Friday, December 31, 2010

God Wink

I think I got that phrase from the Couple's Who Pray Together" book/program. Its a phrase that expresses those times when things happen and you know that you know that you know...that God just winked at you.

Its a time when you feel blessed. Or a time you feel you have an answer - no question about it.

In December, Sew Mama, Sew hosted a give away week. Bloggers from all over offered up things to give away. Its a fun thing to participate in on all levels. And there are so many people out there that host a prize.

One such site is a quilting charity site. I clicked on the link and read about how they wanted to give away a quilt to a man that had not had a good year. All you had to do was leave a comment telling about the man and why he would be blessed by a handmade quilt.

Immediately a young man I know came to mind.

A young man that had a very hard year. A young man that is struggling. A young man that is blessed beyond measure....but just cannot see it. A young man making life hard on himself with his choices. A young man I hate to see take this hard road.

Well, I knew I couldn't give enough info to actually win the quilt for this young man, but I gave it a shot anyways. It was rather generic because I just don't want to air a young person's business like that.

A week later I got an email. My entry did not win.....but....another person contacted me that read my entry.

It seems this stuck with her for some reason. And so, she sent me an emailing telling me so....and asking if I would let her make a quilt for this young man.

(Just as a side....I am knee deep committed in a rather large project so I hadn't even thought of making him a quilt at this point. It wasn't until after the contest that I started thinking that this was a fantastic ideal and I needed to carve out the time to do it myself.)

God wink.

I was so delighted and amazed by the offer. I was going to set aside a project to work on one...or let it be next and it was stressing me out because I knew it wouldn't be real soon. And he has a December birthday so it would just be perfect if I could get it done that quick.

Back to the story...

I accepted the offer. So Kat asked me what kinds of things and colors the young man liked. I said I think blue is his favorite color and he loves being outdoors and fishing.

The next email I received from Kat had a few of the blocks she had already done THAT DAY. Oh my she is quick!!! And wouldn't you know, in her stash of extra fabric she guessed it...lots of blues and a nice piece with fish for the back.

God wink.

And don't you know that she had it done in a few days???

And its already been mailed???

And he will probably get it on his birthday???

God wink.

So a big shout out to Kat for her generosity.

And here's the pictures:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Emerald Coast

Songbird has had fun seeing the new quilts I've been making. She even made a quilt for one of her friends in Texas. Too cool.

But one day she told me it was HER turn. Everyone had a quilt but her. And you know....Mouse has about 4 so its no wonder she did protest.

So Songbird picked out her colors and over time I collected fabrics in those colors - aqua, lime green and a splash of fushia. She also picked out her quilt pattern. She even "designed" her own quilting design.

Naming quilts can be kinda hard. In this case I kicked around names the whole time but nothing was working. And then when the top was done it occurred to me that these are the same colors we saw all around in Songbirds birth state. And thus a name was born.

So here is my daughters quilt made in the colors that remind me of where she was born and the great time we had living on the Emerald Coast.

The back is again one piece and then pieced with some of the extra fabric.
For the quilting Songbird only wanted a heart on a vine design in the aqua sashing only. This gives the quilt a really interesting texture.
I have some of the fabric printable labels left over from trying them out on the charity quilt so I used one for Songbirds quilt also. I like how easy they are to make -- I'm just not sure how well it will hold its color/writing over the years since its just ink.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Top 10 Frymark Gifts for 2010

Santa was very good to us this year. (It's kinda a rebound effect when only 3 of your over 30 relatives even remember you have kids at Christmas.)

This year the big winners in our house that are already very broken in and well loved:

1. Mom's new slippers. Yes, I have had no slippers since it turned cold. Wore a huge hole in the ones I had last year. Tired of wearing two pair of socks and looking like I have the feet of a 9 month pregnant woman.

2. Quesadilla Maker - both the hubs and the teen have given this little appliance a workout. Bones had one but he took it with him when he moved out so the other two have been in mourning ever since. Problem solved.

3. Nintendo DS - Big brother to the rescue. The Mouse is now the proud owner of a video game. And she appears to be every bit as obsessive with it as he was at that age. Great.

4. itunes cards - three of us are loving it! When you have 1 iphone and 2 ipod touches, these things are worth their weight in gold.

5. Tinker Toys - it occurred to me that my youngest had no building toys when she went nuts over her cousins last year.

6. Camera for computer - the teen is now Skypeing.

7. Several different Bears jersey's - the hubs is happy and has a new wardrobe

8. Toaster - I know, how lame. But when your kids love waffles like my kids love waffles, this is a must have appliance. And my old one bit the dust. We wore it out.

9. New socks - my poor kids

10. Personal DVD player - the Mouse really was spoiled this year.

Now there are a billion other gifts that were received and are well loved also, but these teen have seen pretty much constant use. There is also a rather thick stack of gift cards the girls are wanting to get out there and spend. But mom does not go shopping the week after Christmas. Plus I don't have a car to take them anyhow.

And on that subject, the truck is fixable. We will be $2400 poorer and no telling how long it will take, but we do NOT have to go car shopping. Maybe that should be listed as the number one Christmas present!!!

And also on that wonder the 50's housewives went crazy. Being stuck at home with no vehicle and a to-do list is just not fun. Its rather frustrating. (Aren't we 2 car family Americans so SPOILED!?!?!?)

So how about you? What ended up being the most used gifts at your house -- not most loved so much as most used. Would love to hear!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Circle Yes or No

Six is such a fun year for Christmas!

Do you remember the "check this box" stage of notes? That's how Mighty Mouse's first draft of her note to Santa was. The new version was just a circle the answer.

Funny...I thought we left him milk and cookies......not a couple of lines. No wonder he was so good to my girls this year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas...

from our house to yours!

We begin celebrating on Christmas Eve so I wanted to take a minute to wave to all my friends! Wish I could see each and every one of you.

Wishing you a Christmas full of laughter, fun, friends and family.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Autumn Asks: What Is Your Favorite Christmas Candy Or Treat?

Some things are better because you only get them once a year.

Christmas candy is that way for me (and Robins Eggs at Easter).

Do you remember those cans of candy that had all kinds of stuff in there? I like the little gold ones that had peanut butter in them.

But my favorite "only at Christmas" candy was ribbon candy. Although that's crazy as an adult cause that's a messy business. You'd have candy flavored drool slipping down your arm.


This years I have found a new love. Well - hubs found it. Maybe they've even been around awhile and maybe its not just a Christmas thing either.

Move over Girl Scout Thin Mints -- there's a new sheriff in town.
And what is cool is that they are small. So you can eat one or two and not feel like you just ruined the whole days calorie allowance.

Lots of chocolate. Lots of mint. A just right pretzel crunch.

Makes me wonder about the other wonderfully bad things out there that I've been missing. So how about it? What's your favorite Christmas candy?

Monday, December 20, 2010

6 Years Ago Today

We were standing in the Civil Affairs office in Guangzhou China.

We were nervous. We were excited.

We were wondering if this was even real.

We had that picture. Oh that picture. The chubby cheeks. The sweet little bow mouth. The chubby looking legs and arms.

Our travel mates were nervous too.

It was a small group of just two families from our agency. Chaos was at a minimum even though emotions were running very high.

And in walked Ms. Tangs assistant, Michelle.

Your name was called out and I walked forward.

And Michelle placed the tiniest, skinniest little 7 1/2 month old baby in my arms.

I was in total shock.

I did not even recognize you.

Where was the baby from the picture????

There were no chubby cheeks. No chubby arms or legs.

Just those eyes and that little bow mouth.

And the smallest almost 8 month old baby I had ever seen.

Weighing in at LESS than 12 pounds.

(You must understand that I gave birth to 9.4 and 8.15 lb babies. They hit 12lbs by 3 months easy.)

Running through my head was the thought that this was not a baby ... it was a doll! I really was shocked.

And then you looked at me.

And you frowned, leaned forward, and reached for the red hair.

As you were reaching, you looked over into my eyes.

And froze.

And threw your hands back and arched your back to put distance between us.

And that is how our story begins my Mouse.

One of the greatest love stories of my life.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

How Frantic Are You?

There are 7 days left until Christmas. So how frantic are you?

We went to the Girl Scout Awards potluck last night. It was a full house. And I looked around the room and noticed 2 very different vibes coming from the majority of the women.

There were the ones with smiles the whole night, relaxed laughter and a look of contentment and joy.

And then there were the ones that were having a good time but were strung tighter than a drum. You could see that even though they were enjoying themselves, their minds were on their to-do list. Their shoulders were a little tense. The lines around their mouths were a little tense. You could see it around their eyes.

And then this morning I read a wonderful blog post by a woman that has opened her eyes to her past Christmas behaviors and decided to step off the merry-go-round. Ya'll, she wasn't even allowed to eat the "pretty" cookies when they baked when she was growing up....and she had carried it over to her family. And her husband, who was relaxing and enjoying his holiday, finally spoke up and told her he pretty much did not appreciate how awful the month of December was at their house because of her plans and expectations.

Holidays are supposed to be about love and family. And family should be first.

I wonder, how does your husband feel?

I have something to say to all my friends that are so stressed and crazy right now.

Its about our traditions in the month of December.

Friend.... how many of the traditions you carry forward (massive amounts of baking, hosting, accepting a million invites...etc) were started in a whole other generation?

Because today's world, is not your mother or your grandmothers world.

We are a solid 2 car family generation. This means for those that have not joined the career women, you have usually filled up that car with kids and a million classes and activities. You are NOT the home-maker of your mother's generation. You are far more busy and involved outside the home just by opportunity alone (in most cases). AND we've learned to take care of ourselves and carve out time for the gym and a select group of close friends (if we are lucky) .

And if you are a career woman -- who in your background started those traditions? Was it another full time worker with children in 3 activities a week? Or did she work and then pretty much stay home to take care of the family - with limited activities thrown in here and there? (Lets face it, they just didn't HAVE the kinds of activities out there for kids that they have now.)

I really want all of you to look at the traditions that make you crazy and question their practicality in your life.

Because I don't know about you, but I DO NOT want to pass on traditions that turn my kids into over-stressed over-achievers during Christmas. I want them to enjoy it.

I want to pass down love, relaxing together and lots of laughter and memory making. Memories that include MOM, out of the kitchen - or whatever it is that is taking the time away from your families. The only cookies they really care about you baking, are the ones they get to help with and make themselves. And who cares how dirty their clothes or the kitchen gets when your only expectation of holiday baking is what makes your little family happy??

Now - I'm not the norm and I know that. I don't expect that many other people on the face of the earth take it as easy as I do around Christmas. I try to have all my shopping done and get all packages and cards in the mail on Dec. 1. This leaves me free to accept or give invitations the whole month long. It makes the inevitable holiday parties very easy. And I don't accept or give many invites. Instead I expect that there will be things related to the kids that will always trump the grown-up stuff. A Christmas concert. An end of the year Girl Scout Potluck/awards ceremony. But family night at the school? No - don't care if it is free, its also crowded and hot. Instead we let MM pick out what she'd like to do with just our family. (It was McDonalds - double yuck.) We were going to drive around and look at Christmas lights also but the roads were too bad. So we grabbed some eggnog on the way home and turned on a Christmas program showing on tv.

Anyways -- I'd like to challenge all my friends to take a good look at your Christmas traditions. If they are stressful, are you doing too much? Are they realistic to pass down to your children? Remember - you grew up in a different time so what you remember the fondest, might not translate so well with your kids lifestyle in this day and time. Think about it.

Have an incredible Christmas! Wishing peace of heart, non-stressed, joy-filled activities for all of you!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ram Tough.....


I think NOT said Mr. Fire Hydrant -- watch THIS!!!

And the Frymarks cried and gnashed their teeth.

Oh Curse you base road crew!!! Why oh why did you not clear the roads and then not delay work time????

And there was more weeping and wailing over the fact that Mr. Durango only has liability insurance....

But wait.....

could there possibly be a light at the end of the tunnel??

Could it actually be fixable and not totaled???

And make the hubs stop wondering if it would have just been better to hit the car in front of him.....

A phone call will tell....

Whether Mr. Durango will return home some day to the joy of the 15 year old that is in love with him and has dibs......

Or whether this Christmas will include car shopping also. (Boooo, boooo and hisssssss I say!!)

Sigh. I'm thinking its an eggnog kind of night.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cookie Camp-Out 2010

Might Mouse's Girl Scout Troop has a cool yearly tradition. They get together in a lodge for a weekend and each girl brings a recipe and they make cookies. Each girl also brings a box and the cookies are added to each box. So everyone goes home with a box full of different cookies. Great for the holidays!

This year we had scheduling problems so our camp-out wasn't until this last weekend. Normally they try to do it the end of Novemberish.

And there was snow. And a big storm coming in. But hey....these are Girl Scouts. Did not stop us.
But I must admit....a one room lodge (not counting the kitchen) and 28 girls aged 5-12. Wow. It's a little loud.

But the girls all had a great time. And you know what is super cute??? Little girls running around in pj's and snow boots. Why the boots? Because the latrines are outside. Not kidding.
The baking was a blast! Mighty Mouse really really loved it. She even washed her own dishes without complaint.
And the loot....... (and this is half way through not the final haul)
For some reason MM's box did not have half the cookies as these on the front row. Not that I'm complaining...I can't have wheat right now so I can't get into them anyways and she doesn't need to eat that much by herself.

But you want to know what my fav part of the weekend was?

The ride up.

Because in the car one of MM's friends looks at her and says she knows one other place MM has lived before.

"Where?" says MM.


"How did you know???" says MM

"Well - because you are CHINESE!!!"

"That's right! And I have TWO mommies and TWO daddies! Because I am ADOPTED!!!" yells MM in glee.

Like she's got a one up on her friend.

It was AWESOME!!!!!!

Because baby girl internalizes more than she I never really know if we've done a good job telling her life story to her and if she gets it.

But she does.

She really does.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

She Won't Raise Her Kids Like That.

OK - I'm going to be picking on my teen in this post. Just a heads up. Love that kid.

So I am at the Dollar Tree with my girls. Had to make a quick stop for wrapping supplies on the way home from picking Songbird up from drama.

Fairly quick in and out.

Or so I thought.

But Mighty Mouse wanted something. And she had already been being a pain and just being ugly in the store - very uncooperative. So the answer was no.

I know! I do that! Can you imagine? And the answer was no because of her behavior. I DO NOT reward bad behavior. Period.

But....this is the child that almost never hears the word no. Not because she is spoiled (although she is), but because she almost never asks for anything or behaves in manner that requires a no.

She's been so easy ya'll. Now, she has been velcro baby and had plenty of PTS issues and sensory issues...blah, blah, blah. But as far as public and even private behavior? Cake.

So the kid starts throwing a rip-roaring, LOUD, screaming fit in the line. At first I just looked at her in amazement.

Who's kid is THIS????????


And it was a long line guys. Really, really long.

And the teen? Oh so very embarrassed. She tried to slink away but had things she wanted to buy herself so she couldn't as the line was still growing.

And we are generating quite a bit of attention. But I keep my voice down and stand firm. Lots more crying and screaming. Lots more explanations as too why its no -- and a threat that if she doesn't cut it out she won't get anything the next time we come either.

Didn't work.

So by now Songbird is ready to die. And she looks at me and exclaims loudly that when she is a parent she isn't going to raise her kids like this!!!!!!!!!!

Like I trained the child this way.

Like she has an on/off switch.

Like I can just take the batteries out.

She really couldn't see that the only way I personally could stop her fit was to A) take her out of the store -- which is not going to happen because its not that close to the house and I needed those wrapping supplies before hubs returned tonight so I could get his gifts wrapped and under the tree before he found them; or B) give the child what she wants -- and by this point it would be a cold day in Hades before THAT would happen.

And after we returned home???

Another HOUR of fit throwing. And she got so mad she started clawing her arms up to hurt herself. And she screamed all about how no one loves her and no one wants her.

Ummm...can you tell this kid never gets mad so now she has no idea what to do with the emotions????

And it kept on so I refused to take her to gymnastics also. (OM! You mean you didn't take your child to her activities??? Ones you paid for???? That is so not right! I would never do that!)
She got 3 warnings and then told I refuse to take her outside our house and into public knowing she won't behave herself. Which of course added another 30 minutes to the fit.

And I really wish I knew exactly how to keep that kid in her room when she screams. But -- she is afraid I will leave so she has to rage at my feet and in my ear. Abandonment issues. Ugh.

Needless to say by the time hubs got home from his trip I was SO glad to see him.

And as I was talking to him about it in our bedroom and we were trying to figure out what was triggering this.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

Didn't we do this last year???

And the year before.

It's December, Autumn.

So just how many years do you think it will take for me to get it into my brain to expect and recognize the whole Anniversary Grief thing???

So yes, like many a December before, I pulled out "The Book" for a quick review.

And once again I shake my head that we have to have December as our adoption month. Really? Any other month would have been kinder.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Chinese Puzzle

When we began our adoption process in 2004, we learned about a neat Chinese adoption tradition called the 100 Good Wishes Quilt. Basically you have all your friends and family send you a piece of fabric and a written "wish" for the baby. The fabric is made into a "good wishes" quilt and you put the written wishes in an album. ( I haven't done that part.)


Mom put together Mighty Mouses quilt for me - as this was a good 5 years prior to my first quilt. It is still not actually quilted all together but it is sandwiched and ready to go. But it turned out to be a king sized monster so it is very intimidating...and very cool.


Mom recently sent me all the left over fabric from the quilt project. It was a box full.

And so timely.

I wanted to help out with a project that the Central Ohio Binky Patrol is doing. They are making quilts for a home that will be opening in January for the young female victims of s!x trafficking and internet p!rn. (Sorry I don't want that word to bring search traffic to my blog.) They are making homemade quilts for the girls.

So talk about a win win. I get to use up scraps that have been sitting around for 6 years, AND cut my first quilt on the GO!

I just used a 5 inch square....nothing fancy. It needed to come together quick as I am almost to the deadline.

The results?

I used twin sized measurements but it looks a little bit small for that to me. But its bigger than a lap quilt so who knows. Maybe I'm just used to oversized blankets.

Once again the back is just pieced with left overs from the front. And I did minimal quilting as I was trying to draw attention to the color pattern.
There was a gallon bag of "Chinese coins" already cut so I just sewed a bunch together for one side of the back. That was sweet. And with as many as I used.....I still have half a bag full to use on something else.
Since I was short on time I decided to try and make my own signature block this time. I went to Joann's and bought the fabric you print on from your printer.

The name is actually from my mom. She was puttering around here doing something and telling MM to clean up her mess on her desk as it was looking like a Chinese Puzzle. I looked at her and said "you just named my quilt." Too funny.

And once again let me say....I LOVE that GO! cutter!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

What I've Learned...

Today TM did a post on what she has learned as an adoptive parent. It's worth a read if you are touched by adoption or know someone that is.

It is so close to exactly what I would write also. But I must say we had an agency that did a really good job of cluing us in on what it was going to be like and the bigger issues of adoption that so many agencies did NOT cover.

Even with the best training I don't think you can really "get it" though until you have walked a mile in those shoes. Because head knowledge and heart knowledge are not the same things. To give an example, think of kids that grow up in Christian homes. You can take your kids to church every Sunday and they can learn all about your religion all growing up....but until they have the relationship, its just head knowledge. They aren't "Christian" until they develop that relationship with God THEMSELVES.

So - back to TM's post. She asks what we have learned. First I want to comment on some of her lessons as they are so right-on with the ones I've learned also:

On being color blind........seriously, that is the most insulting thing you can do to a person. To ignore the most visual part of who a person is???? Totally implies you are overlooking a flaw. If you have to be've got an issue.

On the complication of living adoption issues for all our lives......amen sister. This last month grandma was here helping out. One day Mighty Mouse was very rude and mean to her sister and grandma stepped in and reprimanded. Well, she did it in a way that destroyed my baby (not intentionally). So when mom asks me how she messed up so it wouldn't happen again we had to remind her the MM does not have any faith that we will be here tomorrow. She's constantly waiting to see when she's going to loose everything she knows...again. And mom long is this going to go on? We had to tell her....FOREVER. She was totally shocked. Like being adopted means everything else is fixed and goes away. No, its a daily reality.

Children are just on loan to us. THE BIG ONE. We are here to teach and guide but they are not puppets on a string. They aren't "mini-me's".

And as a mom of two kids prior to adopting....I have some more to add to TM's awesome list:

Telling a mother that your child will eat what's put on their plate if they get hungry a joke. Congrats for having kids that will do so. I had two and lived this creed. I was so stupid. Ever stop to think that "your way" is not always best for the kid at hand?? I didn't until I adopted.

Thinking an infant does not belong in the bedroom is oh so American. Seriously - most of the world does not separate infants from their mothers at night. And they DO learn to sleep in their own rooms at an appropriate age. And that self soothing and learning to put themselves back to sleep on their GREAT for that child you gave birth to with no complications.....but when you are trying to teach a child to rely on you.....the sleeping together can be an important bonding step. Because you see with an adopted child....THERE IS NO NATURAL BOND. You have to WORK for it. Work hard.

Bonding with babies/children is totally misunderstood by the majority of the population.

For my white-bread children growing up in my home....having a sister of a different race has taught them racism in a way that only living it can. They have learned so much. And my middle child has become quite the little scrapper over race issues in her group of friends. She calls people out in discussions in her high school classes. She argues issues like a pit bull when people make inappropriate comments. And hopefully, anyone that adopts transracially has learned all kinds of things about racism that they never knew before - and become a voice against it. It's hard and disheartening. But my child is worth it. Isn't yours?

Being an adoptive parent has also opened my eyes to what adoption is really all about. Money. And the abuses and trafficking are still running matter what any lawyer or agency tries to tell you. Its a dirty business. And there are thousands of adopted voices out there telling us how wronged and hurt they have been by being adopted.

But most importantly....even after learning the real issues and abuses that surround adoption....I have learned that I still believe whole-heartedly in adoption. I won't stick my head in the sand and pretend its all hearts and flowers - but there are still millions of kids on this earth that do not have a home of their own. And my personal belief is that a home IS better than no home/family. Now, my idea of home and family has vastly expanded, but I do believe a loving family trumps birth culture and majority status WHEN THERE IS NO OTHER OPTION. Extended family, birth country, culture, majority status should be exhausted before transnational/racial boundaries are crossed -- but they should be crossed when there are no other options. And face it people...the governments are not going to come up with loads of cash to keep birth families together. Whether its right or wrong doesn't even weigh in on this planet. That's the reality. And working within that reality.....the kids deserve a home of their own over an institution or a garbage dump or being sold into a sex trafficking ring.

Each year I feel like I have learned something new. I don't always like what I learn, but who says I have to? I do hope that I continue to learn and grow and be the best parent I can for my children - adopted or not.

What about you?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Tribe

Over at Grown in My Heart someone wrote an article called Tribe. The article goes on to talk to adoptive parents about how they should have a tribe of other adoptive parents in their lives also.

But that is not what this is about.

It is about the tribes in our lives.

The article defines tribes this way:

"According to Merriam-Webster, a tribe can be defined as, “a social group comprising numerous families, clans, or generations together with slaves, dependents, or adopted strangers,” or “a group of persons having a common character, occupation, or interest.” Seth Godin further explains the importance of tribes, the need to connect, and how it is human nature to join them.

A tribe has tribal wisdom, communal wisdom. Members of the tribe can share that wisdom with one another. A tribe has its own culture, rules of exchange and beliefs. The Internet has made joining a tribe even easier. Physical and geographical barriers no longer exist. You can belong to a tribe that has members scattered all over the globe.

Stop and make a mental list of the tribes you are part of, for example, your family, friends, a book club, or a political party. Why do you feel compelled to be part of this group? What do they do for you? How do they support you?"

I have many different tribes in my life. Moving around so much can make it a little more complicated than someone who has the same tribes most of their life....but with work all tribes are possible.

I hope all of you have tribes also.

Now, to turn the tables a little....

I have one incredibly amazing tribe that makes no sense outside of GOD. It's all him. We are so diverse and different that it could be nothing other than God holding it all together.

Because its not just a tribe of women. Its a SAFE tribe. We can bare our hearts and souls and receive nothing but love and support. NOTHING but love and support. How often do you see that in a group of 11 women??? Non-related women.

How about never?

And there is one thing that makes me sad about our tribe.

Every time we get together, we have to keep things under wraps. We can't sing to the treetops about the great time we have. We can't celebrate out loud.

Why not?

Because there are several CHRISTIAN women who want to make trouble for us.

EVERY time.

I still don't get it to this day even though its been over 2 years that this has been a problem. And I hate seeing my girls worried about how this weekend is going to be talked about behind our backs - about what is going to be said this time. Worried about the damage that will be done at church by women that are not part of the tribe. (Yes, I admit it, it doesn't bother me one little bit. But I don't work on committees or other groups that require me to interface with the ones trying to talk us down. )

Are they jealous? It's the only thing that makes sense. But even when I'm jealous of a close group, I don't tear it down or try to make trouble with others about them. I don't talk the kind of talk that is divisive IN CHURCH or other functions where some of the group might be present.

Well, Autumn, why don't you invite those women to be a part of your tribe?

That's so easy.

1. This group was put together by our Father - there is no question there. We've only added one person since the very very beginning.(And AS - you were a part from the very beginning even though you took a baby break -- never have figured out why you think you came along later?!)

2. These women have already proved themselves to be talky and catty in deed. Our group DOES NOT tear down the others. EVER. It's never even crossed our minds.

3. It would make our group UNSAFE.

4. We have put hours upon hours of our hearts and souls into each other and have grown into what we currently are. We WORKED for it. We've grown like we have based on that foundation and each encounter we have together. We have RELATIONSHIP.

So I do not believe that in order to make unhappy women happy, we should destroy the gift we have.

Does it make me exclusive?

No, I don't think it does. I'd be the first to encourage all women to find such a group. Which means to encourage them to put the blood, sweat and tears into a group of friends. To develop what we have developed over the last 3 years. To do THE WORK.

And that's what I think it really comes down to. Friendships require HARD WORK. It requires carving out time away from your family and your schedules to make that relationship important. And that requires God to step in on your behalf and do big work sometimes -- because 11 schedules in todays world? All 11 families with kids? That doesn't come together naturally. (And I have to throw in right here that we all have the best husbands on the face of the earth. Yes, we do!)

So friends, let me encourage you today to grow your own tribe if you don't have one that meets your "friendship" needs. It is so worth the effort. And it does take effort.

And don't look to "break into" a group that already exists. Make your own.

And take another look at the "exclusive" group if you've been a hater. Maybe its not about keeping others out. Maybe they aren't snobs (people, I have no reason in life to be a snob!!!). Maybe its a group that did the work and are now reaping the rewards. You didn't help build it so don't be in such a hurry to tear it down.

And if you just don't have the time to do that?

Well then.

Step off.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1st! Oh So Glad To See You!

A month and a week.

That's how long we had "company". Can you call family company? Not real sure actually.

Today is my first day with my home 100% back to being mine. Even the hubs is out of town so I really do have it back to myself.


And after paying all the bills....I went to the post office and mailed off all the Christmas gifts that had to go by mail.

Dishes are done baby!!!!!!!!!!!

And all my Christmas shopping is done!

Now I only have Christmas cards to finish and the tree to put up. We are behind on both. But since the rest is done I should have it all completed by next Monday.

Love it.

And Pandora Christmas Radio has taken up permanent residence on the Roku/TV and is giving the hubs new speakers a workout. That rocks. Well -- not ROCKS....but you know what I mean.

I'm itching to get back to the 3 quilts I'm working on (seems to be my magic number). I didn't get very much sewing done this last month at all.

I missed all my internet peoples!

So where are you on your Christmas list???? Done yet?????

(Oh, and Bethany -- so sorry I have not let you know your beyond awesome envelope of fabric showed up!! It was in the middle of the craziest point of the last month and I didn't get an email right out like I planned. You are awesome girl!!!!)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I survived November.

The glory of friendship is not
in the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile,
nor the joy of companionship;
it is in the spiritual inspiration that comes to
one when he discovers that someone else
believes in him and is willing to trust him.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Night at the Frymarks

So I manage to keep the girls all in one piece with no bruises, bumps and injuries...

So their final night here they can participate in a snap war.

At one point I was the only one not participating and even the Hubs got his shots in.

Well- I say I didn't participate -- the Mouse got a napkin and practiced by wiping me about the head until she felt confident enough to join in the craziness.

Hey Mom!!!! Look What I Did!!!!!

The bestest part of having Nano come stay with us during November is that she was able to help FigNewton with her skating outfit. Because even though I am really getting into quilting....I'm really not very good at clothing. At all. Especially on a stretchy material!

Great job FigNewton!!!!

I'm so impressed!!

And super duper thanks to Nano!
Oh - and Nano says 3 inches girl. Three inches.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Presidental Annex

A new discovery for me -- the Presidential Annex to the Air Force Museum. Hubs found out about it recently and had us meet him over there yesterday before lunch. It was really neat to be able to crawl around in planes that have flown several presidents around.

There were also many other kinds of aircraft to see. I love this little "Air Jeep". It looks like something from a cartoon. It could be stripped and collapsed down - weighing only 300 lbs. But made too much noise to be practical for its mission.
There were several other rocket looking jets and experimental planes. Fun stuff. Its easy to see why people thought they saw UFO's when these things were being tested.
If anyone is ever in the Dayton area they really should stop in and see the Air Force Museum. It really is amazing.

And free!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Even Gorgeous Movie Stars Have a Bad Day

Apparently, even gorgeous movie stars have bad days and get fired.

But I'd really, really, REALLY like to know WHAT exactly it was Barbie got fired for....

See, I had just returned from a week in Texas (yes I did run away from home and leave my mom to take care of my two PLUS two more), and I happened to look down and see this note about Barbie.

And I was intrigued. And horrified.

And nervous.

So I showed the hubs the memo about Barbie.

And we laughed.

A lot.

And so we asked Mighty Mouse about that bad day.

And didn't really find out anything more than how she loves to copy pages from a book. (Which we knew).

So this morning I went and found said book.

And was never so glad to see Paris in my life.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Winning Streak!

Besides my ultra cool Go! cutter.....I have won two other give-aways the last couple of weeks. See, you go your whole life winning nothing, and then....
From Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom I won a handful of Chiquita Smoothie coupons and a t-shirt. I have not yet been to the store to pick some up but I'll be sure to let you know if the girls like them or not. Yes. I said the girls. I'm willing to lay money on the fact that they will get to them before I will. My girls LOVE them some smoothies.

And from Quilting Ranny I won a big envelope full of thread and even some fabric scraps. Most were put away before it occurred to me to snap a shot to let both ladies know I have indeed received the packages. The thread you see here is overflow I don't even have space for! LOL.

Thank both of you ladies very much for the give-aways!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

So How Many Days Have I Lost?

Of course as soon as the girls got hereI got sick. And it was one of those that you would wake up and think you were feeling better.....for about an hour. For days and days.

Then we had to put the van in the shop. Thankfully that turned out really well as we thought it was oil we were leaking and the vehicle is not even paid off yet. And I have to make a trip to Nebraska this month in it. But all turned out well. It wasn't even as expensive as I was thinking it was going to be. Not that it was cheap...but it wasn't devastating. But we were down to one car so on the days I was feeling well enough that we could have done something.....we couldn't.

And then we had to hang around while the fence guy put in the fence. Lost 2 days there.

And then we had to put the Durango in the shop and we are back down to one car again which is keeping us pretty much house bound. And since they first ordered the wrong part....and then found out they dont make the part anymore...etc. Well, we won't have that car back for awhile.

But Hubs leaves TDY Monday so at least we wont need two cars for a bit.

(Hubs job has him needing a vehicle many times so its not like its easy for me to just take him to work and pick him up.)

Mom arrives Tuesday to stay with us for almost a month. She will watch all four girls for me while I leave town for 5 days. Then she will watch my two while I take the girls home after I get back.

When I return from Nebraska mom will return home and it will be December the next day.

Yes, this November will be a lost month. So, all of my Christmas gifts that must be mailed are bought, wrapped and boxed and will be sent rather early this year. Hubs gets to hand deliver Bones' presents on this next TDY which will save us a bundle on shipping. His presents tend to be heavy as I stuff them full of snacks and other food stuffs also.

The only thing I haven't done is our yearly Christmas letter - which I usually do on Thanksgiving or the day after while all that football mess is hogging up the tv. So I'm not sure that Christmas Cards will make it out this year as I'm not even sure where I will be on Thanksgiving.

And I refuse to complicate the month of December.

The girls have been able to go with our Troop to a really cool paper making class with a great lady. She has had a home business for 26 years doing fun papers and stuff. I was surprised that all the age groups (10-15) loved it and had a great time. I've even had requests to go again.

We also helped the Troops sponsor church (where we have our meetings) by helping to serve at a spaghetti feed they put on. The girls ate their weight in desserts for their trouble! LOL!

Hopefully we will get the girls out a little more for some fun this coming week.

But at least they are getting their schoolwork done!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Corn Maze

Hubs and the girls went to the cornmaze yesterday. I stayed home to sleep as I am coming down with a cold, and I know if I will just go to bed many times I can lick it before it gets a good hold. (And it worked.)

But I was bummed not to go play with them all! So hubs took pity and snapped a couple of shots from his phone for me.

He's such a good daddy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Descriptor Not Definer

Who are you?

Who am I?

You know I read mostly women's blogs. I have mostly women friends.

And WHO we are seems to be a question that stumps the majority of them.

Sure alot of us are mothers.

Many of us are wives.

Sister, daughter, grand daughter, friend.

Many women use one of these descriptors to define themselves.

But they aren't definitions....they are descriptors. They are the icing on the cake. They aren't the cake.

For some people the answer is teacher, doctor, office worker, military member.....

Again...this is a descriptor friends. Its not WHO you are. Its ONE of the things you do.

Take away these descriptors and can you answer the question?

Who are you?

My friend Sandra just watched Eat, Love, Pray and started asking this question of her readers: If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be?

Can you do it without using a relationship or a job?

Its not as easy as it sounds for most.

I had the advantage of losing a job many years ago that made me really think about this. See, at that time I defined myself by what I did. How good of a job I did. How valuable I was at what I did.

But the bottom line truth about jobs is this: If you died or quit or whatever tomorrow....they would hire another body and put it in your place. Someone else CAN do it. They might not do it the same, but they can take the position and the company goes right on without you. Do you really want to wrap all your worth up in that kind of a situation?

One day, it could leave you lost.

So who are you friend?

Somebody's mom? Sure. And no matter what you always will be. But the mom you are right now? Its temporary. One day you will be more of a friend than a mom. And then more of a grandma than a mom. Its an ever changing relationship. And its ONE part of who you are. Its not the end-all-be-all. There is more to you than that.

So think about it.

What is your word?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

MM Goes Fishing

At our family camp out this last summer Mighty Mouse went fishing for the first time. I didn't even go with her as I assumed she would get bored and hate it.


Instead she caught 3 fish. (And we had no camera with us.)

And she was the only kid that caught fish.

But I understand there might have been a little intervention in there somewhere.

And I'm thankful for the other mama that did bring a camera and gave MM this picture last week!

Poppy would have been proud kid!

Angels of Summer

Whew. Last Christmas quilt is done.

Not that I don't have other projects stacking up -- but at least my Christmas ones are done!

This one is named Angels of Summer due to its colors and its pieced angels on the back. I kicked a name around forever and ended up with this one. Still doesn't wow me .... but it will do.
I used Amy Butlers Lotus Brick Path free pattern with my own choice of fabrics instead of the Lotus line.

The back is once again pieced from left overs from the front.

Angels on the back. I've become kind of obsessed with doing a paper pieced block or two on the backs with some significance to the quilt recipient. Its becoming almost a signature kind of thing for me.
And this time I rolled up my sleeves and actually QUILTED. Free motion baby!!! And it wasn't so bad....although you can see the progress from where I started to where I ended. Practice does make perfect.

I decided to quilt every other strip on the quilt for a different texture. On the side where the back is green I used blue thread...and vise versa. Love the way it turned out.

And now an announcement:

Starting tomorrow I will have two wonderful teens coming to stay with me for about a month. During that time I fully expect this blog will be all about them and their days to keep mom up on what they are doing while they are here. I will return to my normal Autumn randomness in December. So, that means you probably won't have a whole lot of interest in what's going on here during that time and I apologize.....but its important. So! See you in December!