Monday, August 9, 2010

As promised...

I love making these little journal covers!  They're so simple and quick to whip up for a personalized gift.  But, when I embarked on making 6 of them I have to be honest---- I was BORED!!!

They are all so cute. I love the fun fabrics!  I just don't like the repitition.  I stuck in there and got them finished. 

I made one for myself (remember my new girlfriends?) and the others are for my grade level teacher friends.  Each journal cover uses 2 fat quarters of fabric and an 11x16 piece of fusible web or batting.  I added various ribbons for ties and book markers. This is the first time I quilted the fusible web to the outside of the cover.  It really made them look more professional.  I also added pockets.  Some have them on the outside and others are on the inside flaps.  I planned the sizes of the pockets to fit pens, stickie notes, and even added a couple big enough for our cell phones.  I usually top-stitch all the way around the  journals, but this time I opted out.  My hope is that keeping them a little loose will allow enough room for our school calendars to slip right inside the back.

Pre-K will be the talk of the school during our back to school in-service days!  Which, by the way, begins on Friday the 13th---how appropriate!  I am going to use my journal all year long.  I will be able to grab it and go each time we have those "quick meetings" that always seem to sneak up on us at school.  And of course I am keeping the fruity babes!

I promise you there will be 'off-task' behaviors, but we will be doodling in style!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

New Friends

I love these ladies! 

Don't they look like they are having a blast? I want to be in their circle.  I want to be invited to ALL of their parties.  I wonder if their "cliche" is only for fruits.  Won't they allow just one nut?  I can act fruity I promise!

Well I've decided I'm going to spend a year getting to know these ladies.  I'll let you know more later.....

In the mean time check out these pretties.........

and these.......

and by the way, did you get a load of the blond (with Banana) with the huge kumquats, or figs, or pearl onions....what are those things????
sorry for the bad photography!--CL

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Manicure Day

How often do you get a manicure?

I never do.  My nails are paper thin. The minute even the slightest bit of white begins to show they begin to split and peel.  I'm sure it's diet related---isn't every thing now days?

But today I had a homemade manicure. Although it wasn't my nails, but my soul, that needed pampering.   I got outside this afternoon and began digging.  Mother's Day is always when new potatoes can be found.  It's like searching for buried treasure.  I spent an hour on my knees plunging into the soil.  Each time I would pull out another potato I would smile. 

I was looking forward to this Mother's Day.  I don't want to sound selfish, but it was the first one of my life that got to be about me.  You see I didn't grow up in the Cleaver's house of the 50's or the Brady's house of the 60's.  Nope I never had the city apartment of Julie and Barb in the 70's.  And the Huxtable's house? Well, that place was just a myth.

You see each of those mothers worked to build bonds.  They built up their children every chance they got and made sure they knew that family came first.  June, Carol, Ann and Clair were all very different people, but they all had a common bond----family.  No matter how bad the situation each 30 minute episode would end up in a neatly wrapped up reminder that you mattered.  You were an important part of the family.  Home was the safe place.  Even when Julie told Barbara to shut up for the tenth time, Barbara still belonged.

So back to me!  For years my mom and I struggled to see that bond.  The majority of the those days we both fell short.  When I was younger I saw her actions as a way of protecting me from those who didn't care enough.  As I became a teenager it became a battle for attention.  If I didn't agree with something I was selfish.  If I got my feelings hurt I was a brat.  If I was embarrassed I was a snob. As an adult I just knew I would never fix it.

I carried that luggage with me for years.  So before Mother's Day I would go to Hallmark (because I'm supposed to care enough to send the very best) every year.  And I would stand there in front of the cards for what seemed like days.  Some years were easy.  "I'll go the humor route!" I'd decide.  I'd pick my card and move on. The gift is were I could shine.  I knew my mom.  I knew what she liked to do, where she liked to get pampered, even her sizes.  I put thought into the gifts every year, even if I was feeling a little bitter.

And then the day came.  I would take my offering to her; wherever she was. She would say thanks. I would say your welcome and that was it. "Whew! Made it through another year."

Oh did I forget to mention that I was always invited to read the fabulous card my brother got her.  I love my brother.  He is a great, loving man!  But, he and my mom had something I never had with her.  And every time I read those sappy, 'Mom you are the best', 'I will cherish the memories we've made' cards it was like she was stabbing me.  I would smile while inside I was yelling at myself, "You're a brat.  Don't be selfish, you think you are better than everyone."  WE GREW UP IN THE SAME HOUSE!!!  We have the same parents!  How did we have such separate childhoods?

I began to believe everything she ever taught me.  I was selfish. I was a brat.  I didn't matter because everyone was different than me.

And then I became a mom.  I was a new person.  This was MY child.  No one got to decide how our relationship was going to develop except for me.  I was safe and protected.

I take my job as mom very serious!  It drives every decision I make.  That fabulous child God gave me is the center of my world and has been for 17 years.  It's not a perfect relationship, but it is wonderful.  I wouldn't know how to "be me" without being Kody's mom.  I give him 100%.  I make mistakes, but when I do there is always an apology.  I vowed to him in the hospital room that I would ALWAYS put him first.

It hasn't always been easy.  I have failed on days.  I have been less patient then I wanted to be. I have been too lenient at times and overbearing at others.  And as he is growing I feel our relationship changing.  He's always adored his dad. That's the way it should be.  Boys and their daddy's NEED to be close.  I love that.  I have helped feed that relationship.  I have never really be jealous of it because he's also been Mama's Boy!

I don't feel that so much anymore.  I feel like I'm becoming someone he HAS to put up with to get what he wants.  But that's just teenager, right?  They all think the world is out to get them. They all refuse to admit when they are wrong.  And they all grow out of it.

But, on Mother's Day this year it's MY DAY.  I didn't go and by the fake card.  I didn't rearrange my schedule to please anyone else.  I'm the mom.  It's about me.

Well, it's just another Sunday.  It's not about me.  No one stopped what they were doing to shower me with affection.  I didn't even hear, "Happy Mother's Day" until I got to church---- and I was not home alone.

  How did I get to a point where my only child doesn't even think twice about this day?  Why do I feel selfish for even being sad?

I don't know where to go for those answers.  All I know is I'm empty.  My heart doesn't have much left.  I don't like feeling this way.  I hate it, actually.  This episode will have to be continued.  There's no 30 minute wrap up.  Just me trying to be true to what I believe.  Just me trying to be hopeful.  Just me.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Relay For Life

Click on the link below to find out how you can support me in this year's Relay for Life....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fresh towels, anyone?

Want to know the secret to having a house full of fresh clean towels. I learned the secret today and you too can have this is just a few easy steps...

1. Get dish soap from under the cabinet to refill your pretty bottle on the counter.
You know your sink cabinet looks like this too!

2. Notice that the bottom of the dish soap bottle is a little damp... say, "Hmmm, that's odd" to your self and move on. You have this morning's breakfast dishes in the sink and the dishwasher is full of clean dishes. "Shoot, I'll wash these real quick and empty the washer later."

3. Forget about the damp bottle and go outside to play in the fire for a few hours....

4. Secretly praise yourself for working out in the yard and weeding the garden! Or accept praise from a companion.

"Nice work, CL."

5. Hours later remember the damp bottle and go to investigate. Notice a slow dripping leak on a valvey-thingy and give it a little twist. "Nope--- maybe the filter needs tightening?.... Is it lefy-lucy or righty-tighty?"

6. Scream like a girl to wake everyone enjoying a Saturday nap. Figure out how to turn the water off. Yell at sarcastic teenager to find some towels (next time clarify BIG THIRSTY TOWELS, not little kitchen rags!)

7. Spend Saturday night washing 2 loads of wet, heavy, soaked towels while the well-rested boys go out to play!

Thanks Sandy and Frankus for keeping me company!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Are you gettin enough lettuce in your diet?

There are 5 types of "Let-Us" in The Bible. Are you serving enough?

Hebrews 10:22-25

22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart...
Am I focusing on the world and my life so much that I forget that I already have someone on my team?

23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess...
Do I really believe in God's strength? Then why do I stress so much?

24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds...
Am I trying to correct and guide or chastise? Spurring is good, if it's done in love.

25Let us not give up meeting together...
Do I make excuses so much that I isolate myself and then whine about being lonely---guilty!

but let us encourage one another...
Do I encourage others enough? Is my encouragement sincere?

I think I could stand to improve in all these areas.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A New You in 52!!!

We all do it every year. Resolutions--- it's almost become a dirty word. You know, one of those words we (whisper) in a crowd.

Well I'm not doing it. No resolutions to be found here! No GRAND PLAN for sticking to them. No reward for overcoming obstacles. Nope! This year is different.

Last year I spent way too much time making excuses. "I hate my job." "I'm so tired." "If only I had more money." "If only there was someone to help me with..." But that's not really it.

There is a character building program called "Bucket Fillers." It was presented to our elementary students last year. The premise is simple. Everyone has a bucket inside. It needs to be filled for us to be happy and productive. The way that we interact with one another not only affects their bucket, but ours as well. The children are taught that you should strive to be a "Bucket Filler" to those you are around.

This basically means encourage one another. Build each other up instead of tearing each other down. When you complement, have patience, help with kind words and actions you are filling someones bucket. When you criticize, are greedy or selfish, and keep to yourself you are emptying someones bucket.

If I'm being completely honest with myself, I'm empty. The well has gone dry. The bucket has had a slow dripping hole---probably for years. And in the spirit of honesty, I probably dip out of my own bucket more than anyone I have ever blamed.

Oh I'm a great bucket filler. I try to encourage others. I want everyone to like me. I teach Pre-K for heavens sake! "Oh bless you!" "Oooo, you must have the patience of Job." I hear you!

But for as long as I can remember I have looked into that bucket without even realizing it existed. I stare down in the bucket and see a pit. And I look in and whisper, "Hello! Is anybody down there?" "Don't you see me up here?" "I'm waiting. Do you have something for me?" "Are you thinking about me today?" "Do I matter to you?" "Please fill my bucket."

And on many days all I hear is a lonely echo. So I fill my own bucket. "You don't matter. You're fat. Your selfish. Nobody needs you." "Don't you see that you don't deserve to be loved?" "It's your own fault!" "YOU SUCK!!!!!"

Well---- 2010 is not a year to me. It is 365 days. And 52 weeks. 52 weeks that God designed. He knows the plan. He is holding my bucket. He keeps putting things in my bucket and I just hammer a new hole.

He has given me a child. I promised to love and train that child.

He has given me some very close family members. I spend as much time (if not more) griping about the ones that are not close as I do encouraging and praying for the ones that are.

He has given me Jesus. I stood in a little office with the lights off in 1995 and accepted forgiveness. And I've wasted 15 years beating myself up for shortcomings.

He has given me scripture. I go to it when I'm sad, or scared, or want to show someone else what may be the answer to their problem.

Today is a day of spackling. I'm going to try and patch up those nasty little holes. I'm not a perfect mason and I'm sure they may leak again. But when they do my goal is to not look around to find out who can fix them for me, but to fix them for myself. I deserve it. My bucket is at the front of the line now. No more second hand leftover scoops for me. I'm serving myself first.

Oh, and by the way---- I haven't filled my bucket with any DP this weekend ;-)