Friday, September 30, 2011

This time last year...

This time last year things were crazy.  Craig and the kids had already moved to Iowa and were trying to settle in our new house while I was Missouri getting things finalized there for the big move north.

A year ago today I left my job at Callaway Nuclear Power Plant.  I was horribly sad, and more than a few tears were shed.  I fully expected to be there next month to help with their outage, but circumstances with my families health and well being are keeping me away this year, again more tears being shed.   I truly miss my friends and the work that I did there.  They are amazing people and I they were a huge part of my life for more than 5 years.  I couldn't have asked for better co-workers and friends.

On a happier note... Today is my Mother In-Law's birthday!  

Last year our gift to DiAnn didn't go quite as planned.

As all of our family lives in Utah, I often send gifts from  Seriously, I love Amazon, I could write and entire post on how much I love  But I regress... I like to send gifts from Amazon because I am a prime member so I get two day shipping free, and since they gift wrap for a pretty reasonable rate I usually end up saving money.  So, it was to Amazon I turned once again to get DiAnn's gift.  That's when all the trouble began.

Well actually... not all the trouble.  First of all, DiAnn and Craig's brother Matt have birthdays that are just one day apart.  One on Sept. 30th, one on Oct. 1st.  I often forget who's birthday is when.  And did I mention things were a little crazy this time last year?

So, I got online and decided I would see if I could find DiAnn a lovely piece of jewelry with her birthstone.  So I did a quick search and found a lovely little ring.  Now, sometimes I have found that if I don't put something I like in my cart I won't find it again.  So I put the little ring in my cart.  I called Craig to let him know what I found and he was worried about the size.  AHHH good point, I have no idea if it will fit.  So I kept looking and found a beautiful bracelet that I thought she would love.  All was settled!  I chose gift wrapping and sent it on it's way.  Expected delivery date Sept. 29th. 

Sure enough, on Sept. 29th the package was delivered... right to MY front door.  WHAT?  Plus there were two lovely packages in the box.  TWO? WHAT?  The ring!  I had forgotten to take the ring off the cart.  See, Amazon has this one click ship button.  It uses all your default settings and one click and your done.  I was a little stressed out and distracted so I wasn't really thinking it through when I used the one click button.  OOOOPPPSSS!

I decided to keep the ring, maybe it could be a Christmas gift if I could find out if it was the right size and sent the bracelet.  It would be a little late but that's OK right.

Imagine my extreme embarrassment when I realized later that her birthday is September 30th not October 1st, which is what I was thinking when I bought Opals.  :)  It sure is a good thing we can laugh about it now, and I was right.  She loved the bracelet.

Happy Birthday DiAnn!  We love you!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm soooo excited!

I received my first "Goodies Swap" package today!  I am really, really excited, and totally in love!

Cathrine at Sew Wonderful Life was the amazing lady who made this wonderful gifts.

Aren't these lovely.  A mug rug, fabric box, and extra bits of fabric.  So beautiful. 
A close-up of the mug rug.  My camera isn't the best so it doesn't do this beautiful piece justice.  The little squares in the center are so tiny (one inch) and perfect.  She did lovely hand quilting.  Love it!
The back of the mug rug!  Yummy!
Fabric box!  This is so darn cute I just love it! 
Catherine sent me a wonderful little note.  She was a little worried she may have over done it with the green.  I assure you it is perfect.  I love green and I love batiks and I think these are gorgeous! 

As a bit of a side note:
Catherine lives in Tiptree, Essex, United Kingdom.  My kids were soooo excited to get a package in the mail all the way from the UK.  My family, especially my boys, are obsessed with all things British.  My oldest son is sure it doesn't get any better than British comedies and Dr. Who.  Our ancestors came to the United States in the 1860's.  They had been baptised into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons) and left their homes to live with other members in Utah.  I think these ties are part of the reason for the obsession.  And why they were all so impressed that my swap partner was from the UK.

I think CJ summed it up best when he said, "She made all of this stuff just for you?  That is really, really nice."

Thank you Catherine!  I love, these great gifts and truly appreciate the effort you put into making me such lovely things.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Goodie Swap Packages are on their way!

I am so excited.  I sent of both of my Goodie Swap packages this morning.  This has been so much fun.  A little intimidating and overwhelming at times but a ton of fun.  I tried somethings I've never done before.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and made my goodies from a picture I saw.  I think they turned out pretty good, not perfect, but I think they are cute.  Now I just hope my partners like them as well.

Here are pictures of the completed packages.  Each partner received a mug rug and goodie.  The goodie was a quilting totebag.  I also found this amazing idea for Molten Chocolate Cake in a cup and had to use it for this swap.  After all it is a mug rug swap, shouldn't you have a mug to use?

I am so excited!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Goodie Swap finished

I finished all the bits for my goodie swap and will be sending them off to their new homes first thing Monday morning.  I sure hope my partners like them.  I made each partner a mug rug and for the goodie a quilt class tote.  It is large enough to hold a small cutting mat, rulers, rotary cutter, scissors, etc.  There are two pockets on the front and one on the back. 

Now I just need to gather a few little nuggets to go with these and they are off.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Half Way Done

I am half way done with my Goodie Swap!  Both mug rugs are finished!  I got the quilting finished and the binding on last night!  Now I just need to finish up the goodies and get them in the mail this weekend!
Front of Mug Rug #1

Back of Mug Rug #1

Front of Mug Rug #2

Back of Mug Rug #2

CJ is half way done with his treatments!  We got the results of his bone scan yesterday and the infection is NOT in the bone.  So that means we only have to do two weeks of treatment and this morning marked the end of the first week.  Fourteen treatments done...Fourteen to go!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Paper Piecing class

I went to my paper piecing class yesterday.  I love the group of woman in my quilt group.  Most of them are closer to my grandparent's age than my parents.  They have children and grandchildren my age.  They are such a vast pool of knowledge and everyone of them are willing to give advice and help.  There are five of us in this class.  These ladies are a riot.  They have all known each other for years but include me in their little circle like I'm a long lost friend.  They are seriously so amazing and talented and gracious.  Here is the progress I made yesterday.

I'm loving the colors.  I think it is going to be so beautiful.

I took some pictures of CJ at the hospital.  He is such a sweetheart and he really is being pretty good about this whole thing.

 The laptop has become our portable DVD player. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mother's guilt

I often feel very guilty when I do something just for me.  Something that I enjoy and go and do by myself or with a friend but without my family.  I love being with my family and I miss them when we are all doing our own thing.  Besides, there are a gazillion things to do around here. 

But I also know that I have to take care of myself if I am going to be capable of taking care of the family.  So, I usually manage to push the guilt aside and enjoy myself.  I also tend to feel guilty all over again when I get home and see that my to-do list is still a mile long. 

Today I am taking a rare afternoon for myself.  It means leaving Craig home alone for a few hours but he has assured me that he will be OK.  I am taking the first of a series of classes on paper piecing.  I am SO excited.  My LQS is offering a once a month for six months paper piecing series. The first quilt is called "Mini Star Table Runner."
The fabric I choose is amazing.  The background is a beautiful flora batik that is mainly cream.  The star fabrics are very rich marbled, multi-tonal prints one each of purple, green, and fuchsia.  I am so in love!  (I'll post pictures later.)

We will be working on a different Judy Niemeyer pattern each month.  If you have ever seen one of Judy's patterns you know how amazing they are, and why I am so excited.

The October quilt is "Cappuccino".  I'll be honest this is probably my least favorite of Judy's patterns but I'm excited to learn the technique because it is used in some of my favorites.  I haven't picked my fabrics yet.  I'm thinking maybe fall colors?  Not sure yet.
I have been obsessed with Judy's quilt patterns for a long time but I am a bit of a coward, and have been too scared or intimidated or something to tackle one.  But here are some of my favorites.

Aren't they amazing.  Every time I see one of these quilts finished I fall head over heels in love.  So I plan on enjoying my afternoon.  I think it will be worth any guilt I may feel when I see the piles and piles of laundry waiting for me when I get home. 
I am ready and in great need of a me day!  I'll post my progress from the class later. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I Do Not Know The Meaning Of All Things

It has been a pretty hard couple of months at our house.  I'm not exaggerating when I say it has been the worst time of my life.  My husband has been in the hospital for a total of 27 days in the last six weeks.  The treatment we thought was the answer to prayers has turned into my worst and most terrifying nightmare.
It has been very hard for me to "Keep the faith".  I have found great comfort in the prayers of so many family and friends.  I am still not sure how this is all going to turn out but I am sure that it will.  I am truly hoping that I can someday look back and see the path clearly and understand why things have had to happen the way they did. 
In the Book of Mormon the great prophet Nephi is visited by an angel of the Lord.  He is shown many things, including the coming of the Savior.  The angel asks Nephi a question.  In his answer I have found great truth and comfort.
"And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?  And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things."  1 Nephi 11:16-17
I certainly do not know the meaning of all of things but Ido know that God loves his children and that He is with us.  I know that He comforts me.  I know that He has promised to never give me anything I cannot handle with His help.  So... I may not know the meaning of all things, but like Nephi I know that my Father in Heaven and my Savior, Jesus Christ love me and are they are always with me.

This knowldege is helping me to keep the faith.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Zachary's always good for a laugh

My oldest son Zachary cracks me up!  He often says the most off the wall comments.  He is super quick!  I've shared some other stories here.

He is great at making up stories.  CJ will just give him a topic, like frogs or tangled, and he just starts telling stories.  They are usually pretty detailed, funny, twisted, wacky, in other words, very much like the story teller.  CJ laughs the whole time.  I forced him, literally kicking and screaming, to take creative writing next semester.  He struggles with actually writing things down.  he says he has all these ideas and stories floating around in his head but when he tries to write he draws a blank.  So, I am hoping creative writing will give him the skills to write down all his thoughts.

Last year Zachary lost the screw in his classes.  We headed to our local Wal-Mart vision center to have it replaced.  While we waiting he was putting on glasses and basically just goofing around.  He put on a pair of dark round lens glasses.  All of the sudden he throws his hands up in the air and yells... "SHARON!!"

I lost it.  We don't listen to Ozzy at our house but he must have seen an episode of "The Osbourne's" or something.  We laughed about all day. 

Zachary can be an ornery little cuss at times but he can be very sweet.  He is always trying to cheer us up. Remember the X-box?  CJ is having to have intervenes antibiotic treatments so he has an IV port in his arm.  When we got home from the hospital Zachary grabbed CJ by the shoulders and in the most overly dramatic voice cries out, "Oh no it's broken!  Mom, it's broken.  Now what?  (dramatic pause for effect) Should we cut it off?"  He had CJ giggling and he forgot about the IV port for a little while.

We love you Buddie!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

And the hits just keep on comin'

Well apparently we haven't spent enough time in hospitals of late.  So, I get to spend hours, and hours, and hours at them for the next 2 - 6 weeks.

Several months ago CJ had what appeared to be an infected hang nail.  We treated it with ointment and bandaids until the finger became so sore that he refused to use it and cried if I touched it.  So we went to the doctor.

His doctor cut the finger open in an attempt to drain the infection.  Unfortunately, it didn't drain.  I'm serious.  It bled but not very much and very little drainage, if any came from the finger.  This concerned the doctor so she took a few swabs from the incision she had made.  She started him on some antibiotics.  Two weeks later the finger now looks like a shrivelled yet strangely swollen red grape.  The finger nail is completely deformed.  The test result were also back.  He has a MRSA infection. 

Apparently MRSA comes from staph and is very, very resistant to antibiotics.  So, our doctor started us on a super strong anti-biotic.  It didn't work.  And not only did it not work but CJ has had one of the rare side effects to the drug.  (What is the deal with this family and rare side effects, like Craig having a horrific side effect to the treatments he was on that only happens to 3 - 5% of the patients who have this treatment.)  He has developed some kind of tendinitis in his Achilles tendons, which could lead to a rupture.

So we are now left with the only choice of having intravenous antibiotic treatments.  They are now afraid that the infection is in the bone.  So, CJ will have a bone scan done on Friday morning.  If the infection is not in the bone we will have to go to the hospital for about 2 hours twice a day, 6 am and 6 pm, for the next 2 weeks.  If the bone scan is positive we will have to go for 6 weeks.  So let's pray it isn't in the bone.

I'm thinking now might be the time to finish that crochet project.  What else am I going to do at the hospital day after day after day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Well, I think I've made some progress! I took a few deep breaths and finished my mug rugs for the Goodie Swap.  OK so their not completely finished.  I still need to quilt and bind them.  But they are pieced and I like them.  I just hope my partners like them.

For Partner #2

For Partner #1
 Apparently the lens on my camera is dirty.  Ignore the smudges. 

I have a few ideas for the goodies to go with these.  I'll post pictures when I'm done.

I had to laugh at a post from this time last year that Facebook showed me this morning.  It too was about progress.... well sorta!  Enjoy...
After years of wasted money I have FINALLY found a toy my fabulous cat will play with! Imagine my surprise when he pounced and attacked my hair clip... unfortunately it was still in my hair at the time.
Spooks (my kitty) won't play with anything! But he loves this clip. I can't get within striking distance with it in my hair. He smacks at it like its a ball or something. And the more I move my head to get him off of me the more he goes after it. He sure is lucky I love him.

I ended up just giving him the clip.  I couldn't wear it if he was around. 
 Well I'm off to make more progress!  Everyone have a great day!

Monday, September 12, 2011


Several weeks ago I signed up to do a Mug Rug and Goodie Swap that has been set up by Cindy at Fluffy Sheep Quilting.  This is an international swap.  The women participating in this swap are amazing.  They are so talented and creative! 

I have been working for a couple of days on my mug rugs and goodies. 

I have had terrible luck.  Nothing seems to be working out!  I have three partial mug rugs that have just been a disaster and two goodies that look awful.  They're so bad I'm not even taking pictures!

I am so frustrated.  I want to send my swap partners something they will love and enjoy.  So far, nothing I have made would be enjoyable.

Deep breath.

In the words Scarlett O'Hara - "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow."  " After all... tomorrow is another day."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

UFO Monthly Challenge

The quilt group I belong to, "Peace by Piece" is doing a UFO a month challenge.  We have to bring a list of 12 UFO's and our intent for each of them to the group leader.  Each month she will draw a number and we have until the next meeting to complete our item.  Now here's the thing.  The UFO has to be quilt related and specific.  We can't change the order and we only have to get as much done as we listed as our intention (i.e., finish piecing, cut out, etc.) to get credit for the complete.  Because of the randomness of the draw we cant make our list that wouldn't work in order, for instance we can't make UFO #1 cut out, UFO #2 piece, etc.

So I went through my UFO's and came up with my list.

1 - "Happy" charm - piece top

2 - "Katie" charm - piece top

3 - Moda Milk Chocolate Bar - piece top

4 - Moda White Chocolate Bar - cut out and assemble all Dresden plates and fans (if I get the applique done and the top pieced great but that isn't part of my monthly goal.)

5 - Lauren's Hat Pin - piece top

6 - Basket Quilt - complete the quilting and bind

7 - Lil' Twister Wreath - piece top

8 - Green "tube" quilt - piece top

9 - Thorn's and Roses - cut out quilt (I will get as much pieced as possible but this is a big one so I don't want to count piecing in my monthly goal.)

10 - Purple Kaleidoscope - piece top

11 - Spirograph Flower - piece top

12 - Denim I Spy - cut out quilt (this is my oldest UFO.  I think I finally have all the components now I just need to get them all cut out.  Again, I don't want to make piecing part of my goal because it is a big quilt with a lot of work to do.) 
I know this looks like a pile of laundry or something but it is actually a stack of old, ripped, stained, and bleached jeans.

As I was going through my stuff I found several UFO's that I need to be working on a lot or need to have done by a certain time so I didn't add them to the list.

1 - Interlocking Stars - This is a very complicated quilt I am making for Alexa. 

2 - Mug Rug/Goodie Swap

3 - Paper Piecing table top (a class I am scheduled to take soon)

4 - Advent Calendars

5 - Christmas "Peace" wall hanging

6 - Jingle All The Way, Christmas quilt - still missing some of the fabric

7 - Jelly Roll Christmas quilt

So obviously, I have a lot of work to do!  I'd better get going!!!!! 

Happy Quilting All