Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Best Quilt EVER

I'm a quilter.  Actually I cut up and pieced fabric back together for several year before I felt worthy of that title.  Now it's just part of my DNA.  I look at art and wonder how to represent it with fabric.  I see a sunset and consider how to combine fabrics to obtain that effect.  I've never succeeded at that - God has me beat every time.

I have made so many quilts for the ones that I love that I fear they are smiling through gritted teeth and wondering what to do with yet another.  I feel their pain (not really) and I try to hold myself back (unsuccessfully).  It's just one of the quirky hallmarks of being me, and I'm really not apologizing for it, either.

My quilting room, which doubles as my office and workout room and playroom for the grands, has the requisite tools of the trade: sewing machine, a yard or two (thousand) of fabric, scissors, pins, etc.  But there are also the common but less expected quilting tools: tape measure, compass (of the geometric variety), a carpenter's square, and pink Styrofoam insulation.

The Styrofoam board is meant to be used as a design wall - for arranging and re-arranging blocks before they are sewn together to get just the right balance of color, design, placement.  Whatever it takes to "make the heart sing" (credit to Connie Pomering for the phrase that accurately sums it all up).  Since we moved four years ago, the design wall has been a constantly changing and growing collection of my favorite quilt EVER.  It started with Bryce's painted handwork in the upper left hand corner.  Tyler's art is slightly covered by dancing snowmen, courtesy of Bella and Aidan.  There are rainbows and flowers and monster-somethings of the friendly sort.  Notes of love and even a favorite photo of me with a baby grandgirlie wearing a sweater that I first wore decades ago round out the blocks.

Perhaps it would be possible to represent these precious works of art in a quilt, but just as God does the best sunsets, grandboys and girlies do their art best!  If any of them becomes world renowned artists, and even if they don't, I'll always say I knew them when - and their early works are their best.  They make my heart sing!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Final Countdown to THREE

Tomorrow it will be official:  Josiah will turn three.  Three is my least favorite age ever.  I prefer thirteen to three - though there are similarities between them - squirrelly and prone to temper tantrums to name two.  But I'll say this for Josiah - he is absolutely my favorite three year old, so he has that going for him.

In January of last year, I did a blog titled "Stuck in the Middle with You" - featuring tomorrow's birthday boy.  That was when he was the second of three.  Now, as the second oldest of five, life has changed.  Now he is one of the "big" kids.  And as a big kid, he gets to go to school when Granma arrives to teach science (oh, there will be future blogs on THAT!).

Then there are days like Sunday when we had a family dinner to celebrate Grampa and Josiah's birthdays.  Josiah decided to flaunt his youth with just a "touch" of blue icing lipstick.  Granma is totally useless at telling him to stop when she, herself, can't stop laughing.  His unnatural smile kept growing until Mama grabbed the wet wipes.  After all, someone had to be the adult, and I was doing a poor job of it.  In fact, I was thinking of blue lips myself.  Thank you, Christine, for saving me from myself...

Josiah has two modes - absolute-goof-ball and nothing-you-do-will-make-me smile.  But look at those eyes!  Coppery hazel!  They bewitch me and apparently they go very well with blue - he might be on to something.  He also has two voices - toddler-what-is-he-saying? and billy-goat-beats-me-what-he's-saying.  Seriously, he should think about opera - no one has a vibrato like that kid!  Fortunately, Aidan is really good at interpreting.  Actually, sometimes Aidan just shrugs when asked what his brother is saying.  He might actually understand, but it is an older brother prerogative to feign ignorance.

Josiah, I love you dearly, just the way you are!  You are a love bug of epic-ly three-year-old proportion!  I'll love you next year, too, when you are (relieved sigh) four...  Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Best. Uncle. Ever!!!

I feel sorry for the kids that don't have one.  You know, the uncle who teaches them to make volcanoes out of mashed potatoes filled with golden butter lava.  The one that buys them the BEST toys at Christmas and birthdays and just because - the toys that make parents cringe with fear and the kids squeal with joy.  It is the uncle who gives them Garrett's popcorn at 10 am cuz it's a veggie, right?

My boys had uncles like that - who hosted them up in the air by their ears and wrestled them to the ground and later "died" dramatically in a sword fight.  Uncles are supposed to show the next generation the art of cookie thievery and then manufacture a bedtime reprieve of at least an hour or so.  When their nephew slips in the mud, unsure if he should laugh or cry, it's uncle to the rescue, joining him in the muck, laughing the whole time - or not joining him and laughing the whole time - mud makes uncles a bit unpredictable.  However, if you laugh at an uncle who got muddier than expected, you had better have a good head start and be a track phenom...

My grandboys and girlies are blessed that have "that" uncle.  They call him Uncle Corey.  Sunday he took a day to show Aidan and Bella his city: bats and butterfies, train and boat "garages", Five Guys and french fries.  He even helped Aidan pick the sesame seeds off his grilled cheese when they proved to be "too spicy".  He planned, organized and kept track of our schedule, getting us back to the train garage at just the right time.

Ok, truth be told, the Sunday train schedule is on alternating hours.  If we missed the train, he would either have to drive us to the 'burbs or entertain us for another two hours.  Yep, he's one awesome uncle, and a smart one, too.

We love you, Uncle Corey!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

In Her Eyes

Faith - Christine - Naomi
These beautiful baby grandgirlies were born last summer.  It seems like a million years ago, due in part of an endless winter which refuses to let go.  But, more due to all that has happened since then.  Months in the NICU, surgeries, prayers and waiting, much prayerful waiting.

Watching these girlies develop has been such a blessing!  They have grown to quite the hands full, which is saying something from starting at just over a pound a piece.  To see their smiles and hear them cooing, they are just normal babies.  What a miracle "normal" is!

I don't have anything profound or witty or original to say.  But I do have a request.  Faith is having eye surgery today to cleanup an excess of blood vessels that grew around the retina when she was on oxygen after her birth (that would be my layman's understanding and explanation - don't take it for gospel).  Would you please pray for Faith and for the whole family?  Pray for the Great Healer's hand upon Faith and the Holy Spirit's peace for the family and wisdom for the doctors.

Her eyes are so beautiful!  May they reveal to her years and years, seasons and seasons of God's glorious beauty as well.