Monday, October 31, 2011

Working on 'Her Lost Soldier Boy Project'

I thought I'd paint a picture
of the scene around here
the other evening
while we worked on this project.
(For those of you coming to my blog for the first time...
our daughter lost her fiance in Afghanistan on Sept 3rd.
People have sent in quilt blocks from all over the 
world for me to make quilts for Tory and other family members of Chris' (the soldier) family)
I set the guys up to serenade us while we worked...
Set the girls and grand girls up at a table to work on the scrapbook we are making to go along with the quilts...of all the letters and cards that were sent in with each block...
The Grand Girls helping out with the project...
I went to the kitchen to make Dutch Babies for everyone...
So easy and quick...and everyone LOVES them!
Here is the recipe:
Dutch Babies with Lemon and Sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Put 2 Tbsps of Butter in Iron Skillet and set in preheated oven
while you put the batter together.
(Once it is melted pull it out and brush up the sides of the pan)
In a blender mix:
4 large eggs
1/2 cup of half and half
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
(until well blended)

Pour into warm buttered skillet.
Set in oven for 18-25 minutes.
Take out and sprinkle with freshly squeezed lemon juice
(I use about 1/2 of a lemon)
and powdered sugar
Serve immediately
Yum! Yum!
(Recipe taken from the book: A Homemade Life
by Molly Wizenberg...a really fun read!)

Then it was time to work on the quilts...

I decided to let the little girls help.

I took the time to tell them how delicate these blocks were...
and how they had come from all over the world, 
so we needed to be really careful with them.

At first I wasn't going to let them touch the blocks...
but then I thought to myself...
I want these kids to remember this project...
I want them to become interested in quilting...
the traditions...
I want them to have memories of quilting with grandma....
quilting in grief over our lost soldier boy...

So you all tell me...
Did I make the right decision?
Each night I am trying to take some time to sew these blocks together.
Hopefully I will have something to show you later this week.

I've thought of you all
in the process.
And how this wouldn't be happening without all of you taking
time out of your busy lives to help me.

You are the cream of the crop, my quilting friends!

 Check out this great Homesteading Blog Hop

Happy Stitchin' this week...


  1. You definitely made the right decision in having the girls help with this precious project. I'm certain it will be a bonding and healing experience for all of you. Just finished my blocks yesterday and will drive to town in the morning and send them your way. Continued prayers and hugs!

  2. You are totally right!! Such a great thing for the children to be involved with. I'm sure it's a memory they will treasure as they grow older :)

  3. you handled this perfectly! what fabulous memories for everyone involved. can't wait to see the final projects. happy halloween!

  4. I agree with everyone else.... letting the girls help is absolutely the perfect thing to do. I definitely think it will help them not only bond with you and each other, and preserve memories of Chris and Tory, but will help generate an interest in quilting that they may not otherwise have gotten. I think the entire weekend spent with your family working together on this project is a precious and wonderful gift to each other, and Tory and Chris' family.

    Much love and continued prayers to you, Tory, and Chris' family!



  5. Oh John'aLee, These pictures are so precious, they tug at my heartstrings.. I think that you should include them, maybe in a little decorative frame, for Tory with the quilts. We can see how carefully the little ones are handling the blocks. I think you have just added to the love that came with the blocks. Well done sweet Utah girl. Big Hugs....

  6. It only makes the quilt more special when you let the grandchildren help! They will remember helping all their lives.
    The dessert looks so yummy :)

  7. I think you made the very right decision. Children so often are left out, because we have certain ideas about our projects. The children will learn from this experience, and hopefully will remember the special times with their family, in good times and sad times.

  8. That quilt is beautiful! Love it!
    Dutch babies rule--we like them with cinnamon and apple.

  9. I just mailed 7 more more blocks off today.
    Definitely, involve the girls--no regrets there!

  10. Whilst the saddest of tasks, I hope that it is also soothing for you all. They will be the most precious of quilts to treasure.

  11. I love that picture of the girls laying out the blocks...What a special thing for them to be involved in the making of these very precious quilts!

  12. The picture of your Dutch Baby is making my mouth water -- it looks delish! Good call on letting the girls help, looks like they are loving every minute.

  13. I think you made the right decision. I'm sure they'll remember this.

  14. Absolutely you made the right decision, sweetheart! I think it's a blessing for both them and all of you. What a massive project you've undertaken!

  15. Definitely, you definitely made the right decision. Continuing to pray for you all! :)

  16. I believe you made the absolute right decision to include the little girls as you did.
    Curious -- what caused you to move from Utah to Nashville? I used to live in Nashville and loved it.

  17. Looking at these pictures brings me to tears, John'aLee. My heart aches for you and your dear Tori and the loss you've suffered. You remain in my prayers. You definitely are making the right decision in regards to your grands. Children suffer loss as deeply as adults and don't always have the means to deal with it. You are giving them a gift by letting them be actively involved in this process. Thank you for sharing with us.

  18. You know what I have learned, "What goes around comes around", what you send back come to you 10 is not only us but your goodness that has brought this about. Yes, let those gals help, what a memory builder....This is going to be soooo amazing!!

  19. I think letting the girls help is awesome.....they'll always remember this.

  20. Fantastic photos of your grandaughters helping with the blocks. You absolutely did the right thing letting them help and getting them involved. They wil always remember that.
    Thanks for the recipe too John a Lee :)

  21. What an amazing and thoughtful woman you are John'aLee. That is such a great idea to include the kids in the often they get forgotten...and they feel grief to, so it will be a part of their healing time too. I was glad to see that the blocks I sent arrived, and I hope that Tory liked her wee gift I sent her. Big hugs to you all. Naomi

  22. I finished my star block yesterday and was going to email you to ask where to send it, so since I'm leaving this comment perhaps you'll read it and then go ahead and contact me via email with the mail details.
    All this time I didn't understand that it is your daughter who lost her fiance. I thought it was a friend's daughter. (I feel like a dummy)

  23. You did GOOD, John'aLee!! It's so perfect, letting the little girls help like that. :)

  24. You absolutely made the right decision to let your granddaughters help in this project. They were also touched by the loss and need to experience this healing process. Thanks for sharing with us the process. Your family remains in our prayers.

  25. I cannot think of a better way to handle the process of assembling the blocks. They will remember it for their whole lives and it will become much more important as they grow older, have beaus of their own and realize the impact.

  26. This post is tooooo precious for words! They will maybe be quilters someday because they were involved! Howmany of us remember being with our Momma's and Grandma's? You are such a sweetie John'a Lee your family is being prayed for by so many!!!!!!!

    Blessings and wish I could be with doin some of that stitchin!

  27. Those precious girls will have some wonderful did good!

  28. This is all about stitching up your heart at a time...x

  29. What wonderful memories you are making! Makes my heart sing to see your granddaughters wanting to help. Luv all the blocks......I'm still working on my 6 blocks for you...should be in the mail early next week. I was working on my Ghastlie projects for the past month and half...posted my creations yesterday, come take a is always fun to share my time with Mme Samm Ghastlie....hugs Pauline

  30. Such a brilliant idea to have all the loved ones involved in the scrapbooking and quilting rememberances for Chris. The scrapbook and quilts will all be amazing and tangible reminders of Chris and Tory's love for each other. But also the time spent together making them is a perfect example for your grand children of the importance of the loving support of family and friends for one another. I'm thinking that every time they hear the songs you were serenaded with and smell Dutch Babies cooking they will be reminded of this special occasion that was filled with love. You are laying down such a rich history of love for your grandchildren and continue to be a fine example to us all. God bless you and yours John'aLee. X

  31. You definitely made the right choice. ;o) This post just brought tears to my eyes. My heart goes out to your daughter and to your whole family... {{hugs}}

  32. I was away and not able to read blogs, but you most certainly DID do the right thing! I think it is extra-meaningful to have so many members of Tory's family involved in putting these quilts together.

  33. When I saw how close you are, I was tempted to bring the blocks to you. If I had a temple trip going, I would do just that. Darn the cost of gas! So two stars in the mail to you tomorrow instead of delivered to your door! I'll be posting about the project on my blog and showing the blocks in a little while.

  34. How wonderful for the whole family to be a part of the process! I haven't read all the previous comments, but I'm sure there wasn't one that said you made the wrong decision. It's going to be an amazing quilt.
    Those Dutch Babes are just like our British Yorkshire Puddings which I've blogged about before. You have yours like pancakes with lemon and sugar - we have ours with roast beef dinner covered in gravy, or pour the batter over sausages for Toad-in-the-Hole (despite the fact they are called 'puddings').

  35. Do you still have a need for more blocks? I've sent a couple, but would be more than willing to make a couple more if you still need them!