Thursday, January 31, 2008

Such a Miracle

Chuck and I went with Michelle and Brad to her 21 week ultrasound. What can I say? To watch my little grandbaby move and turn and kick and bring it's little hands to its face over and over again was more incredible than I ever imagined. Somehow it made it all more real. I have a sweet, growing, moving little grandbaby! I am a grandmother! When it came time to see if it is a boy or a girl, everyone opted not to know. Except me. I know what this sweet little baby is! Just me, God, and the doctor know who this child is. What a sweet and important responsibility I now bear. What a precious secret I hold. And I know what color fabric and yarn to use as I make this loved little child so many sweet things.

As I am passing the torch of motherhood off to my daughter, and as I prepare to enter the realm of grandparenting, I am amazed at the passing of time. I understand that I will always be a mother. My children will still need me to be their mother - just in different ways than before. They no longer need me to make their meals and wash their clothes and take them to Sunday School. But they do still need me to live my life as an example before them, to give them sound, spiritual advice when they ask, and give them my blessing. Oh how we long to have our parents blessing upon our lives. And now I am needed to be the best grandmother I can be. How thrilling this whole idea is. I want to be a grandparent who gives lots and lots of love - not lots and lots of things. I want to spend time - not money with this child. I want to have a relationship that will be meaningful and helpful in the growing up years of this sweet one. I want to sit back and watch my daughter mother this child. Pardon me as I bask in this whole incredible thing that is happening in our lives - I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and inadequate and so very, very blessed.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

5 Weird Eating Habits

Becky of The Butler's Wife started a fun little posting bit today. She stated her 5 weird eating habits and challenged us all to do the same. So here goes:

My husband is a hunter and brings home fresh game, birds, and fish. I don't mind eating it - but it HAS to be FROZEN first. I don't know why. But no way am I going to carve a hunk of meat off something that was running/swimming/flying free in the forest just hours before. There is something about freezing it that makes it really dead in my mind.

I refuse to eat margerine. Someone told me that it is one ingredient short of being plastic once. I can't get that out of my mind. So now I only eat butter. Because I'm not that fond of eating plastic.

I LOVE peaches. But I cannot handle the fuzz. Something about it makes me think of catepillars. YUCK!

Just this year I have learned to eat grilled or sauteed onions. But never will I eat a raw one. Every hamburger I order, the first thing I do is take off the onions.

I cannot/will not eat or drink from styrofoam. Something about it just sets my teeth on edge. When you look at a liquid like coffee or water in styrofoam, it looks to me like it is just trying with all it's might to stay away from the foam. It's just not right people!

Okay, I'm eager to read your weird eating habits!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Flying Phobia

Recently Ree a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman wrote a great post and confessed her deepest phobia - a serious fear of flying. Shannon, at Rocks in My Dryer is struggling with the same issue as she is leaving for Africa in a couple of weeks on a trip with Compassion International. Her fear is real and palpable. I know this fear on a very intimate level. It plagues me too. And I hate it.

I have always had this fear, and I have always said that I will not let my fear keep me from doing things in life. I would fly anyway. And for the most part I have. But as time goes on, this fear is only getting worse. And suddenly I find myself NOT doing things, if I have to fly to do them. And in the past my fear has only pertained to me. I mean, I have never worried about anybody else flying - just me. But when my husband and daughter flew to Argentina a couple of weeks ago - I was a nervous wreck and found myself tracking their flights online all day long to make sure they had landed safely. And turning on CNN to make sure there were no news reports of horrific plane crashes.

So I am asking myself, "What in the world is going on?" I have tried to decipher it. Is it a control issue? Maybe. I think I would rather fly the plane than ride in it. And ummm, I should mention, I don't know how to fly! I guess that is control. I have no say at all in how the thing is flying. Maybe I would feel better if I could sit in the cockpit and see what's going on. Seriously.

Is it a fear of dying issue? I don't really think so. I truly believe that God holds me in the palm of His hand. I believe that every day of my life has already been planned by Him and I will not die one day sooner or later than He has ordained. I trust Him with my life. I'm not wanting to die right now - but I'm truly not afraid of it.

Is it a fear of fear issue? Maybe so. I don't like being afraid. I flew once not long ago and as we were coming in for a landing in Salt Lake, the plane suddenly dropped quite a distance with no warning. People began screaming. We landed fine and I never did hear what happened. I can tell you that I was scared out of my mind. And I was relieved that I discovered that I don't make a fool of myself when I am that afraid. I didn't scream or cry. I was praying. And it took everything in me to make the connecting flight home. I was a wreck.

I'm sure it isn't helpful to me that I lost my dad, who was an amazing pilot, in a plane accident. But my fear began before that happened. When we flew to Italy last year, I knew I was going to have problems and I did something I never wanted to do. I asked my doctor to give me a medication to help. I determined not to take it unless I had to. But for heaven's sake - we are talking a 13 hour flight over the water. So I flew from Boise to Seattle without too much problem. But waiting in the Seattle airport I began to have some serious anxiety and I took a Zanex. After about 6 hours, I can't say I noticed anything. We got into some turbulance over the ocean - which is a freaky thing to me. I took another one. The next memory I have is waking up in a hotel room in Venice. I have absolutely no memory of how I got there. I guess it helped me with my flying issue - but I hate, hate, hate taking medicine. I don't even take Tylenol.

The last time I flew - to Florida last summer- I had my daughter download some tv shows on my iPod - I thought that might help. She downloaded a program called LOST! Big mistake - for those who don't know - it's all about a plane crash on an island. And it shows the crash over and over and over again!

This whole thing is making me crazy. I want to work through it. I want to be able to fly places without going through all the anxiety. I read through all 840 comments on Pioneer Woman's post and many of them talk about prayer. I have that one covered! I never feel closer to God than when I fly!

So I was just wondering. Do any of you share this fear? And if so, what do you do about it?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Potpourri Friday With Pictures!

Okay, so my dial-up at home doesn't do pictures so good :( Anyway, here are the pictures that match Friday's post:

That's my back yard. And the weird thing is that it all melted on Sunday. And then last night it snowed again so it looks the same today. I declare - I don't know what's going on around here in the weather department!

And here is the fabric and pattern we are using for Michelle's baby nursery:

She is not a "ruffles and lace" kind of girl - so we are going with the pleated box skirt for the crib. I think it is going to be so pretty. And we are not making the flowers - we are going to make stars to match her Twinkle Twinkle Little Star theme.

Here is the sweet little crib blanket:

And I love doing these burp cloths - they are fun and easy. I did mine with flannel.

I really like that brown flannel with the bear print. I'm trying to figure out a quilt pattern idea where I could use that for the backing. I think I will go with reds and blues instead of the traditional baby colors.

So that's what I've been up to lately. Happy Winter!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Potpourri Friday

This is what we woke up to this morning! (This is where you pretend you are looking at a picture of my backyard dumped on by snow. For whatever reason, my pictures won't load today argh!) My goodness - I don't know what's going on - we never get snow in this "banana belt" we live in. The mountains get snow - but we don't - just a skiff now and then. But this is the third or fourth time we have been deumped on this winter. Thank goodness for global warming - we would have to dig out of our houses without it! It was 5 degrees yesterday. 5 degrees!

I don't know where this week went. Well, yes I do. Chuck and Jessica came home from Argentina and I have taken some days off work and we have just been spending time together. They have almost finished telling me every detail that happened to them. They had a great experience. Several have asked if this Work and Witness trip was sponsored through the Nazarene Church. Yes, it was. We pastor in a Nazarene Church. In fact, I am a born and bred Nazarene - not that it matters - just an interesting fact. My husband was raised Baptist but when he was a teenager his family moved and there was no Baptist church so they became Nazarene. Not that it matters either. I have always been of the belief that it doesn't really matter what your "first" name is, as long as your "last" name is Christian!

Anyway, this trip was called Extreme Argentine and hundreds of volunteer missionaries went to Pilar, Argentina to help complete a huge convention center our missionaries are building. It's primary purpose is to be used as a training center for the many pastors that are being called to the many church plants that are popping up. There isn't time to send them to the states for schooling - so they are doing it there. They can't afford to only use the building for that, so it will also be rented out for conventions and conferences. It's a great idea. It's such a poor community - it had been inspiring to all the people who live there. While they were there they also spent a lot of time helping the church plants. My husband put a new roof on a home of a family with 10 children. It was a one room home. Chuck said he worried they were going to knock the whole house down by working on the roof. Poverty is at a whole different level than anything we know here. I think in our country, our poverty is more of a spiritual nature. Anyway, that's a topic for another time. We sent 23 missionaries and half of them came home this week and the other half will return next week.

I am so glad to have my family home! I love cooking for them. And spending my day with them. They had bedbugs so they kept all their luggage outside in the frigid cold and I am washing every little thing they packed. I don't mind - it's just good to have them home!

Michelle and I bought the fabric for her nursery layette and I have started it. She chose a dark blue star fabric, a light blue contrast, and a bright yellow. We think it will work for either a boy or a girl. She is not going to find out the sex next week. Although she said I could if I wanted to - that way I would know what colors to knit and sew. I'm debating that one - I don't know if it's a secret I want to keep for another 4 1/2 months! But we get to go to the ultrasound - I can't wait!
Here is a picture of the fabric. And I just finished the crib quilt. I love it - it's so soft and comfy. (This is where you pretend to be looking at a picture of an adorable little crib quilt - it really is cute!)

And thank to Barb at A Chelsea Morning, I have gone a little bit crazy making these adorable burp cloths. (Yep, you got it, pretend you are looking at a stack of 24 burp rags!) They are fun and easy and I've been making them in all sorts of colors. What great gifts they will make. The sweater is coming along. I am pretty sure it won't be done in time for Michelle's birthday - but I'll keep plugging away on it. It's fun to learn more about knitting.

Well, I've got to go. I'm going out for brunch with my husband and then I'm going to the store to buy the ingredients for a Mexican Tortilla Soup recipe I've been wanting to try. I'll let you know how it tastes.

Next week should be back to more of normal. Whatever normal is! But I will be posting and blogging more - like I normally do. Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Potpourri Friday

It occurred to me this morning that I haven't done a Potpourri Friday in a while. And since today is Friday, well, let's Potpourri!

Coming from a large family, and having a large family has a lot of benefits. One of those benefits is that I have never lived alone. Or stayed alone. Until the last couple of weeks. For the last couple of weeks, Chuck and Jessica have been gone. Last year when they signed up to go to Argentina on a work and witness trip through our church, it didn't seem like a big deal to me. I knew I couldn't go because I don't have enough vacation time built up and besides, somebody would need to stay home and take care of the dogs and the horses. But it didn't sink in that I would be staying alone. As in just me. In the house. By myself. At night. Alone. Did I mention that I am the worlds biggest chicken? It's been an interesting time. All in all, it's gone quite well. My daughter Michelle has stayed with me some because her husband went on the trip too. And she is a bigger trooper than I am because their first wedding anniversary was this week. And she spent it with her college roommates and he spent it with his father-in-law. Romantic huh?
Anyway, I have been staying alone for several nights. I can't say I'm getting any better at it, but I have been doing it. I hear every noise, every creak, every sound. Needless to say, I don't sleep well. Which is very different that how I usually sleep. Usually a Mac truck driving through the bedroom wouldn't disturb me.

I have also been responsible for feeding the horses twice a day. Once in the morning before I go to work and once in the evening when I get home from work. I was really dreading this. But you know what? I have actually enjoyed it. Do you have any idea how peaceful it is just before the world wakes up? It has been crispy cold outside. So I bundle up in Chuck's heavy Carhart coat and put on my boots and trudge out to the barn. Wow - the stars are so bright and close. The sun is coming up over the ridge of the mountains. Yet behind me the moon is still brightly shining. Who knew? My breath meets the cold air and creates a white cloud all around me. The horses softly whinny and their breath makes even bigger clouds. The cat jumps out of the haystack ready for his breakfast too. It is a new day and I can't help but tell God how impressed I am with His creation. What a beautiful way to start a new day. I might just have to keep this new habit going. At the end of the day, on goes the Carhart coat and the boots and out to the barn I go again. The horses are happy to see me. We have a short conversation and I feed them once again. They are grateful because it has been cold outside all day and the night time is descending quickly. Hay will keep their metabolism burning and help to keep them warm. They nuzzle my hand and are happy for my company. What a sweet time. But then I hurry into the house, because it is getting dark and I must get the doors locked.
I have spent lots of time knitting on the sweater, watching TiVo'd quilt shows, and making sweet baby gifts. That has been fun. I don't feel guilty thinking I should be spending time with my family and not in my sewing room so much. I have taken down Christmas and boy have I cleaned. My house is sparkling. So it hasn't been bad. Not bad at all. But I am looking forward with great anticipation to a couple of days from now when my family returns. It's been hard not knowing when I will get to talk to them. It's been hard knowing they are so far away. It's been hard not cooking for them - how in the world do you cook for just one? I don't! I snack - and not very healthily I'm afraid!

I look forward to hearing about their experiences. I know it's been hard. It has been hot, humid, and have done lots and lots of manual labor. I know there have been bed bugs. I know the food hasn't been great. But I know their hearts have been changed by what they are doing. And I can't wait to hear all about it! It won't be long now!

This weekend, Michelle and I are going to the fabric store to buy fabric and patterns to sew the Baby Nursery! How fun is that? Her theme is going to be "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Do You Know How Loved You Are?" She wants dark blue and champagne for her colors. Just like she had for her wedding last year! This is going to be fun!

I have had much fun with the Grandma Name post! There are so many sweet names to choose from and there sure are definite opinions out there! I am still contemplating it but I think I have it narrowed down to two and am leaning heavily, heavily to one. I'll keep you posted! Keep sharing your ideas. I can be swayed. Or bought!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Grandma Names

I need your help! I have a very important dilemna. I have spent considerable time lately trying to pick my grandma name! I don't want to be just 'Grandma'. I want a different name. We have a large family and there are already lots of "grandma's". I have always teased and said my grandkids could just call me Aunt Robin. But now that I have a little grandbaby coming in June, I need to have a name. A very special name. Some people have told me that my grandbaby will call me what he/she wants to. But I am thinking they will call me what they hear me called. I want a name that will be different, warm and cozy, and well, just special. Here are some suggestions that have been given to me:

Nana (I think this one is too common)
Mia (I do like this one - but my daughter thinks its too much a real name)
Grammie (I'm kind of liking this one)
Granny (Does anybody else hear, "Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed"?)

So what suggestions do you have?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's Just As I Always Suspected. . .

I MUST HAVE BEEN SWITCHED AT BIRTH! Or at the very least, my mother gave me the wrong name. Because this doesn't work for me at all. This does not describe me in the least.
What Robin Means

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.
You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.
At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are full of energy. You are spirited and boisterous.
You are bold and daring. You are willing to do some pretty outrageous things.
Your high energy sometimes gets you in trouble. You can have a pretty bad temper at times.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

I'm certainly not wild or crazy. And I'm not a rebel. And I don't have a lot of energy and people don't seem to have a problem "handling" me, whatever that means! I'm NOT INTENSE- do you hear me? And I DO NOT like getting into trouble.

So either this thing is NOT psychic or I have the wrong name, or I was mistakenly taken home by the wrong parents from the hospital. So now I am going to go stew on this and try not to get paranoid or jealous that my real parents are loving somebody else.

And what do you mean - I get carried away by my thoughts? That's ridiculous. Totally.

I found this game at Becky's and Barb's. Try it - it's fun!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Gone To The Dogs

Sometimes if feels like we have gone to the dogs around here! I have one puppy left from our November litter and he will be leaving for his new Wyoming home the end of the month. I call him Cowboy. Because he is wild and unruly and difficult to tame. Or train. As in potty train if you get my drift. I put him on the chair with his mama so I could try to contain him long enough to get a picture of him. He stuck his tongue out at me!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Because Sometimes You Just Have to Live on the Edge and Knit

Since finding out that I am going to be a grandmother, all the grandmotherly maternal instincts have kicked in and I find myself longing to knit. Which is interesting because all I have ever really knitted in my life is dishcloths and dog sweaters. And even those have been within the last year. And I don't think I am a particularly good knitter. And I get impatient with how long it takes to make something. But nonetheless, I find myself longing to knit. One day I was browsing through my Bloglines and I ended up at Willow's blog and read about how she was knitting a maternity sweater called a Mommy Snug for her pregnant daughter. And I loved it! And I don't know whatever possessed me to think that I could make that sweater, but it was like something previously unknown took over inside me and before I could even realize what I was doing, I had ordered the pattern. And then I went to the local yarn shop and asked for help in picking out the yarn. And I went home with a pretty bag filled with pretty yarn and proceeded to knit a pretty sweater. Never mind that a dog sweater and a people sweater are two entirely different kinds of sweaters. Here is a picture of my progress so far. I must be honest and tell you that I did rip it out about seven times in the beginning. But then I got into the rythmn of it and I am feeling kind of hopeful. My daughter's birthday is February 10 and I'm hoping to have it done for her by then. We shall see. And then I found this neat little book that should help me answer any knitting problem that comes up. At least that's what the cover says! And then I found these incredible books and I intend on knitting many of these patterns for my sweet little grandbaby.

I'm hoping to quench that knitting bug!

On another note, there is a brand new J.C.Penny's in our town. It's been there since before Christmas but last week was the first chance I had to check it out. I had a gift card burning a hole in my wallet. I found a great purse. What is so funny about it is that it is not at all the kind of purse I would normally buy. It's kind of "look at me!" I usually go way conservative. But this one kept calling my name. First I would walk around the store with the conservative navy blue purse. But the wild green purse wouldn't leave me alone. Finally my husband told me to "live on the edge" and he grabbed the green one and off we went. So now I have this fun, crazy purse that I will use for the spring and the summer. Because sometimes you just have to live on the edge!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What I Got for Christmas

This year my husband and I decided to pool our Christmas spending money for each other and buy a bigger gift for us to share. At first I thought that sounded pretty good. Because I was really wanting this
But it turned out to not work out that well for me. Because we got this:
Bummer for me. I guess now I have to actually use it.

Next year I am going for the split-the-money-in-half plan again.

Catching Up

My goodness. I didn't mean to take such a long blogging break. It just kind of happened. Sometimes my life just seems to run away from me and I feel like I am chasing after it, arms flailing, hair flying, doing everything I can to keep up with it. And sometimes I feel like I have not caught up at all. With my life that is. And I can see it running off by itself somewhere far ahead of me, making fun of me because I am so slow. It's not such a great feeling. I look around at other people and it doesn't seem to be like this for them. At least, it doesn't look like it from my point of view. People probably don't see it in my life either. We learn to "put on the face" and trudge on don't we?

I have never been one to make New Year's resolutions, I don't believe in setting myself up for failure. But there is something about a new year with blank calendar pages that sounds appealing to me. I truly want to try to change things, slow down, do only what is important, stop pushing myself. I want to stop running after myself. And I am trying to figure out how. So I would covet your prayers about this. I really want to try.

And what helps me is knowing that even though we sometimes say the year 2008 is a blank slate - it's not really. God knows what every day holds for me - He has known this since before I was even born. Wow! Nothing surprises Him. Nothing. I really need to know that.

And I am looking forward to a lot of things about this year:

I am going to meet my first grandchild. Wow - that takes my breath away. I can't wait to snuggle that sweet, warm little bundle!

My husband and I are going to celebrate 30 years of marraige. What a blessing this man is to me - I love him so much it scares me.

I will be turning 50. They say 50 is the new 40. It doesn't really matter to me. I am thankful for 50 years of life. It has been good.

There are lots of books I'm going to read, and crafts I'm going to do! I'm really looking forward to that.

My youngest daughter will be moving out and starting college. I don't know that I'm really looking forward to this - but I am looking forward to watching God work in her life and see her become the woman He plans for her to be.

My family is planning a big trip at the end of the year to celebrate all our milestones together. We will see how this all works out.

So, I'm back. A little tired. A little frazzled. A little unsure of how to proceed. But one thing I know is how much I have appreciated blogging. I love it. And I love reading about how you all handle life's issues. You inspire and help me and I love you for it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I'm Still Here!

Lest you thought I had done fallen off the face of the earth - I am still here! One of the blessings of coming from, marrying into, and having a large family is you have LOTS of family to see over the holidays! This year was a biggie! We had a great Christmas and now I am tired.

I'm going to spend the next few days recuperating, taking down Christmas, and helping my daughter with a HUGE school project so she and my husband can leave for Argentina on a mission trip for two weeks. I'll tell you all about that later. I'll be reading and commenting on your blogs, but my brain can barely conjure up two sentences that make sense right now.

So until Monday - Blessings to you from me!