Sunday, January 31, 2010

YW Fund Raiser

One of my many callings in my ward is YW Camp Director. Our camp costs $65 each and I was called about 3 weeks ago. Because of health situation in my family, I was going to skip the obvious fund raising holiday of Valentine's Day, but my husband kept lobbying for me to do one. This is what I came up with...

This first arrangement is going for $6. It includes one red rose in a vase with filler from my yard and a small bag of candy.

This second arrangement is priced at $12. It includes 3 red roses in the same style vase with filler from my yard and a larger bag of candy. This allows a husband to get flowers for his wife and a less impressive flower for his child.

The YW will get half of each sale for their camp money. Ikea, Costco and Hobby Lobby will each be an integral part of the supplies. I sent the sign up sheet around today and we have a potential of $159 profit, just today. We probably won't get enough money to pay for camp, but we'll get a good start. Hooray!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Singing Time

Today I started teaching the song that was written for this year's Sacrament Meeting Program, "I Know That My Savior Loves Me". I must preface my explanation of what we did with the fact that we have a small primary with approximately 30 children.

The 2010 Outline for Sharing Time suggested that I teach the song and let the children come up with the actions that will help them remember the words. I had decided as I prepared for singing time that I would have each class take a line of the song and come up with the actions for that line. I had written the words to the entire song on the chalkboard and used that to assign out the lines.

As we learned each line, I would invite the class to come show us the actions that they had come up. Then as I stood there with the first class, I was inspired. I asked each child in the class to put their hands together palm to palm. If they wanted to sing, they pointed their fingers to their chin. If they wanted the other children to sing, they pointed their fingers to the other children. To my amazement and joy, every child in our Primary, with the exception of the 3 year olds (who didn't understand what was happening) and one or two others, took turns singing a solo and letting the other children sing too.

This was wonderful! We had a class with 2 children another with 4, but the rest had 5-9. This meant that with the introduction of the line of singing it 2 or 3 times and each child doing their solo/group singing, each line was sung from 4 - 12 times. It took the entire singing time to accomplish, but the children loved it! And they learned.

As a side note, it was good for me also. I was familiar with the tune and the words, but I in no way had it memorized. It is much more set in my mind now. Once again I say "Hooray for inspiration!"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


BIG NEWS! It's raining. For us Arizonans, it is a big event. Especially when it rains for hours at a time. We are used to a few minutes of sprinkles or a 20 minute downpour, but hour after hour of rain is unusual.

After several hours of rain, this is how our backyard looks. If it fills to the sidewalk, we will have to start worrying about our house being flooded. It has only filled to the sidewalk once and that was the year after we moved in. You might be wondering about the spots that you see. The white ones are raindrops, but the yellowy-orange ones are grapefruit that have fallen from our tree (or were thrown?)

Here is one reason why I love rain. It always gives a growth spurt to my garden (including the weeds). I have been eating from the bounty and have enjoyed a salad with mixed greens and radishes and have been enjoying radishes fresh from my garden after a quick wash.

Now onto the downside of rain...

Yes, we have a leak down our air return. Hopefully the trash can takes care of the issue until we figure out what else to do.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My garden

I planted my garden in early November so it hasn't flourished and yet it is set up to grow and grow as it warms up a little. Welcome to gardening in Arizona's desert!

These are the lettuces I planted.

Peas, peas, peas. These will grow in plenty of time for us to pick them before it gets too hot.

These are my radishes and broccoli. I am worried that the broccoli won't grow before it gets too hot, but I couldn't find any transplants.

Of course, this is the first of my harvest. I don't love radishes, but they do make you feel like something good is happening. I also planted carrots, spinach and swiss chard so we have tons of salad makings!

We can start harvesting spinach and lettuce leaves now. The carrots have several months and the peas should be ready in March or so. I'm excited to start eating fresh veggies again.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Recipe Book

I started my spring cleaning today because it is the best time of the year in this area to get sweaty and open your house up to the winds.

I started by cleaning and hanging some of my decor that I took down for the holidays but then I decided to clean out one of the cabinets I have. Inside I found a treasure trove that I had forgotten that I had. There was a huge crocheted tablecloth that my grandma made. There were handmade gloves and handkerchiefs that were hemstitched and tatted by the same grandma. I even found my husband's blessing outfit in a lovely pink. I remember asking my MIL why it was pink. She didn't know. It turns out that it started out a lovely baby blue. There were journals and another book.

It turns out that it is a recipe book of my grandmother's

and an account book dated 1920.

I loved the recipes. It includes brining 100 lbs. of meat and lots of desserts. Did you know that 8 salt spoons equals a teaspoon. I happen to have some salt spoons, but had no clue that they had a standard measure.

It even includes a recipe that is still being used by the family for a sweet chili sauce.

I might grow to love spring cleaning, if this keeps up (but don't count on it.)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Taking down Christmas

My Christmas decorations are very special to me. Almost every piece has a history... Special people who gave it to me. Pieces I made myself. People made it for me. I rarely take much thought of my memories as I put up the decorations. I am in a desperate hurry to get them up and move on. As I take them down, though, I remember. So if you don't want to take a trip down memory lane, STOP NOW! (BTW, if you click on the picture, you'll be able to see the details on many of these pictures.)

It takes me a couple of days to take Christmas down. The tree is down so you are spared that group of memories, but now I have started on everything else. The following is part of my living room wall. Look at those stockings. They were made by my sister-in-law, Julie, she is an expert at applique and it shows on these pieces. The hanging bells were made by my MIL with the tops of cans that have been painted or antiqued somehow. They are gorgeous. The wreath was done by me with deeply discounted berries and stars. Don't look too closely. I'm not particularly good at berry (flower) arranging or tying bows.

This was a tole painting project I did with a ward member, Dorothy, who was teaching tole. I love this nativity. I even love that the clear acrylic that I applied has yellowed and antiqued the pieces.

Continuing on with the nativity theme, this piece was picked up for me in Ecuador by my son. The coloring is very subdued, but it is part of the charm for me. Look around the outside. It has many traditional instruments.

This nativity was handmade by my sister. If you could see each piece close up, you would see such detail, even eyelashes. I sometimes send my nativities to displays at my church, but this one is never sent, I can't risk it being lost or broken. It is absolutely irreplaceable. It represents the love my sister has for me. If you look to the left, you'll see a Christmas ball on a stand with the nativity pictured on it. This was given to me by my good friend, Laura.

From what I understand, these bread dough pieces are traditional nativities available from Ecuador. It is unbelievable that such detail can be seen on these pieces that are at the most 1" tall. My son brought this home to me also.

These Santas from all over the world were a present to my MIL. I bought it at Smitty's. I quite often shopped there during the holidays because their selection of toys and decor were good and I got them at an excellent price. When my MIL moved to a smaller home, she gave the Santas back to me. I loved them when I gave them to her and I still love them. BTW, ignore the view through the window.

See the moose. They were given to me by my most recent Visiting Teaching partner, Brenda. The tree in back was a homemaking project.

This santa also came from my MIL. Nothing special to me, but my grandchildren insist that it be put on display. They love that the Santa moves, the lamp lights and the radio plays a constant medley of Christmas songs.

The soldier is made from clay pots and is gorgeous. My MIL had a friend paint the face and she did all the details. I love this fellow.

This cute little snowman couple was made for me by Mary. She worked with me years ago and was in her 70's. I have always loved the work that went into these pieces.

Another gift from my MIL, it was very out of style not long ago, but it is coming back. I've always loved it. When you look closely you'll see that each letter is stitched on with a tiny blanket stitch. Each sequin and bead is hand sewn on. WOW!

This is my tole-painting wall. Tole painting is no longer in style, but I loved doing it and one wall features the pieces I love.

This bear and candy cane are the first tole painting project I every made. Many thanks to Karen who took the time in our Homemaking meeting to teach me how to do tole painting. It began an interest that lasts still.

This guy was one of my first projects that I made in a class that I took after realizing that I really like tole painting. He is the result of the first set of lessons that I took. He is an example of what tole-painting projects should look like. My friend, Debbie, still has the perfection in all of her projects that this deer represents. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of one of the projects she has done for me.

These trees were a gift from our Primary President, Heidi, many years ago. They are simple but I have appreciated them since I received them. She made a lot of them for the people who were working in Primary.

This reindeer is no masterpiece, but it does represent my daughter's hands and feet when she was 5 years old. I made one for each of her grandparents and got them back when those same grandparents passed away.

That same daughter tole painted one of these guys for herself and I liked it so much I had to have one too and did one for myself.

This is a representation, but just a small one of the decorations I have. Some are in style, some not, but it doesn't matter to me. They each remind me of people, situations, and projects that I love reminiscing about. For those of you who lasted for the whole post, I can't believe you stayed with it. Thanks! You are wonderful.