Dorm Quilts Finished

I finally got Necia and Libby’s quilts done for their dorm room–a week after they moved in! Necia’s has the turquoise squares and border, and Libby’s has the green. They were fun to put together.


New Book Club List!

Well. So the photo thing didn’t go so well . . . . I keep taking photos but somehow the step of actually posting them apparently requires far more self-discipline than I can muster.

However, I did want to post the book list for the upcoming year of book club. There were 7 people making suggestions, and we ended up with quite a diverse list:

The Windup Bird Chronicle
Haruki Murakami

The Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds
Charles MacKay

The Antiquities of the Jews
Flavius Josephus

Til We Have Faces
CS Lewis

The Disappearing Spoon
Sam Kean

Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoevsky

Mormonism and the Magic World View
D. Michael Quinn

North and South
Elizabeth Gaskell

Paul Johnson

The Curse of Chalion
Lois McMaster Bujold

Annals of the Former World
John McPhee

The Last Town on Earth
Thomas Mullen

Books that didn’t make the cut: To Have or To Be, The Sweet Hereafter, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Lonely Polygamist, The French LT’s Woman, Mormon Enigma, The Hiding Place, Rebecca, Warriors Don’t Cry

It’s going to be a great year!


Garden Party

I know I keep complaining about the cooler-than-normal spring, but I’ve been itching to get the garden in since April! Tonight we finally got everything planted. We already had peas, onions, and some herbs in, but we added tomatoes, peppers, parsley, basil, cucumbers, yellow crookneck squash, zucchini, watermelon, pumpkins, and cantaloupe. Yahoo!

Another photo:

365 Project 5.8.2010

My beautiful Kira, 15, headed out to a formal dance at church tonight. She looked so grown up and gorgeous in her purple dress, towering over me in her purple heels! I remember once at teeball practice when she was four, I overheard one of the dads there say, “That little one with the curly brown hair and blue eyes is going to be a heartbreaker when she grows up!” Yep, that’s my Kiwi!

Another Project Finished

Most of my quilting projects this summer have been for other people. I just finished this one, made for a beloved girl heading to college tomorrow. Her mom saved her jeans and pants and had me make this:

Kelsey's jeans quilt

Thanks for holding it up, LouLou!

With the exception of two pockets that I sewed closed (they gapped goofily), all the pockets and buttons are functional.

Kelsey 2

I would have liked to include more buttons and snaps and rivets, but since this is supposed to be a comfortable and functional quilt, I only included one square with major hardware, near one corner:

Kelsey 3

I wanted to make the quilt more interesting so I cut out some circles from the pants’ leftovers, and appliqued them on. When the quilt is washed, the edges of the circles will fray groovily.

Kelsey 4

I liked the labels so I cut them off the jeans and resewed them on individual squares.


The quilt is backed with a soft and fuzzy polyester that should wear like iron.


A fun project!  And thank you, LouLou and Madame Chaos for the display help!

Post at fMh

I’ve got photos of Ireland coming up, but for now, here is a post I wrote for Feminist Mormon Housewives:

A Calendar of Hope, 1969

Sixteen Candles

Sixteen Christmas mornings ago, a beautiful newborn salved the bitterness of two miscarriages with only the reality of her perfect self in my arms. She came home in a large Christmas stocking and hat, on the merriest Christmas ever:

newbornnecia2 newbornnecia

Today, we celebrated sixteen years together. Happy Birthday, Missy May!


Simple Gifts

I am grateful for these simple gifts today:

Read the rest of this entry »


Each of my six children has his or her own Nativity Set, courtesy of their Nana and Uncle Mike. Getting out the little figures is a highlight of their Christmas season, and the configurations they come up with to pose Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and the various shepherds, wise men, and animals know no bounds.

It was no surprise to come upon this new placement of nearly all the figures, marching in a tidy line from the phone to the fabulous 70’s ceramic tree to pay homage to its vintage awesomeness:


But wait! What’s that shiny thing, two places behind Headless Shepherd and three places in front of the Holy (Blond!) Twins?
Snoopy, is that you?

A “Stay-At-Home” Mom Doesn’t

6:00am:  Alarm rings.  I hit the snooze button.

6:05am:  Alarm rings.  I get up and dress in my sweats and my daughter’s running shoes.  My neighbor will be by in ten minutes so we can go, *ahem* “jogging.”

6:20am:  Dang.  I was hoping she slept in and wasn’t coming–she’s just late.  And she’s got her 11-year-old son with her.  They grin at me in the darkness.  We get out to the road and start “jogging.”  With a bum knee and recovering from a respiratory infection, I’m even slower than usual.  Her son, wearing hiking boots, beats us handily as we take 15 minutes to “jog” 1.4 miles to the neighbor’s house and back. 

6:35am:  Back home.  I might as well sit at the computer while I stop sweating.  Check email, check blogs.

7:00am:  Whisper goodbyes to Kiwi as she goes out the door to the bus stop, heading for math and band at the Jr. High.  Decide to put off shower and waking other kids to surf web for another 10 minutes.

7:10am:  Wake elementary school kids.  Spend 50 minutes getting them ready for school, wondering for the 384,295,582,856th time if I shouldn’t have stopped homeschooling them this year.  Somewhere in there J heads off to work.

8:00am:  LouLou head to bus stop, and I let G stay home because he’s still coughing and says he has a headache. I start preparing cake for my friend’s birthday lunch.  She said to surprise her–she’s never had apple cake, so I make that.

8:30am: Abandon messy kitchen to read half of “A Fish Out of Water” to Madame Chaos and Dee, then decide we better leave early to relieve the overflowing recycle bins and return RedBox movies.  Dang.  I didn’t shower.  Well, yesterday’s clothes will be fine then, right?

9:00am:  Missy, Madame Chaos, Dee, G and I get in the van.  Missy drives us around to the errands, then to the high school where she takes five classes.  She’s still technically homeschooled, but takes band, choir, math, speech, and seminary at the high school.

9:30am: We pick up Kiwi from the Jr High, then I drop all of them off at home while I head to the elementary school where I volunteer Monday mornings.  I spend 45 minutes in LouLou’s class, and the rest of the time in G’s class (even though he’s home sick). 

12:00pm:  Run to one of our town’s two gift shops, looking for a birthday gift for Maria.  Decide to get the yellow pepper-shaped dip bowl and see if I can find a red bowl somewhere else to go with it.  Drive to the other gift store (it’s closed Mondays) then Kings then in desperation to the dollar store, and finally go back to the first store and exchange the pepper bowl for a cute but not-quite-what-I wanted chip-and-dip set. 

12:50pm:  Back home to pick up Dee and Madame Chaos and the birthday cake; try again to make my unshowered hair appear nice; the kitchen is still a huge mess but I feel guilty leaving Kiwi to her homeschool (and sorta-sick G) alone, so I don’t ask her to clean it up for me.

1:00pm: Head to Maria’s birthday lunch at Kim’s house; Kim’s behind on today’s orders for her surgical hat making business, so I pitch in for half an hour on the sewing machine before we eat.  Madame Chaos jockeys for the scissors, holding up an almost-finished hat:  “But I want to cut this, Mom!”

2:30pm: Leave Dee to play with Kim’s son while M.C. and I drive home so I can get ready for LouLou’s 4-H club meeting.  Spend 45 minutes frantically sewing some sample string-pieced quilt blocks for demonstration; leave the house late (the kitchen still a huge mess) while spritzing on some perfume and trying again to make my hair not look stringy.

3:35pm:  Pick up LouLou and her friend at school then out to the country school to pick up Kim’s daughter and drive them all to 4-H.  In the car I have a coughing fit that leaves my lungs burning and all my mascara running down my face, adding to my aforementioned beauty.  We finally get to 4-H, where I teach the quilting mini-classes to the teens while the younger kids do their cooking and sewing rotations. 

 5:30pm:  Try to stay under the speed limit as I transport a carload of kids to their homes, and get home just in time to pick up G for his wrestling practice (he’s feeling better).  The kitchen is even worse now, with the after-school snack mess added to my cooking mess from this morning.  On the way out the door I holler to the big girls that I didn’t get anything made for dinner so just heat up some soup when the kids get hungry.

6:00pm:  Feel oddly grateful that we’re in the stinky wrestling room so my own gross unshowered carcass is less noticeably rank, while I watch stinky little boys learn the half-nelson.

7:30pm:  Get home to pandemonium; where’s my husband?  Hiding out at the computer, as unwilling as I am to face the mess and homework and parental judiciary duties.  We watch a battle scene of Serenity before we finally get up to herd the kids into chores, homework, and bedtime routine. 

8:45pm:  Get the younger set into bed; we’re still waiting for Missy to get home from working on a school project at a friend’s.  I’ve reached overload with kids and messes and so dh takes over and I head to bed.  I need to decompress; I read Eleanor Roosevelt’s biography for book club before escaping into sleep at 10pm.

I never did get that shower.

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