Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It only took me 9 years!

Nine years and three months ago, my wonderful mother-in-law gave me a quilt kit from an Amish village.  I started to work on piecing it together, but it quickly got put aside.  Every year or so I have pulled it out and worked on it a little, but never really gotten very far.  In August I decided that it was finally time to finish it.  The blocks were all done, but I still had to do the sashing, form my strips, and put the top together.  

The real challenge came when I started quilting it.  It is 90" x 70"  and I have a very little, cheap, old machine.  So you can imagine that it was quite difficult to feed a queen size quilt through the machine.  I watched hours and hours of videos on YouTube on how to machine quilt and especially how to do the binding. 

So after only 9 years and 3 months, I have finished my first quilt.
 All in all, I am pretty happy with the way it turned out.  It is by no means nice enough to give away or put on display, but the general consensus around the house is that it is the perfect snuggle quilt.
I have completed the tops for two more quilts - one for each of my girls - and I am hoping to have them finished in time for Christmas.  I purchased a Charms pack and coordinating fabric for Katie and a Layer Cake for Kirsten at the International Quilt Show in Houston last fall.  On Friday I went to the cutest little shop in Downtown McKinney called Happiness is Quilting to purchase fabric for the backing and binding.  I have often wondered how people can love quilting - it was so stressful to me.  After spending just 30 minutes in that store, I get it.  I want to go back without little ones and spend a long time and a lot of money there!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Toothless Wonder

Last school year, Kirsten was convinced that she would never loose any teeth.  By April she was actually the only first grader at her school not on the tooth chart.  Luckily for us, she lost her first tooth on Memorial Day, with only four days to spare and made it on the tooth chart!  

Then the night before starting second grade, she lost her second bottom tooth.  Then two weeks ago she lost her first top tooth.  It was hanging sideways and pushed her other one straight out in front.
Her other top tooth was not loose two days ago.  The permanent tooth was coming in behind it and it was sticking straight out in front, making it hard to eat and it kept cutting her lip.  On Friday, Kirsten had a bloody nose after school and when helping her clean it up, I accidentally hit her tooth and knocked it loose.  After two days of wiggling, last night Jeremy was able to pull it.  So now she is missing all four front teeth! (Or really half of each of her front teeth, because the others are already coming in)
 She looks completely adorable and sounds even cuter!  We took almost an hour worth of videos last night of making her talk for us. My little girl is growing up and getting bigger everyday!  She is my Toothless Wonder!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mommy and Me

At times I feel that Katie gets the short end of the stick being the second child.  Most everything we do revolves around Kirsten and her schedule and Katie is just along for the ride.  So we decided to find something that she and I could do together while Kirsten is at school.  Today we started her Mommy and Me Ballet and Tumbling Class.  It is so much fun!  It was just an absolute overload of cuteness!

Barre Work
 Skipping and Galloping
 Ribbon Dancing
 Houla Hoops
 Balance Beam
 Backward summer saults
We had so much fun together and she did such a great job following directions!  I can hardly wait until next time!

Riding Cows on Roller Skates

Friday after school, we headed up north to Oklahoma to spend the long weekend with my mom and my grandparents.  The first thing we did Saturday morning was head over to my Uncle Vester's house and ride horses. Kirsten immediately walked up to Ringo and greeted him, while Katie was a little bit more unsure and kept her distance.
 Kirsten helped Uncle Vester round up Pedro and bring him to the barn to get his saddle on.
 Katie did finally come up next to Pedro and touch his side, she got more brave as the day went on.
 Kirsten however, was off as soon as she could be.  She loved riding around Uncle Vester's 10 acres on Pedro.
 She is a natural!
 We did try to get Katie on the horse with Kirsten, but if you can see her face, she did not like it very much.  It actually reminded me of our visit to Santa last year.  Lots of screaming and kicking.
 She finally warmed up enough to touch his nose, but that was as far as she wanted to go.  She was convinced that Pedro was a cow.  She spent the rest of the day telling everyone she came across that Kirsten had ridden a cow.  No matter how much we tell her it was a horse, she does not believe us.
 Both girls loved the barn though and had fun learning about all of the tools and tack in there.
 Saturday afternoon we headed up to Oklahoma City for my cousin Bryce's 9th birthday  party.  It was at the skating rink and once we got there, I realized that Kirsten has never been roller skating.  So I laced up to go with her. Unfortunately it hurt my ankle pretty badly and I only lasted about 20 minutes.  It sure was fun while it lasted though.
 Kirsten was really uneasy at first but we kept practicing and she finally got up her courage to go around by herself.
 Bryce was wonderful and stayed with her for almost two hours while she became more and more comfortable on four wheels.
 Katie and daddy showed up after her nap and she wanted to go skating so badly with her big sissy.  We will have to wait another year or so for that one.
 One of the highlights of my grandparent's farm has always been the chickens.  When we were kids, we would wait for Grandpa to get home from work and try to be the first ones out to meet him and help him get the eggs each day.  Katie could hardly stay away from the chickens!
 Every morning, the first words our of her mouth were "I see chickens, I want chickens!"  So they ended up outside in pajamas and shoes quite often.  My grandma saved all of the eggs that Kirsten collected over the three days we were there and sent them home with us.  She was so excited!
 Sunday morning we got up and went to church with my Grandma.  Many of the same people that were in the ward when we lived there are still there.  It was fun to see some of my old Young Women's Leaders and Sunday School Teachers.  The best part though was having four generations of daughters together.
Monday afternoon we packed up the car and headed home.  One of my favorite things is filling up with Gas in Oklahoma because it is real gas.  None of this ethanol junk.  In our Pilot we get about 22 mpg with the 10% ethanol gas.  With pure gas we get over 30 mpg.  It is unreal what a big difference there is, but I will refrain from that soap box rant for the time being.
Overall we had a wonderful Labor Day weekend.  I feel so blessed to have my Grandparents only a few hours away.  It is a great middle ground to meet my mom and be able to see her more often as well.  We love going up there and letting life slow down, even if it is just for a few days.

Teaching moments

Our lives as parents are full of teaching moments.  Sometimes we let them pass and sometimes we embrace them.  Teaching about loss is one of the most difficult things we approach as parents.

Last August we bought our first pet, a Beta Fish name Ponyo.  Kirsten was totally in love with her fish.  On Thursday morning we woke up to find that Ponyo had died during the night.  We managed to defer her attention from it before school, giving us time to know how to deal with it.  Some friends suggested we just replace the fish while she was gone and avoid it, but I knew that was not the answer.  I knew that this could be a prime teaching moment for my daughter.

After school I sat her down and we discussed who created us, who created the animals.  I put a glove on her hand to demonstrate our body and our spirit. We talked about what happens when we die, that our body goes in the ground and our spirit (the glove) lives on with Heavenly Father.  When I was sure we understood this, I told her that Ponyo had died during the night.  The onslaught of tears was expected, but still gut-wrenching.  We talked about ways to say goodbye.  She wrote in her journal all of her favorite things about Ponyo, and why she would miss him.  Then she wrote him a letter.  We sewed together some flowered fabric to put him in and buried him under the peach tree.  We let her say a few words and she put his letter in the ground with him.  It was a very emotional day.

Now some may think that this was a little over-done for a fish.  That we should have replaced him, or flushed him.  But to me, this was more about teaching my daughter.  Teaching her about saying goodbye.  About the plan of salvation.  About the love of our Heavenly Father.  How the atonement of our Savior can heal all pain.  Those are important lessons that have to be learned through experience.  She still has questions, including asking why this was part of the plan.  I don't have all the answers for her, but we are able to find them together.

She has asked if we can get another beta and name it Ponyo Junior.  I told her as soon as she is ready that we will.