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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

running... out... of... time....

christmas gridHave yet to knit-

A hat (copy of a Hollister Co. Hat ) (already started...fingers crossed, which makes it hard to knit, I'll tell you that.)

Tiny little ballerina slippers for my niece.

Have yet to do....

Oh- way too much to list here. Let's just say I have 3 spreadsheets I'm working from...

Christmas Spreadsheets: (yeah, I'm crazy like that)

1) Christmas gifts- bought to buy and wrapped columns.

2) To do list- cleaning

2) To buy- cook/bake list for parties- (Christmas Eve and Christmas day)

PS- have to make a trip to the vet- our girl Sami (aka: bad dog Sami) had another (much smaller) seizure this morning... please pray for our girl. thnx.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holding On, Letting Go....

It's been a theme around here lately- the holding on, letting go thing. (yes- I know, a recurring theme- shut up;) My oldest turned 18 last week. And again- I had to pry my fingers loose from around him... so God could continue His work without my getting in the way. A letting go.

Then- I've been cleaning, de-cluttering and clearing for the holidays. (Yes- still, I know I know) I belong to a local group and a request came through for baby gear/clothes for a crisis pregnancy center. The truth is, I've been holding on to my youngest's baby gear. There are warm clothes- blankets, a stroller, bassinette, pack n play... all the accoutrement, just sitting in the basement and closet so I could ocassionally get all hormonal and run a hand over all that baby blue and Noah's Ark theme stuff. Holding on.

When I saw the request, I felt like it was directed to me. Not so much by the requester- but by God. I knew someone holding on to so many baby things that could help. ME.

I suddenly thought it might be selfish to hold on to things someone else needs so much. I responded with an e-mail and started packing it up. I kept the most memory laden- tiny footie- pajamas...Easter, Christmas and special occasion outfits, the silkies (my little guy has a blankie thing;) have been love beyond usefulness, and are staying. Every single one. The rest? I'm letting go.

Being a mother is an ever changing job. One phase shifts to another. Preschool turns to college, play pens to soccer fields. There is a bit of grief mixed with joy over each new phase.

I am done with the baby phase. I cried a bit while I packed it all up. Somehow it made it official, no more babies. (Well- there have been miracles- but at this point, it looks like that song has ended;) First, I felt sad, then-then, a tiny flutter of excitement. God has always taken me from one phase to another in my life. Sure- sometimes the journey is round-about. Sometimes I wish there was a heavenly GPS system telling me what and where I would turn next. But- there is always something next.

I have enjoyed every phase of mothering. (Yes even the pre-teen and teen thing;) I know- that I'll enjoy the next. Whatever that may be.

Dear Lord- It's both sad and exciting to see where you'll lead next. It's also scary. My days as a SAHM with little ones at home are quickly ending. Noah's readying to go to school, Mike's looking at colleges, and Matt is maturing and growing by leaps and bounds. I love being a Mom- and know that doesn't end- but it does change. Please help me to move through the changes with grace and love. God- help me to know what and when to hold on, and when to let go. I'm ready for whatever you have next- I love you Lord- amen.

"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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you" Jeremiah 29:11-14

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow day

snowday mosaicThe walks are shoveled, the fireplace is lit, cocoa has been served. (Drips and coffee cup bottom shaped chocolate rings are still on the kitchen table, somebody really should clean that up) There are crystalized mittens gloves and snowpants dripping on the hard wood. Shearling slippers have been warmed by the fire, and put on tiny snow reddened feet.

Chili is in the crockpot... and I'm happily knitting while I check my "instant order updates" on Amazon. A little snow? - (ok , a lot of snow) won't stop me from Christmas shopping!

The rest of todays plans? Movies on demand, "Facing the Giants" DVD and "Little House on The Prairie Christmas" DVDs, dinner in front of the fireplace... maybe a bit of shortbread cookie baking...and knitting, lots of Christmas knitting- while my teens play runescape, the little guy thaws, and my tired from shoveling our house and others- DH naps;)

...a perfect snowday. Keep warm- ts

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Friday, December 14, 2007

On the blowing of candles and registration for the draft....

my boy Vanilla cake with chocolate frosting----Check

Sushi- check (and yuk.)

Quizno's Classic Italian 12" sub-Check

Sobe Energy drink- yellow- check

Salt and vinegar chips- check

(A strange combination for dinner- but the birthday boy's favorites- just the same.)

Birthday presents and cards- Wrapped and ready.

Dinner shared, lights off, candles blown, and cake eaten. Our family tradition of sharing favorite memories of the person being celebrated, was enjoyed by all. All the bases of a birthday have been covered. Or, so I thought.

After the celebrating was over- he announced- "Mom, you know I have to go to the post office" .... *blink, glazed look of confusion on the face of the mother. "Huh? Not NOW? Right?" I was in my comfy sweats- not exactly visit to the post office wear. "No but soon, I have to register for the draft." was his answer. Without thought, my face communicated what my heart was feeling. My husband and sons looked at me like I was crazy. (not the first time)

"You knew that" Was their reply. I suppose- somewhere in my brain that information was stored. But, it was stuffed in the back stored somewhere under: "things I don't have to think about." Until now. As a woman- turning 18 meant being able to vote- the ability to get into bars/clubs.... but register for the draft? Not so much.

Sure, we don't have a draft. But, we're at war. Every single day, husbands, sons and brothers, mothers enlist and are called on to serve and yes- to even fight.

Regardless of your political viewpoint, in honor of my boys birthday- and in honor of all the men/women serving or left behind-will you pray with me for them and for our nations leaders?

"Dear Lord- Today, I see the boy you entrusted into our care- become and official "adult." I still see the tiny boy with big eyes behind the 200 lb man who is now in his body. I love him as much as any mother loves her son- I pray that you'd be with him every day, continue to guide his choices and be at work in his life, where ever theat leads.

God for all those mom's, wives- sisters who have loved ones in the service- I pray that you'd be with both them and their loved ones with guidance, love, compassion, protection, healing and peace. I ask you to guide our nations leaders, and I pray for peace and security- two things that you alone can truly give. Amen"

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I think I can..... Maybe? A colorwork challenge

we call him spidey hat I always think I can't do new things... until I try. For as long as I've been knitting- I've avoided colorwork. As in- run from it like it's on fire... avoidance.

Then, I found this hat pattern. Too perfect for my little guys Christmas . I had to at least TRY.

Now- I've less than 10 rows to finish the colorwork. And- I'm still in shock. I can do this! It's no where near as hard as I'd thought it would be. Sure- it's slower than straight knitting , but no more so than lace.

I have to say- one of the things I like about knitting- is facing a challenge- and conquering it. Often-one challenge leads to another. Next up for me? The hat is too long- (actually an adult size pattern. So, I'm faced with a big challenge. To rip it all out- and start again... or- to CUT through some of that knitting at the bottom, pick up stitches around the brim.. and knit back down.

The idea of cutting my first colorwork makes me feel like throwing up. But- I'm not the first to do this, and I won't be the last. I'm planning on using this tutorial from Knitty. I'll finish the colorwork first- and will post the process.

For now- Imagine me here- knitting on the couch this afternoon- then cutting up the same knitting... chanting, like the little engine that could "I think I can, I think I can...."

Sure- it's knitting- but I take that confidence gained into other areas. I'm always amazed that God can take even the most mundane and secular of tasks and use them to help change and grow me.... and you - too.

Is there something you're afraid of trying? Something you'd like to be able to do-- but might fail at?

Say it with me---"I think I can, I think I can... Oh Lord- please help me not wreck this..."

PIF goodiessheepie

I received my PIF pkg from- T---- Oh how cute! A purple (yes- one of my fav colors) felted bag- stitch markers for the Cat Bordhi sock book--and the cutest little roving sheep! THNX so much for a great pkg!

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Beagle prayers needed....

our girl SamiThis is our girl Sami- usually I have something ridiculous to say about her.

Like: she ate my cracker barrel rocker, (well- ok- part of it) or, she licks the boys face as an appetizer to her dog food... or that when confronted that sharing with the dog could lead to germs--- Noah responds "She doesn't mind." Ridiculous stuff like that.

Not tonight. Tonight, I'm asking for prayers of our girl. She had a rough evening. Looks like she has a seizure. This resulted in my turning into a puddle of crying goo- after trying to do a doggy heimlich maneuver- 'cause I thought she was choking.....then a frantic visit to the emergency clinic. She couldn't stand- just flopped on my lap (all 30 lbs of her) on her side- and paddled her feet like she was running. Breathing was "weird." Noah said she wasn't blinking. Neither was I. And, I may have been holding my breath- too. It lasted probably a couple of minutes. VERY LONG MINUTES. I think I prayed- I know I cried out Jesus name- asking without much in the way of words -for help.

By the time we located the number of the clinic- and had her leash- she jumped up to go to the door. "Bye bye" is her favorite place;) I think that's when I started to breathe better- myself.

The emergency vet said it may never happen again. (We're going for what's behind THAT door- thank you very much) Or- it could start happening more often.... or once in a while.

I don't remember ever having a pet have a seizure. It's a scary thing. Fortunately, DH was home--- but unfortunately so were all the kids. At one point Noah asked if Sami was dying. That's what pushed the tears out of where ever I was holding them in at.

Everything is quiet now. Sami's sleeping- I'm calm,(er) the kids are fine. But- if you have a second- we'd appreciate prayers for our girl Sami. Yeah- she's a dog- and she's even sometimes bad--- but she's ours. And we love her to bits.
Matthew 10:29

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.

Dear Jesus- I know- she's a dog- but she's ours- God if you care for sparrows- and count the very hairs of our heads- then I gotta believe you care for our girl Sami- please help and heal her- please help us as we take care of her--- and God? Please help me not turn into a pile of goo- if this happens again... I love you Lord- and am glad that even when all I could do was cry your name- you were there. amen

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Friday, December 07, 2007

I was a good mom when I woke up. For about an hour. Then- not so much.

To go show preparationsEveryday-for a week at 3:00, Noah (the youngest) has been dragging a kitchen chair into the livingroom, decorating it- using a pillow for a steering wheel and enjoying his new favorite show- "The Let's Go Show."

Until yesterday. When I broke my own Mom Rules,* along with his heart.

In a flurry of Christmas cleaning.... I pulled the "decorations" off the kitchen chair and tossed them into the trash without a thought. At 2:58, I heard a broken hearted cry coming from the living-room. "My art, my decowations! They're gone!" (still a little speech issue) Tears slid down his face like winter sleet on a window.

This was not the "whiney, bratty" cry. This wasn't even the "I'm so mad at you, I could kick the dog" cry. This, was the truely- broken hearted, cry.

And, it was my fault.

In general- I have a Mom rule.* (Oh- I have lot's of Mom rules- but ,let's focus:) One of my Mom rulesis- to never throw out my kids stuff without their prior knowledge. (I thought I'd already learned this Mom rule- the hard way.) I believe it's better to have the fight up front, than to quietly avoid it and make it much worse later...

This time- I didn't even think about it.

I just threw it out. Why? Because, I was cleaning house. I was getting ready for the holidays. (Yes- it takes this much) I was so focused cleaning- that I totally missed out on what was important to my little guy. I COULD have just taken down the projects and tucked them into a folder. I could have slipped them into the basket on the counter. I could have hung them from any one of 50 magnets on the fridge- just for this purpose. Instead. I dumped them into the trash.

Like I said- I was a good mother when I woke up- for about an hour. Then, I got over it.

We had the "Mom's make mistakes" talk. (Again...sheesh we have that talk a lot) We got the crayons out and set up the printer. Before the "Let's Go Show" was over- a little heart was mending- and the kitchen chair was plastered with new creations.

I knew I was forgiven when he climbed up on the couch, next to me to show me a new picture....made for me. Tears popped into my eyes. I swallowed. HARD. Then smiled.

Being a Mom is like this some days- you wake up the best mom ever- an hour later you're a witch and by dinner time- you're the queen, again. The Circle Of Mom.

Dear Lord- I know- I know we've talked about this so many times before---- but-as we go through the holidays- please help me not break my kids hearts in the name of cleaning and craziness... I love you Lord- and definitely will need your help on this one--- (and every one) amen.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

At the altar of a dirty floor....

mop bucketFunny, how dirty your kitchen floor suddenly looks when you're getting ready to host the holidays, isn't it? OK- funny? Maybe not so much. But, dirty? Absolutely.

I updated my ipod- (am loving the Third Day Christmas album) and broke out the yellow bristled, wooden scrub-brush used by generations of floor cleaning freaks before me. I filled my mop bucket with the hottest water I could coax from the tap, added a cup (maybe more) of sudsy ammonia (to which I was repeatedly told-"It smells like lemons and pee in here" ) and a cup of Armstrong Floor Cleaner.

I put on my very "me" rubber gloves. And, set to work. Let's just say I'm not so sure about the floor- but my sinuses are quite cleared and I have inhaled enough ammonia to be under no risk of fainting for the foreseeable future...

"Slop. Swish. Scrub. Scrub. Scrub. Wipe. Scoot. Repeat." For 2 hours. I slowly made my way around the kitchen floor. I was working to remove 8 years of mop-n-glow build up which had become one with both the flooring and the dirt. As a side note- if you're looking to create a permanent surface- and don't mind if it's ugly... I highly recommend the combination. Seems to be impermeable....well- to anything but dirt.

The first day- (yes, this has been a multi day process) I scrubbed away a layer or two. But, half way through the kitchen I pooped out, and started scrubbing with less voracity. I finished with the mop. Minimal progress made.

The second day- I remembered reading somewhere- to let the chemicals do their thing--- (i.e. let the cleaner set for a minute before starting to scrub) and made better progress. I started at the opposite end of the kitchen-just in case I pooped out again....which, I did.

By the third day- my knees were bruised and my sinuses had been scorched. But. The floor. Is (mostly) clean. The wax and dirt finish has been removed. I'm getting ready to put on a few coats of new (dirt magnetically charged- I'm sure) wax. My sides are aching, (from all the bending and swishing....n scrubbing) my sinuses are creating scar tissue and my knees will never be the same. (I'm secretly hoping they will be better- and that the chemicals I've been kneeling in will have stunted the growth of hair on my very Italian legs) I'm tired- and am considering moving the stove and fridge out one inch farther. ( To ummmm... cover the line of demarcation where the scrub-brush will and will not fit)

But- my heart is lighter. Somewhere around day 2 of the great floor scrubbing challenge- I realized I haven't spent this much time on my knees in way. too. long. Not in the floor scrubbing sense.. (though admittedly a little more of that done would have improved this situation- earlier) But, in the altar of prayer sense.

My faith tradition does not have set times to kneel together, in prayer as part of a typical "service" . We often pray standing up- or seated or some combination there-of. Personally-I believe that prayer is ongoing communication with God- like breathing- it's just part of what I do each day. But- as far as specific- intent, time spent in prayer- lately- it's been a little like my kitchen floor. A frequent good mopping, but no real knee bending, deep scrubbing.

While I was scrubbing away- I realized I had an opportunity to spend some time- in focused meditative, prayer. And so, I did.

Good thing- too- as we're entering the Holiday craziness.... (OK I may already be full on Christmas crazy- hence the floor restore;) I don't want to get so caught up in the "stuff" of Christmas that I miss the heart of it.

Dear Lord- I ask that you'd constantly remind me to pray.... whether I'm on my knees or in the shower- help me to listen to you as well as to me to be focused on you and spreading your love..not on clean floors and perfect gift wrapping...I do love you Lord- amen

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

it;s beginning to look a lot like ChristmasSnow has been falling off and on. The tree is up. It has been "topped." There are little paper trees- with battery powered votives on the mantle. The kitchen island centerpiece has been switched for Christmas. Cocoa and cookies have been consumed in quantity. Noah has made his "Christmas Surprise Book."

Yep. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

Outside the lights are up- and no one fell off the roof;) I'll snap some pics to post after dark.

This afternoon- I'll attack the foyer- bannister- with garland. I've been procrastinating about it- because it always makes me itch! I need to start wrapping ... but am avoiding that too- makes my back ACHE.... Oh, man- I'm getting old;)

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