Sunday, July 29, 2007

10 Years

As Ree mentioned recently - can it really have been 10 years already? Our decade old sons were only born a few days apart and it blows my mind thinking how old they are now. Can this really be the same kid? What happened to my baby?

I want everyone to know, but especially Chase that I am so proud of the boy he is. He tries hard to do what's right, he is obedient and helpful. He is learning the gospel and being an excellent example to his friends. He is respectful and a great protector of his younger siblings. He works hard in school and listens to his teachers. He is an avid reader and devours series of books such as Harry Potter, Eragon, Gregor the Overlander, Artemis Fowl. He loves playing sports such as football, basketball, baseball. He has a magnetic personality that attracts kids of all ages as playmates. I am not kidding - freshmen in high school knock on our door to see if Chase can come play - football, Risk, computer games etc... He loves to fish, catch crayfish and frogs, chop logs. He can take his mom for a ride in an extra large canoe and steer the whole way. Don't get me wrong, he's not perfect - he has issues with teasing, putting his things away and staying on task, but I am not going to sing his ills - just his praises. He is a great kid and I really hope he'll be a fantastic teenager, wink wink, ok maybe that's asking too much. But I do hope the next 10 years will be as great as the first 10 have been.

We had a celebration on June 30th, a few days before the big day on July 3rd. He had 4 friends come so with Chase and Gregor we had 6 wild boys (and 1 wild girl tagging along). I am not a party person (unlike Taffy) and have great difficulty coming up with ideas and organizing the chaos. We settled on an army subtheme. He sent out camoflage invitations and we gave out camo goodiebags with camo splash balls, army tatoos, dog tags and uniformed rubber ducks.

Chase choose a red velvet cake and I did camo frosting and set up tiny soldiers all over it. I am not a good cake decorator either but I guess it you can't mess up camoflage.

The boys played on the water slide for awhile and then we did some organized games as well.

We did a water balloon toss.

We did a variation of water balloon volleyball. Some of the boys seemed to really "get it" and work together. Others were horrible, like Chase and his partner, Yogi.

We did several games with "Rocket Balloons" but I didn't get any pictures of that.

But the biggest hit was the obstacle course. We timed each boy's trip thru the course where they had to go up and then down one slide into the pool, then up and down the other slide on to the slip and slide part, then run and jump over the wagon, then run and crawl under the card table, then hop like a bunny until they ended up in the hula hoop, then they had to run to the first cone and pick up the spoon and put an egg in it and wind their way thru the cones, then they handed off the egg and spoon to me and had to dribble a soccer ball across the finish line. We did it twice and the boys had a great time and even Ainsley got to run the course! Oh, and all the boys did improve their time the second round. But Adam still won!!

I think 6 boys was manageable but I am not sure if I could have done more than that. The boys that attended were Vic K., Yogi P., Mark K., and Adam P. Mark was funny. He LOVED the water slide. He would ask during the other games if we were almost done so he could get back on the slide. We came in for lunch and he gobbled his food down and asked if he could go back outside. We said no, we have to have cake. I think he even passed on dessert hoping it would make things go quicker. Then he asked to go outside. We said no, it was time to open presents. As soon as the last present was opened he asked again and we agreed. Luckily there was about 15 minutes left to play after the presents.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Pennsylvania Fieldstones

This is for SPH1!!

(** I'll have to try to get a better picture. It was too dark in the room when these were taken.)

When she and DaddyO were here visiting we hit several quilt shops. We drove to one on our way home from the cabin in a mountain town called Tunkhannock. It was called Endless Mountain Quiltworks. This shop was featured in Quilters Sampler magazine as one of the top 10 in the nation this year. They have some original patterns that they sell and have displayed around the store. The first in the series is this - Pennsylvania Fieldstones. We found it throughout the store in many different fabrics. I can't claim to have picked these coordinating pinks - I found them in a bundle, packaged with just the right amount to make the PA Fieldstone pattern. It is the exact pink we have in Ainsley's room, in which we recently added another twin bed. I thought this would make the perfect bed spread.

Yesterday was the last Friday in July. It dawned on me late in that week and I decided to call the quilt shop near my mom's house that does a "sewathon" from 5-11pm on the last Friday of the month, to see if they had any room. They did! ( I went for my first time in Feb and since then I have been busy on the last Friday of the month) So I scrambled and got all my rectangles cut. I got a good start on the sewathon last night and finished piecing today!! It didn't come out exactly as the pattern called for but you all won't know that so I am not going to point it out where I misplaced certain fabrics!

The fun part is done (piecing the top) except for the border. Now it just needs bat, back and binding and then to be quilted of course.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Oklahoma Revisited

On the 21st of June we were able to fly back to Oklahoma for the first time since we moved away 2 years ago. We were able to visit with family, friends, neighbors and former co-workers. It was a whirlwind trip - We only had 3 days but we covered a lot of ground.

The stockyards. Where they have great deals on boots.

Jay and Piper doing a little "window" shopping.

On Friday we went "shopping" for stuff we can not find in PA. We got authentic cowboy boots for some of our little ones that have out grown the ones we picked up 2 years ago before we left. Chase also got a cowboy hat (for his birthday) that looks just like his dad's. (Cowboy hats are common fishing attire in this family.) Daniel picked up a new belt and belt buckle. I got some great things for our "western" themed living room which I am now spilling over into my kitchen. (I know many of you have seen the 3 foot boot in the back ground of some of our pictures). I found a napkin holder, salt and pepper shakers, new vase for my sunflower arrangement and a "rope" container for my large cooking utensils that I keep on the counter. I had a container there but the mouth of it was too narrow and it was so hard to get all the spoons, spatulae to fit. My favorite find though was light switch plates and outlet plates that have barbwire going around the plates and it appears to have been branded. They didn't quite have enough and we weren't quite sure how many outlets we had in the living room anyway so we are going to have to special order a few. But you all don't know how excited I was to be in a place with more western accessories than I could have dreamed of. You CAN NOT find western stuff here!! I looked for 18 months to find any western themed coasters in our local stores. And when I did they were on clearance (lucky for me), guess nobody buys western stuff here.

Friday night we got all dressed up so we could attend the University of Oklahoma, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Resident Graduation. Our good friend Shawn D. (wife, Caroll) was graduating. It was fantastic and I am so glad we could be there for that. Last graduation we attended was our own and Caroll and I were crying as we said goodbye. This time it was so happy as they will be moving on as well. It was fun to spend the day and evening with Em and J.

Saturday morning the guys - J and Dan got up around 5 am and drove out to Lake Arcadia to meet Steve (former co-worker) to fish for Bass. A few fish were caught. Steve caught the catch of his life....

Saturday afternoon we took our old next door neighbors, Eli and Carolyn, to lunch at one of our most favorite mexican restaurants. They are the best next door neighbors you could ever have. We miss them dearly and I think they feel the same way about us. We drove past our old house and it was so sad to see how overgrown all the bushes and flowerbeds were. We loved that house!Saturday evening we went to the Scott and Cherie's house (great friends from church). They hosted a little barbeque for us with other friends from church. Our old ward no longer exists. It was carved up and sent out to 6 other wards in 2 different stakes, about a year after we left. So it was fun for everyone to get together because a lot of our church friends from OK no longer see each other very often.We headed back to Em and Js around 10:30 pm. I had a rockin headache (the begining of a summer flu I ended up having for about a week) and Dan was exhausted from getting up so early. Em and J had a soccer game that started at the very normal hour of midnight. I called her on our way back to their house saying we just couldn't make it - we were too tired. I could hear the very disappointed tone of her voice and when I got off the phone I told Daniel. He then decided that he should try to go watch. After arriving back at her house he informed them he would go but was there any chance he could play. They actually said they were short a few people so that would work out well. They found him a red shirt and some shin guards and they were off. (I knew it was great that Dan got to play, otherwise he would have been snoozing on the bleachers, he'd been up about 21 hours straight) Piper and I headed to bed.

Sunday we attended Sacrament Meeting at Em and Js ward. I had to take the baby out to change her and lo and behold I found 3 friends from my old ward that hadn't been at the barbeque the night before (their ward was just letting out). So I stood in the hall chatting for awhile. How I love seeing old friends!!!

We had lunch with Em and J then headed up to see Shawn and Caroll (the recent graduates) and their children. They had a baby girl just 2 months after we had Piper. So Piper and Natalie became friends, although I am sure they knew each other in heaven. Shawn and Caroll were nice enough to feed us dinner and then we headed off to Rob and Alison Bs. Rob and Dan had been great friends in residency. Rob graduated the year after Dan and joined a practice in the OKC area. He and Dan have stayed in close contact. They also had a new arrival we were lucky to see.

Then around 9 pm we came home and packed so we could get some rest. Waking up at 4:30am is not my favorite thing to do especially as I am getting sick. We flew to Baltimore and drove up to Delaware to pick up our big kids, all by lunch time. Isn't modern travel amazing. We had a awesome trip with the best behaved baby. We really are lucky to have so many special people in our lives. Thanks to all of you for making time for us!

Da Plane, Da Plane

Piper took her first flight on our weekend to and from Oklahoma. We arrived at around 11:30 pm local time on Thursday night and left at 6:20 am on Monday morning. She must have thought that airplanes are for sleeping since we were flying during times she normally sleeps. She did a great job flying taking naps on all her flights. We managed to get a few photos on our early morning flight back.

Yes she was still in her pjs.

On Southwest it is open seating and since we are boarding with a baby we get to board first. On our way out to Oklahoma our first flight was completely booked!! But our other flights were not so full so we told Piper to make as much noise as possible as people were boarding the plane so that no one wanted to sit in our row even though we were close to the front. Her problem was that she was so cute everyone walking by wanted to stop and talk to her. We took the aisle seat, of course, and no one really wanted to be stuck by the window or in the middle of two parents with a baby going back and forth. It worked and Piper ended up getting her own seat where she slept much more easily than if she had been in a lap. She prefers to be put down to go to sleep - which makes it very difficult in church or on a plane. (The flight attendants couldn't get enough of her and when then weren't delivering drinks or going thru the safety precautions - they were hanging out at our row talking to Piper)

She had her morning breakfast -

(I politely demonstrated how to open your mouth for the most efficient eating)

stopping only to smile....
and spit...... a few times.

She also rocked out to some of Daniel's music.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Quilt in a Day

The Sister missionaries have been over a lot lately. They always ask is there is anything they can do for us, me, our family. Of course the answer in is no because they can't babysit and that is usually what I need. So one sister was saying she would be happy to come over and clean my house if I needed help - she just wanted an opportunity to serve. Well - I am not a good housekeeper but the thought of the missionaries on their hands and knees wearing skirts and cleaning my bathrooms or picking up toys was just WRONG! So I said - could you come over and sew?

She looked at me a little weird and said I don't know how to sew. So I responded, what about pinning and ironing. I love to sew in groups where you can get an assembly line working and one person doesn't have to do ALL the steps themselves. Of course I wanted them to come and work on one of my projects, but I thought it might be more fitting to do humanitarian service quilts.

So they agreed and hopefully we are going to do this twice a month.

I had an old table cloth that I was going to throw away several months ago. My linen closet is too full and this table cloth was square and I don't have a square table and couldn't remember the last time I used it. But something stopped me and I decided to put it with my fabric stash. Then while shopping at JoAnns this week I found a bunch of flannel for only $2 a yard. So I picked some up.

So I think I deserve some SRC points. I did have to buy the batting but I should be able to get 2 to 3 quilts out of it. I used less than 2 yards of fabric for the front at $2 a yard - so I spent about $3.58 on fabric for the front. I used an old table cloth for the back and crosheen in my stash to tie it. We finished it in one day and I am excited to present to the Relief Society President on Sunday.