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Friday, June 30, 2006

Wow. What a great new look, if I do say so myself!

Of course- I had NOTHING to do with the new look to my blog.

I received an e-mail a few days ago-from Laura She has been reading- and wanted to do something special for Extreme Adventures, look. I'll sure say she has!

Laura was terrific to work with! She took one of my favorite pics of the little guy- and developed the whole look around it!

Laura was patient through my fumbles and changes- as well as with, my , well lets just say my "hesitation" at believing her wonderful offer! (I believe my final email said something like...."You really weren't some crazy stalker/con artist! I didn't think so- but you never know- online! It's beautiful!!!!!!!! Perfect! I LOVE IT!!!!!!" )

Actually thats exactly what it said- I copy/ cut pasted! If you're looking for web-design- I can't recommend Laura highly enough- shes creative, good to work with, and patient!

Laura- AKA Swank Web Style thanks so much for blessing me! You certainly DID!!!!!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mint Wrapper Theology.....

Starbrite Mints.

Mundane candy choice, or lesson in theology?

To me? Both.

Until a few years ago, I was part of a ministry team, we coordinated a counseling center.

One of our traditions... was STARBRITE MINTS. They were kept in little apple-shaped candy dishes, in each of the offices.

One of the incredible parts of this ministry, was that as we were volunteers, and "family" we often brought our kids to the office with us. ( I did quite a bit when we were homeschooling) There was a room that was "kid friendly" when it wasn't being used for counseling kids- our own kids were using it. It made for interesting experiences;)

One day, I came out of a counseling session, and went to check on my guys. (To see what havoc they had caused during my absence) I happened to look in the garbage can as I passed it.

Inside, I found probably 2-3 candy dishes full of unwrapped STARBRITE MINTS. I was peeved, to say the least.

I also found a pile of mint wrappers, hoarded on a table.

I disciplined the wasteful culprit. I cleaned up the office, with their help- and tossed the whole mess in the trash.

Later, (after Mom had chilled out a bit) My middle guy explained....

"You threw out my mint wrapper collection".

"Mint Wrapper Collection?" (that was a new one)

My attitude toward the incident changed. It wasn't REALLY an intentional wastefulness, it was a childish creative endeavor. I had thrown out what I had seen as "garbage', and what was really a precious "collection".

Later- after sharing the story with some friends- they quickly acted to rectify the "injustice and loss" that my guy had suffered. They each carefully, unwrapped their precious "Dove" chocolates, smoothed the wrappers, and collected them in an envelope.

A new "Mint Wrapper Collection" was born. One that wasn't based on waste- (intentional or otherwise) but, one that was a gift of love.

My son still remembers. Somewhere, in the clutter of our home- is an envelope with those wrappers.

Now- they serve me, as a reminder of intent, and perspective.

I think we're all tempted to jump to judge anothers intent. I did. I saw wrappers, I saw mints- it added up to intentional waste, to me. On the surface, it was. But, underneath? It wasn't. The intent was collecting the precious. I think, too often I do the same with others. Although I HATE math... I see something, and to my mind it's simple algebra: A+B=C.
Action (witnessed) + Bold assumption (on my part) =Careless assessment . I take my opinion on what someones intent must be, and act as if it's fact. (ummm let's just say, the mint wrappers weren't the last time I did that!)

Math may be simple- (well... not so much for me;) but people are NOT.

I also think we're pretty quick to see some of the people and things that God loves and treasures, as garbage. When actually, they are His own "Mint Wrapper Collection".
The wrapper, the part that I would have tossed, my son, gathered as precious. God is more like Matt, then me.

Ocassionally, I meet someone, who "rubs me the wrong way" I feel like it would be better to ignore that person, or not deal with them. (of course- it would be better for us all around)

In a way- I'm tempted to toss them like trash, out of my life.

I think we need to be careful, we need to be reminded of each person's value and preciousness in God. I want to be like Matt (my middle guy) I want to collect what others would toss, I want to hold precious all of God's treasures. The truth is- I am often one of those people. I rub the wrong way. I irritate. I frustrate and aggravate. To some, I am a Mint Wrapper. The truth is- we all could be- to someone.

I want to be a "Mint Wrapper Collector"

Dear Lord, I pray, that you'd grow me in love, that you'd help me to see areas where I'm judging anothers intent, and am sooo wrong. I ask you to forgive me Lord, I pray that you'd help me to treat others as the treasures they are- even when they irritate and frustrate, I love you Lord- amen.

I can hear a sweet (thought politically incorrect, in a way- but not in INTENT, song..)

Jesus Loves the Little Children....

Jesus Loves the little Children,
All the children of the world,
Red and Yellow, Black and White
All are precious in His sight
Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World.

I've re-written it for fun.....and challenge:

Jesus Loves The Annoying:

Jesus loves the annoying
All the tough ones in the world,
Crabby, grumpy, right and wrong,
All are precious in His sight
Jesus loves annoying people,
- me and you!

And we should too. ;)

There is a new post over at Missional Mom- today- fyi;)
Its my adventure on the way home from Summer school, Today!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Saved, by my underwire. I've always wondered if they were ever really useful...

Caution: This is a GIRLFRIEND POST.

If you are a male and arrived here by" googling " bra, boob or anything similar, you'll want to click away. It's not THAT kind of post.

If you are a friend, and happen to be male- click away- and save us both the embarrassment.

If you're a girlfriend, put down your beverage- and get ready to laugh.

Are the men gone yet?

OK- First- I promise the picture is relevant. Besides- there will be no posting of bra pictures on my blog;)

Next- I know I may NEVER hear the end of this- but in light of my friends ribbing about knittng, and my constant goal of authenticity... I thought I'd share an embarrasing knitting moment.

OK, onto the show:

Everything started out fine. I was sitting on the couch, relaxed, knitting away on some socks......Something freaked me out- (I am so traumatized I don't remember WHAT it was, probably the boys fighting....) I dropped my knitting- and leaned forward, to jump up---

When I heard a "SNAP". and felt a sharp pain in my....well... in my bra area :(!

I looked down, to find my knitting needle snapped in three places! And poking into my bra! My mind flashed with a vision of the MOST humiliating ER visit of my life.....Over the hospital intercom.. I could already hear----not "CODE BLUE" in room 2, but" IMPALED BOOB, In ROOM 2!"

I could see my story ending up on some lame TV show... names changed for my privacy, of course...

Scene 1:
a woman walks in with her boob IMPALED- ACCIDENTLY, on a KNITTING needle.

Flash to the next scene....
The doctors are standing in the x-ray room, looking at the x-ray, wondering how to save the woman's life. In the show- the needle would have, of course have come precariously close to her heart.......It would require consultation after consultation......humiliation upon humiliation.... all, over a knitting injury. Leaving it would be dangerous--- (not to mention uncomfortable) Removing it, could be deadly......oh the horror!

Final scene---
Woman is recovering from her emergency Needlectomy, the camera zooms onto the doctors prescription pad.. where he (The Sarcastic Doctor-- there is one in EVERY Medical show) is writing her prescription for release...."NO KNITTING".

Fortunately, after a quick assessment- I realized- that yes- my underwire had saved me. There was no wound. Not even a mark, or bruise.

WHEW. My modesty was salvaged. (until I posted this;)

Maybe police officers should try underwire as a cheap replacement for kevlar. ;)

The bummer? Although GREATLY thankful that I was not harmed--- It WAS a set a Lantern Moon US #1 DPN's that I snapped. How sad. (it was NOT the project in the picture)

The moral of the story?

Never knit in the nude. ALWAYS wear your underwire, you never know, it could just SAVE YOUR LIFE! Mine did. (well... not REALLY)

PS this is an entirely ridiculous post.
I know this. ;) Just thought I'd give ya fodder for giggles, to brighten your day!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Measuring up? Or Down?

Measuring tapes are amazing things. First off- at my house, at least, they have the uncanny ability to disappear into thin air.

I buy them, use them once- then they are gone. I buy boxes for them, I store them carefully- yet, when I need them again *poof* they pull a Houdini and disappear!

My next- problem with measuring tapes, well, we all use them a little differently. Some measure everything, others "eyeball" most things, except those that are most important. (I'm an eye-baller, myself)

Even in light of all this, when you can FIND one, a
a measuring tape is a great tool. MOST of the time.

Personally, I struggle with measuring tapes ocassionally. I tend to use them in ways that aren't "recommended" on the label....
Because I use them in two ways that can be damaging to myself, and to others.

I use them to see if I"measure up", and to see how others "Measure down".

Tape measures should be labeled as dangerous when used improperly.

Here is what I mean. Sometimes, I use a measuring tape of standards (usually that I create, sometimes based on God's word, with my own creative twists added for emphasis) to see if I'm doing "ok". If I'm a "better" mom, wife, daughter, worker, housekeeper, etc... than "so and so" than I must be doing alright. That's measuring down.

We use someone elses failures- as our "baseline" for how we measure in comparison.

Then, there is the opposite mis-use. The one, where I compare myself to someone else- and find myself "lacking" or not measuring up, as if they are the standard that, I should strive for.

Either way, this is a lose- lose situation. As long as I'm looking to others for my standard, or my "measuring tape", I have lost focus on what's most important. God's standard.

If I think I'm "Doing ok" because I'm doing better than someone else- that can become pride. If I think I am NOT doing well enough, because someone else measures differently, in an area, then I may start to resent, or even envy them.

There is only one who can measure, any of us, and the truth is, we are all found "measuring short"...

Roman's 3-22-26
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

The truth is- none of us measure up, yet when God measures- He measures through the loving sacrifice of His Son. When I remember that, my tape measure can takes it's right and useful, role, for hanging pictures and measuring knitting in progress!

The amazing thing about God- is that He alone knows how we measure- and loves us anyways!

Dear Lord- I ask that you'd help me to allow the measuring to be left to you- that I'd learn to keep your standards, and have tem in my heart, I love you Lord- amen!

Ps.. I need to actually measure something-- does anyone know where my actual tape measure might be???

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Last week I sent a few packages out--- No, NOT Brownies;) for my secret pal exchange.... this weekend- I got some goodies, myself!

In the pic- you can see the great treats my Secret Pal 8 sent--- beautiful hand dyed fingering weight------ LOADS of it! I've been looking for yarn that reminds me of my favorite flowers--- PANSIES. I found some- IN MY MAILBOX! This it beautiful!

There is also some yummy soap and a cute- way cute for a mom in a house of MEN,loofa in the shape of a flower! :) They WON'T Touch this!

Finally- some Lorna's Laces in a great springy colorway!

WOW. Thanks so much SP*!

(If you're wondering WHAT SP8 is-- you can click the posts title---it's knitting gift exchange- check it out;- it's a lot of fun)

Today was a great day- I attended a Knitting Fundraiser- at Skeins on Main, in Rochester, MI. I met a number of great knitters- and had a great little "break";) For a good cause! The shop is great- atmosphere- and staff are wonderful- yarn selection is terrific- lots of extra's and needles- it's worth the drive.

Friday- I received another package- I also received a beautiful heathered purple skein of Cascade wool- from my One Skein Pal- I'll post a pic on monday--- blogger is strange with pics today...THNX!!!!!

I'm one pooped blogger, and am teaching in the morning- so gotta get some rest.

Dear Lord- Thanx for those that are blessing me with gifties and encouragement- please also bless those I'm gifting- I Love you Lord, and thank you for a nice restful day! amen.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Exciting news! Christian Women Online Blog Team.....

Christian Women Online- Announced a Team Blog, a few weeks ago, with open applications.... GUESS WHAT?????

Hee Hee.. They picked me. ;)

I'd like to thank the academy, the little (and not so little) people who live at my house and give me fodder for blogging, and of course, My Darling Husband......

Ok. Listen. This may be my only chance to give an acceptance speech. Let me have my moment, will ya?

Anyway- I've already put up my first Post "Confessions of a Labeling Label Hater", you can view it by clicking the title, to this entry.

I'm excited to be able to blog with such a great group of women, and really feel honored to be chosen. Let's face it, when you put stuff out there-online, you hope it means something to someone!

No worries- though- this blog will remain the status quo for me. I'll just also be posting at the new blog about once a week.

Don't worry about the pride thing- God's got that one covered already-

Everytime I get a little puffed up with pride, over some opportunity that God opens up for me... I get some little reminder of humility. Like the time I was asked to speak at a group, got stuck in traffic, then rushed to fix my make-up in the car to "look like the professional I am" until I realized, that in my haste I had used black EYELINER to line my lips..... "Goth Momma" may be fine for some... but it's not the look I was going for.

I also remember the time I got my first "Business Cards" complete with fancy holder, and pridefully whipped out my cards to offer to someone- until I looked down and found "Mystery Goo" all over the card I had pulled out AND my fancy case..... ("Mystery goo" is our families term for goo that is naturally exuded through the finger tips of toddlers)

Not too impressive- to pass out goobered up business cards.

Anyway- I'm looking forward to connecting with other women through the team blog- it's a NEW ADVENTURE! Gotta love that!

Dear Lord- I pray that you'd fill me with your Spirit, help me to write and speak in ways that encourage and challenge, I love you Lord- and acknowledge- that it's all about YOU, not me!amen!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Dr. Princess Barbie, Dancer Singing-Writer, Mommy Nun.

The title says it all. Well, it says MOST of it....

Sara- @ posted about God's plan- verses ours...(scroll to the 21st..(but enjoy the scroll- she's got a great heart for God!) ... Sara challenged me think about, when I was a kid. I remembered what I thought my life would be like...I thought for sure my title would be something like this....

Dr. Princess Barbie, Dancer Singing-Writer, Mommy Nun.

It may not make sense. It may not have been possible, some of the "titles" can't even be held by the same person, (the logistics just don't work;mommy/nun don't go together...) But, hey- I was a KID.

If I compare my actual life to my dream life- it could be depressing. But- honestly, it's not. I think it's a matter of perspective.

I remember thinking I wanted to be SMART. I had a hard time in elementary school, I was ADD before ADD existed.... my report cards all said the same thing.... "Tracey needs to pay more attention to her work, and stop talking to her neighbors.....Tracey needs to spend less time daydreaming, and more time working....."

Let's just say- my kids have seen my report cards- and they are NOT intimidated. I spent a lot of time thinking I was dumb. Determined, stubborn child/woman that I am, my only response was- to PROVE them wrong.....So, to me, that meant being a doctor. (I thought Doctor's knew EVERYTHING, until I got pregnant- and then, I found out how many things they just don't understand!)

Am I Doctor? Duh. NO. Yet- to my guys- I am the ER Doc of choice. Handling blood, knocked out teeth, broken fingers, gashes, and bruises. As for smart--- well- report cards aside, I love learning with my guys, I've learned that being smart, is more about learning than Doctorates.

Princess. Yeah- I was up at four in the morning to see Diana become a princess, before my very eyes. Girls are often enamoured with the "princess concept". When I look at my list, now, I realize that one was gonna be a stretch. I was born to a warehouse worker and a highschool grad. Princesses are usually born, ummmm to royalty.Princess?

All these years later, though- there are days when I KNOW I am a Princess. A child of God, The King of the Universe. Yeah- that makes me a princess. Day to day? I only bring my tiara out for special ocassions.....but, well- trust me, I'm the princess/queen of this house. (I'm the only female- I hold the title by default;) There are moments when my Husband, and my boys look at me- and I FEEL like a princess- that's good enough for me.

Barbie? K. Not so much on this one. Barbie is a ridiculous, unattainable goal. But- we all know the goal there, is a physical one. Barbie is a childhood goal of beauty.

I'll NEVER look like Barbie. Yet- to the guys at my house- I am beautiful.... in the words of my Noah... "Mommy, you're so beautiful, I can't take my eyes off you" (In answer to your question- yes- whatever he asked for after that statement- he DID receive;) I may not be beautiful in the eyes of the world... but to my God- and my guys.... I'm Barbie, only better......(I don't tip over from the disproportion! )Barbie?

Dancing Singer, Writer? Well, we dance when we want, to. Yes, ocassionally in public. Singer? At the top of my lungs..... especially in the car! And definitely in worship. Writer? Well, this blog, and one published article may be as close as it gets. But it's here. And so are you- so thanks for reading, and making my dream come true;)P10500511writer?

Mommy? Without a doubt. Three times over- to three phenomenal sons- that has surpassed all my dreams! I'm also, Mom. MOTHER (when they're disgusted with me, or I've embarrassed them) Mommy Dearest when they feel snotty;) Sweety Momma when the little guy wants something... yeah- this one is a day--- home we go.... 057

Nun? Hmmmm well- I wear a lot of black. ( I KNOW nuns don't necessarily wear black.......) Really- I think as a kid- I thought of Nun's as having a special connection to God. I just didn't know that God wanted to have a special connection (relationship) with each of us.

That- by His grace, I have. As can you.

Have all my dreams come true? In a way, yes. The dreams I had- have changed, as have my understanding of them. But one thing is for sure---- God had a plan, all along!

Jeremiah 29:11
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future

Ephesians 1:11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will...

Dear Lord- I know that you have always been with me, I thank you for the dreams you've planted in my heart- both the ones I've already seen come true- and the ones I've yet to dream. I also thank you for a new perspective- that sees your plan as better than mine! I love you Lord- and trust your plan for all my life- amen

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Knitter- over come with Brownie fumes--- takes DAYS to recover

amazing lace and reprieve In case you're wondering where I've been........

On Friday.... I was over come with toxic fumes. I have been going thru detox ever's an intensive home recovery process- but I think I'm on the mend.

It began with preparation for a party--- (accidents always happen that way.. don't they?) At first I felt fine.... Batches 1-3 went off without a hitch- but somewhere between batches 4-13... thigs get a little hazy.

All I know- is- I awoke to find myself and the boy- on the kitchen floor- brownie batter clinging to our chins- and spatulas clasped like swords for battle in our hands.....

The fumes were found to be predominately safe, (by the brownie inspectors called for these occasions) after careful evaluation.... . the source of the fumes was determined to be my own OVEN.

Specifically: the 300 brownies I baked in it!!!!!! (For a graduation party.. my friends son, whom we love--- of course;)

Friday was a blur- stir, mix bake and cool... cut plate start again.... and again....

There were:

Mint Chocolate chip brownies
White Chocolate Chip
White Chocolate Chip with Walnuts
Peanut butter chip
M&M Mini Brownies
Oreo Brownies
Mounds Brownies
Peanut butter chip w/ walnuts
Heath Pecan Crunch

COUNTLESS Batches in 9x13 pans.....(you accumulate a number of those in 18 years of marriage----btw) WAY too much fun all around;) ( I love baking) Noah thoroughly enjoyed "sprinkling" toppings of all sorts.

But.....Please, nobody say BROWNIE.;) It is the NEW B word. (least at my house it is)

I started Saturday morning- baking 15 pounds of barbeque meatballs---- (also for the party...;)

Party was awesome- all day poolside event- Noah made new friends.....(he does that;) and got his first sunburn (mom's fault) We all had a great time...

Sunday way Fathers Day- so we devoted ourselves to makin' Daddy Happy.
He got "Guitar Hero" (Playstation game extraordinaire) and a gps for camping;) (had one previously- that was stolen from our car. :( )

After a few HOURS of Guitar Hero--- we headed out to Great Lakes Crossings- to go to
Rain Forest Cafe--- then saw "Nacho Libre" Like I said- it was a day all about makin Daddy happy;) Ended the day with a quick trip to the new IKEA. Holy cow- that place is NUTS.

Bought a few things- but, could have bought LOADS. Good prices- cute stuff;) I admit it--- I liked it.

As for me-- I knit--- and knit--- and knit--- (there was plenty of time between brownie batches.) I added repeats to my "Amazing Lace" Project.... and I crossed, yet another knitting line....

I've knit WASHCLOTHES. Yes. I know. Another Thing I thought I'd never do... but they are quick- simple- and cute--- and will be wonderful gifties with a bath bomb wrapped in each one- tied up with a ribbon....;)

amazing lace and reprieve 001
In the background is my sanity saver project..... the basket weave shawl in Noro Silk Garden Lite...The striping is pretty--- but the Noro- is pretty knotty and has too much vegetable matter in it for me... the only sticks I like in my knitting are my needles. It's also not so soft--- so am hoping a soak will soften it up a bit--- but the stripes are pretty, has a nice halo to it, and the colors are great... so I'm good- it will be perfect for cold nights sitting around the fire when we're camping;)

The cute washclothes are from Mielkes Farms--- it's a free pattern- in Sugar and cream cotton (hello Walmart) They are quite cute- so I have a number more in my line-up---- Finally- My Amazing Lace Project....

amazing lace and reprieve 002I'm thinking I have the lace pattern down down now- occasional errors- are quickly found and fixed... but this will be my first project with a border that is knit-on--- I'm starting to feel panicky about it---- but- I'll give it a shot. Worst case- I can always- knit it separate and sew it on.... but hopefully not-

Later I'll be posting my entry to the Amazing Lace Challenge #3... I'm still trying to recover from being sick- and then overcome with brownie fumes;)

shhhhhhhh just say no to brownies;)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Knit Sock Kit Pal- Questionaire

Knit Sock Kit Pal

The Questionnaire:

What are your favorite colors? Purple, Fuschia, Turquoise, black (jewel tones;)

Are you a new sock knitter? Not NEW, but you know.. learning.. How long have you been knitting socks? About a year and a half.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? Both. If it's yarn- and soft and pretty... I'm good;)
What fibers do you prefer in sock yarn? Natural--- but blends hold up a bit better- and I do suffer with knitters fear.. of my socks falling apart;)

Where do you usually knit socks? Where ever I happen to be, I happen to BE knitting....

How do you usually carry/store small projects? Bags of every sort and size and color-- I am a bag-lady in waiting.

What are your favorite sock knitting patterns? The one I'm working on currently- what ever THAT is;)

What are your favorite sock knitting techniques? Only know how to do top down--- looking to grow.

What new techniques would you like to try? Toe up- then on circs... then magic loop-- did I miss anything? Add that. ;)

Do you prefer circulars or dpns for sock knitting? So far DPNs

What are some of your favorite yarns? KOIGU. Socks That Rock.... Interlacements toasty toes... louet gems......... Schaeffer Anne...

What yarn do you totally covet? All. (well- maybe NOT COVET.. that would be bad-- but you know- I love yarn)

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object? Afraid of the tiny needles for jaywalkers--- but if time were no object... the birch leaf socks from Gathering of Lace- (again size 0's... I'm a get it done kinda girl;)

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)?

Lantern Moons, Brittany Birch, Bryspun flexibles... swallow casein...(except the bad dog Sami eats them) Rt needle for the rt yarn. I like the 5-6" size.... longer is too hard to mover quick--I am a continental / combination knitter- I'm all about fast;)

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be? I'd like to think I was koigu---nicely evenly spun smooth to knit... but probably AM some crazy mish mash novelty yarn;)

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack? CHOCOLATE.

What’s your favorite animal? sheepies at the moment.

Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages? 2 cats Cappucino and Truffles, and a Dog- Sami (Bad but sweet Beagle)

If you were a color what color would you be?

Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone else’s).. Hot pink. (fuschia) or plain white

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature?

Black and white pics of trees, (esp in the winter) beach, flowers..etc.. love them.

Tell me the best quote you’ve ever heard or read. So many quotes- so little time...

Preach the Gospel at all times - If necessary, use words.--St. Francis of Assisi

In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love. Mother Teresa

"God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love."
--The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis

"To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. " William Shakespeare

Do you have a wishlist? nope

Anything else you’d like to share with the group today?

I'm a mom of 3 boys- I knit while we fish. ummm and have been accused of knitting at stop lights- and I don't see that as a problem. I have the best husband ever. That is all.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Sunday School Project

HI- My name is Tracey, I am not a Sunday School Project.

I think I should have had a name tag that read something like that, when I first started going to church.

It was a (fairly) small church. Everyone knew everyone (and- everyone's business, on occasion) My Boyfriend (now husband) and his family had been going there for years. Everyone was thrilled that his "missionary dating" experience.. had turned out for the best......(;)

They were genuinely glad- that I wanted to know more about God.

It was a good place- I was able to learn a lot, I could ask questions in classes.... People were friendly, they cared. They weren't as strange as I thought they were- on first meeting them. I even started to like them. ;)

Somewhere along the line- a couple of years into it- actually- after we were married...."it " happened. I became a "Sunday School Project"

Feeling like a "Sunday School Project" is not a good thing. It started simple enough...

Another mom befriended, me. kind of.

We had kids of similar age--- we were the same age...... and although she did possess the holy trinity of feminine jealousy (she was tall, thin AND BLONDE) I liked her.

But, something made me feel like I was her personal "project".

It's hard to explain.

I think it was because it was all about me. We talked about how I was. We prayed about my prayer requests. We studied, to find answers to my questions.....

(It wasn't altogether bad;)

But- it wasn't really a relationship. It was one-way. She was the GIVER. I was the RECEIVER. It almost felt like I, being infinitely less mature, could only be the cup- for her outpouring.

Ok. That's a bit melodramatic. But- the point is- I felt less valuable somehow. And yet- my relationship with Christ- felt, so, well.. NOT that.

I felt valued and loved- and uniquely designed- because of what the Bible said..... but in the relationship with this friend...I there FELT like some spiritual glass ceiling was between us.

Bottom- line- it made me feel like "project" not a person.

I'm not honestly sure, if it was me- the relationship- or her. But something wasn't right.

We had fun. I learned. But that was about it. I called her friend- (and she did the same, I think) but it wasn't that girlfriend, sister- love- thing.

Later- we (My husband and I) changed churches (TOTALLY unrelated) I started to meet new people. They were different. I met women who liked me. They gave to me. Some were older- some the same age- others younger.... This was different. We wondered together- we asked questions- together, we encouraged each other. They received what I had to give---We gave to each other whatever we had to give.

This was sister-love-God stuff.

Looking back, I see a totally different response in me. One set of relationships made me feel like a project, another set made me feel a "part". The only real difference I can see- is in the mutuality of the relationships.

In Mark 12--- a story is told--- about a woman's small offering....

The Widow's Offering

41Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,[a]worth only a fraction of a penny.[b]
43Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."

Funny- my first instinct, when someone- who I know doesn't have much- wants to give to me--- is to say--- "no, you keep it" I want them to hold onto what they have. Yet, Jesus received the Widows Mite, and did it actually- with respect, and great joy. I wonder how she would have felt or responded- had He rejected it- even if out of concern for her?

Another time- a woman comes to where Jesus is, sits at His feet- and breaks a beautiful expensive box of perfume over them... then- she lovingly wiped them clean with her hair. The disciples got seriously ticked off. They were mad that she had wasted so much--- (they could have sold it on eBay, maybe?) and used the money for ministry..

But- Jesus' response was different. He welcomed her gift. He said it was to prepare Him for His death.. she gave something- and Jesus received it--- and it ministered to Him in preparation for the CROSS!

I've been looking at my relationships- all of them. The ones that are cursory, the ones that are deep. And I'm wondering.... do I make people feel like Sunday School Projects?

I think that God is showing me- that the way we reach out- is thru love. But what is love? Is it giving? Yes. It is. But it's also in receiving. The relationships that have brought me closer to God- have been the ones that were mutual. The ones that felt like we were on a journey together. The ones where whatever I had to give was received. And I received, what others had to give.

Even when surrounded by people who had much more than me, spiritually (their experience and knowledge) and physically, when the relationships are mutual, I don't feel like a "project".

I've been going to a "spinning class".(as in yarn, not exercise;) I have felt that I am there for a purpose..... and I've been watching for the "God Moments"... the openings to share my faith....... etc...

This morning- while looking back- I'm looking forward- and I'm wondering... here are these women.. (4 of them all over 65) I've been wanting to GIVE them so much... but- what if- part of God's plan- is that I receive from them? Their wisdom, their experience..... especially in a culture- that devalues those who aren't "young"...

What if, in my RECEIVING, I am giving them a sense of honor? Of Value? Of God? Of Love and appreciation? What if that is the key to their hearts?

I'm not sure... but I'll be honest- I DON'T want these women to feel like Sunday school projects. I want them to be loved. By God. Through me. However that needs to look.

Dear Lord- as I look at the relationships in my life that have changed me so much- I see that they have been mutual, not a "tit for tat" keeping accounts kind of mutual, but lovingly mutual- one who has- gives- one who needs receives.... I pray that I can take that kind of love to others- and that in reaching out to them- they feel loved- and not like a "project"...I love you Lord-and am so thankful for all the people you have put in my life- and for all that you will be...Amen

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Cocoa Puff Confetti.... Celebrating every moment

"The Wiggles" blared out of the CD player- and Noah was dancing.....then, out of the corner of my eye I noticed, small , brown, flying objects. I turned, to see Cocoa Puffs, bouncing, rolling and flying around the living room.

" Noah! STOP. THROWING CEREAL!" I yelled.

(just a point of interest- the Sami Dog doesn't NECESSARILY eat everything Noah throws on the floor- yes, it figures)

With a HUGE grin across his face, and NO semblance of guilt....he said...."It's a party, Mommy, I gotta have confetti"

Music, dancing, confetti, Yep. ( I guess) All the makings of a party.

To Noah- every day is a party. Everything thing is to be celebrated. Songs must be sung at the top; of your lungs- without concern for acoustics, voice control, or key for that matter. While being sung- they should certainly be danced too.
If you are singing and dancing- then of course, there should be confetti. "Don't have any" you say? Improvise... (Noah did;)

It's the celebratory, intent of the heart, that turns common things, moments and actions into parties. It's the intent of the heart that turns everyday moments into celebrations, even holy moments.

Sometimes- I get so BUSY in my daily life- that I forget to enjoy it. I forget to celebrate it. I forget, to remember.......

John 10
The Shepherd and His Flock

1"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." 6Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
7Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[
a] He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The last section- Jesus spends, reminding us why He came. He came- so that we can have life- and life to the full.

"Life to the full." Ummm, that doesn't hold much meaning for me.

As someone who " watches my weight... " (at the moment-watching it go up---;) being "full" is generally something I try to avoid. Yet- Jesus says that is WHY He came. I need to get a better understanding...

The word used here is "Perissos" It means.... "Abundant" "Over and above" "More than enough", "more abundantly".

I am currently- preparing for a PARTY. A Graduation party for a friends son. I am in charge of Brownies. Lots of Brownies. Different kinds of brownies. I will be baking for the rest of the week. ;) (too bad for me about the weight thing)

A banquet of brownies, actually. When we met for the party's planning- we talked of abundance- we want to make sure there are plenty of BEANS ... (made by our resident bean queen, I may add) Plenty of cheesy potatoes. Plenty of brownies. Fruit salad...Meatballs...Abundance.

Abundance in party planning- I GET.

Abundance in Life? I need reminders for.

This morning- it took the form of Cocoa puff confetti.

I doubt that abundance in life- means holding a never ending party. (although I'm open to that;)Please, who would change the diapers? Clean the toilets? Do the LAUNDRY? Clean up the confetti? COOK the FOOD for the party?

Maybe, - just maybe, regardless of our situation, our task at hand- or our emotions--- we can experience abundance of life- in our hearts.

In the everyday moments. In the vacuuming of cereal. In the folding of laundry. In the smile of my child. In the middle of our messes. Whether they are physical, or emotional.

The truth is--- "He works all things together for good- for those who love God and are called according to His purpose" Roman's 8:28

Whether I FEEL like, life is a party or not--- whether I see cocoa puffs or confetti- God is at work. God is present. Life is abundant.

That makes me hear music.

That makes me see confetti.

Uh oh... I think I gotta dance.....;)

Dear Lord- I thank you for giving me an abundant life- regardless of how things sometimes appear, or feel. I thank you for reminding me to celebrate in the middle of it. To throw confetti- even if it's cocoa puffs for now. I love you Lord-amen.

Hmmmmm just a final sidebar- I am considering (well we NEED ) new carpet- anybody got a recommendation for something that will hide ground in Cocoa puffs? Maybe we'll go pergo- might be easier to sweep and mop- if we're gonna do all this partying.

(maybe one more sidebar... lest the concerned mommies get upset. Noah, while I recognize that he had no malice, DID sit in time out for throwing cereal. He knows he's not allowed to throw food... it was a momentary lapse- I'm sure;)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Back to the basics......

backtothebasics 002 Sometimes- you need to simplify.

I signed up for "The Amazing Lace" excited- challenged. Then, I ran into problems. I wasn't "getting it" The problems frustrated me. The more frustrated I got, the more mistakes I made. The circle could have gone on indefinitely.

Sometimes- in my desire to push ahead, to keep moving forward, I get ahead of the pattern, whether in knitting, or in life. I tend to rush things.

I want to KNOW, instead of LEARN. I want to FINISH, instead of enjoy the PROCESS.

It tends to casue me to knit knots.

The same, sometimes holds true, in my walk with God. I don't understand something, so I try desperately to figure it out. Looking at it from every angle, examining every possible implication. Picking it apart in the process. Instead of relaxing and letting God do His work in me .

When I find this happening in knitting- I get back to the basics. There are really only 2 stitches in knitting. Knit. and Purl.

That lace was making me crazy. So, in an act of simplicity, I cast on for a basket weave wrap.
(Isn't that what crazy people do? Basket weaving? )

cast on a multiple of 10 (I used 60, in Noro silk garden lite colorway 2013, on a US #7 circ)

5 rows seed stitch (knit1 purl 1) for border
5 stitches in seed stitch *knit 5 purl 5 *5 stitches in seed stitch
5 stitches in seed stitch *purl 5 knit 5 * 5 stitches in seed stitch
alternating these two rows for 5 rows , then reverse for 5 rows, repeat

end in 5 rows seed stitch.

The basics. knit and purl. A rest. A place of peace, simplicity, in a crazy-making lace covered world.

What about in my Journey with God?

Honestly- the times I'm "knitting knots, spiritually"- is most often when I'm trying to knit "spiritual lace" when the pattern calls for one stitch. knit-or purl.

My problem lies, in wanting to know how everything works together--- all the details. (Ummm yeah, I see that is wanting to have the mind of GOD. To know everything. duh. what a dork.Things ound really bad when you say them out loud)

Instead of concentrating on the next stitch, a simple- knit or purl. I try to think ahead. When trying to think ahead, I lose focus. Make mistakes.

So- it's then that I go back to basics in my walk, too.

What are the basics?
Well- since I have a little guy, and God frequently uses him to remind me- this is what I'm reminded of, by his singing today....

"Jesus loves me this I know,
For the Bible tells me so,
Little ones to Him Belong
They are weak, but He is Strong"

Nothing else really matter does it?

Where I am weak- I lack understanding- He is strong. Where I am messy, ask questions that don't need to be answered, and avoid asking the ones that I should, He loves me.

The truth? I think I'm pretty annoying. See- it's not about's about God- He loves, becasue he IS love. Then, I love Him back.

God's love for me: Knit
My love for Him: Purl

all the rest--- I'll leave to the pattern maker.

Dear Lord- help me to follow you closely- with all my heart- one stitch at a time- simple, knit, purl. Help me to not try to get ahead of the pattern, to not knit knots in my walk with you, I love you Lord- amen.

John 3:16-18

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

Yeah- go ahead- picture the lame John 3:16 guy in the rainbow wig at the football game....sometimes, crazy simple people, are right. ;)

OK- that was judgemental.... assuming he's crazy because of the wig..... but come on.

Crazy or not- he's iconic- picture the rainbow wig and most people think John 3:16. They get the point.

Monday, June 12, 2006

On asking the right questions......

Have you ever caught yourself- in the middle of a quandry... loaded with questions, seeking knowledge, searching for understanding, so you can make a right, and sensible decision?

Then, suddenly in the middle of the barrage of questions being formed....have you realized that all the questions don't matter, because you're asking the wrong questions?

I have.

I am at the moment.

It usually means, I am avoiding an answer that I don't want to hear. Not, because I am sure of what the answer will be, before I ask, but because of what may be required, in response to whatever the reply may be.

I learned long ago- that God's plan is not always one, that ,on the surface, I like, or even one that makes sense. Sometimes the path He chooses to take me down, instead of smooth, feels bumpy. Risky. Sometimes, even dangerous.

I may even have to change. My plans, my preferences, my understanding.

So, ocasionally, instead of asking and following- I ask questions AROUND the topic.

Kind of like at Christmas- and you're asking little questions to see if you can deduce what your gift may be... not QUITE asking outright- but not, NOT asking either. As a kid I remember wanting to know- but not wanting to be disappointed. I also- in "psycho me" style--I still wanted to hold onto the excitement... stretch it out ...just a bit....longer... to savor the surprise.

It's fine if we're talking about Christmas Gifts, not the will of God.

Ask, Seek, Knock
7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
9"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?

Today (while asking questions around an issue) I read this anew. Not, from the "God answering prayer" perspective--- but from the God answering, what we ask, perspective. If I ask the wrong question.... It's possible, I'll get the answer to to what I ask, instead of what I need to know.

"If I ask for bread, will He give me a stone?" If I ask Him "WHAT?" (which I want to know--- the "whats" for me, are generally the details..) ... will He answer the question of "WHERE?" (which I need to know, because it's my job to follow, not, to determine the best, or most sensible, course of action)

I suppose, theoretically, He could answer either. But- in my life- He usually, patiently waits for me to ask, the question I need answered. Somehow, in the waiting- He is already working, preparing me, for the answer.

So what's my problem? Well- (among other things) sometimes, I'm afraid of what the answer may be. I believe in a fully sovereign God- who doesn't have to "do what I want". God is NOT Santa Clause. That means, I may have to risk. I may have to change. His plan, may be different from what I want. A gift- but maybe not what I had in mind.

In general, risk and change feel frightening. Not predictable.

Then- in the middle of the doubt-fear, questions...I remember the Savior. Duh. Yeah. I know.

The one who died for me, is the same one whom I'm asking for direction from. No matter, how things LOOK, or how they FEEL, God in in control. I trust His plan. Because I trust Him. Regardless. His plan is perfect.

So- today, - I'm trusting the Savior. And asking. No more beating around the bush...

Dear Lord- I am wanting to follow, wherever you'll lead in all my life (whether I like it or not;) So, Lord... I'm asking..for your clear direction and I'm listening, fully prepared, to follow. Where ever. I love you Lord- and trust you. amen.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

when loaded with questions- concerns and deep prayers you gotta do 2 things- laugh, and dance

So tonight- I'm laughing at this guys dancing-AGAIN.

To those who've already seen it- sorry- but- what can I say---it's my blog and I'll laugh if I need too.....;)


DayQuil, NyQuil, Virus killing tissues. Airborn, juice, tea, water, chicken soup.

Noah and I are sick.

It's a good old fashioned miserable stuffy headed cold thing.

We shall live.

(I hope)

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Amazing Lace---- Extreme Crazy Making

notsoamazinglace 003

Extreme Knitting---- Extreme Crazimaking.

17 times to cast-on is a charm? Maybe, maybe not. This is not what I expected. I entered "The Amazing Lace" with all intentions of having a positive experience.

So far- not so good. I expected to face a challenge--- to climb a lace knitting mountain... and reach the summit.

So far- I've just reached a new pinnacle of crazy. Not exactly my goal. Crazy pretty much happens naturally- it doesn't take work, learning or challenge- it is basically my "DEFAULT setting".

I love the look of Eunny' Pattern... But- my project has been riddled with "ISSUES." I started with a variegate- yarn- Knitpicks "Shimmer"- in the turquoise colorway. I cast on- knit - ripped, cast on re-knit- trying to "get" the pattern. Once I finally "GOT" it... I decided the yarn just wasn't working with this pattern. I needed something solid colored...

I changed yarn... to knit picks "Shadow" in "vineyard", after countless cast-ons and false starts... I think I have the pattern... pretty much down....

Yet- the feel of this yarn--- is NOT doing it for me.

It's bouncy--- but no sheen and kind of itchy feeling.....

My dilemma:

What to do? Keep going? Hope it softens after a good soak in Eucalan? Or dump it and pick another yarn--- or another LACE PATTERN... or QUIT altogether??????????

Honestly- I think I want to rip the whole thing- (am on repeat 6, of like 28) Or- quite possible I want to rip out all my hair! (ummm bald probably wouldn't be a good look for me...)

This morning- instead of trudging ahead--- I spun up some alpaca as a means of fiber-therapy. soft- creamy fiber---- nice wheel--- spinning rt along until I started sneezing and sniffling.

Apparently, I have Alpaca allergy issues.

GREAT. I cannot spin--- I cannot knit.

I think I'll lose my mind---- Knitting is supposed to be relaxing. Right? RIGHT??????

NOT Today.

I'm going to do laundry. While I eat chocolate and research a few doctrinal can lace be possessed?

I'm going to strategize with my Lace partner---well- maybe I'll make threats, do some further "Yarn experimentation"...maybe have a lace bonfire.

Or, in the most possible evil way to deal with lace gone bad--- I'll ask some mafia moths, I know- to perform a kind of "Moth meets wool Exorcism".......

See- I told you... it's driven me crazy.....I just hope the trip back to normal will be as quick as my jaunt to crazy....

Interesting thought- GOING CRAZY--- is a short trip... Why is going NORMAL so much longer a journey??

hmmmm tried to re-read this post...... the pic doesn't look bad...

After all this whining-- I think I'll just keep going.

Oh my word- I AM NUTS!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

hack cough wheeze.. fat woman dies, having an asthma attack while chasing beagle- who only stops to kill a bird- then run again


You know it's been a long time since you've exercised--- when you have to chase down the beagle after the Noah boy releases her into the wild...and you return, sounding like hippo dying of asthma.

While sipping coffee- this morning- I heard the "woo whooo" sound that suffices for Noah's "whistle" for Sami.

Noah whistling for Sami is a bad thing.

It means he let her out the door. (well, it means he opened the patio door- and she bolted)

We have no fences in our neighborhood. We have loads of critters (skunks, possum, raccoons, birds and a fox, the deer have moved on) in our neighborhood. Sami is a beagle. Beagles hunt. Beagles bodies get outside-then, their noses engage the ground. It is a serious relationship between beagles and propels their cute little possessed bodies forward, as if their brain has been by-passed- with only the nose, left to controls their movements, and that it does.

Sami cannot hear, when she is chasing critters. Sami is a hunting machine.

I grabbed the leash (dragging a squirming beagle thro a swamp by the collar is not a favorite past-time) couldn't find shoes- with the exception of sandals....slipped them on- risking ankle breakage, and then threatened the child that if he moved from his spot on the couch he would NEVER see "Sprout TV" again.

Then, I took off, after the possessed beast.

Ran thro the swamp- (really a water retention pond in the common area behind our house) weeds above my knees- mosquitoes, buzzing and trying to follow the zigzagging white tipped beagle tale- as it searched for prey.

I lost my "visual" soon enough. At which point I remembered that before exercising--- (this was) I need to take my inhaler. I had the leash- I had "shoes" (well- kind of) but no inhaler.

Wheeeeeeeeeze, cough, hack. cough hack huff puff.

So our morning began.

I chased her into the next sub- where she promptly killed a bird.

I could see it as if in slow motion..... "NO Sami!" It was too late- the carnage had begun.....

I thought that would be my chance--- I kick off the stupid sandals... and sprinted (ok, I wheezed puffed) to where she was on point with the bird.

(Sami gets confused- bird- rabbit--- eat it or kill it or point it out to her People)

She barked in a circle around the poor flopping bird.... I DOVE to get her....(well- I may have fallen while trying to reach for her.. but let's say "DOVE")

The grass was wet.

I didn't get her.

But, I DID avoid the bird. (yuk)

I didn't break anything. I slid.

I then, also became possessed- (i must have- because the evil hoarse wheezy "SAMI"that came from my mouth, finally stopped her.)

I grabbed her by the collar. wrapped the lead around my wrist. Summoned up what was left of my wheezy dignity, and walked her home. On a VERY short leash.

Absolutely afraid that Noah had started his own search- and I'd have to find him next.

He hadn't. He was crying by the back door.

Things I learned this morning:

1) I need to put the sliding door lock back on.

2) I need to keep tennis shoes by the back door.

3) I need to exercise. (SO I can better chase dogs and kids)

4) I need to get my inhaler prescription refilled

5) I do like this stupid dog. ( I went running thru the neighborhood sans makeup- in a tank top and sweats and sandals to get the stupid thing... THAT shows love- trust me;) I would chase her again, if she got out later today. (I would beat her butt- when I got her--- but I'd chase her just the same)

I also think it's a very good thing that God doesn't have asthma- because I have been SOOOO like Sami. Nose to the ground- sniffing to find "what I want"-- oblivious to my surroundings- running too close to a dangerous road.

Fortunately- for me- God is a much better runner. He is patient and loving- and never WHEEZES. Sometimes he patiently waits for me to tire- and return. Sometimes-without giving chase- He "Arrives" and makes himself known in the middle of my chase.

I stop. I walk home with Him. Instead of a "butt whooping" I get a gentle reminder of His love for me.....He rejoices when He finds us- regardless of where we're running- or what we've done...

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
Matthew 18: 10-14
"See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.

Dear Lord- I love you- thank you for chasing me- although- I feel more like a dumb dog- than a dumb sheep- but I suppose it's the same....Thank you for loving me enough, to die on a cross- for my sin. Thank you for your patience love and mercy in my life- thank you for helping me catch that stupid dog today- We do care about her, even if she's bad!
I love you Lord- and ask you to help me be patient with others, to help me run only TO you - and never FROM you.

Best of all- Thank you for catching me Lord- and walking home with ME! Amen!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sami's fine with it.......


At my house this comic would go one step further----

See- Noah is pretty sure sharing with the dog is absolutely FINE. (He'd fight for the marshmallows though)

I once told him.... "Don't eat that.. the dog was eating it!"

He answered-- "Sami's fine with it. She likes to share with me."

I honestly think he THOUGHT I was saying not to take the dog's food.

I'm not sure how I feel about the current status of my mothering.

Noah is the 3rd of 3 boys.

There is a large gap in their ages--- (most know- they are 16, 14 and 4)

Let's just say that my "parenting style" has changed pretty dramatically over the last 17 years.

My "First Born" ate only home-made baby food, watched only PBS, and wasn't allowed to have any gun-or weapon related toys. I taught him to read at 3. He says I was too protective. I probably was-- but I have to say- my methods of control didn't work. I had read everything- and tried to do everything RIGHT. Somethings worked- some--- not so much.

He learned to crave junk food- (still loves it) IS pretty picky about TV (but we all are... there isn't much we really like... but what we do --- we really DO;) although he had no "toy guns" he made EVERYTHING into a gun. He now LOVES war games and strategy/ killing video games.

My "Middle Child" was born in the busy frantic years--- 2 kids 2 1/2 yrs apart.... he ate what we did- or what his brother did- played games and had guns. He ate cookies , candy etc...he's now more apt to order a caesar salad- than to order dessert. He's not much into killing games, plays them when he feels like it.../ but not as obsessed.

The "Little Guy"? Well- he enjoys being a part of what the big guys do--- whether it's fishing, games or "The Deadliest Catch" or "Mythbusters". He likes to go online--- but prefers to any of the big guy stuff-- he also loves kipper the dog... and Pingu....he'll eat what we do, but we usually have pretty healthy meals... will eat snacks but it just as apt to ask for string cheese as he is for for the violence quota--- like most boys he's a gun making, bad guy getting, superhero. Spiderman is his hero of preferance. He occasionally watches.... oh my WORD--- POWER RANGERS!

Actually- we're spider family- maybe you didn't know?

I am SpiderMom
Dad is Spider Dad
Noah is Spiderman.

He hates the Green Goblin.

He and Daddy have the whole 67 season of the original Spiderman cartoons....... thats a LOT of cartoons.

My oldest sometimes says he can't believe I've let the little guy actually WATCH Power Rangers......(there was no way when Mike was little that I'd let HIM....)

Sometimes I wonder-- has it been a slippery slope type of thing????

Some probably has--- but truthfully- I think I've learned to lighten up. Some of the "protective measures" I've taken, have had the opposite effect from what I WANTED.

Yet, there ARE limits. It's NOT an "anything goes" type of home- by far. But, I think- one of the most valuable things I've learned- is that CONSISTENCY doesn't mean INFLEXIBILITY.

The truth is--- some of the things I once held pretty firm- I now see as ineffective. For my family. And- in reality- for me.Sometimes in trying to do everything RIGHT--- we made ourselves crazy. When we realized it-- we had to be flexible and change--- or go NUTS--- or worse- make our kids NUTS! Or- sick.....for example....

While in one of my "Perfect Mom Phases" with the oldest- (poor kid) I was convinced that refined sugar was the enemy.

In an act of "good momminess" I bought him "sugar free" gummy bears. SOunded like a "good mom" thing to do.

Have you ever read the warning on sugar free candy? Let's just say--- I should have... it reads:


In a 2 year old--- going to grandmas to spend the night.... It DID. A LOT of it.

All over the boat club. (Hmmmm I missed that---it was a date noght for mom and dad... aw geeee....;)

I guess the verdict is still out on my new approach to parenting- the "less controlling" one.... the proof will be in the kid pudding I suppose- but now the pudding will be made with natural sugar--- it has less side effects;)

Dear Lord- I pray for wisdom in parenting- help me to honor you with my decisions and my choices, God- I pray I know where to draw lines- and where not to bother......I love you Lord- and trust you with my guys--- besides- I know in my heart they really belong to you-But- God-- the whole Noah sharing his food with Sami, whenever I turn my back? --- please protect him from the dog GERMS!!!! I love you Lord- amen.

Monday, June 05, 2006

8th Grade Graduation

Recently- a friend posted an entry

"Life is about Change"

She's right.

Funny thing about change- I have a knack for denying it.

I got skills.

My middle son, will be graduating for 8th grade Wednesday. It marks yet another change for our family- there will now be 2 highschoolers at our house.

It still feels like they are my "babies".... they are sooooo NOT. I am still cramming my 6ft tall 200+ pound boy into the back seat of my mini suv.

Denial. I've taken denial to a whole new level.

A few years ago- I took one of my sons to the ER.... because his face had this strange rash....I was sure it was hand foot and mouth or something- communicable.

The doctor pulled me aside- "It's puberty"

"Oh crap- that's not communicable--- it's terminal!" I actually thought.

Denial can become a skill- even an artform. Sometimes I knit, somtimes I spin, sometimes I work masterpieces in denial. This is just one of them.

"Maybe if I don't think about it it will go away. " I think..

It doesn't.

My kids are growing up. I want them to, mostly.

They are changing, I want them to, mostly.

When I was pregnant- I remember- thinking- "I like kids who can talk- I'm afraid of babies... I don't know if I can handle that.."

Then I had babies- and I loved it.

I remember thinking, "babies are great- until they start getting into things.. I don't know if I can handle that.."

Then they did- and I loved them all the more.

I remember thinking- "There's no way I can handle them being in school" And we enjoyed it.

I remember thinking "There's no way I can handle teens" and- honestly- I love it. My guys are wonderful. I LIKE them. I LIKE who they are each one is sooo different- and loved.

I guess- although I still struggle with denial- I've learned to trust- that we can do anything- together- even puberty- highschool- eventually college- jobs- marriage....I'll be a mother in law.

Oh my word that's scary. But- you know what? It'll be fun.

I've loved every part of my kids development.

Now- i see my little denial sidetrips as funny. Cute in a way- they don't last long. They can't-- all I have to do is look around. Well- unless I look around and interpret puberty as a rash.

Trust me- that's just embarrassing.

Especially when you've worked with kids- and are passionate about child development- and have taught parenting seminars!!!!!

The reality- is change isn't bad. Well- not all change. But- most of it comes with it's own forms of grief- we grieve losses- big and small.... moving- changes in relationships, changes in work, etc. Even good changes provoke some sense of the loss of what WAS.

But they also bring the HOPE of what is to be.

It's true- we're embarking on a new adventure- one in high-school--- but the reality is- the adventures we've had in the past have prepared us for this one too.

Another funny thing about- me--- while being skilled at denial--- I still have a love for adventure. People, cultures- experiences, travel.... it's all adventure to me. I'm trying to keep that perspective with my kids---

well- MOSTLY.

So- Wednesday- I'll be crying at my kids 8th grade graduation.

I'll grieve- a little... and I'll start wondering what God has next for him, for all of us.

Around here- lifes' always and adventure.

Dear Lord- I love my guys- and thank you for entrusting them into my care--- I pray that you prepare us for our next adventures- please help us learn to navigate all the changes that life brings- and to do it in a way that honors you- I love you Lord- amen

Sunday, June 04, 2006

OOOPS I offended again.

Man. All I was trying to do, was be with friends, and support their man-child- who we all love.

So how did I offend?

I took pictures, during a high school play. *gasp*

Whom did I offend? Someone I don't know.

Apparently- it is no longer possible to take innocent pictures of a high-school play, to later enjoy the memories of a child you've watched grow from a boy to a man.

Because you might be some kind of freak.

I must have missed the announcement, (umm maybe I wasn't listening?..) about there not being any picture taking/filming. (Did I mention I have a bad habit of tardiness?)

After the play was over- my picture taking, made a woman so upset, that she needed to confront me. (loudly) with the director. (She was pretty sure I was planning to put the pictures on the internet or something...) I offered to give her the memory stick -from my camera- for her keeping, I offered to let her see the pictures... so she wouldn't have to worry, I apologized. I explained that I did not "film" the play......

Nothing made any difference.

She had decided before she ever came across the room, what my motivation was, and how wrong I was. She was angry. VERY ANGRY.

Honestly- I felt embarrassed, ticked off, and almost ready to cry. I was sure there was a misunderstanding....I tried to explain. I wasn't doing anything wrong. I also felt bad- to have caused her to be so upset. At one point I wondered if it was a joke... it wasn't.

Basically- after the confrontation- she left- upset. I was upset, the Director was upset. What a mess. I was feeling the unraveling feeling of becoming a mess.

Fortunately- my friends rescued me with laughter, through loving me and laughing at the ridiculous accusations made about me- they really did keep me from breaking down in tears. They also helped me keep perspective on the whole thing.

This morning- I prayed for the lady who was so upset. Her child is safe- I am not "a bad guy" who's gonna do bad stuff with pictures of her child.....but- she doesn't know that. I feel bad for her. The truth is the world is pretty messed up. We need to balance healthy protection for our kids, with trust. Anger is usually based in some other emotion- hers was probably based in fear. I prayed that God would comfort her.

After praying for her today--- I felt convicted as well.

While I generally don't fly off the handle at people . (OK- not at people I don't KNOW) I can think of a number of times where I, decided I knew someones' motivation, purpose or intent- without bothering to ask...or- regardless of their answer.

Call it intuition, call it gut or call it assumption. Sometimes I'm wrong.

I've even, totally built up an emotional response- that refused to change in light of any facts or words that expressed the contrary. Eventually, I come around--- but there has already been damage done to relationships.

It's sad- that the world has become so messy- that we sometimes respond to each other- like everyone is a potential enemy. Whats sadder- is, that I sometimes do. Even, to people I love.

Dear Lord- help me to always walk in your truth- to trust in your truth, and to believe it. God- I ask that you help me to be wise- and trusting, to be protective of my kids and yet loving to others I meet. Lord- help me to not just assume or judge anothers heart or motivations- in anything-- we both know I have a hard enough time doing that for my own! I love you Lord, and ask you to comfort that mom, please- help her to know and trust that her child is safe. I love you Lord- amen.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Confessions of an Iced Tea Freak/snob/addict


June bugs, sunshine, camping, pic-nics, barbe-ques, painting the windows on my truck to embarrass my children on the last day of school,

pulling out shorts from last year--- (crap they don't fit- we won't talk bathing suits here) Kool-aid, hotdogs--- (don't tell me about them- or what is in them or how they are made- leave my bubble-- please, it's a junk food I like).

Knitting in the sun. Reading in the sun. Fishing with my guys. (especially if I catch the biggest fish.) Floating with friends in 4 inches of water on "floaties" in a lake..riding borrowed jetskis--- FAST.

The smell on sunblock on little, sand covered boys.

Going to the lake. (any lake)

And what SAYS Summer to me???


Old Fashioned, brewed from the teapot- with tea you'd drink hot- strong, plain, fresh iced tea.

No fruit- maybe fresh mint- or a scant teaspoon of sugar-- not quite dissolved- so it makes sweet, caffeinated sludge on the bottom of the glass. (I leave it there- whatever- it's how I do it;)

A straw.

Always ice and a straw.

NOT "sweet tea".

Not, "tea in a can". Or, raspberry tea.

I used to like "Sun Tea" until a nurse friend wrecked it for me....(google "bacterial growth in suntea"- or don't your choice- if you love it- just DON'T, to preserve your love- live in denial.)

Not sugary, lemony pop tasting stuff. Not tea from a mix, or tea with lemonade......

But, real. Iced Tea.

By the gallon, by the jug, if I could brew a Keg-- (i'll get interesting google hits out of that one) I would. Then- I'd drink it all myself.

Iced Tea.

My mom used to make it in the morning- in her lavander zip up fleece robe ... water brought to a boil in a soup pot- then tea bags tossed in- usually red-rose or lipton.

Then- into the big, orange tupperware pitcher.

Nothing added- but you can sweeten in the glass- if you want to... Iced Tea. Glass dripping with condensation- better if sipped while floating in a a lake....Iced Tea.

Coffee in the mornings- (of course) But- in the summer---


I don't know why, but I can love tea- both hot and cold- while coffee that is iced- is WRECKED.

It's not that I think my way is better--- but I love it most.

So know- you know---

Yet another addictive process in my life-

Iced Tea.

Places with decent drive thru tea- in a pinch-

McDonald's ( I hate McDonalds)Tim Horton's
add your suggestions to the comments--- I'll add them to the body of the [ost- for other poor addicted souls.

My Iced Tea Recipe:
(Yeah- like I pay attention)

12 GOOD tea bags- (If you wouldn't drink it hot- don't bother)

1 gallon fresh water brough to a boil

Pour water over bags- (in a heat safe- picture I have a giant rubbermaid one- but glass would be better)

Steep about 10 minutes (or until you remember- or can wait no longer)

Pour while hot over ice cubes- (go to the gas station if the kids forget to fill them)

listen to the ice explode

stir in less than a teaspoon of sugar, with a straw.

Suck it down--- all day long.

Whats your favorite brand of tea to brew???

post away!:) I'll sip tea and read.

The last campsite in Michigan on Memorial ay weekend... yes- we knew it would be an was.

campingmemorialday 012
Originally uploaded by soltrcy.

Sometimes you just "roll with it". Thats what we did.

It was an interesting trip to say the least.

It was an RV park.... which apparently gives you the opportunity to have a "full hook-up" but that means you have about 8 feet of room between campers-- (not sites) and apparently it also means- you'll be eating dinner on a picnic table that is 3 feet from your neighbors "poop-pipe"

OK- so we mostly ate inside- it was hot- so that was workable.

Did I mention 90 + degrees? HOT, very HOT.

So, Saturday we went to Cabelas. yehaw.

Boys all had fun.

We also explored a cute little town... Blissfield or something, where "Floyd" the Barber (OK- some other name- but SAME kind of guy) cut DH's hair.... not sure about the haircut- but DH fellin love with Floyd. (oy)

We also scoured a few antique shops- I found a very cool old bell- sans clapper- for the mantle... and a cute little pin to wear on my silk kiri.

Saturday night was a big campfire- pyro fest---- until we noticed a disgusting SMELL.... it was the ground... and it smelled like rotten eggs everytime the sun went down- I refuse to even imagine why. I don't want to know.

Sunday- was even hotter- so, of course- we went to the Zoo. I managed to find Knitting paraphernalia at the zoo;)- they carried Lanternmoon baskets- so I picked one up that will work great for the rest of my summer knitting./camping.

The Monkeys were sweating--- (ok- I made that up) but we sure were- so we went to dinner -then back to the campground to the "heated pool" heated for polar bears- I suppose! ....Then played games in the camper...scrabble wth a preschooler and 2 teens is a trip.

We also played some card games that I still am not sure how to play--- but we had a great time.

Sunday night- one of my guys- whose identity is here protected--- got a stomach thing---and tossed his cookies ---in the sink. NOT fun to clean out a camper sink in the middle of the night.

He was fine the next day.... oh, camping is always an adventure!!

Monday we headed home---

Busy, stinky fun and silly- I'm always amazed- 1) that we survive--- and 2) that the same people who nearly kill each other in a house that is plenty big enough--- can get along so well.. in a 100th of the space.... (don't bother I didn't do the math- I made those numbers up)

Anyway- that was the camping adventure--- more pics on the flickr badge--- ;)

Dear Lord- thanks for a great sweaty stinky adventure filled weekend with my guys- I love them Lord- and thank you for them...amen!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Experiment in Flickr

fingerpainting with fiber 006
Originally uploaded by soltrcy.
Experiments in Flickr..

We shall see. Well, now- apparently flickr worked- although I recieved an error message..... this may take a bit of time to figure out.;)

Knitting spinning and the "Amazing Lace Introduction..."

Spinning? Yep- 8 oz. of 80/20 merino silk. spun, plied and taking a rest before washing and drying.
(Pic is pre plying)

Plied Pretties---- Looking about "sport wt" to me... but will have my "Spinning Master" check next week.

Any guesses whom my partner (aka: The bane of my exisitence) may be???

A few clues-

1) It is a free pattern, available online.

2) It was not designed by a "bunny" but I THINK "bunny" every time I see her name.

3) It is a "stole" pattern with a shetland construction method.

Give up?
Click here to find out.... Click: "Print'O The Waves"

A few tidbits about My "Amazing Lace Adventure" already:

I've chosen a pattern with techniques I've not yet tried, such as the picked up and knitted on border- (THAT should be fun....)

I've chosen a pattern that I've already attempted, but ditched.
(A glutton for punishment? Setting myself up for failure? Quite possibly- both.)

1) This yarn will be dyed- it is totally erradicating the lace pattern.

2) I have cast on and started this project no less than 10 times. (By george- I think I've got it...THINK being the operative word here.)

3) Either this project will make me crazy or prove me brilliant, the former being more probable.

As I am already a bit jaded, I thought I'd call in an objective interviewer to offer the "Laces" side of this story.

Below you'll find the interview's synopsis.

Interview with "The Lace"

"Lace, Thus far, how do you view your partner?"

"Well, to be honest, I find her trying- she just can't seem to keep up with me, I'm afraid she'll bog me down"

"So do you have any suggestions for improvement?"

"I'd suggest she relax, have a cuppa tea, some chocolate, and follow the pattern."

"Do you have any hope?"

"There is always hope."

"Can you tell us why you've joined the "Amazing Lace"?

"Well, I like to see knitters challenged to the edge of their skill set, then grown. This one has a lot of room for growing, if you know what I mean."

"So, you're here to promote this knitter to levels as of yet unreached?"

"Well, that, or drive her nuts, either one is good for me."

SEE! I told you! She's trying to drive me nuts!

To which I say, "BRING IT!"

I've made it through 4 repeats of chart 1. I can DO this.

(i think;)

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