Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dear Keeler:

First things first...HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY! I must be the luckiest stepGrami in the universe to have you in my family. Thanks to a very bright, loving, and *together* birth mother, you are ours forever. (Well...not "mine" as in my child but, rather, your mom (Erin) and your dad's (Spencer) child.) But, I'll claim you any day.

Our family would not be the same without you. Just look at these pictures. You fit right in and look more like your parents than your brother and sister do! Wow. Just take a look:

See what I mean??

I'll bet you never knew that you are responsible for one of the happiest days of my life. Last year, you traveled to Utah with your family. You were coming here to be sealed in the Salt Lake City temple to them. You were dressed all in white. A cute little cable-knit sweater jumpsuit. Your little binky was clipped to it...just in case!

As Grandpa Terry and I got in the car with your Aunt Melissa, Aunt Erika, and Uncle Tyler, I got a call from your mommy. She asked me if I would like to hold you at the alter while you were being sealed to your parents. I immediately burst into tears. What an honor. One of the greatest honors I have ever received. Your parents thought enough of me to give me this privilege, and I will love them forever and deeply because of this (and for other reasons too, of course!)

So, there we were, dressed in white in the most beautiful room you've ever seen. You liked it a lot. You were a very well-behaved baby. You didn't cry or wiggle around at all. As I placed your little hand on top of your mom's and dad's hands, there was a beautiful, sweet feeling of unity. I KNOW you are meant to be part of our family. It was so right.

I was full of overwhelming love that day. Love for your mother, your father, your big brother and sister, your Grandpa Terry, my girls, your aunts and uncles...and on and on and on. All because of YOU. You collected all of that love and brought it to our family. Wow.

I love you Keeler. I hope your birthday is super FUN!

I love you (again!). I'll see you soon.

Grami Tami

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I hobbled in from the car.
I hobbled through the kitchen.
I hobbled upstairs to the bathroom...
then hobbled back down.

Do you remember my favorite nurse from my
abdominal (kidney) surgery last year?
It was Erika.
Not to be out done, Melissa became my favorite nurse
for THIS surgery. I was disappointed when I got home and remembered
that she wouldn't be here. She was at the gym!
(I know! What is she??? CRAZY???)

Anyway, as I said, she became my favorite nurse.


Well after hobbling back downstairs from the bathroom, I hobbled
into my family room,
I was greeted with this:

This came later:

I added MY touch to the ice bag.

Thanks my dear Melissa.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Poll: Which one is more fashionable?




Because I have to fix



Another neuroma.
I hate it!
But it hurts and I have to get it out on Friday.

Dang it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Here's a little Christmas wall hanging quilt I made a few years ago. Very simple and fun to put together.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I'm Working On It!!

Rhonda, my sis, gave me a bunch of her quilting stuff a few years ago. In the box were a few finished quilt blocks. I've had this idea to take some of those blocks and hand quilt them for framing. So, that's what this little number is all about. It keeps getting put on the back shelf because I find other projects that I have more motivation to do.

It's nice to have a project on hold. I'm the kind of person who needs something to fall back on. I have a stack of books of different genres just in case I finish the current book, or, just feel like reading a different type. I always have at least two alternate dinner menus in case something comes up and I don't feel like the one I planned on. This little block is like that. It's my "go-to" project. I don't know if it will ever be finished but...I'm working on it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I've blogged about this quilt before. I still love it though.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hold your torch high!

The Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts have their special badges they earn. They are amazing programs for young people. But, one of THE best programs is the one offered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As a youth, I was blessed to be part of this program which really taught me about being a woman. Well...about being the young woman I knew I should be as I strived to be closer to the Lord.

As years have passed, I have watch my own daughters learn and grow as they follow the program for young women in the church. I was also blessed as an adult to be the president of the Young Women's Association in my ward. I loved it. It was one of the happiest times of my life working with these young girls between the ages of 12 and 18. Such a blessing.

The Young Women motto is “stand for truth and righteousness.” The Young Women logo is a torch surrounded by the Young Women motto. (see above) The torch represents the light of Christ, inviting all to “come unto Christ” (Moroni 10:32). It invites all young women to hold up the light of Christ by keeping His commandments.

When my Abbie was working as an adult with the young women, she had the opportunity to earn her young women's in excellence award right alongside the girls she was leading. I so admire her for doing so. I was impressed that she had the desire to make up for losing the chance when she was a younger woman.

So...I made her this little quilt to show her how I felt about her and her accomplishment. It is paper pieced. I love it. And, of course, I love Abbie.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Four For Four

These are my FAVORITE gifts I have ever given. I made four little quilts for my four adorable grand daughters. These quilts are the perfect size for the little girls' baby dolls (I gave them the dolls know, the complete package. I couldn't leave anything out! Plus, the cases made an excellent spot to store the quilts.) I used the quilting method I had already followed for a quilt (more about that one later) a few months earlier. I got a little bit obsessed with the technique. And, I'm still not over it!

My heart just swells whenever I see those sweet little girls playing with their dolls. All four girls (aged 1-5) knew immediately what to do with the quilts. They wrapped their babies in them and then sat down to rock them. I can't even express my happiness at witnessing that. Motherhood is so sacred to me. Being a mother is my greatest gift from my Heavenly Father. I cherish the honor of bringing little babies into the world and caring for them for the rest of their lives. I had the bonus blessing to have four step children from which came these sweet grand daughters (I don't even bother calling them "step"). So, in conclusion, watching those girls wrap up their babies in their quilts, and play "mommy" was worth every single nano second I spent making them.

I love you Isabel! I love you Lyla! I love you Olivia! I love you Audrie!

Monday, February 8, 2010

I love my sister!

My sister, Rhonda, is my idol. All my life I have looked up to her. She was 17 years old when I was born. So, pretty much my entire life I've walked in her footsteps trying to be like her. It will never happen because, well, I'm just not THAT good.

The one talent of Rhonda's that I would give the world for is her quilting talent. I think I'm catching on. I just need to give it a little more practice.

This quilt is hanging in my sewing room (as mentioned in an earlier post). Rhonda gave it to me years ago. At the time, I didn't realize what a sacrifice it is to put so much time and work into a quilt and then give it away. Thank you sister. I love you.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Taste of My Own Medicine!

I'm such a mean teacher. Apparently my homework this week got parents thinking. It was the 100th day of school week and I sent home a page full of activities that parent and child could choose from for homework. Things like "write 100 words" or "find 100 items" stuff like that. I thought it would be a blast.

Then I was surfing my blog friends and came across Natalie's blog. She is the mother of Dallin who is one of my first graders. Natalie decided to go ahead and do one of the activities herself. It was the "write 100 of your favorite things" activities. I got quite excited thinking that I should do it too.

So, here is my list of 100 favorite things (you should do's very enlightening)

1. Hand Quilting
2. J Dawg hot dogs
3. Reading aloud to my first graders and using silly voices for the characters
4. Hearing my first graders giggle like loons over said voices
5. Weight Watchers on line
6. Terry's patience
7. Mel Rae's quiet strength
8. Erika's spirit
9. When I see Tyler being such an awesome husband to Erika
10. Watching tv (I know! It's brainless but I love it)
11. Singing showtunes in the car
12. Peanut butter
13. The Book Thief
14. The gospel
15. The sound of a Diet Coke dropping in a Coke machine
16. The sound of a Diet Coke can when I open it
17. Blogging
18. Dr. Soissen
19. Terry's painting of the cougar that had his marriage proposal taped to the back
20. Cheese burgers
21. Sonic mozzarella sticks
22. twin sister from a different mother
23. Organizing drawers and cupboards
24. The sound of automatic sprinklers turning on outside
25. The smell of the dishwasher when it's doing a load
26. Accomplishing a "manly" installing a toilet all by myself! (It's true)
27. Reading my students journals and laughing and laughing (example: today a little girl wrote that she was "all alone and (sigh) sad (sigh)." she really did write the sigh's in there! adorable!)
28. Orange
29. Rubber ducks
30. My Mac computer
31. The GDT
32. Isabel
33. Milo
34. Keeler
35. Yoga (oh, how I love it)
36. Twins
37. Kate Di Camillo
38. Cholula
39. 100% Whole Wheat
40. Lyla
41. Olivia
42. Canada
43. My fellow first grade teaching team: Rachel, Frankie, and Me
44. Yellow
45. Royan
46. June 7th
47. Homemade laundry detergent
48. Dresses
49. Aprons
50. Eli
51. Audrie
52. Third Nephi
53. Tying 23 pair of shoes every day (Just kidding! That is not-so-favorite)
54. Erin
55. Fort Collins
56. Spencer
57. Shoes with a wedge heel
58. The blouse that Kathe gave me for Christmas
59. My brown boots
60. Melissa
61. Josh
62. Being a wicked step-mother
63. When one of those ridiculously cute grandkids calls me "Grami Tami"
64. Honeycrisp apples
65. Peppers
66. Abbie
67. Forrest
68. NYC
69. Singing at church
70. Texting at church (shhhhhh...don't tell)
71. Playing Rock Band (but NOT at church)
72. Purple Skittles
73. Temple Square
74. Red Rock Brewery
75. Park City
76. Leg wrestling
77. Pedicures
78. Flying
79. Getting my hair cut and colored
80. Singing "Zippity-Do-Da" first thing every morning with my class
81. Listening to a struggling reader improve by leaps and bound between December and January...such a great feeling!
82. Boxtops (Ha!)
83. My Blackberry
84. My kidney
85. Forgiveness
86. Disneyland
87. Sri Lanka
88. Dreaming at night
89. "The Office" (that's what she said)
90. Salt
91. The Mt. Timpanogos temple
92. The actual Mt. Timpanogos when it receives its first snowfall of the year
93. The smell of freshly cut grass
94. One point snacks
95. Delivering good news to parents of first graders
96. Supportive parents of my first graders
97. My siblings
98. Route 44 Diet Coke w/lime
99. Silver and white gold
100. You...yes, you!

...I will now return to my quilt week...I need to add an "s" to "week". This is taking longer than I thought.

Abbie's Quilt #2

This quilt is quite possibly the easiest quilt I have ever made.
it is also one of my favorites.
I love it so much because of the fabric.
I absolutely LOVE
red plaid.

Look at this ADORABLE photograph.
Abbie is quite the photographer. I love the way she draped the quilt
around our favorite centerpiece:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Abbie's Quilt #1


Many years ago I made a quilt for my darling step-daughter, Abbie.
(I really do hate saying "step" daughter. I feel like she's my own) I'm quite the sentimental quilt maker. When I'm in the middle of sewing a quilt, I need to be thinking of the recipient. It just makes it very personal. I've made a couple of quilts "just for fun" with no one in particular to give them to. They are still sitting in my closet waiting for those perfect friends to give them to.

Anyway, to make Abbie's quilt more personal, I collected several pair of Terry's
(Abbie's dad and my boyfriend) old jeans...mostly 501 jeans. Then, I simply cut them into squares...matched them up with a favorite plaid/flannel fabric...put it on the quilting frame and tied that baby up. I thought it turned out kind of cute.

Now, on to the picture of those TOES!

20 perfect toes
(Eli and NYC grandchildren)
Eli's 10

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sisters by chance...friends by choice!

I made this little wall hanging for my daughter, Erika. I made it for Christmas the same year I made the beehive quilt for Melissa. Not my favorite quilt but still worthy to be on the wall! HA!

After I downloaded this picture I had to run upstairs to look at the quilt on the wall. I was checking to see if the real thing is as crooked as it looks in this photo. It doesn't. It really is a sweet little quilt.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Here's my quilt/sewing room...

This is the South wall.
Let me tell you about some of the things on this side of the room and why they are special in my life:
•The white pitcher, used for filling my steam presser and my iron was a gift from my bff Kathe. • The valance I purchased at DI (a second hand store). It was such a fun find...however, there are two windows in this room and I only found one valance. It bugs me. • The top row of the shelf holds five little treasures I found on ebay. They are antique ink pots circa 1830 (ish) The taller one is just a ceramic jug. • Right in the middle is an item I got from my mom. It's an old iron they used in those good old olden days. • The little figurines are part of the Lord Byron collection from Harmony Garden. At one point, I was collecting them, I have quite a few and still have the boxes. Who knows? I may have a fortune hidden in my home! • And, of course, there is my cutting table with my cutting mat...couldn't live without it.

The white plate actually says "July" on it. It is one of the things that belonged to my mother before she died. Since I collect plates (and crocks) I inherited it and I love it.

This is the West wall.
Those darling paintings were painted by my sweet daughters when they were little. I love how children's art looks when it is professionally framed. Priceless. The little quilt was sewn by one of the girls (they both made one at the American Girl club at Barnes and Noble and I'm just not sure which one made this one). The books are mostly quilting books. The blue "telephone table" was the one and only piece of furniture I inherited from my parents.
I love it but am looking for ideas to redo it.
Any suggestions?
The North wall

Here's where the sewing happens. The sewing machine and the serger.

This quilt was made by my sister Rhonda.
She is my quilting inspiration. I begged her for a quilt and this is what she gave me.
I love it every bit as much as I did on the day she gave it to me.
The East wall.
I love this window. It has a sweet little window seat. I made a pillow out of an old quilt to put on the seat. It is a favorite place of mine.

Inside the closet:
Here's where I store my extra fabric. Top shelf for large pieces of fabric. Smaller pieces and fat quarters are in the plastic bins. The bins also contain items I need for other sewing (notions, adhesives, buttons, ric rac (I love that word), binding tape etc)...all labeled of course! Projects I have started and not finished are in the side containers along with other supplies.
I LOVE the two box crates on the floor. I picked up these puppies when I was in Canada. They are sturdy, old (in a good way), and really great looking.

So...that's my sewing room. I am lucky to have my own space to work.
You really should come over and see it for yourself.
We could have hot chocolate and chat.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Quilt #4: The small wall quilt

The "small wall" quilt is my least favorite form of quilting (is it a form?). Don't get me wrong, I think they look great once they are finished but one can't absolutely LOVE every kind of quilting...there has to be a least favorite after all.

I made this little quilt for my daughter Melissa. At the time, she was in love with and collecting anything BEES. I love the look of a beehive so decided to make this little number. I enjoyed the embroidery and arranging the buttons. And, of course, I loved doing the hand quilting around each piece. I found this pattern in a regular old quilt pattern book. Plus, I loved making it with someone I love in mind.

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