Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Definition for $100 please

So I can be a bit snarky at times.  Sometimes it's in my brain and I mentally reply to a person who was a bit more than rude. Most of the time it happens when I'm driving.  Sometimes I think people really did get their driver's license from a Cracker Jack Box!!!  Other times,  I think I've mentally replied and, based on the look on the other person's face, it actually came out of my brain via my mouth.  sigh  I did it again! 

Before you Google Snarky, I'll help you out:
SNARKY:  A witty mannerism, personality, or behavior that is a combination of sarcasm and cynicism. Usually accepted as a complimentary term. sarcastic, impertinent, or irreverent in tone or manner

From what I can tell, I'm not the only one that has this issue... Doesn't make it right or acceptable.  I've often told Honey that I could not work as a automotive service advisor. I would be fired for telling a customer that, it is not our fault they didn't plan ahead and waited till the day before their vacation, which they planned 6 months ago, to have their auto problems fixed, new tires, or oil changed.

I've been snarky with my kids.  Their lack of planning is not going to cause an emergency on my side.  They may have inherited some of this from me.

Time and time again, I chide myself and wish I were kinder, sweeter, more Proverbs 31 (but honestly, this woman seems to be a bit beyond my reach), prettier, in better shape, easier to talk to, less distracted,...  You fill in the blank.  One Sunday, I was talking to a friend and they made a comment about a subject close to my heart and their opinion just about seared my soul.  They weren't meaning to.  Maybe it was a due to a bit of honesty in their observations, but their words were stomping on my heart...

It was a tough week with my mom, school was starting back up, my regular school year kids were back in my care, too little sleep, a bit of loneliness...  Not the best week, but it sure wasn't hopeless!  Getting ready for church on Sunday, my playlist began running through some of my favorites...  Tripping over dogs underfoot, outfit change #4, foundation, some blush, oh shoot... chipped polish on my toes won't go with those comfy sandals...  then the first strum of guitar and beat of drum pulsed through the speakers.... He Knows My Name by Francesca Battistelli    Listen  I heard Him say to me.

Spent today in a conversation
In the mirror face to face with
Somebody less than perfect
I wouldn't choose me first if
I was looking for a champion
In fact I'd understand if
You picked everyone before me
But that's just not my story
True to who You are
You saw my heart
And made
Something out of nothing
I don't need my name in lights
I'm famous in my Father's eyes
Make no mistake
He knows my name
I'm not living for applause
I'm already so adored
It's all His stage
He knows my name oh, oh,
He knows my name oh, oh
I'm not meant to just stay quiet
I'm meant to be a lion
I'll roar beyond a song
With every moment that I've got
True to who You are
You saw my heart
And made
Something out of nothing
I don't need my name in lights
I'm famous in my Father's eyes
Make no mistake
He knows my name
I'm not living for applause
I'm already so adored
It's all His stage
He knows my name oh, oh,
He knows my name oh, oh
He calls me chosen, free forgiven, wanted, child of the King,
His forever, held in treasure
I am loved
I don't need my name in lights
I'm famous in my Father's eyes
I don't need my name in lights
I'm famous in my Father's eyes
Make no mistake
He knows my name
I'm not living for applause
I'm already so adored
It's all His stage
He knows my name oh, oh,
He knows my name oh, oh

Listen...  He said again... though I heard her voice begin, picking up where she had just left off.  

                                                   "If We're Honest"

Truth is harder than a lie
The dark seems safer than the light
And everyone has a heart that loves to hide
I'm a mess and so are you
We've built walls nobody can get through
Yeah, it may be hard, but the best thing we could ever do, ever do

Bring your brokenness, and I'll bring mine
'Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy's waiting on the other side
If we're honest
If we're honest

Don't pretend to be something that you're not
Living life afraid of getting caught
There is freedom found when we lay 
our secrets down at the cross, at the cross


It would change our lives
It would set us free
It's what we need to be

By the time I arrived at church, I was a bit of a mess.  First friend was Miss I visiting with her sweet Momma.  She gave me the biggest hug and then a mug with all these wonderful quips about friends (my favorite one was "Friends become our chosen Family") and I cried.  I cried as her momma hugged me.  I miss her coming here daily, but I am so thrilled for the new opportunity that God has placed their family in and thankful I do get to see them from time to time.  She is a friend of the heart.  As I turned from her, I saw a longtime friend, tears in her eyes approach me.  She just reached out and enveloped me in a hug and let me cry.  The frustrations and self-doubts finally came out.  She told me of her mom's struggle with dementia and her struggle with that, and as we talked,  she listened.  "My brain just can't wrap itself around why I would be good friend material.  We go from work to nursing home, do dinner and go to bed, only to do it all over again.  Late nights that Honey works, schedules.  I have no clue what is going on with anyone or even watch the news."   
Thyme is Honey blog

"Can I ask you something?  Those things that you say to yourself... Would you ever say them to someone else," she asked, understanding deep in her eyes. "No, of course you wouldn't!  Then why do you say them to yourself?"

This week is better.  Her question and challenge has echoed through my head all week.  My head is clearing and  I'm listening...  

 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:12-13

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Fuzzy Memories

My brother and I at our grandparents in Kansas
As I get older, some memories seem to pull up less frequently, but given a nudge, they seem to explode.  

Last month, Honey and I took a weekend get-away to attend Niece's baby shower back home.  While there, we made a quick jaunt up to Mom's house to check on it.  Honestly, I dread going in there.  While it is cleaned up and pretty neat, there are still reminders and memories tucked in just about corner that flood my heart. Most of the time, I leave so sad.  My Momma should be there, hugging us when we arrive, her list of Do-projects sitting on the bar, standing at the door, waving as we drive away.  Now, all I leave are tears...  Alzheimer's just sucks.

As we were checking on  different areas of the house, I discovered her old Singer Slant-O-Matic 500 Rocketeer Sewing Machine shoved back in the corner of a closet.   It was the machine I learned to sew on a a very young child , Mom made most all my clothes, and my bridesmaid dresses were created on it. 
Mom's Rocketeer
Such great memories there!  Grabbing it, I started searching for the box of feet and accessories I knew went with it.  If I could get it running, I thought I'd give it to Only, since she doesn't have a sewing machine.  In my search, I came across a forgotten box of photos and slides shoved under some material.  Grabbing those, I added them to my growing pile of memories on the bar.  Behind the photos and slides I found the accessory box for the sewing machine! It was a great day for discovering! 

Honey grabbed a sturdy "vintage" 16' wooden ladder from the garage that was used out on the farm during the depression.  I wanted it to put my quilts on.  Because it was so incredibly long, we had to cut it into two 8' parts to get into the truck bed.  Since the smaller section was still too tall for the space I needed, I decided to put one section in my kitchen above the cabinet.

The forgotten Outhouse
My discovery in The old Outhouse, which Mom used to store tools, made me cry upon finding the old sled from my childhood, and begged Honey to let me take it home.  So many memories made on that during those cold Kansas winters. It should make it's decorative debut this winter on my front porch.   

Once home, I allowed myself an evening to venture into the box of slides and photos.  To my delight, I found this nifty Guild Mini-Master slide viewer and with each slide, memories came flooding back.  I found if I held up the Mini-Master up to the light and held my cell phone up to take a picture, I could awkwardly manage it.   Before I knew it, I was texting pictures to my brother and we spent a good two hours going back and forth. Many of the pictures that have Mom in them... She looked so incredibly young and, of course, she had this boundless energy that helped her to keep up with two active kids.

Boston Memories:  Santa was not a favorite of mine when I was younger, but I'm sure I was not alone in my fear.   I wish I could remember more of our time in Boston, but am thankful for the picture to fill in the blanks.  See the car in the background?   That dusty station wagon was our family vehicle until I was probably in middle elementary.  The dust would literally roll in through the cracks and windows on the old country roads.  I can almost feel the grit on my face.

Christmas:  If you look closely, past the cool toys that we got and some we still have (that doll and firetruck were AWESOME!), you might be able to see several Elf-on-a-shelf predecessors, that Mom put on our tree each year.   Since we had several of them, they really were just a decoration.  I'd like to say we were "perfect" children and didn't need Elf-on-a-shelf, but the spanking board and cut switches we had testify otherwise.

This one made me smile.

Time in Kansas
My childhood home
 At some point, we returned to Kansas briefly, to buy a house, start some renovations on the early 1900's home to make it livable.  We had no indoor bathroom, but an outhouse and cistern off the back porch served their purpose.  The 1970's avacado colored kitchen was about the size of a small bedroom, but the  suited us perfectly. Our baths were taken by hauling water from the cistern at the back of the house, heating it on the stove, and pouring it into a galvanized washtub.  It was always nice to be the first one in the tub!   The house doesn't even look like this now.  The two porches were remodeled for more bedrooms and a new kitchen, but the memories on those porches were priceless!  On days when we had summer thunderstorms, my brother and I would take our toys, games, and Barbie/GI Joe dolls, and play on the side porch.
side Porch and back of house

Hanging stocking on the door

Grandma and Grandpa Wilson

One of the best things about living in KS was having Grandma and Grandpa live directly across the street from us.   They had this huge tree in the front of their home with a wood swing under the front part and up by the trunk was a huge tractor tire filled with sand for grandkids to play in.  On beautiful days, one would find them sitting on the swing, just enjoying the day or resting from chores.

Ugh, Easter Pictures and lace

Most of my early childhood was spent sharing this bunk bead with my brother.  We had the most fun with that thing!   I learned quickly that I could aggravate my brother to pieces by putting my feet on the underside of the top bunk and push up quickly.  Probably pay-back for all the torture he dished out.  That baby doll I had was one of my favorites, but Mom told me that after I got her, I somehow pulled her hair out, and she used a marker to "draw" hair on her.

Easter Egg hunts were fantastic in KS, especially with the cousins!  There were tons of hiding places, old trees, old tractor tire that was our sandbox, flowers, porches, and more.  Mom used to count all the eggs she put out, to make sure we found them all.

Life was pretty carefree for us.  We loved our school, have a wonderful choir and piano teacher, a block full of kids our age (we lived on a military base), we walked or rode our bicycles everywhere by ourselves (choir, swimming pool, movies).  We knew which yards had the wonderful friendly dogs that loved to be petted, and frequently got chewed out by officers for my brother making me ride on his handle bars when we were out.  I'm not sure if Mom ever followed us in the car on our escapades, but she somehow trusted us.  Mom made us take Judo lessons, which I hated, but my kids think it's pretty funny.  I wanted to take gymnastics like all my friends and wear the cute outfits and dance, not wear a bulky uniform (which I still have).  Notice that after two years, my belt is STILL white!!!  

Our Choir and Piano teacher

This was one of our first Christmases
there.  Can you spot the vintage toys?  They were a blast to have!  That Barbie plane, Viewmaster, GI Jim RV, Barbie Camper, Blythe doll,...The nativity set under the tree was always the first decoration brought out before any other. until close to 2008 when it became too much to have Christmas at Mom's home.

Pinball machine we loved. 

Mom had just had back surgery the second Christmas there and she had to sleep in the pullout couch in the living room.  It made the best place to sit and keep her company, playing games and dolls, and reading books.

Back in Kansas
Kindergarten Picture
 At this time, the side porch of the was converted to an extra bedroom, and my brother and I, for the first time, had separate bedrooms. I remember when a septic tank was installed beside the house and we actually had running water!  The back porch and storage room were converted to an indoor bathroom with toilet and shower, and the laundry room for a brand new washer and dryer!  No more laundry mat and outhouse!!!  Mine was yellow shag carpet, with a yellow canopy bed yellow sheer curtains with white embroidered daisies, and posters of kittens, horses, and puppies on the white paneled walls.  We had chores of feeding chickens and gathering eggs, feeding the cows, tending to the garden, and keeping our rooms spotless.  Mom would tell us that the minister was coming over for Sunday lunch and he would be checking our rooms. I can't believe I fell for that! If only that ruse worked now!


One thing I loved about being back in Kansas, was being close to the cousins again.  Our extended family was pretty close and nothing compared to a Saturday afternoon to play with Raine, while the parents got together.  I always envied her blonde curls, but I later learned that those curls came with a price - sleeping in hard plastic rollers with pins stuck in them.  A few years ago, we had a good laugh during her visit here, when we figured out that we have the exact same desk as children, except hers is white and mine is brown. Somehow, her white one always seemed so much fancier than my brown one.

Off to school! 

Thanks for stopping by and going on a memory journey with me.  Do you have a favorite memory from your childhood that you could share?  I would love to hear about it!

p.s. I was able to take the sewing machine to our local Sewing Machine Center and $90 later, it was in good working order.  Only was thrilled to have it when we delivered it to her a few weeks ago and is looking forward to learning to sew more using a 66 year-old machine that was her grandma's.  

Thursday, June 30, 2016


Monday, I took Little K to VBS, knowing he would love all the fun activities and learning about Jesus.  On the way home, he stated "Jesus is mean!"
"Um, what are you talking about?  Jesus loves us and cares for us greatly!"
"Well, He told Zacheus that he couldn't play in the tree anymore and had to get out!" Little K stated.

Needless to say, we went back over that event and made sure he was clear on what really happened.


Day one and lego hand is forming
Two weeks ago, I had my first surgery for Carpal Tunnel.  Youngest has been so impressed with my Wolverine scar and my Lego positioned hand.  Not what I was thinking when he asked to see it, but the humor was welcome. 

I decided to watch some of my old DVR shows, after having carpal tunnel surgery two weeks ago.  I happen to be  watching one from Christmas  from the Hallmark Channel, when Youngest walked by and a Countdown to Christmas ad was playing.  "Are you kidding me Hallmark Channel!!!  It is not even the end of June!"
Paul and Tracy
Sunday, we attended a "sending off" to some dear young-at-heart, recently retired friends, Paul and Tracy, who are just the dearest.  Many people were there, telling stores, sharing a meal, and singing songs lead by Paul.  Tracy has been the biggest encourager to me in regards to surviving being a mom to boys, plus she loves to sew and do embroidery work on her machine.  I can't wait to hear of their new adventures as they travel the US.  There were not a lot of dry eyes, and my heart was aching a bit, but I'm thrilled for them.  After telling hugging Tracy, she looked at me and then at Youngest and laughed:
  "You know, the memory I will always laugh at with Youngest was during church.  He decided he wanted to sit with me during service, he must have been 3-4 years old.  Someone had made a hilarious comment during service and the auditorium was filled with so much laughter, but I looked down and he was completely stone faced.  So I asked him what was wrong and he said "I'm laughing inside my head."  I just lost it!  
I'd never heard that story before and was so thankful to hear it now.

Went to the Farmers Market this morning for some yummy corn and potatoes, and whileYoungest was buckling Little K back in his carseat... Little K said to him: "Don't mash my Peter." Lol!  Oh the joy of boys!!! 

Would you care to share a funny story that has happened lately?  Have you had a good belly laugh?  I'd love to hear it! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Update to a Privy

I've been itching to update the front bathroom (aka Kids' bathroom). Oldest had painted it many years ago and it looked like a teenage boy had painted it with a lack of finesse.  The week of my  hand surgery, I knew it was my only chance this summer. Our boys were at church camp, and Honey was spending a lot of time at work,  due to having to move to a different building before renovations begin.  I didn't tell them I was going to work on the bathroom, and since Honey never uses that bathroom, he had no idea!
removing backsplash
Monday, I began by ripping off an ugly wood shelf backspash trim (note the white spot) and brainstorming how to proceed.  Yes, I was going forward with no real concrete plan and leftover paint.  I wanted the walls to be an off white to lighten it up, but only had two cans of brown and white.  Mixed some brown to the white to achieve the cream I desired and painted away.  Next, was the issue of the ugly white space the back splash left, and with the leftover tile from our Kitchen reno, I decided to use it there.  I was a bit nervous at doing some tiling by myself, but knew Honey didn't have time, so I dove right in. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be... 

 Of course, I still had Little K coming that week, so I worked between naps and downtime.  Sometimes he would play in the doorway as I worked.  As long as he was chattering away and playing in my sight, he was one happy kid.  His puppy, who comes with him (we absolutely love her), decided she needed to be in the middle of it as well. 
Little K
Hazel, the pup
There was a hole in the wall that Honey made to gain access to fix the water heater.  Spent three days spackeling and making that as smooth as possible.  That was hard for me, and Little K kept asking why I was putting pink stuff on the wall. 
Fixing a mess

a bit distressing
New pulls and knobs
Knowing the bathroom cabinets, trim, and door needed to be repainted, I mixed some of the white paint with the brown to achieve the right color, painted them and distressed them.  It takes no time at all and is really a bit of fun for me.  Just hope I got it right!  Only and I picked out drawer pulls and cabinet handles at Hobby Lobby on Monday, and hope to talk Honey into drilling the holes for me, since I can't lift over two pounds yet with my right hand. Shoot, I can't even brush my teeth with that hand yet! I'll update a picture once that is done.  Well, I attempted to find Honey's drill in the eh hem garage, but got frustrated with Honey's "keeper" side.  After a trip to the Farmer's Market for some fresh corn and potatoes from Crabtree Farms, we swung Lowes and I bought my own drill to keep in the house.  I'm pretty happy with my purchase and it was so easy to use.

Noticed when I was painting the walls, that the previous owner did NOT nail the trim boards on well and they easily came off.  Made for painting easier.  Now to ask Honey to add some nice trim that isn't so cheap and bulky.   It seems that Honey's Do List is growing steadily. 

framed Medicine cabinet

Last, I added an accent color to the mirror by using some of the left over paint from the kitchen reno and distressed it. Only thing left is to work on the light fixture over the sink area and the mirror frame for the small medicine cabinet. My dream for that, is to actually make it as a picture frame and take out the mirror since it is pretty useless in that corner. It may never happen, but it's a thought.
Distressed Mirror 

I love the distressed look, as it hides a multitude of imperfections and gives some character to an otherwise bland bathroom.  Boys came home from church camp that Friday and were totally shocked, but Honey  loves it.  Says it looks so much bigger and fresh, so all is well!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Ordinary Moments

Yep, I tried to eat a stick
Pulling a tractor
The weather during the last week of school was pretty nice, so we headed outside for some fun after naps.  I love watching the kids chase bubbles, pick clover and dandelions, and just play in the dirt. They do not really care that the toys are about 15 years old, but that they roll in the dirt.  With five kiddos to care for on most days, venturing outside is not always ideal, but watching them play makes it all worth it.  I love their laughter and dirty hands!  I do love my "mommas", as each is unique as her child.  Three are seasoned moms with an older child, and the others are learning that it's okay to say "no", set limits, routines are good, add some laughter and a few sweet teas, and all will be okay. Kinda...
Cutie Pie "L"

Honey and his supervisors
One of the "perks" of home ownership?  Searching for that hidden water pressure gauge installed back in 1994 that is now faulty and causing low water pressure.  I'm not sure who is more tired, the dogs watching us dig or Honey and I.    After digging for over an hour and only discovering some great fishing worms, a snake we accidentally cut in half, lots of mud, and only water pipes that seem to be going deeper into the ground, we gave up.   Guess we'll call the plumber tomorrow.

Wednesday, I got some contractor grade gravel to fill in the "pot holes" in our driveway.  It zapped my energy for the next few days, but it was worth it!  Do you have those projects that you put off, but desperately need to do?  This was one of them.  It was like riding a bucking horse pulling into our driveway!  
begging for attention
Poor Bandit is feeling the absence of Oldest, after he left for church camp and has desperately tried to distract me.  There are only so many times I can let the poor guy out for him to turn around and come back in.  I have a feeling he'll be sleeping close to me tonight!

Oldest and Youngest left for church camp today.  It's going to be a quiet week for us!  Honey has a ton going on at work with upcoming renovations and  moving to a temporary building this week.  Not sure I'll see him much.  This is my first summer in years to have some days off each week, as I will only have one child doing part time.  I'm so excited, but know my summer will get away from me quickly.

 Do you have any special projects/home improvements planned for the summer? do you have any projects you've been putting off?  Our list seems to be growing by the week, but I'm considering doing Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine which one to do first. I'm having carpal tunnel surgery on Thursday and will not be able to use my hand for two weeks,  so I'm leaning towards just painting the bathroom this week.

  • the house needs to be power washed and treated sealer applied
  • clean out the gutters (can I confess we have, eh hem, trees growing in ours
  • find that pesky water pressure gauge
  • get a DQ Blizzard 
  • replace the front door knob
  • dejunk
  • paint the kids' bathroom
  • fix treadmill
  • clean honey's new temporary office before Wednesday
  • take a nap
  • Kiltz paint the shed

Thanks for visiting today.  I'd love to hear about your latest project you want to accomplish this summer!