Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Butterfly Bush

In the fall of 2001 when my kids and I moved into our house, Francis, my elderly neighbor across the street, came over to tell me I needed to cut my butterfly bush down to at least 12 inches. It was so tall and beautiful, it didn't seem right to cut it at all. She said she would have cut it herself, but thought she had better ask first.

So her being older and much wiser than I, I cut it down every fall. It never grew to be as tall as it was when I first moved in. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong.

She was like that -- always watching out for us. She would always report to me if she saw anything suspicious out her kitchen window. I had the kids go get her a few times to catch bats that had sneaked into our upstairs. She used to leave snack cakes on the door with a sticky note that said, "Brush your teeth!" until she couldn't get up the steps very well. But she would still give candy to anyone who knocked on her door.

Francis became very sick and died a few months ago and do you know that butterfly bush grew to be about 7 feet tall this year.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Customer

I received a message from a customer a few weeks ago about a custom order. She ordered a custom bag last year for her daughter who was going into second grade. Maggie picked out the fabric and it was mailed to me to do my thing. She sent me a picture of her with her new bag on her first day of school.

This year she is ordering two custom backpacks for Maggie and her sister. This is what she had to say:
"I've got to tell you your bag was THE hit of the second grade classroom! Maggie loved it and her friends (and teacher) did too! Last week was the last day of school and that bag came home looking just as good as the day we got it - incredible! And, it took some heavy duty abuse too - heavy books, twigs, rocks and other treasures too. Thank you!"

Maggie's and her sister's new backpacks.

Hooked On Treasuries

This treasury is inspired by all the storms we've had in the last couple of days.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back to School Already?

I can't believe it's almost time for the kids to go back to school. Our start date here is Aug. 17

Back-to-school in my house will be different this year. My oldest will be moving into her apartment next Friday and start college classes the following Monday to begin her journey as a psychology major. She's been packing up boxes and buying everything she needs with the money she has saved since she was just little. I didn't really think much of it when she told me she was saving for college all these years until I found out how much she put in her savings account. Good for her!
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
I've been telling my kids since kindergarten that they have to go to college. As they grew older, I explained that they won't be able to reach their goals without it. Brendon wants to be a "general practioner" (he's very specific) when he grows up. Mikaela wanted to be a veterinarian until she took a couple of "farming classes" (as she calls it) and realized it wasn't for her. Auston is thinking about being a teacher. He's a junior this year and I've been drilling in his head all summer that he needs to start getting serious about his grades and starting thinking about what he wants to do. Caitrin wants to be a fashion designer. She's a chip off the ole block. Kaden is 3 and can navigate his way around the computer better than I can, so I have my predictions.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What's on your fridge?

I was getting my breakfast this morning and thought "Man, I need to clean off this refrigerator."

Then I realized it has all this great stuff. It has become a collage of accomplishments.

There is a very detailed fish bowl that Elizabeth made a few years ago at Boys and Girls Club out of perler beads. Hanging next to the fish bowl is a flower for Mother's Day from Kaden that he made in class at church with his picture in the middle.

Caitrin made a card for my birthday in February with the help of her very artistic sister Mikaela. Some of the letters are backwards -- so cute!

There is a Lifeskills Certificate that Brendon earned last school year for "Having a great SENSE OF HUMOR!". Under that is his basketball schedule and a certificate for completing a Junior Achievement program. Mikaela's National Junior Honor Society certificate is hanging at the bottom along with Brendon's "Caught Being Good" certificate and a heart he made for me out of perler beads.

Elizabeth hung her French quiz with 20/20 in red at the top, which shows you're never too old (she's going to college in a few weeks).

Then there's the school calendar, lunch menu, Auston's and Mikaela's orthodontist appointment reminders and more of Caitrin's artwork.

There is so much to be proud of and I couldn't possibly clean it off.

So what's on your fridge?

(Written Dec. 3, 2010)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Escape

Where do I go to unwind? The beach. My most favorite place to be is Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan. On a clear day, across the lake you can see Chicago. Every time I walk down the beach I think of the Footprints in the Sand poem.

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I need you the most, you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, Is when I carried you.”

--Mary Stevenson

Hooked on Treasuries

It's been so long since I've made a treasury. This treasury is inspired by the Harvest Festival that is held every August in my hometown. It features all Etsy Cast Team members.