Thursday, April 28, 2011

Random- As Of Late

At our house, we are currently obsessed with this video. The more you watch it, the funnier it gets. Fact!

Read here for the best thing I've read in a month. My life now has a light that wasn't there before. I can't believe I've lived this long without knowing this information.

My favorite blog writer continues to inspire. Her words seem to fold under your skin and fill you with hope (and a lot of motivation).

Have I ever mentioned that I'm a genius? No? Well, I'm like, totally, way superbly smart. Wanna know how I know? I produced a child that did this:

She maneuvered a system to hook the Rip Rider to the wheelchair. And, it's all perfectly balanced. Totally genius. No way those smarts come from Todd.

Riley zipped by at the speed of light. I'm totally taking all the credit for this one.

This girl, this week: She asked me if I wanted to see a wrestling move. I, in turn, inquired how she even knew how to demonstrate one.

"Oh, I've been watching the WWE on YouTube."
"Seriously? You've been watching wrestling?"
"Yup, and it's TOTALLY AWESOME!"
"I hate to break it to you, but it's fake."
"No it's not! Don't even say that! It's very real when they slam the other guy into the ring and then fall on top of him."
"Uh huh."

To this day, I have yet to convince this child that wrestling is all made up. Oh, and she still wants to try a move on me. On top of that, she woke up in the middle of night on Easter to check out everyone's baskets. Before Addie was even out of bed, Kellie had given her the run down on what the Bunny left. She's truly a jewel.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Ruffle Wreath

For those of you who need more ruffles in your life, this project is for you:

Cut your fabric into strips. I wanted larger ruffles, so I went with a wider width.
Stitch all of the strips together. I did this really fast, nothing fancy. And yes, this is my mother's sewing machine that she used when she was oh, so young.

I didn't count the number of strips, I just knew I needed a lot. You'll end up with one long strip.

Put your machine on the longest stitch possible and run your fabric through, down the center. Leave a good portion of thread at the beginning and at the end.

Now you ruffle. Lay it out flat on your floor. Starting at either end, grab on to ONE of the two threads. I used the bottom thread. Hold onto it and start to pull and ruffle.

This step takes the most time. You have to just inch away at it until you reach the end. You can make your ruffle really loose or very tight. I wanted mine somewhere in between.

I also like the look of frayed edges. As I ruffled the fabric, it frayed on it's own. If the worn look bothers you, you'll need to hem the edge before you start the ruffle process.

Start at the back of your wreath form and wrap. I hot glued the ruffle at various sections as I wrapped. Adjust the ruffle edges as you go. Trim up the long frayed edges once you're done.

Hang with ribbon.

Once it was up, I trimmed a few stray threads here and there. I also made sure that the wreath form wasn't showing anywhere by adjusting the ruffles.

Total time to complete-- 2 hours.
I got this wreath idea based on something I saw here.
Now it's your turn.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Find Grace

Today there are baskets and sugar and meals to share. There are wrappers and new dresses and enough eggs to fill the fridge. Easter simply wouldn't be a holiday without them.

But Easter also brings Grace. It's easy to miss because it's quiet and hard to see. But she's there, just waiting to be discovered. We simply have to look with eyes that See. We have to reach out and unwrap that Grace and hold it in our hands. For she is filled with Living Water. The life sustaining force that we can absorb into our skin and feel anew.

I hope that you can reach beyond your border today. To stretch out your fingertips and grab on to that Grace that was first offered from an empty tomb. Hold it and don't let go. Hold it and see what He sees.

Now that's the perfect holiday.

Happy Easter

Friday, April 22, 2011

What Makes It Good

Today is Good Friday. Here in the Bible Belt, that translates to an honorable state holiday. People here take their religion seriously. Just like their barbecue. I find it fantastically refreshing.

I've never understood the 'holiday' version of this day. I can't seem to see rejoicing within the infinite acts that the day represents. It's too solemn and sacred for that. So instead, I decided to take this day at face value. I looked for the Good folded into this ordinary Friday.

I spent half the day with teenagers. They served. Some called it a "project". But all I could see was the service. While their peers celebrated a day away from school and sleeping late, these young adults walked in the heat and got their hands dirty. Not because they primarily wanted to, but solely because of their dedication to their faith. That is Good from every vantage point. And inspiring.

Today, this man. Oh, how I thought about this man.

I stood this morning at the doorway and something caught my gaze. That's how it always begins, the moment where something in this life triggers something from long ago. A memory ignites and floods my mind. Every time, it carries my breath away. Every time. I have to force myself to look away and swallow the sorrow. Today was no exception.

But in this Friday that is Good, I focus on his gift instead of his absence. And from that viewpoint, I can see the he is just like those teenagers. He is serving. Just not where I can see him. And because he's there, it makes it the place I long to be. The place where I will offer my everything to get to. And that is so very, very Good.

I hope you can see the Good you've been given. Savor it this day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hold Your Breath

I'm about to give you the most precious nugget of information. It's taken from the May 2011 issue of Real Simple. I'm giving it to you straight. No comment is even needed:

"The most children ever born to one mother, according to Guinness World Records. Between 1725 and 1765, a woman in Russia (her name was never recorded) gave birth to--deep breath--16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets, and 4 sets of quadruplets."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Memory On A Sunday

I am looking at this photo today. A time that feels long ago. And while I look, they seem so sweet, so young, and somehow I can't remember the naughty as much. It's edges are softened. I know it was there, I haven't forgotten it. It's just that it feels not as hard as it does in the present.

These 3 drove me to the edge of insanity today. The. Very. Edge. I even felt myself look over that edge and truly wonder which side of sane was the best place to be. I still haven't decided.

So, for now, I'll remember them at a different time when life felt simpler. I'm sure it really wasn't, I'm just choosing to believe it was. And that little memory just might keep me on the right side of sanity. At least until tomorrow.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Today She Sings And Teaches Me Along The Way

Sometimes life runs in reverse. Well, not just sometimes, but a lot of times. Today my child taught me much about life. To her, she was merely standing on a stage singing a rehearsed song. But to me, she caught the world and placed it in my heart:

"Will you teach me how to fly,
to sail the skies on wings untied.

Will you teach me how to soar,
to see things never seen before.

But most importantly of all,
will you teach me how to fall.

Will you teach me how to love,
with a love that comes from God above.

Will you teach me how to dream,
how to face the future sight unseen.

Will you teach me how to be,
the only thing that I can be....


Thank you for the lesson Kellie. Today you changed my heart.

*Music by Phil Raddin. Lyrics Anonymous

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Life Force

Have you ever seen anything so lovely? The superlicious person who sent it to me is now my BFF for life. I'm thinking of having it blown up and mounted in a 16 x 20 frame. Too small?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

9 of 40

I used to be a runner. I know, it's hard to believe. In the days before kids and Todd, I ran. Almost every day. I would arise at some insane morning hour that hovered around 4:30 am, and I would hit the track.

In those days, I would listen to music while I sprinted my laps. The music was always tuned to the highest volume. I guess I was trying to drown out the world.

But then real life soaked in. Kids and job and schooling. My world got super, duper loud all on its own. I was, I mean I am, only ever surrounded by noise. So I no longer listen to music. Ever. It tends to drive me crazy. I crave the silence and if its available, I take it.

A few nights ago, I drove (alone) to the school to pick up Child #2. Along the way my thoughts seemed to spin with the various things I'm worried about. Those things that I feel desperate to solve, but can't. And while my brain festered it's way around, I remembered my running days. I remembered drowning out the world with music.

So, I turned it on. The radio. All by myself. And I turned up the volume. Loud. I sat and waited for my child to exit the school. When she did, she stared at me through the window. Stunned into silence. Again, I never, ever listen to music. She was shocked where she stood. I finally turned off the radio and she climbed in beside me. Spell broken.

I actually liked it. The listening that made the world go quiet. Will I listen again? Probably not. But for a moment, maybe a long 4.8 minutes, I was surprised to enjoy something I normally hate. And that's definitely worth writing about.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Running The Race

It's easy to cheer for a winner. Don't you think? They hold our gaze and we stand at the edge of our seat to catch a view of the finish line. We always want to watch a winner. They're inspiring.

But then we sit down while the race continues. There are other runners. Lots of them. What about those that are average? Or even those who fall far behind? Why don't we cheer for them with the same fervor as the winner? Even our attention tends to fall away after most have completed the course. Why is that?

Most of us are the average runners. Those who work their hardest just to maintain their middle ground. Sure, there are a few winners out there, but only a few. The rest of us are still just running. And running. We don't gather a lot of attention and many around us often ignore our hard work. But we're still there. Still running.

I want to cheer for the average, the middle-roaders. And I want to cheer even louder for those who have fallen far behind. For there is something to be said for even entering the race. There is even more to be said for finishing the course when you're embarrassed to be last. Aren't we all just trying to finish? Isn't that the whole point?

I think we need to focus on our running. Not on any of the runners that surround us, just ourself and our own rhythm. If we keep it steady and straight, the finish line with eventually reach us. And when it does, I'm fairly certain a chorus of cheers will be heard.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Clever Fairy

We have an infatuation with the Tooth Fairy over here. One child in particular. She seems focused on communicating with her. She wonders about the Fairy's life and has a question for her with each molar that falls free. I believe this 11 yr. old only has 1 left. I wonder how she'll talk to her once the last tooth is gone?

The Tooth Fairy kindly replied to this child's request. She told her that she uses the teeth for furniture and the really big ones she uses for pillows. What a witty Fairy, don't you think? I bet she's pretty too. Oh, and extremely intelligent. Yup, most definitely intelligent. One day I hope to meet her. I bet she is lovely.

Friday, April 8, 2011

16 Years

Before he stepped into my life, I had traveled rough waters. I held little trust in self and in love. But then he came. Just around the corner cubicle. He brought with him a joy I hadn't known existed. He restored me whole again. A place I'd long forgotten.

16 years. Time tested. Life tested. Children, jobs, moves, sorrow and growth. Age has inched her way for us both. Life ebbs and flows. But love stands still and firm. Now, even all these years later, he walks through the door at night and my heart feels home again.

Happy Birthday (and anniversary) to the greatest gift I have been given.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Full Price

Why do we tend to place ourselves at the bottom of the list? Maybe not always at the very bottom, but definitely in the lower tier. I don't have an answer, I'm simply asking. Why do we do that?

We seem to keep everyone on our radar all the time. Their needs, wants, commands. These orbit around us, ever near. Who needs shoes, what's low in the pantry, each child's favorite items for packed lunch. We know what time they need to arise in the morning, we know who is struggling in school or with friends. We know. We just do. It's a part of who we are.

But yet, we don't often stop to take stock of our own needs and wants. Why is that? Again, no answer.

When we do take moments to actually pull our own name to the top of the list, we often push those needs aside. It's as if we don't feel justified in fulfilling our own wishes. All those items from everyone's lists just tend to carry more weight. Meeting those demands feels verified.

I saw this white, beautiful bird at the store a few weeks ago. It was one of those things that the moment I saw it, I wanted it. I certainly didn't need it, nor was it a required purchase for anyone I keep in my orbit. It was just for me. For no reason. Just because.

The price was $4.99. It felt extravagant and unnecessary. But then I noticed that this bird was 50% off. That felt worthwhile. Somehow my brain seemed to register that I wasn't worth the full price, but I could definitely muster up to half off. Strange reasoning, I know.

But I know I'm not alone. We all do this. If a child, spouse, loved one had needed this porcelain beauty, I would have paid full price without thinking twice. But when matters rested solely upon myself, I wavered. Just typing it makes it feel all the more ridiculous.

So, I shall ask again, 'Why do we tend to place ourselves at the bottom of the list?' Maybe it's just a habit. Or maybe it's just something we subconsciously do. Whatever the reason, I think it needs some adjustment. I think we need to start seeing ourselves at full price. Because really, we are worth even more than that.

Maybe our list doesn't have to remain numbered according to value. Maybe it can just be a list. Names of those we love and serve. Ourselves included. That definitely seems worthwhile. We are Full Price. We just are. No more unanswered questions.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Share Because I Love You

S'mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. (here)

Do I seriously need to say anything else?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Teaching The Young

The 11 yr. old is home sick. And how does she spend her time? Teaching the 2 yr. old the finer points of Angry Birds.

We specialize in classy over here. A good, classy education.