.

I do still need to prepare for anticipated crazy days. However once I’ve done what I can I just need to let go and let it play out.