Sew…Curly Top Turned 3…

Yep, made her tutu ;)

Yep, made her tutu ūüėČ

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Can you believe it? That crazy, twirly-tomboy girlie whirlwind is now three years old. I am still trying to recover from her birthday.

You see, her mother likes BIG birthdays on the odd numbered years…for some reason my daughter has an aversion to even numbers. But she is absolutely in love with prime numbers.

So, Curly Top’s mama had some big ideas for this child’s birthday. Most of them involved me, my sewing machines, all my time and creativity for about two weeks.

Right before Valentine’s Day…

Problem. I was already making my little cherubs special pillows for Valentine’s Day…

You see, I like to do random little things that are somewhat unexpected (oops, that is mildly redundant), and I was trying to perfect my pillow-making, so they each got one that was specifically geared toward their room colors and interests…sort of.

What little boy doesn't love Lightning McQueen?

What little boy doesn’t love Lightning McQueen?

Bubba is really into Cars. Actually all the boys seem to like Cars…probably why they fight over Mater the Tow Truck and Lightning McQueen’s bright red car…

But even better is the screaming that takes place between Bubba and Curly Top when all the children are suppose to hail her as Queen and Bubba chimes in with his “I’m Lightning McQueen!” which is met with “No! I am the Queen!” and it just loops around over and over and over and over…

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Are you a morning person? Or a night person?

Are you a morning person? Or a night person?

And who could forget about Vesuvius? That Irish-Italian spitfire who cannot be adequately impersonated by a mere portion of the day–NO–for HIM the song “Night and Day, You are the One” comes to mind. He begins my child care day with his big grin (usually) and draws it to a close.

He shines like moon and stars and streams light…or maybe I should say ‘screams’ light…he is the most vocal child in my care.

Then there are the little girls…Australia and Cookie. One is graduating to preschool at the end of this school year, and the other is just this tiny wisp of a child.¬†Australia loves purple. Also pink. So what could be more perfect for this little girl???

Sweetness with a vintage button...

Sweetness with a vintage button…

 

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Cookie has a room that is shades of pinks and blues…she is the prize of her family…you know, first granddaughter and all, I know you understand…I make fun of her dad all the time…slightly over-protective and all. And tonight…she is taking her first swim lesson. She just took her first steps over the weekend. Soooooo….

A rose is a rose is a rose...

A rose is a rose is a rose…

So I managed to get these all finished in time for Valentine’s Day, but then there was Curly Top and her birthday…ugh…

I owed her a quilt for her big girl bed. The fabric had been sitting around. I started with the squares right before Christmas, but I was sick for so many weeks and just couldn’t get to the quilt.

Even though the daughter of MINE nagged me about it…like every 10 minutes.

So…I got cracking. And I finished it. Not only the quilt, but just look and see…

Pillow case, Throw Pillow and Quilt

Pillow case, Throw Pillow and Quilt

IMG_2550 IMG_2554 IMG_2555 IMG_2557 Once I got the quilt finished, I decided to make a matching pillow case. I had already given the little pillow to her for Valentine’s Day.

I was pleased…she was pleased…and even the mama was happy. But her parting question to me was when was I planning to make HER a quilt?

Suddenly, I am feeling a little tired…

 

 

 

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Birthdays and Anniversaries and Special Days…

February 9th…

Not a national holiday.

Not a religious holiday.

Not my birthday. But it IS my nephew’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Sean!!!

Not my wedding anniversary. BUT…it is the first anniversary of MY BLOG!

But those, as special as they are, do not come close to my number one reason for loving this day.

February 9th is a special day because…

Still so happy together

Still so happy together

On February 9, 1979, my now-husband of almost 33 years promised to marry me with a little ring from Woolworth…symbolic and pure…and its worth was not borne in the cost of the ring, but rather in the cost of that promise.

Little did he know what all that promise would bring to his life…a mixture of great joy and great sorrow…trips to unexpected places…laughter and tears…a life of changes for a man who liked things to stay the same.

With that promise two lives began a lifetime of change as we have been woven together into something we never could have even imagined. Neither one of us really resembles the people we were at that time–not physically nor in any other way.

Gone is his afro–and pic. Streaks of gray are now faintly visible. Gone is the mustache (he kept THAT for a lot of years!) and wide leather watch band that he custom made for himself.

Gone are the crazy clothing combinations (well…that may be an exaggeration since just yesterday he dressed as if he were color-blind…). His ginormous glasses are a bit more contemporary these days.

As for me…let’s just say that I am a more well-rounded individual. In more ways than one. ūüėČ

Just yesterday, Curly Top assured me in her tender, special way–“I am the Curly Top, Nana. You have gray hair.” Ahhhh…the honesty.

But the things that I loved about him so many years ago, I still love today. He is FAITHFUL. He is FORGIVING. His love is UNCONDITIONAL (and believe me, I have tested that one more than once). His smile is still always on his face.

Those things matter so much to me. My love for him is based on things that endure and grow, not on things that disappear or fluctuate. Each and every day I know he will remain true to me because he continues to remain true to His Savior and Lord.

Family members still laugh at all of our “special anniversaries”…the first meal…the first, second or third ring…first kiss…we have a lot of special days. And I hope we never forget any of them. They are mile markers of the love that has grown and mellowed. It is a love that endures.

I think it is very important to celebrate the big moments, days and years. Every single day should be worthy of celebrating another day of life. So often we squander the opportunities to celebrate those little things and we take for granted those little, seemingly insignificant details that make up our daily lives. They need to be celebrated, too.

We forget the miracle of every. single. breath.

So join me today…celebrate the most wonderful gift. Life. Abundant life.

2 Corinthians 9:8

 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

1 Timothy 6:17

 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God,who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

Ephesians 2:1-10

But because of his great love for us,¬†God, who is rich in mercy,¬†¬†made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions‚ÄĒit is by grace you have been saved.¬†¬†And God raised us up with Christ¬†and seated us with him¬†in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,¬†¬†in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness¬†to us in Christ Jesus.

Hoarders…

My daughter says I have a problem.

I say she is wrong.

She says the first stage is denying there’s a problem.

I say she doesn’t have a clue.

You see…I love fabric. Especially vintage fabric. I don’t think there are many fabrics that I can’t imagine doing something with that will tickle my fancy.

Isn't this pretty?

Isn’t this pretty?

What I don’t seem to have in excess is free time. Actually, I don’t think I have had any since my first grandchild was born, and he is almost seven.

So my fabric has been holed up. Some of it hasn’t seen the light of day for a good many years.

Until recently…

Redwork panels done by my grandmother...

Redwork panels done by my grandmother…

My father was going through my grandmother’s hope chest and came across a number of quilt squares of redwork that she had done as a child. If you look really closely, you can see her tracing lines that were done by hand.

I wish I knew how old she was when she did these…it would just add to the beauty of their history.

I decided the time had come to use some of my precious hoard of fabric to do something with these…

You must understand that while I LOVE to sew, I am self-taught. That does bring to mind the question of exactly how much I can teach myself…Let’s just say that the things that I am confident doing are the things I like to do the most, and that variations on that theme take me a little further in my skills.

But I don’t do zippers. Nope. Not a bit. And I really would like to learn. One of these days.

I started pulling out my beautifully organized tubs of fabric…color-coded in clear containers, stacked like a rainbow on a huge storage shelf in my “craft” room. I basically just store my stuff in there and pull it out to the dining room when it is time to work…

My daughter hates it…

The first thing I made turned out to be my favorite.

My favorite month...

My favorite month…

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I was born in February…just barely…on Leap Day…Last year I became a teen;)! And, of course, Valentine’s Day is in February. And so is Curly Top’s birthday. So much fun going on, so I took some time making this pillow for me. Kind of like a birthday gift to myself.

Some of these fabrics were bought sight unseen on Ebay. They carry a pretty good assortment of vintage and retro fabrics, and since I hold onto my fabrics until the right idea pops into my head…well, if the colors aren’t perfect, eventually I will find a great match and make it into something.

I had a lot of fun using up some remnants that I got for about a quarter…

Looks just like my dogs...Joe Bear, Dia and Belle

Looks just like my dogs…Joe Bear, Dia and Belle

I love birds...

I love birds…

My gardening moved indoors...

My gardening moved indoors…

Some of these fabrics are so old I don’t even remember where or when I got them.

But I do know about the white chenille on the February pillow…When I hemmed my grandmother’s bedspread for her about twenty years ago, I saved the portion that had been cut off…

See?

Grandma's old bedspread and Grandma's old redwork...these mean a lot

Grandma’s old bedspread and Grandma’s old redwork…these mean a lot to me…

So…when my daughter starts calling me “hoarder” and threatening an intervention, I believe I will take her by the hand and drag her to my room so I can remind her about the good things that come to those that wait…

Parenting…realitatem ferit suspendisse…

You know “those” kids who learn everything easily? How “they” make parenting look like anyone could do it and have a genius for a child?

You know “those” parents with that child who learns everything so easily, and somehow these parents act like they have that whole parenting thing down? And how they readily spout off their “knowledge” learned through their “vast experience” as a parent (usually of one child)? I can see your eyes as they roll with eyebrows raised…you know who “they” are.

Then these parents have a second child. Or a third one. I can hear you snickering, and I see those nodding heads…;)

Eventually these parents have to come to terms with the fact that their parenting skills are actually seriously lacking. They no longer are the “go to” parents for those parenting dilemmas afflicting their friends. And, in all honesty, they¬†never should have been the “go to” parents…You know who they are…I can hear you guffawing…

These once-masterful parents begin to question their parenting history. Maybe their memories were clouded by some hormonal overload that made everything appear to be rosey and right.

Or it could have been that in their sleep-deprived state they created faux happy memories?

Did you know that in early parenting, the revisionist tendencies are often used as a coping mechanism for survival? Are you aware that an actual psychological disorder has been identified that explains these suffering parents? Seriously. It’s called–realitatem ferit suspendisse,¬†translated–reality strikes parenting.

I confess that I once suffered from that disease…many, MANY years ago. Thankfully, I received the early cure when our second child joined us.

You know how they say the cure is worse than the disease? Well, I would disagree with that only because at least you have the blessing of the child as a part of both the disease and the cure.

Now my third grandchild, Curly Top, is giving all of us a run for our money. Considering that she is remarkably like her mother (our second child) …well, let’s just say that nothing surprises me too much any more.

don’t all princesses play soccer while dressed in their gowns?

who? Me???

As you already know, if you’ve been following this blog for awhile, Curly Top has had some “issues” reconciling that she is a GIRL.

Yes, she has two older brothers. Yes, she knows that brothers are boys. Yes, there are certain anatomical distinctions between boys and girls. Fortunately for all of us, she has reached a point of realization that she is a GIRL.

Unfortunately, she seems to think she is a girl D-O-G. (And it doesn’t help that her brother, Dancing Eyes, just hooked her up with a leash…)

Today, the crazy child-dog laid a good-sized pile on the driveway and covered it up with grass. I am still too shocked to even try to make sense of it.

But considering all the things I DON’T write about, I am beginning to sincerely doubt that Curly Top is going to make it to her third birthday…And I am investigating a newly identified disorder–realitatem ferit avis–reality strikes grandparents.

 

 

 

You Gotta Love Kids

I received the following from a friend. I needed a good laugh, and imagine some of you could use one too. I promise I have neither added to nor deleted anything from this re-telling of what will prove to be a very interesting view from the eyes of a child.

(by an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher)
I’ve been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they’re welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.

She holds up a snapshot of an infant. ‘This is Luke, my baby brother, and I’m going to tell you about his birthday.’

‘First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom’s stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.’

She’s standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I’m trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

‘Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts going, ‘Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!’ Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. ‘She walked around the house for, like an hour, ‘Oh, oh, oh!’ (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.)

‘My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn’t have a sign on the car like the Domino’s man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.’ (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)

‘And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!’ (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!)

‘Then the middle wife starts saying ‘push, push,’ and ‘breathe, breathe.
They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom’s play-center, so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there in the first place.’

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat.

I’m sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it’s Show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another ‘Middle Wife’ comes along.

Now you have two choices…laugh and close this page or pass this along to someone else to spread the laughs. I know what I did!!!

“Laugh uncontrollably, it clears the mind.”
I wish I could take credit for this little story…alas, I cannot. BUT I can take responsibility for passing it along! Hope you had a great belly laugh!

You’re an Old Girl, Nana

always thinking

I had the opportunity to spend a little quality time with Sean over the last few days. I was sewing new curtains for the master bedroom, which is undergoing a little mini-makeover, and Sean wanted to hang out and see it happen. He pulled up a stool and sat in front of my sewing machine. He was intrigued by the use of straight pins, how I positioned the fabric, why I had to iron so carefully…He was full of questions.

He also wanted to talk about his great grandmother, who was recently about ready to take the trip to her final destination in Glory, but then God answered the prayers of so many people and she made a significant turn around. This great grandmother lives in Alaska, and Sean has not seen her since he was two years old. It is unlikely that he remembers that visit, but he thinks he does–probably because of the photos we have of the visit.

He is concerned about her going to Heaven because it means the potential for visiting her is removed. He seems to understand that Heaven really is a great place, that she will like being there, seeing her Savior. He also seemed to understand that there wouldn’t be any sadness there, but there is that sadness we feel HERE.

When Papa calls Great Grandma every week, sometimes the kids are still awake and get to talk to her. Even though her hearing is poor, she enjoys the conversations, however short or long they may be (usually short), and she keeps up with what each child is involved in whether it is AWANA, school, craziness….That means a lot to these little people in my house.

Once Sean’s questions were satisfied, he moved along today to another favorite topic–people’s ages.

“How old is Papa?”

“Almost 56.”

“How old is Great Papa?”

“75.”

“How old is Great Nana?”

“Almost 75.”

We moved along in our conversation and talked about Mother’s Day. His mind said “No Fair!” there should be a “Boy’s Day.” Or a “Girl’s Day.”

And then in total seriousness and sincerity, he announced, “You’re an old girl, Nana.”

Sigh…

Love, Lace and Dancing Eyes

Dancing Eyes

Today, my sweet little buddy turns four. I know I refer to him as Dancing Eyes, but his name is Cadance Micah. From the day he was born, he burrowed deep inside my heart and added the second row of lace.

Lace, you ask? Well, many years ago, my mother said she couldn’t understand all the fuss people made over grandchildren, because her children had filled up any gaps in her heart.¬†BUT, when my first child came into the world, she learned first-hand the lesson about grandchildren.

One day she said to me, “I never thought there was any room left in my heart for anyone else, but now I know. I learned that grandchildren are the lace around the heart.” And she is right. She has nine rows of lace plus four strands of pearls.

So I currently have four rows of lace decorating my heart. I am not really a lacy kind of person, it is a little too frou-frou for me unless we are speaking of my heart–there is room for A LOT of lace. But I digress a bit…

Cadance–aka Dancing Eyes–aka Rump Roast–is the second born child to my middle child. I am the middle daughter of three sisters. Let’s just say I have a very special place in my heart for those poor kids who are forever stuck in the middle. Some parents may not agree with me, but it is kind of the pits to be the middle child. So when I held that precious bundle for the first time, it was like falling in love all over, in a very special way. I didn’t know he would be the middle child, but I knew he was the second son.¬†Latinos have a name for the second born son–ever hear someone called “Segundo?” ¬†English-speakers have been known to use “Junior.” Don’t those names just make you want to name your child that way? Isn’t everyone’s dream to be second? Not on your life!

those beautiful dancing eyes

Cadance has this undeniable energy–actually all three of my daughter’s children are “blessed” with extraordinarily HIGH ENERGY LEVELS. They have each made me reconsider my belief in the importance of naps–I really don’t want them to refuel. I find that the energy they have in the morning is more than most people have in a week, so the idea of having them replenish that mid-day, well…let’s just say I am at this very moment cringing.

My husband and I laugh, though, because Cadance bounces through life, just like Tigger. If we are in the basement, we can tell which child is moving about upstairs just by the sounds–Sean has a heavy and deliberate step, Vida just plain runs everywhere at breakneck speed, and Cadance–well… he bounces, jumps and hops.

fearless and determined explorer

This child is essentially fearless. While his big brother is more cautious, Cadance is the risk-taker. Unafraid, ready to throw caution to the wind and try whatever it is that he is too small to try. The ocean? Unafraid. Bugs? Loves them. Worms? Awesome! Climbing anything that can be climbed or attempted? Absolutely. But mingled evenly with his fearlessness is a balancing tenderness that just makes me melt. He used to have a special place with me when we sat out on the deck…

Dancing Eyes with Nana

He is too big to sit with me like that now, but I will never forget those times when we sat together, like a mama kangaroo and her little one, all snuggled in the pouch. These days, we hear precious little requests…

“Papa, can I get on your back?” when my husband gets home from work.

“Nana, will you lay down with me for a few minutes?” while he gets ready to fall asleep.

“Nana, will you read me a story?”

“Papa, can I help you dig?”

“Nana, can I sit with you for a minute?”

“Nana, can I help you cook?” as he drags a chair into the kitchen.

“Nana, can I hold the baby?”

Dancing Eyes holds his baby cousin Isaiah

When I look into those big brown eyes, it is very difficult not to say “yes” no matter how busy I may be at the moment. You know, there are some people who just generate a “no” response without really thinking about it, but not this little guy. Tough to say “no” to him. I do when it’s necessary, but boy, not easy for me.

These days, Cadance is the big helper around the house during the day. He loves the little babies and the toddlers, most of the time. He enjoys holding them and helping them. He also really enjoys working on his preschool program through abcmouse.com. He has some “virtual” hamsters that he cares for and earns tickets to buy them “stuff”. Playing with them is more fun than the activities, but even those hamsters are teaching him things that he needs to know.

And the name “Rump Roast”–well, his mommy seems to squeeze that little rump rather often¬†and decided to name him Rump Roast. We threaten to cook that rump roast every now and then, but it’s never quite ready. And the last time we discussed it, he informed me that monsters like to eat the rump roast, so I guess he’s going to hang onto it for a while longer yet.

I am going to savor this time with my little guy and remind myself that these days will soon be changing and he will be the “big” boy and not my little buddy, so for this period of time, I am grateful for those bright, dancing eyes and sweet little smile. Happy Birthday, Cadance!