Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Asking for prayers for my mom. Her tests came back "abnormal" so we are seeing a Cardiologist this morning.
Edit: Mom will be fine. Her doctors office called yesterday and said, "Your stress test was abnormal and the Cardiologist wants to see you within 24 hours." THAT was scary. We went in and he said he did not see where anything was abnormal, though he does not have the final report. He said what he did have was all the major things and it shows no problems related to the heart, nor do her symptoms. She has been having much shortness of breath and her lungs have a function of 45%. He feels this is all medication related to a BP med, so he is switching her to a different one. What a blessing that she will be ok. It is a HUGE relief and a testament that God is faithful!! Thank you for your prayers!!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Parenting...The Advanced Course

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." 3 John 4
How many of us have ever said, "If I only could do it all over again?" If you have raised a child into adulthood (or even into those teen years) I think just maybe you have. I know I have thought that more than a dozen times. The thing is, I got that chance. Not with my boys...you can not go backwards, but with our second set of children. If I look back, I can honestly say I was a good mom. A very good mom no matter what standard you set. I would like to say before I even get started here, that each child is different and sometimes NO MATTER WHAT you do, that child may end up heading down a rough road by his own choices. Still, after raising 2 boys and watching my friends and family raise dozens of children into adulthood, I think I have some definite guidelines I grabbed onto this time around.
The first thing, and the biggest difference this time around, is that my children are home schooled."We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone {our children} with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone {our children} perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me." Colossians 1:28-29 (italics...my addition) NIV
I am not here to bash public or private schools. They are absolutely vital for most families. I am blessed to be able to home school my children. The reality is, I could have home schooled my boys too. I did home school Kyle at a certain time in his life, as the program available could not or would not meet his needs. My purpose in home schooling Charlotte and Zach is completely different. The public schools could give them a wonderful education. It could also give them an education I do not want them to have. That of a social learning. I sent Bud to public school his entire life, minus 3rd grade where he attended a Christian school. We lived in a small town where the public schools had one of the highest ratings in the state. He was offered a TOP notch education. "Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." 1 Corinthians 15:33
He graduated and went into the Army. My son was very active in sports, and church groups. He was popular with the boys and the girls and had a very busy social life. He was a good boy by worldly standards. His goal at 15 years old was to be a youth Pastor. He attended youth conferences and he never missed a Sunday or mid week service in his first 18 years of life. I found out later, he often snuck out of the house at night, was drinking by 17, started smoking at 16, was introduced to drugs by the Pastor's son, and had his first run in with the police with that same Pastors son...nothing major...caught swimming in a rock quarry in the middle of the night. He was to be at our Pastors home...they snuck out of there too. In the end my son is a good man, raising a family and working hard. He is also a prodigal. My heart is heavy for him. Could I have done anything different? I don't know. I do know I did my best. Now my best has changed.
"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is" Ephesians 5:15-17 ESV
I can pick out a home schooled kid a mile away. They are all, for the most part, extremely polite, they are all very close to their siblings, treating each other with the utmost respect (again, for the most part). They are usually children who have great responsibility at home. I have met 17 year old girls who have never made their bed and have never emptied a dishwasher. Home school creates more than an education, it creates a standard of living.
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" 2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV
Another change in this round of parenting, is the social scene for our children. We spend time as a family more than when we were raising the boys. Bud was always too busy with baseball, friends, activities, and we encouraged that. This time around those activities are very limited.
"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4
I'm not saying they have nothing. They go to church weekly and during the school year are involved in Awanas. I am also there...they know that. What they are involved in, I am involved in.
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
Raising Kyle was different than raising Bud...Kyle is handicapped and so he was more sheltered. He attended church just as his brother did. He did attend a public school most of his life and now works in an environment full of peer pressures (think adults with preteen minds). He LOVES rap music and his favorite "artists" are Kid Rock and Eminem...now let me say Kyle has NEVER owned an Eminem or Kid Rock CD or been allowed to listen to it. THAT is the power of peers pressure! A positive aspect for Kyle has been Special Olympics. Again...we are involved with him. Seeing him light the torch is a top highlight of my life! It is one of my proudest moments as a mother. "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 2:12 ESV
This has been a very different week considering our revamped parenting style. Charlotte went to Church Camp...6 days away from us. It was a difficult decision to let her go. She is wounded and struggles in her daily choices, so I was not sure how she would do. The encouragement from my Pastors, who were there the whole week, helped us to decide to let her go. Letting go....no that is the wrong term. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." James 1:5 ESV
She is 12. Still very young, and very impressionable. But it's church camp, right? No. that makes no difference. There will still be pressures for her. Is she strong enough? Does she have the ability to do the right thing? Make the right choices? Is she strong enough in the Lord to not allow those worldly influences in? I have a little twinge in my spirit that I am parenting in that same way I did with Bud. I did get a report. (that is Charlotte at her first day at camp with her cabin mates...she is sitting on the stair, bottom right)
"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 2:26
Our youth Pastor talked to his wife on Thursday. He told her that Charlotte is the "hit of the camp." Her camp counselors (the 2 older girls in the pic) LOVE her. Why? My first thought is she has "charmed" them. No. That is not it. They say she is the most polite young girl they have ever had. She treats everyone with respect. She has comforted those who are home sick. She keeps her bed and all her personal items neat and in order. She is not ashamed of her swim suit....which is a pair of long shorts and a tank top with a bra underneath. She tells her camp counselors, with a smile on her face, "I choose to be modest in my dress." They are amazed at her knowledge of the scripture and her understanding of God's Word. She talks about her mom all the time and also about her dad and brothers. She acts bonded, just like the other girls. She eats lunch and dinner sitting next to our Youth Pastor and he says she has been more than appropriate. My concerns for her hoarding and gorging were not necessary, I guess. That is the thing. We do not know what kind of a job we are doing as parents. I am a tad tickled at the report I got. She represented herself as I have seen all those other home schooled kids do. PLEASE know I am not saying all public schooled kids are rude and obnoxious. Bud was and is still a polite young man. What I am saying is, my second chance...that parenting style I adapted...is working!"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
Zachary went to Cocokey Water Resort for an overnight with my mom and sister and my sister's grandkids. The report from there was just as good. He was well behaved...a bit overstimulated, as they all were, but he listened. He was polite and well mannered. My mom made a comment to me yesterday. She said, "Your children are very polite and well-behaved. You are a good mom, but your children are too sheltered." I reminded her of the things she had said a few minutes before about my children being so well behaved and appropriate and asked her if she had ever thought that may be the reason. Are my children too sheltered? I do not think I sheltered my boys enough. I respect my mother greatly, but I am doing this round differently. If that means my children appear too sheltered, then that is ok. I take no offense. I missed my Zach when he was gone overnight and I miss Charlotte terribly. She will be home this afternoon. Her new porcelain faced, Anne doll will be waiting for her."Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!" Psalm 127:3-5a ESV
Will this be a regular thing for my kids? Absolutely NOT! It will be the exception, not the rule. There is a new standard this time around. Thankfully, I have my husband's blessing in this. He trusts me to do the absolute best for these kids. I pray my best is God's best for them. Hopefully it will not take a third chance!!!
Be Blessed,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Building Houses

I would not say I have a close relationship with my sewing machine. It is more like we are acquainted. Well, I have spent a couple of days getting to know her better, and I must admit she has not beeped at me one time! Maybe she realizes I am all she has! I have been building a couple of houses...(it is not crooked in real life!) I also made a dozen 3 inch nine patches. These things are just darling! You know how babies (animal or human) are so cute and NO one can resist a baby of any kind....well it is the same with baby quilt blocks. These tiny 9 patches are too cute for words!Each square is 1 inch finished and they were easy to make. Strip piecing had them whipped up in no time!Much easier than the little 3 inch stars, though those are completely adorable too!Next is some template work. I have not done templates in a while. It is how I started and there will always be a need for it in quilt making no matter who you are!
Once the pieces are all put together, I can tackle this mess of a sewing room! It always feels good to see the full space of my cutting table after the mess is cleaned up. A clean slate to make another mess and another creation....my sewing machine may start to like me yet!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Charlotte's Vacation

My little girl left today for a 6 day adventure at church camp. She was on cloud nine for the last couple of weeks preparing to go. I am thrilled for her and pray that she find a deeper, more intimate relationship with her Jesus. I feel in my heart of hearts that this week could be a turning point in her life. Before she left this morning, she asked if she could spray my body spray on her pillow so when she went to sleep at night, she could smell me and then maybe she would not miss me as much. For those of you who know ANYthing about attachment disorder, you know how unbelievably H-U-G-E that is. I sprayed her pillow liberally!!!!
She is going with her BEST FRIEND FOREVER, Gracie. Also Tyler (our Youth Pastor's son) is going but will be on the boys side of the camp. Miss Allena (my Pastor's wife) drove all 3 kids 2 hours north to the camp which belongs to our church's conference. Bless her heart! Both of my Pastor's are there for the entire week as Camp Counselors.Zachary had a hard time saying good-bye to his sister...he did NOT want to let go.But, go, she did. I talked to Allena after they were dropped off and she said that Grace and Charlotte were not only cabin mates, but are sharing the same bunk bed. A close neighbor friend also attended camp and Charlotte is excited to have a couple of faces she knows. I am certain Charlotte will have lots of adventures to share when she gets home. If you think about it, say a little prayer for her this week. ;)
Zach was a tad bummed out for a while. He quickly got over it when I reminded him of the fun week I had in store for him. He will be going to an indoor water park birthday party and spending a night with Grandma and one with TJ and Rachel. A happy meal lunch sealed the deal and he was chipper once again!

It is a blistering 90+ degrees with thick humidity. A good day to sew in the nice cool central air! I spent a little time designing DeNiece's table runner. She won my drawing and chose the hand made gift instead of the Amazon gift card....I feel I better make something as nice as the gift card would have been. She loves blue...look at the tour of her home by clicking here. I took some things from some different Thimbleberries Quilts and made a design for a nice runner. I ran to the quilt shop to get a couple of blue fat quarters and some fabric for a certain part of the runner which I did not have. I have some really nice blues, but wanted to add something "new". One of the sections of the runner requires 3" Friendship Stars. Do you know how tiny that is??? VERY tiny...9, 1 inch squares...well 5, 1 inch squares and 4, 1 inch half square triangles. If that sounds like gibberish to you non quilters, just take my word for it...my sewing machine has eaten bigger triangles than that and just kept on going!! I decided, since I had no triangle paper, to cut 2" squares and mark the sewing lines 1/4 inch from the center on either side and sew.

I cut them in half and trimmed them up, and finally pressed them open, which, by the way, is impossible to do without burning your fingers several times!

(I trimmed the triangles using my most favorite ruler in the whole wide world!! Quilt In A Day makes it)

See how it works....

Perfect 1/2 square triangles and no need to measure out that 7/8 inch and then try to be exactly perfect.

Here is a finished 1/2 square triangle...that is a penny next to it to show you the size....And here is a finished Friendship Star...
To give you a better idea of how tiny it is, here it is next to my basket blocks....
They are about the cutest things EVER! Are you asking "Where is all the blue? I thought DeNiece wanted blue!" Yes, there is mostly blue...I promise!Tomorrow I am going to be gone all morning. It is going to be hotter tomorrow and we may see triple digits! My mom is having a chemical stress test tomorrow, so please say a prayer for her! It will be a two day test. She is fine, I am confident, but just making sure. ;)
Be Blessed,

Happy Birthday Bud

27 years ago today, I became a mom. Happy Birthday to my sweet boy.
You were (and still are) the light of my life.A true sports nut!
You learned to walk with help from your Daddy,and you helped your own son to take his first steps.You learned how to be a family,and you made your own.You are an incredible brother.
Always making certain any future wife would KNOW that your brother might someday be part of the package...You are a wonderful husband...I was never more proud as when I watched you stand by your wife as she made you a father.....both times.
You have always LOVED to sleep. I never understood that, but it is a part of you. You sit down and you fall asleep...we all know this about you! ;)Thankfully, you do not fall asleep when you drive.You are an awesome Daddy, in a long line of awesome Daddies!!We admire the man that you are. Happy Birthday Bud!! We Love You!