Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Leaving for Cumorah Tomorrow

Maybe you don't know it, but I work on my blog only a couple of times a week, maybe less. I get a whole bunch of ideas and load many days worth of blog entries, and just put different posting dates on them. That way, I can go party and I know something new will come up every day, without me thinking about it.

Well, starting tomorrow, I will be gone for 20 days straight. If the blog loads my posts, as it is scheduled to do, you will see a bunch of posts that have been preloaded. (However, the blog has been messing up lately, so you may only see this one sitting here doing nothing for 20 days. If so, that isn't my fault. I tried.)

If the blog works, the only things you will see are old news, not any current events. We will be sweating and working, learning our roles in the Hill Cumorah pageant, and putting on the Pageant, and proselyting for two hours before each performance, and going home to our stupid KOA Kabin* to sleep every night, and none of that will be on the blog yet.

You'll have to wait until I get home (July 20) for me to start putting up pictures and reports on how the pageant went. I am hoping to have some excellent blog entries about it.

And you can also look forward to some posts about Bryce coming home from his mission in Oaxaca, Mexico, which will happen July 27.

And Seth's and Janette's wedding, which will be Aug. 14.

*Naming all their KOA things starting with a "K" really annoys me. But not as much as living there. We lived in the dorms the first time we were in the pageant, and then we camped in tents right on site the second time we were in it, but this year we didn't get a spot in either so we have to live 8 miles away at the stupid KOA. I am dreading it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Modest Prom Dresses

There is nothing modest today in the stores to buy for our daughters to wear to a formal dance. Here are some ways I have overcome this problem.
In 2006, we bought Tara this pink sparkly strapless dress. I cut off the bottom 14" of it, and created a bodice out of the pink sparkly fabric. I bought some plain pink and made a new ruffle at the bottom, and also a shawl.

I have made several of these jackets in different colors to go over strappy or strapless dresses. I made up the pattern, so I will make you a copy if you want.

Here is the formal Tara wore last year, of course with that same jacket pattern over it. It looked fabulous.

You can see Tara's black formal with blue jacket from this year on my blog 6-3-2009 and 6-17-2009.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Marking the scriptures

For your viewing pleasure, here are the beautiful purple flowers Wayne planted so successfully around our mailbox. I love this color!

I read an article by Henry B. Eyring (an apostle) about the way he marks the scriptures. He gets a new Book of Mormon and decides what topic he wants to study. Then he reads the whole thing, only marking that topic.

I have always been interested in the recordkeeping in the Book of Mormon. When did Nephi make the small plates and the large plates? When did the 24 plates get found, and when did they get translated? When did the Nephites have access to those translated records? When will we get the records from the Lost Ten Tribes or more from John the Revelator?

So I went through the whole Book of Mormon from Nov. 2008-March 2009, and marked it. Now I am trying to type up my findings.

But in the meantime, I have started marking another one. This time I am marking every time it mentions a tribe (Nephites, people of Ammon, Amalekites, Ishmaelites, etc), also every place name (Shilom, Land of Nephi, etc.) and directional information (they went DOWN to the land of Nephi). I want to try to figure out on my own some of the logistics and migrations and where things are located. (As if I could do that better than Hugh Nibley. Fat chance.)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Yellow Velvet Coat

It is strange to see what items my mother still has from her younger days. She bought this yellow velvet coat to go on her mission in 1948 or 1949. It was in her cedar chest when I was growing up, and I even wore it on "Fifties Day" at my high school.

Just last year she took it out and took photos of herself wearing it. It still looks great.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Trouble with Blogspot

I am having a huge frustration with this blog. In the past week, none of my posts have been posting automatically at 6:00 AM in the morning like I scheduled them to do. The blog just sits there until I manually publish the post.

I am sad because I had a bunch pre-written to pop up automatically each day while I am at Cumorah. Now with this problem I guess my blog is just going to be stuck on the last post I manually publish, and there might be nothing I can do about it.

Any of you people that use blogspot, HELP! Why suddenly did my blog break?


When I was in Arizona earlier this month with my mother and siblings, we had our hair done at Blossom Salon. This magazine article was framed on the wall. (Click on the photo to make it big, then you can read the caption.)

My mother pointed it out to me, and said that when she was in Beauty School in 1949, she was required to learn how to use this contraption to put in perms. She said that the chemical perm came in shortly after that, so she never really had to use this method on clients. (She had a beauty shop in Snowflake, Arizona, before she went on her mission or married my dad.)

And here is a picture of my beautiful mother.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wayne's Half Birthday

Think about it. Yes, Wayne's real birthday is Christmas Eve. What a bummer. I keep thinking every year that I'm going to put on a big celebration on June 24 so he can actually have a birthday where people pay attention to him, instead of the big Christmas Eve activities, but I've never gotten that organized. Maybe next year.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bryce's Birthday

Today is Bryce's 21st birthday, and he is coming home from his mission in Oaxaca, Mexico on July 27th!!!!!!! He has been a great missionary and been involved in many, many baptisms.

He needs to get to know his little niece Elizabeth again (she is almost 3 now) and meet his new nephew Thomas, who is now 1.

He spent his freshman year at BYU while Seth and Isaac were still there. Now Isaac and family are living in Cary, but Seth and new bride Janette will still be somewhere in Provo.

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Playtime Neighborhood" quilt class

I taught a quilting workshop at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium on May 30, entitled "Playtime Neighborhood in Fusible Applique". In this class I teach the students to draw childlike houses, how to choose the colors so the house shows up on the background, how to use fusible webbing, and how to embellish. The students like it because they don't have to bring a sewing machine, and they get to play and cut up fabric and stick it back together.

It gives them a lot of confidence, because most people think they can't draw. I tell them that the reason they are in my class is because they have seen my quilts with houses on them, and the houses look like they were drawn by a kindergartner. I say, "I draw freehand, without rulers, I don't fold the house in half when I cut it because I just leave it asymmetrical. You liked it when I did it, now you get to draw that way too."

Here are three of the women and their creations.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Anniversary of Wayne and Amy

Today is our 29th anniversary. I went to the temple a couple of days before we got married. Here are Wayne and I sitting outside the Provo temple. This yellow dress was Wayne's very favorite one I ever wore, he still mentions it sometimes. I need to buy another yellow dress, since he liked it so much.

And sorry I can't show you any of our wedding photos, I definitely need to get some of them scanned!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Isaac's and Rachel's Townhouse

Isaac and Rachel closed on this townhouse yesterday, so now they are officially HOMEOWNERS! Our family will be helping them paint today, and they will move in next weekend.

They have lived in the Cary 2nd Ward since January, and they will still be in the Cary 2nd ward. We are so glad they live close to us!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Positively Negative

I had really annoyed Wayne by criticizing every idea he had, "No that won't work". So at the end of the day I hugged him and apoligized, and said "I am going to make a new goal to be more positive." Then as I let go of hugging him, I said without thinking "but its never going to work." I realized what I had just said, and we both busted up laughing. There is really no hope for me.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Patti's Birthday

Happy Birthday to Patti! She is one of my very best friends, we have been walking for exercise together since Zac was in preschool. I think that started in 1997, so I bet we've been walking together for 12 years.

On Tuesday, it was pouring rain, with a flash flood warning. Patti checked the internet to see when the rain would end. She called and claimed we would be fine if we postponed walking by half an hour. Instead, WE GOT DRENCHED. Thanks a lot, Patti!
(She grew up in Washington state, so she loves rain. I was cold and wet.)

So....to continue on with the story, you may wonder what we talk about as we walk each week. We talk about teaching seminary, we talk about church, we talk about reading books, we talk about our kids and grandkids, we talk about random stuff. Here is an example of the weird things we talk about:

A random thought:
Last week Patti was telling me about a friend of hers who is an accomplished musician. That friend always has a soundtrack running in her head. There is always music playing. And the woman has learned that if a hymn is playing in her head, she needs to pay attention because many times the lyrics of the hymn are giving her a message from the Spirit.

I was slightly chagrined at this story, because I seem to have a soundtrack stuck in my head, also. But I don't really think it has anything to do with the Spirit.

For the past three weeks, I have been frustrated because the song "GTO" is stuck in my head. What in the heck is that "wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa" trying to tell me? (Patti didn't have an answer to that.)

GTO (written by John Wilkin)

Little GTO, you're really lookin' fine
Three deuces and a four-speed and a 389
Listen to her tachin' up now, listen to her why-ee-eye-ine
C'mon and turn it on, wind it up, blow it out GTO

Wa-wa, (mixed with "Yeah, yeah, little GTO") wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa
(mixed with "Yeah, yeah, little GTO")
Wa-wa, (mixed with "Yeah, yeah, little GTO") wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa
(mixed with "Yeah, yeah, little GTO")
Wa-wa (mixed with "Ahhh, little GTO") wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa

You oughta see her on a road course or a quarter mile
This little modified Pon-Pon has got plenty of style
She beats the gassers and the rail jobs, really drives 'em why-ee-eye-ild
C'mon and turn it on, wind it up, blow it out GTO

Wa-wa, (mixed with "Yeah, yeah, little GTO") wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa
(mixed with "Yeah, yeah, little GTO")
Wa-wa, (mixed with "Yeah, yeah, little GTO") wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa
(mixed with "Yeah, yeah, little GTO")
Wa-wa (mixed with "Ahhh, little GTO") wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa

Gonna save all my money (turnin' it on, blowin' it out) and buy a GTO (turnin' it on,
blowin' it out)
Get a helmet and a roll bar (turnin' it on, blowin' it out) and I'll be ready to go
(turnin' it on, blowin' it out)
Take it out to Pomona (turnin' it on, blowin' it out) and let 'em know (turnin' it on,
blowin' it out), yeah, yeah
That I'm the coolest thing around
Little buddy, gonna shut you down
When I turn it on, wind it up, blow it out GTO

Wa-wa, (mixed with "Yeah, yeah, little GTO") wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa
(mixed with "Yeah, yeah, little GTO")
Wa-wa, (mixed with "Yeah, yeah, little GTO") wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa
(mixed with "Yeah, yeah, little GTO")
Wa-wa (mixed with "Ahhh, little GTO") wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa


(Sung by Ronny and the Daytonas, not the Beach Boys as I had previously believed.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rose Prom

I'm finally gettting the pictures posted from our annual formal stake youth dance, called the Rose Prom. Tara wore her beautiful black formal again, and Zac wore a cool purple suit that I had bought for Bryce a few years ago. Bryce, Adam, and Zac have all worn it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mashed Ant Salsa

Bryce has only six weeks left on his mission in Oaxaca, Mexico. The email we received from him yesterday was cute so I thought I would include a few paragraphs from it here:

June 15, 2009
Hey Everybody,
Wow, this is weird, today starts my last transfer on the mission, my generation is now the oldest group here...

Anyways, this week was a good one. We did a LOT of service this week, I think more than any week in my whole mission. On Tuesday morning Lourdes called us and told us "oh yeah, I'm moving houses today, do you think you could come over to help? It's only like 3 houses away."

So we went there after lunch, not bothering to get a member with a truck to help, and yeah, I think she underestimated the distance by a good 14 houses, it wasn't too far but it would've been nice to have a truck there. Elder Cervantes, Wilbur, and I who are pretty much all skinny little dudes, managed to get all the big stuff moved in about 2 hours while Loudes's daughter's giant boyfriend and his other giant friend moved I think like 4 boxes and some crayons, using a car. That was fun....

That's about everything for this week, except the fact that I tried some chicatana salsa yesterday (salsa made from mashed up giant ants), I didn't eat much because it really wasn't very good, but it wasn't too bad either, it was just kind of a weird buggy taste. Anyways, hope everyone's doing well, have a great week, bye!

Love, Elder Bryce W.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Book Review: The Queen of the Big Time

I read this book by Adriana Trigiani on the plane home from Arizona last week and really enjoyed it. Last year I read another book by Trigiani, Lucia, Lucia, and it was really great also.

The Queen of the Big Time is about a poor Italian family living on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania in the 1920's. Their daughter, Nella, has to give up her dream of schooling when her father is injured. She works in a clothing factory in town, and is so skilled at her job she becomes a forelady at the age of sixteen.

Tragedy comes to several people close to Nella, and as deaths occurred and I read about the pain and suffering the various characters went through, it really pulled at my heartstrings. Trigiani has a way of making it all so real, the reactions and words of the loved ones left behind were so authentic. People had a hard life back then.

Nella falls in love with Renato, but I never knew whether to root for them or hope he went away. Ultimately, he does leave her, with no explanation. But he suddenly reappears the night before Nella's wedding to Franco.

You would expect the story to end pretty quickly after that, but Trigiani goes on with Nella's life, all the way until her death at age 61. I really enjoyed seeing the way Nella dealt with Renato's appearance back in her town, and the surprising way it all turned out in the end.

Nella has become one of those characters I will think about sometimes, like an old friend. And I definitely will read the rest of Trigiani's books (she has a series called Big Stone Gap that is next on my list.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kayaking with Isaac and Rachel

We went kayaking with Isaac and Rachel for the first time last weekend. Wayne had purchased five kayaks a couple of years ago, but since Isaac and Rachel didn't move here from BYU until Christmas, this is the first time they had the chance to use them.
Elizabeth got to go out in the kayak with her daddy. They saw a lot of turtles.

I sat on the bank with Thomas, who was asleep in the carseat. It was really nice just sitting there with a sleeping baby, watching Wayne, Isaac, and Rachel paddle around. Ever since we got the kayaks, I always wanted to be the grandma sitting on the shore with the babies. I hope we do it a lot more times.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Thomas is One

Our cute little grandson is one year old today.

This is my first time to try to put a video on here, I hope it works. You have to see this to believe it. A few months ago, when Thomas learned to crawl, he came up with a completely one-of-a-kind way to do it. He has never changed, he has no idea that everyone else on the planet crawls differently than him. You might say he crawls to the beat of a different drummer.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mr. Chessmore

I have very few memories of my school teachers. I had some teachers with hick Okie accents (I lived in Oklahoma but my parents were from Arizona) so they used some words that confused me badly-- one teacher used the word "like" when she meant "lack": "Do you like anything?" meaning "Do you need a pencil or paper or anything?" and I had no clue what she meant. I remember in the 4th grade we recited the Lord's Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance every morning in public school, the parents today would sue the school if they tried that.

The only high school teacher I remember at all was Mr. Chessmore. He was my Honors English teacher, and really made me feel smart. He chose me and another student to compete in a big statewide high school Shakespeare competition, so we went to the school library every day instead of going to class, for months and months, just studying Shakespeare. I think I won in the state, but I can't remember.

Anyway, Mr. Chessmore had funny limericks, rhymes, and puns that he said all the time in class. Here are two that I still remember:

You can lock me in jail, and you can throw away the key, but you can't keep my face from breaking out.

I love a little girl,
She lives on a hill,
She's a moonshiner's daughter,
And I love her still.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stewart Retreat #5

I'll just stick some odds and ends on here.

I took this not-very-good photo of an 8"x10" photo Larry was showing us. This is a picture of him when he won the big rodeo in Oklahoma this year. He won a saddle, which is a really big deal.

Below: At Jamey's house I saw these really great hologram cubes that he had made at Disneyland or Las Vegas or somewhere. They were expensive, but wow, aren't they impressive? I want some of MY family!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Stewart Retreat #4

It was so fun to visit my sister Carla's house. There were beautiful things everywhere. Here is a pretty piece of artwork Carla resurrected. The words were there but it was boring, so she colored in the words and added flowers from wallpaper sample books.

This little doghouse is the cutest thing I've ever seen. It is in Carla's kitchen.

These birdhouses are hanging outside the kitchen window in the orange trees.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stewart Retreat #3

We went to Carla's house in Mesa, and it is absolutely beautiful. Carla loves girly-girl styles, but has to temper it somewhat for her husband (otherwise it would be all pink.)

Carla purchased this big tapestry, then glued it onto the wall above her stairs and added the rows of molding around it.

I love the way she hung the shower curtain from these black hooks on the ceiling.

This is an organizer Carla and my mother made, from fabric, ribbons, and vinyl. It is hanging in Carla's daughter's room.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Stewart Retreat #2

One of the first things we did on Sunday after I got to Scottsdale was to attend sacrament meeting. But before we went, Carla gave a lesson on how we can change ourselves, how we can try new things, and how people get accustomed to it once we change ourselves. Then she gave us a challenge: "Now we are all going to wear someone else's clothing to church. Nobody knows us here, so just pretend to be someone new."

I put on Carla's pleated black skirt and black blouse with a wide belt, something I never wear, and all the rest of the females did similarly. Larry and Jamey got to wear their own clothing. (Later she made my cowboy brother Larry wear a silk short sleeved shirt, something he never wears. But he was a good sport about it.)

Unfortunately, this is the only really good group shot we have of us, and it is odd to me because I'm not wearing my own clothing. But its okay.

The next day, we all had a trip to Blossom Salon for a makeover. Jodi, the hairstylist, is working on my mother's hair, and my sister Cheryl is standing behind her.

Here is my new hairstyle. I really like it.

Carla was sitting there watching us get our hair done. I have to compliment her, she put on a fantastic retreat! Stay tuned for more tomorrow.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Stewart Retreat #1

I arrived in Phoenix Sunday, and went to this resort where my sister Carla had reserved 3 condos for us. My mother, and all 6 of her kids were there: Cheryl, Cindy, Larry, me, Carla, and Jamey.

Carla does "Time to Blossom" retreats, and she put on this one just for her family. It was great fun!

The whole retreat was to help us feel better about ourselves, have courage to reach for our goals, and become better people, so Carla had put up beautiful motivational quotes on every surface of the condos.

We made a craft showing all of our strengths, and we're supposed to hang it where we can see it many times each day. This one is Carla's. (I'll show mine when I get it finished.)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Seth is Engaged!

I was in Arizona on a retreat with my mother and siblings Monday night, when I got a phone call from Seth. He and Janette are engaged! The wedding will be Aug. 14 in the Mesa Temple. We are so excited to have Janette in our family!

She has lived in both Queen Creek, AZ and in Richmond, VA. She is majoring in American Sign Language at UVU in Provo, and has been in Seth's ward out there. They started dating last August, and will both be graduating next April.

This is a busy time in my life. I am going insane because we still have to plan everything for being in the cast of the Hill Cumorah Pageant (our 3rd time), and that is just 3 1/2 weeks away. Then we will come home from that and Bryce will come home from his mission a week later (July 27). Then 2 1/2 weeks after that is the wedding in Arizona, then one week later will be the open house here in Morrisville. (Then two weeks later seminary starts, and of course I have to be preparing for that all summer. Yeesh.)

We love good news, and we love it that Seth has found a wonderful bride, but I will be a lot more calm after the wedding and receptions are over.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Amazing Backwards Adventure

Seth and his roommates and friends love to make videos. Here is a truly amazing one. How in the world did they do all those things backwards? Click HERE.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Finally Found Rice Krispies Song

I went to BYU Study Abroad in London in 1979. I lived with about 30 other girls and one guy in a lovely 5-story Victorian brownstone (we were told that it was once the Russian ambassador's residence, it was really fancy inside). All our professors and their families lived next door. I had a great time there for 5 months.

At the end of the semester, we had a talent show. Three of us got together, and one of the girls taught us the Rice Krispies song, and we dressed up like Snap, Crackle and Pop and made up choreography and performed it in the show. Later that year I taught it to Carla and Cindy and we performed it at our Clarkson family reunion at Aspen Grove (or was it Kanab?). Anyway, I finally found the original 1950's commercial on YouTube and can hear what the song was really supposed to sound like (we had several of the lyrics wrong and a bunch of the notes). Anyway, I was very excited to find it. Click HERE


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tara's Prom

Tara and Cyrus went to the Prom on May 23. She bought this dress and I made a little jacket for it. She looked beautiful!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hatteras Lighthouse Engagement

Two years ago today, Adam asked Tiffany to marry him. Adam is nothing if not creative. He had to ask her in a memorable way. So he talked Bryce into driving to the Hatteras Lighthouse with a bunch of friends, and they laid out the large message "Marry Me Tiffany" in white paper towels (skewered with bamboo skewers) across the lawn at the base of the lighthouse.

Adam and Tiffany came later than Bryce, and Adam had to be careful that she didn't look at the lawn. They entered the lighthouse and climbed to the top. When she looked out from the top, she saw the message and about died. It was a great engagement.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Siblings

Here are my siblings, the people I am spending time with right now. This photo was taken around 1971 in Cleveland, Oklahoma. Notice the attractive metal scrollwork dividing the dining room from the living room. I am wearing the very flattering horizontal stripes.

Cheryl, Cindy, Larry, Amy

Carla, Jamey.