Thursday, September 29, 2011

it's all YOU

Lord, I prayed that you would hold the rain.
I never prayed that it wouldn't be too cold.
What ever will I do?
I've planned outdoor activities.
The forecast says FIFTY-FOUR DEGREES.
It'll be warmer in Illinois even.
I'm currently expecting SEVENTEEN minis.
I am praying for sun and warmth now, Lord.
How will I ever pull this off?
Lord, I'm praying that you'll take this worry and grant me peace,
that you will make this work and ease my insane mind.
Tomorrow will be trying.
I have errands and cleaning.
Prepping and setting up.
I will not check the weather by the hour.
I'll pray all day long without ceasing.
I'll storm the heavens for good weather.
Am I asking too much?
All the while He says, "Be still and know that I am God."
And "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in Him."
So, Lord, I am putting my trust in you.
It's in Your hands and I'm just gonna carry on as planned.
I'm waiting on YOU to see this through.

pirate eye patch in seconds

In preparation of the party this weekend, I had "stuff" to make.  Eye patches being one of them 'cuz you'd be a scallywag of a pirate without one.  So, I had an example to go by, but you know me, I veered off on my own path for simplicity...

My supplies included...
  • scissors
  • black felt
  • elastic "thread"
  • cardboard stencil (shaped like a triangle with rounded corners)
  • and of course, white thread

I got straight to work using my stencil with the black felt, just cutting around it...

I measured and cut 12 inches of elastic "thread" and tied a knot at each end.

Then, starting on the lower corner of the patch, I sewed a long stitch around to the upper corner...

This is when I laid my elastic thread down and sewed back and forth, back and forth over it a few times to insure it would stay put and continued on to the next corner where I attached the other end of the elastic thread, finally, sewing all the way around.

See how the thread has been secured?  And I've sewed all the way around?

Clean it up by snipping off any long threads and voila!  You have an eye patch or 16!

My apologies, my pirate wasn't present for modeling.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

And so it is

The man turns 5 today.  His request for chocolate chocolate chip muffins for breakfast was fulfilled, complete with candles.  The big party will be this weekend.  I'm hoping for awesome weather and fun times.  I'll spill the beans and let you in on our special dinner plans...a complete breakfast for dinner meal - pancakes, sausage, bacon, maybe eggs?, bananas, grapes, oranges, strawberries, OJ.  It's his absolute favorite and he ordered it, so it's what he'll get. 

When asked what he wanted for his birthday, he couldn't think of a single thing.  And, because his cowboy boots were too small, they were handed down.  So, I mentioned a new pair of boots and he was all over that like white on rice.  Boot'Vil now calls and he wants to spend some of his cold hard birthday cash on whatever speaks to him at Toys'R'Us because he recently got a birthday card and coupon from them in the mail.  So, that's our plan for tonight.

This man, who is a sweet child of God, incredibly independent and strong willed, determined, extremely loving and an amazingly observant boy, I do love him so

~He rocks my world to the nth degree.~

He is a lover of wheels, anything with wheels; his favorite color is blue; he's a hot-natured boy who hates sweat pants, loves zip-off shorts and Spider-Man socks; he tells me often how much he loves me and follows up with the biggest hugs ever and hard, wet kisses; always notices when I've painted my nails and makes sure to compliment them; loves to swing from ropes in trees; never passes up a chance to ride in heavy equipment, on four-wheelers and tractors; makes dirt bike tracks in his sand box; despises nasty looks from his sister and loves to wrestle.  He loves sports.  Tee-ball and soccer are his current sports.  He's a fantastic driver and learned to ride his bike without training wheels this past summer.

He's very precise and somewhat-of-a-perfectionist.  As a baby, he was a biter and impatient.  While he's still young and impatient, he never seems satisfied with what he has, always wanting more.  I hope one day he will be content and every chance I get, I remind him to be thankful for what he has.  He is generous though, donating old toys and things that don't hold his interest without a second thought.  Most of the time, he thinks he knows the best way of doing things, but he is open to suggestions if and when he fails.  It's been exciting to see him grow and change.  I anticipate him developing into a strong, determined, passionate young man full of hopes and dreams, relying on God.  And I pray that his cup runneth over.  I wish to encourage, nurture, inspire and guide him.

~Happy Birthday tiny man!~


*And also, a very Happy Birthday to cousin, C.A.!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure 2011

Thursday morning, we hopped on the train bound for D.C.  The All-Crew Meeting was held here again...

Thursday night, we stayed at the Hotel Rouge, just like last year.  The view from the seventh floor looked like this...

Even though I love living in the country, I have an appreciation for the city. Amongst all the rushing, angry people, you can always find kind souls and beautiful architecture.   At the metro, we made friends with a couple of 3-Dayers who were also staying at the Rouge.  Shortly after arriving at the hotel, we called them and met for dinner.  Feeling like kindred souls, we walked the streets and did some sight-seeing, also known as "we got lost".

I had a long, tiring weekend, camping in the mud and waking before the crack of dawn, my muscles ache and I'm exhausted, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.  Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure is something I look forward to every year, eagerness courses through my veins.  The excitement never goes away and while I don't know that I'll ever walk it again, thanks to the blisters I get after 5 or 6 miles (even though I toy with the idea from time to time) - I will Crew.

We took the lemons we were dealt and made lemonade.  I was thankful for the rain pants and muck boots I packed at the last minute on Thursday morning, they were worth their weight in gold!  I put away my camera for the rest of the weekend, wishing I'd brought my "big" camera instead.  The sights were all pleasantly familiar and I was happy to be living amid the world of pink.  This year, I was part of the awesome Food Services team where I made new friends, exchanged info and made plans for next year.  I thoroughly enjoyed my dreary, dismal weekend of rain.  The sun shown through, we laughed and joked, we had the best of times.

I was thrilled to see some "new" friends from last year.  Since mom and I weren't on the same team, I planned on joining Mr. J for breakfast every morning, but due to a wedding, they weren't able to be there this year.  They were at closing ceremonies, which was good enough for me.  And we planned to meet for dinner and catch up.  For real this time.

Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure is about finding a cure for breast cancer, but it's also about camaraderie, friends who become family, people supporting one another in love.  Everyone uniting for a cause, everyone sharing pain and adoration, tears and smiles.  No one wants to see others suffer, so we weather the storm together.  A love for fellow mankind.  1 Thessalonians 3:12 reads, "May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else..."  Love is definitely abundant at the 3-Day.

While reading the introduction to 1 Thessalonians, I found this..."In the third century, St. Cyprian wrote to a friend named Donatus:  This seems a cheerful world, Donatus, when I view it from this fair garden under the shadow of these vines.  But if I climbed some great mountain and looked out over the wide lands, you know very well what I would see; brigands on the high road, pirates on the seas, in the amphitheaters men murdered to please the applauding crowds, under all roofs misery and selfishness.  It really is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world.

Yet, in the midst of it, I have found a quiet and holy people.  They have discovered a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of this sinful life.  They are despised and persecuted, but they care not.  They have overcome the world..."

While it's not exactly a quiet place ~in fact, it's extremely loud~ the 3-Day for the Cure is full of love and kindness.  And I was ecstatic and honored to have spent my weekend there.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturdays mean soccer again

Yes, it's that time again.

The man had his first game today.  He pulled his usual line, "Mommy, I'm too shy."

Then, things got fun with a few drills..."Simon says, put your belly on the ball."

The ref worked on getting the sidelines revved up.

And I would've given anything to hear this conversation...

Our team played hard.

With no shortage of cute faces.

And fun had by all.

With K, we are now 3 games in.  With a 1-2 record. 

She came off the field feeling frustrated today. I completely understand. Once upon a time, I played sports. 

It's just as aggravating, if not more, when you're a spectator, sitting along the sidelines.

Friday, September 16, 2011

faith for thought

Tonight, we had dinner out with PopPop. It was nice. We talked about life. The present, the future, things now and things to come. Decisions, opportunities, pros, cons. Adventure, excitement, fears and unknowns. I don't know what is to come, but I have faith in my God and in our family. You lead and I shall follow. We are all in this. The current ratio is 2:1. Some opinions have not been clearly expressed and so, our total population is not accounted for. But, I stand ready, I stand waiting to be cued. Is this the time for change?

With so much on our minds, I turned to my study journal to read through all that we have learned about Sarah and Abraham. Our faith has been tested, but now, will we put our trust in the Lord and take a leap of faith? "Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! " ~Isaiah 30:18. Maybe the Lord just might be trying to show us some graciousness? Is it that we've learned, we've become more than we ever dreamt? Is it that now, He wants to put all of that to the ultimate test? While our minds full with questions, guilts, and shortcomings it is He who says, "Be still, and know that I am God!..." ~Psalm 46:10. And to that, I reply, "For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me." ~Psalm 31:3.

Romans 4:20 says, "He never doubted that God would keep his promise, and he never stopped believing. He grew stronger in his faith and gave praise to God." This verse refers to God's promise to Abraham that he would have have children, too many to count. To me, this verse simply says, if you have faith in Me, I promise to provide, to pour out my blessings upon you and my faith has been unwavering and He has delivered on His promises. I am now seeking His direction and asking that I would be bold and courageous in following.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


A cold front is coming through this weekend.  It introduced itself with a little rain this afternoon.  Then, against blaze oranges and pinks, it looked like the sky was opening up.  Literally.

Knowing time was of the essence, I ran across the road to try and catch a few more before it was gone.

And then, it looked like Zorro had written his "Z" in the sky, just backwards.

On the short walk back, it was a simple outside light on the corner of the ruritan house.  It caught my eye and pulled me closer, I expected the bulb to be a plain ol' flood light, but it wasn't.  It was this interesting large, clear oval that drew me like a moth to a flame.  I admired this huge light bulb that to my surprise, when photographed, was green.  Oh, the simple things.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

we took a walk

Possibilities abound.
Options emerge.
It called for fresh air.

Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes,
and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.
A few of those days and you can become drunk
with the belief that all's right with the world.
~Ada Louise Huxtable

"How sweet I roamed from field to field,
and tasted all the summer's pride."
~William Blake

I know it's coming.
Fall is just around the corner.
I'll welcome it with
campfires, smores, and hot chocolate,
the feel of fleece, sweat shirts and jeans,
chili and cornbread,
hot tea and sweet spiced cider,
cozy blankets and books,
clam chowder and pumpkin pie,
the smell of autumn trees and changing leaves.

But until then, I will delight in the rays of the sun.

I woke her from her nap to join us.

Loved these little curlies.

The smell of open fields and fresh air was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Do you see a snake with his mouth open?

Monday, September 12, 2011

mr. potata head

I was visiting Beth in blog space tonight. I admire and adore her photography and love her personality.  With that being said, I'm glad I'm not the only person who photographs potatoes!    I laughed so hard when I read her post because it reminded me of this...

(now mine's no super cool potato, like her fingerling, just a regular Yukon gold but it's cute, right?)  It was 2005, my brother's birthday and maybe I was making a side or something, but I ran across this potato and with my very first digital camera took an awful close-up of the "face".  Do you see it?  Here look at this one where I traced it in red...

Some days, I wonder about I the only one who is this silly?  Then, I run into people like Beth and I know that I'm not alone in this world.  hee hee.  Not the only one taking pictures of potatoes.  At least I didn't dress mine up with legs.  hee hee hee.  Don't worry, I will next time!  Maybe I'll make some itty bitty clothes for it too!  Oh the possibilities!  Wow, too much fun on a Monday night.

Pirate birthday party prep

Our weekend was chock full of mad, crazy running from here to there, there to here and back again, but I'm not gonna elaborate on that.  What I did want to share was our birthday preparations for the man.  The 3-Day is quickly approaching so I'll be away that weekend, and I'm starting to feel like it's crunch time.  In past years, we have done plain and simple ol' "family parties" with mainly just grandparents.  (And with K, it never fails that she always wants to have a sleepover, and that's easy too.)  This year, we're doing an all out kids pirate party!

Invitations are being mailed...

I always have handy some blank postcards that I use with "The Print Shop" software and I love getting free fonts to go along with the occasions.  Lastly, I found a catchy pirate-themed birthday poem.

I brainstormed the pirate bean bag toss idea when I saw this one from Sew Woodsy.   We had a perfectly square piece of plywood laying around that I spray painted white.  Then, I free handed the pirate face from some clip art I found on Google images and we all did a little painting on him.  The bean bags, I sewed using some scraps, then filled them with dried corn from our garden.  Now, I just need to put the finishing touches on him, cut out his mouth, and sew some more bean bags...

You can't have a pirate party without some fishing!  I bought 3/8"x48" wooden dowels at Lowe's, sawed them in half; sewed up some fish using fabric scraps, felt, and magnets (also found at Lowe's).  With the help of painter's tape, I spray painted the rod "handle" black and used a drill to make a hole through the top of the dowel where I inserted the string.  I attached a nut on the other end of the string to "hook" the fish.  And voila! you have fishing poles and fish for little people!

My plans for dinner ~ halved hot dog pirate ships with toothpick pirate flags, an applesauce island, and vicious piranhas swimming on a sea of blue plate are crumbling to the ground as the man wants to have his favorite - pancakes and sausage.

So, instead of sulking and persuading, I'm gonna take some other ideas and run with them.  Sorry, they're a little difficult to explain without visuals, so some other time.  I'll try to keep you posted as we get closer to party day!