August 29, 2009

Book Review

Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall with Lisa Pulitzer. It is our book for book club this month. Most months I have to force myself to read a book that I wouldn't normally read. Sometimes I finish it, sometimes I don't, but I figure I am expanding my horizons. This book had me engrossed from the beginning. I normally don't like to read nonfiction books, but the topic was fascinating. Elissa Wall grew up in a polygamous sect which was eventually led by Warren Jeffs. She is the one person who was able to successfully prosecute him for accomplice to rape for forcing her to marry her 19 year old first cousin when she was only 14.

As I read this book, I kept telling Adam about it. At one point he asked me if I was mad at him. I said of course not, why? He said he could feel the anger in the way I was talking. I was so frustrated for her and her situation. No one protected this young girl; not her parents, not her leaders, not her 'prophet'. Her mother even stood by her side, holding her hand, telling her she must marry this man, until she finally broke and gave in.

It led me to think about my own faith. How much blind faith do I put in my religious leaders? As Mormons, we are taught that when the bishops issues a calling, it is from the Lord and it is expected that we will say yes, no matter what because he has stewardship over us and gets direction for us. However, I have always been told that for instance, when it comes to relationships, if a man says he feels led by the spirit that he is to marry you, you may not get that same direction and you should always follow your own spiritual promptings. Well, recently the Bishop asked me to take on a new calling that I was not really happy with. I said yes, because that is what good mormons do. The Pres of this organization said she and a counselor had prayed about it and both came up with my name. But I don't like the calling. I really struggle with the responsibilities, and I just don't get a good feeling about it. I have prayed about it and I still haven't gotten confirmation that I should have this calling. Do I follow my own spiritual leanings, or do I trust that the bishop is more in touch with where I should be than I am?

This is a small struggle compared with the life altering decisions and situations Elissa was faced with. What I do with a calling in the church is small beans compared to being constantly abused with nowhere to turn. In order to save herself, she had to leave everything she had ever known. But it definitely made me think. It is a great read for anyone wanting more information about the FLDS church and their teachings. I wasn't previously aware how much Warren Jeffs had changed and morphed the teachings of their church, how insidious his take over was. It left me with a sick feeling in my stomach. These good, faithful people, just trying to do what was right, put their faith blindly in this man and wouldn't let themselves see what he was doing. Even now I am starting to tense up writing about it. There are so many people in their faith who still believe that he is the Prophet. It is heartbreaking.

It is touching to read about how all the people around her felt for her, but also felt powerless to help her. She writes about how much her mother loves her and how she was able to forgive her mother for not helping her. It really emphasizes how we all do the best we can with the knowledge we have, and in her mothers case, her knowledge wouldn't allow her to do more. Overall, I give the book a good review.

August 28, 2009

Trip to the Quick Care

We had a semi emergency this week. Porter got a concussion. Wednesday, I took all the boys together to JoAnn fabrics to find some material for new blankets for the twins. The twins I take care of have had these two blankets since they were very little and they drag them everywhere. As a consequence they are in tatters. Literally. I have been trying to find the material that they were made of and found some online. I wanted to check at JoAnn's and see if they had it there before I paid to have it shipped online. And even if they didn't have it, I wanted to look for some coordinating material for the back. We couldn't find the material there and nothing that would coordinate. Wasted trip and afterward I kind of wished I hadn't gone anyway since it turned out so badly. I had Gabe in the car seat in the front on the cart, and the twins were walking on either side. Porter was riding in the cart. he had been sitting down the whole time since I remind him every time we go in a store that he has to sit so that he won't fall. We were just going to put the cart back and I hit a bump between the cement and the rug in the entrance, and Porter chose just that moment to stand up. He fell out and hit the floor flat on his back and really banged his head. I picked him up and cuddled him some. A store clerk helped me get everyone out to the car and buckled in. By the time we got home, he seemed okay, but quiet. He just sat in my arms for a while. The neighbor invited us to her back yard to read books and he just snuggled with me while she read. As we were heading home, I put him down and he kind of weaved around, looking a little dizzy and then threw up, and then threw up again. I sat him down on the steps and went to get a change of clothes for him that I keep in the car. I immediately called mom to see if I should go straight in to the ER, and she said yes. I got everybody packed back in to the car while I called Adam to have him meet us there. We decided to go to the quick care because you get in sooner than the ER and they are closer.
After all the stress, Porter was up and about by the time we got to the quick care, about a five minute drive. He was acting like his regular self; climbing on all the chairs, laughing, and once we got in the exam room, investigating everything. He was just fine. The doctor said he had a concussion, but it was nothing to worry about.
We kept an eye on him the rest of the day, and you would not be able to tell anything had happened. I took him to get his hair cut that afternoon and I thought I would have to tell the girl to be extra gentle. He had so much fun, and didn't have any problems at all. He was all smiles and loved watching in the mirror. I am so grateful that he is okay. I hate that I can't always protect my kids from every ache and pain. Part of life, I suppose.

August 19, 2009

The Paper Table

This is Adam posting here today. I thought I would show off some of what I am doing with my origami. Amanda and I have really enjoyed our crafts recently. I really think she did a great job with sewing those covers.
I have been selling my origami at the local farmer's market. Right next to the tomatoes I put up my folded wares and I have had some success. It is not that unusual to see crafts at the fair, about half are crafty things, but I am the only origami booth.

I have not sold that much but enough that my hobby is more than paying for itself. It is a lot of fun to show off my origami and sell some of it.
Here is my Booth:

Most of you have seen the money origami:




I also do ornaments:


And boxes, and greeting cards:

It looks like I have been really busy but really this is what I do at work to relax myself. I am folding a turtle while I explain someone's bill and it helps me to calmly explain that we expect to get paid for services we provide at Qwest.

Its finished!!!!

It is finally finished!! I was able to go last night to JoAnn's with my new coupon and get the last of the material to finish the chair. I am so glad that the zipper wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. Overall, I think it turned out really well. There are a few mistakes that I know about, but they aren't readily visible to others, so I am pretty happy with it. The only problem is that now I saw a different material that I love even more than this one. I already went through three ottoman attempts in trying to decide which material I like the best. Then last night when I went to pick up the rest, I saw a material that hadn't been there before that was so much better. Oh well. I will do it in that next time. Now that I know I can do it, I won't wait so long to make another one.




August 16, 2009

Book Review

I just finished Austenland by Shannon Hale. I loved her youth books and have looked forward to reading her fiction for adults. It isn't available for the Kindle, bummer, so I have tried for months to get it from Borders, but every time I went in it was sold out. They couldn't keep it in stock, which just made me want to read it more. If everyone else loved it and was buying it, it must be really good, right? I wanted to get it from Borders because I could use a 40% off coupon, which is how I usually get new books. I rarely pay full price. But that didn't seem to be in the cards. I also looked at Hastings and they didn't have it either. Finally a week ago, I went to Hastings on a whim to check for something else, and decided to check for that too. They had it!!! Whoohoo!! I didn't have a coupon and I did pay full price for it, but I finally had it in my hands. And I must say, I really enjoyed the read and it was worth paying full price for it. For anyone who enjoys a Jane Austen book, I think you will enjoy this peek into what it would be like for a modern woman to enter one of her books. It was great summer reading. Also, for a woman who stayed single for longer than her culture dictates, I enjoyed reading the main character's perspective on looking for her Mr. Darcy. I highly recommend it, and would love to loan it to anyone who wants to read it.

August 14, 2009

2 Month Checkup

Gabe now weighs 12 lbs and is 22 inches long. He is doing great, and both Adam and I are VERY, VERY pleased to say that he is sleeping through the night from 10pm -6 or 7am. Love, love, love it. He is such a mellow happy baby. Not that Porter wasn't, but he didn't sleep through the night until he was almost a year, so our perspective was through very tired eyes. :) We are so blessed with both our kids. Porter is also doing well. He is gaining so many words every day and enunciates more and more. He loves people and tells everyone that I am his 'Mom'. He has stopped calling me Mommy. He calls me Mom, I think maybe because the twins call their mom 'Mommy'. He thinks that is her name ( he calls her Mommy too when she comes with the boys) so it is his way of differentiating. I wonder how long that will last before he gets it. We start back to work next Monday so he will see her more often and maybe then it will sink in. He is very excited to see them on a more regular basis and so am I. They play really well together so I am looking forward to it too. Its hard to believe that summer is almost over. It has flown by so quickly. I don't remember Porter's first months going by so fast. I am glad I have this blog to remember things this time around. I wonder if Porter will feel slighted in years to come that there aren't recorded moments from his first months. I wish I had been better at journaling for him. Oh well. Live, learn, and do better.

August 11, 2009

frustration


I have gotten this far on the chair project and have to quit, at least temporarily, because I am out of material and I already bought the last of what the store had. I have to wait until next week when they get more material, to finish it. So far it is coming along well. I had some hesitation about getting the arms connected right to the back piece, but the one I did went well so I think I can get the other one done alright. The one thing I don't mind putting off is the zipper. I am not looking forward to figuring that out. Anyone want to rescue me and do it for me? :) Once I get that in, then I can do the trim on the bottom, which I plan on matching to the trim on the ottoman. I am excited to see the finished product. I have never done anything like this before, so I plan on being really proud of my accomplishment and showing it off to everyone, which I guess I am already doing by posting it here. Pats on the back anyone?

August 10, 2009

And the Winner is.......

Neither; I went with something else entirely. Third time is the charm, I guess. We had looked at this material to begin with and decided that there wasn't enough of a pattern to hide wrinkles. I decided that the green/gold, although clearly a favorite, was a bit too masculine for my chair and I am not a big fan of so much gold. It was a little TOO busy. So I came back to this one. I love, love, love the flowers. I think they are beautiful and they make up for the not so pretty palm type thingies. I plan on making a little pillow with some jewel-tone material that matches the flowers. It still has a nice green that will go well in our house, but with a feminine touch. The pictures don't do it justice. I suppose you will have to come on over and visit when it is done to see how great it is in person. That is if I don't totally botch the chair cover, which is still highly likely.








August 09, 2009

Other options Ottoman part 2

This is the other material that we are considering. It is a deep olive green, but it has so much sheen it shows up a lot lighter in the pictures. Let me know which you like better. I am getting the rest of whatever material we decide on to do the chair when I go in with my coupon in a day or two so I have to decide which I am doing. I think the pattern of gathers looks better on the green because then I knew what I wanted, but I am starting to think I like the black and red better in looks, even though it will clash with everything. Even the green is a bit too 'posh' for our living room, so if I am going to go over the top, I might as well go all the way, you know what I mean? :)





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August 06, 2009

Work in progress

My rocking chair and ottoman covers have been slowly falling apart for a long time now, but I haven't found a reasonable way to replace them. Nothing pre-made fits the rounded back of the chair and it is too expensive to have someone make a custom cover even if I could find someone who could do it. I have sewn and resewn all the rips it gets because the material is so fragile now and I can't sew it anymore. The seams just don't hold and I am going to have to give up. So last night I went a little crazy and bought some material just to experiment with. I have never done anything more than hem a pair of pants or take in a shirt, so this was out of my comfort zone, but I wanted to give it a go. I figured if they can teach people who don't sew to do it on the redecorating shows, then I can do it too. Here is the result on the ottoman. I haven't gotten the gumption to try the chair yet. I have to learn to do zippers first and it is quite a bit more complicated than the ottoman. I will probably get some old sheets or something to try that first just to see if I can do it. I like this material, but I don't know if I want the living room to be focused around just the chair, which it will be with a color this bold. There is some pretty olive green material that is a darker shade than the one I currently have on the chair that I considered. I might pick that up on Monday with my 40% off coupon.







August 05, 2009

He's a looker


Tortillas

I was reading on a friend's blog about her recipe for homemade tortillas http://www.fancifulcreations.blogspot.com and it reminded me how much I loved the tortillas my mom used to make with Elva's recipe. I decided to try my hand at it. I just did a half batch because I didn't know how well they would turn out my first time, but they were pretty good. I even flipped them without a spatula in the pan. :) They are a little dry because I think I used too much flour to roll them out, but they kept sticking to the counter if I didn't. We had warm tortillas with butter and honey for lunch, with some cinnamon/sugar ones for fun. We will use the rest tonight when Adam does chicken fajitas. I am looking forward to it. :) Thanks Amelia for the trip down memory lane. I will definitely be making them again.


August 03, 2009

Today's project

I have been wanting another bookshelf for a while. The ones we have are overflowing, but I needed to find someting just the right size. We only have just a tiny bit more room in the guestroom/library. Saturday I founds this at a second hand shop for five dollars. It was the perfect size. And the paint for it was free. Adam enjoys finding free offers online, and we were sent a can of paint for free. Marshmellow/eggshell. Since one of the shelves in the guestroom is already eggshell, I figured that would go great. So, five dollars for the bookshelf, five dollars for a paint brush and voila! A nice new shelf for my books. Now I just have to wait for it to dry.


Before



After two coats. There are still a couple spots to touch up, but it is pretty much done.

It goes very well with this bookshelf, and I can unload some of the extra books out of this one now.


Gabe one month - two months