Ava and the Cupcake


Thursday's Treasures

:: my Lord and Savior, who loves me unconditionally

:: my husband, who also loves me unconditionally

:: the privilege of being the mommy to three amazing children

:: i have a roof over my head and the money to pay the heating bill

:: i can see the blue sky, touch my husbands hand, smell bread baking in my oven, taste salty tears on my lips, hear the laughter of my children

:: my parents and my husband's parents, who share the wisdom that only comes with years

:: my brother, who is finally home

:: my dear friends, new and old, who walk beside me in this fascinating journey of womanhood

What are your treasures today?


Wordless Wednesday

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Gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines (and fasten your seatbelts)!

If anyone likes to read about stressful, real life, keep reading. For those of you who will have an increased heart rate or a headache at the mere mention of the "s-word", click on the red X at the top right corner of your screen and read someone else's blog. . .

Since this is Thanksgiving week, also known as Grocery Store Madness, I decided that I needed to get all my shopping done yesterday. I took Alec to school, Ava to my mom's house, and Benji with me. My goal was: return to Carter's, local health food store, grocery store, fabric store, my weekly stop at the Goodwill, a craft store, and the BMV to get my driver's license renewed. All by noon-ish so I could rush back home and get Ava down for her nap. Hm mm, sounds a little impossible, huh! Hey, "Dream Big!", right?

Ok, here we go. . .

Part One:

First stop, BMV. Pull in and realize that they only accept checks or cash and I have neither. Drive to nearest ATM and back to BMV. Overhear the next customer in line being told that they now do accept a credit card (OOOOOH, dang it! wasted gas and time), but it was an extra $6 charge (Whew! it was worth it...)

With new, ugly driver's license tucked safely in my wallet, make the 20 min. drive to the health food store. Purchase a 5lb, $11 bag of spelt flour, some vegan bakery goodies, organic lettuce, and various other checking account-draining items, get to the car and realize why I'm not feeling too great; it's almost lunch time.

Consume two, large, and very tasty cookies from my grocery bags and some coffee-flavored soy milk (ugh!) during the 20 min. drive back, and proceed to make my second attempt to return some clothing at the Carter's store (the first time I went, it was a Sunday morning and they weren't open yet). Back to the car in record time because their computer system had just crashed and they weren't able to do the return...third time's the charm? I think I'll wait a while till I try it again!

It's actually after 11:00 now...panic, call my mom to make sure Ava isn't climbing the blinds or hiding in the bathtub, speed through the parking lot to fabric store. Browse quickly, looking for simple, easily adaptable pattern for toddler jumper, more fabrics for Meeup, and buttons for another project. At the checkout, Benji is falling down on the floor, very loudly claiming that his legs are breaking. Not wanting to look like a mom in-a-hurry-who-knows-that-her-4 year old-is-just-being-dramatic, I carry him out of the store with a glazed over smile pasted on my face.

Realize that it is nearly noon. Panic again. Speed to mom's to pick up Ava, a simple task that took over 30 minutes. Arrive home around 1:30. Ava in bed for a nap, Benji on the couch for quiet time with a movie, I unload the van while trying to figure out how I"m going to make it to the grocery before Grocery Store Madness hits and I have to defend myself with hurled grapefruits as I fight for the last bag of cranberries.


Part Two: (anyone got a headache or a case of the jitters yet? go ahead and click on that red X if you need to, I promise I won't be mad!)

Thinkin' fast, I decide that if I pack snacks and dinner for the kids and I and we leave at 3:30, we can make it to the craft store, the grocery store, and Walmart and be back by 6:30 to get Alec ready for his Cub Scouts meeting.

Hm mm, it's like I've temporarily left my body and am not remembering all the nightmarish times I've tried to leave the house with all three kids after 4:00.

Plunging ahead into the deep, dark hole of temper tantrums I've dug for myself, I WAKE Ava UP FROM HER NAP (yes, people, I've actually gone crazy by this point) and load everyone, already protesting into the car.

At the craft store, I stuff Ava into the sling, and sprint down the isles with the boys trying to keep up. All is well until we get about 20 feet from the check out. Tantrum #1, not Ava (surprise!), but Alec, who is hoarding a new toy car from Benji. Upon me forcing him to give Benji the car until we get to the next stop, Alec launches into a monotone monologue about how it's not fair that Benji gets the car, and Benji always gets all the cool stuff (right, since Benji is our favorite child, after all!)

You know that Wah-wah-wah voice of the mom on the Peanuts cartoons? I listened to that as I loaded everyone back in to the van, drove to the next parking lot, unloaded everyone, stuffed Ava back into the sling, and headed into Walmart. Oh, no, wait...I listened to that all the way through Walmart and back into the parking lot while Ava threw tantrum #2, screaming in my ear and trying to flip herself backwards out of the sling.

I'm sure we looked like a circus on wheels. . .

By this time it was 6:00, and I just gave up on beating Grocery Store Madness. I headed home, defeated, and put Ava and Benji to bed while Marvin and Alec went to Cub Scouts. After staying up till after midnight watching The Phantom of the Opera at a friends house, I finally crashed at around 1:00 am.


Part Three: (need directions to that red X yet?)

For some reason I made the brilliant decision to attempt that grocery store run this morning. Pooh-poohing the fact that I was helping a friend with something around 10:00, and another friend at around 4:00, I raced to get everyone ready and out the door before school. After dropping Alec and two friends off at school late, I dashed over to Kroger for 5 items.

It'll be quick, I told myself. The kids will be fine, I'll just let them ride in one of the car-carts and inform them ahead of time that there will be no pinching, biting or hitting (must have forgotten that they are 4 and 2). Within 30 seconds of entering the store, Ava was in full-blown tantrum mode. Shunning the very unwieldy car-cart for something a little easier to maneuver with one hand, I tucked my flailing toddler under my arm, pasted an I've-got-this-under-control smile on my face and prayed fervently that she would not kick anybody.


I will not bore you with the tedium of the rest of the day. I will say, however, that I am beyond exhausted. The past two weeks have been much like the past two days, and I'm in desperate need of a break. I actually (very very very briefly) entertained the thought this afternoon of palming my red-hot stove burner so that my 2nd degree burns would give me a legitimate reason to sign out for a while!

Strangely, though, I'm not at all depressed. Despite the busyness, I crave the cozy closeness that we create here during the holiday season. This is my favorite time of year.


If anyone laughed out loud or got a headache while reading this, please leave a comment! Or, of course, any of you who would like to boast that they have never ever had a day like this and that their kids most definitely do not throw tantrums in public places, you all can feel free to comment, also!


Surely this picture will sell some!

Alec spotted a size xSmall pouch laying on my work table and wanted to give it a try! Ava got the giggles as big brother toted her around the house for a few minutes.
If you love this one, visit Meeup and place your order!
(Mocca with earth solid, $40)


The girl's got skillz!

"LOOK. . .mommy! Bubbles coming!"

Oh, and lest any of you should think I've actually given my child "real" milk, it's actually raw goat's milk. Anyone curious as to why?


Hello? Hello?

Ok. So yesterday 26 people visited here, yet nary a comment. . .I'd love to know who you are! All you lurkers, come out, come out! I'd really like to get to know you and visit your space. . .
c'mon. . .please!!??


A stitch in time. . .

~busy working on the winter collection for Meeup

~having trouble locating fabrics that are exactly what I want

~hoping to take advantage of the gift-giving season approaching

~experimenting with fine-wale corduroy and flannel (cozy!)

~stop by and check it out:: refer a friend, or buy a gift!
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(no) Thursday's Treasures

No treasures today. I had a, um, shall we say "challenging" morning, and am ready for a rest!

I did find some really nice pants, shirts, a sweater, and a Columbia fleece jacket for Alec next fall when I went on my weekly trip to our local Goodwill on Tuesday.

I also found an adorable shirt from Children's Place for Ava with a stylized felt and corduroy squirrel on the front. I would have taken her picture in it for my post today, but she covered herself in hair gel about an hour after I put it on her. . .*sigh*


Wordless Wednesday


This weekend we. . .

. . .did a whole lot of nothin'!

Marvin came home in the early afternoon on Friday and I left to do some errands and shopping WITHOUT MY KIDS!!!! Oh yeah. It was nice.

He and the kids met me later and we ate (for only $23) at Chipotle. Then we headed to Macy's where I allowed Ava to try on 4 or 5 very sparkly, very twirly, holiday dresses. After donning each one, she would run out of the fitting room, say "LOOK Daddy!" (she's still working on sentences) spin around in circles and then yell, " 'nother one!" and head back to the room. Despite the "oooh-ing" and "ahhh-ing" from the male half of our family, we didn't purchase a dress. The average price was $72, not something I'm willing to fork over for a one-time wear.

On Saturday we just sat around. It was really strange to not have plans or have a big project to work on. I did take Ava to the store before her nap, where she threw one of the biggest public tantrums she's had to date. At the checkout, she squirmed out of her stroller and laid down on the floor. As I finished paying and smiling cheerfully at the onlookers, she rolled side to side, kicking and screaming. It was lovely.

On Sunday after church we ran errands together (which, strangely, is one of my favorite things to do...). Ava took a late nap while Marvin and Alec had a cub scouts outing and Benji and I did some more nothin'. Marvin and I wrapped up the weekend with a movie and left-over birthday cake last night.

Aaaaaah! Nothin' like a weekend of nothin' to send me into a busy week, totally relaxed. . .


Yes, I know this is narcissistic, but



Here's the rules:

*post a picture of something you found for free or bought at a yard sale, flea market, or thrift shop

*if you've given it a makeover, post before and after pictures

*if it's clothing, post the brand and the price you paid for it so we can oooh and aaaah over the fantastic deal you got

*link your post to mine

Go Thrifting!
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Thursday's Treasures

This mammoth, octagonal wall clock (it measures about 30"x30") was a find by my hubby at our local flea market. Similar clocks new retail for around $100, this one was $10!
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Wordless Wednesday (with a few)

This little cutie is me at 3 yrs. old, sittin' on my parents groovy floral couch. Check out the wood paneling! Anyone else have one of those record players? It's called The Music Box, from Fisher Price, and they're selling on ebay for around $50! Wish my parents had kept ours!
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Does anyone use Picasa 3 and Blogger together? I do, and for some reason today Picasa won't let me upload pictures to my blog. When I click on the "Blog This" icon, it sends me to a screen that says "you don't have any blogs associated with your account". eeeek! Not sure what to do...anyone know?


Um. . .

nothing exciting. . .

~marvin is off today, we're taking out all the window air-conditioners (we have no central air) and putting up our storm windows

~I stood in the rain and cold for an hour yesterday with Ava and Benji so I could watch Alec and his group of cubscouts march in our Veteran's Day parade

~progress is slow on Ava's Christmas dress. I think I've finalized the design, but for some reason I'm dragging my feet on making the muslin pattern. Still can't decide if I want to use velvet or not

~it's sunny today, but VERY cold. We need to finish raking up the leaves in the front yard

~we only have one window in our bedroom; I washed it today inside and out and our room is brighter and sunnier! (it's been a little too long since I did that)

~we celebrated my birthday over the weekend. One party here with my parents, one party at my MIL's house with my SIL's and nephew and niece. My real birthday is this Friday. Marvin won't be home for it, he's going hunting

~alec got glasses, but he's only a tad farsighted. He only needs them for homework and computer time. He looks really cute in them, like a little scientest


It's finally ready!
Check out my new website and select a new pouch carrier for yourself or a friend
~ Gift giving season is coming! ~
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Wow! I"m better today and so is Marvin! That truly was a bug of the 24-hour variety. I'd probably be up and at 'em today except for the tantrum that Ava threw in the middle of the night. I heard kicking and screaming at about 12:00 and hurried up to see what was wrong. Thinking she may be just stuck in covers or something, I was quite surprised to see her just thrashing around and screaming; having quite an enormous tantrum in her sleep!

I couldn't get her out of her bed, so I just watched her to make sure she wouldn't hurt herself. As I was talking to her trying to wake her up and calm her down, I noticed that her sleeper was once again filled with diarrhea.

After a while, we gave up on trying to get her to calm down and it took both of us to wrestle her out of her sleeper and into the shower. It was funny and not so funny at the same time. It was like watching Marvin try to stuff an angry eel into a tube sock (tee-hee!), but I actually started crying because she was so upset and we couldn't understand what she was saying and she was flipping around and around in the slippery shower and I was afraid she'd hit her head or Marvin would drop her.

She probably cried in a full-blown tantrum for over 15 min. Then she suddenly stopped. We let her snuggle in our bed for a while and all ended up falling asleep.

Whew! I'm awfully tired today, heading off to a warm shower and nap...

Has anyone else had a toddler with sleep-tantrums? Is that even a word?



I'm sick today. So is Marvin. Ava shared her stomach virus with us, isn't she a sweetie! I felt sick last night, and after spending the midnight hours showering Ava (twice!) to clean off her sleeper-filling diarrhea, Marvin has succumbed.

It's time to retreat to the couch with a bowl and a pillow over my eyes. I told Alec he was in charge of the kitchen, to which he responded with a huge grin. The grin faded considerably when I informed him that that also meant he'd have to clean up after himself and his two siblings.

Benji's in a TV coma, still in his PJ's, Alec is rolling around the floor with Ava, the Wiggles are singing in the background and I'm heading off to the bathroom (again!).


This is what I told my boys this morning regarding the election: "People make mistakes, God doesn't!"

A friend sent me this verse in an email and it is relevant now more than ever:
Isaiah 14:24; 26-27a, "The Lord Almighty has sworn, "Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand. This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him?"

As we mull over the devastating (or not, depending on your moral values) consequences of the choice our nation made yesterday, let us not forget that indeed, our mighty, sovereign Lord is ultimately who we serve. He is never swayed from His plan and never stumbles over our hasty decisions and mindless mistakes.

My resolve is that much stronger to live in today, cherishing each sweet moment with my children and gently guiding them towards their Saviour.

Wordless Wednesday

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Sea Creatures

If we could see fear, I'd imagine it would look something like an octopus. My octopus rides on my neck with many of it's tentacles over my eyes to block out the truth, and some of it's tentacles on my head to edit my imagination.

I've struggled with the fear octopus for many years. It grew more tentacles and became more difficult to pry off when I had children. I've recently addressed the issue to a group of moms and received several confessions in return by women who had their own octopuses.

It seems to me that the caretakers of life are the ones who are most vulnerable to this sea-creature of the mind. For me, the fear results from my seeming need to control the environment around my children and husband. It is my instinct as a mother and indeed sometimes vital to orchestrate the details of their daily routine.

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be required" Luke 12:48. We, who have been given the amazing, enormous task of nurturing life, will be required to then turn it over, completely, no strings attached, to the Creator of that life.

I don't know about you, but I'm afraid to let go! It's not natural, it hurts, and I always imagine the worst. Well, it's not ME imagining that stuff, it's my octopus blocking my vision from the truth that my Creator is sovereign. It's my octopus editing my imagination to see Alec getting beat up on the playground instead of Alec befriending the bully. To see Marvin in his newly-wrecked car on the side of the road instead of him walking in the door to kiss me after work.

If we could see our Creator in this context, I imagine He'd look something like the Coast Guard, coming at our octopus, striking it down and freeing our hearts and minds. There is liberty in letting go, freedom in "falling into trust" with our Saviour.

I let go today. I sent Alec off with clean clothes, clean hair, and a smile on his face to a unique adventure. A rare opportunity to see "behind the scenes" at an air force base, and afterwards to a production by the local children's theater. He went with his best friends, their Papa and Jesus. Not with me. I can't wait to hear how much fun he had.

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