Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

PRAISE GOD for HE is risen!!

I have to let you all know that the above picture of Jesus is actually a fabric collage!! 

WOW, huh?... even as I revisit the pictures, I can't get over the craftswomanship! Amy Engle & other church members at Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren here in PA created this to be part of the church's Lenten observance backdrop. Truly awe-inspiring...

Not sure how many of you are Believers?? For me Good Friday & Easter bring about reflection at how much Jesus gave up for me... 

how spoiled I am... how I want for nothing... have too much... give too little... and am surrounded by friends & family who love me. 

And how when I screw up & forget what I'm REALLY doing here on earth, I have His Word to remind me & refocusing occurs. 

I have much to be thankful for.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Birthday Burning, Birthday Blessing

Life has been busy, and I realize I'm letting some of my basic personal goals fall by the wayside a bit. I guess this happens to us moms now & then though, eh?

I haven't blogged for over a week, haven't sewed much, & haven't outlined my yearly goals (remember I base them on my birthday year which started as of April 10!)

But I HAVE managed to almost set my mom's house on fire! For my birthday, a group of us gathered at her house to hang out (AKA Stitch & Bitch.) We were admiring an anal retentive spreadsheet of her garden-- yes, that's right, I said her GARDEN!! She unfurled this magnificent diagram with all it's colored plots, we passed it around to admire, and since I was the last to look at it, I curled it back up & set it on the table next to me. 

My SIL, "Is something in the oven? I smell something burning."

My BFF, "Why do I see flames?!?!?" she was looking my way.

Unbeknownst to me, I'd set this impressive spreadsheet on a burning candle!! Ah yes, this one will go down in family history. 

I grabbed the roll & hurriedly went to pile napkins on it thinking I'd smother the small flames. But in the meantime a long, slow expletive exploded from my mouth & rendered part of the room speechless. Not my typical style of transferring information...

All turned out well & fine. Even after my mom blew on the flames causing them to fly toward me, we were able to contain it & not catch the lamp, the couch or my clothes on fire. 
 (My younger daughter is trying to shield us from her beauty, while my older looks at her in wonder.)

(Had to show a closer view just so you could appreciate the magnificence of this spreadsheet!!)

At least it was a second copy, so no real harm done :)

We've all got warped senses of humor & laughed uproariously over it all. We went on to gorge ourselves on lots of good food (still need some recipes ladies!!) & even got some stitching done.

Other news to stay tuned for: a finished table runner for a friend, a birthday placemat, and a Gratitude Journal idea borrowed from another blog...

p/s And for those who wondered... Yes, I did get an ice cream cake for dessert!! 

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Dirty Details on Denise

I'm not sure if any of these will end up actually being "dirty" in any way whatsoever, but since I'm keen on alliteration, I'm keeping that title!! 

Both V.V. Denman & Leah Singer, writers/bloggers with whom I've recently become acquainted, did this kind of list on their blogs, and I found it to be so much fun. I hope it is for you, too, and that you'll do your own list of facts, because it's an interesting way to get to know one another better!

So here goes... the interesting, the obvious & the drivel:

Was a total tomboy who preferred having dirt bomb battles to playing Barbies

Hated History as a subject 

Chemistry & English are my favorites

I love to type after I've cut my nails (hate the click click of nails on a keyboard!)

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to read more than just about anything else

I got married when I was 17 & not yet graduated from high school, and I WAS NOT pregnant!!

Finished high school in a continuation school in the CA desert while married
(they didn't know what to do w/me when they looked at my transcripts -- they weren't capable of helping me finish many of my credits: Physics, French 4, British Lit... it was a weird experience)

AND I've been married to that high school sweetheart for 23 years now

I have three angel babies waiting in Heaven for me
(little Marshall lost at 20 weeks due to a knot in the umbilical cord, another at 9 weeks whom I always think in my mind as Maddie, and Montie @ 10yr)

I've lived in NJ, PA, CA, MD, and MI, but now we're back in PA 

I've gone to three colleges over the last 23 years, amassed 90+ credits & but STILL haven't earned a degree

My favorite place to be is at home, but if you'd force me to leave, I'd want to be at the beach

Rainy days give me creative urges

I read every night before bed (I would say 8 times out of 10 I read fiction)

I've homeschooled all three of my kiddos, graduated my oldest daughter, and am down to one either grader who's probably going to public school next year 

Longarm quilting is way more fun than piecing... just saying

My heart skipped a beat when I saw The Writer had come in the mail today :)

My favorite place to eat lately is Isaac's (The Club Canary-YUM)

For my birthday tomorrow I've requested an ice cream cake for dessert

I'm mostly introverted & love my alone time (NEED my alone time)

Half a dozen years ago I flew to London w/my hubby & saw Depeche Mode perform 
at Wembly Stadium

My first car was a Honda Civic -really old & blew a lot of exhaust into the air daily (clouds of it that rendered me thoroughly embarrassed in the high school parking lot)

My first job was as a Pharmacy Technician. Between PA & CA I worked a few years in pharmacy & so I'm able to decipher doctor's prescriptions

Before we had kids, we lived in Baltimore City, and I walked to & from work every day

My younger daughter & I have "seen" the same images in our 222 year old home during the same night in different bedrooms

Our old house has been a blacksmith shop, a working tavern where people also paid to sleep,  a bed & breakfast, and now it's just our home

In 9th grade I won first place at both our school & then our regional science fairs for my Physics project on friction

My all-time favorite movie is The Sound of Music

I was so proud of myself when at around 16/17 years old I could play the entire Rogers & Hammersteins music from The Sound of Music!

I took 10+ years of piano lessons

We have a very out of tune baby grand piano

I love coffee & most sweets

Am running out of things to say

But I still have room until I get to the bottom of this Sound of Music pic

Almost there...

Okay all, now it's your turn. Let me know when you've posted your own list of little-known-facts!

Monday, April 04, 2011

My birthday is coming up next weekend. I'll admit that the ages of my children make me feel older then my actual age. Why is that? 

Regardless, in preparation of this momentous day (I LOVE being pampered on my b-day!), I've pulled out the goals I'd written for myself last birthday. Last year I decided that establishing goals based on my annual, personal "road trip" made more sense than the random Jan 1st date.

 So last year on my birthday I compiled a list of just 13 things I thought I'd want to work on and/or accomplish in the upcoming year. And I'm a little embarrassed & sad to say, I've only been able to cross off one.

Maybe that's okay for this year.  I like the concept, but I'm being kind to myself because I know I'm still finding my way.

A little over two years ago, on 3/19/09, our 10 year old son, Montie, passed away due to complications associated with his Marfan Syndrome. My world stopped. My purpose stopped. Time seemed to stop when Montie's heart stopped.

And for a whole year I just WAS. I did what was necessary to keep my girls, my hubby & myself afloat in the world, believing in faith that God would carry us through. Somehow. Someday.

Slowly.... very slowly it's happening. I still look around & wonder what's the purpose of it all, when my growing children need me less, and I've never attained the career goals I'd originally thought were so important.

God had changed my heart & showed me  how much being a mommy meant. I'll never regret giving up the career moments for being here the whole time my kiddos were growing up & finding their ways.

But now what?? I know many moms go through this phase. Mine just happened differently. More suddenly.

I feel my branches beginning to sprout...
Where once they lay heavy-laden with sorrow on the ground,
bare of leaves & devoid of sunshine;
they are stretching to find the warm glow,
which urges budding.