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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's His Bedroom, Too!

My poor man has endured a floral bedspread for our entire married life.  Almost every time I've gone shopping, I looked to see if something else might work.  It was all made a little trickier because of the dark purple wall behind our bed and a really terrible floral fabric on an antique loveseat we have at the end of the bed.  I finally found the perfect thing at Kohl's last week.  Charcoal grey on one side and deep lavender on the other.



The set came with a bedskirt which we'll never use because we have a sleighbed.  So, I cut the skirt to pieces and made a window valance, tie backs and even an accent pillow. 


 They were asking $50 for this one.

And, I made this one with a twenty cent piece of felt and a broach from my Grandmother's jewelry box.

Everything was done with a straight stitch, so don't tell me you can't.  If I can, you can!

Happy Father's Day, honey.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Learning Success

I've written a few times about the WonderLab of Health, Science and Technology here in Bloomington. It's a part of a network of children's science museums nationwide. Here's the great news for a tight-wad like me...if you're a member of WonderLab, which we are, you get free access to the other science museums in the network (I don't think this includes the Indianapolis Children's museum, though...gotta check on that one). 

So, after Chase, Ava and I dropped off Sam and Kristin at the Derby Dinner Playhouse in Jeffersonville, IN this past Saturday, we went to the Louisville Science Center. I have some pictures to post (one of which is in Kristin's post from earlier today). For now, I'm including 
a part of a display in the creativity/invention/ingenuity section of the center...

How People Learn
In one year's time, it is estimated that people remember:
10% of what they hear,
15% of what they see,
20% of what they see and hear,
40% of what they discuss with others,
80% of what they directly experience and practice,
90% of what they attempt to teach another person.

Brian Signature copy

Summer Dresses

Our sweet Sammie loves crafty stuff. When we were in Joann Fabrics a couple months ago, she saw this on display:


She asked if we could make matching dresses, "just for the girls." So, she chose the fabric for all of us and off we went.


We got up really early to meet my Mom for an event, so the girls still look like they're half asleep and since we were running late, it's not a great picture of the lengths, but you get the idea.  I actually am not great at crafting, so I didn't get the right amount of fabric for two of the black dresses, so I made Ava's into a summer shirt.  The word "hoochie-mama" came to mind, but I suppose you can get away with it when you're two.  

The girls look more alive here....



Click here if you want the directions.  Believe me, if I can, you can.  And, it's fun to do a project with the little ones.  They love to help!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Favorite Food Combos

So, if I don't write these down now, my own grandchildren will never believe me.  

Grandaddy was raised in the South and has some very strange food tastes, in my opinion.  Of course, he thinks all the salads and wraps and hummus we eat is strange. He loves fried foods, anything barbecued and a big batch of turnip greens to go along side them. Any one food can be written off as quirky or just someone's taste.  But the way he combines some foods -- I mean will NOT eat one without the other -- is well...I'll let you decide:

Oysters and ketchup.

Sardines and peanut butter.

Vinegar and white beans.

Tomato slice over peanut butter bread.

Or, onion slice over peanut butter bread.

But the latest craze is sour pickles (not dill, s-o-u-r pickles) and vanilla wafers.

The worst part is, he can't get the jar open by himself and every single time I open it, I have to use all the strength I have.  I'm gripping it like crazy and every single stinkin' time, I spill half the juice down my shirt, splashing on my arms and onto the floor.

Thank goodness he can get the sardines open on his own.


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Friday, June 12, 2009

Either He Is or He Isn't

I wrote a few weeks ago about discovering I'm still a little miffed at God for taking my Dad before I was ready.

I was going through a short study on the life of King David.  The teacher had said if we're wondering why the next great thing hasn't happened in our lives, maybe we have some work to do in the present.  (The next great thing can mean different things to different people.  A new adventure of some kind.  A new job.  A new baby.  Finding your soul-mate.  Finding peace in singleness or finally figuring out your calling, whatever that may be.)

I'm not waiting for the next great thing, because I truly feel like I'm in the middle of something great rearing my children and caring for Grandaddy, but I also knew she'd struck a chord about me be devastated by God.  I don't want to have my heart break every time I think of my Dad or other losses.  I know I'll always miss them, but I don't want to be mad about it, for heaven's sake! Faith is NOT defined by God doing what I tell him to.  Otherwise, it's not faith at all.

In studying God's Word, I was taken back to some Biblical truths like:

God is good.
God is holy.
God keeps his promises.
God is unbelievably gracious.
And, what God does is always consistent with who He is.

Not only does He say all these things in His Word over and over, my LIFE is living proof of these truths.

Sometimes I need to hear the truth said in different ways by different people with different illustrations. At the same time this study was going on, I finally read "The Shack" by WM. Paul Young.  My heart and mind were challenged on almost every page.  To quote a beloved friend, "It bent my brain!"  I hope to write about other things I wrestled with in the book, but regarding my need to move on from my broken heart, I'll share some excerpts that opened my heart a little.

The main character goes through a devastating loss and has the chance to say to the God-character, "You may not cause those things, but you certainly don't stop them." (Hhhmmm..this sounds familiar.)

The God-character answers:

There are millions of reasons to allow pain and hurt and suffering rather than to eradicate them, but most of those reasons can only be understood within each person's story....your choices are not stronger than my purposes, and I will use every choice you make for the ultimate good and the most loving outcome.

In other words, God is bigger than I am.  I know, I know.  It's an old precept.  God is bigger. His ways are higher.  As well they should be if He's a god worth His salt! We cannot possibly understand how each person's story and choices and circumstances intertwine with hundreds of others. It made me think of those trillion piece puzzles where it looks all fuzzy up close, but when you stand back you can see a beautiful scene.  I am a puzzle piece and I can only see a couple of dozen puzzle pieces from my little dot on the map.  But, it's God that sees the beautiful scene.  He's the ONLY one who created all the pieces, holds them in His hands and knows where they all fit.

On the next page, He goes on to say:

The real underlying flaw in your life is that you don't think that I am good. If you knew I was good and that everything -- the means, the ends, and all the processes of individual lives -- is all covered by my goodness, then while you might not always understand what I am doing, you would trust me. But you don't.

So, for me it comes down to this: Do I trust that God is trustworthy or do I trust that He is not?

We were asked to consider when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, "Would Lazarus question why he died in the first place?"  NO!  He walked out of that tomb and rejoiced!  I want to rejoice even when I don't understand, don't you?

Faith never knows where it is being led, but it knows and loves the One who is leading. Oswald Chambers

I do love the One leading, because He first loved me.  (I John 4:19.)

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Birthdays, Cousins and Mr. Roboto

The First Week of Summer

Cousin AJ and "Baby" Marie came for their first summer visit.  I don't think they'll want to come back any time soon, but we're hoping they'll be ready again by next summer.  We loved having them!


Chase turned a whopping four years old and picked out an Iron Man cake to celebrate.  

This is the picture that makes Marie look so much like her pretty Momma.


Grandaddy gave Chase a Spiderman fishing pole.  Look how excited Sammie is about it!

GiGi got Chase a gift he's been talking about for over a year:  Better Batter Baseball.  His sisters got him the fancy helmet, which protects him from what I don't know, but it's still cool.


Marie tried everything, too!  Isn't she precious?



Here's some baby pool fun.  I really included it because it's the only evidence I have that Ava was actually here all week!  I guess most of the big fun happens when she's napping.  Sorry, baby.


Ava and Sam prepared two dozen eggs for scrambling one morning when Honor and Adam came to get the kids.  The pictures on the cabinet are still left over from our welcome home from Spain.  I finally took them down yesterday.

The boys got along so well and played and played.  


Sammie's new flying trick.  (Don't be scared Grandma, but Ava does it, too!)


Take a look, Scheurichs!  We finally got our own Crazy Daisy.


Fun in the sun is a great start to summer, but it's not summer to Chase until Mr. Roboto makes an appearance at VBX (our church's version of vacation Bible school.)  He talks about him year-round and looked forward to seeing him everyday. This is him waving at Mr. Roboto and Mario at the VBX closing program.  


We had so much fun all week, there was even a day when all five kiddos took a nap.  And, we even wore out the biggest kid of all.


More pools!  More swinging!  More cake!  More naps! More summer!!!!!  Bring it on....


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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

First Lemonade Stand

When Sam asked if they could put up a lemonade stand, I glanced out the door to see if there were any neighbors home to come drink it.  It was Saturday, so the chances were a little bit higher of having customers than other middays.  

I wondered how a six-year old would price a dixie cup o' lemonade.  A penny?  A hundred dollars or so?  I was happy to get out the stencils and markers for this price point:



"Look, Mom. We did teamwork!"


Don't you just love neighbors who act like pink lemonade is the greatest thing they've ever put in their mouths?

I love summer, don't you?

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Real Looker

When Mom and I were in Florida, we got stares and gawks and a few whistles.  Teenage boys were making bets and middle-aged men would point and just smile. I felt so young.



I pretended they were looking at me, but I knew the truth.  It WAS hot and spotless and fantastic. It just wasn't me!


It's true that this car made me feel young and hip (until I had to pull my mom out of the bucket seat.)  What I'm saying in this picture is, "Bring on the mid-life crisis!"

What's your mid-life crisis car?

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

If You're Readin' This

Even though we all say it's highly unlikely, I always write a letter to my children when Brian and I leave on a trip together just in case something happens to us.  It's incredibly important to me that my children know how much I love them.  So, before we left for Spain, I did it again.  I figured why save it for when I'm dead? I want them to know I love them while I'm alive, too.  

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Dear Samantha, Chase and Ava,

If you're reading this it means Aunt Tracy has decided you're ready to hear from us, and that something happened on our trip to Spain. Some parents would never leave their children for fear of something happening to the kids or themselves.  The truth is: anything can happen. Any time, anyplace to anyone.  God does not want us to live in fear!
 
I hope when you choose a mate, you'll realize the great importance of maintaining a strong, relationship between the two of you even after - especially after the kids come along. This is what your Daddy and I were doing in Spain -- strengthening our oneness.
 
I want you to know how much I love each of you. You are so precious to me.  I never really knew what a calling was -- what it meant to have a passion for something, until you came along. What a gift!
 
Samantha, my first born.  You are everything they say in the books about first-borns! You are so smart, independent-thinking, brave, industrious and creative. You already show signs of being a great mama the way you take care of your baby brother and sister. Your literacy teacher, Mrs. Barnhill, pegged you right on when she said, "Samantha is so excited about everything."  You love to cook, experiment, create, draw, paint, eat out and learn new things. You have your Grandad Logsdon's beautiful blue eyes. You are my favorite Samantha and I love you very much.

Chaser, you have so many nicknames, its hard to choose which to use! I have never known a sweeter boy.  You were such a good baby (which is why Ava is so close to your age!) Right now, you look up to Sammie like she hung the moon and you two play so well together.  (She used to read to you in your playpen.) You are also a brave and strong boy! You once pushed a boy down because you thought he was hurting Ava.  God built it in you to protect the weak. That's a gift -- use it well.  I love that you narrate our life as we go -- giving us the play by play of who is doing what and often adding fictional characters and events that make us laugh and laugh. (Ask Grandma Scheurich about the wild pigs!)  You are my favorite Chaser and I love you very much.
 
Wee Little Ava -- that's what Daddy always calls you. Everyone notices Sammie's blue eyes, that Chase looks exactly like Daddy and Ava's red hair.  They say red-heads are fiesty, independent and strong-willed -- that nails you completely, my darlin'. Don't let anyone tell you those are bad things. It means you also have the gift of tenacity. Coupled with the Lord's wisdom, you will be a mighty warrior for His kingdom.  Grandaddy wasn't so sure about me having a third child and now he loves you so much he's passed on his own nickname to you -- "Shorty." When we talked about his hesitation the other day, he said, "Shows what I know!" You're my favorite Ava and I love you very much.
 
Aunt Tracy and Uncle D. will take care of you now. If ever you question that decision remember this: I do not believe they are perfect, but they are perfect for us and perfect for you.  They loved you from the moment you were born and so did Parker, Kenna and Logan. They will always choose what's best for each of you -- trust in that.

I never had the freedom (or wisdom) to ask so many things of my mother and Daddy.  Please, please, please ask anything of Aunt Tracy.  She will be completely honest with you even if it's hard to understand.

I feel a burden to share some Biblical wisdom, but I am no Bible scholar. I do believe that the son of God walked this earth and died for me. I look to him and his word to guide me in this life. And while there is much I don't understand, I believe that when you call him your Lord, I will see you again.

To quote one of your (current) favorite characters: "God made you special and He loves you very much."

So do I, sweet darlin's -- so do I.

Mom
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Don't leave your children, spouse or parents wondering how you really feel about them.  No doubts. No regrets. Help them remember and know that they know that they KNOW you love them. 


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