Monday, November 7, 2011

random friday: take twenty nine!

happy veterans day!

i know that the wars our country has been fighting recently are a sensitive subject to many.
where i live, i'm reminded of it every day.
i have three cousins enlisted in active duty in various branches of the military.
my high school has lost seven alumni.
our stadium was named "veterans memorial stadium" and flies every flag of every branch of the military.
last summer the la times wrote an article spotlighting our town's unique history....

Wars take a heavy toll on one California school

Buchanan High School in the Central Valley community of Clovis has lost seven troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the most of any school in the state.

July 31, 2010|By Diana Marcum, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Clovis, Calif. — The seventh funeral was Friday. The church was full, even strangers lined the streets and everyone in sight stopped what they were doing and bowed their heads as Brian Piercy's body moved from church to cemetery — the same as they had done for six others.
Seven boys from Clovis' Buchanan High Shool have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
With Piercy's death, Buchanan has the somber distinction of more war dead than any other school in California.
There's no sure answer as to how such a thing could happen. But many people in this Central Valley city have a theory. They say Clovis is an extraordinarily patriotic community and its children are raised on God and country, duty and honor. They're willing to serve and willing to die, the same as Clovis' generations who went before them.

Buchanan's school colors are red, white and blue. The stadium is named Veteran's Memorial. Former classmates and older siblings come back in uniform for campus visits. Friday night football games include a moment of silence for Buchanan's fallen soldiers.

"The cheerleaders wear six stars on their uniforms. I guess it will be seven now," said 15-year-old Julie Thaxter. "We're not proud they died, but we're proud they fought. It makes others from here even more ready to go and honor them. My brother wants to join. He's 14 and he's been set on it since he was 8."
Julie works at a peach stand across from the 2,600-student high school. On one side of the street are shaggy-leafed peach trees. On the other, the big, suburban campus serving upper-middle-class neighborhoods that rooted where there were fields and orchards some 25 years ago.
She fiddles with the pink cellphone in her hand, then shyly shows her screen saver: Tony Butterfield, a blue-eyed Marine in dress uniform.
"Two days from now, it will be four years since the day he died," she said. "I was 11. He's the son of my mom's best friend. I knew him all my life."
The first funeral in 2004 was for Jeremiah Baro, 21, and Jared Hubbard, 22. Best friends since junior high, they joined the Marine Corps together, went to basic training together and died together, killed by a roadside bomb in Fallouja, Iraq, west of Baghdad.
Butterfield looked up to Baro and Hubbard and went to their funeral. He joined the Marines as soon as he graduated. Before going to Iraq, he asked that if something happened, that he be buried next to them. His body lies within 10 feet of their graves at Clovis Cemetery. Butterfield died in 2006 at the age of 19, trying to stop a suicide bomber driving a gasoline tanker filled with explosives in Iraq's Anbar province, west of Baghdad.
"You all mean the world to me. I hope I've made you all proud," he wrote in his final letter to his family.
In February 2007, Rowan Dale Walter, 25, was killed in an apparent ambush after leaving a tank to help injured soldiers in Ramadi, Iraq, west of Baghdad. At the funeral, his young widow draped her body over the casket. Walter's father gave a eulogy few have forgotten — a testament from a working-class dad to a free-spirited dreamer of a son.
"I'm looking at …bricks. Rowan, he's looking at clouds," Bryan Walter said.
Then in August 2007, the unthinkable: another Hubbard brother killed in combat. Nathan and Jason Hubbard joined the Army after Jared's death. The brothers had always been close. Each had a tattoo of three interlocking ravens on their left biceps. Nathan said he was joining "to walk in Jared's boots." Their mother was pretty sure that older brother Jason -- married with a son -- was joining to keep an eye on Nathan.
The two were in separate Black Hawk helicopters over Multaka, Iraq, north of Baghdad, when Nathan's chopper went down because of mechanical failure. Jason's unit recovered the bodies. He was a pallbearer at his 21-year-old brother's funeral.
Nick Eischen, 24, died in his sleep Christmas Eve 2007 while serving at Afghanistan's Bagram Air Force Base, north of Kabul. A member of Buchanan's class of 2001, he'd played on the same champion football team as Jared Hubbard. When the family couldn't find the championship ring he loved, Buchanan football coach Mike Vogt gave them his. Eischen was buried with it.
Now, on Friday, a seventh funeral.
Brian Piercy, 27, was 30 days shy of completing his second tour of duty in Afghanistan when he was killed July 19 by an improvised explosive device while on foot patrol in the Arghandab River Valley in southern Kandahar province, on the Pakistani border. The former marching band drummer was the son of a Marine, and one of three brothers who joined the military in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Younger Buchanan students who'd had his mother, Carol, as a junior high school teacher flocked to the funeral of her son. Kids who are now in band, too young to have gone to school with Piercy, also attended, feeling how easily he might have been someone they knew. The minister giving the eulogy said the death wasn't only a blow to Piercy's family, but a blow to Buchanan, a blow to Clovis.
"Seven. It's an unfathomable number," said Larry Grossi, owner of a gift and cabin decor store in Clovis' Old Town shopping district.
"We're not a small town anymore, but we're connected. If you don't know one of the families, you know someone who does," he said on the day Piercy's body arrived for burial.
A middle-aged woman approached his cash register.
"You ready to be rung up, Delores?" he asked.
"Brian was our neighbor," Delores Piers told him. "My kids baby-sat him. My first thought when I woke up this morning was, 'Carol is on her way to the airport to pick up her son in a box.' "
"I know," Grossi said. "It hurt this morning when I saw those motorcycles decorated with flags on their way to the airport — again. I'm proud, but it's a heavy-hearted proud."
Old Town is covered with American flags. Not just the half-mast ones flying for Piercy. But all-year symbols of Americana. There are baskets of glittery flags for sale. Little flags stuck in flower pots. Red, white and blue "We Believe in America" placards in business windows.
Cora and Bill Shipley's corner gift store has flags and framed photographs of the fallen Buchanan grads in the window.
"It makes sense that they were all from here," said Cora Shipley. "God, country and family, that's what we believe in, in Clovis. They made us proud."
Vogt, the football coach, said the best part of his job is running into former students 10 to 15 years down the road and seeing who they grew into being.
"It hurts that I won't get to talk to Jared and Nick and the others," Vogt said. "But 'We won't forget' is a Buchanan motto. The new kids coming through Buchanan will know about their sacrifice."
The day before Piercy's funeral, Buchanan High Principal Ricci Ulrich, Tony Butterfield's family, Nick Eischen's mom and about 40 others cut red-and-white plastic tablecloths into strips and tied them to every tree on the 3-mile route between the church and cemetery.
"We wanted Carol to look out that window and know our hearts were with her," Ulrich said.
"This is the Buchanan legacy: When any other school or community has a loss, we'll know what they feel. Our families will be their families. They'll know that in Clovis, our hearts are with them."


i knew half of those guys.
my dad and jared's dad worked together at the police department for over 20 years.
we're all connected.
and we won't forget.


here are some of the photographer's pictures from last weekend...

she made us look good!

here is one i bummed off of her proofs page....

i'll need to order that picture for sure!!


so keeping in random friday spirit.....

 i've had a few people ask me in amazement, "how do you do it all?!"
well, wanna know my secret?

i don't.
i don't do it ALL.

there are always dirty bottles in the sink. {unless my mom washes them. more on that later.}
there is always dirty laundry.
there are always toys around.
there is always dusty furniture.
and there are always babies that want to be held...{more on that later.}

i am crafty when the girls are asleep.
they are in the "i'm-into-EVERYTHING-so-you-need-to-watch-me-at-all-times-so-i-don't-do-something-silly-and-almost-kill-myself" phase, so being in another room fiddling around with fabric is not even a remote possibility.
{unless i can coax them into their jumperoos. and with stella these days, that is not an easy feat. once she notices i'm crawling up the stairs, she cries and screams bloody murder.}

SO. it's a good thing they sleep at 7pm and usually stay down all night.
i try to get stuff done during their nap, but that's when i usually eat my brunch and take a shower and boring junk like that.

ok. lotsa words and not a lotta pictures.
back to the babies liking to be held thing.
my girls love them some mama.
so when this mama needs to make dinner...or make myself something to eat because it's 2pm and i haven't eaten yet..i strap them on...

in this case last week, we made applesauce.

and here i was probably making dinner.
i don't use the baby bjorn in the kitchen because i can't tuck their hands and arms in that easily and comfortably.
in my homemade hippie wrap, i can.

i must have been feeding stella at the same time.
it's all about mutli-tasking.
which i am sometimes good at.


look at my little hat model:

i'd book her at any go-see.


my house has lovely, big windows.
it has windows on top of windows in the living room.
i only put curtains on the bottom portion so that cave-dweller husband would be forced into sunlight.
{maybe he's edward cullen?! no.}

so i don't really remember ever cleaning these windows.
in my defense, they're like up 11 feet.
AND we bought the house brand new, so everything was clean.
well, i cleaned them the other night.
i had the big, giant ladder in the living room to clean the ceiling fan and just made my rounds.

so my windows are beautiful and clean, but now i'm blinded by this every morning:

it's pretty, but it makes it really hard to watch tv.


i finished a new dolly for the twins.

she has ballet flats {not mary janes like all of the others} and vintage ribbon.
i still wanna make more.
i think it's an illness.


the girlies are really starting to have fun with one another.
following each other around, playing with one another, laughing with one another...
they're so much fun.


one day i got the itch to have a chalkboard wall in my house.
out to lowe's we went.

this was THE wall.  
it's about 2 feet wide and 13 feet tall.
odd proportions, but it will work.

the before.

the after.

i have a giant countdown for hubby's and the twins' birthdays drawn on it right now.
totally fun.


this girl loves shoes, just like her daddy. 

and this one LOVES her tip-toes.


yes, i know it's another picture of my baby watching tangled....

but look how she's 11 months going on five?!


i took the girls to the doctor...again.
everyone is fine, we just need a specialist to look at a little skin tag livie has.
not fun.

i used to play in that SAME room.
some of my earliest memories are in that place.
those glass tile cubes are unforgettable.


i cleaned up my fabric closet!

now i can {usually} find what i'm looking for!


with stuffy noses and babies that don't feel so well, this was one of my nights this week...

tangled at 2am.
what else was i supposed to do?
they were both up!


a balanced breakfast:

apple pie apple and citrus wassail.
so yummy.


this little girl has taken the stairs by storm.

she is insanely fast.
i'm in trouble.


since my parents are back in town, they brought me this:

i asked my wonderful brother in law to make this for me in july when we were in utah.
i just showed him a picture and he did it.
well, it didn't fit in my luggage.
so i had to leave it at my parents house until they could bring it here in the fall.
oh, it was SO worth the wait!
i loooooooooooooove it.
thanks, jason!!!


after the girls wake up from their nap, we usually play in their room before heading downstairs.

who needs toys when you have headbands??

i love their room.

and i love their little army.


i adore this machine, but oh, how i hate rethreading it.

pretty colored sharpies make everything better.

and so do these pretty ruffles.


the other night i found little stella sound asleep like this:

i'm so in love with that crazy hair and those dark, dark legs.

speaking of cute legs, check these out...

ohmygoodness they're so cute.

here is livie and my dad at dinner the other night:

and stella here, going on 16 years old already....


blurry fun baby...

and stella with the BEST GRAMMY EVER!

it's my mama's birthday today.
happy birthday ma!

she comes 3 days a week to help me.
how fabulous is that??
i'm so lucky.
she'll watch the girls so i can run errands.
and she'll clean my house.
but even if she didn't do all of that, we'd still be so lucky.


this week we got this:  

because of this.

i'm not down with babies getting 3rd degree burns of their hands.
no thank you.

it's not pretty, but it had to be done.


goodbye summer 6 month clothes!


last night i was part of a little boutique party and drove by the temple of my way home.
it's so pretty.


if you like malt balls and you like candy canes, go to costco and buy these!


the hubs brought these home for me the other night.

he's so sweet.
he used to surprise me at the bank with flowers ALL the time.
people couldn't figure out "just because" flowers.
i get it.
he gets it.
i love him.


  1. We have that fireplace gate. It was installed right after we moved in 3 and a half years ago and it is still up. Maybe one day, but our fireplace is downstairs with the kids toys so I feel justified being paranoid.

  2. loved the blog today!!! so long! i got my babies fix.

  3. you are so sweet to your mama - love all the pictures, and yes, Stella is freakishly fast up those stairs, but she comes down very well too!

  4. it took me awhile to be able to see my screen after I read all you wrote about Jared and all the others - man oh man, some have given so much. You honor them all when you post their stories. Popie would be proud! Semper Fi!

  5. Oh. My. Goodness. Your girls are adorable! And your doll making skills are incredible! :] I love your cute blog!


i love candy, sewing and the power to delete :) have a great day!