Monday, December 27, 2010

A Christmas Gift with "C"haracter

With my working and crafting so much on the TygerLily side of me, there hasn't been much time to blog about much of anything.

But yesterday we spent some wonderful Christmas time with our own kids and grandkids. And every year the adults do a Hy-Vee Paper Bag Secret Santa exchange. Every gift must fit in a Hy-Vee paper bag, one to two pieces of tape to hold it closed at the top. Every gift must 'look' the same. As we arrive to the party, our oldest granddaughter Abby grabs each bag and then writes the name of the receiver on the front and then hides the bag. Abby totally controls it from then on, and she does a marvelous job. So when it's time for some adult fun, we gather around a table, Abby presents us with our Hy-Vee bags and then the rest of us have to guess who everyone's Secret Santa is! This year was incredibly HARD!!!!!! Plus there's that $60 bonus for the winner sitting in the middle of the table - and who couldn't use $60? But for the first time (I believe) our oldest daughter, Season, won with guessing 4 out of 6 correct. Bill and I did poorly with only 2 guesses right.

But I wanted to show you what my own Secret Santa got me, which totally threw everyone in the mix completely off.
Is this not the most charming and fun gift yet? Yes, Season had my name and this is what she she picked for me. It's very tall! She said that even though it was the letter "C" glass and my name didn't start with "C", she picked it because of the words ON the glass that started with the letter "C". She honored me by saying the words described me and what she thought of me. Now THAT'S a present I will treasure the rest of my life. And it's just plain FUN!

Thank you to my gorgeous and giving family - each and every one of you has such a special place in my heart, mind AND spirit. I adore gifts that come from the heart and this Christmas was one of those types of holidays. Perfect and memorable.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Perfect Number 7

I wanted to mark today as "Year Number Seven", seven years since we lost our son, Tyler. It is amazing how God can give us such peace with such a simple thing as a number. Nothing can ever take the place of Ty, nor do we want anything to. But I believe God has put this on my heart today to just give that little extra calm to my life and my memories. Thanksgiving is usually very hard on my heart, but this year was a Thanksgiving to truly be THANKFUL for - family... and all of them surrounding us and letting us love them and laugh with them.

Tyler's marker reads '777', and not by our doing. It was what was offered. But in a tragic time, it was a sign of peace to us.

In Scripture, we are given many instances of God's use of the number seven. It's perfectness.

Look at the has to say about the number seven:

1. God marked the Bible with the Number Seven because it is the fulness of God's revelation!

2. God marked the Bible with the Number Seven because it is His Oath! His Promise! His Covenant!

3. The phrase seven times is used frequently in Scripture to mark the work of God. The Levitcal Priests were told to sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice seven times, Joshua was ordered to march around Jericho seven times, and Namaan was told to wash in the Jordan seven times to be cleansed of leprosy.

4. The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

5. Matthew 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

6. Revelation 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

7. Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and herested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

The following is from (more examples):

The Number 7

The number 7 perhaps speaks of perfection or completeness. God's complete provision in His dealings with men.

Some examples:

7 days make a complete week

7 colors make a perfect spectrum

7 great land masses form a complete earth

7 notes make a perfect scale

7 great bodies of water form a complete ocean

There were the 7 days of creation as well as many other examples throughout the Scriptures:

Zech 3:9 For behold, the stone that I have laid before Joshua: upon the stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave its inscription,' says the LORD of hosts, `And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

Rev 1:4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

To the Jew every 7th day was a Sabbath.

Every 7th year was a Sabbatical year.

After the 7th Sabbatical year was the year of Jubilee.

Every 7th month was holy and had 3 feasts.

There were 7 weeks between Passover and Pentecost.

The Passover feast lasted 7 days.

The feast of Tabernacles lasted 7 days.

At Passover 14 lambs (7 twice) were offered daily.

At Tabernacles 14 lambs (7 twice) and 70 bullocks were offered.

At Pentecost 7 lambs were offered.

The time of mourning the dead was fixed to 7 days.

and so on...

Seven continues to have symbolic prominence in the New Testament, with Jesus telling Peter that it is not enough that he forgive the brother who had sinned against him seven times, but "seventy times seven" (Matthew 18:21-22). Seven is also the number of Greek-speaking Christians appointed by the Twelve Apostles in Acts 6:3.

The New Testament concludes in a "great surge of sevens, with heptads, explicit and implicit, tumbling forth from many verses."

In the Book of Revelation there were:

The 7 letters to the 7 Churches.

The 7 Seal Judgements

The 7 Trumpet Judgements

The 7 Bowl Judgements

The 7 Golden Lampstands

The 7 Stars

The 7 Angels

The 7 Spirits of God

The Lamb with 7 Horns and 7 Eyes.

The 7 Lamps of Fire

The 7 Thunders

The Fiery Red Dragon with 7 heads and 7 Crowns.

The Leopard-Like Beast with 7 heads.

The Scarlet-Colored Beast with 7 heads.

The 7 Mountains

The 7 Kings

Now you all have a little insight into why the number seven means something to us today. It is the way things are to be, whether is it be pleasant or not.

But there is peace.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The History of Aprons

The History of 'APRONS'
(sent from my sister-in-law)
I don't think our kids know what an apron is. The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven. It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids..
And when the weather was cold Grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner. It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.
Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw. They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron. I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron - but love...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

While You Were Sleeping

I hear him finally sleeping and undisturbed. He has slept so lightly the last 4 days and wakes to the slightest noise. So I will grab these few moments to tell his story.

My dear one only wanted to see a friend and shoot some pool on his way home from a practice session that ended early. All of which he did. One never knows though who you might meet while playing pool, hence the introduction of an anonymous pool player. After playing for an hour or two and visiting with his dear friend, he decides it's time to come home where he belongs. Anonymous pool player asks for a ride and after hearing the destination, my guy in his white hat knows it's on his way home and says, "Of course! No problem." One mile into the ride, it was lights out; cold cocked in the eye, wallet stolen, and woke up over two hours later in his car that had been parked at a closed gas station. Mind you, my man only has sight in one eye, and that was the one selected as the lights out switch. Keys were left in the car, briefcase still there, nothing else was gone except the money he had collected from working for the band. His kindness had turned into a nightmare for him.

How do people do this? What clicks in their heads to even have the thought come to them? Plus we are not that young anymore - why target an old guy?

I only write so facts be known. The world loves to embellish. But we have a God who loves us and he's taking care of things. We have been given the gift of choice; we are God's children, not his puppets. Wanted to say that because of all the "Why would God allow this to happen?" questions. This was the guy in the black hat's choice. And what we do with that happening and tragedy is OUR choice. And we choose to thank the Lord for my husband's life, family and close friends, the doctors, nurses and detectives.

We pray for the one who did this, as to what could be so awful in his own life that this was his choice. God knows. It is not for us to necessarily understand, and to be honest have been told not to even try.

We are still Bill & Karen, we are still the goofy couple with weird quirks. But nothing will hold us back from helping others or trying to do for those less fortunate. WE are fortunate, and blessed.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mama Did Right

Over the course of the last few weeks, I've taken pictures of the different items I've either sewn, knitted or whatever. Today I stopped to take a look at them, REALLY look at them and see what a truly awesome gift my mother gave me......

She gave me the training, instruction, attention and encouragement to be able to make something with my own hands. She encouraged me to watch the details, the extra little something's that make things different, and to expect the best from myself. Mom taught all us girls that lesson, and it shows in the things all three of us do: quilting, card making, paper crafting, crocheting, knitting, sewing..... and the art of being resourceful. Even though mom was not a nature buff by any means, she knew how to use every color in God's rainbow to make the most phenomenal things, like quilts - her specialty later on in her life.

Today I'd have given anything to just TELL her how much she had influenced her daughters. I know I never told her while her mind was well enough to understand, but I'm asking Jesus to let her know - and that I love her.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Facebook Pros and Cons

So we all know what Facebook is, right? It has been an interesting journey to watch how this type of social media can either help OR hurt. Took a while, but I had to relearn my boundaries, and draw a line in the sand as to what is not acceptable, and what is good and beneficial to belong to this social community.

I have learned the following: people are important, but that doesn't mean you need to have everything they put as their status run through your news feed. It can be both depressing and sometimes quite hurtful (intentionally or not). That is the 'con' of FB.

But boundaries are good, and looking for the GOOD on FB has been wonderful. It inspires time for prayer, for thought and contemplation; there are people who always amaze me with their insights and creativity - both blessings and gifts from God; and for me the best is the inspirational quotes and stories. Take a minute, look some up. There are wonderful positive, encouraging and spiritually uplifting things there, if you know how to look.

Educate yourself. Get someone to help you. And then enjoy the blessings and smiles. It will do your heart good. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thank You to Stitch'N Bitch

A huge thank you to Debbie Stoller of Stitch'N Bitch fame in honoring me by publishing my little leaf knit design tote bag. It's been a long time in the works, and to see this happen is beyond my wildest dreams.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Starfish Story

One of the best stories I've read in a LONG time - hope you enjoy........

The Starfish Story

adapted from The Star Thrower
by Loren Eiseley
1907 - 1977

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all.

The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "I made a difference to that one!"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sleepless Nights

Who can say why I don't sleep. Or at least sleep well. Aren't old people supposed to sleep all the time?

As I lay wide awake last night, listening to a radio program my husband likes to put on when he has trouble sleeping (as I cover my head with a pillow so I don't hear), I had to wonder.... why? Don't I work hard enough? Am I not doing enough? What is lacking? Why does my brain go a gazillion miles an hour when my body says 'no'? And when sleep does come, in short spurts, the dreams that come are close to nightmares. I was so hoping the days of recreating events in dreams, and creating outlandish new ones would stop. Do they stop? What exactly am I not letting go of, or dealing with. It's been nearly 7 years, the perfect number. God's perfect number. Yes, these times are further apart now, and not nearly as devastating as before. For that I am grateful. The words don't even have to get fully said around here about missing Ty. All either Bill or I have to say is, "My head just didn't do well today", and the other will say, "I understand."

It's just the 'working' through the little leftovers of anger and sadness, those times when you just want to enjoy one more laugh, hug, or a good slug right into his tattooed shoulder.

I've not journaled or written much about Tyler in the past two years. And maybe that's partly why I feel on overload at times, as I filled journals before and after he left us, and the thoughts and feelings weren't held all in one place, my brain.

He would have been celebrating his 30th birthday this coming year, and that in itself is getting the better of my nights.

I've rambled, but I wrote. Leaving my thoughts here, and hoping for a night of finding some peace (and sleep).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Patience Please

It appears that there has been some redesigning and messing with my blogs, and that would be correct. Don't worry if you stumble across either blog and they look different than normal - I've been working on them quite a bit this weekend. My love of trees, leaves, and the color purple are now prevalent where before they were sorely lacking.

Thank you for your patience as there may still be some tweeking to be done. :)

Some of God's Most Precious Gifts

I just had to share one of the most precious gifts we received in the mail yesterday. Could not be a prouder grandma to these two incredible kids.

Abby and Hunter in their school pictures from 2010-11..............

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Little Fun For All

What a week! Work was great, but a day off came just at the right time. Did a little sewing on the side and a bit of shopping on the other side. And those of you who know me KNOW I don't shop well and have to force myself to do it.

I had my eye on a piece of artwork from a Nebraska photographer for a few months. She called this week to see if I was still interested in the piece as it was still available and she would be in town to deliver it! WOW! I couldn't say no and she delivered it - in person. Quite honored. This photo doesn't do it justice, but it is one of the most phenomenal photography I've seen.....

It is not real big and the detail in the 'silk' is breathtaking. You would swear it was a painting at first sight. Thank you for remembering me, Helen Johnson.

I've been sewing and planning for Christmas, too. Working up aprons for gifts (maybe) and Bill was generous enough to pose for the camera - even though this is obviously made for the fairer sex.....
Gotta love him!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ah, the peacefulness of Sunday mornings. There is nothing that compares to the special kind of quiet this day brings. Today it's sunny and cool and there are no plans to even leave the sanctuary I call home. Getting older does have its advantages in that area and today I will say 'yeah' to my age and situation in life.

The auction held last night on behalf of Friendship Home was a success on many levels. Not only will this organization be receiving a great donation, but some of my own faith in mankind has been restored. Maybe only a little, but none-the-less in better shape than when I went into this project. Yes, you may be asking yourselves what kind of building we were in here, but it was held in one of the cleanest barns in the world, I'm sure. The other side of the barn was filled with 9 different types of chili, fixin's, snacks and desserts.

I think I'm tired, but it's a good tired, one that comes after doing something worthwhile. Now if I could just find someone to volunteer to do all my ironing! Kidding, kinda.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Whirlwind Week

It's been a whirlwind week - busy, busy and even more busy! But today will end all the 'busy-ness' for work, and start the new 'fun-ness' of Christmas gift planning. Would love to try and keep as much of the gift giving to handmade items if possible.

There are some aprons to be made, and I'm pretty sure there needs to be some doll clothes sewn up for a special young lady. (This isn't the pattern I bought because I don't want her to accidentally see which one I have!)

Then there are the boys in the family. Christmas and boys are great, but the items to be handmade for them are slim to none. So we'll see what comes up for ideas there. Of course, I am a grandma and can get away with hats, gloves and scarves I guess. Maybe Husker hats.... it will just have to be a surprise. :)

Time to finish this week off, and begin anew tomorrow! Let's get excited about Christmas!!!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

The Power of Friends

It's always amazing that when things appear to be at their worst and your emotions are spread all over floor feeling trampled... a friend, and maybe even two, come along and help pick you up, and put you back together again.

I had the extreme pleasure and incredible blessings from two such friends this week.

God is amazing at his timing, and I am always in awe of his power.

Friday, October 01, 2010

O Be Careful Little Eyes

O be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little eyes what you see

There's a Father up above

And He's looking down in love

So, be careful little eyes what you see

This children's song comes into my mind whenever I choose to put the wrong visuals in my life. Words of wisdom, I do believe. I'm very cautious about the TV I watch. Would much prefer to watch innocent shows or light hearted ones, or a good detective or mystery program. It goes for the internet, too. I was not being careful enough with what I was seeing come into my news feed on Facebook. There are so many sad and angry people in the world. And there are just situations listed there that are better unknown to me. Lesson learned. Just because I am not a child does not mean I am not a child of God. This song instructs me also, even as an adult.

What are we letting into our lives because of our choices of TV shows? Movies? Internet sites? Will the result be honoring to God? It's all about our gift of free will and how we choose to use it.

The song goes on, not only about eyes, but about our ears, hands, feet, and mouth. Oh, the trouble one can stir by allowing our ears to hear untruth, or our mouth to speak it.

Do yourself a favor and double check your choice of entertainment. It could make a difference in your life, maybe bring a bit more peace, less stress, fewer moments of anxiety and bouts of depression or anger.

It's all about CHOICES. Choose carefully. He is watching, and loving, and gave you that gift.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Friendship Home, Lincoln, NE

My little brain has been in overdrive the past couple of weeks as I've taken on a volunteer situation at work involving a silent auction.

Every year, the doctor's at the clinic put on a chili cook-off at one of their acreages, and the different teams within the company try their best to win the trophy for the best chili! It is a lot of fun with horse riding, hay rack rides, fishing, and of course great chili of ALL kinds. Last year our team took the trophy home, no thanks to me. I am 'kitchen' challenged, but that comes from years of being spoiled by a husband who loves to be the chef.

So this year, the community council within the company decided to kick up the fun a little and have a silent auction for a local shelter for abused women called Friendship Home. A very worthy cause and one we have not donated to for a few years.

So with an auction coming up, me being the somewhat overachiever that I am, decided to get local businesses involved by donating to the auction. It has been a LOT of work and I'm still not even half way through my list, but there are still some wonderful business people out there who know the need and have donated some wonderful items.

I have been invited to a Mary Kay meeting tomorrow night to give a short talk about the auction and hopefully step out with a lovely basket of donated Mary Kay products. And of course, I'm going to stay and have a make-over! Why not? :) But I am getting to know Amy, the senior sales director, a little and she was generous enough to call me at work and ask if I wanted to give this little plug for Friendship Home to her sales staff.

God always seems to have a plan, if we just sit back and listen. The many years of having our own business had led me to some very generous and KIND people. Our community is one I am very proud to say is MY community.

Thank you, Lincoln, Nebraska, for still being a concerned and giving community.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Living Up to 100/0 Ratio

I've had an evening of reflecting and thinking. Here are my thoughts for today.

I receive an email once a week at least from Simple Truths. The snippet from the book they were promoting this week was on living and giving the 100/0 ratio: giving and doing at 100%, but expecting 0% in return. Hard thing to comprehend as we all as humans WANT something back for even the tiniest word or gesture. To honestly expect ZERO? NADA? NOTHING? Hard concept. But when you really think about it, it's true and it's the only way to be.

It also reflects the lesson in the book by Shel Silverstein "The Giving Tree". One of my all time favorite books for children that I think a lot of adults should read.

Sure, we all want notoriety and compliments. We're human. As a co-worker you like to be acknowledged for hard work by even one kind word or action. As a friend, a phone call or card in the mail brings a smile and you know they've gotten the message. As a wife, even a thank you is worth it's weight in gold after many years of being married.

But when it comes down to the real way God wants us to live, it really IS the 100/0 ratio. We do for others because we WANT to, not for any type of reward it could or would bring. Hard? Absolutely. Impossible? I'd say no, not if we're living the way Scripture tells and instructs us to.

I write this so that it can be more ingrained in my own mind and heart. It's a tough lesson, but really isn't the bottom line about others? And how THEY are doing? Jesus never put himself first. His heart is for us. Is my heart for others?

Think about it.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Patience HAS Been a Virtue

Ah, Labor Day Weekend - in retrospect.....

Three days of not being scheduled at work. Three days of lists. One and one-half days of running errands, 90% of which were necessary. But it all goes deeper than that.

My life's motto has been "Patience is a Virtue". Ask my kids and how many times they've heard that short lecture. But this Labor Day weekend, it really hit that through the past two years, my motto worked.

Two years. A lot can happen in two years. Think about it. Births, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, divorce, elections, loss and death. I was given the strength to endure, to keep going, and have patience in the last two years, even though I was ridiculed for my choices.

Many things have happened in my life in just a two year slot of time.

1. I've had a divorced daughter and her two children live here for two years - to the date.
2. I've gained two more grandchildren.
3. I have lost a house to foreclosure.
4. I have lost a business.
5. I have gained a new and better job than I could have ever imagined.
6. I enjoy a relationship with my grandchildren that I even envy.
7. I have been promoted - twice.
8. I have gained a new relationship with the love of my life.
9. I now know why God put those words of "Patient Is A Virtue" on my heart years ago.
10. Wonder what's next?

There's no pictures or stories with this post. This one has been on my heart all of this Labor Day weekend. I have been blessed BECAUSE I've chosen to be patient. So many things just don't happen overnight, and sometimes blessing need to be waited on. I've BEEN blessed, and I will always wait for what tomorrow will bring.

Thank you, Jesus.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mama McBear and Delmar

Meet 2nd all time favorite, Mama McBear and Delmar. This is #7 in my animal introductions and Bearington Bear #6.

Isn't mama just a hoot with her kerchief all tied up on her head? And little Delmar is holding onto a heart while mama has her arms wrapped real tight around him. Mama's hang on so tight sometimes. Sometimes not tight enough. But this little guy isn't going anywhere, is he?!? :)

I figured it was kind of appropriate to introduce them today because my second baby is having her 3rd baby - TODAY. I will sit and be patient, not bother her until SHE says the word it's okay, and respect her and daddy's wishes to make this birth totally their own with no extra people around.

In the society today, it has become more prevalent and more common place for many people to be right there when babies are born. It wasn't like that in my baby days, nor my mother's. Nothing is held as private or sacred these days as compared to years gone by. I have to admit that I'd bought into society's views and thought I'd be there to welcome Gavin into the world, too. And I had been invited to do so earlier. But after the new mommy and daddy discussed how they REALLY wanted things, the door closed. Talk about having to change my thinking! :) But you know what, they are right! This is THEIR time - time to bond and become a new family unit. There will be no video taken, no pictures, no nothing. They've gone old school on us, and I commend them for it.

I was just being a little too much like Mama McBear...... I was holding my baby bear too tight. Yet another apron string has had to be cut. But this is life! And there will be NEW life today that we'll get to meet and greet on his terms.

And needless to say, Delmar is Tyler in my heart. My mind and heart are still sewn tightly around him. And no one can tell me any different on that one.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Phillipe - The Frog

Wanted to share a FUN animal I have that isn't a bear! Can you believe it? Frogs have so many meanings to me:

#1 - FROG
Fully Relying On God (great reminder)

#2 - The Magician's Nephew (by C.S. Lewis)
Our son Tyler was cast as the frog in the one-act play in high school. The one-act took high rankings at the State Speech Contest that year. So when I look at a frog, I think of Ty and the success he and his team had enjoyed.

But Phillipe the Frog is also a reminder of one of the most memorable trips I was able to take. He came from the Denver Art Museum that my sister to graciously took me to. They were having a special display of Impressionistic Art and I so fell in love with Impressionism from that time on. Phillipe has a book that goes along with him, but it's missing since our move.

But isn't he just the cutest thing ever? He sure means a lot in my treasury of memories.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Grandpa & Grandson

Introducing: Grandpa and Grandson, Bearington Bear #5

Lots of stories come to mind with this one, and these two have actually been played with... a LOT! Grandpa has his spectacles on trying to read "The Little Engine That Could" to a grandson. Yes, as you can see the book is missing. And who knows where it is by now. But the meaning is still there in my heart and head.

This means a lot to me because of my husband's eyes and all the troubles he's had with them. He is legally blind in one eye, but praise Jesus he still has sight in the other. He is very mobile and does his job with enthusiasm and a lot of spirit. He has never let his eye issues get the better of him.

But even though he can't read books to his grandkids, that doesn't mean he doesn't know how to get down on the floor and play with them. Whenever he disappears from a family get together, you know he's probably off somewhere with the little ones playing games or teasing them and having fun. He's just that kind of guy.

We don't get to see the grandkids very often anymore, but he holds each and every one of them so very close to his heart, just like the grandpa bear does here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Introducing Gwendolyn, Bearington Bear #4 in my list of intros.

Miss Gwen is very simple, she's not trendy but basic. There isn't anything foofoo about this gal. She is in my collection because her name and her 'look' represent my mother.

My mother, Gwen, was a lot like this gal. She was simple, neat, precise and didn't care for anything trendy or in excess. She was born in 1913 and lived through the Great Depression, and raised a family of five children, leading to her reasons for not living 'over the top' in many areas. She was the ultimate re-use, re-cycle and wear-it-out woman.

But one thing Gwen did was strive for perfection and quality in everything she did. She was a quilter extraordinaire. Her eye for color and design were impeccable. She urged me and taught me to do the best at whatever I created, be it an apron for 4-H to my first hand-knitted pullover sweater. She not only urged, she pushed. My mother would make sure I was busy doing something with my hands at all times - to be productive. There was not a day off from school where'd I'd look forward to being at home doing nothing, that she would have a different agenda for me laid out. At the time I had no appreciation for that, nor did I like it one bit. But in the long run, she was right and I am grateful.

She taught me how to sew, to knit, to be as precise with my work as possible. She expected the best out of me and my projects. I didn't always hear "good job" or get a pat on the back, but I grew up knowing that being busy with my hands and putting thought into my projects were a good thing.

I'm very grateful to have had simple and hard working Gwendolyn as my mom.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Betsy and Ross

Even though I've missed the actual holiday to introduce Bearington Bear #3, there isn't one day that we don't celebrate being an American!

Meet "Betsy and Ross".

There aren't many 4th of July's that don't have some type of memory attached. Neighbors, fireworks, camping, campfires, sunburns..... all just good stuff.

But one of the best things about Betsy and Ross is the reminder that because we live in America, we have the freedom to believe in Jesus without persecution.

THAT freedom is without question.... priceless.

God bless America...
my home sweet home.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Mary and Little Lamb

If you're a gal, you got one. That one person in your life that sticks by you through thick and thin, good and bad, and even when you behave or act horrifically. Yes, it's about my BFF.... my best friend forever, for live, for forever.

Meet Bearington Bear #2 in my series of introductions. Her name is "Mary and Little Lamb" (retired 2007). This little gal speaks so much to my heart. She represents my best friend, Susan. Not only does the innocent little animal she's holding represent her last name, but it represents what Sue did for me in my spiritual life.

Have any of you ever felt lost? Searching for something but couldn't figure it out or find it? Need something to feel at peace, loved, fulfilled? This is what Sue did for me. She picked me up like a lost sheep, and introduced me to Jesus. I had been that lost sheep that Miss Mary Bear is holding. She never lets go of that sheep either!

Do any of you have a friend that sticks so close to you and your heart, that even when you have to be away from each other you know they are right beside you in spirit and heart? That is what this woman is to me.

Sue was introduced to you in an earlier post describing the different meaning of the word 'sister'.

This kind of friendship? Priceless.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Raining Cats and Dogs

When I started this blogging project, the thought was to try and go through each bear as to age. But that needs to be switched up.

Today it is raining outside. I think it may have rained all night, which is fine - we need it. But this little girl bear speaks volumes and needed to be introduced first. Please meet Bearington Bear: "Raining Cats and Dogs" (retired 2007). Sounds like that's her given Indian name, doesn't it.

She represents all those times when we wonder, "When will it all stop?" If it's not one thing, it's another. What could possibly happen next. We've all had those times and eras in our lives. And Bill and I are going through another one right now.

I get a kick out of her, because she's got her raincoat on to repel the rain (mishaps) but she's grabbed on to a cat and a dog (particular raindrops). She teaches me a great life lesson: Let a lot of life's bad or unhappy occurrences slide off of you, but grab ahold of a couple of important ones that need to be learned from. Life is tough - but this little gal is gunna make it through, don't you think?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Some of my FAVORITE things....

The opportunity came to take TODAY and get a little more done on finding my art, stuff, yarns... because this week there will be absolutely no time for any of it. And of course, we just made plans to get even more work done next weekend on things, so..... I wanted to share some of the most precious 'things' I have been able to keep hold of. In other words, I didn't have to give these up with all our transitioning over the past two years. Now go ahead and make fun of me, most people do when it comes to this, but I'm a big girl and can take it. :)There are many stories that go with each object I'm going to share over the next couple of weeks. There is no way on EARTH that I could expound on the entire collection I've kept... so for now I'm going to show you how my sewing room just became MINE. I find great peace, enjoyment, and family in every object I'm going to share.

So today is the whole deal - the big picture - the big kahuna - the whole ball of wax - the full meal deal... I will break it all down as time permits and share why each one is important and why I'm grateful the Lord has allowed me to keep these small treasures.

OK, I know... it's a lot of junk to take in at one time. But these little dudes and dudettes have been in hiding for too long. I'd see them peeking out of their bag every time I'd walk through our garage (slash storage unit) begging for a place in my space. And now that I HAVE a space, they have come back to life and it was so fun to think of each meaning and story as I set them out on the bed. NOW this is my room, my personal sanctuary for my creative side. Just look at all the friends who have come to join me now!

And this finally made it to the place it belonged - right by my head in my recliner I've now been able to claim back as mine.
The portrait of Tyler painted by my mother-in-law, his grandma.
Done from a photo taken the Thanksgiving weekend when he went home to be with the Lord.
It's awesome - and according to her, very cathartic and something she felt she needed to do.

More stories to follow - come on now, follow this thread as we laugh, cry, and just have fun telling all kinds of tales.

It's priceless.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

And the Doctor Says.....

Got your attention, didn't I! :) No, the doctor has nothing new for me but there are just some days and events that have to get mentioned - even on a silly blog.

Had my first dentist appointment yesterday bright and early. That's the first in a gazillion appointments made, but it's a great step. This doctor was not the same one I saw Tuesday, but equally as great a guy. Since I was one of the first patients, he told me he hoped he would do good work since he'd only had a double shot of espresso in his one Caribou coffee, instead of TWO COFFEES each with a double shot of espresso in them! OK, this doc has me won over also. Caribou is awesome coffee, and espresso? THAT is a treat I rarely give myself, but I could relate to him having fun.
After this, I grabbed the two Gray grandkids and got Dylan to the eye doctor before school AND before we don't take his insurance any longer. OK, those of you who know me, know Raegan and Dylan are talkers, movers, shakers, questioners, etc.... These children suffer from NO social anxieties whatsoever. Questions, questions, questions... Raegan was pulling every piece of advertising and cards out of their holders so she could show her friends. She was as involved in Dylan's eye exam as he was. (sorry, my dear co-workers) Dylan could not believe that his eyes actually PLUGGED into his brain - and he adored the 3-D eyeball. I don't know if Dr. Brightman had a chance to really talk but he did mention that the kids were certainly not shy kiddos. No, they're not shy by a long shot. They certainly don't get it from their mother, do they! :)

After dropping off Dylan and Raegan back at day-care, I had a miss call from the hub. Oh, my, he never calls so what's wrong. Called him back and you got it! More car problems! He was driving my Ford and as he stopped at the first stop sign past our house, the break lines broke! He just wanted to tell me that he had nursed it over to Metzger's and they had it fixed already, for a pretty little price. So after picking him up from downtown, going to pay for the car repair, and driving home to do some figuring of (lack of) money... mr. anxiety came to visit me. I had plans for the afternoon! I didn't want any part of this and I had to shake it off....

After coming out of the basement working on the checkbook, the sun was back out and in that instant I decided to keep going with the plans. So off I go to our oldest daughter's house to play with them for the afternoon. Yep, 3 kiddos in an underground pool was just what the doctor ordered. I have to say, her two oldest kids do not suffer from social anxiety either! Abby was adorable and needed to let me know everything about her life - and I couldn't be prouder. She pays attention to detail (that will pay off in her life), she is proud of the work she does and adores showing it off. DANG! This girl has got some of her great-grandma Smith's perfectionism in her! Hunter was a hoot and boy did I LOVE throwing that kid as hard as I could in the pool. I even got a couple honest hugs out of the kid. That's not easy when you're a 6 year old boy. But I treasure it. Little Beau cracked me up - at 16 months the kid is swimming his heart out. And to see him push his boundaries - priceless. On many levels.

So overall, the day was great - my grandkids are strong, personable, and totally delightful children. I did miss having girl talk time with my daughter, but some time that will happen and when the time is right. Yes, after all that action I was totally pooped. I didn't follow through with my evening plans to watch Bill play with "Cowboy Cut" and open for Mark Wills...... but my man understands me and let me off the hook.

Social Anxiety? Nope, no longer an issue in this family - NONE of us!

Car problems? Yeah, guess it's becoming a habit. HA

Thursday, July 29, 2010

When I say Sister, You Say....?

My thought process in analyzing the word "SISTER".

Those of you who are a sister, or have a sister can relate I'm sure. But while I was getting ready for work this morning, I pondered the word and its powerful meaning. Do you ever give it any thought? There are so many meanings and connotations to the word. Some observations I have made is that I have many sisters, of many types! Here goes.....

I have a sister, who is a sister-sister. You ask, "WHAT?" OK, the eldest (sorry Carole) sister has led a life of inspiration, love, motherhood, being a grandmother, a missionary and has now entered another chapter of her life being a Catholic nun. So not only is she my sister in the true sense of the word, but my Sister-Sister. Anyone else have that in their vocabulary?

Then I have a sister, who is my sis. My sis and I have become like peanut butter and jelly after a childhood of being opposing magnets. Because of this relationship flipping (kind of like a house) there comes a more endearing name - Sis. There is so much to talk about that taking the time to say a two syllable word 'sister' takes too long - there is so much else to say!!

Then there is the sista. These are my in-laws, a group of women that are not only family, but my friends who I love. There has to be some teasing involved knowing my in-laws, so they deserve the name sista because they are fun gals who enjoy MUCH "laughta". HA!!!

Then you have what you'd call a 'soul sister'.... I have one, but she has three sister names in my life. Not only is she my soul sister, she is my sister-from-another-mother (or sista-from-anutha-mutha) and my sister in Christ. As the kids would say, she is my BFFL. These sisters not only share your life, but they share something even deeper within you, and actually GET you.

Aren't we blessed to have sisters? To be sisters? To know sisters?

So when I say sister, you say......?