Saturday, July 14, 2012

Um...Wow! Summer Time!

Wow!  Apparently I've been making time for summer and not blogging!  Wow!  May Day was my last blog?  Hmmmm......well, let me fill you in :)

We had a piano recital.  Aren't they cute?

I made my first machine quilted quilt.  Lots of color!  My oldest daughter helped pick out the fabric because it is a gift for a friend of hers headed to college. The friend loves it!!!  (whew!)

I'm working on my next one.....I chose the fabric for this one:)  It's going to be a bit more organized!

My kids are in 4-H. This week is fair week.  If you are involved in 4-H, you know what that means!
I'll post fair pics and recipes soon. 

We've also played baseball, sent the girls to a variety of camps/conferences, painted a bedroom, and done some swimming :)

What are you making time for this summer?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Making Time.......for May Day!

Happy May Day!

Time has really stood still for our family after the lose of my nephew.  1 month now.  Seems strange.
Yesterday was the first day in over a month that I felt like doing something without forcing myself to do so.

Every year at Christmas we make goodie bags for the neighbors.  Christmas was tough this year as my nephew was ill and undergoing a bone marrow transplant.  Just wasn't in the celebrating/baking mood.  Figured I would do it for Easter.  4 days before Easter, we buried my nephew.  Needless to say, I really wasn't up to making treats.

Soooo......yesterday I baked!  I made 2 big batches monster cookies (part for my daughters birthday treats today!  Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!), 72 pumpkin bread muffins, and lots cake balls.  I bought petunias and planted them in cups.  I had already purchased clearance Easter baskets and "grass".  I built, my kids delivered.  (Which I am sure was great fun....17 year old driving the truck and the others in the pickup bed with the 11 baskets)

Here's a pic of the end result.

I'm glad I made time for May Day.  I pretend it was for others, but truely, I think it was therapy for me.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Making Time for Miracles

I have been away for a while.
Almost 3 weeks. 

I spent those weeks by my 18 year old nephew's bedside.
Holding his hand. 
Brushing back his hair. 
Calming him down.
Walking with his mom.
Shedding many tears.

I was with him as he died. 
I helped plan his funeral.
I was his Godmother.

My nephew fought leukemia.  He beat it.

He didn't beat the fungus that attacked his lungs.

Stupid cancer.  Stupid fungus.

I think of the things he missed out on.
Reaching the legal drinking age.
College.  He had two weeks this past fall.
Life adventures.

Then I think of our miracle.
He's in heaven.
He's looking out for me and mine.
I have a Godson that is a Saint.
With the suffering he endured in his 16 months of hell on earth, I have no doubt where he is.
He is dancing and singing before the Lord with the angels.

Yes, I will continue to cry for my loss.
Some days more than others.
But my loss is his gain.

Now I will take time for miracles of my own.
My kids.
My friends.
My faith.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Making Time.....for some Farm Fun

So, I have been wanting to post this for a week, but had some computer issues :)  Thanks to a friend and her hubby, I'm back :)

Last Sunday I took my girls on a trip to the farm.  My dad and my two brothers still farm together. Their cows have been calving.  One of my favorite farm seasons......truthfully, I love all the farm seasons!  (And I am sure I will share them all with you)

Aren't they cute!!  Bucket calves that will soon be moved to my older brother's backyard for his two kids to bottle fed.

The girls forgot coats and had to raid Grandpa's closet :)

These calves love to chew on things!  Especially fingers ;)

Headed out to the pasture to check out more calves. 

What a fun day we had on the farm.....sharing my heritage with my girls :)  Remember to make the time to share your childhood fun with others!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Making Time.....for a Lenten Journey

Each year we experience different Lenten Journeys.
Sometimes we chose for ourselves.
Sometimes God chooses for us. 

Over the years, through our journeys and God's journeys, we have developed some Lenten traditions.  We pray the family rosary nightly praying for different family members and friends as our main intention.  We post our spoken Lenten sacrifices on our dining room buffet and mirror as reminders.  (Some Lenten sacrifices are meant to be kept secret)  We attend Stations of the Cross weekly.  In addition to individual sacrifices, we chose family sacrifices as well.

Last year, my friend Cheree at The Morning Latte gave me some grape vine from her garden.  I used it, along with some toothpicks to create a crown of thorns.  The idea is to remove a thorn every time you make a secret sacrifice.  Truthfully, we aren't good at remembering to remove the thorns.  (We DO sacrifice!)  This year, it is more of a display item to remind us of Lent.

We also display a set of footprints that came from one of the kids school classrooms.  These footprints remind us of 3 important parts of Lent:  Pray, Help Others, and Give Something Up.

(Note the roll of tape?  LOL!  Not normally part of the display, but definitely necessary for the mirror postings!)

I do appriciate my Lenton Journeys.  (I was going to say "enjoy" but I'm not sure that is the right word.  I mean, really, who enjoys fasting?)  Each one has been diffent.  Yet, each one has ended with a beautiful Easter Sunday.

How are you making time for your Lenton Journey?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Making Time.....for Fat Tuesday

Ahhh.....Fat Tuesday!  The Feast before the Fast!  Enjoying God's bounty before the season of Lent.  The kids all took Mardi Gras beads to school to share with friends.  We usually do a big family feast.  However, this year, we seem to be headed different to work, one to volleyball, two others to another event.  (I hope this isn't a sign of Lent!)

I just had lunch with some friends.  And, it being Fat Tuesday, the talk soon turned to "What are you doing with your family for Lent?"  We pondered this over chips and salsa...and fajitas.  Ideas were discussed.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday.  I will share with you then some of what we do as a family.  How I decorate.  How each of the kids prepares for Easter.  I'm am sure some of it will seem frivolous :)  However, it will come from the heart.  I will share our Lenton journey with you.

In the mean time....Make Time to celebrate God's bounty on Fat Tuesday :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Making Time.....For Our Kids to ENJOY Sports

I have five kids.  I drive them to their sporting events.  To their scholars bowl meets.  To play practice.  To all their 4-H activities.  (I guess I am a soccer mom whose kids don't play soccer!)  I cheer my kids on.  I get after them a bit if I feel they didn't perform like they should.  I'm a mom.  That's what I do.


What is with the "win at all costs" mentality that I feel I am faced with so much recently?  Why can't we just let kids play the games?  Let them learn and have fun.  Teach them in a positive manner.   They are kids!  Not professional athletes.  (And shall we talk about the reality that any of them will become professional athletes?)  That is how my husband coaches and that is how I teach kids in 4-H activities.

Example number 1. 
A volleyball team with 8 players.  One coach who is very concerned that all kids play and convinced they can win with all kids playing.  She encourages them.  Helps them.  Has fun with them.  The team loves her!  Another coach, same team, convinced that 2-3 of the players are "worthless" and "doesn't know what she's going to do with them". Girls are scared of her.  Heads butt and the "worthless" coach wins. (I will give her this...she does know volleyball.  She can teach them skills.  She just doesn't know kids.)

Girls sit A LOT in a "pay to play and improve" situation.  How are these girls improving by sitting on the bench? (By the way, these are Jr. high girls....not high school and definitely not college.  High school varsity and college are a different story.)  So they won the whole tournament.  Who cares??  Who is going to remember?  What is going to be remembered is the mean things that were said to the benched girls (who are great kids!) and how they were made to feel worthless and not part of the team.  And (get this!) previous tournaments were won with these same girls playing a lot!  And....the skill level of the opposing teams hadn't changed. 
The girls are 13 and 14!  Don't you think they have enough problems just surviving 8th grade?  Now they have it in their heads that an adult who is suppose to help them doesn't think they matter.  Wow!  (The girls will be okay.  They are good kids.)
 ("Worthless" coach is now gone and "Concerned" coach has taken her team back.  Positive attitudes will prevail.)

Example number 2. 
8th grade boys League Championship basketball game.  Winning team up by 20.  20 points ahead.  That's a lot!  3 lone players play the bench.  Up by 20 and they still don't get in.  Seriously?  Does the coach think his volunteer position is on the line?  Maybe he'll get fired if they lose the 20 point lead!  At what cost do we win?  Why the drive to make kids feel worthless?  IT IS 8TH GRADE, not NBA!!! 

Example 3  (this one is more parent centered)
We've moved down to 1st grade now.  YMCA basketball.  How cute, right?  Sure.....unless your kid is on the team with the player who runs the ball down the court, no passing involved, no involving other team mates at all....shoots, misses, plows his way through the kids for the rebound, yanks it from another kid and shoots again. sport here!  All the while, the parents are soooo excited for little Johnny doing such a good job.... of being a ball hog.  Hmmmm.....maybe when the rest of the crowd is yelling "Pass the ball" you might get a clue that little Johnny isn't quite playing the game right.  (A new note:  I want it known that this wasn't the coach on this team.  And since writing this, the parents of "little Johnny" have talked with him about his ball handling and discussed it with the coach.  He missed the recent game.  We shall see how it goes at the next one.  God Bless the parents for seeing.)

Just what are we teaching our kids with this "win at all costs" mentality?  My son isn't going to remember which first grade basketball games he won, but he sure is going to remember the "ball hog."  My daughter isn't going to remember which volleyball games she won, but she is going to remember the coach that encouraged her and believed in her.  20 years from now, no one will remember who won the 8th grade basketball game by 20 points, but those 3 boys, their parents and other members of the crowd will remember the day they lost all respect for a coach who was suppose to be there to help their kids.

Don't get me wrong.  I think kids do need to work hard and practice.  I think they need to show up on time, work their butts off, and have fun in the process.  I think they need to be respectful at all times to coaches. I believe that if they work hard with no attitude, they have proven themselves.  I believe that parents need to support coaches in volunteer positions who give of their time and talent.  

My point is, winning the game isn't necessarily winning in life.

God Bless those coaches who realize that!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Making Time.....For Rug Making

When I was growing up, I loved the rag rugs my grandma made.  They always had such a homey feel to them. And she truly made them from rags.  I have one that is in my mudroom bathroom.  (Someday I'll share pictures of her quilts!)

Grandma used a special "rug hook" which has somehow been lost along the way. 

My other grandma crocheted all the time.  It was more unusual to walk into her house and not see her crocheting than the other way around.  She taught me basic stitches.  (If I had been really interested, she would have taught me so much more!)

So, I have combined loves from both of my grandmas and started crocheting rag rugs.  I use old t-shirts cut into strips to make mine.  I use a basic chain stitch and keep going in a circle.  

Below are pics of a couple that I have made. 

So, what memories of your grandmas do you have that you can make time for?

Check out We Did It!  Wednesday over at Sew Much Ado.  Plenty of fun ideas!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Making Time.....for Grandpa

Just over a week ago, my father-in-law had quadruple bypass surgery.  He went in on Thursday to see if he had any blockages.  He had 4.  2 complete.  They didn't let him go home.

My husband spent all day Friday and Saturday morning at the hospital.  Saturday night didn't go well, so he drove the 2.5 hours again on Sunday with some of the kids.  We went again on Tuesday for the day.  Wednesday night into Thursday morning the staff had to shock him 11 times.  Yes, 11 times.  My hubby left at 3 am (after getting home at 1:30 am from a basketball game) to go see his dad, not sure if he would make it.  He called me at 9am.  "Bring the kids."

In tears, I called the schools and the kids came home.  In a daze, not sure if this would be the last time we would see Grandpa, we loaded up, dropped the dog off at a friend's home and made the 2.5 hour drive again.

My 2nd daughter had a really tough choice to make.  She was packed to leave on a bus trip to Washington DC at 4:30 that afternoon for the March for Life.  I told her I would support her 100% either way.  She chose to stay home for her grandfather.  I am proud of her.  Washington DC will be there.  Grandpa may not.

So, we spent Thursday in the waiting room with Grandma, all of Grandpa's siblings & spouses, 15 grandkids, 8 kids w/ 4 spouses, some friends and a priest.  43 people!  And more food sent in than 43 people can eat.  In awe over the kindness of friends.

Grandpa had all the kids come in to his ICU room to see him.  Lots of tears.  And laughs....Grandpa was having some great hallucinations!  Cattle rustlers....monkeys on tricycles....kittens in the hallway.  We needed laughs :)

We spend Thursday night and most of the day Friday at the hospital.  I brought the kids home Friday afternoon.  My hubby stayed.  It felt strange, but we had given the kids tickets to a concert for Christmas.  So I took them....all of us going half-heartedly.  We enjoyed it, yet not fully, and left early.  Strange.

Saturday my hubby returned home.  We had "normal life" to think of.  A basketball game for my 7 year old son and a volleyball tourney for my 13 year old daughter.  (They both won!)

The docs did their thing.  They got his medication regulated.  Grandpa would be moved out of ICU on Sunday.  We decided another 2.5 hour drive was in order.  I wanted the kids to see Grandpa out of the ICU room.  He was exhausted and they only saw him for a couple of minutes, but that couple of minutes gave them much needed peace of mind.

His heart is badly damaged.  Grandpa has 1-2 weeks left in the hospital.  More decisions have to be made about future treatments.  And Grandma is relieved....and exhausted!

Now, here we are on Sunday night....lost homework, lost field trip forms.....a note needing pudding sent to school by Monday (TOMORROW!)...a lost Redbox movie.....and lots of grumpy tired people.

BUT.....we still have Grandpa!  We know we have a family that comes together for prayer and fun.  We know that God answers prayers.  We know that we can drop everything and survive in crisis mode.  We know that we have friends that care.  And we know that we now need sleep!  And lots of it!

Always make time to hug the ones you love.  Leave no regrets.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Making Time.....For Getting Through The Day

Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed with the things that I think I need to get done.  Things that I see others accomplishing.  Things that I think I should be doing.  It's like trying to live someone else's life.
I'm not those people.  I'm not overly organized but my house is clean.  I'm not a runner but would love to have a runners body.  I'm not incredibly fashionable but would love a great pair of blingy jeans.  I like to cook and bake and not diet.  God blesses organized people, and runners, and fashionable people with those gifts.
God made me who I am, not someone else. 
I am making the time to stop, look around, and realize what it is the God wants from me.  Maybe all that I can accomplish today is putting away the Christmas decorations (hey....Epiphany was just Sunday...I'm not that far behind!), a trip to the Y, teaching art, watching a tv show with my sick daughter, going to adoration, fixing supper......
Oh, wait!  I am doing a lot!  Just not a lot that shows to the outside world.  I am keeping my little world moving in a direction towards God and fighting tooth and nail to keep my little babies (ok...does 17, 14, 13, 10, & 7 qualify as babies?) in tact by the time they hit the world themselves.
I am also a huge prayer warrior for my nephew fighting leukemia....and that is working!  Great news today that his transplant is working. I need to make time to be me.  Not who I perceive the world wants me to be.
And you?  Are you making time to be you?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Making Time......For Redoing My Sewing Room

My best Christmas gift?  My hubby adding a face lift to my sewing room.
Lets start from the beginning.  When we were building our house, we needed more square footage for our "covenants" so we decided to go "up" instead of out.  We planned a large room upstairs that we now call "The Loft."  It's just a large room we use for meetings, studying, sleepovers, etc.  In the process of framing this room, the framers framed in another smaller room that was suppose to just be a "box window" placed on the roof for aesthetic value.  YES!  An unplanned room!  MINE!  I Called It!  And thus, my sewing room :)
Fast forward a year or two, and we sheet rocked and painted the room.....periwinkle blue with white trim.  LOVE IT!  And added a Pergo-style floor.  However, other than throwing in an old table and my sewing stuff, that was it.
Fast forward again to this fall.  My hubby asking what I wanted for Christmas.  A sewing room.  Yes,  that's what I want. 
I spent time cruising through pics, etc.  My absolute favorite is over at Sew Many Ways.

Seriously?  What's not to love?!
However...back to reality.  Remember, I have a smaller room.  We opted for hanging white cabinets and installing a counter top sewing table with under the cabinet lighting.
Just updating you.  Pics of my finished project will be posted as soon as I get it all figured out.

Oh...and another plus.  I have found a few unfinished projects.  Including a bag for carrying Barbie dolls and all the "stuff" that goes with them.  My youngest daughter (of 4 girls) is in 5th grade. long has this project been sitting there?  Let's just say I have moved it in to two different houses.  Hmmmm....thinking my 5 year old niece may get it :)

Taking time Making Time for my sewing room.  Today, however, is a day for Making Time for making yummies for a football watch party tonight....CottonBowl!  Go CATS!