Tuesday, May 31, 2011

on grief and guilt . . .

My darling daughter wrote a blog entry today that touched my heart. I asked if I could share it on my blog, and she graciously agreed.

To me, it was interesting to note that guilt (even in the midst of my own grief) was no respecter of persons. I've had to guard carefully against it, because it's neither healthy or helpful. Why did guilt reach for me? Oh, there were lots of angles it took, but I won't go into that here and now.

Jocelyn created her blog a little over a year ago, and at first she sporadically shared funny teaching stories and the like. Since Everett's death, though, she's been more consistent and has used it as an outlet to her thoughts and prayers during this grieving/recovering process. I often read her blog with awe, wondering how she manages to so eloquently express her deepest thoughts.

But then, enough of this proud mom's babble . . . go read for yourself . . .

Prone to Wander.

:)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

ch-ch-ch-changes . . .

In our landscape looking out our picture window. Overnight. Like magic. Or maybe a small tornado.


Before.

At about midnight, Todd and I were jolted awake when the RV "shook" a little and what sounded like hail was hitting fast & furiously. Moments later, the power went out.

This morning, we were able to see that what we thought was hail, was more likely acorns and limbs from this massive oak that fell . . .

After.

Todd took a trip around the camp this morning. We do have quite a few trees down -- maybe as many as there were when the tornadoes moved through the county on April 27th. Some are blown over from the roots, but some are twisted and broken off mid-trunk. Whew! If that oak tree had been another ten feet taller . . . today would look a whole lot differently!

This morning we're still without power, but the generator is working, and we're comfortable. It's supposed to be on again, off again thunderstorms moving through today, so it'll just be a quiet day in the RV, waiting on the power. Sounds like the perfect setting for reading and quilting, don't you think?? And maybe a NAP!

:)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

on the board . . .

I have never heard the cicadas so loud before! And so early in the season, too. Is this the year of the cicada or something? Does it herald some big event on down the line? What does it mean? LOL! I guess it means there's lots of cicadas this year!

Actually, this is the year of the cicada, at least it is in Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama -- the thirteen-year cicada, to be exact. And mostly they are heard; when they're seen, for the most part, it's in their empty shell form . . .

The last time they made their presence known was in 1998. Since then, they've been burrowed underground. Now they've made their way topside, and the males make that incessant humming noise, looking for the perfect mate. I have to admit, I like the sound -- it brings back lovely memories of childhood summers; playing in the sprinklers, games of tag and hide-and-seek, catching lightning bugs as dusk settled in . . . ah, such sweet times!

Sweet times ahead, too, I hope! I agreed to take on our guild's newsletter for our 2011-2012 guild year. I'm really excited - and a little anxious, too! The woman who's currently doing it has done a *marvelous* job, and it'll be tough filling her shoes!

Right now we're in transition. The new guild year starts September 1, but there's so much to the newsletter and the other "communication" duties, we've already started overlapping. I went to my first board meeting on Monday night. I really enjoyed being a part of it! We have such a big guild, and so many committees, that the board is pretty large -- there were seventeen of us there, and several key folks were missing! Discussion was interesting. I'm sure you can imagine, with seventeen women expressing their opinions . . . it was not a short meeting! LOL!

I am looking forward to being more involved in the guild and its workings, and making new friends.

Finally, wanted to share this darling photo Sawyer's mommy captured of him . . .

Just a happy little fellow, hanging out in the yard! I'm so amazed he kept his hat and sunglasses on for as long as he did!

And this is from last evening . . .

Not the greatest of photos, but one thing is clear; father and son sure do love each other!

Happy Wednesday!

:)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

praise Him, praise Him . . .

If GOD hadn't been for us -- all together now, Israel, sing out! --

If GOD hadn't been for us when everyone went against us,

We would have been swallowed alive by their violent anger,

Swept away by the flood of rage, drowned in the torrent;

We would have lost our lives, in the wild, raging water.

Oh, blessed be GOD! He didn't go off and leave us. He didn't abandon us defenseless, helpless as a rabbit in a pack of snarling dogs.

We've flown free from their fangs, free of their traps, free as a bird. Their grip is broken; we're free as a bird in flight.

GOD's strong name is our help, the same GOD who made heaven and earth.


Psalm 124 (The Message)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

looking back . . .

I didn't want to let this day go by without acknowledging that it was one year ago today that I had my accident.

So much has happened in this last year; I wish I could say that one of those things was my complete recovery, but that's not to be -- at least not for now. It's been a year filled with events wonderful and events tragic.

But I'm not going to focus on the past -- good or bad -- but on the future, instead. "'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'" Jeremiah 29:11

Here's to the coming year!

:)

guild meeting fun . . .

Thursday night was a guild meeting I'd been waiting for, for a long time! Our guest speaker was Quiltville's Quips & Snips', Bonnie Hunter! She was also doing workshops yesterday and today, and as much as I would have liked to have taken one, I just wasn't able. But I *so* enjoyed sitting on the front row and listening to her program, and seeing quilt after beautiful quilt!

She started with this display, that shows how she organizes her scraps. "Just fifteen minutes a day!" she said over and over again! I had to laugh to myself -- I thought I'd have all the time in the world for quilting, once I no longer worked outside the home ... WRONG! Do you know how much time I've devoted to quilting since then? With the exception of some handwork that I did when our Stitcher's group met last week, I've done N-O-N-E! Unless you count the trip to Patches & Stitches that I made to pick up my BOM. Which I don't. (But it was an item on my to-do list!) Fifteen minutes a day sounded like a great place to start!

Anyway, she has an elaborate (yet simple) means of organizing her scraps. And from that, she makes the most marvelous, scrappy quilts. And she said that she makes her quilts to be utility quilts! I loved it!

I took pictures of all the quilts she displayed, but halfway through the program, the battery died in my camera, and I had to switch over to my phone -- which will explain the lack of quality in some of them. I wanted to share a few of my favorites here . . .

This leaders & enders quilt was fabulous. I did a close-up inspection of this quilt and it's fascinating to look at -- all the different, wonderful (and some not-so-wonderful, but it's cut so small you can't tell) fabrics! I think this was the Friday workshop. This is one I'd really have liked to have done!

I really liked this web quilt, too.

And all her quilts were huge! But she did mention that the more scraps she used up, the better she felt about buying new fabrics. Well, yeah!


If you're familiar with Bonnie (and her blog), you might recognize this quilt -- it's the Roll Roll, Cotton Boll mystery quilt that she did online! In fact, one of the members of our Stitcher's Group -- Jackie -- brought hers in for show & tell. It blows my mind that this is a scrappy quilt!

One of the funniest moments of the evening came about when Bonnie had the lovely volunteers who were holding up her display quilts, put on some cotton shirts to show where great fabric prints could be gotten from, at relatively great prices.

The laughs came when she had this one lady turn around to show off all the fabric on the back of the shirt. Bonnie said, "And you can see, this is bigger than a fat quarter!" The volunteer said, "Hey!!" and made it clear that her back side was not a fat quarter! We all laughed and laughed! It made it all the funnier that the volunteer was a little, bitty thing -- no fat there!

And yes, in case you're wondering, that is a lovely hospital gown that Bonnie's wearing. It had pretty snowflakes on it!

This last quilt was my absolute favorite of the evening ... I wish I could remember what it was called. Wait -- Goose in a Puddle? I think so. I love the block pattern. And I love the red, white, and blues. And again, a scrappy quilt! Except for the reds that she used as sashing.

Something about scrappy quilts gives them an automatic vintage look. Especially with this one -- it makes me think--oh, the word's right on the tip of my tongue--Americana. Anyway, I had such a blast that evening, and if you've not visited Bonnie's website, it's really worth the visit. She's real, down-to-earth, and has a passion for quilting. And she's *loads* of fun!

Speaking of loads of fun, I spend some time with Sawyer Graham yesterday afternoon! It's been a while since I share photos, so I thought I'd include some from our walk . . .

He's getting, "Sooooooo big!"



Just sitting back, enjoying the breeze!



Please give me my sippy cup!!!!



Happy as a bug-in-a-rug! I love how he sits with his feet crossed. Too cute!

:)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

to-do ... to-don'ts . . .

I'll wrap this up today, with a list (what else?) of some practical do's and don'ts of keeping a to-do list.

First, do be practical. Don't fill your list with impossible tasks. It's self-defeating.

Next, do remember there is no To-Do List Police Force. Really. They don't exist -- never have. So don't try and deputize yourself onto the force! Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies!

Do take a large, cumbersome task and break it into parts, giving each part a separate line on the list. Don't worry, necessarily, about keeping it all on one day, either.

Do feel free to delegate the things on your list to others. And when someone completes one of your items, don't forget to cross it off! Why not?

If you do overload your list into an impossible day, don't sweat taking some tasks off your list. Remember, this list is a tool to benefit you. Loading it down with impossibilities is counter-productive. Plus, you'll find you won't stick to list-making for long.

Do give it a try . . . you don't have anything to lose!

:)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

to-do: the benefits (finally) . . .

Isn't it amazing how a little blogger glitch can completely set you back? Having that blog post disappear into outer space ... ugh!

So, can I make a confession? I've not made a to-do list for the past two days. *GASP* I know, right? It's one of the reasons that I haven't finished this series yet -- I didn't have a list to remind me!

That brings me to what I consider to be one of the top to-do list benefits. It helps me have a "big picture" look at my day. (Which is also one of the reasons I suggest making out your list earlier in the day, rather than later.) And it keeps me from forgetting the important things that need to go into my day! It allows me to prioritize and make the most of my time. And nothing falls through the cracks. Now, that's not to say that I can't *choose* to eliminate something from my list--or move it to another day--but that's an entirely different story!

Another benefit? A sense of accomplishment when I look back over my list throughout the day and see what I've crossed off! Especially at the end of the day. It's all too easy to sit down in the evening, look around you and wonder, "What exactly did I do today?" That list lays it out plain and clear - crossed-out-line by crossed-out-line. High five! You go ahead and put your feet up. Anyone can tell just by looking at that list, you earned a break!

Want more? Try this -- it's great to be able to look back over a couple a days, maybe a week, perhaps a whole month! I have to track time for monthly reports. I use my to-do lists to help me keep up with that. I also use it to help me track mileage when I need to keep up with that.

It makes me feel good. Along with that sense of accomplishment, I *don't* flip-flop around in my day like a fish out of water. I have purpose and focus. Gosh, if feeling good was the only benefit, it would be enough, don't you think?

Give it a try, say for two weeks. It takes about two weeks to make it habit forming; and to give you a sense of how great an asset it can be!

One more post and I'll give it rest. Don't worry -- I'll make my list tomorrow -- and finishing up this series will be at the top!

:)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

technology . . .

When Todd and I first got our iPhones, back in March, I was simply thrilled! I'd wanted one, but I wasn't sure if we could afford two of them, and I knew it was really more important for Todd to have one. But then he called me and said all I had to do was pick mine up when I got off work. I was ecstatic! I went to the AT&T shop, got my phone, got minimal instruction, and hopped out to my car, where I was anxious to use my phone for the first time!

I was a little confused by the contacts list, and hadn't figured out how to make a call, so I decided I'd send a text for my first official phone act, to my daughter. Following is that conversation (my end of the conversation is in green) . . .


Needless to say, I was so embarrassed! I finally figured out what had happened; I'd inadvertently changed the last digit of my daughter's number from a "9" to a "7". Whoops. Lewis, whoever you are, thanks for being my first iPhone text. I'll never forget you.

So today, the laugh and a smile's on me.

And the to-do list post is on my to-do list for tomorrow.

:)

Monday, May 16, 2011

teaching: the titus 2 advantage . . .

Tonight's the night that Todd and I are leading a conference based on Titus 2. We'll have thirty minutes of general group time (during which we are going to do a funny skit), and then Todd will teach the men, and I will teach the ladies.

I've worked, studied, and prayed really hard over the subject and materials, and I'm excited and a little nervous. Two of my favorite resources have been the Women's Evangelical Commentary: NT and Jaye Martin & Terri Stovall's Women Leading Women: The Biblical Model for the Church. Both were instrumental in my preparation. As a reward for all my hard work, Todd gave me the go-ahead to get the Women's Evangelical Commentary: OT, which just released this month. I've been waiting for it for ages!

For my part, I'm covering six advantages (it's not the exhaustive list) of women teaching women in Sunday school (small groups, life groups, whatever your church calls them):

1. It's Scriptural
2. It's a Comfortable Environment
3. It's Relational
4. It's Physiological
5. It's Effective Ministry
6. It's More Fun!

My notes are complete as is my handout -- complete with fill-in-the-blanks! I'll spend the rest of the afternoon in prayer for the whole thing! Yay!!

Tomorrow I'll finish up on to-do list benefits. And then . . .

Who knows?

:)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

faith in the face of adversity . . .


How much longer, LORD, will You forget about me?
Will it be forever? how long will You hide?

How long must I be confused and miserable all day?
How long will my enemies keep beating me down?

Please listen, LORD God, and answer my prayers.
Make my eyes sparkle again, or else I will fall into the sleep of death.

My enemies will say, "Now we've won!"
They will be greatly pleased when I am defeated.

I trust Your love, and I feel like celebrating
because You rescued me.

You have been good to me, LORD,
and I will sing about You.

Psalm 13 (CEV)

Friday, May 13, 2011

to-do ... tah-dah!

Note: Writing this post was actually on my to-do list for yesterday. I succeeded in completing it and even crossed it off my list. Unfortunately, in the middle of creating, blogger when down, and when I went to publish, I lost the whole post.

Ugh.

It was a long, beautifully eloquent post extolling the virtues of keeping a daily to-do list. No really, it was!

I didn't copy it. I should have. I don't know that the words will flow again like they did yesterday.

Besides, now I'm not in the mood. I may have to come back to this later.

Lemme see what else [like maybe quilting] is on my list for today . . .

:)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

what's all the *to-do* about?!?

In the beginning . . .

Here's the first decision you need to make about what works best for you. Paper? Notepad or Remember the Milk, or a similar app on your phone or computer? Perhaps Google's "Tasks". What about a simple Word document? You might even decide to go the route my hubby did, and use a small day-calendar. Decide where you can most effectively keep your to-do list. And although there's pros and cons for all of them, for me, the paper and pen option works best. I like the ability to think out what I'm going to do as I physically write it out. I sometimes can type without thinking (just scroll back through my blog entries and you'll understand -- LOL!), but writing out the words etches it more firmly in my mind.

If you do decide to go the pen & paper route, let me make some suggestions. Use a notepad that is spiral bound. It's nice to be able to keep up with days past. You have the instant ability to look back over the week, the month, whatever, and see what you've accomplished. Use lined paper. Lines help me stay structured -- or perhaps that's in my head. Go plain or pretty -- sometimes having a pretty little notepad to write in makes it more fun and special. Or is that just something we tell our kids?

Put the date *and* the day at the top of your page. Again, this is nice to be able to look back and see *when* you did what you did. Plus it may help you quickly identify routinely repetitive tasks, etc. Also, if you're like me--an empty-nester who stays home--it helps you keep track of what day it is. A lovely bonus.

The morning is the best time to begin your to-do list, although I'm certainly not suggesting that you plop out of bed and run for your pen & notepad (or whatever) and get cracking on that list. Most mornings I get up, do my quiet time, check my e-mail, make breakfast (and if it's a shift day, Todd's lunch), before I sit down with my cup of coffee and work on my list. But let me tell you a secret . . . I put all those things on my list anyway!

Yep. When I sit down with that second (or third) cup, the first things I'll put on that list are (though not necessarily in this order):

--breakfast
--Bible Study
--make Todd's lunch
--check email/facebook/twitter

And then when I've finished my list, I go back and cross off the completed items. Because this list is NOT just about remembering what I want to accomplish in a day, but about all that I accomplished in a day. Making breakfast, making/packing Todd's lunch, doing my Bible study -- those were all activities in which I invested my precious TIME. They are list-worthy activities, so I put them there. And then I take great pleasure in being able to cross them off!

[Note: I am in no way implying that my quiet/Bible study time is an activity that I do just to "cross it off" my list. I do include it on my list because it's an essential investment in my walk with Jesus, and as such, an integral part of my day. That makes it list-worthy to me!]

While I don't separate my list into different categories (I write down things as I think of them), I *do* sort of mentally categorize my activities into three areas.

1) The routine: making breakfast and lunch, general cleaning (dishes, sweeping, etc.), making the bed, take out trash, etc. You see what I mean. Things that I don't necessarily need to be reminded to do, but that are time-takers, nonetheless.

Let me 'splain why. Let's say these things *don't* go on your list. At ten-thirty in the morning you scan the to-do list you wrote at seven. There's not a single thing crossed off. It's gaining on mid-day, and NOTHING IS CROSSED OFF THE LIST! That can be extremely discouraging, especially if you feel like you've been going non-stop. That's right. You've spent your morning making beds, tossing in a load of laundry, unloading and loading the dishwasher (or, if you're like me, putting away dishes from the dish rack and washing a sink full of breakfast dishes), sweeping floors, making lunches, taking out the trash, carting kids to school . . . WHEW!! Put it on your list. Trust me, it's nice to see written evidence of where the time has gone! To me, the other (and perhaps more important) thing is this: routine task does not equal unimportant task. Adopt that philosophy real quick!

This is also how I'd classify my e-mail/facebook time. Not work-related computer time -- that goes in the next category.

2) The 'have-to's': like the doctor's appointment, or taking a pet to the vet, or your child's piano lesson. Or maybe, like me, you work from home and there are specific work requirements you need to meet in a day. It could even be something like, "make raspberry fluff pie" (which is on my list for today and has not been crossed off yet). I put these on the list because either they are tasks I definitely want/need to finish, or things I can't afford to forget. These items are truly the meat-and-potatoes of your to-do list, although they are not necessarily the bulk of your list.

3) The "potential" items. These are projects or tasks that I know are ahead of me, but I'm not sure I'll be able to fit them in today. Like I said yesterday, my to-do list is not a legalistic, "I can't go to bed until every item is checked," kind of list. It's a tool to benefit me, not an oppressive task master. I have no problem putting, "Clean out closet" on my list, knowing that I may or may not get to it, depending on the scope of items in categories one and two. I sometimes put question marks out beside these tasks, just to keep it clear in my head that they're potentials, not have-to's.

I wish I could sit here and tell you with a straight face that (1) once you've written out your to-do list, that's all you'll have to do in the day, and (2) that nothing ever happens to interfere with the completion of said tasks. I'm realistic enough to know that things crop up during the day that weren't on my list. You know what? I add them. And then I cross them off. If it means I can't get to one of those potentials, oh well. I knew from the get-go it would be that way.

As for the other, sometimes things happen in life that make the list completely insignificant. An emergency or crisis that makes even the most important things on your list seem menial. It happens. You know what? The next day, or the day after that, you can put it on a fresh page.

Okay. Next I'll share benefits of to-do list that will knock your socks off! Ummm, not really. But they are worth a read. Tomorrow. For now, I need to mark this off today's list.

And get busy on that raspberry fluff pie!

:)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

time management: the to-do list

Lately I've been thinking a lot about this subject. I taught a 60-minute segment at a woman's conference our church did, many years ago, out of the book, Life Management for Busy Women, by Elizabeth George. I didn't do the section on time management (I did the section on managing your ministry), but the time management section really spoke to me, and here lately, with the job shift, I've been thinking about it a lot. A really lot.

My husband is a list-maker. He's got a wallet sized calendar book, and each day he writes down things he needs to do, cards he needs to send, items he needs to buy, and so on. Some days that list takes up the whole space of the day, some days it's just an item or two. But consistently he makes his list, and as the day goes by, he is faithful to cross things off his list. Sometimes it's everything, sometimes it's not.

I really admire this trait in my husband. For several reasons. One, I think it shows discipline. It takes discipline to daily write down a list of the things you want/need/have to do. Two, it shows competence & responsibility. He's aware of the things he needs to take care of and they are important enough to make note of. Three, he reaps the benefit of accomplishment. He can look back over his day, through his list, and see all that he's done. That's a rewarding feeling!

So now that I'm not working outside our home, I wanted to make sure that my days counted. I get easily distracted and can find myself at the end of the day with a half a dozen or more unfinished projects, in various stages, but NOTHING ACCOMPLISHED. Not only can this be very discouraging, but for me it can sometimes send me into a state of immobility ... that's when I am so surrounded by unfinished (and sometimes not-even-started) projects that need my attention, that I'm paralyzed about what I should do next, and instead, spend the next three days sitting on the couch watching old movies. Can anyone relate? Anyone??!

So I've pulled out the old "to-do" list again, with a re-vamped state-of-mind. Over the next three days I want to share some of my thoughts on how a to-do list should be created, why it can be so beneficial, and how it can truly be a stress-reliever. I want you to understand that the to-do list can work for you, not you for the to-do list. That it's not a legalistic demand and drain on your time, but a tool to help you stay focused, feel a sense of accomplishment, and have more time to do the things you enjoy! Our time is precious; we should make the most of it!

So stay tuned, because tomorrow we're going to discuss . . . in the beginning. Creating a to-do list that works for you!

There. Now I can check this off today's list.

:)

Monday, May 09, 2011

no design wall ... but plenty happening!

We are starting this week at full throttle! Todd and I are teaching a one night conference next Monday evening, and we're working to get the word out to the churches in our association. I created the graphic we're sending out on a post card today . . .

This is me in my element!! Now to print a hundred copies, get them labeled and stamped and in the mail!!

Todd and I could sit for hours (actually, there have been days that we have) and just watch the antics of the birds and the critters that come to our little "backyard" to eat and drink and socialize. Yesterday morning we sat and watched three chipmunks come in, fill their cheeks, and scamper off to hide their bounty. They're so fast, it's hard to catch them on film, but I got lucky here and got two of them...

They are so cute! There was at least one more a couple of weeks ago, but we watched as a hawk swooped down and snatched him up. It's a jungle out there!

One thing that caught us by surprise was this . . .

This was the very first time we'd seen a squirrel having anything to do with one of our bird feeders! Up until now, they've been content to forage on the ground (under the bird feeders) and glean the corn that the deer and coons have left behind. In fact, I had just thought to myself earlier in the morning, how nice it was that the squirrels were content to be ground feeders!

I had to laugh at the feeder he chose. It's our only platform feeder, so I can see why it would be the most comfortable for him to perch in, but look how it's hung . . .

He certainly didn't hit the branch and come down the rope! He really wanted in there badly enough to jump from the tree trunk -- six feet away, at least! He hung out there for at least an hour. I came down this morning to see he's now become a regular. Ah well!

For Mother's Day, Kim, James, Sawyer, Todd and I headed to Longhorn for lunch. I thought Sawyer did a great job.

Of course, as Kim pointed out, I was not the one who was picking up all the stuff he threw on the floor -- like his cup, his pacifier, his straw, his bread, his toy . . .

By the end of the meal, he was definitely ready to be rid of his constraints and GO! I suggested Kim give him her lemon and see what happened. It did occupy him quite nicely as we finished up and loaded stuff into take out carriers. Actually it was hilarious to watch; he kept on sucking the lemon wedge, but he made the most incredible, "I'm eating something sour!" faces!! I was laughing so hard, I couldn't get pictures. But still, the lemon wedge went back into his mouth!

Finally, I've been wanting a silhouette of him, which means getting the perfect shot.

I captured this shot yesterday, which is a pretty cute little profile.

I have to get rid of the rest of the background, but it's a good start -- cute, cute little guy!

Todd then took me to my favorite clothing store, and between his gift, James and Kim's gift, and a really NICE 40% off sale, I really came away with some nice additions to my wardrobe! This week I plan to go through and cull my clothes -- there are lots of things here at the RV I've not worn once since we moved here, a year and a half ago. Time to weed that stuff out!

I'm off to be about this day . . . I hope everyone's Monday is happy and sunny!

:)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Just in time for Mother's Day, one of my favorite flowers bloomed ...

I so love peonies! They smell marvelous and open up into such glorious, full pinkness! They definitely make me SMILE!

Speaking of smiles, here's another of my favorites . . .

This is Sawyer enjoying his first Jell-O Easter egg! He made pretty quick work of it! (And it made pretty quick work of his Easter outfit, too. Ooops!)

From my darling Jocelyn, I got an early Mother's Day present . . .


That's sweet Everett's actual little hand print, etched into a silver charm, and his name engraved on the back side. Isn't it darling? This is a gift I'll treasure for all my years. This will be a tough day for my darling girl. My heart still aches for her. We count the days until she can hold him in her arms again in Heaven!

Todd and I trekked out for a bit yesterday afternoon. Spring is out in full force at the Camp!

I'm not sure what this flower is -- but there were lots of blooms on it, and it sure is pretty!


There's one last peony bloom on the plant. I think I'll take this one to Kim. These are her all-time favorite flowers ever!


The meadow was full of daisies and something else that was yellow, bright and sunny (and probably responsible for my terrible sinus troubles)! It really was a lovely day.


Our destination was down the Beech Bottom Trail to the Secret Creek. I love this spot. I think it's the perfect place for a picnic lunch and a long, lazy afternoon.

Truly idyllic. I captured just a short clip of the creek, flowing strong, to share . . .

Did you hear the crickets chirping in the background? How blessed I am!

Happy Mother's Day!!

:)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Gracious . . .

What a week-and-a-half it's been. In my last entry I shared how the weather was already kicking into high gear; it kicked into even high gear later in the day. We were fortunate, to say the least, and did not suffer any major damage. Even people who had uprooted trees or car damage didn't really have major damage, in light of the tremendous loss of life and property that some in our area experienced. Really, all of North Alabama is got hit hard. Several communities in our county were hit with the huge EF5 tornado that swept through Wednesday evening. If you've watched news at all over the past week, you've probably seen images. Photos can't compare to driving down roads and seeing it with your own eyes. It's heartbreaking.

As I said, we didn't sustain anything major. We were without power, but since we're in our RV (and Todd had JUST purchased a generator), we were sitting pretty. When the power went, the refrigerator automatically converted to LP and the battery kept lights shining. Todd was on shift when it all happened (it tends to happen that way), so I was up at the RV by myself. It was a wild, wild and scary evening.

James, Kim & Sawyer came and stayed with us while power was out. We were able to keep Sawyer's milk cold (and heat it) and it was lovely spending time together, and allowing Sawyer to become comfortable in our RV home! We actually had a marvelous time riding around the camp in the golf cart, exploring through Sawyer's eyes!

James, Todd, Jocelyn & Jason have all been able to volunteer and participate in clean-up efforts, and caring for those who were displaced by the storm. The donations of time and materials is overwhelmingly wonderful. A true picture of loving your neighbor as yourself.

Sawyer Graham is walking and walking and walking! I can't believe how fast it's all happened. He's gotten quite stable, although if he wants to get somewhere really fast, he still crawls. So funny! He doesn't need to grasp the concept of running just yet!

My last day of work was this past Wednesday. It's a very good thing. I'll be able to take care of the administrative side of our ministry and shoulder some of the burden that Todd's been bearing by himself. I'm excited, to say the least!

Our guild's bus trip to Paducah was canceled, due to the storms. We were under a very strict curfew, and our departure and arrivals times didn't work in the confines of the curfew times. This makes five years running that something has happened to keep me from going to Paducah!

Kim's last day of work was Friday -- and as happy as I am for her (because I know how much she wanted to be a stay-at-home mommy), I'm sad that I won't have those regular Sawyer days, once a week. Perhaps Kim will soon be ready for some "Kim time" in a week or so, and will allow me to watch Sawyer while she takes some time for her!

Quilting has mostly been on hold through all of this (for one thing, our office/quilt room is also the guest bedroom!), though I do have my finished BOM due next weekend, and a new swap project in the works. More on those next week.

And pictures. My camera has been taking a break; it'll be out and in action again next week!

:)