What is THIS all about?

Thanks for coming to my Blog! I am a Daughter of a King, Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother of five, MomInLaw of two, and Gram of three. Designing and creating feeds something inside of me! This blog will be sharing about my faith, my family, my life, my creations and collections. I am on a journey to learn balance and will be sharing about that as well. Enjoy!

Monday, February 25, 2013

20 Years Ago Today....A VERY Long Post...

This is a very LONG post, and is written here for my benefit more than anything else. It is just something I have to do here today. I will be adding pictures later, but today this is on my mind. . .

20 years ago, I had a lovely little family, an amazing husband, three girls, ages 10, 6 and 3, and had an eight month old baby boy. We were having so much fun! We had begun building our present home in the fall of 1992, when our baby was four months old. We looked forward to what fun times were to be had in this new home. Grandparents and cousins were all around and we enjoyed all the wonderful events with them, but we couldn't really have them at our house because it was so small.

Our family was living in a 14 x 70 foot mobile home on the farm. With three small bedrooms and a medium sized kitchen, dining and living room. We did feel lucky enough to have 2 toilets and two bathroom sinks...one of the showers was our pantry. People visiting gave us the funniest looks when I'd ask the girls to "Would you, please, go get me some peas out of the shower...."

Life was good. We had plans for big family events in our new home, Thanksgivings and Christmases, a kitchen we could actually have a large group of people in for extended family gatherings....I have a LARGE family!

In this home we have had Easter Egg hunts, even that first year while we were building, when it was only still a foundation! The next Easter, the kids were roller skating in the basement and putting chocolate eggs in the electrical outlets and switch boxes for the dry wall contractor to enjoy while he finished texture the walls and ceilings. Christmas brought bicycles for our small family, in our living room, which had no carpet or tile in the entryway, no finish work was done. We have enjoyed 40 people at a time here for Easter Dinners, Mother's Day dinners, 4th of July Celebrations, Thanksgivings, and Birthday parties.
20 years of all of those fun occasions...we had anticipated happening in our new home...
Just as we had planned and hoped they would, all those things have happened in our home, but 20 years ago today changed the dynamics of all of those events.

My father had been a construction worker as a young husband and he had wanted to help with the work on our new home. His hips were warn and he had a rough time getting around on flat ground, let alone a construction site, so he couldn't not help but he did say "I really wish I could help you.....I am just so sad that I can't!" Everything was an "Adventure" to him...

But at 74, he was NOT going to stop having fun, even if it hurt! He could no longer snow ski, one leg was shorter than the other and had always been. The length difference was markedly different now, and his hips wouldn't move well enough for that. He couldn't ice skate, and he couldn't water ski. All those things he loved.  But every few years a particular spot on the Yakima River, just before it meets the Columbia River, would freeze. And it would freeze HARD. Hard enough for ice skating, and Daddy just could not stand to not be on that ice.

So, he made what he called "Ice Cruisers", out of plastic lawn chairs and old wooden water skis. He bolted them together and sat in them on the ice, propelling himself around with his snow ski poles... it was a sight! He got such a kick out of it, and I would roll my eyes and say, "Dad, you are gonna kill yourself and you don't even care!"

Well, on this day 20 years ago, my father accidentally did just that...he went ice cruising alone, which was the biggest NO~NO in our family, his very own rule he broke....and he hit a thin spot in the ice and fell through. The water was not over his head, it was about 4 feet deep and he swam like a fish, but he could not get out of the ice alone. He died of hypothermia in the cold water. I will not share any more details, except that every time he had gone out on that ice in the months prior, he had had someone else with him, and someone seeing them on the ice had contacted the police. Each time the police would come down and tell him he really shouldn't be on that ice, but what could they say to a 74 year old man...one of the officers was an Eagle Scout of his, and he would say, "I will go talk to him..." and would then go watch Dad on the ice saying, "Dean, I have to tell you this isn't safe....not that it will do me any good....". Interestingly enough, no one saw him on the ice that day and no one called the police...

This man, my father, was a true patriarch in our family. His faith and strong attitude about living a good happy, helpful, productive life was a huge influence on his children, his grandchildren and his great-grand children. His love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ dominated everything he did each day of his life. Scriptures, family prayers, honesty, keeping the commandments, and serving his fellowman was a part of every day life for him.

He loved music and taught us to sing, which we have always done at family gatherings. In harmony and love we sang for as long as I can remember.

He played musical instruments and taught me how to play the guitar. He encouraged me to play for others at every chance he could get me to do it. I knew he was proud of my guitar playing and enjoyed it.

He played board games, but only the grandchildren would still play with him at that point, the rest of us just refused...he HAD to win the game....too competitive for the rest of us.

He was warm hearted and would give someone the shirt off his back if they needed it. He had such a generous heart. He had had a heart valve replaced six years prior to his death and we always kidded him that he wore his heart out loving so much.

He helped people and took us with him to help people. We learned the joy of service as children and sang through a LOT of service over the years, and we just had fun. You gotta get the work done, you may as well just have some fun... He worked hard and played hard.

We did not have much money, but I never knew it until I was an adult. There was enough money for us to be healthy and enough love for us to not notice the lack of money. Of course I was at youngest of the family where there was more money to go around, but I have no memories of older siblings complaining about not enough money. We were frugal and learned to appreciate the things we did have, and that was because of our parents and what they taught us.

This man, my father, was a Scout Master or Assistant Scout Master for as long as I can remember also. He influenced literally thousands of lives for the better through his scouting leadership. Of course with one son and nine daughters, we ALL were qualified to be Eagle Scouts....**shaking my head, rolling my eyes**...Just let me say that it was a good thing I knew how to swim or some of those boys who actually received their life saving merit badge would have been charged for the accidental drowning of the Scout Master's daughter! He was given the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award that can be given to a Leader in the Boy Scouts of America. He taught those boys who would be men about becoming an honorable father, about honoring God and living clean lives of honesty and taking responsibility and choosing to do good and BE good to others.

I know the constellations in the night sky, I love outdoors in the summer nights. I love yellow roses,  I know how to tie knots that hold, I can sharpen an axe and a knife, I can change a tire on a car, I love music and harmonizing, I love mountain hikes, I love lightening and thunder storms, I love snow skiing and water skiing, and bowling, I can stand fishing, I love bonfires, I CAN start a bonfire, I love camping (Before I started having anxiety issues, anyway), I love American, I love Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ...because of the influence of my parents and specifically my father...

He got after us for getting after him about the ice cruisers. When my sister told him, "Dad, if you go through that ice and die, we will never find your body!" You know what he said to her?
"You girls just need to recognize that if I go through that ice, which I won't, and you can't find my body, it won't matter, I'll be dead. If you are going to heaven, you have to die, that's all there is to it!"
He had lived a full, wonderful life and loved and worked and challenged himself and others to be good hearted, loving and strong people. He was happy with his life and if it was his time to go, so be it. His body was worn out anyway and if the Lord saw fit to take him, then who was he to argue...THAT attitude of his DID make me very mad at him after the fact.....

Because of that faith and love for the Lord, we were able to get through the front page news of his death, not with just pain and sorrow, but also with the peace and support that comes through that kind of familial confidence in the love of God and the love from family and friends. I had friends who knew him call the news stations in our area and the newspaper and complain about how they handled his death. They knew him and loved the man he was and said "...HOW could you put this family through this, that picture on the front page was so horrible, you have NO idea how many people in our area this man has influenced for good whom you have greatly offended!!!" Some even cancelled their subscriptions to the newspaper!  Dad would have thought that was unnecessary and a bit humorous.

Four years ago, next month, will be the anniversary of our sweet mother's death. She happily died taking a nap in her own home, and in the Obituaries, like most other people. But that wasn't my father's way, I am sure he was happy to have taken up a huge chunk of the front page of the newspaper as he began his "Next Great Adventure". . .

I miss him, my children miss him, I miss that my grandchildren will not know him in this life, I felt that losing my father at 33 years old was  rip off...but what a legacy of love and care he gave to me. He wasn't perfect and sometimes he was just a downright pill....and bossy....he could be sooooo bossy....and he had to be right....silly man, and he had a hard time admitting when he was wrong....but his love buffered the worst of his behavior...and it was a privilege to be his youngest daughter.

Daddy, I love you...Mama, I love you....I miss you both, so very much. But, you are tied so tight to my heart, I can never, ever, ever let you go completely....and because of the Savior, I do not have to let you go, we will be together again...

Love you forever, like you for always, as long as forever, my parents, you'll be,

Hugs to my dear blogging friends, You warm my heart as well!

Betsy

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

90's Blissful Whites

Cotton 90's Whites
Some of my Collection

I love cotton cutwork pieces, I have a few
patterns I would like to make, but I didn't 
make any of these. They are part of a collection 
I have had going since the late 1980s and 1990s.


At first glance, this is a towel with a beautiful heart on it..
What a surprise to me when after years of ironing it many times....
Oh....look! GEESE!



A gorgeous Handkerchief I have LOVED since I found it in the early 1990s.


A handkerchief given me by a dear friend whom I worked with in 
a church Children's organization.

For the last few months they have been adorning the hand towel bar in my bathroom, 
along with my hand towel. They remind me of a time when I was having
 my babies and decorating the home we lived in, as well as planning
 to decorate the home we built in the mid 90's.


Our Master bedroom and bathrooms are creams, whites and off whites.
These are not vintage, but they carry with them fond memories of times 
well loved and spent with family. They have decorated the master bath, 
the guest room, the guest bath, the quiet room.  The handkerchiefs 
have accompanied me to many special occasions,
including the weddings of our two elder daughters.

And memories tug at my Heartstrings....


Thank you, Becky, at Timewashed!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day Traditions!

May you recognize and feel the love of those 
who love you dearly and so completely....
Even when they may not recognize your love language
or when what they have to offer does not feel like love to you...

Open your heart to Heaven, and let HIS love in...
You are loved and are deserving of love.


My Father would come home from work in the evening on Valentines Day
a little later than usual. And he would come in the back
door instead of the front door!
Before he arrived however, there would be a very loud banging on
the front door and we would run to the door to see who it could be!

We always found a bag of Valentine goodies, chocolates, conversation hearts,
cherry flavored candies in the shape of a heart or a cupid with an arrow,
and sometimes red licorice...I loved red licorice...

There was always something special for our Mother in it,
a small heart shaped box of chocolates and a pretty card that
was obviously for someone special.

Always attached was a card revealing who the bestower
of this annual Valentine Gift was....
The Valentine Bandit!!!!

No one ever found out WHO this bandit was...at least no one
ever caught him in the act!
The amazing thing was that even when I was at college, 650 miles away,
I still received something special from
The Valentine Bandit!
(of course, I did live within 15 miles of an older sibling)

After my father passed away, 21 years ago in just a week or so,
as adult children, we still "Bandited" our
Mother on Valentines Day.
Sometimes she had many bandits, we should
have thought to take turns!

My hubby always has purchased children's valentines for our children and 
signed them himself, with  no promptings from me. 
Most years they also received a box of conversation hearts with his valentine.
From him I always receive a funny card and a "mushy" card, he is SO CUTE!!!

This year, he has been gone for a few days and won't be home until tonight. 
But the day after he left, our youngest, Daughter*4, came from her room with 
a handful of Dove Chocolates. She asked me if I had put them in her bed,...
"No," I said and started to smile...."Those would be from your Father!" 
I had no idea he planned that! 

I climbed into bed alone that night, in the dark, and realized I had 
forgotten to take my nightly pill. 
When I came back to the bed and turned on my nightlight, 
I saw a glimmer of shiny blue under the covers....
So, I threw back the covers and there I found at least two dozen 
Dove Chocolates in our bed! I laughed and my heart warmed as I
thought of the many fun ways he expresses his love. 
Each morning and night I have come cross another dove chocolate in our bed...
it's like he planned for them to be scattered and found randomly while he was away...
that way I would think of him often and miss him...which I have. 

He told me that he had a bag hidden in our bedroom for Daughter*4 
and I to open up this morning. Daughter*4 is gone to The State Wrestling 
match tonight and tomorrow and so I get to do Valentine's Dinner with 
my Mom-in-law and neice...and it will be a fun candle light dinner for us girls. 

Even if Hubby and I have not celebrated Valentines Day in the same house today, 
we have celebrated the love we share as a family, as a couple, 
and as friends in our hearts...and for that kind of relationship
I will always be grateful!
Hope your Day has been as Happy as Mine!

Heart hugs to you all!



PS The picture up top is of the Valentine I made and gave to Daughter*4 today before she left on her trip. When she realized yesterday that I was going to be alone this evening, she felt bad... and I appreciate that!!  ; ) Of course, this is a picmonkey'd picture...I am going to have to practice to see if I can get this look on the REAL thing! This small picture is the real thing, with just the watermark added...LOL
XOXOX



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Another Project.....

I am working on a bulletin board for our women's organization at Church,
The Relief Society, and I wanted to post some before and after pictures....


So, here are the items I will be working with and items I have made previously that 
are similar to what I will use for the board.....
I want to produce a crazy quilt look around the edges 
and have a simpler look in the 
center because it will be covered with ... bulletins!!!


I want to add some French Ribbon flowers to the corners and 
give it a feminine vintage feel. This is a
chipboard heart box lid I made years ago when 
I was learning to make these flowers.


The box lid usually sits atop a treadle sewing machine that has a special
family story attached to it. That will be for another post.


Looking at these pictures I took last spring, I see that my
bronze fairy charm has flown! 
I will search for her and get her back home!


This is my Quiet Room (we call it that to encourage quiet behavior in here, 
which also includes musical instrument playing....) 
where this Treadle Sewing Machine lives,
 along with an old rocking chair from my paternal Grandfather's home
and a little red child's rocking chair from the home I grew up in. 
Most of my siblings and I, as well as all my 5 children and their cousins, 
47 cousins, and most of their many children....
 rocked in this chair when they were small. It makes my heart sing
to have it in my home and see little people rocking in it.


These are a few other items I have made with French Ribbon flowers.
It is interesting that the True French Ribbon, the made in France Wired Ribbons, 
are more delicate and prettier to me than the wired ribbon.
I prefer the finished product when I have used those.
I will most likely use a combination 
of them for this project.

I have been "collecting" cream and off white, and white fabrics 
for years.....with an idea in my head to make a memory quilt....
so I am using some of that fabric for this project. 
I am going to try to do a simpler version.
I will show the After results when I get it finished!
Happy Hearts Week to you!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Learning "Blogger's" Ways...

Okay......
I am trying to fix my header.....and it is not doing what I THINK IT SHOULD BE DOING....
which is probably because I don't KNOW what I am doing...
HUMPH....(blowing my bangs up out of the side of my mouth like Ariel on Disney's "The Little Mermaid").... So,
I am going to sleep....and I will see what I can do tomorrow morning....oh,yeah....later tomorrow morning.....It IS tomorrow morning already......
**ROLLING EYES AT MYSELF**

A bedtime song my Dad used to sing to us when we were little  ~

      "Go to sleep, my little Buckaroo, while the stars in western skies are shining down on you,
           Don't you know it's time for bed, another day is through
                  So, go to sleeeeep... my little Buckaroo...."

This always comforted me...I dont' know why....I was not comfortable around horses, but the child in my head when he sang this song was riding a friendly pony...and walking into the sunset and a barn....I dont' know why it wasn't dark and there were stars....probably becasue I was NOT SLEEPING!




Sunday, February 3, 2013

Party Favor Giveaway!!!

I just want to congratulate 
Lady Locust 
of 

 She is the winner of the 
Party Favor 

I am giving away from the 
sponsored by Vicki at 2 Bags Full Blog
Vicki!!!! Thanks so much for your warm thoughtfulness in helping those
of us who wanted to grow our blogs and meet new friends and
follow more blogs, and see who else in blogland
makes things we love and can learn from.
You Are The BEST!

AND, I found out that Lady Locust lives just a few hours from me!
How fun is that!!!!


To my new friends and followers, I am so glad to have you visit here. I hope my posts are 
uplifting, helpful, nice to look at, inspire your creativity, or motivational.
I know they will never be all of those things in one post...
BUT, I hope if nothing else, they are entertaining...
Just check out my post about my 2012 Halloween Treat Making. . .
There you will meet the REAL ME!!! 

I have been gone for a week to my reunion with my sisters as well as a short trip with my hubby 
for our 32nd anniversary, which was yesterday, Sunday Feb. 3.
No, we did not watch the Super Bowl,
that is not what anniversaries are about....

Hearts to you,

Betsy



Friday, February 1, 2013

Sisters Gifts

I Love my Sisters..... And I am thrilled to be spending the next few days with them at a reunion! We have a complete family, (ie, siblings, sibling spouses, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren)  reunion every two years and on the year in between, we have a Just Sisters Reunion. For obvious reasons, our brother opts out!



One of the things we do at our sister reunion is bring birthday gifts for each other. We each bring eight of the same gift. Since we are spending just a few days together, we open gifts two or three times a day. A sister will bring out her gifts and each of us opens a gift at the same time! It is such a fun party time, multiple times a day!



For my sisters gifts, I made a "memory collage" using vintage ephemera from our Mother's extensive collection of sewing, art and crafting supplies. When she passed away, there was enough for each of us to have as much as we wanted... Our Mother was very creative and was working on something most every week.



She had old boxes wrapped in gift wrap full of tidbits of laces and trims, lace appliqu├ęs and buttons, needles and hooks. She also had boxes and boxes of fabrics of every kind... She had charms and chalks and beautiful amazing crocheted doilies...



The first layer on the card is a scan of our Mother's handwriting. The music is of a song we sang as children in Sunday School about Mothers. The photograph is of our mother at the age of 12...our Mother is a beautiful woman. Though we can no longer see her in person, we feel her love still and are so grateful for her example and love.



Since I have learned about tags, I have been wanting to make some with family pictures on them. "Familiar Faces" tug at my heartstrings and warm my heart and my life...
My sisters really like the cards!

Heart hugs to you,
Betsy


PS I was going to finish up the cards and my sisters decided they wanted to make their own! So they did! Here is a picture of all of them together. I will have to make one more for one of the sisters who could not be here. Didn't they make them all beautiful?