Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Alpine Alumni Weekend

I had the opportunity in June to attend the Alumni weekend Alpine Academy with Janet and Lani. It was so good to spend that time with my girls and to see in more detail the work they are involved in. I am so proud of both of them and the difference they are making in the lives of so many girls.

Janet is doing a terrific job as Director of Alpine. She works some very long, hard hours but her job has been very rewarding for her as well. She's fortunate to work with a lot of wonderful people who love, respect and appreciate all the things she's able to accomplish.

This saying appears on a bench near the entrance of the school. When the girls come to Alpine I'm sure many of them think their life as they knew it before is over. . . and hopefully it is. But then with time and much effort by all the staff at Alpine, their lives get turned around, old habits eliminated and new skills learned so that they become like beautiful butterflies.

The landscaping around the campus was beautiful. The grounds crew (which now includes Rylee) had done a great job getting flowers planted, mulch added and everything perfect for a weekend of extended family and friends.

I was glad to have Payton as my little buddy. She and I were together so that Lani and Craig could host the families of their girls who were come to visit for the weekend.

Rylee, Rory and Baylee stopped long enough for a couple of photos . . . but mostly they were just having fun being together and doing their own thing.

Alpine Academy is such a beautiful facility. It has been fun to see the transformation over the years. When Janet first became involved, there was the original home and one new home in the process of being built. Now there are six beautiful homes, a school, barns, pastures, a soccer field and beautiful landscaping and trees everywhere. The program has grown and changed and transformed much like the lives of the girls who come here to change and improve their lives.

Payton got to ride one of the horses during the Saturday afternoon activities. Six or eight horses are kept at Alpine and are available for the girls to ride. The horses are used in Alpine's equestrian program and also used in their therapy programs.

Payton wasn't worried about getting on such a big horse --all she cared about was that she got to ride. Must be an inherited trait!

Much of weekend's classes and activities were held in the beautiful school on campus. Being able meet many of the parents of girls who have benefited from Alpine's programs was a very touching experience. Their praise for Alpine and it's Director and other staff members gave me a better insight as to what a difference they are making in these girls lives. It was an honor to be invited and to be able to spend time with my girls. Again, I'm so proud of them and pleased that they are doing such good work!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Birthday Quilt

My youngest daughter celebrated her 30th birthday in June. It hardly seems possible my little girl can be 30 years old this year! Where have the years gone? It was just the other day when she was born and now she's a wife and mother of two little boys. I don't know how the time could have passed so quickly. I'd been thinking all spring about making a quilt for her birthday but then when I hurt my leg I didn't know if I'd be able to get it done in time. But I couldn't let that birthday come and go without making something special to mark the occasion. So here's the quilt I made. It's a pretty simple design with big, chunky blocks of color that will go with her sofa and other colors in her living room.
I used some of the same fabric on the backside of the quilt as I used on the front. Recently I've also been trying to make the quilt back interesting and not just making it a solid color. That way you kind of get a double quilt with design on both sides.
Julie, I hope you'll enjoy wrapping up in this guilt for many years to come and each time you do, you'll feel your mom's love and know that love will always be with you. Happy Birthday Juls!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I Spy with my little eye . . .

Ok, so I've made yet another quilt. This one is a little wild and crazy, it's not the colors I would normally choose, but I made it colorful for the grandkids to enjoy. It's my "I Spy" quilt. I saw "I Spy" quilt on a calendar and decided it would be a fun quilt to make. So I enlisted the help two other people to exchange blocks with --my sister, Mary and my friend Sue. We decided on 3 1/2 inch blocks, so from our fabric stash we traded colorful pairs of blocks for the quilt. After a month or so I decided I had enough to make a good sized quilt. We also decided to exchange pairs of blocks so that not only would the quilt be colorful with lots of things to look at, but that it would also be a matching game because each block had a match somewhere on the quilt.

So now when the grandkids come to visit, they can play a matching game on Grandma's latest quilt. . . . and hopefully have a little fun playing a game we've enjoyed playing for years.

And they will able to say, " I Spy with my little eye" just the same as their parent's did when they were little . . . . not so long ago!

Grandma's Little Helper

I usually spend my days doing things in the house, working on projects or being outside in the yard - - - but most of that time I'm all alone. But early in May, I had the best little helper come for a week long visit. My days went from quiet days where I may go for hours without speaking to another soul, to having a very talkative (not always understandable) little girl be my little buddy. We had a wonderful time together!
I knew Payton loved being outside and we'd looked forward to her coming to visit so we could be in the yard, but the early part of the week, the weather was cold and windy so we found other ways to keep busy.

Since I spend so much of my indoor time in my sewing room, that became an interesting place for Payton to discover all sorts of new things to do. Her favorite thing was playing in my baskets of fabric and sorting pins - - moving the pins from one pin cushion to another. Who knew such a simple thing could entertain a little girl for such a long time?

Payton loved carrying the spray bottle around, sucking on it and dumping the fabric scaps out and then putting them back in the basket. She got lots of practice doing "cleanup" - - she's a little organizer like her mom. She loves to sort things . . .whether it's toys, pins or fabric.

Lunchtime was a real adventure. Payton didn't want my help--she wanted to feed herself and most of the time she did pretty good with most of the food staying on the high chair or in the bib. It looks like I'm feeding her dirt for lunch but she's eating one of her favorite food - black beans. She loves them. She eats them as quickly as her little fingers can pick them up!

Finally, on Friday the weather got a little warmer so we were able to spend the day in the yard. She really is an outside girl. She loved walking around on the rocks around my flower garden- - -and just being out in the yard. She was so content to just be "outside" we spend all of Friday and Saturday in the yard!

What a little punkin! We loved having her come for a visit. We don't get to have the grandchildren come for a visit very often and so to have such a sweet little girl stay with us for the week was a special treat. I'm sure her mom and dad missed her terribly while they were gone, but we were having a wonderful time!

And besides, how often do you get chance to have such a good little helper?
Not often enough!

Quilt for Ashley and Grace

Early in February, when I went to Kristi's for a weekend visit, she asked me if I could make a quilt for her friend Ashley. I consider her my friend too, it's just that I haven't known her as long--she's a great gal and a ton of fun! Anyway, Ashley was expecting her baby in early April and so I told Kris I'd start working on a quilt for her baby qirl.

So this is the quilt I made for Ashley and her baby daughter Grace Linn. Ashley had told me she was decorating her nursey in pink, brown and green so this is the quilt I designed using those colors. I loved thinking about Ashley and how her life would change with the arrival of a sweet baby girl. I made the quilt large enough so it could be used either in a crib or bed so it could be used for many years as baby Grace grows.
Here's the back of the quilt - - same colors as on the front of the quilt, but showing what the quilt blocks looked like before I cut the 9 patch block apart.
I quilted it on my machine and tried a new design on the border. The design on the border is called "deviled eggs". . .it really did look like eggs.
Another fun project for a sweet new mom and baby daughter.

Getting caught up . . . . again.

Ok, so I haven't kept up on keeping my updated like I'd hoped. What can I say. . . I just get busy with lots of things and don't take the time to post events on my blog. Life goes on and most of the things I do don't seem very memorable--just the day to day things with a few fun projects worked in. So once again I'll try to get a little more current on some of the things I've been doing the last couple of months.