A little bit of this and that…

I have been MIA for a few weeks now. Illness and other things just seem to come between me and my computer…

Like Froglegs and Mario…

Like Dancing Eyes and Luigi…

Like Curly Top and ABCMouse…

And a bunch of other interruptions….

BUT, although I have not been writing over the last few weeks, I HAVE been busy…

Taking my first ride in an ambulance…yeah, I am ok, but it was scary for awhile. Nothing like respiratory problems in the middle of cold and flu season in a house full of germ magnets and spewers! I am researching my own bubble suit as a preventive measure…

(You know, it is a good thing to be friendly to the EMTs and paramedics…they stick you with needles in the back of a moving ambulance and you really want them to do it right the first time…thankfully, my guy did a great job on the first try…)

After several doses of steroids and other medicine, I am now back on my feet, and not coughing like I swallowed a fur ball.

Once I started feeling better, I began working on some very special projects around the house that have been taking shape in my brain for…oh, a few years. (My daughter is glad to see some of the fabric leaving my storage and becoming something else)…it’s kind of like a wedding…something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…I will be sharing pictures over the next few blog posts.

And I have been reading…catching up on the flight out of Egypt by the children of Israel in Exodus…I have a number of thoughts percolating in my brain that have not quite taken shape yet, but a few verses in particular have really caught my attention:

Exodus 36:1-2

“Bezalel, Oholiab, and all the skilled people are to work based on everything the Lord has commanded. The Lord has given them wisdom and understanding to know how to do all the work of constructing the sanctuary.”

So Moses summoned Bezalel, Oholiab, and every skilled person in whose heart the Lord had placed wisdom, everyone whose heart moved him, to come to the work and do it.

These were craftsmen, highly skilled in their trade. But more importantly, they were filled with God’s wisdom and understanding. The construction of the tabernacle required more than just skill. It required the correct heart-itude…

It is a wonderful thing to be skilled to do something special. But that really isn’t enough, is it? God wants more from us than just our abilities. He wants those whose hearts have been moved and who have come to do the work HE has laid out…

I am continuing to think about these verses and will spend a little more time fleshing out my thoughts and before sharing them with you. I know there is a big lesson for me and I don’t want to take a short cut…

I have not disappeared from the face of the earth…yet

For those who follow my blog, you will notice that I have been MIA for the last few weeks.

It is not writer’s block.

Nor is it due to a lack of live writing material taking place before my very eyes.

It really isn’t even because of the chaos of the holidays (although there was a LOT of chaos).

No. The reason is actually quite mundane.

My laptop screen fried.

Again.

For the second time in one year. (And no, it is not under warranty.)

I managed to cobble together a system that worked…sort of. By hooking up the laptop to a traditional (old)  monitor, I was able to use the laptop.

Yea, yea, yea.

But…there is always a “but”, isn’t there?

The contraption was set up in my so-called sewing/craft room (that in itself is a topic for another day). The room also serves as sleeping quarters for a napping toddler.

Hmmmm…access was an issue.

(And at this point, I will digress momentarily.)

Yesterday, we took down the Christmas tree and packed away the decorations inside the house. This freed up a wee bit of space in our not-so-spacious living room.

As a person who strives for perfection, this defect also applies to the positioning of furniture. Somehow I keep thinking I will find the perfect configuration for all the necessary pieces…if I just keep trying.

So, Superman helped me. With a smile, I might add. (Those of you who know him have never seen him without one, so it won’t carry the same effect as those who don’t. So don’t tell them, ok?)

Given all the things that go on in my house (gymnastics, battles for the highest spot in the room, trapeze flying, fort building, building block olympics, camping, dance competitions, along with an assortment of other activities that should probably not be enumerated), a good flow and jumping capabilities from sofa to love seat to whatever is essential.

I should probably add that I have long since given up on the “no more monkeys jumping” rule…enforcement became a full-time job. I know, I failed.

Sooooooo, we shifted our furniture around. And lo, and behold, there was just the perfect spot to move a desk that could house my laptop contraption in the living room!

Joy, joy, joy!!!

So, I am back. I bet you were all just holding your breath!

Hmmm, I’m Thankful…I Think

The plumber is here.

Yes, it’s the day before Thanksgiving. And the plumber is here, plunging the toilet.

The toilet gets a lot of use here, with all the people who are supposedly potty-trained.

It also gets a lot of secret deposits…you know the kind…toys, rags, sticks, combs, brushes, little people figures…

Somehow each child finds it necessary to explore the limits of the toilet’s functionality. And it is Curly Top who seems to give the poor plumbing a run for its money…pun is clearly intended.

So the plumber is here.

But since I LOVE my little granddaughter so much, I don’t begrudge her sending whatever it was for a swim, even if it meant we all had to practice the skills required to use a plunger. So I reaffirmed my love for her.

Yes…YOU!

 

“I love you, Curly Top,” said most tenderly and with great affection.

She looked at me and spit her gum on the floor.

“You little rascal!” I responded, as I tried to grab the gum off the floor.

She beat me to it, grabbing it and plopping it back in her mouth.

“Spit it out! Spit it out!” I demanded.

She worked her gums as fast as she could and SWALLOWED IT! The little rat!!!

I couldn’t believe it. Her mom and I just stood there in amazement. We couldn’t believe what we had just seen. Then we burst out laughing.

And now, I just hope she doesn’t need her own pipes cleaned by the plumber!

The kid not even three…we are in deep trouble. But…yes, I am thankful!

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.

 

 

 

Dancing Eyes, Prepare to Meet Your Maker…

Remember that blog post about finally finishing my first crochet project? The one that took about 8 years to complete?

Remember how I stated I was already beginning my next project, that it was for an as yet unborn baby? And that it would be completed WITHOUT FAIL before the baby’s due date?

I bought the most beautiful, silky yarn. Probably too silky for my level of expertise (or lack thereof)…but it was so pretty and soft, and seemed just perfect for a newborn.

Isn’t it so pretty and silky?

I jumped in right away…I wanted to get it finished before Thanksgiving so I could start some other projects, and I didn’t want it to be sitting around wondering its ultimate fate. You know, like the 8 year afghan…

The problem I discovered with this yarn was how slippery it was to crochet…stitch after stitch, and it never looked like I was making any progress. I was 4 skeins into the project yesterday. That’s roughly three weeks of work…with me steadily working each day. I had to buy more yarn because I could tell it would never be enough to cover a baby.

Pretty, but doesn’t look very big, does it?

So yesterday I sat on the couch…crocheting away. Dancing Eyes was cutting paper. How he manages to scale cabinets is truly amazing…all in search of scissors. I looked up to see him cutting paper in front of me. I took the scissors and put them in my basket and continued with my project.

About five minutes later, I had to turn it around for the next row…GASP!!!

There was a HOLE about 4 inches in diameter…loops laying on the floor. Apparently Dancing Eyes had managed to snip the loops while cutting his paper and neither one of us knew it had happened.

I was ready to send the little guy up to meet his Heavenly Father right on the spot. The hole was such that it would be no easy repair, even for someone who is experienced. Trust me when I say that I do NOT have the requisite skills for undertaking that repair. I considered that justifiable homicide might be in order.

Yes, I do still love him 🙂

My Facebook friends offered their condolences and suggestions. Some were a little concerned for the fate of the perp…Not to worry…

After dinner, I was researching methods of repairing holes in crochet…and I decided that even if I couldn’t make a neat patch, I would just finish it off, practice stitches on it and use it here for the little babies I watch every day.

Not a very pretty repair, is it?

While I was working on the hole, Dancing Eyes came over and watched me.

“I’m sorry I made the hole in the blanket,” he said in his little happy but somber voice.

“I forgive you,” I replied.

“I forgive you too, Nana.”

Now I was a little confused about this, so I asked, “You forgive me for what?”

“I forgive you for being sad about the blanket,” was his very honest reply.

Hmmmm, that was interesting to think about. Me being sad was hard for him and probably made him feel even worse.

I was thinking about the attribute of mercy. There were so many references regarding God’s mercy toward us on Sunday morning, and here it was Monday evening and I was in a situation that was requiring mercy. Instead of judgment, there was mercy and forgiveness for my little buddy.

Extending that mercy didn’t mean that I “forgot” about the hole and all that work down the drain. It also didn’t mean that the hole never happened. What it meant is that my little Dancing Eyes did not have to bear the penalty of making that hole. I did not punish him or “send him to meet his Maker.”

In a more perfect example, God didn’t and doesn’t hold me in judgment for my sins but extends His mercy to me. How hard could it be for me to share that same mercy with my little guy?

But God goes so much further in His mercy…He says that my sins have been cast into the depths of the sea. That He no longer remembers my sin, nor holds it against me. His mercy is COMPLETE. Full. And FREE to me. It was at great price for His Son, Jesus. A sacrifice that cannot be measured in human terms.

Buried in the deepest sea,
Yes that’s good enough for me!

He has extended to us all that magnificent gift of mercy…not giving what is deserved. He has also blessed us even further with His gifts of grace and love. Undeserved blessings, so freely given to all who would believe. Forgiveness. Life. Peace. All these flow outward from His original sacrificial gift of mercy.

That baby quilt will mean an awful lot more to me now with its patched hole than a perfectly crocheted blanket ever could. Like the scars that my Savior still carries in His body, that patch will be a reminder of mercy, love and grace.

Have YOU experienced that peace that results from God’s gift of mercy for you?

Ephesians 2:4-9

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

Tell Me How Can You Mend a Broken Heaaaarrrt…

Are you hearing the Bee Gees singing? Remember that love song about broken hearts?

I can think of younger days when living for my life
Was everything a man could want to do.
I could never see tomorrow,
but I was never told about the sorrow.

And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?

How can you mend a this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart
and let me live again.

I can still feel the breeze that rustles through the trees
And misty memories of days gone by
We could never see tomorrow,
No one said a word about the sorrow.

And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.

Songwriters: GIBB, ROBIN HUGH / GIBB, BARRY ALAN

My little Froglegs has discovered the sorrow of heartbreak…and I don’t mean the heartbreak of psoriasis, either.

Froglegs has been in love with Ellie since kindergarten. That’s a long time for a little boy in first grade.

They’ve had play dates, birthday parties together, sat together every day at lunch…you know, the innocence of true love…childhood style.

But yesterday, Froglegs suffered what is probably the beginning of a string of heartbreaks…Ellie decided to marry Michael Jon.

You see, Michael Jon lives on Ellie’s street. Closer than my little Froglegs. I guess these long-distance romances don’t work so well when you are in first grade and can’t cross the street by yourself.

So Froglegs spent some quiet time on his bed. Mending. Cogitating. And we THOUGHT he was drawing.

Nope. He was pouring out his heart on a scrap of cardboard…salvage from one of my stashes of scrap that maybe I hope to possibly maybe actually get to use sometime, someway…

Froglegs’ sentiments are worthy of Hallmark…

der Ellie

hav a grat tim maring micll jon

be hape be cus you hav subude theyt you can maring

frum froglegs

Translation: Dear Ellie, Have a great time marrying Michael Jon. Be happy because you have somebody that you can marry. From Froglegs.

So my little buddy is putting on a brave face and trying to be happy for his special girl. Who is no longer HIS special girl…and as for Michael Jon…well he is only HALF a friend now…for Ellie’s sake.

There will be no duel. No stalking or taking out of contracts. No…Froglegs will go back to school tomorrow and probably sit with his buddies at lunch. Probably play a few innings of kickball at recess. And then drown his sorrow in some chocolate milk. And candy.

Candy always helps mend those broken hearts…

It’s Hammer Time

Awwww…so cute. NOT!!!

Ok, I have a bone to pick with toy manufacturers. Actually, probably a whole skeleton of bones…

Someone PLEASE tell me why hammers are considered an appropriate “toy” for children? In their product research and development, do these manufacturers even CONSIDER alternative uses for their products? You know what I mean…the same way pharmaceutical companies discover alternative uses for aspirin (headaches, flu, HEART ATTACKS) or anti-depressants? Do the companies not even consider that children have HEADS, houses have WINDOWS…that all seem to attract hammers??? And WHY would you ever engineer a toy to make a really awesome noise when you hit your buddy on the head???

How about baseball bats? Why on earth would anyone approve PLASTIC bats for children? And do you think these kids read the warning labels???

Golf clubs? Shouldn’t the word “clubs” serve as a subtle clue that MAYBE THE KID WILL CLUB SOMETHING ELSE??? DO YOU PEOPLE NEVER WATCH ‘AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS’??? My little buddies do…it should be rated MA for Mature Audiences only…these kids don’t even have to TRY to come up with alternative ways of playing with their toys!!!

Let me just say, THERE ARE NO SAFE TOYS! Even books are flying missiles. Foam balls are choking hazards, sand boxes? Let’s just say some of that sand will never see the light of day again. Xylophones with strings??? They have a battering ram for a mallet…

The Velcro Wall is about to become a reality, folks…please don’t report me.