Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bottom of the Pile

I'm a saver. I really need to work on organizing what I save, however. Take today's find. It was in a pile of "important" papers in my bedroom. It's a print out from the doctor's office of all of Ethan's stats for his first year! It should be in his special stuff book. However, my kids' special stuff books currently exist as special piles of stuff in a cupboard. I'll get there... eventually!

So, here's how my Ethan has grown in his first year (and a half).

September 26, 2009 -- 7 days old
Weight: 8.6 lbs. 62%

October 6, 2009 -- 17 days old
Weight: 9.3 lbs. 61%
Height: 23 in. 98%
Head Circ.: 15 in. 67%

November 18, 2009 -- 2 months old
Weight: 13.4 lbs. 88%
Height: 24 in. 87%
Head Circ.: 15 in. 14% (I'm thinking they forgot to measure this time and left last time's measurement in)

February 2, 2010 -- 4 months, 2 weeks old
Weight: 18 lbs. 90%
Height: 28 in. 99%
Head Circ.: 17 in. 66%

April 13, 2010 -- 6 months, 3 weeks old
Weight: 20.3 81%
Height: 28 in. 84%
Head Circ.: 17.5 in. 57%

July 14, 2010 -- 10 months old
Weight: 23 lbs. 77%
Height: 30 in. 88%
Head Circ.: 19 in. 98%

September 20, 2010 -- 1 year old
Weight: 25.3 lbs. 83%
Height: 32 in. 90%
Head Circ.: 19.5 98%

I can't believe it has already been a whole year and almost another half! You make a perfect caboose to our family and I hope you never feel like the bottom of the pile... more like the icing on the cake! We love you, Lil' Ethan Man!! :D

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blog Review - At Second Street


I have become addicted to craft blogs. Notice I said craft BLOGS, not actual crafting! :D If it involves a sewing machine, sure! I'll try it! Unfortunately paper, glue and scissors are not really my friends. It takes me forever to think of something to do with them and it never turns out quite how I saw it in my head. But I do love to read about other people's fantastic ideas and see their cute pictures. I also get a kick out of all the fun, creative food ideas out there. It almost makes me want to bust out my cake decorating nozzles and my chocolate dipping... wait, nozzles? No, no, no, no, no. I'm not really a "fancy food" person. I'm more of a chocolate chip cookie person. :) There are SO many great ideas out there right now, though! Hence the craft blog surfing.

Super cute re-fashioned T-shirt dresses for her girls.

One of my frequently visited links is Sugardoodle. It is an LDS-run site that has ideas for activities, treats and inspiration for Activity Days, Young Women, Boy Scouts... you name it! I love to go there for ideas! I even have a little reminder that pops up in my Facebook feed from them that reminds me to go look at cool things if I want.

Adorable T-shirt hat that I really, really need to make for myself!

One day, one of those Facebook links took me to the cutest crafty blogs I had ever seen. I seriously loved all of her sewing projects and drooled over her food ideas and enjoyed her cute, upbeat writing style. Usually, I like some of the ideas in any one blog, but this one was just totally speaking my language. So, after clicking around for quite a while, I got curious who was writing this new favorite blog of mine. How shocked and excited was I to find out that we had lived on the same block as kids and she and her sisters were my sisters' best friends? (The one my age was a boy, or I'm sure I could include myself in there!) :D AND even better than that, the man I married has a family of cousins that are HER cousins, too! It was so fun to write her an email and give her props for a seriously awesome blog.

I love, love, love this unique craft! Seriously, how cool are these kid-inspired wall hangings?

So, if you want to join me in my all new crafty blog addiction, start with At Second Street and don't look back! The links and labels listed down the right side are a great place to start. I need to find someone with as cool of a donate pile as she has that she has made into so many re-fashioned projects. Say "Hi!" to Kalleen while you're there and tell her Diana sent you! ;D

The post that started it all... I really want to make some of these, too... for next year! ;)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Just like my Mom and other countless women progenitors before us, I have a gigantic meding pile. :) I'm actually quite proud of it. It's a symbol of my resourcefulness, talent and thriftyness, but only if I actually mend the clothing languishing in there once in a while! :)

So, one day I decided to sort the mending pile. I made a "would take 2 seconds" pile, "would take quite a while, but is still worth it pile," "oops, they've grown out of it" pile and a "not worth saving" pile. Miraculously, there was only about 2 things in the "oops they've grown out of it pile." That has previously been know to be a large portion of the mending pile, unfortunately. The biggest pile (by far!) was the "would take 2 seconds" pile. Split seams mostly. I sat down that day and put a bunch of beloved clothes back into circulation... you know, the one that goes body, floor, laundry hamper, washer, dryer, laundry basket, drawer, floor, drawer, body, floor, etc. :)

Another very large portion of the mending pile pie chart were pants with torn knees. They mostly belonged to my girls, but I only expect that to last as long as the cold weather does. Once my boys are outside more often, so their jeans will also land in the mending pile with ripped knees. I've tried several different strategies to ripped knees. Cutting them off, those pre-glued iron-on patches you buy at the store that are the same color denim as the jeans were new which they most decidedly aren't any more, putting fabric behind the tear and zig zagging back and forth and back and forth. The ones that they always end up loving the most are when the patch shows and becomes part of the fashion statement of the pants.

So, this time I took a scrap of some really, really cute fabric that was already printed in blocks with cute animals on some and other patterns on others. Then I ironed the fabric, un-cut, to some scraps of wonder under I had tucked away. When I cut them apart, I had my own patches that were MUCH bigger than the puny ones at the store that are cute, but aren't made to cover a seam to seam tear in a pant leg. Before ironing my new patches to the pants, I performed some pre-surgery surgery by zig zagging the frayed edges of the holes together and trimming the really frayed stuff off.

Wonder under is not strong enough to be its own patch. At least not strong enough by my standards. To me, wonder under is a way to hold something in place until you can sew it down. So, I ironed my patches to cover the recent zig zagged scars on the pant legs and sewed them around the edges and with a big X from corner to corner. I decided to use filament thread that is transparent so that I didn't have to change thread a hundred times or have the thread distract from the cute fabric since I sewed right through the middle of them.

Now, I know that the cotton fabric on the denim fabric will not last as long and will probably get torn through again before the pants are outgrown. But then I will just add more cotton fabric patches over the top and they can be play pants until they are high waters. They like these better than if I spent the money on brand new ones anyway!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be Mine!

Twas the night before Valentines Day and all through the house....

The super cute Valentines wait to be taken to school to sweeten the teeth of our classmates and cousins.

Ethan's picture is ready to go, so he can share in the fun. His probably won't have suckers on them... he didn't really get the whole "pose for the camera" bit we were all trying to model for him at the time. That's okay, I'll take his cute mug over a sucker any day!! :D

Gracie's tooth was FINALLY extricated!! Can you see the other one already pushing up? Yeah, she wanted Grandma Lee to pull it out and was saving it for her. But when Grandma heard how dire the circumstances were, she promised Gracie a treat if she would let us do it. Geoff wrestled it out of her at a family party at Aunt Deana's house. Yay! :)

Nail Party!! Red-ish Pink-ish with sparkles on top! And yes, some of us had our showers at the END of today, instead of the beginning or the night before. Hey! At least they got them! :D

White hearts on the thumbs for both girls, too. Becca was in bed and eats nail polish anyway, so she didn't join us this time.

Proof that I participated, too! :) I actually really like this pic. Including the little yellow swatch of my pajama pants! :D

Happy Valentines Day!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Miracles Disguised as Trials

There's a beautiful story in Mark 2: 3 - 12. It is about one of Jesus' many miracles that He performed while on the earth. In my own words, it is about a man who was sick with a palsy who was brought to Jesus in a crowded place by lowering him on his bed through a hole in the roof. The first thing Jesus did was to forgive him of his sins. Then the people standing around watching began to criticize Jesus saying that He did not have the authority to forgive sins. Jesus asks them if it is easier to forgive his sins or to heal his physical ailments. And then Jesus also heals him of his palsy and he gathers up his bed and leaves.

Putting myself in this man's place, I think he must have been begging to see Jesus. He, and his loved ones, must have desired this so much that they were willing to climb to the roof, remove the tiles and with ropes four of them lowered him into the building where Jesus was. If he was a true believer, and he must have been to have ultimately been healed, he would not have had an agenda to the visit. He would have HOPED for healing, but he would not have expected it. He would have left it to the Lord to decide what He would do with him. I imagine that when the Lord pronounced his sins forgiven, he must have felt the most warm, peaceful, forgiving feeling. His soul at that moment became as white as snow though his sins were as scarlet. The burden of all of his past wrongdoings were taken from him and he didn't have to bear them any more. Whatever he expected while being lowered in to see the Savior, the feeling of having his sins lifted from him must have been an incredible feeling! So liberating! So full of relief! And then to have his physical suffering suddenly relieved also must have been the icing on the cake, so to speak. I wish I could have seen him walk and dance out of the building. I wish I could have known what he did with his life after "his miracle."

So many times we are so focused on the minute details of a day to day trial that we don't view it as a miracle until it's over. The other people that witnessed this man's miracle were only focused on the outward appearance of a miracle... only what they could see. How could they possibly have understood this man's complete transformation, inside and out? How often do we forget where we were and how far we have come? How quickly we forget the baby steps we took to get to our own miracles. Do we pay attention to the small miracles that the Lord sends us every day?

When Becca was born, all we knew at first was that her head was very small. A day or two into life, she needed extra help to keep her oxygen levels up where they needed to be. Within the first week, we discovered that her brain and other assorted organs had been attacked by a virus while she was still growing within me. After a few more days and a bout with RSV, we were sent home with a baby with unknown potential (like every other baby) and also a damaged brain, oxygen tubes, monitors and behaviors that soon led to other diagnoses like Cerebral Palsy, Vision impairment, Hearing impairment, Nonverbal, Seizures, etc., etc., etc. (very unlike most other babies)

Looking back, I can remember a lot of hard days and nights... a lot of really hard news to hear... a LOT of prayers and fasting and pleading with my Heavenly Father to let me keep my child. The pervading sentiment I felt to my very core was that if she was supposed to stay, she would get to stay, but that I wasn't in charge, Heavenly Father was.

We got to keep her. She's still here. And she suffers ...sometimes a lot. She has limitations so numerous and varied that she is in a physical category with 4 - 6 month old babies. Mentally, who knows? I think she understands far more than she's able to communicate, but I can't prove it. :) Nowadays, she is comfortable and healthy and very, very happy MOST of the time. When she is not any of these things, it's a guessing game to discover the problem and fix it for her. I rely heavily on my Heavenly Father and the whisperings of comfort and inspiration that come... if I'm ready... if I can hear them... if I'm listening.

I would be an extremely ungrateful daughter of God if I forgot where I came from. If I whined about the things I go through now when I prayed so hard to keep her in the first place. If I forgot the miracles that got me here.

Do I forget? Yes, sometimes. Do I cry in the middle of changing a diaper because the weight of how many diapers I have changed in my life and the diapers that I have yet to change in my life seems never ending? Yes! Do I fret and worry about the looming dark lord of cerebral health, namely seizures? You bet I do! Do I ever have pity parties full of statements that all add up to "Poor me," not even "Poor Becca?" Yep!

Eventually, a loving Heavenly Father always reminds me about my own miracles. He lovingly gives me moments with my Becca that make ALL the other gobbledygook worthwhile. He doesn't take the hard stuff away from me and He doesn't stop my growth by stepping in and doing it for me, He just subtly strengthens me and hugs me when I'm down and sends me angels (both Heavenly and Earthly) to help me along my way.

What a wonderful, desirable blessing that man received by being able to walk out of that building. And what an even greater, more pervasive, loving, comforting feeling he must have had to know that he was clean and pure as well.

When it is Becca's turn, she will RUN into the waiting arms of loving family and friends that have gone before her. I have a LOT more work to do to be able to be with her. And by golly, I hope I have enough marks on the good side of the chalk board and that I've done a good enough job repenting for the marks on the bad side to be able to be with her for eternity.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Blessing dress by Mom. Blessing blanket by Great-Grandma Elkington. Blessed April 2000.

It's really hard or me to believe that I became a Mom 11 years ago! I mean, I remember a lot about being pregnant with my first baby and all of the drama we went through coupled with the miracle that all babies truly are. And here we are 11 years later and there is still a lot of drama and still a lot of miracles.

Becca age 2

This year of Becca's life was significantly toned down from the years directly previous. We went from seizures every day and at least one big one every week to no seizures at all. She has had mixed blessings come with being more aware of herself. She's more aware of the things that she likes (us, music, etc.), but also more aware of the things she doesn't like (chaos, physical discomfort). She used to just sort of exist in this state of placidness. Seizures were these rude little monsters giving her an unexpected re-boot that totally threw us all for a loop. We know how blessed we are to have the Ketogenic diet work for her.

She is quicker to smile these days. She is happier, like giddy, giggly, joyfully happier. Her happiness and her smiles last far longer than they ever did before, too.

Becca age 11 Great-Grandma Sagers age 92 :)

She's also been a lot warmer this winter! It kind of hit me one day that jeans are about the dumbest winter-wear for Becca there ever was. They don't hold out any of the cold nor do they hold in any of the warmth. Other than being trendy, there's really no use for them in Becca's winter wardrobe. She has a couple of fleece pants from Old Navy, etc. and I had the thought that I could make some more. In steps Grandma Lee with her fairy dust and made her several pairs of the cutest fleece pants ever! With matching hoodies to boot! And speaking of boots, another addition this year, are the Ugg knock offs that turned out to be the best investment I ever made for calf and ankle warmth. I was always worried about getting them on and off and having them stay on. Turns out, she has just enough flexibility to get them on and just enough ridgidness to hold them on! Win-win!

Becca after school January 2011, hair re-do by Gracie

We hope we made this year enjoyable for you, BeccaBug! We love you SO much and are blessed to have you in our family. Please forgive us for our shortcomings and we'll keep doing our best to help you enjoy your life and feel loved and be comfortable.

P.S. Next time I write a birthday post, I will post it, instead of saving it until I found more pictures and posting it a month late! :)

Monday, February 07, 2011

20 Things You May or May Not Know About Me

Why 20? Because I tried to do one equal to how old I am and I ran out of things to say. I know what you're thinking, she was SO close! :D Ha!

Why make a list? Because I want to leave foot prints behind for my children to relate to later. Any more questions? Okay then, here we go!

1) I love going to Church. I like wearing a dress at least once a week and I love the feeling I get there and I love singing my self-taught alto. Plus, I have an incredible Ward with Incredible youth and I love rubbing shoulders with them all.

2) Instead of a class ring, my parents gave me a ASL CTR ring that I still wear.

3) My ring size is 6... at the knuckle. It's probably half a size smaller where the ring actually rests, but it must be a 6 to get it over my knobby knuckles.

4) I love to read! I mean, LOVE!

5) My thumb nails grow out wonky. I'm pretty self concious of both of my thumbs, but I can't afford to have acrylic nails all the time. I would if I could. :)

6) Hammon genes: freckled super pale skin, tall and thin, wonky thumb nails :), most people say I look just like my Mom (minus the wonky thumb nails). :) Why, thank you! ;)

7) Lee genes: the way my pointer fingers turn in like Grandma Lee, teensy pinky toes, tall, very dark hair, super ticklish feet, a penchant for black licorice, Chinese food and smoked fish like my Dad. :)

8) I love movies from the 50s and 60s... Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Danny Kaye, Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds.

9) I also love music from this era... Frank Sinatra, Doris, Bing, etc.

10) I love music from the 70s, too. It played at my house all growing up.

11) Not so much the 80s, though. I mean, some of it is meaningful for me, but mostly... meh.

12) The 80s were also not kind to style and hair! I don't think the inverted triangle is a nice shape for anyone's body... think about it... wide shoulders, tiny waist... wide hips, tiny ankles... and top it off with larger than life hair. What?!

13) I do find myself jamming to music of the day... Train, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Cobie Caillat... I'm pretty easy to please music-wise. :)

14) I love the Sims 2 PC game. I started playing the Sims in its first incarnation when I was pregnant with my first child and here it is 10+ years later! It's like playing House on the computer. :D

15) I hate feet. Everyones'. I even hate my own. Mostly I hate touching them, I'm okay walking around on them. :) I'm just glad they're so far away from my face. I wash my hands after I touch feet.

16) My husband and I don't have pet names for each other. We call each other "Geoff" and "Diana." True story.

17) I tell my family I love them every time I talk to them on the phone and in their blog comments and on facebook and in my thoughts. :)

18) I have the most amazing, beautiful, smart, wonderful, creative, sneaky, smiley, mysterious, cerebral, tall, big, loving, imaginative children there ever were!

19) If I could have a super power, it would be telekinesis... I would save myself miles and miles of walking if I could point to something, curl my finger and it would come flying at my head! :D

20) Since it's usually my idea to take a picture of someone, there are quite literally no pictures of me anywhere. I looked for one for this post and I only found me in family pics this summer. Note to self, face the front of the camera once in a while!

Giving credit where credit is due, I got this awesome idea from my awesome sister. If you don't know her, I feel bad for you because she is the awesomest awesome that ever awesomed! (BOTH of my sisters are!) Her blog is private, so I won't link to it, but I am glad for the insight I gain by stopping by there. :) This is what she said that inspired me:

"So when I was Visiting Teaching the other day, one sister told me to make sure that I have pictures of myself available to my children. She said that she always hated pictures of herself and didn't take many and didn't display any. She said now that she's a grandma, she wishes she had pictures of herself to show her grandkids and kids during different times in their lives. Like not just baby pictures of the kids, but of her holding the kids or playing with the kids."

So, here's me taken just the other day in a dark parking lot by my husband while wearing a D.I. skirt I altered longer just before we left so it would match my coat after he bought me a new hat on our date. :) Enjoy!