Monday, April 28, 2008

Got up Saturday—6:30 am, after sleeping in (See wake up time in previous post!!). Checking my email, sipping my coffee when I get a phone call. It was Don announcing he’d be home early because he had to go back to work in the middle of the night. So I start running around like crazy doing the weekend cleaning for the place, because Don won’t sit around and just watch me clean. I pull the shades from my bedroom and look out into the garden. Time stands still for a moment because in the garden the tulips are coming up. Amidst the dried leaves and the brown dirt there is green.
The little fence protects the plants from the tiller when the remainder of the garden gets cultivated for planting. Though the winds howled all day. The skies were gloomy. It may have snowed in towns all around us…It was spring in my garden.

I finished the binding on my Blessings quilt – Blessings because the majority of the fabric is from the Fig Tree Collection—Yuletide Blessings.
The quilt is going on my bed, but the pillow shams haven’t been made so I have it in the entryway now. The remainder of the weekend was spent on my block of the month projects, keeping up to date on them. Mother’s day is just around the corner. I’ve been contemplating gifts for my Mom and MIL.

I had 11 kids in Sunday School. Chelsey and Cortney helped me as my regular assistant was out of town. We played ‘Pin Zacchaeus in the Tree’, as opposed to Pin the tail on the Donkey, each child answering a Bible story question before taking a turn. It was a review because this week’s story was the story of Cornelius, the Good Soldier that believed in God and yet did not know about Jesus and Salvation. How do you get a point like that across to four year olds???? My class in incredibly active—We pray for pets, fingernails, and toys that break. If I ask if they know of anyone who is sick—Half the class has a cold and needs prayers. To get a point across, I put Cade, a really outgoing kid in my lap. I asked the class---- give me some things you do every day that get you in trouble. I got answers like, hit my brother, take cookies out of the jar without asking, not sharing. Then I asked---“How are you punished?” I got responses like spankings, timeouts, sitting in the corner, having toys taken away. So then I responded, “Let’s say Mattea takes cookies she shouldn’t. This time--- Mattea is not going to get in trouble, we’ll let CADE take her spanking.” Then I went to the next child—“ When Micah doesn’t share his toys, We’ll let CADE get the time out.” All the while Cade’s eyes get bigger and bigger. The class laughed each time. Well, we went around the circle talking about sins, and each time Cade takes the rap for it. Finally Cade speaks up, “ But I didn’t do anything!!!”

BINGO!!! Exactly. And that’s just like Christ. He didn’t do anything either, but he took the punishment for us so that we could get to Heaven. So while there may not have been a great craft in yesterday’s class, there was an outstanding lesson…. I can’t wait until next Sunday….

Friday, April 25, 2008

While life at our house never runs at a ‘slow’ pace, it has lessened from a gallop to a gentle trot. Don is still working a maintenance outage. It makes me realize how much he does around the house when I have to do it all when he’s working.

I’ve been stitching the past couple of nights on my Four Seasons project from Country loft. I plan on knocking out the weekend chores today after work, so I can spend the weekend catching up on my block of the month projects.

This morning at breakfast---4:30 am--- I let Ransom out and left the door opened with just the screen door closed. While it was still dark, the birds had already started their chatter. I really appreciate the music because you never hear it in the wintertime. We have dense fog this morning and a rainy forecast for the weekend with a possibility of snow on Sunday night and Monday. It’s still April and this weather pattern is completely normal, but how I ache for gardening weather.

The snowshoes have been put away. Ransom and I take our evening journeys along the roadside. He has a time chasing the squirrels and chipmunks that are back from winter hiding.

Eric plans on staying downstate and going to summer school and working down there this summer. I guess I’m prepared for that. It’s all part of life and Don and I have both rationalized that the odds of the kids settling down in the Upper Peninsula are slim.

Joann’s is having a sale on Perle Cotton to fill my jar. This may be the day to purchase to fill my jar. I’ve got some ideas for embroidered fabric postcards.

Enjoy the weekend…I hope everyone gets to keep a needle in their hands….

Monday, April 21, 2008

"And they all lived happliy ever after.... we hope...." Here is the Slide show from Saturday night. I sprinkled some comments among the photos but a couple of things that I want to add from for memory sake and I'll shut up and you'll never hear about them again.

We moved the furniture out of the living room for the occasion. I wanted the high-tech TV to vanish. Trying to "work" Don (Who got the day off of work) We all dropped subtle hints about the television not being part of the decor. He didn't bite. Finally he said--"We're not moving the TV-- it could get broken, but I have an idea." He uploaded slides of photos he took of the dinner guests throughout the evening and they got to see themselves as they ate dinner.

The teacup cakes --- get it--were pieces of my wedding china. My family kind of thought it was silly as I explained it, but then they all got involved with making them and they were the hit of the night.

There's no way I could have done it without my friend from work. She came dressed in creme and black. She bussed tables like a mad woman. We laughed. I told her to get a table's request for salad dressing without writing it down. We comes back and rattles it off. I telling her to get to pouring. "Wait I have to remember this???" "Lora, they do it at the Olive have an accounting degree for God's sake.." We laughed all night.

After the guests left for the dance -- We dissassembled the living room and ate the leftovers. Great memories....

Friday, April 18, 2008

Spring just might make it to the U.P. after all. We’ve had a week’s worth of temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s. Funny— My Mom called from Louisiana and said, “It’s cold here—53 degrees…” My response, “Mom, it’s warm here--- 53 degrees…”

Just another great example about life being just a series of perspectives…..

On my buffet at home --- my apple/cupcake/pumpkin/Christmas ornament stacker now holds birds’ nests with a promise of spring.

I’m just about set for the Prom dinner tomorrow. Shopping this afternoon and cleaning house after work so I all have to do is decorate tomorrow. Despite the hustle and bustle, I really want to appreciate the night and hold onto to things as it is an ending mark for my kids, the last of the high school dances.

Pictures coming on Sunday….

1. My job --- while I’m proud of my budgeted party—none of it would be possible without the job to fund it.
2. My kids--- trying so hard to become adults
3. Don—having patience to endure all of us and working long hours

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Good Morning --- a friend emailed me that it had been two weeks since I last posted. Life has been so busy. I took a week off of work last week to go downstate with my daughter. She completed her term as FCCLA state president. I enjoyed the time I had with her. Lots of fanfare—she spoke several times. I’m glad I didn’t miss it. They had competitions and workshops during the day. I got out of the hotel room every morning with a standing ritual. I headed to Barnes and Noble for my religious experience of coffee and reading. In my “dream world” it would be like that everyday. An hour and a half later, I come up for air and head to Michael’s Craft store. I had a handful of 50% off coupons. I have a friend that had a birthday yesterday, so I shopped daily for her. The afternoons were spent quilting. Here is the completed birthday gift.
It’s not an original pattern. I saw Dawn made one similar to it for a friend and I was charmed by it. I didn’t have a pattern, but “winged it” and hand-quilted it for her. It’s the first time I’ve done any wool appliqué. The wool was hand dyed. My friend always remembers Chelsey so I made her a gift bag with Chelsey’s fabric and filled it with trinkets from Michael’s--- A rubber stamp with the quote on the quilt, ribbon, charms, markers, and Cuttle kids dies;
Oh and A dragon fly hole punch. We had lunch together… I hope her birthday was special.

Here are pictures from Chelsey’s week.
While I don’t think the year was quite what she had planned--- she learned tons about life, both good and bad.

I can guarantee this will be the only post this week. Saturday night we are hosting a prom dinner for 16 kids--- Chelsey’s senior Prom. I don’t even remember what the Prom theme was, but I didn’t like it, so the dinner has our own theme. I’ve always wanted to put together an evening with a crème and black decorations. So here’s the sign for our Prom dinner.

Complete with invitations.
The furniture is leaving the living room and the tables are coming in with tablecloths and napkins made from these swatches. (Ok--- they will be completed by Saturday night).
We’ve got Birch Tree limbs that we are wrapping in Christmas twinkle lights along with plenty of old windows and grapevine wreaths to fill the corners of the room. In my constant effort to prove to my family and her friends that quilts are cool anywhere I enlisted the help of Libby who has loaned me a crème and black quilt for the occasion. More pictures to come and Black Wooden crows will be sprinkled in.

Chelsey works tonight and Don’s on a maintenance outage so I’m in charge of waiting for her to come home so I’m thinking those tablecloths will be completed tonight.

While life hasn’t been filled with writing lately, it has been filled with friends, family, and quilts – and I’m grateful for all. Thanks for the emails checking in on me…

P.S. A couple has asked about FCCLA, FCCLA is Family Community Career Leaders of America. It's the old Future Homemakers of America. They do projects to promote leadership and healthy choices. Projects this year included:
Trick or treat food drive on Halloween
Dance Lessons for Underprivileged Little girls with donated tap shoes and the girls are even teaching the lessons and making the costumes. A local Dance teacher is helping.
Internet safety campaign
Healthy weight loss program for teenagers.
One group spent the night in boxes outside of walmart for donations and as an attention getter for the homeless.

that kind of thing.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I haven’t posted in a few days but I found myself with a needle in my hands almost every night--- at least for a few stitches. We got socked with a blizzard last night and this morning. Mother Nature was sitting around laughing the entire time I’m sure—it’s April 1st after all. Thanks for all of the emails checking on me.

Ransom and I hit the woods after work. Snow photos are probably old news to people who see it all the time but not growing up with snow--- I’m still amazed. With the strong winds the snow blows sideways and clings to the birch trees.
Our trails were drifted over with the heavy snow and high winds so Ransom and I were hiking through deep snow today. Here’s a shot of my snow shoes. No—I don’t have the” tennis racket“- looking shoes – I’ve got the “Uptown Girl” kind of snow shoes and I love them.
Chelsey has a friend that is doing volunteer hours at our local Goodwill store. I’ve had him shopping-- watching for a jar for me.
He found it yesterday…. While it’s an incredible jar, it’s based on the wish of being filled with cotton floss like this…. I guess every dream starts somewhere.
I had asked Pat about her quilt block rolls she made. A really neat lady—based on the premise, ’you give a guy a fish, you feed him for a day--- you teach him to fish… he eats forever…’ she gave me the makings of one roll, got me started, let me complete it and sent stuff to make a larger one.
Thanks again Pat--- and I’ll definitely make another to share with someone else…
It’s getting late, I better get some sleep….

My Gratitudes:
1. Laughter and being able to forgive yourself for mistakes
2. Sunshine after a winter storm
3. Leftovers for easy supper