Saturday, May 29

*can you relate?

My head is in so many places....

Traveling to North Carolina Mountains to sit with my best friend on her porch gazing at the undulating foot hills. Just being beside each other. Joyful laughing a bit here and there. Talking. Listening. Being. Farting. (did I just write that?)

Traveling to Florida to look at a few pieces of land, potential land for our home site.

Traveling to Georgia to visit my father who is having surgery this week...

Being here so Eric's parents, who hasn't been able to visit in TWO years, can leisurely travel here to visit when they wish to do so.

All of these things and MORE I must lay before the Lord.
I know you all can relate. We all have our own lives, our own set of cares and concerns.

Friday, May 28

*the real American Idol's

Memorial Day, not just a weekend for cooking out and enjoying the beginning of the lazy summer days that await us.  May each of us remember the sacrifices that each valiant service member has given on their oath to protect and defend the very freedom that each of us enjoy as Americans.  Our way of living as we know it has been shaped and formed from the days of the founding fathers through men and women who put themselves in harms way in order to protect those very things. 

I am married to a soldier, I live in a fairly large military community and I love it. I love that I live among some of the most selfless, brave and patriotic people. It is easy for me to remember to be grateful to God for the defending that is done through our servicemen and women - it is my way of life.

Remember the ones who laid down their lives for our freedom.  Remember those who serve today, leaving family behind, going to dangerous places, returning home with debilitating injuries, emotional and physical scars and time lost.  Remember them in your prayers regularly. I know you don't know them all individually and personally, but God does. If you want to be specific, find a unit and pray specifically for that unit. Pray for their families who are left back home to hold down the fort. Pray for the children who watch their mother and fathers go into battle. Give honor to the valiant servicemen.

Thursday, May 27

*junkyard wars?

Today was Henry's first day on summer break. It was a great day!   He slept late. Eric and I took him out to lunch today to celebrate the ending of his freshman year.  He got to choose the lunch spot, and he chose Smokey Bones - one of my favorites! When we got home from lunch he played a few games on X-box Live and then he headed out to create.

He has been talking about making a trebuchet for sometime now.  He has been given free use to any of the wood in our recently clean and organized garage since we are clearing things out for our move.  His design was not on paper with specific measurements, but rather in his head.  It is really cool to see the things he does out of his head and I sometimes wonder what refined piece he could make if he would slow down long enough to put it on paper working out all the tiny details.  Perhaps that will come with some more maturity!

These pieces of lumber were initially purchased about three years ago to do some repairs on our fireplace, but we ended up prolonging that repair.  Then we decided to add an addition on the back of our house so this lumber was no longer needed.  Henry has been looking at this wood for a long time. Now he finally gets to use it. 

I made dinner, but he didn't come. He asked if he could continue working. 

Here you see him digging through the back of "his" truck where we have recently loaded up some scrap metal from the garage which will soon take a trip to the local land fill.  He needed some weight to help tip the trebuchet and the boxes held some large heavy pieces that he could put to use! 

The sun has now gone down.. so he is making use of the flood lamps from the clean garage.

See that sweet smile? and the moon?

This little critter was benefiting from the effects of the flood lights, dinner was showing up in troves! 
The apple did not fall far from the tree.. that is my barefooted boy!

Tuesday, May 18


My beloved has taken two weeks leave time so we can tackle  "the list  in order to get our home ready for the real estate market late this summer.   The list is broken down by rooms and if you look closely on the page farthest from the camera, you will see we have marked two things off the list with the yellow highlighter.

We started buying our home fourteen years ago this month and even with regular maintenance and improvements we have a long list of repairs, upgrades and unfinished jobs to take care of before we put our home on the market.  We hope to put a dent in it over the next couple of weeks!

Monday, May 17

*fruit forthcoming

Gardening is something I come by honestly.  My parents have always had beautiful gardens that produce an abundance of goods. I would consider both my  mom and dad master gardeners and I am so grateful that I learned so much about gardening by their sides.   When I was a little girl, you could find me outside working with momma and daddy while you would find my older sister inside doing a jam up job completing the daily household chores.  Not much has changed.  She is still a great cleaner and I am a pretty good gardener.

Last year we did not have a garden. We thought we were moving earlier than we are, so we forwent the whole gardening thing.  We ended up traveling quite a bit last summer so it all worked out for the best. This year however, while we still did not know our move date, we tilled an area closer to the house and on the upper part of our property instead of our normal gardening spot. I am so glad we did.  As I linger in the small garden, pulling weeds and checking the plants, I am realizing now just how much I missed the garden last year. 

These pictures were taken just yesterday afternoon when the plants had just gotten their evening watering. The plants, though slow going at first, are looking just beautiful.  Some of them when first put in the ground, wilted so heavily that parts of the plant dried up and fell off. I was so ready to pull the plant up... toss it aside and plant another in its place. But I did not do so, ONLY because my dear husband told me to just leave them and give them a little longer.  He was right, the tomato  plants are just gorgeous and a few of them have fruit already.   Last night we had a S T O R M.  The weather forecast had been predicting rain for days now, though it has not rained in weeks.  I think it all came at one time last night along with some very high winds.  As it was pouring down, Eric and I were at the windows looking as if we might be able to see in the dark whether our plants were being beat up by the hail or not.  Turns out the plants seems to have only taken little damage.  There are a few holes in the leaves on the squash plants and a few of the tomato plants were a bit blown over.. but not to the degree that one might think.  The storm was sure to decimate it all.

Do you ever feel this way in life, real life? Like the storm is so heavy that you are going to have such dints in your armor which make you wonder if your armor is any good at all anymore? Just like gardening and the things the plants have to endure - sometimes internal attacks then again sometimes external, we sometimes in life have to endure these things too.  Our attacks come from without and from within.  The gardener who has tended and waited and waited a bit more knows how much the growth of the garden is outside of his human hands. The sprouting of the tiny seeds, the elements, external conditions, the plant reaching maturity then blooming and bearing fruit.. these things and much else lie beyond the  work of the hands of the gardener.  But in His tender care, through the  every day life and what it brings, through the storm much fruit will be forthcoming if we can just hold on.

Sunday, May 16

* a sweet case

This week a dear friend gifted me with a sweet suit case from the mid 1950's.  This suit case is part of the 1950's Samsonite Streamline Luggage collection, of which we already own the larger one!   When Trish arrived this afternoon to deliver the treasure I was thrilled!!

Trish picked the suit case up from a yard sale this past weekend. I am sure it was looked at, glanced at and even looked over by many eyes on the day she bought it.  You see, not everyone can look at something and see the potential that lies below.   I think all of us are guilty of that at some point or another.  Not only in material things, but also in the fellow humans that are in "our" world.  I could hardly wait to get the cloths and cleaner ready to start uncovering the beauty that was laying just beyond the thick layer of dirt and grime that had been collected.

Since our home is currently in the preliminary packing mode, it is likely that this beautiful new addition will not find its place in our decor until we move. For now it sits near the Amish rocker in our living room area.

 Just look.. can't you see the beauty just below...

I like the character that the dust and build up gives the suit case here as well as when I have finished cleaning it up. But now that I am looking at pictures I am not sure if I like it better cleaned up or a bit dirty! I think I am leaning more towards the oxidation that has taken place on the brass clutches and hardware.

Thanks Trish for knowing my likes, for thinking of me even when we don't connect as much as we might like to, and thanks for gifting me!

*time well spent

I can't think of much that brings me more joy and contentment in this world that we live in besides seeing my dear husband spending quality time with our sons.  Is this not the heart of a mother!?
Eric has always enjoyed bow hunting; well I shouldn't really say bow hunting because he has not really been in a position to hunt much for years.  He has had numerous bows over the years and has always enjoyed the sport of archery. Likewise our boys have both had bows through the years...

Henry and Robby about 3 years ago with their bows

Henry had gotten a new bow for his birthday, and Robby had recently gotten his dads because Eric finally got a Matthews bow that he had been looking at for some time.  Both of our boys have pretty good aims and enjoyed spending time together shooting their bows. 

But today..
Henry was releasing arrows alongside his dad and he was thrilled! These are the moments that I cherish, moments when our kids are getting tips on aiming, pulling back, releasing etc..  It is only when time is spent that things can be passed on or taught. It is the desire of a mother's heart, and today I felt full! 
 Frayja and I sat back and took it all in, well she spent most of her time trying to alarm any of our cats that were nearby. 

Monday, May 10

*twenty-one years old you are

There is this young woman that I know who used to be like a fuzzy wuzzy caterpillar waiting in her cocoon to blossom to the beautiful young lady that God has called her to be. With fear and trepidation she waited, she was eager but really longing at the same time to stay  in that stage a little longer. Not sure that she was able to do what was set before her she would move slowly, sort of waiting for the "holy 2 X 4 to hit her in the head" to make sure it was God that was leading her along the way.

The very sweet thing is.. God is good, He used every minute of every step that she made forward to every minute of every step that she made back to shape and form her into the young woman she is today. I am so proud to call her my adopted daughter- Sarah Belle. Sarah turns twenty-one today. I know that her mother is very proud of the young woman she has become, the young woman that God has shaped and is still shaping her for the doing of  great exploits that He lays before her.  

                                                                        Me and Sarah approx 20 years ago..

I have the privilege of knowing Sarah and her family on a very personal level since she was a baby, but you may not.  Sarah is a musician, a writer, a song writer, great friend,  and so much more. You can read her blog, Daughter of The King, which reveals her heart on so many different levels.

Happy Birthday Daughter of the Most High!

*most memorable vacation blunder

According to Wikipedia a blunder is a particularly bad mistake.  I was recently reading my Real Simple magazine and came across an article that told of people's most memorable vacation blunders.  It caught my eye, because up until just a few years ago, we had never had a memorable vacation blunder.

In 2007 we planned our winter vacation to the Outer Banks while our two boys were still under our roof and living at home. It would be our last winter vacation with both of them living at home.  We had a great time visiting Manteo Island, Roanoke Island and the surrounding areas.  Our stay was really relaxing at the condo that we booked months prior to our trip.  These vacation condos are the only way to go when you are planning a week long trip.  For us it makes the vacation more enjoyable with access to a full kitchen separate bedrooms and baths as well as a washer and dryer. 

While we were relaxing on our last night of our vacation, I decided to go ahead and do some of our laundry so we would not have that to do when we got home.  As the guys hung out playing some board games, I washed, dried and folded our laundry.  The remaining dirty laundry was bagged up into a large garbage bag that we brought along for the kitchen.  The next morning when we were getting ready to leave for our drive home, we packed the car, took the trash out and went to turn the keys in at the rental office.  It was only when we were almost home that we realized that the bag with our dirty clothes, some of which were new had also been thrown in the dumpster as garbage. The bag had been mistaken as the garbage along with the real garbage from our stay.

Our 2007 winter vacation is firmly etched into our memories. We had a really sweet time together just being.  We enjoyed visiting the Weeping Radish, Manteo Island Shoppes, Wrights Brothers Memorial, Elizabethan Gardens, the aquarium and dinning out on some delicious fresh seafood. Because of our memories of the Outer Banks, we no longer put dirty or clean clothes into garbage bags. 

Can you top this vacation blunder?

*saving worms and loosing weight

If you have known me for any length of time, you know I have never found enjoyment in exercise. For years I have reminded myself of that very fact, often enough that I have not committed to a exercise regime.Weight has always been an issue for me, not a huge issue but an issue nonetheless.  My oldest and dearest son, Robby, would always try to encourage me to "Just DO IT".  He would say, "It doesn't matter that you do not like to do it, just get it done."  He, unfortunately had to listen to me complain about my discontentment with my weight for years so he tried to encourage me when he could.

I am finally JUST DOING IT and finally enjoying it!  A little over a month now I have been walking at least two miles a day with a dear friend and on some days four miles.  We have both found ourselves physically at a place which we wish to no longer be at.  I have prayed for God to change my attitude towards exercise, towards the way I view food and of course, He is faithful.  I am relearning to eat to live instead of living to eat. While I have my weak spots, I am starting to think before I eat - will I use this energy that I am considering consuming?  It has helped me make profitable choices in my habits.

One day early on in the beginning of this new lifestyle, Trina arrived and it was sprinkling steady. We decided to walk our two miles anyway. We walk, jog a bit, talk and save earth worms that have made it out of the lawns and into the streets when the tempting rain is coming down.  I am so glad we walked on this day. It helps me to push through, instead of making an excuse as to why I cannot walk. (I do own a nice elliptical machine as well.. so I really have NO excuse)

I do not do "diets" very well at all. In fact, I pretty much stink when I "diet". I don't take the weight off.. I am food focused.. and I am miserable.  On the contrary, I have lost almost 10 pounds in a little over a month and I am doing it by being active - energy expending focused.  I have tried to get myself motivated for years, it was just my time and for that I am grateful to God. To Him be the Glory!

Saturday, May 8

*2010 12-N-12 April Beauties!

So here we are .. four months into the challenge! You ladies rock and I love looking at each one of the expressions of art that you create!  I have been working to complete some projects that had been in the works.. but found that I did complete two new tops in the last few months. These are now hanging on the PIP's (projects in progress) rack. How about you?

Check out the latest completed projects for the month of April 2010:

One of our featured quilters, Jenny, who is having a blast in the Keys as I write this up completed a number of wonderful projects this month, one of which was this quilt for her daughter. Check out Jenny's craft blog to see what else she has been up to. I love the receiving blankets she made for some babies in her life! But to stay focused.. this is her completed quilt for April.   The quilt is ALMOST as cute as her little girl! What sweet delightful quilt for her to snuggle in while watching movies or snuggling in for the night!

Another one of our featured quilters, Nicole, is expecting her first granddaughter this summer. Surely this child will have a quilt for every month of the year-- January will be winter themed, February will likely have hearts that will be themed around Valentines Day, March will be.. well you get the idea!  On to her granddaughters completed quilt.  Awe.. I am seeing a that Nicole and Jenny both chose long strips to make these!  I love the look of these quilts! Beautiful.

 I completed this quilt for my sister in early April. This started out as a turning twenty quilt which was double this size. I ended up needing a lap size quilt to give as a gift last year so I simply split the quilt in half to make two quilts from the one. Instead of a queen size.. I ended up with two twin sized or double toppers!  The fabrics I chose to use in this quilt are mostly the Shangri-La by Three Sisters for Moda.

I know that Franziska, Robyn, Sharon and Cheryl are all working their fingers to the bones.. or at least living life out which may sometimes get in the way of quilting. LOL.  Next month for each submission that is made your name will be entered into a quilting gift drawing!  You will be the lucky winner of a cool tool and some great fats! Until next month, keep that pedal to going!