Sunday, December 27, 2009

More Christmas Thoughts

Wow - what a great Christmas we enjoyed.    Those of you who know us and who read this blog know that the past couple of Christmases were very emotional and somewhat difficult.  We missed our missionary son very much, and our daughter had had some pretty severe challenges. 

This year, both kids were home, happy and healthy.  Such blessings.

But going back to my previous post about traditions, I'll give you an update.  Ironically, B came home from college and said, "hey!  Where are those little stockings that hang up to countdown to Christmas?" And, "Wow - we didn't even do one of those cardboard chocolate countdown thingies"!  After I picked myself off the floor, I was happy to know that he had a memory of those and that they DID matter.  I just may put them back up next year.  We even led the old hubby to realize that, as many of you pointed out to me, it's okay for traditions to change.

A few traditions that will stay:

New Christmas jammies - I know many people have this one.  I got them every Christmas during my years at home with parents on Christmas Eve.  Mom would only let me open ONE present then, and of course it always happened to be jammies, and she would say, "Oh, my goodness!  Christmas jammies!  What a surprise!"   I have continued the same reaction with my kids ever since they were little.  This year we opted for ones that were not matching.  They show our individuality - love them. 

Puff Pancakes - this started with Hubby's family.  We love them on Christmas morning.

There are of course more, but those are worth mentioning here. 

A couple of new ones:

We decided at the last minute that we wanted to just enjoy being the four of us on Christmas Day.  I hadn't planned ahead, so I  had no Christmas dinner food.  So we of COURSE opted for Chinese food, playing off another tradition of watching "The Christmas Story".  Yum!

Hubby was given the gift of tickets to a local dinner theater for the whole family to enjoy a delicious buffet and the production of "White Christmas".   We attended the day after Christmas. It was so very enjoyable.

I don't actually know if those will become actual traditions, but they both made for great memories.

What might change:

As I wrote in that same previous post linked above, for about 12 years, we have had what we affectionately call our Christmas Eve "Misfit" party.  (NO offense to any of you who have attended!!).   We consider ourselves east coast misfits - we have no family living anywhere near us.  This party tradition came about for two reasons - one, when our children were little,  we wanted to be with someone on Christmas Eve to help us all  not be quite so lonely and to not miss our extended family so much.  And two, we had a large amount of "transplants" in our ward who were in our area without family.  We didn't want them to be lonely and sad at Christmastime.  So, we started the first year with about 20 people or so, and some years it ballooned into close to 50.  Yes, 50.  This became our Christmas service to many around us.   We also felt the blessing of being with them - they blessed us back!  Many of you who read this blog have attended.  These moments helped to bond us all together as family, even if it was just for one evening.

Now that our children are older, it doesn't have the same feel any more.  Our family is changing, and so are those families of close friends who have attended every year since the beginning.   While we enjoyed the evening very much every year and this year as well, perhaps this tradition will also become a memory.  I will, however, be worrying about those children who don't know Christmas Eve any differently other than coming to our home to be a msifit, too.

We'll just have to WAIT a little while and see.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Changes

Should family Christmas traditions change?  I'm not sure, but I think some of ours are changing without my permission.  How does that happen?

I love advent count-downs to Christmas.  One of my favorites is made from little stockings with stars and numbers.  I made it with lots of love and care for my little ones about 13 years ago.  Each year I carefully chose the candies to go in each stocking, and when they came home from school, we would all take fun moments together to peer inside and get our treat for the day.  Well, for the 4th year leading up to Christmas, B is not even here (do 21- year- olds care about such things anyway?).  L didn't care if it was up or not.  Hubby wasn't a bit sad about it not being included this year.  We always buy one of those cheesy chocolate count-down things you can find at the party store.  Didn't buy one this year.

Every year we go to the Messiah Sing Along.  It has always been a birthday gift to Hubby.  It is his all-time favorite family thing to do.  We actually started attending years ago before our children were born.  L didn't want to go - adamantly did NOT want to go.  Do you make a 17 year old go?  We didn't-oh, and she had a REALLY bad headache on the day of the performance.  Hmm.... Hubby was very sad about all of that, and so was I.  I tried to be brave and assure him that things change and it's ok-but I wasn't really feelin' it.

We have lived away from family our entire married lives.  About 10 oir 12 years ago, we began having a big Christmas Eve party,  welcoming those around us who also would be spending the holidays without family.  It became our yearly service to others, our tradition--our way of not missing family so much.  This year, even that changes.  One of the families that has joined us every year since the beginning will not be attending.  Their family has changed - grandbabies have come along and daughters-in-law have "say".  While I completely understand, it causes us sadness.

The party will continue this year, at least for one more time.

This weekend as I started putting up the decorations, and as I began preparing for decorating the tree tonight, I wondered why in the world I go to so much work?  It's not magical anymore as it once was.  When grandchildren do come along some day, they probably won't live near us.  Cue the violins....The pity party has begun.

As I begin entering this new phase of life, I don't really like it too much right now.  I have to search for new ways to cherish this time of year.  I don't know how to do that.  I must be really shallow.

Guess I'll have to WAIT a little while.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Follow the Prophet? Really?

This site brings new meaning to the phrase, "Follow the Prophet".  For my non-LDS readers, we believe that our prophet is truly God's prophet on earth, just as in ancient times.  We believe it is important to follow his example and his teachings because he received them directly from our Heavenly Father.

Well, NOW we can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, with an RSS feed, etc.  How ingenious is that?  What a wonderful idea.  I saw this pop up from some page I have on my Facebook page.  I was number 74 or something.  It just started 45 minutes ago.  It will be amazing to watch it grow.

I bet his grandkids are loving this!  What a techy Granddad!

I will follow him.   Will you?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sticky Stuff

How cool is this website?


Looks like the sky is the limit with these things.  Dang, why didn't I think of that? 

Who wants one for Christmas??

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Surprise Box Part II

Some of you will remember this post about a surprise box.  Oh my goodness - I got ANOTHER ONE today!  Out of the blue.   Into greens, reds, yellows, blacks, oranges, glitters, sparkles and embellishments.   I was so shocked and thrilled.

Our friend, Kent, is still the king at GCD Studios. Apprently he still remembers little old me.  What fun this will be!

 Les is in LOVE with this line.  A Perfect Match.

Check out GCD Studios and their blog with lots of ideas about how to use all of their products.
Guess I better get some scrapbookin' done!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Little Thanks

Thanks to sweet Erin who made my new little header.  I love it!  Now I gotta make the rest of the  blog look good enough to match it!

You'll all have to wait....gotta go to bed.


My nephew's wife is an amazing seamstress!  Check her out here at  Modest Maven.  Jodi can sew anything.   I love her apron tutorial, and the Sally Costume is to DDDDIIIEEE for. 

We love you Jodi an wish we could SEE you more!!  This will have to do.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Costumers are Here

Gone are the days of teaching school and decorating my classroom full of goblins, spiders, jack- o- lanterns and eery creatures.  Can public school teachers even whisper the words, "Happy Halloween" anymore?  Craziness - that was back in the 80s when that wasn't such a horrible, evil thing.

Also in the past are days and days of planning and prepping for my kids' costumes. Many times I sewed their costumes - until B was about 11 and L can't remember.  Oh wait - that is because I still SEW them for her!!  We have skipped a year or two, but she loves the homemade ones still - I am grateful for that, even though I procrastinate and then stress out.  Why do moms do that?  You'd think that now that I am FIFTY I would have figured that out.
  Alas, I have not.
This year we did plan ahead since she wanted us to go to the Renaissance Festival.  Here is L in her 17- year -old Fairy Sweet and Innocence:
  And then, on All Hallows Eve, she changed her mind.....hmm......those brainy brain cells got to thinking and planning and thinking and planning.  I said, "OH no - I have already made ONE costume for you this year, you are on your own now!"

And she came up with this:

Clever girl!   She enjoyed sitting on the porch with her dad freaking out young and old.  Goulish Girly fun. And then, her HULK of a bud came over and freaked us out.  Not that he was goulish -
 he was Bill Clinton.

You know, that hulk of a president?  What a riot. Two goofs goofing.  Perfect. 

My heart was full of jack-o-lantern joy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hair Today, Snob Tomorrow

 Since the 1970s, I have been a hair cut snob.  That's when my brother married his first wife, who was an amazing hair stylist.  It was wonderful to be 15 and have your own personal "cosmetologist", as we called it back then.   She started me on the "Dorothy Hamill" look.   Oh my gosh - loved it loved it loved it.  In fact, I think nearly every hair cut I have had since then has been some variation of that. Do NOT, however, put me in the category of women in their 40s and 50s who still wear Farrah Fawcett Wings. 

NEVER had them, and I seriously die when I see them today.

Ok wait - I think I did have those bangs for a year or two, but that was IN the 70s, not in the 90s or the 00s.  Geesh.

That sister in law spoiled me.  I have been a snob ever since.  Every time I move to a new location, I am very nervous until I find that hair stylist - the one who gets me and gets my hair.  Living in South Korea brought on the biggest challenge ever!   I stooped so low as to grow it out and get a......stacked perm.  Yes I did!  It was 1991 - didn't know any better.  Before moving back to the USA, I did chop it off again for a bit.  Other challenges have included various hair stylists from church - usually ones that I knew would move away after hubbies' grad schools.  I couldn't even take a chance on getting attached to them, for they would leave me...stranded and alone.

 I have lived in this town for 13 years now and I have gone through 4 stylists and I am now on #5.   I have found her!  I LOVE JULIE!  There, I said it.  She gave me the most perfect hair cut since about 20 years ago.  I am in heaven.  And looks a little Dorothy Hamill-ish.  But, it is NOT Farrah-ish at all.

Don't EVEN wait for that - it will never happen.

Apologies to my nieces who do hair - if I lived close to you, I promise I would go to you!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The O's Have it - Or Do They?

While I recently posted Elder Dallin H. Oaks' speech at BYU Idaho, I am not sure how many of you have seen the following, which I received from my son who attends that school:

Worst Person in the World

So, for those out there who perhaps think that Glenn Beck is a bit extreme in his treatment of Prez O and what is going on with the WH, just think about that a little bit. You may be reading this and not be LDS. So, I'll clarify a bit:

1. Olbermann didn't even get the name of the church correct, which proves the ignorance of his staff as well as his own. I can understand him picking on Glenn Beck, but isn't he talking out of both sides of his mouth when he is as hateful as they come?

2.  Doesn't the mere fact that he is bashing our religious beliefs prove some of Elder Oaks' talk, that religious beliefs are in peril?  Elder Oaks said, "A writer for The Christian Science Monitor predicts that the coming century will be “very secular and religiously antagonistic,” with intolerance of Christianity “ris[ing] to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes".

3.  Because of people like Olbermann, and because of many current government actions being taken that I fear and I disagree with , I am feeling quite challenged by this statement by Elder Oaks in this same speech (which Olbermann obviously did NOT hear nor read):

First, we must speak with love, always showing patience, understanding and compassion toward our adversaries. We are under command to love our neighbor (Luke 10:27), to forgive all men (Doctrine and Covenants 64:10), to do good to them who despitefully use us (Matthew 5:44) and to conduct our teaching in mildness and meekness (Doctrine and Covenants 38:41).

Ok, so I know what I need to work on....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Down on the Reader

I have a love/hate relationship with Google Reader. When I first began my blog stalking about three years or so ago, I thought that THAT was my answer to all my problems!  What time I would save!  I would never miss another post again nor waste time hopping from blog to blog on a never-ending trail of discovery!!

Well, I currently have about 407 posts that I am behind on in my Google Reader.  No, really.  I follow many blogs that are about home decorating, creating, sewing, politics, etc. and every time I go out of town I get behind.  I have not been out of town now for about.....3 months.  Yet, I am still behind.   And, I have friends and family members whose blogs are private, and those don't show up in Google Reader.  So, I forget to check their blogs.  Sorry, private people - I am just one woman. 

With Google Reader I don't "go" to people's blogs as often.  I just read what they wrote.  But I am missing out on SOOO much that way!  I mean, how many of us fret over how cute our blog looks?  Are the colors right?  How primitive does my header look?  Ugh - I hate mine right now, but oh well.  With Google Reader, we miss the beauty of the blog.

So, if I have 407 blog posts that I am behind on reading, should I really have THAT many blogs that I subscribe to?  Or, does it show that I am really using my time efficiently by not just sitting down and reading them all?  Good questions, I say. 

I now make a pact with my fellow sister bloggers that I will come to your blog, not just read what you wrote, as often as I can.  It's only fair - we gotta unite where we can.  I also think it is time to weed out the weeds in my Google Reader.  Too much fluff. 

I think I will also write to Google Reader with my simple solution.  The Reader needs to also show the blog designs, colors, and gadgets when it feeds in, right?  Don't you think?  Perfect.

Will they listen to me?  Well, they SHOULD.  I am 50 now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

THINGS They are a Changing

Ever need a change?  I do.  My Blog does.  I will be revamping the whole thing very soon.  A different focus and a different look.  Heck - I think I will even go "searchable" in the search engines.  So, if you read this blog because I have a million links to OTHER blogs on it, take note of them and save them somewhere because they will soon be gone.
Ohhh I am sure you are so excited!!  It's getting there...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Elder Oaks at Y-daho

A most significant talk was given yesterday at BYU Idaho.   Brian was in attendance.  Elder Dallin H. Oaks, apostle of the LDS Church, spoke about Religious Freedom and the Constitution.  While I already posted it on my OTHER blog, I felt the need to post it as well here.  I studied this this morning and feel its deep meaning to our world right now.  There are SO many significant passages, a few which I have highlighted below.  Do NOT let that dissuade you from reading it in its entirety.  It is prophetic and I believe matters now more than ever before.   Why else would he say these things?  He doesn't mess around, ya know?
Elder Oaks:
I invite you to march with me as I speak about religious freedom under the United States Constitution. There is a battle over the meaning of that freedom. The contest is of eternal importance, and it is your generation that must understand the issues and make the efforts to prevail. 
Along with many other religious people, we affirm that God is the ultimate source of power and that, under Him, it is the people’s inherent right to decide their form of government. Sovereign power is not inherent in a state or nation just because its leaders have the power that comes from force of arms. And sovereign power does not come from the divine right of a king, who grants his subjects such power as he pleases or is forced to concede, as in Magna Carta. As the preamble to our constitution states: “We the People of the United States . . . do ordain and establish this Constitution.”  
The inherent conflict between the precious religious freedom of the people and the legitimate regulatory responsibilities of the government is the central issue of religious freedom. Here are just a few examples of current controversial public issues that involve this conflict: laws governing marriage and adoption; laws regulating the activities of church-related organizations like BYU-Idaho in furtherance of their religious missions — activities such as who they will serve or employ; and laws prohibiting discrimination in employment or work conditions against persons with unpopular religious beliefs or practices. 
As I address this audience of young adults, I invite your careful attention to what I say on these subjects, because I am describing conditions you will face and challenges you must confront.
And now, in conclusion, I offer five points of counsel on how Latter-day Saints should conduct themselves to enhance religious freedom in this period of turmoil and challenge. 
I"m not putting those 5 points here - go and read the article!  
This address is important on every level.  I beleive each Latter-Day Saint should study it out and pray about its significance.  I hope my friends and family now see why I am so passionate about what is going on in our country right now.  It is written all over this article.  
I consider it a sacred privelege to be a mom of two warriors who will fight in the causes that Elder Oaks addresses.  I am sure that you feel the same about yours.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Safety and Peace

I came across this quote today while reading ahead (shocking, I know) to be prepared for our Sunday School lesson this week.  I like to include that in my scripture study --- when I remember to include it. Ha. Those of us who are LDS believe in living prophets who guide church members through inspiration and communication with God.  I love this quote by President Harold B. Lee, a president and prophet of the church during some years in the 60s and part of the 70s:

“The only safety we have as members of this church is to do exactly what the Lord said to the Church in that day when the Church was organized … There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against you’".

Timely.Powerful. True.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Two Things

ONE thing:  I already posted this on my other blog, but I am also adding it here because not everyone HERE reads that one THERE.  

I have many friends who wonder what they can do in their busy busy lives to support things that are good and true for their families.  Here is a possible way.  Check it out.  Join.  Stay connected.

I repeat AGAIN that these are times when it doesn't matter who you voted for in the last Presidential election.  What matters now is the future and your children and mine, and our grandchildren.  Maybe you don't think anything wrong is going on.  Maybe you never watch the news.  Maybe you like socialism.  Maybe you really aren't sure right now.  The point is that you love your family and want what is best for them.  So, don't get caught up in who says what about whom - just unite with others who want this to be a wonderful and free country again.  Period.

Here is the link:  

SECOND thing:

I bought a Blackberry recently.  I KNOW!  Shocking.  I never thought I would be using one.   NEVER.  I am starting to like it.  I like it even more now since I found a cool site and downloaded the Blue Daisy App.  Love it.  So fun and girly-ish.  AND, it matches my blue SKIN - I know, I am so hip and happenin'.  I thought the font was quite small ( you know, my 50 year old hip and happenin' eyes and all....)  so I emailed the business owner to see if maybe I just didn't know how to make it bigger.  Well, SHE fixed the problem over night - for free.  I told her I would spread the word about her website, so I am!

Check her out here.  Love her. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Something about September

I love September.  Fall is my favorite – too bad it is not my body’s favorite.  In the last few years the seasonal changes are toxic to me.  I can’t breathe well, therefore, I can’t really enjoy much of anything inside or outside.  At least I can see the Fall colors through the windows when they start to change.

The last three Septembers have not been the best for me.  Three years ago, my son left for college – that was SOO tough, and I was soo sick (almost hospitalized, not just sick in the head)!  Two years ago, having a missionary away was still new and difficult.  One year ago, Les was far away before it was her time to be far away. 

Okay, so now I am wondering why I still say that Fall is my Favorite!!

This one is different.  While my son is off to college after a brief stay at home after the mission, I am okay with him being where he is. It is his time.  His whole life is before him.  What a wonderful thing!  No one in our family is far away from home before his/her time. Things are good – if my asthmatic lungs will let me catch a breath, before it all changes, then that will be great.

Beyond that, I am trying to figure out:

~Who is there to hire to help with a good bit of water damage in the basement, which I just recently discovered.  Mold, mildew, smell.  Good times. I am not sure how that snuck by me unnoticed, and frankly, it is embarrassing.  And, it is certainly not helping my asthmatic airways.

~How do I parent a R.M. college son?  I have no idea. 

~I love technology – I bought the new Outlook 2007 so I could sync calendars with family, with myself on my Blackberry (NEVER ever thought I would have one of those, and I am not sure I love it yet – and what I really want is an Iphone…ha).  It is time-consuming to learn and today it keeps CRASHING on me.   I am thinking a paper calendar is much simpler.   Why can I not choose simple??

~There is so much work to be done to this 16-year-old home.  I don’t know where to start.  Hubby works too many long hours to be much help.  I am cheap and don’t want to spend money on it.  We should have done more sooner – thus the water damage.  That feels pretty stupid, too. 

~I am thinking of ending this blog.  My purposes in starting it have changed.  I have my new one, but not too many are reading  it yet…..WHAT?  No one wants to read about political thoughts and news stories?  Tsk Tsk.  Can’t sit around and watch it go on anymore. 

~And, what do I now do with Brian’s missionary blog?  I have already been downloading it for a Blurb Book.  Do I just make it private now or delete it?

I’d love ideas on any of the above.  I have now exposed myself to my insecurities, obsessions, and lack of motivation.  Don’t sue me.  I’m too cheap to pay for it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Unexpected Blessings from Unwelcomed Chaos

Brian left for Ydaho this morning.  Barely.  Barely made it.  NOT his fault.  I dutifully printed off his boarding pass yesterday, being the organized mom that I claim to be (notice I didn't say that I AM).   I have had it in my head for weeks that his flight was at 9:50.  However, it was not.  It was at 9 O' CLOCK!!! Unbelievable.

I decided to check the flight status this morning -you know, to make sure it was leaving on time.  I went into shock as I read the correct time over and over and over.  And OVER.   Richard left very early for work - he was not here to add to the craziness help.   Les was getting ready for school - she goes on auto-pilot and does a great job with that.  However - two concerns haunted me. 1 - with her Aspergers, she often does not adapt well to sudden chaos and can become very "disregulated" emotionally.  And 2 - one of her learning challenges causes her to have difficulty paying attention to the clock.  Realizing that she would have to do all that without my grand leadership, would she be ready for the bus and get to it on time?  Sound like excuses?  Nope - it's the reality of our lives.  
We sped through all the roundabouts (annoying), farm roads and freeways.   I swore under my breath at the people in my way.  Did I say "Swore"?  I called Rich at work and cried to asked him if he could leave work and go ahead of us to the airport - maybe see if he could pave the way with Southwest.  I had this grand illusion that if they were expecting Brian to be late, they might be ready to help us.  Brian had a lot of luggage - it would be tough for him to make it alone, and I wouldn't have time to park the care to assist him.  I felt SOOOO horrible.  

Richard made it.  He worked magic.   Martha at Southwest was a Queen.  I love you, Martha.  Leslie rose to the occasion, no feathers ruffled.   Brian made it through security without a hitch.  They boarded the flight a little late so he still had time.  Now if his luggage makes it on that flight....

My grown up son never got nasty with at me - he was frustrated, as he should be. He had every right to be yelling and screaming.  He never spoke in anger or got ruffled.  He offered encouraging words (and a little back-seat driving) all along the way.  

My 17 year old daughter proved me wrong yet again.  She did what needed to be done and showed me that she has grown in leaps and bounds. 

My husband dropped everything and came to our rescue.  He never got mad at me - only showed compassion for my frustration and my embarrassment, and for my tears.  I love him.
Blessings, blessings, blessings.  Heavenly Father is good.  I learned from this.

And now I need to take a nap and maybe eat a little chocolate - whew. 

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Good Times in Novice Gardening #7

It was CHRISTMAS in the GARDEN today! I obviously had delayed giving it some attention, and around every leaf I found hidden jewels.

Dang - not I gotta DO something with all this stuff!

It looks pretty sad and picked over now, even though there are numerous tomatoes and other things yet to ripen. I picked a weird zucchini - I thought it was a yellow squash, but found out too late that it was a HUGE yellow zucchini I think.... never got green, or maybe it still will? You experienced gardeners can weigh in on that one.

We really messed up with the trellis situation. Gotta fix that for next year. It has been a good year to learn!! I wish I had more flat land so I could have more boxes. Gotta ponder on that.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Missionary Mom Moments

Today as I stood in my returning missionary son’s bedroom, checking it over and over to see if it is now ready to welcome him out of his Spiritual World and back into “real life”, so many questions, memories, and emotions flooded my mind and heart.

Do his “civilian” shirts in the bulging closet still smell like his cologne? Will he still want those shoes? Is he going to be a NEAT FREAK now (….ha – fooling myself on that one)? Will he be thrilled to see his stack of dvds and cds and sports poster collection? How will his bed feel to him when he sleeps there again for the first night home? Will we stay up late at night learning all we can about the last two years of his life? How much older will we look to him? How much older will he look to us? Can he adjust to the changes his parents and sister have had to make because of the unexpected challenges thrown our way?
How long will he yearn for the people he has grown to love?
Is his testimony now solid enough to aid him in enduring what lies ahead?

Being a returned missionary myself, I know he will feel a little lost and alone for a while. When I came home after my mission, I couldn’t even pick out shoes for myself so I dragged my friend Michelle along with me to the mall. I was pretty depressed during my first semester back at BYU. I of course don’t want him to face that. Yet, it is likely that he will to some degree.
We have encouraged him at every opportunity to throw himself into “the work”, to give it everything he had. We carefully selected our words and our stories in our letters. We bore testimony and spoke of gratitude for his service, for we knew of the blessings that have come to our family because of his service. We paid close attention to details to be sure we were not adding to the possibility of “trunkiness”. With that comes the fact that coming home may be a lot harder to adjust to than if we had not been so careful with our words. Is that so bad? I don’t think so.
I would still choose it the same way. Still….I fret a bit.
As I stood in there today, the transformation from temporary storage room back to his bedroom nearly complete, I could not really define the feelings so close to the surface. Standing in there two years ago, all I felt was loss and sadness. How would I get through two years of walking by that room, a hundred times a day, without completely falling apart? Did I teach him ENOUGH? Of course I was thrilled that he had chosen to serve the Lord full-time in His army, but as a mother – my heart ached for my baby boy. It was a similar ache to what I felt when he left for his freshman year of college. Two years ago, though, I knew he would not come home as a college kid ever again, really.
Now he would be a man.
Only 9 days away from his return, I wonder where the time has gone, his room preserved as it had been for years. Does it now seem like he just left? In some ways, admittedly, yes, it does.
In MOST ways, it was a very long two years.
More questions took over my mind about his future - How will I let him leave us again in a few short weeks to return to school? Next time he comes home, will he have met his future eternal sweetheart? Once he leaves again, it won’t be the same – ever. He is a man now. He will be ready to start his own full life of excitement, challenge, love, money- managing and earning, difficulties, sadness, progress, and at times, triumph!

In spite of all those racing thoughts, I stopped to realize that truly, honestly, I am happier than I have been in months and months. And, what a blessing it is to always be his mom.

What will HE teach US now? I can’t wait to find out.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Spray Paint and Grown Up Furniture

So, I attempted a "make-over" this week on this ugly cabinet:

I shall treat this like all those decorator before and after bloggers.

Truth - We bought this small unfinished pine cabinet 13 years ago when we moved in this house. Yes, it has remained unfinished for that many years. Once again, fear of messing it up had taken over so I didn't try to do anything to it even though I bought stain, sandpaper, etc. TWICE. Yes, twice. Sigh. It has a sister armoire that remains unfinished and I am actually going to sell it. Anyone? Anyone?

The purpose of this cabinet was to hold the numerous Disney, church, and miscellaneous videos we collected when our big kids were little kids. Well, now those big kids have laptops and other electronics. So do Richard and I. Frankly, we both got sick of the cords all over the house charging this and that everywhere. I KNOW- yes, it bothered Hubby, too. Who knew? So, last Saturday, we spontaneously decided to re-do the cabinet and give it a new function in life. (again, as before in another post, I won't use that word "re-purpose" - bugs me). (Ha). (And, we don't do much at all spontaneously). Richard cut holes in the back of it first to see if our plan would really work.

I read and read over all the blogs that show the how-tos of spray painting furniture. I made my list and and went to town, came home and got started.

You'll get the REAL story here of how this stuff works.

Here is what I learned the
HARD way:

1. When the decorator bloggers say "sand a little", I realized that my "sand a little" is way less than theirs. I did not sand enough at ALL.

2. Pine is a different species - hard to cover. Didn't read that anywhere.

3. When they say Prime WELL, they mean prime REALLY WELL. I didn't get enough coverage with the primer spray so it took me 3,000 coats of the color to cover it. Ok, not quite that many, but more than it should have.

4. I look at their photos of how smooth and nice their stuff looks. Mine didn't turn out smooth or that nice. So, when you come to my house, don't look too close.

5. Although this didn't go as I had planned, it doesn't look half-bad.... from far away. If I decide to spray paint furniture again, I will be much better at it.
Part of me thinks I would rather just use a good ol brush and a bucket of paint.

Is that really THAT much more time-consuming than spray painting?

It's yellow - can you see that? It's up against my green accent wall -
I think it will look okay there.

6. Why is it that I can tell my kids and everyone else that "this is how we learn", and that they will learn from the experience even if it doesn't turn out perfectly, but I have a hard time with that myself?

7. Furniture grows up just like kids do, I suppose.

Better go call that therapist...
.time for a session.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pioneer Day Eve Update

Well, here is what happened with the Pioneer clothing. My good friend Diane loaned us this outfit: (WARNING - Pioneer outfit model should be treated as a hostile witness, your Honor).

Thank you, Diane!! The white blouse was one of the Goodwill Finds.

Below is the outfit I DID create. The hostile model chose yellow fabric in a non-hostile moment:

It all looks better in person. I also made pretty cool bloomers out of jammie bottoms. One pair looked like this - you know, for patriotic purposes:

The other pair I made had big yelllow chickies. LOVE them. Forgot to photograph them. Gotta be a little unconventional, you know?

Happy Pioneer Day - a little early.

(Ok, she wasn't really "hostile", she just wasn't too happy about wearing pioneer clothes for 4 days. Can't blame her for that.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

....and they sewed,. and sewed. and sewed.... AND sewed.

Aren't these lovely items of clothing?

"Old lady" clothes, you say? That's what Les said. Nope - these are pioneer outfits in the making.....seriously. L leaves in 4 DAYS for the stake's Pioneer Trek, and I have not started making her clothes yet. I decided to try something different and I am going to re-make these things from Goodwill into almost authentic pioneer clothes. I'll keep you posted. Hopefully Les will model for my photos.
Wish me luck!
PS- the bright-colored pink striped and flag covered items are jammie bottoms, which I was going to turn into unconventional bloomers. However, L hi-jacked the pink ones and so now I have to make another trip to Goodwill. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Good Times in Novice Gardening #6

Here is the latest garden news - well, it about doubled in size while we were away. The trellises are not strong enough - blew that. The squash and tomato plants are taking over all the squares. The lettuce peaked then, too, and a few friends enjoyed it for us! So glad it didn't just rot. So now I am trying to figure out how to get the trellises to stay up to hold the strong and heavy plants. We should have secured them better - now we know. Several things I planted by seed never came up. Maybe I didn't water them enough? Ideas?

Some of the produce! I ate squash and zucchini for dinner tonight. Yum.