Monday, February 28, 2011

February's Fairyland

We've had such an interesting February--the biggest single snow fall in history, 60 degree temperatures, temperatures in the single digits, and last night we had a thunderstorm with pouring rain. By morning the temperatures had dropped significantly and we awoke to the beautiful sight of every bush and tree encrusted with ice. It was difficult to photograph because you had to be shooting into the sun to get the full effect of the sparkling ice. The picture doesn't do it justice, but nature truly provided an event worth noting and remembering. Winter is beautiful!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

President Peterson

We've lived in the same ward for 34 years, and over that period of time we've seen lots of changes in the size and composition of the ward. When our children were growing up we had a huge youth program of almost a hundred kids who all went to the same high school. Later we went through a phase where we had almost no young couples in our ward and our nursery was tiny. I'm not sure what was happening about a year ago, but last fall we had seven new babies in 40 days. So what does that have to do with us? Well, at the chilli cook-off on Saturday night the father of these adorable twins confessed that one of the girls has this little tuft of hair right on the front of her head with not too much anywhere else on her head. They call her "President Peterson." Do you suppose that is why they are wearing hats?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Yesterday we drove to Champaign for the blessing of little Sarah Ann. We had a wonderful time and are so grateful to live close enough that we can share in such a special day. Thought you might like to see a few pics.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Blast from the Past

While I was in Utah I spent a few days in Cedar City visiting my sisters. Things have really changed and grown. I've been writing my personal history and often think "I wish I had a picture to go with that." So while I was there we spent an afternoon and drove around so I could photograph some of the places that were significant to my growing up. Already some of them are gone, so I was happy to get these.
This was the Cedar Second Ward where I was blessed and attended church until I left home to enter the mission field. When I was growing up it had a beautiful stained glass window in it. That window was shattered in the 1950's when a jet from Nellis Air Force Base broke the sound barrier over Cedar City. I think the building still looks great!
This is the home where I grew up. The door wasn't red in those days, and there were no skylights in the roof, but it is still very much the way I remember it. The detached garage had an attic which was converted into our play house. Plenty of fond memories of that.
This is the hospital where I was born. The story is told that my father brought mother and me home from the hospital on Sunday morning. After getting us settled he set off down the street with his milk bucket to milk the cow they kept at a friend's place. It was about time for church to begin, and someone on their way to church mentioned to dad that they were to get a new bishopric that day. Dad said, "Well, tell them if they want a damn good bishop, I'll be it." On the way home, with his bucket full, church was just getting out. Several people stopped to congratulate him. He thought it was because of me. Later that evening he found out that he had been sustained as a counselor to the new bishop. What a surprise!
This is the old Rock Church where I was baptized. My kids think it is so funny because my dad didn't even go with me. My mom and I went together. Everyone who was baptized that day was baptized by Vernee Frame, and all of us were confirmed by Dean Forsyth. No special dress to wear (I think I went over in my little jeans and t-shirt. After all, you take those off and put on a little white jump suit, so what does it matter what you wear?!) No special program. No special dinner or treats afterward. BUT, I am baptized, and that's what's important.
These were my dad's sheds where we kept our pigs, our cow, and the sheep during the winter. I never learned to milk the cow, but I did know how to strain the milk, skim the cream and churn it into butter. When my dad was out of town he would find someone to milk the cow, but I would go to the sheds morning and night to feed and care for the animals.
This is the piece of property that I helped my dad clear for gardening. It is 55 acres and it was completely covered with sage brush. We used a tractor and a chain. My job was to wrap each bush with the chain and fasten it so my dad could pull it out by the roots with the tractor. It was some job! My dad had two sons, but one died as a child. After my brother Don left for college dad used his five girls to work the farm, move his sheep, and help him with his surveying. Four of us have survived. And that's a miracle!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Music of Angels

I'm at the Apple Store even as I type this. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to post a blog of Emily playing her harp. I've even had a one-to-one to teach me how to do it. But every time I try to post it the movie itself comes through great, but no sound.

One of the bright spots of each trip to Utah is listening to Emily practice. She's getting good enough that she gets asked to play for wedding receptions and parties. She has such potential, but is in that difficult stage of life when so many activities and school try to crowd out everything else. Emily knows she will be playing at my funeral (which I hope won't be any time soon). She better keep practicing so she'll be ready!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SEW Much Fun!

It seems like I've been gone forever, and although I've had SEW much fun it is truly good to be home. I'll be sharing my trip with you for the next few days. I couldn't possibly put everything in one post.
These are my quilt retreat buddies -- my sister and her five girls. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to even think about taking a picture until the last day, and Kristin had already left for home to prepare for a huge dinner party she and Dell were hosting that evening. I can't even imagine a group that could be more fun. We laughed a lot, cried a little, and I came back with a lot of great stories to retell.

Every year there are so many beautiful quilts at the retreat. Our rooms looked like a sewing factory with sewing machines everywhere (like eight of them set up in one room, along with a cutting table and ironing board). Quilt squares are laid out on every bed, on the floor, and even in the hallway. That's a story worth telling!
Kristin finally finished a quilt she had been working on (well, actually, not working on) for years. It turned out just beautiful and I thought it was the best thing that happened at the retreat this year. She needed to measure it to figure out how much fabric to buy for the back. She couldn't find a big enough place to lay it out flat, so she took it out into the hotel hallway. There was her beautiful quilt top spread out on the floor and she was on her hands and knees with a measuring tape when two Japanese girls entered the hallway and without missing a beat walked right across Kristin's quilt top, pulling their roller bags behind them. Duh! Do you have pieced carpet in your country?
I also finished a project and left it in Utah to be machine quilted. You'll see it when I get it back. I'm really excited to get working on the other projects I started.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chicago's Biggest Dump

Wow! Our phones and internet connection are finally working again. For the past two days we've been recovering from what is purported to be Chicago's biggest storm. Not that we've never had more snow than this. We remember years when we had so much snow we had to shovel it off the roof to keep the roof from crashing in and the kids could jump off the roof into the snow below with no danger of injury. But that was an accumulation of multiple storms. This was one single "dump". It's hard to know really how deep it is because there was so much blowing and drifting. In some places it's only eight or ten inches deep, but in other places it is four to five feet deep.

We knew this storm was coming and had taken steps to be prepared. Our refrigerator was stuffed to overflowing, we had extra gas on hand, and alternative ways of heating. By Monday night we were prepared to hunker down here and wait it out. Then Tuesday morning I was trying to do something on my computer and couldn't figure it out. I checked on-line and there was an open One to One appointment for that very afternoon. Should I try it? Would it be foolish? I took a quick look out the window. The roads weren't snow-packed yet, so I grabbed the spot. When I got to the Apple store I was greeted by 20-30 blue-shirted employees who gave a great round of applause for the little lady who had the guts to drag her computer through a blizzard to get help. I think I was the only person in the store for that hour. Wanna know how it feels to have 30 computer geniuses looking over your shoulder while you work?!

Randy spent about seven hours yesterday with the snow blower -- first our driveway, and then, along with a group of other men in the neighborhood, up and down our street until every driveway was open. I'm just hoping that an equally dedicated crew is working at Midway Airport to make sure those runways are cleared for take-off on Saturday. I'm out of here!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Check out our Skier!

Well, now that I know how to post videos we're going to start following Adam's skiing, and if he becomes a famous Olympic skier someday you'll be able to say that you've watched him ski since he was a kid!