Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The List Continues to Shrink

Three more orders almost finished. They just need varnished now.
These aren't colors that I normally use and they are way brighter than they look in the picture.
A nice change from my normal palette.

And basic stars and vines.
And now for the award for the
Best Use of Turkey Leftovers.
The Nominees include:
Almost every household in the country.
And the winner is....(shuffling around as I open the envelope)
Drum Roll Please.
Dum da da dum!
MY HUSBAND!

This soup rocks.
It is literally the BEST soup I have ever eaten.
Sorry Mom (who rarely reads the blog anyway)
But this beats your soup!
I really hope that statement does not affect the care packages of wedding soup that I receive.

I am telling you THE BEST!
I can't wait to be hungry again.
Soup for breakfast...



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weekend with the Princess

One more finished project off the list BEFORE the Princess arrived for her Weekend at Mama's House. We finished decorating the church. Thanks again to Paula, Shawnee and Jennifer for all their help on Friday, even if the two youngest of that group in a Black Friday shopping stupor caused me a mild panic attack when I thought the Nativity was missing.
Gracelyn and I managed to locate Baby Jesus and set up everything yesterday.
Big White Box.
Big Letters.
CERAMIC NATIVITY SET
HANDLE WITH CARE
Hard to miss, Girls!



And we posed in front of the Christmas tree!



We baked cookies.
Now, before any of you read this and think I have suddenly gone domestic.
Cookie Dough in a Bag.
Prepared Icing.
Ok, I did add the food coloring to make it pink.
That's as domestic as I get.


We watched the start of the Wizard of Oz before she went to bed. I questioned that, it always scared me. Sometimes it still does.
She seemed to love it!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Biggest and The Smallest

Along with some prep work yesterday, the biggest and the smallest of the orders
were the ones that I decided to finish first.
A little more decorating at the church today and a weekend with Gracelyn!
The princess should be arriving around 9 AM.
Girls weekend!
Woohoo!



Friday, November 26, 2010

Panic Button


It was time to hit the panic button.

It happens every year.

Where did the year go?

Really?

Christmas is less than a month away?

I still have this...

and this...



and this...



and these...




and these...






and about eight cabinet doors to paint.

Before.

Christmas.

But the real panic set in when I tried to load this adorable little snowman template to get rid of the Blogger Template thing that I didn't like and

POOF!

It all went away.

Everything!

I think I felt my heart skip a beat. Or two.

Actually I think I had 9-1 dialed,

when I told myself.

Calm, Calm....

I read, I hit help, panic some more, help again.

Calm.

Coffee.

Calm.

It had to be somewhere and I had to find it.

Finally, I was back.

The next thing I searched was the info on how to back-up your blog.

Found it.

Saved it.

Whew!

You might think all those things to paint in one month would be enough to panic anyone?

Losing two years worth of blogging for me would be the real issue!


The mitten picture at the top is just for those of you that have the ability to put those cute little thumbnails on your blog. They look so much more inviting than an unpainted item waiting to be finished. Those mittens are so cozy. I want to make lots more...but...I have to paint!


And now this.

Gracelyn was working the runway Wednesday evening in this lovely, fifty year old vintage number. She wears it well. Such a great fashion choice in the brown socks to accent this.

This was my dress when I was little. It was a dress that my grandfather had bought for me.

My mother saved it all those years and my girls each had a picture taken in it.

It was Gracelyn's turn. What we didn't count on was that she loved it and would not take it off.

She wore it up until I saw Tyler standing at the freezer passing out Popsicles to his brother and cousins.

Off came the dress!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Five Great Reasons to be Thankful!


These are five of my greatest reasons to be thankful.
It doesn't get any better than this for me!
Hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving and that you took time to count your blessings.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Multi-tasking at it's finest.

After work yesterday, in the few short minutes of daylight left at the end of a work day, (well, I might have ducked out a little early) I managed to race home and get the gladiola bulbs dug up and seeds gathered from some of the flowers around the yard and spring bulbs planted.  Then DH, who also somehow managed to convince his mother to hang out at the shop until five, pulled in with a load of firewood.  Between the two of us, we managed to get that unloaded and stacked and still had 5 minutes to spare before 5 o'clock.  The boys were arriving at 6 o'clock.  Hubby rushes in, throws chicken in the oven, puts yesterday's bean soup on to cook and runs to the house next door to start working.

The boys arrive, toy guitars in hand, and immediately grab the remote and turn on the Chipmunks movie and start rocking out to Alvin, Simon and Theodore.

The multi-tasking moment of the evening though was when...

The boys are chasing each other around the house with a stick horse, fighting over it.  I am taking cookies out of the oven, phone to my ear, saying,
"Of course I can have the Advent candles and wreath in place for this Sunday" (Really is it time already?)
"TYLER AND LOGAN. QUIT THAT RUNNING AND FIGHTING"
"Fred (our resident bear hunter), get some of that chicken"
Cookies off the tray and next batch in the oven.
"Why, yes, as a matter of fact Wyatt did get home today"
"Of course, I will have time to get the church decorated before Sunday"
"Tyler, PUT MY CAMERA DOWN!"
"I am sorry, but I can't talk to you any longer about the Christmas flowers, I have to referee a fight!"

I'd like to say that the evening calmed down from there, but it did not.


Finished all of these this morning.

One final note to my children that might be reading this:
(excluding Dianna for obvious reasons)

Your are cordially invited to
Decorating the Church
2010
Friday, November 26th
10:00 AM
Old Mahoning Baptist Church
Lunch served immediately following at Country Junction Restaurant
My treat!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Menopausal ADD

About a week ago, someone sent an email to me regarding Adult ADD. 
After reading it, I painfully realized that I might have a problem.  It described me very accurately.
Take yesterday morning.
I had to remake two beds and vacuum for the bear hunters that were arriving later in the day.
The sheets were clean and in the washer.
Get up
Make the coffee,
Check my email.
Sip the coffee.
Take the sweeper upstairs.
Go to the basement for the sheets, but first, there is that sweater that I went to put on last Sunday that has a stain on it so while I am going to the basement, I am just going to run over to the other side of the house and get that sweater and throw it in while I was going to the basement anyway.
Spot the sweater, start the washer, gather the sheets and pillowcases, take them upstairs.
Turn on the iron in the messy sewing room.
Clean up a few things in there while the iron is heating.
Walk by the mirror and realize that my hair needs colored really bad.
Run back downstairs and start a list for Walmart later...hair color is at the top of the list.
While I am there I straighten and separate the mail on the kitchen counter. 
Iron is warm and I start to iron the pillowcases that my MIL recently gave me and I realize that the other end of them was never finished.
Sew the pillowcases up and press.

But wait, I forgot to put a log on the fire. 
Back downstairs and put a log on the fire, get another cup of coffee.
Make the first bed.
Vacuum, wait, that mirror behind the door needs taken to the attic.
And the Lego's that the boys were playing with also need taken to the attic.
The washer must be done by now, back to the basement. 
Everything in the dryer, back to the kitchen to make some toast and set the timer on the stove so that I don't forget and over dry the sweater. 
Clean off the counters while I am waiting on the toast.
Toast.
Check email again while I munch on the toast
Time to take John his morning wake up coffee in bed.
Timer goes off, take sweater out and lay out to finish drying.
Other bedroom, change sheets.
Vacuum.
Wait the sweeper does not seem to be picking up.
Empty the sweeper across the road in the field.
Phone rings.
Talk to mom while I sit on the porch, still holding the canister of the sweeper, watching for the car that goes by here way too fast every morning.  I really want to know who that is so that we can have a little "talk"
Back to finish that bedroom, bed made, room cleaned,
Finally the house was somewhat ready and it was time to go to work.
I'd like to say work was somewhat more organized but it wasn't.
I did manage to finish that ironing board at the top of the post
and last night at Light Up Night,
I found this at the thrift shop

I found this little stash today at a thrift shop on my way to Pittsburgh to the hospital.
Update on Wyatt.
He was supposed to come home today and had a minor set back during the night so he will be in the hospital a couple of more days.  Disappointing to all of us, but none more than Mom and Dad.
He was moved to a regular room and now Dianna will be staying with him for the time being.
Thanks for all the messages and prayers. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Twelve down, Eighteen to go.

Buttons, Buttons, sewing and sewing buttons.
More walker bags added to the finished pile. 
Sure will be glad to see these finished! 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Never Ending Projects

I have myself in quite the mess.
I am calling in the Never Ending Project Syndrome.
You see, I started this before the Open House and never quite got it finished. 
Now it is in the way and needs done and out of there but,
I paint and paint and paint and there seems to be no end to it.


And then I got myself into this project. 
A man at our church goes to two nursing homes every Sunday and worships with the residents.
What a ministry he has!
I offered to make walker/wheelchair bags for his (what I thought was a little) flock.
Two Sundays ago, I told him that I would have them in a week for him and oh, by the way, how many do you actually need?
My mind was wrapped around the number 12.
THIRTY!  was the number I heard him say.
"THIRTY!"
I repeated just a trifle louder and more panicked than I probably should have.
Thirty it is. 
I offered.
So I am sewing and sewing and sewing and sewing.
And then these little buggers.
I had my Dad cut these way back in January. 
I basecoated and started painting them way back then.
I got about three of them actually finished.
You say "Well that is good, you are way ahead of the game"
I had him cut out oh about 50 of them.
You see, I thought that I would put them in all of my Christmas cards this year.
That should have been Christmas 2010.
Not really seeing that happening.
Lest you see a pattern of non-finished projects.  I did finish this scarf.
And I did finish these mittens and hats.
The problem?
Too much knitting and not enough sewing and painting.
And then to add to the problem (as if it wasn't big enough already)
I started this book. 
It is thick. 
I love historical fiction though, and a few years ago I spent a couple of weekends in Charleston with a sick car, but that is another story for another time.
I loved Charleston despite the $3000 car repair bill, various hotel bills, a rental car, and let's not forget the speeding ticket when dear hubby (who did not enjoy Charleston and was trying to get away as fast as he could) racked up his first and only speeding ticket in South Carolina when he tried to outrun a really fast Camaro with an old and tired, but newly fixed Taurus. 
And speaking of that dear man.  
Here he is holding Wyatt John at the hospital yesterday. 
We are getting good reports on Wyatt.  They have started him on a medicine that seems to be working and he is responding well to it.  It may be a medication for life, but other than that he should make a full recovery and have a normal life. 
Thank you for all the prayers! 
They have certainly been answered. 

And if you are still with me....
It helps to have a stash and perhaps be a bit of a hoarder. 
This ribbon was left over from the wedding of a daughter of a friend of mine.  She told me to keep it and I hate to admit it, but it was still in the same crate that I brought it home from the church in.  It was sitting on the basement floor still.  The wedding was last winter.  That should really tell you something about the state of the basement and why you will probably see me on an episode of Hoarders someday.
But anyway, yesterday a woman came in the shop asking me questions about how much ribbon she would need to buy to make bows for her church. 
It is a tiny church in the country that welcomed me in some rough years.
They wanted silver bows for their church this year.
The red one she brought in had really seen better years. 
Light Bulb Moment!  
I had this silver ribbon!  
You are really not a hoarder if you are willing to give it away, are you? 

Molly and Alicia....it is going to a good cause!  

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I would talk to you but....

So if any of you are following the insanity that I call LIFE...
And even if you aren't, I feel the need to document it anyway.
Someday there will be a story,
Someday, maybe the government will pay for a study.
Heck, someday it just might be my eulogy.
I hope that you all get a laugh.

Shawnee and Brian wanted to go to the hospital today.
I wanted to keep Gracelyn.
John likens her to taking care of a goldfish.
He has the boys pegged as Rottweilers.
That should tell you how easy today was going to be.

UNTIL. THE. CALL.

Jenn is also going to the hospital with her Mom and the boys WANT to go to church.

In my corner of the world, when little boys WANT to go to church, you would move mountains to get them there.

John also wants to go to the hospital. 

That leaves me with three finger pinching car seats squeezed into the back seat of my cute little Equinox.
I pick up the boys, I drive to meet Shawnee at our halfway point and I get Gracelyn.
I get to church...way too early.  The three of them sit like little angels and whisper until the big hand is on the six at which point Tyler announces,
"THE BIG HAND IS ON THE SIX!!"
And the three of them scatter like cockroaches at midnight when you turn the overhead light on.
(Not that I ever had those in MY house, but I have seen them in a southern relative's house that shall remain nameless until I get an anonymous blog)
I quickly try to decide which one to chase and my decision is made when I see the 4 foot by 6 foot laminated missionary map of the globe come tumbling off the wall.
As people start arriving, I hear them asking me about Dianna, about Wyatt, about church stuff and about life in general and I hear myself saying,
I would talk to you but, I have to take off my shoes and climb up on this pew to tack this map back up.
I would talk to you but I have to throw away the half chewed gum that Gracelyn has just spit back into my hand.
I would talk to you but, no wait Tyler and Logan you cannot go to Children's Church until the big hand is between 8 and 9.
I would talk to you but...wait Tyler the greeter today does not need your help.
I would talk to you but....BOYS, SHUT THE DOOR TO THE BATHROOM WHEN YOU ARE PEEING!
I would talk to you but, Boys did you flush that commode?
I would talk to you but...wait one of them is missing I think...ONE, TWO...yes one of them is missing.
I would talk to you but...LOGAN ARE YOU DEAF?  DO I HAVE TO USE THE MEANIE GRANDMA VOICE!!!!??
(That one actually got about five kids to stop in their tracks.)
I would talk to you but...wait here take this one and hold her until I find the other two.
I would talk to you but if I don't duck out of this nursery fast, that one is going to scream and hang on my leg...and that is fine but I really need the hour break that I am about to get in church.

I sang louder and listened better than ever.  I know it is supposed to be worship, but just for today, I called it a
BREAK!!!!

The true meaning of
Come all of you weak and heavy laden and I will give you rest.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Good News and My Words of the Day.


This is Dianna and Wyatt yesterday.  We are getting better reports daily.



He is such an adorable little guy. 
We are hoping to have him home by the end of next week.

Answered Prayers!


And then my day.

In my words.

Jenn, why don't you go to the hospital with your dad and I'll keep the boys.

Wait, you are ready to bring them now? 
I had some errands to run.
I need laundry soap.
I have no clean underwear.
I don't have any clean socks.
Wait here are two white ones.
It's OK if they don't really match.
My hair is wet.
Give me 10 minutes anyway.
(Two minutes later)
Why, hello Tyler and Logan.  Be good just until Grandma gets her hair dry and her face on.
OK, boys load up. 
First, we have to go to the shop,
Second to the post office,
Third to the bank,
Fourth to the Dollar General and
Fifth to the grocery store.

Oh and be ready boys in the event that we see a yard sale somewhere.
Put the balloons back.
Stay together.
Boys come back here.
Yes, you can have one toy each.
OK Logan, yours can be that stick horse.
Why yes, we do need crazy straws.
Please don't weigh the apples.
OK, we will follow the horse through the grocery store.
Yes, of course we need cheese balls, Popsicles and bug juice.
No Tyler, no chewy candy after the trip to the dentist this week.
Boys, come back here.
Can somebody find some paper towels for me so that I can clean up this orange bug juice.
Boys, hold the cart through the parking lot.
Boys, no treats until you help Grandma get the groceries in.
Of course you are strong enough to carry laundry soap to the basement.
Of course I can hook up the splatster on the TV. 
Yes, that is great that you can play Twinkle Twinkle on the xylophone and the piano.
Really, forty five verses of Twinkle Twinkle might be enough.
Yes, of course we can have a picnic on the deck.
The bees won't hurt you.
OK, we'll move the picnic back inside.
No Popsicles at the computer
No Popsicles in my knitting bag.
Yes, we can go outside.
Please don't wreck the Gator and the bikes together. 
Watch out for Grandma's car.
Really, I don't think that bike did THAT much damage to Grandma's car.
OK, we can go for a walk. 
Logan, really, didn't you know that you had to poop before we got to the farthest point away from the house.
If you want to be a hunter someday you have to poop in the woods so let's practice now.
Of course we can run home. 
Grandma was a runner for a very short period of her life.
Logan did you poop yet?
Logan?
Logan?
Tyler is your brother asleep? 
Really Tyler did he have to fall asleep with his hand in the back of his pants? 
Logan, nice to see you awake.
What is all over your hand and what is that smell? 
OH MY GOSH! 
IT IS POOP! 
Logan we have to wash your hand and we have to give you a bath...please stop crying. 

(Jenn comes back...)
Jenn...he is yours!

OK, boys, it is time to go home.

I know but you have been here for eight hours and Grandma is very tired.
Did I mention that Papa is the one asleep in the chair? 
Good thing that he was not here, he would be catatonic right now.




They are either keeping me young or wearing me out.  The verdict is not in yet. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Update, Thanks and Prayers



What a little fighter this little boy is going to be! 
Monday night at about 10:00, Wyatt started to have some problems.  He was being treated for pneumonia and his blood sugar levels were dropping dangerously low.  Hooked up to tubes and on oxygen, he was still being treated for by the caring staff at Indiana Regional Hospital. 
We could not ask for better care! 
Dianna also was having problems due to the spinal.  She was having severe headaches that they were trying to relieve for her. 
Tuesday night at about 10:00, the decision was made to give Wyatt his first helicopter ride and transfer him to the NICU unit at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. 
The top notch staff arrived to take him, professionalism at it's finest.
At 3:00 AM, he was in the sky, flying over Travis and I as we gassed and coffeed up at Sheetz to make the trip and meet him there.  
I know in his little mind he was waving and laughing at us, I can picture him doing the same from the Kiddie land rides someday, telling Mom to get better soon so she could come and visit him.
Travis and I stood watch as the staff at West Penn attended to Wyatt's every need. 
By mid morning we were getting very optimistic reports, both from Wyatt's condition and from Dianna's.   By mid afternoon, Dianna was released from Indiana Hospital and John was able to bring her to Pittsburgh to reunite Mom and baby.   The best news was when she was able to pump breast milk and he took an entire bottle of it.  His first..and one of the milestones to recovery that they were looking for.
Wyatt is not out of the woods completely yet, but optimism in running high with the staff at the hospital and of course, family and friends.

And now in this season of Thanksgiving, I would like to state a few of my reasons to be thankful.

First of all, for all the prayers that have been and will be offered up for Wyatt and our family.

That everything looks great for Wyatt and we expect a full recovery and that all tests are coming back that there will be no lasting side effects. 

For healing for Dianna so that she could be back with her baby.

For a family that cares enough to be there at that hospital every moment that Wyatt is there and for THREE sets of grandparents to surround Wyatt with love and care.

For my daughters, all four of them and their spouses, that could be the textbook for blended families and the care and love that all of them have for one another.

For the capable and caring staffs of both Indiana Regional Hospital and West Penn Hospital.
We could not ask for more.

For the many friends and many generous offers to help! 
Thanks to Ben and Liza for offering their home!

For the availability of Ronald McDonald house.  Absolutely AMAZING!  Words cannot describe that facility and the relief that it was to see what they do and how much it will help Dianna and Travis to have that available for them.

One last note.  I was really impressed by this.  The Linus Project provides blankets.  These blankets at this hospital cover the incubators and keep the lights out of the babies' eyes.  They also provided a bright and cheery diversion in what could be a very troubling environment.   What a great cause.  Click on the link for more information.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Baby Wyatt has arrived!


Baby Wyatt made his arrival this afternoon! 
6 pounds 14 ounces
19 inches long
How is this possible that he is sleeping so calmly? 
Surely this can't last, but doesn't he look peaceful now?