Friday, March 25, 2011

Rudolph Day - Crafts that Take a While

Look at that - I'm remembering to do a Christmas post! And I figured this one was appropriate, because if I ever want to do a Christmas craft, I need to start it early in the year. Waiting until "the Christmas season" just never works. For example, I painted one of the small Santas seen on the mantle above as part of a Super Saturday, but it took me at least another year to finish the other three.

The inspiration for this post came when I saw this picture as I was going through "Senior Send-off Video possibilities" for Steven.

Many, many years ago (even before Steven was born) we were invited to a wedding and decided that it would be nice to make a cross-stitch of the temple as the wedding gift. The "deadline" of the wedding was quickly approaching and I was frustrated that it wasn't finished and that I couldn't find the time to do so. One night after dinner I remember giving Wayne the option of working on the project or doing the dishes and bathing the boys so that I could work on it. I was totally surprised when he chose the cross-stitch! But he discovered that he really enjoyed it, and working together we were able to complete it in time for the wedding.

Once the temple was done, Wayne started working his way through a magazine that I had. We discovered that cross-stitch is the perfect hobby for Saturday afternoons spent watching college football on television. You can enjoy the game and feel productive too.

This particular magazine had more than just cross-stitch projects in it, and as of this month, Wayne has done every single one. (The last one was a poinsettia sweatshirt that complements the one Michelle is wearing above. The one I'm wearing he made a few years ago.) I think my favorite was "Festive Medley" - a series of miniature Christmas motifs turned into ornaments as one project and sewn onto a blanket as another.

Admittedly, this isn't something my husband goes around advertising, and I debated even mentioning it here. However, I love this part of his personality. He's great at starting and completing things - something I struggle with all the time - and I admire that about him. I can't look at one of these creations without appreciating order and method and patience and perseverence, and even thriftiness - all wonderful traits he possesses. In addition, with the initial experience, I learned a great lesson on the importance of asking for help and not struggling in silence, and that's something I don't ever want to forget.

Now, since I still have nine months before Christmas this year, maybe I'll even pull out some of the scraps I've saved from his projects and make some ornaments of my own!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Still Alive

I know I've been neglecting this blog, and I'm sorry. I haven't forgotten all of you that want an update, so here it is.Michelle made the JV flag football team, and is starting wide receiver. To say that keeps her busy would be an understatement, but she loves it.

I finally got around to replacing the plants we had Jeff tear out before he left two years ago. You wouldn't think choosing bushes and flowers would be such an agonizing decision, but it is! (I didn't "plant" the two cranes, just thought you'd like evidence of the realtor's post - the sign came a day or two later.) Several late, late nights = a winning poster for the Science Brain Bowl competition. It was a thoroughly enjoyable event. You'll notice Michelle has a green ribbon in her hair because it was held on St. Patrick's Day. (She also had green laces in her shoes.) Steven said, "All true scientists know that black absorbs all colors; therefore, I am wearing green." Their nametags, however, were green; I wonder if that was planned purposefully. Because it was long day (normal school work and a football game as well), we didn't do anything to celebrate the holiday. That was disappointing. I guess we'll just have to pick another day to honor our Irish heritage.

Two days off of school = manual labor. The goal on this trip to Palm Beach was to wash all the windows and finish scrubbing tile. We were successful. And since there's no television in this empty house, we went out to dinner where we could watch the BYU vs. Gonzaga game. That was a great family activity, and one we all enjoyed.

So, that's the update - there's no time to be bored in our family!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tikki Tikki Tembo - A Childhood Memory

A couple of weeks ago we sang "God of our Fathers, Known of Old" at family scriptures and prayer. The author of the text was Rudyard Kipling, and when we noticed that, Michelle remembered that she had recently read "Riki Tiki Tavi" in English (also by Kipling). Wayne remembered reading it as well. And that reminded me of a story that my family loved when I was a little girl, called "Tikki Tikki Tembo," and so we ended the evening by sharing that little fable. (Later, it took me a while to recall how we got on this subject, and I just thought you'd be interested in seeing how memories are triggered.)I think one of the reasons I remember this little story so vividly is because it became the "naming source" for our family cats. We had several Siamese cats as I was growing up. The first one was named Tikki. The second one was named Tembo. We had No-Sa, and Rembo, and then Cherry. (I can't remember any more, but that doesn't mean there weren't any.)My parents still had cats when we visited them for my sister's wedding, and the boys (well, at least Weston) enjoyed playing with them. This is Olive the Cat. I don't know if they made it all the way through "Pembo" or if they changed the naming system because it wasn't an "Oriental" cat! Those of you who know me know that I'm not really an animal person. So, I indulged my children's wishes for animals by baking them cakes. Weston enjoyed his 3rd birthday cake just before Aunt Louise's wedding so much, that he wanted another one when visiting Grandma and Grandpa - and he got it, complete with a candle to blow out!