Pioneer Day: Chester McBride

Another one of the pioneers in my family is my great-grandpa, Chester Laverne McBride. Grandpa Chet was born May 14, 1917 in Minnesota. Married in 1940 to Juanita Monte Lewis, they had one daughter, my grandma Nita. Grandpa Chet played the trumpet in bands at the clubs, and always had such a lively spirit.

Grandpa Chet is someone who followed his heart when he knew what was right. About 10 years ago, my grandparents moved to Utah and brought Grandpa Chet and Grandma Juanita with them. After moving to Utah, Grandpa Chet starting taking the missionary discussions and decided to join the LDS Church. He was baptized on May 14, 2004, which was his 87th birthday. He faithfully attended church every week in his bolo ties, and went through the temple a year after he was baptized. It is amazing that even though he had lived a long time, he still was willing to change and improve his life.

Grandpa Chet died in 2008, about 4 years after Grandma Juanita. He had a lively spirit and was happy, even when life got hard. I miss Grandpa, and I am glad I will see him again one day.


Pioneer Day: Thelma Haase

Yesterday was Pioneer Day, so I decided in celebration I wanted to post about some of the people I consider to be pioneers in my own family history. Pioneer Day is a celebration of LDS members about the day that Brigham Young entered the Salt Lake Valley. He entered on July 24, 1847 and so every year on this day we think about all pioneers, but especially the LDS pioneers, who crossed the plains of the United States, starting in 1847 until the completion of the railroad in 1869. Although none of these early pioneers are my relatives, I still have a deep appreciation for the sacrifices that they made the early years of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Although I am not related to the early LDS pioneers, I have had a number of individuals in my family who I believe are pioneers and have made possible so many of the wonderful blessings that I enjoy. One of these individuals in my great-grandma, Thelma Vernal McFarland Haase. She was born in 1921 in Oklahoma, just years before the start of the Great Depression. When Grandma was just a little girl, her family moved from Oklahoma to Northern California, where she met Willis Franklin Haase. They got married and had three little girls: Patsy (who died as an infant), Shirley (my grandma), and Peggy.

Grandma Thelma is a pioneer in my mind for several reasons. Although she did not make the trek west in the 1800s, she did move to California during the Great Depression, which was similar. She always worked hard to provide for her family and better their lives. I am very grateful for the opportunities that she provided for her girls. Grandma Thelma’s dad did not believe that girls should be educated, so Grandma never even graduated from high school. She encouraged her girls to get an education, who then encouraged their kids for more education. I am the first person in my family to earn a Master’s degree, and I am grateful for that opportunity and that Grandma started the change with her kids.

She loves Nascar and watches all the time, even though she is legally blind now.

Last week, Grandma Thelma fell and broke her hip. We are grateful that she had surgery immediately and  is feeling better. I love my grandma so much, and I am grateful that I have been able to know her. She is super funny, has weird sayings, and is a total Okie. I hope she is around for many more years and can continue to be an example to all of her posterity.

Independence Day

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Independence Day. We are spending the day relaxing, cleaning and organizing, and having a BBQ later tonight. It should be lots of fun and its awesome to have a day off from work. But even more important is remembering all of the freedoms that we are blessed with and the importance of fighting for your rights. This world is becoming crazy, and we all need to take a stand and defend our rights and not let others dictate our lives. I am grateful that God takes an active role in preserving our freedom and that He directed the founding fathers, including the writing of the Declaration of Independence. I am also so grateful for all of my family and ancestors who have served and are serving in the Armed Forces.

Have a great 4th of July and remember what today is all about.

Home: Wall of Family

I have not done any posts about our apartment yet, mostly because I don’t totally love our decor and there are lots of little things I would love to change. However, there are some things I absolutely love, and I decided to share them. One of the things that I love is left over from our wedding reception (like most of our decorations). Its a wall of photographs of our family. There are pictures, mostly of my ancestors, around the time that they got married. There are two pictures of Aaron’s mom, two of my parents, my maternal and paternal grandparents, two sets of great-grandparents, and three sets of great-great-grandparents. The center frame is a wedding present and includes pictures from our wedding of family at the temple. 

And the two window frames on the side are actually old cupboard doors. The image on the left is the original color, which would have been fine without the ugly gold. So I painted them black and added some green grosgrain ribbon left over from our wedding. I use them for wedding invitations or cards, which adds extra color and variety.

I just finished the wall because I needed to replace two of the frames (the others would not hang on the wall), and I finally got some wedding pictures to put in the collage frame. I absolutely love having family photos around our dinner table and in the center of our home to be a constant reminder of the importance of family and the ancestry that we have. This will be something that I want to always include in any of our homes to have the physical reminder. Enjoy!

Sewing: Black Gathered Skirt

I have been looking for some easy projects for making some new Church clothes, so when I stumbled upon this great black and copper fabric, I had an immediately idea. I bought the fabric at a yard sale for 50 cents. I am not sure how much fabric there originally was because I used most of it for the skirt. I believe that it previously had been used from some project because there were traces of gathering at the top, but it had never been finished.

I brought the fabric home, washed and ironed it. It had a tear about 8-10 inches long in from one of the edges, so I trimmed that piece and plan and plan on making something to match from it. I sewed the two sides together, and had one humongous tube. I initially gathered the top of the skirt and found it was much too long. I could not cut off the bottom because of the design panel. I cut off 3-4 off the top and regathered the whole thing (there is quite a bit of gathering). I cut a piece of 3″ elastic to fit around my waist and stitched the ends together. I matched the gathered skirt to the elastic in four places, and basted the elastic in place. I then used my double needle (first time ever and it worked great!) to stitch two lines to hold the elastic to the skirt. I finished the skirt off by using the double needle again to make a 2-3 inch hem along the bottom. The length was a little weird, which is why it had such a large hem.

And Aaron decided that he could only take one picture, so this is it. So far I have loved this skirt. It fits great, came together super easy, and I even had a shirt that matched. And it is something that I can easily wear in summer or winter, and is loose enough that I can also use it when I eventually start having babies. The only thing I might change for next time is the amount of gathering. There is a ton of gather material, which creates some bulk around the waist. Otherwise, its just great. Thanks for reading,