Monday, March 23, 2015

A Summary. An Adorable Summary. And Picture Overload.

When we were making our plans to fly back to the Midwest, we hoped that our granddaughter would be born while we were there. She did a wonderful job of cooperating with our hopes!

Our daughter was induced the morning of March 12. She labored for 17 hours and Lydia Mae was born healthy at 11:26pm.

We had been jumping every time the phone rang that day. We were very thankful for our son-in-law calling around 5pm to give us an update.

Shortly after midnight I decided to try to go to sleep and went in to the bathroom in our hotel room (we were in Minnesota packing up the house) and when I came out I heard Hubby's cell phone finish ringing and the light go out. Hubby slept through the whole thing! I woke him up telling him his phone was ringing! He saw that it was our son-in-law so he promptly called him back. We learned that Lydia Mae had been born just barely 40 minutes before that. She was 7 pounds 5 ounces and 20.5 inches long.

Our daughter has always liked the name Lydia and conveniently married someone who had a great-grandmother named Lydia. Mae is my mother's middle name. I just love both names.

The next morning I texted my daughter and asked if she could send me a picture and not hardly two minutes later this is what I got:

I gasped. Such a beautiful baby girl!

Hubby agreed to stay in Minnesota while the moving truck was being loaded and I left for Iowa to see that baby. I was a little torn with wanting to see her as soon as I could and wanting to see her with Hubby for the first time. But in the end I couldn't wait. Surprise, surprise.

Our son had a bag packed ready to take off when he heard about his new niece. I was just tickled when I heard that.

Uncle Caleb and Lydia Mae. Daddy in the background.

 Hubby got to the hospital in good time to see his first granddaughter.

We were able to spend the night at my parents' house since they live in the same town our granddaughter was born in. One of my high school classmates was my daughter's nurse through part of the labor! How crazy is that? (My mom was suffering from a cold so they weren't able to see their great-daughter those first days. I was sad about that.)

Grammy and Pops and Lydia
 Hubby and I were blessed to be able to spend the next 48 hours at our daughter and son-in-law's house. Let me tell you, there was lots of baby cuddling and picture taking going on!

Pops reading to a sleeping Lydia

First bath. She loved having her hair washed.

The puppy isn't sure what to think of the new baby.

So peaceful after her bath.

Lydia and her mommy

Charley just doesn't know what a baby is.

I probably don't need to state the obvious, but I bawled when I had to say good-bye. I think the tears were a mixture of sadness and happiness at the blessing of a granddaughter.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Summary. The First of Several.

Two weeks ago I flew back to the Midwest to see family and to assist in packing up our house in Minnesota.

After a visit to my full-term pregnant daughter, I spent a few days with my parents. It had been a long time since I had seen them (Christmas). I met them at their Bible study group that they have been a part of for more than 30 years. I know several of their friends and my dad led the discussion. A good study on John 4 and a fun group of elderly people still learning about God's word. That is so encouraging to me to see people in their 80s still seeking to learn about God and His word. I have heard an 80-something year old say that he didn't think he had anything left to learn about Christianity (I even heard him say this when he was still in his 60s). That made me so sad.

The next morning I accompanied my parents to my mom's speech therapy at the University of Northern Iowa. The stroke that hit my mom in September of 2013 took away her speech. While she doesn't talk, she is comprehending two-step instructions (pick up the cup and pretend to drink), matching words to pictures and working on playing UNO. She has one-on-one time and some group time. The group time is for social interaction and is with people with the same type of language disorder caused by damage to the brain (most commonly the result of a stroke). Anyway, I found the whole thing very interesting (and hard) and am so thankful for people who study speech-language pathology.

Another morning I got to see my mom working hard in physical therapy. They have a very good and patient man come to the house three times a week to help my mom with movement. The stroke also took away the use of the right side of her body. She cannot use her right arm or leg. Amongst other exercises, physical therapist helps Mom walk with the use of two different types of walkers. He helps move her right leg. I watched my mom walk across the kitchen floor several times. I loved the look of determination and concentration on her face.

After a few days with my parents, I took off for Minnesota to meet my husband there.

(Can I take a break here to confess how the rental car I had drove me nuts with trying to figure out how to operate it? Oh, I could start it and drive it, but the climate control, radio and even the gas door release got the best of me. I spent a good five minutes at the gas station trying to figure out how to open the gas release thingy. I finally consulted the manual. I just needed to press on the round door and it popped open. Good Grief. Sometimes I just laugh at myself.)

Okay. Back to Minnesota. 

We finally were able to pack up the things in our house in Minnesota. Not only did that house sell, we found one here in South Carolina.

(I must clarify that by "we finally were able to pack up the things in our house" I mean we supervised a moving company packing up the house. And by "we supervised" I mean my husband. Of course. He's the best.)

It took a team of people three days to box everything up and to load it in a moving van. The moving van will unload everything here on Monday.

Whew! I'm tired just thinking of all of those boxes that need to be unpacked. I am so thankful for a husband who has the Gift of Organization. He also has the Gift of Spacial Reasoning and can visualize how our furniture will fit in a house. We spent a good part of today walking around our house trying to figure out where the bigger pieces of furniture will go so we can have the movers do the heavy work.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Week

It's been a week since I posted anything.

Let's just sum up the week with these photos:

Meet Lydia Mae.

And yes, I am the Grammy who has this sweet face as the wall paper on her phone.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

What I'm Reading

I love to read. I come from parents who are always reading and married into a family that loves to read. Both of our kids caught the reading bug. We just gave our daughter three books for her birthday and she was thrilled.

Even though I am in temporary housing right now while we wait to move into a house, I still have quite a large stack of books with me.

Book review time!

The top item is my Kindle. Hubby gave that to me for my birthday a few years ago and I have enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. My Kindle is perfect to take on a plane.

I've been trying to read Pride and Prejudice that was a free download (a lot of the classics are). I say trying to read because I find the style of writing difficult to understand. I might not finish it and just opt to watch the movie. ha. Queued up to read next on my Kindle is a book my sister gave me called, Extreme Grandparenting: The Ride of Your Life! I figured I better get to reading that since the granddaughter is due to be born soon! I also bought Sophie Hudson's (She blogs at Boo Mama) book Home is Where My People Are: The Road That Lead Us to Where we Belong. 

Next in my stack of books is one called Hansi the Girl Who Left the Swastika. I bought and read this book when we lived in Singapore. The author, Maria Ann Hirschmann, spoke at the church we attended. I even got the book autographed by the author. :)
The author writes about her life, orphaned, raised by a foster family in Czechoslovakia, then joining the Nazi Youth. She writes about her devotion to the Nazi party. She writes about her conversion to Christianity. I remember when she spoke at our church in Singapore she said you can believe wholeheartedly in something, but just because you believe it doesn't make it true. Good book.

Next in my stack of books is one I read out loud to my hubby. It's called The Melody Lingers On, by J.L. McDonald. Mr. McDonald was my hubby's boss for a number of years in Missouri and then in Singapore.  Mr. McDonald and his sweet wife have been married for 50 years. He wrote the book to mark that milestone. For every year, he picked a song that reminded him of that year and his wife and what they went through. It is the sweetest thing I have read in a long time. He even included three CDs with all the songs.

Next in my stack of books is My Life in France by Julia Child. It's an autobiography about when Julia and her husband, Paul lived in France and then a couple of other places in Europe and how she started her passion of French cooking. I really enjoyed the book. My perception of Julia Child is mainly based on the skits from Saturday Night Live. She's a much more interesting person than I thought! I've watched a few of her TV shows on YouTube. I might be a little more ready to try some of her recipes.

I haven't read the next four books yet.  I found recommendations for them mostly on other blogs. I picked the book on the bottom at the bookstore because I love anything Francine Rivers writes.

Many years ago I started writing a list of all the books I read each year. I was writing them on a document on a computer. It seemed like every couple of years, we'd upgrade the computer and I would loose my list. Several years ago I bought this journal from Target to record the books I've read.

As you can see, some years I stick to only a couple of authors. I like to read a series all in a row.

I always have a book I am reading. It's a great escape and a great way to learn new things.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Baby Girl Quilts: Take Three

This is the quilt that my daughter "ordered" to go in the nursery. The colors for the nursery are pale yellow, navy and gray. Such a pretty combination! The walls of the nursery are gray and the crib is white. My daughter made some pretty sheets for the crib in navy and yellow.
44" x 52"

We talked about and looked at pictures of ideas for the design of the quilt. I sketched out several possibilities and took pictures and emailed them to her for her to decide what she liked best.

Since I am not very confident in my ability to make a whole quilt with half-square-triangles, we settled on these two rows of chevrons and the rest 4 inch squares.

I found a pretty gray paisley print for the backing and used a darker gray polka dot for the binding.

I think what I like best about this quilt is the time my daughter and I spent working on it together.

All I have left to do is sew a label for it with the baby's name and birth date!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Baby Girl Quilts: Take Two

Baby Girl's second quilt I made:

I first saw this pattern on Pinterest. I downloaded the directions from
I just loved the burst of the star.

39" x 44"

I decided this was a good "tummy time" quilt. The black and white fabrics  make a nice contrast that babies like to look at.

I chose some minky type fabric for the backing. Minky is a very, very soft fabric. Such a great fabric for a baby quilt.

As I was working on this, I was thinking about other color combinations. They are endless.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Baby Girl Quilts: Take One

Almost as soon as I learned I was going to be a grandma, I started thinking about what quilt I could make for the little one. Okay, that's not quite true, I started thinking about this first quilt before my daughter was married. Grin.

This measures about 58" square

The solid purple color is fabric from table runners I made for my daughter's wedding reception.

As I was sewing those forty-some table runners almost five years ago, I hoped that someday my daughter and son-in-law would have a baby girl so I could use all that purple fabric in a quilt.

The fabrics in this quilt are kinda eclectic, kinda by design. I didn't want this to be a super nice quilt with lots of details. My intention was for it to be more utilitarian, one they could feel free take outside on their farm for Baby Girl to squirm on while they work in their garden. 

I found the fabric with little quilt blocks at a quilt shop in Iowa. It lists the counties in Iowa. I thought it was fitting, since my daughter and son-in-law have moved back to his family farm in Iowa.

The backing consists mostly of the solid purple fabric and one strip of the Iowa county fabric.

And of course the label, With Love from Grammy and Pops. (These are names we chose for ourselves...I secretly hope Baby Girl comes up with her own names for us.)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

This Week's Edition of the Wednesday Hodgpodge

Another Wednesday, another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Click on the button below to hop over to Joyce's blog, From This Side of the Pond, to read her answers and the other bloggers who have linked up.

1. 'In like a lion, out like a lamb'...does the first part of this saying describing March weather ring true where you live? 
March 1st was 40s and rainy here, my car thermometer showed 72 degrees on March 2nd. Today it's back to 40s and rainy. Tomorrow is supposed to be a high of 74. Despite the difference, I consider the weather lamb-like and I'm sure that's totally biased due to the fact that I have lived the last 13.5 years in Minnesota.

2. March 4th is National Grammar Day. What common grammatical error bothers you the most? 
I don't know how common this is but it makes me wants to scream when someone uses the word "being" instead of "since". 
"Being I’m going back to work, I won't be able to spend time..." 
I've read this on blogs and even have heard it on TV.  The sentence should read, "Since I'm going back to work..."  
It makes me cringe every single time.

3. William Arthur Ward says- 'The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.' Which one are you?
I think at different times I have had all those attitudes. Depends on my mood and my current outlook. To say it in southern-speak, I'm a Hot Mess. ha.
4. What's something you need to 'march forth and conquer' this month?
Unpacking 14 million (give or take) boxes and setting up our new house. 
Beginning to learn how to be a Grammy. (Soon!)
I need to conquer my dislike of flying.
(That's three somethings!)

5. An ongoing debate around you dust first, then vacuum or vacuum first, then dust? Of the two routine household chores, which do you dislike the least? How's that for wording? 
Oh come on, there's no debate! My mom taught me you always dust first, then vacuum, that way you vacuum up the dust that fell to the floor. I typically dust, Hubby vacuums. I guess that would say I dislike dusting the least. Although after 30plus years of cleaning, I'm just about done with it. (Meaning I want to hire someone to do all the cleaning for me. We'll see if that happens someday.)

6. According to, the ten most photographed sites in the U.S.A. are- Cinderella's Castle in Orlando, Southernmost House in Key West Florida, The Space Needle in Seattle, The Site of the Boston Massacre in Boston, The Bellagio Lake/fountains in Las Vegas, The Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, Coit Tower in San Fransisco, The Art Institute of Chicago, Niagara Falls, and snagging the number one spot-The Guggenheim Museum in New York City. How many on this list have you photographed? Which on the list would you most like to visit and photograph?
Let's see, I've photographed (and by Me, I mean either me or my hubby): 
Cinderella's Castle in Orlando, The Space Needle in Seattle, Coit Tower in San Fransisco, The Art Institute of Chicago, and Niagara Falls.  
I don't think any of those places I haven't been to are on my Bucket List of places I'd love to go to, which is probably why I haven't been there yet. I'd love to go back to Niagara Falls. I'd love to see them in the winter. Not that I love the cold winter weather, mind you, I'd just love to see the falls frozen.
7. Fifty years ago Monday (March 2, 1965) The Sound of Music premiered at the Rivoli Theatre in NYC. Have you seen the film? Do you own a copy? On a scale of 1-10 how much do you love it (or not)? Ten=best movie ever. If you're a fan, what's your favorite scene or song from the movie? 
I've seen The Sound of Music many, many times. I don't own a copy of it, but now think that I need to. ha. I love the movie! I'd give it a 10. There are many scenes/songs I love: My Favorite Things, the scene where the nuns sabotage the Nazi's car, and when the family is walking through the mountains at the end. I always get tense and scared when the family is hiding from the Nazis and hope they get away. I always love listening to Julie Andrews sing.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Last weekend we went to Charlotte, NC to go to a Manhattan Transfer concert and do some shopping. After our power shopping (which didn't involve much money, just looking) we decided to make a drop-by visit to see a friend of mine from high school/college days who has lived in the Charlotte area for the past 20 years. All I had was her address (no phone number), so we plugged it into the ole GPS, found the house (the only one with their outdoor lights on because they were having a dinner party - of course), rang the doorbell and ended up having the best two hours! She graciously invited us to join them at the table as they ate (we had already had dinner) and talked and talked. It has been close to 16 years since we had seen each other. Frankly I was just relieved she recognized me. We both agreed we have aged very gracefully. ha ha ha. As we were hugging good-bye I told her I had forgotten how much I liked her. :) Since then I have thought of about 400 more things to talk with her about. We'll have to meet halfway sometime to try to make a dent in the 400 things we need to talk about. I'm also mulling around the idea of inviting her and two other of our friends for a weekend at our house.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Stacked Squares Quilt

I looked at this fabric, PB&J by Basic Grey for Moda for a long time. I wasn't sure if I like the colors because they seemed to be kind of washed out. I finally bought some pre-cuts: a package of 10 inch squares and two rolls of 2.5 inch strips. When I saw this quilt on the Moda Bakeshop blog, I knew that was the perfect design for the fabric.

It was a fun quilt to put together. As I was arranging all the pieces on my design wall I felt like I was putting a puzzle together.

I had the good people at Missouri Star Quilt Company do the quilting and chose a square quilting pattern and love how it compliments the squares in the  blocks.

I would definitely use this pattern again especially for fabrics that have bigger prints. I sorta laugh at myself when I snuggle under this quilt and think about how much I like it and the fabric since I was unsure about the fabric for so long.