Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Free Romper Pattern - Strampler Mikey 2.0

I will soon be a Grandma and a Great Aunt!  My adorable daughter in law is carrying a heavy load as her little baby grows and will soon get to see his sweet face!
My sweet niece is about a month behind my daughter in law in her pregnancy.  Oh, how I have missed babies.

I've been making baby clothes from gently used fabrics.  I am doing my best to prevent things that have good use left  in them from going into the land fill.  Waste not want not.

This cute little jumper size Gr. 68 about 6 months was cut from a pair of women's stretch denim pants.  I cut them on the outer side seam.  I added a pocket to soften the center seam.  Next time I will make the cuff longer so that it can be folded.  This pattern has a gusset set in the crotch, don't be afraid of putting this in.  It's not bad.  (Watch a tutorial.)

I saw many pictures of this jumper on pinterest, but it took a while using Google translator and learning a couple of key search words to find the patter.
I found this pattern after happening upon Le-Kimi's blog. Beware the pattern is free.  Don't pay anyone for it. I searched the German words and apparently Strampler is Jumper, Anleitung is Guide, Schnitt is Cut or as it's known in English, Pattern.  From what I have gathered Le-Kimi does charge for use if you should choose to sell products made from the pattern.

The pattern is supposed to be made with stretchy knit fabric.  I used a stretch denim here, but I will add a tiny bit of width the next time I used a less stretchy fabric just to be safe.  My daughter in law plans to use cloth diapers, so I want to make plenty of room in the ones that I make for her baby.
I hope you found this useful!  Check YouTube there are a couple of tutorials in German.  It was fun to hear them speak and you can gather a lot by watching the videos.  :)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

There I was Crying my eyes out in Wal-Mart

I saw a classy frail looking old woman using a scooter.  She had parked the scooter too close to the milk cooler doors and was trying to get up to stand in a space that was only as wide as her sneaker.   I saw a fall coming. 
I approached, (my thought was Grandma C.) she was wearing a quilted jacket in a slightly different shade of brown from the one that Grandma C. wore shortly before she died. I asked if I could get something for her. As she hovered to sit I cupped a hand under her elbow until she was seated, just the way I used to with Grandma. 

She asked for three half gallons of milk.   (Grandma always bought skim and 1% in smaller cartons.  She mixed it because she couldn't buy the 1/2% milk that she had always bought in Texas. )
I got them. She was poised and thanked me with an appreciative smile. The memories flooded back.  I took her in for a moment.  I paused and smiled as I asked her if she needed anything else.  She was happy and moved on.  I moved the other direction toward my husband, hoping to be rescued from my emotions. There I was in the dairy section losing the battle against my tears.

After we reached the car I started to talk about Grandma.  Grandma was such a capable amazing woman.  She was driven to serve and kept going against so many difficult health problems.  She was so frail for so long.  We were used to holding on to her as she forged ahead.  My Dad once said that she would die while working, the "pony in the strap."  She was 5 feet tall and worked like a Clydesdale.  

I took this during Grandma's last summer during a family gathering.

She always did all that she could to love and help those around her. She smiled at everyone that she came into contact with in public and showed such kindness.
She wrote the book on taking care of a husband.  When Grandpa got older he got funny and was a bit more troublesome.  But, Grandma took such good care of him.  

I am so thankful for my knowledge that our family relationships can continue beyond the grave.  I am so thankful for sealing ordinances in the temple that bind families.  I am so thankful for marriages/sealings that are not until death do you part.  

My grandmother was a genealogist and became somewhat of an authority on the Chanel Islands. Finding our ancestors was very important to her because she understood the importance of offering saving ordinances to our ancestors.  Should they choose to accept them,  we believe that families will continue to be family units beyond the grave.  

I look forward to seeing her again when I die.  It's been two years since she left us.  I have not cried like that in a quite a while.  I truly miss her.  When I was a child she was my long distance Grandma.  But, about the time my 5th child was born my husband and father moved them to our valley.  She became my dear friend.
Until we meet again Grandma.  Until we meet again.

Friday, October 28, 2016

What makes me who I am, Five Generations

Me with my first two children while expecting my third with, my mother, great grandmother and grandmother in 1993.
I was sitting this morning before the first session of General Conference looking at a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook published in 1946 that belonged to my great-grandmother. As I leafed through her newspaper clippings that were carefully tucked into the book from the food section of the newspaper I felt great satisfaction. My hands touched pages that she touched. Pages that she turned and clippings that she had read and saved. The hearts of the children turn to the Fathers.

I feel so blessed to have known my great-grandmother.
Her cookbook features meals made from inexpensive ingredients with creativity in a time when families actually sat around the table at a set time at the end of the day. A time when activities wound down for dinner time. A time when everyone else was going home to be with the family. A time when fast food was not a planned part of the budget.

My great-grandmother has been gone for 10 years now. But, I have the blessing of having living Grandparents. My Grandmother is in her early 80s and my grandfather is in his early 90s.

If I happen to call my grandparents during a meal time they will ask to call me back. Myself and others in the family have wrinkled noses at times and chuckled because of this difference. But, when approaching this goal of spending quality time together as a family around the table we can benefit from the methods of earlier generations.

I would guess that my great-great grandmother firmly told my great-grandfather to be home on time for supper. And I'll bet the children feared the other siblings would not leave any leftovers if they were to be late. In some cases it was likely easier to break free from activities and come home since others would likely be going home too.

We have seen times of plenty where over scheduling through the dinner hour could be overcome by a stop at the local fast food place. But, the trip through the fast food line does not replace the family time around the table. And, I dare say that some have felt the pinch in these unsteady economic times and might actually attempt cooking at home. Even if dinner is not totally from scratch.
There have been so many advances that we are tempted to cram too much into our busy days. These advances are not bad. But, living in such a hurry does not enrich our lives. Even the bread section of my great-grandmother's 1946 cookbook speaks of the homemaker buying bread rather than making it. My great-grandmother was born just after 1900. She watched the ushering in of this age as did my grandmother and mother after her. Much good has come. But as I live each day I am acutely aware of the time crunch that I find myself in.

I want so much to do better. I want to continue to work at slowing down. Much of the time we eat on the run, each individual heating something up as they are hungry instead of stopping for all present to eat family meals. As family members run here and run there. My goal is to increase how many times we sit around our family table this week all together. I am not going to psych myself into believing we will have a Ward and June Cleaver moment at the table as Wally and the Beave tell about their day at school. I am not aiming for the ethereal, though ethereal and peaceful would be nice.

My desire is to add drops of love to my children's cups. Moments of family belonging and unity. Even as one small child pokes another small child or there is a dispute about who gets to read the new book in the house first. Life is going to happen. But, I want to do better at not letting the days slip by without doing my best to keep my family bonded together through family meal times, prayer and scripture reading.

I long for a simpler life in spite of the hurry of over taxed days and resources.

I just hope to do a little bit better at keeping my family close. I look back at this journey that I am taking in awe it seems like yesterday I was a young bride. Before that I was a child in my mother's kitchen.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

3 Seam Footies - PooPockets Free Pattern -Check out the Boy Variation

If you looking for a quick pair of baby shoes, booties, footies, slippers or whatever you want to call them... They were designed for babes, but I get a lot of hits for American Girls Dolls.  If you are looking for a free pattern this might just fit the bill. These are a very quick sew and they are cute as can be. I no longer have any small people to put them on, so if you make them I'd love to hear if they stay on. (The only pair I ever had were preemie sized and my preemie did not wear clothes until he was much bigger than they were.) They are low on the ankle, so without socks they may be quick to kick off.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Wheat Intolerant Baker - Protecting your Lungs

When you bake bread do you end up walking away sneezing, coughing, choking and wheezing?  Sadly, the more I bake the more this is the case for me.  I have always been sensitive to dust and flour.

It has been suggested that I wear a dust mask as I measure or grind.  But, up until now I have been quite stubborn only wearing a mask intermittently.

Tips for protecting your lungs-

  • Grind your flour on the patio or in the garage.  If you grind in the kitchen you are trapped for hours in the same room with the dust hanging in the air bothering you or your family members.   
  • Measure carefully without fluffing. 
  • Wear a dust mask.  There are many styles to to choose from ranging from light dust masks to filter masks.  Check your home center.  I wear a double filter style respirator intended for sanding.  
  • Depending upon the severity of your situation you may choose to change your clothes and shower while your bread rises.  Sadly, I am to this point.
  • Follow any instructions given to you by your doctor.  

Protecting your lungs takes just a minute and with a little bit of common sense you may be able to manage baking for a long time.

2012 Update-
Sadly, I learned about protecting myself from flour exposure too late in life.  I have been a lifetime baker.   We had two missionaries in the field at the same time so I took a position as a Pastry Chef and helped open a new location.  We had done very well topping records for other locations upon opening.  I was loving the new things that I had learned.  At first I was taking an antihistamine and then my symptoms went crazy after about the third month.  One day a corporate trainer visited us and asked me if I was a Celiac.  He had worked around a baker who'd developed Celiac Disease.  There was no hiding.  I'd been noticed.  I was fighting with the realization that my life would need to take a different course.  I attempted to stay away from the flour moving to another part of the kitchen.  But, the same kitchen was used at night to bake all of the bread and we baked cakes, brownies and goodies all day.  I ended up leaving the work force and coming back home to be a full time Mom again.
I bake still, but nothing like I did before.  When I get lazy and do not wear a mask to even measure a small amount of flour I have a head ache, runny nose and sneezing afterward.  It was very hard for me to accept this change in my life.  Something that had been such a hobby to me and had brought me so much joy....  But, when I was making the choice to leave my job my mother asked me if I wanted to be able to eat.  She was so right.  When I would have egg exposures on my skin I would develop an angry red rash on my arms.  And when the flour came out I'd wheeze and get hives on my face and neck.  The fatigue that I felt was horrible.  I still wheeze from time to time even without flour exposure, but had I persisted it could have been much worse.  I have suspicious swallowing issues now that may be related to my continuing to eat wheat.  I know it is easy to say, for Heaven's sake just stop eating it.  I eat very little wheat these days, but I guess you could say I am stubborn.  I was tested years ago for Celiac, but the blood test was negative.  They say the gold standard is endoscopy.  Maybe one day I will break down and get checked.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Today's Bootie Variation - Sewing Pattern

Many years ago when I actually still had a baby I saw a bootie with a curved back like this.
I worked on the back for this years ago and put it away.
This morning I happened onto it and decided to make it fit a pattern I already make.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Friday, April 17, 2015

Orchid Wedding Bouquet - Two Weddings in 62 days!

I have entered a new stage of life and my time behind the computer has been limited to indexing a batch here and there on Family Search and quickly checking in on the happenings with my friends and family on Face Book. 

My second oldest child (my sweet son) was married this last weekend to his cute wife that he met in 10th grade in seminary.  We are getting ready for my oldest to be married in 57 days!  Oh my goodness life is changing so quickly. I now find myself with a foot in two worlds.  My 7 children are growing up.  My four oldest are out of high school and my "little" boys are not so little anymore.  I have only one left in elementary school and 2 in junior high.  How did this happen?  ..."and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream"...  Jacob 7:26

Our second wedding is 62 days after the first one and we have hit the ground running now that the first one is over.  My Mom is hard at work on our daughters wedding dress and I am working on other details. 

Yesterday I finished my daughters bouquet. 

Friday, June 20, 2014


My mother cautioned me many years ago about feminism.  I come from a  very capable line of women who get in and do.  We girls have put down tile, built things and been very capable.  My Grandmother was an executive in a man's business world back before the idea occurred to many women to work. It was what was needed for her situation.  But, it gets dangerous when we stop believing we need the men in our lives.  We compliment each other.  We have different jobs, men and women.  I am a very capable woman who likes to learn to do everything, but I still want men to be men and I can see the blessings of women being women.