Thursday, May 26, 2016

Really Random Thursday, 5/26/16

It's been an interesting week full of randomness. So let's get started.

Levi's Little League team won the championship game on Saturday.
Also on his team was good friend, Luke.
His coaches were wonderful. They taught fundamentals and the boys learned so much this season.
Seen in the parking lot. It looks like this guy was using water bottles as a temporary car jack for his flat tire.
After the game, Mark and I went to fill his truck with gas. Have you been to a station where you can actually watch TV while you fill your vehicle? Do we really need to be entertained all.the.time??
We drove around town and I got so excited when I saw my favorite cows, Belted Galloways, commonly known as Oreo cookie cows. Really. You can google "oreo cookie cows" and read more about them. I first saw them in Rhode Island years ago and just loved their distinctive markings, but I've never seen them locally. They made me happy.
The kids were over for supper on Saturday night. Don't let any of them know I just wrote "supper," as they always correct me and say it is "dinner." Whatever it's called, they were over for the evening meal. Charlotte had seen a recipe for dessert pizza--bake a can of crescent rolls, cover it with whipped cream and sliced fruit. She thought it would look even tastier if the whipped cream was purple. Because what 9-year-old girl doesn't love the color purple?
When I stopped at Target the other day, I saw the Google Maps vehicle! That's quite a camera mounted on top.
The first five years of our marriage, we lived in Western Kansas. While we heard the tornado alert siren fairly often in spring, we never saw an actual funnel cloud. At least I didn't. I was usually in our neighbor's basement, while Mark was in the middle of the street trying to catch the action. Our good friend sent these two pictures to me yesterday. Yikes. I would have totally freaked out.

And people don't want to live in California because of earthquakes. Go figure...

This is what we saw yesterday evening. Beautiful. Not frightening.

My brother, who lives in Washington, DC, is here for a few days. We took him and my parents, along with Gabe and Ruby, to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. African Adventure never fails to amaze me. My parents hadn't seen it yet because of all the walking involved. Now we know that motorized scooters and wheelchairs are available for rent so they were able to join us.
I won't say I'm not biased, but aren't these 4-year-olds adorable?
Four grandchildren, ages 2 1/2 through 9 1/2 will be staying with us for four days. They need something to do. So....they each received this invitation in the mail yesterday.
And I'll leave you with this thought for the weekend. Have a good one.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Really Random Thursday, 5/19/16

Lots of activities going on in the past week.

Saturday there was a bit of a conflict. My mother, who has taught piano for 50+ years, had her annual recital. At 11 a.m. The same time Levi was supposed to be at the ball diamond to warm up for his playoff game.

My mother put him first on the program. Even so, this might be the first time one of her students has performed in a baseball uniform.
A little blurry as I captured him mid-bow...but cute nonetheless.
A little later, Charlotte had her turn to play.
It's so special to have these two taking lessons from their great grandmother.
The students have the opportunity to play on a pretty spectacular Steinway grand piano. Charlotte and I walked through the showroom after the recital, and they had a cool display that shows what happens when you play a piano key.
And then it was on to Levi's ball game.
Levi's team won. And Ella wanted to hang out next to her brother after the game.
I try to walk early in the morning, especially now that it is starting to warm up. The other day I took the time to actually notice the blooming flowers along the way.
And some more unusual things as well. This was just randomly growing out of the trunk about midway up.
Cacti are always interesting.
A couple of nights ago we had family pictures taken. In past years we have always done them in our backyard, but this year we took them in the yard of good friends. They live at the end of a long cul-de-sac, and when they built their house, they were considered to be out in the country. Not so much anymore. But one of their neighbors has enough acreage to have horses. They were pretty hard to resist.

We received this picture via email the other day--the college Mark graduated from, Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas, has something called Centennial Plaza. Apparently at some point we purchased a brick. I'm glad they reminded us...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Three Quilts for CVJC

For the past year, our daughter-in-law, Christa, has been volunteering with a local organization, Central Valley Justice Coalition.
CVJC is a faith-based nonprofit organization made up of churches, agencies and individuals who are working to prevent human trafficking here in the Central Valley of California. Their goal is to not only educate individuals and organizations on the issue of human trafficking, but also to provide safe places for victims, survivors and their families.

Christa is a gifted communicator and is active in their education seminars, which strive to dispel the myths involving human trafficking, as well as signs to look for when having contact with a potential victim and ways in which to help.

When I learned that there is a safe house here in Fresno, housing six survivors at a time, I wondered how I might contribute. It is no surprise that my first thought was to make quilts for the current residents of the safe house.
I have quilted for many years, and have stacks of quilts. Of course it frequently crosses my mind that Mark and I do not need more quilts. But the beautiful fabric keeps on calling my name and new patterns are begging to be made. This is a way for me to answer the call and hopefully bring some sense of caring and beauty to a girl or woman who might be battling with low self-esteem and the belief that no one cares.

So my original intent was to make six quilts as quickly as possible. My good friend, Deborah (@missluella1 on Instagram) offered three of her beautiful quilts, and I just finished the binding yesterday on the three quilts I made.

The first is The Cascade Quilt by Kristi Schoeder of Initial K Studio. I made this with a jelly roll of ombre solids by V and Co. I love this quilt so much. I might have purchased another jelly roll after I made this one so I can make another.
The other two patterns are by Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew. She is one of my favorite designers and I have had the chance to pattern test for her in the past. I emailed Allison to let her know my plans and that her patterns were perfect partners to the fabrics I was planning on using. I wasn't asking for anything as I have a large collection of her patterns already--I just wanted her to know my plans and that she was a part of my plan as well. She generously sent me a couple of pdfs to add to my collection, which I will definitely be using for future quilts for the safe house residents.

The first is Basket Case, using a jelly roll of Soul Blossoms by Amy Butler that was just waiting for the perfect project.

The second is Hello March, using a fat quarter bundle of Sugar Collection by Art Gallery Fabrics.

I practiced machine binding on these three quilts, using the excellent tutorial by Rita from Red Pepper Quilts (highly recommended, by the way).

I have no idea where the safe house is located, and I will never meet the woman who end up with these quilts, but my hope and prayer is that they  provide beauty and comfort to survivors of human trafficking.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Really Random Thursday, 5/12/16: Better Late Than Never

So...the Really Random Thursday posts usually go live at 3 a.m. PDT, and it is now over 12 hours later than that. *sigh* Some weeks are just like that.

This one is panda-obsessed. So when Stephanie was in Washington, DC, for a professional conference and the gift shop in her hotel lobby was overflowing with panda items because of the new baby panda in the Washington zoo, well....she thought Charlotte might love a cap. And stickers. She was completely right about that!
This one keeps getting more handsome by the week.

And this one informed me yesterday that he plans on being an artist. In Paris. Teaching children to draw. And if they don't want to draw, he will have a play structure for them to play on. You never know--it could happen.
This one is a little spitfire--spirited, funny, and loving. She gives the best hugs.
Her quilt is nearly done. I hope she likes it. :)
These were unbelievably delicious. A friend is going with a church group on a mission trip to Portugal, and as part of her fundraising efforts, she is making cinnamon rolls. I might have eaten nearly all of them by myself.
We took a little road trip on Mother's Day up to the foothills and stopped at this bed and breakfast for a quick look. Mark had done a lot of the cabinets but we hadn't been there since they were completed and the rooms were furnished. It would be the ideal place to hold a small quilting retreat. Anyone want to join me?
 Let's just move this table out of the way and move in the sewing machines!

Have your kids played Hungry Hippos? It's an incredibly loud game.
Have you played Super Stretch? Gabe made me play along too. I'm only glad he didn't have access to my camera to snap a picture of me twisted like a pretzel. And I still want to make a quilt based on his socks.
Do you love to declutter? I actually do and like Marie Kondo's book a lot. However, there is a lot of truth to this...
It's not too late to leave a comment to win Riel Nason's book, Modern Selvage Quilting. This is my own personalized pincushion. So fun to make.

Till next week...