The other day, a lady that has been not too shy about letting her dislike of us be known once again brought it to our attention. All I can say is: until you’ve walked in someone else’s shoes, you know absolutely nothing about their life; therefore, judgments should be left to the Man upstairs.
Everyone knows that my first child is graduating in the 2016-2017 school year. As any parent knows, milestones in our children’s lives can lead to a mix of emotions for the parent.
And I’m no different. I am feeling excitement and sadness and everything in between for the end of the school year when my son walks across the stage to receive is diploma.
My next-in-line 15 y/o son has reached another milestone in his life causing close to those same emotions flowing through me.
He attended his very first formal school dance, Snowball, as it is called where we live. This is a BIG deal to me, even though he says it’s not a big deal at all.
As much as it saddens me to see him growing up, it makes me just as happy. I am so proud of the wonderful young man he is turning into. He doesn’t give a lick about school, but he is so smart. He’s kind. He’s loving. He’s responsible – he’s held his first job for almost a year now! He’s got the biggest heart of almost anyone I know. He gives the best hugs! He’s got the most beautiful blue eyes and a wonderful smile. He doesn’t talk much, but he can always make me laugh. He doesn’t eat fruits or veggies — meat and potatoes kind of guy. He’s already making his mark on the world and I am blessed to call him my son.
His date for the Snowball dance is a beautiful little lady whom I adore. She’s a sweet girl who really cares for him. And that makes me happy. She and I have discussed the issue of fruits and veggies and between the two of us maybe, just maybe, we can get him to eat some 😉
I am one lucky momma ♥♥♥
Hey! How are you doing?
I know, it’s been so long since we last spoke!
Sure, we can grab coffee. There’s a place around the corner.
If we were having coffee right now, the first thing I’d say is it’s been too long.
If we were having coffee right now, I would ask about you and your family. I’d want to know all the details of how you are doing.
If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you about the kids and how well that are doing in school as well as how much they like the school they attend. I’d also tell you how excited we are that we are able to keep them in the Catholic school where they attend.
If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you about my day-to-day happenings with the girls that are still to young for school. We try to stay busy with projects around the house.
If we were having coffee right now, I would have to tell you about my most recent out of state trip. New Orleans! Since it’s been so long since we spoke, I’m sure you didn’t even know that I went.
If we were having coffee right now, I would talk to you about starting back to church and getting my life as a wife and mother back on track. It never really derailed, but it was headed in that direction. Thankfully, the Lord has shown me a better way.
If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you all about my oldest daughter’s diagnosis and what the doctors say about it in regard to what it is exactly and how to proceed in repairing it. I’d fill you in on the doctor’s appointments we’ve had and ones we have left. I’d tell you how thankful I am that her diagnosis isn’t as bad as some people’s, how much of a blessing that it.
If were were having coffee right now, I’d ask your advice on how to proceed forward in a charity project that I’d like to take part in for the area where I live.
If we were having coffee right now, I would happily tell you about the newest addition to our home, our little puppy Ruthie. She’s a mix of chocolate Lab, maybe Blue Healer, and German Short-hair as far as I know, might be more or less. I’m not sure exactly, but I love her to pieces! We’ve had a couple of dogs that I didn’t want to take care of so we got rid of them, but I’m really glad we have her. And I don’t mind take care of her which is possibly credited to only having two kids at home during the day these days as opposed to having 3-6 at home. Plus, the boys are older and are able to help with Ruthie in the evenings when they’re home.
If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you of the day of sadness yet happiness that looms over me like an ugly, dark, rain cloud that hovers overhead before a nasty storm. My oldest will graduate this year. Although I am excited for him, I’m also a little sad. He’s my baby who’s no longer a baby. I look forward to his graduation, but it also brings some anxiety about his future. Mostly, though, it’s because he’s that much closer to being grown. I’m not ready for that!
If we were having coffee right now, I’d also tell you of his relationship and how much he’s changed over the last year. The girl is one of the sweetest people I know, but they are both young. I pray for them all the time. Honestly, I’d like to see them complete their schooling (college) and make a life together. But, God’s will before mine. He’s knows everything so I trust His plan.
If we were having coffee right now, the ending would be something like: Oh no, look at the time! My goodness, I have to get going…..responsibilities awaiting me. I’m so happy we ran into one another. Thank you for having coffee with me. We will definitely have to get together again soon — me: ridiculously pushing time. Always!
Every day, hour, even every minute, there is something in our lives that we should be thankful for. Love is the best thing we can do for anyone.
Three on the tree.
Whatever you choose to call the vehicle that requires using a clutch, brake, and gas pedal. What you call it in your neck of the woods is just what it is. I grew up calling it a standard (if shifter was on the floor) and three on the tree (if shifter was located on the steering column), but that was in the south. In the north, I most often hear it referred to as manual or stick shift.
Okay, now that we’ve had a miniature english lesson…..moving on.
Automatic vehicles are what I learned to drive so I have stuck with automatics throughout my driving years. Many years ago, my mom had a vehicle –a standard Geo Metro — that I practiced driving a couple of times. It was way easy to drive though. And I haven’t driven a standard since then…about 14 years.
Recently, my husband has been ‘teaching’ me to drive a standard. Of course, I’m sure you are well aware of how ‘teaching’ to drive a standard is not really teaching at all. A person can explain when and what pedals to depress, but actually driving one requires practice. So basically, his teaching was: push the brake, push the clutch — it’s already in gear so release brake while engaging clutch and push the accelerator. It went reasonably well…..I don’t think I would necessarily say “I can drive a standard” because driving a standard in a field is much easier than driving a standard in a ton of traffic that is in the darn way! So, I ‘practice’ driving a standard.
The other day, I was ‘practicing’ driving a standard….in a field.
My husband leaves it in 1st gear and tells me to get in and follow him across the field where we needed to be….My 4 y/o daughter was with me….and she knows everything. Ask her, she’s not shy, she’ll tell you. Now, remember, the truck was in 1st gear so all I had to do was push the brake, engage the clutch, let off the brake, and push the accelerator (didn’t need to switch gears). As I let off the brake, the clutch didn’t fully engage so the truck died.
Yes, this very inexperienced standard driver killed the truck.
Here’s the good part….
Remember, I told you, my 4 y/o daughter, very spunky, spirited 4 y/o daughter I might add, was with me. Remember also, that she knows everything. Just ask her 🙂
There I sat….
Killed the truck.
And what do I hear as I crank the truck again?
“Mom, just get out. I’ll do it! All you have to do is push that lever down!”………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Luckily, I didn’t have anything in my mouth (food/drink) because if I had, I would have choked on it. And I don’t need that repeat ER visit–another story, another day.
Umm, okay Miss Smartie Pants was my first thought and I just started laughing.
Yep. She Just Said That!
There we have it folks.
My 4 y/o spunky, spirited daughter knows everything.
And darn it…she can drive that standard 😉
Oh, you just gotta love these little people. She sure makes my world brighter ❤
Yes, it’s Tender Tuesday and this story just melts my heart.
I’m not sure how other people move along when making a quilt, but for me after I have chosen and bought my fabrics, next comes all the cutting. I had quite the mishap while cutting recently. First, I want to say that the fabrics I’ve chosen for this particular quilt came from a garage sale. Once I found the pattern I wanted, I started looking in stores for the perfect fabrics, but much to my dismay, I never found what I wanted. When I heard fabric was at a garage sale nearby I went to look it over and it was just what I was looking for so I bought a lot, about 20 yards of various patterns/colors for $42. Any quilter knows, actually anyone who sews, knows that you can’t buy 20 yards of fabric for $42! What a deal!
The mishap. Rather than iron one of the fabrics as I normally do, I decided to just cut the strips I needed from said fabric in the size that I needed and put the remainder of the fabric (it started as a 5 yard piece) back into my fabric bin. When I went to iron the pieces I’d cut, the pieces were wavy….seriously wavy such as this image:
Well there’s no way that was going to work! What a lesson for me, why we iron before we cut!
Anyway, I saved those pieces because at some point I will be able to use them for something, and I proceeded to iron then cut my new pieces.
And now: Cutting complete!
Next, I will start sewing the cut pieces together to form my blocks. Pictures of my progress including two smaller blocks that become part of bigger blocks found below:
Make sure to check back for more updates. In the links below you will find all updates and/or changes to this project.
Twelve years ago I met the man I am blessed to call my husband. He wasn’t a prince by any means. He came from a working class family who attended Mass multiple times a week. They have a deeply rooted faith in God that extends to every facet of their life. He was taught to work hard and earn an honest living which is evident in everything he does. He worked hard, but he also played hard. His interests were wide and his responsibilities low. He had no wife — obviously. He had no children. He had no debt. He worked for his money and he saved it. At that point in his life, he was able to pay cash for most purchases. His work required him to travel so he didn’t put down roots of his own. When he was home (the town where he was born and raised) from a job, he stayed with his folks. When he wasn’t home, he was working. As I said, no prince by Webster’s Dictionary definition, but he WAS, IS and always WILL BE my prince. We fell crazy mad in love and have been together every since. We had to work at it. A LOT! But here we are, 12 years later and still going strong, through outside issues, children, etc….you know, just life.
But, the focus here is not he and I per se, but what we created. I brought three children into the relationship with me and we proceeded to have five more, as most of my readers know. So, there it be….what we created: our first creation turned out to be twins. Boys! When we found out I was pregnant that first time, he told me a story. Without including all the detail, the story basically consists of his prayer to God that he not have kids until he was 25.
So, here we are, 12 years later and quickly approaching the birthday of our first creation: our twins. What a blessing that pregnancy turned out to be. Don’t get me wrong, all my pregnancies have been a blessing. How could they not? Almost every one ended with a beautiful, tiny little human being placed in my arms. We did have a miscarriage at one point, but that little blessing who didn’t make it into my arms was surely welcomed into his/her forever home: heaven. Anyway, the pregnancy with the twins turned out to be a blessing for multiple reasons:
- They were twins! It was scary, but exhilarating. We were super excited!
- They were their dad’s birthday present as the three of them share a birthday, and….drum roll please….
- They were born on his 25th birthday!
Now, someone please tell me that God doesn’t answer our prayers!
We have created many stories in our years together, but that story has to be my all-time favorite!
I love my wonderful husband to the moon and back.
And I love the family that we have created as he has loved the three whom I brought into the relationship with me without skipping a beat. We are truly gracious for the wonderful man that my husband is. Servant to God. Wonderful man. Amazing husband. Fantastic father.
Happy birthday to the man I love, the man who taught me the true meaning of lifetime love. I wouldn’t want to share this life with anyone else. Every day I wake up to a prayer that gets answered over and over with each rising sun. For that, my heart leaps with joy.
Happy birthday to our twin boys who added more of everything into our lives. Twin A and Twin B, yes you are twins –identical even — but don’t think for one second that one is less valued because both of you are unique, created exactly as God planned. We are grateful for each of you.
And I am one lucky lady……9 times over ❤
I have an upcoming event through our church, Ocktoberfest. It’s an annual gathering of patrons of the church plus any other guests that may attend (it’s open to all) that offers a smorgasboard of German foods for lunch, a raffle drawing, silent auction, etc in order to raise funds for the church.
This year I have committed myself to donating a quilt for the silent auction. I am naming it the Ugly Quilt. It’s not going to be ugly by any means. The fabrics will go together very well. I found a pattern in a quilting magazine that I like, but rather than using newer fabrics that the pattern suggests, I am using some older fabrics that remind me of the 70’s. The quilt will be beautiful when it’s complete, but the colors consists of reds and browns, blues and creams, which are not the lively colors that I normally quilt with.
I like A LOT of color!
Please join me as I walk through the Ugly Quilt project, from start to finish. It’s a long process, but one I enjoy! I will post periodic updates so stay tuned for recent changes throughout the next couple of months. My choice of machine is the Bernina Activa 135 which is the one I started with a few years ago and haven’t changed. It works perfect for the quilting that I do.
To start, here’s a few pictures to start this quilting journey.
As always, comments welcome, but please be nice 🙂
I know! I haven’t posted in forever! With good reason, though. My father-in-law, my husband and I were at the annual Bernina University conference. It’s quite exciting! The theme for the conference was Unmask Amazing which is tell-tale of the location.
Overall, I learned quite a bit about Bernina products, the history of the company, and the different products offered through partner companies that include fabrics and other notions. You can’t very well create and complete a sewing project without fabric or thread with as much ease as you can with quality products such as scissors, cutting mats, or rulers of all shapes/sizes and tons of other gadgets.
The registration booths at the conference. Each dealer for Bernina who attended the conference received a welcome package from Bernina headquarters in Switzerland and Bernina of America at these registration booths. As you can tell, the booths are arranged by dealer last name alphabetical order. And, of course, the main event, Bernina Masquerade Ball (pictures provided at the end of the post).
During the conference, Bernina revealed new product and/or changes to current product that will be available to consumers within the next few months. As required by Bernina, when a store owner chooses to become a Bernina dealer, he/she must be certified on Bernina machines for installation, repairs, and teaching how to use the machine to customers. At the conference, classes were offered to dealers and/or employees of dealers to educate on the machine (about, how to use, how to repair if needed, etc.) If you are a sewist, seamstress, or quilter, then you probably know of Bernina. If not, I’d like to briefly introduce Bernina to you. Bernina is “the world’s premier manufacturer with a proven reputation for offering state-of-the-art sewing and embroidery systems, sergers, and embroidery software” (Bernina website) with familial roots and manufacturing in Switzerland. The company itself has been in business for almost 125 years and has remained within the same family since the beginning. It is a company that promotes family values while providing the most up-to-date products such as the 3, 5, 7, and 8 series sewing and embroidery machines, the long arm quilters such as Bernina Q 20 and Q 24 (which, by the way, provide a fun experience with quilting), as well as Bernina L 220 and L 450 Overlock and Cover/Chainstitch machines plus sewing notions such as needles, foot controls, and suitcases or bags for the machines.
Go ahead, keep reading as even more interesting information can be found further down.
As promised, more Bernina. I have to mention that my father-in-law, a Bernina dealer in the densely populated state of North Dakota (located in Mandan), owns and operates the store Sewing Machines Plus! (not to be confused with a separate sewing machines plus website). The store offers a variety of fabrics, threads, sewing/embroidery systems, and serger machines as well as the long-arm quilting machines with friendly service and an inviting atmosphere. They also offer sewing classes to anyone who is interested and even rent the use of their long arm quilting machines located in their sewing studio, connected to the store. Their website is found here so stop by and check it out (again, the Mandan store is not to be confused with another SewingMachinesPlus.com website as the two stores are completely separate and do not tie into one another). If you have questions on product or services offered, shoot Jim or Angie an email or call the store. For a memorable conversation, if at all possible, swing on into the store as face to face communication is always so much more friendly and encouraging for all involved. Speaking with the owners and/or the employees offers a wider range of conversation and is surely to answer more of your questions plus actually seeing, touching, or even hands-on practice of the machines will definitely grab the interest of experienced quilters as well as those who are not so experienced but have a willingness to learn.
But, we didn’t make the trip all about business 🙂
We can’t possibly go to New Orleans without seeing and experiencing the city, known for its crawfish served in a variety of ways, music of the city: Jazz, and the infamous Bourbon street. The culture in the great state of Louisiana is quite simply amazing. The three of us (my father-in-law, my husband and I) were easily entertained during our stay. I’m sure you’ve heard of the most popular district in New Orleans – the French Quarter (Mardi Gras!). The atmosphere in the French Quarter was relaxing, expressive, and enjoyable. We even rode in a Pedi-Cab!
Other areas may not be as entertaining, but most certainly are just as fun to see, such as the Garden District which is like walking back in time. The “antebellum mansions” (http://www.neworleanscvb.com/visit/neighborhoods/garden-district/) are rich with history of Louisiana and are beautiful to look at. Sadly, these two districts are the only ones we were able to visit due to time constraints, but it’s a trip not soon to be forgotten. Our mode of transportation throughout our stay consisted of the trolley ride. I’ve never been on a trolley to get from one place to another so it was quite exciting for me. I boasted the unforgettable smile of the ever-popular kid in the candy store the whole time I was in New Orleans.
And the buildings, skyscrapers! Beauty. Creativity. Artistic abilities. All tied into one unforgettable city.
Another big bonus to me was the warmth. You see, I am from the south and currently (and for the better part of the last 20 years) live in the north. Being back in the south, among the trees, southern plant life, the people and yes, the heat was quite refreshing for me. I told my husband I could stay there forever, but ahh, here I am, back home with God’s greatest blessings, my children who we missed terribly throughout the trip. North Dakota is simply unbearable to me, but I love my kids and my husband which is reason enough for me to stay. It’s unfathomable to even think about leaving here since their (my husband and children) family ties are here, this is where I shall remain. It’s not to bad, but most definitely not my cup of tea.
OMGoodness, I can’t sign off without mentioning the fine Louisiana cuisine. My husband and I didn’t eat one single food that we normally eat at home (either home or out dining). For every meal, we tried a new dish. The foods are absolutely to die for. Some of the foods that we tried are right out of my childhood (a southerner by birth) that I haven’t eaten in years. Such foods include red beans and rice, grits (the hubby likes his with shrimp but I’m not a shrimp person so butter, milk and sugar is my choice for grits which is the way that mama made it when I was a kid), and boiled crawfish (I never ate these in my childhood so completely new to me but delicious!). And spicy! Louisianans definitely like their spice! They don’t call it Cajun food without reason 🙂 Much to my dismay, most places didn’t offer my drink of choice: Dr. Pepper! Since most southerners (at least all the ones I know) prefer Dr. Pepper when not enjoying a cold glass of sweet tea, I was quite perplexed and disappointed that DP was not a popular drink choice in many places we dined. Honestly, I was sad about this 😦
Oh, but I managed to enjoy the trip regardless.
As with any major city and/or tourist attraction, you can’t enjoy such a visit without engaging in a least one guided tour 🙂
Ours just so happened to be a paddle boat cruise on the third longest river in North America and the major river that flows through that part of the country, the mighty Mississippi aka “Big Muddy”. Riverboat Natchez carried us along the river and provided fine dining for those who paid the extra, a New Orleans history lesson, and entertainment with what else other than music that was created in N’Awlins: Jazz. I fell in LOVE with the music and who am I kidding, the city itself!
So, as promised, a few extra pictures from our visit:
As enjoyable as the trip was and as memorable as the experience of New Orleans will always be, my without-a-doubt, hands-down most favorite part of the trip was getting home to our little people. We were gone for almost a week that felt like months, years even. We were undoubtably happy to see our youngins and bring them their treasures we got while in N’Awlins.
The trip was fun and captivating, but home is where my heart is and will always be ♥♥♥