Thursday, February 28, 2008

Torture time?

I have always wanted a photo with me and my sweet grandkids so while Heidi's family was in town we set out to capture a precious scene...that was the dream... here is the reality. The kids are all still so sweet but they look like they are being punished rather than participating in a treasured moment. Much coaxing and bribing was involved along with singing, clapping, snapping, whistling and suckers. (Kristy: I think we need a "baby wrangler" next time) Still, all in all, I really love the results.
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Monday, February 25, 2008

Quilt of the Week

I guess I should really call this "quiltS of the week" since I am featuring 3 quilts. It has been many weeks since I posted about a quilt so I decided to show more than one this time -- and they all are related as well.

Back a few years ago the Church was commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Prophet Joseph Smith's birth. Several quilt patterns were produced at this time by various quilters. I decided that I wanted to make a quilt as my way of participating in this special event. When I saw the companion quilt pattern for Joseph Smith's wife, Emma Smith, I knew I had to make that quilt as well. Both quilts are not very big. They are only about 29" x 30" but I think they are very sweet and I loved making them. The Joseph Smith quilt is titled "Hail to the Prophert" and the Emma Smith quilt is titled "Faithful Companion". The quilt pattern was designed by a local quilter named Jodi Warner. She has many, many quilts in her line. I love that each block is symbolic of some aspect of Joseph and Emma's lives.

The third quilt was designed by Jodi also. It features Brigham Young. I started this quilt back in 1997 but only worked on it off and on and finally finished it Jan. of 2001. It is a small wallhanging as well. It measures 32" x 36". I named this quilt "Think of the Pioneers". All three of these quilts use applique and traditional block piecing as well as a special technique called paper foundation piecing where you actually sew the fabric on to a piece of paper that has the design printed on it. Then you tear off the paper after the block is sewn together.

Paul and I have new "house guests" moving in with us tomorrow so I hung these quilts up in the basement where they will be living for the next 12 to 18 months (both the quilts and the Elders!). Yes, we will be priviledged to have 2 young men, missionaries for our Church, living with us. I love a good reason to get out my quilts and put them on display!
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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Whew... deep breath!

I survived! What a crazy, chaotic, fun-filled two weeks! I'm just not used to so much on my schedule every day! Back on Feb. 7th when the Swapps flew into town I knew things would be hectic but wow, I had my eyes opened as to life on a daily basis with 5 kids (2 babies) and 2 businesses... hardly time to breathe. We crammed so much into each and every day and half of the nights as well! We had family, from far and near, here almost 24 - 7. We (some or all of us) crammed as much as possible into the time we had together: snowboarding, sledding, hot tubbing, guitar hero jamming, banjo strumming, bouncing off the walls (at home as well as at the Bouncing center), reading Harry Potter NON STOP, eating non stop, teasing, crying, laughing, playing games, watching movies, sleepovers... and that is just what I can remember.

Heidi and Eric both had to leave to attend their various trade shows and so for 4 days the kids were left in my care. This time with them really reinforced the "it takes a village" mentality because I called on my "village" of support from Cam, LaRane, Clark and Katie! THANKS SO MUCH you guys... you saved our sanity. Once again we realized we're not as young as we sometimes thing we are! I also renewed my respect and admiration for you moms and dads of young families -- this is not an easy life right now!

It was such a treat to have everyone here for this short time and I was even able to accomplish my 2 wishes: 1. we did book our tickets to China for May and 2. we did get a family photo which was a huge accomplishment, especially with 4 babies under 2!

So right now I'm sitting in a totally quiet house, totally missing everyone and so glad that we were able to have this short time together. I have lots of great memories and I hope the kids will remember this time here with fondness as well. Thank goodness for web cams and email so we can still keep in touch. Next it will be our turn to come and invade your territory!
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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Arrival of the China Express!

Home again!!! At least I consider that the Swapps have made it back home again when they finally get to ME. And what an adventure (but then their lives are constant daily adventures!) it has been to get here.

Paul & I have been so anxious for our time with them ever since they landed on US soil on Jan. 29th. The original plan was for them to pack up their car yesterday and drive up from Phoenix with an overnight stop in St. George. We expected them some time around noon today. Heidi called me yesterday afternoon about 3 pm and said they hadn't left Phoenix yet... yikes! They were having car troubles and the car had been in the shop for 2 days and it could take at least another day before they could get going.

An hour later Heidi called again and threw out the idea that perhaps she and the 2 babies would fly up last night and then Eric would drive up with the 3 older kids when the car got fixed. OK... so I'm thinking: good luck on a flight by yourself with a 7 month old and an 18 month old. Then 15 minutes later she called again and said that now the plan was for her AND Eric to fly up with the babies and then Eric would fly back down this morning on a 5:30 am flight and still drive up with the kids when the car got fixed. After considering this solution for 45 minutes or so I called her back and suggested that they just get EVERYONE on a flight and get up here ASAP -- we'd be happy to pay or whatever it took... just forget the torturous drive, we'll give them our big car while they are here and we can't wait any longer!!! So with literally 2 hours to go before the flight left, they booked 5 seats (thank goodness the babies can still fly for free), threw their clothes in 7 duffle bags and got to the airport with minutes to spare.

Paul and I each drove a car to the airport where we waited anxiously for over an hour in the park and wait lot. I guess their plane had some headwinds and the jetway wouldn't work when the plane landed at the arrival gate. Finally we had a wonderful reunion of hugs and kisses and squeels of delight at the curbside pickup zone as we loaded up their 7 pieces of luggage, 1 stroller, 2 car seats and 5 excited grandchildren and 2 exhausted parents and got to our house at about 12:15 am. Of course, the kids weren't the least bit sleepy. Their little body clocks are still trying to figure out what time zone they are in (thank goodness Phoenix and Salt Lake are on the same time right now). We watched Baby Einstein, played with all grandma's toys, fixed snacks and just relished being together again. Finally about 1:30 am everyone was in bed and most of the lights were out.

Katie and Aspen came over first thing this morning and the cousins have had so much fun running around the house and searching for goodies in the pantry. LaRane and Cache came over around noon and the Swapps got to meet baby Cache for the first time (Heidi did come up to see him when he was about a week old, before she went to China). Cache and Connor are only 2 months apart in age so it is fun to compare what they are doing and how they are developing: Cache just learned to roll over and Connor just got his 2 bottom front teeth. Aspen and Capri are only 5 months apart in age and they are both into dolls and cell phones, binky's and blankies. Colton and Cory gave us demonstrations of their skills at myachi (a totally awesome new sport using kung fu-like moves with a rectangular bean bag -- similar to hacky sacks only with hands instead of feet). Both boys are very accomplished and have intricate, tricky, smooth moves. Very fun to watch; next to impossible for me to do! Quincy is way into cooking and helped me make waffles for everyone.

Heidi gave us girls a sneak peak of her new products that she is releasing at CHA next week. She always comes up with the most exciting, innovative, unique new products. I am always so amazed that she can continually think of things that haven't been done before. Whenever I go into a scrapbook store I think "wow, everything has already been done" and then Heidi comes up with more new and improved designs and ways to use them. Her samples are stunning. I'm so proud of her and how she stays true to herself in this complicated and demanding aspect of her crazy life.

It is really hard to have this sweet family live so far away (and I used to think Phoenix was far away) and not get to spend time with them very often but it really just makes these times that much more precious! I don't have a lot of things planned for while they are here. There are just 2 things that I have my heart set on: 1. booking our flights to Beijing and 2. taking a family photo! The rest of the time we will just hang out and try to get our fill of each other.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

So Cute!

My sweet, talented friend Patti gave me the cutest watch for Christmas. She had made the watch band herself! It is actually the watch band with the big white pearls. I have loved it so much! She told me that she would show me how to make them so tonight we got together for a little tutorial.

First I stopped at a bead shop in Sugar House and picked out the turquoise and brown and silver beads. Then I met Patti at Paradise Bakery for dinner and a little bit of "catch up" in the "life and times" department (she's headed off to Cabo in 10 days) and then we went to her house and got down to business.

It was soooooooo easy and so much fun! (sorry the photo is kind of blurry) It took all of about 30 minutes to put it all together. The watchbands have "lobster claws" that attach to the watch face so I can just switch out the bands to match whatever outfit I am wearing.
Right now it seems like I have about 4 brown and turquoise outfits thus my choice of colors. I can hardly wait to go find some more beads... the possibilities are endless! Thanks Patti for such a fun evening!
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Monday, February 4, 2008

Teach the children

Is it ever too young to start teaching the grandkiddies a few important "life skills". Here's a couple of learning opportunities from our Sunday evening get togethers.

Last night I let Aspen help me with dishwashing because she loves to play in the bubbles. When I gave her the dish cloth she climbed down from her chair and began scrubbing the floor. Maybe she noticed that she had splashed bubbles down there but she was all about getting it cleaned up! She was showing her inner Princess... you know, that's how Cinderella got her start!

The Sunday before we all went over to Katie and Clark's to celebrate Clark's birthday and try out his birthday gift -- play station 2 with guitar hero 3! Collin joined right in and didn't miss a beat. Well, his guitar wasn't exactly plugged into the system but he was strumming his heart out. He'll probably be putting together a neighborhood garage band this summer!

We can hardly wait for the Swapps to get here this week sometime... that's when the 10-day party will begin!!! I'll keep you posted!
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