"We write to taste life twice - once in the moment and in introspection."

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes - April Goals

Since things are settling into a new normal now that my aunt's medical problems are under control and she's moved into our home, I think I can think about sewing more than just a pillowcase.

So, my goals for April are:

1) Sew two checkbook covers for the education checking account and for the rental/assisted living account.

2) Choose a pattern and plan what to make for my newly engaged daughter's wedding quilt. Maybe even buy the fabric and start cutting. But maybe not. We'll see.

Spring is springing, which means that melting snow makes my basement wet and my sewing corner is in the basement. So I might not get down there for a few more days.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Hard Times Flooded with Blessings

Our family has been going through a rough time lately. My beloved 82-year-old aunt, who has been the nearby grandma for my kids for 16 years, was ambulanced to the emergency room two weeks ago, totally unresponsive to anything. After several hours she was able to say "God, God, God" and later could say my name. The upshot of all this is that after immense amounts of tests and two weeks in the hospital, she seems to have slipped into a psychotic delirium, or rapid onset dementia.

So I've been at the hospital nearly every day or arranging to be able to pay her bills while the girls have been keeping things going here at home along with packing up her apartment. We've moved a lot of her stuff into our little house, so it's feeling cluttered and cramped in here, but that won't last. And all that stuff is helping hold the house down though the winds are blowing furiously outside.

While this has been a horrifying and sad journey, I'm so thankful for the many little blessings God has tucked into each day. Here's the short list:

  • that the girls are old enough to run the home as well as pack up stuff from her apartment
  • unity in prayer by several churches
  • that I was able to be blessed by Aunt B chanting her prayer list and hearing her pray for each one of the clan as well as many missionaries and her pastors and church family
  • sunshine in February
  • that I have a GPS that helped me to find her hospital in an unfamiliar area of the big city to which I drove the hour and a half nearly daily
  • kind, helpful nursing staff
  • good visit time with my brother on the day he was able to visit
  • a care manager (social worker) who affirmed with us that God is in control
  • much Scripture already planted in Aunt B's mind that came out in her constant ramblings after she was able to talk again
  • the humor of her conceding that there could be Christian brothers on the Detroit Tigers baseball team (she's a die-hard Cleveland Indians fan)
  • that it turned out that her doctor was a friend of my brother and sister-in-law
  • that we had times of worship, praise, and immersion in God's Word in the hospital room
  • good food at the hospital
  • that I found a little cafe in the hospital that made good lattes
  • safety in travelling on snowy roads
  • that I had a recording of Larnelle Harris singing "His Eye is on the Sparrow" (one of Aunt B's favorite songs) on my Kindle and could play it in the hospital room
  • the player piano in the lobby which offered auditory beauty photography of the great outdoors on the hospital halls which offered visual beauty
So, as we get her settled into a nursing home, because she really requires 24/7 care, we continue to trust in God's care and acknowledge Him and lean not to our own understanding and know that He will direct our paths. Sometimes we get down, but as I was reminded in another blog, we shouldn't listen to our own feelings but instead tell ourselves again and again the promises and characteristics of our great and faithful God.

Friday, January 24, 2014

First Finish of the Year

After a very long but beautiful day of flying, we made it happily home, though we would have loved to have brought three certain people back with us. :)

 After a day of resting and recovering, I was able to spend some time finishing my January project per
A Lovely Year of Finishes.

A Lovely Year of Finishes

My project was to finish the annual wallhanging I make for our church fellowship hall. I needed to complete the one for 2012. Here's where I told about it: http://homepiecing.blogspot.com/2014/01/coming-out-of-mothballs.html

I decided to use the flip-inside-out sort of way of finishing it instead of doing a binding. Then I put a four-inch sleeve on the back into which I will insert a dowel and hang it from there.

I think if I use this block pattern again I'll put sashing between the blocks. I think they'll stand out better that way.

It's nice to have a first finish for the year.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Last Day

After spending some time  in the pool and packing up most of our stuff, we had a nice lunch at the Pita Pit. Good food! And you got to choose your condiments like at Subway.

Then we were off to the bowling alley for awhile and back to the hotel before meeting Daniel, Claire, and John for supper at Applebees.

We had a friendly, interesting waiter  who looks like Tom Hanks did a few years ago.

Then it was off to their apartment to say our sad farewells to Claire and John. Daniel hopes to pop in at the hotel in the morning.

My mom wanted some pictures of Johnny in the baby bunting and hat she had knit, so of course Daniel had to get goofy with it.

Yes, it was hard to say good-bye. Yes, I puddled up.

But we have so much for which to be thankful and that far outweighs the difficulty of leaving them.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monday's Doin's

Well, Sarah now has a "first day at school" picture (with blur of someone dashing in at the last minute in background).

She, Phil, and I sat in on Mr. Nate Wilson's Rhetoric class where we gleaned much about presenting gospel truth to naysayers, got to hear the annual "Fools Lost on the Mountain" speech because every year a group of freshmen get lost on Moscow Mountain and this year's bout had just happened the past weekend complete with ambulance, listened to some critiques of Orthodoxy by G.K.Chesterson, and learned what stasis is. Ask Sarah.

Then it was off to A & W for lunch, a quick clean-up of Claire's kitchen, and then a drive in the country while we waited to meet Daniel at Jamms Frozen Yogurt while Claire and Johnny went to choir practice. He was happy in his wrap-thingy. And he knows how to sing from the Messiah.

I just have to show you this onesie I bought. :)

We decided to do pizza in their apartment for supper over a well-fought game of Axis and Allies.

And we got to enjoy getting to know Claire and Johnny a little more.

Monday, January 20, 2014

To You and to Your Children - Sunday

Sunday we were privileged to get to worship with our brothers and sisters at Trinity Reformed Church under the elderships of Toby Sumpter and Joshua Appel and others. The sermon was appropriately about the fatherhood of God and how that extends into our bringing up our children as His children also, trusting in Him to bring them to faithful relationships with Him.

It was a joy to have John Payton baptized into the covenant family of God, trusting God to use John's parents, grandparents and other relatives, church body and friends to help him to come to a realization of his own personal sin and need for faith in Jesus for eternal and daily salvation.

 We thought we'd get weepy. In fact Daniel had predicted that "the moms will get appropriately teary, but Dad will probably have an episode." I was surprised that we didn't, but were filled with a joy that our little guy is acknowledged and supported by this body of believers and with the knowledge that our kids will be blessed by and be a blessing to this church. God is so good to us!

Then we headed back to the hotel where Claire's mom had arranged to have Qdoba cater in a taco buffet, and Claire's sister-in-law (who also lives here) brought a corn salad, and Claire and my girls had made chocolate cupcakes. It was a delightful lunch, though John got a little impatient for his at one point.

Then we sang a few songs of praise and doxology. It's nice to sing with trained singers who can just go at it, parts and all. Unfortunately, one of the features of this flu we've had is croaky voices. So some of us sang more quietly than we'd have liked to, but that was assuredly a blessing to the rest. :)

He has strong kicky legs, as Hannah discovered.

Daniel thinks the upraised hands means he wants to be a boxer or a rapper. I'm going with choir director.

Claire's cousin's family was there also and included a toddler who brought entertainment and liveliness for our girls.

It was quite a party.

Then after clean-up, it was off to naps, TV, swimming, reading and finally, a light supper at Red Bento, the Japanese restaurant where we'd tried to go the night before.

Service was still not good, though our server did his best to make things nice for us, including turning off the TV when we requested it. The food was wonderful! What a difference the real crab in the sushi makes versus the fake stuff we use at home! Their tea is particularly tasty, too.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Some New Things, Some Old - Saturday

I know that most of you who are following our little jaunt here are mostly interested in seeing the baby and I am in total agreement with that. But yesterday was a mostly baby deprived day for me, so you'll just have to come along on some other activities or just skip today's post.

In the morning, everybody but Ruth and I went to Dan & Claire's apartment and did a bunch of cleaning and laundry and Granddad had a nice time holding his grandson. If I were a technical genius, I'd insert the photo he emailed me of them. Maybe after others are awake they'll educate me.

Then since most everybody was ready to get out somewhere, and Johnny had just had a happy lunch, we all decided to have a happy lunch. And this is where we went.

I think there's a TV show on the Food Network that is called something like Diners, Dives, and ??? 
From the appearance, this is one of the dives. And yet it has an inviting personality. I think it's a converted car shop and still looks kinda like it inside.

Hannah goofily holds the door open to let us in and we glimpse the smokepit as we look over our shoulder.

 The inside is picnic tables, a bucket for silverware bundles, and mason jars for glasses.

And this was on the bathroom wall, which was located beside some big garage doors.

And then came the barbeque sandwiches. Sarah's is full of jalapenos and, despite the odd look on her face, she loved it.
 Faith tucked into hers with vigor.

This is one of Daniel's favorite places to eat in town and I can see why. The meat is excellent! He says it reminds him of the summer he was working in Louisiana. It was a good time and I got to see Johnny a little in the baby carrier in which he seems to be so content.

Then most of those who had been working at their apartment took a time out at the hotel while Sarah and I took a drive in the beautiful hills. I've got to share some of that with you.

 We loved how the clouds were nestling in the hills and mountains.

That evening Phil, Hannah, and Grace went over to their apartment for a well-fought game of Axis and Allies with Daniel and one of his friends. I'm not sure yet what the outcome was, but it sounded like the usual result - the Axis (Hannah and Grace) were winning when I went to bed.

But before the rest of us went to bed, we went to Jamm's, a frozen yogurt bar which is a favorite place here.

This place is a sensational place. And I mean that most literally.

The taste sensation is definitely there - about a dozen flavors of frozen yogurt, with toppings ranging from gummie candies to fruits to nuts to syrups to syrupped nuts. A plethera of tastes.

The auditory sensation was there that night as we sang the theme song from Beauty and the Beast with the radio and the hilariously excited clerk because that's her favorite song and she seems to be a music major.

And the visual...oh, the visual. The colors here are a party. That's why I took so many photos. Sorry, I didn't get any of the bathroom.

Now, for those of you who stuck with me to the end here, I'll pop in a picture I'd already taken of Johnny.