Friday, December 28, 2012

happy birthday, Jesus!

*this is always a very hard post for me to write. I really considered not writing it this year; I don't want to be misunderstood. 
But the simple truth is, this blog is the record for our family. We want to remember. We want to remember what we gave to Jesus 
as much as we want to remember the funny things we say, and how to make the foods we like, and when somebody got baptized. 
I don't mean to offend, condemn or brag. I just want to record. so we can remember.
 If you are encouraged, I'm glad. and grateful. If our annual Christmas post makes your skin crawl - skip it*

I woke up Christmas morning not feeling real swift,
so we ended up postponing our birthday party.
I'm feeling much better today, 
but sadly, a few of the kiddos are sick now.
We decided to go ahead and have the party anyways,
'cause if we wait 'til everyone in the house it totally well,
well, it might be awhile...

We did things just like last year, except there was real cash in the envelopes instead of fake money. (The bank loved me this month ;-)
and we didn't have any cake (I don't think it was missed)
We've had a small chunk of 'Samaritan Money' set aside for a few months now, but we never felt led to use it, 
 so Tyler said we could spend it on gifts for Jesus, too, in addition to the money we had earmarked, 
which made me happy. 

My sister gave me some money;
she wanted to give to Jesus, but trusted me to spend her money for her :-)
I could have just added her money to mine, but I really tried to pick something that she would be passionate about.
She owns a small shop in Rogers (and has an etsy shop) where she sells, among other things, her hand made jewelry.
She works with beads and gems, common metals, and even gold and silver.
She loves to learn new skills. (Fortunately for her, her brain actually works...)
All of those thing combined, made my choice easy:
I went in with her 50/50 and we gave a hard-working woman (maybe even a jewelry maker?) a small business loan!
What's especially cool about that, is,
when that woman's business is up and running, and she repays the loan,
the money is then loaned out again, to another woman,
and the cycle will continue to repeat, and the gift will keep giving. Indefinitely.
I'm so tickled!!
(anybody else want to send me some money to spend?? ;-)

What else did we buy??

lots!  :-)

I love how our choices reflect us.
We bought:

A dozen baby chicks (Lexi)
10 'Greatest Gift' booklets to be included in shoeboxes (Lily)
Food  for 2 children for a week (me and the girls)
Food for 4 hungry babies and/or nursing mommas for a week (Lily and Lex')
A pair of chickens (Lily)
Training for an evangelist (Brandon)
5 fruit trees - these will provide food and income from selling both fruit and saplings (Brandon & Jeremiah)
2 shares of a fish pond (Tyler)
Help for children with disabilities (Brandon)
Mosquito nets for a family (Brandon and Lexi)
2 Bibles (Brandon)
A sewing machine (girls and I)
 (before the seamstress takes home her machine, she will receive 6 months of sewing training and Bible teaching :-)
A goat. (Josiah)
Lexi really wanted to give bees, but a beehive was very expensive this year, so we passed on that.
Brandon wondered if there was any way to give safe heat (beyond clothing) because many deaths and injuries are related to unsafe heating practices. I think that is something we'll need to research this year, as that is not something that was in the catalogs we have.
Tyler and Brandon gave money to World Vision's Maximum Impact Fund, so they can use it where its most urgently needed.
I gave money (which will be multiplied 5 times) for emergency food
and we all put money towards emergency clothing.
The money given for that will multiply twelve times :-)
So our combined $90 will buy $1,080 of warm clothes and boots and such to protect people from harsh winter weather.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’  “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Happy Birthday, Jesus; we bought these presents
just for You.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

oh dear

I'm not making many Christmas gifts this year.
Just a few, actually.
I was right on track with everything,
until I was going over my making schedule in my mind (and you know hard  that poor thing has to work!)
and realized that we'd be gone for the better part of two of the next five days.
uh oh.

On a happier note, a friend who knows me well 
made me the cutest dishtowel.
It says 'I'd sew more quilts if I didn't have to cook!'
Is that perfect or what?!
I love it!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

welcome to another episode of 'she should have been blond'

Lexi was out of pull-ups.
I congratulated myself for remembering to add them to the list.
And then, 
actually remembering to buy them.

After unloading the groceries and goodies from the car,
(and all the other crap, too)
the pull-ups were taken to the girls' bedroom,
and come bedtime, the package ripped open.

They were in bed for about 20 minutes before beginning their parent-torturing ritual of 
getting up to tattle,
getting up to go potty, etc.
On one of her trips in to tattle on Lily for stealing all the covers
(which Lily admittedly did - but only after Lexi had kicked her, and stolen the covers first. 
Note that they each have their own quilt...
also note that Lily would not tell on Lexi even when asked; 
I only found out about Lex's transgressions by asking her what she did to prompt her sister's actions.)
I noticed that Lexi's pull-up looked a little snug.
Then a few minutes later, she came in the room again,
complaining that her diaper was bugging her.
And I realized - I hadn't checked the size! 
I just grabbed a package.
'24 count - yeah, that's prob'ly enough,' I thought, then I threw 'em in my cart. 
Enough for what, exactly, I'm not sure....

If anyone needs some size 2/3 pull-ups ~ I can hook you up

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Jeremiah spent yesterday at Silver Dollar City with his big sis, brother in law, and nephews.
Josiah wasn't overly thrilled to be going to bed by himself,
when bedtime rolled around
and it would still be a few hours 'til his bub got home.
We let him stay up  late and watch us play Rummy.
(Brandon beat the pants off of both Tyler and I. And Tyler wasn't sure he knew how to play. hmph)
(Kids are so much easier to enjoy one on one - or two on two, as the case may be...)
We sent him to bed (for good, this time) after 11,
but he still hadn't gone to sleep when Jeremiah got home a little after midnight,
of course, he got up when he heard Jeremiah come in the door.
(he brought home a little present for me - which is extra special, cuz he is 100% Daddy's boy, and I would have thought if he was bringing something home for just one person - I would not even be near the top of his list. Like his biggest brother, though,
he had no trouble at all letting someone else (Lana) pick out the gift. )

I let them yammer on for a good bit, then sent them both to bed at 12:52.
As usual, they climbed into the same bed (even though they each have a perfectly comfortable twin bed...)
and just continued their conversation.
I finally fell asleep close to 2, to the sound of the two of them, still talking.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

covered in love and prayers

I know she loves Jesus.
I know this,
because I've seen it with my own eyes.
For almost 12 years, our family has served with Connie (and others) in 'apartment ministry'.
And I have watched her love His children.

A few weeks ago, Connie was diagnosed with cancer.
I thought, "I should make her a quilt".
Then I dismissed the thought, because it seemed rather cliche.

Last Thursday,
while the rest of the team was at Timberline Apartments,
Connie got her port.
I thought again, "I should make her a quilt."
Again, I dismissed the notion.

this makes me think of zebra strip gum

A few days later, I just happened to read something that mentioned why people are cold when they undergo chemo.
I started thinking again...

Wednesday afternoon, I did a little research,
trying to determine what size quilt I should make, should I , you know, decide to make one.
And I sat at my computer choking back tears.
I had to get up and do something else, then went back later and researched some more.
My heart just broke for Connie.
I know God has everything in control, and I'm not worried about her,
but I don't want her to have to go through this.
And being that I have this houseful of (germ-y) kids, there isn't a lot I can do for her.

I decided I was definitely making my friend a quilt!

I texted Lynnet and said, now is when one needs a fabric stash...
She sweetly offered to let me have shop her stash. I told her I needed to get the current quilt (!) off the design wall before I could do anything, then I'd see what I might have, so I'd know what I'd still need.
That evening, I messaged a mutual friend to ask when Connie would begin treatment.

I knew I'd want the quilt to have lots of white for Bible verses, 
so I quickly settled on Amanda Jean's zigzag pattern (but made it a bit bigger, and changed up the size of my zags)
I wanted the quilt to be cheery, and you know there is no fabric cheerier to me than California Dreamin',
which, I just happen to have in my meager stash.
I also just happened to have 2 1/2 inch strips of Kona white - already cut.
I pulled out 7 Cali Dreamin fabrics, and grabbed a few more coordinating fabrics
that I 'happened' to order when I found them on clearance when I ordered Matsuri this summer.

I should interject here that the entire time I worked on this quilt, I felt like God was blessing my work,
which confirmed to me that it was right that I should make this quilt.

Wednesday night, after the house was in bed, I cut two 3 1/2 in strips of each print,
and noonish Thursday,
I started sewing.
Oh. I also got a message back from Mary - Connie would begin treatment Tuesday. 
which meant, if I was going to give her the quilt before her first dose of chemo,
I'd need to finish it by Monday afternoon!
Brandon and Tyler were huge helps, fixing meals and doing extra picking up,
so that I could sew.

Tyler asked how long it would take me to hand-quilt the verses.
I looked at him as if he had lost his mind.
sweetly told him that just wasn't an option.
He said it was too bad. He really liked the pink stitches on Lily's quilt.
So I thought, "Well. Maybe I can do a little hand quilting.... 

I wanted to use a vintage sheet from my collection for the back, but nothing was just right.
(or even close to just right...)
I held a not-at-all-suitable daisy sheet up and asked Tyler what he thought.
He noted that I was asking him for more input than usual.
He suspected maybe it was because I was trying to rush, and maybe even skimp in the rushing.
And that I was only asking because I already knew the answer...
He demanded very lovingly suggested that I should create a back with my 'signature pop'.

 I free motion quilted the verses with the quilt top basted to the batting, but not the back. 
After I added all the colons by hand (french knots) I taped everything to the floor again,
and spray basted the back to the partially quilted front.
Then I used my walking foot and did miles and miles of straight line quilting - in zig zags -
in dark pink, orange, yellow, and pink thread.
I hand-quilted the one row I'd planned to hand quilt,
and liked it so much, I added two more rows of hand-quilting
before adding the binding.

I did finish it on time,
even though sewing the binding on took an inordinately long time.
After finishing, though, I decided not to barge in on her last evening before treatment,
and will get it to her very soon.
I hope that, whether she takes it with her to her treatments or not,
this quilt brings warmth and comfort, 
to both her body and her spirit.

I asked if there were specific things I should be praying,
and the reply was, "Connie asked us to pray for the salvation of her doctors."

Which is perfectly typical Connie.

Monday, December 10, 2012

budding entrepreneur

We have a plethora of cats.
It's the only animal we seem to be able to raise.
But besides eating a few mice now and then, they're useless.
We were discussing listing them on Craigslist (free, of course) when Jeremiah said,
"Tell them that they are house-cats; 
and when the people come to pick up their cat,
we'll hide."
(I couldn't for the life of me figure out where he was going with this)
He continued,
"Then we'll have a cat poop cleaning business."

(the 'we' referred to the children, not all of us)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

where it belongs, finally

When I got to the binding, Lily asked me to just sew it all by machine, saying she'd already been waiting so many days for it to be finished.
I tried machine binding.
And after about 6 inches (which included my first corner) I asked if I could please sew it by hand.
She said, "No." 
Said she didn't care if it wasn't perfect, she just was ready for her quilt.
So I re-did those few inches (I'd not caught the binding in 3 spots! in that little bitty span!)
And it looked crappy.
And I still missed a little section of binding, so I told her I was sorry, I just had to do it by hand.
At the rate I was going, I wasn't sure it would be much slower than machine binding anyways...
I told her I'd be finished with the binding by Thursday.
I was finished by Wednesday.
But it took me part of Thursday and all of Friday to knot and bury all those threads.
165 squares, each with a flower free-motion quilted in the center.
One start and one stop on each flower
equals 330 thread that had to be brought to the back, knotted, and buried.
I thought this would be a good idea why??
Fortunately, on about half of the starts/stops 
I was able to just cut the threads, because I has traveled over them sufficiently to lock the stitch.
So I didn't really have to knot and bury 330 threads 
(or 660, since there is a top and bottom thread to each start and stop. if we want to get technical...)
I sent my best sewing girlfriend a text 
and asked her to whop me upside the head if I ever breathe a word of this knotting and burying nonsense again.

It was finally finished (my whining and the quilt) late Friday night,
and I wish you could've seen the look on her face when I asked Lil' to grab the laundry out of the dryer
and she found her quilt instead, all perfectly crinkled and properly fluffed.

Lily wanted to help photograph it, and for one reason or another, it took us another few days for that to happen...
It's already been drug around the house, played on, slept with, and even thrown-up on.
(it's had a really busy week.)

Without further delay,
Lily's quilt. Where it belongs - with her.

Linking up with Elizabeth's with needle and thREAD ~  but I can't manage reading and sewing these days.
Also linking up with my quilting mentor, AmandaJean.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas with the Hodos

I got a text from Eva that said Ben had a little gift for the girls
and he really wanted to give it to them himself,
rather than just passing it along via TKD,
so I changed up my shopping plans, and we went in instead of just dropping the boys off.
Not surprisingly, I stayed and gabbed more than the 10 minutes I had allowed myself.
I gave up the Hobby Lobby stop, but still needed to run to Walmart.
But I didn't have time to run to Walmart and fix dinner by the time the guys got home. 
 I opted for Walmart.

And after the guys got home - we ran back to Walmart again because I am an idiot.
(they had gators ('crocs' to the rest of the world...) for $.50 a pair. I picked up a pair for each girl for next year, but completely forgot
 to look for any for the boys. who wear them even in winter to TKD... Jeremiah wore his last pair plumb out.
You'd think I would have thought to at least get him a pair... but no.    *sigh*)

After Walmart - again - we went to Sonic for half-price burgers. (using for the 4th time, our gift card :-)
I'd snagged a bag of Doritos when we were at Walmart the first time, so people wouldn't think they needed fries.
 (The cheaper of two evils, at least ;-)
I'd had the kids all grab their water bottles, since they charge for water.
(I guess I'm not a total idiot.)

After Sonic, we went to the Hodo's light show and stayed 'til it ended at 10:00.
Not being the weekend, they weren't passing out candy canes, so we didn't have that part of the tradition,
but I did have the thought to boil some water to bring and bought a pkg of hot chocolate mix on the 2nd WM trip.
Not being the weekend, we felt the freedom to stay as long as we liked, so it was worth missing the candy canes, but next year - I'll buy some...
They added an empty tomb and a cross scene, which, along with the addition of Amazing Grace, put a lump in my throat.

Tyler drove us home to a chorus of 'thank-yous'.
And that was a pretty good night.

Friday, November 30, 2012

sibling pride

Jeremiah and Josiah found a box of dust-covered trophies in the shop.
They took it upon themselves to  lovingly clean them up,
certain that their owners will be so excited to take home the newly found treasures.

I sat in the living room, knotting, burying, and trimming threads on Lily's (this-close-to-being-finished) quilt
and listened.
"Here's Tony's basketball trophy."
 "We went to every single game of his, you know."
(Never mind neither are old enough to remember)
Picking up (I presume, I couldn't see...) a soccer trophy from over a dozen years ago, Josiah said with longing,
"I wish we could have gone to Lana's soccer games. 
I can tell she was really good!"
"Oh, look! TJ was a Ranger! Mom, did TJ play for the Rangers?" (not sure what was especially exciting about that...)
"I bet he did awesome!"

I love that they automatically assume that their big kids were great!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

so annoying

I find this stupid little smile so annoying first thing in the  morning.

Why is it, 
they still haven't designed a carton that will open without tearing?
And why must it mock me?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I don't remember my mom ever getting frustrated
as she deftly rolled out dough.
Making pies turns me into a crazy woman.
Just the thought of making pie crust
frazzles me.
You'd think I could just buy the piecrust already made (gag)
but alas, I cannot.
I did, stop and look at them yesterday, though,
but decided if I'm going to eat wheat, by golly, it's gonna taste good.
And then,
for a brief (very brief) moment,
I considered buying
- wait for it -
When I was 15
I won the 'most improved student' trophy at the end of the year ceremony at Bentonville Christian Academy.
It wasn't for improvement in academics.

Most Improved Student.
Think about that.
Is that really an award you want to win?!
How bad was I at the beginning of the school year to be singled out for this award??


am awarding myself
Most Improved Piemaker award.

While we made the cranberry jello salad,
Lily talked so much about helping make the pies
(although, truthfully, I think she just wants to eat the pies)
that I didn't have the heart to tell her it was a mommy-only job.
So I gave myself a stern talking to,
cleaned the kitchen and dining room (with Lil's help)
then told her she had to do exactly what I said,
and be quiet,
because pie making was tricky business.

You think I'm joking.

Just as we got started measuring flour,
Tyler carried Lexi to the LEM, opened a window, and in she came.
To the kitchen.
Right by my left elbow.
(But only because Lily was already on the stool - otherwise, she would have immediately dragged over the stool)
I sent Tyler a text 

Only, I couldn't really come up with something else to do;
I needed to make the pies;
Lily was counting on making pies.
And now, I had not one, but two 'helpers'.

Before it was all said and done,
all four kids were helping me.

We made 4 pies.
Pretty pies, even.
(3 pumpkin, 1 cherry - although, I just couldn't bring myself to do a lattice top)
I did not cry.
I did not scream.
I did not have a fit.
And therefore, I think I am very deserving of this prestigious award.

Most Improved Piemaker.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I don't know why I can't get my act together,
but once again,
we just barely managed to squeak in our shoeboxes.
Today is the last day to get them on the truck.
We're good though, 'cause Tyler dropped them off on his way to work.
(thanks, Hon!)

We went to Walmart and the boys and girls split up with our allotted money.
(The boys went over budget by $3, but the girls were under by $5, so we're okay)
I was really proud of Lily;
she was really purposeful and thoughtful with her selections.
(I imagine the boys were, too, but I wasn't with them...)
Some items she shunned because they'd take up too much room in the box,
others she thought wouldn't provide long-term enjoyment, so we passed.
Lexi, on the other hand, was wowed by glitz;
she didn't end up with a lot of say in the contents,
although we did go with her choice when we could.
We had a small Tinkerbell back-pack that we were really unsure of.
It was cute, but probably not very durable.
But it was cute....
So we prayed while we were waking through the store that God would help us decide.
And I immediately thought of fabric.
Lily and Lexi play with fabric more than just about anything;
the same piece of cloth can be a dress, a cape, a veil, a bag, a picnic blanket, etc
(all in the same day, even....)
We put the back-pack back and went to the fabric dept.
All the fabric we liked would put us over-budget,
but then I remembered that I had a whole bolt of cute, colorful polka-dot knit fabric at home!
(which is how we managed to come in under-budget ;-)
Oh ~ we also found a little baby doll without a tag of any kind, but she was by far our favorite.
We looked and looked for another one with tags, even checking the baby department, but didn't find one.
We went back to toys, and grabbed the lone doll, hoping that the cashier would be nice, and sell it to us anyways (maybe for a dollar?) 
She picked up the doll and said, "Do you know how much this is supposed to cost?" 
I told her I was so sorry, but I had no clue; we couldn't find another one anywhere, and she rang it up for $1!!

As soon as we got home, we packed our boxes.
There was a lot of rearranging.
We stuffed 'em so full, we had to tie them shut, but we managed to get everything in.
I paid for the shipping online, so we got a bar-code to tape onto the box,
and we'll be able to track our boxes and find out where the go :-)
Jeremiah kept saying it would be so cool if we could go along to deliver the boxes
and show the kids everything.
Maybe someday, Kiddo; maybe someday....

Sunday, November 18, 2012

for the files, just in case

A solution made of 50% Simple Green and 50% water
excels at getting lovely silky Colorix crayon out of carpet.
You might want to file that away somewhere,
just so you have it,
you know,
in case you ever have an 8 year old vacuuming,
and he happens to drag and melt and smear royal blue crayon all over the house.
And after he realizes what he is doing,
chooses to continue
dragging and melting and smearing crayon with the vacuum, 
"Mom says the carpets need to be cleaned anyways."
And if this should ever happen to you,
 though I seriously doubt that it would,
you may want to check the roller thing on your vacuum,
just to make sure there aren't any bits of blue left in there....

And if,
you happen to set your metal chair leg (the one without the plastic cap, of course)
 with your full weight on it
on your dog's tail,
hydrogen peroxide works wonders on blood...

Such things likely will never happen in your home,
and certainly not in succession,
but if they ever did,
a fuzzy navel (or two)
may do a decent job of restoring your sanity, or at least some semblance of it...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

cottage garden, a quilt

Linking up with Amanda Jean and  Elizabeth again. 
I've actually fit in a bit of reading this week: Sarah Veblen's Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting,
which I'm borrowing from the library, but think I may need to purchase to have on hand as a resource!

I've told ya'll before how amazing my friend is.
I don't do a lot of gift-giving for birthdays, but I do usually give one to Eva.
And if possible, I like it to be hand-made.
(not that I think hand-made gifts are necessarily better than store-bought,
but gosh, I do like to make stuff more than I like to buy stuff...)
As a bonus, the time I spend working on her gift,
is time I spend reflecting on her and the gift of her friendship all these years,
so it's a win all the way around.
(assuming she likes my gift, that is...)

This year, fresh on my mind when it was time to start thinking about her gift,
We couldn't have pulled off the reception without her.
she was a huge help!
Eva loves my kids well; and she loves me well.
So this year, I wanted to make her something extra special.
Something that would remind her daily
that she is loved.

I knew that she liked this quilt pattern, so that was what I was going to make.
I was going to use her living room pictures as inspiration for the fabrics,
but I couldn't actually get my hands on pictures of her pictures....
I went shopping anyways, figuring I'd just pull something together.
Nothing was speaking to me. At all.

I went fabric shopping again, still with that quilt pattern in mind.
Quilting cottons were 50% off at Hancocks, and it was the last day of the sale,
and it was already mid October, so I really needed to get my fabrics chosen.
I grabbed a few I liked, that I thought Eva would like,
but I just wasn't feeling it.

you know how I hate laying out the quilt blocks? This one was giving me even more fits than usual (spent 4 hours total, just on the lay-out. Lame!) blocks were falling off left and right, so I was laying out just a few rows at a time, then sewing 'em up, and pinning them back on the 'design wall'. I had huffing and puffing and sweating and trying to lay out a few more rows and reminding myself just how much I loved my friend, when Lexi came in, clapped her hands together and said, "Oh! My favorite part!"

And something was bugging me just a little;
I wasn't sure I wanted her throw to be for the living room.
I kinda thought I wanted it to be more of a cozy sit in her bedroom with her Bible study quilt
but with some browns, should she want it in the living room...

Then, I saw this fabric

and the rest was history.
Eva loves cottage gardens and English tea-time.
She's a great note-writer and dabbles in calligraphy (or decorative writing, at least),
so I wanted all of that to be reflected in the quilt.
I couldn't see the fabrics I'd chosen working with the pattern I'd planned,though,
I scrapped that idea and decided to go with 4" patchwork squares.

I was able to find almost all of the fabric at Hancocks that day,
including the back and binding,
found one more at Hobby Lobby,
and ordered just a few more text pieces off of etsy a few days later.

I spent a good chunk of my weekend alone working on it, but only managed to get the top pieced.
Monday I pieced the back and Brandon helped me baste it that evening.
I spray basted for the first time.
It was definitely easier than pin basting, but I used about half of a big can of basting spray
which is not cheap (and I thought I'd read that you could baste 8 throw sized quilts with one can?!
and it sure didn't seem like I was using an excessive amout, but maybe I was?)
so I'm not sure that will be my go-to method.
I started quilting it on Tuesday.
And started unpicking a whole bunch of nasty stitches Tuesday afternoon.
I've never unpicked quite so many stitches on one quilt before!
Then I took my machine back to the shop on Wednesday.
(it still isn't quite right. grrr)
The quilting isn't anywhere near perfect, even with all my unpicking,
but I figured if Eva can look past all my imperfections and love me anyways, maybe she could overlook the quilt's?

Saturday ended up being full, and I was only able to put in about 30 minutes on it,
 so on Sunday, I was starting to panic that I wouldn't finish by her birthday.
Which I thought was Tuesday.
Until I happened to see on my computer (on Monday) that Monday was the 12th, not Tuesday.
Which really was fine, since our kids have TKD together on Tuesdays, and I'd planned to deliver it via them.
I worked my poor fingers so hard on Monday to get the  binding sewn on in record time, they're still sore.
But, finish on time, I did ~ around 11:30 Tuesday morning, which gave me plenty of time to wash and dry it
(it shrunk almost 6 inches both ways! gah!) and snap a few pictures, before wrapping it up right before walking out the door.

And then, her kids didn't go to TKD!
So there I was, with this gift I'd worked so hard to finish 'on time' and it hadn't been delivered.
It was going to sit there for two more days, until the next TKD class.
Not acceptable!
At my sweet hubby's suggestion, we all hopped in the car around 8:45 Tuesday night,
stopped at Walmart to buy ice-cream treats,
and showed up at her house a little past 9.
(I did send a text giving her a 10 min. heads-up. I'm nice like that ;-)

Happy Birthday, precious friend. I love you more than words can say!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

the nerve

I'm getting a little tired of having to put my money where my mouth is with this one.

For several years,
I've maintained
that when you find the one with whom you want to spend your life,
you ought to just get on with it.
No long courtship and engagement nonsense.

the kid got engaged
and just a few weeks later came to us and said they wouldn't proceed without our blessing,
but they'd prayed about it
and didn't see any reason why they ought not just go on ahead and get married.
In just a few more weeks!
Seeing that I'm nothing if not vocal - he knew what I'd say.
What I'd have to say....
I knew something was up when Tony called after 9:00 Tuesday night and said, 
"Can we stop by?"
I mean, Van Buren is not exactly on their way home from work...
Of course, I said, "Sure!"

It's probably worth noting
(at least for me)
that Tuesday was a bad day.
Election aside.
Cycle-wise, it was a very bad, no good day.

 Ton' starts telling us about joining the Marines.
And we started telling him why he ought not do that,
and definitely not now.
He's newly married for goodness sake!
And what about the scholarships  I  we worked so hard to get?!
The kid is getting paid to go to school.
You don't just throw that away.
And why not the Army, at least? Or the Air Force - they get maid service...
And what about deployment?
And death?
And who/what does our military even fight for nowadays anyways?

Then he pulls out the golden ticket.
"I just really feel like its what we're supposed to do. Like I'd be being disobedient [to God] if I didn't join the Marine Corps."

Well. Crap.
Nothing I can say to that one.
It's what we try to train all of our kids for;
to be obedient to the Lord.

I am proud of him.
And I will be happy for him,
but for now, I'm looking at it selfishly 
and I'm just going to miss him.
Dad-gum obedient little cuss.

Monday, November 12, 2012

senior pictures

Saturday, I spent a few hours with Andrew, snapping senior pictures.
I really wanted to go later in the day, but that didn't work out, so we had some pretty harsh sun.
I wasn't overly pleased with my work, but here are my favorites.
I'm hoping maybe we can run out another time or two, spur of the moment, when the light promises to be fabulous. 
But it's pretty hard meeting up with a teenager...

I love this one ~ He'd said, "I know it's kinda weird, and most Seniors probably wouldn't want to take their picture in front of it,
but I kinda want to do one with the national cemetery in the background."
 I took the opportunity to encourage him that what everyone else thinks doesn't matter....
I ended up not being real thrilled with the 'real' shots I got, but after I took them,
before moving on, he turned and just looked at the cemetery for a second.
It being the day before Veteran's Day and all, I got a little misty...

 They may end up hiring Roselle to do his pictures,
and that's fine with me ~ I really don't have a clue what I'm doing
and I don't feel like I got any 'wow' shots,
but I had fun,
and was glad to get to spend a few hours with a great young man.
It made me want - even more than before - to learn my camera.

I can also see why photographers charge so much for senior pics ;-)

My prayer for Andrew is that he will be filled with the knowledge of God's will through spiritual wisdom and understanding.