Monday, December 1, 2014

The Girls' Stocking Update

Well I am making slow and steady progress.  The first update was on October 19, 2014.  They are both happy that they each have a little bit done on their stockings.  I sure don't stitch as fast as I use to.  I have to use the magnifying glass all the time and the chair in the TV room is too deep for me to sit in and stitch.  So I turn the chair to see my chart on my end table and to be under the lamp and sit on the edge of the chair.  So if I want to see what is on TV I turn towards the TV.  I waste too much time see what is on TV.  Well they are for next year. 


Here is the progress on Bigger Bit's Stocking.  She thinks those are the cutest ducks she has ever seen. When I finished the top line of the center pot I almost had a heart attach the curves didn't end over the duck right, it was off by one space.  So I finished working from the other side and I was off on that side also.  After looking at the pattern with the magnifying glass I was able to fine my mistake and luckily it was an easy fix.  I just needed to take out the top row which was only stitched going one way and not tied off.  I needed to add two stitches to the row below it, and two on the top row and it came out perfect.  I had nightmares that I would have to take the whole pot but I knew my bottom was correct.  


Here is Little Bits section that is finished.  It looks crooked because it is on the frame crooked.  The stitching is straight.  I replaced it in the frame four times and I can't get it any better than it is.  It was worst when I first started, so this is better.  I am not sure I like the light grey color here, it is almost too light.  I just don't know what I would place there.  I'll leave for now and see if it grows on me.  For what ever reason this pattern did not have center marked on the pattern for top and sides.  So I started at the top of the design.  I should have started a little lower on my fabric, I don't like working so close to the top of the fabric.  I was just too lazy to count to find the centers.  That paper grid is small for these old eyes. 
I am so looking forward to more color on this stocking.  
Her name comes next.

Happy Stitching

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving




To you and yours!
May your day be filled with family, friends, love, happiness, health and a feeling of gratitude for all your blessings.

It was six years ago today that I started my blog.  I have enjoyed the journey and the wonderful people I have meet here.  Thanks for your friendship and support through the years.  
I may not post as often as I once did, but that is only because I have those two wonderful girls that keep me busy and happy.  I have some posts ideas in my brain but I haven't worked them up yet.  Until I do, take care and be happy!

Happy Stitching
Happy Scrapbooking
Happy Life


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Comfort Blankets

For the girls when they were Baptized I made them each their own comfort blanket.  Bigger Bit like horses so her blanket has horses on it and Little Bit likes pink and Minnie Mouse and that is what she has.  


I started them a few days before the Baptism and had them done enough for the Baptism that they didn't fall a part.  I applied the satin binding on later and finished them both by October 24th.  
I have been wanting to write this blog post since then.  
See how far behind I am.  

The one side is white minky and the other is the fabric.  I just put the two layers together, wrong side together and cross hatched between the dots on the minky.  

I presented the blankets to the girls towards the end of my talk on the Holy Ghost, who is our "Comforter".  The idea is to use the blanket when they need to feel comfort.  The girls have used them a lot, at least a couple of times a week.  They use them if they wake up from a scary dream, or feel sad or mad.  I always say a pray with them to help them link prayer to peace from the Lord.  
These are not everyday quilts or blankets, they are special and both girls keep they folded up when not in use.  They also want me to come in and take the comfort blanket off before I go to bed.
They do work and in a few short minutes they are back to sleep or feel better.  It is really the prayer that is working but that physical comfort of a blanket is nice also. 



Friday, November 21, 2014

Little Christmas Gifts


We all need a simple little gift Christmas for someone.  Last year some one sent me these cute little envelops for Hot Chocolate.  So this year I made some with my scrapbooking friends.  Then today I made some more using my Kiwi Lane Design Templates. 
It is a fun little project.


The one on the left is the one I received last year, the one in the middle is the one I made last Saturday and the one on the right is the one I made with the Kiwi Lane Design Templates. 
The spoon is held on with glue dots.  I decided on my one with the candy cane and ginger bread man to just tuck the spoon inside the envelope with the Hot Chocolate packet. 

I used a regular business envelop and cut it in half, after sealing it shut.  You could also use fancy envelops, or colored ones.  
Next I cut a half circle so the packet is easy to pull out. 


Here I scanned the packet in so you could see it better without the spoon. 

For the paper around the envelope I cut a strip 9" x 4", scored it and wrapped it around the envelope.  


Here are the spots I scored at, from the left edge, 
this is the back of the paper.  I scored at 3 7/8", 
4 1/8" and 1" at the end.  
I am sure you don't have to do it the same, this worked for me.  

Then decorate the front as you would like.  I purchased these 
Tiny Traditions template set when they first came out this fall, 
so I wanted to play with them. 

Picture of templates contained in the Tiny Traditions Tiny Accessory Set

Have fun!  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Christmas Stockings for the Girls

I have been wanting to make the girls Christmas stockings that match the rest of the family.  I thought I did a post with all of the family stockings but I can't find it so I guess I didn't.  Something to add to the to do list.  Here is a picture of some of them. 

Four of the family stockings.
Now that the adoption is final I have started the stockings.  They will not be ready for Christmas this year.  I decided to do both of them at the same time, because no one wants to be the last one.  I am thinking I will do ten lines at a time on each one.  It is going to take me a long time. 

Close up of Bigger Bit's stocking.
I haven't even made it to the end of one line yet.  This is a week's worth of work.  Mind you I don't work on it everyday. The duck, I guess it is a duck, still needs legs and beak.  
Yes, this is on linen over two threads.  

I let them pick out their own stockings, like everyone else did.  They are by Mary Beale

Bigger Bit's stocking.
Little Bit's stocking
These images are from Mary Beale's website. 

Bigger Bit likes horses so, she has the one with the donkey.  Little Bit likes pink, so she wants the one with pink flowers. 




Super Special Event

Yesterday, October 18, 2014 we all went to the Mesa Temple to be sealed together as a family.  
In front of the temple, after the sealing.
I was a nervous wreck but didn't know it until I had a crazy dream during the week, that I showed up in my bathrobe without my temple recommend.  I had everything I needed for the girls but not what I needed for me.  Of course I couldn't reach Mr. B by phone.
The night before I remember I hadn't filled out the Family Group Sheet that I needed to take with me.  So yesterday morning I was filling that out.  I didn't know any of the dates for Mr. B, and even forgot the date I was baptized.  Lucky for me Mr. B. has access to all that information.  
The girls were great they got ready quickly and we left the house on time.  We took our Elders with us, they had permission from their mission president to attend the temple with us. 
With Elders Bellio and Gillespie

From there everything went smoothly and I calmed down.  When you think about it there was no reason to be nervous but I guess I am human after all.  
  There wasn't a dry eye in the sealing room.  Little Bit was all very interested in all that was happening.  Bigger Bit was a little overwhelmed at first but quickly relaxed. 

There sure was a lot of love in the room.
Lots of wonderful people took time out of a busy
Saturday to be with us.

It is hard to explain the feelings or how special the experience was, just know that it was all that it could have been.
With Mr. B's sister Mary Ann & brother Bill
Afterwards we all went to lunch at Mi Amigos.  It is one of our favorite Mexican food restaurants. 

In the evening the girls wrote in their journals about the day, I didn't even ask them to, they just did it.  So I know it was a special day for them also.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Special Event!

On Saturday the 27th of September we had a very special event.  
The girls were Baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It was a beautiful, spirit filled occasion.  There was a major out pouring of love and support from family, 
ward members and friends.  

The Saturday before the Baptism, September the 20th,  we purchased their dresses for both girls and white shoes for Bigger Bit.  We got them all dolled up in their dresses and went to the Mesa Temple grounds and took some pictures of them in there new white dresses.  When I first saw then in their dresses at home, I just teared up, they looked so sweet.  I wanted to use the picture as an invitation to the Baptism for the girls to pass out.  


This is actually the picture I used for their invitation.  It was the first one I took. At first they weren't standing real close but when I told them they are sisters, act like you love each other, this is what I was able to capture. They were so sweet together.  


In front of the Christus statue in the visitors center.


They are sitting on towels to keep the dresses clean. I wanted the yellow flowers between them.  I might have taken more pictures but we were all hot!


I love to see the temple I am going there some day.
I have a few more pictures but I won't bore you with more.
We also took three of their friends which made the time my special.

Saturday the 27th.


Before we left home.


The four of us at church.


Before with the Elders.

This was a very special day for us.  The spirit was so strong that even Mr. B had tears in his eyes.  Their Cousin Tim gave the talk on Baptism.  He is 3 months younger than Bigger Bit and has autism.  He did a good job.  I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost.  I focused more on His role as the Comforter and to help the girls remember that quality I made them each a special "Comforter".  It has white minky on one side and a fabric they like on the other.  Horses for Bigger Bit and Minnie Mouse for Little Bit.  I told them to use it when they were sad, lonely or had questions to ask  Heaven Father.  They have used them a few times already.
I was working on the second one at 5 AM the morning of the Baptism.  I know I was running behind.  
Actually they aren't finished yet.  I had them stitched enough to keep the two layers together and I still have to put a binding on.  
No one noticed they weren't finished. 

The Primary room was full, there were more than 55 chairs set up and we were told this was the most people they had ever seen at a Baptism.  That is what I call support.


After with the Elders.


Elder G wanted the girls to give Elder B a hard time, this is what we got.  They are such hams and Elder B is one of the easiest going people I have ever meet. 


More attitude!

Afterwards we had a luncheon at our home.  Now I am not much of an entertainer.  The things we do for those we love.  There was standing room only in our home.  I have never had that many people in our home.  Some were even waiting at the door as I drove up.  There were many helping hands and lots of treats brought to share.  We supplied the sub sandwiches, pickles, olives and the lemonade, our friends helped with the chips homemade salsa, brownies and cookies.  Yummy.  
Bigger Bit came up to me and told me there were too many people in the house and she couldn't wait for them to leave.  She is my reserved girl.  Little Bit ducked into the laundry room to open her gifts before everyone left.  

When I think about last Saturday I still tear up a little when I think of how special it was and how much love and support we received.
We have truly been blessed. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Exciting News!!

Hello!  Did you think I fell off the face of the earth?  
I haven't really, I have just been busy. 

The big news is the adoption is final.  


Here we are in front of the court house just after the adoption was final.  It was a bit of an emotional day, especially for the girls.  They felt the loss of their family and there name.  It was exciting for us and for one moment it was overwhelming for me as it hit me this is real and forever.  

They are sweet, active, affectionate, fun, beautiful girls.  
They have blessed our lives.  

Here are some of the family members that came to court and supported our special occasion.  As you can see we were all excited. 

So how did this all come about, what is the story behind this adoption.  
I can remember when I applied for Social Security, how good I felt, it was amazing.  I felt this must be the right time for me to retire. I had a date picked out, it would be after a big project at work and it would be the Friday before Thanksgiving.  So I would have all of the Holidays off, a stress free Holiday Season.  Beautiful!

On November 15, 2012 my former sister in law, the grandmother of the girls called me at work and asked if I could take her grand babies.  This was the day before I retired.  I had plans to teach more quilting and to do a mission at the Mesa Family Search Library. I hadn't made any commitments yet since it was so close to the Holidays.  I had thought about sending my papers in for the mission but a still small voice told me to wait. So, I was just looking forward to enjoying the Holidays without working.  I had a list of quilts I wanted to finish.  Guess what they still aren't finished.
  
While I spoke with their Nana, I had the distinct impress that I had to say yes.  The timing was too good for the Lord's hands not to have been in the situation.  He was mindful of these little girls and He wanted them with us.  Nana told me we were the only stable family she knew who could take the girls.  She couldn't because she works and helps an elderly aunt and had an sick mother in another state, plus she lives in California. 

So on my last day of work I left work at 2 PM and I left CPS at 3:30 PM with 2 beautiful girls.  They went with us to my retirement party, we rode on the light rail and went to the Spaghetti Factory in Phoenix for dinner. 


Here is the little one, or "Little Bit" she was age 7.


Here is the bigger one, or "Bigger Bit" age 9.  These are the pictures they picked out for their scrapbooks.  There are other pictures of them laughing with my friends.  Everyone made them feel welcomed.  My friends are good that way.

That night the "Little Bit" came to me, took my face in her two little hands and told me I was perfect.  If that doesn't melt your heart nothing will.  It had to be the sweetest thing I had ever experienced. 


They took over my planned guest room.  So the quilt I was making for that double bed is not finished.

On Saturday we had to go buy dresses and Sunday shoes so they could go to church on Sunday.  They had never gone to church before so this was a big culture shock for them.  


At first we thought it was going to be a short term like a few months maybe six but as the months passed it became obvious that it was going to be more long term but still not permanent. 

In March of 2013 we began classes to become licensed foster parents.  That is 3 hours once a week for 11 weeks.  What an education.  We were blessed with good friends from church who watched the kids for use for free so we could attend the classes. 
Another couple we knew, who had had foster kids gave us twin beds for the girls. Two of the largest tender mercies we had on this journey.  Another large tender mercy was fun kids who lived by us just the right age for our girls.  Built in friends what a blessing.

There also many small tender mercies, like I learned to sleep with a night light on in every room of the house and light shining into my bedroom from these lights.  I like it dark when I sleep. When my big kids where home and were up to all hours of the night the light would drive me crazy but not for these little ones, who needed to feel secure. 

We became licensed in July after many home inspections and lots of paper work.  Everything that is labeled keep out of the reach of children are locked up in cabinets. We had to make many changes in our home to become licensed. All worth it.

By November of 2013 we knew the rights of the mother were going to be terminated and the father's would be terminated a few months later.  
I can never explain how hard it is to watch children being heart broken by the actions of their parents.  The pain is raw and intense for them and for me.  There were times I came up with answers to their questions about such things in a way that was much better than I would normally reply.  The Lord has helped me say some really cool things to help them at the right time.   Don't get me wrong I am not perfect but I have received lots of help from above. 

The picture on the right was taken in January of 2013, I made those little quilts and pillows for their doll beds.  They helped with the quilting.  The one on the left was taken in February of 2014.  Little Bit had grown three inches in a year, Bigger Bit had grown two inches in a little more than a year, but she has grown a lot in these last couple of months. 

We didn't think very long on if we should adopt the girls, we knew it was the right thing to do.  We were even encouraged by one person at the licensing agency to let another family adopt them and be their grandparents.  It did not feel right.  We also knew that another big change for them could set them back another year developmentally and we didn't want that for the girls.  I also knew spiritually that these girls were going to be mine. That feeling has helped me get through some very tough moments.  Let's face it,  raising kids isn't easy and I am not as young as I was the first time around. I have been blessed with health and energy to care for these girls.  I miss some things but they are worth it. The only time I start to worry is when I think about how old I am going to be when they graduate from high school.  But I remind myself, Heavenly Father made this happen, this is my right place to be and the right thing to be doing, so he will get me through it. 

Things move slowly with the court but by April of 2014 we were going to adopt the girls.   It was final on September 18th. 

We have had lots of fun things happening over the last 22 months, like baby teeth falling out and the tooth fairy coming, and even once she forgot to come and came a day late.  One tooth was swallowed when it fell out while eating corn on the cob.  That was a real concern if the tooth fairy was going to come and the tooth fairy did come.  Little Bit learned to ride a two wheel bike.  Two trips to California.  The first time seeing the ocean and playing in the waves.  Horse back riding lessons for Bigger Bit with grant money for foster kids. Ballet lessons for Little Bit.  Some really fun chalk art in our drive way.  Lots of hugs and kisses.  Lots of not going to bed on time, that's not so fun but so part of children.  That first Christmas was magical, they loved all my pretty decorations and I told them not to worry Santa knew where they were.  And when they woke up and saw Santa had been here.  Oh it was wonderful.  The second Christmas was fun as the girls would say, I remember this when they pulled out the decorations. Going Trick or Treating again.  

Well that pretty much tells the story, and what a story it is. 

You will here and see more about them now. 
I love my beautiful little girls. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Kiwi Lane Template Notebook

Back in June I organized my note book for my Kiwi Lane Templates.  See post here

Well I kept checking to see if the sleeve protectors with four pockets were available and they weren't.  So I made my own.  
I took the two pocket sleeve protectors and marked the center of the card stock inside the pocket.  Put the card stock back inside and sewed on the line.  Yuppers!  I just put that sucker in my machine and sewed!

Here are the results.  


This is the notebook open and you can see the packaging slips on the left and the templates on the right. 


Just the template side. 


This is a scanned close up instead of a picture from my camera.  I moved the flap out of the way to sew down the middle.  It works real well and took about three pages out of my notebook.  Making my notebook a little less bulky.  

Happy Scrapbooking!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Quilting is Done

The quilting is done on Baby Steps!!  
I did in the ditch in the center and did some big stitch quilting in the border.  I wanted to go around that vine but the presser foot was scrapping some of the color off of the buttons.  Since I am not a real hand quilting, I just had fun.  


Too bad the quilting doesn't show but it really makes those center rows with the vine and buttons pop.  


Here is a close up of the hand quilting.


I might do the inside of the vine also, just to give it a little more definition.  

You have seen me mention the mini quilts I have been adding sleeves on the back.  Here is one for August I just finished.  I should do September's now also, since this one is so late getting done.  Only four more to complete. 


Yes I had a piece of the backing still available to make the sleeve.  


This is the front I finished it in Aug of 2009. 

Some of my quilting friends are in Show Low at 
Quilting on the Rim, for a quilting retreat.  
I went with them in 2012 but now that I have the girls I can't go.  I wish them fun, relaxation and lots of good sewing.  I know the food will be great and it will be cooler than here in Phoenix. 

Well Happy Stitching!!