Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Willy's Christmas Quilt
Austin's Christmas Quilt
Lydia's Christmas Quilt
 I think this Christmas was the first one that found Bill and me wide awake at 6:30 am and all the children asleep in their beds.  We had the strange opportunity to awaken the children from rest.  With eyes not so bright but without a complaint we went to the living room to see what did await.
 There were three new quilts made by mother's two hands.  Two levi quilts, one each for Austin and Willy.  A butterfly quilt done in bright green, blues, and oranges for Lydia.
The smiles on each face as the gifts we open let us know that they loved what was given and received.
We enjoyed talking to Jessica and Emily who were spending time with grandma and grandpa Harrison in Burley.  I missed getting a picture of the quilt I made Emily and the afghan I crochet Jessica.  I am happy that they received at least one of the boxes I sent.

 We had a wonderful Christmas day!  The gifts were delightful thoughtful and kind.  The food was delicious Ham, sweet potatoes and pie. The best part was family both near and far!  We are thankful for a wonderful day to celebrate the birth of Christ!

Smelling good was a theme with the men.
 All different types of Axe they received

Lydia loved her princess barbies, Cinderella, Belle and Ariel.

Austin was happy with his super Mario game.  

Willy loved the hat Austin gave him.  He wore it all day!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Austin's Birthday

I think of all my children I have learned the most from Austin.  He has helped me grow and learn lessons I never dreamed I would have to learn.  Because of how much work he has had to do to make small accomplishments his victories are that much more sweet.  I have come to realize that as he was small we fought and struggled with so many things but now you see him at almost 6 feet tall on honor roll, and happy. You would never know of all the small victories he has had in order for him to stand as the 13 year old you see today. Today I celebrate his 13 victories one for each year.

  1. Austin can hear and see.  He spent his first 3 years of life hearing as if he was always underwater.  He wore glasses to correct his sight in kindergarten.  I am grateful for preschool screenings that helped us help him.
  2. Austin can speak!  Now you would never know the hours spent in speech therapy. 
  3. Austin can read.   Through all the meetings with teachers and education specialist Austin's progress has been great.  He has been on the honor roll in middle school and reads above the reading level for his grade.
  4. Austin can feel and share love.  As a small child Austin was angry and hated about everyone, now you see him with a smile on his face and many friends.
  5. Austin has a wonderful sense of humor.  I love when 7 years old get into knock knock jokes and they just keep repeating them over and over again.  Austin did that forever but now has moved on and has developed a keen way with word meanings that makes you say that was funny.
  6. Austin likes to wear jeans.  After years of only wearing pants with elastic waist he will now wear jeans. Its much easier to find jeans that fit.
  7. Austin likes to cook.  He is a good cook with simple and not so simple foods.  This includes complete dinners not just cookies.
  8. Austin likes to do his priesthood duties by passing the sacrament and helping the widows.
  9. Austin is great at tech things.   Whenever I can't figure out something about our new car or the computer I just ask Austin he already knows the answer and he shows me how its done.
  10. Austin is a hard worker.  He sticks to doing the dishes even if it takes him an hour.
  11. Austin stands up for what he thinks is right!
  12. Austin is helpful.  He likes to help Lydia and Willy
  13. Austin made it to 13 without being killed of maimed by his brother because at times they get along very well.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Clothing Drive

Today at church we were asked to collect up items to send to New York for those affected by the storm.  Monday our house, because of the central location, became the collection site of the items for our ward.  We gathered up coats and sleeping bags and hoodies and anything warm we could find around our home.  It's a good feeling to do something to send something to help others experiencing devastation.  It was heart warming to see the giving, the desire to help from the members in our ward.  One sister told Willy of how she went to the second hand shops and bought the coats, took them home washed them and then donated them.  Another donated the coat right off her back.  The donations of gift cards and clothes were more than the transportation that had been arranged.  So Willy called around and found someone to take the second car load of stuff to Oakton to be distributed in New York.    I hope all the things that were given will be used  by those that need them.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Road Construction

The Kids went back to school today and the city of Manassas is getting back to normal
Today they began road refinishing on our street.  The electricity is on for almost every one in the 
area.  As I hear more and see more on the news about the devastation north of us I feel blessed
But concerned for others effected by this storm. 

The repaving of our front road begins 2 days after Hurricane Sandy
passes.  The black top is being removed. 

The big trucks move in and spend the day, taking the neighborhood
from silent to loud for an entire day.

I don't know what this machine is called but it is huge.
It grinds op the blacktop and puts it into a dump truck.
On Friday they paved the road.  It was cool to see the
steam rise off the road.  It's crazy to see how many people it takes
to pave the road.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Basement

I took advantage of the kids being home for another day and we cleaned the basement.  I know there are still millions without power and homeless.  I'm sure that there will be a way to help others when some of the rescue personal say it is okay.  Tomorrow the kids will probably be back to school and life around here will get back to normal.  

Here's the basement.  Now the kids can play games.

Sandy has left our area

We made it through the night!  Everything around the house looks fine.  We lost some shingles and a few branches from one of the trees in the back yard  and a piece of the fence fell over.  There is no water in the basement and we didn't lose power at all.  I don't say this to brag or because I'm delighting in others tragedy, I only say it so that those out there who don't have a place with power or warmth or a place to cook can know that our house is you house.  Please come over!
  It is still raining, I guess sprinkling is a better word, and the wind has died down.  What a blessing for those trying to restore power to the millions of people without it.  We do have a lake of water in the backyard and a small river to the side, but over time it will dissipate.
  The children slept in the living room on the couches, a slumber party of sorts.  Roxie our dog hates storms so she kept me up most of the night trying to decide where to sleep in our room or with the kids.   Bill went to work bright and early this morning.  Like I said yesterday Micron doesn't shut down for anything and life continues on.  We are grateful that Micron keeps us going and that they are still up and running as usual.

  Well it's time for me to check on some friends.  I hope that all is well with them.  If not I hope they will join us in our home or we can help them in some other way.  We pray for all those who are still in the storm that they will be safe.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

passing time

Sweet caramel popcorn never tasted so good! It's been years since I've made this!
I just wanted to give you an update about us and Hurricane Sandy.  It has been raining on and off most of the day.  The wind has been picking up for the last hour and will continue to pick up throughout the night.  It's miserable outside but it's been nice having time with the kids.  We made caramel popcorn and watched the movie True Grit!  I encouraged Willy to get his homework done while the power is still on but to no avail because school is canceled tomorrow.  We also did some cleaning, laundry, and dishes.  The kids must be rather bored because they have been eating like crazy.   Bill is even coming home from work early!  Micron never stops even when the federal government shuts down it continues producing.  Most of the stores are closed in the area.  It's the anticipation that can drive you crazy.  It's like if the storm would pass you could get to the clean up of it and on with your life.  Even if life may be more difficult the anticipation and the waiting to see would be over and you would know what you needed to do to move on.  But inside the weather is fine and the children are enthralled with anything electronic or mind bending.  They just started the movie DR DOOLITTLE.   It's great to take a break and enjoy being home.  It's 4:30 October 29th and we are happy that we still have electricity and hope for the safety and well being of all who are being effected by this huge storm.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy preperation

Wow I never thought I would have to prepare and then live through a Hurricane.  I think we are ready I will do a little more stuff tomorrow morning.  I think in some ways denial is what I am in even though I've checked the batteries and flashlights.  The boys have gone through the yard and moved items.  Willy brought in firewood and I have stocked the food, but the kids are going through it because of anxiety.  If there is any stuff left in the stores tomorrow I'll have to pick up a couple of cases of soda for Bill.  I just wanted you to know that we are as ready as we are going to be!  We will be having lots of wind and rain.  We are praying that if the electricity goes out that it won't be too long and that the basement wont flood.  The roof may fly away but as long as we all we make it without being hurt the rest can be fixed, mended or rebuilt.  I pray for our other ward members and want them to know that they are welcome to come on over and play some games and eat and get warm.  The kids are happy about a few other things that they do not have school tomorrow.  I know that it will all work out.  It may not work out the way we plan but it will work out.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Crochet Projects

I love this throw I completed the other day!  It is so soft and cozy and the colors are fabulous.  This is so simple and fast to crochet that I think I can crochet a couple more of them before Christmas!  I hope I can find the yarn I love on sale.    This throw is so warm that and pretty is just says use me.
I wanted to try something a little unusual so I found this cool spiral pattern  There are four balls of yarn going at the same time.  It's so cool to watch it grow!  I think I might try this in red and white for a mint candy look for Christmas   I also want to crochet some slippers or socking slippers for Christmas   I have crocheted a few scarfs.  I can't sit down without something to do in my hands or I'm stuffing my face so I'm keeping my self creating something!

Levi Quilt #1 Finished

 I love the way this Quilt turned out.  I used the rag quilting method on it.  It was like doing a quilt all wrong first you quilt the block by putting the green fleece block and the Levi block together and sewing an X from corner to corner then you sew the blocks together by putting the two fleece side together so the seam allowance shows on the levi side.  After you have them sewn all together you snip the seam allowance  so that the Levis ravel it's a fun look!  Now I put this away until Christmas.   Now onto Austin's Levi Quilt

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon syrup

This morning before conference I had the boys make these wonderful pancakes and syrup.  It tasted so Fall.  You can't beat having another type of pancake to make and the cinnamon syrup is to die for!!!!!!   The boys did a great job of following the recipe.  I included the recipe so let me know how they turn out for you!  Enjoy!  Oh yea we tripled the recipe so we could have some to spare for the kids to warm up in the toaster during the week for breakfast.  

Pumpkin Pancakes 

yields 6 pancakes

1 cup flour
1 1/2 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 Tbs vinegar

In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon and salt. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine. 
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Cinnamon Syrup:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup water

Stir all ingredients together in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, stir occasionally until boiling. Let it boil for a few minutes while stirring until it thickens. Remove from heat and set aside until needed.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Skyline Drive

One of the beautiful views of the Shenandoah hills and valleys

Totally cool Bill with his GoPro camera
 attached to his head.  
Lydia enjoyed the views and
 the wind blowing her hair like a model

The yellows, golds, purples, and reds of the Fall foliage. 

I just loved the orange and
 greens of the leaves
loved the colors on the rocks

The Traces trail at Mathews Arm was
 a nice way to stretch our legs.  It was a nice
 short walk in the woods!
We stopped and played Frisbee at the Dickey Ridge Visitor
center.  It was a beautiful day!  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happy Birthday Willy

Willy turned fifteen years old.  Here is one awesome thing about Willy for every year he has graced us with his presence

  1. Willy has a great sense of humor that keeps us laughing!
  2. We can still call him Willy Ward Boy. After all this started when he was 3 and he wanted people to know that he wasn't the same as his sisters.  
  3. Willy is tough but still lets his Dad win because he knows  "not to let a moment of bravery ruin the rest of his life".
  4. Willy is kind to those that need someone in their corner.  He's big like a bully a little over 6 feet tall, but cuddly like a teddy bear. He likes to give a smile to those who need one.
  5. Willy takes serious what needs to be taken serious but knows when a laugh can help lighten the mood.
  6. Willy is serious about his priesthood responsibilities.  He likes to be counted on to do what he is asked to do even if he may be the only one able to do it. 
  7. Willy has a lot of friends and is a good example to them. 
  8. Willy knows how important it is to do well in school, as a freshman he is taking his academics very seriously.  
  9. Willy is self motivated.  Almost every morning Willy has set his alarm and gotten up on his own so that he can make it to seminary by 6:00 each school day.  He loves learning the New Testament from Bother Ellsworth and the rest of the class.
  10. Willy likes to be involved in his school.  He's been working with a freshman committee and is going to be a cheerleader at the powder puff football game.
  11. Willy likes to do service!  I know he wants to learn to drive so he will soon be doing his Eagle service project!  He has been very involved with doing service for widows in our ward.
  12. Willy is open to new ideas and rules even when they may seem unfair or directed towards him.  Thanks for complying to our new internet safety rules even when it wasn't easy nor something you wanted to do.
  13. Willy is helpful!  Thanks so much for being so willing to step in and make dinner, grill, do dishes, laundry and such!   You'll thank me someday when you are on a mission  and you know how to take care of yourself!
  14. Willy understands and lives the standards of the gospel even when it's hard!  This gives him character and values that he needs to stand strong even if he stands alone.
  15. Willy  Loves and is Loved by his family and others.  
  It's great to have Willy as a son.  I am grateful that he came to me as a tiny long legged infant, who became part of my heart before he even entered this world.  Here's to many more wonderful years!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Temple Blessings

The day started out grey and rainy but that was not to deter  three sister from going to the temple.  The traffic hindered our desire to be there for the 10:00 session and the 11:00 session.  We enjoyed chatting as time passed and traffic moved slowly.  As time passed we knew we could not participate in an endowment session because we had to be home for the return of our children from school.  However, we were determined to serve this day and blessed we were as we each did initiatory work for  five names.  I felt peace and joy as I thought of the blessings of the temple, service and sacrifice.  I believe that if it had only been for one name the time on the beltway would have been worth it.  It was wonderful to talk with Andrea and Kirstie as we weathered the torrents of rain and the parking lot of cars.  Maybe it was the Lord's way of saying you need to take time to connect with others and I'll give you that opportunity.   I am thankful for the blessings of the temple and good friends to go with.

Tonight Bill and the boys went on a youth temple trip to do baptisms.   It's a wonderful opportunity for the youth to see the inside of the temple.  The youth get to check in at the recommend desk and walk past a beautiful mural of the Savior at the second coming.  In the mural you have the darkness and people who are wicked on one side and in  the other half you see the righteous with the DC temple in the background.  The youth then walk down the hallway and down the stairs to the baptistery.  They have only been trying this out the last couple of times it opens their eyes and hearts that baptism is the beginning and is part of something much bigger.  And it helps them to see that they want so much to be worthy so they can receive more of Heavenly Fathers blessings and gifts.  I love that the youth get this experience.  And I'm so happy that my sons get the experience of feeling the spirit of the temple.  I love that they get to regularly see their father  serving in the temple.  I am grateful that we as a family can be together forever because of the blessings of the temple! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Collection has left the Garage

Saturday was the day to Serve!  This day of service was declared by Virginia, Maryland, DC, and West Virginia.  Many organizations all over the area took part in many different ways.  Our Manassas 1st ward did a food drive.  It was awesome!  Our home, because of it's central location was the drop off point.  We weighed the bags as people brought them.  The food donation total was 1826 lbs.  Today the food left our garage and was taken to SERVE where it will be given to those in need right here in Manassas.  It was awesome to hear of how members took bags around to their neighbors and collected food and how they wish they had picked up more bags so they could have collected more.  One family talked about how they had their young boys take the wagon around when they were going to put the bags on the step and they were able to collect the food right then and fill their wagon.  There was talk of how the food drive had given them an opportunity to get to know their neighbors and do some missionary work.  Service always blesses the giver and the receiver!  It was truly wonderful to see the collection grow.   The church was not the only organization to participate in this wonderful day, sports teams, schools, other faiths and many others put forth tons of hours and donations to improve the lives of those in need.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Flowers in Bloom

Clematis is back in bloom after a hot summer

I love this vibrant pink with the yellow center

The giant mums are about to burst!
The cooler weather has made for a showing of new blooms in our flower beds.  They are so beautiful.  The grasses are adding their seed pods and the air is crisp in the morning.  In the next couple of weeks the leaves will be in their fall glory and I can't wait.  Next week being general conference weekend, we may have time in the morning to drive into the hills and see the beautiful fall colors. I'm looking forward to conference and some family time!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fat Pants to Quilting Squares

This past week I took out all the old jeans that I have out grown,  no not outgrown, became to skinny for and made a decision, to never ever be able to fit into them again.  I took all those old jeans and cut them into 8x8 squares to that I could make two quilts, one for Willy and one for Austin for Christmas.  I cut until my finger and hands were so sore.  There are 240 squares and pile is higher than my iron.  The majority of these squares came from my pants starting at size 22 all the way through to size 16  and through many years.  I remember cutting up, at least one pair that was ten years old.  I guess I am kind of a keeper of unimportant things.  Austin donated a few of his pants that have become too short and I even had a friend that donate some of her pants that she got too skinny for.   Now I'm going to cut 240 squares of fleece to make the back   They are going to be these super cool rag quilts.  This Christmas has a home made feel to it!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Crocheted Throw

I love this throw I just completed.  I have been working on it for about five weeks.  Every time I sit down to watch TV I would pick it up and work on it.  It keeps my hands busy so that I wouldn't be stuffing my face.  I love the colors!  They are colors I want to paint my sun room in.   I love the easiness of the stitches it is only made up of triple crochets and singles.  I love the texture that it shows.  So much fun I just had to share.  If you want to learn I'm up for teaching give me call!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lunch with a Friend

Why do I take so long to invite a friend to lunch?  I'm just so glad that I went with Kelly today.  It was so nice to chat about kids and home and life.  I remember having lunch with my good friend Shannan way back and solving the worlds problems over lunch.  Now I can't say we solve problems but it feels so good to listen and be heard.  I sometimes I detach myself from others as a way to keep safe, from what I don't know but I don't like feeling vulnerable, but with Kelly I can open up and say what ever is on my mind.  I hold so much inside and forget how nice it feels to share and learn and help.  I think that I could value having girl time with other ladies too.  It probably would be good for my emotional well being if I had a better network of friends that I could help and they could help me.  As an introvert I find these words somewhat hard to believe but I realize that I need to share with others and I have something to give.  I am grateful for this light.  Anyone up for lunch? crocheting? Hiking? Exercising? Anything?

Friday, September 14, 2012

I will not Give UP

I need to just write.  I have been a little crazy and haven't been writing much but I want to get back.  I love blogging and I love that Our parents, children, relatives and, friends can see our lives at it unfolds.  I think it is therapeutic for me to write about it and to share, mostly because I am an introvert and hold on to everything.  Writing gives me time to think and ponder how I feel and what I want to share.  I am deeply blessed so I like to share whats right in my life.  What works and what we do that's fun and mostly about family.  
   This past week has been somewhat overwhelming and I won't go into details, but to say that I am grateful for the peace that the Lord has sent me.   The directions and answers He has given me have been so powerful.   The answer and the reason He guided us to do what we did we do not know.  Some times the answer to why?  Is not important but that only we put our faith and trust in Him.  I know that He loves us and trusts us and that is what I needed to understand and know.  For He knows the end and loves each of us and teaches us and tries us and helps us to make us more like the Savior.  I felt His love and His peace and his guidance and for this I am grateful.  
   I haven't reported much about my weight watcher progress.  I must admit summer time is a really difficult time for me.  I think because of the lack of a schedule and that life is a little crazy but I am happy that I didn't give up.  I was very faithful at exercise I went to the freedom center and took a water fit class most days at 8:30.  I had a hard time keeping track of the food I ate so pretty much I just maintained my previous weight loss.   This week I was really good exercised and ate correctly so I stepped on the scale and here are my results.
Loss for the week 5.2 lbs
Loss since January 47.2 lbs
Goal for the month of September have a total loss of 50 lbs.  :)


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Summer projects

I love this color of lime green the black and grays calm it  
While The kids were home I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work on a few projects.  I'm not sure how the children feel about my painting  projects but I feel they are a way to update and beautify our home.  I have this mind set that projects are like puzzles lots of little pieces but when it's all completed its amazing.  One problem with this mindset is that I have a hard time thinking of anything else until its completed.
 The two big projects I worked on mainly with Jessica's help were painting and decorating the master bedroom and the kids bathroom.  Neither of which have been changed since we have moved here. There are tons of details and cleaning when it comes to a bathroom especially.
The bedroom still needs new flooring and some night stands.   I love the colors.  My favorite thing in my bedroom is the new headboard I made!  I also love the wainscoting on two walls it adds some nice texture!    I had a lot of fun adding vinyl messages to the walls.  They add a lot of character and interest to the rooms.

I love this Dr Seuss quote "We are all a little weird and life is a little weird and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love."

Love the new headboard and quilt!

Willy and I cleaned and organized the garage.  It's so nice to be able to park the car in the garage!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer happenings

Boy the summer slipped away.  However there were some memorable moments that I would like to highlight.

  Emily shared her experience at youth conference.  It was one of those moments that help to build our youth and give back to the Northern Virginia area by performing for full crowds.  Willy and Emily will never forget dancing the swing dance together.  You can see the joy in their eyes.

Lydia and Emily loved doing chalk drawing all over the drive way.  The kids loved playing four square and basketball.   But the biggest hit of the summer was the swing Willy made in the big tree in the back yard.  I even took my chances and went on it.   When I could find Lydia in the house I knew she was out on the swing.

 We hiked Bull Run mountain several times this summer.  It's a great hike up the mountain to a wonderful view of hill and valleys.

We floated the Shenandoah river.  It's a nice slow moving river, with a few rapids which weren't all that rapid we just ended up bottoming out in the rafts.  We had some great water fights.  Bill pulled the kids in and kids pulled Bill in. Lydia said that was the best time ever!  It was a soaking good time for all of us!  

Eating our packed lunches at the zoo

Riding the metro!
We enjoyed a ride on the Metro to the zoo.   Lydia could n't remember ever being there before so we took a day and enjoyed seeing flamingos, Pandas, cheetahs, elephants, snakes monkeys and so much more.  We did have some problems with the metro on the way back home but all in all it was a great adventure.  We did so much more.  I always feel sad when it's time to head back to school.