Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Place, My Ward

Sometimes in life you find a place where you just feel a fit. Maybe it's a job, motherhood, school, friends, family, church, really the possibilities are endless, depending on the individual. Have you ever just felt that feeling?

I was thinking about this as I left church today. We visited the Beverly Park Ward (our ward in Everett) for our last Sunday while living in Washinton. We only lived there for a year and a half but to me that was home. That one ward that I was able to feel was 'my place'. My ward. Not mine in the possessive form but mine in the emotional form.

Everywhere I turned there was another friend. Someone I have and will miss.

When we moved into the ward we had no intention of staying for long. Because of this we had no intention of really getting to know anyone very well (yes, I know how bad that sounds). The goal was just to get by until we were ready to move out to the country and buy a house. What would we have missed if we had proceeded with that plan? I shudder to think. Thank heavens Heavenly Father had another plan for us.

My only question now is, will we ever find another ward like this? Or is it one in a million? And what is it that made it so special?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Latest Projects

My husbands parents came to visit for a few days in September. We had a lot of fun including an overnight camping trip up to San Juan Island. Maybe I'll post a few pics later.

While they were here my mother-in-law took a look at my sewing machine. It has been broken and the shops wanted $120 to fix it. It was only a year old when it broke down and I just didn't want to pay that much to fix it. It turned out to be the timing. She not only fixed for me but showed me how to fix it and do the scheduled maintenance, should the timing go out again.

I was so excited I headed for Jo-Ann's so I could use my sewing machine again. The first project was a doll blanket for the little neighbor girl. She was having her first birthday. Faith has loved the doll blanket that I made her years ago so I seem to think all little girls need a little blanket to wrap their dolls in. Every night she wraps her Love-a-lot care bear in it. If she can't get the bear swaddled just right she will cry. I think she could swaddle a baby better than I could and I've had 3 children. She is such a little girl.

I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. I've made many quilts over the years but I had never machine quilted one. I tried doing it on this one as I didn't want the ties to detract from the design. I was so excited with the results of this one I decided to take it up a notch.

I made another quilt. This one is for my husband's little brother and their family for Christmas. I can say that because they don't read my blog. I was excited about this one too but the pics don't do it justice. I really need a new camera but for now the one we have will have to do.

Usually I can finish a quilt in 2 days working all day. This one took a lot longer. I was so glad when it was done.


Life has been so busy I'm hardly ever even on the computer. It's a little late to post Halloween but it's better late than never. I have wanted to make a tutu for Faith for a long time. With Halloween coming I took the opportunity. My neighbor was making one for her daughter but had limited sewing experience. She tried telling me what she wanted but I just couldn't see it. After looking on the internet for patterns, even looking at the adorable tutu that Kati had made for her daughter she had something different in mind. We went to a little shop in Snohomish where she had seen the ones she liked. I totally loved them and decided to use the same idea for Faith's. It was more sewing than other tutus but Faith's turned out so well I just had to make one for my neice Harlie and sent it off to get it to her just in time for her to wear it to school. She was so excited to have a costume made from her aunt Sara. Ethyn dressed up as Batman and Abram a skeleton. When I pulled the Halloween box out Abram had to pull out every costume that would fit him and try it on. He still wears the fireman outfit every day and insists he is going to dress up as a fireman for Thanksgiving. I have tried to explain to Abram that we don't dress up for Thanksgiving but true to Abram's personality he won't be swayed. He will be a fireman for Thanksgiving. Silly boy!!!
The kids on the porch just before we set off for the evening.
Our first stop for the evening was to stop and visit my Great Great Uncle Lenard and his wife Aunt Millie. It was good to see them and it was the first time I had seen her out of their apartment. I also realized, while we had all visited them at one time or another we had never been to visit them all together as a family. I had also never taken a picture of him so this one is a picture we will treasure. For those who don't know him, he is my Great Grandmother's youngest brother that just happened to move into our ward when we lived in Everett. I had never met him before. He is one of those great miracles in our families life and a direct blessings from moving here to Washington.

After leaving their apartment I decided I really didn't want to risk the rain or freeze (though it did end up staying mostly dry and was unseasonably warm, a miracle for the greater Seattle weather). We heard an ad on the radio for trick or treating at the Everett Mall. We'd never done anything like that so we went. It was great!!! Faith even got a Barbie movie from the radio station because she let them take a picture of her.

This was our ode to to Twilight (due out later this month). I am so excited to see it. I'm currently rereading Breaking Dawn for the fifth time

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Chehalis and Portland

After the park and beach we went down to Chehalis to visit my great aunt and uncle. Aunt Len was getting ready for girls camp the next week so I she put me to working finishing their flag. We went on a drive to see the damage from the floods this past winter. Remember when 5 miles of freeway were under water? She was put in charge of the shelter at their ward building. Most things have now been fixed but the free way is still being worked on.

The next morning the kids and I drove to Portland. We went to the Oregon Zoo. We were supposed to meet up with Ann Gray at the zoo. I couldn't reach her on her phone and I couldn't find her anywhere. BOOHOO!!! I was so looking forward to seeing Shelby and catching up on life with her. We hadn't seen her in almost a year. We did enjoy the zoo but I didn't get any pictures because I still didn't know where the camera charger was.

We left the zoo at 5:30, can you say rush hour? I needed to find a laundromat to wash Abram's sleeping bag, I don't know my way around Portland, and it's rush hour. Thank heavens for the internet and map programs on computers. Even with all that I got lost 3 times and accidentally ran a red light just trying to find the Walmart. While at the checkout in Walmart I noticed I left my checkbook, including anything to pay for my purchases, in the car. I finally got out of Walmart and spent the next 1 1/2 hours trying to find a laundromat about 3 miles from the Walmart. I found it just in time so they wouldn't close before I was done WHEW!!! We finished the load just in time to get to the airport to pick up Heath only 2 minutes late. Who would have thought it would take 5 1/2 hours just to wash a sleeping bag? Not an adventure I want to repeat.

We were officially now on our trip to California.

The Start of a Big Trip

In July we took a big trip to Southern California. My parents had gotten a 'trial' timeshare. My mom so wanted to have the whole family together on vacation. But alas, life happened. My youngest brother is on his mission to Charlotte, NC, my other brother and his wife were working their summer away to prepare for the next college semester (they are transferring to the University of Idaho so needed more money) and my sister's husband had some more tumors show up (In April 2005 he was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma) and would have to be in Maryland at the National Cancer Institute for another treatment (his worst yet). With all this I didn't have the heart to tell mom we wouldn't/couldn't go.

Heath was supposed to be in St. Louis for his annual training on the day we were supposed to leave. After checking Priceline for flights we found it would actually save $10 plus 1 trip to the airport if we packed up and all left the morning he flew out to St. Louis. The kids and I would spend that day and the next having fun and visiting my great aunt and uncle in Chehalis. We would pick up Heath in Portland the next day.

I have no idea how we fit everything we packed into that van. We should have gotten a picture but the idea never occurred to me until now. So, on Thursday we dropped off Heath and drove to Olympia. In Olympia there is this park that has trails down to the beach. On the beach there are sand dollars everywhere and I am not exagerating. We just happened to get there at the perfect low tide. What are the chances of that?!?!?!?! How lucky!!! I showed the kids how to tell whether they were still alive or not so they could throw the live ones back into the water. After picking up about 50 of them (I am not kidding) for keepers I told the kids over and over we had enough.

After picking up all the shells and running through all water and muck we sat on the beach to eat lunch and so the kids could 'write in their journals.' I don't know why that was so exciting to them but they loved doing this all week. I had picked up a spiral notebook for each of them at 5 cents a piece. Best 15 cents I ever spent. I gave me 5 minutes of peace and quiet. These were the only 3 pictures I got that day. The camera ran out of batteries and I didn't know where in that fully packed car the charger was put. This was just the start of our camera problems for the week.

The End of Summer??

It always amazes me how fast the summer passes. Where did it go? Every year I make a promise to myself that I just won't let it get away from me this year. I will lay on the lawn and watch the clouds. I will live up the sun and water. We will travel. We will go the the zoo, the beach, hiking, fishing, camping and everthing in between. Did it happen this year. Yeah for the most part we did all those things. . .but. . . it still seems the summer got away. Maybe no matter how good the summer is, it is still hard to let it go. Especially when this darn Seattle weather gives you the cold and rain the last week of vacation. I am going to try the next little bit to catch up on our busy summer.

I had planned to get that done this week but alas, the week got away from me with one bad thing after another. The vans transmission is going out EEEEERRRRRRRRGGGGGG!!! It would cost $4,000 to get it rebuilt. My sewing machine's timing went out in December and I forgot about it until this week when my ward is working on newborn kits for the humanitarian center. And the EQ Presidency was coming to visit and the house had to be cleaned (this was actually all in the same day). The EQ Pres. message turned out to be the bright spot. A scripture in 1 Nephi to gently remind me that Heavenly Father is at the head of our lives and to trust in him. So thank you EQP and Nana, the lesson goes on.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The New Place

The house here is not a whole lot to speak of. The spacing is weird, it's old, and it has a funky smell that I cannot get rid of no matter how much I clean and scrub. It reminds me too much of our first house. However, we are on 3 acres with a pond and a treehouse. Everything children dream about. They love catching snakes, slugs, tadpoles, frogs and salamanders. Ethyn seems to think he needs to keep them all as pets. EEK!!!! He even turned the old litter box into a place to put all the baby salamanders. I think these 3 kids are determined to drive me absolutely insane!!! Today the older 2 had come inside, I asked them, "Where's Abram?" "Playing on the porch with a snake." I walked out there thinking surely they are just teasing me. Nope, he was happily sitting on the porch playing with a 2 foot garter snake. I hate snakes. I absolutely HATE snakes and here my baby is playing with one.

With all the rain, comes all the slugs. The kids took a Costco milk jug and went out gathering up the slugs. The jug was 4 inches deep with slugs. They left it on the front porch, without a lid, last night. You can just imagine what Heath found when he stepped out this morning. About 20 or so slugs (the big 3-4 inch ones) crawling on the porch and a few headed up the front door, and yet there were still 2 inches worth left in the jug. EEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! You can still see the trace of the trail they left behind. The picture below was actually taken at Heath's uncle's house in California.

They catch the cutest little tree frogs. Now, when I say small, I mean small. 2 of them were smaller than the tip of my pinkie. I do not care for frogs but these were just too cute and of course Heath had the camera. He always has the camera. One night Abram was supposed to change into his PJ's. He was acting funny, kinda worried about his pants. Turns out he had a 1 inch frog in his pocket. I'm not sure exactly what he planned to do with it and I'm not sure I really want to know. Needless to say, we have had many discussions on where these animals belong and where they don't belong.

There was I time years ago that I swore my children would never be into these things, especially my daughter, but eventually I gave that up and instead insist on bath time.