Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My First Grandchild is 14

This kid was some kind of cute!

Just after Easter, 12 1/2 years ago, we got a phone call. Our son and daughter-in-law had just been licensed as foster parents and the next day were entrusted with a 18 month old boy. As soon as I got off work I went over to their house to meet the little guy, bearing gifts from my co-workers who all spent their lunch hours combing baby clearance racks to outfit him in much-needed clothes. Stocky, with olive skin, dark curly hair, and eyes the color of bittersweet chocolate, he stole my heart the second I saw him.

I was amazed at how bright he was, and how he used his imagination. We played for quite a while and he fell asleep in my arms. Millie and I looked at each other-both of us knew this kid was going to stay.

It wasn't easy-adopting through the state can be arduous, first the birth mother has to try to get her act together, then if that doesn't work parental rights have to be terminated. It took two years to accomplish all this. There were hard times, especially when Birth Mother got him back for a trial and all Chris could do was ask for Jim.

But praise God it all worked out and he is ours forever. (Or until some pretty girl steals his heart!)

Chris LOVES football and can play really, really well. His hope is, if his knees hold out, to play pro football. Whatever he does he will be just fine. He's quiet, at least around adults, makes friends quickly and is still a smart kid. He went on a youth mission this summer and was forever affected by it. God has a great plan for Christopher and I can't wait to see where He leads him!

I love this photo-two brothers looking over the loot from Isaac's birthday party.

Almost a man-he's taller than most of the family. Pretty handsome, too.

Happy birthday, Chris, you are still our pride and joy!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Smokey Sunset

A few small fires burning near here. The sunsets prove there are blessings hidden in troubles.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


This weekend my high school class celebrated 40 years. We had a fun time, and today a few of us met for lunch, to get just a bit more visiting in and so two who couldn't make it on Saturday could see one lady who lives in Arizona.

I've really been doing a lot of remembering and thinking, thanks to this weekend. We had one girl in our class who was a holy terror. From the first grade on, she bullied me, and judging by the comments today, a few others. I hold no grudge-I'm sure the reason she was the way she was had something to do with either her home life or maybe a chemical imbalance. She actually came to the reunion, but it's pretty obvious life has done a pretty good job of crapping on her.

I left high school and got married about a month after school started in my senior year. I went to another high school for a while, but my high school diploma came in the form of a GED. I even went to college for a while and have taken lots of community classes.

Seeing this lady and remembering all the things she did were actually very freeing because now I realize that nobody can make me a victim like that unless I give them permission. Even though the bullying lasted 11 years, I never took ownership of being the victim. She was very reluctant to talk to me and I think it had to do partly with guilt, but also with the fact that I came out just fine, and she is stuck in her dysfunctional life. I don't think she's matured past junior high.

It was very eye-opening to hear others talk about being bullied by her. If I'd known this before I probably would have enjoyed high school more and probably wouldn't have dropped out.

But if I hadn't dropped out I wouldn't have married Stan, or had my three terrific sons, or all those darling grandkids, so life does have a way of working itself out.

And even though I knew it, it was nice to be reminded that this person has no power over me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nice Little Crop

Hubs insisted on buying one of those upside-down tomato planters last spring. That crazy little thing is really turning out the grape tomatoes. And they're about twice the size of the ones in the supermarket.

But why do they have bellybuttons?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Aprons for Mommy and Me

I found this pattern-an old-fashioned apron sized for little girls. I couldn't resist making one for Gracie, in pink of course.

It took two packages of double fold bias tape to bind the thing. Also about five hours of work. I can usually turn out an apron in less than an hour but not this one. The bias tape did make for nice detailing, though.

It has buttons in the waistband with two buttonholes on each strap.

I bought all the fabric on the bolt and had enough to make Mommy one too.

Gracie wanted to go right home and bake a birthday cake for Sam-never mind it's 11 months until his next birthday. Her mom explained that they could bake other things before then.

Then I cut these out:

I have a high school reunion this weekend-dress casual-but of course I want to look classy without anybody knowing how hard I worked to achieve it! I cut out two blouses and a new pair of black capris. The black and white blouse is done, and now that I have thread (a 20-mile drive) I can do the lavender one. The capris will take no time, I can sew this pattern with my eyes closed. Actually the pattern is one I created to make better fitting pants. The black and white top pattern is also my own freezer paper creation. I really only have tomorrow to finish them so wish me luck!

Monday, September 14, 2009

What A Hectic Life!

Sorry I've been so behind in posting lately. We've had one thing after the other occupy our time and my blog went by the wayside. Hopefully soon I'll have the swiffer duster tutorial done, and I have a couple of aprons cut out that I'm dying to share. I was going to make this old-fashioned little girl's apron for Gracie for Christmas but I can't wait that long, so as soon as I get back from town with the right colored thread I'll get going on it and take lots of pictures. I have another Memory Bear to do out of leather, so that has to happen this week too. Add all that to the fact that Saturday is Belgrade Fall Festival and my 40th high school reunion, WHICH Stan and I are catering. Whew!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

He's 14-Can't Believe It!

Nine years ago next April, we met a little boy. He was 5 1/2, small in stature, with bottle-bottom glasses and old eyes. He was Christopher's biological cousin, just three weeks older than Chris. Jim and Millie had been asked to look after him for a couple of weeks. After a day or two we all knew we couldn't let him leave-we had all fallen for him.

Isaac was a lonely troubled little boy, left to mostly fend for himself in a scattered family. We needed him and he wanted us. The day he arrived, he became one of us and never looked back.

He's smart, frugal, loving and a hard worker. He had been in kindergarten when they got him, but he was so very young, his parents decided to keep him out and let him start with Chris. He did much better the second year.

Celebrating his dad's birthday at the Crab Pot in Seattle. He and his dad ate a whole order of crab boil-he can eat his weight every day.

He loves animals, money and his little sister and brother. He's so responsible that he has been babysitting the two little ones for almost a year now. He makes the honor roll most of the time-he's loved by his teachers. When Chris teases him for being a "geek" their mom says, "Be kind, someday a geek will sign your paycheck!"

About 8-9 years old with cousin Sydney.

Our lives would not be the same without this smart, serious, conscientious young man. He'll be a man soon and the world will benefit for him being in it.

Happy birthday, oldest grandchild-we are so happy to know you. Oh, and Grandpa and I don't mind you being a Broncos fan one bit!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What We've Been Up To Lately

That nasty hailstorm did a real number on our roof, so we have builders making a mess for us.

There are benefits. I always wanted a tubular skylight, so we seized the opportunity to buy one and have the guys install it.

What a nice thing to come home to tonight! It's amazing how much light those things let in.

My kitchen and dining room, formerly kind of gloomy, feel very happy now.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Irregular People

Millie this is for you.

Back in the 80s there was a movie made for TV called "The Summer of My German Soldier," based on a true story about a small Southern town that held several German prisoners of war during World War II.

The young girl in the story befriended one of the young German men who had escaped his captors. He was a sweet boy caught up in Hitler's war machine. Her father was hateful and authoritarian. The only person in the household that treated her like a real person was their old black housekeeper.

When they found out that she had befriended the boy and had been bringing him food, clothing and blankets, her father disowned her. He said she could live in the house until she was 18, but he would never speak to her or acknowledge her existence. She was dead to him.

She ran sobbing to the housekeeper. The housekeeper said, "Honey when I go shopping, and I see something that's an irregular, I expect to pay less money for it. You only pay top dollar for top goods."

"You have irregulars for a Mama and Papa, but all your life you have been paying top dollar for them."

Millie, you have been paying top dollar for irregulars. God will heal your heart and keep you safe, but your "irregular people" will always be unhappy.

I'm there for you.

Fibbing Contractors

Our house was built in 1981. Our builder assured us that we were getting only the best materials-the plywood was 5/8" and so was the sheetrock. Some of the sheetrock was, but not all, and when our roofers uncovered our roof yesterday they found 1/2" plywood instead of 5/8" They had to fix several water-damaged spots. The builder got early delivery on our windows and left them lay in the mud for two weeks in a rainy April. Nothing fits right, the patio door wouldn't slide, and the windows steam up between the thermal panes. And a month before the house was finished the builder went to New Mexico to help his brother build his house, leaving us with the company owner, who charged us about $5000 more that what the original guy had quoted. Just gotta love it when they do you over. Wish I could tell the world the name of the contractor to keep other people from being burned, but I have ethics even if he didn't.