Thursday, October 9, 2014

Work, Drive, Work

Well, I can finally let the cat out of the bag now . . .                                                                
      Cowgirl has a new job, as manager of the Joann's in the big new Spanish Fork store. She'll start in January, though starts hiring her team this month, but its now officially hers! Since she just started as a manager in March she and we were surprised she would be selected, but her Vernal store (where she's still at)  has done amazing under her leadership and now with this store much larger, it will be a new challenge, but she's up to it!  After paying her dues for six years, she's starting to move up the career ladder quickly and we're very happy for her. She is a natural leader and its fun to see her using her great potential.
      That's not the only big career news, though. MyGirl has her first official job, working as support staff at an elementary school in our district. She'll be monitoring the cafeteria and playground for two hours every school day. Its the furthest school in our district. We refer to it as "The Little School on the Prairie," or "The Country School," so we're spending some time on the road, but its a perfect transition for her into the world of work. Now that she's in the district, which is a really good one, she'll be able to move up to different positions next year and from now on, so its a good career move for her also if she wants it.
     As for me, my work is the same - lots of laundry, shopping, cooking, driving, cleaning, keeping things organized with a little sewing thrown in for some good creative challenges. The quilt top on my Halloween quilt is done. I'll start quilting it tomorrow and hopefully have it done by the end of next week.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Busy Celebrations

Long time, no blogging, I know.
The past couple of weeks have been filled with company and activities and celebrations but I'll keep it simple here.
Month old photo, but MyGirl has finished school! Yahooooo!!!!!
We went out to celebrate her and she loved it!
Tennis is over for the JV team at Lewis Palmer. 
He and his partner had a great time, only losing one match all season. Go Guys !!!
 Now he and three of the friends you see here are taking lessons Friday after school, hoping to improve their skills and make the Varsity team next season.  Way to improve!
 Then Cowgirl drove all the way from Vernal and surprised her dad for his birthday! So we celebrated him and her safe arrival.
 Littlebuddy is working SOOOO hard in school this year, and while its been tough, he's keeping up. AND, he passed off another merit badge last month, and another to be passed off this month. Then only four to go to Eagle! More celebrating to come.
 Cowgirl brought her puppy, Maple, a sweet, energetic little dachsund. Mygirl especially loved taking her on walks and cuddling with her. 
 Now Cowgirl has big news and we went out to celebrate the last day she was here. I'm not at liberty to share it publicly yet, so I'll wait, but Wow! She is awesome and it was so great to have her home to share in the good news. We love celebrations!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I took these photos on my phone about a week ago coming home from seminary. Can you believe all the gorgeousness at 6:30 a.m?  It just filled the sky and I LOVED it! 


This just may be my favorite accessory color. I'm working on a quilt now with some orange. I have pops of orange in my living room, bedroom and family room. 
It also is one of my son's high school colors and since we're going to tennis multiple times per week, just looking for the orange shirts makes me happy. It also reminds me of both my boys. When BigBuddy was four he wanted to wear his orange shirt every day. After a week of that, I bought four more orange shirts for cheap and pretty much every photo of him except for on Sundays, that year, he's wearing orange. Now I recently bought some fabric for LittleBuddy's bed quilt and he said, can you add orange to that? Actually I can, and it will look fabulous with all the colors in the layer cake I got on sale. Yeah!

I guess its that time of year. Orange is everywhere, and right now, it just makes me happy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Halloween Table Topper

I know it would be better to actually see this on a table, but it photographs better against my sofa. . . .
I finished this last week, just in time to give to my quilt guild for their annual craft show.
MyGirl wasn't happy with me. She wanted me to keep it for our own family. Right now I'm working on a Halloween quilt for our family. I guess I'll have to make a table topper for us after that, though the whole rounded corner binding. . . maybe not, though it was another good learning opportunity for me ;-)

 I added a little hand stitching around the pumpkin I appliqued.
 I just made up this design. Nothing fancy, but he's got a little personality, and that's the fun of designing your own pumpkin, right?

The side piecing was actually designed after one of my favorite scrapbook designs I've used many times on cards and on pages for backing one particular photo. Good design easily crosses over from one medium to another. I really liked these fabrics, though, and a couple of them will be used also on my quilt. . . more to come. When my mom asked me how I did it, I said, "Well I cut out a rectangle, and from there, I designed everything around that." And that's pretty much how it went. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Best Grilled Chicken

After years of grilling chicken I have finally found the way I want to make it for the rest of my life. I searched on the web for the ways others are doing it, then created my own version, and it was delicious!!!

I started by taking six breasts and putting each one between two pieces of parchment paper, then pounding them so that they were all about 2/3 of an inch (I did not measure, but was looking for a uniform size. )Then I put them all into a gallon sized zip top bag.
Next I zested a whole small lemon, minced a garlic clove, and measured 1 tsp of dried oregano, 1 tsp of dried parsley, 1/2 tsp. of  dried thyme,  1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. I sprinkled all of that into the bag. Then I poured in 1/4 cup of olive oil, closed up the bag, and mushed it all together to where it all looked pretty uniformly covered. I let that sit in the fridge for a little less than two hours. 
Then I came back, added 2 cups of cold water, 1/2 tsp. of sugar and 1/2 tsp. of salt and mushed it all back and forth inside the bag and let it sit in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
Then I took out each individual breast, and patted it dry and put it on a large plate. 
Then I had my son grill them all on our gas grill on med-high heat for about 5 minutes on each side. 

They came out so juicy and flavorful!  
The pieces were so big when pounded, that all the women had half sized pieces and there are still two left. These will make the best lunch today with some sliced cob corn, romaine lettuce, and green onion. 
My mouth is watering just thinking about it. 

 My brother and his son were in town this past week and twice we all went to our favorite local park. On this particular day LittleGuy was all about catching bugs so BigBuddy was a good cousin and caught a grasshopper for him. Here they made the exchange.
 Then he excitedly ran over to show the rest of us.
 And, as soon as he opened his hands it jumped away again.
LittleGuy and MyGirl continued to chase it while the rest of us sat on the picnic bench enjoying the beautiful day. Summer this year has been either gorgeous or wet. We try to get out and enjoy the gorgeous as often as we can. Having little ones close by makes that both necessary and special. It was fun to see he and his dad again.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Babies, Puppies, and Dinosaur Bones

Last weekend (has it already been a week? Yikes!) we went to visit Cowgirl and meet up with our cousins. They have eight children in their family and seven were able to come, so that was fun. One of our activities was going to Dinosaur National Monument just out of Jensen, UT.  They have a wall where you can touch the bones, so everyone was excited to do that.

My favorite thing was seeing my older children find a younger cousin to just pal around with. I love that my children who have never lived by cousins, are always so excited to get to be with them. They get the importance of family - Horray! That's something I've been working hard to promote. In two of the cases there were 19 year age differences, and with Littlebuddy, he found a buddy just six years younger, and they were inseparable. Over dinner we were talking with Mike's brother, and they mentioned how important it is to make sure their children are just nice people. I readily agreed, and have been thinking about that ever since. In spite of their imperfect parents, I realized that somewhere along the way my children have all chosen to be nice people too, and I'm grateful for that.

Cowgirl, in fact, was sandbagging on her day off the day we were to arrive. She has always had a very compassionate, giving heart. I love that about her. She was good to hang out with everyone - adults, little ones, teenagers, and shared her darling puppy, Maple, and her spare room with MyGirl while we all crashed into her life for a short 48 hours. Her store is Packed with fabric, and we found some good deals too. Its beautiful where she lives, and it was great fun to see her life, and help her to see a little more of it than she has in the past six months.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dance Festival

 My baby boy is now a sophomore. I just keep getting closer and closer to the empty nest which I'm in no hurry to reach. I wish I could slow down time. His first day of school was yesterday. This was his photo when he got home. There was no time in the morning for pictures, with early morning seminary starting the first day also.
 School so far is hard. AP classes, hard classes, lots of homework. Yesterday he wasn't super happy about it all. I just listened with sympathy. I don't wish I was back in high school At ALL.

However, today was a new day. Its still hard. He still has lots of homework, but already he's starting to enjoy what he's learning. He's like this. In particular he was like this about the dance festival for two stakes in our area. They started practices in April. By June he hated it. By July he was complaining bitterly and didn't know why he was the only one in our ward doing it. Then he found out three other boys were doing it. As it turned out, there were really eight youth in our ward participating, but not many out of all the boys and girls. I don't always insist my children participate in things, but this time I just really felt I should insist he finish this. So, the last two weeks there were intense practices - four hour long kinds - eat dinner before you come. He realized he didn't know the swing dance very well, so he'd come home and use me as his partner. Clearing the chairs out of my bedroom, we put on you tube with the directions and music and learned his part. I was sweating after a half hour of "dance practice." He wanted to do it every day. I could tell he was starting to like it. Then the day of the festival came. He was at the event center by 9am even though the shows weren't until 4pm or 8pm. We attended the last one of the evening. And it was WONDERFUL! The theme was Come Unto Christ, and they expressed it through song, videos of the youth, and their dances. The Spirit was strong, and best of all, My son LOVED it. He was so glad he'd participated. He realized he really does like to dance. Hopefully you can spot him in the photos below. He's the tall one, usually in the back. In the couples dance he's wearing a turquoise T-shirt. I love his smile I was able to capture on film.

 The Western Dance of just young men.
 The Swing dance to "Happy." It was so fun as four different groups came on and off stage doing different types of swing dancing.
The all young men light dance. The lights later went out, and their glow sticks were all you could see. It was very cool but didn't photograph very well.
At the every end, they all sang together with all their hearts. It was moving and beautiful to see the youth unified and glowing with the Spirit. These are the memories of growing up he will always remember. The big events really are big events, and I'm glad he got to participate.