Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Chris!

Tomorrow Chris will celebrate his 36th birthday. WOW!! It is amazing to run the mental play back of 36 years of events in your oldest childs life, and then to look to the future.
Busy days and years ahead is what I see, having triplet boys. So much fun. Chris called us yesterday and we had a short webcam moment. The boys were sitting up playing with their toys. Hayden, pictured with Chris above, is the oldest and he needs a little interaction to keep him happy. Ethan, cute as a bug in his green leg casts, sitting up and cool as a cucumber. Jaxon, he is a little shy. But man o man when he is in his comfort zone, lets out his voice and plays with his toys. Our connection kept freezing so we will try another session this weekend.
It was so fun to see how they are growing.
My oldest grandson, Ty, is visiting for spring break so he got to see the boys too.

So Happy Birthday Chris, have a wonderful day! We wish we were there!

We are having a couple nice bluebird days here in Central Oregon. Ty and Uncle Sean are off to Hoodoo ski resort for some skiing. Should be an awesome day with the clear weather.

I have been reading Psalms 91 and 92 daily. It has been so uplifting with the pressure of this slow economy. Like everyone we have been challenged to cut back and prioritize finances even beyond what we expected. I know everything we are experiencing now will make us wiser in the future.

Today I am going to try out a new gadget I purchased. It is a Clover Fabric Folding Pen. I will put liquid starch in it, not its original intended use, to do my freezer paper applique prep. This idea came from Joanna Figueroa, in my Fresh Figs newsletter. I will let you know what I think. I purchased mine at Joanne's Fabric with a 50% coupon. It was $12.95 so yeah that was nice.

We are looking forward to a fun weekend with Ty visiting. Joe and Ty go next door to the B&B and challenge the innkeeper to Frisbee Golf. They have a great course and the competition is tense.

Happy Birthday Chris, Have a wonderful day Saturday!.



Saturday, March 21, 2009


Ethan with the most loving mother any child could hope to have......Krista!

I have shared with you many times about my triplet grandsons. Hayden, Ethan and Jaxon. They are so amazing! And I have enjoyed comments and emails from many of you sharing your own joy with multiples in your families.

I have not shared with you about our Ethan. Ethan has Spina Bifida~Myelomeningocele.

Spina bifida is the most common of a group of birth defects call neural tube defects. (NTDs). The neural tube is the embryonic structure that develops into the brain and spinal cord. Often called open spine, spina bifida affects the backbone and, sometimes the spinal cord. It is one of the most common severe birth defects in the United States, affecting about 1,300 babies each year.

In the embryo, there is a tiny ribbon of tissue that folds inward to form a tube. This structure, called the neural tube, forms by the 28th day after conception. When this process goes awry and the neural tube does not close completely, defects in the spinal cord and in the vertebrae (small bones of the spine) can result.
There are three forms of spina bifida:
  • Occulta. In this mildest form, there are usually no symptoms. Affected individuals have a small defect or gap in one or more of the vertebrae of the spine. A few have a dimple, hairy patch, dark spot or selling over the affected area. The spinal cord and nerves usually are normal, and most affected individuals need no treatment.
  • Meningocele. In this rarest form, a cyst or fluid-filled sac pokes through the open part of the spine. The sac contains the membranes that protect the spinal cord, but not the spinal nerves. The cyst is removed by surgery, usually allowing for normal development.
  • Myelomeningocele. In this most severe form, the cyst holds both the membranes and nerve roots of the spinal cord and, often, the cord itself. Or there may be no cyst, but only a fully exposed section of the spinal cord and nerves. Affected babies are at high risk of infection until the back is closed surgically, although antibiotic treatment may offer temporary protection. Inspite of surgery, affected babies have some degree of leg paralysis and bladder and bowel control problems. In general, the higher the cyst on the back, the more severe the paralysis.

Ethan was in a sack to keep the affected area moist until his surgery. Ethan's cyst was low on his back making the best of a worst case scenario.

A baby with myelomeningocele usually requires surgery within 24 to 48 hours after birth. Doctors surgically tuck exposed nerves and spinal cord back inside the spinal canal and cover them with muscle and skin. Prompt surgery helps prevent additional nerve damage. However, nerve damage that already has occurred cannot be reversed. As soon after surgery as possible, a physical therapist teaches parents how to exercise their baby's legs and feet to prepare for walking with leg braces and crutches.
Ethan resting comfortably after surgery, he is one day old.

Ethan came home with exercises prescribed by his physical therapist. He did them 3 times daily and some were done with the exercise ball.

  • Hydrocephalus. About 70 to 90 percent of children with myelomeningocele develop hydrocephalus. When cerebrospinal fluid, which cushions and protects the brain and spinal cord, is unable to circulate normally, fluid collects in and around the brain, causing the head to be enlarged. Without treatment, hydrocephalus can result in brain damage and mental retardation. Doctors usually treat hydrocephalus by surgically inserting a tube called a shunt that drains the excess fluid. The shunt runs under the skin into the chest or abdomen, and the fluid passes harmlessly into the child's body. With treatment, children with spina bifida usually can become active individuals. Most live normal or near-normal life spans.
  • Prevention: A B-vitamin called Folic acid can help prevent spina bifida and other NTD's. The key is having enough folic acid in the system before pregnancy and during the early weeks of pregnancy, before the nerual tube closes.

  • My information shared is from the March of Dimes website:

    When Ethan came home from the hospital, at the same time as his brothers, he was in leg casts. He had club feet, which is common with spina bifida, and in this case a part of the condition. After 6 weeks the casts were removed to let muscle development happen and let the legs grow and straighten. Treatment would take place surgically at a later date.
    In late September Ethan was experiencing hydrocephalus to a degree that it became necessary for a shunt to be inserted. This gave Ethan immediate relief from the pressure.
    I love this picture, babies have a mind of there own and Ethan does too. You can see his shunt just under the scalp.
    Ethan is so amazing, he is a people person. He prefers people to objects and from his earliest days this really showed. Even before the shunt was in place and it was difficult for him to look up from the pressure. Right before the Christening in October, Ethan had his shunt installed. Less than a week later you can see him look easily at his God-mother. God has blessed us with Ethan and Ethan is blessed with many loving and caring people in his life. It is a very emotional to have a child born with a birth defect. From the moment you know your life is changed. You are dealing with something completely out of your control. It is events like these that really challenge your faith into action. Looking back you know what a blessing it is. Our strength comes from God, He provides the strength and courage to face all challenges. And brings wonderful people along side you for support.
Ethan is the biggest of the triplets, he is getting stronger and sits up with help. A big smiler, such a gift to make you laugh and smile with him. His feet are still turned down and in, and soon will need the heel cords loosened. It is time to try some cereal, we are six months old:

WHOA! What did you put in my mouth....... I am not impressed.... lol.... Krista says he is enjoying it much better now but is so glad she got this picture. He did this for about a week.
Time goes by so fast and with three babies without pictures you forget the little things. Which are the big things really.
Ethan is developing normally along with his brothers, I think right now is really the easiest time for his condition. The boys are to young to know there are differences and challenges to over come, together.

Yes, how wonderful for Ethan to have these two characters for support. Watching the closeness of the boys is really a wonderful thing.

In February Ethan went in for a procedure to repair a small hernia. He is resting comfortably with his little friend. Krista said the nurses all loved coming in and being with him. He really draws people to him. Do you know someone like that, I find it one of the most endearing qualities. People with this gift are a gift to everyone they know.
The picture of a spoke in the wheel, it is strongest when all are present. This last week Ethan had his surgery to lengthen and loosen his heel cord. He is home resting comfortably with his green casts. In a month he will go in for new casts and more adjustments to feet. This should be his last surgery unless his shunt fails.
Ethan doesn't have feeling below the knees so he will walk with the help of braces. Time will tell if the braces are at his thighs or hip. The strength in his legs will be the deciding factor. At any rate Ethan has God, parents and a large loving family to give him all the support he will need. I am so blessed to call him my grandson and I look forward to every step he takes in his life......
Actually, I am looking forward to every step the three take, together!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Simply Springs Poetic

I come to you with a report just in from this clever blogger.
Sharpen you poetic skills and you can win this:
There are simply so many useful tips on this blog, you simply must visit today.

Reminiscing while it is storming!

The weather has taken a turn. It is blowing and very rainy...... So I made french toast with scrambled eggs and sausage for breakfast. Watched a couple early episodes of MASH. It is such a strange weather day and I can not stay focused. I went up to my attic and found a good distraction. I think I made this in about 1990, do you remember the fabric covered box days. They came in many shapes, I made them for the quilt shop I worked at, The Quilt Patch, in Eugene, Oregon. I made them until I was sick of them. Then this pattern came in and I had to make one. This six sided box has pockets made from 4inch blocks, and pin saver and pin cushion.
Doily decoration on top with buttons, sad, my attempt at embellishing is blushing....
I found some interesting things in those pockets........ Did you ever use curly roving from All Cooped Up, you unbraid it and it makes a wonderful santa beard, or hair. There were some little thimble buttons and an antique singer sewing machine ornament. I have no idea what I was going to use them for, I wonder if they were for this box or just for someday?

This zipper pouch is so old it is dry and brittle. Inside I found my very original Bi-Mart a piece of beeswax for my handquilting. A needle case I made, a bonnet with homespun bill. The hat holds a thimble and thread, very cute. But see the little tag... A closer look, That little tag was the label for a quilters dream craft show. College Hill Quiltworks. Judy transformed her charming home four times a year, into vintage quilt shopping extravaganza. Antique quilts, pillows, pictures, animals, ornaments all made from quilts. Floral arrangements, sprays and wreaths. Stitcheries.... well I have never been to another event as wonderful as Judy's. I do have a few wonderful items that I protect dearly from my GWP's, they can destuff anything faster than you can blink, my ceilings and furniture are not high enough for them to be safe.
And inside, man oh man....... little sample bags of fiberfill, from where tho...... lots of roving, cording leftover from the box making days. I remember a local gal coming in and selling wool in bags. More perfect beards or just for collecting in a box like this. A bag of triangles, hmm... what were they for.

Peeking inside the box I see rulers, very cute heart mini quilt hangers, and a creel? OK!

And a whole array of small quilting stencils, OK....I knew I had these somewhere..... I love buying stencils and knew there were some somewhere..... Oh I really liked the sunflower stencil, I bought it twice....Gee like that never happened before.....

AHA........Now I new I was not going crazy..... I have been looking for the small rotary cutter that I knew I had purchased. It was along time ago and I just knew I remembered buying one.....see there proof.... But where the it!

Oh thank you if you are still here for goodness sakes....... I am going to try to go be productive and put all this stuff away.... I think I will leave it in the box because if I don't I will never find it again. I am going to be thinking of a way to store my stencils so I will have them all in one space. I love looking through them as much as old magazines...
Wishing all of you a happy stormy Sunday!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Keeping Busy waiting for Spring

Last weekend I spent time at the Sportsman Show. Our dog club has a booth where we promote our club and pointing breeds. It is always fun, my girlfriend Sandy, and I have volunteered together covering Thursday and Friday afternoons.

This year I took our youngest GWP, Casey, with me. Mark, a wonderful companion of Sandy's, was there also. Casey is 10 months old and socializing young dogs with strange dogs is very important.

Casey is a little character, kind of a little teenager that thinks the world is all about him!

Slide Girl came to the show with DH in the evening. We spend a lot of time with our dogs, they have become a big part of our lives. We have met many people through our activities with our dogs, the field trial season starts in April. I will share some highlights of events we attend. I don't know what the economy will hold for these events this year but we are hopeful for everyone involved.

I received a call from my son in Omaha this week. The Proulx family is coming out in July for a visit. I think they are going to drive with the boys. A flight with three boys and all the gear just isn't appealing to them. Any way you travel with triplet babies is going to be an adventure. I just know I am so looking forward to there visit. There birthday is late July but I think a birthday celebration will be one big event while they visit.
They took family pictures this winter, they look great! What a challenge to get everyone just so, and as long as mom and dad are good, I think everything is perfect!
Some fun quilting stuff came in the mail this week. A new pattern from Fig Tree Quilts, Joanna says the zipper is easy. It has been a very long time since I put a zipper in, I don't even want to count the years. Little Purseletes, don't you think they will make cute little gifts. I want to make them for the girls.

Fresh Vintage, this publication is full of ideas and Fig Trees newest fabric line, Patisseries. There is a tip on a new notion that I was tickled to try myself. It is the Clover Fabric Folding Pen. It is a refillable pen that Joanna filled up with liquid starch for all the applique projects.
You can draw the starch onto the seam allowance instead of painting it on. Thanks Joanna for this new gadget tip!! Along with the pattern featured on the cover is a laptop bag. Joanna's fabrics really appeal to my softer palette side. Mostly my fabrics and home decorating are primitive, Fig Tree's Vintage look satisfies too.
I participated in a fat quarter swap, I received two beautiful bright spring FQ pieces from Carla, I just love them. Thanks Carla, I will use them in a project and post it.

I made a lot of these hour glass blocks up for my JLW class. Class is next week so I am ready to go.

Block 5 from Wool Garden came in this week, I have the block prepped and ready to stitch up. This pictures is pathetic, no color and so wrinkled. It is much prettier than this picture looks.
We are having some fairer weather this week, my son is coming over to help with a pathway in my garden. Moles were very destructive to it and my plants last fall so we are under construction. Its the only construction project in Central Oregon that I know of actually. LOL...well lets not talk economy! LOl.......
Have a great weekend and a terrific Friday the 13th!!!
Next week is St. Patricks day, I need to go find me some Shamrocks!!!
God Bless each of you!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Last Friday we went to Eugene to watch our oldest Grandson, Tylor, play his first guitar recital.

What a blast, Ty played lead guitar, a Nirvana song, Man Who Sold the World. He was soooo nervous, man oh man..... I'm just saying...white lips... in these times you want to say just the right thing to help them relax and enjoy the moment. I know nothing said will change things, only the experience gained will help this feeling. I believe Ty enjoyed it very much...he had such a relaxed cute smile after it was all over.
It was such an experience to see Ty playing along with a complete band. When he was finished other students and his instructor, who played along with him, were so encouraging. It was good to see, Joe and I were so appreciative that we could be there and share it with Ty.

I was impressed with the goodwill from his fellow students, one was a young man, our age, lol.....who performed on the drums the same song Ty performed.

We went to Cold Stone Ice Cream afterwards and celebrated a very fun time.

Now on to my youngest grandsons, the three amigos in Omaha.......... Boy oh Boy their smiles are just what the doctor would order for me anyday. Hayden, who is just the cutest package on earth......has the longest eyelashes, both mom and dad have long eyelashes.....

Ethan can take center of attention with his character and funny personality. He just cracks me up, I could share more pictures of this expression, maybe a video would be good. I especially love his shirt. Joe's Delivery Co. that's grandpas name and that is his job......

Jaxon loves his new play ride... its not a bouncy ride like his other playset but this expression is one of my favorites. See......I have said this before....I want to know what he is thinkin..... I know its all good..... I sewed up a little table runner from JLW, these three blocks are from Jo Morton's Prairie Flower. Working with wool is always enjoyable for me, I wasn't sure about the sashing border fabric at first, but after getting it together I liked it.

I have been sewing on my many BOM projects, they are keeping me well entertained this winter, I am ready to get outside and enjoy some gardening........ but not just yet.....we are still having snow flurries and it is cold. So sewing it is and I have enough to keep me busy.

I am working on prepping my Birds of a Feather using the starch method. I think it will take me a week to get it prepped......LOL....I am a slowpoke when learning a new technique. I will show it when its finished.

Best wishes to all of you...