Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snow, Snow, Snow!

OK, I think we have enough snow now! It snowed most of the day on Christmas and most of the day yesterday. Now the sun is shining and it is really beautiful, especially since I don't have to go out in it today! The streets are finally cleared. The news said our area got about 20 inches, which is a lot of snow! Yes, we had our White Christmas, and if it were up to me we wouldn't have any more snow (at least not this much) for the rest of the winter. But I know it's not up to me and we do need the water!

More Christmas Village

These are the overflow village pieces that we put on the top of the piano. I really like these houses, too! And yes, like my sister said, I would like to shrink myself down and walk through the village! Wouldn't that be fun?!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sweet Grandma Ridd

Even though she has been gone for many years, I think about my Grandma Ridd quite often and I found out that my sisters also think about her often. At her funeral, I found things out about her that I hadn't known before. I found out that she loved trees like I do and that one of her favorite poems was "I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree..." I love that poem, too. I wish I had known that while she was alive and that I could have talked to her about it. I also wish I hadn't been so shy growing up and had talked with Grandma more and gotten to know her better.She and Grandpa lived just a few houses down the street from us, which we loved. What a wonderful, talented grandma she was! I love her dearly.

I made a collage with a photo of my grandma when she was in 8th grade. The background is a painting that she did in her 70's and the collage includes items that represent her trees and gardening that she loved. I reduced this on the computer and made necklaces for each of my sisters and my mom for Christmas. Fortunately, my sisters' and mom's necklaces don't have a bubble in the resin right over grandma's forhead like mine shown here!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmases Past

Robert and I have talked about how much we miss Christmas when our 5 kids were little. We always woke up before the kids did on Christmas morning and just lay in bed waiting for them to come in and get us up. When they finally came in and tried to pull us out of bed to go open presents, we got up, pretending to be very reluctant to leave our nice warm bed!

One year we got out of bed when we heard the kids start to stir. Robert put pillows under the covers to make it look like we were in there, and we hid on the floor on the other side of the bed, waiting for the kids to come in and try to find us. They were surprised to find only pillows in our bed and it didn't take them long to find us on the floor. We all got a good laugh about it!

Another year, Robert and I did the same thing except that we hid in the closet. It took the kids a little longer to find us that time!

A few years later we added on the garage and family room to our house. Our Christmas tree was then upstairs. One Christmas morning after Robert and I woke up we tiptoed as quietly as is possible on our squeaky floors down the hall and up the stairs before the kids woke up and listened to them wandering around downstairs trying to find us. They eventually figured out we were upstairs where we had turned on the Christmas tree lights. It was always tradition that Robert and I had to go up first and turn the lights on before the kids came up in age order- youngest to oldest. Each child picked a spot to sit on the couch or a chair with their stocking and then Robert passed the presents to each of them. They each ended up with a big stack of presents by them. Then the youngest child got to open one gift of their choice while everyone watched. Taking turns, they each opened their gifts so everyone could see what they got. After the kids had opened all their presents, it was mom and dad's turn. We know lots of people who just let their children start tearing into all their gifts at the same time, which is what Robert and I did in each of our families when we were young. But we liked the idea of doing it one at a time so we could enjoy the moments longer, otherwise Christmas is all over in a couple of minutes!

It's very fun to think about those great Christmasas we had in years past, but we also love our Christmases now with our grown-up children and our sweet grandchildren. We love them all so much more than I could ever say. They mean everything to us and we are so glad that we have the gospel in our lives and the great blessing of being a "forever family".

Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Village

Our Christmas Village is all up now and I didn't even have to do it! Robert and Steven took over this year and they did a terrific job! I just added a few extras. It was so nice to let them take over because it is a lot of work. (I'm sure I'll have to take it all down and put it away in the boxes as usual in a couple of months!) It's always so fun to have up. When I went up to see it for the first time, there were a few new pieces that I hadn't seen before. Robert just can't stop buying them off of Ebay! I keep telling him we have plenty now, but he doesn't stop. I love the Christmas villages so much. It reminds me of a Christmas many years ago.
When I was a senior at Olympus High, one of my seminary teachers challenged us to do something nice for someone that Christmas season-- preferably something anonymous because it is more fun that way. I had been working at ZCMI in the Cottonwood Mall as Christmas help in gift wrapping so I had a fair amount of money to spend on my family with some left over. I decided to buy several little gifts like lotion, cologne, bubble bath and chocolates and take a gift each night during the week before Christmas. I chose to take them to an older widow who lived alone in a house around the corner and down the street about four houses from me. I knew her name and where she lived, but had never met her before.
The first night that I went, I waited until after dark, but I felt perfectly safe in my own neighborhood. And the fact that I was on a "secret mission" made the trip very exciting. I remember so well walking down the street looking at the Christmas lights decorating my neighbors' homes and the lighted windows and the stars shining in the clear sky. It seemed so magical to me and I think that is why I love our lighted Christmas village so much.
I arrived at Carrie's house and started walking down her long driveway. Her lights were on so I was pretty sure she was home. I set the first little wrapped gift down on the step in front of her door which was on the side of the house, rang the doorbell and knocked hard a few times just in case the the doorbell didn't work. Then I ran as fast as I could back up the driveway and hid behind the bushes, breathing hard and peeking to watch for her to open the door. It took a minute or so for her to open the door and call out "hello?" She then looked down, saw the package, picked it up, looked out again, and then shut the door. With a big smile on my face, I walked back up the street and around the corner to my house. I had such a good feeling inside and decided this "anonymous giving" was very fun.
The next couple of nights, I repeated this, sneaking out of my house each time. I waited until no one was around the front door, put on my coat, and went quietly out. And each time she came to the door a little faster, so I had to run faster!
Then the next night, with snow flakes lazily falling down, I put the gift on the doorstep, rang the bell and knocked, then ran up the driveway. But when I was only about half the way to my hiding place I heard the door opening behind me and a little voice calling out "who are you?" a couple of times. I had been caught! I kept running, though, and turned behind the bushes, but then I felt like I needed to go back and talk to her. So I walked down the driveway back to her door. I told her my name, where I lived, and told her that I thought she knew my grandmother who also lived in the neighborhood. She was very nice and invited me to come in and sit down, which I did. We talked for a few minutes-- about what I really don't remember. She thanked me for the gifts and gave me some candy. I wished her a "Merry Christmas" and walked back home, again with a smile on my face.
I found out that Christmas how fun it is to give, especially anonymously, but I was also glad to be able to meet Carrie and talk with her, too. Then she didn't have to keep wondering who her secret gift-giver was.
Looking at our Christmas Village now brings back memories of that Christmas which really stands out in my memory because it was so magical to me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I have so much to be thankful for. I love my family and friends dearly and I am so thankful to have them all in my life. I'm thankful for my home and church.

I'm thankful for my eyes. The fact that I have very terrible eyesight has always made me appreciate the fact that I can see at all. There are many people that live in total darkness. I am so glad that I can see this beautiful world that has been created just for us. I love the trees and grass, flowers and mountains, and all the wonders of nature. I also love art and architecture that men have made. I'm thankful for the amazingly fun hobby of making art of different kinds. It is so great to have that creative outlet.

I'm thankful for my ears that can hear the wonderful sounds of nature: the birds, crickets, thunderstorms, and the ocean waves pounding against the beach. (I wish I could see and hear that a little more often!) I'm also very thankful to be able to hear music which I love so much. I enjoy so many different kinds of music. My CD collection is quite an eclectic assortment as you can tell from my playlist here. I have a little piece of heaven when I am working (really playing) in my craft room listening to music!

I am thankful for this time of year when we think about other people a little more than ourselves, when we can enjoy the excitement of this magical season, and remember what is really important in our lives.

There are many crazy things going on in the world today, but life is great when we count all our many blessings and be happy with what we have. Yes, I'm very thankful today.

Sweet Baby

Cason is 3 weeks old already and he has changed so much since the day he was born. It's great to have those sweet newborn baby sounds in the house again. Even his crying isn't very loud. He really is a good baby.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Baby Cason

Cason Daniel was born on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at Alta View Hospitol. He weighed 8 lbs. 3 oz. and is 21 inches long. What a cute little guy! Danny and Courtney were supposed to call the hospitol that morning at 7:00 to make sure they had room for them to come in so they could start her labor since she was 10 days past the due date. But at 2:15 that morning her water broke and labor pains started, so they got to the hospitol at about 3:00 and Cason was born at 12:51 p.m. that afternoon. We are so glad that he is finally here! How great it is to have a newborn in the family again! They came home from the hospitol on Thursday afternoon, and this grandma loves to hold him!

Is this a happy face or what?!

A new family!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Halloween Dept. 56

We got our little Halloween houses set up on the piano. We have a haunted Train Station, a haunted mansion, and the Wicked Witch's castle from the Wizard of Oz. They all light up and the train station and the haunted mansion make spooky sounds. The monkeys fly around the top of the castle. It's fun to have it up and our two grandsons, Mason and Gavin love to watch it. Happy Halloween!

Artist Trading Cards

These are some silly ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) that I made using photos of me and some stamping friends- Fontella, Bonnie, and Ashley. I'm teaching another class this Saturday and thought I would make these to give out. They are mostly made with rubber stamps with a fence die cut and some background paper. Lots of fun!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Department 56 Obsession!

Several years ago I got interested in the Department 56 lighted Christmas Village houses. I had seen them in a few different stores and took Robert to one of them to show him and see if he might be interested. He liked them too and I suggested that maybe we get one a year and start setting up a village for Christmas. I think that first year we bought a couple of houses. There are many less expensive village houses you can buy, but we really liked the quality and collectability of the Department 56 houses. They are so detailed and well-made. Well, it didn't take long for Robert to get obsessed with our collecting! He started getting on Ebay and buying at a discount (sometimes!) We have so many pieces now that we don't know where to put them all! I keep telling Robert that we have enough, but does he listen? No, way! It was so sad to put the Christmas houses away since we love them so much, so a few years ago we bought a few pieces of a springtime set of houses and trees so we could keep them up on the piano the rest of the year after we took down the Christmas village.

Well, this year we did what I didn't want to do-- we got into the Halloween collection! We have a few pieces that we will put on the piano. So, today I took down the Spring set and put it all away. It's always a little sad to take them down (and a whole lot of work), but it is time. As soon as I get some fabric that will look good to set it on, I will put the Halloween houses up. I have never been a real big fan of Halloween, but, for some reason this year, I thought it would be fun to have some decorations for the holiday. These are photos of our spring houses. I guess it's a good thing this series in discontinued so we can't buy any more! I'll post photos of the Halloween pieces when I get them put up!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Magnificence of Nature

A few years ago we planted these hibiscus plants in our front garden area and they grow back big and beautiful every year. They are HUGE! We have neighbors a few blocks away who come over just to see them every summer. I'm glad the blooms last a long time. I love these flowers and I love this beautiful world that we live in. The magnificence of nature has always thrilled my soul. I love to sit on our back deck and look at the different trees and hear the birds singing and watching them fly around. A couple of days ago, Julie and I were sitting in the living room and a humming bird came right up to the window and flitted around for several seconds. It was a thrill to us. I hadn't seen a hummingbird in our yard for ages. It made us remember a few years ago at my sister, Becky's house when we stood still with our hands around the base of her hummingbird feeder and several birds came flitting around our heads and landed by our hands to drink from the feeder. That was one of the neatest experiences of my life! I love birds and because of my terrible eyesight I can't see them in detail unless they are "up close and personal". So these experiences when I can see them closely mean a lot to me!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Little Houses

I've always loved houses, windows, doors, fences, etc. in art for some reason. I decided to make a series of little house ATC's (Artist Trading Cards, which are always 2 1/2" by 3 1/2") These have been so fun to make. I'm making a whole little neighborhood of them! We are going to make one in the class I teach this Saturday morning along with several others. These are a combination of stamps, magazine cut outs, and stickers. The lined background of several of them are actually the bottom of a flip flop which has that brick pattern on it. It is inked up in an ink pad and stamped on the cardstock! I read about that idea someone had in a stamping magazine. Pretty tricky!
Well, we got the whole family room in the basement painted and the new carpeting will be installed next week. It will be nice to get our house put back together and have a nice fresh room downstairs for Danny and Courtney.
I have a little over 2 weeks left before I have to go back to work, but I have a meeting at the district office tomorrow morning and one the next week and one the week after, so I'm getting back into it gradually! All good things must come to an end! But I will definitely enjoy it while I can!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fun with Grandsons

In the past couple of weeks I have gone to Hogle Zoo and the Ogden Dinosaur Park with Amy and her two cute little boys, Mason and Gavin. They had so much fun and it was lots of fun to watch them. It was hotter than hot at both places, but well worth it. I love those little boys so much! I dream quite often that I am holding and taking care of a baby. And they always look different. I love babies and children so much and I really miss my own 5 kids being little. My sister, Carolyn and I have often talked about this, and we decided that it's a good thing we have grandchildren to love and help take care of to help these baby cravings we have! It's very exciting that we have another grandbaby coming in October and another one in March! We know the one in October is a boy and we are hoping that the March baby will be a girl, but if it's another boy that's great too!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

In the Summertime

I love summer! The biggest thrill for me is being able to open my windows and hear the birds singing, the lawnmovers, the sprinklers, and children playing in the neighborhood. I also love to hear the crickets at night. I especially love that I don't work in the summer. Being a teacher's aide at a school has lots of advantages! But now it's the middle of summer already. The summer is half gone and I haven't done near all the things I wanted to. I guess, instead, I should say I still have half the summer ahead of me to enjoy and do all that I can. Let's enjoy it while we can!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Feeling Puzzled

In a recent issue of The Stamper's Samper magazine, Carol Quance had several pieces of art made from giant puzzle pieces. These looked so fun to make, so the next time I was in a store with puzzles I looked to see if they had these giant ones, but they didn't. I thought I would probably have a very hard time finding them. A few days later I went to the DI, a local thrift store, and looked through the toys and puzzles and found a box of 48 of them! I was ecstatic! These are about 5" tall. I followed her basic directions of lightly sanding the puzzle piece, covering with gesso, painting with acrylic paints, and using stamps and clip art images, and embossing. They were so fun to do. I have other themes already in my head for more. So many fun ideas, so little time!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Hills are Alive...

I went to see our oldest daughter, Amy perform in The Sound of Music a few days ago at a very nice ampatheater in Herriman. She played Elsa and sang two songs that are in the broadway play but not in the movie. She did wonderfully as did the whole cast. They all had amazingly wonderful voices. I was so impressed with the quality of that production for a small town. We're going to see it again next Monday night. Parents just can't get enough of watching their children perform!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Once upon a time...

I never thought that I would ever do such a thing as have my own blog, but here I am! I have read so many great sites that I decided to join in on the fun! I love to write, but it has been a long time since I have written in my journal. TIME. So many wonderful things to do and so little time! I have said that so many times in my life. A wonderful friend, Joy, even gave me a t-shirt with the words "So Many Books, So Little Time" on it when we were in a book club together. She must have heard that from me too many TIMES! There are so many things I love to do. I love to make cards, ATC's (I teach a class once a month at a local store- Stampin' Happy}, mixed media projects, scrapbooks, and punch art. I also love to read, knit, crochet, work on family history, take photos, and do fun projects with the Young Women in my church, not to mention spend time with my wonderful family. Yes, so many wonderful things to do and so little time. But, I know that we make time for the things we really want to do.
Lately, I have wanted to write about events that have happened in the past that I don't ever want to forget. I have already written about a few of them, but I will write on my blog some that family and friends might be interested in. I will also share projects that I work on.